I called it!
In my earlier patch notes entry, I noted the following regarding the increased tier token drops and outdoor raid boss drops going BoE.
I call these the “Hurry Up And Get Into Black Temple Because There Is A Whole Mess of Content We’ve Put Out That Nobody Is Going To Touch When Lich King Is Released” changes.
And now in the new, complete patch notes for Patch 2.4 that have been released, we have the following:
# Players will no longer require an attunement quest to enter Hyjal.
# Players will no longer require an attunement quest to enter the Black Temple.
I called it!
Seriously, there are currently five 25-man raids in the game, with Sunwell being the 6th when the patch is released. Included are (so I’m told) some of the most amazingly fun and complicated fights ever put into World of Warcraft.
And nobody is going to see a single lick of it when Wrath of the Lich King is released.
So of course the restrictions for entry into some were lifted, and the nerf bat liberally applied (hi, Mr. Magtheridon!) to other places. Blizzard wants us to see this content before the next expansion (which in my humble opinion is still eleven months away, releasing two years to the day of Burning Crusade’s release).
The hardcore raider out there who slogged for weeks and months on Lady Vashj or Kael’thas is of course going to QQ heavily that so many noobs will be let into these places, but you know what? I bet Blizzard doesn’t want a repeat of what happened with the Legacy content. I believe I once heard that the percentage of players who saw Blackwing Lair, AQ40 and Naxxramas is in the single digits. According to WoWJutsu, less than 10% of players have seen Hyjal and Black Temple. Do you think Blizzard really wants to waste the man-hours it took developing all of these raids to sit unseen by what would still be a vast majority of the player base because we’re all focusing on the new shiny things in WotLK? My guess is no.
And while none seem to be named as such right now, based on the fun (yes, you’re sick of it, but admit it, it’s really a lot of fun) and popularity of Karazhan, I think 10-man content is really what Blizzard should be focusing on to further avoid things like this in future expansions. Give us at least two 10-mans that are back to back in progression before sending us to the level 80, 25-man Naxxramas or whichever is first. 10-mans are fun and accessible (notice the Karazhan attunement never got dropped?) and while your guilds that are going to have Arthas on farm status a week after Wrath of the Lich King’s release will complain about it, that’s a small price to pay to be able to bring the joy of raiding to the masses.