I keep seeing thread after thread after thread after thread, focusing on one of two things:
End game sucks, no raids, my super uber awesome player skills show me that everything is boring now, no challenge, don't care about story, I just want 15 or so raids at endgame to grind repeatedly with very low drop rates.
End game is ok, as end game in this game is TRing, but I'm worried about Epic TR and all the raiders need to realize this and completely change the way they approach the game.
I have been very vocal in the past against both of these groups, as they seem to think that they are the ones who are the majority and they are the ones who should be catered to. Now, my intentions when being outspoken against them was not that I think they shouldn't be catered to, but more of the fact that they need to realize that they are NOT in the majority. I would say TR'ers make up a small portion, Raiders are slightly higher in population (and dwindling), people like me (making tons of alts, weird flavor builds, playing for story and enjoyment of quests, might do a TR here or there, cares about character advancement and power but is not a min/max'er, raids very very seldom) are slightly larger, and the majority of players are the ones who log in, play for about 30-35 minutes a night, probably are on a path, first lifer's who have never set foot inside a raid.
In reality, all three groups need to be catered to. The issue, however, is that certain groups feel they are exclusive and need to be exclusive. Of course, these groups blame turbine (TR peeps say they are exclusive because turbine implemented the death 10% penalty, raiders say that people without self healing are a burden on the raid, etc.) People in the third group (let's call us the gimp group, as we are usually referred to as that, no matter how powerful our toons really are...) and the casual group (or, normal players) are usually not allowed in the secret circles, shunned from precious groups and forced to make it on our own.
Now, before I move to my solution, let me tell you why I don't raid, which seems to be the biggest group of complainers on the forums, and why I'm happy the current endgame has no raids (keep reading, and don't lynch me, I plan on offering solutions to all groups, as you guys are important as well.)
I want to raid. I do. My favorite quest in the game is Chronoscope. I love every single thing about it. From the story, to the fights, to the design, just fantastic. I've only run this quest in an actual raid group once. Tempest Spine is also amazing, though, again, I've run it in a group once. Vault of Night I did twice with a full raid group, but we wiped the first one (due to me, funny story, not a gimp story, just funny) so we did a second run. These are the ONLY three raids I have run in the game in an actual group. I have run DQ, with myself, my wife and two members of our guild. I usually just soloed it way over level. Same goes with Shroud....my wife and I duo'ed it all the way to Harry when we were level 25. We died shortly thereafter. Also stepped into CitW just to see how long we would last, wasn't very long, but granted, we stepped in on EE just to see how terrible we were and we laughed a lot.
For us, this game is fun, and we want to experience all of it, but raiding just ISN'T fun, and here is why. Every raid we have been in has been full of the most elitist jerks I have ever come across. The reason I know ADQ, Chrono and Tempest Spine so well now is due to a friend I made who ran us through them (in a three man group) until we learned them. But every other raid we've joined, the jerks came out in full force. Now, this is my own issue, and not turbines, but my wife has severe anxiety disorder, and I have schizophrenia (yes, the kind you think of, no, I never hear voices telling me to kill people, yes I get asked that all the time, and yes, we compliment each other very well when both of us have episodes...lol). Anyway, I can take people saying things to me, but my wife can't. And when you try to explain to someone in a private tell "Hey man, lighten up on my wife. She plays for fun, and has anxiety issues, and you're sending her into a panic attack" and they respond by openly mocking her in party chat, and this has happened in multiple raids, then yeah, we end up not raiding.
Bottom line, if raiders want more raids, stop being stuck up elitist jerks and start accepting people, and helping them. I need to run CitW to get an item, and plus I really want to play it for story purposes. I'm tired of the fact that I can't finish story-lines due to the best ones ending in raids. But, the people factor has always been the issue. Now, we've tried remedying this. We've recruited in our guild, to marginal effect. We at one time got enough people to run two raids at once. But none of us knew what we were doing, and it ended badly. I think it was Reaver's couple years ago, I don't remember.
Anyway, again, if we could find groups where there weren't jerks in the group, the "You only have 500hp? What a freaking moron!" or the "You're on a druid just focus on healing me, idiot" or to my wife, the "You're arti can't heal itself? What are you, stupid?"...we would probably raid more often. I know quite a few others that would as well. While we took our vacation (i.e. unemployed, no internet) from the game, one of my best friends in the guild leveled up his TR and got into a CitW run for his very first time. He was trying to get comms. His experience? "Well, I liked the quest, and even though I had a lot of HP and SP and was killing things and healing myself, I got told I kept slowing the group down and that I was blacklisted from them moving forward."
So, that is my rant, and why I don't like raiding. I also am not a fan of TR, but that's because I don't want to run through with the same character over and over again, I want to play through with new characters with different back-stories and different play-styles (though, I will probably Epic TR, as I love the level 20+ content, even though most people think it sucks...and I don't feel I will hate that as much as a normal TR). So, what is the solution I have?
I mentioned earlier I had a solution, one to end the bickering (not gonna happen) and make every group happy (until we can all find something else to complain about.) Now, keep in mind, I am blatantly stealing this from another person in another thread, but because the thread was closed a few weeks ago, I cannot remember that person's name to thank him for this brilliant idea. But, this would solve the issues for the people like me, who want to play everything, experience the best quests in the game, and have a shot at all items (granted, lower in power), and the raiders get to have their raids back.
I know it's too late to do this for the current quests, so leave them the way they are. Those of you who want the old raids raised in level are just going to have to deal with it.
Basically, the solution is, moving forward, have all quests come in two flavors. The normal Epic version (C,N,H,E) and the True Epic (or true elite, whatever). True Epic will be for 12 man groups. Yes, every quest is a potential raid. Increased difficulty (not just slightly increased CR, but maybe mob types, more CC from mobs, whatever works), and, to keep you guys really happy, True Epic items! This is similar to how the scroll/seal/shard system worked. You get the named item from the Epic quest, then True Epic pieces drop, and you can upgrade your items. Maybe instead of having it be you need seal, scroll and shard, it can be like this:
Epic Weapon A is a great-sword. It has decent stats. There are three True Epic pieces available. One gives a to-hit bonus, one bypasses certain DR, and one increases base die-roll. You can only have one True Epic upgrade on your sword, so you keep running hoping to get the one you want. I know this isn't the greatest example, and isn't meant to be a suggestion for types of upgrades, just explaining the three different types of upgrades for each item will be separate and each will give some sort of benefit, one not being greater than the other.
Now, keep this in mind. EVERY QUEST moving forward has the option to be a raid. So the raiders who want the most challenge and want to grind for loot have many options of quests and many choices to make as far as items go.
Now, the only fear I have here is that as we move forward, there may be TOO many raid/quests, and the player base will be spread out so far between them. This idea may also work if every end quest (last quest of the chain, i.e. The Portal Opens, In the Flesh, Lord of Eyes, What Goes Up, etc.) have this option, and the upgrade system works where you can get the True Epic upgrades for all named items in the chain.
So, people like myself have all the quests to play, no issues, no muss, no fuss. We can get all the same items everyone else can. Likewise, the raiders get to have raids again, while having loot to grind for.
So, who agrees? Who likes this idea? Who has run into the raiding issues I have? Who has been the person in the raid groups to do that and can CONDONE the actions we have seen? Who thinks I should just shut up already?
TL;DR - We all play the same game, but differently. We all need to be catered to, and for god's sake, treat other players kindly and not like total jerkfaces.