Following up on a comment by some readers about doing old content, I thought I would further elaborate a defense on why even old content is still relevant. It’s all relative. I’ll approach the value of raid content from a few different cliché perspectives.
I’m defining progression raider as the type of player who raids with the intent of completing content while it is current. That means downing the raid bosses before the next major patch and next raid. Those two sentences basically give you the answer to the perspective of relative content. For these folks, most likely the only relative content is current content. They aren’t concerned with going back to kill raid bosses they downed months or even years ago. To them, there is no value in this as there is no progressing achievement. You’ve already done it, so why bother, but more importantly, the gear and reputations from those places is no longer top of the line. There is better gear to be won and reputations that are more valuable.
For argument, I’m defining casual raider as those that may raid for social interaction and for the experience. At the end of the night, they don’t care what rank they are for progression, just that they had a good time. If they can down all current bosses, awesome, but if not, they aren’t going to complain about it. For this type of raider, I would argue that the relevant content is both current, and one Tier back. Current content usually is still the focus, but going back to complete misses bosses or encounters once it’s “old,” is still applicable. There may still be gear upgrades and there are still points to be earned to purchase new gear.
I’m going to lump casual players and altoholics together here. Casual players either don’t have time to raid like they might like to, or they just prefer to explore all the other things the game has to offer over repeated wipes in the name of progression. Altoholics may have many toons and therefore none of them are exceptional, or they just can’t get them all into the raids like they might like. For these types, I would say that all raid content is relative content. Not for gear, not for points, but for experience. Unlike a progression or even casual raider, these players may never have stepped foot in current content…but they still know of Illidan and the Lich King. Their quest text still is about defeating the havoc they have set loose. So ultimately their characters are working towards the same goal. They just do it at a slower pace. Even if they far out-level and out-gear the encounters, seeing the encounters is what matters, getting the title of Kingslayer is still valuable to them even if the world first kill was over a year ago.
It is the last group of people who I arrange classic raids for. Those that aren’t progression raiding current content. Many people argue that the game starts at max level and Blizzard has done an excellent job of providing content to those that want progression content. There are probably far more players, however, that never get to see this content while it is current. This may be due to play style, availability, or a handful of reasons. I believe that everyone should be able to see as much of the game as possible. Old content is, in my opinion, and always will be relative. When I do a classic raid, if even just one person gets the achievement for the final kill, that is worth it. That person may never have seen this before and though we can kill these bosses in a matter of minutes, or even seconds, the value isn’t in the loot, it’s in the experience that the person got to take in and see all the game has to offer.
This is actually no different with dungeons. I sometimes find myself forgetting that people haven’t always seen everything I have. I started playing about 3 weeks before BC was released. I didn’t do many dungeons immediately, but by the time I got to Outlands (literal months later – I was so slow) I had grown to understand the benefits that dungeons had. And I ran dungeons like crazy in Outlands. Heroic and non-heroic, I probably could draw a map of all those instances. So it sometimes surprises me when I’m leveling an alt and someone dies from Arcane explosion from the final boss in Sethekk Halls because they didn’t hide behind a pillar…I think, “come on, everyone knows that!” But then it dawns on me that everyone might not know that. And this person could be very new to the game. So instead, I explain what happened, and usually they say something like “thanks, I didn’t know, I’ve never been here”. And knowing that I was available, still running “old” content helped someone experience something new in the game, made my time completely worth it.
In the end, relevancy is just relative.
As a personal aside, I am really proud of the members of Crits and Giggles for continuing to push current and older content, each for their respective values. As a GM, I get just as much pride in my guild out of hearing of a Firelands boss being downed for the first time as I do seeing 8 spams that Gruul is dead.