The following is a copy/paste from a Thread I made here on MMORPG.com
Please click the link HERE to view the thread and vote in the poll.
I've had this idea for a while and thrown it around MMORPG.com from time to time, so please tell me what you think.
In World of Warcraft, for the 5-person dungeons (in Outland) you have Normal and Heroic difficulty versions.
The Heroic versions drop better gear, and are more challenging and less forgiving of mistakes.
They require increased coordination, communication, higher base-line gear, and better class balance. So I guess you can say that they require more "skill" to complete in comparison to their Normal difficulty counterparts.
Would you like to see the same Normal vs. Heroic difficulty setting be applied to Raiding?
The current raid structure in games like World of Warcraft is already pretty hardcore. You have to plan and schedule your raids, make sure you have proper class balance, assign roles and use stategies, and of course (at least in WoW) have the appropriate base-line gear level.
So I'd say, you'd turn the current crop of raids into the "Heroic" version, and then create an easier version of the encounter and dub it the "Normal" version.
The Normal version wouldn't be as rigid in terms of strategy and class balance, the base-line gear levels would be lower.. in essence, they'd be much easier then the current raiding scheme.
Of course, by doing so, you'd have to offer appropriate rewards, which means gear that is better then the 5-person dungeons but not as good as the "Heroic" or current-crop of raiding gear.
You could even lower the size requirements if you so choose. Instead of 10 or 25 people required it could be 5 or 10 respectively. Not too sure about that idea though, because the large team size is half the "problem" with current raiding.
I think this is a great idea because:
1. It's gets more people in the door. You get more people experiencing the end-game, downing bosses and completing raids, what better way to motivate end-game PvE players then victory?
2. Good way to "ease" players into the more "hardcore" and challenging world of Heroic Raiding.
3. Why create content that only a small % of your player base will ever experience? With scaling difficulty settings, more people can see the content and experience all the game has to offer.
4. The current crop of raiders still have the best gear and are still looked up to. With my idea, you don't take anything away from the current crowd who raids in MMOs, but you give so much more to the crowd who doesn't raid now but wants to.
What do you think?
*obviously this applies to more games then WoW, but I use it as an example given it's popularity and reach in the MMO market*