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Heroic Proportions on Game and Player

Heroic Proportions

Heather Richtmyre  //  January 5, 2010


When in-game terms have too many meanings.

I

n World of Warcraft expansion The Burning Crusade, "heroic" five-man dungeons were introduced. These were harder versions of the various level sixty to seventy instances, tuned for a group of decently geared level seventy players, and gave better rewards, more reputation, and tokens which could be used to purchase certain gear pieces. Heroics are also a part of Wrath of the Lich King.

But with Wrath, players run heroics even more; most of the dungeons were never as challenging as their Burning Crusade counterparts, and the greater expansion of higher and higher gear levels has only encouraged this. Thus, the normal versions of most dungeons designed for level-capped players are largely abandoned, often only run by those players who have not yet reached the cap. Some of the newer instances, such as Pit of Saron, receive a bit more attention on normal, given the better quality of gear they drop, but these are the exception.

Now, merely from that, one could theorize that in Wrath, heroics are the new normals — or the lowest usually run dungeons for max level characters. But the term "heroic" is also applied to raids — or WoW's dungeons for larger groups of players — and thus requires further explanation.

Before the introduction of Patch 3.2 and the Trial of the Crusader raid, twenty-five-man raids were most commonly referred to as the heroic version, to distinguish them from those that only required ten players. But Trial of the Crusader's harder modes for 10- and 25-man groups were labeled "heroic." Before, there really was no such thing as a heroic 10-man; now there was, and the usage of "heroic" altered again.

Both versions on hard mode were now categorized as heroic, and even the gear dropped from them showcased the heroic tag.

Given all of these definitions for "heroic," the term has become overused when it hasn't simply confused. It could also be given as an example of evolving language usage in World of Warcraft, but overall I've mostly found it to be annoying. While the next expansion, Cataclysm, is intended to have heroic five-mans, I do wish to see some consistency on how the term is applied.





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