To the Ground

I really, really didn’t want to write this post. I hate to be a part of the WoW angst machine that gets upset about any change that gets introduced. But this time, I just can’t help myself.

Yesterday the following was posted on the WoW site:

With the final showdown against Deathwing approaching, we’ve been keeping a close eye on players’ progress through the current Firelands raid content. Before patch 4.3 is released, we want groups who are working on Heroic-difficulty content to be able to get as close to Ragnaros as possible, and we want players who are tackling normal progression to be able to experience as many of the encounters as they can. To achieve these goals, we’ll be toning down the difficulty of both normal and Heroic raids through hotfixes in the coming weeks. In general, we plan to reduce health and damage of all raid bosses in both normal and Heroic Firelands by around the same percentage we brought difficulty down for the original Cataclysm raids when Rage of the Firelands (patch 4.2) was released.

We’re looking forward to seeing more groups of players face off against the firelord in the weeks ahead. However, before we make these changes, we want to give everyone a final shot at the bosses at their current difficulty level — so this is a heads up that we’re planning to apply the difficulty hotfixes beginning the week of September 19.

Stay tuned to the Patch 4.2 Hotfixes blog for these and other live updates to the game as they happen.

What the hell?

This, to me, is both puzzling and infuriating. Puzzling because it’s coming at a very strange time. Tier 11 didn’t get nerfed until after Tier 12 came out (and it was only the normal modes). Tier 6 got nerfed just before the Wrath of the Lich King expansion came out. Why are they nerfing all T12 content only 3 months in? When the PTR for T13 is nowhere in sight? I don’t get it. And we’re getting a whopping 1 week notice before the nerfs happen.

Infuriating because this is a lazy, inelegant way of making the content more accessible. I think my guildie Majik said it best on this week’s episode of Blessing of Frost when he said they’re using a machete instead of a scalpel to fix things.

I’m not against nerfs altogether, but there are better ways to do it.

Where are the progression problems coming from? Do most guilds get stuck on Alysrazor because of tornados? Reduce the damage on those, or slow them down a smidge. Is the biggest sticking point on Ragnaros killing the sons before they get to the hammer? Reduce their health, slow them down or remove one or two of them. Make the biggest problem areas just a little easier – don’t make sweeping damage and health reductions to everything.

Another option would be doing it the ICC way. Use gradual nerfs (or buffs to players) over time. It is possible this is the way the T12 nerfs will go since the post mentions hotfixes over the coming weeks. However, there’s still the problem that no one knew this was coming. The fact that we’d be getting the Strength of Wrynn buff in ICC was known before the raid was even released. I don’t believe the specific date of the first buff was revealed, but everyone knew that buffs were coming.We knew we had a certain amount of time to complete the fights as they were created before they’d get a little easier.

These nerfs are completely unexpected. I assumed (and I’m sure many others did as well) that normal modes would be nerfed when T13 was released and hard modes would be left alone, just like they did for the last tier. Learning that everything will be nerfed while we’re still in there feels like I’ve been hit by Sulfuras.

I really don’t understand the obsession with accessibility and seeing content. I want to see the content, but I want it to be challenging. The normal and hard mode dichotomy was supposed to address the rift between those who just wanted to see the content and those who want to have to work hard to complete it. It certainly hasn’t been a perfect system, but now it’s becomming even worse.

I personally don’t have a strong opinion on nerfs to normal modes – they don’t have much of an effect on me – so I’ll leave that argument to those who are affected. But leave the hard modes alone. I want to wipe on fights until the mechanics are perfected. I want to have to put 100% effort into a new boss kill. I want a challenge. I don’t think a 20% nerf to everything will make all the heroic bosses complete push-overs but it will make them easier than they are supposed to be. Every new kill I get will feel like a pity kill. I’d feel more accomplished with 4/7 hard heroic modes than 6/7 nerfed heroic modes. (*paragraph edited to reduce jerkiness factor – original quoted in comments*)

Last night when the nerfs were announced my guildie Sara said something on Twitter that made me feel extra awful (though I’m positive that wasn’t her intent):

I don’t get why people get mad at nerfs – if we hadn’t been so slow on normal FL we’d be well into pre-nerf heroics.

The first thing I thought was, man, I hate being slow. Though I do think Blizzard is making a mistake pushing unexpected nerfs onto heroic content mid-way through the tier, what she said was true. I’m only at 1/7 heroics in both my guilds. To me, based on what I hope for and expect of myself, that is slow. I’ve always considered myself a very good player, but maybe I’m not so great. And if I’m not so great, I feel like a giant asshole for writing this blog and telling others how to play. Or maybe my expectations based on the amount of time I’m willing to put into the game are too high. Either way, this is the first time in a long time (maybe ever) that an announcement about a video game has made me feel this shitty.

I hope Blizzard will reconsider nerfing the content that is supposed to be challenging by so much.

What do you think of the Firelands nerfs?

57 responses to “To the Ground

  1. “I personally don’t care about nerfs to normal modes – been there, done that – this has no effect on me, but leave the hard modes alone. I want to wipe on fights until the mechanics are perfected. I want to have to put 100% effort into a new boss kill. I want a challenge. I don’t think a 20% nerf to everything will make all the heroic bosses complete push-overs but it will make them easier than they are supposed to be. Every new kill I get will feel like a pity kill.”

    Don’t you think that a lot of non-progression guilds will feel exactly that? Your tone was rather dismissive of anyone who’s not already doing heroic modes.. the same feelings apply to them as to the wannabe elites. I don’t understand how you can say *leave my content alone* but everybody else’s doesn’t matter. Perhaps I am misunderstanding you.
    Issy recently posted..Too soon.. qq?

    • I don’t mean to be dismissive. I’m just trying to excuse myself from the argument of whether or not normals should be nerfed because it doesn’t effect me and therefore I don’t have a strong opinion about it. I’m not implying that they should be nerfed or that nerfing them might not have a poor effect on others. This is one of those situations were you’re never going to make everyone happy. Based on what I’ve seen discussed so far some people working on normals are stuck and happy for things to be easier, some are disappointed the challenge will be reduced. I think that discussion is best left to those who have a stake in that content.

  2. I agree, the ICC buff worked well it was an “option” for those who need it could use it. Those who want the challenge can take it off. My guild hasn’t gotten passed shannox, for reasons other than, “it’s too hard.” But that’s besides the point. But there might be a reason for this prepatch nerf. Only time will tell I suppose.

    • I’m not sure how many guilds ever declined the buff option in ICC, but I think it was a much better way to do things because it was gradual, expected and required to an extent. Not a single guild killed heroic LK 25 before the buff went into effect.

  3. I completely understand you, Jasyla. My guild (a self-professed hardmode guild) is coming at this from the perspective of having been stuck at 1/7 H for over a month now. We simply haven’t been able to get anything else down yet, and it’s galling and frustrating to me since that is what we do. So reactions were somewhat mixed. Some of my guild actually seems relieved about the nerfs; personally to me it feels like a failure, and I hate it. I don’t want to have to down content only after nerfs start to hit it.

    It’s also tough for me to judge the actual reality of difficulty at this point because our raid team has changed so much. We reached the conclusion that our new team just needs to step up its game. With only a week to really change anything, though, we’ll probably never really find out.
    Vidyala recently posted..Voss-isms

    • Exactly, it feels like this is taking away the chance for people to prove themselves.

      I’ve only been working on hard-modes for a week. We got Shannox down last week and got what I think was great progress on Rhyolith. Knowing that will be the sum of our un-nerfed hard-mode experience is kind of depressing.

  4. It’s kind shocking they are already nerfing them. Wonder why they just dont implement the ICC like buff instead of nerfing them at a flat rate for everyone. Give us a choice!
    Slice213 recently posted..2 healing…a punishment?

  5. I’m not in a hardmode guild, but I am on a normal mode team that I enjoy a lot. We only raid twice a week but have all had the goal of going 7/7 before 4.3 hits – specifically so that we’d down it all before nerfs. But now nerfs are already here? Where is 4.3?

    So even us normal-mode types aren’t happy about it. My team is 6/7, so close to our goal, but now must down Rag this week if we want to avoid the pity nerf kill.

    I get nerfs, and I’m not against them, but this is just too soon. The next tier should be hot on our heals if they are going to nerf the current raids.

    Thumbs down.

  6. I’m of the thought that this is way too soon. Sure, people did all the normal content in 1 week, but that’s not the majority of the raiding population. This feels like too short a cycle on this raid given the difficulty of some of the encounters — especially with no timeline in sight for 4.3 release.

    I like wiping on things too, makes me a better player. I’m just not confident that nerfing regulars and heroics at the same time is going to result in a playerbase that is itching to get at Deathwing. It may just result in boredom unless they get 4.3 out with a surprisingly quick PTR cycle.
    Morynne recently posted..Firelands Nerf So Soon?

    • I don’t think nerfs like this do players any favors. For one thing there are people (like me) who feel discouraged at the thought of pity kills. They also can make some mechanics not matter so much. You can be that much slower running out of bad things, you can put out that much less dps or healing. It teaches bad habits and when we enter non-nerfed T13 content we’ll be worse off for it.

  7. Well my intent with that tweet was honesty – We sucked it up on Alys and Rag, we are better than that. But that’s “WE” as a raid team not Jasyla and her healing. You are not the problem, my darling. The collective missteps we took as a guild on those two fights made us spend an extra 3-4 weeks on normals. BUT that’s just my perspective. I think we should be farther but I think a few people on our raid team don’t see it the way you and I do. I share your sentiment – I feel like a baddie that I’m only 1/7 Heroic at this point. But I do everything I can do improve myself, and I know you do too. Blizz isn’t to blame that we took our sweet time getting through normals – the content wasn’t hard to begin with.

    • Yeah, I know it’s a team effort, but I still always feel like I should be doing better when things go badly.

      I wish everyone had the same drive for killing those damn internet dragons that we feel. The dragons must die.

  8. I’m not expressing myself well in these comments. Anyways, I love you, that is all. Nerfs be damned, we’ll get through this 🙂
    Sara recently posted..SerrinneWoW: I keep meaning to go have coffee and breakfast…get distracted!

  9. I think I agree with the part about nerfing certin parts of encounters, rather than the whole instance. Currently my guild is 4/7 normal with alysrazor our bane. Due to roster changes, players leaving, nonetheless we’re still trying. I will feel kinda slighted when the nerfs happen if it’s a flat 20% off everything. If blizzard does a 5% buff here, 5% nerf there, type of thing it will not be as bad.
    We as a guild only downed Lord Rhyolith the day the nerfs for him went live, we didn’t know at the time we killed him but, we were dejected when we found we got the kill with nerfs. Woo! Finally got that done! Oh he got a nerf? Well, FFFFUUUUUUU

    We will get to 7/7 normal and prob a few heroic kills. The feeling of accomplishment will be reduced by ~20%

    • Everyone is at different levels of progression but I think they can nerf things in a much less disruptive way. Nerf or change a particularly difficult mechanic for a particular boss, don’t just nerf everything.

      I will also feel less accomplishment from the kills the nerf gets me.

  10. Yeah, I’m surprised too at the timing of this, maybe 4.3 isn’t looking to have such a long PTR schedule? But I do remember something said I think in one of the recent dev cooler chats and that the devs keep active track of new raid boss kills and notice when not very many are taking place and feel that its time to act when that happens. I too feel a badge of honor of completing content on the “original” difficulty but I can also see that from a macro view point it can be very frustrating for a lot of players to be continuously stalled.

    I would say in the large scale this is more of an issue with who you play with and / or your raid schedule. In our raid we’ve yet to kill rag on normal and have been killed majordomo a while back already. I feel I too am a pretty good player, capable of a lot faster progression than that but we’ve had issues with RL scheduling (I’ve been tanking for the last month and I’m a healer) and some of our DPS gets killed a bunch or has sub par numbers and that’s just the reality of it. We had plenty of time to be working on heroic content by now.

    You could say leave heroics alone, but I can see the other side of the coin as well. Those raids that were not able to hit heroics T11 before firelands ended up being in a much harsher situation when working on T12 content sporting T11 normal gear and not T11 heroic gear, for our raid it took a lot of wipes on beth even with everyone performing their duties well and 1 person taking care of all spiderlings just because we didn’t have the DPS/Healing output to overcome the burn phase. Once we met it, we’ve nearly always one shot beth every time since. I think for our raid T12 would have been a lot smoother if we weren’t running up against a gear check right off the bat, and had more t11 heroic gear in raid. Just my point of view.

    I totally understand your sentiments, and I agree with them. But I think this change when measured against the realities of many peoples’ raid are probably for the better.

    • That’s a good point about gear, but I think that is accounted for at least somewhat by the Valor gear that gets introduced with new content. It won’t help in the first week but within a week or two people will have access to better gear than the previous tier’s heroic gear.

      In my Horde guild I think I only had maybe 1 or 2 pieces of heroic gear as we went into Tier 12. I didn’t feel that made it too hard. Of course, someone in full 372s would have had an easier time, but I didn’t feel held back by it.

  11. Well, as a member of a guild that is semi-casual and has had issues with attendance the whole summer.. we only just started on normal Ragnaros.. and I can say that I DO care about normal modes being nerfed.

    It’s not just about the guilds doing Heroic modes, people still on normal modes care as well. We also want the challenge and the feeling of having put an effort into killing a boss.

    I wish they’d at least make it an optional “nerf” as they did with ICC, but it didn’t necessarily sound like it from what they said.

    • I’m going to reword that so I don’t sound like such a jerk. I don’t mean that normals should be nerfed, or that people doing normals (which was me up until a week ago) don’t want to be challenged. I just mean that my opinion on the matter isn’t important since it doesnt effect me very much.

      • I didn’t mean that you sounded like a jerk 🙂

        Just wanted to point out that while you care about the heroic nerfs (because they effect you), I, and others still on normal, care about the nerfs to normal modes because they effect us.

        It’s just all very sudden, and a lot sooner than anyone is used to. The whole “heads up” comment is a joke as well. One week isn’t really much of a heads up.

  12. You are not “a giant asshole”. I liked your post very much. Would just wish others did a “self assessment” as you had. As for the nerf, I do not agree that Blizzard should “nerf” Hard modes. That is what separates the casual and the hardcore pretty much.

    Good luck with your hard modes.

    • Thanks 🙂

      It is a bit of a wake-up call when nerfs are talked about so early and you’re nowhere near where you want to be in progression.

  13. The nerfs do seem a bit early and, frankly, quite surprising… the t11 nerfs as you say didn’t hit until 4.2, and even then were mostly normal modes. The occasional nerf seems expected – t11 had heroic chogall’s health ninja nerfed at some point, then the hardmode Baleroc and Domo nerfs which were pretty much necessary as what you had to do to beat them pre-nerf was pretty ridiculous (lol ardent defender). Something like you say of reducing fire tornado damage on Alysra, reducing sons health on Rag, etc, seem like more reasonable changes, especially if they’re subtle. What they seem to be prepared to do of across the board simply decreasing HP and damage of each boss just seems… confusing. I suppose it’s like the ICC buff in a way, just bosses nerfed instead of us buffed. It’s also a bit odd with 4.3 not really in sight yet, though perhaps we’ll see the PTR landing within the next week or two.

    Most guilds will probably feel a bit disappointed as the nerfs come in. We had heroic rag nerfed the night before we killed him which felt really disappointing, as we had been on track to get a pre-nerf kill that week. It sucked to have the pre-nerf kill stolen so unexpectedly like that (we knew nerfs were coming, but didn’t know when), and I imagine guilds everywhere will experience the same thing on whatever boss they’re working on, whether it be Shannox, normal mode Rag, or hardmodes. In the end a kill’s a kill, and it definitely doesn’t negate all the hard work put in beforehand. Hopefully the challenge won’t feel too underwhelming now though. I suppose on the bright side, for those farming the zone clears will be a bit easier, and hopefully some more people and guilds will see more of it. The coordination required on a lot of the fights is still quite demanding too, so maybe that will help maintain some of the challenge even if the boss’s healthpools are nerfed. Suppose we’ll see. It does feel ‘too soon!!’ though…
    FeralTree recently posted..Resto Class Feedback

    • I’m hoping that the changes won’t feel too extreme. I’m not expecting to walk into Firelands at 1/7 next week and walk out at 6/7 or anything, but I am disappointed that I won’t be able to see the ‘original’ versions of a number of fights, or possibly have a boss we’re really close to killing get nerfed just before we get him. However, a 20% blanket nerf does seem like it will make a number of mechanics matter less which is disappointing. It would be much better if they just tweaked the ones that were giving the most problems without reducing the difficultly of every piece of the fights.

  14. You shouldn’t feel shitty at all. Consider that you’re “only” 1/7 hc (more than more people tbh, and only like 4 guilds on my server have come that far) exactly because Blizzard tuned the fights up too much and just made them too damn difficult. There will always be guilds that seemingly breeze through, but I read about a lot of people who are stuck in FL where they could feel progression throughout t11.

    The sad thing is that people don’t enjoy nerfed kills as much as unnerfed, although they take no regard to the actual difficulty of the fight. A nerfed Beth’tilac might still be as difficult as un-nerfed Nefarian (just as an example). But I understand it, because I feel the same way. Blizzard should really avoid giving us this kind of “help”, because as you say – it only makes us feel bad and not enjoy the kill when we get it ;P
    Zinn recently posted..Old Darkmoon Cards

    • They just need to give the right sort of help. I’m sure some fights, or certain mechanics of some fights, are overtuned for the general raider population and benefits from nerfs. A better approach would be to fix those overtuned parts. I’ll take help in the form of a gentle nudge up the hill I’m struggling with but I don’t want to be shoved over it and right down the other side.

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  16. I actually loved the T11 model. It made sense to me in a lot of ways, and gave normal and heroic mode guilds to meet their goals even if it was in a different time frame from the rest of the universe. If you were working on normal mode progression, you had the entirety of the patch-time to reach your goal of downing every single boss before the nerf went through. And if you “missed” the progression, you got to catch up quickly and easily so that you could go work on the new shiny stuff in a quick time frame! I thought that was perfect.

    I also really, really appreciated that they left heroic modes the hell alone. We’re still working on a few heroic encounters in T11, and we want to conquer them at their current level. I don’t feel like T12 has been out long enough for *anyone* to feel bad about not having conquered all the heroic modes. And on top of that, to be frank, killing all the bosses on *normal* mode is *completing* the instance! That *is* experiencing the entirety of the content! If I never saw a heroic mode for the rest of my game-time, I would still feel like a part of the raiding community in WoW because you *can* see every single boss and experience the entirety of the story-arc that raids provide without ever stepping foot into a heroic.

    The “excuse” for rehashing content into heroic modes is to provide a *challenge* to raiding guilds without having to provide content that cannot be enjoyed by everyone. If that’s the case, leave it the hell alone, and let those who feel they must meet that challenge tackle the content!
    Windsoar recently posted..The Psychology of Being New

    • Nurfing of heroic modes now does seem to go against the goal of having normal content that is accessible to all and harder content for those who want more of a challenge.

      I dont think the tier has been out long enough for people to feel bad about not completing all the heroic modes either, but having these nerfs set on us unexpectedly sort of does that.

  17. So when you’re currently tackling the T11 heroics are you making sure no one in raid is sporting gear from firelands or molten front? 🙂 It is nice that you can actually still reproduce the circumstances for the challenge, but I wonder how many are actually doing that?

    • No, we’re not 🙂 We’re really just completionists at heart! However, like gear can be a nominal issue when tackling new content, when the fight is actually very mechanically challenging, gear makes less of an issue than you’d think 😉

      Mechanically, T12 (normal or heroic) is quite challenging, and so I wouldn’t have any issue with adjusting the mechanics so they’re a bit less wipe-inducing. I’m basing that observation off my experiences based on my paladin alt’s exposure to the T11 nerf which I felt really trivialized the content to such an extent that it was no longer progression-oriented in that you had to have gear from the dungeon to make it to the final encounters. You just needed entry-level stuff to make it work!

      I really enjoy a model that allows everyone to view the content, I just question the timing of this particular nerf-bat, and wonder why heroic encounters *ever* need to be nerfed (because as you pointed out, gear generally improves for those who didn’t finish making the content progressively easier as time elapses!)
      Windsoar recently posted..The Psychology of Being New

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  19. I’m disappointed to see the nerfs coming so soon. My guild was 8/12 when 4.2 hit, and the nerfs to t11 really took the fun out of completing the tier; at the same time, we weren’t ready for Firelands, so we were stuck without any content we were excited about. I really don’t like the nerf-old-content system. It seems like new badge/rep/boe gear would have the same effect, only gradually and via player effort. I wish blizzard would let us progress at our own pace, which is glacial by the standards of most progression guilds, but perfectly satisfying for us.

    • That’s the kind of sentiment I hear from most people. Maybe the people who enjoy going at their own pace and don’t want boss kills handed to them on a silver platter are just more vocal, but there does seem to be a sort of disconnect between what people want and how Blizzard reacts to it. I agree that the availability of new gear will naturally make the older content a little easier. The nerfs to older content don’t bother me so much since I rarely go back for older content, but I think they’ve been rather extreme in their approach. The one time I did go back to T11 I found that a lot of mechanics that used to be challenging could almost be ignored.

  20. Timing seems odd, unless they are ready for a p4.3 drop within 1-2 weeks.
    As far as rage against a nurf, in 6 months nobody will care if you killed Rag pre or post this nurf. Does anyone still care that some folks killed Arthas “when it was hard”? These days a Kingslayer is a Kingslayer.
    Some of my guildies were getting heated about killing Rag and are angry about the update – to the point of asking people to raid extra nights. I don’t understand why you’d pressure folks to play more just for this.
    TyphoonAndrew recently posted..Easy mode raiding, why not?

    • I’ll care if I killed Rag pre- or post-nerf. I care that I got through as much of T11 as I did before it was nerfed. I also still care that I killed Arthas at 20% instead of 30%. What others think of it doesn’t concern me.

  21. I think what we’re talking about here doesn’t really have much to do with nerfs or their timing. It’s the fact that people just aren’t happy with the model Blizzard has decided to implement since WoTLK. The “let us kill it at our own pace” model was in Vanilla and TBC. I also prefer that model, to be honest. I’ve posted as much on numerous occasions. That’s also the model of a single difficulty, and single raid setting.

    They decided to go another way:
    -Multiple raiding sizes
    -Multiple raiding difficulties
    -Nerfs over time
    -Content resets

    You get your choice of content at your chosen speed, but there is a finite time in which it is considered “relevant.” This irks some people, just as it irked people in the past that if they wanted to recruit they had to go backwards and clear “old content.”

    Raids are now less about “progression” and more about “completion.” Firelands isn’t really a pre-requisite for Deathwing anymore than Mega Man 2 is a pre-requisite for Mega Man 3. The gear is irrelevant, Blizzard gives it to you or tunes the start of the instance down a touch.

    My guild suffered the fate of many 25 man raids this expansion; folding under the constant pressure of recruitment and fatigue. To use my old server (Zul’jin) as an example, there were 10 25 man guilds at 7/13H or better.

    In Firelands? Right now only 1 guild has more than 2 heroic bosses killed. You can say that given time they would get up to 4…or maybe 5, but there is no guarantee that will happen.

    I think those kinds of stats might have piqued Blizzard’s interests. Would the last 4 or so guilds persevere through Heroic Alys and Heroic Staghelm, or would they suffer the fate of others and crumble. Blizzard is assuming the latter and is letting off the pressure early. Only 8 of our raiders remaining continued on to other guilds, everyone else canceled their subs, or went casual and will eventually cancel.

    • It’s true, I am not pleased with the raid model that’s been used since WotLk. I liked progressing (and completing) every raid instance, in order, before being able to move on to the next. I miss attunements. I miss have one difficulty mode that was generally quite challenging. However, I’m pretty sure I am upset about the timing of the nerfs and not just longing for the good old days of BC.

      Perhaps progression in heroics is behind where it should be. You’re right, the number of guilds who are progressed more than a boss or two into heroic modes are quite low. Even the number of guilds who have killed normal Ragnaros seems a bit low. So perhaps the fights are overtuned. However, I still think these nerfs are ham-handed because we’re likely only halfway through our time in Firelands. Guilds will get more kills as time goes on. Also, as I said in my post, the slow progression can be fixed in better ways. Nerf the mechanics that are particularly difficult, make the later fights less reliant on raid comp, don’t just nerf everything.

      Now to be honest, I was looking at this from a worst case scenario perspective when I wrote this. If the nerfs really are comparable to the T11 nerfs, I think that will be terrible. I went back to T11 a while back with a bunch of alts (I was on my main, but certainly wasn’t decked out in Firelands gear at that point) and the normal fights were pathetic. I really could ignore entire mechanics. Al’akir went from a challenge to a joke with almost nothing to heal. I don’t expect a 20% nerf to make Firelands hard modes a joke because they started out so much more difficult, but I do expect it will make them easier than they should be. I hope that I am misinterpretting the hotfix announcement and the changes will not really be comparable to the T11 changes.

      I don’t have a problem with things being made easier over time but I think small fixes to specific mechanics over time are a better way to go.

  22. I have to admit I dont quite understand the heroic nerfs and hope it does not extend to heroic rag. Having said that even with the nerfs I doubt we will reach heroic rag. On the other hand I was expecting to kill Heroic shannox and once again headbutt for a month or three with minimal progress until 4.3 So it will be a relief to actually kill some bosses.

    Blizzard have made it clear in cata they have projections of where the expect the raiding population to be. I can only guess we are well short of that and this is a reaction to that. Over-reaction? possibly.

    • It’s possible things are a bit overtuned and that’s why there’s been relatively little progress on heroics. However, I think it is an over-reaction and there are better ways to make fights a little bit easier without overdoing it.

  23. Its too early imo, atleast keep the heroic modes like they should be! Heroic modes is supposed to be hard…. I totally agree with u Jasyla.

    I dont know whats the rush rly, personally my guild just downed normal raggy last week. And im pretty happy about us killing it before the nerf, always some ppl that´s going to give others a hard time for not getting a “real kill” before nerfs!

    • I’m not in a rush either. My raid groups are progressing on the content, chipping away at new kills. We are not stuck, we don’t need big nerfs to help us right now. We just need time.

  24. My guild is 5/7 normal mode. My favorite part of the game is the process of researching fights and figuring out how to defeat the encounter given the skill set and availability of our raid members. We are getting close to the end, and I’d like to continue the process even if it takes us another month to get Rag down (or more). We definitely struggle with some raid members not researching the fights or having trouble perfecting some of the mechanics. We try really hard to engage them in the research to make us better as a whole, and it’s really rewarding when a raid member gets more engaged. I’m afraid that adding the nerfs will allow them to get by at their current level without having to get more engaged and therefore leaving us a step behind for the next tier.

    However, the raiders that don’t want to put in the extra effort are getting frustrated and that could kill the raid group all together. So if the nerfs keep them engaged since our progress will be faster, then I guess it’s OK.

    I also know a lot of people / guilds that are still struggling to get past Shannox. The nerfs will certainly give them something to do besides wiping on Shannox or Beth every week. That’s great for them. It’s a little sad, though, that we may still have trouble with Rag (hard to tell at this point) and the guilds that couldn’t get past 1/7 might soon catch up to us even though we’ve been a lot more successful overall. I guess it’s probably best not to think of it as a competition, especially if we’re still just on normal modes.

    I like the model of nerfing it when the next tier comes out. If we can’t get it done before then, I appreciate the ability to finish it up quickly and then move to the next tier.
    Daffnae recently posted..Affeena’s Druid Debut

    • I like the old model of nerfing content when the new tier comes out as well, though I suppose many guilds (or those who have to rely on PuGs) will benefit from earlier nerfs.

      Good luck with your raid!

  25. “I really don’t understand the obsession with accessibility and seeing content. I want to see the content, but I want it to be challenging. ”

    This statement is about the only thing that bugged me with your post, but I understand that you and I play two ENTIRELY different games of WoW. Accessibility and seeing content is important because there are a large pool of us, REALLY large I am guessing, that sometimes don’t even set foot into a raid zone. In my guild I organize what we call “classic raids” so that people can actually SEE the content, sure, it’s a pushover to kill Illidan, but Illidan the NPC and all the artwork in BT are there and there still may be people that never stepped inside to see it. It’s not about experiencing the thrill of the fight sometimes as much as it is seeing it. If you can see it while it’s still “current”, that’s even more exhilarating.

    There are lots of raids out there, lots of content, beautiful areas, bosses etc, that people have never seen, because they didn’t do it when it was current and people seldom go back, making it hard for them to find groups even after the content is nerfed.

    I think Blizzard’s intent here is to allow more people to get in to see the content while it is fresh. Perhaps it’s a new strategy they are trying, give X months to those that want to push hard, they do, they accomplish, and then lower the difficulty so that others will have a chance while it’s still current to have a better game experience. Maybe you don’t hear people complain they can’t get into raids, they want to, but they aren’t min/max’d so they don’t get to. I see these people, and my guess is there are more of them than the other way around. My guess is Blizzard hears them too. While you may think the nerf lowers the challenge, please consider the hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of others that this finally makes the challenge possible to defeat. There are people out there that still struggle with 1/7 or 2/7 on normal mode. This type of nerf allows them to push further and with new hope.
    Troutwort recently posted..Why I Go Alone

    • This is why I wasn’t weighing in on the issue of whether normals should be nerfed or not. I completely understand your point – easier content will allow more people to see the raids and get more boss kills. But I also know there are many people working on normals that like the level of challenge.

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  29. I can see both sides of the argument; and I am glad you clarified re: normal modes. If they can see that there is hardly any progression except in one or two hard-core guilds per realm, then I would agree that they should de-tune. And as well, I can see your point, especially in the context of making the more “elite” raid achievements less meaningful if you nerf hard modes.

    I have been in several types of guilds and have jumped between Hakkar (US) – one of the lowest population servers, with a clear alliance advantage, and BlackRock – arguably one of the top raiding realms in the US, and has a huge population.

    You have to keep perspective on the fact that the mean/avg player, meaning 66.6% of all players worldwide, are probably more like me… older than the kiddies, works a full time job, and plays 2-3 nights per week, with one of those nights a dedicated “raiding” night.

    I agree with the ICC model, and leaving hard-modes alone, and you have right to take exception that they didn’t even tell us until a week before, but keep in mind they are playing to the user base, i.e., the monetary base.

    Just as when I used to participate in guild dedicated PTR nights, and 3 nights of core raiding group runs, plus running alts on maybe a 4th night… if you fit that category, you certainly are not part of that 66.6%.

    Im sure after 50 some odd comments above, and actually even after the first comment, you do realize this… at this point, I always expect the ridiculous, and am pleased when the ridiculous doesn’t happen. But when it does, I just no longer get upset by it. You have had several months now though to complete the hard modes; it’s not like they came out after only a few months and decided to make Firelands mass-accesible.

    I guess I’m saying I see both sides.

    • We have only had a few months to work on hard modes before they nerfs. This happened 3 months into Firelands. My guild, for example, had only been working on heroics for a couple weeks before the nerfs.

      I’ve pretty much gotten over it now, but I still think they did the nerfs in a crappy way. Not only the lack of notice, but also the clumsy blanket nerfs. Also, there are many people who were working on normal modes (who are certainly in that majority of players who don’t spend a lot of time raiding) who are feeling that their new kills aren’t that meaningful because they’ve been made so easy.

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