Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Catering to Casuals

So Blizzard is toning down some of the heroics in the upcoming 4.0.6. Personally, I didn't think they were that bad. I've done them all, usually in a PuG. It's not a guaranteed success every run, sometimes you just wipe. But my PuGs have been pretty decent. Still, I wouldn't mind not wincing whenever I see the Stonecore loading screen.

But one nerf is a nerf too far. A veritable slap in the face for all of Blizzard's dedicated players.
The final rope swing while fighting Vanessa VanCleef has been removed. Players no longer need to swing off of the boat at the end of phase 3.

I've broken out the Elitist Jerks spreadsheets, and run numerous sims, and can say with confidence that this nerf results in a 17% decrease in fun for this fight (19% for rogues).

Using my status as a serious Internet pundit, I demand that Blizzard revert this nerf! If they don't, I will threaten to quit (but not actually quit--let's not go crazy here).

(Seriously, what's up with this change?)


  1. I agree, all heroics were doable. Some encounters were harder than others but that's what made them fun.

    wiping on some boss a couple times just to down him later adds to the fun of the game.

    If all you get are 1shot kills, the feeling of entitlement soon comes after. As well as burnout.

  2. Because clicking a rope when the whole ship is on fire is too hard.

  3. I still haven't had Deadmines or Vortex pop up as a random. :(

    Better selectively do it before the patch comes in so my mage can feel the wind flying up the robe.

    Seriously Blizz, can we get a tunic for once? Like in the bad old days?

  4. The last rope click was removed because in most groups Vanessa will be essentially dead by that point - and locked at 1 life until you do the third rope click (at which point she dies before you even get back to the ship).

    It had nothing to do with toning down the difficulty of the encounter.

  5. @anonymous

    I'm pretty sure getting her to 1hp is what triggers the last rope swing event.

    I assume (since I haven't had it happen) that if you somehow wipe to the 3rd swing, Vanessa will be dead when you run back anyway - so perhaps it was removed for being pointless in a way.

  6. I missed the rope the first couple times and the 10-12 times I've cleared it since I get to hear about the "rope boss". Finally it got nerfed.

  7. You're totally and completely wrong, Rohan!!! I checked your math. It's a 16.33% (repeating decimal, of course) decrease in fun (0% for rogues... they don't know how to have fun).

  8. The first week or so there was a time I was in tears I was so frustrated with the difficulty of heroics. I was one of the first wave of 85s so I was there when no one had the gear OR the experience. It was hell, we're talking 7 hour Deadmines runs.

    But I pushed through and have been, for several weeks, chainpulling heroics without CC. The heroics are a shock at first, it reminded me of first time in a BC heroic, but then they're cake. I'm sad to see them nerfed. :(

  9. Yeah I don't understand nerfing the content when they're becoming easier anyway with people getting better gear. I really thought they should have put in some harder-than-normal normal dungeons like they did with the ICC patch in wrath. It would've given people a stepping stone to complete before moving on to the heroics. Oh well...I think the sad part to me is that we're "partisan-izing" our gaming world much like we do our real world these days. "In a move to cater to the _______, the administration has impelemented _____. The other side isn't happy." Fill in blanks....

  10. As a casual player, I have to say that I completely agree. I like the fact that there are parts of the game that are too hard for me. It gives me something to aspire to. It makes the expansion fun and interesting. It makes it possible for me to admire those of you who are all dressed up in your purples. It keeps the game fresh.

    Doing speed runs through heroics for gear (like at the end of Wrath), is just boring to me.

    I'm not paying $15 per month for a gimme.

  11. I was wondering how long it would take Blizzard to give in to the crybabies and start nerfing Heroics. I figured at least a month and am sad to see that I was wrong

  12. Turns out that your $15 a month compared to the MILLIONS OF CASUALS $15 a month means that the majorty gets what they want.

    QQ about QQ moar plz.

  13. Out of all the things to nerf, the rope on Vanessa? REALLY?

    I can think of a lot of fights that don't seem to be tuned right: Ripsnarl, Erudax, that add spawning guy in SFK... But the rope on Vanessa? When was that ever hard?

  14. The third swing is an essential part of the story of the fight. VC is blowing herself up, so you have to swing away. In a mechanical sense it is unnecessary, but in narrative sense it is crucial.

    If I was going to make any changes to VC, I would have the fire die out after the fight is over, so people can be ressed or release and run back inside. Pretty much zero other changes. (Well, that change to make the goblin easier to find is good too.)

  15. The way I see it its a redundant change. If you have already managed to do the swing twice a third time isn't going to wipe you.

  16. I think this change was intended to piss you off personally. I think that is working :)

  17. I have not yet had the opportunity to try out one single heroic as i am indeed a casual player, still going through the stages of equipping my Prot Pala - freshly arrived at level 85.

    However I would say that from my perspective, and from what i have seen commented from the posts I would definitely like that Blizzard would not nerf any content to accomodate casual players such as myself.

    The reasoning behind this is that in fact, heroics are kinda top content for me, so I want them to be as much of a challenge as possible - my two cents are: Blizzard, if you are thinking about casual players, do NOT nerf heroics ;)