Wednesday, May 25, 2011

4.2 Raid Nerfs

Yesterday Blizzard revealed that with patch 4.2, Tier 11 normal raid content will be nerfed into puggability.

(Yes, I just made up that word right now. But I think it's a fair description of what the difficulty of T11 content will look like after 4.2 hits.)

In any case, there's a lot of angst running around the blogosphere and forums. But the thing is that the raid paradigm has changed, and there's not a lot of use in holding on to the old paradigm. We've discussed this before, but raiding has switched from a "progression" paradigm to a "focus on the current tier" mentality.

This nerf fits right in with that idea. Come 4.2, the current tier will be Firelands, and all guilds will jump into that. T11 will become the province of pickup groups and individuals gearing up for Firelands.

And T11 does need a nerf in that case. Right now, it is not forgiving enough for most pickup groups to complete successfully.

It is also silly to expect that gear from T12 will make pugging T11 easier, as I've seen proposed. The people who will need to pug T11 are the people who need to gear up so they can join their groups in T12, not the other way around.

In my view, the "progression" paradigm is dead and gone. It's not worthwhile to protest changes from the point of view of "progression across tiers" raiding anymore. In the new world of raiding, only the current tier really matters.


  1. And there's something else. ZA/ZG basically killed all the other heroics because of their superior rewards (double VP, required for weekly heroic VP max).

    That reduced the end game of people who did not run T11 raid content to measly two dungeons.

    Blizzard has to keep these people paying and nerfing outdated raid content is cheaper then created refurbished 5 mans.

  2. Really? I still get non-Troll heroics when I sign up for them in the Dungeon Finder.

    I would disagree with the contention that those heroics are dead.

  3. Hardly dead. Actually, the few times I've queued for the "old" heroics the queue times have been extremely good, as little as 10 min for a dps spot. The level of geared players have gone down, but aside from not overgearing them once again they are alive and quite well.

    I'm not sure how to feel about the raid nerfs. I'm not upset by them by any means, but I'm 1) not sure they're necessary with valor becoming justice buyable and 2) not sure they'll actually be that effective.

    With T11 being buyable with justice, you can just do the "old" heroics again and get almost full ilevel 359s, so the people that would supposedly be gearing through the raids will be gearing faster and easier through regular heroics in LFD instead.

    As for the nerfs, they aren't gonna mean much of anything for pugs, there's still too many fights where you have to do the right thing at the right time or die and possibly wipe the raid as well. 20% nerf hardly changes that, it'll be just like trying to pug ICC in late wrath: doable, but generally only up to a certain point.

    Personally, I think these nerfs shoulda gone live before 4.2 hit to really make any sort of difference and prepare people for firelands.

  4. What I meant was if you don't commit to a fixed play schedule and therefore don't raid but still want the best possible gear (WoW IS gear driven), you have to run the troll instances to cap on the weekly "heroic VP". Or did I read the patch notes incorrectly?

    For those people Blizzard could either add 2 new 5 mans with 4.2 or nerf the raid content to pugability.

  5. I like this plan by Blizzard, it opens up the gaming experience for all the smaller, not-so-hardcore guilds that spent the last 2-3 months banging their heads against the first 2 or 3 bosses of the T11 raids. (And it's better than nerfing the raids when like patch 4.4 or something comes out, by which time the T11 raids will be so antiquated that even casual guilds won't care too much anymore.)

  6. The "benefits" of the Progression style are wildly overstated anyway, considering how WoW has never in it's history followed a strictly linear difficulty curve in raids. Rag 1.0 was harder than the first boss in AQ40, let alone the first bosses in the tiers inbetween. KT > Flame Leviathan. Yogg > Beasts of Northrend. Flame Leviathan was more technically challenging than Noth the Lootbringer, so difficulty and complexity do creep up. Overall though, raiding tiers were already episodic in nature, so Blizzard may as well make them officially episodic rather than deny reality on principal.

  7. It's going to be interesting to see if the casual/bad guilds actually do the nerfed T11 content in any great numbers. Doing the booby prize tier doesn't deliver much in the way of ego reward, which is a big part of the hook behind the game.

    I'm also guessing that many guilds that struggled through T11 normals will have an even harder time motivating people for T12 (or getting replacements for dropouts), since if the going gets tough they know they can just wait for nerfs.

  8. I would caution in the use of the word ALL. Not ALL guilds will be jumping to Firelands the day 4.2 drops. My guild *hopes* to get there, but due to our smallish size and a number of RL issues keeping our core raiders out of the game for extended periods, we're not even done with normal 10man content, much less any heroic raiding. We're going to try like hel to at least finish regular 12/12 before 4.2, but I seriously doubt ALL guilds will be moving to Firelands immediately.

  9. I just find it strange and annoying that people think this is a new thing. Blizz has been nerfing the old content into accessibility since the end of Burning Crusade. They just may not have specifically said they were, but it was CLEARLY the paradigm they were going for for most of Wrath.

    And I really have no complaints about it. They want the most number of people to see the content and the story in it, when so much effort was put into making it in the first place. And people WANT to see these and fight the bosses. So once they're no longer the top dog, making the instance be probably about as hard as a standard Heroic, in Normal Mode, opens it up to everyone and gets extra bang for their buck. Everyone wins.

  10. Nerfing these raids will not make them puggable. If you do manage to pug them, it will be stictly out of luck. Cata heroic 5 mans are still barely puggable afterall. I am rather glad to see the changes. You can still run heroic for 372 if you want a challenge in the older content. I also like having easier access to the Tier 11 sets. It will make gearing for BoT and BWD much easier and give casual players that aren't in a major guild a chance at enjoying the content only fulltime WOW players have enjoyed thus far.