Wednesday, January 18, 2012

On Nerfing of Dargon Soles

Every time major nerfs come around for a "current tier" raid, people rather loudly huff and barrel their chests out and speak down to the proles who raid and say "Well, they should improve if they want to see content at our level."

That's not a wrong opinion, but it is a bad mindset!

Blizzard, with their raid development, are in a position now where they want the time they spend crafting these raids to be seen by more players - many supporters like to bandy about the "1% of players saw the Sunwell" statistic, when arguing for the opening of content to more levels of play skill; much of the opposition throw the argument that "the challenge is the fun" and that "in the old days you'd spend many raid lock outs on a single boss!"

Both sides have legitimate arguments; both sides are legitimately right. But, both sides are unable to find equal ground - it's the scene from Reservoir Dogs where the mob boss hands out the nicknames: Nobody knows each other, so nobody wants to back down.

Bashiok is Nice Guy Eddie in this analogy. The KBilly Radio DJ is the gentleman who runs MMO Champion. Stealer's Wheel is thus replaced with Rebecca Black. (I am bad at analogies)

The side that wants it easier isn't necessarily bad players, but on a limited time frame. The side that wants everything "left alone" aren't necessarily on a limitless schedule, but they have a drive and determination that leaves them wanting to achieve MORE.

They may be the side that heavily romanticizes the days of yore, where you'd spend weeks wiping to a boss because everybody hadn't farmed enough Nature Resist gear - they may just feel like this is what they want to to do with their time. The side that supports the nerfs may have been those players too, who remember the Chambers of Suppression in Blackwing Lair - may have been the rogue tapping all the traps so people can pass, even!

Let's get past the idea that there's only two "kinds" of people playing World of Warcraft.

But before that happens, there needs to be an across the board understanding between two very emotionally charged parties.

To the people who support the nerfs: It's okay. You'll see the content.

To the people who are against the nerfs: It's okay. You've seen the content.

I'm over simplifying this. It needs to be simple. Maybe it needs to be overly simple.

There will never be a clear conversation about anything if we're constantly going to war with ourselves about what side of the bread we put the butter on.

Lets have a discourse on the topic with respect for each other. Don't instantly kneejerk about "Bads in mah raids killin' mah dragons" - don't get butthurt over "special snowflakes don't want us in their sandbox!"

Be excellent to each other. Just to mix it up a little, for once.


  1. There's another subset. There's time limited raiders who have the skill to progress in raiding, but don't have the 3, 4, or 5 day a week schedules. My guild raids 5 hours a week, and we're 2/8 heroic. We have the ability to continue progressing, and were we to commit to a more demanding raid schedule we would be further progressed. We don't want these nerfs not because we don't want other players to see the content yet. We don't want these nerfs because we're not finished yet, and despite that, Blizzard is going to essentially invalidate every kill we get from jan 31st onwards, regardless of weather we actually use the buff or not, every kill past that date willl be irreperably stained. It hurts us in terms of recruiting, it devalues raid teams like ours. Back in T11, when the 5 day a week guilds rushed to 5/13H and got stuck there, while we overtook them and ended the tier with 7/13H, it did wonders for our recruiting, and it showed accurately just how good we were in terms of bang for your buck. In T12, we were 3/7H before the nerf, and after the nerf we were 6/7H, but everyone was 6/7H, and as such, we suffered because we didn't have the time to outpace the guilds that could simply commit more time to raiding. We're the guilds that are getting squeezed out by these short sighted nerfs, precisely because we aren't done yet.

    And on that note, wasn't lfr introduced to allow people to "see the content"? Actually, weren't normal modes introduced to allow people to "see the content"? Why are they hitting heroics with the nerf bat, and devaluing the achievements of the casual progressive guilds if they already implemented two distinct difficulties to allow players to see the content? This was exactly what they assured us would not happen with the introduction of lfr.

    1. May I ask what size of a raid team you run? And how many people you generally kept for an active roster?

      Do you see the Dragon Soul nerfs as more of a threat to your recruitment than the possibility of Cross Realm Real ID enabled raiding?

      These aren't unrelated questions to your point, but you highlight concerns that need to be highlighted for your raid core: "It hurts us in terms of recruiting."

      What other ways have you to separate from the pack of 6/7H raid teams? Are we in a point where the Golden Cow of raid success as a status symbol is over?

      If so, how do raid groups like yours (which is pretty well progressed for a minimal amount of time raiding) and mine (which is fairly casual and lost a lot of time raiding in December to holiday/family obligations) stand out to recruit?

      Lets leave LFR out of this though - we lose sight of the concern when we consider LFR, and it makes people lose their focus. LFR is LFR, it's not for us. It dilutes our true focus, which is normal and hard mode raids.

      You have a good perspective, from the "middle of the road" though - now, why would the nerfs be good for you guys?

    2. We run a ten man raid team that never carries more than 11 active raiders at any given time. Recruiting is extremely important for us because when a raider needs to step back, we need to replace him immediately, or we run the risk of compromising the integrity of our group.

      I definitely see the current nerfs as a bigger threat than the possibility of cross realm raiding, because right now, cross realm raiding isn't possible on current content, and it won't be until MoP. That's the future, we'll deal with that problem when we come to it. These nerfs are starting in less than two weeks.

      There's literally nothing beneficial for my group in these nerfs. We were going to down the content without them, so all it does is shorten the lifespan of the tier for us. It acts as an artificial boost to progression, but it's not one that raises all boats evenly. It diminishes the ability of our raid group to stand out, which is what allows us to sustain our progress. We're going to wind up in boring farm mode earlier than we should, and there's no way to avoid it. We can turn off the buff, but we can't prove that we turned off the buff to potential recruits, nor can we prove that our competitors didn't, so there's no benefit to us in terms of recruiting there, and doing so would simply exacerbate the problems that the nerf is already introducing. This is effectively forcing us to potentially trade the long term health of our raid group for a little extra short term progression. I don't want to make that trade, and I don't like that Blizzard is forcing my hand on this matter.

  2. Snack, I couldn't agree with you more on your points. Last night when I saw the announcement of the changes coming to Dragon Soul on Twitter, I just rolled my eyes and said to myself here we go again. And true to form the vitriol started up shortly thereafter.

    My only thoughts regarding it were that Blizzard is probably seeing most normal and hard mode guilds getting to a point and hitting a wall, thus the changes. I myself have never been overly passionate about seeing the end bosses in any given raids, I raid because I enjoy playing the game and the company of the people that I raid with, so it's a expected change that's coming and doesn't concern me. I'd love to see the viewpoints of people who are against it with their reasoning as well, but in civil, non-diatribey way.