When Blizzard announced their intention to nerf t12 in preparation for t13, I immediately though, “Oh thank god.” No anger, no rants, no sadness, merely a soothing sense of relaxation and peace.
What the hell?
Peace?!? Soothing relaxation? A tension I didn’t even KNOW was there was pushing on me. The tension of progression. Snapping at my husband. Ignoring chores I needed to do. Being unhappy and frustrated with my hobby. I didn’t notice that it was there until it was suddenly gone. Why do I care if we wipe on Aly for two nights this week, we have downed her once pre-nerf so post nerf, we got it in the bag.
I think the most indicative thing of what this raiding tier had become for me was the replacement of a glyph. Seems like such a small thing right? I replaced the Glyph of Fear with the Glyph of Shadow Bolt. Such a tiny thing. But I had been looking for ways to push my dps just a bit farther… Just a bit… Enough to nerf my cc and utility to eek out 200 more dps. The thing is, I *hate* those DPS. I hate them. I love utility. And I really loved my utility when I had more of it. Why was I pushing my dps? Because my raid wasn’t progressing.
Casual doesn’t mean what it used to. It used to be that casual meant just a few hours a week. Now casual means medium levels of gear and people who barely know how to stay out of the fire. When Blizzard made raids more accessible, they had people who didn’t know how to raid, raiding and loving it. But now those same people expect to raid, and they can’t. In Cataclysm a raid can’t carry 2-5 people and be fine. Everyone needs to carry their own weight.
Instead of running with whoever you wanted to, now you have to run with people who know how to raid, and possibly hurt the feelings of those who are less good. For those who would jump in and say, “L2P NOOB!” Remember, WoW has always worked to cater to the path of least resistance. What is the path of least resistance when it comes to learning new, painful boss fights, to not keyboard turn, and how to play their class to the fullest to overcome the challenge or just saying “Bah, this is too hard. I liked Wrath better” and canceling their account? The 1 million subscriber dip points to the truth.
Some people are saying “OMG this is unprecedented!!!” Hello, I would like to introduce you to the ICC Buff. Remember the one that started at 5% and grew to 30% over the course of a few months? Instead of a slowly growing buff to the players to make the fights easier, they are just nerfing the bosses across the board.
This brings me to my point. Blizzard knows. This is a company who has built their entire business on balance and stats. They *know* how to balance. They do it more than any other company. I would bet every piece of gold I have that they have massive amounts of data flowing in on everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t have huge files where they can look at every single classes’ dps on every boss in t11 and t12. We use WoWLogs, which is close, but flawed. We run sims that are best estimations. They have the real deal.
They know exactly how many players have been in Rag’s room. They know how many guilds have downed him. They know the percentages. They know what people are dying to. They know what fight people are by passing. They know everything.
People on these blogs and forums talk about the difficulty being fine, talk about how the nerf is too much, too soon, they talk about how well their casual guild is doing on heroics… Wait, what? I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but if your guild is on heroic modes, you are NOT CASUAL. My guild is casual. No attendance requirements, no spec requirements, no “stacking” to get the best buffs and we are 6/7. But even without my guild, only 6 guilds on my entire server have downed Rags. Only 6. And only 2 of them are 25 man guilds.
Wait, before you say, “Oh well your server just sucks.” I agree, it does. We are ranked 164 in the US servers. I thought, well that makes sense… OH BUT WAIT. THERE ARE 241 SERVERS. That means almost 80 servers are below us. 80 servers with HOW MANY PLAYERS? Including my old server. Including the other server I used to play on. I always thought we were the far end of the universe, apparently we aren’t! We are on the low end, but not near as bad as I thought.
Blizzard knows. They have the numbers to back up their decision. It may be different on your server or in your guild, but the WoW world at large is struggling and not seeing progression. If the end game is where the game really begins, shouldn’t more people see it?
They tried a valiant effort with Cataclysm to return to the harder style of Burning Crusade, but you can’t put spilled milk back in the jug. Players got used to raiding in Wrath. Players enjoyed raiding in Wrath. Players are leaving in droves because raiding in Cata isn’t nearly as fun. And Blizzard surely has the numbers to prove it and back it up.