Firelands Nerf, a day later: Lodur’s thoughts

When we first received news of the incoming nerf, I was already on edge. I hate nerfs. I made it a point to help push my raid teams through boss fights before nerfs. Kael’thas died the night before he was nerfed into the ground. Sadly though, I didn’t get to accomplish this goal with firelands. This isn’t for lack of trying mind you. For the last several weeks I’ve been working with the guild trying to sure up lines and push through the content. I’ve been a busy shaman, to say the least.

So, the day of the great nerf has come and gone, and in the aftermath we’re left looking at what was done. Conquest mounted up and dove into firelands yesterday, and toppled every single boss, save Raggy, in just about an hour and a half. Seriously. Raid started at 9pm est, by 10:30pm we were already looking at Rag. This includes a few breaks to make roster adjustments to get in some new recruits. That’s just insane. We had the numbers, but you have to actually do the content to appreciate exactly how much the nerf bat hit firelands. I’ll be honest at the end of the night, I was quite a bit saddened by it.

Nothing is quite as demoralizing as walking into a raid and just breathing on bosses and having them fall over. While this seems like a bit of an exaggeration, I assure you that’s how it felt. Sure you can still die to mechanics if you don’t know what you’re doing, but it just felt weak compared to a day before. I sat at my computer afterwards and I was just kindda looking at the computer screen and my character. Things have changed, certainly in Cataclysm, but sometimes you just have to sit back and look at it. I mean really look at it.

In ICC, when things were getting “nerfed” we had the option of actually turning the buff off and going about the content as originally intended. It was something that I know my group utilized. We allowed the buff for farm content but turned it off if we had a progression boss or a new recruit we were trying to break in. The point is that we had the option to utilize it or not. I thought it was a fantastic way to go about it. Giving your players the choice as to whether or not they want to get a sweeping buff that helped topple content. After all, as a player I value nothing higher than choice. Choice of what bosses to do, in what order, choice of spec and gear, and honestly choice on whether or not to deal with buffed / nerfed content.

So after the raid and again this morning I’m sitting here wondering why Firelands didn’t get a similar style of handling the nerf. The flat reduction in boss health, boss damage and add health was fairly substantial. Substantial enough that each boss kill felt a bit hollow to me. I would have loved to have had the option to turn the nerf on or off, but as it stood looking at the last boss at an hour and a half into the raid was just a bit much. Mana was not an issue, not even close, I don’t think I used my Mana Tide Totem more than twice the entire night. Healing was such a non issue that for a good chunk of the night we were running 5 healers on a 25 man raid, and even then I spent more time throwing lightning bolts than having to heal. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to stop raiding or anything like that. I’m eagerly waiting for patch 4.3 and the next raid tier. I just felt very contemplative over this nerf.

So a day later what do you think about it?  How did it affect your raid? 

Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!
About Lodur

Lodur is the right hand shaman to Matticus on World of Matticus, and a recruiting officer of Conquest and Co-Host of For the Lore podcast. Read more of his works at WoW Insider.

Comments

  1. I’m still waiting to see what the reports from my casual raid guild are like. We were 4/7 Normal as of a couple of weeks ago, working on Alys, but Shannox, Beth and Baleroc were already firmly on farm (heck, we 9-manned Baleroc 2 weeks ago when our Decimation Blade tank died seconds into the pull.) Although I won’t be there to see it first hand, I can almost guarantee some of my raiders are going to push to start bringing their undergeared alts in for farm content.

  2. While I appreciate players that enjoy a challenge, the tuning of normal mode content this expansion was really over tuned. What is more demoralizing than running in and breathing on the bosses and they die, is to sit there for weeks on end and get no where.

  3. Hands up, anyone else wish for the ICC style gradual nerf reduction method?

    With options to disable?

  4. My team only killed Staghelm a week ago for the first time. We one shot him last night. Like Lodur, we cleared 10 man (with several subs) to Ragnaros and put two attempts on Rag in just over two hours, with a fifteen min break.

    It was so nerfed as to not even be a challenge. As a holy paladin, I was mainly taunting spinners on Beth, not actually healing very much.

    Five minutes (!) were knocked off our best time on Alysrazor.

    We only raid five hours a week, and looks like we’ll be going several heroic kills into Firelands before 4.3

  5. I understand your point of view.

    But my point of view is that unless I want to transfer servers away from my friends and family, I am stuck dealing with guilds that can’t even take Rags on Normal. The nerf last night didn’t mean we got done in an hour and a half. It meant we got 4 bosses in one night and walked away feeling awesome instead of frustrated, disappointed, and stressed.

    But then, this is why I think that normals should have been nerfed and not heroics.

  6. I don’t know. First of all, are you working on heroics or normals? have you done a full clear of the place yet? I know that you have had some roster problems in 4.2 but the reality is that if you had not got a clear yet, it may not happen during this patch.

    For great guilds that blew FL apart in week one and started HMs in week 2 this nerf is not an issue, they were farming the place by now anyway. For casual guilds, a full clear of normals may not have been on the table during 4.2, for them the nerf will help them clear the place and get a little gear in prep for 4.3. For the guilds in the middle, I can see how this could really hurt so close to that n-rag kill or stuck on this HM or the other and BAM nerfs come in and suck the wind out of your sails.

    I hope the pre-patch nerf means that 4.3 is closer than we think, 6+ weeks of this nerf content will bore the hell out of people. I have to assume that there will be an abbreviation of the PTR based on internal play testing.

  7. I understand that people want to see all content. We are only 6/7 ourselves (and really wanted to kill raggy before he was nerfed 🙁 )… But the nerf is massive and has made most of the fights stupidly easy.

    I don’t understand why we couldn’t have seen a smaller nerf and then had it upped over the next few weeks if people were still not killing them.

  8. I agree with you Lodur, but I think we are in the minority. I run a ‘casual’ raiding guild that was 4/7HM. Within two hours yesterday we were 6/7HM. So the nerf was huge. But I think most people are in a different place than I am.

    I’d guess that most progression guilds were already 6/7 and were annoyed by the Rag nerf but did not care at all about the rest. I’d also guess that most casual guilds are thankful for the chance to get to Rag. So I understand, and think Blizz prob made the right call.

    Of course it would be nice to click off a nerf, but as a guild that only raids twice a week and wants to keep its server 2nd, I know we would have used the nerf to keep our ranking. A forum post saying we did it without the nerf would buy us zero cred. Such is life.

    EDIT: I take it back. After talking to a few friends, it seems the 6/7 normal mode guilds are the ones that really feel cheated. And rightfully so. I suppose for a person like me who just got two easy bosses, it is not as big a deal. But my friends who are 6/7 normal really made it clear how much more they felt this nerf. So yeah, I take it back.

  9. This nights raid was really boring and the nerf comes way too soon. It more or less felt like LK again where you barely had to bother to look at the screen.
    Theres no fun without any challenge. Some bosses felt like they could just replace with a targetdummy with 20m hp.

  10. I great felt the same way, we missed out being 5/7 heroic by prob a few hours pre nerf, a few more hours and we would have killed baleroc. We walked in and in a total of 6 hours, went from being 4/7 H on 25 man to 6/7 H on 25 man and did the tree boss thing….in this GMs humble opinion the nerf was too large, I think 5 to 10% would have been more in line….what really worries me is how long until 4.3 and the fact that after a few weeks and we kill rag…how long will we raid every week, and how many raiders will a lot of guilds lose? If 4.3 isnt out in the next 7-8 weeks I feel like they may have shot themselves in the foot.

  11. I agree that the nerf was ri-donkulous. Even some HM bosses were way too easy. I was in a run that killed H Shannox so quickly that World of Logs won’t consider it a valid kill.

    Three thoughts:

    1. The nice thing about the ICC buff was that it started small and worked its way up. The FL nerf was a straight 25%. If you equate 30% extra damage done, health, healing, and avoidance (ie ICC buff) as being the same thing as 30% less boss health and damage (ie FL nerf – the two are not exactly the same but for the sake of argument they’re pretty close), then in one night we got the equivalent of weeks and weeks of ICC buffs (I think they started at 5% in March, and didn’t get to 30% until July?). They could have at least done a 5% health and damage increase every few weeks until 4.3 was released. Now the content has gone from challenging to almost depressing, which does not make people want to stick with current content until the next patch. Getting to 6/7H last night after downing Baleroc for the first time (which was still a little bit of a challenge, but nowhere near as bad as pre-nerf) didn’t leave any of us with a sense of accomplishment. There were no exuberant cheers, no string of “grats” in guild – just loot distribution and moving on to Rag.
    2. The problem with having a buff that you can turn off is that no one cares if you killed a boss without the buff/nerf. If your first kill happened after the buff, it doesn’t “count” as much as a kill before a buff/nerf. My guild was working on heroic Sindragosa before the ICC buff came out. We decided to turn the buff off for our first kill, and did manage to kill her (I think the buff was up to 10% by the time we did, but it was still off for us), and we were actually chided on the forums for mentioning our H Sindra kill for recruitment purposes. I can’t recall if there was a way to check logs to validate a claim that the buff had been turned off, but even if there was, no one really cared. The only benefit we got was our own knowledge of doing it pre-buff, which I guess is something, but I can see why the system wasn’t implemented again.
    3. This is just me being nitpicky (and as a note I’m not on an RP server, but I do like things in my game to make sense if they can), but with ICC, there was a “reason” that suddenly we were more awesome. Strength of Wrynn / Hellscream’s Warsong were given to us by our faction leaders, who realized we needed their help in our struggle against the Lich King. From a lore/RP stand point, this was a nice touch. There was 0 reason/explanation given as to why all of a sudden these horrible monsters in FL were so much weaker, which to me creates a disconnect from the fights, and takes away from any immersion that may have existed. Could have at least had Malfurion standing at the entrance saying “Oh hai there peeps I r did use my dr00d skillz to halp you LOL.” OR, something that’s been suggested in the forums for a long time, have a quest chain or a special task in raid that a certain percentage of your guild needs to complete in order to activate the buff/nerf.

  12. We’re actually enjoying the nerfs.
    They give us the opportunity to gear up some of our newer players since RL has claimed some of our other friends. And now we can work on some heroic content as well. The problem is as usual the lower hour raiders (like less than 6 hrs/week) are still catching up with the higher hour raiders. Back when we had two lockouts for 10 and 25 some of us would run the content twice a week to gear up and experience up on the fights. With that option gone, I’m glad for the shorter times on downgrading content. Otherwise you will really have a huge player rift between the high time and low time players, and that will only hurt the game in the long run.

  13. Were not one of those guilds that has cleared FL and is working on heroic Rag. We have been struggling in FL 3/7 for a while now for a variety of reasons.

    How did last nights raid go?
    We BLEW through 5/7 even though we didn’t have our full raid time available. Two new kills included a kill of a boss we had never attempted before.

    What did last nights raid feel like?
    Kinda sad really.

    • Your raid team was probably right where mine was. We were having problems with Alys, and now come Sunday I have no doubt we’ll be 7/7. There is no fun in knowing that this stuff is going to fall over for us.

  14. This nerf has killed raiding this tier for me. I raid lead for a casual guild that was 3/7 going into raiding pre-nerf. We have had some attendance problems and a lot of our players are relatively new to raiding or just not that skilled. We went and cleared all the way to Domo in about 2 and a half hours. We basically sneezed on a boss and it died. I know for a while I felt like progression was being held back by our attendance, but then it was time and skill now… well I feel like I could take any random person in with a base knowledge of how to play their class and roll normal Firelands.

    What kills it for me is that I feel that this is going to be the difficulty of the pre-raid raiding tier and that is the skill level that my guild is at. As a raider I felt that pre-nerf Firelands wasn’t extremely difficult and now it has no difficulty to me. I’m kinda done with FL now.

    I suppose I should feel good that my guild got gear and people are happy that we downed some bosses we struggled against, but I take no pleasure in knocking down a cardboard house.

    Basically, I agree with everything Lodur said.

  15. Well, our raiding week is done… And we went from 4/7 with 10 pulls on Alys to 2-shotting Alys and 3-shotting Domo. For our skill level, Rag execution is the one with the potential to be a guild killer…not because it’s inherently hard, just because we can phone it in on the earlier bosses.

    I was honestly happier with our 1-2 weeks per boss learning curve, rathe than this ROFLSTOMP “progression”. If this is what I have to look forward to from LFR…

  16. I have to say I’m in the middle. I’m 366 holy and I’ve recently taken Beth and rhyolith post nerf. What’s more is that I was doing a try out with a guild I’m considering. as, mentioned above my own guild has similar issues with not enough raiders or time for full guild runs . For a long long time I’ve felt held back in the guild choices I’ve made horde and alli I made the decision to move on soon and grab the raid bull by the horns. Pre nerf I had fought tooth and nail to get Shan down in any pug raid I could get into. Never happened. Then tryout night comes post nerf and I made the bosses mentioned above. It felt good but something was missing. The too easy feel of the kills The fact that I didn’t have to sweat worrying about my mana… As much.. I felt a little cheated but proud that the guild was pleased with my performance Considering I’d never seen these bosses except in videos. I’m almost ready to call it quits. I’m afraid of getting the content then with the new patch … Falling flat on my face It’s not that i can’t learn or meet a challenge head on It’s a feeling of Hey I did FL .. But it doesnt have the satisfaction behind it anymore.. I’ll keep trying though Healers are always needed and I may be low on the uber totem pole but I’ll fight to my death for my fellow raiders to keep them alive.

  17. I call shenanigans.
    It’s like pole vaulting. You have a goal height set by Blizzard originally. All the people being vocal with their complaints couldn’t reach their goal. So what has everyone been doing since the beginning? Getting bigger poles.

    What’s the difference between everyone gearing up as much as possible to make their fights easier and Blizzard lowering the bar?

    I think people need to set their egos aside and look at this picture. What if you already cleared all 7/7 hardmode, would you be complaining right now? Or now that the nerf is here would you wear all 359 to make things challenging again?

    To all the raiders saying bosses are just falling over for them I say you’ve had the practice already. You know the fights. Imagine all the other players who haven’t and now feel more comfortable stepping into FL for the first time or just coming back now that it’s easier.

  18. I understand Blizzard’s motivation to nerf the content to allow more of the player base to see content. I have cleared 7/7 FL, and were working on heroic mode prior to the nerfs. I’m not feeling particularly upset about normal mode being nerfed, but I don’t agree with heroic mode being nerfed as well.

    Come on, heroic modes are supposed to be… hard! It’s supposed to give progression raiders something to do. It’s insulting when you go back to that boss that you worked so hard to down for weeks fell over just like that. It’s also deflating to see all the work and time you put in to get somewhere, people who have not progressed because of lack of commitment or time are there with you the day after the nerf and going “LOL we’re there with you now!”.

    Argh.

  19. I don’t understand why most of you don’t see that you go from 4/7 HM to 6/7HM not because the nerfs at all, but because you have practiced the mechanics over and over and the fights were simply overtunned.

    I am all for harder content on HM, I am not a HM raider, but the reality is that ridiculous amount of damage + ridiculous boss health does not mean progression, it means unrealistic expectation. Looking at numbers like DPS + mana pools will tell you if a fight is possible or not, but when you mix in mechanics and RNG fights can become impossible unless you have every raider performing perfectly.

    How many pulls do you want to be stuck in a boss 10-30-100? How many weeks do you think is good to stay on a boss? FL cannot be compared to ICC or t11 because its 7 bosses vs 12 – 13.

    Firelands was a poorly executed tier. People that did heroics in t11 basically could LoL at the normal modes… but then heroics presented a big challenge. ICC was what it was because of the availability of not just HM gear, but also 25 man gear to be used on 10 mans. It gave different progression paths. With the combined raid lockout that was gone and everyone had just one chance per toon to kill a boss every week.

    I think the direction that blizzard is moving is to be able to practice fights again, I think that is what the LFR will do, allow everyone to learn fights again… not just to bang your head against a wall, be it H Ragnaros or just regular Shannox, nobody wants to pull a boss over and over and get no loot or progression week after week.

  20. I think the implication is Blizzard feels that it’s time for everyone to start gearing up for 4.3. I get the impression that we’ll be expected to arrive in 4.3 with everyone in at least ilvl 375 or so.

    I’m part of a very strictly time-limited raid (one three-hour session per week) we spent the first couple of weeks of 4.3 finishing off T11, then had a bunch of attendance problems.

    We managed 4/7 normal before the nerf, and 6/7 normal immediately afterwards.

    It did feel a little hollow, but now we’re determined to not make the same mistakes again and be ready for 4.3 the day it drops.

Speak Your Mind

*