nerf-gunI’m not sure if anyone’s really been paying attention lately, but it truly seems that Blizzard has gone nerf happy in the recent weeks.  According to a recent post from Daelo, they will be further reducing the difficulty of 6 different Ulduar bosses, including Ignis and Razorscale who have both already been nerfed a couple of times.  Now our guild has only managed to down Kologarn from the Antechamber so far, but to be fair, we only had one full raid night and two hours to get that far this week thanks to missing raiders at inopportune times.  Plus, we’d never been to Antechamber before.  Kologarn was a little rough, but once people settled down and got the rhythm of the fight down, we were able to blow him up no problem.

But are these new nerfs justified?  A week ago, I was writing about how rough Ulduar is compared to old content and though it was definitely hard, it was fun.  It was enjoyable to feel yourself getting both excited and nervous at the same time once more and for downing a boss to mean more than just three minutes work to me.  After faring so poorly the first week of Ulduar, our guild came back last weekend and walked right through the Siege mobs, one shotting 3 of them.  We were still sloppy on Razorscale and XT, but it was a show of progress that we were able to one shot both of them after wiping so spectacularly the week before.

I will admit that these mobs had received slight nerfs from the week before, mainly that the mobs on Razorscale were weakened, but none more so than Ignis.  For anyone who tried Ignis before the nerf, the guy absolutely raged on your guild thanks to bugs and over-tuning.  The mobs were a huge hassle to handle before thanks to timing and the severity of damage taken by the off tank.  But they had given it a substantial nerf and last week it was really more a matter of figuring out positioning (coming in this week’s Friday Strats!) until we downed him, the only boss in siege we wiped on.  Point is, all these fights felt challenging and hard, but now they were doable at least.

So let’s take a look at some of these changes.  First off, Ignis:  The interrupt effect and duration of the damage from Flame Jets has been reduced, the damage from the Slag pot has been reduced, the number of Heat stacks needed to transform an Iron Construct into a Molten state has been reduced, the base melee damage done by Ignis has been reduced, and the damage bonus Ignis receives from Strength of the Creator has been slightly increased.  They’ve reduced his damage again and I’m not sure why, to tell you the truth.  Our MT would take gobs of damage every once in a while, but it was nothing that was breaking our healers and slag pot damage was kind of a joke already.  The interrupt on Flame Jets was also reduced and though I can see slight merit to this, but I don’t think it was necessary as it was easy to avoid this effect if you paid attention.  Finally, by increasing the buff from Strength of the Creator, it really seems to me that they are trying to make this a fight where you have to bomb heals every once in a while on the MT.  A lot of unnecessary nerfs here, imo.

For XT-002: The duration of Tympanic Trantrum has been reduced, the timer for XT-002 to hit berserk has been increased, the damage of Light Bomb has been reduced, the effect radius of Light Bomb has been reduced, and the health of XM-024 Pummeler has been reduced.  These are some interesting changes, especially the reduction of Tympanic Tantrum length.  That was a real raid killer ability and one that definitely tested the healers.  This may be a good change, as long as it’s not reduced to the point where it’s trivial.  The light bomb changes I find mixed as the radius was only 10 yards and if you planned properly for places for people to go, you were ok, but the damage could come at an unlucky time.  These changes were slightly warranted, considering that it was all too easy to lose a random raid member to bad light bomb / tantrum timing.  A reduction of hp to any add mob is good to me.

For Kologarn: The damage of Stone Grip has been reduced, the amount of time to break someone out from the right hand has been increased, the radius and damage of Rumble has been reduced, and the damage of Focused Eyebeam has been reduced.  The damage reduction and lengthening of Stone Grip will be most welcome in our raid, but again, I’ll wait to see the actual benefits of this nerf.  The reduction of damage and radius to rumble will also be quite welcomed as if this came during a shockwave, it could be disastrous for the raid.  The damage of Focused Eyebeam being reduced is a bit of a god send for people who can’t figure out how not run through your fellow raiders and get them killed.  This fight was rough with a lot of crazy raid damage flying everywhere, so these can help with inopportune timing of his various AoE damage abilities.

For Assembly of Iron: The damage of Rune of Death has been reduced, the damage of Chain Lightning has been reduced, and the damage of Lightning Whirl has been reduced.  Now we haven’t gotten any attempts in on this for 25 man, but let me tell you, even on 10 man the rune of death could be a raid killer if your people weren’t quick.  It’s mainly to do with the fact that the radius is so huge so you will get hit with a tick or two if you’re in the center of it.  I can only imagine how rough it must have been for 25 mans.  A damage reduction to their other AoE abilities didn’t seem necessary in 10 man, but I’d have to get it down in 25 man to get a feel for it there.

Also they snuck this in there: The effectiveness of the Priest spell Divine Hymn has been reduced.  You coulda at least reduced the cooldown timer, you sons of bitches.

I don’t know about these changes, honestly.  The problem before was that the siege area was a bottleneck for guilds and I think that it was due to overtuning of the encounters in the beginning.  But they seem to be severely nerfing it and what a lot of people are feeling right now is that Blizzard is trying to make it accessible to a lot more players than it seemed to be for.  A lot of people, and you can call them elitists if you want to, feel that this might be going too far though.  Players have a raid that they can play around in already and if you want to come to Ulduar, well, that’s the big kid’s playground.  However, I will say that it feels as though these nerfs are taking all the sharp edges off of Ulduar, making it more forgiving.  But is that good?



12 Responses to “Nerfapalooza”

  1. 04/29/2009 at 12:39 PM

    Since they snuck some stealth nerfs to disc priests in as well, I’ll accept the nerfs to Ulduar. 😛

  2. 2 Applecake
    04/29/2009 at 1:29 PM

    While I haven’t been into Ulduar yet (and so haven’t been able to gauge the toughness of bosses and encounters) I have heard so much resounding QQ from the playerbase about things being too easy that I think they should have something truly hard (if what you and other people say is true) not only for the challenge and feeling of accomplishment that I know you understand… but also to shut the complainers up. Will people complain that Ulduar would be too hard un-nerfed? Yep.

    But I think that the lesser of the two evils would be “too hard” than “too easy” – at least hard gives you something to work at and towards. Easy you’re done with and then what? You sit on your laurels. And QQ moar.

  3. 04/29/2009 at 1:50 PM

    Hard modes will still be hard. I don’t even want to think about some of them yet. 😦

  4. 04/29/2009 at 1:52 PM

    I will confess, I am a bit disappointed that they’re nerfing things so quickly. Now clearly, Ignis v1.0 was completely borked, but there’s a big difference between fixing a buggy encounter that’s unsurvivable and nerfing an encounter so that it’s easily survivable.

    People really haven’t had that much opportunity with the new raid zone yet. What is this, day 2 of week 3? We are still tweaking our strategies for some fights, and I guess I’d rather see guilds have a bit more of a shot at trying things as they are now before the encounters are made simpler.

  5. 5 Isiene
    04/29/2009 at 2:54 PM

    A ragtag bunch of friends, and friends of friends, and I walked into normal Ulduar last night, and were a bit surprised. The majority of the group had never been in Ulduar (about 2 people had 25 man experience). We were expecting to wipe repeatedly on the couple of bosses, laugh, and then call it a night.

    We one shotted Flame Leviathan and XT, two-shotted Razorscale, and Auriaya and Kologarn took about three tries. Sure, they’re early 10 man bosses, and are probably meant to be a lot easier (I hope), but we were still all a bit taken aback at how fast we moved through Ulduar.

    We did have a great group of DPS, and great players in the sense that no one really stood in the fire — after the first time (we had a few deaths at first — I’m absolutely mortified to report that I also died once in a fire).

    In the end, we wiped about 4 times on the Assembly of Iron, and called it a night — it was almost 2 AM.

    I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, since I was wearing mostly Naxx 10/heroic epics, I’m glad that I got a lot of easy upgrades. The greedy “I want purples NOW!” side of me is extremely happy. On the other hand, I expected a lot more.. well.. wipes, and I’m a little sad at how easy it was.

    In the end, though, I think I’m happy as long as there’s a challenging (or several challenging) hard modes available to look forward to. If they nerf those, I shall cry.

  6. 04/29/2009 at 2:58 PM

    @Isiene: The thing about 10 man is that it is easier. It’s supposed to be on the level of Naxx 25, but I would say that it’s tougher than that. Fact is, I think this one comes down to the fact that it’s easier to find 10 skilled raiders than it is to find 25. If you could take your 10 man raid group and clone them 1 and a half times, I think you could breeze through 25 man. Problem is, with all this nerfing, we’ll never know if the fights were too rough or people just weren’t focusing enough.

  7. 04/29/2009 at 3:52 PM

    Usually when they find encounters too difficult for the middle portion of guilds to complete, they hold off on the nerfs for at least a few months. The fact that people who haven’t yet cleared the zone are apprehensive about these coming nerfs should be the first sign to Blizz that they’re doing it too soon!

  8. 8 Scrat!
    04/29/2009 at 4:23 PM

    People are stupid and want things easy so they can complain about them being to easy later and ask for more easy stuff.

    Fucking people and their mediocrity.

  9. 9 Lan'dorien
    04/29/2009 at 7:21 PM

    hmm I think making it an easier transition from Naxx is a good change. After all this will end up being a mid-level raid.

  10. 04/30/2009 at 6:15 AM

    We went from 4 bosses downed on our first raid night last week, to 6 bosses downed first raid night this week. What annoys me is that we can’t be sure that we did better because we’ve improved, or because the bosses are easier.

  11. 11 Light
    04/30/2009 at 8:02 AM

    I don’t like paying for content I will never be able to see. That’s what hard modes are supposed to be for.

    If I was a Blizzard designer, I’d make a boss for all the hardcore that would be impossible to beat, just to see them beat their heads against it for years. 😉

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