Firelands Nerfs and Me

Recently Blizzard announced that there was going to be a nerf in the difficulty of Firelands bosses, for both regular and heroic modes. For a lot of people this came as a surprise, as the Tier 11 content wasn’t nerfed until Firelands was released, and heroic modes were kept on the same difficulty. The reaction has been mixed: some are very happy that this will let them see the content before the next raid patch comes out, and some are very upset that the content is a pushover now and their previous work is all for naught.

My thoughts are somewhat in the middle. Unfortunately, due to my real life scheduling situation and some very frustrating timing for being rotated out of a raid spot, I have yet to see an actual Firelands raid. I did a trash run during the first week as well as a few attempts on Rhyolith on another week. No kills or loot from the instance at all for me.

Because of my situation, I’m a bit excited about the nerfs. This means that when the time comes that I’m actually able to raid, there’s more of a chance that we’ll clear through the bosses and I’ll be able to get more Valour Points and good loot. Rather than taking the rare chances that I actually have to raid (so far I’ve been available for three nights of raids since Firelands released) and beating my head against a wall because of stalled progression, I will have a good chance at stuff that most of my guild has had for months.

However, I see where the regular raiders are coming from in their frustration. They’ve been working on this content for a while, learning the fights week after week and making steady progression. Perhaps there’s a guild who was on the verge of taking down a certain boss after many attempts, and all of a sudden the fight is easier by 15%. It’s a little bit of a downer, as the pride in taking things down at full strength is a great feeling.

In the end, this means that more people will be able to see more content. We don’t know any sort of estimated time of arrival for 4.3 and the new (hopefully) awesomeness that awaits there. In the meantime, people who have yet to see all of Firelands will be able to do so. More people will get better gear, meaning that when the next patch finally does arrive, they’ll be better geared for the new content.

I know that our guild has been 6/7 for normal Firelands, so I’m sure that many of my guildies are feeling the frustration. Hopefully the frustration will pass when they realize that they’re getting new goodies and will look forward to beating Deathwing to a bloody pulp.

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Situational Changes Only, Please

There are two major sides to World of Warcraft. Player versus player, or PvP, and player versus environment, or PvE. PvP is battlegrounds, arenas, world confrontation on a PvP server. PvE is dungeons, raids, world bosses that are around in Azeroth. They are two separate parts of the game, but all integrated into that same game as a whole.

However, the key is that these are separate. They are similar, yet very different to each other and have different goals, even within each area. One battleground might have you try to kill the opposing NPC leader, as in Alterac Valley, and another could have you capture the flag three times, as in Warsong Gulch. One dungeon encounter might have you kill a boss, whereas another might have you protect a NPC from waves of hostiles. Same game, different objectives and different rules.

This is the part that frustrates me at times: changes made to the game because of one of these parts that affects the game as a whole. We’ve seen it many times: abilities have been buffed or nerfed because they were overpowered in either PvP or PvE, and the inevitable forum screams because of it. There are times it’s justified, and other times that it’s not.

As a feral DPS druid, this is very near and dear to my heart for the coming patch 4.0.6, as two major abilities are being nerfed because of how they were overpowered in PvP. It has been a staple since WoW was released that a Druid shapeshifting would break all forms of root and slow effects, and the 31 point feral talent of Berserk would remove all fear effects (on a 3 minute cooldown). There can be no reason at all that these were nerfed because of PvE, since it would only help the druid survive longer. I realize that many other classes don’t have any escape ability from roots, but I just don’t see any reason for these particular nerfs to happen. Especially because they target feral druids only, and not balance or resto – both specs still are able to break roots with their shapeshifts, and it doesn’t take a key part out of their 31 point talent.

All complaining aside, this is just a good example for the point behind this all. What is so hard about making changes to PvP without it affecting PvE as well? We have seen Blizzard make changes to affect certain areas only like arenas, which are not able to use certain abilities. If it’s possible to disable abilities altogether, there should be a way to disable certain parts of it as well.

I don’t know which part of the game is used by more people, but I don’t think that it matters. Each side should be equally balanced within its own realm. As a feral druid, I am a sitting duck if I’m rooted – especially in PvP. I find it very funny that the other specs are allowed to break roots on shifts, since they can either do ranged DPS or are able to heal themselves effectively. I can cast heals on myself or attack at range for whopping hundreds of heals or damage.

In a perfect world, the game would be perfectly balanced. We wouldn’t have forums full of people complaining, blog posts with people complaining (such as this one), and so on. It’s not a perfect world, so we let Blizzard know what we think should happen. Constructive criticism is a wonderful thing.

Dear Blizzard: please don’t nerf or buff abililities across the board because it’s overpowered or underpowered in PvP or PvE. If it needs to be fixed in one of the areas, fix it in that area only and don’t hurt people who it doesn’t affect.