I hate to beat a dead horse... wait. No, I don't. I'm a Warlock. It is perfectly in-character to beat a dead horse. And then ride it around a bit. So let's talk some more about this whole Nerf thing.
My initial reaction was: Wow, this seems fast.
There is validity to that. The progression of patches in this expansion has been faster than anything we've ever seen from Blizzard. That is intentional. I daresay they want it to "seem fast." The question here is if faster means more fun. We were adding any fun before by drawing it out? By farming and grinding?
There are groups that will drive straight through the content. They won't have to farm a lot until they hit the more difficult heroic versions of the raid instances. They are the top raiding guilds, and they down the normal modes in like a week or something obscene. They have skill.
Then there are the groups that want to be on the edge, but may lack some of the skill. They farm gear to make up for. Make no mistake, gear is simply a supplement to skill. If you have epic amounts of skill, you don't need epic amounts of gear. Otherwise, if you're human like the rest of us, you need gear to make up for your own suckiness.
There's also the whole experience angle, or learning, but I won't really get into that right now. Suffice it to say, to some extent, everyone needs to learn, and people learn at different speeds. This is yet another variable that is probably least accounted for, and I'm not going to do it justice here.
The point here it seems like Blizz might be taking aim at farming a bit. While the rest of us morons and slackers are trying to collect all the shinies to make up for our moronic slacking, they're swinging the nerf bat and making it rain patches. All of a sudden, we don't need the shinies anymore. They've just cut out some of the farming. Makes sense when you consider how much we complained about running Zx over and over and over.
Which led to my second, subsequent rationalization: Perhaps this isn't so bad.
I think it's a lot easier for me to find the silver lining here than some other folks. Mostly, this hinges on how much personal/group pride you take from clearing bosses within a certain time frame. I think there are a lot of folk out there that try really hard to stay ahead of the patches and nerfs, that want to down bosses at the same difficulty as the top guilds. And the window is shrinking on them. It is harder to do, and it's taking away some of their cake. This is completely valid as well. It's just not where I'm coming from.
We've always been on the tail end, holding on by the skin on our teeth. It's never been an issue of doing it before the nerfs, but doing it before the next expansion. You could say we rely on the nerfs, because we don't spend nearly enough time farming to make up for our lack of learning and skill. In this regard, it is guilds like us that are getting a kick through the content. Hence, it's easier to see some benefit in it. We're going to get to our end goal (seeing the content) sooner, and we don't have to jump through as many hoops. Also, there's no pride here other than in doing it. The pride for us is being able to reconcile ten busy schedules and pull off a raid per week in the game we all love. It's intrinsic to our group. We could never really survive an e-peen battle because we're just not that cool. We're okay with that.
My final opinion has rested firmly in the realm of: But what about...
In admitting the validity of the issues others take with this nerf, yet not necessarily sharing the fears, it puts me in a solid position to conjecture how this could be done better. I've seen a lot of valid arguments out there, but, in my opinion, they could be all alleviated by one, simple change. Make the nerf optional.
Over the years we've proven as a playerbase time and time again that the most abhorrent idea to us, collectively, is the notion that we have no say. In the end, we just want to be heard. We want to be given choices. We want to have it our way.
That can't always happen, but when it can, we expect it to. If we are guilty of a sense of entitlement, then it is the entitlement of choice. We crave the freedom to choose.
And why can't they do that here. The one lesson that Blizz seems to be conveniently forgetting from Wrath is the one the buff in ICC taught. Sure, they can remember about AoE tanking, and crazy-quick heroics, and welfare epics... why not the hugely successful buff? You know, the one that allowed you the choice of clicking it on or off.
Is it really that hard to program? We're not talking about fixing mechanics here, that's not what Blizz says they're doing. What's the difference between lowering the health pool of all the bosses by a flat percent, and raising DPS by a flat percent with a buff? Or between lowering the damage of attacks, or raising players' resistance? If anything, the latter choices mean you still have to, you know, actually play. Is that such a bad thing? Play the same, but be more effective. Get a little leeway for your mistakes.
I just don't why we're throwing the lesson out the window here. I thought the buff was awesome in ICC. We were able to do early, farm bosses (the first wing) without the buff to challenge ourselves sometimes. The later bosses we never really got to without the buff, but we downed them with it, thus seeing the content. It afforded us the flexibility to tailor the raid experience to our unique group. And it seemed so simple.
Why are we not doing this?
Don't make it harder on yourself, Blizz. You could save a lot of backlash, potentially retaining and pleasing more customers, if you only gave us the choice. Gamers like choices. Especially simple ones: Do I want the nerf... or not? Why force it down our throats?
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