I admit I rolled my eyes a bit when the Oculus pot was sweetened to bring in more happy business, especially since I’ve never had a PuG group really happy to be in Oculus, extra goodie bag or no. But I pushed down my vaguely troubled thoughts regarding the matter (was a loot incentive really going to solve the issues of people being uncomfortable with vehicle combat and the “silent speedy run” groups being unwilling to explain things properly?) and moved on.
When I read this latest development, however, I couldn’t stay silent. Per Zarhym:
With that said, we plan on making some changes to The Old Kingdom in the next minor patch. For instance, Elder Nadox will only get one Ahn’Kahar Guardian and Jadoga Shadowseeker will only use her Ascend ability once during their respective encounters. In addition, a couple of the stagnant groups of bad dudes between the Befouled Terrace and The Desecrated Altar will be removed, while some of the roaming groups will have their pathing altered. These changes are not to make this instance easier, but rather to make it a slightly quicker run and more in line with some of the other Wrath dungeons.
I think you mean Anomalus. Yes, he will use his Create Rift ability less often.
So let me get this straight: People are trying to rush through heroics to get their Frost badges (or even farm Triumph badges) to get the latest and greatest gear. They get a “long” or “difficult” instance such as Old Kingdom, Nexus, or the Oculus. They drop group rather than deal with an ounce of difficulty or challenge. Blizzard rewards this nonsense by nerfing the heroics forever.
There are so many things wrong with this, it’s hard to know where to begin:
- First of all, the blue posts initially came in response to someone complaining about the random dungeon generator giving them Old Kingdom four times in a row. The complaint was more centered around how the RNG of the dungeon-picking system works than Old Kingdom itself, although the complainer did add that they were frustrated by the fact that many groups desire to do full clears. How does nerfing Old Kingdom solve the issue of the RNG giving players the same instance over and over?
- For over-geared people hunting for their Frost badge fix, most 5-man heroic bosses are tank-and-spank at this point, and even long instances can be completed in a ridiculously short amount of time. (Case in point, last night my healer slipped into her offspec and tanked Nexus – a full clear including Chaos Theory for the accompanying priest – in 20 minutes. 20 minutes!) Without a full clear, you can do Old Kingdom in an even shorter amount of time, skipping all bosses but Prince Taldaram and Herald Volazj.
- For those people who need the dungeons to gear up, dumbing them down to make it easier is not just insulting to the players, it undermines the very reasons for these bosses. Jedoga Shadowseeker took our fledgling 80s a lot of tries to down. Blowing cooldowns, our blue-and-green-geared group could potentially survive the first enrage, but then the cooldowns were spent! We ran back a lot. It required a lot of situational awareness and group effort. There was no facerolling involved, and we all had to be at the top of our game. We might be able to fudge one mess-up, but not two or more. Now, you can just roll in and beat the crap out of her. Mess up the first Ascend? No worries. There won’t be another. The Jedoga encounter currently teaches important lessons that eventually translate into raid bosses like Rotface (paying attention to where you’re standing, pre-emptive healing, knowing where and when to pour on the DPS, kiting the boss as a tank), which are now going to be dissolved in the “Everybody’s a Winner!” philosophy. Even if you don’t ever plan on raiding, these are valuable skills for all types of play. But if you do plan on raiding, they’re essential.
Zarhym claims this isn’t to make the instance easier – but that’s exactly what it does. For overgeared players, the currently-easy bosses are still easy and not much faster (thereby negating the let’s-make-it-faster argument.) For the undergeared or newly geared 80s, the whole challenge of dealing with the multiple Ascends/rifts is gone. Both of these bosses are burst DPS races – pouring in DPS at the appropriate time.
On top of which, most instances in WotLK have 3-4 bosses. Heroic Old Kingdom and Nexus have 5 bosses each. Shouldn’t they take more time? And why do we want to reward people for QQ’ing about their random dungeon selection? You chose to do a random – that means that sometimes you’ll get Violet Hold, and sometimes you’ll get Old Kingdom. Choosing to make the dungeon you get random is why you get the extra bonus of two badges. If Blizzard wants to make it so much quicker, why not just mail everyone badges every day?
My pally had an interesting suggestion on this:
Instead of focusing on offering more carrots, why not try the stick for once? Extend the debuff to an hour and set it up so that completing the last boss in a dungeon automatically clears the debuff. With an hour-long debuff if you drop group, more and more people will rethink walking away from these long dungeons. It’s even possible that people who know how to do the dungeon will help those who don’t (gasp! surely not!) in order to make the whole thing go faster. If you finish the dungeon in 20 minutes, the debuff is wiped and you can go on to the next. Undergeared players wouldn’t be abandoned so callously as much, and neither would Blizzard’s too-often-abandoned dungeons. Everyone wins!
Instead, Blizzard has decided to make permanent changes to make heroics even easier than they already are so that groups can save a few minutes. Guess what, Blizzard? Your carrots-for-all policies aren’t that effective. People still hate the Oculus, even though they now have a chance at shinies at the end. And people are still going to try to avoid longer dungeons when all they want is a fast, silent run. On top of all that, people are still going to be pissy when they get the same dungeon four times in a row! /facepalm
All these latest instance changes are doing are hurting the undergeared or at-gear-level players who were supposed to get a big boost out of the whole LFG randoms.