My Little Panda: Trolling is Magic!

So, aside from the drunken hookups, the Con Crud, the masses discovering that Anaheim sucks and Orange County is great, we also found out something else at BlizzCon 2011: LOLPANDAS! Yes, that’s right, the next playable race in World of Warcraft will be everyone’s favorite “D’aww!” inducer from the East. And before you ask, yes, I did use that picture on purpose to attract all the people who love cuddly creatures (animals besides me, of course!).

But really, the reaction of many people on Twitter was, “Blizzard has to be trolling us. Right???” Nope, Pandas are coming to an LCD screen near you, in all their furry splendor, and the only trolling that will go on is likely the pure ownage the new race will introduce in PvP.

Full disclosure: I didn’t go to BlizzCon this year, but maybe I will next year! Yes, I know it’s only an hour away. … Due to medical issues, I don’t drink, and it seems as if getting wasted comprises about 85 percent of the conference.

Anyway, the biggest downer from what we learned about the upcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion is that Pandaren will not be druids. They also won’t be death knights. So that rules out the two classes I play the most. Druids will, however, gain a new buddy in leather, in the monk. These spiritually centered folks will be able to melee dps, tank and — yes, really — melee heal. What they won’t be able to do is be worgen or goblins. I am sure my guild will be happy to have someone in the raid to take loot from me, though our rogue is coming back from Afghanistan. Our warrior tank, who happens to be half-Asian, has called this “the Grant expansion”. He’s already reserved the name Bluceree for his monk. … Sigh.

In case you didn’t catch it, here is the official preview trailer on YouTube:

Here’s a few other things we learned:

  • For now, Blizzard seems to be keeping the 10- and 25-man raid sizes, not moving to a 15-man raid.
  • We won’t be doing normal dungeons at level cap. Instead, we will be doing heroic instances and the new Challenge Mode dungeons (kind of a time trial to earn you extra bragging rights and some unique non-stat Transmogrification gear).
  • Scarlet Monastery and Scholomance will be revamped as heroic instances.
  • Wowhead reports that Blizzard might possibly handle realm-first achievements differently in this expansion, due to complaints that some fights are easier on one raid size than the other.
  • Overall, heroic dungeons will be at about Wrath difficulty.
  • You won’t be able to fly until maximum level, which may provide some more opportunities for world PvP.

Of course, one of the largest changes will be to the talent system. Over 90 levels, you will gain a new talent every 15. The trees we were all used to will be gone. Blizzard explains it this way:

Each talent set is comprised of three talents which fall into a clear “theme.” Some sets will offer utility such as movement speed increases and boosts to survivability, while others will reduce the costs of certain situational abilities. Currently, the goal is to avoid making any particular talent mandatory or to have them play a role in ability rotations directly. Instead, they’re intended to give players interesting ways to customize their characters according to their preferred playstyle.

Now, I am not sure that this will mean raiders will be free from having to choose the “best” spec, because you can only get away from math so much in this game. However, each time you gain 15 levels, you will be able to toggle one of three available talents as active. You will also be able to respec more easily, and if this turns out to be as cheap as Blizzard insists, it will make me very happy as a PvP/PvE player.

You can see Wowhead’s MoP talent calculator here. I am going to rely on bears who are smarter than me to figure out which of these talents are the best for tanking, but Bear Hug, Ursol’s Vortex and Wild Charge sound very cool. Of course, in our fifth talent tier, we are forced to choose between Bear Hug, Demo Roar and Ursol’s Vortex. I’ve always wanted to harness the power of the wind somehow, and Bear Hug may allow druids everywhere the chance to teabag all sorts of baddies into a stun. Typhoon is usable in all forms, and Displacer Beast gives druids their own blink.

Sunnier covered the other major change for druids coming in MoP: the separation of bear and cat. Bears will be known as “Guardians” and cats will continue to be known as feral. Will this mean that bears won’t lose out on abilities that would otherwise overpowered for kitties (especially in PvP)? Or will this hurt cats’ survivability? I was never the best about going kitty for tank swaps, though I probably could have done more damage on progression fights. Sunnier says:

Bearcats as we know them are dead. Bears will not be able to contribute to dps while not tanking in this expansion (apparently because “warriors can’t dps while not tanking”… and now I can complain about all the things warriors can do that bears cannot). According to the devs, we won’t even be able to use Rip or Shred, which dooms us to a life of Mangle-spam forever.

She worries, I think correctly, that the ranks of bears will dwindle by the time we’re bounding across Pandaria. I hope that Blizzard does give us more to keep bears versatile, interesting and awesome by the time we hit Launch Day.

So in closing, no, Blizzard is not trolling with this release. Pandaren monks and Guardian druids are coming. I guess we have to wait to see how many Blizzard customers troll the company back by passing on what many say is a “kids’ game” and a “dumbed down” version of the game they love. I will reserve judgment until then!

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The (Half) Hour of Twilight

What do you get when you combine one part Dragonblight, one part Thrall and one part Wyrmrest Temple? Of course! You get the Hour of Twilight, the second of the three new 5-mans coming in patch 4.3. But in this case, it only takes a half-hour, if that, to clear the instance.

Compared to End Time, the first dungeon I tested, Hour of Twilight felt much more enjoyable. Some have said it will be the Halls of Reflection of this expansion — aka the dungeon people dread running — but I had a good time. Yes, I croaked, and so did my European partymates. You will fight all sorts of trash, ride a red drake and even tangle with some minions of the Old Gods. All the while, your buddy Thrall, Mr. World-Shaman, is by your side — hanging out in a block of ice, providing AoE buff zones and, well, just being Thrall-like.

(I cut out the long run back to Archbishop Benedictus in the full run video, as Blizzard said not being able to easily teleport to the last boss after a wipe was a known issue. We sure got confused and lost. Yay for invisible walls! >.<)

But the last boss can drop a pretty sweet staff — that is, if you are a caster and haven’t had any luck in Firelands. We also saw a couple of agility leather drops.

The first boss, Arcurion, doesn’t have all that many tricks. He will periodically drop icy runes, much like Scourgelord Tyrranus did in Pit of Saron. Arcurion will also encase Thrall in ice, which you can DPS (it has about 375,000 HP). Before he dies, he will throw out a lot of frost damage, but it’s nothing spectacular.

From there you can mount up and make your way across the Dragon Wastes down to Galakrond’s Rest. Several stealthed mobs are waiting to stab you, so be ready. Not to worry, though, Thrall will provide AoE buff zones that increase your damage done, among other good things.

The trash mobs also give you an idea of what the next boss will be like. If you guessed Smoke-Bombing Rogue who maims a red drake on her way in, you are right! Asira Dawnslayer will try to cut you down — literally — and drop smoke bombs that render casting and healing useless but also damage you. I should have kited her more, to be honest, because you can see in the video people complaining that they couldn’t really do anything while the smoke was around. After the boss is dead, you can hop on a drake to head toward Wyrmrest Temple.

Anyone who ever ran Obsidian Sanctum or Ruby Sanctum — or heck, even leveled in Northrend, will recognize the broken path that leads down to the temple basement. It is here that you will fight off the deformed minions of the Old Gods. They may look freaky, but they aren’t really deadly.

Once inside the temple, you will meet up with Archbishop Benedictus. He may have been all about the Light before, but now this guy is all about kicking some shaman ass. (And really, who isn’t?) Pleasantries exchanged, the boss becomes active and gets on with killing your group, or at least trying, in this two-phase fight.

Benedictus will place a debuff on one member of the group, though none of us noticed quickly enough to ask for a dispel. The Righteous Shear / Twilight Shear — which you get depends on the phase — will damage nearby allies if left to fester. (Wowhead comments note that Thrall will dispel it the first time, but your healer will need to take care of the second and third instances on their own.) Purifying Light / Corrupting Twilight will fly out as orbs from the boss and leave damaging void zones (one targeted player in phase one, three in phase two).

Want some ridiculously telegraphed party-wiping moves? You’ve got them in the Wave of Virtue / Wave of Twilight. Fortunately, they are very easy to avoid and show up as giant waves from the back of the room. Apparently in phase one you can hide in the Water Shell that Thrall puts up, but we didn’t really need to do this. In phase two, however, you won’t have anywhere to hide. So just look out for the giant wave. You know, like you used to do when you were in this temple the first time.

And now we wait to see what the Well of Eternity brings. I’m guessing wells will be involved.


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First night on 4.3 PTR

So I finally decided to hop onto the Public Test Realm last night with a couple of guildies. After the epic process of downloading ALL THE DATAZ, I copied over my druid and waited for the others.

Boy what a busy place the PvE test realm is these days (especially around the target dummies!). Speaking of spells, I have to say, I really dislike the new effects given to Wrath. I don’t see how making it yellow, instead of green, is more “nature-like” in any way. No, Blizzard, seeing that spew out of my moonkin’s hands does not make me think of the sun. It makes me think of that thing none of our characters ever does in this game (except that one quest in Grizzly Hills).

One of our number suggested testing the Transmogrification and Void Storage options available on this realm. While I don’t quite understand the latter option beyond its 1,000-gold initial cost, I did manage to make my bear gear look like the screenshot you see above with these items:

Thunderheart Cover | Thunderheart Chestguard

Thunderheart Gauntlets | Thunderheart Leggings

Cenarion Spaulders | Farstrider Defender’s Cloak

Thunderheart Waistguard | Thunderheart Wristguards

Thunderhart Treads | Staff of the Green Circle

The other challenge, honestly, was setting up all my keybindings for my bear. I haven’t used the default Blizzard UI since … maybe 2008. Eventually, through trial and error, I got most of them working. Once we got all three of us online, we queued for the End Time heroic dungeon. (It’s the only one of the new dungeons available for testing at this time.) None of us had done this place at all, obviously, so we kind of felt bad for our two random groupmates. This was especially troubling as the tank.

As it turns out, our biggest problem was the PTR’s assault on our warlock’s computer. She crashed out and was unable to continue the dungeon with us. Another time.

Anyway, when you zone in, you must click on one of the time portals (they look like a giant, glowing disc) that acts as a transporter for the instance. Think Ulduar. You are immediately required to collect fragments of Jaina Proudmoore’s staff. There are 16 pieces in all. And of course, getting in your way will be packs of semi-annoying trash, though the mix of casters and melee posed very little threat to any of us. Overall they were quite easy to tank.

Once you have all the pieces of the staff, you can then fight the “Echo of Jaina“. It looks just like Miss Proudmoore, except she attacks you with Pyroblasts, some AoE lava damage and a “Look out! Sharp things coming your way!” spell that you can easily avoid after she blinks. Kind of a yawner, if you ask me.

One teleport later, you arrive at a different Dragonshrine to fight trash related to the Echo of Baine. Yes, it’s everyone’s favorite Thunder Bluff leader, all ready to pound his tree trunk of a weapon into your face. The dragonkin packs here can cause a few problems if you’re not ready for the ground AoE and fire damage, but it’s nothing the average player cannot handle. Baine himself doesn’t melee very hard, though his special attacks can hurt. Periodically, Baine will fly into the air and crack an area of the ground into pieces. He will also drop his weapon, which a player must then pick up and throw back at him. Tanking this fight was pretty boring as well.

Your final teleport takes you to a battle with infinite dragonflight packs. One pack is off to the side and another is channeling into a giant time device.

With those dragonkin dealt with, you will finally face off with Murozond, the Lord of the Infinite. Anyone who has ever played Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time will appreciate this encounter. Or maybe they will just facepalm. Murozond is a dragon, of course, so he will breathe on you (Flame Breath) and also increase the party’s shadow damage taken (Temporal Blast). Flame Breath is definitely worse, though it won’t one-shot you.

You will notice that you have five hourglasses on your screen. These represent a trick your party can use to actually rewind time and restart the haste and movement-speed buff Nozdormu provides (Blessing of the Bronze Dragonflight). As of this writing, you are allowed five uses. These also serve to eliminate the growing number of Distortion Bombs, which appear as yellowish void zones on the ground, and restore HP, mana and ability cooldowns. One of the party members will simply need to click on the time device in the middle of the zone to activate an hourglass. Murozond has about 13 million HP.

I kind of hope that Blizzard will tune these encounters tighter on live, but then again, we didn’t see the Tyrande or Sylvanas encounters. Hopefully we can test those tonight!

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Moonkin or bust?

There we were, managing Phase 1 and the first transition on heroic Ragnaros much better than we had before. Switching up some healing assignments seemed to help a lot as well. We even managed to have people run away fast enough from Molten Seeds. This made us happy.

There was another problem at that point, however: killing the Molten Elementals that spawn from those seeds. Our raid composition doesn’t really have a ton of burst AoE, and there’s that one spec that we knew would really help us out. Sadly, we only have one raiding druid right now, and he’s kind of busy tanking a firelord. He’s also very old, apparently, and grumpy.

What to do? Picket? Protest? Stage a bear-costume dance outside Blizzard headquarters? Nuzzle jars of honey? No, the obvious answer is make the frost DK go blood and make the feral tank go chicken. Yeah, me as a chicken. Yeesh. Here’s the ugly armory.

(Pause here to allow for pointing and laughing.)

I will be very honest with you. I have never been DPS on even normal Ragnaros. The only fights where I use my moonkin spec are heroic Rhyolith and heroic Baleroc. My DPS is somewhat acceptable, but I don’t rank on World of Logs or anything. I need to get better at managing my Eclipse energy and rotation. I am sure Eluial and Tagartou — two of the smartest chickens I know — are sick of me asking questions.

In truth, I started tanking again this expansion because I knew I would be better at it than I was at moonkin. In Wrath, I had been feral cat in most raids. It was a lot of fun. Rogues hated me. I still go quasi-kitty on heroic Staghelm (bear spec notwithstanding). I never really did any casting back then, except as a full-time tree.

Knowing how the fight works, at least on the surface, will do very little for me in practice when our DK gets enough gear to tank. I will probably screw things up. I will probably lose faith in myself. My warlock GM will probably want to plant Seed of Corruption on my rear end IRL. I have to give it a try, though, because aside from sacrificing gnomes in a bid to create more AoE burst, we are out of ideas on how to solve this problem. Mmm, gnome sacrifice!

Have any of you had to change specs in the middle of progression? Did you have someone else on your roster switch from DPS to tank, or even healer? How did you all deal with this? And if you have any chicken-like tips for this fight, I’d gladly read them!


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Heroic Ragnaros — and pain

So after wiping an entire night on heroic Beth’tilac, as you can see here, we finally killed The Red Widow on the last pull. That left only heroic Staghelm, which we had killed before, and the Firelord himself. Last night, we two-shot Staghelm, and moved on to battle what we knew would be a ruthless, vicious foe.

In preparation for this, I read whatever I could and asked people who are smarter than I am all the questions I could. Sunnier, a blogger and 10-man bear herself, wrote up an amazing guide to the fight, explaining what she learned on her way to becoming a Firelady. We all watched videos, of course, but you can’t really put two and two together for yourself until you pull the boss.

The first thing I noticed was how hard this guy hits. Combined with the Burning Wound debuff, Ragnaros’ melee damage (close to 80,000 a pop) forces everyone to pay attention and be on top of cooldowns and healing. After our warrior tank would taunt off, I’d still notice significant Burning Wound damage. On normal, it really was a non-issue. This is the first boss I’ve encountered in a long time where I had a real chance of croaking right after the pull. I am going to try reforging toward dodge and away from expertise, etc., a setup I had been using for Alysrazor. Add to this higher damage from blowing up Magma Traps, and you have one heck of a blast! [fire pun? fire pun.]

We seemed to handle Sons of Flame well enough, with a “swing group”, and two groups on each side of the room. The Sons can spawn in random order on heroic, so of course, we have to watch them closely.

Our biggest problems right now are:

  • Tank healing
  • DPS on Molten Elementals (which gain a damage buff when too close to each other)
  • Lack of a moonkin (see second point)

I know it will be a long road. Maybe we aren’t ready just yet. But the fact is, we’re here now. It’s time to learn, it’s time to grow, it’s time to tank with my fase!

P.S.: Here’s hoping we can get some good work in on Phase 2 tonight!


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So, about those nerfs …

Well, last time I had wondered whether the nerfs Blizzard announced for Firelands would amount to anything in terms of raid progression. After last night’s raid, I can absolutely say it helped, though people bringing their “A” game also propelled us forward. At times, it seemed as if the bosses had been neutered or spayed. Sure, we were glad to kill the bosses, but some of us felt a bit sad for the once-manly minions of Ragnaros.


Heroic Shannox

We had one-shot this before the nerf, but we also had a new person breaking Face Rage last night. It didn’t really matter, because everything just clicked. My fat bear ass didn’t sit on any Immolation Traps, of course, but Jagged Tear and Arcing Slash didn’t seem to threaten me at all. Our pile-driving of this boss “TO THE GROUND, BABY!” set a good tone for the night.


Heroic Rhyolith

As many of you know, this boss can be a very clean tour of the Rhyolith Plateau, or an RNG-filled nightmare. Volcano spawns can destroy your raid and make sniveling babies out of your steering committee. His Concussive Stomps used to require raid cooldowns as the fight went on, and you had to keep things tight in case something horrible happened.

Yeah, that didn’t happen last night. While normally we had to worry about Liquid Obsidian adds reaching the boss and giving him armor back, people last night even had time to destroy many of them. The Fragments and Sparks died so quickly that the destruction just turned into an “LOL AOE!” carnival. Even later into the fight, his stomps only hit us for about 30,000 damage. Obviously we had no problem pushing him into Phase 2. And he also fell over far before his stacks of Superheated became even a slight issue.


Heroic Baleroc

We had only worked on this boss for one night prior to this, so we weren’t too sure what to expect. Originally, I was going to tank him, but our raid decided to have our warrior tank instead so I could go “DPS of some sort”. I chose moonkin because our RL had said fewer melee was better. In yet another twist, we had our shadow priest and frost DK soloing the first two crystals, respectively, though Dispersion beats the crap out of Anti-Magic Shell and Icebound Fortitude.

The healers also experimented with a “no-swap” method, in which one of them would be on the tank full-time, and the other on whoever was “tanking” a shard.

Eventually, we got him down to about 9 percent, and we knew a kill was in sight. The next pull, people died, but I also ran all over the place due to Countdown and shard tank duty. He then fell over. Before the nerf, our warrior tank was getting destroyed. And my dps was pretty awful, to be honest, and probably not enough to kill Baleroc pre-nerf. Here is a link to our parse for that fight.


Heroic Alysrazor

This boss … was the bane of our existence. It really was a comedy of errors for weeks. Tank deaths. Healer deaths. Deaths to tornadoes. Deaths to Lava Spew. Deaths to Smoochy. The closest we ever got was 8 percent — with most of the raid dead. We were definitely ready to fry this bird.

Our first pull went horribly, but mostly because I wasn’t close enough to the Voracious Hatchling to keep someone else from gaining the Imprinted debuff. 😦 [Sorry, Kalmia.]

So with that out of the way, we focused and found out that the hatchlings die A LOT quicker now. Whereas before we had to race to kill them and drag them behind meteors so we could line-of-sight Firestorm, now we were able to kill the birds easily and have more than enough time to hide. Our starfoxing shadow priest was amazing as always, and we actually got Alysrazor to 38 percent after the first Burnout phase.

We repeated what we did the first down phase. And just as I was going to go interrupt the Clawshaper in preparation to tank the boss, the bird fell over. Finally. Yeah, she was nerfed, but everyone in our raid was very, very happy to see her dead. We were quite sick of her whining anyway.


We will work on Beth’tilac on Thursday, so I’ll have more for you then. Then it will be time to hit the wall that is heroic Ragnaros.


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Jumping into 4.3 (and FL nerf-a-thon)

So all the Warcraft news sites had their NDAs lifted last night, revealing what Blizzard has in store for us in the next patch. As it stands, this will be the last raid tier of the expansion, though some insist we are in for a repeat of Sunwell Plateau or Ruby Sanctum.

Tomorrow will also bring raid-wide nerfs to Firelands bosses, as Blizzard said they were not happy with guilds being stuck on certain encounters. In an interview with TankSpot’s Lore (posted on Wowhead), Ghostcrawler said, “[W]e know that we risk losing raiders. They may not unsubscribe, but they may just stop raiding any time they hit a brick wall for too long.” Nearly everyone I’ve talked to, however, is not happy about the nerfs applying to heroic modes — even if they can’t kill Alysrazor or Baleroc.  We are 3/7 HM (Shannox, Rhyolith, Staghelm) and I don’t know a single person in my guild who is all sunshine and rainbows over this change.

Patch 4.3, Deathwing’s Demise

Patch 4.3 will contain three new five-man dungeons — Endtime, Well of Eternity and Hour of Twilight — as well as the eight-boss Dragon Soul raid instance. I will be interested in what the item levels are up to in these places, and whether raiders and puggers alike will hate doing one of the three — a la Halls of Reflection. All three will supposedly tie into the story leading up to the end boss’s demise, which again is something we saw in Tier 10/ICC. Supposedly, the entrances to all these places will be in Tanaris’ Caverns of Time.

I would guess that Blizzard hasn’t really tried to solve the flip-flop they did in 10-vs.-25-man difficulty in the past two raid tiers. Tier 11 had a lot of fights that were more difficult on 10-man, while some argue the opposite is true in Tier 12 on fights like Majordomo Staghelm. Being a 10-man raider myself, I still argue that heroic Shannox and Rhyolith can be nightmares without the right raid composition.

According to Wowhead, Blizzard also said the final part of the Deathwing encounter will feature players fighting the big baddie on islands in The Maelstrom. How will this affect melee versus ranged classes? There is an overall melee buff afoot, but I wonder whether the mechanic will be similar to the discs in the Malygos fight, or something else completely. GC said staying “balanced” will be key, though some bloggers/tweeters have said the steering mechanic on Rhyolith was already a massive failure.

The Looking for Raid tool will also make its debut, featuring a lower-than-normal-mode difficulty, lower item-level loot, and exclusive achievements. Folks on Twitter have fretted already about having to get these achievements to feed their appetite for all the things. “My biggest concern with the LFR is that it will have unique achievements that achievement junkies like myself will feel compelled to do,” one person posted. The other big question for me is, will this “practice” mode really prepare people for the normal and heroic modes to come? Sure, mechanics are still mechanics — which applies even if the Firelands bosses get an HP nerf only — but you still need better tanking, better healing and more DPS to defeat more difficult encounters. Interestingly, Wowhead said, these raids will not share a lockout with the regular ones.

Some people may not care, but as a jewelcrafter, I am happy that epic gems are finally arriving in 4.3. They will supposedly only drop off raid bosses, however, and not after prospecting pyrium ore. (Sorry, uber farmers.)

Lastly, no, ferals will not get a legendary in 4.3. That honor will belong to rogues, who will get uber-awesome agility daggers.

The Nerf Bat Cometh

So will these nerfs help a guild like mine get to 4/7 HM or even 5/7? I don’t know, but usually it’s raid mechanics — read: tornadoes or burning orbs — that defeat us, not hard DPS/HPS requirements. If the bosses receive a nerf only to their HP, then sure, the fight will be shorter, but those deadly mechanics will still remain deadly if someone is not paying attention. And hey, that is totally our fault.

Pie Chart’s Ashunei posted a very well-written article on the nerfs on the Dungeons and Raids forum.

I could go on and on about all of this, but the point I’m trying to make is simple. You need to try and make the effort to do good by all of the players, but if you’re forced to choose, then choose the people who really attempt and pursue your content for all the right reasons, not all the wrong ones. You can’t go about catering to people who want loot, catering to people who aren’t willing to try harder and get better. I’m not saying that the need to play more than two nights a week, all I’m saying is that at most, all you are required to do is give people the ability to see Ragnaros, to see Deathwing. And that can be done with Normal Modes for those who can’t do harder content, or with 10 mans for those who can’t logistically find and field more players. Beyond this, by treading onto Heroic Mode ground, you take a huge risk by nerfing content for people who have little to no business trying those Heroic Modes. And if there are players on the fringe of this area, who would like to earnestly succeed at Heroic Modes, then you owe them the ability to try legitimately for as long as possible. They will never get better otherwise, nor will they ever feel satisfied if every time they try, they are handed nerfs to better handle the content.

Don’t nerf content to cater to the people who will dumb this game down. Nerf content to help prop up the people who will help to power the growth and stability of the community. Not the people who will flock to whatever gives them the best chance at having a higher ilvl.

I think he makes a great point there — that if players who truly want to succeed and grow are given nerfed content all day long, they haven’t really grown at all or achieved anything. It makes the entire concept of heroic modes a bit wonky. This also poses a problem when you’re recruiting for the next tier. If John Raider A completed something prior to a large heroic nerf, and John Raider B didn’t until after, you have to question whether the second guy gained the same knowledge of the encounter and its requirements as the first. Finding skilled players, especially healers, is hard enough these days.

What do YOU think about the nerfs? Do you think they are warranted and, more importantly, will be helpful in your guild’s progression? Tell me what you think, for I am an old bear.

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