Does Blizzard Want Us Any More? Dragon Soul Nerfs Roundup

by on January 20, 2012

And, yes, the other big news of the day: the Dragon Soul nerfs and Blizzard’s communication about them.

For those who don’t know – Blizzard have announced, unprecedentedly early, that they will be reducing Dragon Soul’s difficulty, with a stacking nerf similar to the buff in Icecrown Citadel.

Here’s our round-up of the blogosphere reactions so far!

Cautiously Enthusiastic

  • Matthew Rossi at WoW Insider feels that whilst he doesn’t want the nerf, more casual raiders will benefit from it“It took me a lot of gentle prodding to realize that my spending literally hours trying to work out a valid fury gearing strategy was in fact unusual. I enjoy that kind of thing, but not everyone does or should have to just because I do.”
  • Blame Squelchy hopes that the nerfs will allow his guild to progress in their 25-mans as well as their 10-mans“Will we kill Madness-25 with a nerf applied? Maybe. I hope so. If nothing else, it would do wonders for guild morale and cohesion. “

Not Happy

  • Kurn has passed “angry” at this point, and is just resigned but disappointed in an interesting, fact-filled post – “My trust in the developers of World of Warcraft is gone. I am obviously not the type of player they want playing their game. And that’s what’s so very shocking to me.”
  • Gina at Healbot is wondering if World of Warcraft is dead“I feel a sense of disapointment and I’m sorry for my raid team. Sorry I didn’t push us harder, faster, and get us more HC kills. I don’t want it to get easier yet. “
  • The Renaissance Man at Children of Wrath is critical of both Blizzard’s timing and implementation“By implementing blanket nerfs, the gaps remain. All you’ve done is artificially lowered the end state. You’ve done nothing to remove the gap itself, which is the problem.”
  • Type H For Heals reviews the responses so far, and finds some of Blizzard’s wording particularly revealing“The trouble is, one size doesn’t fit all. Some of us are not at our ceiling, so we’re seeing our experience altered, our rewards diminished, our playing field made less level, for the benefit of other people. As humans, that just isn’t going to sit right with us. “
  • And Fannon at Dwarven Battle Medic is trying hard to be fair, but is disappointed that the days of difficult raid encounters are gone for good“The raiders who enjoyed that type of challenge—the smart, resilient problem-solvers who think figuring out a problem is half the fun—are continually being marginalized.”

Overall, the near-universal feeling from the blog reactions so far is a sense that raiders who enjoy a challenge – the old-school, hard-core raiders – are no longer part of Blizzard’s intended audience unless they’re at world first level, and that Blizzard are now aiming at a different audience.

I’m not sure what that audience is. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in a very casual WoW guild these days – we’ve not finished Dragon Soul normal by a long shot -and yet I doubt even most of our raiders want these nerfs. Not yet. We still want a challenge. So who exactly are the silent majority Blizzard believe they’re catering to?

How do you feel about the nerfs?

If you enjoyed this article, check out our other posts from these categories: World of Warcraft

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Reliquary January 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I recall each patch and the eventual nerfs. While it does allow more raiders to experience the content it still doesn’t make up for incompetence. You see a large spike of raiders who are 7/8 normal able to go 8/8 and start heroics or maybe 3/8 heroic able to get a few more down 6/8 or 8/8. But for those guilds that are still struggling in normal say 3/8 they usually are only able to get 5/8 because even with the nerfs it comes down to understanding the fight mechanics and knowing how to maximize what they are doing. Not killing Sappers or Rolling DW and holding on is not something a nerf will fix. Not healing properly or dps taking excessive damage while only doing 10k dps will not always get fixed by a nerf. I haven’t looked it up but post nerf how much increase is there in killing the endboss in both normal and heroic 10%, 50%. That still tells me that the content still poses a challenge to a large majority and the nerfs are nice for those few individuals banging their head on the wall week after week. Timing on the other hand is another story. When is too soon and when is too late. I’m still enjoying the raid and don’t really want a nerf until we down DW. taking us awhile, mainly because we have had a slowdown since Christmas and raiders offline.


Venedas January 21, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I think people tend to forget that games are a business. Blizzard isn’t making content harder at random. They have the metrics and see how many people are actually doing the content they create. Its all a business decision.


Ahtchu January 22, 2012 at 1:27 am

I’m surprised that this is… surprising? This is nothing more than the natural continuation of their design philosophy since at or around the BC era. Just more people are beginning to realize it.
Blizzard has long been a proponent of changing a game ‘for the other guys’… you know, that group/demographic that you don’t know of, but they assert exists, followed with apologetic statements on behalf of those still finding fun despite the tinge of disappointment. Well, eventually all those changes dry up the well and even the apologetics come around. This story is no different than any other in the industry, they’ve just gotten away with it the longest due to sheer size.


Ben Sanders January 22, 2012 at 11:51 am

I think I would prefer it if they nerfed new content by making old content drop better loot.
If Firelands was now dropping the equivilent of raid finder loot, and the starting cataclysm raids dropping 378s, then there would be reason to do the older stuff, and it would allow gearing up to do the newer stuff.


Venedas January 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm

@Ben Sanders

I think thats a good idea. That would give people some incentive to go back and clear some old content. A major issue is Blizzard tends to obsolete old content once newer things are available.


Paul January 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm

This is not nerfing for accessibility. LFR is the accessibility feature.

This is nerfing to stretch out playability. This is happening because of the paucity of end game content in this expansion. In fact, I’ll argue that the otherwise incomprehensible hardcore swerve of this expansion was motivated by lack of content. They had to try to stretch it out, which meant making it harder, then having more people progress through the raid on multiple difficulty levels via nerfs.

The ultimate cause? I strongly suspect that Blizzard upper management (read: Kotick) cut back on WoW’s development budget. And I bet the devs, through Morhaime, told him it was going to be a disaster. No wonder GC and the others were pulled off the forums.


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