Icecrown Buff

After reading some posts on the recently activated ICC buff, I’ve decided to chime in myself.

For those of you who haven’t yet discovered this, stepping into ICC gives you 5% buff to health, healing and damage.  This buff will scale over time and eventually become 30%.  Also, if you want to turn it off you can talk to Wyrnn or Hellscream and they’ll be glad to let you raid without it.  It’s totally optional even if it’s active by default .

There are certainly a number of opinions on this topic, but in general most either view it positively or loathe it.  Depending on your viewpoint, Blizzard is either making raiding more accessable or ruining it.  I’ll take a look at both viewpoints, and then give my personal opinion.

I’ve read some commentary on the negative side of this opinion today.  The main points of this side of the argument is that this makes the content to easy, people will become quickly bored with it and guilds will split up as more people will be able to pug the content.  Also, I’ve read a few posts on the other side of the aisle as well.  This viewpoint makes note that the buff is optional, the buffs aren’t gamebreaking (yet) and pugs are more likely to fall apart when trouble hits.

I’ll get to my opinion on the subject in a second, but I’d like to reference my 10 man raid from last night first.  We went into ICC and took out Marrogar, Deathwhisperer, Airship, Saurfang, Festergut, Rotface, Princes and Queen.  They were all one-shots.  We’ve killed all these bosses before, but never in 2 hours and certainly not all via one-shots.  Part of the success was certainly from the buff, but we’ve also shuffled a few people around and that likely had more to do with it.  As an aside, we had no lag issues yesterday.  We were getting horrible lag  on Tuesdays, to the point that one of the top guilds on the server transferred all their mains off.   Apparently, they either they left too soon or they were the main cause.

My view of the buff is  a positive one.  For starters I don’t think that it will fracture my guild.  We raid together because we enjoy raiding together and we’re pretty good at it.  I’m sure that this will indeed make pugs a bit easier, and that’s great for all of our alts that want a shot at the content, but our mains are quite happy with our raid groups as they are.  If you feel that your guild might break up over the buff, the real issue might be with the guild, not the game.

As far as “dumbing down” the raids, I doubt that the buff is going to really be game breaking.  Buffs can’t fix coordination and in the raids I’ve been in, coordination is much more likely to wipe a group than how much damage we can deal, how much health we have and how well the healers heal.  If you don’t have anyone that can tank the Rotface slimes, you will not down him.  If people don’t understand how to set up a bite order and where to run when linked, Queen will kill you.  In the Mimiron fight back in Ulduar, if you stand in the target where a rocket will land, you will die, regardless of your heath pool.  Gear and buffs can’t negate certain fight mechanics.  So,even if the fights go faster, raid groups will still wipe until coordination is fixed.

A common complaint for the majority of this expansion has been that the content is too easy.  Yes, more people will be able to see the Lich King fight with these buffs, but everyone?  I doubt that.  Even if a majority of the players in-game manage to get that far, only some of them will be able to down him.  I have no issue with the content being available to all.  In fact, only a handful of players will be able to finish all of the hard mode content.  It’s easy to complain about the game’s difficulty, but if you haven’t cleared the hardest version, do you really have any reason to claim that it’s too easy?  A very small percentage of the player base could be justified in making that claim, and I personally look forward to getting as much hard mode content down as I can.  The game certainly still will posses challenge with or without the buff.

I really can see both sides of this argument, even if I don’t agree with you.  If you don’t like the buff, simply turn it off.  You’re not required to use it, and I certainly won’t think less of you.  If you need to do the fight without the buff for the extra sense of accomplishment, go for it.  We’ve personally been discussing if we want to turn it off on the few progression bosses we have left, and use it on our farm bosses to maximize progression.  You might want to consider using it that way. 

Happy raiding,

– Sam

9 Responses to Icecrown Buff

  1. wordtipping says:

    I think it is a good idea that is poorly implemented. Right now there is no point to not have the buff. I would be a lot happier with the buff if it was tied to achievements; i.e. you won’t receive achievements if you use the buff. I think it weakens the point of achievements.

    I understand your point about execution and your correct, but at the same time, 30% extra damage/health/healing really gives you a lot of room for sloppy play.

    But, once you have your achievements, the buff is nice because it speeds up what will eventually become a loot farm. Once I have done a fight two or three times, I am confident that I “know” the fight. After that it quickly begins to lose its luster and turns into a loot hunt.

  2. samueltempus says:

    Great points WT,

    I would have no issue if they tied acheivements to not using the buff. Of course, I could continue that thought process and say that anyone using over ilvl 251 gear shouldn’t be able to get 10 man achieves. I guess what I’m getting at is where do you draw the line and say only people following these criteria can get acheives. Buff or no buff, if the boss is dead, you’ve achieved something.

    Honestly though, at it’s current state of 5%, I doubt that massive quantities of players are going to really change the learning curve on most new bosses. Also, I get acheivements for me, and could care less what other people think about what I have and haven’t done. I won’t feel a diminished sense of accomplishment for killing the Lich King because someone else got it with a 30% buff (which as I mentioned in the post, I don’t think will happen much).

    Also, I specifically told my raid group that if they let the buff make them sloppy, I’ll turn it off. I think Naxx proved to us that having room for error makes raiders sloppy. However, with a mechanism for turning that room off, I feel that it won’t be as big of an issue.

    – Sam

  3. Uncleleo says:

    You’re right on about the coordination part. Because as we all know buff or no buff a dead DPS does no DPS.

    I’m going in tonight for the first time with the buff. The guild was discussing a little on vent last night and mainly they were mad that we had progressed through the content without the buff, and didn’t think it was fair that everyone was getting it. I like to think that it will make those first few bosses that were all ready one shots go all the quicker, so we can continue to progress and get to the bosses we are having trouble with quicker.

  4. samueltempus says:

    One thing I think that I failed to point out is that with achievements, you can keep track of when you downed wings, and some bosses. You can clearly show that you had the skill to down something before the nerf with that. In no way does someone else downing a boss take away from what you did.

    It’s really not a question of fairness, and Blizzard did let us know that this was in the works long before ICC even was released, so we all knew it was going to happen. It’s been about 3 months since the instance was released, while it’s been cleared by quite a few guilds at this point, there are a good number of guilds that have downed half or less of the bosses.

    – Sam

  5. syldanna says:

    I don’t know. I am torn on this. I liked the times when I was a badass for having all ToGC 10 gear and I was proud of it. i worked hard for my emblems and had a high GS cause I worked my ass off. Now I can level my alt to a higher level running heroics for 4 days and never setting foot in a raid, joining a guild or doing anything other than run with 4 random players I don’t know. Now that my rogue is mostly i264 geared or better, this buff will be like the new heroics. Run heroics for 4 days and then run ICC 25 to get bette gear. Even my druid alt who is lucky enough to get a regular ICC 25 PUG has worked his ass off for his gear.

    One the one hand, it levels the playing field for the casual player, but personally I don’t want to raid with the casual player even in an alt pug. I want good players, well geared, who know the fights and can clear wings fast. I just foresee more immaturity in the pugs after the kids get off the bus……

  6. laranthalas/ josh says:

    I can say one thing the buff will allow more people to the see the content and if you hate me for being casual so be it. Doesn’t make me less of a player or a player that doesn’t know what i’m doing. Just means that the guild that i have that only get 4 hours a week to raid might actually have a chance to get to see the lich king. Wether we down him or not remains to be seen but that will tell with time on the fight. The buff may help but it won’t be why we down him because as everyone here knows fights take team work not one overpowered player or ever 5 overpower players you still gonna need the whole team to win in the end.

    PS i love casual playing and i’m sorry if it burns some the wrong way that i don’t have the time to be a hardcore player but still want to the see the content.. I have a life and a kid but fighting the lich king i would have a blast doing the buff will help the folks that are good casual players get there.

  7. Aylie says:

    Just two points:

    1) 5% for damage only is like second HfB which is.. a lot. I remember how hard totgc10 was for us at the start, and how relatively easy it became with full 245 gear. Gear/buff does make things a lot easier, and when it’s 10% it’s like adding 1.5 of your top DPSer to 25 man raid. Now we had night with less than 25 signups, and getting even mediocre (5%) dps to fill the spot changed a lot on harder fights.

    2) It is not optional. Both on personal and guild level. I find it impossible to convince 24 other members to raiding without it. Some of them get frustraded by wiping, some of them want loot faster, to “progress” faster etc. On guild level, if your guild tries to compete with other guilds (on realm) – you just can’t not use it as all the other guilds will use it to gain edge.

    I have no problem with using the buff on farm bosses. But I haven’t killed LK yet and I find the buff came a bit too soon. I wanted to kill him like everybody else did. It takes this satisfaction away from me. I just hope it doesn’t stack to 30% too soon (i.e. right before cataclysm).

  8. Maylie says:

    I’m nt sure if this is just a coincidence or if it has to do with the buff but our guild have had Festergut at about 1% when he hit enrage timer for some weeks now and because of that fact we decided to go 25-man without the buff, just to get the complete satisfaction when we finally down him. We turned the buff of for the entire raid and here is the interesting part: During the first wing we had 4 BOE drops. I have never seen that many in one single raid lockout. Did we get increased drop rate because we decided to go without the buff? I don’t know, but the majority of our raid group were certain that it was the case.

    And no, we didn’t manage to get Fester down this time either, he keeps enraging at 1-5% and wiping our raid. Ye, the buff would probably get us to down him but we will keep fighting without it until he bites the dust (and maybe enjoy even more BOE loot from trash).

  9. samueltempus says:

    I’m positive the BoE loot was a coincidence, but good for you guys to push through without the buff. That’s some serious dedication, and it speaks volumes about your guild’s mindset. And I’d like to point out (before I get blasted) that there’s nothing wrong with using the buff too. I’m just impressed that your team decided to go it the hard way. Congratulate your raid team for me.

    – Sam

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