March 3, 2010 9 Comments
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.