Quit Telling Raiders to “Turn Off” the Dragon Soul Buff

Just to be clear, I don’t mind the Dragon Soul nerf at all. I have actually spent a good deal of my email and forums time arguing for the nerf, if you can believe that. I think it’s a pretty decent idea. Content always gets nerfed. Telegraphed, slow nerfs are the way to go, and will make the largest number of gamers happy in WOW, and I’m satisfied with that.

But this post isn’t about the Dragon Soul nerf. This post is about the switch that makes it optional.

Spoiler alert: It’s not really optional.

It really irks me to take a side in a fun debate and then find the people on my side using excessively stupid arguments. Honestly, it’s so annoying. It makes me hesitate to agree. That’s exactly how I feel about the Dragon Soul nerf debate every time I see someone say to an unhappy raider, “Well, why don’t you turn it off, then, if you care so much?” I feel like my argument in favor of it just got stupider.

Please stop saying this. It’s completely wrong, and here’s why.

Obstacles and Overcoming Difficulty

I guess on the face of it, I can understand the logic from the perspective of a non-raider. We are always clamoring for difficult content. We want the game to put fabulous wipe worthy obstacles in our way. We hate easy one shot bosses. Anyone unhappy with the DS buff is unhappy because their content just got easier. The obvious counterargument: “If hardcore guilds want to do the most challenging content, then shutting off the buff creates the most challenging content. Done and done.”

That oversimplifies raiding, though, and what makes raiding fun.

Let’s break it down. The game puts obstacles in our way and dangles a reward in our faces. We, and our buddies on Grid, battle the game to get to the reward. We have to jump through hoops, chase the stick, bend over backwards, and avoid the fire. Then we get the carrot: the reward. How do we fight against game mechanics? We use the best gear you have. We love gear! Oh, man, do raiders love gear. Let me tell you, gear is just our favoritest thing ever. But not just gear– most of us use food and flasks. Many of us enjoy the benefits of one and likely two raiding professions. We drain our gold on epic gems; we enchant our items with enchants that are chosen not just for aesthetic reasons but also for stats.

The entire purpose behind all of this preparation isn’t to artificially make the encounter harder– it’s to make the encounter easier.

Strategies are about this, too– making the fight as easy as possible. Sometimes we want the least possible people to be threatened with death. Sometimes (oh, raiders, we know this is true) we want certain reliable people to do harder jobs and certain fire-loving people to perhaps not be threatened with death quite as often.  Sometimes you want cleave to hit more than one target so your damage gets used. Sometimes you want casters to be able to stand still; sometimes you want to stack for heals. Etc. The list goes on.

All of these concerns are present in every raid from the most casual to the most hardcore. Basically, we work our butts off to make the fight easier. Raiders call this “efficiency” and this is precisely how we go about killing a boss. We try to make it easier. We love to be faced with a hard encounter, but our job is to transform that encounter into something we can kill with every tool at our disposal.

It’s not fun to make the fight pointlessly harder. That is not fun difficulty. No one enjoys that.

Other really stupid things we could do to make a fight randomly difficult (that we don’t enjoy doing):

– Use a stupid strategy
– Sit 10 raiders, invite 10 pugs
– 3 heal fights that really need 7. 7 heal fights that only need 3.
– Wear green questing gear
– Purposefully 22 man content
– Tell everyone in the raid to switch to nonraiding professions
– Mandate “no flasks and no food”
– Reset the trash and do it over and over
– Kill the Proto Behemoth
– Raid with a curling iron plugged into our genitals.

No. We don’t do these things. These aren’t “fun hard.” They are pointless.

Turning off the buff is not fun hard.

Some of these examples were selected for a reason– in specific cases Blizzard has rewarded several of these tasks. And guess what? People were interested in doing them. Achievement and meta drakes require very weird strats. No one would do those fights in those ways without the achievement there, but it’s there, so we do. There’s an achievement in Ulduar and in TOGC for completing tasks in specific ilvls of gear. There were 22-man achievements in Naxx– same deal. There are even achievements for things like dealing with X number of pugs. And you know what? Some people really do farm trash for gear. So sometimes we do jump through those silly hoops– when we get a reward in return! (One day there will be an achievement for that, Esoth. One day.)

Farming is another example. Say I went and killed 1000 of a certain mob. I would be willing to bet no one sits around killing mobs because they want to kill 1000 mobs. But if they get reputation, or achievements, or a non combat pet, or just gold or a drop they want– then believe me, there will be people farming!

Rewards. A task with a reward is meaningful. A task without a reward is meaningless.

Recruitment and Competition

It’s not just about the reward, either. You shoot your raid in the foot by selecting to turn off the buff. Without a manner to differentiate between Buffed and Unbuffed raiding, your raid puts itself at an artificial disadvantage to the competition. And some of us do enjoy competing, on whatever scale we prefer – world, US, server, even among friends. Competition is a lot more fun when we’re all measuring with the same yardstick.

Theck said it best to me in his own special way, and I liked his words so much I didn’t want to paraphrase:

Encounter difficulty is only one parameter in a multi-faceted optimization problem.  You could turn off the buff to have the “hard” version of the encounter, but you’re doing so at a significant cost – slower progression, fewer recruitment options, and more attrition from raiders who don’t care about the difficulty level. That last one is important – not all hardcore raiders are part of a hive-mind.  Maybe some of your raid wants to do the super-hard version, but a significant portion may just want a one-night clear. So turning off the buff is an option, but one that only makes sense after you’ve cleared all the content and are screwing around, and even then only if every single member of your raid group is interested in doing it.

How many guilds other than Paragon went back to kill Heroic Lich King 25 with the buff turned off?  I’d be willing to bet that it wasn’t many, probably less than 10.  That alone should be enough to demonstrate that it’s not a reasonable option for the majority of guilds.

Thanks for letting me quote you without your permission, Theck. <3

There’s no point to turning off the buff; it’s nowhere near a feasible option for an actual raiding guild unless you’re Paragon shooting for a gimmick post on MMO champ’s front page. (The reward.) They’re the only ones who could have expected any kind of reward from it, so they’re the only ones who wanted to go for it.

Of course, I keep using the word reward. Hmm.

I firmly believe a lot of this would suddenly fail to hold water if there was some kind of reward attached to doing without the buff – something meaningless, like a title or a mount or even a feat of strength so as not to mess with achievement counts.

Another metric for comparison and for competition. Another yardstick! Something that we’d gain – anything, honestly – by taking the buff off. Gamers love achievements, gamers love jumping through silly hoops for goals. Look at how many people do things like “The Insane” just to do them. If Blizz attached any kind of a reward at all to doing the raids without the buff, I bet this whole argument would change.

That’s not what we have right now, though. What we have right now is a meaningless toggle.

Conclusion: Quit saying “Just turn off the buff”, because you just look dumb.

There are so very many excellent reasons why the buff is a good idea. I could write a whole follow up boring essay about what a good thing the buff will be for the entire game.

But “LOL You can just turn it off!” is just about the worst reason you can come up with. The switch isn’t there for any serious reason since the game doesn’t pay it any attention at all. It’s a psychological crutch. There is absolutely no reason to use it, and trying to do so would just be counter productive to your raiding environments. It’s pointless. Calling it an argument gives it more credence than it deserves- it’s more of a troll. And oh man, it hurts when the blues troll me, it really does.

Please… you have so many better arguments to make in favor of the nerf. Make one of them instead and leave the bad arguments at home.

This entry was posted in From Ana's Inbox, Humor, QQ, Raiding, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Quit Telling Raiders to “Turn Off” the Dragon Soul Buff

  1. Kerriodos says:

    “There are so very many excellent reasons why the buff is a good idea. I could write a whole follow up boring essay about what a good thing the buff will be for the entire game.”

    Oh, believe me, she has. Please don’t encourage her. ;)

  2. 2ndnin says:

    You don’t look dumb though – the argument you put forward is that turning off the buff is something very few people want to do because they just want the reward at the end of it not the challenge of the achievement. In this case it appears that the whining about the buff is misplaced – they don’t want hard content they want content that isn’t accessible to other people. Now LFR is fun, normal is pretty good, and the full fight as envisioned is in heroic so why not let the people who do care about being accessible get to see it eventually and let those who are just faux-complaining go and do their own thing. The guilds you mention aren’t recruiting difficulty raiders they are recruiting reward raiders, I know I’ve turned off those kind of buffs and I’d love to have a ‘gear level set’ switch that I could push to make old instances fun and difficult again.

    • Pliers says:

      “In this case it appears that the whining about the buff is misplaced – they don’t want hard content they want content that isn’t accessible to other people.”

      They want hard content, but they’re not willing to cut off a toe just because the race is set on a downhill path.

      • 2ndnin says:

        Not really, we have a game that takes a lot of money to produce and maintain – largely provided by non-elite raiders. For anyone that is interested in hard achievements there are hard achievements and there is the time pre-buff, anyone interested in a ‘non-degraded’ experience can easily turn off the buff. Don’t think of it as cutting off a toe so much as allowing non-elite cyclists a chance to ride the route of the tour-de-france with some assistance from a pacer with water and food rather than pushing long legs each time.

        Anyone that actually wants to compete in the original has had their chance, and still has the chance, it might be worthwhile arguing that achievements should list the buff% you used when you got it but beyond that arguing that ‘just turn it off’ is bad ignores the fact that apparently 99% of people don’t want to turn off the bonus if they can get it. I’m sure I’m not the only person that can see a difference between gearing and buffing.

        • Pliers says:

          There’s minimal warning before the buff goes active. Very few people have enough time to complete the content first (2500, out of a 10,000,000 person WoW population, or a 700,000++ raider population if you prefer).

          Relative to every other guild, you are shooting yourself in the foot. Not only are you setting yourself back, but in the eyes of everyone else, you’re out of your goddamn mind.

          You have the ability to turn off the buff, but not the opportunity to. The past evidence supports that fact. The quote from Theck in the post is key: a raid is not made up of 25 identically motivated people. You’re dead wrong that “anyone interested in a ‘non-degraded’ experience can easily turn off the buff.” They’re likely the only one, or at least part of a small minority, in a guild that simply cannot function if it caters to special interests.

        • Kerriodos says:

          Slightly pedantic, but:

          “For anyone that is interested in hard achievements there are hard achievements…”

          No there’s not. That’s the point Ana is making, here. The ‘hard’ achievements are all made easier by the nerfs. This is why we ask for something like a title–not even something useful–just to say “this guy is a badass and did it un-nerfed.”

          You’re kind of missing the point of the argument here. People at all levels raid for reward. For some, it’s gear. For others, rankings. For a (very) select few, it’s literally JUST the challenge. The problem is, if you shoot yourselves in the foot to get that challenge (assuming you’re not a top guild beating the nerfs handily, in which case it’s irrelevant to you anyways), then it’s next to impossible to continue to recruit the people playing to that level, because you’re going to be finishing lower on the rankings.

          Trawl through one of these threads on the WoW forums. Check achievements. Most of the people in love with this “challenge” part of hardmodes exclusively are the ones who aren’t actually experiencing it. The rest of us enjoy the challenge, but aren’t likely to hamstring ourselves to get it. Because we compete with people, and they sure as hell aren’t.

          All that is needed to fix the entire argument is some rare titles, like The Argent Defender. I did Dedicated Insanity when it was still available, and there were a lot of people interested. Easy solution, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all.

        • Esoth says:

          Did you actually bother to read this article? Honestly, everything you are saying is refuted in this post. The post is a response to comments like yours.

          Apparently neutrinos cannot travel faster than light, as was thought to be a possibility at CERN in November, but causality definitely appears to be violated here.

          • 2ndnin says:

            The post though hasn’t really refuted anything to do with the argument about telling people that if they want to experience the normal fight they can just turn it off. The arguments presented were:

            1) Raiders want ‘hard’ hard content
            2) It’s hard to be competitive against guilds that use the buff
            3) It’s hard to recruit if you aren’t using the buff
            4) Lack of identification

            Raiders had the option of ‘hard’ hard content, if you haven’t cleared it by now and you have been playing with the intention of doing so you haven’t really been trying, pugs on my server downed 8/8 without the buff. Every week you gain ‘unwarranted gear’ that makes it easier, I know it is easier in your mind to draw a distinction between ‘earned’ and ‘free’ gear but in overall progression it makes no difference to the end result. Blizzard still offers you hard content but you choose not to take it.

            Hard to be competitive / hard to recruit raiders that want to do it without – so if it’s impossible to find 9 / 24 other people willing to raid your way is it really worth the effort to bother for Blizzard? It is generally easy enough to find a guild that raids the way you want to, I know players that wouldn’t use a buff like that no matter what and others that will take every advantage they can get to kill bosses because they are different types of player. Flagging achievements with the buff status would be nice but again more work for Blizzard for what seems like a tiny minority of players.

            Lack of identification, I’d happily give you an achieve for doing it but I can’t really see the difference between a 5% damage buff and a 5% increase in gear levels. Giving you the same achievement for not using the buff when you finish 8/8 with an average ilvl of 395 versus the guys doing it in 380 doesn’t really seem fair either. I know you see the difference because you earned that gear but at the end of the day you got a buff to achieve the kills. Now if there was a ‘trials mode’ where you got fixed gear and achieves for meeting the kill under those conditions then fair enough but a buff is a buff.

            I can understand the perspective of people who feel just being told to turn it off is the wrong way to approach this, however they are in a minority and even from this post there are few raiders that actually care enough about it to do something. It would be nice if Blizzard introduced ‘trials’ to make old content fun and set the gold standard for achieves however at the moment they don’t have that so asking people to respect allowing people to make content accessible seems like a reasonable thing to do.

          • 2ndnin says:

            Clarification before people jump on me, 8/8 normal. I’m sure I’ve seen maybe one 8/8 hc pug but it wasn’t really a pug if you know what I mean.

          • Kerriodos says:

            I don’t understand why people are so opposed to a simple title/achievement reward. Make it a Feat of Strength, even, to not skew achievement numbers. That’s a reward that stays within pre-existing systems, and is therefore easy to implement. It doesn’t require any modelling for a mount or new gear, not even recolours. It sates people’s desire for a reward for turning off the buff, thus making the “then turn off the buff” argument valid. It also keeps the nerfs in place, which means people don’t get stonewalled by the instance.

            Who loses? Blizzard has to implement a few lines of code, sure, but it’s not like we’re asking for a brand new reward system. It can’t be that hard. Probably take less time than policing forum arguments over it.

    • Matt says:

      “In this case it appears that the whining about the buff is misplaced – they don’t want hard content they want content that isn’t accessible to other people.”

      Pretty much nailed it. The complaining about easy content is in large part a smokescreen for status competition. They don’t want hard content, where hard is defined in some absolute sense. They mostly want it just hard enough so that no one worse than them can complete it.

      I have to say though–skip the special titles. I just recently returned to WoW from pre-Cataclysm and the array of titles is bewildering. I have no idea what 80% of them mean.

      • Kerriodos says:

        No. There’s really no other response to this comment except: no.

        We don’t care how many people kill stuff after us. Hell, Ana says IN THE ARTICLE YOU’RE RESPONDING TO (but apparently didn’t read) that she was for the nerf. I felt the same way. In no way does that correspond to wanting content that isn’t accessible to others, and if you think it does… You may want to go back to school and learn some basic reading comprehension.

        This article is about people like you, who say “well turn off the buff, then!” and why that is a false choice. It’s outlining the reasons why it’s not as simple as people who have clearly never been involved in raiding at that level assume. Maybe you should read it.

        • Esoth says:

          Hey, requiring people to actually read the article to which they are responding is such an elitist attitude. If I enjoy responding with straw men arguments, what right do you have to stop me?

        • Matt says:

          Relax, fella. The quoted portion was talking about people who complain about the buff–in other words, excluding the blog author. I thought that was clear enough that my reference to “people who complain about easy content” would be taken to mean these people–in other words, excluding the blog author. It goes without saying that someone who supports the buff is likely not playing the status-game–which is why I was talking about people who complain about the buff. Now, not everyone who claims to be for “difficult content” in the abstract is playing the status game, hence the use of phrases like “in large part” and “mostly”, but let’s be honest–a whole heck of a lot of them are. And for someone who harps on reading comprehension, you attribute a phrase to me, in quotes, that I never actually say. In fact, I never say anything remotely close to it. I quite agree that clicking off a zone buff feels unnatural, even for myself who is far from a min-maxer.

          • Kerriodos says:

            That’s all well and good, except you were quoting a post that doesn’t say that at all. Implicitly, you were approving of what they said by doing so.

            I think you vastly overestimate how many actual content clearing players are against the nerfs. Go take a look through a thread on the forums about this and check achievements–invariably, most of the people making a case for the “sacred” challenge are not the ones actually being challenged. You’ll get a few people who were close to a kill upset and saying stuff, but that’s more a direct result of circumstance than their actual attitude to nerfs.

          • Matt says:

            Nah, I agree that it’s safe to say most people don’t care about nerfs. For myself, who will only see Dragon Soul via the Raid Finder, I say bring them on. I do understand the dismay at being close to a kill and then feeling like you weren’t good enough because you couldn’t get it before the nerf. Heck, I even understand the complaints of the statusmongers. They’re absolutely right that the fewer people that complete some thing or another, the more meaningful that completion becomes. The progressive nerf is a decent way to balance all the competing concerns.

          • In all honesty, if you’re only going to do the content on lfr difficulty, then why are you even talking about it? You’ll never actually utilize the content that the nerf is being applied to. It’s like a celibate monk ranting against marriage equality. I think you’re extremely underestimating the amount of people who are upset with this style of implementation. It’s not about status, it’s about choice, the lack thereof, and the fact that it’s insulting to have Blizzard talking out of both sides of their mouth on this issue.

          • Matt says:

            For the most bizarre reason possible: I can understand how other people feel and would like their concerns addressed. You’re right though, there’s nothing in it for me. I do remember the ICC buff, so I’m not completely in the dark on how this thing works. But, am I underestimating how many people are against the nerf or overestimating it?

      • anafielle says:

        Yeah, no. I have no idea where you got “We want to brag!!!!” out of my post, but I suspect you didn’t read it. I spent a long time trying to carefully write about why turning off the buff is not a “fun option” for raiders and the response is “You just want to brag?” Really?

        I get the feeling that a lot of the “turn off the buff” comments are just trolling raiders, and I suspect this comment is the same– a knee jerk troll reaction.

        It’s not about bragging to other people. Gaming is about doing something and getting a reward for it. I would be perfectly happy with a reward no one else could even see. The point is that the task isn’t fun if you don’t get anything for it.

        But I suspect that you are so very against anyone getting a reward for anything that you will not like to hear this answer, so it’s falling on deaf ears.

        The turning off the buff option is basically like 22 manning content “just because.” No one does that. /shrug… it doesn’t make us hypocrites, it makes us normal gamers who know what we enjoy and what we don’t.

        • 2ndnin says:

          Really if it’s not a fun choice why are you wanting to turn it off? You want a reward beyond knowing that you have done it – that means something you can show to others which means at heart this argument isn’t about ‘hard’ hard or you would be arguing for trial modes and its not about recruitment because finding 9 similarly minded people isn’t difficult. That doesn’t leave a lot in the end to look at – why do you want ‘hard’ hard when you are gearing beyond the minimum needed?

          Also people do that, before I took a break I was in guilds on various characters that 22 manned stuff, that took stupid raid configurations because we could. My Warrior co-tanked the trash in Hyjal, I did the bosses as a Paladin, I solo tanked Illidan and demon guy in SSC because we didn’t have a shadow and flame tank. Doing stupid hard stuff is fun.

          • 2ndnin says:

            Sorry co-tank soloed the Hyjal trash while I did bosses, him co-tanking would be no fun.

          • Kerriodos says:

            Sorry, but I disagree that it’s just about showing other people you’ve done it. We suggest titles and achievements because they’re part of the already in-place reward system, and therefore not all that difficult to implement, not to stroke our e-peen in front of an audience.

            People want rewards, even private rewards, because they serve as motivation beyond simple pride. Yes, bragging rights are, for some people, the primary goal. For others they just want to do something hard. But this isn’t a single player game, and when you’re motivating an entire group of people, with varying dedication levels to whatever crazy thing it is you’ve decided to do, having something concrete to work towards is a much better tool than, “but wouldn’t it be so cool?”

            It’s not a fun choice because the negatives of doing the thing outweigh the positives. Telling people to find a guild that is like-minded also is not necessarily a good solution: you’re basically saying ‘I disagree with you, so you should just leave all your friends behind and very probably transfer to a completely different server.’ Or we could just get something cosmetic and easy to implement, like a title or an achievement, and not have any of those problems. Because as silly as it is, an actual reward that doesn’t really do anything is much more appealing than bragging rights.

          • 2ndnin says:

            I’m not saying you shouldn’t get an achieve for downing the bosses in less than a certain ilvl gear to encourage people to raid without the buff but it should also be gear limited then since they are the same bonus essentially. If you agree to that then sure achieves would be great, slayer titles all round.

            I just want this open and honest, this isn’t an argument that the buff should be optional or not award achieves since it’s about accessibility but rather about the ability to prove you didn’t need the buff to meet the achieve. That’s an ok motivation but it is a motivation you can’t ignore the reward aspect – the content itself is not the reward.

  3. Pliers says:

    “- Raid with a curling iron plugged into our genitals.”

    Mel always told me this one was mandatory.

    The Recruitment and Competition section of your post is the biggest issue I have with the argument about turning off the buff. While in theory, a guild that struggles through a fight without the buff deserves recognition and more/better quality recruits, it doesn’t work that way. You will slow yourself down, and people will apply somewhere else. People in your guild who don’t pride themselves on the “purity” of buff-less raiding will be pissed. Recruits who want to get through the content, instead of spending ages on one fight (this is virtually everyone), might apply to another guild instead of yours even if progression is equal, because your mentalities don’t match up.

    Don’t get me wrong: I think that being able to turn off the buff should always be mandatory, and its absence from Firelands was unacceptable. But I completely agree that just because the option exists doesn’t mean it’s actually an option for the vast majority of raiders. For 99% of raiders, the risk of doing so will dwarf the reward.

    As far as the buff itself goes, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I think it’s early – we don’t even have an F&F alpha for MoP yet. Unless they change their minds about not having any more content before Cata ends, Dragon Soul needs to last, and I don’t see a need to make it easier on people yet. I’m somewhat biased, as it seems these nerfs always start when my guild or my friends guilds are nearing the end of the tier, but when you’ve got 60 25m guilds and 75 10m guilds *in the world* who have finished DS before it starts being nerfed across the board, it seems a bit premature, though I’m on a WoW hiatus at the moment, so I’m not in the thick of things to give a firsthand opinion.

  4. Theck says:

    “- Raid with a curling iron plugged into our genitals.
    No. We don’t do these things. These aren’t “fun hard.””

    I think that whether applying a curling iron to your genitals results in “fun hard” will depend on who you’re asking.

  5. The first week of the buff, my raid turned it off… why? Because we were so close to our heroic kill the week prior that we wanted the satisfaction of doing it without the buff. We knocked out the kill that week and even though it isn’t tracked that the kill was made without the nerf, we know that fact, and therefore the personal satisfaction is there. While the timestamp shows the kill post-nerf, we know we went 5/8 Heroic without it.

    Personal satisfaction… isn’t that the real reason we play the game?

    • Kerriodos says:

      Your raid is more unique than you realize. You are the outlier. My guild in ICC was not nearly as good as my current guild, but when we suggested the same thing, there was nearly mutiny.

      A lot of guilds were near a Heroic Spine kill when the nerfs hit, but I’d be willing to bet that very, very few turned off the 5% nerf (the 15%… well, nothing you can do about that one!). More than likely they were sick of the fight and just grateful to kill it, and while it sucks to have it snatched from your hands, there was really nothing to gain by not using it. Personal satisfaction only goes so far when your job is to keep 24-30ish people happy, and your guild well represented.

    • anafielle says:

      Wow. I have a lot of respect for you :) I think you are the outlier like Kerri said below, but that is pretty cool. I think that is an awesome personal challenge. I don’t think it disproves my argument, because I think you guys are one of the only groups that would do that, but I am quite impressed :D

  6. Nandi says:

    It seems like you’re not the only one who’s irritated by this. The Children of Wrath posted a pretty much identical rant last night.

    http://childrenofwrath.blogspot.com/2012/02/quoth-crab-choice-doesnt-matter.html

    • anafielle says:

      Lol, great minds think alike! I actually wrote this yesterday while I was watching the twitter debates go on– I suppose we were both equally insulted by the Blue implication that turning off the buff was actually a decent option.

  7. Jason says:

    First off, I have been a hardcore raider. I have wiped more on single bosses in Vanila content than guilds now have wiped on entire raid instances. That said, I have massive issues with arguement against turning it off, because you, quite frankly are not only dead wrong, but are a hypocrit as well. Blizzard has data that you don’t, that MMO Champion doesn’t. Blizzard said they’re not blind nerfing, so that’s the answer; insisting otherwise is trolling Blizzard, not the other way round.

    My big issue, however is that you accuse everyone who disagrees with you of oversimplification of the argument, then you do the *exact same thing*. Raiding’s not about pointless challenge, you argue. “Turning off the buff is not fun hard”. That’s what you said exactly. For guilds banging their heads on bosses who need the buff? Sure, this is the case. For guilds who are progressing well, if slowly? Turn it off! It’s got nothing to do with doing things stupidly, but if you’re capable of doing the content as it was pre-nerf, then there’s no reason not to. None of the examples you cite have anything to do with turning off the buff, because they’re all absolutely nonsensical. You wouldn’t do those things without the nerf in place; why would you consider any of that in place of leaving the buff on? As you yourself point out, you wouldn’t, and to draw a comparison to running content at pre-nerf difficulty as purposefully running content sub-par is simply nonsensical and hyperbolic.

    Ultimately, if turning it off isn’t optional for the majority of guilds, it has nothing to do with competition, because competing for the millionth kill is pointless. Talking about rewards makes zero sense, because your epic loot from before the nerf aren’t worth any more or less than loot from afterwards.

    So, you can argue that telling people to turn it off is stupid all you want, but the fact of the matter is that by the point Blizzard starts telling people to shut up and turn it off, they’ve made all the good arguments. They’ve presented all the data they’re willing to, explained it 6 ways to Sunday, and morons keep trolling them to nerf it less, so that they can feel slightly more special, since Blizzard isn’t handing out titles or achievements for having beaten the content without a nerf. So, in the face of that, calling Blizzard a troll for telling people how to get the challenge they claim to want is nothing more than flamebaiting and trolling yourself.

    • Kerriodos says:

      Nope. Sorry. Bullshit. I don’t know what you think raid guilds survive on, but I’ll give you a hint: it’s not sunshine and rainbows. Raid guilds get to keep raiding because they recruit to keep up with their turnaround, and in order to attract the same level of player–so that they can see continued, similar levels of success or even improve–they need rankings on sites like WoWProgress.

      So you can spout all you want about the millionth kill not mattering, but if a guild whose main focus is the raiding scene at ANY level, wants to improve and survive… uh, yes. It does. Sorry to shatter your illusion, there.

      Just because you don’t understand how these things work, does not make them less true; your competition always matters. Killing a boss faster than the other guy, whether you be world 35 or 3500, is often times a deciding factor on who gets the better apps.

      With that in mind, turning off the buff is really as nonsensical as showing up to raid without consumables or sitting a portion of your raid just because. The pride you gain is not worth the long term losses.

      There is no argument against the nerf here. Ana likes the nerf, I like the nerf. We’re both completely done the content at this point, and hey, we still like it because more people get to see it! Great! But Blizzard needs to understand why the choice to use the nerfs is just an illusion, in the same way that they argued many of our talent choices were an illusion.

      In the end, titles similar to the ones from Herald of the Titans, utterly fix the problem and everyone gets to be happy. So why is there so much pushback over the suggestion?

      • Ambivalens says:

        Do you have any actual statistics to back up these claims about “deciding factors” when guilds receive applications?

        If you’re a player that thinks you can get into one of the world top 50 guilds, I might agree that these things matter in one or several ways. If you’re a player that thinks “okay, I might get into the world 3678th best guild”, I don’t think you’re going to evaluate detailed rankings heavily in either direction. You’re going to apply to guild number 3670, 3671, 3672, …, 3680. If you get into any of those 10 guilds you applied to with your ambition, they’ll be so close in progression there will be no real difference to them. All of them will have say 6/8 heroic on more-or-less farm, with 2 of them having a kill perhaps a week before the others. It will not matter at your level of play.

        I still feel what NetherLands said further down applies: everyone seems to think they are part of the world elite players, and that their little speck of the WoW universe matters greatly. I firmly believe that outside the very top (say top 200 guilds), many things are alot more happenstance and random than people indicate by concocting numbers and facts.

        Also, in closure, replying to people with “Nope. Sorry. Bullshit.” indicates a lack of respect for your fellow man/woman, and a certain lack of respect for your own credibility.

        • Kerriodos says:

          I currently play in a guild that regularly finishes tiers in the US top 50/world top 200 range for 25 man content. Before that, I was in a guild that was in the low 2000’s, and before that mid 4000’s. Before that, even lower. In every single one of those guilds we saw influx of applications directly after a “big” kill (say, a wing end boss in ICC like Putricide), and a number of times we had people pass over us because they went to a guild that killed things a week or two sooner. So no, I don’t have statistics, but I have widely varied anecdotes from which I form my opinions.

          No matter your level, most people are looking to improve. If you kill a hard boss before another guild, all things being equal (raid times, etc), people will want to join your guild over theirs. The inverse is also true.

          What you’re saying implies that just because someone isn’t part of the top 1% of raiders in the world, they shouldn’t even care about pushing themselves and improving. That guilds should simply languish where ever they fall on the rankings initially, and never look to improve. Because unless you recruit better players to replace the weaker ones, you’re not going anywhere as a guild.

          The fact of the matter is, outside of the enjoyment they might get from watching top guilds race, to the individual, their little speck of the WoW universe DOES matter more than any other. It’s just basic human nature that the things most relevant to you personally are the most important. It’s all well and good to try and be objective, but the initial post, and subsequently yours, completely discount the efforts of anyone who isn’t best in the world, and that was what was bullshit. It’s not about my respect for the person, it’s about my respect for the opinion–I think it’s far more elitist than what I hear from the people genuinely involved in the high-end raiding scene.

  8. NetherLands says:

    The Raid Guilds that are actually in the running for the competitive part of Raiding will already have downed content that gets nerfed one way or another at a later time.

    Yes, that means most of the Guilds that Raid aren’t really in the competition they like to think they are but that’s the way the cookie has been crumbling for years.

    Wether or not that means that competitive Raiding is something that only affects a slice of the subscriber base that is so teeny-tiny all the hooplah about it is actually rather silly, especially for a non-F2P title (in F2P titles, the few pay for the many, in P2P titles the many pay for the few) , is another topic.

    • Kerriodos says:

      Raiding is competitive by nature. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the US top 50 or the World top 6000. Every single guild I have ever been in has picked another guild to compete with. Beating them may not get you on the front page of MMO Champion alongside Paragon, Method, and KIN Raiders, but it’s sure as hell still relevant competition to them.

      I guess I don’t really get what you’re trying to say here. You’re technically right that competitive raiding (actually all raiding) affects only a tiny portion of the actual subscriber base, but that doesn’t make it any less important. That’s why the nerf exists at all–so the lower ranked guilds don’t get stonewalled. That’s fine. The article is just explaining why turning off the nerf isn’t a real option at this time, and how it could become one.

    • Ambivalens says:

      I’m replying simply to say that I agree with NetherLands. I think a vast majority of what I like to call the vocal masses in WoW think that they are competing at the highest level of play, when in fact they are not. Guilds who possibly could be adversely affected by these “nerfs” (I like to look at them as downtunings so less elite players can access content), have downed the content long ago and are now simply farming it to end the expansion in all heroic gear.

      I honestly feel that if you are not 8/8 heroic by now, you are not an elite player in an elite guild, and you should simply be happy about the nerfings. You’re not playing in the big leagues of WoW, you’re simply complaining about something that doesn’t affect anyone but yourself and your guild, not able to see the bigger picture that Blizzard inevitably has to look at: many, many players aren’t elite, aren’t super good, aren’t even competent, but still would like to have a look at the raid content and feel great for killing a boss. That you didn’t get your 2 month late Spine HC kill is far outweighed by 3000 other guilds finally going 4/8 hc or even finally downing Madness on friggin’ normal. They need to keep people at large chugging away at content while they prepare the next expansion, they don’t need 500 elite players sitting in Stormwind linking their achievements.

      Personally I used to raid “hardcore”, 4-5 days a week, and was even then very, very far from the elite players of WoW. Now my life situation has changed, but I still play the game I love – at a much more casual level. I raid in a guild that is now 5/8 on normal mode. Yes, you heard me. Normal mode. I keep up on all the theorycrafting, my toons are always perfectly reforged, gemmed, enchanted and I know all rotations and fight mechanics by heart. Still, I can not make up for the 9 others in my raid group. I can do very little to improve their lack of.. what to call it, dedication to the “hardcore” part of WoW, killing bosses fast and efficiently. We only got Ultraxion down after the first nerf because only 1 or 2 players can pull the numbers that were required, and only 3-4 could push the button in time. Still, these 9 other people pay to play WoW, have gotten their act together enough to raid a couple of times a week, why shouldn’t they get to kill some bosses? We, as a group, clearly aren’t skilled enough to kill the content in its original tuning – but if you aren’t 8/8 by now, neither are you. And most people screaming bloody murder about the nerfs aren’t.

      TLDR: If you aren’t done with the content you’re screaming about being nerfed now, you’re not good enough to feel elite or even competitive in some sort of meaningful way. You’re way behind the big leagues, and you probably don’t play enough to be up there with them. You’re simply part of a vocal minority that for some reason isn’t able to think far enough outside their own box to see that Blizzard has to deal with other people than Just You.

      (this is a general post, not a comment on the original one, which I read and enjoyed)

    • anafielle says:

      I appreciate your response, but I recommend you read the post.

      I think you came in here to write your opinion on the nerf and then forgot to read it.

      I am in support of the nerf. I just think turning it off is a stupid, stupid argument. I fail to see how anything you said has anything to do with my blog.

  9. Repartee says:

    This entire blog entry is pointless.
    If you disagree with my argument, re-read this post.
    Still want to refute my argument? Re-read again.
    Because if you don’t agree with me, it will make you look dumb (notice how adding the word ‘look’ doesn’t make it sound as spiteful – nice touch)
    Still don’t agree with me? I will send a few of my friends to argue my case for me and actually call you dumb.
    This entire blog entry is pointless. /loop the circular straw man argument!

  10. Ebichu says:

    I’m a casual raider in a casual raiding guild (we got 10% nerfed Morchok hm to 48% on Wednesday, yay!), and believe me – on our backwater server (EU Doomhammer), a kill would certainly have given us more and ‘better’ applicants.

    …and I still think that those that got 8/8 hm before the nerf (or with it disabled) deserve some recognition, like a Feat of Strength.

    • anafielle says:

      Thank you :D
      I don’t understand how people — in fact, commenters on this very article above me — say shortsighted things like [important voice] “Progression only matters for the top 10.” That’s such a lie. We all raid because we like to make bosses die as a team. Different teams have fun doing different things. Progression doesn’t just mean “omg judgement time.” It is just part of your guild identity, and is a reflection of the kind of work that apps would do if they joined you. So yah, apps definitely look at it for all kinds of raiding guilds I think. But it is nice to hear agreement from someone different than me, I sometimes just hear the echo chamber of people who do the same stuff i do :D (ps good luck)

  11. zothen says:

    - Wear green questing gear

    You clearly don’t ever inspect me during our raids :)

  12. Pingback: Turning off the buff rewards a Feat of Strength in MOP | Sacred Duty

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