Turning off the buff rewards a Feat of Strength in MOP

Remember this post about “Stop Telling Raiders to Turn off the DS Buff?” UPDATE TIME!

The buff has been a pretty active topic of debate these days. I have to say:I don’t know why we’re still arguing about this. People who are anti-buff, you are crazy. We lost that fight a long ass time ago. Like… at the dawn of raiding.

Blizzard has always nerfed fights and they always will. The buff is here to stay, and I think that’s OK. Putting a clear, obvious, slowly stacking buff in the instance is the most elegant and most transparent way to do precisely what Blizzard has always done, which is nerf fights as time goes on.

I get it, the game is better when more people enjoy it, and frankly what other people do post nerf doesn’t seriously affect me. I understand that it’s a positive thing for the game as a whole and keeps more people raiding. That means a bigger and more active raiding community. This is good for everyone. Yes, absolutely everyone.

So. Buff is fine.

Here’s what’s not fine: being told to turn off the buff.

This was the thesis of my blog post back in February in which I argued that “turn off the buff” was a really stupid (and wrong) argument, and lamented the lack of a reward for turning it off. I argued that you can’t really tell raiders to turn off the buff when there is no meaningful difference between killing fights with and without it.

I believe I have been proven right over the last six months. Despite blues telling people constantly to just turn off the buff and quit bitching (this is Draztal’s favorite argument), those of us who hate it the most don’t touch that switch. Once in a while we hear about a hardcore guild raiding without the buff as a publicity stunt, but that’s about all.

Why? Because there’s no point.

My guild loves challenges, but we’ve never turned off that buff. I think we should — we sort of plan to, just to remind ourselves what challenging raiding is like — but it’s really very difficult to pull together the motivation to do it when it seems so…. well, pointless. I don’t think this makes us particularly lazy people. In fact, I think my guild is full of pretty focused and non-lazy raiders. I think this makes us normal gamers motivated by normal things.

So. Update! It looks like what I begged for back in February is on the way!

FEATS OF STRENGTH FOR BUFF-LESS RAIDING!

Even better: these Feats of Strength reportedly can only be obtained while the content is current. No overgearing these or coming back tiers later.

Thank you, Blizzard! It’s pretty gratifying to (for once) feel as though I’m on the same page as those mysterious encounter designers.

A change that everyone can support

I really do believe that this is an objectively positive change.

It’s quite telling that they’ve made these achievements Feats of Strength. This is Blizzard basically saying, “We can’t give you a real reward, because it wouldn’t be fair. This thing you did is not available to every player, so you can’t have an achievement for it. But we will give you a fake ass 0 point achievement so you feel special.”

Whatever. Fine with me. It’s perfect for this purpose, because I understand that people for whom buff-less raiding is out of the question do not want to feel as though they are disadvantaged in a race for achievement points. Or mounts or pets or titles, and certainly not gear. They’ve given us something, and something is all I asked for.

By putting this in the game, they do something very powerful: they extend the life of their content. Just a tiny little bit, but the extension is there.

Blizzard gives us all a reason to look at that switch and consider that one more step to take. They also make it clear that there are more goals to be had beyond the 30% buff.

I firmly believe that this doesn’t disadvantage anyone. I think it can only be a good thing to add more challenges in the game. I believe in content being accessible, but I also believe in rewarding success and challenging people to be better and better. This does both. An FOS harms no one and yet marks a difference between Task A and Task B.

If you are 8/8H right now, you have one more goal to look forward to. You have a reason to look at that buff and consider turning it off. I am pretty sure my raid team would have gone back to get it in DS… multiple times. The presence of that FOS in the game would have made it that much easier for us to say, “We’re turning off the buff this week, time to get the new members their FOS” and we’d’ve gotten back into the swing of raiding without the buff in preparation for MOP.

I think this is a win for everyone.

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14 Responses to Turning off the buff rewards a Feat of Strength in MOP

  1. Esoth says:

    A bit of an olive branch extension, maybe, but this should really be a an achievement, not a Feat of Strength. Feats of Strength generally seem to be reserved for something like the following:
    1. Not actually expected because it’s a bit silly (The Insane)
    2. Removed from the game (Zandalari rep)
    3. A one time, not repeating event (realm firsts)
    4. A prestigious title that will depreciate in value as gear from subsequent tiers trivializes it (it is thus removed, and becomes a FoS). (The Immortal).

    Originally I thought this needs to be an achievement because it doesn’t fall into any of those categories (or worse, it suggests #1). But if it were removed after the next patch it would be along the lines of #4, and I think I’d actually prefer that.

    • anafielle says:

      I disagree because these ARE time limited. They can only be obtained while content is current and are removed once a new tier comes out.

      There are a lot of arguments against making them an achievement but my favorite one is that I like them this way. If they were made an achievement, Blizzard would have to leave them in the game and allow them to be nerfed by gear.

      As an FOS, they are time sensitive and most meaningful. They would be less cool as achievements… imo.

      And you wouldn’t get extra points that non-top-50-or-100 raiders couldn’t get. The point of achievements is that they are accessible. The point of Feats of Strength is that they celebrate something people can’t get anymore.

  2. Kerriodos says:

    I’m fine with it being a FoS, but would it kill them to slap a title on it?

    FoS MIGHT be enough motivation to raid without a buff/debuff for my guild, but I’m willing to bet we’ll see enough pushback that no one will want to suggest it. If it had achievement points attached, my guild leader would probably at least put together a 10 man for it (because he’s in the top 100 or so in the world for points). If it had a cool title, everyone would be like “Holy SHIT, a title? Let’s roll!” And it’s not like there isn’t precedent for titles that not everyone can get–Death’s Demise, anyone? Hell, I run around with Argent Defender on and I’ve never had anyone get mad or upset when I tell them it’s not in the game anymore. If anyone wanted it that bad, they could buy it….

    So yeah, title. Get on it, Blizzard.

  3. Balkoth says:

    Interesting enough, I made my guild go back and do 8/8H at 0% (we were 6/8H pre nerf, only raid two nights a week). No one complained about it, several people were extremely excited about it.

    We two shot Heroic Spine (though we had been working on it at 0% and the tendons had a 15% HP nerf) and took a few nights on Madness (even though we had gotten Madness to 3% at the 5% nerf). For us, at least, it felt rewarding (or at least no one seemed to object), but I wonder how much of that is due to us feeling “cheated” by how fast the nerfs came on.

    If you were in a guild raiding four nights a week and stuck on Heroic Spine at 0%, I could see people being less…enthusiastic.

    • Balkoth says:

      Oh, and yes, a title would be nice.

    • anafielle says:

      Huh. Interesting. You are not the only person I know that went back at 0% for exactly that reason.

      I raid in a 3 night guild that was also 6/8 pre nerf, was working on Spine and then went 8/8 shortly after the tendon / 5% change. I think a lot of guilds right where we were, who saw Spine nerfed out from under us, felt quite cheated. =/ We didn’t really think to turn the buff off though. I guess we got everything killed and then just set about farming loot and mounts.

      We currently have vague plans to turn off the buff some week. Oh god, have to remember how to raid again…… I personally am extremely excited about this and I know I’m not the only one in my raid corps. So yeah, I am sure that raiders like your group and mine can certainly get excited without the FOS. I just like the idea of the FOS for that one more motivation, that one more carrot :D

      If only they’d give us a title =/ I think it’s unlikely but I know we’d all enjoy it.

  4. Helistar says:

    My guild loves challenges, but we’ve never turned off that buff.
    Which basically means, no we don’t like challenges, we want to get something special. If you’re in for the challenge, the fight itself is the reward. If you need some shiny (be it a title, FoS or anything else) to motivate people, then you love shinies and not challenges…. (BTW my guild is in the same boat…. we would lose 2/3 of the raid instantly if we went in “for the challenge” without the debuff, now with the FoS it’ll be a lot less, which I find depressing).

    • anafielle says:

      No. That’s not how games work.

      Does it make you equally sad that your raid has never tried to do DS in blue gear? Or everyone with their pants off? Or that everyone in the raid didn’t purposefully take off their raiding professions? Or that you guys never killed the Proto Behemoth on Halfus? Or anything else equally challenging but equally unrewarded?

      All of these things are “challenges” yet your guild has never done them. Why?

      Obviously you haven’t. There’s no difference in the game between doing them and not doing them. It’s not about the reward– it’s about making Task A different than Task B. A Feat of Strength is about the least-rewardy way to reward people, too. All the FOS does is deliniate between two different tasks. Without that, there is functionally no reason to touch it. That just makes gamers normal who don’t really feel the need to touch it– even if we hate raiding with it.

      Please read my previous blog post. I explained in detail there. http://sacredduty.net/2012/02/24/quit-telling-raiders-to-turn-off-the-dragon-soul-buff/

      • Helistar says:

        Does it make you equally sad that your raid has never tried to do DS in blue gear? [...]

        Well, YES. The problem is that as much I can go and solo old instances (which I’m now doing in LotRO with a Warden, BTW), doing this kind of stuff in a raid requires an entire group to agree on trying, and finding such a group is not easy at all.
        And I don’t see what your previous blog post adds to the discussion, it’s the same reitaration of “rewards makes the task”. Sorry, when I solo an old instance the reward is being able to do it. I get no gear, no titles and I don’t even bother frapsing it for fame and glory. I just have fun trying. You can turn it any way you want, but in the end if a raid group needs a reward to try something then they’re after the reward, not the challenge.

        • anafielle says:

          Interesting. I disagree a lot but I think we just have different attitudes. I would never link my achieves or a FOS but the presence of /something there/ makes my motivation completely different. With regard to the raid, specifically, without a reward in there, the 30% task and the 0% task start to feel the same.

          That’s really the worst part for me. I start to forget that they are different. I’d have to turn off the buff to remember that “this isn’t how the instance is supposed to be.” I don’t think that’s anything that has to do with wanting a shiney or not wanting a shiney, it’s just that the tasks start to blend together in my head when there’s nothing to distinguish them.

          But I could be wrong and just trying to protect myself from charges of elitism! Thanks for the comment, disagreement is always more interesting than the paladin echo chamber :)

    • Theck says:

      I don’t see how those two thoughts are mutually exclusive. A group can like challenges while also recognizing that the reward:effort ratio is horribly out of whack. Or that a really neat challenge isn’t worth attempting for practical reasons.

      Perhaps most important is the last point – as you said, you’d lose 2/3 of your raid if you attempted to go without the buff. Doing something like that requires that the whole group be into it. It’s an interesting problem of social engineering.

      The fact that there’s a carrot, no matter how small, appeals to the sensibilities of a good chunk of your raid team. You may find it depressing, but its a pretty common attitude in life too. The upside of having this carrot is that people like you and Ana (and potentially myself) may be able to use it to convince our raid teams to try the challenge, something we otherwise wouldn’t have much opportunity to do.

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