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.