I have not been posting much lately, as a matter of fact it has been quite some time since I did an actual post so this is surely a bit dated as the nerfs to hellfire citadel happened a week or so ago but I had strong feelings about them when I read them and it actually made me want to make a post about it.
I'll be the first to say, and have said, that normal HFC needed some nerfs. As a raid intended for "friends and family" sort of guilds it was not a very forgiving raid for a great many "friends and family" skilled players. Sure if you went in there with a core of solid players and 3 or 4 newbies you would have no problems. But for a mostly "friends and family" raid group without those knowledgeable players leading the way and carrying the weight even normal could be a bit brutal.
When it first came out there were a few raiders in my guild I would politely tell, in whisper, that until we have so and so on farm I could not bring them. Some were people with good numbers, but bad at mechanics, some were people that were okay with mechanics but could never quite pull the numbers no matter what the gear.
Those people I just mentioned are the exact people that a "friends and family" raid should be able to take even on first progression. Hey, maybe it is just that I am a jerk, which is entirely possible. Maybe I could have downed gorefiend with 3 people that could not run out with doom and dropped it wherever they wanted all the time. Sorry, if telling them they have to follow the simple mechanics like run out when you have a debuff makes me a jerk, perhaps I am. But that is just one example of something I asked people to sit for early on.
So as you see, I do think that some nerfs were needed. The problem is I think blizzard did a half ass job with the nerfs they did add. Some where fantastic, perfect even. Others left me scratching my head wondering what the hell were they thinking.
It all really comes down to opinion of course and as I write this it will be my opinion I speak.
Because of the way a fight like gorefiend was, with all the mechanics in it, even if I had to ask a couple of people to sit for the first couple of kills on normal, when we first got to that boss on heroic, even with 2 of those 3 people I originally asked to sit in the group, we were able to one shot it on heroic.
This one shot on heroic all happened because all the mechanics were there on normal. It allowed people to learn the fight in a much less punishing situation. However I do understand that my guild, while a "friends and family" guild, is a bit better than the majority of "friends and family" guilds. But that does not change my opinion. Perhaps it is what created my opinion about what changes I think were good and what changes I think were bad.
So being we have been talking about gorefiend lets take that fight for a further example of what I mean when talking about the changes made to it.
I mentioned it was a fight I had to ask someone to sit that first week after not running out with doom for the 5th attempt in a row. While they made no changes to doom they did make two (that I recall) changes to the fight. And the gorefiend changes are the perfect example of what I mean when I say I think they did some things fantastic and some things poorly, both in this one fight, which is why I decided to use it as my focus example.
They changed it so that if the adds that fixate on someone get to the person they only damage the person instead of damaging the person and everyone around them. Ding ding ding. We have an absolute winner here of a nerf for normal. A change like this is absolutely what is needed in a raid that is intended to be done by a "friends and family" guild.
Yet on the very same fight they made an additional nerf that I hate. I think is a completely wrong way to nerf something and defeats the purpose of normal mode being for "friends and family", a raid that is easier but still something where they can learn to get better. They removed shared fate.
For those that do not raid or might not know what shared fate is, it was a simple mechanic. Three people are connected by a chain, the middle person becomes locked in place and can not move until the two outer people collapse on them. Once the two free moving players are within 6 yards (I believe) of the anchored person the chains break and the anchored person can once again move.
It is a simple enough mechanic, one which I saw countless people mess up with sure, but still something easy enough to learn. It was not difficult, it was not complex, it did not need some massive preplanning, it did not need exceptional response time, or high skill. It was a very fair and reasonable mechanic for a "friends and family" guild. Perhaps lowering the damage it does if screwed up would be fine I guess, but removing it outright? It was a piss poor decision to do so.
This is the type of mechanic that needs to be in a "friends and family" sort of raid. Why was it removed. It did not require people to reach a certain performance level. It was not a gear check that needed a certain level of gear to survive. It was not a set group that needed people to remember group rotations of whos turn it was. It was a simple "opps, this is on me and bob can't move, lets go to bob" mechanic. One that could teach "friends and family" raiders. It was a fantastic example of a learning mechanic and should not have been removed.
If you had to ask me, nerfing the doom damage, or making the doom wells go away after 20 seconds or something would have been a more suitable change. It would still show people the mechanic, it would still do damage, it could still wipe a raid if mistakes were made and it would be much less punishing if mistakes were made. That is the type of things that normal nerfs need to be.
I like, and agree, with some of the changes to nerfing HFC normal. But some of them make no sense.
They should not "remove" from the raid for normal. They should just nerf what it does.
I understand what they said, I understand what their intention is. They want to have normal and heroic be different. So when you move from normal to heroic there will be new mechanics just as moving from heroic to mythic adds new mechanics.
I just do not agree with it. I personally believe normal and heroic should be the same. Normal should just be more forgiving. For example, the change they made to the fixate mobs, the one I call a great change, is how it should be done. If you are doing heroic you would tell people, "remember those guys that blow up and kill you on normal if they reach you? Well here on heroic they will blow up and kill you and everyone around you."
That is how you change mechanics from normal to heroic. Not by removing them like they did with shared fate.
As usual, just my opinion. It is nice to see blizzard making some effort to make normal more "friends and family" friendly. Too bad they are removing mechanics they did not need to remove in the process.