The ICC Buff Can Bite Me

So the ICC raid buff was released in today’s patch. Ugh. Too fast, too fast, too fast.

I HATE the new raid paradigm of making raids easier and pushing them out faster. It lessens the sense of accomplishment when you kill a new boss. I have written rants on this before, but WotLK has been all about messin’ with the middle-of-the-road guilds like mine. I can’t enjoy killing normal mode bosses, because it’s not “real”. And I can’t enjoy killing hard mode bosses, because we’ve already done 70% of the fight on normal mode, so it’s not “real” either. I bolded that because it really deserves emphasis. What exactly motivates me to keep raiding?

This system is just stressing out dedicated raiders, and most guild leaders I know are tearing out their hair. I feel under pressure to make us progress faster than ever before so we can “keep up”, and yet people are burning out and quitting faster than ever before because farming four versions of Jaraxxus each week (back when ToC was the top raid) is boring as hell.

Not to mention Blizz has completely screwed over guilds in so many ways in LK. I see so many posts that say, “Why should I bother getting a guild? I can pug raids and groups.” Even more so with this buff and the subsequent versions! (True, we can turn this buff off, but will most guildies approve? A quick straw poll this morning showed that most of my officers want to keep it, seeing as we’re “behind” and there’s no tangible benefit to removing the buff aside from some pride. Argh.)

Sorry, I know I’m ranting, but MAN this expansion has just made me really angry at WoW. Guilds are, I would argue, the number one source of player retention. How many people keep logging on for the people they play with, instead of logging on for the sheer joy of the game? I see folks say all the time that they would quit except for their friends online. And yet Blizzard seems pretty insistent on making running a moderate raiding guild as difficult and unpleasant as possible.

Stop rushing us, stop nerfing our team’s sense of accomplishment. Take your pity buff, Blizzard, and shove it up your collective bottoms.

Author: Jessica Cook

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46 Comments

  1. Do you not think this attitude is a bit selfish?

    There are currently 14,000 guilds who are stuck at 4/12 ICC. It has been two months since the wings were opened, and they have not managed to kill a single additional boss.

    Two months is a long time to be stuck. It's time that the buff got activated to help push those guilds forward.

    It does suck for guilds such as yours or mine. But it's our fault we haven't beaten the instance yet. To condemn lesser guilds to being blocked, just so we can pretend our defeat of the instance is somehow still meaninful, strikes me as very selfish indeed.

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    • I don't think it's selfish at all. I'm not saying that "lesser guilds" should be blocked forever, but releasing an increasing nerf almost exactly a month after the latest content is FAST. The last wing had Valithria, Sindrigosa, and Arthas. Asking for a more than a month to work on these bosses un-nerfed is hardly condemning scads of guilds to never progressing.

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      • And anyway, frankly I'm tired of middle of the road guilds being overlooked in favour of the loudmouth uber-hardcore and uber-casual. Perhaps being a little demanding is in order here on the eve of the next expansion.

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    • I am part of what I would call a very casual guild with some people that like to raid- we have about half our raiding team each week that will switch out for our other raiders. Gearing up for 10 man ICC is cake and we still manage to be 5/12 and we'll probably manage to get 6/12 in the next few weeks and when we do we will be totally stoked about it. The key is it is OUR progression, we don't need nor want any more breadcrumbs from Blizz. There is no huge wall facing guilds in any fight I have seen so far, in fact the only reason we have not gotten farther is we as a group just need a little more practice with the bosses in question. Why would we care about progression if we knew it was just going to get handed to us on a silver platter anyway. Our goal is to down Arthas before the Expac ships and to have fun doing it at our own pace. Everything is doable from what I have seen to even moderately busy people irl- it just comes down to do they CARE enough to try more then a few times and get over the wipes that EVERYONE goes through? It took my guild a very long time to get past Saurfang but after wiping on it enough times for enough guildies to see what they need to do in it we one shot him every week easily and we just got past him very recently. Form what I have seen this content is easy, but the telling factor here is does those 4/12 guilds give enough of a damn to learn the fights through a little bit of blood and sweat each week.

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  2. Middle-of-the-road? More than half the guilds in ICC are stuck at 4/12. Your guild is in the top 15%.

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    • Sorry, top 25%. I think the numbers weight too much on the low end, that drop-off between 4/12 and 5/12 is too large, and needs to be fixed even if it hurts some other guilds.

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      • Plus, it really deeply matters to you, you can always turn the buff off and complete the instance normally.

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        • I don't know what site you're looking at for numbers, but how many of those 14,000 guilds are new? How many are dead? How many don't actually want this buff, but would like to work through the content at their own pace? That number doesn't actually mean a whole lot.

          There are plenty of ways to fix a block at 4/12, if Blizzard feels that's a problem. (Whether it actually IS a problem is a different issue.) Create a progressive nerf that goes one zone at a time. 5% on the first wing for a few weeks would let new guilds gear up more.

          I will repeat what I said earlier: one month to kill unnerfed Valithria, Sindragosa, and Arthas is too short. End of story.

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          • How is this buff hurting someone? Where is the detriment incurred? Oh wait, there is no harm. Stop QQing and let some other people enjoy the game. Jeeze.

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            • It's harming my gameplay experience? I mean, that's a pretty spurious argument on its own, granted, but it's as good as yours. :P

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            • You must enjoy the silver platter, Areuserious. It's sad to see what raiding has become. Its "What can Blizzard give me this patch?" You could enjoy the game without the nerfs. 90% of the blocked guilds have internal problems preventing them from clearing it. That could be drama or having members who just cannot play their class.
              There is harm with these nerfs. It's proof that the average human is a lazy bastard. They have to have everything dumbed down and simplified or it's "too hard". Jeeze try playing the game instead of having to have it handed to you just because you pay $15 a month.

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    • I agree with the idea that 4/12 is "middle-of the road" currently- I don't think you should be comparing yourself to the top 15%, but instead trying to evaluate your progress to guilds who ate 8/12 or even 6/12, the expac isn't coming out for awhile- you have plenty of time to down Arthas and keep busy until then- you aren't running out of content and the content that the 4/12 guilds are running into just takes practice and a little forethought.

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  3. Its a progressive butf, 6 buffs of 5% each once a month takes us throuugh to september. We have been working on lich king (10) for the last 3 weeks and it would have been nice to pre buff. But it wasnt difficulty preventing us just scheduling. But in 25? It was allready very obvious we where going to be 9/12 for a very long time. Maybe we will be able to make some progress now.

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  4. ICC was designed with this buff in mind. If you are in a middle type guild, like mine, who is 6-8/12 in ICC 25, this buff only accelerates our progress. I don't feel cheated. You're being overly dramatic about a reasonable design philosophy. The buff will certainly aid 10 man pugs, but it won't help people clear ICC in 25 man mode. If people are asking why be in a guild, it's to do 25s. If they prefer just to see the fights and clear the raid, they can wait for the buff. However, with only 5% a month, it's going to be a long time before pugs make it deep into ICC 10 even. Blizzard has millions of customers. If someone wants to put the time and energy (and monthly fee) into raiding, why not let them eventually have a good shot of seeing the end. Especially considering how big a character Arthas has been since the fall of 2008.

    PS–Those pugs that do probably are comprised of players on alts who have already cleared, and that doesn't exactly count.

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    • Agreed, and for this raid especially in relation to the Arthas storyline. It hasn't just been since fall of 2008, it's been since July of 2002. All but guaranteeing everyone interested a chance to see it through over the next 6 months is a great move IMO.

      And on the point of feeling cheated or unfulfilled when doing the raids "buffed", all content is only as difficult as the last patch. They always nerf / change encounters, this time they're at least giving you the option to say "no thanks, i like it rough". The fact that your ego requires your progression to be superior to other players in order to enjoy the game is a personal issue, not a game balance / design issue.

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      • Not to repeat myself, but nowhere did I actually say that I want to clear content faster than other people. I just want to feel like I (and my guild) have accomplished something when we kill Arthas. I don't care WHAT other guilds do, whether they kill Arthas sooner than us, or not.

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  5. Raiding is only going to get more and more accessible as time goes on. Hardcore raids are pretty much the last characteristic of the old hardcore MMORPGs like Everquest that WoW still clings to.

    Raiding has been becoming easier and more casual for years now. That Icecrown was this difficult to begin with was a definite break from the norm, and maybe it shouldn't have been, since it seems to have convinced hardcore raiders that Blizzard had reconsidered somewhat.

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  6. Please do us a favor and quit now. Enough QQ from you elitist pricks.

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    • Hey now it's really not unreasonable for to be a little upset about this. I feel very much the same way at this point and my guild is only making our first foray into ICC this coming Sunday. We struggled getting people trained to act like a raiding team and finally made our way through TOC. I feel that while ICC buff isn't a horrible idea in the long run it IS too soon, I want our guild to at least try this without the buff and see how far we get but I don't think we will. Too many people will want to take the easy route if it is available and I can't help but think that the victory will be slightly compromised by the knowledge that we were helped by an outside mechanic.

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      • It's misplaced to complain about Blizzard releasing the buff too soon. The author should be much more upset with her guild, and that they obviously have different goals. Some people are more motivated by shiny new gear, others are motivated by the difficulty of overcoming challenges. Having the buff out and optional exacerbates this discord in goals. In my opinion, the only thing Blizzard could have done better would be to have achievements related to not using the buff.

        If the author has a pride issue with other guilds passing her guild in progress because of the buff, assuming her guild is not using the buff, then this becomes little more than silly QQ.

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    • Ohhh, this got linked on wow.com! It makes sense now.

      For those of you just tuning in for this post, my 8/12, 9 hours a week guild is hardly elitist. We're one of those 'months behind' guild, and I don't have any issue with that at all. I realize it's easier to just write me off as an insane hardcore who hates fun, but it's not actually true. ;)

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      • I totally understand my guild is just behind yours and we regularly bring in a few people every week that don't know the fights and still manage to get at least 4-6/12 done easily. Anyone that complains about it being "too hard" is just being silly entitled pricks themselves. They have every opportunity do get these fights down. I would know- my RL only gets 9 hours a week at all to even play wow and we still manage.

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  7. It's just not fair to the majority of people playing the game to say this shouldn't have happened yet.

    All the hardcore dedicated raiding guilds have already cleared the normal modes and are now working through the hard modes (in which the buff won't ever be active), so this does not affect them at all.

    It's not a pity buff, it's a way of letting as many people as possible see the content they want (and indeed deserve) to see. With a 30-35% buff just before Cataclysm hits, even the most inept raiding team will be able to see the end of the Lich King, and that's no bad thing at all.

    If it's just a matter of pride that's keeping people from enjoying the benefits of this buff then I say swallow it and go have some fun downing more bosses :)

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  8. I can actually agree on the point you are making here, all of you.
    while I do think raiding should be accessible for more raiders, I do also agree with the blogger.
    as you kill a boss as Important as arthas there should be some sort of feeling of accomplishment, that It was hard and that It formed a block for your guild for some time definitely helps on this.

    I am also In with the casual players of this game, blizzard kept teasing us with the Idea that they will kill the lich king In some point of this game, why take this away from us?
    The casual raider doesn't wanna sit at home raid 3-4 hours a night for 3-4 nights In a row just to be able to kill the Lich King, It just takes too much time.

    (next post continues)

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  9. Now about the fact why this aura Is coming too soon.
    Sunwell was very hardcore an tough to beat.
    A bit later the 30% less health 30% less damage nerf rolled In on the bosses.
    we practicly facerolled our ways to Kill'jaeden.
    Kill'jaeden took another week to kill, although I was proud to have killed KJ I feel sad that I didn’t met him before he got nerfed.

    Even Illidan was a complete faceroll afterwards, he even got tanked by a warlocks void walker just because he was so simple.

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  10. So to the point. I do not mind a small buffIng aura. Like the 5% we have now but do take In count that It will eventually cap at 35%. That is basicly 35% less of a bossfight you have to do

    My poInt of vIew Is also, the aura Is too soon.
    Even I do apprecIate the help the casuals get to clear the Instance.

    But Is It really necassary to give up on bosses this early and do It the easy way?

    sorry for the 3 posts but i couldn't post it in 1 ;)
    I was thinking and when players have beaten the normal mode, wouldn't they want to do hard modes?
    Are players capable of doing the hard modes If they cannot do the normal modes wIthout an overpowered aura?
    keep this In mind If your guild Is deciding wether or not to use the buff.
    just my 2 cents

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  11. Perhaps they could have increased the available sense of achievement if they'd given an achievement for killing the boss when you turn the buff off. "Alone against the Lich King", etc, etc.

    Of course that would make first kills still feel even less "real" – you'd have to 1. kill it with the buff 2. kill it without the buff 3. kill it on hard mode. Talk about burnout.

    NB: My scriptblocker hates IntenseDebate.

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  12. Liore writes… "I don't think it's selfish at all."

    Yet in the OP we find… "A quick straw poll this morning showed that most of my officers want to keep it, seeing as we’re “behind” and there’s no tangible benefit to removing the buff aside from some pride. Argh.)"

    So, if most of your guild's officers want the buff but you don't and are steadfast against it that might be construed as selfish. Unless you're going to say that you know the game and how to play it better than your fellow officers, chances are that this isn't so much about Blizzard nerfing your guild's "sense of accomplishment" but rather your own personal sense of such. And yeh, that really does come off as selfish.

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    • Having an opinion about something is not selfish. Part of my job as guild leader is to make the best decision and go with it — I have to have run with my opinions all the time. That being said, if the majority of officers and members are pro-buff, then I am not going to force them to turn it off. I AM going to rant about it on my blog, though. :)

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  13. The only part I dislike about the new buff is that you can still get achievements with the buff. To me that really destroys the point of achievements.

    Other than that I like the buff. It speeds things up and makes it easier to start rotating in alts to gear up.

    Just please, make achievements at least mean something.

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    • Thats why they made HM's…
      so everyone can see End content but for the better people they get to ride Nice Shiny Drakes that say 'look at me, we passed grade 3' :D :D ;D

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  14. I couldn't agree with you more. In fact I put up a post on our guild forums asking who was in favor of the buff when it comes to 10/25. We are kind of stuck progression wise not having the dps to down festergut on 25 but able to kill rotface every week. So for 25's I'm in favor of it… but when it comes to 10? We are progressing fine. No we haven't killed the lich king but we are working on BQL and VDW.

    I had hoped atleast the 10 man group's would disable the buff. Really looks like that won't be the case. Is it selfish or elitest? I really don't think so. I mean before cataclysm comes out everyone will be able to faceroll through ICC… in fact the 30% buff will put ToC at a higher difficulty then ICC. Don't believe me? My warrior has 45k unbuffed health the 30% health increase will put me at over 65k unbuffed. Fully raid buffed I'll be sitting at like 80k health. Tell me what boss ability in ICC can possibly kill me at that point?
    My recent post Well then… on with the show

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  15. ICC has a gradual buff already… its called gear. You kill bosses every week that give you an increase in healing, damage, and hit points because of gear. What is the point of steamrolling over the lich king?

    And as far as hardmodes? You all are wrong. The buff still applies to hardmodes. Pride in your toon and your guild is a big part of playing the game… what pride can you have if you are handed all the bosses?

    I'm all for the buffs… just this was way to soon. I'm going to vent here because I can't convince the rest of my guild to deselect the buff :(
    My recent post Well then… on with the show

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  16. We were 10 of 12 for two weeks and now the buff. Ugh. I really wish we'd had one more week to get Sindy and Arthas down before the buffs. >.<

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  17. "My warrior has 45k unbuffed health the 30% health increase will put me at over 65k unbuffed. Fully raid buffed I'll be sitting at like 80k health. Tell me what boss ability in ICC can possibly kill me at that point? "

    The stacked magical debuff on Sindragosa would easily kill you.
    The Lich King's soul reaper on Normal would still come close to killing you, if you weren't at full hp/using a cd you would not survive.
    On heroic LK the shambling horrors supposedly hit for 70k regularly on a 25 man geared tank.

    Don't presume to know about fights which you haven't done. ;)

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  18. What many people are failing to understand is that a large portion of the difficulty in later ICC bosses lies in the coordination required to handle each boss's mechanics. Just because we're getting a percentage buff to health, healing, and damage done doesn't mean we can just stand in shock vortices or ignore dark nucleii in the Blood Princes encounter, or eat frost bombs in the Sindragosa fight. Raids will still need to work on bosses until they are able to handle these mechanics. All this buff will do is give a bit of a buffer to make mistakes a bit more forgiving during the learning process.

    And really, who does that hurt? High end guilds working on hard modes benefit from the buff just the same as more average guilds trudging their way through the Upper Spire, and even the guilds who are just trying to make their first forays into the citadel. If you think you can go and one-shot the Lich King the first time you fight him without practicing the timing, positioning, and mechanic handling needed to complete the encounter just because you have this buff, I'd like to see it.

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  19. Galero is completely right. I'm in a guild that's currently working through hardmodes. We do have a certain sense of pride that we downed LK before the zone buff, but these fights are not simple gear checks. Even in normal, all of the wing bosses excluding DBS are heavy on communication and coordination. In heroic, the buff, while still useful, is even less important. The fights may require huge dps and hps, but they also require a very high degree of planning and situational awareness.

    @What's my main? – You haven't faced the worst that ICC has to offer. Wait until you're tanking Sindragosa and the magic debuff starts stacking. Wait until you're working on LK and people aren't getting out of Defile. While there may not be a lot of things that will kill a fully zone buffed tank with 1 hit, there are plenty of mechanics which will make your day rather dark indeed.

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  20. The lich king soul reaping ability is 40k damage up front and then 40k damage after 5 seconds if I'm not mistaken. Meanwhile he hits harder and faster… but where you had to swap tanks to survive you won't have to with a 30% increase in hp. Especially when you are looking at 30k holy light's landing every 1.5 seconds.

    If tanks are capable of surviving this damage at around 60k health you can't tell me that it won't trivialize the mechanics at 80k.
    My recent post Well then… on with the show

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  21. I don't think he's being elitist – in fact his guild isn't far progressed into ICC at all.

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  22. I like how he doesn’t want the buff even though he can’t down the bosses. The forums are filled with people who say WotLK is too easy as they sit wiping on Putricide.

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  23. Well… just imo but if it’s true that more than half of ICC guilds are stuck at 4/12, couldn’t that just mean they’re retarded and don’t deserve to clear any more? I mean, even if they were ‘very casual’, spending an hour researching fights in the next wing wouldn’t ruin their perfect lives, surely?

    The buff is there to encourage progression, if your guild can’t progress past 4/12 with it, then I think they should all log out, delete WoW and throw their computer off a cliff… considering ‘poorly made’ pugs frequently make it further than that.

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  24. Waah waah!!! Only people who have suffered for months and months raiding with 24 other a-holes should be entitled to get gear and see end game! When I was your age, I had to walk to all the dungeons in the snow without any shooz!!!! SO UNFAIR QQQQ Imma quit waaah waaah someone call the wahmbulance.

    That’s the tone of a lot of these comments.

    I sincerely wish people would get over themselves. Blizzard is sick and tired of having only a tiny percentage of the wow playing population ever see end game. If the game designers have elected to make the encounters more do-able for more players, I say YAY! Not everyone who plays is a former Nihllium member, but that doesn’t mean they should never get to see end game.

    Sheesh. Take a chill pill peeps.

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    • BS… Learn to play and get to end game with out a buff .

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  25. It all comes down to the elitists wanting to, not only be better than you, and tell you they are better than you, but to basically ass you out of content because you dont play like them. They are the same sob's that want an achieve the second week of a release, and refuse to group with people that for whatever reason, didnt get the achieve the first week. Making content more accessible to a wider range of player seems right. After all they pay for the game too. The selfish attitude of “pro” players should not be catered to, in any way.

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  26. The problem is that most people don't have tons of hours to dedicate in game to get t10 gear, and would still like to view engame content. Content, mind you, that they pay $15 a month to play. Perhaps you have the time to spend to beat each and every boss normally, and if you do I hope you can find a guild that shares your enthusiasm and will run these raids on hard mode without world buff. But for casual raiding guilds, where we have school/work/lives, we appreciate Blizzard allowing us to view all aspects of the game without devoting our entire lives to getting gear.

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    • Dude, ICC has been out for 10 months now. My guild is currently 9/12HM by raiding 6 hours a week, and a number of folks only raid for half of that time. The whole “raiders are unemployed basement dwellers” trope hasn't been true — if indeed it ever was — for years.

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