Things About Which I Pre-Emptively Panic
I have kept a journal since I was in the single digit age bracket. Since college, most of my self-philosophy has been via online journaling - previously livejournal, and now here, though I do try to keep things relevant to WoW.

It is usually fairly entertaining to read my Deep Thoughts as a pre-teen... but sometimes it's actually quite frightening. Sometimes it helps me put things in perspective.

Within the month, I will be creeping one number close to the big three oh. 27 is really not that big of a deal, so I'm not going to flip out about it. I keep telling myself this. But then, on occasion, I hear the very loud ticking of a biological clock, and I start to panic again. I should be married. I should have a career settled. I should be preparing myself to have kids. SHOULDN'T I? I'm running out of time! TIME!

And then, in an effort to "soothe" myself, I pull out one of my old journals from when I was 15 years old. And I read the entry that always reminds me, in a somewhat calming way, that I am simply fucking insane. At the risk of humiliating my 15 year old self, I will share it here.

"And Lilly," (yes I called my journal Lilly so just shut up) "I'm wondering if God would forgive me if I went out and had sex just enough to get pregnant. Because I really want to have kids. And I'm quickly running out of time. I mean, if I don't do it soon, I may miss my chance entirely!"

Did I mention I was FIFTEEN YEARS OLD when I wrote that?

Due to that somewhat enlightening recognition of my internal panicky nature, I have decided that I just can't worry about this crap, or I will drive myself insane. Or at least... I will try not to worry about it, but I'm not always successful.

Why am I even bothering to mention this on a WoW blog (aside from the fact that, let's face it, that's pretty entertaining)? Because I have a tendency to have this panicky attitude in every facet of my life - not just the ticking biological clock.

Bornakk announced some "hot fixes" on the WoW forums yesterday (oh hai thar you sexy orc with an Amish beard) and when I read them, I grew very suspicious. And that suspicion grew into panic, which then degenerated into all out heartbreak. All in the span of 30 seconds. That's how I roll.

Why wait so late in the ICC game to make these fixes? In fact, I might venture to say that these aren't really "fixes" at all, but mini-nerfs. Maybe they were justified in some scenarios, but plenty of people were able to move past these difficult encounters with little complaint.

It's one thing to have a nerf-buff that can be turned off. But I can't turn off hot-fixes. I can't turn back time and ensure that my raiding team gets the same epic experience in ICC that so many others did. In a way, I feel like we've missed our chance. Apparently the real challenge of ICC was to clear it out before it stopped being as challenging. We haven't even conquered Plagueworks yet due to ID resets and time. I was determined to make this ICC10 group work, and work well... and now I feel as though I've failed to get what I really wanted out of this whole experiment: The same experience that hardcore 10 man raiding guilds got.

A lot of people seem to think that the people raging over nerfs are the e-peeners and the elitists.
And I will agree that there is plenty of that going around. I will be the first to step up and admit that Blizzard opened the raiding doors to people like me and gave us more accessibility. I don't think I'm a poor player - but I refuse to leave my friendly little guild for a raiding guild.

Not all of us who are upset about the "easy-ing up" of WoW are hardcore e-peeners. Some of us are just your average players who occasionally dance naked on mailboxes. Some of us just care more about the process than the end result. Some of us want to know, for ourselves, that we achieved something truly spectacular, against all odds. It's not about showing off to others, it's about proving it to ourselves. When I got my GRE scores, I was excited not because I could flash the number in front of grad schools - but because I had proven something to myself, even if it were just a standardized test. I hate how easy it is for me to gear myself up, yet I don't begrudge others for doing it. It's just a giant let-down for me, because I don't personally feel as though I did anything all that great to get my epix. I just queued up. It doesn't have any value to me unless I found it difficult to achieve.

It's not uncommon for 10 man ICC teams to struggle on Rotface for six hours. The difference is that for them, that may mean two days. For us? That means three weeks. Since we aren't a raiding guild, people weren't picked for this raiding team based on "Are you available during this time slot?" - they were chosen first, and then asked "What time will work best for you?" and thus we have two hours a week that works for everyone that I wanted to join me in ICC. I could have picked people based on schedule availability, and run with entirely different people. But I wanted to achieve this great feat with my friends, so I did everything I could to make sure it was my friends who joined me.

And here I am, quickly running out of time to "do it right". My chance at conquering a challenging ICC is passing me by so quickly, and I feel like I'm missing out.

Or am I just being that silly 15 year old girl again?

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20 Responses
  1. Arioch Says:

    It's not just you.
    These are nerfs and I have no idea why they were brought into play. If they were truly "fixes" they would have been made much sooner.
    Why can't they wait until the next level of content is ready to be released before trivializing our challenges?

  2. Cayleb Says:

    My two cents here:

    Yes, they're nerfs. But they told us ICC would be getting progressively easier as time went by. These changes shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

    Thing is, this progressive easing of the content has always been happening in one way or another. Mainly through gear upgrades. First-rate progression guilds tend to get the raid content done while still geared from the previous tier. That sort of coordination and dedication isn't possible for guilds that can only raid 2 or 4 hours a week.

    Blizzard's finally figured out a system that lets the top-tier guilds still achieve something, but (eventually) lets the rest see the content while still in tier.

    Speaking solely for myself, I know my guild won't down the Lich King in the next two weeks, even despite the soon-to-be 10% Strength of Wrynn buff and other content nerfs.

    I'm okay with that. Because in the end, we'll still have improved, learned, and achieved. But with relatively few hours per week to dedicate, it would take months to even come within a stone's throw of downing the Lich King. The clock is ticking, yes. But at the end of the day, the Lich King will still be an accomplishment, and the raid will still be fun.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I, for one, like the nerfs. I think they're small enough not to trivialize the content. As distressed as you are about nerfing the challenge, there are people who are equally distressed about spending 3 weeks on Rotface because they're in a casual guild - and seeing a new boss maybe once a month.

    Banging my head repeatedly against the same boss week after week (Mimiron) made me feel hopeless. Even though we got him down after that, I was left with a feeling that getting him down finally was NOT worth the soul-draining repeated wipes - dedicating 3 hours to demoralizing run after run, when I could be doing ANYTHING else - like sorting socks. Mimiron was what made me quit priesting. I lost my joi-de-bubble with that encounter.

    You can't make everyone happy all the time. I guess another version of your 15 year old self would be thinking "I'm wondering if God would forgive me if I went out and joined another guild long enough just to get through Arthas. Because I really want to kill Arthas, and I'm quickly running out of time." As much as you're panicking that you won't be able to do these encounters while they're still "difficult" there are people worrying that they won't be able to do the encounters at all.

  4. Muron Says:

    It may feel that way, but the "challenging" ICC is simply just moved further ahead. And considering after all these nerfs no guild has yet to kill Heroic Lich King 25 man, there is definitely still challenging content out there (Hell even with a 5% buff LK is still hard).

    I think they are coming out a little fast, but even with 30% more DPS/HPS/Health Heroic Lich King will still be challenging.

    Hopefully the next few rounds of buffs will trickle out slowly, and while you may never have gotten to kill pre-nerf LK, NO ONE got to kill pre-nerf H LK so don't feel too bad, blizzard just wants everyone to see LK.

  5. Nim (Ankh) Says:

    My first response when I heard about this was, as it always is for raid "hotfixes", was WTF mate? I came here for challenge first, loot second. If people accomplished it pre-nerf, it can be accomplished - so why change it?

  6. Aryas Says:

    Oh, they're definitely nerfs but I don't mind them, I like them. Let me see, er, I mean play, the content (*cough* don't want some Turkey coming here telling me to watch the videos *cough*).

    Not knowing 100% if I'll get a raid spot with my guild, I'm forced to PUG. I've got down the first wing + Rotface in PUGs, so things like this will only help me get to the further content.

  7. Amoros Says:

    It should be easy enough to tell the DPS to not get trigger happy long enough to get aggro on Marrowgar. I'm not familiar with the other bosses so I don't know about the other ner/hotfixes.

    Thing is, my guild is very late coming into raid content this expansion, and at this point I'm willing to take whatever boons the WoW gods gift us with to play new content and see the Lich King. Going through Naxx when the final tier of raiding is available is kind of disheartening. :L

  8. Zan Says:

    Honestly, some of the 'fixes' were things that I'm glad got in.

    The Marrowgar one is kinda silly. The Saurfang one is nice because it fixes an RNG gib and I hate RNG.

    The Rotface one made me blink a little, I was hoping for a "the slimes now merge correctly" type nerf.

    I'm glad it happened, my raid core has had something akin to 40+ wipes (I forget to run WoL parses sometimes so I only have 28 of the wipes recorded) and the only way I convinced them to try again was telling them about the change.

    Our setup didn't include a Hunter (or a DK for the longest time), so Rotface's adds couldn't be kited by either of those.

    Our main problem was the oozes refusing to merge and the RNG (all three healers get injected after 30% when the debuffs go wild and the slimes refuse to merge).

    Many many 10% wipes were disheartening to the point where my players stopped showing up for 'wipe nights' because they didn't want to eat another 10+ deaths.

    My raiders usually don't mind wipefests. We killed Yogg10 before TotC came out, with perfect execution.

    The biggest difference between our 3 week push on Yogg and our 40+ wipes on Rotface--is there was a detectable progression on Yogg.

    We kept getting better at it. "We made it to phase 2." "Brain's at X%" "We made it to phase 3" "10% left." "1% wipe." "Yeah! Yogg down!"

    Rotface was, "Oh look. The slimes aren't merging again. GG RNG."

    I recall that Rotface was screwy. The first week we were in there, we saw a nerf hotfix apply while we were sitting there looking at her--the health nerf.

    Blue Post About it:

    This 'nerf' is putting her in 10 man on a different timer scheme instead of the 25 man one.

    We've now moved on to collaborating strategies that work for us on --other-- bosses.

  9. Klepsacovic Says:

    My sister-in-law is definitely older than 27 (30? No, I'd remember a 30 birthday, let's say 29) and she's only having her first child soon.

    As for sex for just a baby; well it's either that or sex for fun and oops a baby.

    Oh this was a post about ICC nerfs?

  10. Ophelie Says:

    I felt that way too when I was raiding with a more casual group. Whenever there was a nerf, I'd be disappointed that we couldn't learn the fight the same way everyone else did. (And I've never been the type to worry about my biological clock - I'll adopt when I'm 40, kids before that = wasting my youth)

    I see it as a choice: to raid with friends a three hours to week, you have to sacrifice progressing before nerfs. To progress before the nerf, you have to sacrifice raiding three hours a week with friends.

  11. Dristanel Says:

    Allow me to share a humiliating little story of my evening.

    Every week our 10 man team raids ICC Friday and Saturday. Friday is usually our 'whatever' night and Saturday is used for... wiping for four hours, generally.

    So we get in there tonight and everybody is thinking we're going to steamroll shit due to the buffs and mini-nerfs. Being the skeptic that I am, I just shut up and do my job. We get through Lower Spire without incident, and in about an hour solid, which is good for us.

    Then, Lower Spire. I fully intended to record the Rotface fight, but I am far too ashamed to look at it. First attempt, someone died with 10 seconds. Then something happened with healing and the OT died, then I died and everyone else died soon after. Second attempt, someone dies in 10 seconds. OT dies for stupidity. DK picks up the slime and kites it. We heal and cleanse our asses off, DPS pewpews, I am totally out of mana when he goes down with three people left standing.

    Festergut, the tank gets gibbed. We wipe when the other tank explodes. Second time, I don't know what exactly is going on but I am OOM and he's still at 20%. This kill, with the 5% buff, is no better than our pre 5% buffs. In fact it's sloppier.

    Putricide... first wipe, I was a total doofus and cleansed the abomination. Second wipe, for some reason THREE people died before P2. Third try, I've run myself well beyond out of mana by P3, even using my Divine Plea during Tear Gas. Both tanks are at four stacks of the debuff when the jackass finally goes down. There's four of us left standing, period.

    You know what 5% did for us? Made us arrogant and stupid. So in a way I do agree with you. But... never underestimate the ability of players to make up for any buff/nerf Blizzard amends to these encounters.

  12. Len Says:

    Oh I'm totally with you. The 5% and onwards optional boosts to help you move past your personal 'cockblocks' in ICC and carry on with new bosses is ok. I mean, you can choose it.

    But really. If my supercasual, snails pace, 10 man only, take who wants to come not the 'best', spends more time chatting on vent than clearing trash guild can get through to festergut and is able to work productively on the next few bosses then anyone can.

    The Lower Spire really isn't hard even by the standards of my hardworking but mostly chaotic guild raids, and defintely not hard enough to warrant 'nerfs'.

    p.s. I'm 28 and nowhere near settling down in some kind of marriage and babies christmas card lifestyle so worry ye not ;)

  13. Chastity Says:

    Chalk up another one for the twenty-eight-nearly-twenty-nine and have no particular career plans club.

    As for the nerfs: some of these look like genuine tweaks - stuff really shouldn't target pets, and as somebody pointed out above, the Saurfang nerf mostly just makes the fight less random, which is no bad thing.

    To put it another way, a lot of these changes will make the fights *easier* but they won't necessarily make them less *challenging*.

    That said, progressive content nerfs do bug me because they turn the whole thing into a race to do the content before it all goes "easy mode". Unfortunately a lot of people see the whole thing as a race *anyway* which is kind of why they have the whole nerf cycle in the first place.

  14. Anonymous Says:


    I don't think your running out of time - the encounters will always be there. The problem, in my opinion, is that, from a business perspective, it is in Blizz's best interest to stroke its customer base's collective epeen by making gear/content available to everyone. A noble endeavor, for sure; however, unfortunately I think they have started down a slippery slope of making over gearing and nerfing of content the norm, rather than the exception. From my own guild perspective, it's appreciated, as we are a small, friendly and competent guild who still, depending on the night and attending players, has difficulty getting through ToC25, let alone venturing into 2nd wing ICC. On the other hand, (i) vent is not near as exuberant when bosses are downed for a guild first; and (ii) I really don't feel the same sense of accomplishment without having struggled for a bit on content (masochism in its purist form, for sure).

    Anywho, just my thoughts and ramblings. Anyone wanna do a PuG Magisters Terrace? Never was able to get in before, but maybe I can contribute better now that I've got ten levels on the content.


    p.s. With respect to kids, hit the snooze button on the biological clock - it'll happen in due course. If you want, I'll ship my 6 and 10year old to you for a weekend and it'll help you understand what I'm saying :)

  15. Well yes, we always knew there were going to be nerfs, and I don't mean to sound like one of those folks who seem so surprised by the nerf themselves. The issue I have is more one of timing - it just feels so rushed! It feels way too early for the nerfs.

    But, as Cranky said you sadly cannot make everyone happy at the same time. Unfortunately Blzz does not design their game with only me in mind - they have to consider the desires of 11 million people, and that is definitely a challenge.

    To be fair, it's not the content of the hotfixes themselves that really concern me. I don't like the Marrowgar change, but the other stuff isnt so bad. It's what it represents, it's the principle of the matter, it's that slope that just keeps getting more slippery.


    Wait, can't you have "yay sex oo yay baby" instead of just "yay sex oops baby"? Am i getting too philosophical on this?


    I suppose that's true, but to be honest... I had rather hoped to have my cake and eat it too :( that's what I get!


    I love this story. I think this is part of the reason why I'm not even going to bother with the buffs right now. We don't really need the extra 5% on any content we're struggling with, and that 5% isn't going to help us much on the content we ARE struggling with (i.e. Rotface). So it's not really helpful for us anyway.

    Yeah thats kinda the way I feel about it too. If our 2hr a week group can do it, then surely most everyone else can as well - including pugs. yeesh.

    And it makes me feel better to hear that there are plenty of others in my age group who are not "Settled" either XD


    Why can't I make a living just telling people about all my random genius thoughts? I really did think I would have that whole career thing sorted out by now. I just keep going back to school, hoping to get it all figured out.

    It does feel like a race. I wish the only race that existed was for "firsts" and then the rest of us could just feel fine taking our time, but still getting the same experience.

    To be honest, most of Wrath has felt very rushed to me.


    Do your kids wash dishes? How about laundry? If so, I'm sure we could strike a deal.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Well, it might seem rushed, but Icecrown has been out almost 3 and a half months at this point. To look at it from Blizzard's angle, they don't really have insight into every raid's goals and intentions.

    Your experiment is a good one, one that I've seen performed on our server. Unfortunately this time around you happened to fall on the side of the line that is unfavorable.

    *Drifting into a sports analogy*
    When the NCAA Basketball tournament rolls around, the team that's most upset is the one that is ranked 66th (65 teams make it in).

    At some point Blizzard drew the line when they were going to be releasing the 5% buff (and maybe even some of these micro-nerfs).

    However, the bright side is there is still a lot of challenging and fun content left in ICC. I think you'll really enjoy the rest of the instance and still feel like you've accomplished a lot.

  17. Ulv Says:

    You just have to play through the content as you get it and be happy to play your own game.

    I didn't feel that my guild is making massive progress but we're consistantly in the mid-30s on realm rank. Our realm isn't staggeringly ahead of the curve or behind it, it's very very average.

    The 'nerfs' are mostly to conetnt that mildly capable guilds have beaten and is entirely in keeping with Blizzards goal of accesibility.

    I'm expecting the 5% buff to increase weekly to the 35% cap, at the slowest fortnightly. This doesn't bother me too much though - everyone's still in the same boat. The fights will still be intrinsically the same as when they were released.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    I hear a lot of the word "trivial" being thrown around in many forms here. That's completely subjective and people are entitled to their oppinion, but I'm inclined to dissagree.

    Even with a 5% buff there's nothing easy about the later fights, and they haven't been recieved any significant nerfs. Sindragosa is tough, and is going to test the individual skill of every player in your raid. Even getting all of the other bosses in one raid reset can be a challenge.

    I think Cranky summed it up pretty well. The nerfs are small enough to make the fights a little easier without making them a complete joke to people who were having trouble with them. For those of us who have downed the content already, it gets easier with repetition, so all it does is get us to what we're having trouble with faster.

    You're not running out of time, it's just not as easy as ToC was. This place takes time, and even in our casual raiding guild, we're putting in 7-9 hours a week. As of last night, our two 10 man groups were at Sindragosa and Arthas. You'll get there too.

    As for not doing it pre-nerf, does it really matter that a miniscule amount of the playing population was able to complete the instance without nerfs? I say no. The few people who have cleared all of the instance are among the best players in the world. They're the best for a reason, and the drop off between them and your average player is huge. Just becuase they were able to do it doesn't mean everyone will be able to do it.

    - Sam

  19. Roguewind Says:

    Most video games are designed to be purchased, played, and beat (usually in under a month, but often in less than a week). Then you go out and buy the next game. WoW didn't used to be this way. Back in vanilla, you could look at a server and there were players at all level ranges. Now, everyone's 80. A friend of mine who never played before made it to level 80 in just over 2 weeks time with no outside help. He just did quests and ran a few dungeons. 2 weeks.

    The difference between a mmorpg and other video games is that you buy the other games to beat, but mmorpgs are made to play... to accomplish something. Is it really an accomplishment to do something that everyone else has done already? Is it worth striving for something that isn't difficult? Is it worth spending hours to kill a boss when you know that if you wait a month, blizz is just going to give the win to everyone else?

    Not in my book. And this is why I cancelled my account.

  20. Hinenuitepo Says:

    Yup, late to the party on your blog again Missy :)

    Anyway, I think I have to gently say:
    Eating it too.

    You have to decide on your priorities. You want to raid on a schedule that fits you and your friends. Raiding with your friends is fun, no doubt.
    But then you also want to defeat difficult content, when it's difficult.
    I get it.

    It's a matter of balancing priorities, though. If you want to defeat it when it's harder, you'll have to find a group with a little more time to face it each week.

    I understand about wanting to turn off easy mods, but even your group equips the new gear they get each week, right? That's a nerf to content as well.

    In any case, do it the way you want, with friends, but I don't think you can expect it to 'stay hard' forever! :P

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