Strange five-man boss nerfs

While running multiple random heroics per day in the past week, I couldn't help noticing a couple of strange changes to some boss fights.

Ionar in Halls of Lightning only disperses once per fight now, instead of three times.
The Prophet Tharon'ja in Drak'tharon Keep only does his psychadelic "I'll turn you all into skeletons" thing once per fight now, instead of three times.
Grand Magus Telestra in the Nexus only splits once per fight now instead of twice.

I wonder if there have been more changes? These are the ones that I noticed anyway. I neither love nor hate them; more than anything I just find them confusing.

The first two changes were apparently part of a hotfix a few days ago, which immediately poses the question... why? Ionar and Tharon'ja have been among WOTLK's easiest dungeon bosses from the beginning (I'm not sure if I ever managed to wipe on either of them), so I don't understand why what little of interest there was left about their fight mechanics had to be taken away too. The only people that I can see benefitting from this are the manic badge farmers who were always sighing in exasperation about the way the bosses' abilities artificially extended the fight and prevented you from pwning him more quickly. But was that really such an issue?

As far as Telestra goes, looking at various websites they all claim that there's always been only a "possibility" for her to clone herself more than once on heroic, but in all the heroic Nexus runs I did before the latest patch she always split herself twice. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a lack of dps either, as it seemed to be tied to her health (first split at 66%, second split at 33%).

Telestra actually used to be pretty tough back in the day, and the double split certainly played a role in that, so I do consider this a "serious" nerf. However, once again I can only wonder about the reasons behind it, because people go into heroics with better gear than ever, so nothing is nearly as hard as it used to be anyway?

I can't help feeling that Blizzard is currently pushing the "farm everything into oblivion as quickly as possible" mindset a bit too much at the moment.


  1. Actually I think there's a much easier reason.

    With the currrent high dps in those heroics, they switched to their special abilities much too fast, making it so that they are over half the fight in their special abilities. Which is just annoying and boring. (For example Ionars second and third disperse are usually just some seconds apart from each other, which isn't reall fun or interesting, just annoying.)

  2. Well, I admit that the fights weren't particularly interesting to begin with, but removing most of their abilities makes it even less so. And I find it odd that Blizzard tailors fights towards "imba dps" groups so they don't have to put up with the "annoyance" of boss abilities slowing them down even more. It's not how they usually go about these things.

  3. I agree with your larger point. While the "fix" was obviously done to compensate for people killing too fast, so that Ionar's splitting took up 75% of the time, it also acknowledges that it's OK to kill Ionar fast without effort.

    A true fix that tried to restore the fight to something like i200 level would be to increase the health of Ionar, or adapt the challenge to deal with current DPS. But it doesn't sound like the current team considers that a high priority, and would rather focus on Cataclysm, and so under those constraints it's the more appropriate fix.

    It is a strong reminder how Very Very Wrong they tuned the numbers this time, and how they are willing to sacrifice 5 man tuning for raid tuning.

  4. Is this actually the caes or are DPS just burning through bosses insanely fast these days?

    And, yes, the 5-man heroic grind is getting increasingly tedious. I remember back in the day I used to LOVE running heroics, nowadays I just see them as a potentially flaming hoop to jump through.

  5. I wonder if they also fixed the end boss of kingdom. It's very very easy these days to get both phases at the same time and killing 8 copies of your group mates, including 2 healers, is still "very challenging". :)

    Ionar is just an annoying bitch, so I'm all in favor of this change.

    And Tharon'ja was VERY challenging back in the days... if tanked by a druid. Because the skeleton resulted in an automatic double shift: skeleton -> caster form -> bear. And if the druid got hit in the split second he was in caster form, it was a one hit. A druid always had to get to range before the Tharon'ja stunned the group. (At least we wiped about 20 times because of that bug.)

  6. Personally, I think it might just be speed. When farming for Christmas hats, I went into normal Nexus and we killed Telestra in 11 seconds with a full group. A coworker of mine went in around the same time with only 2 people and they got 2 splits to my group's none. With T9 so accessible, even random pugs have been hitting achievements for me with not much effort.