Naga and Nerfs

I've been spending a considerable amount of time in Serpentshrine Cavern and The Eye over the past few weeks, especially considering that I haven't actually returned to core raider rank. The guild has managed to find some promising new recruits on Nethergarde Keep, but with several people having to sign as absent for real life reasons every night, there was usually still a spot for me. And in my head it still matters that I haven't committed to being there - I just happened to have time.

SSC in particular has felt like a good place to be. Practising the Lady Vashj fight reminded me of how much I loved it back in the day too - I generally like fights where a lot of players have to fulfill different jobs, and where a certain degree of unpredictability forces people to communicate. Back in the day my shadow priest was one of the people burning down striders; this time my hunter was the dedicated elemental hunter for the southern side of the boss's platform. I enjoyed myself either way.

We'd gotten to the point where we could make it through phase two reasonably smoothly, but then things tended to fall apart quickly during phase three once the unstoppable mind controls kicked in (affected targets receive a huge buff to their damage done and couldn't be crowd controlled, only tanked). A few weeks ago there was talk from Blizzard about nerfing this slightly so that the mind controlled characters could at least be CC-ed, but they quickly backpedalled on that particular suggestion for reasons unknown to me. Instead they decided to wait a little longer and then apply one massive nerf bat all at once, with the associated changes going live yesterday.

Going into SSC after this nerf felt very weird. The trash absolutely melted. Lurker died in half the usual time. Morogrim Tidewalker's murloc adds, which had previously been a tight AoE dps check, were reduced to about a quarter of their previous health and our warlocks struggled to get even two Seeds of Corruption off before they were all dead. When we got to Vashj herself, we one-shot her, and the cheers on Discord were very subdued. Where her third phase had previously been a crescendo of chaos after an already challenging phase two, it was now just another tank and spank similar to phase one, making the fight conclude with a whimper instead of a bang.

I found myself remembering the day we killed the final bosses of tier 11 back in Cataclysm, as well as the massive Black Temple nerfs hitting just after my BC guild had killed Mother Shahraz (something I also discuss in the linked post). In hindsight, I was right that none of those post-nerf kills were ultimately very memorable to me, as I can recall virtually nothing about any of the mentioned bosses that I first killed in their post-nerf state.

I can't help but find myself wishing that Blizzard hadn't decided to push us forward quite so hard. Trawling my way through old patch notes, it was interesting to see how targeted and gradual their raid nerfs were originally: remove a trash mechanic here, tone down the damage of an ability there. The aforementioned mind control mechanic on Vashj for example was initially changed to allow players to be crowd controlled after all, and only removed entirely much later. And I think the big nerfs to mob hitpoints didn't actually come until the Wrath pre-patch back in the day. Seeing it all applied at once was honestly a shock to the system as it just changed everything so much.

Yet at the same time I can't claim to not understand their intent behind this. With BC's attunements, there is some sense in doing everything to ensure people could kill Kael and Vashj in time, as this is required to be able to enter Mount Hyjal and Black Temple at all - and people expect those raids to open early in the new year. Might as well make sure that players have the appropriate gear and that all raiders can get attuned in time. And I'm not going to lie - I'm looking forward to seeing Hyjal again! It was another BC raid that I really enjoyed - Black Temple was more of an "eh" from me.

Monday will be the guild's last progression raid before the Christmas break, and they're planning to clear Tempest Keep (I'll be busy elsewhere). I'm thinking that might still be a bit ambitious, because as far as I'm aware they haven't had a chance to practice Kael at all and he's still got a lot of mechanics to wrap one's head around. But even if he doesn't die before Christmas, I'm sure we'll get him down in the new year for sure.

I suppose I'm just feeling a little melancholy about how much Classic has turned into just another rat race. I mean, I've kind of known this for a while, but nothing drives the message home like Blizzard nerfing the content hard to make sure you move on already, damn it. My original dream of Classic being this evergreen MMO that we'd all be happy to come back to now and then on a casual basic is pretty dead at this point. However, I'll try to enjoy what's there while it lasts, because looking at the Classic era servers I don't expect Classic BC to have much of a future in the long run either.


  1. My original dream of Classic being this evergreen MMO that we'd all be happy to come back to now and then on a casual basic is pretty dead at this point. However, I'll try to enjoy what's there while it lasts, because looking at the Classic era servers I don't expect Classic BC to have much of a future in the long run either.

    I will say that the Season of Mastery servers are really fun and worth checking out. I do wonder at the so-called "hardcore" guilds (identified by 'HC' in the names). The server I'm on has HC guilds with a goal of downing Raggy, to which I'd imagine they'd have to have about 100 toons ready per raid attempt because of all the deaths.

    But that's just me, you know.

    1. I'm sure SoM is fun for many, but as it ties to this post, surely it's even more of a rat race? What with the increased levelling speed and knowing for sure that the servers are only temporary and will be closed down once the Season is done? Literally the opposite of what I'm looking for. :)

      And Hydraxian Waterlords used to have hardcore guilds since the early days of Classic. I mentioned meeting a player like that in this post. Again, no SoM needed (even if you can get a special buff to show off your hardcore play style there)...

  2. Hi Shintar;

    Yes, the rat race isn't something I enjoy, not at all. I set goals for myself in terms of how I want to play, and even though the grass may appear to be greener on the other side (Raiding, PVP, etc) I rarely find it so once I've crossed the fence.

    At first, Season of Mastery was appealing, but over time I've hit that awesome sweet spot in BC that I remember so fondly. Having a team of alts (and now a 2nd account to level more) I'm loving the ability to choose what I'd like to do at any point during my logins.

    Hopefully you've found that niche for yourself.

    Merry Christmas and all the best!


    1. You made a second account just to level more alts? Haha, you're just as bad as some of my Classic friends...

      But "sweet spot" is a good way of putting it. As I mentioned in my last post, it feels a lot like I hit that point myself now, being able to fill any role in a (normal) dungeon and having gotten into a groove with friends who share my interests.

      And a merry Christmas to you too!