Kurnmogh, Defender of a Shattered World

Yup, it’s true. My hunter is now a Defender of a Shattered World.

The thing is, I’m not particularly happy about this title. I was really pleased when I got it on Madrana with most other Apotheosis raiders, mind you. That’s because it was the culmination of three months’ of hard work and progression. We’d already gone 1/13 by killing Halfus and then finished off 12/12 normals by downing Al’Akir.

Normally, Apotheosis does an alt run on Mondays. This coming Monday, they’re going in to Bastion of Twilight to try to get heroic Cho’gall down and then work on Sinestra. As such, the “normal” alt run took place on Friday. Trouble was, it was Friday, so a bunch of people who would normally go to these things weren’t around.

So I let Jay, who was organizing it last night, know that I’d be available on Kurn if they needed another body. They did, so I ended up going. I made a bunch of flasks (which ended up not being used, because Dahrla was awesome and made cauldrons!) and made a bunch of Tol’vir potions (which I used regularly, although I didn’t pre-pot) and was ready to go.

We 9-manned Conclave and Al’Akir. And it was stupidly easy. Like, Acid Rain doesn’t stack on Al’Akir anymore. I was all ready to swap to Aspect of the Wild since we didn’t have a shaman (so no nature resist from the totems) and it was like “WAIT, Acid Rain doesn’t STACK?!”

So, we 9-manned Throne. I died on Al’Akir in P3 because I got the lightning rod and I guess I moved too far out because I got spun around and around by the game and deposited in the lightning clouds at the top of Al’Akir’s head. Like… wtf?

Anyhow. On to Bastion of Twilight!

9-manned Halfus. And I got Malevolence.

Sara then joined the raid on her mage and we continued through BoT, downing V&T and Ascendant Council and finally Cho’gall.

It’s so, so sad how easy these fights are, now. I’d done Halfus, V&T and Council before on Kurn, before any nerfs, and had wiped to Cho’gall a chunk. The differences are just astounding. My gear hasn’t appreciably changed in the months since I last zoned in to BoT on Kurn, but it felt like I was kicking ass. Sadly, I know I wasn’t kicking ass, per se. It was that the encounters have been nerfed SO HARD.

So we drop Cho’gall and it’s on to Blackwing Descent. We’ve literally been playing for like, 90 minutes or so at this point.

Magmaw was up first and it took me a minute to remember how to do the fight on NORMAL because the last several times I’ve seen that fight, it’s been on heroic. Jasyla stood with the melee and people were like “why aren’t you with ranged?” and her response was “I’m not standing out,” and I LAUGHED because the poor woman was asked to heal at range throughout all of our heroic attempts/kills on Magmaw. Can’t blame her for not wanting to stand out there every again after the trauma heroic Magmaw inflicted!

Magmaw down, on to ODS. I didn’t DPS the wrong target, I switched to the slimes, I even interrupted one Arcane Annihilator and I dispelled one stack of … whatever the hell it is on Arcanotron. But man, that’s just too easy now.

On to Maloriak!

The adds just EXPLODED during the green phase. And that’s all we needed — one green phase. Before the next red or blue phase came out, Maloriak was into P2.

On to Atramedes!

They tried to get me to ring the gongs and I was like “You’re kidding, right?” Thankfully, Kaleri said she’d handle that part of the fight.

Next thing you know, Atramedes is dead right after the second air phase.

On to Chimaeron!

They had me start up the event just to see how freaking long it takes to talk to Finkle just to get the show on the road, since I’ve always had a DPS do that in our 25-man raids.

My favourite part:

Uh. Yeah. Finkle’s Skinner is in my hunter’s bags. (Along with the Zulian Slicer, actually, and a pair of gloves with Gatherer on them, so I was able to skin Nefarian later!)

Anyhow, even with a terrible transition to P2, right after the massacre, we still beat down Chimaeron. And, horrifyingly enough, I topped damage on that fight. Hah!

Then, it was time for Nefarian. I had never done most of these fights on 10m, but most of them are very similar to 25-man. I was a little concerned about Nef.

I was more concerned when they were like “Kurn, you should collect the adds in P1″ and I was like “Oh… crap.” But I was up for the challenge!

With a bit of help from Sara, I think I managed to make sure people didn’t get beat on much by the adds, but they certainly did not die all clumped together in a nice little pile. They were totally spread out all over the floor. I was like “uh… oops.”

Then we get up on to our pillars (that was my first time getting up on to a pillar without using my bubble!) and I was like “where is my dumbass pet?” and then I sent him to attack the prototype on the pillar. Unfortunately, I forgot about the assist stance, so my pet ended up staring at Nefarian for a while. The prototype was still up when Nef landed, so we jumped off the platform and I shot at the prototype for a while with a couple others (?) and finished it off, before swapping to Nef.

Couple of bits of fire to deal with and then that was one dead dragon.

In a single night, I went 12/12 normals and didn’t totally suck, given that the encounters were totally, completely changed from how I did them the first time around. :P So I got my Defender of a Shattered World title, I got the achievements for all three T11 instances, I got my new staff and I got my T11 helm, being that I was the only warrior, shaman or hunter in the group. ;)

I had a good time with the group, but I don’t foresee doing T11 content again for a while. It really, REALLY makes me sad to see how easy it is. Sure, I was a beneficiary of the nerfs last night, but I really don’t like nerfed content, I don’t like the concept of nerfed content until the expansion is over (and even then, I get pissy — like what is UP with not needing to do heroic Putricide and heroic Sindragosa before turning LK to heroic?!). That’s not to say I don’t understand why they’re doing it. It’s just not something I particularly want to be a part of, not when I’ve done it the first time through pre-nerf.

So. A good night, a fun night, but overall, I’m disappointed with how easy it all was.

7 comments

  1. Vidyala says:

    I’m really of two minds about nerfed content. I mean, on the one hand, I like that they do it because then people can see the encounters that may not have done so otherwise. And it’s no skin off my back if folks get to do encounters – it doesn’t affect me at all. Heck, we went in and eight-manned BoT a few weeks back for some VP, and the fact that we COULD made me similarly sad. It was just…I don’t know. Anyway, in that regard I “get” nerfed content.

    The only thing that bugs me is if anyone would boast about how easy it was – like one or two-shotting Nef, when most guilds worked on him for a few weeks. I haven’t seen that attitude, though, I think mostly people are discomfited by it. Rhoelyn (on Twitter) was saying that her group killed Al’akir in one go, when before the nerf they had been repeatedly rocked by him, and she was upset by how easy it was. Just because a group might not be on the cutting edge of content doesn’t mean they don’t want a challenge too! :|

  2. Kurn says:

    Vidyala – Exactly! Back in BC, we were not on the cutting edge of content. I got Archimonde down a full year after my RL Friend the Resto Druid did. But I worked hard on SSC and TK. Sure, the attunements were lifted and there had been some nerfs, but it wasn’t anything like the 30% boss health nerf at the end of BC, and it wasn’t anything like this recent nerf to T11. I take comfort that we would have killed Archimonde, nerf or not, the week the nerf hit servers. We’d had a 12% wipe or something the week before. But I felt ridiculous getting Reliquary, Mother, Council and even Illidan with the nerf. (Not to say that Illidan was EZ mode by then, but not having to deal with Shear was great.)

    So back then, even though we were months, over a year even, behind in terms of progression, we pushed through the content because we wanted to experience it. But getting Bloodboil down, pre-nerf, was very different from Illian post-nerf.

    I feel good and bad for those coming through T11 now. On the one hand, they see the encounters. On the other, there are likely SOME people who care that they’re not seeing these fights in their original states.

    I’m one of those people who enjoy the challenges. I LIKED when you needed 2 sets of box clickers on Magtheridon! I LIKED attunement quests! I LIKED farming for resist gear!

    It’s a weird balance the developers need to strike, IMHO, and I don’t think they’ve gotten it right yet, even after all these various ways to make content more accessible. A 30% boss health nerf at the end of the expansion? Eh. A 30% zone-wide buff towards the end of the expansion? Meh. The complete nerfage of an entire tier of content the day the new tier comes out? WTF?

  3. Arazu says:

    Al’akir was easily 4-manned in t11 gear a week after 4.2. The Acid Rain nerf completely gutted the fight.

  4. Awryt says:

    You know, not everyone is as lucky as you are with there guilds and/or servers. I play on an RP server and our server’s progression always lags behind. Add in the release of new content over the summer when attendance is usually down and the draw of other games and an awful lot of guilds are struggling to field raids at all. Blizzard admitted that they made tier 11 normals too hard for the entry raids of this expansion. That caused a lot of people to see raiding in WoW as no longer fun. Do I want a challenge? Yes. But more than that I want to have fun raiding with my friends and guildmates and the thought that in order for the “average” player to do that they have to accept being a full tier behind and being told that their achievements and hard work mean nothing because it was all nerfed to the ground is just going to make more people leave WoW. I am not asking for the return of the tank-and-spank, but come on… Could we have a little less of the random if-anyone-does-anything-wrong-it’s-a-wipe stuff?

    There are a lot of folks out there like my guild. We were top 10 on our server in Vanilla, top 20 in BC, top 30 in Wrath, and stuck in Cataclysm… We aren’t hardcore, but we don’t suck as much as our ranking makes it look like either. I thought the whole reason for hardmodes was to provide the uber challenge to those who wanted it and that normal modes were supposed to be accessible to organized groups willing to put in the effort, but that doesn’t seem to be how it is working at the moment. I hope the get the balance right before they drive the rest of us casual failures away.

  5. Kurn says:

    Arazu – I believe it. It’s sad, but I totally believe that. Not having stacking Acid Rain changes the encounter completely. :(

    Awryt – No, everyone isn’t as “lucky” as I am. In fact, I wasn’t all that lucky, either. Where I am today is in a fortunate position because of all the hard work I put into the guild that I’m now leading. I spent a year putting the guild together before we reformed. I had the core of the guild assembled on Eldre’Thalas and running ICC at the tail end of Wrath before Cata dropped. I started recruitment, I worked on policies and such that would work for us, from a loot system (EPGP) to getting the officers I wanted to agree to the job. And all of this was before Cataclysm launched.

    Because of that hard work and because I contacted all these people I knew from my Wrath travels, I was able to bring together a pretty great group of people and we were well-poised to get through T11 normals.

    It wasn’t luck. It was work.

    Then, there was more work — trimming our roster, making sure people were doing what they needed to do prior to the start of our raids, then even more work in getting the fights down and organizing people.

    Getting through T11 wasn’t easy for us, so I think I’m allowed to mourn that the difficulty in T11 is pretty much gone at this point.

    With regards to T11 normal modes at launch, sure, they were challenging. The interrupting on Nefarian was ridiculous when all of your interrupters had to be hit-capped, for example. But all of the normal modes were doable with attention to the mechanics. In my experience, and I have a lot of it in various groups of different sizes with different goals, the biggest problem “average” players have is either:

    1) Not enough attention paid to the mechanics of the encounters. If people are dying to bad, they have to stop standing in bad.

    or

    2) Not enough time on the encounters. This isn’t even a “nights per week” value, but rather, the amount of wasted time in raid. My guild is not good at this, but we’re better than many “average” raiding guilds. We raid 9 hours a week and try (we don’t always succeed, but we always TRY) to make those 9 hours count.

    or

    3) Not taking the encounters seriously. The fights are balanced under the assumption that everyone is flasked and has a 90 stat food buff. If you’re not flasked and haven’t eaten, then, sorry, you’re just unnecessarily gimping yourselves and making things harder than they need to be. Similarly, gear – if you’re undergeared/wearing PVP gear/etc, that’s just not going to work.

    or a combination of two of the above or all three of the above.

    I think that encounters should be doable with organized groups putting in the effort, too — but I don’t think that means ignoring mechanics, failing to understand mechanics, spending 20 minutes for wipe recovery or not flasking constitutes “putting in the effort”. I’m not saying you think that means putting in the effort, but I know that some people DO think that way and think it’s perfectly fine to go try Cho’gall with 75% PVP gear on.

    I think there is a balance between heroic mode raiders (where one wasted GCD could wipe the raid) and average players who just want to do the encounters, and maybe things were tuned a little difficult for average players at T11’s launch, but nerfing the encounters to render most fights a tank and spank (hi, ODS?) or to have few repercussions for screwing up a mechanic is just… silly.

    As to heroic modes, I personally hate them. I do them because they’re there. But I hate them. I think the actual raid encounters should be challenging enough so that when you get it down, it MEANS something. In my first week in T11 content on 25-man, we got Magmaw, ODS, Halfus and V&T down. Subsequently, killing them meant very little.

    Conversely, we spent a week on Majordomo Staghelm. Getting him down meant something.

    And now I get to do it all over again in heroic modes once we get Ragnaros down, only everything hits about 10 times harder and we have more crap to dodge on the ground. ;)

  6. AliPally says:

    I don’t buy this excuse that normal encounters are too hard and need to be nerfed so ‘average’ people can do them. I’m an average player, as are the people I raid with. We are currently 3/7 normal Firelands, and cleared T11 normal content and got our titles a few weeks before they nerfed it all.

    We got there by persistence and no doubt by eventually overgearing the harder encounters (ie Neferian). None of us are great players; we are anything but great players. We failed to beat Kaelthas in TK, and we failed to get past Teron Gorefiend in BT, never mind Council or Illidan. In ICC we needed the 30% buff to beat Sindragosa heroic. Hardly hardcore.

    If we can clear current normal content, so can any ‘average’ or ‘normal’ players. It just takes a bit of time and effort. I don’t see any need to nerf things into the ground, just so people can ‘experience the content’. The point is, you are NOT experiencing the content, you are experiencing a pale shadow of the content once it has been nerfed as badly as T11 content has been.

  7. absynthe7 says:

    Just for another perspective, my guild just downed Cho’gall for the first time this past weekend, after spending three hours wiping on him. And it felt epic. We’ve been hammering away at BoT for the past two months (ever snce the nerf), once a week, four hours at a time, making a bit more progress on each go.

    There have been some other things going on – we’ve grown as a guild, and after some initial turnover on the raid team now have a solid and reliable group who’s willing to learn (even though we all had a lot to learn, myself included), as opposed to before when we were pugging half the raid. And we’re still, from any objective standpoint, “bads” to some degree or another. But we’ve still got content that’s challenging to us without feeling impossible, and we’re improving every week, and when we get our Defender titles it will feel epic to us, even if it’s not something we plan on bragging about ;)

    The real problem is the lack of T12 content – you’ve got one raid and that’s it. The problem isn’t that the old content was nerfed so hard – it’s that guilds like yours have to go run the old content in the first place to have something to do.

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