World of Warcraft (WoW)

Why we should push for ‘pre-nerf’ heroics

(Disclaimer: I've posted this originally on the classicwowtbc subreddit, and made some revisions since then)

Blizzard has said that they would provide, to some degree, 'pre-nerf' raid bosses. The reasoning for this was that players are more 'competent' since the vanilla launch, and they wanted the classic game to replicate the difficulty back then. This was obviously great news to hear.

With the phased release cycle, heroic dungeons will represent a larger proportion of the content available to us compared to the vanilla launch. Because of this, Blizzard should try and keep heroic dungeons not only difficult, but at the very least true to the original experience. Patch 2.1 brought many nerfs (and fixes) to regular and heroic dungeons as a catch-up mechanic for new players wanting to fight Illidan in BT. I think they should set the dungeon/heroics to their more difficult, pre-nerf state, and once the BT phase hits, progress to the nerfed state as the vanilla game did. This would be in a similar line of thinking they used to justify their pre-nerf raid idea.

Here are just A FEW examples of the changes that came in 2.1. This is not a full list and more nerfs were made than what is shown here:

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Hellfire Citadel: Ramparts

  • Bonechewer Destroyers now has a 2 second melee round time and will no longer Knock Away and wipe the target's threat on Heroic.
  • Bonechewer Evokers now attack slower.
  • Bleeding Hollow Scryer's Fear extended the repeat cooldown so the ability will happen less frequently.
  • Bonechewer Raveners on Heroic, damage has been reduced and will now attack slower.

Hellfire Citadel: Blood Furnace

  • Shadowmoon Adepts on Heroic now double attack instead of triple attack on occasion.
  • Laughing Skull Legionnaire no longer uses the Sweeping Strikes ability.
  • Shadowmoon Technician's Silence spell is used less frequently.

Coilfang: The Underbog

  • Underbat in Heroic difficulty damage has been reduced.
  • Underbog Lurker in Heroic difficulty damage has been reduced.
  • Underbog Lords have had their damage reduced.

Coilfang: The Slave Pens

  • Coilfang Defenders are only found in pairs while in Heroic difficulty.
  • Rokmar the Crackler will now only apply Grievous Wound to his current target.
  • The 2 Myrmidon, 1 Sorceress, 1 Slavehandler pull has been changed to a 2 Myrmidon pull. (exp boosting relevance?)

People believe that heroics are just a way to get your pre-bis, and you'll never enter them again. That's mostly true, but the value of things like primal nethers, exalted faction rep, etc. mean that we will be spending a lot of time in them. Making the content more challenging and less of an afk-smashfest will make it more enjoyable. We've already seen people clear these things with relative ease at lvl 68 for christ's sake, Naxx geared or otherwise. The 2.1 nerfs also nerfed the normal versions of the dungeons. This could make things like mage boosting more difficult and less desirable.

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Again, there are many, many more nerfs than what is listed here, for all dungeons (normal and heroic, including the ones listed here). The full list for 2.1.0 can be found here. There were more nerfs in subsequent content patches, but I don't intend Blizzard to go that far. There were bug fixes and minor buffs here and there as well, but the same thing is true for 'pre-nerf' raids. These changes add up to make the dungeons way easier as a catch-up mechanic. These nerfs shouldn't be in the game before BT.

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