Over the past week we’ve heard a lot about Blizzard’s decision to nerf Firelands. People who are in favor of the changes. People who are opposed to the changes. People who think there are better ways to deal with making the content more accessible. Since Tuesday, we’ve also had a lot of feedback from people who went in and experienced the content first hand. “It’s a joke”. “Seriously, no challenge”. “LOL NERFED!”.
Now, we had our first raid since the nerfs last night. We cleared to Heroic Rag in two hours without incident. But I’m not here to talk to you about how easy I felt the content may have been. I’m not here to tell you how the nerfs may have ruined the challenges of Firelands. I’m here with a proposition for you.
Create Your Own Challenges
This is what I said to my raid last night as we stepped foot into Firelands. Just because the content is now easier, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still challenge for you. It’s just a different kind of challenge. Where before perhaps an encounter challenged you, now you must challenge yourself. Easier doesn’t mean that you still can’t push yourself harder.
Vixsin talked about this a little bit back at the end of T11. In time, regardless of nerfs, most encounters will always become easier. Be it from your familiarity with an encounter or the gear increases that you see every week making you more powerful. The encounter that you saw the first time you step into the zone isn’t always the same encounter that you face when you leave the zone. The is part of the progression cycle. There are a few exceptions to this, but I think it’s generally true.
The stronger you are as a player and a team will have a direct relation to how quickly this happens. Or, in the case of Firelands, Blizzard stepped in and sped up this process. However that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t approach an encounter with your own challenges firmly in hand. Set individual goals for yourself: “I will hit 30k DPS tonight”, “I won’t hit a single brushfire tonight”, “I ranked 79th on this fight last week, 50 or bust this week!”, “I won’t let my bladeflurry fall off a single time”. Those are all achievements that you control. Those are all challenges that are solely in your hands, and are affected by your personal performance. Those are challenges that you can push yourself towards, regardless of what the content offers. And they are all things that can keep your mind active and fresh in content you’ve mastered. And honestly, if you push yourself every night when things are easy, you will become a stronger player when new challenges become available.
In addition, consider shaking things up a bit as a raid. If you are mowing over certain mechanics, talk to raid leader about changing up how you approach the fight. For example, last night we sent another person up on Alysrazor and more people up for Beth. And I think we can push that envelope even farther, each add fight saw people sitting without something to do because we managed the adds too fast. So maybe next week we add a fifth or sixth person on Alys and perhaps we try to bring Beth to 50% before she comes down. We went through the adds so fast on Rhyolith that I think we can move some of the DPS off of the adds over to the feet to see if we can push him over earlier.
For healers, maybe do some fights where you drop down in number and offer healers the opportunity to DPS. This one is harder for me becuase I hate saying to my healing team “Oh hey, we can sit half of you now!”, so I think I’m going to propose to them that we bring the same number as usual, but open the opportunity every encounter for someone to DPS if they would like. Or maybe even on some weeks we will pick a fight or two where we say “let’s try to push the envelope here and 3 heal this, who wants to try this week?”, so that the healers can continue to be pushed as well.
In short, what I’m proposing is that you don’t let things like nerfs control what challenges you as a player.
When you enter into the instance tonight, tomorrow or next week – don’t think “LAWL, SO EASY”, instead think “I did my best last week, can I be better this week”. Don’t let someone else’s perceptions of “easy” control how you view challenges. If you can’t find challenge in an encounter, I humbly suggest that perhaps you aren’t looking hard enough at your own play, setting higher benchmarks, or pushing yourself as far as you can.