It’s not often that I have an entire post writen in my head as I drive to work. But the topic of this post has been gnawing at me since last night, ever since I stepped foot into the Plagueworks. We ran 10s last night, being an off night. We manage two field two strong groups for the zone. The goal: learn everything we can about the 3 new bosses to prepare ourselves for the 25.
I had three reactions to the new content: Confusion, Frustration and Happiness.
Let’s start with confusion first. Last night we went into the Plagueworks to face Festergut and Rotface. We were able to get Festergut without too much trouble, but I am not sure how much you should read into that with us being a 25 man heroicly geared guild doing 10 man normal content. I am not sure how 10 man guilds in 10 man gear will feel about the 5 minute enrage timer and I can’t offer an accurate gauge at this time. However, as long as you play smartly I don’t think this fight will be too bad. It does, however, require a lot of coordination.
Then we got to Rotface. Both of our groups wiped enough times on this encounter that we had to reclear the trash (which is no joke). Not only is the encounter challenging, but it is, not surprisingly, bugged. I think it took my group 11 pulls to net our kill, and the other group ran out of time, but got him down to 9%. Almost every pull made it to 30% and then wiped spectacularly as we tried to work out how to handle the increased infection rate.
However…here is where my confusion comes in: In the same week they made an (unessecary) nerf to Lady Deathwhisper, they release a wing where the trash is more difficult that some of the first four bosses. No, I am not joking. It’s not going to be the new bosses that kill “everyone gets to see the content”, because people aren’t going to even get to the bosses. Hell, I wiped four times on “Precious”.
To be quite frank, if you were not able to kill Lady Deathwhisper before a nerf, you have got no chance in hell of downing Rotface and Festergut in their current iteration. Period.
And this is why I’m confused, is the content for everyone or not? This new content is clearly not. Although I, personally, am happy to have challenges again, it seems to me that Blizzard is sending a bit of a mixed signal to the community. In one breath they say “content is for everyone” but then they release content that is so clearly not going to be accessible to those they have promised it to. Festergut…maybe. Rotface? No. Putricide, unknown.
Honestly, if they toned down the “enrage” that he does somewhere between 20% and 30% it would probably put the fight in line with where it would need to be for “everyone” to experience it. But that isn’t what they released. And while I think that focused progression guilds will be able to tackle this sucker, the masses will not.
My Prediction: Rotface will see a swift nerf. It will sound something like this “The rate at which Rotface infects players with Mutated Infection at 30% has been significantly decreased”.
While I did enjoy the challenging new content, I find myself increasingly frustrated with the “unfinished” buggy product that we have been receiving this expansion. It’s one thing to wipe on encounters because you are trying to learn the nuances of them, but it’s quite another to wipe because the mechanics of the encounter aren’t working as intended.
As an example, last night on Rotface I had a slime that just wouldn’t behave as it was supposed to, regardless of what I did. We tried everything. We had people cleansed right on top of me in an attempt to get my slime to merge. I ran to unmerged slimes in an attempt to get it to merge. I all but stood underneath the giant ooze, trying to get my damn slime to be eaten. Nothing worked. Eventually I gave up, and just continued the fight keeping myself fully HoTed and letting the fucking thing beat on my for the duration of the attempt. I am fairly positive that the other group experienced the same bug as well.
As best we could tell, what was causing the “rogue slime” was when you had multiple people infected, and a third slime was introduced into the picture before two slimes had merged. While this is easy to manage for most of the fight, post 20-30% when he’s infecting almost every second (which may be a bug within itself), it’s almost impossible to do without getting one bugged. We might be wrong about what is causing the bug, but when we made a concerted effort to just heal through the infection, and wait until we had a merged one before cleansing people, we no longer had “rogue slime”.
Now, it was almost midnight on the nose when we got our Rotface kill last night, so we did not get an opprotunity to pull Professor Putricide. However, as I understand it, he is bugged to hell. This does not surprise me in the least, as he was so bugged 100% of the time that he was on the PTR that he was untestable. And the way that the instance was rushed out to us, I fully expected this bug.
However, what really chaps my hide is that Blizzard has determined that we only get 10 attempts to kill him…yet they presented us with an encounter that they screwed up. This does not seem fair to us. Actually, it seems pretty fucking unjust. “Hi, we are going to give you limited attempts, but we aren’t going to have our shit worked out and you will likely waste attempts as a result of our poor planning. Good Luck!”.
Blizzard used to be infamous for taking forever to finish a product, but people waited because they knew when they got it, it was going to be quality. As far as WoW goes, you may say “what about Rag and C’thun”, and my reply isn’t that those encounters weren’t “bugged” they were purposely made “unbeatable” until Blizzard wanted you to kill them. I don’t know if the slick, rushed content that we have seen most of this expansion is a result of Activision’s heavy hand, or if Blizzard is playing fast and loose with their standards. But, I have seen more shit bugged out content in this one expansion than I saw in the previous 4 years of WoW combined. And it’s disappointing.
I would have much rathered that they had held off releasing Ice Crown Citadel until after the holidays, and took the time to polish what was to be presented to us. Perhaps they could have given us the 5 man content prior to the holidays, and then pushed out Ice Crown after. I don’t know. What I do know is that I would have much rather have waited a few more weeks for quality content than to have to find work arounds to kill bugged shit.
Regardless of all of my complaints, I really am truly happy to have content that is innovative and reasonably challenging again. But sadly, I don’t think it will last in its current iteration. Just over a year ago, the mentality of the game was that you needed to spend time to learn fights and kill bosses. I mean, think about how many weeks you spent trying to get everyone down those damn portals on Kalecgos! Now people expect to sneeze on a boss and have him shit out epics.
While I don’t think that encounters should be slamming your head into a brick wall hard, I think that they should provide a challenge, and I think people should have the expecation that you should have to work at something to reap its reward. Sadly this mentality was largely lost in this expansion by a majority of the people. In a community where everyone considers themselves a “raider”, the act of “raiding” itself has almost been lost and raid instance are almost 10/25 man dungeons.
I have no doubts that the Plagueworks is going to be heavily and swiftly nerfed. I have no doubt that I probably will never have to wipe to “precious” 4 times again. I have no doubt that the cries of those that are used to being coddled and handed what they want are going to be heard, not because they should, but because it is the mentality that Blizzard is largely responsible for creating. They said “You can see it all”, and that has largely been implemented not by making “everyone” play smarter, but my making the offerings more “idiot-proof”.
Here’s hoping I’m wrong :)
What are your thoughts and experiences so far with The Plagueworks?