A recent announcement from Blizzard in the patch 4.2 public test realm patch notes includes very large nerfs to every raid boss in Blackwing Descent, Bastion of Twilight and Thone of the Four Winds. The changes effectively make every boss 20% easier than they currently are.
I think this is a good thing.
So why do I like it? I’ll provide some context before answering that question.
As the guild leader of a large guild with diverse membership, I’ve been in the position of having a lot of players who want to raid, but honestly are not up to progression raiding. They want to experience raid content, but do not care if they are doing it before anyone else, they just want to down some bosses (not even all of them) and have fun in a guild group.
During the Wrath of the Lich King expansion there were three 10 man raid teams progressing in Icecrown Citadel. Two of these killed the Lich King and completed many hard modes. While we were never at the top of progression on the server, we did well enough to feel good about our raids.
There were quite a few other guild members who were not part of these teams; either because they had timing conflicts, no interest in regular raiding, or had failed a tryout for the teams.
I ran 25 man Icecrown Citadel raids on a Monday night to cater to these guildies. At this point the 30% buff had gone live, and we raided for 2 hours. Often this resulted in killing 6 bosses. The core of the team was built up around members from the 10 man teams, but there were usually 10-15 members of the raid who were pugs or non-raiding guildies.
The result was a very happy guild membership because they got to have some fun, get some decent loot, and see content that would otherwise have been too hard for them. Were some people carried? Sure. Everyone was aware of that and it was ok. The pugs were informed early, and almost all of them were fine with it too.
Moving back to the recent announcement, I’m really happy that this will be the case. Now guilds will have the ability to do runs for fun in the raids, bring less geared characters or less skilled players and invest less time in the raid that is no longer progression content. Tier 11 raids will become a place that people go to gear up on the way to Tier 12, bringing alts and pugging a lot more frequently. I could easily see running a two hour raid in Blackwing Descent to gear up some guildies and having that be a pleasant experience.
Tier 12 will still be hard and require the usual level of raiding focus. Nerfing Tier 11 doesn’t change anything for guilds that are doing progression, but opens up content for the significant number of players who have not spent much time raiding in this expansion.