Friday, April 27, 2012

Dragon Soul Nerfs and Mass QQ

It was just announced that Dragon Soul would be nerfed a further 5% after the scheduled maintenance on April 30th. This brings the Power of the Aspects debuff to 20% total. In that same Facebook post I linked to, the comments are rife with the crying and gnashing of teeth from players who are upset about further nerfing an already easy raid. The words facerolling and noob are thrown around. Jabs are taken at the incompetence of people that can now complete the raid and bringing regular mode down to the level of the Raid Finder version. There are a few comments here and there about the ability to toggle the nerf on or off, but so far the overwhelming consensus is that Blizzard is ruining the game, past its prime, and everyone is leaving the game for Tera or Guild Wars 2.

At least that's what one might gather from the comments on Facebook, and probably from comments on the official site under the identical post.

It grates on me to see so many people upset. On one hand, I can understand the frustration of seeing rewards you worked hard for suddenly becoming available to people through content being nerfed. Suddenly what you accomplished doesn't seem so special because the epics and titles are available to more people. We tend to see rare things as trophies, and it makes us feel good to be one of the few with those trophies. If everyone has it, it's not unique, and it's not easy to see if someone got a title or epic long before someone else did. Sure, you can look up achievement dates on the armory, but that's a bit cumbersome. So it's hard to take pride in doing something first if that's not really apparent.

On the other hand, I don't see what the big deal is. It benefits Blizzard (and thus the longevity of this game we play) to make content available to as many people as possible. And for the last several years the expectation is that raids and dungeons will get nerfed. Especially at the end of the expansion. It opens up the world to millions of people who didn't have the time or ability to see the content before. What's the point of keeping people from getting epic rewards? So we can feel unique and special and superior? What's the point of gear anyway? The point of gear is to make top content easier to finish. And then later we replace that gear with other epics, and then at the start of a new expansion we replace the purples with greens. Gear is only a means to an end. The same can be said for nerfs.

I also see a lot of misconceptions. I don't have the stats. Neither do many other players. Claims to the effect that everyone has already beaten the content, and thus nerfs aren't necessary, should just be thrown out. Blizzard wouldn't be nerfing it further if that was the case. Blizzard has access to more information about who is raiding, and who is beating the raids, than anyone else. Maybe a lot of raiders have beaten the content, and the nerf is to encourage people who haven't stepped foot in Dragon Soul to try it out. I don't know. But neither do most of these people complaining and making wild claims about raiding stats.

I'm not sure where I intended to go with this post, so I'll just leave you with a what if. What if, instead of being elitist and lording it over people that we've beaten content first, we extended help and encouragement to those working on content we've completed so that they could accomplish the same things? What if we spent less time telling people they're noobs because they haven't done what we have or because they chose not to pursue the same challenges we did? What if we just took pride in our own accomplishments without comparing ourselves to everyone else? What if doing all of that made mechanical nerfs unnecessary?

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