The Seven and the Nerf Bat - 11.10.2007

Undoubtedly, many of you have seen China's recent first kill of Illidan by 'The Seven'. It took the guild 52 days of progress to clear all content in TBC - that's a little over 7 weeks.

Many people I know have commented on this first kill and it's implications; I personally think it is a remarkable speed in which to do it, if only you consider it from a gear point of view - 7 resets of farming tier 5 dungeons is most likely not enough time to get every raid member geared out comfortably; and as seen in the killshot many of the raid members were indeed wearing their old Tier 3 pieces.

This indeed begs the question - How hard has TBC content been hit by the 'Nerf Bat'?

Just for comparison's sake I looked at Nihilum's kill dates (Nihilum being the number 1 guild in the world in terms of PvE progress). Now if we exclude Karazhan/Gruul/Magtheridon kill dates (which used to be requirements for the Tier 5 dungeons), Nihilum killed Hydross the Unstable on the 16th of February, and defeated Illidan on the 5th of June - an 109 day period; more than double the amount used by the Chinese. Also bear in mind Nihilum would have been gearing up for a full month in TBC prior to this time period, unlike the The Seven.

Now this isn't to say that The Seven 'wtfpwnd' Nihilum; far from it. If you actually look at the Tier 5 and 6 dungeons since Nihilum were making first kills, you could quite easily say that all four instances have been altered in some way to make them easier. Just off the top of my head;

SSC - Trash respawn times changed from 45 minutes to 2 hours and all mob hitpoints reduced by some amount (around 10%).
TK - Trash respawn times changed from 45 minutes to 2 hours, Al'ar encounter significantly reworked, and Solarian encounter significantly reworked.
Hyjal - Trash waves reduced from 12 to 8 and Archimonde's Doomfire ability altered; various other tweaks to his non melee abilities.
BT- Mother Shahraz encounter significantly reworked.

These changes (of which there are many more) have made for a far easier time in TBC in recent weeks then back in Spring 2007; and this is clearly shown by The Seven's complete annihilation of the end-game content in a short space of time, with a significant lack of high end gear (I am going to assume for this article that Nihilum and The Seven's skill levels are on a par).

I guess my actual point of all this rambling is this: Will Blizzard continue to nerf content when it has reached a certain stage in order to appease the more casual gamer? In my opinion this devalues what many top-end guilds spend a large amount of time and energy on; and it seems to me that Blizzard is caving in to the concerns of the casual, rather than rewarding the skilled playerbase.

Will the Nerf Bat swing around and hit Sunwell Plateau (slated to be the final 25 man raid of TBC before the next expansion) in a few months? Only time will tell.

-Joe Zara [Phoee]


Anonymous said...

what yo also have to take into consideration is that nihilum cleared most of the content in hyjal before BT was even released so that period of time they couldnt really do much. where as seven had everything right then and there. I am not saying seven lacks in skill because that is alot to clear in several weeks but content was still being realesed during nihlums kills

Anonymous said...

<3 Phoee, EG forever =P

Anonymous said...

Just as a heads up, WoW largest player base is Casual, a very small amount is actually hardcore raiders.