Right now in the Wrath of the Lich King beta we’re seeing something unprecedented. All raid bosses in The Burning Crusade are nerfed. This means they’ve had their health significantly reduced. Many members are guessing that upwards to 30% of the enemies health in these instances (including bosses) have been chipped off the top. This was unconfirmed for awhile until Borrnak showed up with the following:

To coincide with the upcoming new talents and mechanic changes for classes in the next patch, we are making some adjustments in existing raid content to provide a smooth transition when the upcoming patch is released. The creatures and bosses in raid dungeons that were introduced in The Burning Crusade will have their health reduced, and most will have their standard melee damage output reduced as well, but their spell and ability damage are not being changed. These changes are being made in all raid dungeons from Karazhan to Sunwell Plateau as well as the outdoor encounters of Doom Lord Kazzak and Doomwalker. On top of this Illidan is also doing his part and will stop casting Shear on players.

Woah! The community has been in a bitter outrage slash cheering festival since this announcement. The non-raiders are freaking out that they may get the chance to see all of this content that they missed while raiders are freaking out for all the wrong (and right) reasons. Let’s first take a look at everyone’s point of views.

Non-raiders are hopeful. If these bosses are down upwards to a half a million or more HP then this means that you won’t need to do nearly as much damage and you’ll be getting a ton of extra new abilities from the new talents! You’ll probably be able to see Illidan way before the patch hits. Yeah?

Raiders are feeling the usual range from glee to happiness. Easier encounters usually means more purples but opens them up to more people making their worth next to nothing. On the other hand a lot of the talent changes and the fact that down ranking will be removed will make this a necessary change. So you’ve got… wait a minute what?

That’s right. Shield Block will have a cooldown, you can’t “down rank” healing spells, and the new talents are totally different from the older ones. Hold up? This is supposed to be a “nerf” right? Well guess what everyone, it’s a balancing act. That’s right, these encounters will be easier but they’ll also be nowhere near as easy if you just reduced their HP flat.

Healers will have to heal with their full rank spells meaning that healing will be way more difficult and shield block with a cooldown will make tanking an entire new world. So you’ll see healers needing to manage mana more and warriors blocking the big blows less. Luckily that’s why the enemies hit for less and have less hp (and Illidan doesn’t shear anymore).

Then we need to add one more thing in this: the expansion will be about a month away or less from the launch of patch 3.0. No one will want to raid the content with a full hard gear reset looming around the corner. The people who do will be getting gear that’ll outdate itself in weeks. So that’s where things stand.

Everyone who is getting in a tizzy in one direction (gleeful) or another (angry) should realize that this change only matters for a short period of time. The main concern should be with the skill change and how they’ll affect raiding in Northrend. With the new talents, the skill changes, and down ranking gone we’re going to be entering a new world where our current tactics won’t work as well as they used to. As a matter of a fact, they won’t work at all! Mana management and tanking will be different and in my opinion it’ll be in a good way.

Why should Warriors need 10,000 word essays on how to play their class in a raid instance and on the timing of using abilities such as shield block to make sure they cannot receive a “crushing blow”. See shield block is used by Warriors to get above 102.4% miss/dodge/parry/block rate to avoid being crushed. A “crushing blow” does 150% of an enemies normal attack damage and if they happen in quick succession then you’ll see an instant raid wipe. In Wrath of the Lich King this concept will be removed (to allow Death Knights to tank and to remove the randomness out of raid wipes). If you’re worrying about difficulty you can go ahead and stop. They’ve replaced that mechanic with making bosses do more damage, the ability to critically hit, and with new spells that’ll do the burst damage that a crushing blow would have done (but without the bam bam bam crush crush crush wipe).

So in summary, these changes mean little or nothing to us playing the game before Wrath of the Lich King. When the expansion comes out then we’ll see where the changes take us. As for raiding? I don’t know about you, but I’m on the Sunwell Isle farming gold. I don’t have time to see Illidan unless he can give me some cash.

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Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Ten Ton Hammer network or staff.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Xerin 1
Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.