After patch 4.2
released, the previous tier of raiding content was hit with a huge swathe of nerfs and changes designed to make the content that much easier for raiders now just able to experience it. With tier 11 valor point gear now purchasable
with justice points, Blizzard fully intends for the previous tier of content to be pugged by server populations. Blizzard's Bashiok took to the forums to discuss just that intention.
Bashiok does say that servers will take a bit to gain the momentum and general fluency with the encounters, but that it is entirely able to be pugged. Further, he says that from here on out, Blizzard has adopted the mantra of one cutting-edge tier, with the previous raids nerfed to allow players an easier time to complete them.
Personally, I am a huge fan of this type of content shift, and I think we've reached a pretty good compromise with regards to content accessibility and raid design. Raiders get their challenge while the content is relevant, hard modes are still skill-based encounters that do not get the nerf bat, and the previous tier of normal mode content is much more accessible to more casual raiders. Much as Ulduar drakes still presented a challenge in execution during Wrath
even though we outgeared them, hard modes in Cataclysm
are the execution challenges that will still prove to be tricky for meta achievements. Count me in.
Bashiok comments on previous raid tier nerfs
We specifically intend for the 4.0 raids to be puggable now that Firelands is out. Grabbing some tier 11 by way of Justice, quest rewards, plus across the board difficulty nerfs should really be enough to get them going.
The patch has only been out a day or so though. I think it'll probably take a little bit before people really get it into their heads that they should be pugging the previous tier because it's not too hard to be successful. It's just getting people used to the various encounters and mechanics.
Maybe people are waiting for the holiday weekend? If nothing else, leading one yourself is always an option. I think we'd agree that we need some better ways to get pug raids together considering we intend to follow the "New Raid is Hard, old Tier is Puggable" format from here on.
The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!