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Ulduar nerfs and Blizzard's new raid philosophy

Eliah Hecht

Ulduar has been nerfed almost every day since it came out on the live realms, and Blizzard shows no sign of slowing down. There have been mixed reactions to this, but one thing has become clear: Blizzard's approach to raiding has changed.

Zarhym made a very interesting post in a thread complaining about the latest round of Ulduar nerfs, and made the following points:

  • The Blizzard raid philosophy is different in Wrath than it was in BC and classic. He said "The primary goal in this expansion - and the reason we've implemented 10/25-player, and hard modes - is to give as many people access to the raid content as possible." A lot of work goes into making raids, and they want more people to be able to see them than has been the case in the past.
  • Therefore, PUGs should continue to "have some level of success" in Wrath raids.
  • The difference in difficult between 10s and 25s is meant to be "fairly minimal."
  • They intentionally slightly over-tune raids when they're released, watch who's downing what bosses, and "adjust the encounters according to the percentage of raids we expect to be killing specific bosses." This is very interesting to me - bosses are nerfed as a direct response to how many raids manage to down them.
  • The real challenges are in the hard modes.

In closing, he says that "the days of a marginal amount of players having a go at our raid dungeons are mostly over."

In my opinion, this is an excellent change of tack. It really doesn't make a lot of sense for Blizzard to pour so much time and resources into a raid for just 5% of the player base to see it. I understand hardcore players missing the challenge of raids past, but hey, that's what hard modes are for.

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