I have always been a fan of the gradual buff. In fact, I like it so much that I honestly think the same model should be adopted for all raids. Options are good. As someone who takes her victories where she can, I don’t mind that my guild and I managed to get an encounter down with the buff at 5%— just so long as it’s done. For example, I’m proud of my guild and I for taking Arthas down before the ICC buff reached full by a good three weeks or so.
It’s frustrating when you’re doing a fight, you know all of the steps and executions… But you’re just missing that last little oomph to complete the task. You’d think that by this time, especially with the Raid Finder, your 10-man raid team should be geared up to wazoo to take on the next encounter that’s continuously stonewalling you. Sure, you and your team would be geared if a specific class token didn’t constantly drop and gave you nothing else. Well, nothing else aside from rogue loot, too.
There’s a running joke in our guild that our priest and paladin can build entire neighborhoods from the sheer amount of Corrupted Conqueror tokens we’ve seen, week after week. And that’s after they’ve geared their main specs and off-specs. Some of us have gotten so used to seeing the same loot over and over again that we just habitually hit “disenchant” automatically.
So, yes, we’ve definitely been looking forward to the gradual buff. In between four hours of raiding a week (if that) and lack of non-priest/paladin/rogue loot, you could say that we’ve been effectively slamming our heads against a particular encounter that shouldn’t be that bloody difficult, but is.
Sure, we could have extended our raid locks in the name of progress but, again, if our efforts on one fight are fruitless, what are the chances of us actually making progress without the necessary upgrades? It’s not like we can just return to our base of operations, mine some resources, kill some dudes, and magically find upgrades for our preexisting armor and weapons before heading back into battle. If only it were that simple.
I think the reason why I like the gradual buff/nerf (whatever you want to call it) is because I come from the camp of casual/borderline semi-hardcore raiding. We do it for fun, and when we get into the instance, we put our best game forward. We do put our best efforts into every fight. We just can’t spend more time on it.
There are a lot of arguments out there about how content/loot should be reserved for those who put in the time and effort. Unfortunately, there are some people out there who equate “time spent” as “effort.” Anyone who’s worked with a lazy person in any given job knows that is definitely not the case. Sure, they’re spending the same amount of time as you on your shift but you’ve completed fifteen things while your coworker has done zilch. But I digress. No, the analogy is far from perfect but you get the idea.
Point is— and I said this about LFR in an earlier post— content shouldn’t be restricted. Loot is, honestly, now a means to an end, rather than an end itself. The gradual buff in 4.3.2 is like a happy medium between hardcore and super casual. Enough of a challenge but not tear-out-your-hair-in-frustration challenging where it becomes unfun. Especially for my guildmates and me, where we only get four solid hours of the good stuff, the line is fairly fine.
Honestly, I can’t figure out the reason behind the visceral responses from people every time Blizzard makes an announcement like this pertaining to raids.
In other news… Got a job (another one, anyway), celebrated with the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC for Mass Effect 2, and pre-ordered Mass Effect 3. After I placed my pre-order, however, I had the sudden, irrational fear that any friends I play the multiplayer mode with will realize I’m not quite the marksman I profess to be. Hit rating in WoW has coddled me into not having to worry about aiming with my gun. Good thing I have a month or so to practice and work on my game, huh? So, uh… Anyone out there who doesn’t mind a sort of derpy infiltrator class want to team up for ME3 multiplayer?