Snow: It’s always fking falling in Frostwall.

It’s the little things that annoy.

Like how it never stops feckin snowing in Frostwall. Like ever.

Still pretty annoyed that the Alliance get a bloody palatial Garrison with proper buildings with walls and all sorts of other luxuries, but Horde instead get a collection of glorified bus shelters.

Mind you, my level 90+ Alliance characters, all 2 of them fact fans (Druid & Hunter), are still in their mid to early 90’s. Mainly because there’s not an Alliance guild that’s worth a damn joining. It’s mainly all kiddy guilds, run by kiddies, that only exist to reap huge numbers of members because they seem to think that having a large number of uncommunicative members is somehow a good thing?

It’s almost like they were never told that Cash Flow was removed from the game at the start of Warlords…

However, the main thing that’s really been rubbing my rhubarb this past few summer holiday weeks, in amongst the thousands of other things, is raid scaling. Blizzard’s so-called Flex/Scaling tech that they brought in with Siege, and have really gone over the top with in Warlords – Time-walking and Mythic Dungeons say Hi!

Raid sizes, in theory, are now flexible. This means that, in an ideal world where Blizzard aren’t incompetent, all raid bosses would be as easy to kill with 10 bodies as they would with 30, and it would scale smoothly and fairly between those 2 extremes. However, Blizzard being Blizzard, it doesn’t really work like that at all.

Raids now need a specific sweet-spot of bodies in order to really work smoothly at all. Some bosses, like Gorefiend for example who we’re going to be starting work on in heroic next raid night, really screw groups over who have less or more than 15 bodies in the raid. Add numbers don’t scale down, add health doesn’t scale down, and it seems like with either 14 or 16 players, you get over-run with adds, whereas in that 15th player sweet-spot, you’re golden. So far we’ve found having 15/20/30 players is the ideal raid size nowadays, which is shit really.

Long gone are the days of intimate 10 man raids, where a solid core 10 players would rock their way through raid bosses like MLG pros. Not now. Now, debuffs, cleave mechanics, phasing mechanics etc all conspire to ensure that raid groups even attempting bosses with 10 players are going to get screwed over big time.

  • Assault: No problems, just needs a good comp of AoE dps players.
  • Reaver: Do-able, benefits from strong single target DPS like MM hunters.
  • Kormrok: Do-able, again AoE key here for grasping/dragging hand phases.
  • High Council: Generally ok, sometimes Blademaster adds can spawn on the high-ish side.
  • Kilrogg: lol, ffs don’t even try it. You will die. Reduced numbers outside when 30% of your raid (and 40% of your DPS) goes into the rune phasing means less outside to deal with adds: You are fucked.
  • Gorefiend: Again, fucked. Adds don’t scale in numbers or health, and it becomes very easy to be over-run, especially when 20-30% of your raid are in Gorefiend’s belly.
  • Socrethar: Do-able, but ghost numbers don’t reduce, but can be alleviated by a construct tank that knows wtf they’re at. Otherwise can be painful at low group sizes.
  • Velhari: Do-able, but Edict of Condemnation can get painful at times with low numbers in the raid.
  • Iskar: Do-able, DPS really need to be on the ball with add priority.
  • Xhul’horac: Should be a nightmare, what with adds aplenty, but we’ve one shot this the past few weeks without problems. Seems like the adds scale properly! The only fight that does, so I’m thinking fluke on Blizzard’s part, rather than intention.
  • Zakuun: Oddly this can be problematic some weeks, even though it is a pure tank and spank. Largely do-able though.
  • Mannoroth: Anything less than 3 ranged and you’re screwed. We one-shot him last night with 12 bodies but had 4 ranged. Tried it the week before with only 2 ranged, and we were fucked. Needs an absolute minimum of 3 ranged DPS, as melee would otherwise have to run around like headless chickens chasing add spawns, and of course melee can’t kill Infernals because of these mobs’ short-range AoE pulse damage.
  • Archimonde: LOL. Yeah right, like this is in any way do-able with 10 players. Yeah, good one Blizz…

So over a third of the raid, from the mid-point onwards is problematic to impossible with 10 players, and I hate it. I always loved 10 man raids, purely because they were actually more challenging than 25 man, where the majority of fights could be beaten by attrition due to the large number of bodies. 10 man however presented its own challenges, where individual responsibility was a key factor.

But Sar, isn’t that exactly the same situation now?

Nope, it ain’t. Take Gorefiend as a prime example. With 15/20/30 players, everything is grand. Add spawns are on the money and the boss goes down easily. However add in a 16th player? Suddenly things become a hell of a lot harder, as adds spawn with loads more health, way more frequently, and it becomes a real struggle.

Kilrogg is another example. With 10 players, half of whom are DPS, rune phases become very problematic. Not for the players going in, hell no, for the 3 left outside trying to deal with non-scaling numbers of adds. Especially if you’ve only got 2 ranged DPS (1 of which should be phased) and 3 melee, then you really are screwed.

Blizzard have done a lot to raiding this expansion, and not all of it has been for the best IMO. I still think Mythic was a huge mistake for the raiding community as a whole, especially given the massive 46% decline in subs numbers over the course of this last 8 months, which has a serious knock-on effect in number of available bodies to recruit for raiding, meaning for way too many guilds, Mythic is simply impossible to even attempt, because they don’t and can’t get the numbers to even step foot inside the instance. More server-merges realm connections will be implemented in Legion, mark my words…