Believe it or not there are actually guilds and raiding groups that are attempting to progress through Normal and Heroic raids, but are hitting a wall, and have been hitting a wall. We have actually statistical data we base our changes on, we know exactly how many people are clearing these raids each week, we know exactly how many people are able to down just a few bosses, and how many were only able to down a few bosses every week for weeks on end and then stopped raiding altogether.
So, about this game taking a lightsaber to the knee... ^^
The Daily Blink knows. When we get to February 1st, let's see Bioware's subscription numbers. If they're up, the Naysayers can have a pint of entrails on me. If my server is any indicator, it's the Horde that's gone to the Dark Side in the larger numbers, and good luck to them, because frankly when the weather's this dire outside you want something to play that cheers you up, not that leaves you wanting to tear your hair out. The fact remains, that without definitive statistical data regarding the player reduction it's all speculation. Talking of statistics...
The timing of the 'Power of the Aspect' raid buff might be considered by some as ironic. What's more significant (for me at least) is what Bashiok (for those are his words above) notes about progression in general, based clearly on ACTUAL NUMBERS. The 'wall' is Ultraxion, if our Guild is going to play the part of Your Average Raiding 10 Man in this scenario. Bosses 1-4 in DS are easy mode, even with the changes from LFR. In your sleep, with your eyes closed. Ultraxion has a distinct set of parameters to acknowledge and exceed. He's Patchwork on Crack (allegedly) and if you can't bring the dps to the party, it's time to go home alone. +5% on Jan 31st might well be enough to crack it, if I spec into Survival and everyone else who's playing the Spec they Enjoy as opposed to The One With The Most DPS does the same. This is not about the Tanks and the Healers, they get the buffs and they know what to do. The decision to progress lies with the masses.
After that I assume the next hurdle is the Spine, then Deathchin himself, but getting past Ultraxion is fairly significant. We have two weeks (effectively) to try it before all the main Progression Sites stop recording achievement based on original difficulty. The question then becomes whether it matters that you do the content as it's intended anyway.
If they don't have to be like us, why do they have to have nerfs to get to our position in HM Raiding?Most of the time, it's not about Blizzard's attitude. People like to make it that way, because it helps them feel as if they're aggrieved when their class gets nerfed or a change happens they don't like. At the end of the day these guys have remained the #1 MMO on the planet for a reason: they listen to their player base, even when they're not talking. The amount of raw statistical data at the company's disposal must be huge by now, and it is abundantly apparent they are capable of acting on trends that appear within it. Raiding is in decline, so what does Blizzard to to change that? It makes it easier. Although I have a measure of empathy with the 'you should get better' argument, when it comes down to the wire, you play a game to enjoy it, and you come back to a game because it makes you happy. The developer reasoning is spot on.
Because they want to and they pay the same amount for the game? I don't know, man. How is it good for the game to have 1% of players parading around for months and months and a 99% sitting around with nothing to do because they're sick and tired of wiping?
Your solution is "Well then they should get better or quit." and that's just not reasonable for a video game comprised of millions of people looking to just have some fun. It's still a computer game.
I'm hearing increasing numbers of people commenting on how one of TOR's strengths is the fact you can do far more solo during levelling than is currently achievable in Warcraft: it's more fun to play alone when you don't know the storylines as you level. Star Wars gives you a whole new bunch of characters to play out, the Bioware 'Mass Effect' questing approach. There is no End Game to obsess about and get frustrated at when everything is new and sparkly, now is there? If I were Blizzard, and I needed to remind people at the end of their 30 day SW billing period that there's still some fun to be had without paying money to EA, I know what I'd do, quite apart from the fact there ARE STILL PEOPLE PLAYING.
People will make decisions they don't like become metaphors for any number of things. This decision has precedent, it's not like it should be a surprise to anyone. What is different this time around I think is the realisation that, for the first time in many years, Blizzard has a point to prove. They have already admitted their shortcomings with Cataclysm, and the manner in which they now deal with transition to the new expansion is being watched perhaps more keenly than at any point in the game's history. To see a Dev being so candid over why things are done the way they are is a decent start.
Now, more than ever, it is actions that will define the course of the game's future. Let's hope lots of people are digesting those numbers and are ready to act on them in all the problematic areas in the months to follow, not simply the End Game.