Cataclysm Heroics Revisited: Are They Unfair?
In my last post I talked about how I didn’t think that Heroics in Cataclysm were necessarily too difficult, but we as players needed more awareness and experience and gear.
Since then I’ve been making attempts at various Heroics, all with similar outcomes: we seldom finish the entire dungeon and it involves a lot of wiping along the way.
Have I decided to change my tune and say that yes they are in fact too difficult? No, I’m not ready to concede that point. They are hard, there is no doubt about that, but I don’t think they are unfairly hard.
I think the line of whether or not something is too difficult and should be adjusted comes down to whether or not it is unfair. If a heroic dungeon is so difficult that unless you have the perfect group composition and all the stars are aligned you will fail, then it is unfairly hard. I don’t feel however, that we are experiencing that situation.
The only thing that seems to me that Blizzard should take a look at changing are healers. It seems like healers are really getting the short end of the stick here and it makes me wonder if their mana pools and healing output are too low. Yes, gear will solve the problem, but if their base is too low to begin with then they are just trying to dig themselves out of hole that they didn’t need to be in.
For players, I’m a believer in the notion that just because you can enter a Heroic with an average item level of 329 doesn’t necessarily mean you should. If you are skating by with gear in your bags that is not even your spec, and you have equipped mostly greens with none being gemmed or enchanted, you aren’t doing much to help the success of your group.
I think instead of using average item level as the benchmark, and taking account items in your bags as well, Blizzard should tried something like require that you have at least a blue level 333 item either from regular dungeons or from quests equipped in every slot (we can even exclude trinkets) when you try to enter the Heroic version. Then you at least know that people have put some work into gearing for Heroics and the group as a whole will be more successful.
I’m a believer that higher content and harder content should be accessible to everyone given that they have put in some level of work. Players shouldn’t feel entitled to running Heroics right off the bat just because, “Only n00bs run normals”.
If you want to run Heroic level dungeons then I believe you should have to put the time and effort into running the normal modes first and acquiring all regular level gear before moving on. The average item level restriction of 329 seems like a soft attempt at this.
Then, a year into Cataclysm, when many more people have higher level gear, I think it’s fine to remove or lessen the restriction and give people the opportunity to carry their less geared friends if they so choose.
At the beginning of an expansion I don’t see anything wrong with putting up a stronger gate and saying to players, “You must have at least all regular level gear before you can move on.”
So even though the system is flawed, the dungeons themselves are not at an unfair level of difficulty.
The best advice I can give players struggling right now in Heroics is this: know the mechanics like the back of your hand. There is no margin for error right now and everyone needs to be on their game 100%.