He was no dragon, fire cannot kill a dragon

| Saturday, December 10, 2011
A concerned reader sent me this distressing news: Nefarian is no longer immune to fire damage. Shocking, I know.

Gameplay vs. Simulation
Using wording shamelessly stolen from Nils we can see that what is happening here is a weakening of simulation in favor of gameplay. It is easier to balance the encounter, and gives classes more options in their talents, if one tree of magic is not blocked. It also doesn't make much sense that a powerful black dragon is vulnerable to fire. These are the same dragons who come from eggs stored in a cave where lava is all over the place and whose mother, and/or wife, and/or sister, since dragons are weird like that, breathes fire all over the damn place, including on the eggs. His distant cousins under Wyrmrest have a tendency to throw waves of lava around with no damage to themselves. Fire just is not their main problem.

At an extreme I could see it. I'm sure if Deathwing started spewing fire they'd get toasted. Just like we can imagine that a sufficiently powerful mage could damage Malygos with arcane damage, but that bridge has been crossed, burned, and washed away. Not as if that fight demonstrated much gameplay-simulation tradeoff since it didn't do either very well.

I replied with this line from Game of Thrones: "He was no dragon, Dany thought, curiously calm. Fire cannot kill a dragon."

Not at all a waste of time
I'm being sarcastic. Changing the fire-immune status of a boss who has been old news for three expansions was a waste of time. It is an attempt to balance content that doesn't need to be balanced because it's already trivial.

It's all connected and I can prove it because I'm saying it very loudly
Dragon Soul comes out or came out or something, I've not been paying much attention, and people say it is too easy. Dragon. And at the same time, another dragon is retuned. Don't you see? The devs wasted all their time testing Nefarian to make sure he's balanced for level 85s soloing him for hats rather than testing the new raid. Normally I'd make a chalkboard drawing some dragons and an arrow or two, maybe with an exclamation point, but this is far too serious for mere chalkboards. Instead, I'm going to just leave you with this chilling thought:

P.S. Someone please leave a chilling thought in a comment; I'm coming up blank.


Ratshag said...

Dunno if this be chillin', but back in Wrath were impossible fer ta solo Scholo as a level 80 warrior. Was three ghosties what was immune ta physical damage, which even thunderclap does now. And Darth Gandling wouldn't show 'til they was dead. Were mighty embarassins fer ta have ta walk outta there with three ghosties nommin' on me arse, then come back laters with a priest fer ta do them.

Klepsacovic said...

A quick ride up to Stratholme would have yielded some Holy Water.

Gladly said...

This title made me smile when I saw it on my reader. I haven't commented in a while, but great post as always!

jam said...

I imagine this is for transmogrification. If people are farming him to get old sets, it would be really annoying as a generally "fire mage" to not be able to harm him at all.

I thought Al'ar had a similar thing, where back in TBC mages had to pay to respec to Frost for the encounter to damage the boss, and it was filed under the "really-frickin-annoying" category and then changed. (Especially before dual-spec)

Ahtchu said...

Excellent post. Across the board.
Your ending lacks some equations and QED but otherwise very convincing :)

Klepsacovic said...

Woo, busy weekends...

@Gladly: I'm glad you liked it.

@jam: So is it safe to say that mages ruined everything?

@Ahtchu: I really should start adding QED to my exams. Maybe I can get another couple points if I make everything that much more convincing.

Kring said...

> distant cousins under Wyrmrest have a tendency to
> throw waves of lava around with no damage to
> themselves.

Doh, friendly fire doesn't burn in WoW...

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