Heroic Vizier Zor’lok, the first boss in the heroic version of the latest raid, Heart of Fear, has been killed by exactly zero guilds in the Heroic progression race, which effectively began yesterday after some considerable server downtime. As a result, the boss is to be nerfed.
Let’s get an idea of the timeline At 6.03am UK time yesterday top EU guild and World First Mogushan Vaults 25H 6/6 winners Method posted that US servers had been up for 8 hours, and no kills. Further, 7 hours (15 in total) later EU guilds got access to the raid, and 10 hours after that a nerf was announced on the US forums by Blizzard blue Nethaera, saying the following:
“The Heroic Zor’lok encounter is currently more difficult than intended. While we prefer to avoid changes to encounters in the midst of progression, we would like to fix a few quality of life issues and make some targeted balance changes that do not invalidate the efforts that guilds have put into learning the encounter so far. Later today a hotfix will make the following adjustments:
- Zor’lok’s Echoes will pause briefly before beginning to cast Song of the Empress.
- Zor’lok’s berserk timer has been increased slightly.
- Zor’lok will no longer summon Echoes of Force and Verve during the final phase of the encounter.”
There have still not been any kills of Vizier Zor’Lok, at the time of writing, and it seems possible that the hotfix is not yet in place. There was no official word on when it was coming, but it should have happened ‘later today’… yesterday! One guild, Europe’s Arctica, have skipped past Zor’Lok and got a world first 10-man kill of the second boss, Blade Lord Ta’Yak.
Ion Hazzikostas said at Gamescom that they increase difficulty from Beta to Live, asserting that on live realms players are more co-ordinated, often better geared, and more practiced than on beta, and it’s possible that Heart of Fear got less beta testing than Mogushan Vaults, but it still seems like these sorts of issues shouldn’t be happening.
Some forum posters have gone as far as saying the fight is mathematically impossible in its presumably un-nerfed state. This is a bold claim to make without backing, but given that these are the world’s top guilds, it could be the case. These guys don’t hold back on pushing forwards, they know their classes inside out, they theorycraft, they simcraft, they take every advantage going, and they still can’t beat it.
And yet, the complaints have already started rolling in about catering to the casuals. If we were a few months in, and thousands of guilds had cleared the raid, then that argument might hold some water. But not now, when the world’s best can’t get through it.
Update since time of writing: The hotfix apparently went live, followed by a second hotfix. Nine guilds have now killed Imperial Vizier Zor’lok on Heroic difficulty, 10-man and 25-man. Two guilds skipped him and progressed straight to Blade Lord Ta’yak. A total of just nine guilds is still very low, particularly after 2 rounds of hotfixes!