So last night we went into ICC for our weekly raid and we got to enjoy the new fancy pantsy zone buff that was introduced with tuesday's patch. After reading through many other blog sites it seems that this zone buff is very controversial. One side claims it makes clearing the zone too easy and further dumbs down the game while the other side claims that it allows more people to get into the zone and get past certain bosses. Personally...I'm for the buff. The biggest reason for this is that the hardcore progression guilds have the option to not use the buff if they don't want it on. Blizzard was smart enough to allow us this option.
I had wanted to experience the zone buff before I wrote on it because I wanted to see if it helped my guild a ton or if it was an over hyped buff. We managed to clear the first wing of ICC faster than we had ever done it before which was pretty amazing. Part of it was we had great dps/heals/tanks and part of it was that everyone was pushing out just a little bit more of everything that made the raid work due to the buff. I feel that while the buff will help you move faster in the zone, until it is increased(which it will until it reaches a 30% in increase) it wont help you down the Lich King unless you were already getting close to down him. Right now its just a little push to your stats but once it increases further, more people will be clearing the entire zone.
Will a fresh 80 with blues be able to run ICC and clear it with the maxed 30% buff? No. Will a guild who was struggling with a certain boss be able to down it and move on further in the zone with the maxed buff? Yes. Ultimately this is what the developers want to happen. Whats the point of having an end game raid that only 10% of the wow population can clear on regular 10 man mode? This buff will allow struggling guilds to get further and see more of the content before the next expansion. No guild will go from struggling on Deathbringer Saurfang previously to downing the Lich King with the buff.
To summarize, I like Pie. Oh and the zone buff is helpful and full of smexyness. The end.