So the nerfs have been out for about two weeks now, and BT has rocketed from 2/7H to 6/7H in that time. Of course, there are still some issues with the fights, most notably Beth. It's kind of aggravating that one hunter can cover all the little spiderlings, but that it takes all of our other ranged DPS to do the same thing. That's just a small issue though, and one that we've been able to work through without too much hassle.
Alt time shenanigans
So Sunday night, we rounded up a handful of alts, and rolled into Firelands to see what we could do. I was personally sure we would go 7/7, but I really should have taken bets. I know quite a few of the raid team weren't expecting the nerfs to be as big as they were. I'm sure it helped that our MT was an alt of our regular MT (just a DK instead of a War), our heavy hitting mage was on his PvP mage (so Alysrazor flying was covered), and one of our main healers was on a druid healing alt. We only had one "new" player to Firelands, but he was a pretty solid raider in T11, so it wasn't a big hump for him to get over.
Our average equipped iLvl was around 358, easily obtainable through Zulroics and capping out your VP. Toss in a few nerfed T11 raids, and you're right there. I think out MT was wearing a 319 helm, and Direbrew trinkets - with a smattering of other random drops thrown in. I'm fairly certain my Paladin was the highest geared, and that's just because I had my heroic T11 gear.
Now while we did 1 shot every boss except Shannox (killed the wrong dog first - oops), I can certainly see where another group would have trouble with the mechanics. I'm still not sure how healing on Baelroc is supposed to work, I just built up 11tybillion stacks on our Spriest, and then healed the tanks. Rhy was driven by someone who'd never done it before, but we never were in trouble. Overall it was easy, but I think a good part of that is due to our experience with the encounters. I'm pretty sure that a group who was stepping into it for the first time would at least find it challenging.
Added benefit to the nerfs
I'm sticking with my hope that Demon Soul will drop in October after Blizzcon. Now we haven't seen any bosses show up on the PTR yet (***Edit - looks like the PvP boss is up for testing***), but it's still a possibility. I really can't see them dragging this out until TOR launches in December. So what does this mean for us? If you have an inkling that you're going to be losing members hard and fast on Dec 20th, now is the time to get them into the easier content for gear. Alts can get geared up very quickly in this environment as well.
The other thing that this nerf buys us is that most valuable commodity - time. If you're a guild that is wholly uninterested in doing heroic content, you should be able to finish out Firelands without too much difficulty before Demon Soul - and can focus on other aspects of the game. From taking some time off, to gearing an alt or maxing your honor/JP - you should now have a little more time on your hands. For us it means two days a week working on H-Rag, for you it might mean something else.
I still support the nerfs
Even with the complete faceroll we performed on Firelands this week, I still support the nerfs to the zone. I will concede that it would have been nice to include a "no thanks, I want the pain" option for those that didn't want the nerf - but when I'm doing an alt run, the last thing I want is to spend two hours beating on Rhy's legs. I do alt runs for laughs - and the enjoyment of hanging out with my fellow guildies. I don't do them because I want the massive challenge.
So however you're handling the nerfs, I think we can rest assured that the Demon Soul is just around the corner, and that means exciting times ahead.