Stone guards were the same for T14 what magmaw was for T11 thats all - people who cleared the nerfed ICC couldnt kill magmaw the same way as people who killed nerfed DS coudlnt kill stone guards. I could bet that quite a few guilds who killed 1-2 HC bosses in DS would have quite a lot of problems to clear normal DS if they would turn off the buff back then. thats all what happened.
If this was a heroic fight, or a fight later in the tier, this would be ok. But this is basically saying, unless you have 2 skilled tanks, you will never kill a single tier 14 raid boss. This seems pretty rough.
As I said I think that fight would have been a lot more adequately tuned if you ONLY needed to switch the active guard, and not the constant "Okay swap so the next higher one isn't getting energy" thing (which should have been required for Heroic to make it more challenging).
What didn't sell me is the fact that they made the same mistake as T11, as kamuimac suggested. Many guilds broke up at the start of Cata because they could do the then-nerfed ICC without much difficulty (normal, ofc), but ran into a huge wall in the first boss(es) of T11 that many people couldn't even overcome until the nerfbat hit. It really felt to me that Blizzard learned nothing from Cataclysm since they kept that same thing; people who could roll through even heroic DS with the nerf ran into a wall on the first boss of a normal raid, and what they kept saying was the first raid in a "Wrath-like" expansion (which it didn't seem like but that's neither here nor there), hell I cleared normal DS before the nerfs (second week it was out) and Stone Guard was just a huge wall. The fact that Feng and even Gara'jal were easier to learn (note I didn't say "easier" in difficulty, just in learning the fight) than Stone Guard is quite telling IMO.
One thing - i dont mind the difficulty of stone guards - just saying how this migth look like for a lot of so called casual/social guilds - spirit kings would make a hell lotta better first boss - cause there u still have plenty mechanics to pay atention too but in difficulty its 10 times easier then stone guards. I only dont want a situation like that- that many players will get bored of dailies grinds - they are to little skilled to overcome SG and then they will quit game for some time - blizzard will see subs droping and makes net raid with DS lv of difficulty and boringness -_-
Also the other thing which is stoping some social/casual guilds from progress is the lack of good players alts - even with 5.1 repx2 after revered changes famring daileis for reps is at least 2 weeks for each alt -_- and not many players have enough endurance to do this on multiple chars now that tabards are removed.
This is quite accurate.
And I would actually say that some bosses aren't difficult =/= pulls on a boss. This would be stuff like if you read up on a specific fight or not, or if you've got a good setup or w/e. Or simply if you simply lack healing and that might cause more issues on one fight over another.
I haven't read the entire thread, so this might have been said already, but Blizzard gave raiders some easier bosses as some kind of reward for beating harder ones before. You mention the example of BWL with Vael being some kind of roadblock before lashlayer, firemaw, ebonroc and flamegor. Another example would be Winterchill in MH as a reward of beating Vashj and Kael (actually, pretty much all of MH and BT was easier than those two) with Kael probably being one of the most demanding bosses in the expansion aside from the gearchecks in Sunwell.
I don't agree with Amber Shaper being that hard to be honest. It's a mechanics fight and people will get it down eventually, but it is not a gearcheck or so and all it takes is a lucky try with two people being transformed that know how to drive the construct. Empress on the other hand is still a nightmare when i do it on my alt, as tanks tend to get gibbed by the adds, this is both due to being undergeared and not having experiences with hard hitting multi target add fights. Every time I see a warrior hit his shockwave with 4 Windblades on him I check my invis cooldown because I'm quite sure he's going to die.
The first three bosses in Terrace are indeed quite a pushover, with Lei Shi at least requiring some kind of coordination on Add CC and Sha being kind of a gear check but otherwise a very boring fight (on normal that is).
Over all it seems like a fair estimate but I'd like to add a few things:
1. Stone Guards with chains and traps up can be nasty for a lot of casual guilds - specially at the beginning of the Tier.
2. Elegon is mostly about people not using a proper tactic i.e not preparing well enough.
3. Wind Lord is a joke, unless you fail at simple things. It's basically a "retard check" imo. CC, interrupts, dispel, don't stand in bad stuff - this I consider to be stuff you should have learned when you first started playing your class.
4. Amber Shaker - again a "retard check". Ain't that hard to look at your screen and press 2 when DBM tells you to. Ain't that hard to NOT heal the person with the debuff either. But it's surely harder than Wind Lord.
5. Shek'zeer is a dps/healing check if anything. Nothing special to that fight and thus it's not really harder than say Elegon or Garalon.
When it comes to Terrace though, I have to agree. All of the bosses in Terrace are a complete joke on Normal and would have served better as the first raid, rather than the last. But that's not including Heroic Mode, where things change and that's what the bosses are "balanced" around in the end.
And when you talk about "gating issues", then I have to say, that if you can't defeat Normal Amber Shaper or Shek'zeer, then you don't really "deserve" to continue into Terrace. Cause end bosses are always harder than the first bosses in an instance. But I think that because there's 3 raids available, people think they should automatically be able to enter them right away. Your option is to farm the easier bosses, get more gear and then attempt the end bosses again.
Several of the bosses you list as "cock blocks" or "hard" is about researching and people not playing with their heads up their ass tbh.
and dont tell me that anyone is interested in old content - we will see it in few months when 5.2 will come out - good players will be in new raid and weak players still wont be able to kill most old encounters due to mechanics. even if they overgear it.
I've always been of the mindset that raids should progressively teach you. That means you start out easy and get harder as you go, perhaps with a second "loot pinata" boss after a particularly challenging boss as a freebie. Especially when you have three raids in what was meant to be the "entry-level" tier you should IMO have not only the bosses in this fashion but the raids as well. So for instance MSV should have been relatively easy. I mean early Naxx 2.0 bosses or Sarth+0 easy, because it's the "Raiding 101" tier. You then make HOF a deal more difficult overall, since now you can easily farm MSV and make progress in HOF while you're farming MSV, and then TES is harder still because it's the "end" raid of the tier, so while you're progressing in TES you're farming MSV and HOF, so it's not a lost cause.
In such a scenario a casual guild that struggles in HOF doesn't feel totally dejected because hey, they can go and farm MSV every week and have some progression nights in HOF. Instead, MSV isn't exactly a cakewalk for the vast majority of players, with Stone Guard being a big factor IMHO, so you get guilds that just like in T11 feel totally worthless and dejected because they can't make progress AT ALL. It's a much nicer feeling if you're struggling on a few of the later bosses in a raid, but have the early ones on farm, than to just hit a wall on the first boss because you feel like you can't do anything at all.
IMO the two things Blizzard needs to learn from past mistakes is A) If you have multiple raids in a tier the initial raid needs to be pretty damn easy to serve as an introduction, because you'll always have new people who need to first LEARN how to raid (and no LFR doesn't count because you ignore most mechanics in LFR), and you want to throw even the most casual of guilds a bone to whet their appetite on the raid; you don't make all the content so easy they can faceroll it, but you give them something to look forward to (the harder raids) while making them feel good about themselves (by allowing them to farm the easymode raid each week), and B) Having guilds on different tiers of content is not the end of the world and isn't a bad thing. Having moved to Rift that's one thing I enjoy - it's about YOUR progress, not how you stack up to everyone else. If you're still on the first tier when there are three tiers out, it's not a big deal; in WoW Blizzard got the idea that everyone has to be on the third tier.
But from what I read in the OP's original post, there is actually a complaint about gating in this Tier. And my answer to that, is something a lot of people will disagree with.
But if you struggle on Normal Elegon with the gear even the casual raider should/could have by now, you aren't ready to venture into HoF and thus shouldn't be complaining about the gating. But it's the "I pay the same fee, I am entitled to see the same content" mentality. Yes you are entitled to see the same content and at the same time as everyone else, if you L2P (a bit harsh, I know).