The Mythic raid boss blocking a mountain of World of Warcraft guilds from progressing has finally been nuked from orbit.
Tindral Sageswift is the penultimate boss in WoW's Amirdrassil, the Dream’s Hope raid. It’s a long fight: Tindral is a druid, and he shapeshifts into several forms over the course of the encounter, each with its own mechanics and player-challenging spells, especially on Mythic difficulty.
He’s also drastically more difficult than the raid bosses before him, meaning that guilds progressing through Amirdrassil piled up on him like freight train cars after a head-on crash. The Hall of Fame, which holds the names of the first 200 guilds in Blizzard’s MMORPG to complete a raid on Mythic difficulty, held just over 60 guild names after the first of the year, a full eight weeks in.
Tindral got a few nerfs early on, mostly tuning a few specific abilities in the encounter, but an overall difficulty reduction didn’t land until this week. After two brutal months, Tindral Sageswift's rampage may be over.
Every part of the Tindral fight is now easier
Patch 10.2, which introduced Amirdrassil, launched November 7. This week as part of patch 10.2.5 Blizzard carved down or eliminated elements of the fight altogether. There was a lot to nerf:
Seeds that had to be collected
Area-wide damage in one crucial phase
A debuff that spawned adds
A dragonriding phase was also tweaked, giving players additional vigor (the energy that allows them to fly faster) a few seconds into the fight.
Player Dz from the Vindicatum guild noted that the initial launch into that flight was tweaked to move faster as well—no longer do players have to wait for the full launch animation to immediately spam movement buttons. Vindicatum has previously been the #2 Alliance guild in North America, and took a whopping 475 pulls for their Mythic Tindral kill on January 2.
J.B. "JdotB" Daniel, one of WoW’s better healers, weighed in on Tindral in an X/Twitter post January 10 (with some salty language, so be warned if you read it). He speculated that Tindral hadn’t been nerfed further at that point because world-first raiders raved about how much fun it was to eke out progress on the challenging fight. Flêks, a mage on the European guild Echo’s world-first raiding team, echoed JdotB’s thoughts.
Raids change to match the players moving through them, Blizzard said
We asked Blizzard—and JdotB’s take is actually not too far from the truth, based on what associate game director Morgan Day and lead encounter designer Taylor Sanders had to say. They told us that they design encounters like Tindral for a wide variety of audiences. In addition to the various difficulties for different levels of players—Looking for Raid, Normal, Heroic and Mythic—they also tune based on the waves of players passing through each difficulty level of the raid.
So world-first raiders like Flêks saw a very different Mythic boss than even the top guilds who were pushing for Hall of Fame status: that’s where the initial tweaks came in, they said. Those other guilds slowly worked through the fight in December, while Blizzard developers watched progress and discussed whether it was time to lower the overall difficulty, and by how much. In Tindral’s case, the answer turned out to be 'a lot.'
"Those previous changes were more like the team using a scalpel to be precise on the adjustments we were targeting," Day said. "The most recent round was more akin to using a sledgehammer."
How soon is too soon for a nerf?
This isn’t the first time that a blocker boss saw a hard nerf. Halondrus, the mech spider from Sanctum of Domination in the last Shadowlands expansion, held up guilds for what felt like forever on Mythic difficulty. End bosses like The Jailer in that raid or Raszageth in the Vault of the Incarnates in Dragonflight were tough for guilds even after they’d killed it the first time.
Developers never want to jump in and nerf too soon, Sanders said. If a guild can kill a boss through hard work and persistence, it can be disappointing to have that achievement feel diminished by a reduction in difficulty.
"Making changes to an encounter during players' progression is always a tough decision," he said. "There's never a time when making changes to an encounter will feel good for everyone. For every disappointed group that was within reach of killing the boss, there is a group that is unable to progress past early stages of the fight and feels the changes are well-timed."
About 20 more guilds had already killed Mythic Fyrakk, the end boss of the raid, in the two days after Tuesday’s patch. Many more finally achieved their first Tindral kill. "Blizzard beat down Tindral and broke all of his bones," Flêks wrote.
"Tindral just got obliterated, which is a good thing," posted Kalamazi, a content creator for world-second guild Liquid.
It’s perhaps not surprising that Tindral’s nerf took this long when much of the stalled progress was over the holidays. But Blizzard’s take on his evolution likely means that more raid-stopping bosses will occur in the future, as part of the natural tuning process—the old Azeroth circle of life.