I need more time (and another reset) to form my thoughts fully on this instance, but here goes the short version.
Eternal Palace on Normal is, by my experience, a bit too simple.
Many bosses have complicated sounding mechanics that don’t do very much. I ate the first boss’ stack mechanic solo as a tank and had 66% of my health left afterwards. I have no clue what we did on Za’qul, but he died in two pulls. Nearly every boss died in 1-3 pulls, and we ended a four-hour raid week with 5 pulls on Azshara herself.
I like the raid so far, don’t get me wrong, but from a gameplay perspective, it feels drastically too far undertuned. Mechanics don’t matter, at least, that was our experience, with around a 405 average raider item level on night 1. I ate the aforementioned stack mechanic solo with no problem and no cooldown, by accident, and it didn’t matter. The tornados on Radiance of Azshara felt like gentle breezes in terms of the raw damage taken. Orgozoa’s first few seconds post-taunt, which is supposed to put the fear of god into a tank, instead felt like the first time a boss was actually trying to fight me.
Now, from a lore perspective, at least that is somewhat consistent with the whole “Azshara really wants us in the palace and isn’t trying to actually stop us” thing, but if that is intentional, then it is dull design. If it isn’t intentional, well, I fear what happens going forward. Blizzard is known to be staunchly opposed to adjusting bosses upwards in difficulty, because of how it impacts the morale of an already low-morale playerbase. But, for my guild, the answer seems that we’ll reclear and kill Azshara this week and then go straight to Heroic. Even Azshara, with bad DBM implementations that had almost no data, still was a fight we managed to push to phase 3 in a single-digit number of pulls!
While I like the raid a lot more than the gameplay of the new zones (a topic I’ll be revisiting shortly!), it just feels like a hail-mary pass.
Could it have used more testing?
I don’t know that I am equipped to answer that, but it seems like yes, maybe.