- Author: Pride
- Date: December 22, 2021
- Expansion: TBC Classic
If the terms “WarcraftLogs” and “parsing” mean anything to you, you have probably heard of the Gnomish Battle Chicken. This vanilla-era engineering item has single-handedly dominated the parsing metagame with its powerful Battle Squawk buff, which grants 5% melee haste for 4 minutes to your entire party, stacking up to 5 times for a total of 27.62% haste. Heroism / Bloodlust – the largest raid cooldown available to players – grants 30% haste for 40 seconds, for a quick comparison. This little chicken is worth about as much as an extra, almost permanent Heroism, and it even stacks multiplicatively with other haste buffs — that is how massive it is.
Its unreliable activation condition previously made it hit or miss item, so most ignored or didn’t take too seriously. But everything changed when players discovered a way to guarantee getting the Battle Squawk buff. The vast majority of top physical DPS parses are now stacking 5 chickens, doing significantly more damage than normal, which has created a massive gap in power level between raids stacking Gnomish Battle Chickens and those who use a couple or none at all.
There has been extensive debate about the chicken as a result. Many players are unhappy about its existence, arguing that Engineering is practically mandatory now, much more so than it was in Classic. They point out that Drums of Battle also had this issue, wherein Leatherworking was almost mandatory, so Blizzard nerfed them. Some actually enjoy the “chicken meta” and having their extra effort rewarded with a damage boost.
Many just don’t like how clunky and annoying to use it is, like forcing your entire raid to wait for your chicken to Squawk before a boss fight, and essentially not getting to parse if something goes wrong or your chicken is still on cooldown.
Blizzard have noticed the chicken situation and are also concerned. Responding to a thread on the official forums, Aggrend said that the devs have talked about the chicken “quite a bit”, and have actually already made an adjustment to it. Specifically, they changed it such that its timer keeps ticking while you are logged off, preventing a situation where players stack a ridiculous amount of chicken buffs outside of a raid, then get summoned into a boss fight for “massive damage”.
Furthermore, they have considered other nerfs to it, such as preventing its aura from stacking thus limiting its power to a much more reasonable 5% haste buff. The “chicken meta” is definitely on their radar. However, as they believe it is an authentic interaction and there is some effort to getting it to work, they decided to “wait and see” how the situation evolves, as they’d rather avoid being heavy-handed.
While they’re waiting though, they are considering making changes to how it is tracked in logs, so WarcraftLogs can police it for the time being. But that will have to wait until the team returns from their holiday break, so for the time being, things will remain as is.
What are your thoughts on the Gnomish Battle Chicken? Are you glad that Blizzard are considering changing how it works, or are you happy with the current meta and would prefer that Blizzard leave it as is? Let us know in the comments below!