Mages, ten-man raiding, and other things that are awesome.

Looking For: Community

I was a bit late getting my Christmas shopping done this year, so I found myself in a department store at the jewelery counter. You can imagine the kind of swarm that exists around any department store’s jewelery counter at this time of year. (Vosskah and I have been laughing at a radio ad we heard in which a middle-aged lady is listing all of the possible gifts to be found at [Store], “Sweaters! Perfume! Jewellery,” and she utters the last word with the kind of lusty eroticism I never expected to hear on the radio. Jewellery is a Big Thing, apparently).

So the department is crowded; I’m only there to find some clip-on earrings for my Grandma, and a kindly lady shows me how they are mixed in and where I can look, etc. I feel for this woman because she is clearly petrified and it’s her first day on the job. When I find the earrings I want and am paying for them, she is taking the time to get gift boxes for them, and tissue paper to go along with the sweater I was also buying. She’s not moving at light speed, but I think it’s a reasonable length of time for a transaction. Before my things have even been bagged, though, the lady behind me has moved up to the jewellery counter and is placing her items while impatiently asking, “Is it possible to get some service here?” I’m still inputting my PIN into the machine at this point and the lady is almost shoulder to shoulder with me. The poor woman helping me finishes up our transaction while the woman training her takes over for Ms. Can’t Wait Two Minutes. I walk away from the jewellery department exclaiming to Voss, “Did you SEE that?”

As far as these stories go, it’s a pretty mild one. Entitled lady doesn’t think that waiting in line is necessary, she wants service and she wants it now. She’s the real life equivalent of a “go go go”-er. However quickly things are moving, it’s not fast enough for her. They’re unpleasant in real life as they are in a video game, and I’m afraid that more and more the game is tailored to them.

I've been taking screenshots of LFR chat here and there since the patch, here's one of them with more to follow.

This is fairly radical for the erstwhile Pugging Pally to admit, but I don’t like LFD. I don’t like LFR. Wait, before you scroll to the bottom and start typing an angry comment, let me clarify. I understand the dilemmas that LFD and LFR were introduced to address. I’m not one of the elite raiders who feels that only 1% of people playing the game should see end-game content. I don’t need other people excluded from things so that I can feel awesome about myself. It turns out, it is possible to have your internet dragon and loot it too. No one else can take away from your accomplishments in-game because they’re yours. So that’s not my problem. And on the surface, LFD and LFR work. You want a dungeon? You can be doing one anywhere from instantly to twenty minutes later, most any time of day. It turns out that the same is true for LFR; you probably won’t wait in a queue longer than twenty minutes and probably less for that, too. I have run LFR solo, I’ve run it with my guild, I’ve run it with just a few friends. I’ve done it as a druid, a paladin, and a mage. I’ve had plenty of experience with it. And here’s where I think the problem lies.

What it purports to do, and what it actually does – are two completely different things. In theory, LFD and LFR lets you get together and cooperate with a group of people to achieve a group goal: killing internet dragons of various ilks. In practice, they mask singular goals with the illusion of group play. Yes, you have to more or less cooperate to successfully complete an LFD or an LFR run. But are you there to cooperate, or are you there to acquire loot/VP? Herein lies the problem. Once upon a time, I used to run dungeons yes, to acquire emblems or points or gear or whatever, but also because just running dungeons was fun. On my old server, I had a massive friends list of people who might want to run a dungeon at any given time. If nobody felt like trying to run a dungeon, I would hit Trade or the now-defunct Looking For Group channel. It wasn’t elegant, but generally it worked. More importantly, it allowed me to make friends and build a reputation for myself as a nice/fun and competent person to run with. I did this across several characters. Usually, if I felt like running a dungeon, I could make a group to do so. If I couldn’t manage a group, I’d put it off and do something else.

Now before you counter that it’s still possible to assemble groups this way, it’s true, but unlikely. I’ve tried. I can usually gather up guildies to run things if enough are interested and perhaps if I wait a bit. I’ve tried different channels to ask if people want to run something, with very little response. I can check my same-server friends’ list and usually folks are raiding or already IN a dungeon. And why wouldn’t they be? Joining one as a tank or a healer takes all of ten seconds. You can’t blame people for taking the path of least resistance. I’m more likely to group up with friends on other servers – many times, friends I have made via this blog and Twitter. So I’m in the interesting position of having to build a reputation as a good player outside of the actual game in order to run with people I enjoy playing with. I’m sure my server has such people, but it’s unlikely I will find them because they’re either running with their own guild, or running quick pugs with LFD.

This was a guy raging on Zon'ozz because no other healers were dispellers (I joined the group after they'd wiped on Zon'ozz).

So it goes with LFR. And I will be completely honest – yes, there are good parts of LFR, but overall LFR alarms me because of what it represents, and because of its potential impact in many different ways. First of all, if someone gets their introduction to raiding through LFR I fear for what they think raiding actually IS like. A raid full of people face-pulling the boss, ignoring strats, backtalking each other and constantly squabbling, ninjaing loot they shouldn’t have (feral druids winning Int gear, I’m looking at you). LFR is a bad LFD pug writ large, with a proportionately larger number of Go Go Gos and bad attitudes. The issue with LFD and LFR both are that the majority of people feel that they’re being put in a position where they have to ‘put up with’ other people to get what they want. It’s not an opportunity to meet new folks or make friends, how could it be? There is no additional benefit to befriending people via LFD, and even if there were, you’d need to be willing to add that person via Real ID to take advantage of it. Most of us won’t do that.

Now, Blizzard has taken some steps towards addressing these issues. They acknowledged the erosion of server community by coding a preference in LFD to group you with same-server folks wherever possible. I think it was a bit too little too late, though, because most of us are already conditioned to join the group, begin killing things with the other four, faceless and anonymous people in our group, hope that it’s a “good group” so we collect our loot, points, or whatever and then move on to the next group. I’ll sometimes remark, “Hey, we’re both from this server!” and the reaction is almost always the equivalent of a shrug. If I don’t mention that we’re from the same server, then it usually doesn’t get mentioned. There’s a confusion of paradigm in what exactly is being awarded. So we’re grouped with people from our server; but tanks and sometimes healers can also obtain a satchel of loot if they are willing to join on their own. Even if a pug tank likes the group of four he/she is put with, there’s no benefit to them for staying with that group, and there is benefit to dropping group and re-queuing to obtain another satchel.

The second thing Blizzard is doing is introducing the “Battle Tag” system (currently being tested in Diablo III) that is probably what Real ID should have been all along. You’ll be able to choose a pseudonym that others will see if you choose to friend each other mutually, and gain the benefits of Real ID without letting people know your real name. This has the potential to enable friends lists to transcend server restrictions, and possibly even make reputation matter again to a certain extent. You could build a network of folks you’ve run with and would like to run with again, no matter what server they are on. For me this has great potential, and I’m watching it with interest to see what develops. I don’t just want to whine about things uselessly – I recognize that LFD and LFR were introduced with a purpose. Especially for smaller population servers, and for dungeon grouping while leveling, these systems have been a great boon. They enabled myself and other players to see lower level dungeon content that we probably didn’t have the opportunity to see before. Assembling lowbie groups was always a bit of a crap shoot – find four other people near your level, traipse out to the dungeon (possibly located in a place you hadn’t been, or you had to get there without a mount). Now we get mounts at level 20 so that’s much less of a concern, but LFD has made that completely moot anyway. It’s never been easier to join a group to do a dungeon, or as it turns out, a raid. At least, something raidish, with a raidish shape.

The overall DPS of this group WAS pretty low. I wasn't going to say anything about it, though.

I am concerned that LFR takes my favourite part of the game (raiding) and makes it so effortless yet empty to me. When you can roll in and kill Deathwing in under two hours, where is the impetus to join a long-standing, dedicated raiding group? Is it going to be worth it to the average player to say “I killed it on normal mode,” or “I killed it on heroic mode?” It was already reasonably tough to find people driven to complete heroic modes – what about now, when there seems to be three options of difficulty? I’ve had at least one friend privately confide to me that they weren’t much inspired to kill Deathwing on normal mode, having ‘seen’ him on LFR difficulty. Hard modes always stretched the veracity of the game for me in terms of lore considerations, which is more of a concern for RPers, but it does matter. There IS a “roleplay” in this MMORPG we all play, after all. Does Deathwing care if we killed him on “Looking For Raid” mode, normal mode, hard mode?

I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I was already a bit worried about LFR when it was announced. How will that work, I wondered? It’s the size and scope of a raid, and all of the art, without the heart. It doesn’t have the voices of my guild friends along with it; it has random and unpredictable people. It has that guy who will queue as a healer and then go ret instead and win the caster ring from Hagara and never say a word. It has mercenary people who are just in it for themselves, it has verbal abuse. (I’m not excluding myself from the mercenary people category, by the way). There is no benefit to being magnanimous or sharing loot or anything in LFR. It doesn’t have the jokes or the camaraderie or the time or the dedication. It doesn’t have what makes raiding fun for me. Yes, I know, it’s 1) not for me and 2) so just don’t do it then. I will stop doing it when there is no benefit for me, or I will do it and quietly do my job. But what worries me is the people who are doing it who might get the impression that they’ve experienced all the game has to offer and don’t need to seek a guild who will help them to reach those goals on ‘normal’ mode, or worse, the people who’ve never raided and are left with the impression that this is what raiding is. There’s no question whether Blizzard has managed to make a random grouping tool that enables pugs to down ‘raid’ content. For me, the question is really whether or not they should have.

What do you think? Please don’t hesitate to respond and say that you love LFR and are really happy with it, and your reasons why. I don’t consider my opinion any kind of definitive one here, it’s just mine, nor am I going to argue or get defensive with you. LFR has enabled me to get three pieces of loot I wouldn’t have obtained from our regular raids – and I’ve been doing it because I know it can help me perform better for my actual raid. I know many of my guildies have been doing the same. I’ve already seen a marked drop in overall LFR speed and efficiency since the first week, though. I wonder what it’s going to be like a month from now? I’m interested to hear what you have to say about all of this, whether good or bad.

DO IT THE RIGHT WAY

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Comments on: "Looking For: Community" (56)

  1. I fistpumped irl at “I run tank/tank for the raids”. THE HIGHEST OF FIVES, VOSS

  2. I stopped playing except extremely rarely because of the loss of the group camraderie within guilds and friendship groups. I don’t worry that others will never know what the heart of wow was…I know it. It’s deeper than lfd and lfr as the guilds changed from being solid ‘bonded together through hard work’ entities in wrath and what’s now is the continuing of this evolution.
    The elitist gamer has a place but so do the less proficient who nevertheless love the game and find purpose in the daily grinds and such because they raid.
    As new raids are added older ones becoming less difficult allowed the newer or smaller or less leet guilds to accomplish and feel good and this was ok. There was still the group cohesion and friendships forged that made wow so incredible. Those that look back and miss earlier wow times, I believe, are missing just that. There are many factors blizzard takes into account but I think it lost its true heart when it lost the forcing of solid same group bonding through working together and for each other in things like all-guild attunements for raids and of course, learning the strats and finding the way that worked with the group we had (given our known strengths and weaknesses) taking down those bosses in the raids themselves.
    I love hearing they may allow a name choice for real id besides our rl names. That makes that much more usable. :) eirie

    • I definitely find myself agreeing with the things you are saying here. It feels very much like a case of “Be careful what you wish for,” because of course, the new group-finding tools are very convenient. Perhaps too convenient. But then it seems silly to complain about convenience and I feel a bit like someone railing against the use of cellphones or the internet when after all, I love the internet and have met so many awesome people thanks to it (including my husband) but I just… I don’t know. It feels a bit ‘less.’ It feels a bit hollow.

  3. I’m in a casual/social guild that raids in that order and we’ve been debating LFR in our guild forums. My thoughts are pretty much spot on with yours regarding what people who never raided must think normal raiding is like when their experience is only the LFR.

    We’ve written a few forum pages on how this could have been improved but I imagine Blizzard must have had the toughest of time between balancing the rewards and getting people in there that can carry players. I think the rewards are too good for the content and encourage dedicated raid team members and PVPers to farm it, so they rolfstomp it and get mad at someone who’s still learning the fight. At the same time without those people in there that can carry, a run would never complete without many wipes from “noob” mistakes.

    Every time I’m raging inside of LFR, though, I remember that one of my guildies who was never able to make any raid time (in our guild or outside) was able to go into LFR the first night it was free and clear the first half. The next week she cleared the second half and started seeing how she could get into our dedicated raid teams. That positive outweighs all the other negatives I’ve seen over the past few weeks.

    • See, and this is the thing. I similarly feel very ambiguous about LFR. How can I say “this is terrible and no good will come of it” when I have gear from it that I haven’t replaced? 66% of the tier gear I have came from LFR and not from raids at all (RNG hates our token).

      There are stories like your guildie of people who were able to ‘catch up’ to a raid group thanks to LFR, or further down a friend of mine is able to see the raids period because of it. I’m not of the mind that it shouldn’t exist to keep things ‘exclusive,’ it’s more that I just feel the way it goes about doing so is detrimental to the game as a whole.

      I wish I had the solution/alternative, though, I can’t say that I do.

  4. Hear hear. I have been taking a break from WoW, for various reasons. First, my guild was on Christmas break for raids, and I have little reason to log in when not prepping for raids. Second, SWTOR. Nuff said. Third, frickin’ huge reason: Dragon Soul.

    I did LFR in the first week. I managed to kill 2 bosses. The first one, and Hagara. All other raid groups I was in that were on the other two first half bosses were awful. There’s no other way to describe it. Abusive folks, go go go, tons of facepulling, insult flinging, people dropping raid at the drop of a hat, it had everything that I hate about LFD, only with 5 times the number of asshats involved. I felt pretty much alone with that opinion because everyone else was raving about easy it is to get loot that way.

    Well, I didn’t get any loot, and as much as I love my guild and want to be a better healer for them, I am not putting myself through the pain of LFR for that.

    On the other hand, the faceroll LFR makes people forget that raiding isn’t always that easy. Now, my German guild is really casual. Raids once or twice a week, and subpar DPS is the worst issue, meaning we’re still only 4/7 in Firelands. Yeah, I know, old content and all that.

    So color me surprised when I get a phonecall from one of my friends in the guild, begging me to come online for an impromptu Dragon Soul raid. So easy, and he really wanted to get his shot at pickpocketing Hagara. And so I went. No one was prepared, they had only done this in LFR, and so when we arrived at Warlord Zon’ozz or whatever his name is, they were in for a nasty surprise. It was a demoralizing raid night. All thanks to LFR making them feel we could force our way through it for easy upgrades. Nuh-uh.

    Today was the first day I logged in again after that raid, but after 5 minutes I logged off again, because I didn’t feel like running faceless instances or playing an alt.

    I have said it many times, but I consider TBC to be the highlight of my WoW playing time, and I have played since vanilla. Huge friends list, knew tons of people on the server, never had issues finding a group. Back when pugging actually had you meet people, before it was this anonymous, silent thing that WotLK gave us. I don’t miss the four hour Shadow Labs runs, but I do miss the fun I had doing those.

    • I miss TBC as well, honestly. Not because everything was perfect, but everything felt so magical to me. The heroics were hard, but they are some of my best memories of WoW because our group of friends worked so hard to overcome them.

      At the start of Cata, they made the heroics hard again but you’d end up doing them with people you didn’t care about and who didn’t care about you. Ultimately, it’s not the pixels that matter. They are supposed to just be an addition to the reasons you play the game – the people. When the focus is shifted away from that, what’s left to really care about? I can’t get excited about +24 more intellect on my character the way I do about hanging out with a friend and having a memorable experience doing whatever. I had more fun running Sunwell last night with guildies than I’ve had in a dozen LFR runs.

    • I’m not a big fan of the Dragon Soul content, period. I think the roleplay aspect of most of it is ridiculous or obnoxious, way too cheesy or campy, and Deathwing just doesn’t feel like a great end villain. Dragon Soul, mechaniclly, has a few interesting fights (Madness is pretty much the only fight I really enjoy), but on the whole it’s super easy. Maybe it’s just that my guild is really squared away, but I walked into normal mode Dragon Soul without knowing ANYTHING about it, and we downed everything up to Ultraxxion and almost got him down, too. (Incidentally, we’ve now been able to almost down him with only 9 people.) I’m not even that well geared compared to other people.

      With the exception of the Bastion of Twilight, this entire expansion feels cheap, rushed, filler content. I’ve never played before Cataclysm, but I know filler content when I see it. The game is definitely in a fast food model of consumption.

  5. Well I have to say that I agree with what you express here Vid. Myself wouldn’t be doing LFR if I hadn’t befriend several nice folks from the wow blog community. Because the sheer ammount of stupidity and elite-prick mentality that goes on in them is too much for even my patience to stomach. Still I take a little pride when someone points out that 4 of the five people in the LFD are from the same server *when its a good group*. But its rather a rare thing this days that I do the mindless drone in them a lot, specially as DPS or heals; tanking is another manner entirely.

    Still like you said LFR does make me feel quite empty inside. And after grinding in Firelands for so long to get burnt out of them, and watch my previous guild fall apart at the start of 4.3. I find myself just doing LFR for a few pieces of gear on my main and just waiting my time until the next expac is out.

    I haven’t found a good raiding guild to join and raid on my main and at this point I don’t think i think I would have quit back in march 2011 if I didn’t have the friends. For every bad apple I have met and played with in my 7 years of playing this game; I have met 4 or more good people that are worth keeping. Real Id makes it possible to escape the idiots from my server and play with some nice folks and like minded indivuals in another realm. Specially when half my friendlist went to SWTOR.

    I propose that we as the wow blog community run some LFR together. I am sure we can have more camaderie and fun. As we play easy mode in Dragon Soul and make the best of it. And yes I know half you guys are horde too but I am willing to move a 372 item toon to horde side just to play with you guys too ;). All I ask is to think about it. We could make LFR fun for us too.

    • I think the Battle Tag thing will definitely help in this regard, Jorge. I could easily see myself grouping with a bunch of folks that way, though I’m still a little weird about sharing my Real ID in general.

      I’m sorry that you were never able to find the right raiding group for you. It’s hard when that is a primary interest for you in the game! Many guilds are recruiting but they aren’t all the right guild.

  6. Like you, I dislike the group finding tools, but can appreciate the reasoning behind them, and use them as means to an end. People want activities to be available, and that’s fine. But while the tools were initially added to compliment a gaming lifestyle, the game is more and more set up to make that the only way to play.

    LFD messes with the entire game. How many people run 5 mans in a spec they don’t care for, to reduce their queue time? I’m ret mainspec, but on the rare occasion I actually do a 5 man, I do it as prot. I’m not going to wait 20-30 minutes for a group, when as prot, I can already be done with the instance by the time the queue would have popped as ret. And if I tried to ask in general/trade chat, I wouldn’t get a response – why would a tank queue with someone random, when they can instantly jump into a group (maybe one already partially cleared, cutting down on the time even more), and get 100g and a random prize for their time.

    I don’t want to dive into *all* the details of how LFR bothers me, but it’s the same issues you have inside an LFD group, exponentially increased. People are in a rush, hate everyone else, and epeens the size of deathwing are whipped out at slightest provocation. Fast isn’t fast enough, the tanks hate each others guts, everyone who doesn’t do 40,000+ dps is an abomination, and healers deserve fates worse than death for allowing the people to be one shot by their own stupidity.

    There are definitely underperformers – healers casting 12 times in a 3 minute fight, tanks that have no clue what they’re doing, and dps putting out numbers that may have been appropriate in Ulduar. But so what? A crappy dps makes the boss die 2% slower (5 whole seconds!). A wipe adds 5 minutes. You’re already in the express checkout lane. You don’t need to throw a fit because the person in front of you actually has 11 items, when the limit is 10. Is the gold with which the streets are paved not shiny enough for your delicate sensibilities?

    Seriously, random LFR player? You are doing a full tier of raid content with random people at a time that is convenient for you, in less time than it would take with a full guild to do on normal with everything on farm, for a chance at loot that replaces gear from the previous tier on HEROIC. Do you really need to point out every single thing the hunter in group 4 is doing wrong, because his 12000 dps is ruining your experience?

    Looking For [X] and ilvl have become all consuming for non-guilded play. You need to link an achievement to kill the boss that gives you that achievement, with gear equal or better to what will drop. People are quick to judge, quicker to berate, and are rarely satisfied. So here’s to you, jerk #24601. Easily obtained epics do nothing to stem the flow of hate you spew at anything within arms reach. Fast is slow, and slow is agony. Anyone who does less dps than you is both terrible and purposely ruining your day with their ineptitude, while anyone who does better than you is an egotistical asshole, and you were too busy trying to figure out why the healer sucks anyways. You’re pretty sure the tank personally called your mother to ask her to prepare a dinner that you find less attractive than other possible options. Although it may only be your 2nd time in the instance, that item you want *never drops* (THANKS A LOT BLIZZARD), anyone who rolls against you is a “communist”, and you’ll never get that 18 minutes of your life back.

    LFR and LFD have taken on a life of its own, and now many activities in the game serve only to fuel it, at the price of community (and often common decency). It speaks volumes that getting a group where people are nice is something people blog about, and a run in complete silence is favorable to the alternative.

    TL;DR: While LFD and LFR have accomplished many of their goals, what started off as tools to fix problems have become problems that create tools.

    • (W)hat started off as tools to fix problems have become problems that create tools.

      This is really well said.

    • Imakulata said:

      Just a note – ilvl/gearscore/must have tier X requirements were common in BC, before the players knew there will be a LFD system. If anything, I find it less common than it was before LFD although it might be a coincidence as well (and I suspect it is).

    • *applause*

      Personally I have hated what LFD brought to the game and LFR looks like more of the same.

  7. I agree with your observations about LFD and LFR. It doesn’t have the same essence (or necessity) of teamwork. As such, it also doesn’t have the same sense of accomplishment that working in a proper raiding team would have. It definitely takes something away from the social aspect of MMO’s. (Arguably a result of the people using the tool, not the tool itself. Like the saying, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” :) But that’s neither here nor there.)

    Anyway, my perspective on LFR comes from a lack of a raiding team. Attendance and interest has dwindled with my guild over the life of Cataclysm. This means that my only means of seeing end-game content is via tools like LFD/LFR. And that’s really the purpose of it. It’s not to build a community or strong raiders. It’s to let people see content they otherwise wouldn’t see. So, not to sound like an Elitist Scrub (mmm…oxymoron), but the LFR isn’t really intended or designed for people such as yourself who can raid normal/heroic modes. It’s designed for people like me who can’t raid shit. :)

    So, yes, the LFR is a double-edged sword. It lacks the benefits of having a proper raiding team, but it opens a lot of content to those who don’t have that option.

    Now, if only they could invent a LFRWND…(Looking for Raid with Non-Douchebags).

  8. Hey Vid! I can definitely understand your POV — after running LFR many times and being met with some of tho most vile people in the game.

    But as someone who works full time, takes care of a sick cat (i.e., I get up at 5:00 am everyday to dispense insulin to said Marvin of the Beetus), does all the cleaning because my husband gives zero craps about a clean house and I give ALL THE CRAPS…. It’s nice to be able to cap my VP in such a short amount of time. LFR, to me, takes some of the OMG WE HAVE TO KILL BOSSES and affords me some mental time to figure out how we as a guild raid team can improve. It’s provided a “sneak peak” at the fights so I feel better prepared for how it all goes down in the Big Kid Mode. Maybe that’s cheating? Maybe not. If it makes my teammates’ time more effective and efficient, then I’m all for it.

    Also: /hugs :>

  9. I like LFR because it is a quick way to earn VP. I dislike LFR for many, many more reasons.

    I agree when you say that it opens up raiding to the masses, but feel that the actual encounter design has suffered for it. Could you imagine the LFR version of Alysrazor? The encounters had to be made in such a way that the mechanics could easily be stripped down to not punish inexperienced players.

    It also encourages bad habits from simple gameplay to politeness—while I can begrudgingly accept getting a “lol” from Holy Priests when I ask to please not shield the tanks when I am on my Discipline priest, I find it hard to accept that it has become a common practice to pull Hagara without any thought to people who may have died during the previous trash (usually by hunters or even ret paladins who will pull and then bubble).

    Many people have suggested that LFR get sized down to a 10 man format, but the response from Blizzard was along the lines of “we did not want to punish the group for having one or two people underperform.” This is, sadly, a truth. 10 man raids make it easier to identify who is causing problems, but also suffer greatly when team members die from mechanics.

    We try to run LFR as a guild whenever possible, but the argument has been brought up that we make the effort to include people from trade on our own server. Yet the response is the same as if you were suggesting an alt run: who will vet the people from Trade? Is it worth the effort to be ambassadors to the server when the in and out of LFR queuing is way easier? Who is responsible for the behavior of pugs if we are not able to find enough people and how will that impact the server’s opinion of our guild?

    In the end, it has merely been deemed as requiring too much dancing and juggling to be a worthwhile endeavor. Sadly, I feel like most people will feel this way after they gain all the loot they can from LFR. It is the Vault of Archavon all over again: once people have VP to burn and the gear they want, it will become a ghost town.

  10. They should *never* hide content in raids. Rewards, yes, content, no. I’ve even argued for solo raid settings before, and I stand by it; if you want players to see the content, let them do so without dicking around with raiding. Let raiders raid if they want to, but don’t try to make everyone raid.

    I think the LFR stresses are perfect for showing the cracks in the game design. Matching and grouping should get players together who have similar goals and playstyles, no matter the content.

    …so what we need are better matchmaking tools, according to playstyle, rather than just trying to shoehorn everyone into raiding.

    • Yes, yes, yes. If the only reason I’m in LFR is for the story, then by gum, something is wrong with the structure of the game.

  11. My sweet mage writer: twice over the holidays I experienced real life ‘go go go.’ A young mother, more interested in her cell phone than her two young charges (super cute little boys) cut in front of me at the post office without even a ‘howdy-do.’ The part that made me most angry was that I wanted to let her go in front of me, since she had the two children and boxes, etc., and I understand that juggling act all too well. My chivalry was thwarted by her oblivious rudeness. Yes, I wanted credit for being nice. :) The second was at a frame shop where the well-heeled matriarch and her purse-holding husband thought they were actually in front of me for service. Glacial response from her aside, it was all good- seriously, I was getting a Lebowski Fest poster framed and a real movie theatre print of The Corpse Bride. How could I stay grumpy?

    Anyway, you probably know how I feel about LFD/LFR:

    http://wowsugar.blogspot.com/2011/12/dear-matty-nerd-rage-makes-baby-jesus.html

    http://wowsugar.blogspot.com/2011/12/dark-side-of-test-tube.html

    http://wowsugar.blogspot.com/2011/12/happy-new-year-imbecil.html

    Got my BattleID ready to go, just say the word. :)

    We can invent the world, to some degree, of how we want it to look. While we can’t get rid of all the douchebags, at least we don’t have to encourage them.

  12. I’m so up in the air about LFR it’s not even funny. I’ve been called a sadist for my regular jumping into it every Tuesday night after we wrap our guild raid up. I like the convenience of being able to pick up loot that will help the guild out (5 of my 6 Tier pieces across specs are LFR) and enable me to pass on things that would be a bigger upgrade to my teammates.

    I never venture in alone and I only tank when I’m running with my cotank from guild. It makes the raids so much more enjoyable when it’s us and a handful of DPS.

    I’ll use it, but deep down I wish I didn’t =\

  13. Thank you, this is a very thought-provoking post. :)

    Lately, I’ve been playing a lot of SWTOR, which—like WoW of old—has no built-in tool to automatically assemble groups for heroic quests, flashpoints (dungeons), or warzones (battlegrounds). There’s a LFG channel, and a way to mark yourself as looking for a group, but you have to pick roles manually and get to the instance under your own power. The more I play SWTOR, the more I am convinced that LFD and LFR were a mistake for WoW.

    I think your key insight was this:

    “[I]t’s still possible to assemble groups this way, it’s true, but unlikely. I’ve tried.”

    Me too. It doesn’t work. I think we often don’t appreciate the incredible synergy of social behaviour. What I mean is: The very fact that the option exists to push a button and receive a pellet group makes it practically impossible to find one the “old” way. Yes, we do still have the old-fashioned option, but the whole community is now oriented away from that behaviour. I mean, here’s a good test: If you see somebody calling out in Trade for a group to run a heroic, do you feel impelled to join them, or do you quietly suspect they’re just under-geared and terrible and trying to work around the LFD rules?

    Social synergy is powerful and pernicious and incredibly difficult to compete with. Moreover, once the community has adapted to a particular way of doing things (especially an easier one), it’s practically impossible to ever “go back”. Even if, say, tomorrow Blizzard turned off LFD and LFR, the damage is already done—instead of adapting back, a lot of people would just quit, and the whole situation would blow up such a vituperative shitstorm in the forum and the chat channels that those remaining would feel poisoned by the experience. It could be worth it, but I’m not sure.

    Looking for groups “by hand” is tedious, sure, and sometimes you don’t get what you want. The very need to do so, however, requires each person to have a certain basic level of commitment to the process that I think is valuable. Someone once compared LFD to a kind of prostitution, and I’ll admit I’ve whored myself out for quick loot on more than one occasion. The ease of doing this is so seductive, and yet…

    I’m now convinced that the investment in finding groups and curating your friends’ list is far more valuable than I’d ever realized. The proximal utility of click-and-go groups saves time, sure, but at a cost of stress, frustration, and lost community down the road. The value of those lists, the reputation they implied, and the social connections they represented, was larger than I think any of us really knew.

    TL;DR, I think we’d all have been better off if, instead of LFD/LFR, Blizzard had made a cross-realm LFG channel and chat capability, skipped RealID entirely in favour of what they’re now calling BattleTags, and allowed cross-realm grouping for instanced content. Now I’m afraid we may be stuck with it.

  14. I wrote two posts concerning Cataclysm where I mentioned LFG. While I mostly had positive things to say about it, I did lament the loss of community I had experienced.

    Here is one: http://zwinglisblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/day-16-things-i-miss-post-cataclysm/
    Here is the other: http://zwinglisblog.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/thoughts-on-cataclysm/

    I only bring this up to say that I agree with you. I’ve seen a marked loss of community on the servers I frequent.

    Zwingli

  15. The second week of LFR I saw a trend forming where during the ship encounter, people did not want to stack because the “ship could not die you noobs!”

    I was glad when the following week it seemed that enough wipes had deemed that “strategy” defunct.

    I personally love the LFR because I see it as a step in the right direction. I have done some heroic modes, but as a casual normal mode raider I had encountered plenty of people that would have benefited from doing things in the LFR but never set foot in an actual raid.

    There is a logical step that you need to take if you want to start raiding, you need to actually care about your stats and gear beyond the iLvL (gearscore.) There was no way to do that before and dungeons really did not fill that gap between the people that just wanted to see things die and get loot, and the people that wanted to learn the fights to kill the dragon. As a RL of a casual guild I was stuck with the whole spectrum from hardcore raiders that were burnt out on pushing progression to the hunter that still wanted to mele as viable DPS.

    Now the important thing about this post to me is the whole community aspect of things. You are right, both of the features have eroded this part of the game. I am not sure if the tags will make things better, but it is a step on the right direction. I would not post my real id on my blog, but I am pretty sure I will post my tag. Now imagine how cool it would be to be able to que cross realm and you could get your blog fans or just plain friends on a raid. I think that would be pretty cool.

    Now if you could rate people on their tags, that might also be a great thing. There have been plenty of people that I have ignored so I don’t group with them again, but being able to rate a tag might be something that creates some sense of accountability.

    Even better would be if the grouping system takes into account both your friendlist and battel tag list when groupping you (even if you cannot just invite people to a raid and que.)

    As for the LFR nonsense, I think the same behaviour existed before on many pugs when content became farmable for each tier. Running with your guild or preferred list will be excellent.

  16. Really well thought out post. You share some similar points that I do, and raise some more important ones along the way.

    I have also had the feeling of emptiness lingering during these plays. However, you could say ince you join a guild and begin normal modes, that goes away? Sadly I have yet, this expansion, been able to do that.

    Anyway, good posts, fingers crossed for MoP!

  17. I love these LFR discussion posts. It is one of those polarising topics that create endless discussion.

    I know we all complain about how there are heaps of idiots out there doing LFR and it’s all about Me ME Myself MY LOOT to them, but those people have always existed. I feel sorry for the average player who is trying to try LFR and gets hell abuse by the know-it-all asshole raider from a bigger guild about their healing/dps/tanking. I don’t mind noobs who don’t mind a bit of advice and experience to learn. I DO MIND assholes who lay into everyone and whinge about how dumbass we all are and how they are carrying the whole raid blah blah blah. And you know what? I like to raiding with my guild because it’s peaceful and we don’t get stuff like that. And I thought geez, I only have to put up with it during BGs. So now with LFR we can have the (dis)pleasure of all these nasties in raid and in BGs.

    So these idiots were always there. They’re in BGs, LFD and now we have see them more in LFR. I don’t think LFR should be blamed so much because I think it’s still a great way for people to see the content and the story. But for those who raid, we know that we do the normal and heroic raids for the challenge. Blizz has to satisfy the casuals too, and this was a great way for them to boost subscriptions I think. If they only catered to us raiders then they would lose subscribers coz not everyone can play that way.

  18. “Once upon a time, I used to run dungeons yes, to acquire emblems or points or gear or whatever, but also because just running dungeons was fun.”

    I used to do this too (TBC) and loved it, in fact everything you said here resonated with me. Ever since LFD I’ve stopped running dungeons just for fun. I havn’t tried LFR myself, but based on reading your post, which was pretty spot on with explaining what I feared it would be, I don’t know if it’ll just make me even more jaded and give me a flat experience of having completed Cataclysm.
    I don’t know what the answer is to these concerns about LFD/LFR, maybe it’s too late to go back anyways, convenience won.

  19. Great post V! I think overall I am pretty meh about LFR. I will queue occassionally but my heart’s not broken if I miss it. I try not to expect much a far as loot and the performance of the raid, and that helps me not get frustrated. But I love what you said about not being part of that elitist 1% and having your internet dragon and loot it too. That was such a great paragraph! Thanks for a toned downed and excellent post on LFD/LFR and all that goes along with it. Really enjoyed it!

  20. I was online last week, chain-running AV, when a guildie asked me if I had tried LFR yet.

    “Not really,” I replied, “I don’t feel like running the Heroic gauntlet just to get enough PvE gear to use LFR.”

    “Oh, I wouldn’t worry about it. You could queue in your PvP gear and get in. The tank I was in the last LFR was in PvP gear.”

    “That feels like cheating.”

    “lol. I know what you mean.”

    But that illustrates one of the problems with LFR: as long as you have a high enough iLevel, you can get in. Blizz never segregates PvE and PvP gear, only the composite of the gear in your bags, and away you go. I know that my DPS suffers when I use PvP gear vs. the same iL PvE gear, so why should I inflict that on someone else and make a healer’s job that much harder? Am I that greedy that I will try to jones the system any way I can?

    When LFR was introduced, I kind of predicted that it would be LFD but on a bigger scale. Given that there isn’t a Heroic version of LFR available, LFR as-is has all of the problems of LFD –and all of the good parts– in one neat little package. It doesn’t even have the redeeming value that the BG finder has of leveling playing field so that the average skill level on both sides of a BG is going to be equal.

    In all of the problems with LFR, I think there’s one that a lot of people missed: okay, you killed Deathwing. What’s to stop you from unsubscribing and trying out TOR? If you didn’t fall for the “get Diablo III for free for locking in a year long sub”, there’s nothing to keep you from simply dropping offline for a while and trying something else, which might lead to even more subscription loss. Sure, you could argue that this is the real reason why Blizz implemented the annual pass –and you’d probably be right– but that’s pretty damn sad that the software company has to rely upon a gimmick to keep their subscription numbers up when there’s a serious failing in the game that needs addressing.

    • PvP gear with a capable player is better than raiding gear on someone that got carried through content… then again is LFR the ultimate carry to shinnies?

      I don’t see the annual pass as a gimmick as more of a deal. I have no idea why you would think that they are failing when the LFR seems to be a success.

      • It may seem to be a success, but since this is pretty much all she wrote until the bridge patch, there’s going to be nothing new to keep people around. I don’t see MoP dropping until right around Blizzcon –or maybe slightly after, just like Cata was– but from here to there is a long time.

        If you’re going to stay subscribed regardless of what’s going on, then the annual pass is a good deal. If you’re tempted to drop your sub over the spring/summer while not much is going on, then maybe it’s smarter for you to just buy Diablo III (when it finally drops) and skip the annual pass.

      • I don’t think you can get the annual pass anymore, I think the whole promotion ended with 2011. I personally found the deal fantastic… but I am a blizzard fan, and will play Diablo III and will enjoy being able to be in the Panda beta. The shinney pony does get used a lot more than I thought because I did not have the sparkly one or the other one… so its almost like a free convenience fee.

        If you already killed Deathwing and have tons to do in the coming months, by all means it is a great time to drop your subscription or play something else. I personally find the current state of the game in a great place. Not just because I can commit less time to it that before, but because people that did not have the schedule previously to be raiding now can do so.

        Because of our speed of progression, we just downed Ultraxion normal. I think we will spend a while in Dragon Soul.

        I might be wrong, but I think we will start hearing about the Panda beta soon. I don’t think this content is expected to be like ICC was and be the end all for a whole year. If it was, I think they would have artificially gated it a lot longer. They would have probably not opened up the second half of dragon soul for a lot longer. I don’t see this content cycle to be expected to last more than 6 months.

  21. Not everybodies has fond memories of puggin’ in TBC and vanilla. Here be some personal numbers, what heavily influencifies me feelins toward Dungeon Finder and LFR.

    Number years played on me main: 5

    Number of 5-mans attempted on me main as 100% PuGs (4 strangers): 10? 20? Not really sure – was all before DF.

    Number of 5-man bosses killed on me main in 100% pugs: Zero. Usuallies the group broke up before we ever got to a dungeon. If’n we did get that far, nobodies new what they was doin’ (includin’ me) and it were downtown Wipeville. And of course there were the time he healer and the shaman kept stoppin’ ta duel each other. Eventuallies, I quit tryin’.

    Number of 5-man bosses killed on me main the very first time I tried Dungeon Finder? All. Of. Them.

    Number of current-tier raid bosses killed on me main before LFR? Three (Marrowgar, Magmaw, Omnomnomitron)

    Number of LFR bosses killed on me main: All. Of. Them.

    Now, I’s been ables fer ta find opportunities on some of me Alliance alts fer killin’ bosses. And if’n those hadn’t existed, mebbe I’d’ve found some way fer ta do on me main. But mebbe not. Is some warts on LFR, no doubts, but I’s done kissed a lot uglier frogs fer a lot less satisfactions. Would I likes it ta be better? Sure. But I’s damn happy they put it in the game.

  22. Things have gotten a lot better in WoW, don’t get me wrong. But in some regards it’s gotten a lot worse. It’s now more or less Diablo 2, a single player game that sometimes has other people.

    I played on Shadowmoon at release, and there’s a reason that’s still the highlight of my WoW memories. Serious guild rivalries, fanatical horde vs alliance rivalry, all this has been lost because of faster loot grinding.

    And that’s what it really gets down to, more loot. Faster loor. “Moor purplez”.

    In other words, Diablo. I worked like a maniac to get my old Lightforge set. Much, much less to get decked out for Naxx in Wrath.

  23. Too much to type here so instead I just read what you and another person blogged about with this topic and made my own blog. Go checky out! ^_^

  24. One point others in the WoW community is that the LFR is not for raiders, but for the casual players don’t want to get into raiding.

    I think a lot of people miss that point and need to remind themselves of that when using the tool. It is not a mandatory tool, you don’t have to go there to raid… and if you are a raider there is really no reason for you to go there since valor capping is very easy with completing Dragon Soul. It just makes it easier.

    Now on the community front.

    I am assuming a lot here, but it seems that most raiders in today’s WoW are also casual players. Besides altoholics, most just get their main geared and raid with them. What you lose when you are that casual (in the sense of only loggin in for raids) is that you do lose that sense of community.

    The gap that was made by the LFD can be filled with a good guild.

    Maybe numbers are dwindling, maybe the LFD/LFR have made it easier for people to get done what they want to get done… but don’t let that destroy your community.

    I recently ran a pug (trade chat normal DS) on an alt and found a guild similar to ours. It has been fun running things with them and having a similar size guild in the server to complete each other runs as needed. The people are there, but it is up to us to make those connections. Find new ways.

    • “One point others in the WoW community is that the LFR is not for raiders, but for the casual players don’t want to get into raiding.”

      Good point sir. I think this is a key point to keep in mind for this discussion :)

      • Wow, I must have been hungry when posting, I ate a “have made” and a “that”

        I do want to point out that as raiders we have always been able to enjoy content that it is not accessible to others, now that others can access the content with have it is almost like… who invited all this people to our party???

        Honestly I don’t see the LFR tuned for even normal mode raiders. My raiding group had just a handful of heroic gear pieces amongst us and we could pretty much faceroll LFR. Even now if we took a group of alts that just met the minimun requirements we would still probably faceroll.

        Now on normal we are just 5/8 and still working on getting the lootship down. We are close, but sappers seem to still give us issues. Once we become familiar with the fight we’ll get it. I am sure that it took only a pull or two to must heroic guild to do that fight even if they knew nothing about it.

        The LFR is for those that have completed all the dungeons and want to see what is next but don’t have the time or desire to even fill out at application to a raiding guild or look through a parse or even a meter. People that raid take it for granted that everyone looks at meters or has one installed… many people don’t even know they are not doing “good” DPS. Their only measure is, can I kill this mob before it kills me… when raiding we do the same thing in a larger scale but have tons of tools we think everyone else uses.

  25. [...] It also destroys community. I have always keenly felt this since Wrath of the Lich King, and Vidyala’s post in her blog really resonated with me. I enjoy seeing people look for groups in general chat, and I [...]

  26. I have yet to try LFR, as my first toon is only lvl 82 and I’m still leveling him. I have never run in a raid group before, though I would like to give raiding a shot. I thought I’d use LFR as a way of getting some raid experience without the worry of embarrassing myself in front of friends/guildies. Your article has given me pause though.
    I’ve PUGed a LOT of dungeons, and I always try to be courteous. As far as loot ninjas go, I can say with some modesty that is not my style. In fact, I usually pass on most loot unless it’s something my character can use in his CURRENT spec (not off spec).
    For someone who has NEVER raided, and REALLY likes the camaraderie of running with people I’m at least familiar with, it seems from your post like the LFR is not the way to go. Am I right? And if so, what would be your suggestion for getting into raiding? I actually like to go slow, so I can enjoy not just the fights and the mechanics, but the scenery, the lore, the FUN, all of it. Thanks for a REALLY thought provoking article.

    • Antorix, I actually think that the LFR would be a perfect way for you to try out raiding in a low-stress environment, with the caveat that you remember raiding with an actual group of folks will not be exactly the same. You can learn mechanics of fights, see the lore, and not be afraid to make mistakes because with 24 other people, chances are it won’t be a big deal! I really think LFR was designed with just such an eventuality in mind – a way to try out raiding without needing to join a dedicated group to do it. I think you should give LFR a go when you reach that point, and have fun doing it! You can still join up with some friends to make the experience better for you. I’m sorry if my post gave the impression that LFR was bad or would be wrong for you. It’s unlikely that your LFR run will go “slowly” or let you take in the scenery very much, but it is extremely accessible and you shouldn’t be worried to take advantage of that. I hope you have a blast! :)

      • Thank you very much for your reply! I’m sorry I misunderstood your view on the LFR as a tool for noobs like me. :-) I will definitely give it a go then once I hit 85. As far as “taking in the sights” along the way, I can always get to that with a group of friends (if I can ever find one big enough! LOL!) or just wait until I’m a high enough level to go back and solo. That’s actually what I do with a lot of dungeons I liked the look of, or those that I got rushed through to keep up with the group. And the farming doesn’t hurt the ol’ gold bag either! :-) Thanks again and it’s a GREAT column!

  27. As a raider who doesn’t start getting excited about bosses until heroic-modes, I really like that the game has Dungeon- and Raid-Finder.

    Not everyone has the skills (or even time) to build their own personal community of folks to run instances and raids with. For those of us without a long friends list or network of guildies, getting groups together for disliked instances was *not* fun. I remember being in Heroic Shadow Labyrinth for six hours trying to help a guildie get her Champion of the Naaru quest done. Six hours because we had to keep stopping and finding new folks when someone dropped. A Dungeon-Finder system back then would have eased that pain so much.

    For those with lesser people skills or time, Dungeon- and Raid-Finder have been a massive success. Far more have see the end of Deathwing than any other end-raid boss in WoW’s history. Like particular Finder experiences or not, the Finders have changed WoW for the better because they have allowed more folks to experience the game content than ever before.

    Yes, it has had a effect on the communities tied to a physical server, but that isn’t always bad, either. I’ve played on servers where the community had been quite nasty, back-biting, and disruptive. Sadly, sometimes the worst of trade chat is the best of that server’s community. >.<

    I will say, with the coming of Cross-Realm raiding and Battle Tags, it will be possible to build a new personal community out of the entire regional server population. It won't be as easy, but it will give you a chance to say "Let me check my friends list" once again.

  28. [...] saw the merging of 2 raid IDs into 1, Cata saw the introduction of LFR. And as was highlighted in a blog post by Vidyala, why join a raiding guild if you can see the content in LFR? And for some, like Cyn, [...]

  29. jdistortion said:

    I agree completely with the OP. Wow basically has become a single player game. Blizz has stooped to please the lowest common denominator and created a sub-par experience. The one issue that really bothers me is the whole concept of normal/heroic. Throw LFR in and now you can do the same raid 3 times over! oh fun! Does anyone else see this as lazy on Blizzards part? Why take the time AND MONEY(hello activision) to create 2 or 3 more interesting Raid instances when you can spit out one and give it three difficulty levels? For those that weren’t playing during BC(you poor souls) we had Karazhan, Gruul, Mag, ZA, The Eye, SSC, Hyjal, BT and Sunwell. And what’s more, each of those was significantly better than DS. No points to grind, just interesting, challenging content. Gear was earned, not given away. I realize that Cata is only a 5 lvl XP(hello Activision!), but that’s no excuse for the current state of the game.

  30. I like LFR a lot. I raid in order to be part of something bigger and let me do something I can’t do on my own. I’m not in it to be challenged, I’m not especially interested in making friends and I don’t want to have to schedule for raids. I accepted those things as part of the raiding package when they were necessary but it turns out they weren’t what satisfied me.

    What are my raiding options? Get into a guilded raid group to work on farm content OR try to pug normals with whatever guild is missing a raider or three OR queue up for LFR. LFR has downsides to be sure but it’s easy to queue and often a one-shot. I can do it whenever I please and drop out when I’m done.

  31. A little late replying here… because I’ve been on holidays running LFR like there is no tomorrow (but I’ll admit that 5 times in a week is toooo much!).

    I really like LFR – more or less echoing Ratshag’s point – I’m on a low-pop server in the lowest pop timezone (hence why we get maintenance during our prime time) – even going back to Wrath before LFD – trying to get a group to do AN so I could get that stupid tank trinket that never dropped… I think I managed it 3 times. And I was a competent tank with a good reputation on the server with a good friends list – I could get a group if i wanted without too much hassle (unless there was no healer about).

    LFR is great for me and has been great for our guild. We always raided to see content and that stalled on Magmaw this expansion. It’s been revitalized with LFR – running it with friends and having fun. Yes it has its problems (loot, griefing, etc) but it is doing what it was designed to do. I’ve realized more and more what LFR lacks is good leadership – much like in a BG – if someone takes control things go a lot smoother – to that end I always queue as a leader now and I lead when I get the role.

    The two problems I have with the setup now which are largely a personal gripe than actual issues with it:
    1. I think the mechanics can be too easily ignored – and particularly as DPS you get called out if you are paying attention to them and losing dps because of it.
    2. Queue times for heals being so short tempt me into healing when I don’t really want to… and then the healing is quite boring (which relates to 1.)

    Neither of these are huge – I think it’s a lesson for future LFR raids.

    It leaves me in a strange place trying to work out what I want to do – I’ve got minor goals – that I want to tank LFR on each of my toons (DK and Paladin to go – Paladin because of the heals dilema) – but it gives me space to play other characters – hence why I now have 5×85. I always geared up with the hopes that I might be able to squeeze into a raid to see the content – and that has gone. My bear is basically BiS pre normals (missing a couple of pieces from LFR). But I’ve been enjoying it immensely and enjoyed doing it with guildies – I think the camaraderie within the guild now that the stress of ‘having to try and raid’ has been removed is great. We spend time doing older raids (yay finally killed LK), or doing the hunter taming challenges (I’ve got to stop killing skitterflame…)

  32. [...] can pin all your hopes and aspirations on your guild experiences. You can even narrow down where you want to play in order to *hopefully* facilitate [...]

  33. Belated, but I want to say that I’m glad for LFR, IF ONLY BECAUSE it has allowed me to actually do the raid, if not in the way I’d prefer to. I’d PREFER to go in with 25 people I know to varying degrees and kill bosses on regular before starting hard modes. I’d PREFER to go in as a group, in vent, all laughing and teasing and constantly making in-jokes.

    …Basically, I’d PREFER to have my ICC experience back, because as much as people hated ICC by the end of the expansion, I was finally raid geared and it was my first proper, Tier-appropriate raid, and raiding with the group that Apotheosis was at the time just rocked my socks.

    That said, even having seen the bosses in LFR, I wish I had the time to actually raid with people I like in a NON-LFR setting. *siiiiigh*

  34. I think LFR is everything folks here have said, but it really depends on the person. I really think of it as a bigger version of a Heroic PuG. For ME, someone who is in a 10 man guild that just killed Deathwing and may eventually noodle on heroics, they’re a tool. A tool to get VP and gear better, in some cases, than some of the Firelands gear I’m still holding on to. Placeholder gear, if you will. Once I have all I can get from LFR, least on my main, I’m done. Never to set foot in there again. For my alts who aren’t raiding, it’s a great way to gear them up and prepped to possibly sub in my raid group if needed.

    But it this were a few years ago, I’d be making a different comment. I once worked ungodly hours, sometimes til 1am. I wanted desperately to raid and couldn’t. It fustrated me to no end, to see other friends raiding and getting things I wanted so badly! After hitting the level cap, I felt unsure of what to do next. Even when my hours changed and I worked til 9pm, it wasn’t easy to try and raid. I would have welcomed LFR with open arms then. Getting to see bosses I otherwise couldn’t, getting a taste of raiding (though, it’s a skewed version of raiding, I will admit)….I would’ve been over the moon at getting that opportunity.

    So I can can see LFR being a blessing to those with odd hours, for whatever reason. And to some, a pain in the arse to be suffered until all the gear possible has been obtained. I’m sure LFR as it is now could be tweaked to be better, and hopefully, with feedback, it will be.

  35. I like LFR, and here is why:

    I got to 85 shortly before 4.3. Nobody was interested in the low end raids that I wanted to do, and the trade chat pugs for Firelands all required achievements and an ilvl that was out of my reach without getting FL loot.
    My guild runs Firelands, but they already have a full group of experienced heroic mode raiders. Why would they want to take me, someone who has never stepped into a raid before?

    Thanks to 4.3, I can now do the new raid without having to meet whatever requirements trade chat pugs want. People are also running BH for the new gear, and they don’t care if you don’t have the achievement.
    Sure, I can’t join FL/DS pugs (still), and my guild certainly don’t want to bring an LFR raider into their heroic DS raids, but I can join them in LFR.

    Now I can join a raid without being refused entry because nobody cares about new players, and I can also feel like I’m an important part of the team, who isn’t being carried.

    If LFR hadn’t came out, I would’ve felt frustrated that I couldn’t get into raiding, and probably would’ve quit after the heroic dungeons started getting boring and easy. Of course, now I’ve pretty much hit as far as I can go once again, since nobody wants someone inexperienced in FL, and nobody does the raids in between BH and FL. But at least I can do something, although its not really challenging in the least.

  36. [...] I go on a rant, I want to recommend an article written by Vidyala at Manalicious called Looking For: Community. She brings up a lot of valuable observations about LFR that are coinciding with my own thoughts [...]

  37. [...] The Pugging Pally – because reading your exploits in dungeon finder spurred me on to try the same. [...]

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