I could have named this like the movie, the good, the bad and the ugly but for now all I want to write about is the good of it. I was actually having a conversation with someone yesterday about the LFD system and when the idea of a LFR system came up I said it could never work. A few minutes later I came up with an idea how a LFR would work. It would give you 1 random raid boss that you have killed at least 10 times before. That way, you get a group with people that all know the mechanics of that one fight. In me saying that I seemed to have forgotten why I liked the LFD tool and why my idea for LFR would be counter productive for what LFD tried to help with.
I only started playing a little over a year ago so me talking about the "old times" is like an 18 year old talking about back when "he was a kid". What was it? Like a week ago? Still, I remembered a bit about the old times trying to find the daily dungeon before the LFD tool came out.
I was one of those people that maybe took the game a little too serious to start out with. I never even considered trying to get into a group for a dungeon until I could buy enough BoE stuff to make myself viable in the dungeon. I also made sure everything was enchanted completely. It did not take long after hitting 80 to do that. Just a little elbow grease so to speak. I had read that 1200 is the bare minimum you should do in a dungeon and 1500 was good enough over all. So I was making sure I could do that.
I would only run the dungeons I knew where easy as hell like Nexus and Violet Hold because I was still learning my character and I knew where the entrance to them was. I had no clue where the entrances to HoL, HoS, UK, UP and some others even were. So when that was the daily I never even looked for a group. Did not want to look like a total noob when I asked how I needed to get there. If someone said LF 1 DPS, have summon then I would whisper. Otherwise, I did not do my dungeon that day.
On the days that it was a dungeon I knew well or one I knew how to get to it became a issue of how long I was willing to wait before I found someone willing to go with me. Some days I would sit and read trade waiting for someone to ask for a DPS for 3 or 4 hours. If I was lucky, when I found one they might take me. Might being the operative word there. Some times I would send a dozen people messages and they would give the spots to someone else. On a good week I would do my daily dungeon maybe 2 times. Gearing up like that was hell, pure hell.
Even after I joined a guild it was rare to see any people on to do the runs. They only came on before raid time to raid and the few times they did run the daily I would try to get in but they already had their in clicks of the same 5 people that ran together every day and you could not do it twice so even if they were willing to run again with me they couldn't.
I worked as hard as I could. Making money to buy BoEs. Reading about my rotation and class to know everything I needed to. Reading about the dungeons so I knew what to expect. Waiting n trade for hours on end hoping I can get into a group and still months later I had managed to save up enough for only one piece of badge gear. It sucked breaking in back then. Sucked big time.
So that is why I think the LFD tool is awesome in so many ways. Now the daily is not a set dungeon, just click and go wherever they send you. Now you do not need to know where the entrance is, it ports you in and it ports you out. Now I can get on with my life, doing dailies and farming or playing the AH and not have to worry about sitting in a city and reading trade waiting for someone to need me. Now if all the guild tanks have already did their daily they can still help you with your daily too. No more being turned down because your gear is soft or because you just hit 80 or any other reason people would come up with. No more being in a dungeon with three hunters. No more taking forever to gear up.
LFD made life a cake walk in gearing up. Now with one full free weekend and some effort you can get yourself into all T9 or better gear ready for the next step into T10. After one weekend you can stop into ICC and have top end gear with a good ICC 10 and ICC 25 run. Heck, if you have a lucky roll here and there you can find yourself having a gear score of 5300 or better in less then 2 days thanks to the new system.
Now that is good and that is bad. Some people can get carried through the randoms and gear up and still not know how to play but over all most people do learn something running that many dungeons even if they are not actively trying to learn something. Either way, one or two trash pulls into ICC and you will be able to see who knows their role and who doesn't.
It has not changed much for healers and tanks. Even bad ones got snapped up the old way instantly. They still do with the system as it is now. However for DPS it has been a godsend. I can gear up in no time now if I wanted to. All you need to do it click the query and go farming or doing dailies. In no time your dungeon will pop up and you are on your way to being better geared in one day then I was after 2 months. Also, now you do not need to do what I did and buy BoEs and enchant them. You can hit 80 in quest greeens and go straight into a dungeon. I think it went from one extreme to the other but I like it a lot. If it were not for this system I might still be a noob 80 that would never have seen the entrance of ICC until I out geared it from having cata gear. Well, maybe not. My guild was doing Ulduar when I joined it and that was just before ICC came out and we jumped right into there. But my point still stands. It made life a lot easier.