This is just a collection of questions that popped into mind about the upcoming looking for raid feature. Most of the answers are unknown, it is more me just wondering about how things might be and being my grumpy self about other things.
Will LFR kill LFD off?
I have been thinking about this since it was introduced and even mentioned it in a comment on another blog recently. The new looking for raid has a huge possibility of killing off the need for a looking for dungeon system. They both will have the same failing, people, but when you look at everything else why would anyone do a dungeon any more if they can do a raid?
For arguments sake only based on what has been said, if the looking for raid was currently around the gear would most likely be 371 gear. A little less then normal mode raids. So lets look at it from that point of view.
If the looking for raid bosses drop valor points, which they most likely will, and 371 gear why would you do the dungeons?
In a dungeon you get 353 gear.
In the raid you get 371 gear.
In a dungeon you get justice points for a boss kill.
In a raid you get valor points for a boss kill.
In a dungeon you are more likely to get a fresh group.
In a raid you are more likely to get in on a boss as someone is being replaced.
Dungeons are all about trash which eats up 90% of your time in there.
Raids usually have some trash packs but they are only 10% of the time spent in there.
If a dungeon group fails after one boss you get no valor at all.
If a raid group fails after one boss you get valor for that one boss.
You can no longer buy set gear with valor making getting valor less appealing (but not useless).
In raid you will get the set gear dropped from killing bosses and valor at the same time.
Sorry, but I am hard pressed to see any reason to run dungeons outside of the achievements personally. As it is now when I get a new character to 85 I immediately get it up for Zuls and never step foot into regulars or normal heroics. I go to the top level random I can. With the raids that will mean going to the raids as soon as I can.
I am not alone, many people are like that. The only people I know that do normals are looking for achievements, mounts, a break from the zul grind or trinkets, which you can not get in zuls. Otherwise, if they are just looking to build up points for gear they do zuls only. The only other type that do things that are not the best they can get into are people that are actually good players looking to get better and not wanting to expose the top level to their abilities until they feel comfortable with them. IE: Me on my rogue. I still only do normals, never stepped into a Zul with him. Sure I can do 11K-14K on him now easily but I still think that is not good enough. My mage, I could 20K burst as soon as I was normal ready, so I moved to Zuls ASAP.
It is quite possible that the looking for dungeon feature might become a virtual ghost land once the looking for raid comes out. There are really no reasons to be doing them if you are just looking for gear and in truth, even if no one wants to admit it, the looking for dungeon system is only a necessary evil we do to get gear. Once we no longer need the gear we do not do them. So why grind for lower gear. Just go to looking for raid and grind for the better gear.
I really believe that the looking for raid has a very good chance of making the wait of the LFD turn into a 2 hour event for DPS. I know I refuse to tank randoms but I will gladly tank the LFRs. Tanking raids is a lot easier then tanking dungeons and the rewards are better then any baggie. Will we ever see a tank in LFD anymore?
How will loot be handled?
This is a huge issue in my opinion. Lets say I am on my Hunter and something drops for me that I need and there is a resto shaman there that has an enhancement offspec. In a normal raid the standard rule is main spec over off spec so I would get it and the shaman would not be allowed to even roll for it. Will there be a main spec over and offspec priority? I surely hope so or I see lots of loot drama coming from this and lets not even mention the number of tickets blizzard will start receiving from people because someone ninjaed their item.
Being I have seen how others act in an environment like this I know I have to change how I act to compensate. If you can't beat them, join them. This means that when we do the looking for raid as a guild and something any of us can use drops we will all roll need on it and then just trade it to the person that actually needed it.
Someone in my guild needed it so we need as a guild. Selfish? Hell yes. It is not like we would normally do something like that, we are a much higher class of people and normally actions like that would get someone a g kick, but after being screwed over by people time and time again I have learned that sometimes you have to be a little bit selfish or you will end up hating the game even more.
Loot will be an issue in every single kill that is made in there. I am 100% certain of that. Blizzard will need to address the main spec off spec issue and as much as some might hate this, they need to disable the option to trade it in those raids.
The option to trade it is what will turn loot rolls into hell there. The priest healer needs that piece, there are 9 of us here, we will all role need and whoever wins it gives it to the priest. While I will do that I do know that it is wrong. It is horribly wrong. What about the other priest that is there alone? He now has to roll against 10 people when he should only have to roll against 1. It is not fair and it should not be allowed. Blizzard should fix this problem before it even happens. Disallowing trading items, only in the LFR system, will go a long way for that.
How about loot griefing? I can see people rolling against others for gear just to keep them from getting it. I've seen it in dungeons many times when three people where in a guild and all rolled need on an item none of them needed to keep it from someone else.
There was even a huge post on the forums a few weeks back saying that someone in their group was looking for something off the last boss in ZA and then when it dropped the four guild members rolled need on it even if none of them could use it and laughed at him because he did not win it.
When he asked them to trade it to him they insulted him and told him to learn to play and maybe he would deserve to win loot. They told him that he was one of the worst players they ever saw and they only kept him around for laughs and hoping that they could do this to him. People like that are scum and should be banned from the game but my personal opinions aside, it is still wrong and you know it will happen in the looking for raid a lot more often.
Bad player or kick options?
This is an issue currently with the LFD system but in a way I think it is fine. People like me that never kick people unless it is completely necessary have instant kick options. Hell, I can kick someone the second I zone in because I never kick.
There are many people that complain they can not kick for 4 hours or something like that and for the most part I blame them for that. They are probably assholes that kick anyone that is not perfect and that is why they have that issue. I complain about the LFD all the time and I never kick people. It is rare someone is so bad to the point they make the boss impossible and there are only a few bosses that bad people can really wipe you.
That is where the problem is with the looking for raid. Bad players can not be carried through mechanics that can kill everyone. If you need to stack up or you will wipe the group a bad player will wipe the group. If you need to move from the group or it will wipe the group a bad player will wipe the group. You get the idea. Lets not even talk about interrupts. You have to interrupt or it will wipe the group. Random mentality says... but it will hurt my DPS. I do not want to be with the people.
Either they need to loosen up the kick rules big time, which will create a problem all its own, or they need to implement a series of checks from the system that automatically kicks people, which again could create a problem once in a while.
Either way, when the average of 1 in 5 players in a LFD is a bad player we can expect to have an average of 5 bad players in the LFR. You can not carry 5 bad players unless they are removing all instant death mechanics and really lowering the DPS requirements. And I mean a lot. You can not believe the number of people I hear say that 6K is fine for a zul. I want whatever it is they are smoking. I am sure they will say that 8K will be fine for a T13 raid. 8K was not even fine for ICC in wrath, lets get real.
Why no 10 man option?
It was said that the LFR will only be for 25 man groups and I can accept that but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I want a 10 man version. I can take guild groups into it to get an idea what to expect from the fight before they actually join the main raids. Even if it is greatly watered down it is still going to be a fantastic learning tool.
As a raid leader I want control of the situation. If it is a 25 man and there are people that are not in my guild I do not have complete control. I am not going to be giving random people our vent info, no way in hell and I am not going to be there to fight with people over what they want to do and what I want to do. I am the raid leader. I will listen to ideas on how you think things can be done better but I will not argue it. If you want to argue then you are welcome to go join another raid, you are not welcome in mine.
With a 10 man option I can have all guild easily, even a few lesser players we can carry, and I can have them all on vent and I can control everything. That is what I want. I do not want 25 man pandemonium. Which raises another question.
Who decides who the raid leader is?
Every group needs to have a leader and even more so in more complex content. How it is going to be decided who leads? Too many people all saying "but in my guild we do this..." is going to make raiding hell. No one cares what your guild does. Honestly. Random up with your guild if you want to do it the way your guild does it.
It would be advantageous to everyone there if there was an appointed leader and it was that leader that made the choices. Which then brings the question of how exactly do you decide who the leader is?
I've known people that have downed a boss 20 times and can still not tell you how to do the fight. I have walked into bosses the first time ever seeing it and know everything there is to know about the boss from the perspective of every role. I know what the tanks need to do, I know what the healers need to do, I know what the DPS need to do. I know where to move, what to move from, when to interrupt, who has cooldowns that can help in whatever situation. I am a raid leader. That is my job to know the fight from every perspective.
So you are saying if we walk into a LFR against a boss I have never done that some guy that has done it before will get the raid leader position while knowing nothing and I won't because I never did it before even if I know everything about it? This becomes a very tricky situation in determining who will lead. Previous raid experience means nothing. Knowledge means everything and there is no way to judge knowledge in game.
Some people would say that I could click the option to lead the group. So can anyone so what does that mean? Clicking willing to lead does not mean you know what you are doing. It is not like the system knows if you really can lead or you are full of shit.
How about alts, if they are counting experience? Lets look at last tier for example. My main, my hunter has only done BWD once. My tank however has been in there dozens of times. So if I join the LFR for that on my hunter I am now considered, by the system, as having no knowledge of the fights. See, not even counting stuff outside of the game you can not count on the system to decide. It would think I knew nothing of any of the fights on my hunter. What about my warrior, my shaman, my priest, etc, that have all been there. What are they, chopped liver?
Then lets get to the even more important stuff when it comes to the raid leader. What if you do not like them? Lets say I am the raid leader and I say this is how we are going to do things and you do not like doing it that way. You are stuck in the position of doing it the way I said, arguing about it, or dropping group.
Then their is the forth option that you know will happen, you don't like it, so you make everyone else pay for your disagreement with the raid leader by wiping the group on purpose. I am 100% sure that we will run into lots of those people that think it is fun to make other people waste time. Seriously, there is a large sector of people that take great joy in ruining everyone else fun, in trolling people, in insulting people, etc. We will have to worry about them in a much larger ratio. What happens if one of them is the raid leader? God help us all.
What about communication?
This is a big thing with raids. They require some sort of communication and personally every time I have to type out a fight I start to feel like I am a caveman carving out messages on the cave wall with stones. Come on people, text communication online went out in the early 2000s for the masses, it has been gone since the late 90s for many of us old timers. Text communication is limited and takes time. Voice communication is instant (with exception of lag of course).
Does Blizzard expect people to give out personal vent, teamspeak, scype, etc information to everyone they meet in the LFR system? Why not, they expect us to give out our personal information to people we want to add to our battle net. Blizzard has absolute zero respect for personal privacy.
I would not be surprised if they are the ones that sell our e-mail address to the spammers just to make some more money. I know dozens of people that use an email account for wow only and still get spam from gold sellers on it when the only thing it was ever used for was to open their battle net account and that is all. How did the spammers get the address? Blizzard either sold it to them or has security issues that allow people to get them. Either way, just another case of Blizzard not caring about our personal space.
So they are going to tell use be like the cavemen and carve our messages with stone, or share our personal communication information. Oh joy.
Are they going to make the raids so they do not need people to talk? Not sure they can, they could not even make the dungeons that easy. I can't believe the number of times I (and others) have had to explain the last fight in ZG. Sometimes even six or seven times in one run until we got a DPS that was not retarded and capable of understanding it.
Typing is just not effective. Lets say someone is standing in fire. Perhaps they have partial density down and can't see it, okay, I can accept that for some people with bad connections this is the only way they can play and that is why they are in the LFR and not in a real raid group. Can't fault people for that in a random environment. Random environments are supposed to be for the people like that.
With voice I say, move shaman, you are standing in the fire. With text I need to stop what I am doing to type it out and that means a DPS loss and a possibility that I will end up in bad because I am telling you to get out of the bad.
If I am the tank it could mean a missed cooldown or interrupt. If I am the healer it could mean I miss a crucial heal. Any role, it could mean a good attempt is now a wipe because someone stood in the fire and someone needed to type to tell them to get out of it. And then you have to hope that they are actually reading after you typed it and that is a whole different story. Text does not cut it. Not for anything that requires coordination.
If Blizzard is going to make the raids anything like real raids communication will be needed. So we have two options to make this work. Make all fights tank and spank or make us share our personal communication information. Sorry, but I do not like either of those options thank you very much.
* Note: I know it will be just 25s but using 10 numbers because that is what I do mostly.
What about roles? Is Blizzard going to fill the raids with the standard 2 tanks, 2 healer, 6 DPS set up? I know my guild likes to do 2, 3, and 5 when we are starting out new content. Sometimes we still keep that even on stuff we can farm. How about solo tank fights? I can solo tank a buttload of stuff this expansion so far. I would say almost a quarter of the bosses can be solo tanked. So why make sure to give us 2? Are they going to just assume someone will have a viable DPS offset? Same with heals, some fights can really benefit from having three healers while others two is more then enough. Hell, I have a holy paladin in my guild that is more then willing (and capable) to one heal some of last tiers stuff.
My tanks tank, my healers heal. I do not have viable offsets. The only healer I have with a DPS offspec is my shaman and that is ungemmed and unenchanted because it is for questing only and it is more then capable for what it is used for. My Priest is disc/disc. My Druid is tank/heal. My Paladin the same but at least still has a DPS spec being I only grind mats with her at the moment. Not sure about others but anything I have that can tank or heal tanks or heals. Simple as that. My warrior has two tank specs, one for tanking and one for handling adds.
Which brings us to another thing about roles. My warrior was made for handling adds like the ones in a couple of fights in BWD, Mal is what made me create his offspec. When we go in there I actually like tanking the adds because I have a spec made for them and I can do it with much more efficiency then most other tanks with a normal tanking spec.
Most tanks hate being on add duty. Add duty is probably the hardest tanking job anyone can have. Maybe that is why I like it, who knows. If we are given two tanks from the system who is to say we will get anywhere while we wait for the two people to fight it out on who will be the add tank. Is the system going to tell us who will be main tank and who will be off tank? How is the system going to actually decide this? Will the person it selects for it actually be capable of doing it? I know many fights where if all you ever did was main tank you will be in for a shock when you have to add tank.
What about other things that are needed from time to time like someone to kite. Okay, if I am there on my hunter I can do it just fine but what if I am not. Will there be another class in there that can kite or are we up to the random gods and have to pray that a class that is capable of kiting is assigned to the group? Then we have to pray that the person can actually kite. Trust me, most hunters can not kite. As a main hunter I die a little inside every time I see that. I might not be a fantastic kiter but at least I can do it to some degree.
How about those fights that heavily favor a specific class or type of class? Having 2 shaman on Chim makes the fight a laugh fest. Having 2 holy paladins makes it hit or miss sometimes. Having all melee on some fights would make the fight impossible. Having all ranged on others might do the same. Are they going to make sure that we always have a reasonable mix that is actually capable of doing all fights or will we sometimes be forced into kicking someone just because of their class?
Sorry, we have too many melee and this fight needs more ranged so someone has to go. Sorry, but a holy paladin would be better on this fight so one of you need to go. Healer does not want to heal a DK tank so the DK tank needs to go. There is way to much role dependency this expansion to just allow any group to be in anything. Sure, great players can compensate for their role being put on the short end of the stick but great players will surely not be the majority in the LFR system.
For the perfect example of how class makes such a huge difference this expansion look back to the first week of the game when we were all in 329 gear, or faking our way in. The first pack in HoO. Have two CC in the group and it was no problem. Have none, you where never getting past it. Simple as that. Blizzard keeps spewing the nonsense about bring the player and not the class but in truth this expansion is all about bring the class and not the player.
Speaking of faking our way into heroics on the first day of the expansion brings up another looking for raid question.
What about gear requirements?
I am going to go out on a limb here and guess there will be gear level requirements for the raids. I think that is a rather sturdy limb so don't worry, I will not be falling. There is a built in problem with the item level however and it is a problem that has been around since the beginning of the expansion. The item level counts things in your bag. The item level counts things that are PvP. The item level counts things that are not even for your class. My mage needed one point to get into a Zul when he first made it there and I took a 359 BoE tanking back out of the guild bank and put it in my bag to get in and put it back when I was done. Item level needs to be fixed before the looking for raid comes out.
First off, it should only count current items equip. Second it should check if the item is meant for your class/spec, if not, count it as a 1. Third it should count PvP gear as a 1 also. Yes, I agree that in some cases PvP gear is better then its PvE counterpart but the fact does not change that it is PvP gear. The name of the gear alone means it is it not for PvE.
There are a lot of things we can not control in the game but there are some things we can. Lets at least try to control the gear people wear.
After fixing it so that it only counts the correct gear that you are currently wearing the next thing the system should do it check for gems and enchants.
For each gem slot empty it should minus 1 from your item level. For each item that is not enchanted it should minus 1 from your item level. For each profession bonus not used it should minus 1 from your item level.
Basically if someone has a 370 item level they could effectively be knocked down to a 345 item level. This is a good thing, at least for the looking for raid.
Think about it for a minute. If you are not willing to gem and enchant your gear I am pretty sure you are also not willing to learn a new fight. Please do not put us with people that are not willing to play the game as intended. Even the lesser gems and enchants will count as having the slot filled, so no one can say they can not afford 250g gems. Buy the 5g ones then. At least show you have some intention of doing what needs to be done.
This is one of those third part addons that usually separate the good players from the bad players. People that care enough to move from the fire will not only look at their feet once in a while to see where they are standing but they will make sure to have something that announces that there is something tingling their feet in case they miss it.
Do not make people download 3rd party addons Blizzard. At the very least, for the LFR implement an in game DBM. Something that tells people to move. Something that tells people to interrupt. Something that tells people to do the things they have to do.
Do you want to know why you should do this Blizzard? Because it teaches the bad players to become better. As cruel as this might sound it is the truth. If you tell people to interrupt, move, etc, then they will learn that they are supposed to be doing that. If you do not tell them they will think, oh, it is someone elses job.
You have to assume that the people using the LFR system are not normal raiders which means they do not have normal raiders resources like DBMs and telling people they have to download a 3rd party application is a bad business practice. Just include it in the game.
I am sure that people will learn a hell of a lot more from being told over and over to do something then they would if you just removed it.
If you remove the fire under their feet, or lower the damage so much that it does not matter, they will never learn to move from it. If you tell them to move from it they will learn to move from it. It is the old adage, give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.
Removing mechanics lets them down that boss. Teaching them mechanics, even if heavy handed with lots of warnings, teaches them how to down that boss and so many others with similar mechanics.
Use the LFR as the tool is can be. Let it be the perfect training tool. When you upped the difficulty in the heroics that should have been done. There should have been tons of things screaming at people to do things. It would have taught people how to do things instead of making most of the better (for lack of a better word) players have to endure what would be hell with witless people in the randoms.
Blizzard says it likes to leave surprises for people and it doesn't just want to give things away. That is fine for normal and heroic raids. In the LFR version however, please keep the surprises out of it. Do not surprise people with, ha ha, you did not get out of the group and now killed everyone, tell them, get out of the group or you will kill everyone. This will teach people that do not know better that sometimes there are abilities that will require them to move from other people.
If you do not tell people how exactly do you expect them to learn? I sure hope you are not expecting me and everyone else that will look at the fight before doing it to teach people. That is not our job. This is a random, these are not our guild mates. These people mean nothing to us and we will forget them the moment the run is over. It is your job to teach them Blizzard, get to it and add something like DBMs or these raids might be more then the world of hell the first week of Cataclysm heroics where.
There are a lot more questions I have about the looking for raid system but these are just some that popped into my mind this morning. Perhaps I am over thinking things, like I always do, but hey, it's my blog and I can ramble on about nonsense if I want to.
Personally I am looking forward to the LFR if it can be done correctly. It will be the perfect thing for me to do on my alts to pass the time and will fix the biggest raiding problem I've seen this expansion. No pug raids going on. If my server doesn't want to run them, now I will have an option other then switching servers or finding another guild.
I do hope that if all goes well with this version that they will add a real version as well instead of a third watered down difficultly version but I don't see that happening. Either way, this has the potential to be a nice little plus to the game as long as they do it right. I won't hold my breath for that however.