Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Make LFR Actually Train People.

I like the idea of LFR as a training tool.  Too bad it does not have a 10 man version because I think that would be an amazing tool for training new guild members and new raiders.  A super water downed version just to give them an idea so when you explain how the real fight works they have a frame of reference.

With that said, what can Blizzard do to assist in the effort of making LFR a training tool?

We can't exactly go so far as to checking peoples bags to see if they have at least 1 stack of food appropriate for their role can we?

"You do not have any buff food appropriate for the role you have selected"

We can't exactly go so far as to checking peoples bags to see if they have at least 2 flasks appropriate for their role can we?

"You do not have any flasks appropriate for the role you have selected"

We can't exactly go through and check to make sure they have all their gear enchanted can we?

"You are missing four (4) enchantments on your gear in the following areas: Chest, shoulders, head, and weapon."

We can't exactly check to make sure that all their enchants are appropriate for the role can we?

"You are using inappropriate enchants for your role on one (1) item: Chest"

We can't exactly go and check that people are using their profession bonuses appropriate for their role can we?

"You are missing one blacksmith socket on your gloves."

We can't exactly check their gear to make sure they are using appropriate gear for their role can we?

"You currently have three items itemized with agility when agility does nothing for your spec"

We can't exactly check their gear to make sure they are using appropriate gear for the content can we?

"You are currently wearing three pieces of gear that are not itemized for PvE content in the following slots: Head, Shoulder and Trinket."

We can't exactly check their gear to make sure it is gemmed for their role can we?

"You are currently missing gems in two slots on your: Waist"

We can't exactly check their gear to make sure it is gemmed appropriately for their role can we?

"You are currently using gems that are not appropriate for your role."

Actually, the game can do all of that if it wanted to.  They just choose not to.  There are a lot of things that the game can not control no matter how hard it tries.  You can not control peoples ability or intelligence for that matter.  It can not control how well someone plays but it sure as hell can control how people learn.

Adding some or all the the above checks to the LFR might actually help people that do not know any better to learn.  It could be done heavy handed, with not allowing people to even queue if they fail one of those checks or it could do it passively by just giving them a popup they need to press okay to continue with, so that way you know they at least saw there was a popup even if they did not read it or understand it.

For the people that actually want to try this could be a very helpful thing in their efforts to learn.  For the people that actually want to raid this will show them some of the things that actual raiding guilds will look for.  For even experienced raiders it could point out something people might have missed.  I know I go a new piece of gear and forgot to enchant it before going into a new raid before, I am sure we all have had that happen.  So these checks would actually be a good thing for anyone at any level of play.

I am not advocating that people should be excluded from being in the LFR system if they fail any of these checks but I would like to see the LFR being used as a tool that teaches people to get better.  Sadly at the moment it seems to be doing the exact opposite.  It is teaching people to be bad which is not a good thing as I see it.

So maybe it might be an idea for blizzard to add in the next round of LFR content that should come packed with MoP.  Use the LFR to teach people.  It would be better for everyone involved.


  1. If it doesn't bar them for failing the checks, then people won't learn anything.

    1. You sound like me. I have no faith in people to learn for themselves.

      While I would not mind it keeping people out completely I am sure 90% of the player base would cry a river if they ever did that and majority rules in any money making business.

    2. While I personally do my best to ensure that I am raid-ready when I enter the Raid Finder, I do think that Blizzard-mandated "training-tool" wouldn't fly with a lot of people (customers).

      I also think that creating another barrier to entry wouldn't serve what seems to be the primary goal of the Raid Finder, which is that people be able to see the content as they wish. This logically means that there is a much higher percentage of the player base that enter DS:RF without (a) a good working knowledge of how to gear/gem/enchant/etc., (b) much raid experience, (c) any sort of habit of / inclination to researching their class(es) outside the game, and that includes reading class/game blogs, and (d) [same as (c), regarding researching the fights].

      Personally, if I entered a pug raid like this unprepared (which is difficult to imagine, since the idea tears at the very fiber of my being), a series of notifications would either scare me away for good or send me scrambling for information to comply in those areas in which I was deficient. However, the likelihood that others would react differently, either completely ignoring the 'advice' or deciding to never set foot in RF again, is fairly great.

      I'm not disagreeing with you on this, and I've been following your recent series of posts re: issues with the RF, but I don't know that this is the answer.

      And as someone who is a fairly casual player but also a competent raider, I would find notifications telling me that my ilvl 403 PvP shoulders aren't properly itemized for PvE (when my only other option until recently was the 359 non-tier item) each time I entered RF to be highly annoying. (I've had a rough bit of luck, shoulder-wise, this expansion.) But I understand that too many people cheat by using crafted PvP gear, and it would be nice if there were a way to make people understand that they are hurting themselves and the group by loading up on cheap 377 blues. The question is, how does Blizzard curb that? In this instance, perhaps if they graded PvP gear differently (like removing PvE equivalent ilvls from PvP gear in favor of something else), it wouldn't be a problem, but it doesn't look like that will ever happen...

      But I quibble. The Raid Finder is good for me, because I'm not raiding this tier, so it's nice because it's a great way to get my points and keep the new dungeons less of a drag for me since I don't have to run them 7 times a week per toon. On the other hand, it's problematic in a number of ways. As a hunter, I have won exactly one item so far - it's difficult to win when you're rolling against 4-5 other hunters, 3-5 warriors, and 1-4 shamans on tier tokens, and against said hunters/shamans, rogues, and druids on +Agi weapons/trinkets/etc. And of course we get asshats who auto-attack only, healers who only heal themselves, tanks who pull while people are still zoning in, dps who pull when it's the tanks' job, and so on. The vote kick is nice for dealing with that.

      My biggest problem is that I'm resigned to the fact that it's going to take me forever to have a chance at a 4p tier set bonus... so I go for the points, the experience, and to see if I can out-perform other hunters with my fairly stagnant ilvl and Firelands weapons. I've come to accept that I'm generally satisfied if I do my job well and we clear the content.

      I agree that RF could be better (and probably will in the future), but I don't see Blizzard using a "you're not optimized" notification system, because that would be bad for business, as you mentioned. I personally would like to see something along these lines built into the character tab though, where each item highlighted gross stat-related errors, lack of enchants, gems, etc. in a big red way - kind of like on the armory... but that stuff should really be in-game.

      Sorry for the extremely long-winded response. This series of posts is great - keep it up!

    3. Do ou all say you think politeness means nothing? There is a big difference between being told you lack in an area in a polite and positive (i. e. including an advice on how not to suck) way and seeing someone ask others to kick you because you are retarded.

      As for people who play badly in raid finder, I believe there are 3 groups:

      1) Those who want to play badly. I believe that making them play less or quit is actually good for business as their intent is to antagonize the other customers - however, I don't really think telling them they suck is going to "not fly" with them. After all, they're trying to so why would they get angry at a tool that tells them it "approves" what they do?

      2) Those who want to play well but are not aware they need to check the out-of-game resources to do so. I think they will probably appreciate this; after all, nowadays the majority of other people either CBA giving them any advice at all or call them retards - there are very few people who actually provide them any advice and in my opinion and experience these players want to learn to become valuable members of their teams. However, as I said, more experienced players will rarely bother.

      3) People who don't care. The question is, how many of them would just ignore the advice (no harm done) and how many would stop doing LFR or quit the game because they thought Blizzard tried to stop letting them play the way they want. Consider two things; first, many of the people had probably been a target of abuse because of their lack of performance - while most people will not care, the minority is vocal enough for the impact to be felt. Second, in my experience many people do not bother to read dialog boxes and just click OK. Maybe it's different for native speakers (i. e. people who play WoW in their language) though. I think that the majority of people who don't care about their performance but haven't quit yet is of the "whatever" type, not of the "I don't care about being abused but do not dare to tell the customer they might not be right" type.

      While there might - and probably will - be customers who would find the feature repulsive if it would be implemented, I believe this will be compensated by customers who like it or who are happy to get rid of the others. Smart businesses don't care about keeping every single of their customers; those who try to take everything risk losing most of it.

  2. It means nothing unless there are consequences attached...

    I think the game should not be responsible for this, I think the community is what be doing the educating... but in our go go go environment there is really very little opportunity to do so.

    We posted about similar things today. I guess in the end we both want the same thing, everyone to be a little better.

    (if you are on sometime tonight I can invite ya with one of my alts, or just do a Who /reloaded and ask for an officer)

  3. This is what shocks me. Blizzard puts so much effort into their games. The leveling game is so elaborate, with so many stories woven across so many levels and so many zones across four separate continents.

    Yet the real game always boils down to what is happening at the endgame level. However, despite all the training and tools and helpful hints for new players, it is as if endgame players are expected to somehow glean all information that need to get better as if by osmosis.

    How will a new player know what Elitist Jerks is? A new players will never know there are addons. A new player will have no way of comparing their performance in a party or raid environment without the help of a third-part addon such as Recount. Even for reforging the perfect way, you have to consult external resources.

    I am ranting, all I wanted to say was this sounds good to me!

    1. A new player that cares to know will look it up on their own. I did. I sought out information.

      I agree that it should not be necessary however. There needs to be more in game teaching. Even more so now that they streamlined leveling to the point where there will never be a chance for anyone to learn anything.

  4. I see easy way to make it punishing mechanic without barring entry - make it modifier to loot rolls!

    - People raid for upgrades, obviously they want highest chances to get those upgrades - simple number near loot roll helps them quantify it. Better gear also increases their chances by improving success rate, but it's not as easy to see.
    - Everyone sees loot rolls and modifiers without any need of inspection, non-perfect rolls can be noted and weeded out by social mechanics - at least, in some cases people will have to explain why their roll isn't perfect.

  5. I see what you mean Shalcker. With nine listed check points, deduct 1% per failed check for a total of a maximum of -9% to any roll. That could be a lesser deduction if some of the check points were listed as being okay and some weren't. This way a person could enter the run, and still have a chance of gaining loot but would have to take a penalty for not being prepared properly.

    List in the individual's chat box what the deduction is and why each minus point is assigned. I suspect many folks would quickly learn to remedy the problems if they were shown a deduction to the individual's roll each time.

    Anon, Grumpy's GL