Wednesday, July 25, 2012

LFR Questions Revisited

Today I would like to revisit a post I made on September 22nd, 2011, LFR Questions and see if we can answer some of those questions and concerns I raised back then before the looking for raid came out.

The question asked then:  Will LFR kill LFD off?

I originally said that I believe it would kill off, for the most part, the looking for dungeon because it was a better option.  I was half right.  I was wrong in the fact that it was a better option.  Many of the reasons I stated it would be better for ended up not being so.  I was right however in the assessment that it would kill off LFD to a good extent.

It seems common place now to use craftables, PvP gear, BoEs from the market and valor BoEs when you get a new character hitting 85 and effectively skip all the dungeons.  Or, at the least, skip the original heroics, the zul heroics and get into the HoTs until you can finish the quests for a few pieces or get lucky with a few drops.  Then you just do looking for raid until you are geared and ready to raid.

So, to many, the looking for raid did indeed kill of the necessity of the running dungeons.  It looks like I was half right there.  I was only half right because people like me, the actual raiders, abandoned LFR unless we were with a lot of guild mates and if we need valor we just do dungeons because we know we can get right into the real raid and the stress of LFR is not worth the reward of gear we are going to replace in one run of the real raid anyway when it was only minimally better than HoT stuff.

The question asked then: How will loot be handled?

I was worried about how loot will be handled and it looks like I had a good reason to be worried.  The first time I ran it two bows dropped and two rogues won them.  I then needed to run it for well over 20 weeks before I ever saw a bow drop again.  The rogues should have never been able to roll on them.  I might not have won them but some hunter should have, not a rogue.

They later addressed that adding classes to certain items but that did not fix the problem completely.  A shaman healer or holy paladin could not roll need on the offhand with spirit even if they were capable of equipping it.  The makers decided that they should only be using shields.  What is the difference between a shield and an offhand?  The armor.  Lets face it, the armor does not matter to a healer, or at least it shouldn't.  This is only one example of how their fix, fixed only part of the problems.

Then there is the DPS label giving the roll bonus to boomkins on agility leather.  Giving elemental shaman the roll bonus on agility mail.  Giving plate wearers the roll bonus on intellect damage dealing trinkets.  Wow, my worries were 100% correct.  The loot system was, and remains, and will continue to be in mists, a total pice of crap.

The question asked then:  Bad Players and Kick Options?

I was right and wrong again here.  I asked for less kick restrictions because there would be a need to kick more people because people could not be carried through mechanics and would need to be removed if there was any chance of success. 

I was wrong on so many levels there.  People not going out on ultraxion will show you that one.  I've had the amazing group here and there were nearly everyone went out, but usually it is the other way around and most don't.  I said, we needed to kick more people because we would not be able to carry them and I was wrong.  Dead wrong.  We carry people all the time, like it or not.  And sadly those are the people that always seem to win the loot.

You are indeed capable of carrying people and everyone seems to want you to carry them.  So while I was wrong about the why, I was right about us needing to kick people more.  If anything I think this is the reason the looking for raid has become so horrible.  There are too many players looking to get carried, the don't know how to play at all, the griefers, or the just flat out make life hell on everyone people. 

I still do not kick people, I leave that to others to deal with but if I were to kick everyone I ever saw that actually deserved it, we would be 8 manning most of these 25 mans.  Yeap, that is my assessment of looking for raid.  On average 17 of the 25 players should not even be there in the average group.

The question asked then:  Why No 10 player option?

It was answered.  It was a horrible answer.  Because they wanted to do 25s because it is easier to deal with people making mistakes in 25 mans as it is not as tight as a 10 man and it will help with the DPS queue times.  Okay, I buy both those ideas.  It did help with the DPS queue times and as anyone that raids knows 25 man raids are always much easier than 10 mans.  Always have been and always will be.

But while both those statements are true they still never gave us a reason why there is no 10 man.  Just because 25 man makes more sense doesn't mean there should not be a 10 man.  PvPing in PvP gear makes more sense but they let people do it in PvE gear.  PvEing in PvE gear makes more sense but they let people do it in PvP gear.  So even if 25 mans make more sense, we should still have a 10 man option.

If anything, I think a 10 man option would really fix a great deal of the looking for raid problems.  Most guilds are running 10 mans now and they will fill their own 10 mans and the world will be good because we will not need to deal with the 17 out of 25 players being horrible in a random world.

Perhaps that is why they do not do it.  If they made a 10 man version the only people in the 25 man version would be people looking to get carried and a group of 25 people all looking at the other person to do all the work would never get anywhere.

That is the true reason there is no 10 man.  They want those 10 good people to carry those 15 bad people and if we could do it on our own, we would not be there to carry them.

Now lets hear blizzard tell us that and try something they have absolutely no experience in, telling the truth.

The question asked then: Who Decides Who the Raid Leader is?

Well, we figured that one out.  No one decides, it is completely random.  I've been in groups where people got leader and said it was their first time in there.  People that had never raided in once in their life got leader.  Oddly enough, on all the characters I ran, none of them got leader except one, my shaman and my shaman got it near every time she was in there.  I think it is completely random and I think that is completely wrong.

They never developed a good way to decided leader and quite honestly, they never will.  The reason for that is, even if you choose the best person to lead it doesn't mean they want to lead.  Another reason is, no one listens to the leader.  I've seen many groups where someone tried to be the leader and no one listened to them or even worse, abused them for everything they said.

If someone would ask for someone to explain the fight, the leader might be a nice enough person to do so or they could insult them.  It was a coin flip really.  They never even made an attempt to try and put the people in a leadership position that should be.  My concerns were surely justified.

The question asked then: What about communication?

Seems like I had another right and wrong one.  I was right that no one would communicate or even try to do so effectively.  I was wrong in thinking that it was needed.  Quite honestly I think the only time I ever wanted to communicate in there was when I was tanking and we were on ultraxion so we could get the tanking switch down.  But the first time I tanked it and the OT was a total moron and kept dying and we ran out of resurrections and I solo tanked it I never worried after that.  From that point on when I would go in, I solo tanked everything because there was really no need to communicate.

However, the lack of ability to communicate was horrible, if you wanted to.  You could not even whisper people sometimes if they were on a server with two names like Khaz Modan.  It just would not whisper them.  You could try clicking on their name, you could try clicking on their image.  Doesn't make a difference, you can not whisper them thanks to bad coding.

Thanks blizzard, not only do you make something without a way to communicate but the one way we did have to communicate, text, we couldn't do sometimes.   At least the need to communicate was not as high as I expected it would be.

The question asked then: Role Checks?

Looks like this one got answered easier then it would have been if the raid had more difficulty.  They just used one set up of two tanks, six healers and the rest damage dealers.

My concerns were that not everyone does things the same and it seems my concerns were for nothing.  They made it so easy that a simple breakdown would work no matter what.  I guess I missed on this one big time, there was no need to worry.

However, you could call this a right and wrong one as well.  Because while it was designed for one build to beat all, there were tanks DPSing because the damage dealer queue was shorter.  There were damage dealers disguised as healers because the healer queue was shorter.

So the role check for breakdown was wrong, but the role check worries were right in a way.  Too many people in the wrong roles, the role check was not handled correctly.

The question asked then:  What About Gear Requirements?

I went out on a limb on this one and said I believed there would be a gear requirement.  I was right, but I'll admit I was not really taking any chances, it was a given they would do that.

I did ask if they would make the gear requirements a little more solid with this however, and I was worried about it.  Looks like I was dead on here as well.  They did not change it to make sure that it was gear equipped.  They did not change it to make sure it was gear appropriate for your spec.  They did not change it to make sure you were not using PvP gear.  They did not do anything they should have done.

If the gear requirements for heroic had taught them anything, they should have fixed all those problems with looking for raid but instead of fixing them they decided to play ignorant.  If they pretend like they do not know there is a problem they don't have to fix it.  Head in the sand syndrome at its finest.  Good going blizzard.  Ignore the problems as obvious as the nose on  your face, maybe we won't notice.

The question asked then:  DBMs Anyone?

I wondered if it would be required or if at the very least they would add something themselves.  I can see them not requiring an outside addon but they could have at least made it more user friendly for the non-raider that went in there.  They didn't.

There was no check to make sure someone was capable of doing the content at the minimum of having an addon to help them.  They did not give any additional in game information that someone without DBMs would need or that a non-raider would need.

They just said screw it, let them figure it out, and that is a horrible way to do things in a system that has no real gear requirements, no real communication, no real leadership and no real way of teaching people.

They just said, here is the sea, jump in, don't worry about all those shark fins you see, they won't hurt you.  Damn blizzard, if you really wanted to prove you do not give a shit about your players you sure did so here.  Nothing what so ever to make sure the people in the raid had any clue how to do it.

The new question we ask now:  Will It Get Worse?

I had such high hopes for it even if I did have a lot of worries or questions but I have no hope now.  It will only get worse as blizzard continues to try to push everyone into the barn like cattle.  There is a reason people did not raid before looking for raid and it is because they are not raiders.  If they wanted to be raiders there are several thousand guilds out there at all levels of progression, even from the starting point of never having raided before.  That is where people that want to raid used to go to learn. 

Looking for raid serves no purpose in the game and should be removed.  It's only use to to give non raiders the belief they are raiders and that is wrong.  You would not tell an elephant they can fly so stop telling non-raiders they can raid.

Trust me when I say this blizzard.  If someone wants to raid, they will raid.  They will find a guild that suits them.  They will learn how to play their class.  They will learn how to work as a team. They don't need you to make looking for raid into this horrible experience it is in an effort to turn everyone into a raider.


  1. The issue with 10 Man over 25 Man Raiding, is the ratio of players and their roles. There are less Tanks in the game than Healers. This becomes an issue with LFD - 1 Tank, 1 Healer, 3 Dps. 10 man keeps the same ratio 2 Tanks, 2 Healers and 6 Dps. 25 Man is completely different 2 Tanks, 6 Healers, 17 Dps.

    In LFD, Tanks are in demand, in a 10 man version, Tanks would still be in demand. In 25 man LFR, it is the Healers in demand. 25 Man LFR shoves so many more Dps through the sausage machine than a 10 Man version would.

    1. I understand the ratio argument they presented. A fine argument but I don't care. I wait for randoms, I can wait for 10 mans. It is no big deal. Annoying at times, sure, but no big deal. So their argument is moot.

      Either way, I would go in with a full group, so no waiting at all to begin with. No need to deal with bad players, slacking players, greifing players, and people that will not listen. No need to have loot drama, no need to have kicks and wait times for replacements.

      10 mans would just be better.

      Now... add to all that the addition of scenarios that could be run by any group. So if someone just needed justice and did not want to wait, they could run a scenario now.

      If they were just going for loot, they would wait just like they wait for a dungeon.

      There is absolutely no reason for not doing a 10 man version other then they do not want to do the work of scaling it. Or, what I mentioned in the post. They know all the better players would run premade 10s and the 25s would be hell for players, more so than it already is.

      So it will never happen, I know that.

  2. It is not designed for you and your mates to have a nice starter Raid with lots of shiny loot. It is designed for people like me who logon after the Guild Raid starts.

    1. So that means you wanting it your way is fine but me wanting it my way is not?

      Hypocrite much?

      At least I said both meaning you get what you want and I get what I want.

  3. "Looking for raid serves no purpose in the game and should be removed."
    I disagree. I raid with my guild (2-3 nights a week) and I also LFR on alts. I like LFR. Sure sometimes it's a complete debacle, sometimes people roll on stuff they shouldn't, all the time there are PvP geared players who do terrible DPS and heals, there are "healers" that dps and don't heal, and their are griefers that pull extra mobs and kill corruptions to wipe the raid - but I feel about 85% of my LFR raids have completed the content and that's enough to make me happy. I can still jump in LFR and "do better" each run and occasionally win a roll. It rates more highly on my "things to do" each week than most other content at this point in the expansion.

    1. I agree that statement I made is wrong. It is more of a "feeling" from hearing horror stories then an actual belief. I think the LFR sometimes does more harm to the community and its player than it helps.

      I think the LFR would be better in a smaller group because in a smaller group you can go with guild people or server people and lower the number of randoms you need to interact with, thus making the runs incredibly better.

  4. I loathe lfr because of the people. I have never seen such language and abuse in the game before to that level. It's like a cesspool. I want to turn off the chat so I don't have to see it but I don't in case there's something said that I need to see. Though in truth there isn't a need as even if people try and help they just get abused.

    I feel obligated to run lfr on my main raid spec so I can gear faster to better perform my role for my guild. When I can't benefit on that spec anymore I refuse to run lfr. I can't take the abuse.

    I like tanking and I'm not an idiot at it. I know when to taunt, when to use cd's etc. so I know the basics. I was in a group that wiped twice on Blackhorn because the adds weren't dying (we had 5 ground adds once). I tried to mark them with a skull, asked the ranged to focus on the drakes, and asked the other tank to please stop taunting them all as you have to tank swap between dreadblades and slayers. All I got was abuse, that I was an idiot, bought my account, some extremely rude language. I've had the same problem on Ultraxion which I've solo tanked on occasion when when the other tank dies all the time if we wipe due to low dps. For some reason that is always the tanks fault. Now I've tanked heroic Ultraxion so I do know a little bit about the encounter.

    You know it's not even late on in the expansion that it devolves into a cesspool. I think it does get worse as once the quality players have what they need they're not likely to run it anymore. It was the first week lfr was out so it was just siege of wrymrest available. I think it was the first day it had come out. I came in on my druid which I'd tanked firelands on. I'd read tactics and watched videos but had no experience. I admitted that but explained to the other tank that I'd read up so asked who'd go first etc. We did wipe a couple times purely because it was new. It might have been my fault but I did my best. I was lucky enough to win two tokens and the abuse I got means I've never set foot with my druid in lfr again. This was the first day it came out.

    I'm sure lots of people have the same experience and swear off it completely. This makes for a worse experience as only the abusers then queue for it. I don't think I'm particularly sensitive though I guess I might be but it's not fun to get abused or to witness it happening to someone else.

    It's got to the stage where I won't tank lfr anymore as the abuse just isn't worth it. I report anybody who's particularly bad but it doesn't seem to make any difference. I can't imagine that the abuse is any fun for anyone else either. I never stoop to their level but I must admit I'm not above dropping group in between bosses if it's a particularly awful group.

    There needs to be some accountability in lfr. Maybe with the new loot system in Mists they'll be less loot drama which will take away one reason for people to be nasty. However, I think because it's spec orientated my usual trick of swapping to a dps spec, then turning in the tokens for tank gear, won't work anymore. Dps is a safe role generally unless you do really low dps but given that I do my best I'm never lower than middle of the pack.

    Anyway I think this is a super long comment now. I really enjoy your blog posts though so thank you.

    1. You seem to be coming from the same angle I am. You've been there and done it and saw the same things I did.

      That first week, few weeks even, was really good. Because there were people like you and me in there, the people that are raiders, so we went in looking to raid.

      The problem with LFR is that is lets people in that are not raiders and tries to tell them they are raiders. They are not.

      Just like there are PvPers, levelers, questers, there is a style of play you need to do to be good at what you do and raiders are no different.

      I hate they are trying to funnel everyone into raiding as if it were easy. For someone that is not a raider, it is not. I hate people who keep saying raiding is easy. If there is any proof that raiding is not easy, it is the LFR. If raiding were easy, LFR would not be as horrible as it is.

      For raiders, real raiders, yes, LFR is easy. For everyone else, roughly 75% of the people in there, it is not easy.

      So like you said, once the better players got what they needed, they stopped doing it and it has only gotten worse since then.

      I've made many posts about accountability in game and I usually get a lot of responses telling me it can't be done, it won't be done, or it would be unfair. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I disagree with them. I believe there should be a hard and fast set of rules and people should be held accountable for their actions. Grief in a LFR and lose the right to queue up for the LFR on all your characters for a month.

      Perhaps if blizzard stood up and started actually enforcing their own rules, the game would be a better place.

      The new loot system will do nothing. People will still act just like they are acting now and get carried to their free loot because that is all they want.

      Glad you enjoy them. Thanks.

  5. You are completely wrong and your blog serves no purpose and should be removed.

    At least that's a feeling I have from things I've heard. I've only read your blog a few times and although those reads went fine, I'm pretty sure your blog is destroying the community.


    LFR saved the game for me. Why would you toss out a function that essentially has no measurable impact on you (other than a feeling) that carries value to others?

    Love your blog BTW, hope my vitriol above didn't hurt too much. Tissue?

    1. That is your opinion and you are entitled to it. I don't mind if you disagree.

      I've had people actually say that and mean it before. I left all their comments except one because it was filled with curses, personal attacks, general rudeness to myself, other posters and it deserved to be removed.

      LFR, in concept, is fantastic and I love it. In actuality, it has made me look at the community in a completely different light and I don't like what I have become because of being exposed to it.

      It is not the looking for raid that is the problem, it is the community that uses it and blizzards inability to moderate it that makes it horrible.

      While I say I would like to see it removed I don't really. It is just a statement to show how I feel about it.

      Just like how I always say I don't think worgen should be allowed to be cloth classes because the clothing looks horrible on them. It doesn't mean I really want them to remove the ability to be cloth classes, it just shows how I feel about it.

      It is interesting how some topics do really raise the blood of some people. If anything, and you ended your post after the not liking it part alone, you would have still been one of the kindest thing people that disagree with me say.

      Glad you like the blog and didn't curse me out because you disagreed with my statements. ;)

  6. When LFR was first announced I have to admit I was all for it. I thought, hey! Definitely something I can do with few friends when we are bored. I can't say it turned out to be what I thought it would.
    I can't be sure there is something that can be made about abuse and trolling. These things are always going to be there, they are there in real life so they are bound to show up in game also. You don't like the raid chat? Just tab out of it. If someone desperately needs you they will whisper to you. If they are offensive /ignore, report them and go make yourself a coffee.
    My only problem is that I had high hopes about LFR, I thought it would signify the end of ridiculously early nerfing. Well...If I drunk coffee now would be the time for me to go and make some. This is my bane, trolling I can handle, its as easy as tabbing out. Nerfing..I understand Blizzard is trying to sell me the viewpoint of giving me a "leg up". But gear is the only leg up any raider needs.And you get that with time. So time is the only thing we need and if feels Blizzard is ripping us off.

    1. I was like you, I thought it would be awesome on so many levels. I had some reservations and questions, as mentioned in September, but I was looking forward to it. I was let down, on many levels.

      I do think that, and do not shoot me for saying this, but the LFR needs to be made easier. Much easier. If they plan to keep it around it needs to be set up that it can be done with one tank, 2 healers and 5 or 6 DPS because that is usually all you can count on having.