Today (tomorrow in the UK) the last part of the looking for raid version of throne of thunder is due to be released. Are you prepared?
If the past can teach us anything we can only guess that this last part could very well be the biggest nightmare that random content has ever seen. A bigger nightmare than the fabled 6 hour runs of deadmines that first week of cataclysm while trying to find a group that could do, well, anything right. A bigger nightmare than the maze that ate the majority of the player base that we first experienced two weeks ago and it still eats people that have done it a few times because even if it is more visible now most people just don't get it.
There is something to be said about difficulty. While it is fun to be challenged I doubt there are few that would enjoy being challenged in a situation they do not feel like they can win. Random content makes people feel like they do not have any control. They do not choose who they play with and they can not effectively teach people that do not wish to learn.
One of my guild mates that told me about that 6 hour deadmines run explained in gory details how they failed as a group here, there and everywhere. He explained about going through a revolving door of damage dealers while trying to find some that could meet the minimum requirement that was needed to down ripclaw. Spending 10 minutes per pull to assign CC only to have the damage dealers screw it up because one would CC before another and pull and wipe, of course this was when CC still pulled. And then there was my run of deadmines.
My run was a guild run. We did not wipe on any bosses. The run still took a fair deal of time because of the length of the dungeon, the amount of trash and the fact none of us were over geared enough to just blow through things. But we had the one thing that random my guild mate ran did not. Communication.
We were most likely not better players. I am sure out of the over 18 people he said came in and out of his run there were people of equal or more skill than the ones I had in my group but without a quick way to communicate, and text is not ever a decent way to do so, they failed were we succeeded.
Same for the newest horror story, the maze. Even with a group willing to learn it takes some time. Even typing it out seems like you are speaking greek to some people. They just do not get it and that is the reason it usually takes a few tries.
Random content needs to have abilities that can be explained in one line. Saying stack for rampage is excellent LFR design. Simple, one line, easy to understand. Saying to wait for the beam, look to which side the fog starts and run to that side, then look for the hole in the fog and run through it but be careful not to over run or you will run into the wall, but be quick enough so the eye beam does not catch up is not. It is just too much to type, it is too much to explain, it is too much to comprehend for someone that has never seen it, or is just not that good, and then add to the fact it was amazingly hard to see meant you had everything that should never, ever, in a million years, be in a LFR.
Long explanations, hard to understand, and very dependent on the computer system and visual abilities of the player base was about the biggest failure ever added to random content. While myself, and many others, nailed it by the 2rd attempt, it is still unfair that others were forced to wipe that first time we did not know what we were doing, even if we did read it, watched the video and were prepared.
This newest adventure is horrible misjudgements of design should teach something to blizzard I have been saying since the beginning. Do not add anything that needs quick and clear communication in random content.
Do runs with guild? Awesome. Do runs with pugs? Nightmare.
When the math is that simple you can only say that the one missing factor between the two is communication. Remove the need for it in random content.
So what should be expected when we log in today (or tomorrow) and try the newest version of the LFR? Your guess is as good as mine but I will tell you one thing for sure. The more communication that is needed, the harder it will be for random players.
Blizzard needs to learn to remove anything that requires communication or long explanations. Once they learn that then random content can be fun. No need to nerf, you can even buff, just remove the need for communication.
So are you prepared?
I am. I am ready for more nightmares because I have completely lost faith in blizzards ability to create decent content meant for random player groups.