Friday, May 31, 2013

Why are the Casual Guilds Hurting?

There has been a lot of talk about the casual guilds dying off lately.  The social gamers that raided, the friends and family guilds that would be willing to take lesser players and move slower, the people that do not raid often, or are not very skilled but willing.  There are many types of casual guilds but nearly all over they are hurting and hurting bad.  Some call this time in the game the death of the casual raider, and I agree with them.

While not scientific in any way I plan to take a look at what could be part of the reason for many of the issues that seem to be plaguing and dismantling the casual raiding guilds based on my observations.

1) Difficulty: 

While some seem to argue that raiding is no more difficult now than it was before statistics prove them wrong on that fact.  They can argue it until they are blue in the face but they will never get anywhere.  That would be like me handing you a fresh banana and telling you it is purple.  I can say it all I want but it won't make it true.

Someone new to the game will have a harder time breaking into raiding then you or I did.  There are just so many things we take for granted and do normally that they need to learn.  To us it has become part of the standard but to them it is part of the learning curve and that curve has never been steeper than it is right now in the game.

In an effort to keep people like you and I engaged with the content they need to keep turning it up a bit.  To give us a new challenge.  This leaves those that had never completed the challenges before it a larger hill to climb.  They do not have the luxury we did.  They have to step right in on current, into content designed for people that have been raiding for years.  Not into the content they should be in.  Content designed for people that want to get into raiding.

Not saying it is not a challenging position for blizzard to be in.  It is.  Create raids to keep the players already playing interested in doing it or make them so new people have a starting point.  I believe the solution would be to make the first few bosses piss easy and ramp up from there.

Jasper chains anyone?  For a brand new player it was killer, to a seasoned raider it was old hat.  We have done this before haven't we?  At least three of four times we have encountered this type of mechanic.  So we walked in as if it were no big deal when a new player walked in and freaked out.  And this is why you still can not even pug MV on my server if jasper is up.  Yes, I am serious.  Don't bother unless you like repair bills or have healers that can just heal through it.  Chains and something to move out of, with rookies it is a nightmare.

The difficulty of the raids are one of the things that is hurting the casual guild.  From older members not getting better but the content getting harder to new members being harder to find because they think it is too hard.

2) Fight Length:

Wiping is a part of progression and even the most casual of casual guilds understands that.  Most people have no issue with wiping but more and more I am hearing complaints about the length of the fights.  At least from what I see and hear people do not have a problem with wiping after 2 minutes of a 5 minute fight but they are really getting frustrated with wiping 10 minutes into a 12 minute fight.

With this expansion and there being so much to do the tolerance of wiping has gone down.  A lot.  Getting 4 attempts done in an hour is just too few for the casual guild.  Lets say it is a 10 minute wipe, a minute to walk back and eat, a minute or two to go over any changes or adjustments.  Best case scenario is you are getting 4 attempts done in an hour.

There is a huge difference in it taking a casual guild 20 wipes in one night to get something down and it taking them 20 wipes but those 20 wipes are over the course of three weeks.

One night of wiping feels like you are making progression.  Three nights of wiping makes you feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall.  Both could be 20 wipes only.  But they feel completely different depending on the fight length.

It might seem like something so trivial but it does matter.  Long fights mean less attempts for the casual guild and less attempts makes it feel like you are not getting anywhere fast.  Horridon, the guild breaker, is the perfect example of that.  I've heard stories of guilds wiping 100 times on him over 8 weeks.  If only the fight were shorter it would be 100 wipes in 2 weeks and it would allow them to feel as if they were progressing, albeit slowly whereas after 8 weeks, that is two months folks, people just start to give up.  It is not the wiping that makes them want to quit, it is the wiping over 8 weeks instead of wiping over 2 weeks like it would be if it were a shorter fight.

One of the biggest issues with long fights is that it makes the guilds that play less often feel as if it it taking them longer to do everything, even if attempts wise, it was not really taking longer.

Longer fights are hurting the casual raiding guild in many ways.  It is making them feel like they are getting nothing accomplished.  It is making them feel like it is going to take months to down something it should be taking them weeks to down.  And that is huge and that is hurting.

3) Lockouts:

It is only a small piece of the puzzle but one that started when 10s and 25s were combined and now it seems to be getting worse because many people need new raiders and pugging with that extra lock out was always the bet way to get them. 

Having separate lockouts allowed for more chances to get people into raiding.  My attempts at forming the 25 man would probably go a hell of a lot better if the mains from the other two teams could be in it.  It would allow for the possibility to down more bosses and get more people gear.

The lock out issue is a huge recruitment loss for many guilds.  We used to use pugs to find new players.  Can't any more.  Need to save the mains for our group.  So no chance to meet new people and see what they can do.

Lockouts might only be a small piece of the puzzle but I believe it is hurting the casual guild by keeping them from running extra to carry some wanna be raiders or meet and recruit some new people that need to catch up.  Two lock outs would really help in both aspects and the casual guilds can sure use the help.

4) Loot:

Seriously. I just said loot.  10 man, and more so for the casual guilds, needs to be smarter loot.  I've heard it so many times and experienced it even more when you kill a boss and you only get drops that are for offspec or drops that no one can even use.

One of the ways the casual guild gets past some road blocks is from loot.  They gear up so they can over power it.  Gear can, to some extent, compensate for skill.  If your guild is stuck on a boss because "if only the tank had more life" or "the healers were not oom half way through" or "we could push some better DPS out" then there are two options to fix that.  Get better or get loot.  If they are a casual guild and this is the skill level they play at they are not about to get better quickly so that leaves only one option, get loot.

Hard to get loot when it seems that every boss drops something for a holy paladin and there is no holy paladin in the group.  Wouldn't you say?

Smart loot would really help the casual guild.  If there are no elemental shaman, don't drop elemental gear.  If there are no plate tanks, stop with the dodge plate.  If there is no holy paladin, leave the spirit plate out of the equation.  But if there is a rogue, a monk, a druid and a hunter, perhaps up the chance of the agility trinket dropping.  Maybe?

There are so many posts on the forums out there where people that have been killing the first boss in ToT for weeks and can not get past the dinosatan just wishing they had better luck with drops.  A few pieces of gear can really make the difference.  If you have ever raided in the casual environment you know that.  What your healer can put out at 485 and at 510 is leaps and bounds different.  Gear is how casual guilds get past content they have problems with.  It is like self buffing.  Instead of adding a 10% raid wide debuff, they kill bosses for a month, get everyone some gear, and they are 10% stronger, and that is how they beat things.  It doesn't happen if the loot doesn't drop.

Smart loot would really help the casual guild because having to disenchant holy paladin gear, thunderforged at that, each and every week is really hurting the casual guilds that might be a little better if only an agility trinket dropped.

5) LFR:

Hot topic coming here.  The LFR is hurting casual guilds.  While I do think this goes both ways, the LFR is also helping casual guilds, is the help it is giving enough to outweigh the hurt it is causing?

First lets go over the ways the LFR is helping the casual guilds.  Loot, see above, while not as good as the real raid, it does give an alternative method to get some gear to help get past those road blocks.  Secondly, it gives the casual guild a chance to get comfortable with a fight in easy mode before they get to it in the real thing.  Lets face it, after seeing all those stones drop from the ceiling at the turtle in 25 man LFR a few times when you get there with your 10 man on normal you can't help but think, wow, this is so much easier to avoid in 10 man.  And last but not least, LFR allows more people to see the raid content, which is turn justifies them making more raid content quicker.  So if you get stuck on a boss for an extended period, there will be a new raid out sooner than later and you can just forget about it.  It is what a vast majority of guilds did when they were stuck last tier.  Just move to ToT and forget that wall ever existed.

So why is it bad for the casual guild?

There are many skilled players, as in skilled enough for making normals easy, that have just said it was no longer worth the time, they will just do the LFR.  I've experienced it, and have seen other say it, that many casual raiders are just turning to the LFR as their source of raiding instead of trying to find a casual raid guild that would be suitable for them.

That is just part of it. Another part is that the LFR is tainting the player base.  The people that never raided now think this is what raiding is.  They come into a casual raid team and expect to down the entire raid in one night with only one or two wipes because that is how it is done in the LFR.

It is also the instant kill design where as long as half the team knows what they are doing you will never wipe on most fights.  Peoples tolerance for wiping is going down.  Add that to point #2 and you have an explosive combination for players not wanting to be part of a real raid.

Right now the only thing keeping me, and many others like me, even raiding the real raid is the fact that we like raiding and who we play with.  That reason, and the loot reason for some, is the only thing holding people in normal raids.   Otherwise the desire to slay internet dragons can easily be satisfied with a random group in random content and for many that is enough.

The LFR is hurting the casual raid guilds in many way from tainting the player base that used to feed it and make it survive to lowering the skill, desire and work ethic of the people that do come from it to step into the real thing.

Anding for the heroic raid people that think this does not matter to them, ask yourself where your future heroic raiders come from.  The normal raids.  If the people are not going up from the LFR to normal they won't be there to go up from the normal to heroic.  Do you really want to recruit your next heroic player from the LFR because those are the only logs they have?  Sure, it could work.  Sure, there could be some great people there, but no.  Just no.  The LFR is bad for the casual guilds.

6) Being Casual:

The bane of the casual guild since the beginning of time is the label of being casual.  It means many things to many people but each casual guild is its own entity.  My casual guild is casual in the sense that we only do 2 hour raids.  Not really the greatest for huge raids like ToT, but we will be happy with doing 3-6 bosses a week just fine.  Some casual guilds raid whenever there are enough on.  Some casual guild call themselves casual but they are not content unless they are doing heroic content, at least the easy bosses.  It is a wide range.  But they all have one thing in common, they all want the mode they play in to mean something.

Normal modes seem like heroic light to many, see #1.  It feels like an extra step to even more.  Many people, new players and wanna be raiders, think that you move from the LFR to heroics.  It is as if normal modes no longer have a place.

The casual raiders, because of that, now feel as if they are players without a home.  When we finish normal we get a feat of strength now, not even an achievement.  When you get an achievement for doing the LFR and one for doing heroics but not for normal can you blame people for thinking that normal no longer has its place in the game?

Normals where and should remain for the casuals.  The ones I mentioned.  The ones that raid whenever there is someone on be it three nights in one week or none for a month.  The ones that raid for 2 or 3 hours a night once a week.  The ones who burn through normal and then attempt heroics here and there but revert to normal just to get some kills in.  Even the ones that go in and wipe over and over on the first boss.

There are so many different casual types of guilds and normal is their stomping grounds.  As long as blizzard considers them nothing special, as noted by the lack of an achievement for finishing them, or heroic light, as noted by the difficulty for many guilds out there, normal mode really does not have a place in the game right now.

If there is anything hurting casual guilds more than the others, this could very well be it.  The sum of all the previously mentioned facts means that there is no casual form of raiding any more.  At least not an attractive one for the masses to want to raid in an assembled group but are not skilled enough to be high end.  Being casual in and of itself is one of the things that is hurting the casual guild.  As if blizzard want everyone either doing the LFR or doing heroic raiding.  Normals need to find their place again, and that should be the casual place.

End Note:

I have been lucky considering I am on a near dead server and I still get to raid at all.  I get a small bit of progression, even if behind what we are used to, but we are growing and moving forward.  I have a reason to log in and raid.  It is worth it most of the time.  But for many out there it isn't and that is what is hurting the casual guilds.  It just doesn't seem worth it for them to raid any more and I can't say I blame them.

What do you think is hurting the casual raiding community?


  1. Basically, agreed. Boring, but there you go.

    Except for split lockouts. I don't want that. I'd be okay with being able to go back into raids you've already done and just not be eligible for loot but I don't want to be able to run the same instance a THIRD time per week on the same toon for loot.

    1. Alright, one more thing to add, regarding fights with 10m wipes. Fights lasting that long, especially ones that are timed and that you can't speed up much (Dinomancers seem to be on a timer), ESPECIALLY ones that have multiple, different phases with a progressive level of difficulty/complexity as the fight progresses, should only show up near or at the end of tiers. Those are the bosses where you get incremental, weekly improvements and you can make do with those incremental improvements. "We did great this week, guys, got to door 4... we've got this soon!"

      Fights that require progression...

      1) Get to door 2
      2) Get to door 3
      3) Get to door 4
      4) Get to door 4 with more than 3 players alive
      5) Get past door 4
      6) Get past door 4 with more than 3 players alive

      ... should only show up later in a tier.

      Fights like Rag in FL.

      Fights like Nef in ... that early Cat raid whose name I always get confused with the 5-man. The one with the blind dragon.

      Fights like LK.

      I mean, hell, Horridon is a more progressive fight mechanic-wise than any of the earlier end bosses this expansion... the MV end boss is just a 2-phase repeating fight. Insect queen chick is basically just a 2-phase repeating fight with a burn phase at the end. Sha of Loot Pinata is basically just a "you random 5-man group go over there and kill this guy... and hope your LFR healer isn't AFK" fight but is otherwise just one phase, really.

      Horridon has, basically, 5 phases that are all COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Different mechanics to watch for, different debuffs to deal with (and different classes that can deal with them, in the case of poison and disease on those doors), different ground effects (some move around, some are stationary), different kill priorities (sometimes kill the big guys first, sometimes the small guys, sometimes the Dinomancer), etc. Crazy.

      That'd arguably make for a more appropriate END boss for any of the earlier raids than we actually got.

      Lei Shen? That's an appropriate end boss. That's one that you definitely will progress through... get to the first transition... survive the first transition... etc. And once you get to him, you'll expect that and will be able to appreciate the small gains as you get them.

      Luckily, most of the fights in ToT aren't of the 10m fight variety. 3 cheers for Tortos, the "20 wipe per hour" boss! Not sure having 40+ wipes under your belt before week 2 is a GOOD thing but if you don't like 10m wipes, I suppose it must be. :)

    2. Some others have mentioned the idea of being able to do the same bosses again and just not being able to loot them. I think this would be an acceptable replacement for split lockouts if they are not bringing them back. Some might think otherwise, but I think that would be just fine. Would give me the ability to pug on my main and not mess up my guild runs.

      I agree and had horridon in mind for that one being it is a guild breaker lately it seems. People are not burning out on him just because they can not get him down. They are burning out because it takes so long that each wipe means so much time wasted. Booses like toros are awesome. Nice and quick win or wipe. I personally like that style. And like you said, if you are going to wipe 40 times, it is better to do it in short time than long time.

    3. Definitely agree. I'd be much more willing to jump in a pug if that didn't lock me out to help a guild group later in the week. I doubt the pug will clear the raid anyways and I may not get into a guild group later. Better to get a couple kills in than nothing, especially if I can still help the guild in case they need someone to fill in.

    4. That would be an amazing idea. How can we get blizzard to actually consider that?

      I know what they will say however. They do not want to do it because it would help people who try to sell clears and that is against the spirit of the game.

    5. Yeah, I'm sure they'd come up with an excuse. However, I'm suprised that they added the charms for extra loot to regular raids. It's possible they could go the LFR loot route and that would remove some of their excuses for raid locks.

      Personally, I don't raid for gear. It's nice to get gear of course, but I'm decently geared from valor, lfr, etc.

      I raid to have fun with friends, but it has to be fun. Banging our head against a wall or dealing with one-shot-wipe mechanics are not fun...

      With RL stuff and all the stuff in game, I'm basically one of the raiders who just dropped down to LFR. My life doesn't fit with the guild's raiding schedules anymore. I would have to change servers if I wanted to get back into raiding and I'm not really interested in doing that...

    6. I don't raid for gear either, although I do like it of course, but you know how it is. Some do, many do even. It is their main motivation. They would be afraid it would allow people to get their gear to quick and they would lose interest in the game.

  2. I can not find one point of contention in this entire post. All of your points are valid and perfectly lay out the challenges 10 man normal mode raiders are facing in MoP Well done! now to get Blizzard to fix this...

    1. Thank you.

      If I were a wizard I would magically get them to fix it but I am a hunter so we are screwed.

      Anyone know a mage?

  3. I want to argue but I can't. I agree with you in terms of everyone else I suppose. You said that "Someone new to the game will have a harder time breaking into raiding then you or I did." and I do want to argue with this as from a personal standpoint I haven't found that for me.

    I started raiding for real in Dragon Soul, which is acknowledged I think as one of the easier raids in recent times. It was the raid that gave 'casual' guilds a taste of heroic kills as they managed to progress so well in it. I'd done the odd raid before that but nothing regular, nothing where I wasn't joining an established team and could therefore 'be carried' though I do hope that wasn't the case. I was also a healer then, a holy paladin, so I spent fights looking at the green bar, and as it was Dragon Soul not a lot else.

    Then Mists was released and I swapped to tanking. I put together a brand new raid team, some people I knew and others I didn't, we certainly weren't experienced with working together. So I'm a fairly inexperienced raider really, only got Dragon Soul under my belt and in a different role, taking on Stone Guard. We wiped for one night before we killed it and yes that was with Jasper Chains. I wouldn't say that the people in the group were good, at least one had never set foot in any kind of raid before.

    So yeah basically I want to argue about difficulty I really do. Perhaps that's my tainted vision at work. Maybe the people around me are more skilled than I give them credit for. I don't think that we are anything special. I certainly don't think I'm anything special. I do my research, do my best and always try to do better but that isn't special either, it's just being a team player. You have to do your best when in a team.

    In T14 I was 4/6 MSV and 2/6 HoF because of roster trouble. I was perfectly comfortable with the fights when I had 10 people to raid with. I didn't think the difficulty was too high for normal. I don't feel that I was roadblocked by difficulty, more by lack of personnel. However, statistics rule, if people were blocked by difficulty, and I'm very annoyed by the lack of normal mode achievement myself, then yeah they should change it maybe. I don't want to go back to Dragon Soul easy, I like these raids, but you are right I guess, it's a middle ground thing. Rather than 7/10 it should be 5/10 so not too easy just more forgiving.

    1. I think you were with better people than you give yourself or them credit for. 4/6 2/6 0/4 are the numbers that most raiders finished the first tier with. If you were at that with a lot of roster issues it puts you ahead of the masses.

      Or maybe it is just the really horrible players on my server that give me a tainted view of my own. Heck, even in DS pugs on my server could only down the first boss most of the time.

  4. I can't help the impression that Blizz wants to kill normal raiding. LFR for the go ....

    Otherwise - why put in 2 bosses that are fairly hard - in many ways harder then anything else for the tier - right at the start?

    And you and dead on regarding being overwhelmed. It's not only the mechanics, it's also the graphics - AND Blizzard admits to design raids with DeadlyBoss mods in mind!

    So you design a normal raid difficulty assuming someone else will create an addon that makes the raid possible in the first place

    I'm here at loss how incompetent you can be in game design and still have 8+ million subscribers

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

    1. Adding to your excellent post, I know this one goes back to Cata but the Guild Perk system hurt small Guilds a lot, with the MoP changes it is somewhat more easy to 'catch up' (but still IMO too hard for Guilds that just want to get the Perks relavant to their gameplay like the looms) but still most people prefer to join a 25 Guild with all the perks out.

      Not saying it is a major cause but I can imagine it not exactly helping, either.

    2. I'm not sure that hurts raiding though. I've been seeing some groups try to create these MEGA-guilds, like ConvertToRaid. Gamebreaker is trying soon it seems with GamebreakerNation, etc. So larger communities seem to result in more organized group content (who would have thought, right!)...

      OpenRaid seems to be helping as well but it's only for older content which really limits it's impact.

    3. I keep getting the feeling that they are trying to do away with normal modes as well. Sucks for people like me who actually like them. Actually, it sucks for the majority of casual raiders if you look at the numbers.


      I think the guild thing is why I keep getting people say they would join my 25, but not join the guild. They just do not want to leave their reputation and guild they earn it with behind. Not sure if is huge in therms of how it effects raiding, but it does some.

      @ Jaeger

      I heard so many great things about convert to raid and when I finally got to meet one if its members, it is in an LFR and you know those LFR assholes I talk about? Well, he was their king.

      I really hope that guild does not support that type of stuff. An organized group of trolls is the last thing this game needs.

  5. Grumpy, have you seen this yet?

    I'm viewing this mostly in a "preaching to the choir" way but it's only showing a 20% decline in kills for Horridon at this point... that's still massive on a long-term scale (that's worse than the entire DS raid) but better than 50%. :)

    I just wish he had snapshot data of how the numbers looked when each new raid tier came out... his numbers are tained by people going back and finishing stuff off afterward. It's hard to predict how much that skews the old numbers but I suspect it's significant.

    1. Yes, I read it when he first posted it and saw it on his blog directing people over to that discussion.

      I understand the people complaining about his numbers but they are missing the big picture. His "drop off" numbers are still correct even if they include the 30% buff. There is still a drop off, and that still shows the trend, 30% easier or not.

      He is taking a lot of heat and I feel for him. His intention is good and his data is perfect. He probably would have been better including the mid tiers like ulduar and firelands. Mimron was my wall in ulduar. lol

    2. Also. the 50% data I took was from looking at servers around my level in progression. I am sure once you add the high end servers that get more done it changes. But servers in my area only about 50% have downed them. I looked at the localized level of skill, he looked at the over all.

      Both showed the same thing. Horridon is horrible.

    3. 48 guilds on my server have killed the first boss. 9 have killed the second. We were the 8th.

      That is what I am getting at.

    4. Actually, I skimmed through the comments a bit and someone pointed out that kills aren't tracked after a new tier comes out so his old data may actually be more accurate that I'd originally thought.

      I didn't see him taking a lot of heat but I didn't read particularly far into the comments. The problem with posting something like that on MMO-C (or EJ) is that you're posting both to folks who should be able to understand the data (the upside) but also to folks who are probably significantly better than average (the downside). As soon as folks start talking personal experience it completely invalidates the point of the post.

      On my server (which is, at best, mid-pack), 32 have killed the first boss, 25 have killed Horridon, so we closely mirror the worldwide results (78% on our server vs 80% globally). Your server may just be an outlier... or may be significantly worse than mid-pack.

      As for my personal experiences, my Wrath raid group didn't really form until relatively late in the Ulduar patch cycle so we hadn't gotten very far when ToC came out and we immediately flipped over (i232 vs i219? No-brainer!). Never really went back to Ulduar until much later in the expansion and I don't think we actually cleared it until mid-Cat during a retro "man, did we ever actually finish Ulduar?" run to take a break from, I think, FL at that point.

    5. It is worse than mid pack. While your server might have been a 50% one a month ago (when I checked this) yours has caught up. Mine has not sadly. Not enough people on the server to make many guilds, nevertheless decent ones.

      Ulduar got the shaft, best raid ever, shortest life ever. ToC came out way to fast and was horrible, even more so coming from Ulduar. The gear thing, as you mentioned, made it a no brainer to abandon Ulduar and that is said.

      I ended up finishing it up in late wrath, even did all the hard modes then. Really would have liked to have finished it when it was current but ToC came out and we had to move on while we were only 10 bosses in.

    6. Personally, I think the odd thing with your server is how MANY have killed the first boss... On my server, about 25% who killed Horridon have killed Lei Shen, is that roughly equivalent to your server? If that's the case then you must have a crazy amount of guilds who are just good enough to kill the first boss and not the second. Sounds like some guild (or at least raid) consolidation is in order if you have that many raiding-interested toons on the server...

      (and no, it would be better if that wasn't necessary, but in the current reality that seems like a logical suggestion)

    7. 9 have killed horridon, 4 have killed the last boss. So nearly 50% that get past horridon killed the last boss.

      We are the only guild that does not raid 3 nights a week that has killed him. How do you think those other 4 guilds that raid 3 nights a week feel having only downed horridon in the last month?

      Hopefully we will get to the last boss one day but being we do not run a lot and reset each week I doubt we will ever get there. Unless we extend lock outs. 12 bosses in 2 hours or even 4 over 2 days sometimes it just not something I see happening.

      My server is tiny. There are a lot of capable people spread over many guilds. All of us have weak links. I hate to say it but my groups weak link is our healers and the lack of a consistent second tank. If we had that I am sure we would be knocking on 12/12 already with only one extension.

      Our server has tried the super guild idea a few times. Does good for a month or two and then everyone wants to start their own thing and it falls apart again. Not going to happen on our server and many many like it. The content needs to be tailored closer to what most guilds on servers like mine, and most servers are like mine, can handle.

  6. Lockouts killed a lot of the normal-mode raiding actually. A non hardcore, but still progress-oriented guild would usually use 10m for progress and 25m for the rest of the guild to feel involved.
    We can pull 12/12 with a 25-m from our heroic raiders and the rest of the guild pretty easily, on their own, the rest of the people still have issues on the first 6 bosses.

    Also, aside from what numbers you see on statistics, a lot of raiders stopped raiding. A lot of proper progression guilds disbanded. Some tried to move and never reformed right on other realm. I've seen Quantum (Fatboss) die under my eyes on my realm. What's left - is not a lot of quality raiders on many of the realms (especially the low pop ones). Raids try to make do with what they have, but how many have its original players on? How many of the newer raiders understand and want progression and are willing to research? You speak of difficulty... I had both arms broken and I still get by, I didn't get better, I got worse, my reflexes aren't what they used to be.
    Back when there was no LFR, if people wanted to get better gear and see the raids, they had to work to being good raiders. What incentive is there now? Loads of people who have no idea how to use personal cooldowns, helathstones and so on. People don't know how to change playstyle according to boss. Adds need killing and they start explaining how their spec isn't good for them so they just single target the boss and it makes sense to them. They don't know how to chain CC right, they don't understand positioning debuffs.

    They also hurried content so people that were slower didn't really get geared before ToT and wanted to do ToT. Our 3rd raid group - they have two crappy tanks with bad gear and inappropriate class and they want to solo Durumu and other bosses because I do it. People have lost capability to judge and adapt. Raid leaders, proper raid leaders is also what's missing. A raid leader doesn't just say tactics, a raid leader is responsible to adapt tacts to the team and you see less and less raid leaders capable or better yet willing to do step up and do that. I still blame low pop realms, not enough people to choose from.

    1. You nailed it there. My 10 man, while it can not do 12/12 yet, can down a few bosses a night. We also have enough rotation players that we can field 15 decent players. So we might be able to do 25s if we could get the main in there to help carry the others but without them the 25 sits at 1 boss.

      The single lock out is what keeps up in 10s, so we can make some progress, even if not world breaking. Only because I would rather get 3-6 bosses down then 1 and a chance at more. If you know what I mean.

      I am on a low pop. It is part of the reason my progression is so low. Not many to choose from and that makes things a lot harder. My original team sees me as the only one left from it. Most quit in cataclysm and those that did not quit at the start of cataclysm left at the end leaving only me.

      You speak of raid leaders and I am the reluctant one. But I know what you mean. I have grown into what you have said. Learning how to adapt to the people I have and their skills. Not just looking at a video and saying this is how it is done. 99 out of 100 times I have to make some changes because my make up demands I do so. Those changes are the only reason we actual down anything. I use a strat on horridon I never saw elsewhere. Before I adapted to it we were always dying at the 4th door. I made some minor adjustments and the first time we did it correctly we passed the 4th door and killed him the first time we were actually on him.

      I would like to think, even if I do not like being a raid leader and never wanted the job, that I have done well in the position. But of course I am bias, of course I would say I did well. lol

      I've been looking for a replacement since cataclysm. I want to pass the team over to someone else and just play again. Not lead. But there is no one I think is capable of leading the team. I just can not up and leave them but honestly, it is something I need to consider doing sooner or later. I do not seek heroic progression. Normals are fine with me but I feel I should be clearing ToT by now and not be where I am way behind that. It is a sense of duty that keeps me doing it but it is that same sense of duty that might very well just cause me to quit.

  7. "There are many skilled players, as in skilled enough for making normals easy, that have just said it was no longer worth the time, they will just do the LFR."

    LFR is merely a symptom of what you point out here - the rewards from raiding on normal mode just aren't worth the time and effort you have to put in to have a chance of getting 'em.

    I agree with many parts of your post, but I do take issue with the notion that LFR is TAINTING the casual raider, causing him or her to NOT KNOW what REAL raiding is like, which in turn means they're in for a rude awakening if they attempt normal.

    Why do you perceive the LFR runner as dumb and ignorant in this regard?

    The fact that a vocal part of the community considers LFR to be some sort of idiot mode is obvious to anyone who can read. People who complain about the simplicity of LFR fights are numerous, and it is clear that the very simplicity - and very OPENNESS - of LFR means that it isn't LEGIT raiding.

    I think most players see it. I also think most players in LFR don't care. NOT because they don't know any better, however.

    Here's my theory - potential "normal" level raiders are not tainted in any way by LFR. We like improving our gear and shooting for awesome just as much as anyone, and we're aware that there are spheres beyond LFR.

    But LFR enables us to do EXACTLY what we want WITHOUT the huge time investment, learning curve, repair bills or sheer pain in the assness that is now "normal" raiding.

    As you've pointed out, normal raiding rewards aren't worth it to the majority of players. Therefore, when presented the choice between LFR and normal raiding - people are DEFINITELY going to go with LFR over normal.

    The culture of cluenessness in and of itself is a distraction from that basic "is the effort worth it" argument.

    1. Agreed. I think I touched on that in the post. When you do not even get an achievement for normal but you do for LFR you know there is an issue with normals feeling worth it for many. Not all, but many for sure.

      I do not consider the LFR runner as dumb or ignorant. I consider them as a product of their environment.

      Just one example that explains why I have that standpoint.

      Last week I was on my rogue and doing the turtle in the LFR. Tank grabs adds, brings them to the foot, I go into my AoE rotation mixing in my crimson tempest, not a lot of damage but really all I can effectively add to the mix. Tank goes down, I am top aggro, I go down. They revive the tank and leave me laying there. No issue with that, I would call for the same in the real raid most likely. But it allowed me to just sit and watch on the foot the entire fight.

      Not once did anyone in melee range on that foot do any DPS on the bats even if the tank dragged them to that foot. Not once did any of the melee stationed there even attempt to move from falling stones. They just stood there and continued on with their rotation as if it were a patchwork fight.

      Sure, the healers healed them through it and it could be considered a patchwork fight by that theory but it shouldn't be that way. It is just the way the LFR teaches people to be.

      So I am not calling them dumb and ignorant. I am calling them a product of their environment in the LFR.

      You might think different and you are entitled to do so, but to me, if you do not step out of the falling rocks on that fight, even in the LFR, you are not a raider and you are not ready to be a raider.

      With that said. New players come into the real raid thinking that is how things are done and die to the first thing they are supposed to move from and then blame the group they are in for having bad healers when in fact it was them that was the bad one because that is how the LFR trained them to be.

      Yes, as a player, a raider and a raid leader, I have seen first hand the taint that the LFR has cast on potential raiders.

  8. Sunwell even had a better loot system in that some bad drops could be exchanged for loot of the same armor class different spec. Not the ideal of smart loot, but still better than nothing but DE.

    1. Would be much better than heading in there with a lot of people that need stuff and downing 3 bosses and disenchanting everything that drops. Yes, it has happened.