Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What if: LFR Was Replaced by LFD 2.0

As the game stands how we recognize the LFD to mean a 5 man dungeon usually from the start of the expansion with low starter gear and the LFR to mean a 25 man raid that is now the new standard for the gearing up process.

I often complain about the LFR for various reasons but one of the most prevalent reasons why I no longer run it is because of the people in it.  Maybe some people do not mind a jerk here and there but I've about had as much of these assholes (excuse my language) as I can take.  Even if it is a good group with just a few "go go go" jerks and a few "I am gods gift" morons sprinkled with your regular AFK LFR heroes I just do not want to deal with them any longer.

The LFR has worn out its welcome as far as I am concerned.  Now, with no valor gear the only way to gear alts this coming patch is through the LFR.  So like it or not if I want to have alts at least at a minimal level of gear that I can bring them in to raid once in a while I have to subject myself to the horrible nightmare that is the LFR for gear.  There is no longer any way around it.  I can no longer just get whatever valor gear there is and work with that to get me up there a little until I get into an alt run for the real raid.  Blizzard has damned me to hell and made it so if I want gear I have to burn in the pits of anguish, otherwise known as the LFR.

So it had me thinking, what if there were no LFR but LFD 2.0.

All LFR wings would be 5 man dungeons instead of 25 man raids.  Designed to be done just like dungeons with one tank one healer and three damage dealers.

Lets look at some of the pros and cons as they might be.

Pro's for LFD 2.0:
  • 5 man randoms usually have better people when compared to 25 man randoms.
  • They would be easier for the masses.
  • You could remove raid tier as it is no longer a raid.
  • People still get to see the content.
  • Premade groups would be easier to assemble.
  • Tanks and healers could get baggies.
  • They would fit better into the "bite sized" content people like.
Con's for LFR 2.0:
  • Unlike LFD you can only loot bosses once a week which could confuse some.
  • Some raid mechanics can not work with 5 people.
  • Some like to raid and they would lose that "epic" group feeling.

I am sure there are more pros or cons that you can come up with, but what if they completely abandoned the LFR project and went back to using dungeons as the gearing up process.  But in a better way than ever before with updated dungeon gear with each new addition.  Each patch would release a new tier of dungeons that are mini versions of the raid with their gear as the catch up mechanic.

What if the LFR was replaced by LFD 2.0?  Would it replace all the problems that many people perceive the current LFR to have?


- I often say the LFR is too hard for the masses it is made for.  While bosses go down most groups are filled with people that will never learn anything because the game can not create more difficulty to teach them without making it harder on the few that actually know what they are doing.  So I contend that making it easier is the better idea because the ones that do not want to learn will never learn anyway, so why have any difficulty there in an attempt to teach people that refuse to learn?

As a five man dungeon that becomes less of an issue.  As they will be easier to begin with because of five man design, some of the mechanics that actually cause problems for some, the ones that seem to never learn, would most likely be absent, so they can not screw them up.

Also, with the addition of flex, the argument that LFR can teach people no longer holds water.  While it is true a person that wants to learn to get better can use the LFR as a tool to get better the majority are there for quest items, reputation, gear and/or valor.  They are not there to get better.  That is now the place of flex, where you will be with a group that might actually teach you instead of a bunch of random people that all care only about themselves.

Wait time?

- Have you ever waited in queue for over an hour?  I have plenty of times.  I remember when the LFR first came out and the tanks actually had a wait time.  Myself and a tank buddy entered the queue together, one hour and 50 minutes later I said to him, we should be done with two LFRs already, not waiting for the first one, and I gave up and logged off.  It was also the last time I ever queued up as a tank with just another tank with me.  Now I will not tank the LFR unless there is a mostly full guild group there.

People only have a certain amount of time to play.  Even someone like myself who does play often I only have a certain amount of time to play.  It is partly why I no longer run the LFR.  I'll log on with the intention of doing one or two with an alt and do some auction house listings, some pet battle dailies, some rare hunting and maybe another quest or two.  If my queue does not pop, guess what?  I don't do the LFR.  I do not have an unlimited amount of time to sit around and wait.

Maybe, just maybe, if I could be assured a good group with decent people that will move at a fair pace I would wait it out but more often than not I will queue into a group were one of the tanks drop as soon as they zone in and after waiting 50 minutes I am now waiting again.  No thank you.

One of the worst parts of the LFR is the fact there is such a brutal wait time.  Would having five man versions of them alleviate that?  I think there is a possible chance of that actually happening, if the bribe bags are used correctly.

Being you can only get loot from LFD 2.0 once a week what real reason is there for a tank to queue more than once?  The baggies.  Make the baggies have a chance to drop a piece of loot that comes from that wing.  So while you can only get loot once a week, you can grind out as a tank to get a second piece or even a third or forth, if you are willing to put in the effort.  That is of course along with the goodies they already have a chance to get from baggies.

This would mean that, if done correctly, you have all but removed the wait time from the LFR by making them LFD 2.0.  My alt would never get through its first pet battle daily before the queue popped up and I don't know about you but if queue was that fast I would be much more likely to use the LFR (LFD 2.0) to gear my alts.  The excessive wait times of the LFR would not translate to the LFD 2.0.  I might even tank them if they were 5 man because it would remove the biggest reason I do not tank the LFR, the fact the other tank 99 out of 100 times is a complete jerk in one way or another.  If they even respond to you when you ask them if they want to take the boss first.


- I believe the 25 mans give the community a bad name.  No really.  Just look at some of the groups and the people that are in them.  I am not talking just the "go go go" jerks.  I am talking the whole bunch, the entire collection of the great unwashed, the undesirables.

Making groups has always been the best way to build community and just look at the success of the heroic scenarios.  I have not seen trade more active on my tiny server since the days of ICC with people looking for groups.  Looking for tanks or healers.  Admittedly I do not understand why anyone would need a tank or a healer for a heroic scenario but in lesser gear they could surely be helpful.  I've just gotten so used to going in my heroic scenarios with my 3 hunter team.  We rip through them like a fat kid at a cake shop.  We leave nothing behind and finish the stuff in record time.  Love capping valor in an hour.  But that is another story all together.

Making a group of 3 or 4 and getting the 1 or 2 you need from the random system is a lot easier than making a group for the LFR.  Heck, even getting all 5 for a dungeon is a lot easier than getting 25 for the LFR.  Even more so late in a patch like now.  If I can find even 3 or 4 people willing to do the LFR it is a miracle and my guild is a guild filled with alt-a-holics that all have characters that need stuff from the LFR but they just will not do it.  They would rather leave their alts under geared than to subject themselves to the hell that is the LFR and I don't blame them.

But with smaller groups like LFD 2.0 would bring, saying we have 4 and just need one more, the likelihood of getting that guild person to join us is better.  As is so much better I might as well just call it a sure thing.  We just need one for a 2.0 dungeon.  Me, me, me, I can see it already.  Full guild group.  I am in.

Whether it be making guild groups or trade groups, smaller groups mean the likelihood of more community and more people talking to each other to make said groups.  This is good for the game.

Toxic behavior?

- I would be hard pressed to believe there is any worse part of the LFR than the toxic behavior that seems to run rampant in them.  I could not even repeat some of the things I have heard in those groups or I would have to label this blog as adults only and it would still most likely offend someone that reads it.

Large groups bring out the worst in people.  As an old saying goes, a person is smart, people are stupid.  That is shown in a perfect example with the LFR.  I have seen people that were normally decent people get caught up in raid conversations that were bile being thrown back and forth and why is that?  Because they can and because blizzard does nothing about this sort of toxic behavior.

Before the LFR was ever introduced I made a post expressing my concerns on what could go wrong with it.  One of them was this, the toxic behavior thing.  I said, basically, you can not put 25 random people together and ask them to act civil to one another when there are no penalties for them becoming jerks.  Chalk another one up for the elf.  Sometimes it sucks being right.

LFD 2.0 would still have the chance of grabbing a jerk but that jerk would be less likely to act up without a huge captive audience.  9 times out of 10 a jerk in a five man the jerk will either find the fast path out with a boot to the ass or they will just shut the hell up and do their job because it will all be over in 15 minutes.

LFR 2.0 offers 2 things the LFR does not.  Smaller groups, were that one person has less of an audience to back him up and a quick run.  Most of the worst stuff in the LFR starts happening when people have waited for an hour to get in or waited for an hour while in there because tanks dropped or because there were wipes, or because there were any delays.  Smaller groups and quicker content means the chance of being exposed to toxic behavior is limited a great deal.  Not eliminated by any means, but limited a great deal.  For that one reason alone I would love to see the LFR wings turned into 5 mans.

End game?

The end game is different for everyone despite how hard blizzard is trying to push everyone into raiding, even more so the next patch with no valor gear.  For me my end game is normal modes, if I finish them I am happy.  Some of my readers are in the same boat as me with normal mode being our end game.  Some of my readers finish heroic modes, some of them fishing LFR and some of them never even enter LFR.  I even have a few readers that do not even do dungeons even if they have multiple 90s.  The end game is different for everyone.

Maybe it is time that blizzard starts to understand that and stops trying to push everyone into raiding.  LFD 2.0 would open the doors for a great many players where dungeons fit their play style, play time, and skill or dedication level much more appropriately.

With the addition of flex we will, hopefully, see a lot more pugging going on, so those former raiders or people that want to raid but play on off hours, could very well be served with having flex to run.  There is no longer a need for the LFR, at least not as much as there used to be.  But there is a huge open space for the vast majority of the players that do not want to raid that have absolutely nothing to do and no way to progress their character at all.  LFD 2.0 would allow them that.

Blizzard needs to understand that forcing people into content they do not like to do is bad for the game.  I was forced to PvP for my PvE legendary quest line.  I do not like to PvP and did not want to PvP.  I did it however because it was winning just two battlegrounds and once I was done with it I was done with it.  However, if I were forced to continually PvP to get my PvE gear I would quit the game so fast that the sound of me uninstalling the game would make a sonic boom.

This is exactly the place the vast majority of the player base is in.  They are not raiders, they do not want to raid, but they feel forced to raid if they ever want to feel any level of personal progression.  Dungeons 2.0 would be much more accessible to the masses and fit the type of bite sized quick and easy content they enjoy. 

Perhaps, to some small extent at least, the reason for so many lost subs is because blizzard is forgetting that the majority do not want to do the content blizzard is trying to force them into, just as much as I would not like to have to PvP all the time to get my PvE gear.

Let people have their end game.  Because now with no valor gear coming next patch, the end game for anyone that does not raid at all is going to be a year old soon.  Think about it.  If you do not raid, never raided and never had any intention to raid, your gearing process ended when the expansion came out.  463s from dungeons, 489s and 496s from valor and reputation.  Oh, and 1 522, isn't that nice.

They need to add something for those people that do not raid and turning the failed experiment of the LFR into LFD 2.0 might just give some of them something.

What if all wings of the LFR were changed into 5 man dungeons that you could only get loot from once a week called LFD 2.0?

What if indeed.  I think it would be a fantastic change for the game.


  1. A new batch of 5 man dungeons would be nice, either as trimmed down raids or beefed up scenarios. (Add a chest at the end of a heroic scenario with 1 item or token (i.e. radical mojo or current equivalent) and get rid of the grab bags. done!)

    A question: What if we had the option to do LFR in a 10 man format? There would be some benefit from doing 25 over 10, like an extra gold bag or bonus coin for finishing the instance the first time each week. How would that change the general attitude about LFR?

    1. I believe smaller groups have a lesser of a likelihood to fall into the toxic community that we often see in larger groups. Not saying it still would not happen. Just look at 10 man battlegrounds, they can still fall into that category quickly, but I think 10 mans would limit it some.

      I think people would be more likely to get groups that were "friends" of four or 5 in them. This could be good or bad depending on those people of course.

      I think a much larger scale changed is needed for the LFR to be a better version of itself. One of those changes is that all fights should be capable of being done with one tank, as tanks are an issue. This would help a little with the wait time, which is actually what really starts to heat people up into the nasty disposition they have in the randoms.

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    1. Looking for dungeon, just in case the question was real. :P

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    3. You are sometimes just being silly so I was not sure. But knowing that you do not do a great deal of group content I figured maybe you didn't actually know.

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    5. I must say I enjoy seeing you post here because I know many times it does make me laugh and brings a smile to my face.

      I can't help but think you are secretly the emperor because wasn't his name roo?

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    1. Upgrade-ability is tied to item level and acquisition source. Most 476+ PVE items (purples) use Valor Points to upgrade. I don't know how that will change when 5.4 hits.

    2. There is an NPC in the vale in the same area where the reforge, transmog and void storage guy is.

      I believe it is staying 476 and above to upgrade with valor and the upgrade vendor is staying as well in 5.4.

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    4. When the patch comes out check out the island. It might help you get some new gear.

      There are 496 drops, and the rare chance to get an item that will upgrade the 496s to 535.

      Not to mention there are 5 world bosses (1 you can only get to if you have the legendary quest line cloak) so if you see someone fighting one, give it a shot, you can win some 553s from there if you are lucky.

      None of this is ideal for a raider to gear up, but for an non raider like yourself I am sure you will get great use out of those pieces. I plan on taking my alts there as often as possible to try and gear up in the absence of valor gear now.

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    6. You would still be better off using the 496 stuff. The main stat increase is so huge that even if it has secondary stats that are not as good as the 458s it will be much better.

      One thing blizzard has changed is that 99 out of 100 times the item with the higher item level is the better item. There are some rare occasions that is not true but with a huge difference like 458 to 496 the 496 will always be better hands down.

      The problem is that the 496 and 522 stuff all need raid disenchanting materials. Yes, I agree, would be nice if you did not need to raid to get them, but at least they are not soul bound. Might cost a bit but you can get the materials if you want.

      70K on a level two? That is sweet. Don't go spending it all in one place. ;)

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    8. But we could make beautiful and deadly hunter babies. lol

  4. If it was 10 man (1 tank, 2 heals, 7 dps), and had the appropriate difficulty, it might be better. That should reduce the queues. I wait about 10 minutes for a dungeon, but anywhere from 30-90 minutes for an LFR. 30 minutes is almost too long already. In one of the interviews they asked if Flex would replace LFR and someone from Blizz (forget who) said that LFR was still good for someone who wants to do some quick raid content on their lunch break... Sorry, but who the hell has a 2-3hr lunch break?

    The lack of 5-man content though has been an ongoing complaint throughout MoP. I don't understand Blizzard's whining about Dungeons taking up more resources than Scenarios. Dungeons don't need to be totally new areas like raids are; just use existing environments like they do for scenarios.

    1. Anything smaller would be better in my opinion. Large groups have a tendency to draw out the bad people. Notice I said bad people, not bad players.

      In my opinion, anything over 20 minutes wait time officially removed the "quick" from consideration. Randoms are supposed to be a quick form of fun in the game. LFR is anything but.

      The dungeons would get used a LOT more than the LFR has been. That is an absolute fact. Hence the reason making the raids into dungeons instead would be good from both angles. You get to see the raid content in bite sized format, like it was intended, and you get dungeon content, which people seem to love.

  5. First of all, 5-man is no longer raiding, no matter how you look at it. If you make 5-man above retard-level, you get the Cata situation, of which people are still complaining, even more than about LFR.

    Second, you're getting so clichee-istic, throwing the same expression all over the place. 'Toxic community'. Maybe this is a US thing, but why do you even care what some illiterate frustrated little man writes in your chat. Report and get on with your life.
    Out of sheer curiosity - do you have censorship on?

    Third... this forcing thing. I know people throw this a lot as well. But I think it's getting slightly out of hand.

    There's something in this game. Let's say achievements. Blizz is not forcing me to pvp and pve and do pet battles and raid and all just by the fact that the achievements are there. Some award mounts. Some award titles. Some award pets. Still, no one is forcing us. It's rewards for something, rewards. Concept of rewards, anyone?
    In school we got awards by the end of the year. First place (best grades) got to wear a crown of laurels. It was reward and acknowledgement for working hard. Anyone who wanted that had to put in the effort of being first. Why is this concept easily understandable IRL, but so hard to grasp in a game? It's not something people should have and someone is telling them 'no you can't'. It's something you get for doing something. That's not 'forcing' by any means.

    Your gear. I know, there's LFR gear in LFR. There's also heroic gear in heroic raids. Should I moan and groan that I have to raid on all my alts heroic-level because they 'force' me to do that for that heroic gear that I want?
    And no, at this point in the game, you don't need raid gear for anything outside of raiding. I know. It's there. People want it. For no trouble, no effort, no time and no skill involved, at that.
    I'd like to be full heroic too before I step into the next raid, but silly blizz is forcing me to first clear normal and then slowly gear through heroic modes. Force...

    Look, I can understand saying - I raid, to be raid ready I need to be as geared as possible. For that I need the back so yeah, maybe I feel forced to do pvp. I also need coins. I need rep. I may even need to LFR. But why - because I can't come up at Ra-Den in greens. Sorry, it's just no, it's impossible, it's a road block.

    Getting gear for the sake of getting gear is not even a purpose. You make a mish-mash of all things. You say you want the gear to get your alts raid-ready. And then you start fighting 'the good fight' for people who don't raid. What do those people want? To get gear for questing? Because they think they should solo Barrens? It's gear for the sake of wanting gear. Instead of complaining you're not getting new dungeons, so people who enjoy dungeons have something nice to do ingame for their buck, you complain about no vp gear. They put stuff on the isle but that's certainly not enough, you don't want any RNG in it, you want a sure thing of raid-gear for non-raiding. This game should have end game *content* for all not end-game gear for all. Why do we complain about gear again? Point is to have stuff to do, not to have stuff.

    As long as you complain about the lack of gear and not the actual problem (lack of end-game content for all), I can't get any of your arguments. When I read 'If I want gear I have to LFR' I cringe.

    1. I approve of this comment.

      I can understand wanting say....first Xpac raid tier level gear (476-496ilvl for MOP) for being able to farm mats easily on alts.

      But anything higher than that if you don't raid (including LFR in that) is gear for the sake of gear.

    2. I know 5 mans are not raiding. I also know that 90% of the player base, or more, is not capable of raiding on any level, not even LFR level. So why even have something that most people are either incapable of doing or don't like doing?

      Five mans are more "user friendly" and if all the LFR was about was to see content, people would be better served seeing that content in a five man version. Only my opinion of course.

      Yes, I leave censorship on. It doesn't keep me from knowing what is said. And I surely do not care if people use language like that, I do all the time myself. With people I know. The basic idea is, you do not speak like that in mixed company. It speaks volumes about a persons character and sadly most people in the game have none.

      Perhaps forcing would be the wrong but what would would you use?

      I'll give some examples.

      If I want to do the legendary quest line and don't like PvP I feel "forced" to do it if I want to continue it.

      If I want the tier chest piece but my raid is not yet up to the boss that drops it, or the one I need never drops, I am "forced" to do LFR to get the lesser one while I wait.

      Sure, both are optional. I am not really forced, so to speak, but if I want to do them and I have absolutely NO OTHER OPTION I am forced to do them.

      So yes, I believe forced is the appropriate word.

      You are using force wrong.

      You are raiding heroic because you want that heroic chest piece. That is OPTIONAL. If you had NO chest piece then you can argue you are forced to do LFR to get it. Can't say normals because that is the same lock out. You can only use the "forced" example for doing something below you, not for doing what you want to do.

      I've never heard a normal mode raider complain they were forced to do normals. They were not forced, that is what they do. I've never heard a heroic raider say they were forced to do heroics, that is what they do.

      Now, if a heroic raider said they felt forced to do normals before they opened heroics, I could get behind that. They should not need to do normals being they are on the same lockout as heroic. Normal or heroic should be about what you are capable of doing and should have nothing to do with what came before it. It is all the same raid. That would be like saying you need to complete LFR to flex, then flex to do normal, then normal to do heroic. No, just no. You should not need to do normals to do heroics. I would agree with that statement. But you are not forced to do heroics and more than I am forced to do normals. That is the mode we play in. We do it because we want to.

      But we were both forced to PvP. See, that is the difference.

      There has not been one single pug for ToT on my server the entire life of the content. Maybe a few guild runs that needed a person here or there.

      With that said, if my alts wanted gear I have to run the LFR. What is so F'N hard to understand about that?

      If there is no option to raid then your only option is LFR, this you HAVE TO do it if you want the gear.

    3. But we are back to the question:

      why do you even WANT the gear on your alts if you are not raiding with them?

      You don't even need them for farming, a few 489 valor (soon justice) gear is more than enough to farm mats.

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    5. @ Anon

      So if there is an alt run I can bring it in and do respectable and not be carried. I like for all my characters to be raid ready even if I have no intention of raiding on them in case I do decide to use them.

      Is it really a bad thing that I don't want to be carried and want to try to contribute and do the best I can do?

      And yes, you do need them for farming. Not sure why people keep coming up with that argument.

      If my rogue leather worker has all 489 gear I can kill stuff and skin just fine. Sure, but my 522 item level rogue can do it MUCH better, faster, and more effectively.

      Now I ask you. Which would you rather. Kill and skin 100 mobs with 489 gear taking 1 hour or kill and skin 100 mobs and taking 20 minutes?

      Yes, even gatherers need gear. Saying they don't is a ridiculous argument. Sure they don't need it to do it, but they need it to do it more efficiently.

    6. @Roo

      Good question.

      Why do heroic scenarios that require an item level for 480 to get into drop 350, 463 and 476 gear?

      Blizzard makes no sense. The baggies from heroic scenarios should drop 483, 489 and then the super rare first bag only chance at a 516. It makes no sense to drop 450 gear from something you need a 480 to get into.

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  6. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    I leveled one character to 90 so far this expansion, with an item level of 451. Real life intervened afterwards and I slowed my playing down so much that I felt obligated to step down as the guild leader. That was alright as we had several others who could step in and I choose a good replacement. This was nothing new in the history of our guild, which is one of the reasons our guild has existed since early in vanilla.

    Now I would like to come back to playing at least enough to take part in flex raiding, but I really don't see much of a catchup mechanism that I am willing to work my way through in time to be able to do so. The lack of new dungeons is a severe handicap to that.

    Saying do LFR like everyone else is a non-starter. I won't do that. I didn't like LFR as a concept back in Cata when it was first introduced. Heck I didn't like LFD back in Wrath and most of the problems I fore saw with the whole concept of random Looking For have been proven to be true. I play to have fun and random strangers are not fun when forced to work together, sorry, they just aren't. Others feel otherwise most obviously but that does not change my opinion on it.

    All of my Looking For forays have always been with a guild mate or more along, usually in fact a majority of them are guild mates. Now having taken a break and wanting to get back into things, it looks near to impossible to do so. The things that are useful to catch up are the very things I absolutely despise in the game.

    Of the two Looking For systems, the dungeons are much preferable to the raids and yet basically Blizzard has not carried the dungeons part forward to match the new patch material.

    Sorry to sound so whiny about it, but I just don't see a method for a very casual person (currently) to get into position to (flex) raid without imposing on others to help catch me up and that is another thing I hate to do.

    Ah well, I will keep on playing my modest pace and enjoy the other parts of the game. Gear matters to me to the extent that it is needed to play well with my guildies but otherwise, my toons can be naked and I can still play and have fun. So I guess that is what I will be doing for the remainder of the Panda expansion.

    1. Well they finally are lowering the previous patches valor gear to justice. So you can do dungeons for justice and get 489 and 496 gear. And scenarios for the daily chance at a 516. With those things and a few craftables, you can get flex ready in no time.

      But, and I must say this is a big but, that is only possible because you have a guild of people that would be willing to work with you and help you catch up. I am sure we can do it in one weekend.

      Most people to not have that luxury. But you do, so you can take advantage of it if you wish. You might not be top geared but I am sure we can get you to a 500 item level in short time and while still low for flex it should be fine enough to come along.

    2. Spamming dungeons and doing HC scenario does not requires a guild.

      Plus you can get a full set of armor + trinket from timeless isle that is 496 ilvl easily upgradable to 535 (worse case scenario is 7.5k timeless coins for a piece). Timeless isle is quite grindy but perfectly doable.

      While I do agree that new 5 mans are missing (and blizzard got the message on that I think), I really think that in 5.4 catch-up mechanics are quite good without being too OP.

    3. Does not, but if you are the type of person that does not like "random groups" it sure does.

      He said in his post he does not do random content and only runs with guild. So yes, dungeons and scenarios DO require a guild if that is all you are willing to run with.

      Timeless island is something that is right up my alley. I like that type of content, but it is not for everyone. For as much as I love it there will be ten times as many people that will hate the grind.