The first, and only thing really, I disliked about this idea was with alts. What if I hit max level, 100 as it will be, and just want to spam heroic dungeons with my guild mates to power gear up? I have to complete silver first before I can do that? Seems kind of unfair if you ask me. If my guild wishes to carry my freshly dinged ass through a bunch of dungeons they should be allowed to. That is what guilds are for, to help each other.
If crucible will be anything like proving grounds our leveling gear will not be adequate to get a silver. Take this expansion for example where when you hit 90 you were somewhere in the range of 430-440 but the scaling for the proving grounds was designed around 463. This would mean there is no way I would be able to get a silver on an alt. Gear scales down, not up. Maybe I can pull it off on a hunter being that is the only thing I am really decent at, but on an alt there is no way in hell I can get a silver at an item level up to 33 less than what it is designed for. So no power running my alts through heroics with guild when I hit 100. That makes the grumpy elf a quite sad elf indeed.
Apparently something was lost in the translation, as sometimes happens, and that will not be the case, at least not exactly. My guild will be able to run me through heroics even if I do not meet the requirements. Suddenly I like the way this is going. But LFR will not have any such requirements. Suddenly I do not like the way this is going any longer. Watcher came around to try and help clear some things up. I will quote what he stated here, so everyone understands it better and does not go forward thinking the wrong thing, as I did when I first read it, before I talk more about it.
To at least get everyone on the same page in terms of information, since a summary of a translated version of a translation of a few sentences in a single interview may not be the best foundation for a 24-page discussion, here's an overview of our current thinking:
- We will have Normal and Heroic versions of our max-level dungeons. (Note that we did not have Normal level 90 dungeons in Mists.)
- There will be no special requirement other than basic level/ilvl requirements on queuing for Normal dungeons or LFR.
- Level-up quest gear will get you into Normal dungeons/scenarios, and Normal dungeon/scenario gear will get you into LFR.
- Heroic dungeons will be more challenging than the Normal version (not brutally difficult, mind you -- just somewhat more demanding).
- You will need a Silver Proving Grounds medal in a given role in order to queue for random matchmaking for a Heroic Warlords dungeon. If you form a premade group, you can zone in regardless and no such requirement applies.
In the past, challenging content and random matchmaking have often not gone so well together. Relying on item level does nothing to prevent a random group from getting, for example, a tank who may literally have never tanked before. Everyone has to learn somewhere, but we'd rather not have that learning come at other players' expense. One option would be to require a full premade group to do Heroic Dungeons, as we do with Heroic Scenarios, but that would present a very high barrier to entry (finding 4 other people with rigid role requirements is much harder than finding 2 other people with no role requirements). This solution represents a compromise in order to allow the content to see a broader reach via matchmaking, while minimizing frustration.
And yes, we realize that by formally using Proving Grounds as a qualification, it will be incumbent upon us to further refine their balance and mechanics. We'll be updating them for Warlords, and we're confident that we can make them a fair test of baseline ability within a given role.
So it looks like there will be no requirement to queue up for the LFR, if I read this correctly. That leaves me to ask, why? Dead god why? LFR is more of a problem than dungeons are. If there ever should be a barrier for entry that is where it should be. Even if LFR is designed to be tourist mode, like they said, a group of really horrible players will still find a way to wipe until they get 10 stacks of determination. Anybody that says otherwise is fooling themselves, has selective memory and blocked out the bad runs, never ran the LFR to begin with, or just has the most incredible luck ever to have not run into a group like that and if that is the case let it be known I hate you because I have had no such luck.
Heroic dungeons however will have that barrier to allow people to queue up for them. You will need to have at least a silver to get into a heroic dungeon using the LF* tool and we can only presume, hope really, that if heroic dungeons are going to have a barrier that they will drop gear better than that found in the LFR. Or at least they should. If heroic dungeons have a barrier and LFR does not, this is a no brainer, heroic dungeons must drop better gear.
If heroic dungeons do not drop gear better than the LFR, and heroic dungeons have a lock out system where LFRs does not, blizzard has just made a colossal mistake in my opinion. It could even rank up there with the biggest mistakes ever and for a company that has made as many big mistakes as they have recently that is no easy task.
The one good thing I noticed was that premade groups will be able to zone in to heroic dungeons regardless of if they met the requirements or not. So my freshly dinged alt can join up with my guild mates and spam heroic dungeons the second I hit 90. That was a very nice thing to hear. When I first read it I said to myself, self, I hope that we will be able to at least get in with a full premade. Seems that this time blizzard did something I can say is pretty awesome.
Watcher made a couple of statements that show he understand things a hell of a lot more than most of the blues that post and I think he/she is quickly becoming my favorite blue. This person does not seem like he/she is at a complete moron like we have known to come to expect form blues that post.
I would like to talk a little about a few winner comments he made. "challenging content and random matchmaking have often not gone so well together" I could have told you that a long time ago. Before cataclysm even came out I said it and many others did as well. We all said these new heroics will go over as well as a fart in church. You can not add anything that is even remotely challenging even on a small level to random content. Looks like blizzard is learning. But if they would have listened to us to begin with they might not have lost two million subscribers at the beginning of cataclysm because of that huge mistake.
"Relying on item level does nothing to prevent a random group from getting, for example, a tank who may literally have never tanked before" That could happen in heroics too if they get a silver as a damage dealer and then queue as a tank, but his comment did seem to say that you needed to have a silver in the role, so maybe that will not happen. We will see, but it shows once again that watcher understands what people like myself are saying when we complain sometimes about people in dungeons that have no business being there.
Just because you have the gear does not mean you know how to play the role. I could have the item level to heal on my druid, I do actually, but I have not healed on my druid since wrath. Sure, I might do okay but I should not ever be allowed to subject a group of strangers to that. Me having the gear means nothing, without the skills I can end up being the reason we wipe over and over. My gear and the fact I have it, means nothing. Like I just said, I have a complete healing set on my druid but I have not healed since wrath. Gear means nothing without the skills to use it.
While watcher might just be another blue voice in the crowd, at least at this moment I really like the guy/girl. The post was informative, put my worries of not being able to have my guild help me on an alt when I hit 100 out of my mind, and gave us a little more information than we had from a translation that was apparently slightly misinterpreted.
I do have some issue with it however, like I said, if heroic dungeons have a requirement to use the LF* system and the looking for raid does not, does this mean that heroics will drop better gear than the LFR? It sure as hell better.
And what happens when the next tier comes out? Will heroic dungeon gear be getting an upgrade or will we still need to meet a requirement for something that now offers old, out of date and effectively useless gear but not for the new LFR which will offer better gear, and probably be harder. Why should something that offers the best current gear through using the LF* system need no requirement? If LFR still does not require silver, heroic dungeons that will still require it better have their gear updated to once again be better than the current LFR gear.
They need to put the requirement on LFR as well as heroics in my opinion and they need to update heroic gear to always be on par with the current level of LFR gear if they are going to have a requirement that must be met to enter them.
So while this all seems like a good idea, it could very well become one of the things that blizzard did not think out fully again.
Bottom line, if heroic dungeons have a requirement to queue for and LFR does not, heroic dungeons MUST drop better gear. Not just at the beginning of the expansion, but throughout the entire expansion. End of story.
What do you think of all this?