Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The 5 Worst Mechanics Ever Added to the LFR

There are many things added to the LFR we can complain about but there are a few that make sense they added and then there are those that make you scratch your head and wonder, what was blizzard thinking.  I could probably make a list of the top 100 worse mechanics ever added for a group of random strangers (LFR) but I over simplified the list so that two of the top 5 will encompass a great deal of those in one.

Before I start my list I want to give an honorable, or is it dishonorable, mention to one mechanic that was hotfixed shortly after release or it would have surely been the #1 worst mechanic ever added.  It would have also made sure that no one would have ever finished the first part of heart of fear unless they ended up being insanely lucky or went with an almost completely premade group.

Garalon's crush was a griefers dream, just stand under him and wipe the raid over and over again.  Even the people that were not raiders but you could explain the concept to would occasionally make the mistake of standing under him and causing a crush.  When it was first released you went in there and effectively this is how the fight went.  Pull, crush, crush, crush, crush, crush, wipe.  Changing it so that it can only cast crush once every 30 seconds and reducing the damage of crush was required and if it were not for both those changes that would have been #1 on our list hands down.

Now lets get on to it, the five worse mechanics blizzard expected 25 random strangers to be able to handle as a group.  These are my opinions, please, share yours, let me know which mechanics you believe should have never been added to the LFR.  Which mechanics should never be handled by 25 random strangers.

5) Stack Up For The Bad:

Blizzard has been drilling into peoples head not to stand in the fire, it is even a loading screen tip.  Everyone jokes about it in any part of game play even while just out questing.  How did you die?  I stood in bad.  It could mean anything from not moving from a puddle of poison, to not moving from a frontal cone effect, you stood in bad and even the best players have made that mistake and had to say, oops, I stood in the bad.

For the history of the game from questing to dungeons to raids we are taught to not stand in the bad.  So blizzard decided to have raid mechanics that required you to stand in the bad and seemed to forget that a great many players in the LFR are not actual raiders, they are random raiders, not organized raiders.  For a group of organized raiders stacking in some bad effect to limit the damage from it is a standard raid mechanic we have all gotten used to but for the random raiders all they know is that loading screen tool tip that says don't stand in the fire.

So when I see someone not stand in something alone that we need to stack for, I can understand.  When I see people run from the group when they have a debuff on them that needs to be shared, I can understand.  These people are not raiders, they do not know.  Or do they?

Something like static shock on Lei Shen, as a hunter I can take it solo and in a normal raid I would do so.  What am I to think in a random group if a hunter gets it on them and runs away?  Is he a raider?  Does he know to hit deterrence and eat it or will he die from it?

For mechanics like that I handle things differently in LFR than I do in a real raid.  In my real raid I expect the players that can solo soak something to do so.  So if someone runs away with it, I know they are going to solo soak.  In LFR I never try to solo soak.  Reason being, you force the few people that know to stack up, but might not understand you can do it solo, to run after you.  Best to just stack up.  But when someone runs, you have to run after them or just let them die.

There are to many fights where you need to stand in the bad, or share the pain.  It is not just from this expansion, it started when LFR first started and it was a bad idea then and remains a bad idea today.  You can not tell people to not stand in the fire and then give them fires they need to stand in when doing random raid content.  It is just a bad mechanic to add.  Let their raid leader teach them that when they raid in a normal raid.  Standing in bad for a reason is not for 25 random strangers.

Starting with standing in the bad on Blackhorn being required to do the fight without the ship being destroyed blizzard has added more and more stand in the bad mechanics.  Such as the previously mentioned static shock, or the inferno strike on Protectors, there have been so many stand in the bad or stack from the bad mechanics.

Yes, I expect an actual raider to know beforehand which bad is bad bad and which bad is stand in it bad but I do not expect 25 random raiders, people who are not actual raiders, to read up on fights before they start.  I can not blame them for running from the group with inferno strike, they are only doing what they think is the right thing to do.

For the most basic form of raiding blizzard needs to keep the most basic design concept.  Stick with one idea, don't stand in the fire, and leave it at that.  No more stack to share the damage things, no more stand in the damaging circle things, none of that stand in the bad stuff.  It is one of the worst mechanics added to the LFR.  You can not spend the entire game telling someone not to stand in the bad and then having them wipe a group, or die themselves, because they didn't stand in (or share) the bad.

This type of mechanic has no place in a raid made up of 25 random players were it is quite possible none of them are actual raiders that understand the good bad from the bad bad.  Just never put this mechanic back in the game at the LFR level of play.

4) Group Assignments: 

Does blizzard actually believe that a group of 25 strangers will be able to quickly and effectively make groups to handle different assignments?  You will have new people, you will have angry people that they had to wait an hour to get there, you will have elitist pricks who think everyone should have done the fight on heroic before they are even allowed to do it in LFR, and you will have dozens of other personalities including trolls, people that are just there to make things harder on everyone.

So why make so many fights in LFR where you need to assemble groups for them?  Just like Norushen automatically pulls people in so there is no orb assignment (good work on that one blizzard) all fights that would mean you need to communicate to make groups or an order should be automatically assigned by the game, or not included at all.

Why does it need to take so long to get a tower crew for Galakras, a nest crew for Ji-Kun, and the like?  Just teleport a few people to the area where they need to do something and let them do it.  Just like they zone one player in on Norushen.

Some fights like that you might be able to automatically assign groups using a random system, just like Sha of Fear automatically pulls people to zone over, the game can automatically pick people to zone over.  Other fights would just need to be changed outright.

My biggest group annoyances this expansion are Spoils and Lei Shen.  Spoils is a quick fix really, just have the entire group go down together and have to work their way through all four rooms as a group, or just two, why not, this is supposed to be faster and easier.  The time it takes to split the group is insane.  I think I have been in SoO wing 3 runs where it took longer to get the spoils groups set than it did to do the entire wing otherwise.  There should never be a need for 25 random people to have to work in a coordinated way like this.

And then, dear god help you, if you get someone that is willing to step up and take the lead he is either blasted as an elitist prick, a know it all, wrong because you do it different, or people just do not want to listen to them because of the infamous "who made you the leader" syndrome.

There is no winning here.  Making the groups for Lei Shen and the phases, making it for the sides on spoils, for the nests or towers or what have you.  None of this should ever be in content that is designed to be consumed in mass quantifies by a group of 25 random strangers.

Blizzard would do well by its player base to keep the need for group assignments out of the LFR.  Even something as simple as who has belts or who has engineer can hold up a run for 20 minutes or more, I have seen it.

No group assignments blizzard, never again.  Learn from your mistakes and take the forth worst mechanic in LFR out of future LFRs even if it not really a mechanic in and of itself, but a way the raid would need to handle it.  Special assignments should not be in the game at this level of random game play, unless they are handled like Norushen was.

3) Elegon and the Amazing Disappearing Reappearing Floor:

I seriously believe there were GMs watching the LFR in those beginning weeks when it first came out and laughing so hard they fell out of their chairs.  I know I would have.  Still up to this day I get a chuckle out of someone jumping to their death after someone says "oh cool they finally added a wall here so people can't fall before the fight begins".  I know it is wrong to laugh but I just can not help it.

It is not like it was a hard mechanic, you could just read through the encounter entry and see it was going to happen but remember, these are not raiders, these are random raiders, a different breed.  These are the type of people that do not even know what most of their own abilities do because reading a tool tip is too much work, do you really believe they are going to read an encounter entry?

I believe, although not sure, that even without deadly boss mobs or another encounter mod that the in game system tells you to get out of the center.  So you have the encounter journal, you have an in game warning, so why do so many people still die to it.

It could be for various reasons.  One is many people play with no sound, no sound means not hearing the announcements.  Some people get so into what they are doing that they pay no attention to anything around them, which means they might not even see visual clues to get out.  Then there is the lag issue.  I know of many people that never have lag problems, ones that even had almost no issues with the 400 player raids on Oon when that came out that still managed to lag like a mofo on this fight.  A fight were even if you know what to do a small bit of lag could be the difference between life and death.

And that is why I hang #3 on elegon, and its instant death, can not be revived from, type of mechanic.  Firstly, there should never be any one single mechanic that can kill the raid like that in LFR.  Second, there should never be any one single mechanic that can make it so you can not revive someone in LFR like this one.  Third, making a mechanic like this in such a graphic intensive fight that could lag some computers just compounds the problem even more.

Instant death mechanics like this, unforgiving ones (meaning no revive), have absolutely no place in the random group setting.

Don't get me wrong, I still play the guessing game every time I am there trying to guess how many will die.  I still laugh when a friend or someone I know dies from it, because now I can pick on them for a while because of it.  I still get a kick out of the people that ask for a rez when the fight is over and when we tell them they have to run back they get upset.  I still get a chuckle about it, but chuckle or not, this type of mechanics has no place in the LFR.  Not now, not ever.

2) Durumu and the Maze of Doom:

I would like to consider myself a semi decent player and even I died to this the first time I did it (first 3 actually) and to absolutely no fault of my own.  I am color blind and I could not see the maze.  I watched the video, I read the guides, I did more than 99% of the player base did before they went in there I am sure.  I knew what to do, I just could not do it.  I swear I tried, I even zoomed in the camera all the way thinking that if it were closer I might be able to see it.  I have raided for many years and never in my entire life have I ever felt so helpless on a fight, so useless on a fight.  There was nothing I could do, or so I thought.

I was lucky enough to have someone in the run mention that if people are having trouble seeing the maze, as it seems it was not just me, to change their settings for particle density to the lowest and then they would be able to see it.  I did that and was fine from that point on.

But I needed to change my settings every time I was on that fight and only for that fight.  This is one reason this is #2 on my list.  No fight should ever require you to have to change your settings to do it.

This, like Elegon before it, can also cause some people to lag.  Lag and a tight maze you need to run without much time to stop is not exactly an ideal paring.  This is another reason this one is on the list.

So now we have 3 solid reasons why even a semi decent player could have a problem with it, color blindness, settings, and lag.  If you are in a normal raid group your group can decide if they want to take you.

When we did our first normal kill we had a healer and a tank that just could not manage the maze.  So just to get it done I told the healer not to even try to run, stand at the edge and stay alive as long as they could throwing heals and then (being they were a shaman) to wait for my call to pop afterwards, and we use our battle revive on the tank.  We ended up doing it.  Later on, they ended up getting better at the maze.  Practice makes perfect.  But we were a group working together and we made a plan.  LFR is random people.

It is completely and totally understandable while you are willing to wipe, or waste a revive, on someone you are with because you choose to be with them, just so they can learn.  But no one, and I do mean no one, wants to wipe over and over with random strangers while they learn.  Wiping while learning for a team mate, and wiping while learning for some random joe blow are two completely different things.

Now, lets forget for a minute that I said there were all reasonable explanations for dying to the maze.  While it may be true, I over came my color blind issue after a few attempts and playing with settings, the healer and tank that we had to revive eventually made it through on their own, we even held a celebration for the healer after she made it through for the first time.  It was fun.  The thing is, all the reasons I mentioned that can cause people to die can be over come.

They shouldn't need to be over come, not in random raid content, but that is only part of the problem.  The other part is, some people are just freaking stupid.  Check that, most people are just freaking stupid.

While I completely understand if someone is new to the fight and is having the same problems we all did when learning it, I am 100% certain that more than 50% of my group is not there for the first time every single time I am there.  Either that or I managed to get every single person that ever did that fight in my groups because every time I am there more than half the raid dies.

Blizzard, really?  First you made a mechanic that could give issues to people as is, but then you made it hard for the average random raider, so even if someone has no issues they still can not do it?

When I go in there now all I hope for is that one tank, 2 healers, and a couple of damage dealers survive.  With the numbers people are putting out now it usually goes down before that phase or sometimes shortly after, so all we need are a good 7 or 8 people to survive.

Sadly, all that ever survives are 7 or 8 people.  And that is why a mechanic like this can never be put into a random raid again.  Whoever decided to keep this mechanic in the LFR must have really been in a bad mood when he made that decision, someone pissed in his cheerios, so he took it out on us.

So taking a solid #2 on the list, with no single boss mechanic in an LFR that can even come close to catching it is Durumu the forgotten with the single worst boss mechanic ever to squeeze its way into the LFR.

1) The Trash Between Tortos and Megaera:

Notice I said Durumu had the worse boss mechanic?  Well he did, but the number one worst mechanic ever put into the LFR is not from a boss, it is not even from a single mob.  It is from the trash between Tortos and Megaera.  All of it.  The ability to teleport players to them is the worse mechanic ever put into an LFR by miles.

First off when will blizzard learn that how people handle trash is the opposite of the field of dreams where it was "if you build it they will come", it is more "if you put in trash, they will skip it".

So blizzard not only put in trash, they put in trash that hides underground, they put in trash that calls for help, they put in trash that grows stronger the longer it takes to kill it, they put in some really cool trash and some very avoidable trash.  For a smart group of people working together that is.

For random raiders all this means is people that do not understand aggro ranges, people that think it is cool to pop the mushrooms which just happen to have spiders under them, and what is even worse than people pulling stuff you could easily have walked around is that if someone is falling behind and pulls something, don't worry, you will find out about it sooner or later because after it kills them it will slowly teleport everyone in the raid to it, one at a time, and kill them, until the entire raid is dead.

And don't even think about running back in sometimes because on some occasions you will be in it's aggro range even all the way back where you spawn in to be teleported to it.  Once activated whatever mob it is becomes the ultimate minion of death and it will not stop until every living breathing humanoid in the instance is dead.

I've been in a run or two were we got caught in a loop and had to keep yelling for people to not zone back in.  As long as people kept coming in, we could not get out of battle, because someone ran for the entrance and dragged the trash with them.  The spider might not be able to climb up those steps but they sure as hell can pull you down to them.

I have suffered more deaths on the trash between Tortos and Megaera in the LFR than I have on any boss in the LFR.  I have seen more people die to that trash from being teleported to it than I have seen fall through the floor on Elegon.  I have seen more people die to that trash from simple pulls that quickly became over pulls than to the maze on Durumu.  I have seen more people accidentally pull trash because they do not understand how to walk past it than I've seen people self implode from trying to take an inferno strike solo instead of stacking.

Who ever created this trash to be put to use in a random raid setting with people that do not understand the basics, like you get from random raiders, is a sadistic bastard.  And that is being kind in my assessment of them.

So the #1 worst mechanic ever added to the LFR is trash that teleports people to it.  Not only is it horrible, but it lends itself to trolls.  If someone pulls a trash pack, let them die, it should not kill the entire raid.  At least not in the random setting with random raiders.

So what do you think are some of the worse mechanics ever added to the LFR?


  1. I followed your blog for about a week before I had enough with your whining. That is ok of course if I don't want to follow then I don't and who cares. That was...well over 2 years ago. A friend pointed out you are still at it and I just couldn't believe it. Years later there you are doing exactly the same thing. It makes me wonder what do you do other than whine and play wow. Feel free to delete this comment or never reply I wont be coming back anyways for an answer. But take a look at your life man.

    1. What you are doing is whining, what I do is commenting and/or complaining. There is a difference.

      I thank you for taking the time to comment. Every comment, even negative ones, shows that you have read my writing and were compelled enough to comment.

      That is a good thing. People only complain about the things they like. It is why I complain about the game I like to play, because I like it.

      With that said, I am glad you like my blog. See you again in two years when you are feeling down on yourself once more and think that insulting someone on the net will make you feel better about yourself.

      I hope posting that made you feel better. I know it made my day knowing that even people that "hate" the blog still come back after years and take the time out to comment. It is probably the greatest complement you could ever give.

    2. Anonymous - just because you disagree with someone doesn't mean their contribution is meaningless. I might not agree with your opinion, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to hear it. I also do not always agree with Grumpy and when I feel a strong counter opinion I'll contribute to the community with my own view. Your comment is just a personal attack. If you disagree it would be better to offer your specific experience.

    3. There is no point to Anonymus' post other than to get a reaction. So just ignore him and be on your way, people.

    4. @Adrian

      I think you take the perfect approach, if you disagree, you speak up about it. Nothing wrong with people having different opinions on things. Some people just think that anyone that has an opinion different from them is an ass. It is easier to just insult than it is to prove a counter point. Even more so when it comes to something opinion based, because opinion are just that, and they can not be wrong, they are opinions.

    5. @James

      I wanted to reply, but yes, it was just a troll. Figured I would feed it a little and see if it returns.

  2. Another awesome post! You hit the nail on the head with this one. I have seen the mass rage quit on all 5.

    1. I think the trash one is the only one I ever actually quit on outright. While I had dropped bad groups before because of time or other commitments, the trash one was the only one I dropped just because of the trash.

      Just a few weeks ago I join an already in progress group and zone in during the middle of trash. Not the middle of them doing it, the middle of a pile of it and die.

      I release and come back and precede to die again and again. After the 5th death and we still are not past trash I just quit. Did not even get deserter. Thankfully. I should have put in a ticket to blizzard asking for the gold for my repairs. lol

  3. The last mechanic you listed is one of the main reasons I quit LFR. Along with the trash wipes came the insults, GO GO GO mentality, booting people for no reason, and several other things that happened between those two bosses.

    As much as I didn't care much for ToC, it had no trash. Go in there, kill bosses, out in no time. I can see why trash exists, it might be that feeling that "hey, the boss is just around the corner after we kill these two packs" which gets one excited. However, that trash in that particular LFR was just horrible. Like you, I wiped every single time I went in there.

    As always, good post and analysis. Looks like you inspired a troll to even post earlier today :)

    Take care.

    1. I think that LFR should be like ToC, just zone in right in front of the boss and ready to fight. Then have portals pop up after you beat a boss that leads to the next. No trash is needed in LFR. Even more so if it is going to be like that.

      Trolls come every one in a while. It usually means I must have said something that offended them. Not sure what could have been said in this post that would offend.

  4. Those are probably my top 5 as well... the big issue with that section of trash after Tortos is that there were multiple possible routes to take and damn it, if options exist, some players will go their preferred way regardless of what way the tanks are going.

    (this is also an increasing issue for me in SoO LFR after Protectors... used to be all groups just went along the top and bypassed the big Sha trash dude, now it seems like more of a free-for-all guaranteed to have at least 3 players claim "every single LFR I've been in goes this way" and, presumably, actually believe it).

    I'd also like to add any fights that require target switching as a mechanic... Protectors should be an LFR killer although somehow they managed to make it relatively one-shottable, especially now. Still, not a type of fight I'd normally recommend for LFR.

    1. When it first came out, and how it is now, are two different routes. I am old school, I follow the tank, so it makes no difference to me which way we go. But you are right, the go go go people just run off where ever they want to go and end up pulling more and making it take longer than it needs to.

      Have you ever noticed that it is always the person in a rush that causes the wipe and in the end makes it take longer? Poetic justice?

      Target switching fights like protectors can be really bad in some groups. Like you, I am surprised that it goes as well as it does. I think I have only really had one LFR where protectors was a complete nightmare. Usually they manage, and in the right order too, somehow.

  5. 'Still up to this day I get a chuckle out of someone jumping to their death after someone says "oh cool they finally added a wall here so people can't fall before the fight begins". I know it is wrong to laugh but I just can not help it.'

    I've been known to say in Strand of the Ancients, "Oh, look at that, they've finally put up invisible walls to keep you from falling off the ships." Followed moments later by at least one, 'sploosh.' I'm sorry, but it is hard not to laugh sometimes.

    Any mechanic that people bet on how many die because of it is not a good mechanic. Elegon is the cake on that one, but snails come to mind as well. When I get to the snails and say, "Bets on how many people die to snails." and the answer is often 6-8 from the group and everyone is surprised when it turns out to only be 3 or 4 - that's a bad mechanic. Elegon is particularly bad due to the inability to rez people and the graphics lag most people have, the snails are merely amusing.

    As I like to comment on the snails, "I can kill lich kings, demon lords, and world shattering dragons, but snails, snails are hard." What an awfully ignominious way to die in a heroic game.

    Durumu, I still occasionally die in that maze. I misstep, lag, or do something else stupid - still 9 out of 10 times through is better than most. Everytime I'm there I hope we overpower it and it dies before we hit the maze, otherwise it's down to like 5 of us finish it.

    The trash after Tortos is awful for so many reasons. I'd also like to nominate the trash before Ji-Kun that is avoidable if you don't step on various innocuous junk on the ground for a fun runner up. If you don't trigger it now, someone who died to snails will eventually try to run back the direct route and pick up spiders or worms or something along the way.

    The trash between Klaxxi and Garrosh is my particularly disliked one - I've seen more wipes to that trash in lfr than I have to any other boss or trash in the game. There are so many reasons to hate it. And the serial raid killing of people zoning back in is particularly bad for them. Oh, and the manifestations that you can't kill, tab key likes to target, won't go away when the trash resets, and continue to hit you as you try to reassemble the group - that's a good idea.

    Speaking of Klazxxi, who thought a boss where you need to kill them in a particular order, often not even the ones that are in front of you, and when you kill one all of the others heal, was a good idea? How much damage is wasted on more than one being attacked at a time or people not wanting to wait a few seconds while the one they need to attack shows up or because no one marks the current target?

    Speaking of dead dps time, how about Nazgrim? Who thought, "dead times where if you do any damage to the one target available it will make things worse" was a good idea? For all the 'leet' players who won't stop doing damage because they need to score the highest totals on recount.

    1. I've been in a few battle grounds when someone did that. Seems like there is always one person that wants to test it. lol

      When will tanks ever understand you do not tank the snails. I swear it seems every time I am in there the tanks die on every snail. I guess they get hit in the head so often they forget that you can not tank them.

      Between the trash after tortos and the trash before ji-kun ToT 2 has to be, hands down, the worse LFR ever made. The trash in there is horrible.

      I can not speak for the trash between klaxxi and garrosh in LFR because I do not do downfall. It does not drop sigils, secrets, or stones, so it is useless in my opinion.

      I've done it once on a few character just to get it done, but that is it. No reason to ever go back there again in LFR. However, in the few times I have sent there, it was not all that bad. The first week it came out and I did it on my main and no one in there had been to there yet so they did not know (even if I had) so it was a nightmare. The other 3 (maybe 4) times I did it on different characters I do not recall wiping on it at all. I guess it is all a matter of luck.

      For Naz, if they did not want people to attack him, they should have just made him immune during that part. One someone so focused on their DPS starts seeing immune they look for something else to attack to get their DPS up. It would have actually taught the people to attack something else.