Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I Can't Believe I Am Saying This

With some apprehension I decided to give the LFR a try on release day.  I always have since they were added to the game.  It was not always about gear, but sometimes it was, it was more about I like to experience everything there is to do in the game more so anything with such ease of access as the LFR.  So worst case, I wanted to do the LFR at least once.

After so many first day experiences with bosses that blizzard really screwed up with because they thought a random group of people that just wanted to blow through content for some quick loot, valor, or entertainment, would be capable of working as a coordinated group ended up in complete failure I was, understandably, not expecting day one of warlords first LFR to be anything better than painful.

After snagging about 8 people from guild we queued up and got into a fresh run and I must say I was pleasantly surprised by how easy things were.  For the first time ever since the release of LFR in the last patch of cataclysm was it really something one could call a quick way to have some fun and get some loot in sightseer mode.

The healers that were with the group said that there was almost no healing needed.  Not that being they were over geared for it that it was easy to heal.  No, they said there was no healing needed.  Even due to mechanics and people failing horribly at them, they were still so easy to heal it was as if they were not really healing at all.

We, of course, had our LFR jerkwads.  It would not be LFR without them.  But instead of being like so many fights before this release where one troll pulling something they were not supposed to would wipe the group, it did nothing of the sort.  Even a damage dealer it seems could easily tank the trash, at least that is what the healers told me.

Trash packs took longer than bosses.  Trash packs seemed more dangerous than bosses.  As a matter of fact one of the people in the group, after we downed butcher and I reminded everyone to loot, said, "that was a boss".  The bosses seemed like nothing more than glorified trash, with less mechanics than trash has, and I loved it.

The entire run, and I might be exaggerating on the high end because I did not actually time it, might have taken 20 minutes.  Most likely it took less.  All three bosses were ninja pulled by some moron but because there were no wipes, no deaths, no problems, it really did not make much of a difference.  Blizzard finally realized that in LFR we need moron protection.  That easy fights are good.  Even more so in a setting like that, the type of setting that inspires your standard jerk to step it up a notch and see if he can be an even bigger troll than normal.

I had absolutely no intention of bringing in alts to LFR this expansion.  I hated the fact that it would still be the only way to gear alts on a steady basis.  But after this experience I am second guessing myself.

I am thinking I can bring in my healers, that have no healing gear at all, and it should be fine because of the lack of healing needed, and get them some gear for healing as well as the quick queue to boot.  The fact I have no spirit gear should not matter being the fights are light on damage and short on length.

I even began to entertain the thought that I might actually tank this.  We had no guild tanks with us that I could ask but from what I saw it did not seem as if the two tanks were even talking, although I know it could have been kept to whispers.  They just went at it and I guess whoever had aggro tanked.  Could this be one of the things I have been asking for since the first half of dragon soul was released?  That all fights in LFR are designed for one tank.  Oh please say it is.  I might actually tank the LFR than.

I know this is opening day.  I know the better players are there.  Lets face it, the worst damage dealer in my group was doing 16K and you know damn well that will not be the normal case in the LFR.  So I am aware I had, by LFR standards, the best group ever in the history of the LFR.  But it gave me hope.  It was really sightseer mode with this group, so when we see groups where 6K and 8K is the norm instead of 16K and 18K being the norm, maybe it will still be easy, and if it is, LFR is a winner all around.

If we did not just over power it, and it really was as simple as it seemed to be with that group, I would say blizzard finally hit the nail on the head with the difficulty level of the LFR.  If this one experience I had yesterday will end up being the representative group for LFR than I can't help but have faith that there might be a future in the game for it.  Or more so for me doing it on alts.  Because the cesspool of hate and bile and mechanics that could wipe people that it could sometimes be before really made me lose faith in the players and the designers of the game.  But this smooth first day run is helping restore that faith.  Lets just hope it stays this easy all the way throughout the expansion.  If it done, I would be very happy.

But as wonderful as it was, and yes I did love it, it still leaves me with one question.

Shouldn't heroic dungeons offer higher level gear than LFR?  It is the harder content after all.


  1. Consequences:

    1. Crafted items market is destroyed. Noone expected LFR to be this easy, fast and guaranteed to succeed. Note that fast to complete means faster queues as well. The only two things crafted items have on LFR items are that (a) LFR items are still a chance - but three-four weeks will fix it, and (b) crafted items can be upgraded - but hey, we are going to have LFR for BF and there will be LFR for future raids as well. Prices for crafted items and upgrades (recent buff to savage bloods from barn can't help much) are going to crash like no tomorrow.

    2. Item enhancements market is propped up heavily. New gear = new enchants / scopes / whatever, less so new gems, all that in mass. There will be a big surge in the next month, and the activity might continue to stay high all the way through the expansion, if people will suddenly decide to gear alts.

    In other news, I quit. Blizzard are fixing things, I thank them for that, but there's just way too much of what's broken. Ashran is a stupid, stupid, stupid, STUPID thing, and it will continue to stay that way for a long time, quite possibly forever. Class balance is shit. As an immediate consequence of class balance being shit, 99% of setups are combinations of the same three-four FOTMs. Games are boring, whether you are FOTM yourself or are playing against them. "Reduced CC" is, by the way, a bit of a lie, because there are less counters, too, but that's a minor thing. Etc, etc, etc.

    I am sure Blizzard will make it all a bit better over time. I am, however, tired of waiting. And what's more important, I am absolutely, a hundred percent sure that by the time they make it a bit better, the season will be mostly over, and next season will bring a couple of new surprises. We are perpetually in the state of being half-broken, it's just that the degree of brokenness goes from 80% broken to maybe 40% broken. I am not seeing this changing, ever. So, sub canceled.

    You have a good blog GE, thanks, it was a good run.

    1. Crafted items, while they did sell well for some people, were always garbage. They are less than raid level and even upgraded all the way less than heroic (normal) raid level. So even in their best case scenario they were garbage gear. Add to that they took way too many materials to make and to upgrade. Out of line insane amounts. Then to cap things off you could only wear three pieces of it. They could have done a better job with crafted gear, they just decided not to.

      Crafted gear was never good. So "losing" it is not really an issue at all. Except if you were a gold goblin making money off them, which I was not, so it is no loss in my opinion.

      I can see weapon enchants going through the roof short term, but as more crystals pop up with LFR and fewer things we are able to enchant, I expect to see them drop off sooner than later as well.

      Not to mention so many people can just make an enchanting study to make their own things, outside of weapon enchants, so it really does decrease the value of other enchants.

      I noticed the same thing. Less CC but less counters means the same time CCed. Nice try on their part, but did not quite get the intended results they were looking for I think.

      Sorry to see you going. Please check back from time to time. I can see how, as a PvPer, that all these balance issues and their new big thing for PvP have really hurt your game play. I don't blame you for taking your leave. But I know you, like me, love the game. So maybe you can give it a shot in the future. Who knows, they say time fixes everything.

      Be well and take care of yourself. Hopefully your next pass time gives you less stress than blizzard likes to give us both.

  2. If LFR really runs like that then even I might give it a go. I've always preferred dungeons because the queue is usually shorter (or instant depending on what role I queue for) and the runs themselves don't last all that long.

    Especially as a tank I could run several dungeons for one LFR. Dungeons are more enjoyable as well because 95% of the time they are just one shot, if they do go badly as the ratio is 1/5 then there's more I can do.

    However, if LFR queues are going to be quick and the places themselves take about as long as a dungeon, then yeah they might finally be something I'll run rather than avoid like the plague.

    I don't care about gear for itself but for what it lets me do. If I have reasonable gear then if a friend asked me to join them in a real raid then I would be in a position to say yes. If I have gear then I'll be able to solo Mists raids, I'll be able to beat troublesome Brawlers Guild bosses easier. I've always hated LFR because it's always been a horrible experience to run, and because they then trapped a lot of the pre-raid gear in this 'raid' so I really hope you are right and that they have finally tuned LFR properly.

    This is encouraging news. I'll have to try it for myself sometime.

    1. I was so presently surprised. I kept saying it over and over that I could not believe how much I enjoyed it because it was so easy and stress free. I wish all random group content was like that. The last thing I need in my life is for random people I don't know and never will know to make my life hell in a game I am trying to play to have fun and relax. It might be because only real raiders were in there day one that it was so easy, but after this experience I would be willing to try it on alts. It was a great experience. Hope it stays like that.

      You sum up what I always say to those people that say "if you don't raid you don't need gear". They are stupid and apparently do not know how to play the game. Gear is useful for so many things and everyone, even non raiders, needs it. If LFR stays this way, even if it is crappy gear, it is still something nice and easy to get for alts and I would really like it for that purpose.

    2. I had the same experience in LFR yesterday. Incredibly smooth and easy run. I dont think a single player died at any point.

      However, its got to be due to the Real Raiders being in there.

      Also, I think my run was a hodgepodge of various experienced guild groups. By that I mean, I queued as dps and the wait was 45 minutes. Then I queued with some guild dps and a tank, and the queue said 8 minutes, but we sat there for an hour. Then a guild healer joined our party and we insta popped.

      The run didn't seem to be 25 randoms pulled form the top of the queue, but rather 3-4 groups of people (each with a healer) that queued together. So, the run didnt have random jackasses in it, but rather people who are guilded/have friends. Socially acclimated "nice" people for the most part.

      If your lowest dps was 16k I gotta say whoa. I did 15k on Kargath and I was third.

      LFR will get nasty again. When we get the 4-6k people in there. Fights will take longer, Butcher stacks will have time to build up and he will insta kill people. Insults will be yelled.

    3. I want to reply to this :

      "if you don't raid you don't need gear"

      in some way I think this way, but more "if you don't raid, you don't need RAIDING gear".

      Blizzard should find a way to make gear for every type of activities. Like I don't know questing gear that would maybe make you more powerful aginst creature in the world but not in raid, or increase rewards from questing.

      Hell there is fishing gear, why can't I have "hunting" gear for my skinner that would allow me to OS every beast I find after killing so many of them to skin them?

      Give each activity his own set of gear and things would go much much much smoother in my opinion.

    4. @Trout, I think my run was like that too. Seemed to be small groups of 3 and 4 from different guilds and than 8 from mine. Which surely helped to make it easier.

      Yeah, the DPS in the group was amazing. I topped the first two fights and was middle of the pack on third, target switching maybe, and 16K was the lowest on any of them. So yeah, it was nice and painless. DPS can surely make life easier in those things.

      I hope that even with lesser groups in the weeks to come it remains this easy. If blizzard could make it this easy no matter who queues up for it, they have a winner on their hands in my opinion. And after so many failures, a win for them would be nice.

      But be prepared for the jerks to start hating saying it is too easy. Excuse me? It is LFR, it is supposed to be easy. I always laugh at those people.

    5. @Anonymous that would get complicated and fast with all the different sets people would need. That's why gear is done by the numbers, more stats helps with everything. I'm not saying it's right but in such a gear dependent game, it does at least streamline it.

      I can see the point of what you are saying but unless they took gear out of bags, or let us swap affixes or something, it's just a non starter.

      I'm not saying it's a bad idea. They have got some of the +bonus gear in game already as you said with the fishing. There's a trinket in Mists called Golden Fleece which adds gold or something, I can't really remember. They could do more with this but they'd have to change how gear worked. Not sure that's right for this game. It could be but I don't have enough faith in blizz that they could pull it off. I'm unhappy enough with the mess of stats at the moment after it was 'simplified'.

    6. @Anon

      Different gear for different things would be awesome.

      If my main is sitting at (for example) 660 because it raids that does not mean my non raiding rogue that I use to skin should be stuck in crap gear. I would like him to have at the same item level, even without raiding.

      Many people would say, why, I don't raid with it, so I don't need raiding gear. Well, I do skin with it, and more gear means faster kills which means more skins.

      So yes, no matter what you do, raiding or just farting around the world, the more gear you have the better and more enjoyable your gaming is. So everyone deserves a way to get gear.

      Not to mention, all characters should feel as if they are progressing one way or another. That is why I loved valor gear. So my rogue might not do much, but slowly, very slowly, he would build some a little valor here and there and he felt as if he was getting stronger and my job of going out and skinning became easier.

      I think they need to bring valor gear back. Apexis gear just not fill the same spot. It is horrible gear, costs way to much for someone like my rogue (or the average wow non raider for that matter), and does not feel like I am getting anything special whereas valor gear got me normal (now heroic) mode gear every 2 or 3 weeks if I capped or every month or two if I did a little here and there. Now that was a nice design for my skinning alt, and I miss it.

    7. An idea bandied about the EU forums by some would be the introduction of extra Stats 'Raid Prowess' (off) and 'Raid Awareness' (def) , akin to PvP Power and Resilience.

      These stats would only apply in Instanced PvE (or even just Raids) but weigh so much that they are the most desired Stats (much like the PvP Stats were/are?) for such PvE.

      This would have several advantages:

      - the explosion in iLevels and Power Creep could be reduced, as new Tiers would primarily bump up Raid Pow/Awar, not other stats.

      This would btw also allow the bane of more time-limited play (Gear Treadmill) and nerfing of effort (catch-up mechanisms etc.) be more limited to the sole activity that 'needs' the Treadmill to begin with, Progression Raiding (for e.g. PvP, it's pretty pointless, you might get x+1 out of a new Tier but so does your opponent, meaning the relative power/challenge remains the same and you're basically just grinding because you have to, not because you want to).

      - there would be less/no more discussions on wether certain Gear is only 'deserved' by Raiders (if it has Raid Prow/Awar it's Raid Gear, otherwise it's just Gear);

      - World events and bosses would be more 'server-bonding' experiences they certainly are supposed to be post-GW2, instead of being hogged by Raid Guilds (as everybody would be on a more even footing);

      - they could take a leaf from other games and make Crafatbles, Quest rewards, World Drops, rep gear etc. more powerful and relevant, as they'd be 'missing' Raid Prow/Awar (and hence never be deemed 'mandatory for Raiding' , the eternal warcry to suck the fun of non-Raid rewards) but could otherwise become much more powerful.

      We can dream ;)

    8. Sounds interesting. I am sure there would need to be something else added to it. Hardcore raiders do have a tendency to be selfish and not want anyone to have anything but themselves, so even if you could "even out" the gear they would still want theirs to be "better" as in more stats and higher item level. Although I think I would be fine with having some system like this, at least as I am understanding it.

  3. can confirm LFR is easy. Last night we qued just 3 of us a tank a dps and a healer. instant pop the tank actually got selected for dps. no problems smooth run no one died tanks dipped a few times and at the end my partner who was healing exclaimed how happy he was that he had healed #2 then he looked at his gear and realized he had been in dps gear the whole time.

    1. Have to love an LFR that is finally tuned for the people it is intended for. I hope the rest of them are like this. It would make playing, and gearing up, alts so much more fun than trying to farm apexis crystals or craft massively over priced gear would be.

  4. I have also heard that LFR is also really easy and had good reports from guildies who said they knocked it over in 20 minutes. I have yet to step in there but I am sure I shall wander in next week.

    1. And when I saw the title of this post, I knew it had to be about LFR :D

    2. What else could it have been about. LFR is the nightmare that nightmares are made of. Or at least it used to be.

      I hope it remains this good as lesser players start to step into there. Day one of week one of course many of the "better" players were there.

      Heck, my raid last night didn't have as high DPS as the LFR I was in, and we downed bosses. Goes to show you how awesome that LFR was.

  5. Solo queued as DPS last night. I was in the queue for close to an hour (it popped after getting out of a heroic dungeon).

    This really seemed like a random group. For example, the 2nd tank wasn't taunting like they were supposed to and a lot of people didn't know where to go.

    It was super easy though. No wipes. I never even came close to dying. In my ~635 gear, I was 8th, 4th, and 6th on DPS, so it wasn't a super overgeared group. I was kind of surprised my DPS was even that high since I was following mechanics (i.e., killing adds most of the time).

    I also got two upgrades (trinket and boots). I wish the LFR trinkets had procs on them though...

    I almost feel like they made it "too" easy, but that's probably a good thing.

    1. Congrats on the trinket, I am still rocking some junk ones myself. Did manage to snag a weapon in last night raid however which was a nice upgrade. Don't want t jinx myself here, but that was lucky getting a weapon on the second week or raiding. I am never that lucky. Now to get some trinkets.

      No such thing as too easy. I think LFR should be as easy as possible. Can't have random people doing mechanics. Maybe blizzard finally learned that.