There are some changes coming with the next patch and those changes might effect some of the things we have become used to, like them or not, like last tier 5 mans, the CRZ and the LFR. I've been pondering them and figured I would do what I always do and share some of my opinions on them.
Will Flex Raiding Destroy the LFR?
If I had to make a quick jump decision I would answer, yes I hope it does. If I were to think it out a little bit I would say, it won't but it will change the face of it as we know it now. At least that is how I see it.
I have often said that the LFR is too hard for the average player and I stand by that. It really is way too hard for the average player. With the addition of flex raiding I feel it will shorten the life of the LFR for those people that are, for lack of a better term, above average. The players that are decent in their own right but are not really great.
Those people are the heart and soul of the LFR. They are the one that make it possible for the average player to actually finish the LFR. I've been in some awesome groups, some great groups, some average groups and some horrible groups. All of them however would be the exact same group, a horrible group, if you removed the above average players.
Those above average players are the ones that dictate which group you are in. Get a group with more than 18 above average players and it is an awesome group. 13 above average players can mean it is a great group, 10 might be a good group, while 5 or 6 might only be doable. Get to the point where there are only 1 or 2 or even 3 above average players that are not in one of the control roles and it could very well be a horrible run.
While I can still see many above average players, the ones that make the LFR possible, running the random raids I don't see them doing it as long as they are right now. Lets just take where we are for example. Myself and many others like me do not need anything from the LFR, have not needed anything for a very long time, but we still run it for runstones because we are not downing all 6 of those end bosses each week. Or any in my case now that I am doing 25s and only getting 3 bosses in per week, not downing much of anything each week. So I really have no choice but to run it. There are a great deal of above average players in that same boat and those people are the ones that make an LFR run nice and smooth. Whenever you are in a smooth run, thank them, or yourself if you are one of them. But what if they were gone?
Then you would have groups like I talk about sometimes. Nightmares that seem to never end. LFRs filled with the average player. The average player is bad. Really bad.
I did my LFRs last night, the last 2 looking for runestones. Once again, if it were not for the guaranteed drop I would have gotten none again. I swear I will never get that cloak, but that is another story. It was nice and smooth and super fast. I was able to get both parts done in less than an hour run time. Even adding queue time, 8 minutes for the last part and 34 minutes for the second to last part, it still took less than 2 hours total. My weekend runs, when those better players looking for their runestones are not there, take 2 hours just to do them while in them. Sometimes 3 hours. And the wait times are doubled, tripled, even quadrupled on occasion.
When flex raiding comes people will be more likely to do that to get their runestones (if there is something like that, just using it as an example). Better gear, no queue, self assembled, any number of people, the ability to get achievements, collect quest items, and you still get valor.
Is there really a comparison to be made? They are two different types of things. One is randomly grouped content that becomes too hard for most while the other is assembled content that becomes easier than normal because you can communicate.
Being flex raiding does not lock you to bosses either you can actually help your buddies if you wanted to. You ran your flex raid and downed the first 5 but on the weekend your buddies want to go but do not have a tank. Well, you can tank, you can not get loot off the first 5, but you can help your friends down them. Holy freaking awesome batman. When are they adding this to the real raid. Lock people to bosses so they can only loot them once a week. We need that.
This means that the pug society will return. Not saying the pug world was much better than the LFR world. I remember assembling pug raids that took an hour plus to get going, similar to some LFR queue times. But if you are going to wait for an hour why not wait for better gear. I also remember joining pugs that failed on trash. So there are bad pugs too, it is not all rosy in pug world, but at least it is assembled.
But all this is assuming the difficulty is such that a pug can do it. The last time the pug community on my server had any decent success, or even existed, was in wrath when your worst pug would at least do 3/12, most would do 6/12 and many could do 10/12. You would need a much better hand picked group to get a full clear which still was extremely rare on my server, but it could be done. And either way, lets face it, if you could even do 6/12 pugs at a moments notice because pugs are always running, it would not be so bad would it?
If the new flex raids are slightly easier than 30% ICC or at least close to it then you very will might have a return to pugs running 24/7 and if that is the case then my main can get his runestones in flex, my alts can gear up through flex, and I could drag my friends that really aren't that great through flex to hopefully teach them. Something I have tried but really can not do in the LFR unless I can get a mostly guild group to queue up for it.
Speaking of that, our guild always did weekly LFR runs. We would test out new people there just to get to see them, gear up some alts knowing we had some mains there to cover for our doing 60K instead of more, basically bring the whole crew and have a little fun. LFR was always easy when you had at least 15 in guild with you.
Now we have flex raid for that. If we can get 15 together, or 18, or 12, we will just run a flex raid. Again, better gear, just us, ability to communicate, learn, teach, and have some fun with our guild mates and perhaps a few pug friends from our server or others as we can cross server flex, and you have a winner all the way around.
So what does all this mean?
If there will be pugs running 24/7. And flex raiding will be very pug friendly by allowing people to do the same bosses again, by being easier content for an organized, even if not great group, and it offers so much more than the LFR can in terms of gear, special loot, achievements and the such, why do the LFR?
Would this mean that only the worst of the worst will be left in the LFR after the first few weeks? I can see the above average players still doing it those early weeks. After all, what I always say, an upgrade is an upgrade is an upgrade. And if the new weapon, trinket, or tier set is so good that even the LFR version is worth getting I will run all three modes, LFR, flex and normal to increase my chances of getting one of them. But with that comes three times more likely for me to get it (or not get it knowing me) and that will shorten the time I feel I need to do the LFR.
Once I do not need anything from it I will drop it like its hot. Just like once you do not need valor any longer you stop grinding it. I keep myself at 3K all the time now and if I get an upgrade I use 500 on it to get my 8 extra item levels and recap my 3K instantly. But it is human nature to try to remove the need to do things. And if I can remove the need to do LFR like I have removed the need to valor cap, I will do so. In a heartbeat. Heck, I have been actively avoiding it on my alts even if they do need a lot of gear from there and rep.
But I would still run flex with my friends and fellow raiders. Flex will take the place that LFR once had. The place where I felt I needed to do it. Like I need to do it for runestones now. If flex were out now and we were clearing flex I would just get my runestones there and so would anyone else that was a halfway decent player which leaves who for the LFR groups? The average or worse, less than average, players.
If I already call the LFR too hard sometimes for the masses what do you think it will be like when the above average players have absolutely no reason to do them. And even those people that love the LFR because it fits their raid whenever schedule, if flex raiding is anything like wrath raiding where there are pugs going 24/7 what do you think those people will choose? A possibly very hard LFR with trolls galore or a flex raid with better rewards? I don't think I need to tell you what my answer would be.
LFR is not going anywhere, at least for now. But it will need to be adjusted to the new denizens that will be in it. And if blizzard does not adapt to it fast and realize that only the worst of the worst are there, it can implode on itself and become completely worthless.
If they do not considerably lower the difficulty of the LFR I can see flex raiding destroying it. This is of course with the hope that flex raiding is indeed easy enough for the masses and brings back the 24/7 pug community. And with my next section it shows why I believe the return of the 24/7 pug community is possible.
Will there still be a CRZ when we get Virtual Realms?
The CRZ was added because blizzard did not want to admit they needed to merge servers. The CRZ showed everything wrong with how it should be done. It was quite possibly the worst addition to the game ever.
I've always argued that if I wanted to be on a small server I should have that right. But that was only one tiny part of why I hated the CRZ. Server merges would have been better but it was not going to happen. For that to happen blizzard would need to admit it was not as big as it once was. Not like they need to, we all know that, but they wanted to save face.
So along comes server merges without using the word server merges. Call it virtual realms. Don't let the name deceive you. This is not something new and interesting, it is just a server merge system without actually having to merge servers. All this effort to save face really.
Will I complain about the same things I did with CRZ? Nope. Not at all and not in the slightest. While my one big complaint was if I wanted to play on a small server I should have that right, this is difference. CRZ was putting me with people on other servers, virtual realms are merging servers. Sure, I do not like that I don't have my quiet rare farming world that I used to, but a merge is a merge. I can still have a choice. I can still move to another server that is a smaller merged server, if I choose. I can still escape it some whereas I had no opt out from the CRZ. So virtual realms are better already. They will offer choice. Sure that choice comes at the cost of a server transfer, but it is still a choice like it or not. Now the ball is in my court should I want to move. Not like with the CRZ when I had no choice what so ever.
Virtual realms also address a lot of the other issues I had with CRZ. I'll go over a few.
When someone from Thrall (for example) would mine ore, it effectively gets removed from my server. If there were people from other servers, larger ones, farming, there was less available for my server. This meant higher prices, stress of not being able to find any resources, and competition with someone that you could not even buy it off of if you needed it.
Now with virtual realms you are not only grouped with the realms you are with, but you share an auction house. So if some guy from Thrall is clearing out all the silver ore and I can not find any, at least it will be on my auction house from him instead of disappearing from my servers balance.
While the guy you are competing with is still the enemy in a sense because you want those nodes, at least what he gets is not being removed from your server. I used to be that everyone that minded something was basically stealing it from your server for his. He will be using it on your virtual realm or selling it on your virtual realm. It is no longer some other server taking your stuff, so to speak.
You can not trade someone in the CRZ. Even if you met up with someone while leveling and decided to quest with them and you each added one another to your friends list. If some green shoulders dropped that you both hit greed on and you won and then he said, wait I can use those, you were screwed. You could not trade the shoulders to him. Even if you both had rights to it. Even if you both rolled on it. It is no longer tradable. Another reason the CRZ sucked. With virtual realms that other person you met from another server is actually linked to your server which means you can pass the shoulders along to him freely. Nice.
Being you could not trade you could not buy. Someone wanted to sell some nice BoE drop at a reasonable price. He wanted 10K and on your server it was usually 25K on the AH. But being he can not trade it to you, you could not put gold in the window to pay him for it. He could not even put it on the AH for you to buy and trade it that way. CRZ really sucked for many things and that was one of them. Now with virtual realms you can trade or use the AH, either way, you are on the same realm effectively thanks to the server merge.
You could meet someone while running around a CRZ and become friends with them. Your guild could need a holy paladin and he just happens to be a holy paladin without a guild. Sorry CRZ will not allow you to raid current content with him. Sorry CRZ will not allow you to invite him to your guild. Seriously, what was the use of CRZ if you could meet people, become friends with them, and then can't do anything with them? One of the myriad of reasons that made the CRZ the worst addition to the game ever. With virtual reams who cares if the guy is on another server. He can tag along in the current raid or he can even join your guild. Now if the CRZ allowed that to begin with, as it should have, there would be no need for virtual realms.
There are lots of things that will benefit from the server merge but shhhh, don't call it that. If blizzard knew we knew what it really was they might cancel it. They really seem to fear merging servers. That is why they gave us the biggest pile of dog crap ever introduced to the game, the CRZ. Because they figured it would be better to shit on their player base than to admit they needed to merge servers.
But with that in mind, with virtual servers, will CRZ still be needed? Will they still be attempting to over populate dead zones that are only dead because there is really no reason to be there and you level through it in 30 minutes? Come on people, zones you spend 30 minutes in do not need life, spend your time and resources on things that matter. Not making it seem like there are 5 people in feralas instead of 2.
If you really want to fill out those lower level areas then reduce leveling speed to a crawl again and watch the zones fill up. That is why it always felt like they were full, because people actually spent time there. They only seem empty because the game has changed, accept it and move on, leveling zones are fine if they are not full, the CRZ was never needed to give leveling zones life because leveling zones do not need life.
I wonder if the CRZ will go the way of the dodo once the virtual realms come out. I doubt it because they will still want to give those leveling zones life for some odd reason, but would we really still need it?
Are dungeons really dead?
I know a great deal of people love five mans and I do in some case as well. I can live with or without them. I do agree with the sentiment that it felt like they were really lacking this expansion. Having the last raid patch of the expansion come out without a three pack of new dungeons is contrary to what we have seen the last two expansions. We have, as a community, kind of gotten used to that quick catch up mechanic that was the late expansion five mans.
People have been asking all expansion if there would be any more five man dungeons and they said no. They went the way of the scenario this expansion for better or worse depending on who you ask. Some love the holy trinity and others like the need for nothing special, just queue and go type of groups. Both have their advantages of course.
But if dungeons were really dying out and losing favor with the designers we would see when the last raid patch came out wouldn't we? The ICC 3 and the Twilight 3 show us we should have the Org 3 this expansion right? Nope, because it does seem like 5 mans have lost their place in the hearts of the designers.
I must say I always liked those last raid patch dungeons. They worked as the perfect catch up for my alts that had been neglected all expansion really. I also have some fond memories of them. Halls of reflection might have been one of the biggest tear inducing dungeons of all time but I loved getting [We're not retreating; We're advancing in a different direction] my first time in there because it has to be one of the greatest achievement names ever and it was a pretty fun race against the clock. But for random groups, it was surely a nightmare sometimes.
Having something become part of wow culture is one thing but losing it is another. We lost the nessingwary quest line in cataclysm and I even made a post about it. It would be nice to think that post, in some part, helped ensure his return this expansion but perhaps it was just an oversight last expansion like the many of other things they forgot to include.
No dungeons at the end of this expansion can not be chalked up to an oversight. It would be a clear decision on the part of the game makers to move away from five man content and to move away from the end of the expansion catch up mechanic that they were so good for.
I think not having any new 5 man dungeons at the end of this expansion might be very telling as to what we can expect the next expansion. The possible moving away from dungeon content as the predominant catch up and random content filler to something more complete including scenarios and LFR. But with LFR being such the joke it is and scenarios not exactly being a reasonable way to gear up because you only get a shot a decent piece of gear once a day instead of once a run means neither of them are in the position to replace dungeons.
So the removal of dungeons and no addition of anything that can take their place in the grand scheme of things makes you wonder if they really are dead. Not adding them AND not replacing them with something else might just mean they are phasing them out completely as content for anything other than release. And even as someone that can give or take them I think that is the wrong move. I might not be one of the people that love them and scream to get them back but I am also not someone that is going to say don't waste your time on them and make something else. I am perfectly neutral about them and I think abandoning them, even more so from the last raid patch, is a huge mistake. The question is, what should we read into it. If anything.
Bonus topic: Random Grouping
Do you think the trend against random grouping will continue?
When the LFD was first introduced I loved the idea of it. Even if I was in a guild, and that guild I found because of having to assemble groups by hand, I still had a hard time getting my dungeons done each day. Most days I never did.
As anyone that played before the days of the LFD will tell you group content was time consuming to assemble for. It was a choice to spend the day in trade or to go out and do things. Couldn't have it both ways. Of course in time once I made a name for myself and was getting invited to groups a little more often it did free me up to go out in the world and do stuff and still occasionally get my dungeon in. I could just wait for a whisper while doing my dailies and if one did not come I would head back to the city and try to spam until I could find a group. Most days I never did. On a good week I ran my dungeon 3 times, maybe, just maybe, 4. I don't think I ever ran my daily dungeon each day. Ever.
Then everything become random groups. Even raids did later on. And the communities started to fall apart after wrath when the merged 10 and 25 man raiding into one thing and pugs stopped. Between lack of pugs, lack of community, lack of assembly, the game started to become automated.
Log in, do random content, cap, wait for raid night.
But recently we have been seeing more and more of a push to self assembly. It started a bit ago with rated battlegrounds and now it has extended to PvE with heroic scenarios last patch and flex raiding next patch.
I have to give blizzard some props here. Nice work on attempting, albeit slowly, to build community again. Adding virtual realms is also a huge step in that direction even if most people do not notice it as such. By merging servers, oops, don't tell them I said that, they are making it possible for even what was once a small server to have more people for non-random content. By adding flex raiding and more so the ability to do the same bosses again, they are stepping up the ability to pug.
They are making a solid push forward into returning us to where we came from, but in a better position than we were when we were there. The days of assembled groups are returning, or might be returning, we will see. But it is clear, at least in my mind, that blizzard is trying to let the community help itself again by adding some things to the game that will allow us to be a community again and step away from the "log in, do random content, cap, wait for raid night" that cataclysm basically became and mists expanded on at first.
With two patches in a row having content that needs to be assembled instead of randomed into, do you think this is a trend that will continue? Do you think it is a trend that should continue?
The one thing I worry about is the absence of random content in place of this assembled content. They need to work a balance. And if they had given us our 3 pack of dungeons this last raid tier and if they do make LFR a lot easier for the people that will be left in it, with those and the addition of flex raiding and server merged virtual realms, we could have the perfect balance of community and ease all in one nice bundle.
The balance is close to where I think it would be perfect but at the moment they are pushing assembled content so hard as the flex raiding and virtual realms support it, that they are forgetting the random content completely. How long do you think they will push it and how much should they before it is too much? That is something worth thinking about.
Either way, I am looking forward to once again trying to develop into a community again. I guess it is time for me to shrug off my anti-social tendencies and once again enter the world so to speak. It has been so long since I only ran with guild or in random content. I don't even know if I remember how to pug in trade like I used to do every single day of my gaming life before the introduction of the LFD. Well hello there community, welcome back. I've missed you.
2 hours ago
Ah the post I've been waiting for from you.ReplyDelete
Last week I ran LFR for runestones for the first time in months. I went on reset day, with a co-tank, and it went fine. Just got one off Lei Shen but that happens. This week I went, reset day, no co-tank as he's on holiday, just got one off Lei Shen. Missing my co-tank was a pain, I figured it would be 'alright' as it was reset day but I was wrong. I don't know what it is with LFR tanks, they didn't seem to know where their taunt button is, or what cd's are. Take Twins, one of the easiest LFR bosses really, I took 9 Fans of Flames I think before the other tank taunted, he took 2 and fell over getting the second. Seriously how is that possible?
I really wish, though I know they won't, make flex raiding retroactive. I have 3 runestones now and if I just get one off Lei Shen every week that makes another 9 weeks of running LFR. Hopefully that'll be before next patch as I seriously do not fancy running LFR when it isn't current anymore. Anyway they really do need to realise that LFR needs to be tuned a lot lot easier for the masses. I should really find that blue post where one of the blue people say that they need raiders to queue for LFR otherwise it's not doable. Those weren't the words but that was basically what they said, which is just wrong wrong wrong. Raiders should never have to set foot in LFR, and if they need to then blizz you have tuned it wrong.
As for virtual realms and crz well I like crz when it is controlled by me. I like being able to group with people on other servers if I choose. What I despise is the forced crz, I've mentioned before about how it destroys everything that's good about a low pop server, and gives none of the advantages of a higher pop. I wish, I so wish that with virtual realms they'd remove the forced component of crz. Leave the technology in place so people can group if they choose, but remove the forced part. I doubt they will as you said they have this weird kick that low level zones need to be populated, they never were like that really, and having to pull people from every server in EU/US to populate them enough just proves how ridiculous it is.
Aside from my hope that this and virtual realms might save my guild, there's also plans to maybe do a joint flex night with another guild we're friendly with. I've also talked about occasionally running with some friends of mine on other servers. My alts, my poor neglected alts, might actually get some gear. I'll have to somehow gear them up enough to do flex of course which is where my point about 5 mans come in.
I want to gear some alts but I do not under any circumstances want to run LFR. I refuse to run it on my main most of the time, so why would I do it on an alt which is supposed to be a fun diversion? This is where 5 mans really should have come in. Maybe their ilevel be a bit less than LFR, but let them keep pace with LFR a bit, to give people another option. Right now is there a reasonable way to get to 480 without running LFR? If I get to 480 I can run heroic scenarios, though the once a day for gear is kinda annoying. If they'd made old valor gear for justice points then yeah there would be, but they didn't. Everything in me rebels against spending valor points on old items, so I just don't gear, and without the alt diversion I'm more and more choosing to play something else. LFR has become part of the gearing system, for alts, new players, anyone that didn't start raiding at launch, and that's just wrong. I do want a set of 5 mans, I do and yes I want them for the convenience. My alts have gone a whole expansion without being played (6 have been levelled to 90, 4 more to go) and I want to play them, especially in the twilight of the expansion.
Maybe in 6.0 things will be better as flex will be around from the beginning. We can only hope anyway.
It is funny that your LFR experiences are the same as mine while most of the UK readers say that they never get runs like that. Just goes to show you it is a luck of the draw sort of thing and sadly you are having a bit of the grumpy luck.Delete
I am still doing them for stones only and at this rate I will need to do it for 7 more weeks at most. At least there is an end is sight but I would pay money, as in real cash in hand, to blizzard, if I never had to step foot into the LFR again. I'll gladly pay them 20 dollars for each and every remaining runestone I need. The 140 bucks would be money well spent to never have to do the LFR again.
How sad is it that I would be willing to pay actual real life hard earned money to avoid a certain aspect of the game? Says something about that aspect of the game doesn't it?
I am hoping for a lot from flex, but I hope they tune it correctly. The last thing we need is for them to make it normal mode difficulty and then make normals harder. It won't help most guilds if they can not bring some of the lesser geared people and alts along.
Just to show how badly they screwed over this patch, they just nerfed horridon again. More proof what I was saying for the longest time. It is too hard for the masses and there are too many guilds stuck on it. If they needed to nerf it even with everyone being higher item level and the gear upgrades back, it shows you how horrible it was designed to begin with.
It is possible to gear w/o doing LFR. My blood DK is 489. I've run 3 dungeons with him and a couple normal scenarios. My gear is from other things: 4 pieces from world bosses (t15 tier plus a couple 496 pvp), 2 489s from Barrens weekly, 502 boots from Barrens questline, 2 476 BoEs, 476 KT rep item, 489 valor item, 502 crafted weapon, 476 DMF trinket, 450 crafted trinket, and a 463 dungeon item. I've spent maybe 40k on gear, but getting above 480 doesn't really require that expense.Delete
Just want to do a little reaction to this :Delete
"It is funny that your LFR experiences are the same as mine while most of the UK readers say that they never get runs like that"
Keep in mind that EU servers (an not UK servers) are vastly different from the US ones.
In EU we have a vast array of languages (English obviously, but also french, german, russian....) and each subset of server can only play with ppl of the same language.
That being said, I'm french and I have a toon on a french server but my main in on a english one and I can tell you that even as the same hour, the experience in the LFR is vastly different.
In the french ones ppl tend to flame a lot more than in the english ones. But oddly enough I had overall far better runs in the French ones despite the overall less enjoyable mood.
I can bear easily 4-5 wipes in English LFR but in the French ones I just can', ppl are calling each other and blaming eveyone, and god forbid you try to help.
You could say that it's because French is my mother tongue but I doubt it. I'm fluent enough in English to be the Raid leader of my team. I do think though that due to the fact taht on English servers you have ppl from many differents contries (Eastern Europe, scandinavia,etc....) ppl tend to flame a bit less.
My bear does not do the LFR and is fuly geared and tanks ToT. But I raid with it so it get actual raid gear, it does not "need" the LFR. Could I gear up faster with LFR? Yes. Could I gear up faster capping valor each week? Yes. Could I gear up faster working harder? yes. But it is not required. This is true. But not everyone has the options I have. Who is going to let a tank in their group that doesn't try to gear up on their own? I wouldn't really. Even if I do break my own rule.
I guess that makes a hell of a lot of sense for the different responses from people on the groups they get. It is not like US where the US server are all together for the most part. There are US spanish servers however. I have a character on one.
I think you nailed how I feel about it most of the time. I could wipe 5 times with a decent group of people and not call it a bad run. But I can wipe one time with a bunch of jerks and it be a nightmare run.
It isn't so much the wiping that makes it bad it is how the group responds to a wipe. I've had a few groups that wiped and each time they talked about what was done wrong and how to do it right next time. The run still took 2 hours, we still wiped a lot, but I would never call that a bad run even if it might seem similar to some bad runs I have been on. All because of the people in it. They, more than anything else, decide of it is a good run or a bad run.
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
GMs are rarely vocal on making opinions but I have had a few that do. Sometimes like that I would say "of course they agree" because it is what the game is doing and they are supposed to support the company line.Delete
The CRZ should have never been released. We complained about it in the beta, we pointed out the issues, we complained about the problems, they still released it. As I said, the worst addition to the game ever. It was and remains a huge mistake. I think the only reason for virtual realms was to cover up for that mistake.
I think their updating on a different day has to do with the AH bug going around.
ah bug? I am all ears....Delete
People were able to log into anyones account with the mobile armory.Delete
So for example I would see you had 60K gold. I would manually log into my account and get some gingerbread cookies from a vendor for 1 copper and post it on the AH for 60K. The I would log into your account through the mobile armory and buy said cookie.
Effectively I stole all your gold and you got a cookie. Hope i is tasty for 60K.
The reason the bug is so huge is that it bypasses the authenticator so even if you had one linked to your account you were screwed, someone could still steal all your gold.
A side effect of LFR tanks not taunting is LFR healers not watching for tank swaps actually happening. So, death after two stacks. Bet you had a ton of shields/incoming heals at the time, though. :)
Flex won't replace LFR but I think, at least after the first few weeks or unless we're "forced" to run LFR to maximize something (VP, gear, legendary drops, etc), a significant portion of the above average players you mention won't be running it, at least not on their primary toons.
The problem with flex is that it won't be SIGNIFICANT different from the current normal raiding paradigm. Easier, sure, and with flexible numbers, but it will still require assembling 10+ people who are capable of running the content at the same time. It'll just have a lower skill bar and, if you can actually find 12 people, will allow you to keep from dropping anyone.
I'm still going to be running LFR on alts, though. Anyone who plays a lot and doesn't have dozens of raiding friends or a raiding guild with more than 3 guildies on at once will still be running LFR, I expect.
I think flex will have a bigger impact on normal, but in a good way. Groups that aren't quite good enough for normal will have an appropriate level to raid at. There will be fewer raids running normal but the ones that do should be more successful.
I think flex could also help save 25-man raids who have issues maintaining a reliable bench... if you come up short and can't / don't want to try to replace you can just run flex and get some practice and gear. Have you ever had a night where you just knew you didn't have the comp to actually down anything? I hate those nights and flex could be the answer.
@ Virtual Realms vs CRZ
This is entirely my theory but I think CRZ was meant to be a beta test for Virtual Realms... I don't think it was ever intended to be the final answer to anything. Once they got the technology working more or less correctly (which it is, I've had very few TECHNICAL issues with CRZ lately), they could move to the next step of actually merging realms full-time without displacing anyone.
Is this a good thing? Long term, probably so.
I'm going to respond tangentially. My biggest issue with what Blizzard is doing these days is how they're dealing with the iLvl of gear.
When a new LFR comes out it should offer drops of the EXACT SAME iLvl as normal raids of the previous tier. The reason LFR is must-run for so many people is because of 6 friggin' iLvls. Going back and running T14 content isn't considered because LFR gear is BETTER.
It shouldn't be. LFR should be a choice vs running older content. For T14 normal raiders, LFR should be a place to learn fights and to fill in a few last spots or get a few last pieces of tier.
(on that note, I'd also like tier removed from LFR but Blizz has indicated they want LFR to be a source for tier so that probably won't happen, although it'd be interesting to have T14 and T15 tier pieces with the same iLvl so you could pick a more desired bonus)
5-mans could be the same thing. If they'd introduced new 5-mans in 5.3 they could have given them the same i502 as T15 LFR. A CHOICE to run smaller group content with group loot where my rogue's weapon, when it actually does finally drop, will be taken by a warrior for whom it's (probably correctly) "an upgrade".
I chain-ran the catch-up 5-mans in late Wrath on every toon I had. I ran some 30+ times on a single toon alone (see rogue story above, took me forever to actually get that stupid weapon). The reason why that sucked is because there wasn't any choice, if you wanted to catch up, that was the way to do it.
Today? There's choice. I can run T14 normal, I can run T15 LFR or, perfect world, I can run new 5-mans, all dropping the same iLvl, so depending on my personal circumstances and preferences I can run the one I want to.
So, circling around, Blizz wanted to avoid the situation where we chain-run heroics 30+ times on a toon. I can understand that but that was in a different game... if they standardize the iLvl then I think 5-mans would be a welcome addition.
Eh. I don't know, I think Blizz would like to re-invigorate server communities but frankly, the server communities were never much to begin with. I much prefer having LFR tell me I need i460 gear to run content than to have some undergeared druid who's advertising for "LFM i520+ reqd link ach NO LEATHER". I remember trying to get a 5-man ToC run for HOURS on a toon... and failing. I don't want to go back to that.
That is what I am thinking with the LFR. Unless we have to we won't run it. As long as we can make a flex group or get a pug. I have a feeling I might still attempt it on alts but I fear for how bad it will be if it is already as horrible as it is now.Delete
I have no issue finding people. We usually have at least 15 people on during raid time even on non-raid nights. But if more than 8 are raid ready and capable is a different story. Flex fixes that issue. We can bring those others now and not screw with our normal lock outs. For guilds like mine I have a feeling this could be huge. It might even help us make those that are not raid ready into actual raiders in time. I can hope at least.
I think flex will have a huge impact on normal too. Like you said. It will be normal with training wheels. Learn the fights there and then just step up execution for normals. It could help normals in the long run by being an actual stepping stone. One that the LFR would never be capable of being for many.
I have those nights all the time with the increased difficulty of raiding. Last tier we could not get past elegon unless we had a full group so if we were missing people, it was 4 and out. This patch so far if I do not have my mains, at least 8 of them, I would never even consider doing ToT because horridon will not go down with less then decent players. Two slightly lesser damage dealers is fine anything more is a one and out night.
We are working on making 25s now and we are stuck on the 4th boss at the moment. It has a little to do with the people, as only 18 of the 25 are people I would actually call raiders, but when it comes to flex, they are all flex type raiders. So that would be great for us moving into the next patch. Hence why I am looking forward to it.
I still say they should have left CRZ in development. It never worked in beta and should have never been released as it was. It was broken from the start and bad design from the beginning. I understand your theory that it was a test and even agree it very well might have been, but it should have been cleaned up a hell of a lot more before they inflicted the worst addition to the game ever upon us.
I agree, the new LFR gear should be equal to normal gear from the previous tier. It would help remove the feeling that it is "mandatory" for real raiders while still offering an upgrade for non-raiders.Delete
I do not mind tier being from LFR. Heck, I like it actually because no bosses have given me any and nalak is being a tight wad and not coughing up any. I am rocking a 4 piece 502 set with a 502 weapon. Everything else is 522(530) or 528(536). If not for that tier gear I might never see tier gear with my luck.
If they do not want to release new 5 mans they should at least update the item level of the drops each new raid tier. Like the next patch they should drop 502 stuff. The LFR equivalent of the previous patch. Otherwise there is no reason for many to do them.
I have many alts over 500 item level now and do you know how many dungeons I have run on them? Zero. No need to, they are useless. They need to have the gear be worth it.
There were a lot of bad times during the pug moments of wrath. I remember people asking for a gear score of 5K to do a naxx run when a 5K gear score was all ICC gear. There will always be jerks. But there were many good groups to be found too. If I, and my hate to talk to anyone mentality, can find a good group once in a while, anyone can.
Maybe I'm weird but the thing that annoys me most (well, top 5) in the game right now is having to sit around while waiting to fill a group. I've left raid groups that couldn't reliably fill 10 spots on time. I'd much rather sit in LFR queue for half an hour than wait half an hour in a raid with 7 other people while we try to fill the last 2 spots.Delete
Based on that, I don't think I'll be pugging flex even if that's an option. When I run premades I prefer to run with relatively steady groups, whether toons or the players behind them. Once that isn't an option I'm probably more likely to LFR than to pug. But again, that might just be me.
I am sure there are many like you.Delete
I am also reasonably certain that we will see a new kind of guild popping up, flex mode guilds. Ones that might try normals at some point but will usually run with whomever they have each week be it 12, or 15 or 19, or whatever.
Perhaps joining a guild like that would be great for you and many others. It will surely be the type of guild I would look to join on my alt servers. One where I can squeeze in sometimes and if I don't it won't kill them because I am not there.
Flex raiding, even when not pugging but as a guild event, is the future for many. I can see it happens for many many guilds.
"Bet you had a ton of shields/incoming heals at the time, though."Delete
Shhh you're spoiling my delusion of competence :p
I didn't check their gear either so they could have been a fresh 480, in which case I have 40 ilevels on them and no reason to feel smug.
I second your choice suggestion. Choice is the most important thing, and something blizz should really take into account more. Right now there is little choice and people don't like being told what to do. I didn't mind chaining 5 mans. If I didn't want to then I didn't but the fact that I had the option was nice. I get that blizz doesn't want us to chew through content so fast, which is why there's the daily limit on gear with hc scenarios, and weekly with LFR, as opposed to dungeons which you could run however many times you wanted, in whatever space of time you liked. I do miss that flexibility. I could gear up fast if I needed to/wanted to and I could go slow if I liked. It was in bite sized pieces as dungeons never took anywhere near LFR length, not even in the horrible days of Zuls.
I'm hopeful with flex that the choice option will return. Right now to gear for the current tier, and it'll be worse next tier, there's no choice but to LFR. There are no past tier pugs on my server. I don't want to LFR. I wish LFR would be removed from the gearing ladder, or have an alternate option to it. Having to progress through the tiers of a raid is a fine theory but sucks in practice.
Even if he was a fresh 480, which could account for being a bit on the squishy side, that is no excuse for not taunting when it is your turn to taunt. Being squishy is forgivable, not doing your job is not.Delete
Choice would be nice and as you said, we have no choice but to LFR and with as horrible as the LFR can be either in it or wait time wise, it really is not a very attractive option.
Seems I'm definitely not alone, Blessing of Kings just posted about an interesting thread on MMOC that includes some commentary on why some people prefer LFR to premades. I'm not sure I'd go that far but I'd rather run LFR than SOME premades, with LFR you know what you're in for, I have much higher expectations for premades and they often don't live up to them.Delete
You make a very valid point there. With a premade I expect to down stuff in a reasonable time frame. I expect people to perform at a certain level of ability.Delete
In the LFR I expect nothing good. I expect I will have people that out gear me and can't do half of what I do. I expect to hear at least one go go go jerk. I expect that some jackwad will pull for the tank. I expect that some "healer" will actually be a DPS that just wanted a faster queue. I expect people will be insulting everyone ever chance they get. I expect that the biggest know it all telling everyone what to do will most likely be the worst player in the group. I expect the person that screams mark me mark me over and over will be the first person to die to the maze. I expect the worst of everything this game has to offer.
So the question is, why do I still feel let down when the worst happens and I expected it? Not sure.
One thing I am sure of, any run that has decent people in it feels like heaven now, even if we wipe 10 times doing it.
So you have a point. LFR is what it is. You know there is a 50/50 chance you will get into a horrible group ahead of time and with a premade you expect some success.
I can see various reasons for the LFR. Might even still run it on alts. But without a shadow of a doubt if I can get a flex run going I will choose it over the LFR. At least I will when it is a guild run.
Why are people so convinced that CRZ/Virtual Realms is to "Save face" from having to do real server mergers? How about them doing us the favor of not forcing name changes or guild changes? How many GrumpyElfs are there on the armory (or whatever, don't know your toons). Do you get to keep your name, or do the other guys? Have you ever searched the armory for, say, Frostheim? How about guild names? How many Blacklisted's are there in the whole game? On WoW progress, I count 4 just in the first few pages? So who gets to keep their name?ReplyDelete
I just keep seeing this conspiracy theory passed around about how if you utter the word "server mergers" the world will end, even though every time someone talks about CRZ they just call it a server merger.
Are the technical details of CRZ/Virtual Realms just so far above people's heads that they can only understand the concept of a "server merger"? Why is this stuff so hard for people to grasp?
No one is "convinced" of this. No one needs to be "convinced" of this. A fact is a fact.Delete
If they are merging servers without merging servers for a virtual realm and making it work they could have actually merged servers the exact same way and make it work.
How many "paragon" guilds will there be on my new virtual realm? How many "legolas" will there be on my new virtual realm?
Who cares, they made it work with multiples of names so it doesn't matter and no one will need to change a thing.
They could have done the exact same thing and actually merged the servers but calling it a virtual realm allows them to save face.
By doing a virtual realm they do not have to shut down any servers, which is what they would do with a merge. Shutting down servers looks bad to the stockholders. Really, that is what it is all about any why I, and others, call it saving face.
No one needs "convincing" as I said. Just saying it as I see it. And as I see it, if my virtual realm can end up with three guilds named "paragon" they could have had three guilds named "paragon" with a merge just the same.
For them server merge is a dirty word because it looks bad to the investors. So virtual realm has taken its place when in fact it is a server merge without calling it such. I don't understand why that is so hard for you to grasp?
And there youa re wrong :Delete
"No one needs "convincing" as I said. Just saying it as I see it. And as I see it, if my virtual realm can end up with three guilds named "paragon" they could have had three guilds named "paragon" with a merge just the same."
Servers have their own database, you can't have duplicate in a database.
Seeing how old the game is, merging severs will mean merging the databases. To allow duplicates guild name in a databese you would have to rework the whole database which is a MASSIVE work.
Virual realm is to me an elegant solution to do have all the advantages of a server merge without the drawbacks.
Other advantage is that it will probably be more flexible, allowing to unmerge server if need be.
I know how servers work, I know how databases work.Delete
You have to remember it is not 1990 any more. I doubt they are using flat files to save data and if they are, just no. Now changing that would be massive work.
Adding a field to the data base is easy, it is not MASSIVE work. And actually there is no need to add a field as it is already in the game. Has been for years.
There is a field for last names. Last names can be changed to server names, and you merge. So you have Paragon - Thrall guild and Paragon - Loch Modan guild. See, simple. Ideal, no, simple, yes.
Nothing needs to be added, the field is already in the database. And as someone who has coded databases, it is not massive work to add a field even if you needed to. That is not guess work, that is not opinion, that is not what I heard, that is an actual fact as I have done so myself.
The real work would be in changing stuff that references it. Perhaps that will come with the next expansion because that requires a search and replace of the entire code.
The only difference between a server merge and a virtual realm is they are allowed to take it slow this way and once joined they can disallow duplicate names from that point on.
I would not be surprised if they had some special where they offered people something like a free pet to change their name, if they really wanted to keep that last name slot empty for some reason.
I can see what a hassle asking people to change names could be because I am not changing my guild name and I am not changing my characters names. If they ever said I had to, I would rather quit then let someone else take my name.
I do not even reroll on servers where my name is not available. My name is my name. It should be mine on all servers, yes, I am that selfish.
So yes, I am aware how touchy the name issue could be for them. But last names solves all that.
In the end I go back to what I said. This IS a server merge but with a different name to save face.
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
They will show as roo* to you. The inner game will read it as roo from rexxar but you will see it as just roo with a * next to it.Delete
It is basically doing what I suggested a few years ago. It gave everyone last names, their last night is the server name.
--Will Flex Raiding Destroy the LFR?ReplyDelete
Destroy... probably not. Make it worse... most likely. My ilvl is 523 but I still feel sad when I see that I'm doing 30-40k more than the #2 dps and I'm not really trying to maximize dps. If all the dps were pulling their weight, everyone would be doing about 5-6% of the total raid damage. I shouldn't be accounting for >10% by myself...
--Will there still be a CRZ when we get Virtual Realms?
I wish the answer was "no", but Blizz is really adamant about this feature. (Desolace was always desolate... it's supposed to be that way...)
--Are dungeons really dead?
Agree with Grumpy. I don't really care either way, as long as there is are appropriate options for catch up. I rejoined WoW late in Wrath and used the 15-minute wrath heroics to catch up with gear. I also didn't do dungeons in most of Cata (originals were too difficult for random groups and I hated the Zuls), but the HoTs were fun and I used them to catch up to jump into DS LFR.
--Do you think the trend against random grouping will continue?
I don't think so. Heroic scenarios came and went on my server already. Maybe there are people pugging for them on week nights, but I don't see them on weekends. I also hate sitting around in town watching trade... I've always been the type to be out in the world.
I never sat around in SW or Dal while queuing for content and I don't sit around in the Shrine now. I'm Jaeger the Explorer, Loremaster Jaeger, Jaeger the Relic Hunter, Professor Jaeger, Jaeger the Camel-Hoarder, Jaeger the Beloved... Jaeger the Achievement Whore (they should really add that one for once you hit 12000 points or something); I don't sit around on my ass in the city spamming trade.
That dps difference comes from gear. Glanced over our dps last night. 317k dps on first boss. Sure, from someone geared in close to 540 (530/500 iLvl weapons though). It's bad scaling. Compared to someone in under 500 iLvl, it's sometimes triple the dps. 523 is a huge number for LFR. Heck, you'd even be eligible for most heroic ToT bosses in that.Delete
Yeah, the scaling is crazy.Delete
The iLvL/dps gap I see just emphasizes that most geared players don't appear to run LFR anymore;heck I'm only running the last two for runestones since I don't do any normal raiding (I have one Horridon kill and 2 Jin'rokh kills...). I used to have more competition in LFRs but more and more I'm the only dps over 100k. If Flex takes off, I think the number of geared players in LFR next tier will drop off even quicker.
5-6% each is a pipe dream in the groups I have seen. I've been in a few really good groups where I might have been as low as 8% but like you, not at 100% I am usually in the 11%-15% range.
There was one run with an elemental shaman that destroyed me doing 23% and I did 18%. That is two people doing over 40% of all the damage done. Really sad.
I think a global LFG would be a decent addition for stuff like heroic scenarios. Can be out and about and still find a group. One issue with that would be, how do you keep it from becoming trade chat 2.0. It would need to be monitored. Perhaps by a community board. Something they should consider.
You would love my feral druid then. I joked with him because he didn't do 365K on the first boss last night, he only did 357K so he is slacking off. He only has a 502 weapon. Or should I say had, he finally got the 522 off horridon last night. I'll bet you he breaks 400K next time.
Yeah, I think I mentioned this before, the DPS from my original 10 man is insane. His 357 only barely beat my groups mage, and my hunter was not exactly horrible. But even doing 260K when someone is doing 357K feels like you are doing seriously shitty.
But you are right, the gear makes such a huge difference and I have said it before and will say it again. I do not like that. Gear should not make that huge of a difference.
I've seen a few insane people in the LFR. I think they go to test stuff out because I do not see why they would otherwise. Had one in tuesdays run that was in all heroic and heroic thunderforged gear and the quest cape and all. He doubled me. Doubled me!!! I have never seen anyone do that before. Doubled me and made me feel like a total noob. It was all that gear.
Of course I'd love your druid! If I could get someone with <510 iLvl (iirc, 507 was it? I may be wrong) in my group that did 350k+ dmg on dodge-em hc Jin, I'd moan and groan to my RL till he kicked every last dps. As it is, we usually bring someone new / undergeared to the fight every week so we still get two lightning phases, killing it off about when the third pool is up.Delete
Heh, that reminds me the first time we killed it, we came up with this bright idea of stacking and healing through it, and the this was the end result: http://i439.photobucket.com/albums/qq113/JamesRJay/WoWScrnShot_032713_231842_zpsa56e9209.jpg (it's pretty small, but you can probably see the stacking pile of bodies on the side).
Oh, I think I misrepresented that. The feral in question I referred to as mine was mine as in he is in my raid group. It was not me on mine. I could never be that good at feral. Nope, not in a million years. He is 518 or so I believe.Delete
Sorry for the confusion.
I still have not figured what my off spec on my druid is. I've been a healer and a feral back and forth for years. In the end, I am a bear and that is all I am.
For some reason the image would not show while I am on my work computer, will have to come back and look later when I am on a different computer.
-Are dungeons really dead?ReplyDelete
I hope not. I loved the Wrath and Cata late dungeons and have been crushed that they have not had them in this expansion. They did this in a very pre-calculated method because no one would run all the old LFR's if they came out with late expan quick five mans for people to catch up on. I hope they see it as a mistake from the feedback they've gotten and do something different for non-raiders the next time around.
-Do you think the trend against random grouping will continue?
Again, i hope not. Having been spoiled with good accessible random content in Wrath, Cata and the beginning of this expansion, the mid expansion patches have been brutal. I have zero desire to spend an hour waiting for a group to assemble or sit in the trade channel and find somebody to run a heroic scenario with, I don't even think the scenarios are fun, why would i invest extra time in it. Maybe Blizzard has data that most people sit and play for four or five hours at a stretch so they don't care if they have to waste an hour of that time, but i only have an hour or two max a night and have no desire to spend it all trying to get group together. I hope we get back to having some solid, relatively quick-to-play through random content in the near future.
I'm really worried about the direction the game is taking this expansion. They seem to be trying a lot of different things, lots of LFR, tons of dailies, scenarios, but it all seems to be falling flat. Its like they take a good idea and then just brow beat us with it until it isn't fun at all. I really hope they take stock of the feedback they've gotten this expansion and bring better balance to the next expansion. Some raiding, some five mans, some scenarios, some dailies. Variety is the spice of life.
I understand why they did it, what I am having an issue with is the obsession to try and keep their outdated LFRs that will only get harder to finish as less skilled players are in them, remain part of the gearing process.Delete
They should be there as options to do them for people that want to, but should be removed from the gearing process. Even more so next patch being they are now two patches old.
I personally like the heroic scenarios but I admit it is for purely selfish reasons. It is easy for me to make groups as I have a large guild with many people always on and I like being able to valor cap in less than 2 hours again. God how I missed being able to do that.
Exactly what you said, they take a great idea and go over board with it and forget about other things. How many LFRs do we really need? Where did our end expansion 5 mans go? Dailies are nice content for some and hell for others, why so damn many? I like pet battles and do them, but do we really need new pet battle content every patch? Did they even consider saving some stuff for next expansion?
They always go over board and have no concept of pacing. They also seem to forget what worked in the past and have a "but what have you done for me lately" outlook about them, which is why we have no new 5 mans even if they have always been a staple of content.
I miss random 5-maning. Unlike it seems a lot of other people, I use it as a mechanism to meet new people. Unlike most people in them, I actually *talk* and interact with other people. Some people don't respond, but every day or so, I'd get a really awesome group that just jelled and we'd have a blast talking, joking, etc. We'd often run more than one in a row just to continue the fun. I've met some of my best in game friends that way.ReplyDelete
Exchange some contact information and I now have lots of friends on many different servers that I can ask to pug anytime and I know how well they play. It means I'm not limited to just finding people to join my guild or be on my server.
I seriously miss it from this xpack and forcing me to find people on my server to do content with on a daily basis is super annoying. Somedays I want quick and anonymous, somedays I don't, but no days do I want to miss out on doing things in a quick and efficient manner just to please someone's idea of how the game should be played and the amount of socialization I should have.
I love when a completely random group of people turn out to be awesome together - but then I like unexpected pleasant surprises. Large groups cannot ever do the same thing. Especially random 25 man, that's hopeless for socializing. No intimacy.
Most top level 5 mans no one wants to talk. I've met a lot of great people in low level 5 mans however.Delete
Most of the time when I do 5 mans I do the polite thing and say hello at the start and thanks for the run at the end and those are the only words that ever appear in chat. No one else ever says anything.
You are right about some 5 mans really clicking when big groups can't do that. It sure seems that way. I've run a tone of LFRs and my experiences of one of those great groups that talk are few and far between. I've had a few but it is usually me with a group of new people and not jackasses so I can explain and lead. Then people see there are no jerks and they start to talk.
I think that is a lot of it. People, myself included, would rather keep quiet because it is easier then ending up in a fight with some internet jerk that will take issue with whatever you say and start trouble even if you only said hello. It is like speaking in chat makes you a target. So might as well keep your mount shut. I live by that in 25s. I do not speak unless I need to. In a five man you can usually feel out of the group is good to talk in or not a lot easier.
I think I may have a good news story for Virtual Realms vs CRZ (assuming it replaces CRZ, which I hope happens).ReplyDelete
With virtual realms, you'll have a larger population pool but with a normal distribution (statistically) of player population doing any one particular activity. So, X% will be doing dailies, Y% will be leveling, Z% will be pet battling, etc.
I ran into a major issue on an alt this weekend... I'm leveling another monk casually on another server and mostly through the monk daily lately so she has outleveled her gear by a huge amount, making the monk daily quests a surprising grind. Decided to quest a bit to pick up some gear (or at least a better weapon - no heirlooms there) and to catch up on mining, it had fallen behind as well.
And good lord, mining... I was stuck in the Fel Iron range and needed about 25 points to get to Adamantite and finish out the range I needed, so I needed about 50 points total.
It took most of 6-8 hours to get 50 points. It seemed EVERYONE in Outlands was there specifically to mine no matter what zone I tried... there were herb nodes all over the place but ore nodes? Not so much and more than once 3 of us flew to a node at once. I don't see that happening in the first week of a new patch in the new zones!
I think I've figured out the problem. These days, the main reason to BE in Outlands is to farm ore - ore prices in that range seem to be pretty good. CRZ will fill a zone based on population expectation within Blizzard... without factoring in what that population would be doing, as far as I can tell. If normally 10% of the toons in a zone would be farming, in this case it may have been 80% which meant there'd be 8x more farmers than Blizzard would have anticipated and it made my day very unrewarding.
I don't think Virtual Realms will save this, necessarily, but at least it hopefully won't enforce a particular population in a zone and throw off the balance quite that much. You may still get 80% mining in a zone but the number of miners should be lower.
This may also be the reason I hear so many CRZ complaints from the people looking for rare spawn pets... similar reason, if there isn't much other reason for someone to be in that particular zone, it's a pretty solid guess that almost everyone there will be there for that specific pet.
It's also possible that Blizzard already factors this in somehow and things are working as intended but damn, I hope not.