Memories of Azeroth, the special raid celebrating the 15th anniversary of WoW, was quite different than the LFR version of Molten Core that was part of the 10th anniversary celebration. Having three wings instead of one long instance is huge in opening it up to more players, and I think that’s a good thing. Molten Core LFR was tuned too difficult in my opinion: casual players should be able to experience an anniversary celebration. The tuning on Memories of Azeroth felt very much in line with LFR. There were wipes, but groups could consistently finish it.
The idea behind the raid was pretty fantastic. Three wings, each featuring one of the first three expansions in World of Warcraft. As far as I know, this is the first time WoW has had a sort of boss rush too. In each wing, all three bosses had to be downed without wiping. However, you only see certain phases of the bosses and not all. Between bosses, all CDs are reset, and anyone who died is rezzed.
What seemed off to me was that some fights were so boring and easy that I never saw a wipe on them.
Memories of Fel / The Burning Crusade: Lady Vashj, Kael’thas, Archimonde. This was the easiest wing. I’m not sure I saw a wipe on Lady Vashj or Kael’thas. If so, I didn’t see many.
Memories of Frost / Wrath of the Lich King: Heigan, Anub’arak, The Lich King. This was the weirdest difficulty. Heigan should be incredibly simple. The “dance” of the fight is to simply stand in the one safe quadrant, moving with the group. The safe quadrant shifts in order. But there were wipes. Then there’s Anub’arak. Not only were there definitely no wipes, but there was no challenge at all. That fight is incredibly boring. And then we get to The Lich King, with many, many wipes to defile. Aw, the memories. Wiping is frustrating, but adding some challenge made it fun, and calling out defiles and teaching people was satisfying. Anub’arak was the worst part of this wing. It felt like a waste of time.
Memories of Fire / Cataclysm: Cho’gall, Nefarian, Ragnaros. This wing mirrored the last one pretty closely, except Cho’gall is much easier than Heigan. I’m not sure if we had wipes on him or not. But Nefarian… I don’t even think I saw any mechanics because it was so simple. However, the room filling with lava and later draining made a fun sort of timer so we could be in a DPS race with out past selves in an effort to do better than last time. Ragnaros was challenging for some people, and I don’t mind some wipes as people learn an encounter.
It was a nice stroll through past memories and it makes me long to see full versions of some of those fights. Complex, multi-phase fights felt gutted. I miss the rest of Arthas! Memories of Azeroth makes me with we had more timewalking raids – but broken into wings so I don’t have to do them in one go like Black Temple or Ulduar.
And for my trouble – an Obsidian Worldbreaker! Who wouldn’t love a Deathwing mount of their own? It’s pretty cool!
Warlords of Draenor sounds very cool and seems to be bringing a lot of great things. I don’t intend for this post to rehash all the news released at BlizzCon, but I still want to talk about my reaction.
I love the direction of the story; Garrosh escapes and, with the help of the Timewalker Kairoz, travels back in time to Draenor. He stops the orcs from becoming corrupted by the Burning Legion and forms the Iron Horde. He then builds his own Dark Portal connecting that Draenor to our Azeroth. I know that anything relating to time travel can be confusing to people, but I kind of like that Blizzard basically told us not to worry about it and that there wouldn’t be any time paradoxes or consequences. I like it. It’s just an excuse for us to visit Draenor and interact with all the old orcs. Of course, this gives us a lot of potential. Seeing ruthless, old-fashioned orcs should be fun, and of course, experiencing Draenor will be great.
It could also be a vehicle for some interesting character development. What if Garrosh finds his father’s not what he expected? What if Grom thinks Garrosh is a failure? It’ll be fascinating. I also think Blizzard has a chance to do something great with Thrall. Thrall never had the chance to know his parents. We know Durotan is going to side with our Horde, but what if he’s different than Thrall imagined? Even if he’s a good guy, what if he’s still ruthless? What if he thinks the Horde is too soft? In addition, some characters could stick around after the end of the expansion. For example, Durotan could come through the Dark Portal to live on Azeroth.
I’m also fascinated by the idea of circumstance shaping a person, and I hope Warlords of Draenor examines this. I’d like to see some characters act very differently than they did in the original timeline due to the changed events in their lives.
Stats and itemization
Hit was always a boring stat to me. There was no strategy or choice. You just had to get hit-capped. I’m glad to see it and its fellow not-fun stats removed. Movement speed could be a fun stat on gear as well. Plus, being able to move quickly and get back to DPSing or healing means a DPS/HPS boost.
Having gear change to match the wearer’s current spec is very interesting. It means you can use more gear but that there’s more competition. Ultimately, I think it’ll make the game much more offspec-friendly.
Reforging seemed more needless than useful. On the other hand, it is nice to be able to change from a haste build to a crit build without changing gear. I almost feel like it would work better like changing specs. When you’re out of combat, you can could change builds. Oh well. We’ll have to see what it’s like for gems and enchants to be less common as well.
Garrisons are effectively the Sunsong Ranch farm crossed with the companion mission system of TOR (or other games) with a dash of Warcraft RTS. Sounds intriguing. I liked the farm even though it felt like a grind at times, so I’m optimistic about this. Honestly, it’s more of an evolution of the idea of keeps and followers from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. It could be pretty fun.
Updated character models
Honestly, I don’t really care about this. I don’t understand it. My character is a pretty portion of my screen. When I play D&D, my representation is, at most, a small metal figure that isn’t even using an accurate weapon half the time. However, a lot of people do care, so I’m glad Blizzard’s doing it.
Boost to 90
I completely understand how some people are bothered by this, but I’m not at all. I’ve never had two characters at the level cap. With the character boost, I’m more likely to get a second to level 100. It’d be nice to check out some other styles of play, because I’ve only ever had my priest at endgame. In addition, being able to boost to 90 combined with updated character models mean that people who haven’t played WoW before can immediately begin playing what is effectively a new, modern game. That’s great.
Collections and quest items
These might be my favorite changes. Currently, mounts and pets are in collections rather than items. In Warlords of Draenor, toys, heirlooms, and possibly tabards will be in collections as well. That’s so much bag space I’ll be regaining. In addition, quest items won’t take up bag space. Finally. I’m pretty excited. The only downside is that I lost all those toys I earned previously. Maybe Blizzard could check that I did those quests and award me the toys. Please, Blizzard?
LFR is still LFR. Flex will be called Normal. Normal will be called Heroic. Heroic will be called Mythic. LFR, Normal, and Heroic will all be flexible (1o to 25 people) and cross-realm. Mythic will not be cross-realm and will be 20 people. As a normal-mode raider currently (so a heroic-mode raider next expansion) in a guild that struggles with attendance, this is great news. We recruit so we have 15-20 people, and then we take everyone every week. Awesome! I do feel bad for current 10-man heroic guilds, but it won’t be my problem at least.
Dailies and dynamic events
Dailies will not be widely used. Great. Dynamic events like those from the Timeless Isle will exist in the world. Also great if not overdone. In addition, they talked about wanting to combine the ideas behind the Isle of Thunder and the Timeless Isle. I think Blizzard is on to something, and I like to see them iterating on the way content is delivered. A combination of these two is exactly what I want.
The map will tell you where the next story quest is, and it also indicates how many story chapters you’ve completed. This is awesome news. In Mists of Pandaria, I finished all the zones before I started raiding, and I only did a dungeon once I got to it in the story. It made for a nice, cohesive experience, but it also meant I took longer to get raid-ready. In Warlords of Draenor, I’ll skip all the non-story quests and come back to them. This should speed up the process significantly.
PVP interface updates
I don’t know how anyone could have a problem with being able to see capping progress on the map and on the flags themselves. This is a welcome change.
Warlords of Draenor
I’m pretty excited about all the aspects of the expansion. I’ll admit, things could go wrong. The quests could be boring, or the new content delivery mechanisms could be boring. I won’t know until I see the content. But I’m feeling hyped to experience it. Of course, I’d like to defeat Garrosh in normal-mode first!
Rohan notes that there’s room for bad healers or DPS in LFR but not tanks. He speculates that increasing the number of tanks (while keeping encounters tuned for two) would make tanking more forgiving and possibly yield more people queuing as tanks. It’s a great idea.
I like that LFR is included, and I think it’s a great feature. That said, the experience is usually infuriating. People are usually under-geared, which is to be expected, but they also don’t know what to do and don’t listen to instructions. Honestly, LFR is open to everyone, and many people have never raided outside of LFR. I understand that it can be daunting. What gets to me, however, is when we wipe so many times and fall apart so much that it takes 2 or 3 hours to complete a wing. This happens pretty frequently, and it’s especially bad now that we’re in a new tier. Everyone’s yelling at each other, we have four stacks of determination, half the group drops, and I just want to finish.
Tuesday night after our raid, I decided to do the Vale of Eternal Sorrows in LFR. I was great on Immerseus, and we completed it in one attempt with no problems. The Fallen Protectors also went very smoothly, but I was beginning to get tired. We had no problems on Norushen either, but I was incredibly sloppy. I didn’t switch to adds, and I didn’t do anything but spam Smite and occasionally cast Penance or Holy Fire on the boss. By the time we got to the Sha of Pride, I was falling asleep. Sometimes I cast Smite on the Sha. Most of the time I did nothing. Yes, I was stacked at the correct spot, but I didn’t move. I didn’t fight the add. I didn’t use my healing CDs. Pretty much, I just slept.
Whoops. I was the bad that got carried last night.
Balkoth discusses an idea he got from Theck at Flex Capacitor (who got it from someone named Thels). What if you got your shot at LFR loot (and/or Flex) when you downed a boss in normal or heroic if you hadn’t done that boss in LFR that week (or Flex)? Raiders would still be encouraged to step up in difficulty but no longer down. Great idea. I’m so mad at Blizzard for not doing something like this already.
The answer to the last question has information that’s good to keep in mind – the ilvls for Siege of Orgrimmar. Raid Finder: 528,. Flex: 540. Flex Hellscream Weapons: 548. Normal: 553. Normal Warforged / Ordos: 559. Normal Hellscream Weapons: 561. Heroic: 566. Heroic Warforged: 572. Heroic Hellscream Weapons: 574.
I’ve been wondering lately how much LFR helps me. For a while there’s a decent amount of pieces that are upgrades, but how big of an advantage do I get over simply waiting until I get that upgrade from normal mode? The more important pieces are likely the tier pieces. Right now, if I obtain the LFR tier pants, I’d get a huge upgrade. That’s not simply because the legs are better than my current legs. In fact, I have normal mode legs right now, so they’d be lower iLVL. First, that would be my fourth piece, so I’d get my four-piece set bonus. More importantly is what else it would allow me to wear. What if I had a normal mode tier piece sitting in my bags that I wasn’t using because I didn’t have four-piece? Not only would obtaining a fourth piece let me wear that fourth piece, it would also allow me to wear the third piece.
Currently I’m running LFR if I have a chance at getting an upgrade, but I’m considering the idea of not running LFR anymore. I don’t mean this tier, but it’d be nice to run it once in a while next tier but stop doing it weekly. It would take some self convincing, but it would also give me more free time to do something I enjoy rather than trekking through a grind that I don’t enjoy. I’ll need to think more about it.
Blizzard just announced Flexible Raids. Flexible Raids is a new raid difficulty for 10-25 players. Loot works like LFR, and you can participate cross-realm, but there is no matchmaking service. The difficulty scales with the number of people in the group, and item level of gear will be between LFR and normal mode. In addition, Flexible Raids are on their own lockout.
What does this mean?
You’re no longer obligated to run either 10-man or 25-man raids. Guilds now have the flexibility to run with however many people they want.
Except that’s not quite true.
Let’s say a 25-man guild doesn’t have enough people to raid on a particular raid night. Yes, they could run a Flexible Raid. However, would it be better to run the flex as a whole group or send 10 people into normal mode where they’ll get better gear? Maybe it has to do with how many people are available. If there’s between 20 and 25, maybe they should try to run two normal modes. I don’t know; I’m not in a 25-man guild.
What about 10-man guilds? There are two scenarios to consider. First, what if there aren’t enough people to raid? Well, if we’re under 10 people, the Flexible Raid isn’t going to help. If we have more than 10 people, why would we want to get worse gear? Wouldn’t we rather the 10 more regular raiders have a chance at better gear in normal mode?
I think this is going to become another obligation. Blizzard says I’m not obligated to run LFR, but I still need a lot of gear from it even though I’m in a 10-man guild. While I don’t always do LFR, I try to run it every week. If the flex raid is going to drop better gear, shouldn’t I be doing it too? I suppose this could bond a different set of people. If 10 core guild raiders were online and wanted to raid, we could raid normal. If I wanted to do LFR, I could just queue. The flex raid would give me a reason to make friends with a wider community. Right now, I don’t interact with WoW players outside of my guild very often. There have been guilds in the past that PUG’d me regularly, but currently I’m not in touch with anyone. With flex raids feeling required but lacking a matchmaking service, I could see reaching out to other bloggers, for example, to add Battletag friends. But I have to be honest. Most weeks I don’t valor cap or complete LFR. What makes me think I have time to schedule a flex raid?
This seems really odd to me. I’d be ecstatic if they had followed Rohan’s idea of 7 to 13 people. Blizzard’s implementation won’t really help my guild and will likely feel like a burden I can’t fulfill. It’s an interesting first iteration of the scaling feature regardless. Even if I don’t have time to schedule anything, maybe a guildie will occasionally ask me to join a flex raid, but I don’t see it happening lately. It’s hard to judge a feature without experiencing it, but it seems to me that Blizzard took an interesting idea and executed it poorly.
It’s almost always full of wipes, jerks, and waiting for spots to fill. I did have an interesting run last week though. There was one person who was particularly arrogant and bad. He continually called himself number one despite never being anywhere near the top of the chart. In fact, he made a lot of mistakes, pulled early, and was a huge problem. I’ll just call him… “Rotdik.” Luckily, Blizzard has given me the skills to deal with these people when I don’t want to raid with them.
I stood in the pheromones and watched my health tick down. When it was pretty low and Rotdik’s still nearly full, I used Void Shift to swap health with him. Normally one of the other healers would just heal him back to full, right? Wrong, because I used Leap of Faith to pull him into the pheromones when he was a tick away from death. At full health, I simply walked out while he took the tick and died.
I like getting new gear, and I like knowing what gear I need. Specifically, I like knowing what bosses, dungeons, or raid bosses I no longer need to worry about. Back in 3.3, I reached a point where I was very rarely seeing anything drop that I needed. This was when I decided to start tracking gear upgrades.
Because I wanted to complete Loremaster of Pandaria, running dungeons only once I reached them in a story, I didn’t really need to worry about gear until I finished questing. That happened on the 4th, and I quickly made this spreadsheet. By the 10th, about one week later, my item level was high enough to queue for LFR. While I’ve run every instance, I actually haven’t run every heroic. I keep queuing for random heroics, but I haven’t been given heroic Shado-pan Monastery yet. That doesn’t bother me; it’s just an observation. I’ve completed the LFR of Mogu’shan Vaults and am hoping to be able to continue in LFR soon.
There are some areas that I’ve barely touched. For one, I haven’t PVP’d much. When I don’t need to run heroics so much, then I can run battlegrounds. I’ve only done one scenario. Again, I’ll do that later. Dailies are something that I really need to tackle more. I’m focusing on the Klaxxi first, but I’ve only spent a few days on them really.
Regardless of the amount of content left, I like seeing my gear spreadsheet shrink. It lists all possible upgrades, where to get each upgrade, notes BiS per raid level, and ranks each item. The nice thing about ranking is that when I get a new piece of gear, I don’t need to compare it to any thing else. If I get a piece ranked 4th in my spreadsheet, I can delete the items ranked 1st through 4th and update the numbers accordingly. (Maybe I should have ranked them the other way, but it is what it is until I change it.) There are only 22 more items I need from heroics! That sounds like a lot, but it’s nice to see it shrink. Hopefully it gets a lot smaller this weekend! (And really, there are only 214 more upgrades in the game for me. That’s only a handful, right?)
After obtaining Loremaster, doing all the dungeons, and gearing, Mooglegem and I were finally able to enter Mogu’shan Vaults. It was an enjoyable raid, although I’d probably need to run it a few more times to fully form an opinion.
When Mooglegem died, I took it upon myself to cremate my body. Don’t worry; no trolls were hurt in the recording of this picture.
We wiped a couple times on The Spirit Kings due to some bugs. We couldn’t get everyone in the room at the start of the fight. That’s fine except that when you get the boss down to 0% and people are locked out of the room, it counts as a wipe. I took the time to transform the entire raid using Hallow’s End wands. I almost got through all my wands!
When all was said and done, I managed to score two items from LFR. I’d call that a success!
Everyday WoW Insider offers a Breakfast Topic for discussion. Here’s today’s topic by Matthew Rossi
Have I been trained by the Call to Arms rewards? Am I a Pavlovian tank, demanding my bribe bag before I sign up to do my job? Have any of you tanks or healers felt yourself acting this way, refusing to queue unless fabulous prizes await?
In short, yes, of course.
Things were different when the Valor Points were my primary goal. At that time, I’d try to queue when there was a Call to Arms for healers active, but if I was short on time and needed my VP, I’d queue anyways. Now Valor Points are worthless. Very rarely do I do any actual endgame. If I do play WoW, I’m doing battlegrounds or working on loremaster. If I happen to see the Call to Arms, I might do a heroic – perhaps one every three weeks. I definitely wouldn’t waste my time on a heroic if there wasn’t a bag offered.
On the other hand, I’ve never received anything of value from a bag either.
On a similar note, I’ve run LFR just for fun a couple times since the guild stopped raiding. Sometimes I give Madness one try, but often I drop group when we get there. I’m doing it for fun. Madness is no fun with people who can’t succeed. Dropping group solves that problem.
After we finished the third boss of the Siege of Wyrmrest Temple, I alt-tabbed out for a second. When I came back, I started to run to the portal when I received a summon to the Eye of Eternity to kill Hagara. I took the summon, and then I looked at the TV. And when I looked back, there was a dragon. Was there always a dragon as part of the pre-Hagara trash? …named Malygos?
It was actually much more fun than doing any Dragon Soul boss. It had been a while since I had fought Malygos. There were only eight of us in the 25-man, but it was still easy.
As it turns out, I had never fought Malygos in 25-man! I earned The Spellweaver’s Downfall (25 player) and A Poke in the Eye (25 player). Fun day!
I’m excited about the new loot updates! Some of this was announced before, but some more details were given.
Players no longer compete with other players for loot from world bosses or the raid finder.
You can purchase bonus loot chances
Valor can upgrade equipment but not purchase equipment
Loot Rule Changes
The loot changes for the raid finder are huge. Currently you have to roll need on everything because everyone else will too. Then at the end, there’s an additional boss – convince someone to trade with you.
In the new system, after a boss dies you have a chance to get loot. This chance has nothing to do with other players. If the game determines that you win loot, you get a random piece of loot from the loot table that the game considers appropriate for your class and spec.
This will make the raid finder much, much better. The only real problem is that you can’t use it to get gear that’s not appropriate. If I want DPS gear, I’ll have to run as shitty DPS rather than good healer. (Although this seems to be a much deeper design flaw in the game.) They mentioned the possibility of a toggle allowing you to designate that you’re willing to accept any usable equipment. While not being able to receive non-spec appropriate gear could be seen as a negative, I really like this new system.
There will be Charms of Good Fortune that are purchasable with tokens from dailies that can be used for an additional chance at loot in the new loot system. If you use it, you’ll always get something – some gold, a flask, or possibly loot. My guess is that it’ll use the same probability as a normal roll except you’ll get gold or a flask in place of nothing.
I don’t know how often I’ll use these. I believe they only work in the Raid Finder, so they don’t really matter that much. I don’t think they hurt the game any though, so they should be fine.
Finally. “Some recent games have incorporated a similar feature.” Yes, we noticed.
Blizzard has gone back and forth on this, and it seems that you’ll need to raid for the top quality gear. No gear will be available for Valor Points. Instead, VP can be used to upgrade your gear by roughly eight points. Raid Finder gear can be made better but not as good as normal mode gear, normal mode gear can be made better but not as good as heroic mode gear, and heroic mode gear can be made better but not as good as the next tier’s gear.
I’m optimistically excited about this change. The best gear should come from raiding, because that makes the gear seem more important than gear that’s sitting around the city. When the gear’s in the city, it brings up the question that I always have in RPGs: if I’m trying to save the world, can’t you just give me some gear, jerk? However, isn’t the system we already have? Valor Points can be used to fill some holes, but it’s very good. There are some pieces are in Raid Finder BiS for me, but come on, I’m using Raid Finder best-in-slot! The actual aspect of using VP to improve gear is very exciting. It’ll add an additional choice to the game – should I improve my gear or wait for the next drop I want?
This was by far the most exciting news. In Mists’ final patch, we will lay siege to Orgrimmar to remove Garrosh Hellscream as Warchief. What an awesome move! I’m really curious to find out how he falls that far out of favor with the entire Horde. Some of this was planned for a while. Chris Metzen said “We always knew we would make him Warchief, but that would be a short reign. It’s not his Horde.” It would have been nice to see Hellscream hand over the leadership and take up a military position or something of that sort, but this solution works well too. The development of Varian also sounds fantastic. In the same interview, Metzen says that Varian will say something along the lines of “Protect the kids. We’re not here to conquer these people; we’re here to bring down a guy that needs bringin’ down.”
Two new battlegrounds – also great news! Temple of Power is set in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. In it, the Horde and Alliance battle for a powerful artifact. The artifact sits in the middle of the battleground with the two factions’ graveyards on either end. When someone picks up the artifact, they start earning points for their team. However, holding the artifact also causes damage to the holder; the longer they hold it, the more damage they start taking. In addition, the farther from the center the holder runs, the less points they’ll earn for their team. This keeps them engaged. It sounds like a fun new battleground gets its inspiration from a FPS match type just like most of the other battlegrounds.
On a similar note, have you heard of payload maps in TF2? Well, tha’s what you’re getting in Silvershard Mine. The Silvershard Mine is an abandoned Venture Co. mine in Stranglethorn Vale, and the Horde and Alliance are fighting over it for resources. Standing near the mine cart moves it forward; get it to the end, and you win. In addition, enemies can flip switches to make it take a longer path. This also sounds like a lot of fun.
This is particularly interesting I think. Instead of rolling against other players, you simply have a chance to win a random piece of loot usable by your spec. Quite the departure from normal loot mechanics, but a good one for the Raid Finder.
This weekend I did LFR as I always do. It was terrible. I enjoyed having the opportunity to see Dragon Soul at first, but I stopped having fun in LFR a while ago.
The trash is incredibly boring. The bosses are not challenging. We only wipe if a large portion of the group has no idea what they’re doing. There’s very little I need (two rings). The upgrades I do need aren’t even that helpful. (And of course, my computer can’t handle 25s very well.)
It seems to me that there’s two reasons to do anything in World of Warcraft. The biggest reason to do anything is that you enjoy it. The secondary reason is the reason on which Blizzard depends to keep us all paying; we do things we don’t enjoy because it will help us do the things we do enjoy. This is called “grinding.”
I like raiding. I like the increasing challenge of pushing ahead, and I like experiencing new content for the design, story, and lore. Doing LFR was great because it was a way to see Dragon Soul. However, there’s no challenge in it. Yes, there are still wipes, but they’re never because of me. The only reason to do LFR is for equipment upgrades and Valor Points. But upgrades are only important because they help you to do better. Grinding for upgrades falls into the second category of why we play World of Warcraft. However, I’m not raiding normal Dragon Soul at all. I’m not in a raid group currently, and PuGs all seem to want the full achievement. I suppose I could try talking a PuG into taking me, but it just doesn’t seem worth the trouble. The most Dragon Soul I’m seeing is LFR, and I’m obviously able to complete that easily every week. If that’s the case, why try for upgrades? Upgrades aren’t going to help me in normal mode because I’m not doing normal mode, and they’re not going to help me in LFR because it’s already not a problem.
Why even do LFR then? Well, that’s exactly what I’m wondering. I’m going to try to stop doing things that I don’t enjoy. Some small grinds might be worth it. For example, I’ll continue doing the Love is in the Air holiday boss for the chance at the mount. However, I’m not going to make a big deal about working LFR and other heroics into my week. I don’t even need Valor Points anymore, so is it really worth stressing over LFR for two rings that I don’t even really need?
There’s a part of me that wants to be as best equipped as possible, but is being “BiS LFR” really worth saying?
I don’t have access to Blizzard’s data to know whether or not LFR is successful. I suspect it is, and I have some personal examples to back this claim.
First, my guild has stopped raiding. While it’s possible that this was partly due to people not caring about Dragon Soul as much after seeing it in LFR, this is also the reason why I can thank LFR. I’m unable to raid normal mode currently, but at least I’ve seen it in LFR. Of course, the same can be said about Mooglegem and our other raiders.
The better story, however, is a friend of mine in a 5-man guild. He plays every Friday night with his small guild of close friends. They don’t want to recruit people they don’t know, they don’t want to merge with another guild, but they don’t want to leave their guild. Many hardcore WoW players might find this odd, but I don’t think it’s such a rare scenario. He had never raided before, and I told him about LFR.
Last weekend he ran LFR for the first time. While it can seem very easy for those who have done normal mode, it was exciting for him and he was focused the whole time on his role, not even having the time to look around and enjoy the scenery. I’m sure as he continues to run LFR, he’ll become accustomed to it and get the chance to look at the detail and enjoy the encounters.
It looks like Carpe Flux Capacitor is taking a break from raiding. The last few weeks we’ve been unable to raid due to lack of attendance. Our guild leader took a vote to see if we wanted officially to take a break. The idea is that if we don’t do this officially, we’ll continue to waste our time showing up, and then the people who have been showing up will get tired and quit. While I want to raid, I agree with her thinking; I voted in favor of the break as well.
There’s a lot of joking that The Old Republic killed us, but the people who are playing ToR all login for raids. We’ve just been dwindling, and not everyone makes it every week. I think LFR is contributing. There are three reasons to raid.
Gear for the next raid
Experience the fights and lore
The actual “game” of achieving progressive challenges
Being that Dragon Soul is the last raid of the expansion, there’s no reason to use it to gear up. We will not this gear to be able to do the next raid because Mists of Pandaria’s greens will be better than what we can get here. I don’t agree with this point because it seems to me that if we only raided to be able to do proceeding raids, then why raid at all? Still, I believe this is one of the reasons people raid, and one of the reasons why we don’t have the attendance now.
As for experiencing the fights and lore, LFR killed this. We’ve all experienced Dragon Soul already. Yeah, there are obviously mechanical differences (and I’d really love to see Deathwing roll), but the story is the same. We’ve seen it. There goes that incentive.
What’s left is pure game. Doing normal mode solely for the challenge of pushing ourselves. This is all that’s left. Even if we finished normal mode, this would push us to do heroic as well. It doesn’t look like this reason is enough.
In general, I like LFR, but I think it contributed to this. Regardless, it’s done it for me as well. I like the idea of raiding, but the break is nice too!
Saturday’s Breakfast Topic on WoW Insider was on parts of WoW that are chores or grinds. I don’t think the chores are separate than the parts I enjoy. That isn’t to say that I enjoy the chores. It’s just that WoW requires players to do the same things again and again until fun things become terrible.
I was going to write about this anyways, but it fits in well here:
LFR was fun. LFR is a chore.
Grinding normal mode has a reason. Usually, unless you’re heroically geared from the previous tier, you don’t clear normal mode right away. You work at it, and as you do, you get better gear. Eventually the gear (along with skill) allows you progress further in normal mode.
LFR allows any group to immediately succeed and finish. Why bother gearing then? I suppose for normal mode, but it’s just so, so, so boring at this point. I still do it because I want to get better gear. And luckily, I’m almost done. There’s a ring from LFR that’s an upgrade, and then I’ll be done with both Valor Points and LFR drops. However, it’s been boring for a while now.
How do we fix this chore?
I suppose we get rid of LFR loot. Valor Point I understand and like. Yeah, the three 5-mans seem like chores now too, but at least I get some choices. I can raid the current tier, I can do random heroics, I can do LFR, and I can do Baradin Hold. All of these things give Valor Points. However, if you need LFR loot, you have to do LFR. This should be fixed!
But what’s next? No more drops from raids at all? Stupid!
That’s not exactly what I mean. In normal or heroic raids, at least you’re making progress (in theory). It’s never ridiculously easy. If it was, you’d plow through until you got to the boss on which you were working.
LFR doesn’t help in LFR, because you’re able to plow right through LFR. I don’t think you should have to grind the same boring thing over and over for a single piece of loot. I’m happy to have normal and heroic raid bosses drop real loot, but things that are purely for grinding should award Valor Points, allowing people to choose from a variety of things to grind.
Here’s my solution: Leave tier tokens in LFR. Have more VP gear. Done!
As an aside, how about giving Valor Points for completing specific heroics, but not as much as a random? Just a thought.
This patch introduced the Looking for Raid tool, which is great. It allows people who weren’t able to raid previously to raid. It allows people who already raid to minor upgrades faster. Because tier pieces from LFR will satisfy set bonus requirements along with normal mode pieces, it allows raiders to reach their four-piece bonus faster. However, this creates an interesting problem.
When a tier token drops in normal, should a raider who already has the LFR version pass on the token to allow someone who doesn’t have tier 13 for that slot at all a chance? This would help people reach their set bonuses faster as well as give pieces to people who need them the most. However, there’s another side to this. What if person A runs LFR every week, and person B never runs LFR. Person B might have an initial advantage because they’ll get the LFR T13, but in the long run, person B will be better off because they’ll be able to collect 4-piece normal T13 while person A is stuck in LFR T13.
I was thinking about this yesterday so I brought it up with my raid leader / guild leader. As it turns out, she’s been thinking about the same problem. It’s a difficult one, and she plans on asking how the raid team feels. Many of us already pass on loot to let less-geared members have gear. I think we’re all a nice bunch. However, I don’t like the idea of having to always pass on all my tier gear. Last week we ran the LFR all together during our raid time. If we keep doing this, perhaps it won’t be a problem.
I’m still not sure how Carpe Flux Capacitor will handle this. We’ll see how the raid team as a whole feels. I’m sure various raid teams out there will handle this differently. I’m curious what others are planning to do.