How Long will LFR Stay Required?

Yesterday Zarhym replied to a stupid troll so he could post about how people tend to treat LFR and why they shouldn’t feel as though it’s required. He subsequently tweeted this to his many followers, and it became quite popular throughout the twitter sphere, spawning responses at Gamebreaker TV and at Wow Insider. I rather liked Zarhym’s original post, and thought it was respectful and discussion oriented with a lot of very effective points (particularly with reference to normal modes). However, I also thought he was wrong.

When I read his post originally, I thought he was claiming that right now, HM raiders have no reason to do LFR. This is just factually wrong; every raider worth their salt has done a ton of LFR and plans to do so for some time. LFR is part of our raid week right now.

I have this personality flaw where I’m unable to witness people being wrong on the internet without replying. And so I posted in reply, laid out several reasons why LFR is functionally required for HM raiders, and tweeted it so I could gather my Twitter Army to come support me in that thread (I’m classy, I know). Later poor Zarhym came back to see all those bitchy tweets from me, and actually took the time to respond in great detail.

I think this is an interesting topic, and I don’t necessarily think that Zarhym is entirely wrong or that I’m entirely right. Here are some more thoughts on the LFR issue, and why we feel as though it’s still required.

Newsflash: I am very glad that LFR is in the game.

It’s great for alts. It’s basically free purples. It is fake raiding.  While I understand why people get annoyed with pugging it, I absolutely don’t get why anyone complains about how easy it is. It’s easy by design, and that’s totally fine with me.

Why? Because when LFR is easy, raiders get nice things.

Have you SEEN (real) MSV and Heart of Fear? This is not Dragon Soul anymore, kids. These fights are serious business. I don’t know what kind of crack the encounter designers are smoking, but I hope that Blizzard keeps them well supplied.

I am absolutely 100% certain there is a correlation between “easy LFR” and “challenging normal/heroic raids.” Players who previously were funneled into normal modes with gatekeeper easy bosses and nerf after nerf, now get to do LFR. Normals and heroics are both significantly more serious than we’ve seen since T11. I’m not going to say they are harder, but they are more interesting for sure. I really have a lot of respect for anyone raiding on any difficulty level, 10 or 25, normal or heroic right now. I hope you are having fun — whether you are still working through the challenge of Stone Guard, or whether you are powering through heroics with 300 stat food and masks and etc.

Raiders… casual and hardcore… normal and heroic… 10 and 25… LFR is why we can have nice things!

However, I really hate doing LFR on my main.

LFR drops relevant gear.

We run it on tuesdays since we don’t raid on tuesdays. And this has been a little frustrating for me; my 3 night a week raid schedule has been effectively upped to 4. I pugged it for a couple of weeks, but that extends the amount of time it takes by up to 2 or 3 hours. It’s a much more effective use of my time to go with my guild, as well as being much more enjoyable.

I really want my tuesdays back, but missing guild LFR is very annoying, so I try and make it. Another day when I feel like I should be home, on WOW. LFR represents one of the many ways MOP has chipped away at my free time out of raid, and so it frustrates me.

Regarding LFR feeling required & respect for playstyles

“But Ana, no one’s forcing you to do it.”

Agh. I hate this reply and responded very unhappily to it in the thread.

I try to keep an open mind about the people who play this game who are extremely different from me. I try to stay away from “you need to play the game like me,” and accept and welcome the fact that there are tons of people who enjoy very different things from me in-game. I might fail at it, in which case I expect to be called out on it, but I really do try and remember. I really hate to see ‘my people’ (i.e. HM raiders) disrespect or completely write off those who gain enjoyment out of different tasks than us. I play the game my way, they play it their way, and as long as I get my raids, I’m glad we can all play nice together!

So… it really annoys me to see my style of play disrespected by others. Comments like:

  • You have a guild problem
  • That’s a playstyle choice

… are really disrespectful to me. They completely miss the point.

LFR and the word “Required.”

Our detractors are right that no one is forcing us to be hardcore raiders. Oh, for sure! No one is forcing me to play World of Warcraft either.

All of us, if we want to be happy in game and enjoy our time, find a set of activities which makes us very happy and frustrates us the least. For me, I am not happy in a casual guild… I am just not.  I love the atmosphere in my guild just as much as any casual raider loves their laid back and fun-promoting atmosphere. Everyone has that style of gameplay that works for them. This is mine.

Calling that a playstyle choice and writing it off is just…. missing the point.

Calling it a guild choice is even dumber. There is no crazy dictator forcing me to log in at 9 on tuesdays. I play in my guild because my guildmates and I have similar goals and trust each other to treat the game and our time together in a way we all enjoy. If you aren’t in a guild where that is true, you are doing it wrong.

Yes, we choose to optimize our gear. And so we all consider that LFR is required. Furthermore, yes, we trust the people we raid with to feel the same way about their own gear and time. We choose to play that way, and together.

Yes. We choose to treat LFR this way. This choice is effectively the same as, “What is fun for me? Oh right, hardcore raiding. I want to do that.”

Is this playstyle choice supported by the devs?

My argument would be: a resounding yes.

If the developers didn’t care about what hardcore raiders felt “required” to do, then they would not have gone through all the trouble of altering the ilvl in LFR to ease how required the gear felt to us, they would not have gated two reps behind Golden Lotus to limit our rep farming to 2 VP factions at a time, and they would not have made the recent VP re-tuning change in response to our QQ. The devs do, actually, care about controlling the quantity of what we feel required to do. They will certainly and sneakily give us tons and tons of things we’ll feel required to do, and I don’t agree with all of them, but their design here is very purposeful. They are well aware that a couple hundred thousand Anas exist in game who will sigh and grind out all of the things just because they’re there.

Zarhym’s post drives it home, too. If no one cared about respecting this playstyle choice, then he would not have needed to post on this topic at all.

So hopefully that lays out my position on LFR as clearly as I can.

I believe it is a positive thing for the game. It is not my target content. I am very happy it exists. However,  I am a little annoyed that I have to run it on my main every week. It’s very annoying to have this tacked onto my raid week.

So what was the end result of this discussion we had on the official forums? Well, I think that Zarhym gave me a lengthy and thoughtful reply. He seemed to accept my argument that LFR was relevant now and to argue that it will be a lot less relevant in the future. And, he pointed out that the idea isn’t to remove LFR from HM raiders entirely. The devs just intend to ease our reliance on LFR. I don’t like all of these answers, but I accept them.

Dan Desmond’s post here on Wow Insider suggests a couple of alternate solutions to this

Agh. I, personally, just don’t want to do LFR on my main. I wish I only had to run one content level of raid per week. I was hoping the ilvl change reflected that the devs agreed.

What about LFRs after Terrace? Will this problem go away?

Hmm. That’s really where the ilvl change in LFR will kick in. AFTER Terrace LFR.

The design intent, and the origin of Zarhym’s blue party line, is for us to ignore these post-Terrace LFRs. The LFR gear will hopefully be such a lower level than the gear we exit Terrace in, that even the trinket procs and the tier procs will be irrelevant. Mostly.

We’ll just have to see. I am extremely suspicious.

There’s no question that the ilvl change is a good one. It’s absolutely a step in the right direction and eases our reliance on “upgrading” to LFR each tier. I just don’t know if it will create this magical imaginary world where HM raiders don’t have to run LFR at all, and that’s the point I wanted to argue with Zarhym.

I guess we’ll see. I hope it works out like Zarhym thinks it will!

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42 Responses to How Long will LFR Stay Required?

  1. Theck says:

    I want to make the same comment that I made to Zarhym on twitter last night:

    You’re absolutely correct that it’s a socially-imposed “requirement” and not a mechanics-imposed one. The game doesn’t refuse you entry to hard modes if you haven’t done LFR.

    That said, it’s a socially-imposed requirement that’s enforced if you want to be taken seriously as a hard-mode raider. In the same way that using gems and enchants and flasks and food are: they’re all socially-imposed requirements, and people take them seriously. Many a player has been refused entry or kicked out of a raiding guild for not having the right gems or enchants, let alone not having any at all.

    Refusing to do LFR is basically the same as not using consumables or enhancements. Will the game refuse you entry without them? No. The game doesn’t care. But your guild sure as hell does, and rightly so. It’s an advantage that you can leverage to progress through content faster.

    So, when arguing about whether something is “required” for raiding, it’s good to clarify what we consider “required.” Many of the people who use the rebuttal “well, you don’t *have* to do it” would contradict themselves immediately if presented with an application from a player who wasn’t using gems. “Required” only has meaning as long as you clearly define it, and the implicit definition that has been fairly consistently used to discuss “requirements” for raiding is a social one: “what does my guild expect me to do as a raider to prepare for new content?”

    • anafielle says:

      Right. It’s that “required” word that is such a problem here.

      This is not relevant to your point, but I’ll mention it anyways — Zarhym actually did a really nice job of fighting against this idea and I think it’s a battle worth fighting. His commentary with reference to NOT heroic raiders, your standard normal and casual player, was pretty much spot on. I think people hitting the enrage on Elegon N could benefit from hearing that LFR gear is not going to solve that problem for them. I think he used words similar to, there are no pass/fail gear checks on normal mode. Very true! My issue was with his commentary on HM raiders, but in general I think he has a point.

      Unfortunately I think that is a losing battle. Like it or not, the drive to get better gear exists. Foir EVERYONE, not just the hardcore like us.

      I use myself as an argument because it’s very easy but frankly this desire to upgrade to LFR gear (and to judge others on it!) is not unique to hardcore raiders. Everyone feels the need to get better gear. Everyone. And everyone judges. Putting in the time to run LFR and get LFR is one of the ways you prove your commitment to raiding & to bettering your character. Not doing that, shows a lack of commitment.

      And so this term “required” gets very muddy. It might not be required, but it sure as hell is expected. I think he’s off target if he thinks anyone’s going to skip LFR because it’s just a minor upgrade… it doesn’t look good when you’re trying to start raiding, and that’s one of the reasons why it feels required.

    • Pliers says:

      Whether you’re dragged into LFR kicking and screaming by a tyrannical guild master, or he says “I will be doing LFR on Tuesday, along with anyone who wants to come”, you do not want to be the person showing up to raid on Wednesday without any new gear.

      • anafielle says:

        “I will be doing LFR on Tuesday, along with anyone who wants to come”

        Such ominous words….

      • Theck says:

        Except that, to be fair, there’s no guarantee that you’d have any new gear if you went on the LFR. I’ve gone 0/6 at least once, and I have a guildmate who went 0/18 this week (3 chars).

  2. Whether or not “raiders” (ie. Normal or HM level) will continue doing LFR past Terrace is 100% dependent on the quality of the set bonuses. As it is right now some classes don’t care about their set bonuses (Healing Priests for example), while others have set bonuses so amazing that they must be obtained as soon as possible regardless of the quality of gear (Guardian 4pc is one example).

    T13 was just another example of this. Tank 4pc bonuses were required to do Heroic Dragon Soul. Period. There is no way around this – at least until the nerfs made it possible to complete by almost anyone. Therefore tanks were forced to do LFR in order for their group to even have a chance of progressing through the content. (even Feral Cats, but that’s a whole other discussion) that is no longer really relevant).

    If the power of the set bonus wasn’t the same regardless of the item level of the set pieces you were wearing, this problem will not exist beyond T14. Scale the bonuses to use the highest item level set pieces (2 or 4 depending on the bonus) to determine the strength of the bonus itself. I don’t know if they have the technology to do this, but consider this example:

    Guardian 4pc: Increases Healing by FR by 10%, and Dodge from SD by 5%.

    Assume that the power of this bonus is balanced at the top end for Heroic T14. Therefore wearing 4 heroic (509) set pieces would give you the same set bonus as it appears now. If you had 4 normal set pieces (496) the bonuses would be 6.66666% and 3.333333% respectively. Wearing LFR you end up with 3.3333% and 1.6666%.

    Suddenly “raiders” don’t care about LFR set pieces because the stats they lose because of item level don’t make up for the measly bonus they gain. Therefore they have no need to run LFR to get said pieces.

    • anafielle says:

      Oh, man, T13 LFR set bonuses were broken. Totally broken. I don’t know if you saw a ret paladin go from not-4pc to 4pc, but it was pretty much absurd, it launched us from the bottom of the DPS meter straight up to the top. I remember being funneled the first set of Conq 4pc in week 1 and it was beautiful, so beautiful. I also remember exactly the same thing about tank 4 pieces… we absolutely funneled our DK and our warrior 4pc as soon as we had a look at the damage in h modes. Required for sure.

      My hope is that Blizzard has learned the lesson from T13. The design intention is definitely to make the ilvl difference so severe that trinket/set bonus procs just aren’t a DPS increase off the higher ilvl, previous tier gear. But only time will tell if they actually manage to get it right.

      It’s tough to tell right now. I know ret T14 falls into the “MUST GET AT ANY COST” category, so I’m there with you.

      Your idea for scaling the value of the proc based on the ilvl of the gear is very interesting but I doubt it’s technologically possible. :(

      • Alternatively they just kill set bonuses entirely, and go back to adding individual item bonuses or something.

        Set bonuses are the key problem here, so it makes sense that the solution should involve them.

        • anafielle says:

          You’re probably right about that. Procs in general are just problematic to balance. Unfortunately they’re also pretty well loved by a large cross section of the community…

  3. My only issue with LFR is how punishing it is on tanks. If you don’t have a guild run, the queue is just rediculous. I can litterally spend my entire 2 hour playing window in queue. The model of 1/1/3 2/3/5 just doesn’t scale well to 2/6/17. Every role get’s more and more slots – except Tanks.

    Does it look at your role that you click or your current spec? Could I queue as dps in tank spec so the game still gives me Prot gear. Even if I got kicked for low DPS, I could get another queue to pop faster than I could get a queue as a tank.

    • anafielle says:

      I THINK it assigns gear by current spec but frankly we’re not sure.

      We tested this in guild LFR the other day — Omegal (@MysticalOS) our warrior tank, wanted DPS gear, and I wanted tank gear for our respective offspecs. He queued as dps and I queued as tank, and LFR labeled us that way. But within the instance, we went to our main specs.

      He only got gold so I don’t know. I received a Starshatter off Elegon, which is certainly DPS loot, although I’m told that 2h swords are sometimes labeled tank loot.

      For the 6th fight, we actually switched roles, and I tanked Will & he DPS’d it. I’d like to say this was for loot reasons but it was really because my raid leader told me to practice the damn dance :)

      I did get tank gear off that boss, in tank spec while queued as tank.

      So I don’t actually know. I suspect it assigns by active current spec, and not by what you queue as. Take it or leave it.

    • Lakh says:

      Gear drops based on your spec, not your role. It is absolutely possible to queue in a dps role with a tank spec. I have done it to test the theory and received tank loot while doing it – even topped the meters on Feng thanks to the shroud of reversal ;)

      That said, I don’t particularly approve of it personally. It was amusing seeing if it worked, and maybe it’d get Bliz to finally reevaluate role balance issues if it became commonplace, but it is kinda rude.

      • Kane says:

        That actually sounds like a good idea. I don’t see it as rude since you are not affecting the queued tanks’ loot drops and you can jump in if one or both tanks die. Not only that, but I rarely see any tanks pick up either of the spells on Feng, expecting that fight to be faceroll like the Stone Guard before it. I think Blizzard secretly hotfixed that fight since my first time in there the week it opened, I got wipe after wipe after wipe since the tanks didn’t use the abilities. Now, it is a crap-shoot on whether or not we survive without the abilities, or that first raid just sucked.

  4. Adam Nelson says:

    Ok I agree that lfr on your main is bad and lfr on your alt toons are good and it is a socially demanding form of proving your a raider i mean you obviously as a real raider have to run lfr is a good way to get a feel for the raid and for what it is going to be like in a 25 man and all the hang ups that lfr can offer with pug groups is a good way to work through any situations that may come up in normal or heroic so that’s where I am coming from on the looking for raid but what I don’t like is this. Some people are not lucky enough to be in a raiding guild and yes people are going to say well find a raiding guild but truth be told most raiding guilds have there teams and trying to find a guild with a open slot is few and far between so that’s why lfr is good for people in my situation people that qq about the lfr have the raiding guild that runs and have there spot but for the rest of us that are not lucky enough to have a guild or able to find one we need lfr and we want the loot the only qq I have is they took the meat and potatoes of the loot away like at the beginning of cat….. now I know people will say all kinds of things like find a guild or this is not the base of the argument but in a way it is people are complaining that its a lazy way to get gear and bla bla from all the threads I have read that’s the base of the argument so that makes my argument legitament I guess that’s all I have to say and I also want to say great post love your stuff great page

  5. WeWhoEat says:

    That’s really all it is, its a social “requirement” or peer pressure “requirement”. Its no different than guildies “requiring” epic gems on lower iLvL items than other guilds or back when you could multi flask, etc. If you’re missing a raid spot because someone else is doing this and you’re not, well then that’s the competitive nature of your circle, and is it any different than that someone else spending more time tightening their new mechanics earlier than you?

    The game isn’t requiring anything, its the people you play with and / or your own desire. Its a healthy discussion if people direct their frustrations to the people they play the game with, but directing your frustrations towards the developers is the very definition of asking them to change the game to fit how you want to play it.

    • anafielle says:

      I addressed this in the middle of the post, but I think you may have missed it.

      So if the developers don’t change the game to fit how people were treating LFR before …. why do you think they made the ilvl change? Why do you think Zarhym originally posted that HM raiders will not need “a single piece of gear” from LFR Terrace? Don’t you think this reflects design intent?

      Don’t you think this makes it pretty obvious that they are attempting to avoid ‘forcing’ (yep, I used that word) certain types of raiders to run LFR? Otherwise they would have not ever even brought this topic up. Instead they have explicitly addressed it.

      This might not be clear, but my complaint to the devs is intended to be constructive. They are trying to move AWAY from me and my people running LFR. That is why I addressed my commentary to Zarhym…. in an effort to comment on this process. His post referenced it, and so did mine.

      • Adam Nelson says:

        I agree with you they are trying to move away from it but not saying it out right and I am in no way saying that they are doing a bad job I mean with such a incredible large online game they do a very good job but I do agree with you and like you I will again be running lfr on Tuesday lol

    • Pliers says:

      By that argument, there is nothing in the entire game that is mandatory. The word ceases to have meaning when defined as loosely as that.

    • WeWhoEat says:

      No I caught that, and yes, they want to make it feel less attractive to that audience, but I think they’ve done a pretty good job of that. Imposing any more restrictions like the troll’s shared lock out, etc. would I think just go to much towards implementing a forced play style, far more forced than people are complaining about how it is now. I guess my point is that all this World of Grindcraft qq-ing I’m seeing (and I’m not seeing from your post) is in my view people blaming the game for things they’re doing to themselves. It no different than people crying over an achievement in game that is “too difficult”, would you rather it not be there and not have the option to track that event?

      @Pliers, I’m defining requirements as reasonable requirements to succeed. There’s no reasonable situation that I can envision that you’re forced to run LFR for success in normal raid difficulty in fact I’ve seen the oppositie where success in normal raid difficulty came before someone had the iLvl to run LFR. This Tier of content has the greatest variety of gearing options the game has ever offered and so many reasonable options exist for both normal and heroic level raid success that don’t go through the LFR. My raid certainly doesn’t require LFR participation for raid spots, and we’re playing the same build as you thus if LFR is a requirement for you its for other reasons that the bits on your computer.

      • anafielle says:

        Well, I labeled a previous post World of Grindcraft. I appreciate that you said you didn’t see it in this post, but my frustration with grinding is definitely there.

        I will reply to your response to Pliers first, because I agree with you on this. “There’s no reasonable situation that I can envision that you’re forced to run LFR for success in normal raid difficulty.” <— This is correct. Zarhym also makes this point, and I agree. Pliers and I are living proof as well, having cleared normal before LFR was even available. LFR is not required for normal mode raiding. It's useful, but not required.

        However, what people feel is required for normal modes and for heroic modes is entirely separate.

        Blizzard put some ridiculous (fun) enrage timers on these HM fights. When you have seen multiple 0% wipes in a heroic mode – multiple – in a single evening, then yes, I will tell you that LFR gear which is obtainable looks pretty fucking required. That is why I note that the choice to run heroic mode raids is the same as the choice to run LFR each week. We choose to do HMs, and so we are locked into doing LFR as well.

        All that world of grindcraft complaint that you hear is largely coming from very hardcore raiders who are playing exactly the same way that we did in Wrath and Cata, but in MOP, that exact same playstyle we enjoy requires a ton more grinding. Please keep in mind that we are adjusting to a big change in the style of playing that we have always loved– not begging the devs to just hand us stuff for free.

        Anyways, I appreciate your comments and thank you for commenting. I think that it sounds like you agree with Zarhym a lot and that makes sense because I think his commentary is spot on in some places. I just think it's off base for HMs.

        • WeWhoEat says:

          I can certainly empathize with that situation (0% wipe) because I’ve been there myself and certainly some iLvLs here and there would have gotten you that kill. But lets step back though, isn’t this really just the age old story of where your raid is at in the performance continuum that goes all the way to the world firsts who clear with quest gear :) So you get that kill with those iLvLs but what does that really do, it just moves you to the next challenge where you’ll struggle next and maybe not even get that same kill next week were some larger factors have changed. Do those iLvLs really more you that much closer to finishing the content? They certainly might, is it worth it compared to the heart ache the LFR is to you? My question is would you rather not have the option?

          I guess what I’m not seeing is the part of the spectrum of wow raider that people lie on that care enough about small raid performance difference the iLvL of an LFR run will net yet find the hour of rofl-ing through content too big a price to pay for it. I’m having trouble understanding the mindset that has both those be true.

          • Pliers says:

            “So you get that kill with those iLvLs but what does that really do, it just moves you to the next challenge where you’ll struggle next and maybe not even get that same kill next week were some larger factors have changed.”

            This is patently false. There are pretty much never back to back dps races. It’s not like every boss in a 6 man instance needs more dps than the one before. There are probably two major bottlenecks, at boss 2 or3 and boss 5 or 6. Once you kill that boss, the next two are almost guaranteed to be more tactical or mechanics based. By the time you hit the next dps race, you won’t be wearing the same gear as when you were wiping at sub 1% earlier in the instance.

            We have had a surprisingly high number of sub 1% wipes in just this expansion. We use 300 food, and even went out and farmed masks during Halloween for the small dps edge. If I’m going to work my ass off for 25-50 of my primary stat, you can bet your ass that as long as I have a single piece of gear that’s under 476, I’m going to be running LFR to replace that piece.

            It isn’t just the hour of doing LFR. It’s that I already commit 4 hours a night, 3 times a week, to *just* raiding. On top of that, I have to do a heroic on a daily basis or I won’t get near VP capped, because each raid boss is worth a depressingly tiny 25 points. That means that at the end of my 12 hours of raiding, I’m not even 1/3rd of the way to the week’s VP cap, which by the way, I can’t stop farming towards because now we can upgrade items with VP directly come 5.1. It never becomes obsolete, so I get to look forward to running heroics I already out-gear for the next 18 months. Oh, and I need to look through my WoL results, so see what I did wrong, what other people in my role did right, and how I can improve for the next raid, or I’ll be showing up unprepared.

            Then, I get to work on dailies, because I need rep before I can use those VP. In addition to all of that, I have to tend my crops on a daily basis so that I can make raid food, plus get a dozen flasks and 100+ combat potions to last me a single raid week, on top of gems, enchants, reforging, and constantly reading about any class changes or fight mechanics or suggestions to make sure I’m performing optimally. On top of all of that, god forbid I want to play an alt, do pet battles, farm mounts, or any of the other activities put in the game for people to enjoy.

            Then there’s the whole, you know, going out occasionally. Seeing friends and family occasionally so they don’t think I died is generally considered a positive. Going on dates. Cleaning the apartment. Remembering to buy food. Showering for special occasions. Oh, and did I mention I’m in law school? Plus, apparently I like to post in the comments of a blog post here and there, and woe be unto he who tries to take that joy away from me.

            Okay, great. I’ve got all of that under control. But do you really want to argue, after all that, showing up on an off-night and hitting up LFR isn’t of significance? For the love of god, there are only so many hours in a day.

            There’s more than enough on a typical hardcore raider’s plate without adding to it. Having additional requirements spread out over additional days is seriously detrimental to a person’s real life schedule. In spite of my best efforts, my body tends to get upset if I don’t sleep at least once every few days.

            So yeah. It’s kind of a problem.

          • Pliers says:

            Basically, what I’m trying to say is, let raiders raid. Don’t make me do a million other things just because I want to kill internet dragons on a weekly basis.

            I understand needing some sort of prep, so that I don’t show up for a raid, and log off til the next one, but also let us do other things we want to do, without every moment of free time being funneled into the raid machine. I can’t stand casual or mid-core raiding. I’d rather quit the game than go back to that. But at the top end, it’s all in or don’t show up, and it’d be nice if that was just a little bit less abusive.

          • WeWhoEat says:

            This is quickly spiraling into the absurd. Everything you’ve listed is completely legitimate and is not exaggerating but misses the point. You’ve taken the I must do everything that is available to me approach rather than what is reasonable approach.

            If you’re not constantly re-evaluating the time you’re spending in game and whether its worth it or not to you then things can get very dangerous. I certainly wouldn’t sign up for all those activities and I would never force anyone in my raid to. If to get a boss kill I had to do all that and was required to do all that by the game I would certainly stop playing but since the game only expects you to do a fraction of that to have success the rest is self or peer imposed.

            Don’t knock the game for providing options, only knock yourself if you’re the one turning those options into requirements. That’s my only point.

          • WeWhoEat says:

            “But at the top end, it’s all in or don’t show up”

            I would encourage you to challenge that, because its certainly not the case. For world first maybe but that percentage of player can’t even be measured with a microscope. You evaluate what will make the biggest differences and you act on that plan and that’s always the case.

            If the game has expanded its content beyond the time you’re willing to invest and you don’t want to play because you can no longer do everything then that’s a choice you make, but I could hardly fault a developer with that especially since I don’t believe you have to invest more time to be just as successful as before. Flasks are easier, food is easier, material farming is easier, needing to level fishing is gone from the game, you can gain VP 80 ways from sunday and you’re capped before you know it, pugging heroics are easier and LFR is just as easy or I would argue easier.

        • WeWhoEat says:

          I guess another question I should ask those who feel imposed upon by this “requirement”, what if you as a raid said “hey, we’re not going to require any LFR running” what would happen? Would your raid progress really be that hampered? Are your raiders’ skills that on par with each other that performance differences are decided by who got lucky on LFR drops that week so those with no LFR drops would get benched? Etc.

          I understand the desire to do what you can to contribute to your raid’s success, not doing so would be disrespectful to everyone else’s time. But there’s a big difference between what’s available to do vs what’s reasonable to do. Did your raid require everyone have all their archeology achievements complete for the first tier of cata so that everyone had their best in slot archeology items?

          For those that feel that LFR is a requirement not worth the time invested, I challenge you to do this. I suspect you’ll realize that its only a requirement you’ve put on yourself.

          • Pliers says:

            “You’ve taken the I must do everything that is available to me approach rather than what is reasonable approach.”

            It’s the “this is what enables me to raid at the level I enjoy playing this game” approach. It’s something I have no say in. A pure in-or-out decision. I have picked “in”, and stand by that decision, but I can and will complain about the burdens that come along with it that I think are overly burdensome, and feel 100% justified in doing so.

          • Theck says:

            That argument doesn’t make sense. Using gems and enchants are only requirements you’ve put on yourself. Capping valor every week is only a requirement you’ve put on yourself. None of these things are enforced by the game. They’re all social constructs.

            And the point you seem to be missing is that these ARE requirements that raiding guilds take seriously. In guilds in the top 500 (such as Pliers is in), doing all of these things is expected, period. Don’t show up with gems or enchants? You don’t raid. Not making the most of your potential valor gear by capping each week? You get replaced. Doing LFR for free upgrades is no different.

            Is this a choice? Sure, it’s Pliers’ choice to play the game at that level, and the time involved is the price he pays. Nobody’s contesting that. The point is that MoP has vastly increased this time investment compared to earlier expansions.

            Wrath and Cataclysm had a heavy emphasis on making raiding more accessible and reducing the time investment required to participate in raiding at all levels. Many of the changes in MoP have completely reversed that paradigm, and turned the high-end raiding game into one of the grindiest experiences we’ve seen since raiding in vanilla WoW. I don’t think that’s good for the game, and in particular for the raiding scene.

            I also disagree with some assertions you made in an earlier comment. Flasks are NOT easier, nor are food or consumables. The removal of guild cauldrons and feasts was a fairly large reduction in quality of life, and the new 300-stat food is extremely time-consuming and/or expensive. These are just a few of the changes that have increased the grind factor in MoP.

            I don’t think limiting or hampering LFR is the solution either though. LFR needs to exist and needs to be attractive and useful for its target audience. Personally, I think the cuts need to come elsewhere – higher valor gain for raiding (and being able to cap valor with ~10 bosses) would cut down on or eliminate the worst of it, which is the weekly valor point grind. Spending <1 hour to clear LFR every week isn't that onerous compared to 7-10 hours of dailies or heroics or challenge modes per week.

            LFR is a temporary inconvenience, for exactly the reason Zarhym gave: after a few weeks the gear WILL be irrelevant. In a week or two, none of us will need anything out of LFR:MSV, and we'll stop running it. We'll run LFR:HoF for a few weeks before it too will become irrelevant.

          • WeWhoEat says:

            Using gems, and enchants are reasonable time sinks for benefit gained, capping valor is a reasonable time sink for benefit gained, 275 food is reasonable time sink and much easier than its cata equivalent 90 food. 300 food is an extra mile time sink which had no equivalent in cata, is it a reasonable time sink for you? You decide. All these different options for improving your performance that the devs have provided have a benefit vs cost component that you must weight, individually they may make sense for you but taken all together it may not make sense the problem is is that you’re not judging that, you’re blindly signing up for everything. You have decided that you must always complete everything that is available to you all the time no matter how much the devs put in the game, and that’s clearly only a requirement you’re putting on yourself. Because the game isn’t requiring that level of investments to succeed that same level you were succeeding in previous expansions. You say that MoP has taken the ease of raiding back in the other direction, I very much disagree, MoP is providing more options for improving your iLvl and stats so you have more options of succeeding rather than just more boss attempts.

            Also, please be intellectually honest and don’t claim that its “all in or take a hike” at your level, because “all in” means that you’re putting in the practice hours to clear heroics in no gear just like the world first guilds. You see, you too are weighing time vs reward at some level because you’re not doing that, what you have to realize is that all the additional grind improvements that the game offers have to also be weighed in that manner.

  6. Kanegasi says:

    I just hope that Blizzard doesn’t “band-aid fix” this LFR “problem” by going through with the suggested LFR-N-H lockout sharing change. I enjoy running LFR because I’m iffy in our casual guild’s raid spot since there’s others available. If I run LFR for myself, I don’t want to lock myself out from filling in our guild’s raid, as well as I don’t want to have to sit out on raiding period, being forced to not run LFR just to be available for the guild raid.

    It would also be a far cry from the separate 10/25 lockouts they are “play-testing” in the Asian region. It wouldn’t make sense to have them go along with three lockouts and then shut out the US-EU crowd with only one.

    • anafielle says:

      Yeah, I don’t think they will ever consider that. Don’t worry. It’ll get filed away as one of the things they shake their head over (please note I didn’t argue for it either in this post). There’s a reason why Zarhym picked the troll he did- that troll is silly.

      There is just no way to implement a shared lockout well I think.

  7. Jackinthegreen says:

    I sadly don’t see the want to obtain LFR items as going away this tier. They’d pretty much have to nerf the item level into heroic dungeon territory for people to view it as not being required since it’s generally the dungeon items that are being replaced, right? There’s also the set bonuses and procs of course, but I don’t know if Blizz would be keen on nerfing the set bonus powers because they still want LFR people to feel awesome. Even nerfing the set bonuses might not be enough because people will want any edge they can get.

    Besides those two options I don’t really see how they can alleviate this at the moment.

    • Adam Nelson says:

      Ok there is a lot of talk about this on many different forums and what I have been seeing is all kinds of crazy suggestions all made by “heroic” raiders like make the lfr gear the same as the heroic dungeon gear and just let the “not so good raiders” raid that way that is just dumb I have seen have no lock outs at all and that clearly won’t work the one suggestion I have seen that makes since is have heroic raids have the same lock out as lfr that way all the heroic raiders don’t have to worry about lfr at all and they can leave it to the rest. Now I am a end game player I love the challenges that heroic raids give and love to work at finishing them but to pretend that your elitist

      • Adam Nelson says:

        Just because you run heroic raids and that everyone ells should not have there chance or not have a good run is ludicrous not to mention the fact that a lot of guilds and gm have you run lfr before they will let you raid so that’s my suggestion…. great post :)

        • Jackinthegreen says:

          Keep in mind I don’t even play WoW anymore and have never been a hardcore raider. The suggestion that LFR gear should be equal to heroic dungeon gear isn’t about making heroic raiders feel comparatively better, although I wouldn’t be surprised if a small percentage was coarse enough to think that way. The issue is that the gear can be an upgrade and to make decent progression people need to upgrade their gear at times too. Even if raiders are plowing through the encounters and don’t have full upgrades, they’ll still get some benefit from better gear because it means more damage, more healing, better tanking, etc.

          I’m not sure having LFR and heroic on the same lockout would help since that would mean normal is on a different lockout and it all swings around to the heroic raiders feeling compelled to run normal and heroic to gear up because it’s possible to run normal and heroic in the same week. The entire thing is a lose/lose situation.

  8. Skarn says:

    I’m certainly pretty unusual, but the main reason I don’t require myself to run LFR every week is simply because I don’t want to spend the time. Nor can I reasonably expect my guild to do it either. We have a 2-night raiding schedule. We have this schedule for a reason: Many of us are busy and just can’t raid more than that. I simply can not ask my raiders to come more often than that. It is not reasonable. If they want to do LFR on their own time, that’s their choice, but I try to make it clear that it is not required any more than leveling a second alt just in case it would be better for the raid makeup is required.

    My guild is probably in the minority in this area. We’re not hardcore raiders, we’re 3/6 Normal Vaults right now. Yeah, there is gear out there I could grab from LFR. (Probably, if I’m lucky.) But I can’t because I just don’t have the time. “But it’s there, it’s so easy!” It doesn’t matter. I’m not going to put myself through that. I put myself through that in Wrath raiding six nights a week to get gear from 10-man and 25-man and it was terrible. It was miserable. I absolutely refuse to make myself hate the game because of a shiny piece of gear. I learned that the game keeps going that the bosses keep dying even if I don’t go to crazy lengths to get gear. So I’m not going to do it.

    If my guild was already working on Hard modes, this might be a different story. Then again, there is a reason I’m in this guild: Because it suits my raid style and my time commitments. I don’t have time to commit to raiding more than this. So I don’t. That’s me and may well not apply to anyone outside of my guild, but I do believe that there is a choice. There is always more to do to make your raid better or more likely to succeed. The question is this: “Is it worth it?” That’s something only each individual can answer.

    • WeWhoEat says:

      “There is always more to do to make your raid better or more likely to succeed. The question is this: “Is it worth it?” That’s something only each individual can answer.”

      amen

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