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!