Last night felt like a very, very long night.

I raided for what felt like hours.

Hold on, it really was hours. It really only felt like minutes. The time just sped away on the wings of angels.

Evil little raiding angels with black wings taking delight in the death of online baddies, but angels nonetheless.

After my last post about the LFR difficulty issues, I had some thoughts on how someone who wasn’t a raider could try to take advantage of the fluctuating skill situation.

My thinking was pure speculation, but it went kinda like this;

If I was a raider, then I would know my scheduled raids were coming up. I’d want to be as powerful as I could for the raid. Therefore, I’d want to get my mains into the LFR as soon as I could after a reset, so that I could get my first shot at any ‘free’ upgrades, and get them all gemmed and enchanted and reforged (and transmogrified) before raid time, whenever that may be. 

Some guilds do raid on Tuesday night right after the reset. Those folks might have changed to using the LFR Tuesday night, or they might not.

Why change to an LFR Tuesday? If they raided Dragon Soul normal before the LFR, they might send a good upgrade to a person that proceeded to get a comparable item (at a slightly lower level) the very next night, a wasted opportunity to benefit the team as a whole.

If tank A just got a 384 tier shoulder, do you give a tier shoulder from normal mode to the same tank the very next night, or do you spread it to the other tank instead who is still wearing 378s?

The way I figure it, however the guilds are raiding, the majority of leading-edge progression gamers would probably try to get in on the LFR Tuesday night after the reset to get their ‘free’ upgrades, maybe Wednesday, and be as powerful as possible going into their ‘real’ raiding for the week.

Now, more pure speculation, those same raiding guilds would probably end up queueing as groups instead of piecemeal, since they don’t like idiots any more than casual players do, and bringing your own tank/healers has always been a time-honored method of reducing the chances of failure. Or annoyance that affects performance, anyway. I’m not saying an entire raid team would queue as one, just that the likelihood seems high to me that folks that raid together and know each other well would probably be able to find five buddies online at a given moment to queue with.

Plus, it’s more fun to scoff at other players when you’ve got a group of like-minded friends to hear your snarkiness. I know that’s how I roll.

That was my thinking.

How to put it into action?

If I, as a non-raider, wanted my best chance at playing with serious, talented people in LFR instead of idiots and offensive asshats that spend more time typing hate than targeting adds, then I would want to queue up Tuesday night.

A theory is just a theory until it gets tested. Accordingly, I went into LFR last night to see what it would be like.

I ran the Dragon Soul LFR three times last night, back to back. I played on my Warrior for the first wing, and then on my Hunter for the first and second wings.

Every group went smooth. Every group had complete success. Through the entire night, there was only one wipe.

The first run of the evening had myself, Cassie and two fellow guildies. The rest of the group was composed of non-guilded random people.

There was a little confusion on colors, the whole “green ooze does not aoe in LFR, you don’t have to prioritize it” thing that keeps throwing people used to studying normal mode. Our one wipe came from haste. In the future, mister strange tank, please try not to pull the boss while you rush across the big open space to get to the next trash pull. Shortcuts are fine, shortcuts THROUGH the big boss-circle-area on the floor, not so much. ‘kay?

Even with that, it was a far cry from the runs of just the night before, where everyone had a chip on their shoulder and felt the need to belittle everyone else rather than, oh, you know, do their own part. Unless typing a lot of bullshit equates to skill. /sarcasm.

There were two more runs for me that night, and on each run more members of our guild’s raid teams joined in. Or drove it forward, as the case may be.

I felt some of the raiders out a little, and got some comments along the lines of, “I want to knock the LFR out now so I have any loot before we raid.”

Anecdotal evidence, granted, but clearly there are some raiders right in my own guild that were certainly thinking, “Get in, get it done, get gone.”

Those last two runs?

The first one was the first wing again, smooth and clean. About ten guildies, plus random scattered people. At one point, Baddmojo the guild figurehead and raiding Rogue from Team Wanda broke over 52k DPS. Intentionally. Yes, that is a five and a two, followed by ‘k’, and it doesn’t stand for karat. Yes, I do feel that any character breaking 52,000 DPS on a single boss fight is overpowered and ridiculous. What frightens me is the idea that once raiders really get cooking in Dragon Soul Heroic, 52k might seem… quaint.

The second wing raid was more interesting. We were now in Azuremyst evening prime time for gaming, and we queued with about twelve guildies all together for it, including one tank and three healers.

The raid group we got was forged of just three guild groups.

Seriously. There were three guilds represented in the raid, almost no solo players.

The run was so smooth it went even easier than the first wing.

It became clear early on that the entire raid was formed of experienced raiders knocking the LFR out early.

It was my first time completing the entire second wing from start to finish as one raid. I have seen the middle two encounters a few times, but that was always as a replacement for people bailing in a failing group.

The tone of the discussion in vent was mostly amazement and disbelief that nobody did x stupid, or died to y from not moving out of the fire, or targeted the wrong mob, or ran the wrong way, or whatever.

It was one night, and maybe it was a fluke. But I have to compare the runs last night with the ones scattered over the last week and weekend, and there is no comparison in quality.

Last night just was… nicer, and far FAR more professional.

Not serious, just… no stupid bullshit.

In closing, I would like to leave you with a story that Yalani shared in guild chat the other night, a story about Yalani’s Priest and LFR. The name of Yalani’s Priest has been concealed to ensure the story will continue to have a happy, repeatable, ending.

Turns out, Yalani was in the LFR, doing the first wing.

There was this asshat in the raid, I’m sure that comes as a complete surprise to you, who kept typing elitist smack during the run. You know the kind of thing only too well, I’m sure. Constant criticism and offensive bullshit heaped on others. 

The raid progresses through the bosses until they are on the last boss of the wing, Hagara the Stormbinder.

For those of you that haven’t done the encounter yet, at one point Hagara will stand in the middle of the vast circular platform and channel the Frozen Tempest. Hagara hides in a Watery Bubble, four pylons form at equidistant staitionary intervals along the outskirts of the platform, and four equidistant lines form that transform into Waves of Ice that travel in a clockwise direction around the platform.

If you get hit by an Ice Wave, you take a shitload of damage and, generally, you die. 

Ice Waves are considered extremely easy to avoid. Before the waves form Hagara shoots red beams out to clearly show where they’re gonna be. At that point, you’ve got lots of warning to move your ass to a point in between any two lines.

No, really. When the Ice Waves form and begin moving, you can easily stay right in the middle of two waves, running around the rim of the platform. If you have some form of run speed enchant on your boots, it’s extremely easy. Just run around, destroying pylons as you come across them, and when the last pylon falls the Ice Waves vanish.

It is SO easy for someone prepared for the fight to avoid the Ice Waves that whenever someone new to the run dies by being hit by one, the asshats in the raid WILL mock them and call them stupid, noobs, morons, and all that other stuff. It’s one of those things people like to use to show disgust, as if they were born already knowing to avoid the Ice Waves, and as if it wasn’t the responsiblity of the experienced to make sure the raid is prepared for the encounter and questions are answered before pulling.

So, back to the story.

The raid is fighting Hagara, the Ice Waves form, and the raid starts running around the circle.

Yalani hangs back near an Ice Wave and Life Grips the asshat to her.

Asshat gets hit by Ice Wave and instantly dies.

Said death by Ice Wave is noticed by all, but not why. Immediately, all the OTHER elitists that like to mock people (but not nearly to the extent this one asshat did) just tear him a new one for being a stupid noob dying to the Ice Wave.

Asshat descends into frothy-mouthed nerdrage.

I like to actually picture the asshat seated at his (or her) computer (in his or her mom’s basement, of course), literally frothing in rage.

Well done. Well done indeed.

This is officially my favorite thing of the expansion.  Not the patch, the expansion.

Thank you, Yalani. Thank you OH so much for that. May you continue to bring swift internet justice to asshats on Hagara, and cause them to tread oh-so-lightly in the presence of any Priest they encounter from that point forward.

13 Responses to “Gaming the LFR”
  1. UFTimmy says:

    While your theory is sound on paper, I have only done the LFR on Saturday nights. I’ve never wiped to a boss. So I’m going to devise a theory that all hardcore raiders have no social life and therefore they queue on Saturday nights when casual players are out living life to the fullest.

    The best night to queue is Saturday.

  2. One thing. The red lines on Hagara link to the crystals, where the ice wave will NEVER spawn. You don’t want to stand in between the red lines, you want to follow one out and camp on that crystal until the ice waves start moving.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Honestly, never looked that close at ‘em. I was usually killing the boss, noticing the lines heading out, signaling time to back the heck up and get ready for the ice to come. Plenty of time to move out of the way.

      Thank you very much for making that clear and correcting my mistake, i’d hate someone to die to an Ice Wave because of me.

  3. Ngita says:

    Your theory is correct in general. But lfr is just that easy. Monday night, Ok i have done everything. Anything good enough for lfr has at least 600 valor and most are capped. So I grab ny JC alt with a massive 6 heroics done since he dinged 85 and 361 equipped and chuck him into the new heroics 3 heroics later I am 373. One more heroic for therazane exalted and off to lfr. First 4 no wipes, Last 2 no wipes. Ultraxion half the raid dc’ed(Including me as raid leader) wipe. Warmaster still people lagging and the 2 new”healers” are both dps so 1 more wipe and then kill. Note both lag wipes where right on the time frame when blizzard calculates arena rankings. It used to be death to raids back in icc as well.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      I have to say… I have been in some really, really offensive lfr groups.

      Do they succeed? Yes.

      But they have been filled with an abundant supply of asshats.

      I’m just trying to find the optimal “asshat-free” time slot.

  4. Gameldar says:

    That Hagara story is fun, I wish I had a priest now… Lore was suggesting on his Weekly Marmot that something they did to slow the ice walls in LFR (not they needed it… but yeah they wiped runs) stuffed up and I’m not if it is a bug or it’s just a difference from week to week but my last run before this last reset had a couple of wipes – with lots of people going ‘how do you all die to the ice walls, wtf?’.

    Now I was healing this on my pally… and so I actually watch the health bars (rather than the pretty platform) – people died instantly as soon as the phase started… yet the loud ones were complaining because of them dying to ice walls. As far as I can tell the difference – Hagara now chucks up a huge ice spikes in the middle as the phase starts… and the tanks were tanking the boss in middle where all the melee had no choice but to die. So third try (after I suggested to the tanks they don’t tank in the middle…) we finished it with no death.

    Of course the other fun of Hagara in LFR is repeated – “don’t attack the boss I need to pick pocket it for the legendary quest line!” (and the following insistence by the said rogue that they can do it in LFR)

  5. Bristal says:

    I’m not an idiot. Been playing a long time. Good dps. Smart person. I’ve died to a damn ice wave THREE times.

    One person’s “it’s so easy how can you be so stupid?” is another person’s Achilles heel. Careful mocking, your own weaknesses may cause an embarrassing wet stain in a crowded room someday.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Just to be clear… I don’t think dying to anything in the game is a sign of anything other than you were focused on something else at the moment, or got nailed by a lag spike, or had fifty kabillion spell effects just turn your screen into a slideshow.

      Nothing is ever that cut and dried.

      What I do love is seeing someone who lives by the ‘yell at others’ sword die by the ‘yell at others’ sword.

  6. Xew says:

    That’s me Bristol – to a tee. I’ve managed not to die once to the ice in LFR… I guess I’m a bit too focused on healing, and the first thing I notice when the ice phase has started is the giant white ice spike coming up out of my feet… then dead.

    Guild runs are a lot easier, since people are talking (knowing I have that tunnel vision) – but the LFR is just bleh.

  7. Xaeth says:

    I think you’re pretty accurate BBB, except on EU realms it’s wednesday that people raid and the reset is wednesday morning, so if you LFR 12-18:00 chances are you’ll see me and my guild pwning those bosses. Optimal non-asshat time? Sorry BBB but you’ll have to play a different game :(, I tried to run my alt tank (my main whos clearing hardmodes atm, although they are a little harder than we anticipated), I got kicked from the first one cause I had PVP shoulders, and whilst yes I’d love to have full 378, Hour of Twilight just wouldn’t drop them :(. But the next run guess what I get, a PVP hero, asshat leader yelling at everyone telling them what to do. My favourite moment? When they countered their own priority for oozes and wiped us, was priceless :). Ps the priest in our guild does that life grip thing to, but mainly to our Offtank during LFR cause he gets savage lag and doesn’t realise whats going on! GG to all those counter-asshats out there :) oh yeah and another great elitist douche fight is ultraxion, watch which tanks get one shot :D

  8. Pawzy says:

    3B, you’ve just given me an evil idea of what to do on my alt priest. *cue super villain laughter*
    Watch out asshats who LFR tomorrow, I just might life grip you into the ice if you tick me off sufficiently! >:D

  9. Nina says:

    There is a bug/exploit – if you stand in the center of Hagara’s ice bubble you won’t be hit by ice waves, and if you can clear the debuff that the bubble places on you, you won’t take too much damage. Heck, a lot of raids on heroic just stack all the healers and ranged on Hagara and heal through the damage.

  10. Navimie says:

    Great post BBB. Linked it. Love that story with “Yalani”. Classic just desserts.

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