Topic of the day; Looking For Raid and new game opportunities.
The one area where I think LFR has succeeded the most is in opening up the world of large group raiding to those of us that could never be part of an organized raid group before.
It goes beyond taking raids and making them accessible to people.
I see a lot of discussion, mostly from people who were already raiders, about how the existence of LFR has affected their gameplay, dumbed it down, cheapened it, how it’s not really raiding.
Well, I say “get over yourself” to that, but let’s not forget the effect the LFR has on the rest of us.
How many people out there aren’t in raiding guilds? How many are in guilds with raid teams, but have never been part of the raid groups?
There are still a lot of friends and family guilds in this game, guilds that may not even have ten or more players. Guilds that would like to raid but suffer with too few numbers and too high standards, groups of people that insist on playing with friends and if they don’t have enough to form a raid without inviting strangers or potential asshats into their social atmosphere, just don’t?
How many people out there playing World of Warcraft have never had the opportunity to see what a big raid is like live?
Let’s take a step further back.
How many people out there have never taken part in a large group raid before, because they were afraid of screwing up in front of 9 or 24 other people while trying to get their UI adjusted, addons lined up, and marks/focus/assist/roles/assignments all figured out on the fly while everyone else in the raid is popping green for the ready check on the screen?
It’s not about being able to play your class, understanding your abilities or having addons enabled. You can know how to play your character extremely well in five person groups, and you can have Deadly Boss Mods and Omen and other raiding addons, but there is a lot to setting up a raid UI, or at least understanding what components go into a raid UI and which you need, what they do, and whether you can safely ignore them.
How often in the normal course of the game do you have to know what an assist is? Do you even know what the interface menu options for turning on “attack on assist” mean? What about role settings, and assignments, and knowing who is supposed to heal what, and how to organize it right?
What are all those extra tank and off-tank blocks in VuhDo for, and when should I use them? Who is my assist target, and what the hell does that really mean? Who do I focus on, or do I even focus on anyone for what we’re about to do? Am I shackling anything? Will I need tranq shot on my bar, and how will I know when to use it, or will I be told?
If you are invited to a real raid for the very first time, especially with people whose opinions you value, what do you do if you are afraid you’ll end up screwing up, wiping the raid, and disappointing everyone when you’re trying to figure all this crap out?
Looking For Raid has done more than just open things up. It’s allowed people who could never get their schedule lined up to join a raid team before an opportunity to go in and do a raid, a real 25 person raid, and experience what it is like.
You can say whatever you want about EZ modes, getting carried, streamlined content, and how LFR isn’t a ‘real’ raid.
LFR has adds, bosses, various mechanics, 25 people, all the traditional roles, and lots of flashing lights and raid warnings and DBM updates and threat indicators and all that stuff going on. It is a raid in everything except the crushing likelihood of failure if you screw up just once with your timing on one thing.
Or, as Shadowson likes to say when someone starts a “This LFR group sucks so bad on this boss” story;
“But did the boss get killed?”
Why, yes, yes it did. No matter how sucky the group was, yes, eventually we get the boss down anyway.
In LFR you will not get guidance in how to play your class, you will not get kindly advice unless something really strange happens, and you WILL see players at their worst. But you will also get a chance to test your abilities, become a part of a raid team and see what works and what doesn’t in a live test bed without screwing over your friends.
If nothing else is remembered about LFR in the months to come, I hope this one thing is.
LFR has given everyone an opportunity to gain experience in raiding 25 person content. Everyone. People who never were able to raid before can now do so, and gain valuable experience and confidence that will serve them very well.
In the future, if these people are invited to step into a raid that needs one more person, they can do so knowing that yes, the mechanics will be different, and yes things will require tighter timing and coordination. But they will also know that they have learned to cope and excel in an environment where people don’t communicate shit, do weird ass things, try to fail intentionally, and went on to win anyhow.
LFR. If you can learn to raid without getting pissed at stupid asshats here, if you can keep your head, buckle down and be the person that carries the morons here, then you can raid with an actual GOOD team anywhere.
What I hope to see are people who used to hold raiders in awe stepping into LFR themselves, getting their raid on and seeing what it’s like, finding out how good they really are once they have the opportunity to try and apply themselves, gaining confidence and coming out with their own blogs to share how much fun they’re having and how they made it work.
When Mists of Pandaria does come out, we are going to see the largest community of seasoned and experienced 25 person raiders WoW has ever witnessed come together, all having had their taste of raiding and wanting more. Here’s hoping Blizzard understands what they’ve set in motion, and bring the raiding goodness.
If they’re smart, they’re getting ready to make good on their promise to bring smaller content updates on a more frequent basis to feed the LFR beast. Clearly, there is a HUGE market for it.