A cornucopia, a plethora, a herd, flock or swarm?

Ooh, I know what you can call lots of choices in Looking For Raid dungeons…

An Embarassment of Raids.

I love having all these LFR raiding choices, but at the same time, it’s a bit overwhelming. It’s almost too much of a good thing.

Almost.

But then again, maybe it’s just right.

You don’t have to do any LFR at all. But, if you do choose to do one, you’ll get 90 valor points. That’s the equivalent of 18 daily quests, all in one shot.

And there are a lot of them because they’re all broken up into bite size boss pieces, so it’s entirely possible to only run the third and fifth LFR instances if those are the only ones that drop gear that would be useful to you. Like, oh, a hunter weapon. Damnit.

Last week, on Tuesday night, I knocked out Sha of Anger before dinner, did Gate of the Setting Sun heroic to take another daily shot at the epic bow, and then began queueing for the first of the LFR dungeons.

There are now five LFR dungeons to choose from, if your average iLevel is 470 or higher.

The iLevel gating didn’t matter to me, I have managed to stay current with the content on my Hunter by doing Sha of Anger, LFR and heroics every time I had the chance and the Klaxxi dailies and even some Golden Lotus to stay up on my valor points and gear. And of course by not spending any real time on any other character at all.

The iLevels are fairly effective gates. I had to put forth some serious effort and planning to make sure I hit those 470 levels on my Hunter without normal raid drops.

One does not just walk into Terrace of Endless Spring.

You can’t just slip, fall into a pile of epics and stroll into LFR like Ghostcrawler designed it all just for you, you precious little snowflake.

You have to put some effort into getting geared up. You have to, you know, show an interest. Run Heroics, gain reputation with some factions, earn and spend some Valor, make or buy some crafted, etc.

The result in LFR attitude seems to be positive. 

When I step into an LFR right now, the relative skills displayed by players (including me!) may vary dramatically, but the level of intensity, of interest, of giving a shit is there.

Right now I can feel a big difference between Pandarian LFR and Cataclysm.

I ran Terrace of the Endless Spring again last night, as well as the second half of Mogushan Vaults. You know… the two raids that have a chance to drop a weapon upgrade for me.

Not that they did. SON OF A USED CAR SALESMAN.

But it’s cool, because I still got an upgrade. All those days of Gate of the Setting Sun? It left me maxed at 4000 justice Points, so I was able to upgrade both my Tempestuous Longbow AND my Alchemy trinket! So my Alchemy trinket got a double boost, they buffed it in the patch from 450 to 458, and now with JP I got it up to 466.

It’s only a teeny upgrade, but it feels good. Look, I got a little better without having to rely on luck!

Screw waiting for a lucky drop, I can now improve all of my gear through perseverance and grinding and wait, this is a benefit again? Oh, of course it is, but holy crap, if I thought there was pressure to cap weekly valor before, the knowledge that there are now 496 valor belts, boots, trinkets and rings available from the new rep, PLUS the ability to dump endless valor into upgrading existing epics… ugh.

Awesome, but still… ugh.

With all the new options for customizing and modifying and personalizing gear, you know who I really feel sorry for?

Ask Mr Robot. This has to be a coding NIGHTMARE.

Whatever else may happen down the road, this one change in 5.1, giving us the ability to spend valor to upgrade items, THIS will be something that has long term effects way out of proportion to the effort of adding it.

I can’t even imagine how dedicated high end raiders are going to have to be now to keep earning that max valor every week to keep upgrading even their Heroic raid gear multiple steps. Bye bye Sun, hello begging for removing the damn weekly cap so we can earn at OUR pace, and not have to log in like it’s a daily job to punch in and out of.

But I’m talking about LFR raids, and getting back to the point, the experience I had last night mirrored the one from last week, and all the weeks before it.

There are plenty of boneheads in LFR. That has NOT changed. There are people who zone in without a clue what to do, where to go, what to shoot, where to drag bosses (Will of the Emperor tanks, I’m looking at you), or what to get your butt out of.

As a side note, if you’d like to do the LFR raids but don’t want to look clueless, can I strongly recommend the Fatboss series of Youtube videos? They’re good, informative, and funny as hell. So you get to be entertained while you learn. Isn’t that nice? Just search for Fatboss on Yourtubve, subscribe to their channel.

But yeah, while there are plenty of boneheads…

The negaitve attitude, that nasty, mouthy, bitchy eliter-than-thou attitude is almost non-existant.

There are people who get exasperated at times, and there are always people who drop group after a boss, for whatever reason.

But the one thing that sets these Pandarian LFR runs apart from Dragon Soul is intensity. Determination.

When things go wrong, and they will still go wrong when people unfamiliar with what to do are there, there are few recriminations. No ranting. No swearing, or whining about repair costs.

There will be whining and bitching about drops and gold, of course, but not about “why you so fail”. People dig in and try. They may not know what the hell they’re supposed to be trying to do, but they are trying just the same.

People are paying attention. Things still go wrong, but it’s from enemy action and ignorance, and not from a willful desire to troll the raid or screw off.

I can’t help but contrast that with the Cataclysm Dragon Soul LFR. 

I wonder how much of this is from there being so much to do, trolls don’t have the time right now to blow a whole night just to screw over a bunch of strangers by wiping the same raid over and over, especially when it’s just one raid out of five available to do.

I obviously wonder what part of the iLevel gating and the effort needed to break through that gate has to play in the reduction in intentional trolling. Has the effort needed to get into LFR caused those who are in to value the chance and try harder to do their best? Has that played any part at all?

Right now, it feels like everyone present in LFR is intent on getting things done right the first time, paying attention and not wanting to screw around with running back in. It’s easy for me to feel it might be because of a desire to get done to go do something else, because there is so much that can be done, and a weekly valor cap needs to be reached, over and over, world of warcraft without end, Amen.

You know who I’m not seeing in current LFR? Those people who feel they are too good to be there, that they’re slumming and the rest of the raid are peasants who need to do all the work to carry them as they chat about how stoned they got that weekend.

You know who I mean. Picture if you will a couple of loud-talking cell-phone using people with free front row tickets to a Billy Joel/Elton John legendary concert. “Oh yes, Phoebe, I’m here at that show they were handing out the tickets for at the office. Oh, I don’t know, it sounded like it might be okay, but really, they’re just singing some tired old song that is just so ’80s, I’m sure my mother would love it, but really, I can’t believe people would pay to see this. Who cares about that, I’m just waiting until I get a call from Mark and then we’re going to coe meet you. How are you? Is that party you’re at fabulous? I’ll get out of here as soon as I can, it’s just so dreary, blah blah blah…”

Oh yeah. In Dragon Soul LFR, some days it felt like that was half the damn raid.

I haven’t seen them at ALL in the new stuff. Maybe once the easy peazy epics start dropping, and they can waltz in past the iLevel gate without having put forth any effort? Or maybe they’re too busy tilling their farm, or doing dailies, or looking for rares, or any of the hundreds of new things to do that don’t require effort to get into.

I’m sure they’re coming, but by then… well, seems we’re still getting new stuff to do, amiright? And as we get what we want from the lower iLevel LFRs, and new daily quests come out, we don’t even need to run them for valor.

I don’t know. It’s just wierd. I keep expecting people to be vocal asshats or try to intentionally grief the raids like we saw in Dragon Soul, and it keeps not happening.

I have raids wipe on bosses through ignorance of mechanics or low DPS or failure to move their ass, but that’s perfectly acceptable to me. People try, and learn, and eventually succeed.

People, you have trained me to hate and dread LFR. Why are you confusing me so much?!?

11 Responses to “A Cornucopia, a Plethora, a Herd, Flock or Swarm?”
  1. Theodoxus says:

    I’ve yet to break through the 470 barrier, for exactly the reason you state: I have alts I have to level. I have an Insciptionist who just this morning finally unlocked revered with Tillers (he was my 3rd 90) so now, I’m farming songbells – by the end of the week, I’ll have finally gotten enough spirits to make the staff, which will (if I’ve calculated correctly) finally get me to 470 on my priest.

    I’ve been working my butt off to get my leatherworker to 90 for the same reason (leather is insane for the recipes – 2 types of armor, 2 types of gear = 4 different recipes for each location… die Blizz – I guess I should be thankful there isn’t Int only and Spirit infused types too)

    I had to get my blacksmith to 87 to unlock the SoH recipes so I could start making gear for all my plate wearers… Haven’t gotten him to 90 yet, but he’ll probably be my 5th 90.

    And on and on it goes. Damn alts.

    I suspect that if my guild was actually active instead of just a smattering being on, I’d be more inclined to concentrate on my main and be happy to raid more.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      The only way this expansion has worked for me is to dedicate every playing moment to my Hunter. This last weekend was the first time I’ve really had extra playtime so I was able to get on my Warlock.

      it’s not that there is too much to do. there’s isn’t. It’s that if I want to raid and to be as prepared as I can be to be an asset to my raid team, I have to prioritize my time to whatever gets gear upgrades for my Hunter first, and that has meant heroics, all of LFR, Sha of Anger, and leveling rep and acquiring valor to buy high ilevel gear.

      I would like to be spending time questing and random leveling my monk alt and my warlock alt, to go solo old raids for pets, pet battles at all, hunt treasures or rares, more hunter pets, etc.

      I know I will eventually be able to do that stuff… and also level more 85s to 90, level their rep to buy patterns for crafting, all sorts of stuff. But there isn’t time to do it now, and that’s by my choice and because of my priorities.

  2. Ngita says:

    Uggh I hope they don’t remove the valor cap. At the moment i bash it out in 2-3 days. Then I feel free to do the fun stuff. pvp ,pet battles, old instances, old quests,old reps, alts.

    As for lfr, no I am not see’ing it. Ok I suck pretty bad at dps on my alt warrior(main spec tank) and I am 471. So why I am 3rd,4th in dps in lfr?

    • Slumlord says:

      Tanks get a stacking buff called Vengeance when you get hit by mobs, ramps up your attack power, hence the huge tank dps. Next time you are offtank and not getting hit by mobs you’ll notice your dps on that fight is through the floor.

  3. Riegnman says:

    Personally, I think that you’re not seeing as many asshats in LFR(470) because they’re too stupid to get there. Think about it, these are the same people that couldn’t focus one tentacle and then kill bloods until 9 stacks. Or the ones that couldn’t tab-target a corrupted tentacle or whatever to single target them. I think that blizz added an intelligence gating when they re-added trash/boss mechanics. :)

  4. Very cool article! I have written about LRF on a few occasions, mostly cause I dislike what it risks doing to your guild and the community feeling. But if the attitudes have changed, then perhaps I need to poke my nose into it again… Or my snout.

  5. koalabear21 says:

    Are you running LFR early in the week? That is when most of the raiders run it. If you run it later in the week (especially Sat – Mon) you will get the trolls, scrubs and jerks.

    If you want the run to usually be nice then you want to have LFR done by Thursday.

    A lot of the problem with the DS LFR is the regular raiders had stopped running it. At the end of the expansion all that was left was alts, casual players (this does not mean bad players) and trolls. I remember running DS LFR when it first came out and not having many problems. I ran it again at the end of the patch on an alt and wanted to drop group almost the entire time. It was that bad.

    Good luck with your weapon upgrade! :D

    • bigbearbutt says:

      I do try to run it Tuesday night on the reset, or as early as possible so I know by the weekend if I have upgrades to be gemmed, enchanted and reforged.

      This week I ran Terrace and the second half of Mogushan vaults on Tuesday, and last night I ran the second half of Heart of Fear.

      I have waited until Sunday/Monday for some runs, including the first week Heart of Fear was out (second half), and those went the same.

      I don’t know, I’m sure your experience may vary, but right now is what we see, what we have to deal with, and it’s pretty good.

  6. Theodoxus says:

    Ran Mogu last night. Spent all my elders. I got 9 sacks of gold (only had 3 elders). I’m so fed up with not getting anything (I’ve still only gotten one main hand weapon (I prefer staff, but will use whatever I get) and a neck that was worse than the valor one.

    I admit, I used DS LFR to stack getting items with my guildies. I liked it, take 10 friends along, you’re pretty much insured to get a piece or two out of LFR. Now, it’s just RNG and blizz is notorious for horrid RNG. If there was some kind of stacking buff, where each week you get only gold increases a chance for a drop – that’d be great. But having a 2% (or whatever, but it feels like 2%) chance every boss, every raid… it’s killing me and my enthusiasm.

  7. dubhe says:

    We were running reg Firelands and reg DragonSoul heavily before Pandaland came. At the moment, I just cant get enthusiastic about raiding. I still have only gotten 1 toon to lvl 90 and have just now hit exalted with the tillers, lol the only faction I am exalted with. I guess I just need a break from the constant grinds and long hours raiding. I am stopping to smell the roses for a while. Right now, I don’t even have a desire to run the heroics, much less LFR. I am enjoying Pandaria, I’m just tired of rushing on the hamster wheel.

  8. Bristal says:

    @Theodoxus
    How clueless can you be? You and your friends “stacking” to get gear in LFR is why they changed the loot system! Can you really not understand that? You gamed the system and broke the game for players like me who actually appreciate the chance to raid that LFR gives. You do understand what RNG stands for, right? Maybe it’s you who is so bad at the RNG. Without all your buddies carrying you in rolls, you’re really just not that good at it.

    What? You didn’t get any gear from a single 30 minute LFR run last night? And you couldn’t get your buddies to take any from anyone else?

    Ah the sweet nectar of “HA HA!” Now go play something else.

    @BBB
    I wiped at least a dozen times in the first week to Garalon in LFR over a few days. There was some random vitriol, but mostly people just left if they weren’t interested in an actual raiding experience. As a solo player, I loved it. I agree that LFR is a better place to be right now. I do wish there was some forced waiting time before bosses to encourage actual communication, though. I agree with Koala that it will likely get worse as the divide between “running it for the eleventh time” and “wait, what am I supposed to be doing?” widens.

  9.  

World of Warcraft™ and Blizzard Entertainment® are all trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment in the United States and/or other countries. These terms and all related materials, logos, and images are copyright © Blizzard Entertainment. This site is in no way associated with Blizzard Entertainment®