LFR Too Easy? A Self-Correcting Problem

I’ve read a lot about how easy Looking For Raid is, and the fears people have that it will continue that way.

I’m thinking it’s a self-correcting problem, but I’m hopeful it’ll all work out  as we go.

I’ll put this as simply as I can.

When LFR was released for the patch, it had a requirement of iLevel 372 gear to queue.

For the first week of LFR, the only people capable of entering were those who had been able to get to an average ilevel of 372 or higher without the benefits of 378 Valor gear suddenly being purchaseable from justice Points, and 378 gear dropping from streamlined 5 person dungeons.

I want to be clear about what I AM saying, and what I and am NOT saying.

I AM saying that for the first week at least, the people able to queue for LFR were experienced in raiding Firelands content in large groups, and had done so enough to be reasonably well geared from it.

I AM saying that I think frequent successful raiding experience translates to people generally knowing how to handle current content design concepts in a group.

So, I think that it is not surprising to find that the LFR as it stands was considered easy for the first week.

Seeing new content look absurdly easy the first week it was released is nothing new to us.

Think back to when Burning Crusade was first released. All those folks in their high level raiding purples blew through the zone, and were already hitting raids and succeeding in the first week. One thing that was changed for Wrath was making such a power discrepancy between BC level 70 and WotLK level 80 that it wasn’t supposed to happen that way again.

It did anyway. There were Sunwell raiding groups that were clearing WotLK raids in Sunwell gear early on.

My point here is, having the iLevel requirement for the first week be high enough that it limited the raid queueing to current well-geared raiders at the top of their game, people that had been consistently clearing Firelands content and hard modes, means that you’ve got the same situation now.

The big difference is, these are the folks you’re raiding right alongside with.

If the starting iLevel requirement had been 365, it probably wouldn’t have been as easy-peasy seeming the first week.

I think what we’re going to see happen is, all non-raiding folks (just like me!) people who are excited at raiding but never had the regimented, predictable time in their schedules to raid consistently, are now going to rapidly finish gearing their characters by running the new 5 person instances, getting massive upgrades, and spending JP and Valor on great stuff.

Those folks will have heard how easy LFR is, and, just like me, be excited to get in there and see it themselves. These folks who are in guilds or situations that limit their ability to raid will get their characters geared well enough to run it, but they will not be experienced in raiding within a 25 person environment. They will be having to perform at a level they are not familiar with. There will be learning opportunities. There will be mistakes. There will be confusion.

On the flip side, I anticipate most raiders doing it now will have gotten what they can for upgrades out of LFR within a month, and will stop chain-running it because they will be working on content progression in normal and hard modes of the real Dragon Soul. They may keep running it a few times a week for the quick 250 Valor Point reward, but not to the extent they are now.

The result?

For the next month, those players new to the logistics of 25 person raiding will have the opportunity to learn from the raiders that are experts already, but gradually leaving for the main raid.

I think the LFR will gradually get more difficult to clear, wipes will become more frequent, and overall it will become more of a challenge as the average dps level drops from 20K+ down to the 16k range, and healer throughput dips as well.

What am I NOT saying?

I’m not saying that the hardcore raiders are intrinsically better players better than those who haven’t had the opportunity to raid a lot in large groups. I’m saying that dedicated raiders have had more experience recently, and went in geared to succeed and apply their experience immediately.

But if you’re doing the LFR right now, and wondering in amazement at how awesome it is that it’s so easy, and even complaining that you wish it was more challenging…

Keep in mind, it’s likely never going to be so easy ever again. And since each group is thrown together from scratch each time, you are only as good as the average experience level of each individual player. You will never see overall improvement as a group, because your group will never have the chance to work together again to improve coordination, communication or teamwork.

So suck it up, buttercups. Enjoy the ride while it lasts. It’s gonna get harder soon enough, and you will find that challenge we all love.

If there is a downside, it will be the people who base their expectations on the LFR for the next year on how it’s gone the last week, and who will grow ever louder in rage about how everyone suddenly ‘sucks’ because there are actual wipes as people learn the encounters.

16 thoughts on “LFR Too Easy? A Self-Correcting Problem

  1. I have a feeling the quality of LFR is going to depend a lot of time of day / time of the week. Specifically, Raiders that come in at the beginning (Tues)/end of the week (Mon) to finish up, vs the horde of unwashed masses that play on the weekend because they have time.

    That said, I missed the first week, and play at odd times of day (I moved from the US to Europe for a short time, so I play on a US server, but in EU times). I’ve had pretty good results from LFR.

    Speaking of which, I got *really* lucky my first Fall of Deathwing and picked up: http://www.wowhead.com/item=78482 Kiril.
    Given that this is Big Bear Butt, I *highly* recommend running LFR until you get it. The proc is something like a 2.6x size increase. You actually become as big as the bosses in many fights (at least in the Dungeons I’ve been running with it).

    It may take a few runs, because after getting that last week, I didn’t get anything this week, and 3x http://www.wowhead.com/item=77190 dropped at the end. (And *two* of them were won by the same player because the LFR system isn’t particularly perfect.)

    Anyway, LFR does seem a little too easy right now, given that with very little knowledge of the fights on my part, I was part of mostly one-shotting them. Tried to go into Firelands on a PuG raid, where I know but have not done the fights, and we wiped 3x on Alys and then the group fell apart.

    The *biggest* thing that LFR brings IMO, is the ability to bring in subs without having to go back to town and beg on /2. Even if the raids were tuned just as hard as existing content, that would be a huge win for trade PuGs. Someone being rude, kick em and get a new slot filled in seconds rather than 20 minutes waiting for someone to accept, then join, then get to the instance/summoned/etc.


  2. On a side note, LFR provided me with my most entertaining raid in months.

    On the gunship battle, which was started before anyone could explain the fight, an argument broke out in raid chat over whether we should be soaking the big purple swirly things (we should, since it prevents damage to the ship and total damage is shared by players standing in the swirls). While most argued that we should be soaking it to prevent damage to the ship, several people in raid were arguing that we were taking unnecessary damage. This resulted in those standing in the purple swirls dying because not enough people were soaking the damage.


    Meanwhile, a priest was randomly shouting weird things in raid chat, as if he had some form of Tourette’s Syndrome. He randomly went “FIGHT ME I OWN A DOJO IN REAL LIFE. FIGHT ME!” “IMA KARATE BLACK BELT!”

    As the ship crashed and burned, I was laughing until tears came out of my eyes and my wife thought I was nuts.


  3. I’ve been preaching this same thing to my guild. After the first few weeks, the LFR will start getting used for the real people it was intended for. Non-Raiders. In my mind the tool is for people who don’t raid, so that they can see the conclusion of the story of the expansion. Lots of us raiders take it for granted that we got to kill Arthas. Even more people got to see the end of the end of Wrath than did BC. The gear from the LFR is just a bouns for those of us that are already raiding.

    The problem that I’ve seen in every single LFR group I’ve ran in, is the lack of tolerance by extremly well geared and knowlegeable people for these normal people. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth when we one shot three out of four bosses, and then when we struggle on the 4th boss and the so called “pros” rage against the less experienced people. The best, and also worst part of WOW are the other people you get grouped with. Unless you are queing up with a ton of guildies, you are grouping up with 24 strangers. Your chances of grouping up with a douche (or a whole bunch of douches) are 6 times higher, or seemingly for me, 100% higher. Because I’ve never done one yet where people were reasonable and decent to the other strangers in the group. I find it sad.


  4. Pingback: The Cognitive Dissonance of Raid Finder « Tree Heals Go Woosh

  5. I usually only do LFR after out 10 man ends with the same 10 people giving us a little edge because half the LFR will be guildies and raiders. But I did hear the horror from a few members that ran on alts w/o others and they just wanted to bash their head against the keyboard. Everything from abysmal DPS, no coordination, to individuals getting selected for a role (tank, healer) that they were not geared for.


  6. I expected the quality of player in LFR to drop in the 3rd or 4th week. Sadly, the quality’s already dropped in this, the 2nd, week.

    The first week, almost everyone appeared to be a raider. To wit, they understood that coordination, communication, and civility were key to making a raid work.

    This week? LFR might as well have been LFM–Looking for Monkies–given that the main skill of the majority appeared to be flinging poo.


    • Yes, I went in a few times last night myself, and was pretty surprised at the drastic shift in attitude. And I knew it was coming, just, this soon?


      • Wow. I thought it was just me. I’m somewhat of an alt-freak, and I have so far run 4 alts thru LFR. LFR groups were quite good last week and the starting of this week. Over the weekend they got consistently worse. Last night, nobody in my LFR group dps-ed more than 20k for 2 bosses (granted this includes myself on my least geared toon, getting into LFR by the skin of my ilvl teeth).


  7. I don’t disagree with your point, that LFR runs will get more challenging (and frustrating) as the talent pool will likely change over time. But, you cannot “chain run” LFR because you get valor for only 1 run weekly, and you can roll on gear only once weekly for each boss.

    I’ve run both this week, and I’m not a raider, nor in an active guild, although I did OK dips-wise.

    First time I queued I got the final boss on first wing. Five minutes, 250 valor. Lots of people drop group during runs. I requeued and got a fresh run, raid leader and raid chat trolls were bad, a few wipes, but we it got done. Got one tier drop.

    Took 3 queues for the other wing as well. On the first, which I eventually dropped, there was absolutely no raid discussion before the first pull. Then I got the last boss which took 3 tries, leadership was stronger, but abrupt with a lot of “this is so easy” which is always so helpful. Third queue was fresh and likely was mostly a skilled raiding guild. Excellent coordination, fun and playful chat, clear directions and great post-wipe analysis if what happened wrong. Also got another tier drop.

    The fights are not easy for casuals. Raid coordination is not easy in general. Do them now, and early in the week if you want to breeze through them.


  8. Raiding seems easy ? Try killing the DoT stacking, slime summoning boss (i forgot his name) with only one tank when the tank is taking average 200k damage every two seconds…..thanks to generous RNG lady we managed it with half of the DPS dead on 50% boss health…..most damn epic feeling in my life, right in nooby LFR 😀


  9. One small note: Those that can do a full clear (or pretty close to a full clear), likely won’t need to do the LFR to max out Valor points for the week. You can get 900/1000 from doing all bosses (including Baradin Hold). They still might do it though, for a chance to replace some 378 pieces with 384 (or whatever they are).

    Also, surprised you didn’t mention “cheesing” the system with PvP gear. I know there were a handful in my LFR raid that used PvP gear to queue up, and switched to their 346/359 gear once they were in.

    @Brian aka protectorate
    I’ve been in a group where the supposed raid leader hadn’t even completed the instance yet.
    How is one supposed to complete the instance before it’s released?

    Agree completely regarding those doing normal modes, and also doing LFR raids causing confusion. I certainly was when I did the normal mode first, then the LFR version afterward and trying to figure out why everyone was doing it differently.


  10. agreed LFR seems easy now but there are also alot of experianced raiders in there as a resto druid i can tel them apart instantly, i put a swiftmend on the ground and the raiders will move 5 yards and stand in it while the non-raiders just stand in the black stuff going “DUURRR heal mor u suck!”

    That said getting gear seems WAY to easy tho i have been playing since Vanilla wow, i took 6 months off (the summer) and went from BWD gear to 376 in 2 days


  11. BBB,

    A word of hope you help you out if you despair about the future fails of LFR – all of those people in progression guilds who are in LFR the first week and may dip out in the coming weeks will almost certainly return with a vengeance in a month with their alts. They’ll be 8/8 in normal DS, maybe working on some hard modes, but they’ll want to bring alts and that’s definitely the easiest way to casually raid with alts.

    Also, there’s A LOT of confusion right now in some of the LFR groups – the normal modes aren’t necessarily the same as the LFR modes in terms of boss abilities. If you haven’t done them yet, you don’t know what I’m talking about, but… In LFR for instance on Zon’ozz, the orb just bounces 10 times and then he goes into black blood phase, no need to make sure he hits the orb like there is on normal… and in LFR, Yorsahj has a different kill order on the oozes because green doesn’t do the aoe so the group can remain stacking for green which they can’t on normal mode.
    What this does is cause mass confusion and hysteria when people who run normal modes don’t understand there’s a difference and start telling the raid to do one thing, while other people are telling them to do the proper thing, and it leads to wipes.

    The other problem with the LFR is that the raid leader is completely random. I’ve been in a group where the supposed raid leader hadn’t even completed the instance yet.


    • Very true, even in the raid I was in there was some confusion on ooze kill orders and WTF is up wit dat ball (stack, noobs!) and chaining the lightning (which was damn fun!).

      But the thing is, there was always at least one voice of reason, usually three, that called out what to do and got it back on track, and almost everyone did get back on track fast.

      I bet the people getting in for the first time now, if they are paying attention, will be doing it like pros before the week is out. Just… gonna be some transition.

      And for those that are mentioning raiding alts… hells yes, that will certainly flatten the curve a bit.


  12. I had never thought of it that way, you’ve hit the nail on its head (again)!

    We can hope, though, that those raiders who currently make LFR “easy” have alts who may not have the best gear, but at least have the previous experience and make it “bearable” in a month or two.

    People being what people are, though, I do think that the tone in those LFRs might just deteriorate “a bit”. Probably just as my tank meets the iLvl requirements to participate. DARN YOU, CURSED SHOULDERSLOT!!! Blue. Nothing BoP dropped. Nothing BoE is to be found on the AH for under 12K if at all…


  13. A voice of reason in the echoing madness that has been some comments about the LFR. I haven’t yet attempted the LFR, I’m lucky in that I’m a part of a raiding group. My alts do not yet meet the requirements and many not ever. I’m glad though to read a well reason stament that makes sense. I personally know that I would be a bit out of my comfort zone in a 25 man raid enviroment. I’m used to the 10 man style and have been for most of Cataclysm since the shared lockouts started. I hope for those that do plan to use the LFR that they can see your reasoning and not end up being asshats, but they say hope springs eternal. thank you again for a well reasoned read


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