Saturday, May 18, 2013

How do you Solve a Problem like Maria?

For a couple of weeks now, there has been no desire to LFR.

quinn.anya @ flickr. Bad writing by me.

I know I can use both the points and the reputation, but the need to take part simply hasn't been there. I was beginning to wonder whether I was missing something obvious, and it looks like I was. Yesterday afternoon the clouds parted, a Terry Gilliam animation appeared in the sky above me, and the inevitability of the problem finally registered.

Terry Gilliam's God is an unforgiving git.

It all began when I started making lists.

Aware that 5.3 is due next week not far away, it occurred to me I should start planning what I'd like to do not simply before the patch hits, but afterwards. This means levelling a particular pet battle team so I can have a crack at the Beasts of Fable. There's a bunch of Achievements I'd like to finish on the Isle of Thunder (and in the old Dailies area, if truth be told.) Then there's that much-talked of list of Hunter pets I'm hoping to tame once my stable size increases... and then I stopped. I shouldn't be planning on stuff like this, I should queue for the last part of LFR. I've still not done the last boss. Why?

Then I understood.


The reality of the situation made sudden and perfect sense. Back when my Guild was raiding, 10 mans mattered to me a lot, but never at the expense of completing them. I'd sub myself out of fights if I knew there was someone else who wanted it more, in a heartbeat. The key to my love affair with progression content was WE AS A GUILD finished it. That's not happened with the Throne of Thunder, the first time since Karazhan that I've not 'done' a major instance 'properly.' And yes, LFR IS NOT PROPERLY, BLIZZARD. I get to see the boss, sure, but completing it, killing him is not the same as a 10 man or 25 man experience. I am forced to complete LFR with people I don't know and may never meet, and there is no affinity in this action, no empathy in the action. Suddenly doing it 'because it's current content' is no longer enough. I have no competitive desire to be the first person in the Guild to have done it in LFR. Most importantly of all, completing the content on my terms is what matters more, and I can't do that.

Sure, I could desert my Guild and jump server... but I don't want to. I want to do this with my friends, and I've known many of these people as long as I've played the game. Suddenly, the greatest strength the game possesses becomes its biggest drawback.

Not in the slighest bit ironic. Unlike my situation.

If I want points, I may as well run the Vaults repeatedly. The only real need to do ToT is for the Legendary quest, and I don't need to do the 'harder' parts of that at all. My luck with drops continues to be woeful, and gear isn't really an issue if I'm not doing anything other than raiding in LFR... so I have no need to complete the content now. I may as well wait until I outgear it, go back and muller it.

This is not what I think Blizzard had in mind.

What I don't want to be doing right now is wiping repeatedly on Lei Shen with a bunch of people who don't care about me or what I do. What I do want is to be planning things that give me a sense of satisfaction and enjoyment. Suddenly, end game content is not part of that equation, at least for me.

I think this might take a bit of getting used to.

A return to faffing days of old. I can live with this.

I realise I am not a 'typical' player by any stretch of the imagination. I understand the need to keep running LFR for those people who believe that the iLevel of their gear is important (for whatever reason that may be, I'm not casting any aspersions here) and I really do grasp how LFR keeps people 'engaged' in content... except it doesn't. Raid content works in 10 and 25 man far better when the people playing have a tangible link to each other. They choose to play as a team, and are not thrown together by fate. There is a honking great big hole in the LFR plan which could explain why the Blizzard subscription ship's started to take on water. Those of you who are 10/25 manning away happily might not notice this sudden listing to one side, but I think anyone who spends a lot of time in LFR might want to take a look under their seat and make sure their flotation device is there. You know, just in case.

Frankly you can never be too careful.

For now, if you want me, I'll be over here faffing on anything I can find and, if I do go to LFR, it won't be for shiny rewards. In fact, now I come to think of it, I should be running Heroics for Justice Points to spend when the gear upgrading chaps reappear...


Andrew Sutherland said...

I think that it is exactly what Blizzard had in mind. They've continually said that you should have fun doing what you do and that lfr is for non raiders to see raid content (with a bribe for raiders to get them interested so they carry the raid). The gap occurs when people that want to raid do lfr and get bored without making the step up to a normal raiding guild.
As for me I run the parts of ToT that I enjoy in lfg (2 and 3). Do part 1 in guild then run MV if short on VP.

The Godmother said...

I don't think this is what Blizzard had in mind at all. I should want to be raiding. I should want to go in LFR, and it really isn't fun.

Of course, my experience may vary ^^

Erinys said...

I think this is partly why I'm not playing anymore. I don't want to experience content with a bunch of random bad tempered strangers who are only there for the loot. I want to progress, to kill things with people I mostly like. I found that LFR, battlegrounds and all the other bits for people who can't invest the time in guilds was just an exercise in frustration.

Chris, aka StupidGoldTweet said...

I agree with Andrew. LFR is not for raiders. It was put in as a way to let casuals see the bosses because an incredibly small percentage of players were the only ones seeing end game content while it was current. It's intended to be Content Touring Mode and nothing more.

That said it also caters to lapsed raiders that don't have time to be on a real team (though if you can spend 45 minutes in a queue and 2 hours wiping you may as well be on a real team), current raiders that want every possible gear advantage (these are generally the people yelling at the people wiping and lead to LFR being less fun), and alts that need to gear up.

You said you prefer doing 10/25 mans with your guild. That's the raiding Blizz wants you to want to do. If you can't, they provide LFR so you can at least see their work.

Zeirah said...

I raid a lot and like raiding, but I have to admit for the first time since lfr came out in cata I am not doing it and I should justify that, its not that I'm not doing it, I'm not doing parts 3 and 4 of ToT. For me, I don't mind the randomness of strangers, though at times I do try to avoid watching raid chat to ignore the carry on that can happen. I think its just the end parts of ToT requires a lot of coordination.. I'm thinking nests on Ji-kun, stacking at the right times on Iron Qon, groups seperating for the transition on Lei-Shen.. and for LFR this coordination is too much committment. It requires either people to have an understanding of how the fight works, someone to explain it well and pepole to listen and too often that combination doesn't come together and it results in a miserable run.
I think Blizz wants people to see the end content and in this case maybe wanted to leave the mechanics almost intact in the hope that 25 random people would cooperate in the spirit the raid was designed in, and I don't think, judging from the amount of negativity about this particular lfr, that is was successful.

Kamalia said...

I haven't had much desire to run LFR lately, either, even with Wrathion's quest nagging at the back of my brain. Although I'm happy enough without the demands of normal mode raiding on my schedule, LFR mode raiding just isn't the same experience at all, and that's a significant aspect of my lack of desire to do it.

Still, I'll keep pushing myself through enough LFR each week to win at least ONE of Wrathion's gubbins until I complete this stage of the legendary or my iLevel gets high enough to go into T16 LFR (whichever comes later).

Askevar said...

I'll admit, LFR does feel like a bit of a chore for the legendary rewards. It lessens that notion going into it with guildies [and an co-tank I trust].

If they're going to cut out the necessity of LFR for the raider, they really need to have the bosses be where it becomes higher difficulty as you go in... not Jinrokh the LootPinata and then hit the Horridon wall for weeks... [Blizzard themselves has admitted this flaw]

But I will say, despite that, I'm enjoying gearing my alts in LFR. And I do run into plenty of stupid, but when I don't NEED to finish a run for legendaries or when I don't NEED the valor or gear, there really isn't much reason to stay if it gets too bad. I mean, sure I'd like the valor, legendary pieces and gear, but if it's not my main, I don't really NEED it.

Navimie said...

I never have the urge to LFR, except if I want something in particular. I don't even valour cap. LFR, like battlegrounds, is a necessary evil sometimes. Though, every now and then you meet some serious people - I had a whisper in my last LFR from someone who was doing a guild run LFR (both the tanks were part of that guild) who asked if I would like to come with them for the next set of LFR as I was playing reasonably well. So, there are good people out there. And they do need the better players, like us. Sometimes that makes it all worth it.