|...and so it begins...|
It is easy to forget, if you are lucky enough to be running at the cutting edge of game content, that there are people for whom LFR is the best it gets. As we're now aware, there will be no more new 5 mans this expansion either, so if you want new content that gives Valor, you have either Scenarios or LFR as your choices (where gear dropping is the bonus, should you be friends with the RNG.) The problem with Scenarios is that there's only three of you. No hiding at the back or blaming others, which is why LFR is becoming more and more contentious as your preferential place to gear. Some people have already given up in disgust and frankly I don't blame them, especially based on personal evidence. This morning encompassed all that was good (and bad) when you stick 25 people into a situation where you cannot guarantee any of them know what to do.
I made the observation before 5.2 that the 5.0 Raids had the potential to polarise really fast once they were officially 'not current': I used the word 'ghetto' with good reason. This is the impoverished part of the game, where alts come in the hope of a quick boost up to the richer pickings of the Throne of Thunder, where no-one wants to stay, where bad attitudes and criminal behaviour are commonplace. Of course, there are people in 5.0 LFR's by no fault of their own: the solo players, the people who aren't able to play as much, those who simply find it's the best way to be anonymous but keep themselves alive. This makes for what are becoming wildly variable experiences for those of us who go into these instances not simply for the Valor, but because they are the only places we can find upgrades.
|The simple advice is often the best.|
The problems inevitably arise when you die. It is often very simple to analyse why this happens, without the need for Recount or anything other than an understanding of the fights and some common sense. Tanks fail to communicate. Healers aren't doing anything other than minimal button pressing and fail to grasp the importance of dispelling/cleansing. DPS don't understand basic mechanics and take massive damage. If these happen in isolation they can be covered but when all occur at once (as can be the case in Tsulong) you'll simply keep hitting your head against a wall until people do one of two things. They either think, or they pick up a pitchfork and flaming torch and become part of an Angry Mob of DOOM that anyone who they consider is FAIL is summarily removed. At first hand, this is depressing in the extreme, especially when spearheaded by someone like a tank who is at fault but can hide his ineptitude around other people's shortcomings. I entirely understand why some people never step foot in LFR any more, because unless you get really lucky there is never going to be an instance where there isn't Drama (TM) of some variety. Ironic that Blizzard take loot issues away but that's the least of most people's worries any more.
|Some days, it is just the right thing to do.|
I stuck with my Terrace for the chance of a Bonus Roll on Lei Shi. I'd already done it this week, but there was still the slim possibility my bonus roll might net me the Sha-Touched weapon. Over two hours after I entered I finally saw her released from the Sha's grasp, and I got loot: another trinket. On reflection, on this day, the hassle, the abuse and the recriminations were not a surprise, considering the sequence of events. An inept tank tried to blame the healers for his death and then was kicked at the behest of his tanking partner, for not understanding the mechanics. The replacement tank left after one boss. The replacement for him and the original tank died more times on Lei Shi than was necessary: were they stacking damage debuffs too high or was it the fault of the healers? In the end the lowest performing healers were systematically voted out, one by one, until we succeeded, and I decided that 45 Valor wasn't worth staying for despite the effort I'd expended. There comes a point where you need to assess the best use of time, and I decided to be subjectively selfish. I had done my best, and what I had come for had not appeared. I COULD have stayed for the last boss, but in the end I chose to walk away. Does this make me just as bad as the people I bemoan? Maybe I just saw a painless way out and I took it...
LFR is, for some of us, the ONLY way to see Blizzard's End Game content. As a result, the patience to remain in the system is likely to last at least until Garrosh meets his (wholly justified) unpleasant end. It doesn't matter how many helpful buffs you chuck at people, if the people playing aren't there to do their best, there is absolutely nothing you can do. All you can hope is that everyone turns up and at least makes an effort, and if they do you'll wonder why you ever bemoaned LFR's system in the first place.
I don't know about you, but I don't think that's really enough.