Thursday, May 01, 2014

ALPHA :: You Better You Bet

Pay Attention, 007.

As I expected, the last part of WatcherDev's Watercooler serious on Raiding has delivered a large lorryload of potential drama to the yard. Let's sum up the main points in bullet form, shall we?

  • The four raids above EACH HAVE THEIR OWN WEEKLY LOCKOUT.
  • Less Valor required plus less incentive to cap has been promised.
  • Targeted design will allow players non-linear progression.
  • LFR drop rates will double, with deliberately different art, no tier and no set bonuses. Yes, you still get trinkets.

Already, the expected arguments have begun. LFR players will either see this as a massive kick in the teeth or an opportunity to gear on the way up to new Raiding adventures. Some people will do nothing but run end game content all week. I can see many others converting to PvP on the strength of that blog post yesterday. After nine years of watching pretty much everything come and go, I've become fairly adept at having all the arguments in my head, understanding every pro and con when Blizzard offer their playerbase a choice like this to make. At the end of the day, the game has never been the problem here. It's the people playing that cause the issues.

Fair point Grimmy :D

There are some practical considerations to be made, however. We as yet don't know how hard it will be to kill a L100 mob in quest gear. We have no idea of what these raids will in fact entail. We don't know if PvP gear will actually be an easier farm than LFR. With so many unanswered questions it becomes difficult to make accurate choices, but this is, of course, only part of a far larger and far more complicated equation. For those of us who run multiple alts, the notion of choice has been severely restricted in Pandaria. If you want to gear for raiding, all you have is LFR. There is no alternative, and that has not changed. This time around for Warlords Blizzard have been smart enough to offer gear that will get you raiding, but won't pretend its anything other than just that. That's the key difference that I sense most may simply choose to ignore. For everyone else... well, it will depend what other PvE options are on the table.

It will also have a lot to do with what people decide the 'reward' in Warlords actually is.

 Free Coffee? YES PLEASE.

For a long time, End Game was your only discernible goal. Yes, it was. Illidan, Arthas, that's what everybody wanted to see, and most people never did, and that's why we got LFR. Everyone then had the opportunity to experience the main storyline in Cataclysm/Pandaria, and the game didn't care whether you did it in Raid Finder or Warforged gear. It stopped being about getting there first, it was all about just being there to begin with. Warlords is going to change the way that story is told period, this much is already obvious from what we know about Garrisons and the first hour of gameplay. In that vital initial contact you will meet, outside of an Instance, all the titular Warlords. Everyone will be thrust front and centre to the storyline and that won't change through ten levels of gameplay. LFR becomes simply a stage for players to watch the story unfold with the benefit of nice gear, just not *as nice* as the other three tiers above them. Blizzard will therefore be hoping that this immersion may yet inspire players to step outside the LFR 'treadmill' and try their hands at higher forms of raiding. This is most obviously the aim of this entire system, exactly as it is with the PvP changes. Blizzard are encouraging players to make their own choices and decide how to play their game.

It will however be the rewards that matter most for some players, and for those who believe that LFR deserves the same level of gear in terms of looks and set bonuses, there will be disappointment. For those people, I'd suggest learning how to mog your gear if it really matters that much. In the end that is all it is, your ilevel should never matter as much as your ability to play or your worth as a player, but this is never the way this part of end game has worked. Players need to understand the game's still the same, even if the mechanics have changed. This whole exercise isn't about what Blizzard offers you as reward, its how you choose to interact with the game.

The incentive, as always, is yours.


James Flinders said...

I'm glad LFR will offer different gear and no tier sets.

I'm not a raider, not in any way an elitist so that stick can't be used to beat me with for this opinion. but personally I liked it when the tier sets were for the raiding class - it gave you something to aim for, something to aspire to.

How can you aspire to something you can practically acquire while sleepwalking?

Blizz treating LFR as a casual thing or a step up to the real raiding is a good step in my opinion. And making doing normal raiding easier to get into with the group finder is the next logical step.

Alternative Chat said...

@James: I hope people take this outlook. I suspect however there will be a backlash. Just because ^^

Kamalia said...

"...for those who believe that LFR deserves the same level of gear in terms of looks..., there will be disappointment."
I am not ashamed of being a Tourist and Transmog LFR raider, and yes, I am disappointed.

I've already had to learn to ignore PvP items when I see them in MogIt because PvP is not a part of the game that I want to play. I've already had to learn to ignore the normal mode and heroic mode color schemes of tier items because normal/heroic mode raiding is not how I want to spend my play time. At least in LFR I could still get the same item MODELS, even if I often had to settle for less-attractive colors.

"For those people, I'd suggest learning how to mog your gear if it really matters that much."
Not an answer, Godmother. NOT an answer. To me, this statement is a pretty flippant disimissal of my very reason for enduring LFR all this expansion. If I *just* wanted to see the content for Tourist reasons, I would run each LFR wing once, maybe twice to try to catch details I missed the first time through. But I have run some wings of LFR over and over and over for items to mog with. Very often, I want to mog TO the tier look, not AWAY FROM it.

But what if I cannot commit to a regular raiding schedule? Or what if I simply do not want to commit to a regular raiding schedule? I burned out on regular raiding a long time ago, and I don't really want to start doing it again -- nor do I really think I will have the time for it. "Making doing normal raiding easier to get into with the group finder", as Mr Flinders writes above, is not necessarily the answer to my reasons for chosing to only do LFR raiding.

If I can't get the tier look from LFR, and I'm not using LFR to gear up for normal mode raiding because I don't want to do normal mode raiding, and the LFR looks are bad enough that "learning how to mog your gear" really IS the answer for the fashion-conscious, then I'll be inclined to not do ANY form of raiding whatsoever.

Alternative Chat said...

@Kam: I'd not considered people would want specifically to raid Tier simply for mogging, at least not while it was current. I should therefore apologise if you take offense at this, but I don't consider current Tier as a mogging accessory. I also think that taking Tier out of LFR was exactly the right thing to do to encourage people to play above their comfort zone.

I do realise that that's never the only story, though.

Kamalia said...

In Mists, LFR has made it possible for me to consider current Tier for mogging -- without LFR, I wouldn't have considered current Tier for mogging, either. I will admit to having been properly spoilt by the Mists LFR model. ;)