Raid Finder: Day One

I used the Raid Finder for the very first time on Monday night. It was an… instructive experience.

Dogpile.

Dogpile.

One thing that I learned about myself is the fact that I felt compelled to seek out raid videos/strategies even for LFR difficulty. It is not (just) about insulating myself from group embarrassment, it is about mitigating that awful feeling of not knowing what I am doing. I hate that feeling. At first I believed the feeling to be unique to multiplayer games, as I certainly do not hit up GameFAQs or Wikis the moment I get to a boss fight in a single-player game. Indeed, wouldn’t that be cheating? Or, at least, cheating myself from the actual game.

But you know what? I hate that feeling even in single-player games. If I am dying to a boss repeatedly and have no idea why, or there does not seem to be any clues as to different strategies I could try, I most certainly hit up Wikis. I enjoy logic puzzles as much as (or more than) the next guy, but I must feel certain that logic is applicable to the situation. With videogames, that is not always a given: quests that you cannot turn in because you didn’t trip a programming “flag” by walking down a certain alleyway or whatever. There was a Borderlands 2 quest that I simply looked up on Youtube because I’ll be damned if I walk across every inch of a cell-shaded junkyard for an “X” mark after already spending 10 minutes looking it over. Playing “Where’s Waldo” can be entertaining, but not when you have to hold the book sideways and upside down before Waldo spawns… assuming you are even looking at the right page.

I digress.

Hey, it could happen to anyone!

Hey, it could happen to anyone!

Things got off to a nice start in LFR when the dog fight consisted of just tanking all three dogs in a cleave pile the entire time. The second boss seemed to have an inordinate amount of health, but he too dropped without doing much of note. I died twice to some insidious trash on the way to the troll boss; those bombs are simply stupid in a 25m setting, as I found it difficult to even see them among all the clashing colors and spell effects. Final boss dropped pretty quickly as well, although I almost died a few times towards the end once people stopped coming into the spirit world with me.

By the way, the queue for the 1st raid finder was 15 minutes for DPS. Might have been a “Monday before the reset” thing.

I joined a guild healer for the 2nd raid finder immediately afterwards, although the average wait time of 43 seconds was a bit off. Was killed by a combination of friendly fire and damage reflection during the first boss, but he otherwise went down quickly. I managed to avoid falling to my death during Elegon (thanks Icy-Veins!), but was killed by an add the 2nd tank never picked up; that will teach me to do something other than tunnel the boss. The third boss… made little sense. I spent a lot of time killing adds, as I could not quite understand what was up with the Devastating Combo thing other than I must have been doing it wrong. Eons later, the bosses died.

It is becoming somewhat of a running joke for my guildies since coming back on how much random loot I pull in. The prior week I got ~8 drops from my first 5 random dungeons, for example. This time around I got three epics from my first two LFR forays, all three of which came from the bonus rolls. I was not around for the Cata LFR days, but suffice it to say, I would not have likely came away with that much loot in a more traditional PuG.

Overall, LFR was a pleasant experience. While I can certainly empathize with the criticism of LFR – it was pretty ridiculously easy – I can definitely see the logic behind Blizzard’s moves here. Some raid is better than no raid, low-pop realms like Auchindoun-US wouldn’t support a robust raid PuG community, and to an extent even the “nothing ever drops!” LFR sentiment encourages organized guild raiding in a roundabout manner. Whether this remains satisfying in any sort of long-term manner remains to be seen, but honestly, it is better than the alternative of… what else, exactly? Running dungeons ad infinitum?

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Posted on January 16, 2013, in Uncategorized, WoW and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. It must have been a decent group (the 2nd one I mean), I have always ended up with wiping a couple of times on the last boss (the Devastating Combo one).
    The first part of the LFR is compete faceroll, you can completely ignore all the mechanics (or almost) and still manage to get to the end. The second part is less obvious.
    BTW in LFR you can go without understanding the Combo thing, in normal it’s already seriously dangerous (with your HP pool you’d be probably one-shot), and I don’t dare imagine what happens in hardmode. It’s a complete gimmick, but it’s not a bad one (unless you have lag, in which case it’s downright impossible).
    Ah and you had a lot of luck with loots…..my experience is nowhere near that level.

    • In HM you need to complete 10 devastating combos, but when you succeed it, it will do 2x as much damage. Rest is same. So higher risk/reward, which is forced upon the two tanks.

      Furthermore you need a soaking rotation and you need to execute this perfect while keeping distance. Its a tough fight, much harder than normal.

  2. “Whether this remains satisfying in any sort of long-term manner remains to be seen…”

    I’m interested to see if you stick with it. I admit, I killed Deathwing in LFR, logged off, and basically never logged on again (but then again I didn’t have a guild at the time).

    • We’ve scheduled an “LFR event” tomorrow for the five remaining guild members from yore (3 of us having resubbed in the last month). We’ll see how it goes.

      • How did it go? Do you see yourself playing this every week?

      • It went well. I was able to explain the fights to my guildies, and there was just one wipe on the dumb add boss. I think we wrapped it all up in 1.5 hours.

        I just got through running the next LFR section by myself, and walked away with another 3 pieces of gear from 3 bosses. So the impossible luck streak continues.

        As for long-term, it’s a question mark. Of course, getting reputations up is a question mark too. We’ll see where it leads.

  3. I hated LFR when it was Dragon Soul, and find it strangely enjoyable in MoP. This morning I had a queue time of about 5 minutes as DPS, for Heart of Fear part 2, and 30 minutes later I was done, with another epic in my bag. Wipes usually cause yelling, but overall it’s mostly pleasant. Unless you do Garalon, I usually see groups fall apart on that boss. Not very LFR friendly.

    Will of the Emperor is kinda a joke after Elegon, and not that interesting, and really irritating if you are melee. It took me quite a while to actually understand how combo works. Basically, as soon as DBM sounds the combo alert, move to the front of the boss, and be zoomed out to look for blue lines. If they’re somewhat behind him, move to left beyond his foot on that side. If the lines are on the left side of you, move to his right foot. If you see two split lines in front of him, run through him. If he lifts his foot, run beyond the dust cloud.

    As for the loot luck, prepare for weeks of getting nothing but gold, the luck never lasts in LFR. ;)

  4. It won’t remain satisfying if you are anything like me. Granted, I never found raiding very interesting after the first time, but LFR seems even worse because it is all business, no fun allowed. I wonder sometimes why Blizzard spends so much energy on raid content, but I guess that’s how it goes.

    On the fights, I’m still not sure about the mechanics of the stone dogs fight. I’ve finally gotten the others down, but I never watched videos or anything, just briefly glanced at the dungeon journal and looked for any exclamation marks. Well, ok, in the last fight I don’t bother with the boss at all and just kill adds. The first time I did it, someone said something like “If you don’t know the dance, just kill adds” Worked for me. I did once fall to my death during Elegon when I wasn’t paying any attention.

    The loot is much better than previously though. The complaints…well I understand them, because I too am bored by the fake longevity of the gear grind, but overall this is a much less frustrating grind than DS was.

    • You seem to have a view on raids which is the opposite of mine. I go to raids for the fun of playing with a group of friends (LFR random groups suck from this point of view, too much people, random 5-men are better). I don’t care about the loot, since it’ll be vendor fodder in a few months anyway, so the “gear grind” is not really a problem. As long as raiding is self-sustaining (= I don’t need to run 1000 dailies to do it), I’m fine with it.

      The LFR dogs are a fine example of “ignored mechanics”, in reality the fight is complex, expecially for the tanks who have to perform switches at the right time. For the rest of the group it’s more or less “don’t stand in the fire”, with a nice twist of “do stand in the right kind of fire” when the correct situation appears.

  5. Like Kadomi, I hated killing Deathwing in LFR (or at least, killing his toes); but I suspect that it was because of the nature of the Dragon Soul raid (parachuting down onto his back? Come on, I’ve got a flying carpet that I can use to get there). I didn’t try Dragon Soul in normal.

    Also, like Kadomi, I quite enjoy the LFR raids in Pandaria; but it seems that most people treat every fight as tank’n’spank. Tactics? We don’t need no stinkin’ tactics! Only Elegon insists that you pay attention to the floor.

  6. One of the joys of LFR from a healer perspective is that it never gets any easier. Regardless of how well geared I am, there is an endless supply of new players and undergeared alts that are unfamiliar with the encounter mechanics or just want to ignore them.

    The above reads like sarcasm, but I’ve had genuine fun in the last few wars of attrition against Garalon.