Running the Raid Finder as a Guild

Running the Raid Finder as a Guild

raidfinder

Today we collectively queued up for the raid finder. We figured that it wouldn’t take that long. We ended up clocking around 2 hours to clear out the whole place. I expect it to take much shorter next time around as we spent time explaining some of the later encounters and microing efforts. Despite the fact that many of the mechanics could be ignored, we simulated as many as we could. We could’ve just eaten those spikes off from Deathwing and healed through it, but we prioritized them anyway. Even on  Ultraxion, some of the players wanted to just plow through the Hour of Twilight without phasing out (and the healers concurred because they wanted to shoot their numbers up as well)!

The other benefit is that it gave us another lockout of item upgrades. We wanted to replace any Firelands normal gear (372) with Raid Finder gear (384s). Any Firelands heroic gear (391s) would be subsequently replaced with normal Dragon Soul gear (397s). For the short term, it would raise the average gear level of the guild and make progression on encounters that much easier.

Lastly, it gives the raid a chance to practice things like positioning and other assorted mechanics during different phases. Let’s us get a “preview” of sorts on bosses before the real thing.

Couple of advantages

  • Another way to accelerate acquisition of gear
  • Learning encounters on a far more forgiving setting
  • Way more relaxed and nice warm up of sorts

I don’t expect us to do this every week or anything. I figure it’ll be 2-3 weeks before we get to the point where no more upgrades are going to be possible from the raid finder. We’re temporarily cutting 2 hours out of the raid week as it is to do (what feels like) farm content for upgrades.

Except I feel dirty.

It really cheapens the experience. I understand the long term benefits but I feel a little queasy. It’s like I got robbed of something, you know? Of course, I know that I have the option of not utilizing the raid finder. I also know that players are going to run it on their own anyway because of the intrinsic desire to maximize their character’s gear progression (which is a noble work ethic to have). Now that I’ve taken down Deathwing on the raid finder difficulty, I’m worried that it won’t feel as… “magical” as it would’ve on normal. I remember spending hours and hours of wipes learning how to take down Kil’Jaden during Burning Crusade. Sindragosa hard mode and 3 drake Obsidian Sanctum all remain highlights for me in terms of difficulty and enjoyability. But the reason the kills felt like such a relief was because of the time spent learning it before finally killing it.

If the raid finder was cut off so that end bosses were not an option, I wonder if that would change things. But then I remembered, what about the player base that doesn’t have the hours or the stability to be in a solid raiding guild? They wouldn’t have a chance to take down Deathwing (or any other endboss). The biggest theme of this expansion was accessibility. Cutting off an end boss from the raid finder would go against that philosophy in place right now.

It’s like making that perfect hamburger after never having ever eaten one in your whole life. You’ve got the bun, the patties, lettuce and all of that stuff. You worked so hard to pick out the ingredients. After throwing out so many ingredients, you’ve mastered which ones to use. You followed Elitist Chefs guide to having the perfect bun to meat ratio down to the bite. But then you decide to grab a Wendy’s on the way home instead.

Maybe that wasn’t the correct analogy.

(PS, can you imagine what a hypothetical Elitist Chefs community would be like?)

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. Kimboslice says:

    LFR is a big joke. Shocking that Blizzard decided this was a good thing. Even with the reduced item level in gear it is a bad idea and with how the high end guilds have treated it and exploited it you know its not a good idea

    I did LFR last night and as a healer having to heal nubs because the refuse to move out of shit is annoying as hell. They are not learning anything from this nor are they becoming better players. All that is happening is your inflating peoples gear and making them think they are better then they are.

    In the end it widens the gap between a good solid skilled player and the baddies. The problem is you will have a harder time to figure just who is bad because everyone will have the same gear in the end

  2. Jahbootie says:

    People who see the LFR as “a joke” seem to be failing to recognize the true nature of the current player base and ignoring how Blizz has chosen to respond to that reality.

    The MAJORITY of players never raid (or raid so seldom that it might as well be never.) This means that Blizz was devoting substantial resources, both human and financial, to create content that the MAJORITY of their player base never saw!

    Some might consider their solution quite elegant, actually – they created a new (lower) tier of raiding content that is specifically designed to a) allow lesser-geared and lesser-skilled players a chance to conquer it, while it b) mimics the raid content that the MINORITY of the player base – the “real” raiders – will see, and c) creates a clear alternative method for improving to the gear levels needed for “normal” raiding (a companion to VP grinding) that simultaneously allows “normal” raiders to learn the fights!

    And how does the best guilds in the world finding exploits in the new tier and, well, exploting them, translate into evidence that the LFR concept is a bad one? Didn’t some of them exploit the Lich King fight early on? So the Lich King content was a “bad idea” too then, right?

    I’m shocked – SHOCKED, I say – to discover that in a random group of players you found yourself healing some people who didn’t know what they were doing/stood in the bad. That NEVER happens in a normal Guild raid, right? Especially on new content…

    I also doubt the idea that the LFR will somehow “widen the gap” between good and poor players… and anyone with a decent amount of experience knows it’s very risky to use gear level as more than a minor indicator of player skills.

  3. Kimboslice says:

    Any time you dumb down something to the lowest common denominator it is a bad idea. If a player only has to be as good as the content then that is as good as he will get.

    It is a huge joke to hand out high quality gear for minimal effort and time. Essentially wow has went from a game where you had to be good and play for awhile in order to obtain things to a game were all you need to do is faceroll your way to anything you want

    The lack of high quality guilds from TBC to now is a good indicator of how “good” a game is. There are so few top quality guilds in NA and europe because the game is not very interesting any more.

    Even the hard content is not really that hard. A top tier guild is already 5/8 Hardmodes after 1 night. I can remember it taking weeks for guilds to get through bosses now it takes hours. The ease of getting gear via points and lesser content has made the raidng side of things a joke

    Yes if you are a casual player this is the best thing that could happen. I raiding last night with several players who were doing sub 9K dps on all the boss encounters. We never wiped and 1 of those players got 4 upgrades of 384 level loot. That player isn’t learning anything. It is not making him a better player. In fact I think it will end up making him a poorer player because he is a noob with gear which is more frustrating player to deal with.

  4. Elitist Chefs – actually, one kinda exists, and it’s awesome.

    Check out http://www.egullet.com – it’s the place that first brought sous-vide to the home, amongst other things.

  5. Jason Etheridge says:

    Firelands normal is i378, not i372, making it a fairly small step to LFR i384. But you do get the tier pieces with bonuses that will work with the tier from normal/heroic. I’ve been avoiding LFR because it’s such a face roll. We’ve got this raid for a year while we wait for the pandas, so what’s the rush? May as well skip the slight legup and do it properly.

  6. I like it. To be fair, we went 8/8 normal before we stepped into an RF instance, so we got the ‘Oooooh, we killed it!’ before we facerolled it. Just as killing a boss on HM feels different and more rewarding than on Normal, RF won’t ruin Normal.

    Now the fact that we went 8/8 on week 1 with only 5-6 hours of raiding is a whole different issue. I do wish now that RF exists, they get rid of Normal modes. Just merge Normal and Heroic into one difficultly similar to Black Temple or SWP post-Muru nerf. That would feel much better to me.

  7. protopethunter says:

    The problem is, my (social raiding not hardcore) guild is actually pushing our raiders to do lfr for gear and to see the bosses. I don’t want to do lfr at all (my hunter is patiently waiting for lfr) until i have at least downed DS on normal once. I can’t be the only one in this situation because of the raid finder.

  8. The game is over … I killed Deathwing, regardless of the difficulty. Chew on that buckwheat! I’ll move on to SW:TOR, enjoy my gaming time, and leave psycho babble like this to WoW.

    I mean holy shit, the forums have lengthy diatribes from regular raiders about how fail the LFR is. Really? The LFR is full of win, in so many ways, for a good number of folks … the pompous shits can just sit and revel in their own isolated bewilderment.

    BTW, this is NOT directed at his blog … its just a vent against all the anti-LFR talk (and venom) I’ve seen spewn in the last week.

    And oh yeah, you CAN have all my stuff.

  9. 1.) The Deathwing fight was a swing and a miss compared to Arthas, or Archie or KJ. Even post nerf, Arthas was a hill to climb. Having killed a shell of Deathwing on LFR, there’s no final-boss experience for me other than bragging rights about number of HM’s we can get to before everyone goes on hiatus. I agree with raid finder from the business angle, I disagree with making Deathwing available in LFR already.

  10. From my perspective, I love LFR. It allows for a low management overhead method to raid, gear up new recruits, to learn basic fight mechanics, it also solves the ‘I’m bored and wanna play my alt’ for raiding. As others have pointed out opens the end content to the 99%..ok so its more like 80% of folks who don’t raid. As a GM and a Heal Lead for a raiding guild, I couldn’t be happier. It is helping to bring fun back into the raid environment, where its not having to ‘manage’ or ‘work’ but to ‘play’. For the top 20% who’ve been seriously raiding, in the long term I think it will be a boon. It will allow them to gear up alts and off specs easily so they can min-max comp for raiding and push themselves out of normal level content into heroic level content easier and with more aplomb.

  11. Kimbo, grow up.

    Really, the LFR is just an overgrown version of BH. We’ve had the BH mechanic (easy boss, reduced loot) for years now. It gets more casual people a chance to experience raiding, which increases the likelihood that they will become non-casuals.

    Right now, most groups in LFR have a tough time with fights like Spine or Madness, but not anything else, which is how it should be. But as we go along, just like BH or Heroic 5 mans, groups will get more gear, and slowly a LCD strat will take form, and mostly everyone will know it, and know how to execute it. But right now, most groups are going to fail at these coordination fights unless they have some real raiders in there (and they actually listen).

    They are definitely learning, or the will quit going. Eventually, people will kick them like they kick them from 5 mans for not doing simple stuff. Eventually, the community as a whole will know how to do this stuff. The best part is, if you don’t want to wait around for the community to figure it out, you can go with your raid (even a 10 man core can more or less carry most fights in the LFR), or simply not go at all.

    Besides, nublets in your raid means big healing numbers 😛

    They’ve been handing out good gear for easy content for a long time – the only thing that constraining gear does is help the elitists make up for their lacking in other areas, and make people stop playing the game because they can’t progress.

    If you want to see Deathwing die, and get some neat loot, do LFR. If you want to be challenged and work with a group, and get the real loot, you have to raid normals/heroics.

    People who get mad because someone else can get gear are being small and selfish. They need purples to feel superior.

    I do think Matt has a point, killing the final boss in LFR can cheapen the boss kill when it comes. Coming from experience though, it doesn’t cheapen the achievement much. Killing him in LFR is nothing like killing him even in normal. It feels like a warmup.

  12. I love the idea of LFR. Now they don’t have to dumb down the regular raid. Problem I have is even though they now have the freedom of keeping the challenge up on reg, DS is disappointingly easy.

  13. How many people can you queue with? I’m thinking of taking my 10-man in if we don’t get far with normal (and today would be a bad day to go back into Firelands… >.>) but folks seem to think you can only queue with 5.

    I thought you could queue with any amount.

  14. Hey matt This is way off base here but I had a rather rude slap in the face today. I applied to a reformed 17th on sever guild. New GM and officers. I saw a forum post where the gms goals were so in line with my own hopes for better play and management . The overall thread was to improve their reputation and be courteous and friendly competitive. I just wanted to join to learn from very exp ppl and improve my play/heals. The only response to my application was ” don’t get your hopes up… We’re not recruiting that I know of, and u would be better off elsewhere.” this is from a non officer and a known downer in the trade chat arena . My point is that as a guild, trying to improve your image, wouldn’t u think that an officer or the GM should at least take the few min to respond to say Ty for your intrest but your not what were looking for at this time. And/ or invite on vent to chat a few min to see if maybe.. Just maybe u might have a diamond in the rough.. Idk I left a pleasant mail to the GM and wished them luck in their pursuits. It’s tough to get into a good guild and im no slouch in gear or doing my part to get as good as possible.. I’m maybe thin skinned but I’ve seen your posts on how to recruit.. What about the recruits themselves .. Its a tough time rt now to get into any good raiding guild. And pugs have left me cold. Sorry for the long vent. I just had high hopes of meeting and learning from very good ppl only to have it flushed away in one swift post.

  15. Thank you, Jahbootie.

    Like some of your readers, I was once a hardcore raider back in the good old Burning Crusade days. In fact, I used to heal side-by-side with Wynthia who used to be a blogger here.

    Since then, RL became much more fun and my play style became much more casual. One thing I missed, though, was the epic cut scenes and final boss encounters.

    While I do belong to a raiding guild, I don’t have the time to focus for hours and hours a week for progression and found raid finder to be a nice change of pace. I go in for half an hour. I kill four bosses, get a chance at some loot, and experience the content that is tuned down to my level and gear that is not as decent as what guild-raiders would receive.

    Remember this, oh elite raiders: Not all of us are playing the game with the intention of becoming the best player ever. Some of us have done that and decided there are better things to be doing with our lives.

    It’s good of blizzard to consider that there are a significant number of players who want to see the content and offer them a chance to see it without devoting endless hours to raid progression.

    Or do you all believe that I don’t deserve to see this content because I no longer raid 4 hours a day, 5 days a week like I did for the entirety of Burning Crusade?

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