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?)