Home > Anti-Social Behavior, M&S, World of Warcraft > “Handicap Accessible” or “LFR = Looking for Rez”

“Handicap Accessible” or “LFR = Looking for Rez”

For those of you who played WoW from the very early days, do you remember when:

  • Attuning for Onyxia meant weeks of farming UBRS with 20 people
  • Clearing to Lucifron took a half hour and a wipe or two
  • We used to raid with 40 people
  • Paladins were Alliance-only, and Shamans were Horde-only
  • Since each boss dropped only two tokens, that meant a 40-man raid would get geared from MC (assuming nothing every got DE’ed), at least 20 weeks, or five months
  • Vendorstrike was the longest running joke since you could take out Sulfuron Harbinger

What these factors have in common was that the end-game was designed to be conquered by only the most hardcore of players. It took time, and skill, and effort and energy to coordinate a team of 40 people, and some how avoid any idiocy. Raiding, gearing, attuning took time, effort, energy and patience.There were no 25-mans, no 20-mans, no 10-mans. A raid was 40 people, period.

First the 40-mans were reduced to 25-mans. Then 10-mans were added, but the coordination required for 25-mans was rewarded by putting in gear of a slightly lower ilvl in 10-mans. Then they were balanced out as well, and heroic modes were added. And finally we have LFR. Today you can log in, queue for LFR, and be raiding with the now-largest raid size (25), in a matter of seconds. There is no skill requirement (unless you equate ilvl with skill), there is no filtering mechanism for determining if an individual knows what to do in a fight. The bosses hit like pussies, the loot drops like rain, and WoW’s much-elusive end-game is officially accessible to any and all M&S. Hell, bots could get better results.

My point is that WoW is no longer just accessible. It is now handicap accessible. People that have no propensity for raiding, who actually don’t mind AFK’ing through most of LFR and then rolling need on everything that drops are flourishing, their lives made easier. The world’s largest MMO has all the mechanisms in place to allow an individual to play the game as anti-socially as humanly possible. Skill is no longer a requirement. Decency is no longer a requirement. All you need is a level 85, and a heartbeat.

If this post is too negative, I apologize. I don’t mean to be. But if you join an LFR raid, score consistently in the top three for DPS with your crappy gear, and your group wipes time and again on Ultraxion trash, it tends to strike a nerve.

Image courtesy of The Death Knight Diaries.

(Sidenote: if you are on the EU servers, pop in Aggamagan server, Alliance side. I play on a Night Elf Hunter called “Jehangir”.)

  1. January 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    If it’s any consolation, I feel for you.

    Then again, after going through the entire encounter with my guild on LFR mode to scoop up some easy loot, I began to feel like there’s not much point in raiding anymore. Been there, done that, got the kill. What’s left to experience?

    LFR may have helped get more people into raiding, but it’s also shortened the lifespan of this tier dramatically.

    • January 9, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      I don’t get the “we already did it, now what” feeling that accompanies LFR kills. Were you ever planning on hitting heroic modes? Would those be pointless?

      LFR is pretty much a 5-man with bigger numbers. That’s pretty much fine for what it is, but the normal diff encounters are a whole different story. We actually had a couple of LFR players in our main raid this week – fluctuating attendance – and we had to teach them the fights all over again.

      “bs the boat doesnt die” makes me cringe. This is a tremendously persistent bit of misinformation that strikes me as simply selfish tools paying no attention to the mechanic, getting carried by people who are, and then assuming the mechanic doesn’t exist because there’s no way they could ever do anything wrong, no sirree…

      Bronte: what do you reckon about the GamerTag system coming? I don’t use RealId on general principle, but tags might make the system worth using. I’d love to tag some of the more friendly players I’ve met while levelling and instancing. (not that I’d be able to group with ya, you being perfidous alliance and all :D)

      • January 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm

        @Leit: I think it could work. I do use RealID, but with people I know IRL, or players that I feel like I know because we have played together for, oh, you know, seven freaking years.

        That being said, I do feel that there is too many systems now. In-game friend lists, GamerTag, RealID. And all in the same game. Multiply that across platforms and other video games and the sheer volume of accounts we have to maintain gets a little crazy.

        • January 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm

          Meh, it’s mainly because they insisted on trying every wrong iteration before they hit the right one. Gamertags are what most people wanted – cross-realm, character independent, still relatively anonymous.

          The RealId debacle was winding down when I joined, but I can’t see why they ever thought that it would be a good idea.

          I only use RealId for family and personal friends that I’ve had since before I started playing.

    • January 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      @Gazimoff, I think there is still challenge left. I am in The Pug, the guild created by Greedy Goblin (http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com). The guild has been going at the Deathwing encounter for weeks, extending raid locks, just trying to see if we can kill the bastard. But there came a point where after farming 7/8, with the top DPS within inches of each other, we were still hitting enrage on DW. This implied that we were simply undergeared because no one was “screwing up”. We just didn’t have the overall DPS to kick ass at the encounter.

      So for organized guilds, I believe the heroic difficulty level still holds a challenge. And for natural born leaders, that challenge is amplified attempting it in a 25-man, instead of a 10-man.

      I am just uneasy because I feel like these decisions are being made to ensure Blizzard retains the colossal subscription base that lost nearly two million accounts in 2011. When your meta focus shifts from “creating fun” to “maintaining revenue”, there might be a problem. And I hope for my sake this isn’t the case, because LFR notwithstanding, I am still actually enjoying the game.

      • January 9, 2012 at 8:49 pm

        DW is a hardcore gear/skill check. Very little movement, it’s all about targetting, prioritization, and absolutely maxing your damage (as a dps*). We had one poor player in our main raid last week and couldn’t carry her. Result: failure.

        I believe that the changes are more tuned for “adapting to a changing market” than “pandering to the base”. WoW’s managed to remain relevant precisely because it’s almost unrecognisable as the beast it was years ago. Yes, preserving the status quo would keep some players… but it’d lose many more. This might even be why, despite losing so many casuals at the beginning of cata, the switch up in difficulty wasn’t a bad move.

        Change is the bottom line. Stagnation is death, and in a world where average gamers expect to see the endgame, a feature like LFR really is a good move. Don’t forget that “challenge” raiders are ~still~ the vanishing minority of subs. Yes, on one hand it’s about pleasing the base… but pleasing the base means ~making players happy~. That’s what a game is ~for~.

        Heh. Just read through the pug’s rule list. I’d be kicked within a day for emoticons and not capitalizing anything ever.

        * I main a healer. For us, the encounter is about cooldown management, longevity and forethought.

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