How LFR Actually Killed WoW
Posted: Feb 12 2013
Update: Apparently this article caught a bit of traction on the WoW forums, from which I'm unfortunately permabanned (lol), so I just wanted to add that...I'll see you all on Elder Scrolls Online ;).
For many years and through many disappointing MMO releases, people have declared the next thing a "WoW killer." But those of us who couldn't seem to get away for the game after multiple failed attempts (I've "quit" wow more times than I've "quit" smoking) knew the only thing that could kill it was WoW itself. I was always super critical as I rolled my eyes at those doomsday gamers that declared this change or that would ruin the game forever. I felt this way too about people whom declared LFR would spoil the game -- how detrimental could it be to let casual players access more content and slightly better yet still worse gear? Turns out I was looking at it completely wrong, LFR is the worst thing to happen to the hardcore and average wow addict.
Now if you're not that familiar with the game, LFR is basically a super watered down 25man raid that you can queue with 24 other randoms. It's almost akin to playing with bots, except the quality of player is worse and bots don't link recount after finishing 2nd on DPS (BEHIND THE MIGHTY RIXXIS RAWR). You could kill every boss and possibly win loot tabbing out to watch episodes of game of thrones for the 13th time (I have a problem).
Let me briefly summarize my last LFR experience that led me to this conclusion:
Queue for Raid -> Tab out and browse internet -> Hear queue pop -> Zone in -> No one says a word to anyone -> Kill all bosses in raid -> Get a new Chest -> Repeat for another instance -> Get not loot but who cares -> Sign off -> Go out and Get Drunk. PERFECT.
So why is this bad for the game? Well, the main staying power of the game is to get you hooked enough that you're wiling to spend countless hours and gold to access the best content in the game. The prestige of getting to the last boss in the expansion was the best part second to actually killing it. Excuse me briefly for being a rose-colored-glasses-wearer, but bragging about killing pre-nerf (Well, pre-pre nerf) C'thun is AWESOME. People still do it to this day.
If you ever saw this, you played this game way too much.
People play and keep playing and the driving force behind it is being able to eventually access the endgame content. One of my biggest regrets in the game is not being able to kill anything worth mentioning in Black Temple and getting owned by sunwell trash. I was in a friendly-casual guild at the time and we wiped so god damn much in Karazhan just trying to progress through the tier to eventually be good enough to enter BT/SW.
Consider this scenario: you're a somewhat casual player but could afford to raid 2 days a week. If you wanted to experience all of the content, if you wanted good gear (not to mention good looking gear), you had to raid. And to raid you had to join a raid guild. To join a raid guild you had to apply to a raid guild and get accepted. To get accepted you needed to work hard on your gear, gems, enchants, encounter mechanics. It was a commitment you made to improve your character enough to be worthy of downing an epic raid boss. Now lets say someone approached you and said, "Dude, relax. Just log on whenever you want to and queue for a dungeon while you tab out and go to www.godmodeclothing.com to check out some sweet shirts. You'll get to see all the raid bosses and get almost equivalent gear." That sounds pretty tempting. LFR was supposed to enable casuals to raid, and instead enabled everyone else to raid lazily.
The major argument is that the LFR raids are a total zergfest and not even close to the real mechanics of a heroic fight. That's true - but I still get to see it. I might derp my way through but I still check out all the instances and get pretty nice loot. I officially have no commitment. Now I can finally teach my 8 year old daughter how to read. Breaking that 3-4 night commitment to get stupidly easy bosses and a bit worse gear is an easy choice for most. Sometimes I like to play other games. Sometimes I like to have dinner without eating over a keyboard.
I was actually arguing with a friend about this and that stupid bastard said "Yeah but the majority of people don't raid. They quest or collect pets or something." True, but a game without an actual, vast hardcore culture leading it is a terribly dead game. Make no mistake about it, the game is driven by the top end guilds down to the competitive guilds, down to the casual guilds, down to Tommy Questypants. Nobody is enticed to play a game where the most exciting happening on your server is that some kid finally collected 1,000 pets and is Pokemon battling in Durotar. The game dies when the hardcore contingent no longer wants to play...But we DO want to play. Blizzard just sort of gave us an easy out, and for that I thank them. Bastards.
That being said Level 90 Rogue/Warrior lf raid guild must be at least 9/16 HM. I have a sultry voice.