When the LFR was first introduced in the PTR notes for 4.3 I have to admit, I was very skeptical. I mean, the LFD is generally considered one of the most convenient, but worst, additions to the game.
Allow me to take you back in time.
Before the LFD was introduced in patch 3.3 players would huddle in Orgrimmar and Ironforge spamming trade chat looking for people to join them in their next dungeon run. During this time one key idea was both born and raised: Community. You see, you couldn’t possibly act like a jack ass because you wouldn’t be invited to go on dungeon runs again. You built a reputation, and we, the community, policed our game very well.
You were a ninja? You’re getting kicked and probably not invited again. You afk every 5 seconds, kicked. Just plain bad at your class? Most likely a kick, though the punishment was less severe, as people would eventually get better through repetition.
Then the LFD was introduced. All of the sudden your community didn’t matter. I could click a button and voi la, I was in a dungeon with 4 people I’ve never met and would likely never see again. I ninja’d something? So, I’ll never see these people again. Since it takes 30+ minutes for DPS to get a dungeon while taking a tank/healer less than 2 minutes, the tanks and healers could hold the group hostage by going afk whenever they wanted. What were you going to do, kick them? Then you’re waiting for another several minutes. The tank is bad? So, can’t kick them if you want to continue playing.
To make a long story short, the LFD has all but destroyed the community that World of Warcraft was supposed to offer, it has created a caste system where the tanks and healers stand on top throwing around their queue times like Zeus hurls lightning, it has created an environment where there are no repercussions for bad behavior, only a ticket to a GM which may or may not be read.
Now we come to 4.3 and the LFR system. “Hey, the LFD system has been a HUGE success that everyone loves, let’s add 20 more people to that equation!” Seriously, whatever developer thought this up should be kicked in the balls, HARD!
As I said, when I first read about the LFR system my first thought was “This is going to be ugly!!!” And, to my pleasant surprise, I was wrong. Dragon Soul LFRs were a breeze to get through, people generally wanted to get in and get back out. But it wasn’t all sunshine and kittens.
“LTT” – Looking to Trade. “Let’s make a deal.” Those are the words best used to describe the LFR system in Cataclysm. Why? I’m a rogue. Therefore I roll on the Vanquisher token. So, I talk to all my druid, mage and DK friends and together we run the LFR. Now, I have 10 people rolling for me, versus your single roll. They trade me the item and then later in the run I say, “LTT Shoulder Token for < insert weapon here >“. Hey, if they want that token, I already have it, and I’ll take either. Or, I roll on every item in the run just in case I win one and I’m able to trade it to someone else.
It didn’t take long for the LFR system to devolve into chaos. People would roll on everything, the idea of “Need vs Greed” was out! It was “NEED! I NEED IT ALL!”
When they announced the loot change to the LFR that was coming in 5.0, I jumped for joy! I had made a post on the forums that simply said, “Make the items in LFR NON-tradeable.” I knew that would stop people from rolling on everything they could. Instead of just taking my advice, Blizzard went a step further. You can’t even roll now. The game does it all for you behind the scenes. Damn I love that!
However, this has created a new problem. “I never win anything, so why should I try?” I have run into more bots in the last few runs than I ever saw in Cataclysm. Hey, their chance of winning is about 1/6, which is about 15%, so why should they give more than 15% effort? This has created an all new problem, one that I predicted some time ago: LFRs are failing at an alarming rate.
In the last week I’ve seen more wipes to simple things than I ever saw in Cataclysm. I have seen more bots, which of course healers can’t distinguish when they’re looking at a bar (not a knock on healers), so they “steal” mana from the rest of the group because all the healer sees is Someone in Trouble. They don’t have a way to see This is a Bot, DO NOT HEAL! This past weekend alone I was a part of 10+ wipes on Tsulong. Tanks that don’t know what they’re doing pointing the dragon at the raid group, people standing in the “light” instead of simply moving, adds getting to the boss, dispels not getting cast.
Why should anyone try? They have a 15% chance of getting a piece of gear, their chance of getting a piece they can use might be even less (take my 15% chance of getting gear, factor in the boss’ table has 3 pieces for me, I have two of them already leaving only a 33% chance of getting something I can use, IF my 15% comes up….).
So that’s my question: Has the LFR run its course? If all it’s going to be is a waste of time, why do it? This weekend it took me over an hour to get into an LFR. Immediately the tank said he didn’t want to run the entire place and left, meaning another 15 or so minute wait for a replacement. For what? To wipe on Tsulong….