Doubling down on LFR

I spent my first couple of hours with 6.2.3 last night, and here is my main impression:

If you hate LFR, you are not going to like this patch.

Now granted we did not have the new Timewalking dungeons last night, and I am looking forward to trying them tonight, but last night for the first time in a couple of months I ran chained LFRs on my main. Why? Because I wanted to get a good start on my valor for upgrading, and the queues for LFR were short even for DPS, whereas the queues for dungeons were very long. Also, valor is awarded at the max amount (150 for HFC, somewhat less for the other two tiers) for every wing once a week. This means that last night, even just running LFR, I was able to easily fully upgrade two pieces of gear — my weapon and a trinket. (Of course, most of what I did not upgrade is crap gear that I have little chance of improving, but that is a different subject.)

I did not attempt any Mythics, either, not because I don’t like them but because the Group Finder experience is so frustrating and time-consuming. Maybe I am too picky, because I avoid the ones where the group leader has specified a long list of “requirements” accompanied by a complex list of set-asides for gear, and the ones where the comments are along the lines of “Don’t be a dick,” because I figure it takes one to know one. But even when I do spend the time to apply for groups I seem to have all the stated qualifications for, it is often rejection after rejection for an hour or more. No thank you. Too tedious not to mention too demoralizing.

I don’t know how long it will last, but my server and my guild had more people on last night than I have seen in weeks. And people seemed to be energized, with renewed interest in the game. I am sure this will only last a couple of weeks, but it is nice for now. We may even be able to get some valor farming groups together in my guild, which would be awesome.

Anyway, back to LFR. Certainly at least last night the valor incentive seemed to bring back masses of people who really knew the fights and had them overgeared to boot. This was good and bad. It was good because as I mentioned it made the queues very short, raid time was minimal because of the speed with which bosses and trash were dispatched, and having a couple incompetent and/or afk people was of no consequence. But it was bad because raid mechanics — even the ones requiring LFR attention — were almost universally ignored (reinforcing bad habits among less experienced players), and because people were frequently left behind even when starting boss fights.

I was in one run of Wing 2 of HFC where the tank ran, literally, straight through all trash to every boss, stopping just before the boss fight to dispatch what were dozens of mobs, and leaving trash mobs scattered throughout so that anyone who died and had to run back could not do so because they kept running into leftover trash all along the route. A couple people asked, politely, for the tank to slow down a bit, only to be treated to rude comments about their “incompetence” from the tank and some of the self-appointed “elites” in the group, arrogantly letting everyone know how much LFR was beneath them but they needed the valor. It was ugly.

A couple of weeks ago there was a rash of online speculation about the future of LFR in the game. Patch 6.2.3 tells me  that Blizz, far from considering its elimination, is doubling down on it, pulling out all the stops to repopulate it with a wide range of players. Now, they may be doing this as an experiment to see what happens, or they may see it as one of the few mechanisms they have in WoD to re-engage players, but at least for the present, and for better or for worse, LFR has been re-energized.

It remains to be seen how much — if any — staying power this patch has, but it is difficult to imagine it filling the void until Legion.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

3 Responses to Doubling down on LFR

  1. Grumsta says:

    I had a great night in WoW yesterday: got my fourth tier piece from Mannoroth, and dropped what looks like a superb caster heirloom trinket in a Mythic dungeon. (We ran one mythic dungeon and two wings of LFR after our raiding finished early.)

    While I didn’t experience the same obnoxleet behaviour you did, we alternated between hysterics and despair in LFR. As you said, mechanics pretty much ignored. And when more than half the party has 735 rings you can just see the targets melt. We one-shotted Archie with a herd of cats on amphetamines, I rest my case.

    The mythic dungeon we tackled as a pre-made group: three guildies and a couple from another guild we regularly raid with. It was great fun, and like you I have no intention of wasting my time trying to pug a group. The Valor is important, but I want to have fun getting it, tyvm.

    We did both LFR and the dungeon as a pre-made group with us all on Mumble. It made it infinitely more enjoyable, I really hope this isn’t a two-week wonder.

    The timing of the patch can’t be coincidence: Legion on pre-order, toons being boosted to 100, ring mechanics tied to raiding, sudden influx of highly-geared players into LFR shortening the queue times and ensuring bosses die fast. It has to be the reason that Valor is only awarded in LFR.

    While it’s easy to be cynical about this move, all the other elements are really welcome. I can easily get enough Valor for my needs just from the Mythic dungeons, so that’ll be my focus. I’ll just do LFR if some guildies are getting a group together, or I have 30 mins to spare and the queue pops in < 2 mins like it did yesterday.

    I'm looking forward to getting stuck into the Timewalking dungeons tonight: a chance at the gorgeous Infinite Timereaver mount (you can keep your moose, that's the mount I'm after this xpac), and of course 500 Valor. Bring it on.

    • Fiannor says:

      Hehe, “herd of cats on amphetamines”. My LFR group also one-shotted Archie, in exactly the way you describe.

      Gratz on your tier gear (but we hates you!). It’s one of the bitterest pieces of WoD for me — making raiding and gear drops more unattainable for more players while at the same time making a complete tier set almost a necessity for the one hunter spec that is currently viable. If the tier is for your hunter, I will be interested to know if/how it affects your damage and play feel.

      I share your fervent hope that this flurry of player activity lasts longer than a couple of weeks — we had almost 20 guildies online last night, after months of maybe 3-4 at any given time.

      *fingers and long elf ears crossed*

      • Grumsta says:

        No the tier set is for my Arcane mage, I stopped raiding with my hunter a couple of months back as we have three very decent hunters in the guild now. None of the hunters have their tier pieces yet and they all play BM, so I’ll be interested to see how they get on too 🙂

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