Of late there seems to be a massive influx of people whining about the Looking For Raid (LFR) tool that Blizzard implemented in 4.3. It may well just be the people who I’ve had the pleasure misfortune of being grouped with when I’ve dived in to Dragon Soul via LFR on a weekly basis. Then again, it may well be that I’m spending too much time on twitter or reading blogs…I’m love “Looking For Raid” and I’ll explain why below.
During Classic and The Burning Crusade I was a student, and like many students I had a hell of a lot of spare time. During my first year I found that I split my time pretty much into four different sections; College, Girlfriend, Warcraft, Drinking with friends. As I went into 2nd year my class timetable stayed pretty much the same, however both my girlfriend’s and friend’s had a hell of a lot more work to do and as I result I had the free time to become one of these so-called “Hardcore Raiders”. As time went on I discovered that I loved raiding, I loved the thrill and feeling of achievement when we killed Ragnaros, Onxyia, Nefarian and then started battling our way through the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj and Naxxramas. With the arrival of The Burning Crusade in 2007 I again found myself hooked with end game raiding and to this day I still love Karazhan.Then everything changed…
College got serious – Wrath of the Lich King was launched – I got married.
I found that I just didn’t have the to dedicate to raiding 4-5 nights, and as a result found myself in a situation where I was no longer needed by raiding guilds. I had become one of the unclean… a casual.
I don’t really have many fond memories from Wrath of the Lich King sadly. The 5-mans (normal and heroic) become an AoE speed test and after having been tarred by the casual brush I really struggled to find a guild where I felt like I could enjoy my gaming and experience the content I so wanted to see. I spent a ton of time trying to get in to so many pick up groups that failed terribly, where people either didn’t know the tactics or just weren’t willing to listen. Reasonable conversation was replaced by GOGOGOGO. As a result I pretty much quit playing World of Warcraft, by taking a well needed break as I dabbled with the awesomely disappointing game, Rift.When Cataclysm launched I found myself drawn back in to the World of Warcraft even though I knew I would never get to experience all the content that I really wanted to be part of. I felt like a crack addict going cold turkey… okay maybe it wasn’t that bad, but I knew I wanted something I wouldn’t be able to commit the time to achieve. Again I attempted to find a guild or pugs that I could get my raiding fix from, but sadly the majority of guilds weren’t interested in someone without current raiding experience and pugs all wanted you to link a full achievement which was neigh on impossible for someone like me.
I’m now in a guild that I really love, everyone is really friendly, there is a very large player base so nine times out of ten there is always at least one person online who wants to run a heroic or mess around in the old content. However as everyone is pretty much on an extremely casual level we don’t raid on a regular basis. The addition of LFR has allowed me and many others to stay in a guild that they love, without being either forced into moving guilds or missing out on content.
I’ve read so many discussions/arguments from people about how bad LFR has been for Warcraft for oh so many “great” reasons, but personally I feel that the majority of people doing the complaining are very blinkered in their views. Yes it allows people to gear up a lot easier – as long as the RNG Gods are smiling in your favour on drops and rolls, and yes it allows people to kill an end game boss without the same amount of effort or time as a full blooded raider. But what some of these people need to remember is that without the casual gamer, World of Warcraft probably wouldn’t still be alive.Blizzard have taken a fantastic step to cater for all spectrum’s of their customer base by allowing casual gamers to see and experience raids more easily, and with the normal and heroic versions of the raid being that bit harder have created something which should provide a bit of a challenge for what is the minority of subscribers.
Without LFR I really don’t know if I would still be playing Warcraft. There’s only so many times that you can run the current crop of 5-mans and still find them enjoyable. Plus it’s given people with alts something to aim for upon hitting 85 other than yet another 5man running toon.
Of late there seems to be a massive influx of people whining about the Looking For Raid (LFR) tool that Blizzard implemented in 4.3. It may well just be the people who I’ve had the
pleasure misfortune of being grouped with when I’ve dived in to Dragon Soul via LFR on a weekly basis. Then again, it may well be that I’m spending too much time on twitter or reading blogs…