My wife had another disappointing raid on Sunday. I was wise enough to avoid this one; at raid time, there were 4 people in the raid. They eventually filled it, but with only one tank who knew the fight, and sure enough, it didn’t go anywhere. This time, they called it early, so my wife was asked if she and I wanted to go to LFR.
I was feeling a little guilty about not going, since the two people raiding it are my friends and can’t go during the normal guild times (not that the guild is raiding; I wouldn’t know either way). So I agreed. I had said here before I might be willing to do LFR this expansion, since I refused to last one, so I figured I’d make good on my word and give it a go.
As I’m sure all of you already know, it was a shameful exercise. There were times I was at the top of the meter, and overall I was around 6th or 7th. There’s just no reason I should be that high. I don’t know about DPSing; I can generally follow my rotation on my elemental shammy, but I made tons of mistakes, this being my first time seeing virtually all of the trash and bosses.
We did two LFRs, the entirety of Mogu’shan Vaults. I can see why no one knows how to do the fights the right way. In another perfect example of Blizzard’s pedagogy, LFR does not teach you anything practical about raiding, in the same way that leveling teaches you nothing about end game, normal dungeons teach you nothing about heroics, and heroics teach you little about raiding. Each stage of the game requires a complete rewrite of behavior, knowledge, and performance, so it’s no wonder that so many people are unprepared for entry-level raids.
On top of that, I got 5 pieces of loot from the first 4 bosses. I didn’t know not to roll your bonus loot if you got a piece, so I got a duplicate cape. I realize this is not the normal loot experience, but the ease of fights and distribution of loot reaffirmed everything I’d read about LFR; it’s a brightly-colored loot pinata.
I might as well have been blindfolded, swinging a bat at a candy-filled paper-maché donkey, since I was basically blindly mashing my rotation, forgetting at times to keep flame shock up while pounding the boss with my fire incarnation form and, thus, wasting tons of dps from lost auto-crits (that only happened a few times, but still…). The fact that people were below me – significantly below me – really distresses me about participating in such a gameplay experience. Is it fun to have virtually no chance of failure? After all, we didn’t wipe a single time, and I only died twice, and once because I was stunned in a floor effect and once because I didn’t realize how far out the Flank effect hit you (I assumed it was a little closer and didn’t get out of the way the first time).
Is it fun to be automatically “rewarded” (I use quotes because being given something for nothing isn’t really a reward, it’s a gift) for performing beneath the tanks? Is our dopamine response really so careless as to give us joy for not really contributing anything? I just don’t know.
One of my buddy’s complaints about our very short-lived excursion into Planetside 2 was that “he didn’t feel like he was contributing.” He wasn’t enjoying it precisely because he knew he wasn’t doing enough. Of course, he was brand new and needed to cut himself some slack, but still; isn’t that proof enough that people can’t be having fun doing LFR? Is it just for the gear, then? Another mindless activity to meet gear requirements to actually raid? Is LFR just a once-a-week daily? It seems so.
None of this is to say I wouldn’t do LFR again if asked by my wife. I was contributing; 6th or 7th out of 17 isn’t bad for a first time, inexperienced dpser. But I won’t do it of my own volition, that’s for sure. I can crash a kid’s party and beat the hell out of a real pinata if I really want that experience.
Stubborn (and underwhelmed)