The "Point" (or lack thereof) of Raiding

Hi, if this winds up looking too long to read I apologize, enjoy your day. I recently left my raid group after losing sight of "the point" of raiding. I will admit fully, up front, that I am gear motivated - for better or for worse I am.

A big component of leaving my group was scheduling. Too late at night after spending too much time solo playing (dailies, etc) throughout the week didn't help. The lack of satisfying progress was also a factor, but not to the same extent. The people were enjoyable and cooperative, however real life tended to get in the way a fair bit & nights were canceled somewhat regularly with little to no notice. All that being said, I realize the answer sounds simple - "find a new group" - and I would agree at face value, but not even a perfect group could solve my final problem: raiding just isn't worth my time gear-wise.

After acquiring my 4 piece via raid finder alone last week (I've had good luck in raid finder, really good honestly), I wound up redoing my gear and was left with exactly 2 pieces of gear I had earned in "regular" raiding left being used on my toon (boots & cloak), with a number of regular raid level items left in the bank in favor of lfr pieces.

Why is this even conceivable? Why aren't regular raid level items significantly stronger than lfr items? I don't remember choosing a lfr item at any point during ds when a regular item for the same slot was available, unless it completed a 2 or 4 piece set bonus - regardless of itemization. Maybe there was a time, but I have no recollection of that happening previously.

As it stands, I feel like I can pretty much play wow solo and come up with a very decent raid ready toon by afking half the time in lfr and never having to speak with anyone. Is this ok? Is this what we want?

I propose the following changes that I think would go some distance in promoting cooperative play and encouraging folks (and I digress, maybe I just mean "gear motivated folks" here) to participate in regular and/or heroic raiding:

1) Increase the gap between regular raid and lfr pieces. There should be little to no decision making to be done when you obtain a regular item level piece for a slot you have a raid finder piece in. It should be a no brainer to use the regular item (unless of course it breaks up a set bonus).

2) Instate nerfs for regular raids at known intervals. All Star teams have a predetermined amount of time to work on release content to get their kills before the nerfs come in. I would suggest 4 week intervals to start with 10 percent nerfs taking place after that, and another 10 percent 4 weeks later, etc. People could make arguments for any interval, longer or shorter, but I'm using this as a concept timeline to get the discussion started. The point to the nerfs is in hopes of stimulating progress instead of having groups get stagnant & sick of running the same bosses over and over week after week. Raid finder already makes me tired of seeing the same encounters over and over again - progression in normal modes NEEDS to happen for average groups to stay interested.

3) Instate a graduated achievement system so the All Star teams can show off their un-nerfed kill achs with pride. Much like the challenge mode dungeons offer gold, silver and bronze for beating timers, this could work the same way - gold for participating in an un-buffed kill, etc, etc.

4) No nerfs to heroics unless they're not working as anticipated. Let the collection of gear & improved knowledge of fights be deciding factors as it's meant to be. If someone wants a heroic kill they either need to earn it or pay for it. Not everyone needs to clear heroic content as we were in ds.

Anyhow, these are the thoughts of a tired gear ho. I'll be excited to see what anyone thinks. Best wishes in game & out.
Edited by Badilyn on 1/19/2013 4:32 PM PST
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The "point" of raiding is organized, coordinated large group play. You don't get that in LFR. It's understandable that if you focus only on the loot, you'll end up disappointed in the end.
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90 Orc Death Knight
7780
Mixed feelings here. I agree with some points, others not so much.

My biggest agreement is - normal gear should be better than lfr, period, also.

My biggest (and seemingly contradictory) disagreement is - the gear gap. It's already huge.

To me, the problem doesn't come so much from the ilvl not being high enough, it goes back to blizz seeming to think that just auto-collecting a higher ilvl, and that being an upgrade, is interesting. I hugely disagree. I hate using this lfr cape, for example, cause the 489 capes I have are much worse itemized. It's stupid. I think the answer to this lies again not in an even larger ilvl gap (my friend who has heroic gear has about 50% more haste than I do, and almost 30% more str) but rather properly itemized stuff - or, stop making stuff suck on purpose to give us "interesting" decisions. It's retarded.

I got a phone call just now so have to wrap up the rest of my thoughts. Will bbl.
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100 Blood Elf Death Knight
14385
If you're raiding for gear, you're doing it wrong. After I started raiding this expansion, I went six weeks getting only two pieces of gear (RNG is RNG). I was happy still because we were downing bosses and progressing. That's why I raid, not because my sense of self-worth is based on my itemlevel.
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90 Blood Elf Mage
11000
Raiding for gear is like playing Super Mario Bros 3 because you love stockpiling fire flowers.
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90 Orc Death Knight
7780
I have to wonder how many raiders would still raid if raids were like challenge modes, instead.

Just a curiosity.
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90 Night Elf Druid
CFT
10670
01/19/2013 04:46 PMPosted by Mahourai
Raiding for gear is like playing Super Mario Bros 3 because you love stockpiling fire flowers.

This is the best response I've seen in a while.
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90 Undead Warrior
14210
i'm pretty sure at least the majority of raid guilds would be happy in allowing the system to keep discouraging gear-motivated folks from doing normal and heroic raiding.
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And therein lies a good comparison - how on earth am I even in the neighborhood of your item level comparing what we've accomplished this tier? It's dead wrong.

I appreciate the replies & they have helped me assess even further my reasons for playing the game - which are mine and obviously different than some of yours.

For what it's worth, I really enjoy raiding with a coordinated group and definitely agree there is a big sense of accomplishment from downing content - no question. That was one of my points, hidden in the wall of text - that progress on normal modes should be coaxed along a little more quickly for average groups via nerfs than it has been this tier.
Edited by Badilyn on 1/19/2013 6:01 PM PST
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90 Draenei Shaman
15030
01/19/2013 04:37 PMPosted by Mneme
The "point" of raiding is organized, coordinated large group play. You don't get that in LFR. It's understandable that if you focus only on the loot, you'll end up disappointed in the end.


This sums up my feelings on the issue. People who are motivated solely by loot belong in LFR.
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100 Human Paladin
aus
19960
01/19/2013 05:55 PMPosted by Badilyn
And therein lies a good comparison - how on earth am I even in the neighborhood of your item level comparing what we've accomplished this tier? It's dead wrong.


Why are you replying too? Moresunders is the only logical choice as a someone that has cleared normal content?

He has 11 ilvl a reasonable gap.
You get more gear from lfr at least compared to 10 man, You don't sit, you don't need to progress to kill bosses they just die the first week your allowed to kill them. You get the same access to valor gear and valor upgrades.

01/19/2013 05:55 PMPosted by Badilyn
That was one of my points, hidden in the wall of text - that progress on normal modes should be coaxed along a little more quickly for average groups via nerfs than it has been this tier.


I dislike blanket nerfs, not as much as some but they should be reserved for when blizzard screwed up and the content is going to be around too long leading to guilds getting stonewalled.

Guilds are not getting stonewalled in normal. Yes the content is hard, yes the order of difficulty is stuffed but guilds are indeed progressing.
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26 Worgen Rogue
10635
01/19/2013 05:55 PMPosted by Badilyn
For what it's worth, I really enjoy raiding with a coordinated group and definitely agree there is a big sense of accomplishment from downing content - no question. That was one of my points, hidden in the wall of text - that progress on normal modes should be coaxed along a little more quickly for average groups via nerfs than it has been this tier.


I can see both sides to this argument. In Wrath, normal modes were made to somewhat emulate Naxx difficulty whereas hard / heroic modes were made to emulate Vanilla and BC levels of challenge - and they still are. No one ever compares normal mode kills from any raid in Cata or MoP to Naxx 40 / T5 / BT / or Sunwell. Boss attempts are compared against Heroic Modes to contrast the difficulty between expansions. So normal modes were created to allow for a low skilled / poorly coordiated guild, or quickly trade chat pug groups to clear at least a portion of the content, and we saw that all throughout Wrath raiding content, and Heroic mode content continued to remain pretty exclusive all the way until the year long 30+ nerfed ICC marathon that allowed many guilds to move well into heroic content.

So I do get your point.

On the other hand, Blizzard has produced LFR in a seeming attempt to replace pre-Cata normal mode difficulty, to allow for T11+ difficulty levels present in normal modes (some of T12 & most of T13 excluded). So I can understand the response of "if normal modes are too hard, leave and do LFR"

The problem I have with that statement is LFR just isn't as fun as either content clearing pug raiding or progression raiding. Each boss feels like a 10-15 minute marathon of "mash your keys while hoping enough of the other raiders are mashing theirs, so you don't wipe". And while obtaining gear from LFR can be fun (haven't gotten any tier yet this expac, and have gotten 0 loot drops the past 3 weeks), there appears to be little remaining redeeming qualities to it, not to mention I have a theory that LFR leads casual players to an early fatigue of the raid tier in general which makes it hard to motivate them to keep showing up each week to raid normal modes.

The remaining problem is that I don't know of a good solution that encourages more of the general community into end game progression activity (which I still believe is the heartbeat of this game), that won't piss off the existing highly progressed normal & heroic mode raiders.
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100 Worgen Death Knight
18395
You mean you don't do it to have fun with friends?
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26 Worgen Rogue
10635
01/20/2013 02:33 AMPosted by Níghtmare
You mean you don't do it to have fun with friends?


While I believe this is a tongue-in-cheek reply and one that is not directed as me, I would like to comment back that, as others have mentioned, this is exactly why I raid. I find my 2-4 hours of slowly progressing guild raiding each week the highlight of my WoW week.

That said, what's making it tougher is the same attitude I saw from my friends leading into the mass exodus that was early Cataclysm, in that half of the friends I raid with no longer find the raiding content compelling enough to push their desire to continue playing, even with friends they have known and played with both inside and outside of WoW for many years. Most no longer log on outside raid time and a few have expressed that even raid time is no fun for them anymore. This is from a varied group, the core of whom completed Black Temple pre-nerf, skipped Wrath primarily due to the faceroll of Naxx 80 and regrouped Mid T11 through Dragonsoul. (fyi, different group of friends that dissolved mid T11, which is why I joined these guys when they got back together).

And seeing how we have opposite spectrums of difficulty between T7 and T14, I don't think the answer can boil down to simply "it's too easy or it's too hard". I think the bottom line is, they just aren't having fun, making the riddle "what can be done to make this game fun again". The breath of life that this game needs will be for Blizzard to solve that riddle.

For the record, I think I can honestly say adding more multi-alt daily log-in required grinding/farming isn't it. I think that was a short-sighted solution that caused more players to log in every day, but in the end caused more burn out then anything it attempted to fix.
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During ICC, the 2 nights I spent raiding it were FOR SURE the highlights of my wow week. I was part of a bad-to-moderate 25 man group that slowly progressed to 9/12 (normal) over weeks and weeks of trying. I couldn't wait to get on to raid & gear took care of itself or didn't - I was happy to get pieces but it wasn't the be all & end all. Killing whichever abom put the spores over peoples' heads (Fester or Rot, I still can't keep them straight) for the first time is still my best WoW memory, and it had nothing to do with any gear.

But the excitement from killing a new boss dwindles each time you do it. Some still feel more fulfilling than others, but there is no comparison for me what it used to feel like. It meant a lot more back then.

As far as raids working like challenge modes, I think I described my idea poorly - the only similarity would be the graduated achs for clearing within pre-described time frames, and they would have to be designed to not make people feel bad for "only" getting a bronze. I would suggest realm firsts stay, followed by "Heart of Fear - Leader - killed all bosses in Heart of Fear without (name of buff/nerf)". It would even be possible to make the nerfs be a choice so that guilds could seek the leader achs as they got more & more gear (by talking to an NPC as per King Wrynn in icc sort of thing). I wasn't envisioning a race to clear the raid in the best possible time in one sitting (though they could also add that if anyone cared).

There a number of motivating factors for raiders: social, sense of accomplishment & gear being chief among them I would suggest - each making up different sized pieces of the pie for each individual. What Bliz has basically done here is removed one of the pieces from my pie, and it turns out it was a big enough piece to drop my interest below the "not worth the time" threshold.

Raiding has a cost besides time at my house, something I haven't mentioned previously either - significant wife aggro (as I'm sure some others have experienced). Married up with having seen all the fights many many times before (thanks to LFR - and yes I realize they are dumbed down, watered down versions but they are still the same bosses), I'm just too sick of the fights, too sick of my wife !@#$%ing at me about staying up all night & too sick of being exhausted at work 3 days per week to make it even close to worthwhile.
Edited by Badilyn on 1/20/2013 7:05 AM PST
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100 Tauren Druid
21425
Thing is though, blanket nerfs to the content do not help with progression. They give a band aid to people who don't want to learn how to do the subsequent bosses, or just can't seem to figure out how to stay out of the bad.

Take DS for instance, the blanket nerfs made that raid on normal, easier than LFR. That isn't supposed to happen. Normal mode has to have some degree of difficulty or the guilds will clear it, then either get bored and quit, or try heroic mode and get facestomped by the bosses. This just leads to the same cries of 'nerf heroic mode' later down the line because people have then blitzed normal and now expect the same treatment for heroic mode.

The current raid tier is actually tuned pretty well, it has a progression curve and decent guilds shouldn't have issues progressing. I know plenty of normal mode casual guilds who are just stepping foot into the later fights in HoF, nothing has stonewalled them yet, despite it taking a while for them to clear the content.

They're happy with the difficulty.
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I can see your point completely about the clamoring for continued nerfs once they're given out, and would totally agree they went too far with the ds nerfs - way too far in fact. Gradual, scheduled nerfs though would be a light at the end of the tunnel for struggling groups and would provide that extra bit of motivation for the All Stars to work hard and get their kills in there before the deadline.

Another thing they could to increase my motivation to raid would be to help reduce the vp grind - which I'm only still doing because of the Legendary quest line at this point (and that's another can of worms - am I really progressing a Legendary quest line without having to engage in cooperative play? Really?). 100vps per normal boss would make me stand up and take notice - 40 isn't enough and 25 was so far out on the low end I thought for sure it was a mistake.

Of course I realize the same arguments will be there - if they give 100 per boss folks will scream for 200 - but really, shouldn't being organized enough to clear 10 normal bosses per week reward you with enough vps to be done collecting? Getting a whopping total of 200vps for clearing the 5 bosses we had on farm still had me faced with running all of the raid finders and doing at least a few dailies to get capped, which has caused me to be tired of doing all of those things, as opposed to just one or two.
Edited by Badilyn on 1/20/2013 8:10 AM PST
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90 Worgen Warlock
18035
Raiding gear becomes obsolete with content patches and expansions, why bother raiding?
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I'm seeking the answer to that. I guess I've made the right decision by bowing out.
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