And so it begins (the QQ, I mean)

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time” – John Lydgate

Patch 5.2 has brought with it yet another chapter in the endless “hardcore vs casual” debate.

In MoP, Blizzard has been gating the LFR difficulty differently than the normal and heroic modes, opening up wings gradually.  With this schedule, the final boss of tier 15 won’t be available at LFR difficulty until April.

Yet they are releasing the entire tier today on normal mode, and the entire tier next week on heroic mode.

This is not a new phenomenon.  All of tier 14 had a comparable staggered release.

  • Mogu’shan Vaults LFR Wing One opened October 9
  • Mogu’shan Vaults LFR Wing Two opened October 16
  • Heart of Fear LFR Wing One opened November 6
  • Heart of Fear LFR Wing Two opened November 13
  • Terrace of Endless Spring LFR opened November 20

Each raid’s first LFR wing was opened a week after normal mode was released, and the second LFR wing was opened a week after that.

So lets be realistic here.  Can we look back on the tier 14 raids and think that so-called casuals got the shaft?  Was that delay such a burden?  Was there not enough to do to keep everyone busy during that waiting period?  Did “casuals” feel somehow insulted that they couldn’t steamroll the entire tier within the first few days?

I put “casuals” in quotes because I don’t feel like the big complaints are coming from actual casual raiders.  I could be wrong, but I feel like a lot of the complaints are from people who simply don’t want to play the game that Blizzard is designing.  Raids represent thousands of man-hours of design and development time and resources.  Are we so spoiled that we expect Blizzard to hand us all of that on a no-challenge platter so that we can faceroll through it in a week’s time?  Is it wrong for Blizzard to give people a chance to play the encounters as they were designed before they allow the masses to be farm them on LFR?

And yet nothing is black and white.  There are many shades between lazy, casual, dedicated, hardcore, or whatever other labels you want to throw around.  Its just a shame that online forums are dominated by the loudest whiners, while the vast majority of people who are satisfied – even appreciative – toward all the different in-game options are drowned out.

Personally, I think this is a good model.  The heroic raiders aren’t pressured into running LFR repeatedly for gear.  The normal raiders have a chance to see encounters as they were intended before a predominance of LFR gear dilutes the difficulty.  LFR players get to see the content, albeit a few weeks later.  Everyone gets something.



6 Responses to “And so it begins (the QQ, I mean)”

  1. 1 BenDover
    March 5, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Gating LFR provides another benefit to the HC Raiders: they don’t get access to tier set bonuses too fast, which gives a bit more longevity to the World and Server 1st contests. This helps keep the competition more fair to all involved while having no effect on the majority of raiders and people who just dabble in LFR and other stuff. Overall I feel this is a good way of gating content.

    Our guild has been real slow in progression so far. Real life can get in the way every now and again. I don’t feel this gating hurts us in any way. We’ll be getting through the previous tier soon enough, and since people tend to do LFR (if only to get Valor capped without having to do too many dailies: another way of how limited play time doesn’t work very well with them tying Valor to Dailies. That’s a whole different topic, though) I suspect we’ll be picking up fairly fast now.

  2. March 5, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I don’t like artificial gating of content. If they really want to do this I’d prefer they built some type of “quest” gate that would require multiple weeks of raiding to complete (and they can remove it once the raid is no longer current content). This is my gut feel, I’ve not really thought about the implications as I’m not a bleeding edge raider.

    • 3 BenDover
      March 5, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      What do you mean by “artificial gating of content”? To me atunements and such always felt a lot more artificial than just waiting until something is released, even if bit by bit. Having a quest to unlock things over a few weeks would only mean having to wait a few weeks to see things AND do a quest. It would be 2 gates to pass, instead of one.

    • March 6, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Its interesting that you seem to dislike the mechanic rather than the gating. I hadn’t heard that before.

      Most of the complaints are just about the timeline – that LFR raiders don’t see the content until a month later (that assumes that normal mode raiders see it right away, which doesn’t happen).

      I like attunements, also, but I see how they have been misused in the past. Honestly, I’m ok with anything that helps structure it as a story to be followed rather than just hoops to jump through.

  3. 5 hamacus
    March 6, 2013 at 2:11 am

    I agree with Blizzard’s design 100% If you want to be bleeding edge ( Which is who this gating is designed to please ) you should be in that type of guild. There is so much to do in game besides LFR that the average person should really not feel hindered.

    Let the so called “hard core raiders” have thier day and we get to play in the sandbox when they are done.

    • March 6, 2013 at 11:02 am

      I agree.

      The complaints seem somehow contradictory to me. They are complaining that they don’t have the time to dedicate to raiding, but in the same breath they are complaining that the content is being released slower than they want. I don’t see how those go together.

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