“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.