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Blizzard clarifies the raid finder's role in gearing progression

Blizzard clarify LFR's role in gearing progression
Blizzard blue Taepsilum posted today on the EU forums regarding the role of the raid finder as a key part of the gearing ladder. It has been regularly mentioned how the raid finder in Cataclysm became a vital part of gear progression, offering items that were an upgrade from Firelands normal gear and -- with procs and set bonuses accounted for, as well as the half-tier increase in item level for drops from Spine and Madness -- upgrades from Firelands heroic gear.

I posted a while back about the purpose of the raid finder and how while it was intended as a means for folks who didn't have access to a raid team to see content, it became a rung on the gearing ladder. Well, it seems that Blizzard is taking steps to change that. Matt Rossi posted earlier with more information on the loot changes, and Taepsilum's post only serves to add weight to the notion that the raid finder will be adapted to serve its intended purpose.

This shift was mentioned yesterday on the Q&A with the Devs at Gamescom, but it bears repeating for all the raid finder naysayers out there. When Blizzard knows millions of players will see content, it makes it easier for them to justify allocating resources to it. It's really hard for Blizzard to justify putting the huge resources to design a raid into something a fraction of players will experience. WoW Insider had a message direct from Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas in which he restated this point:

The existence of LFR justifies the creation of more raid content for casual and hardcore players alike.

See Taepsilum's post after the break.


Taepsilum

Hello my fellow non-murloc creatures of Azeroth,

Please allow me to chip in with a few updated bits of information about LFR, I hope that you view this as an improvement and a step in the right direction over the current version of LFR. We do hear you and your feedback is seriously taken into consideration each time we decide to apply any change to the game.

We know that competitive players seem to dislike the idea of having to go through LFR to get some upgrades and that some will always go there as long as there is any chance at all of getting the slightest competitive advantage from it.
Of course we would prefer that LFR wasn't part of the progression path for guilds that are raiding normal/heroic content, and so we have made some additional adjustments for the next iteration of LFR, for example:

- Currently we have two separate item levels in LFR, items from the last 2 encounters have a level of 390, while the rest have 384, this made the LFR gear from Deathwing a bit too attractive for just about everyone, including hardcore raiders, so we've decided that this needed to be changed for MoP.
Our initial intention was that this difference would work as a special reward for beating such difficult encounters but that didn't really translate in LFR since those encounters don't have a difficulty that is relevant enough for this reward to be warranted.
Basically our intention for MoP is that if we decide to give a slight bump and increase the loot table ilvl of end bosses, that same bump won't be applied to LFR but only to normal/heroic modes.

- While the LFR gear from a new tier will continue to be slightly better than the normal difficulty items from the previous tier, we'll structure the power level of future tiers' LFR loot so that it doesn't replace Heroic gear from the previous raid, and we're continuing to discuss other solutions internally to limit the pressure for competitive raiders to run LFR.

- We've also made a slight change on how Terrace of Endless Spring and Heart of Fear are going to roll out. These two raids will still be split into three separate queues for LFR, but we no longer plan to release them all on the same day, instead, we'll unlock one queue each week. We hope that by the time all of the bosses are available in LFR, organized raiders will have had two full weeks to work on normal difficulty and one week for Heroic difficulty.

While I don't expect this to completely stop raiding guilds from feeling some need to go into LFR, I hope that it will provide less incentive, they shouldn't feel obligated to continue running LFR for a long time on top of their normal/heroic progression, I'd say if LFR remains somewhat interesting for 2-3 weeks to some players that want one or two specific items from there, that's not such a big issue.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

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