I have had the opportunity over the past week of participating in three separate, completely PuG, Looking For Raid Dragon Souls. One on each of my three alt healers (Shaman, Paladin, Second Druid). I had two fairly good experiences and one pretty terrible experience (let’s just suffice it to say that I probably won’t run LFR on a Friday night again, as I clearly don’t have the fortitude to deal with the 13-17 crowd). There were a few fairly disturbing trends that I noticed happening in all three groups that I feel should be addressed – as I’m worried that people either have the perception that this is what raiding is about or will start to think that these are acceptable raiding behaviors.
As such, let’s go through a few of the things that I saw with alarming regularity and attempt to dispel some seemingly popular misconceptions about raiding, at least as they are evidenced by the general population participating in LFR:
- Telling everyone that they are fucking morons and are terrible (or some similar insult) when something doesn’t go as planned or they die. I cannot tell you how many times I saw this exact behavior. However, I think it’s important to state that the vast majority of raiders don’t tolerate being berated like this and the large majority of raid leaders do not treat their raid like this. It’s not productive. It doesn’t solve anything. And generally speaking it just makes people think that you are an asshole.
- Leaving the raid after the boss you wanted loot from doesn’t drop your loot. I have no clue why people find this acceptable – perhaps it’s the complete lack of accountability present in LFR/LFD. However, in actual raids, this does not happen. Ever. In fact, receiving the upgrade that you’d like from a boss is more of an exception than it is the rule when raiding. Pulling a stunt like this on a raid team would lead to your removal to the raid before you could say “I didn’t get my loot”. If gear is the sole reason that you are raiding, then you are doing it wrong. Gear is a tool. It is what lets you push onto the next challenge. It’s fluid and it comes and goes. It’s actually kind of sad how many people don’t seem to understand this concept and think that raiding is solely about having better purple pixels than someone else.
- Leaving the raid when you wipe…once. Guess what folks, when learning new raid content you wipe. Often you wipe a lot. Most raiders look at needing to spend time learning a new boss as a challenge. It is perfectly okay to need to take a few pulls to solve a mechanic. It is perfectly okay for someone who has never seen the fight before to need a pull to be up to speed. Wiping is just as much a part of raiding as nerd screams and dragons filled with purples. If you cannot tolerate wiping, then it is quite likely that you do not have the patience to raid. And, frankly, if you were a member of my raid and left after wiping – you’d be looking for a new raid team.
- Leaving the raid when you get to a hard boss that the raid is likely to wipe on (I’m look at youYor’shaj). Again, this is something that ties in with the point above and I feel deserves to be repeated: Wiping is just as much a part of raiding as nerd screams and dragons filled with purples. It’s okay to wipe to a boss that offers some challenge. In fact, it’s okay to be challenged. People who want to raid seriously do not turn, tuck their tails and run away at the first sign of a challenge. Raiding is often times hard work. It’s dedication, it’s devotion and it’s sticking it out when things are hard.
- Thinking that you can just pull a boss and everyone will know what to do without explanation (especially in a PuG). This is new content. You have a system to help introduce people to raiding. What on earth makes people think that it isn’t worth the time to take 5 minutes to explain a fight and that raid teams do not do this? Especially one with more complex mechanics (like Yor’shaj). I raid with a team of extremely skilled and educated players – and I’ll still take the time during our raids to give a brief overview of how we built our strategy for the encounter. You can’t expect 25 people to be on the same page unless you offer that page up for review. You know what I’ve found? Explaining why and the order in which you need to kill slimes on Yor’shaj leads to a very smooth kill. Explaining the kill priority for Mana Voids and Adds means that those things die as needed. Explaining how to navigate an ice wall on Hagara means that you enter the next phase with 1-2 dead instead of half the raid. Explaining out to overload crystals means that the phase can be executed just as smoothly with 25 pugs as it can in my main raid. Taking the time to make sure everyone knows what is happening is the single most important thing that you can do to ensure success in a raid.
I am sure I could add about a ten more things to this list, but these five were the biggest offenders that I saw consistently throughout the course of my 3 completely PuG Looking for Raid Experiences. And it worried me. A lot. If people’s first experience with raiding is through the LFR system, and they think that this is what raiding is all about, what kinds of attitudes are people going to have when they decide to take the next step up and join a progression oriented raid team? I think it’s something to think about.
How to Yor’Shaj in LFR
On a somewhat similar note to above, I cannot tell you how many times my LFR group got to Yor’shaj and the group just churned as people left before even pulling the boss. Or how many people left when someone pulled two trash packs, or the group didn’t kill the blue slime in the trash pack first, or…well, the list could go on forever. I successfully lead to very clean kills on this boss in LFR (and would have done a third but for that Friday night group full of some of the most disrespectful people I’ve ever encountered in the game). So I thought that I’d Clarify a few things for people on how to deal with this boss in LFR in hopes that it will help to educate people (although I am sadly aware that many in need of this education won’t read this to begin with).
So, without further ado, let’s talk about Yor’shaj in LFR!
- You do not need to kill the green slime in LFR. You just don’t. You do not need to spread out when you get the green slime in LFR. The mechanics of the green slime in LFR are vastly different than that in the 10/25 version of the encounter. The green slime doesn’t splash in LFR, and the damage that it does is negligible and easily healed. The green slime is one of the least difficult slimes. Do not let anyone tell you different, it’s just not true.
- You slime kill order should always be: Purple, Yellow, Black. (Contrary to what someone tried to tell me on Friday night – you do not need to kill Blue first. And yes, I was called a fucking worthless idiot multiple times for stating that you do not need to kill blue). Purple will still put a healing debuff on the raid. Yellow will still cause extra raid damage. Black still spawns adds. If your raid follows the Purple, Yellow, Black paradigm (and the raid executes) this is a fairly simple encounter to navigate. As long as it’s clearly communicated and everyone move to the same ooze – the oozes are generally a non-issue. It’s when there is confusion and someone doesn’t call out each time that there are problems with the ooze (or you have multiple people giving conflicting information – see blue ooze guy who every time I made a call spammed about how terrible I was and that people should kill the blue and ignore me).
- It is important to impress on people that EVERYONE in the raid follow the following kill order when it comes to the fight: Oozes (always), Mana Void, Forgotten Ones, Boss. Stress that the boss is the last priority, and that the success of the raid depends on everyone in the raid swapping when adds are up and that ignoring any of them will have potential to wipe the raid.
- Everyone in the raid should stack up on Yor’Shaj’s tush, unless they are killing a ooze. With this ooze kill order, and the change to the green ooze on LFR, this will make healing a cinch and will ensure that everyone is groupped up for the red slime when it is out.
- This is a two tank fight. I honestly have no idea where it got put into people heads that it is not. Tanks need to swap every four stacks of the debuff, and may need to be reminded to taunt. Healers need to know that it is important to continue to heal the tank with the debuff as well, as the DoT continues to tick while it is active.
- Take time to explain the fight. Seriously. This fight can be so easy if people know what to do and everyone is on the same page regarding oozes and kill order for the fight. If people aren’t listening – wait for that one wipe and all of the “I can’t be bothered to wait for an explanation or wipe once” people to leave, and explain. Sometimes the wipe is the catalyst needed for people to accept that an explanation is needed.
Please feel free to share this Yor’shaj information with everyone you can. Feel free to take it and post it on your blog, your guild forums or hire someone to put it in sky writing. The more people who understand how this fight works, the smoother everyone’s LFR experience will be. And in end that is a good thing!
Overall, how have everyone else’s looking for raid experience been? Have you seen the same trends that I have? Have you had good experiences? Bad experiences? Will never touch it again experiences? Do you think there are ways that Blizzard could improve the system?