The Nature of Change

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Blizzard has recently announced their intents for raiding in WoD, changing up the game again.  While you can find the whole post here, the main points are the changes in LFR loot, the addition of Group Finder, and multiple changes to Normal, Heroic, and the new Mythic raiding.  This article will focus mostly on the LFR and Group Finder changes, as this is the kind of raiding that Fussypants currently does.

The first big change is the removal of specific trinkets and set bonuses from LFR.  For the Normal and Hardcore raider, this is a positive change, as these raiders will no longer feel required to LFR raid to fill the gaps in their set pieces, or get that missing trinket.  However, for LFR raiders, this change is not so positive.  To many LFR raiders, this may seem to reduce LFR to a glorified dungeon.  But, isn’t that what it is supposed to be?

As it currently stands, LFR tries to do too many jobs.  It is a way to let non raiders see the lore, a gearing method for many players, a sight-seeing journey for some, and practice for normal and heroic raiding for others.  This all makes it very difficult to balance, both gear and difficulty wise.

With the introduction of Group Finder in WoD, LFR suddenly becomes redundant in many of its current jobs.  Thus, it make sense to turn LFR into more of a sight-seeing raid than a tier of its own.  As Fussypants has done already, many of the raiders who LFR raid for gear and because they don’t have the time for a raiding schedule, will naturally gravitate to the Group Finder function.  LFR will now have a specific job, and Group Finder will take the job of a raid for those who want to ‘raid’ raid with less time.

LFR will now also drop more rewards, allowing it effectively be the stepping stone between dungeons and Group Finder.  This will allow players such as Fussypants to move on to Group Finder raiding much faster than currently capable.

The second huge change is the addition of Group Finder.  From what has been stated at this point, Group Finder will be like OQueue, but Blizzard made and in-game.  This change is fantastic, as now many more people will use it than when it was in addon form.  This will open up the possibility of raiding to a far larger audience, and allow for many more pickup groups.

Also, for raiders like Fussypants, this will allow for more difficulties of raids.  As it currently stands, LFR raiders are generally at the final level of progression with the LFR.  But, with the new Group Finder, these raiders will be able to find groups to raid with at higher progression levels.  Raids that originally required you to be in a guild are now capable of being pugged.

The final big change is the addition of flex technologies to all raid types except for Mythic.  Group sizes won’t be set in stone, again making for easier pugging.  What once required dedicated guilds now will be more reachable by those not in raiding guilds.
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With all these changes, it is also interesting to look at how the WoW players handle it.

Human nature is funny, in that we don’t like change, but we adapt to it very quickly.  Take for instance, the addition of LFR.  When the idea was first proposed, there was of course backlash from the WoW community.  People didn’t like the change, even though many of them ended up using the new feature.  And here we are, an expansion later, and LFR seems like it has always been there.  LFR became such an integral part of many players WoW experience, that is odd to think that the feature is only one expansion old.

This process happened again with the addition of Flexible raiding.  There was a good amount of outcry against the change, and yet only a few moments after it has been integrated, the system seems common place.

It will be very interesting to watch how quickly we the players adapt to the new raiding changes, despite our protests against them.  ’20 man raiding? That’s stupid!’ we may say now, and yet in half a year, this may seem like the most normal thing.

People need to calm down.  Change is neither bad nor good, and either way, we are going to adapt to it.  It is in human nature to do so.  It will be fascinating to see how quickly the WoW player base settles into these ‘radical’ new changes.  So don’t worry.  You will adapt in a shorter amount of time than you spend complaining.

This entire article was written by Fussypants (though it was probably hard to tell with her writing in third person and all)

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