Braving Looking For Raid

I was feeling very ambivalent about whether I should even bother to give the MoP raid finder a try or not. On the one hand there was a certain appeal to the idea of "seeing the content" in some fashion, plus we had actually acquired a couple of quests that straight-up told us to go and do certain raids (such as the legendary quest line). In terms of gear, LFR also seemed to offer a smoother progression curve than continuing to grind things on the Timeless Isle in hopes of getting a suitable loot drop. On the other hand I remembered that the few times I did the Dragon Soul LFR back in Cata felt very disjointed and unsatisfying, and from everything I'd heard, the types of people you meet in the raid finder could be very unpleasant these days (to put it mildly).

In the end it was probably this post by the Ancient Gaming Noob that tipped the scales in favour in the end, as he describes his experience as going into LFR more or less completely blind and having no problems whatsoever, presumably because by this point in the expansion, a critical mass of players could do the fights in their sleep and a couple of clueless newbies don't really make a difference either way.

So my pet tank and I decided to queue up for Mogu'shan Vaults on Saturday afternoon, the first option on the LFR drop-down list, me as healer and him as dps for a change. (I had urged him to not queue as tank at least during our first time, as I was worried about that role making him a target for abuse if things went wrong, especially since neither of us knew anything about the fights.) We had to wait about twenty minutes, as there seemed to be a dps shortage - of all things! This pattern continued throughout most of the afternoon: always enough tanks and healers, never enough dps. Still, we ended up completing both halves of Mogu'shan Vaults in the end, as well as the entirety of Heart of Fear. It was a very smooth experience with no wipes, but with the queue times for each wing the whole thing still ended up feeling quite long.

When we first zoned into Mogu'shan Vaults, I was surprised to see a lot of people actually bothering to say "hi" in chat. While there wasn't a lot of talk throughout the rest of our runs, the atmosphere felt pretty relaxed and laid back. It was obvious that we weren't the only ones new to LFR, but as anticipated there were also more than enough players who knew what they were doing and they didn't seem to mind carrying a bit of extra weight. In the first half of Mogu'shan Vaults for example we had a shaman who got locked out and died during the second boss, and while he received a res afterwards, he didn't accept it, presumably because he was AFK by that point. Nobody said anything or even bothered to initiate a vote kick though; he just stayed there, dead, until the group had killed the last boss and disbanded.

There wasn't much talk of tactics, but what little there was felt good-natured and us noobs were happy to follow anyone who was willing to lead. The only time I saw people getting cross was during Blade Lord Ta'yak, when the whole group had to run across the room dodging tornadoes, and a hunter insisted on having Aspect of the Pack on, causing everyone to be permanently dazed and making it nearly impossible to move as we were supposed to. Still, I've seen insults a lot worse than "huntard" in my time.

I suppose it was easy to be agreeable since we never wiped. Personally I just died twice, once on the trash to Gara'jal the Spiritbinder, where I got caught by surprise by the first set of bombs, and a second time on the aforementioned Blade Lord, when he cast Unseen Strike on me and I instinctively ran away from the group when I actually should have stacked up to survive.

Running these two raids in LFR also provided both me and Pet Tank with the biggest loot rush since our first day on the Timeless Isle. Based on the many rants I'd seen from people about how they keep getting nothing but bags of gold, I thought that the item drop rate would be atrocious, but in reality we got an item pretty much from every other boss, sometimes two if we used a bonus roll. They weren't always useful (I got three near-identical cloaks for example), but there was enough good stuff in there that it definitely felt worthwhile.

All in all, I was ready for things to go horribly wrong, but not only did that not happen, I actually had fun. No, the healing itself wasn't very engaging (mostly just a lot of spamming AoE heals), but it was interesting to go in blind and to learn new boss mechanics on the fly. Everyone acted civil. And the raids themselves were... okay I guess? Heart of Fear seemed like a bit of an unpleasant place with the impaled yet still squirming bug people at the entrance and all the annoyingly squeaky-voiced bosses, but other than that it was alright.

I remember that one of the things I hated about doing Dragon Soul in LFR was how it kept putting me into runs in progress and due to the nature of the instance the whole thing just felt terrible disjointed, what with going from Wyrmrest through random portals to parachuting from an airship to crashing into the Maelstrom. I suppose we got lucky this time around in that the system put us into fresh runs every time, but I think that even if we had missed a boss or two, it wouldn't have felt as bad as it did back in Dragon Soul because both Mogu'shan Vaults and Heart of Fear are a lot more self-contained.

We'll see whether we'll manage to hang in there for long enough to get geared up for Siege of Orgrimmar.


  1. I made it to the second stage of the Siege of Orgrimmar this morning, which is actually inside of Orgrimmar. Pretty neat. I had to re-raid a couple of the zones to get to 496, but it didn't take too long. I will make it through to Garrosh for sure.

  2. The loot drop rate on the older LFRs has been pushed through the roof. It's like 50% or some such these days. SoO however is closer to a 20% chance if I recall correctly. Which is actually a hell of a lot better than it was back in Dragon Soul (12.5% or so iirc?).

    1. I kind of guessed that they must have buffed it for older raids. :) And Dragon Soul's LFR didn't have the individual loot bags, it used the old need/greed.

  3. I wonder if the earlier LFR raids are better because:
    (1) they are tuned for people in blues. sorta, whereas people will now zone in with Timeless Isle 496s. I think MSV drops 476s.
    (2) anyone running them at this stage is presumably doing it for the legendary cloak, or at least many will be. This implies a modicum of dedication.

    Sounds like you had a better experience of LFR than I had this expac. According to my armory page, I did first wing of SoO in LFR, and that's the only wing I ever completed (and I only did that once).

    Or perhaps I just had bad luck. Or perhaps I was coming to the end of my WoW career, and I had just run out of patience with everything. I quite liked the fights in Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Springs (last boss took too long, but...). But I found Siege of Orgrimmar endlessly tedious after the first time, not dissimilar to your comments re: scenarios. Again though, that could be a symptom of wider battle fatigue.

    Ruddles / Boxerdogs

  4. While it's probably worth doing each raid through to see the story (as the group sprints past it of course), surely it's better to gear up on the Timeless Isle? That was added with a secondary mission (primary being the raid tier itself) of gearing up alts or latecomers for the latest raid tier.

    I did maybe one or two runs of each raid but hadn't been that lucky with the loot so came to the Timeless Isle mostly in a mish-mash of blue, crafted purple and green gear. Now I'm ilvl 540-odd and able to join Flexi or even Normal mode Siege of Ogrimmar at a stretch.

    It depends on your motives for doing the earlier raids but you will replace all the gear you get very quickly on the Timeless Isle anyway so don't spend too long gearing up before going there ;-)

    1. The thing with the Timeless Isle is that what gear slot you get gear for is extremely RNG dependent and personally I've had very bad luck with it. We did spend several days grinding there before doing LFR, and I got about ten pairs of shoulders without seeing a single chest, leg piece or pair of gloves for example. Odds in the lower LFR tiers are much better, even if the gear is a couple of ilevels lower.

  5. The first tier LFRs are pretty solid these days... combination of some people massively overgearing them, most players having seen them at some point and usually people only being there because they want/need to be rather than farming them for loot that doesn't drop. I had a rare Terrace run recently where I used bonus tokens on all 4 bosses and while I only got 7 actual drops, the one failbag I got had an item in it as well... imperfect but still technically 8/8, I think. Apologies for whoever went 0/8 to offset my luck, especially since I didn't actually need any of the items. :)

    ToT LFR isn't too bad these days either, but SoO LFR, as with any current tier LFR, can be a cesspool. Enjoy the earlier ones as long as you have reason to run them.