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.
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.
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.
Fire And Rain: aka a Look at the Future
19 hours ago