The Grumpy Elf and the Grumpy Dwarf (me), are kind of at loggerheads. What is odd is that we fundamentally agree on the same principles. For example we both agree that LFR should have been available as a 10 Man raid, I was merely stating the reasons why I think that Blizzard implemented in its current form.
I would like to take the recent post by Grumpy to highlight the commonalities in our thinking.The post was Grumpy looking back on his own predictions for the forthcoming LFR and was written in September 22nd 2011.
Will LFR kill LFD off?
Grumpy identifies that goal of the newly leveled character is to attempt to bypass 5 Man Heroics and jump into LFR as quickly as possible, I have stated this on several occasions here and here. Grumpy sees this as being LFR killing off LFD, but I am more inclined to agree with the Big Bear Butt although I can't find the post were all the asshats had left LFD for LFR and that now LFD was a much nicer place to be. Notice I said nicer and not wonderful or any other superlative you can mention. I have even seen people talking and not just screaming at each other or generally being quiet and getting on with the task in hand.
I am also not sure that LFR is a stepping stone to raiding. Some people are running LFR as their end content raid experience and not just for the gear to make the logical step to Normal level raiding. Grumpy stated quite elegantly in Is Gear The Great Motivator? that raiding gear is very useful to non-raiders as well as raiders.
LFD is more than just a tool to propel characters through the end content, it serves a great purpose for all leveling characters looking to do low level instances. I wonder how many people are currently doing content in Hellfire Penisula. Without LFD how else would you find a party of 4 Death Knights and a healer to do Hellfire Ramparts.
How Will Loot Be Handled
I agree with Grumpy that Loot distribution in LFR was terrible. Some of my characters especially the healers came out of the LFR in 2 weeks with a complete Tier set. On the other hand my melee Plate wearers have had very little in the way of drops. This is RNG at its worst and it does not make many people happy.
I believe that unlike Grumpy that the new system for MoP will be a huge improvement. Only time will tell if this going to be a success. If the figures are set too low they can always be tweaked to provide more loot. This is still destined to be the new loot system for Instances and Raids.
Bad Players and Kick Options?
LFR does need a kick function for the AFKers, Raid spoilers and the downright bad players who want to be carried. Grumpy wrote a post on how to improve a system that states, do you want to Kick Knobhead, Reason Given - Blank. I agree with Grumpy entirely on his proposed changes, so Blizzard get on with it we have a consensus of 2 on this point.
Why No 10 Player Option?
I have already covered this before and in my opinion 5 versions of Raid is enough work for Blizzard to do, and besides unless you start making 1 Tank raids this is always going to be an issue with the 5, 10 and 25 man ratios. 25 man allows more Dps to take part and the bottleneck is healers not tanks.
Who Decides Who The Raid Leader Is?
I think that everybody is in a agreement that this as been an unmitigated disaster.
What About Communication?
This is not Blizzard's forte, anybody remember the huge development costs of setting up Blizzard version of Ventrilo and Mumble. Voice chat is not and will never be a compulsary part of playing this game.
I agree with Grumpy that Blizzard got this wrong and that there are just too many people cheating the system by falsely entering the queue with the wrong Role assigned. Anybody cheating the system in this way should be kicked and banned from entering the LFR for the entire week, harsh I know but there is no excuse for this kind of behaviour.
What About Gear Requirements?
LFR was gated and should be gated, but it was far too easy to bypass the checks wearing crafted PvP gear. Admittedly the 377 PvP is good gear and I have seen some people produce some very tasty figures in the PvP Blues. This in general is still a poor design on Blizzard's part.
I can see where Grumpy is coming from with the idea of a Blizzard designed DBM just for the LFR. In my opinion we would all be better off and more skillful without DBM telling us where to stand when to dispel, and when to pick our noses. Far too many Raiders think they are the dogs dangly bits for being able to follow the dance moves at the correct time. The last thing we want is a Blizzard approved version of Just Dance 3. Most of the mechanics have been stripped out anyway.
Will It Get Worse?
Blizzard will maintain this feature and will probably declare it to be one of the big successes of Cata, based on the usage reports. They have made a change to the loot system and will probably make minor modifications throughout the MoP expansion.
What was the Purpose of this Exercise?
The Grumpy Elf has posted some of the best material about the game in the last few weeks. It all started with Do you Really Think That This Is Acceptable? which was the last of a series of posts about Blizzard bashing, boredom with WoW, all noobs are crap. I thought that Grumpy needed a break from WoW at this point.
After this Grumpy wrote a 5 part series and how to get better at the game, and then some of the most interesting if not wordy posts.
What I am trying to say is that I have had a pop at Grumpy in the past and he called me a hypocrite last night, but essentially we share quite a lot of views even though they are coming from completely different angles.
I believe that Blizzard knows what they doing, it just that they sometimes need to sway left then right in order to steady the ship.
LFD and LFR are 2 of the best features implemented for an MMO. The biggest problem sometimes is not the implementation but the way that the player base abuses them.