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Theo’s Thoughts #38: Patch 5.2’s LFR Difficulty

Last week, the fourth and final wing of the Throne of Thunder became available to players. With all of the LFR now available, it is fair to start comparing this patch with the previous patches. One of the first difference that jumps out is the difficulty. It seems, at least at first, that each wing had some fights that were somewhat difficult for an unorganized LFR group. This has raised a major concern with some players in the community. Were these boss encounters too difficult at first?

It seems that many players think so. Perhaps we have just become lazy, as many of the elitists of the community like to claim, but it seems at the first sign of trouble people start bailing out of LFR groups. The players who wanted to stick it out and finish the raid were forced to actually learn the mechanics of the fights, something that players never really needed to know in previous tiers. This is definitely a step in the right direction for LFR by Blizzard.

LFR has always had two purposes, I feel. The first, and most obvious, is to allow players to see end game content with out the requirements that raiding on a normal raid team requires. A secondary purpose, I feel, is allowing players who are looking for a raid team, but not able to find one yet, to still see raid content. This allows new raiders to have some sort of an idea about fights before getting into them. The only problem is that in the past tiers, LFR was watered down so much that they never really gave much help to raiders who were looking to eventually progress into normal modes. Making LFR harder will definitely help players looking to get into normal raiding, since they will already know most of the major mechanics.

The problem with this is a lot of players are fine with running LFR and are not looking to get into normal modes. Like with many things in the game, Blizzard needs to balance LFR so that the extremely casual players can play it, but players who are looking for a challenge can still enjoy it. The solution to this problem may very well lie in the Determination buff that players get every time they wipe in LFR. This allows fights to become easier over time, allowing groups filled with mediocre players to kill bosses, yet allows Blizzard to tune bosses to a point that they have mechanics that might be difficult for some raids to handle.

Perhaps it is just, as an ex-Heroic raider, I miss difficult content, but during this patches LFR, I was actually impressed at the difficulty. Surely, it is not hard content, but for a group of unorganized players, it is certainly not easy. This tier definitely forced players to learn fights much quicker, and overall become better players. Who knows, maybe if Blizzard keeps tuning LFR so that it is some what of a challenge, the player base will rise to the occasion and become better players.

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