Blizzard have recently published details of the Looking For Raid Tool that will be introduced into the game with the upcoming 4.3 patch, many respected commentators have already started predicting it as being a failure. But what is all the fuss about?
Well lets take a look at what we do know for sure, as confirmed by Blizzard poster Daxxarii, in the post on the forum, here.
25 man mode only - this makes sense with the tank and healer shortage;
Current tier but easy mode - easier level will give people the chance to see the fight and frankly I wouldn't want to pug 25 man current tier raids any other way and a 3rd level of difficulty is awesome;
Lower loot quality - 3 difficulty levels means 3 loot levels, a winner here.
Loot rules will be need before greed - great in principle but could lead to lucky players getting all the loot;
Minimum iLevel gear requirement - Not a guarantee of quality especially as PVP and unuseful items in your bags counts, I wish Blizzard would make the requirement for gear you have equipped and gave PVP gear a 2nd iLevel based on the stats except resilience.
Cross realm grouping - Reduced wait times at the increased risk of risk free douchbaggery. Same realm groups will be prioritised but not guaranteed. Please give us a "my realm only" option (which I'd also like on teh Dungeon Finder too!
No instance locks - Easy mode will be lock free but you only get a shot at loot once per week. This is great it will give people more experience faster. I am hoping that the loot rule will not prevent loot on normal/heroic mode raiding though else the experienced raiders will stay away.
Vote Kick - Will be there but expect a hard job to remove douchbags because you can join in groups.
One of the naysayers was Tobold who said:
Either LFR will fail, because pickup groups won't even be able to do raid content on the new, lower, difficulty level designed for them. Or Blizzard will have to nerf raid encounters by staggering amounts or remove features
I expected so much more from a respected MMO blogger, but recently he seems to have gone a bit negative towards Blizzard. And these being "easy mode" raids they will of course be nerfed staggering amounts and have features removed, that is the reason the available loot will be of a lower quality. Maybe he has a point but really I think that the general population of WoW can get the basics right and it is only the rare ass hat that spoils it and in a 25 man raid the impact such people will have on a group is minimal.
My view? It is still way too early to make a judgement call on this. The 4.3 PTR is only just here and the tweaking that will be happening between now and the final release will be immense. I'm sure that the Raid Finder tool will be as popular as the Dungeon Finder and of course share many of the problems. My hope is that using Raid Finder will give an experience similar to that of Upper Black Rock Spire runs back in Vanilla my fear is that people will kill it before it has had a chance to succeed and we end up with another Voice Chat incident (yes there IS a built in voice chat in WoW!)