I’ve just returned from my annual dental examination. As I sat being poked by my very attractive Polish Dentist it occurred to me that perhaps I’d been unfair on my initial judgement of the Looking for Raid system. Things won’t be that bad. They have the potential to be much, MUCH worse. As bad as X rays and clean-ups that leave your gums bleeding, if I’m honest.

Knowing what most of us do about how LFG currently functions, and that the system is far from perfect, here’s ten reasons why I’d be very worried indeed about joining that particular queue come 4.3:

1. They say Fifteen Minutes, but They’re Lying ^^

Getting five people to click the green tick on a ready check can be a trying task, especially during the weekends. Getting twenty-five people to do the same has the potential to be utterly disastrous. Waiting times as a result are only ever there as an extremely rough guide. When someone rejects the queue you reset and after that, it’s anyone’s guess. I can see, in the early days of LFR that it won’t take that long to get your 25 together, but when it comes to checking whether they’re all in front of their keyboards at the same point… hands up how many will be alt-tabbed reading Facebook?

2. So, You Came Here as WHAT, Exactly?

One of the strengths of the LFG system has to be it’s ability not to stick people of the same class in a five man, thus making loot rolls (allegedly) less stressful. Put 25 people in the same situation and I’m betting that lines are going to get blurred really, REALLY quickly. Tanks rolling on dps loots for OS? Dps deciding they’d like that tank loot ahead of the Tanks? Healers getting shafted on spirit gear because the dps needs the Cataclysmically Epic achievement? If the loot system we’re using in LFR is the same as LFG then it’s all going to happen. That’s why Master Looter was invented, with the vain hope that the person you put in charge has a conscience and will do the right thing. This is my biggest single issue with any Random Raid Generator: you cannot account for individual greed. You’ll just have to hope that the other 24 people came with a conscience.

3. Tanks Pull. I said, TANKS PULL.

There’s a lot of trust when you group with random people. You have to hope they understand that the Tank is the one who leads the pace of the instance. You also have to pray that Hunters have autofire and sticky targeting turned off and that the Locks and Warlocks understand how to make their pets behave. Actually, anyone is capable of the crass pull: mages getting too close to polymorph a mob, not noticing the patrol steaming towards you… anything is possible.

Explain to me how in 25 man people like that aren’t going to make a raid collapse in short order?

4. BRB 5 mins, Dinner.

This one bothers me a lot, actually.

Random afk’s are all very well in five mans, and the Vote to Kick system comes into it’s own when you only have one person to remove. What happens if a fifth of your Raid go afk? Are you REALLY going to need NINETEEN other people to sanction the removal of a player… How will you accurately police when people disappear? You’ve also got to hope that the system won’t be giving leadership to a guy/girl who’s also afk when you need someone to re-queue you to replace the guy who just went to help his brother move some furniture…

5. With a Little Help From My Friends.

You’re in a Guild, there’s 18 of you and you fancy doing 25. LFR will be fantastic for you if you fancy some (not top notch but OK) upgrades and a chance to meet up with Deathwing. It might also be fabulous for the seven random people who come to help you, assuming you in the bigger group all have morals and scruples. What’s to stop a large majority group from arranging to roll on all loot before you start and to distribute it through the Guild at the expense of the randoms who joined? What’s to stop the larger group from refusing to co-operate if any of the other seven cause a problem? I cannot see Blizzard making this interface and limiting the number of people who can join as a Group, and as a result there is the potential for mob mentality to have a serious bearing on how everything is done.

Yes, I know I’m making large and disparaging assumptions about groups of people. No, that’s not a good thing to do. The sad fact is, I’ve seen it done in 25 Man PuG’s.

I don’t think a need/greed roll will ever cut it with a bunch of people you don’t know.

6. Boss Tactics.

You all know how to do this boss, right? How many people haven’t been here before? ALL OF YOU?

Right, who clicked healing again? ^^

7. Who Doesn’t Understand?

In the US I am guessing this might not be as big a deal, but in Europe I know from bitter experience that this can be a major issue: not everyone is using the same language. I’ve been in five mans with people who clearly know each other and are fluent in their tongue but seem loathed to take mine on board as being relevant. How will the LFR system deal with the vast number of language servers on the European realms? Is everyone even going to want to use English to communicate?

They don’t now on English-speaking servers, and this seems to be the fault of those of us native English speakers who can’t grasp their language to begin with :( I’m really sorry you don’t like the rules, but they are there for a reason… oh hang on, they’ve gone afk… ^^

8. When it All Breaks Down…

You’re at the final phase of the ‘easier’ Deathwing encounter Suddenly there’s a massive fight between the tank and the healers and loads of people leave. Or do they?

If you spent a couple of hours wiping to get to the end of the LFR Instance you’re really going want to keep the ID so you can finish it, right?

How are you going to deal with the troublesome people who won’t leave and you can’t kick because your ability to remove them is on cooldown? What if that’s you?

9. Don’t Mention The Achievements!

This one’s bothering me far more than it should. Maybe it’s because I think the games pushing more and more towards being a way to instantly gratify those who are used to the XBox version of achievements or maybe it’s just the Sad Old Git in me coming to the fore.

Thinking about it, actually completing an instance using this system might be far more of an accomplishment than it first looks. Maybe there should be more achievements.

10. And After All That…

Yay, you completed a 25 man raid. However, it’s not proper raiding. Let’s be clear about that.

This will introduce players to the content and mechanics of the fights so that they are more prepared for an actual raid.

Tell me, what was the point in doing all that again? ^^

We need more information on how all this is going to work. WTB [A Decent Explanation of What The HELL is Going On], PST!

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