In most circles, Looking for Raid in World of Warcraft is something of a joke. Considered a means to serve the lowest common denominator, this pick up group style raiding commands little respect from the community. To add even more fuel to the fires of disdain, LFR can be directly linked to the current and pressing issue of what may be the eventual extinction of the guild.
Despite the seemingly general consensus that LFR is nothing more than a rather large in-game joke; it manages to remain one of the biggest and most popular ways players choose to take on the raiding scene. With community opinion of this raiding form seemingly so low, how does LFR manage to flourish? We took a long look at LFR and the players that use it and came up with five major reasons that LFR is still thriving and why it has become an essential part of the game.
Raiding has always been a time consuming adventure. Most guilds dedicate at a minimum 2-3 hours a night, 2-3 nights a week. This does not include time to farm materials for consumables or learning new strategies. While this doesn't seem like much, for players with family, jobs, and other real life obligations; it can be nearly impossible to commit to such a schedule.
This is where LFR comes in. Any player, at any time of the day, can log into the game and instantly be in a raid instance with a raid group. That player can choose to stay for 1 boss only or kill all the bosses in the instance, with no consequences for either option. Even more appealing to those on a limited time schedule, you are fairly likely to kill any and all bosses you attempt, giving you seemingly more value for the meager time you have to offer to the game.
No Guild Required
Long gone is the time of the mega guild. In fact, finding a guild in general these days has become a challenge. Finding one that will last the first few months you join it is even rarer. Besides the difficulties of locating and staying in an active guild, many players find they are unable to or unwilling to conform to the guild schedule.
While LFR has been another nail in the coffin of the guild, it isn't the only thing to blame. The dissolution of guilds has been going on for quite some time and while LFR isn't helping, it is a boon for players who have found themselves cast out on the wind, guildless and alone. With no guild required, players can step into the world of raiding, defeat bosses, collect loot, and experience most of the end game content the game has to offer.
If you are doing more traditional raiding loot is not always guaranteed. You might not kill a boss and if you do, you might not receive any loot from that boss. Once a boss is killed, only so many pieces drop and those that do are typically divvied out using a DKP or loot council system. This means that it is quite common for many players to walk away from a raid instance with absolutely no new loot.
For many players, this is just the way things are. Others are not so happy to walk away without a reward. For these players, LFR is a shining beacon of awesome. Like one giant loot pinata, players who take on LFR are likely to consistently kill the boss and collect some sort of loot from it.
Many players who are taking part in LFR these days were once hardcore raiders. They spent hours, days, weeks, farming and wiping on content. Unfortunately, this pace is not one that can easily be sustained. Most players find they can only take so many wipes, rage quits, /gquits, guild meltdowns, loot squabbles and other drama before you find yourself at your wits end. Call it progression PTSD if you will, but after years of taking on normal raiding, many players just can't stomach it anymore. LFR fills the void of raiding, without the stress.
World of Warcraft is over 10 years old and the fan base has aged with it. While new players come in, I think it is safe to say that most subscriptions belong to long term players. Back in the days of mega guilds and hard core raiding, most players were young with plenty of time on their hands. Fast forward to today and things have changed drastically.
The fan base has gotten older and as we've aged we have collected a plethora of responsibilities. Family, full time jobs, and other similar commitments keep us from committing as much time to the game as we used to. Thus, many of us have turned to LFR to suit our schedules and time restraints. This way we still get to “raid”, without compromising any of our real life obligations. Unless a surge of fresh, young blood arrives on the scene, the aging fan base will continue to make LFR a popular and essential part of the game.
Despite its part in the current dismal state of guilds and the overwhelming disdain being aimed at it from the community, LFR is here to stay. For the reasons above and many more, LFR is the chosen method of raiding for many players and, pending unforeseen circumstances, it is and will be an essential part of the game well into the future.
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