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What's Next for the World of Warcraft Raid Finder?

By Jason Bechdel -

The World of Warcraft Raid Finder, newly introduced in Patch 4.3, is without a doubt a roaring, albeit surprising, success. With the WoW Raid Finder for the first time ever the very casual can experience the end game raiding scene and even the more hardcore can find use out of this brand new WoW raid tool. However, while we here at Ten Ton Hammer have been focusing on the here and now of the Raid Finder, but in the Spirit of the soon to be New Year, it is instead time to think to the future of the WoW Raid Finder.

While the WoW Raid Finder came out of the gate working beyond anyone‘s expectations, nothing is ever perfect. Below you will find a list of things that I feel could be improved upon or introduced into the WoW Raid Finder in order to allow us all to have a more epic Raid Finder experience in Patch 4.3 and beyond.

Patch 4.3 and Beyond...WoW Raid Finder Improvements

WoW Raid Finder Fix #1 - More Instance Options
Introducing old instances to the Raid Finder would allow players to once again explore places like Black Temple.

As it stands right now players wanting to experience the WoW Raid Finder only have one instance option; Dragon Soul. Of course this is an excellent option, I mean who doesn’t want to take a shot at Deathwing and see how it all ends in the final boss encounter of Patch 4.3? Nevertheless the fact remains that for some players, who have yet to purchase Cataclysm or any of the WoW expansions for that matter, Deathwing is irrelevant. Of course it can be argued that these players are far and few between, which is very true, but in spite of this these players should not be deprived of their own “end game” raiding experience.

Still not convinced? How about adding all raid instances to the WoW Raid Finder for those of us touched with a bit of nostalgia, those wanting to pick up pieces to use for Transmogrification purposes, or even for a potentially more interesting way to gain experience (and not to mention some epic loot) during your journey through Azeroth. Blizzard has mentioned it already has plans to do just this, however, I would love to see it sooner than later because, let’s face it, some of the old WoW raid instances the stuff legends are made out of. So here is to bringing all instances to the WoW Raid Finder in Patch 4.3 and beyond!

WoW Raid Finder Fix #2 - Player Accountability

I love the casual feel of the WoW Raid Finder. Bosses are simple, raids are easy to get into, and if I would ever have to leave in a hurry I’m stuck feeling like I’ve left my entire guild down. Queue the bur in 3...2...1...but despite the fact that I don’t feel nearly as bad leaving the raid when I need to while using the WoW Raid Finder, I still would not do it unless absolutely necessary because it is just rude, even if you are bailing on a bunch of strangers. However, some players take advantage of this casual nature.

Now if a WoW Raid Finder instance is going well, most people will stick around till the very end, but if even one little hiccup occurs people often start dropping like flies and of course once players start leaving it can be difficult to fill the raid again. Although I’ve never personally had to bail on a Raid Finder group thus far, it seems to me that this willingness to abandon ship at the first inkling of trouble means that there are little to no consequences for leaving a WoW Raid Finder instance. This just doesn’t sit well with me, while I think that the casual atmosphere is excellent, I think that there needs to be some consequences for players choosing to leave in the middle of a raid they have committed too. Perhaps an hour lock out from the WoW Raid Finder would be an appropriate disadvantage, that way those that would leave just to leave cannot join another raid, while those that have to leave for real reasons (family emergency, kid gets head stuck in the crib, etc.) won’t be much affected. No matter what the choice of consequence one needs to be firmly in place to ensure the success of raids in Patch 4.3 and beyond.

WoW Raid Finder Fix #3 - Adjusted Need Plus Loot System

Kudos to Blizzard for implementing class restrictions on the WoW Raid Finder. It was a much needed step that ensures distribution of the loot to the appropriate players. However, while Blizzard took a step in the right direction, they haven’t quite gone far enough. Currently the system works so that priorities on loot are given to healing, DPS, or tanks according to the item. However, this system is severely flawed. For example if you are a moonkin Druid and a melee DPS item dropped you could need roll on it and get the role bonus even though you are not a melee DPS. Pretty lame right? The system needs to recognize not only what role the player performs, but also what specific spec inside that role they have chosen in order to be totally effective. Rumor has it that Blizzard is already working on this issue, and while we may not see the changes in Patch 4.3, hopefully it will be sometime in the near future.

WoW Raid Finder Fix #4 - Multiple Difficulty Levels

The WoW Raid Finder is designed so that is able to be completed by even the most inexperienced groups. This of course means that the instance is quite easy by a normal raider’s standards. While this level of ease is necessary for most groups inside the instance, some groups may find themselves wishing for something a bit harder. I propose that the WoW Raid Finder should be equipped with three different difficulty levels; easy, normal, and hardcore. Easy would be very, very easy for the most novice of groups, normal would be a few steps up, while hardcore would be on par with the normal raid instance. As the difficulty of the instance increased, so would the quality of the gear found within. While I am unsure of how this would actually be implemented (I’m a writer not a game designer!) or how it would play out once it was in game I feel this would give players choosing to use the raid finder the chance to move on to the next level of raiding in Patch 4.3 and beyond.

WoW Raid Finder Fix #5 - Prevent Loot Hoarding
Loot whores are everywhere, but their loot hoarding can potentially be curbed.

Loot whores, we have all experienced them, and they are an unavoidable blemish on the game. In the WoW Raid Finder there is another big problem with the way the loot system works besides the flaw in the Need Plus system that allows loot whores to prosper. While it is the polite thing to do to take a piece of loot and share the wealth with others, we all know that not all players are inclined to do so.

While I hesitate to limit the number of items players roll on, we can perhaps prevent the real problem which occurs when those extreme loot whores who not only engage in typical loot whore behavior, but also go the extra mile and roll on pieces that they already have in their possession. I’ve even heard horror stories of players picking up these pieces of loot and attempting to auction them off via raid chat. To prevent this hoarding of the same piece of gear I believe that Blizzard should implement a program that will make it so players may only have one of each (two in the cases of non-unique rings and the like) item on their person, inventory, or bank space. This way at least some of the worst loot whoring can be eliminated.

Now that you have gotten some insight into my person ideas concerning the future of the WoW Raid Finder in Patch 4.3 and beyond please join us in the comments section below and share some of your thoughts and ideas. Who knows, perhaps you will see your idea implemented in the next patch!

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