Opinions

For the Love of the Raid Finder

By Jason Bechdel -

The Raid Finder is one of the newest additions debuting in World of Warcraft Patch 4.3. Generating the most excitement before and after the patch, besides the chance to finally face off against Deathwing of course, the idea behind the Raid Finder is much like the Dungeon Finder already found in game. Players in Patch 4.3 can queue up for a WoW raid dungeon and be matched up with other random players to take on a tamer version of the bosses in the instance. While the thought of this gigantic PUG of doom is daunting, the actual experience is much, much different.

If you have read some of my more recent articles, you may already have an idea about how I feel about Patch 4.3’s Raid Finder, but in case you haven’t caught on yet, I love the WoW Raid Finder more than a fat kid loves cake and trust me when I say I’m quite familiar (thanks to my sit down job, too much tempting junk food, and my own general laziness) with how much fat kids love cake. However, where does my profound love of the WoW Raid Finder come from exactly? There are two big reasons for my love of this new feature; convenience and the fact that it directly encourages player participation in the game.

Patch 4.3 WoW Raid Finder Convenience

With just a few easy clicks you could be taking on bosses inside Dragon Soul.

The WoW Raid Finder is all about player convenience, and it fills this role to almost perfection and is why this new addition to Patch 4.3 works so well. If you are new to the raiding scene, you won’t notice anything odd, however, if you are a seasoned raider of any kind you will notice right away that your experience inside the WoW Raid Finder is like no other type of raid you’ve experienced before. In fact you may find yourself wondering how this bizarre raid environment works at all.

With the WoW Raid Finder gone are the days of lengthy strategy explanations, called raids, or even careful role assignments. Over the course of the bosses you will see inside Dragon Soul your raid group will change and rearrange itself more than a few times and nobody even bats and eye. Queue times are reasonable (I’ve never spent more than 15 minutes in a queue), even if you are taking on one of the more “common” roles and getting yourself into the queue is remarkably simple. With only a few button clicks you are well on your way to raiding. Plus, with almost infinite replacements at your disposal, raiding never really stops for anything. Where real raids are stringent, focused, and unforgiving the Raid Finder environment is the exact opposite yet it manages to pull together and work somehow, and despite my regular raid upbringing I have fallen totally and utterly in love with it.

Patch 4.3 WoW Raid Finder Participation

Everyone should be able to experience the end of the story, such as the epic battle with the Lich King.

I know the more hardcore players out there may burn me at the proverbial stake for this one, but besides its convenience, I adore the Patch 4.3 WoW Raid Finder because of its ability to allow players of all types, even the most casual, to participate in the raiding scene. I used to be firmly in camp hardcore, I find myself becoming progressively more causal, still wanting to play the game, but unable to dedicate as much time to it as in the past. While I am still lucky enough to be part of a rather successful raiding guild, there are players who cannot say the same and have in the past had almost no hope of ever seeing a raiding boss up close and personal.

The WoW Raid Finder changes all of that. Thanks to the ease of the bosses found within, even my alts (who’s gear is not so great once again thanks to my laziness) can easily join the Raid Finder in Patch 4.3 and kill a couple of bosses off with no problem whatsoever. Opening up the world of raiding to players across the board. To add icing to the cake, the gear is good enough here to entice players back for more.

Now I could easily be up in arms about this, screaming welfare epics at the top of my lungs, and /raging about the unfairness of casuals completing the same content as my raiding guild, but I’m not. In fact I feel like more players being able to experience the content is a good thing, because isn’t that what the game is all about. Who am I to say because a player can’t put X amount of hours into the game that they shouldn’t have a chance at good gear or should never set foot into the game’s end game content? Who am I to deprive players of seeing for themselves how the expansion’s story ends just to appease my own ego?

I cannot fathom not allowing the opportunity for all players to experience the same joy I feel when taking on a boss or watching that ending cinematic. I love the WoW Raid Finder for finding a way in Patch 4.3 to give everyone the chance to raid. If you are still a little hot around the collar because raiding isn’t special anymore, just remember, your raid experience will not change Raid Finder or no Raid Finder, nor will it be able to take away the accomplishment you feel when you take down Deathwing for the first time, and if nothing else at least you get better gear when you do it the old fashioned way.

Patch 4.3 WoW Raid Finder Concerns

Don’t get me wrong, while I do love it, the Raid Finder in Patch 4.3 is not all sunshine and roses. There was that one time that a certain Shaman announced to the raid “AFK…SHOWER” in the middle of a boss fight, prompting us to wonder not only who exactly takes a shower in the midst of a raid, but also how stinky one must actually be to prompt you to do so (it should also be noted that this is the second time this has happened during a raid). As well as coming across the inevitable douche bag who makes you so angry you find yourself wanting to punch small, adorable animals.

Not to mention my concerns with how the Raid Finder will impact guild recruiting and how it will influence new players thanks to the experience being so different from a typical raid environment. However, bad experiences and concerns aside I still feel the WoW Raid Finder is an excellent addition to our gaming world and until it proves me wrong I stand firmly by the fact that I <3 the WoW Raid Finder and I encourage casual and hardcore, new and experienced players a like to get out there and try out the Raid Finder. You may be surprised at what you find.

How do you feel about the WoW Raid Finder in Patch 4.3? Have some stories of epic fail or success to share? Feel free to do so in the comments section below!

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