Daily Thoughts: When Does Accessible Become Too Easy

Posted: October 10, 2012 in Daily, Mist of Pandaria
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I participated something last night that made me wonder if perhaps making content accessible to the masses can have an adverse side effect of making that content far too easy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those who hails back to the “harder” old days that let only an elite few actually see all of a raids bosses. I really like that there are normal modes to bosses that don’t require dozens of attempts to kill. I love the relative ease of blowing through a MoP heroic dungeon without much worry that I might be wiping to this boss for the next 45 minutes. I even enjoy the concept of the Looking for Raid feature. Particularly on nights where we’re short guildies online to do a normal raid or just so I can take an alt through the content without having to make a second raid / join a second raiding guild. So, keep in mind that I think it’s okay that the LFR bosses and trash pulls can be a low stress, easy-going, fun way to get some sub-par raiding gear. But after doing the first 3 bosses of Mogu’shan Vaults, perhaps we should consider that content that has been made so accessible that there’s no challenge left might not be worthwhile content after all. There may be some spoilers to raid content after the break, so be warned!

“It’s Just LFR, LOL”

This was said before the first boss encounter, The Stone Guard, while the tanks hesitated after the last trash pull. No one argued. The tanks pulled and the big stone dogs died. It didn’t seem like any player died during the fight, yet I’m fairly sure that half of the raid has no idea what mechanics even happened. Healers clicked their raid frames and damage dealers pressed their damage buttons and loot flowed from the boss’s corpse like we were tapping a faucet. The only mechanic that I really noticed was Jasper Chains, which is one of those lines that connect two players and they need to run together to avoid damage mechanics. Except, when I tried to run to the other half, priests would life grip him away for “lols”, but nothing bad happened. It seemed that everyone else ignored the spell entirely. Although the boss room was pretty epic looking, on LFR the encounter just felt like taking purples from a baby. Or, in this case, from 3 giant, stone babies.

And Someone Cried Out

The second boss, Feng, had a couple of mechanics we needed to pay attention to. At the start of the fight someone said, “stack up at 30%”. I’m still not 100% sure why, but I assume there is extra damage or something bad if we didn’t. Fortunately players listened at that point. The boss occasionally also has a large ground shaking/spiking area attack that players must run away from. I enjoyed that we had to do something, at all, to avoid dying but it did punish melee much more severely than ranged. There was another debuff that Feng would cast on players during the last 30% that looked like Arcane explosion. Most players that got the debuff stayed in doing a lot of damage to the raid, but, again, it didn’t seem to matter.

Pretty Much A Target Dummy

What can I even say about Gara’jal the Spiritbinder? It wouldn’t even be fair to say that killing this guy was like taking candy from a baby because at least a baby would cry at you for doing it. This guy may have well been passing it out to us (not that I got any, but you understand). Heck, after we beat him he even pretty much says it didn’t matter to him either way. I’m not sure what the point is. It was too easy to really be enjoyed. For the most part, these bosses were easier and had less “maybe we’ll die” feeling than a heroic dungeon. Blizzard wants to give everyone that epic experience of raiding, and I get that, and I approve of the idea. At what point, though, do the raids (LFR specifically) become so easy that the epic feeling is lost. Is it epic just because there’s 24 other people there and the enemy has a larger model than normal or is it epic because it still gives, even if a little, a feeling of accomplishment. What do you think? Is there such thing as too easy or should I just shut up and take my epics?

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Comments
  1. Aastarius says:

    … and then the second half did appear and there was much gnashing of teeth as many people started dying to the boss mechanics …

    Been pretty hilarious today in LFR with many complaints of “its too hard” …

    • Sharden says:

      Heh! I’m pretty interested to see this (hopefully without too many deaths when I go). Planning to check out the second half today or tomorrow.

  2. Libby says:

    What’s really sad is that going on a full year after MSV was released as LFR content people still have zero clue as to what to do and my healers see it as easy VP (I have always refused to tank LFR since it came out in Cata). People still stand in purple goo and run from their chained partner; the tanks tanks never use the crystals and people still drop fire in the raid; there’s always at least one person who stands on three bombs at once during the trash, it takes forever to taunt the flying mobs down and people have zero idea about jumping into the totem.

    While I personally would rather do heroic 5 mans over LFR the real question that I want to see asked and addressed is this: Does doing LFR teach people bad habits when they go to do the raid on normal? I saw it back in Cata and still see it now, having to undo all those bad habits that people picked up from overly simplified bosses and teach the fights anew.

    I think that raiding should NOT be an elitist activity but perhaps raiding isn’t for everyone, nor do they have an automatic right to beat the bosses if this is what the bosses have to become to do so.

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