Is LFR the new LFD? Has information ruined raiding? And is LFD the reason we can’t have nice things?

There’s a loose thread running through a number of posts today – a wondering about where WoW is going, and a dissatisfaction with the nature of the various Looking For… tools as they are now.

The Grumpy Elf kicks it all off with an idea I’d not even considered – that LFR will, over time, eclipse and replace LFD. He follows that up with a solid series of arguments demonstrating that for almost every purpose, the LFR environment beats LFD

“Can something protect anonymity and be more social both at the same time? Damn straight it can. While the people that just want to stay in the shadows can do so in the looking for raid setting a lot easier then they can in a five man, the person that wants to be the center of attention can be so more easily in the 25 man setting then they can in the 5 man setting. They have more people to talk to and more people to look at them and we know they want everyone to look at them. Social people want to be noticed and what better way for them to be noticed then to have 24 others trapped in a room with them.

For social people the LFR is a great fit for them.”

Interestingly, Grumpy’s most telling arguments center around anonymity and social elements. He successfully argues both that LFD offers a greater chance to avoid griefing and abuse for most classes – and that brings us on to our next post…

Big Bear Butt, meanwhile, has been chatting with friends who enjoy WoW, but aren’t familiar with the ecosystem of sites, guides, and recommendations that many hardcore players feel are “needed” to play the game (an interesting echo of the discussion about addons that’s still raging in the comments). And that conversation leads him on to thinking about how he used to play WoW, without websites to rely on, and what that information ecosystem has done to the game’s community

“You know what’s funny? For a long time now, gear upgrades and drops have not excited me.

Each new piece of loot has represented an increased possibility that I will not suffer abuse for my performance at the hands of complete strangers in a random group using specs and gear builds they read off the internet, pulling for me or on the wrong target, assuming any mistake is the fault of anyone but them.

And along the way I have had to remember that, if my choice of upgrade is not the approved item “as seen on TV”, I can get shit for that as well, and I have to be prepared to justify my choice with reason and logic.

And be ready to take shit for it anyhow. /ignore is your friend, until it is full.”

Obviously, both the Melting Pot and BBB himself are or have been part of that same information ecosystem, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing so. Indeed, the messages of thanks we get every day make me darn proud to write guides that help people out .

But nonetheless, WoW is part of a huge information network that’s unprecedented in the history of gaming, and the results of that network are… unexpected. And, unfortunately, where there’s information, there are idiots who overvalue it, and are willing to heap abuse on anyone not singing from the same hymnsheet as them – even if they are (as they usually are, in my experience) partially to completely wrong.

Which brings us, finally, to Darraxus The Warrior, who today writes an angry and personal post relating his experience taking his wife – someone who doesn’t normally participate in the LFD environment – into an LFD run

“Then he goes on a rant linking a few of the blue items my wife is wearing. Last I checked, you do not need full epics to get into the instance. He just kept going and going. Unforunately, the vote to kick was on cooldown because we had to kick a tank who DCed immediately after we zoned it.

It is not like they were doing terrible DPS. They were both doing between 12 and 13.5k DPS, which is more than enough for these instances.

The whole situation literally made my wife cry. In real life. This is the reason why I never had her do LFG instances. People can be douchebags. It was a new encounter, her gear and DPS was plenty sufficient, and some asshat decided that it was his mission to make someone feel like shit.”

No matter what the cause might be, when a game is causing encounters like the one Darraxus describes, it’s pretty clear the situation isn’t ideal.

Will LFR change things for the better? Can ANYTHING change WoW, or MMOs, to make them a less hostile place?