1) LFR will remain relevant through this particular tier because it is the first one.
LFR is relevant right now. For sure. My guild for an example is 3/6 H, and 25 man (so we get bonus loots), and at least a third of my raid could still use an upgrade from LFR just due to RNG. We're still going in there! And, when you release HOF and Terrace LFR, I will certainly be in there tons to grab my tier. I have to plan all these LFRs into my week. I know this is a unique situation right now because it is the very beginning of the expansion. I am hoping that you guys' plans to devalue LFR for raiders kick in in a couple tiers with the ilvl changes; however, at this very moment, you should really believe that raiders of ALL flavors are running it.
You're correct. That's why I said in my original post that I didn't want to argue semantics over, "Blizzard is forcing me to do this." Raid Finder absolutely provides a strategic advantage for progression raiders looking to increase their character power as quickly as possible, fill out set bonuses, etc. But yes, over the course of this expansion's lifecycle that should be diminished, particularly for Heroic raiders. The need to regularly run (meaning over the course of several weeks) the Raid Finder versions of upcoming Mists of Pandaria raids should feel far less crucial, if not nonexistent, for dedicated raid guilds.
2) Valor Points.
LFR represents a larger quantity of VP than even raiding. VP is important now for gear, and will be important in the future for our upgrade paths; the cap is pretty far away by design. As long as that holds true, and as long as LFR rewards so much VP, we'll all be running LFR.
Assuming we're talking about an above-average, organized guild, Challenge dungeons are mathematically the fastest path to the VP cap. Of course the difficulty isn't comparable between LFR and Challenge Modes, but a serious raiding guild can go into an organized five-player setting and get to the VP cap faster, as opposed to gambling with a random LFR queue or facerolling LFR with a full guild clear.
You don't even have to be anywhere near a record-breaking time to be getting more VP/minute than in LFR.
3) Not every HM raider hits a new tier in Best in Slot.
You guys are opening instances very quickly. I appreciate that we are being provided with lots of raids, but you must understand that there are tons of times when LFR - at that single moment in time - represents an upgrade path for a given raider even if they are clearing a lot of heroic mode bosses.
Absolutely, and that's okay sometimes. In my first post I said that one of our goals is to ensure that Raid Finder has a healthy pool of players from which to choose. Our goal isn't to make sure progression raiders never
want or need to run LFR. Having experienced raiders queuing up is usually going to be a net gain for everyone (in terms of wait times, success rates, etc.). There is usually some benefit to most level-90 players running Raid Finder, but that's obviously very different from "forced content."
It kind of depends on your goals, your guild's goals, and what you want to get out of the game. I'll still assert that Raid Finder isn't a progression roadblock for those who prefer to stick with normal/Heroic raiding.
4) Procs and tier bonuses will be devalued, but once in a while there might come one that's OP.
You also assume that the ilvl change will completely devalue LFR gear. I hope this will be true, but I suspect the devs - who try as hard as they can - will still occasionally throw in a very op set bonus or trinket proc. These things just happen.
I definitely see your point, and even I've been involved in several discussions with the developers about this concept, so I know they discuss the itemization/progression model quite a bit in their daily lives. ;)
Of note, we recently spoke about the Sigils for the legendary gem. Even in that case, they're watching closely and expect the LFR runs simply for more shots at the Sigils will tail off.
Thanks for taking the time to lay out your points clearly and constructively, Anafielle!
Zar said he wanted a discussion, yet seems to ignore the sensible well articulated points in favor of making fun of the OP.
Blues do this a lot. It's an easy way for them to deflect negative discussions and lets all their fanboys come out and derail the threads for them.
It is a little frustrating that I pay for the game and other blizzard games then get bad mouthed by their employees on a gaming board.
If I went to a store that I frequented and was insulted by the equivalent of a salesman, there would be much different repercussions.
Butter, you've accused me of trolling and bad-mouthing you, and derailing your thread.
In reality, I used your post as a catalyst to bring more attention to the very discussion I assumed you wanted to have with the community about endgame progression, and how different types of content you might not enjoy can feel mandatory if you want to build the most ideal character possible. It's a great design philosophy discussion worth having. By posting here, however, I had to address the points of your original post, in which case I disagreed with the validity of your proposed solution.
My primary point was simply that we've taken a great deal of care in crafting some pretty complex endgame progression systems, that allow for a larger degree of flexibility on the part of the player than at any point in the past for World of Warcraft. And, while your concern over the feeling of obligation to run LFR is valid, and shared by others, the change you were seeking would do more harm than good.
As far as you feeling as though I've insulted you, the very best I can say in response is that we just don't agree on the definitions of a lot of words or phrases, like "being forced," "troll," "insulting," "bad mouthing," "derailing threads," etc. As I said before, this is a discussion forum. Being critical of a person's ideas or arguments isn't the same as insulting him or her. I've kept every post honest and constructive. Frankly, I'd rather you respond in kind by refuting (or acknowledging!) my points, instead of acting victimized by my savage, filthy word spew. :p