Thursday, January 26, 2012

Looting the Raid Finder

I took my third trip through the WoW Raid Finder this week, and I guess I must have been statistically due.  I won a glove token - which I gave away to another player when I won the ilvl 390 gloves off of Deathwing's back (don't ask) - a pair of shoulder pads, and enough Valor points to pick up the belt off the Valor vendor.  My PVE set now no longer has inappropriate items in it (e.g. PVP or spirit gear that was enough of an upgrade to be worth equipping despite suboptimal stats).  A few observations:
  • For the most part, heroic 5-mans are now no more than a means to Valor points, as I no longer need any of the loot.  The only minor exception is a caster off-hand that I might want if I ended up winning and using the spell dagger from Deathwing (almost all off-hands are itemized with spirit for healers).
  • Unless I move on to normal/heroic mode raiding, most of these items are things that I will not replace until the expansion.  Moreover, it doesn't feel like there are many choices - the challenge with effectively replacing all of the gear on all the characters in the game as many as four times in a single patch (the new 5-man dungeons, followed by raid finder, regular, and heroic mode of the Deathwing raid) is that there just isn't room for variety.
  • Blizzard intentionally did not include weapons on the regular bosses in the easy raid finder mode (which generally offers loot that's half a tier above five-mans).  The final Deathwing encounter does offer weapons, which are a full tier above what you get in five-mans, but they seem oddly situational.  The two choices for mages are a staff which spends a lot of its budget on a proc that increases haste for some of your group members and a dagger with an uncontrollable AOE proc - something which should give pause to all but the most trigger-happy of DPS.  (If you want to use the dagger anyway, you need to go back to 5-mans for the aforementioned off-hand to carry with it.) 
  • A second trinket is one area where I'm kind of lacking, and at the mercy of the random number generator.  There are three trinkets a mage can use in the raid finder, but one has another automatic AOE proc.  These are also hard to get because DPS melee shamen and druids (along with caster shamen, druids, shadow priests, and mages/warlocks) are allowed to roll need on these caster DPS-focused items, resulting in a lot of rolls when one does drop. 
Overall, it's a half-successful incentive.  I have run the thing three times now, and will probably do so a few more times between now and the expansion.  That said, I expect to hit diminishing returns on my time quickly, and it's likely a long wait between now and the next expansion.  Ironically, perhaps Blizzard's much discussed decision to offer Diablo III and the Pandaria beta with WoW's annual pass may have been motivated as much to keep WoW players happy by giving them something else to do as by nefarious plans to lock in revenue. 

3 comments:

Clockwork said...

I've seen Hagara drop a 384 rogue dagger on LFR, I am fairly sure they can drop weapons...least some of them.

Bronte said...

The first week I ran LFR I was barely doing DPS above the tanks. But it was my first Hunter and I really didn't know what I was doing. So i spent a week theorycrafting, reading up on Elitist Jerks, and tweaking every little statistic I could get my grubby paws on.

This week I was in the top four. And with minimal effort. LFR is actually ridiculously easy, as long as you are judicial about eliminating players that slack, go AFK or are too undergeared, even for LFR. Sorry, but you can't tank LFR in greens and blues by queueing up in cheap ilvl epics so you can get in.

Rauxis said...

IMHO biggest error in LFR - to start with the T13 raid instead of T12. Many players will soon realize there is "nothing left todo until MoP"

Rauxis, chosen of CAT