Sunday, October 27, 2013

WoW Analysis: Quick Fix to Make LFR Coordination Better

The Looking For Raid system, which was implemented near the end of Cataclysm, was an innovation in the sense that it allowed players who normally weren't able to raid for one reason or another, to have the opportunity to at least experience the raid on a much lower difficulty for the purposes of lore and to obtain some high-end loot. While it was in its primitive stages back then and issues such as ninja looting were rampant, the more prominent issues were quickly cleaned up and we now have a reasonably strong system today.

However, this doesn't mean smaller issues weren't overlooked. This was something I sort of noticed early on when Looking For Raid was introduced but the requirements for player coordination were far lower then and haven't improved much until around 5.2. Even then, given how I didn't play much during 5.2 and 5.3, I didn't really notice how a lack of coordination could cause severe issues until now, during 5.4.

Before I start in, allow me to show you the issue in a single picture:
Now what exactly is wrong here?
Don't see it? Well the issue is that this group has the potential to suffer from a lack of coordination. This is because only three players have access to raid assistant-level utility that includes marking targets, setting up world markers, and using the Raid Warning chat to alert the raid in a noticeable fashion. Furthermore, the leader may not even have any clue on how to go about raid leading. They can click the check-box near the top left that allows every player in the raid to have access to raid assistance-level utility. For instance, I once asked for raid assistance (assist is short for this), and was marked as Main Assist, which has no special privileges tied to it.

This is very important, especially this tier in Siege of Orgrimmar where coordination becomes an increasingly larger requirement to the point where using world markers for stack points (Blackfuse, Garrosh, Thok, Galakras, etc) and target marking priority (the Paragons, Galakras, etc) separate groups that defeat encounters in a reasonably timely manner (as in before reaching 10 stacks of Determination). Even if it weren't, being allowed to have access to the tools would be helpful nonetheless and it blows my mind that access to raid assistant-level utility is dictated by whether your raid leader knows how to assign it or not when the group was created using a feature that puts players that will probably be new to raiding or unfamiliar with traditional raiding and raid group logistics together.

What it comes down to is this: Make every player a raid assistant and lock out the ability to remove the privilege. To prevent trolling, add dialogue to the chat box for when players set markers on targets, remove markers from targets, set world markers, and remove world markers (with options to turn the dialogue off and have report spam block any messages from a player spamming markers). This way players can dictate if someone's screwing with the utility and kick them accordingly. Also prevent excessive usage of Raid Warning like with general chat, though just have a flood control so someone spamming lines repeatedly in Raid Warning over a very short time (like 10 times in 5 seconds) automatically locks them out of using Raid Warning for a bit.

Were this small change to be implemented, I think LFR would be a much better environment in terms of coordinating groups.

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