Avoiding Death by a Thousand Snarks in LFR

Sometimes LFR Does Things Like This The "raid leader" took his group-arrangement very seriously.

Sometimes LFR Does Things Like This
The “raid leader” took his group arrangement duties very seriously.

Since the new raid is just about done rolling out in LFR, I figured it might be too late helpful to share my “mental survival mechanisms” that enable me to make it through repeat exposure to LFR.  Well, I guess my unsolicited advice could be annoying as hell too, but hey!  That shrill, insistent quality of mine should be nothing new.  /grin

Warning!  TL:DR.  I spend a lot of time thinking about LFR.

1. Don’t tell folks you don’t know what you’re doing.  No, seriously.  Nobody wants to know.

Don't Tell Me This Lalalala I'M NOT LISTENING lalalala

Don’t Tell Me This
Lalalala I’M NOT LISTENING lalalala

Trust me, if you really don’t know what you’re doing, we’ll figure that out soon enough.  They say ignorance is bliss, and I want my last few minutes of it before my idealistic dreams and my poor body lie shattered upon the ground.  If you are a tank, take a moment to talk to the other tank instead of telling us all that it’s your first time here.  If you are a healer, you might find it helpful to do a DPS run beforehand.  And if you’re DPS, nobody really cares unless the group wipes repeatedly.  Viva la DPS!

2. Always dress for the occasion!

Go Home and Try Again And NO, your DPS set will not do.

Go Home and Try Again
And NO, your DPS set will not do.

Whoa whoa whoa.  Why are you in Heart of Fear wearing Firelands gear?  That’s like walking into a nuclear reactor dressed in a bathing suit!

3. This is not 10-man normal.  Or 25.  Or heroic, even.  Or whatever it is you do in your spare time.

When In Rome ... You never touch the freaking blue head.  We hate that one.  IT NEVER ENDS WELL.

When In Rome …
You never touch the freaking blue head. We hate that one. IT NEVER ENDS WELL.

Assuming that LFR will do things the “Normal,” “Right” or “Your” way is highly likely to be fatal.  Because 25 strangers are not likely to become a cohesive raid team with solid communication anytime soon, LFR develops standardized methods for approaching every boss and area within an instance.   These defined roles and routines increase everyone’s chances of survival, including yours, whether or not they are wrong and/or inefficient.  Case in point: Megeara.  NO NO NO NO NO WE WILL NOT DPS MEGEARA’S BLUE HEAD IN LFR BAD NO STOP.

4. Don’t turn into a freaking elitist.

Why Not to Be an Elitist Because sooner or later you'll end up saying something dumb like this.

Why Not to Be an Elitist
Because sooner or later you’ll end up saying something dumb like this.

Sooner or later (most likely sooner if you’re attempting the new, fancy LFRs), you’ll encounter the LFR elitist.  The LFR elitist is always unhappy because he or she feels unfairly burdened by carrying everyone else.  At the same time, said elitist is subconsciously aware of his personal inadequacy, for if he really WAS carrying everybody else, the group would’ve cleared the content!  This person typically manages to have a morally superior tone despite lacing language with profanity.   The LFR elitist has no problem detailing every way everybody else is failing, but be aware that he or she may experience issues with grammar and spelling while absorbed in self-righteous fury.  The LFR elitist is a fair-weather player and prone to temper tantrums when things aren’t going so well.

Don’t be that guy.  Remember, numbers don’t justify being an asshat, especially because …

5. Recount is a lie.

Recount is great for getting a sense of where you stand in general, but very bad for getting a sense of where you stand relative to people in this particular LFR.

Take, for example, my Recount screencaps above.  The DK was clearly rofflestomping the living daylights outta everything ever, but the rest of it is a bit more hazy.  Consider Mr. K.  His Recount was showing him “in the top 5,” but what, exactly, was he looking at?  DPS?  Damage Done?  Was he looking at overall data or for a specific fight?  And even if we are looking at the same thing, everyone’s Recount will show something slightly different.  When I looked back at my screenshots, I had one showing overall DPS (including trash, Galakras and Iron J.) which put poor, unhappy Mr. K at #8.

6. Have a Stupidity Limit.

Everyone has a limit to their tolerance, some line in the sand at which you will go no farther and to hell with those who try to push you over it.  When it comes to LFR, I recommend setting a special Stupidity Limit far lower than your point of explosion, but somewhere above the feeling a papercut gives you.  When your Stupidity Limit is reached, leave the LFR.  That way, you surf past the minor stuff, but you leave before things get to be Too Much.  

The Porcupine Leads The Way

The Porcupine Leads The Way

Sounds obvious, right?  But we hang around for all sorts of reasons, even when we’ve become irritated or angry.  Perhaps we don’t want to queue again, because it took so long the first time around.  Maybe you have a friend or a guildmate in your LFR group who just really wants to down the last boss so he or she can get into the next segment.  Sloppy boss kills may drive you up the wall, but there’s that one piece of gear that you really, really want from the next boss, so you’ll stay a little longer anyway.  Maybe you think these people aren’t putting in the same kind of effort that you are, but you need valor for upgrades, so you feel like you’re S.O.L. and have to put up with it.

But once you’ve reached a point where you feel nothing positive or even feel like a victim of the “bad community,” you end up contributing to your own hate of LFR.  You’re forcing yourself to do something that upsets you, and there’s no way that can possibly end with you feeling happy about much at all.  Additionally, if you act poorly towards others as a result of your feelings by snarking or pointing out how you’ve never wiped on this boss before el oh el, you contribute to their hate of LFR.  Either way, you have become part of your problem.

So when your Stupidity Limit is reached, take a break.  Go away.  Do something else.  You will be happier for it.  My personal Stupidity Limit seems to be somewhere around three or four keyboard warriors actively attempting to prove their righteousness and/or that they’re right in instance chat.  That’s when I reference a nope.jpg to remind myself of the solution, and leave the group.

7. Have realistic expectations.

Normally, when people say this, they mean something like “what were you expecting, a real raid group?”  It’s got an additional meaning when it comes from me, which is, “don’t assume this group is a piece of sheeyit before you even get into it.”  LFR is merely a bunch of strangers who may or may not share your priorities.  They are likely distracted by something somewhere, which could be anything from a pet or child to dinner or a recent breakup.  They will have varying levels of skill and knowledge.  Some will come in well experienced and some will come in expecting to learn by doing.

For the most part, they are average people of average intent.  They’re not necessarily there to coast on your skills, eff you over by mucking up the mechanics or intentionally racking up the stacks of Determination.  They’d like to land some loot, get some valor, or see some “content.”

They are, in short, like you.

The Dream vs. The Reality No matter what you say, it still won't have 'em.

The Dream vs. The Reality
No matter what you say, it still won’t have ’em.

Obviously, overestimating the capabilities of strangers will set you up for disappointment.  But consistently underestimating them doesn’t mean that you’ll be pleasantly surprised, either.  It guarantees nothing more than you coming into the LFR with an attitude that’s already kinda lousy and prone to getting worse.  So you think the community sucks and you pretty much never try talking at all anymore?  You’re not the only one, which may be why nobody ever tries talking at all anymore, which may be part of why the community seems to suck and … well, you get the idea.

This is my roundabout way of saying “People, I love you, but not every LFR EVER sucks, and your constant complaining is annoying me while simultaneously contributing to your own unhappiness.”

8. If today is not the day, well, today is not the day.

RNG is Not Your Friend And RNG delights in your misery.

RNG is Not Your Friend
And RNG delights in your misery.

There are days when you just can’t win, and forcing yourself to try is both an exercise in self punishment and a study in futility.  If you are already cranky, angry and tired, don’t even bother queueing.  If the game/RNG seems to have it in for you, don’t go jumping from the frying pan into the fire!  One of the nice things about LFR is that it will be there later.  It took me three runs to complete “Last Stand of the Zandalari” on Daschela, for example.  The first party was just too derpy to live, which didn’t jive well with my general brokeness (repairs ack).  I requeued the same day, but the second party had some jerks that I just did not feel like dealing with.  So I left it alone for a couple days, and the third party I had?  We made it through with no problem.  They were even friendly!

Remember, there will always be a next week, and sometimes peace of mind is more valuable than shinies.

TWO WRONGS MAKE A RIGHT Or something like that?

Or something like that?


40 thoughts on “Avoiding Death by a Thousand Snarks in LFR

  1. Amowrath

    Hello. I thoroughly enjoyed your post. I have a question, though: why redact the names of those characters? Wouldn’t it serve the community better to see the names so if we come across them we can run for our lives? 😀

    1. Prinnie Powah Post author


      It’s partially out of habit and convenience/laziness. In some of my old blogs, I’d come up with pseudonyms for people that referenced some feature or interest. I thought it was fun and occasionally funny. Of course, I encounter way too many people via LFR/LFD to possibly dream of doing that here! So it’s much easier just to blur them out. I will occasionally miss a name here or there (especially if there’s a lot of text), but I have only once intentionally put a stranger’s character name out there in connection with their bad behavior. (I was very mad.)

      I generally feel like it would be optimal to ask folks if I could put them on my blog, but 1.) that would never work in cases like Mr. K, and 2.) again, way too many people for this approach to be remotely time/effort effective. Folks generally dislike being called out if there is any connotation of bad, and some just avoid being called out entirely, even if it’s for something good! I like to be respectful of that if at all possible.

      And maybe Mr. K actually saves orphans and kittens from raging fires on a daily basis, for all I know. I may be ragging on his stupid comments (which actually continued for some lines before he left, to the relief of all), but dude could’ve just been having a bad day. So by blurring the names, I like to think I’m focusing more on the one incident or the behavior, not necessarily the person … since the person is probably more of a mixed bag and not just a bunch of fail.

      And lastly, I do it because I’d rather focus on the funny than trying to figure out the codes for the special characters some folks use in their names.

  2. Cheap Boss Attack

    I love this post. I want to make love to this post and have little word babies. In the world of darkness that is LFR (emo time), this makes me look at it a different way. I want to post this on my guilds Facebook page (lol@facebook) for my friends to read. Good work, dood! *throws Prinny bomb*

    P.S. okay, side story time. I love prinnies. Obsessed even. And I bought Last Rebellion because it’s a JRPG that has prinnies as hidden bosses.. but was so fucking disappointed when they didn’t even talk and looked like parade floats. Have you play this monstrosity?

    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

      I love prinnies dood! I have not played that monstrosity you mention, mostly because I actually don’t own any dang system that actually has a prinny-containing game on it. I’ve always loved penguins, and then, one day, my friend introduced me to this Disgaea game she had. We played it quite a bit (I am le bad), and it was like, “EXPLODING PIRATE PEGLEG PENGUINS OMFG YES WHAT IS THIS MADNESS!?”

      I always said “dude” a lot in conversation before then. But somehow, it became “dood.”

  3. Bytes

    Lol! – I have like a macro now for when the elitists start posting the recount damage meters lol it says something like “Please don’t kick me oh mighty raid, I am a disc priest healer. My low damage gives you awesome personal shields made of pure awesome” Pffft once someone told me to stop smiting (my filler rotation) and “Heal things properly” @_@.

    But honestly don’t you find the occasional bad LFR just sort of really really funny – like someone elses dysfunctional Christmas dinner? Take photos, tell your friends… leave if the in-fighting gets too brutal or becomes directed at you.

    1. Leit

      Bad LFRs are like B-grade movies… they’re only fun when you approach them with friends and mock them over the soundtrack. Which is to say, bad LFRs are pretty unbearable sans Mumble.

    2. Prinnie Powah Post author

      I sometimes get people looking at me funny if I toss in a lightning bolt here or there, and I’m like, BUT IT GIVES ME MANA *AND* YOU’RE STILL ALIVE, AREN’T YOU??

  4. myriade

    Ouch on the 91/92 roll, hard luck!

    I’ve taken to doing LFR earlier in the week, because a) the queues are shorter, and b) the derp is less. 9 times outta 10 I get a smooth run with little to no jerkiness! If I DO end up doing LFR on weekends, I usually have a three-wipes-I’m-out rule, unless people are nice. I like nice people! Point 8 is my favourite – if a run doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. Sanity > random chances at loot!

    (And now I’m hoping that someday soon I will get the glorious raid leader duties in an LFR so I can colour-coordinate groups too. So. Pretty.)

    1. Leit

      Hard rules like 3-strikes encourage counting infractions, which means paying attention to them – it’s dangerously close to treating them as a goal. That resentment’s gonna build up, I tell ya. Prefer a fuzzier “okay, that’s enough” approach, personally. Also means on the days when you can only take 2 rounds you don’t feel obligated to stick around for the third. We have as many bad days as anyone else in LFR.

      1. Prinnie Powah Post author

        Yeah, I always give it some leeway. So like, a two or three or four or something strike approach!

        The key is to know when you’re done and to follow through by actually getting the hell out of Dodge.

      2. myriade

        Oh, I hear you, forcing yourself to stay when you’re hating every moment just isn’t worth it on any occasion. The 3-strike thing generally works for me because I pretty much don’t bother queueing if I’m having even the slightest bit of a bad day, so when I do go for LFRs my tolerance level is always high. It’s a lesson learned from many, many attempts.

        But basically, yeah, just a matter of knowing where your own limits lie and not torturing yourself past that.

  5. Leit

    I… kinda hope that point 1 is sarcasm, since there are any number of mechanics in LFR that, if handled poorly by one or two people, will completely destroy the raid. It’s one of the worst points of LFR.

    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

      No, not sarcasm.

      It’s important for the tanks and healers to know what they’re doing, as there are only 2 or 6 of ’em. That’s why I suggest at least talking to the other tank or doing a DPS run first. I’d rather the noobtank talks to the other tank instead of telling everybody that he or she doesn’t know what he’s doing. Asking the other guy “when do I taunt” is 100% more useful than telling everybody ever you have no clue. And there are some cases where a really good tank can get lucky and compensate for the other guy going up and down via derp and battleres.

      I find it less important for DPS to know what they’re doing. Can they 100% zone out? No, of course not, but generally they can follow the majority of melee and wind up DPSing the right thing. Do I WISH that they’d lay off Nazgrim when he’s in defensive mode? Yeah, but quite a few of ’em do after you scream at ’em long enough. And it IS possible to dodge one ravager. Two sucks. Three, no thanks.

      You can usually lose a handful of DPS in an LFR and still come out ok.

      1. Leit

        No agreement. People assuming that DPS can do whatever is why we end up with wipes. (well, that and trolls…)

        Yes, we have more redundant DPS. Yes, their role carries less direct responsibility. But that’s why blizzard’s been trying to introduce the responsibility by laying the mechanics on good and thick. Unfortunately, instead of DPS X dying horribly as a result of their poor execution, what you often end up with is massive raid damage, debuffs and Ravagers.

        1. Prinnie Powah Post author

          I think a “successful LFR” develops an equilibrium between some DPS doing “whatever” and some DPS who are trying and/or know what they’re doing. Obviously not all DPS can derp their way through, or everybody’s doomed – but I just don’t see LFRs falling flat on their face because a couple new people screwed up, and short of making it a handful of DPS like in a 10 man, I just don’t see enforcing responsibility/knowledge either.

          I dunno, I guess I operate under the assumption that this derp balance will generally occur naturally, or be forced through Determination. Say, the Dark Shamans, where it seems people are still learning that slimes hurt – anybody remember Maraudon? No? Oh. More people figure it out with each successive wipe, and when combined with Determination, it overpowers the derp.

          Is it just me, or does it seem like few mechanics cause DPS to die right off the bat instead of pushing more damage/pressure onto the healers? Durumu’s maze (which people still die to), the yellow circle-thing of doom in the Fallen Protectors, standing in the red circle of doom in the Dark Shamans fight, etc., those’ll do it. (Although to be fair, it seems like you can’t always see the red circle of doom if the ground elevation is too different.) But most of the time, it’s just like healers gotta heal more. Like the purple orbs of bad on the Amalgam of Corruption – hardly anybody even SEES those (they blend in so well unless they’re kinda out in the middle of nowhere) – so they don’t soak ’em, and you just have to try to heal through it until somebody walks into it on accident and/or healers run out of mana.

          1. Bytes

            “Is it just me, or does it seem like few mechanics cause DPS to die right off the bat instead of pushing more damage/pressure onto the healers? ”

            Bwahahahaha I watch with great joy as Thok the megasarus does his first fixate and splatters the most clueless of the Raid (the minority derp-derps), I should not find this experience so gleeful… but I do, I do.

                  1. Bytes

                    Its from when the peeps stand in the red line between thok and his nomnom fixate target – he runs over people and they just sort of explode. I’ll try to get a screenie as I am due in there again today /glee

                    1. Bytes

                      Lol isnt it I nearly killed a tank trying to get screenies and tell if it’s his general fixate effect or suffering for those taking damage. Imagine if peeps exploded when the stood in fire for more than a reasonable amount of time, lol.

          2. Leit

            I complained about the whole “why don’t mechanics 1-shot the miscreants instead of making work for the healers” thing all the way back in Cata. You know, back when I was still healing. No-one who hasn’t carried the white cross into an LFR knows the feeling.

            Purple orbs stand out magnificently… if you’re playing on Ultra settings. Otherwise? We’re talking spotting lions in autumn grass, here. Someone needs to downgrade the encounter testing team’s machines.

            Hmm… you haven’t seen LFRs die because of individual screwups? In ToT alone:
            “I’ll just stand here in this puddle while that big white ball tracks toward me. Looks like a healer problem.”
            “These guys next to me sure are taking a lot of damage. What’s Biting Cold?”
            “I got a button! Ooh, it kicks shells! No-one else is doing it, so I will KICK THEM ALL”
            Alternately: “Someone else will kick the shells”
            “Hey, how come I didn’t get heals? Now there’s a big fire patch under all the casters!” (note: dispel-happy healers can cause issues here too)
            “Wonder what this beam of light on me does. Maybe it’s because I’m so awesome! Better stand right here and spam my rotation even harder!”
            “AOE ALL THE GOLEMS!” (wasn’t an issue after everyone got geared, but making a comeback now that mains have abandoned ToT)
            I’d complain about the pulsing debuffs on Qon, but no-one really seems to notice those anyway.
            Every mechanic on Lei Shen, but especially bouncing bolts. And especially pre-nerf.

            That’s just one raid. Heart of Fear wasn’t quite as bad, except for a couple of bosses. SoO is much better, thank fsck.

            1. Prinnie Powah Post author

              To me, this brings up another question: how many wipes to individual derping is acceptable in an LFR?

              I know that I’ve wiped on many of these things (namely Lei Shen’s adds and people AoEing the golems), but I also know that after enough advice giving/screaming, people did it right. I consider at least one to two wipes to SOMETHING to be an acceptable and/or normal thing when LFRing, regardless of what caused it.

              I kinda say eh to Megeara’s Cinders, if only because you CAN move out of the fire and keep on going. (Not that people always do …)

              Biting Cold makes me laugh like hell, because it means people will die to the similar-but-must-stack-for-it Frostbite. They’ve trained themselves to run away, so I can’t count how many times I’ve run after someone with Frostbite, telling them to stand the eff still I’m trying to help dammit.

  6. Askevar

    I’m a DK tank main. I still have the screenie from Dragon Soul when I got yelled at by a shadow priest queued as a healer because I was the “last healer” after calling them out for not healing.

    Funny stuff that 😀

    That aside I’m not great about setting a stupidity limit… I’m a tank and I don’t like to leave in the middle of things and tanks seem to get an impressive amount of abuse these days. I really need to set a limit and stick to it… As is, I’ll only queue with guildies and my usual co-tank.

    1. Leit

      To be fair, Shadow could put out some pretty decent offheals through Vampiric Embrace back then. You know, before it became a cooldown.

      People who do things like queue as healer and then DPS will rarely bother to acknowledge individuals… they see the raid as a collection of bars whose job is to grow long enough to spurt out some loot for them. And the quicker the better.

    2. Prinnie Powah Post author

      When I first started trying holy paladerping and was still figuring out buttons, I am embarrassed to say that I got outhealed by a DK tank. /cough

      Tanks do get a lot of crap, which I think is partially a result of people being hypersensitive to wipes – if a new (or bad, or tired, or whatever) tank doesn’t quite get the mechanics or positioning just right, he/she has a VERY good chance of screwing everything up. (Like not swapping at x number of stacks, or facing Tsulong into the beam of light, etc. etc. etc.)

      Plus it’s ALWAYS easier to blame somebody else when things go wrong. ALWAYS.

      I dunno, the way I see it, everybody’s got at least a little culpability in a wipe. Some will have more fault than others (like the one healer who was almost certainly a bot and kept running off Durumu’s platform, hence, was dead and never healed), but there’s always SOMETHING everybody could do better.

  7. Talarian

    This post is amaaaazing! As a healer, though, I actually prefer if a tank tells me they’re new so I can compensate for it, or give directions. On the other hand, I do play a Holy Paladin, so Beacon on the tank with the least health is a good default.

    1. Prinnie Powah Post author

      Seems more people prefer nooblets saying they’re new than not. It just seems like a waste of time to me, as I tend to expect a certain level of initiative from tanks while simultaneously shouting general and DPS instructions prior to every fight. (They’re listening to me, right? Right?) By “initiative,” I assume that if a tank isn’t taking the time to say “HAI GUIZE DON’T KNOW WAT I’M DOIN,” said tank is instead using those moments to gain useful information LIKE WHEN TO TAUNT by talking to the other tank. Then again, now that I think about it, that does assume that the other tank knows what s/he’s doing. Hrm.

      As far as B(e)acon of Light goes, I tend to put it on the less aggressive tank, since the self-appointed main tank is probably going to require nearly constant attention. I admit that I sometimes put it on myself. /coff


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