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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.