Big Bear Butt wrote a piece "We All Want to be special" that many of my friends commented on, their heads nodding vigorously in agreement to what he had to say. He was talking about the new Flex raids and the outcry from the people who think it's really stupid.
It's funny, you know. The same people were whinging about LFR. Nobody FORCES you to do it!
Personally, I didn't think Flex raids were something we would be thrilled by, but it would be something to do to pass the time if we didn't have a full group. In fact, we would probably rather do that than do LFR, if the gear is better than LFR - especially in the early days of a new raid. The idea that we could just do it with our friends was quite fun, but LFR is something I use to polish off my set bonuses and upgrade a couple of things - but with a few weeks of valour that doesn't take long to fix up and surpass. To be honest, I can't even be bothered to run LFR to upgrade my 496 helm so I have something to put my gem into. That's how complacent I get when I have raiding to help me get what I want.
But of course, I understand it's great for everyone not raiding the latest stuff to get a chance to look in. I always found it hard to believe that only 5% of the population raided high end stuff - there are so many people out there writing about the high end stuff that I feel like I'm bottom rungs when it comes to raiding.
However, I had a different perspective given to me by a friend today, in regards to flex raids.
Cavendar is a heroic ToT raider, and he told me that having the Flex raids meant another lockout and he moaned and groaned about that. I said to him, why would you even do those? They're no use to you. He said that it was about gearing up, and you do every little thing possible to gear up faster to get every advantage in raiding - obviously he was talking about the first time you raid a new instance, because once you pass that level you wouldn't need that stuff anymore. Kinda like how I don't really do LFR anymore, because I don't really need anything except for a few specific bosses - which is a big relief, because with all these other ways to get valour points that don't include partying up with a bunch of nasty people, I much prefer to do my valour points that way (eg. the new weekly Barrens stuff, the weekly summoning thing in Isle of Thunder, pet tamer battles and dailies). But high end guilds WILL use the flex raids to gear up their raiders, so it seems really silly to me that there are so many of them whinging about how the game is "dumbed down for baddies" when they themselves will use it to improve themselves as well.
I do LFR when I have time, and what Bear said is true:
I run in LFR. I do it all the time. And for every ‘baddie’ I see, I see four self-important egotistical little shits and twenty other people who are doing what they are supposed to in a raid, and doing it well.
- Big Bear Butt, June 10 2013
Why would a high end raider even CARE about what others do, other than liking to feel superior to others? Saying I'm so much better than you, so why should I listen or even follow what any of you noobs have to say? We all have seen this loss of community spirit, where the selfishness of LFR seems to bring out the worst of people, and it seems so wonderful to me that Blizz has thought of bringing out this Flex thing so I can play with MY friends in a group of MY choosing, without having to wait or play with a whole bunch of selfish, knowitalls or hopelessly clueless but don't care and want to wreck it for everyone else. I'd like to think that most people who are clueless aren't being malicious, just haven't had the luxury of having someone to play with to improve their style. It's malicious people, clueless or clued-up, which make my experiences in Looking-For-Pain more unpleasant.
Prinnie Powah said this which I thought was very astute:
It’s not that they’re hardcore, per say, but they’re a Someone who takes things Seriously, like these things should be taken. Raiding is something not everyone can do, and to these folks, it’s best kept that way.Are high end raiders threatened by the meagre getting to see the stuff that they think Blizz made just for them? That being a raider lumped people who do Flex and LFR in the same boat as them? In real life, it kinda reminds me of how teenage girls behave in those stereotypical american school shows - to be in the in crowd you have to dress a certain way, act a certain way, hang out with the right kind of people. But even if you dress the same if you don't have the same "connections" you're just a tryhard wannabe that is way beneath them. The need to be better than others, to make yourself feel better... it's just human nature being its ugly self.
- Prinnie, June 7 2013
I don't know if these people really get ENJOYMENT out of the game. I read blogs from people like Cymre, Kallixta, Zwingli, Ancient - they don't raid high end but they get so much OUT of the game, and it's always so enthusiastic about all those other little things in game that have NOTHING to do with raiding. There are so many more things to do that is NOT raiding, and though I myself love to raid, I do so love these other things too.
And in my own little way, I feel like Blizz is listening to me. I know they're not listening to ME exactly, but people like me. People like me who want to raid but don't like the trolls. People like me who like to make friends in an MMO and play with them, and doing stuff as a team. People like me who are struggling to make our raids happen and wish we could find more people to play with who thought like us. And I hear about flex raids, and I hear about virtual realms - where low pop servers getting merged to be one big one so we can raid, join guilds, arena together as if we were one big server - and it's like suddenly I feel like someone cares, someone is listening, someone is trying to me the world a better place.. LOL, well, the World of Warcraft a better place... for the people like me who love and respect the game and all the people in it, and I'm sure Blizz would rather have players like me and all the people I admire and respect than all those nasties who make the game a horrible place to be in, no matter how elite or wonderful a player they are. The next patch can't come soon enough.