Dragon Soul Raiding Progress: Week 1, Day 4!

Yet another Raid Observer update from the Guest Contributor, Ladan, on how the raiding race is (not) going so far! Life post-LFR, the emergence of trolls, and more...!

And my usual disclaimer: I am not a member of DREAM Paragon, I have just been asked to provide a regular update on my observations of the raiding race for Patch 4.3 as it unfolds. All typos, misunderstandings, and opinions are my own (though my cat may cause the typos if she walks on my keyboard) and may or may not represent the views of Paragon and its actual members. Please do go and visit my research blog that has more information about my doctoral research into raiding, raiding culture, and WoW, http://www.raidingresearch.co.uk. Let's see if the disclaimer sticks this time. :)


Hi again, I hope you're having a fabulous Saturday. If you're raiding may your boss kills be flawless and your wipes be painless; if you're recovering from the previous night's antics, may you regain your suitable bodily functions in a timely manner; if you're out Christmas shopping, get in touch! I need to give you my wish list!

So how was Friday? Oh where to begin....


The LFR-gate Scandal

I am so psyched to have been cited in a few threads here and there! My mum will be so proud! But the out-of-contextness was quite interesting for me, to say the least. In relation to my post made on Thursday morning (UK time), I did state something about the LFR:

And never mind the new introduction of our Raid Finder! This has created an interesting, new element that is being seriously considered by some of our elite guilds.

Ironically, while I knew that raiding guilds were using the LFR as part of their overall preparation, I had no idea about a potential exploit or anything. I just meant that I knew guilds were using the LFR and that from my point of view, it just represented something new and interesting. But lo and behold, I wake up on Friday morning to see myself quoted in the starter of the now infamous "Paragon what is going on" thread (later renamed "LFR Exploit Discussion") on MMO-Champion. I would love to say I'm psychic or that I'd been in the know earlier in the week but I had no idea what was to come! But I did learn more in the day that followed and I summed a lot of that up yesterday in my article. A few other sites began to discuss the issue as well. WoW Insider and Manaflask both wrote short updates on the situation, including the now oft-referred to blue post about the hotfix and review of what was to be done about the items gained via use of the bug and even Method added an explanation as to what has been happening, http://www.methodwow.com/board/content.php?64-Scene-News-LFR-exploiting.

I don't know how many of you popped into the IRC rooms during the day yesterday but things were a bit chaotic, fun, melodramatic at times, and trolltastic. Cheeky members of Paragon and Method (in particular) were announcing bans, item removals, and more. Some notorious trolls were fueling the fires of overreaction with more tidbits of misinformation. This cheeky behaviour was often fueled by the occasional visit by a player trying to either get more information on what was going on or trying to voice their dissatisfaction with what was going on based on the facts they had from, probably, reading the various threads out there. Not all comments were based in fact, however, and the trollishness of some folks probably helped turn things into a bit of a drama-fest. Suffice to say, this morning things are calmer and, apparently, no final decisions have been made about item removal or bans yet. I will say that the Russian guild, Карфаген, may have won the troll awards with their post, on their site, claiming that they had been given a 72-hour ban (http://karfagen-wow.ru/). Cheeky Russians! (Love you guys! Srsly!)

The MMO-C thread was finally shut down in the wee hours of the morning when it had clearly devolved into a trollfest with a healthy dose of finger-pointing and insults being chucked around, http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1034351-LFR-Exploit-Discussion/page85. As Starym wrote in his Manaflask piece, people do get "touchy" about loot and this situation has been no exception. I thiink, too, it's the perception of fairness and cheating that have emerged as reiterated statements. Players are worried about how it looks if we have people at the top of the game appearing to justify cheating and some players are even concerned about what this teaches the younger players in WoW. I've also noticed a lot of attempts to compare what's happened to what would happen in sport or in another sporting event. I realise how tempting that is because I've done the same thing in my own work. After all, whenever we get into something that's deemed "competitive" that does not involve the business world, economics, biology, or politics, our first frame of reference is often sports. And while I believe there is a significant affinity between gaming and sports, trying to make lots of comparisons between what's going on in a carefully monitored and regulated sport versus what's happening in our still fledgling raiding race could be challenging at times--it's not always a perfect parallel. But what all of this tells me, at the end of the day, is that we have some serious ethical issues to consider. The fact that each patch brings with it bugs and potential exploits that cause us to question our ethics and responsibilities from time to time does make me pause but also makes me wonder if we can ever really, properly navigate these touchy issues and if we're not placing too much expectation on those players who just happen to be the most competitive in the game.

So today is a quieter day, as weekends tend to be, and I'll keep an eye on things, but I think the mad LFR-related fury of Friday appears to have calmed down into a bit of a hangover. The guilds that were involved in the situation (and there were quite a lot) are probably in a bit of a wait-and-see mode. I suppose that means the rest of us are too.