Dragon Soul Raiding Progress: Your Day 3 (-4) Update!
Hello! Guest Contributor Ladan reporting in, giving you some of the highlights of Day 3. It's been a fairly dramatic week considering it's "just" Week 1. Curious? Read on!
Note: The opinions and typos expressed in this and all of my Daily Updates are my own. I am not a member of DREAM Paragon, just an invited guest contributor to their site. If you're interested in learning more about my research and work into raiding and raiding culture, please check out my research blog, http://www.raidingresearch.co.uk.
Normal Clears Continue Afoot!
As of this morning (morning in the UK) there were about 20,000 kills of Morchok, a dramatic increase over the first couple days and a fairly predictable indicator of the number of groups raiding out there. Looking at Madness, we've got 1279 kills in total, which represents a 2325% increase in kills over the first day (of US server access). This compares to the 1000% increase of kills of Morchok from Day 1 to Day 3, suggesting that while we're progressing through the kills as we spend more time working on the bosses, the number of new guilds entering the race is starting to slow down.
Transmogrification, our favourite new multi-sylllabic word, has been checked out by players everywhere, including some of the Paragon guys. Here are a few new favourites, including one or two that have caused a wee stir:
Diivil (nice chest, really brings out your eyes):
Lazeil (his voice is deceptively deep for his appearance):
Arx (show off those big feet!):
Yes, the LFR... Looking for Raid... a chance to join up with 24 of your friends/non-friends/acquaintances and clear some raid content on the Baradin Hold difficulty level. You might even get some loots for the trouble! So what happened and why have other popular MMO and WoW forum sites been abuzz with accusations of bugs, creative game mechanics, or exploits in relation to the LFR?
Well, evidently a combination of careful planning by the elite guilds to run LFRs (I did mention yesterday that LFR was factoring into strategies, but I had no idea what was going to happen over the course of the day at that point) and a game bug resulted in something unexpected. But this was something most of the top guilds followed as, like most things buggish during the early days of a new patch, sometimes it's not entirely clear what's a bug versus a new mechanic, what's a creative use of gameplay versus an exploit. I'm not suggesting that all the guilds unwittingly partook in an accidental series of LFRs that resulted in an accidental and magical appearance of available loot, but the way in which the guilds had laid out their plans appeared to expose an actual bug that just made the process less cumbersome than had been originally expected. Were these guys always planning to do a lot of LFRs? Oh yes. Had they expected it to be this easy? Oh no. Were they going to stop the race because of a bug? Unlikely. And since it seemed like everyone else was doing it, were they pressured even more to keep doing it? Yes. Whether we like it or not, the race (and how we prepare for it) is often conducted in silos and we rely on hearsay or rumours to actually know what each other is doing. Should they have done it? Probably not, but it's easy for me to sit back and mull over grey areas of the game like this and decide what is or is not ok--these raiding guilds often have to make quick decisions based on what they know their competitors are already doing. As one elite raider whose guild did get involved said to me, "If I'm in a 100m race with 9/10 competitors doping, I have to dope as well to stay competitive." I guess there is truth in that statement, but there is always a choice not to dope, right? But that could very well mean you lose the race if you chose not to do what you think everyone else is doing. And not every elite guild did feel like they had to do it, they chose to prepare in a different way. As one elite raider from an elite raiding guild that did not get involved in the LFR situation said to me, "There is always a choice."
The bug that allowed this faster turnaround has been hotfixed, as I understand it, and while there are still a lot of contested debates out there about what was wrong or right and whether there should be further punitive action, we have yet to know if anything additional will be done. But if something does happen, keep in mind that I checked the top 10-15 guilds alone and found that the majority of them had conducted their LFR runs this way so we may see a different progress race or outcome if those guilds are penalised. And what about the many other guilds throughout the game that did the same thing? Shouldn't we penalise them as well?
I'll probably have more to say as the days continue, but for now, I'll leave it there. Again, keep in mind that these thoughts are my own and do not necessarily reflect what Paragon or its individual members might think.