Rift - Looking for Raid System Less Than Stellar
ByDate: Feb 11 2017 Views:
In a twist that goes against what most players thought was going to happen when Rift announced the “Looking for Raid” system, it hasn’t quite gone as planned. From the system being taken offline to being unused and/or abused, it has left a lot to desire. A system with great potential has, for the most part, already become neglected, despite only being around a short while.
A Push for Monetization
The first flaw with the LFR system is that it became yet another way for Trion to work on monetizing the game. Inching their way into various game systems to help bring in dollars has been on the menu for a while, but LFR takes it a bit further than any of the previous attempts. In fact, those who are Patrons are actually given priority access when it comes to being picked for the groups. It’s not clear exactly how this affects things yet, but one thing is for certain: non-Patrons have ridiculously long queues. From a personal standpoint, trying a total of 5 times, both during peak gaming times on the weekend (Friday/Saturday), as well as non-peak times, 8+ hour queues have left zero groups. Some on the forums have found groups in as little as half an hour (with the average being 2-3+ hours), but those also appear to be from Patrons.
A Bit Difficult for Randoms
Rift’s raiding system has always involved mechanics that require players to think about the content, what is going on, and work together. When there are a few players (especially in a 10 person raid) that aren’t paying attention, it is fairly easy for them to tank the rest of the raid with them. It’s one of the best parts about raiding within the game, as it brings about difficulty and you actually feel like you have accomplished something when you do finally succeed in an encounter, but when it comes to random players, the simple fact is that people are largely inattentive and/or just aren’t catching on. Both of these situations lead to a lot of irritation among groups, because when this happens, the others are being held back. As a result, the LFR encounters have to be made with mechanics that are so simple that nobody even needs to know the fight beforehand. Without it, people get disheartened and simply quit queuing, instead just relying on guilds and friends.
Pre-Mades and LFR
Pre-made groups are able to queue for the raid encounters, and that has led to a much faster way to get in than sitting in LFR and hoping that you end up getting picked at some point. Especially in chat channels like “Crossevents” (which is designed for finding groups, specifically, for content and can be joined using /join crossevents), groups are being formed fairly frequently. And even if you don’t want to wait around for a group to start forming, you can always start one. Once it’s filled up (which, depending on the time and day, may be fast or slow), you can queue and get right into the raid encounter.
You can also queue without having a full group, and the system will look for fillers. But for the most part, when groups are formed, people are looking to fill the entire thing, so as to avoid new players or those that don’t understand what’s going on. Some will even require you to show achievements that prove you can handle raids, as well as information like gear and confirmation that you understand the bosses within the LFR. All of this largely kills off the purpose of having the system to begin with.
Fixing the Issues
While not a “one fix solves all” solution here, one of the best things that the LFR tool can do is start taking groups of 20 players, rather than 10. With the current raid, Queen’s Foci, requiring just 10 players, there are two faults: less players get in at once and the impact a single player has on the rest of the raid is fairly large. With bigger groups, what it does is lessen one player’s contribution. In other words, some can be carried by the rest of the group while they learn what to do and not do, gaining a better understanding of how the raid encounters work. While this would absolutely cause issues with a lot of players on a principle matter (such as “I don’t want to be forced to carry bads”), the simple fact is that a change needs to be made. Without it, the system is going to end up abandoned, and possibly even removed. For many, it was seen as being a great way to get some raiding in while being a more casual player, without having to join a hardcore guild or min-max damage and defense. And so far, it has fallen extremely short of expectations.