My computer was having a lot of trouble with Looking For Raid in Pandaria. It would crash often, on pretty much every fight. Given that it would occasionally crash at other times, I finally bit the bullet and got a new machine. Ah well, the old one served effectively for almost five years, so I guess it was just time.
So in the past couple of weeks, I've actually gotten to try out the new raids in Mists of Pandaria, if only the LFR versions. Here are some thoughts.
I like pretty much all the raids in this tier. They're a lot of fun, with interesting mechanics. By and large the difficulty seems appropriate for LFR. It's doable, but you do need at least some of your group to pay attention.
Skill-wise, LFR seems pretty much the same. There doesn't appear to be any completely terrible people, but there's the standard not-switching targets or killing adds issue that always plagues LFR. I can usually count on having at least 4 of 6 healers being competitive on the meters.
I've switched away from Eternal Flame to Sacred Shield. In LFR, raw HPS is pretty much the only thing that matters, because you can't "trust" your other healers in the same manner as in a normal raid group. So raw raid healing with cooldowns on the tanks is more likely to help the group survive. That means heavy reliance on Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn.
So the big controversy with LFR this time around is the loot system. I have mixed feelings about it. On the whole, I think I get loot at the same rate as in previous tiers. And per-character loot definitely solved the drama issues with LFR loot in previous tiers.
But now, killing a boss seems like a big letdown. Previously, you killed the boss, and there was a cascade of purples. Maybe you personally wouldn't get anything, but there was plenty of treasure for the group. But now, most of the time it seems like just a small amount of gold, which is a disappointment.
I don't know. It's like before, the treasure definitely existed. If you didn't get an item, then someone else did. You saw rogues get cool daggers, and hunters get bows, and enthused with everyone else when they got their items. But now, it seems like 80% of the time there is no treasure at all.
Also, not being able to get off-spec gear is a bit disappointing. Especially since rep gear costs Valor, that precludes reputation as a source of off-spec gear. But on the other hand, it's better than people taking off-spec gear over main spec players.
This is especially reinforced with the Greater Charms of Forture. You pop a Charm, and 80% of the time is just gold, again. Blizzard should have just tripled the cost per Charm, and only allowed you get one per week, but made it guarantee a drop.
I don't really see a decent solution for the loot issues. Maybe announcing the winners of items to the raid, since you can't change anything, would be enough to get the old feel back. This system is good enough, though. I just feel sad that the previous system wasn't able to work, that it died in a tragedy of the commons.