Well, with the servers down for maintenance, I might as well blow off this head of steam I’ve been building by writing a rant.
I was reading through the Dev Watercooler blogs about the development of raiding and the raid design philosophy for Warlords and everything was looking good to me until I came to this bit (emphasis added):
Accordingly, while loot will be awarded more frequently, Raid Finder in Warlords will have different loot tables than the Normal, Heroic, or Mythic versions of the raids, along with different item art.
Wait, what?! No Tier from LFR? Not even “nuclear snot green” Tier?
So perhaps the LFR colorations of tier items in Mists have been the cheap department store knock-offs of the designer boutique normal/heroic mode versions. If the LFR items are going to have different item art altogether, if Tier will only be obtainable by normal+ mode raiding, then Blizzard just formalized that, in Warlords, LFR raiders will really and truly be second-class citizens.
I have really enjoyed being able to raid “on my own terms” during Mists via LFR, and I resent this notion of being required to do regular raiding again if I want to have the tier look. I burned out on regular raiding during Cataclysm, and I have no desire to start doing it again — not even for tier. In Mists, being able to get the same models as tier/raid items, even if I’ve sometimes had to settle for less-attractive color schemes, has been my primary motivation for running LFR not only with one character, once or twice, as a Tourist, to see the story, but also with many characters, many times. Being able to get current content tier with any character who wants it has been truly wonderful for me! I certainly couldn’t do that with a regular raid group! If I won’t even be able to get the tier models by running LFR, the alternate item art would be a poor substitute no matter how stylish and attractive it might be — as a current example, which looks do people prefer more? The justice points/timeless isle lookalike gear that drops in Mogu’shan Vaults, or the real thing T14 gear that drops in Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring? — and, oh look, there are previews of Warlords armor up on Wowhead and bleargh!, except for cloth, I like what I’m seeing for the crafted and dungeon sets better than the LFR sets! It seems that I will have significantly decreased motivation to do any kind of raiding in Warlords.
When I’m designing a new outfit in MogIt, I’ve learned to ignore PvP items because PvP is a part of the game that I don’t want to play. I’ve learned to ignore the normal/heroic mode color schemes of raid items, too, because normal/heroic mode raiding is not how I want to spend my playtime. Now, I guess I’ll have to re-learn to ignore tier entirely, just like I did in BC when SSC/TK was a little beyond my guild’s reach and BT/Hyjal/Sunwell was way, way beyond my guild’s reach. And that makes this Transmogrification fanatic very sad indeed.