Blizzard’s Bashiok has today confirmed that what we’d all assumed was a bug in the LFR queue finder was actually intentional. I’ll insert his full post below, but the TL;DR version is that Blizzard no longer want to tell you if you’ve been put into a group which is 2/3, i.e. potentially wiping on the last boss repeatedly, or 1/3 in the second half of the Mogushan Vaults LFR, which can mean wiping on Elegon, repeatedly.
When this happens, you often get put into a dying group, one that is losing people left, right and center, and what often happens is that players zone in, see that the group is on 15-ish people, and immediately leave. Often, you’ll zone in to the raid, and find that you’re grouped with a full group, but that players have begun to leave as there’s no way this group is killing the boss they’re on.
But it’s not necessarily a death sentence for your run. It can be the case that the group you’re put into actually does just fine, that a player left because their cat was on fire, or their pizza just arrived, or some other perfectly reasonable reason.
Bashiok’s post says that what players don’t know is that, if they kill the last boss in a section of LFR, they will then get priority on fresh runs next time they queue. In order to stop people seeing that the group they’ve been selected for is on 2/3, and leaving the queue, Blizzard just decided to take that information away altogether. This makes for a lack of choice on whether you get to go into a fresh run or an in-progress one, but means that if you take down the last boss on a run you joined unwittingly, you will get the improved queue on a fresh run next time.
There were a few addons claiming to replace this information, but Community Manager Zarhym emailed us to let us know that, as far as he is aware, none of them work.
What are your thoughts on this? To us it seems like, despite what Bashiok is saying, Blizzard’s team are being a little underhand here. Publicize the fact that the LFR will give you a better queue if you kill the last boss of an encounter, but don’t remove the information altogether to spoon-feed players because Blizzard knows best. Maybe players don’t join 2/3 queues because the only loot they want is on the first boss?
Here’s Bashiok’s full post:
Right, so with 5.1 the game no longer tells you how many bosses are left for the group you’re being matched with for Raid Finder (LFR).
To explain why we made the change, let’s go back to the problem everyone was experiencing before. Let’s say a fresh LFR group is put together, they get two bosses down, and then wipe a few times on the third and lose 10 people who think they’re too cool for wiping. Now the group is down to 15, waiting for 10 new people, the queue eventually pops for those 10, and most of them see 2/6 and hit cancel. The raid still isn’t full, the matchmaker has to go looking again for more people, and meanwhile as time ticks on people from the original run are getting more frustrated. Maybe a few of them leave, and then there’s even more spots to fill. Plenty of times everyone just gives up and the entire run falls apart, all those people are back in the queue, and they’ll be-damned if they join an in-progress run to fall apart again!
These kinds of things happen all of the time, and in the vast majority of situations it’s simply because people don’t like the idea of joining an in-progress run, even if it would have succeeded.
You may think we’re trying to be underhanded, but the reality is we’re trying to help people be more efficient with their play time. What most people don’t realize is that if they get and complete an in-progress run, the next time they queue they will preferentially be placed into a fresh instance. What everyone should be doing, to be the most efficient, is joining and sticking with their runs to completion. If they join an in-progress group they can catch up on those other couple bosses they missed immediately after, and if they have the time, they’d be wise to down the ones they’ve already killed again for extra Valor.
The patch has only been out a couple days of course, but personally I think there are some people who don’t realize yet how an in-progress run, and that extra Valor, can directly translate to improved items through the new upgrade system. An in-progress run is very likely better bang for the buck to your character power due to item level upgrades than hitting cancel over and over to get a fresh run and then hoping for a boss drop.
There are of course other issues that cause LFR groups to fall apart, like boss difficulty, and those are the kinds of things we’re looking at bigger solutions for. Losing a couple people doesn’t need to mean the whole run is doomed.