Blizzard Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak has confirmed in an interview with that there will be no new 5 mans coming in Mists of Pandaria

Understandably, many people are less than happy about the confirmation that one of the main-stays of WoW content for several expansions is not going to be expanded upon until we see 6.0. Blizzard explains this by saying that the Raid Finder has taken the place of dungeons and is the content where people will do the bulk of their gearing.

This is, they add, supplemented by scenarios, which they are working on more and more of, to add to the existing scenario content. But can scenarios and LFR really fill the gaping hole left by the absence of 5-man content?

Let’s look back to Cataclysm for a moment. While derided as one of the worst expansions yet, it came with three tiers of 5 mans. There were the launch dungeons, both normal and heroic, along with the trollroics, which offered gear almost as good as the previous raid tier, and then the Hour of Twilight heroics, which again, offered gear almost as good as Firelands gear, the previous raid tier.

Looking back again to Wrath of the Lich King, we began with the opening dungeons, which, like in Mists, had normal leveling difficulties as well as max-level heroic difficulties. Patch 3.2 brought in the Trial of the Crusader, not the greatest of new 5 mans, but at least more content, followed by the heroics in Icecrown Citadel. All of these awarded points, which could be spent for gear.

So for some time, we have been used to regular injections of new 5 mans, for better or for worse. What do 5 mans offer that scenarios and LFR don’t? Firstly, healers and tanks have meaningful and set roles to play. 5-mans scale well with raiding, and are created as a place where healers and tanks can, to some extent at least, learn and practice the skills required for raiding. Healers and tanks, while useful in very small quantities in scenarios, are not really needed, and scenarios are so easy that they’re not a great preparation for any pressing content.

Conversely, LFR is a place where it’s easy to fade into anonymity, as a DPS, but a place where tanks, particularly, are under a great deal of pressure to deal with what is usually a completely un-co-ordinated group. Yes, healers and tanks have existing 5 man content, but that gets old very quickly, particularly as we’re used to seeing so much more of it.

Quite apart from that, players who find raiding daunting and have no interest in it have no place in raid finder, and if they tank or heal, are largely superfluous in scenarios. It doesn’t seem likely that this will change, but what do you think about it?

  • James Gomez

    Content such as LFR and Challenge modes causal players now have there
    own progression to deal with, more five players dungeons in the middle
    of an xpac just never feel rewarding enough IMO, as it is now heroics only get your ready for normal or LFR raids of tier 14. Blizzards current model is a model I can stand behind and that’s experience the content the way it came out at a reasonable pace.

  • Chris Collins

    Thats a little disappointing, tho i do see their point about gearing up. but there are some ppl (believe it or not) that really dont enjoy raiding. myself, i would like to see them at least give us one. but make it epic. Like old Strathholm or Muradon before splitting them in sections. i really miss those types of dungeons.

  • Chris

    I don’t like that future 5-man dungeons are being omitted in favor of LFR. Dungeons are faster than LFR, and aren’t ruined by the invisible walls Blizzard puts in front of all the other content. Scenarios are okay, until you hit valor cap. LFR is fine and dandy, until you get nothing but gold bags, cap valor, and don’t get another chance at loot until the following week. What else is there to do for gearing? Farming mats for crafted gear? 

    Dungeons proved to be a fast catch up mechanism for PVE during later tiers in previous expansions. The current (horrible) loot system in LFR, combined with once a week limits, and gating with currency will severely hinder progression and alt progression, especially those trying to catch up to current content.

  • Rabid0chipmunk

    I posted this on facebook, but posting here for the sake of conversation:

    can’t speak to the end of Cata, as I had already put aside WoW in favor
    of other titles. However, late LK heroics and dungeons were incredibly
    difficult, rewarding, and fun. I remember wipe fests on the various
    Ice Crown dungeon heroics. If you made it through them in LFG the first
    couple weeks you considered yourself lucky and probably completed it by
    the skin of your teeth. They felt epic, and certainly prepared you for
    the world of raiding at that time. (whether you wanted to or not)That
    being said, the MoP heroics are a joke. They were on farm as soon as
    someone was able to go. As a healer I find myself filling a dps role
    more often than being pushed as a healer (the random DK missing his
    cooldowns not withstanding). Now I know plenty of people will say the
    LK heroics were too hard, and MoP is just right, but I don’t want to be
    able to skate by. I want to be pushed in getting prepared for something
    that requires everyone to push themselves (raiding).Also
    if LFR is my main gear gathering method, I should be able to do it for
    gear more than once every week. The nice thing about old Heroics is
    that you were able to gear in heroics then still get yourself some
    filler pieces while you completed last tier raids. If LFR is that
    answer currently, even assuming a needed piece of gear every run (which
    is a serious stretch), I’d need several weeks of LFR to be current tier
    ready.All of this leads me to: Don’t cancel new ones because they don’t feel epic. Make them epic.

  • Michael

    Bad move. This will result in more subs lost I think. Honestly until the “Zerg boss while half-afk Finder” came out there was atleast some content that took a little thought to do with the 5 mans. Raid finder should be an alternative route to progression towards raids, not the primary route. One of WoW’s strongest elements was always the idea of 5 mans working towards the bigger raids and this has essentially been eliminated. Raids are great in the higher difficulties but because there is such a joke of a difficulty available it waters down the other ones. This is not to mention that it does not really prepare you for real raiding. I actually think that 5 mans did a better job then raid finder for that. 

    Not everyone likes raids either. Personally the only reason I quit playing WoW is because if you don’t raid, you don’t play. It is as simple as that. The PvP game changes nearly every single content patch in such a significant way that the meta is a joke so that alone does not keep MOST people playing. 

    Another way to look at this is that they are producing less content. Sure, they are patching more often…but you can argue that the small patches can just be thrown into the raid patches which would ultimately result in the same patch cycle we saw prior to MoP. They obviously can’t keep up with all this and create 5 man content as well…this pretty much proves it to everyone. 

  • Luke Malcolm

    This is somewhat like TBC had where there was no catch up during an expansion. You did each Tier by Tier.

    • JJversion1

      Unfortunately, if someone was lagging behind and you needed a raid spot to fill… you had to run all of those old raids to catch them up to the rest of your raid group. It was a big pain in the backside. It’s not much different now, even though we have LFR. If you lose someone on your roster, you need to find someone to replace him/her and you could do it one of two ways a). run your entire raid group though LFR constantly to increase your chances of getting your new raid member (assuming he’s not quite so) geared enough to run with your raid team. Which is not fair to them because they are geared enough and want to run the new content; or b). Look for someone whom is geared enough to run the new content, which could spell disaster if he’s a bad player and isn’t quite fair enough to a good enough player whom is but is just not geared enough. This system is too much of a catch 22, whereas the previous system; while not perfect; at least made less taxing on many guilds when finding replacements for their respective raid groups.

  • Rasmus Nielsen

    Good move, obviously their numbers are showing that more people do LFR than Dungeons, so rather than focus on 5-man content that only a small subset of players do, they’re focusing on the content that people *ACTUALLY* do. Good move, means less half-assing, which has been the problem in WoW since Wrath.

  • Astor

    I already left WoW because it was just about raiding at the end.  This will certainly not encourage me to return.  There has to be more to a game than killing the same few bosses over and over.

  • Kenyawn

    It’s funny how most of the negative comments about this change come from people who have stopped playing.  I believe this change is the right way to go.  the new catch up method with t14 LFR (increased drop %, more “extra roll” charms) has worked out well for a vast majority of people. You can run any part of LFR as many times as you like and still use bonus rolls each time for that lingering one or two pcs of gear. Do people really want 1 guaranteed chance per day to win that shield/sword/staff/etc? Didn’t drop? Then what? You que’d for randoms hoping you’ll get back into that instance you really want. That was one of the most frustrating things in the game. Not going with friends and queing? One person not pulling their weight made 5mans excruciating. I’ll take 5 people half-assing it in LFR over 1 in 5man any day.

    From personal experience, I left at launch of MoP and came back a month before 5.2 and am already ready for t15 LFR and normal mode just one week into t15 with a lot less grinding for gear than I had anticipated.

  • Dularr

    Should be fine.  I’m seeing guilds form new raid teams for the first raid tier of Mists, instead of running through a series of catch up dungeons.   These raid teams consist of alts and returning players, while the main raiding characters progressing to Throne of Thunder.

    Right now, the small group content seems to be focused on the Warbringers around Pandaria, rare spawns on the island, summoned champions on the island and hunting large dinosaurs on the Isle of Giants. 

    Plus there still seems to be a lot of interest in small groups going through 25-man heroic Ulduar and ICC, attempting to complete all the raid achievements.

    As a wise resto druid once told me, “Gear is fleeting, but mounts are forever.” So, with all the new mounts available out in Pandaria, there should be plenty for players to do. 

    • JJversion1

      I’m not going to lie, although I think LFD was a great idea for WoW, LFR is a disaster. I’m not one of those that will say that it’s because they are, “roflstompingly easy and doesn’t take mad skills to do, etc.” It’s a disaster because of how it was implemented, if they would’ve made a 10 and 25 man easy mode that allowed cross realm invites, then I’d agree with you. However, with the way it’s designed now, it’s not working as intended, IMHO. The drop rate is horrible (although they’ve changed that now, but it’s way too late) and you have to, not only, roll against 24 other players; but all of their alts as well week after week. That is what makes getting the gear such a pain and why I never liked LFR and really wished Blizz would’ve never implemented it. And if you need to recruit a new raid member to your roster, but he’s not geared enough for the new raids yet, you either have to pug until he does get the gear or spam him through LFR until he gets enough gear to run the new content, which isn’t fair to the rest of your team. It would be much more productive for raid groups if Blizz would’ve implemented a 10/25 man easy mode for this expansion, it would go far to eliminate alot of problems I feel. If they did it that way they wouldn’t need to implement a catch up mechanism, but as it stands now… I don’t think that this way is working.

  • Thragsh

    For myself, I use dungeons now to earn valor. They are a relatively quick way each day to earn towards your cap.

    LFR is OK in small doses. I went into ToT expecting people to have at least made themselves familiar with the fights – nope, it was run in, faceroll, wipe, rage, rinse and repeat. That’s pretty frustrating if you have to do that ad-infinitum, and the buff each wipe just isn’t going to fix stupid, or give me the lost 2 hours. If downing each LFR boss gave valor, or more valor for finishing, I would be happier with the concept.

    I would love to do normal raiding but my guild just doesn’t seem to want to be bothered *sad face*

    When you think about it, MoP only gave us 4 new dungeons. While scenarios are OK, most of them are repititous and boring, IMHO.
    Will have to wait and see how this turns out.

    • tuckerfan

      I agree, I have the same problem a guild of friends that I love to play with who just don’t raid. Better 5 man content would be great, what would also be great is a more selective lfr system that made pugging easier instead of just picking the forst 25 folks the q.

  • wraithryder

    i think its fine – after all – ppl get tired of dungeons SO fast – 2-3 weeks tops and only grind it for gear/badges. LFR is a dungeon w/ that epic feel – im pretty sure everybody that dusnt pvp dus lfr. i like 5mans but if i had to choose between lfr and lfd – lfr all the way!

  • Lenair

    I love to learn my class/spec in 5 5 mans have always been great at gearing a new toon up after my main has played through all the content…I am sad to see them go..and quite frankly, I hate LFR…the concept of it is great..but how they are being played completely imho defeats thier purpose…I like the concept of lfr as learn the fights in a slightly less demanding context but the fact that some mechanics can be completely ignored..and as a tank or healer…when I want to do the fight the right way for practice…I get responses like..why bother this is LFR we are just loot farming..okay..they don’t say that second part..but we all know that is what they mean….it is disheartening and to me makes me not even want to queue for LFR at all…at least new 5 man heroics are interesting in that everone is expected to know and play their role…in short, I am dissapointed with this decision.

  • bolt

    it is horrible for trying to gear secondary toons in terms of dual spec. sure you can q once for LFR’s for heal gear MS. but then want to go do heroics for some Tank peices. essentially also another thing under the radar is the 5-man LOOT SYSTEM. its going to completely disappear, and this LFR personalized system of “get a chance of the gear you can use or not at all” will only be left. (all be it the 5-man was the same but the difference is pieces being passed down the ladder rather than not at all, the benifit is the 5-man loot system can be utilized for MS AND OS pieces, with the limitations being priority in the ms role (need button) vs os role (greed button) with little tweaking and more limitations as to prevent griefing or trolling on gear pieces its a viable system both for primary and secondary toon gearing and leveling for both main and offspec item.

  • bolt

    They said no NEW 5 mans. NOTHING about scaling up all the old 5mans and upping that ilvl gear.

  • Thomas Leo

    WoW’s dungeons are awful now. They were actually starting to make them fun again with the Dragon Soul instances for Cata, but then they took a step back with Pandarian dungeons.

  • Kingerz

    LFR is a lazy way to get gear, just a conveyor-belt where people can put in little effort or even completely afk. Scenarios are face-roll as well and in fact can be totally boring. Five-mans are really the last of the tank-heal-dps combo for non-raiders. You could plan gear drops and focus on certain ones and certain bosses. This alone kept me coming back and playing for weeks sometimes. I can tell you that daily quests don’t! A big mistake I think.