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?