I gutted Lei Shen last week, as soon as the LFR instance was available. I was also gutted. Like killing the Sha of Fear in 5.1, Lei Shen's death did not seem the act of a band of heroes. It was not epic. A few months ago, I'd never even heard of Lei Shen or the Sha of Fear. They don't have any resonance in lore. But I don't think that even if they had, it would have been satisfying. Probably the opposite, because there was no epic quality to it. LFR has let us participate in raids that we would perhaps not have seen for some time; but it can't let us participate in the epic experience. Our guild's first kill of the Stone Guard in the Mogu'shan Vaults normal had more of a heroic feel to it. Certainly our kill of Jan-Xi and Qin-Xi was epic. But not as epic as it would have been if we hadn't all killed them several times in LFR beforehand.
I'm not sure what to say, here. We, individually, can't build the epic quality by simply not doing the LFR version, for two reasons: we need the gear, and we need the sigils/secrets of the empire. I suppose an alternative route to getting the gear is to get the Valor Points and buy Shado-Pan Assault gear with them. But you still need to kill bosses in the Throne of Thunder to get the rep to spend them. The only boss I've been able to kill on normal so far is Jin'rokh. In previous expeditions, we used heroic dungeon gear to equip us for raiding, but that isn't feasible currently. Geared only in dungeon gear, you wouldn't even get into the LFR vesion of the Throne of Thunder. If you went into the normal version, you would know what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Thunder God's Palace that day, I can tell you.
Saving Ra-Den as a special boss for heroic raids only was a good idea. I can see that building excitement in a raid team. Getting close to him, then wiping on him, then finally getting him down. A boss you'd never encountered before. I like that idea. Unfortunately, most raid teams won't get heroic Ra-Den down while he is still current. For mid-level raid teams like ours, who will be happy even to complete Normal (we're still not on tier 14), it would be nice if blizzard could throw us a bone, and produce a boss that is encountered in Normal, but not in LFR. A final boss for Normal, who would also be a penultimate boss for Heroic.
5 features I’m glad we no longer suffer in LOTRO - Time marches on, and with it, progress. Sure, we can get cynical in MMOs and say that everything’s gone downhill since “the good ol’ days,” but past that ...
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