This is regards to LFR as I discuss the difference between LFR in Dragon Soul and MoP Raids. I think a lot of people have a very sour memory with the Dragon Soul LFR (and probably normal mode as well) on the basis of how either it was too boring or the last two fights being epic disappointments. In my experience, I only hated Ultraxion and Madness of Deathwing because of the ninja drops/pulls that would prolong those encounters unnecessarily long.
However, today as I was watching a video on the Enhancement Shaman, one thing stood out to me when I recollected playing my toon in Dragon Soul was how healing was a major issue compared to now. On both the Ultraxion and Madness fights, I often found myself dropping quite a bit of healing rains and chain heals while topping DPS charts in LFR. Obviously, my job wasn’t to heal but healers either struggled or (more often than not) would drop out at some point.
Right now, I feel that I’ve never seen a need for raid healing, at least while on Paladin nor Hunter. Meaning that the encounters never were so healing intensive that things would get out of hand and require me to add something. Sometimes I’ll heal myself, but those cases are more emergencies where I get aggro or become dangerously low on health. Most of the encounters these days I feel are pretty well tuned overall at the LFR level. So I think if I were to gear my shaman and have him enter LFR, he wouldn’t need to drop healing spells as I had done before.
I think one benefit of the current expansion is that there’s more ways to avoid damage by simply paying attention to mechanics. Sure, you don’t always have the easiest mechanics (I still hate Will of the Emperor on a melee), but you’re less tied to the overall output compared to just handling the mechanics of a fight compared to Dragon Soul. For instance, take Madness of Deathwing. If you did not have the DPS nor healing, you could easily get crushed by the end of the fight especially with things like Blistering Tentacles on the 4th platform. Will of the Emperor can get tight as a race too but you have ways to compensate such as being able to avoid their Deadly Combos and gaining a one shot 500k dps increase ability. In that sense, I like the design much better these days.
Of course, the team had the time to review what went wrong with Dragon Soul since it was their first time providing a more casual raiding environment. But I see far less of the headaches issues right now compared to Dragon Soul. Also, not as much griefing. The worst part about Dragon Soul wasn’t the encounters but the griefing for myself. You still see stupid players doing stupid things, but overall you can clear encounters pretty quickly without worry of someone starting an encounter when the party is unprepared and dropping group. An example where this could occur is The Spirit Kings. At first, I’d see that on occasion. Now, if someone were to start the encounter, they pretty much will get one shotted (which is funny, especially when you see an over eager tank pull without the group helping to soak the incoming damage).
The encounters mostly are more interesting and you can have a wide range of mechanics. They aren’t too horrible where a death nor missing out on a strategy guarantee a raid wipe. Usually, you just have to deal with 1-2 major mechanics so they’re a good training ground for the most part at least to familiarize one with the environment and major mechanics, especially if they plan to hit normal modes.
Can they do more to improve the system? From an overall mechanics point of view, I think it’s fine for now. Obviously, the looting system might be due for more intelligence and it would be nice to be able to trade people loot. Also, I’d like to be able to queue for a specific encounter, specially if I had dropped out for one reason or another. But fight-wise, it’s okay I guess.