The long awaited Fortress Siege, Cracking Xarth’s Skull, awaits the Ascended, along with the new Looking for Raid (LFR) feature. Challenge this new gameplay style for the very first time in Telara!
CRACKING XARTH’S SKULL
This is the moment we’ve been waiting for! After several weeks on the Public Test shard, Cracking Xarth’s Skull is ready for prime time. It is estimated that the Fortress Siege zone event will initiate every four hours. If the Ascended are successful in beating it, a raid will then open, via the new Looking for Raid system!
From our October introduction to the Fortress Siege:
A sole warrior may wish to face challenges around the exterior walls of the fortress, picking off less protected foes, a vital task to support those further in.
Further feats of valor are within the grasp of a group of Ascended, as they penetrate deeper into the concentric rings of fortifications, facing lieutenants with their squadrons.
With enough skilled veterans on hand, it may even be possible to wrest control of powerful siege weaponry to blast down the inner gates themselves!
Listen for the call to battle that will sound at times of direst need. This signals a far more intense and challenging fight!
There’s a lot more to read up on for the Fortress Siege: See the full article here!
LOOKING FOR RAID
We’re serving up this Siege with another brand new feature, Looking for Raid. LFR is bound to [control + i] by default; similar to the LFG keyboard default of [i].
LFR ties in with our new Individual Loot system, so that you no longer have to compete with others for coveted drops for your build. This game feature, at its core, is a priority-based queue system based on raid karma. Like LFG, LFR will respect your ignore list.
What is raid karma? Raid karma is a value that lives on each character that is constantly reduced over time. The more LFR raids you successfully complete, the higher your raid karma will be. This will result in having a higher priority over other players when queuing for LFR.
How do you gain raid karma? After the raid ends, all players anonymously vote on their fellow raid members, which results in positive or negative change for raid karma. Voting is entirely optional! Being vote kicked or leaving the raid early also effects raid karma, to address players who bail out early or affect other raid members so adversely that they get kicked out. The end goal is a much more positive experience for everyone.
You can join LFR as a solo player, as a partial group, or as a full raid.
When you queue for LFR you can select whether to queue as a leader or not, if you select this, the system will try to put you as the leader of a group of people without anyone who selected to queue as a leader. If it cannot find another group that doesn’t have a leader within a certain period of time it will pick one of the group members to become the leader.
Raid bosses are locked behind a “ready check” that the leader can either initiate or skip.
If initiated, the ready check needs to pass before the encounter. You can see who is playing what role, and also select a recommended preset if you do not have the correct spec for a fight.
The LFR will note if the players in the queue have a role combination that makes it impossible to complete. For example, if a boss in the raid requires two tanks, but you have three people queuing as tank only, there is no way you can meet the required roles. Therefore, it will not let you queue unless the roles are adjusted.
Another way the matchmaking is different from LFG is that LFR has a specific set of roles that must be met on a per-boss basis, as opposed to LFG which just always requires a static set of roles. LFR checks your raid composition against every boss’ role requirements, so if one boss in the raid requires a certain composition and the next boss requires a different one, and so on, it will ensure that the people it forms your raid with will always be able to meet some sort of valid role distribution for every boss in that raid.
When you enter LFR, you might notice a few differences as a group made through LFR is very different internally than one made through other means. First of all, you cannot change raid leaders while inside or invite people – you can only add new members through the LFR system. If you walk into the portal, you can invite as normal and none of the designer scripting for LFR will be there.
The raid leader is designated for the entire raid unless they leave or are vote kicked. It is the raid leader’s responsibility to initiate the actual bosses themselves, as these encounters are locked until certain criteria is met. There is a NPC in front of every boss in LFR. The leader will talk to them and is offered two options: initiate a ready check, or skip the ready check and fight the boss. If you skip the ready check the boss simply activates and you can fight it. If you decide to do a ready check, a boss window opens which explains the boss mechanics and gives you the option to choose a preset of what you queued for, which will assign you a new toolbar and spec. It does not overwrite your old spec – you can switch back at any time. At the bottom of the window there is a ready button. When pressed, your name and role for that boss will appear to everyone else to show you are ready. Once the entire raid is ready, the boss will unlock. You only have to perform this once per boss.
While you are at the boss, you can press [control + i] again to see the boss window and mechanics again. If you want to open the actual LFR window itself, you have to manually go to the toolbar and click on [Activities -> Looking For Raid].
One of the new concepts of LFR is the idea of “temporary raids.” This was designed specifically for the Fortress Siege, but is expandable for future use. In the case of the Fortress Siege, the zone event must be successfully completed to unlock LFR for the associated raid, for a limited amount of time. When this happens, a countdown timer appears in the LFR window. When the timer reaches zero, the raid will disappear from LFR. At this point in time anyone in the queue will be informed that they are removed from it, and players still inside the raid can continue on.
We are eagerly await further feedback on the revolutionary LFR system – get in there and try it out!
Kerilar and RoughRaptors were on the Jan 6th Livestream to talk about both the Fortress Siege and Looking For Raid. Check out the replay here!