Azuriel has a post up highlighting the stated intention of Blizzard’s devs not to produce any more 5-man dungeons for the current expansion. So we’re to stick with Scenarios and LFR as the new group content pre-raiding for the upcoming patches
This decision seems a continuation of the ‘random-grouping is king’ philosophy of Blizzards these days. The gearing argument mentioned in Azuriel’s post is true enough. if you can get your valor point gear from tankless Scenarios, why bother running 5-mans where the LFD queue time is much longer? That’s the big problem I have with Blizzard’s apparent vision of the game. I don’t want to pug stuff in WoW, the community is just way too awful. It’s bad enough in the densely packed daily questing zones where players are fighting over one another for pulls and quest items. If you’ve played GW2 much you have probably seen MMOs don’t have to be like this.
The issue with not producing 5-mans is that they were good content for smaller guilds to play together if you didn’t care for raiding. They were also a great learning environment for leveling a new class or role. Sure, running Scenarios is one alternative but what if you want to actually play a tanking character or a healer? In response to the obvious suggestion of running LFR together as an alternative, I’d say as an activity to do just to play with friends it’s far from ideal. I certainly wouldn’t want to try to learn tanking or healing at end-game (it’s generally ‘faceroll’ easy before that since the gear scaling is so bad now) in LFR!
Given that so many WoW players seem obsessed with ‘gogo’ gameplay the crowd will probably flock away from the existing dungeons towards scenarios and then LFR as the route to end-game. It makes sense given the long-standing problems with LFD and waiting for tanks. Despite that logical understanding I always find Blizzard’s approach to these issues to be far too cold-hearted, they just want us to play their way and be good little random group players together. It’s not my idea of MMO gameplay at all.