My take on it is simple. When Blizzard took the step of merging 10- and 25-man raids to the same lockout, I was one of the few who really hated that change, and I still do. One of the reasons I hated that change was it took an option out of my hands. I don't like it when the game does that.
We've already locked out how many times you can get valor points in a week and will be capping valor in Mists. We've put 10- and 25-man raiding on a shared lockout and even put heroic and normal raiding on a shared lockout. We've already seen numerous posts from Blizzard on the role of the raid finder, and at some point I feel like we have to ask when it becomes the job of the hardcore progression raiders to police themselves. Why does the game have to lock out people who primarily use LFR and who might get the occasional pickup group or join a raiding guild for a week just to save poor, put-upon progression raiders from being bored in a raid finder group that they really didn't have to run?
Blizzard isn't our nanny. At some point, we need to take responsibility for how we consume content, not demand the game be changed to prevent us from doing so.
On the raid finder as a gateway
CM Vaneras responded to this, and part of his response is that Blizzard might very well lock raid finder and normal mode raids to the same lockout. If it happens, I'll grump about it. But here's the thing: I ran LFR maybe 10 times on my main and another four or five times on alts, and then I stopped. And despite the fact that I was in a realm-first guild at the time, no one demanded that I keep running it. I was asked to come along a few times to roll on tokens for other players gearing up, but that's not possible in Mists, so I wouldn't be doing that.
In the end, they've done all they can to make LFR absolutely unnecessary for raiders without making it absolutely useless to people who will in fact use LFR as training wheels to get into raiding later. And they've stated they like that aspect of raid finder -- and despite the fact that I've never used raid finder that way, I like that aspect of it, too.
One of the complaints lodged against raid finder here is that the weapons and trinkets off of the last two bosses were so compelling that players felt forced to run for them. Well, first off, you did that because you wanted a gear upgrade. Now you're lobbying for removing that option, which is tantamount to saying, "Sure, I could have just kept running the normal raid and possibly spent DKP or had loot council give the trinket to someone else, etc., etc., but I wanted to get another bite of the apple. Fix the universe so I can't, Blizz." I really have no sympathy here.
The idea we progression raiders have that the game should constantly alter itself for our convenience -- and never mind that guy who discovered in LFR that he likes raiding and now wants to go on a 10-man run his friend is putting together -- needs to go. Secondly, Blizzard has already said that they're not going to do that again in LFR, anyway. The trinkets and weapons off the last bosses aren't going to jump in quality even if their normal mode counterparts do. They've fixed that concern before the raid finder even goes live in Mists, so there's no reason to take away yet another option.
Three of the 10 times I ran LFR on my main were purely to cut loose and have some fun. No one forced me to be there. I showed up in my heroic DS gear and DPSed or tanked at a gear level far beyond what most players in there were ever going to attain, didn't roll on a thing, and left having had some fun.
It's completely selfish of me to want to be able to do that, but it's a selfishness that harms no one. My selfishness won't keep anyone from doing any normal raids if they've done LFR that week. My selfishness doesn't cost anyone else a chance to get an upgrade that could help them progress. My selfishness doesn't turn to Blizzard to fix the world because I don't feel like I can make my own decisions on what raid to run. It doesn't take away options or reduce what I can do or not do.
One solution I never see suggested is this: Why not have gear lockouts from normal/heroic raids lock you out of gear in LFR? If you got gear that week, you can still go to LFR, but you won't get any drops. Similarly, if you ran the raid finder and were present for a boss kill, you can't get any gear in a normal mode raid, but you can still go. I don't really like that idea either, because it still penalizes that woman or man who decided to go to a rare pickup raid or to try out raiding with his guild after running LFR, and I'd rather this only prevent the progression raiders who seem to feel they can't make their own choices from getting gear, not the raid finder people who may only get one or two shots at gear from a raid at all. But it's still a better option than a complete shared lockout.
In the end, I really can't feel all that bad for the poor, put-upon progression raider who gets access to the best gear, mounts, and titles -- especially from my vantage point as the Savior of Azeroth with the best gear and from the back of my Twilight Harbinger, which I barely even ride because it looks like my Life-Binder's Handmaiden. I really can't see why people who might discover raiding via LFR and want to do more of it should be inconvenienced by our desire to do less of it.
Yes, there's pressure to gear up faster, get set bonuses. I'm aware of that pressure; I even partook in it by running LFR to get my tank set. And I'm glad it was an option. It allowed us to kill Spine faster, and I see nothing to complain about here. The raid finder, for all its flaws, helps the game, and I don't see any need to make it any more restrictive.
It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!