My drive to raid has all but disappeared, but I'm curious.
Obviously, in raids like FLM T2C or SarumanF&F in ToO, store buffs were not a necessity, in that even if every person in the group were using all of them, the encounters still would have been nigh impossible (pre-nerf)...
But I have to wonder how raids are being balanced with all these huge buffs purchasable with real money. Or, rather, intended to be balanced (since we recently learned that they pretty much just guess as to whether or not we'll be able to complete them).
If the trend in the rest of the game is to make everything too easy to fail, and if only 10% of the population raids, what is their motivation for spending those extra development dollars to make a version of the raid that can only be beaten by 1% of the population? Sure, it will keep those few players around, but those subscriptions cannot possibly make up the cost of actually developing special challenges for raids. Do you think that they count on players who intend to complete these challenges to spend money on store buffs?
I'm not saying the challenges should not be there. I'm wondering if the buffs should be.
+5% damage, -10% incoming damage, universal potions on independent cooldowns, and now a potion that gives a morale bubble on yet another independent cooldown.
Can a raid really be created that will be difficult without buffs, and still difficult *with* them? 100+ HPS just from store pots, 300+ DPS for DPS classes, 10% less damage taken for the entire raid, not to mention all the other tiny buffs to morale, mitigations, hope, etc...
It would be one thing if raids were designed to be completed 100% without store purchases, and if they were content with people spending money to make them easier. But that doesn't seem to be the case with a few of their encounters.
If their excuse for releasing raids that have never been beaten in testing is that if they can be beaten by a pug on Bullroarer, they're too easy, why not tweak it so that it can be beaten by Bullroarer *with all the store buffs*? That way, if they are correct that Live kinships are that much more dedicated, it should be very likely that they can complete them without buffs.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on all these pay-to-win buffs. It seems like they're intentionally making specific encounters too difficult in an attempt to make people think that they'll be able to complete them with store buffs. As they say, "any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice".