Despite all the reasons that people have brought up about why Life Grip is bad, a lowbie dungeon run last night makes me want it more than anything else in the world.
To help beginners across the STUPID LEDGES IN VANILLA DUNGEONS.
(Not my group - image from WoW.com)
I imagine there is nothing more frustrating and embarrassing than watching the rest of your party effortlessly leap across the broken ledges in Blackfathom Deeps, only to botch the jump and fall into the water repeatedly. Especially if this happens not just once or twice, but like...6 times. And that's just a quick 10 second swim back to try again...let's not even talk about the horrible trek that accompanies missing the jump in Wailing Caverns.
As a veteran player missing the jump? It's kinda funny and a little annoying. But for a new player who is tentatively trying dungeons for the first time, and is super scared of messing up? (and who wasn't?) I would be absolutely mortified.
This is exactly what happened to us in a BFD run last night, and while the group was as kind as can possibly be - chuckling about how we hate that jump, or killing a nearby crab to pass the time - I'm sure the poor human warlock, who was definitely a fairly new player, was getting frustrated.
Mechanical, arbitrary failures like this are extra annoying because there is nothing the rest of the group can do to help. Oh sure, we can offer encouragement, give tips and friendly advice, but when it comes to actually making the jump we are powerless. It would be like going to the bank and having to juggle torches before being allowed to speak to the teller, while others waited impatiently behind you.
Another reason these jumping moments suck is because as we all know, random people are not always kind. I was fortunate that my group was friendly and sympathetic, but we've all been in impatient groups where even a single delay is enough to start the verbal abuse. Just what a new player struggling with the jump needs - MORE STRESS. Anxiety and nervous breakdown, here we come!
These dungeon jumping obstacles are exceptionally poor game design, when you think about it. If I was out leveling by myself and fell down an unnoticed gap, I would chuckle and shake my e-fist at Blizzard good-naturedly for getting me. Then I'd retrace my steps and try again.
But placing these obstacles in dungeons is just stupid. It's one thing to have to try a jump multiple times when you're just out questing by yourself. That's fine, you can practice your timing and jumping at your leisure, in a stress-free environment. It's quite different to be put on the spot, knowing you're holding up four other people and stressing out because you're making everyone wait and because you can't make THIS STUPID JUMP OMG WAAAAAH! D: D:
Also, what is the benefit? Is there any reason at all why those gaps exist? Because in my eye, they serve no purpose except to destroy groups and demoralize new players. I don't get it.
If we need to learn how to jump accurately* then let us practice it on our own, when our failures only affect us and not four other people who are probably strangers. Or let the jump be just one of multiple paths, so that those not confident in their jumping abilities (or with, I don't know, HIGH LATENCY) can simply take a longer, but safer, route.
*The only WotLK jumping example I can think of is leaping to Thaddius' platform in Naxxramas. While I think this jump is just as annoying and unnecessary as the early dungeon ones, at least it will only be attempted by experienced players (though many still fail at it, which at best is aggravating, and at worst is a full 10/25 person wipe. So stupid.)
Blizzard, I don't mind seeing a group start squabbling or disbanding after a wipe or if we can't overcome some difficult pulls. I can also understand people dropping after not being able to make their way back from the graveyard (which is another matter entirely.) But seeing a group slam to a halt, falter, and start getting tense because one poor person can't jump from one rock to another is just absurd.
If I wanted platforming puzzles I would play console games. Get rid of the stupid gaps.
NOTE: During the run last night I thought there might be an alternate route, but since I hadn't been in BFD in months, I had no idea if this was true or where it was. I looked around but didn't see one. Turns out there IS an alternate path, but you need the tank to take it as there is an enemy in the way.