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Reader Comments (50)

Posted: Apr 19th 2011 1:20PM Irem said

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The whole thing made me pretty sad. I went over to WoW.com to check out the comments on the announcement post, and while I'm sure they're not representative of the entire playerbase, they didn't paint a very good picture of the current situation with the LFD, especially since many of them were saying the same thing: people are jerks when there's no accountability and tanking is therefore not only stressful for geared and experienced tanks (who can easily find group members anyway), but incredibly offputting for players who want to learn to -be- tanks. I was surprised--and disappointed--to see people still citing the end-of-Wrath "go-go-go" speed run mentality as an issue, because I'd hoped that the more challenging dungeons would cure that pretty fast.

A much better idea would be to give people what they've been asking for in the form of an option to queue only with people on their own realm, but I think at this point it would probably take a huge chunk of the cross-server population out of play. As many people in the comments on WoW.com mentioned, all the bribery is going to do is encourage people who have no business trying to tank to queue in that role anyway (something they already do for lower queue times), and to foster ill-will between the different roles. Someone over there said something that really stuck with me: they said that they have a tank spec, tank gear, tanking experience, and they -like- to tank, but they choose not to queue as a tank, and that's something Blizzard should be taking a long look at.

Posted: Apr 19th 2011 1:27PM Irem said

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To add: This isn't the first time they've taken this route, either. Oculus was pretty well despised by the playerbase, too, and it was never retuned or revisited--they just added the chance for a rare mount to drop at the end. People ran it until they got their mounts and then promptly started leaving party if they ended up in it again.
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Posted: Apr 19th 2011 1:40PM Irem said

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*I should have said never redesigned, actually, since on reflection I think they did retune it a little when they added the mount drops. It was the mechanics people hated, though.
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Posted: Apr 19th 2011 1:54PM The Minn said

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@Irem I am new to Heroics, finally, and I am a tank. It has been highly, highly, annoying to do them. Everyone is 'go go go' when I am still learning the new types of attacks/groups/etc. I can only seem to get around to them, and be happy with them, when I do them with my guild. Otherwise...LFG really offputs me to be a tank.
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Posted: Apr 19th 2011 2:02PM Irem said

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@The Minn
I'm really sorry to hear that. :/ I remember when they said they'd be introducing more crowd control and complex fights in Cataclysm and I cheered because I figured, "Hey, people aren't going to be able to expect to zerg everything at top speed!" Bleh.
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Posted: Apr 19th 2011 3:27PM (Unverified) said

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@Irem

I'm betting the reason for the Oculus bribing was they were well into the development of Vashji and were trying to get people to enjoy the "fun and engaging" gameplay.
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Posted: Apr 19th 2011 4:55PM DarkWalker said

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@Irem
IMHO, the problem with the LFD is three fold, and most of it external to the tool itself:

- The LFD is completely dumb, and apparently by design. It will put together groups that have not a prayer of a chance to beat the heroics they are sent to, it does not take into account the specs the player have in order to see if he can fulfill the roles he selected, it completely ignores the player's gear's fitness to the roles, and it does not have any kind of skill measurement at all. This leads to a much more stressful run for everyone involved, and more so tanks and healers, who are often blamed for any failures.

- WoW has too restricted classes. If I'm playing a rogue, I'm prevented from doing anything apart from DPS (and melee DPS, at that) due to the lack of flexibility in the class. If I want to tank, I would have to level a tank class from level 1 (or from 55, in the case of the DK); thus, most players are prevented queuing in the LFD for the needed role at all, since their classes don't even have it, putting pressure into players of the classes that can fulfill the role. In contrast, in Rift not only can each class do most, if not all, roles, any player that wants to invest in flexibility can be ready to do all it's PvE roles about instantly.

- While the LFD does have a problem with the parties it assembles being as good as anonymous, given that players can't interact with the other players after the run is ended, the cross-realm nature of the LFD is not by itself the problem. The problem is that the player has no way to easily play again with other players he finds in the LFD. It puts the disadvantages of the realm segregation in a stark light, and in so doing turns potential friends into faceless anonymous players you have no chance of ever meeting again. IMHO the best way to solve the the LFD's accountability problem is not to bar cross realm contact, but to allow players that meet through the LFD to keep playing together, join the same guild, raid together, etc. There are plenty of ways this could be done - I'm partial to both GW1's single world with instanced "districts" approach and to GW2's free server transfers approach - but the plain fact is that WoW suffers from having fragmented it's player base into over half thousand realms (if you count all US, EU, and Asia servers), and thus having greatly diluted it's social potential, while games like Guild Wars and EVE manage to have a much more active social environment for it's players due to not dividing the community, even though each has but a fraction of the total number of players WoW have.
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Posted: Apr 19th 2011 6:44PM Irem said

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@DarkWalker
I agree with everything you said, with one exception:

"While the LFD does have a problem with the parties it assembles being as good as anonymous, given that players can't interact with the other players after the run is ended, the cross-realm nature of the LFD is not by itself the problem."

Most of the complaints about the system are that people are engaging in blatant asshaberdashery -during- runs, making the entire experience not worth the stress, and that -does- come back to the fact that it's cross-server. There are no consequences for bad behavior during a run. Pre-LFD, if you made a big enough moron of yourself, you could gain a reputation on your server for not being worth partying with. Now the guy who wants to swear at and insult everyone in the group, is trigger-happy on the votekick button, and/or can't be asked to wait for the tank to pull instead of trying to do it themselves just goes back to their server and keeps getting in the queue. There's always another group.
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Posted: Apr 21st 2011 2:27PM Djinn said

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@Irem "asshaberdashery" FTW! :)
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Posted: Apr 19th 2011 1:22PM fallwind said

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The problem isn't that there isn't enough loot to keep tanks interested, it is that tanking plain old isn't fun for enough of the player base. CTA is a short term bandaid that won't work in the long term, and here's why:

The situation now is that you have many tanks who don't run heroics because they a) have all the gear they need from them, b) have all the gear they need from the badges, c) don't need or want the valors, and d) find it a royal pain to do so. Adding CTA will only buy you a few months until we add "e) have all the pets they want" to the list and we are back to square one.

Adding new loot for under-represented roles will not change their under-representation in the long run. Change the mechanics to make the game fun for tanks and healers and you will find more players who honestly WANT to be there, not players who want X pet/mount and being a tank is the quickest way to reach that goal (before going back to DPSing like they originally wanted to).

~Fallwind, ex-bear druid who is now having more fun in other games.

Posted: Apr 19th 2011 1:38PM Halldorr said

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@fallwind

What games Fallwind?
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Posted: Apr 19th 2011 1:31PM (Unverified) said

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im very curious to see if this bribery really actually be effective in increasing the amount of tanks.

can anyone comment if call to arms has actually reduced dps queue times at all?

Posted: Apr 19th 2011 1:38PM Halldorr said

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@(Unverified)

It's not live yet.
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Posted: Apr 19th 2011 5:09PM PaperSpeaks said

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@(Unverified)
In PTS the situation is pretty much still the same... DPS queues are still ridiculous.
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Posted: Apr 19th 2011 1:43PM (Unverified) said

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People keep saying that the solution is to make tanking more fun.

Don't you think that if Blizzard (or the tons of other MMO devs) could make tanking more fun, they would have done it already?

I don't think there is a real problem with the tanking gameplay being 'unfun'. It is fun for a lot of people. Unfortunately, the issue lies with the significantly increased responsibilities, skill/gear requirements and social interactions that come with being a tank. That is a much harder issue for the devs to deal with.

Being a tank often means that you have to step up and take a responsible leadership position for the group. Far too many people do not want to stick their necks out and take on this role.

In addition, if a group fails and wipes, too many people are quick to blame the tank and healer. Some people can be total #$&#$&.

Posted: Apr 19th 2011 1:59PM Irem said

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@(Unverified)
Well, a good part of making tanking more fun could come through tackling those social problems. I enjoyed tanking before the cross-server LFD system. I know many other tanks who enjoyed it before, as well, who avoid it now. I loved the responsibility and I loved being in the leadership role that went along with it, because I could set the tone for the group and make it a fun, friendly experience. There's a certain kind of mentality that I think lends itself to good tanking, but you have people who will fill that role and enjoy it, as long as they're not getting treated as a personal aggro-bot. It wasn't the gear or the threat-holding mechanics or the spells and talent trees that made me shelve my tank spec when the LFD came out; it was the fact that running dungeons became a completely different experience.
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Posted: Apr 19th 2011 2:23PM Equillian said

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@(Unverified) This, completely.

Let me state first: I am a tank, no matter what game I play. I left WoW around febuary for two reasons...

1: I would stick out my neck and run a heroic. Instantly, every problem became my fault. Never the healer, and MOST CERTIANLY not the innocent dps. My solution, only run with my guild.

2: Then as we all geared I realized slowly that I'm paid for an expansion that consisted of an update to zones I'll never play and tanking mechanics that were either broken or more frustrating than they were interesting. ( Reposition or you'll all die, Reposition or you'll all die, Reposition or you'll all die, Reposition or you'll all die, Reposition or you'll all die, Reposition or you'll all die, Reposition or you'll all die... this isnt difficult, its stupid. )

I fell for Blizzard's marketting. Well not anymore as I too, am now playing 'other games',
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Posted: Apr 19th 2011 2:56PM kasapina said

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The major, major issue with the tank/healer deficiency is caused by something very obvious - people are not allowed to tank, by class design. Of course you're going to have more DPS than tanks when all of the classes can do dps, yet only 4 can tank and 4 can heal. Instead of providing incentives for people who can click the "tank" button to do so, how about giving access to said button to people who don't have it?

Back in winter 2009-2010, the last time I played WoW, I was a Rogue. I was very interested in the healer role, but in order to play that I have to abandon my main character and make a new one. Sure, I could just make an alt to experience healing with, but then I'd still have to run dungeons as the boring DPS role in order to gear up my main character. Plus, I love the Rogue quirks (stealth, vanish, squishy melee dps with poisons, etcetc), and I wasn't willing to change my main's class.

Of course, a healing rogue is pretty ridiculous. However, a tanking Rogue is a feasible lore choice - a dodging and parrying duelist is a fine concept, and the concept of evasion tanking has always been close to the rogue players' heart. Hunters, Mages and Warlocks could also use access to a second role - it just isn't right to force 4 of the 10 classes to the most overcrowded and underrated role of all. Another solution would be to cut the access to said role from other classes, although this is impossible since players would never take it well.

And that 5% extra damage that the 4 pure DPS classes are supposed to have? It's so little it's not even worth knowing about it, I have no idea what Blizzard were taking when they thought that 5% more dps equals the ability to switch between two roles. Additionally, solo PvE (bosses in particular) is a lot harder on purist DPSers, since a class like the Rogue has no self heal, unlike one that can do a healer role, and they also don't have as much survivability as they could have if they could tank in instances.

TL;DR: Don't bribe players who refuse to tank to do so. Change the class design so those who want to do it but can't unless they abandon their favorite class are able to.
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Posted: Apr 19th 2011 4:07PM DiscordSK said

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@(Unverified)
To be honest with you, of all the games I've played where I was the tank, the only time I actually had pure fun doing it was AoC. As a conq(2h swords) there was just the right ammount of viciousness involved with playing that it completely made you forget that you were tanking, in a good way.

WoW by comparison... was a paint by numbers experiance, less about brutally ripping apart groups of adds, and more about pushing buttons in order.

I realise in the end both have similar mechanics, but the difference lies in the presentation as one makes it a fun, bloody, epic experiance and the other rather stale and boring.
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Posted: Apr 19th 2011 1:58PM Budukahn said

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Frankly, I've always felt that specifically with Warcraft the problem is the constant annihilation of community in favour of convenience. First realm community was obliterated in the battlegrounds, and then dungeons followed suit.

The trouble is, the cross realm functionality has all of the bad stuff that anonymity brings, but none of the good stuff that meeting new people could bring. I met some really great folks running random dungeons back when I played but when they were on other servers like me, I couldn't ever play with them again. Meanwhile, the assholes were safe to be such without any fear of noteworthy retaliation.

Frankly, Blizzard doesn't need to reward tanks. What it needs to do is reward people who befriend one another cross realm with the ability to join one another in future dungeons and raids without having to resort to an expensive realm transfer. Preferably without requiring that I give out my log in name and real identity simply to add someone to my friends list.

But since this would impact Blizzard's love of transfer fees and turn away from their obsession with forcing face book upon it's players, I doubt that it'll happen.


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