Last week when Blizzard announced more upcoming changes on the PTR for patch 4.0.6, one of them was a change in the definition of a guild group.
- If 3 out of 5 players in a group are members of the same guild, they will now be able to complete guild achievements and earn guild experience at 50% of the normal rate.
- If 4 out of 5 players in a group are members of the same guild, they will now be able to complete guild achievements and earn guild experience at 100% of the normal rate.
- If 5 out of 5 players in a group are members of the same guild, they will now be able to complete guild achievements and earn guild experience at 125% of the normal rate.
- Also note that Heroic dungeons offer a 1.5x multiplier on all guild experience earned.
I thought that was an interesting change.
Then I was puzzled by the reaction from a writer at WoWInsider…
This is all well and good, but if more guilds are running dungeon groups, this means less people using the dungeon finder and longer queue times for those who have to wait.
I thought that was an odd consideration. Then I read the comments on that post and most were in agreement. In fact, the majority of commenters seemed to think that Blizzard should be somehow fixing the LFD system to reduce the queue times.
All around the blogosphere, voices started complaining about the LFD system – mostly about the lack of tanks and healers in LFD, and how its a shame that the LFD has long queues. A lot of people seem to think that this is a problem for Blizzard to solve.
I know I’ll take some flak for this, but I disagree.
Since the LFD system was introduced, it almost seems like its taken over the game. When people decide to run an instance, often their first instinct is to queue in LFD rather than asking in their guild. I wonder how many of the players do most of their instance runs through LFD?
In my opinion, that’s not really the way the game is structured. When I look around Stormwind, I see that almost everyone has a guild tag under their name. Why aren’t they running in their guilds? What exactly is the point of being in a guild if not to do things with them?
My vision of the game is that most groups should be guild groups, and that pugs of randomly grouped people should be a last resort if you can’t get into a guild group. For that reason, I don’t really think that the LFD system needs to be changed. In fact, the difficulty of heroics really promotes the effectiveness of guild grouping.
Guilds are one of the hallmarks of MMOs. In Everquest, being guilded was all but mandatory. In vanilla WoW you almost had to be guilded to run instances or raids. In BC there were more pugs but they were hard to put together in the trade channel. Guild groups have far outweighed random grouping through all the years of WoW. Has the LFD channel improved the game? In Wrath it certainly made it easier and faster, but then again I think that the speed and easiness of Wrath has nearly destroyed WoW.
The more the game de-emphasizes guilds, the weaker it becomes. As a single player game, WoW is just OK. As a multiplayer game its enormous fun.
Also, I don’t think that there is a shortage of healers and tanks. I think that there is a shortage of healers in tanks in the LFD system. Players who have healing/tanking off-specs won’t use them in LFD out of fear of being berated or insulted. That’s a reflection on the people in LFD system, not on Blizzard.
For those who have continued to persist in frustrating themselves with long queues and bad pugs.. why haven’t you run with more guild groups? Small guild? No one in your guild will tank?