Blizzard revealed their pan to fix the LFD queue problem using a bit of social engineering. I won’t go into detail. I’m sure that everyone who reads WoW blogs has already heard about it at length.
First – my feelings…
Everyone’s first reaction was that dps classes would be really upset about this. I honestly haven’t heard a single person complain about it. (well, on the official forums there are complaints, but I don’t give any credibility to most of what is in that cesspool)
I am fine with this. If it works, then I get a reward – faster queue times. Now, I’m not a big pet and mount collector so the rewards don’t hold tremendous appeal to me. Flasks are nice. Gems are nice. I don’t feel like I’m missing much by not getting any goody bags.
Next, my predictions…
This may work temporarily. I’m sure that there are some DKs, warriors, druids and paladins out there that only queue as dps or heals, but might consider queueing as a tank for the reward.
I don’t think it will last long, though. I don’t think that this system is going to influence the experienced, full-time tanks. My impression is that its aimed at those who could tank, but don’t because they are intimidated by the requirements of tanking. The rewards, while somewhat appealing, are not sufficient to make tanks want to withstand the trials of tanking pug groups.
I speak as someone who has a tank toon, but refuses to tank pugs. This won’t make me change my mind. Dealing with the snarky comments of overly-entitled dps is more than I can deal with for my $15 a month. I hate marking targets, and I double-extra-hate when people try to puff up their own leet skills by boasting that CC is for losers. I hate having to taunt off of dps that won’t follow a kill order. So for me, this is not going to have an impact.
So, for a while this might make a small uptick in the number of tanks in the system. As they burn out from the abuse, they will realize that the rewards are not worth it and stop queueing again.
What to do…
Its worth giving this system a try to see how it works. Maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Big Bear Butt suggest that the rewards should be more substantial. I disagree with that. Right now, the rewards are just enough to be a slight enticement without creating friction or overt jealousy. If they gave out the Spectral Tiger mount, as he suggests, then as a dps I would be pretty ticked off.
I think that the only way to get tanks to queue is to either make tanking easier or give the tanks some additional power in the group.
By making tanking easier I mean either going back to the infinite AoE threat model of Wrath (which I don’t want) or make the marking of targets easier or automatic somehow. I don’t think that this is a good solution.
They can give tanks more power by giving their vote double-weight to kick someone. If the tank marks targets and a dps ignores the kill order, then it only takes the tank and one other player to vote the bad player out. Yes, that could be abused, but I think it would mollify a lot of the complaints that tanks have about inept dps.
Possibly the best thing I can envision is a rating system for pugs. We see many online communities, including Blizzard’s own forums, where people can upvote or downvote forum posts to weed out the crap and highlight the good. Imagine at the end of each pug you could give any of the players an upvote or downvote. Over time players would accumulate a rating from their peers. If a system like this were implemented somehow in the game, so that bad players had longer queue times or that no more than one bad player ended up in a group, then I think the pug system could be improved.