© Mitchel Scanlon, book cover of Call
to Arms (click here to buy)
A lot of fuss has been made this past week with blizzards announcement of the Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms. The trolls and haters have /cried and /whined along with those that may have genuine concerns over the system.
Lets examine what we have right now. Huge focus on guild play has made people run dungeons with their guildmates instead of using the Looking for Dungeon (LFD) tool. Invariably this means with tanks and healers and with people you trust to ensure a smooth run. This means that the queue times go up for players choosing to play a DPS role. To make matters worse, Blizzard made healing and tanking harder meaning that some players stopped tanking and healing at the beginning of Cataclysm (remeber Duane Hates Cata?) and those players didn’t stop playing and tell Blizzard in their “I quit because” survey “man you guys made tanking and healing too hard lolz, I quit” they respecced or rerolled DPS, further increasing the LFD queues for DPS.
to address the unacceptable queue times currently being experienced by those that queue for the DPS role at max level. The long queue times are, of course, caused by a very simple lack of representation in the Dungeon Finder by tanks, and to some extent healers.
Worthy and noble cause that. You could even argue that Blizzard are being charitable because those that are suffering the long queues are the cause of the problem because they choose to only DPS whether that be by choice of spec or class. But now is not the time to open that can of worms. The way Blizzard intend to do this is by:
offering additional rewards for queuing as the currently least represented role. To be eligible for the additional rewards you must solo queue for a random level-85 Heroic in the role that is currently being Called to Arms, and complete the dungeon by killing the final boss. Every time you hit these requirements (there is no daily limit) you’ll receive a goodie bag that will contain some gold, a chance at a rare gem, a chance at a flask/elixir (determined by spec), a good chance of receiving a non-combat pet (including cross faction pets), and a very rare chance at receiving a mount. The pets offered come from a wide variety of sources, and include companions like the Razzashi Hatchling, Cockatiel, and Tiny Sporebat, but the mounts are those specifically only available through dungeons (not raids), like the Reins of the Raven Lord from Sethekk Halls, Swift White Hawkstrider from Magister’s Terrace, and Deathcharger’s Reins from Stratholme.
Now, the rewards were what upset most people. Sure, tanks were getting a free ride and all that but would they really? Would these rewards make a guilded tank with no need for valor and justice points really queue to run with 4 non guildies just for a bag of goodies? The Reins of the Raven Lord from Sethekk Halls and the Swift White Hawkstrider from Magister’s Terrace can be solo farmed in minutes by any 85, granted only once per day. But then there was the issue of the Deathcharger’s Reins from Stratholme. Whoa! wtf Blizz!! A removed mount in a bag that only tanks and on very rare occasions healers, this made me unhappy butthen made me extremely happy. Why? I discovered that the Deathcharger’s Reins still drops in Stratholme. Now this can be farmed 5 times per hour by EVERY level 85. So the rewards are not that great after all just the flask and to be honest thats probably underpayment anyway.
Blizzard realised they had another potential PR issue on their hands (like upsetting the DPS players that pug) and have announced minor tweaks to the rewards:
The additional reward for completing the Dungeon Finder Call to Arms (called the Satchel of Exotic Mysteries) will be Bind on Account.
An error existed in the announcement regarding flasks and potions being picked based on your spec. This is not the case. If someone earns a Satchel of Exotic Mysteries, and if it rolls the random chance to provide a potion or flask, it will be a randomly selected.
Well the first is a most welcome one, I know that if it had been available for the Oculus bag all my alts would have had that Blue Drake rather than Evlyxx getting about 100 of them (OK I admit I exaggerated a bit there). As for the second point? I’m sure they realised that this would flood the market with tanking flasks and upset alchemists too.
I hope that the system achieves its goal, on the PTR it almost certainly will work but on live I’m not so sure. It won’t encourage new players who want to learn to tank as that is best done with a friend (or 4), having to learn to tank on a player that you have only DPSed with until hitting max level is a horrible experience alone. Been there on my druid in Wrath wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. The majority of well behaved people run with guildies/friends conversely the majority of “go, go, goers”, aggro whores and 1st wipe quitters solo pug.
The fix that needs to be made is the encouragement of team work rather than bribery of one of the team to play with the others. When I started playing I remember grouping a lot, not with friends but with random strangers I met while questing, some of who became friends. Sadly this is no longer the norm, because classes have become too powerful too quickly and can complete all quests solo, there are very few quests that now demand a companion and the introduction of phasing and vehicles only exaggerate this. Gevlon has a very good post on this matter, although the solution may be a bit extreme, while Tobold has a more politically correct view in his post although his solution would be more game changing and therefore harder to implement.
Do you think this will fix the problem? If not, how would you solve the issue?