Ghostcrawler Gave Me A pony

Posted: 8 April, 2011 in Dungeons, Tanking

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock these last few days, Blizzard announced a new feature in the next patch:  Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms.  To sum up, Dungeon Finder will now be checking to see which roles are most under-represented and offering a Call To Arms quest to any0ne willing to queue for a random in that role.  At the completion of the instance, i.e. final boss kill, the person answering the call to arms and queuing in that role will get a goodie bag, similar to the Bag of Useful Goods you get for queuing for a low level dungeon.  This bag will contain gold, a chance at a rare gem, a chance at a flask or elixir, a good chance of a rare non-combat pet (including cross-faction pets) and a rare chance of receiving a mount.  This includes mounts like Reins of the Raven Lord, a mount that you normally get from running Heroic Sethekk Halls every day for two years.  Or don’t get.

Or in other words, “Pretty please tanks, come join the random dungeon queues, we’ll even give you a pony!”

This one’s opened a can of worms the size of Nebraska.  The problem that Blizzard are trying to address here is the ridiculous queue times for dps, which is caused by the lack of tanks in the dungeon system.  So what causes a lack of tanks?  Well, three main reasons.

1.  At entry level gear standards it’s a thankless job that requires a lot of skill, knowledge of boss mechanics and patience, and is rarely worth the effort to reward ratio.

2.  Once your tank has all the gear they need from Justice/Valor points there’s zero incentive for them to ever run a heroic again.

3.  Loot whores who can queue as tanks, but are scared of the responsibility, so they queue as dps or healers and then roll need on the tank gear.

Blizzards’ Call to Arms offers a partial solution to Problem #2, and no solutions whatsoever to Problems #1 and #3.  Let’s say you’re one of the tanks who falls into the overgeared category.  Is this going to encourage you to submit to the Random Dungeon Lottery and risk getting Grim Batol with a group of mouth-breathers again?  Possibly.  I’d hazard a guess that any tank in this category might only persuaded to queue for a random again if they’re not already reputation capped and can’t get a group from within their guilds.  So, time for an experiment.  Hands up any tank who’s covered in raid gear and Tier 11 and doesn’t have a full guild group ready to go within 10 seconds any time they say “Anyone fancy a heroic?” in guildchat…


No, I thought not.  Okay, question time.  If you’re dripping in ilvl 359 or better tanking gear and you don’t already have the Swift White Hawkstrider or the Reins of the Raven Lord, which is the least painless and fastest way of getting them?  Is it…

1.  Submit to the Looking For Moron system and take a lottery ticket that in no way guarantees you’ll get a group that’s even capable of completing the instance, for the slim chance that your goodie bag might drop a mount?

2.  Run over to Sethekk Halls or Magisters Terrace and run from the start to the required boss in about eight minutes and kill them in about 10 seconds for the slim chance that they might drop the mount you’re after?

Yeah, not too tough a question when you put it like that, is it?

What this system will do, is boost the number of idiots queuing as tanks.  The window-lickers who queue in pvp gear as tanks to get instant queues and then act surprised and say “But I’m dps” when the group asks them to get on with it and pull the first trash pack.  The keyboard-turners who wander into heroics with intellect shields and spellpower mail because it has more stamina than the greens they were using before.

Congratulations, Blizzard.  You just encouraged Wilbur to queue as a tank.

Courtesy of the ever-reliable Daily Blink

  1. Klepsacovic says:

    If 1 and 2 aren’t exclusive, someone might do both if they’re sufficiently mount-obsessed. On the other hand, I’m not sure I’d want to play with someone who is only there to get a chance at a mount at the end. Over the long term that player is going to do one of two things:
    1) Get the mount and stop tanking.
    2) Not get the mount and be increasingly frustrated and angry at everything and everyone.

  2. Calli says:

    I’m a fan of one of the comments posted as a reply to “Woot! Bribery!” at Tobolds, linked above. It went something like “Make tanking fun and tanks will queue. Make tanking profitable and tanks will queue until they no longer need the profit.” Is a slim chance of a rare mount at the end of a potentially frustrating and almost certainly expensive and time consuming dungeon, fun? Doubtful. Is it even profitable? Depends entirely on how big your repair bill is, and considering you’re queuing with people who couldn’t get a group from within their guilds… ouch.

    Of course there are other ways of measuring “profitable”. If you’re in it for reputation it stops being profitable as soon as you reach exalted with whichever faction you can’t grind dailies for. If you’re in it for Justice/Valor points it stops being profitable the second you gain your last gear upgrade. If your sparkle pony hasn’t dropped from your goody bag by then, you’re unlikely to care enough about it to go back into LFD and give it another try.

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