Friday, April 8, 2011

If I pay you $1M, can you do quantum physics?

Once upon a time there was a terribly messed up game feature called Tol Barad. Unless your team was organized and good (which is a long shot in a feature where anyone can join), you had no chance on attack.

Believing that it's merely motivational issue, Blizzard offered 1800!!! honor for assault win. The result: blatant win-trading, no one tried to defend as losing on defense meant chance to win on assault next battle. They abolished this nonsense after a week (while everyone went honorcapped and full PvP geared).

I thought they learned from it. People can be motivated to do things they are able to, but don't want to. You can motivate them with rewards to go Tol Barad for example. But if the task is too hard for them, motivation can't help. It can only cause frustration or cheating attempts.

And here they come again they offer a bag of goodies for tanks to queue up on dungeon finder. Let's ignore the part where you only get it if you queue solo, so abandoning your guild and boosting LFD trash, as it's irrelevant for the big picture. They are right to assume that for the rewards people who did not tank LFD will try.

But where are these tanks now? I mean where is the "unmotivated tank" who will be motivated by this change? If he wanted to tank, he already did. He had instant queue! I can only imagine that some already geared raiders who stopped doing LFD completely will return. Great, that's 2-3 new tanks /realm. That will fix it.

The lack of tanks is not a motivational issue. People don't choose to not tank because it's "more responsibility" or "less fun". We rarely had tank issues in the guild and I've never heard of tanks who said "tanking raids is not fun". We have inability issues, as we have many people who are way too bad to tank an instance. They are too bad to DPS either, but as there are 2 others, there is a nonzero chance that they can carry him. These people can't tank, no matter what rewards you offer them.

The situation has a real-world version: underemployment and unemployment at the same time. There are lot of engineer, IT-specialist and medical doctor posts open. They have great salary offers. In the same time millions are unemployed. Why don't they take these well-paying jobs? Because they are unqualified, uneducated and often drunkards. If we would increase the salaries of IT specialists, could the no-high-school guy take it?

How could Blizzard solve this problem?
Unemployment is part of the market, it can't be "fixed". You can't fix gravity despite it kills people who fall down from buildings. There isn't any short-term solution. There could be a long-term one: education. Somehow teach these players how to play. The problem is that they believe that they are already awesome and just need some gear.

By the way, there are solutions that could work. Sven in a comment on Tobold's has a wonderful idea: new tanking spells!
"Hold idiot" instant cast, doesn't activate GCD, last until canceled: freezes a party member in place, making him unable to attack or move while the healer is getting mana or the fight is explained.
"Taunt retard" instant cast, doesn't activate GCD, last until target dies: places a debuff on a targeted enemy, forcing all party damage dealers to target him and render them unable to use multi-target spells.

My idea: give tanks an instant, no-CD party kick. He can initiate kick any time and if just one party member agrees, the guy is kicked.

Oh wait, both mine and Sven's idea would defeat the purpose of the change: to somehow let the M&S complete a dungeon without being forced to do any effort.

Zac found this wonderful specimen who joined to their BoT run:


Anonymous said...

Actually, this idea might have some merit, if it comes with unlimited votekicks for the whole party, and none of that you must 15 mins to kick.

Of course, Blizzard could also rebalance low level dungeon such as they actually teach you anything before lev85.

Meh. I really don't care anymore.

Foo said...

I would rather ask a completely inexperienced tank to a raid than ask them to PUG alone in the dungeon finder.

Tanking raid bosses is significantly easier than tanking DPS.

DPS need to learn - that especially in 5 man dungeons that the tank has two required jobs
* Keep agro of the healer
* stay alive

DPS can help with keeping the tank alive by using crowd control and interupts.

A tank that is capable of holding agro off DPS is a nice bonus but is not required to complete a run.

Of course, I am assuming that everyone in the group is marginally competant, and isn't more concerned with topping DPS charts than completing an instance.

blogposter said...

Reason for the good-tank shortage that basically cannot be fixed as long as people like 25 man raids:

In a 5 man heroic, you need 1 tank. Optimal tank % of population for heroics is 20%.

For 25 man raids, you need on average 2 tanks per encounter (maybe 2.5?). Optimal tank % is 8% (10%?).

Good player care about getting raid slots, and the market stabilizes so that of good players, around 10% are tanks. Even considering preferences for how tanking plays vs. healing vs. dps, the market trends towards this bias.

So at the heroic level, you need 8-12% good tanks, and soon they won't be used anyways.

Even MS are generally aware of this. They know tanking is hard, and that it is hard to get raidspot as a tank. So MS don't want to bother to be a tank because if fail because of them they feel bad... even if they are average tank, they still probably won't get a raidspot since the GM is tank etc.

Until more tanks are needed in raids, there is going to be a shortage of tanks in heroics.

Sum said...

"But where are these tanks now? I mean where is the "unmotivated tank" who will be motivated by this change? If he wanted to tank, he already did. He had instant queue! I can only imagine that some already geared raiders who stopped doing LFD completely will return."

I hope you're right there... I'm very, very afraid that all the idiot dps DK's who can't find mind freeze on their actionbars for Corla will now be idiot tank DK's who can't find anything, definetely not CD's or taunts.... And same for other plate class idiots.

I'm predicting we will in fact get more tanks but that they will be absolutely terrible.

I also don't like the way Blizz is now in effect punishing tanks for running with their guildies - take alog even one friend and you won't get the rewards. Nice.

Squishalot said...

Gevlon, would you work overtime if people were going to pay you 50% more than you would earn otherwise?

The amount of reward required to get off one's arse and tank more is a variable amount. As the reward increases, due to the nature of supply economics, the amount of tanks active will increase.

The reason that it doesn't work at the moment is because there is no market rate for the supply/demand economy to work, using LFD. The reward for tanking was artificially lower than what the market rate would demand.

By increasing the reward, you increase the number of tanks in the marketplace, with no change in supply. Basic economics.

Kreeegor said...

Sorry if this is a double post but blogger gave some error on first try.

Stupid idea is stupid. And blizzard choose the worst of both worlds - the bribe this time is pathetic. So they say - hey I think that you are so cheap hookers I can buy you with mounts you can get anyway with a little persistence.

The structural problem with heroics is trash - trash is just not tuned for LFD gameplay, it is painful grinding experience start drink stop start drink stop. So even mediocre tanks prefer not to run with outside people but with guild only runs. If you want tanks in lfd - just return the trash to its wrath warm up aoe blast status, or just reduce it fourfold.

Anecdotal evidence - when my last guild people learned to tank for offspec in the heroics - no one had problem on bosses but they hated trash.

But this will require admission of blizzard that they actually screwed with their oh so prized design philosophy this time. Or they are completely tangled and cannot identify the underlying issues and give proper solutions. But their track record with pvp/Tol Barad and now this suggest helplessness.

And for unemployment

here is interesting Paul Krugman post.

Anonymous said...

What's going to be more amusing is when blue geared tanks and healers zone into dungeons with 353 "lol im awesome coz i have full epicz and u dont" M&S and the tank or healer gets a mount at the end.

More amusing will be when the said tank or healer says "Damn it, not this one again." What are the M&S going to say then?

Gevlon said...

@Squishalot: This is not simply "overtime work". You can get your valor points with a full guild group.

In a second heroic, there are no valor points, and no guildies either. The latter has both real and social cost. There are no "friends" to play with nor competent people. The rewards should offset this.

The rewards are pathetic. Some gold and flask (that can be bought by gold). A dungeon with LFD filth can take an hour, but you can make 4-500G by any kind of farming. So anything below 500G is bad reward. The pets and mounts are worthless and motivate only arthasdklol.

Squishalot said...

@ Gevlon: Until we know precisely what the rewards will be (for now, we only know in principle) and put a value on it, the only 'pathetic' thing to do is to pass judgement on its incentive value before it's made live.

Gevlon said...

@Squishalot: They already declared that there won't be epics or valor point inside. Everything else is either buyable, so have definite gold value (like flask, gem) or vanity. Unless it worth 500G, it's better to go farm herbs.

Squishalot said...

Gevlon: "Everything else is either buyable, so have definite gold value (like flask, gem) or vanity."

And this is precisely my point. You don't know what the value of what will be inside. Because you don't know, you cannot pass any judgement on whether it represents good value or not.

Consider the 'market price' of tanks on trade chat on most realms. What are people willing to pay for a tank?

By implementing this into LFD, Blizzard are simply opening it up to all tanks, not just those who are arrogant to demand a price. They're formalising an existing market arrangement and in so doing, making it more accessible to those tanks who didn't want the responsibility of accepting someone else's money and the implicit service guarantee associated with it.

zenga said...

They basically want tanks who are currently running hc's with guildies to queue up solo. Reasoning behind it is shorten the queue times for dps. But hold on ... those guildies who used to queue up with the tank now also have to use the lfd queue.

Assume a dungeon queue with 5 tanks, 40 dps and 10 healers. Meanwhile there are 3 premade guild groups running a HC. With the new system:
5+5 tanks, 40-15 dps and 10-5 healers. But wait ... +15 dps and and +5 healers are added now to the queue from the former guild group.

There only chance is that either more people start tanking on alts or that the existing tanks do overtime.

Sometimes one wonders what skills you need to have to be employed by blizzard.

Tanyia said...

Let me quote Wowhead for you: '... will we just end up with healers who can't heal (or won't heal) and tanks who don't have tanking gear'.
Actually tanking is quite fun, I rarely fall asleep, while I tank, which happens pretty often when I go dps. If you think tanking is hard to learn, you've got 2 options: Either roll a new char and start tanking from the beginning, gradually improving and adding new abilities, or go do some normal dungeons. Yeah, I know the former takes much time, this is why I went with option b). Same applies to healing, in my opinion. This bribe is horrible idea, idiots will remain idiots, no matter how much do you bribe them and I tank on my realm anyway.

Gevlon said...

@Zenga: in that point you are wrong. Currently there are "guilded DD" who has instant queue with their tank and "LFD-DD" who waits 2 hours.

After the change every DD will wait 1 hour.

Zazkadin said...

There shouldn't need to be a shortage of tanks if every class who has a tank spec were dual specced. I have been in so many groups with a DK, a paladin, a druid and a warrior and when the tank leaves/is kicked, they all wait patiently for three minutes for a new tank to join instead of switching to a tank spec themselves.

OTOH, if instant queueing didn't motivate players to queue as a tank, I don't think a small chance on an epic mount will help much. Blizzard may feel that queues are too long, but as long as people queue as dps, apparently the queues are still acceptable.

Squishalot said...

@ Gevlon: "Currently there are "guilded DD" who has instant queue with their tank and "LFD-DD" who waits 2 hours.

After the change every DD will wait 1 hour."

From an asocial point of view, isn't that a good thing? That means that guild tanks will now be rewarded for their relative scarcity.

Do tanks in the PuG charge for heroics? If they're not, isn't that a current example of communist collective, because the market price of tanking services is higher outside the guild?

Jana said...

Yes, we don't know the value of what will be inside, but still we can "extrapolate" that even if "chance" of getting flask/gem is as high as 50% that still is approx 100g worth of rewards according to current prices.

That still means that even at rather perfect 30 min runs, which is still rare, because even if you get just a single fire standing and mouth breathing 3k dps idiot, he still can wipe you in lots of ways, you only get like 200g/hour.

Just imagine a real life advertisiment like that:

"Looking for a professional Oracle developer with 5 year experience. Salary is a chance to get some candies and ice cream, maybe even a steak. If you get really lucky you can get a dog or cat. Also there is a 0.04% chance each month you may get a new car!".

Yes, this might lower DPS queues a bit, yet it will make average run even longer because of all kind of lolrets that are going to sign as tank for the "shineys".

Of course Blizzard could not put some really meaningful rewards that would attract professional tanks, because that would cause even huger M&S forum spam outrage that we see now. Just like you probably see on your countries news portals comments about people that get paid for "sitting in office all day and drinking coffee for free".

Lei said...

It's always nice to see when someone who doesn't use something, criticize it.
"I mean where is the "unmotivated tank" who will be motivated by this change? If he wanted to tank, he already did. He had instant queue!"
Except if he is one of the guys, who always queue up with the healer friend/guildie or tank friend/guildie to get instant queue... He has 350 itemlevel offspec gear lying in the backpack (collecting dust), but if tank friend is there, why would he bother to tank?

"The lack of tanks is not a motivational issue. People don't choose to not tank because it's "more responsibility" or "less fun"."
Why do we have many fury warriors, shadow priests, boomkins, retri paladins out there who are generally not bad players? (let's say, average, but not average bad, just average: cc, interrupt, don't stand in shit etc).
If your state would be true, we would rarely see average/GOOD hybrid DPSes in groups, as they could just go heal/tank, so they don't have to wait, am I right? Still, we have shadow priests, retri paladins, who are doing well. And I'm sure they could tank/heal the dungeon too.
Also, comparing a raid environment to a LFD environment is more than silly. In a raid, especially in Cataclysm, you are with GUILDIES, in safe (good chance that your guildie will not get up with bad mood and won't play around with aggro/cc on purpose, while the not-pro tank desperately tries to do his best to keep aggro on mobs). In a LFD, you are with strangers, who, god knows what will do on their next move.

Remember when you said you want to see new raid leaders to step up in your guild and make raid events? And you said: they only need a bit confidence, because probably your guild hides some possible good raid leader, all they have to do is open their petals?
Blizzard tries the same with tanks. And yes, we probably will have some arthasdklol/worgendklol, one thing is shared in these guys: they will bail if they cannot be success. They won't wipe more than 1-2 times, (especially with me stomping on votekick button).
Bad tanks exist before, and they will exist later. They will wear off if they see they cannot be "success", and they are kicked from every group they joined.

PS: I use LFD every day on my healer main, (reason is simple: I don't have guild, but I won't throw away the daily 70 VP and sitting in SW trolling the trade), and one thing I noticed: My main always get awesome groups. Good dps, good tanking. 90% good. My alt (resto druid) had to work 1 month to get the same quality. First, I had TERRIBLE groups with the druid. Selected morons.
Only thing I can think of, is the built in character statistic tracker, that favors "good" players with "good" groups (based on votekick(ed) stats probably?) Or, some kind of hidden itemlevel sorter. Higher itemlevel with higher itemlevel -> good group. Either way, it works *knock knock*.

Lei said...

The tank who used to go with 2-3-(4) guildie, and they get instant queue, more likely gonna bring a tank capable person with him (retri, unholy, fury, feral).
10 class, 4 can tank, 4 can heal, 4 only dps, 2 can fill every role.
So if you are not the tank who used to go with your strict hunter+mage+lock/rogue composition guildies, you are "carrying" a possible tank with you.
By breaking up these groups, we can have more likely more tanks in the LFD.

And don't forget, CTA will be offered after some minutes of role absence, not always. Well, if Blizzard's plan will be success, it will be temporary after time.

The only people who can complain about this, are the pure dps classes. But not because of the reward, but because of the inability to change on their positions. They can't change on the queue time, even if they respecc/get offspec gear. All hybrid class can do something to shorten the queue time. Blizzard offers reward if you do this. Simple.

Grim said...

Unmotivated tank here!

Yes, tanking raids is fun. But the fun part of doing anything in WoW for me is to try to do it better. For a tank there are just 2 outcomes - the boss is dead, or the tank is dead.

As soon as "boss is dead" comes with zero effort, there is also zero fun for me tanking him. This is not the case in raids (except for the lowest of farmraids, which I don't like tanking either), but it is absolutely the case in HCs.

Therefore I do not tank HCs. I tanked them all a few times in december and january and then stopped. Since then if I go to a HC, I brave the DPS queue. As in - sign up in Arms spec, do something else for 20 minutes, then run the dungeon as DPS.
Running as DPS always gives me the challenge of doing more DPS than last time, so I don't get bored from that.

When Call to Arms hits, I will try tanking again (definitely for the 353 dungeons) and see if the rewards are enough to keep me tanking.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, I think your idea of making it easier for tanks to kick is a good place to start. It gives tanks a way to remove one of the biggest negatives to tanking in LFD.

That said, I don't know that these rewards are enough. Offering more gold is nice, but it would have to be a large amount for tanking heroics to yield higher gold per hour than a number of other activities.

Azuriel said...

I mean where is the "unmotivated tank" who will be motivated by this change?

<-- Right here.

I actually have three tanks that I used to do the daily heroic on every day in Wrath. Cannot do that sort of nonsense anymore because the heroics themselves take 50+ minutes now compared to the 15-20 minute speed runs of yesteryear.

I'm not raiding at the moment, and because I am not raiding, there is not much of a point is collecting VP and otherwise grinding gear that will be obsolete in 4.2 (e.g. in another month or two). Now, what I have been doing is PvPing quite a bit. How this all ties together is that in addition to the tank bribe goodie bag, you also are getting a JP --> honor conversion AND a VP --> Conquest. That means I can slog through a heroic and supplement my weekly Arena games with some more Conquest, along with a chance at the Reins of the Raven Lord and/or sellable flasks and/or potential sellable BoE pets. It's possible the pets will be soulbound, but this is Blizzard, and it's equally possible they will be that dumb.

In any case, you assumptions are quite out of whack on this. There is a substantial amount of perfectly serviceable tanks out there that are not raiding, and by extension not usually motivated to do heroics (which are otherwise painful). The bribe isn't for guild slave tanks who shouldn't need VP anyway; it's the bored tanks, the DPS who prefer DPS but can tank if motivated enough, and yes, getting inexperienced tanks into the mix. The unsuccessful ones won't get the bribe though, because they won't be able to finish the heroic.

This all doesn't fix the underlying problem, of course. The only way to fix the tank queue issue is to go back to Wrath-style dungeons. Since heroics are mindless content regardless of difficulty, I sincerely hope they move back to the 15-20 minute model.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure who is supposed to be your moron this week .. The potty mouth druid or the guy who thinks 15k isn't enough for BoT normals.

Also I'm guessing you don't play a tank :p

Also I know you don't appreciate different modelled mounts so you are under-estimating the amount of tanks this will add. There's probably 2 or 3 tanks in my *guild* who'd join an LFD group for a shot at a new mount (Cho'Gal down, Neffy on notice, so middle of the road players not the arthasdklol you're worried about meeting).

Not everyone wants to play the AH for an hour a week when they could be playing the game instead, and as such not everyone has effectively limitless gold at their disposal.

"Unless it worth 500G, it's better to go farm herbs"

That depends on whether you find picking flowers more or less fun than killing Internet Dragons.

The question is will the "perks" be enough to tempt a tank to queue solo as opposed to queing with a guild group.

Anonymous said...

The problem is more deep. The wow forums are full of complains from DPS which basically don't accept the idea that someone else receives more than them from the dungeon.

In the name of "we should all be equal" some even stated they'd rather wait 30 minutes in the queue. They basically already hate tanks because they have instant queues and any "incentive" to them only makes the situation worse.

In any case in my opinion it's not even mostly matter of tank gear or ability. I am full epic with some eroic pieces and routinely tank heroic raid encounters and until recently was routinely tanking in 5mans with a guild group (now I don't need valor anymore).

In my opinion if they want more tanks joining they should just nerf the trash packs so that they can be done with good old mindless AoE even if you don't have epic gear. Otherwise you need to be careful, set CCs and kill order for most pulls, which is a chore.

MetaManu said...

while i didnt like (or care much) about the idea, it'll have a good effect : our guildies who have an offspec or an alt that tanks (or heal, dunno why we're talking only about tanks) will be motivated to practice get competitive, and eventually rise the numbers of tanks and healers that sign for raids (if they are put on reserve if dps) - thus ultimately it also benefits the guild, as it could lead to more alt raids.

Anyway, the change doesnt hurt anything, and is potentially good, so well.

And if you pay 1M$ to someone clever, put him/her on a good course, and leave him time to learn, you'll probly have a decent physician in only a few years :P

MetaManu said...

I'm not sure who is supposed to be your moron this week .. The potty mouth druid or the guy who thinks 15k isn't enough for BoT normals

If you do 15k on halfus (or even the trash packs before it), you're either asleep or drunk. You must put that in proportion, it's far less than HALF the first dps. Meaning that druid will probly do less than 10K in a normal fight.

zenga said...

Halfus gets a 100% increased damage taken debuff on him per add that you kill. And most likely they kill 2 adds ...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure who is supposed to be your moron this week .. The potty mouth druid or the guy who thinks 15k isn't enough for BoT normals.

Judging by those numbers, that was most clearly a parse from Halfus. Those 11k will become ~5k on the later bosses.

Krytus said...

"I mean where is the "unmotivated tank" who will be motivated by this change?"

-The first ones come from hybrid classes that have a tank friend to queue together. Since the usual tank is being bribed to go solo, some of the OS tanks will be forced to use their OS or wait for a 40min queue. I have faith in these tanks, they are usually competent players that tank when the main tank didn't appear for raiding.

-The second wave comes from the tanks that are tempted to run an extra dungeon for the chance of a mount. Also competent tanks.

I'm a bit optimistic, but I think we won't found a lot of arthasdklols willing to tank even with the bribe. I mean, isn't an instant queue reward enough to queue as a tank? This guys aren't tanking because they don't have the skill (or gear in their own eyes)to do the job.

Nattestid said...

But maybe this is good. Just as you spam social stupid guild achievements to "cheat" good semi-social players to get to your guild, maybe forcing horrible players to tank could bring the best of them (of very little of them). Maybe this guy really sucks at playing wow right now, but experiencing failure and the need of more skills could bring upon the table those hidden good players who keep playing the social rol and never thought about anyway else.
Maybe this stupid dps dealer switches to tank and sees how bad dps steals agro and do stupid aoe and forces him to play just a little bit better.
And all they need to get motivate is just a stupid mount or a bag full of shit. Problem solved!


Anonymous said...

That blizzard caters to the easily fooled and otherwise idiotic people is nothing new. They have to nerf content once popular demand is big enough. Happened all the time and will continue to happen. Hats off for them for trying other solutions, regardless of how ineffective they may be. Money issues aside, it really is no blessing to be so popular, as a game. You have to throw away all ideals of good gaming to keep being popular.

Anonymous said...

About this moron, to anon who tried defending: check druids armory, he has over 2k spirit, but he did not put any points into the balance spirit->hit conversion talent.

Kirzen said...

Alternate Idea :

How about instead of this rediculousness, they just put an additional button on the queue UI that allows people to kick in 50g to be placed in a queue with a purchased tank.

The final pot would be 250g

If you leave or are kicked you forfeit your gold, if the group breaks up before the final boss is killed, each player recieves their 50g back.

When the final boss is dropped in addition to your added badges, the tank and healer each take home a share of the total pot based on the number of tanks and healers in the queue at the time.

At 200g a run, I think I could be persuaded to take a noobsquad through a few heroics. It would certainly motivate me more than a chance for some rediculous fucking pet, shitty mount, or cash-bought consumable.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking of tanking on my pally once I have some gear but with the following macro at the start.

"Hi I'm your tank for the day. I'll watch healer mana and run the pulls.
You pull more than once I'll wipe us and leave for my instant que.
I can see nothing but Guild Chat, thank you!"

WoWMidas said...

All in all, I expect this move will shorten queue times and, at the margin, increase the incentive for tanks not to drop group.

(Aside: I'm unclear on the objection to this classic pay-for-performance effort. How is it different than paying people for achievements?)

I didn't see it mentioned anywhere, but a big problem I have seen is tanks dropping group after either a) a wipe (even if it was their fault) or b) not getting a drop after an early boss. The queue usually serves up another tank within a few minutes, but it is a hassle.

Also, until now, only the first random yielded the extra tokens. However, from the looks of it, Call to Arms will apply to repeat dungeons, thus creating the perception (for the tank, at least) that something was left on the table if the instance wasn't finished.

Incidentally, this may also force better tank play (i.e. marking groups, not zerging before checking healer mana, etc.), as there is now a "more severe" penalty for not killing the final boss. Not only that, but with shorter queue times, groups may begin kicking tanks if they behave as they have been.

m said...

This argument is getting pretty old: it is completely fine that you think mounts/pets as rewards are futile and that they would not motivate *you* to do anything more.

What is absurd is the apparently obvious correlation, or better said equation, you make of those that do want/like pets and mounts with idiots and retards. Smart, capable, knowledgeable people have dissimilar interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes - as well as definitions of utility.

Imposing your own narrow definitions does not make for a compelling reading, it just reveals a rigidness that is borderline to blindness.

What this change will bring is: a small percentage of current tanks and of possible tanks will not change their habits at all - those are the ones that think pets/mounts/gold are not worth the hassle and those that have all of those already. A bit higher percentage will chain-run heroics in effort to acquire whatever rewards there are. The highest percentage will run an extra or two dungeons per day they play *just* because there are extra rewards for them - and I do not think that what kinds of rewards are important at all. I worked in marketing and advertising long enough to know that the smallest incentive that makes someone feel special almost always works, on majority of people.

What they need to achieve is very simple: make hybrid damage dealers invest in off-specc tanking, because for every 1 dps that queues as tank, you have 4 dps less in the queue.

Not a lot of people are rational in their habits (as economists proved so many times) so instant queues were not motive enough, but tangible rewards simply are - and not the least because it makes tanks feel special.

All humans want to feel special; only for some an extra goodie-bag is enough, for others refusing that goodie-bag is enough. But its absolutely same psychological principle at play.

Ayonel said...

I have two comments. First, I used to tank a lot in wrath, and at the beginning of Cataclysm. Where Blizzard reLly messed up is that they, apparently intentionally, created a risk/reward imbalance so severe, that I can't be bothered. Let's say it takes 2-3 weeks to get a tank maximally geared for heroics. After that, there is little motivation for me to carry people through an instance. 70 valor just doesn't do it for me, JP are completely worthless, and I refuse to grind dungeons for that one last piece of tank gear that will only marginally improve my tanking(and certainly make less difference than simply tanking properly).

I still run dungeons on my dps, with a healer friend, and 4 months in, the idiot situation isn't improving. You still have lolkids doing 3k dps need roll all plate(including gloves twice in one instance) causing tanks to leave, so we bail half the time because we are running to hang out together, not for gear/achieves.

My second point is that you offend, good sir. I will have you know that I am a drunkard, employed, and rather successful. Being a drunkard is no excuse for unemployment or being unproductive. Being worthless and being a drunkard are uncorrelated, in my opinion.

Kragnok said...

Over the long run, I don't see this doing anything to reduce the queue time in LFD. Initially, it might speed things up as the bad tanks and "shiny" obsessed DD and healers with a tank off-spec queue up as a tank. When they start getting their feelings hurt from being called out as a bad tank these tanks will crawl back into their holes never to be see again.

All this is doing is taking the burden of paying for a tank rental off the players.

Ephemeron said...

The lack of tanks is not a motivational issue.

With all due respect, I strongly disagree with you on this point.

Tanking is NOT quantum physics or neurosurgery. One does not need to spend 10000 hours to become an acceptable tank; all necessary skills and knowledge can be acquired in less than a day. For this reason, I find your 'engineers, IT specialists and medical doctors' comparison to be off the mark.

A far closer analogue would be another kind of real-life work, one that does not require any sophisticated education, yet nevertheless remained in constant demand for the last six millenia; a job that pretty much anyone could theoretically do, but relatively few choose to. I am, of course, speaking about prostitution.

Just like solo-queuing tanks, sex workers have to perform a stressful and exhausting job that consists mostly of repetitive motions (not entirely unlike placing marks on trash pack #1597), all while dealing with a neverending flow of strangers who are often unpleasant or downright abusive. There's even a social stigma attached to both roles (respectable tanks/people don't PuG 5-mans/turn tricks; they have a guild/family to take care of them).

So in the end, the issue is a motivational one. People avoid solo-queuing in RFD as tanks (or working in the oldest profession) NOT because they have a fatal intellectual deficiency that makes them unable to grasp the basics of 5-man tanking (or having sex), but because the disadvantages of this choice outweigh the advantages.

Jana said...

Kirzen, you can already easily hire a personal tank for +-200g per run.

However, in the mind of most 3k dps M&S paying even 50g per run to a tank is the mother of all unfairness.

Yes, they could just make gold-invested priority queing system, so that if you are a dps, you can just buy your way up the queue. The prices would be completely dynamic, depending on how much an average person would like to pay for shortening their queue by a minute.

As a tank you could just specify min and max gold range you are willing to tank for. The system would just find you a group that is willing to invest in total such amount.

This would essentially just automate manual tank/healer hiring the same way as LFD tool automates manual recruitment of randoms for your group from trade or /w.

Then again there should be some performance measuring metrics in place that would disallow some kind of Worgenwarriorlols to queue for too high sums, if they obviously fail.

Then again I can't even begin to perceive the scope of outrage about "evil elitist nolifers, who camp AH 24/7 now get unfair advantage in heroics!!11".

kelindria said...

Perhaps part of the overall problem is the class speccing choices available. I mean 4 tank specs 5 healing specs and 21 dps specs. Couple that with the press any button to continue system to level with it would make sense to go with the buttons that are faster. The fact that 6 classes are locked out of tanking doesn't help matters.

The obvious solutions to me would be to turn elemental shammies into tanks and rogues into evasion tanks though I suspect this isn't a viable solution in the middle of an expansion let alone the QQ that would follow.

Gevlon said...

@Ephemeron: while YOU or me could learn tanking in a day, most players couldn't learn DPS over months.

Also, there is investment involved in tanking. You have to get tank gear.

@M: Don't forget that tanking for LFD is not a "special" experience. Even if the rewards make an existing tank to queue up, he can leave after being abused by utter morons. Tanking for LFD-morons is extremely stressful, annoying and humiliating. Someone who would queue up for an "I'm special" reward would run away crying from this environment.

Michael said...

I have to confess, I'm a healer, not a tank, so this doesn't apply directly to me. But as a healer, I haven't run a heroic in a good 2-3 months, since I got all my bis pre-raid gear. With this change, I'll probably do a few dungeons a week, if it's ever set for healing, for the call to arms bag.

Ignoring the whole 'is this justified' and 'are the dps getting screwed' aspect of the discussion, and just focusing on the 'will this work?' part. You guys who calculate the value of flasks vs time to run instance vs gold from normal farming, are totally failing to take into account the most important part of the change: The bag drops rare things that you'll be happy to get, and that's just fun times!

For an undergeared player, running a heroic is basically gambling. You put some effort into play and are rewarded with a random chance to get a neat prize, gear progression, upgrades.

To a geared player, there's nothing random about running heroics. You just slog through them for your 70 valor. No excitement, no hopes of winning something, nothing to anticipate but the end of the run. This bag corrects that! It adds an element of gambling for already geared players. Instead of just a slog fest, it's now a chance to win some shinies.

Who remembers the hundreds of mephisto runs in diablo 2 looking for rare drops? Why do people sit at slot machines all day, knowing that the odds are for them to slowly lose money over time? Rare drop gambling totally works, adds excitement to the game, and is fun.

Trelocke said...

Even if they offered additional gear and/or VP, I'd still not solo queue as a tank. And while Sven and your suggestions would be nice, even those would not significantly increase my willingness to solo queue as a tank. You know what would? A simple 200% threat buff added to the already in-practice Luck of the Draw buff. At that point the only thing that would really matter is if the DD could do enough damage and move out of the bad. If I didn't have to worry about idiot CC breakers, impatient morons that can't wait for a couple GCDs for me to build threat and the vast quantities of DD that have no idea that /assist even exists, I'd be much more inclined to solo queue as a tank.

You can't teach these idiots anything. Instead of trying to bribe us to put up with their idiocy just make is so their idiocy is nullified.

Tenko said...

Of course tanks will be willing to carry a few morons through a dungeon. Don't you see they already prostitute themselves on trade chat for pocket change?

Or don't your server have "Tank selling queue 200g"?

patrik said...

based of the chance for pets/mounts I will definitly consider queuing up, I have more than enough money to buy me flasks/other stuff so I never run for 500g. While it may sound silly to you, I enjoy running a new hero more than Stratholme, and I never stress myself with rnd-morons. It just doesn't matter to me, if the run is to long, and I failed to kick the most stupid ones I will just leave myself. The only downside is, as someone already mentioned that I normally enjoy running with guildies, but when Guildxp no longer matters, and the queue isn't that long at all who cares

Fourcade said...

Unbelievable what you said about unemployment there. Bettering yourself via education requires resources that you cant just will yourself into getting. If you grow up on the South Side of Chicago and go one its myriad horrible High Schools you are locked out of any chance at higher education with a GPA less than 4.0. So these reasonably intelligent people workt very low aying jobs just to sustain themselves and cannot save the money to go to school. They cant move up within the company either beyond something like shift manager, which amounts to a a measurably pay raise in return for more hours working and less hours available for school or independent study. So they're stuck as one of the many hard working poor people who are the first on the chopping block when cuts have to be made.

Poor people generally dont say to themselves "I dont wanna be a nurse, its too much work and I'm lazy", instead its "Being a nurse would be great! Unfortunately I have to eat--so I'll have to put that on hold."

Eaten by a Grue said...

Gevlon, about your "most players could not learn DPS over months" comment. This is patently untrue. Maybe a few people, but most? Come on.

The longer this blog goes on, the more it seems it is some kind of chest thumping exercise, demonstrating that you are so much better than the vast numbers of M&S out there. Which seems like a very "social" endeavor.

Aracos said...

I think the reward Blizzard is offering shows that they somewhat understand their "target audience" here. Very few geared tanks are going to dive back into the queue for a pet. But I think there are many marginal players that perhaps want to tank, or have considered tanking, but for whatever reason aren't willing to do so. This minor "bribe" may be enough to tip some of them over the edge and get them in the queue.

The downside of this, of course, is that many of these kind of tanks are either undergeared, inexperienced, or both. The question is, are they truly "M&S" or are they players who are willing to learn this new role but just never had the opportunity? There will certainly be examples of both in this "new" population of tanks. Good ol' fashioned RNG will determine which you get more of in your random groups.

Tenko said...


Blizz just released a blue post saying that the reward bags will be BoA. That'll probably get some people who have tank alts to hop on these alts and run a few dungeons.


I have a prot warrior alt myself, though my main's a rogue. Still, I don't feel the bag is much encouragement to run a dungeon on my warrior, since I'm not raiding with her. I don't really need anything on her if I'm not raiding, and I don't care about vanity stuff. Other people who care about it, though, will sure queue up now they can send the goodies to their mains.

Anonymous said...

"The lack of tanks is not a motivational issue. People don't choose to not tank because it's "more responsibility" or "less fun".

I absolutely disagree with this comment. Tanking is hard.. period.. You not only have to absolutely know every fight, you have to lead it, explain it, and put up with idiot DPS who can’t follow a simple kill order. All that leads to exactly more responsibility. Then, because as a tank you can’t just face roll a set of buttons, if something goes wrong, then you get idiot dps and sometimes healers who want to do nothing but berate the tank because he is learning the fight. That’s leads to exactly, "not having fun".

Remember, a dps can fail and the end result will still, "usually" end up with a successful kill. A tank fails and it most likely results in a wipe. Your trying to draw a correlation between M&S and people who dont tank. May people are great dps who cant tank. Does that make them M&S? No, it just means they cant tank.

Bottom line, the shortage of tanks isnt because of M%S (in the sense that there are to many M&S to tank). It's because there are to many M&S with a zero defect mentality that make tanking to much a responsibility and not fun

Bristal said...

"People don't choose to not tank because it's "more responsibility" or "less fun"."

That's just plain wrong, Gevlon. I spent a lot of time gearing a DK and learning to tank the "easy heroics" of Wrath. Tanked at least 30 randoms. And did it well. Studied the fights. Learned how to do it as well as I could with the gogogogo dancers.

It DOES demand more. It is more stressful. Period. To do it well, you must commit to memory details of 30+ boss mechanics. I can easily memorize one or two instances, but a random means ANY instance.

I went back to my beloved huntard for Cata. I will choose "not play" over tanking, especially in current content.

DPSing you can do well on the fly. There are a few mechanics you need to remember here and there. And it's pretty easy to keep a few notes handy. And if you just stay of of the fire, you're pretty much good. It's a blast. You get numbers to see how great you are.

I have a huge amount of respect for good tanks that can perform well in any one of 6+ random heroics. And it takes a certain type of person to enjoy that.

I just hope that those people really want those pets/mounts. And if not, maybe Blizzard will sweeten the pot. How about a free week of play for 5 randoms successfully tanked? I'd totally subsidize that.

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't too few tanks in the queue. It's too many DPS thinking they need to run heroics every day. They should have bribed the DPS to not queue.

It's much easier and you get better results if you pay somebody to stop doing something rather than paying somebody to start doing something they're not inclined to do by choice.

Anonymous said...

The bribe is lame. I do like the idea of addressing the root problem of idiots by tweaking the votekick system vary by role.

Tanks and healers can votekick against DPS more often and their votes count for more. This should encourage DPS to not suck/not be an asshat(at least to the tank/healer).

Trelocke said...


I can't believe how uninformed and ridiculous your comment is. I never even *finished* highschool, let alone got a 4.0. My mother got sick with cancer and I had to quit. When I finally got done taking care of all of that, I worked my way through community college and into a #1 state school for my bachelors degree. I worked 2 jobs to make the ends that student loans couldn't cover meet, lived in shithole apartments and ate $0.29 meals on a regular basis. I did this for *years* and it sucked. But guess what? I own my own house, am debt free and am pulling down a nice 6 figure salary working for a company that Mr. Buffet recently bought.

*Anybody* can do what I did. It was incredibly rough, took a lot of patience and willpower, but it didn't require anything that isn't available to every single person alive.

People who say and/or think they are stuck where they are in life are full of shit and people like you who propagate such nonsense are too.

old wow bastard said...

As an active tank; that actually runs Heroic MGT and Strath occasionally for the mount drops; I feel this is a good way to motivate me to run a few extra heroics a week.

Personally I love tanking; I have since TBC. I've had, at certain points, both a max level warrior and paladin tank in the same content tiers. If it wasn't for the "chat roulette" factor with LFD I'd tank more often. As-is I usually incur at least one 30 minute cool down per day I play, by leaving groups that are simply incapable of the content tier (i.e. groups with 3 sub 8k dps.)

I've proposed the aforementioned "Let the Tank kick terrible players with a single vote" thing before and honestly it would fix the problem in a more thorough manner. At least from my perspective. I would tank more instances and would therefore be able to "help" more dps and healers.

To put it as simply as possible, in my ilvl 354 gear, with WoG being as OP as it is, I can carry a bad healer and or a bad dps. What I can't carry is a bad healer + 2 sub 8k dps when they've queued together as a threesome.

In those situations a strategic kick, or the threat thereof, could motivate those folks to pay attention and stop failing at live. It would at least remove their emotional "safety blanket" that allows them to think "hey I queued with 2 friends therefore I can play like crap and be untouchable."

Masterlooter said...

While I don't totally agree that DDs are inherently stupid, nor that tanks are inherently smart, (I think it's a social enginerring issue) I do agree that this "solution" will not fix the problem.

Tanks (and to a lesser extent healers) all ready get rewards twice as quick as DDs do. Incentive is clearly not enough to overcome the negatives of LFD groups.

Adding even more rewards on top of this is not going to shorten the LFD queue in the long term.

Anonymous said...

I think incentives work. As the joke goes, all we are negotiating is the price.

While mounts will have no motivation for you, I know people who have run strat a hundred times or fished from 6000 pools for a mount or killed several hundred foxes for a pet. Some tanks are more motivated by gold, others by mounts/pets. Most effective would be if the tank got their choice of gold / chance of pet (like the uldam quest where you got rep or gold)

If tanks were not already geared, the counterpoint to this bribe would have been to reduce the drop rate of tank gear; i.e. not only pay tanks more but also give them more need to run heroics.

My tanking motivation experience is different:
I know of two pally tanks, one the main tank of a 300 person guild and another main tank of a 150 person guild. One quit the game; another is just playing their lock. Both because they did not think cata tanking is fun.

Fourcade said...

@ Trelocke-

You cant get into a single state school in the USA without a HS diploma. I've been in higher education for the past 7 years across 3 institutions and have friends from undergrad who TA at countless others, not one of those schools will let you in without a HS diploma. None, zero, zip... much less the premiere public institutions.

So your story is a blatant lie, a shallow defense of the pull yourself up by the bootstraps myth that is peddled to us routinely. If you're going to make something up, make it plausible next time.

Anonymous said...

played warrior from 1-6x only by doing instances, instant queues were nice, thing is: tanking gets boring, its not hard at all, you can get some challenge by playing without healer but overall it bores you out fast, in guess they thought lets make it easy to make it more accessible so we get more tanks, well its so easy noone wants to play that boring gameplay.

Ayonel said...


Given that the rewards are so distant and hard to come by, your suggestion, make gearing your tank even harder, would almost certainly remove even more tanks from the game.

In wrath, the dungeons were easy and fast, everybody got what they wanted, there was plenty of margin for error, and there was almost always *something* to spend your emblems on. Worst case scenario was that you could stockpile them to infinity, or monetize them.

In Cata, the dungeons are a lot harder, take a lot longer, and have little margin for error, although 4.0.6 made it better. Blizzard has made JP worthless in weeks, and Valor take too long to be a real motivation, at least for me.

I do think it is a motivational issue. In wrath, you would see folks run chain heroics all day, even when fully raid geared. In cata, I see tanks(in my guild) who only log for raids, might farm, and may run a dungeon for achieves or to boost guild mates, but never just runn lfd randoms.

I believe the reason is not marginal, but systemic, and Blizzard would need to double or triple the Valor bonus on the first random, remove the cap, and give Valor for every random in order to provide me with incentive to log my tank for anything other than a friend's request. And I say that as someone who loves running my tank.

Trelocke said...


You are even more clueless than I thought. Any community college will work with you through various different programs/testing to make sure you meet their minimum requirement. Once that is done, all you need to do is make sure you have the required courses/grades/test scores to be able to transfer to a state college. It took me 5 1/2 years to complete a bachelors degree because of all the extra stuff I had to complete *and* I worked my ass off to get the best grades I could for transferring.

Now, there may be state schools out there that wouldn't have excepted me because of how I got my education up and to the point of transfer. I doubt it (as that generally the whole point of a CC) but in my specific case I got into the #1 state school at the time for my degree (architectural engineering). There were a couple of courses I had to retake because their semester system was different than the CC and they wouldn't transfer all the credits, but all in all, it was pretty seamless.

You can think it's a lie if it makes you feel better about your ignorance, but a minimal amount of research can be done to prove what I'm saying is true and in the context of your argument all that really matters is whether the theory behind what I'm saying is true, which it absolutely is.

Anonymous said...

^ this has nothing to do with the topic, stop typing.

I would like to add that I agree the main issue here is that tanking is more demanding than the other roles with more to learn and the tank being a single point of failure.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy a lot of your comments, and have been looking forward all week to see what you had to say about CtA, but I think you may have it wrong this time.

I don't think the problem with LFD Tanks is that it is full of bad tanks, it is that the good tanks don't use LFD. I stopped queueing weeks ago unless a friend asked me to go with them or I was really really bored.

The problem is, for a good tank, about 1/3 of the time in an LFD PuG you get at least one person who is really incompetent (For these purposes, I consider 5k DPS, no interrupts, and staying on kill order competent, otherwise, I have almost never had 3 competent DPS from LFD).

As most tanks know, ever since mid-BC, there is an over-abundance of tanks for guild raiding. Even those who don't raid geared up quickly from LFD and then the grief was no longer worth it. Blizzard is then left with two choices, entice the good tanks back to tanking or disallow the bad DPS from queueing (on average, most healers are fine, and in all fairness 1/3 of all DPSers you get are great as well.. CC, 12k+, kill order, etc.) Obviously, for business reasons, Blizzard can't get rid of the bad players. They have to convince the good players it is worth carrying them.

Take for instance, Coria in Caverns. She is usually skipped. It is a super simple fight if each DPS can do a beam. They barely need to DPS as there is no timer, they just need to do a beam. Usually both the healer and tank end up taking a beam instead of struggling it through. Or an even better example, Karesh. You can carry a bad tank through that fight easily with one simple rule... Kill the adds outside the inner circle. In Patch 4.1, they are removing the puddles that they drop for just that reason...

Actually, if you look at most of the "tweaks" that have been made to the dungeons since launch, they do one of two things, give the tank more slack for a mistake or make a DPS requirement unnecessary.

Blizzard is searching for what is that minimum value to make it worthwhile to deal with bad players. Bad tanks will get flushed out of the system fairly quickly... They will never finish, never get the bag, and stop queueing as tanks to avoid the painful realization they just can't do it.

In fact the principle point is made many times on the main forums when someone says "Why should they get extra for just doing their jobs?" And there is the answer, it isn't our jobs. It isn't fun to tank for them, and you can't make me. With that being said, I will certainly give it a try and see if the bribe is worth the aggravation.

thehampster said...

Gevlon, your lack of alts has hindered your perspective on tanking. You're absolutely wrong when you stated: 'People don't choose to not tank because it's "more responsibility" or "less fun".'

Tanking was my main pve spec for years, all the way through TBC in fact. I main tanked for 25 man raiding guilds and heroics before we had much AOE.

What did I my druid que up as in LFG? You guessed it, heals/dps (I can usually still do fine on dps meters in heroics even with my raid feral druid tank spec).

Tanking is a lot more demanding then dps or heals. When you have to do your daily dungeon every f'ing day, you get sick of putting in that effort to tank pretty fast.

Calybos said...

If tanking is genuinely harder than the other roles... that's bad game design.

Of COURSE you'll have a shortage if one of the roles requires far more effort and concentration and coordination than the others! People play this game for FUN, not a paycheck.

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