Thursday, April 7, 2011

Suck it up, buttercup.

Indulge me for a moment as I stand on my soapbox and get a little haughty. There's a good chance I may insult you in this post. It's not intentional and it's not personal. I'm going to make a lot of gross generalizations and I'm fully aware that they are not representative of each individual. Just (my view of) the culture as a whole.

Big news floating around this morning is that, come 4.1, Blizzard will be incentivizing tank (and to a lesser degree, healer) queuing in the LFD tool. Why? Because the lack of tanks (and to a lesser degree, healers) in the LFD queues is what's causing DPS to have to sit and wait upwards of 40 minutes to run randoms.

How are they doing this? By offering guaranteed gold, plus chances at gems, flasks/elixirs, vanity pets, and mounts.

Even if you didn't click the link above to read the post, it's easy to see why this could be a controversial decision. And whenever there's controversy on the internet...well, you've been around. You know how it goes. All the armchair designers come out of the woodworks, spewing diarrhea of the mouth about how much it sucks and blah blah blah.

Some of my favorite lines so far have been, "this is an admission of failure," "tanking is not fun," "healing is not fun," and the best, "First make heroic's easier so there are less wipes and problems. Second add an expert level of the dungeons". (Seriously. I lol'd).

Blizzard hasn't failed at anything. That's not to say everything's perfect or ideal or whatever word you want to use. Yes, they have a stated aim to make tanking and healing more desirable and more "fun." But just because you don't think those roles are fun doesn't mean Blizzard has failed. (I, personally, think both roles are fun. I love tanking. And while I haven't healed a lot yet in Cata, I still have a desire to do it more.)

Let's get this straight. I realize not every class and every spec and every role is fun for everybody. I get that. But let's also be honest here. No less than 90% of the people complaining that tanking and healing aren't fun are really saying "tanking and healing require thought and effort, which I can't be assed to put forward. Also, I might actually have to take some sort of responsibility for bad outcomes."

I get it, though. I really do. I enjoy playing my Hunter in groups specifically because it's damn easy. I hit four buttons. Sometimes five. And I light up the meters doing it. The closest I've come to stress was pet-tanking the last 25% of Foe Reaper 5000 with my spirit beast because the tank dropped to Harvest and like hell I was going to start that fight over. (That required six buttons.)

Many DPS are complaining that this shows favoritism to tanks and healers and why don't the DPS get something, too?

You do get something. You get (theoretically) significantly lower queue times. You get a quicker path to your gear upgrades, your (Cataclysm) random mounts, and your VP/JP. You want more? Bummer. You're a dime a dozen. Not in the sense that you're worthless--you're an essential part of a dungeon group, too--but when was the last time you lost a DPS mid-run and had to wait more than three seconds to get another?

How long do you end up waiting when you lose a healer? Or a tank?

Admittedly, I don't think what Blizzard is doing is going to have much impact. It might at first, but then it will wane. I doubt we're going to see an influx of new tanks or healers queuing up. Some of the current ones who don't mind using LFD but just don't do it often may find incentive to use it more, at least until they get all the rewards they want out of it.

I still won't queue as a tank, and probably still won't on my healer. The rewards Blizzard is offering aren't enough to overcome the reason I don't queue on them, which is probably the same reason a lot of other people don't, either: LFD is a minefield of Internet Fuckwads. Every single role.

I despise dealing with the over-inflated egos, the people who still seem to think dungeons should be played like the were in Wrath, and the general hello-goodbye impersonal nature of the whole system.

And here's where I give you DPS a break...tanks and healers are the worst of them. They act like they're Aman'Thul's gift to groups. Like the rest of us are being graced with their time and so we'd better not waste it by not measuring up to their standards. They're only there for the rewards and we're just a means to that end.

And that's the problem with throwing more rewards out there as an incentive. The people who are going to go for that the most are the pushy, arrogant jerks that are only there for the rewards anyway. And the people that don't queue because they don't want to deal with pushy, arrogant jerks? This doesn't do anything for them.

Bottom line, there is no solution to the problem. LFD is an amazing tool, but it has serious flaws that can't be fixed. Because the flaws are the players themselves. You want low queue times and reasonable people to run with? Find a good guild.


  1. Fuckin A! Finally someone believes what I believe! Also, so what if Tanks are favored. They should be! They get shit on all the time, it's their fault if it's a wipe. The gear drops in the lower levels for tanks blows ass, so ya, I want my gold, my mounts and cool guy stuff. I don't care if it makes me selfish. During the rennessaince, Seige Engineers were paid outrageously because of thier game changing skills in real warefare, pike men were a dime a dozen. Zweihanders were paid outrageously as well, why? Because they carried big nasty swaords that could break a pikeman formation. Guess what, pikemen were the least trained crews out there. They were a dime a dozen. Important to success yes, but easily trained and replaced. So umm..HAIL TO THE TANKS AND THE HEALERS!!!!!

  2. Addendum, I am not by any means an arrogant tank. I do however see too many dps being idiots. Ok I've seen tanks do the same when I played DPS, like the tank pally that came into the instance with a 1 handed sword and no shield and wondered why we were wiping ( this when I was on my hunter btw...I do like dps lol). I am by no means the best tank in the world but really I get sick of the piss poor attitudes and failure to listen to simple things, like let me get a little aggro when I LOS pull a caster team...or when I charge, don't try to outspeed me to the target for 1st dps hit, it screws my rotations up. Yes, I can be a prick about things, but then, as long as people are reasonbable and listen to BASIC techniques I'm all for the fun. I rarely ever strike a hissy, but to be honest, I'm happy for the added incentive. The pets mean little, but an interesting mount and extra gold, yup I'll be happy with that. If that pisses others be it. Maybe if people worked as a team as a whole I wouldnt be such an elitist as a tank. But because LFD tends to discourage decent attitude because of the fuckwad syndrome, I want to be "paid" a little more gold for the hassle I have to go through when randoms create asshat-itus. Ok, just my thoughts anyhow.

  3. We had a decent discussion about this last night right when raid was starting and my guild mates mentioned a good suggestion to help out the LFD tool would be increasing the number of DPS that are required to succeed in a heroic.

    For example, instead of it being a 5 man, make it a 7 man. Increase the health of all mobs by 40% or more and make dungeons 7 mans. Of course it doesn't have to be that easy or that cut and dry. But you could add an extra mob to some packs, or have a bit more flexibility on boss mechanics, etc.

    Just one thought my guildies had read about elsewhere and shared, so I figured I'd do the same.

  4. It's an interesting suggestion, to be sure. I think there would be a few not-so-small roadblocks in making it happen, not the least of which that the 5-man dungeon group is one of the few things that's remained constant throughout all of WoW. Even more, it's pretty much a genre standard. That's not to say it couldn't be changed...but there'd be a lot of resistance.

    My biggest concern would be what that would do to healers. Certain fights with unavoidable AoE damage can already tax any healer that's running with a non-346 group, or any healer that's not iLvl 346 themselves. (Think Anhuur and Anraphet in HoO or Barim in LC.) Adding two more people for them to keep alive would make healing almost prohibitively difficult.

    Then if they increase the amount of healing that can be done, boss damage on the tank would become unbalanced.

    And raids, which are balanced around a group having a certain number of healers who are capable of X output would also suddenly get turned upside down.

  5. 3 Words.

    No, just No.

    Any fight with any sort of unavoidable (or realistically unavoidable) damage would become hell on healers. Even if you nerfed the damage so it was the same amount of damage overall, it would either be too little damage so just incidental heals would do the trick (boring) or way too many targets to heal (frustrating). Which is to be honest the way heaing Cata. Heroics is now. either boring or frustrating. (Raids can be and are a lot more fun)

    Not to mention UI issues from going from a 5 man to more than that.

    You're basically trading a tank shortage for a healer shortage.

    Personally, I think that the only mechanics solution to it is to make DPSing less fun. But that's never going to happen.

  6. There's an old adage, about someone living underneath a bridge in a cardboard box, eating a partridge, who is happy as long as the guy next to him doesn't have a partridge.

    That seems to me to be what's going on here.

  7. And the tank isn't a means to an end for the healer and DPS?

    Everyone is using the LFD tool for their own reasons (for themselves). Personally I queue as a tank because I enjoy the chaos. I am in the eye of that storm. Sometimes that storm gets intense (like the time I chain pulled 4 packs in Heroic Stonecore and NO ONE DIED. I was ilvl 337 at the time and I believe it was my proudest WoW moment ever, hands down), but ultimately, we are ALL there (Tank, Healer, DPS, it doesn't matter) are there for the benefits they get to enjoy FOR THEMSELVES.

  8. I probably could have been clearer. You're right...pretty much everyone in LFD is there for themselves. What I was trying to convey is that, in my experience, Tanks and Healers are more often the ones outwardly lording that fact over the rest group and treating them like dirt when the run doesn't go silky smooth.

  9. I read this fully expecting to hate this column but instead I LOVED IT!!!!! Agree 100%!!!!! As a DK DPS I am sick and tired of hateful arrogant healers and tanks. I am sick of a marginally geared ( in resilency pvp or ungemmed enchanted) tank whose really a DPS but marked himself as such to beat the queue lines.

    As a blood DK tank I am sick and tired of DPS treating instances as a casting call for Go Speed racer! Crowd control??? Put any damn mark you want over a head cause they are gonna do what they want to do.

    I run both as tank and DPS with my guild only and on the occasion that we have the rare empty spot do we pug for the open slot.

    Flasks? Enchants? Gems? I can make em myself. Mounts I can farm myself with MUCH less aggravation then what a pug group can give me. And for you dreamers out there, no the mounts and pets are not gonna drop with any more frequency then solo strat/sekk halls/kara runs would.

  10. Actually I'd like to see a same server option for LFD since that was how I found people I'd like to run with. on the new multiserver hookup theres not much of a connection to the people who are not internet fuctards

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