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Friday, April 8, 2011

Why Call to Arms Tank Treats Won’t Work in the End

Blizzard announced their plan to decrease wait times in the Looking for Dungeon System by introducing goodie bags to those classes that are in short supply, namely tanks and in a lesser way healers. So basically if you play a class that is needed to decrease wait times, you will be rewarded with extra gold and some vanity items like pets and mounts. To me this is nothing more than a band aid for a big wound that won’t work in the long run and I’ll explain why.

Excerpts From the Article are below:

In patch 4.1 we'll be introducing Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms, a new system intended to lower queue times. Call to Arms will automatically detect which class role is currently the least represented in the queue, and offer them additional rewards for entering the Dungeon Finder queue and completing a random level-85 Heroic dungeon.

Call to Arms is meant to lower wait times 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/potion, 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.

This system is meant 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.

            The argument will be made that the rewards will encourage people to roll tanks and healers and I do people in some capacity that this will be true, but does a new tank definitely equate to a good tank? Not at all although we will see an increase in quality tanks giving it a go, we will also see an increase of bad tanks that will make wiping a more common event. My biggest fear however is for the hybrid classes that will be queuing as tanks in their DPS gear so they may get the extra rewards. Under geared or improperly geared tanks is a recipe for disaster, especially in today’s world of more challenging dungeons.
            Also you have to wonder if it will bring enough tanks to truly make a difference that noticeable in the times. Is waiting 25 minutes instead of 30 really that much of a change? I question whether there are even enough tanks out there at this point to offset the deficiency enough to make the change noticeable. 
            The idea as it stands has some merit for improving the dismal wait times DPS is experiencing, but I believe that at best this is only a temporary solution to a much bigger problem that won’t go away easily. Blizzard needs to look at other ways to deal with this on a long term basis and hopefully this band aid solution will give them the time needed to make it to surgery.  

            While in the meantime the added extra loot will entice some tanks and healers to Queue more often, but what happens when they are just sick and tired of running randoms or they have all the pets, mounts and gems they can handle. What will be the incentive to keep going? Eventually these presently enticing rewards will become less desirable and the number of tanks queuing up will become low again.

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