Friday, April 8, 2011

Call To Arms: The Collected Ideas

It seems, at least from the people most vocal about it, that the new Call To Arms idea from Blizzard is not being very well received.  As such there are ideas being thrown around all over the place.  Some are quite good, some are quite bad, some are mildly insane.

From a personal standpoint I'll give my opinion, for as little as it means anything.  It differs from character to character however.

From a Pure DPS standpoint.  I dislike it.  I will never have the chance to get a goodie bag.  Do not give someone else a goodie bag for doing their job if you are not going to give me a goodie bag for doing mine.

From a Healers standpoint.  I sometimes will go into a random alone with my healer.  Now I won't go into a random unless I am getting the bag.  Nice work on that one Blizzard.  I have three healers, that means three healers less in the system now because I will wait for the bag.  Working as intended?

From a Tanking standpoint.  I do not random as a tank now.  I will still not random as a tank because of a bag.  The problem with the system is the people using it.  Giving me a bag is not going to make the fact some asshat keeps pulling for me okay and blizzard is smoking something if they think it will.

The only characters I have that ever queue as DPS are pure DPS.  All my hybrids have a tank or a healing spec.  Personally, I think all should.  My Druid does not even have a DPS spec.  It is Feral tank and Restoration.  My Priest is Discipline and Discipline, another with no DPS spec.

If anything, I believe this proves that I have earned the right to comment on this situation from all perspectives as I do and have played them all.

Lets roll with the ideas I have seen so far with my personal opinions on them.

Everyone gets a bag - Tank edition
- If the tank in a random is eligible for the bag all other people that finish that dungeon who joined as a random alone will also get the bag.
- This seems like a fair enough deal.  If the tank is eligible, everyone that went out solo is eligible.
- I would support this but could see it defeat the purpose.
- I can see someone like myself fishing for solo tanks just so I can get the bag too.  Join, if the tank is the only one from a server I stay, if not I drop and requeue.  DPS queue will not be that bad any more so why not fish for a free bag if I have time but DPS like me, fishing, will mean more DPS in the system bringing the count back up.

Everyone gets a bag
- Everyone gets a bag for every random they do.
- This would kind of defeat the reasoning for them doing this.  I know if that where the case I would chain run with my Hunter when I had time.  That means more DPS in the queue as normally I do not do a random more then once a week to begin with.

Remove the mounts and pets from the bags
- Give the tanks the gold, flasks and gems but do not let them get things others need to work for just for doing their job.
- I won't tank either way but there are some people that will tank, over and over at that, just to try and get them.  Removing them would remove their motivation.  Flasks, gems and gold are all easy to come by so they are not incentive enough.
- From a DPS standpoint I would feel less fucked by Blizzard if they did this.

Only let tanks get one bag per day
- Give tanks a goodie bag for their first solo random only.
- That would defeat the purpose of this.  They are trying to get tanks to run multiple times so they can help clear more DPS out of the queue.  If they only get it on one run the incentive to do more then one is gone.

Make bags BoA
- Make the bags bind on account so if a tank gets a rare mount they can mail the bag to another one of their characters that they wanted that mount on and let the other character open the bag to take it out.
- So far this is one of the best ideas I have seen.  I would support this.
- It will still not get me to tank however.

Buffs, not Bags
- Give tanks that queue alone a 50% buff to all stats, and threat modifiers.
- Interesting, a suggestion that actually address the reason why no one tanks.  DPS are historically horrible in randoms and this could compensate some for that.
- While this is a fantastic way to get someone new to tanking the chance to learn with the buff I am not sure how far reached it could help.  It would surely give someone that is not adverse to tanking a reason to tank, faster queue than their DPS spec and they get to play superman.
- It will still not get me to tank.

Buff and Bags
- Give the previous mentioned buff and the bag.
- Now we are talking.  This one even comes close to me being willing to at least try a random again, as long as those bags are BoA as suggested as well.
- This is a little much however.  Most tanks have a god complex to begin with.  Now they get huge buffs and a goodie bag.  Lets not feed the ego monster any more blizzard being most tanks have a god complex to begin with

Real, not digital incentives.
- For every 100 randoms you tank as a solo queue you get 1 week free game time added to your account.
- Okay, I can accept this one but honestly, if 15 bucks a month is so much for you to the point you would farm dungeons to get free time then you really should not be spending your time tanking randoms you should go out and get a job.
- Starting to make the term pay to play mean something else. Blizzard paying people to tank?

Bag, the patient
- Just like you get the achievement the patient for pugging with different people you would get your bag for pugging with different DPS.  One bag every 10 different DPS you pug with on their first run of the day.
- This is another reasonable one.  This would mean at least 4 runs a tank would need to make.  This gets them tanking more for sure and goes further to solving what they are trying to solve.
- Will tanks think this is enough?  Even 1 bag per run is not enough for me and I am sure I am not alone.
- Tanks that keep records will start kicking DPS that they finished dungeons with before just to get someone else to up their count.

More Valor Points
- More valor points instead of bags.
- Apparently the person that suggested this does not grasp the concept that this would defeat the purpose. If you gave tanks more valor points per run they would need to do less runs before they reach the point it is not worth them running any more.
- It might convince people with two specs to run as their tank to gear both up faster however, but once geared that good thing is gone.

More Valor Points for Pure DPS
- Double the valor points earned daily by pure DPS classes so they will gear up faster and not need to do randoms.
- In theory this makes a crap load of sense.  If DPS don't need anything, they won't queue, meaning less DPS in queue.  I think this would better then the bag actually.
- In practice it is stupid.  I have not needed Valor points for three months and I still run dailies for them from time to time.  If I where getting even more points for them I definitely would every day even if I do not need them. Those BoE boots sell for a lot on my server.
- Speaking of BoE boots.  Letting DPS get more valor means they get something they can make a fortune on easier.  Just like the tanks get something they can make a fortune on in bags.  They are both wrong.

Nerf Dungeons
- Make dungeons so easy that you blow through them.
- It was like that in wrath and there was a tank shortage there too.  Easy dungeons is not the solution.

Make the bags be rolled on
- When a tank enters solo the end boss also drops a bag everyone can roll on.
- So you want a tank to queue for a random for a chance at a bag?  Most tanks are borderline even knowing it is a sure thing, why would they do it if it was a 20% chance of winning it.
- Would make people drop groups unless the tank was a solo tank.

Make a second bag to be rolled on.
- When a tank get a bag at the end another one can be rolled on by the other 4 people.
- Did I mention the fishing for tanks thing I would do before?  I would do it for this too.  It would only add DPS to the queue, not lower them.
- People would again drop groups looking for the solo tank.

Make normals drop justice points and valor for the first run.
- Make normals and heroics drop the same points but different gear only.
- Bad players make life hell, even in normals they would make a tanks life hell.  Less hell for sure but even less hell is still hell.  It would not make someone tank.

Eliminate Repairs
- Make tanks take no durability loss while in dungeons.
- I know a few people that said this would be enough, but for how long?  It would not motivate someone to do multiple runs. 
- I can hear it now.  Woohoo, I do not have to pay for wipes so let me tank a random I do not need to because I need no gear or points so I can wipe 10 times on trash and not pay anything. Um? No.

Make gear easier to get
- Decrease the cost of gear or the points awarded so people gear up faster and drop from the queue.
- You are aware that this would also mean the tanks would gear up faster and they would drop too.
- Ease of gear will not make people tank more randoms.

Make dungeons bosses only
- Like ToC.  Just a series of bosses. No stupid mounted fights however.
- This might actually get me to tank.  No trash means my stress levels fell like 6000%.
- It would be boring as sin.

There where many more that where mentioned that I read about that just do not seem to come to mind right now but over all the suggestions went far and wide.  They came from a huge cross section of the community from the hardcore players to the casual players.  From tanks, healers, pure dps and hybrids that like to play DPS.

You name it, someone thought of it and someone suggested it.  It should show that no matter what this community goes through and how much they verbally abuse each other and insult anyone that does not believe the same things they do that this has been the most unwelcome change in a long time.

Just as there are many suggestions for what should be done with this there are many interpretations about why this is the most unwelcome change.

Being this is my own little corner of the universe I will share my take on things.

From me it is an unwelcome change for the reasons I mentioned above.  This change does nothing for me expect make me play less as a healer waiting to get a bag and make me upset that my DPS can not get the extra chance at mounts I've been trying to get for years.  It will still not get me to tank.

Being this is something that is an effort to get people to tank it seemingly got only a response from me from my healer and my DPS.  It changed nothing in the way I play my tanks.  Working as intended?

To fix the tank problem Blizzard needs to first begin to understand why there are no tanks.  Tanks already have the most incredible incentive to tank, instant queue.  They do not need anything else. 

That alone is why people are rolling alt tanks that have never tanked before.  In low level dungeons DPS have near instant queue.  The reason for this is that there are so many tanks and healers it is insane. DPS are the minority in low level dungeons.

Why are none of these tanks and healers making it to end game and tanking and healing one might ask themselves.  The answer to that is actually quite simple.  Because at low levels being a tank doesn't mean anything.  You could tank a low level dungeon on a priest if you wanted to.  Everything dies so damn fast that even if there are mobs all over the place you will usually make it out okay.

When those low level tanks that grew up in that system get to higher levels they notice that the hunter, or lock or mage or whatever, that just pulled a second pack does not mean you have more to kill, it means you are dead.

You just spent all that time tanking and learning nothing what so ever about tanking because you never really needed to tank.  Once the culture shock hits you that all those DPS that where pulling everything to make things quicker in the low level dungeon are now at a high level with you doing the same thing you have to just give up.

The reason I don't tank randoms is because of the DPS.  Not because of my tanking abilities or lack thereof.  I do not tank randoms because of the DPS.

Lets go over a list of reasons I do not tank.
1) People not CCing when I ask for it.
2) People breaking CC whenever they get the chance.
3) People not hitting the skull.
4) People not hitting the X after the skull goes down.
5) People bringing more packs into battle.
6) People not understanding I am bringing them back here and following me.
7) People attacking mobs before they get to me.
8) People not understanding that when I say I am going to line of sight it means we all need to be out of line of sight.
9) People continuing to attack something I just saved them from.
10) People running away from me when something is on them instead of to me.
11) People who believe everything they read. (assist macros, more on that later)
12) People who say gogogo.
13) People that do no understand how to interrupt.
14) People that think healers can't hurt us so it is okay not to kill them even if they have a skull on their head, I must have just marked it wrong.
15) People who.... oh screw it.  Anyone that tanks knows I can keep this up all day long.

There are 100s of reasons I do not tank randoms.

Did you notice that all of them seem to address trash?  I've experienced 10 times more wipes on trash then I have on all bosses combined in the game.  The reason for that is because DPS seem to think that trash can't hurt you.  So it does.  They follow all the reasons I mentioned above and make my life a living hell in a heroic.

I can't kick everyone.  Actually, I never kick anyone.  I would rather leave.  Most good DPS will do at least one of the things I mentioned.  Most DPS are not good which means they do more then one of those things.  The more of those things they do, the more stressful my life as a tank becomes.

Here is how it goes.

I get a good group, guild of course, I mark, they CC, they follow kill order, I never have aggro issues.  I just do my thing and almost fall asleep doing it.  Tanking really is that easy when the people around you are competent.  Notice I did not say good, they do not even need to be good, they just need to not be bad.


I get a bad group, random of course, I mark, they do nothing, they have no clue what the skull means.  Everyone is on their own target so I am chasing aggro all over the place trying to round up the mobs.  At least I am not falling asleep this time but that is when it occurs to me that sleeping would be better then dealing with this.  Come to think of it slamming my head against the wall might be better then dealing with this.

The DPS are the reason I do not tank.  The instant queue can only make up for so much stress and sorry but it is not worth it in most cases.  Even if only 25% of pugs are bad I will not do them.  25% stress is just not worth it.

That is why I was most interested in the just bosses option.  While it is true that ToC had to be the most boring instance ever to be made it was also the least stressful instance I have ever tanked.  Being there is really no trash there was no chance for the DPS to make my life hell. 

If all instances where like that I would be willing to tank.  I get instant queue, a huge chance that it will be quick and easy, and being there is no trash, any wipe would be based on ability and not stupidity.  I can deal with people learning.  I can not deal with stupidity.

You might notice that at no point did I say I would tank if they gave me gold.You might notice that at no point did I say I would tank if they gave me gems.
You might notice that at no point did I say I would tank if they gave me flasks.
You might notice that at no point did I say I would tank if they gave me pets.
You might notice that at no point did I say I would tank if they gave me mounts.

None of that will ever get me to tank.  I don't avoid tanking randoms because it is hard.  I avoid tanking randoms because the DPS try their best to make it hard.

The DPS turn every trash pull into trying to fight the lich king at 80... heroic... without the buff... in quest greens.  Not to say I ever tried it but that is what it sure as hell feels like.

Blizzard needs to address the problem and the reason people do not tank.  The problem is the DPS.  They are the reason I do not tank.  They are the reason many people do not tank.  Giving me a bag does not solve the problem.

Being you can not fix the people you have to fix the surroundings.  Removing the trash is the best step.  That is where random DPS always finds a way to bring a new definition of fail into the game.

Making all dungeons into ToC like dungeon would make me tank randoms. 

There is one thing about that however.  I would still always take my guild mates but there is a slight difference.  Now I will only tank if it is all guild meaning me, a healer and 3 DPS.  If there are only 3 other guild members, I do not tank.  Maybe, just maybe, if I am daring I will pug a healer but that is where my risky tank behavior ends.  I will not pug a DPS now even if you offered me 10 bags per run.  If they where all ToC like I would be willing to go with one DPS and pug another two.

Blizzard can do anything it wants, the game belongs to them, in the end I don't care either way.  I play the game for fun and I can quit if it ever annoys me to the point where I am no longer having fun.  I just hope they actually start looking for ways to fix the problem (bad DPS) instead of trying to cover it up with sparkly items as bribes.

Off topic:

Assist Macros:

Please, DPS of the world, listen to me.  Stop listening to people on the forums and assisting the tank.  The people on the forums give basic information.  They do not explain it.  Let me explain it.

If the mobs are marked.  Hit the mobs in the order they are supposed to die.  What target I am on should never mater to you.  After I have enough of a threat lead on skull I move to X or I smack the unmarked one once or twice with my furry paw because he was giving the healer a dirty look and I had to put him in his place.  That does not mean you stop attacking the skull.  I changed targets because I do not need to be on the skull anymore. 

My job and your job are different jobs.  I stay on the skull long enough to make sure I never lose its attention and I move on.  You stay on the skull until it is dead. 

If you are stupid enough to assist me and end up taking aggro from me while I am going through the mobs giving them all a little bear like loving and grab one that only has a little love I will let you die.  Never assist the tank if there are marked targets.  Ignore the no nothings on the forums, they are bad players if they are giving advice without explaining it.

If there are no targets marked, feel free to assist me.  If something goes wrong it is now my fault for not marking.

Thank you for your time, class dismissed.


  1. Why are none of these tanks and healers making it to end game and tanking and healing one might ask themselves.

    I think they do make it to end game, the difference is that at low levels, most dps rarely set foot into an instance while a lot of tanks and healers level by doing nothing else. Then at max level all those dpsers that levelled solo flood the dungeon finder because they have nowhere else to go anymore. I wish Blizzard would give them something else to do.

  2. Grumpy,

    I really do agree with what you are saying about the different classes not using basic techniques. Where I differ from you though is that in my mind, every time we scream for Blizz to fix a situation, their meddling makes it worse. It honestly is up to us as players to fix the situation. One thing I don't like, the lower level dungeons are just loot piniatas now. They don't really train you to pay attention to basic group mechanics. If Blizz were to fix one thing, I'd say it would be that. Make the reg dungeons tougher and make the players start paying attention to their roles early on so they aren't retards later when it actually matters. Since that won't happen, the players themselves need to work together to practice team ethics regardless of what server they come from.

  3. I was tanking last night, on my 39ish Warrior, about 5 randoms. I see a huge issue when I do this. I mark kill orders, and CC if the healer is having issues. If someone decides to pull the next group for me, or attacks whatever the hell random crap he wants, or involves taunts in his rotation, etc... I call them out on it. I don't want them "growing up" to do the same to the heroics queue.

    However, it is JUST ABOUT EVERY TIME that I get shot down by everyone else, healer included, because "lol no one can die here anyway, what does it matter?"

    I want to strangle people. God bless Guilds. Screw the retarded masses. That is all.

  4. @Mhorgrim.

    I agree 100%. The game is fine the way things are to begin with. It is the people that play it that make it so messed up.

    The sad fact is you can not fix the people. People will be good, bad, or average. That is who they are. Even if we made the lower dungeons teach people they just would not learn.

    As much as it sucks to say it, that is why the game has to be designed around the lowest common denominator. Unless blizzard is going to start turning away customers for being bad players they have to make it so the bad player do not effect (maybe infect) my game play.

    Even more so if you want to make me tank for them.


    I agree that might be it. A lot of reroll tanks and healers go straight to the dungeons. A don't think you will find a large amount of first time players on their first character tanking or healing an instance.

    For that matter, I don't think you will find a lot of first time players in dungeons at all unless they are the type that reads the forums and other online resources.

    Most people that use the LFD tool at low levels are rerolls. Being tanks and healers all have fast queue times they all roll hybrids and level with the tank or healer spec just to switch to DPS when they are done leveling.

    I see that with alts in my guild. So many up and coming tanks and healers hit 85 and no longer tank and heal. They only did it to level up another DPS character faster.

  5. @Mfer

    That is because they are all reroll characters. If they where new characters they would take it seriously.

    Note to remember, every person you ever meet in a low level dungeon has a max level character that is the best in their class (and yours) on their server and cleared all content the second it was released so they always know more then you.

    Either way, low level, high level, most random people in the LFD system feel like they have a license to be jerks.