Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Call to Wait: Let DPS Wait.

The blog posts, forum posts, and general rage toward the Call to Arms seems to be simmering down some.  It seems that the community as a whole, while they still hate it from all angles, are willing to accept that we have no say in it. 

Blizzard is going to do what it wants to do, what the customers say does not matter, what is good for the game does not matter, how it makes people feel does not matter.  You know what?  I shouldn't either.  It is their game and they can do with it what they please.  We, as the customers, do have the final say however.  If we don't like something enough we can quit.

My problem with the Call to Arms was always a little different from what the masses seem to complain about.  While I agree with most people that it is unfair to pure DPS that do not have an option to get the bag and that it will bring a whole slew of horrible tanks and healers into the mix my main problem has always been the players and not the design of the dungeon finder.

The dungeon finder is a fantastic tool.  Before it came out I could not do my daily every day.  Before it came out I would have to sit in a city looking for a group for 2 hours.  Now, you sign up, you do things while waiting, you get your dungeon done, no fuss no muss.  The only true flaw with the dungeon finder system is the lack of community feel it creates and by process, it forces people to play with bad players.

I've been getting a little spoiled lately.  The last 4 randoms I have done on my Hunter have been fantastic.  All less then 30 minutes, all with 0 wipes, and for the most part, all with no need for CC any more.  Mind you, my last 4 randoms span over three weeks.  I just do not do them that often.

The reason I do not do them that often has nothing to do with a 40 minute wait time, which, by the way, is down to less then 30 on its own, no tank incentive either.

The reason I do not do them is because the chance of having a group that knows what they are doing is still slim.  In those last good 4 there was a 5th I choose to ignore because we basically never did anything.  I waited my time, got into SFK, the group broke up before the first boss, so I went back into the queue all over again.

That is what the problem with the dungeon finder has always was.  It was not the wait time it was about the failure.  The reason everyone complains about the wait time is because that is what stands out from the failure. 

It is a case of, I waited 40 minutes for this.  When the run is quick and smooth no one ever complains about waiting 40 minutes.  In truth I bet if Blizzard could find a way to make all runs fast and smooth you would hear less and less about wait times.  Sure, some will still complain, but if the run is good there really leaves nothing to complain about.

Personally how I deal with wait time, mine was 31 minutes yesterday, is I do some dailies or I dig or I farm or I do some mount runs.  Something to pass the time.  Yesterday, I farmed.

I picked 283 whiptail, got 77 volitile lives in the process and 7 crocolisk tails, 2 greens, and various other vendor junk.

Based on prices things sell for on my server this means I made roughly 2350-2400 gold farming for the 31 minutes while I waited for my daily, not even counting junk sold.

See, I've never had any problem waiting.  Personally I consider farming to be a waste of time.  I only do it when I am waiting in queue and do not feel like doing anything really and am taking a break from digging.

I like to wait a little bit, it is the only time I actually get things done.  That 30 minutes, and it will keep going down on its own, no incentives needed, was the perfect time to do things I otherwise might not.

The problem was never the wait time.  The problem was the failure of the groups people get in.  Even if only one group a week was horrible that one group would leave such an impression on a person that they would lash out about the fact they waited 40 minutes to fail.

Blizzard picked the wrong words out of their complaint.  Blizzard mistakenly thought they where complaining about the 40 minute wait when it fact they where complaining because they wasted 40 minutes waiting for failure.  The key to their anger was the failure of the group.  Not the wait time.

I have not ever, nor do I think I will ever, see someone complain about having waited 40 minutes for a run that has everyone doing over 15K DPS including the tank, a healer that never stops for mana and a tank that can wrath pull Cataclysm dungeons.  People would love, let me repeat that LOVE, to wait 40 minutes for that. 

Given the option of waiting 10 minutes and having to take my chances with a failure of a group or 40 minutes and being sure it would be a fantastic group I will wait 40 minutes every time hands down.

It is not the wait time that needed to be fixed, that is why the bags are a bad thing, it was the failure of the people in the system that need to be fixed.  The bags will just increase the rate of failure as non tanks and non healers queue up as tanks and healers to try and get goodie bags.  I do not want this.  No one wants this.

Fix how the dungeons are run, do what you can to make sure each run is a quick and easy run.  Do it however you wish, bigger buffs, nerfs, removing lots of trash, etc.  If more dungeons ended fast after a great run you would never hear people complain about the wait.  Giving bags as incentives will just make runs worse.  It is a horrible idea.

Anyway, the wait will fix itself, it is already doing it.  In my last times in the system I waited 28 minutes, for the group that broke up, 30 minutes for the one after and 31 minutes for the one yesterday.  See, the times are going down on their own.  I can't even remember the last time I saw a 40 minute wait and I even had a 21 minute wait a few weeks ago.

There was no need to bribe the tanks Blizzard, the problem is fixing itself.  You need to address the rate of failure in groups, that was always the real problem.

Me, I'll gladly take waiting 30 minutes a day to make almost 2500 gold while I wait.  I have no issues with that.  Just make sure that my group is not a failure and you will never hear me complain about it.  Giving a non tank a bag to tank for me is not the best route to making sure my group does not fail.  Please think about the error in your ways before you turn a small problem into a huge one.


  1. I agree with this completely. Waiting for something good is called anticipation and it's not a bad thing. Waiting is only annoying if we dread what's coming or generally just want it to be over with. I was reading up on this the other day and apparently studies have shown that people generally don't mind waiting as long as they know for approximately how long they'll have to wait, which matches my experiences of only getting restless about the dungeon finder wait if it can't even give me an estimate.

    I also want to express particular love for this line:

    I like to wait a little bit, it is the only time I actually get things done.

    I also like that about queueing as dps instead of tank or healer. It's a bit of an illusion I think, because it gives us the feeling that we're multi-tasking (waiting and doing something else at the same time), even though the act of waiting itself doesn't actually involve doing anything. I'm just glad that I'm not the only one who feels that way.

  2. This! Bribe people and they'll only queue until they've got the bribe they want, if they even want any of the bribes on offer in the first place. On the other hand, if you make it fun people will WANT to queue for it. Say what you like about Wrath heroics but at least I could get one done on every alt every day, and I have 10 alts. One a day in Cataclysm is enough to drain my batteries.

  3. @Shintar

    It is amazing that is feels like we are actually getting things accomplished by waiting doesn't it? I am sure we are not the only ones.


    I am sure that in time as more gear comes and more nerfs come the heroics will be like wrath again. I've already had 2 20 minute SFK keep runs. But great players are needed for that now.

    In 6 months even fresh 85s will be doing it. That is when the game might become fun again for the average player.

    Heroics seem just like part of the daily quest grind, people want to do their daily quests quick.

    I liked being able to do a few a day, now one or two is enough to stress anyone out.

  4. I agree for the most part, but I don't like the idea of making dungeons easier. Right now I find Heroic dungeons difficult, and I like the challenge, making them easier would bum me out. :|

    But I believe that your point is spot on, I dont mind waiting for a successful run. But I want to be successful at the HARD level. So that means a better group? Not sure.

    I think that Blizz should develop a (good) in game voice chat and put everyone in a LFG group into the voice chat. I believe that it would help in several areas. First community, people might be nicer if the are in voice. Second, strategy. Ok, I see the tank typing directions, I read them, but I frequently misinterpret them. :( I think voice chat would help quite a bit. Also "OHMYGOD!!! MOB ON THE HEALER!" And give me an option in the LFG tool "only group with user who have voice chat ability"

    I know that it doesn't seem like it addresses the core issue, but maybe it does. If it helped get through instances, wouldn't that make the wait (as you say) more tolerable?

    Dunno, just throwing it out there.