Friday, December 14, 2012

I Miss Accountability

Don't get me wrong, I remember the hell of finding a group in those days before the looking for system was added.  I remember logging in and waiting for someone to post in trade they needed a DPS for something, anything.  I remember asking in trade looking for a group.  I remember spending hours, yes hours, try to find a group for a dungeon and sometimes still never getting to do one that day.  I remember more days than I could count where I tried on and off for four hours and never got a group.  I remember those times I did get a group and then someone would disconnect after the first pull meaning we needed to go back and look for someone again, or if it were a DPS deciding on if we should try it with only two damage dealers.

It was not fun.  Anyone that joined the game after the looking for system was introduced will never be capable of understanding what it was like.  I am not looking at those days with rose tinted glasses and saying how great they were because they were not.  They were their own small piece of hell just for you.

When the looking for system was added to the game our own little hell of trying to find a group was replaced by a different little hell, the hell of being with random people.  There are good, bad and the people that do bad on purpose because they think it is justifiable because other are bad.

But did the ease of group assembly end up losing us more than we gained?  We gained the ability to instantly assemble a group without even trying and lost any sense of accountability in the process.

The days before the dungeon finder, as I said, were not fun when you were a new player.  You basically needed to luck into a group and the only way you could do that is with continued spamming in trade or reading in trade and hoping you were the first person to respond to someone that was posting they needed someone for your role.

I had many times where I went days without finding a group.  Other days I logged in and saw someone posting and whispered right away and got lucky and was on a flight path to the dungeon within minutes.

One of the best tricks to getting a group was to hang around the stones of popular instances.  I did this a few times to get a group.  Basically what you were doing was hoping that someone dropped group or DCed and that they needed someone to fill in and they might just take you being you are already there.  Just saying in say, LFG, was usually enough to get an invite if someone needed you.

You basically had to work your butt off to get into a group.  It was all worth it however because once you did get in a group it was your time to show everyone why you were a good person to have along.  Do well, or exceptional even, and you will be remembered.  Even antisocial people like myself would often chat with the people in the group because you had to.  These people were from your community and if you wanted to make sure you get an invite again next time they needed someone, you sure as hell wanted them to remember you as a nice person and a good player, not just one or the other.

It took me a long time, many different dungeon pugs over the course of two months stalking trade and taking an invite from every group that would give me a shot and making connections with the people on my server.  After some time doing this people started to know me, they started to know I was decent and willing to do dungeons just about any chance I got.

The time came where I no longer needed to hang around and read trade.  My chains were unlocked, I could now go out in the world and do other things.  No longer was I confined to a city if I wanted to do a dungeon.  I was now known and known to be a competent player.  I would not get an invite every day but it had gotten to the point where at least 4 of the 7 days in the week someone would whisper me looking to have me join their group.  When I was building my reputation, even on a good week, I could not get 4 dungeon runs, now I got them without even trying to get them.

That was the power of accountability.  I did groups with people that saw I was good and they wanted me around.  Sure, the nightmare of those months trying to find a group at the get go were not easy at all but being groups were assembled by hand, people were accountable for their actions.

When someone was looking for a damage dealer my name started to get around as someone that is often looking and I could hold my own.  More and more invites came.  If I had been a bad player or had been a huntard my reputation would have went the other way and it would have became increasingly harder for me to get groups.  People that were not very good were kept out of the inner circle because, not trying to be rude here but it is true, they did not deserve to be involved in group content.

Those people you see now in 480 gear that are struggling to do 12K, whether it is because they are bad players or slackers that are better but just do not try, would never see the inside of a dungeon or a raid again and that is how it should be.  Those people have no business ever being in that content because they are not capable of doing it.

Just because you can pick up a baseball bat doesn't mean you should be playing for the new york yankees, same goes for group content like dungeons or raids, just because you have the gear and are capable of entering them, doesn't mean you should be doing them.  The accountability system was a much better player run system to keep people out than the item level gating of the looking for system.

The looking for system was a wonderful addition for what it did, helped you find groups faster, but it was a horrible addition for what the game lost when it was added, and that is accountability.

People can act poorly, play poorly, or just exhibit poor work ethics and never have to worry about any repercussions.  No one is going to say in trade, he is a slacker, he ninja pulls, he ninja loots, he can not put out what is required for the content.  They do not need to worry about being invited to groups because any group is only one button away.  How they play and act means nothing now.  Nope, not even in the slightest, it no longer matters.  There is no accountability in the game any more.  You can act any way you want, play any way you want, do any thing you want and it will rarely if ever get back to hurt you.

If someone did not know how to play their class or role, it got noticed, word got out.  If someone had a bad attitude and was a problem player, word got out.  If someone was rude and insulting, word got out.  If someone had constant disconnects or AFKs, word got out.  If someone tried to get carried by letting everyone else do the work, word got out.

Just like those people added me to their friends list, the one that allowed me to get back into the world and no longer need to sit around reading trade, they put people they did not want to group with on their black list.  People shared their lists too.  Bad players names got out just as quickly as the good ones did.  If anything the bad players names got out faster because some people wanted to keep the names of the good people to themselves so they would hopefully always be available for them when they needed them.

If you needed a healer you would ask a friend and your friend would say, let me see who is on my friends list.  Do you remember those days?  I do and fondly actually, when we were missing a healer for the raid and everyone was looking through our friends lists and switching characters to see if we had one on another friends list.

We played with people because we wanted to play with them.  We played with people that were good or at least good enough.  We played we people we liked.  It took a lot longer to make groups and sometimes we still couldn't but we always played with the people that were worth playing with, that deserved to be doing the content, they are the same type of players we are.

Now with the looking for system there is no accountable, there is no consideration about who we want to play with, there is no filter to keep all those people out of there that should not even be there in the first place.  People seem to have this idea that if the system lets me sign up for the content that means I can do it and that is about as far from the truth as you could ever be.  Many people do not deserve to be there.

The bad players do not deserve to be there.  They deserve to get a bad reputation for being a bad player, which in turn will teach them to learn their role before trying to do content they are obviously not capable of doing.

We now have instant access to dungeons and raids and no one is being held accountable for their actions.  Was the complete dismantling of community and self moderated group content really worth what we gave up for one button group assembly?

Sometimes I say yes, sometimes I say no.

But one thing I always say is that I missed being able to be in a group where everyone was at least a decent player capable of doing the content because it was built with people that earned the right to be in that group by the accountability system we had in place before the looking for system.

Sometimes I wonder if what we lost is worth what we got.  We sold our souls for an easier system and lost our community in the process.


  1. Well, challenge mode dungeons are attempt to return those days, with looking in trade chat and all.

    Though obviously they don't have enough "carrot" in them for mass appeal to truly bring people together like in old days.

    1. I have yet to run one challenge mode as I can't get anyone on my server that is interested in them and only 2 people in my guild that are.

      As you said, not enough carrot for most people. The only carrot is for ego trip reasons and when you have people that are not into bragging that is not enough to get them into them.

  2. I played in vanilla for a bit. Lvl'd a rogue to 45 before getting bored with the grind. But during that time, I think I only did a hand full of dungeons. Finding a group was a near impossible task if you didn't know anyone.

    Then I came back towards the end of wrath to short queues for super easy wrath heroics.

    Very different experience. The dungeons were easy enough that accountability wasn't a big deal.

    Then Cata heroics came out and were clearly not tuned for random pugs. They even gave full guild groups trouble at the very beginning. I quit doing heroics until HoTs came out which were better tuned for random pugs. Cata Heroics and ZA/ZG were just too time consuming even if you had a good group.

    Then we had DS LFR which was relatively easy but could still be problematic on weekends or towards the end when raiders stopped doing lfr.

    MoP heroics seem ok for random pugs but I didn't do too many, just enough to get into LFR, and often it was a guild group.

    LFR this time is too hard for random pugs, imo. Random pugs got worse and LFR got harder... That's why they had to change the queue system to not show the progress; too many groups were failing and falling apart. I'm sure too many people used to afking in DS LFR while a few people did everything didn't help either.

    I'm not sure how Blizz can restore a sense of accountability though.

    25man lfr leaves too much room for slackers but 10man lfr would have horrible failure rates unless it was super easy.

    I think Blizz could better educate players when they are doing bad though. For example, integrate some Recount-like functionalities into the game but more importantly tell the players if they are doing too little dps on an encounter for their gear level or taking too much damage from standing in shit. They could consider giving bonus rewards for people who perform well; they'd have to figure out how to balance that though so it couldn't be exploited.

    Proving Grounds would help too; force people to complete the Proving Grounds before they can use the "looking for" system or something like that. At least they'd have some basic knowledge before getting put into a group.

    1. I don't truly believe there is much blizzard can do. They can fine tune a few things but anything they do now will be viewed as a step backwards.

      They could make the LFR your realm only. But people would complain if they are on a small server on an underpopulated side or play on off hours.

      They could make 10 man LFRs but people would complain because the only people doing randoms and not full or near full groups would be the really bad players that need us to get through them.

      They could make the LFR even easier but that would inspire even more slackers. They could make it harder but that would inspire more people insulting each other.

      They could make the LFR a one boss at a time thing and let people pick and choose the ones they want and still get valor but then only the fights with popular items or super easy mechanics would ever get done by people.

      There is a hell of a lot they can do but nothing would ever be perfect and nothing can ever return the sense of community. What is that old saying, you can never really go home? Well, that is what this is. You can never really rebuild the community, unless you plan to rip it apart to repair it, and their stock holders would never allow that, they are a business after all.

  3. Yeah, you could make a name for yourself if you could play for uninterrupted hours most nights of the week and eventually get a decent friends list or a great guild that was both nice and raided competently without having to bring the GM's granny or 10 year old brother. OR that didn't expect you to raid 3 nights a week.

    But try working the /trade crowd on an adult's schedule. And accountability? I have been treated far, far worse in /trade PuGs than any raid or dungeon finder.

    Despite your rose colored glasses, those days were bad for the vast majority of us. And LFR is only for the lowest tier of raids. You are free to continue to work your social magic on the regular tier.

    1. I am an adult with a family, friends and an 11 hour a day work schedule and still found time to make in game connections.

      No, it was not easy and I said so. No, it was not fun and I said so. But it made for a much better community.

      I can see for some how it would be harder, much harder. If you only played on weekends only it would be horrible.

  4. Bristal- well said:) There seems to be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth about something that is really optional, if you feel that doing LFR/LFD is not a good use of your time/stressful ect ect, then, don't do it.

    Honestly, being in an LFR where somebody is constantly complaining about everyone else is just as annoying as somebody standing in the bad, if the bosses are going down, and I am getting my magical gold bag, then I do not care about XXXhuntercritshotxxx's dps or ability to not stand in fire.

    LFR and LFD is basically wow training wheels, if you don't want to be possibly grouped with people who need those training wheels, then maybe you should just run with your guild, or find some other "non bads" in trade.

    1. I don't know why everyone assumes a Guild is what it was back in the day. I am in a antisocial guild with most of my characters. Meaning no one in there ever speaks on guild chat or responds to any requests, we are in the guild because its perks are as close to mandatory as things get so for people like me it is LF or nothing at all.

    2. I disagree that LFR and LFD are just training wheels. I do believe that is what they were intended to be but they do not teach people anything and they can't.

      If they made them hard enough to teach people it would be a wipe fest. Look at the third boss in HoF, with crush every time someone went in blue. Had to be nerfed or it would never get done in the LFR and while it could be annoying being there are some strange movements sometimes it is something that could be learned. Not in LFR. I was loving the idea that LFR would be a stepping stone but soon realized I was wrong, it will not and can never be that.

      A guild is also not the magic answer everyone likes to think it is. I was in a guild and still needed to work trade to get groups. A guild did not magically mean there was always a tank and healer and three DPS online that wanted to run. Even when there were people in guild we usually needed to get someone from trade. Everyone that ever said "if you don't like it get a guild" is delusional if they thought that was the answer to everything. Some guild with people on the same schedule as you did you might be able to get lucky with. But in the end, it required people to interact and being everyone spread the word, it required them not to act like jerks or they would never run again. Accountability was a good thing.

  5. Wrong.
    LF system is NOT training wheels. What the fuck were you doing the previous 90 levels? Oh right, riding the world of welfarecraft train with the rest of the "bads".
    Honestly they way you seem to pine over the system, seems to me like thats the ONLY content you see. I could be wrong, but thats a safe assumption given your inherent ignorance to the author of the articles' point; LFR does nothing but allow people with NO RIGHT to be in a raid, to raid and for people who are total shit at this particular video game to once again have accountability to their ineptitude. You never saw Nintendo nerf Super Mario Bros. did you? No because you DONT DESERVE TO WIN IF YOU CANNOT WIN.
    I for one like LFR because I run it with friends and we kick anyone and everyone that's total shit or the first person to ask "how do we do this fight?" after it being out for months.
    My one and only suggestion to blizz regarding LFR accountability was not only have the vote to kick system, but also a "black flag" type of system. Did that person just die on every pull? Right click, flag. Now one flag, heck, even 10 flags prob wont do anything as the internet community is now dominated by the pleebs who are generally of low intelligence so it would be abused. But say after 50 flags, they get 'looked at' and upon inspection you see that this player has 50 flags from 50 different strangers in LFR; were they just a total asshole the entire time every time? Were they SO inept they caused wipes or are they playing a pivotal role (tank/heals) and have ZERO clue what theyre doing? Are they super geared and not contributing? etc etc.
    This imho would allow the community being slighted against by the incompetent/lazy/stupid to actually force people to be responsible again.
    Then again, this would require blizzard doing something and I doubt they would. Laziest fucks out there.

    1. While I do agree with what you have said mostly I think you are being harsh to people that ask what to do even months after it is out.

      Give them some credit. They don't know and they would rather be told then be one of the people that doesn't know. Some credit where it is due. I would rather someone that is new, just hit 90, and willing to try ask for assistance than to screw up because they do not care and were just looking to be carried. My opinion at least.

      They need to add a special penalty to people who fake their roles. I run on my alts as healers, being I heal on them of course, and I can not tell you how many fights I've had to three heal because DPS queue as healers just for the quick queue and then do not even attempt to heal. Some fights it can be done but other fights, I am sorry, it can not be done even in the LFR. Just not possible. Perhaps if it were three healers in all full heroic gear they could three heal it, but you will get LFR geared people in the LFR most likely.

      So I agree, some sort of flag system needs to be added. Something, anything, to bring some accountability to the table.

    2. Hahaha. I love your post, even if I think you're an ass.

      "You never saw Nintendo nerf Super Mario Bros. did you? No because you DONT DESERVE TO WIN IF YOU CANNOT WIN."

      So true.

  6. I like the idea of consequence to bad or sub-par performance. Are you on an english realm? At least speak english to some extent... Are you underperforming by default? Get flagged...
    More then lets say 100 flags and you cant queue in LF anymore.
    Every encounter can get you one flag (so a 5man that are discontent can only flag you once)
    Redeem flags by successfuly contribute to killing all of the bosses in one encounter.
    Flags would also need to be invisible untill the limit is reached, otherwise alearning player might get excluded from dungeons or raid solely because made some mistakes learnin the tools of the trade.

    All in all, hell yeah for accountability!!
    Bowmonster, bloodelf hunter, wildhammer (EU)

    1. A flagging system would be nice as the other guy said.

      One of the servers I am on in an english one but when I do random content I am always in groups with people that speak spanish and am usually the only one that speaks english in it. It can be frustrating sometimes. Not sure why my english speaking realm always seems to get randomed with all spanish only realms.

      I guess, to them, I would be the one getting flagged. What they need to to is fix the system to only group servers together that should be together.

    2. you didn't press "1" at the beginning of the raid, did you. :D