Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Second Look at Call to Arms

As I said in my last post when I first read about the Call to Arms incentive I loved it. My educational background is in Economics and Business so this solution makes a lot of sense to me. In business if you need a particular type of employee and there is a shortage of them you raise the salary offered to attract one. Therefore it makes sense to me that Blizzard would offer additional rewards to players willing to fill a role that is in short supply. This is basic economics.

This is so obvious to me that I am a bit surprised when others weren't as supportive as I am. Gevlon made a quick comment on my last post basically saying that the rude behavior of other players would still keep new tanks. However, I want to address the posts made by Allison Robert at WoW Insider.

Allison's Posts:

In Allison’s first post, she argues that the current DPS queue issues are a result of design philosopies from TBC and WotLK clashing in Cataclysm.
In TBC heroic dungeons were hard through out the expansion. They required large trash pulls with crowd control. Groups were hard to find unless you built a network of competent players.

In WotLK, heroics became simple due to several factors. They started out a bit easier then they were in TBC due to simpler design, gear inflation, and general tank and DPS buffs. When, the LFD tool was released half way through the expansion it players overgeared the content dramatically. As a result, player mistakes were hidden. Groups were so easy to find, and mistakes so weakly punished that players no longer had a need to build a network.

In Cataclysm, these two systems converged to create the current issue in Allison's opinion. Harder instances mean that more organization is needed to complete them successfully and that player mistakes are punished more severely. This has caused tanks to leave the LFD tool in mass resulting in 45 minute queue times for DPS trying to use the tool.

In her second post, Allison breaks down the different types of tanks and talks about who would be attracted by the Call to Arms. She divided the tanks into five groups: “Raid Professionals,” “Professionals,” “Apprentice,” “Mercenaries,” and “Opportunist.”

The “Professionals” are experienced tanks who tank as their primary function when instancing. “Apprentices” are players who treat tanking as their primary role, but are somewhat inexperienced with the role. “Mercenaries” are mains that tank as an off spec and have a wide range of ability at tanking. “Opportunists” are tanks that are not interested in the role but give it a try for the potential rewards.

Allison then goes on to argue that the Satchel of Exotic Mysteries is unlikely to attract the “professional” tanks because the rewards aren’t significant enough and it would require them to ignore their friends. Therefore the Call to Arms is more likely to attract new tanks rather then get the existing tanks to queue more frequently.

I don’t think Allison and I disagree as much as I thought I did at first. She out lines the situation pretty well actually, but I do have a couple of problems with her arguments.

Yes, There is a Tanking Shortage:

Probably the most outrageous comment I saw in Allison’s post was in her second post when she quoted “There isn't a shortage of tanks. There is a shortage of tanks willing to tank PuGs.” This is an absolutely absurd comment and anyone who believes it is an idiot.

Edit: Since the entire post is about the Call to Arms, I thought it was clear that I was talking about 5mans, NOT RAIDS. Judging from the comments some people aren't getting that.

Maybe I misinterpreted Allison's quote and when what she really meant was "There isn't a shortage of (raid) tanks. There is a shortage of tanks willing to tank (5-man) PuGs." That may be the case. I haven't looked into the raid tanking situation because it's irrelevant to this post. However, even if there is an abundance of raid tanks out there that doesn't mean there are an abundance of tanks out there willing to tank 5mans.

A lot of prima donna tanks like to argue that the shortage is due to tanks leaving the queue because some DPS are asshats and do stupid things that make their job harder. Tanking is a high pressure position and I know that there are people out there that make life more difficult then it needs to be, but in my experience they are the exception rather then the rule. I’ve done a lot of random groups in all three roles, and I’ve rarely seen someone so bad that they need to be kicked. The real reason tanks don’t pug is because they don’t have to. They can easily fill a group from their guild when ever they want. At worse they have to fill a couple of spots from the LFD tool. If there wasn’t a tank shortage this wouldn’t be possible.

Also, if the shortage was only related to pugs, then it shouldn’t be hard for a DPS to find a tank when they are not pugging. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. As a DPSer, I won’t always find a tank quickly when query the guild or my friends looking for a tank.

So yes, there is a tank shortage and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise. However, it is important to note that the shortage is exaggerated at the moment due to where we are in the expansion cycle. Main tanks have little reason to run 5mans because most of them don’t need the Valor Points or gear any more, because the expansion is 4 months old. Alt tanks also rare because alts are still being leveled up, content is still pretty hard, and there isn’t an abundance of easy gear to be gained because we are still early in the expansion.

Reputations are still Present:

The big theme of Allison’s first post was “Cataclysm returned players to the difficulty of The Burning Crusade instancing model without the benefits that tanks gained from building a reputation as a competent player.” This is completely incorrect. Reputations and social networks are still used to create a majority of the dungeon groups that form. It’s just done a little differently then it was before.

The base of these reputations and social networks has always been the guild. Even in TBC players would ask the guild first if they wanted to do a five man. If a tank was available these groups would fill quickly. If there was a shortage of DPS it was easily filled by making a post in Trade chat. This is almost exactly what still happens today. The only difference is that the premade groups now use LFD instead of Trade chat to fill open spots.

The unknown players that were found through Trade chat in TBC are no different then the unknown players that are currently found with the LFD. They were just as likely to suck in TBC as they are now. The only real difference is that you can’t filter out know asshats, but that isn’t a big problem either. While the vote kick feature is a little clumsy it’s not ineffective. On top of that, there is nothing stopping a tank from trying to form a group in Trade chat Cataclysm. If you want to build a stable of competent DPS from your own server, you still can.

The reality is that the Reputations and networks we formed in TBC haven’t gone any where. They’ve just gotten smaller, because people choose not to form them since the LFD tool is easier to use.

A Change in Perception:

What’s really changed from TBC to WotLK to Cataclysm is our perception of the issue. In TBC, 5-mans were much more important of gearing up a toon. For most of the expansion Heroics were the only source of Badges that were needed to by epic gear for raiders. As a DPSer in TBC it could easily take more then an hour to find a group.

That all changed when WotLK was released. In WotLK, 5-mans were completely unimportant. The gear rewards were fairly weak when compared to the leveling gear and even the level 70 raid gear players picked up in TBC. On top of that the early raids weren’t that difficult so players could easily skip the heroic and still progress. The lack of demand meant that no one really cared how hard it was to form a group.

When the LFD tool was introduced, it came with a reason for all players to do five mans. Badges were now needed to gain tier gear and if you wanted to get your tier as quickly as possible you had to do 5mans. However, many of the players overgeared the content dramatically. As a result new tanks could enter system with little risk. Most of the time overgeared DPS would hide the issues and they would gain gear quickly. As a result the queue times for DPS were relatively low. This is the heart of our current queue problem.

When Cataclysm was released, DPS players are used to 10-15 minute queue times. As a result, 40-45 minute queue times feel huge even though they are significantly less then the time it took to form a group in TBC. The problem we have right now really boils down to unrealistic expectations.

An Incentive to Ignore your Friends?

Another common criticism I’ve heard of the Call to Arms is that’s just an incentive for tanks to ignore their friends. I have a problem with this notion. To me this just sounds like sour grapes from DPS that might lose their pocket tanks. The more appropriate way to think about it is that Blizzard is rewarding players for performing a service needed by the community.

Think about it from a real world perspective. Let’s say a group of friends work in the same company, but friend X has a skill that is in higher demand then the skills of the other friends. If another company comes and offers friend X more money to change companies are they incenting friend X to ignore his friends? No, they are being given an opportunity to provide as service that is in greater demand for greater reward. I think most people would prefer to work with friends if possible, and some times that is worth a pay cut, but I doubt most people would criticize friend X for taking the job with more money.

Will Call to Arms the Desired Impact?

As you know my first reaction was a definite yes, but the more I think about it I’m not so sure, for two reasons.

First, the LFD queue times are going to get better until the next expansion with or without the Call to Arms. As time goes on a couple of things are going to happen. People are going to level more and more alts, and supply more tanks. Yes, there will be more DPS alts as well, but tank alts will be more prevalent because of the better queue times. Another thing that will help, is that better gear will be easier to obtain helping to mask the mistakes of new tanks, which means more people will be willing to give tanking a try. Since these things are going to happen with or without Call to Arms, it’s impossible to tell what kind of impact Call to Arms is going to have.

Second, tanks aren’t the only players avoiding the LFG tool. There are lot of players that don’t use the LFG tool because the queue times are two long. If Call to Arms works and increases the number of tanks entering the queue, this will reduce the queue time for DPS. However, it will also mean that more DPS will enter the queue because of the better queue times and push those queue times back up. They won’t back up to the original level, but it will take a ton of new tanks to significantly change the queue times.

Call to Arms Needs Significant Rewards

After writing all of this I can’t help but agree with Allison’s conclusion. “Call to Arms, at least in its present form, doesn't convince existing tanks to pug as much as it attempts to add tanks to the population.” I don’t see how flasks, pets, and mounts are going to convince tanks to solo queue for a random. Big Bear Butt suggests that Blizzard should offer the very rare pets only obtainable from buy collectors editions and the card game, but he admits that would only work until he obtained the pets he wanted. So the question, is what is significant enough to get tanks to frequently solo queue for in LFG?

My suggestion is gold. The good news is Blizzard has already said that gold will be in the Satchel of Exotic Mysteries. The bad news is if history is any indication I would be surprised if it had more then 50 gold, and I doubt that is enough to attract tanks to the LFG.

The truth is gold/money can be a powerful motivator if enough is offered as a reward. Gevlon has been offering large sums for Guild Achievements and as a result guild is ranked 124th in the world in terms of guild achievements, but for gold to work you have to offer more gold then can be gained by easier methods. You can easily earn several hundred gold per hour by doing daily quests, gathering herbs or leveling a high level alt. Therefore, the solo queuing for a random needs to provide several hundred gold as well for experienced tanks to look at it as a gold making opportunity. If this is done, then I think Call to Arms might have an impact.


Ohken said...

Excellent analysis. I agree that the presumption should be that an extra incentive will help.

My main counter-argument is that the current incentive is already gigantic. If fast queue times aren't already enough, what more do you need?

However, on further thought, there's another margin to consider. After someone runs their first daily heroic, they have to decide whether to run another one or to go do something else such as daily quests. I find myself making this decision all the time, and it's a close call. At this point, I expect what Call to Arms will really do is not so much get people to switch roles, but get people into dungeons that would otherwise be doing something else.

Kring said...

> The problem we have right now really boils down
> to unrealistic expectations.

Not only that.
- TBC and WotLK heroics were a lot more rewarding respective to loot then the laughable 70 VP.
- TBC heroics were a lot more rewarding respective to fun. They had challenging trash pulls. Those days Blizzard only knows easy or annoying. But not challenging.
- WotLK heroics were a lot faster.

Yes, in TBC you might have waited 1 hour to get into a group - a group formed with 4 other people who also wanted to run this dungeon. Not 4 silent bots.
Yes, in TBC you might have waited 1 hour to get into a dungeon - a dungeon that was fun itself to run.

45 minutes queue + 1 hour dungeon run are just to much for no relevant loot reward and no fun.

Then again, Blizzard should probably better make the dungeons fun again instead of trying to fuck with the queue length.

And I also blame the daily RANDOM heroic. During TBC the daily quest was optional and just rewarded a bit more BoJ. The daily quest wasn't the only source of badges as is the random today. During TBC you could run whichever heroic you wanted and you didn't risk getting Oculus or Vortex Pinnacle or Halls of Stone.

There were some days when I wanted to run Botanica. Not a dungeon, but specific Botanica. Or Mana-Tombs. Or Blood Furnace. The whole concept of random takes away the whole anticipation for a dungeon. It's no longer your decision which dungeon you would like to run. It's like your job where your boss tells you your task for the day.

> As you know my first reaction was a definite yes,
> but the more I think about it I’m not so sure, for
> two reasons.

It can't work as long as there are 4 pure DD classes and zero pure tank classes. I'm not going to abandon my 6 year old warlock main, regardless of rewards I can't obtain with him.

> So the question, is what is significant enough to get
> tanks to frequently solo queue for in LFG?

It can't be significant enough. If it is significant enough and obtainable, tanks will obtain it and leave. If it is significant enough and very rare, tanks will stop bothering. How many people do you know still farming the troll sword?

Anonymous said...

I think all in all, its depending on the server your on. even though the LFG tool is multi-server, some are just easier to get a group than others. If the reward were something like rare vanity items or only ones from the TCG, it would probably reduce TCG sales which is something Blizz wont do.
I do however belive that no matter what the reward, most people have found a guild now a days and will tend to run with them thus it will have a minimal impact.

Anonymous said...

If there was an easy fix I think they would have tried. Obviously they acknowledge they don't really know what will work.

In the end it's all free pixels to Blizzard. If this helps the tank situation at all they'll look like heros and it costs them nothing. Plus they get kudos for trying something.

If the normal pattern follows, they will learn something from this and will improve on it with help from the players. We can only hope.

Anonymous said...

From the original post:

"Probably the most outrageous comment I saw in Allison’s post was in her second post when she quoted 'There isn't a shortage of tanks. There is a shortage of tanks willing to tank PuGs.' This is an absolutely absurd comment and anyone who believes it is an idiot."

At least on my realm, there doesn't appear to be a shortage of tanks for raids. Healers and dps are often the missing parts. Similarly, my guild does not have a shortage of tanks either for heroics or raids. That said, the queue for dps in LFD continues to get longer and longer. The evidence that I can see suggests that there isn't a tank shortage, only a shortage of tanks in LFD.

I think it's telling that the author has chosen to resort to insults in the quote above. It has been my observation that namecalling is the last resort of people that are wrong but don't want to admit it yet.

Convertible said...

A small change Blizzard could do to improve queues would be to remove item damage and repair costs for tanks and the rest of party while using LFD. I've had several tanks leave a dungeon because of the costs associated with wiping.

Not really understandable since gold is so easy to come by.

Anonymous said...

your anlogy of people workign in a company is ok but your forgeting a very important thing here, a gorup dies if it's missing a memeber. a company loses it's tank it needs another tank or else the whole company goes under and everyone is out of a job.
You say " I doubt most people would criticize friend X for taking the job with more money." I sure as hell would if by taking that job he knowingly destroys the company your with leaving you and your other friends with out a job and having to go on welfare.

Gevlon said...

Offering gold has a problem: it has to be competitive with alternative gold-making activities. Even with the lowest activities, dailies you can make 500G in an hour. Assuming that a full-LFD dungeon is shorter is wishful thinking.

So anything below 500G is bad offer. Also as a tank you can't go AFK and you have to put up with all the crap the LFD-filth throw at you. That should also be valued into the reward.

Sarge said...

You're absolutely right, that Blizz should use gold as a simple incentive.
On my server a handful of tanks are already offering their services for a few hundred gold.
It's funny that anytime they post that in Trade a flamewar will ensue.

If Blizz was offering a gold reward tanks would really have a viable alternative to doing daily quests and earning some gold.
(btw agree that it's easy to come by these days).

Zero wait time is not a big issue.
What good is zero wait time if your group wipes several times due to incompetent players.

lancore said...

You can't use Gold as motivator, at least not in amounts that are interesting.
Since it's new generated gold it will heavily raise the inflation if you gain way more gold/hour then through other means like your dailies.
High gold per hour activities or offers like gevlons are only moving gold from player A to player B, no harm done here. Your suggestion however would flood the market with new gold, rendering it even more worthless

Inquisitor said...

I'd happily tank LFD randoms if it was as good a way of supplying the gold I need for raiding and PvP as herbing, farming old raids, etc.

I say that as a mainspec tankadin 2.3 -> Cata, rerolled feral druid, who is perfectly capable of bear tanking, but mostly doesn't because the mechanics make bear tanking about twice as much work as any other sort.

Klepto said...


Inflation really wouldn't be a problem regarding motivation.

1) The increase in inflation wouldn't be that big. Suppose that the Call to Arms reward were 500g. If a tank does the random instead of 500g of dailies, there's no final increase in the gold supply. Even if it pulls in a completely new person, so that this really is a 500g increase in the gold supply, think about how much gold everyone on the server collectively owns-from the AH tycoons to the level 1 in the starting zone. The amount of Call to Arms rewards will be a drop in the bucket compared to that collective wealth.

2) Tanks still enjoy an increase in real spending power. Inflation cause a decrease in spending power across the whole population, but the Call to Arms benefits will be concentrated among the participating tanks- and those tanks will see a net increase in real income, which is exactly what we want to change behavior.

lancore said...

I wouldn't call 500g really that great. You could generate more in probably less time through dailies, without having to deal with those lfg morons

But I guess it would be enough to attract short sighted players who are lacking some common sense (doubt you want them as tanks though)

Ramfell said...

The majority of tanks I know (including myself) don't tank PuG's be cause of the asshat DPS. So I'm afraid that I have to disagree with your assumption there.

We have 5 tanks in our guild and not a single one will use LFD. 30% of the DPS that I have encountered in PuG's to put it bluntly are either completely useless or an asshat.

That is why there is a shortage of tanks. I will only use LFD with a guild group.

Dimensional said...

Well, I have an engineering background but I have learned some economics and it is also my opinion that Call to Arms will succeed at bringing down queue times for DPS, and this is why I think it will:

- The problem: the relative population of active tanks is lower than the relative LFD demand for them (which is fixed at 20%). In order to increase the supply of tanks or decrease the supply of DPS (in both cases _relative_ supply of tanks increases) up to 20%, there must be some incentive to tanks or disincentive for DPS, that is, some "incentive gap" between tanks and DPS

- Currently, that incentive gap is provided by the difference in queue times. Increased queue times discourage some DPS and encourage tanking dungeons relative to waiting 30-40 min. For example, I (moonkin mainspec) queue as dps/healer (read: healer) just because of reduced queue times (I also enjoy healing a lot, though not as much as nuking things). The same happened when I leveled my (now fresh 85) DK, I tanked because this way I could run more dungeons.

- What adds Call to Arms? Let's add some math to clarify our understanding. Suppose we need an incentive gap IG, which is a constant determined only by the preferences of people and the "1 tank, 1 healer, 3 dps" constraint, in order for people to play enough tanks. Suppose that a difference in queue times T produces an incentive q(T), where q(x) is continuous and monotonically increasing on x. Without Call to Arms, queue times are determined by the equation:

IG = q(T) (1)

thus T = q⁻¹(IG)

Suppose that adding CtA rewards gives an incentive of R; then, the equilibrium condition (1) is now

IG = q(T*) + R

where T* is waiting time when we add CtA. Then, T* is now

T* = q⁻¹(IG - R)

Since q(x) is monotonically increasing on x, q⁻¹(y) is also monotonically increasing on y. Thus we can conclude that

IG - R < IG (since R > 0)


q⁻¹(IG - R) < q⁻¹(IG)

which is the same thing as:

T* < T

Therefore, reasonable assumptions lead us to conclude that CtA does, in fact, lower queue times. We can't say how much does it get reduced because that depends on the shape of q() and the magnitude of R, but I think it is likely that DPS will have shorter queues.

Another conclusion is that it will lead to more dungeoneering (at least in the short run, not clear in the long run because people will gear up faster), because both tanks (because of the bag of goodies) and DPS (because of shorter queue times) will have their incentives increased.

GamingLifer said...

This is Myraxa. As a "professional" tank, the main reason I don't tank pugs is because I don't need anything.

The combination of the bag and VP for Conquest exchange will change that, but I'm still doing it because I need the points, not because I think tanking 5 man heroics that I've done 40 times already is "fun."

Blue said...

I've been thinking the same about Call to Arms. While we might have more tanks queuing for heroics in LFD rather than just doing 1 a day with guild groups, we might also have a lot more DPS using the system again. Overall we might see a small increase in tanks, but I don't think we'll see much more than 5 minutes off of our queue times. :(

Here's to hoping I guess.

Graylo said...


First, fast queues only work as an incentive if you already want to run an instance. Second, the Satchel of Exotic Mysteries is an effort to get tanks to solo queue rather then group queue.


First, by the simple fact that I'm talking about the Call to Arms you should assume that I am not talking about raid tanks. No where in my post or the posts by other people I liked does anyone talk about a raid tanking shortage.

Second, there are always exceptions to the rule and your guild may be that exception. However, let me ask you this. What happens when a tank asks for a random in Gchat? In my experience the same thing always happens. DPS are tripping over themselves to whisper the tank first to get in the group. It's rare when the tank doesn't fill the group, and usually on has 1 or two spots open.

Now what happens when a DPS asks for a random in gchat? In my experience some times they get lucky and a tank is also thinking about a run and a group forms quickly. Most of the time, they whisper the tanks online first to see if their interested and only try and form a group after they've secured a tank, and there are times that a group doesn't form at all.

A tank shortage doesn't mean that DPS can never form a group. it just means that it's easier for tank to form a group then it is for the other roles. If it's easier for a tank to form a group in your guild then it is for a DPS then that is evidence of a tank shortage.

Now, my personal experience is not superior to yours. So maybe I'm wrong, but when I read the forums and such I see a lot more people having my situation then I see having yours.

Third, I didn't call anyone a name. I said if you think there isn't a tank shortage your an idiot, much the same way as I would say that if you think the earth is flat your an idiot.


I like that idea. It wouldn't encourage anyone to tank, but it would remove a barrier which would be helpful.


No, if a tank solo queues that doesn't mean that the group dies, it means that the group has to wait. If they aren't willing to wait then they obviously don't really need the instance.

The rest of your argument is just gibberish. In short, your saying the tank should make less money then he's worth so that the rest of the party can make more money then they are worth. That economic model has been tried multiple times around the world and has failed consistently in very public ways.


I agree that it has to be a lot, and I doubt blizzard is willing to put 500g or even 200g in those bags.

That said the amount given doesn't necessarily have to competitive with alternative gold activities. That is only true if you are trying to get someone to tank who wouldn't tank otherwise.

However, there are tanks that want to run instances because they need the VP, or Rep, or maybe gear. The goal of the Satchel for these people isn't to get them to tank, but to get them to solo queue. My guess is that amount is smaller then 500g, but I also think it's probably relatively high compared to the traditional rewards offered by blizzard.

Graylo said...


You have a point but I think your exaggerating it. I do think this would increase the overall gold supply in the economy and that would probably cause some inflation, but I don't think it would constitute a "flood" of new gold in the market or have a significant impact on the economy.

First, giving a tank 500g for doing an instance doesn't necessarily increase the gold supply by 500g. What would that tank have done otherwise? If it's anything gold related like daily quests, farming, or leveling an alt then it's not a net 500g gain because of the opportunity cost of running the instance.

Second, Call to Arms doesn't have to be a consistent source of funds. Blizzard has already said that there won't always be a Call to Arms role if they think things are currently balanced. Given all the other ways people create gold in WoW, I agree with Klepto that Call to Arms bonuses would likely be a drop in the bucket even at 500g when compared to the economy as a whole.

Third, there is no reason why they couldn't tier the payments. Maybe offer 500g if the queue is 40 minutes long, 200g if its 20 minutes long, and 0g if it's just 5 minutes long. This would prevent a rapid influx of tanks dramatically increasing the gold supply.


You’re ignoring the other benefits of running an instance, and the problems with other sources of gold. Many of the dailies are on TB and have a PvP aspect that is unattractive to some people. Farming is inconsistent, boring and requires you to use the AH or trade chat. On the other had instancing offers other rewards like VP, Rep, and maybe gear. Choosing another gold making option doesn’t necessarily mean they are short sighted. It may mean they have different goals, values, or abilities then you do.


Yes, many tanks currently refused to use the LFD tool with out a guild group. I’ve never said otherwise. But you, and other tanks like you, fail to realize why this choice is even possible for you, or to understand what would happen if it wasn’t possible.

The reason you don’t use the LFD tool isn’t because you don’t want to deal with the assholes out there. It’s because you don’t need to deal with the assholes out there. Any guild tank can post “LF 3 DPS and 1 healer for random” in gchat and fill a group almost instantly. As a tank you have to opportunity to choose group because your services are in high demand.

Believe me, we DPS envy your position of power. We don’t want to deal with the prima donna tanks out there that think it’s ok to chain pull trash when the healers mana is at 25%, who refuse to use cooldowns, who refuse to use a proper rotation, or who refuse mark a kill order, and then have nerve to bitch about dying or someone pulling agro off them. We don’t find that to be fun anymore then you do, but we don’t have a choice if we want to run the instance and we can’t find a guild tank that is interested.

So let me ask you this. What would happen if all of a sudden the situation was reversed and there was a DPS shortage and you really wanted to run Zul’Aman for some tank gear. Would you still refuse to use the LFD tool for anything but a guild group? I doubt, because your human just like the rest of us DPS.


Nice write up.

Duncan said...

I used to main tank for my guild back in TBC and I have to say tanking was a blast on my warrior. However, When it came time to learning fights and reading strategies and doing dungeons for other guild member's alts (or mains) left me little incentive to go with pugs. I think the same thing as well is happening. Again, how many tanks are needed inside a guild? how many DPS? And when are the DPS all coming on? even in my own guild I would rarely find the best time to go with a tank for a heroic. They're not always willing to go. I'm not always there and they're not going to wait for a full group of our members before starting. So even in a GUILD it's not guaranteed you'll get a heroic, let alone if you're not in one...

I gave the suggestion that DPS could get extra valor points (while the tanks/heals still get the reward for money/flasks/whatever) Because if a DPS has to wait twice, or even three times as long as the tank or healer, I don't think it'd be unfair to get that many more valor.

Remember that you also don't have to do it every day now, and it can be done over the week, so perhaps having 1/3 of the cap or 1/4 of the cap each time you do a heroic as DPS. The tank could still do two heroics, get two rewards in the same amount of time. And the DPS get's something out of it as well at least. I know you're technically not getting any loot faster but I think implementing both might give faster queues and something extra for the dps (because I really don't think 45 minute queues are going to suddenly drop to 10 minute queues)

In the end you'll (hopefully) get more tanks to run and the dps won't need to queue as often (which honestly I think would impact the most).

Moxnix said...

"Probably the most outrageous comment I saw in Allison’s post was in her second post when she quoted “There isn't a shortage of tanks. There is a shortage of tanks willing to tank PuGs.” This is an absolutely absurd comment and anyone who believes it is an idiot."

I disagree with you on this and agree with the poster you're referring to. She nailed it, "There isn't a shortage of tanks, there's a shortage of tanks willing to tank PuGs."

There are many reasons but probably the biggest reason and one many tend to either forget or disregard out of hand is the disparity between the number of tanks required for 5 mans and the number of tanks required for raids (particularly 25 mans). Many experienced competent tanks aren't happy about how everyone constantly pesters us to run them, their alts, their friends and their friends alts through content we neither needs nor want to run (5 mans, 10 man BH, etc.), yet went it comes to raid content the tank actually wants to run (especially 25s), it's "Sorry full tanks". After a while you just get fed up stop tanking anything unless you actually need it yourself.

Another (IMO better) way of phrasing the issue is this. There isn't a shortage of tanks, there's a shortage of tanking spots in advanced content.

Until that problem is addressed there will always be a shortage of tanks willing to run lesser content.

Ngita said...

“There isn't a shortage of tanks. There is a shortage of tanks willing to tank PuGs.” This is an absolutely absurd comment and anyone who believes it is an idiot.

Thanks, I do . Wotlk? the hardest spot to get into for pug raids? Tank. Cata, the hardest spot to get into pug bh? Suprise tank, I have 356 alt tank and end up as dps half the time in BH because the tank spot is filled. As a raid guild we have about 8 alt tanks, 4 of them good enough to tank raids, ever bothered to read the posts about how hard it is to get into a raid guild as a tank?, Generally our 5 man heroics if they are short, end up being short a dps. Oh btw how many pug lfd heroics have I tanked? 2, If I cant tank a guild heroic and thats about 3/4 of the time I just dont run that day.(1 valor upgrade left, 1 heroic upgrade left)

Ngita said...

Any guild tank can post “LF 3 DPS and 1 healer for random” in gchat and fill a group almost instantly.

About a week ago a healer I said lf random in guild chat, we ended up with 3 tanks and 2 healers, I ran as dps in the end.

Graylo said...

@Moxnix & Ngita

Since my entire post was about the Call to Arms I thought it was obvious that I was talking about 5mans rather then raids. With that in mind I hope you now see how irreleveant it is to talk about the fact that you couldn't pug a raid as a tank in WotLK or about how a guild raid says "Sorry, full tanks." You may be correct that there are not enough tank slots in raids to fit the demand, (though my bet is that there are not enough tank slots in the guilds you want to be in) even if that's true that doesn't mean there aren't a shortage of tanks for 5 mans.

Moxnix, you said it yourself "Many experienced competent tanks aren't happy about how everyone constantly pesters us to run them, their alts, their friends and their friends alts through content we neither needs nor want to run (5 mans, 10 man BH, etc.)... After a while you just get fed up stop tanking anything unless you actually need it yourself."

That is by definition a shortage of tanks if the damand for tanks is greater then the supply which you seem to agree in your comments dispite saying you don't in the first sentance.

Ngita, you can give me one example of where you had an over abundance of tanks and say I'm wrong if you want, but remember this. Your group still formed pretty almost instantly. Maybe your guild is the exception to the rule, where everyone wants to tank and no one wants to DPS. However, even if that is the case, I'm sure that for every one example you can give me where you had 3 tanks and 2 healers looking for a random, I can give you 10 examples DPS looking for a random but having to wait 20 minutes for the tank to finish his dailys, of DPS having to stop what they are doing immediately if they want get in a group, of tanks saying they will only do a random if then can DPS or heal it.

Thromean said...

I have 2 "main" toons one dk tank and one shammy healer. I enjoy both ROLES equally, what I don't enjoy is the abuse from overeager dps when I queue as a tank. As a tank, my greatest joys is a properly marked, cc'd and clean pull. Its a hallmark of good communication, teamwork and skill, one of the reasons to play an MMO. If I cannot get a group of at least 2 more guildies or friends to ensure that true asshats can be removed, I just won't tank a 5 man. Abuse from pugs just isn't worth it. And it's not like I'm being verbally assaulted with death threats, but the gogogo and OMG this isnt hard lol who needs CC!?!?!? just beat you down. I dont mind blowing every cooldown to save the occasional bad pull, that is fun. But when its every pull, it turns an exciting OH S... moment into just S...

This is the kind of thing that keeps me from tanking a pug 5 man. I'll just go farm the old dungeons for the mounts, sell the drops/mats I pick up and make enough money to pay for the flasks that may have dropped out of the satchel.

Sorry for the rambling post.

have a great day.

Volunsteer - Shadowmoon said...

Since I don't know where to start and I only know that I want it to stop, I will start here and hopefully end up somewhere with a blue post response that is either about to ban my account or change for the good of the land. Why oh why in god's name are they recycling EVERY bit of old content they can get a twisted developer to revamp? It is bad enough that the instances we suffered through we "Progression" at the time and now they are being remade and pushed on loyal WOW fans as current content. I don't like it and do not look forward to the days of re-running Kara, SC, and hell we may as well just go back in to ICC and kill LK again.

I cannot begin to describe how pathetic it is that we will soon be back in Nax killing undead yet again.....

Kring said...

> Why oh why in god's name are they recycling EVERY bit of
> old content they can get a twisted developer to revamp?
> It is bad enough that the instances we suffered through
> we "Progression" at the time and now they are being
> remade and pushed on loyal WOW fans as current content.

Probably because player who already progressed through those instances are no longer the target audience for Blizzard.

Only Blizzard knows how many accounts from vanilla are still active. Might be less then what we assume.

Volunsteer - Shadowmoon said...

Kind of a rhetorical question / post but yeah I still don't think that is the reason.

I am more inclined to believe that Blizzard is just peeling out the same content over and over for the same reason they reused naxx in lore and WOTLK. The quote was more or less "....we spent millions developing naxx and dont think that enough players saw the content to merit us spending more money on developing more content..." keep in mind I am massively paraphrasing but the general message is there. I am almost positive they feel this same way about other content as well regardless of how long accounts have been active.

I just feel as if capitalism is taking a little too much of a hold in Blizzards judgment as to when to let go of old content. There are instances that are nearly the same as well as just revamped instances that are the exact same. I just feel as if they are running out of ideas.

I love wow. I just want to see it be a timeless game instead of recycling content with a few lore changes / explanations and wow can achieve that through fresh ideas.

I thought the argent tourny was a great idea (the dailies not the instance) and I thought whatever team put together the ulduar instances and the utgarde instances did a great job. That is very original stuff there. I would hate to see that sort of talent go to waste as some developer just spew out "let's redo ony AGAIN" and be taken seriously which is not too far off imo.


Anonymous said...

Graylo says:

"Since my entire post was about the Call to Arms I thought it was obvious that I was talking about 5mans rather then raids."

I think it would be helpful to explain why I (Anon #3) and others have brought up raids in a discussion about 5 man dungeons. It's not that we're trying to change the topic but, rather, because role representation in raids can help to inform us about the actual population of those roles.

For example, pug raids often fill the tank spots first but LFD often fills the tank spots last. This difference is interesting -- it suggests that tanks are more interested in tanking pug raids than they are in tanking in LFD. Based on my own experience and what other tanks have told me, this difference is best explained in terms of motivation (ie, there isn't a shortage of tanks; there is a shortage of tanks willing to do LFD).

Kring said...

There is also the possibility that people don't start to create a PuG raid if they don't have a tank. Back in pre-LFD days I only tried to form a 5 man group when I had a tank. Without a tank the best chance was to put yourself alone in the LFG browser.

Graylo said...


Regarding PUG raid tanks:

Honestly I think you are grasping at straws. PUG raids fill up on tanks first for a very simple reason that has nothing to do with demand for raids. I think all of us would agree that the tank is the most important role in the raid. A bad DPS sucks but can be ignored most of the time. Even a bad healer can be over come, but a bad tank means that the raid goes nowhere for sure. So, successful pug organizers try and fill the tank slots with known players. Once they have that it isn't to hard to find 7 healers and 15 DPS willing to fill the other slots. The same thing happend with 5mans before LFD.

I completely agree that tanks are more interested in tanking pug raids then 5mans, but they are not special in that regard. DPS are more intersted in DPS pug raids as well.

Now if they created a raid version for the LFD, do you think there would an abundance of tanks? I am positive there wouldn't be. Groups would still form up with the DPS slots full looking for a tanks and maybe healers.

Regarding the rest of you comment I've addressed several times. There's no point in me doing it again.

Alan F said...

The reason for a shortage of tanks IS that they and they alone are EXPECTED to carry the 5-man. My Misha pally was Prot from 1-85 and in the handful of PuGs I tried, it was ALWAYS expected of me to make all the decisions even though I told all I was a casual player and not STUDYING for each instance. The bitching and whining about my NOT being willing to shoulder carrying the instance finally did me in. I dumped all my gear and went Ret just to get away from being messaged "Want to do a random heroic?" and still be able to complete my dailies without having to do so in my Holy spec.

Anonymous said...

Totally disagree with your assertion that gold will be the carrot.

I think Allison has a valid point about the types of tanks there are and who will and will not actually use the CTA incentives.

Firstly... As an X-Raid Pro tank, and now strictly Guild Pro tank, I will not stop guild runs in instances for a lame critter/mount or more gold. The guild rewards are far more rewarding... I would rather work on guild XP with my guild over working with complete random yahoos in very difficult dungeon settings (4.1 random heroics). The 'gold' factor would need to be insurmountable. I can make 400G an hour just sitting in a corner in some remote part of the game world right now. With the probability of attaining a high value epic.

Secondly... It is a major pain to run with random peeps. "I" know the dungeons, because I've had massive amounts of repetitive experience. However, most dps, some healers, either don't care, or don't know how to run Cata dungeons. So the whole mess falls on 1 class type, the tank. In my experience, pro tanks would much rather sit in the que for 30 minutes like everyone else, and wait... "IF" I needed a specific item from a dungeon still, then possibly I may que as a tank so I could call dibs on it, but this doesn't always work.... Ninja's beget ninja attitudes. So when a 'dps-tank', rolls on a tank item, why shouldn't I.

I think there is still a huge disconnect with what Blizz 'thinks' we want, and what is reality in the game. If I'm going to be an air traffic controller for WOW, making sure things dont go down in flames, then we need significant, and I mean significant rewards.

I'd recommend that the bag drops with the random 'fluff' item that no one really cares about... But that there is also a "random chance" that the end boss with drop a CTA class appropriate Gear Emblem from a 10 man Cata raid boss that is BOP "Only" for the player that met the CTA requirements. Make that occurrence rare... Like a 1% chance. This way I have a much better carrot to chase after.

We run random dungeons to gain tokens for gear. It makes sense that 'if' you want more tanks to que, the carrot needs to be significant for them to do so.

PS... I've gotten 9 white critters in a row so far and I am not queing anymore. Its a complete waste of my time as it stands now.