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LFD; Call to Arms

Oh hai thar hot topic in the wow community /throws own 2 cents in the ring. I’m going to talk about the problem with LFD, and why I think its as it is now, thin I’ll go over the solution, and potential problems, and lastly I’ll cover what could be a potential fix for the this fix to let it work properly.

The problem

Lets face it, 20-40 queue times suck. Its not as bad as when you had to sit in trade for 20-40 minutes to get a tank, but its still bad. Some people say its fine, its a blessing, you can do your dailies while you wait! But really? Thats a band aid fix. Blizzard has recognized this, and decided to try and do something about it. Their solution is LFD; Call to arms. You can read about it here, but the general idea is that roles who are in need (read; tanks and healers) will receive bonus’s in the way of gold, gems, maybe a pet, and if your really lucky a mount that drops in other heroics.

The cause of the problem
This problem, seemingly like many that plague wow, appears to be several fold, so I’m going to try and cover some of the “major” causes

The required roles aren’t in the same ratio as the most popular form of PVE, 25 man raids
I’d go over this, but kurn did it far better than me, and I’ve talked about it before when I talked about tanks selling queues (Btw blizzard, you win for fixing that)

Difficulty
Tanking and healing are viewed as the “harder” roles in wow, this tends to intimidate players as they are leveling a new character, this puts people of healing and tanking.

What about gear drop rates?
Another idea I’ve had about why LFD sucks for DPS is a simple little problem. If tank gear is as likely to drop as DPS gear, then 1 tank is going to gear up at equal speeds (best case) or faster than DPS. The recent change to attempt to put DPS with DPS of differing armor classes will go some way to fix this though. Even if a tanks and healers are in LFD in the right ratio to DPS, if they gear up quicker than DPS, and move in, then this problem will continue.

Problems with the solution, with CTA
I don’t think this is going to bring in to many new tanks/healers from people currently at max level. What I do believe it has a chance of doing is extending the amount of time tanks/healers stay interested in LFD.

I believe this solution will work very well in the short term, many tanks/healers who have decided to ignore  LFD (because come on, how many once you have all your gear etc put yourself through LFD?) will return. However once people start getting their various pets and mounts I think we will return to being only slightly better of. Tanks and healers who hit the level cap, and then start LFD runs will be in a different situation to the tanks/healers of today. In stead of gearing up and then gathering mounts, they will do both of these simultaneously. In theory the gathering of mounts will take longer than gearing, but I doubt it will be that much longer.

Best case this may drive more people, as they approach level cap, to decide that they want to tank/heal, if so then that is what I feel will effect any real change in the long term.

Do I think it will work?
Perhaps. But I think it may need some work, see below

Yo dawg I heard you like solutions so I put a solution in your solution
A solution that come up from twitter, would be to simply have it that when someone solo queues for the reward(or in fact queues up in anything less than a full group may be a good idea) they MUST have a spec that can fulfill the roll. This would at least go some ways to ensuring that people have some hope in hell of being the right spec for it instead. I only put this partial/solo restriction on this because one day, in shiny deathwing tier with shoulders the size of his chin (yeah I went there) guild groups will be able to run heroics with ret healers, boomkin healers, or arms warrior tanks, and why should we stop that now?

Vote kick “fix” needed for this to work?
Another thing that I think needs to get fixed if this is to go live, is how kick penalty’s are handled. I’m currently sitting at roughly a 45 minute kick timer, this means I can’t initiate a vote to kick anyone for the first 45 minutes of a heroic. If we have a giant influx of retribution paladin “tanks” or feathery “restro” druids, I most certainly want a way to get rid of them and not have to either 1) requeue or 2) wait up to 2 hours because the 4 decent people in my group all have 2 hour kick timers. Because if this goes ahead as badly as it could do, then we will see a giant influx of people who just can’t do what they signed up to do, and I think this is what most people are afraid of in regards to the call to arms. People queuing for a roll despite not being able to fulfill that roll.

In conclusion
Yes, this could work to bring DPS queues down, while I don’t think this will be the magic bullet it will help, but in order for it to work, vote kicking needs to change to stop wide spread attempted abuse before it becomes wide spread.

So thats my 2 cents, the question is, what do you think of all this?

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