In which WoW finally starts bribing the tanks

Announced as an addition for the next patch (and this is not an April Fool):

Any time the Dungeon Finder queue is longer than a few minutes for level-85 Heroics, the Call to Arms system kicks in and determines which role is the least represented. In the case of tanking being the least represented role, the “Call to Arms: Tanks” icon will display in the Dungeon Finder UI menu <…> Regardless of your role, you’ll always be able to see which role currently has been Called to Arms, if any.

Call to Arms is meant to lower wait times by offering additional rewards for queuing as the currently least represented role. <…> Every time you hit these requirements (there is no daily limit) you’ll receive a goodie bag that will contain some gold, a chance at a rare gem, a chance at a flask/elixir (determined by spec), a good chance of receiving a non-combat pet (including cross faction pets), and a very rare chance at receiving a mount.

They go on to discuss why they decided on these incentives, and note also that the pets and mounts come from a variety of sources, but (this is the main thing) they are already in the game.

Understandably, players prefer to take on that responsibility in more organized situations than what the Dungeon Finder offers, but perhaps we can bribe them a little.

My thoughts:

It will be an interesting experiment on a scale that only Warcraft can organise, so I’ll be interested in hearing how it goes.

I know enough people that quit running heroics in any role because they didn’t enjoy them, even with the gold and tokens that are given as rewards, to wonder how many tanks can be lured into LFD with a few random shinies. I’m sure it will improve the number of tanks queueing, but I wonder by how much.  It certainly wouldn’t have enticed me to tank if I wasn’t in the mood. I don’t need the gold and I don’t care about the pets or mounts – if it was a tank specific mount that might have been another question 🙂

Also, to get the reward you need to queue SOLO for LFD. That means you can’t bring your favourite healer with you (or favourite dps player/s) and really do have to take what the random generator provides.

There is a whole other question about whether it’s really a good idea to reward people explicitly for playing needed roles. It tends to attract the people who are most interested in the rewards rather than in the role. Plus it’s generally unfair and if the game is that dependent on unpopular roles then it’s time to look at why they are so unpopular.

In this case: why is tanking instances so less popular in Cataclysm than it was in Wrath?

I’d suggest that it isn’t because tanking is harder than it used to be, it’s just that the dungeons are longer and less popular than they used to be. And the easiest way to get dragged through a dungeon you dislike (esp. where you don’t want to learn all the pulls) is in a dps or healing role. Also, it’s far easier to gear as a dps first in instances and then work on the tank gear  – so even a lot of keen tanks will want to do a lot of runs in dps mode on hitting 85.

My other issue with the bribes is what happens if one role is least popular, and another is just a little bit more popular, and the third role is massively over subscribed? Surely there should be some reward for healers even when tanks are most in demand? Or should we just penalise dps even more than long queue times for LFD would imply, pour encourager les autres?

38 thoughts on “In which WoW finally starts bribing the tanks

  1. The whole thing stinks to high heaven. Stupid idea, it’ll just feed the rage of all pure dps out there that -won’t- be getting a shot at a random Baron’s mount (still eludes me). I expect Blizzard to eventually just say “oh you know what, here, there’s now a vendor with all the rare mounts in the world, but to access it you must first run 100 random heroics”.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid bribery.

  2. “It tends to attract the people who are most interested in the rewards rather than in the role.”

    I agree with this quite a lot. It may just lead to more bad tanks in queue who want extra goodies. Bribery isn’t a good long term solution to, well, anything.

  3. You are wrong about reasons. In Wrath arthasdklol could tank (in wrong spec and gear). Now the morons can only queue as DD as them being in the other roles is instant wipe. Blizzard is wrong about believing it’s motivational issue. It’s simply inability issue. Retards can’t tank. They can’t DD either but as there are 3 DDs in a group they can hope to be carried.

    This “fix” is worse than the 1800 honor for TB assault one. We all know what kind of players are interested in pets and mounts. LFD will have lot of tanks. But not any that is better than a Voidwalker.

    • But it might motivate tanks to tank alone and not with their guild. Therefore reducing the wait time for random DD players. Especially if the guild DD don’t sign up because they enjoyed the fast guild run but CBA to wait 45 min for a PuG group.

    • Gevlon. You are wrong about reasons.

      I tank, and I tank very well. And I really, really couldn’t care less about doing it even once a day, let alone enough to make up for all the LFD-trolls.

      I tank for friends only because I’m so bored with dungeons in general. For me, it’s not an inability issue. It’s a motivational issue.

      …That said, I also don’t care enough that a few cheap shinies will persuade me to run with anyone other than friends who need it.

  4. This is an interesting move on their part. It doesn’t address tank-burnout relative to frustration in leading difficult-to-coral dungeon groups, nor new tanks getting discouraged by difficult-to-manage dungeon groups. One group requires a babysitter, the other expects one. Neither is very encouraging for players who want to tank, and I’m not sure the chance at a non-combat pet or even a mount will do the trick. Not that there is a solution that addresses those two concerns. I guess rewarding willing players for tanking is the next best thing.

    They might want to up the rewards though. Perhaps additional (whatever-the-current-flavor) tokens will do the trick.

    As for DPS complaining about not getting extra rewards, well, perhaps they’ll take this opportunity to roll tanks. 😉

  5. I think the only real answer for dps players and queueing times is to have tanking pets who can tank instances. When it happens, it’ll be the death of group roles and people who hated having to rely on support classes will be happy, I guess.

  6. A comment about this line: “My other issue with the bribes is what happens if one role is least popular, and another is just a little bit more popular, and the third role is massively over subscribed? Surely there should be some reward for healers even when tanks are most in demand?”

    The reward for healers is a shorter queue. Whether this is a “fair” reward is an interesting debate – if healer (or DPS) queue time improves by say 10 minutes, how much does the value of 10 minutes less to wait compare to the value of the bribe (a goodie bag)?

    It is necessary to recognize this fact squarely: the primary goal of the bribe is to grease the Looking For Dungeon queue. Being “fair” is at best a secondary goal.

    I’m expecting that dungeon queue waits will stabilize to be just a few minutes longer than whatever timing threshold Blizzard bakes into the system. It’s likely that tanks/healers will gain the habit of opening the queue window and checking for Call To Arms rewards, before deciding to join the queue.

  7. As a healer, I don’t have a problem with the LFD system as the most I have to wait is around 5-10 minutes. I do agree with this change – the full 359 tanks (that have nothing to gain by doing heroics) will be more inclined to just doing a random one.

    Of course, the DPS is going to complain that they have no shot at mounts, but look at it this way – increasing the number of tanks will shorten their queue and the only reason they are complaining is because of jealousy.

  8. DPS don’t have to be jealous: they can use the time in queque to farm their mounts, money, whatever. As a tank, doing so is wasting time. Login, queque, join, rush, kill, logout, next char. Why should I hurt my guild while doing “stupid” things, when I could tank for them? The queque is the ideal time to do things, that doesn’t affect your “raidability”.

  9. See, I kinda like what they’re doing here.

    Now for me, I just don’t like heroics in GENERAL right now since they’re too damn long-when they get nerfed to AoE status I’ll go back to grinding them. Yes, at this point, I want them nerfed to speed.

    I could care less what role I’m in to be honest; I’d much happier tank a dungeon as long as say, UK or UP than DPS Grim Batol.

    I actually wouldn’t mind seeing challenging but SHORT dungeons. Like, an UK dungeon that has some tricky stuff in it. I’m fine with that-but i’m a sort of ”one or the other” person. Either make it tough, or make it long-30 mins is my comfortable top I want to spend in one. Granted you do get that now with a full(or near full) raid geared guild run, but in a random you don’t know.

    And I’ve been farming for that Baron mount so long at this point I’d be willing to do almost anything to get it. :p

    Now on the same token-yes it has bad drawbacks. Bad tanks who queue in a slopped together spec and improper gear just to get the mount is a biggie, that wouldn’t have been as bad in LK(when my DPS DK in tank presence could aoe tank the place in his raid gear.)

    On the same side this has a possible upside of introducing people to a role they might not have wanted to do before. I try to look at every upside.

    Another downside, as said, is that DPS are sort of left out-and i mean the pure DPS who do not have a choice. I think their idea is to get the hybrids queuing as something else as DPS and its a noble idea, but one that may have unintended side effects as other hybrids who don’t care will still continue to queue as DPS, thus making DPS still popular.

    I do think they’re trying to come up with something, but they didn’t want to go totally harsh(Hybrids can never queue as DPS), or too insane(tanks get 300 VPs or something.)

    To be honest I planned on running the new places(to see them of course), and really these days tanking or DPSing is all the same to me. I’m a hybrid in my guild(someone who can get called to either role) so I tank and DPS raids equally and keep both sets of gear fairly equal(I’m considered a DPS spec for ‘main’ but I tank very often.) I don’t care anymore if I’m standing in front of the enemy or behind it. I just care the damn dungeons are long and boring. :p

    (Heh, sometimes part of me actually misses the old vanilla days as silly as that sounds, and I’d love if they finally just broke down and copy EQ and open a vanilla server. Want to tank? There’s your class. Want to heal? There’s your picks. Now go walk uphill both ways without shoes in the snow *shakes cane* :p Though it’s amusing how I’m seeing plenty of tanks and healers in a WoW clone like Rift, and that has lots of choice.)

    • I agree with you, I think it’s heroics in general that are the problem. Blizzard need to face the fact that content that keeps guild groups happy and engaged doesn’t work for random LFD (which needs shorter instances).

  10. My WoW account expired this month and I’ve not renewed it, primarily down to the LFD situation and the state of HCs. I have a Resto/Ele Shaman and the major problem with this new idea is that generally it’s not tanks that are the issue. Sure there are bad tanks out there but the primary reason that any of my HCs have failed is because the DPS was bad. I’ve loaded into ToT and spent 5-6mins doing the first trash pull when I’ve been healing. The Tank never loses aggro but the DPS was so horrifically low that thing took an age to die. People are still in the AOE mentality of Wrath and to be honest, I’m bored with the entitlement issues that people seem to have. Sure when I’ve been in a group with solid DPS Heroics are a joy but that is by far the exception. Compensating the tanks might shorten wait times for the DPS but it sure isn’t going to fix the fact that a lot of them suck!

  11. Do players really just want more tanks or rather also good tanks? seems to me this only solves an issue of quantity and creates a whole lot of negative side-effects…

    what a strange move on their part. certainly interesting to see what’s going to happen now.

  12. Arse to that. I’m *still* not tanking.

    I agree that the Heroics in Wrath were about the right length, even when they were more difficult before everyone got geared. Deadmines is a dungeon from another age, even if some of the bosses are extremely entertaining.

  13. I think there’s a lot of uproar over nothing. Sure, Mr. Retadin might queue as a tank to get a chance at the bonus bag, even though he can’t tank worth squat. And you know what happens? He gets kicked. No finish, no bonus bag.

    I really love this change. As a non-tank (I play healers and DPS), I look at it this way: what do I gain? Shorter queues. What do I lose?


    This is the part everyone is glossing over in their rage. Sure, the tanks might be getting all sorts of nice treats. But this doesn’t affect me at all. I really could care less what they are or are not getting. I just care about getting a tank.

    If I’ve been farming Strath for the Baron’s mount for 2 years? Well, guess what? I can still do it. I haven’t had this ability removed from me.

    The only reason you would care is if you are jealous when someone else has something you want. And frankly, if you think that, the problem is with YOU, not the system. (Not *you* of course, Spinks, you in a general sense.)

    Now, is there a more serious underlying design issue here? Yes. Of course. But I think this is a hell of a lot better than nothing.

    The one thing I hope they do implement is a check to the LFG tool that ensures you actually HAVE a tanking spec when you select the role. So we don’t get a Ret/Holy pally queuing as tank, for example. This seems a basic idiot check.

    • Rades is right:

      “Sure, Mr. Retadin might queue as a tank to get a chance at the bonus bag, even though he can’t tank worth squat. And you know what happens? He gets kicked. No finish, no bonus bag.”

      I’d be willing to bet that initially, there’s going to be quite a few people thinking “oh cool, I can get rewards for queueing as a tank!” even though they have no tank skill/spec/gear at all. They will soon learn. After a while, things will settle down, and perhaps real tanks will start to become more popular, even aspiring ones.

      On the downside, Spinks is quite correct with this:

      “It tends to attract the people who are most interested in the rewards rather than in the role.”

      On the one hand, this may lead to an increase in the number of barely competent tanks – ones who are only just good enough to avoid being kicked.

      On the other hand, if there are more tanks available generally, it may mean groups are more willing to kick a tank if they think a replacement will be available in less time than at present.

  14. > but (this is the main thing) they are already in the game.

    > I don’t need the gold and I don’t care about the pets or mounts

    This is only the ice breaker. After that change is implemented it’ll be much easier to give more rewards to tanks to bribe them. Things like more VP for tanks or only VP for random CtA. Baby steps.

    But I don’t agree with your take on healer. There is only one role which is in short supply: tanks and only tanks. And there are two roles which exist in abundance: dd and healer. Yes, there might be less healer then dd but there are more
    healer then dungeon groups. That’s why they have a queue.

    I think the biggest problem for DDs in the LFD is that every healer has the option to create a short cut for 3 DD.

    – A healer has roughly the same wait time no matter if he queues alone or with 3 DD.
    – A DD has a much shorter queue time of he queues together with a healer. Thus he increases the wait time for every DD who queued without a healer.

    Another solution would be to have a healer/DD group stay in line in the DD line and not in the healer line. This would reduce the wait time for DD who queue without a healer by a big amount.

      • Ouch… Completely missed that.

        Not reward healer because they heal but reimburse healer for giving up their right to short cut DDs?

        Now I think you’re right. Giving the CTA bonus to healer and tanks would have a bigger positive impact on the DD queue then giving it only to tanks.

      • It’s kind of weird because you’d basically be rewarding people for being asocial and not queueing with friends and guildies, at the same time as adding in the new guild rewards and dailies for doing the opposite.

      • Once tanks there’s more tanks in the queue than healers, the healers will get the chance at the call to arms and the tanks get no extra rewards. The feature us dynamic, not statically geared towards tanks. Granted, it may be a while before we ever get more healers than tanks again.

  15. It’s interesting that people are so worried about bad tanks. Where do you guys think good tanks come from?

    Problem with WoW is this trend: solo to level, tank an instance in greens, get shouted at for being a noob, respec dps, never look back.

    And it’s the players who are bitter about their queues who are enforcing this.

    I think it’s actually healthier for the game to promote a “bad tank” culture since often these guys are just new. Having said that, I’m really appreciating the single server player pool in Rift so I don’t play with people who don’t care about me because they never see me again. In fact I don’t even have to look for group any more, I get whispers asking me to come heal.

    • I agree with alot of what your saying here. Let’s say a new person to the game walks in first time, tries his/her first instance and barely has enou8gh greens to even make the attempt. Rest of group screams and rage kicks said person. Said person drops warrior class altogether. Less tanks. Further more, I love to tank, I HATE gogoggogogogo dps’ers. I havent been through every single instance, I’m still learning higher level rotations etc. Does that make me a bad tank? No, still learning.

      I don’t like to pug anymore though, it gets costly when I have retards for DPSers trying to tank the instance themselves then bringing a frieght train on my ass. I hate when people don’t listen to my kill order or assist or cc order. I Hate when people don’t wait for an LOS pull. So, while I am tanking for my guild, I won’t tank in PuGs unless there is a mercenary incentive there. Pets I could give to ratcraps about. An interesting mount, ok. Gold? YUP! I’m all about the gold when my repair builds are stupid high. Especially if I have in Gavlon’s words Morons and slackers. I won’t ever be a hardcore Raider, don’t care to be, but when I’m working instances, I want peopel who are reasonably competent not retards. The only reason I kept up with my tank was for my guild who needed to raise a new one to help fill the ranks. I’ll tell ya, I would have dumped the spec altogether at about lv 40 when I had to put up with alot of the dpstards who wouldnt listen to simple, polite suggestions or requests for simple tank and spank situations.

      So, go mercenary tanks! If you look at RL history, the best warriors or most needed skills were always paid a higher wage. You do more, you get more. Lets face it, DPS is really a dime a dozen. If Blizzard insists keeping the holy trinity, they need to make it worth the time and headache of raising a tank from the bottom up. Since a lot of long time players have left for different games, so to has the tank population dropped. Oh ya, the tank gear drop rate in the mid range levels, blows ass. One more reason to try to make tanking changed. This is of course my opinion only. But umm…lets see if Blizz actually does something to excite more tanks into the fray.

  16. Tanking is less popular now not because it is harder but because there are so many bad players out there that a tank can no longer compensate for them.

    In wrath, if you had a bad DPS it made little difference, there was usually at least 1 DPS in every run that could down everything by themselves. Even early on in the expansion, except for bosses maybe.

    Later in the expansion a tank could basically solo all heroic content, the other people where just there to make things faster. So yes, tanking was easy, but again, it was easy because there was little a DPS could do to make it hard.

    Now there is so much pressure on the DPS to be good that they can really screw things up. Even if they do not screw things up if they die it could mean that the fight takes longer and the healer goes out of mana and then it is a wipe.

    The pressure is on the DPS and the DPS is failing in most cases. This is what makes tanking harder. Not the actual tanking. Tanking is almost the same as it was in wrath, hell, I would even argue it is easier now with the use of CC. Less targets to keep aggro on means it is easier to hold aggro (at least for me).

    Giving tanks a bonus is unfair to every class in the game that can not choose the role of tank.

    I have 2 85 tanks but my main is a Hunter, which does not have that option. I have over 110 mounts and over 120 pets. I collect them. I would love to get the ones they are adding to the bags being I do not have any of them yet.

    Where is my bonus for not making tanks lives harder, for pulling 50% of all damage done in the dungeon, trapping, silencing, kiting, never pulling aggro, protecting the healer and making the run nice and smooth?

    If you are not going to give me a bonus for doing what I am supposed to do then do not give the tanks a bonus for doing they are are supposed to do. They already get instant queue.

    That is more than enough for tanks as a bonus. Unless they plan to make all those mounts and pets tradable, at least to your own account so I can grind them on my tanks and trade them to my main, I oppose this idea. Hell, even if they do, I still oppose this idea.

    Do not give someone else a bonus just because they are who they are, tanks.

    From the standpoint of a tank, if you want me to tank more randoms, figure a way to keep 80% of the people that queue as DPS out of the system and only let me get people that know what they are doing behind me.

    If the DPS was better, I would tank, gladly, every day. Now, I only tank for guild runs. Never a random. I have yet to do one random in Cataclysm as a tank and have no intention of ever doing one, even if they give me a special bag just for doing my job.

    Tanks are not the problem with the LFD system. The DPS is. Fix that.

    • I kind of agree with him, but for different reasons. One of the core issues with WoW is that running heroics is a dull task. It’s dull whichever role you do it with, and it’s being rewarded. It’s just that if you tank it’s more of a hassle as well as being dull.

      So the extrinsic motivators are already there. But yeah, it’s really not addressing the main issue of why tanks aren’t wanting to queue.

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  18. It seems to me that this whole problem is caused by a few aspects of the PvE end game.

    * 5-man instances and raids are the main things to do.
    * In order to raid, you have to do heroics.
    * The ratio of people who want to play DPS v.s. tanking is much greater than 3:1.

    Blizzard is trying to address the 3rd point by increasing the number of tanks. But they could also try to reduce the number of dps in the LFD queue.

    What if DPS didn’t need to gear up through heroics?
    What if there were end-game PvE content that wasn’t raiding?
    What if there were raiding options that didn’t require heroics?
    What if there were alternate gearing paths that were solo-able?

    • If DPS didn’t need to gear up through heroics, then no one does, because every character has a dps spec. So I guess we’d find out how much people really do hate farming heroics because they would have an alternative 🙂

  19. I tank.

    I don’t tank PuGs and this change will not change that. The only bribe that might work would be a tier token per time and only for the first 5 pugs of each content patch.

    They really are thet bad compared to good guild runs.

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  21. This is one DPS that, if my queues are no more than 15-20 minutes, and at least 2/3 of the runs are at least partly successful (and enjoyable) in an hour or less, with limited asshatery, I would be VERY HAPPY to give Tanks AND Healers all the damn mounts and pets they want.

    Here’s hoping this works.

    Would also love to be able to get added to a tank’s “favorites” list if I do my job well.

  22. I see the LFD as a very unforgiving and hostile place for a tank who is just starting out. A lot of this has to do wth how it was originaly implementes.

    It went live at a time where most folk were already somewhat overgeared for heroics already. You could pick up a Naxx run and have a good shot at finishing at least half the place with just random folks from /trade.

    We are not there anymore, that train has left the station. Come back in a year when we overgear the heroics and we will be AoE farming them again.

    My own experience with LFD tanking was pretty much in line with what Stabs said earlier.

    1. Level in a non-tank spec (Dps in my Dk’s case, and resto in my Druids case).

    2. Decide to try tanking.

    3. Spend several hours researching what buttons I should be pushing and when, then a few more watching video.

    4. Gather a moderately decent set of tanking gear, crafted quested or BoE generally.

    5. Attempt to tank for an LFD group, telling them (with a handy macro) that I am so new my gear doesn’t even have scuff marks on it yet.

    6. Watch each character have 2-3 groups in a row of whiney entitled Dps’rs complaining that the run is taking too long, that CC is for sissies and those that can’t hold aggro, pulling extra crap before I am ready and then bitching when they die. Generally making my life miserable.

    7. Vendor the tanking gear, respec the Druid resto/balance and make the DK my bank alt.

    8. Shake my head when people complain about there not being enough tanks, and can’t understand why.

    In short (which this isn’t) It’s not that there are no tanks out there, it’s that the ones that are stick to guild groups or groups of known friends.

    I know that’s the case with me, and no goodie bag is going to change that.

    Things that I would like to see:

    1. Cross server friends list, with an option on the lfd screen to choose from that list first if availible. I know the tech exists, we have across server ignore list already.

    2. Somewhat shorter instances. A lot of people got used to fitting a 45 min to 1 hour run into thier schedule, now they are fiinding it hard to fit in a 2 hour run.

    3. An easier gearing path for entry level tanking and healing gear. Something along the lines of the blue PvP set, only set up for those roles.

    As to people in less represented roles getting a shot at extra goodies, fine by me. The only reason it might annoy me is if it cut into my flask sales or gem sales. Someone gets a new pony I could care less.

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