More thoughts on tank incentives

Unsurprisingly, Blizzard’s proposed new tank incentives have set off a lot of discussion. They range from commenters who think this will encourage them to dust off their unused tanks, people looking forwards to shorter queues, doubters (and other scoffers), and the usual run of people complaining because someone somewhere may have a possibility of getting something that they are not.

Lujanera commented in a fairly visionary old post that Blizzard had previously been trying to increase the number of tanks, rather than increasing the frequency with which existing tanks run instances. This bribing  notion is very firmly in the latter camp, aimed at encouraging tanks to run an extra instance or two. I think it could be improved though to encourage people to run randoms on their tank alts, maybe with account bound rewards.

The Noisy Rogue thinks that shinies aren’t enough of a bribe and that tanks should be rewarded with a stacking raid buff for running a random instance. (He does also note that this would make it effectively required for raid tanks to run a random before raids.) I think his argument flags when he says that bribes don’t work — if bribes don’t work why did people want to farm heroic instances in the first place? Surely not for fun.

But despite that he might be onto something. The only change I’d make is let every raider access the stacking personal raid buff  whenever they run a random instance on a tank/ healer alt. Remember, any decent raider should easily be able to master more than one role …

10 thoughts on “More thoughts on tank incentives

  1. This isn’t a whole lot of incentive for me to throw myself at the mercy of a complete PUG group, because that’s what this requires.

    I do like to bring guildies along, whether they’re DPS or heals simply because they’re guildies and one of the perks they have is access to me. I’m that awesome.


    Blizzard recently commented that the rewarded extra satchels will be BOA so you can run on your tank and dish the rewards off to another toon.

    I dunno… this might increase the quantity of tanks queuing up but I don’t think it’ll change the quality.

  2. The inherent problem with giving everyone the rewards, whether its a satchel of shinies or a stacking raid buff, is that it doesn’t solve the problem at hand, which is role imbalance. An imbalance means the problem is inherently unfair, so any solutions will also be unfair. Folks need to take a step back here and ask themselves: is an unfair solution to an unfair problem worth it to let these same people get into the game faster? That’s a personal judgment call, but from a purely objective standpoint, this solution makes sense for what its attempting to solve.

    • I’d agree with that. It certainly doesn’t break anything (at least that wasn’t already broken). Plus unfairness can be defined in so many different ways.

    • I think people don’t realize that role imbalance is not the problem Blizzard is trying to solve. To them shrinking subscription numbers is the problem and they think (right or wrong) that long queue times i.e. role imbalance is the culprit. At least this is how I see Blizzard measuring the success or failure of Call-to-Arms incentive.

      What it means in practical terms is that even if we see significant reduction in queue times but players keep canceling subscriptions it would be a failure from Blizzard point of view. And they will keep throwing incentives at players to lure them to play boring content.

  3. I think this is the first time anything I’ve written has been described as “visionary”. Still, I’ll take it.

    That said, I think Noisy Rogue’s idea is very interesting. As a tank, I’d hate it, but it would certainly be effective in getting me into LFD. I doubt that it could be done, however, because so many non-tank raiders would yell bloody murder at the idea of having to roll a tank alt in order to raid on their main (if the buff were BoA).

    • > Lujanera commented in a fairly visionary old
      > post that Blizzard had previously been trying
      > to increase the number of tanks, rather than
      > increasing the frequency with which existing
      > tanks run instances.

      I think you forgot the third possible way to reduce the queue time: “reduce the frequency with which DD run instances.” There are a lot of DD which queue for the daily VP which don’t like to run heroics.

      Blizzard should find a way to free them from having to run the daily but still continue to force tanks to run them.

      This could be achieved by making cheap craftable gear available which is better then VP gear for DD but don’t offer this option for tanks. Or by moving all tank gear to the VP NPC and only drop DD gear in raids. Or by only dropping DD gear in raids and selling an item to change the drops into tank gear for VP.

  4. Intresting.

    Rewards tend to be like drugs. Theres a very quick attentuation period.
    If I give someone a pay rise today they’ve absorbed that into their standard of living in a few months and assume thats their default. They cease to be gratefull and start asking for another raise.
    Likewise the rewards for, say, rep grinding are quite high right now. They give epics which are usefull to everyone who doesnt have heroics on farm. And thats everyone pretty much bar a vanishingly small percentage of elite guilds.
    Have I then as a fairly commited raider ground every rep on my main raider. Nooooooooo. I’m still one short on my main (Dragonmaw for that shiny caster neck). Can I be arrsed to do it given that my raiding and guild buddys have pretty much stopped grinding heroics daily. Nooooo.
    And I’m a healer. OK not as vital as a good tank but still in short supply. I’m the type of person they want running heroic PUGs. And I really cant be bothered to take the pain of PuGs or the hassle to organise it with fellow raiders. Not for days and days at a time. So I log for raids and I’ll get those last two epics from drops even though I could get one of them for rep….

    …and thats a problem. As I think it means that the pool of raiders will decrease not increase as the old hands take a break and they’re not going to be replaced given that this expansion is actualy hard.

    They need to make it fun to do heroics not try and bribe me.

    • And there’s the point that there are that many parts of the game that offer you free stuff that “just another free thing” doesn’t have the same effect it would have had 5 years ago.

      Compare raiding today where every boss dropps 2 items for 10 people plus VP with vanilla where every boss dropped… 3 (?) items for 40 people and no VP. As you said, there is that much free stuff that it really makes no sense to get up. No matter what you do, you’ll get a welfare epic. 🙂

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