Call to Arms, er Protection/Feral/Blood
Blizzard today announced that there will be a “Call to Arms” feature for random dungeons. While the intention is good, the idea in my opinion has not been given proper thought for the consequences that could be caused from it.
I know that there will be many people who disagree with what i’m about to say, but as I always this is my opinion.
So what is this Call to Arms? Basically the game will see which role is needed the most and offer them an extra incentives for joining the Looking for Dungeon tool. The goody bag will hold extra gold, flasks and have a small chance of dropping rare mounts or pets. So, it’s fair right? Well in my opinion not really.
Now it’s the principle of the whole thing that is wrong. If one role can get extra gold/flasks and a chance of a rare mount/pet just for turning up for a dungeon, then why can’t the other roles? The intent is for it to decrease queue times for DPS classes, but if you roll a DPS you have to accept that you’re in the majority and expect a long wait time. If you’re a tank or healer then you can expect substantially shorter queue times. Giving people extra incentive without offering it to the other roles will leave a bitter taste in their mouths.
Let’s use an example, a Warrior spends the day soloing Stratholme trying to get the Baron’s mount, while at the exact same time a Mage is doing the same. They both spend all day farming it with no luck. Then in the evening they end up together in a random heroic. The heroic ends and the warrior (who is the tank), gets the mount in their goody bag. The mage had no chance of having that happen. How is that fair?
The Call to Arms is a lazy way out as it is ignoring all the problems of tanking, and especially the current situation of the Cataclysm dungeons. What people wanted was heroics that were of greater difficulty but still the same length of those in Wrath. What we ended up with is the extra difficulty but dungeons that are unacceptably longer (Points finger at Halls of Origination), this on its own has helped discourage people from joining the LFD tool. It’s not just tanks or healers that this has affected but also dps classes, however because the number of tanks and healers are much lower than the dps’ers the effect of say a Protection Warrior not signing up is felt much stronger then a Warlock not signing up.
Will this new feature reduce wait times? Yes it will in the short-term. It’s a paper towel over a sawn off leg. What could happen is some of the DPS might decide why should they sign up when another role can get something just for being that role? But that is not what I think will happen.
What i think will happen is a vicious circle. Some players who normally have no interest in tanking will switch to a tanking off spec, so they can get the extra rewards. Some of those will be absolutely awful, and because this is putting extra strain on the healers, they will stop signing up. This will then move the call to arms to healers, which in turn will cause those players who normally have no interest in healing to switch to a healing off spec, so they can get the extra rewards. Some of those will be absolutely awful, and because this is causing the now experienced tanks to die all the time, they will stop signing up. See the pattern?
Now the following is slightly off track but I want to address. I’ve seen various posts from Tanks and a few healers saying “well roll a tank then”, “this is a reward for us having to put up with arrogant, awful dps’ers”. Well this is my message. The percentage of poor dps’ers is probably exactly the same as the percentage of poor healers and poor tanks. The percentage of arrogant dps’ers is probably exactly the same as the percentage of arrogant healers and arrogant tanks, however you see more poor/arrogant dps’ers because there are more of them.
If Blizzard want to fix this they need to actually look at the bigger issues, and not look for a quick fix, however going by their comments towards Cataclysm so far, I can’t see this happening anytime soon.
I hope in a few months time I’m made to eat my words regarding this issue, but I seriously doubt it. The Call to Arms is a good idea on paper, but didn’t factor in the human aspect in this, and that more than anything will decide the outcome of this.