Friday, 12 March 2010

WoW: still struggling to fix arseholes

WoW's dungeon finder has generally been regarded as a success, bringing people together for groups quickly and effectively. Obscure dungeons that would have been hard to run before now can be done and people can make instancing their main activity.

However the runs have been plagued by antisocial players.

The problem is people remember the idiots to a disproportionate extent. If you run 5 dungeons and the last run includes a player who leaves you fuming you have overall had a bad experience even though you met 20 strangers only one of whom was irritating.

The upcoming WoW patch tinkers with the mechanisms available to players for coping with arseholes.

Yeah it just takes one person to press Need after everyone's pressed Greed on the Frozen Orbs and you miss out. But the good news is that in patch 3.3.3 this won't be the case anymore -- the roll for Frozen Orbs will be an automatic Greed roll. Rejoice!

Dungeon Finder

* The Deserter debuff given to players who leave a dungeon prematurely when queuing via the Random Dungeon option has been increased to 30 minutes, up from 15 minutes. The cooldown for using the Random Dungeon option remains 15 minutes.
* The Random Dungeon cooldown is no longer displayed as a debuff. Instead, players will see the cooldown time remaining displayed in the Dungeon Finder window when Random Dungeon or Random Heroic Dungeon is selected from the pull-down.
* If a player in your party has the Deserter debuff, or is on cooldown from the Random Dungeon option, his or her character name will be displayed in the Dungeon Finder window listed as "On Cooldown," preventing the group from queuing.
* Anyone in a dungeon party can now re-queue their group for a dungeon, as players will still be prompted whether or not to accept their chosen role.
* Players who use the Vote Kick option will now be prompted to provide a reason for kicking a party member. This reason will be presented to everyone in the party except for the person voted to be kicked.
* When joining as a group, more generous level requirements will be used instead of Random Dungeon level requirements so that players of different levels joining together will be eligible for a greater number of dungeons.
* Parties randomly created via the Dungeon Finder will always be arranged in the party interface from top to bottom in the following order: tank, healer, damage, damage, damage.
* If a random party is created via the Dungeon Finder and a player cannot roll Need on an item, a reason will now be provided.

On the face of it these changes are more punitive to quitters and assist people who are trying to get someone vote kicked.

However they can be gamed in fairly obvious ways.

For instance since people who quit are punished the objective if you don't want to continue becomes to force other people to quit. You could train mobs onto the group or just afk and people might be forced to give up (incurring the 30 minute penalty and leaving you free to join another run).

Getting someone vote kicked might become merely a matter of providing a convincing reason. Calling someone a ninja and proposing a kick (even if you've never seen them before in your life) will probably work.

What WoW needs in my opinion as a long time pugger is a karma system like Ebay's ratings. If the people who play with you can leave feedback there's a real incentive to be honest.

Until they do that they're just inventing new ways for creative griefers to mess up group play.


  1. Even though I haven't played WoW in a while it is interesting to watch the social implications of dungeon finder. One thing in that list which stands out is the fact that a person who is kicked doesn't get told why. That seems contrary to natural justice and is surely open to abuse. Your Karma suggestion is a much better option I think. In fact Karma could become a whole new way of progressing in game.

  2. i have been playing wow and recently keep getting kicked for asking tactics for bosses and it is arseholes that just want to speed run and have no intrest in group harmony or helping players new to dungeons or occasional dungeoners to play. Wow is one of the best games to play but the people make it one of the worst also a good suggestion would be to create a profile so you can say if you want speed run or social run and your level of skill so groups are made of more of the same type of player.