Friday, April 8, 2011

Tank Shortage Solution

Make more tanks, ba dum ching. Even better make less DPS. I'm half serious about that one, but more on that later. Right now we've got two planned changes coming to the dungeon finder in 4.1: first we can snatch up all our "daily" dungeon rewards for the week whenever we want and second goodies bags will be provided to tanks (and possibly healers) for queuing alone. Call me crazy, but don't these conflict somewhat in randoms?

The one big perk of being able to get as many of your "daily" dungeon" rewards as you want on any given day is that if you really liked your group, or can at least stand to tolerate them a little longer, then you have the option to queue again with the same group. If tanks and healers are incentivized to drop and requeue alone that is perhaps a little less likely to happen? I know I value a good group over any goodie bag they are currently teasing me with, but I'd probably leave an ok group after a dungeon for a chance at better rewards.

That got me thinking that random groups that requeue and complete a second dungeon together are in general better at working in a group. Moving players that do just that more often higher in the queue would have some interesting effects. Trick would be finding a way to prioritize those players without penalizing those that just didn't have the opportunity or availability to requeue with a random group to run a second dungeon. Could just add successfully ran a dungeon with a random group to the math and have that weighted slightly lower than ran a second dungeon with the same random group successfully. After all completing a dungeon in a random group shows a moderate level of cooperation, but requeuing for a second and completing it shows that the group actually enjoyed eachother's company to some extent. Divide those values by the total number of random dungeons run and we've got ourselves a number to compare with other players.

So we start prioritizing these better players in the dungeon finder queue and they will have shorter queue times. Which in turn means these better players get into more groups. The end result is that the random dungeon finder experience improves then more tanks and healers will want to participate which improves the dungeon finder experience for all. Even if these better players don't get bumped up in the queue, they could instead be grouped together with similar results. The end result should be a more balanced number of DPS in that priority group and a higher quality of team player (i.e. more enjoyable group).

The second thing that would be nice to include when determining position in the queue is time elapsed since a players last successful random dungeon. I say successful since there is nothing more annoying that waiting 45 minutes for a group only to have it fall apart on the first pull. Players that have gone longer without a dungeon should get in first and this further incentivizes players in a random group to keep it for another rather than face a longer queue time.

The current bribe isn't quite enough to get me to queue alone as a tank, but with any luck healers will also apply for the goodies since I find queuing as a healer is a good compromise between wait time and random pug annoyance. Still I think it is better to try and improve the tank/healer experience in pugs using something along the lines I mentioned rather than try to coax people into something they don't enjoy.

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