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Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, bribes, and player behavior {WoW}

Apr 12th 2011 4:51PM Ty,
I think your math is a little off...
If there were three times as many DPS queuing as Healers, then DPS and Healer queues would be equal in length (there are three times as many spots for DPS to fill...).
If DPS queues are three times as long as Healer queues, that means about nine times as many DPS are queuing (compared to Healers)...
Cheers!

Blizzard issues Call to Arms clarification {WoW}

Apr 8th 2011 10:24PM Just to be clear: I'm not arguing that the percentages of Tanks/Healers/DPS in my post above are indicative of the actual breakdown in World of Warcraft (our collective experiences with the LFD tool have demonstrated a disproportionate number of DPS to Tanks/Healers), rather that Blizzard has designed a system of Class/Role combinations that enables the playerbase to more easily match the requirements for play.

If they had a Class/Role combination with 100 DPS, 2 Healers, and 1 Tank, while still expecting a group to be formed with 3 DPS, 1 Healer, and 1 Tank, then they would have designed a system that could only fail. They haven't done this.

The problem is that far more players (at least in the population that uses the LFD tool) have chosen to play DPS, than Tank (or even Healer). The only way to solve this problem is to:
a) Provide a disincentive (punishment) for playing DPS (or over-represented Class/Role); or
b) Provide an incentive (reward) for playing a Tank or Healer (or under-represented Class/Role).
I think we can agree (or I hope so at least) that option "a" is unacceptable. This leaves us with option "b," which is exactly what they've done.

In short, the Class/Roles, Specs, or whatever you want to call them are already designed to meet the LFD tool requirements; they just need to convince the playerbase to be more equally represented across the existing Class/Role combinations...

You could have 100 Tank/Healer classes, but if everyone prefers to play the single, awesome, fun DPS class, you can't build a team...

Cheers!

Blizzard issues Call to Arms clarification {WoW}

Apr 8th 2011 5:53PM @DBNM
A comment on your numbers, as I've seen this argument a lot lately.

I don't think Blizzard categorizes the roles as you have (out of 31 available specs). As you've pointed out, the numbers/percentages clearly don't work when you use these as a baseline.

I don't work for Blizzard, so I can't say with authority that this is what they're thinking, but it seems more than coincidental (especially since they've added Death Knights specifically to fill role "holes") that this works...
Number of Classes capable of Tanking: 4 (Death Knight, Druid, Paladin, and Warrior)
Number of Classes capable of Healing: 4 (Druid, Paladin, Priest, and Shaman)
Number of Classes capable of Melee DPS: 6 (Death Knight, Druid, Paladin, Rogue, Shaman, and Warrior)
Number of Classes capable of Ranged DPS: 6 (Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Shaman, and Warlock)

Total Class/Role combinations: 20
4/20 Tank = 1/5 = 20%
4/20 Healer = 1/5 = 20%
12/20 Total DPS = 3/5 = 60% (Equally divided between Melee and Ranged)

This seems to be a more logical way to divide the Class/Role combinations, plus it works with the percentages needed for Dungeons (and to a lesser extent Raids).

My two cents...
Cheers!

Tuesday Morning Post: Rearrangement envy edition {WoW}

Mar 29th 2011 1:07PM This...
I can't even count the number of mid-level characters I've deleted because I didn't like where they fit on the selection screen. OCD FTW!

Note to Blizz: Can I haz all mi Toons bak?
:)

WoW Rookie: Being polite in game {WoW}

Mar 24th 2011 3:13PM Hey, "Howdy!" is MY greeting! ;)
Great article, and I couldn't agree more, especially about rolling "Need."
I'll roll Need on off-spec gear, but only after letting everyone know in chat at the beginning of the run that I'm happy to trade to someone else who Needs for Main-spec... This just saves time, rather than asking "may I Need?" at each drop...
The ability to trade items within a group is one of the best features Blizz has introduced, imho...
Cheers!

Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite WoW encounter? {WoW}

Mar 13th 2011 1:55PM I loved the Kara Opera event... never knowing which fight you'd get... Oh the moans and groans depending on which one we got! Run away Little Girl... Run Away!

The Heigan Dance was also a blast... our Guild couldn't get past it... the GM/RL kept calling for the wipe after most of the raid went down (on the first "dance"), but it seemed like it was always the same three or four that were still up (Tank, myself as healer, and 1 or 2 DPS)...
Finally, we decided to just go for it after most of the raid was down, and the wipe had been called... I don't remember exactly how long it took (~10-15 mins, maybe longer?), but we 4-manned him... The feeling of accomplishment, not to mention the guild-wide cheer that went off in chat, was awesome... One of my most memorable moments in WoW... :)

Breakfast Topic: Have you spotted your own game design ideas in game? {WoW}

Mar 11th 2011 7:01PM @Deathknighty
I'm not sure how having to queue to each dungeon twice prior to using the Random Daily Heroic would be "incredibly BAAAAAD" for people who level lots of Alts? I have a fair number myself, and you should be running the normal dungeons to gear for Heroics (in a PuG) anyways. The point of #1 was to make sure no one gets into a Heroic dungeon they've never seen before, and that they can't "game" the LFD Tool (as we saw people doing with Stonecore). I don't think it would slow you down that much... besides, if you read my previous post, I think we should have BoA Tier points to spend on outfitting our Alts! :)

Your second point did make me think of something though... What if you wanted to join a BG or Arena Team that already had a high rating (and yours was low)? I guess they'd have to have a mechanism to allow that; maybe a "Team Avg" rating?

Anyways, just a few thoughts... in case Blizz implements something similar, and WoW Insider runs another story like this in the future! :)

Breakfast Topic: Have you spotted your own game design ideas in game? {WoW}

Mar 11th 2011 6:01PM And while we're playing the "good idea" game:

1) For the LFD Tool; you should be required to have completed the dungeon on normal prior to being allowed to queue for the Heroic version. Prior to queueing for the random Daily Heroic, you must have completed all the Heroic Dungeons at that level. This will ensure that players have at least completed the dungeon once prior to trying it on Heroic, and keep people from "gaming" the Daily Heroic by avoiding some dungeons. In other words, you can't start collecting on your daily VPs until you've at least completed each dungeon twice; once on normal, and once on Heroic.

This would only apply to LFD Tool; if you want to run a dungeon with a full pre-made group, you could, on normal or Heroic, regardless of whether you'd completed it before or not. (So I guess you might be able to get away with running each dungeon only once on Heroic, with a pre-made, prior to queueing... /shrug) This seems like it would be easy to implement.

2) Open Rated BGs to random queues/make all BGs rated, but have two tiers of BGs (a la normal/Heroic dungeons). The idea is that anyone can queue for a random BG; if your personal BG rating is below some amount (say 2000?), you are sent to a "normal" BG; if your personal BG rating is above 2000, then you're queued to the "Heroic" BGs. You get some number of bonus Conquest Points for winning your first match each day in both, but "Heroic" BGs give Conquest Points, while "normal" BGs give Honor Points.

Personal BG rating would be calculated on personal performance (caps, kills, heals, etc..), and win/lose ratio. I think this would naturally lead to more pre-mades (in order to attain/maintain rating), while still allowing small groups/single players with PvP skills to participate. You could also use all BG sizes as you could build groups of 10/25/40 in the queue.

3) Do something similar with Arenas. We already basically have a single player, random Arena queue (ever seen: "LF 1 player, Arena, for weekly points" in Trade?), so why not make it official? This would function like the BGs above; if your Arena rating is below some amount (say 2000), then you're queued to a "normal" Arena match vs. players in your bracket; if it's above 2000, then you go to the "Heroic" Arenas. Again, both get some number of Conquest points for the first win of the day, but "Heroics" continue to dish-out Conquest Points, while "normals" give Honor Points.

Again, this would naturally lead to formed Arena teams to get and maintian their rating, but allow new/casual players to try-out an Arena match, and see if it's for them...

The point with all of these is to allow players to experience everything our great game has to offer, while still providing challenges/incentives to the Hardcore players...

My two (or three) cents...

Breakfast Topic: Have you spotted your own game design ideas in game? {WoW}

Mar 11th 2011 5:11PM I'm not sure when Blizz announced the new Justice/Valor Point system, but it was deployed on Live Servers ~Oct 12, 2010.
Here's a comment I made on this site Dec 17, 2009:

"The other thing I'd like to see is a three tier Emblem system:
Tier 1 (Top Tier) would drop from top level content (think Frost);
Tier 2 would drop from Heroics/Old Raids (think Triumph); and
Tier 3 would be any older Emblems (they no longer drop), and all old Emblems would automatically convert to Tier 3.
Any Emblem could be downgraded to the level below (as we can do now).
Tiers 1 & 2 would be BoP, but Tier 3 would be BoA.
This would allow you to outfit Alts well, but at least two Tiers below current content..."

http://wow.joystiq.com/2009/12/17/breakfast-topic-make-it-all-boa/8#comments

It's not exactly what they did, but pretty close if you condense my idea from 3 Tiers to 2, and remove the BoA idea (which, as a confirmed Altoholic, I still like...)
I like to imagine that Ghostcrawler himself read my post and said:
"Once again, Longtime Lurker has come-up with a gem of an idea... implement now!
Better yet, wait about a year, and we won't have to pay him any royalties!"

WoW Rookie: Understanding mitigation versus stamina for tanking {WoW}

Mar 10th 2011 12:41PM I'm not going to dive into the shark-infested waters that are the "Stamina/Mitigation vs. Avoidance" fight, but I do disagree a bit with the idea that a large health pool is a "mana-sponge," and to be avoided at all costs.

Stacking avoidance stats at the cost of Stamina or mitigation stats can have a negative effect on a Healer's mana-pool by causing "spikey" damage that the Healer must react to by using his or her less mana-efficient spells.

Having a "healthy" Health pool, and good armor/block, helps keep incoming damage smoother, and allows the Healer to use their most efficient heals.

Personally, I think a healthy mix of Stamina, mitigation, and avoidance is the surest road.
As an example (for which I'll undoubtedly get flamed), I try to keep Parry and Dodge matched to ~12-14%, while maximizing Stamina and Mastery.

/dives into shark-infested waters...