Today there was some news released about something Blizzard is working on that will be quite game changing. No, it’s not the dance studio. A “premium” service which will allow someone to use the Random Dungeon Finder (LFD) tool to group with friends on Real ID.
At first glance, I think this is an excellent idea. With WoW being so big across so many servers, there are people who want to group together but don’t want to take the time or money to level an alt on another realm or transfer a character over. By being able to bypass the tedius or expensive effort that these entail, it will allow friends to do dungeons together and have fun much easier.
The biggest thing that will cause most people to call foul is the fact that it’s a premium service, which is an extra fee on top of the monthly fee we already pay. To be honest, that was the first thing that caught my attention as well, but I’m going to wait for all the information. We don’t know any pricing or how exactly it is going to work, apart from the fact that only one person needs to have the service – that being the person initiating the group.
If this feature will be included in the current premium package which allows remote auction house and remote guild chat and keeping the price the same, I can see a fair amout of people using this. I could even see myself possibly signing up for this feature.
One big question I know a lot of people will have is whether this will support cross-faction groups along with cross-realm. Many of my friends are not only scattered across different servers, but between the Horde and Alliance. As much as the Alliance are scum (as far as my characters think), I’d like to group up with the people behind them. To me, I think this will be the selling point: if I’m able to do cross-faction groups, I’ll pretty much be sold.
Since this is still very early in the cycle of the feature, we’ll definitely be given more information later on. I’ll be very curious to see what the final version of this product will be.
It’s time for me to add to the growing group of voices in the blogosphere in regards to the upcoming change to the Looking for Dungeon group tool in 4.1 and the addition of the “Call to Arms” feature. There has been a number of posts regarding this issue, and a number of different opinions about it. From all the posts I’ve read and podcasts listened to, it seems people are pretty much split down the middle.
When the announcement first came out from Blizzard that they were adding in the “Call to Arms” feature for the LFD tool in 4.1, I have to admit I was a bit surprised that they would make such a move. Since the tool first came out in Wrath, there have been average wait times depending on your class. DPS players have long queues, healers are medium to short, and tanks are extremely short or instant. People (mainly DPS – including myself) have complained about the wait times, but nobody has had any ideas of how to fix it.
Enter Call to Arms. Basically, this feature adds an incentive for a player to queue as one of the roles that is lacking in the LFD tool at the time to help speed things up. Lots of healers and DPS in the queue but lacking tanks? The system will add CtA for tanks, and give that person an extra reward after a successful dungeon run. Basically, it’s a new version of the grab bag added at the end of The Oculus from Wrath to convince people to do something. It’s not a bribe, it’s incentive.
To break it down in a simple format, here’s what I think:
Good things about Call to Arms
- Gives people a reason to want to tank – for example: making it a dual spec, rolling an alt.
- Extra rewards are bind to Battle.net account, so the rewards aren’t just for that character.
- (Hopefully) fills roles which are needed in the queue at the time, reducing wait times all around.
Bad things about Call to Arms
- Throws money at the problem without fixing the overall issues – the tank is the expected leader of the group, whether they know the instance or not giving extra pressure.
- Increases chances of getting tanks who aren’t ready for heroics – their item level might be high from other gear, no clue how to tank.
- DPS will never get the extra reward – likely it will be tanks most of the time, healers rarely.
- Encourages people to queue solo, as there are no rewards for queuing as a needed class with a group.
I personally have my second spec set up for tanking as a bear. I tanked through Burning Crusade and Wrath, and enjoyed it. The changes that came through in Cataclysm made things different, and I wasn’t comfortable with doing it again, but I would like to try. 4.1 has some good changes for bears, which will hopefully make keeping aggro easier for AoE groups.
Altogether, I think the Call to Arms system is a good one. I just hope it works as Blizzard intended.