Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kicking people out for profit

In Cataclysm the queues for dps classes using the dungeon finder tool have been very large.  There are a couple of reasons for this, probably including raids needing less than 1 tank per 5 bodies, tanks being forced into a leadership role and people not being comfortable with that and pvp players not having tank as a role but still wanting to do dungeons for gear.  There is also the obvious truth that doing a dungeon with a badly geared tank is quite hard but doing it with 1 badly geared dpser is no problem as they can be easily carried by a strong group.  This means that new players and alts are generally going to shy away from tanking.  Healing doesn't have the same reasons for it being scarce but nonetheless it is - healers have very fast queues and dps languish for 30 mins or more.

Some people have been abusing the LFD tool by queuing up with a friend who is a hybrid class and then having the friend drop group right away.  The person queuing up as dps then gets a free ride into an instant dungeon which makes the queues even that much worse for those who don't abuse the system in this way.  Another trick is queuing up with 3 people and having your hybrid queue as a tank/healer; once you get into the dungeon you votekick the other two people and requeue as triple dps and get the first tank/healer available.  Obviously these tricks are underhanded and nasty but nonethless people did it.  Blizzard came up with some wonderful solutions to these problems just yesterday:

  • Players who are outside a dungeon for more than a few minutes are now immediately able to be kicked.

  • The first one is great as I have had problems a few times with people going afk outside the zone and the group being unable to remove them for quite some time.  Obviously if someone is in the zone and refusing to play you still have issues but this is a nice change.

  • If queuing as a group with a tank or healer, and the tank or healer drops group (or is kicked) soon after joining, those that queued with them will also be removed from the dungeon.

  • The second is simply addressing the exploit I talked about earlier.  It does so pretty decisively so I approve very much.  It seems remotely possible that someone could be spited out like this but they could have been kicked the normal way anyway so it hardly matters.

  • If three or more players group queue with each other it will require an additional vote for them to kick anyone they did not group queue with.

  • The third is great.  It was always a problem that a group of three friends could walk in and kick out everybody else so requiring a fourth person to agree with them is a great change.  I suppose they might end up trying to bribe or convince one of the random folks to go along with some sort of dastardly plan but that seems like a poor gamble.  The ability of 3 dpsers to abuse the system right now is tremendous and this at least gives the people they end up with a way to deal with the situation.

  • If a group queue of 4 kicks the one person that they did not group queue with they will each receive a more severe penalty to their ability to initiate future kicks.

  • If someone initiates a vote kick for someone they group queued with they will not incur a penalty to their ability to initiate future kicks.

  • I am honestly not sure what the last two are intended to accomplish.  If a group of 4 queues up they already get an instant queue since they simply must supply a tank or healer from their own group so kicking people is unlikely to be exploitable.  They can be annoying for no reason but generally there is a need to control behaviour that is beneficial to the jerk but controlling people just being jerks randomly is mostly not necessary and extremely hard to do in any case.  The final one is puzzling as I don't know why they want it to be easy to remove your friends from the group exactly.  I don't have a problem with it but I can't figure out what it is trying to solve.

    All told, thumbs up.  There were some really unpleasant exploits out there that mostly affected the solo dpsers trying to get a dungeon done and these close them up pretty thoroughly.  People can still abuse the dungeon finder to be jackasses but they can't do so profitably anymore, which is the key.

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