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Thread: Time to Address the Tank Queueing Problem

  1. #1
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    Time to Address the Tank Queueing Problem

    In case you didn't know, the upcoming 4.1 patch features two new 5man instances that are "tiered" above the others. You can queue randomly for "tier 1" heroics that exist now, or you'll be able to queue randomly for "tier 2" heroics (ZA/ZG), but you won't be able to be in both queues simultaneously.

    I believe this is a bad idea due to the significant increase in queue time for non-tanks. Overall, the new system promotes a higher level of variance in tank arrivals, thus increasing queue times:
    • By allowing all weekly heroics to be completed in one sitting, you're increasing the day-to-day variance of tank queues.
    • By splitting one large queue into two smaller queues, you're inherently introducing higher variance just by simple queueing theory.
    • Finally, by allowing all weekly heroics to be completed in one sitting, you're increasing the odds of people queue'ing together. While this might be great for those that do queue together, it stinks for those that enjoy solo queue'ing or otherwise queue'ing without a tank.

    All of this leads to longer queues for healers and dps.

    Already, it takes huge amounts of time, money, and energy to gear a second character. Once you hit 85, you've got a long road ahead: grinding out normals, reputations, and buying gear just to queue for heroics. Then you've gotta actually grind out heroics, and when solo queue'ing, it's quite a feat. By introducing ZA/ZG, Blizzard is bringing forward yet another level of "pre-raid" requirements that players must go through. While PuG's might currently require ~346-348 ilvl to raid, you can bet to see it increase to ~355.

    For a lot of us, tanking just isn't fun. It's not what we want to do. WotLK was easy: swipe, thunderclap, death and decay, or consecrate, and that's all you needed. If someone pulled agro, they could probably tank for at least a little while. With Cataclysm, the difficulty has skyrocketed to the point where some people who had previously been willing to tank are no longer willing. Plus, who wants to go through the solo queue as a DPS/Healer just to get another tank set? Once heroics are behind you, you're likely never going back.

    It's time to address the tank queueing problem.

    All of this time going into patch 4.1 and ZA/ZG is great, but the frustrations from the future horrendous queues will overshadow the enjoyment for a significant portion of the WoW Population.


    Like the post on the official WoW forums here

  2. #2
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    So, um, do you have any suggestions?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebadoh View Post
    So, um, do you have any suggestions?
    Hoping someone else does :-D

  4. #4
    Bribe tanks with more gold? :-D

  5. #5
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    put it this way.

    i tank when i want to.

    i will only be tanking for random ZA / ZG.

    i dont need anything else.

    i dont care if it screws dps queue times.

    if they want fast queues get a tank friend.

    and dk's druids warriso and paladins hav no right to complain.

    sit the queue out, or get a tank spec, simple as that.


    now to counter your point.

    less dps in the pre ZGZA queue as the 346 ones wont queue for the others.
    theres mroe geared dps than there are tanks, therfore i counter propose that you will have shorter queues.

    but again, get a friend / guild tank, spec for tanking, or suck it up.
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  6. #6
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    I really want to be constructive, but i'm finding it really hard to be.

    thier is going to be a day to day variance in tank queues anyway, some people work, some people work shifts, some people are at school, some are on a school break, yadda, yadda. I don't really have time btween getting in from work and the Raid to run an HC each day, i might (usually not) get one in between the raid and before bed, but i might not, and that group is a full guild group. point is i may actually get 7 done over the weekends with this rather than the 2 I do now with LFG.

    What i'm saying is yeah there will be be tank variance but on the other had it's going to be easier and more likley that tanks like ne are going to be doing their 7 dungeons a week

    what you've also failed to take into account that their will be healers and DPS who won't be queiieng on day X becuase they can get 7 done on day Y, yeah their's gonna be tank variation, but theirs also gonna be dps and healer variation. That may or may not work in your favour.

    On time spent gearing stuff up, it need to take time, Lore's recent weekly marmot expalins exactly better than i ever could. on the gear level stuff to enter pug raids; Meh, if you're decent people will bring you despite gear level.i have a freshly dinged pally tank, 123k health i got brought into a BH pug, got laughed at, and then got to smuggly walk out with some gear and get asked to go do BWD later by the peeps who said i couldn't tank BH cos knowing your class, and knowing how to get the most out of your gear is key to playing. Likewise my best RL freind played a hunter for most of wrath. He recently hit it to 85, his first dungeon he was pulling 15k, his First raid in full 346 he's pulling 20k. If you know what you're doing then hell you know what your doing and you will get a rep for being awesome and no one will care what your ilvl is.

    I find it funny that you mention that for alot of DPS/healers once you've geared up in HC's you don't go back to get a tank set, but don't seem to appreciate that us tanks are exactly the same, i'm out of VPs and the most of the time i only do HCs to help out a guildie. in the same paragraph you maintain Tanking isn't easy and alot of people don't want to do it becuase its not fun and requires more than a spamming one button. I hate how easy the 5 mans are with the 15% LFG buff, I much prefered the multiple CC pulls and make or break interupts of the first few weeks. It was a challenge, it required skill, it wasn't a wrath AoEfest. if someone pulls aggro, they should die, if they don't then why even have tanks? if someone stand in the fire they should die, if they don't why even have fire?

    We're not even throught the first Tier and we're blitzing through HCS with a 15% buff, can you imaging what it will be like by the end of the expansion whan we're rocking in ilvl 411s?

  7. #7
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    The only way to reduce DPS queue time is to increase the amount of tanks in the queue. They already broke down "gear barriers" to a degree (getting rid of requiring defense to stop crits happening, you can have a second specc for tanking, they even introduced a new tank-capable class in wrath, but how many DPS deathknights do you encounter and how many tanks?. Other than offering monetary gains for tanking I do not see how they can change things.

    People don'T like tanking because they either don't like the role, don't like the responsibility or feel like they should tank to make things easier for guild mates. That isn't something a game developer can change. In my opinion it is purely a player created problem that needs a player base solution. More people need to have a tank specc. Whenever I see an arms/fury warrior, ret paladin, frost/unholy DK or cat-feral/moonkin druid complaining that they need to wait half an hour for a heroic I wonder what they are thinking - they could reduce their queue time by nearly 100% by going to the class trainer and replacing their offspecc specc with a tank or a healing spec. But they prefer staying in the queue to run as a dps with the queue time they so hate.

  8. #8
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    I love tanking. (And I love healing but it's about tanking at the moment.) I love to do it in raids. And I love to do it in 5mans. I've always tanked 5mans for PUGs. Even in classic I've looked to do 5mans as often as possible and often enough with PUGs (well I was a healer back than, but if we could not find tanks, we just went without one, it was possible back than even in blue gear). I've tanked hundreds of 5mans in BC (often with PUGs). The same with Wrath. I love to do it.

    I've done it a lot in Cata, too. I've pulled at least 30 characters through hc 5mans until they were geared and did know what to do for my guild. I've helped a lot of others. I've queued alown for my dailys or when I was bored.

    But now I just hate to do it. I have to really convince me to even do my daily heroic. The problem is: there are so few dungeons to do. For every other expansion there were heroic 5mans. Every time I enter a dungeon I think "not that one again". And I hear everybody complaining about it, too. Then I ask myself which one I would prefere and in most cases it's just: none. I've been too often at every one.

    It was never like that in BC or Wrath. In BC you could select the one you have not been for some time. You could refuse to just visit the same dungeons 5 times in a row. But this option is gone now and the selectinon of dungeons is much smaller than it was in BC or Wrath.

    I'll be extremely happy to get ZA/ZG. But I fear that there will be this burnout feeling, too. When we only have those two as a selection...



    But there is more to the problem. With the new healing design you see a very high demand on healers for raids. It's hard to finde people who want to heal there. So you would assume, that it would be the same for 5 mans. But the weird thing is, that they also have to wait for a dungeon quite often (less extensive than DPS). So it has to be something else.

    The thing is: As soon as you have enough gear to AoE through mostly everything, the difficulty and need of attention for DPS drops alot. They don't have to apply CC. They don't need to not open CC. They often enough will be healed through standing in stuff. They will often enough not die when they don't pay attention to threat.

    It get's easier for healers as soon as they have some spirit so that they can afford to use more expensive heals regularly, too. (And when people kill stuff faster.) So while healing is harder than in Wrath, it's easy enough in 5mans. You often enough can do it beside of extensive chatting or whatever. People just don't die fast - or it's their own fault.

    But while the difficulty drops with better gear for tanks, too. They have to be alert all the time. They have to set a good pace. They have to decide where CC is good, even now. And they have to do good AoE-threat. Which is much harder than in Wrath, when people don't focus. They see the need to interrupt stuff, even now, and are often enough the only ones who do it. So they have to pay a lot more attion on the dungeon than everybody else.

    It feels a lot more like work for tanks than for healers or dps. So maybe yes - paying tanks to do them would be a good idea...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blacksen View Post
    For a lot of us, tanking just isn't fun. It's not what we want to do. WotLK was easy: swipe, thunderclap, death and decay, or consecrate, and that's all you needed. If someone pulled agro, they could probably tank for at least a little while. With Cataclysm, the difficulty has skyrocketed to the point where some people who had previously been willing to tank are no longer willing. Plus, who wants to go through the solo queue as a DPS/Healer just to get another tank set? Once heroics are behind you, you're likely never going back.
    I think this is the key. If you want to fix dungeon queue times, you need more tanks. If you want more tanks, you need to make tanking more fun and reduce the barriers to entry. For many (but not all) people, easier tends to be more fun. Or perhaps 'less punishing' or 'more tolerant of mistakes' rather than simply 'easier'.

    Here are some things that I think they could do:

    - Make tank AOE play nice with CC. e.g. have Thunderclap not break sap or sheep. This would obviously be a nerf to complexity, but if you want to keep CC important while taking some of the pressure off the tank, this is it. Those opening moments where a pack is pulled and CC'd and un-CC'd mobs are running around are the root cause of many accidents. Experienced tanks learn to handle it, but if you want to make things more accessible, nerf here. If you can't do that, give tanks a non-damaging AOE option that generates enough threat to get initial agro (e.g. make demo shout or battle shout threat a bit more significant).

    - Take a look at 'ThreatPlates', incorporate something similar into the default UI and enhance them. ThreatPlates is a great addon, the first thing I recommend to any new tank - that means that almost every new tank starts without them. Being able to easily see who you have agro on and who you do not makes tanking multi-mob encounters (your typical dungeon) so much easier. The enhancement I would make is to have the "this mob is untanked red glow" apply only to mobs that aren't being tanked by any tank. This is something the addon author can't do easily but which Blizzard with full access could do. The default nameplates are not as friendly to use as a tank, they are too big, don't overlap well and don't make it easy to see who you have lost agro on.

    - Add more craftable/BOE tank gear. Reduce the barrier to entry for tanking by making entry level tank gear a bit easier to get. This has to be done with care (a tank who doesn't need any gear doesn't run instances) but having a few more entry level pieces might help. I think Blizzard have already tried to do this (the number of blacksmithing craftables for a tank is relatively high) but for example a tank gun from engineering wouldn't hurt. Leatherworkers are forced for grind out entry level pvp gear to cap their skill... why not put some tanking leather (cloaks, feral tank gear) in there too.

  10. #10
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    If you say that "If you complete the dungeon after signing up as a tank you get 100 gold and 30 VP" all that will happen is that tanks get VP capped quicker and stop running heroics and you also run the risk of people signing up as tank but not having any intention of tanking, wasting the 4 other player's time.

    Making tanking easier (or less easy to fail at) would probably go a long way. Non-damaging AoE threat moves could help a lot here. Would certainly help the new tanks feel their way in. Of course they need to be not too powerful or else you might as well give tanks an aura like Thrall or Varian had in the Battle for the Undercity quest event that secures the attention of every mob permanently. That would make it too easy and boring.
    Last edited by Fetzie; 04-06-2011 at 02:16 AM.

  11. #11
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    There are really two suggestions for this. One is short-term and personal while the other is long-term and global.

    1) Play with a tank. This is the easiest thing to do. Friends ask me if I want to do a heroic with them and I usually say yes. Nobody is forcing people to solo queue and while tanks aren't super-common, there are enough of them floating around that you can probably find a "heroic buddy" on your server or in your guild.



    2) Make tanking more appealing mechanically. This doesn't mean easier. It means more fun.
    • Let tanks see bigger damage numbers.
    • Clean up annoying mechanics like twitchy mob movement and easy tank breaking of CC.
    • Make the tank seem cool and powerful. (I remember in Anarchy Online when Enforcers were tanking they got HUGE with size increases and such--it made them feel like total bad-asses.)
    • As mentioned above, building in better threat plates (I would NEVER play without Aloft+Threat or Threat Plates...EVER.)
    • Give the tank more control over their threat--missed/dodged attacks are difficult to deal with for initial threat combined with low Vengeance amounts is a huge cause of frustrations for early tanks. They can't afford to gear for Expertise/Hit and have no control over Vengeance. Tanks rely on other classes like Rogues and Hunters to get Misdirection in order to smooth this out. Why don't tanks themselves have temporary threat siphons or reliable, unmissable threat generating tools?
    There are probably countless other ways that tanking could be made more fun. Some serious effort needs to go into this area if they want more tanks in the game.
    Maintainer of Rawr.ProtWarr theorycrafting tool. Feel free to PM suggestions or feature requests!

  12. #12
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    Perhaps we could have a buff like an Assassination rogue's Overkill. While not in combat and for the first ten seconds of combat your abilities and attacks generate twice as much threat, but this additional threat decays over time after the buff expires. Would make grabbing the mobs' attention easier, but would not cause threat to run away even more during the fight. Then give tanks a ability, maybe 2-3 minutes cooldown, to gain this buff in combat to grant spike threat for picking up adds or for phases such as maloriak green phase.

    I think something like this is rather more elegant than simply giving every tank what would basically amount to a mocking blow.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    [*]Make the tank seem cool and powerful. (I remember in Anarchy Online when Enforcers were tanking they got HUGE with size increases and such--it made them feel like total bad-asses.)
    That would be cool. Tanks getting bigger and redder the higher their vengeance stack grows! (Might have some issues getting through doorways in WSG).

    One thing to note: at the very start of WOTLK, I saw a huge influx in tanks... lots of people were tanking to gear up, but when we got into raiding, we found that we had far more players that had discovered they liked tanking than we could possibly handle in a raid roster. So if you suddenly make tanking really attractive, you risk having players getting frustrated when they can't progress from dungeon tank to raid tank. If your only concern is fixing the dungeon finder then, perhaps what you are looking to do is make having a tank offspec attractive, viable and easy, rather than generating a whole new pile of mainspec tanks.

  14. #14
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    That would be cool. Tanks getting bigger and redder the higher their vengeance stack grows! (Might have some issues getting through doorways in WSG).
    That sounds awesome.

  15. #15
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    I think one way to adress this would be to have ratios of tank:dps:healer the same for 5 mans and raids. There is already a problem that their just aren't enough raid spots for every Mainspec tank. I really don't know how to make tanking more appealing. the vast majority doesn't like Complicated pulls, they like AoE fests. i really do think Kaz's 1st suggestion is of the most merit.

    I don't want to get bigger, I like being tiny, some of us have macroed Baby spice to heroic strike for a reason dammit! I'm a goblin, not Bruce Banner! we should be on fire instead. and have like thunder arcing off us. and when we jump we should have HL type landing effects. and rainbow coloured sparks when we parry.

  16. #16
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    just 5 cen idea
    we have 10 class.. here it is
    1. Pally
    2.Warr
    3.Druid
    4.DK
    5.Mage
    6.Priest
    7.Walock
    8.Rogue
    9.Hunter
    10.Shaman

    The 10 classes have 3 tallent. So that mean we have 30 class different. So the theory is 4 class have tank tallent. Its like 4 : 26. If we are tank, we que only 1 minute, compared to 6 minute if we were dps.
    So the suggestion build up more tank class to increase dps que time..

  17. #17
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    They tried that in wrath, but the majority of deathknights went DPS instead of tank.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    Let tanks see bigger damage numbers.
    You want to see big numbers as a tank? Look at incoming damage: Problem solved.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    Clean up annoying mechanics like twitchy mob movement and easy tank breaking of CC.
    This is part of positioning and the consideration which mob to CC. When you mark mobs correctly this shouldn't be a problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    Make the tank seem cool and powerful. (I remember in Anarchy Online when Enforcers were tanking they got HUGE with size increases and such--it made them feel like total bad-asses.)
    I'm a big as tauren. I feel huge already. If u want this feeling some more ask if the shaman can pop Bloodlust on a regular basis
    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    As mentioned above, building in better threat plates (I would NEVER play without Aloft+Threat or Threat Plates...EVER.)
    There are addons for this. I think blizzard should have better default unit frames but this is just a matter of opinion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiyama View Post
    Give the tank more control over their threat--missed/dodged attacks are difficult to deal with for initial threat combined with low Vengeance amounts is a huge cause of frustrations for early tanks. They can't afford to gear for Expertise/Hit and have no control over Vengeance. Tanks rely on other classes like Rogues and Hunters to get Misdirection in order to smooth this out. Why don't tanks themselves have temporary threat siphons or reliable, unmissable threat generating tools?
    Why? Because a dps and healer can predict when there going to crit heal or get a proc? There are random factors playing any role but you just have to reduce them to a minimum. In other words: I like tanking the way it is and I know other people who will agree on me. Of course there are certain fights that require more attention then others and there are pulls that are quite complex. This however is solved by repeating the fight over and over to learn the mechanics
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  19. #19
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    This is part of positioning and the consideration which mob to CC. When you mark mobs correctly this shouldn't be a problem.
    If you recall, some bosses and enemy NPCs are very twitchy, particularly when other enemies are involved. The Lich King would literally dance around the tank without the player in question moving. Auriaya would move about 5 feet if the tank moved a couple of inches. It isn't really a question of placing a mob away from CC so you can thunderclap/HotR/swipe/blood boil, it is more the frustration when the boss refuses to move where you want him to, or that the bosses hit box is so massive you need to run 20 yards to get the boss to even shift a tiny bit (i'm lookng at you, Nezir). That is very frustrating and needs fixing.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrea View Post
    If you recall, some bosses and enemy NPCs are very twitchy, particularly when other enemies are involved. The Lich King would literally dance around the tank without the player in question moving. Auriaya would move about 5 feet if the tank moved a couple of inches. It isn't really a question of placing a mob away from CC so you can thunderclap/HotR/swipe/blood boil, it is more the frustration when the boss refuses to move where you want him to, or that the bosses hit box is so massive you need to run 20 yards to get the boss to even shift a tiny bit (i'm lookng at you, Nezir). That is very frustrating and needs fixing.
    This is about queue times so technically raid bosses aren't an issue. I do agree on the part about hit boxes being way too big. The dragons in vortex pinacle have the same issue indeed.
    EU | Genjuros | Buffalowings
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