Is WoW’s Votekick System Still Ridiculous?

It’s not a new topic of discussion, but that’s because it’s still annoying. Yep, it’s the perennial WoW debate around griefers, LFD, and the votekick system – a system which many players have argued for several years is completely broken.

Today, veteran blog That Was An Accident is the latest to express frustration with the votekick system, in an excellent, heartfelt piece of blogging. They argue that LFD votekick is a system which they argue holds the rest of the group hostage so as not to risk offending griefers:

“I have seen times ranging from seconds to four hours. If the delay remaining is under ten seconds, just let the player be kicked now. Any wait period over five or even ten minutes is ridiculous given the speed at which most folks rocket through dungeons. Any duration longer than the time needed to actually complete the dungeon is pointless – you can’t kick them, ever, no matter how badly they treat you or the party. With the current setup, you can only leave (or abandon, whatever you’d like to call it) and get Deserter status for refusing to feed the trolls/get stressed out/play in a world where inconsiderate behavior is the norm.

Look, beating your head up against a brick wall does nothing to build community, protect people from trollish behavior or help people learn how to cooperate with each other. It makes tanks quit and turns the rest into cynics who talk about how Barrens chat was better than Trade and woe the WoW community is a piece of crap nowadays RIP Vanilla forever. I’d gladly take Deserter status over dying with every other pull, and I’m the sort of person who tries to teach huntards how to turn off Growl.”

Read That Was An Accident’s post here

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Controversy Watch: Asshats, Dailies, and Is LFR Required

It’s that time again – time to look at the controversial topics currently spurring discussion in the MMORPG world!

Today we’ve got more about unpleasant players, dailies, and the “Is LFR Required?” question…

The Dailies Of MoP

Dailies, dailies, and more dailies – but are we still hating them?

  • Shy is annoyed, but not because of the effort – she’s annoyed about the lack of choice of activities to get Lucky Charms“Why not allow people to gain lesser charms by pvping? Or get a lesser charm through Scenarios? I love those scenarios, but the rewards are somewhat meager at the moment. And since I only have limited time to spend in the game I don’t get to do scenarios nearly as much as I would prefer. Instead I spend time doing stuff I don’t enjoy much.”
  • And Big Bear Butt has cracked, started doing the dailies – and discovered that to his astonishment, he loves them“But for story and playing and fun, the structure of the Klaxxi have been the one element I have enjoyed the most, right from the beginning and stayed with me as the faction has continued to grow.”

Unpleasant Players

It’s an eternal topic of discussion, in WoW in particular, thanks to the LFD tool – and this week, the “what to do about asshole players” discussion has reared once again –

  • We don’t normally link WoW Insider Breakfast Topics, but Robin Torres’ question about PuGing gathered some fascinating responses“It is definitely much more personal in a 5-man group. That’s certain. It’s not “you all suck,” but “you suck, Laurel.” If I’m really not doing well, there are better ways to tell me, obviously. More often, however, the blamer is the one with the problem.”
  • And Kurn, who has recently quit WoW, points to one commenter as an example of how her values don’t seem to match with many WoW players’ today“Not only do I have very little in common with the vast majority of the playerbase in terms of how they approach their character and their play, but the vitriol displayed in his comment, especially his parting words, just reinforces to me that the vast majority of players out there aren’t people with whom I care to associate.”

Is LFR Required?

And finally, the topic of yesterday was LFR, and whether it’s actually required for raiders – and a raid leader responds:

  • The Grumpy Elf explains why, in his opinion and his guild, LFR play is absolutely required for his raiders“Raiding is a team event, one that everyone should contribute to. Doing the LFR is you learning the plays from the playbook. Any decent team player at least checks the plays out before showing up for the game. “

What do you think of all this? Let us know in the comments below!

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Asshats, Enjoying the PUG pain and Henry V in WoW: The Friday WoW Roundup

It’s been a comparatively quiet week in WoW, but with new raids coming, a new patch on the way and several bloggers returning, I suspect it might become much more active soon! In the meantime, though, here are some peaceful WoW posts from this week – along with one very positive crusade:

  • Navimie is declaring open season on asshats, after several instances of bullying that made her worry nightmare players would end up ruling WoW“What I am afraid of is that people are scared of the bullies and sway towards them.”
  • In contrast, Spinks takes a surprising stance this week, talking about how much she loves the undergeared, uncertain days with a character in PuGs“I know not everyone likes excitement or that skin of the teeth feeling, but I do enjoy the learning curve.”
  • Redbeard asks if the Cross Realm Zones are doing their job, as he surveys zone after low-level zone empty of players“Let’s call the cross-server zones what they really are: Lowbie Server Merges. They’re indicative of an increasingly visible problem that WoW has: most of the toons are at or close to max level, and there’s a lack of new blood coming into the game.”
  • And Bravetank reinterprets Henry V’s famous “once more unto the breach” speech for a more Pandarian age“Once more unto the breach, dear Alliance, once more; Or close the wall up with our Human dead. In peace there’s nothing so becomes a Night Elf as modest stillness and humility (and less nonsense chat about Elune)”

Unfortunately, I think Navimie may be right about assholes driving people away from WoW – I know I basically have no intention to run an LFD or LFR in WoW ever again without a 90% guild presence, and from what I’ve been reading, I’m not the only one. I wonder if this, in the end, is what will sunset WoW as a major MMORPG – not ending with a bang, but a steady stream of “lolnub l2p”?

What do you think? Do you love or hate PUGs? Are CRZs doing their job?

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Weekend Roundup: MMO-Specific – LoTRO, WoW, GW2 and DUST!

And finally today, we’ve got a grab-bag of really fascinating posts from the weekend looking at elements of specific MMORPGs.

We’re heavy on the information today, with a detailed guide to Guild Wars 2’s PvE content and a great look at EVE developer CCP’s new MMOFPS, DUST. But we’ve also got some speculation and some hard thinking to round everything off!

  • Aly gives us a great guide to getting the best from Guild Wars 2’s PvE content – did you know that Hearts are far from the be-all and end-all of it?“Hearts do not provide the bulk of PvE content. They are a familiar, static element that provides guidance and leads you toward many (but not all) dynamic events. I find it helps to think of hearts as training wheels. “
  • Chris at Game By Night writes up a very interesting two-part post looking at the upcoming EVE Online-universe MMO shooter, DUST – Part 1, part 2” The game is incredibly punishing to new players, more so than any shooter I’ve played.”
  • Justin Olivetti looks forward, and makes some pretty plausible-sounding predictions of LoTRO’s expansion roadmap over the next few years“LotRO’s final expansion will conclude our great tour of Middle-earth by taking us as far from the safe lands of Eriador as possible: Rhun. Why Rhun? Why not just end the game or give us the Scouring of the Shire (which I think is going to be a skirmish)? Because the map, that’s why.”
  • And Reliq thinks hard about a problem most WoW players will recognise – the situation where you’re immediately judged incompetent in LF* based on the flimsiest evidence“Once someone forms a judgement of a person, it’s difficult to get that person to retreat. They’ll hold onto their opinion like a rabid dog, no matter how hard you hit them around the head with your logic shovel.”

I’m excited by the idea of a Rhun expansion. I’m worryingly familiar with the more obscure parts of Tolkien’s lore, and there’s a lot of great stuff that it could draw on, from the missing Wizards of Middle Earth (there are 5. Two of them are probably in Rhun. Doing… something. Bad.) to the elven nations that fled there thousands of years before LoTR…

Are you looking forward to GW2, DUST, MoP, Rohan, or something else?

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Could We Design A Better Kick System?

Could WoW’s current “kick” system be, well, better?

That’s the question The Grumpy Elf asks today – and he’s not just asking the question this time, he’s got a fully worked-out proposal that I found very interesting indeed. From improving the “reason for kick” dialogue to minimising kicks from sheer innattention, it’s clear that Grumpy has given WoW’s minimalist kick system a lot of thought

“When someone is kicked, they will get a system mail that will tell them why they where kicked. This way, they will know what they did wrong. I think the only way for people to learn is to tell them what they did wrong.

Just kicking someone does not do anything to teach a person.I think that when the person starts the kick and picks one of those options they should be given a line to post a comment if they wish. After they start the kick and it goes out to others, the others would see the reason for the kick and be allowed to agree or disagree and post a comment as well.

Example of how it would work:

In looking for raid a person signed up as a healer, for the fast queue most likely, and is playing the role of damage dealer. A kick starts up and the person chooses the option not preforming the role they signed up for and adds the comment priest in shadow spec refuses to change to healing spec.

It would now go to vote with the reason and the comment for everyone else to see. ”

Grumpy’s proposed /kick system is one of the best-thought-out proposals for a replacement system in WoW I’ve seen lately. There are no obvious ways to game it – at least not that sprung to mind on first reading – it’s mostly practical without vast investment of developer time, and whilst it does suggest more community oversight from Blizzard, his reasons for suggesting that are intelligent and reasonable.

A couple of his suggestions are a bit wooly – the manual oversight of excessive kicks, in particular, looks like it would need more work – but some of his ideas are things I genuinely wish were in the game, like his suggestions for improving feedback through a Demons’ Souls style limited feedback system that actually informs the player why they’ve been kicked.

Interesting stuff, and I’m looking forward to hearing what other people think about it!

What do you think of The Grumpy Elf’s proposals for improving WoW kicks?

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LFD Mania! SWTOR first-look, It’s Just People, and WHY are LFDers afraid of good gear?

LFD! It’s hit SWTOR! It’s being discussed in the blogosphere! And in WoW, emergent behaviours in the LFD tool appear to be getting… wierd.

Yes, it’s LFD mania in the blogosphere, as suddenly everyone seems to be talking about the old warhorse at once. So, whether you want to hear how SWTOR’s (single-server) LFD tool is doing, want to consider a counterpoint to the “Blizzard should fix it” argument, or want to find out about the wierd, wierd new “oh, no, a raider in LFD! Quick, flame her!” behaviour that seems to be going around WoW, read on…

  • Yes, it would seem that LFD has, in a reversal of traditional roles, become a place where highly geared players get flamed, now. Matthew Rossi has a truly fascinating report“Has the sight of a raid-geared player in a heroic become so rare that when I show up it’s like seeing a sasquatch out on a nature trail?”
  • The Godmother reacts to recent stories about bad behaviour in LFD being Blizzard’s failure, suggesting that the quality of LFD is out of Blizzard’s hands“Blizzard can’t change the players. It can try and make them happier, give them more things to do and increasing ways to gear and feel fulfilled. It has improved in beta the way knowledge about classes is communicated. It is giving lots of opportunities for people to ‘learn to play’ However if people choose not to take them, there is nothing anyone can do.”
  • And with SWTOR’s new LFD tool going live, Shintar ventures bravely in there, and emerges with a report on how it’s looking in the early days“For what it’s worth I had fun today. And unlike on my first day of WoW dungeon finding back in the day, nobody quit at random, threw a strop, tried to kick anyone else or ninjaed anything, which is a good sign.”

Any idea why highly-geared players are being shunned? And do you think Blizzard can control the quality of their LFD?

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Reconsidering WoW’s LFD

With SWTOR’s own LFD tool ahead of us, is it time to reconsider WoW’s own sometimes-loved, sometimes-hated Looking For Dungeon tool? It would appear so!

Today we’ve got five bloggers with radically different opinions and ideas on the chaos that is Looking For Dungeon. From those who hate it to those who love it to those with ideas to improve it, here we go:

  • Stubborn at Sheep The Diamond has been giving LFD one more go recently, but his experiences have left him more confused and despondent than ever“I know there’s jerks out there. I’ve dealt with them in every dungeon. Now even the neutral people seem to be siding with the jerks, though. Are there really so many that it’s easier just to become one than stand up against them?”
  • The Aggronaut has returned to LFD after a stint in SWTOR, and discovers that he has rediscovered the dungeoneering fun“Too much frustration had built up, over too many things not directly related to gameplay. Coming back now, I have a new pair of rose colored lenses and my buffer of bullshit has been emptied out. “
  • Spinks looks at reports like Stubborn’s, above, and asks has LFD fundementally changed for the worse, and if so, why?“My usual reaction would be “You chose to queue for a random group, don’t complain if the random players you got were rubbish,” but if this is more than a few isolated experiences and has become a trend, it may speak to something more systematic in the player base. “
  • Matticus is promoting a controversial idea – he thinks Blizzard should release Mists with no raids at all – just dungeons“Let’s make it a little more interesting. Open raids up after week 2 of release. This gives time for players that can’t take the 72 hours off straight from work or school to level to max at a more forgiving pace.”
  • And Klepsacovic at Troll Racials Are Overpowered advances his healthcare platform – oops, sorry, too much West Wing – I mean his radical, detailed proposal to make LFD looting fairer“Because inflation is not an issue, RDKP can be safely traded without creating adverse incentives because it cannot be farmed except by joining groups that spend it, so that instance running transfers RDKP without creating it, just as player-to-player trade would.”

I must admit to remaining in the “Not A Fan” camp for LFD – but it’s interesting to see how widely other players’ experiences vary!

As we run up to Mists, what do you think of the current LFD experience?

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WoW This Weekend – Healing Winners, Cub Faces Adversity, and Roadtrip!

Lots of interesting posts this weekend, but no big overarching themes, so I’m going to split today’s posts up by interest rather than shared topic!

First up, there’s been a minor resurgence in WoW blogging this weekend, with BBB’s Cub facing his first abusive player, data on healing through Cata, thoughts on lockpicking etiquette, and a rather neat challenge from Tome and Matty:

  • Big Bear Butt’s reports on his nine-year-old son’s journey through Azeroth continue to fascinate – today he talks about he dealt with the inevitable first abusive player in LFD“Nope, you’re not going to find any outrage on my part, I’ve been playing this game for a long time, I know what kind of people play it. The answer is, ALL kinds of people play it. All kinds of people, meaning every kind of person there is. “
  • Fancy a WoW treasure hunt? Tome of the Ancient and Sugar and Blood team up for the Roadtrip Challenge“Try to find the secret locations: this round will have eight, and in Outlands. “
  • Garona at PvE Rogues lays out opinions on a matter close to any rogue’s heart – lock-picking and lockbox etiquette“For those of you that require a rogue’s lock picking skills to open your acquired lock boxes please remember we don’t exist solely to open your boxes for you. “
  • And finally, some fascinating graphs and data from Vixsin at Life In Group 5, who has been looking at how Healing Per Second has varied with raid type and instance over the life of Cataclysm“Given the performance of Druids post-4.1 and the perception that they were winning meters easily, I wonder if it was a conscious decision of the devs to start including encounter effects that could not simply be healed through, but rather required some sort of raid damage mitigation.”

Enjoyed these links? Please consider sharing them with others!

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Weekend Links – Brainy Games, Raid Leading and Young ‘uns in LFD

As always, this weekend produced a bumper crop of awesome links, and so we’ll be featuring some of them tomorrow!

But for now, here are some of the great blog articles from this weekend that are definitely worth checking out:

  • The Brainy Gamer writes about how the current discussions over video games underline how healthy the medium really is“I wish we wrangled over the American Theater this way. That conversation occurs in cafes and at restaurant tables, but nowhere to the degree or depth that I see happen regularly about games.”
  • Redbeard at Parallel Context wonders when organised PvPers and casual PvPers should be separated for fairness“The hardcore EVE types will argue that it’s all for the better to separate the wheat from the chaff, but there’s a drawback to such behavior. You feed into the stereotype that PvPers are all assholes who hang out with ninja looters and trade chat nutjobs. “L2P noob!” doesn’t help the community, it harms the community by making it shrink.”
  • Scott Andrews has been writing his column on raid leading at WoW Insider for 5 years now – and he’s sharing the top 4 lessons from all that time“You should always respect the people in your guild, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer their nonsense. The respect has to flow both ways. If players lack respect for other members or for you, you need to act firmly. “
  • And finally, the Big Bear Butt is back, with a fascinating and frankly uplifting look at how his 9-year-old son is doing with LFG groups“I’ve watched him in instances, and he’s outstanding. He doesn’t say a word in chat, because he doesn’t type all that fast, although he does like typing in “/say Hello”. Regardless, he’s been rocking the place, and I’ve seen other players offer to trade him items that he could use, and I have yet to see anyone be mean to him at all.”

Enjoyed these posts? Please consider sharing them with your fellow players!

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GW2 uniqueness, Playing TERA Despite Everything, and more

Three really interesting links round off the day today – from Azuriel looking at just how different Guild Wars 2 actually is, to Bronte wrestling with the question of what an MMO is these days, here we go…

  • Chris at Level Capped is surprised to find that even given all the arguments against it, he’s willing to suspend his criticism to enjoy TERA“But I guess I’m tried of spending energy fighting – even passively – opportunities for enjoyment. I’ve decided that it’s not worth the cost to complain about lore, or about scantily dressed avatars, or animations, or systems, and to use those as excuses for why I’m going to pass on an opportunity that might be fun overall. “
  • Azuriel is fascinated by how Guild Wars 2 jumps in right on the controversial side of many old MMO arguments“I suppose it will come down to how important WvW ends up being to you – I don’t think it’s quite the killer app, as others might – but otherwise there is no other reason for you to “stay” on any particular server.”
  • And Bronte at Are We New At This is debating just what the label “MMO” means in this post-WoW era“Is it that you get to play with more than 30 people? Is it that there is a deeper sense of community through guilds/corporations/forces? Is it the ability to meet random people from around the globe with similar interests in gaming? Or is it something deeper?”

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