Does the New Dungeon Finder Discourage Communication?   15 comments

Like many people this weekend, I spent a good deal of time utilizing the new dungeon finder tool.  I did groups with all my characters from Beru to Tsuname.  Some I did as complete PuGs, and some Brade joined me as a tank and we just had to PuG DPS.  Overall, my groups have been fairly solid, with just a few hiccups, and I’ve only had to place 3 people on ignore. But I have noticed one thing: more often than not, the groups never say a single thing to each other.

I really do like the dungeon finder tool, and it is quite clearly very popular.  But I wonder if it has taken some of the socialization out of what is supposed to be a social game.  It is a little bit disconcerting to enter into a group and never even get so much as a “hello” or “good evening” before you get down to business.  I understand that people aren’t necessarily there to shoot the breeze, but would a little bit of social courtesy be such a bad thing?

Let me give some examples from my experiences over the weekend:

Example 1 – Communication is Key

I entered a forge of souls group late one evening on my shaman as a healer.  The tank was a DK, and was actually from my server, although I didn’t know him.  He didn’t have splendid life, but sat somewhere around 30k hp, and so I figured “why not, let’s give it a go”.  Because, well, it would have been really shitty to dump the guy without giving him a try.  At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

We get started with the group and the first large pull is a complete disaster, with just about everyone  in the party, including myself tanking something.  This is hugely frustrating, but I figured that I’d give the guy the benefit of the doubt, and see what happened on the next pull.  It was the same disaster as the first one.  At this point the hunter in the group starts complaining loudly.  The tank apologizes and explains he’s struggling and has never done the zone before.

Being fairly experienced, I figured out why he was struggling almost immediately.  And I also know that it wasn’t entirely his fault.  The DPS were all playing “pick the target”, and were all attacking something different, rather than assist the poor tank, who was trying.  Of course, this meant that the tank was chasing himself in circles trying to pick everything up.  So, instead of complaining or giving up, I was (wait for it)…constructive!

I made the suggestion that perhaps it would be smoother if we marked targets and provided a kill order, and then asked the tank if he’d like me to mark targets.  He responded in the affirmative, I marked each pull, and we finished the instance without incident.  As it turns out, the tank wasn’t bad, per se…the DPS were just inconsiderate.  Once we got everyone on the same target, it fixed all of the problems with the group.  And all it took was for me to pinpoint the obvious problem and make a constructive suggestion…and for the group to be receptive to it. 

It was this bit of communication that made the group a success.

Example 2 – Don’t Piss Off the Healer

The new dungeon tool has added another layer of anonymity to grouping with people who you may never see again.  This in turn means that you are likely to encounter a whole new level of douchebaggery at some point in your adventures.

Brade and I queued for the daily random dungeon, he on his warrior (I think) and me on my druid.  We were assigned to Gun’drak.  Which isn’t a terrible instance and can be cleared quite quickly.  I can’t recall everyone that was in our group, save a ret paladin.  I don’t recall which boss it was that Brade pulled…but he pulled from range, as is his habit on that boss, and before the boss even got to him, the ret paladin unleashed and pulled threat, finding himself dead in short order.

I battle rezed him and politely commented that it would be best for him to let the mob actually, you know, get to the tank before attacking.  He snapped back that “this tank is a noob and everyone knows you charge this mob”, or some such thing.  Ok, Mr. paladin, clearly not everyone charges the mob…and seeing that the warrior was standing back and pulling, perhaps that should have clued you in!  Of course, the paladin kept ranting on and on about how bad the tank was…

Ok asshole.  1) The tank is my man, you better step back, only I am allowed to tell him that he sucks.  And while I do not expect you to KNOW that, you can clearly see that we are in the same guild, so insulting him is probably not going to make me happy.  2) And when I defended Brade, he started insulting me.  Yes, Mr. Paladin, you have clearly forgotten CARDINAL RULE NUMBER ONE: DO NOT PISS OFF THE HEALER.  After I added the prick to my ignore list, I spent the rest of the instance NOT healing him.  I spent more time and effort remember not to cast wild growth, for fear he would inadvertently get my heals than I did having to heal the rest of the zone.

A little common courtesy will go a long ways!

Example 3 – Not Saying Anything At All

I think this is probably even worse the prick paladin above…in a way.  I don’t mean to say that I’d like to deal with assholes all of the time.  But at least then I know that there are PEOPLE behind the computer, and not just robots doing a job.  I, personally, love the social aspect of the game, and meeting new people.  So I *always* give at least a “hello” as I join the party.

I had wanted to do the first of the new instances with my mage, because I hadn’t done them with her yet, and so I asked Brade if he’d bring one of his tanks with me so it would be easier for me to get a group.  He chose to bring his warrior, who is sitting somewhere around 32k HP.  Not super beefy, but also not difficult to heal, either.

The dungeon finder pairs us up with a group that includes a paladin healer.  We all get zoned in, and before we know it the paladin has left the party.  I can only guess that she took one look at Brade life and bailed.  But she never said anything, didn’t give it a pull to see how it would go.  Just bailed.  Had she said something, Brade would have told her that if he was too hard to heal, he’d get on a beefier tank for the run.  But no, she never communicated anything before leaving.  *sigh*

We queue up for another healer, and a priest is assigned to the group.  The priest himself isn’t geared to the teeth, with a mana pool at about 18k.  So we get started, the first pull being fine, but after the pull Brade wanted to add in his cleave glyph that he likes to use for instances.  It only takes about 5 seconds to reglyph.  However, the huntard in the group decides that he’s not patient enough to wait, and pulls…with Brade still standing in the entrance sorting his glyphs.

Of course, the pull is an absolute disaster.  But, we survive.  The healer, however, didn’t feel like dealing with it and, again, without communicating anything just drops the group.  I politely ask the hunter to let the tank pull, to insure that the tank is ready.  “lol, don’t tell me how to play noob, ever heard of misdirect”.  I sat there scratching my head wondering how in the hell this huntard misdirected to a tank that was not only out of range, but out of line of sight as well.  Clearly, he must have mad skills.  However, if he had just ASKED if Brade was ready, we might have kept going without incident.

At this point, I have added two more people to my ignore list, and I look at Brade and say “let’s reform”.  So, we drop the group and head back to Dalaran to requeue.  At this point, I’m frustrated and was like “I’ll just get on Earenn, so we can get the group done”.  He tells me to be patient, since the whole point was getting a group for my mage, and that if we queue up again, and can’t seem to get a healer to stick, he’d grab someone with a bit more life.  So, back into the queue we go.

This time we are paired up with a DK, resto druid and something else.  We all said our hellos, and the group started without incident. (Honestly, I think people who play resto druids are just good natured folk).  About halfway through the zone, which is going very smoothly, Brade asks how hard he is to heal.  The druid responded, “surprisingly easy”.  The DK at this point chirped up too, and said that he was skeptical at the start of the zone, but it was going quite smoothly, much to his surprise also.  The group went so well, we were asked if we intended to keep going!

A few things happened here, a few folks learned that you don’t need 40k HP to run the new instances…and that sometimes, skill and competence really is greater than gear.  And it shows that the group that communicates with each other stand a greater chance of success.

As for the first paladin that left…yea, gear snob.  There is a lot to be said about knowing the instance and how to actually play your class, and those things cannot be learned through the mere obtaining of shiny epic loots.

So, what do I think?  I think that a little bit the dungeon finder does discourage people to communicate with each other.  They aren’t required to speak up to get into the group, and the groups will be put together without having to say much of anything.  If they are in a poor group, they is little motivation to talk through the problems, because it is faster and easier to just bail on the group and be assigned to a group that may be better.  I think that part of the dungeon finder is rubbish.

I have yet to bail on a group just because we’ve had a few wipes.  I have yet to bail on a group because I zone in and see a tank with 24k HP.  These are heroic dungeons.  This is how people are supposed to gear up!  I understand that.  If I see something that could be fixed to make my job as a healer easier, I happily offer polite comments to see if the group is receptive to them.  But too many people, I feel, make snap decisions and have no interest in talking through things.  While this may be the only thing that I dislike about the group finder, it’s a pretty big thing!

How about you?  Do you find that groups are less communicative now than they were before?  Do you find that people are more likely to bail than work through a rough spot?

15 responses to “Does the New Dungeon Finder Discourage Communication?

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  1. I notice that when i join and say “hello” you can pretty much get the tone of the run from the replies. I did have one instance when I said “hello”, nobody replied with “hi” back and eventually someone just said “so can we go already?”. I actually thought it was pretty funny.

    Most people will say hi and be polite back if you start out that way.

    “Example 2 – Don’t Piss Off the Healer”

    You read my mind! I actually deserted a group this morning (h UP) because the tank refused to stop and let me drink no matter how much I said “wait – mana” or “give me a moment so I can buff”. Lets not forget that I had to swap specs at the start so he did the first pull when I had nothing.

    Eventually he said “just drink whenever” so I sat down while he kept pulling. I really wanted him to die. But he didn’t.

    We got to the first boss and he said “ok buff now. only takes 3 gcd lol”.

    The fact that he didn’t even look at my mana bar to see that I, at this point, didn’t need mana and the fact that he thought he should tell me it’s only 3 GCD (not factoring in it’s about 2/3rd a full mana bar to buff & I have to buff myself too) just pissed me off.

    I realised in the pulls leading up the next boss that I really resented healing him. And was actually contemplating the consequences of letting him die during the next boss. So I just left. He’d taken all the enjoyment out the run for me.

    A bit of respect please. Having me heal you is not your god given right.

    • I have had both ends of the spectrum. Really polite groups, and groups filled with really arrogant folks, who are apparently Elune’s gift to WoW.

      I’d much rather prefer a polite, undergeared group of folks than a group full of better geared folks that aren’t as nice.

      There is definately something to be said about keeping the tank and healer happy, though! ;)

  2. Pally: I just need to go repair, brb.
    Rogue (in /say): I think we should kick Pally, he’s badly geared
    Shaman: That’s my fiance.

    I giggled.

    So far my experiences have been ok. What annoys me is when people call me “druid” or “heals”. Because Keeva is really difficult to type out, evidently. Druid – stand over here. Everyone stack on Heals. Druid rez the mage. GRR!

    And speaking of rezzing people – I wanted to slap the rogue yesterday who yelled at me to rez him, on trash, while we were still fighting. I’m still not sure whether he wanted a battle rez, or if he was just super impatient and wanted to let me know that he was dead (since I hadn’t noticed him suicide into a pack of exploding elementals).

    I did get a pleasant surprise when a DK tank pulled too many mobs, I died, and the shadow priest dropped out and healed the next three accidental body pulls. That hardly ever happens – usually people just keep DPSing, oblivious.

    Oh, and I got “make it count” in Oculus. Colour me surprised.

    So far, pretty good.

    • I think I probably would have found that amusing as well! Sometimes people should filter what comes out of their fingers a little better!

      Grrr…I hate the “rez me” people as well. I mean, HELLO it’s not as if I cannot SEE that you are dead. I will get there when I have a chance!

  3. My initial enthusiasm for the LFG tool is slowly fading away. The cross-realm thing just adds this additional anonymity I didn’t notice in the first place, but which is slowly starting to frustrate me.

    1. People will roll need on everything. Maybe it’s just bad luck but I lose /rolls against resto druids as rogue and I don’t like it.

    2. The short “hi”, “hello”, “hi”, “-” and “-” is about all you’re going to read for the next 20-30 mins.

    3. When I tank, I’ll take the blame for everything. Not enough aggro, wrong target and so on. Most of it is coming from horrible DPS who won’t ever contribute CC, interrupts or dispells and quit the group very quickly.

    In my eyes, this system doesn’t really add anything to my gaming experience, except getting loot faster and without the hassle of putting a 5 man group together. Are we all surprised though? We are so far away from BC heroics, where CC mattered. Where you would enjoy good players and add them to your friendly. Now we are stuck in a somewhat autistic way of playing, which is pulling mobs and AoE them down to farm Emblems. A faster, much less personal way is a logical step from the course WotLK has taken.

    Sometimes a short bad joke in /p helps a bit.

    • I haven’t really seen much poor need rolling on anything but the orbs. It really chaps my hide that someone will sit there and watch everyone else select greed, and then roll last and hit need. I’ve actually taken to patiently outwaiting everyone to see if anyone rolls need. If so, then I will roll need, and if I win ask if everyone that had greeded the item would like to re-roll for it. I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but that is the one thing that really chaps my hide!

      I do dislike that in most of the runs, people can’t really be bothered to, be social, I guess. I’m not against efficiency, but I also don’t like feeling that I’m stuck in some strange alternate universe where I am the only one alive in a realm dominated by thinking machienes (oh god, this sounds like some terrible B movie!).

      What I think they system adds is convienence and ease of grouping, which I *do* like. But it seems it came a little bit at the expense of some of the social aspect of the game, which I do *not* like.

  4. I don’t think it’s a problem with the new LFG feature, it’s just the nature of the beast. The fact is, that’s what a lot of people WANT. They want complete silence, and they want an efficient grind. They want to rush through it as quickly as possible, with absolutely no chatter. If it’s not working how they want, they want to just drop it, no fuss, and pick up a new group.

    It’s kinda scary how many people prefer that, but I think that once all the hardcore raiders get all the badge gear they want, it will be better.

    The only time I’ve dropped groups like that is when we get into the instance, and I see it’s something I genuinely don’t want to do.

    • You could be right, it could just be that as a civilization, we tend to be mostly anti-social folk. The prevelance of fast food and “quick and easy” into our society is enough evidence of that. I remember growing up sitting down to a family meal that was placed on the table, where we all sat down and ate together and chatted about our day. Perhaps I’m just getting to the point that “my” generation is becoming the “past” and I’m just too stubborn to let it all go :) Speed and efficiency may be nice, but there is something to be said about stopping to sniff the flowers too! *inhales*

      You may be correct, that once the people that feel “forced” to be there are finished, we find that the atmoshpere changes some.

      The only instance I refuse to do is Oculus (I know it’s nerfed, I don’t care! I hate that zone with every ounce of my being), and somehow Murphy has been with me, and I haven’t had it pop up. Of course, now that I’ve said something the first instance I get tonight will be that one…

  5. In UP, I had a shaman constantly standing in Bad Stuff, and he died to it (in spite of my attempts to heal him) on the hall-breath-boss during the strafing runs. He ankhed himself (with the frost still down) and, of course, promptly died again to the first tick of damage.

    I was laughing to myself, and then he asked for a battle res. To which I replied (while still hotting the rest of the group) “only if you promise to not stand in bad stuff anymore!”

    “ummm I can’t promise that. Just res me!”

    “NOOOO YOU MUST PROMISE!” (what can I say? I’m a giggly sort of stubborn)

    “lol okay I promise”

    So I ressed him… and he did indeed stay out of the frost :) Did I teach a dps to not take healing and resses for granted? I hope so.

    • Like you, it is my hope that if people are pleasant and helpful, others might learn lessons they may not already know. Of course, I could just be being all kinds of optimistic about that whole thing as well :)

  6. I found myself in a heroic Nexus with two pallys from the same guild, a prot and ret. They proceeded to chain pull several groups of trash. Because these chain pulls included a number of mages, I was locked out of healing for a good while and the ret pally died. Their response? “When we run, we like to go big. Shake it off boys, shake it off”.

    I should have been annoyed, but I was more amused. I think I’ve found that unless someone in these pugs starts giving me shit, I am not going to react. I am still waiting for the poor soul who decides they want to go down this dark dark road.

    But yeah, Jess likened this new LFG system to cheap sex/aka a one night stand.

    • Cheap Sex I think is a really great discription of how it feels sometimes!

      Don’t be me wrong it is a VAST improvement in the system, and it really is a good tool. I just wish people weren’t so…easy (haha, see what I did there?!).

      I find I only get my hackles up if someone is being completely obscene/rude. I also cheer for the underdog, so if that tank needs a bit of help I’m gonna do my best to make sure they leave a little better than they came in…and screw you, jerk face DPS. Go jump off a saronite pillar!

  7. So far, I have actually been really lucky with the new tool. At least besides drawing HoR 4 times. There was only 1 time out of the probably 15ish runs I have done that we did not complete the instance and it was HoR because of lack of sufficient DPS on the Arthas encounter.

    Most people have seemed very friendly and competent. I guess I have soared under a lucky star! Hopefully this doesn’t jinx me!

    • The only time I’ve had trouble *healing* HoR was on my shaman…with Brade’s tissue paper DK tanking. Oh god, the horror that was that run. It was a good thing it was all guild, or I think everyone would have left (hah!). I actually ended up bringing my druid to salvage it. However, I went back into the zone with Brade’s paladin and healed it with ease on my shaman…so, um, it was the tanks fault!

      I think the group does a fairly decent job of putting together diverse groups, that *should* be able to complete the zone it’s assigned you.

  8. I have also never bailed on a pug, simply because the thought hasn’t occurred to me xD I’m pretty used to healing tanks under 30k from the old lfg, so I would never ditch a group right away for that *shrugs* but I’m a resto druid so I guess we are just easier going :-)

    But I know EXACTLY what you mean about the social element lacking. Mostly for me it’s because I started heroics just before the new system, and I guess I’m a pretty good heal because people I ended grouped with would often add me as a friend so that we could check with each other in the future for a semi-pug, since that was the easiest way to fill spots in the old system. But now it’s so easier to get another dps or a tank that I haven’t even looked at my friend list in the last couple weeks, and haven’t gotten any whispers asking for a heal either (maybe one, but it’s still sad :-( )), so for me I wish that there was some way of keeping in contact with the people you pug with and like, but there isn’t a cross server friend list that I’m aware of, so you just have no way of keeping in contact with a good tank or a funny dps ya know? I guess I just don’t have enough rl friends or something…. lol :-)

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