Sunday, April 17, 2011

Leveraging Successful Players in the Dungeon Finder

Here's a random idea I thought of yesterday because of all the recent talk about the Dungeon Finder and the deja vu experience.

My theory is that there exists certain players who are more successful than other players when it comes to random groups. Maybe it's skill, maybe it's gear, maybe it's patience, maybe it's even luck. But these people are more likely to successfully complete random dungeons than the "normal" player.

What if we could identify who these High-Success players are? It would be as simple as looking at their success rate for heroics where they queued solo, and comparing it to the average success rate.

Once you've identified who these players are, then when a heroic group is in trouble and needs a replacement player, instead of taking the first person in the queue, search the queue for High-Success player and toss them into the group. If the heroic group has wiped, and people have left, adding a stronger-than-average replacement would make it more likely that the run would still succeed.

You would make it more likely that runs don't completely dissolve. You refrain from throwing the first player in the queue, who might not be able to handle a weakened group, into a half-finished run that may not be successful, leading to a wasted queue and poor experience.

Plus, this would be entirely invisible to the player base. You can't really tell that something like this is happening. The High-Success player gets a bit shorter queue, but at the price of having to "carry" a weaker group.


  1. It's entirely possible that Blizzard can do this, but I hope they don't. I'm a pretty experienced healer (2/13 HM) and so, I have the ability to carry a lot of groups through heroics (my success rate is probably 90+%).

    My queue times are already short enough (sub 5 mins). I'm fairly patient with most of my groups but there are times when I wished I wasn't doing that heroic!

  2. I think this would make groups more likely to kick people, if they knew they would get someone better in replacement.

    But I do wish successful dps players got boosted to the top of the queue. It would make tanking a lot more relaxing.

  3. Assuming there is a meaningful difference in the chance to complete a random for the most successful players and least successful ones.

    There are two things that make player think he is more successful (or even be) but might not help their group much:
    1) Their perception. There's saying: One man's trash is another man's treasure; and maybe this is true for the dungeon runs too. For some people, finishing an instance (getting the final reward) is enough to call it successful. Some need more. (Some might need less but only those who ask for more than just finishing the run before calling it successful are obvious.)

    2) Being likely or unlikely to drop group. If anyone drops group, the group is able to queue again and get replacement(s) within a couple of minutes. After 4.1, this should be possible even when 4 players drop group and only a single one stays. So the instance run would be a failure for the leaver(s) but a likely success for those who stay - in other words, the leaver is not very successful but his/her groups might be.
    I guess the 2nd point is tied to the perception as well; people who think that even just finishing an instance means success are less likely to quit.

    Spinks: I think Rohan said the players wouldn't be aware of it.

  4. I would hate to be a successful tank with this system. :(

    Maybe they should do something different under the covers, in terms of assigning people to heroics. For instance, if you have an iLvl of only 329, you've got a very high chance to get in an easy heroic like Tol'Vir, and iLvl 350+ ppl would mostly get into Stonecore and such. (To a degree anyway, you'd have to balance it out depending on the number of people in the queues.)

  5. Since most tanks and healers are already skilled, the DD variation would be visible.

    So there would be a fast queue for "successful" DD and an endless queue for "unsuccessful".

    Oh wait, the "luck of draw" and the "bribe a tank with mount" ideas are made exactly to boost the latter.

    It's another "great" idea that WOULD work, except it would defeat the very point of LFD: to boost M&S so they feel succesful and don't quit.

  6. Gevlon, heroics are not rocket surgery and players don't have to be skilled to get through them. Sure, it helps, but so does the ability to convince others to carry you and patience to wait through getting replacements and wiping.

    I understand that still leaves the unskilled, rude and impatient people with a long queue which will probably place them in a group they are not able to finish the run with (due to their rudeness, impatience and lack of skill), so you might have a point there.

  7. The drawback is that if you're a skilled player, you'll be thrown into crappy situations all the time. It'll be great for pug stories, but will suck if you want a nice, uneventful run for a change.

  8. The Endless Bard7:07 AM, April 18, 2011

    This system would be unfair to "Successful" players. It would mean that, in exchange for a shorter queue time, such a player would consistently be shunted into half-finished instances. Sure, they'd get their completion bonus if they stuck it out to the end, but they'd get fewer points for not having downed the first boss(es).

  9. Which is exactly the point - nothing is better reward than being ported just for the last bossfight.

  10. So the punishment for competence is that the system throws you into scrub groups?


  11. I'm not sure I would apply this to groups who kicked people. Too much potential for abuse.

    Second, I think a lot of you are looking at this from the player's perspective. Look at it from Blizzard's perspective. The goal is to have fewer failed random heroics while still minimizing queue times. Giving a good player an easy run is not really a concern of yours.

    Finally, as Lois McMaster Bujold says in one of her novels, "the reward for doing a good job is a harder job."

  12. Gaming socialism. Haha. Spread the pain. Then the "higher" success people can quit faster. Neat.

  13. Why would they quit? The run would still be successful, just not "easy-mode".

    If they weren't successful, then it would decrease their success rate, and they would no longer be considered "High-Success", and would just be treated normally.

  14. Agree with what some others have said - it's a punishment to playing well to run this sort of system. Yeah, I'm sure Blizz would love it if it came off but I think from the player end it'd drive people away from LFG if they consistantly hit terrible groups.

    While some give/take trade is fair and averages out the system, nobody signed up to play "Sim-Social Worker".

  15. "If you want work done, give it to a busy man."

    Whether or not we like this, it's the philosophy of the real world. The most productive people are frequently given more work to produce.

    This isn't to say that I'm for or against this idea, just that it's already fully operational outside the game, so it's entirely logical to move it inside, to everyone's chagrin or joy.

  16. Even if this did not apply to groups that had kicked somebody, there is still a lot of potential for abuse. Excessive rudeness is often just as effective as a kick vote, so we might see more groups being deliberately cruel.

    In my LFD experience, groups typically fail in Cataclysm heroics when there is an essential job (eg, blocking beams on Corla, positioning Karsh, tanking Ozruk) that the person responsible is unable to do. If the person that leaves the group isn't the one responsible for the mistakes, you'd be putting the new group member into the same hopeless situation. I see this pretty regularly -- there are some bosses where I can carry the group, but there are equally as many where nothing I can do will help.

  17. As a survival hunter I personally can make the run go smoother. I have gotten 4 factions to exalted and am fully decked in 346 gear even with the long queues. With Misdirect and able to CC two mobs at once most of the issues are already trivialized. So yes I definitely agree that certain players are able to make the run go smoother and I fully agree with this solution.