“lfm ds 10 link achi and 395 ilevel”.
There are other versions of this, naturally, but it’s currently the most common one that’s doing the rounds. The argument, of course, is that item levels and achievements don’t tell you whether or not a person has the capability to complete a raid. The flip side of the argument is that there’s a higher chance a person will have the necessary attributes if they do have the better gear or requisite achievement.
So what’s the solution?
Picking stuff from AddOn users is dangerous
I’ve been drafting a series of posts relating to functionality of the user interface recently, and I do feel that this is one of the areas where Blizzard took on a community created function and applied it without the proper context. I’m referring to the infamous GearScore for those that never came across it, an AddOn that essentially boiled a character down to a number that raid leaders all across Azeroth could judge you by.
It said nothing of talent specialization.
It said nothing of correct itemization.
It said nothing of PvP slots padding the number.
It said nothing of gear enhancements.
In short, it simply added up the total item level of the gear you were wearing and gave you a number that needed to be increased for higher likelihood of getting invited to groups. Unfortunately, while adding it to the standard UI was a good move, Blizzard didn’t solve the actual problem that GearScore had.
It was being used by idiots who were ignorant of the context.
To put it simply, the GearScore AddOn (much like Recount or Skada) was simply a tool that allowed players to get a quick “feel” of how another toon was geared. But that’s all it was – a tool. It was never supposed to be the determining factor, merely a starting point as to whether or not someone might be worth bringing along. Unfortunately, the community used it as the be all and end all, and Blizzard adopted it without actually bothering to fix it. In short, all they did was give a very annoying AddOn to everyone in the game.
The problem is the UI… So is the solution
So while I think the problem was beefed up by the default Blizzard UI, I also think the default Blizzard UI holds the solution.
Think about it.
Why not create a window, much like the guild recruitment one, that allows a potential raid leader to set the requirements he wants, sets the roles required, and also assigns a loot system and minimum requirements required to join? Once that’s been completed, he can then link the window for ‘[Dragon Soul]’ in his favourite channel (probably trade) and prospective members can sign up assuming they meet the basic criteria.
For example, say you want two tanks, three healers and five DPS. If you just want to get started as soon as possible, you set the minimum item level requirement to 378 and you hit the queue button to link in trade. Any player that’s in the correct spec can then look at what the raid leader wants and automatically click to join the raid until all the slots are filled up.
On the other hand, it could be made far more specific in its requirements. Of the two tanks and three healers, the raid leader might not want the same class represented more than once in each role and not more than twice across the raid group. What that means is that a Protection warrior can sign up, ensuring that the other tank won’t be one. Assuming the leader set up no more than two across the raid, the next warrior joining can only be DPS and there can be no more warriors joining after that.
Other options could include:
- - Correct talent specialization for role.
- Minimum item level required.
- Relevant gear enhancements for role.
- Account achievement required.
- Character achievement required.
- Resilience check for slot padding.
- Ignore list remains extant for invites.
- Specific loot rules for the entire run.
I could go on, of course, but you get the point. A raid leader can essentially set up his group as loosely or as tightly as he likes, while all members of the raid can link it in their channels to entice people to join up. I think this type of UI function would be a huge help to the PuG community which, I think, is likely to end up picking up again in Mists of Pandaria, while also allowing more things to be taken into account when constructing a raid group.
There must be a snag here…
But of course, there’s one fly in the ointment. The Grumpy Elf mentions it, and it’s a plague – we are, of course, talking about the raid leader in blue, ungemmed gear who demands 398 geared players to boost his backside through a raid. How do you solve that?
The raid leader can only set requirements that he, himself, can meet.
So if someone wants to pitch up to the Bastion of Twilight in a set of levelling greens, he can demand no more of his potential recruits in the tool. And to encourage people to use it rather than spamming requirements in trade, the tool could teleport players directly to the instance they choose to queue for.
I may come up with some concept shots for the tool itself and append them to the post, just to help illustrate what I’m trying to say. But in the meantime, what do you guys think?
Could it work?
Would it work?
What settings and/or criteria would you like to see?