The Dungeon Finder: Vote Kick and Its Flaws

It gazes into your soul.

Most players have encountered the dungeon finder at some point in their carrier. Most of us use it quite frequently; whether it’s to generate a group to do a daily heroic, fill out a run with guildies and friends with more players, or to get some bonus experience while leveling, the dungeon finder has become a staple of the WoW experience.

The first thing that comes to mind for most players is the disparity in queue times for different roles. DPS characters often have to wait 25 minutes to an hour for a group, while healers experience a shorter 10-20 minute wait. Tanks, on the other hand, have almost no wait time. The inconsistency in queue times makes a lot of players unhappy, and makes the system ripe for abuse.

Here is generally how the dungeon finder works: you choose the roles you would like to fill and select a set of dungeons you would like to do (or all of them if you queue for a random dungeon/heroic. I imagine the random 85 heroics have the biggest pool of people). The system reports an expected wait time. This number is calculated at each of the roles you selected (DPS, healer, tank) and the average wait time for the most recent players of your role to enter each dungeon for which you are queued. The lowest wait time of all of the dungeons is the same. For the level 85 heroics, almost everyone queues for a random dungeon and everyone is eligible for the same pool of dungeons, so the wait time is the same for all of these dungeons. The system then forms groups as quickly as possible. Blizzard has said that the tool tries to group players by the quality of their gear, but with the huge disparity in wait times, it is unclear if that is still a major factor.

Players can “vote kick” or vote-to-kick a player from their group. Anyone can initiate the vote kick, and they are prompted for a reason. The reason is displayed to the other players in the group (besides the player being voted upon), and a majority (three in the case of a 5 person group) of the players must vote to remove the player for the vote kick to be successful. The vote kick abides by these rules:

  • A vote to kick a member may not be initiated during, or for a short time after combat.
  • A vote to kick a member may not be initiated in the first 15 minutes of a group.
  • Only two members may be kicked from a group.
  • Despite the above, a vote to kick a member who has disconnected can be initiated immediately.

Additionally, the system tracks the number of times a player initiated a vote kick, their voting history in vote kicks, and the number of dungeons they have completed and abandoned. Based on this data, the vote kick may have an internal cooldown if the player kicks a lot, but no cooldown if the player rarely kicks (and perhaps the above rules may be loosened). Players who voluntarily leave a dungeon are subject to a half-hour “dungeon deserter” debuff, which prevents them from queueing for half of an hour, but players who are vote kicked do not receive the debuff.

In the case of a vote kick or someone otherwise leaving the party, dungeons in progress are placed in front of the queue, ahead of players looking for a group. As long as two party members remain, the party can continue looking for replacement members. As such, abuses to get a new dungeon started are becoming more common as impatient players find loopholes. For example, if you have a friend who plays a class capable of queueing as a tank, you can queue with them and have them select “tank” as their role, and you’ll find yourself in an instant queue instead of a half-hour or longer queue. Once you enter, your friend leaves, and your group queues to find a new tank, ahead of the rest of the group. Your friend cannot queue again for half of an hour, but if they weren’t planning on doing so anyway, it probably isn’t a problem for them.

A more insidious plot that some players have witnessed are three DPS players queueing as a DPS, healer, and tank, or any combination of non-DPS roles. Once a group is found (and the entire group is in reality DPS), they tell others to tank or heal. If the players do not, they are vote kicked as soon as possible, or the three friends simply wait for them to leave, which might be pretty fast once they realize there is no real tank. Once a player leaves, the group can re-queue as DPS, and with an open dungeon, they cut to the front of the line.

The system has its benefits and its drawbacks. The abuses listed above are among the drawbacks. However, it is still an amazing and relatively new tool that has changed how we play WoW. How could the system improve? Read more to find out.


  1. The different wait time’s for select roles isn’t the LFG’s fault. It’s a general balance issue that’s been present since the start of wow.

    If dungeons (hypothetically) required a group of 6 people being 2 tanks, 2 healer’s, and 2 dps, you’d see a Vast improvement in que time’s. In reality, that would mean the groups roles would have to be stressed to make it even Tougher for that role to preform, making them actually matter 50/100% of the time. (instead of 1 dps carrying 2 baddies)

    Well, I’m going a bit off topic. But heck I could write my own blog about balancing in mmo’s in general.

  2. If the two roles that had a shorter queue time weren’t generally more stressful and all around more demanding of a role to fulfill I could see this as a problem.

    However since DPS pretty much have to do 1 easy thing: Pew Pew and stay out of fire( and most of you don’t know how to accomplish this task) you guys really have no room to complain.

    I’d guess the numbers for WoW are more thank likely 3/4 players are DPS. Then of that 1/4 that are left MAYBE a 50/50 split of healers and tanks. On my server I think there may be more tanks than heals.

    This could be argued over and over again about how ‘easy’ the game is. But in reality, tanking is hard, and so is healing. Both those roles require you to pay attention to more than just simple game mechanics, you also have to pay attention to 4 other people.

    I can honestly see this problem getting worse as cataclysm grinds on. All my friends that have been healing for as long as I can remember are dropping their healing toons and going DPS or tank. I personally haven’t healed any of the new 5-mans/heroics yet. I got my toon to 85, did a BG for giggles and realized my mana pool is damn near useless and I couldn’t even begin to try to heal a five man. Heal is a 3-4 second cast time and heals at best for 3-6k. Flash Heal uses my entire pool in about 12-15 heals. Bubbles burn through my mana now, and greater heal is downright useless. I understand they want me to consider who I heal and blah blah blah, but if the BG was any hint of how useless I am at group healing now, Priests are in for a rough expansion.

    Wow I got really off topic there. Sorry guys. :(

  3. The fact that you have Less roles means each Has too offer more challenge. As it stands if 1 role dominates the ladder of 2, you have massive imbalance and can pretty much do without the extra fat. Then the only choice for the rest on a 1 by 1 basis is make it harder on there standard.

    DPS is more complicated because of the amount of time it takes to offer a proper rotation and focus on the battlefield. Your only seeing it as a matter through tunnel vision in the same way you can tell a healer “all he has to do is heal”. Granted it’s easier for experienced people with addons and such but that doesn’t make it any less proactive.

    Tanking/Healing are tough, but there not as difficult as people Precive them to be. they require as much situational awareness as any other role. Theo only problem is that there more Limited in the current mechanics, so they either need to be 100% included in that pretense, or not at all.

    Healing and Tanking have Changed, but people aren’t Fearing that and running away to other specs. There changing with the times. I could have easily rolled as DPS in cata, but that wouldn’t have mattered because I love to Tank. IF people prefer 1 class over another then of course they get drawn to it. I know a ton of people in my guild who enjoy healing.

    The main balance issue boils down to a fact that it’s now How many of a class you have, but how you can utilize it in a proper way. Which, in the current Wow MMO setup, can’t be accomplished.

  4. I don’t think its a game design problem that the queue times are long for DPS, but since I feel locked into my main with all of his cool mounts and achievements and whatnot and I can only DPS on him, I personally would like shorter queue times, and so would other players. Additionally, the longer the DPS queues are, the more likely we are to see abuse of the system and the possibility of the pool of people using the tool degenerating to abusers and naive players.

  5. Alright look at it this way. How many required DPS are need in a base 25 man raid? 14-15.

    How many healer’s? 5-6.

    How many tanks? 1-2.

    Break that down and you basically have 1 set class dominating 70% of set requirement. 20% of the rest being healer’s, and the last 10% tanks. By blizzard’s logic, adding More of a set requirement (3) to a lower standard of dungeon even’s it all out right?

    Wrong. That mean’s that there’s an extra amount of fat from the healer standard, and the tank standard is so minimal that no one can offer the role a fair try Because it’s so minimal and of people’s Expectation’s of it. Why do people queue as tanks with bad gear and no experience? Because people ask for it and it’s the most needed class by That standard. Not because it’s as Hard as people say, but because it’s needed for so Minimal a purpose.

    This also goes the same way for DPS. Because as it still is in wrath, if 1 character who Does know how to DPS is in your group, it can over shadow the fact that 2 other dps are Bad. This even I proved when me and my guild 3 maned a heroic. It actually went just as fast a normal heroic.

  6. There is currently a glut of dps across all realms. This normally happens after the release of an expansion as players change to dps spec to quest. While tanking is a viable questing option, healing is not.

    What with the “Zomg! Heroics are hard!” mindset, many are hesitant to tank. A good tank has to know the behavior of all bosses and trash mobs, know the agro range and path of a patrol, kill orders… lots of concerns. Even a great tank risks wiping many times upon entering a new instance.

    Healing is even more boned at the moment. The healer has to have very nice gear to keep from going oom during a boss fight. It doesn’t help any if dps insist on standing in the fire or not properly cc’ing mobs. Combined with the fact that nearly all healers will go dps spec to see the new questing zones means they are undergeared and just not ready.

    Those are temporary issues that can be cleared up within a month or two. The true problem with LFD is that it is cross-battlegroup. I do not care about anyone who isn’t on my realm. What does it gain me by being nice to that player who I can’t friend, can group with and very likely will never, ever see again?

    Answer? Nothing. That’s why the complaints about ninja-looting (“They took my drops!” “De dook hid dops!”) That’s why there has been a lack of tanks and healers. Who want’s to help a healer gear or a tank learn an instance when you’ll never see then again? /Kick! Not playing a class that the group leader likes? /Kick!

    Give LFD the option (on by default) that you want to group with players from your own realm. Fixed.

  7. “A vote to kick a member may not be initiated in the first 15 minutes of a group.”

    This bit now seems to be a retardedly stupid 45 minutes.

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