The Dungeon Finder: Improving Queueing

Last time, we looked at the current state of the dungeon finder and vote-to-kick. How could some of the abuses and problems with the dungeon finder and vote-to-kick be fixed?

Perhaps a solution would be some sort of rating system. The game could allow you to rate other players with a simple thumbs up/thumbs down. Players with lots of thumbs-ups would be grouped with other thumbs-upped players, and players with worse ratios would have to deal with each other. The problem with this system is the potential for new players to get bad ratings from not knowing what they are doing, and I don’t think Blizzard wants to group new players with griefers, so this system doesn’t seem like it could work very well.

A second and more likely solution would be to add more social features. There have been plenty of times where I have “randomly” been placed into a group with a member of my (3,500+ member) guild. Why can’t the system be smart about placing me with people with whom I probably want to play? The system already will not place you with anyone on your ignore list, so perhaps the system could use expanded friend lists to find preferred members to group you with. There have been plenty of times where I’ve had a great experience with random players, and if they are from different servers, I currently have no way to play with them again. I’m sure that cross-server friends and groups are on the way at some point, and they will bring many benefits. However, consider the benefits of having a “white list” as well as a “black list” that you could make for dungeons. The ignore list and the friend list are currently both 50 people each, but what if you could have a 200 person white list of people you really enjoyed playing with, but don’t want on your friends list? If both of you are queued at the same time, it automatically groups you. Similarly, if you don’t like someone, add them to your black list to never be queued with them. People you are mutually friends with, as well as your guildmates, could be added to the people it will try to group you with. This operation doesn’t sound computationally simple, but Blizzard has achieved some amazing things, and the benefits sound amazing.

Imagine if this could be expanded to a guild-wide system. Guilds could add each other as “friends”, and members from friend guilds would have priority to be grouped together. Cross-server, this would allow players to group with like-minded players and form tighter communities and connections than a series of random groups. Top-tier guilds could friend each other and not have to worry about dealing with new/bad players. Guild “alliances” could be more of a reality, allowing multiple guilds to operate as one much easier. New and leveling guilds could group with each other, with standing policies to help each other learn. Becoming a member of a guild would carry a heavy benefit: you get to play with certain types of people, and guilds would have to be involved in making a community that represents themselves well. The best way to avoid griefers and people whose playstyle you disagree with is to find likeminded people to play with, and tools like this could make the process much more automated and simpler. Don’t like “cocky” tanks and healers who leave at the drop of a hat? This system could help you find people who don’t do that and hang onto them. Like tanks who know their stuff and rush through a dungeon? Friend them. Had fun learning a dungeon with someone? Add them to your friends list and do it again sometime!

Of course, queue times might get worse because of this. Imagine being pulled out of a long queue because one of your friends or guildmates queued as a tank. It would be fantastic for communities, but tanks and healers are much more likely to be experienced players and members of these kinds of communities. New players tend to be DPS, and if all the tanks and healers get gobbled up by small communities, it could leave new players high and dry. Of course, the less tanks and healers there are in a community, the higher incentive there is to try being a tank or healer. Many players are unforgiving if you don’t instantly know what you are doing, but with fast queues, you can quickly burn through players who have to weigh sitting in a long queue against working with a new tank or healer.

In the final part of this series, we’ll look at the built-in qualifications that players have to satisfy in order to queue for dungeons, how successful that system is, and alternatives.


  1. like ive said before my main is a tank, and as such ive seen my fair share of crappy groups. not saying that the players themselves were terrible but the dynamics of said groups didnt flow well. also doesnt help that i am still learning the new instances, boss mechanics, best way to pull certain mob groups and so forth.

  2. i’vv heard (read?) entirely too much crying about the LFD tool blizzard has. what’s happening now is not any different from what was happening at the time it was first implemented. just like at the beginning of wrath, people have to learn the new dungeons and get the gear. after people do these, the runs will become much easier! duh!
    as for the suggestion you make about “freinding” and the whole guild BS you think would be so great… this is world of warcraft, NOT guild wars! the worst part about this new expansion is the far too heavy emphasis blizzard has put towards the whole guild thing.
    what a way to discriminate against, and punish people who prefer to be solo players!

  3. You. . .You didn’t really read the post, did you? The ideas suggested would benefit everyone except dedicated griefers. The mentions of guild alliances were only another example of how the system could provide benefits.

    I’d say this idea actually benefits guildless players more than anyone because it could essentially allow those players to form alliances with guilds without actually joining those guilds. That seems silly on the surface until considering we’re talking about cross-server alliances here.

    Personally, I’d much rather slowly build a good reputation amongst many guilds outside my server than plop down cash to move a SINGLE toon to a SINGLE server.

  4. >>There have been plenty of times where I’ve had a great experience with random players,

    Emphasis on PLAYER.

    >>The ignore list and the friend list are currently both 50 people each,

    Not 50 people, 50 characters. When I put a LFG or trade channel griefer on IGNORE I damn well wish I was also ignoring all of his characters, current and future, on every server. And I bet he wouldn’t even be griefing, trolling, or spewing racial comments if he knew that could happen.

    We don’t have to remove anonymity to have identity, and to let people establish and carry reputations (good or bad).

    Here are some suggested flags for the dungeon finder:
    _ I’m looking for help on this one.
    _ I know what I’m doing and I’m willing to help people who are really looking for help.
    _ I’m an expert on this and I only want other experts, no matter the queue time.
    _ I’m queuing alone and I only want to group with other people who queued alone.

    (okay so the last one isn’t real – I just get a bad feeling whenever I see the tank and healer are from the same server and they smother they rest of us with their lovey dovey chat but they won’t even respond to real questions or let anyone else get mana, and HOW DARE YOU QUESTION SNOOKUMS! kick kick! Okay, so that’s only happen three times. But still, I don’t like arriving in a group where I can already see some people will vote in a block.)

  5. The type of arrangement described in this post is contrary to WoW’s DNA. Consider the MMOs where solo play isn’t really a design goal. EQ in its hey day is a perfect example. EQ had the very type of communities that you’re talking about because they’re fostered by over 70+ levels of grouping together. Even at max level the players that you’d generally want to avoid for lack of skill probably lack the game progression required to access the zones where the better players are playing. That’s another aspect contrary to WoW’s DNA, the idea that players must earn the right to see content while it is new but it can be unlocked for them in later when the top tier is well beyond it.

    WoW can’t have things both ways. Cross server this, cross server that, many people that never see a group until max level…these things do not make for community building. When trade chat is the only place you see much of your server then your prospects for community building are extremely low.

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