The other day my shaman got heroic Gundrak as her daily random. The tank was a paladin of the always-in-a-hurry variety, so he pulled almost all the trash in the first room at once and then charged straight at the boss. We managed to down him, but I died under a pile of snake adds, because as it turned out only one of our three dpsers, a rogue, was actually helping us to kill things. The other two, a death knight and a mage, were motionless at the entrance or outside the instance (we couldn't quite tell at first).
When the pally started to swear at them quite profusely, the death knight suddenly came to life, complaining that he was stuck in the passenger seat of someone else's mammoth. This actually caused the tank to quite miraculously transform into a very decent human being and he patiently talked the guy through the proper steps of exiting the mount. Quite a silly predicament to begin with, but there you go. Eventually he managed to join us and we were one dps up, but the mage remained blatantly AFK at the entrance.
I had vaguely picked up on other blogs that you couldn't kick people from pugs until the fifteen minute timer had run out, but it had never actually been an issue for me before... until that night anyway. With the mage camping at the door and leaving us a member short, we found ourselves in a lose-lose situation: We could either all leave the group, eat the debuff and put up with another ten-minute wait for a new group afterwards, or we could continue to four-man it in less time and accept the fact that we were feeding a lazy loser free emblems. We opted for the latter option, but still felt mildly annoyed. Gundrak is such a breeze these days that we were already at the last boss by the point at which the timer ran out. We kicked the mage as soon as we could, so we could at least deny him the free frost emblems on top of the three triumph he had already received, but that was for all intents and purposes too late already.
This was one of the rare things that actually prompted me to make a post on the official forums to complain, but the response I got was mostly along the lines of "yeah, everyone's complaining about that already but it does us no good, so shut up".
I just found it striking to what lengths people will go to abuse anything in WoW in their favour. I know, hardly a news flash, but even so. That mage must have been paying at least a moderate amount of attention to make sure he didn't miss his dungeon queue... just to go AFK as soon as he got in. Really? What kind of warped mind thinks like that?
I also thought that not being allowed to kick people right away sounded like a good idea before, to avoid any jerks kicking people solely based on their gear, their name or whatever. But fifteen minutes of wait is a very long time to spend with a useless party member in an instance that barely even takes that long to complete nowadays.
The whole incident has also confirmed to me that the dungeon finder really has turned instances into the new battlegrounds, with all the bad side effects - who could forget the times when up to three quarters of an Alterac Valley team were sitting AFK in the spawn cave just to farm honour? I didn't think this would happen in five-mans, but with Blizzard forcing us to keep the AFK guy on our team or wait another half hour for our next run, they made it possible. Good going, that.
I think it also highlights a major design flaw with the current system. You could rant about the people camping in the "peace cave" all you want, but they wouldn't have felt the need to do that kind of thing at all if disproportionally powerful rewards hadn't lured them into an activity that they didn't enjoy, leaving them searching for a solution that allowed them to get the rewards while still avoiding participation.
I've heard more than one person suggest that maybe giving out frost emblems for the daily random wasn't such a great idea after all, and I'm starting to see their point. I like running instances, I liked them even before they gave great rewards, and I could mostly rely on the people running with me to feel the same way and to make it an enjoyable experience. Only since Blizzard has started funneling everyone and their mother into LFG for frost emblems I'm suddenly surrounded by people who hate five-mans and just want to be out of the instance again as soon as possible, looking for ways to skip content at every corner. Or as of now, by people who hate five-mans and go AFK at the entrance, waiting for the rewards to arrive in their currency tab without any participation at all.
Enough of this rubbish I say. Give me back instance-running for fun, with people who actually care.
At Loose Ends on the Fantasy Front
10 hours ago