One of the biggest frustrations I have faced in the last month has been the Random Dungeon Finder.
I took the last month off from the AH to work on my alts. I rolled an Orc Mage and leveled her to 85. I have been working on my main server alts, gearing them, running dungeons. Then I focused on my Druid (now 85) and my Shaman (also 85 now).
We all know the RDF system is fucked up. Blizzard knows it too, bribing tanks to get them to run more randoms. The Satchel of Medoicre Goods is not enough to help this situation a lot. Bottom line: tanks get insta-queue, healers (like my Shaman) get fairly good times, and DPS get screwed.
Even though I began to see demonstrably longer queue times the closer my mage got to 85, suddenly at 85 *ZOMG* queue times went down to sub 10 minutes.
I thought this improvement was super.
Then the other shoe fell.
Tanks queue for a certain piece of loot from a given boss. When they get to that boss they drop group whether they happily loot that Tanking Trinket of Superior Awesomeness or not.
What to do?
You are a DPS (or even healer) looking for a group. You patiently wait for up to 45 minutes to find a group, running dailies or working on your AH auctions. When that dungeon pops, you are like "Yea! Let's rock". Then one boss in, the tank drops. Now the rest of the group waits another 15 minutes or more to fill that spot.
Heroics are the worst. Instead of every fourth dungeon or so, now we lose the tank about 1/3 of the time before the run is over.
Maybe this has always been a problem but I think it has gotten worse recently. Now that more players are familiar with addons (or even the new Dungeon Journal) to see what loot drops in each instance the players who need a certain drop to fill out their gear will just drop group when that boss goes by and the desired item remains elusive.
This is an easy fix. Whether Blizz has the balls to fix it remains to be seen.
Don't award any loot until after the last boss is defeated. Put it all in a big chest and when the final boss goes down the players click on the chest and get to roll on all the accumulated drops.
In this system players would be able to earn experience and even rep for partial runs. Even the gold drops would be immediate. However, all the greens, blues and purples would accumulate to the end.
Say the run is over, you just nuked High Priestess Azil in Stonecore on Heroic.
A window pops up that all players can see, showing all the items that have accumulated in the chest for that run. There is a scroll bar on the right side where you could arrow up or down. Mouse over the item icon for stats just like now. Beside each item name is a roll need, roll greed, disenchant (if applicable) and pass option. Players would then select the radial button for each item in the list, hit "submit" at the bottom of the screen and then wait for everyone to complete his selections.
The actual rolling would happen based on the selected choice for each player, results appear in the chat window and items you win appear in your bags.
This system would create a few (manageable) objections.
- Incomplete run, player dropped group before the run finished. Whether due to PC error, wife aggro or some other unforseen circumstance there are sometimes valid reasons why someone drops out of a PUG before the run is over. It would be easy for the dungeon loot system to note which players were present for the defeat of which boss. When the run is finished the loot system would roll greed for anyone who was present for a boss fight but dropped group prior to the end of the dungeon. We have all gotten those messages from Blizz before with some item "out of the twisting nether". This would be no different.
- The "this is unfair--Blizz is making us finish the run" objection. Really? Do I even need to provide an answer to this? Yes, Blizz is making all players finish the run to see what loot the bosses dropped. This is the fairest way to ensure all players have an opportunity to finish the instance in a timely fashion.
- The "I don't have time for a complete run, I just want to see loot from the first boss objection". Too fucking bad. Then queue when you have time to run the whole thing asshole.
- The "this will make queue times longer because tanks will be less likely to run RDF if they know they have to finish the whole thing" objection. I would rather wait an extra 5 or 10 minutes upfront if I knew there would be a complete run coming. I don't consider this a valid objection because it is invalid to suggest that it is ok for tanks to run a partial dungeon. The expectation should be to finish it all. Period.
I would love to see this idea become reality.