Thursday, December 11, 2008

Strange Idea for Relieving Tank/Healer Shortage

Everybody whines all the time about the Tank/Healer shortage.

I do too.

Generally no problem finding a group, but when there is an issue, more often than not its a tank or healer that's missing, which seems statistically against the odds since they comprise 20% of an ideal 5-man group each. Find one Tank and you're golden, Find only one DPS and you're still fishing at the summoning stone.

Aside: Blizzard, put more bodies of water near summoning stones. Fishing while waiting for the team would be better than playing Bejeweled. But I digress.

A variety of reasons for the shortage, a variety of potential solutions.

How bout Death Knights? No, just no. Hasn't really seemed to solve the tanks for 5-man shortage. At least not in my experience.

Here's my latest hair-brained scheme.......

Lets take me as an example. Actually, lets take me as an example, but imagine that I also have a level 80 tanking character, because that'd be necessary for this to work.

For raiding, my passion is with my Hunter. Maybe because its the only end-game toon I've played, or maybe because I really do enjoy (A) pew pew, and (B) having a pet that's not a slave or possessed in any way, or maybe its just because we're totally OP.

So, when a bunch of guildies are looking to run a Heroic, my first choice is to run on my Hunter, because she needs the Heroic badges, the Heroic loot drops, and the Faction Rep that comes from wearing a tabard in a Heroic.

If I had this imaginary Tank alt, sure I could volunteer to log on that one and tank the heroic dungeon, but then my Hunter would be missing out on the opportunity to advance her Improvement Plan.

And most other players, whether via a formal Plan or an informal approach of wanting to get shiny stuff for their main, also choose to NOT play their hypothetical Tank alt, so the team suffers and keeps looking.

But WHAT IF...

What if there was a way to specify which toon you're "playing for" when you enter a dungeon?

Similar to how you wear a Tabard to serve as the Champion of a faction.

Let me play on my Tank character. Let that tank wear Amava's Personal Tabard, and serve as Amava's Champion.

Any loot or emblems that drop would be for Amava, not the Champion.

Any quest objectives that're progressed (think dailies) are Amava's, not the Champion's.

Any rep that the Champion gains (would need to work something out regarding the whole "two tabard" part of this, but that's an implementation detail that Blizz will simply have to figure out) would go to Amava, not the Champion.

The Raid ID lockout would be for Amava, not the Champion.

Wow, that's fantastic!!!!

Isn't it?

Got 5 players who want to enjoy the game together?

Lets really cut through the fluff of "bring the player, not the class", shall we?

Using this method, you would have much easier time finding group, as you'd have lots more people willing to level up alts to fill in gaps, knowing that those alts would not prevent you from improving your main toon.

Pure win! What could possibly go wrong?

I'm sure there's a million and one things that suck or could go wrong with this.

Firstly, to be an effective tank you (A) need to know how to play a tank, and (B) have suitable gear, at least be uncrittable.

Same for healing, minus the crittable part, and plus some solid heals and mana-endurance.

Forget skill for the time being, because that'll come with time as you play the toon/role.

So either it means that you're still required to run the alt NOT as a champion, but representing themselves at first so they can gear up.

Or come up with something like the Death Knights.

Maybe allow me to specify a toon as a PERMANENT Champion. Create some training program, like the Death Knight starting area, that leaves a player with a very solid set of gear that's perfect for entering into Heroics.

I know, I know, this is kinda flaky, but I have severe cramps today and just don't care.

Other things that can go wrong?

Raid ID. They'd need to figure out how to properly manage the Raid ID. It might be as simple as Amava gets locked to the Raid ID, not the Champion. This would mean that you could run a Heroic twice in one day on your Tank. Once as a Champion, and once representing herself.

If you think about it, that's kinda how it works now. I can run a Heroic twice, once on Amava and once on my Imaginary Tank. The Raid ID is there to stop you from chain-running a dungeon till you get your loot. They want to spread the time out. This still allows each toon only one shot at the loot they want per day.

There might be a problem of a well advanced main toon serving as the champion for an alt and far too easily gearing up alts. Maybe thats a problem, maybe its just fine. Maybe the "permanent champion" requiring a real life payment to switch the flag would discourage or reduce that behavior.

Heirloom Bind on Account items already come so close to this, but my proposed system hopefully has the added benefit of making more players willing to play a Tank or Healer, even if its not their Raiding Toon.

Perhaps this would need to only qualify for 5-man heroics, and not raids (wouldn't want somebody killing [fancy boss that few people get to kill] on their Champion and then looting a Legendary weapon to Amava, that would become silly pretty fast). Also probably not solo stuff like daily quests.

What do you think?

Good idea? Insane ramblings?

TMI with the "cramps" thing?


Leiandra said...

Umm.. reroll a druid. Then you can do that any time you want.

Anonymous said...

=/ Sounds like your trying to nerf my healing bro.

Daxenos said...

I had cramps yesterday too.

I think the downfall of your plan is the gearing up of alts. For those of us with a fair number of alts, it would be very easy to gear them all up if we have a "more" needed class - ie, tank or healer.

I wouldn't complain about such a system, but I certainly don't think Blizz would be too keen on the idea.