4.1 Preview -- Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms
April 7th by Bashiok

In patch 4.1 we’ll be introducing a new system to the Dungeon Finder intended to lower queue times, named Call to Arms. This system will automatically detect which class role is currently the least represented in the queue, and offer them additional rewards for entering the Dungeon Finder queue and completing a random level 85 heroic dungeon.

Any time the Dungeon Finder queue is longer than a few minutes for level 85 heroics the Call to Arms system kicks in and determines which role is the least represented. In the case of tanking being the least represented role, the “Call to Arms: Tanks” icon will display where class roles are chosen in the Dungeon Finder UI, and will also display on the UI when the queue pops and you are selected to enter a dungeon. Regardless of your role, you’ll always be able to see which role currently has a Call to Arms, if any.

Call to Arms is intended to lower queue times by offering additional rewards for the currently least represented role. To be eligible for the additional rewards you must be selected for the role that is currently in a Call to Arms, queue by yourself (solo queue) for a random level 85 heroic, and complete the dungeon by killing the final boss. Every time you hit these requirements (there is no daily limit) you’ll receive a goodie bag that will contain some gold, a chance at a rare gem, a chance at a flask/potions, a good chance of receiving a non-combat pet (including cross faction pets), and a very rare chance at receiving a mount. The pets offered come from a wide variety of sources, and include ones like the Razzashi Hatchling, Cockatiel, and Tiny Sporebat, but the mounts are those specifically only available through dungeons (not raids), like the Reins of the Raven Lord from Sethekk Halls, Swift White Hawkstrider from Magister’s Terrace, and Deathcharger’s Reins from Stratholme.

The inclusion of this system is to address the unacceptable queue times currently being experienced by those that queue for the DPS role at max level. The long queue times are, of course, caused by a very simple lack of representation in the Dungeon Finder by tanks, and to some extent healers. We don’t feel the tanking and healing roles have any inherent issues that are causing the representation disparity, but simply that fulfilling them is more responsibility. Understandably players prefer to take on that responsibility in more organized situations than what the Dungeon Finder offers, but maybe we can bribe them a little. While this system gives tanks and healers something extra, the incentive is there so that we can help those in the DPS role get into more dungeons, get better gear, and continue progressing.

While the gold, gems, flasks, and potions are OK incentives, we knew we needed something more substantial. We had briefly considered Valor Points and epics, but decided that wouldn’t be very fair to the intent of helping DPS players progress, and ultimately wouldn’t keep tanks and healers in the Dungeon Finder system for very long. We settled on pets and dungeon-found mounts as they’re cosmetic/achievement items that players go off mostly go off alone to try to get, so why not change that up and offer them a chance to get some of those elusive pets and mounts in a way that also helps other players? Even if they don't get a pet or mount, or get one they already have, the gold and other goodies still feel rewarding enough that it won't feel like a waste of effort.

We think it’s a pretty solid incentive to get tanks and healers queuing, give max level players another way at the pets and mounts they so desire, and bottom line get queue times down for all those DPS’ers out there. In the case of lower level dungeons, it's actually not uncommon for DPS to be the least represented role, and so if this new system works out and we're pleased with the results, we may consider applying this same mechanic to lower level dungeons as well.

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