Look in the Mirror

Just recently Zarhym posted something interesting on the Blizzard forums about the Vote Kick feature. It’s already spreading around the blogosphere, but I thought I’d post it here too.

We have found that most players using the Dungeon Finder don’t use the Vote Kick feature or abandon groups very often. For these players, we are removing the cooldown on voting to kick players from a dungeon party. In contrast, those players who tend to kick players or abandon groups more frequently will notice that the Vote Kick feature maintains its cooldown. The goal here is to make sure players who are generally patient can make use of the Vote Kick feature when they really need it, without giving a more powerful tool to those who try to kick others or abandon dungeon groups very frequently.

This functionality will adjust itself as a player’s behavior while using the Dungeon Finder changes.

A while back, some folks at MMO-Champion dug up some stat variables dealing with:

These values have been collected since the LFD was released. This provides Blizzard with information on how many times you’ve abandoned or completed a group, and how many times you’ve either participated, initiated, or been the target of a vote kick.

What the new changes are initiating are the capability to limit those who kick their groups a lot by leaving the Vote Kick timer debuff on. While others who have hardly ever vote kicked or abandoned a group will no longer have the timer, and can initiate a vote kick right away.

There are a few good things and a few bad things with this, along with a few unanswered questions. One thing that I’m wondering is, are they taking into account the previous kicks/abandons/completions, or are they starting from a blank slate? The answer to this question would determine a few things.

First up, if they start from a blank slate, then those who maliciously Vote Kick often, will have a powerful tool to grief early, and often. As we do not yet know what the threshhold is as to when the debuff timer kicks in. On the other hand, if they use current data already collected, then griefers will still have to wait, lessening the chance that they’ll do it as often. Maybe the timer will get even longer, which I feel would be a good thing.

I have had experiences as well as read of experiences where tanks, who have a nearly instantaneous queue time, will get a group, and then just drop it. The reasons are varied, ranging from malicious griefing, to just not liking the group makeup. I myself have never done that, as I think it is well worth your time as well as that of the group to at least make an attempt at the instance, and in turn help somebody out. Maybe it’s the carebear paladin in me, but I have never dropped a group unless there was verbal abuse, or a complete asshat involved.

Now, for the folks who do not often or ever use the vote kick tool, there will not be a debuff on when they can use it. I see how it can be nice for those folks, but also wonder if it will be that much of an incentive. I could see far more use out of the removal of the “dropped group” debuff than of the Vote kick debuff. With no timer on the Vote Kick debuff, some new players may be tempted to follow the path of those who Vote Kick often, and it may lead to more abandoned groups, and pissed off players.

Lastly, it will have those who abuse the system need to look at their own behaviour, and how they act towards others, and make decisions as to how they treat people. Sure it’s a pipe dream to have no more Vote Kicks based on malicious intent, as I’m sure it’ll still happen. But this is one step towards having those who currently partake in malicious vote kicks (kicking after last boss so that gear can’t be passed to the one kicked, etc.) take a look in the mirror. Maybe, just maybe, it’s they who suck and need to L2Play.

We’ll see how it works out. It is nice that those who do not take advantage or abuse the system will get a bit of a pat on the back, and those who do will get “punished”. I’m sure there will be more systems like this put in place in the future (think PvP “deserter” debuff), we’ll just have to see.

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