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Retaking The Asylum: Blizz Responds

July 30, 2012

Dear Readers,

I’ve the first of the updates to my ticket.  I’d respond to how the forum post is going, but you can view it yourself.  Needless to say, I’m regretting my decision to make my first post on the forums, for the very reasons that kept me from posting on the forums for this long.  They’ve not been kind.

It began with my tweet-sized (and thus extremely edited) ticket:

Dear Blizzard,

I think my vote to kick button is broken. It’s perpetually on a 4 hour cooldown, even though an average dungeon run is less than 30 minutes now. Since the entire point of having the button is to help players “police the community,” since you can’t monitor every chat at all times, I don’t understand why there’s such a high cooldown on the one direct action we can take.

Char: 10 of them, including Lycandra
Server: 4 of then, including Khaz Modan
Time Frame: 4 hours is to long.

Blizz quickly responded:

Hey there Lycandra~

I am Sxxxxxx, Assassin Game Master. It will be a pleasure to address your concerns.

The cooldown for vote to kick is inplace to prevent players from abusing the system.

Players who run with guildmates and vote to kick, vote to kick often or agree to kick, or abandon lfd groups, will find that their timer may be higher than they would otherwise expect.

The timer should lower back down the more runs you do without voting to kick or agreeing to kick.

For chat violations, please keep in mind that you can also use the right-click report player functionality as well.

If you still need to contact us, please feel free to do so! We want to make sure that everything has been resolved properly.

Fortune smile upon you and may the shadows never find your back.

Sxxxxx, Assassin Game Master
Blizzard Entertainment

Now, liberated from the shortened format (but still limited to a medium-length format, I put out my whole argument:

Dear Blizzard,
Thank you for your prompt response, but unfortunately, it doesn’t really address the problem. To be frank, I’m under the impression that the VtK feature is to, to quote Takralus, “remove undesirable players” (http://blue.mmo-champion.com/topic/196402-deleted/#post58). I do not abuse the feature, as I only ever use it to remove extended afks (5+ minutes without explanation), abusive players, players who need on everything, or players who consistently participate in reckless behavior that jeopardizes the run. I’ve been leveling almost exclusively from 10 to 77 in LFD alongside my wife, and we’ve only be able to use the feature a handful of times, despite the fact that probably 50% of runs have undesirable players in them. When my wife or I can’t vote to kick, we ask others in the party to do so, and they virtually always comply because the situation truly is undesirable, abusive, or reckless. Is that affecting our VtKs?

Should the feature be made useless because there’s such a high level of volatility in the community due to the very fact that bad behavior can’t be punished often, or, if it is punished often, the feature becomes effectively disabled? That seems counterproductive to me; if you want less vote to kicks, then enabling to actually punish bad behavior and thus reducing the incidences of bad behavior seems a better option than simply punishing the few people who actually care to have a desirable play experience and thus try to uphold some level of civility in dungeon runs. Is there any way I could get specifics on how the VtK feature calculates my wait time or simply have my wait time reset? I’m only 8 levels from finishing, but the higher I get – or, at least, since WtoLK with harder dungeons, the worse the groups seem to become. I don’t want to be run out of LFD due to bad players that cannot be adequately dealt with.
Thank you,
Stubborn/Lycandra/Paladi/DavyOrckett/Iambic/Pious/Greendel/Magnificient/ DarthFarb/Palmetto

We’ll have to see how this develops, now that I’m not going silently into the viper pit again.

Sincerely,

Stubborn (and standing up, for now)

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. Krel permalink
    July 30, 2012 6:00 pm

    You. Windmill. Tilt.

    I’d love to see it happen, but I’m not holding my breath. Too many jerks, not enough give-a-shit at blizzard.

    • July 31, 2012 10:56 am

      “I know who I am and who I may be, if I choose.” – DQ
      Remember, he went “mad” from reading too much, too many fantasies about heroic knights errant. Perhaps playing too many heroic video games has done the same to me!
      See you around TSW!

  2. Ngita permalink
    July 30, 2012 6:41 pm

    Not trying to troll here, and I acknowledge that the lfd system still runs in groups just larger groups then the old battle-group, so its possible the players your likely to group with behave differently to my group.

    But its not my place to regulate loot, I will certainly put someone on ignore for it but I won’t boot, I will ignore abusive people right their in the instance but again I won’t boot. I have not done many heroics in the last 3-4 months but I have done 100’s in my time and I have levelled a healer to max level and a rogue to 76 recently, mostly in instances and I have almost not booted anyone or even felt the need to. 90% of groups are either silent or pleasant and polite . Between those 2 characters I think I booted a afk in strat live and a couple of dc’s.

    Oh and my pick for the worst behaviour is 15-25 and 85 normals. Their are some very precious people who go nuts when they find their pre dualspec tank or healer is not actually specced for that role.

    My boot timer was 30 minutes in 3.3, 15 minutes in 4.0 and zero since 4.1 and remains at zero, my estimate is I boot around one in 20 instances, That was around 1 in 10 for the worst of the ZG/ZA era but did not seem to have adverse effects

    • July 31, 2012 10:54 am

      Why isn’t it your place? If you’ve got 4 decent people who are having their stuff taken by a 3rd needy jerk, why shouldn’t you stand up to him?
      My stance on ignoring is pretty well documented – I can’t stand it. It’s Blizz’s way of telling you to stick your head in the sand rather than them or you actually working to deal with the problem. When you ignore, it solves the problem for you, but it perpetuates it for others.

      I’ve leveled 9 characters to max level now, and am working on my 10th. Off the top of my head, I’d say 6 of them were in Cata, and were thus post-LFD. I’ve never liked LFD dungeons and have avoided them like the plague because of the many bad experiences I’ve had doing 85 normals and heroics, and at one point refused to do dungeon runs that weren’t 100% comprised of guild members. This final character I decided to level solely in LFD, so I want to continue the experiment. It’s frustrating, though, to have my results constantly sullied by the vast supply of jerks out there, who I end up grouped with because others keep ignoring them instead of kicking them and teaching them a lesson.

      We’ll just have to agree to disagree, which is fine, but I don’t like the ignore feature. It’s not enough.
      Thanks for the comment!

    • Ngita permalink
      July 31, 2012 6:56 pm

      Its not my place because they are playing within the loot rules and I am not going to punish myself(vote kick timer) for their behaviour. I certainly don’t mind discussing it with them at length, i don’t mind letting them die a few times if they continue to stay in the group and I have the opportunity to kill them. Note the typical lfd scenario they probably behaved fine the entire run then needed everything on the last boss.

      The only real problem is tank loot, plate tanks probably lose 10x the amount of gear your average rogue does,

      27 pets, 3 mounts from single queuing for the bag from lfd heroics as tank or healer. I don’t mind them:)

      Sorry for the spam, 3 posts:(

    • August 1, 2012 11:27 am

      I don’t think of it as punishing myself that I have a vote to kick timer. I think of it as Blizzard creating another massive design flaw. I’m using the tool as intended, not abusively, so why should it be self-punishment?

      I try talking to people first, but I’m not going to end up “harassing” them or wasting my digital breath. If they’re continuing to be a jerk, then I’m not going to beat my head against a wall, I just want to remove the wall from my group. Blizz does not see fit to allow me to do this at a rate that’s commiserate with the amount of walls I come across. Perhaps those two factors are linked.

      I haven’t done 85 content since 2011, so I’m not sure what the state of LFD is there, but when I used to do it, I don’t think I ever got a single bag because I always queue with friends, my wife, or at least guildies specifically to avoid lots of random elements. To me, no mount, pet, or extra resources are worth putting up with abuse in a game.

      And don’t apologize; I love seeing a lot of discussion here- comments are meat and potatoes for bloggers. Post as many as you want!

  3. fabad permalink
    July 30, 2012 9:27 pm

    I recently began tanking the 4.3 heroics and I was able to kick 2 people in like 2 minutes. Soon after logging in at Well of eternity the healer quit saying the dps were too low. The second healer couldnt keep me up against the thrash and was geared in pvp and retribution but he was on kick cooldown. I managed to carry him to azshara before i kicked him. With the new healer we wiped 2 times on azshara, even tough someone offered to interrupt the queen and I emphasized to switch to hand quickly. The first time the interrupter was caught in the hand and the second time the healer was. I asked the healer if he was accustomed to the fight and he said he had done it hundred of times. So I watched recount, the warrior dps was doing 3k dps on Az so I promptly kicked him and got a 9k dps dk. We then proceded to clear the rest of the instance without other interference.

    I ran plenty of low level dungeon before as tank and healer and I usually dont kick anyone even if they pull unwanted mob as long as we dont wipe or they dont need on stuff that i need (that belong to my role). Likewise if i queue as dps i wait that the tank or heal roll greed before i need on a offspec item. So my vote to kick CD is not used often but when i need it, it can be use nearly back to back. Just food for tought.

    • July 31, 2012 10:49 am

      I only kick in 4 scenarios. 1) Reckless pulling by dps that doesn’t stop when I nicely ask them to. 2) Needing on everything. 3) Abusive verbal behavior (which gets reported as well). 4) Extended afks without explanation.

      I don’t think any of those are unwarranted or abusive of the system. I list them only to be clear; I’m not just kick happy. I’m not sure why you got to kick like 4 people in a row, but I don’t even want that; I want to kick 1 person, when I need to (probably every other dungeon the way it’s been recently), and I can’t do that. I don’t think that the tool is working properly as a result.

      Thanks for the comment!

  4. Mittenz permalink
    July 31, 2012 5:41 am

    Do you think yours is broken, or have you actually been kicking a lot? They have clearly interpreted it as you kicking a lot. They won’t respond to you suggesting changes to game mechanics in a ticket, they’ve always redirected me to the forums for that (ugh). If you actually think yours is broken (as in, you have hardly kicked anyone and you still have 4 hours), you may want to emphasise that.

    On the other hand it may be that the people that need to be booted have a 4 hour timer from other people booting them a lot. The worst people will usually have this. Honestly it is too hard to kick people these days, I leave the group, but then I don’t play a lot these days and don’t mind doing dailies or playing another game instead of doing a dungeon with slurmongers.

    • July 31, 2012 10:42 am

      I don’t think mine is actually broken; I think the system is broken. That said, I truly have not been kicking that much, since it really is on a perpetual 4 hour cooldown. However, I advocate others in my group to kick, and my wife also kicked a handful of times, and I’m beginning to suspect that your timer is not based on your personal actions or even the actions of people you queue with (my wife), but is based on every vote to kick in which you participate, which would explain why my timer has never cooled down. I haven’t been able to kick anyone in probably 3 weeks, which includes 5 days out of town and 4 days of working at a summer program (not back to back) where I didn’t play at all.

      Yeah, I wasn’t aware of that second caveat, but I had someone on the forums suggest that to me, and it shocked me that Blizz had a built-in protection against people so vile that no one wants to play with them. It shocked me, but didn’t surprise me. Sickened, may in fact be a better descriptor. Thanks, Blizz. You value your customers so long as they’re willing to put up with anything.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • July 31, 2012 4:49 pm

      This timer preventing a player being kicked too many times [presumably because they really are that bad at group play] isn’t something I’ve ever heard of before. Where do you get this information?

    • Ngita permalink
      July 31, 2012 6:34 pm

      Their was a blue post acknowledging it as a “feature” of the lfd system in 4.2. Its actually pretty rare, I have never come across someone who had actually had the prevention and I have over 200 zg/za runs combined, let alone other heroics and normals.
      Note their is one message for if your vote kick is the issue, their is another message if its vote kick protection and their is a 3rd message if your vote kick timer is fine but you kicked someone else very recently(5-15) minutes.

    • August 1, 2012 11:19 am

      From the WoW forums, so take it worth a grain of salt. Here’s a few of the responses.
      “also gotta remember you can’t kick people easily if said player has been getting kicked a lot from other randoms for being either a lazy troll like..only auto attacking or just sucking, like blood dk dps..blizzard for some reason protects them”
      “THE 4 HOUR TIMERS ONLY HAPPEN WHEN AN OFFENDER HAS BEEN KICKED TOO MANY TIMES HIMSELF (AKA HE IS BAD) NOT WHEN A GUY HAS KICKED TOO MANY PEOPLE”
      “People who are kicked often to get some kind of kick protection.
      People who have never kicked anyone before have reported getting 4 hour timers when attempting to kick a disruptive party member.”

  5. ellori permalink
    July 31, 2012 8:44 am

    I’m not 100% sure, but I think you get a longer character limit if you respond to tickets on the website versus doing it in-game.

    • July 31, 2012 10:37 am

      Yes, that’s what I did for the second one, and I’ll make sure to keep that in mind for future endeavors.
      Thanks for the comment!

  6. Tiggi permalink
    July 31, 2012 5:18 pm

    I have a caveat for your first rule of when you kick. I follow that rule only after level 60. I find dps helping to pull before that annoying but I usually enjoy the challenge I usually throw a warning our to them to stop and if the healer looks bored I’ll pick up the pace to pull multiple groups (I’ve gotten a ton of WOW that was fun or Thank I’m using my mana comments from healers for that) if someone dies from the dps pulling (besides them) then I would kick but I’ve never had that happen in a less then BC level dung.

    One thing that I’ve had a lot of success with is if they are needing everything or pulling. I usually say something like “Really you’re going to need on everything? Really? You know in a level 85 group that will get you kicked so fast your head will spin don’t you?” that usually stops it or gets a response that they didn’t know better. I don’t really worry about loot pre 80 dung’s anymore tho either as it’s all going to get replaced and I don’t need the money and I find the warning that at end game that will type of behavior will not be tolerated policing enough for a pre 60 dungeon.

    • August 1, 2012 11:23 am

      That’s fair. I think I mentioned in my post (or it may have been in one of my forum responses) that the problem seems to be getting worse in the higher level dungeons. One of my basic policies in regards to that is no harm, no foul, but when people are being truly reckless, it means I can’t gather mobs, the healer and other dps are getting beaten on, and we have player deaths, near wipes, or actual wipes. The dungeons are too easy up until around BC for any of those consequences, so there wasn’t much reason for me to care about that particular issue until recently.

      Yeah, I always say something first for all three of my rules (needing/recklessness/abusive behavior), and sometimes I find like you do that they simply didn’t know better or are having a bad day or whatever. That’s fine; everyone can have a 2nd chance. It’s the real jerks who then come back at your or simply ignore you and continue their behavior that I want to be able to kick, but I’m being pretty universally told I’m the problem, not those players. It makes me glad I’m almost “done” with WoW.

      Thanks for the comment!

  7. August 2, 2012 1:02 am

    I would love to see something done about this myself – I’ve run into quite a few four hour kick prevention timers… from people where if they remained in group it was going to be a wipefest.

    I’ve even filed tickets on those people and reported them for cheating.

    And I’m not even talking about someone just not being good enough – I’m talking tanks with four hour kick times who zone into the instance and just stand there refusing to do anything or people not geared for their role and refusing to do it.

    I usually just get a form letter back apologizing for me having the experience and telling me to report people for cheating.

    That said, I don’t think anything will come of this, having filed a similar petition myself at one point.

    I can usually out-stubborn the trolls, griefers and such. Letting them get away with it only encourages the behavior. They’ll usually get bored when I reference getting on a second account.

    • August 3, 2012 10:43 am

      Ooohhh- a second account. That’s a good idea, for a bluff for me at any rate. I like it.
      I agree, unfortunately, that nothing will probably be done about it, but I still feel obligated to do the right thing. No amount of rational argument’s going to change that. People keep making arguments to me that I’m oversensitive or a vigilante or the like, but the specific behaviors I list are pretty universally irritating, so I’m not sure what they’re talking about. It seems to me that a lot of people just want to rationalize their apathy away to justify their inaction, but that doesn’t matter to me at all. If others are okay with the behavior and don’t care if anything’s done about the VtK, that’s not mutually exclusive to my position. Many of them seem to think it is.

      Thanks for the comment!

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