Last night was my regular night off from raiding, and with the husband out of the house, I decided to jump onto the PTR and run a couple of random heroics that are going to be implemented with 4.3.
I can honestly say that both groups I ran with last night fell apart before we even made it to the first boss in both dungeons.
The first group we zoned into the Wyrmrest temple dungeon, which starts out pretty cool. You’re helping Thrall go through a gauntlet — but in all honesty that is all I saw. Three of the five people in the group dropped before the second pull was complete. In fact, the tank left during the pull.
No sweat, I queued again, and joined a group in the Well of Eternity heroic, and dove right in. We pulled up to the boss, and evidently I was in a group with no one who was a native English speaker. Everyone was either Korean or German. Now, I don’t have an issue with either, but when trying to talk through strategy on interrupts, it’s important to be able to communicate. Needless to say, the group fell apart.
So I have 2 questions that need to be answered:
- Why is Blizzard allowing cross server grouping with language barriers?
- Why are PTR random groups notoriously bad?
I truthfully don’t have a great answer for either, but here’s where I see the logical answers.
Blizzard wants lots of testing to get accomplished on the PTR, and the way to reduce random queue times is to allow cross server testing. The way to give them a bigger player base is to allow for cross language grouping. Do I think this is the best idea? Probably not from a quality of test perspective, but probably for quantity? Sure. Does this make for a frustrating experience? If you’re running solo and happen to get into a cross language group, absolutely.
On the PTR I think you’ve got a cross section of everyone who might play WoW, but I think you end up getting a cross section that is largely disorganized. You don’t have the sense of union with your buddies as you copy your character over — because you come into the game guildless again, and it’s pretty difficult to time things with people you know on the PTR. They may have transferred to a different PTR realm than you did. I’m sure some groups overcome this by establishing guilds on the PTR as well, but for the average Joe, it likely doesn’t work that way.
Progression guilds usually will spend some time on the PTR as a group testing the new content — which is fantastic, and these groups typically will set up their own guilds as well. They’re far less likely to run random dungeons and test the Raid Finder — they’ll probably spend time with the people they are comfortable with.
I’m sure there are plenty of good experiences out there, but I can’t say I’ve ever had one.
How can Blizzard help with this?
First of all, I’d like to see Blizzard go back to only allowing random dungeons to be done within their region on the PTR. Sure, it might slow down queue times, but from an experience perspective for the average Joe, it would probably help.
To combat the “1-man island” syndrome of transferring to the PTR, and with the creation of the guild services on live accounts, why not allow GMs to flag characters in their guild to transfer over to the PTR? It might help with the organization of events, and who wouldn’t love to have their Mass Ressurect available for PTR testing?
Do you have any ideas or experiences to share about the PTR and random dungeons?