The Dungeon Finder Makes Me Feel Like A Whore

Please excuse the vulgarity of the title and my apologies to any prostitutes reading, it’s nothing personal against your profession.

I’ve been using the World of Warcraft Dungeon Finder tool quite a lot recently and every time I’ve finished a ‘run’, I feel like I need to take a bath. The whole experience leaves me feeling dirty (and I don’t mean that in a good way). Unless I’m playing with friends, my typical experience finds me receiving a group invite immediately after selecting myself to fill the tank role (talk about instant gratification or what) and then thrown into a room surrounded by my new Johns.

“Go”, is usually the first word to be uttered by one of the Johns. “Hi there”, I reply. “Go, go!” they respond. “Everyone buffed up and ready to start?” I enquire. “Go, go, go, go!” they persist. I pull the first couple of enemies and start to tank them. “Bigger pulls! Pull bigger!” someone demands. I pull more. “Bigger, bigger, bigger”, the Mage runs off to nuke a huge cluster of enemies around the corner. I let him die.

After learning their lesson, my Johns become submissive and let me lead the show. Like a robotic German surgeon, we cleanly and efficiently finish the dungeon in record time and in pure silence. Silence is best I find, who wants to form lasting bonds and friendships with other players anyway? Sometimes my efforts are appreciated with a “ty” or “gj”. I savor those moments and add them to my mental memory box of happy thoughts so I can whip them out to cheer myself up when I’m feeling sad or depressed. Finally, I scurry off to check my rewards.

A little bit of coin, a few blue tanking items that the Warlock didn’t roll ‘need’ on and a random reward in a sack of delight. My job is finished, my Johns satisfied, I feel used and abused. But a little bit closer to the next level… and that’s all that matters.

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40 Comments

  1. This blog is great for sex analogies.

  2. Sharon says:

    Excellent analogy! (Not that I know anything about that stuff, of course… hehe)

    As the healer, I would say “hello” and I’d be lucky if anyone said anything back. So sad.

  3. ogrebears says:

    Enjoy working the streets, >;)

  4. Xeross says:

    Though the dungeon finder being a great way to quickly do some dungeons it just feels cold and distant, the people you play with are people you’ll likely never run into again because they’re from a different realm than you.

    However I’m currently completely tired of everything WoW, because compared to EVE it just feels so damn boring, repetitive and grinding so I might not be entirely neutral on this matter.

    • Gordon says:

      I wish I had more time to play more than one MMORPG. Right now I’m just heavily involved in WoW because my brother and another friend are playing it.

    • Bootleg says:

      I felt exactly the same way. Eve is such a great game, it makes WoW look like a child’s toy in comparison. But the luster does where off. I eventually got tired of competing with everybody for everything, Eve eventually felt like the cold and lonely place space is.

      • Gordon says:

        Yeah I can see how EVE would turn into that… how long did it take for it to happen?

        • Bootleg says:

          I’ve played Eve, twice. The first time with 2 accounts for 6 months, and the second time (same accounts +1, total of 3) for a year.

          I’m not a good fit for Eve. I’m very competitive at heart (which is great for Eve,) I’m also a min/maxer (good for Eve too) and very risk averse (very bad for Eve.)

          I couldn’t stomach Eve’s idea of PvP because I didn’t want to lose my implants or lose time “training” not to mention whatever ship I happened to decide to pilot for the fights. Ultimately, the death penalty in Eve kept me out of the water. PvP (pew pew, social, economic etc…) is the heart of Eve, imho. Without it, there isn’t much that the game offers.

          • Gordon says:

            Yeah, the risk thing is a real double edged sword. First time I lost a ship, I was heart broken. Then I realised that was the point and enjoyed the feeling of fear I gained from the experience. To each their own I guess!

  5. Rhii says:

    Elnia, Larisa’s retired bartender, made a similar argument here: http://www.pinkpigtailinn.com/2010/01/porn-star-and-pug.html

    I thought it was interesting then, and I think it’s interesting that more people are comparing the casual no-strings dungeon grouping to casual sex. I have horrible boredom problems with PUGS, but i don’t generally feel used unless it’s because one of the other roles is behaving badly (DPS standing in fire, new-80 tank chain pulling when he’s still too squishy).

  6. kaozz says:

    So how much do you charge an hour..
    To tank!

    Good post, pretty much sums up the LFG scene ;)

  7. ty, gj, cu!
    btw sometimes I get a “Hi” as well but not too often – and only if I play my healer toon since ppl know I got the power to keep them alive muhahaha!!! :D

    great blog again!! :)

  8. Peter says:

    I feel the same. Also sucks how people will bail if they get into a dungeon they don’t like. Don’t understand what people have against Occ. I mean bag at the end which has gems and badges and chance at a mount? Come on that is just awesome.

    • Gordon says:

      I don’t want to sound like an old fart but it’s all about instant gratification now. If a group doesn’t work out within 60 seconds, everyone bails. There’s no sense of community with these youngsters today :)

  9. VatecD says:

    *shrug*

    PUGs have always felt that way to me in every MMO I’ve played. No doubt the cross-server matching would just make it even worse (since you’re not even likely to run into them by accident in-game, etc.).

  10. Jason says:

    “my Johns satisfied”… that was my favorite part. lol

  11. Cordell says:

    That’s a really excellent (and very entertaining ;) ) summary of a situation I find very, very sad.

    I’ve been playing WoW on and off for about 5 years and it never felt so close to a singleplayer game as today.
    World PvE (a.k.a questing) has been “singleplayerized” a while back when they made everything soloable. Other players don’t matter, they’re just environment decorations now. I’m sure we’ll soon get an option to disable them in the graphics menu.
    PvP has always been torn between wanting to be something social that builds communities and being just another mostly solo-ish grindfest for gear. Cross-realm battlegrounds, and a lack of incentive for world PvP however have made sure it’s mostly the latter.

    And now the grand theater of WoW’s social scene is getting raped, gutted, stripped of everything social and thrown into the dump for the hobos to rape some more, all for one noble purpose: faster exp, faster gear. The leveling and the gear-grind has never been so quick! Nor so soulless, bland, sterile and excessively boring. Because exclusively self-centered gameplay can only be fun for so long. Especially on a game like WoW which wouldn’t have such an interesting gameplay by singleplayer standards.
    But you just don’t have an option, the game actively discourages you from caring about the others since it groups you with people you’ll never meet again, you don’t have a reputation to worry about, it’s just you and 4 generic text-speak spouting strangers from another realm who are totally irrelevant and conveniently expendable to your cause, it’s all about you. At this point, the presence of others has become so superficial and shallow, the next edition of this LFG tool might as well feature the option to replace your party members with scriped bots who pick a random combination of “lol”, “go”, “noob”, “oom”, “ffs”, “gj”, “u suck” to say every 10 or so minutes and you wouldn’t notice the difference. They also wouldn’t go afk or leave or ninja your loot, so it’d be a clear improvement over the current system.

    Bottom line is – in its attempt to cater to the antisocial nerd or whoever it is that enjoys soloing through everything, not having to interact with or give a damn about other players in any way, shape or form, Blizzard is pulling the community and the game features so far apart, that one’s chances for friendship-forming spontaneous encounters with said community while “just playing the game” are converging to zero.
    While back in the day, you had plenty of chances for that even during mere questing, as groups would inevitably form for the tougher quests, or you could look for a decent instance group, which usually isn’t the first group that pops your way, mind you. It also gave bored high levels something to do – whenever I got bored of endgame content, I’d go back to some low level areas that had multiple non-soloable quests and helped people in need, met new faces, made friends. Or I’d keep an eye out for forming instance groups and offer the deserving ones (free) boosts etc. I can’t do either anymore since all quests are easily soloed and the new LFG system locks me out of every instance scene other than my own even more than the previous one did.

    Finding a decent guild used to be the pinnacle of the WoW social experience, but it was also quite difficult as such guilds are rare. And they still are, but unless you have RL friends to play with, you have to go through the trouble of finding one if you want to enjoy anything remotely “multiplayerish” left in WoW. It’s really no wonder the subscriber count isn’t growing anymore.

    PS: Apologies for the mammoth comment, I just felt like venting a bit. ;)

  12. Jeff says:

    Stumbled on this. Funny, I was actually thinking about this earlier while my brother (a tank) and I (a healer) were running randoms (which also made me think about how easily we find groups; we laugh every time we queue and are greeted with instant invites :P ). Back in the day people used to create friendships through runs, but I guess those days are long gone. It’s a double-edged sword, really. It’s good that runs are much easier to complete (and without unnecessary stress…usually), but I certainly miss the social aspect that came with meeting at Scarlet Monastery with a few buddies.

    Great article, hope to read some more from you in the future. :)

  13. jd says:

    Read it, and for some odd reason, I was starting to hear Poe’s Hey Pretty..

  14. rowan says:

    LOL, great post! Late reading it, I know. I have felt the same way as a healer.

    OTOH, I think that many people, like Cordell, forget how hard it was to find people to group with, especially as the game “matured” and BC came out. The lower levels have thinned greatly, making it difficult to finish group-oriented quests. It’s enabled newbies and alts to complete more quests and level, which I always found enjoyable, though I may be unique.

    It is sad that the solution to the leveling and population issues has led to the issues mentioned by you, Cordell, and others: the loss of friendliness and sense of community in the game.

  15. Cordell says:

    So what do you know, I happened on this great little article again by accident, and seeing how a reply mentioned me, I feel my original post deserves some clarification, albeit coming a bit late.

    In all honesty, I didn’t forget how long it took to find groups before these changes. I remember full well that it could take bloody ages. That was certainly a big shame, but stripping instancing of its very essence, just to make it more accessible was an awful solution if you can even call it that. Merging servers or giving high levels’ alts an experience gain boost would have been far better solutions. This however just isn’t worth the trade-off to me.

    Imagine waiting for a hamburger at the local fast food place. If the guy at the counter told me that I can either keep waiting for the ham to cook, or they could give me a hamburger without the ham right away (just the buns with ketchup and salad), I’d pick waiting any day.
    The alternative he offered would probably ease my hunger too, but it’d taste like sh*t. Not worth it.

    It’s the same with WoW. The social pleasures and opportunities of instancing were my ham. Take that away and it all becomes something substantally different, substantially worse to the point where it’s just not worth the price paid for its convenience.
    If your ham is gear and experience, you won’t notice anything of this of course. And most really didn’t, because they’ve been accustomed to the lack of decency and social interactions long before this change, thanks to the generally anti-social nature of the “new community” (of mostly immature children) that descended upon WoW over the years, invited by the community-wrecking changes I mentioned in my original post, which long predate the dungeon finder.
    As a result, even those who’d otherwise be receptive to a socially pleasant environment end up supporting the dungeon finder, because they just don’t know any better.

    On a sidenote, I question the economics behind the whole concept of turning the entire focus of the game solely on gear and leveling, even at the expense of community ties, as that’ll result in far fewer longterm subscribers. An engaging community can keep you interested in a game waaaay past the gameplay’s natural lifespan. A lust for gear and prowess on the other hand will fade much quicker, especially once people realize there’s no meaningful social environment left to showcase it to.

    But I don’t want to wreck anyone’s fun. People who like the cross-realm dungeon finder should be able to use it. But those who value what I’ve been describing above should also get their option to find instance groups in a way similar to the old tool (though that too could use a lot of improvement).
    There’s just no reason not to give people this choice. It’s an unsound practice even by Blizzard’s profit driven thinking, because there’s no downside to having different ways to LFG, yet it’d please groups left unsatisfied by the current way.

  16. Greyon says:

    Still relevant today.

    I’ve basically stopped playing the “endgame” after playing a healer (pally), DPS (hunter) and tank (pally) in Heroics. Running the same dungeons again, and again for ephemeral rewards with silent groups nearly put me off the game entirely.

    All those i232+ items I grind-ed through dungeons for? Quickly replaced the moment I stepped into the level 80+ zones.

    The thought of stepping back onto the Heroic LFG grind sends shivers down my spine.

    Right now I’ve got a level 55 Tauren pally and a 25 Worgen warrior which I’ve levelling for fun. In addition there is my level 81 pally making his way slowing through the levelling process.

    I’m in no hurry, I’m enjoying the sites and jumping into the LFG when I want to explore a dungeon.

    Now I level alts, explore and play for fun.

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