Time-to-Emblem Ratios

Why do people leave groups in the new LFG system the moment a dungeon is assigned?

The instances I see this most often on are:

  • The Culling of Stratholme
  • Halls of Lightning
  • Halls of Stone
  • The Oculus

If you jump out of the group, you can’t re-queue for 15 minutes.  For a tank or healer, that means 15 minutes plus a few seconds until your next group.  For a DPS, you’re probably talking more like 30 minutes until your next group (on my battlegroup at least).

The thing I don’t get is that the ratio of time spent to emblems earned is better than it has ever been in the past.  Nobody’s doing these dungeons for the experience or the achievements – those are for groups you organize among your guildies or friends.  It’s a pure loot grab, sometimes with an eye for loot in the instance itself (for new 80s, or anyone if you get assigned one of the new dungeons), but most often by way of emblems.

Let’s look at the MPE (minutes per emblem) of various dungeons.  I’m assuming a competent heroic group chain pulling, including optional bosses and that this is not the first random heroic of the day.  If these numbers don’t agree with the time it takes you to run the dungeon, contribute to the poll to help make things more accurate.

[TABLE=2]

Assume that you get an instance you don’t like.  You ditch, and get into another one immediately after the cooldown expires.  I’ll use CoS followed by Utgarde Keep as an example.  The aggregate MPE is 6 (15 minute cooldown plus a 15 minute run for 5 emblems).  The only instance which gives that crappy a rate of return it the Pit of Saron.  If you’d just stuck with CoS, you’d end up with an aggregate MPE of 3.3.  You’ll only find three instances on the list above with a better return on your time investment.

So if you’re just there for loot, why are you shooting yourself in the foot, making the Dungeon Finder experience worse for others, and as some have suggested, exacerbating the problem by leaving a bunch of “just need a tank for Oculus” groups at the top of the DF queue?

Either you’re a mercenary or you’re not.  If you’re looking for specific loot, queue for specific dungeons you want.  If you’re in it for emblems, just suck it up and let the system work the way it was intended.  Your failure to perform simple division makes you look like even more of a fool than when you just ditched the group.

Ah, and note to self: Mondays still happen when you’re on vacation.  Post deadlines do too.  🙂

Until Next Time (when I hope to have something a bit more substantial for you instead of minor rants)

Update 5 Jan 2009: with the announced changes to Oculus, the instance is one of the lowest minute-to-emblem ratios around.  It’s sad that this change was required, and even sadder that people are saying they’ll still drop group when assigned to it.  Some people’s children….

Update 7 Jan 2009: Smells like wow.com’s been here.  Updated a few mistakes in the original post and added min/max emblem calculations

Update 7 Jan 2009: I’ve added a http://blog.cold-comfort.org/long-heroic-runs/ to help get better data on the time it takes to run each dungeon.

Update 9 Jan 2009: With 30 some-odd repsondents to the poll, my original estimates seem to agree  with our readers, save for Ahn’kehat, which was bumped up by 5 minutes for both full and minimal clears and Nexus, which came down from 25 to 20 minutes.

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