I suppose this post makes me an official blogger. Blizzard post something, and the blog-o-sphere reacts, including me. If you haven’t read the details you can read it on MMO Champion.
First let me just say, I like this concept but not because I think it will make a huge difference in queue times, but because I like the psychological aspect of this change. Biggest gaping hole in this is the location of the notification. Tanks aren’t queuing, but they’re going to put the notification in the LFG window? That would seem to me that they think thanks are thinking about queuing and then not. Really they should be popping this up like they do for automatic quests. Get the bell ringing for Pavlov’s dogs the right way.
Now onto the heart of the matter. Lowering the barrier to entry for tanks. You want to know why Blizzard hasn’t done anything to reduce the barrier to entry for tanks? Because the responsibility isn’t the factor. If it was responsibility alone, they could easily retool things to share responsibility between group members. I’d argue they have actually done a bit of that already. Now that different people are CCing and the healers job is a little less mindless, there is more responsibility on the other roles to play their parts well.
You want to know the real barrier to entry for tanks? You. Me. Everyone in the community. Have you ever rushed a tank to go through an instance faster than the tank wanted to? You just made that tank think twice about queuing again. Want to be the guy who pulls for the tank? You just made your tank switch to a DPS role permanently. Blizzard can’t code around the abysmal behavior by the WoW community since the inception of the LFG tool. I can attest to it, I’ve been a part of it, on both sides.
All Blizzard is doing is trying to offset the perceived risk for tanks. A tank who queues has to put themselves out for ridicule and aggravation every time they do so. Blizzard is hoping that pets and mounts can be a big enough perceived reward for players to accept that risk.
Want to lower the barrier to entry for tanks? Then lighten up inside your random groups.
Final part, you really want to incentive tanks? Forget the pets and mounts, let a tank who queues alone during a Call to Arms vote kick at will. They don’t get the rewards if they don’t finish, and they can push the morons who make LFG so bad back into the queue themselves.