Adam has reminded us that the random dungeon finder is wrecking the social aspect of WoW, making the RealID system seem like something of a bandaid over cancer.
He doesn't quite for far enough. So let me just say this, the thing I said in my title: The Random Dungeon Finder Killed WoW and We're All Fucked.
It goes like this: Dungeon finder makes everyone think of other players as anonymous nothings about which* they don't care. Some people already thought this way, but dungeon finder made it mutual, so then other players aren't just anonymous nothings, they're also stupid, lazy, and so terrible at everything and life that we're morally justified in stealing from them.
That's part one, the part where it kills the social aspect. Let's get the gear aspect now.
An automated system is also faster. For a tank, it's instant, faster than I could even type "tank lfg any heroics" in trade channel. For a healer, it's a minute, maybe two, which is probably still faster than typing and waiting for responses, while digging through anal Thunderfury spam (does anyone else have TF spam on their server?). For DPS it might be slower, since a group could theoretically be formed in a few minute rather than 15, but on average they're not going to be faster.
Faster groups mean faster badges, meaning that unless Blizzard fully intends for us to be geared up in a couple hours, we probably need inflation. And thus we had inflation. To make it even worse, we're encouraged to do randoms through the bribe of two extra triumph, or even two frost for the first. This also does a nice job of emphasizing that heroics aren't for people who need gear that drops in heroics, an indirect "need 4k GS for Naxx" equivalent.
The spam of emblems and assholes leads to a non-community of closed shutters and locked doors and gearscore. As friends drift away and the random cross-server instances fail to produce new ones, the social ties of WoW will die. And then, well then Blizzard will add a privacy-wrecking 'social' tool to make us stick together even when we've stopped playing.
* That's right, not whom.
BB#59: A fleet commander's guide to bookmarks
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