The Dungeon Finder and Required iLvl Woes

A hot subject around the forums today regards players who “game” the Dungeon Finder’s iLvl requirements system by keeping high level gear in their bags in order to meet the requirements. This means that a tank who may be undergeared for the Heroic tier content can queue up and will be placed in a dungeon even if he does not actually have appropriate level gear for tanking, and may just have a bunch of plate with Intellect in his bags.

Many tanks, healers and DPS are gaming this system in order to get into dungeons – and for some, it works out and they are still able to contribute to the group appropriately. Unfortunately, this sort of situation can also negatively affect the party’s potential outcome. Today, Blizzard poster Wryxian addressed a user who posted concern and misunderstanding of why he was suddenly unable to run certain dungeons after clearing some PVP gear out of his bags.

Check out the flood of blue posts after the break!


Wryxian said:
If you feel you were performing fine in heroics but no longer have the required gear level to queue for a random LFD, maybe try the old fashioned method of creating a dungeon group yourself. Group up with some of your friends and guildmates instead, and then just walk right into the dungeon entrance rather than using the LFD. You might only need to do this a few times till you get your gear level up high enough to use the LFD again.

Alternatively you could recreate the situation you had before, and just keep some higher item level gear in your bags or bank so you can use the LFD tool again. Yeah, it feels kinda sneaky, but if you’re confident that your performance is fine and you know your health is high enough to take heroic damage, then this might work for you. The gear item level check for the LFD is very simple, and it’s also simple to circumvent. Yes we could make it more complicated, but at the moment we’re fine with how it’s working. We’re not currently very concerned that some circumvention is possible, because this can be useful in some cases.

Sure, I can see you’re also a bit frustrated that you need to get your item level up to be able to get back into LFD heroics again, but that’s part of the way gearing up goes. If you’re not happy using the alternatives of keeping gear in your bags or walking directly into the dungeon entrance, then gearing up through the traditional method is the way to go.

Of course, after reading this post, many players became enraged, believing that Blizzard was promoting the idea of “gaming” the Dungeon Finder in order to get into dungeons that they would otherwise not qualify for entry of by carrying around high item level gear simply to boost their average. Nethaera steps in to offer further clarification:

Nethaera said:
I have no idea if you’re taking what he said out of context, since it’s been stripped down to a bare quote, but I’m sure his intentions were not meant as you seem to think. Perhaps he was talking about someone who was trying to run a Heroic dungeon with better geared guildies. I couldn’t say for sure without heading over to do more reading. Aside from that, I’ll give you our insight based on discussions we’ve had on this end of the big drink.

From our discussions here, and while people can “game” the gear item level, we definitely want to encourage people to be careful in “gaming” the system. While you can do it, it may result in your being unhappy with the end result because you didn’t really have the gear necessary to accomplish what you needed to do in a dungeon. The choice is ultimately yours.

In the “Wow, Dungeons are Hard!” blog post by Ghostcrawler ( ) he mentions the idea of item level and what we think we should have done better in general with item level and the progression to get to Heroics.

First, item level is a necessary — but not sufficient — hoop to jump through when using the Dungeon Finder for Heroics. We should have also made sure players had at least seen the content on normal mode before. Maybe we should have had Burning Crusade-like attunements. Maybe we should have made the item level requirements pretty relaxed if you’re going with a premade group and much stricter if you’re going with a pick-up group. We’d love to implement (and have some long-term plans that include) better ways to detect if you know what you’re doing other than just the gear you’ve accumulated. Overall, we just needed to state more clearly that Heroic dungeons are intended as a destination, not a first step.
We have more thoughts on this and hopefully we’ll find some better and more logical solutions so that people don’t feel the need to game the system to get their foot in the door.

I’ve been doing some juggling this morning and if you read on, I explain a bit more of our thinking in regard to ilevel and gear outside of what Wryxian may have said. I know him well and am sure his intentions were not to encourage gaming the system for the sake of gaming the system.

I’m not trying to shirk anything off, and can appreciate the confusion his statement may have caused, but I can assure you, we’re not trying to encourage anything, just pointing out that currently, people can do this. Do we like it the way it is? Not really. We’d like to improve on the system. We know we have very clever community members who will often find some new thing we didn’t see in a test or think of ourselves. We’re a bit outnumbered you know. 😉 But, we try and we try to find ways to correct issues that should be corrected as quickly and as well as we possibly can without sacrificing the ongoing and future health of the tame.

Wryxian then offers further clarification on his statements himself, pointing out that his advice does not condone gaming the system for the sake of gaming the system.

Wryxian said:
So if there’s an Swedish 12 year old, imature, NINJA Paladin who have “needed” (stolen) all cloth gears from healers, dps, ALL cloth carriers and THEN get into a HC, without the right experience, and the atitude to be in a HC. And then that little Kid will/can ruin for thousands of good, serious players who want to discover the content in the raids Blizzard have given us. Please fix this “bug”.

If someone circumvents the gear level check to get into an LFD heroic but is actually unable to perform as needed — perhaps due to being completely inappropriately geared or inexperienced as in your example, then groups are still able to vote kick that player out if need be.

The problem with this method is that he will just underperform the next time he is in a dungeon group. And that means the next group have to vote kick this player to. And so it continues.

The trouble with the example is it’s quite extreme. The description paints a player who seems to be going out of his way to cause issues for others. Most cases of people circumventing the gear check are doing it for only a few items and only when they’re certain they can perform.

Also, you can’t queue for random dungeons still, even if you make your own group and travel to the instance yourself. Most players want to do that random for the extra benefits.

True, making your own full group and entering the dungeon entrance directly does mean you miss out on the daily dose of Valor Points. But you’ll still get the chance of gear drops from bosses and Justice Points to help upgrade your gear, and in time you can replace any non-ideal gear you’ve either equipped… or not.

I cheated myself into heroics, but I still think it’s a poor implementation of ilvl to have gear in bags/bank count towards your avg score.
Funnily enough, much like the original poster, my first visit to LFD heroics was because I unwittingly had some tailoring crafted PvP gear in my bags still, from leveling tailoring. I was surprised the next day after disenchanting that I was no longer able to queue, but I soon figured out what it was.

Thing is, if we really wanted it to be a harsher gear check or a more complicated system, we’d change how it is and implement another.

It is a totally retarded system Wryxian. What is the point in an Ilvl cap if it doesn’t do it’s job properly. Either remove it or fix it.
While you’re of course entitled to your own opinion, the system does clearly show what kind of gear level we’re expecting people to have before entering an heroic. If for any reason someone doesn’t have that gear level, and their skill or the skill and gear of their group members can’t make up for their lack of gear level, then they might encounter issues in the dungeons.

Wryxian said:
Thanks for the feedback, folks. If you did take a moment to check out Ghostcrawler’s latest blog, you’ll see we’ve already thought of some other ways we could possibly alter the gear check to make it smarter or to require you to do the normal version first, for example.

We’re well aware that the gear level check can be and is circumvented both unwittingly and in a somewhat more sneaky way. While we don’t outright advocate doing this, until such time as we change it to be less easy to dodge it, it’s still something that is possible to do.

As I first suggested, the the best way to enter an heroic if you don’t have all the gear necessary but you do have the skill and ability, is to join up with friends and guildmates and enter the heroic directly through the dungeon entrance.

What do you guys think?

  • Should Blizzard make a change to the way the current iLvl average is generated?
  • Should the Dungeon Finder ignore gear in your bags altogether?
  • Would bringing back attunements work?

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