's time to let mob tagging go.

#1 - July 26, 2014, 1:50 a.m.
Blizzard Post
*slides up a chair and sits beside Blizzard, giving them a concerned look.*

Blizzard...look. I know you're used to the way things have been done in the past but...

*rests the palm of her hand on the top of Blizzard's knuckle*'s time to let it go. It was different when there were fewer of us but mob tagging just seems. I don't know. *turns away* It's really hurting our relationship.


RP joking aside - it is time for the archaic system of mob tapping/tagging to be put to rest entirely. This game has made great strides with removing the tagging for named and quest mobs, but why can that not be extended to ALL quest mobs? At the very least for the first couple months of an expansion.

We have gone through all previous expansion launches with the initial "expansion rush." Everyone logs in and scrambles to complete quests, so mob areas become a warzone. Everyone is racing for the tag so they can finish their quest and move to the next hub - hopefully away from everyone else. How does that encourage community? I'll tell you something - it doesn't. It just encourages mob sniping, rudeness, and competition.

The worst is when you see the people with easy AoE tap moves lay down their AoE and collect 5-6 mobs while everyone else just waits in the respawn line for more. It creates chokehold areas of the questing experience and is just overall unpleasant. People can party up, for sure, but do they? Would they? Most likely not, in my experience, unless it's a boss mob.

There are several examples of areas where this is problematic just in SMV and frostfire alone. If I walk up to an area and see 10-15 people there trying to tag mobs, I groan to myself because I know it's going to be a pain in the rear to get the quests there done. It's hard to focus on the coolness of the story and the beauty of the surroundings when I'm inwardly swearing at the DK dropping death and decay to gather up all the mobs at their spawn points.

This is a system that has been in place since earlier MMOs. (Oddly enough, it didn't exist in most MUDs I played.) I'm guessing because earlier MMOs had significantly less people playing and competing to get quests done. As the scope of MMOs has evolved, so too have the mechanics. This is one mechanic that needs to go the way of the dodo.

WoW has removed tapping for elites, bosses, and some of the named quest mobs which is progress. At this point, just extend it across the board. Please. I think it would do this expansion, and all future expansions, a world of good. It would certainly make the questing experience more enjoyable. If dailies are going to be a thing at cap, I imagine it will make the grind from those less painful as well. Same with more timeless isle style areas.

I'm open to hearing reasons as to why other people think mob tagging should stay, but after 10 years of playing this game I am just so tired of this mechanic. Every time an expansion launches I end up logging in and pushing myself through the first few levels in a hazy rush to try and beat everyone else to quieter leveling areas. And rushing through brand new content just to avoid chokeholds seems ridiculous! The other option is to just run with the bulls and compete, or wait a few weeks after an expansion launch til things settle down. None of those seem fun. Not when there's one very simple solution that could solve most of the issues.

It would also be nice to see groups of people and think, "Woohoo! More people around!" Instead of, "Oh God, more people to compete with."
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#1 - July 29, 2014, 6:43 p.m.
Blizzard Post
Please see source post at for detail.
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Game Designer
#138 - July 28, 2014, 8:27 p.m.
Blizzard Post
There's no question that when spawning or quest objectives are not handled properly on our side, the tap system can create negative and anti-social experiences, wherein seeing players of your own faction nearby becomes a nuisance. We very much want to limit and rectify those situations. The most helpful thing you can do in that regard during beta is to bring to our attention specific quests or areas in which you felt competition for spawns was overly detrimental to your experience. We have a number of ways of fixing those problems, ranging from simply adding additional spawns, to dynamic spawn thresholds that ramp up density as player density increases, to making specific targets open tap.

The main reason we don't embrace a fully open-tap world is that we feel that those mechanics are asocial. To be fair, that is certainly better than antisocial - no question there, and antisocial experiences usually reflect spawning and mechanics that we need to adjust. However, while a world in which everyone runs around damaging things a few times (or however much is needed to qualify for credit) may be one in which you don't feel bad about other players being around, at some point it also makes those players nearly indistinguishable from NPCs or bots with decent AI. You don't need to talk, or ask if someone has room in their group or would like to join yours. You just attack a few times, and then move on.

On the other hand, mob tagging rules inherently reward and encourage social gameplay. Even in solo areas like daily quest hubs in Mists, we'd commonly see transient pickup groups form for the sake of efficiency, and stick together through that hub or maybe even another ("hey, anyone up for Klaxxi after this?"). But once again, it's incumbent upon us to make sure that we avoid situations where that is outweighed by negatives like competing for underspawned quest targets or objects.

Philosophically, for a while now, we've made sure that any time multiple players are sent to kill a single specific target that has a respawn timer (be it named quest boss, world boss, or an event like the Battlefield: Barrens commanders in patch 5.3), the mob is open to credit for all. We're certainly open to extending that treatment where it makes sense, and where it serves to improve the overall experience. But I wouldn't expect a wholesale overhaul of our tap mechanics in the near future.