So the new cross-server LFG tool is up on the PTRs, and it seems Blizzard finally figured out why they couldn't seem to force everyone to use the interface to put together random groups before: Blizzard was failing to pay them off.
So in the new patch, you'll get 2 Frost Emblems (used to get tier 10 gear, think Triumph Emblems right now) and a nice chunk of cash for doing one random dungeon with a PuG assembled by the automatic random LFG tool every day.
And if any of you raid, you'll be groaning because they just added another heroic dungeon you have to do every single day just to keep up on your raid gear. On top of going back to having to do the daily heroic every day. And the difficulty of the heroics aren't going up, so enjoy your daily trip to Faceroll City. Oh, sorry now it's TWO daily trips!
[UPDATE: The following paragraph is inaccurate, as per this quote from the Twitter developer Q&A:
Q: May I create a group with 4 friends and then use the LFG interface to gain the random dungeon reward?
A: Yes. In fact, you can join it with a full group of 5 and still get the random dungeon reward. The reward is for doing a random dungeon, not necessarily for having random members. ]
Though the emblem reward is constant, the monetary reward scales based on how much of your group is premade when you join the LFG queu. So the way to do this if you are a raider is get a group of 4 guildies, and randomize the last guy. This is going to be AWESOME for casuals and undergeared alts who solo-queu, as they constantly get matched with full 4-man groups in tier 10 and get a free ride through the instance (not that every solo-queur is bad, I'm just pointing out who is going to benefit most here). So basically, Blizzard is subsidizing the act of carrying people through an instance; it's Welfare Heroics (because they clearly weren't easy enough yet!!). Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, if I didn't feel pressured to log in every day to keep up on my raid gear, hearkening back to the old days of 2 hours of herb farming for every 1 hour of raiding (back when you could stack every elixir buff at once).
And the best part? Let me quote wow.com's coverage of the random LFG tool:
"After everyone is ready, you are teleported directly into the instance it has randomly selected."
Too bad that "randomly selected" instance is always-
-going to be effing Oculus.
Update (from comments): Just to put it into perspective, here is the fastest way to gear up in all of the emblem stuff from tier 9:
It took nearly two months of dailies every day, along with weekly clears of ToC, to get everything I needed, and that's actually reduced from what I would have needed because my tier chestpiece wasn't good so I made the crafted one instead, and the badge trinket wasn't good for me either.
Full tier = 210 emblems
In the first 5 weeks, since they unlocked the bosses one at a time (and in Icecrown I doubt we'll be full-clearing the place week 1, so the effect should be the same) you could get a total of 45 emblems. Not even enough for one of the bigger tier pieces. In that same time, you could get 70 emblems from the heroic daily if you did it every single day.
That puts you just over 1/3 of the way to fully geared. If you do the heroic daily religiously, every day, for 5 weeks.
If after that you full-clear toc every week and do the daily heroic every day, it would take another SEVEN WEEKS to buy every upgrade available. That's *13 weeks* total of never missing a *SINGLE DAY* of daily heroics. "Casual-friendly" my ass.
And this is without even considering the tank gear I should now start building if I really want to optimize our progression potential!
It takes a long time to gather the emblems you need to get the best gear you can to help your guild progress. I only stopped doing the daily heroic every day a few weeks ago, and I only have enough emblems on my main to buy 1 tier 245 piece once we clear toc 10 hard for the tribute chest (focused on Yogg hard atm). Because I'm *still* not done with emblems, even 2 months later.
Sure, no one is "forcing" me to do this. But I want to be the absolute best-geared I can be to help myself and my friends succeed. And because of the grindy dailies, I have to faceroll through a heroic every single day in order to do that. I fail to see the difference between this and herb grinding back in vanilla. Sure, you didn't have to make all those elixirs, but if you didn't, you weren't going to succeed nearly as much in the raid dungeons. They changed that elixir stuff for a reason. And now they're bringing it right back, only with an extra dose of welfare on top.
UPDATE 10/23: According to Twitter WoW dev Q&A:
Q: With T10, are we going to see tokens like in Ulduar? or like CC? CC style had every class and spec rolling on same thing.So tier 10 is another badge farm, with no alternative to get the tier pieces from drops in the 10-man. And in fact, even the 25-man raiders have to badge farm, since they can't use their tier tokens unless they already bought the base tier 10 piece with badges!
A: With t10 we're going to see a hybrid. The tier 10 items (the ones with item levels you'd find in the 10-player raid) will be purchased with Emblems of Frost.
The tier 10.5 items (the ones with item levels you'd find in the 25-player raid) will be obtained by getting a token (one that is specific to 3 or 4 classes, much like the ulduar tokens) and using it to upgrade the tier 10 item that was purchased with emblems of frost.