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Why this game needs more Looking For Group support

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Flashpoints, Operations, and Heroic Missions
Why this game needs more Looking For Group support

Introvertus's Avatar


Introvertus
01.14.2012 , 07:59 PM | #1
The main reasons why this game needs more LFD support.

This post assumes the following:

You are a mid-end level player (30-50).
You are unguilded or in a small or unsociable guild.
You are trying to level or are interested in doing other things while waiting for a group
You are interested in dungeons and enjoy the social and gaming aspect of it.

it seems we have two distinct groups of people. Those who hate the idea of having anything that makes finding a group easier for whatever reason, and those who want to have an easier time finding groups. People in favour of a LFG tool are seen as ADHD WoW kids, and those who aren't are seen as... well... idiots frankly.

Before the haters start hating, we simply cannot deny that there are 2 major problems causes by not having a LFG tool.

Problem: There is no world chat channel other than trade. Spamming your LFG requests on Trade or PvP is both irritating and ridiculous, since this is not what their intended usage is.

Effect on players: Doing either of the above annoys players who are using those channels for their intended usage. Moreover, the only way to talk to people who are a similar level to you is in /general, and that only applies to the planet in question. Most of the people who are LFD are sat in Fleet, spamming general, which is not an enjoyable or a social activity. This creates the choice of questing, pvping or sitting in Fleet trying to find a group, since the latter cannot be done while doing either of the former. For players who wish to level and enjoy the story, getting a Flashpoint group can be a huge waste of time spent levelling - I myself outlevelled many flashpoints because it took far too long to get groups for them. In Rift, i did almost nothing but dungeons to level, and loved every minute of it.
In order to successfully find a group, you need to either spam general on what planet you are on and hope for the best or spam fleet and hope for the best. Alternatively, pming people the same level as you who have set their status as LFG.

Solution: implement global channels that target level ranges. 1 - 10, 11 - 20, 21 - 30 etc. You can have the option to turn off any channel you do not wish to see. Or, invent a LFG channel that is worldwide, similar to how Vanilla wow did. (No chuck norris jokes please).

if a LFD tool is not implemented, this is the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM that needs to be done as it would at least allow people who are roaming planets or doing PvP to look for groups. Not everyone wants to just sit in Fleet spamming chat.

Problem: In order to actually get a group, one must be very attentive to the general chat channel and reliant on pms in order to form a group. Otherwise, you need to be in the right guild, or just get very lucky upon logging in.

Effect on players: Often there are several people who want only one available spot. This means that DPS will inevitably spend hours and hours trying to find a group.

Solution: A LFG tool would do the mind numbingly boring job of placing you in a group whilst you level or quest or pvp or even do your homework, browse the forums or check out the lore of the game. You can enjoy the game without worrying about finding a group for a Heroic Quest or a dungeon because the LFG tool will do it for you. Staring at general chat or pming 30 people in a row to plead with them to join your group is annoying and painstaking.

4 major Reasons why a LFG tool is needed.

1. There is not enough class flexibility to not have one. Rift offers role changes and huge class variation. You could carry up to 5 roles which you could swap any time. Even WoW did a dual spec function. While I'm not suggesting that SWTOR do the same, finding a dungeon in Rift is easy even without a LFG tool because you can swap specs so 3/4 classes can all do the same role of tank/healer/support and ANY class can dps. In SWTOR, few people level in healing spec, and with no quick way of changing your spec (it requires a trip to a skill mentor, and an often costly fee) you have the radical outnumberment of healers/tanks:dps ratio. In SWTOR you have 3/8 classes who can heal or tank on your side. This is sufficiently ample, but, with no easy way for these classes swapping from their desired levelling spec, to a healing or tanking spec, it means there are far less available healers. It forces those who want to play these roles to level in that spec. Some (like me) are prepared to do that. Others are not.

2. The lack of a global LFG channel it hard enough to form a group manually. Coupled with the poor class flexibility, this is exaserbated tenfold.

3. Once a group is formed, if somebody disconnects or has to leave it can take hours to find a replacement. Companions can make up for a DPS loss, but a healer loss can mean the end of the group unless someone is prepared to leave the instance to respec or a replacement is quickly found, which requires stepping out of the dungeon into a populated area to go back to square 1, spamming chat for a group. Again we have a similar pattern emerging - all of which would be solved by a LFG tool.

4. This is more of a personal observation. For me, a LFG function is a standard expectation for most MMOs. I've played since WoW-Beta and I've seen evolution. WoW invented it years ago and Rift revolutionised it 8 months ago - anything less than what WoW provided is a serious step backwards. SWTOR feels like a huge step back in time because of its lack of several mandatory functions (LFG system, multi-role Class flexibility...) I believe that if it wasn't a Star Wars game and didnt have the Star Wars brand to sell it, the game would not be very enjoyable at all.

Suggested development

1. Begin by creating new channels, and implementing them in the next game update this will give a breath of fresh air to people who are looking for flashpoints. It will allow people to continue to look for groups manually from anywhere in the game, and allow them to keep at least one eye on the rest of the game, rather than forcing them to put everything else on hold to go to Fleet and find a group. Even the "we absolutely hate anything that will help players find a group" crowd and "anti LFG" people will still agree that LFG chat channels do not take away the social factor of looking for a group. You still have to take the time to spam a channel and wait for results; you can just quest or PvP while you are doing it, keeping one eye on the channel.

2. Implement a role-swap function that allows players to swap to at least one other role at any time. Maybe even allow players to purchase more role slots if they choose. You could keep one build for a certain aspect of PvP, one for a certain aspect of PvE, one for a another aspect of PvP or PvE. In typical classic wow style, people are confined to a single role due to respec inconvenience, as well as unnecessary costs. Implementing a role change function would take away the headache of having to leave the dungeon to change spec to accomodate a new group member found by asking in the world channel, and would see an overall increase in numbers of people who are willing to group up. The situation would be 2 thirds fixed this way.

3. Implement a working LFG system. Either my way, or the Bioware way. But some type of LFG tool is good, as long as it does 3 things:
- puts people in a group on a role basis with little to no effort on their part
- does not distract the player from other in game activities
- is usable anywhere in the game

4. Enjoy the results. The game has successfully cleared one huge hurdle, and far more people are doing dungeons due to the accessibility of them. People are less often turning up for HM flashpoints at level 50 with no idea how to play their class in a group, thanks to the essential, easily aquired practice that early flashpoints have given them.

- My design for a LFG system -

Neither of the first two changes would be necessary if this one is implemented. There would be little need for more global LFG channels because the system would do it for you, and less need to have flexible class variation if people were sure they'd only need to play 1 role. These functions would be nice, but unnecessary.

You queue in a similar way to you do for Warzones (which is essentially a LFG function - you don't spend hours and hours looking for a group to Warzones, do you? It should be the same principle for PvE). You select which instance you want to go to, which role(s) you are able to play and and you're put into a queue. The dungeon finder will filter people into a group and (maybe) offer a shuttle to the appropriate instance hub in the imperial fleet. The least it should do is group players. It doesnt need to be X-server, it just needs to match you with people in the same server.

If a player leaves mid-instance, the LFG tool will offer to find a replacement and that player will receive an invitation to join the group. This invitation will inform the player of the current progression status of the group before they join, and offer them the choice to accept or decline. If they decline, they'll be put to the back of the queue.

This system could also work for heroic quests and PvP premades. Some players may understandably prefer to organize these with a chat channel. I personally wouldn't really mind either way. The system may even have a random function that would essentially serve as a Daily flashpoint quest.

Final thoughts

People who are anti-LFG need to stop living in the past and accept that they do not ruin any aspect of the game. To simply say "you should be in a guild" is simply not acceptable. There should be more support for players who are not guilded. The game is very new, and good guilds are yet to be established on most servers.

A function that allows for more role flexibility (a multi-spec feature, for instance) and more global channels would make the LFG chore far more bearable, but they would be band aids at best. The real problem is the absense of a working LFG tool.

I have noticed a small decline in player numbers since launch. No longer am i queueing to get into my server. No longer am i frequently seeing "Very Heavy" or "Full" servers. It's mainly "heavy" or "standard" in peak times, and "standard" or "light" otherwise. i feel this is in many ways due to the extremely poor LFG support and this is an issue that Bioware MUST address now.

Question to all the haters - will you cancel your sub if it gets easier to find a group?
In The End, There Can Be Only One

JarrenBlake's Avatar


JarrenBlake
01.14.2012 , 08:05 PM | #2
Well the decline is due to BW setting new limits on the servers, so that servers do not go into Queing mode nearly as quickly. However as to the LFG tool, I do agree, its needed. Not sure why its not implemented and there are no social boons to not having it in game. Sitting in fleet waiting for groups for flashpoints is silly indeed.

annese's Avatar


annese
01.14.2012 , 08:16 PM | #3
just wait 1-2 months and they'll add it, pop will drop a lot by that time

Kelticfury's Avatar


Kelticfury
01.14.2012 , 08:23 PM | #4
Wall of text crit for 10k.

Here's why this game does not need more lfg support:

fps are mostly grouped in same location.
pugs can be picked up in few minutes by saying lfm and starting a group instead of saying lfg.
by the time you are ready for hard mode or higher content you are already in a guild.

Wow, I managed to do that without writing a effing book of misleading tripe to make a trivial issue seem like its the end of the world.

Darthneubauer's Avatar


Darthneubauer
01.14.2012 , 08:24 PM | #5
1. Create a Custom channel named Flashpoint
2. Advertise said channel in fleet/to friends/randoms u group with.
3. Group with randoms as much as you like
MisterTea

Introvertus's Avatar


Introvertus
01.14.2012 , 08:44 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Kelticfury View Post
Wall of text crit for 10k.

Here's why this game does not need more lfg support:

fps are mostly grouped in same location.
pugs can be picked up in few minutes by saying lfm and starting a group instead of saying lfg.
by the time you are ready for hard mode or higher content you are already in a guild.
And yet, even by your own admission, you still have to go to the "same location" as others who are spamming a channel. You have to make an effort to stop doing something fun (PvP or enjoying the story) and stand staring at chat channel for as little as a few minutes to a few hours. You're generalising by saying that LFM or LFG make any difference to your circumstance, and therefore your argument is moot - you still have to extract yourself from the game to find a group.

Yet again you make a generalising statement of being in a guild and focusing on hard mode. I am in a guild and don't have a problem doing hard mode. Players who are under 50 however, do have this problem, and this system would make grouping easier for them.

Quote:
Wow, I managed to do that without writing a effing book of misleading tripe to make a trivial issue seem like its the end of the world.
Another generalisation. It may in your opinion be "misleading tripe", but many other players would consider it valuable insight into the problem. I didn't say it was the "end of the world" - i just pointed out something that needs to be addressed.

Maybe you should write a book - or at least give a convincing argument backed up with evidence that isnt simply blind assertions

Quote: Originally Posted by Darthneubauer View Post
1. Create a Custom channel named Flashpoint
2. Advertise said channel in fleet/to friends/randoms u group with.
3. Group with randoms as much as you like
good idea, but this requires a lot of groundwork. My argument is that the game should provide this already.
In The End, There Can Be Only One

Kelticfury's Avatar


Kelticfury
01.14.2012 , 09:03 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Introvertus View Post
And yet, even by your own admission, you still have to go to the "same location" as others who are spamming a channel. You have to make an effort to stop doing something fun (PvP or enjoying the story) and stand staring at chat channel for as little as a few minutes to a few hours. You're generalising by saying that LFM or LFG make any difference to your circumstance, and therefore your argument is moot - you still have to extract yourself from the game to find a group.
Derp, you are already going to be there to do the mission in the first place, and it literally takes a few minutes, not forever, way to exagerate the situation, again trying to turn a nothing issue into something major. Do you even think about what you are posting or are you so convinced by your own faulty rhetoric that you think you actually have a leg to stand on?

Quote:
Yet again you make a generalising statement of being in a guild and focusing on hard mode. I am in a guild and don't have a problem doing hard mode. Players who are under 50 however, do have this problem, and this system would make grouping easier for them.
Nope, I plainly said when you are high enough level to do hardmodes you are already in a guild. So there goes your attempt at trying to change what i said to fit your theory.

Quote:
Another generalisation. It may in your opinion be "misleading tripe", but many other players would consider it valuable insight into the problem. I didn't say it was the "end of the world" - i just pointed out something that needs to be addressed.
Twisting words to suit your viewpoint (which i don't even understand, i guess you just must be a wow kid who can't be bothered to travel to the area a mission is at) does not make it a valuable insight. You don't need a world channel to lfg when all the fps are grouped together so nicely for convenience, I have no idea why you would even think that. It makes sense in a game like wow where everything is all over the place, but that isn't the case in this game.

Quote:
Maybe you should write a book - or at least give a convincing argument backed up with evidence that isnt simply blind assertions
Blind assertions? Everything I said was a reason why it wasn't needed. Seems like you think the more words you throw at a non issue, the more weight and seriousness it has.
Again, misleading tripe.

Falkelord's Avatar


Falkelord
01.14.2012 , 09:09 PM | #8
Maybe if you spent as much time writing walls of text on the forums about how much you think this game needs to be like every other game, and spent that time /whispering other people asking if they'd like to do Flashpoints, you'd have done several hundred of them by now.
http://mrlizard.com/rants/why-havent...ixed-this-bug/

Quote: Originally Posted by battlebug
can you make sword in box light sword so sword come out when opened? then if sword is back after sword, use light saber on box, and saber will be boxed after sword is out.

Falkelord's Avatar


Falkelord
01.14.2012 , 09:20 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Introvertus View Post
if a LFD tool is not implemented, this is the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM that needs to be done as it would at least allow people who are roaming planets or doing PvP to look for groups. Not everyone wants to just sit in Fleet spamming chat.
Have you not tried going to a planet you're leveling on and finding a group for that by /who and whispering? Probably not, by the looks of this post.

Quote: Originally Posted by Introvertus View Post
Effect on players: Often there are several people who want only one available spot. This means that DPS will inevitably spend hours and hours trying to find a group.
The only difference between having a LFG tool and NOT having a LFG tool is that instead of wasting your time being active and actually working to get a group to get your gear (i.e. doing hard work for a reward), you can instead use the LFG tool to sit around and do something else (like not play the game you're paying $15/a month for) and still get the same reward.

Point being, why would you pay $15 dollars a month to sit around and browse SWTOR forums or do your homework?


Quote: Originally Posted by Introvertus View Post
It forces those who want to play these roles to level in that spec. Some (like me) are prepared to do that. Others are not.
You want a cupcake game where you don't actually have to work hard to get things done? Maybe you should go back to WoW

Quote: Originally Posted by Introvertus View Post
3. Once a group is formed, if somebody disconnects or has to leave it can take hours to find a replacement.
Just no.

Quote: Originally Posted by Introvertus View Post
Companions can make up for a DPS loss, but a healer loss can mean the end of the group unless someone is prepared to leave the instance to respec or a replacement is quickly found, which requires stepping out of the dungeon into a populated area to go back to square 1, spamming chat for a group. Again we have a similar pattern emerging - all of which would be solved by a LFG tool.
Instead of waiting around the Fleet and actually being active in looking for a group member (and possibly doing this for 20+ minutes), you'd rather just sit there and let a tool do it for you (which, in case you didn't play WoW, could take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour).

Basically you just want this game to automate tasks you think are boring.

You obviously don't want to take the time to get the reward, why should you be entitled to it just because you know the risk associated with finding a group and doing a dungeon in the first place (even when you bought this game, if you're such an astute MMO player like you claim)

Quote: Originally Posted by Introvertus View Post
4. This is more of a personal observation. For me, a LFG function is a standard expectation for most MMOs.
Yeah WoW set that bar waaaaay waaaay back in..... oh wait December 2009. Less than 3 years ago. The only reason other games attempt it is because they're afraid to compete with the juggernaut (who does have it). Bioware has iron-clad balls, believing they don't need cheap gimmicks to get subs.

Quote: Originally Posted by Introvertus View Post
I've played since WoW-Beta and I've seen evolution. WoW invented it years ago and Rift revolutionised it 8 months ago - anything less than what WoW provided is a serious step backwards.
"If this game isn't more like WoW or Rift, it must be a bad game"

Gave up reading the wall of text at this point because it's so repetitive (all of your subsequent assumptions are based on previous assumptions you yourself have made), but SWTOR does have an LFG tool:

It's called "click the LFG option in the social window and put a comment, then actively search for people from the /who list to group with instead of spamming /1 with 'LFM Black Talon HM' and expecting people to care"
http://mrlizard.com/rants/why-havent...ixed-this-bug/

Quote: Originally Posted by battlebug
can you make sword in box light sword so sword come out when opened? then if sword is back after sword, use light saber on box, and saber will be boxed after sword is out.

mikech's Avatar


mikech
01.14.2012 , 09:21 PM | #10
Big Bump This. I'm sick of questing and even more sick of waiting around for a LFG to go out. WOW's LFG tool was the best thing Bliz did for the game.