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Feedback request from James Ohlen - Group Finder

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Feedback request from James Ohlen - Group Finder

View Poll Results: What part of a Group Finder feature is most important to you?
Forming a group for Operations 180 5.57%
Forming a group for Flashpoints 1,653 51.11%
Forming a group for Heroic Missions 273 8.44%
Forming a group for something else 39 1.21%
No preference/all of the above 1,089 33.67%
Voters: 3234. You may not vote on this poll

Scribby's Avatar

04.18.2012 , 06:51 PM | #101
In order of importance for me:
Flashpoints, Heroic Missions, Operations.

I personally don't really care if it's one server or cross server, beyond the fact that if it's cross server the queue times will most likely be lower.

Vithalor's Avatar

04.18.2012 , 07:15 PM | #102
I definitely think that having a Group Finder tool would make it much easier/faster to bring full groups together.
I beg of you to keep it limited to the server the character who is using it is on. Beg you. From the depths of my heart and soul and in the name of everything holy.

Cross server Group Finder tools are by and far horrible. You end up in groups with people who you are most likely never, ever going to be grouped up with again, and these people know it. They act like complete, cruel idiots, I've been cussed out up one side and down the other, had dozens of horrible experiences with the bad behaviour that this kind of cross server anonymity provides.

Community is a HUGE factor in games like SWTOR, Rift, WoW, Aion, etc... the moment you take community away, it ruins everything. And sadly, it's not the fault of the Group Finder, it's the fault of the players that take advantage of it and use it to purposely abuse other players.

If you DO make this Group Finder tool Cross server, I'd LOVE to see some kind of 'rating' system, so that if a particular player acts like a completely inappropriate screwball, the other players in the group will be able to give that player 'black marks' that will count against them in the future, that other players will either be able to see, (So they know at the get go if they're dealing with a polite human being, or a degenerate troll), or perhaps, will give players with a lot of black marks a longer queue time, etc.

Currently, Group Finder tools have no consequences, only perfect anonymity, allowing, and even encouraging players to treat other players badly. This needs to stop, and/or be kept to a minimum.

Aussiedroid's Avatar

04.18.2012 , 07:25 PM | #103
To add to the discussion, as well as the Ops, FPs, Heroics etc I would also like to have an option to help find groups for World Bosses, Leveling Questing and Datacrons/Other to allow you to specify what you want to group for. World events could also be added in a dynamic list as they occur and Faction warfare could also be included for World PVP. Social point farming is another thing that would be good to have along with Codex aquisition grouping... such as going on a Beast hunt.

In the group finder you should be able to nominate yourself as leader and when players are found a group could be formed. Each player would get a pop-up window like a Warzone that requests them to join the group with countdown. It would be good to have an option you can select to auto-join when group is selected if you dont want the popup.

I would also like to see if anyone I am grouping with I have grouped with before (perhaps how many times and what instances etc) and also like to know that people on my ignore list will not be able to group with me in such a system.

When a group is formed it would also be benfitial to port you to a common location close to your OP, FP etc so that everyone can get together asap and start the run.

Please also keep it server based .. so no cross-server groups.

I would also like to see some sort of rating system for players, where at the end of each run you can recommend players who are sociable / fun to play with. To avoid abuse it should not allow negative comments rather just promotions. This information could also be used to help create the groups .. ie those with higer ratings get in groups together etc. This could also be extended to guilds, where the cumulative comments give the guild a rating.

When LFG flag is on I would also like to be able to mouse over the player and see what they want to group for, rather than having to go into the window to check the comments. This would save time and encourage grouping.

I would like to be able to 'hedge my bets' when choosing groups. By that I mean to be able to choose multiple types of groups at once. I picture a number of tick boxes you can choose to drill down to specific FPs, or to choose all heroic FPs for example plus being able to queue for an OP or other group at the same time. If we can only choose OPs or FPs for example I fear that most will not queue for OPs as it would pop less often and they would miss out potentially on a FP group.

Thanks for reading.
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OrphanOfDarkness's Avatar

04.18.2012 , 07:31 PM | #104
All of the above. Flashpoints are one thing but being able to find people for Operations is the most important. Not being able to replace people or even find people at all for Operations hurts the guild community ALOT. There needs to be tools that allow players to find other players for every aspect of this game, be it PVP / Quests / Flashpoints or Operations or the game will suffer as a whole. Why this didnt make it in to the release or a previous patch is truly staggering from a player stand point. This is the 2012 MMO market Bioware, please step it up.
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Deewe's Avatar

04.18.2012 , 07:35 PM | #105
Quote: Originally Posted by StephenReid View Post
All of the above.

Now there's something that's worring me in your question. You're asking

Quote: Originally Posted by StephenReid View Post
What part of a Group Finder feature is most important to you?
The type of group is not really a major part of the group finding feature but a subset. If all features topping the type of group we are looking for aren't there, the system will be useless. Also whatever the type of content a players is looking to group for, (s)he pretty much needs all the same tools and information.
Finally what I'm afraid of is you might forget not all LFG/LFM requests are to do Operations/Flashpoints or Heroic Missions but also: PVP, class quests down to specific solo content or even RP. If that's so a, for example, cross server tool, won't even fulfill these needs as you can't group with cross server players to do non instanced content.

That being said here's a few things you might want to consider, while brainstorming on your grouping tool
  1. Whatever you do a grouping tool will never ever fix the empty servers. You might want to address this issue first.
  2. A grouping tool won't either help faction imbalance that much, especially regarding PvP.
  3. Your reference as grouping tool isn't WoW nor even Rift but DDO.
  4. Whatever good is your tool, leave a players note comment field, because your system won't fill all the players needs

Let's dig a bit more deeper:
- If you ever implement a cross server grouping tool, make sure to make the cross server feature optional. You don't want to make you players mad at you obliging them to group with players in another shard. You need to leave the choice in the players hands.

- You want to make sure players won't ever group with others that have characters on their ignore list. You don't want to ruin a whole group experience because of 2 players. Meaning you might want to have a /ignore character = ignore account feature.

- It would be handy to implement a rating system, however that could become tricky. Still it would help identifying rotten apples from ninja looters to griefers that can make others experience less than fun.

- Before even implementing a grouping tool you can improve grouping in allowing players to [sift?] + click on a quest to parse the following in the chat panel advertising for LFG/LFM:
..[Quest level] [Planet / Zone] Quest name.

Not every player is aware of what things like LFM BT means, even less if he's of the right level, eligible or where it starts. That would help solving this issue.

You can top the above letting player clicking on the chat link, having a the quest popup giving them all the details and even, if he's eligible click on a submit group invite button that would popup an optional send message to player along the invite request.

- The default option you need are not only specify a player role (Tank-DPS-Healer), the instance(s) but also you want to have players be able to select any quests (more than one, even solo ones) they want to group for.

- Then looking at DDO you'll want to copy their system letting players to LFM with class and level filters. Doing so you would allow other players to browse through the open LFM groups seeing not only the open slots but being able to check the group composition with player names, roles and group notes like: XP run, First time/slow paced, RP event...

- Now as you want to make you system even better than what has been done in any other MMO: allow players to browse/match players with the same quest(s).
  • A player select a few/all quest he want to group for.
  • This player goes through an UI letting him/her browsing through other players that advertised willing to group for the selected quest(s).
  • At this point the UI needs filters and sorting options + players notes
  • Players should be able to select one or more quests and send a grouping request to the selected player.
  • To make sure player style of game play is respected you want to make sure LFG player can check a send tell first option to avoid blind invites. This would pop up a message box requiring the asking player to write down a message to the player.

Another feature mission in all other MMO is being able to be logged on a character and LFG for an alt. It might sound silly but being logged on a character just waiting for a slot to be open isn't that fun.
Now the tricky part is even going further letting this player being grouped while queuing with an alt. Thing is the player will only be allowed to keep his queue if and only if all players he's grouped with agrees on him to do so. Meaning it has to be managed through a alt queue check UI.

Finally in case of cross server content you might want to top it with 2 features:
  • Cross server friend lists
  • Cross server tells.
This because you can build communities cross servers.

Hopefully this draft will shed some light on the grouping tools.
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TRMZ's Avatar

04.18.2012 , 08:02 PM | #106
Cross-server is most important for the Group Finder for the following reasons

1. Reasonable queue times to find a group. This is very important for people with time constraints, and at the least convenient for all.

2. Allows lower level characters to run level appropriate group content. The group finder alone will not help here, especially as the game matures. There will not be enough players online at lower levels or lower gear levels at max level on one server.

Kynesis's Avatar

04.18.2012 , 08:09 PM | #108
Living in your own little world, James... I appreciate that building a group finder that actually achieves all of its goals, works reliably and sustainably for millions of people churning through it 24/7 is a major challenge, I greatly appreciate BW pursuing it.

Zone populations are absolutely tiny, even at peak hour (right now)- I've got my warrior on Ilum right now with a total population of 2 people, the rest of the pug I'm with are on the Fleet searching in vain for a healer (population ~100).
It's been over 20mins and we've not had a single bite of any kind, it's like this all the time.
Despite having FOUR level 50 characters, I've started, let-alone finished in all that time, maybe ten group quests while levelling. They're a huge part of the experience, have great loot and are great fun... but they take forever to form when they can be formed (again, population) but 90% of the time simply have to be skipped because there's just no viable way to even start them.

My server and many others, for whatever reasons, simply don't have the population either on individual worlds, zones, level ranges or per server to get groups, even with the most amazingly awesome group finder ever devised.

I totally understand that adding cross-server features is a big challenge but ultimately, if we can't play the game it's useless.

PS: very nice changes to the website!

Saviorcy's Avatar

04.18.2012 , 08:41 PM | #109
The finder should be able to find a group for pretty much everything except operations. You need a tear of content for the hardcore and guilds so there is meaning in getting so many together. And if it isn't in the works currently and available for initial start but cross servers is a must. With populations so spread out and in no way balanced per server non peek hours can just be dead. SWTOR has brought so many new players to MMO's because of the star wars universe. Many may be casual so to offer them ease of access to content would possibly keep them coming back and resubbing. You want the story to be experienced and that is what hooks the player. So start working on cross server now and you will be good. Can't wait for this.

What we do in life echoes in the force.

Aiysis's Avatar

04.18.2012 , 08:53 PM | #110
I voted for Flashpoints but would have voted for "All of the Above" if it was an available option. The poll did not ask about single server vs. cross-server but that is a very important issue as well. I feel very strongly that any LFG tool should be cross-server.