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My problem with group finder and how to fix it.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
My problem with group finder and how to fix it.

Machine-Elf's Avatar


Machine-Elf
04.22.2013 , 02:09 PM | #1
So Group Finder was one of the most widely hailed features to be implemented in the game when it finally rolled out.
The problem is, it's left the game somewhat broken for new players who try to enjoy its story as intended.

Why? Because it explicitly rewards players for skipping the story introductions to the flashpoints in question -- those introductory cutscenes in which each faction's leader (Satele Shan/Darth Malgus) would set up their premise, and provide the narrative impetus for players to want to run them in the first place. So yeah, the group-finder, the way it's set up now, basically hurls players into these scenarios without so much as a clue as to the what they're doing there, how they got there, and why they should care.

This is especially galling coming from a developer that prides itself on having story as its fourth-pillar.

So my suggestion is to make it so the only way players can unlock flashpoints in group finder is by running them the traditional way at least once per character. In other words, finding a group via general chat, then going down to the holoterminals in the fleets' lower decks to get the respective FP sit-reps from the faction leaders, the way we used to. And the great thing is, not only would this fix the aforementioned problems, players would also get the added benefit of racking up on the social points which are awarded for going about things in this manner.

Quote: Originally Posted by MillionsKNives View Post
D7 and the flashpoints dealing with Revan (and possibly others) used to require you to do prerequisite quests before being able to enter the instance. This created a lot of problems with making sure everyone was on the correct track and had everything they needed. The prerequisites were removed, and for good reason. Those were even the good stories for flashpoints, not the filler stories of flashpoints like Hammer Station. It made forming groups a pain and were just unnecessary.

Everything you described above details the kind of experience I personally would rather have with SWTOR, being a stickler for story myself. I wish they would re-integrate those pre-requisites for running Flashpoints into the game, possibly in the form of an optional toggle for players who wish to experience the game's content in continuity.

Quote: Originally Posted by MillionsKNives View Post
If people want to know the story the quests are still there. And with the advent of the group finder how are those players going to even find a group to do their initial run if everyone else is in group finder. That's like trying to make it a law that virgins can only have sex with virgins. Great, but where are we going to find enough virgins.

You're missing the point, I think. Yes, the story quests are still there to be run in the traditional manner if one so chooses, but the issue is that if you're a new player there is no way for you to even know of this choice unless informed of such by, say, a veteran of the game with an odd-ball penchant for running Flashpoints in the traditional manner (in other words, me).

How could you? I mean, the game not only currently introduces Flashpoints via group finder, it even goes out of its way to incentivize the player to run them through it by offering commendations as rewards.

And I think your last concern about these players not finding a group to do their initial run because everyone else is on group-finder is misplaced, as a perfunctory glance of general chat will attest.

Alec_Fortescue's Avatar


Alec_Fortescue
04.22.2013 , 02:16 PM | #2
Nawh, you seem to be forcing players into extra effort. Not cool. They can always do it in the traditional way to get extra xp and background on the story! It gets boring when you do it on your 2nd character on that faction.

I loved doing it the traditional way on the start, first two weeks in TOR were magical. However it would be an effort now...

Just like in real life - I recently got a car and I can't imagine taking a walk down the village to the store. :P
*Best Dressed Jedi of 2014* http://mmo-fashion.com/tor-fashion-contest-results/

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=720547 - Cool compilation of Jedi outfits worn by NPCs.

http://www.swtor.com/community/showt...=788459&page=2 - Bioware, please let us know if we're ever going to see iconic Jedi robes in the game... Or why not?

Machine-Elf's Avatar


Machine-Elf
04.22.2013 , 02:26 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Alec_Fortescue View Post
Nawh, you seem to be forcing players into extra effort. Not cool. They can always do it in the traditional way to get extra xp and background on the story! It gets boring when you do it on your 2nd character on that faction.

I loved doing it the traditional way on the start, first two weeks in TOR were magical. However it would be an effort now...

Just like in real life - I recently got a car and I can't imagine taking a walk down the village to the store. :P
Come on, it's just the one time per character. How much of an effort is that, really?

Remember you're coming at this from the perspective of someone who already ran them the traditional way multiple times. You know their story inside and out.

The same joy you took from doing it the traditional way before the advent of group finder should not be curtailed for new players.

Alec_Fortescue's Avatar


Alec_Fortescue
04.22.2013 , 02:35 PM | #4
They can always do it on their own. there are plenty of quest givers around the fleet!

Choice is GOOD.

That's how I did Revan quest chains with my alts. Watched convos and then queued up. The other ones I wasn't interested in anymore. Mind you, it's those time sinks which are turning players away from TOR.
*Best Dressed Jedi of 2014* http://mmo-fashion.com/tor-fashion-contest-results/

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=720547 - Cool compilation of Jedi outfits worn by NPCs.

http://www.swtor.com/community/showt...=788459&page=2 - Bioware, please let us know if we're ever going to see iconic Jedi robes in the game... Or why not?

DarthTHC's Avatar


DarthTHC
04.22.2013 , 02:39 PM | #5
Really? That's your problem with group finder?

Mine are:
  • DPS that queue as tanks
  • DPS that queue as healers
  • Too many people queueing while under-geared for the content
  • Too many people queueing that haven't the first clue about how to be successful or behave in a group

There are good technical solutions for the first 3:
  • Put in a spec check that only lets people queue for a role if they have enough points in the skill tree for that role at their current level. Level 50+ = topmost skill in the desired role's tree. Less than level 50 = something less.
  • Put in a gear check that compares the person's internal gear level with the recommended gear level for the instance. They're publishing recommended gear levels now and it's obviously data available on the gear itself. Math isn't hard.
  • Put in another gear check that ensures gear is statted right for the role - incorrect stats could mean you don't get to queue (Defense on Cunning gear, anyone?)

Might even be able to help with part of the last one too:
  • Change the loot roll interface to have buttons for Need, Companion, Greed, and Disassemble:
  • Need means it binds on pickup (but can be traded to others in the same group for 1 hour) and you can only equip it on your character; not on a companion. It also renders the cash sale value of the item to 0 credits. Button is only available if it's appropriate gear for your class and the role you entered the instance as.
  • Companion means it binds on pickup (but can be traded as above) and you can equip it on yourself or any pet. Button is only available if you have a companion for which the gear is appropriate.
  • Greed and Disassemble work as they do now.
  • Priority is Need > Companion > (Greed = Disassemble)

MillionsKNives's Avatar


MillionsKNives
04.22.2013 , 02:40 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Machine-Elf View Post
Come on, it's just the one time per character. How much of an effort is that, really?

Remember you're coming at this from the perspective of someone who already ran them the traditional way multiple times. You know their story inside and out.

The same joy you took from doing it the traditional way before the advent of group finder should not be curtailed for new players.
D7 and the flashpoints dealing with Revan (and possibly others) used to require you to do prerequisite quests before being able to enter the instance. This created a lot of problems with making sure everyone was on the correct track and had everything they needed. The prerequisites were removed, and for good reason. Those were even the good stories for flashpoints, not the filler stories of flashpoints like Hammer Station. It made forming groups a pain and were just unnecessary. If people want to know the story the quests are still there.

And with the advent of the group finder how are those players going to even find a group to do their initial run if everyone else is in group finder. That's like trying to make it a law that virgins can only have sex with virgins. Great, but where are we going to find enough virgins.

Machine-Elf's Avatar


Machine-Elf
04.22.2013 , 03:06 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by MillionsKNives View Post
D7 and the flashpoints dealing with Revan (and possibly others) used to require you to do prerequisite quests before being able to enter the instance. This created a lot of problems with making sure everyone was on the correct track and had everything they needed. The prerequisites were removed, and for good reason. Those were even the good stories for flashpoints, not the filler stories of flashpoints like Hammer Station. It made forming groups a pain and were just unnecessary.
Everything you described above details the kind of experience I personally would rather have with SWTOR, being a stickler for story myself. I wish they would re-integrate those pre-requisites for running Flashpoints into the game, possibly in the form of an optional toggle for players who wish to experience the game's content in continuity.

Quote: Originally Posted by MillionsKNives View Post
If people want to know the story the quests are still there. And with the advent of the group finder how are those players going to even find a group to do their initial run if everyone else is in group finder. That's like trying to make it a law that virgins can only have sex with virgins. Great, but where are we going to find enough virgins.
You're missing the point, I think. Yes, the story quests are still there to be run in the traditional manner if one so chooses, but the issue is that if you're a new player there is no way for you to even know of this choice unless informed of such by, say, a veteran of the game with an odd-ball penchant for running Flashpoints in the traditional manner (in other words, me).

How could he? I mean, the game not only currently introduces Flashpoints via group finder, it even goes out of its way to incentivize the player to run them through it by offering commendations as rewards.

And I think your last concern about these players not finding a group to do their initial run because everyone else is on group-finder is misplaced, as a perfunctory glance of general chat will attest.

Alec_Fortescue's Avatar


Alec_Fortescue
04.22.2013 , 03:08 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by MillionsKNives View Post
D7 and the flashpoints dealing with Revan (and possibly others) used to require you to do prerequisite quests before being able to enter the instance. This created a lot of problems with making sure everyone was on the correct track and had everything they needed. The prerequisites were removed, and for good reason. Those were even the good stories for flashpoints, not the filler stories of flashpoints like Hammer Station. It made forming groups a pain and were just unnecessary. If people want to know the story the quests are still there.

And with the advent of the group finder how are those players going to even find a group to do their initial run if everyone else is in group finder. That's like trying to make it a law that virgins can only have sex with virgins. Great, but where are we going to find enough virgins.
I did all those flashpoints without the pre-req quests... You needed them before the group finder.
*Best Dressed Jedi of 2014* http://mmo-fashion.com/tor-fashion-contest-results/

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=720547 - Cool compilation of Jedi outfits worn by NPCs.

http://www.swtor.com/community/showt...=788459&page=2 - Bioware, please let us know if we're ever going to see iconic Jedi robes in the game... Or why not?

MillionsKNives's Avatar


MillionsKNives
04.22.2013 , 03:18 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Machine-Elf View Post
Everything you described above details the kind of experience I personally would rather have with SWTOR, being a stickler for story myself. I wish they would re-integrate those pre-requisites for running Flashpoints into the game, possibly in the form of an optional toggle for players who wish to experience the game's content in continuity.


You're missing the point, I think. Yes, the story quests are still there to be run in the traditional manner if one so chooses, but the issue is that if you're a new player there is no way for you to even know of this choice unless informed of such by, say, a veteran of the game with an odd-ball penchant for running Flashpoints in the traditional manner (in other words, me).

How could he? I mean, the game not only currently introduces Flashpoints via group finder, it even goes out of its way to incentivize the player to run them through it by offering commendations as rewards.

And I think your last concern about these players not finding a group to do their initial run because everyone else is on group-finder is misplaced, as a perfunctory glance of general chat will attest.
Are there not still quest givers all around the fleet and across the planets that point you towards the quest chains for all of these flashpoints? If players care about the story then they should be talking to these droids as they find them. I still see a lot of these droids standing next to fleet shuttles across the different planets.

Quote: Originally Posted by Alec_Fortescue View Post
I did all those flashpoints without the pre-req quests... You needed them before the group finder.
You will have to elaborate on your point, because the way I'm interpreting what you've said you have appeared to miss mine. Those flashpoints used to require prerequisite quests before you could even enter the instance, which is pretty much what the OP is asking to be brought back. I then said that the requirements were removed by BioWare for good reason, because they caused more problems than they were worth

Machine-Elf's Avatar


Machine-Elf
04.22.2013 , 03:30 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by MillionsKNives View Post
Are there not still quest givers all around the fleet and across the planets that point you towards the quest chains for all of these flashpoints? If players care about the story then they should be talking to these droids as they find them. I still see a lot of these droids standing next to fleet shuttles across the different planets.
The quest-givers are still there, but I wouldn't say they point you to the flashpoints. Again, since the game currently directs players to run the flashpoints through group finder, there is no reason for someone who's new to think there is an alternative way of doing so.

In fact, the droids are simply one of a total of three game systems which have been made redundant by the introduction of group finder; the other two being the fleet shuttles you mentioned, and the holoterminals in the lower decks.