Thursday, October 22, 2009

New LFG, or "Does This Bode Well?"

One of the reasons my friends don't pug on Zuluhed is that the pugging climate is terrible. Anyone worth pugging with has a guild and doesn't need to pug, and the people who want to pug are mostly the server ninjas.

The next patch gives us a new Looking for Group interface, where you queue with people from other servers in a massive pool of pugging.

No waiting, no mess.

Quite a few of the comments on the WoW Insider post were "Can't we limit the pug to our own server?" Which defeats the purpose, I think. You could just ask in general and trade for that. (Of course, everyone will be pugging with this system, so... yeah.)

  • Queue for your role: Tank, Heals, Dps
  • Queue a specific dungeon or get huge perks by going random.
  • Queue from anywhere and get ported, just like the PVP panel!
  • Queue with friends for partial premades.
  • The more of your group is pugged on random mode, the more gold you get.
  • Doing a random heroic gives you a limited amount of raid emblems.
  • Usable by any level, but you can't go to anything above your level.
  • This is the system that people think the Perky Pug pet achievement will be attached to.
  • "Disenchant" will now be a roll option with need and greed, and you don't have to have an enchanter to shard things anymore.
There's some confusion as to how much gold and emblems you can get per day for doing random heroics -- mainly the gold. People aren't sure if you're limited to 2 emblems AND the nice gold for the first run or if you're just limited to emblems for the first run and get gold for all subsequent runs.

Also, people really want pugging for raids too, though it's not currently available.


Pugging sucked mostly because it was so much TROUBLE to get a group together. Now it'll be as easy as joining a battleground.

I mentioned elsewhere that my Birdy is still in greens. It's because I just don't have time to wait around for a group to form. I'm thrilled that now she's going to actually get some blues and maybe *gasp* epics!!!

She could even... *reverent voice*... farm a blue proto drake.

And you won't be discriminated against for not having X and Y achievements.

And all those guildies who end up getting guilted into running stuff for others (i.e. my brother) won't have to anymore. Well, mostly.

So while yes, I do think the old problems with pugging your way into the company of jerks will persist, I also think the ease and allure of the system will give you a much wider pool of non-jerks to luck into.


  1. That does seem to have some real promise.

    I mean, sure, I bet there will be issues. People who go AFK hoping their group will 4 man and they can get easy gold & emblems. Complete a-holes that you can't just boot from the group. Or if it is possible to boot people from the group, party leads that will arbitarily dismiss what they think are "fail" members. Having the healer suddenly leave because Mom called him for dinner 20-30 mins into the instance. Getting dropped into that group as the replacement player . . . especially if it means getting saved to a heroic instance without a shot at 2/3s of the loot.

    Despite the challenges, I bet the biggest change will be how much easier it is to get into a PuG and run instances. You are absolutely right. That has win written all over it.

    The one aspect of the current system that I think I'll miss is that being on the same server with the people in your PuG means if you meet people you like, you can find them again. About 1/2 my friends list is people I've met in PuGs. Unless we're also getting cross server friends lists and whispers . . . that aspect of LFG is going to have some new limitations. I mean, you will undoubtedly still meet some players from your own realm and some will be awesome. It's not a problem, per se, of the 3.3 system . . . just something I think I'll miss.

  2. Maybe meeting people from a wider pool won't be all that disappointing. I mean, my mains are in the Stormstrike Battlegroup. I see folks from Zuluhed all the time in BGs. Of course, I'm on the Alliance side in Stormstrike, so . . .

    But still, one person worth meeting in a broader battlegroup at least gives some hope that there are others, right? Unless all the allies on Zuluhed really are as awful as you say.

    One aspect of the new system that is going to be awesome, assuming the new LFG feature uses the same battlegroups as the BGs . . . my main characters are in Stormstrike (Dentarg). I see folks from Zuluhed in the BGs all the time.

  3. O.O You fight against us?

    /starts list of people I want to see bg camped

    Erm, I mean... :D

  4. Most fucked up idea ever.

    I thought it is a nice idea to have a bigger pool. But it's stupid to build the groups automatically. That just reduces the game to the same stupidity level as a battleground, where everyone flames each other or you don't exchange a single word and just wait for your honor.

    What's the point of a multi player game if it encourages you to meed people you will never be able to meet again?

    And... it will probably replace the daily dungeon quest and be the single sort for emblem of frost. Therefore, we will use this tool.

    With every patch, Blizzard tries to make us more and more efficient in the treadmill...

  5. > 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

    At last.

    It would still be nice if you could create the group in the old way, preferring players from your realm and filling up with others.

  6. I have a level 26 alt that I would like to take through some instances. I've got these quests for Stockades and Blackfathom Deeps sitting in my log that I'd like to do before they all turn green. I really enjoy Razorfen Kraul. It's a fun instance. I don't want a high level player to "run" me through them. Personally, I think that's a lame way to play the game. I like tackling instances with an appropriately levelled group.

    I was on the alt last night for about 3 hours . . . like 9 to midnight on a medium to high pop server (Exodar). While I sat in LFG waiting for players from my server to also jump in, I quested some and ground mining. About an hour into my wait, a healer finally popped up in the Stockades' LFG. So I started up a group with myself (dps) another dps that was in the queue and that healer. I sat in Stormwind spamming "LF2M, tank & dps Stocks" every few minutes and whispering every level 23-25 tanking class character logged in to ask if they were interested in tanking stocks. It only took about 15 mins to find a tank, but the other dps decided that was longer than he could wait to start and dropped out. So I spent the next 30-45mins looking for just 2 dps and no one on the server was interested. Then the healer dropped out. Then the tank. And it was just me in LFG for the next hour while I levelled up to 27.

    "The point of meeting people you may never meet again" is that it's a mechanic which allows people to actually play some aspects of the game that they currently aren't because the population of a single server doesn't support it. It's a step up, a huge step up, from how I spent my play time last night.

  7. Sure, it helps for low level instances. But, price we're going to pay for that is way higher.

    If they would have implemented cross-server chat first, and would allow you to invite specific people from other realms, that would be great. That was what I hoped they would implement. That way you could still "befriend" people you met in a PUG.

    But with 3.3 you have the following options:
    a) Group with your friends.
    b) Group with strangers which will most likely come from another realm and will stay strangers forever.

    There is no way to grow group a). And that sucks.

    It would make more sense to implement NPCs to fill up your group because that's what these other people are... nameless NPCs from a different dimension...

    If you leave the dungeon, the other people are gone. Like it is in a Battleground.

    Did you never continue a chat with someone you met in an instance? That won't be possible. Unless the server decides by luck to group you with people from your realm.

  8. Group a) also fails to grow when the run never gets off the ground in the first place.

    At least, it fails to grow from instance PuGs. It can still grow through other aspects of the game (e.g. guilds, group quests, world PvP).

    And it's not like the LFG interface will be the only PuG option. You can still spam /1 & /2 looking for whatever roles you need then jump into the queue and get your money & emblems. If it's important to you to run with folks from your server, do that. Even if you just spend the time to grab a person or two from your server, then get into the queue to fill out what you don't have. At least you can be reasonably sure you'll actually get to run something together.

    Seriously, you have a point that there are some drawbacks. But it is far, far, far from the "Most fucked up idea ever." And I think it has much more to do with making content available, even to lowly noobs, than it does with making us "more and more efficient in the treadmill..."

    It is even possible that there will be some sort of prioritization algorithm when groups are assembled. People from the same server are prioritized to group together. For popular instances, like H ToC currently for example, it shouldn't be too difficult to increase the likelihood that players from the same server are together. Obviously, still not 100% guaranteed . . . but still better than totally random chance.

  9. > Group a) also fails to grow when the run
    > never gets off the ground in the first place.

    That might be an issue with player below the level cap, for level 80 it is not that hard to find an instance. maybe not the one you like but you're going to run the daily anyways. :-)

    And no, you will not be able to form a group the old way, because no one else will try to do it that way. It only works today because you have no other option.

    Every tank and heal will put itself in the new system and get an instant automatic invite. You will not be able to find tanks and heals through /trade, I think.

    And people will accept the system because the have to interact with it to get the emblem of frost. Maybe they will preform groups the first weeks but that will go away as soon as you notice you get a group faster by putting yourself in the queue.

    The algorithm might prefer people from your server but that will only matter for the random daily. All other instances will never ever have 5 people of your server in the queue. Maybe the new ones for a short period.

    And I found a new problem, which also exists with the old system but is now enforced.

    Assume you play a hybrid and have a heal and a dps spec. You need some dps items from instance 1 and you would like to go to instance 2 for a quest. You would be willing to heal in instance 2 but not in instance 1 because people don't let you roll on dps items if you heal.

    Or maybe you're a healer in greens and don't like to heal HoL or the new 5 man but you would feel comfortable to heal the lesser challenging instances. That's at least what I did with my shaman. Accept to heal but not the hardest ones. So, you're out as a healer for the random daily. Today you can check what the daily is and decide with which character you would like to fulfill which role.

  10. "That might be an issue with player below the level cap, for level 80 it is not that hard to find an instance."

    Like I say, man, even lowly noobs want to see content. Or if you're like me, enjoy re-experiencing it on alts. And if you're on a low pop server, playing late at night, like I am on my mains, it's not always easy to find an instance even at level 80. Especially if you want to run the Heroic Daily, which most people have gotten out of the way by the time I'm logged on.

    You're making an awful lot of assumptions about what "will" happen. How players "will" react, as an absolute, to the LFG option. I guess we won't know for certain until it happens, but I'm looking forward to the new queue. I mean, after reading about it yesterday afternoon, I thought it would be mostly good. After my experience in LFG last night, it can't get implemented fast enough.

  11. > Like I say, man, even lowly noobs want
    > to see content. Or if you're like me,
    > enjoy re-experiencing it on alts.

    Oh, I did. Running low level instances with an appropriate group is some of the best fun you
    can have.

    And, don't get me wrong, I love the concept of cross-realm instance technique.

    I don't like that
    a) it's automatic
    b) you cannot keep in touch with people from another realm (especially this)

    In Guild Wars you can just select the realm in the drop down menu and instantaneously between multiple realms. That's cool. That's what I would like to see. :-)

    That would even allow Birdie to switch to a PvE realm when she's not in the mood for world PvP. :-)

  12. If you click on the provided link and scroll through the photos they have one showing a vote to remove [player x] from the group. So you can kick that random AFKer from group and LF another. If you find one within the next 5 minutes you shouldn't get the kicked one because they have a 5min debuff (kinda like leaving a BG).

    I think the pros outweigh the cons here.

  13. One big drawback for the pugging system is that you can't friend the pugs you like and get them again. (That we know of.)

    I volunteer that one of the reasons I don't pug on Birdfall is that I don't want random people whispering me to run stuff. I don't enjoy casual friendships that inevitably trail into nothingness but still incur a sense of duty to keep them on your list. The "never have to speak to them again" part of the new system kind of makes my day.

  14. There is a huge difference between how we play wow. I know nobody IRL who plays wow.

    If I would have a guild/group of IRL friends with whom I could play together I would really appreciate a system which would supply me with the replaceable 5th group member.

    And now that I think about it, I don't know that many people who play wow alone. Most play it together with friends/family.

    Might very well be that I'm in the minority and the new LFG is actually a good thing for WoW, just not for me. :)

    I wonder when they introduce the new features to WoW and what they will add. Maybe they will be powerful enough to overcome the limitations the LFG system has for me.


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