[Classic] Looking for Dungeon

I am making a thread separate from the Wrath Classic Announcement thread to focus on a specific aspect of the announcement…
The Looking for Dungeon being excluded from Wrath Classic launch.


It has been a major heated topic on the forums and other social platforms that the removal of Looking for Dungeon is a change that not everyone agrees with.

I won’t comment on the quantifiable number of disagreement nor will I give my own opinion on the decision, let’s just say that there is enough disagreement across the Classic community to justify a response from the Blizzard team, whether it is to revise the decision in some way or to provide a long form explanation to the reasoning behind the change.

I have spent no small amount of effort taking notes from the countless threads found in the Burning Crusade Classic Forums, such as Behold Lord Kaivax, the solution to the LFD faction war and This is why you don’t want LFD. I have also made a thread myself in hope of getting as much feedback as possible from the community. I have scoured Reddit, with threads such as So I guess I’m in the minority not wanting LFD in Wrath and Wrath Classic should have LFD.


The main takeaway I got from all of this is that the issue isn’t actually with the LFD in itself, but with the underlying problems that plague Classic, the lack of response from Blizzard on these issues and the decision of completely removing the LFD tool without feedback from the community.
Most people would be perfectly fine with an alternate solution or a limited version of the LFD, but what is really needed is for the issues that LFD would tackle to be fixed.


Some of the major issues with Classic that LFD could help alleviate or fix:

  • Underpopulated servers access to dungeons
  • Boosting epidemic
  • Lack of inclusion because of player agency
  • 58 (70) boost and the lack of social interaction for lower level content
  • Extremely poor user experience in making or joining a group through the LFG

Additionally, some of the fears from including LFD as is:

  • Losing the Spirit of Classic
  • Too much automation
  • Devaluation of dungeons if made into a grinding experience
  • Loss of server community
  • Hurting World PvP

So what can be done?

That’s ultimately the question that I’m here to ask.
Classic Players are worried that these issues that have plagued the entirety of TBC Classic will also ruin WotLK Classic.
There needs to be something done regarding these issues that makes leveling, doing dungeons and playing the game as a whole an underwhelming experience.

Whether it is by improving the current LFG tool, providing a limited version of the LFD, rolling out LFD on a per phase basis, or, dare I say it, retail’s Premade Groups interface, there needs to at least be something done.

“Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction.” - Harry S. Truman

Thank you,
Mispeled.

32 Likes

I think you have captured the community feedback pretty well. I wanted to make a couple points that I feel are significant and are not getting enough attention:


LFD could help alleviate or fix:

  • Access to leveling dungeons (8-65)

This is sort of an amalgamation of your first two summary points, but bears its own point I think. Low-level populations are low currently and are likely to continue to be low, so for those people who do not want to buy (or cannot afford) a paid boost (or ingame dungeon boosting), you have a binary access issue to low-level dungeons (left w solo questing only ). This is especially an issue when leveling is such a significant part of Classic. People leveling today have a wildly different experience from those who leveled at launch years ago and just don’t have the same access to other players to do group and dungeon content.

Supporting the leveling process is consistent, I think, with Holly Longdale’s statement regarding the rationale for including paid boosts (“we’re always gonna lean into what’s going to enable people to play together who want to play, especially when Northrend is going to be going to eighty” ; ref: https://youtube.com/clip/UgkxJiHIAxBGyxfR4h9obMqn4R4mrliPGNYY)


Fears from including LFD as is:

  • Significant change to the authentic timeline

The LFD conversation can tend to lose the context of timeline. People in the pro-LFD camp can tend to imply it should be included at launch (as a 3.3.5 mechanic, e.g.), while anti-LFD camp can tend to imply it should not be included at all. LFD originally released with WoW patch 3.3.0*, with Icecrown Citadel, replacing the WotLK LFG tool. A third camp, if you will, could argue it should be included along the original timeline, with ICC, either as an authenticity arugment (#nochanges) or as a compromise argument to the first two camps.

Blizzard has made the ‘Spirit of Classic’ argument (“that’s the whole point, that’s why we’re going back and doing original Classic, is to try to undo some of these things that felt like they changed the game so significantly.” - Brian; ref: https://www.youtube.com/clip/UgkxQU9gM8PBn4iU9S7h9U8kbvQWGi6Eg0nm).
However, the pro-LFD camp HAS been successful in moving the needle (“we’re closer to not-never than we ever were” -Brian; ref: https://youtube.com/clip/UgkxsuBCquvHrMdY8AOfBE_5okpkfqG95_rz)

edit: For some added context re: the ‘spirit of classic’, aka how the community felt about certain mechanics back prior to (vanilla) Classic, consider the results of this old reddit survey https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc64CYad2GpAVvH6yEl-mLd2NBlCnKeIASA8mTrRwjJQ5usDw/viewanalytics where the OVERWHELMING majority (~90%) were against flying mounts, dungeon finder, and raid finder in Classic (Vanilla Classic). Granted this was another time and a different expansion - where WotLK was not even in the conversation - but this is the sort of attitude that was prevalent in 2017.

e2: survey link not working so well. source @reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/classicwow/comments/7d1bea/the_ultimate_wow_classic_design_survey_help/


*minor detail, but unless someone can correct me, the statement that LFD was originally added in Patch 3.3.5 in the news post here appears to be inaccurate:
https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/news/23793177/return-to-the-icy-realm-of-northrend-in-world-of-warcraft-wrath-of-the-lich-king-classic%E2%84%A2
ref official patch notes 3.3.0: https://web.archive.org/web/20101107221856/http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/patch3p3.html

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As we all know, there’s an infinite amount of ground to cover on this topic. I’m not sure how much I can say that hasn’t already been said before, but what I can assure you of is that our team is extremely committed to finding good solutions to player concerns that don’t compromise on the things that make Classic loved in the first place.

And speaking of solutions, I’ve come bearing some good news: we are actively developing a brand-new Group Finder UI for Wrath of the Lich King Classic! Here’s a small sneak preview of some of the features we’re aiming to deliver.

  • New Look, Modern Code: We’ve rebuilt the UI to be easier to read and more inviting than it was in Burning Crusade Classic. Behind the scenes, we’re using our modern Group Finder code, ensuring stability and performance.

  • Roles: We’re introducing roles into the UI in Wrath Classic. Partial groups can broadcast which slots they have open, and individuals can specify whether they’re willing to tank, heal, deal damage, or do multiple of the above. Roles are intended to expedite communication – not stifle gameplay creativity – so for the moment we’re keeping all roles open to all classes.

  • Solo Listings and Multiple Activities: We envision this Group Finder as a “bulletin board” where players can list activities they want to do and discover others who want to do the same. To that end, we’re supporting listings from both solo individuals and partially filled groups. And if you can’t decide which dungeon you want to run, that’s okay! You can list yourself for more than one.

  • Request Invite and Suggest Invite: To smooth out group formation, we’re adding Request Invite and Suggest Invite features. Just remember: a quick “Hey there” is always preferred over a silent and sudden ninja-invite!

  • The Single Source for Your Group Finding Needs: We’re aiming for this Group Finding UI to be a one-stop shop for all your group-finding needs. To that end, we’re reviving an old rule from the original Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King: sending messages in the Looking for Group chat channel will require being listed in the UI.

You might be thinking, “no one likes restrictions”. In an ideal world, each individual player would build their groups using whatever tools they deem best for the job. However, we’ve observed that group finding is a social coordination problem, and there’s value in funneling everyone through the same system. If we can create a single “source” through which all group finding is done, all players will reap the benefits.

We’re aiming to have our new Group Finder deliver an effective, efficient, and enjoyable group finding experience, and we want the help of you and other players in getting there. We’ll have a fully functional test version of the Group Finder available on day 1 of the Wrath of the Lich King beta.

We look forward to hearing your feedback!

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Looks great! That’s pretty much what I expected it to be, an upgraded version of what we currently have in TBC, inspired by what we have in retail.

Although I thought we might get a few more restrictions to filter what we’re looking for, similarly to item level in retail.

Having to be listed in order to talk in LFG makes sense and should hopefully be able to cut down on level 1s advertising boosts and stuff, although most people will probably just end up creating a custom group and keeping up the spam.

Will there be some sort of restriction on it like we have in retail, to counteract that? Although it couldn’t be a high level restriction, since that would prevent people from making genuine dungeon groups.

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Thank you very much for the response Keltoras. :pray:

It’s great to see what’s being worked on and what we can expect in WotLK Classic, regardless of whether this change will be seen as good or bad by the players.
I for one appreciate the transparency and hope to see more of this.

Regarding the tool, I personally like it, but I’m just one player, I know many won’t but at the very least I see this as a good change for the better from what we currently have in TBC Classic.

Would it be possible to get an explanation on the inner working of this Group Finder?
Like how each button works, what “Request to Join” does for example.
Possibly with a gif or video showing it being used?

Is the refresh automatic or does it require manually clicking on the refresh button at the top right of the last image?

Edit: Is this new tool going to include some form of cross server or is it strictly own server only?

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We’re planning to require an authenticator to create a listing with custom text, same as mainline WoW. Additionally, if someone is being disruptive or breaking the Code of Conduct, you will always be able to report their listing.

We’ll definitely be watching how the Looking For Group chat channel is utilized going forward, through beta and beyond. The channel still serves a purpose: you can use it to recruit for a niche activity, or post a message if you want to signal boost your group a bit. Our expectation is that the existence of this UI will greatly cut down on the amount of spam in the channel, and hopefully make opting into using the chat channel a better experience for everyone. :slight_smile:

I should have mentioned in my original post that the screenshots are very much work-in-progress! We’re already planning some changes, such as combining the Dungeon and Heroic Dungeon category and having better separators within a particular category (e.g. collapsible sub-categories for “Burning Crusade Dungeons” and “Wrath of the Lich King Dungeons”). We also want to have “smart” sorting, so that the search results you’re likely to be looking for are bubbled up to the top.

To your specific questions:

  • “Request to Join” will push a pop-up to another group’s party leader letting them know about your request. If they accept, you’ll receive an invite to the group. (Side-note: this can also be used outside of the Group Finder, such as if you want to join another party you meet in the world.)
  • If a listing is already in your search results, you’ll see updates to it as that group changes. If the other players invites a healer, you’ll see that reflected in their group composition. If the the other player delists, the listing will become grayed out and inactive. The Refresh button will pull in brand new listings that weren’t in your original search, but you definitely shouldn’t feel the need to spam it!

Ultimately, screenshots and explanations aren’t a substitute for the feedback we’ll get from real players forming real groups, so we’re eager to get it into your hands as quickly as possible. I believe the term is… Soon™? :wink:

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Thank you for the reply Keltoras. :heart: This does answer my questions.
I do have a few more questions:

Going back to my original post,

What will be done to combat boosting overall? While this upcoming LFG tool seems great, I can already see it being filled with advert for boosting groups.
Edit: Kaivax provided a response to that here: Adjustments to Dungeon Creature Behavior and Group XP

What about underpopulated servers? I would assume this tool doesn’t bring cross realm into the equation, is there anything in the works or on the drawing board to help players on smaller servers?

Does this mean a mage could queue as a tank or healer? If so, why?

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Personally, I’m devastated I may have to find somewhere new to spam [Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker] :cry:

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Would it be possible to continue to use the new LFD system that is implemented in the beta now, while also having the Retail LFD system, but for leveling only and disbaled for heroics?

WoW is not the only MMO on the market now a days, and a lot of different games are vying for our attention. Enabling the retail LFD system for leveling (10-70) would just make the game much easier to progress in and would lead to less frustration for players not finding a group for anything or taking too long, where they just quit the game.

You already got most of us vet players, so I’m personally good with whatever as I have my guild that I can do dungeons with, but gotta think about the newer player experience as well and this seems to be a good compormise to have it enabled for leveling dungeons and not heroics.

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Group Finder feedback

There has been some discussion on this already on the Beta forums and elsewhere, but I would like to post it here as well to have it somewhat more organized and to provide some more visibility

Request invite

This feature needs a fair bit of improvements to be useful. As it stands I believe using whispers will be next to required. Mainly this is because the leader simply does not receive any information when getting a request. Information like Class, Role, and possibly an optional note would be very useful.

Adding these to a viewable list of requests would be better than the current system of simply queuing the requests up as well. As it stands the requests become awkward to use even above 2-3 requests, and will likely be unusable with any more.

The request could use some spam protection as well. Currently you can’t send another request as long as your previous one is pending, but there is seemingly no cooldown on sending another one afterwards. Ignoring the player seems to remove their requests, but a cooldown or easier way to block the requests could be useful.
Similar thing can happen with someone attempting to invite while you’re already in a group, as it sends a chat message.

Searching, Filtering, and Blacklists

There are no functions for any of these, and I think they would be extremely useful. Especially if the expectation is that everyone should use this system, as well as on bigger servers in general.

Things like filtering by certain roles, searching for specific keywords, or blacklisting other keywords.

Option to view lower/higher level content

Even if it is not possible to sign for content outside of your own level range, I think it could be useful to browse content and groups at different levels. Especially for alts at different levels, but also just to see what is available in general.

More clarity and grouping on lists

For example sorting Northrend and Outlands separately in the lists, and coloring options based on levels (Green for under-leveled, Yellow for similar, etc.).
Just to make it a little bit clearer and easier to find what you’re looking for.

Information when getting an invite

Currently receiving an invite through the tool is just a regular invite, which means there is no way to know what the invite is for. Some short info that it is coming from the LFG tool would be good. Possibly also which content it is for, as well as the current group members and their roles.
I do understand that it is preferred to send a message before inviting, but somehow I feel like there will be a lot of ninja-invites.
Another possibility is to just make it required to send a message before inviting.

Roles reset upon forming group

This feels maybe more like a bug than anything, but when forming a group from people in the tool it resets roles when listing the group.
Best would be to simply keep the previously selected role, or to just automatically preform a role check upon listing the group.

One-stop shop

There is definitely a lot of value in having everyone use the same system, but it has to work well enough for everyone to want to use it. For example the current LFG system in BCC isn’t great, leading to most people using addons such as Bulletin Board instead.

For the new LFG tool to actually act as a “one-stop shop” it has to at least match the usability of other options. Otherwise it will split players between different places, or simply push everyone back towards addons again.

LFG vs LFD

I think with some improvements the LFG tool can be very good, and would make finding and creating groups a fair bit easier.
With that said. The LFG tool will not be a replacement for LFD, even with some improvements. It simply does not solve most of the issues that LFD could help fix or alleviate. Of course that alone also doesn’t automatically mean LFD has to be in, or that LFG shouldn’t. I do think the LFG tool would still be very useful even if LFD is added.

I want to make it clear that I think that LFD and LFG are two fairly different systems, that work to solve different issues, even if they certainly have a large degree of overlap.

I personally think the best approach to LFD (in regards to things like preserving the social experiences, spirit of classic, etc.) might be to make changes and/or restrictions to the system, rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater as it were.

With that in mind I’d like to list a few possible changes regarding LFD:

  • Delayed Launch
    LFD did originally launch later in WotLK, so this is a suggestion I’ve seen a lot. Simply waiting until a later phase to release LFD could balance the pros and cons somewhat.
    Generally I think the bigger issues with finding groups start popping up more in later phases, and is often far less of an issue early on.
  • No Cross Realm
    A lot of people have been against cross-realm in general in favor of community and realm identity. At the same time this is not great for players on lower population servers.
    Personally I believe not being able to find players on a server is something that should be solved separately, and cross-realm LFD would be more of a band-aid, but it is a point to consider nonetheless.
  • No teleport to dungeon
    LFD making it too fast and convenient has been a point of contention, as well as removing players from the open world.
  • Separate rules for lower level content
    Most things outside of the new Lich King dungeons and content could have different restrictions, such as releasing earlier. Older content is generally much harder to find people for, and here the system can more likely be the thing that makes it possible to find anything at all.

I’m not saying that the above should be done, that there aren’t other changes that could be made, or necessarily that they’re all that good either.
I just want to point out that there is a lot that can be done to alleviate some of the issues, and I believe that something in the direction of restrictions or small changes is perhaps a more reasonable solution to LFDs issues than permanently removing it.

I also want to note that I am personally not all that interested in LFD, and I do see some of the downsides with the system, but I will readily admit that I believe that I am in the minority with this opinion.

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I don’t really think that’s necessary. In TBC right now, people can spam whisper you if you’re LFM in hopes that they’ll get an invite (or for any reason). But they generally don’t, because they know they’ll just get put on ignore/be viewed negatively. Some people don’t understand that, and those people get put on ignore/are viewed negatively from that point on, which I think is part of the social experience™ that I welcome in the game.

This is definitely something I’d appreciate, and I think lots of other people would as well. As an example, for people looking in the “Raids” section, some players are only going to be interested in one type of loot system, so giving them the option to filter out certain keywords like “GDKP” or “SR” would be nice, especially on the megaservers.

I’m wondering how easy/feasible it would be for an addon author to write something that adds this functionality. If addons can’t easily do it, then we could really use some developer support here.

I’m just trying to imagine how this would play out in a practical scenario. So LFD finds a group for you for a specific dungeon, and two of you now have to fly/run out to the summoning stone, meaning it could be an extra 5-10 minutes before you even start getting any experience, or even way longer for low level dungeons. Well, what if I’m a tank with instant queues who gets a group that seems extremely weak for the dungeon we’ve been assigned? Wouldn’t I potentially be inclined to just leave the group immediately and wait out the penalty timer and roll the dice again for a pumper group that I can hopefully roll with for multiple runs? This wouldn’t be as common with instant teleportation, since the penalty for leaving would have a higher relative impact on my exp/hr, or whatevers/hr compared to the time spent waiting for the group to get to the dungeons and get summons out.

To me, it seems like instant teleportation supports what a lot of people seem to like about traditional LFD, which is that it sort of forces you to play with an assigned roster of players, regardless of class/spec/skill/experience/gear.

I don’t know if this is necessarily true, since in the post you quoted, it says that there will be a new rule, which is that you must be listed in the LFG tool to post in the global LFG channel. How will players avoid using the LFG tool if that’s the case?

I’ve seen this suggested before, and I think it’s one of the most interesting compromises that’s been suggested. It could certainly solve the issue of not being able to find people for low level dungeons, which seems to be common on lower pop realms. Would definitely like to see this idea explored more.

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The time investment to move to the dungeon is a bigger incentive to stay with a less than optimal group than it would be with instant teleportation. The time investment is already there compared to just getting teleported. It’s the sunk cost fallacy.

Not sure I’m fully understanding your argument. Maybe that makes sense for evaluating whether or not you should leave after the point where you’re done the first few pulls and have determined the strength of the players in your group by actually playing with them, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the possibility of players evaluating the group the instant it’s formed, and making a decision on whether it’s worth waiting to get summoned/potentially running to the dungeon themselves, instead of simply ditching and trying to find another group with a better composition of players/characters. I don’t see how sunk cost fallacy plays into this.

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Yeah, I see what you mean.

The question here would be how pervasive would that be.
I don’t see it being that much of an issue for WotLK. With TBCC it was mostly people wanting mages and warlocks for their AoE potential, but with WotLK every DPS have decent AoE capabilities for the most part and dungeons don’t require any CC. Every tank is also able to hold agro on large groups of mobs too.

It’s not going to be as much of a problem as it is in TBCC so I don’t see that as a major factor for instant teleportation versus the other reasons why one would want instant teleportation (namely not having to spend time travelling to the dungeon and back for example)

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At higher levels, sure. Low levels aren’t balanced for that at all though, and lower levels is what a lot of people are focused on when they’re asking for LFD. Shadow priests don’t get a real AoE spell until level 75. Boomkins don’t get hurricane in WotLK until level 40, or Starfall until level 60. Cat druids don’t get swipe until level 71. Meanwhile other classes will probably be popping off starting from a very low level.

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That’s a fair point. It’s also why I’m also in favor of the “Separate rules for lower level content”

Fair point, and I agree. I was playing around with it on Beta and it gets annoying, but you’re completely right that you can actually do this with everything already, and it’s not really an issue.

There are a lot of ways to work around this, should players decide that they want to. For example the player-made global channels like “world” or “lfg” that are often prominent on servers already.
Players can also simply list themselves in the LFG tool to get access, and then not use the tool itself to find groups.

I don’t think this will be a big issue if players find the LFG tool to be good enough, but if players end up preferring some addon such as the Bulletin Board there will likely be a lot of this happening.

Regarding teleporting to dungeons

You have both discussed most of the points I’ve seen already, but thought I should clarify why I put it in there to start with.

The reasoning I’ve seen for this is generally that when getting in to the dungeon is fast enough, and players get sent back to where they were when they started, there is a lot less incentive to stay in the dungeon should anything go wrong. Simply because it can be more efficient to just get teleported back to where you were, and then queue up again after any penalty.

I think you are correct though that this could move the leaving issue to the group formation instead. Players will sometimes drop the group regardless of what is done of course, so the question is which system would make for a better experience in general.

For lower level dungeons I would also lean more heavily towards leaving teleportation in, regardless of what is done at higher levels, since the travel time to some dungeons can end up being unreasonably long depending on where the players are.

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