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
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.
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:
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.