One of the most frequently talked about subjects here of late in the World of Warcraft community is the new Looking for Group (or Looking for Dungeon) mechanic that was added in Patch 3.3. A lot of people love the new system and can’t see how they ever manged to level without it. Other people completely hate the system and refuse to use it ever again.
A lot of bloggers happen to be talking about it right now on their own blogs as well, but rather than reading their posts and then essentially responding them in my own post, I am going to simply post my own thoughts here and then any responses I have to them will be left in the form of comments on their blogs.
When I first tried out the new LFG I absolutely fell in love with it. Groups were fast, people were nice and cooperative, people who didn’t know the dungeons took advice and guidance from others, people didn’t mind spending a few minutes constantly clicking the icon to teleport into the dungeon after getting smacked around by the “Door Boss” repeatedly with messages of “Additional instances cannot be launched. Please try again.”
For the first week or so I didn’t have a single problem with any aspect of the new system. Sure, I might get thrown into a dungeon I didn’t really feel like running, but even then it wasn’t all that big of a deal. It was about the same as having a friend ask for help in a dungeon I didn’t care for; I might not have the most fun, but at least somebody was enjoying it.
And the loot! Holy cow, when you’re talking about level 15-25 characters the BoP items that drop from the satchel for doing random dungeons are actually Best In Slot gear if you get the right random enchant for your class/build.
Now that I’ve had more time to play around with the system and have had a chance to do it not only on my low level characters, but also on my mid and high level characters I have a slightly different opinion.
Overall I still very much enjoy using it and any time I’m not caught up in the middle of doing something else you can pretty well count on me either sitting in queue waiting for the next one to pop or already running through one that recently popped for me.
However, I have had my fair share of horrible groups now too. At first they were just small things, like a low level tank that couldn’t hold threat on more than one mob at a time, or a healer that had only a dps spec but was the only one in the group that could heal, or a hunter who thought he was 60 levels higher than he actually was and then blamed the tank/heals for not saving him from his own stupidity.
As time went on though, things got progressively worse and progressively better at the same time. I have found some excellent groups that fit together perfectly and ones that actually stayed together to requeue for another random dungeon after the first. But I’ve also seen a group with a single bad player progress into a group almost entirely made of morons.
The first time I really doubted whether or not this new LFG system would hold out was when we ran into our first ninja looter. Cynwise and I found ourselves in a group with a mage who rolled need on absolutely everything that fell. After the third case of stupidity we kicked the guy from the group and replaced him almost right away. Not long after that though we found the hunter in the group decided that he had to roll Need on a shield because he was “going to use it when [he] level[ed] up”. We went on to other groups finding hunters and mages who thought they could tank, healers who didn’t see any reason in stocking up on drinks to restore their mana, trial accounts who “miss rolled” Need on boss drops and then couldn’t trade them to anyone else in the party, and so on. And I thought that was a bad day, until last night.
I started off last night by queuing up with my 19 twink mage in a few randoms and having a blast. If you care to read about the good times, then please refer to Blastoph: Adventures in SFK which you can find on my twink blog. After a few good runs with him I decided to switch over to my new Rogue Twink for a bit and go for some Deadmines and Wailing Caverns runs to finish off her gear (no luck) and finish leveling her up to 19 (got that one).
The first dungeon that came up was Wailing Caverns and the group had already cleared all but three bosses, and while we were there I got the Armor of the Fang (3rd best in slot) the Leggings of the Fang (1st) and the Gloves of the Fang (1st) so I was pretty happy just from that, and then my satchel for completing it held a belt with “of the Bandit” on it which just happens to be exactly what I was looking for. So it was very much a successful run. The one minor flaw was that Venomstrike dropped and a hunter with a crappy white bow rolled Need on it and I couldn’t bring myself to roll against him. My Throat Piercers are a bit better with their +2 Agility bonus, but Venomstrike is amazing for switching over and dealing damage when you need to.
The next run took me into Deadmines and we had a pretty good time in there. VC dropped the Blackened Defias Armor which is the second best armor for my Rogue. I rolled Need on it of course and watched as other people passed and offered grats, except for one. I noticed the Warrior tank hadn’t rolled yet, and just as I was about to say something I saw him click Need and he got it. So, no luck for me there.
The next queue took me back into Wailing Caverns, and that’s where things really went to crap. I filled in for a DPS that they kicked out of the group so I went to join them where they were. I saw as I was running to their location that most of the mobs on the top ring were still alive on both sides, but I just shrugged and assumed the tank wanted to save Lady Anacondra for the last. I also saw that the group was split up with the tank and hunter on the west side and the healer and warlock on the east. From that I assumed that the healer had gone to resurrect the warlock so I went for the tank.
When I got there I found the tank fighting mobs while the hunter yelled at him not to fight the serpents. I saw people dying so I jumped up there and started killing things off so the tank would live. The hunter yelled at me then too. To make a long story short, the hunter had been dragging the group to various places in the instance for the sole purpose of taming a serpent that he didn’t know where to find and had caused multiple wipes. Eventually he got his pet and the group formed up to actually run through the instance. I thought it particularly fitting that the hunter would fire a single shot at a mob, let the mob come to him, engage in melee combat, and then have his pet join in and never leave melee himself.
With that group and that moronic huntard as the group leader, we went through three tanks and four healers before I convinced everybody to just break the group and requeue. Luckily I managed to put the hunter on ignore and will never have to see his stupidity on my screen ever again. He was a perfect example of one person blackening the good reputation of the LFG system for several different people though.
I had such a horrible time in that last run through WC managing to kill only a single boss that I absolutely had enough with LFG for the night and had to go into WSG to kill people. I imagined every horde toon was that stupid dwarven hunter and went on a killing spree completely ignoring the whole concept of WSG all together. People had to die, and they had to die as soon as possible and in as large a quantity as possible. I didn’t do all that great in that run, but at least I got to vent some frustration.
The biggest issue I have with the new LFG system is the same as so many other people out there – I want to be able to queue for both Dungeons and PvP at the same time and take whichever one comes up first. I don’t mind getting kicked out of one queue if I accept an invite to the other, I just don’t want to sit there waiting for 30 minutes in one queue while the other is popping every 5 minutes.
Next up has to be more uses of Vote to Kick. When you’ve got a real bad player in the group you either have to deal with them or vote to kick them out of the group. But you can’t kick anyone else out after the second or third use of VtK. Instead you just get stuck with whoever you have there with you and your only option then is to deal with them or leave the party yourself. I don’t mind running with people that don’t know what they’re doing, are new to their spec, are new to the game, have never been to the dungeon before, or anything else so long as they are willing to accept advice on how to do things. If you suck and you refuse to let people help you not suck, then I make no hesitation in voting you out of the group. Come on Bliz, there are more than 3 people in each level bracket that suck, give me more chances to get rid of the morons.
And finally, I’d like for them to retool the Dungeon Deserter debuff (I can’t remember it’s actual name right off) . In fact, I’d like to see them get rid of the thing all together. I’ve only had it applied to me once and that was when the tank and one of the dps rushed right into combat before the healer had even zoned in, died, and then refused to run back and the healer hadn’t bothered to learn how to resurrect people yet. None of the votes to kick would pass for some reason so I had no choice but to leave them behind and I got flagged to not be able to queue again until the debuff went away. It was a whole new level of annoying.