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Thursday, April 20, 2006

LFG





I've read the requests for a more robust LFG system many times on the official forums. And recently, Abalieno posted a piece on the importance of LFG systems in MMO's. While I don't agree with all of his points (I believe allowing cross-server groups would detract from the feeling of community on a server) I do agree with his general argument.

So, could EQII use a better LFG system? Sure. To me, MMO's should encourage grouping. Now, before the soloers out there get crazy let me clarify that by saying that I don't believe MMO's should force grouping. There's a difference. I used to be purely a solo player and I love having that option.

But if a game can encourage grouping without being too heavy-handed about it, it will have a beneficial effect on subscriber retention. Those social connections are strong and often more powerful than any specific content or mechanic when it comes to sticking with a certain game.

So, what is a way to encourage grouping without detracting from the solo experience in the slightest? Simple: make grouping easier. And one way to do that is with the LFG system.

Probably the biggest change one could want from the EQII system is the desire for more specificity. Are you LFG for an armor quest? A raid? XP? PvP? If you don't want to go the comments route, you should at the very least have a selection of choices from a pull-down menu to add to the LFG window.

Secondly, you want to have some way of identifying groups that are looking for more to fill out the group. I would enjoy a system which lets you know how many people are in a certain group which is looking for more and what the makeup of the group is.

Now, there are some pitfalls. If you allow comments you allow obscenity and the like, but that's true of all text. By adding more filters you also increase "pickiness" where people will be less apt to join a group if they don't like the make-up or what said group is working on.


But I think the pros outweigh the cons. I also understand the desire of some to have groups form "naturally" without an artificial system but I haven't seen any effective implementation of that to date.

8 Comments:

Blogger Fraxas said...

What EQ2 needs more than an LFG system is an LFM system. That is, a way for group leaders to advertise that their group is looking for specific members, rather than having to have all that in the level chats.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Karnatos said...

I've contemplated what would make a better LFG system myself a few times... and I've never really hamemred out an ideal mechanism.

However, I did think of something once that tackles two MMO problems at once; LFG and camping mobs.

It would be really slick to be able to mark in your LFG which quest you currently had active, the quest you are working on. You couyld then check to see who is working on the quest in the area, and likely, the way most quests are set up, the person would be in grouping level-range. It might cut down on the one-two-man group camping the rare-pop mob, forcing you to move onto something else - if a player/group could both mark which quest they were working on and check which other players/groups are working on the same quest it might make for more quest-oriented grouping.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Quylein said...

I personally think the LFG system we have is perfect. The way it is at the moment requires those to talk to another memeber. Even if there was lets say an Ench looking for group and his comments were that of something we werent going to do, I would still ask him to join us becuase well.. He's LFG.

Adding more things to choose from in a pull down menu of LFG is IMHO wont help much. There are those that can make a grp and be a leader and those that cant. (there is no inbetween)

Hell most the time if I dont find what I need in the LFG window I do a /who all (class) I want. I then start asking those in my level range. I usally pick up more that arnt LFG then that are.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Twodragons said...

And then there's just the plain old method of asking.

While working writ grind in one of the many popular mob spots, I always ask the other players I see fi they would like to join, since we both seem to be hunting the same mob. No point in ganking each others mobs.

This was a common occurance in EF/Lava, Eye of Anuk in SS, and Sentries in TT.

It doesn't always work, though. Many times the player is near completion and about to log. But since the mobs spawns so fast and they are so easy to kill, a busy writ camp will soon be barren as the players zorch back to pick up another round.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Kathas said...

The only improvment to the LFG system in EQ2 that I would like is something to tag me as NOT Looking For Group. Although, truthfully, the "hey want to join a group?" spam has lessened for me since the Great Ranger Nerf of '06.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Dangerous said...

I would like the ability to set a character as LFG, with the flags that Aggro Me suggests, but which persists across your account.
For instance, my Wizard needs to go to Nek Castle to kill Everling. I set him as LFG, but rather than wait for a respons, I log into another character and do some craftin. Tells sent to the Wizard are forwarded and I can then wake my Wizard and join the group.

I admit that finding groups is a lot easier now that I monitor the level range channels. It would be helpful, however, to allow alts to join channels of higher level if you have another matching toon.

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to compare, but EQI has a much better LFG system than EQII (IMO). Can it be improved, you bet. As I see it now the Level Chat Channels have become more LFG channels than anything else.

- Luan

2:59 PM  
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