I think the OP's take on the LFG tool in WoW is a bit skewed.
The "dungeon finder" in BC was...not very good. It was a tweaked chat channel that filtered by content. That's all. You still had to enter the channel, look at who may or may not be available for the content, ask around, blah blah blah. And after a time, most people stopped using it. You could watch trade chat or city general chat and see people spamming all over for this dungeon or that dungeon trying to find tanks and/or healers and you go into the LFG pane and there's maybe 20 people on the whole server across all level ranges even using it. It wasn't a successful system and over time it was actually harmful because you'd go look at the LFG lists and see nobody interested in running content for your level (or not enough to fill out a party) and that would be the end of that.
The automated system removed a ton of barriers. People starting grouping in vast numbers. Timing was key to this. The LFG tool was released during WotLK when heroics were not only fairly easy for freshly geared players, but also extremely easy to outgear. The mechanics of the game at the time made it so that you COULD queue for a random heroic with random players and even dps could find themselves in a group buffed and on to the first pull well within 15 minutes of queuing.
The reason why dps are seeing long queue times in Cataclysm is because Blizzard opted to ratchet the difficulty of heroics a bit and now the same tanks and healers who could literally carry all but the most fully inept dps crew are finding that it's not worth the aggravation to take their chances and they've gone back to relying on guilds and friends lists to get through the content. Rift would likely experience the same kind of limitation because T2 (and even some T1) dungeons are not tuned to be manageable by groups with too much dead weight. Everyone has to tow the line, respond properly to the mechanics, and make effective use of the tools their build provides them with or the group can't succeed.
HOWEVER, I'm at a spot right now where a same-shard LFG tool would be a tremendous asset to me. I'm in a good guild with a fair number of good players but they were established long before I joined. They've got their statics and their schedules and when I log on, finding an all-guild group is frequently very difficult. I won't spend a lot of time trying to form a PUG group because odds are good that the time spent forming the group will end up translating to time wasted when they can't get the job done. If, however, I could queue as a tank and be matched with a group in short order, I'd be more inclined to take my chances. If the group isn't up to par, I'll either know before the first boss and can try again later with a different group, or I'll get a couple of plaques and still be farther ahead than I have been lately.
There has NEVER been a feature of the LFG tool in WoW that made it so that you couldn't form guild groups and/or tap your friend lists. Ever. The fact of the matter...which flies directly in the face of what the OP is claiming...is that there were a lot of times when people would log on and their social contacts don't provide them with what they need to get a full group rolling in a reasonable timeframe. That's where an LFG tool becomes an asset. And for people like me in my current situation, a same-shard LFG tool makes it easier to just get into a dungeon and meet different players and build my contacts from there. The good players will still stand out and I'll still remember them. The difference is, when I get thrown in with a group of well (or not so well) intentioned players who just aren't up to the task, I don't feel doubly cheated for not only the time wasted in the dungeon but also the time wasted putting the group together in the first place.
I played WoW in Vanilla too, and we could spend two hours trying to find a group and fail. We could end up being unable to find anyone capable of tanking or healing a given instance.
I am not totally sure, but I strongly suspect that most of the problem with the WoW LFD tool was the lack of cross-server social tools. We'll see.
If you automate the system to put groups together as soon as there are enough people of the appropriate roles to do so, even if it's restricted to same-shard, it means you can just put yourself in the queue and then go do whatever else you might want to do in order to keep yourself occupied and when the group is ready, the group is ready. You don't have to worry about the one tank popping into the queue a few seconds after you last checked and being snapped up by the guy who joined the queue 30 minutes after you. You can actually focus your attention on playing the game instead of trying to get everything arranged so that you can play the game.
I know when I was spamming LFG DPS/Bard I had like no replies because honestly everyone is dps and why pick a rogue when another class can do the job better at the moment.
So I tried tanking and whenever I say Tank lfg I get a good amount of tells.
Some of us however believe that any removal of socialization and need to maintain a good standing with the community is a very bad thing. We believe (and have a good reason to) that this will be the result of DF even more so if it is a cross-sever DF
To be honest, I have only done a few instances. I spend most of my time talking in Sanctum and questing with friends or people I happen to come across.
A tool for finding groups for instances will not remove social aspect. I mean..the ONLY social aspect of looking for groups in chat is that you spam chat every 60 seconds or so until your group fills..and then you all port over.
What happens inside the instance is moot point because at that time both the DF group compared to the Non-DF group are on same grounds socially..they can talk and chat while they do the instance all they want...even become friendly.
Plus this is a tool..not a replacement. It is like saying that having bikes means nobody will walk, and having cars means nobody will ride bikes...but people still do all of those things.
However having all of those tools allows for a more diverse and friendly system.
What, I wonder..is your argument for how spamming chat allows for more social interaction? Because that is the only difference between the two..and you can just as easily find a group via spam chat even when the DF tool is in place.
And if you find that people are in general unfriendly and obnoxious in the DF groups..simply get groups via spam chat..or as you said..socialize with players on your server and build up a friends list..join a guild..befriend other guilds..nobody is/wants to stop others from socializing.
I am gonna keep it short.
DF will take away some of the alrdy lacking social aspect of the game (also random/crossserer matching) migth do more bad then good.. Just my opinion.
Last edited by dooby; 04-18-2011 at 03:11 AM.
The social thing becomes dumb because after that dungeon you most likely will never see them again so why bother talking or making friends when you go through, why bother even playing to your best its not like they can tell everyone in your world how terrible you were and stuff or that you ninja loot everything.
So really anything cross-server in my opinion would be terrible.
I still think DDO has the best LFG / DF
Last edited by dooby; 04-18-2011 at 03:15 AM.
A DF tool is needed. It takes ages to find people for a dungeon at my level (40+) and a DF tool would make it easier for people to join Dungeons, not many want to spend their time spamming the chat channels.
Quite often you will find people will ask their friends on their server to group before joining a DF queue.
Aside from all that, even IF the community was horrible and the players sucked and they shouted out **** NUB I PWN THIS CLASS, and other things..I have full confidence that Trion would have some sort of a "kick player" option in that if several people vote, that player would be gone.
Also, any form of DF tool would be better than chatting to yourself trying to get that one last spot for your group..then having to call it and tell all your friends on your sever..better luck next time..just because you couldn't get that healing spot filled.
Trion has shown nothing but awesomeness when it comes to making things better for everyone. Do you really honestly think they would implement a DF tool, then ignore it if any problems cropped up? No..they would fix it. Because thats what Trion does..they kick arse.