Blizzard Group Finder Controversy

Posted Sun, Dec 08, 2013 by Messiah

group finder banner


There has been a lot of talk over that last few days regarding the upcoming cross-realm group finder that will be introduced into the game with Warlords of Draenor.  The talk is all about what this new feature is and how it will work.

Since it is all in flux right now due to the fact that the game is still in development, there is still a lot that could change, however it is interesting to hear what the Blizzard developers are considering.

Let’s start by looking at what Blizzard CM Lore had to say this week about the new feature:

 
         
12/05/2013 03:49 PMPosted by Mawduke

But with OQ you can put restrictions, view how well they've done before, and how well they're liked with the public. Openraid had a reputation how well people liked your raids and gave you upvotes. Is there any way they will add something like that to help people avoid groups lead by bad players, mean leaders or elitist jerks?

We do want to provide some options for group leaders to put some restrictions for who can and can't request to join their group. We don't want to do it in a way that encourages people to be too heavy-handed, but we also want to make the system easy and intuitive to use, and feel it's better for everyone if the system lets leaders be upfront about who they're willing to bring along.

Basically, we want to avoid a situation where you can be invited to a group and then immediately be kicked when the leader inspects your gear and finds you're 10 item levels lower than he or she is looking for (and then have to repeat that process until you eventually either find a group that will bring you or give up entirely). We'd rather do our best to make sure you only see groups that you've actually got a shot at running with :

Many of the features talked about for the Group Finder are new in WoW as a base feature, but actually already exist in the add-on called oQueue. For those that are not familiar with oQueue and what it does, here are a few quick notes about what it does:

  • Allows you to find groups across realms for: battlegrounds, scenarios, dungeons, and raids.
  • Filter applicants based on level, gear, class, spec, etc.
  • Far faster (in general) than looking for a group on your own realm or through the Blizzard tool since it is cross realm.
  • Uses the battle tag system to manage adding players to a group.

oqueue

Will the new tool mean the end of oQueue?

If it sounds like the new Blizzard tool is heavily based on the oQueue ideas, your right.  Blizzard has a long history of taking the best add-on ideas out there and merging them right into the core game. 

Potentially this may mean the end of oQueue, but maybe not.  It really will depend on how many options the new Blizzard tool will allow you to do.  If it doesn’t provide to many options, then oQueue will survive.  If it provides all of the same options, then oQueue will probably die off, even if it remains a better product.  Players will in general stick with something in the game rather than having to learn to use an add-on.

What exactly is the difference between this new Group Finder and the old Raid Browser?

The new tool has two major differences that make if different from the other “finder” tools in the game.

Firstly, and fairly simply, the new tool will allow you to look for and find groups for pretty much anything.  This means if you want to quest with other players you can, if you want to complete scenarios or run challenge instances then you could as well.  This will give you options to get groups for what you want.

Secondly, the new tool works to allow both a Looking for Group and a Looking for Member type solution.  While both sound the same, they are vastly different.  A LFG system, puts your name into a list and fills a group and drops you all in.  A LFM system is for a group that needs a member, or a player looking to start a group and select members.  The new system will function as both at once and allow you to either get a group or a member.

When looking for members for a group, the system will allow you to check for a few different things that could make for a good matching of players.  The most common filter item being item level.

Will this new tool help or hurt players finding groups?

The most common complaint that I have seen so far is regarding the ability to filter players to be invited to the group.  Many players are concerned that this will reduce the chance of them getting into a group and to elitism in groups.

While initially many players may feel that any system that allows raid leaders to filter out players that they do not want will hurt the game, that is not always the case.  If the raid leader is not going to keep a player in a group once they join anyway, then why even allow them to join in the first place.  Is it not more frustrating to a player to wait in queue for 30 minutes, only to get into a group that then immediately kicks you out.  With some filtering being allowed, then at least when you find a group, it will be a group that will take you.  This means that you will actually be in a group that should work as a group.

While I can remember back to other systems in game, such as gearscore, that initially lead to some elitism and hard player filtering, generally these systems work out.  Players that want to complete content quickly and expect to find other players that want to do the same, will set requirements very high, but be happy with each other in a group.  Players that are just looking to run content, will get grouped with other like minded players and while those groups may struggle a little more, they will all be players that are at the same level, and therefore be forced to learn the content or die trying, instead of being carried through it.

Comments

With all the discussion going on about the new Group Finder tool and players not liking the ability to filter out players you don’t want to group with based on item level or class or any other filterable items, what are your thoughts.  Let us know in the comment section below.

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