Imagine yourself the type of player who loathes the dungeon finder for many reasons; most of which can probably be summed up by “single-most detrimental feature to social interaction in MMOs” or “what really sent WoW’s community downhill”. Imagine yourself the player who would rather wait for the proper group (and go do other things), who’d rather start his own groups by taking initiative in zone/general chats, who’d rather re-think his role choice (in an MMO that enforces a trinity), look for a guild or form one himself, before seeing this type of feature implemented in his favorite MMO. If you’re not that type of player: imagine it anyway. Imagine yourself as someone like me.
In no conceivable MMO-future could I picture myself among those who actively ask for LFG; that would just be utterly bizarre. Unthinkable. Outrageous.
Or wouldn’t it?
Oh, teh irony…!
For several weeks now, I have kept an eye on my co-bloggers currently immersed* in the worlds of SWTOR, commenting among other things on the absence of LFG in the game. The thing that increasingly made me raise an eyebrow was the number of players calling it a grave oversight while blogging from the “MMO veteran corner”. Certainly not to be expected – what’s going on there?
The answer is frankly making my heart bleed. For most discussions, the bottom line is this paraphrased (also see one very recent example for this dynamic at Rohan’s):
Now, I don’t know how the situation is on every server. Nor do I claim to know how much of that felt lack of opportunity is actual lack of own initiative. Still, I can clearly see a problem for grouping-friendly players in an MMO that does not enforce cooperation; I think it can be expected too that with much lower overall numbers, finding suitable players for grouping during the same playtime as your own, is taking a big hit no matter how great your initiative (which can be expected to some degree if we still assume a player of a more oldschool persuasion). Especially in a game that still clings to certain group setup.
…With that, the remaining players are left with the wish (or rather: resignation) for LFG, lest they not miss so much of the group content and dungeon runs while leveling up. How deeply cynical is that? How completely upside down!
And once more, we must recognize how the old, non-chalant claim of “just play the game the way you like” or “it doesn’t affect you, just ignore it” is utter humbug. HUMBUG folks!
A couple of post scripta
- P.S.: This is in no way a jab at anyone who enjoys soloing in SWTOR; Bioware obviously intended the game to work this way and at least some are having fun. Whoever is not, can only do the obvious thing and stop paying (and write rants on it).
- P.S.(2): LFG still sucks. An MMO that makes types like me wish for LFG must therefore suck even more. Sodom and Gomorrah!
- P.S.(*): Raph Koster actually says that immersion is for dreamers (ha-ha). I guess he’s enjoying SWTOR then! /sarcasm off
- P.S.(3): I wasn’t looking to bash SWTOR in this article. But I guess it happened anyway.
- P.S.(4): I will continue to bash MMOs I am not playing (and those I am playing) on this page and there’s nothing you can do about it. Objectivity is all about erm…distance. ^^
- P.S.(5): Yeah, sarcasm wasn’t really /off there. I lie. Sometimes.