The small stuff sometimes makes the biggest difference.

As JoBildo accurately points out, the ‘open group’ feature of Warhammer is one of those ‘no one did this before?’ types of features that just seems so obvious, especially to anyone who has played MMO’s for any length of time.

Think about it, how many times are you doing a specific kill quest, and when you get to the area you see someone else already there. Now normally, if it’s a quick quest, you won’t bother asking them to group, as the whole ask/reply/group process takes longer than it would to simply kill the 10 whatevers you are killing. If however grouping was as simple as a right-click, people would do it out of habit all the time. After the initial quest, perhaps you stick around for a few others, including some elite quests, which all of a sudden don’t look quite as painful to gather some help for.

Now if we assume that the ‘open grouping’ feature will have as big an impact on questing/RvR as it looks like it will, will this be something all current and future MMOs add in a patch? Much like instances went from being a feature to a standard, will the same be said for open groups in a year or so?

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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10 Responses to The small stuff sometimes makes the biggest difference.

  1. Thallian says:

    An open grouping is built into lotro and has been for half a year buuuut hardly anyone uses it. I wonder if this will be the case in Warhammer of how they will “advertise” it.

    p.s. plz come on over to my blog and see if you have any ideas to share with me and Anton for the game were making.

  2. Thallian says:

    *meant “or” not “of”

  3. Talyn says:

    I haven’t read up on “open grouping” but if it’s what’s in LOTRO (which no one uses because no one can find it to know it’s even there) then it’s little more than flagging yourself as LFG so anyone else looking can see you. If that’s all it is, then… meh…

    I’d rather see proximity-based auto-grouping. Wizard101 has it, ffs… now to have a real MMO pull it off in a compelling, quality way would be great. Although it might also mean than some developer might actually have to put on their thinking caps to overcome the Trinity problem.

    These games are *supposed* to be about interacting and playing with others, so why do they insist on penalizing us for it instead?

  4. tipa says:

    Wizard 101 does that, and I’m sure it’s not the first, either. Since there is no grouping at all, every fight allows people to join in and all get equal rewards, xp, and quest credit. W101 limits this to just four people.

  5. Rick says:

    Open grouping works really we’ll in WAR because of the Public Quests, and to a lesser extent open-world RvR. I think what other games have missed with their easy-grouping solutions is a definable need to group. That’s available in abundance in WAR.

  6. syncaine says:

    LoTRO has open grouping…? I play LoTRO and I don’t know it’s an option… You don’t mean the ‘flag your group as needing more’ thing, do you?

    My understanding of an ‘open group’ in WAR is that if I see a group, I can right-click (or something), select ‘join’, and be added to the group without a delay or pop-up or anything. LoTRO does that?

    Joining a fight and open grouping are two different things though, IMO. Join a fight is more akin to splitting xp and such, while open grouping would lead (assuming it catches on and becomes common) to a more group-oriented player base, rather than the ‘I would rather solo’ mentality of WoW.

  7. lochness says:

    Planetside has it in a sense. The person starting the group has options to make it “open” then anyone looking at the outfit section is free to join the group and it auto adds them.

  8. Guy says:

    It’ll work as long as the XP/minute works out equal or better…

  9. Swift Voyager says:

    Even Eve Online has an open group feature of sorts. The alliance fleet invite is more or less open when you have over 1500 people in the alliance

  10. Graktar says:

    I think it will end up being very helpful. Whether or not its been done in other games previously is irrelevant, as WAR’s proposed implementation sounds simple, streamlined, and accessible. I’m another person that didn’t even know Lotro had ‘open’ grouping, so clearly it is neither simple, streamlined, nor accessible.

    Open grouping should also be good for helping people in a losing fight. If you’re losing a fight in most games you don’t really have the time to send a tell to someone asking for help, and many people won’t help without being asked because they risk getting accused of trying to kill steal, or might be risking their own lives for no reward. I’ve even seen the most callous of poeple wait until I die and then finish off the mob so they get full credit. With open grouping, if you see someone in trouble and they’re flagged for it, you can click to group with them, help them out, and both get rewarded and not be accused of kill stealing.

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