A bit of WoW history to explain the LFG change.

Yesterday’s post received a lot of good comments debating the merits of the new LFG tool and how it changes the social dynamic in WoW. What may have been lost or unclear in my post is that I believe the new tool is an improvement for the average WoW player, but it’s not an improvement for what MMOs are all about. The new LFG tool is not the first step WoW has taken to benefit the solo-hero at the expense of the MMO fan, and I think at least some people seem to forget this.

First let’s start with battlegrounds being added, which while a nice quick way to zone into some zero-impact PvP, killed any chance WoW had at world PvP (and back before WoW was released, a lot of attention was paid to, you know, that whole Orcs vs Humans thing WarCraft was based around, now long lost thanks to space goats and countless other additions). Now before BGs, world PvP in WoW was basically limited to one zone and guild raids on NPC cities, but who is to say it would have remained that way if instead of adding instanced battlegrounds, Blizzard added RvR-like zones similar to DAoC, or had come up with something new (I know, that would be a first, but back then the A-team was still at the helm so it might have been possible).

World PvP was removed in favor of instanced, pre-set, limited PvP. That’s fine as WoW was more about a set group interacting with itself rather than one big involved world. The first pass at battlegrounds allowed groups to queue up, which meant it was possible for a guild group to all queue into AV and play as one team. AV’s initial version was also more tactical, and winning often relied on coordinating the NPC special attacks and giving them proper support. When both sides lacked any coordination or tactics, you got a standstill, which was somehow regarded as a terrible, terrible mistake. Remember, if the cookies don’t rain down fast enough, WoW players start to cry. AV was ‘fixed’ by removing most of the tactical options, and the ability to queue as a group was removed to make things ‘fair’ for everyone. A win for the solo-hero, and another source of group-based activity removed.

Finally cross-server queuing was added because under-populated servers in WoW would suffer from long queues at odd hours, or for whatever battleground was the least efficient to grind out rep/tokens/cookies. While cross-server queuing did reduce the wait time, it also removed server rivalries and seeing familiar faces to fight with/against. How you view that change is a good indicator to the type of player you are. That many cheered the removal of waiting at the expense of server community is not surprising for WoW today, but at least back then it was somewhat shocking. It seems almost impossible to imagine a game like EVE or DarkFall with such a change, where the time to siege is shortened, but you are now sieging a random clan rather than a given target, yet that’s exactly what happened in WoW.

Looking outside of WoW, Warhammer Online gives us a perfect example of why random grouping does not lead to any sort of social interaction. One of the main complaints about Public Quests, outside of them being underpopulated, is that you run in, join a group, complete the PQ, and leave without ever saying a word to your group. This has long been the case in battlegrounds/scenarios, where outside of one capslock-kiddie crying for attention, everyone else was silent, but to see it happen in a PvE environment was something else.

When it becomes effortless to join a group, and the amount of familiarity needed to complete a group activity is so low, the need for socialization is minimized. You can champion ‘being social to be social’ all day long, but we all know MMO players are infamous for doing whatever it takes to get to the shiny, even if that means having LESS fun along the way. You can’t change human nature, but you can shape it by defining the rules your world plays by.

It’s the developers job to guide the players, and sometimes that guidance might SEEM like a bad change initially, only to later realized that you are having more fun with the game now than before. A good example of this is the recent PvE changes in DarkFall, which made many of the mobs in the game significantly harder. Initially of course players complained that they can no longer farm, that the game was impossible, and why is PvE being made more difficult when DF is a PvP game? A few weeks later, and group PvE is common, random group vs group PvP is occurring more often, and the whole risk/reward ratio is in better balance. It’s a change Aventurine knew they had to make, and it was one many in the community did not initially understand because the impact of the change was deeper than just the top layer.

The new LFG tool certainly makes getting into a dungeon easier in WoW, that is undeniable. What time will tell is how the tool changes the already weak social fabric of the game. WoW in 2004 was far more of a virtual world than it is in 2009, and with the continual changes to instant travel, anonymous grouping, and the reduced reliance on others, it’s not hard to see why many view it closer to a game like Guild Wars than something like EverQuest. Which is not a ‘bad’ change overall, as both GW and EQ are fun games for what they offer, but if I’m looking for a virtual world to interact in, which game am I more likely to pick, and which game is more likely to keep me around purely based on those social chains?

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Darkfall Online, MMO design, PvP, RvR, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to A bit of WoW history to explain the LFG change.

  1. theJexster says:

    I get what your saying. WOW has become the one night stand that leaves you cold without so much as a thanks or goodbye. It uses you for quick pleasure, then before you know it your all alone again. Where as pre-WOW the MMO experience was like a long term relationship full of highs, lows, fights, make-ups and commitments. :)

    In all seriousness WOW does feel cold and impersonal now days. There was a time when reputation mattered and players formed bonds, now it’s wham bam loot and run.

    • evizaer says:

      Welcome to mass-market multiplayer gaming. The game has to be stupid and impersonal in order to appeal to 16 million people. It’s hard to be personal when you’ve got people from all around the world playing the game. It’s hard not the be stupid when most of your players want the game to be pleasant instead of interesting–or when most of your players are satisfied participating in monotony for the sole reason that it’s somewhat novel and their friends are playing it.

      • Bhagpuss says:

        I play on an EU server, English language. There is a choice of language servers, which from memory is German, Spanish, French and English. Well, most countries in Europe don’t speak any of those as a first language, but many will have more English than they do the other three.

        Consequently not everyone can even make themselves understood easily to others, and even those who can may be self-conscious about trying. Facilities that automate functions that used to require discussion are a clear benefit for any game company that seeks to attract a supranational customer-base.

        Actually, one of the big problems MMOs have in this respect must be all that text. Maybe the next thing to go will be quest dialogs. After all, a picture of ten rats with a a line through them would pretty much cover it.

  2. sid67 says:

    Quote: “When it becomes effortless to join a group, and the amount of familiarity needed to complete a group activity is so low, the need for socialization is minimized.”

    So is the issue that forming groups is too easy or that the task is not hard enough? Or both?

    Right now, grouping (clan, guild, or party) is the single biggest obstacle most players face in an MMO.

    WoW’s solution to this problem has historically been to just take the ‘group’ out of the equation.

    The other solution (and the one I prefer) is to help facilitate social networking. Tools to help people establish and form clans, guilds and even small parties.

    I’m not advocating the random automated creation of groups, but players do need better ways to advertise and form both large and small groups. Instead, let’s arm people with more information.

    Player rating systems that can be shared among friends or clan members. A grouping ‘history’ tab on a character sheet (i.e. have you grouped before, what content did you do together? how many mobs killed together? players?). Or how about a method to post your MMO interests/profile as an in-game resume that can be searched by recruiting guilds?

    Point here being that “making grouping effortless” is not the problem. People shouldn’t have to constantly struggle to form groups.

    I would argue that the solution to Syn’s thought that ‘effortless groups + easy task = no socialization’ is to make the task harder. The challenge shouldn’t be in forming the group, it should be in DOING whatever needs DOING.

    • Damage Inc says:

      I would say that the reason grouping has become one of the biggest problems in WoW is because over time, as you said yourself, “WoW’s solution to this problem has historically been to just take the ‘group’ out of the equation.” Blizzard has also done nothing to help social networking at all. They have just decided to continually push grouping to the back burner.

      What’s interesting, and I’ve said this before, is that there are several successful MMORPG’s that are more based off of solo PvE yet have/had some of the best community I’ve ever seen in an MMORPG.

      Let’s take for example, Asheron’s Call. No it didn’t have as many servers as UO or EQ but I would definitely call it a successful MMORPG. AC was, for the most part, all about solo PvE. The only time you “grouped” with anyone was usually when you were doing some of the major quests in the game. Other than that, most people didn’t group as it was more profitable to PvE solo and there were no traditional Healer/Tank/DPS classes. You were your own healer, tank or dps.

      So here we have a game, who’s PvE is primarily solo based yet this game has some of the best overall community in an MMORPG? How does this happen? It happens because Turbine placed some very good social networking tools in the game, their best being the Vassal/Patron system.

      IMO forced grouping is never a very good thing in an MMORPG. What is needed though is forced congregating. Some means by which the game forces you to interact with other people playing it. All of the original MMORPG’s had this to some extent, UO, AC, EQ and even DAoC. Since then though, developers have pretty much done everything they can to remove the need to have to interact with other players. Hell if that’s what I want from an MMORPG, I’d be playing Dragon Age: Origins, which IMO is pretty much what WoW has become.

      From what I’m seeing with WoW and its subscriber base, an expansion comes out, people play it till they get bored and leave WoW. Then another patch or expansion comes out with more content and bam, they resub. To me WoW has become almost like a single player RPG. It’s not fully their yet, but it’s getting there.

      I just want more out of my MMORPG and that’s why I’ve resubbed to DFO. Because it’s the only game recently that requires people to interact with one another and that’s when I’m having the most fun in an MMORPG.

      • sid67 says:

        Other than that line, I wasn’t speaking specifically about WoW, but I think we are mostly in agreement.

        I’d even say that WoW has destroyed the social dynamic much farther than you are suggesting.

        Guilds which form to do difficult raiding content don’t recruit individuals — they recruit for class roles that meet specific requirements. One of the ironies being that if you want to do ‘serious’ content, you often have to leave your old comrades behind.

        WoW also encourages a lot of loose or temporary relationships. The problem with these relationships is that it’s too easy to just screw someone else over with little to no consequences. The result is AFKers in Battlegrounds and Ninja Looters.

        Still, the basic problem of how to find and meet up with other people exists in pretty much every game. That’s why I’m a big advocate of tools that get people to network up.

        Faced with not grouping at all or using an automated tool, well.. the tool is undeniably useful.

        However, I would rather see solutions where people are provided INFORMATION that they can use to help them form groups instead.

  3. Brian Inman says:

    The new change in WoW really reminds me when I tried out Guild Wars. Doesn’t it work the same way? You just queue up for a quest or instance, and you get a PUG group automatically formed up.

    I know exactly what you are talking about when BG’s killed World PvP. Right now I don’t think you ever have to step foot out of Orgrimmar except to duel. I remember those guild vs guild battles in WSG, and AB. There was pride, and great rivalries, and cross server BG’s killed it instantly.

    I remember AV was so hated on our server, and Horde dominated WSG, and AB that AV didn’t pop for over a month. After having Hurricane Katrina type floods with Alliance tears Blizzard finally gave in to the cross server queues.

    So I love the new feature, but in the same respects it is going to kill alot of the games social aspects. I have always been PvP oriented, but with the new feature I really am going to try out the PvE side of WoW to see tons of content I would of never even cared to see.

  4. Mordiceius says:

    On an unrelated note, it looks like owners of the city we’re staying at (Aerngardth) hate VAMP or something so we might end up seeing each other on the field of battle.

    I was at the initial attack on Angfrost the other day but the attack was so poorly organized that we had a full retreat 10 minutes into it. I logged out after that but supposedly that is when the real action happened.

    • SynCaine says:

      Nice. Yea I was not around last night for Angfrost, but I guess the city got leveled. Not sure what VAMP/NEM are planning next, but it seems they are just doing a lot of weapon testing atm.

    • Damage Inc says:

      Well I’m in the guild that controls Aerngardth (Calamitous) and I’m unaware that we HATE Vamp/DR. A ton of them were in Angfrost yesterday and I believe pretty much leveled the city TCA had just taken so there is a definitely bad blood that will lead to some good conflict.

  5. Mig says:

    Well I finally resubed to Darkfall. I have not played since the summer, was waiting for transfers, and then I figured I wd just wait until law school finals were over to start playing again. So I log back in for the first time today, and I knew I wd lose all my gear and still be full on red for alignment, but they even took away my extra starter weapons, lol. So now I am running around naked and red with a leaf sword. Time to find a guild!

    • SynCaine says:

      Where you bound to an NPC city with a tower? That was my favorite part of the transfer, my guy started in a city that was trying to zap him to death, only to have him respawn right back inside.

      (non-issue of course because of the invuln shield, just found it funny)

      • Mig says:

        Yep, guess I should have gone blue b4 i transferred. Do ppl still camp the banks with out towers hard core?

        • SynCaine says:

          I have not been to one in some time, but I don’t think they are camped. Pks might swing by on occasion of course.

  6. df says:

    “WoW in 2004 was far more of a virtual world than it is in 2009”

    WoW was also brand new in 2004, so the world seemed larger because you hadn’t been to every nook and cranny. Even before Wrath of the Lich King, by the time you had a max level character and had geared up even just a little, you had already been all over Azeroth and Outland, and everything felt small.

    I can’t believe people are complaining that a tool which gets you a social group faster is a detriment to social gaming.

    • Adam says:


      If you can’t believe it, it’s likely that your understanding of the game you play is shallow. Perhaps you can believe it but just disagree?

      Wow in 2004(?) had 1 raid.

      There were no battlegrounds.

      There were no instance stones.

      Most of the action was centered around Blackrock mountain or Plaguelands were everyone came around to instance or pvp each other.

      There was lots of low level pvp. People would band together to clear a zone of the other faction if they couldn’t get their leveling done.

      The big fight was at southshore.

      Looking for group meant asking in trade or guild if anyone wanted to go with you.

      The point is that short term fixes to “issues” have ruined wow for many people. You apparently are not one of them, congrats on still playing wow.

      • evizaer says:

        Who are these “many” people? And are they many more than those who have seen a significant increase in enjoyment? I highly doubt it. Most WoW players are casuals who will (and/or have) greatly benefit from this change.

    • sid67 says:

      I don’t know if complaining is the right word. It’s just that such a tool has consequences. Worst evil comes from the best intentions and such.

      So yes– you get to group. And I agree that’s a positive outcome and for player’s who are plagued by being unable to group for whatever reason, that is a good thing.

      The consequence is that the ‘cross-server’ nature of it and the ease of use devalues player-to-player relationships. So instead of being encouraged to make friends, you are encouraged to click a button. And since these new group members are from other servers, there is little chance of grouping for other things.

      In effect, it places an emphasis on short-term engagements rather than long-term relationships.

      In a lot of ways, you could draw the comparison to marriage and dating.

      In this case, Dungeon Finder is the equivalent of a one night stand. Short-term relationship. It also carries a lot of risk (unwanted pregnancy/STD vs. Ninja Looters/fail PuG).

      By contrast, finding a clan in a game like Dark Fall is the equivalent of marriage. You can’t cheat on her or your relationship suffers. In return, you get a steady supply of sex. Of course, you often have to put up with a lot of crap you don’t like and learn to make compromises. But most importantly, you get to build something meaningful together and work towards joint long-term success (owning a house, raising children, etc).

      So what’s better? Well, some people are always going to like one-night stands better than a long-term commitment. Maybe they just can’t commit.

      But generally, I think most people think the longer term relationship is better.

      That said, a one night stand is still better than not getting laid at all.

      • malakili says:

        You’re thinking too much into it. For those of us who want the “long term commitment” we can say we are probably making the conscious decision. However, the people who want the “one night stand” in terms of gaming aren’t saying “gee, I’m choosing a shallow experience over a deeper one because I think its the best choice for me overall.”

        There just isn’t that kind of analysis from the average player. Its just logged in “Am I enjoying myself.” Period. No desire to analyze the situation. For us hobbyists, it makes sense to talk about/reflect on our gaming experiences, but for the casual gamer, it just doesn’t factor in.

        Even the WoW fans here are way more dedicated than the average player JUST by virtue of reading a gaming related blog. The WoW fans here are in fact so far from the sorts of wow players syncaine complains about I would suspect. The average WoW player isn’t going to “Gee, Darkfall, that game doesn’t appeal to me” the average WoW player is going to say “What is Darkfall, is that a game too?”

        My point is, I think we need to take a sense of perspective when discussing this. Even though a lot of people here have their passions run high, talk in sweeping metaphors, etc. To the average gamer, they don’t get passionate about this at all, its just a new feature in the game they play, they just don’t get that passionate about it to begin with.

        • sid67 says:

          I don’t think the average players looks deeply into anything.

          But that doesn’t mean that design decisions don’t influence how they behave. If the devs add a shiny, people are going to go try to get the shiny.

          The marriage-dating analogy was meant to explain the pros/cons of a short term engagements versus long-term relationships in an MMO.

          If your game primarily promotes short-term engagements for grouping, then long-term relationships aren’t likely to develop.

          That’s a design decision and a consequence of adding a tool like Dungeon Finder. The average player doesn’t need to understand that in order to face the consequence.

  7. Ragnarok says:

    Inb4 solo instances and raids.

  8. Stabs says:

    “which game is more likely to keep me around purely based on those social chains?”

    I would hope no game will keep you playing based on social chains.

    A game should be fun. It’s great when it is also a vehicle for friendship but that’s not the prime function.

    WoW is aimed at non-gamer gamers who experience a certain naive enjoyment in squeaky goblins, corny pop culture references and gear that is epic and awesome simply because it says it is. It layers that basic formula with some sophisticated raid and arena challenges.

    It does what it does very effectively. I do think it’s a game to move on from eventually but I don’t think it’s some blot on the face of mmo-dom. Not everyone can cope with being corpse camped for hours for a more social game experience – or can even see how those gameplay elements are intertwined.

    • evizaer says:

      People keep playing WoW because of the social pressure to continue. It’s strange how strongly people aim to maintain the status quo in such situations. This is how people throw away 60+ hours a week for years of their lives on MMOs and then look back to see a yawning void after they quit. They didn’t play for substantial reasons, they played because other people played. Once the relationships are gone, nothing is left. The game wasn’t much fun in itself, it was a platform for forming and maintaining exciting new friendships with people you’d otherwise never meet. This is how themepark games survive now.

      • Stabs says:

        No. People keep playing WoW because they find it fun.

        Look you can’t be right if Syncaine is. You’re saying WoW only keeps people because of social ties. Sync is saying WoW is a collection of dysfunctional soloers. These are Yin and Yang.

  9. angrygamer09 says:

    So SINCAINE, what do you and the other 100 players of Darkfall do in your groups in your awesome game?

    • Damage Inc says:

      I know your 100 people playing DF is sarcasm but I must say, there are a lot more than 100 people playing DF. Hell there were 10+ people just in the newbie dwarf town I was in yesterday.

      What do we do in DF? Lots of things:

      Gather resources for your clan or yourself.
      PvE to skill up a particular ability your looking to increase.
      PvE for cash and items.
      Small skirmish PvP, usually a small roaming group looking for solo’s and other groups.
      Large scale PvP 10+ vs 10+ or more, usually in a city or hamlet raid.
      City and Hamlet sieging.

      Just off the top of my head.

      • SynCaine says:

        Or I’d just point out that there are more players on my DF server than on any WoW server, but you know, details, who needs those.

        • Stabs says:


          Are there any official or unofficial numbers up or is that guesswork?

        • SynCaine says:

          DF servers can have 10k concurrent players. If I remember correctly WoW servers cap out at 3-5k. That number I remember from back when I played (pre-WotLK), so it may have increased (although given Blizzards record with server tech (WG), I doubt it).

          Of course max capacity and actual population may vary between WoW servers.

        • Stabs says:

          Busiest EU WoW server is Dun Morogh with just over 32K players.


          Of course while you may be wrong in the detail you’re right in spirit. A big mosh of people will turn up at your town for a fight in DF. In WoW you’ll only ever see the 24 people you raid with or the 4 randoms you pug with.

        • sid67 says:

          Stabs.. that’s a list of characters, not a list of concurrent users. Concurrent effectively means ‘logged in’.

          That list of 35,000 characters may only belong to 10,000 accounts. Of which, maybe 5K to 7K are logged in at at any one time.

        • Stabs says:

          A pretty high proportion will log on at certain peak times.

          My point is I sympathise with Syncaine’s position but don’t see how pulling numbers out of his ass improves his rhetoric.

          Just tell it like it is, Sync. Without making stuff up.

        • SynCaine says:

          If by high proportion you mean 15% at peak time (a number Blizzard has given out), and that 35k characters is what, maybe 10k accounts? So 15% of 10k is higher than a 10k total how?

          I might not know the EXACT number of concurrent users on a WoW server, but its not rocket science to know it’s higher than what DF can do, which was the overall point.

        • Stabs says:

          Sync, that’s the opposite of your point.

          Your point was:

          “there are more players on my DF server than on any WoW server”

          You’re now saying

          “its not rocket science to know it’s higher than what DF can do,”

          Guess I’m anal really, made-up numbers bother me and I genuinely think they do your case more harm than good.

        • SynCaine says:

          Err I meant NOT higher than DF, both technically (the 10k vs 3k or so) and in how many players are actually connected at any given time.

          The overall point was that out of the 5m or so WoW players, the only ones that have a chance to affect your game are the 10k or so total accounts on your individual server, which is why pointing out that the total number of DF players is lower than MMO X is not really helpful or making that persons point. On the NA server in DF I play with MORE players on average than anyone playing WoW or any MMO not called EVE.

    • Adam says:

      I’m guessing Syncaine and the rest of us playing Darkfall are probably NOT going after their lol”shoulders”lol for his rogue alt like you and the other 4563891 bananachip gamers in WoW?

      • evizaer says:

        How do you elite awesome players have the time to write comments on blog posts? You should be ordering bags off of ebay that you can poop into so that you can stay at your computer as you walk 2 1/2 hours to reach the next themepark PvP battle that you love so much.

        Shouldn’t you be standing in front of a low-quality representation of a large piece of stone waiting for a progress bar to fill?

        Shouldn’t you be circle-strafing a goblin, listening to lame-sounding grunts as you imitate a special-olympics counterstrike knife-fight?


        • SynCaine says:

          You circle-strafed goblins? That explains why you lasted an hour before throwing in the towel.

        • evizaer says:

          Actually, it required less skill than circle-strafing effectively.

          Maybe circle-strafing was the wrong word, but it’s the generally hyperactive continuous motion that has no parallel with any kind of combat in real life.

        • SynCaine says:

          You would know better than most of us how best to fight the mobs in DF.

          But good point, hopefully the next patch adds some much-needed realism to fireball hurling, because that’s definitely what DF is missing atm. Clearly that cripples the current-games combat system and makes it inferior to all other MMO combat systems.

        • Draglem says:

          That and the sex with men imho

        • Adam says:


          So I’m guessing that you were bad at Darkfall?

      • rev says:

        So, to summarize:

        WOW = baddies who eat bananachips leaning on the shoulders of less than reputable men (Also, I thought that WOW players weren’t really “gamers”. You’re getting weak Adam. You’re gonna get crushed on server if you keep that up…)

        DF = 100 guys standing around “circle strafing their goblins” (wink-wink) BUT with the server potential capacity for 10k doing so. Those poor goblins…

        • Adam says:


          Listening to people playing WoW these days I can’t help but see monkeys in cages with 4 buttons in front of them watching a flickery bad video of the “instance” they are playing through the bars. “1234! 214! did i win? ooooooh i want my bananachip soooo bad!!!!”

          The 100 guys are farming Evizaer as he tries to farm goblins… but at least he had the balls to try the game you baddie.

  10. bonedead says:

    WoW has been catering to the same crowd for some time now. If you’re not a part of that crowd I don’t get why you care. The game that was once WoW is never coming back, they did not take the route to please a small few, they went for the big bucks. This new LFG system is not a bad thing for anyone who is currently playing WoW, whether it further shits on socializing or not.

    I just don’t get why it is a topic worth mentioning and comparing to Darkfall when both games and companies are catering to a different demographic. Especially when you’re a member of the DF camp, since it affects you 0%. But I know how much SynCaine likes to stir the pot to drum up traffic and discussions (read: traffic). Can’t blame him.

    On a side note: May be returning to DF early next year as Murder Turd is back on NA. I’m into AoC right now and maybe Fallen Earth after that, but DF is there somewhere.

    • SynCaine says:

      Everyone is rather excited that MH is back in DF. Along with the Goons, they provide so much entertainment both in and out of the game.

      • bonedead says:

        It was some of the best fun I’ve had online, but that was the problem because of my broken self, I’m either all in or all out. But I think I could go back and limit myself, mebbe.

        • SynCaine says:

          Make sure to transfer your character from EU to NA at least, before it becomes a paid service. You can at least do that without resubscribing. But since you don’t have to pay for the ‘box’ again after you transfer, how much is one month at $15 really going to set you back to check it out again and see what MH is up to?

    • Adam says:


      wtf is there to do in aoc now?

      Last I read they still hadn’t fixed -sieging-?

      That was pretty much the whole draw of the game in the first place and it kind of upsetting that my $50 to them was apparently totally wasted….

      • bonedead says:

        I only paid $5 for the game and never played it til now, so it is all completely new to me. Currently 34ish so I haven’t seen any of the big boy PvP.

  11. Dblade says:

    The problem is that the alternative is worse.

    Before FFXI started to change the game to make it more solo friendly, it was common to see all of maybe 10 people in a midrange looking for party bracket. We didn’t have any cross-server PUG tools, or cross-server anything then, so all you had were the people on. And as the game aged, the level distribution skewed heavily to 75s.

    Then, it often was quite an effort just to find a group. There were a lot of nights when no tank even existed, and then we had no sidekicking either.

    The social aspect wasn’t any stronger then either. There was much less interaction simply because many players didn’t group often, or outside their guild. The problem with social interaction is that it doesn’t have to be shared-everything you say can be done in-guild and guilds can isolate players much more than a PUG.

    So what happens is the end result is similar, but players get pissed off because not only is the social fabric weak because everyone is locked in-guild to do anything, what they can do in group is painful when they want to mix up.

    Keep in mind that people still play WoW, but good luck trying to get into everquest or UO now.

    • Adam says:

      I think the core of the argument isn’t just that the new LFG is bad.

      It’s part of a chain of bad quick fixes to WoW, a game I had fun in a long time ago.

      It’s a fix that, while makes your average wow player happy in the short term, is sloppy and in the wrong -direction-.

      • Dblade says:

        No I understand, my point is that the right “direction” isn’t actually better. The long term effects on the social fabric still will happen, its just that with it will come worse gameplay issues.

        They have to act in a way which provides fun to the average WoW player while still being cost-effective to implement. It may be sloppy and the wrong direction by your standards, but your right direction and elegant solution may prove to have much more drawbacks than thought.

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