The first place to look for a group is usually your own guild. While it's possible to level up without running instances, many players will drop what they're doing to get into them. Even if there are only high-level characters online, they may have low-level alternate characters that could use the instance run. They may also offer to run you through the instance, whether to accept or not is a matter of preference. I have both given and accepted instance runs, but I try to limit them for new players who are still learning their classes.
Blizzard has introduced a handy "Looking for Group" tool. You can access this tool by either pressing the "I" key or by clicking the green eye icon on the bottom of the screen. To use this tool, you select the dungeons you are interested in running. The looking for group tool will then match you up with other players who want to run the same instance. Once you've gotten a group started, you can use the "Looking for More option." Unfortunately this tool is rarely used and tends to be less than fruitful. It was a nice try on Blizzard's part, but it has failed.
You can also use the looking for group channel to find other players. To access this channel, just type /4 (which is usually the looking for group channel) and then state the instance and roles you're looking for. Again, this tool was implemented by Blizzard and is rarely used by players. More often people use the local general (/1) or trade (/2) channels for this function.
- LFG <Instance>- Looking for Group
- LFM <Instance>- Looking for More, this usually includes a number
- LF <Role> <Instance>- Looking for a specific role
You may also specify which roles you already have filled.
- LFG WC- Looking for Group for Wailing Caverns.
- LFM RFD- Looking for More for Razorfen Downs.
- LF1M SM Lib- Looking for 1 more player for Scarlet Monastery Library.
- LF Heals SFK- Looking for a healer for Shadowfang Keep.
- LF Tank/CC VC- Looking for a tank and crowd control for Deadmines.
- LF2M Gnomer have tank and heals- Looking for two dps/cc players for Gnomeregan, the party already has a healer and a tank.
Failing that, you may look for your preferred class by using the /who function. Just type /who <class> <level range>. This will produce a list of players currently online that meet your specifications. For example if you were looking for a healer for Ragefire Chasm, you might type /who Priest 13-17. You would then whisper to potential group members. If that search didn't net you your desired healer, you could try other classes with healing abilities, such as /who Shaman 13-17.
Etiquette is exceptionally important when forming and playing in a group. If you do whisper a group request be sure to let the player know exactly what you're looking for, the character may not be specialized for the role you have in mind. Remember, not all Druids heal and not all Warriors tank, all classes have spec variations. For example, if you were looking for a Paladin healer, "Do you want to heal RFK?" is usually a better approach than "Wanna run RFK?" The Paladin could be a tank, healer, or DPS.
If someone turns you down or does not respond to your request, move on. Don't bother asking them again. It's usually best to ask players who in cities. Obviously, players who are already engaged in an instance probably don't have time to run yours, so you should probably skip asking them, though you may check and see how their instance is going in case a spot opens up. DO NOT randomly invite people to your group, it is exceptionally annoying.
Most instances have Summoning Stones which allow you to bring other players to the location. So they do not necessarily have to be nearby to join your group. At least two party members must be present to use the summoning stone. To use the Summoning stone, click on the group member that you wish to summon's character portrait at the left side of the screen and then click on the stone when it h as the gold gear icon. The second player must click on the portal that opens up. Neither player should move until the ritual is complete The stone only works on characters close to the level range of the instance.
Don't be surprised if you get whispers for instances also. If you're of the appropriate level and specification, with nothing pressing, consider going along. If you are not interested, acknowledge the request and politely decline. If I'm busy or just not interested I usually say "No thanks, good luck."
World of Warcraft is a Massively Multiplayer Game. That means that at some point or another you will most likely have to group up with other folks. I was very intimidated by it. I've had some good groups, some bad groups and some very bad groups. I've also made many friends by grouping up, and found a few people to put on my ignore list. I find it best to always be polite. If a group isn't working, politely leave.
Make sure that you can and do play your role to the best of your ability, that includes buffs, resurrections, appropriate targeting. Also make sure you have time to complete the entire instance. Remember that from time to time every group wipes, so have a little patience. It's always a drag to have to either quit an instance or look for another player while the instance is in progress.
Groups are not reserved for only instances. There are many quests in the environment that are labeled "group." Those usually tell you about how many players are required to defeat the monsters and complete the quests. There is strength in numbers against monsters and enemy players. So have fun, group up, and make some friends.