This week, I finally get around to answering an email from Mattilda:
My answer and more are after the jump.
First of all, even though I'm 4 months late, congratulations! Marriage can totally eat into your gaming time. Of course, you can always convert your wife into a gamer and then you will only have to find 3 more people for your group and have more time to play! However, since the conversion can take almost as long as it took me to answer this email, I'll address your question.
You're right that LFG is far from the tool we casuals need to find a group fast. People don't use it enough and even when they do, you can never be sure what kind of a player you are getting. The last thing you want to do with your limited playtime is spend half of it arguing with people who can't play their class but want to tell you how to play yours.
I have no instant solution for you, but with some organizational work on your part and some planning ahead, you can arrange quick grouping for the long term. The key is to collect a group of players with similar schedules to play with regularly. This is more than just a friends list, it's a collection of known-good players who want the same thing you do -- find a group quickly and finish an instance before their time is up. Here's how:
- Setup a Chat Channel, for example: /join Casual
- As you find fun players with good group skills and similar schedules, invite them to the channel: /cinvite Casual Mattilda
- Always recruit groups from your Casual channel first, regardless of class or spec. A good bunch of players can make it happen, even if you don't have the standard group makeup. The more you play with the same players, the better you all will play together and the faster instances will go.
- PuGs: Recruit from pickup groups that go well. Or recruit your fellow sufferers in painful PuGs.
- Friends: Go over your Friends list. If you remember who they are and how well they play, invite them to join.
- Guildies: Recruit on your Guild's forum. There are probably other people in your raiding guild that are in the same boat.
- Other Guilds: There are some guilds that are known casual friendly and made up of mostly decent groupies. Recruiting one person from a guild will add the entire guild to the potential talent pool.
Because of the Sunwell daily quests, you may be doing a lot more soloing right now, but there are also so many people PuGing it up for Magisters' Terrace. Also, there are people who are just looking for quest-buddies, particularly on PvP servers. You should be able to recruit a few people this way. Good luck and let me know how it goes!
In other news, it's a Warsong Gulch Call to Arms weekend. May your WSG experiences be infinitely better than mine.
Also, come join us today at 3pm PDT for an informal get-together on Zangarmarsh (U.S.), Horde side. You can get invited to It Came from the Blog and chat with some of the WoW Insider bloggers. Details are here. I hope to see you there!