Dear Blizz: Here's how to fix LFG

Mike Schramm
M. Schramm|12.12.06

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Mike Schramm
December 12th, 2006
Dear Blizz: Here's how to fix LFG
Last Friday, in answer to Nethaera's comment that players should use the LFG system even if they don't like it to come up with a solution for it, I commented that it wasn't the responsibility of players to fix the system, and that I'd be typing "/join lookingforgroup" to find groups until the LFG system was fixed. Now it's Monday, and over the weekend, Neth continued blaming players for not fixing the LFG system, even going so far as to say that people like me who circumvented it "are the ones making the system not work because it only works if people use it." Instead of creating a system players want to use, Blizzard put a system in place that wasn't as good as a mod (Call to Arms, which a lot of players appreciated before the addon meltdown broke it), and then expected the players to tell them how to fix it.

Now, I'm not here to fight with Nethaera. From what I know about her, she's a pretty cool chick. All I really want is a working LFG system. So even while I think it's wrong for Blizzard to ask players to fix their system, if you want advice, Blizzard, I'll give it to you. Compiled from my own thoughts (and our readers' across a few different posts about the LFG system), here's how to fix LFG.

  • First things first, the autojoin has to go. Currently, if two people are looking for a group for the same place, they get thrown together, and that's just not how people work (it's one reason almost no one used the meeting stone system in place before the patch). People need that human filter in place-- it's also why more people are using the "Looking for More" option than the LFG option. People want to know what they're getting into before they accept an invite.
  • To that end, there needs to be a lot more information in the LFG window. I just recently found out you could hover over names to see who's in the group (a lot of people haven't realized that yet, and that's a sign that it's not intuitive enough). Ideally, I'd love to see everyone in all the groups for an instance at one glance, and choose what group I want to join based on that.
  • More options are necessary when setting up a group, both in terms of class and instance choice. Players should be able to specify what classes (or, even better, specs) we want/need. I can see the reasons why Blizzard has limited the instances available to certain players (lowbies shouldn't be in higher level instances), but once you've hit a level minimum, there's no reason why you can't be LFG for it (my 60 Warrior just took up enchanting, so he's always poking around for an Uldaman run).
  • And of course there are other tweaks that could be made. Comments could be more prominent-- that would be a solution to the problem of LFG for more than three instances, or looking with your alt. Comments could be searchable, using the same interface as the auction house.
So there you go, Blizzard. Make those changes, implement them well, and you'll be on your way to reaching a critical mass with the LFG channel. I agree with Neth about one thing-- right now, lots of folks are PVPing for gear, so the LFG system isn't much used anyway. But the fact remains that of the little LFGing there is, I've seen tons in yells, zone channels, and even the city trade channel. People don't like the system in place now, and telling them to use it more isn't good enough-- you have to fix it.
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