Dear Blizzard, Please End Our Loneliness

| Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The worst sort of loneliness is to be socially alone despite being surrounded by people. It isn't the passive loneliness of physical solitude. That is bearable because it has an excuse. But to be alone while not alone, that is oppressive, taunting, a whole room, crowd, world, mocking you just by their presence.

Adam is yet another story. Don't let him become a statistic.

This is the world you've made, Blizzard, with your dungeon finder. We are all as alone as if we were playing with NPCs, and yet we are not, so the world mocks us and our minds know it.

No more, I say! Or maybe more if it is convenient, but not to such an extreme as the current situation. I'd not want to change instances back to 90% finding a group, 9% finding someone with the UBRS key, and 1% actually running the instance. Incidentally, it was still completely worth it. UBRS is badass.

Add a one second delay.

Before a group is tossed into the instance, wait one second. Check the stew again for players from the same servers. Try to get two together. Three, four, maybe even at a peak time the entire group could be from the same server, and all it takes is one second. That's insignificant. We wait longer than that for DPS to remember how to press the ready button.

Or go a step further and add an option to only queue for one's own server. That player will have a longer wait time, but still shorter than the old days of manual queuing. It gives players a tradeoff of time and potentially higher social interaction. Maybe it wouldn't be used much, but for those players who are no longer alone, it would be worth it.

16 comments:

Rorran said...

I agree that the world of LFD PuGs can be a lonely, anonymous one. (Perhaps that anonymity and a lack of real accountability is some people's excuse for jackassery.) Yes, at times, running randoms feels impersonal and disconnected.

That being said, use of the LFD tool is a CHOICE. When you click the queue up button, you are accepting that you will probably be put into a group with 4 complete strangers from other realms. You also have the CHOICE to ask around in your realm's Looking For Dungeon channel or General Chat.

Better yet, grow your friends list or join a guild. That'll make it all the easier to enjoy dungeons for their challenge, loot, and social aspect.

I do, however, like your idea of adding an extra option to the LFD tool that limits the pool of group members to your own realm. I'm curious what effect it would have on wait times. That may end up making DPS wait times even longer- especially if tanks and healers disproportionally choose to limit groups to their own realm. Then again, maybe it would have no net noticeable effect on wait times. Sounds like it would be an interesting experiment.

Cassandri said...

It's strange but I swear that the Dungeon Finder is set up to find 5 players from completely different realms.

It's very very rare that I'm paired up with a player from my realm and I rarely see two other players from my group from the same other realm.

That's such a good suggestion about the option to choose your own server players. I would choose that! I want to meet more players from guilds that I'm familiar with and see what they're capable of. I'm also keen to regroup with old guild members and vague acquaintances I've played with in the last four years.

I'm also not sure why we can't queue for anything outside of our XP range. I mean, I would really like to do Scholomance and Stratholm on my Mage (she missed them as she was thrown into Ramparts at lvl 68) but it will never be an option in the Dungeon Finder anymore.

Why can't you queue and be matched up with 4 other people also beyond the level range?

Okrane S. said...

pfff the masses of kids and retards flocking inside this game make it kinda impossible to have any meaningful social interaction...

Dorgol said...

As a Tank I sometimes put a advert in /2 - "Tank queueing for random, anyone care to come along?"

I always get one or two people.

And they run just as if I had queue'd solo. There is no social interaction with those people taking advantage of my queue time. Why should I? I don't know them!

On the other hand, I have a few people in-game that I chat with constantly. We did a 4-man BWL the other day. Another friend and I do MC, AQ20, BWL, etc. semi-regularly.

All that said - it doesn't matter to me if I have heavy social interaction within WoW. In the 5-years I've been playing I've had several occasions (months long each) where none of my regular "friends" are playing. But I don't mind because I'm still having a blast.

Nees said...

Makes me wonder if Blizzard is planning to or may already be working on removing more realm boundaries regarding the friends list, chat channels, AH, etc. I think they'd much prefer that over closing down and merging all those dead realms (= bad PR).

Anonymous said...

I think you're understating the amount of time it would take in order to have the LFD tool try to match up people from the same server. If nothing else, it's an extra piece of data that has to be cross-checked between five people, while the LFD is scanning the entire pool of people that have queued up.

DPS said...

There's a ready button!?!

Anonymous said...

Using LFD is like calling a hooker. It's convenient and gets the job done but it's not going anywhere socially. If you were lonely before, you'll be lonely after.

Klepsacovic said...

@Rorran: Choice is a word with wildly varying interpretations. At all times we have a choice, just that at many times the choice is between something bad and something worse, or something bad and something ineffective. It's still a choice.

@Cassandri: You can't queue for those for the same reason you can't queue for old raids. (you can)

Incidentally, this is one of those times when I think a deleveling option would be a good idea.

@Okrane S.: I know when I was 14 I wasn't a horribly awful person and if the next 9 years have taughgt me anything it's that people who claim their generation was any better are either liars or delusional. Perhaps I'd not be friends with myself, but I could at least not leave the experience with the desire to write an exceptionally angry blog post.

@Dorgol: How do you get to know them?

@Nees: Merging without having to call it merging?

@Anonymous: A second might be too short, but considering the speed of tank queues from button push to ready check, I doubt this addition would cause a queue increase noticable to anyone else.

@DPS: Way to be part of the problem!

@Anonymous: An excellent analogy, and if you don't mind I'd like to build off that by asking where all the singles meeting places are.

thenoisyrogue said...

I personally approve of this post. And adding an option for choosing only ones server would be huge.

Okrane S. said...

@Kleps

The fact that 14yo are awful persons or not is not the issue here.

The underlying factors of an MMO - anonymity, needs large play times involved, appeals to people of low intellect or of young age, etc, set up the perfect environment to attract all sort of social misfits.

Give a 14yo anonymity and lack of consequences for their action and they will behave exactly like the most trade chat trolls or loot ninjas out there, regardless of their generation.

I am not claiming *my* generation was better (i've just turned 26 btw - so we're from the same generation), I'm claiming that its safe to assume that everyone you meet in an mmo is a combination of immaturity (kid) and idiocy (retard).

That's why I fail to see the need to make friends wherever you go inside the game - especially 5 mans. You have your guildies, you hear them on vent, you raid together - they could somewhat fill the role of a friend... but other than that... why bother?

Klepsacovic said...

"The fact that 14yo are awful persons or not is not the issue here."
"appeals to people of low intellect or of young age"
But beside that, the point I was trying to make is that it is the situation, as you said. Anonymity and lack of consequences. Lack of interaction only feeds these, making it easier to think of others as not human.

As for that assumption, well, I suppose it's safe in the sense that thanks to anonymity we can all get away with how we treat others.

I'm not searching for friends, I'm searching for interaction, something to indicate that LFD isn't putting me in a group of bots. Right now we're at "ATM" level of interaction and I'd like to see an upgrade to "bank teller". I'm not asking for "personal accountant".

Zahraah said...

I don't do randoms to make friends - you used to do them to impress people with your skills though, and get guild invites ( more so for tanks and healers. ) I am reduced to picking up boys in pug raids now.

Disciplinary Action said...

It's so easy to push that LFD and collect your Frost and move on. I love the suggestion that we wait an extra few minutes to pick up puggers from our own realm; the never-gonna-see-you-again factor sure does do us all a disservice. Great post.

Klepsacovic said...

@Zaraah: PUG raids to meet boys? I'm reminded of a joke girls told at my college, a tech school: "The odds are good, but the goods are odd."

@Disciplinary Action: Thanks, but I do hope it adoesn't add minutes to the queue!

Rowan said...

@Kleps I think poor Okrane is more of a Troll than you are. ;) I, for one rarely encounter 14-year-olds while playing, at least not that I am aware of. Hard to tell from the toons hanging out in Dal. Plus, what does it say about him, when he describes the "typical" MMO player? He already said he is not 14, so what other trait does that leave?

I like to grab as many Guildies as a I can (easy, as a priest) and then hit the Dungeon Finder to fill out the group or just jump into a dungeon. The only drawback is that you can't talk to any daily quest givers standing outside the dungeon entrance.

The ATM/Bank Teller/Personal Accountant analogy is perfect, though. Sometimes I just want to get in, get my badge, and get out. I'll be your healbot, as long as you're not a douche-bot.

Of course, my ignore list is full of toons from other realms.

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