No really. Lol. I laugh at your idea.
It will be abused. Or, it will be so uselessly gimped as to be... useless. Let's all think about what happens when anonymous interacts with anonymous. Yep, the exact LFD system we have right now. Pretty awful, isn't it? What makes you think the god-awful DPS, elitist tank, or whiny healer are going to suddenly start being calm and sensible when presented with a survey about the other players in the group?
One of my last experiences in randoms was to get kicked by a group. Why? I wasn't kissing the tank's ass properly, pointing out that he was in frost presence. Pressed on it, also pointing out that it was my sheeping, kiting, and interrupts that were keeping the healer alive when the tank as busy being garbage. Hey, I never said you can't carry a tank, just that it's not as common as so many DPS seem to think. That is the result of an anonymous system in which you'll never meet people again: good players get kicked and people reactive extremely badly to the slightest negative thing.
WoW used to have a rating system. No really, it did. We called it a "server" or sometimes "realm." Gather round and let me tell you about a time when people played with people from their own server and only their own server. When there are only a few thousand people to keep track of, it's a lot easier to get the word around that someone is a complete jackass, or amazing. Of course a few thousand is still quite a lot, but not everyone is logged in at the same time.
When you're going to be around the same people again, then you're going to care more. Their opinions will matter, not merely "I don't want people to think badly of me" sense, but "if I act like a total jackass people will know not to group with me again." It wasn't an explicit rating system, but it was there, some way to measure and communicate performance. Yep, trade chat used to serve an essential function of giving groups a place to complain about shitheads. It wasn't a perfect system. For instance, it can be hard to sustain a solid flame wall about a bad group member if there are a hundred enchanters desperately looking for customers. Things were bad before vellums were added.
No wait, don't say it. If we go back to single-server grouping queues will go up. You think so? Maybe. But maybe not. Listen to the tanks; how many are complaining that their short queue times cause them to have to tank too much (none) compared to how many are complaining that randoms are too often hellish nightmares of awful and bad? (many) So I suggest this: even if we lose some liquidity by cutting off servers, that could be compensated for by tanking being less stressful, thereby causing more tanks to queue and possible more players to tank.
More players tanking? But won't they all be garbage? Maybe. Or maybe when people are no longer just a bunch of anonymous jackasses they'll be more willing to talk and listen. The awful tank will know that if he doesn't listen and improve he'll be kicked to the curb whereas if he does, then he can get some tiny bit of reputation for listening and improving. Meanwhile if they have a good chance of possibly seeing him again, the group will be willing to talk and help improve, since if they can fix a tank, that's one more good tank for them. When we'll never see them again, we shovel off bad players as a problem for someone else (guess what happens when everyone does this, oh right, we get their garbage), whereas if we have to acknowledge that they are in fact our problem, we fix it.
Oh, you just never want to have to deal with bad players? Fine, go play in your guild and never touch LFD. That's fine. You can go away and have no affect on anything. Good. Everyone wins.
As for the rest of us, who care to fix the world rather than just grab at the last few scraps and whine about how bad everything is, we can do something.
Or we can't. What the fuck am I thinking? We're never going back to servers. We're too attached to the idea of fast queues for groups we don't want to be in, somehow imagining that a lot of not having fun is better than a little of having fun.
But hey, at least there's RIFT, right? Maybe. At least until they get around to their own tools and the inevitable cross-server implementation, and there we go again.
Yesterday I remarked at how I remember when ramen noodles were a dime. I think MMOs cause premature aging. Now get off my lawn.
Fallout 2: Family reunion
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