Let's Talk: Auto-grouping
Since there is some concern over the recently announced 'auto-grouping' system, I thought I'd shed some light on it.
Coming soon to an update near you:
When entering an instance (dungeon or wilderness) you'll be able to choose whether you want to create a private instance (no change from how it works now) or a public one.
If you opt for public, you'll have control over whether you start your own/new instance (useful for when you want to lead or already have a partial party) or join an existing one (assuming one exists - otherwise you'll start a new one).
When a new public instance is created, a LFM entry will be posted in the Grouping panel (with an indication that this is a 'public' instance and the time elapsed). Other players can join by using the LFM or by walking up to and entering the instance (and choosing the 'join' option).
When players choose to join a public instance via the LFM listing, no permission is required and, if they are already in a public area, they can teleport to the quest immediately.
Players will also be able to search the LFM listings and invoke a search via the Adventure Compendium.
Leaders of public parties can modify or delete the LFM at any time (e.g. it's decided that no other party members are required etc).
There will also be an option to 'avoid leadership', so that players who start public instances but would prefer not to be the leader can have the game transfer leadership over to the next player (that doesn't have this option on).
Why have we made these changes? Simply to provide more flexibility for players wishing to find groups. These changes should not take away any existing methods of forming groups (public LFM's can be hidden if you prefer) and you should be able to operate the way you always have.
This is NOT a system that allows players to queue up for quests in advance or coaxes players to PUG. Also, this has no relation to Lotro's auto-grouping system.
There will be some rudimentary matchmaking logic for when players manually enter an instance and choose the 'join public instance in progress' option (where there are multiple public instances in progress).