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  1. #1
    Community Member Soulrift's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Suggestion: automatic group finder

    I'm a long time fan of DDO, but I only play casually, and I haven't really met many people to play with on a regular basis. I don't really want to invest the time in building any sort of community presence, I'm just looking for a game I can turn on, play a bit, and turn off again. DDO's recent change to a F2P model greatly improved this, but the game's reliance on groups in dungeons has been a bit of a roadblock for me recently.

    The biggest problem I have is actually getting a decent party together to do a quest. The current group finding system is decent, provided that someone goes to the trouble of starting a party, and people go to the trouble of joining it. But my recent experiences in World of Warcraft, with the new automatic group finder, have been so much better and I think DDO could benefit greatly from a similar system.

    Here is how I'd envision it working in DDO:

    You look at the list of quests available at your level, and you check the quests you are interested in running. You can pick just one, just a few, many, or everything available; the choice is yours. The quests are aligned vertically, with columns for each difficulty level, so you can check which difficulties you are willing to do on which quest. This allows players to only select dungeons they're able to run (ie: have paid for if they're not VIPs) and have met the entry requirements for (unlocking difficulty, prior steps in quests).

    You click "go" and you are put into a queue of other players looking for groups. When the system can put together a party, everyone is teleported into the dungeon/zone to start the quest, and the quest is set to the relevant step in their journal. Voila, they can do the quest. After the quest is completed, players are teleported back to where they were before they entered the quest.

    The system would have to have some criteria for assembling a decent party. For example, it should include a rogue with enough disable device skill for disarming traps if the quest has traps, and a healer with sufficient healing spells memorized for the quest, etc. Each quest will have to be parsed by the group finder for requisite stats or skills; this will also include int/wis/cha/etc requirements for quests with runes. In other words, the party created should be able to technically complete the quest.

    The automatic group finder should also have a few options available to players, such as check boxes for languages you're able to communicate in, whether or not you are willing/able to use voice chat (3 options: on, off, either), etc. would help players narrow parties found, if desired.

    I think a system like this might help players discover new quests that are not frequently run, because they could queue for multiple quests at once. This way, players don't have to give up the opportunity to run a quest at all in order to try and do a quest that isn't frequented. Furthermore, rarely visited quests could be given more traffic by having a number of "daily dungeons" that give players an extra bonus if they do that quest. These daily dungeons could be randomly chosen each day from a list of the least frequented quests in the past week in each level bracket, encouraging players to visit more of the game the DDO devs have worked so hard to produce.

    In order to further encourage monetization of the game, a "daily dungeon pass" item could be added to the item store, perhaps for 60-80 TP. This item allows the player one entry into one of that day's daily dungeons, if that daily dungeon happens to be a paid to play adventure, much like a guest pass. This would get players into P2P adventures, show them how much fun they are, and encourage them to buy the adventure to play in it again.

    I think such a system would doubly benefit casual players with few connections in the game, both by allowing them to meet new players they could potentially befriend, but the daily dungeon system would encourage experienced players who might not normally play with new players to join the automatic system and be grouped with new players for the daily dungeon bonuses. This mingling could provide opportunities for experienced players to pass on some tips to novices, and could help broaden social networks beyond the tight and closed cliques players are prone to creating (at least, this has been my experience in WoW and other games with automatic grouping).

    In any event, I hope you find my suggestion helpful and give it some serious consideration for a future DDO patch.

  2. #2
    Founder & Hero Uska's Avatar
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    Meh I would never use it I like to look at the group before I join it, but not voting against it as many of our new players might like something like this but not me.

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  3. #3
    The Hatchery sirgog's Avatar
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    I've played with that automatic dungeon finder in WoW, and think it's excellent there, where nearly every instance is easiest with a specific group makeup - 1 healer, 1 tank, 3 DPS. (Possible exception of Heroic Halls of Reflection, which I feel is easier, albeit slower, with 2 healers, 1 tank, 2 DPS).

    However, in DDO, we don't really have the same 'tank-healer-DPS' setup. Some quests (particularly at low level) are done easiest with 5 melee DPS and one warchanter bard. Plus toons don't really fit any set 'archetypes' like tank, healer, DPS, crowd controller, etc - hybrids exist (and work well, unlike in WoW where really the only good hybrids are Protection Healadins and even then they are only for PvP). Single-classed groups (all Clerics, all Monks, all Sorcs) have beaten the Shroud, even back when it was the second hardest raid in the game.

    In short - it's probably impossible to get this system to work.

    I do, however, love WoW's auto-teleport feature - it's more needed in that game (where it may take you eight minutes to get from the Storm Peaks if you join a Heroic Nexus group), but it'd be nice to add in this game so you can spend more time running dungeons and less time running around the town.
    I don't have a zerging problem.

    I'm zerging. That's YOUR problem.

  4. #4
    Community Member Visty's Avatar
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    /not signed
    i dont want to play with every noob in the game, i am selective
    and alot of others are too
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  5. #5
    Community Member Durion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visty View Post
    /not signed
    i dont want to play with every noob in the game, i am selective
    and alot of others are too
    Concur, it sounds like yet another "easy button." Turbine, make me a perfect party. Also, with the aforementioned requirements, people switch items around changing the effectiveness of those specific abilities, like a rogue in assassin mode probabley doesn't have his search/disable/open items on, thereby reducing his ability to below the "required" level to enter.

    You've been playing long enough that there HAS to be some people that you know. If not try getting into a guild, there's more often than not more than willing people to help a guildie to grind for an item or get a specific quest knocked out.

    Remember, just because it works in one MMO doesn't mean it'll work here. I enjoy being different, if they all take "what works best," we'll end up with 20+ versions of the same MMO.
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  6. #6
    Community Member Lleren's Avatar
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    I would use it with some restrictions.

    No one on your squeltch list is eligible to party with you. Conversely you are not eligible to join with them either.
    Restricted to quests your level and below. I do not want to carry that level 5 through a level 7 quest on elite.
    Ability to select All level X quests that I have available, Y difficulty and below.
    Finishing out zones you to outside the quest entrance.
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  7. #7
    Community Member Arctigis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visty View Post
    /not signed
    i dont want to play with every noob in the game, i am selective
    and alot of others are too
    I don't think the suggestion is that you have to use it. For some people new to the game, it might be neat
    way to get groups going.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulrift View Post
    The biggest problem I have is actually getting a decent party together to do a quest.
    To think that is a problem indicates being unaware of what a decent party entails.

    If you provide an example of your character (class and level) and what you think a "decent party" would be, someone can explain how you are mistaken.

    Keep in mind that WOW is a tight game, so group mechanics that work there would be unlikely to be valid in DDO.
    Last edited by Angelus_dead; 01-20-2010 at 05:20 AM.

  9. #9
    Community Member Lleren's Avatar
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    heh. so far it seems there are very few quests that cannot be completed by a more standard mmorpg style group.

    1 heavy armored melee
    1 arcane caster
    1 divine caster
    1 "specialist"
    fill remaining slots with random anyclass.

    Add some modifiers for certain quests and good to go.
    Last edited by Lleren; 01-20-2010 at 05:41 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lleren View Post
    heh. so far it seems there are very few quests that cannot be completed by a more standard mmorpg style group.
    The truth is that there are few quests that can't be completed by one single MMORPG character. After all, that is an official design objective of DDO, and for most part it has been accomplished (although specific shortcomings are easy to list).

    If you just start at level 1 with a generic divine caster, it will take an extremely long time before you encounter a solid need to get a second party member for any reason besides conversation.

  11. #11
    Community Member Skaldrom's Avatar
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    I would be very happy with a bit a simpler system:

    You can register for a quest and see, who else is interested in running it. You could then form a party without further automatic help.

  12. #12
    Community Member Lorien_the_First_One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skaldrom View Post
    I would be very happy with a bit a simpler system:

    You can register for a quest and see, who else is interested in running it. You could then form a party without further automatic help.
    lol, and if only we had such a system eh?

    I agree, what we have now is all we need. The suggested system would actually make grouping slower in some ways because it would wait for the "perfect group" that you don't need, and you would still have to figure out once grouped what you wanted to run and then see if that was the right group for it.

    It takes all of 30 seconds to set up an LFM. If no one is willing to do so, I'm not sure that group wouldn't be doomed anyway from lack of initiative.

  13. #13
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    First of all, this isn't WoW, that said and as I'm sure you all know the game dynamic is completely different here. You can't just throw any group of people together and succeed in a dungeon (like you usually can in other MMO's). Group composition is of considerable importance (especially on hard or elite difficulty). That said, unless the auto-group system contains very detailed analysis' of each player, it can't accurately form a group.

    However, this would be a handy feature for players just learning the game. Being able to be in a group with random people with random classes is good for 2 reasons (as a new player). First, you get to see what the other classes do, and you get to see which classes work well together and which ones don't. From that you eventually learn how to form your own groups.

    Both points are equally valid and if Turbine ever implemented this they need to keep this in mind when setting it up. Meaning, it needs to be tuned towards new / casual players because they would gain the primary benefit from this.


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  14. #14
    Community Member Lleren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelus_dead View Post
    The truth is that there are few quests that can't be completed by one single MMORPG character. After all, that is an official design objective of DDO, and for most part it has been accomplished (although specific shortcomings are easy to list).

    If you just start at level 1 with a generic divine caster, it will take an extremely long time before you encounter a solid need to get a second party member for any reason besides conversation.
    No it won't.
    I sucketh at finger wagglers and priest play.

    Now a monk is another story, and I agree I don't really need others. But if your not grouping with others occasionally, then why play a mmorpg. <boggle>
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  15. #15
    WikiGnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lleren View Post
    [...] if your not grouping with others occasionally, then why play a mmorpg. <boggle>
    http://www.gamespot.com/news/6228707...dlines;title;4
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  16. #16
    Community Member unionyes's Avatar
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    Not a bad idea, but if it were implemented I would never use it.

    I like to see who I am going to be playing with before I jump into a group.

    However, as a busy professional who is just newly re-emerging into the dating scene, I could see an eHarmony type of thing working here.

    Each player fills out a survey, (eg question: Do you like your party leader to zerg?), and only those who meet a certain criteria would be teamed up in groups.

    Or, since most people like to make those decisions for themselves, we could come up with some sort of 'posting board' where people who are interested in starting a party could express that interest. They could also enable this 'posting board' to be somewhat selective, in regards to levels and classes that would be considered, and even put a space where you could say what quest you wanted to do. One option to consider would also be a 'comments' area where you could write something witty or informative, such as 'we have punch and pie', or 'know your way here cuz we aren't coming out to get you, in progress'.

    If we don't do the OP's idea, then I vote for the 'posting board' format. I think it could work.
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  17. #17
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    I too play WoW and was quite skeptical about the automatic group finder. My reasons were mostly the same the nay sayers in this thread have pointed out. But I've tried it several times and was amazed at the sudden ease of finding a group, that not only has members filling the required roles, but also - usually - works well together.

    Now, one - probably major - reason that 'bad' players somehow rarely show up in these random groups, is that there is a built-in voting system that any member of the group can initiate to kick an annoying player. I strongly suspect that this particular feature was liberally used in the early days when the tool was being introduced, until players who simply don't get it stopped bothering to use it. Now, for those players this is a pity since they will still remain without help for the quests or dungeons they want to play, but for the majority of players it works just fine.

    I like many of the ideas from the OP, but also think that some of them would be very hard to implement. Two concepts have to be in however, to make the effort worthwhile:

    1. Being able to select not one, but multiple quests you would like to do (and the difficulty you would like to do them at). In addition to that, let the player indicate which roles they think they could help with, such as traps&locks, healing, or just DPS (and maybe tanking). The ability to select one quest is not enough, since there are simply not enough players on most servers to find groups for every quest!

    2. Some kind of automatic or half-automatic group composer that helps sorting through characters, the roles that they may be able to fill, and the quests they're interested in. I suppose for a start a half-automatic solution will do here: let the players decide if they want to be group leader and once there is at least one leader for a particular quest, present this player with a list of other players that signed up for it, and the roles they indicated. Present this in an easy to use interface that lets the leader select the characters he wants to invite and select the kind of roles they want these characters to fill, then send an automatic tell to those players that they have been invited to join a group for dungeon X by player Y to fill the role of Z. Players can then choose to accept or reject the invitation (but maybe rejecting it would push them out of the queue for that particular quest, because apparently they are no longer available for it). If not all players accept, the leader can choose to invite more in the same way.

    The second item above will be required to be able to sort through players that might have signed up for multiple quests. It would be very time consuming for the potential leader to dig through such lists manually, send tells to people he wants and manually inviting them, only to be told by a player they just joined another group, forcing him to go over the player list again. Without a tool to support him, nobody will want to be a group leader!

  18. #18
    Community Member mickey2toes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skaldrom View Post
    I would be very happy with a bit a simpler system:

    You can register for a quest and see, who else is interested in running it. You could then form a party without further automatic help.
    If you want to 'Register' for a quest, there is a way to do that.

    Start a LFM on the social panel. Anybody that wants to register for that same quest is then able to join through the quest coordinator, which would be you since you started the group[
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  19. #19
    Community Member Kahuna68's Avatar
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    While not opposed to to such a change in the grouping mechanic, I don't see Turbine ever doing this. They already have a group finder that works well, so I doubt they would would do such a total change. We're talking about a large amount of coding that would need to be done to implement this. Especially if they were to strive for the detail mentioned in the OP.

    I'd rather they work on the code for new content.
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  20. #20
    Community Member Narmolanya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uska View Post
    Meh I would never use it I like to look at the group before I join it, but not voting against it as many of our new players might like something like this but not me.
    Agreed, I don't like to waste my time so I like to see the group before I join.

    However, like Uska said I think it would be good addition to the game and many players would use it.
    Last edited by Narmolanya; 02-25-2010 at 06:41 PM.
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