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  1. #1
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    Default How can group matching in DDO be improved?

    I have played computer games for years but have not played MMOs very much. It seems to me that they all suffer from a similar flaw.

    A big problem with massive online games has always been forming compatible groups at random. Such groupings range from terrific to terrible with the average being somewhat tedious. Anti-social players that cheat others make for terrible groups but even when all players are honest and sociable they still play at different speeds. A few naturally adventure about as fast as grass grows but others like to move along at point five past lightspeed. These speed differences frustrate many players and causes many to adventure alone or avoid MMOs entirely.

    "AD&D Neverwinter Nights" first went online 22 years ago but it, and no MMORPG since then, seems to have solved the problem of speed compatibility in groups.

    How can group matching in DDO be improved?

  2. #2
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    One Server to rule them all!

    Eliminate all servers, and merge into one large server. With instanced quests and public areas I don't see the issue.

    Or

    Allow cross server LMF's

  3. #3
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    This problems exists anywhere pick-up games form, including RL on hardcourts.

    The problem with grouping anonymously (which is what grouping with players you don't know is), is your relative chance at success and or compatibility is unknown. This is no different than stepping onto a hardcourt in a part of town you're not familiar with, and trying to pick a successful team from the player present.

    The answer is both simply, and not so simply, a teammate-rating system. In RL we do it by internal experience and by the recommendations of those we trust, online can work exactly the same except the computer can find the intersection of our personal tastes, with those who share both the same and the desire to play, ahead of us.
    Last edited by myliftkk_v2; 06-26-2013 at 10:26 AM.

  4. #4
    Community Member Teh_Troll's Avatar
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    You really can't. All solutions are worse than the problem.

    You are best off playing the game with people at your skill level who run at your speed. "forced" cooperation failed.

    Dungeon scaling allows more people to soloing. Removing it would encourage grouping but it would cause more harm than good.

    We just have to deal with this stuff as the new normal.

    Maybe XP bonuses for grouping and make the stupid 10% death penalty personal and not group.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teh_Troll View Post
    You really can't.
    Not true.

    If you were allowed to codify your tastes in players, playstyles, or whatever characteristics you so choose, the game could in fact suggest groupings that match your personal filters by mining that info, the exact same way targeted advertising works. But, that's marketing/social programming, not game programming, and Turbine would need to hire developers steeped in understanding of marketing/social preference development to achieve that.

  6. #6
    Community Member Vint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myliftkk_v2 View Post
    Not true.

    If you were allowed to codify your tastes in players, playstyles, or whatever characteristics you so choose, the game could in fact suggest groupings that match your personal filters by mining that info, the exact same way targeted advertising works. But, that's marketing/social programming, not game programming, and Turbine would need to hire developers steeped in understanding of marketing/social preference development to achieve that.
    You cannot. The old example of Wiz King is all you need. How many times have you joined an LFM that said “be able to solo a tower”? At least once per life I would get someone that would join that had no clue what a tower was. I am not picking on the reading impaired, but as long as you have people that join LFM’s and they do not meet what the party wants, you will never have perfect groups every time you log on.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by myliftkk_v2 View Post
    If you were allowed to codify your tastes in players, playstyles, or whatever characteristics you so choose, the game could in fact suggest groupings that match your personal filters by mining that info, the exact same way targeted advertising works. But, that's marketing/social programming, not game programming, and Turbine would need to hire developers steeped in understanding of marketing/social preference development to achieve that.
    I agree completely. As much as I personally loathe many aspects of "social marketing", they can serve a vital purpose in helping to promote a pleasant gaming experience which is the first and foremost factor in player retention. The origin of D&D is based on these very principles; the gathering of like-minded individuals in a shared activity. Currently, finding those like-minded individuals in-game is an arduous task.
    The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it. - Edward R. Murrow (1964)

  8. #8
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    And on top of the play style issues, there are personality issues too. I can deal with alternate play styles, but some things just really suck all the fun out of it for me, and I encounter them with surprising frequency. Racism, sexism, generally jerky and rude social behaviors. There is no real way to sort it out with coding, too many variables. It's why you see static groups form up. \

    My personal group formed out of an exceptionally good pug four years ago, and 3 out of 5 of us are still playing together, the other two having had major life events and stopped being able to play mmo's entirely last year. So the three of us left standing as it were found a small cozy guild where we're basically able to continue doing our thing and make a few new friends, but we pug with extreme infrequency when all three of us are on. Because it's a good balance and social fit, and there is very very little we can't do alone and no one to get angry as we pass loot between us s needed. And that is really hard to find. We're not opposed to adding to the group, but the odds of meeting someone randomly in pugs again that will fit into a social group where two out of the three people have moderate to severe physical disorders as well as social ones who play at the same time with 20+ toons they don't mind rotating through as ADD Girl gets bored with one toon and moves to the next is pretty slim. LOL How do you codify that? I think really the only way to fill up the two missing slots with players would be a detailed forum post with more information than most people would want to see. LOL And my groups mindset on this isn't that unusual, a lot of static friend groups are like that.

    But when the group formed up, and eventually spawned a guild before we changed server as a group, all five of us were on Orien on day one of it's opening and still in the feeling around for people stages.
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  9. #9
    Scholar Of Adventure & Hero Missing_Minds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teh_Troll View Post
    You really can't. All solutions are worse than the problem.
    Well.... I think you could, but I agree with the premise is that it is a player.. continued? issue.

    I can think of only two things myself.

    1. better education of how to use the tools we have. (which, in my limited experience are pretty nice.)
    I mean seriously... we live now in a day/age of video walk throughs and Turbine has ZERO created to explain basics of the game. How to use the LFG/M panel. How to swim, how to sneak, how to use skills, how to select spells....

    2. User created channels.
    If players could agree upon channel names for grouping across the servers, it could help. The failure of the LFM/LFG is that it requires a player to be actively watching it. There is no "notification" system to inform a player when a group is getting setup that they may want to join. User channels are active in this manner, providing the player pays attention to their chat windows. Chat windows at least most players have up and open 24/7, unlike LFM/G panel.

  10. #10
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    Default Vint

    True, ive been in groups where someone joined a "be able to solo a tower" LFM who had never even done quest before, however, more often than that ive joined said group and the leader who said "be able to solo a tower" gets killed in their tower and I have to go rez them, lol. So in addition to players trying to join a group having inflated views of their own abilities, the person who puts up the lfm often cant handle their own expectations.

    Cmon vint, you cant say you've never died soloing a tower...

    Tho I have to say lag followed by red alert is the most likely cause of death in there for most vets.

  11. #11
    Community Member Teh_Troll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myliftkk_v2 View Post
    Not true.

    If you were allowed to codify your tastes in players, playstyles, or whatever characteristics you so choose, the game could in fact suggest groupings that match your personal filters by mining that info, the exact same way targeted advertising works. But, that's marketing/social programming, not game programming, and Turbine would need to hire developers steeped in understanding of marketing/social preference development to achieve that.
    We have guilds and friends to do this for us. Why would I need and automatic thing to force be to group with strangers? This is a terrible idea.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01000010 View Post
    True, ive been in groups where someone joined a "be able to solo a tower" LFM who had never even done quest before, however, more often than that ive joined said group and the leader who said "be able to solo a tower" gets killed in their tower and I have to go rez them, lol. So in addition to players trying to join a group having inflated views of their own abilities, the person who puts up the lfm often cant handle their own expectations.

    Cmon vint, you cant say you've never died soloing a tower...

    Tho I have to say lag followed by red alert is the most likely cause of death in there for most vets.
    No no. I die as much as anyone. I was just pointing out that players join LFM’s that are not really suited to them. This was not a jab at new or casuals. Look at BYOH. There are a million views of what it means, so what do you expect when you join a BYOH LFM?
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vint View Post
    You cannot. The old example of Wiz King is all you need. How many times have you joined an LFM that said “be able to solo a tower”? At least once per life I would get someone that would join that had no clue what a tower was. I am not picking on the reading impaired, but as long as you have people that join LFM’s and they do not meet what the party wants, you will never have perfect groups every time you log on.
    You are unnecesarily constraining your thinking by the current implementation which is by no means what I'm suggesting. Step back from the existing LFM implementation and look at the problem of connecting people with preferences and its clear social media/marketing already crossed this bridge sometime ago. Turbine pays game developers, not social media developers, and if you want a better grouping mechanism, you're going to have to look outside of gaming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teh_Troll View Post
    We have guilds and friends to do this for us. Why would I need and automatic thing to force be to group with strangers? This is a terrible idea.
    Who said anything automatic forcing anything? It's a preference/recommendation engine, there's a difference. A computer can do this 24/7/365 w/o taking a break, you have friends that can do that?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teh_Troll View Post
    We have guilds and friends to do this for us. Why would I need and automatic thing to force be to group with strangers? This is a terrible idea.
    I don't think forced grouping was even implied in myliftkk_v2's post.

    The gist of the proposal, and please correct me if I am mistaken, is to use a set of player and play style preferences and possibly character metrics to simply suggest a list of other characters or players which may suitable companions for a particular quest or activity. Whether or not one chooses to utilize such information remains a personal choice.
    The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it. - Edward R. Murrow (1964)

  16. #16
    Community Member Lonnbeimnech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waaye View Post
    How can group matching in DDO be improved?
    You join random pugs, when you run with some people that you enjoy running with, add them to your friend list. when you see them online again, join their groups. If you find your friend list is made up of more and more people from the same guild, ask if you can join that guild. It's really not that complicated.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missing_Minds View Post
    Well.... I think you could, but I agree with the premise is that it is a player.. continued? issue.

    I can think of only two things myself.

    1. better education of how to use the tools we have. (which, in my limited experience are pretty nice.)
    I mean seriously... we live now in a day/age of video walk throughs and Turbine has ZERO created to explain basics of the game. How to use the LFG/M panel. How to swim, how to sneak, how to use skills, how to select spells....

    2. User created channels.
    If players could agree upon channel names for grouping across the servers, it could help. The failure of the LFM/LFG is that it requires a player to be actively watching it. There is no "notification" system to inform a player when a group is getting setup that they may want to join. User channels are active in this manner, providing the player pays attention to their chat windows. Chat windows at least most players have up and open 24/7, unlike LFM/G panel.
    The tools are garbage. There's not useful towards helping you maximize your preferences at all. They are lowest common denominator tools.

    You could build a real recommendation engine that facilitated successful groupings way beyond the stone age LFM mechanism. This has been done over and over in other industry verticals.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sebastianosmith View Post
    I don't think forced grouping was even implied in myliftkk_v2's post.

    The gist of the proposal, and please correct me if I am mistaken, is to use a set of player and play style preferences and possibly character metrics to simply suggest a list of other characters or players which may suitable companions for a particular quest or activity. Whether or not one chooses to utilize such information remains a personal choice.
    Exactly.

    And, beyond that, you could be recommended groupings because they meet your particular criteria (i.e. where your preferences and a forming groups intersect). Whether you take the recommendation is your choice, but that doesn't mean the recommendation would be any less valid.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by myliftkk_v2 View Post
    The tools are garbage. There's not useful towards helping you maximize your preferences at all. They are lowest common denominator tools.

    You could build a real recommendation engine that facilitated successful groupings way beyond the stone age LFM mechanism. This has been done over and over in other industry verticals.
    Examples? What more would you actually want to see on the tools, rather than just "They're stone age and can do more?" What has been done in the industry verticals in other places, and how would they address the problems here?
    Turtel, Turtley Wrath, Tortoisse, Waterssong, Victerr Creed, Utahraptor, Velocaraptor, Minddancer, Loggerhead, Matamata, Sulcata, Ticerratops, Sierrann, Hankx, Shartelhane

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnbeimnech View Post
    You join random pugs, when you run with some people that you enjoy running with, add them to your friend list. when you see them online again, join their groups. If you find your friend list is made up of more and more people from the same guild, ask if you can join that guild. It's really not that complicated.
    But, it is not efficient either, which is what the real complaint is. Besides which guilds are an artificial constraint on the random intersection of players similar preferences. All the things you suggested, while doable individually, can in fact be done by the machine, much sooner and more accurately on average than any one individual can do them. Judging from the endless debates on LFM techniques, people don't need a better technique, they need a better tool.

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