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  1. #1
    Community Member A3oN95's Avatar
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    Default LFM advertisement & community attitude towards it

    I've been playing DDO on and off since 2009 (yap, I'm on of those b*stards who only took a look at DDO when it went f2p), and there's one particular issue that keeps getting worse over time.

    So, on a regular day, I enter Ghallanda (been on Thelanis before, the exact same thing happened, so it's not because of the server), at different times of the day (so timezone isn't the reason either), and I open the LFM panel with each one of my characters, looking for a group to join. Some times I get 1 or 2 in my level range, maybe 3 or 4 if I'm really lucky. But half the time, I simply get none. After the first few level (~1-4) quests, there just isn't a single group LFM that I can join. When I'm in a hurry to play, I turn on the "LFG" flag, but I'm not even sure if most people know it exists.

    Sometimes, I fear the server is just dead, and I bother enough to check the Who tab. Well, it seems to be alive and well, hundreds of people online... (sometimes reaching the thousands in peak times). And often, less than half of them are in a group. Are they all playing solo? I don't want to play solo, I want to play with other people, otherwise I'd have better offline singleplayer games to turn to, and one of the things I liked the most when I first joined DDO was always being in a group, with quests designed for group-play, and never having to play solo (it's an MMO, that's the reason I'm playing one...).

    Well, I can also post a LFM myself, after all. Although I'm playing the higher level quests for the 1st time, surely I can check the wiki and/or have some veteran who knows the quests better than me join the group. And there certainly are a lot of players like me, eager to join a group, right...? nope, wrong apparently... I try it, but even at peak server times, I normally have to wait a long time (~30+ mins) for my groups to fill (if they fill at all, depends on how popular the quest is), and even then we usually end up short-man'ing stuff. Once again, I check the LFG players to see if there's someone in level range. Usually there's not a single person LFG, in the entire server, no matter the level.

    What is wrong here? According to what I've read on other topics, most vets only play solo, with guildmates, or with people from some channels I've never even heard about in-game. I'm in a guild, with really nice people, and it's awesome when we can play together, but we're not that big, and usually that's not possible to do, and we have to find more players to fill the missing spots. And if people simply close themselves within their guilds or their private channels, soon we'll be the only ones left playing, because the new players will enter and find a game which appears to be empty, even though it's not, and eventually many will just leave because of that. I'm not trying to say that's a wrong way to play, there's no such thing imo, I'm just trying to understand why it happens, and why my way of playing isn't working.

    I've read posts talking about a needed server merge, but if we sum the groups for a quest active in all the servers at a given moment, it's still a really low number. I like the LFM/LFG panels, I think they're a reasonably well design feature tbh. Probably if Turbine advertised it, more players would use it (I'm not even sure if everyone knows about its existence), and find more people to keep playing with (I believe advertising game features like these would actually get more people to spend money in the store in the mid/long term, than many of the store ad spam messages I get everywhere I look now).

    Is it our "fault" (community) for refusing to play with different people in an online game? Is it turbine's fault for not advertising the features they already have (well) implemented, for the people who DO want to play with others, or is it just my fault, for not playing DDO how it's "supposed to be played"?
    Last edited by A3oN95; 08-31-2013 at 08:48 AM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Community Member Charononus's Avatar
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    The problem has a few roots:

    10% penalty / bonus lost for deaths. (This means that if you pug you will lose this every time)

    Quests are easy to solo on elite because of scaling meaning you never need a group

    Playstyles that are actively hostile to each other, I can't count how many times I've had someone join my group that said byoh, zerg, ip and had the new joinee start screaming into the mic that I didn't kill the archers and watched them die as they never healed themselves once.

    Build complexity and scaling, ddo's strength is build complexity and it is also the greatest challenge in keeping new players. New players lets face it are going to be in horrible builds partially from their choices and partially from the paths. This means that the quest will usually be easier without the new player because of scaling. Pugging in fact makes most quests harder.

  3. #3
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    There are many reasons people don't PUG, but Ghallanda has it worse than other servers, due to its super-guilds. At any given time, there are at least 3 guilds with 100+ players on and only running with others within the guild. I don't know why this happened on Ghallanda and only Ghallanda, but it did.

    Here's some tips: Pugs always fill faster when IP. I don't know why this is, but if I had to guess, it's because people are worried that they'll join your pug and will sit around waiting for hours for more when it isn't needed. If the quest is IP, that means they won't have to sit around waiting.

    Some content is just dead. I know this firsthand, because I run content that others don't. There are a lot of quests that you'll never get people to join because they don't want to run it.

    And finally, you have to build your questing around the LFM panel. Always join a group in your level range if you fit the requirements. Solo while waiting.

  4. #4
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    I also have contemplated this problem. I think bravery bonus is harmful to the game- any quest that breaks BB (any quest not done on elite) has a huge handicap due to any individual who's not yet run that quest for streak is literally losing exp by running it. So every pug has to do quests on elite in order to be as appealing to all players as possible. This isn't a problem for vets, but can be murder for new players.

    On a more positive note, I think it's worth breaking BB to PUG. I've just leveled an old character up from 14 to 21 in the past week or so. Second life, does have a tome of experience. I just decided I'd do any quest in my level range up in the LFM to constantly stay in groups, no matter how often I'd run it knew it didn't know it or whether it broke streak. I just found myself getting huge amounts of exp, and also forming some relationships that I enjoyed. In short- I just played the game. It was a good experience.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillipsjr1 View Post
    I also have contemplated this problem. I think bravery bonus is harmful to the game- any quest that breaks BB (any quest not done on elite) has a huge handicap due to any individual who's not yet run that quest for streak is literally losing exp by running it. So every pug has to do quests on elite in order to be as appealing to all players as possible. This isn't a problem for vets, but can be murder for new players.

    On a more positive note, I think it's worth breaking BB to PUG. I've just leveled an old character up from 14 to 21 in the past week or so. Second life, does have a tome of experience. I just decided I'd do any quest in my level range up in the LFM to constantly stay in groups, no matter how often I'd run it knew it didn't know it or whether it broke streak. I just found myself getting huge amounts of exp, and also forming some relationships that I enjoyed. In short- I just played the game. It was a good experience.

    People only run elite because the game is too easy.

  6. #6
    Hero Marcus-Hawkeye's Avatar
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    I would suggest not waiting. Just put up an IP LFM for the quest your playing. Jump in and pop a hireling cleric and have at it. If you are trying a quest that people don't run, say like Faithful Departed, you will have a tough time filling.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jalont View Post
    People only run elite because the game is too easy.
    In the Flesh arcane-less with a hireling healer would like a word with you :P

  8. #8
    Community Member A3oN95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charononus View Post
    The problem has a few roots:

    10% penalty / bonus lost for deaths. (This means that if you pug you will lose this every time)

    Quests are easy to solo on elite because of scaling meaning you never need a group

    Playstyles that are actively hostile to each other, I can't count how many times I've had someone join my group that said byoh, zerg, ip and had the new joinee start screaming into the mic that I didn't kill the archers and watched them die as they never healed themselves once.

    Build complexity and scaling, ddo's strength is build complexity and it is also the greatest challenge in keeping new players. New players lets face it are going to be in horrible builds partially from their choices and partially from the paths. This means that the quest will usually be easier without the new player because of scaling. Pugging in fact makes most quests harder.
    While I can understand that most quests can be easier to simply solo (or at least faster to do so) for a well-geared, TR, veteran player, that's not as true for everyone else. If I'm doing a quest for the 100th time, grouping with people who are doing it for the 1st time, it may or may not cause some problems, depending on the builds and the players behind the characters. But I believe the people in that situation are a minority of the player-base.

    If you're playing a quest for the 1st time, it should be somewhat easy to, at least, find more 1st-timers in the same situation to do them with you (because they do exist). But most of the people don't use it, and I'm not sure if it is because they don't want to or because they don't know they can use it (you get more tooltips telling you about that shiny +5 store tome you can't use yet in most cases, than anything informing you that/how you can use a tool to group with other people).

    Quote Originally Posted by jalont View Post
    People only run elite because the game is too easy.
    If you read Charononus's post, and from my own experience (both from seeing others dying, and from dying myself in quests I'm not familiar with), I don't think that's the main reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by jalont View Post
    There are many reasons people don't PUG, but Ghallanda has it worse than other servers, due to its super-guilds. At any given time, there are at least 3 guilds with 100+ players on and only running with others within the guild. I don't know why this happened on Ghallanda and only Ghallanda, but it did.

    Here's some tips: Pugs always fill faster when IP. I don't know why this is, but if I had to guess, it's because people are worried that they'll join your pug and will sit around waiting for hours for more when it isn't needed. If the quest is IP, that means they won't have to sit around waiting.

    Some content is just dead. I know this firsthand, because I run content that others don't. There are a lot of quests that you'll never get people to join because they don't want to run it.

    And finally, you have to build your questing around the LFM panel. Always join a group in your level range if you fit the requirements. Solo while waiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by phillipsjr1 View Post
    I also have contemplated this problem. I think bravery bonus is harmful to the game- any quest that breaks BB (any quest not done on elite) has a huge handicap due to any individual who's not yet run that quest for streak is literally losing exp by running it. So every pug has to do quests on elite in order to be as appealing to all players as possible. This isn't a problem for vets, but can be murder for new players.

    On a more positive note, I think it's worth breaking BB to PUG. I've just leveled an old character up from 14 to 21 in the past week or so. Second life, does have a tome of experience. I just decided I'd do any quest in my level range up in the LFM to constantly stay in groups, no matter how often I'd run it knew it didn't know it or whether it broke streak. I just found myself getting huge amounts of exp, and also forming some relationships that I enjoyed. In short- I just played the game. It was a good experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus-Hawkeye View Post
    I would suggest not waiting. Just put up an IP LFM for the quest your playing. Jump in and pop a hireling cleric and have at it. If you are trying a quest that people don't run, say like Faithful Departed, you will have a tough time filling.
    I agree about the BB making things worse (and the amount of PUG groups suffered a noticeable decrease since it's implementation, or so it seemed to me at least).

    From my (limited) experience, unless you're:
    a) TR in 3rd life or higher (needing more XP)
    b) F2p/premium account with a really low number of packs purchased/available (to avoid repetition penalties and getting favor asap)

    you don't need the BB at all to cap, and if you don't want to solo, you'd normally spend more time waiting for a elite group, than just joining every group, regardless of the quest difficulty (even more so if the BB didn't exist, as more groups would probably appear in the LFM again, but it's pointless to think about that, BB won't go away any time soon). But the players don't have to know that

    Now, being a premium myself, I'm ok with just starting solo and putting an IP LFM on, but because I can't open elite in the 1st run (and even if I could, I wouldn't go far on my own from mid-levels onwards, for lack of gear/quest knowledge), I just end up soloing the quests up until the end, or giving up at some point during them (either from dying or from being bored playing alone). Solo run or solo failure, the problem wasn't fixed. The most successful way I've accomplished was doing a quest on N/H without trying to get a group, and then post a LFM when attempting Elite (which becomes boring as well, doing the same quest 3x).

    And I'm not sure where those super-guilds came from either. I certainly remember in the first few levels being harassed with guild invites from some of them lol. Maybe I'll create yet another alt and join one of them, to see their activity/how their guild-runs work
    Last edited by A3oN95; 08-31-2013 at 11:43 AM.

  9. #9
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    Welcome to DDO a game whos original core was to literally make you run each quest 3 times in rapid succession. This had the impact when combined with static design in content, to create a game far to friendly to meta gaming vets. I recall even in the first months the KNOW IT LFMs began being posted as even without dungeon scaling, people did not want to be wasting party slots on first timers. They wanted each person in the group to know every trap loc and have the twitch skills to avoid them so as to render needing a trappist became purely an optional for xp, and trap monkey slurs began, with rogues not even being allowed into most content unless it had alot of traps as no one would let them join, and prior to dungeon scaling soloing as a rogue was really rough.

    It is partly the players but also partly the game design. Content should not have seperate difs with seperate rewards, dif scaling should be something you got to an NPC and set for yourself and should be the default used if you make a group. If you want to run water works at lvl solo with it reading the party as full and adding as many as a +4 lvl increase to all the mobs would be a far smarter way to do scaling. Not the dif settings on each dungeon with favor rewards attached. Every person should have a very personalized option for dif, and that preference should not have much impact on the party because we dont give xp per kill, and hence be able to use adding mobs for added dif rather then bloating their HP be a way to give more XP to those who want a harder fight while letting those who want it easier choose that without being a total killer to earning things like bag space and bank space which are things that will as easily drive away new players as anything else.

  10. #10
    Community Member Gizeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charononus View Post
    [...]

    This means that the quest will usually be easier without the new player because of scaling. Pugging in fact makes most quests harder.
    Quote Originally Posted by jalont View Post
    People only run elite because the game is too easy.
    Simple solution: All the veteran players who think the game is too easy should be looking to pug with new players in particular because otherwise there's no challenge.

  11. #11
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    I didn't read the replies yet, but as someone who has lost interest and only comes back every few months to check things out, here's my take:

    - Most people, or at least casual vets, solo or play only with close friends. I know I do. All there really seems to do nowadays is TR, and with all the old raids and content pretty much trivialized at this point, the raiding scene seems completely dead (vets already have what they need, new players can make due with new loot). A lot of people I see in game aren't even running content, they are just logged in, playing with enhancements and chatting with guildies/in channels.

    - Turbine is notorious for leaving **** half finished in their games. Not just here, but LotRO too. I dunno if they churn through devs too fast or what. Stone of Change recipes were never fleshed out and abandoned, PvP has never been improved and the queues are left empty, Crafting is fairly pointless now, PREs STILL are not finished (when did Tempest first come...? The release of GH? I forget.), the old Epic crafting system is pretty much abandoned, old raids and loot have pretty much been made useless (was Titan ever epicfied as promised?), collectables remain pointless for the most part, Challenges/crafting seems tacked on, etc. etc. etc. The game is very fractured, overly confusing for the new player and draining for the vet.

    At this point, the only thing Turbine can really do (provided they want to maintain the game and not just cash grab for the last year or two) is focus the entire game on the 20-28 level range. Fast track new players to FR on their first life (TR's can relevel through old content). Rebuild the end game raiding scene over next few updates.

    But I might be wrong. That's just my opinion based on what I've seen.

  12. #12
    Community Member bartharok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charononus View Post
    The problem has a few roots:

    10% penalty / bonus lost for deaths. (This means that if you pug you will lose this every time)

    Quests are easy to solo on elite because of scaling meaning you never need a group

    Playstyles that are actively hostile to each other, I can't count how many times I've had someone join my group that said byoh, zerg, ip and had the new joinee start screaming into the mic that I didn't kill the archers and watched them die as they never healed themselves once.

    Build complexity and scaling, ddo's strength is build complexity and it is also the greatest challenge in keeping new players. New players lets face it are going to be in horrible builds partially from their choices and partially from the paths. This means that the quest will usually be easier without the new player because of scaling. Pugging in fact makes most quests harder.
    Umh... If you lose the 10% every time, youre doing something wrong.
    Dystopia = utopia achieved

  13. #13
    Community Member Charononus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartharok View Post
    Umh... If you lose the 10% every time, youre doing something wrong.
    Nice job getting the important things out of the thread, and it may not happen every time but 99.9999999999% of the time you put up an lfm you get someone that can't pull their weight and will die trying to catch up. All lfms read "BYOH, zerg, ip"

  14. #14
    Community Member bartharok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charononus View Post
    Nice job getting the important things out of the thread, and it may not happen every time but 99.9999999999% of the time you put up an lfm you get someone that can't pull their weight and will die trying to catch up. All lfms read "BYOH, zerg, ip"
    Ive been in a lot of pugs, and only in a few of them someone incompetent shows up. Ok, it may be that there are more incompetent people than that joining, but if they do i dont notice it. Or it may be that your pug luck is way worse than mine.

    And the 10% is far from 10% most of the time.

    And the important part of the thread is that people love to complain.
    Dystopia = utopia achieved

  15. #15
    Community Member PsychoBlonde's Avatar
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    Have ya'll considered that there may not be any "problem" here at all?

    Usually (as in, greater than 90% of the time) when I post an LFM, it fills in 5 minutes or less. (Although this can depend on exactly what I'm doing and what the time of day is.) When I've got a full group, I don't post an LFM. I may run with the same 5 other people for HOURS, never posting an LFM that entire time even though I PUG almost exclusively.

    Just because the LFM is empty, it does not mean that there isn't a ton of stuff going on. Put up your own LFM already and stop whining that other people aren't magically reading your mind and providing groups for what you want to get done. Heck, about half the time when I go to post an LFM for some common thing like farming Wiz-king, there's already one up and I just join it.

  16. #16
    Community Member A3oN95's Avatar
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    If i may: the important part of the thread is finding out what I'm doing wrong (if something), and hopefully discuss how me and all the people who like to group could do it easier/better (and please believe me on this one, I know, I opened the damn thing )

    Nowadays, I almost never see any of those "BYOH" groups anymore. Either way, with more or less advising/helping, the groups I end up in are usually able to finish the quests smoothly, without deaths even in about half of them. Other times, someone dies or doesn't know the quest (and I've already been "that guy" more than once, you should've seen my first Rainbow In The Dark run, some days ago...). Fortunately, people help them correcting it (yes, people help each other in PuGs, it's true!) and I almost never witness complete party wipes (maybe I'm just incredibly lucky with that, idk).

    I understand that not everyone likes to play the same way, and there's room for everyone (plenty of it). But myself, I'm more than willing to give up 10% XP sometimes, if that means getting to know and play with other people, as well as getting help from them with the more difficult quests for me (learning/teaching involved). And the number of people using the group finding/filling tools seem way lower than the number of people who, like me, want to play in a group (and I may be completely wrong about that, but come on, it's an MMO, I can't be the only one wishing to avoid playing it solo...)

  17. #17
    Community Member A3oN95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PsychoBlonde View Post
    Have ya'll considered that there may not be any "problem" here at all?

    Usually (as in, greater than 90% of the time) when I post an LFM, it fills in 5 minutes or less. (Although this can depend on exactly what I'm doing and what the time of day is.) When I've got a full group, I don't post an LFM. I may run with the same 5 other people for HOURS, never posting an LFM that entire time even though I PUG almost exclusively.

    Just because the LFM is empty, it does not mean that there isn't a ton of stuff going on. Put up your own LFM already and stop whining that other people aren't magically reading your mind and providing groups for what you want to get done. Heck, about half the time when I go to post an LFM for some common thing like farming Wiz-king, there's already one up and I just join it.
    Ok, I don't know if I should bite that one, as I'm not even sure if you've read the thread, but
    a) this is not a whine/rant of any sort
    b) I put up my own LFM, a lot, and with very different results (I don't remember ANY LFM filling in less than 5 minutes except for low-level quests, and I'm not talking about unpopular quests, or dead hours)
    c) I was not talking about scarce number of groups for the "quest X", I'm talking about ANY quest of my level range, at various level ranges, and various times of the day


    Out of curiosity, which server do you play in?

  18. #18
    Community Member bartharok's Avatar
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    Some days there are a lot of lfms, or at some points during that day. It all depends on whos online, what theyre doing, and what level they are at. I wouldnt make any great conclusions about the issue one way or the other. If you need a group try to put up a lfm, it may fill or may not. If you can open elite, it is more likely to fill than otherwise, but its subject to the same list as the existence of lfms in general.
    Dystopia = utopia achieved

  19. #19
    Community Member Soulfurnace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillipsjr1 View Post
    In the Flesh arcane-less with a hireling healer would like a word with you :P
    I'm confused... Why do people think Flesh is hard again?

  20. #20
    Community Member Oxarhamar's Avatar
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    Default faster easier more fun

    to run with static groups of guildies who know their role than pug

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