Monday, 15 October 2012

Guild Wars 2: why I won't be buying it for now

I've had a recurrent experience in several of my last dungeon-based MMOs. I join, start playing, enjoy the starting area then find that the combination of solo questing and organising dungeon groups manually isn't fun.

With Guild Wars 2 I decided to reverse my usual order of : 1) buy it, 2) complain there's no dungeon finder. This time I'm herein 1) complaining there's no dungeon finder. 2) buy it may occur if 1) is resolved.

Having experienced the same arguments back and forth in Rift, SWTOR, and The Secret World I won't go out of my way to make my case - I don't like to commute. I don't like it much in real life and certainly don't want to do it in a game. I also accept that some players feel passionately opposed to them and that currently those people's influence is in the ascendant. All I can do is vote with my wallet.

Forum poster FredtheBeard (magnificent name, sir) started a discussion on the GW2 boards and the ANet staff (who seem keen as mustard) were quick to respond.

Robert Houda in several replies stated:

there are currently no plans to implement a dungeon finder.
If you are having trouble finding groups for dungeons, you can use our LFG system. Open up your contacts menu in-game, and there should be an option in there for grouping. That way it’s not just people standing out in front of dungeons shouting LFG until someone invites them. This system does not stretch across servers, or to other maps.

The main problem I see with our LFG system is that it is tucked away inside your contact menu (which to me is incredibly weird, but I’m a content designer, not a UI designer.. so I’m sure there is some reason for it being hidden in there), which means not everyone is using it, since not everyone knows about it.

Correct. You would have to leave the dungeon to LFG back in the open-world map. The instance remains open for (I believe) 15 minutes with nobody inside of it. So just make sure you pop back in once in a while to refresh the counter while you’re looking to fill your group.

/facepalm. Not only no dungeon finder but the vestigial social system is practically invisible and requires you to exploit to get it to work if someone leaves your group halfway through. And "should be"! Really? You designed this game and you never used this feature? Come on, dude!

You know, there was a MMO once which didn't have in-game chat. Asheron's Call 2. It died a horrible death.

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