Thursday, 12 July 2012

TSW: the LFD question and how I'm doing

Now that LFD is an established part of the MMO format I miss it when it's not there.

I recently tried to get a group as dps and it’s a matter of waiting for the LFM then desperately trying to be the fastest respondent as 40 people ask for the spot. Or starting a group yourself and spending half an hour looking for a tank. I then tried tanking which went ok but left me feeling really drained. We wiped 4 times on the last boss then killed it on the 5th try which would have been absolutely fine if doing it with friends but felt very uncomfortable doing it with strangers. Even though no one complained or group quit just the expectation that they might rather killed the fun.

With LFD I can quest knowing that a group will at some point pop up without me having to think about it. That’s a big enough improvement that I’ll probably let my sub lapse after the free month and come back when it’s available.

I think in future I'll just train myself to consider the release of a game's LFD tool to be its actual launch and everything that comes before as some kind of beta, albeit paid.

Other than that I'm enjoying some of TSW and I certainly admire it as an evolution in gaming.

I've not especially enjoyed the pvp which can be summarised as roll the most populated faction then follow the zerg to win. (Also melee seems to do the same dps as everyone else while suffering twice the exposure so it feels daft meleeing with a blade build).

Instances are interesting the first couple of times but organising groups in chat is for me a horrible overhead. I'm rather baffled as to why they elected to have cross-server instances and still not have a LFD tool. I don't mind meeting people but I don't want to keep meeting stranger after stranger, most of whom don't even play on my server. Either let me make friends within a small community or deposit anonymous people into my content efficiently.

So what is great about TSW are the missions. Part of me is uncomfortable with the inefficiency on wandering around trying to figure out some obscure hint but I'm squelching that side so I can explore the game. The missions unlock the stories and the stories and lore are also wonderful. I've just finished China Mieville's Kraken which is perfect reading to complement this game - a story of cultists with magical powers running around contemporary London. (And written in plain English unlike most of his books).

So all in all well done Funcom, check it out if you haven't done so already but not for me a game that dominates my gaming time. I'm more interested in Eve and Diablo 2 really.


  1. I ran a lot of instances in TSW. And I am currently running a lot of nightmare difficulty groups with PUG setup

    I dont like LFD in its current incarnation. Main reason is that it simply throws random strangers in together. If it had working matchmaking system to improve chances of cohesive groups and creating new social connection (with like/dislike system) I would be all for it

    As it is I prefer making groups within chat - it allows having better groups than ones you get with LFD. Part of the reasons is time -people do try better when they spent 1 hours getting into instance group, part of the reasons you can prescreen a bit (gear inspection ,some questions) .

    My real complain is that I really would like to make comments in my friends list and/or group people into groups (for example dps/tank/healer).

  2. Hmm.

    An argument that groups are better when people have to wait for an hour to get started isn't really convincing me :)

    I can see your side though, and of course I played through many years of SWG and WoW making groups just as you describe.