Seri sez: Cross-realm random LFG… wave of the future or business as usual?

October 15, 2009

Trust the computer, citizen, it knows what's best.One of the changes announced at BlizzCon 2009 was the introduction of cross-realm instances. Yesterday, World of Raids posted a preview of the new LFG tool coming in patch 3.3. I logged into the PTR to check it out, but it had apparently been disabled so I wasn’t able to experience it for myself. However, I’m very intrigued by the prospect of being able to queue for a random instance and be partnered with players not only from my server but other servers in my battlegroup.

There are certainly times when I am up for something but have no real opinion what… throwing myself in the queue for something sure sounds better than sitting around twiddling my thumbs. But, then again, I am apparently one of the few people in the world that doesn’t hate Oculus with a burning passion.

I can’t help but wonder if the interface will allow you to queue for raids as well… the current one does, doesn’t it? I’m too lazy to look, and pretty sure no one really uses it to look for raid groups anyway. Heck, in my experience very few people actually use the LFG tool anymore… which is a whole other rant for another time. (Really, it’s an awesome freaking tool… why do people insist on using Trade chat to look for groups?)

There is a part of me that cringes at the thought of joining a PUG raid this way, that doesn’t want to believe that non-heroic raid content has been dumbed down so much that you could actually get tossed into a group with X number of random strangers and actually be successful even in a 10-man. But I have to admit.. I think that day is coming no matter how much I might want to cling to the good ol’ days when those who could raided and those who couldn’t didn’t. (Call me elitist, but… the current evolution of endgame just isn’t satisfying to me. Also a whole other rant.)

What do you think about random instances & cross-realm instancing? 5-man or otherwise.



  1. I think it’s overall a good thing. I’ve seen no evidence that the PUGs on my server are any brighter than those on other servers (and I’ve been jumping around a bit recently finding a place to start a new raid guild). More people = quicker groups.

    On my realm, I find that people use the LFG tool a hell of a lot. As a tank or healer, I get invites (damned ninja invites usually) within seconds of marking myself interested in either daily. I also find that LFG works for raids, but only the easy content (Naxx and Ony – I’ve rarely seen an Ulduar or ToC raid there).

    The downside for guild leaders is that it changes one aspect of recruiting, if grouping with PUGs is part of your strategy today. I went into a bit more detail in an article shortly after Blizzcon:


    There’s also a downside for regular players, which is that it’s going to be harder to track down and shame ninja looters. Today, I’ll hit up the GM of their guild and post a screenshot for others to refer to. Will I roll a level 1 alt on the ninja’s realm to do the same after 3.3 hits? Probably, but only because of who I am and my doomed belief that there is still some sense of justice in this game’s community. I don’t suspect many people will.

    Perhaps we’ll see more use of the battlegroup forums being used for naming and shaming ninjas instead of the e-peen flexing they are used for today.

    • If you’re having a problem with “ninja looting” in a pug, something strange is going on. I mean, there shouldn’t be a ML for a pugged heroic, so everyone has equal ability to click the “need” button. Sure it sucks if the mage rolls and wins on a melee weapon someone else wanted, but that’s still not really ninja looting, IMO. I guess it’s pedantry, but I think of ninja-ing when someone starts a raid and sets themselves as ML. Then if/when the raid gets to KT (or whatever), the ML just loots that rare item he wanted to himself with no /rolls or anything (or if, say, Ony dropped her mount for a pug) and drops raid and hearths.

  2. I think I’ll like that que for something. If I’m in the mood for a heroic it doesn’t really matter which one it is. Oculus is fine. I think the people that hate it had a hard time completing it in the first place.

    As for raids. Why not? As you said it’s been dumbed down and if you want to be nostalgic think of normal 10 man instances as old UBRS. 15 players and blue loot. Oh yes.

  3. I use the LFG tool only. I use it when I’m looking to fill slots with PUG raiders too.

    I turn off trade, general, and local defense chats on all my characters.

  4. Ah- also, since I can’t make raid times for just about 100% of the guilds on my server, I pug raid a lot.

    My last clear of TOC 10 was mostly PUG. I think a fair amount of the run was in the same guild, but I was definitely a pickup.

    I wish I could be raiding with a guild again, we’ll see how that works out.

  5. I am pretty excited about the cross server LFG feature, although if ALL it can do is random 5 man groups, gotta say, lil disappointed.

    I was hoping to be able to view LFG as you can currently, but with the other servers listed in there as well. So you could get a cross-server friends list (especially with battle.net integration on the way!) of people you like running with.

    As for my more pie in the sky hopes, I wish – although realise it isn’t possible – that it could extend across Battlegroups as well. Heck, across US/EU lines, across faction lines even, if we’re really talkin’ pie in the sky!

    Then could get some awesome blogger runs going, and see what we’re all like in game. Play along with some readers too. It’d be pretty fantastic. 🙂

  6. I use lfg almost exclusively for pugging (with the exception of VoA – I will respond to Trade Chat announcements for VoA). My completely unscientific analysis is that kids tend to use trade chat to put groups together and adults tend to use lfg. I’m of two minds on the cross-server lfg. I worry that the kids will start using and I’ll end up in groups where I’m asked “r u healz” and “sup bro”. On the other hand, a larger pool of people might make it easier for my non-80s to do instances while they level.

  7. Count me among the LFG users as well. Given the recent guild downturn, I’ve managed to rack up some dailies quite easily that way – usually with overgeared folks doing a speed run. I’m hoping to get my DK tank some gear this way, even if I have to off-spec as DPS – with arranging an understanding that I’m looking primiarily for tank gear (I also find that well overgeared tanks don’t have much use for the heroic drops – they’d rather pass them off then roll for shards).

    However, the random LFG might well be interesting – I’m looking forward to more hair loss and higher blood pressure with these groups.

    (Back to my regularly scheduled Jamaica vacation)

  8. The think I dislike about the LFG channel is that you can’t just lurk on it – you have to sign up for *something*. I’d rather just have a channel I can lurk in and see what other people want and if that’s interesting to me.(Correct me if I’m wrong – I don’t use it very often.)

    • I do this by signing up for a zone. I’m pretty sure no one actually uses Zone LFG for forming questing groups, they just use /general.

  9. I use LFG because the public channels contain cooties and I don’t want them.

    When I want to “lurk” like Ori, I sing up for something random like…a zone? A quest? Something silly in the list of options and then I park in LFG.

    The ones I hate are the ones in LFG who when I whisper them are all like, oh, no, I don’t want to go.


    • Haha, that frustrates me too. Although I cannot claim complete innocence on this front, either.

      Typically when I do it though, I put myself in the queue quite some time ago (hour or more) with no response, forgot about it, and then by the time someone DOES reply, if I have to go, or raid invites incoming soon.. *cough* Sorry!

  10. There’s actually quite a bit of pug raiding, and there always has been. Most servers were pugging MC/BWL by the end of Vanilla, there were plenty of pug Karas in BC (and near the tail-end, pugs for other stuff as well), and there’s been pug Naxxes since there’s been enough people at 80 to run them (my first Naxx-10 group I met entirely through pugs, although it wasn’t itself actually one; it was more a small core and the good people met through pugging). So that’s not really new to Wrath, nor a reflection of the content (although conquest emblems in heroics + 10 mans of the highest-tier content means that it’s really, really easy to qualify for and set up a raid for the newest content, which is pretty cool).

    And yes, you can LFG for raids 🙂

    Personally I love the hell out of the “Random” option. When I’m looking to pug, it’s rare that I have something specific in mind; generally I end up just queuing for the dailies or ToC and responding to other people’s LFMs. “Random” is like the greatest thing ever assuming that it takes from that pool to fill slots in people’s “I want X” groups; that way people who want to do something can be matched with people who want to do anything. Win/Win!

    • It’s one thing to PUG early game/expansion content toward the end of the cycle. It’s another to PUG current endgame content immediately upon release, which is what we’re seeing now with ToC.

      • Not much of one, though, when the arbitrary cock-blocks keeping people out of them have mostly been removed (resist gear, poorly itemized dungeon stuff, insufficient available level cap’d characters to support it, etc). Most pug raiders are people who want to raid (obviously) but aren’t willing or able to deal with all the scheduling & logistical bullshit to be able to be in a steady group for it.

        Also ToC is *short*, which is why I suspect we’ve seen more ToC pugs than Ulda (Naxx was long but there were a lot of parts of it that could be cleared much faster than the early stages of Ulda even if you had to stop and explain things, and a lot of pugs are partial clears). It’s not hard to justify spending an hour or two there when it’s reasonable that you might kill a few bosses. Once you’ve done that a couple times, you know how to do the fights and can get more people through, just like with 5s. Add in the “everyone gets cockblocked equally” retarded slow roll-out of bosses, and it’s not really surprising at all that pugs weren’t really that far behind “legitimate” raids in downing Anub.

        But, yeah. It was made pretty clear in Naxx and Ulduar that normal modes are not going to be tightly tuned; it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that “not bleeding edge” + “no cock blocks” = puggable.

      • I just wish that the rewards for Heroic were a little more… heroic. It’s like there’s not much motivation anymore to pursue the truly difficult stuff, when all it means is a few extra ilvls.

  11. Being on the horde side of Silvermoon, there’s not a whole lot of raid action goes on, and most of what does go on happens early evening while I’m at work, so being able to group with people from other servers sounds like a win to me. As for Oculus – I’ve tried it twice – both on normal mode before I reached 80, and failed to get anywhere fast with it. There’s only one person in my guild that actually likes it – everyone else avoids it even when it’s the daily!

  12. I use LFG all the time. I belong to a 10 man guild so if I do a 25 it is in a pug. I run both VoA and both Ony every week on 2 characters and only one of those (Ony 10) is run with guildies. The rest I just jump into LFG and pretty much stay there till they are all done. I must add….I almost never wait long for a group.

    We have also used LFG to pug in a member for Naxx or Ulduar. I tend to only go into LFG for fast raids. Just do not want to commit myself to a long raid with people I do not know.

    As for the new tool….I’ll reserve judgement till I try I try it. I think it could end up being great particularly for people that play at odd hours or for those that want to run things that are not as popular.

  13. Agree with many prior posters: LFG tool gets a lot of use, both in 5-mans and to find/fill PuG raids as high as ToC25. Aside from a greater pool of (hopefully competant… or ninja-looting) players to choose from, it would allow players to trial with other guilds of the same faction on other servers (though limited to their battlegroup, presumably) without ponying up $25 bucks to do so. Which… is spawning an idea…

  14. what realm are you guys on? Seriously LFG is practically broken on my server. I use it and I typically have decent luck because I’m a healer. However, trade seems to be the only way to assemble a group which is just ridiculous to me. WHY, WHY?

    But I do think part of the problem with lfg is its un-intuitive UI. It is just poorly designed. I recognize a good UI when I see one and LFG is not it.

    I welcome cross realm LFG though. Sure it will be harder to keep “friends” lists of people who are good tanks or healers. The upside is that there is an much larger pool to tap from so a group for any dungeon should be infinitely better.

    Raids . . . i think it will fail. Most non-guilded raiders are non-guilded because they can float and do well and have great relationships with lots of guilds. I have popped myself on LFG for raid for hours at a time and never got an invite once because it is too risky. Even more so when you have no idea about that person.

  15. […] little awkward to group for. Not too many people are jumping into these any more. Inclusion of the Cross-Server LFG Tool in the 3.3 patch will go a long way towards helping out with this situation however. Wut Behind […]

  16. My server uses LFG quite well, despite a very low population. Because of this low population, it’s often hard to find pugs for places, even if you open yourself to all channels. I once logged into a medium populated server and the amount of pugs available was overwhelming in comparison.

    IMO, this is great. Not only will the penalty of lower population servers be limited… it will also grant us a chance to act with ‘other players’ for a change. Heck.. there sure are interesting players on healer communities I’d love to team up with for a change and see them in action.

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