The instance finder seems like a pretty well designed tool. Why does it seem like most people ignore it?
The instance finder seems like a pretty well designed tool. Why does it seem like most people ignore it?
For matching random groups, it's a chicken-and-egg scenario.
A large number of players won't use it until it has reasonable queue times and matches sensible group combinations.
Queue times won't be reasonable and it won't match sensible group combinations until a large number of players use it.
This vicious cycle could be short-circuited by introducing a ridiculously good bonus reward for random groups. But over time, that reward would have to be reduced. At some point, players would feel like they're having something taken away from them, and no one likes that feeling.
I see what you're saying, but it's not like it takes a lot to buy in. Takes like 2 seconds to que up. Then just let it run while you quest or do whatever. So even if it takes a long time, it's not costing you anything.
It has still some fatal flaws two notable ones: 1. It doesn't promote random groups, it incentivizes running random content instead. 2. It doesnt do Raid-Sized content.
Players who take a brief vacation to other worlds tell me that it seems to get a lot of use in the 20s-50s, but that it tapers off after that. Probably because it also can't be used to queue for non-scaling content (Isengard/Moria/Angmar).
I vastly preferred DDO's LFF panel to this implementation. I'm hoping someday a developer decides its worth porting over-here in their spare time.
I'd happily Pug Raids with it or other content for the purpose of meeting NEW PLAYERS to group with and introduce to content all day if people actually used it for that at level-cap, but I can't be bothered to sit in the queue for hours, feeling alone on a HEALER no less. It's depressing enough to try and Pug content using GLFF at times where you can actually interact with the folk who might be interested.
It does now, match sensible group combinations. They did at least, glean that much data for it (at least for Pre-Erebor content) before it fell into disuse.
When it initially launched, it included "incentives" to be willing to accept random instances (mostly skirmishes). At the same time, the completion bonuses for skirmishes were subject to a major reduction. This combination didn't set well with a lot of people. Many people weren't looking for a *random* instance to do. They wanted a particular instance or--at the very least--to eliminate ones they didn't like from the selection list. As a result, those wanting a particular instance didn't get the finders "incentives", either, but still had to put up with the reduction in completion bonuses.
All in all, the initial launch was pretty dismal and, so far as I can tell, most people gave up on using it. With the later merger of selection capability that the previous join panel had, the habit of pre-forming groups and only *then* using the finder continued.
Interesting thread. Reading the responses so far, I am getting the impression that no-one actually knows why it doesn't work, but a few reasonable hypotheses have been suggested. My own theory would be: because it creates groups, not teams. Anyone with experience of Pick-up groups (pugs) learns they have a heartbreakingly low chance of managing anything serious. In practice, things like Bugud are great for informal pugging. Anything more challenging than that and it's : " do ya feel lucky, punk? Well, punk, do ya?"
Blizzard have tried to deal with this with their LFR tool and scaling instances for several 'tiers' of difficulty, Turbine OTOH haven't and most 6 and all 12-man content is largely PUG-hostile, except when exploits allow for ezmode farming until Turbine close the loophole.
World content like Bugud isn't really the same thing, there's no need to 'group up' to do it with open tapping; without open-tapping you'd see what WOW has, with guilds/kins competing for the 'claim', even for that content PUGs would rarely, if ever get formed.
In Isengard, for a long time my hunter was my only char at 75. When I used the instance finder to do 3 mans, most of the time it put me in groups with either no tank or no healer. That just didn't work out well. Just recently I finally got my warden to 85 and I'm using the IF quite frequently again to run small instances like school & library. Since they're so easy, it really doesn't matter which classes my companions have. I might just try it for erebor instances as well.. see how that goes.
I can only speak from my experience on Nimrodel but I really wanted this to work.
When it was first released, people tried using it but there were problems. Typical wait times that I experienced were between as little as 5 minutes to as much as 2 hours. When you finally got a group that matched your criteria but someone dropped (i.e. had run out of time for the night due to waiting) you went right back into the queue for another long wait. I had a couple of groups form up where someone of a lower level was pulled into the group so you ended up with a lower level instance than you wanted. You'd also get funky class make-ups (I had one group form up with an op guard, a cappy set up for "dps" and myself, a healing cappy).
It fell into disuse very quickly at that point.
I think the one poster is right however, encourage use by doubling marks/medallions/seals and you'll have people give it another try. This isn't like 75 after all where seals were easy to build up.
When the instance finder came out the instances weren't so faceroll, add to that the abyssmal group compositions it made back then, the fact it was only tottaly random and alot of people started to dislike it.
Would probably work alot better now(with the damage nerf and all) but you need some big incentives to jump start a dead horse.
(Oh and also you will always have more dps players than tanks and healers, so for dps the times are mostly always bad.
Wow did work around that with giving special rewards for tanks and healers if they sign up)
Ohh and one more thing i tottaly forgot, it would need to be cross server.
In my opinion one of the reasons people don't use the instance finder is that it was added 4 years into the game, so people looking for a PUG have become used to simply using an unofficial global lff channel in every server.
If the technology had been such that the instance finder could create cross-server groups running instances together, dramatically increasing the chances of quickly forming a suitable/desirable group, then there would have been real genuine incentive to use it.
Instead we got 'extra marks' or whatever for using it, which means people still form a group in the traditional way and just start the instance through the finder for the extra rewards (if they can be bothered at all).
Probably because it is redundant as a group finding tool. As it is now it only works as its name implies and finds instances for you as opposed to going all the way there. Other than that I dont see many people using it especially for the 6-12 mans as, apart from the last Erebor raids, they are highly pug and randoms unfriendly. It needs working on for sure, probably bringing cross server option would save it.
I don't use it because it doesn't actually help you find specific people to fill specific roles for a specific instance. Glff is the most efficient option for filling out a group when you have particular content in mind and/or a clear idea of the classes you're looking for.
Habit, and impatience myself. I mostly find groups by asking in my kin channel in any case, as that is my preference and gives a higher success probability anyway. That said, I am fine doing pugs, and sometimes join ones folks announce in glff. I don't like queuing up as it takes a long time, and I feel like I'm "on hold" while waiting. If there were some way to see what groups are trying to be formed (rather than just joining the queue) it might give me more incentive
Why don't people use it? I would assume they already have their kin, and they feel those are the people that they group with exclusively.
I've enjoyed the IF on the infrequent occasions when it finds a match for me.
When I don't queue up on the IF, the reasons are:
1) I don't have much play time
2) I'm working on some goal that I don't want to interrupt
I don't mind PUGs, whether the players are any good or not. I don't much care about the content rewards. The main thing the IF gives me is a change of pace from playing solo. Too bad there's so rarely anyone in the queue.
The difference is that in DDO Turbine continued to improve upon the grouping tool to make it as good as it is today. In LOTRO, they haven't touched it since launch. It just stays hidden at the bottom of the social panel where nobody notices it. They later added "Find a Fellowship" functionality to the quest log to flag yourself for a specific quest. But that went over about as well as the Instance Finder. So now we have 3 group finding tools in LOTRO that nobody uses.
Grimdi pointed this out a bit, and others have mentioned the horrific first implementation and other mechanical problems, but just to clarify what the failure was (is) at the high level:
MMO players do not need help finding an instance. They already know what they want to run. MMO players need help finding groups for specific content. And yet here we are with an "instance" finder.
Those of us who remember the version 1 implementation will also remember WB-Turbine's official response to the huge backlash on the forums: It was working as intended. This is what Turbine wanted--to "encourage" players to try more group content outside their preferred farms via randomized content; other features like better grouping class tools and whatever would be added later. But this is definitely not what players wanted at all. It was both unusable and insulting, especially since WB-T decided to nerf the regular rewards as "encouragement" to use the random IF.
So at least some of us who had played since that time and loathed v1 will always view the IF negatively for what it stood for: WB-Turbine's disconnection from LotRO players. And a bass-ackwards implementation.
As for now, I use it only in pre-made groups and pick a specific skirmish/whatever to run, as a replacement for the old Instance Join.
How often do you get hungry and then decide to go to a RANDOM restaurant, or do you get something you actually crave or feel like?
How often do you go to the movie theatre and decide to see a RANDOM movie, or do you look at whats being offered and choose one?
How often do you decide to take your spouse and kids to a RANDOM amusement parks, or do you consider cost and time and distance?
How often do you go to the store and buy a RANDOM computer game, or do you look at the shelves and pick one?
Turbine had lost this battle before the war had even begun, but yet they insisted on fighting it.
People wanted a way to find teammates for THEIR CHOSEN instances, but instead Turbine used the opportunity to try to force people to run the less-run content to boost the stats for those instances. They took away the old daily reward and insulted people by saying it is now available if they let the tool pick a random map. Add to it that it came out buggy, with extreme long wait time, had a host of problems at the beginning like matching you with people on your ignore list, it is no surprise that people tried it and never look back again. But I can still remember the "fans" screaming "oh don't knock it until you have given it a try" even though all those problems and more had been pointed out and people begged Turbine to spend their valueable development time on something else.
It always made me wonder what else turbine could have made instead for the community if they hadn't wasted their time and resources into this thing.
I'm amazed how many people are still locked into the "PUGs suck" mindset. I'm in one of the largest Kins on my server, but I often play in PUGs and I'd say that about 95% of them are successful. If you call that a "heartbreakingly low chance" of success then you must live a very disappointed life.
The only place where PUGs usually struggle are in the most difficult instances, like T2C runs, or sometimes in less difficult instances that have a lot of different mechanics in play. More often than not, I find that the single factor that most influences a PUGs chance of success is how experienced the "leader" of the PUG is. As long as the content is familiar to someone who can clearly communicate what to do and when to do it then you're usually in good shape. In fact, the only PUGs that I've been in recently that weren't successful were back when the Erebor cluster first came out and people were still working out the mechanics of them, or in a recent run at Fires of Smaug T2C (an admittedly difficult instance).