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LFG and Premade Group Finder are the Same

I was watching a video about an upcoming MMO and it was talking about the grouping experience and how it wouldn't have the Dungeon Finder mechanic of putting you into a random group and teleporting you right to the instance. Instead, you would need to do the traditional LFG process of finding people, forming the group, running there all manually.

A lot of people will say that the LFG process is dead and long gone, meant for an older generation of MMORPG. They'll say that LFG is tedious, etc.

Playing WoW for the past 6 months  has shown me that the LFG model is actually alive and doing quite well. Though the pioneer of the aforementioned Dungeon Finder, WoW still utilizes the LFG system for its core gameplay.


Dungeon Finder is only present for the lowest tier dungeon gameplay in WoW. In fact, that gameplay is so low that most people skip it entirely with the plethora of other gearing options in WoW's latest expansion, Battle for Azeroth.

If you're looking to do any meaningful content, you must form the group yourself. What does that look like, exactly?

In WoW, there is a tool that allows you to list your group in the UI and allow people to browse. They can then apply and be approved or declined -- usually based on their gear.

How is this different from old school MMORPG's and their LFG?

Simply put, it's not much different at all.

In older MMORPGs, like EverQuest, we would simply use a chat channel and advertise our intentions. Sometimes we might even go to a particular location and ask a group already there if they would have an opening soon.

Yesterday in WoW I spent an hour LFG. That sucked just as much as waiting an hour LFG in EverQuest or any other old school MMO.

The automated, instant, and and "random" grouping is an illusion if used as a reason to discredit another MMO's accessibility beyond the lowest, simplest of content.

I can't think of any game with significant higher-end group content that has adequately mitigated the crummy part of having to find and form a group. Having that content is fun, but it's hard to avoid the inherent negatives.

So the next time someone tries to tell you that LFG was a thing of the past, remember it's alive and well in even the most accessible MMOs.

  • The part of the process that most people hated wasn’t the waiting. It was the talking. What the automated systems do is remove the need for anyone actually to speak to another human being at any point in the process. Yes, you can fill out your criteria and sort applicants by gear score or whatever value your game uses, but the key thing is you never have to send anyone a tell or enter into any form of negotiation.

    People are generally fine with clicking some buttons then going about their in-game business until a window pops. Yes, if their class isn’t flavor of the month and it takes an hour to get a group they will be annoyed by the wait, but at least they haven’t had to grovel and humiliate themselves thirty or forty times in public, where everyone can see they’re not wanted.

    So long as the process happens in private and only the game’s subsystems know it’s happening, everyone can still feel cool and powerful and any anger gets directed at the game designers for not balancing the classes/gear/content properly rather than reflected back at the players for making poor choices. This is why MMORPGs that insist on making group content mandatory AND going back to the old person-to-person methods of forming grups are going to attract only a very particular type of player, mostly people with either the patience of a saint or the hide of a rhinoceros – or, in the case of regular group leaders, both.

    • It’s precisely that attitude that nobody wants to talk to anybody and everyone just wants the reward at the end that has lead to the downfall of MMOs. forced interaction and communication is necessary to have any sort of community or staying power in an MMO. without the human interaction you’re just on a dopamine treadmill… might as well be playing farmville or candy crush or whatever mobile game has the kids hooked these days.

    • This “queue and never talk to anyone” gameplay really isn’t prevalent anymore in WoW. Heroics and Normal dungeons are the only gameplay that you queue for now, and both are skippable by even the most casual player because the world itself gives gear drops that are far superior.

      Grouping in a M+ dungeon, which is the next step up, often requires coordination at even lower levels — heck, a +2 is harder than a +10 for me because the players in a +2 don’t coordinate as well.

      WoW HAS gone to the making group content mandatory AND making person-to-person methods of forming groups.

  • The waiting is what always got me. I enjoy talking to others – unless they prove an unpleasant time to talk to. I think LFD/LFR serves its purpose of allowing players to tackle a large amount of content almost ‘automatically.’ Where as the LFG tool allows those serious enough to tackle Mythic content (and other content as well) to really pick and choose the groups makeup.

    The LFR/LFD system has become a meme at this point. 90% of the ‘criticism’ (if you want to call it that) is really from people not looking at the big picture. I tend to take opinions on it on the internet with a grain of salt. It allows for more avenues of content to be released, and I know plenty of people that only continue to play video games with that service because of it.

    • The waiting is what also gets to me. I ragequit last night after LFG for 30+ min in WoW. This is WoW we’re talking about here.