Tag social

LFM LFDs In MMOs PLZ THX

Fall of the Lich King

Replacing "fall" with "fail" would be such an easy joke.

I had planned to write a post about the LFD-tool, since it’s been one of the hot MMO-topics lately. I had even written a paragraph or two before going back, reviewing what I had written and then deleting that chunk of text. There’s been so much said about it lately, that I’m not really sure that I can add very much to the discussion (feel free to point out more links to LFD-related posts or forum entries in the comments).

All I will say at this point is that it’s a powerful tool. There’s been a LFG-tool in WoW for a long time, but it’s never been very useful. Blizzard just took that tool, revamped it, made it easier to use and added cross-realm search and voila, you get LFD. Are we getting less social because of it? Not me, since I never PuGged before. The whole idea of the dungeon quickie, where all you say is “hello” and “thanks for the group, bye”, fits me perfectly.

The only daily I might do is the Jewelcrafting daily, and I’m always extra happy when it’s the daily to kill members of the Scourge – that means that I won’t have to go out and, you know, look for mobs to kill. Pop into a dungeon run through the LFD, kill an undead or two, hit up the bank, craft, cash the quest, profit. I did the Tournament dailies for a couple of days, but I don’t really see what they have to offer for the absolute drudgery that is WoW’s “mounted combat”. I also bought my way to Exalted with Sons of Hodir, one of those reputations I should have fixed way before entering Naxx, so I didn’t have to do their horrible daily quests. Yuck.

Will it always be like this? I certainly hope not. Cataclysm will hopefully stir things up a bit, but that remains to be seen. It’s not that there hasn’t been any new content added to WoW since I left, but I’m just tired of Northrend. I just want to get that continent over and done with, just like Outland before Wrath of the Lich King was released. Some new zones, not just new content added to the old ones, would do wonders right now. Until then, I’ll be happy just popping into quick dungeons – just like I spent most of my time in Warhammer Online queuing up for PvP scenarios.

Fail of the Lich King

Oh, wait... /cry

Are we becoming more and more anti-social? Maybe. But haven’t we been that way for a long time? Blizzard have always got a lot of flack for turning their MMO into a more and more solo focused game. The LFD is just the logical follow-up for this kind of gameplay and I’m sure that most people love it. I can’t help feeling that the tool in itself isn’t complete, that it needs the updated guild tools/functions. We’ll see.

Actually, I wish that more games had similar tools – especially for people like me, who moves from MMO to MMO, would benefit greatly from a system like this. It would be an awesome way to see group content without having to bother with finding a guild first. I usually feel like the annoying newbie when I end up in guilds with players mostly sitting at level cap (like in Vanguard, SWG, LotRO and EQ2). Right now, there is a wall between me and the community in most new MMOs I try out. Until now, the same could be said for new players to WoW – now, they can easily get to see dungeons that just a few months ago stood completely abandoned. Deadmines and Uldaman are still really cool instances, and newbies no longer have to beg level 80s in Stormwind to rush them through that content.

Ooops, I did end up with an entry about the LFD-tool anyway.

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Dance your worries away (and buff up!)

Busy evening in the Mos Eisley cantina.

Busy evening in the Mos Eisley cantina.

How do you gain experience points and levels when you can’t get it from killing mobs? How do you progress your character when combat is more or less pointless?

You dance.

Enter the entertainer. Just like the trader, the entertainer does not gain experience points from killing monsters. But where the trader gets XP from crafting, the entertainer gets XP from…well, entertaining. You got the choice of dancing or playing music, you perform songs or string together dance flourishes. You do light shows, create your personal dance floor or put on your smoke machine.

Compared to the standard combat classes in Star Wars Galaxies, the entertainer is a buff class. Most of them hang out in cantinas (or in cloning stations, the game’s “graveyards”, as far as I’ve gathered – never seen one there, though), sell buffs to the people that watch them (by using the /watch-emote), get tips and socializes. More than anything, the entertainer is a social class.

Not that! Not that!

Not that! Not that!

It’s a fascinating concept. I’ve talked to a couple of entertainers (or “ents” as they are called, quite confusing at first), and they all seem to love their class – one called it the perfect class to “get to know the server”. They meet new people constantly, as most players flock to the cantinas for buffing before they head out into the field (don’t miss out, they got a bonus XP buff). If you’re not a very social player, and don’t like standing in the spotlight (literally), then the entertainer is not for you.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever encountered a class that focuses on social interaction as much as the entertainer (anyone out there who knows?). I’d love to see something like this in other MMOs. Combined with the music you’re able to put together in Lord of the Rings Online (which is really impressive), this could be an awesome idea to include in other games. So many players use their games as fancy chat clients from time to time anyway, give them a reason to flock to the bars/cantinas while chatting away.

Ironforge needs a proper nightclub, Blizzard.

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