Even though I’ve played World of Warcraft since release, I’ve never ever found myself within a ‘community’ on any of the servers I’ve played on (a small handful of them now) and it looks like with the latest patch, I won’t ever have to. Blizzard is introducing their first raid finder which will work much the same as the dungeon finder, although (to start) it’s only for a very specific raid. Notice that I said ‘to start’. I’m going to predict that given some time this will extend to other raids, and I bet it will be quite popular. In World of Warcraft I can level from 1-85 without ever speaking to another player – while doing group content the entire time (via the LFDungeon tool). I can be teamed up with hundreds of strangers from multiple servers, and never learn a thing about them (although that doesn’t prevent players from going on about their drug habits or spouting out rude comments to trade chat). One of the main reasons I ever play a game is for the social aspect which is why I typically ‘quit’ WoW after a month or two – because there’s simply no social aspect.
Is this what people these days want in their MMOs? I can’t help but wonder. With Rift adding their LFDungeon tool and then solo / duo dungeons, and EQ2 following close behind adding their LFDungeon tool, the days of having to actually go out and speak with others on your server in order to find a group are slowly dwindling.
Then again when I look at public channels I wonder if these are the sort of people I even want to get to know to begin with. How do you go about finding the gems that must reside in your game of choice?