I certainly recall having quests that required 3-5 players to complete way back when. Nearly everything in EQ required way more people. WoW was smaller groups. SWTOR did it for a while too. The latter 2 never really worked out, while EQ had so few quests and a mandatory grouping requirement, that it sort of did (after hours of waiting).
The quick and dirty answer to that was solved by Rift – quick grouping. With a single button press you would join nearby players, all attempting the same event. Was great for group quests, and even better for Rifts. The system only started to breakdown when there was a lack of players around you (say mid-game when most were top level). Still, the model made sense.
I loved that system for 3 main reasons. First, there are practical ones. Group content isn’t about throwing meat at the problem. I like healing. It’s useless to heal solo. It works wonders in a group, so auto-grouping made it so that I could heal effectively. I had targets, HP bars, focus, etc… Second, it allowed for an easy way to meet new people. I met my guild in Rift with that. I’ve swapped guilds in WoW with that. Sure, there are the silent, let’s-get-this-done-and-drop people, but you will find other folks. Third, it’s stupid easy. This meant that you could effectively auto-group while leveling, and doing the daily quests.
The LFG tool for custom groups does have use. Sentinax farming. Fishing rep building. Things that are not quest related are done through this, and generally it works. World bosses was better with an add-on, but it did also have LFG as a backup. I get that part. The downside to LFG is the overheard of using the tool. Compared to “press a single button”, LFG seems like a slow lead-eating cousin. In effect, it meant that LFG was used once a week.
(Side note: Fishing rep building should only ever be done in a group/raid setting. You go from 12 hours of effort, to 2. And get to have fishing conversations with the raid. Win-win.)
For some reason, Blizz decided to block the auto-group feature from addons in BfA and push people to use LFG. Without actually changing LFG. I am honestly a bit confused why. For 95% of the uses the addon provided, that has just been removed. We’ll go back into the solo-mode for world content, and then LFG for weekly bosses. This is quite strange.
Aside from Argus quests to defeat champions (that only tanks can really solo effectively) there is no difficulty in daily quests. Just time sinks due to combat for spawns. Redoing Tanaan Jungle recently proves how crappy an experience that is to the openness of Legion. It’s deafening silence as compared to dynamic grouping.
I think that’s my largest gripe with 8.0. Sure, there are always going to be tweaks to gameplay, but it feels like the fun parts, the dynamic parts, have been removed for a month, if not forever.
At least I still have my fishin’.
I actually started fishing! No clue why, or what I am going to do with it, however. =)
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I’ve lost many an hour fishing. It provides no real in-game benefits other than customization and toys. That and a neat sense of zen