Meet and greet

Stones for meeting

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 | 01:36 AM | by
I can't speak for every server, and it may be due to the fact that (despite a recent character transfer infusion) my server is still 'low population', but meeting stones the best utility that nobody is using.

World of Warcraft doesn't have any decent 'Looking for Group' system of it's own. I long for Blizzard to just rip off the LFG system from City of Heroes. That shit was near perfection.

There are UI addons that attempt some sort of LFG functionality, such as Call to Arms. I tried it, and it suffers the same fate as the meeting stones, only worse because it is an "optional mod" and not everyone has it. We need something built-in that everyone who plays the game has access to.

But until we get something like that, meeting stones were a huge step in the right direction. With the quest system in WoW, people can be all over the place, on different stages of different quests, and usually you stumble into a group for a single quest, and after it's over you part ways. But instanced dungeons are usually a 1-3 hour affair, if you're going all the way through. It makes sense to have a system in place for finding a group for these dungeons.

Unfortunately it seems nobody uses them. At least on my server.

If I need to do a dungeon, when I sign on the first thing I do is put my name in the meeting stone. Then I go off and do other things until a group is formed. There have been times that I have gone through an entire 2-3 hour play session and at the end I'm still "Looking for more members through the meeting stone".

I've heard from others that the meeting stones are barren for them too. Especially for lower level instances.

And yet sometimes I'll see /General or /Yell filling up with LFG messages for a dungeon. Why not just use the meeting stone, people? Because no one else uses them? Now imagine that everyone else is thinking that exact same way. See the problem?

Stop waiting to follow the lead of others. Everyone is waiting for everyone else to start using meeting stones, and in turn nobody at all is using them.

There are some really fun instanced dungeons in WoW, and I think it's a shame that a lot of people get turned off about them because it's difficult to find a group. Meeting stones would remedy that, if only people would make use of them.

Perhaps it's only on my server. Or perhaps there's a larger problem here, that everyone just wants to solo and do their own thing.

Playing a Massively Multiplayer online game just to play by yourself. That sounds like lunacy to me.

The consensus

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 | 02:21 PM | by
The general opinion seems to be that meeting stones are worthless because they create unbalanced groups.

It is my understanding of the mechanics of meeting stones that the system's first funcion is to assemble a group out of an assortment of classes (tank, healer, etc). However, if you aren't giving the meeting stones variety to work with, obviously it has to form groups out of what it has available.

Let me get at this a different way for you. If you have twenty players, chances are you could form at least two fairly balanced teams out of that assortment, whatever it may be.

However if five rogues and a warlock sign up for the meeting stone, and that's it... well, guess what your group is going to turn out to be?

The system could be better, but it's not broken. People just aren't making use of it.

Also, you don't have to run all the way to the instance to get listen on a meeting stone. You can get listed for dungeons your level from most innkeepers. And since you should be logging out in an inn or city anyway, how much more convenient do you need it?

Here's what I'd like to see, though:

You go into a town/city and find an innkeeper (or perhaps a specialized NPC) and when you speak to him, he gives you a list of quests that are currently in your log. You can select five of them to be flagged as LFG.

Other people do the same thing.

If two people flag the same quest, you get some sort of notification like "Hey, this guy needs to do the same quest as you do. Would you like to group with him?".

Right now the only way I get groups for quests is if I happen to run into someone in the same area that looks like they're doing what I'm there to do. But even still, half the time they are just finishing up the quest, or whatnot.

You can solo most quests in WoW. However occasionally you work yourself up to those red quests that you either have to group on, or wait ten levels to finish. Not to mention the elite (non-instance) quests you come across.

Grinding also goes a lot smoother with a couple of companions...