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How Does the New LFG Work?
It's literally as easy as clicking a button. No longer do you have to spam trade chat looking for particular dungeons or classes to fill out your groups, all you have to do is click on the little green eyeball and choose what role you want to fill, select random or specific dungeon, and away you go! There's more rewards for randoming - ranging from loot bags at the lower levels of gameplay filled with great blue reward gear, to the level 80 heroics which reward you with highly coveted frost badges, the same stuff people get from raids! The system will match you with a group from your entire battlegroup, so even people on small servers that may have very small populations will be finding groups very quickly.
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Sounds Great - Whats the Catch?
Well, as clearly displayed by que times, all roles are not created equal. If you're a tank, expect to wait about one second for you to be in the instance of your choice. As a healer, you will wait about 20 seconds to a minute. DPS? Better get a crossword puzzle or hang out on facebook for a while, because you're looking to wait for up to 30 minutes just for a shot at a dungeon. These role discrepancies have resulted in all kinds of feelings of entitlement in these groups, including a throwback to "old-school" gaming schematics where the tank is daddy, the healer is mommy, and the DPS are the screaming kids in the backseat and more trouble than they're worth.
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Griefing and Kicking Oh My!
The new system has led to knew kinds of griefing and exploiting. There's 3 boxers who will que up 3 different dpsers and get in your instance with all three - and then proceed to play only one of them with the other 2 on follow. There's people who will get inside your dungeon and just put someone on follow or afk the entire time, leeching xp and not helping at all. There's even people who will que up for roles they can't perform and explain it to their dismayed party - "I just wanted a shorter que time, can someone else tank/heal?". There's even jokers who will run around your dungeon nude, pulling everything they can just to try and get the group killed.
So how can you deal with these party crashers? Kick them out, of course. The issue is if Johnny McGriefstein is in your group, you can't kick them until you wait 15 minutes... Which is incidentally the same amount of time you have to wait if you leave a random dungeon to que up again. So it's sadly usually in your best interests to not even waste time with the bad apples and just leave yourself, hang out in Dalaran until your timer is up and try again.
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Hub Based Gaming
What else has the LFG system done? Well, it's turning WoW into a hub-based MMORPG. People don't have the desire to leave town anymore - there's really no reason to! Someone can log on, run 3 different dungeons at different locations all over the world from the comfort of the main cities without having to walk or fly anywhere. As a result you've got a largely underused, gigantic world and most people just milling about the city teleporting from dungeon to dungeon. It's certainly convenient, but if you're a fan of world pvp or even just meeting people out in the expansive World of Warcraft, you've likely seen zones becoming ghost towns.
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Gearing Up has Never Been Easier
With the ability to score 2 frost badges and unlimited triumph badges daily from the new LFG system, a fledgling level 80 in greens could potentially be decked out in full tier 9 and above epics in less than a week - without ever having to do a single raid. This is great news for alts, new players, or even rerolls - obviously a lot of the hardcore raiding community are less than thrilled that so called "casuals" can get themselves full sets of raid quality gear with such ease, but they've largely become accustomed to how WoW has been changing to attempt to suit the needs of all players by providing regular modes and hardmodes, so all players at least get to see the bosses if they don't want to commit to a raiding lifestyle. With the new rewards for randoming, getting ready for the "real" level 80 game is actually pretty fun instead of a chore.
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A Great Addition to a Great Game
The LFG system overall is a really great tool to be able to find groups to dungeon crawl whenever you like - sure, there's definitely some issues, like being paired with nude death knights or dps that qued up as a healer, but largely your experiences should be good ones. So forget having to be on at 7 EST to get your raids done, and instead log on whenever you feel like and punch out some badges as you experience the random dungeon finder. Can't decide which one to run? Find an instance to explore!