Musings on LFG/PUG

From my perspective, average LFG/PUG player behavior has historically shown that if an opportunity for degenerate behavior exists, it will happen. Game mechanics that allow for or facilitate degenerate behavior will be abused.

Even if a player chooses not to partake in said behavior, over time it becomes so commonplace that they are pressured to acquiesce for fear of being marginalized and/or ostracized (this in particular has been exacerbated by the emergence of social media, and the magnification of niche opinion).

Before personal loot, there existed the possibility that players would be pressured into giving their upgrades to others; some well intended, others not. Because this possibility was there, over time it became expectation.

Personal loot works to nullify a specific degenerate behavior by removing the possibility of peer pressure. Since there is no game mechanic to give your gear away(with exceptions), then the expectation is no longer there.

What if we were to apply the same concept to the ways players measure personal performance and the performance of others. Removing the game mechanic/API for displaying item level and damage meters would (theoretically) cease the expectation to report these numbers for access to content (such is the case for much of the LFG/PUG community).

This is a monumental change and a hard sell to be sure, but one that could increase the overall health of the game and it’s players.

Of course, this does bring up the question of “How will I know that I’m improving?”. Similar to personal loot, a personal performance indicator could be developed. A game mechanic that allows for a player to see their own growth, but could not be seen and therefore abused by others. A visual (possibly non-numerical) indicator that relays information about the player’s average damage/healing output, and improvement or deterioration of the average.

I welcome any discourse on the matter :smiley:

I think I need more information. :smiley:

What, exactly, is the PUG/LFG behavior that you think should change? And for what content?

The result I’m shooting for is a player being able to use LFG without having to jump through arbitrary hoops like number thresholds. Any content that uses the LFG tool.

Not sure what you mean by “arbitrary hoops.” Do you mean the minimum iLevel requirements for LFG/LFR, as set by Blizzard? Or are you referring to player-formed groups?

He is talking about player groups requiring certain ilvls to participate

While gear score does not necessarily equal player ability, taking a fresh off the boat 120 with 410 token gear into a mythic 15 would not work. Certain circumstances require a certain level of gear to survive.

Being excluded from groups is not fun, but if you have done everything possible to gear yourself, start the group yourself and set the limits you feel is acceptable.

Ah. If that’s indeed the question, I’ll second Macneel’s answer. :slight_smile:

I agree with you on this point. I guess I feel that the gear thresholds should be left to Blizzard and not the players.

1 Like

I suspect that even if you removed the ilevel score and the api you would still end up back at player generated item levels(if I remember right ilevel was originally a player created mod that evaluated gear based on easily apparent stats) so removing that level of elitism(I refer to people requiring a certain ilevel for entry level content, not necessary ilevel to survive content, as given in example above) so it may take more than just making the easy access ilevel/damage meters inaccessible. I definitely feel like having some metric for the player themself to see growth would be a good idea to promote self improvement

1 Like

I’m with @Macneel and @dreadhead on this one. Any player is capable of forming their own group with any or no restrictions as they deem warranted.

I really liked the Panda Proving Grounds…it allowed for roles to be judged by a static AI system & you couldn’t enter certain content till an appropriate gear/skill level was reached by the player.

Its also a great way to go and try out the other dung roles to practice their abilities to see if you wanted to switch.

While I don’t disagree about the negative social effects of things like ilvl and dps meters, recognize that people were doing this even before those things became so accessible.

Remember the Gear Score addon, back in the day? Remember people demanding you link achievements or raid currencies? I’ve also played other games with no API for dmg measurements, and players STILL find ways to collect and analyze the data.

I believe that while games can do things to discourage such behaviors, in the end, players for whom such things are important will find a way around it. Sad, but true.

1 Like

One of the reasons why I gave up on the Mythic dungeons was the utter toxicity of the PUG groups there.

Being a raid tank, I don’t do “Rush” and “Go Go” very well, and there was always one of those in there, quite often dying to stupidity, or not even performing very well.

Way back in the heroic dungeons, I’d learned that skipping patrols, rushing through, taking shortcuts, almost always resulted in a party wipe and generally made things take longer than if we’d just do it ‘normally’.

Gearscore or no gearscore, that kind of behaviour will exist regardless.

You all have made great points! And I agree with much of what was said. I have since opted to go down a different path, acknowledging that certain behaviors will always exist. Side note, I realize these ideas are mostly moot, but I enjoy the discussion. :smile:

Make LFG a core feature exclusive to guilds and communities; a feature meant to increase options. Making LFG supplemental pushes guild/community to the forefront. It would also allow for more robust ways of “super filtering” 1) the kind of player you are looking to fill with(as they would already be “tagged” in a certain type of guild/community) or 2) the kind of group you are looking to join(because again, the group would already be classified).

If you are a solo player, you don’t need LFG. But if they did want to do dungeons, a community tailored to solo players would be perfect(you would already be surrounded by like-minded players to pick from). If you are a hyper hardcore and can’t be bothered by the rabble, guess what; you are already in VIP section(hardcore player community)! Guilds lacking raid members on an off night can join up with other guilds facing similar circumstances(unsure about lockouts). All these examples would first benefit from a consistent roster of familiar players, but then if needed, LFG could fill in with more ease from other guilds/communities of similar makeup(but not limited to only them).

Lastly, guilds/communities found through LFG should be subject to an Overwatch like endorsement system. This would further fine tune the kind of groups you would encounter in LFG. This thought needs more work.