There’s always a goal rattling around my brain when I fire up any MMOG. It could be as simple as completing a few dailies or as complicated as destroying a series of raid bosses. Capturing a non-combat pet, general questing and leveling, farming some gold or scanning the auction house for deals could always be on the list. What I never do, is login without a purpose.
Like my damage (or healing), I maximize my time. Even in real life, I tend to do multiple things at once. Standing in a god-forsaken line? Whip out that Nintendo DS and bang out some random encounters in Golden Sun. Watching a semi-interesting TV show? Laundry time! Sure, I lose 100% efficiency or focus, but I also encounter zero down time. Heck, I subsidize downtime in raiding with DS – 3DS next week! – play. Double gaming!
So, that point I was getting at. I’ve recently been running dungeons in that four-letter word, Rift. It astonishes me that in this day in age a game that has a healthy amount of dungeons can ship without some form of an automatic or assisted group tool. I’ve wasted hours spamming for groups. And Solidkieron is a healer. Forsaken World has its own tool, and its a F2P title, not a AAA advertising behemoth.Even more mind-boggling is that a sector of the community abhors the idea of Trion Worlds adding said feature in a future patch.
We’ve documented the shortcomings of such systems in the past. I understand the fear, there’s a lot of room for suck. Not only in the tool itself, but the groups it puts together. Even if the group is of the utmost perfect distribution of classes for the task at hand, the dispersion of skill amongst the community can destroy that perceived perfection. Yet there so much to gain, chief among the benefits is time, which you can never get back. You’re guaranteed a group, eventually, and without the need of spamming the world chat, guilt-tripping guildmates, bribery or camping the exit/entrance. You can do whatever while the tool does its thing – quest, DS, email, web, push-ups, work. Queue pops and off you go with a high chance of completion.
It’s (going to be) a tool. Tools are created to help do the job, not accomplish it. And to me, the advent of dungeon finders in various games is the most helpful tool since opening all your inventory at once. After having it, I don’t know how I put up with dungeons in the past. Three months after Blizzard released it’s implementation, I had done more dungeons than in the previous four years. I don’t even need a reward for random grouping. Finding a group without the hassle is reward enough.
If you don’t like it because you’re “hardcore,” then don’t use it. I will concede one “hardcore” idea though. Players should still have to “discover” a dungeon location (at least on one of their toons) before they can be ported to the entrance.
Where do you stand on dungeon tools?