Cross server LFG – Yay?

The much-touted cross-server Looking for Group tool is due to arrive with Icecrown citadel in 3.3. The idea is that the new battlegroup-wide instance servers will not only solve the ‘Additional Instances’ issue but enable players from multiple different servers to all appear in the same instanced dungeon and fight together.

This is good because:

  1. It will be easier to find groups as the pool to draw on will be considerably larger.
  2. If you are only on late at night or at times which are not ideal on your server you may be able to find players on other servers whose schedules match with yours.
  3. Basically, it will be easier to find groups.
  4. Have I mentioned that groups will be easier to find?
  5. There is no five.

I’ve been considering the changes that this is likely to cause for us as players. Now we don’t yet know exactly how it’ll all work, and some of the problems I foresee with the system are speculative; I don’t yet know if Blizzard have solutions or if the system even works in the way I expect it to. Take these potential issues then with a grain of salt:

  1. Will the cross-server component of the new battle.net friends list be implemented in 3.3 or is that intended for Cataclysm? If we meet someone good, will we be able to invite them to a group in the future without involving the LFG tool? If we encounter an idiot, will we be able to keep track of and avoid working with him again?
  2. Recruiting new guild members from PUGs will be harder now, as at least some party members are likely to be on a completely different server!
  3. Ninjas and those susceptible to loot-drama tend to get a reputation on a server. If you’re pulling people from other servers, there’ll be no way of knowing what their reputation is like. Blizzard’s attitude towards loot ‘theft’, either from guild banks or in groups has always been that it’s an issue to be managed by players. The community is essentially self policing, refusing to use players who have a bad reputation. How will we punish those responsible for screwing us over if they can simply hang around in LFG and wait for someone on another server to grab them?

The community is moving closer together and the new battle.net communications system will go a long way towards dropping both server and faction barriers (in that we’ll be able to chat with friends on either side on any server). I’m looking forward to these improvements, but I do have a few concerns about how it’ll all work in practice.

Also, I should probably stop writing speculative stuff months and months before it’s even relevant and while there’s limited information on how stuff works! I promise some kind of hunter-guide or actually current post soon!

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