I made a post about how I thought with tools like looking for dungeon and looking for raid it was easy to phase out the social aspect of MMOs and to never leave our little protective bubbles – but I do also think there’s a very simple solution (two, really) for this situation. One would be to implement Rifts method of allowing free character transfers. That means at least if you group up with someone via the LFD tool you can potentially move to their server and be recruited because you’re such an awesome player and had such a great time with the group in question. Does it happen? Probably rarely – but the potential for that to happen is at least there.
The second would be the method that EQ2 has implemented with their latest LFD tool – don’t allow the tools to work cross server. Now, you may look at that and scratch your head a bit, after all the point of the tool is to get you into a pre-made (basically, made by a computer system at least) group and into the dungeon as fast as possible, but I think by coding it to work on your server only you’re not only allowing for faster groups (faster then they were previous to the tool) but you’re also allowing for people to get to know others from their own server. They can add you to their friends list and next time they may not even use the LFD tool but simply form a group with players they have been with before. Is it flawless? No of course not it’s rare that any systems are but I think it’s a reasonable compromise to both the time it takes to find a group and the lack of social interaction that may go on because of these tools.
I poked around in EQ2 last night, channels were relatively quiet and my LFD tool was populated on all of my characters, even the one 25 guardian I have. It was nice to see. I didn’t see a way for warriors to queue as dps / tank which had me scratching my head a bit, I think perhaps all fighters that queue are placed as tanks? In EQ2 they’re the only class that can have multiple roles, in specific brawlers can act as dps or tanks. Some scouts also have stances and can technically tank but it’s usually a temporary encounter and not an entire zone.
Have you tried the tool out yet? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in comments below!