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Should the Faction Restriction in LFG Be Lifted?

By Ryan Getchell on December 17, 2014 | Columns | Comments

Should the Faction Restriction in LFG Be Lifted?

The Elder Scrolls Online has had one major problem that has been a major focus ever since Patch 5.0, unimaginable Looking for Group (LFG) queue times. When update 5 was released, with it came scaling dungeons and daily dungeon pledges. These two new features had players wanting to do dungeons more often and of course that meant more players putting themselves into the LFG queue, only to be faced with endless queue times. With the champion system launch looming ever closer, and players being put on a horizontal progression system the LFG system is only going to get busier.

If you’ve been following my writing for a while, you might have read my Solo or Social blog post where I discuss how I loathe the LFG system and how I think the current implementations of it are harmful to MMOs. That being said, I do understand the importance of them in modern day MMOs and especially in The Elder Scrolls Online.

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ESO has to be by far one of the most modern designed MMOs that I have had the pleasure of playing. It’s design and it’s focused demographic isn’t what developers typically strive for and this is exactly why ESO needs an LFG system. This game is designed to keep a casual player enjoying their time and exploring the incredibly vast world. While the hardcore players enjoy the timed trials with their structured guild runs, the majority of the players are taking their time, playing the game at their pace and when they want to do a dungeon or group for a quest they use the LFG tool.

With Zenimax pushing out more and more group related content and allowing the dungeons to scale to your level a lot more players are beginning to use the LFG tool. As more and more players use the tool, more and more issues arise. The primary issue is the incredibly long queue times, times so long that it feels like the system isn’t even working. Personally, I’ve played ESO for 3 hours while in queue for a dungeon and never had it place me with a player, and when it did, it was typically one other person and we’d never find the other two players.

Without being a programmer for ESO, I can’t tell you if this issue is a direct result of a coding glitch, or a population issue. However, as a player I can tell you that Daggerfall Covenant feels like one of the least played faction in the game, which could be a reason why I am experiencing long queue times.


The Pink Ranger Queuing For A Veteran Pledge

While browsing the official forums I see countless posts exclaiming how bad the LFG system is in ESO. It’s not just Daggerfall that is experiencing this issue, it’s everyone. This leads me to believe that Zenimax should open up the LFG system to allow the system to grab players from the other two factions.

Now, I know there are people who will read this and think this is a horrible idea, but I’d like to ask you, why is it so bad?

Opening the LFG tool to find players from the other factions doesn’t go against lore, it only allows players to find a group faster as there will be a much larger pool for the system to select players from. As long as Zenimax doesn’t announce that you’re in a dungeon with a player from a different faction, you’d never really know. Of course for the first week or so of this system going live players will be talking in party/group chat asking who’s from what faction but that will eventually fade and players will just be happy that they are able to do a dungeon when they want to, which is the entire premise of the LFG system.

Along with those players who dislike this idea, there will also be those players that will say, if I can group with opposing factions in a dungeon why can’t I do it outside a dungeon and group with them for quests. While I do see your point, I don’t think it’s a valid option for ZOS to do, as it would require a complete overhaul of the backbone of the game, whereas with dungeons, they are already instanced and have no influence on the game itself, so removing a minor barrier in those is a lot easier than trying to remove it from the overall game.

That being said, what quests would you really be doing, except Craglorn. Every zone you’d be doing is of a different level for the other factions, if you’re playing Daggerfall quest lines, you’d be under level 50, while the other two factions would be over level 50 in order to get those quests.

What do you think, should Zenimax remove the faction restriction when it comes to the LFG system, allowing players to get into a group a lot easier with a lot less queue time? Or should they keep it as is and try to find a different approach to how the LFG system finds players to group with?

Ryan Getchell / Ryan is our resident Elder Scrolls nerd, and columnist for Zenimax's MMO. When he's not out killing things in Tamriel, he's working in IT professionally.
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