I’m kinda new here, but since I made the “brave” decision to try out the new group finder today I get to share it here first.
To start with, the random group finder interface is slightly intimidating. It is huge and has lots of options. Luckily everything is nicely self-explanatory. The main things I think people will end up using this for are the daily flashpoints and story mode operations. I did try to find a group for the Black Hole dailies using this thing, but it ended up being faster to spam general chat the old fashioned way.
I checked the box for Tier 1 HM Flashpoints because I wasn’t brave enough to try Lost Island first thing, I clicked “Join Queue” and my group popped up almost instantly. Yay for being a healer! My group was already in progress (and the box that popped up did helpfully inform me of that before I decided to accept the group). I zoned in and discovered I was in Directive 7, and my group hadn’t made it to the first boss yet. I was informed that their previous healer complained that “the tank kept running out of range” before quitting the group. All of this felt painfully familiar. At this point I am seeing no difference from a billion stressful pugs in WoW.
The good news was that there was nothing wrong with the tank. We plodded along past the first boss with only the minor annoyance of the dps occasionally pulling. I decided to compliment our tank, because I couldn’t figure out why the old healer had bailed. Unfortunately either he misinterpreted what I said (I wasn’t being sarcastic random pugtank, you were really doing well!), or randomly quit immediately after my compliment. Possibly his power went out. All I know is we then had a 10-15 minute break to wait for a new tank. We used the time to talk about all the new augment-mania. We complained at the wait but nobody got bent out of shape about it. When our new tank finally zoned in we all cheered, and we cleared the rest of the place without incident.
Overall I’m still a bit nervous about the group finder. I appreciate having a way to get a few extra BH comms per day, but I worry about it turning into the same atmosphere I remember from WoW’s random dungeons. I enjoy getting to know my groupmates, even in a pug. I hope that flashpoints don’t turn into silent speed runs punctuated by the occasional “GOGOGO FFS.” One thing that keeps me optimistic is that at the end of the run you can still add people to your friends list. Even though we’re on a megaserver now, it is still a community. It warms my blackened Dark Side V heart to know that I’ll be able to find good tanks or dps again, and maybe that sense of server community will help keep the group finder a pleasant place.