World of Warcraft quietly disables the group finder auto-accept on the eve of Battle for Azeroth

    
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Jaina's not doing great here either, but Jaina being characterized by random number generation is a consistent issue.

Happy Battle for Azeroth Day, everyone! Starting tonight, World of Warcraft’s newest expansion will release globally and players will evacuate the Broken Isles en masse for fresh content.

And while this should be a time of celebration, Blizzard isn’t making everyone happy. The studio quietly disabled the ability for the group finder to auto-accept players, a feature that was heavily used for world quests and world bosses in Legion. This move has broken several popular add-ons and led to frustration over the removal of a user friendly feature.

Blizzard said that it did this to promote more of social hobnobbing: “The challenge with mods like World Quest Group Finder is that by automating this process for quests that were designed for single players, that’s not actually a social experience — there’s no actual interaction going on. Oftentimes, in fact, it’s just leeching — players can be on their mount, flying in midair, and that quest autocompletes for them.”

Speaking of the expansion, here’s a good overview of the key features and content you’ll find when you log in tonight:

And just in case you didn’t get to complete the Battle for Lordaeron (which is not accessible any longer), here are all the cinematics:

Source: Wowhead, #2. Thanks Sanjeev!
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Zora

Heh I can’t wait to see how forming 40 people raids for world bosses will work when the leader has to manually click on every single person…

Don’t you dare have an ilvl below whatever is considered fancy at the moment, because if it’s a person clicking rather than an automated system filling the group, you can rest assured the bias will kick in ;)

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starbuck1771

That kicked in during legion

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Daniel Reasor

LOL at Blizzard trying to turn this into one more shot fired at flying mounts, as if people will be flying over Zandalar and Kul Tiras without completing all the content first. God, do the current developers hate the game they inherited.

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Ben Stone

I think the main reasons for this were:

1) To counter the automated server hopping for rare hunting, which resulted in players joining groups they had no intention of actually helping.

2) The auto grouping was probably putting a massive strain on the servers as large numbers of players constantly jumped servers.

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Cosmic Cleric

Ben Stone
I think the main reasons for this were:

1) To counter the automated server hopping for rare hunting, which resulted in players joining groups they had no intention of actually helping.

2) The auto grouping was probably putting a massive strain on the servers as large numbers of players constantly jumped servers.

They couldn’t have predicted this?

The issue at hand is Blizzard giving, then taking away, features. It’s not cool to do to your customers, and it shows unprofessionalism on their part, as well as contempt for their customers, or, at the very least, not knowing wtf they are doing.

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Utakata

…it’s the their policy of making a decisions that will inconvenience many to get at a few. /le sigh

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Cosmic Cleric

…it’s the their policy of making a decisions that will inconvenience many to get at a few. /le sigh

I used to think that reason more in the past than I do now (though I do still think its true now as well), but these days, the preponderance of the evidence makes me think its more about just trying to slow us down, even more than they used to want us to slow down.

I’ve always said this about Blizzard, they’re greedy with our ‘duration to task completion’ time. They keep turning the inconvenience customization dials past where their customer base wants it to be, in their favor of making less content, more slowly. Suramar would have been a lot better place if they just toned back on the progression slowing techniques. Not eliminate them, but just back off of them some. They go 15%* too far, usually, time/progression wise. And now it seems like they’re going for 25%* with this expansion.

* Numbers are estimates not based on fact, but on opinion. YMMV, TL;DR, FIFY, and HAND.

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Rumm

Oftentimes, in fact, it’s just leeching — players can be on their mount, flying in midair, and that quest autocompletes for them.

The number of times that I’ve experienced this in Legion is so few that it’s honestly disgusting to have the lead developer bring it up as the reason for doing away with QoL features. Never mind the fact that the other 3 people that joined my groups at the same time actually contributed, completely negating the leecher.

Someone really needs to explain to me how this increases social interaction. I’m still not whispering groups in party finder when I queue up, this just adds a delay to grouping. My guild is for social interaction; I could give 2 shits getting to know the random cross-server PUG that helped me do a quest for 2 minutes. Blizzard is punishing the whole to please the few.

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Armsman

In WWII German/Nazi accent: “You vill play ouver vay…Ja! You vill make friends and haff fun doing it. Fun vill now commence.”

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starbuck1771

So you speak russian nice

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rosieposie

The ‘official’ BS response by Ion. Anyone who buys it… I have a brand new bridge to sell you. This is all just creating a time sink instead of offering content that is actually engaging.

This is something we’ve been grappling with throughout Legion. With World Quests, we definitely want to encourage partying up and grouping with your friends and guildmates. WoW is a social game, and that’s not something we’re looking to restrict. In fact, we took steps midway through Legion to support grouping up with the little green eye icon that appears right next to World Quests. You can click it and it will automatically add you to a group or form a group for that World Quest. That way you can quickly find others to play with if you’re trying to take down an elite, do a group quest in a dangerous area on Argus, or fight a world boss. We want to make that as simple as possible.

The challenge with mods like World Quest Group Finder is that by automating this process for quests that were designed for single players, that’s not actually a social experience—there’s no actual interaction going on. Oftentimes, in fact, it’s just leeching—players can be on their mount, flying in midair, and that quest autocompletes for them. Those quests were designed for solo players; they’re paced for solo players.

We’ve made changes to the way tapping works in the outdoor world to allow for freeform cooperation. If you have a quest that is “Kill 12 Satyrs and the Satyr Leader, and burn these four things,” you can walk into that area, see two other players there, and just help them. You can fight the same things they’re fighting, and you’ll help each other out, and things will naturally go faster doing that. But the experience is paced around—just as any level-up quest is—your experience as a solo player. Being able to autojoin groups of five that can complete these quests in a matter of seconds skewed a lot of the pacing and rewards associated with the experience. Players would spend most of their time traveling around and not actually engaging in the questing.

If you want to group to do World Quests, you’re highly encouraged to do that the regular way, whether it’s using the Group Finder, talking to your guildmates, talking to people in the community that you’re in in Battle for Azeroth, and saying, “Hey, I’m going to go do Tortollan Emissary. Anyone want to come join me?” That’s the kind of social experience we’re looking to foster with World Quests.

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thalendor

This reminds me too much of the logic some people use, particularly for some of the more “old school” oriented MMOs in development, about how making grouping more difficult somehow increases the social aspect of the game. I don’t buy that argument there and I don’t buy it here, from Ion, either. The act of putting together a group was never a grand social experience; that’s just as true in current era WoW as it was back in 1999 era EverQuest. Just let people get together as quickly as possible and if that group leads to some long-term friendships, that’s great! But the fact of the matter is, in every era of MMOs, it’s likely that most groups were formed of people looking to, first and foremost, get stuff done quicker…

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Leiloni

The removal of auto accept happened last week and was a default part of Blizz’s own group finder tool. I’ve never used any addon for group finding so it affects everyone who plays the game.

It’s honestly annoying because when you make a group for a quest, you now have constant dinging on your map of everyone trying to apply for the group. The thing with these is you don’t always just make a group and then delist it. If you’re just doing a quick boss quest then maybe. But most of the time if I need a group for a quest, it’s something that’s going to take longer like Sentinax which requires farming a bit and being in a group makes that go faster. However in situations like that, people will come and go as they complete their quests, so you then merely replace them in the group with another player who applied.

I did this very quest on an alt last week and found it so annoying to be out there killing mobs with constant dinging on my map with players wanting to join. Then 1-2 people leave and I have to go manually accept two new ones – and honestly it doesn’t matter who I choose. I don’t need to talk to them or look at their item level. It’s just a quest so auto accept was amazing here. But then I have no idea if they’re the same warmode setting or not, so half the group is never even in the same instance as you.

It’s a mess. It’s a system that worked so well in Legion so I don’t know why they’re messing it up. They do need to add that feature back, as well as a checkbox for what Warmode setting the group is advertising for.

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Vicarious Fan

I think they disabled it because of Warmode. It seems the Group finder can’t tell the differnece between people in Warmode and those who are not.

So if you are in Warmode and you join a non warmode group then you wont’ be able to phase in with the group.

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Denice J. Cook

It sounds like Blizzard’s really pushing the social thing now because it’s “players making their own content” instead of them having to do it. A.k.a. “It takes way longer to do anything now, and thusly it slows WoW down even more, so it’s great!”

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Bryan Turner

I thought I remember a youtuber or was it Blizzard Watch, stating this was done because these addons taxed server performance.

” This seems like an intentional change on Blizzard’s part. There have been some small server stability issues the last couple of days, and we’ve seen changes made to the Group Finder in the past to help combat server problems. Hopefully this fixes the randomly changing server shards issue that I’ve been experiencing. It’s pretty annoying to be fighting something, only to suddenly be on another server in the middle of angry monsters. The auto accept and auto find groups features are really hard on the servers, and with Battle for Azeroth right around the corner it’s possible that this is a preemptive change to make sure that there’s no additional server load.”

from Blizzard Watch’s article.

Blizzard killed World Quest Group Finder and other easy ways to group… but why?

Further more in the comments it appears some one’s already made an Add On to replace the broken ones.

From Accomp

“Good news, everyone!

We just launched our new WQ addon called “World Quest Party” yesterday evening. This addon enables you to quickly create or join world quest groups at the click of a single button. It’s worth noting, we’ve specifically designed this addon to adhere to the server stability concerns Blizzard has experienced, and taken a different route to be scoped to your realm and connected realms, while also taking War Mode into consideration.

We’d love if you took the time to go check out our addon and share your thoughts! The more folks who download it, the better the addon will perform :)

https://wow.curseforge.com/… ”

See I used some investigative journalism right there and even cited my sources ;D

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Cosmic Cleric

The more folks who download it, the better the addon will perform :)

https://wow.curseforge.com/…

Maybe you can get Blzzard to add that add-on as part of the base game? Otherwise …

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Reht

Not really a fan of this, it actually happened a few days ago…again. Unfortunately they have created a game defined by grind activities which don’t lend themselves to being social. I hope they change their mind, but i doubt they will. Using the group finder addons were the only thing that helped me stomach the huge world quest grind in Legion.