It's too much trouble. There, I said it. Back in the day we thought nothing of leaving our characters standing around in Lake of Ill Omen, watching the Sarnaks lope past like so many saurian Grouchos while we called " lvl 27 druid lfg" for as long as it darn well took. On a good day someone might send a tell or just /ooc "Druid come to windmill" and that was Saturday morning sorted until lunchtime.
|A crate is not a chest. As I found out.|
This remained the status quo for years, until WoW dropped the still-controversial Dungeon Finder bomb in late 2009. As with many of Blizzard's innovations, the effects rippled across the MMOsphere and nowadays many virtual worlds come complete with some stripe of automated assistant that takes away tedious admin (and vital social interaction along with it, some would say), leaving adventurers free to, well, adventure.
|Y'know what? I just can't be bothered.|
Since then I've used similar systems in a few other MMOs, occasionally, but mostly I've just stopped doing dungeons with pick-up groups altogether. It's strange in a way because much the same mechanism is used to queue for PvP Battlegrounds and Warfronts and I've played the skin off some of those. For PvE, though, I've never taken to it.
|Doesn't that take you back?|
Turns out that I don't like that much either. Too much hassle. Can't be doing with all those tells and typing and meeting strangers. Don't like the new ways, don't like the old. There's no pleasing some people.
Well, maybe there is. Which brings me to City of Steam. Got there in the end. Yesterday I did three "dungeons" in CoS. I say dungeons. Timed two-minute instances is what they were, with hardly any mobs and a lot of chests to open to find a bomb. Which I never found. It's not what I did that matters, though, it's how I came to be doing it.
City of Steam is structured rather like the original Guild Wars, with a number of open, multiplayer hubs leading onto many instanced areas. Quests happen in the open areas, which are very world-like and comprise the "MMO" part of the game. Fighting and breaking things (there's a lot of breaking things) happens in the instances.
|That's a fail.|
There's no separate Dungeon Finder or LFG interface.
|Stand on the mat, fool!|
It's simple, effortless and organic. You're at the door, you clicked on the option, you must want to go in. Why wouldn't you accept? Of all the ways to automate instance run pugging this is the most elegant I've seen. In a game like GW2, where there is famously no Trinity and a viable group is anyone who turns up, this would be just perfect. Just wait at the Asura Gate with the relevant option highlighted until the team fills up and in you go.
It would just about be guaranteed to get me back in the dungeon. Even I'm not too lazy to stand on a doormat and click. Well, not on a good day...