I constantly hear gamers here lamenting on how LFG tools being built into MMOs have decreased social interactions required between players. It’s always something like “before you had to TALK to people to find a group! Now you don’t! You just queue and do the run in silence!!”
Genuine question, what is the actual difference between using a LFG tool vs. me spamming in chat “LFG FOR X DUNGEON 1/4 SLOTS – PLS HELP A NEWB”? Legit, there is no difference other than convenience at that point. I write the same thing in my LFG description as I would type in Map/Shout chat anyway.
When I have to spam in chat because I don’t have any RL friends who play the same game as me, it doesn’t increase my social interaction or happiness. I’m not becoming buddy buddy with anyone while I wait for the remaining spots to be filled. Not everyone has a guild or buddy list they can interact with to do group content. Without LFG tool, what should you do? At least LFG usually brings together people from other servers, whom you wouldn’t normally be able to talk to.
I honestly think this has no bearing on how social a game is, but I see it brought up as an example of the DECLINE of MMOs time and time again.
Once I am in the dungeon, how social the run is depends on your behavior: it’s either gonna be a dead silent run with zero communictaion , or people are gonna pipe up and make some conversation. But that has nothing to do with the mechanism by which we were grouped together for that dungeon. It has everything to do with YOU. You need to make a concerted effort to say “hey wassup guys” and break the ice if nobody else does. Once you do that, 90% of the time someone in the group will greet you back or do an emote. It’s dumb but yeah you have to be the first one to talk sometimes, and that sets the tone for the rest of the dungeon run: whether you all wordlessly run back to the boss room after wiping, or you’ve interacted enough that everyone says lol and the tank says “my bad” and someone explains the mechanics.
This applies to overworld content too. When I’m in a zone and see a random person, I can either ignore them and dash to my nearest quest, or I can go up to them and wiggle/do a stupid emote until they notice me and we start talking. I have had this kind of thing happen soo many times on sTuPiD theme park games like FFXIV and GW2 and others, but because it’s not EVERQUEST it must be dead and nonsocial trash I guess. 🤔
MMOs have definitely changed but so have the players. It’s just like real life, you need to go out of your way to make friends and interact with people. If you play an MMO as single player that’s on you, and perfectly valid. You can equally choose to play it as multiplayer, so don’t rag on the implementation of convenient tools like LFG for contributing to the decline of how social MMOs are.
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