With update 1.3 looming over our heads, the biggest feature people are looking forward to is the LFG feature. In a recent interview conducted by Darth Hater we get the following quote:
DH: One of 1.3′s biggest features is the Looking For Group tool. Can you explain how it will work and what areas of the game players can use it (i.e. Flashpoints, Heroic Quests, Operations, etc.)? If not initially in 1.3, will a future release make it cross-server too?
Damion Schubert, Lead Systems Designer: At the launch of this feature (Game Update 1.3), we will not be doing cross-server flashpoints. There are a couple of reasons – first off, it’s a significant technical achievement, and we felt that pursuing it would not allow us to get the feature to you guys as quickly as it needs to happen. Secondly, most of the design team thinks that it’s not necessarily good for the community. When the odds are very low that you will never group with another player again, there is very little social pressure to not be a complete jerk to that person, which is not a particularly positive game experience. We may revisit this decision in the future if our metrics show that flashpoint queues are not firing enough, but in general, queue firing should be more about distribution of key roles (tank, healer, DPS) than about overall population.
For us, this is a big failure in the system. If Bioware’s main reason for not launching a full cross-server LFG system is technical, we can understand that since the systems needed are quiet complicated. However, Damion’s second reason, emphasized above, is a pretty ignorant of the genre as a whole. With SWTOR losing subscriptions and now after a round of layoffs, they need all the positive gameplay elements they can get.