I have made a startling (to me) discovery as of late and can’t actually understand why it’s happened. The issue? Looking For Group seems to be a deserted blackhole after roughly the 30’s. Whether it’s 41, 53, 70…I can hear a pin drop these days when I try to queue up for something and it doesn’t matter if it’s first thing in the morning, lunch, or after midnight. Monday. Thursday. Sunday. The same thing. Now I realize I’m not necessarily the first person to make the discovery, but I’m still quite surprised because of where it is in the game.
We’re at the end of an expansion when there really isn’t a great deal of activity to do. Oh we absolutely have things to keep us busy, but there certainly isn’t any new content to soak in…unless your are leveling. Well dungeons aren’t for everyone but you have to think a good many would still want to do them for the quick and easy experience. Plus, some of them are actually fun. Either way, the question to ask now is where is everyone? I can think of several possible explanations.
- The first is some folks are just content to play their capped toons. Heck, some have been playing so long they already have one of every class at max level. Regardless of how many they have, we’ll call these people the non-levelers for obvious reasons. They’re content to be where they are.
- The questers. Whether new players or old, some are happy to do things the old fashioned way and grind it out via questing. Perhaps they want the lore of certain zones, or even the Loremaster achievements. Or, they just plain like to quest. Heck, there are many in the game that are a lot of fun.
- The pet battle min-igame was a huge addition to Azeroth, and the moment it began granting xp it became even more popular. Do about four pet battles and you have the equivalent (roughly) of a quest. Sometimes, they’re even faster than said quest(s). I know more than one person who has leveled an alt via pet battles, just to level their pets in the process.
- Those who are afraid. It could simply come down to a lack of confidence in playing the game, or the class they’re using. Unfamiliarity, fear of failing, whatever. It could also come down to the fact that LFG has a reputation now for being a lake of all that’s wrong with the player base. The scum of the servers seem to be found more than the fun folk, or so I’m told. Either way, it’s hard to believe that happens only at max level.
- Finally there are the anticipators. These are the folks well aware of a big feature coming soon, even sooner if you’re buying the next expansion digitally: instant level 90. Of course. Warlords of Draenor = Boom! You have a 90. The average player is going to already have a character at 90. Why start to level an alt (or continue with a lower one) when you’ll be able to insta-boost it and save a tonne of time and energy in the process? This is a big deal that Blizzard has introduced and one has to believe the ramifications are being felt already, and with whispers of the Warlords Beta coming soon you have to believe it’s even more so.
Is it any one of these explanations? Is it all of them? I can’t say for sure but something is certainly up. In previous years when we hit this part of an expansion it was easy to queue. Of course it was easier if you were a tank or healer but the fact is people were LFG’ing below the cap. Now I hear of wait times between 20 minutes and an hour or more. I’ve personally had half hour waits and they seem to be more common than not. Whatever the reason, folks who want to run at-level dungeons in the near future might just have to stick to their guilds and friends lists in order to achieve that goal.