With the increasing number of dungeons available in the game over our many updates and expansions, it has become increasingly difficult for players to find enough people available to create a casual group.

In response to this common problem, we have decided to add a new system to help players find groups for dungeons, and also to improve the system of group invitations.

Improved Invitation System

Currently, many game situations block attempts to invite a character to a group. For example, you cannot be invited to a group when you are already part of a group, or while you’re fighting or trading, to name a few examples.
Likewise, the person sending the invitation cannot do anything until they receive a response to the invitation.

These restrictions will soon be a thing of the past, since it will be possible to invite other characters with relative ease!
Now, invitations to join will go through the notification system (normally used for tooltips and the tutorial). This system gives us the advantage of not blocking the player who receives the invitation. They can continue their fight or finish up their trade before accepting or refusing a group invitation.
Additionally, if one is already in a group, the new system will allow a character to automatically switch from one group to another by accepting an invitation.

To avoid problems of being invited to a group that doesn’t interest you (for whatever reason), we have added the option to click the Details button, which will bring up a window describing the composition of the group you’re being asked to join. You will be informed of the name of each character in the group, their level, class, appearance, and position. You will also have the ability to quickly contact these other members (via interactive names) before deciding whether you will accept or decline the group’s invitation.

To make sure that accepting a group invite remains quick and easy, it will be possible to accept an invitation directly from the notification tab, without consulting the details window.

Sending invitations has also been made quicker and easier; multiple characters can be invited at the same time, without the person doing the inviting becoming blocked, or being forced to wait on their responses. Characters who have been invited to a group but who have not yet responded will now be displayed in the group interface with a question mark in place of their level. This will allow all group members to know who is being invited, and who invited them.

It is also possible to cancel a pending invitation from this preview in the group interface.

Looking for Groups

A new interface will be accessible from a button in the main interface. In this window, you can select the dungeons that you want to run. You will only be able to select dungeons if you have the matching key (or an active keyring), and meet the criteria of accessibility via area and level. For example, you cannot select the Snowfoux dungeon with a character under level 100. Likewise, you cannot select the Korriander dungeon with a character that has not completed the Snowfoux dungeon.

You can select up to 10 different dungeons for your character. Once you have selected your dungeons, simply click the “Register” button to be added to the waiting list for all selected dungeons. It is possible to dynamically add and remove dungeons from this list without being forced to complete re-create your list.

Registration and modification of these dungeon lists must be recorded by the server before they can be transmitted to other players. This means that there will be a brief delay between 10 seconds to 1 minute before your name is distributed on a dungeon’s waiting list. This delay allows us to avoid problems with lists changing constantly each time players adjust their preferences. It also helps us ensure a consistent level of system performance, especially in situations with large numbers of players. Also, it will be normal for players to be unable to see their own name on a dungeon waiting list; we assume that you are already planning to take yourself through the dungeon!

Once you’ve tweaked your dungeon wish list to your liking, you can continue about your business until a player or group invites you.

This new interface allows people who want to recruit members to complete their team to easily find characters who correspond to their expectations.

By clicking the “Search” tab and selecting a dungeon, you will see a list of all the characters waiting to run this dungeon. The will be sorted by name (which will be interactive), class, and level. It will be possible to filter these characters based on specific criteria (for example, you can display only Srams level 100 to 150 who want to run the Gobball Dungeon). As mentioned above, your own name will not be displayed if you are looking at a dungeon list where your character is enrolled.

All characters invited to a group from this interface will receive additional information in their invite notification: it will include the name of the dungeon to which they are invited. This means that if your character is enrolled in the waiting list for the Bwork dungeon and the Scaraleaf dungeon and a player decides to invite you after seeing your name in the Bwork dungeon list, you will see the Bwork dungeon in the invitation for the dungeon group.
When a player accepts an invitation to join a dungeon group from this interface, their character will automatically be removed from the waiting list for all dungeons.

We have also added a visual clue for who are prone to distraction and forgetfulness, who might register for a dungeon then get so caught up in crafting or PvP that when the dungeon invitations start pouring in, they might wonder “Why is all of Astrub trying to invite me to the Bwork dungeon?!” Once a character is registered for a dungeon, the Group Search button in the main interface will change color until the character accepts an invitation to a dungeon group, or removes themselves from all dungeon waiting lists.

This system has many advantages for players:
  • It allows players to passively search for groups while doing other activities. Players can farm or craft while waiting to be recruited.
  • It allows players to easily create groups if they are actively searching for characters: they can easily choose the criteria that they need and view a list of players who are available to run the dungeon.
  • It automatically filters access to the waiting list, creating a truly useful selection of characters. Only those who have the key to enter the dungeon, and who have the ability to access it can be present on a waiting list. This means that the search system will always show characters that are of a sufficient level to join the dungeon and (theoretically) be helpful to the group’s overall success.
  • It permits players to register for multiple dungeons at the same time, to increase their chances of being recruited into a group.

When can we use it? Will there be a beta test?

This new system will be available in beta on the Test server within the next week or so. Please let us know what you think about it on the Test Server forum !

Translated from an article by Lichen, Oopah, and Sili 
Category: Community - Game design