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Dungeon Party Finder Tool: It's a Trap! (lowbies) and suggestions.

Hechicera
Hechicera
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Scroll down for tl;dr version.

So I'm someone that has returned, and with a pack of low level characters, all under L20. I tried the dungeon finder and ran into both offputting queues times and the scaling thing. And even with (supposedly newly upgraded) scaling it was brutal. Neither of the scaled groups completed the dungeon, and both broke up with much angst. If the tank is scaled it seems to be auto fail. Improving damage only on the scaling does very little for what a tank needs scaled to work. Add in lowbie issues of no passives, mainly quest gear blue quality max, etc ... its going to be impossible on a newbie tank scaled too far. The other very, very awful issue is soul gems not scaling. Lowbies CAN'T REZ PEOPLE! This even further leads to failure. I'm going to list issues, then the suggestions.

1. Party finder is a trap for lowbies in general, tanks especially. Groups autoscaled poorly don't finish and all involved hate the experience.
2. When groups fail people chose to not use the tool.
3. Groups are set up to fail both with scaled lowbies and lowbies soul gems not able to rez others.
4. When groups fail people hate lowbies using the tool, as new people become an inconvenience.
5. This causes a bad experience fairly quickly in your progression if a lowbie, adds to game abandoment, aka bad for retention.
6. Dungeons are a good friend finding exercise. If dungeons go undone due to issues, people integrate less well, leading to poor retention.
7. Many builds need tuning for dungeons, if players skip them when leveling, they don't get feedback and will just abandon later, so still bad for retention.
8. Tanks have the hardest time with the way scaling works, so they will abandon faster, either the game or tanking. Since this is a usual shortage that is poor design.
9. If scaled lowbies still cause failure of completion, the tool isn't even helping non-lowbies.
10. Some people even like to level using dungeons. That is nearly impossible with this tool.
11. All lowbies are affected, including alts, so that hinders replayability and thus retention.
12. People that do stay will likely chose to skip dungeons until vet level leading to poor content usage and players doing dungeons at max level that are utterly clueless with bad builds for that content. They will likely all be dps or dps/hybrid spec for best soloing.

In short, you were almost better leaving the tool broken. Of course then people were still abandoning in the middle levels due to no groups. But as it stands now the tool will still cause that, as people won't use it if they stay after learning it is a trap as a lowbie. So you have gone backwards.

Suggestions:

1. If a non-Veteran player is present, or a non-Veteran dungeon was selected by any party member, scale down to the LOWEST player. Why:
a. Lowbies will be able to complete and learn from the others even if their build needs help
b. People will integrate and make friends
c. Non-lowbies scaled down will suddenly be HAPPY to see newbies
d. The chance of group success goes up making everyone happy
e. Group success means people will use the tool, leading to better queue times
f. Group success for groups of mixed level means better social integration and better retention, esp. of newbie and middle-bies
g. Guild recruitment in dungeons is strong, so guilds recruit better
h. If the tool works well for leveling, players that like to level that way will use it, further lowering queue times

2. I seriously think #1 is a MUST. But even if you don't for the love of ____, scale soul gems inside scaled dungeons.
a. I think why is obvious.

3. Have the algorithm start matching from the lowest players first then into the longest waiting then into roles.
a. The party finder is an integration tool. You need it to work for you on retention and socially.
b. With the pledge rotation and the tool, it should be obvious it helps people complete tasks to stay engaged and retain, aka help the lowbies & middlebies.
c. Perhaps it already works this way, but usage is so low that it is hopeless. Therefore see suggestion #1.

4*. Every member that is scaled down by more than a few levels should get bonus experience granted giving you at least 75-90% of what you would have gotten running it at your current level, granted after completion.

5*. If the group is the pledge dungeon for any member, and they are scaled, they should get a random loot drop of their level from the dungeon after completion.

4 & 5 must only be given on completion, and the loot bag must be only one per day for no abuse. The experience bonus should be anytime you are scaled. FFXIV does this scheme really well. The goal is to have experienced players be excited that they got scaled to a lowbie in a pug, not annoyed, and encourage them to complete the run.

*Thanks to KoshaMurka

I actually see #1 as a no brainer, which is already being done by the strongest competitor in this area. Why did they scale UP for newbies? WHY? And if they did why scale up only damage? Farming Spindleclutch at level 12 can't be that big an issue certainly. ;)

tl;dr version:

The current implementation of the party finder tool is worse than the prior broken one due to scaling for many reasons. It will be a large impediment to retention. The best suggestion is: If a non-Veteran player is present, or a non-Veteran dungeon was selected by any party member, scale down to the LOWEST player. This rewards non-lowbies, middle-bies for helping others, and will likely lead to increased usage of the tool, which will lead to better queues, content usage, retention and availability of tanks.
Edited by Hechicera on December 15, 2015 7:50PM
  • LadyNalcarya
    LadyNalcarya
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    Hechicera wrote: »

    tl;dr version:

    The current implementation of the party finder tool is worse than the prior broken one due to scaling for many reasons. It will be a large impediment to retention. The best suggestion is: If a non-Veteran player is present, or a non-Veteran dungeon was selected by any party member, scale down to the LOWEST player. This rewards non-lowbies, middle-bies for helping others, and will likely lead to increased usage of the tool, which will lead to better queues, content usage, retention and availability of tanks.

    Well, scaling works very nice atm... But only if you have decent skill setup and crafted sets. A lot of newbies dont have any sets and knowledge of their class (which is understandable). So I can imagine how hard vr16 dungeon might be for a group of clueless lvl 12 players.
    So I agree that non-vet group finder should scale the dungeon to lowest lvl.
    The only problem is that higher level players wont get any exp or loot for downscaled dungeon... To make things fair there might be some kind of reward for helping lower level players. Like a loot bag with a chance of getting set item or monster shoulder, or something like this. And to avoid exploiting this system, vr16 players shouldnt be grouped with non-vets. ;)
    Edited by LadyNalcarya on December 15, 2015 6:20PM
    Dro-m'Athra Destroyer | Divayth Fyr's Coadjutor | Voice of Reason

    PC/EU
  • Hechicera
    Hechicera
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    The only problem is that higher level players wont get any exp or loot for downscaled dungeon... To make things fair there might be some kind of reward for helping lower level players. Like a loot bag with a chance of getting set item or monster shoulder, or something like this. And to avoid exploiting this system, vr16 players shouldnt be grouped with non-vets. ;)

    A good point on rewards. They can't be as good as a full V16 run or it is exploitable, but there must be incentive. If pledge there is one. I have max level chars in the competion MMOS, in particular FFXIV does this well. I'll add one suggestion for vet rewards. IMHO, even more as the game ages, and in off-time, some V16s will be grouped with lowbies. The runs should be fast, and have at least some reward. A "goodie bag" though needs to be limited, usually one per day, to not be exploitable and that can tie with pledges.
    Edited by Hechicera on December 15, 2015 7:09PM
  • Hechicera
    Hechicera
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    Sadly, I can't seem to update the OP. Done.



    Edited by Hechicera on December 15, 2015 7:50PM
  • jeppyboi
    jeppyboi
    Nothing wrong with the scaling. Started a DK tank a few weeks ago. I'm level 20 now and I have completed all dungeons from starting area zones and second area zones. I have also completed WGT and prisons at level 20. With the new scaling I was getting 45k health with the low level buff. Are you tanking with a tanking with a build? Full heavy - sword and shield?
    Edited by jeppyboi on December 16, 2015 6:38AM
  • kylewwefan
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    Hmm. I was having opposite problems with scaling. My tank was rocking, but the DPS couldn't seem to burn ads very well and they may as well have had marshmallow shooters at the boss.
  • Hechicera
    Hechicera
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    I was dps in both tries, not the tank. As rDPS things died slower than when I ran it scaled at level versus when I ran them unscaled later that night. I was L16, have some passives and all skills open in weapon morphed. The tank in one run was also scaled and that was a disaster. Since I had good AoE I was usually kiting everything and simply trying to keep things peeled off the healer. Healer was not scaled and worked hard. I could kill things sure, but the group would have to work harder than non-scaled groups.

    Both groups imploded after several wipes. From their comments I doubt the lowbies remain here after the free weekend. In the second try the less scaled DPS ragequit when he realized I could not rez him or the healer. The soul gem not scaling is just salt on the wound if the lowbie is able to stay alive and contribute despite scaling.

    This isn't news really. It's just the people that say it sucks leave. I hear it does work fine at vet level assuming people actually gear, according to my other board, mid-40s if you have fleshed out passives and gear is fine too.

    I stand by my position that scaling up for newbies is not the way to introduce dungeon content.
    Edited by Hechicera on December 18, 2015 12:15AM
  • jeppyboi
    jeppyboi
    I'm sorry u had a bad experience. It was hard for me in the beginning when the new scaling arrived as well. For your group to work you have to understand a few things. You have to understand each role. Tank has to be getting most of the aggro. The tank has to be keeping the damage off the dps and healer. You shouldn't have to be kiting anything. Tank should be keeping mobs off you. You shouldn't be receiving much damage at all. Tank should have at least 25k health with sword and shield using the taunts. Healer number 1 priority is to keep tank alive and dps comes second. The dps should wait until tank gets some aggro before attacking. That's pretty much it.
  • Hechicera
    Hechicera
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    I have multiple max level characters, or jobs for FFXIV in the major competitors, with end game gear there. Your comments are things I know. However, this was a pug finder tool for the very very first dungeon in a game. Was I grouped with some that did not know? Looks like. Did some perhaps have worse gear than me? Looks like. Did I expect that? Absolutely!

    This is a newbie dungeon, using the tool the game provides. You expect the lowest gear and skill level. Aaaand you are set up to fail so that is is not a learning experience, like it should be, or you would want for retention. Add the insult I keep mentioning that if you do have a competent lowbie they can't rez anyone perhaps even 2 levels above them if it is over soul gem range ... and more set up for fail. It is hard for a competent highbie to carry (if scaled) and mechanically rough for a competent lowbie to help carry due to soul gems not scaling. You want some ability to carry in your NEWBIE dungeons, even if the people are too hopeless to finish, at least have them get enough partial successes long enough to learn. Scaling nixes that.

    I expect when I walk into the first dungeon of the game to have partially geared, poorly equipped people, some may have poor knowledge of mechanics. Some may know things, but still be wondering what that skill does, or how they want to set up their controls and bars. And when I use a random pug finder I expect more of these players than average. Why does Zenimax not expect this? If you want them to stay, help them. Not set them up. Other games do. TESO does not. In the mechanics that is. After they learn mechanics of your game, challenge them.

    The community was not bad. I just grabbed groups out of shout and got 3 of my lowbies all through all of the first set of dungeons with no fuss at all. This is also why i can tell you the effects of scaling. I was doing the same dungeons back to back scaled and not scaled. I'm a returnee, so I'd even done them before, but didn't remember them well. So my suggestions to Zenimax are to let your tool help your community help you with new players. Right now it is not.
  • Dradhok
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    I tried using the dungeon finder several times over the last couple of weeks on my nightblade. I spent most of my time kiting bosses around due to tanks not being able to hold threat. Most of the groups I played with either didn’t finish or finished with only three players. Something needs to be done to encourage skilled players to want to queue and for non skilled players to be able to hold their own.
  • jeppyboi
    jeppyboi
    Dradhok wrote: »
    I tried using the dungeon finder several times over the last couple of weeks on my nightblade. I spent most of my time kiting bosses around due to tanks not being able to hold threat. Most of the groups I played with either didn’t finish or finished with only three players. Something needs to be done to encourage skilled players to want to queue and for non skilled players to be able to hold their own.

    I agree with you guys.. It is very hard for new players who have no idea what they are doing. Before the new scaling arrived it was very easy. People could have 3 dps and 1 healer and clear a dungeon with ease. You didn't really have to specialise in a role. Now you really have to play your role and use your skills effectively and is hard if you don't know the roles. Your tank must not be using a taunt if your having to kite the boss. There are 2 taunts in the game.. 1 is Puncture - which Is from sword and shield skill line - you maintain aggro for 12 secs no matter what. Second is Inner Fire from undaunted skill line. This a ranged taunt.. If your tank is not using either of these, then his not really a tank.
  • Hechicera
    Hechicera
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    jeppyboi wrote: »
    Second is Inner Fire from undaunted skill line. This a ranged taunt.. If your tank is not using either of these, then his not really a tank.

    Inner Fire takes Rank 3 is it? in Undaunted. So if you're a tank, you're L14 and brand new to the game then your Undaunted level is ZERO. No way a newbie tank can have Inner Fire yet! And with the tool in the state it is in for newbs, I wonder how many stick it out or finish enough lowbie runs to unlock it.

    You can tank with just puncture and one non-taunt AoE, if you aren't scaled. If scaled well, yeah.
    Edited by Hechicera on December 22, 2015 6:25AM
  • mp849
    mp849
    Soul Shriven
    I'm having major problems with the group finder as well after taking a break from eso for a month. I use it for fun friend building and group content or to level up when im in between levels in questing. now everytime i use the tool i get put into a group with all VRs and we cant kill any bosses. This is highly frustrating as i usually get kicked or we disband and i really dont want to wait till 15 levels just to go dungeoning again. Were theyre long wait times before sure but at least when i got into a group we were all similar levels and could complete the dungeon.
  • newtinmpls
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    The only problem is that higher level players wont get any exp or loot for downscaled dungeon...

    What about BoP rewards scaled to level? This is the one place they would actually make sense!
    Tenesi Faryon of Telvanni - Dunmer Sorceress who deliberately sought sacrifice into Cold Harbor to rescue her beloved.
    Hisa Ni Caemaire - Altmer Sorceress, member of the Order Draconis and Adept of the House of Dibella.
    Broken Branch Toothmaul - goblin (for my goblin characters, I use either orsimer or bosmer templates) Templar, member of the Order Draconis and persistently unskilled pickpocket
    Mol gro Durga - Orsimer Socerer/Battlemage who died the first time when the Nibenay Valley chapterhouse of the Order Draconis was destroyed, then went back to Cold Harbor to rescue his second/partner who was still captive. He overestimated his resistance to the hopelessness of Oblivion, about to give up, and looked up to see the golden glow of atherius surrounding a beautiful young woman who extended her hand to him and said "I can help you". He carried Fianna Kingsley out of Cold Harbor on his shoulder. He carried Alvard Stower under one arm. He also irritated the Prophet who had intended the portal for only Mol and Lyris.
    ***
    Order Draconis - well c'mon there has to be some explanation for all those dragon tattoos.
    House of Dibella - If you have ever seen or read "Memoirs of a Geisha" that's just the beginning...
    Nibenay Valley Chapterhouse - Where now stands only desolate ground and a dolmen there once was a thriving community supporting one of the major chapterhouses of the Order Draconis
  • abelsgmx
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    Not just lowbies, i have seen vet 16 apply as tanks without knowledge how to tank or dps who don't know what need do in a dungeon, resulting in all mobs attacking the healer and worst yet saying healer is guilty of group deads, i am tired of heal in random groups
  • ryanborror
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    While some of this is true a lot of it is a l2p issue and it may be difficult for new players to learn mechanics and group synergy, but there are ways to scale lower in the game but a lot of people are unaware. I think scaling to the lowest player doesn't work because loot will be garbage and it will be way too easy for higher level characters. On my healer I steamroll through dungeons at v16 often while 3 others just swing two handed swords and use magic abilities for some reason. I also attempted tanking for the first time with the group finder and found the scaling actually very beneficial. The game could use some sort of tutorial for dungeons and group content for new players but scaling to the lowest member only works if all players are close in level and doing that takes us back to when the group finder took even longer.
    Edited by ryanborror on May 31, 2016 8:26PM
    dooderrr
    templars, nightblades
    PC/XB1 NA
  • SolarCat02
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    It's really tricky to try to balance things, because how can you balance an understanding of mechanics? Once you know what to do, dungeons become really easy, even with subpar skills.

    Last night, for example, two of my guildmates and I ran around doing some of the mid-level Dungeons (City of Ash, Darkshade Caverns, Arx Corinium) for the skill points. We leveled it to 30 and used our lower levels (23, 30, 33) to steamroll through the dungeon, just three of us. Yes, we do have CP. We were also wearing level 10 armor (broken, in one case).


    To be honest, I think the bigger problem is that so many people who understand the dungeons are unwilling to share that knowledge with others, or even just let them learn themselves. So many lower levels get kicked from a dungeon before it even starts, so they get frustrated, don't queue for them until they start getting the undaunted pledges, and now we have higher levels who don't know what they are doing and so they need other higher levels to run with and so the lower levels get kicked. Rinse. Repeat.

    We ran a guild group of two VR16s (healer and DPS) and two low level DPS (levels 16 and 22, no CP, not alts) through Selene's Web over the weekend, scaled to VR16. (Not sure how we got that one, it's a level 40 dungeon, but the random dungeon finder assigned it).
    We wiped twice on the boss with the respawning cats trying some different tankless strategies to deal with the cats and let the DPS focus the boss (roots worked best), but aside from that it was a super smooth run! And this is on a dungeon that assumes you have passives and skills of at least twice that of our lowbies. They held their own; the level 18 even off-tanked in his medium armor.

    So the scaling works fine, in my opinion. You just need at least one person who knows the dungeon (and is willing to share), and a group willing to learn it! I say "just" but in reality that's a tough hurdle to overcome.
    Edited by SolarCat02 on June 1, 2016 9:40PM
    Why be normal when you can be better?

    Elissandra Ravenwing, Magicka Dragonknight Healer
    Lady Kalila, Stamina Templar DPS
    Stands-in-Danger, Nightblade Saptank
    Zalarah, Stamina Dragonknight DPS
  • Kozai
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    SolarCat02 wrote: »
    We ran a guild group of two VR16s (healer and DPS) and two low level DPS (levels 16 and 22, no CP, not alts) through Selene's Web over the weekend, scaled to VR16. (Not sure how we got that one, it's a level 40 dungeon, but the random dungeon finder assigned it).

    If the party leader is a level 20, for example, they can't set the Group Finder for a Specific level 40 dungeon. They can, however, get into a level 40 dungeon if they set it to random. Just the way it works.

    A more subtle issue is that if a party member doesn't have the DLC for WGT, for example, and the group leader sets for random, they can keep getting error messages that DLC is missing. Set the party member who doesn't have the DLC as group leader, and the finder works fine, and won't put the group in WGT.

    Edited by Kozai on June 8, 2016 8:09PM
  • SolarCat02
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    Kozai wrote: »
    SolarCat02 wrote: »
    We ran a guild group of two VR16s (healer and DPS) and two low level DPS (levels 16 and 22, no CP, not alts) through Selene's Web over the weekend, scaled to VR16. (Not sure how we got that one, it's a level 40 dungeon, but the random dungeon finder assigned it).

    If the party leader is a level 20, for example, they can't set the Group Finder for a Specific level 40 dungeon. They can, however, get into a level 40 dungeon if they set it to random. Just the way it works.

    Even if a VR16 is the group leader, you can't queue for a specific dungeon if one of the people in the group is below the dungeon level. So it's rather odd that the random dungeon finder will still pick it.

    Not complaining, I had no issue running it with them! I just think it's odd that I can't pick that dungeon for us, but the random dungeon finder can. :D
    Why be normal when you can be better?

    Elissandra Ravenwing, Magicka Dragonknight Healer
    Lady Kalila, Stamina Templar DPS
    Stands-in-Danger, Nightblade Saptank
    Zalarah, Stamina Dragonknight DPS
  • ArnoTerranova
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    Hi, nice post, you resumed well a few issues here,

    "When groups fail people hate lowbies using the tool, as new people become an inconvenience."

    yes true, and with my teammate we even automatically kick low levels when we do a vet dungeon, and not being appropriately gear we know by experience that the group had high chances of failing when a non-vet is here.

    scaling to the lowest level, why not. IF max level people joining the party have loot that match their level.

    So I propose this

    1- all non-vet dungeons are accessed normally by players during leveling phase. as it is. maybe increase the accessibility by according larger fork of level (example all 10 levels).
    2 - When player reach level 50, they can reperform dungeon using "vet" mode, not before.
    3- Thus, all vet content should not be available for people that do not reached level 50+.
    4- Moreover, hardest vet dungeons and TRIALS are present in group finders, but unlocked until you get a certain "level" of gear, as in world of warcraft. For example, most difficult vet dungeons should require an average gear of "champion 140" or something like that.

    Fatty White-Claw (lvl 50+) heal trial pve
    Koros Bone-Shield (lvl 50+) tank trial pve
    Koros Lust (lvl 50+) dps pve, pvp
    Seiri (lvl 50+) dps pve
    Wildfire (lvl 50+) dps pvp
    EU-PC - Playing since April 2014. (beta)
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