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.
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
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.
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.