This past weekend I ran Erdrique (Level 14 Druid) through two of the desert side quests, Maraud the Mines and Raid the Vulkoorim, on Saturday and Sludgge (Level 20 Rogue/Shadowdancer) on Sunday who I took him through Under the Big Top on epic normal. I hadn’t been in a PUG group in awhile so I put those particular runs up into the LFG panel. I was kind of surprised that I didn’t get a single hit on either of them. This made me wonder about the PUG scene. I think the primary reason why I didn’t get a hit for Maraud the Mines and Raid the Vulkoorim is because I was level 14 and those quests on elite are only level 13 (I had specifically mentioned no BB in text in group). This means that people wouldn’t get their elite streak bonus with those runs, although it wouldn’t break their streak. For the Under the Big Top run, I was doing it on epic normal, which also wouldn’t help people on their elite streaks and could break the streaks for those who are levels 20 to 24 if they hadn’t done it yet. I wasn’t all that worried about not getting any hits, since I had my pets and hirelings, but I was still a little surprised.
Sludgge making his way through Under the Big Top.
When I put up my LFG, there were a number of other groups already put up across my level range and extending beyond it. When I looked at the “Who” panel there were plenty of players on line as well. So I don’t think it was an issue of available players, then again I could be wrong because I didn’t pay to much attention to the level ranges in the “Who” panel.
It doesn’t take one very long to search on the General Discussion DDO Forums to see somebody calling for a server merge because of the lack of available groups. I’m not against a server merge per se, but I’m against a server merge based solely on the lack of available groups. I have seen plenty of groups during my play times on Thelanis and one thing I always mention in these threads is that it appears to me that people tend to be running more quests solo or in select groups or they are running quests that others don’t want to run at the time or the level ranges of available players doesn’t match what some players are looking for. So does this facilitate the necessity of a server merge? I’m not sure, however after not receiving any hits on my LFGs I begin to wonder about that topic.
Erdrique in Maraud the Mines.
I think one thing that might be contributing to the “grouping” issue is the current grind for heroic true reincarnation and epic true reincarnations. One thing that I do with Erdrique, is that I just open up my Adventure Compendium, sort by quest level, and start doing the quests down a line and I typically only do a quest only once during a reincarnation. I think I am in the real minority in this case, as a large number of players who want to work through their “past lives” will hit up the highest experience giving quests per there level range again and again. This limits the number of quests that are really available for a PUG group because most potential PUGgers are looking for those higher experience quests. Quests like Maraund the Mine and Raid the Vulkoorim, although quick to run, are not high in experience, and are therefore not going to be attractive to PUGgers. There is also a large number of players that seem to be soloing quests during their reincarnation paths through the Harbor, Market, and most House Quests.
So will a server merge help a situation like this? The only way a server merge would help with the above scenario is if the number of players who solo through reincarnations isn’t proportionately same across the servers. Now no doubt there are a number of other factors going on here as well. Many players just like to solo, others only like to group with friends, and some have limited playing availability. I have seen all of this. This year, I decided to make a concerted effort to recruit more players into the Crypt Crawlers and one of my methods was by looking for unguilded players in PUG groups and seeing how they ran. However, I was actually able to recruit more players into the guild by advertising throughout the Harbor, Market, and House Wards and not by recruiting from groups, which I thought was pretty strange. However, the players I recruited and who remained in the guild are primarily players who like to solo and chat through the guild channel, who play at “off” hours, and who have limited availability.
So I’m not sure what this says about the PUG scene. Is this just another evolution in the DDO playing community? Is this a trend that will stay? I admit that I solo a lot but that is mainly when I don’t think I will have enough time to participate in PUG group efficiently (such as being low on playing time). I have no problem putting up groups and usually I get a few responses. Maybe it was just some bad luck, not sure but it does make me wonder…
Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!!