Blizzard Comments on Disabling WoW: Battle for Azeroth LFG Addons; Team Wants to Encourage Interaction and Prevent Leeching
Blizzard’s game director on World of Warcraft, Ion Hazzikostas, has commented on the recent nerfing of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth LFG addons.
The group finder in Battle for Azeroth was recently updated, and seemingly, the auto-accept button was removed from the Group Finder Option. As such, players now have to manually accept every players that want to join a group.
In addition to the above, Blizzard also made some changes to the Group Finder API which affect addons that search the Group Finder, including the World Group Quest Finder addon.
Many players haven’t been too happy with these changes, and in an interview with Russian media outlet Game World Navigator (as covered by WoWhead) , Hazzikostas explained the decision to make changes to the Group Finder.
“This is something we've been grappling with throughout Legion”, the game director said. “With World Quests, we definitely want to encourage partying up and grouping with your friends and guildmates. WoW is a social game, and that's not something we're looking to restrict. In fact, we took steps midway through Legion to support grouping up with the little green eye icon that appears right next to World Quests. You can click it and it will automatically add you to a group or form a group for that World Quest. That way you can quickly find others to play with if you're trying to take down an elite, do a group quest in a dangerous area on Argus, or fight a world boss. We want to make that as simple as possible.”
According to Hazzikostas, some of the LFG addons stimulated leeching for quests that have been intended as solo quests, and this is something that they want to prevent.
“The challenge with mods like World Quest Group Finder is that by automating this process for quests that were designed for single players, that's not actually a social experience—there's no actual interaction going on. Oftentimes, in fact, it’s just leeching—players can be on their mount, flying in midair, and that quest autocompletes for them. Those quests were designed for solo players; they're paced for solo players.”
The game director added, “we've made changes to the way tapping works in the outdoor world to allow for freeform cooperation. If you have a quest that is "Kill 12 Satyrs and the Satyr Leader, and burn these four things," you can walk into that area, see two other players there, and just help them. You can fight the same things they're fighting, and you'll help each other out, and things will naturally go faster doing that. But the experience is paced around—just as any level-up quest is—your experience as a solo player. Being able to autojoin groups of five that can complete these quests in a matter of seconds skewed a lot of the pacing and rewards associated with the experience. Players would spend most of their time traveling around and not actually engaging in the questing.”
“If you want to group to do World Quests, you're highly encouraged to do that the regular way, whether it's using the Group Finder, talking to your guildmates, talking to people in the community that you're in in Battle for Azeroth, and saying, "Hey, I'm going to go do Tortollan Emissary. Anyone want to come join me?" That's the kind of social experience we’re looking to foster with World Quests.”
World of Warcraft: battle for Azeroth releases globally tomorrow. If you want to learn more about the expansion’s new features, zones, lore and more, check out this article right here.