Wrath of the Lich King Classic (opens in new tab)‘s most controversial feature is one that didn’t exist in the original, 14-year-old expansion.
World of Warcraft Classic received its preparatory Wrath pre-patch (opens in new tab) this week, which includes early access to the Death Knight class, the new Inscription profession, and the game’s unique group finder tool.
The new LFG tool was supposed to help you find and group up with other players and to clean up the spam in the global LFG chat channel, but its clumsy implementation and what many believe to be a major bug have flubbed its original purpose.
Many people on Reddit (opens in new tab) and the game’s forums report that the tool is wrongly assigning the tank role to players who submit their entry into the LFG list, regardless of the role they actually play. Healers and DPS are struggling to find groups under the wrong tag and groups are forming with tanks that can’t tank.
There’s an option to choose your role within your specialization menu, but that too is inexplicably getting swapped to tank. Additionally, if you’ve selected tank as your desired role there, it reportedly (opens in new tab) changes the UI layout for raids—a serious issue for healers who need to see everyone’s health bars.
When detailing the new system back in June, the developers said (opens in new tab) they kept the role options open—regardless of your class—to encourage communication. But now in the live game it’s opened the door for not only this disruptive bug, but dishonest players who want to waste people’s time.
The LFG chat spammer problem isn’t fully solved either given that the tool is the easiest and most popular way to find groups. Once you’ve added your entry into the list, you’ll gain access to the channel, and players report that some people are doing that solely to spam again.
Many of the system’s other issues were discussed during the expansion’s two-month-long testing period, and it seems that almost nothing was changed for the live version: The LFG list doesn’t distinguish solo players from existing groups, it doesn’t automatically refresh, and it allows players with the wrong role to spam invites to groups that need a different one.
“The new LFG tool is just a prettier but less customizable LFG Bulletin Board,” Reddit user ZGaidin wrote (opens in new tab) of their experience on the PTR in July, referencing a popular user-created addon. “It doesn’t do anything to actually improve the process and experience of forming, finding, joining, or leading groups over what we have in The Burning Crusade Classic.”
In a video (opens in new tab) on the topic, YouTuber WillE criticized the LFG tool and also compared it to LFG Bulletin Board, which many players have been using for the entirety of The Burning Crusade Classic. “The LFG tool, in its current state, is not better than the Bulletin Board addon. It’s a competitor to it, not strictly an upgrade,” WillE said.
In the announcement video (opens in new tab) for Wrath classic, the developers described the original implementation of Dungeon Finder as “the first step that may have eroded some of that social fabric” in the old game. They decided to cut it from the remake of Wrath to encourage players to connect with each other through the in-game LFG and guild chats or on services outside it, like Discord.
The LFG tool is, as is common in WoW’s history, a flimsy replacement for something that was better in an addon, and has failed to solve the problem it was trying to fix in the first place. Patches will likely improve its functionality, but right now it’s a mess.
“This is a completely new feature to WoW yet it seems like it’s been lifted straight from 2005,” Reddit user Principle_Real (opens in new tab) wrote.