10/02/2012

How to use SWTOR's LFG system and /who

Since a lot of people still seem to be finding this post via Google search terms, I have to point out that the information it gives about SWTOR's LFG system is now somewhat outdated. The instructions for how to operate /who still apply, but since patch 1.3 the game's main way to find groups for flashpoints and other group content is the group finder.

You know, I told myself that from now on, I was going to stay out of this whole debate about whether SWTOR needs a dungeon finder or something similar. But it really annoys me when I keep seeing people make arguments that are flat out not true. Specifically, two claims that I've heard brought up both on forums and in podcasts recently (by people who you'd think should really know better) are that

1) SWTOR doesn't have any kind of LFG functionality at all, and
2) that this functionality (which apparently doesn't exist in the first place) only works in whatever zone you're currently in.

I'm all for making improvements to the LFG system, but let's get our facts about how it works right now straight at least, right? So, without further ado: a brief guide on how to use the current system.

First off, open your social window (O) and click on the "who" tab. On the bottom of this tab, on the left side, you'll see a ticky box to indicate that you are looking for a group. Selecting this won't put you into any kind of queue or auto-grouping system, but it does add an indicator to your name that makes it easier for other people to see that you are looking for a group.

On the bottom right of the same tab, you'll see an option to update your LFG comment, which opens a new window if you click on it. If you've flagged yourself as looking for a group, it will be set to simply say "LFG" by default. It's more helpful however if you add which content you're looking to group up for and what role(s) you can play.

Now, at the top of the tab you'll see a text field called "search terms", which will by default show your current location. Underneath you'll see a list of people who fit this search term, that is to say who are currently in the same zone as you (up to a certain maximum). People who have flagged themselves as LFG will be on top of the list and have a little purple icon next to their name. The column called "LFG comment" might cut off a good chunk of a person's actual comment, but you can see the whole thing by hovering over the purple icon next to their name.

If you want to see everyone on the server who is online on your faction and has flagged themselves as looking for group, simply replace the current search term with "LFG". No, it's not limited to the zone you are in at all.

Now, since few people actually use this system (probably in part because everyone keeps saying that it doesn't exist), you might not find what you're looking for among the people on this list. Fear not, however: many people are actually quite open to grouping up even if they haven't explicitly said so. You have nothing to lose by asking.

Fortunately you can use the search field to find all kinds of people. For example, let's assume that you're at the fleet and want to form a group to do Hammer Station. This flashpoint is designed for players of level 16 and up. Where would people of that level usually quest? Just use "Taris" as your search term, and you'll see a list of a whole bunch of potential group mates. If you don't know which zone matches the level range you're looking for, you can simply enter the level range itself, e.g. "16-19". If you're just looking to fill a specific role, you can also filter by (advanced) class, for example "Jedi Sage 16-19" to see people who might be able to heal. Send out some whispers and with any luck you'll soon be ready to go!

None of this is new stuff really; I know that WoW's /who command at least has worked this way since vanilla, but maybe people never familiarised themselves with that either.

9 comments :

  1. I could hug you right now. :P I've even seen people saying "geez I wish SWTOR had the LFG like WoW's old system where you flag yourself in the /who list!" /headdesk

    Anyway thanks, I learned a few things about ways to search the who list too, even though I already knew it was there.

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    1. Glad to be of service!

      I'm all for constructive criticism, but people complaining without even knowing what they are complaining about is anything but.

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  2. This is great information to have. I have never needed to find a group because of my guild, but this answers alot of questions I had on the LFG system that is in place.

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    1. A good guild is the best grouping tool of course! Still, it's always good to know your options.

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  3. I could hug you right now.
    My feelings exactly!

    You have managed once again to write another truely insightful post that could be used as a reference for those vocal critics who simply can't get their facts right.

    I have completed every single group quest and flashpoint so far at the appropriate level without too many problems finding or creating a group. Admittedly, it wasn't always instantaneous, but as you already pointed out, it never hurts to take the initiative or to be flexible. The safe confines of a virtual world seem to be the best place for those people who find it a bit harder to interact with another human being to overcome their shyness.

    I can't help wondering why someone would want to play a Massively-Multiplayer-Online-Game and then demand automated, NPC-like (pseudo-human) interaction. Unless I'm very much mistaken, I think other gaming genres might serve this purpose better.

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  4. This... this is awesome! I had no idea about the LFG functionality with the search system there. I was actually frustrated just last night at the difficulty of finding people for groups - we needed a fourth for a hard mode and general channels on Ilum and the Republic Fleet weren't proving very useful.

    However, I tried the LFG thing just barely and found a random level 50 Commando looking for a flashpoint group on Alderaan of all places... it works!!

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  5. Of course, when you do a search for "LFG" and literally the only name that shows up is your own... it's a little disheartening. :)

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    1. I should add though, as others have.. thanks for posting this. I didn't bother to read the tooltip and hadn't thought about the fact that I could search for the term "LFG." Just wish more people actually USED it.

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