A Group Finder tool has undoubtedly been one of the most requested features for SWTOR since launch and even during the beta days. Well those prayers have been answered and the Old Republic’s Group Finder is set to hit the live servers with Patch 1.3 this Tuesday June 26. No longer will players have to spam general chat looking for a group or finding that ever elusive tank to round out the group. In preparation for this momentous event let’s take a look at the ins and outs of using the Group Finder Tool and a few tips to make the experience a pleasant one for all.
The first thing to know about the Group Finder is that it does not have cross-server functionality. While this may have been a deal breaker a few weeks ago, server transfers have helped increase player density quite a bit so this should not be as big an issue. The second reason for going with a same server system was the preservation of community. People are more likely to keep it civil when there’s a chance they will be seeing the people in their group again.
When you do find yourselves stuck with a particularly uncooperative group member, there will now be a vote to kick feature available. Once everyone in the party has agreed that the offending member has got to go, they get an insta-kick out of the flashpoint. The group finder will then look for a suitable candidate to fill the empty spot and teleport them straight to the flashpoint’s starting area. If you find yourself repeatedly confronted by the same bad groupie you can place them on your ignore list. Doing so will guarantee that you never get paired with them again in the future.
The Group Finder tool becomes available to every player once they reach level ten, the icon for which can be found on the top left corner of your mini-map. Opening the interface presents you with two fields to fill out, your role in the group and the destination (flashpoint, operation, heroic) you wish to queue for. Initially the Destination selections will be defaulted to Flashpoints within a “Doable” level range of your character. Queuing while in the default mode signs you up for a Random Flashpoint; which when completed will provide additional rewards in the form of commendations for planets around your level. .
Apart from flashpoints the Group Finder also allows queuing for story mode operations and planetary quests. At launch, operations on the group finder will be limited to 8 man story mode, because the developers were concerned that hard and nightmare mode would be too much for the standard PuG group to handle.
For those looking to complete their daily quests or maybe some heroics while leveling up there is the Planetary Destination queue. Opening up the sub menu allows you to select from all of the planets within that “doable” level range of your character. This is one of the more vague aspects of the group finder as there are no specific selections for heroic quests or world bosses on the list (with the exception of daily quests). Joining the queue simply means you are in need of a group to complete some sort of content on that planet. What you end up doing once the group is formed will be up for debate between its members, and will likely end up with some compromising.
Group Finder Rewards
In order to encourage a healthy pool of players are available for all the flashpoints and operations, a Daily bonus has been inlcuded. Players who queue for a random story mode operation or hardmode flashpoint and complete it will recieve an additional 5 Blackhole Commendations. A random regular flashpoint of the endgame level will yield 5 Daily Commendations, while flashpoints for lower levels will give out "level appropriate" planetary commendations. As mentioned before these bonuses can be collected on a daily basis from each type ie. operation, hardmode flashpoint, regular flashpoint- for a possible bonus of 10 blackhole and 5 daily commendations each day.
The second half of using the group finder is choosing the role you’re going to perform in said group. Most advanced classes will have two options available to choose from, with the exception of the pure DPS AC’s like the Sniper and Gunslinger. But remember, although you can choose more than one role it’s usually best for the group if you stick to what your character is best specced and geared for. Signing up for tank duty with your Sith Juggernaut geared out for DPS and specced into the rage tree isn’t going to make you any friends and will likely end with you getting the boot.
The Group Finder is definitely going to be a game changer for the Old Republic, especially in the wake of the massively successful server transfers that have taken place these past few weeks. Players from all over the galaxy will be able to queue up for flashpoints, operations, and planetary destinations without having to drop what they’re doing and spam general chat on the fleet station.