Wrath of the Lich King Classic's new group finder tool is a mess

Wrath of the Lich King Classic
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Wrath of the Lich King Classic'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 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 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 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 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.

(Image credit: WillE / Blizzard)

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.

"It doesn't do anything to actually improve the process."

Reddit user ZGaidin

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 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 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 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 wrote.

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.