So many of the challenges you might accept in Destiny are easier to overcome if you have a solid team to back you up. For social gamers with a friends list that bristles with Guardians at the ready to assist them, this is academic. Lone wolves who have always ventured solo in the unknown find that completing a Heroic Strike or a Raid a far more daunting task.
For the player who seeks fellow Guardians for long, moonlit walks in the Vault of Glass, there is DestinyLFG. The acronym stands for “Looking For Group.” It’s old MMO jargon that serves as a call to arms. Let’s learn more about this element of online gaming, and it influences our shooter culture.
What’s your name?
DLFG: Hi, Destiny Community. My name is Brock Busby, owner/creator of DestinyLFG.com, the leading community site to find groups to complete Destiny Raids, Nightfall, Weeklies, and more. Aside from being a huge fan of Destiny, I'm also an avid gamer and prior world-record holder for most air humps in 1-minute.
Bungie does not observe that record. We barely even drink tea. What’s your preferred activity in Destiny?
DLFG: My favorite thing to do in Destiny is to play with friends - hopping on, joking around, catching up. My favorite is especially Vault of Glass. You guys did an amazing job with the Raid, not only because it's hella fun, but because of the teamwork and social aspect. That's what makes it so rewarding. But truthfully, I love using my site to raid with a group of my users. Halfway through, I'll mention I'm the owner and it's *mind explosion*. That immediately connects us as a group of strangers. We have something in common! We realize we are a community of gamers here to have fun. Immediately, I find everyone is communicating more and having fun!
Fun is nice, but superior firepower really helps one complete a Raid. What’s the best weapon in your arsenal?
DLFG: Hands down: Ice Breaker, or my charming wit.
Before we continue, I need to give a major shout out to my community of users (#MyNerds) and fans. I wouldn't be here without you. Your suggestions, feedback and awesomeness keeps me going. I'd also like to give a major shoutout to Myke of Rhylar Gaming. He's been an amazing supporter and awesome new friend.
Please refrain from shouting during an interview. It’s not polite. Back to business… What is Destiny LFG? What service do you provide to the community?
DLFG: Destiny LFG is a quick and easy way to find a group for any activity in Destiny. I built the site to provide a way for all players to experience the hardest and best content of Destiny, plus make some new friends!
The longer story is that I come from many years of playing MMOs, so I respect and understand the controversial design reason to not include matchmaking. Being realistic, I'm in my 30s. I don't have a giant friends list like I used to, and my friends do not play at the same time like they used to. I built the site so those in my situation can experience the best content. Turns out, there are many like-minded players of all ages who are in need of this service to achieve their goals. So, it's serving an even bigger audience than I expected and that's awesome!
With such a big audience, you can put your finger on the pulse of a portion of the community. What do you look for the most on your site?
DLFG: By leaps and bounds, people are looking for groups for the Raid. Then comes the Nightfall and Weekly. What’s so great is the community that has developed. I have lots of requests for more social ways for people to group, including farming, achievements, and more. It's also interesting to see the trends occur over time: such as cheesing Atheon or seeing the overall levels of players rise and rise closer to 30.
There is a deep desire for players to socialize and group together. Because, let's be honest, farming solo is mind-numbing, but with friends...
So, if we added Matchmaking to those activities (totally not making a promise here), would that put you out of business? Or is there something to be said for taking the effort to build a team in advance?
DLFG: Matchmaking puts you with random groups of people. My site gives people the ability to pick and choose a pre-made group: specific classes, levels, access to a mic, or any reason to achieve success. This is important. It lets Raid leaders strategize and pick the team they desire. The other positive is that my site - for the most part - keeps people honest and reputable. If I post my name or I build a group, people are more likely to play well, communicate and less likely to drop out. An LFG mechanism ensures better success at completing your goal than random matchmade groups.
What would you suggest to someone who comes to your site in search of friends?
DLFG: My best suggestion is to be cool and honest. Treat each other like you'd like to be treated. Next to every listing you can quickly check out a player's toons on destinyrep.com, so don't lie about your Guardian. Also, when listing, be careful on how your tone may be perceived by others. From time to time, I see some players being very demanding when I know they don't mean to be. Read your comment out loud. Be cool! Also keep in mind the time of day when you make a listing, your region, and console. For example, PS4 and Xbox One will always have more listings than PS3 and Xbox 360.
What else can Bungie do to make Destiny a game you want to play?
DLFG: As you can guess, I'm big on the social aspect of the game. I appreciate the steps you guys are taking now, such as the new Team Chat feature. The game can take itself a bit seriously from time to time, so grouping and socializing is going to keep things fresh and fun! We need more abilities to do that, such as more meaningful and useful emotes, the ability to chat, and easy ways to accomplish our goals. I think once you can say there is a place for Barrens chat (WoW reference), then you've accomplished the social aspect.
Today I learned what Barrens Chat is. Old shooter bros like me are taught so many things by guys like Brock, like how to clear a jumping puzzle, or what DPS stands for. We need to band together if we’re to reap all the rewards in Destiny.
There are many places to find willing allies to play Destiny with you. We even maintain our own LFG forums right here at Bungie.net. If you’re seeking something a little more personal, give their site a try. It sounds like the welcome mat is sincere and well-trodden.