TLDR: It is currently needlessly difficult for many players to find groups to do raids with, even with the current group-forming methods in the game. A matchmaking system for raids would go a long way to solve these problems and make the game a more enjoyable experience.
Sorry, I know this is a long post, but I think it’s Is an important one. I love this game, and I love the idea of raid battles. Ludia did a lot of things right with raids, such as unlimited raid attempts even after beating them, puclic raiding with beacons to show when someone wants to challenge a boss, and allowing players to fight a raid boss from anywhere in the world via an invite. I believe that they are currently flawed in their execution, preventing many players from even accessing this aspect of the game. I know the update literally just came out, but I’ve put a lot of thought into this over the past few days, so i hope you’ll take the time to hear me out.
Is anyone else having a hard time finding a raid? I know I am. Not because of bugs, or because I can’t locate them (there is one in my raidus and two others nearby), but simply because no one I know is online. As you probably know, unless you can find four players to raid with, you cannot even challenge any raid bosses (EDIT: I was actually wrong about this. Please ignore any arguments about the four player requirement. Instead, look at these points in relation to the relative difficulty in actually finding a group of 3-4 people to raid with). So far, all of the existing methods for finding a raiding party have failed me, and I suspect they won’t be going away any time soon. I don’t have a massive friends list, but out of the 25 people on my invite list, only one other person is currently online. No one seems to be playing in my neighborhood, so my only option would be to go to a popular park to find people playing JWA to do a public raid with. But the chances of finding any would probably be scarce even without stay at home orders. I’m lucky to live in a city at least- I can only imagine what rural players would have to deal with. Currently, it appears that the only way to find consistent raids is to coordinate with a very large and active alliance. But many players aren’t in these kinds of alliance, and many also probably don’t have the time to engage in this level of coordination. I know that before the lockdowns started, I mostly played JWA on the bus, and I’m guessing a lot of other players did too. You just can’t coordinate raid challenges in that setting.
I made a post earlier where I speculated that requiring 4 players to do raids would prevent them from being accessible to most players. It’s only hours into the new update, but I fear that this will be the case if Ludia doesn’t change how raid matchmaking works. Requiring players to coordinate a team of four players is just really challenging for most players, so as a consequence the raids simply can’t be done. That would be like pokemon go actually requiring the recommended number of players every time you wanted to do one of their raids. And for the less exciting raids (low tier) that other players may be less likely to join, the difficulty is easy enough to you to beat them by yourself. Yes, the harder raids do require multiple people in order to beat - but this is because of their sheer difficulty, not an arbitrary player cap. Imagine trying to do a tier 5 raid in pokemon go, but you only had 19 out of the 20 reccomended players, so the game wouldn’t even let you challenge the raid. That’s essentially what JWA is doing here. Requiring four players for every raid prevents players from playing how they want, when they want.
Clearly, Ludia cares a lot about raids. They clearly want them to be a big part of the game, because they rebalanced the entire roster around them. They clearly want them to be accessible, because of the many amazing UI updates they added to make things easier to keep track of. But currently, raids are essentially non-existent in the game for many players because of their inaccessibility, and this inaccessibility is directly tied to the mandatory 4 players required to challenge a raid. In my previous post, I suggested allowing people to challenge raids by themselves, with harder bosses “requiring” team play by simply being to hard to beat by one player. While this may work, it doesn’t solve the problem of finding a group to raid with for those harder bosses that would require it. Besides, I believe in the idea of raid battles as a team experience. So instead, I would suggest global raid lobbies as an alternative solution. Ludia could add a raid matchmaking system for all players currently challenging a particular kind of boss (so all players challenging any sinoceratops boss, not a specific sinoceratops like with the public raid option). The system would automatically match you with three players around your level, and together you would challenge a boss of that kind. Essentially, it would be expanding the invite system to everyone around the world who is trying to fight that kind of boss at that moment. There would still be a limit on how many rewards a player can get from a kind of boss, preventing reward farming. The benefit of this system is that it allows ALL players - high or low level, in an active alliance or friendless, urban or rural - to actually engage in this feature that Ludia clearly cares so much about. There would definitely be some infrastructure that would need to be added to the game, and the raid spawns may need to be standardized across the globe, but I think the benefits would be well worth it. After all, isn’t the point of adding a feature to a game to allow players to actually use it?
Anyway, I’m curious what you guys think. Are these good suggestions? Ans is this an actual problem, or do I just need to make more friends? Thanks for putting the time into reading this! Good luck out there everyone.
Edit: I was dumb, and you don’t actually need all four players to challenge a boss. That said, I think my points about the difficulty of finding a group stand, and that having a matchmaking system for raids is still a good idea for solving this problem.