#1 - Jan. 10, 2012, 8:05 p.m.
Before, you could meet people from your own server, that are part of your own community. Making friends in the game was much more important back then. You'd get to know people outside of your immediate circle of guildies and real life friends, which you are still likely to deal with on a regular basis. Gone are the days when you actually had to communicate with people to find a group for a five man run.
While the looking for group system in its current incarnation is convenient, I think it's gone way overboard. Limiting it to one server should be more than enough. It should be much more interesting to group with people that you actually have a chance to bump into in Stormwind or Orgrimmar. People wouldn't bother with communiction with other servers outside of real life friends, sure enough, but there would be some communication within the server instead. Much more important, I think.
While it's everyone's own choice to use these features, the fact remains that people will nearly always choose conveniency over quality if the choice is there.
Removing the feature is probably totally out of the question, and probably not the best idea. But how about enhancing it with an optional cross realm search. If that gained some traction we might be able to revive some of the communities of old. Guilds would have a new reason to engage in 5-man content, because that's the best place to discover potential new members within your own server. Even while not actively recruiting, guild members would have an easier time discovering quality players for future reference. A few months later you're recruiting, and bump into this player remembering how he or she would make a great addition to the guild.
Maybe I'm just the jaded oldtimer remembering the good old days. It's been 7, going on 8 years now, playing this same good old Hunter. So, anyone with me on this? Am I wrong? Does people experience an enhanced community, or the same old one? Have I just fallen off the community cart, or do we need to go back a couple of steps?