The Instance Finder tool, set to release with Update 5: Armies of Isengard, is at its core the beginning of a reconfiguration of the instance system. The tool allows players and groups to set parameters, then enter themselves into a queue to, first, find other players looking for the same thing, and when an appropriate fellowship has formed, choose a random instance. Using the tool gives players a bonus which takes the place of daily quests. On Bullroarer, those bonuses (bonii?) were set to a 1.5x multiplier to currency earnings and a temporary +5% increase to morale and power. With the Instance Finder tool, you sacrifice choice to obtain greater rewards. You can, of course, still start up an instance the normal way, but you won’t get the bonus rewards you would’ve received if you had used the tool.
There are plenty of other, more detailed overviews about how the tool works, but this post is more about using the strengths of Instance Finder to maximize your experience and reduce your frustration:
When to use Instance Finder:
“We’ve got a pretty good group here, let’s try to tackle an instance or skirmish for extra rewards.”
Use the Instance Finder tool to queue your fellowship. If you set the parameters to your current group size, after 90 seconds, the tool will place your fellowship in an instance or skirmish that fits your parameters.
“My friend and I want to run a skirmish, but let’s see if we can find a third person and run something random first.”
You can use the Instance Finder tool to queue your fellowship. If you select a fellowship size greater than your current fellowship, it will then search for other players in the queue that are compatible with your current fellowship. If you are queued with your current fellowship size selected as well, after 90 seconds, the tool will put you in a random instance or skirmish.
“I want to run a skirmish and I want bonus rewards and I want to do it now!”
Select a fellowship size of one, select the tier and enter the queue; you’ll be placed in a random skirmish in 90 seconds.
When not to use Instance Finder:
“I want medallions for Moria armour.”
The Instance Finder currently only works for scaled instances which does not include the Moria or In Their Absence instance clusters.
“I want to finish up some deeds in Annúminas.”
The Instance Finder does not allow you to select the instance you run. Use traditional methods instead.
“I’ll do an instance or skirmish, just not Siege of Gondamon!”
In this iteration of the tool, the instance and skirmish pools are predetermined; you cannot exclude or include particular instances or skirmishes you would not be willing to do. If you use the tool and get an instance you’d rather not do, you can leave the instance but you won’t be able to use the Instance Finder for 10 minutes.
“Hey, let’s do a level 75 Helegrod!”
The Instance Finder tool only supports groups of up to six at this time.
“I’m a DPS-traited Rune-keeper but I’ll queue as a healer to find a group faster.”
It is poor etiquette to claim a role other than the ones you are prepared to fill. Doing so may lead to frustration, possible verbal abuse, a chance of landing on someone else’s ignore list, and an overall poor experience. However, you may leave an instance to retrait.
For best results:
- Queue with a pre-formed fellowship – Knowing your fellowship beforehand will relieve much of the stress of getting placed into a random group by Instance Finder.
- Set the queue parameters as narrow as possible – The narrower the choices, the better idea you’ll have of what you’ll face.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate – If you have to use the tool to find other fellowship members, make sure everyone knows who will do what and how to handle the situation you’re placed into.