*Autogroup that allows a party to grab a person out of a seek queue automatically and teleports that person to said party.
I haven't played FFXI in a couple of years now, but I distinctly remember the presence of an autogroup flag. It looked like the average LFP flag, the only difference being that it was yellow instead of green. When enough people within the same region had the autogroup turned on, it would join them together as a party.
The problem was that no one used it, and it was poorly (if ever) explained in detail. I wasn't even aware of such a thing for the longest time, and I don't think I ever saw it actually work because I never saw anyone using it--save for the one occasion I saw a /anon japanese dude walk by while I was passing through Konshctat.
Edit: Moreso in the earlier years than now, but in a game like FFXI an autogroup feature would never have worked in the first place. While the necessary setup for a party wasn't quite as strict as people might claim, it's true that the only way to effectively create a party consisting of abnormal job roles is to have people who are actively aware of what they're doing. People put together in an autogrouped jalopy of a party in FFXI are likely not going to work very well together. For example, when I hit 75 as PUP I decided to level monk to 37 in order to work on Guard and Throwing skill, the idea being that a 75PUP/37MNK would have a much easier, if still ridiculously slow, time raising Guard because the automaton would have no issue in keeping me alive. Coincidentally, I managed to get Throwing as PUP from 0 to cap but never got guard more than halfway. When I hopped back onto my monk, which was only 20, I had forgotton how much nonsense was involved in making a low level party. I put a few points into evasion, went out into Qufim and solo'd worms (slow but fun as heck) while piecing together a party. Even at that level, there were quite a few nifty pieces of gear that went lengths towards an evasion build, and a MNK/WAR has a ludicrous amount of ways to hold hate. I decided that I was going to tank my way to 37, for no reason other than I knew I didn't have to wait around for hours to get a paladin or ninja. ****, I never even liked having ninja tanks at any time before they get their Ni elementals.
Because I was already out punching worms by myself, it was never any difficulty to get people out and ready to duo some mobs while I was still building the party. It became an incremental process, slowly stepping up from duoing to trioing and eventually having a full party together, without any downtime waiting for everyone to get together. And even if someone was unsure of having a monk as a tank, the time it took to discuss and persuade them was a nonissue because I was already out getting experience. And ****, in my opinion a monk tank is the only tank you need in Yuhtunga--mandragoras hit like pansies and you can get in so many counters. However, that's not something your everyday monk is going to be prepared for. I had specifically planned out an extra set of gear for evasion and tanking, as well as put some merits into evasion, so I knew I would perform well. I imagine a great number of monks would probably be hesitant to tank at all, and even less eager to pick up some extra gear for the job. This is due to two things, I think; one, monk is primarily seen as a DD, and the abilities and traits it gains that work for tanking are assumed for the purpose of dealing with too much hate. Two, there are other jobs that have the tank role clearly placed in their hands, whether by SE (Paladin) or the community (NIN). Because of this a lot of monks might not ever think themselves able to hold the mob's attention and live.
When a leader picks and chooses his members, he normally has a clear idea of what he needs for where he intends to take the team. I knew I was going to tank as a monk and I knew where I was going to do it, so I could invite people that would support me until I found an actual tank to relieve me of that duty. Autogrouped parties would be disorganized, with no cohesive idea or direction other than to get EXP and level up, and therefore defeated before they even start by the simple nature of the game. An autogroup in FFXIV, even if it remained exactly the same as far as functionality goes, would be leagues ahead of what we're familiar with because of how many roles any given class seems to be able to fill. Even if you got stuck with a bunch of Disciples of War that were something other than a Gladiator with top of the line defensive gear and nothing but points pumped into VIT and HP stats, the roaming, party-versus-party gameplay would likely be able to accomodate your ragtag autogroup of adventurers such that you'd still perform exceptionally. Edited, Apr 15th 2010 9:51pm by Ennyam