I find I'm really looking forward to cross-realm LFG. Sure, there are bound to be some issues, such as an inability to filter people based on the reputation of their guild, or if there's a preferred class for an achievement run (I'm looking at you Less-Rabi), but imagine how much better this will be for alts! It's not unheard of to be the only person on the server sitting in LFG hoping to find more people interested in doing Sunken Temple. Or maybe there's only two of you in group and you spend half an hour or more trying to find another three.
But that's just on one server. Cross-realm LFG will open up the entire battlegroup. That's another seven or eight servers perhaps. Even if only half of the other servers have people similarly looking for Sunken Temple at that moment, it'll be enough for a full party. There still may be issues finding a healer or a tank, but it should prevent some of those "LF1M all we need is a dps!" moments when the party has to decide whether or not they can 4-man it or they really do need a fifth.
I suppose the biggest drawback may be finding the healers or the tanks. Let's say that at a given moment on a particular server, there are 2 tanks, 1 healer, and 6 dps looking to do the heroic daily. After the party forms there are 1 tank and 3 dps left over in LFG.
We open this up to cross-realm LFG and there are now eight times the number of people in LFG. There are 16 tanks, 8 healers, and 48 dps. After eight parties form, we are left with 8 tanks and 24 dps without groups.
The number of groups are the same as if they'd stayed separated on their original servers, but I wonder if the wait for dps #48 will be longer than if he didn't have to share with another realm. Those 8 tanks and 24 dps won't get groups until a new healer enters the system, and depending on how long that takes, it could be while. Dps #48 would only be dps #3 on his own server, so in theory he would go with next group to form, but here he would have to wait until the eighth healer to come along.
If his server is starved for healers, it may very well be that even waiting for the eighth healer it would still be faster than waiting on his own server. But if his server has a lot of pugging healers, then he may be waiting longer than usual because his server's healers will be going to other groups first.
I primarily play hybrid classes, so as someone with a tank spec on both my 80s and a heal spec on one of them, I don't think I will have much of a problem finding a group. If anything it'll be easier to get a group since those two roles are in higher demand and now there will be an even larger surplus of dps looking for them.
It does make me wonder though if I will ever pug as a moonkin. I rarely do anyway, though for the moment it's largely by choice. Most of the time I'm forming the group, so I automatically assume I'm going to tank. It saves me the trouble of looking for one. If the system is choosing my role for me, based on what I say I can do, I have a suspicion I'll be chosen to tank as well. It just makes sense when there are less of them.
But running a dungeon is better than not running, which is why I like playing hybrids. It's why I've done things like tank while holy specced on my paladin, or tank while moonkin specced on my druid. (Somehow it doesn't feel as impressive when I say I healed on my moonkin when we lost a healer. It's almost expected.)
I'm curious whether or not Looking For Raid will be cross-realm as well. If there's one thing I envy about Dark Iron (where my feral alt is) vs. Skywall (where my 80s are), it's the raid pugging situation. Skywall's not well progressed so raid pugs for anything other than Naxx have a horrible failure rate. There just isn't a large enough player base that knows what it's doing.
For example: I went to a 10-man ToC pug on my paladin where I knew the raid leader and she was asking that everyone be both geared and to know the fights. We got in there and found out that the OT's idea of knowing the fights was that she got up to Acidmaw and Dreadscale the last time she was there. We gave it a few shots, but she either couldn't or wouldn't follow instructions and a ToC pug is no place to learn how to tank a raid boss. FACE THE WORM AWAY FROM THE RAID AMG!
If Looking For Raid is cross-realm then I might be able to get into a pug raid with people from more progressed realms where pugging ToC or even ToGC happens on a regular basis. Of course, there's always the possibility that those people will be extremely snotty and won't take me because I haven't finished Icecrown on hard mode. Heh.
Edit: It's been clarified that Looking For Raid is realm-only. Ah well.
Albion: my great horse business
13 hours ago