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Posts with tag Dungeon-Finder

The struggle between gear disparity and good play

Okay, truth time - I can solo any five player heroic dungeon in Mists of Pandaria, as long as it doesn't have mechanics that prevent me. If I'm even concerned that I'll take too much damage and die, I'll pop on my tank set and go prot, but many times it isn't even a concern. Blow all my DPS cooldowns, blow my defensive cooldowns when I'm at about half health, boss falls over. Done it in Mogu'shan Palace and Scarlet Monastery. And I'm hardly the exception here - the fact is, the Mists of Pandaria dungeons were introduced at the beginning of the expansion and tuned so that players in ilevel 450 gear could complete them.

I'm at around ilevel 576.

Even players who are just in flex or LFR gear out gear these instances immensely. If a DPS player in full SoO LFR gear goes into Mogu'shan Palace and decides to pull more mobs than the tank was ready or waiting for, he or she can probably DPS them all down before dying themselves, especially if they get a few heals. Meanwhile, even the tanks can often put out enough damage (while taking so very little and having various means to heal it up) that they can basically solo the whole place if they want to, leaving absolutely everyone in the group feeling very little need to actually play as a group. As many, many people point out to me on twitter, it's just assumed that everyone is going to pull like crazy, so even undergeared players in a specific role often assume it's going to happen and react. Maybe your tank doesn't want to pull like a fiend, but they saw your gear and thought they had to in order to keep control of the dungeon. The lines of group communication have broken down into a silence that masks intent - runs are zoned into and pulled with grim efficiency.

Into this veil of silence enters you, the player. So what can be done about it?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Using the Dungeon Finder to level in a flash

If you're exhausted of leveling through the same old zones, it may be time to head to the Dungeon Finder for some of World of Warcraft's speediest leveling. How speedy are we talking about? Last night I spent about an hour with a just level 15 -- the minimum level for dungeons -- priest dungeon running and walked away with five levels and sacks full of loot. Admittedly, I had a stock of rested XP and a few heirlooms, but even without either, you should find dungeon leveling to be pretty zippy -- and a nice change of pace from the daily questing grind.

The downside? While you're here, you'll be playing in a group of five -- typically a tank, a healer, and three DPSers -- and you'll need to learn how to play well in a group, which can be a bit different than playing solo. Though dungeons -- especially low level dungeons -- are easier than ever, there are some tips that will help ease your way. So let's take a look at what you need to hit the dungeons so you're ready to take advantage of that sweet, sweet Dungeon Finder XP.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Warlords of Draenor: Proving Grounds will be required for Heroic Dungeon random queues

Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas, the Lead Encounter Designer for World of Warcraft, has already told us that proving grounds will be updated for Warlords of Draenor. In a move that helps explain why, he dropped some late night news yesterday in the form of dungeon progression information.

In short, if you want to join the dungeon finder queue for level 100 heroic dungeons, you will need to get a silver medal in the proving grounds for the role you want to queue for. That means if you want to heal, your DPS silver medal isn't good enough. You'll need to go back and get it for healing as well. This applies only to the random queue. If you're going straight in with friends, no medal is required. Normal dungeons will not require any proving grounds experience at all, and normal dungeon and scenario gear should be enough to let you queue for the raid finder.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Oops, I queued as tank again

I've tanked a few LFR's lately. The thing is, I didn't mean to.

I don't mean I pulled aggro. I mean that when I queued, I forgot that I had tank selected alongside DPS. I do this in five man heroics I'm running for justice points as well. When I find myself selected to tank the dungeon (often only noticing after I get in and no one else is the tank) I usually shrug and put on my tank set and do it. It's not the group's fault I keep forgetting to uncheck that box, after all. And there's a bit of an up side. The other day my wife and I were talking in game and I said "I think I'm going to ride my blue dragonhawk" which surprised her, because I am not a mount collector. "Wait, you have a blue dragonhawk?" Well, yes I do, and I can thank forgetting to uncheck that tanking box for it.

I'm under the impression that I'm fairly rare in this regard. I don't know how true that is, because I've really only talked to a few people about it, and some of them don't play hybrids, so there is no other box for them to check. I'm sure all the warlocks I know would select tank if they could, for instance. But at least some folks seem to do this from time to time.

Being an opinionated cuss, I have some thoughts on this whole phenomenon I'd like to share.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: Features, deletions, achievements, and Skittles

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today's Queue kicks off with a question all of you might enjoy answering, too. While you're answering that, listen to William Close play his earth harp.

Joe32 asked:

What's your favorite expansion in terms of added features, not game play? For example, WoTLK - dungeon finder, dual spec; Cata - transmog, reforging, LFR; MoP - flex, scenarios. I probably got a few of those wrong but you get the idea.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: Love 'em or hate 'em, do you use random group tools?

Breakfast Topic Love 'em or hate 'em, do you use random group tools
Buried beneath proclamations of love or hate for WoW's group and raid finding tools lurks a common contradiction I find most players don't like to discuss: Do they use or not use these features despite their feelings? I'm a put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is kind of person, so when I hear players fuming that they believe random group tools have played a large role in the downfall of realm communities (a common line of thinking among players who are not fans of the dungeon finder and raid finder), I often wonder if they then turn around and use the very tool they rail against.

There's a simple solution to this sort of conundrum, I've found –- a reader poll!

What's your position on WoW's random grouping tools (the dungeon finder and raid finder)?
I don't use them, but I think they're great for the people who want them.193 (3.6%)
I don't use them, and I wish they had not been put in the game.80 (1.5%)
I use them, and I think they're a fantastic addition to the game.4144 (77.7%)
I use them, but I think the game might be better without them.916 (17.2%)


Why do you use or not use the group finder and the raid finder? If you don't use these features, do you run with guildmates or friends instead, or do you avoid groups and raiding altogether?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Have you done any heroic scenarios?

new scenarios
Have you done any heroic scenarios?
Yes2918 (41.8%)
No2601 (37.2%)
I'm trying!595 (8.5%)
Meh.872 (12.5%)

So, the new patch has been out for a few days now, and one of it's more touted features -- heroic scenarios -- has left us here at WoW Insider all scratching our heads a bit. See, surprisingly, there's no Dungeon Finder option to queue for them, meaning that currently the only way to do them is to get a premade group of three and zone into the scenario from its Azerothian starting point. Talk about a blast from the past! Suddenly visions of Shattrath trade chat in 2009 whirl before me, in which never ending whispers from those poor souls trying to get through heroic Shadow Labyrinth filled my chat log. "Will you tank?" they'd ask. "No," I'd respond. "I'm a healer!" (These were the days before dual specs.)

Ahem. In any case, trade chat has once more filled with calls of "LFM heroic scenarios," something that hasn't been seen around these parts in a while. We're all relearning how difficult it can be to round up a group without the Dungeon Finder around to grease the wheels. So, have any of you managed to successfully corral your groups and get through a heroic scenario or two?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

What's the purpose of a heroic dungeon?

What is the purpose of a heroic dungeon
One of the more volatile announcements that we've heard so far from Blizzard regarding Mists of Pandaria is the fact that Mists will not include any more 5-man dungeons. In an expansion where new content seems to be rolling out on a much faster, tighter basis than any expansion prior this seems a little bizarre to players, particularly those that enjoy dungeon-based content. Yet one of the things Mists has been doing consistently throughout the expansion is delivering a wider array of things to do. In fact, there's such a variety in endgame content that players sometimes feel legitimately overwhelmed by the sheer amount of it.

But just because we aren't getting any new dungeons doesn't mean we aren't getting alternate ways to obtain all that sweet, sweet gear we know and love. Patch 5.3 will see the introduction of heroic scenarios, slightly tougher versions of the scenarios we've already seen this expansion. In addition to valor, the heroic scenarios will offer raid-finder level rewards for players that choose to participate in them -- better than any gear you'll find in a heroic dungeon at this point.

While this may seem pretty cool for some people, it does make one wonder -- what's the purpose of heroic dungeons?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

The fine art of PvE twinking from level 1-35

TDQ Call To Arms
I'm sure most of you are familiar with the concept of "twinking" in WoW for PvP. It generally entails decking a low-level character out with all the best possible gear available to them and then tearing up the battlefields. In these post-experience locking days twinking is more straightforward than ever, and our own Olivia Grace has already covered a lot of the gearing aspects of twinking, for both PvE and PvP.

PvE twinking is a bit of an unusual idea. Mostly it refers to locking experience at one of the former level caps - 60, 70, 80, or 85 - in order to enjoy the challenges of old raids or to accomplish something limited to players of a certain level, such as the Herald of the Titans title. These are fun and interesting ways to spend time in the game, but what about PvE twinking at even lower levels? Say, level 20? Or 40? Why on earth would anyone want to do that?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Cataclysm

Patch 5.2 PTR: Dungeon Finder updated with reputation rewards

Untitled  Rep Rewards from Dungeon Finder
Recently, Blizzard revealed that they were adding another method for players to gain reputation in patch 5.2. In addition to fulfilling work orders for the various factions around Pandaria, players can represent a faction when they queue into a dungeon.

In the above screenshot, you'll notice that the Dungeon Finder interface has been updated. When you click on the Choose Reputation button, your Reputation tab will appear. Choose the Pandarian faction you want and click Find Group. You can only cash in on this reputation reward once per day.

My main has hit exalted with most of the factions. I'm still working on the Anglers but I have a hard time motivating myself to push for it. Work orders and the reputation rewards in the dungeon queue should help ease that grind up. I feel the same way with my alts. I have absolutely no interest at the present in doing all those dailies again (at least, not for a long time).

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

It came from the Blog: Random dungeon group LFM

It came from the Blog Random dungeon group LFM
Every month, It came from the Blog hosts an event for fun and sometimes profit, so we'll definitely be having a Feast of Winter Veil romp after the holiday begins. In the meantime, and until further notice, Crikkit the pandaren mistweaver monk is going to be dungeoning up to at least 85 and she wants to do so with friends.

Starting tomorrow and every Thursday hereafter, level 15 Crikkit will be randoming dungeons with whomever shows up to join her.
  • When: Thursdays starting Thursday, Dec. 13 (tomorrow) at Noon EST (9 a.m. PST, 10 a.m. server time)
  • Where: Meet at the fishing hole in the Valley of Honor in Orgrimmar on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H)
  • Who: Any Horde character within one or two levels of Crikkit at the time -- this week, levels 15 and 16
  • How: Ask Crikkit or any It came from the Blog member for an invite to the guild
I'll PUG if I have to, but there are already a couple of guildies signed up to attend and I'm hoping we'll have more -- particularly as the weeks go by. If we get too many, I'll choose from those whom I'm comfortable with and where our needs lie. If we have leftovers, we will do what we always do and form more than one group with a common chat channel.

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Filed under: Events, It Came from the Blog, Choose My Adventure

What does community mean in World of Warcraft?

What does community mean in World of Warcraft
When I first started playing World of Warcraft, in late 2004 on the server Azjol-Nerub, I knew the people in the guild my wife introduced me to and that was about it. Via that guild, I eventually met people who brought me to another guild, one that raided fairly heavily. That guild moved to Norgannon, becoming one of its top raiding guilds up until the end of Wrath of the Lich King when it moved servers and factions, and I didn't go along for the ride. I instead moved to Cenarion Circle, then Sisters of Elune. In all of this, my sense of community in the game has always been very heavily guild focused.

This means that when people talk about having developed a sense of server community via pugging Stratholme or Shadow Labyrinth back in the day, they're talking about a game I never played. When I was pugging in early BC, before I started raiding again, I was miserable dealing with non-guildmates who often wouldn't listen, demanded a tank with more AoE than a warrior, refused to CC or refused to do so on the targets I asked, and were otherwise often awful. This isn't to say I didn't have any good pick up groups in those days, but if I wanted to get anything done I often had to wait for guild groups. One of the reasons I heralded the advent of the Dungeon Finder was that instead of bothering my guildies so I could get some runs in, I just queued up. No more "LF Tank and 2 CC for Shattered Halls, Paladin tank preferred" or whatever the flavor of the month is. Not that we were running Shattered Halls anymore by that point, of course.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

How feedback works and why it matters

How feedback works and why it matters
Lately I've seen some forum posts that confuse me. Perhaps it's because these posts themselves seem confused. Posts like this one, where Librily the worgen mage accuses Blizzard and World of Warcraft's development team of soliciting feedback that they don't actually look at. I find this especially odd on a forum where community managers regularly engage with posters, and I wanted to address what feedback is, how it works, and why it matters now and going forward.

Frankly, it is impossible to look at the design of Mists of Pandaria and not see how much player feedback has influenced the design of the expansion. The 85 to 90 game is everything Cataclysm was not -- it all takes place in a seamless new land, it removed flying in order to provide player immersion, it works the Horde/Alliance conflict into the storyline. It is in every way the result of player feedback being constructively weighted and utilized responsibly. By that, I mean that the game's developers clearly looked at what players were saying they liked and disliked and worked to find ways to address player concerns.

What they didn't do -- what they have never done and cannot ever do -- is simply go to the forums, see who yelled loudest, and give them everything they wanted. That would be absurd design by mob, it would produce an unplayable game full of broken classes and most importantly of all, it would not be fun to play. Games require a ton of work to produce, especially a game like World of Warcraft, and the amount of effort behind the scenes to bring what we get to see and experience does not allow for that kind of design even if it were desirable, which it is not. Game design is not about giving the players everything they say they want, nor is it about doing everything they say as soon as they say it.

Let's talk about how good feedback works, the difference between opinion and fact, and why taking the time to make a well constructed argument is worthwhile even if you don't see any signs of it changing anything.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Do you PUG?

Raid
I have a love/hate relationship with pugging. I'll have a mediocre to wonderful time, random after random, and then one horrific experience makes me quit PUGs for months. I have a thick skin for writing on the internet ... er, let me rephrase that. I now have a thick skin for writing on the internet for over five years. But playing with pick up groups for the same amount of time still hasn't toughened me up.

Battlegrounds? No problem. I'm not sure why. The language and verbal attacks are often much worse there, and I know that's why many people stay away. But I guess it's more impersonal there and much more common. Maybe that's why I can handle it so easily.

It is definitely much more personal in a 5-man group. That's certain. It's not "you all suck," but "you suck, Laurel." If I'm really not doing well, there are better ways to tell me, obviously. More often, however, the blamer is the one with the problem. "Learn to heal!" -- says the rogue pulling the entire room while the tank is waiting for the casters to regen mana. "[expletive deleted]," he goes on to say. These experiences really bother me and I just can't deal for a while.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW Archivist: The rocky history of meeting stones

A meeting stone in Feralas
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Now that Have Group, Will Travel has been removed as a guild perk, raid groups are once again turning to meeting stones to summon their fellow raiders to the entrance. Meeting stones have a long and uneven history in WoW. They were despised and ridiculed when they were first patched in. They've gone through periods of high use and periods where they were all but ignored. What was their original purpose? How have they changed over the years? Read on to find out!

The original dungeon finders

Even in early vanilla, Blizzard was trying to find ways to make it easier for players to run dungeons together. In those days, most dungeons formed either in guild chat or trade chat. Players made their own groups and then took zeppelins, flight points, etc. to the dungeon entrance.

In March 2005, patch 1.3 gave us Blizzard's first attempt at a grouping system: the lowly meeting stones. In their first incarnation, meeting stones could be clicked to place you in a queue for their dungeon. The queue tried to match you up with players of a similar level and to find a tank and a healer.

Players hated meeting stones immediately. It was a deep and abiding hate.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

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