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Posts with tag LookingForGroup

Patch 3.3.3 PTR: Random dungeons are being watched

If you noticed that the 3.3.3 PTR has been updated, you may have noticed that there are some interesting new statistics being tracked. Specifically, according to MMO-Champion, the following are now being tracked:
What does this mean exactly? Well, it means that at the very least Blizzard will know what you're doing in your dungeon groups with more granularity than before. How many times you start a vote kick, vote to kick, get kicked, dump a group or finish one will be tracked by character. While I'm sure this is information they have access to already, it should be easier than before for them to know if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake.

I have no idea what, if anything, they intend to do with this data but I'm still interested to see what develops.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Patch 3.3 PTR: New LFG interface

In the latest build of the PTR, Blizzard has included the new Looking for Group interface they've got in the works. As they had announced in at BlizzCon, the recent fix for the "Additional Instances" errors that were plaguing us a few months ago also adds the ability for them to allow cross-realm LFG. A new feature usually means a new interface and the trend proves true. It incorporates a lot of the long asked for features as well as removes several older features from the panel.

They've taken the current system that allows you to select your available roles (healer, tank, or dps) as well as select if you're willing to lead the instance. One thing that should help out is the ability to earn emblems as well as gold for doing just a completely random pug each day. While some of you might be groaning at this thought, they are willing to reimburse you for the inconvenience with 68G for completing a random level 80 heroic. This money scales based on how much of your party is random and how much is premade. The less random your party is the lower the cash return.

It's still early in the PTR and several features, like the ability to use the LFG panel to look for a raid, don't appear to be completely finished yet. I've included a gallery of what the new interface looks like thus far.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas.'s Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Screenshots, Galleries, Wrath of the Lich King

Contemporary raiding and real-life obligations

An unidentified reader wrote to WoW Insider explaning that while he is in a raiding guild, his life schedule does not allow him to raid. He feels he's being left behind as groups ask for higher DPS.

What practical advice is there for progressing in the game while being a player with RL obligations?

First off, I'd like to tell you that you're not an outlier, there are many of players in similar situations. Nearly all WoW players have real life obligations including work, school, and families. The two most important things to work on are balance and realistic expectations.

It's easy to get suckered into playing too much WoW. To balance WoW with life, you need to determine how much time you can spend in game, while leaving plenty to meet your other responsibilities. If you can, try to schedule WoW at regular times, that way you build relationships with folks you play with often.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Guilds, Instances, Raiding

Raid Rx: On the fly healing

Raid Rx has returned from retirement! Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. This week we're going to cover assignment-less healing: When to get away with it and when you can't!

Assignment-less healing. It often has unpredictable results. Sometimes your raid group will be lucky and emerge unscathed. I'm a control freak. I like to have a plan A, a plan B and even a plan for when things go wrong.

I've joined my share of pickup groups in the past few months. I usually play on my alt Shaman. I'm more of the Shatner type that hurls bolts of lightning. I've experienced mixed success. On bosses like Archavon, Anub'Rekhan and Sartharion with no drakes active, I notice not a whole lot of organized healing is done. Either that or it was organized behind the scenes via whispers.

To be fair, those types encounters can be done with little organization before hand. I know the first time I went into Naxx and Obsidian Sanctum wearing half blues, a smattering of crafted epics and the odd green or two. Having the healing set up in advance helped out a lot and reassured people. Sometimes it helps the raid morale some when they know the confidence emanating from healers who know who they're healing is there.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

How to convince tanks to PuG

I'm getting back to WoW Insider after a month's real-life-related absence and have been spending some time playing catch-up on the site. One of the articles that caught my attention was Matt Rossi's popular "One reason tanks won't PuG," in no small part because I play a tank and my own PuG runs have been few and far between of late. My main, a Tauren Druid, respecced from balance to feral at level 69 because there were so few tanks on my server, and I literally spent months and months tanking PuG's to get experience and gear.

During that period I saw everything from rogues rolling on +healing maces to warlocks needing on tanking cloaks, and I learned that you never can tell what you're going to get from a PuG. Yes, you'll get hunters who can't trap, mages who never resheep, rogues who mistakenly believe they leveled a warrior, and priests who Power Word: Shield you straight off the pull -- but you'll also find people who know their class well, or are in the process of learning just like you are, and who are fun to be around. I have now killed Illidan with a contingent of people who showed up to my PuG's back when I was a wee lolbaretank in quest greens and Heavy Clefthoof, so as a matter of personal experience I think PuG's are a somewhat underrated way to meet people who will later turn out to play crucial roles in how you experience the game.

I don't PuG as frequently anymore due to time constraints and increased time spent leveling alts, but I still hang out in LFG from time to time for the pure enjoyment of meeting new people. Yes, it is often difficult to PuG tanks and healers (I would submit, as someone who typically tanks or heals in dungeons, that it is also difficult to PuG skilled DPS), but a lot of people could make it easier on themselves than they do. If you're having problems finding a tank or healer for your PuG's, try these.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Guides, Classes

LFG releases teaser, promises feature length film

Here's some really interesting news from the guys who make the popular Looking For Group comic: a feature film is in the works. Sohmer, who runs Blind Ferret Entertainment (which is also working on projects for PvP and Ctrl-Alt-Delete), says that the company is going to make a "75-80 minute feature film" (animated, of course) starring the LFG gang.

And the piece above is a "teaser" for the movie, tentatively titled "LFG: The Origin of Dick." (The character in the video above, if you haven't read the comic, is named Richard). No word on whether the whole movie will consist of songs, or song parodies, but the short is pretty well done, and so if that's any indication, the full-length movie will be a good time. Not to mention quite an achievement-- are there any other online comics that have gone on to support a feature film? I can't think of any.

Of course, that's assuming the comic can actually support it. We'll find out when it releases-- Blind Ferret says they're targeting it for late 2008.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Humor

Flintlocke's back, and other WoW comics

After almost a month with nothing (the creators must have been working their way up to 70), one of my favorite WoW comics has finally returned-- Gamespy's Flintlocke's Guide to Azeroth is back for Series II, albeit with only a few panels.

And while we're at it, Flintlocke isn't the only show in town, although it is a show that I really like. If you've never seen the Heroes of WoW series, it's definitely a good read (it's originally a German comic, actually). Looking for Group has been seeing a gain in popularity lately, and it definitely looks great, too.

And no discussion of WoW comics is complete without a mention to Dark Legacy comics, also a terrific comic series based in the world of Azeroth. Those are all the ones I can think of off the top of my head-- know any more to recommend?

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Humor

LFG channel to return

Wow, this is honestly surprising to me. After having stated in no uncertain terms that the LFG channel would not be coming back, Blizz apparently changed their mind. From Drysc:

We're making many improvements to the Looking For Group tool, most of which are still in production and can't yet be discussed. Player suggestions and feedback are playing a large part in the changes we're making and we want to emphasize that we are indeed making improvements.

The change we can talk about right now is indeed the return of the looking for group channel in the next major content patch. With it comes a rather significant requirement, and that is that you will have to be in the LFG system set to looking for a group or looking for more to see and use the channel. The global LFG channel will only be viewable and available for use to players while they are in the LFG system.

We hope to see the combination of the LFG tool coupled with the ease of use of a global channel help to improve the LFG tool and players use of the tool. Again we're making other improvements based on feedback and suggestions which we'll be able to discuss in the near future.

In my opinion, this is actually a really good move. It gives the people who want the channel back what they want, but at the same time it forces more people into the LFG system. In my opinion, the biggest problem with the current LFG system is that not enough people use it, and this should remedy that. What do you guys think?

[Thanks, Kyle]

Filed under: Patches

Using the LFG tool

LFG toolIs the reason that the game's built-in LFG tool is little-used really lack of knowledge on the part of the users? While we know Blizzard is planning some changes to the tool (hopefully for the better), right now it's still all we have for finding groups . And Mairek of Medivh has posted some tips on the official forums to help us all make better use of the tool, and maybe even get some good groups in the process.
  • If you are looking for a group to go to an instance, make sure you click off the Auto-Join option. This will guarantee that you have control over the groups you will join or the classes that join your group.
  • Comment box: this is a great field where you can let people know what you currently need or have for a certain quest or dungeon. Ex. if you are a warrior and you prefer to DPS to tanking, then include this information in the box.
  • Searching for members is easy: go to the LFM tab and select the dungeon/quest that you are looking for more members. You will get a list of everyone that has that dungeon/quest selected. When you mouse over the character's name, you will get a small window that will display the character's information, commentaries, dungeons/quests they are LFG, and a list of group members if they are grouped. This allows you to carefully select the groups that you want to join and the classes that you want to add.
  • When inviting other people, send them a whisper first saying that you want to join or invite them to the dungeon/quest that they are LFG. It is rather annoying just getting an invite out of the blue and not knowing what it is for.
This sounds like a good start -- though it still doesn't solve the issue of people not using it. Have tips of your own? Let us know in the comments.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances

Breakfast Topic: Looking for...

In the time it takes you to read this post, another hundred players will have posted on the official forums about the shiny new looking for group interface that rolled out with the 2.0 pre-BC patch (on the 9th of January). Blizzard told us to give the new LFG tool a chance -- after all, the system can't work if no one utilizes it -- but nearly a month later the steady stream of complaints hasn't stopped. At this point, are you still willing to give Blizzard's LFG system a chance, or have you resorted (like so many others have) to searching for groups over whatever channels are available to you?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Features

Breakfast Topic: Looking for group!

Looking for groupDo you remember the mass chaos that occurred with the global looking for group channel went in? As I recall, it was a little crazy. The line was quickly overrun by random spam which drove many players from the line and lead a number of people back to old habits -- like typing /who priest 58-60 and whispering down the list. Many protested the flawed system and asked for it to be removed. And now that it's gone, replaced by a sleeker interface? There's a number of players that can't stand the thing and demand the global LFG channel be reinstated. So if the old system wasn't right, and the new system isn't right, what's the best way to go about looking for a group? What do you think Blizzard should have implemented?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Features

New LFG system has been a couple of days, and I still don't know if I like the new LFG system. Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate that Blizzard is giving the idea a shot, but I still have some problems with it. I think some of my problems stem from the feeling (correctly or not) that I have "lost control" of the situation. Instead of occasionally throwing up my "DM LF2M" message in a channel, I am sitting there waiting, with no response. As you'd imagine, the forum folks have some complaints. Some of the more common gripes:
  • The system counts paladins, druids and warriors as tanks, and shamans, paladins, priests and druids as healers. Now this system would work OK if you end up with a rogue, hunter, druid, shammy and mage, provided everyone is specced for their task. But if the druid is a moonkin and the shammy is dual wielding? That could be a problem.
  • You can't look for more than three instances at a time. If someone is a new level 60, and would happily hit Dire Maul, Scholo, Strat or LBRS, they can't let this preference be known.
  • Not enough people are using it. I know it has only been online for a couple days, but I have run into this problem myself. Some forum folks are claiming that the system itself is too difficult for people to use, which is keeping players away, but it seems pretty straightforward to me.
  • The level restrictions seem a tad off. For example, some players were complaining about a level 40 being able to LFG for Mara.
  • The lack of support for things like PVP raids.
  • When you are on an alt, you can't search for groups for your main. You can't find people looking for Scholo if you are on your level 33.
I don't agree with all of these complaints, and some of them seem downright petty, but those are the most common I have seen. Now, granted, a lot of these problems could be solved by shooting someone a tell, but I am getting the impression that a lot of players were expecting the new LFG to be an all-in-one solution, which it isn't. With the way people are using LFG now, it is functioning more like a transportable meeting stone, which is fine, but I guess some people were expecting a lot more.

What do you guys think? Have you made use of the channel? Any suggestions on improvements?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion

New LFG interface announced

We saw some leaked screenshots not too long ago, but now we have official news of an interesting new LFG interface. And, if we're lucky, players might actually use it. Via this new interface panel, you can select what sort of things you might be wanting to group for, and other players can use the same interface to find folks interested in grouping for the same activities. Tobold also gives some information on this system in the first of his Burning Crusade journal entries, in which he notes that most players still seem to shout out for players via the old LFG line. Hopefully by the time the expansion is released, we'll see a whole slew of players making use of this feature.

Filed under: Expansions

Possible leaked screenshots of the new LFG and PvP windows?

The new LFG system that Blizzard has been hinting at is one of the things I am most looking forward to in the expansion. The current system, either using meeting stones (nobody does) or braving the LFG channel (if you're crazy) simply is not up to the task. These screenshots over at Gaming Hybrid seem to indicate a rather robust looking for group system and PvP matchmaking service awaits us in the Burning Crusade.

If these screenshots are legit, and I have no reason to believe they aren't, that could mean that the days of looking for a group while sorting through endless spam could be at an end. Granted, the best way to find a group now is within your friends list or guild ranks, but this seems to be a much better solution than Blizzard's previous efforts at helping us find a party of like-minded adventurers. You can check out the screenshots after the jump.

[Thanks Gamerz22 for sending this in and Gaming Hybrid for providing the leaked pictures!]

Read more →

Filed under: PvP, Expansions

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