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Posts with tag dungeon-finder-tool

Patch 4.1 dungeon finder change places players from realms together

There was an interesting change slipped into the 4.1 patch notes a few days ago, and players may or may not have noticed it. The dungeon finder, which pulls from the combined battlegroups of all servers, has been tweaked to place players from the same realm together first, and if it can't find players from the same realm, it will move on to a wider pool of players. What does this mean for the dungeon finder? Very little -- you'll still be getting a group. But it's the motives behind the change that are interesting, as posted by Zarhym on the official forums:

Zarhym
That isn't just a coincidence. Many players have stated since the release of the Dungeon Finder that they like the convenience of being matched for a group automatically, but they miss the feeling of community when they're paired with strangers from other realms with whom they might never speak again. So we made a slight change in the way the Dungeon Finder sorts through the queue matching players for a dungeon.

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Making the dungeon finder suck less

Anyone who's read the official forums lately has probably seen a raft of complaints directed at players abusing the dungeon finder and vote to kick features. It's a reminder that people will always figure out a way to twist a system to their own benefit. The most upsetting technique I've read about is two hybrid DPS in cahoots with a third DPS queuing as a tank/healer duo, getting an instant invite to dungeons, and then pressuring the two other members of the party to shoulder the tank or healer job. If they don't or can't fill these roles -- kick 'em after the 15 min grace period and requeue themselves as straight DPS. Voilà -- they are now at the head of the dungeon queue for the next tank or healer! Is it any wonder that players find this enraging?

Heartbourne of Lore Hound offers an analysis of some potential solutions to dungeon finder abuse. As he observes, a proposed rating system for players could be easily abused on its own, so maybe that's not the best way to go. However, I find his suggestion of a social networking angle to be pretty interesting. What if there were a priority system to be grouped with players you met and "liked" before? What if guilds across servers could "friend" each other and form pools of players from which to draw 5-man groups?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Shifting Perspectives: Pulling 101: Deeper into the dungeon


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. This week, we continue to get hit in the face.

This week, we're continuing our series on Pulling 101 with a look at what happens during the dungeon itself. I was surprised to discover exactly how much of this advice concerns rage management, but shouldn't have been; any discussion concerning how to pull as a rage tank invariably touches on how to get the most out of an eccentric resource system. A good chunk of this advice will become obsolete as of the Cataclysm content patch, but if you're leveling and gearing a bear through the dungeon finder, there are still an awful lot of 5-mans between yourself and this fall.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

What effect does the Dungeon Finder have on smaller servers?

For a few days now, I've been mulling over a point raised by Spinksville in a blog post concerning the Dungeon Finder's impact on smaller servers. It was her contention that, although the Dungeon Finder makes getting 5-man runs faster and easier for people on underpopulated realms, the new tool was contributing (or likely to contribute) to the depopulation of realms without a lot of options for raiding. It's never been easier to gear up a character, she observed, and someone with a geared character is increasingly likely to want that toon raiding. However, smaller servers rarely field the array and depth of PuG raiding opportunities offered by larger realms. Her conclusion? "Being on a smaller server has never been less attractive for a casual player."

While I go back and forth on that point -- lots of people will just gear a toon for its own sake without necessarily planning to raid on it -- I don't think she's entirely wrong, and I also think the larger point concerning the Dungeon Finder's potential impact on server communities is probably accurate.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances

Dungeon Finder bingo

Tinwhisker sent us this link to a set of entertaining PUG bingo cards on the official forums, made by Cruce of Scarlet Crusade. While I'm not sure I would actually have gotten bingo on any single run, some of the squares have certainly happened in many of my runs:

  • A pure DPS class doing triple digit DPS (especially Death Knights; sorry to all the good DKs out there).
  • RankWatch. Almost every run.
  • Three or more members are "the Patient." I guess it's nice to show that they have some PuG experience, but that just makes egregious failures that much more disappointing.
  • Someone starts on a mob the tank hasn't even hit yet. More often than not.
  • Melee DPS attacking from the front. It's really not that hard, folks.

One thing I'd add to the list is people protesting that they don't take the game that seriously when you give them advice, like that they might want to put up diseases before using other strikes on their DK. You don't have to break out the spreadsheets, but there's a certain minimum effort to not be letting everyone else in your group down.

What do you guys think of this bingo set? Going to print out a few sheets to keep you entertained during those long, cold dungeon runs? Are there any squares you'd add?

Filed under: Instances

Arcane Brilliance: Gearing up after the glorious patch 3.3


It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that loves nothing more than to gaze down upon the whole of Northrend from one of the floating chunks of stone around Dalaran and realize that at some point, a mage has probably killed every living thing down there. At least the targetable ones, anyway. And the ones you can't target? I'm sure more than one mage has certainly tried.

So I'm officially nominating patch 3.3 for "best patch ever" status. Here's a short list of the highlights of this patch:
  • Three highly challenging, fun, lore-filled 5-man instances, full of sweet loot
  • A massive new raid, with four gated sections, 12 bosses, and the promise of eventually being able to shove a Fireball up the Lich King's tailpipe
  • The incredible, game-changing Dungeon Finder Tool, which is responsible for peace in the Middle East, has brought an end to the recession, and has cured cancer
  • A few choice mage buffs, including a PvE viable Frost spec
  • Quest Tracking without the need for an addon
  • Quel'delar and Shadowmourne
  • A swiftly approaching new Arena Season
  • Weekly raid quests
  • The Kalu'ak Fishing Derby
  • Perky the Pug
  • A host of little changes for low level characters
  • Rocket bare
Not shabby, right? And best of all, Blizzard has managed to deploy the majority of this new content without also deploying a host of bugs, glitches, and instability, or otherwise making the game unplayable for awhile as we've come to expect from patches this large. There were some log-in issues and bugginess on day one, but by day two, everything was running relatively smoothly by day two. I'm being relatively conservative when I say that Blizzard, in my personal opinion, has hit this one out of the park.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Features, Guides, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

WoW Rookie: Gearing up with the LFG feature

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. For links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's, visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide.

Plotting your path from zero to hero? "Last night, I got my alt mage to level 80 (woop) and thought I'd set about doing some heroics to get those 'phat loots' and a have a bit of fun," writes reader Hedwinkle of EU Daggerspine. "However, I was disappointed to see that I couldn't queue up for any heroics using the new tool, as my gear level wasn't high enough. I mean, it's all blue gear from the later instances, so I guess I have two questions ...

"1. What is the gear level required to allow me to queue up for random heroics using the new tool?

"2. What is the best way for me to go about getting my gear level higher? People on my server have very little interest now in finding a group the 'old-fashioned' way."

As it turns out, Hedwinkle's not the only one who's been puzzling over the details of how the new Looking for Group tool matches and places group members. Luckily, blue poster Zarhym had some answers that should reassure all of WoW Rookie's fresh level 80s.

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Filed under: Tips, Instances, Features, WoW Rookie

Shifting Perspectives: How to be a good PUG druid




Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, everyone discovers (as I have been saying for years, but who listens to the bear tank with an ass the size of Cincinnati? No one, that's who) that PUG's are not so bad.

Moore returns with a ukulele. I'm going to pull out one of the big guns on the folk scene in the Americas -- Richard Shindell. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a high-quality version of this song available anywhere online, and I highly recommend listening to the versions off Shindell's Sparrow's Point or (more especially) the live album Courier. Yes, it starts off slow, but give it a chance. On A Sea of Fleur-de-Lis is a very odd, albeit poetic, song with esoteric lyrics, although they make a little more sense once you know they were written while Shindell was considering leaving Union Theological Seminary. Otherwise, as with many of Shindell's pieces, BYO subtext.

Beat that, Moore.

Anyway, after reading Archmage Pants' article on the new LFG system for mages and Daniel Whitcomb's guide on the same for death knights, I decided it wasn't fair letting a bunch of smelly DPS have all the fun.

"But some death knights tank," you object.

That's just a widely-disseminated myth, as all those of us on the Retaliation battlegroup know. You have tried the new LFG, right? Allow me to be the Virgil to your Dante in this new, more lucrative version of hell. Concerning tanks, by the way --

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Breakfast Topic: Fickle loot table, I stab at thee

That's right, we're a week into patch 3.3 (well, almost) and we're still running random PuG's on our alts. Well, I am, anyway, and if the emails we at WoW.com are seeing are accurate so are a lot of you. And as is often the case when dungeons are being run, we're seeing loot issues.

Oddly enough, I for once don't really have much to complain about loot wise. My tauren got a swanky trinket, an upgrade to his main hand weapon, and plenty of emblems for his DPS set as well as some nice tanking gear. Since I don't get as much time to play Horde side as I used to, the new Dungeon Finder has been a positive boon for me as a DPS warrior while at the same time giving me something to do to use up some time on Alliance side as well before raids. But I've seen and heard plenty of the opposite result: people queuing up over and over and over again hoping for a drop and seeing the Orca-Hunter's Harpoon get sharded for the sixteenth run in a row. (I admit to taking one for my arms set and then sharding it after the axe dropped, but in my defense no one wanted it).

So we move the question to you: have you snagged that elusive drop yet? Has the Battered Hilt dropped for you? (Blasted thing!) Have you gotten that shield, trinket, armor piece or weapon that haunts your dreams or are said dreams still haunted by nights of fitful, tortured yearning? (Sorry, watching old Taxi reruns.) How have those fickle loot gods been treating you?

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 Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

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

Lichborne: The whys and hows of PuGs and death knights


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly look at the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the Death Knights. Your host, Daniel Whitcomb, is pretty decent at alliteration but could use some work on cliches. Luckily, his Scourge Strike still hits hard, so it's all good.

So with Patch 3.3 out and running, the biggest thing taking the WoW world by storm is definitely the Dungeon Finder tool. If you're like me, you've made pretty good use of it already, and are probably within a few more runs of your very own cute as a button pug pet in the bargain. If not, you should probably consider getting on that, seriously.

Since running random dungeons is pretty much the in-thing to do right now, I figured I should devote a column to helping you brush up on your grouping skills. It never hurts to cover the basics, and if you're grouping with 1-4 complete strangers, it helps to be on your A game so that you can work with them and be easy to work with. Before we get into the basics though, let's set some goals for all that random dungeon running.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Guides, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Time Is Money: Dungeon finder


Kebina Trudough here, offering you the best gold making secrets they don't want you to know about! I was like you once, poor and homely, before I discovered my patented system. Now you too can fill your pockets with the good stuff without ever breaking a sweat! Why spend all your time toiling when you could be vacationing in the Hot Springs? I'm not offering these tips for 100 gold, or 90 gold, or even 50 gold! No, not even 20 gold! My system is yours for FREE! Satisfaction guaranteed or I'll give you a full refund (handling charges may apply). After all, Time Is Money.

The new Dungeon Finder that was added in Patch 3.3 has been garnering a lot of attention lately - and for good reason! But did you know that you could use it to make money?

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Features, Guides, Making money, Time Is Money

More dungeon finder tips

Like many of you, I've been spending the last few days happily hitting up the new dungeon finder over and over again. The rewards are pretty amazing for the time involved, and the whole system is usually pretty painless. I've picked up a few tips and tricks along the way, on top of what was covered in Saturday's post by Mike Schramm, and here's what I have to share.

  • If your dungeon pops and then gives you the dreaded "additional instances cannot be launched," you can try again by simply selecting "teleport to dungeon" from the DF menu on your minimap (the eye icon).
  • If you have a full group (of guildies, say) and want to do a particular instance, you can use the DF to queue up for just that instance, and thereby gain the ability to teleport straight there. Sure beats flying.

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Filed under: Patches, Instances

Arcane Brilliance: How to be a good PUG mage

Welcome to another installment of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that is incredibly proud of mages. We are, after all, the only class in the game that can conjure our own 5-man group, as evidenced by the picture above. And though our mirror images may not be too bright, I'd still take them over about 3/4ths of the folks I PuGed with last night.

Holy crap. I'm not even kidding. It was like some kind of idiot convention, and I was the keynote speaker. I came in with some prepared remarks, like "Don't stand in the green stuff that looks like poison, because it is poison," "when he begins spinning his giant sword around like a whirlwind, it's because he's doing Whirlwind and you should get out of the way," and "Warlocks drink their own pee," but ended up just sighing and shaking my head a lot.

This whole Dungeon Finder tool is incredible, right? My head has been spinning since the patch dropped, marveling at the ways it has already changed the game, both for good and ill. Suddenly, PuGs are the norm, not the exception. Each instance is a complete unknown, and not just because you don't know which one you're going to get. Is that rogue going to inexplicably decide to eschew his formerly stealthy ways and take up tanking? Who knows? Is the pally healer who just joined specced ret? It's not as unlikely as you think. Did that warlock really just go afk during the boss fight, then return only to need the Frozen Orb and drop group? Yep, he did. Outstanding.

It works the other way, too. There I was, minding my own business, happily spamming Arcane Blast on some kind of giant disgusting undead guy, only to see him turn and begin lumbering over in my direction. OK, I thought, I'll just stop casting, let the tank snatch him back up. Only that doesn't work. I look over at the threat meter to see that I have like three times more threat on that mob than anybody else. In fact, the only two other names on the threat list were the tank and the healer. That's right, I had been pew pewing the wrong giant disgusting undead guy. The fight ends with me reduced to a stain on the floor, and nobody to blame but my own stupid self. Sometimes, when you can't spot the nub in the room, it's because the nub is you.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Features, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

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