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Posts with tag dungeon-finder

The Raid Finder, the Dungeon Finder, point caps and you

I have a theory that either our various caps for justice and valor points are too low, or the amount we get per activity is too high. I'll relate my thinking. I have several level 85 characters I'm running through the Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder tools. Clearing both halves of the Raid Finder Dragon Soul gets me 500 valor; I then run four random heroics, and I'm capped. This means that playing my main any further that week is effectively a waste of time. (I usually cap my valors out before I even raid for a week, which makes raiding just about the gear, but I'm OK with that.)

My problem is, I like my main. I'd play him more if there was anything to do. As it is, I tend to cap out on justice points rather than run on one of my alts, and even then, they usually cap on valors as well. (At least two of them do.) I even sometimes cap on honor, and with the new conquest point gains for Random BGs, I could cap on conquest if I really set my mind to it. And while I understand why we have both weekly and total caps on points, it often feels like I'm being penalized for liking the game and wanting to play it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

How to level up using the Dungeon Finder

New around here? WoW Rookie has your back! Get all our collected tips, tricks and tactics for new players in the WoW Rookie Guide. WoW Rookie is about more than just being new to the game; it's about checking out new classes, new playstyles, and new zones.

One of the quietly celebrated features in contemporary Cataclysm is the ability to level up entirely using the Dungeon Finder. It's a little rough in a few places where you cross expansions, around levels 58, 68, and 80ish. But other than those few spots, you can fly through the so-called younger levels without much trouble at all.

While speeding your way to level 85 this way doesn't require a lot of strategy per se, it still helps immensely if you get your act together beforehand. Consider issues like leveling professions, keeping up with gold, and even how you'll handle your downtime between queues. Most importantly, once you're actually inside the dungeon, you should be prepared with some tips to avoid annoying the heck out of your groups.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

The Queue: Adorable baby giraffe, take 2

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mathew McCurley (@gomatgo) will be your host for today.

OK, I think I got it this time. Look at this adorable baby giraffe.

Questions, yes?

Arkonn asked:

Something that's been bugging me for a while: Why does PvP gear ilvl - specifically crafted gear - count towards ilvl required for entering dungeons and the LFR? I can understand giving the gear itself a level so you can quickly differentiate between what is potentially an upgrade and what isn't, however what I can't understand is why it counts towards your normal ilvl.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not an elitist so-and-so by any stretch of the imagination. It just bugs me that some people spend hours and hours running heroics getting gear and points to improve themselves and others spend 10 minutes at the auction house buying gear that essentially is a "free" pass to the next stage.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: Would the Raid Finder difficulty approach work for 5-man instances?

With 4.3's introduction of the Raid Finder feature, more players than ever before have the chance to see and participate in the deaths of some of Azeroth's most destructive villains. The design concept is simple: Take a raid that's fairly difficult on normal mode and ridiculously hard on heroic, and simplify it to the point that 25 random people who've never met before can emerge victorious with a little effort. Casual players who don't have the time to raid on a weekly schedule get to see endgame content, and heroic raiders can still flex their egos with higher ilevel loot and the knowledge that they were able to take on some of the toughest encounters in modern gaming and win.

Assuming this works and everyone remains happy with the Raid Finder system, is there a future for the Raid Finder model in the Dungeon Finder system? We know now that Blizzard has entirely revamped the 5-man system in Mists of Pandaria, offering new PvE encounter zones, timed instance runs, and no normal versions of level 85 heroic dungeons.

But what if Blizzard decided to follow the Raid Finder system instead and redesigned 5-mans with three tiers of difficulty? The first tier, the Dungeon Finder mode, would be designed to be easy enough that five puggers with no voice chat could queue for it and win. Normal mode would require five dedicated players working in coordination with one another but would still ultimately be easily conquerable without significant effort. Heroic modes would require hours of wiping, retuning of strats, and a dedicated group of players.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Shifting Perspectives: The best and the worst of patch 4.3

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we chortle our way through 5-man trash.

Oh, patch 4.3. I didn't know what to expect from you after so many bad, ugly, or just plain bizarre PUGs on the public test realm, but you turned out to be pretty cool. I don't have to wear ugly gear anymore, the Dragon Soul raid is live, Vengeance blows up like a grade school volcano science experiment, and Deathwing no longer roasts all my archaeology dig sites with the sadistic glee of an NPC who knows that I will never get the Crawling Claw if I am dead.

On the downside, I have to deal with Echo of Tyrande trash ("Hey, where'd the healer go?"), and Thrall still does not seem to have realized that the rest of the world moved on to epic mounts several years ago.

You win some, you lose some.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Patch 4.3: Hotfix on the way for Dungeon Finder crashes

The launch of patch 4.3 has been smooth overall, but there's one major exception: The Dungeon Finder has developed a case of narcolepsy. If you've been in the queue for any of the new Hour of Twilight dungeons tonight, chances are good you've noticed the system suffering from crashes with extreme frequency.

Good news: There's a fix in the works, and we're likely to see it tonight. Cross your fingers.

Bashiok - LFD Tool Down?
There's a known issue causing the LFG servers to crash, which is kicking people out of queue. A hotfix is already in production and we expect will be implemented this evening.

There's also an issue that's causing long queue times, and again a hotfix is in progress.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Hotfixes

WoW Archivist: Patch 1.12, Drums of War

The 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?

I'm not ashamed to admit when I've made a mistake. Which is good, because today's Archivist would be awkward otherwise. Last week's classic WoW recap was a smidge premature. I haven't covered patch 1.12 yet. Why? Because I thought patch 1.12 was patch 2.0. Patch 2.0 would go with the Burning Crusade-era patches. Patch 1.12 isn't patch 2.0, however, so we're mired in classic WoW for one more week.

Patch 1.12, Drums of War, released in August of 2006. It contained the feature that has set the standard for all group content in World of Warcraft: cross-realm Battlegrounds. In addition to cross-realm Battlegrounds, patch 1.12 also included sanctioned world PVP (which didn't work) and a number of UI improvements that you probably take for granted all these years later.

Let's dive in, shall we?

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Patch 4.3 PTR: Zandalari heroics no longer in own tier; all heroics award 150 VP

The new Hour of Twilight / patch 4.3 heroic dungeons will have their own category in the random Dungeon Finder, while the Zandalari heroics tier has mysteriously disappeared. Now, when queueing for a random Cataclysm heroic, the system will include the two Troll instances if your item level is satisfactory to enter. In addition, the Hour of Twilight dungeons, as well as any Cataclysm heroic, now reward 150 valor points per completion, up to seven times week. Any heroic will now grant the same amount of valor points.

Moving the Zandalari heroics into the general heroic pool seemed like it would happen eventually, considering that having multiple tiers of dungeons to queue up for could get confusing over time. Now, players will be placed into dungeons based on their ilevel and not necessarily which dungeon category they queue for.

This presents an interesting dilemma, though. Players who want to do a quick heroic right now can queue for a random, non-Troll heroic and be in and out with half the VP (and half the stress -- I'm looking at you, Jin'do) in half the time of a Troll heroic. In 4.3, it doesn't appear that you'll have the option. Then again, everyone at a high enough gear level to care about this stuff will just queue for the Hour of Twilight heroics anyway, right?

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Patch 4.3 PTR: New valor point weekly caps, dungeon point rewards

The new 5-man instances, End Time, Well of Eternity, and Hour of Twilight, now award 150 valor points for each random completed, up to seven per week. The valor point cap per week has been increased to 1,000 points -- but interestingly, the cap for using the random Dungeon Finder is higher than the actual cap. This could be a bug, or it could be intended to allow players to gain that extra 50 valor points through the Dungeon Finder, but I'm assuming that things just aren't complete (because after all, this is the PTR).

End Time, the first instance in the sequential set of 5-mans, took my group about 20 to 25 minutes to make our way through. Three bosses and only about seven to eight trash packs later, we were happily finished and 150 valor points richer. This time frame is radically different than the Zul' heroics we are currently used to, making the play experience, in my experience, more fulfilling in a shorter amount of time. We have not yet run the other two dungeons, but if they are as streamlined as End Time, valor points will be a less stressful experience in the future. We will have more information as it becomes available.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Cataclysm

The Queue: Waking flames

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.

My plea for rain on Monday actually worked. Who knew I held that kind of power? Except it's still hot as heck, and I demand more. Give me your rain, people. All of it.

Marco asked:

The Flamewalkers in the Firelands resemble the naga quite a bit. Is there any natural link between the 2 races? Are they related in some way? Or did blizzard take the easy way and model them after the naga's skeleton and design to save time?

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Filed under: The Queue

Cross-realm Real ID grouping now available

A few months back, Blizzard teased that a new service would be hitting WoW that would allow members of the same faction to group and queue for random dungeons across servers. Players would need to be Real ID friends with the people they wanted to invite into a group and would be limited to 5-man dungeons; no raids or world content would be available to cross-server groups.

The service has apparently just gone live, free, for what is probably a limited time. Blizzard had also said that this cross-realm grouping would be part of the premium package of WoW services that players can pay for monthly, and only the group leader doing the invites would have to have the service in order to invite people cross-realm. Much as the mobile guild chat feature was rolled out free to let people check it out, it appears cross-realm Real ID grouping is getting the same trial period.

Check out cross-realm Real ID grouping in game, and start grouping with your friends beyond server boundaries, and hit the jump for the full announcement.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Cross-realm Dungeon Finder premium service coming soon

Blizzard has just announced a premium cross-realm Dungeon Finder feature, allowing players from the same faction to invite Real ID friends from different servers into 5-man regular and heroic dungeons. The popularity of the Dungeon Finder is well-known at this point, and expounding on the feature has been in the cards according to Blizzard for some time now.

This new feature will be part of a premium package of WoW features requiring an extra fee to use. Blizzard says that only the person doing the invites and creating the cross-server party will need to have access to the premium feature for the system to work. Currently, there is no release date, and the service is being described as a complex one to develop. Blizzard is most likely getting out in front of the news sites and datamining sites now, since pieces of this new system will begin to hit the PTR soon and Blizzard doesn't want too much speculation.

I personally think that this system is really cool for players who have an already-established friends base on other servers but don't want to leave their current home or don't have the money to do so and pay for a premium server transfer. For instance, Sacco and I can finally run some dungeons together. You hear that, Sacco? It's dungeon time.

Premium services always receive some type of backlash in the WoW community, and this one will be no different, so for caution's sake, let's wait until pricing information is officially announced before we explode with indignation. This is, however, a feature that many players have been asking for and will be very popular.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Official patch 4.1 notes updated for May 2

Blizzard has released an update for the patch 4.1 official patch notes. Most of these notes confirm changes already in game, including the presence of portals to Stormwind and Orgrimmar in Dalaran and Shattrath, which should be good news for people leveling through the 60s and 70s. In addition, the art update to Reins of the Dark Phoenix was stricken from the patch notes. That change will be coming in patch 4.2.

Read on after the break for all the new changes.

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Filed under: News items

Ol' Grumpy's first week with Patch 4.1

Hi, kids. It's me, Ol' Grumpy. You may remember me from my guide to Cataclysm instance protocols or perhaps from when I explained that you'd have to relearn some old bad habits from the previous expansion.

This time, I'm here to explain how to adjust to the new realities of patch 4.1, our two new heroic instances Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman, and our Call to Arms feature in the dungeon finder. I've noticed some weeping, some wailing, and some gnashing of teeth over these new introductions with the passing of our first week with patch 4.1, and I'm here to help.

First off, calm down already. The Call to Arms feature didn't trap you in a deserted old house outside of town and murder everyone from the camp but you and that cute guy you've always liked from the other camp. It didn't steal your dog, kick your car, or write nasty things about your ma and pa on the back of the barn, either. And while both ZA and ZG provide more challenge than the previous tier of heroics, they didn't steal your cattle or set your grave on fire, either. In short, the level of consternation and yes, even whining about this has been entirely over the top. These instances are puggable with a little luck and some work, and CTA has shortened queue times, which was its only real goal.

So what should you do? Well, being an irascible old curmudgeon, I will happily tell you what to do. Especially if it keeps you off of my lawn. My wife just planted roses! Stay off!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

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:

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

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