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Posts with tag dungeon-finder

Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, bribes, and player behavior, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we are still not sure if we can be bribed, but have reached the conclusion that others might be.

This week we return for the conclusion of our series examining the likely impact of the new Call to Arms system debuting in patch 4.1. If you're looking for last week's article, you'll find that here: Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, bribes, and player behavior.

To summarize the observations and argument of the first article as quickly as possible, Cataclysm returned players to the difficulty of The Burning Crusade instancing model without the benefits that tanks gained from building a reputation as competent players -- namely, the reasonable expectation that groups would cooperate with kill orders and any requests for crowd control. The dungeon finder, arguably a tool better suited to the ease and speed of Wrath of the Lich King heroics, has left tanks in an unfortunate position: They now attempt to lead groups through more difficult content with the unreliable vote kick as their sole defense against obstreperous players. That DPS queue times have soared under the present circumstances shouldn't arrive as a shock.

I'm going to try to explain why Call to Arms may very well result in more tanks queueing for 5-mans through the dungeon finder and who we're likely to see if and/or when this happens.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Death Knight

Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, bribes, and player behavior

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we are not sure if we can be bribed.

As most of you are probably aware, Blizzard recently announced a new incentive structure for the dungeon finder system called the Call to Arms. In essence, it rewards players for performing what is then the most-needed role in the dungeon finder with a BoA bag containing gold, flasks, and, potentially, mounts and pets.

The Tuesday Shifting column covers the two roles most likely to receive the "goodie bags" -- tanking and healing (I don't think anyone's laboring under the delusion that groups can't get off the ground due to a lack of DPS) -- and the ensuing firestorm on the forums caught my eye. Predictably, players have mixed feelings about the change. Many (I think correctly) blame players' rudeness and uncooperative attitudes for driving off the tank population, but even more are indignant that Blizzard is "bribing" tanks for something they feel should have been addressed by role redesign.

Examine all the arguments in their totality, and I think there's only one real conclusion: I don't believe that Blizzard failed in its effort to make tanking more interesting and enjoyable.

I do believe that developers are struggling to deal with a problem created and driven almost entirely by player behavior. Modern heroics aren't fun, not because the content is bad (it's not) or overtuned (it's fine), but Cataclysm combines parts of The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King 5-man experience that don't play well with each other. The dungeon finder contributes to these problems, but not in the way that you'd think.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Death Knight

The Daily Quest: Call to Arms

WoW Insider's on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Though nowhere near as controversial as the Real ID fiasco of last year, people are still talking extensively about the new Call to Arms feature unveiled last week. Some are for the change, some are against the change, many think the change isn't going to do a bit of good in the end. Myself, I rarely queue for randoms, so it's not really likely to affect me directly either way -- but the blogosphere sure is hopping over this particular topic. Let's see what they've got to say, shall we?
Is there a story out there we ought to link or a blog we should be following? Just leave us a comment, and you may see it here tomorrow! Be sure to check out our WoW Resources Guide for more WoW-related sites.

Filed under: The Daily Quest

Blizzard issues Call to Arms clarification

After some good, some bad, and mostly loud reaction to the announcement that a Call to Arms feature was being added to the dungeon finder, Blizzard has issued a clarification on some issues that players were having with the system. Most importantly, DPS players felt that rewards from the new bags would only be able to be gained by tanks and healers. Thankfully, these bags will be bind on account. Also, Blizzard clarified the nature of the mount and pet drop percentages, as well as the types of flasks players could expect from what's now dubbed the Satchels of Exotic Mysteries.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Patch 4.1: Blizzard unveils dungeon finder Call to Arms

Blizzard just posted a huge announcement to the WoW community site, unveiling the dungeon finder's newest evolution -- Call to Arms. Aimed at reducing the time for dungeon queues, the new Call to Arms will give players the opportunity to queue for level-85 heroics as "needed" roles (tanks and healers) to shorten queues and be rewarded with goodie bags containing gold, rare gems, companion pets, and mounts like the Deathcharger's Reins, Swift White Hawkstrider, and more.

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Lichborne: Blizzard tackles death knight DPS utility in patch 4.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Judging by some of the most recent changes on the patch 4.1 PTR, I'd guess that someone at Blizzard has been listening to player complaints about the difficulties in bringing classes that do not have crowd control or other major non-damage related utility to dungeons.

Unfortunately, I wouldn't say they've responded in the way some of us were wishing they would, by giving death knights and warriors a simple humanoid crowd control spell. They have instead, added some tweaks that address the issue in some unexpected ways that may or may not solve the problem and in some cases feel a little bit unwieldy or unconventional.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Patch 4.1: Blizzard explains new valor point mechanics

The era of the daily heroic is over! After much speculation that the one run per day random dungeon valor point rewards would turn into seven runs per week randoms instead, it turns out we are all getting exactly what we hoped for.

Blizzard has finally commented on (and explained) the incoming valor point change, which will hopefully make gearing up and gaining valor points easier for players who don't have the time or want to play each and every night to run a random for their points. Lylirra explains:

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Dungeon finder, vote kicking hotfixes on the way

There's a new group of hotfixes on the way, and along with the hotfixes come a number of changes to the dungeon finder and vote kick tools. Community Manager Bashiok released a post detailing the changes, which will take realm restarts to implement. In other words, we'll likely see these changes go into effect after next Tuesday's maintenance -- unless, of course, Blizzard pulls the servers down before then. It's Blizzard's hope that these hotfixes will do a little to address poor behavior and unfair group kicks in dungeon finder groups.

We're making a number of hotfixes to address use of the Dungeon Finder and vote kick tools. The following hotfixes will require realm restarts to implement, which are likely to be next Tuesday's weekly maintenance.
  • Players who are outside a dungeon for more than a few minutes are now immediately able to be kicked.
  • If queuing as a group with a tank or healer, and the tank or healer drops group (or is kicked) soon after joining, those that queued with them will also be removed from the dungeon.

  • If three or more players group queue with each other it will require an additional vote for them to kick anyone they did not group queue with.

  • If a group queue of 4 kicks the one person that they did not group queue with they will each receive a more severe penalty to their ability to initiate future kicks.

  • If someone initiates a vote kick for someone they group queued with they will not incur a penalty to their ability to initiate future kicks.
With these changes we hope to reduce some undesirable behavior and annoyances, and encourage greater patience when using the Dungeon Finder. In addition, keep in mind that both initiating and agreeing to vote kick have always carried the same weight to your ability to kick in the future. It's always best to save your votes for when it really counts to ensure your ability to kick is available when it does.

We'll of course be watching how these changes work to improve these systems, and always appreciate your feedback.

As these and other hotfixes are implemented, they'll be added to the hotfix blog -

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: How was your first Cataclysm heroic group?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

My grinding had finally paid off: i329, and I was ready. With a trembling hand, I moused over "Random Cataclysm Heroic." I clicked. I had heard the rumors and the tales of woe. Guildies had warned us all of the terrors that lie in the heroic PUG.

I gulped and settled in for my long DPS queue. In the middle of killing some Cultists in Twilight Highlands, the dungeon popped. My heart rate doubled. I zoned in to Blackrock Caverns. I knew right away that we were in trouble. The DPS consisted of two mages and a hunter. We wiped on the first pull. Slowly, we made it to Rom'ogg. We cleared the first part of the room, and the tank pulled Rom'ogg. And the healer pulled the rest of the trash. We wiped. We came back to try it again ... and the other mage's Mirror Image pulled the rest of the trash. The tank dropped group. The next tank joined us, announced, "I hate coming in on a wipe," and then called me a Very, Very Bad Name (not to be confused with your Average Garden Variety Bad Name). I determined that I paid my $15 a month to have fun -- and split.

What was your first Cataclysm heroic experience? Was it a complete disaster, or did you miraculously pull an awesome group?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Do you actually enjoy PUGs?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

We have all heard a friend or a guild member share a PUG horror story. Most of us even have one or two of our own. Prior to Wrath of the Lich King, WoW was not very PUG-friendly. There was no random dungeon tool, trash was not the AoE-fest it was in Wrath, raids didn't have normal and heroic modes, there wasn't a lot of 10-player content -- the list goes on and on. However, unless you have had a truly sheltered existence in WoW, you have joined a PUG. Surprisingly enough, sometimes PUGs can even be fun and rewarding.

I have my fair share of PUG horror stories, but I have had a couple of great moments in PUGs. In BC, I joined a PUG Mag's Lair and ended up meeting members of a new raiding guild I got invited to after I saved the raid from wiping. I met numerous friends while tanking dungeons, both in the leveling process and heroics. I even started using the random dungeon tool again since 4.03 so I could get exalted with Gilneas prior to the Cata launch. With some of the AoE tanking nerfs and the tanking changes, I was actually enjoying tanking heroics wearing complete DPS gear. I even did a couple of successful PUG achievement runs to try and finish off a few remaining things, so I could focus entirely on new content. Most importantly, I was having fun while pugging.

Do you have good PUG stories? Do you actually like or even prefer to PUG? Or do you avoid PUGs like the plague?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Learning your role

One of the things that playing other MMOs can do for your WoW experience is get you to question how the game does things, and more importantly, how you do them. Recently I've been flirting with the latest superhero MMO, and it does tanking differently, to the point that I had to start unlearning my WoW habits to play it.

This has me going back over the past six years and realizing I've had to relearn tanking four times now. I had to learn how to do it originally in order to start working on Molten Core for my then-guild, and then I had to relearn it in The Burning Crusade (and actually, I had to relearn it twice there, thanks to the awful implementation of rage normalization for warriors and our astonishingly bad AoE threat that whole expansion). In Wrath, I didn't so much relearn it as suddenly find it much more efficiently designed and fun. Finally, Cataclysm has me tweaking how I tank, but I can't really argue I've relearned it from the Wrath era so much as simply refined it. Meanwhile, I've also had to relearn the DPS side of my class every expansion, in much the same way.

All of this learning has been done on the fly. To paraphrase a famous quote, World of Warcraft is vast and deep, and I'm swimming forever. Most certainly, there are sources to go to for players who want to learn a new role (one of them being this site), but there's only so much you can be taught before you have to hold your nose and jump in. This makes me wonder two things. First, is there more that the game could do to teach those roles, and two, would it be beneficial or harmful to immersive gameplay if it did?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Raid Rx: 7 pet peeves of healers

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. If you're looking for more healing advice, check out the Plus Heal community and the new healing, raiding and guild management podcast Matticast.

Healers, you get to take the week off from reading Raid Rx. Instead, I'm going to encourage you to send this link to DPS players or tanks you know.

As a healer, there are these little things that really annoy us. Now granted, they are little. They don't bother us healers all that much individually -- hey, we have to wear our big healer pants sometimes. Now the problem occurs when these little things all add up. That's when we have a problem, because then it makes our life that much more difficult. If our life becomes more difficult, dungeon runs become brutal.

It's in the best interests of everyone to just slow it down.

Curious about the title image? Consider it a subtle reminder to get to work cracking on those Therazane deals and representing.

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

Guild experience changes in patch 4.0.6

The latest round of patch notes from the PTR have some interesting new information in the form of guild improvements. While running 5-mans with guild groups has always given guild experience, these changes seem to be focused on improving the rewards from doing so.

We have redefined the definition of a Guild Group for 5-player dungeons.
  • If 3 out of 5 players in a group are members of the same guild, they will now be able to complete guild achievements and earn guild experience at 50% of the normal rate.
  • If 4 out of 5 players in a group are members of the same guild, they will now be able to complete guild achievements and earn guild experience at 100% of the normal rate.
  • If 5 out of 5 players in a group are members of the same guild, they will now be able to complete guild achievements and earn guild experience at 125% of the normal rate.
  • Also note that Heroic dungeons offer a 1.5x multiplier on all guild experience earned.

Right now, in order to count as a guild group, four out of the five party members of that team must be from your guild. With these changes, a guild will be able to take three members along and still qualify for guild experience, albeit at a slower rate. What does this mean? Mainly that smaller guilds have more of a chance to reach that experience cap that larger guilds have been hitting without fail every day. The experience gain is only 50% of the normal rate, but at least doing dungeons with your guild members in smaller numbers will actually mean something.

On the other end of the spectrum, if all five players in a dungeon run are from the same guild, that group now earns a staggering 125% guild experience. Why the change? It seems as though Blizzard is trying to encourage people to group with their guild members, by offering more incentives for doing so. This is all well and good, but if more guilds are running dungeon groups, this means less people using the dungeon finder and longer queue times for those who have to wait. We'll have to wait and see what the results from these changes look like once the patch hits live.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Blizzard working on ways to improve dungeon finder

The current dungeon finder is of course a vast improvement over the old LFG channel, but it can always be made better. In response to a forum thread about the dungeon finder's ever becoming performance-based, Zarhym weighed in with some interesting news.

Zarhym - Dungeon queue should be performance-based
We would love to implement better ways for Dungeon Finder to detect if players know what they're doing in dungeons beyond just the gear they've accumulated. We have some long-term design goals in mind for this we're not quite prepared to share this early on though. ;)

What was more interesting was the idea that Blizzard wants to improve the educational aspect of the service, however. With the current vote kick system, often players who are forced out of a group may have no idea why they failed, especially when they are new to the game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, 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

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