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Posts with tag group-finder

Patch 6.0.2 preview highlights upcoming UI changes

Those bags in that header image may look like a disorganized wreck now, but they're about to get cleared out a little sooner than expected. Blizzard released a preview of upcoming UI changes for patch 6.0.2 yesterday -- that's patch 6.0.2, the pre-patch for Warlords of Draenor, not the expansion itself. Along with all the pre-expansion content quests, the new character models, and the preview of Upper Blackrock Spire, we also get all those lovely space-saving improvements ahead of time. That's on top of a host of other really cool UI improvements, including a new and improved Group Finder that includes the Premade Groups function.

In addition, the new map and quest log will make an appearance, the new Void Storage tab will be unlocked, you'll be able to check out your handy new reagent tab in your bank, and you'll be able to sort your bags more easily than ever before. I have to admit, while I'm excited about being able to sort my mounts and pick a few favorites, I'm far more excited to see rows and rows and rows of empty bag slots. For more of what to expect in patch 6.0.2 and how this will change the way you play, check out Blizzard's full preview on the official site.


Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

LFR, Warlords of Draenor, and you

I've been thinking about the changes coming to LFR ever since yesterday's big post about raiding in Warlords. One of the things that seems really clear about the changes is that LFR is now seen as part of a progression path for raiding - at least some players are expected to go from LFR to normal raiding in the expansion. With the removal of shared set bonuses and even tier gear from LFR being entirely gone, LFR feels to a degree like it's being downshifted in difficulty and placed in a different position for player use than how it is currently employed. Right now, for many players, LFR is their raiding. They don't run flex or normal, much less heroic. And with dungeons basically only for valor farming, LFR has become an important part of people's endgame.

The idea of making LFR a stepping stone to normal raiding via the incoming group finder is interesting to me. Since you won't be able to get tier gear, or scaled down versions of the same loot as in normal/heroic/mythic, LFR feels like it will simultaneously have less and more importance. The effort to elevate dungeons to a much more prominent role in endgame (especially challenge modes, which will actually reward gear) and make it so players have an incentive to try and make the jump from LFR to normal/heroic raids. It's an interesting shift in priorities, but what will it mean for players who currently use LFR as their endgame?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Raid design evolution and Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard has posted parts one and two of a series of Dev Watercoolers, discussing raid design over the course of World of Warcraft. Now part three is live, highlighting and explaining where raiding is going in Warlords of Draenor. The post covers new systems like the Group Finder (basically integrating the OQueue style functionality), buffs to LFR, explains the new Mythic difficulty and flexible group system for normal/heroic, and discusses how raid lockouts will work in Warlords, with each raiding difficulty (Raid Finder, Normal, Heroic and Mythic) having its own lockout, and how valor points will be scaled back to prevent players feeling like they have to clear each raid difficulty each week.

If you raid, you should probably check it out. The full text is reproduced behind the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Should Blizzard revamp in-game voice chat to go with the group finder?

Defective of Ysera-US emailed me recently with an interesting question -- did I think Blizzard should revamp the in-game voice chat to accompany their new Group Finder, coming in Warlords of Draenor? Yes, believe it or not there is an in-game voice chat, added in patch 2.2 to the resounding derision of the playerbase. Back in 2011 WoW Insider surveyed players, and found that only 4% of players use it.

And having been in that 4% myself, they should stop. In a world where so many options exist, the WoW in-game voice chat really is one of the worst, for WoW at least. And Blizzard know, quite apart from jokingly derisive tweets from devs, that it's bad. They even said, again in 2011, that the next time they revisited it they wanted it to be a big change, similar to how LFG revolutionized dungeons.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Flex, Group Finder and Raid Finder's roles

Blizzard Community Manager Lore has been posting about the future roles of Flex, the new Group Finder, and Raid Finder in Warlords of Draenor. You can, as usual, see Lore's full post after the break, but what he's talking about is how, thanks to the success of Flex as a raid system and the resultant awkward position of LFR, a reshuffle needs to happen.

LFR has been wearing too many hats. It's been end-game progression for some, a gear grind for others, and a way to see the sights of a raid for even more, as well as everything in between. That's a hard act for one difficulty, that is simultaneously too hard and too easy.

But thanks to the runaway success of Flex, due in no small part to group-finding systems like OpenRaid or oQueue, the devs think they can make some changes to the tuning of LFR. The idea, it seems, is that the new Group Finder will make it just as easy to find a Flex group as it currently is to find an LFR one. Then, LFR tuning can be altered, allowing Blizz to "better provide for both the "busy raider" and "sightseer" styles of gameplay as a result."

So it seems likely that, if this remains the case (we're not even in beta after all) LFR will become the tourist difficulty. Flex via the Group Finder, and with friends, will become the new way to get meaningful progression encounters. And that makes sense, given how it'll be renamed to "Normal" come WoD. Hit the break for Lore's full post.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Clarifications on Cross-Realm raiding and Warlords' Group Finder

Community Manager Lore has released some additional clarifications on the differences between the cross-realm functionality being added to the Raid Browser in patch 5.4.2, and the new Group Finder being introduced with the new expansion in patch 6.0. These two features are entirely different things -- the Group Finder is an all new feature being built from scratch. This new Group Finder will allow players to find and create groups for any content at any level.

The cross-realm functionality in 5.4.2, however, is just that -- cross-realm functionality. Currently, the Raid Browser only allows players to see other players from their own realm. In patch 5.4.2, players will be able to see cross-realm players as well -- something that is similar to what the popular addon oQueue already accomplishes via the BattleTag system. Follow after the break for the full post from Lore.

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Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

LFG vs LFM for Blizzard's Group Finder tool

We've been talking a lot here on WoW Insider about the new group-finder tool Blizzard will be putting together to rival the tremendously popular oQueue (yes that is the real link) come 6.0. Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street mentioned another tidbit on Twitter which tied in with what our commenters here at WoW Insider have been bringing up.

One reason why I love reading the comments is that they often point out ideas and insights that I would otherwise have missed. And exactly that has happened here. As the tweet Greg responded to said, the new system needs to be an LFM system not an LFG system. And, as several commenters have added, here's why.

So what's the difference between LFG and LFM?

Greg hits it in his response to the tweet. On a basic level, LFG is an individual looking for a group, and LFM is a group looking for more individuals. Think back, if you will, to the days of Tol Barad. Once your faction had won the battle on the island, your trade chat would suddenly fill up with "spriest LFG" along with their item level, the relevant achievement for the boss at the time, if they had it, and the request to either PST or /w, depending on what side of the Atlantic you were playing on. It always amused me how, although Trade was filled with LFG, barely anyone started their own group to LFM. As a tank, at the time, I often did exactly that, and believe it or not, I would be ready to go in no time.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Patch 5.4.2: This is just the beginning for Blizzard's Raid Finder

We posted earlier about Blizzard's first steps towards building their own answer to oQueue, leveling various criticisms at what they had done so far for patch 5.4.2. Basically, you can head back and read the previous post, but the changes so far have all been to the existing Raid Finder tool. The one that nobody knows exists. And the one that nobody can find. Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street was quick to add, though, that this is only the beginning for Blizzard's group finder.

So we can allow ourselves to hope for better with 6.0. What would you like to see? Personally, I think oQueue, for all its bugs and quirks, does a pretty great job of finding cross-realm groups for people. I'd like to see something that mirrors oQueue, but with fewer issues like spam, memory use, and more. Of course, with Blizzard designing this themselves, it's very likely to be the case that it doesn't suffer any of these ills. I'd love to see it have all the ilvl restrictions, completion restrictions and other group restrictions applicable, and to have the option to appear offline, or hide.

One big thing, too, is visibility. It needs to either be integrated into the LFG panel, or have its own micro-menu entry. The single thing that such a system needs, as I mentioned in the earlier article, is people. It needs to be right in players' faces, more convenient than the competition. I believe Blizzard can do it, but to replace such a popular addon that's done so much good to the game, they'll have to do it well.

Filed under: Raiding

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