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Posts with tag group

Sphere of Jerkitude: That's it, I'm outta here

Breakfast Topic That's it, I'm outta here
One of our readers, Bowzer, wrote in the other night about dropping a group instantly on seeing a homophobic slur in party chat. As he observed, running across questionable-to-cruel comments in the Dungeon Finder is certainly nothing new, but he asked, "Am I wrong for being sick of the 'It's the internet, have a tough skin and get over it argument?' Is it so wrong to be a decent person?"

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't had similar thoughts. Thankfully, running into a genuine jerk is uncommon, but each one can ruin your day. I think what bothers me most is the sure knowledge that the offending player is not only entirely unrepentant, but may also be getting a kick out of making the group uncomfortable.

Worse still, there's no surefire way to deal with it. Try to address a nasty or bigoted comment in party chat? You're just giving them the opportunity to troll you further. Kick them? You may not have the votes. (If it's a guild group, you definitely won't.) Stay silent? Drop group? Submit a ticket? Or maybe just hope that the Loot God smites the offender at some point in the near future?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Real ID grouping feature out of beta, remains free

The Real ID party grouping feature, which allows players across realms to group up and run dungeons through the Dungeon Finder with same-faction Real ID friends, is officially out of beta and remains a free service.

When the service was first announced, a premium price was going to be attached to the service, but since launching, Real ID grouping is not part of the premium package -- it's free for everyone. Blizzard reserved the right to add features to the premium suite of WoW services, but this one is here to stay for free.

I was skeptical about the costs associated with the service in the beginning, but after trying out the service with fellow WoW Insider editors, I was hooked. Paying for the service, however, was not something I would have done. Players have a certain expectation about what they get with their monthly subscriptions, and in a world where free-to-play MMOs and games charge small amounts all over the place for items and boosts, a subscription game in the vein of World of Warcraft has a harder time justifying the extra costs because of the nature of the monthly subscription beast. It is nice to see that Blizzard is adding this feature for all players, no cost attached. Hit the jump for the full announcement and FAQ.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

WoW Rookie: Top 5 tricks for grouping in Vashj'ir

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 new areas, new styles, and new zones. This week, it's also about playing with the people you love.

Have I ever mentioned that I'm incredibly fortunate to play WoW with my wife? It's a subtle, wonderful thing. And because I worship this wonderful creature, all of my journey to level 85 on my paladin is being spent in a group with her. Our first foray into Cataclysm's new content was the underwater realm of Vashj'ir. It seemed like a romantic way to spend time: dodging sharks, making appropriate crab jokes, and exploring new content.

The thing you need to know is that Vashj'ir is a three-dimensional zone. You don't only run around on the ground; you can also swim up and down. That's not a terribly complicated issue for instances like the Oculus, but those three dimensions turn into pains in the neck when you're trying to do a hundred quests as a pair. If you're leveling in a group with more than one person, it gets even more confusing. It's easy to lose track of where groupmates are hiding out and where quest mobs are swimming. And many areas of Vashj'ir have an "upper" and a "lower" level. If you're doing all this as a group, you'll need coordination.

Here are our top 5 tricks for working as a group in Vashj'ir.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

AddOn Spotlight: Elitist Group

AddOn Spotlight focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience - the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond - your AddOns folder will never be the same! This week, we throw together a PUG for Elitist Group.

Last week on AddOn Spotlight, we profiled an addon that works as an alternative to a very popular entry into a very popular category of addon. Elitist Group is part of a category of addon that people either love or hate. There really hasn't been too much wiggle room for opinions on the matter. This week, we look at the Dos and Don'ts of Elitist Group and show the addon's strengths. In addition, I got to talk to the creator, Shadowed, and get his insight on some topics ranging from the prevalence of Gearscore, gear addons in general and some tips and tricks!

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Tank opportunities in the late endgame

I've been tangling with the tough issue of tanking again lately -- I have finally leveled up my paladin to 80, and ideally, the plan is to jump in as a dual specced tank and healer when patch 3.3 hits. All LFG all the time, eventually headed to higher level raiding. But Honor's Code has a good post up this weekend about the trouble that many tanks are facing lately -- they say that while there's lots of tanking to be had in the early endgame (every 5-man and heroic group out there needs a tank), the available positions narrow down as you get farther up. By the time you're reaching Icecrown (which I would like to do someday), there are so relatively few guilds raiding there and so few serious tanking spots within those guilds that you either have to be a really great tank, know someone who's in charge, or be ready to switch off to another spec or alt when necessary.

In essence, they're saying there's a glass ceiling for tanks. Once you reach a certain point, it's hard to find even the opportunity to be a solid tank.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Last chance to enter to win a Creative headset of your own

This is finally it -- your last chance as a single commenter to pick yourself up a Creative World of Warcraft wireless gaming headset. We've been giving one of these away every single week for a few months now, and today we've finally run out of the single headsets, so here's your last chance to leave a comment on this post and win one on your own.

As usual, the contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), and everyone who enters must be 13 or older. To enter, leave a comment on this post before Wednesday, November 18th, at midnight eastern, and please be sure to use a real email that you check often to enter, so we can contact the winners when we choose them. One winner will be chosen. You may enter only once, and each winner will get a Creative World of Warcraft Wireless Gaming Headset, with a retail value of $150. Please note: winners will not receive the headset until it is released later this year. Click here to read the official contest rules.

Good luck -- oh, and are you wondering why we said "single headset"? Because we will have yet another contest next week, but it'll be more of a "group quest" kind of thing, where you and some friends will have a chance to win a raid full of headsets for yourselves. Stay tuned for more info in one week's time.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Contests, Hardware

Defeating the anxiety of running your first instance

One of my favorite WoW blogs, HoTs and DoTs, has a great post up about Dungeon Groups 101 -- the very basics of running instances. You may think that there's nothing more basic to the game than getting in an instance with four people and taking down a few bosses and trash, but you'd be surprised. Even in a social game like this, one of the first hurdles newbies have to deal with is joining a group to play together. They worry that they'll do things wrong and that other people will make fun of what they're wearing or playing, and that worry keeps them from enjoying my absolute favorite part of the game.

Cassandri's writeup is an excellent read for anyone who feels that way (and feel free to pass on this post to any friends or relatives you know who've been too leery to join an instance yet). She does do some basic knowledge stuff in there, just hints on the classes and what they can all do -- and our WoW Rookie posts will help out with that stuff too -- but more importantly, she says what lots of new players need to hear: that messing up in an instance isn't that big a deal, and that playing together with others (which is the reason why we're all playing an MMO rather than a single player game in the first place) is more than worth getting past any anxiety around joining a group. I've read a lot of comments like the one Cassandri quotes in her post, too, and I'm here to tell you: if you haven't run an instance yet, it's time to stop worrying about what it'll be like and give it a try.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Instances, Bosses

Breakfast Topic: How do you feel about the new LFG system?

The LFG system has been completely revamped. Details were released the other day. It's supposed to be coming some time in patch 3.3. You won't have to worry about not finding a tank or a healer as the LFG interface is supposed to draw from a pool of various servers. The idea of pulling players from other servers seems like a double edged sword. Sure you might be able to run into more people and more opportunities, but what happens if you run across a ninja or an unsavory player? I suppose it's reassuring to know that they're on a different server than you are.

But here's some other changes:
  • Players can join as individuals, as a full group, or a partial group to look for additional party members.
  • Groups using this tool will be able to teleport directly to the selected instance. Upon leaving the instance, players will be returned to their original location. If any party member needs to temporarily leave the instance for reagents or repairs, they will have the option to teleport back to the instance.
Personally I like the idea of not having to fly all the way down to the Utgarde or Nexus instances. That's going to cut down on travel time for sure. Hopefully the players we'll be partying with will already be fully repaired and have enough reagents to last the run. It's nice to know that extra convenience has been added for the days where we forget. Are you looking forward to these new changes?



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

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Enter to win five Creative WoW headsets for your 5-man group


So we've been doing these Creative contests to give away their shiny new World of Warcraft-branded wireless gaming headsets for a few months now. But if you haven't won one yet, worry not: today, we're giving away five headsets to one lucky instance-running group out there, so you can all talk to each other while you're wiping in Heroic Old Kingdom.

To enter, you've got to send us a .JPG-formatted picture (no bigger than 800px please) of your favorite five-man group -- you and four friends -- to contests@wow.com by 5pm October 29, 2009 (that's one week from today!). Make sure you put "Creative 5-man contest" in the email subject so we can recognize what it's for, and while you can take it wherever and however you want to in-game (or even in real-life!), just make sure there are five people in there. Because one lucky random entry will win five Creative World of Warcraft wireless gaming headsets, one for each member of the group, at a value of $150 each, or $750 total. That's a lot of headsets! You must also be 18 or older, and live in the United States or Canada excluding Quebec -- full official rules can be found right here.

Please note: in addition to emailing us the .jpg picture, you will also need to copy and paste the form below (filled out) into your email -- it was put together by our legal department and simply says that you understand and will adhere to the rules of the contest. You need to include the names and e-mail addresses of all five players in your group so that we can contact you all about prizes if you win.

Good luck to everyone who enters -- we can't wait to see what your five-man groups look like! And stay tuned, because we've got an even more epic contest planned out soon.

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Filed under: Items, Odds and ends, Instances, Contests

WoW.com running an instance live on Vocalo.org tomorrow at 4pm central

I've been working in coordination with a group called Vocalo.org here in Chicago for the past few weeks -- they're a community-oriented division of the public radio station WBEZ (the same station that produces NPR shows like "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" and "This American Life"), and I've been doing some interviews with their in-studio host. A few weeks ago, we talked to a psychologist friend of mine about video game violence and addiction, last week we chatted with da_bears, a professional gamer here in Chicago (who recently got into World of Warcraft), and this week, we're doing something extra special: I'll be running an instance together with a five-man group live on the air. It'll start up at 4pm central both live on Vocalo.org (and live on the air in Chicago at 89.5FM). As I run through the instance live on the air (I haven't decided which one yet, though I'm thinking Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle or maybe Heroic Old Kingdom), we'll be talking about WoW and other MMOs, why these games are so fascinating, and what it's like to run with a group of five different people, all playing different roles with different abilities.

It should be interesting to say the least -- while the segment will likely be directed at people not as familiar with World of Warcraft as you guys, I'll be sure to keep it interesting even for veteran WoW players (and if we wipe, you can at least laugh at me for being a noob Hunter). I believe we'll also be taking phone calls in the middle of all of this, so if you want, you can probably call up and talk some WoW with me as well.

This all begins tomorrow, Wednesday afternoon at 4pm central time, both online at Vocalo.org and live on the air in Chicago, so if you're available to tune in and give us a listen, please do. I have no idea what will happen (has anyone ever tried to run an instance live on the radio before?), but it should be a lot of fun.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding

Multiboxing.tv lets you watch multiboxing as it happens

Our old friend Tim Sullivan, who worked at Wowhead way back in the day, just sent along a note that he's working on a brand new web video series all about something in World of Warcraft that's been gaining a lot of ground lately: multiboxing. Thanks to recruit-a-friend and all of the bonuses that come along with sponsoring a second account, quite a few people have shown an interest in running more than one character in the game, and Tim's series, called Multiboxing.tv, shows live feeds from his gameplay (all five screens of it, four Hunters and one Priest) while people can chat and learn live about multiboxing and how it all works. He's also leveling the group up -- they're currently around level 40, and he says he's headed to 80 eventually.

You can check out his front page to see when he'll be streaming next (and someone told us he was streaming for something like fourteen hours the other day -- take care of yourself, Tim!), and if you're interested in how you might get started multiboxing, he and his chat channel are probably more than happy to help you figure out how to do it. He did say he'd be streaming every night this weekend, so if you're around then, you should be able to catch him. Personally (as you probably already know), I'm a big fan of the standard one character gameplay -- I have enough trouble figuring out one toon, much less five. But Turpster, as you've probably heard on our podcast, has dived into this kind of stuff headfirst and loves it, so if you're interested in seeing how it works, tune in to Tim's channel and find out.

Update: Apparently while this was presented to us (and appears to be) just a guy streaming his multiboxing, Tim may have some less generous motives -- he's apparently trying to sell multiboxing software, and you can see the comments below for some other shady moves that have been made. Watch at your own risk, and keep in mind that while the stream appeared legit to us, it may be an advertisement for software you certainly don't need to multibox.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Breakfast Topic: Most frustrating moment

The vast majority of the time, WoW is just pure fun to play, and even nights spent wiping on a boss can be an oddly happy experience if you're running with a cool group of people and you feel like you're making progress. But we've all had that moment in a raid or a group where you realize that things have unstoppably taken a turn for the worse, and that there's not much (if anything) you can do about it.

I've actually had two of these in recent memory: being within one perfect Kel'Thuzad kill of server-first Immortal and then losing a single player to the second Frost Blast, and then having to call a Sarth 3D kill because people seemed to find an array of new and interesting ways to get themselves killed. The silence in vent on both occasions was pretty awful, and that these two nights occurred back to back probably didn't help anyone's frame of mind. I've had a Hunter buddy previously describe her worst moment as triggering the old Karazhan pet bug -- wherein you could aggro almost everything in the instance due to bizarre pet pathing mechanics -- when she was a trial member with a new guild. A Warlock friend still cringes when he thinks about the night he accidentally looted the Champion gloves off Curator, and then having to keep the group there for two hours while we waited on a ticket (back before any of us knew how loot transfers worked). Sometimes you realize the night's just going to stay bad, and that it's time to get out of Dodge. What was your worst experience in this vein?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Features

The Silent Bob approach to group management

The world of groups: pugs, raids, arenas, guilds, confederations, servers; all of it means one thing: you have to know how to get along with each other. A big part of getting along with one another in a successful group is knowing how and when to get information across.

This communication is often times hard to do, even for the most seasoned communicator. How do you tell someone that their tanking is so awful you'd rather let the hunter's pet be the main tank? What do you say to a healer to get them to understand that healing means more than casting their biggest heal all the time? And what do you do with the DPS who always decides to pull for the group?

Recently I've taken up a new way to deal with all these things. I call it the Silent Bob approach to group management.

The approach is outlined by three simple steps.

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Filed under: Guilds, Instances, Humor, Raiding

WoW Rookie: Mind your manners

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Building a good reputation for your characters is as easy as doing what mama always advised: mind your manners. The basics always apply: "please," "thank you," "Would you like to join a group for X?" Sometimes, though, what's expected in any given in-game situation may not be readily apparent.

WoW Rookie to the rescue! Make a good impression by getting savvy to the game's common social conventions. We've rounded up our best etiquette posts to help point you in the right direction.

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, WoW Social Conventions, Features, WoW Rookie

Breakfast topic: Poaching

I'm working on growing our little guild. I've met with some success. I don't spam trade chat to advertise our guild bank, vent, website or or smokin' hot tabard (all of which we have). I like to get to know people a bit before I bring them into the fold. The best way that I know how to do that is to run instances with them.

Since we're small, I PUG a lot, so I'm introduced to many players. I'm looking for folks that are both good at what they do and would be a good fit for what we've established. I've found that many times people pug because even though they're in a guild they can't seem to get the assistance that they need. I find that some are actively looking for a change and others just generally enjoy the experience grouping with my comrades.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Guilds, Breakfast Topics

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