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Posts with tag grouping

A proposal for scenarios in Mists of Pandaria

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We have seen and heard a ton of information on questing, dungeons, and even Pet Battles in the Mists of Pandaria beta, but one thing that has been absent thus far is also one of the things I'm most excited about -- scenarios. From what information we received at BlizzCon, we know that Blizzard intends for scenarios to be phased and quest-like in their presentation. They could be used to move stories forward, with players interacting with non-player heroes directly and even fighting alongside them in important battles.

An idea for this new game mode that I have been tossing back and forth with a few friends is creating a series of how-to scenarios that introduces the player to the aspects of group play. Meloree at Sacred Duty has suggested this as a prerequisite to entering the Dungeon Finder, but I think even having the option would improve grouping experiences dramatically. Tanks could enter dungeons and raids with a better grasp on basics like threat, positioning, and proactive cooldown usage. Healers could learn mana management, throughput efficiency, and this fabled triage model that we keep hearing so much about. Damage dealers could become familiar with high-movement fights, interrupting, and burn phase cooldown maximization.

Clearly, this seems to be well within Blizzard's capabilities to produce. We already see NPCs that tank, heal, and DPS in the game in various quests. In my opinion, there are only a couple of things that may stand in the way:
  1. Is this something the designers can do easily and quickly, or would a significant amount of resources need to be allotted to the development of this idea?
  2. Would players react positively to such tools being made available to them? Would they feel pressured or upset if they failed to complete the scenarios in their chosen role?
What do you think? Is this something you would use? Would this help the dungeon running and raiding experiences, or is the potential for disaster too great here?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

5 ways to keep your tank happy in 5-man heroics

I recently wrote a similar post about how to keep your healers happy -- now I don't want it to sound like I'm hating on you tanks. See how this is a nice, predictable series? Can you guess what's coming next? I just need to think of another three ways to keep your DPSers happy in 5-man heroics -- but don't worry, I'll run some more heroics and I'll get there.

My first and still allegedly main character is a paladin tank, and I've run a few dungeons in my time. There are some simple things everyone can do to make sure their tank is a happy meaty meat shield rather than a disgruntled defender.

5. Watch your aggro. Remember this from the "How to keep your healer happy" post? Yeah, much as that helps your healer, it also helps your tank. Playing as a paladin, I have one of the easiest AoE tanking rotations out there -- but still, if a DPSer front-loads all their damage into something that isn't my primary target before I've had one GCD to hit the darn thing, even with the new aggro buff, it may well be after you. As a paladin, I can pre-bubble you with Hand of Salvation to decrease the likelihood of this happening or even a Hand of Protection on a caster (or on a melee player to troll them). I also have an arsenal of taunts. However, other tanking classes don't have it so easy -- just give the tank a moment to gain aggro, then attack the thing that they're attacking.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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

Guest Post: How to succeed in dungeons without really trying

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

Make no mistake: Early Cataclysm dungeons are not the faceroll that we experienced at the end of Wrath. Not only have everyone's gear levels dropped dramatically relative to the content, but Blizzard has returned to a more BC-style design philosophy wherein crowd control really matters and one live mob can make the difference between an easy pull and a very difficult one.

Of course, the ideal solution is to read up on the dungeons beforehand and make sure you're prepared for them, but we don't live in an ideal world. Sometimes, you'll wind up in a random dungeon that you weren't expecting, and you haven't had time to research. Additionally, dungeon guides don't always give tips for trash, and trash pulls now require some coordination. Luckily, instance design does not expect you to have an encyclopedia in your head. An alert dungeoneer can succeed on the fly by following a few simple tips.

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Guest Posts

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

Breakfast Topic: Tank anxiety

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

I leveled my main as a retribution paladin until about level 65, when I picked up two new toys running randoms -- a shield with high defense and block stats, and a one-handed sword with good stats that glowed purple and matched the shield. Yes, I became a tank because I wanted to accessorize. I'm a girl; that's how I roll.

I dual-specced protection, invested in tank gear and said to myself, "How hard is it?" I already had leveled my death knight through every heroic instance repeatedly, so I was confident that I knew the layout and the fights. My husband and I queued for a random with me as a tank and wound up in Hellfire Ramparts. And then it all went bad. I kept getting confused about who to pull first and which direction to go, and the group promptly lost confidence in me. They started playing the "kill them all quick" game, in which they used their hardest-hitting AoE spells to take the mobs out quickly and try to survive through it. Never mind that this tactic usually makes holding hate really difficult! We wiped, the healer left, the warlock and the hunter told me I was the worst tank ever, and I literally cried.

I've ran quite a few instances since then, some successful, some not. Now that I am a new level 80, I am on that perpetual quest to get lots of badges and upgrade my gear -- but I'm still suffering from tanking anxiety.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

WoW Rookie: Grouping 101

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players toward the basics of a good start. See all our collected tips, tricks and how-to's in the WoW Rookie Guide.

Everyone's nervous the first time. It's a principle that's so, so true for so many endeavors -- and your first WoW instance is no exception. It's easy to feel bashful about dipping a toe into the dungeon pool, but there are so many good reasons to give it a try. Instances are fun. They're challenging, calling for new and different ways to play your character. They serve up eye-popping monsters and intricate lore. They offer great XP and loot. They're great ways to meet other players.

The thing is, getting started can seem like an impossible hurdle. How will you know what to do? What if your group wipes? What if you screw up? What if your groupmates kick you out of the group? Relax. WoW Rookie's here to nudge you past those first, intimidating moments. Before you know it, that first instance becomes another, and another -- and suddenly, you're popping off an instance or two every evening, in between questing and leveling your craft, and you're loving every moment of it! Let's queue up and get started.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

The Classifieds: Buttering up the Panera Bread WoW Man

The Classifieds brings you weekly updates on guild recruiting, rankings, splits and merges, progression and more. Have guild news or a Random Act of Uberness to share? E-mail TheClassifieds@wow.com.

Remember back during the holidays, when we had a nice cozy Breakfast Topic chat about the fellow who's been spotted schlepping his entire iMac to the local Panera Bread to play WoW? Sharp-eyed reader Paul discovered a followup article at Gizmodo, featuring five questions with the Panera Bread WoW Man. It's no headline news, but it's an interesting peek into how a fellow WoW player gets his fix.

Let's open up The Classifieds ...

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Filed under: Guilds, The Classifieds

The Classifieds: WoW player/MMA fighter on the mend


The Classifieds brings you weekly updates on guild recruiting, rankings, splits and merges, progression and more. Have guild news or a Random Act of Uberness to share? E-mail The Classifieds.

In news from the WoW community, guildmates of MMA grappler Haydn Clasby, aka Croc of <Defiant Hearts>, US Bloodscalp-H, are rallying in support after he suffered a broken neck in what was called a freak accident during a match in New Zealand last month. Friends and fans are publicizing a Recovery Fund to help Croc out with the medical costs of the devastating accident.

Our friend Jens "Little Evil" Pulver, also an MMA fighter and inveterate WoW player (and seen in yesterday's 15 Minutes of Fame), offered these words of support for Croc: "My heart and thoughts go out to you, brother. Make sure you keep your spirits up and tackle this with the same grit and guts you used to get in there in the first place. Take the time to heal and get well soon. Chin down, hands up and always come out fighting; don't let this stop you. I wish you all the best."

Best wishes, Croc, for your continued recovery!

Let's open up The Classifieds ...

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Filed under: The Classifieds

The Classifieds: News briefs on guilds and players

The Classifieds brings you weekly updates on guild recruiting, rankings, splits and merges, progression and more. Have guild news or a Random Act of Uberness to share? E-mail The Classifieds.

Welcome to our first installment of The Classifieds, an evolution of our former Guildwatch feature. As more and more players move into endgame raiding, we thought it fitting that our guild news should evolve, too. The Classifieds gives you more of the news you can use: who's progressing, who's marking milestones, who's recruiting. But it's not only about guilds. Because we're all down there in the trenches of Dungeon Finder groups at every opportunity, The Classifieds lets you send a shout-out to that player who made your last PUG a thing of real beauty (whether through pure technical finesse or a winning attitude). And if you're curious about how WoW intersects with the world at large, we'll be passing along links to academic research studies seeking participants, as well.

Editor's Note: One thing you might notice missing in Guildwatch's new incarnation is the "Drama" section. In the interest of fostering community growth and positive interaction, we're checking the drama and negativity at the door.

Let's open the Classifieds!

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Achievements

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

WoW, Casually: Patch 3.3 and we

Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Patch 3.3 is looking to be casualeriffic, which of course means it will be raideriffic and everybody-else-eriffic, too. But with the new features available to us, we should be able to pack more actual playing into our limited play-sessions and even attempt things we didn't used to have time for. It will probably hit any Tuesday now, though if we don't have it before December 22nd, don't expect it again before January 5th. They don't like dropping patches just before holidays.

Here are some of my favorite casual-friendly features coming to our next big patch:

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, WoW, Casually

How many wipes does it take to end a raid?

This is probably a good question to revisit since we're heading into a patch where lots and lots of us will be running pickup raids and groups. Souldreamer on WoW Ladies LJ asks: "just when do you give up on a raid?" It's a good question, and unfortunately, the answer probably depends on the raid itself. If, going in, you're not sure just how much DPS the raid can do, and your healer says he's actually specced prot, and you were planning on going to bed anyway, one wipe is probably enough to call it. On the other hand, if you've dropped a few bosses and have an issue with the tank losing aggro for a second on a boss, you'll probably go back for another few wipes just to see.

Do any of you have an actual policy? I tend to not get involved in PuGs at all if I think there's a chance they won't make it -- there are too many fish in the sea, and too many other things for me to work on rather than beating my head up against a boss. But maybe it would be good to set up a rule that most of us can agree on, something like, "three wipes and you're out." That might save a lot of time and frustration in the new Dungeon system.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding

Choose my Adventure: Insert funny title about being level 25 here


WoW.com readers, it's up to you to decide the fate of Turpen the Gnome Warlock with Choose My Adventure. Help test the site's new features by participating in this event, casting your vote toward the many aspects of Turpen and following his exploits on Alex Ziebart's WoW.com profile!

Well, you guys wanted me to run Deadmines. As you can see, I ran Deadmines. Many thanks go to Urse (Healer), Child (Tank), and Sneafoo (Noob Rogue of Doom) for 4-manning the thing with me. Urse was pretty overleveled for the place so healing was hilariously easy, but Sneafoo made up for it by starting the run at level 12 and aggroing Gruul from the pirate ship.

I went further than that, too. I didn't stop at Deadmines, I did Wailing Caverns, Blackfathom Deeps and Shadowfang Keep as well. I was kicking around the idea as soon as someone suggested Deadmines, but I didn't think I would manage to land a group for either of them. When I went out to the Barrens to get my Succubus (Angva) at level 20, that sealed the deal for me. I picked up the quest The Orb of Soran'ruk, and despite the fact that its quest rewards sucked, it gave me more reason to try and get the groups together. I put out a call to all of the various resources I knew, LFG and community chat channels (your server probably has a few good ones) and all of that, and managed to score a few groups.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Leveling

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

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