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Posts with tag raid-finder

Warlords of Draenor: Proving Grounds will be required for Heroic Dungeon random queues

Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas, the Lead Encounter Designer for World of Warcraft, has already told us that proving grounds will be updated for Warlords of Draenor. In a move that helps explain why, he dropped some late night news yesterday in the form of dungeon progression information.

In short, if you want to join the dungeon finder queue for level 100 heroic dungeons, you will need to get a silver medal in the proving grounds for the role you want to queue for. That means if you want to heal, your DPS silver medal isn't good enough. You'll need to go back and get it for healing as well. This applies only to the random queue. If you're going straight in with friends, no medal is required. Normal dungeons will not require any proving grounds experience at all, and normal dungeon and scenario gear should be enough to let you queue for the raid finder.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Oops, I queued as tank again

I've tanked a few LFR's lately. The thing is, I didn't mean to.

I don't mean I pulled aggro. I mean that when I queued, I forgot that I had tank selected alongside DPS. I do this in five man heroics I'm running for justice points as well. When I find myself selected to tank the dungeon (often only noticing after I get in and no one else is the tank) I usually shrug and put on my tank set and do it. It's not the group's fault I keep forgetting to uncheck that box, after all. And there's a bit of an up side. The other day my wife and I were talking in game and I said "I think I'm going to ride my blue dragonhawk" which surprised her, because I am not a mount collector. "Wait, you have a blue dragonhawk?" Well, yes I do, and I can thank forgetting to uncheck that tanking box for it.

I'm under the impression that I'm fairly rare in this regard. I don't know how true that is, because I've really only talked to a few people about it, and some of them don't play hybrids, so there is no other box for them to check. I'm sure all the warlocks I know would select tank if they could, for instance. But at least some folks seem to do this from time to time.

Being an opinionated cuss, I have some thoughts on this whole phenomenon I'd like to share.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Tanks, healers, and the most dangerous LFR bosses

Recently I wrote a small article wondering whether the fabled Monday night Raid Finder festival of ugly death was just an urban legend. Opinions in the comment section were mixed, so I wanted to do a little ingame research to figure out whether the conventional wisdom was right and Mondays are an unusually deadly day for LFR runs.

While I'm nowhere close to being done with that little project, my first venture into the numbers in Siege of Orgrimmar and the Raid Finder did turn up some interesting results with my characters. The deadliest Raid Finder boss of tier 16 was not who I thought it was, the safest Raid Finder boss was really not who I thought it was, and there are some eye-raising numbers on the fights where a well-geared tank or healer was disproportionately likely to swing the odds in the raid's favor.

Also, the Gates of Retribution wing sucks. But you knew that already.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

The dangers of Monday night LFR

After my guild finished raid on Monday, we voted to do the fourth wing of Siege of Orgrimmar in flex for another shot at Garrosh's heirlooms. Before queuing for flex, people took a break to let their dogs out, get something to drink, or jump on alts to do their farming. My fellow tank hopped to his alt warrior and wondered aloud over the wisdom of doing an LFR on him later that night. "Don't do it," was the universal consensus. "Monday night LFR is just asking for trouble. The only winning move is not to play."

That got me thinking about the weirder aspects of the game's culture, in which a single day and a raid lockout divides an alleged nightmare (Raid Finder on Mondays) from a safe bet (Raid Finder on Tuesdays). The usual story is that people run their better-geared mains through Raid Finder soon after the weekly lockout finishes, but come Sunday and Monday they're running their less-geared alts, and usually on classes with which they're less familiar. There's got to be more to it than this, but it's a narrative that most players are probably aware of by now.

Out of morbid curiosity, I've occasionally taken my main or alt shaman through Sunday and Monday LFRs but can't say I've noticed a massive difference. There are definitely more times late in the week where I've zoned into a squabbling raid with a two-stack of Determination, but most runs are fairly uneventful. However, one player's experiences are rarely representative, and your own gear and experience play a role as well. A well-geared toon, especially if it's a tank or healer, is at least marginally more likely to contribute a successful raid, and vice versa.

I'm tempted to do a series of LFRs and measure overall raid DPS and number of deaths by day. I'm genuinely curious whether the conventional wisdom is right, and late-week Raid Finders are more likely to encounter trouble than their early-week counterparts.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

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

Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat

Panser of TradeChat is back with this week's WoW Insider Weekly News Recap. We take a look at last week's most interesting news and tidbits of information including WoW's 9th anniversary and some new features available on the PTR such as cross-realm mailing. The full list of topics covered this week include: If you like the show, make sure to subscribe to TradeChat, leave comments, and tune in next week for a new episode!

Filed under: News items

Patch 5.4.2: Blizzard's answer to oQueue enters testing [Updated]

It was announced at BlizzCon that Blizzard would be launching a revamped raid finding system, potentially in response to oQueue's huge popularity in finding groups for Flex and for things like the Celestial bosses required for the Legendary cloak. Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has posted today about the first tentative steps towards realizing this goal launch of said group finder, namely a rework of the existing Raid Finding tool. The one you haven't ever used. His full posts are, as ever, after the break.

At first, it will just work for Flex raids and World Bosses, meaning that it won't oust oQueue from the game, but it seems likely that Blizzard will expand this technology to the new raids and perhaps even to PvP in 6.0. Right now, on the PTR, there have not been a lot of changes to the existing system. It's still really hard to find -- open up your social pane, then go over to raid, then go to Other Raids, then select the raids you want to do. Celestials, Ordos and Flex are all cross-realm, but the others are not.

Hit the break for Ion's full posts.

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Filed under: Raiding

Breakfast Topic: Does LFR impact raid design?

Breakfast Topic Does LFR impact raid design
A few days ago, the player Camaranth started a thread on the tank forums examining the number of tank swap mechanics in raids. While the discussion is a good one, there's a reply written by Snuzzle not far down the thread with an interesting observation. "I think the reason we are seeing so many encounters designed with tank swaps in Mists," he/she writes, "is that fights are being designed with Raid Finder in mind ... They need both tanks to have a job to do. Tank swaps are the way to do that (because) most everyone can instantly understand (them)."

LFR might not be the only reason for that, but I think Snuzzle has a point. Encounters have to be programmed with the knowledge that Raid Finder groups will always have two tanks, 6 healers, and 17 DPS, no guarantees on class composition, and the knowledge that coordination will realistically be minimal. I don't think it necessarily reflects on the skill of the players concerned so much as the inherent disorganization. Under the circumstances, it would be extremely difficult to program an encounter like, say, Kael'thas or Teron Gorefiend or High King Maulgar, and have it remain somewhat close to the normal and heroic versions.

I don't know whether LFR actually does have a serious impact on raid design, but it's certainly an interesting question. In related news, the LFR version of Siege of Orgrimmar was nerfed recently for reasons I think all of us can guess.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Love 'em or hate 'em, do you use random group tools?

Breakfast Topic Love 'em or hate 'em, do you use random group tools
Buried beneath proclamations of love or hate for WoW's group and raid finding tools lurks a common contradiction I find most players don't like to discuss: Do they use or not use these features despite their feelings? I'm a put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is kind of person, so when I hear players fuming that they believe random group tools have played a large role in the downfall of realm communities (a common line of thinking among players who are not fans of the dungeon finder and raid finder), I often wonder if they then turn around and use the very tool they rail against.

There's a simple solution to this sort of conundrum, I've found –- a reader poll!

What's your position on WoW's random grouping tools (the dungeon finder and raid finder)?
I don't use them, but I think they're great for the people who want them.193 (3.6%)
I don't use them, and I wish they had not been put in the game.80 (1.5%)
I use them, and I think they're a fantastic addition to the game.4144 (77.7%)
I use them, but I think the game might be better without them.916 (17.2%)


Why do you use or not use the group finder and the raid finder? If you don't use these features, do you run with guildmates or friends instead, or do you avoid groups and raiding altogether?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Patch 5.4 PTR: First Raid Finder wing of Siege of Orgrimmar Available

Patch 54 PTR First Raid Finder wing of Siege of Orgrimmar Available
Patch 5.4's Siege of Orgrimmar is available for testing on the PTR raid finder for the weekend of July 19 - 22. If you're looking for something to do this weekend, why not head over to the PTR and check it out? The first part of Siege of Orgrimmar involves the first four bosses. This is another big indicator of how close we're getting to a patch 5.4 drop on live servers. Perhaps another month and a half or two?

Vale of Eternal Sorrows (Part 1)
Weekend LFR Testing - July 19-22
The first LFR wing of the Siege of Orgrimmar raid is currently open for testing, and will likely remain so throughout the weekend. Please feel free to check it out and share your feedback.



How long are you willing to wait for a group to form?

How long are you willing to wait for a group to form
In the leveling homestretch, I tend to follow a pattern. My main goal is to boost my ilevel as soon as I hit 90 to get in on Raid Finder. Although, once I get there, I end up feeling bitter because waiting in a Raid Finder queue isn't fun. Even if you're not into Raid Finder, WoW presents players with plenty of opportunity to wait around at some point -- battleground and dungeon queues, or even sticking around for a PUG to come together.

As a tank on my main, I groan when thinking of entering Raid Finder, mainly because of the wait. There are only two tank roles, after all. With the new loot specialization coming to 5.3, players looking to win tank gear have hope of a less painful wait in a DPS role, at least. Even if you're used to the long wait, everyone has a limit. I remember waiting as a tank in a Raid Finder queue for an hour and forty minutes. I'm not usually willing to wait that long. I'm relatively comfortable with waiting about thirty to forty minutes before moving on.

When it comes to PUGs, I'm quite patient, usually waiting longer than I probably should. In a PUG, I tend to have a personal connection to at least one of the other players in the group, so I'm not quick to leave.

How long are you willing to wait, whether it be for a dungeon, Raid Finder, battleground, or a PUG? While in queue, how do you pass the time? I usually find myself completing dailies or battling pets. But at what point do you throw up your hands and leave?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 hotfixes for April 29th and 30th, nerf to Lei Shen

Throne of Thunder
There were a few hotfixes posted earlier this week, on both Monday and Tuesday. On the 29th, both Glorious Conquest Quartermasters took leave from the game for a while. Daxxarri explains in a forum thread that, because Glorious Conquest gear is changing from ilevel 512 to 496, they wanted to remove the vendors before players purchased gear that would end up being a lower ilevel than they bought it for. The change is too big to be implemented via hotfix, so the vendors will be returning with the next major content patch.

The hotfix for yesterday was a nerf to the Lei Shen encounter in the Throne of Thunder for Raid Finder groups. Lei Shen's overall hit points have been reduced by 10%, and the Static Shock effect from the North Conduit now deals only 300,000 damage at zero energy, down from 650,000. That's a big change, and hopefully will make that encounter a little simpler for struggling Raid Finder groups.

Filed under: News items, Hotfixes, Mists of Pandaria

Son of Animus will tank all the things

Son of Animus is BEEP BOOP
Patch 5.2 introduced a slew of battle pets, with a few as rare drops from bosses in the new Throne of Thunder raid, including Living Sandling, Ji-Kun Hatchling, and Son of Animus.

Recently, I was lucky enough to obtain Son of Animus, and it's quite a unique addition to my collection. I couldn't wait to level it! This breed 4 (4/14 or P/P) Mechanical pet uses abilities inspired by the boss that drops it, Dark Animus, and are as follows:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler on the lessons learned in Mists

Ghostcrawler on the lessons learned in Mists
Long-term WoW Insider readers will likely remember the post-Cataclysm dissection where the developers discussed the mistakes they had made and how they planned to rectify them for future expansions. Well, a twitter user has asked Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street the same question, for Mists of Pandaria, and Ghostcrawler had the following to say in reply:

Firstly, one of the great things about Ghostcrawler is how readily he owns up to the team's mistakes here. There's no shame in getting things wrong, but maintaining that you're infallible is both irritating and generally untrue.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Throne of Thunder: Pinnacle of Storms Raid Finder bosses in 5 seconds

Throne of Thunder Pinnacle of Storms Raid Finder bosses in 5 seconds
Huzzah! Pinnacle of Storms, the final wing of Throne of Thunder Raid Finder, is open this week, and that means you're almost done. If you're just venturing into ToT Raid Finder, we recommend you head over to our 5-second guides for the first, second, and third wings. This wing is mostly downhill in terms of difficulty, especially after the Durumu pre-nerfed maze business, but can still prove to be a challenge to Raid Finder champions clueless on strategy. And just for you, we've put together a quick guide for the final wing. We accept cookies and high fives. (Thanks Zhonya for the help!)

Iron Qon

Tank swap at two stacks of Impale. Stay off of fire, ice, or lightning lines on the ground throughout the fight, reposition the boss as needed. During the lightning phase, move out of and away from tornadoes once sucked in. Move the boss to the back of the room. Stay spread out during lightning phase. During ice phase, move to hit the boss on his unshielded sides. Stack in his final phase for healing.

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Guides, Mists of Pandaria

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