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Posts with tag random-dungeon-tool

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

PTR Patch 4.1: New code hints at random dungeon change

A bit of new code recently added to the PTR that's been uncovered by MMO-Champion might hint at an awesome new change to the way valor points will be earned from the random dungeon finder. Of particular note is this string:

LFD_RANDOM_REWARD_EXPLANATION1 = "The first seven random dungeons of this tier that you complete each week will earn you:";

What this seems to suggest is that instead of doing one random heroic dungeon per day to gain valor points, the system will be changed so that the first 7 random heroics you do, no matter which days, will grant valor points. This is an awesome change for those of us who do not play every day and instead like to stockpile our heroic dungeoneering on the weekend.

Many of us weekend warriors have been asking for this very specific change to the random dungeon "highest tier" badges/points reward system since the beginning of the random heroic system. Hopefully this wonderful change makes it to 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: Cataclysm

Should level-capped players be put into content they outgear?

I do not like The Stonecore.

On a recent guild-sponsored alt run, four not-ready-for-heroics players and my level 85 shammy queued up for a random Cataclysm dungeon. We wound up with The Stonecore. We immediately decided that we didn't want to run The Stonecore, but we also didn't want to just wait the 15 minutes to requeue. So, we cleared our way to the first boss and defeated it, successfully eating up the 15 minutes.

Not wanting to actually finish an instance that didn't offer us any level-appropriate gear, we re-entered the random dungeon finder. The result: The Stonecore. Again. We gave up, ran the instance for the lousy 70 justice point payoff, and died a little inside.

A huge part of my distaste for The Stonecore is related to how often it comes up in the random dungeon finder on both heroic and normal versions. It's a wipe-filled nightmare on heroic, especially with a group that doesn't know what it's doing. (And let's be honest, text-based communication on the fly can only get you so far.) I have no complaint about getting regular Stonecore at levels 82 and 83. The problem is that I get it all the damn time when I'm level 85, and Blizzard gives me almost no incentive to finish it.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Ghostcrawler responds to heroic dungeon difficulty complaints

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street posted an entry on his blog yesterday called "Wow, Dungeons are Hard!" It's a rather lengthy (but worthwhile) read about the current state of Cataclysm heroics, Blizzard's philosophy on designing them, his impressions on their current difficulty level, and some advice for improving your performance.

Like I said, it's an epic post, and we won't reprint the whole thing here. This, however, is the key takeaway:

Wow, Dungeons are Hard!
The bottom line is that we want Heroics and raids to be challenging, and that is particularly true now while the content is new and characters are still collecting gear. They're only going to get easier from here on out. We want players to approach an encounter, especially a Heroic encounter, as a puzzle to be solved. We want groups to communicate and strategize. And by extension, we want you to celebrate when you win instead of it being a foregone conclusion.

On the other hand, we don't want you to stumble your way to victory. We don't want you to be able to overwhelm bosses without noticing or caring what they're doing. We don't want healers to be able to make up for all of the mistakes on the part of the other players. While at the end of the day, dungeons may just be gussied up loot vending machines, we want you to do more than push a button to get the loot.

Ultimately, we don't want to give undergeared or unorganized groups a near guaranteed chance of success, because then the content will feel absolutely trivial for players in appropriate gear who communicate, cooperate, and strategize.


All that being said, though, is Blizzard really satisfied with its dungeon designs and their current level of difficulty? Hard heroics are indeed hard, but the updated PTR patch notes for 4.0.6 (which went live just yesterday at almost the exact same time Ghostcrawler was discussing heroics) indicate that a series of nerfs is coming our way. That will no doubt lead to player rejoicing, but remember -- heroics are naturally getting easier as people get more familiar with them and players continue to compile better gear, which makes completion even easier still.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Drama Mamas: Tank frustration

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

/queue dramatic sporting event music

This week on Drama Mamas, the mamas duke it out for the title of Best Drama Buster! Who will win the battle for the most useful advice for a frustrated tank? Will it be Robin who thinks the tank should take a strong leadership role or Lisa who thinks that teamwork should be just that? Turn the page to read the Battle of the Drama Mamas.

Disclaimer: The mamas really just think people should choose the advice they think works best for them. We don't care about winning any battle. The previous paragraph is solely the result of overzealous introduction writing and too much caffeine.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Arcane Brilliance: Level 80 mage gearing roadmap, part 1


Welcome to another installment of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column of choice for mages who hate warlocks, warlocks who secretly want to be mages, and everybody else who likes their mage discussion sprinkled lightly with random and inappropriate references to Lost, Flock of Seagulls, Lufia, and KFC's new "Double Down Sandwich," or as I like to call it, "population control." I mean, seriously? Who greenlit this? "I have an idea, guys. Let's offer a bacon and cheese sandwich where we remove the bun and replace it with two slabs of fried chicken! Ooh, and then, instead of offering drink sizes, let's work on a way to allow customers to hook themselves directly into our soda machines intravenously. They'll be mainlining Dr. Pepper! Because if there's anything America needs more than ever during these tough economic times, it's more ways for people to kill themselves via food!"

Lately, a lot of you have been asking for gearing advice for the new level 80 mage. It seems that a good number of people (myself included) have been making good use of this pre-Cataclysm lull to level their alts, and I'm proud to learn that many of you have chosen to level a mage as one of your alts. For many of you, the gearing landscape probably looks very alien when compared to the way it looked when you were gearing up your last character. New opportunities abound, with the promise of epic gear dangling around every bend. What path should you take?

Fear not, young magelings. This week, Arcane Brilliance has decided to draw you a roadmap. Now, a warning: Arcane Brilliance can't draw. Seriously, when Arcane Brilliance was 5, he drew a picture of a "horse" for his mother. As horse pictures go, it was apparently quite disturbing. Arcane Brilliance had to spend some time at a hospital for "special" children, and mom started drinking heavily. So, you're going to have to use your imaginations about the "map" part of the roadmap. It's mostly going to consist of words, something Arcane Brilliance can produce largely without upsetting medical professionals. Largely.

So you've hit level 80 with your mage. Your gear slots are likely filled with a random assortment of quest rewards, heirloom gear that suddenly doesn't look so good anymore, and stuff that dropped in normal Nexus ten levels ago. You'd like to start running some of the level 80 content, but your DPS still hasn't cracked a thousand. You're not geared enough for a trip to heroic Ramparts, let alone heroic Trial of the Champion. So what do you do? Where do you begin?

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Mistakes mages make

Welcome to another edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that would like to say to warlocks: Look... even when we're alone, we outnumber you.

We belong to the best class in World of Warcraft. I know this because I have a checklist. Do you want to see it? Too bad, you're going to see it anyway:
You see? Mages meet every criteria on the checklist. The fact that I just made the checklist up is unimportant; the important thing to take away from this is that mages are, indisputably, the best class in this game.

But we aren't perfect.

We make mistakes. Five of them, to be precise.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Blizzard: Run Oculus, win fabulous prizes

Despite the nerfs in Patch 3.3, it's pretty obvious that whole lot of people still hate Oculus, enough so that they immediately bail when it comes up as a random dungeon. Apparently, it's a substantial number of people doing this, enough that Blizzard's taken notice and taken action.

But they're not removing it from the system. Instead, they're incentivizing it -- or, if you prefer to be a bit more pessimistic, turning final boss Eregos into a loot pinata in the most direct way possible. Zarhym's announced that those who happen to get Heroic Oculus with the random dungeon finder and stick it out to the end will find their own personal loot bag in Eregos' cache. The bags will contain two extra Emblems of Triumph, rare gems, and a chance at the Reins of the Blue Drake, formerly the rare mount drop from 10-man Malygos. To make up for the switch, the Reins of the Azure Drake will have a chance to drop from both 10-man and 25-man Malygos.

Will this staunch the exodus from Oculus? Will the lust for yet another pretty dragon mount inspire people to tough out the dreaded vehicle mechanics? Or will people just tough it out until they get their drake and start group dropping again? It should be fun to see what happens.

Filed under: Items, News items, Instances, Bosses

Spiritual Guidance: How to be the perfect pickup group priest



Every week (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a UI and addons blog for WoW.
Too bad he was too busy running heroics to come to the aid of the King!

With the new dungeon finder tool released, I felt it was a good idea to write up how a priest should handle themselves in instances with a group of players they don't know. Once I started using the system, I became exposed to a large variety of different personalities, skill levels and gear levels. Quite the experience grouping with players packing gear ranging from Trial of the Grand Crusader to the random hunter wielding the grey bow of death.

My approach to pugging has not been that different since the pre-dungeon tool era when players would randomly form up in groups for whatever the heroic daily was. After a while, I stopped doing heroics because I didn't need the emblems anymore. In the end, I had to re-learn and remember some of the core philosophies I held onto when I dived back into the world of running heroic dungeons again.

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Filed under: (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Arcane Brilliance: Gearing up after the glorious patch 3.3


It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that loves nothing more than to gaze down upon the whole of Northrend from one of the floating chunks of stone around Dalaran and realize that at some point, a mage has probably killed every living thing down there. At least the targetable ones, anyway. And the ones you can't target? I'm sure more than one mage has certainly tried.

So I'm officially nominating patch 3.3 for "best patch ever" status. Here's a short list of the highlights of this patch:
  • Three highly challenging, fun, lore-filled 5-man instances, full of sweet loot
  • A massive new raid, with four gated sections, 12 bosses, and the promise of eventually being able to shove a Fireball up the Lich King's tailpipe
  • The incredible, game-changing Dungeon Finder Tool, which is responsible for peace in the Middle East, has brought an end to the recession, and has cured cancer
  • A few choice mage buffs, including a PvE viable Frost spec
  • Quest Tracking without the need for an addon
  • Quel'delar and Shadowmourne
  • A swiftly approaching new Arena Season
  • Weekly raid quests
  • The Kalu'ak Fishing Derby
  • Perky the Pug
  • A host of little changes for low level characters
  • Rocket bare
Not shabby, right? And best of all, Blizzard has managed to deploy the majority of this new content without also deploying a host of bugs, glitches, and instability, or otherwise making the game unplayable for awhile as we've come to expect from patches this large. There were some log-in issues and bugginess on day one, but by day two, everything was running relatively smoothly by day two. I'm being relatively conservative when I say that Blizzard, in my personal opinion, has hit this one out of the park.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Features, Guides, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

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

Lichborne: The whys and hows of PuGs and death knights


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly look at the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the Death Knights. Your host, Daniel Whitcomb, is pretty decent at alliteration but could use some work on cliches. Luckily, his Scourge Strike still hits hard, so it's all good.

So with Patch 3.3 out and running, the biggest thing taking the WoW world by storm is definitely the Dungeon Finder tool. If you're like me, you've made pretty good use of it already, and are probably within a few more runs of your very own cute as a button pug pet in the bargain. If not, you should probably consider getting on that, seriously.

Since running random dungeons is pretty much the in-thing to do right now, I figured I should devote a column to helping you brush up on your grouping skills. It never hurts to cover the basics, and if you're grouping with 1-4 complete strangers, it helps to be on your A game so that you can work with them and be easy to work with. Before we get into the basics though, let's set some goals for all that random dungeon running.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Guides, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Breakfast Topic: Your random dungeon experiences


It was a dark and stormy night. It all started with a one drink. Isn't that how it always goes? One tough raid is followed up with some drinks to calm the nerves. One drink leads to another and you start thinking about doing crazy things.

Crazy things like jumping into pugs using the new random dungeon finder tool.

I hadn't done it yet myself and I know the people I've spoken with said they've had nothing but good things to say about it. But I'm a skeptic. What's the worst thing that could possibly happen? Maybe I'll get stuck with a party that has never done Oculus before with a tank that's no where near defense capped. But what are the odds of that happening, right?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

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