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Posts with tag random-dungeon

How to level up using the Dungeon Finder

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 out new classes, new playstyles, and new zones.

One of the quietly celebrated features in contemporary Cataclysm is the ability to level up entirely using the Dungeon Finder. It's a little rough in a few places where you cross expansions, around levels 58, 68, and 80ish. But other than those few spots, you can fly through the so-called younger levels without much trouble at all.

While speeding your way to level 85 this way doesn't require a lot of strategy per se, it still helps immensely if you get your act together beforehand. Consider issues like leveling professions, keeping up with gold, and even how you'll handle your downtime between queues. Most importantly, once you're actually inside the dungeon, you should be prepared with some tips to avoid annoying the heck out of your groups.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, bribes, and player behavior, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we are still not sure if we can be bribed, but have reached the conclusion that others might be.

This week we return for the conclusion of our series examining the likely impact of the new Call to Arms system debuting in patch 4.1. If you're looking for last week's article, you'll find that here: Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, bribes, and player behavior.

To summarize the observations and argument of the first article as quickly as possible, Cataclysm returned players to the difficulty of The Burning Crusade instancing model without the benefits that tanks gained from building a reputation as competent players -- namely, the reasonable expectation that groups would cooperate with kill orders and any requests for crowd control. The dungeon finder, arguably a tool better suited to the ease and speed of Wrath of the Lich King heroics, has left tanks in an unfortunate position: They now attempt to lead groups through more difficult content with the unreliable vote kick as their sole defense against obstreperous players. That DPS queue times have soared under the present circumstances shouldn't arrive as a shock.

I'm going to try to explain why Call to Arms may very well result in more tanks queueing for 5-mans through the dungeon finder and who we're likely to see if and/or when this happens.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Death Knight

Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, bribes, and player behavior

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we are not sure if we can be bribed.

As most of you are probably aware, Blizzard recently announced a new incentive structure for the dungeon finder system called the Call to Arms. In essence, it rewards players for performing what is then the most-needed role in the dungeon finder with a BoA bag containing gold, flasks, and, potentially, mounts and pets.

The Tuesday Shifting column covers the two roles most likely to receive the "goodie bags" -- tanking and healing (I don't think anyone's laboring under the delusion that groups can't get off the ground due to a lack of DPS) -- and the ensuing firestorm on the forums caught my eye. Predictably, players have mixed feelings about the change. Many (I think correctly) blame players' rudeness and uncooperative attitudes for driving off the tank population, but even more are indignant that Blizzard is "bribing" tanks for something they feel should have been addressed by role redesign.

Examine all the arguments in their totality, and I think there's only one real conclusion: I don't believe that Blizzard failed in its effort to make tanking more interesting and enjoyable.

I do believe that developers are struggling to deal with a problem created and driven almost entirely by player behavior. Modern heroics aren't fun, not because the content is bad (it's not) or overtuned (it's fine), but Cataclysm combines parts of The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King 5-man experience that don't play well with each other. The dungeon finder contributes to these problems, but not in the way that you'd think.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Death Knight

Patch 4.1: Blizzard unveils dungeon finder Call to Arms

Blizzard just posted a huge announcement to the WoW community site, unveiling the dungeon finder's newest evolution -- Call to Arms. Aimed at reducing the time for dungeon queues, the new Call to Arms will give players the opportunity to queue for level-85 heroics as "needed" roles (tanks and healers) to shorten queues and be rewarded with goodie bags containing gold, rare gems, companion pets, and mounts like the Deathcharger's Reins, Swift White Hawkstrider, and more.

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

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

Knowledge, newbies, and why kindness pays off

I played WoW on dial-up for a while, and during that time, it was close to impossible for me to raid anything but add-light 10-man content. So I did the only thing that seemed doable: leveled alts. A lot of them. While previously I had vowed to only level my rogue (my original main) to max level in any given expansion, I was suddenly the proud owner of six level 80 characters.

Even after I got back on actual broadband internet, Cataclysm's introduction of new races (especially Races That Are Worgen) gave me some more incentive to bring my number of max-level characters up to, well, its maximum level. So I finally listened to Matt Rossi and made a worgen warrior. He's awesome. And he tanks, a first for me. I've been leveling him almost exclusively through the dungeon finder, taking advantage of the instant queues for a dog what wears plate armor.

I'm still pretty new to tanking, but between new talent trees, heirlooms, and questing/dungeon gear with better stat balance, most low-level instances are a breeze. So I move fast. Sometimes a little faster than other people. The same kinds of people who attack from the front as a melee class or hit "need" on spirit weapons as a mage. And I would make snide remarks to those kinds of people.

Then I realized something. I was being kind of a jackass.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Having fun in old, familiar places

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

We all run random dungeons. Usually, we'll just do our job, tanking, healing or DPSing to get through the dungeon as fast as we can. But every once in a while, we may get the inclination to mess around a bit.

My main character is a disc priest. Since all I really have to do in heroics is shield the tank every once in a while, I'll often run around like a crazy person using Holy Nova to try and beat the DPS. Not only does it make the runs go faster, but it's more fun than just standing around doing nothing. Sure I could use other, more normal DPS abilities, but it's fun to see those golden bubbles everywhere.

If I'm in a group with guildies and they know it's coming, it's sometimes fun to play "how low can you go" with the tank's health. I'd never try it in a PUG random, but with friends who can laugh if it goes wrong, it's fun. One thing I've always wanted to try but never have is healing in shadow spec. While it wouldn't really be difficult, I don't really know how random groups would react to it, having their healer running around in Shadowform all the time.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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

Lichborne: Demystifying Death Grip


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly source for tips, news, guides and opinions on the death knight class.

So recently, as I've been working on trying to get the Loremaster title before Cataclysm hits, I've rediscovered the joy of queuing for the random dungeon as DPS. The 10- to 20-minute queue times offer a perfect little window of opportunity to finish up a good chunk of questing while I wait to get back on the emblem treadmill and allows me to take a break from tanking to get in a little bit of good old hacking and slashing. Of course, all this dungeon queuing has given me a good opportunity to see both some of my fellow death knights in action and to see how other people react to having a death knight DPSer in their group.

Between that and observations from browsing the web and even simply from reading comments on past issues of Lichborne, I've noticed that one skill seems to be the most misunderstood and reviled by non-death knights: Death Grip. Thus, I figured that this week, we'd take a quick look at this much-maligned skill, so that you can understand the best practices to get the most out of this undeservedly hated and unique death knight ability. These tips will mostly apply for 5-man dungeons, but you'll probably find a lot of the basic principles will also apply to PvP and raiding.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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

WoW Rookie: Pro tips for lowbie dungeon runners

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.

When you really need to know, turn to the hive mind. Readers had plenty to say last week about their trials and tribulations (and triumphs!) running the older instances of vanilla WoW and Burning Crusade. Thanks to speedy reader comments, we were able to update readers with a resolution to the looting mess that left most groups unable to complete the staff required to summon Ironaya in Uldaman. (Any other issues with tradeable objects inside instances? Let us know about them in the comments.) As the discussion wound through page after page of observations and frustrations and advice, a veritable gold mine of tips for running low-level instances emerged. This week, we'll recap those tips for new players who are making their way through the old instances for the very first time.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

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

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