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Patch 3.3: Stone Keeper's Shards tied to your realm

Blizzard's new Dungeon System (with built-in cross-server LFG) coming in patch 3.3 seems to have all of its bases covered, even tiny niggling details that are not yet covered in the patch notes, as this post by Zarhym proves.

What happens with Stone Keeper's Shards when you're in a PUG that takes advantage of cross-server LFG? Well, that's easy, kiddo. The system will check to see if your home realm's Wintergrasp is captured by your faction. If it is, voila! Stone Keeper's Shards for you. If not, well, you can figure it out.

As for everyone else in the group, the same check is made, and if someone else doesn't have WG captured on their server and you do, they won't even see the Shards on the corpse, so no "Hey, what about MY shards?!" loot confusion should come up. If it does, well, you'll probably never see that person again anyway, so say what you must! Just bear in mind that parties in patch 3.3 do have that new Vote Kick option.

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: News items, Instances

Wintergrasp lag a big issue after patch 3.1

Zarhym has got some answers to the widespread problem of lag in Wintergrasp after patch 3.1 the other week. He says Blizzard figures the problem is simply population based -- there are many more people playing in the battleground than there were before the patch. For that reason, they're having trouble coming up with good solutions: the battleground is designed to be non-instanced, and that's why a lot of people like it, so putting a limit on the amount of people in there is not the way to go. Hardware isn't a solution either -- Blizzard's hardware is already top-of-the-line, and not only would upgrading it take a while anyway, but my guess is that most of the lag issues come not from Blizzard's side, but from the connections between players and them, which they may not have any control over anyway.

So yes, we're more or less out of luck -- as long as Wintergrasp is extremely popular (and even Zarhym remembers the naysayers before the release with a smirk), there will always be a certain amount of lag in there. There are a few good suggestions floating around the comments thread -- one is that Wintergrasp should always be conquerable, which seems like it would keep down on the flood of people, though of course there'd be other issues if that were implemented.

At this point, Wintergrasp lag may just be something we have to live with. Eventually, you have to think the population will drop back down, and then those of us still in there will enjoy lag-free battles again. But Blizzard has taken on quite a goal trying to do non-instanced PvP full of vehicles and towers without any lag at all.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Battlegrounds

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