Archive for instance

Dungeon Finder: Two Perspectives (Part 1)

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2010 by Mark Pannell

As with any major patch, 3.3 brought with it some conversation pieces that still resonate today. Was passing out Emblems of Triumph like candy the biggest nerf the game has seen? Was adopting a QuestHelper-like interface catering too much to the noobs? Did allowing shoulder enchants to be BoA cheapen the Sons of Hodir rep grind a bit? Arguments could be made for both sides of all of these questions.

The change that stands out the most to me is the Dungeon Finder system. I was originally going to do one post discussing the pros and cons of the new system. But as I started writing, I realized it might be best to devote one post to the good and one post to the bad. Today’s post will get the negativity out of the way so we can all hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” next time around. Without further ado…

Part 1: The Bad

Alternate title: The Cow-Punching Noobtards Can Haz Herokes. Yes, that’s right. We’ve all dealt with it. Regardless of Blizzard’s attempt at restricting undergeared players from entering Heroics for which they are not geared, they’re still getting in. Sometimes they’re coming in as part of a group. Some guildies couldn’t find a fourth or fifth member to carry their newly-minted 80’s through Heroics. Congratulations. You just won that role. Other times, and I’ve seen this, they’re sporting quest greens and blues and a crafted ilvl 245 item or two. The law of averages just humped your leg. Continue reading

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Patch 3.0.9 and Some Caverns of Time (That Kinda Rhymes)

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , on February 10, 2009 by Mark Pannell

Apparently, when the servers come back online today, we’ll be playing with patch 3.0.9. Not a whole lot to get excited about here. But something stood out to me:

Fixed an issue where players using nVidia 3D glasses were unable to see spell cooldowns.

As Gnomeaggedon pointed out last week in this post, we’re still without live instance maps four years after the game’s release. Yet the developer’s are devoting resources to correcting an issue being experienced by 1/100th of 1% of the game’s demographic? And a bunch of 3D glasses-wearing noobtards at that. Wow. Just… wow.

Aside from that, our Arcane brethren are about the only members of the Mage community to be affected by the patch. I’ll be interested to read Larisa’s thoughts in a few days. Oddly, Death Knights were completely untouched for the first time since the release of Wrath. Looks like Blizzard might be reaching a comfort zone with their controversial Hero Class.

As minor is it may seem, I’m pretty pumped about this one:

Fixed a player movement error in which other players were appearing to move erratically when traveling beside them.

Earlier this week, Drkdmon and I were running Torgath through Escape from Durnholde Keep. None of us had done it on those particular toons, so we needed to knock it out so we could run him through Opening the Dark Portal later that day. Once we freed Thrall and defeated Captain Skarloc, we galloped off to Tarren Mill. As we traveled, Drkdmon kept phasing in and out next to me. His glitchy movements were driving me nuts. Good bug fix, Blizz. You have my stamp of approval.

As an interesting sidenote, we had to run Durnholde two-and-a-half times. The first time, I forgot to accept the quest from Andormu. I talked with him. I opened the quest dialogue box. I even read it, which is a rarity for me. I just didn’t accept it. We figured this out as we attempted to enter the Dark Portal section of CoT and I just galloped in place as the other two entered the instance.

The second time in, we had a couple of setbacks. Drkdmon wiped us as we were setting the Incendiary Bombs in the Internment Lodges. I grabbed aggro from the first group of mobs and pulled them away from the others. I noticed that at some point, Torgath’s heals weren’t coming as frequently. Before I had a chance to figure out why, I had mobs attacking me from behind. I glanced at Torgath’s health as he slumped to the ground dead. It was at that point that I noticed Drkdmon battling the second group of mobs.

“How did you guys pull aggro from a whole different set of mobs?” I asked.

“Steve (Drkdmon) attacked a whole different set of mobs. He didn’t even go after the ones you did,” Torgath replied.

“Nice job, ass hat,” I said.

Corpse run. Second verse, not quite the same as the first. A little bit different, but a little bit worse. After destroying the five Lodges and defeating Lieutenant Drake, I told the guys to hold up in the basement of Durnholde Keep. I was the only one with the quest anyhow. I had a plumber coming over to the house to look at a clogged drain pipe. I knew that it was only going to take a few minutes with a power snake, so I knew the guys would be OK with it. As Torgath and I entered Durnholde Keep, Drkdmon went missing. His little blue party dot was right by us, but he was nowhere to be found. As we knocked out the last few mobs on the main floor, Thrall shot past us and down the hallway to the front door.

“What the f**k?” Torgath asked?

“Who the f**K let Thrall out of the prison?” I demanded.

“Steve,” Torgath answered.

“Jesus Christ! You’re killing me, Steve. I’m the only one with the quest… a quest that I can now no longer turn in,” I barked.

“Let him die,” Torgath offered.

“Steve or Thrall?” I asked.

“Both,” Torgath laughed.

And so we did. Our first run at the Dark Portal wasn’t much better. Torgath trained every Jaguar, Tarantula, and Crocolisk from the entrance to the instance to Medivh. We didn’t actually wipe. We just watched Medivh die as I fought every creature known to man in front of him. Drkdmon compunded the problem by attempting to knock out the Rift Lords and all of their adds by himself without heals. His rationale was that it would prevent the other Infinite-named mobs from spawning. Decent logic, but not exactly what you want to hear when you’ve got fifty spiders and kitty cats all up ons. Lesson learned: kill all of the trash on the way to Medivh. They have no tether point.

Okie-doke, kiddos. Servers should be back up now. I’m off to level Devv a bit.

Update: Maintenance extended by two hours. Why am I not surprised? Maybe they hadn’t worked out all of the kinks on that nVidia 3D glasses bug fix.

Devv’s First Northrend Instance

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2009 by Mark Pannell

Now that Predatore has dinged 80, most of my playtime with him has been about moneymaking and progressing his Inscription to 450. He made it to 448 last night and pulled in a cool 1600G from an Ace of Nobles. But aside from that, I’ve been focused on leveling Devv again.

With about a month’s worth of rested XP (yeah, yeah… I know you only get credit for ten days), I’ve got double XP coming on the old girl for quite some time. Two nights ago, I pulled her out of the inn and resumed questing in Howling Fjord. At about 10:00 pm, I was wrapping it up and getting ready for bed. As I was about to hearth, I noticed a “LF1M DPS for UK then G2G” message in Trade Chat.

So, I didn’t get as much sleep that night as I had anticipated. But it occurred to me that Devv had never set foot in an instance in Northrend. It was high time to change that. I took a quick glance at the other party members. Since I was the last one in and they were all readied up, I didn’t waste time checking out their specs or stats. All that I knew was that I was heading in with a Priest, a Warrior, a Hunter, and a Paladin.

We tore through the first section at a breakneck pace. Despite taking some mana conservation efforts, I was going OOM and unable to keep up with the group. I was burning Evocation every time it was on cooldown. After knocking out the first boss, we cruised on into the next section. It was at this point that I noticed how low I was on the Omen totem pole. I was rarely seeing High Threat and my DPS was looking pretty pathetic. My target was rarely the same as the tank’s. More often than not, I was playing off-tank to the Priest. I couldn’t figure out how he kept pulling aggro and over-healing. I finally figured it out when I noticed he was 80.

Needless to say, we cleared UK with zero deaths. I got a nice blue helm for my efforts and thoughtful advice from an experienced healer. Last night, my experience wasn’t as enjoyable. This time, a 77 Priest led a rag-tag PuG including Darkdmon and Devv into Nexus and we didn’t make it past the first boss. The first time, I tried to back myself out of AoE range and wound up backing right into the patrolling mobs in the hallway. We wiped and the Priest took the opportunity to give us a good tongue-lashing to ensure we all knew to go after the purple clone first when she splits.

Our second attempt at the ol’ Magus was just as much of a clusterhump as we heard, “Death becomes you” five consecutive times before making our next corpse run. As I re-entered the instance, the Priest made some random negative comment, then left the group. Darkdmon and I decided to work together to wrap up some of our quests in Borean Tundra before calling it a night. I still can’t figure out exactly what screwed us the second time around. I think the Hunter’s pet pulled aggro from Darkdmon, sending the purple clone roaming free. Once the Priest was down, the rest of us were dead in the water.

So, my first experiences in the Northrend instances ended with mixed results. One thing that I do know is that if I have the opportunity to have a patient level 80 healer in a low 70’s instance, I’ll do it in a heartbeat. That guy was a Godsend. I’m looking forward to heading back into Nexus, but this time I’ll be sure everyone involved knows the fights. It’s not an incredibly complex instance, but it’s not exactly Deadmines either. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on your first experiences in the dungeons of Northrend. Leave me some comments on the subject if you have a moment. Take care, ya’ll!

Tuesday Downtime Update

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2009 by Mark Pannell

So, I’ve barely been writing lately. Real life has a tendency of doing that. I’ve had ideas for posts running through my mind for the last couple weeks, but every time I sit down to write, something else takes precedence. I quickly realized that this bad boy ran the risk of disappearing into obscurity. Not gonna happen, people!

When the servers finally come back up sometime this month, Patch 3.0.8 will be live. My first official act as a 3.0.8 World of Warcrafter will be to buy Devv’s Mechanostriders, eeking closer to the Leading the Calvary achievement. That will take all of five minutes. Then, she’ll be nestled cozily in Ironforge yet again as her big brother Predatore continues his journey to 80. I’m not sure when the paradigm shift occurred, but somewhere along the way, I fell in love with playing a Death Knight.

Poor old Devv is still 72 as Predatore inches closer to endgame, sitting at 78 as of this writing. The levels really started dinging once all of my toons were successfully transferred to Garrosh. P.S. – all of the links on the Armory page are now updated to reflect my new realm. Anyhow, now that I’m on a lower population server, I’m able to accomplish a lot more in a couple hours than I used to. On Silvermoon, I could usually expect an hour+ queue time only to be thrown into a mosh pit of mob ninjas, hoping to miraculously tap one or six to complete a couple quests before calling it a night. Ahh, serenity.

Making the jump to Garrosh was a lot smoother in the company of friends. Although I never officially joined Creative Anarchy, I know a lot of the guys in real life. So when Darkasm, Horgath, and Lotusdark announced that they were making the jump, I knew the time was right. Initially named The D Bags, our newly-created guild apparently received a complaint about the name very early in our existence. So, we are currently without a name as we wait on Blizzard to approve one of five names that we had to submit to them for their approval. Yeah.

I went through a brief period when I really wasn’t enjoying the game anymore. But now that I’m in the company of talented players around the same level as my main, it’s getting fun again. Despite the fact that Predatore is sitting on 80’s doorstep, I’m sure it will be Devv who sees the most endgame content eventually. Last night, Deathfright and Devv ran Torgath through Hellfire Ramparts and Blood Furnace. Believe it or not, I actually died once. Anyhow, it was exhilarating to be back in an instance with the old girl, even if it was little more than a footrace. What surprised me is how quickly I forgot how to play my class. When my spells grayed out, it took me a moment to realize that I was out of mana. Mana?!? What’s that?

Another thing that’s adding enjoyment to the game for me is leveling professions. I always enjoyed it on my way to 70 and this time is no different. Predatore quickly leveled Herbalism to 450 and Inscription isn’t far behind at 443. Whenever he picks up Frostweave, it’s promptly mailed to Devv. Her Tailoring is only at 393 with Mining just beyond that at 401. But that’s not too bad considering she still hasn’t left the Northrend starting zones. I’m getting kinda pumped to make 20-slot bags and Flying Carpets, so I’ll probably head out and grind some humanoids with her before too long. Professions have always added another dimension to the game for me. Some people see it as a grind. For me, it adds more value for my money.

That’s all for now, kiddos. I’ll be back again soon. I promise. Well, sooner than last time. Maybe next time around, I’ll have a guild name to share. I have a feeling Blizzard will shoot down “First Name Banned” and “Offensive Guild Name,” deferring to one of our three less controversial offerings. We’ll see.

That Was Fun, Ghetto-Hearth, Repeat

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , on October 9, 2008 by Mark Pannell

As I mentioned in my last post, I led a very bad selection of characters into Blood Furnace. Two Hunters, two Mages, and a non-tanking Warrrior can only be described as exactly what you don’t want to take into Blood Furnace. If you’re looking for a DPS-fest, look no further. But if you want to make it past the first boss without a wipe, you’ve got the wrong group.

We entered the instance and met two level 61 elite trash mobs. Our level of efficiency in dispatching them was incredible. Unfortunately, it gave us an unrealistic idea of what was to come. The first evidence of a poor long-term outlook was the fact that we all had to sit down to eat and drink… after killing two trash mobs. We worked our way to the steps in the same manner. Getting adds from bad pulls resulted in our first death, our non-tank tanking Warrior. We moved to the steps as he ran back from the Honor Hold GY. We made it up the steps with little resistence.

At the top of the steps, I accidentally pulled a mob out of a Freeze Trap with a Fireball and Kotasky kept sheeping a target under a Hunter’s Mark. She literally sheeped the mob three times as both of the hunters and their pets attacked it. With its health meter regenerating three times, it took a fair deal of mana for the rest of us to burn him down. In the interim, Horgath dinged 63. Rather than staying focused on the next group, he decided to allocate the talent point that he gained from the level up. The other hunter pulled three mobs, trapping one and pulling aggro on herself rather than her pet from the other two. Seeing the mayhem unfolding, Kotasky started casting on one of the approaching mobs before either of the hunters’ pets could hold aggro.