Monday, 9 May 2011


How do you find yours?

Dungeon-FinderSince the 4.1 Patch hit, and before, there’s been a lot of consternation in the blogging community about LFD.  Has the new reward system made any difference to the queue? has the quality of tanking gone down as a result? are groups failing more?  As it’s been done to death by the rest of the community, I’m not going to even talk about the Call to Arms reward system, instead I’m going to take a look at group makeups a little more generally since ZG and ZA hit.

I’ve got two characters of the required level for the new dungeons, my priest and my mage, I’ve been concentrating on running these two primarily, but I’ve done a couple of the ‘old’ heroics on my DK and druid.  Lets take the new heroics first, the first thing I noticed is that players, on the whole, seem to be far better geared; yes I know the ilvl requirement is higher, but actually a lot of the players I see in the new heroics are wearing primarily 10-man epics, where as your average LFD player pre 4.1 would be somewhere between the basic 328 and being kitted out in blues with the occasional rep and / or valour point item.  I guess this is because the raider types were either bored of the old 5 man heroics, or were running less well geared alts through them; the new instances are new content and they’re there either purely to experience it, or to top the occasional bit of gear up that they haven’t gained from raiding.  Secondly, and probably as a result of seeing more raider types, I’ve noticed the skill level has gone up significantly, players on the whole, and in the face of new unfamiliar content, perform far better than I’ve seen over the past three months in LFD.  Take for example a guild tank who came along to a ZA run with me this week, he’d never even set foot in the instance before, let alone tanked it.  We were able to clear it, almost managing a timed run, just by giving him a quick run down of what each bosses abilities were over vent.  I’ve absolutely no doubt that a lesser skilled player would have had all sorts of trouble tanking ZA in such a scenario.  On the negative side, I’ve noticed people are far less forgiving in the new instances, probably as a result of being used to higher performance in raids, the most pertinent example I’ve seen being “5k DPS in here? REALLY?” kick…. (to be fair the guy was abysmal, but I’d usually expect to see him asked why his DPS was so poor and have suggested he needed to improve it before being kicked).  Chatting to people both from guild and randoms, I’ve seen a few comments along the lines of, “if you don’t know the strategies in here by now, you deserve to be kicked” which is a little elitist for my liking.

The old heroics are a complete different kettle of fish to what they used to be, I’ve been running a couple of specific dungeons on my DK to get the items I need to unlock ZA & ZG, one of which being Stonecore, on the first three trash packs, where a little crowd control and DPS focus is essential for all but the best geared groups, I’ve seen DPS pulling before the tanks ready or in one case before the healer was even in the instance!  The impatience of players that you typically see in the low end instances to level up and get ma gearz is creeping into the heroics where you really can’t afford to be so gung-ho.  Added to this, the queue’s do seem to be shorter, so I’ve seen a lot of people simply leaving the group if the random instance turns out not to be one of their liking, or one pull doesn’t quite go to plan. 

Come on people! do it right first time, take a little bit of time to do stuff, with some consideration for the other four in your group, and you’ll get it done quicker in the long run and you might even have a bit of fun (ya know, the reason you play the game) in the process.

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