Thursday, December 10, 2009

Patch 3.3 First Impressions

Dungeon Finder

Awesome! Fast, reasonably balanced groups. A good variety of instances. I've even used it for low-level groups with alts (did Shadowfang Keep, Blackfathom Depths, Scarlet Monastery Graveyard, and Regular Old Kingdom) and everything worked pretty well.

Regular heroics are nice, but the low level dungeons are what interest me the most. I've always liked doing those dungeons with a level appropriate group, but it used to be so hard to form a group. Now hopefully, it will be much easier.

You know, in a few months there are going to be some sick skilled tanks available. Imagine levelling to max purely by running dungeons with PuGs. Those tanks who come out of that are going to be really good.

Finally, it's an interesting observation how much more fun you can make the game by taking control away from the players. There's no formal Gearscore, no Achievement-linking, no looking for a specific class, no choosing the instance ahead of time. You just get told, "Here's your instance, and here's your group. Go to it." And everything works out nicely.

A lot of times I think we make things more difficult for ourselves than they need to be.

New 5-mans

Forge of Souls is okay. Personally, I think it may have been a little extreme to take the James "Godfather of Soul" Brown homage to that level. But it's still an decent instance, if somewhat short. I'm not really sure what was happening on that last boss.

I adore Pit of Saron. I like the layout, the fact that it's not on rails like so many other instances. Ick and Krick are great, as is that giant boss. The ice tunnel is superb fun, and is possibly the best reuse of a raid mechanic ever. The final boss is pretty good too.

Actually, the ice tunnel deserves more discussion. It's the perfect combination of challenge and set-piece in a long while. The mechanics are relatively simple, but they really drive home exactly what Blizzard wants you to feel. They could have made the rockfall just do random damage, but avoiding the ice circles keeps you constantly moving, making the entire experience feel more urgent.

Halls of Reflection is pretty good. I suspect my feelings on HoR are colored by the fact that it bugged out on me the first three times I attempted it. But I finally completed it in the end. It is fairly hard for a heroic, especially the first fight. Lots of lore fun in the instance as well. The final fight has the greatest enrage timer in the history of WoW.

Other Impressions

The new map and quest guide are pretty slick.

I like the tag on gear that tells you what equipment set an item is in.

Some of the new interface options are interesting. However, there seem to be some automatic changes which you may not like. For example, auto-self-cast got turned on.

The new "@" syntax for macros is very nice. You can replace "target=" with "@". It shortens the macro, and makes it more understandable. For example, "target=mouseover" becomes "@mouseover".

I haven't gotten a chance to see the new raid instances yet. Hopefully I'll get a peek on the weekend.


  1. It's cool hey!

    Personally, I hate questing. It is without a doubt my least favourite part of the game, so when it comes time to level, it's INSTANCE PUGGING all the way!

    Well until they released XP from battlegrounds it was at least... The point being is that I learned to tank by tanking every instance from BC through to all the lv 80 heroics in PUGs.

    I consider myself a pretty solid tank, and I'm sure I wouldn't be were it not for those experiences, frustrating though they were much of the time.

    I like the "you get what you're given" aspect of the new LFG tool as well. Somehow -not- letting people pick and choose seems to work out better. Maybe that has just been the luck of the draw, but all my LFG groups have had good a relatively good comp and nothing retarded.

    My only gripe is what do you do when you find yourself with a tank who is almost, but not quite, up to the task.

    Maybe their gear isn't good enough for H HoR. Maybe they just don't have the skills and awareness required to manage groups of 5 mobs with more than 1 caster...

    I guess you can call for a vote, but what if two of your DPS aren't holding their own either?

    Eventually I decided that getting the deserter debuff was going to be less painful than watching the tank ignore mobs that are chewing on his healer's face and DPSers pulling 1500 dps to my 4k.

    That was just the once though. The rest of the time is awesome !

  2. I love the new LFG. The 5 man dungeons from level 18-60 are some of the most fun and enjoyable instances in the game (in my opinion). It's nice to run one without taking two hours to form a group.

  3. Wait, wait, wait... someone is using the Blizzard equipment manager?

    I just assumed that is's from Blizzard and therefore crap... I might have to take a second look at it...

  4. "You just get told, "Here's your instance, and here's your group. Go to it." And everything works out nicely."

    To be fair, this is partly because heroics in general are so easy that it really doesn't matter who is in your group. Or which one you are doing, unless it's Occulus. :)

    "The final fight has the greatest enrage timer in the history of WoW."

    Could not agree more!

    "auto-self-cast got turned on"


  5. I do have to wonder what its like for less geared people though. From my understanding the LFG tool does its own form of gearcheck when forming the group to look for people with similar level of gear. In the case of many raiders who are successful at TOC and some of the hard modes it puts us in the top few % of the WoW populace, That being said it would make it more likely for those of us with really good gear to find really good groups.

    As for the new Raid, the last boss has some interesting mechanics that make tanking it with our paladin 969 rotation... interesting. Also having a rep grind in a raid again is fun for me, though I may be one of the few looking forward to it

  6. Run with two emerald (healing) drakes for oculus. I was skeptical when one of the pugs mentioned it, but they can do a decent amount of dps while still being able to heal...not alot, but decent. The end fight takes a bit longer, but you're almost guaranteed to succeed because you have so much healing to throw around.

  7. very good impressions especially the citadel raids, ive done a 25 man with my guild, lord marrowgars my favorite.

  8. Ashen Verdict rep grind is basically negligible - you'll be revered by the time Lich King comes out even if you don't farm trash for it, provided you run 10-man and 25-man, and exalted shortly thereafter.

    And yes, tankadins can really hurt the raid on Deathbringer if they use Consecrate at the wrong time (each such screwup is basically 50 free Blood Power to Deathbringer). Do it at the wrong time (right before Beasts come out) more than once, and you've basically caused a Mark all by yourself. And an extra Mark on a progression run could well be a wipe.

  9. It's really cool! The ice tunnel keeps the adrenaline up! i hope we could discuss more of this and share everybody's energy-pumping adventures!