Saturday, December 19, 2009

"They're More Like Guidelines Anyway."

Ah, LFG. It's gone over a great many changes over the last few years. It was once a channel that you could spam day and night anywhere. Then they introduced the LFG interface; put yourself in, state what roles you are willing to fill, go do whatever you want, wait for people to ask you to go to x. People mourned the loss of the world wide LFG channel, and custom channel popularity soared. Other than that complaint, however, most people enjoyed it. It was convenient with little fuss involved. Except for the time factor as one is sitting in LFG just looking for people to pick them up. Or them asking every other group they saw if they needed [tank/healer/dps]. Time that some people didn't have. Blizzard noticed the flaw with their plan, and decided to, once again, change it. They returned the missed LFG channel to the cities, and put in a new system. You still state your willing role [no more days of asking “what spec are you?”], queue up for a random heroic, normal, or even a specific one of either, and just wait... a fraction of the time that it took in the past.

As a tank, a queue will appear almost immediately.

As a healer, a queue will appear in a minute or two.

As a DPS... well. Good luck. Queue will probably pop sometime after that set of Sons of Hodir dailies as well as a round of mining around Sholazar Basin.

Unless you tag along with a tank. Then you get the benefit of the fast tank queue. If you tag along with a healer, the following scenario happens:

Group: “We need a healer!”
Blizzard: “Here's on—Oh, no, wait, there's a DPS attached. Sorry.”
-a minute later-
Group: “We need a healer!”
Blizzard: “You know that healer we wanted to pass off last time? They're still grouped with that DPS. Try this one instead!”
-another minute-
Group: “We need a healer and a DPS!”
Blizzard: “OH THANK GOD we couldn't get rid of that darned DPS, here you go, TAKE THEM!”

On your end:
Healer: “That took a long time. Lets go.”
-Enter Dungeon-
Healer and DPS: “... I hate Blizzard. Freaking Halls of Stone. Again.”
And the instance starts.

That's, as far as we can tell, about what happens. Healers have it easy, tanks have it even easier, and DPS are mostly out of luck. The reasoning is easy enough: there are a small number of healers out there, but there is an even smaller number of people willing to tank. If you're one of those people who don't mind tanking, 98% of the time, you'll get assigned to tank. Even if you said you could DPS. Even if you said you could heal. You're tanking. Better enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Patch Day! 3.3 Headaches!

Well. As everyone knows, the long awaited patch 3.3 has landed! Having pre-patched, I only had to wait forty minutes for my WoW to patch.

Upon getting in, I got asked to go do the three new instances on Normal. They're interesting, to say the least. A bit more challenging than what we're used to, I want to say, as there's not so much as real damage as there is the mobs casting a reflecting shield, and your party members killing themselves on accident if they don't pay attention. Still, though, rather interesting.

Afterward, my regular twenty-five man group decided to test the waters of ICC.

That was painful. A few wipes to trash, a few to Lord Marrowgar, and too many wipes to want to think about to Lady Deathwhisper. We managed to get the Lord down, but the Lady... she conquered us. It's not a real friendly fight, we discovered, and even worse on classes that use both melee and spells [such as my Enhancement shaman, the only character that raids 25s]. We ended up recalling that, on new boss fights, our raid leader likes to talk. A lot. A few points during the explanations our group [consisting of melee] all came to the consensus of the fact that none of us have comprehended a word said in the last two out of three hours of raid. And that Lady Deathwhisper's fight went to the effect of "blah blah blah mana shield, blah blah blah adds" and something about killing things. Basically, kill things, avoid other things, and kill more things (adds). That's all the DPS had to know about both of the boss fights we encountered. Of course, it's the same on every other fight, but still. Our attention spans could have been likened to that of an ADD six year old. At best.

Raid time ended after what seemed like eternity, and everyone was pumped to leave and go do something else. Something else being the new instances, that was... except, Blizzard had other ideas. Three minutes looking at a load screen, get kicked out, rinse and repeat. For an hour or so. Until boredom and that good ol' ADD kicked in and alt tabbing just wasn't cutting it, and tiredness was starting to creep upon people.

The expectation of things not being broken on patch days has never been met. It's understandable, naturally, but still a source of frustration to the player base that had been waiting with baited breath for new content to play with. Instead, they're faced with headaches as instance servers crash, shiny new features broken, and incredible lag. I did, however, notice that the effects on the character selection screen -- the backgrounds -- were brighter and were a touch more active. Cheers, Blizzard. Our greatly anticipated day became a day of frustration and realization that the patience was rewarded by a prettier character screen. Until things are fixed, anyway.

Guess there's always tomorrow.

And the next day.

It's not going anywhere, and it can only get better.

So one can hope, anyway.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Try Two!

After seven months off from writing, I think I'm ready to come back. I've been restless as of late -- can't stay in WoW too long, can't be happy with just reading. Answering questions on forums just didn't seem enough anymore... and I realized. It was one of the reasons why I first started Elune's Guidance. Because I wanted my opinions out there. I wanted people to know what I thought, what I do, why I do it, and how much I enjoy doing what I do. Another sign was when I got in a heated discussion about mages, and I ended up pulling up ten tabs to try to aid me for my argument. And I felt no satisfaction from doing it, because only one person would know the results of my findings.

I've missed writing. Sometimes it felt like a duty to find something interesting I wanted to write about, and other times, the words just couldn't wait to flow from my fingers.

I realize it's been seven months since I've made a post, and a lot has happened since then, both in real life and in the game. I realize that the blogging community has grown so much in those months, and that I have a lot of catching up to do, friends to reacquaint myself with, a reputation to grow. I considered restarting completely, but EG is my home. I made it as a hobby, and while I did lose interest in writing for a while -- and everyone can relate, I am sure -- I'm back. I want to write, I want to explore ideas, and I want my ideas to be known. I need a place to reference my research, so I don't waste time looking stuff up again. I would like a place for other people to view my research and leave their own thoughts and opinions, striking up, perhaps, a good discussion to research deeper in.

So here goes!

Welcome back, EG.

Who will come with me through this journey of renewal?