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No longer do new players find their noses wistfully plastered against the front windows of instances in Azeroth and Burning Crusade, sniffing at the tempting scents within like ragamuffins on the doorstep of a bakery on an icy morning. Thanks to the Dungeon Finder, it's once again possible to have your fill of instances along the road to level 80. The Dungeon Finder makes things easy -- except, unfortunately, in situations when it makes them even harder.
A post in the Blizzard suggestions forum points out several things that aren't working well or are outright broken inside various leveling instances. Some are minor quibbles, but one problem actually prevents cross-realm groups from completing a boss encounter. We'll fill you in on the issues, plus link you to this week's best WoW.com resources for fresh level 80s.
Blocked boss in Uldaman (UPDATE: The Uldaman issue has been hotfixed. Both the Gni'kiv Medallion and The Shaft of Tsol are now blue-quality items and therefore tradeable. Thanks to commenters for the update.)
The problem The staff's individual parts cannot be traded between groupmates from different realms. If the pieces end up on players from different realms, you cannot assemble them in order to create the staff and open Ironaya's chamber. The workaround Make sure that all group members turn off autolooting in their game options and remind them not to loot the chest with shift+click. Kill Revelosh first, then go back to Baelog's Chest. Whoever receives The Shaft of Tsol from Revelosh should loot the Gni'kiv Medallion from Baelog's Chest and assemble the staff.
Class book confusion in Dire Maul Once again, trading restrictions between players from different realms make a mish-mash getting the right item to the right player -- this time, the class-specific tomes found in Dire Maul. It's not possible to tell which class the tomes are for before they're looted, but they're not able to be traded with players from other realms if they end up in the wrong hands. Until Blizzard flags the books to be tradeable between players from different realms, there's no workaround for this problem.
Quest levels don't match instance levels You'll sometimes find that the Dungeon Finder offers certain instances before you're high enough level to pick up the associated quests. Bummer, huh? All we can do is hope that Blizzard tweaks the criteria so that the Dungeon Finder doesn't offer you a group in an instance where you can't yet complete the quests.
UBRS goes unlisted Because Upper Blackrock Spire (UBRS) is technically a 10-man instance, it's not listed in the Dungeon Finder tool at all. (It's listed as a raid.) Fortunately, UBRS can be completed by five solid players with today's gear and specs, so because it shares an entrance with Lower Blackrock Spire (LBRS), you can use the Dungeon Finder to access UBRS, too. Simply queue up for LBRS instead. Once you're inside the instance, head up the ramp on the left and go through the door into UBRS, rather than working your way down to the right into LBRS. (Of course, the group you end up with may actually prefer to run LBRS ...)
Corpse run confusion Teleporting directly into your dungeon of choice is pretty nifty -- but it can spawn utter confusion if you have to return on foot. Listening to the group chat of a group that's wiped and whose members are running back to an instance entrance they've never actually seen is ... well, it's either humorous or sheer /facepalm, depending on your perspective. Until Blizzard allows players to respawn outside the entrance of tricky locations (Deadmines and Maraudon come to mind) or port directly to their group, bring large doses of patience for corpse runs in these instances.
Multiple queue options discourage completion The division of large, sprawling instances into separate Dungeon Finder queues, while convenient for players with limited time, discourages and even prevents players from getting at all the content. None of Maraudon's three queues require fighting Celebras the Cursed. Similar issues crop up in Blackrock Depths, which is divided into two queues. Players intent on clearing these instances completely or obtaining Maraudon's Scepter of Celebras should form non-Dungeon Finder groups to accomplish their goals.
Replacements left to their own devices Unlike the shot-gun design of the newer Wrath instances, old-school dungeons can be circuitous, confusing places. Players who join a group that's already in progress in an older instance face an unforgiving run through respawned patrol packs in an instance they may have never seen. Unless you have a warlock in your group to summon new players, you'll have to send someone back for the new player ... or simply give up.
Hot links for fresh 80s
Moving on to those of you who've already reached the end of the leveling road, let's wrap up with the week's best posts at WoW.com aimed at freshly minted level 80s.
|Beast Mastery 101
Beast Mastery is the ideal entry point into the hunter class. No spec is as widely useful and easy to learn and master as BM.
The leftmost of the three mage specs, this tree focuses on magic that is neither fiery nor frosted. It is the current single-target pure DPS champ, as far as mage specs go.
|Holy Paladins 101
Holy paladins focus on healing and supporting their party, with a special focus on tank healing. We'll show you how to be the healer your group or raid depends upon.
|Protection warriors 101
The warrior protection spec is the oldest actively used tanking spec in World of Warcraft. Tanks deliberately attempt to hold monsters' attention so that they do not attack the healers or the damage-dealing players.
|Gearing up your tank
Let's talk about tank gearing for level 80 players who are using the Dungeon Finder but not rocking full T9 yet.
|Beginners' guide to Arena, Part 6
It's Part 6 of our series on Arena combat for beginners. (Be sure to read the other parts to this fantastic series, as well!)
|How to fight hunters
There's a lot a hunter can do to really ruin your day in PvP. We'll help you fight back in this installment from our series exploring how to fight other players.
|Tweak your performance with SimulationCraft
This theorycrafting tool helps you tweak your gear, rotation and overall performance by simulating group or raid conditions.
|Vuhdo for raid healers
Vuhdo is one of the most popular raid healing add-ons available today. We explain why add-ons like these are game-changing for raid healers, plus we show you how to customize Vuhdo's functions for your playstyle.
|Crafted gear for the new 80
If you want to make your fresh-to-80 character viable without having to run a bunch of old instances and raids, crafted gear can give you a quick leg up.
Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's. WoW Rookie walks you through all sort of new-player concerns, from game lingo for the beginner to joining your first guild as a mid-level player and on to what to do when you finally hit level 80.