Our friendly neighborhood Dungeon Finder will become the one and only method of accessing seasonal holiday bosses, come Patch 3.3.3. No longer will you need to worry about which players in your group have their daily summons available or whether your roll will be enough to win such rare but delicious vanity items such as the Big Love Rocket or the Horseman's Reins. Everything will be streamlined and automated now -- but that doesn't mean the process won't still prove to be a significant journey.
Al: One does not simply walk into holiday bosses.
Kurash: Not with ten thousand men could you do this! It is folly!
mtsadowski: I will do it. I will tank the holiday bosses ... only I do not know the way.
Henrah: I will help you bear this burden, mtsadowski, as long as it is yours to bear.
tulipblossom: If, by my life or death, I can protect you, I will. You have my sword.
Bril: And my axe.
D4: And my pet.
MarcSpirit: Great! Where are we going? - End of Disk One -
Join us for Disk Two of this week's [1.Local], after the break.
|New achievements reveal more Cataclysm details
Spoiler alert: Don't poke into the comments on this post about new achievements found that relate to upcoming world changes, unless you're ready for Cataclysm spoilers.
Pwnzoar: About the gnomes getting their city back, will this mean the Trolls might get a city as well? The gnomes have been similar citywise as the trolls. Their starting zone is shared with another race, and they did not have an actual city for their specific race. Is it possible that Blizzard will add another city for the trolls to balance out the fact that the Alliance will have five cities and the Horde only four? Not counting whatever new cities for the worgen and goblins will get.
MazokuRanma: The trolls actually already have an area of their own just like the gnomes; it's the Echo Isles over in Durotar. It's not an instanced area like Gnomeregan, but it has been overrun with rebels, I believe. It's been a very long time since I did the starting zone quests in Durotar, though, so I don't remember the exact story relating to the Isles. That fact that there appears to be some sort of troll battle in Durotar supports the idea that they will also get their own area back. It seems even more necessary since at BlizzCon they made it sound like Hellscream is kicking all races other than orcs and tauren out of Orgrimmar.
|The changing economy
No need to wait for Cataclysm, though, for big, big changes. It looks like a number of cataclysmic changes to the game economy may lie ahead, beginning with Patch 3.3.3
Mal: So, complete profession nub here, but how come people are saying that the loss of cooldowns is also the loss of a cash cow? I thought you made less money because you could only make so few items every three days. Plus people will actually be able to make their own stuff that requires Titansteel/whateverweave now, like the bike and Glacial Bag.
Joseph Smith: Supply and demand. The fact that one could only be made every X days means that there are fewer on the AH. What will happen now is there will be a flood of these items onto the market and prices will be driven down as everyone strives to undercut the lowest price on the market currently.
Look at it this way: Item X has a four-day cooldown, and generally there are only about five on the AH at any time. Everyone who has one to sell puts it about 5g below the last person. This means that the price range is 100g-80g. NOW, there's no cooldown and about 30 pop up on the AH. Top price is still 100g, because they were selling for that much, but now it drops down to say 20g at the bottom. NOBODY will be buying the 100g one anymore, and eventually 20g range becomes the norm.
I had this happen a couple years ago with the Red Winter Clothes. I would easily sell them for 75-90g apiece, until other tailors saw that price. It took about a month, but now they're down to 13g ea on my server. It was a nice run while it lasted, though.
Mal: I understand that part, I think. But the other half of my question is how often these absurdly priced mats sell in the first place. If (for example) each piece of Ebonweave is up on the AH for 400g, and the only people who could use it are tailors who need to make (for example) an Abyssal Bag, which sells for 600g. Then isn't it much more profitable for them to simply wait out the few weeks the CD forces them too and make the Ebon and Spellweave themselves?
I guess Titansteel is a bit different since there are many more uses for it. But won't many more people start buying/selling products that require these mats now?
Mhacdebhandia: You're forgetting that people other than tailors want the cloth. Some want it for Glacial Bags (which is, I imagine, why those bags are getting a new week-long cooldown), cloth-wearing classes might want BoE crafted epics, and so on.
|Is 10-man raiding getting the short end of the stick?
Is 10-man raiding getting lost in the shuffle?
Dave: The news about the Dungeon Finder allowing groups to queue for 10-man raids kind of distressed me. It feels like just another step in the line of "Blizzard doesn't care about 10-man raiding." Forgive me if I sound maudlin, but allowing people to PUG it across servers, where communication is basically non-existent, sounds like them saying "Yeah, this stuff is a joke, just run through it and get your gears," when some of us expect a real challenge out of 10-mans. Before Wrath, I'd envisioned the split in 10- and 25-man raids as being two "real" tiers, when really it's just like it always was. 25-man is real; 10-man is what the 25-man guilds do to fill out their gear spots. This seems evident by the lack of "cool" things in 10-mans. No neat weapon procs, no legendaries (thanks for taunting us by being able to pick up the quest in ICC-10, though!).
We're a 10-man guild. I was so proud when we got our Rusted Drakes. We have neither the need nor desire for the insanely over-regimented 25-man experience (as the interviewee states: militaristic discipline over Vent? Gimme a break.). That doesn't mean we don't want our own real experience, and not feel like we're constantly being given the 25-mans' hand-me-downs.
N-train: Absolutely. Putting aside the many, many logistical issues that I can hampering a cross-server 10-man raid (lockouts, loot system, variations of roles based on gear, no accountability), it does seem to be one more kick at the 10-man world.
As someone who has run plenty of 25s over the last three patches, I can say that I really enjoy 10-man more. Like the article said, you get a sense of unity and fellowship that 25s just don't have. And often the only people in a 25 that seem to have that same level of connection are the people who run in a 10-man together.
I agree with the article in terms of separating achievements, though. It's really a morale-buster in my 10-mans when we move through slowly and with usually a good deal of facerolling because the room for error is so small, only to read about 25-man geared raids who can burn through what we're struggling on with no problem cause they're all packing an extra 1,500 DPS and 9k health. All it does is lead people to think 10-mans are supposed to be testing and playgrounds for alts, scrubs and for the extra badges.
Valt: Agree completely. We are 10-man guild but not strict. We do some 25-mans like ToC now and then. What really annoyed ME was how they announced that five-man ICC gear is same level as ToC-10. I mean, come on now. You are telling us that we grinded that hellhole for absolutely nothing now? Pretty much all loot you can get from ICC-5s are on same level as offset loot from ToC and T9 is yours. They did same with ToC-5 heroic, 219 gear. Some were even better than "that thing that drops from Yogg-Saron/Vezax." That made me really annoyed because it really felt slap to face with big letters calling, "We don't care about 10-man or its loot."
Ok, fair enough, there was HC version with 245 gear, but if you didn't do those you might as well quit the game for time of 3.2 and come back in 3.3 and get same gear in week and 251 ICC10 gear sooner or later ... Don't get me wrong. I'm not telling about "QQ game is easy and easy loot." I disagree with those people. But imagine if you are in guild that did ToC-10 since August 2009 to December 2009 ... Yeaaah ...
|Big Brother is watching
When it comes to Dungeon Finder PUGgers behaving badly, remember: Big Brother will be watching.
david.a.alt: Many good points have been made; I'll re-iterate one of the more insightful ones and comment on the "irrelevancy of guilds" motif.
1.) The most likely purpose of Blizzard tracking these variables is to evaluate how their new policy (removing the one-kick-per-dungeon) affects players' use of the vote-kick ability. It is extraordinarily unlikely that it will be incorporated into a "matching" algorithm for "social justice." As other commenters have pointed out, the potential for abuse is simply too high and it would devolve into a regulatory mess that would have negative consequences for the player base and the game experience overall. Please, don't read into everything Blizzard does. They're not mysterious otherworldly beings.
2.) I remember hearing comments about how the LFD tool would destroy guild solidarity and the purpose of guilds, because a guild would no longer be required for dungeon groups. Superficially, not every guild exists to run dungeons or raids; many exist for purely social reasons. Even discounting that, encountering high levels of rudeness on the LFD runs is *more* likely to make your guild band together for dungeons, not less.
|The frustrations of two-healing
To two-heal, or not to two-heal?
Domni: Two-healing 10-mans can be exciting and rewarding when you love the group you're with. That is of utmost importance and is the condition from which most healers speak when advocating two-healing.
My main thought is that two-healing should not be the expected norm for all healers, and this primarily includes raiding in PuGs, alt runs and the newest content that *some* raids aren't familiar with yet. The capability of the rest of the raid is too unpredictable and it is unfair when two healers are having to overcompensate for the raid's weaknesses. If an entire server puts pressure on the community healers to always two-heal raids, even when it isn't feasible to do so, it can burn out an entire generation of valuable floating healers.
There's always room for considering two-healing in well coordinated groups with responsive players, strong gear and solid experience. Just keep your expectations reasonable for the rest of the realm healers and be considerate. Let the healers push themselves when they feel up to it and make sure that they can have a break they need it.