Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Played Lately: World of Warcraft

  • Considering how much I hyped the game in the last post, I thought I'd let you know how patch three-point-three went in the Anjin household. In a word: surprisingly-cool. (It's only one word if there's a hyphen. I swear!)

  • Upon logging in, I was met with a new mail icon so I ran to the nearest mailbox. Inside was the corehound pup. I always feel a little strange receiving pets in the mail. Not that I don't like pets, but poor puppy! What if I didn't pick him up in time? Does the post office send him back? Do they discard him? That was more thought than that deserved, so let's move on.

  • I tried out the Random Dungeon tool and queued up for a Heroic. After what felt like five minutes, I was summoned to the Nexus. Since that's one of the first dungeons available in WotLK, I've run it a few times, both normal and heroic difficulties. As advertised, I was matched with a tank, healer, and two additional DPS, none of whom reside on my home server of Draka. (Why Draka? Um.... because that was the suggested server the day I signed up? Funny how that works.) And let me tell you, this four knew what they were doing and were well geared for the challenge. They must have been either raiders or badge farmers because their gear far outstripped my own. None of these guys had less than twenty thousand health and I barely had fifteen. I'm still dressed in mostly instance blue gear with the random epic I lucked into. And on this Nexus run, I actually picked up a blue offhand item that was an upgrade for me. I tried to be self-deprecating about needing on a blue, but they told me everyone has to start somewhere. Isn't that the truth? We ran through the instance perfectly and very fast. I even picked up one of the weird achievements. I got my first two Emblems of Frost and we headed back to our home servers.

  • When the random heroic was finished, I wasn't ready to stop then. I looked around and found out where the new instance could be found. There was a quest giver in Dalaran, but that didn't help point to the instance portal. (Why are those always so hard to find?) Eventually I found an image on WoWWiki that showed me about where the entrance was (high on the western rampart of the citadel, if you're curious) and I flew to the portal. Or portals because each wing gets a separate instance.

  • However since I wasn't about to try to get a regular group for The Forge Of Souls, I queued up in the Random Dungeon tool and had a group in about five minutes again. This group was just as good and just as geared. We tore through the instance in somewhere around thirty minutes, making Lady Sylvanas proud. It went really fast. What I wasn't aware of was that there is a portal at the end of the wing that leads straight into the second. Although you can play it as separate instances, you can also play it as one massively long one. Awesome idea, Blizzard. We ran the next two as well, picking up some good loot and tweaking the nose of the Lich King in the process. We didn't get to fight him at all (they save all the fun for the raiders) but it was a great time and I look forward to trying again on Heroic.

  • A couple things came up that I didn't remember or even know about. One of the benefits of running with the random dungeon group was a buff called "Luck of the Draw." It grants 5% bonus to damage, healing, and health (I think). That went a long way toward easing our expedition and I totally didn't know it would be there. The other nice addition I forgot about was the option to roll Disenchant instead of Greed. It's a really nice option and I appreciate not having to volunteer for DE duties and remember to hand out shards. There is going to be a lot of extra dust and essences on the auction house soon. And one odd thing came up: when we left the instance after the run was over, we could still chat with one another even though we all returned to our original servers. I guess cross-server chat is just waiting for them to implement integration.

  • For me, it was a great way to return to WoW. Running one random heroic with a group assembled for me essentially takes away any excuses for not trying an instance. Now to see what all this does for the low level game.


  1. If I return to WoW at all pre-Cataclysm, it will be to try experiments in PuGing with new new cross server system. There are a good selection of instances after level 10 or so. Even among the launch instances, I doubt I've been through more than 2/3 of them.

  2. @ Yeebo - I've rolled a priest alt for the sole purpose of running low level instances. It looks like the LFG tool is locked until level 15. Not that there are any dungeons you have to run lower than that.