So it’s been a few days since patch 3.3 went live, along with the cross-realm Dungeon Finder tool. With this there has been much chatter, both positive and negative in regards to the way groups are now formed.

Dungeon Finder Pros

There are many pro’s to the new system and personally this is the side of the fence I’m sitting on.

  • Cross-realm means there is a much larger pool of players looking for a dungeon at any one time, so filling groups should be much quicker than if you were attempting to group just within your server.
  • Random Heroic gives the ability to complete each heroic as many times as you can each day, and giving an additional 2 Emblem of Triumph (after the first random heroic which gives 2 Emblem of Frost), allowing gearing up to Tier 9 (and getting reputation gains through Emblem bought Commendations) to happen much quicker.
  • Groups are filled fairly well, with gear requirements being put in place by Blizzard to stop players attempting content much higher than they can do.
  • As a healer or tank the Dungeon Finder queue is almost instantaneous.

Dungeon Finder Cons

As much as I am fond of the new system, I am aware of the problems and disadvantages of the system.

  • Although the system is now cross-realm, finding a group as a damage role takes upwards of 15 minutes. This is because there are so many damage classes trying to find groups, that the ‘pool of players’ is saturated by damage dealers.
  • Despite Blizzard’s efforts to ‘gear match’ groups to an extent, there are occasions where a lower geared character is placed in your group, this can be problematic if they are the tank or healer in a difficult run.
  • You have no say over who you are grouped with, one run it may be 3 Death Knights, and the next run it may be all Shamans. This can cause wipes on some runs which require certain amounts of AoE or ranged damage.

All in all, I love the new system, having put on my tanking boots and took up the role of the tank in many heroics because of the quicker queue. So if you are having trouble getting groups and play a hybrid, try switching to tank of healing, it’ll only take a few runs to start gearing up.

Patch 3.3 went live today, I patched my client (which took 4 attempts) last night and awoke this morning to find the unanticipated, but much expected connection problems. With a patch this big and this awaited for, did we really think that there would be a smooth problem free patch day? That’s beyond optimistic if you ask me.

What do we expect with Patch 3.3?

Now that it has hit, and as I am typing this; the realms are coming back online, what will we see when we log in? The patch notes give it all in a nice list form, but I’ll do a run down of some of the big additions and changes.

Icecrown Citadel: The Frozen Halls

The new 5 man dungeons and heroic dungeons, containing 3 ‘wings’ in which you fight along side either Jaina (Alliance) or Sylvanas (Horde) in order to gain access to the Lich King himself. Items from these instances come at iLevel 219 for the normal, and 232 for the Heroic versions.

Icecrown Citadel: The Frozen Throne

The new raid instance for both 10 and 25 man groups, with heroic tuning for both also. Fighting along side the Ashen Verdict and the champions of your faction you will push through the citadel until facing off against the Lich King himself (when he is no longer hiding behind his gating methods). Many months will pass by whilst taking on the armies of the Lich King, so the Ashen Verdict must keep their supplies rationed, meaning you will only get limited attempts on some bosses before they must retreat out for the week.

Cross-Realm Dungeon Finder

The new Dungeon Finder tool, which allows grouping cross realm and give many rewards, including a new non combat pet to players who use it.

Getting Started and Quest Tracking

New changes to the beginning experience and to the map (now including quest tracking within the game UI) to improve the experience of players.

This is just some of the stuff, the rest is viewable in the patch notes. Please enjoy patch 3.3!

Find-A-Dungeon

December 3, 2009

With patch 3.3 set to release next week on the 8th of December, I thought it would be a good time to go deeper into one of the new features coming in said patch. This to me is the reason I have been looking forward to patch 3.3 so much.

The Dungeon Finder

The Dungeon Finder

The old ‘LFG Tool’ which was added into the game in patch 2.0.1 a whopping 3 years ago is finally getting the fix it has needed since the start. This new tool, named the Dungeon Finder, allows players to queue up for any instance or raid that they would like to run, or queue up for a random instance (the default when you open up the finder). From there; after you have selected what role you would like to play in the group, the Dungeon Finder puts together the group from a pool of players across your battlegroup. Hopefully this will remove the problem that every server seems to face, waiting longer than the instance itself just for a tank or a healer.

Not only does this new tool bring with it the cross server (battlegroup) groups and better group making on Blizzard’s part, but also it has been said that through the ‘random dungeon’ selection within the Dungeon Finder, you will not get a raid lockout on heroic dungeons, meaning it will be possible to run random heroics all day, everyday; which will now drop Emblem of Triumph. Gearing up alts never looked so easy did it?

With all these good points, there has to be some bad right? What about running a complete random group and being stuck with people who just hit 80, and are wearing greens? Supposedly there is a match making system, that will ‘help to group you with people around your gear level’. I have not found any written information on this, but it was said on Episode 118 of the WoW Insider Show.

Other little perks of the new Dungeon Finder are:

Every day the first random dungeon you complete awards you with two Emblem of Frost (the new gear badge) and then everyone one after that give you an additional two Emblem of Triumph.

Achievements are awarded based on the amount of random people you have grouped with through the new tool, giving a title when you group with 50 random people.

And finally, a pet ‘Perky Pug’ which is a new non combat pet.

With all of these additions coming from the one thing, I sure am looking forward to the Dungeon Finder!