As you probably noticed, things have gone off the rails this week in terms of follow-through.

Have no fear, I shall post part two of the gear list (the analysis is done, it’s writing a post that has dozens of bloody wowhead links that takes time) and there shall be more fun posts as well. Assuredly.

Work is simply building to some form of operatic conclusion, and I fully expect, in the grand tradition of any opera, that there shall be tragedy before it’s all over. Perhaps the plant shall burn, while a mezzo-soprano sings about thermal updrafts beneath the wings of her steed.

At any rate, I find myself at work long after I should have gone home, attending to one emergency after another. By the time I get home, all I’d like to do is decompress. It shall get better. Of this, I’m sure. After all, once the plant HAS actually burned down, well… at least they can’t page me for another emergency, right?

Moving on…

As I said, once I do get home, I make it a point to chill when I can be in game.

In the game, it’s been more fun than ever. The game itself, for the last few weeks, has been probably the most exciting and fun that I’ve seen in a long time.

We had a fun event last week, dancing in front of the gates of Orgrimmar taunting the Horde, but mostly, yes, it’s playing with my friends in the new LFG randomness… and flying solo just to see what I get, as well.

You know, before 3.3, if someone mentioned running a PUG in a Heroic, chances were you’d hear the other party say something along the lines of, “Hell no! I’d rather run with my friends than a bunch of random strangers.”

There are always exception, and I know a few folks who have long commented that they love running in PUGs, and never had a problem to speak of.

My own experiences before the new LFG were rather scattered. Sometimes, I’d meet some really nice people that became friends (or at least got added to my friends list), and other times I’d meet, well… the opposite. :)

But damn, things have changed. People are openly running in Pick Up Groups a lot since the new cross server LFG got started, and I have to wonder what it is.

I can’t speak as to why other people are loving it. Or hating it, for that matter. All I know is what I like.

First, I like that the rewards for being in a randomly chosen heroic or regular Dungeon are granted simply for going random, and NOT for being with strangers. If you and four friends want to run some heroics, you don’t get penalized for not having any strangers in your group.

Sounds silly, I know, but there was some talk before the Patch went live that you may have to be grouped with randomly chosen players in order to get the extra Emblems. Wouldn’t that have been ridonkulous? 

  • “Sorry Bob, I know we’ve been doing 5 mans together for years, but if we’re going to get Frost Emblems, somebody’s got to go, and we’ve voted you off the run. Tough luck, man.”
  • “But… but I’m the tank!”
  • “Yeah, about that… we never wanted to tell you but… you kinda suck.”

The extra Emblems are a nice reward for being willing to take the luck of the draw on Heroics… and for me, right now, it adds a certain amount of spice. What’s it going to be? Huh? Which one do we get?

The second thing, of course, is that by making it cross-server, there are conceivably more folks available ready to do something. You add that in with the novelty of three new instances with awesome new loot, extra Emblems for going LFG, and a TON of Tier gear available from those Emblems, and yes… right now, LFG is being heavily used.

Give it 3 months, and I think it’s safe to say that things will calm way the hell down. But for now… well, it’s Christmas for runs!

So what happened? Everything bright and wonderful now? All win?

Well, I don’t think so.

I know that I mentioned earlier a warning to pay attention to what’s being needed or greeded in your groups… which some people took in a weird way, but if you really get offended at the idea that folks should be cautioned to follow the rest of the group in how you roll for loot because different servers have different customs, hey, that’s your choice.

Regardless, it’s pretty obvious that there are some bugs in the woodwork in how loot is being handled.

I’ve gotten used to not worrying about loot, since first, I don’t really care, and second, you can trade loot you get with other people that were in the instance with you.

It’s been an eye opener that, at least the times I have tried it, you cannot make that trade if the other person is from another server.

I think this is a bug, because from what I’ve read by Blue posts, you are supposed to be able to trade items so long as everyone is still in the instance together.

When I tried it, our group got a message, “You can only trade conjured items with players from another server.” Or something to that effect, anyway. The conjured item thing is what stuck out, Strudel is fine, just not that shiny Spellpower Dagger the Warrior won through the Greed roll.

Later on, I ran into another slight drawback with the system. Killing the last boss of Pit of Saron, we had three Plate wearing DPS/tanks, a Shaman and me wearing Leather.

A nice Cloth spellpower item dropped… and everyone started Greeding as you’d expect. Well, I wasn’t permitted to click Need. Neither was the Shaman, or the Paladin. And people had already started rolling Greed.

So, sure enough, we had to all roll Greed… and the Warrior got the nice caster Cloth item as well. And could not Trade it to anyone else.

Those are a couple points to keep in mind. Great upgrades for you can drop, and even if you’re not a careless distracted goofball like me, you still may not be able to get it because it’s not exactly the same as your normal armor type.

But with all that, still the LFG is being used aggressively. I know I’m having fun with it.

So, what’s the upside again?

For starters, you want to run something with friends, be it anything at random or something in particular… there is no travel time there anymore. No more waiting for two people to fly from Dalaran to Nexus for the Summoning Stone.

And when you’re done? No more Hearthing to get back to whatever you were doing, unless you don’t want to go back where you were.

By traditional MMO thinking, this is terrible for Blizzard. The idea is supposed to be, isn’t it, that you want the customer doing long, time wasting tasks so that they spend more time in game to get something done, and that corresponds to subscription fees.

No time wasted on a flight? No time hanging around waiting for people to get going?

But you see, isn’t this the best thing? It sends a message to me that Blizzard is so satisfied with the amount of things there are that we WANT to do in the game now, that they’re willing to remove the obstacles that keep us from doing them instantly. 

This teleporting folks into and out of dungeons is just wonderful.

But what else?

I’ll tell you what else.

It’s a people watcher’s dream.

As a Tank, I’m watching all the mobs and the environment with an eagle’s eye, wary for aggro opportunitues.

As a DPS, I’m watching the primary kill target, and planning my next move.

But I ain’t doing the PUGs as a tank or DPS… I’m going as the Healer, bwana.

As a Healer… I’m watching the PARTY.

I get to see what the DPS are doing, and laugh or cry or whine to Cassie on vent, whatever the case may be.

But even better, I get to watch what the tank is doing, and just be all judgmental on his ass the whole run.

This has been a cause for pure joy. Good run, bad run, wacky run, I’m seeing the entire range of personalities and playstyles, and it all rocks.

I get to see the Warrior tank that runs all the time, and pulls no matter where anyone else is, or what mana levels they have. As I like to call them, the “Run far, die fast and leave a splashy corpse” style of tank.

I get to see tanks that mark, and tanks that don’t, and see that, you know what? If you’re in a PUG, the melee DPS seem to like to know who to unload on or chase after, and the ranged don’t care. And the more AoE someone has, the less they think anyone else deserves a kill target mark to follow.

I get to see tanks that run fast as hell from group to group… but pause for that critical split second needed for mana to hit 75% or so before taking off.

I saw one such tank that took heroic Pit of Saronwrap at a dead run… except for when everyone’s mana was below 50%. A brief, just slight delay and then back on the run. And kiting mobs to bigger mobs, based on how his health had been doing and how well I’d been keeping him alive. Great job.

And then there are the groups where you just watch in amazement, as the Rogue posts Recount stats not just after every fight, but even DURING the middle of the boss fights. No, his DPS hasn’t changed, he just posts it over and over, perhaps in case we forgot. He’s died to aggro from various unmarked mobs 4 times before the third boss, and used Jeeves to regain Durability as though he is long used to doing this, too.

There is the Mage that Blinks into the middle of a pack of undead before the tank can get there. Yes, the Mage led the way. Mage tanks, now? What WILL those crazy kids think of next?

There is the Paladin tank that spends the entire time asking in party chat how to tank as a Pally, and whining about his mana regen sucking, and asking the party for advice on how to Pally tank… while he’s wearing all Tier 9 tanking gear with heroic ToC weapons, running Heroic Pit of Saron again.

There are the Hunter’s I’ve come to love, quietly sending in pets, dropping traps, doing damage and getting the job done. It’s easy to miss them, since they’re not causing any drama.

And how about that Shaman, who, after the Brann escort for Halls of Stone is activated and mobs are running into the room in waves, announces in party chat “Oh, I’ve got lag, I’m going to log off” and leaves the party. We 4 manned it easily, but Cassie was with me in that run and we were chatting in vent, and we mutually said “Oh, what an asshat. LOL, who bails AFTER the fight is started?”

There are just so many awesome things to see people do in runs.

Sure, I saw them before. But with all the delays built into the system, it could take all night to get two heroic runs in purely from LFG.

With the new system, you can pop out three in an hour, and end up looking at the clock after thinking, “Wow, it’s only 8 PM? Normally it’d be bedtime by the time I had three runs done.”

I don’t care how bad the run is now… because it took no time getting there, it’ll take no time to get back where I was, and there will be another group coming along 5 minutes after this one. So sit back, relax and /popcorn!

Is that the secret to the success? We’re all just having an amazing time meeting so many crazy people, and watching what happens next?

I enjoy the camaraderie of our guild runs a lot, but in the greater scheme of things… I guess I like watching failpugs from the cheap seats, and people are getting so insanely overgeared from Triumph Emblems that they can get away with the most amazing behavior, and still win.

I love it. I can’t get enough of it, in fact.

22 Responses to “Crazy Days”
  1. Intravax says:

    I myself do the tank healer combo. I always hated it that those of us who choose to shoulder the load, no matter what order we were invited to the group, we always ended up summoning the DPS. While I don’t think Blizzard addressed this discrepancy with us in mind, it has effectively been removed with the instant teleport in/out. Thank you Blizzard for removing one of my biggest annoyances outside of the instance.

  2. Quench says:

    Its so funny, i seem to enjoy the fail pug drama as much as you, first time i got occulus i finished with 4 different people than i started with and also 2 more were kicked/quit in shame in between, that’s 10 people in 1 run!!!!!!You stay quiet, do your job use all your abilities at the right time ( rogue main, druid alt) and lol at the /p. its added value for money :P and its bearable (punny) because like you said it takes no time at all compared to the past.

  3. Morphster of Aggramar says:

    On an unrelated note, youtube has the official Iron Man 2 trailer up . . . it doesn’t look as good as the first movie :(

  4. Kaethir says:

    bear/tree dualspec. I’ve gotten in as the tank in all but 1 of my runs.

    only 2 bad experiences.

    One: DPS chart:
    2800 dps (guild warlock)
    2000 dps (me, bear tank)
    900 dps (poorly geared hunter)
    500 dps (slightly less poorly geared dk)

    … i wondered what was taking so long until i looked at that.

    The other bad experience was one in which a warrior insisted on attacking whatever he was closest to, regardless of marked targets and whether or not I was there.

    I do think you’re right, tho. I think in general, the era of the Huntard is over – most hunters i’ve run with anymore are pretty good at managing their threat and staying on target, and using their abilities other than pure damage when needed.
    .-= Kaethir´s last blog ..New Mount! =-.

  5. conundrum says:

    Hunters not causing drama… that would be nice. I was tanking about 12 mobs in HoS one time because the hunter sent their pet into a room full of casters that I had not planned on doing yet. And I have found that in general hunters try hardest to ignore the healer that I have marked for death, instead heaping as much agro as they can (without misdirect of course, we cannot let the tank get credit for our threat, can we?) onto a different mob.

    I have had mostly good experiences on all 3 fronts. Then there are other runs. Like when my lightly geared disc priest (mostly pvp epics) did Forge of Souls. I was in the middle of buffing everyone (not “just finished”, “in the middle”) when the pally pulled the first pair of mobs. No biggie, a PWS and Penance later and it was like nothing had happened. I asked to stop for mana before another pull at which point he took off and pulled the next set of mobs. This one went worse, but still no deaths. By the 4th time of him pulling without stopping for me to mana up, I ran out of mana, a dps had died, and he was running to get the next pull. I rezzed the dps, apologized that I would not be able to heal, and bailed from the group.

    The only other run that really annoyed me (all the new 80’s that try to “help” me out by telling me what to do merely amuse me), was HoR. As a rule of thumb, you kill healers (in this case the Priests) first. Doubly so when they can also CC (I believe they fear). So every pull I mark the priests for death first, and every pull the dps pull the knights and rogues off of me while I focus on the healer. Are they attacking whatever they tab into? Is there something about the knights and rogues of which I am unaware that makes them priority targets? I politely ask them to kill the priests I mark first, they continue to ignore it. After the third wipe, the healer complains that they keep getting feared and I ask that they kill the priests first, pretty much simultaneously. The healer asks who does the fears, and one of the dps lets us know, guess what, its the mob I have been asking them to kill first all along. Apparently the fact that the mob was healing everyone else had not been enough to convince them, but the fact that it feared (and I am assuming then affected the dps more directly) finally got them killing the priests first. And guess what? We did not have anyone drop below probably 75% health for the rest of the run.

    But those are only 2 runs (and honestly the guys in the second one were nice, they just didn’t want to kill the most important target first for whatever reason) out of the literally dozens that I have done. Overall I am amazed at how competent and nice people have been.

  6. logtar says:

    I was the ultimate anti pug, even making it something that I would speak about in guild meeting and a reason that having a guild was great. This new feature surely has made it manageable to do pugs. It truly has changed the game beyond recognition. The time distribution of running vs sitting around setting things up has been pretty much cut off, and the guilt of not taking someone to a raid completely removed, because now they always have something to do… not that they didn’t before. I wrote some tips on LFG :) let me know what you think.
    .-= logtar´s last blog ..LFG Tips =-.

  7. Dracomage says:

    Dear Mr Bear

    I am absolutely loving random heroics. It gives me the same “soloing” feeling as running battlegrounds. What do I mean?

    I can log on, and as paladin tank/healer, be in an instance running, less than 1 minutes after I logged on. This is great!

    Instead of hanging around in LFG, waiting for a group to form, I can almost immediately be in a group running an instance, getting the rewards.

    And yes, I had some bad groups… The almost 50K warrior tank that grabbed all the trash to the boss and thought he was indestructible. Then complaining about my heals and the low DPS.. Ah dude… not everyone is geared in 25man ilvl 250+ gear…. This is a HEROIC 5man!

    Or the AFK-bot Hunter… Always out of mana, no mobility during fights, DPS below me as tank…vote out after the 4th trash pull.

    Otherwise, groups have been great. Good healers, good to incredible DPS. People follow my marks, follow the common boss strategies, very few wipes. The occasion death, but on average I think I had 5 wipes since the new tools was launched. Less than 1 death per instance run.

    I also did a raid weekly quest PUG (OS10) and with no strategy/tactic discussion we downed everything without a death. (took 15minutes total to put the group together).

    My Paladin tank is getting to the ranged where I will be retiring her and gearing up my Priest healer.

    I have yet to witness a loot dispute. Other than the annoying fact that my paladin cannot roll need on cloth/leather/mail and have to compete on greed with the D/E roll.. which means that my off-set healer upgrades got sharded three times already. :(

    /salute to Blizzard for this great change!

    Next up LFR cross-servers!
    .-= Dracomage´s last blog ..Hunter Pet envy: Arcturis, the Spirit Best Bear =-.

  8. Saithir says:

    It’s even better on lower levels – I get to run for example Gnomeregan or Stockades as a lowbie horde, which you wouldn’t do otherwise at all. And it’s just a little bit slower than heroics on level 80, so you can safely quest away while being queued for something.

    Oh, and the low level inexperienced players are even better for fail pug stories. :)
    .-= Saithir´s last blog ..Patch 3.3 for the low level players =-.

  9. Elegantdeath says:

    Thanks for another superb article.

    Yeh, I had to do a double-take when I first saw the portal in & out of runs. It is so unlike Blizzard… which I’m reminded of as I waste a ton of time running back and forth leveling my druid.

  10. Wentockmosha says:

    All in all a positive experience with the new LFG system.
    I have encountered one particular issue I found highly annoying. Some players find it enjoyable to harass and mock those playing on RP servers. Just because I play on a RP server to avoid stupid l33t naming practices doesn’t mean I don’t know how to play my class.

  11. Melpo says:

    Tried the new system a couple times on the rogue….really fun (still surprised that it let me do heroic FoS and PoS in my gear, but got two great weapons). I even did a random Gnomer run on my priest (shiver). That instance still sucks, but it was nice to be able to fly through, get a level and some decent loot.

    Can’t wait to get some more time in with it.

  12. Kaelynn says:

    I was able to trade a cloth caster piece to a druid from another server yesterday – so the trade is working some of the time.

    The loot rules are really the only thing that bugs me about the new LFG. A lot of the best heroic gear for resto/elemental shammies is cloth or leather. It makes me really sad to think that something I could use as an upgrade might get sharded – groups tend to click the disenchant button before you have a chance to tell them you need it. Even if you explain things when you enter the dungeon, you have to rely on having a really nice group. I understand that clothies should get priority on cloth gear, but there has to be a better way to handle it. Perhaps we should be allowed to roll need, but clothies automatically get priority, and our rolls get ignored if one of them rolls on it. Either that or they need to itemize gear better for Boomkin/resto druids and elemental/restos shammies, so we’d never want to roll on cloth.
    .-= Kaelynn´s last blog ..A BOA World =-.

  13. Ely says:

    @ Kaethir I always come in below the tank for dps. in fact, I cheer if I come in slightly over them and a good heroic for me is when I don’t die :P ( for some reason mobs like me. )

  14. Bomchet says:

    Love the extreme types of groups I get in… that said, not only do I love tanking (just started about 2 months ago and have now found my tanking set to out-gear my dps boomkin set), I have to say I like the control that pugging as a tank gives me. For example, yesterday, I wound up in H Hall of Lightning… and I was top dps as a bear. Basically, the healer dps’d a bit and we practically two-manned it, for all the dps output the others gave us. But had I been a dps capable of it and the tank was one of those non-helping folks, we’d have never finished it. Even a bad healer can be worked around… as a boomkin, I off-heal as needed, and as a tank, Survival Instincts is your friend.

    I do have to say dude, I wish you’d write more about H Halls of Reflections. I’ve tanked it successfully 4 times and done it once as dps… but I have to say, it’s impossible to under-sell bear problems in there due to our lack of a ranged silencing move. If the dps aren’t very good about moving back to that corner, I have a tough time controlling the ranged, and if I charge out, I’m then out of healing range. I guess warriors are stuck too, but man, having a ranged silence glyph or talent would be something I’d pay for to have in there. Thoughts?

  15. Saithir says:

    @Bomchet – 99% of warriors have Heroic Strike with a talented silence on it, so it’s not an issue for us. If I didn’t, hmmm. Shackle it. Let it bang on a paladin healer, he has plate anyway. Shamans can hex it and druids can try to cyclone. If it’s a problem then solve it in a way or the other, it’s not like we run these instances solo.
    .-= Saithir´s last blog ..Patch 3.3 for the low level players =-.

  16. Saithir says:

    Mhm, obviously I meant Heroic Throw, not Strike.

    And also forgot about the fears – paladins, priests, warriors, warlocks. Anyway there’s a lot of things you can do to these mobs.

  17. Iron says:

    @BBB, you can trade drops in the cross server pug. Just last night, gave the love mace from H Nexx to a pally after I won it on my boomkin.
    Trades can happen.
    = )
    .-= Iron´s last blog ..AQ40 – For When You Want Your Asp Handed to You =-.

  18. Bomchet says:

    @Saither: Thanks, I just don’t know much about warriors… basically, it sounds like bears are the only tank with a ranged silence move, and that was my comment… My successful tanking runs in there have all been about high dps crushing the mobs in the right order with cc the order of the day. My frustration has come up when I’ve been in there with folks having a tough time cc:ing and I don’t have a cc to contribute other than nature’s grasp, which isn’t terribly helpful. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if bears had an offsetting talent, like brezing in form…

  19. Redauroa says:

    For some reason I have a hard time with getting a PUG group. I don’t know if it is my battlegroup Ruin or the fact I go as healer with the DPS husband. Maybe if he was a tank it would be easier. But we have had as much as a half hour (sometimes longer) wait each time we go for pug/random. Not that long but it gets to the point you just don’t wanna any more :) Now if we have our tank friend also we get in with no wait at all. Oh well. I still use it I have like 400 more badges I need LOL to finish regearing myself.

    I enjoyed the post Bear. I am looking forward to your part-two on gear

  20. Autumn says:

    The new LFG has indeed been a godsend. I only have about 1.5 to 2 hours a day to play, and I always prioritized running the daily on my main DPS toon first. Often, this leaves me with little or no time for my paladin and druid alts. Now with this new system, I simply finish up the random with my main, and have more than enough time to do 1-2 randoms each on my pally and druid. Of course, it helps that said druid and paladin are tanks. :-]

    My bear has finally awoken from a long hibernation to replace his 219/226 gear with some better stuff. My wife’s new tank was having problems finding groups to run heroics with her. With the new LFG? Pfft.

    To me and the missus, this has been the singular best patch in terms of play time management.

  21. Kaethir says:

    @Ely – it’s not so bad to come in below a well-geared bear tank’s DPS… In my experience we tend to have fairly high DPS for a tank…

    But you shouldn’t be below half the tank’s DPS… :)
    .-= Kaethir´s last blog ..I’m a Druid, and I Cheat =-.

  22. Lazaros of Llane says:

    100% agree with loving this new interface. It’s slick, useful as all heck, and lets me abuse my limited time to the best effect. (Like the 14-minute H UP run where the healer did 3600 DPS. Pull, kill, heal me (the tank) if needed, keep running, can’tstopclownwilleatme…) Queuing as a tank it great, too; I click the button and see if I have to count to 3 or 5 before the dungeon pops.

    Saithir said it above, and I’ve seen the same: low level dungeoning has a habit of being like an 80 fail pug, magnified. Tanking? Healer mana? Group cohesiveness? “This stuff is too easy to worry about that!” I’ve had some pro players in those low pugs, but they seem to be the exception. The sad part is, most of the fail comes from people who should know better.

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