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?
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.