Posts Tagged ‘loot’

Blizzard Unveils Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms

If you needed a reason to queue up and join the dungeon finder, well…now you have one. Alternatively, if you’ve bemoaned the lack of people in queues and the time required to get a decent group, get ready for some relief. In patch 4.1 Blizzard is poised to unveil the Dungeon Finder: A Call to Arms.

Here’s the lowdown from Blizzard:

In patch 4.1 we’ll be introducing Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms, a new system intended to lower queue times. Call to Arms will automatically detect which class role is currently the least represented in the queue, and offer them additional rewards for entering the Dungeon Finder queue and completing a random level-85 Heroic dungeon.

Any time the Dungeon Finder queue is longer than a few minutes for level-85 Heroics, the Call to Arms system kicks in and determines which role is the least represented. In the case of tanking being the least represented role, the “Call to Arms: Tanks” icon will display in the Dungeon Finder UI menu where class roles are selected, and will also display on the UI when the queue pops and you are selected to enter a dungeon. Regardless of your role, you’ll always be able to see which role currently has been Called to Arms, if any.

Call to Arms is meant to lower wait times by offering additional rewards for queuing as the currently least represented role. To be eligible for the additional rewards you must solo queue for a random level-85 Heroic in the role that is currently being Called to Arms, and complete the dungeon by killing the final boss. Every time you hit these requirements (there is no daily limit) you’ll receive a goodie bag that will contain some gold, a chance at a rare gem, a chance at a flask/elixir (determined by spec), a good chance of receiving a non-combat pet (including cross faction pets), and a very rare chance at receiving a mount. The pets offered come from a wide variety of sources, and include companions like the Razzashi Hatchling, Cockatiel, and Tiny Sporebat, but the mounts are those specifically only available through dungeons (not raids), like the Reins of the Raven Lord from Sethekk Halls, Swift White Hawkstrider from Magister’s Terrace, and Deathcharger’s Reins from Stratholme.

Allow me to use this YouTube video to express my reaction:

Moving on:

This system is meant to address the unacceptable queue times currently being experienced by those that queue for the DPS role at max level. The long queue times are, of course, caused by a very simple lack of representation in the Dungeon Finder by tanks, and to some extent healers. We don’t feel the tanking and healing roles have any inherent issues that are causing the representation disparity, except that fulfilling them carries more responsibility. Understandably, players prefer to take on that responsibility in more organized situations than what the Dungeon Finder offers, but perhaps we can bribe them a little. While this system gives tanks and healers something extra, the incentive is being provided so that we can help players in the DPS role get into more dungeons, get better gear, and continue progressing.

While the gold, gems, flasks, and elixirs are OK incentives, we knew we needed something more substantial. We had briefly considered Valor Points and epics, but decided that wouldn’t be working toward the goal of helping DPS players progress, and ultimately wouldn’t keep tanks and healers in the Dungeon Finder system for very long. We settled on pets and dungeon-found mounts as they’re cosmetic/achievement items that players tend to try to get on their own, so why not change that up and offer them a chance to get some of those elusive pets and mounts in a way that also helps other players? Even if they don’t get a pet or mount, or get one they already have, the gold and other goodies still feel rewarding enough that it won’t feel like a waste of effort.

We think it’s a pretty solid incentive to get tanks and healers queuing, give max-level players another way to collect the pets and mounts they so desire, and above all, to improve wait times for DPS players sitting in queues. In the case of lower level dungeons, it’s actually not uncommon for DPS to be the least represented role, and so if this new system works out and we’re pleased with the results, we may consider applying this same mechanic to lower level dungeons as well.

Wow. Color me impressed. That’s really something, and personally I think the lure of loot just may work. After all, it worked during Wrath to get people to actually stay and finish The Oculus, why won’t it work here?

SDCC 2010

Last week was a wash for me regarding blogging about WoW. Between work, travel, San Diego Comic Con, and more travel, the chance to sit down (with functional internet) was nearly impossible. So here is a run down of all of the WoW related stuff I encountered while at the San Diego Comic Con this year.

Preview Night: Oh, see, I have a confession to make. I love Murlocs. I know, I know. They are such a pita when you’re playing the game with large aggro radius’, casters, socially aggro (meaning if they’re too close you get many instead of one), and the damn healing caster Murlocs (I said this already didn’t I??). Ugh! Believe me, I feel your pain. I really really do. My love for them came when I did those quests where you have to wrangle up the babies in a Murloc costume and for some time they follow you around googooing, laughing, and generally being omgsocute!! Yeah, I was a goner and I loved the little buggers. Somewhere in the middle of the mad dash for the boyfriend and I to snag each and every exclusive we had on our lists, I saw someone wearing a plush Murloc. Um, wut?!! Yes, and adorably cute plush Murloc. Oh hell, what the hell do I have to do to get me one of those!! I was desperate! It now became my sole focus, to get me one of those cute adorable plushie Murlocs. I was not leaving the con without one!

The catch was that I had to sign up for a year of the World of Warcraft magazine for $39.99, but the magazine does not feature any advertising and is all WoW related. Plus, they promised me the cute Murloc plushie right then and there! Hell yes! Quite possibly the most expensive plushie I’ve ever purchased, but lookit how cute he is!! He now sits on my desk at home and often gets random hugs from this very adult human female.

Wow Panel: I was late in attending the World of Warcraft: Epic Loot panel, and was a little saddened by this. My boyfriend and I had a bit of a hotel issue regarding shuffling from one to the other, and missed out on the beginning of the panel. The best part about catching even just the tail end of it is getting to hear some of the creative staff mention that there is and always has been a larger plan for World of Warcraft. Cataclysm will rock the old world and as players we’ve been hearing and seeing the changes over the course of months. I wish I could remember who was speaking (but I missed the introductions and was stuck at one of the furthest in the back points of the room), but they pointed out that all things in the game are happening for a reason. Even if it isn’t apparent on the surface, or even with the introduction of Cataclysm, the bigger story is always at work. The ebb and flow of the game will continue on, and even as Cataclysm takes out so much of the game that we once knew, that there is always change.

Exhibition Hall: I’m going to take a stab in the dark here and guess that the lack of more WoW related paraphernalia was due in large part to Cataclysm coming out soon(ish) and Starcraft II’s release a few days after SDCC ended. I found a handful of boxed figures and one or two of the trading card booths had WoWTCG boosters and starters, but for the most part, there was very little.

I did, however, enjoy immensely walking up and down Artist’s Alley within the Exhibition Hall if for no other reason than to see all of the beautiful artwork! I wish I had infinite amounts of money (for many reasons, but in particular) so I could buy lots and lots of artwork and line my walls with it all. I picked up a print by Emily Warren. And a few others, but it didn’t compare to stumbling across some of the artwork by Samwise. At first it was his wife manning the table and the art. My boyfriend and I chatted with her, asking if she played WoW (she did/does). She shared that one of the prints was modeled after her character. When Samwise returned we chatted with him as well. I picked a piece and asked him to sign it for me as a gift. The boyfriend asked some Cataclysm questions which both promptly shared they could not talk about (without giving up her first born child, her words, not mine). The following day (or was it 2 days later) I went back and bought another print. This one was for me. It is far lovelier in person.

Conclusion: The con was a success. We spent a lot of money, got a lot of epic loot, and some new armor, and was happy with all of the art purchases.

And wouldn’t you know it that when the boyfriend took off for the hour long trek to the nearest Best Buy to pick up the Startcraft II Collector’s Edition sets he preordered for us, that he’d return home only to have me flipping through the artbook after unboxing and yelping. On the first page is an introduction to the book and what to expect… written by the Senior Art Director of Blizzard… Samwise.

Well color me dumbfounded!! I’m glad I didn’t make a complete spectacle of myself while he was around and kept the uber-fangirl to a minimum. Ha!

New Plushie Pets (and In-Game Counterparts) Coming Soon!

You couldn’t move without hearing news about this yesterday, especially if you know or have pet collectors in your guild! It’s good news, regardless – coming soon to the Blizzard Store will be two new plushie pets; a Wind Rider Cub and a Gryphon Hatchling!

They’re adorable little plushies as is, perfect gifts for the stuffed-animal-loving-WoW-player you know, but here’s the clincher: each one of them will come with a code to get the non-combat pet in-game! This alone will be more than enough to make some of the pet collectors in my guild buy the plushie, but then again – who can resist having a non-combat pet both in and out of game?

Thanks to WoW.com for the scoop!

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