Last Tuesday, Blizzard launched patch 3.3 for World of Warcraft. With my highest level character at the time a 72 Restoration Shaman, my main interest in this new patch was the Dungeon Finder system that replaced the old Looking for Group system. Blizzard also added Tier 10 gear and a new set of end game instances, but since I wasn’t close to that stuff, I wasn’t concerned about those things.
Last Wednesday, I did a post about my initial thoughts on this system. In the days since that post, I have fallen in love with this new system and I must commend Blizzard on really pushing World of Warcraft forward. This new system not only renews my interest in World of Warcraft, but ensures that I will finally get to do all of those dungeons that I want to do, but was never able to get a group together.
The major thing that I like about the system is the speed with which I can find a group. Granted, this is because I am a healer and there aren’t as many healers as DPS, but that doesn’t change the fact that I often find groups within 2 minutes. Very rarely do I actually wait long enough to consider questing or rep grinding or herb gathering. When I want a group, I am in one very quickly.
As a result of this turnaround speed, I am often able to complete two dungeons per hour, which has quickly gotten me some pretty nice gear from the dungeon bosses. At the time of writing, my now 77 Draenei Shaman is geared about as well as can be expected and I am rapidly approaching level 80. This would be the first time I have reached end game in an MMORPG.
As far as the quality of players that I find, it is a mixed bag as you would expect. I have had a few amazingly competent groups that can knock out a dungeon in 20 minutes and I have had a few groups that are so wretched I had to leave and take the deserter debuff. The main problem that I have run into is incompetent tanks that are unable to hold aggro and oblivious to enemies that make a move for the squishies. I occasionally get subpar damage dealers that target the wrong enemy or overnuke, but I can handle those much better than I can handle a bad tank.
In the past week, the general competency level has gone up. It seems many players that never ran dungeons are suddenly doing so and are having to take a crash course in how to work as a team. I am one of those players. My healing skills now are significantly up from a week ago, and I’m sure many other players have had the same experiences.
On a final note, Death Knights are, for the most part, awful. This class seems to be a magnet for bad players who have no idea what their role in a team is. I’ve had Death Knight tanks in Blood Presence who do more damage than anyone in the team (while letting the warlock and shaman get beat down right behind him) and Death Knight damage dealers that insist on attacking a target the tank has not built up sufficient threat on. Almost any time I join a group with a Death Knight, I wince and assume the worst. I’ve rarely been proven wrong. Also – Shadow Priests aren’t much better.