Tuesday, December 15, 2009

WoW. It's different.

WoW sent out a free week of playtime for people like me who haven't played in months and months.

During the 2 years I actually played, I was surprised how often the game's rules changed drastically. And this revisitation was no exception.

Among new features, now you can see upon simply mousing over an enemy whether you have a quest to kill them, or to obtain a dropped item from them.

They've added a new pvp battleground which makes use of vehicles and heavy artillery.

And here's the latest...a new patch released this week. Quest tracking is now built in to the map. But even more impressive is the Dungeon Finder newly incorporated into the game.

I know this is long, but I thought it was worth pointing out (The whole patch note is here):

Dungeon Finder

This feature has replaced the Looking For Group tool and provides all-new dungeon party creation functionality.

Players can join as individuals, as a full group, or a partial group to look for additional party members.

Groups using this tool will be able to teleport directly to the selected instance. Upon leaving the instance, players will be returned to their original location. If any party member needs to temporarily leave the instance for reagents or repairs, they will have the option to teleport back to the instance.

Players can choose the Random Dungeon option.

The Heroic Wrath of the Lich King Daily Random Dungeon option will award two Emblems of Frost no more than once a day.

The normal Wrath of the Lich King Daily Random Dungeon option will award two Emblems of Triumph no more than once a day.

Continuing to complete Wrath of the Lich King Heroic instances using the Daily Random Dungeon option will award players two additional Emblems of Triumph each time.

Daily Heroic and normal dungeon quests have been removed. These quests have been replaced with weekly raid quests (see the "Quests" section for details).

Level-appropriate rewards will be offered to players who choose the Random Dungeon option for pre-Wrath of the Lich King dungeons.

Players can be placed in a group for a random dungeon no more than once every 15 minutes.
Random Dungeon rewards will be placed in each player's inventory automatically upon completion of the dungeon (final boss killed). A pop-up notification will display any rewards earned through the Dungeon Finder.

Instead of choosing a random dungeon, players can also choose specific dungeons appropriate for their level range. Multiple instances can be selected at one time. The feature no longer limits the choice to look for only 3 dungeon groups at one time.

Pick-Up Groups

Cross-realm instances are now available and use an improved matchmaking system to assist players in looking for additional party members. As with Battlegrounds, the realms in each Battlegroup are connected.

As part of the matchmaking system, some of the more difficult dungeons will have a minimum gear requirement. Players also need to meet the requirements for dungeons that require attunement, such as keys or quests. If a player does not meet the requirements for a particular dungeon, a lock icon will be displayed next to that dungeon. Hovering over this icon will display the requirements which have not been met.

Only conjured items and loot dropped in a dungeon for which other party members are eligible can be traded between players from different realms.

A Vote Kick feature will be available in the event a member of a party is not performing to the expectations of the other members.

Players who leave the group prematurely are subject to a Deserter debuff preventing them from using the Dungeon Finder for 15 minutes.

If an existing group loses a member, the leader will be asked if he or she wants to continue the dungeon. Choosing to continue will automatically place the group back into the Dungeon Finder queue.

A Player will not be placed in a group with people on his or her Ignore list.

Players who take part in groups who have one or more members who have been matched with them randomly from within the Dungeon Finder will receive extra rewards, up to and including the coveted Perky Pug non-combat pet. The more random players with whom one groups, the faster the pet can be obtained.

The Need Before Greed loot system will be the unalterable default looting system for pick-up groups in the Dungeon Finder and has been updated.

Need Before Greed will now recognize gear appropriate for a class in three ways: the class must be able to equip the item, pure melee will be unable to roll on spell power items, and classes are limited to their dominant armor type (ex. paladins for plate). All items will still be available via Greed rolls as well as the new Disenchant option should no member be able to use the item.

Players will be able to roll on items with a required minimum level higher than a player's current level.


Oakstout said...

The disenchant feature of the new loot rules only work if one of the party members is an enchanter. If no members of the party have that trade skill then that option is grayed out or unavailable.

Glad you got a chance to see the game now that is been umm... dumbed down as most of us like to say.

If I felt you would be interested in PvP, I'd invite you to join our little band of misfits, but I have a feeling your more of a PvE relax and explore kind of person, which is why I started playing EQ2 again. lol

mbp said...

I think cross server random pug matchmaking is a really clever idea on Blizzard's part. Instant dungeon gratification any time you want.

It is also a move that none of Blizzards competitors can easily match. Only WoW has the critical mass of players to ensure that you can always find a group of players at any given level to do any given dungeon.

Thallian said...

That's a good point mbp, I suppose we wouldn't know for sure unless they tried it on Lotro or some other "2nd tier" population game but WoW definitely has the upper hand on the number of people logged into their product.