Surf Report – 3/1/10

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Welcome to the Monday edition of the Surf Report.

.: God :

Slowly but surely, I have been working my way through The Love Dare book. So far I have learned a lot about myself and the way I function within my marriage. One of the more recent entries had me ask my wife what I do to irritate/ make her uncomfortable. The answers were interesting as well as enlightening. Good stuff.

.: Life :

Tired of the cold? I am.

.: Gaming :

Signed up for the Final Fantasy XIV beta last night. The limited beta, for the time being, is set to start March 11th. Not signed up yet? Head on over here.

Otherwise, below you will find a list of blog entries/ articles that have caught my interest:

  • Spinks has a post on the state of the World of Warcraft Dungeon Finder. (Check out Bridging the Gap for my own thoughts on the matter.)
  • Syp, over at Bio Break, has a retro article on Getting to Know Your Guild. I have a confession to make in regards to guilds, I have never found one that I have enjoyed being apart of. Somehow I always wander into guilds that are made up of rude little children. Perhaps one day this will change…
  • Tobold reports that the WoW Authenticator has been hacked. Yikes!
  • Keen explores old worlds such as Ultima Online.
  • Don’t know how many JBG readers have stumbled across Mike Minotti’s The Warcraft Hero, but I highly suggest checking out this WoW based comic.

That is it for this weeks Surf Report. Make sure to comment below and have a good week!

Bridging the Gap

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Awhile back I blogged about World of Warcraft’s new Dungeon Finder system and my initial experiences with it. I ended the post with a list of thoughts so far. Today I would like to add to that list in light of continued use of the system (new thoughts in bold).

Pro’s-

  • Instant access to a dungeon party.
  • Easy experience (XP) earned.
  • Feels like you’ve accomplished something within an hour.
  • Instance Teleporting.
  • Meeting random new friends.

Con’s –

  • Your playing with random strangers.
  • Party members dropping out for no reason (not dedicated).
  • Dungeons seem to take about an hour to clear (45 minutes at minimum). Dedicated time is needed.
  • Finding out that the random person you just met and enjoyed playing with is on another server.
  • No penalty is given to party members who suddenly quit.
  • Lower level players are not able to play with higher level players (no scaling/ “Level Sync” system).

The friends that I play World of Warcraft with out-leveled me long ago (currently a 23 level difference and counting). Choking on their leveling dust, I manage to continue on towards that level 80 goal. (One can dream can’t they?) My high level friends occasionally fly down from Northrend and help me quest and run through dungeons — very kind of them I know–.  The other night I partied up with a few of these friends and decided to do a quick dungeon run with the Dungeon Finder. To my horror, I soon found out that the Dungeon Finder would not let me enter the queue due to my friends being too high of a level for the dungeon. What!?!

Bridging the level gap by adding a “Level Sync” system, ala Final Fantasy 11, seems like the next logical step for Blizzard to incorporate into World of Warcraft. Otherwise, for players separated by multiple levels — like me! — the level of frustration and feeling of being left behind makes one want to just give up. So Blizzard, add a scaling feature to the Dungeon Finder and let me play with my comrades in arms! Please?

Dungeon Found

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Though I had read much about the new Dungeon Finder feature in World of Warcraft, I had yet to stumble upon it until this past week. (I would like to note that I did so completely by accident.) Randomly pressing the letter “i” on the keyboard, the Dungeon Finder window suddenly appeared.

Immediately I was presented with a few choices:

  • What role did I want to play (tank, healer, etc.)?
  • Did I want to run a specific dungeon or a random dungeon?

After making my choices, I pressed “Find Group”, which put me into the cross-server que. Within moments I was asked if I wanted to join a dungeon, I selected yes. My very first Pickup Group (PUG) consisted of me tanking with my level 53 druid Arclight. The other players were made up of priests, rouges, and mages. Our group proceeded through the dungeon and was doing quite well until the last boss. Right before we entered the final boss encounter, a bad pull eliminated all but one person in the party. In anger or frustration — I imagine — everyone in our party quit. This left me and the remaining player to finish the dungeon. 5 minutes later we completed the dungeon and reaped our rewards. A very satisfying night.

My thoughts so far:

Pro’s-

  • Instant access to a dungeon party.
  • Easy experience (XP) earned.
  • Feels like you’ve accomplished something within an hour.
  • Instance Teleporting.

Con’s –

  • Your playing with random strangers.
  • Party members dropping out for no reason (not dedicated).
  • Dungeons seem to take about an hour to clear (45 minutes at minimum). Dedicated time is needed.

Overall I have enjoyed the two instances I have run using the Dungeon Finder. More to come soon.