After a couple more days of playing with the Dungeon Finder on World of Warcraft, I came to the conclusion that my quibble about the renewed capacity for ninja looting really doesn’t amount to much of a complaint at all, because the purpose of dungeons on WoW no longer seems to be getting the gear dropped by bosses – it’s about getting the emblems that can be used to purchase much better gear from vendors in Dalaran.
And I’m absolutely fine with that.
Bring on the PUGs!
Not so long ago, Blizzard introduced a feature with bind-on-pickup loot that allowed players who may have accidentally ninjafied the item to give it to a needier party member within the next couple of hours. That was a great move.
However, it seems to have been largely undone by the new Dungeon Finder tool, which randomly groups you with players who are often from other servers.
Yesterday, I participated in a PUG in Gundrak. It was rough going. We got about halfway through, killed a troll boss, and one of our members – a warrior – need-rolled some cloth boots while the rest of us were greeding. He grabbed them, dropped group, and went happily back to his server. Luckily, none of the rest of the party really needed the item, but it illustrates a minor flaw in the Dungeon Finder system.
Tonight I patched WoW up to 3.3 and headed in for a big adventure in a cross-realm instance pick-up group using the new Dungeon Finder feature.
It basically takes the old Looking for Group tool and amplifies it so that all instances work like Alterac Valley PvP battleground: You don’t have to pray your server has enough people to go, you just wait until enough people queue up from the server battlegroup and off you go. Still: It’s a PUG system.
I spent about 20 minutes waiting for a group for the Halls of Lightning instance – a dungeon I had never run before with my DPS-specced warrior, Stamp. Repeatedly, I’d join a group only to have the system announce that someone had declined the invite and it cancelled the PUG. Finally, though, we got a group together. And once we were in – well, it was pretty smooth sailing, really. We had a couple of deaths, but never a total wipe – and I landed some achievements.
So, first impression of Dungeon Finder? I like it a lot!