Archive for January 22nd, 2010


Pugging at Low Levels, part 2

As far as pug groups go, I’ve had a mix of good and bad pugs so far.  The tanks have generally been good.  Even at level 25-30 we’ve been able to group up the mobs and AoE them down.  We’ve had a couple of weirdos, but mostly smooth.  I’d say the number of obnoxious jerks is higher in my low level runs so far than in my level 80 heroics, but its too small a sample size to draw a conclusion.

My big obstacle has been Gnomeregan.  It creates a problem that interrupts the smooth operation of the Dungeon Finder system. The problem is that mobs just inside the entrance respawn fairly quickly.  Lets say your group is 3/4 of the way through Gnomer, and someone drops from the group.  You re-queue and get a replacement, who is ported in at the entrance.  Unfortunately, there are elite mobs between him and you.  Your only choice is to run back and re-clear some trash.

In the efficiency-at-all-costs environment that exists in the game right now, most players are not willing to make that effort, and so the group falls apart.  This has happened to me 4 of the 5 times I was put into Gnomeregan as a random dungeon.

What will happen when I am high enough level to do Maraudon?  Or BRD?  Those places are enormous and mazelike.  I can imagine someone getting ported in as a replacement, seeing that they need to make a 20 minute run from the entrance to the group, and just dropping out.


Another interesting thought.  When you run instances at level 80, you have the expectation that the other players in your group have learned their abilities through the leveling process.  That’s why level 80 players who only do 1k dps are often disparaged or insulted.

What about at level 25?  If there is a player who clearly doesn’t know how to play the class, what do you do?  It *could* be a brand new player.  Or it *could* be a guy with five 80s who is on his 12th alt, and should know better.

In one of my runs a staff dropped with +spellpower.  I indicated in party chat that I was going to roll Need.  The druid healer started yelling at me!  He said that spellpower was no good for a mage because it only gave +crit and mages didn’t need that.  I replied that Intellect gave crit, and that spellpower was good for any caster class.  He rambled on and on… wrong the whole time.

If this is a new player, this kind of misunderstanding is understandable.  If its an alt of a high level toon, its terrible.  How to react?

I simply passed on the staff (knowing that there are many more such weapons in the game that I can get without loot drama).  I told him to mouse over his intellect stat and see what it says about crit.  And I dropped it.  Maybe he learned something there.  Maybe he is long past learning such things.  I don’t know.

I could take a teacher-like approach here and share my game knowledge in hopes that I make some difference in their game experience.  Or I could just sit quietly and allow the ignorance to contiue, especially since they are not even players on my server so I’ll never hear from them again.


Pugging at Low Levels, part 1

With little to do when I’m not raiding, I’ve picked up another long-forgotten alt.  Ages ago, I had leveled a mage to 23, then let him sit.  At that time, I had three level 80 toons and I swore that I would never level another alt because I was tired of doing the same quests over and over again.

The new Dungeon Finder has completely changed that.

I’ve got him wearing two pieces of heirloom gear for a 20% boost in xp from killing mobs.  With that bonus, questing cannot even come close to instancing as far as xp/hour.  At level 25 I got into a pug for Razorfen Kraul.  I started the run having just barely dinged 25.  I ended the run 20% of the way through level 26.  A second run of Razorfen Kraul got me halfway through level 27.  Cleaning up a few quests in my log got me to 28.  Three levels in about 3 hours online.  Wow.

I expect that I will level him almost entirely in instances.  For me, that’s perfect since I have already done most of the available quests multiple times.

For a player new to WoW, this is a COMPLETELY different game than the one I played.  When I leveled in vanilla WoW questing was the way to go.  I ran each instance once, a few twice, to complete the quests that brought you there.  I spent a great deal of my playtime running from place to place between quest hubs (no mount until level 40!).  Even the times that I ran instances required the time spent getting there, assembling the group, and then running back when finished.

For a new player today, once he gets high enough to do Wailing Caverns/Deadmines/Raging Chasm/Shadowfang Keep he can level without ever leaving his home city.  Sit at the auction house, pop into the dungeon, pop back to the AH when done.  And forget doing quests for gear rewards – the Satchel of Helpful Goods reward from the pug gives nice blue items.

I’m not judging whether this is good or bad.  I’m just pointing out that this is not even remotely like the game I played 5 years ago.  I really liked the immersion that old WoW gave.  If I started the game today, I’m not sure how I would react, or if it would suck me in the way it did then.

From the point of view of a mage, this changes the leveling game completely for clothies.  One of my biggest frustrations when solo leveling the mage was my terrible squishiness.  If I let the mob get close to me I was in trouble, and accidentally aggroing two or three was certain doom. Now, in instances, I have a tank to protect me and healer to heal me and my squishiness is a non-factor.  This is a HUGE change in the leveling experience for mages.

It will be interesting to see in few months what the new players are like when they reach the level cap.  For us grizzled veterans, we we forced to learn our classes thoroughly through the long leveling process.  Sometime during BC and into WotLK, things changed so you could powerlevel a toon through only soloing, and not really learn to play it in a group.  Nowadays, new players can do nothing but instances the whole way up.  Will they be better prepared for the endgame?  Time will tell.


Dinaer - 100 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Derence - 92 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 91 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 100 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 100 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
January 2010
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