Blizzard’s new Dungeon System is a pretty huge overhaul of the social and gameplay experience of getting an instance group together, and we’re all pretty excited about it here. On top of the hassle-free daily random dungeon selection and the great new matchmaking features, you even get teleported to the random dungeon.
But as it turns out, there’s even more cool stuff hiding below the surface. If you’re like me, chances are good you’ve spent a day or two chain-running heroics to gear up an alt or to get instant gratification on that badge item you want. The issue with chaining heroics at this point in time is that eventually you hit a wall: do instances you hate (Oculus) or stop running instances because of your 24-hour heroic lockouts.
Well, in patch 3.3, everything’s a-changin’. While heroic lockouts aren’t going away, they will not affect your random dungeon selections. What this means is that if you and four guildies do a timed Culling of Stratholme run, and then you join the queue for a random heroic, you may be assigned Culling of Stratholme a second — or third, or fourth — time, depending on your luck, as your random dungeon. And you’ll get two extra Emblems of Triumph for completing the random dungeon each time, even if you’ve run the dungeon already that day. The only way that your lockout will affect you is that you cannot create a group with /invite for that same dungeon again that day.
Basically, as long as you’re choosing the Random Dungeon option, you can run as many heroics as you want, every day.
With increased rewards for, easier access to, and the trivialization of lockouts for heroics, Patch 3.3 is the perfect time to dust off that neglected level 80 alt of yours and take him or her on a tour of Northrend’s most dangerous places.
World of Warcraft
So WOW.com have been doing these Creative contests to give away their shiny new World of Warcraft-branded wireless gaming headsets for a few months now. But if you haven’t won one yet, worry not: today, we’re giving away five headsets to one lucky instance-running group out there, so you can all talk to each other while you’re wiping in Heroic Old Kingdom.
To enter, you’ve got to send us a .JPG-formatted picture (no bigger than 800px please) of your favorite five-man group — you and four friends — to email@example.com by 5pm October 29, 2009 (that’s one week from today!). Make sure you put “Creative 5-man contest” in the email subject so WOW.com can recognize what it’s for, and while you can take it wherever and however you want to in-game (or even in real-life!), just make sure there are five people in there. Because one lucky random entry will win five Creative World of Warcraft wireless gaming headsets, one for each member of the group, at a value of $150 each, or $750 total. That’s a lot of headsets! You must also be 18 or older, and live in the United States or Canada excluding Quebec — full official rules can be found right here.
Please note: in addition to emailing us the .jpg picture, you will also need to copy and paste the form below (filled out) into your email — it was put together by our legal department and simply says that you understand and will adhere to the rules of the contest. You need to include the names and e-mail addresses of all five players in your group so that we can contact you all about prizes if you win.
Good luck to everyone who enters — we can’t wait to see what your five-man groups look like! And stay tuned, because we’ve got an even more epic contest planned out soon.
World of Warcraft
One of the best changes in patch 3.2.2 comes from Trial of the Champion, the Argent Tournament’s 5-man. If you’ve run the place more than once, you’re probably really sick of all of the fanfare that precedes the actiony bits of the instance. Do we really need to listen to an announcer rattle off everyone’s names every single time we step into the ring? As of Tuesday’s patch, no. We don’t. When you talk to Arelas Brightstar or Jaeren Sunsworn, you now have the option to tell him to stop yammering on and just get the show started already. To be more specific, the dialogue option is, “I am ready. However, I’d like to skip the pageantry.” I think we can all appreciate that.
Trial of the Champion polish also comes in the form of the first encounter working a little differently. How many of you said ‘forget this’ and started running out of the instance after you won the mounted phase, just to work around all of the odd little bugs? Most of you, probably. There’s good news on that front, too: You don’t need to run out anymore. The battle ends after you win the mounted portion. The NPCs reform over by the gate and you can start the next phase of the encounter at your leisure. I’m pretty happy about that, because I was getting a little tired of Mokra being a big pansy and not getting off of his mount after we won fair and square. Typical cowardly orc, you know?
World of Warcraft
This is great — it’s probably more WoW playing than I could do in one day, but maybe I’ll try it this weekend anyway. loztaylor has designed a heck of an instance run that rolls through thirteen Heroics and will nab you 53 Emblems of Conquest (along with all of the other spoils of war) in one day. Basically, you’ll be sweeping across the land of Northrend, hitting every Heroic you come across, and if by some chance you’re able to keep the group together the whole time, and keep from passing out from all the WoW playing you’re doing, at the end you’ll end up with 53 Emblems, more than enough to purchase most of the Emblem gear, and almost enough to pick up a Tier piece.
Of course, if you’re wearing a rep tabard, you’ll also rein in a ton of dungeon rep. And if you hit the new Trial of the Champion, you’ll pick up your Champion’s Seals as well. And you’ll have 13 Frozen Orbs to divvy among the group, a few extra Emblems and gold from doing the daily quests, and if you’re good and/or lucky, you might even be able to clear up a few of the achievements or snag that blue proto-drake. Of course, doing this much of anything in the game will probably nab you plenty of rewards. But here’s a tuned route to follow all the way around the world of Heroics. If I can find a willing group of suckers guildies, I think I’ll give it a shot.
World of Warcraft
The Onion, the well-known and consistently hilarious parody news site, has turned its eyes toward World of Warcraft once again. In the past, they have introduced us to geek love in WoW and the World of World of Warcraft, and this time, they introduce us to the world of Raiding via nerd columnist Larry Groznic, who has previously written on his mastery of Quotes from Monty Python’s Holy Grail and the merits of Weird Al Yankovic’s Wikipedia entry.
Larry’s rant to an under performing guild member, while somewhat anachronistic (it focuses on a Zul’Aman raid) manages to poke fun at classic raid leader nerd rage, hilariously nonsensical guild names, perennial altoholics, and quite a few other WoW foibles. It may even hit too close to home for some of the people who might recognize some of themselves or others in Larry or his chosen victim. But hey, if we can’t laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at? The Onion’s done it again, and it’s worth a read.
World of Warcraft