Archive for April 11, 2010

“Dungeon Finder Tool” or “Gear Score Blues”

April 11, 2010 5 comments

I recently re-started my subscription for World of Warcraft. After some initial trouble with, oh you know, a hacked account, missing items and a complete unfamiliarity with the new content and game changes, I have finally started finding my own two feet in the game.

One of the best decisions Blizzard has made in the last few months has been the introduction of the the Dungeon Finder Tool. It is amazing how much more you can accomplish if you didn’t have to find a team for a 5-man yourself, and then convene at the location. In a manner of speaking it also takes away from the lore of these instances, which is curiously side-stepped in the name of convenience and automated dungeon trampling. That being said, once you have seen the same dungeon 50 times, flying to it every time you want to complete it becomes more than a little tedious.

Most importantly, I have found that even in an hour, I can easily complete between 3-4 dungeons, earning a good 15-25 Emblems of Triumph in a very short span of time. This feat in of itself is enough to keep me motivated.

Add to that the fact that you are teleported from where you are in the world, and then ported right back out to the same spot when you are done is a big plus. You can even port out in the middle of an instance if your team loses someone and you are just sitting around waiting for someone. It is incredible what a huge change this has brought about in the popularity of 5-mans, interest in which was rapidly dwindling due to the tedious nature of finding groups and physically rallying to the instance. Finally, it is cross-realm, so even in the least busy hours, you are bound to find some people that want to do the exact dungeon you want to (either by selecting it themselves or choosing it randomly), so grouping is made even easier.

Let’s go over some of what we just talked about:

  • Cross-realm PvE, so you will never run out of players who want to run the instances you want to run.
  • Automated team building, you just select your role and whether you want to lead, the system does the rest.
  • Automated porting to the dungeon, and porting back out to the exact spot you were in. If you were mounted porting in, you will be mounted porting out.
  • Automated team replacement, so you can kick back and just twiddle your thumbs while the system searches for a replacement for that DC, or the healer that brought his failboat, or the tank who was “lagging too much to tank effectively”. During the wait you can also port out to where you were before and continue questing etc., porting back in when the new player joins.
  • Most of the time the system brings together equally geared individuals together. Sometimes however, it leaves a little to be desired. Examples include a Nexus run that was wrapped up in about 12 minutes flat because the group was so well decked out in end game gear, we didn’t stop, the tank didn’t take nearly any damage and bosses dropped before they could utter “YOU DARE ENTER MY LAIR, I WILL DESTROY YOU!” In another example, I have yet to complete Halls of Reflection more than twice, because the group falls apart at the first hint of failure, and I have consistently grouped with undergeared tanks.

Which brings us to Gear Score. This is a new concept that had me baffled for a while. Effectively it is a new mod that scans the equipment of a player and assigns them a corresponding score. I have seen players approaching the 7,000 GS barrier. A newbie level 80 in mediocre gear can be as low as 3,500 GS.

Over the course of time, this concept has gained immense popularity amidst the WoW player base. I see people leveraging their GS to advertise their services for 10-mans and 25-mans. Just the other night I responded to a demand for a healer for Onyxia 10-man.

Douchebag: “gs?”
Me: “4,746.”
Douchebag: “hell no, ned lest 5k gs, thx”
Me: “It’s OK man, I have finished the instance a few times, I can handle it very well.”
No response.
Me: “Hello?”
Douchebag is ignoring you.

And this isn’t the only time it has happened. I even saw someone advertising in trade chat that he was putting together a group for 25-man Naxxaramas, and needed players with a GS of at least 5K! While GS may seem like a decent method to vet out who may be an appropriate match for the content you are trying to tackle, it seems unfortunate that it is now being used deny less geared individuals a shot a the higher end content simply because their GS was 2 points short of the length of e-peen the group was trying to look for.