Monday, September 28, 2009

Achievement Hunting Volume 1: Brewfest

Although not many people admitted to it before the Achievement system was added to World of Warcraft, we as a playerbase like to chase titles and rewards to feel a sense of completeness or perfectionism. As I'm one of those players with a main and not much else in terms of high-levels, I spend a lot of time experiencing the game on Ekaterinae. She has turned into an achievement junkie of sorts, and I jumped at the opportunity to see all the seasonal holiday events in their full glory. The proto-drake is just a bonus in my opinion. Given when I started playing, this is actually the second time Brewfest has come around for me, but my first real holiday experience was Hallow's End 2008. I was not max level though, so my full completion of the holiday achievements does nto pick up until Winter's Veil. Now that I've seen most of what Blizzard has to offer at least for holiday achievements, I figure it is time to put my two cents in on the achievement hunting process. And so we begin with Brewfest!

Brewfest is an excuse to see the game from a blurred drunken stupor perspective. For those of us who don't really get lambasting drunk anymore or are too young, this is actually a pretty accurate and nifty aspect in game that's not used very much. As far as the holiday achievement-hunting goes, it does not get much easier as far as limited amounts of travel and no PvP, but you will need to do some dailies which is kind of unusual. There are nine achievements on the way to "Brewmaster," and here they are from easiest to hardest (from a priest's perspective):

1. The Brewfest Diet - Purchase a bunch of cheese and sausage from the vendors in the Brewfest area outside Ironforge/Orgrimmar. A couple silver, 10 achievement points, and a lot of heartburn.

2. Strange Brew - Purchase a bunch of drinks from the vendors in the Brewfest area, again a couple silver and voila 10 achievement points. Plus you'll see what drunk gaming looks like as a side benefit.

3. Does You Wolpertinger Linger? - There will be a handful of quests available from the vendors and such in the Brewfest area, and one of them is Catch the Wild Wolpertinger, which requires you to get drunk (you probably already are close from Strange Brew) and then catch Wolpertinger's around the festival grounds with a net. This is like Chicken Party for the Frenzyheart, except you are drunk. Easy peasy and a cute pet to boot.

4. Have Keg Will Travel - In the course of doing the quests and such, you'll get brewfest tokens. These will be saved for later purchases. Once you have 2 tokens, you buy a Fresh Brewfest Hops and turn your mount into a ram for an hour. Again, the hardest part will be doing any of the many quests offered, which is not much to ask.

5. Drunken Stupor - You need to get smashed, fall 65 yards, and not die. This makes the middle of the list because it is very easy for some classes and very annoying for others. For a priest, we have our spot in Shattrath like everyone else where we can jump to the Lower City and fall about 65.5 yards. There may be other locations, but this one is not as easy as it looks. Make sure you take enough booze to get you smashed multiple times in case you mess up and die, like me.

6. Down With The Dark Iron - Back at the festival grounds, every half hour the dark iron dwarves will invade with their little mole-machines and will try to steal all the free booze! So what shall we do? Get drunk on the booze ourselves and throw our empty mugs at them! This is a fun battle that takes about five minutes and you really only need a bunch of warm bodies to do it. The only problem is if your server has a lot of slow periods, but you should be able to log in at some point in 2 weeks and find enough people hanging around to win the battle. Click on the cog that forms at the end of the battle, whether or not you participated, and you get 10 brewfest tokens and 10 achievement points. This is one of the three repeatable quests per day for tokens, so you should probably get to know this one.

7. Direbrewfest - Killing the holiday boss Coren Direbrew is all you have to do. There should be plenty of groups looking to fight him as he does drop some nifty stuff. Coren is a fairly healing intensive fight from what I saw, but there's not a lot to worry about other than burning him down and healing him even though there are some adds. Hardest part should be finding 5 people to group with and making the trek to Blackrock Depths. This is the first moderately difficult part of Brewfest.

8. Brew of the Month - This requires 200 Brewfest tokens. You get a bunch from doing all the quests surrounding the holiday, but you will likely still need to do a couple day's worth of dailies to finish off 200. The dailies are the dark iron fight (for 10/day), a quest to ride around Ironforge/Orgrimmar on a ram and shout about brews (for 15/day) and a task to deliver kegs from Kharanos to the grounds (for 2/keg delivered, about 20-30/day). Look at the front of the camp for the keg delivery task, as it is not a quest that will show up on the minimap. This is just slightly time consuming, which makes it more difficult than the previous seven which could be done in a day. Once you have 200, you go sign up for Brew of the Month Club and you get the achievement.

9. Disturbing The Peace - This requires 350 Brewfest tokens to buy three peices of brewfest clothing. Then you must go to Dalaran and dance while smashed (/dance). What you do after said dancing, that's your business...but you'll nab the achievement. This requires travel and a lot of dailies to get done, so you'll have to be diligent.

Protip - Complete Disturbing the Peace within 2 hours of buying all the pieces of clothing, then return the clothing for your tokens back and use them to buy Brew of the Month membership. This will require 350 tokens total rather than 552 total, which is a difference of about 4 days of dailies. Even in a two-week holiday, 4 days is a lot of time.

All in all, Brewfest was one of the more enjoyable holidays for most with excuses to get drunk, silly fun quests, and easy achievements. The only difficult part is staying diligent enough to do the dailies, but if you are an achievement-hunter, even this is a very small burden. I will be getting Brewmaster tomorrow on Ekaterinae because I did not start the event until five days in, so I hope you enjoy the second week of Brewfest and start collecting those titles and meta-achievements so you can be cool and fly the 310% proto drake with us!

As for the Holiday, I give it a B-. Good, but not great. Now Harvest Festival, that gets an F. Worst holiday in the game, no doubt about it. If you find a reason to care about Harvest Festival (which runs this week BTW), let me know why. I'd love to know.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Whatever Happened to Customer Service?

In the process of moving, the last thing you need to put up with is more stress. Yet that's just what got piled on by a couple companies this week in our first full week in the new house. You see, we closed on Friday and had appointments set up for Saturday morning for the phone/internet company, the satellite TV company, and the home improvement delivery guys (for our fridge). That way we could get those all set up and be able to access the internet when we had down moments and also to tape my college football team's game, the premiere of House, etc. Well despite my best efforts, things went poorly.

Let's start with the phone/internet guy. To say he was not personable may be the understatement of the century. Plus he was weird enough to not want in your house for very long. I was out of the house when he finished up and my wife did not force him to check everything. So come Monday, I'm checking things over and I notice he's jacked one of my phone cords and the internet does not work. So I call customer service and it takes them 20 MINUTES to verify I am the account holder. I had set this account up two weeks earlier for new cell phones as well, so they should have been more than updated. After that fiasco, we go through the hoops to find out something is wrong with the line. So we need a technician, and the first available appointment is a week away on the next Monday. Wha-Wha-What???

Meanwhile in television land, my DVR box, which had been working absolutely fine at the old house, stopped recording shows and would go into major meltdown mode if you recorded anything. So the college football game and more importantly the premiere of my favorite shows...gone. Now one might say I could Hulu these, but I don't have internet at the time either. I called customer service and the lady has to take me through the steps of recording and such to make sure I'm not a moron. When I cannot produce error codes, she complains that she cannot fix the problem unless she knows the error codes. Well I convince her to send out a technician anyways.

Back when these services were being set up, I had left the house to go over to the company that made my garage door. You see, the builder did not put a pull plate on the door because we did not buy a garage door opener from them. So I needed to go get some specialized piece of metal, and they are only open on weekends from 9-12 Saturday mornings. Sigh. So I call them for directions (remember, no internet) and the guy is all huffy on the phone saying "we close in 30 minutes." As I'm about 25 minutes away, I don't see the problem. So he gives me directions, saying that once I get off the highway I'll see a Bobcat dealer on the left hand side and that's Mulhauser Road. Then turn left and we'll be right down the street. Well I get up there with about 4 minutes to spare and follow his directions, and I cannot for the life of me find the place. I give up at 12:10 and decide to figure it out next weekend. Well it turns out that the guy gave me directions TO THEIR OLD STORE! They moved about a block and a half away and sure enough, he ave me poor or incorrect directions.

So in all of this, I wondered, whatever happened to decent customer service? I know it's asking too much for good customer service departments now that most of them have been outsourced to foreign countries to save money and to deal with awful customers efficiently. But I pay my bills every month and always have, and I get crushed by bad customer service. The worst was the internet/phone company, who I think was trying to lose a brand new customer.

What about Blizzard? I've heard mixed reports on their customer service team, and I've only come into contact with them a couple of times. Before I got Levitate on Ekaterinae, I found myself stuck in the digital world a couple of times where I could not get out for whatever reason. Now it is frustrating to have to leave you character, but I just filed a ticket and within an hour, bam, delivered in front of Ironforge safe and sound. Back before epic loot was tradeable for a 2 hour window following the boss kill, I also saw a lot of tickets for mis-looting. It seemed like the game masters took care of these smallest issues within a couple hours, which is pretty nice.

The other impressive thing about Blizzard is how open they are with information. Now when they want to keep a secret, they do a pretty nice job. And they need to, considering the high value of intellectual property they create. Nevertheless, they are so open in places like Blizzcon where they discuss the 180,000 active bugs in the World of Warcraft or they let the actual developers sit there with fans and answer concerns or show how they are thinking through game balancing problems. The other companies I frequent (Sony and Nintendo) for video gaming are never that open about their developments. It's really walking a fine line of too much information probably, but Blizzard seems to have a refreshing take on customer service not seen in these days.

As endnotes, I'll point out that all three companies I talked about partially redeemed themselves, especially the satellite company. The phone/internet company got called again and they set up a much earlier appointment, where someone came out and explained all that the previous guy had messed up, which was a lot. But they got the internet working 2 days after my problem was reported instead of a full week. The satellite company replaced my box even though it had just gone out of warranty, and did not charge me for it at all. Doesn't save my shows from last week, but now I can Hulu them and keep up to date. The garage door company had someone much more competent to give directions on my second attempt, so even though I had to burn a half hour's worth of working time during the week, I got my pull plate. Nevertheless, customer service should not be like pulling teeth.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Making Your Mark On The World

(not a current picture)

I hope everyone is enjoying Patch 3.2.2 as it dropped yesterday. Of course there was patch day instability according to my friends and news reports, but when is patch day not a big ball of excitement?

Well I am happy to report that the closing on my house went smoothly on Friday and I now am the proud owner of some land and a residence for the first time in my life. I'm fighting with the phone company to get my internet fixed because they did not install the lines correctly or something, so I've been without internet for 5 days outside of work. Thought I'd drop a note here during lunch hour to let you know I've got lots of ideas brewing for posts and should be more rapid-fire once my internet situation gets worked out. Plus, I'm jazzed about finally getting back into game with the Onyxia encounter and Brewfest going on.

Buying a house and beginning the awful process of moving/unpacking had me thinking about a topic that comes up pretty often in WOW discussions, that being player housing. WOW currently has no such housing, but other games have implemented it. While I don't think individual player housing is such a good use of Blizzard's time, I do believe the people who want housing are onto something decent. Basically you want a place on your server that you can customize to some extent and call your own. Just like the pride of owning a home, you can have pride in being able to show people what you've done with the housing and impress them with trophies from achievements or gear sets you've put together.

However, this is a big change from the bags and banking system we have currently, and one could surmise that opening up room on the servers for each and every character or account to have such a house would be a huge burden to developers and servers. They are hesitant to give us character slots 11 and 12 on a server, which I would think is a similar undertaking to player housing. Plus, for every person who hangs out in the housing and shows off their beautiful creation, there will be 100 who don't care. This is not a good ratio, and not one Blizzard is likely to latch onto considering their recent trend towards opening endgame content to all.

There is a middle ground though: guild housing. With the efforts being made to completely revamp the guild experience in Catacylsm, there are now even more reasons to find yourself in a guild. Guilds will have achievements and those can be shown off just like player trophies would be in individual housing. Plus, you could also show off some individual achievements if you wanted to. Presumably you could show off the guild housing to other potential recruits, and a well-kept house would be a great recruiting tool. It would be almost like the many guilds who have detailed and lively webpages, but only directly connected in game. I envision something like Animal Crossing where you could really decorate to your heart's content, showing off gear sets or trinkets or holiday items from various members. If the developers are going to all the trouble to make guilds earn experience and talents, is it that far-fetched to let guilds also have a place in game for socializing, recruiting, and making their tiny mark on the world? As long as you put a minimum number of accounts requirement on the guild housing (like 10 active accounts in a guild to have a house), the load on the servers would be considerably less than individual housing.

Until we see these changes, the roleplaying that happens on my realm and on other realms and the guild fellowship will have to be done somewhere out in the world. There are some nifty places out there like the top of the Twin Colossals in Feralas, so not all hope is lost for places to hold events and get togethers. But one would anticipate with the rise of facebook, myspace, etc., more casual WOW players will really want a place to express themselves and make a positive mark on the server. I think guild housing could get that done.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Today is the Day!

Yes indeed, the process that began with some very cold February weekends, continued through a minor fight with the IRS, and so on comes to an end today. I will be adding a true, honest to goodness mortgage payment to my monthly bills and hopefully saying goodbye to rent forever, or at least for a few decades. Today we close on the house, and then the moving process begins.

It may not be perfect, but it is new. It may not be where I retire, but we'll be there for a long while if I have any say in it. And it's mine. No more landlords. Hallelujah.

Have a fantastic weekend! Oh and Happy Pirate's Day since I'll miss most of it!

EDIT - I realized after putting up that picture that it shows my old UI. I was probably no more than level 20 or so at Pirate's Day last year, so you can see my baseline User Interface. Look at Mind Control sitting on the main bar! Plus the other thing to notice is that I was grouped with Gabranth. Oh Gabranth, my pocket we miss thee.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

A couple of birthdays just passed worth mentioning.

1. My daughter (who you've seen in previous entries) turned 1.
2. I had my first anniversary of WoW-play.
3. I had a birthday today.

So it is a time to add one to the tally, or level up/ding in life. I have logged about 2 hours of gametime in 9 days, which happens because sometimes you bill 140 hours a month at work and sometimes you push up to 160-180-200. That's the nature of the beast. Anyways, I appreciate all of you who do drop by and I've got some ideas a-brewing for the upcoming Brewfest and my return to the game with more gusto following this crazy month of work, hospital visits, moving to a new house, etc.

On a sidenote, I do end up torn when I log in between achievement-hunting on Ekaterinae or leveling an alt. Seems like with limited time windows both are good options yet neither calls to me 100%. So we'll see where that takes us. Until next time, have a great time in Azeroth.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How Soon is Too Soon?

So I was perusing through the countless articles and blog entries I've let slip the past few days while I've been on a vacation to work-a-lot land, and there's rampant speculation out there about when WoW: Cataclysm will drop. There are many who think late 2010, and a few others who see that this timeline does not quite add up without another major content patch or two between Icecrown Citadel and Cataclysm. Not only does that seem unlikely based on the trailer from Blizzcon for the new expansion, but Blizzard has publicly stated that they would like to move more towards an expansion every 12 months instead of every 21-24 months. However, I wonder if this is such a good idea for the game.

Blizzard has set the bar high for expansion content, including new zones and leveling experiences. Perhaps part of the solution is to cut this content in half, whch may be happening with only 5 new levels in Cataclysm. However, there's a whole new way to add customization to your character and your guild, and the number of new zones rivals that of Burning Crusade and Northrend, or at least comes very close. Adding in all the changes to the old world, and Cataclysm has just as much content as TBC and WOTLK. Can Blizzard get enough development on staff to keep the game this vibrant and new while refreshing the scene every 12 months? Furthermore, will people pay $40 every year for a game they subscribe to already? These are the tough questions Blizzard must face if they are serious about the 12-month time window.

On the bright side, the storyline for an expansion could really be solidly packed into 9 months or so, slamming out 4 tiers of raiding with a new tier every 3 months or so. While that will keep endgame players refreshed and happy, I don't think there will be time for you to truly experience the total beauty of an expansion at that pace. Of course this all assumes Blizzard keeps expansions at the same high level, which they may not. Two of the huge storylines in the Warcraft universe is the blending of Draenor and Azeroth and the Arthas fall...we've now covered those. While Deathwing is a true villain, I don't believe any other setting can reach the same potential...not even the Maelstorm or the Emerald Dream, both longtime rumored expansion settings. Perhaps it is time for Blizzard to bring out less content in an expansion, but they better believe the box game is not worth $40 anymore if that is the case. I can stay up to date with my other love which is sports games for $100 a year ($50 per game for the newest football and baseball games every year on console). For WoW, the price would jump to $196, and that's if you pay in 6 month increments and get the discount. That's a lot of money even considering it's great bang for the buck.

So it will be very interesting to me to see when Cataclysm comes out. One has to believe we are only a few weeks away from Patch 3.2.2 and Onyxia reloaded now that the Tier 9 Coliseum raid is fully released. Then it's hard to imagine Blizzard would hold Icecrown beyond the beginning of December, which means people will be chomping at the bit for new content by March or April. That's only 18 months from the release of WOTLK, and it could let us infer that expansion content/quality/timing will continue to change. Only time will tell if this is a good business decision, but perhaps by the time these changes become a problem, Blizzard will have out their second MMORPG and will be crushing the market with something else. Dare to dream, Blizzard. Dare to dream.

Do you think 12 months is too soon to experience the content? Let me know in the comments as I'm really wondering if I'm alone in this belief. And I hope to be back to more regular posting soon, but the closing on our house is in 8 days and moving/sportswriting/work have cut my WoW time to about nil. Thus, I have very little to report on now. Thanks for dropping by and we'll see you around!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Countdown is Officially On

We finally have reached week 5 of the Call of the Crusade raid, which means Anub'Arak has joined the fray once more and is dropping like the bug he is. Although many guilds such as my own are not quite done with this Tier 9 raid or even Yogg-Saron back in Ulduar, there's no denying that we are now finally counting down to Patch 3.3 and Icecrown Citadel. It appears we will have some time to gear up and digest the current content, as the 5-year anniversary event with the updated Onyxia raid will be a sub-patch before 3.3 and the anniversary is not for another 3 months. So this appears to be a great time to enjoy what you want in the game before another weekly raiding-fest in Icecrown.

As it turns out, we now know that the world of Azeroth will be absolutely torn asunder by the return of Deathwing. If the trailer for Cataclysm from Blizzcon is to be believed, we will be coming hot off the heels of battling Arthas in Northrend when the world changes forever. Now the changes to update leveling zones and allow flight in lower Azeroth will be very nice changes, this means the old world as we know it is going away. There will inevitably be dungeons (Onyxia), achievements, and quests that will be lost forever with these changes but you have to give up some things to gain something better in this case. For someone just entering the game a little under a year ago, I'm just now seeing the old world on Horde-side and even my achievement-hunting main is far from Loremaster and other old-world achievements. However, I will have nostalgia for zones like Westfall if they change much because that's where the game truly captured my solid interest. Now is the time to start experiencing the old world as it is if you have any desire to see that content.

Thus, many bloggers and even commenters on today are discussing so-called bucket lists for Cataclysm. I have notebook pages from various points along my 11 months in the game where I put together plans for my toons or my team of toons. It's been really fun to look back on things like my initial tries at figuring out shadow priest DPS rotations and Death Knight tanking abilities in the three viable talent trees. So while it may be something that's a bit in vogue just now, I believe it is a good time to see what the AE Team would like to have accomplished before Cataclysm comes out.

1. Arielae, Biancae, Clarissae at 80 - Pretty self-explanatory, I'd really like to have all my team ready for the next steps together in Cataclysm. It took me quite a few months to find out I prefer the healing role over all else, and these four classes give me a little bit of everything on the side as well (tanking with paladin and druid, DPS with priest and shaman). I will eventually experience the new questing content on my achievement-hunter Ekat, and there's no reason to stagnate for a year to wait.

2. Achievement Hunting in Dungeons - I've got a lot of content I've never seen, especially in Outland. Dungeons are the top-line content in the game and one thing Blizzard takes great care to get right. I'm thinking of not only seeing all the Outland dungeons, but also getting high-powered groups together to take on Sunwell Plateau and Sartharion+3 drakes. There's a lot to do and it does not necessarily require full blocks of time to raid, so onward with the hunt!

3. Achievement Hunting in Old World - There are achievements and titles like Loremaster and Seeker that may change radically and/or become feats of strength as entire quest chains go away forever. Perhaps even some of the rep grind achievements will go away. Now I'm not one for reputation grinding or repeatable content, but the Loremaster content is stuff I have never seen and may never see again. This may just be the extra impetus I need to go see WoW in all its glory. After all, I entered the game to experience it all and see how they made it so popular. So I think Loremaster and related things make the list.

4. Get into more PvP activities - This is for Ekat to gain more achievements as well as leveling purposes. PvP may not be the quickest way to level, but it is something different from kill 10 boars. I'd also like to perhaps get an arena team together and see how that realm of the game works. I'll have to find someone patient, but I think there are people in The Illuminati that would put up with me.

That's more than I could ever hope to do before next fall or whenever Cataclysm comes out. One thing on the top of my goal list is get a 310% mount from the seasonal achievements, which I should get at Hallow's End. That's not really a Cataclysm bucket list thing, but it is on top of my agenda other than these things listed. What's on your Cataclysm bucket list? If you have not thought about it, now is as good a time as ever.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The "Dance Studio" Goes Away

Have you been subject to the chat log shown above? If you've played much at all since Call of the Crusade went live, you have probably found yourself jumping repeatedly against the entrance portal to an instance. These efforts are generally futile because you have to catch room on the instance servers opened up when another group leaves their instance. Friends and guildies in both AIE and Illuminati have complained loudly over these past few weeks and this has even disrupted our guild raids. For example, The Illuminati cleared 12/15 in heroic Naxx a week ago but would have had a full clear on night 1 in all likelihood if it hadn't been for full instance servers (and randomly problematic login servers) delaying start time for 45 minutes.

Well for whatever reason, the term "instance dancing" or "portal dancing" started being used to describe the phenomenon of running back and forth through a portal wall repeatedly for long stretches of time. I can't help but think this was indeed the beta testing for the Blizzard Dance Studio they keep promising us! OK, not really. But it did seem like a strange problem to pop up now. I suppose the rush to run instances and such was never quite as high as right after Patch 3.2 because of the changes to emblems and heroic dailies encouraging people to run their endgame toons back through these instances a lot more. There are a lot more toons at 80 now than during the initial rush through the expansion, so perhaps it does make sense...but I still believe we would've seen this problem a bit more in the past if we were on the brink of overloaded instance servers on high population realms.

Well the weekly maintenance list went up for today and at long last, Earthen Ring is on the chosen list of realms for super-duper extended maintenance today. This longer maintenance than the other realms has been going on for a few weeks now and apparently alleviates the instance dancing problem for the selected realms. Or at least the complaining over the whole community seems to have gone down from the absolute fervor we saw at Blizzcon.

So perhaps I will be able to take my limited playtime and not risk the time wasted to put together a group for heroics only to not be able to get into those instances. I have run just enough to buy my first Tier 8 piece with conquest emblems, but I do not have more than a small handful of conquest and/or Triumph emblems left now because I have not been grinding the heroics like others. The mixed blessing with this curse has been my increased focus on my three alts, which have become real substantive fun for me now. While I hope the extended maintenance does the trick tonight, Blizzard has made it clear that peak hours could still be affected even with the current fix, at least until they roll out the second part of the fix to the instance dancing problem: Patch 3.3.

Patch 3.3 will include Icecrown Citadel, but it will also include cross-realm LFG for 5-man instances. Apparently there will be some extra rewards for leading such cross-realm PUG's and it will be interesting to see what those are (more gold, more emblems?). The cross-realm LFG and instances are limited to your battlegroup just like BattleGrounds are now, but there may be potential for wider realm availability or cross-realm raids in the future if this experiment goes well. Hence, we will be the beta-testers for this feature after Patch 3.3 drops, but on the bright side, the instance server overloading problem should be eradicated because low-population servers will then share their unused instance server space with high-population servers that struggle to have enough instance server space.

As a member of a mega-guild on Horde side and a large guild on Alliance-side, I don't have huge problems finding groups, especially since I heal. However, opening the pool of possible group-mates can only be a good thing for more efficiently starting a group and getting into what you really want to do, which is kill stuff and get loot! However, the dark side of this is the risk of ninjas and absolute horrible party behavior because you will not be building a bad reputation on your own server when you mistreat people from other servers. Unless there's a better way implemented with Patch 3.3 to lodge complaints against these misbehving people, I suspect the PUG market will become incredibly more cloudy. To be safe, you should start compiling a list of good PUG players from your own server now so that you hopefully have a go-to list for a good tank/healer/DPS before you have to resort to PUG's.

As shown in yesterday's "economics" entry, there will always be people out there who will try and game the system. Whether it's ninja'ing rare items in PUG groups for dream shards or exploiting the game to get underground and steal mining nodes, they will always be there. I just hope Blizzard properly thinks out a proper framework for easily reporting these people and getting them warned, suspended, and/or banned if the awful behavior towards other players continues over time.

So while I certainly will not miss instance dancing at all, I don't want to risk losing the chance to PUG completely due to these changes either. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst - as always.