Sunday, June 6, 2010

LFG Report - The Burning Crusade

So in the continuing escapades of Azeroth, I've been spending a fair bit of time on Arielae the tree. The one thing I'm doing on my main is hunting Baron Rivendare's mount, while also getting Argent Dawn reputation. I'm up to about 17k through revered, so it will not be long before I have a snazzy new title for getting Argent Dawn and Argent Crusade each to exalted. I've basically decided that if I don't get the mount in the next 3 runs or so, I'm probably not going to go crazy trying to get it when there's no more Argent Dawn rep to worry about. I like knocking out two birds with one stone, but I'm also not terribly attached to mounts other than carpets. Although I would hunt Ashes of Alar for no other reason, but that's such a pain instance to get people to grind correctly.

The money vault is up to about 13.5k gold again after spending 2k powerleveling Alchemy the second Ariel hit 65 to 450. She's now turning an epic zircon or ruby every day with her daily transmute and Navar is cutting the gems every weekend, which according to my friend who also does this business, turns about 1000 gold per week for very minimal effort. I do not know how much money you need for Cataclysm, but I do know I'm not concerned with building up gold with just 3 minutes a day. Which leaves the focus on leveling, and right now, particularly the druid.

LFG in The Burning Crusade is very interesting. It turns out that healers are almost always insta-queue into an instance, which is very nice for those of us who love healing. However, like all LFG, there's ups and downs. For the first few runs through the Hellfire instances, there was not too much trouble getting through the instances with a couple exceptions. My theory is that death knight tanks are still a little hesitant to jump in at this point as I did not see many DK tanks, and most people have some experience with the Hellfire instances as they are so easily incorporated into Hellfire Peninsula questing.

However, I've recently moved into 3 levels of mostly coilfang reservoir instances and the failures rose to a level that forced me into cat form and nagrand to kill some mobs for a while for Nesingwary. It's always fun to release some tension by whacking on some mobs in melee, so I might have done it anyway, but it doesn't look good for LFG in the middle of Burning Crusade content. I think there's a couple of factors which contribute to the much higher fail rate. First is that the instances are quite a bit longer than their Hellfire counterparts, which gives groups more opportunity to fail. On top of that, it is exceedingly difficult and annoying to rez run back through the lake and the pipe back to the instance, assuming the group members are even aware of how to do this (and many are not, which is a group killer).

Second is the rise of DK tanks at this level. Perhaps they get some good tank gear in their Hellfire runs and they decide to jump in the pool, literally, in this set of instances. However, I've seen everything from tanking in blood presence and unholy spec to a complete failure to understand that Death and Decay is a good aggro-building ability. And it's 2/3 of runs with DK tanks, so their usual failures rip up groups on a regular basis. Considering the hassle of running back, one wipe generally breaks the group. It had been nearly a week since I finished underbog until this morning, when I had a paladin tank once again. I don't know that I'll get too upset with DK tanks learning how to play in The Burning Crusade, but it can be very frustrating when the blame runs around a group and you have to requeue.

The one time I got into an Auchenai instance, I lasted one pull as the tank pulled two packs of mobs and I could not quite keep up. The tank moaned about what a terrible healer, and I told him have fun waiting for another one in the queue and dropped group. I don't play the game to be berated for your lack of pulling skill, even if I did contribute to the wipe in that occasion. I'll report more on Auchenai once I get in there again, but I really only have a negative impression of coilfang and a positive impression of hellfire at this point.

So is this experience unique to me, or is this how LFG works for leveling toons in Outland? I'm only a little over 2 levels away from Utgarde Keep, and to be honest, I'm looking forward to knowing every pull inside and out again. It helps you plan and know how much damage you will need to handle. I've also learned very well how to mix the druid healing spells, which are very interesting at this level. The levels and the dings keep coming on, and I can feel the paladin getting excited as she's next to garner heavy attention once Ariel hits 80.

One final point: profitability of Baron runs increases substantially when I disenchant all the blues and greens that drop. I've also grabbed three random epic weapons off trash in the last three runs, which have sold for a pretty penny. Nifty to make profit off level 60 achievement content.

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