Monday, April 25, 2011

Random Heroics - Making the grind a little more bearable

Patch 4.1 is almost upon us, and with its arrival, comes a new way to make beating our heads a little less painful. As it stands right now, we run one heroic a day for our 70 Valor points, then wait until the next day for the opportunity to get more. This makes the valor grind slow and painful .... even for the most experienced players. Well, Blizzard has heard us, and times they are a-changing .....

Once the patch drops, we could continue to run one heroic a day for our 70 Valor points -- but that would be silly. For the first seven Cataclysm heroics we run each week we will accumulate our 70 Valor points. This means we can knock them all out in one day, or spread the pain over a few days.

But this is only the first change ..... Blizzard has more in stored for us this patch when it comes to the dungeons.

Unless you have been living underneath a rock these past few months, you should be aware that two fan-favorite have been given the Onyxia treatment and brought back as new refined end-game content. Yes, its time for World of Warcraft Cataclysm II: Attack of the Trolls. The Amani of Zul'Aman and the Gurubashi of Zul'Gurub are back, with ZA and ZG being re-introduced as 5 man Heroic Dungeons. These two dungeons reward ilevel 353 gear, making it better gear then you find in the current heroics, but slightly below the ilevel 359 gear we get from current raid content. In addition to the better gear, you also will receive double the Valor points per run (140 points) and again up to seven times per week. It should be noted, also, that in order to access these new dungeons, an average gear level of 346 is grinding up in the original cata dungeons is still going to be required before accessing these new gems.

Another new change to the dungeon system is the Call to Arms feature that has been added in an attempt to shorten your queue times. In call to arms, the role that is missing from the queues the most will receive a "goodie bag" once the final boss of the dungeon is defeated. Inside this bag has the potential to be many different things; some are more common such as gems or gold, while others are more rare--like vanity pets and mounts. That's right, I said MOUNTS. Before you deck out your tank and jump in the queue, realize that the drop chances of mounts in these bags are JUST AS LOW AS THEY ARE FROM THE BOSSES IN WHICH THEY DROP. (For example, the Rivendare's Deathcharger from Stratholme has a 0.1% chance to drop of of the final boss in Stratholme, so it will have a 0.1% chance to drop in the goodie bag.) This feature is currently only available to level 85 Heroic instances, but Blizzard reports that given its success or failure will determine if they open it up to other levels. It should be noted, though, that the "bribe bag" is only available if you queue in the dungeon finder individually, so simply queueing in a guild group will not allow you to be bribed by Blizzard.
Yes, patch 4.1 has some interesting changes to the now not-quite-so heroic daily. These changes look to be streamlining the heroic grind, making it more enjoyable for all players. And with the bribe bag--I mean "Goodie Bag" adding extra benefits to shorten queue times, running heroics with a PUG should actually become more fun then a trip to the dentist for 5 root canals.

Enjoy the patch =)

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