3.3 is out and so far has been well received. One of the most popular new features is the "Looking for Dungeon" feature which makes it so much easier for groups to get formed to any level of instance. Although this is a mixed bag of blessings, most of it is quite good.
I decide to try and do my first instance as a healer (Prinnyraid/level 63 disc. priest). Armed with healbot, I actually had a lot of confidence that I'd be able to do my job well. (to be honest, with healbot, a monkey could do a good job). The LFD interface enabled, my role defined, I just now have wait for a gr... POOF instantly I'm in a group, transported inside Blood Furnace along with 4 other eager adventurers. The group consists of myself, a mage, a pally, a death knight, and a melee shaman. I also just realize that I've never done Blood Furnace before.
Things start off ok but I soon notice all 3 melee classes are going from full health to 40% in a heartbeat. Still unaware of Prayer of Healing (yes, noob healer) I scramble to do the whack-a-mole using healbot. It's hectic but nobody dies. I find out from a friend that what's going on is all of the melee are standing on mines and that's why so much damage is being taken. Doesn't seem to bother them tho, they just keep taking massive amounts of damage doing the same thing over and over. I keep healing my ass off. This continues until we get to the big floaty eye-thing behind the door with the giant lever in front of it. Nobody pulls the lever and we're standing there for a good while.
It's becoming quite obvious that perhaps nobody in this group has done this instance before. Someone finally pulls the lever.. and orcs start charging the group from their cages. After the first wave, I'm the primary target of these orcs as my healing efforts from previous waves is giving me the healing aggro. The rest of the group seems oblivious to this fact as I'm 1/2 dead each wave before the rest of them start attacking. During the final wave it was too much and I die. At the time I thought this might have been normal, but after seeing it done with a proper group later, I now look back and realize how fail this group was. With the short dirt nap behind me, the rest of the instance went well enough and we completed it with without incident.
My pally friend (lvl 66) joined me and we went on to do many more dungeons, having quite a good time. The new LFD is quite good, and one of the best features Blizzard has implemented. It definitely will get people to start instancing who haven't done it before, which is a good thing.
This also makes me look back on how I played the game when Burning Crusade came out. I basically just quested to 69 or so, then farmed the hell out of Legion Hold demons in Shadowmoon Valley. It was a profitable and relatively quickly way to 70.. but I did miss out on all of the instances BC had to offer. Now looks like a good time to revisit them.
Right now everyone's checking out the new Ice Crown 5-mans and raids. I notice that some people (BBB, Larisa, and others) have gone into them not wanting to know exactly how to do the fights. No guides read up before-hand, no PTR practice fights. Just figure out the stuff on your own and have a good time. Sure you'll wipe a few more times but experiencing the fights without having your hand held telling you what to do is good fun. There will be plenty of time to mindlessly run this stuff while waiting for Cataclysm. =)
Diablo Season 1 launches Friday, August 29
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