So, after about 2 or 3 months with almost no WoW contact whatsoever, I have participated in what can only be described as a blitz of playing for the past few days. New gear, instances, and group finder have definitely helped to put the shine back on the apple for me. Mixed with a heaping helping of shadow priest action and bolstered by the constant influx of emblems, I can certainly say that I’m picking up right where I left off.
But there’s still something different, something wholly new about the game even though I’m feeling almost like I never left. Anyone who’s played in the last couple of weeks is aware of the sweeping changes brought on by 3.3 beyond simply adding a few new dungeons. The major change, and one blogged about ad nauseum at this point, is the new group finder tool. But what I think people have overlooked is that fact that this one simple change has truly evolved the way we play this game.
Of course WoW has gone through major shifts and changes before. The coming of the Burning Crusade changed up how people looked at gear and their stats while Wrath made raiding more accessible to the common player, for example. But at the end of the day, people’s day to day play time didn’t change too much except to incorporate new spells and hash out better rotations. 3.3 has changed that.
Now when I was leveling Dueg from a wee baby priest to the mighty mountain of manliness that he is today, I did a lot of grouping. This process involved researching what items dropped from what dungeon and then sitting in the old lfg tool all night while questing and hoping beyond hope that someone, anyone, else was also hoping to run that lower level dungeon. Now, this was back when Burning Crusade was still just a few months old, so I was able to usually get at least one dungeon in a night. But even though my evenings are still filled with dungeon diving, it’s all different.
Running dungeons has become almost a background activity for me now. I don’t have to actively check the lfg tool, see if anyone else is looking and maybe too lazy to send whispers. I don’t have to beg and cajole my friends or spend an hour searching for a tank while the other three members play musical chairs. I don’t have to fly to a dungeon and stand outside while I wait thirty minutes for one other person to be considerate enough to fly to the meeting stone. I don’t have to use meeting stones anymore. No, now it’s click, forget, and when your number comes up, click ready and there you are. Convenience.
It’s also upped the number of dungeons that I run in an evening. Used to be that I’d get two in, max, now I’m up to four a five a night depending on how fast I’m selected for groups. This is spurred on by my desperate greed for more badges and all, but still, I now have the patience to put up with multiple randies and not go ape shit from sheer frustration. I also contribute that to the lack of buffoons in my group, with only two or three sour runs in my short stint back.
But I also wonder how much this has changed other people’s playing styles. Anea was recently talking on her blog about how her play style has changed somewhat since the dungeon finder came out, what with going from almost exclusively questing while leveling to running multiple dungeons per day. I’m sure she’s not alone in this and that a lot of people have begun to do so whether for the convenience of it or simply because they want better items.
So tell me, gentle jerkwads (and I know there probably aren’t too many of you left at this point), are things different for you? Did you even notice the new lfg tool, or are you all pvp all the time? Drop me a comment and let me know. Also let me know what you think of the new layout. I figured that since I’m going to be going shadow full time for the time being, I’d change things up a little bit to match the mood.