Thursday, April 28, 2011

Heroic Zul'Aman - First Impressions

I'll admit that I found it a bit ironic. My first post in about 5 months is a parody of the patch notes, pretty much railing on the fact that not everyone can get the Call to Arms special loot; and my first time pugging one of the instances last night, there's a Call to Arms for Healers, so I took it.

I got in a group that had already killed the first 2 bosses. It was 4 people from another guild. They obviously hadn't run ZA back in the day. When I first zoned in, they were positioning to attack Jan'alai from the North side. Here's a hint: he's only approachable from the South, where you have to deal with some annoying trash such as Amani'shi Scouts who run towards drums and pull in a bunch of adds if you don't kill them right away. Don't get me wrong... they're not hard and you can practically 2-shot them, they're just annoying.

At any rate, we killed Jan'alai and Halazzi. We took a few shots at Hez Lord Malacross (which I always remember being difficult), but the guys got tired, and we called the group.

But healing is once again tough. With gear on both tanks and and healers, heroics on my main had gotten pretty easy. Guild groups could sail through heroics like back in the old days. ZA (and I assume ZG) are just a bit tougher. And because we've breezed through them for years now, it's almost as if you're running Deadmines with a group of level 17's... you actually have to pay attention to mechanics again... and well... it's a struggle to remember exactly what they are.

So, I suspect there will be Call to Arms for healers for just a bit until the average ilvl gear moves up enough where tanks are the only ones that need their gear. Then we'll go back to the overwhelming need for tanks. So, if you're a healer, and you have 2 (or 3) hours to spare for a pug for ZA or ZG, go ahead and queue to get your chance at free mounts. But do yourself a favor: study up on the fights just a bit in case they ask you to explain it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4.1 Patch Notes

Blizzard's at it again. They just posted the 4.1 patch notes on Friday, and made changes yesterday. Now they've made some even more drastic changes as of this morning in maintenance. Good luck figuring these out, my friends.

See updated patch notes below:


  • Conquest Points are now purchasable from the Valor Quartermasters at 250 Conquest Points per 250 Valor Points, or from Annora in Uldaman for 1000 gold for 100 Valor Points.
  • Honor Points are now purchasable from the Justice Trade Goods vendors at 250 Honor Points per 375 Justice Points, or from Gapp Jinglepocket in Ashenvale for 1000 gold for 100 Justice Points.
  • Justice Points are now purchasable from the Honor Trade Goods vendors at 250 Justice Points per 375 Honor Points, or from Cap’n Placeholder for 1000 gold for 100 Honor Points. (Good luck finding him.)
  • Resilience rating has been removed. It was a dumb stat anyway.
  • When the group has wiped, a dead player can now self-resurrect. We found the penalty for death to be too severe. In other words, no more corpse runs.
  • In an effort to make the Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms feature fair to all classes, we have extensively redone many of the talent trees. See individual classes for details.


A new feat of strength with an associated title, "the Camel-Hoarder", has been added for players that have bested Dormus and obtained the Reins of the Grey Riding Camel. Upon receiving the title, you will also get a temporary ban which will only be lifted once you have watched Indiana Jones and submitted a 4-page written report to Blizzard.

  • The following Battlegrounds have been permanently removed from the game, as they do not function correctly: Isle of the Conquest, The Battle for Gilneas, and Alterec Valley. (AV was actually removed because it was the only BG that Alliance could win, thus it did not function correctly.)
  • Rated Battlegrounds
  • The achievements to win 100 Rated Battlegrounds have been renamed to "Veteran of the Alliance" and "Veteran of the Horde", and now award those titles.
  • Achievements to win 300 Rated Battlegrounds have been added, awarding the "Warbound" and "Warbringer" titles to the Alliance and Horde respectively.
  • Achievements to win 1000 Rated Battlegrounds in 10 days has been added, awarding the “Get Some Fresh Air” title and permanently banning your account.
  • Arathi Basin
  • The achievement "We Had It All Along *cough*" now requires the Horde to win Arathi Basin by 50 points or less, up from 10 points or less. It only requires the Alliance to win.

· Achievements Bug Fixes

  • The guild Rated Battleground title achievements should now randomly be awarded.
  • Valor and Conquest Points sometimes display the correct values when tracked for achievements.

Classes: General

· All non-damaging interrupts off the global cooldown have been removed from the game. We felt they were too powerful.

· Several persistent ground effects now display different visuals for hostile and friendly players. The following spells have the same visual effects for friendly players, but new alternate visuals for hostile players: Ring of Frost, Consecration, Desecration, Wild Mushroom, Flare, Ice Trap, Power Word: Barrier, Smoke Bomb, and Hand of Gul'dan. As a general rule, the alternate effects have a red tint or hue indicating they are created by an enemy player.

Death Knights

· Raise Ally has been redesigned to be a battle resurrection, analogous to Rebirth. It is instant cast, but costs 50 Runic Power to use, and has a 10-minute cooldown. It shares the same global battle resurrection cap with Rebirth and Soulstone.

· Talent Specializations

o Blood

§ Blood Shield now only works while in Blood Presence.

§ Death Strike self-healing no longer works.

o Frost

§ This is now the dedicated damage tree.

o Unholy

§ This is now the dedicated healing tree. See trainer for new Unholy healing spells.


· Flight Form is now usable while in combat because druids weren’t quite powerful enough.

· No other changes since druids can already perform every aspect of the game (healer, tank, melee dps, and ranged dps).


· Multi-Shot damage has been increased by 2.5%.

· Tame Beast now tames pets to match the hunter's level, rather than 3 levels below.

· Pets

o The Happiness/Pet Loyalty System has been removed. Hunters will no longer have to manage Happiness for their pets, and the previous damage bonus for pets being happy will now be baseline for all tamed pets.

o The Feed Pet ability now instantly heals 100% of the pet's health. Cannot be used in combat. Requires food.

o Pets are no longer picky about what they eat. If their owner will eat it, the pet will eat it.

· Talent Specializations

o Beast Master

§ This is now the dedicated tanking tree.

§ All damage will be decreased, but pet threat will substantially be increased.

§ Misdirect will now default to your pet.

o Marksmanship

§ This is now the dedicated damage tree.

o Survival

§ This is now the dedicated healing tree. See trainer for learn how to heal other players.


· Arcane Blast cast time has been reduced to 2.0 seconds, down from 2.35 seconds. In addition, the stacking effect of Arcane Blast now increases the healing done by all Arcane spells.

· Arcane Explosion has been removed from the game.

· Arcane Missiles has been removed from the game.

· Blizzard is now uninterruptable.

· Frost Armor has been reworked:

o It now increases armor contribution from cloth by 250% and stamina by 15%, it also reduces physical damage taken by 15%.

o The attack speed slow from the Chilled proc is now 20%, down from 25%, but it also affects ranged attack speed.

o Frost Armor no longer increases Frost resistance.

o The spell pushback mechanic is suspended while Frost Armor is active

· Talent Specializations

o Arcane

§ This is now the dedicated healing tree. See trainer for learn how to use your arcane magic to heal players.

o Fire

§ Combustion no longer has a global cooldown.

§ Ignite is no longer triggered from periodic critical effects.

o Frost

§ This is now the dedicated tanking tree. See trainer for additional tanking spells.


· Avenger’s Shield has a new icon that looks more like Captain America.


· Talent Specializations

o Discipline

§ This is now the dedicated tanking tree. See trainer for additional tanking spells.

§ Power Word: Shield takes on a whole new meaning now, doesn’t it?


· Due to the difficulty of implementing a proper healing role to the Rogues talent trees, this class has been removed from the game. All Rogues have been rerolled as druids since cat form was basically the same thing.


· Fire Nova has been redesigned and decoupled from shaman Fire totems. Instead, it now pulses the Fire Nova effect from each target that is afflicted by the shaman's own Flame Shock debuff. It now damages all enemies except the target hit by Flame Shock. The ability's cooldown has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 10. It also generates an insane amount of threat.

· Grounding Totem has been removed from the game.

· Magma Totem now lasts for 60 seconds, up from 21 and also increases threat.

· Stoneclaw Totem's area-of-effect threat pulse no longer affects critters, but the threat is now transferred to the Shaman

· Talent Specializations

o Elemental Combat

§ Earthquake is no longer a channeled spell. It now has a 2-second cast time, lasts for 10 seconds, and has a 10-second cooldown. Its damage has been reduced by 40% from its channeled version.

o Enhancement

§ This is now the dedicated tanking tree. See trainer for additional tanking spells.

o Restoration

§ Spirit Link Totem (new talent) reduces damage taken by all party and raid members within 400 yards (4 yards in PvP) by 10%. This lasts 6 seconds, and every second it is active the health of all affected players is redistributed among them, such that each player ends up with the same percentage of their maximum health. This counts as an Air totem and has a 3-minute cooldown.


· Warlocks have been removed from the game. Just Kidding.

· Dark Intent: The friendly target of this ability now receives 1% (stacking 3 times to 3%) periodic spell damage and healing bonus instead of 3% (stacking 3 times to 9%). The casting Warlock still receives 3% (stacking 3 times to 9%).

· Rain of Fire damage has been increased by 25%.

· Soulstone can now be used in combat to resurrect a targeted dead player.

· Talent Specializations

o Affliction

§ This is now the dedicated healing tree. See trainer for additional healing spells.

§ See? Because you afflict your friendly targets with good health. It works. Right? Right?

§ Okay, we just had to keep them in because mages had to have somebody to compete against.

o Demonology

§ This is now the dedicated tanking tree. Get used to seeing your Voidwalker… a lot. See trainer for additional tanking spells


· Talent Specializations

o Fury

§ This is now the dedicated healing tree.

§ Specialization for Fury Warriors includes increased results out of bandages. (Yeah… who’s wasting all that cloth now, huh?)

Dungeons & Raids

· Rise of the Zandalari

o Zul'Aman is now a level-85 5-player Heroic dungeon. Players with a minimum average item level of 346 or higher can access this dungeon via the Dungeon Finder.

o Zul'Gurub is now a level-85 5-player Heroic dungeon. Players with a minimum average item level of 346 or higher can access this dungeon via the Dungeon Finder.

o Both Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman exist in a separate tier in the Dungeon Finder above the current level-85 Heroic dungeons. Players can randomly queue for either dungeon by selecting the Rise of the Zandalari setting.

· Dungeon Finder

o The Dungeon Finder now attempts to avoid putting damage-dealing classes with the same armor type in a group.

o Players will now get bonus rewards 7 times per week (while earning less than 980 Valor Points) instead of once a day when using Dungeon Finder.

o When there is only 1 player left in a Dungeon Finder group, they will now be able to queue for replacements as long as they queue within 2 minutes or stay in the dungeon.

o The Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms will now identify which class role is currently the least represented in the queue, and offer them additional rewards for entering the Dungeon Finder queue and completing a random level-85 Heroic dungeon.

§ The least represented class icon will show within the Dungeon Finder to indicate the role that is eligible to earn the bonus reward.

§ Players must queue solo with the currently indicated least represented class (by the system) and complete the dungeon up to and including the final boss in order to be eligible for the bonus reward.

§ The bonus reward will be displayed to eligible (system identified as least represented) classes within the UI.

§ Once the dungeon is completed the eligible player will receive a Satchel of Exotic Mysteries (account bound) with various potential rewards including: gold, rare gems, non-combat pets, and (very rare) mounts (including dungeon and raid drops, mounts no longer obtainable, and mounts found through Trading Cards, previous Blizzcons, or purchasable through the Blizzard store).

· Dire Maul

o Dire Maul has been removed from the game since nobody ever really liked to go there anyway.

· The Mechanar

o There was apparently an issue with the Cache of the Legion not unlocking at times… but that was 2 expansions ago, so we’ll fix it “soon”.

· Stratholme

o Postboxes no longer require keys to open, because really, who locks their postboxes anymore when they're all undead? It's just people sending coupons for brains anyway.

o The Postmaster now spawns when 3 of any postbox are opened.

· Wailing Caverns

o Due to the complexity of the maze that persisted for years and overall annoyance of having to follow around the NPC, anyone that has completed this instance once will receive the “Putting Up with Crappy Dungeon Designs” achievement on all characters for that account. Upon entering the instance with that achievement, Muyoh will greet you and give you all possible loot found in Wailing Caverns.


· The criteria on many of the profession-related guild achievements has been significantly reduced making it feasible for smaller guilds to actually accomplish them.

· Guild Challenges

o These challenges can be found in the Info pane of the guild UI.

o Guild Challenges fall into three categories: Dungeons, Raids, and Rated Battlegrounds.

o Each challenge can be completed a set number of times per week. Guild groups participating in level-appropriate Heroic or normal difficulty dungeons and raids, or Rated Battlegrounds, will automatically qualify for challenge credit.

o Each time a Guild Challenge is completed, the guild will be awarded experience and gold deposited directly into the Guild Vault, as well as the opportunity to earn all-new achievements. A popup or "toast" will be displayed to confirm a Guild Challenge has been completed (similar to achievement alerts).

o Guild experience earned via Guild Challenges will be awarded above the daily cap. The experience cap will move forward relative to the amount of experience obtained through completing Guild Challenges (similar to rested experience for characters).

o Guilds already at the level cap will be awarded substantially more gold in place of guild experience.

o Gold rewards are deposited into the guild bank once the guild reaches level 5. The text for the Cash Flow guild perk has been updated appropriately.

· Guild Finder

o A new Guild Finder button will now appear on the Micro Menu for guild leaders, as well as players without a guild.

o A Guild Interests field allows players to form a guild around common interests: Questing, Dungeons, Raids, PvP, and Role Playing.

o An Availability field allows players to note whether or not weekdays or weekends are better for playing.

o The Class Roles field allows players to indicate the role or roles they are capable of, and willing to fill.

o A Comment box is also available for supplying additional information.

o Once a player has filled out the Guild Interests field, the Browse Guilds tab allows them to find guilds actively recruiting via the Guild Finder. Guilds listed here are displayed according to common interests.

o The Requests tab tracks all recruitment requests submitted by an unguilded player, or submitted to the leader of a selected guild.

· The Guild Perk, Cash Flow, no longer prints out text to the Chat Log. Instead, the daily amount deposited is shown in the Guild Vault Money Log. In addition, players can view the weekly contribution in a new window at the bottom of the Money Log.

· Two new custom guild tabards have been added as Guild Rewards. The tabards are account bound and offer a bonus to gaining guild reputation.

· The Reins of the Dark Phoenix, purchased from the Guild Vendor, has had its art improved. It's now less transparent and indisputably more awesome.

· The amount of guild experience rewarded for Rated Battleground guild group wins has been dramatically increased.

· Players are now rewarded guild experience for Honorable Kills in the field.

· Players are now rewarded guild experience for Battleground wins in Battleground brackets up to level 80.

· Arena teams are now awarded guild experience for wins. The entire team must be members of the same guild to earn this experience.


· All major cities will now have every type of profession trainer and their associated trade supply vendors.

· New Cooking and Fishing Dailies have been added to Darnassus, Ironforge, Thunder Bluff, and Undercity.

· Alchemy

o Flask of Steelskin now grants 450 Stamina, up from 300. The Mixology bonus for alchemists remains at 120 Stamina.

· Archaeology

o In light of what a horrible idea we realize this now was, we are using a new technology we want to call “bottle-ing”. Please don’t confuse this with “bott-ing” which is against the EULA and ToS. Bottle-ing will allow you to search for artifacts while you are spending time with your family… especially young ones. Given enough time, bottle-ing will complete max out your Archaeology skill. This technology will soon be available for Fishing as well.


· Each race will now gain the “Punt Gnome” ability. Gnomes themselves will have to purchase an Old Boot in order for the punt to be successful.

User Interface

· At the character selection screen:

o By default, the list of characters will now be placed in the order you last logged in with that character instead of the order in which the characters were originally created.

o We have placed an Options button on the character selection screen to provide other ways in which to sort or order your characters.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Deficiencies in the New Armory

As I've mentioned before, Blizzard has launched their new Armory pages. Overall, I think they did a great job. But as I'm playing more and more with it, I'm finding there's just certain things that are lacking.

I already spoke of a couple of these. I really think you should be able to schedule events and make announcements from outside of the game. It appears that you can accept scheduled events, but the creator can't change the status of each accepted person out of the game. I guess I'd just really like to be able to do some of these menial, mundane tasks outside of the game... while I'm waiting in line at the supermarket on my smart phone. Never would I do it at work or on company time... no.. never that.

With Cataclysm dropping and 95% of the stuff in our guild vault becoming obsolete, I realized today how nice it was to be able to see all of the stuff we have in our guild vault in armory. What? What was that you said? The non-beta Armory doesn't show the guild vault? Well... that's actually less helpful. Grr.

But luckily there's a great "new" service where you can sell all of your stuff on the AH outside of the game. Thanks to the Remote Auction House, for only $3 per month, I can easily clear out all of the old mats in the vault and replace them with new ones, right? Oh... Remote Auction House is only for players and your own personal banks. I see.

Well... hopefully that's the next evolution, right? Now that guilds have statistics, maybe they can become their own entities. Instead of JoeGuildVault selling all of their enchanting mats, the items can be posted straight from the guild vault with the proceeds going straight into the vault as well. Yes, I realize this would be a lot more programming on Blizzard's behalf, but it logically seems like the next step to me. Even if we can just get one more step of a toon that pays for the Remote Auction House to post things on the AH on behalf of the guild; that shouldn't take too much programming, right?

So, while there's a lot of hopes and dreams in this post, I guess the biggest thing is that you can no longer see the guild vault through armory; and honestly, that makes me sad.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dear Chain Heal

I will admit. I was madly in love with you, Chain Heal. I mean... it was so easy. How can you blame me? All I had to do was use your incredibly smart ability in Wotlk to heal a bunch of people. I would gleefully cast you again and again, and you would heal those in need. "You're injured, I'll heal you, and then bounce to you, skip you because you're at full health, and then heal this person over here," you would say. How could I not love such a wonderful spell? How could I not be sucked in to the comfort of your rejuvenating embrace?

I had such high hopes for our future in Cataclysm. I thought for sure you'd be the only one for me. But alas, I've found my love affair with you, Chain Heal, to be waning. In this Cataclysm time of non-tanks having 100k health, I'm afraid you're just not the go to spell anymore. Either the health pools are too high or your spell coefficient isn't what I thought it would be, but you simply don't heal enough for me to be completely reliant on just you anymore. But I still want to be friends.

I know you could sense it. I know you know that I started seeing other heals. That night you saw me with Healing Rain... well... it's a bit faster than you are. And I need that. I can't spend all my time on one spell anymore; I need variety. I like its ability to be cast, and then allow me to do other things while it's healing people... for me. I know it doesn't proc Tidal Waves like you do, but I still have Riptide for that too. Admittedly, Healing Rain is a bit expensive though. It's more than twice the mana that you cost. So, I can't see us going as steady as I did with you.

I guess I'm just at a stage in my life where I feel like I need more. I need more mana. I need more throughput. And I'm afraid I can't get that from you alone anymore. Now I'm sure I'll still find raid situations where I want to use you a lot. I'll probably even be able to use you and Healing Rain together to really burn through my mana. But I feel like I have so many other friends right now, and I need that. I need old friends like Greater Healing Wave and Healing Wave. I need new friends like Healing Surge. I probably even need to start relying on some of my neglected friends such as Gift of the Naaru. I'm finding that now more than ever I'm relying on my friends with longer cooldowns such as Nature's Swiftness and Mana Tide Totem.

I'm even able to branch out and see friends like Hex and Bind Elemental. I won't even go into the noticeable difference I feel when I use all of my totem friends. And oh, how much fun it is to be with Spiritwalker's Grace; it almost feels like I'm cheating when it's around and I'm flying through the air casting spells.

So, Chain Heal, as close as we once were, I'm afraid we've grown apart. We're still friends; we'll still hang out. I just need a little space so that I can enjoy my other friends as well. Thanks for understanding. I know you'll still be there for me as much as I need you; I just thought it was fair to let you know where we currently stood.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WowArmory No Longer In Beta and More

Possibly one of the greatest assets that Blizzard has is its fan base. They create an astounding array of add-ons, fan pages, blogs, and online tools to support this game that millions of us play. And what does Blizzard get to do with all of these things? Why, they get to plagiarize like there's no tomorrow. :)

For those that haven't had a chance to come out of the game because they've been wrapped up with Cataclysm, Blizzard did launch their new portal to all things World of Warcraft. I believe it was about a month ago. Well... as far as I can tell, yesterday, they also implemented their new and improved WowArmory to go along with that portal. Go take a look for yourself. Go to the main Wow page, which is now In the upper right, you'll see a search box. This is how you access the new armory.

They've obviously added all of the guilds and achievements in there. It's a nice little portal for each guild as well. I still wish that as you log in that you can schedule events and announcements outside of the game, but whatever. Maybe version 2.0. It also has some discrepancies in things like the achievements (and progress) and level of toons (I'm not sure it shows anyone above 80 at the moment), but I'm sure that will be sorted out in some time in the near future.

BUT... and here's where Blizzard liberally used a few ideas of others... if you look at an individual toon, you can see the display as "Simple" (look upper right corner of that frame) or "Advanced". The Advanced view shows all gems, enchants, character audit (which includes glyphs), and general stats. Towards the bottom of either view, there's also a Raid Progression that shows which raids you've completed on normal and heroic, and which raids are trivial, optimal, and challenging to your toon based on gear. Hmm... wow-heroes much?

So, for those that have to be stuck here at work and not leveling your worgen/goblin or main to 85, go check out some of the new improvements in the Armory.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Operation: Gnomeregan

There's a lot of different aspects of World of Warcraft. If you break it down, it really is made up of a ton of different mini games. There's a mini-game where you go and kill 15 rabbits; another one where you have to collect poop (okay... there seems like there's a few of those); another one where you craft items; and another where you kill bosses, etc. I enjoy a lot of these mini-games, but what really draws me in is a good story.

Yes, I know... since the introduction of QuestHelper and the like, most of us have gotten quite used to ignoring quest text, clicking accept, and simply following the arrow. I'm sure it's something that Blizzard is very well aware of. But Blizzard has been pretty creative about telling a story even if you don't read the text. Take the newer starting areas of either the Death Knight, Dranei, or Blood Elf. Even if you don't read a single word besides "Accept" they still tell the story.

At some points, they even did a good job in the old world.. the job of sucking you in. Back in vanilla, we had a small guild, so we didn't raid much. I think we all had a great investment in the quest chain to upgrade our dungeon armor to the Tier 0.5 armor. It was a huge investment in time, and to get those 45-minute Baron runs down was a Feat of Strength in and of itself... with appropriately geared toons.

Blizzard has even started refocusing on the ambiance, realizing that the whole story is also told while listening to other things. Look at how they did the ambient music in Karazhan? Sure, it's annoying the 1000th time you listen, but there's a certain ambiance that pulls you in to the story of Karazhan as well.

Case and point to all of this is the new quest line that was introduced yesterday. I can't talk to the horde side with the Trolls, but I do know that the Gnome side attempting to regain Gnomeregan is just wonderful. Engaging quests, fun stuff to do... none of them feel like a time sink. A story that pulls you in. And also, some music that simply has an epic feel to it... like you're about to retake a city that has been lost for years.

Bottom line: I'm looking forward to all the changes in Cataclysm. I'm also looking forward to all the new quests... and every other mini game as well. From what I saw in the Operation: Gnomergan questline, and what I've heard from Beta testers... we won't be grinding to 85; we'll be enjoying a wonderful story that will take us to lvl 85.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Difficulty of Gearing a DPS

I have been out of the blogging loop for so long now, I had to practically re-learn most of my blog. I changed my comments right in the middle of my hiatus, so I'm still not sure if they're working correctly. I try to respond to most comments, but since I also haven't been writing much, I can't expect many comments. At any rate, if I don't respond to a question posted, just e-mail me.

Now, on to the current subject.

I've been playing my Resto Shaman for quite some time now. I had pretty much retired Leiandra, my mage, and even dabbled a bit with my druid tank. For a change, (and to be able to attend both GDKP runs we've been holding), I decided to pull the mage out of moth balls, and gear her up for ICC.

And amazingly, it's not as easy as I remembered or thought it would be. For all of you Gear-score people, she's about at a 2500 GS. Not horrible, but certainly has a lot of upgrades to get. Heck, she can even get a ton of upgrades out of the ICC 5-man instances. Heck! There's still about 250 Emblems of Triumph that would finish out her 232-ilvl gear. But it is absolutely insane the amount of time that I have to wait in the dungeon finder in order for me to get in an instance.

With both my healing shaman and tanking druid, I may have to wait up to 1 minute to get in an instance. Now, 1 minute is usually only if I have chosen specific dungeons to run. The random dungeons is pretty much instant group. In fact, they might as well change the button for tanks and healers to be "Join Group Now".

DPS, on the other hand, seems to take a little longer. I've waited around for 15 minutes before finding something else to do, and that's for the random dungeons. I can't even think how long I would have to wait if I chose a dungeon that people don't want to run, like say.. The Nexus. (which I happen to enjoy, but that's a whole different post.)

And I suppose it all makes sense. 60-70% of most raids are DPS. 60% of 5-man instances are DPS. If there were equal distribution of specs for each class, then you'd probably have about 66% of players doing DPS, but... I'm guessing it's a lot higher. Just a guess (with no data to back it up), I'm guessing that it's more like 80-90% of people want to just kill stuff.

In a class like a mage (or warlock, or rogue, or hunter), this is almost the reverse hybrid tax. (If you're not familiar with hybrid tax, see here.) Any of the hybrids out there can simply change spec, run the 5-mans on one of the easier specs to get into 5-mans, and be out of the instance before the pure dps classes can even get in an instance.

So, what's the answer? Well, the fastest thing is to make friends with a non-hybrid. If you're really good, you'll make friends with a tank AND a healer, and have them run heroics with you. At that point though, you'll probably get swamped with whispers if you throw out in trade chat, "LF 2 DPS for...". (In all honesty, there's such an over-abundance of DPS, it doesn't really matter how you finish that sentence.) And this brings me to my final point. As an effective tool, and compared to how well it works for healers and tanks, I'd even go as far as to say that the LFG tool is almost broken for DPS.

Which really brings it back to the root cause of what's fun to most people. The majority of people don't like to tank and heal. So, is there anything that Blizzard can do to make these roles fun? I know they've taken a look at healing in this regard. As far as what I've seen from Cataclysm Beta posts though, it seems they've merely tried to make healers not stare at bars as much. You actually have to look at the environment around you as well. But we shall see...

To sum up: Gearing a DPS? Get a pocket tank and healer to do it quickly and efficiently. :)