Tuesday, December 4, 2012

World of Warcraft Newbie Guide 15: The Dungeon Finder

At level 10, the avenues of leveling up are practically limited to two: Questing and Battlegrounds. The third, which is using the Dungeon Finder can be started at level 15. By this time, you should be around level 15 and can use the Dungeon Finder. This article will show you how to get started with the Dungeon Finder and give you some tips on learning the ropes while inside a dungeon and the new things to learn from being with four other players. This article will not contain general advice on group play (such as common courtesy), as this will be discussed in the article following this one. Instead, I will go over mechanics related to being in a party and/or dungeon.

Queuing Up

Queuing for dungeons using the Dungeon Finder is somewhat similar to queuing for a battleground. To start doing dungeons, open the Dungeon Finder by pressing "I" by default or clicking the menu option as shown below:
This will open up the Dungeon Finder window. Unless you plan on doing a lot of PvP, you'll probably see this a lot even if you don't plan on doing any dungeons while leveling. When opened, it'll look something like this:
When you open it for the first time, you may be prompted to select role(s). You can only choose roles your class is capable of doing. However, you should make sure your specialization is capable of doing the role by checking your Specialization and Talents window (hotkey N). You cannot queue if you do not select one of the three roles of Tank, Healer, or Damage Dealer. You can change role(s) you want to queue as by checking or unchecking icons at the top (but you must not currently be queued). You can highlight each of the three options to see a brief note on what each role demands. For me, roles are descried as the following:
  • The Tank is typically considered the leader for the reason they dictate when to progress further in the dungeon. This is because they are the front line that ensures all enemies attack him or her by holding "threat," which is a mechanic that determines which target an enemy will focus. While I will go deeper into how party members should interact later, I would like to at least say that while the Tank technically does (or should) have the power to set the pace of the dungeon, this doesn't mean they should become a tyrant and control the group.
    • When queuing as a tank, your queues will be very fast, if not instant.
  • The Healer uses healing spells to keep allies alive. They should also try to not to get killed themselves. If for some reason they pull "aggro" (have enough threat on an enemy that it decides to attack them), they should typically run towards the Tank so the Tank can take "aggro" back.
    • When queuing as a healer, your queues are somewhat fast.
  • The Damage Dealer tries to kill enemies without pulling threat off the Tank. It is acceptable, however, to try to save a Healer by deliberately pulling threat on enemies attacking said Healer. Damage Dealers may also be required to crowd control targets (use abilities on a target that takes prevents the target from attacking for a set amount of time). Despite the fact there are a majority of these in any given group, this role is very commonly filled.
    • When queuing as a damage dealer, your queues will take quite a bit of time (up to half an hour sometimes). This is a good opportunity to supplement your time by questing or doing some other activity.
The fourth option allows you to become group leader, which is mostly for aesthetic but is better suited for experienced players who can give their group members instructions.

Besides selecting role, you can choose to queue for a Random Dungeon (which is what you will typically do). You will be able to see the rewards for doing so, much like queuing for Random Battlegrounds. While leveling, the rewards consist of some experience, money, and a bag that contains a piece of blue (rare) gear that your class can use.

You can switch your queue type by clicking on the drop-down menu. While leveling you'll see two options, which are "Specific Dungeons" and "Random Classic Dungeon." If you select "Specific Dungeons, your window will change to look something like this:
You will not see these dungeons at level 15.
The dungeons you can queue for are always within your level range. You cannot queue for anything outside of the level range. You can check off dungeons to queue for individually here. This is also a good way to check which instances you will get queued into, as the Random Dungeon queue always puts you into a dungeon within your level range.

When you're ready, you can press "Find Group" to join the queue. If you are currently in the queue, there will be a "Leave Queue" button instead. After a time in the queue, you will receive a prompt to enter a dungeon or leave the queue. The window that pops up will also show your role (if you queued for two or more roles) and, if you queued for specific dungeons, the name of the dungeon you queued for. Like battleground queues, you have about 40 seconds to take the queue or you will automatically be removed.

Dungeon and Party Basics

Now that you're in a dungeon group, you should know the framework of the party interface and learn what you may face while in dungeon and party play.

Party Interface

When you enter a party (either by being invited or entering a Dungeon Finder group), you will see up to four character portraits to the left side of the screen. It will look something like this:
You can left click these portraits in order to target a player. This is especially handy for healing. You can also right click portraits to see options related to character targets plus some additional party-related options:
Some of these options, such as Set Focus, Whisper, Inspect, Compare Achievement, Trade, and so on are always available when right clicking a character's portrait. However, you gain some additional options, such as:
  • Promote to Leader: Only usable in groups that are manually formed. If you are the leader, you will see this option, which allows you to make someone else the leader. As a group leader, you have the power to invite or remove players.
  • Uninvite: This option removes the player from the group. It can only be used in groups that are manually formed.
  • Vote to Kick: This is the alternative option to "Uninviting" players from the group while in Dungeon Finder. After inputting a reason to remove a player, a prompt will be sent to other players to remove the target from the group (requires a majority vote). There are restrictions to using this. For instance, you cannot use this option in combat and excessive use of the function will cause delays between Vote to Kick attempts. Use this option to remove troublesome players.
  • Target Marker Icon: This is more of an advanced function that can be used on any target while in a group. It marks a target with an icon that could indicate kill orders, cc targets, and so on.
  • Set Role: This allows you to set your role in non-Dungeon Finder groups.
Instance Maps and the Dungeon Journal

Navigating instances can be tough at times. While most are linear by design, there are occasionally forked paths, winding passages, and pitfalls that make it easy to get lost, especially for those who have never been to the instance before. Fortunately, every instance has a map, which can be opened by using the default map hotkey "M." This will bring up a map of the current floor (if the instance has multiple floors), showing where you are at as well as the location of bosses. In this example, the instance Ragefire Chasm looks like this:
Though this instance has only one floor, for instances with multiple floors you may see two arrows at the top of the map that allow you to switch floors.
The map feature in instances can also be helpful for newer players in a way besides navigating as well. Each boss, which is denoted by a circular icon, can be clicked to open a Dungeon Journal entry for that boss. It will look something like this:
From here you can see the special abilities a boss may have. You can also navigate to other bosses by clicking tabs at the top (for instance if you click Ragefire Chasm you'll see all the bosses the instance has, while clicking Home brings you to a list of instances). At the top right you can use a search function that may be helpful for finding certain abilities, bosses, or loot. In addition, you can swap the "mode" of the boss with the dropdown menu (where it says "(5) Normal") to see what the boss is like on other modes, if applicable. While leveling, this will always show as (5) Normal.

Finally, on the right side there is a second tab that looks like a chest. This is the loot list for the boss. Clicking it will change the Dungeon Journal to look like this:
From here you can see the loot the boss will drop. This is handy if you want to know are looking for certain equipment. Just keep in mind that other players in a group may want the loot too.

The Dungeon Journal is a handy too. You can even open it outside of an instance by pressing Shift-J.

Rolling For Loot

This is probably the most important section for Dungeon Finder, as loot is the major incentive for running the Dungeon Finder, especially at higher levels. While in a group, items that are of uncommon (green) or higher quality that drop must be rolled for by party members in the proximity of the loot drop. You will see a window like this:
Most of the window will be taken up by the item and its name. Below the item, there is a bar that indicates how much time you have left to roll on the item. The right side is where you choose what roll you wish to make on the item. This will determine how much you want or need the item. After all rolls are made, the system rolls for the highest priority roll on the loot and distributes it to the highest roller. Roll priorities go as follow:
  • Need is denoted by the dice symbol. This is the highest priority roll. If you Need on a bind-on-equip item while in a Dungeon Finder group, it will become bind-on-pickup. Some loot cannot be needed on (typically equipment that cannot be used by or isn't suitable for your class).
  • Greed is denoted by the coin symbol. This is a secondary priority roll that determines you don't really need the item and are mostly interested in selling it.
  • Disenchant is the bottom right symbol. It may be greyed out, indicating there isn't an Enchanter high enough to disechant the item, but if there is a high enough level Enchanter, the option will be blue and pink. This is on the same priority as Greed, but disenchants the item into materials suitable for Enchanting. This roll can only be done on equipment.
  • Pass is the red "not" symbol, indicating you are not interested in this loot. You will not roll on the loot. The system may sometimes make you automatically pass on loot (for instance it's impossible for you to loot another of that item).
You now know most of what you need to know for using the Dungeon Finder. Go forth, defeat bosses, and acquire loot.

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