|Release: December 07, 2010|
|Screen Resolution: N/A|
Last week, I ventured outside of the goblin starting area for the first time. This week, I decided to try my hand at raiding dungeons.
To most World of Warcraft newbies, dungeon raiding can sound daunting. One always hears about organized groups of players who report to their computers at a preset time and spend hours tackling the hardest content the game has to offer. But the truth is that dungeons don't have to be that intimidating.
The secret is to use the Dungeon Finder, a feature that was introduced with patch 3.3.0 about a year ago. It's basically a big matchmaking system for five-player dungeons. You tell it which dungeons you'd like to explore, and it queues you up for a group. The biggest advantage to organizing this way is that it matches players across realms, which cuts down drastically on the wait. There's still a bit of a wait most of the time (my average was around twenty minutes), but you can keep playing your other quests while you work your way up the queue.
In a dungeon, each player fits into one of three roles. The first is simply to deal damage to enemies, preferably from a distance. In a five-player raid, three characters play this role. The second is to heal players who are hurt. The third role is that of a "tank," a player who's capable of taking a lot of damage and tries to keep the enemies focused on him while the damage-dealers whittle away their health. The tank also tends to lead the group and trigger enemies. My character is a goblin, and goblins can't play as healers or tanks, so I stuck to damage dealing.
In a lot of ways, dungeons aren't all that different from the basic gameplay. The process remains the same: You trigger an enemy or two, deal as much damage as quickly as possible, and get the loot you need for your quests. If you die, you're dropped off at the nearest graveyard and have to walk back to meet up with the rest of the raiding party.