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Filed under: Raiding

Highmaul LFR and Mythic will be live at 10AM PST

If you've been paying attention to the Highmaul opening schedule, then you know that today's the day to both LFR -- at least the first wing of it -- and Mythic Highmaul will go live. (European servers will see their LFR and Mythic variations up tomorrow.) But after rolling restarts this morning, there's no Highmaul. So just when can raiders expect to find these new raids in operation? According to Bashiok, 10AM (in each region's release time) is when raids typically arrive -- including Highmaul.

That means players on North American realms, you'll be able to hit up LFR and Mythic Highmaul starting at 10AM PST (or 1PM EST), while European players will see their own LFR and Mythic Highmaul go up tomorrow morning at 10AM CET. If one LFR wing isn't enough, the second and third wings open on December 16th and January 6th, respectively.

Filed under: News items, Raiding

Get started raiding Highmaul with these guides

The first raid of Warlords, Highmaul opens its doors to players today (or tomorrow for EU players) for normal and heroic modes. If you're waiting for mythic or raid finder, both of those open on December 9th, with additional raid finder wings opening on December 16th and January 6th. If you're not sure how to get started with Highmaul, we've rounded up the guides that will help you down the biggest bosses and collect the best gear. Have your own favorite guide that's not mentioned here? Be sure to let us know in the comments -- and, of course, good luck raiding!

Filed under: Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Highmaul raid schedule revealed

We've all been assiduously leveling through Warlords and now we get to find out what it was all for - starting this December 2nd, Highmaul unlocks, the first Warlords of Draenor raid zone. Blizzard has put a spotlight up on the zone, talking about specific boss fights and when the various wings of the raid unlock. As expected, mythic opens the week after normal/heroic, and LFR unfolds in wings, with wing 1 opening the same week as mythic, then wings 2 and 3 over the following weeks.

I'm interested in the decision to have Kargath Bladefist, an iconic character who even got his own Lords of War short, as the very first raid boss of the expansion. I'm also interested that there are three optional bosses this time out, with the Butcher, Tectus and Brackenspore all listed as optional. It reminds me a little of how you could go from Flame Leviathan straight to XT once your raid had geared up enough, and I'm all for it.

Head on over to the official site to get started on the preview and thinking about raid strategies. December 2 isn't far off.

Filed under: Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Mythic difficulty lockouts explained

For some folks, mythic raiding is causing a bit of a problem. Not that it is hard in any way, but rather that they don't understand the specifics of its lockout system as compared to LFR or Normal/Heroic raiding. This is understandable - with all the changes to raiding, it can be hard to keep track of how everything has changed. Rygarius has taken the time to explain the system, and to anybody who raided before Mists of Pandaria it should look pretty familiar.
Rygarius - Question about Mythic
I've seen some confusion over Mythic raiding lately and wanted to clarify.

Mythic difficulty's lockout works differently than the other raiding difficulties (Raid Finder, Normal, Heroic).

In Mythic difficulty, you are bound to the raid ID. This means if you join a Mythic raid, defeat the first boss (thereby binding you to that Mythic raid ID) and leave; you'll return to the same raid. If the raid continues on to defeat bosses 2, and 3 while you were gone, you will return to the raid with those bosses already defeated.

For that reason, it is important to stick together with the same group of people as much as possible for Mythic difficulty.

When joining a Mythic raid that's already in-progress, read the notification box that pops up carefully. It'll let you know how many bosses have already been defeated and ask for confirmation to be saved to that raid. If something's not adding up, you can refuse to be saved and be teleported out without being saved.


Yes, it's the old raid ID system. It's understandable that it might confuse folks used to the more flexible loot-locked system we have in Normal/Heroic - with those raids, if you leave after three bosses into a raid, you can come back on a fresh clear and kill stuff until you get to a boss you haven't looted yet and start getting loot again. With Mythic, you and everyone in the raid who kills the first boss are bound by the raid ID - the 20 players who killed that boss are basically in the exact same instance of said raid, and if two people step out on boss 6 and are replaced, and the raid continues on to kill all the bosses, that's their raid ID - if they formed a raid and zoned in after the clear, they would arrive in a cleared out instance.

It's clearly all part of the design to keep Mythic as something more akin to the old days of raiding, where server communities formed and fought for realm firsts. I admit, it's not a raid ID system that appeals to me anymore, but it's not complicated - it's the raid ID system that we've always had.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

The Importance of Legacy Content

Since patch 6.0.2 came out, I've rediscovered the love I once held for soloing older raids. More than rediscovered it - I've expanded it, because now I can pretty easily solo most Cataclysm raids (I'm working on Spine of Deathwing) and that broadens what I can gather for transmog. But it's more than transmog, and more than the sensation one gets when you push Rhyolith through all his phases so that he dies before he's even done yelling at you in an awesome parody of what it sounds like when I wake up.

In a recent interview with PC Gamer magazine, Ion Hazzikostas pointed out that one of World of Warcraft's biggest strengths is its depth of content. The MMO has been going for ten years. There are old raids and dungeons everywhere. It's not just old content - it's a resource. And it makes WoW a game with incredible potential.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Cataclysm, Transmogrification, Warlords of Draenor

Yes, Molten Core LFR will grant Hydraxian Waterlords reputation

I'm pretty excited about the upcoming 10th Anniversary Molten Core LFR, but I have to admit, of all the reasons I have to be excited about that, the idea that it would be a way to gather Hydraxian Waterlords reputation would have been absolutely on the bottom of the list. However, some of you apparently care about this, and now it's official - Crithto has confirmed that yes, Virginia, there is a Hydraxian Waterlords Reputation Santa Claus. So there you have it.

Now, when I ran Molten Core, back in the day, you needed that rep to get the Aqual Quintessence you needed to douse the runes. And you needed one Quintessence per rune, so several people in your raid had to be gathering rep with them in order to get enough to complete the raid! You kids today, you don't even need to march 40 people through Blackrock Depths to get them to the Raid entrance inside the very base of the dungeon! Now (well, soon) you just queue up in LFR and get all the sweet Hydraxian Waterlords reputation you want, and you don't even need it for anything!

I'll be over here in my rocking chair.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: New Mythic Tiers will not be cross-realm

With the patch 6.0 pre-expansion period almost upon us (certainly within the month) we know that we'll get to see the debut of Mythic difficulty Siege of Orgrimmar. However, that difficulty will be cross-realm, just as heroic SoO has been up to now. Watcher answered a recent question on twitter about how Warlords of Draenor mythic raids will work in this regard.


What this means is that the newest Mythic raid will always be realm only, keeping the prestige of realm first chases alive, but as another tier is launched, that previous Mythic tier will hopefully become cross-realm, allowing you and your friends (or even just willing strangers, ala today's SoO pugs) to run the older content. Seems fairly reasonable to me.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Mythic raid testing this Friday, September 19th

If you happen to have a group of, say, 20 folks to hand and you want to test out what Mythic Raiding is going to be all about, then rejoice, for you'll have that opportunity. Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas had once again revealed to us the schedule for the next batch of raid testing, this time for Mythic difficulty. We're looking at two encounters in Mythic difficulty Blackrock Foundry, Beastlord Darmac at 10:30 Pacific and Iron Maidens at 15:00 Pacific (that's 3 PM for those of us not on military time).

Note that you don't have to be on a level 100 character to take part in the testing. Your level will be scaled up and your gear as well, so you can take part with a full group of 90's if that's what you have. Also remember, this is the beta - there could be any number of issues that delay or postpone beta testing of Mythic raiding. Don't get overexcited if that happens.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard releases World of Warcraft's 10th Anniversary details

So, today the folks at Blizzard posted more details about the upcoming 10th Anniversary of World of Warcraft, featuring the Tarren Mill/Southshore deathmatch BG and the revamped level 100 40 player LFR version of Molten Core.

One thing we now know for sure is that Molten Core will become accessible on November 21 (a week after the launch of Warlords itself) and last until January 6th, 2015. This gives you a little more than a month to get to level 100 and run the revamped Molten Core. It's a little worrying to me that you'll have to hit 100 and run this content (remember, it's a 40 person LFR) during the holiday season, but that's what we are currently being told. Also, thanks to the folks at Wowhead we also know that there are four helmets you can get when you defeat Ragnaros - an updated Crown of Destruction and plate, leather and cloth versions. In addition, Ragnaros drops the Core Hound Chain as well.

The new battleground will have a 90-99 and 100 version, and winning either version of the Southshore/Tarren Mill battleground will reward you with the Tarren Mill Terror title for Alliance players and the Southshore Slayer title for the Horde. Rated PvP play will begin on December 2nd, and the first raids will begin opening at that time with Raid Finder and Mythic difficulty opening the next week. A full schedule for the raid releases is incoming.

So that's how things stand so far. Looks like you'll want to get to 100 as quickly as possible if you're looking forward to that Molten Core LFR or the Southshore/Tarren Mill deathmatch.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Raiding, Raid Guides, Warlords of Draenor

Siege of Orgrimmar gear will not become multi-spec in 6.0

If you're waiting for the big multi-spec gear shift when patch 6.0 drops, you'll have to wait a little longer. Rygarius took to the forums today to clarify that the gear that drops in SoO will not be changed to the system announced for Warlords of Draenor.

Rygarius - 5.4 SoO Gear Conversion
Hey Danthedruid,

Gear obtained from Siege of Orgrimmar won't be multi-spec. That's for the new items that will be obtained in Warlords of Draenor. There's no change to existing item levels and they'll will retain their upgrade ranks. If they were reforged they'll be returned into an unreforged state.

Some of the details are still being worked out. We'll be posting more information once there's more info for the remaining stuff.


Basically, this means that you'll still need multiple sets to do things like tank or heal or DPS as long as your wearing gear from Mists of Pandaria - it's not until Warlords itself comes out that you'll get the gear which switches when you do.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: No more Tier vendors

Vaelastrasz
One of the more irritating and frustrating aspects of winning Tier loot from bosses is having to take the token to a vendor in order to actually get the piece of armor you won. Nowadays it's rare for me to equip a piece as soon as I get it, unless it's a truly huge upgrade, but I still find it annoying to have to take a token to a vendor in order to get the actual piece of gear. In addition, as a druid, there are four versions of everything available for each token, and scrolling through page after page of nearly-identically named armor pieces makes my eyes cross. Minor complaints, really, but nonetheless the following announcement by Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas, aka Watcher, on Twitter really made my day:
This is a fantastic quality of life change for raiders. No more running to vendors and no more waiting to get your new piece of Tier gear. I'd say "no more accidentally buying the wrong piece" with your token too, but in Warlords, your primary stats will auto-change when you shift specs anyway, so that's no big deal. In any case, this new system will be more convenient for players, and I'm certainly thankful for that!

Filed under: Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

The incredible aging demographic

Let me put it on the line - LFR and Flexible raid sizes are the most important raiding experiences currently available in World of Warcraft, and the upcoming Mythic 20 person raid difficulty is an atavism, barely even an appendix, that only a vanishing few players will experience when it is current. It exists for a sense of achievement and prestige that only a few players really have the time for anymore, and every year, that group of players gets smaller.

The reason for this is simple - as Tom Chilton put it, the demographic is getting older over time. People like me who played for the raid game back in classic are older. They have jobs, kids, schedules that don't permit the kind of time investment hard modes currently demand, the kind Mythic will demand. And it's not that you can't do cutting edge raiding in, say, six hours a week. I'm not arguing that you will have to put in 20 hours a week to do Mythic. I'm arguing that even scheduling one or two nights a week and being there reliably is actually really hard when you have other commitments that can often demand your time on a moment's notice - in essence. being able to go when you want/need to raid instead of when the group is scheduled to go is a huge boon to that aging demographic. For all the elitism, all the sneering, and all the slurs directed at the LFR player base, the feature allows people who love raiding but who can no longer commit to scheduled WoW play a place to do it.

You can ask if this is healthy for the game as a whole - whether or not your answer is yes or no, though, there is no escaping this simple fact. WoW is a decade old. Many of us playing it have been here for years now. Even players who started in Wrath or Cataclysm have now been playing for years. This is an aging game with aging players, this is the reality of the situation. And this means that more adaptive raiding solutions are going to keep presenting themselves.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor beta: Play with the blues August 21

Holinka
For those in the Warlords of Draenor beta, this coming Thursday you'll have the opportunity to potentially test directly with some Blizzard Blues. From 3:00 to 5:00 pm PDT on Thursday, August 21, members of Blizzard's Development team, Community team, Quality Assurance, and Customer Service will be available on both the PvP and PvE level 100 premade realms to test 3v3 Arena matches and 5-person dungeon groups. Depending on faction, you'll be able to identify Blizzard representatives by their guild tag: <Blizzard Horde> or <Blizzard Alliance>. The event will be a great way to test out some dungeons and arenas while mingling with both your fellow WoW players and creators. If you can make it, I'm sure the event will be worth your while!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Beta raid testing schedule for Monday, July 28

Raid testing for Warlords of Draenor will continue on Monday with two new scheduled encounters, according to a post made by Lead Game Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas. As with last week's testing, both encounters will be on Heroic difficulty, allowing players to bring a group of anywhere from 10-30 people in order to test the content. To get in the raid, speak to Nexus-Lord Donjon Rade, who is now also located in Dalaran, Shattrath, and both factions Vale Shrines, as well as Stormwind, Orgrimmar, and your garrison.

Oregorger from Heroic Blackrock Foundry will begin at approximately 10:30AM PDT, and the Twin Ogron encounter from Heroic Highmaul will begin at approximately 4pm PDT. Characters that participate in testing will have their effective level scaled to 100 for the purposes of testing, so no need to worry about gear or level. Keep in mind that testing periods are subject to change at any time -- so if you're interested in testing, keep a eye on the official forum thread for any updates.

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Filed under: Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Raid testing to begin Monday, July 21

Lead Game Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has announced that the Warlords of Draenor beta will begin raid testing tomorrow with two Heroic encounters -- one from Highmaul, and one from Blackrock Foundry. As a Heroic level encounter, the raid will accommodate anywhere between 10 and 30 players. Players that wish to test the encounter can speak to Nexus-Lord Donjon Rade in either Stormwind, Orgrimmar, or their garrisons, once the encounters are open for testing.

The Butcher from Heroic Highmaul will be available for testing beginning at 1:30pm PDT, and Gruul from Heroic Blackrock Foundry will be available beginning at 4pm PDT. Please note that testing periods are subject to change at any time -- if you're interested in testing, keep an eye on the official thread in case any changes are made to times or dates.

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Filed under: Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

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