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Posts with tag 2.3

The Light and How to Swing It: Badge rewards in 2.4

Now that the patch is upon us, it's a good time for reflecting upon all the new badge rewards available to us in the near future. As a hybrid class with 3 main viable specs (healing, tanking, DPS), it's no wonder that there's a lot of new badge gear for paladins in this patch. Allison did a fantastic write-up of new badge gear for druids a few days back, so I figured I'd follow her format as it relates to paladins!


Itemization for Healing specs has been pretty solid when it comes to badge gear, and the new stuff is no exception. Just like the Pier 1 set that 2.3 introduced, you'll find lots of healing, spell crit and mana per 5 on the new gear... just more of it.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Shifting Perspectives: 2.4 Badge-A-Palooza, Druid style

Every week, Shifting Perspectives is written by someone who is not me. Except for that one time. Rather an addictive experience, stealing this column. Does anyone even read the italicized portion at the top? Hello? Nobody? I'm just gonna sing. "My baloney has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R, my baloney has a [censored over copyright infringement] (ed. just do the column, please).

While I sincerely hope the rumors about the patch hitting soon aren't true because I'm sitting on all of 43 badges of justice right now (g@^#(*% mother-expletive piece of $%^@ fire resistance set), I am forced to admit that the times may possibly have caught up with me. I confess that for a long time I hadn't even looked at the new badge loot that will become available ingame, partly because things have gotten markedly busier with my guild of late and partly because I'd planned my 2.3 badge acquisitions very carefully and wondered if I could get away with keeping myself somewhat unspoiled for 2.4. That lasted until I found out just how expensive the 2.4 gear is actually going to be ("150 badges for a new weapon, Zach? Are you @*(#&#% kidding me?"). Noble effort while it lasted, though.

Well, no more. If 2.4 does hit next week, I'm going to be ready to stand in front of the badge vendor and know exactly what I can't afford to buy for all three specs.

This treatment looks exclusively at the new leather gear offerings available in 2.4 and assumes that you won't have access, or at least immediate access, to the new 25-man raid Sunwell Plateau. For my part I am still using six -- count 'em, six -- pieces of badge gear for various tanking purposes in Tier 6 content, which either says a great deal about the general quality of badge gear or says a great deal about how bad feral itemization is in endgame content. I'll be magnanimous today and say it's both.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

A strange little house in Ashenvale

The Edune household and visitors.
Some older players might remember when all those empty huts and farms in The Barrens received a new infusion of life, with orc families inhabiting them and acting out stories both humorous (That poor kid being chased by a swarm of bees) and heartfelt (That poor kid waiting for his dad to come home from Warsong Gulch). A forum post by player Lalluna of the Darkspear server pointed out that, quite a few patches later, that liveliness may be spreading to other zones in Kalimdor!

Ever since patch 2.3, over in the far west of Ashenvale, just northwest of the Shrine of Aesinna, you'll find a rather lovely looking Night Elf abode, complete with a garden. Inhabiting it is the night elven Edune family: Benjari, Becanna, Elenna, and Aleanna. They seem to have visitors in the form of two humans, William and Sulan Dunadaire, a brother and sister. It's not just a silent tableau either, there's definitely stuff going on, as I'll show you after the break.

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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Druid, Hunter, Warlock, Humor, RP, NPCs

Exploring Zul'Aman

We're a couple of weeks out from patch 2.3 which introduced World of Warcraft's newest dungeon, the Troll-filled Zul'Aman. Have you had a chance to venture in yet? If not, there's no need to fear, because we're got a gallery of screenshots from the dungeon that will allow you to enjoy the environment vicariously. It's nearly as much fun as being there and you save a lot of gold in repair bills! Do you have a great shot taken inside Zul'Aman that you'd like to share with the rest of the world? An especially good boss kill story? Send it to us and we'll put it in our gallery with your name and story attached!

Filed under: Instances, Raiding

Progressing through Zul'Aman

Zul'Aman was released with the rest of patch 2.3 two weeks ago today. Due to its place in the progression chain, many guilds were able to burn through it on the first day it was released. Downing Zul'jin is nothing when you're raiding in Hyjal and Black Temple, apparently. Of course, the intended audience for this dungeon seems to be those raiding groups that hadn't seen much action past Karazhan.

My own guild has had some success in ZA. While most of us have at least one or two pieces of tier 5 quality loot, we're not up to Vashj or Kael yet, so ZA still holds some challenges for us. We are still dedicated to pushing through the twenty-five player raids, so we haven't spent a lot of time in ZA, but we've been able to take down three bosses without much difficulty. It's a nice change of pace to face encounters where there is a learning curve, but still a lot of room for error. We haven't had much luck at all with the timed aspect of the dungeon, often with silly mistakes costing us those precious few minutes we needed to rescue the prisoner.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Repetitive heroic dailies

I've enjoyed the heroic daily quests recently added to WoW. In addition to the new badge rewards, they give me a reason to run five-player dungeons again, which is really one of my favorite parts of the game. While some of the quests have led to frustrating situations where the group is trying to learn the strategy for a heroic dungeon that none of us have attempted before, most of my experiences have been good ones.

One downside of the random nature of the quests is the fact that the same dungeon can be selected several days in a row. On my main server, Auchenai Crypts has been selected three times over the last four days. This dungeon was considerably nerfed in the last patch, but some of the encounters are still annoying and many of my guildmates have expressed their growing distaste for the instance.

Have you had much repetition in the new daily quests on your server?

Filed under: Patches, Quests

Design: Chaotic Skyfire Diamond

One of the most sought-after items in the latest patch is undoubtedly the design for the new meta gem, the Chaotic Skyfire Diamond. On my server, the Coilskar Sirens who drop the item in question have been camped incessantly since players were able to log into the game yesterday afternoon. This is understandable, since the gem is now the best of its type for most raiding DPS casters and is in high demand.

Unfortunately the recipe may be bugged. Most patterns that drop off of specific creatures are bind-on-pickup and can only be farmed by those characters that actually have the profession required to learn the recipe. For instance, the pattern for Ragesteel Shoulders can only be looted by blacksmiths. Recipes that can be looted by any character tend to be world drops and do not bind-on-pickup. The plans for the Eternium Runed Blade is an example of this type of item. On the other hand, the design for the Chaotic Skyfire Diamond lives up to its name and doesn't follow the trends already set in WoW. It is not bind-on-pickup, but it drops from specific creatures and only seems to be appearing for jewelcrafters, at least according to the data and comments on Wowhead.

What have your experiences with this pattern been like? I wasn't able to farm it up on any of my characters aside from my jewelcrafter, even after spending quite awhile killing Sirens. Did you experience something similar?

Filed under: Patches, Bugs, Jewelcrafting

Live from Zul'Aman!

In our efforts to bring you the latest content from the recent 2.3 patch, tonight I'm reporting live from Zul'Aman. For those of you who aren't in the know, Zul'Aman is a new 10-player raid dungeon added in patch 2.3 and intended as a continuation, in difficulty, from Karazhan. In order to give you an early glance at the zone on the live realms (for those of you who haven't had time to make it out there yourselves), I'm going through with a guild group tonight and reporting to you live with screenshots and first-hand information on the zone. My guild hasn't tried Zul'Aman on the PTRs and we don't know all of the details on the bosses we're about to encounter... and though we may not have much success, we're eager to dive head first into new content and we're bringing you along for the ride.

Raid time starts at 8:45 EST, so check back with us throughout the evening for new screenshots and notes on what we're running into! Keep reading after the jump for full run details.

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Filed under: Instances, Raiding, Bosses

The end of the (patch) day

It's the end of the day (or nearly there) and, if you've logged on at all, you've patched WoW up to the latest version. Oftentimes, patch days are fraught with server instability and all sorts of other issues in game. On top of those problems, UI mods get thrown out of whack and usually must be updated in order to avoid screens filled with annoying error messages.

Personally, this patch day was one of the smoothest I can recall in recent memory. Once the servers came back up, I was able to log on right away with no queue and no apparent latency. As the afternoon wore on into evening, there were a few rough patches of lag, but they smoothed out after a little while, never to return. My most important mods were already updated and I can live without the rest for a couple of days. I purposefully try to avoid a reliance on UI mods, which is always helpful on patch days, so I'm not sure that my experience was shared by many other WoW players. Even so, my guildmates who rely on mods more than I do also seemed pretty happy with the transition to the new patch, so hopefully things went well for the majority of WoW fans. How did the patch treat you today? Did you bother logging on at all? If you did, have you had a good experience thus far?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons

Where will you log off tonight?

As I'm sure you're all aware, patch 2.3 will be coming to the live realms after tomorrow's maintenance. When you log on to your characters tomorrow, there will be so many new things to do that it will be difficult to decide what to pursue first. From new recipes and items to collect, to new quests to complete and a whole new dungeon to conquer, this patch really delivers a ton of new content. Will you be logging off somewhere special tonight in order to jump right into the new content as soon as you log on tomorrow?

As you can probably tell from some of my previous articles, I enjoy farming up new items and recipes, so it's tempting to log off in Shadowmoon or Blade's Edge for the new jewelcrafting and engineering recipes. I'm sure some of my guildies will be camped in front of Zul'Aman, and I hope the server is stable enough for them to make some progress in there. I'll probably just log off in Shattrath in order to check out the new daily quests that are being added there and to avoid the mass farming of recipes elsewhere. Where will you end your adventures tonight?

Filed under: Patches, Quests, Raiding

Patch 2.3 and you: pre-60 dungeons

Leveling is getting a boost. Along with some new content in Dustwallow Marsh, patch 2.3 (going live tomorrow!) will bring across-the-board changes for characters between levels 20 and 60. The XP required for each level is being reduced by 20%, quest XP is getting buffed, and the so-called "leveling" dungeons are getting some major changes. Here is what the patch notes have to say at the moment:
  • Elite mobs outside of pre-Burning Crusade dungeons have been changed to non-elite.
  • The level ranges of pre-Burning Crusade dungeons have been adjusted to a narrower range.
  • Meeting stone level requirements, the Looking for Group system, and quests have been adjusted to match the new dungeon level ranges.
  • All old world dungeon bosses have had their loot revisited. Players will now find that the loot dropped inside instances will be of Superior (blue) quality.
Well, that's vague enough, isn't it? Level ranges adjusted to "a narrower range"? We can't have that. So I went through to all the old-world dungeons on my trusty 70 rogue and checked the level ranges of the mobs there. I'll also show you a sample of a new or improved item for each dungeon; new items are on the left, and old items on the right for comparison. That means a lot of pictures, so dial-up users beware, I guess. TL;DR version: minimum level stays the same, maximum level nerfed down to somewhere between 3 and 5 more than the minimum level. If you want all the fun details, let's get to it!

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Filed under: Instances, Features, Leveling

Breakfast Topic: What are you most excited about in patch 2.3?

As you may have heard, patch 2.3 is hitting live realms tomorrow (at least for our US readers -- for the EU, I'm afraid you'll have to wait until Wednesday)! So over at WoW Insider, we'd like to celebrate our last pre-patch hours by going over what we're most looking forward to in patch 2.3. So, what can't you wait to see? Guild banks? Zul'Aman? Tweaks to your class of choice? The improved leveling curve for mid-level players? We're here, we've got chips and dip (the breakfast food of choice, right?), and we're listening. What are you looking forward to in patch 2.3?

Filed under: Patches, Breakfast Topics

Preparing for 2.3: Pre-patch farming, part 2

The other day I listed the items that will be used in new recipes after the patch. I did miss a few things, but with your helpful comments, I've updated the original article to be more complete. I'll mention again that it's difficult to make predictions on what will sell the best, but nonetheless I've decided to list some of my thoughts on the subject below.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Economy, Making money

Does leveling again mean leveling alone?

With Patch 2.3 coming next week, a number of players are going to turn back to some of the old alts they've always wanted to play, and level them up now faster than ever before. If a group of friends had decided to start over from scratch, then all is well and good, but for many players who already have character spread out at different level ranges, friends used to spending a lot of time together may suddenly find themselves with a large level gap in the alts they're most interested in.

Especially considering the new and improved dungeon loot, many players will wish their friends could join them. Of course, their friends could just bring over their level 70s and rush them through, but for a certain kind of player, this is less interesting because it takes away all the real challenge and teamwork of the instance. They may be able to find PUGs at that level, but it likely won't be the same.

Douglas at the Elitist Jerks forums has been having this problem for a long time now. He and his friends very much want to play together, but have never been able to make their schedules work out. Before long, their characters inevitably level at different speeds and can no longer level up together. He says he longs for a "mentoring system" like City of Heroes has, where players of different levels can become one another's "sidekicks" and go to dungeons together as if they were at the same level. At first glance it seems like WoW could implement such a system too, to make something like a temporary downgrade or upgrade in ability power and gear quality so that friends could fight together across the level gap. But further discussion reveals some serious problems.

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Filed under: Leveling, Alts

PTR Notes: Aimed Shot changed again

A few hours ago, Eyonix posted on the WoW forums regarding another change to the Hunter skill Aimed Shot in patch 2.3. The ability, which has already gained a healing debuff akin to Mortal Strike, will now also have a reduced cast time. The shot will now take a flat 3 seconds to perform, which is a half a second drop from its previous time of 3.5 seconds. In addition, Eyonix also mentioned that the developers are monitoring the ability's effectiveness and may further reduce the cast time after 2.3 goes live.

As is often the case on the WoW forums, there is a rather large outcry over this change, the latest in a series of buffs to hunters. In discussing and defending the change, Eyonix suggests that the developers are trying to make this skill more appealing to the class in addition to helping them be more viable in PvP overall. What are your thoughts on the subject?

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Talents, Forums

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