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Posts with tag 40-man

The beauty of classic WoW's Molten Core

Ragnaros
Back in the days of WoW's original release, Molten Core was, in many ways, the raid. It wasn't the only raid, and it certainly wasn't the only raid that left a lasting impression on the consciousness of WoW players. Nonetheless, if you were raiding in classic WoW, you started with Molten Core, and that experience inevitably shaped the way raiding has been perceived ever since. What was it exactly about Molten Core? Was it the sprawling, maze-like dungeon (which didn't have a map at the time)? Was it the memorable boss fights and quotes? Was it the iconic gear drops? Was it dealing with the reality of trying to organize 40 players into their different roles and individual responsibilities?

I'd say all of the above, to an extent. The first time you do anything new, be it visiting a city or raiding in a video game, there is a certain significance to the occasion that can never truly be replicated. As the first big raid most classic WoW players experienced, Molten Core has had a special place in our collective hearts for a long time now. Let's take a trip down memory lane with a look at some of the unique and fun aspects of Molten Core, many of which I miss but honestly would not want to have to deal with again.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Things I wish would return to World of Warcraft

It's inevitable that as the game progresses, some elements are lost. Story elements work to a conclusion, gameplay elements are left by the wayside. The game changes. We can't and shouldn't constantly strive for the game to return to yesterday, but there are some elements of the past that deserve re-examination and perhaps a return to the game. Especially if they can be returned without disrupting what we already have.

So to prove that even I have a nostalgia core here is my contribution to the discussion, a list of things I would like to see make some form of return to World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

The hardcore game is dead

The Hardcore is Dead
It is a concept long familiar to World of Warcraft players: the hardcore raider. The women and men who were on the cutting edge of raiding content, who had the absolutely best gear, who played the most and knew the most about the game. Back in classic WoW, I was absolutely this person. I raided. It was all I did, really. My tanking gear was so good that players would stop me in Ironforge to comment on it. We killed everything first up until a new guild came to our server, then we traded kills with them until the end of the original game and the launch of The Burning Crusade.

Cut to the hunt for BC kills. A lot of people I knew were burning out. Some of the encounters were seen as having been tuned too high, while others lamented the loss of 40-man raiding and the shift to 25s, especially with Karazhan as the 10-man raid having caused a lot of guild drama. "Raiding is too easy now. You can go with 10 people to some raids. It's lost the epic feeling of 40-man raiding. Look at how much faster raiding goes now than it did. We used to struggle to learn each boss; now the only real challenge is in end bosses like Kael and Vashj. Gimmicks like legendary weapons and orbs have replaced knowing your role and class."

What am I getting at?

Nostalgia is poisonous. The people who bemoan how easy raiding is now are the same people who defended BC raiding from the old curmudgeon MC/BWL raiders who felt like the BC raid game had dumbed down raiding. It's always better in the past, because the past has passed and become perfected by memory. At the time no one would have said it was the pinnacle of raiding -- far from it. People were still going back to Naxx-40 at level 70 and still having a hard time running it. People sang its praises as the ultimate raid right up until it was removed from the game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Tipster unearths treasure chest of classic WoW raiding memories

Do you ever wonder what you missed by not playing WoW back in the early days? You've seen the classic instances, of course, as you've swatted aside their bosses during mining expeditions for transmogrification gear -- but what were these viragoes like back in the day when conquering them took 40 players at the top of their game hurling themselves against the storm, before modern levels, gear, abilities and game mechanics reduced them to mere echoes of their former fury? Screech "rose-colored glasses!" all you like -- WoW classic and The Burning Crusade were far and away the eras that pinned me most devotedly to my keyboard, smitten by the game. (Others think very differently, as demonstrated below.)

You can't really relive the classic experience today; there's simply been too much water under the bridge. Still, I'd love to be able to give newer players a taste of those old raid instances in a way they just can't get from muscling through the instances today. But if playing through won't do the job, neither will videos from the past. Boss kill and strat videos cast an analytical eye on the proceedings, remaining aloof from the atmosphere and focusing more on the spray of combat text and special effects. On the other end of the spectrum are roleplaying epics that, while entertaining, represent the particular personality and experience of a specific group of players.

If you've got time to burn, though, you might enjoy sinking into these vanilla-era flavor films by Order of Watchers on Ragnaros (EU). WoW Insider reader Karol discovered these old-school gems ("Maybe it just found me in a nostalgic mood, but I think both of them are masterpieces from the old times and worth a mention" -- we agree, Karol, so thanks!), tipping us off to this abstract of one Hungarian guild's march through classic encounters and The Burning Crusade. Somewhere between a guided tour, a roleplaying narrative and guild memory book, these videos attempt to preserve a glimpse of the wonder the guild felt on the path through the earliest endgame content in World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Breakfast Topic: The changing face of raid group sizes

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Sweat was beading on my face, and the pain just kept coming; it would not cease. I stood and could only gaze at my friends as they slowly fell one by one. As they dropped, that is when I snapped into action, for I was the harbinger of more repair bills. I was the out-of-combat rezzer.

This is what I imagine my priest felt as I ran him through the Molten Core. I am glad that spot went the way of the dodo. Indeed, there are a lot of things that I do not miss from raiding, and there are a lot that I do. One of the new changes, 10s and 25s sharing raid lockouts, made me think of the changes that we have seen at each expansion. As the game seems to gear itself towards the more casual raider, I find many things much more to my liking. Yet I do remember that feel of fighting a 40-man raid boss, and that is one of the epic feelings I miss.

The problem I have found with casuals, whether we were running 10/20s or alliance-guild 25s/40s: We almost always came up too crowded or short-handed, depending on the week. Either people had to be cut, or people had to be pugged. This also got me thinking, why not 15s? If we had too many for a 25, we could get two 15s; too few, one 15. Then I thought, why not just have instances scale? The more folks, the more gear, the tougher the fights -- from eight to 40 and anything between. It probably is too complicated for the programmers, but fun to think about nonetheless.

What do you miss and what don't you miss about the older raid group sizes? If you could have one WoW raid group size wish come true, what would it be?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Raiding, Guest Posts

The Queue: The grand melee

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

For no discernable reason, the WoW.com Twitter account is asking who would win in a three-way grand melee between the Queue writers -- Alex Ziebart, Adam Holisky, and me, the inimitable Mike Sacco. Whoever wins has to face Matthew Rossi in single combat, which, of course, means that they lose. So whoever wins, Rossi wins.

Before we all fall to the cruel burly forearms of Rossi, though, we can probably answer some reader questions. Or at least I can, given that it's my day to do it.

Edge asked...

When a cross realm group wipes and has to get back to the instance from outside, which version of the "outside" are we in? What I mean is, outside the instance, are we all together on one of the servers, or does each person go back out to their own servers "outside" area, and then come back into the same instance? Or is this a whole new area just for these 5 particular people?

When you zone out of a cross-realm instance, the "outside" is your particular realm.


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Filed under: The Queue, Cataclysm

Jeff Kaplan on WoW development: "We debate like crazy"

Our buddy Phil Kollar of Game Informer (who was on the podcast recently) got a chance to talk to Jeff Kaplan about the World of Warcraft, and while Kaplan repeats a lot of what he's said before, the interview is worth a read for a look inside Blizzard's design process. What's probably most interesting is that it's very fluid and very dynamic -- just as much as we're arguing on this site and on the forums about how Blizzard should do things, they're also arguing and going back and forth behind the scenes.

He does talk specifically about cutscenes, saying that the Wrathgate scene was an experiment that paid off well, and we should expect some more of that kind of storytelling even as soon as in patch 3.3 (you may have seen it before if you're checking spoilers). And he does talk about raiding sizes and accessibility -- Blizzard has always wanted to do smaller raids, both for the feel of them and for the tuning, but it apparently took them a while to bring 40 down to 25 and then down to 10 correctly. Finally, he doesn't reveal anything about the new MMO, but he does say that singleplayer gaming will always have a place at Blizzard's core -- even when you're playing a multiplayer game, the singleplayer experience should still feel right. True enough, good interview.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Quests, Raiding, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

Jeff Kaplan looks back at WoW's launch

The 5th anniversary press continues -- this time it's a site called Techland, where our friend Tracey John (who also writes for Massively) interviews Jeff Kaplan about his reflections on the last five years of the game. It's surprising to hear that early on, Blizzard wasn't so sure of their success. Despite the fact that even before WoW, they had made some of the most classic PC games of all time, they weren't sure that going the subscription route was a good idea. But one of the companies' founders stood up and gave a pep talk, and promised a whole million subscribers, apparently. Of course, they'd go on to make many times that, but that was good enough to get the team going again.

Kaplan also says that he is a little bummed that Blizzard didn't scale back raiding earlier -- 40-man raids were a little unwieldy, he admits now, and smaller raids would have meant more content in the vanilla days. But he does say that since the game has been updated so much, most of the stuff they wish they'd done different has actually been done differently. And in the future, he says that better technology will play a big role -- bigger instance capacity, and things like cross-server instances and other innovations. The next five years, he seems to hint, should be just as interesting as the first.

[via HolyPaladin]

Filed under: Patches, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Raiding

Poll: Should 40-mans make a come back?

Peeking around the official forums, I saw a few threads dedicated to the reincarnation of 40-man raids. Do you remember the old, pre-BC epic AQ-40/MC/Naxx days? I can honestly say I really do not. I was a freshly minted 60 when BC came out. I got my feet wet in ZG and AQ-20, but that's it. Perhaps I'm missing out on something important. It's entirely possible that others feel the same way.

Since Blizzard has tuned Wrath raids to both 10 and 25 person versions, what's stopping them from rounding it out to a full 40. Perhaps they could even go for more. Many are already complaining that Naxx is too easy. They're looking for a real challenge. I don't know if Blizzard is open to the possibility of tuning up the dungeons, but we've seen evidence that the developers do listen to player feedback.

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Filed under: Polls, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Forums

Elemental Shaman, Priest solo Onyxia


First we had a Druid do it, then a Pally, and then after Wrath Hunters and Death Knights got into the mix, and now it seems anybody with a pulse and a level 80 can solo the old 40-man boss Onyxia. Here's video of an Elemental Shaman taking the dragon down (Skitlash of the guild Unrelenting on Aman'thul), and we've even heard of a Disc Priest doing the deed (I believe that way back, when the Druid first downed Ony solo, a Priest, we thought on the podcast, was the least likely class to do it).

But time has proven us wrong. Does any of this mean anything? Probably not -- while it's certainly an achievement for these guys, the old bosses will only get easier as time goes on (until, of course, Blizzard decides to break out some Heroic versions of these instances), and the once-feared Onyxia will only become more and more of a punching bag. Grats to everyone who's been able to solo the old lady of raiding, but at this point, if a Disc Priest can do it, anyone can.

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Raiding, Bosses, Classes, NPCs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Death Knight solos (most of) AQ20


Felblood, the Death Knight who recently soloed Zul'Gurub, sent us news of a new accomplishment: he's finished off most of AQ20 as well. Kurinaxx's Mortal Strike-like debuff apparently didn't affect Death Strike, so he just had to dodge the sand there, and apparently Moam's mana drain doesn't work on Runic Power, so he was just a tank and spank. Ossirian and Buru were a little tougher, but eventually with a little practice, Felblood says he was able to keep up DPS on the bosses and move around to their eggs and crystals.

It's not a full clear, however, since Ayamiss didn't get killed -- Felblood didn't think of a way to get away from her sacrifice, since he'd have been the only raider in the instance. But an accomplishment nevertheless -- it's crazy to think of how long we banged our heads on Rajaxx and Ossirian when they've now been toppled by just one level 80 Death Knight.

So what's next -- are we going to see the old 40-man content soloed? Wouldn't be too surprising with Molten Core, as we've already seen it 3-manned at 70, but things might get tougher as you head to AQ40 (where Felblood said he could down some trash, but not much else) or even Blackwing Lair.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Expansions, Bosses, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Naxxramas gone from Plaguelands in 3.0.2

You've already heard that the Amani War Bear is disappearing from the live servers ahead of schedule in 3.0, but here's one more thing for you to hurry up on: 40-man Naxxramas. As of now on the 3.0 PTR, Naxxramas is gone from Eastern Plaguelands.

The whole of the Eastern Plaguelands has already changed, in fact. When you open your map, you can already see Archerus looming ominously over Light's Hope chapel and the remains of the Scarlet Crusade's holdings in Eastern Plaguelands. As a result, the entire map has shifted, but I still combed the Plaguewoods looking for the entrance to Naxxramas.

Due to the map shifting, the old locations for Naxxramas are rather off. At the original location coordinates for Naxxramas stands one of the old ruined villages that dot the area. The area where Naxxramas used to be relative to that Scourge ziggurat on the map is now marked by a plague cauldron. Regardless, It looks like the entrance is gone. Come 3.0, it looks like Naxxramas will have retreated to Northrend, and we'll have to bide our time before we can follow it.

So if you've been waiting on getting those last few splinters, or you've been thinking about picking up a Corrupted Ashbringer or what have you, you'd better get on it fast. When the 3.0 leaves the PTR and goes to live servers, 40-man Naxxramas will be gone indefinitely.

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Items, News items, Raiding, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Moviewatch: Destination Naxxramas

If you haven't done a 40-man on Naxxramas yet, you'd better hurry. As we wrote in August, Blizzard plans to move the dungeon up north to make it WotLK entry-level raiding content. However, if you're still quite a bit away from getting there, you can check out one of Baron Soosdon's latest offerings, Destination Naxxramas.

Pre-TBC, Soosdon had never had a chance to visit Naxxramas, so when a raid was arranged on his server, Twilight's Hammer EU, he jumped at it. The result is an action-packed artistic gameplay video, with a heavy soundtrack, that shows off the highlights of this dungeon of yesteryear. Be sure to watch it until the end for a special message ...

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ...

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

Breakfast Topic: How much are expansions changing the game?

aka World of Warcraft 3? Groups of Words' anonyomous blogger bought up a rather interesting theory regarding World of Warcraft expansions: They're actually more like sequels, in that they change a lot of the basic groundwork of the game and the classes to such a point that it feels like a completely different game.

As evidence of this, he puts forth a large list things that have changed between original WoW and Burning Crusade. Being a semi-old-timer to WoW, I certainly recognized pretty much all of the changes, and thinking back, a lot of them have been doozies.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

The end of Naxxramas


I was just chatting with my colleagues here at WoW Insider about Blizzard's apparent neglect of their old content (since the expansion zones actually start at 68, Netherstorm and Shadowmoon are basically useless once Wrath comes around), and now here's another sign that Blizzard wants out with the old and in with the new. We had rumored this a while ago, but now it's been confirmed by the CMs: Old school Naxxramas is going to disappear forever when the dungeon moves up north to become a raid in Wrath of the Lich King.

Which means if you want to see Naxx in its 40 man version, do it now -- I believe, as I said way back when we first heard about this, that this is the first time Blizzard has removed major content from the game completely (though it's certainly not the first time they've removed something, poor Captain Placeholder). This, of course, also leaves up in the air what's going to happen to all the items around Naxx -- what about Atiesh? Not to mention lore -- we hear that the fact that a group of players beat KT and took his phylactery and returned it to the Argent Dawn is mentioned in the expansion already -- but how did that happen if the dungeon won't be there any more?

Blizzard will probably clean it all up, and I'm sure that out of game, it'll make enough sense. But it's a shame to officially hear that 40 man Naxxaramas as we know it, the jewel of patch 1.11, will soon be gone forever.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Expansions, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

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