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Posts with tag Blackrock-Depths

WoW Archivist: The classic Molten Core experience

Lucifron
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Are you ready to return to the Core? Last week, we learned that Blizzard is planning a 40-player LFR version of classic's Molten Core raid as part of WoW's 10th anniversary celebration. Regardless of what they have in mind, the experience is certain to be very different than it was back in 2005.

Sure, you've probably solo'ed MC or cleared it with a few friends. But what was a Molten Core run like during classic WoW, when conquering Ragnaros and his fiery lieutenants was the pinnacle of endgame content? Read on to find out.

Zoning in

To access Molten Core at release, raids had to fight their way through the 5-player Blackrock Depths dungeon in order to access the raid. Today that would be impossible, but originally, dungeons had the same 40-player cap as raids.

Those poor, poor fools in BRD didn't stand a chance with three dozen+ players carving their way through. Since clearing it offered nothing but a timesink, Blizzard changed the Molten Core discovery quest into an attunement in March 2005. You had to reach the entrance of Molten Core once, and then you could port there directly by jumping out of a small window in Blackrock Mountain.

The game sometimes failed to register the instance transfer and you plummeted into a vast lake of lava. Yes, Molten Core could kill you before you even set foot in it.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

About the Bloggers: Scott Andrews

Blessing from the village elder
About the Bloggers introduces you to the people behind WoW Insider. You can find articles on more of our staffers in earlier About the Bloggers profiles.
What do you do for WoW Insider?

I contribute the WoW Archivist features and other articles. Recently I interviewed several Blizzard developers at PAX East 2014. For seven years, I also wrote Officers' Quarters, an advice column for officers and guild leaders.

If you have an idea for an Archivist feature that you'd like to see, please let me know! Keep in mind that the topic has to be meaty enough for 2000 words. That's almost double the length of this post.

How did you get started at WoW Insider?

When WoW Insider put out a call for contributors in 2007, I pitched the Officers' Quarters column. Since almost no one was writing about guild leadership back then, the editors loved the idea. I'm sure the master's degree in writing didn't hurt, either.

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Filed under: About the Bloggers

WoW Archivist: Tier 0.5 and the birth of modern dungeons

Bokk
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

For a long time in classic WoW, nonraiders felt neglected. Dungeons were the only endgame PvE option for nonraiders. Back then, dungeons didn't have a 5-player limit. They could be "raided," even though they weren't considered raids. Blizzard added new raiding content on a regular basis, but the developers didn't release new dungeons after adding Dire Maul in patch 1.3, four months after the game's release.

Until the launch of The Burning Crusade in early 2007, nonraiders ran the same dungeons for almost two years.

Amidst a storm of complaints, Blizzard said they wanted to offer additional content for nonraiders. In patch 1.10, Blizzard delivered a new endgame quest line using existing dungeons. Comprised of 29 steps in all, this was one of the game's most elaborate -- and most punishing -- quest lines ever.

Blizzard called it the "high-level armor set" quest line. Players called it Tier 0.5. To create it, Blizzard had to reimagine what WoW's dungeons should be.

This quest line was removed, like many others, when Deathwing brought the Cataclysm. Let's walk through what once was, and explore how it gave rise to the modern dungeons we tackle today.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

And the dungeons keep on shrinking

I've run the new Scarlet Monastery dungeons on the beta several times now. They're fun, well-designed, interesting dungeons. They are a bit jarring if you're familiar with the current Scarlet Monastery, however. The current four dungeons have been cut down to two, and it's been achieved by removing a lot of the long hallways full of trash pulls we're familiar with now. The Armory section of the new dungeon almost feels abrupt if you (like me) ran SM over and over again in the olden days of WoW.

It's not that the new dungeons are bad. They're objectively good, even great at places, with a good sense of the history of the place and call-backs to the classic dungeon.

They just feel kind of short to me. Smaller. Actually smaller, not in terms of the size of the hallways or anything but in terms of how much real estate they cover. And while I often rail against nostalgia, lately that sense of scale has been driving me to run older content not even to gather loot for transmog but just to see it, to look around at the scope and scale of the older dungeons.

Now, I don't want to pretend that these dungeons weren't often hideously irritating to run at the time. Getting a 5-man group all the way through Stratholme back when it was all one big, interconnected burning city full of undead and no one ever wanted to clear both sides wasn't anything but an exercise in learning colorful new metaphors as they spewed from your own mouth. You'd end up amazed you even knew the Basque term for that particular deviancy.

Still, there is something to be said for the epic scale of some of the older 5-man dungeons.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: Blackrock Depths, WoW's ultimate dungeon

Plugger Spazzring is ready for your drink order
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

You don't trust this bar. First of all, you had to fight your way through a legion of Dark Iron dwarves and their constructs just to get here. Secondly, it's run by a shady leper gnome who has one grumpy-looking golem for a bouncer. Third, there's an awful lot of laughter, yet no one here looks amused.

You are right to be nervous. This is the Grim Guzzler. This is not a nice place.

Welcome to Blackrock Depths

For someone who began playing WoW post-vanilla, it's hard to explain just how amazing Blackrock Depths was back in early 2005. It's true that people often got lost there, but it was also a fantastic place to simply lose yourself. No area of the game has ever been as convincingly comprehensive or offered more to discover. There always seemed to be another boss, event, or area to explore, another secret to unlock. It's no secret, however, that BRD remains a favorite dungeon of many WoW Insider bloggers.

BRD wasn't just a dungeon. It was a civilization, and you were there to bring it to its knees.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

20 observations from a leveling tank

My main is a druid tank and healer, but on occasion, I've returned to two low-level warrior alts and braved leveling in the Dungeon Finder. Most leveling groups are a bit like the proverbial little girl with pigtails: When they're good, they're very, very good ... and when they're bad, they're horrid.

The following is a list of somewhat random observations I have collected after several expansions' worth of tanking for low-level groups.

1. Don't take shortcuts on trash packs. The time you save sneaking past one of them will be eliminated by the time you'll lose when someone blunders into them and dies.

2. Someone will almost always blunder into them and die.

3. Despite common complaints on the forums, the vast majority of players are actually really nice people who are perfectly willing to tolerate mistakes and the learning curve. The actual occurrence of true, unforgivable jackasses seems to be about one per five groups, although this depends on when you're queuing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

About the Bloggers: Daniel Whitcomb

About the Bloggers introduces you to the people behind WoW Insider. You can find articles on more of our staffers in earlier About the Bloggers profiles.

What do you do for WoW Insider?

My primary focus these days is to write Lichborne, the weekly death knight column. I also write the Tuesday Morning Post, a weekly maintenance day roundup of all the news that's fit to print from the past few days of WoW. I used to do a lot more posting of general news, spending at least a few hours a day just scouring everywhere for juicy stuff, but then I had to get a day job again. Still, I try to do what I can. WoW Insider is a great place to work. I have pretty cool coworkers, and I get to write about stuff I love. What's not to like?

What's your main?

My main is, of course, a human death knight. (Yes, I'd rather be a high elf. I won't even lie.) I do a little bit of everything, if only so I can write with authority about whatever I need to for Lichborne, but my preferred spec of the moment is 2H PVE frost DPS. Right now, it feels like the tree and spec with the most consistent and flavorful rotation and role to it.

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Filed under: About the Bloggers

Gold Capped: The market for enchanting mats for BoA gear

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make money on the auction house. Email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

A long-running, profitable business is selling enchanting scrolls that can be put on BoA gear. These all have no minimum level, since BoA gear is considered level 1, which means they typically take lower-level enchanting mats. Some good examples of these mats are Large Brilliant Shards and Greater Eternal Essences, which are used for a bunch of enchants like Crusader and Spellpower.

The price for these mats have gone up quite a bit on most realms since Cataclysm, and the reason is clear: The ilevels of the drops in Stratholme were reduced in patch 4.0.1, and the drops in there no longer disenchant into the same mats.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped

The OverAchiever: Pure win

Every so often I get tired of the self-seriousness that infests some of (OK, most of) the other work I do here, and get the urge to write something purely for fun. After our series on evil achievements and the relentless misery of School of Hard Knocks, I'd like to spend some time on achievements that are nothing but an absolute joy from beginning to end.

The following is an entirely arbitrary set of five achievements that I personally believe are a hoot. Eventually, I'd like to expand this in the same fashion as the evil achievements series, and I'd welcome any comments or suggestions on your own favorites. Namely, what makes certain achievements fun? Is there any achievement you've made a point of getting on each of your characters?

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

WoW Rookie: Pro tips for lowbie dungeon runners

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. For links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's, visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide.

When you really need to know, turn to the hive mind. Readers had plenty to say last week about their trials and tribulations (and triumphs!) running the older instances of vanilla WoW and Burning Crusade. Thanks to speedy reader comments, we were able to update readers with a resolution to the looting mess that left most groups unable to complete the staff required to summon Ironaya in Uldaman. (Any other issues with tradeable objects inside instances? Let us know about them in the comments.) As the discussion wound through page after page of observations and frustrations and advice, a veritable gold mine of tips for running low-level instances emerged. This week, we'll recap those tips for new players who are making their way through the old instances for the very first time.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

The OverAchiever: The Keymaster

Hot on the heels of a much larger achievement we've recently covered (Twenty-Five Tabards), I've decided to do The Keymaster in this article for two reasons:

  1. I recently watched Ghostbusters.
  2. Do I need another reason?
Actually, the other reason is that if you've done Twenty-Five Tabards, Keymaster is usually pretty easy because you've likely got some Burning Crusade faction rep under your belt. I could tack on a third -- I'm constantly surprised at the number of players who aren't keyed for some of the old-world dungeons, and by "surprised," possibly I mean "irritated," because I keep getting pestered to go open doors. Happily, just about all of these keys can be soloed at 80 for most classes, and none of them are particularly time-intensive (with the possible exception of the Scholomance key due to insane travel time) to get.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Achievements, The Overachiever

Ghostcrawler: There will (not) be at least 31 bosses in Icecrown

Ghostcrawler has posted an interesting little hint at the next patch (we know of) headed to the game. In response to a discussion about "tanking niches," he talks about Icecrown Citadel over on the forums, and just happens to mention that people might think of tanks as waiting outside until "boss 4, 17 and 31 (yes, IC is that big)." 31 bosses? More like Icecrowded, am I right?

Blackrock Depths is the largest 5-man in the game, if not the largest instance, and it boasts over 40 bosses (that's mostly counting encounters, though -- you wouldn't count The Seven, for example, as seven different bosses), including lots and lots of optional bosses and even a holiday boss. Ulduar, by comparison, has about 14, and Karazhan is about that same size (though that depends on how you count random bosses, like the Opera Event). No matter how you slice it, 31 raid bosses is a ton of bosses to go through -- Icecrown could be a return to a really epic, large-scale instance.

Of course, there will likely be wings involved (Naxxramas' Quarters have worked out pretty well, I think), and with the new changes to raid lockouts, Blizzard no longer needs to squeeze the raiding experience into an average of two or three nights a week (which is what it seemed like they were usually aiming for before). If yours is the kind of guild that likes to clear everything in one night, though, you might want to start freeing up some time now.

Update: GC now says he didn't mean the instance would have 31 bosses, he was just throwing in some ridiculous number to prove a point. Our question: why did he say "yes, IC is that big" if he didn't mean it would be that big?

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

June's Brew of the Month: Blackrock Lager


It's the beginning of a new month, which means a new brew! This time around it's the Blackrock Lager! This is a hot hot hot beverage to kick off the summer season. Drinking the Lager sometimes procs something that sounds like it should be a Mage talent: Internal Combustion. While you have this buff (which lasts 5 minutes), your face gives off an eerie red glow like you're seeping fire out of every orifice. Except that one. And that one. Okay, you people are gross. Just the ones above the neck. After 5 minutes (or when you click off the buff), you get what you see in the image above. You belch a great load of fire! And that's it. Pretty straightforward.

I always try to find little factoids about the various brews these are based on, but a lager is common enough that I don't think it's necessary or interesting to anybody but beer buffs. Instead, I'm going to point out how awesome some of the Blackrock/Dark Iron themed brews are. This one makes you belch fire, but there's also the Dark Iron Ale that you can use to get a pet from the Darkmoon Faire, and the Sulfuron Slammer which creative individuals use to break crowd control effects cast upon them in PvP. The best of the lot is the Dire Brew, which turns you into a Dark Iron Dwarf for an hour. Awesome? Yes, I think so. You can get all of them in Blackrock Depths, so go celebrate in the Grim Guzzler sometime this week!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events

Breakfast Topic: What if achievements had existed in classic WoW?

One of our readers, Eli, wrote in last night with a suggestion for a Breakfast Topic: if achievements had existed in classic WoW, what would they have been? It provoked some back-channel discussion here with staffers wondering how the game would have been different if beating the boss or dungeon wasn't the only thing on your plate:

Me: What would a hard-mode Ragnaros have been like?

Adam Holisky: Kill Ragnaros using only one tank!

Eliah Hecht: Domo comes back from the dead and starts randomly sheeping raid members in revenge.

Other suggestions included killing Hakkar with all of his priests still up, hearthing with Hakkar's debuffs and infecting at least 500 players with Corrupted Blood (back when this was still possible, of course), killing at least 500 Dwarves without dropping combat in the Lyceum, the Stratholme timed run, and -- as Sacco suggested -- "getting through an UBRS run without (anyone) quitting." Having recently leveled a Shaman through this content, I can tell you that's one achievement I wouldn't have managed.

If you were back in classic WoW again with no chance of advancing beyond level 60 talents and gear, what would make for a worthwhile achievement?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Humor, Achievements

A pet collector's guide to the Darkmoon Faire

Even if you haven't been a long-time collector of non-combat pets such the Azure Whelpling, the Spirit of Competition, or the Phoenix, now is the perfect time to begin.

On October 14th, when patch 3.0.2 descends, so does the achievement system, and with it, "Shop Smart, Shop Pet...Smart," the achievement for collecting 50 non-combat pets. The reward is of course, another non-combat pet, along with achievement points to help you feel 1337.

The Darkmoon Faire offers you the opportunity to easily and cheaply acquire three of the five frog pets in the game. While you'll have to shell out a bit of money, you might be able to make a profit in the end. For higher levels, the cost won't even be noticeable. Here is what you can acquire:
  1. [Wood Frog Box]
  2. [Tree Frog Box]
  3. [Unhatched Jubling Egg] that will transform into [A Jubling's Tiny Home] after one week.

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Filed under: Items, Tips, How-tos, Events, Quests, Guides, Making money, Achievements

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