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Posts with tag Heroic

Raid design evolution and Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard has posted parts one and two of a series of Dev Watercoolers, discussing raid design over the course of World of Warcraft. Now part three is live, highlighting and explaining where raiding is going in Warlords of Draenor. The post covers new systems like the Group Finder (basically integrating the OQueue style functionality), buffs to LFR, explains the new Mythic difficulty and flexible group system for normal/heroic, and discusses how raid lockouts will work in Warlords, with each raiding difficulty (Raid Finder, Normal, Heroic and Mythic) having its own lockout, and how valor points will be scaled back to prevent players feeling like they have to clear each raid difficulty each week.

If you raid, you should probably check it out. The full text is reproduced behind the break.

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

Asia first Garrosh Hellscream heroic kill goes to Tianqi

Asia first 10man heroic Garrosh Hellscream kill goes to Tianqi
Congratulations to Chinese guild 天 啟 (Tianqi) for their Garrosh Hellscream kill in 10-man heroic mode! If you're wondering why this isn't visible on WoWProgress as a world first kill, it's because they have certain advantages over players in other regions.

To start, there are separate weekly lockouts for 10-man and 25-man, allowing a guild in Asia to run both in the same week. Secondly, the loot in 25-man is 8 ilevels higher and the boss health and damage is also 8% higher. This allowed Tianqi to acquire higher ilevel loot in 25-man before going into 10-man to achieve their Garrosh kill. At least one of the players participating in the kill had a average ilevel of 575 along with a ilevel 588 weapon.

These circumstances should in no way detract from their achievement, but the traditional world first race is still very much on for both 10-man and 25-man.

Filed under: Raiding

Patch 5.2 PTR: Heroic 25-player raid testing announced

We're almost there! I'm not sure if this is the last batch of testing to occur but over the next few days, a flurry of 25-player heroic raid testing will be available for players on the PTR. The current build on the PTR has reached release candidate status which certainly means we're getting closer and closer to the patch 5.2 being deployed on to the live servers. Be sure to grab yourself a full suit of tier 15 gear before storming these heroic bosses though. Expect your gear to scale up to help you in your efforts.

WoW Insider Throne of Thunder boss impressions

Today's blue post with full details can be found behind the cut below.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Dev Watercooler: Watcher on encounter tuning

Dev Watercooler Watcher on encounter tuning
While it isn't quite the PvP watercooler post that some of you have been looking for, Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas, the Lead Encounter Designer for the World of Warcraft team, published a blog post earlier today regarding encounter mechanics. It offers excellent insight behind various decisions to nerf or buff bosses. He went on to deliver the reasoning behind hotfixes to Heroic Gara'jal earlier in the expansion and how the Ring of Frost talent for mages made Heroic Will of the Emperor easy.

In addition, Ion covered:
  • Creative use of ingame mechanics vs exploits
  • Adjusting the difficulty of encounters
  • Unintended strategies
  • How mages make life difficult for encounter designers
Read on after the cut to see the full post!

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Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 PTR: Reputation gain changes

Patch 52 Reputation gain changes
One change that's arrived with the latest patch 5.2 notes is one that has to deal with bonus reputation. Players have stated how grinding and repetitive the reputation can be. A suggestion that was offered was to bring back reputation tabards so players could continue to earn reputation while participating in dungeons. This would offer players two methods to earn reputation: Dailies and dungeons. Blizzard disagreed they didn't want players to double dip as dungeons already reward loot from bosses along with valor points. The developers mentioned sometime back in December that they were planning a way to include bonus reputation through dungeons. A suggestion was brought up by our own Matthew Rossi where players could represent a faction for a limited time.

That looks like the compromise solution we were looking for!

Patch 5.2 PTR and Patch Notes
You can now earn bonus reputation for your first dungeon and scenario of the day. You can select which reputation you choose to champion by selecting it from the reputation panel on the character screen. When you queue for a dungeon or scenario, the UI will remind you which reputation you are championing and allow you to change the reputation from there. (You cannot change that reputation once you are in the dungeon or scenario.)


The UI has changed so that the Reputation panel in the character screen displays which reputation they have purchased Grand Commendations for. That's great for people like me who've accidentally purchased the same reputation commendation twice.

How about it guys? What do you think of this alternative way to earn reputation? You can still knock out your dailies but between the commendations and the bonus reputation from dailies, I wager you'll be able to hit Exalted at a nice rate.


Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

GuildOx interviews new World First guild Arctica

GuildOx interviews new World First guild Arctica
While the rest of the world were banging their heads against the overtuned first boss in the Heart of Fear raid, one relatively unknown Finnish guild decided to go about their initial look into the new raid a slightly different way. Arctica, of Chromaggus-EU, is a Finnish guild just like Paragon, and just like Paragon they only take players who understand Finnish. You don't have to speak it, only understand it. And that's no mean feat. Finnish is one of the least spoken languages in Europe, with only five million native speakers, and having tried it myself, one of the most baffling to learn.

But despite their relatively small pool of eligible applicants, Arctica look to be taking after their better-known fellow Finns, and progressing into World Firsts, taking two of the five available in this 10-man heroic progress race, having defeated both Ta'yak and Garalon before any other guild. They, unlike the others, skipped straight past the infamous Vizier Zor'lok, facing Ta'yak first in Heroic.

GuildOx was joined by Kapsu and Sponde of Arctica to discuss their progress into 10-man Heroic Heart of Fear. Check out the interview over at GuildOx, and find out what's in the water in Finland that makes such good raiders!

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Encrypted Text: Mists of Pandaria guide to a raid-ready rogue

agi leather
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

I'm not a fan of gearing up. I hate watching my gear fade into obsolescence. I hate swapping out my legendary Fangs of the Father for a set of blue weapons that were given to me after I washed a few yaks and played the role of a pre-employment drug screener for some amped-up goats.

Bill Gates infamously picks lazy people to do difficult jobs, because they'll find the easiest way to do it. I am that lazy person. I am always looking for the quickest way to get my rogue into raid-ready shape. The quicker that my rogue is geared up, the quicker I can get back to Eviscerating leveling players of the opposing faction. With a couple of weeks of grinding daily quests and some heroic dungeons mixed in, your rogue can be ready for the first tier of MoP raiding.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Breakfast Topic: The fly on the wall

Breakfast Topic The fly on the wall ANYTIME
Every so often, you find yourself in a PUG where a line in party chat makes you think that something pretty serious is going on behind the scenes. Not long before Mists hit, I was tanking an otherwise routine run in Well of Eternity with a guild group from another server. They were distracted during the run and were obviously paying more attention to what one of them mentioned was a lot of unhappy drama in guild chat. I felt it would be rude to pry, so when the run ended and they all vanished back to their own server, I was left there wondering what was going on and if everything was okay with a guild I had known nothing about 30 minutes previously.

That's not the first time that's happened, either: I had another memorable run with a warlock/paladin duo, with the former consoling the latter over a recent break-up with his girlfriend. It was a vivid reminder that the players you meet in a PUG are all real people, that most of the time you're nothing more than a fleeting participant in their lives, and that you may wander in at some personally meaningful or even painful moments.

Allowing for the fact that you can't trust everything you read in party chat, have you ever found yourself the proverbial fly on the wall in WoW?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Dungeon Mastery: Gate of the Setting Sun

Dungeon Mastery Gate of the Setting Sun
Pandaria is under siege by the pesky, bug-like mantid. It reminds me of an alternate universe Starship Troopers. The Serpent's Spine, a massive fortified wall, has kept them out but the mantid have already started laying siege to the main gate. The pandaren could sure use your help. Is there a vulnerability? The Gate of the Setting Sun seems to be where mantid forces are concentrated and that's where you'll be needed. This instance is only accessible at max level on heroic difficulty.

As you make your way across the battlements of the gate, you'll notice timed charges being dropped on the wall. In addition to clearing out pesky bug mobs that get in your way, you'll need to dodge these Bomberman style explosives. Seriously, they'll detonate and their explosions don't explode outward. They explode in four cardinal directions. In other words, stand diagonally to avoid getting fried.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Should transmogrification change the way lockouts function?

Image
I've admitted to my transmogrification habit on a few occasions now. One of the things that it's brought to my attention is that I really, really hate heroic lockouts on content I can easily solo -- like all The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King heroic 5-man dungeons, for instance. Let me tell you a true story.

I have been running heroic Azjol-Nerub once a day for a week now. Every day, I zone in, kill everything in my path like an unstoppable juggernaut of death, reach Anub'arak himself and crush his carapace with wrenching blows from my two gigantic swords, then peel open his husk to find the same exact drops, none of which are a plate helm. It's annoying because it only takes five minutes to do, but I can't devote, say, a half-hour to doing it six times because it's a heroic and locks me out for an entire day. I find this absurd. I especially find it absurd because it's not as if older heroics get a lot of at-level use nowadays. People who ding 80 don't queue up for heroic Azjol, they go to Hyjal or Vashj'ir.

Nowadays, these older dungeons serve purely as repositories of fashion, clothing dispensers we run in order to assemble a look. Well, OK, some of them also serve as a source of frustration when a mount doesn't drop. At any rate, what purpose does it serve to lock up these dungeons behind the mantle of "heroic" and apply the lockout to them when no one runs them when they're anything like a challenge anymore? There's already a system in place that keeps you from running a dungeon too many times within an hour; that should be sufficient for these dungeons. I understand leaving raid lockouts in place, but not 5-mans.

Yes, there could be twinking imbalances here for people who froze their XP, but frankly, if some level 70 or 80 twink can get a level 85 or 90 (in Mists) to carry him to gear, it doesn't really bother me. We've already stated numerous times that the game isn't balanced for PvP at lower levels, let's embrace it. These dungeons aren't heroic anymore. Let's let reality reflect the changing game -- and more important, let's let me get my freaking hat.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

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

5 ways to keep your DPS players happy in 5-man heroics

OK, you can't pretend you didn't see this one coming after the healing and tanking editions. As I may have mentioned, I have less DPS experience than tanking and healing, but from that time in Azeroth, I have gathered that there are things everyone can do to make their DPSers happy bunnies rather than melancholy murlocs. Actually, being a murloc would be pretty cool. One of my GMs does an awesome murloc impression.

So, tanks and healers, and other DPSers, how can you keep your DPS buddies happy?

1. Mark your targets. Tanks, or whoever is experienced, or whoever is taking on that role in the dungeon, mark your targets. Telepathy is not a standard talent in any tree, and while sure, it's possible to click the tank and then use an assist macro, you can easily keybind or add a button to your action bars that marks your target with a skull, a cross, a moon and so on.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

5 ways to keep your healer happy in 5-man heroics

While much of Azeroth has been busy engineering the repeated demise of the big Dee-Dubya, many of us are still running 5-man dungeons. Maybe it's for valor points, maybe it's to hit the ilevel required to take a pop at that dragon, or maybe it's while frantically levelling another character to 85. With every 5-man instance comes a healer, and you really ought to be showing your healer some love.

Before you say Pah! I don't need to do anything to keep my healer happy -- I massively outgear all the 5-man content the game has to offer. This advice is worthless!, spare a thought for those who don't. The new healer who wants to get a look at some Hour of Twilight. The player with bags overflowing with PvP gear to cheat the ilevel requirement. The fresh 85s who are facing these dungeons for the first time. They need this advice, and if you're running with them, you could consider reading it too. And if you think it's not your responsibility to help your healer out now and then, remember: You don't do any DPS when you're dead.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Are heroics really heroic?

Uh-oh, it's semantics time again, combined with a trip to the way-back machine, even! I still have nightmares about heroics back in The Burning Crusade when they were first introduced. In order to even get into heroic dungeons, you needed a key, and to get that key, you needed a certain amount of faction reputation. When The Burning Crusade launched, you needed to be revered to get a key; this was later reduced to honored. Needless to say, it took a very long time before anyone could step into heroic modes -- and they were difficult, to say the very least.

Trash respawn timers were tight. If you were lucky, you could get to the first boss before the trash started to respawn on you, and if you wiped on the first boss, you got to enjoy the experience of clearing all that trash all over again. Bosses were incredibly difficult, as well -- healing was an absolute nightmare. These days, in comparison, heroics are ridiculously easy. No, I am not kidding you. They are a breeze compared to the early days of The Burning Crusade. You don't have to work to get into them other than obtaining the appropriate gear, and once you're inside, the bosses aren't that much of a struggle.

So that leads to the question we were pondering in work chat -- are heroics these days really heroic? Sure, the items you get from the dungeons are better than your normal dungeon gear, but the difficulty of the dungeons isn't really ramped up anywhere near the extreme that we saw in The Burning Crusade. To me, heroic mode still equates to that antiquated BC model, where heroic meant hard mode, and hard mode meant You will want to stab yourself in the eye with a fork three pulls into the place.

There is something to be said about the sheer relief and sense of accomplishment you got when you cleared one of those old dungeons; you really felt like you'd done something great and played to the best of your ability. In Mists, we're looking at an endgame that doesn't even have normal mode dungeons -- at level 90, you simply leap into heroics. My question is whether or not the term "heroic" even has meaning at this point. We've gone from hard mode and a rep grind, to a slightly less severe rep grind, to not needing a key at all, to heroics you can simply AoE through without having to think too terribly hard about any given thing.

Should heroics still be called heroics? Or are they simply regular dungeons that give better loot, now? What do you think?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Korean guild KIN Raiders scores world-first heroic Madness of Deathwing

After more than three weeks of intense strategizing, planning, fighting, scandals, and more, the race to world-first heroic Madness of Deathwing kill is over. KIN Raiders, the group that swept by Paragon, Blood Legion, and the rest, for the world-first heroic Spine of Deathwing kill took their time advantage and pressed on. Only one other guild, the Korean team In extremis, has downed the Spine of Deathwing on heroic mode, so not many people were even currently working on the fight of the instance.

KIN Raider's kill happened in 25-man mode, an interesting departure from many of the world firsts now happening in 10-mans after being forced to raid light when raiders were banned for exploiting the Raid Finder for extra loot. Blood Legion also rounded out the list with many top kills on 25-man mode, but in the end, it was a 25-man Korean guild that swooped in and took the top spot.

Congratulations to KIN Raiders on their first kill of heroic Madness of Deathwing.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Raiding

BlizzCon 2011: Heroic Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery redesign

scholomance interior
One of the most exciting things last year was the announcement that in the Cataclysm expansion there would be a redesign of classic dungeons into new heroic modes for level 85. Shadowfang Keep and The Deadmines got quite a face lift including new layouts, new boss mechanics and in some cases entirely new bosses. The redesign was quite successful, and the new instances were fun and fresh and breathed new life into content that had previously been considered stale.

With the announcement of the new expansion, Mists of Pandaria, there was a very exciting announcement that we will be receiving three new heroic dungeons as redesigns. These rediscovered zones are Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery. Both are iconic instances and most players have some fond (or not so fond) memories there.. During the Dungeon and Raids panel we received a few bits of information about each of these revamps. Join us after the break for details.

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Filed under: BlizzCon

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