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Posts with tag Naxxramas

WoW Archivist: Patch 1.11, Shadow of the Necropolis

This article was originally posted September 13, 2011. With the release of Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas, we thought it would be fun to look back on the initial release of Naxxramas in World of Warcraft. The original publication of this article also included the patch 1.11 patch notes, which we've removed here. If you're interested in seeing them, time warp back to the original.

Patch 1.11 included the original 40-man version of Naxxramas, which was the final raid zone of classic World of Warcraft. The game had seen no expansions yet. While we all knew it was coming, the idea was still foreign and nebulous to players who had limited prior experience with MMOs. "Green is the new purple" was something nobody grasped yet. Naxxramas was seen as the true pinnacle of raiding in classic WoW ... and in some ways, it's still seen that way by WoW's raiding veterans.

The trailer for Shadow of the Necropolis is probably the first patch trailer I remember in vivid detail, as it's one of the first patch trailers in which Blizzard tried to tell a story. Previous patch trailers showed off new bosses and new environments completely without commentary, merely showing off pretty pictures set to new music from the patch's soundtrack. Shadow of the Necropolis slowed things down a bit, showing you some of who Kel'Thuzad was in life and how he came to be lich lord of Naxxramas. Patch trailers have continued to build on what patch 1.11 started.

Let's take a look at what else this patch held, shall we?

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

The false memory of WoW's difficult past

The false memory of WoW past
Vanilla raiding was not mechanically more difficult than current raiding. In fact, in terms of encounter difficulty, raiding in World of Warcraft has never been as challenging to remember and execute as it is right now. Fights like Lei Shen, Twin Consorts, Iron Qon, and Durumu ask players to learn mechanics and execute awareness at a level rivaled only by fights like Mimiron's Firefighter mode. And I'm not even talking heroic difficulty for those fights. Yes, it was often harder to get 40 people together, I'm not disputing that. But that's not design difficulty, that's social difficulty. The argument that WoW was objectively harder back then is beyond absurd.

I was there for all of those raids. I've raided in vanilla, in BC, in Wrath, and in Cataclysm. I've done hard modes and heroic modes since they were introduced. I'm neither the cutting edge progression raider nor someone who raids occasionally for fun -- I've been everywhere from a raider pushing for realm firsts to one leading a semi-casual 10-man while tanking. One thing I can and will say with absolute certainty is this: every single expansion to World of Warcraft has increased the complexity of the raid design.

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

The Queue: Throne of Thunder ilevel, the undead, and going pantsless

The Queue Throne of Thunder ilevel, the undead, and going pantsless
Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Oh, Mondays. Why must you follow Sundays? Can't you be more like Thursdays, coming before Fridays?

Now that I've made myself sound like a twisted hybrid of Garfield and a certain song that shan't be named, we're going to move onto the Q&A and pretend it never happened.

Sainthubbins asked:

Has the required ilevel for the 5.2 LFR been officially announced yet?

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Filed under: The Queue

WoW for Dummies, Act III: The end of vanilla

WoW for Dummies, Act III The end of vanilla SUN
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Vanilla WoW may not have seemed full of story to most, but it was jam-packed with plot elements, although they were hidden from all but those who paid the closest attention to what was going on around them. Most lore in the game was simply introduced with quest text -- there were no cut scenes, there was no phasing, there were none of the innovations we currently have today in regards to the implementation of lore in gameplay.

If you missed them, I recommend going back and reading through the summaries of early days of vanilla lore. There are two versions of Act I, one for Alliance and one for Horde. Act II applies to both sides of the faction fence as the story began to merge for both sides. Please note that these are summaries of the lore that existed in game -- later novels, comics, and other material adjusted what actually happened in the scope of the game universe, and some of those novels and comics are now the official canon version of these events. I've pointed out where these changes occurred.

The end of vanilla was marked with the return of foes long thought dead and gone, and the ominous stirrings of a portal to another world.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Patch 5.1 PTR: Darkmoon hats, new pet models and more

Darkmoon hats, new pet models and more
Care for a fancy hat? Wowhead found some new models from the patch 5.1 PTR server, including a stunning array of fancy chapeaus courtesy of the Darkmoon Faire. Each has its own bizarre style, and some even include animations like flickering lights or bobbles that sway in the breeze. Wowhead has animated versions of all of the models so you can see the movements for yourself. How exactly one goes about obtaining these hats is unknown at this point, but you'll be able to find them at the Darkmoon Faire next patch.

In addition, MMO-Champion dug up some new pet models from the PTR, including clockwork bears, cats and dinosaurs as well as an adorable group of red panda models in an assortment of colors. There have been some changes to pets as well -- Mr. Bigglesworth is no longer a drop from Kel'Thuzad. Instead, he's a reward for completing the achievement Raiding With Leashes, which requires the collection of all the new pets that have been added to raids.

Since the new patch notes indicate players will no longer need to be in a raid group to enter pre-Mists of Pandaria raids, it should be even easier to get your hands on these new pets. Take a look at MMO-Champion for pet models, and head to Wowhead for the animated versions of all of the new hat models so you can see the movements for yourself.


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: News items, Mists of Pandaria

12 new pets added to vanilla raids in 5.1

12 new pets added to vanilla raids in 51
Just in case you haven't had your fill of pets, Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton dropped some news on Twitter and let us know that there will be more to find in patch 5.1. 12 new pets have been added to all four vanilla raids -- Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, Ahn'Qiraj, and Naxxramas. These pets will drop from bosses in the zones, and according to Stockton, the drop rates aren't bad at all, either.

And for those of you perking up at the mention of Naxxramas, you have every right to be excited. One of the pets offered is none other than Mr. Bigglesworth, Kel'Thuzad's beloved cat. Wowhead dug up the information on the rest of the pets, which included a Stitched Pup, Chrominius, and an Anubisath Idol among many others.

Not only is this a cool way to get some more pets out there in the mix, it's also a great reason to go run those old vanilla raids. Although Naxxramas moved to Northrend with Wrath, it was one of the original 40-man raids available back in vanilla. And despite its new location, Naxxramas is still soloable by most classes at level 90, although you can take a few friends along to make the jaunt a little easier. For a full list of available pets, check out Wowhead's list -- and if you aren't following Cory Stockton on Twitter, you're missing out on cool updates!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

What signals the end of an expansion?

Image
Wrath of the Lich King ended on kind of a sour note for me, largely because I didn't get to participate in my guild's one and only 25-man heroic Lich King kill before Cataclysm launched. Part of the rankle was for personal reasons, but part of it was also that for me, that kill would have ended the expansion. Never mind that we didn't kill Halion on heroic -- that was filler content, as far as I was concerned. Wrath of the Lich King was all about the Lich King and seeing him die.

But really, it goes back farther than that. In vanilla, I had no idea what an expansion really was; my MMOG experience was limited to WoW, for the most part, with a brief dabble in City of Heroes. So terms like expansions didn't make any sense to me until a friend explained what it meant: a new game was coming, building off the game I was already playing. No, I didn't have to purchase it if I didn't want to, but I wouldn't be able to see any of the new stuff if I didn't. And then my friend showed me just a sampling of all the cool stuff to be seen in The Burning Crusade. A beta invite later, and I was thoroughly hooked.

But there wasn't an end to vanilla for me. One day, I was playing vanilla WoW; the next, I was tromping through the Dark Portal and headed to Outland.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Transmogrify your character into a dark ranger, take 2

Sylvanas' dark rangers are bow-wielding marksmen, which you would think belong firmly in the hunter class. However, they aren't anything like a hunter at all -- in fact, all dark rangers in-game are currently wearing leather sets. If you take a look at Dark Ranger Vorel above, she's wearing the leather Opportunist's Battlegear set available during The Burning Crusade. All other dark rangers are wearing variations of that particular set, except the dark rangers we covered last time on this particular guide.

So what's a hunter to do if they want the dark ranger look? Well, there's no way to recreate the exact armor sets of the dark rangers, because they don't exist in mail form. So if you're looking for an exact replica that you can transmogrify, you're out of luck. However, we can still build a pretty classy -- and dark -- mail hunter set using transmogrification. While it may not be an exact replica, today's set captures the feel of the dark ranger minus all that bothersome leather.

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Filed under: Transmogrification

Shifting Perspectives: Soloing Naxxramas for feral druids in the 4.3 era

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, the editors refuse to let me write the column in Elcor.

Let's face it: Mists of Pandaria isn't going to be released any time soon, and Dragon Soul is starting to become Draggin' Soul, for those of who you starting raiding it on the release of patch 4.3. Of course, many of us are off saving the galaxy from annihilation, but if you're staying in Azeroth, you need something to do -- a new challenge. This week, I'm resurrecting my old series on druid soloing. A new tier of gear has made possible many feats that were not before, so pack your bags. We're heading back to Northrend to fight the undead ... since they cannot die. (/sunglasses)

Before we start, however, a quick refresher for those who missed the earlier series. Druids are one of the best raid soloing classes in the game for one simple reason: Prowl. While we don't have the solo survivability of a blood DK or the DPS of a hunter, we can skip the annoying trash most of the time. If you're doing a full clear, that isn't much help -- but in most cases, you can get in, kill the boss, and get out without ever having to wait to kill a trash mob.

In terms of strategy, I use this bearcat talent spec and glyphs. The primary source of your survivability will come from Leader of the Pack heals and Savage Defense shields, using Barkskin and Survival Instincts on cooldown, and popping Frenzied Regeneration as your oh-crap full heal. For some fights, you'll also be mixing in Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, and Predator's Swiftness-procced Healing Touches. For your rotation, you'll be using the default bear priority list (FF once, Demo Roar, Mangle, Thrash, Lacerate to three, Pulverize). For trivial bosses, feel free to go Cat part-time or full-time to speed things up. Finally, note that my ilevel was about 390 when I did these bosses, so this may be a bit easier or harder depending on what you're packing. (Also, credit where it's due to Reesi for helping me nail down bear details and Braindwen for his soloing guide.)

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Random raid factors and the high cost of failure

Klepsakovic over at Troll Racials are Overpowered has a thought-provoking post asking how Blizzard's advancing raid model is affecting players and how they relate to each other. In particular, he zeroes in on a point that I think a lot of players sense but never really articulate: Not every player in a raid is going to be equally stressed by a fight, and when the stressed party or parties is randomly determined, things get ugly fast.

Compare this to encounters where the primary difficulty is role-specific or even player-specific. Good DPSers pushed their output to the limit on Patchwerk, healers learned to anticipate damage during Malygos' Vortex while one or two people got good at yanking sparks into the raid, and tanks grew experienced with fast pick-ups on Kael'thas. But the average raid group, even when experienced, probably tripped over and over again on encounters like Teron Gorefiend or Anub'arak. When you can't control who gets targeted by Shadow of Death or Anub'arak's spikes and when the randomness limits the experience that any one player can get ... Well, it's easy to see how certain fights acquire the nightmare moniker.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WoW Archivist: Patch 1.11, Shadow of the Necropolis

The 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?

In last week's Archivist, we looked at patch 1.11's April Fool's Day patch notes, but this week we're digging into the real deal. Patch 1.11 included the original 40-man version of Naxxramas, which was the final raid zone of classic World of Warcraft. The game had seen no expansions yet. While we all knew it was coming, the idea was still foreign and nebulous to players who had limited prior experience with MMOs. "Green is the new purple" was something nobody grasped yet. Naxxramas was seen as the true pinnacle of raiding in classic WoW ... and in some ways, it's still seen that way by WoW's raiding veterans.

The trailer for Shadow of the Necropolis is probably the first patch trailer I remember in vivid detail, as it's one of the first patch trailers in which Blizzard tried to tell a story. Previous patch trailers showed off new bosses and new environments completely without commentary, merely showing off pretty pictures set to new music from the patch's soundtrack. Shadow of the Necropolis slowed things down a bit, showing you some of who Kel'Thuzad was in life and how he came to be lich lord of Naxxramas. Patch trailers have continued to build on what patch 1.11 started.

Let's take a look at what else this patch held, shall we? As usual, we'll first look at the patch notes and then we'll get into commentary.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Patch 1.11 for fools

The 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?

Today's Archivist topic would have been a grand one to save for the next April Fools' Day, but that's half a year away! Sticking strictly to chronological patch order, what the heck, let's just tackle it today. In the early months of 2006, World of Warcraft players were eagerly anticipating patch 1.11, Shadow of the Necropolis, which would implement the original 40-man version of the Naxxramas raid. On April 1, 2006, former Blizzard community manager Caydiem decided to go fishing for trolls: She posted what is known as Evil Patch Notes.

Some of the false patch notes released for patch 1.11 on April Fools' are timeless, immediately obvious jokes that just click, even five years later. Others are relics of their time, references to popular complaints and hatreds of 2005 and 2006. Players who have only just started playing World of Warcraft in the last year or two may not understand them at all. Others, years later, are closer to the truth than Caydiem may have ever expected.

Patch 1.11's Evil Patch Notes will now be presented in full, where they may speak for themselves. Enjoy!

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

New quests on the PTR point to legendary weapon's origin

More news, in the form of a few quests datamined from the PTR, has cropped up about the legendary staff that will be available this expansion. While we've talked about the possible links between the staff and the upcoming War of the Ancients raid, nothing had been confirmed. However, the quests seem to be pointing to something a little different.

In the quest A Legendary Engagement, players are sent to the Caverns of Time to speak to Anachronos. Anachronos is the acting "leader" of the Bronze Dragonflight in Nozdormu's absence; we first encountered him way back during the quest line to open the gates to Ahn'Qiraj. Oddly enough, it seems as though Anachronos requires your presence immediately -- something that's more than a little strange for a reclusive bronze dragon.

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Filed under: News items, Lore, Cataclysm

Raid Rx: Raid healing horror stories that taught us a thing or two

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related.

A new PTR build went online a few days ago. We're getting closer and closer to a release. Two weeks, perhaps? End of March? Ides of March even? Who knows?

The Spirit Link totem has officially been added on the PTR. I've never heard Joe Perez squawk with so much glee before after using it in Zul'Aman. If you want to read more details on the totem, go read up on Joe's post about it. Other than a shortened cooldown on Tranquility for resto druids, still nothing on the defensive front.

Chakra for priests now lasts a really long time! In fact, it lasts so long that the effect won't go away until it is canceled. I liked the whole Chakra volleying mechanic. It was an interesting way to add additional thought for holy priests. The last big change I want to note is the pushback protection that druids and priests are getting. Divine Hymn, Hymn of Hope, and Tranquility now have 100% pushback protection from damage. For those that didn't know, a pushback effect is caused when you take damage. When you cast a spell, it might take a little longer than normal because you've been hit by an enemy. This causes the casting bar to move back slightly.

This week, I want to share some healing stories. Some will make you laugh; some will make you cry; and some will simply make you plant your face in your palm.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

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