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Posts with tag Paragon

Why testing matters

People often look at things like the current Friends and Family Alpha test and wonder why they exist. Why not go straight to beta, or even just do everything via internal testing? Well, there's lots of reasons. One of them is one expressed very well in this tweet by Russ Petersen.
What we've seen happen through several betas is that content has been changed, reworked and redesigned based on Alpha or Beta feedback. I'm reminded of the Cataclysm expansion and Paragon's effort to be World First on Heroic Sinestra, a fight that simply hadn't been tested very much externally, in order to keep it relatively unknown. This meant that it was a heroic-only boss, being attempted for world-first status, while the fight was being hotfixed. It was necessary to preserve some of the mystery of the fight, because let's face it, if it had been open to testing someone would have written up the strategy and Paragon would have been going in knowing what the fight was and wasn't. But it also meant that Paragon had to learn what the fight was and wasn't while it was being changed, during the attempts.

Similarly, the drastic revamp of the Jade Forest during Mists beta can't be undersold here. This happened right in the middle of the beta -- players who were testing out content had to be moved to the next zone and leveled up while the Forest was completely redesigned. In both cases, we see how the presence or absence of testing can have wide consequences for everyone.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

WoW special event this weekend on Twitch.tv

WoW Special on Twitch
This Saturday, popular e-sports host Soe Gschwind-Penski will be hosting a live World of Warcraft special along with Paragon guild members Raakel 'Xenophics' Hämäläinen and Pekka 'Arx' Aaltonen. The show starts November 23 at 9 p.m. CET (3 p.m. EST / 12 p.m. PST across the pond) on Twitch.tv and ESL.tv.

Soe, Xenophics, and Arx will be taking a trip down memory lane, talking about their favorite moments from WoW's past and how the game has evolved over the years up until patch 5.4. They'll also be discussing what the future has in store with Warlords of Draenor and its new features. There promises to be in-game events to participate in, but the details of what realm this will happen on won't be revealed until during the event. Since this is a EU based event, you can assume it will be on EU realms only. You can also participate through Twitch.tv for a chance to win prizes. Further details are available here.

Filed under: News items

DREAM Paragon take world first Heroic Lei Shen

DREAM Paragon take world first Heroic Lei Shen
All-Finnish guild DREAM Paragon have done it again, taking down Heroic Lei Shen late last night in EU time, before their 10- and 25-man rivals, to add yet another world first to their long list.

It's taken almost two weeks for Paragon to get this far, with Method and Blood Legion hot on their heels, along with Eksorsus and Moonz, the only other 10-man guild in the top ten, although they skipped Dark Animus the first time around.

Paragon have been leading the pack throughout the race, with the 25-man versions of both Dark Animus and Twin Consorts needing either "tuning" or flat out nerfs for the 25-man guilds to get past them. Paragon took down the Twin Consorts on March 17th, three days before either Method or Blood Legion, so it's taken Paragon a full week to get Lei Shen dispatched. Blizzard has said all along that Lei Shen was a very difficult fight, and we're just now seeing the extent of that. It'll be interesting to see if the 25m version of Lei Shen remains unchanged through the upcoming raid reset.

Paragon now move on to Ra-Den, they'll be the first players in the world to see this top-secret boss in action, but we wouldn't expect them to be free and easy with the details until he's down. They've only got 30 tries to get past him, but they're in a good position, given that they've taken out Lei Shen just before a reset. Unless the other guilds can catch up today/tomorrow (raids reset on a Tuesday night in the EU), they'll have a full week with only 30 attempts on Ra-Den to play with.

Filed under: News items, Raiding

EU guilds snatch both world first Sha of Fear kills

EU guilds snatch both World First Sha of Fear kills
In a world first race that saw Method and Blood Legion pretty much neck and neck in WoW Progress' points system, Method and fellow European guild Paragon snatched the Sha of Fear from under the noses of their US competition. WoW Insider sends their heartiest congratulations to both guilds!

It looks like the world first Sha of Fear kill went to Paragon, narrowly beating Method to the punch, but Method weren't far behind with their world first 25-man kill. It's an interesting conundrum, really, given how many people consider 25-man raiding to still be "proper" raiding. They're opposed by the detractors of that view who assert that 10-man is just as hard and therefore should be considered in parallel with 25-man. In WoW Insider's recent interview with Method, all their players asserted that the two were completely different beasts.

With Paragon, a previous world first guild in 25-mans, moving down to the smaller raid size that they had previously derided, it adds credence to 10-man raiding. But, in this tier at least, Paragon have so dominated their bracket that there's not much competition. From Method's completion tables, there wasn't a single US guild in the running for the 10-man progression in this most recent, and final, world first race of this tier. Will more competition emerge? Earlier raids haven't had such an EU-dominated 10-man race, certainly. Was it simply thanks to the holiday weekend?

For me, and this is only opinion, the reason I've followed the 25-man race more closely this time around is that there is more competition. Method, Blood Legion and Vodka have duked it out for the top spot all the way, with the closeness of the final Sha of Fear push making it a really exciting one. Blizzard Community Manager Taepsilum commented on a forum post that a stream of the race would be something they'd like to watch, and I agree, but I'd like to watch two guilds competing for a close win, rather than Paragon utterly controlling the entire race! But what do you think?

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

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

Heart of Fear World First race hit by Heroic Nerf

Heart of Fear hit by Heroic Nerf
The first boss of the heroic version of Heart of Fear is causing some problems. The irony of the mantid raid having some bug issues has not escaped us here at WoW Insider, but there are some more serious issues at hand than light hearted jokes can describe.

After nearly 17 hours of raiding in the US, and 8 in the UK, Blizzard Community Manager Nethaera took to the forums to say the following:

Nethaera
The Heroic Zor'lok encounter is currently more difficult than intended. While we prefer to avoid changes to encounters in the midst of progression, we would like to fix a few quality of life issues and make some targeted balance changes that do not invalidate the efforts that guilds have put into learning the encounter so far. Later today a hotfix will make the following adjustments:
  • Zor'lok's Echoes will pause briefly before beginning to cast Song of the Empress.
  • Zor'lok's berserk timer has been increased slightly.
  • Zor'lok will no longer summon Echoes of Force and Verve during the final phase of the encounter.

Nethaera later returned to the forums to add that the hotfix was implemented shortly after the original post, and yet there still hasn't been a kill of Imperial Vizier Zor'lok on heroic, in 25-man or 10man.

A couple of guilds have bypassed Zor'lok altogether, with Finnish guild Arctica taking world first 10-man heroic Blade Lord Ta'yak, and DarkStorm taking the 25-man world first. Arctica have continued through the raid and taken down Garalon, too! It's great to see a small guild taking on the big names, and the 10-man race for World First seems to be between one Finnish guild, Paragon, challenged by another Finnish guild, Arctica! What is it about Finland?

Two further guilds have defeated 10-man Ta'yak, but still no kills on Zor'lok. There's already been a twitter account set up in Zor'lok's honor, where he mainly talks about his occasional moves to the left.

UPDATED: EU Guild Method just took World First 25-Heroic Grand Vizier Zor'lok! No 10-man kills so far. Paragon took World First 10-Heroic Grand Vizier Zor'lok!

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, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Mogu'shan Vaults world firsts

Mogushan Vaults World Firsts
Following the release of the Heroic version of Mogushan Vaults on October 9 in the US and October 10 in the EU, the very, very early morning of October 13 -- 00:43 UK time to be precise -- European guild Method took down Heroic Will of the Emperor 25-man. Despite the delay, where the raids were released in the US several hours earlier, Method came from way behind in the starting grid to snatch the World First from Vodka and Blood Legion. World second went to another European guild, Envy, with Vodka third and Blood Legion fourth.

Blood Legion and Vodka set up a healthy lead, alternating first and second between them for Stone Guard, Feng, Gara'Jal and the Spirit Kings, but Method crept into second place for Elegon, the penultimate boss, pushing Vodka into third but still behind Blood Legion. According to Method's website, the world second took place a full 12 hours after their world first.

But, the race for 6/6 Mogu'shan Vaults had already been won over 30 hours earlier, when Finnish guild DREAM Paragon swept to the end of the heroic 10-man version of the raid, downing Will of the Emperor on the afternoon of October 11. Paragon came in world 4th for the second 10-man boss, Feng the Accursed, and world 1st for every boss thereafter in the 10-man raids. But it seems that people still count the 25-man race as the "proper" race, despite Paragon's remarkable achievement.

What do you think? Can 10-man world firsts be considered the same as 25-man world firsts? Should Paragon try to go back to 25-man?

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: Mists of Pandaria

Paragon switching to 10 man raiding in Mists of Pandaria

Even the mightiest among us are not immune to the decline of 25 man raiding. Paragon, who you may remember as one of the world's leading 25 man raiding guilds, is switching to a 10 man raid with the release of Mists of Pandaria. Reasons given include raider burnout during Dragon Soul, difficulty of recruiting players to fill those gaps (and I can attest to that one in a general sense, even far less progression oriented 25 mans are struggling to recruit right now) and player schedules changing.

It should be interesting to see how Paragon does as a 10 man in Mists of Pandaria. Some guilds thrive after the switch, others rebuild and re-enter 25 mans. I personally can't help but think this is a symptom of the gradual erosion of 25 man raiding, myself, but we'll see.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Guilds, News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: A raid exploit compendium, part 2

Exodus guild is suspended
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?

If you missed last week's Archivist, I recounted some of WoW's earliest raid exploits. Guilds have been pushing for ways to make raids easier since Molten Core went live, whether for the glory of a first kill or simple convenience. This week, I'll continue our tour through this sordid side of raiding with more recent exploits. Many of them ended with suspensions.

Shadow Word: World First

In her heyday, Serpentshrine Cavern's Lady Vashj was considered one of the hardest raid bosses that the game had ever seen. In March 2007, more than two months since Serpentshrine went live with the release of The Burning Crusade, EU guild Nihilum posted screenshots of Vashj's loot and claimed the world-first kill. Nihilum was the dominant progression guild at the time, earning 20 world firsts throughout the expansion -- more than three times that of their closest competitor.

There was only one problem: An ex-member named Lewt claimed that Nihilum exploited a bug to kill Vashj. As with Razorgore and other bosses, the mechanism seemed to revolve around that troublesome spell Divine Intervention. Using the spell despawned the pillars that are connected to Vashj's health, leaving her with 1 HP. Lewt popped a Soulstone and killed her with Shadow Word: Death. He even provided a screenshot to prove it. He also went on to badmouth the guild about exploits in Blackwing Lair, gold buying practices, and even an unlikely situation where an officer was paying the guild leader's real-life bills.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: A raid exploit compendium

Ensidia banned
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?

One week after Mists of Pandaria goes live, the expansion's first raid will become available and the race to world first will officially begin. To the most dedicated progression raiders, a world-first kill is a dream come true, the ultimate achievement in raiding. Other raiders are just as excited to get a regional or a realm first.

To realize those dreams, however, some guilds bend the rules. Whether you call it cheating or a "creative use of game mechanics," it's been happening throughout WoW's long raiding history. The myriad methods have been as varied and creative as the bosses themselves. Let's take a look back!

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Would we want content that hasn't been tested?

Would we want content that hasn't been tested
Lately, the EU forums have been on my must-read list due to posts like this one. Poster Ask (no sign of Embla) posed the question, as it is right and appropriate that Ask should do, of whether or not Blizzard could or should release new content without there being a PTR or beta for it.

I wasn't even done sputtering yet when CM Takralus pretty much said what I would have, were I not busy sputtering.

Takralus - "New" content and an idea
New content must be tested. Many, many players enjoy being able to test and give their feedback on upcoming new content, and we put that feedback to good use. But, many more people do not test it, and first experience it when the content is actually released.

The simple truth is that if you do not want to see maps and tactics for upcoming content, it's not too hard to avoid. Neither of those are things that will burn into your mind, never to be forgotten.

The day WoW launched, even that had first been through an alpha and then beta test, where people could play and give feedback for months :P

Even with beta tests, bugs get through. Anyone remember Sinestra? At the time Paragon killed her, they talked about the fight and its issues. One of those issues was that Paragon was one of the first guilds to really see Sinestra, and as a result, the fight had bugs that were not discovered until after Paragon began seriously pushing for the kill. In other words, not testing Sinestra on the PTR had consequences that may be acceptable with a single fight that only a few players will even see while it is current and that will be fixed by the time other guilds go back while outgearing it.

These consequences would absolutely be ruinous if they were felt by everyone attempting to do normal-mode raiding content. To a degree, not running a PTR or beta test is irresponsible on Blizzard's part, especially with content meant for the majority of players. I really think the responsibility for walking into a raid fresh, unspoiled by tips or beta testers, is on the players. Better we have some spoilers than untested content.

And yes, we had both an alpha and a beta for World of Warcraft. They didn't translate to having everyone know everything when it went live. Heck, half the time, it just confused you because stuff changed so much. I really fall on the side of those who appreciate beta testing.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard issues official statement on Raid Finder exploit consequences

Earlier in the day, raiding group Paragon apologized for exploiting a bug in the Raid Finder tool that allowed their raiders to obtain loot from a boss more than once in a lockout period. Blizzard has followed up with a statement of its own, explaining that people who exploited the bug in a similar manner will be receiving temporary suspensions.

Raid Finder Loot Exploit Suspensions
Shortly after patch 4.3 was released, we became aware that some players were abusing an exploit to obtain loot from the same Raid Finder bosses multiple times in a single raid lockout period (one week). The Raid Finder loot mechanic is of course intended to only allow a person to roll on boss loot drops once per raid lockout period. The raid lockout mechanic has been a mainstay of the World of Warcraft rules since Onyxia and Molten Core, ensuring that no one can obtain loot from a boss more than once per lockout. Due to the nature of the exploit and the clear intent of those who abused it, they've been issued notices and given temporary suspensions from the game. We're also working to remove all Raid Finder items from those who used the exploit.


It's good to see Blizzard taking action on this. Certainly there will be some who will believe this to be too mild a punishment. But given the number of people who abused the exploit (Paragon was far from the only guild doing this) and a need to hand out punishment evenly and consistently, a temporary suspension appears to be the right solution.
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: Cheats, Blizzard, News items, Raiding

Paragon: We're sorry we cheated

High-end raiding guild Paragon issued an apology today for exploiting a bug in the Raid Finder that allowed its raiders to accumulate a large quantity of tier 13 gear. The statement reads, in part:

We acknowledge that using this unintended behavior, which was quite clearly a bug, to our gain, was wrong. The fact that others were using it as well is no justification for doing it ourselves. We apologize for doing it, and accept whatever consequences follow.

Paragon had come up with a plan to run the Raid Finder multiple times, once for each raider. While executing the plan, they noticed and exploited a bug that allowed the raid the ability to loot passed gear -- a violation of Blizzard's rules. The exploit has since been hotfixed.
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: Cheats, News items, Raiding

Race to World First documentary releasing soon

Looking for Group Productions has been hard at work on its documentary Race to World First for a good long while now, capturing many top-tier World of Warcraft guilds' attempts at claiming coveted world firsts in the raiding game as well as following Blood Legion's race to a top spot. Set to release in a few weeks, Race to World First looks like it's going to be an introspective look at the time and energy that many of these guilds put into the raiding game, as well as an examination of the multicultural nature of the game and the general excitement that goes along with MMO accomplishments.

Each week, Race to World First looks at clips from players in guilds that have been fighting for or actually achieved world firsts. Looking back a bit, this clip with Narilka of Ensidia chronicles her time spent with the guild downing Kil'jaeden at the end of The Burning Crusade when she was still just 16 years old.

We loved having the Race to World First production team at the WoW Insider reader meetup at BlizzCon in 2010 -- they were some of the nicest guys and had a blast talking to real players and real fans. I am excited to see this documentary. Check out the trailer -- you might even see some familiar faces!

Filed under: Raiding

Paragon releases heroic Ragnaros 25-man kill video

Earlier this month, Paragon earned the high honor of world-first heroic Ragnaros kill, downing the Firelord after over 400 attempts on his fight. Heroic mode encounters add something new and difficult to the mix, but it is rare that we see an entirely new phase to an encounter. Paragon's heroic Ragnaros kill video shows the final stage of the heroic fight, in which Ragnaros submerges in his lava pool and emerges at full strength on new legs allowing him movement all over the encounter room.

The final stage of the fight involves Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem, Malfurion Stormrage, and Cenarius assisting players in dealing with the entirely new mechanics this new heroic mode phase presents. If you've been trying Ragnaros or have killed him, you already have experienced the hilarious Living Meteor ability. In that new phase, meteors must be kited over patches of ice on the ground to freeze them, and then players must DPS down meteors to control the number up at any time. At that point, players are also frantically running around extinguishing ground fires and trapping Ragnaros in roots on the ground.

All in all, it looks incredibly fun and challenging, and it's very nice to see Ragnaros putting his new legs to good use kicking the crap out of guilds across the world. My favorite part of the video has to be the end, with the custom death animation for Ragnaros. Watch until the very end -- it's worth it. Congratulations again to DREAM Paragon for their heroic first kill and for this awesome video of the accomplshment.

Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

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