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Posts with tag Sartharion

Kill dragons solo to ride more dragons

Blood Pact Kill dragons solo to ride more dragons MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill beats up internet dragons for fun, for mounts, and maybe as a little catharsis.

I've already done some Raiding with Leashes vanilla raid posts. The next logical step would be Burning Crusade soloing, but I've tried and failed to make a glorified loot list more interesting to read, since BC content tends to be more "walk in and win" nowadays than an actual soloing contest.

So, while I wrangle out an adventure in tiers four to six, I will talk about killing dragons solo as a warlock in order to grab dragon mounts.

I'm not talking about dragons that require friends by your side to complete: e.g., Deathwing's two dragon mounts, Ultraxion's mount, completing a dragonstick, or Al'Akir's dragon drop. Al'Akir has actually been soloed before by a warlock, but you'll need friends in order to clear his genie council first. I'm talking dragons you can go beat up by yourself.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Optional boss modes making a comeback in Mists of Pandaria?

Kaivax hit the forums to answer a player's question about Ulduar and talk about the fondness the dungeon has retained amongst the playerbase and where the optional boss modes have gone. Back during the first half of Wrath of the Lich King, "choose your own difficulty" encounters and in-fight hard mode triggers were staples of the encounters in Ulduar and the Obsidian Sanctum. When Trial of the Crusader launched, Blizzard implemented the UI-based difficulty toggle. Players have expressed desire to return to the old days, feeling that the toggle method is just too robotic when encounters could be designed around cool difficulty-swap mechanics. In his post, Kaivax hints that the design teams are thinking about bringing back these mechanics for some fights in the upcoming expansion, Mists of Pandaria.

Rather than selecting a normal or hard mode toggle before pulling an encounter, Ulduar raid groups were tasked with completing different objectives during the encounter or defeating the boss mechanics in a different order to activate hard mode. Famously, players would press a large red button behind Mimiron labelled "DO NOT PUSH THIS BUTTON," activating the encounter and a rather angry Titanic watcher. Other fights during Wrath of the Lich King such as Freya and Sartharion featured a "choose your own difficulty" mechanic wherein the player's choices before the encounter increased or decreased the boss' overall difficulty. Harder combinations of abilities would yield more impressive items.

Will Mists of Pandaria bring back our beloved "choose your difficulty" encounters and in-fight hard mode triggers? I know I'd like to get another Sartharion-style encounter, especially with mount rewards like the original provided.

Read the full blue post behind the break below.

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Filed under: Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Mists of Pandaria

The OverAchiever: Mountain O' Mounts in raids

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we return to flogging the guts out of bosses that might puke up a horse.

Today we're going to look at mounts that drop in (or, in one case, as part of a quest within) raids. I'd initially expected to include mounts like the Ulduar proto-drakes and Icecrown frostwyrms, but they're really more the result of a series of achievements rather than encounters themselves. Otherwise, there are more than enough pure drops to keep us occupied today; Blizzard's always been fond of making unique mounts the potential reward of difficult raid encounters, and you'll get a few extra feats of strength if you nab some of these beauties.

Also read:

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

The OverAchiever: The good, the bad, the ugly, and the weird


Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we reminisce on that auld lang syne ... that nobody really misses.

It occurred to me recently that we've never really done a retrospective piece on achievements. Sure, we've rounded up stuff like entertaining achievements and evil achievements, but we've never really looked at their impact on the game as a whole. There's an article in that, but it won't be this one. New Year's Eve is tomorrow, and I'm in the mood for some brainless fun.

While I was writing this article, a number of the achievements that came to mind were the product of tier 7 raids, and I think I know why. Wrath raiding achievements were the first time Blizzard had experimented with their inclusion in raid content, and the implementation occasionally had some bizarre results. There was also the pressure cooker of having to finish Glory of the Raider before the rewards disappeared (a very belated announcement), and there was never that sense of urgency with Ulduar or Icecrown achievements. Anyway, let me know what you think.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Achievements, The Overachiever

Wrath Retrospective: Raiding Naxxramas, Malygos and Sartharion


With the final content patch of this expansion on our doorstep and Cataclysm following close behind, we'll be taking the next several weeks to look back on Wrath of the Lich King and everything that made it what it is, for better or for worse, in Wrath Retrospective.

Raiding has been the generic end game for massively multiplayer online games for the past 10 years. Originally comprised of hard-to-kill, non-instanced world and dungeon bosses, end-game raiding tested players' coordination, skill, communication and tenacity. World of Warcraft pioneered the accessible raid -- instanced dungeons that guaranteed loot drops. Many people forget that guaranteed loot drops was a huge deal, right along with no failures during crafting.

Vanilla WoW raiding was an evolution on the EverQuest system, naturally, due to the prevalence of EverQuest players' not only designing and producing World of Warcraft but also their prevalence in the installed player base. Raiding had a language all its own. The first expansion to World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, attempted to stretch the bounds of raiding by scaling down player numbers and, at the same time, creating new and unique challenges in an attempt to make content more accessible. EverQuest routinely failed to make content accessible, and WoW was determined to turn the tides with the introduction of the 10-man raiding tier comprised of Karazhan and Zul'Aman. The popularity of 10-man raiding soared more than Blizzard could have ever imagined.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King

Not all fights require a hard mode

Hard modes are some of the most popular encounters in Wrath of the Lich King. They grant better loot and extra rewards like mounts and rare titles, especially for specific server firsts. However, I'm of the opinion that ever since Ulduar, we've kind of lost sight of how the hard mode encounters should work and have instead just started making everything have a hard mode.

Frankly, the Gunship encounter in ICC, while fun, shouldn't have a hard mode. It's not really even hard; it's just free iLevel 277 gear for turning on a toggle. I blame Trial of the Crusader -- and specifically, having an entire separate raid lockout for Trial of the Grand Crusader -- for this. I realize I may be on the losing side of this divide, but I really don't think every single fight needs a hard mode. Some fights, sure. The four wing bosses of ICC, absolutely. The Lich King? Heck, it could be argued that Arthas should have taken a page from Algalon's book and only had a hard mode, or maybe Sindragosa should have been a hard-mode-only fight instead of a wing boss, and you only get to fight her after the Lich King is dead in some sort of doomsday scenario where she's chained up by Arthas and breaks free to destroy Azeroth in case of his demise.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

The OverAchiever: Dungeon and raid titles, Part 2




After taking a two-week detour into guides covering the Love Is In the Air and Lunar Festival holidays, we're going to return to the list of titles available from dungeon and raid achievements. You can find part one here, covering everything from Argent Defender to Grand Crusader. This week, we'll pick up where we left off.

Herald of the Titans (requires an Algalon-10 kill under special circumstances) or Starcaller (requires Observed -- 10 player)

Herald of the Titans, much like its ToGC-10 counterpart Argent Defender, requires you to kill Algalon in Ulduar-10 without padding the difficulty with gear from higher-level raids. The result is arguably the coolest Algalon-related title apart from Celestial Defender, but it won't come without a ton of planning and a lot of skill. Starcaller is the same deal, minus the gear requirement.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Why effective health needs to die, part 2


Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we examine the issue of effective health in more depth.

We've discussed in the previous column why effective health is important; here, we're going to discuss why it's not as important as you might think if you had nothing beyond the collective opinion of the Tanking forum to go on. While this has something to do with the mob mentality of the forums themselves, it has more to do with how the concept of effective health isn't usually placed in context. Tank death on hard modes is quickly attributed to EH discrepancies, with rather less discussion on encounter mechanics, inappropriate gear, or that great but frequently unacknowledged bugaboo -- player error. It is for this that I say effective health needs to die.

What is effective health?


I neglected to put some hard numbers on this in the last article, but calculating base effective health is actually pretty simple. It's your health as modified by the damage you'll take after armor contribution (AC), or Health / (1 - AC%).

A 50,000 health tank with 25% armor contribution has 66,666.67 effective health (50,000 / 0.75).

A 50,000 health tank with 50% armor contribution has 100,000 effective health (50,000 / 0.5).

A 50,000 health tank with 75% armor contribution (the maximum functional AC) has 200,000 effective health (50,000 / .25).

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

World of WarCrafts: Inside the body of a dragon


World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by contacting our tips line (attention: World of WarCrafts) - not-for-profit work only, please.

In the words of one costumed BlizzCon-goer, creating a convention costume represents "a heart-wrenching story of PVC, fabric and hot glue." We suspect Theodorick of Gurubashi-US was being facetious when he described his 2009 BlizzCon cosplay journey thusly, but his comment went deeper than mere humor. What we found beneath the one-liner showed more heart than even Theodorick suspected was within: hard work, passion, persistence, humor, long hours ... You name it, cosplayers pour their hearts into their creations.

While Theodorick – known at BlizzCon 2009 as Sartharion -- wasn't among the finalists at this year's contest, his enthusiasm certainly can't be beat. We visited with Theodorick to learn what went into his BlizzCon creation. Follow us after the break for a behind-the-scenes gallery of Sartharion's creation plus a full accounting of the costume's assembly.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Features, Interviews, World of WarCrafts

Breakfast Topic: When are we going to see the rest of the Chamber of Aspects?

I've been killing Sarth for months and, oddly I still enjoy it. Sans the last half an hour which normally involves bickering and the following question: 'What's a raid roll?' repeated ad infinitum. However each time I enter the Chamber of Aspects, I find my eyes drawn to the other still-sealed portals and wonder when they will open. It's clear the Dragonflight portion of Wrath lore is still incomplete and I live in hope these new raids might be tied into patch 3.3 or even the new expansion.

So tell me readers, when do you think Blizzard will start opening the other Sanctums? What kind of raids would you like to see for each flight? Do you think it might tie into the whole Infinite Dragonflight questline or be something to do with the Lich King? What are your thoughts, constant readers?

Filed under: Patches, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

April Guild of the Month: Wildfire Riders on Feathermoon

Huge congrats to our second Guild of the Month, the Wildfire Riders of Feathermoon. We combed through all of the entries sent to us over the last 30 days, and the Wildfire Riders came out on top -- not only do they run some exemplary raids, but they are a shining example of fun and interesting RP, and we really enjoyed their one loot rule, too. Read on after the break to find out what it is, and what kind of people make up April's Guild of the Month.

In addition to being featured right here on the site, Wildfire Riders also picks up a raid pack from the good folks at Swagdog.com, who offer hats and t-shirts custom printed with your guild and character information -- the perfect piece of clothing to pack up for BlizzCon later this year. And speaking of BlizzCon, Swagdog tells us that they're going to be there yet again (last year they were giving away custom mousepads), and that they've got some more customized guild gear in the works, so stay tuned. Thanks to them for helping us sponsor this contest -- go head over to their site now to make your own custom guild shirt or hat.

And of course we're now opening up nominations for the May Guild of the Month. To enter, send us an email (no more than 200 words please) to guildofthemonth@gmail.com stating why your guild deserves to win. Please note that you must be from the US or Canada (excluding Quebec) and age 18 or older, as them's the legal rules, and also note that even if you sent us an email last month, you must re-nominate your guild if you want to be considered again. You can send us the same message if you want, but we've got to keep everything current, so please re-send. Official rules are still here, and this month's deadline will be midnight on June 13th.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Contests, Raiding

Guildwatch: Cleared for good


Ulduar is finding its match in many guilds this week -- more than a few folks are heading into the new content and making it their own. But here at GW, we appreciate all clears -- whether your guild is just starting out in Naxx, has finally cleared the place out like the ragtag group of raiders above, or is taking down progression content in Ulduar, a down is a down. Grats no matter what you're completing.

Lots of drama and recruiting in this week's column, too, as always. And you can see your guild here in the future, too -- our new address is guildwatch@wow.com, so send along some news if you've got it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

Guildwatch: It wasn't me, man


*Sniff sniff*. Smell that? It's the smell of desperation -- the smell of a ninja who knows he's been caught. Zlickrick above found a piece of loot in his mailbox that was supposed to go to someone who won a raid roll, but instead he put it on. And now, confronted, you can almost see the desperation in his text. Unfortunately, once an item is soulbound, it's pretty much lost. But still, he knows he's been caught. And GW knows it, too.

That story and more in this week's Guildwatch, bringing you drama, downed, and recruiting news from around the realms. Send your guild's information (or any drama you've spotted) to wowguildwatch@gmail.com, and click on to read this week's column.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Odds and ends, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

Loot, rationality, and the Sunwell effect


Here at WoW Insider we don't always agree with each other. Whether it's debating the merits of various tanks on different encounters, the damage difference between pure and hybrid DPS classes, the ideal function of a particular healing class in raids, or the superiority of cake over pie, our back-channel discussion tends to be pretty interesting.

Eliah Hecht's article "25-man gear should not be better than 10-man gear" sparked a lot of great discussion with our readers and, I think, some illuminating poll results as well. The majority of responders believed that giving 10-man and 25-man raids the same loot table would result in a significant drop in popularity for 25-man raiding. Overall, I tend to agree with this, but I also think that Eliah touched on something that speaks to Blizzard's evolving sense of game design, much of which is evident in the transition between late Burning Crusade and Wrath.

I would like to call this the Sunwell effect, or "ingame rationality." To wit: don't incentivize players to behave in a manner contrary to your actual design interests. I believe this played a huge role in the differences between BC and Wrath raiding, and that it underlies why the 25-man loot table has to remain superior to its 10-man counterpart.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Raiding

Guildwatch: "This is not a f$#(ing joke"


How dare you find something amusing that raidleader Strakken of Shattered on Winterhoof says?!? What do you think this is, some kind of "game" where people "play" for "fun"? He has been forced, forced to increase the amount of time he plays just to deal with people in his guild. And whereas once he may have been proud of the guild and what they've done in terms of progression, times have changed. There's no way he's "going into 3.1 with a guild like this." Guildleading, my friends, is some serious business.

Eesh. That drama and more can be found in this week's Guildwatch. We encourage you to click the link below and read on, if only so you too can realize that it is completely possible to take this game and its guilds way, way too seriously (and by the way, if you know of any guilds you'd like to see here, email us about 'em at wowguildwatch@gmail.com). Because here's the secret: this is a joke. It is a game. And if you're not having fun, it's not time to increase the amount of time you play. It's time to walk away.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Raiding, Guildwatch

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