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Posts with tag Scarlet-Monastery

Heroic Dungeon Bosses in 5 seconds

Heroic Dungeon Bosses in 5 seconds
Oh god, oh god, oh god... That really is a giant bug. So, there you are in the Gate of the Setting Sun heroic, on your first run, and a really giant bug comes smashing through the walls. A really giant bug. Really giant. Ugh.

You don't want to have to think on your feet, you don't want to have to explain tactics to the panda gently rocking in the corner, or the blood elf running in circles screaming "I can feel them crawling in my hair!" What you need is some five second explanations to copy and paste into chat, that your party can read and execute.

And it's OK, WoW Insider is here to help. We've totally stopped freaking out about the giant bug. If you're wondering where the heroic versions of the leveling dungeons feature in this guide, they don't. They're almost exactly the same as the leveling dungeons, for bosses in 5 seconds purposes!

Gate of the Setting Sun

Striker Ga'Dok: Don't stand in the green. Healers watch for Prey Time and Impaling Strike. His two strafing runs create a wide strip of death from one side to the other. Stay in corners. Tank adds.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Reminder: Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery prepped to change for good

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Everything is about to change -- again. Mists is nowhere near as world-changing as Cataclysm, but there are still going to be a couple of significant changes to the old world. Both Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery are being revamped into far more streamlined, efficient versions in preparation for their heroic iteration. Because of this, some bosses will be removed for good or changed in a significant way.

Although it has not been noted in the official patch notes for 5.0.4, players can access the lower-level version of the new Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery currently on the PTR. We don't know if this means this content will be included in the 5.0.4 patch on Aug. 28, because it's not specifically mentioned in the official patch notes, but both are playable on the PTR realms. In cases like this, it's better to be safe than sorry. Before any world changes happen, you may want to farm for any items you've been craving.

So what does that entail exactly? Here are a few suggestions.

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Filed under: Transmogrification, Mists of Pandaria

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

Mists of Pandaria: Dungeons and challenge mode

Mists of Pandaria will launch with nine heroic dungeons, four of which were previewed to one extent or another at last week's press event: Temple of the Jade Serpent, the Stormstout Brewery, the updated Scholomance, and the updated Scarlet Monastery.

Temple of the Jade Serpent

Blizzard is taking a new approach with its introductory dungeon of the expansion. Rather than starting you off in instances that are entirely secondary to the expansion's story arc and saving the dungeons that tie closest to the plot of the expansion for the level cap, the very first dungeon you run in Mists of Pandaria will set the story's tone. The Temple of the Jade Serpent will display the expansion's villainy right up front.

The sha, as you've heard by now, are the core external villains in the land of Pandaria. They are the manifestation of negative emotion. The Temple of the Jade Serpent will be your introduction to the sha. The Temple is where, once upon a time, an old emperor of Pandaria beat down the Sha of Doubt and saved the entire empire. Unfortunately, the war that the Horde and the Alliance have brought to Pandaria's shores has rekindled the Sha of Doubt and the temple has fallen under its influence.

We did get to tackle the Temple hands-on at the press event, so we can provide a few concrete details about the bosses within and their abilities.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

The most wicked creatures in WoW

Warcraft is a game that seems fairly straightforward in faction division. Alliance is good; Horde is bad. But once you delve into it, that straightforwardness becomes muddled and marred. The Alliance may seem like good guys, but they have their bad moments, and the Horde may seem evil, but even they've got their shining examples of goodness buried within. And when you examine the story and lore closely, you begin to realize that there is no black-and-white division between good and evil; all characters are loosely scattered and somewhere in shades of gray.

Sure, you can argue that the orcs are evil -- and they absolutely were, back in the day. But when you start looking at the justifications for the orcs' actions, that label of pure evil comes into question. As for the Alliance, you can argue that the human race is a bastion of goodness and light -- but then you look at things like the Scarlet Crusade, at Benedictus' betrayal, and you begin to wonder whether the human race is inherently good or just as scattered as the rest of the world.

... Unless, of course, you look at the one place where evil characters always hang out: instances.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

How to transmogrify your clothie into High Inquisitor Whitemane

I don't like to assume that I know much in this world, but when it comes to World of Warcraft there is one thing that I am truly certain of: People really like High Inquisitor Whitemane.

I guess it's hard for anyone to miss though. Since vanilla WoW, I've been reading comments about the High Inquisitor in almost every cathedral PUG I've ever run. "This is my favorite boss in the game," or "I love this fight," they say. When I flip through fan art galleries, it feels like I can't go through 10 pictures without one of them being of her. Plus, have you ever been to a BlizzCon? I've attended three, and every time, I've seen more than a few girls cosplaying as her.

And who knows why? Maybe it's because we all love Scarlet Monastery. Maybe it's the Sephiroth-effect (white hair + villain = fans). Whatever it is, this relatively minor character commands a huge fan base among players. Because of that, I'm going to show you how to make your character look like her with transmogrification.

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Filed under: Transmogrification

Know Your Lore: Scarlet Monastery revisited

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.

Number three on the list of Top 10 Lore Developments of 2011 was the subject of progressive instance lore -- the idea that an instance could change over time. We've had a few different examples of this over the past year; Cataclysm launched with heroic versions of both Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep, each with different, new bosses and a full-out story for why these new bosses were present. This was a surprise to those who were simply expecting level 85 versions of the old bosses -- but the new bosses and mechanics were well received.

In addition, 2011 saw the introduction of patch 4.1, in which both Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman were treated to makeovers and presented as 5-man heroics instead of the raids they used to be. Again, these changes were made along with story developments that explained them fully, with a new quest line and a patch cinematic thrown in, to boot. Though the dungeons themselves were incredibly difficult, the story of the rise of the Zandalar Empire and the conflicts with Vol'jin is gripping and still isn't finished being told. But all of this leads to one simple question.

What exactly will we see in heroic Scarlet Monastery?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

BlizzCon 2011: Dungeons and Raids information

If you're not at BlizzCon, or watching the live stream, then worry not for we're liveblogging the events and the Dungeons and Raids portion of the Mists of Pandaria preview had some interesting news all told.

For starters, there will be 9 new dunegons, six across Pandaria itself and three heroic versions of classic instances, namely Scholomance and two updated wings of the Scarlet Monastery. The new dungeons will include the Stormstout Brewery, where you work alongside Chen Stormstout himself.

There will also be three raids at launch featuring the Mogu and the Mantid races, and Raid Finder will be integrated into every raid at Mists of Pandaria's launch. World raid bosses will also be included, as Cory Stockton says "There were problems ... we've got solutions to those problems."

Stay tuned to the Raid and Dungeons panel which will be liveblogged by us.


The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding, Lore, BlizzCon

Encrypted Text: One last look at the rogue of Azeroth past

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. Today, we look back on the great kills of the past.
With The Shattering's complete ruination of the planet, Azeroth has been transformed forever. Entire zones have been uprooted, flooded, and even broken in half. Deathwing's ascent to the mortal realm has left our world with several battle scars. Thrall and the shaman are doing trying their hardest to contain the damage, but the elemental planes are bleeding through. Insert some bad pun using the word Cataclysm here.

Rogues have been sneaking through Azeroth for eons. Mages weren't around until a race discovered magic, and priests couldn't heal anyone until they discovered the Light. The art of stealth has been around for as long as there have been shadows to hide in. We've walked a million miles without ever leaving a footprint and killed a million foes whose bodies were never found. As we watch the Azeroth we've known and loved disintegrate around us, I can't help but remember our history.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

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

How Blizzard used the dungeon system to change Oculus

Zarhym has shared a little more insight into Blizzard's latest thinking about the dungeon group system going into the game and how they're using it to monitor 5-man action. When a player suggests that they buff Oculus' loot rather than tweak the mechanics of the dungeon, Zarhym replies that that's not the way it's done -- they provide more rewards for higher challenges, not just to direct players around. But he does say that Blizzard noticed Oculus was being singled out as a dungeon that players on the PTR didn't want to run, and that's why they went in and took a look at how it all worked.

That's very interesting, and it tells that (at least on the PTR if not on the actual live realms) Blizzard can more easily get information from the new dungeon system about which instances players are running. That could have all kinds of ramifications -- if they see a lot of Scarlet Monastery runs coming through, or see that no one at all is visiting Maraudon, we may see even more updates coming to those kind of places. And they can use that feedback for future dungeons as well. It'll be interesting to see what kinds of patterns for instance running arise on the live realms -- obviously there's a lot of interest in the "random" dungeon function (that rewards you for running random instances), but that's still weighted towards what instances you've already done. We may see more changes coming to current dungeons depending on what kinds of information Blizzard gets after the patch 3.3 release.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Instances, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Creating "special purpose characters" with the XP toggle

I love this, as I seem to love most of the things that Mania does. She's just posted that she's put together a whole guild of hunters, all with XP turned off at different levels, for one purpose: testing pets as they move up the leveling ranks. She says she cheated a little bit to do it -- transferred alts from other realms, and it's Alliance-only -- but just having the idea to put something like this together is super creative. We've talked about people who've leveled up one of every class before, but I never considered just how much the XP-off option changes the game in terms of what Mania calls "special purpose characters."

Of course, raiding at level 60 is one way to use it, but you can go even lower than that -- want to farm Runecloth without it getting too boring? Roll up a death knight, and leave him in Felwood to grind on Furbolgs. Really love running, really running, Scarlet Monastery with your friends? You can all roll characters to 39 (or lower, if you're looking for a regular challenge), turn XP off, and leave them camped outside the instance. Turning XP off means you can create characters for almost any purpose, and having heirloom items (especially if you buy cloth, which any alt can wear, even if it means they take an armor hit in some cases) means that leveling them up doesn't take more than a few days of free time. Lots of interesting ideas to play around with there for sure.

Filed under: Hunter, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

The opposite of Heroics

Reader Malos on Nagrand sent me an interesting idea that I thought was worth some discussion. For a long time now, I've been a big fan of the idea of turning the old instances into Heroic versions -- I think it would be really fun to play Deadmines as a level 80, or roll through Scarlet Monastery for badges. But obviously the problem there is that Blizzard already has enough to do -- they're focused on creating new content, not revamping old instances that people have already played.

So Malos has a solution: instead of tweaking the instances to us, how about tweaking us to the instances? He suggests a set of gear, much like the Heirloom gear, that matches your character to whatever instance you happen to step into -- if you enter Deadmines, it powers down your level 80 character to an appropriate power and level for the instance. That way, all Blizzard has to do is make one set of gear per class (that could even scale upwards, so they never have to make it again), and boom, every instance could be played at the standard difficulty by any character any time.

Will it happen? Probably not. But I really like the idea of tweaking the players, not the instances, and I think there's a lot of possibility there for Blizzard. They've had such a tough time trying to balance out content for all kinds of players (including all of the hard modes and extra gameplay in Ulduar), that it might be interesting to try and measure the difficulty by going the other way -- balancing players out for all kinds of content.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances

The end of vanilla WoW

We've heard about suggestions of vanilla servers before (and Blizzard has flatly stated that they have no plans for them), but here's a new twist: Nomnom on Korgath says that Blizzard should finally, once and for all, abandon the old world. He says that leveling from 1-60 is a pain, even with the changes and recruit-a-friend (and on that, I agree -- my Paladin is level 50 and staying there, because leveling is boring), and that Blizzard should just start all new characters at level 55, especially if you've already got a 70+ character. They already did it with Death Knights, and those have worked their way into the endgame just fine.

That idea's definitely been batted around before, and anyone leveling an alt can definitely see the benefits. But think of what you're giving up with a new rule like that: Deadmines, Wailing Caverns, Scarlet Monastery. All of the epic quests and reputations, all of the great old-world vistas and settings. Plus, new players to the game will find the old world even emptier than it already is -- everyone who has a high level character will already be leveling through Outland or Northrend.

Do we really want to abandon the old world for good? Blizzard doesn't think so -- Palehoof unofficially suggests that Blizzard is happy with the subscription fees for the two weeks it takes you to level your character, and Bornakk officially says that Blizzard is happy with the way things work now, and if they see a problem, they'll fix it. You have to think that they'll eventually allow this kind of "powerleveling" in some way -- as we move closer to level 100, it'll just be silly bothering with the lower levels considering how far ahead the new content is. But for now, you'll have to stick to leveling the old-fashioned way, because vanilla WoW isn't going anywhere.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Buffs, Death Knight

Getting all the Well Read books

It's the weekend after Thanksgiving, the family has all left, there's nothing but turkey leftovers to eat, and you hit level 80 last week, and you're just waiting for your guild to level up so you can start the endgame. What is there to do on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon? Find all of the Well Read books -- WoWWiki has the guide I've been looking for ever since I first got excited about this achievement. I count 43 in total, and they've got a list of all the books you need and where you can find them for reading.

The vast majority of the books can be found in Scholomance and the Scarlet Monastery, so a run through both of those instances (you can easily solo both at 80) will get you many of the books you need. From there it's time to travel the world -- Brill, Southshore, the Eastvale Logging Camp, Duskwood, and Booty Bay, and a few other places, depending on your faction (Alliance seems to have a little bit of an advantage there, as Stormwind and Orgrimmar have nice libraries. There are a few good books in Undercity, but the Orcs and Tauren aren't much for book learning, apparently).

Seems totally doable in a quick afternoon, and while you won't really get anything but the 10 achievement points (and probably a nice chance to pick up some more of the old Azeroth explorer achievement), why else would you do this, other than to brag about it. Whenever anyone argues that you don't know your Azeroth lore, you can just point them to your Armory page, and tell them to check the part about you being Well Read.

Filed under: Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Quests, Achievements

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