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Posts with tag StoneCore

The 15 nastiest trash clears of WoW

The 15 nastiest trash clears of WoW ANY
I was reading through some links while writing a follow-up to Robert's Not-So-Original WoW Miscellany when I happened across some discussions concerning the game's most agonizing trash. This is a popular subject for players, not least because complaining is a lot of fun, but I don't think anyone's going to argue that there haven't been some legitimately unpleasant trash clears in WoW.

Fortunately, most of the really bad trash clears are a distant memory, but there was at least one recent one that almost everyone who raided Dragon Soul could agree on. I'm going to include both dungeons and raids here, mostly because Shattered Halls was among the first things to go on this list. After including that, I knew there were other, equally nightmarish 5-mans that had to be included in the interest of fairness.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Lichborne: Passing time until Pandaria on your death knight

Lichborne Passing time until Pandaria
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

With a release date finally forthcoming for Mists of Pandaria, we have less than two months until the expansion drops and even less time until we reach patch 5.0.4. With all that in mind, how do you pass the time until then? This week, we'll take a look at a few things death knights can do to look and feel their best when the expansion drops.

Solo to swell your stables

Soloing is a time-honored death knight tradition, and with the expansion winding down, it's the perfect way to pass the time. When choosing your soloing target, you may factor in nostalgia, transmogrification needs, or just plain ease of access. Another popular reason is grabbing mounts and pets. In the Cataclysm era, both Vortex Pinnacle and The Stonecore normal modes drop a mount.

Soloing same-level dungeons can be a bit hairy, but considering these two were in the game at the start of the expansion, you should find that even with Dragon Soul raid finder gear, you'll barely break a sweat in blood spec. As a bonus, both of these mounts will be going account-wide in Mists of Pandaria, so you'll be grabbing some possible stylish mount options for your alts as well.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Two Bosses Enter: Jan'alai vs. Corborus

In Two Bosses Enter, WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches, the bosses of World of Warcraft face off in the squared circle. Your vote determines who wins and claims the season title.

Temple Guardian Anhuur's sweet, dulcet tones could not stand up to the might of Daakara, Zul'Aman's new leader sitting atop the Amani throne, once reserved for the one-armed Zul'jin. I guess Anhuur just wasn't ready for the bear/eagle combination that just annoys PUGs as much as it does the might of the Two Bosses Enter arena competitors.

This week, Zul'Aman favorite Jan'alai, avatar of the dragonhawk, goes up against PUG-stomper Corborus, the colossal gyreworm. Who will come out on top this week?

Who wins?
Jan'alai1672 (50.1%)
Corborus1668 (49.9%)


Follow along for the details of this week's matchup, as well as discussion on last week's match.

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Filed under: Two Bosses Enter

The OverAchiever: Mountain O' Mounts in 5-man dungeons

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we continue our Mountain o' Mounts grind by beating the crap out of various bosses in the hopes that they'll barf up some transportation.

This week's article addresses the mounts you can find in 5-man content, of which there are quite a few. However, please note that I haven't included special holiday mounts like the Headless Horseman's mount or the Big Love Rocket. Even though they technically drop from 5-man content, they're only available under special circumstances, so they'll pop up in a later guide.

As a note to anyone following the Mountain o' Mounts series, I'll be preempting it for two weeks to run full guides on the Noblegarden and Children's Week 2011 holidays, which begin on April 24 and May 1 respectively. We'll return to Mountain o' Mounts on May 5.

Also read: Combining The Ambassador and Mountain O' Mounts, Mountain O' Mounts in Outland, and Mountain O' Mounts in Northrend.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

The Classifieds: Stonecore is hard

The Classifieds brings you weekly news from around the WoW community, including our famous Random Acts of Uberness.

The patch hasn't take place yet, so we all still get to have the fun of heroic Stonecore. Both of today's Random Acts of Uberness come from the elemental halls of that instance, where it's far too easy to die if you don't know the exact dance steps. Oh, it can be done. It can even be done relatively easily once you are familiar with the place. But it is definitely hard. If you're not familiar with Stonecore in its heroic version, check out this Queue by Alex Ziebart. You'll quickly see why it's such a challenging place and why it's the source of the uberness this week.

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Filed under: The Classifieds

The OverAchiever: More Glory of the Cataclysm Hero


Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we finish our first look at Glory of the Cataclysm Hero.

We took a break last week to cover the Lunar Festival, but this week, we'll finish our preliminary look at the Glory of the Cataclysm Hero, rewarding the Volcanic Stone Drake. More extensive strategy guides will be done on a dungeon-by-dungeon basis; here, I'm just interested in a quick assessment of the general difficulty level of the achievements required.

As with our first article, I've organized the meta according to dungeon and boss for quick reference past the cut. This week, we're covering the Lost City of the Tol'vir through the Vortex Pinnacle.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Achievements, The Overachiever

The Queue: Stonecore frustrations

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.

Today we skip the flowery intro, because I really want to get straight to answering this first question.

Lipstick asked:

Why does everyone hate heroic Stonecore?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: Healing The Stonecore for restoration shaman

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and co-host of the Raid Warning podcast), shows you how.

For the last couple weeks, we've covered some of the concerns of shaman in our Q&A, discussed our new healing spell casting animations and even had a lengthy discussion of the future changes to our healing ability in the upcoming patch. The last one caused quite a lengthy discussion on how those changes will really affect us. I'm hoping we get to have more of those discussions, because it was awesome to hear all of your opinions on the topics. For anyone who emailed me over the last few weeks, rest assured that I will reply to you. There's just been quite a bit to answer.

With all the talks of the future and the changes right around the corner for patch 4.0.6, our attention has sort of drifted a little bit away from the here and now. There is still content to devour now, and you aren't exactly going to wait for the patch to do it now, are you? There are still heroics to conquer and raids to prepare for, so today we're going to start right back in where we left off and talk about healing through The Stonecore.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Should level-capped players be put into content they outgear?

I do not like The Stonecore.

On a recent guild-sponsored alt run, four not-ready-for-heroics players and my level 85 shammy queued up for a random Cataclysm dungeon. We wound up with The Stonecore. We immediately decided that we didn't want to run The Stonecore, but we also didn't want to just wait the 15 minutes to requeue. So, we cleared our way to the first boss and defeated it, successfully eating up the 15 minutes.

Not wanting to actually finish an instance that didn't offer us any level-appropriate gear, we re-entered the random dungeon finder. The result: The Stonecore. Again. We gave up, ran the instance for the lousy 70 justice point payoff, and died a little inside.

A huge part of my distaste for The Stonecore is related to how often it comes up in the random dungeon finder on both heroic and normal versions. It's a wipe-filled nightmare on heroic, especially with a group that doesn't know what it's doing. (And let's be honest, text-based communication on the fly can only get you so far.) I have no complaint about getting regular Stonecore at levels 82 and 83. The problem is that I get it all the damn time when I'm level 85, and Blizzard gives me almost no incentive to finish it.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Ghostcrawler responds to heroic dungeon difficulty complaints

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street posted an entry on his blog yesterday called "Wow, Dungeons are Hard!" It's a rather lengthy (but worthwhile) read about the current state of Cataclysm heroics, Blizzard's philosophy on designing them, his impressions on their current difficulty level, and some advice for improving your performance.

Like I said, it's an epic post, and we won't reprint the whole thing here. This, however, is the key takeaway:

Wow, Dungeons are Hard!
The bottom line is that we want Heroics and raids to be challenging, and that is particularly true now while the content is new and characters are still collecting gear. They're only going to get easier from here on out. We want players to approach an encounter, especially a Heroic encounter, as a puzzle to be solved. We want groups to communicate and strategize. And by extension, we want you to celebrate when you win instead of it being a foregone conclusion.

On the other hand, we don't want you to stumble your way to victory. We don't want you to be able to overwhelm bosses without noticing or caring what they're doing. We don't want healers to be able to make up for all of the mistakes on the part of the other players. While at the end of the day, dungeons may just be gussied up loot vending machines, we want you to do more than push a button to get the loot.

Ultimately, we don't want to give undergeared or unorganized groups a near guaranteed chance of success, because then the content will feel absolutely trivial for players in appropriate gear who communicate, cooperate, and strategize.


All that being said, though, is Blizzard really satisfied with its dungeon designs and their current level of difficulty? Hard heroics are indeed hard, but the updated PTR patch notes for 4.0.6 (which went live just yesterday at almost the exact same time Ghostcrawler was discussing heroics) indicate that a series of nerfs is coming our way. That will no doubt lead to player rejoicing, but remember -- heroics are naturally getting easier as people get more familiar with them and players continue to compile better gear, which makes completion even easier still.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Cataclysm Dungeon Guide: The Stonecore

Adventurers will find the site of the Stonecore in Deepholm, wedged on the west side of the Temple of the Earth. A flying mount (or a crafty summon) will be needed to discover the entrance. Earthen Ring Shaman are attempting to maintain the World Pillar and prevent it from sustaining any further damage. This is the same instance where Deathwing acquired some armor upgrades. You can read more about the Stonecore from the official preview. For an idea of what to expect and strategies to employ, keep on reading.

At a glance, here's the gist of the instance.
  • four boss encounters
  • levels 82-84
  • average item level 272 recommended (according to dungeon finder)

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Cataclysm 101: Zone and instance progression

If you're sitting there at your keyboard right now violently coveting your upcoming Cataclysm experience and daydreaming of all the places you'll go, we here at WoW Insider would like nothing better than to aid and abet you in your wacky escapades. And since Cataclysm is launching on International Matthew Rossi's Birthday, who better to help you figure out where you intend to stream like an unstoppable torrent of locusts? Well, there may be lots of better options, but I'm doing it anyway.

Cataclysm has several new zones to experience and quite a few new dungeons to crawl through. Let's take a look, shall we?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Cataclysm 101: What to do first in Cataclysm

Cataclysm has already gone live in Europe, and it's only hours away now for those of us in North America. Are you prepared for it? Do you know what you need to know to hit the ground running when Cataclysm content becomes active on live realms? If you don't, we're here to help. Below are answers to some of the most common questions that have been asked about starting the Cataclysm experience.

How do I learn to fly in old Azeroth?

You can get your Flight Master's License in Outland or Northrend, but the much better options are Stormwind for the Alliance and Orgrimmar for the Horde. Horde players want to talk to Maztha and Alliance players want to talk to Bralla Cloudwing. Wowhead has excellent maps for finding both of them.

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Archaeology

Spiritual Guidance: Healing heroic Cataclysm dungeons as a priest

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers healing for disc and holy priests, and also likes to knit gloves as presents. Can Fox Van Allen make you a pair of gloves?

I intended to write about holy and discipline priest PvP in beta this week, but after spending a few days trying to test out battlegrounds, I think I'd do well to give Blizzard more time to fix things. Between the 100,000-damage rocket blasts in Strand of the Ancients one-shotting players, and randomly getting ported to The Barrens when you're dead wrapped in plastic in Twin Peaks, it all just seems too buggy to fairly assess right now.

While we wait for the developers to finish tidying up the battlegrounds and PvP, I figured we could tackle something in the beta that has stabilized for priests: heroic dungeons! Pretty exciting, huh? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Word on the street is that heroic dungeons in the Cataclysm beta are way overtuned and bordering on the difficulty of pre-nerf heroic dungeons in The Burning Crusade. While I can't personally deny or confirm the latter statement (I was slow in leveling), I can tell you that heroic dungeons in Cataclysm aren't that bad.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Official preview of the Stonecore now available

Blizzard has added to its continuing official Cataclysm previews with a sneak peak at the Stonecore, a 5-man regular and heroic dungeon located in Deepholm. From the preview, we learn that the Stonecore is where Deathwing had been fixed up with elementium plates by the Twilight's Hammer cult, as well as the exit point used to shatter the World Pillar, break into Azeroth and start causing us trouble. Check out the official preview for more information and some pretty screenshots.

From my personal experience in beta, Stonecore is one of the most fun dungeons and heroics that I've run. It's frantic and fun, and the final boss is something really awesome and unique. You'll love this place.


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: Cataclysm

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