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Posts with tag The-Oculus

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

The OverAchiever: Night of the Glory of the Hero

In 2009 I had started an OverAchiever series on completing Glory of the Hero that I wound up abandoning due to an influx of new holiday material. Because things are a little slow now while we're waiting for more information on Cataclysm and the final content patch, I thought it might be a good (albeit somewhat belated) time to revisit the series, especially because it's easy to get many of these achievements even in PUGs now.

This is the Glory of the Hero series thus far, organized by dungeon:
And today we do everybody's favorite instance -- The Oculus!

Get back here! You know perfectly well they're bribing us to stay with a goody bag these days.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

WoW.com's Guide to the Oculus. Yes, really.

Really, WoW.com? A guide to the Oculus of all things? Over a year after the launch of Wrath of the Lich King, you're doing an Oculus walkthrough? Is that necessary? Boy, I wish it weren't. We're all sick of hearing about this place by now, but of all the instances and raids in the game, this is the one where nobody seems to be sure what to do or where to go. I haven't seen players this confused since Sunwell.

All strategy and ability discussion in this guide discuss the heroic version of the Oculus. Beyond the cut below you will find simple strategies for each of the bosses in the Oculus, as well as maps to help you find your way through the environment.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Walkthroughs, Bosses, Guides

The Queue: A plea for help

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Somewhere along the line, I've picked up this habit of discussing games I've been playing (besides WoW) as my introduction to The Queue. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's fun. Unfortunately, I'm currently playing Bayonetta and I'm not sure I can really talk about that one here. Just look it up on Youtube, you'll know what I'm talking about. Now before I shame myself any more, let's get to the Q&A.

Reuben asked...

"How does the disenchanting option work? I find that sometimes I can choose disenchant, and other times I can't. What determines the availability of that option?"

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

The Daily Quest: Bleeding hearts

We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Filed under: The Colosseum

How to: Five Amber drakes in The Oculus

After yet another Cracked Egg with nothing but a Cobra Hatchling in it, and the bigtime raiding proto-drakes constantly getting dropped out of the game, there's really only one other option: the Red Proto-drake, a reward for the Glory of the Hero meta-achievement. It's not easy: you've got to not only beat all of the heroics in the game, but all of the hard mode achievements for each of them. Guides like our OverAchievers can help, and a really great group to go along with helps more, but some of the achievements are so tough they need extra attention.

The Oculus' achievement, however, is one that needs an even closer look. And 4 Haelz kindly provides exactly that, with an in-depth guide to toppling two achievements in one, both the Emerald and Ruby Void, by doing the boss with five Amber drakes. The Amber drakes are usually meant as DPS, which makes this fight extra tough: you can't take much damage at all, because you can't get any damage back without healers. So what it requires, instead, is communication and coordination. Basically, you use the drakes' Time Stop ability to slow the fight down, and then try to do some coordinated kiting while DPSing like mad, all the time hoping that you can bring him down before he takes one of you out.

As Bell says, once you get the idea (and have wiped a few times -- you should probably be riding the drakes naked, since not only does your gear not affect their performance, but it'll save you repair costs), the fight's not actually that hard to pull off, but it's the learning that's going to hurt.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Instances, Bosses, Achievements

Completion rates on Wrath heroics


Yeah, we all know that Oculus kinda sucks, but now we've got some numbers on it -- or, more accurately, Flyv does. One of my feral Druid colleagues has been examining Armory data on completion rates of Wrath heroics (and incidentally took a peek at how long it takes for the average person to go from dinging 80 to a full Naxx clear). The numbers aren't too surprising: heroics that correspond to the earliest Wrath "regular" dungeons -- Violet Hold, Utgarde Keep, and the Nexus -- are far and away the most-completed heroics. Oculus -- and to a lesser extent, Ahn'kahet and Halls of Stone -- languish at 40, 51, and 58% completion rates respectively.

Halls of Stone surprises me somewhat, as I really didn't think it was a difficult heroic (outside of running a Druid tank on the Brann Bronzebeard event), but Ahn'kahet is universally cited amongst tanks and healers for LOS issues and nasty damage. And Oculus...well, we've talked about Oculus here before. I still think the concept of the dungeon itself is fantastic, but the moment that one or two embarrassed people in your group admit that it's their first time on the drakes, you know you're in for a long and ugly run.

I hope Flyv revisits this data at some point, because I'd love to see how the numbers change over the course of Wrath. With achievements introduced only as BC was ending, we don't really have a good look at how dungeon popularity and completion rates evolved there, and I think the numbers say a lot about the content players prioritize when they get a toon (or multiple toons) to the level cap.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Achievements

Two Bosses Enter: Mage-Lord Urom vs. Xevozz


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

Here's an annoying pair who deserve each other: Mage-Lord Urom of the Oculus versus Xevozz of the Violet Hold. Yes, I admit it -- when my husband IMs me from his office in frustration over the latest twist in corporate politics, I take a certain twisted pleasure in replying, "No worries – I just sent Xevozz and his stupid spheres up against Urom the bloody platform-hopper." Ahhh ... Takes the edge right off.

So let's start with the ground rules. Assume that these foes share similar levels, health pools and a comparative overall damage output. Of course, we'll allow Xevozz to be able to "follow" Urom from platform to platform (we'll leave the details to your imagination). Don't get caught up in game mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter. Focus your debate on the three S's -- Style, Story and Scale – and consider the flavor each villain brings to bear. What do you think would happen during this battle? Leave your comment explaining what happens, and cast your vote for who you think blows up who.

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Filed under: Features, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

Ulduar vehicles will scale with gear

Here's a little consolation to those of you, like Eliah, concerned about the Ulduar vehicle fights: Unlike some of the other vehicle fights in the game already, Daelo says on the forums that the vehicles in the next raid will actually scale with gear. He says someone in blues will have a much harder time in the vehicles than someone kitted out in Naxx gear.

Personally, I've only done Oculus, but I do agree with Eliah that putting us in vehicles takes away a lot of the achievement we've gained by leveling and questing -- it's not fun to fail on a boss just because you're trying to deal with a whole new set of abilities you've had no control over until you jumped in the driver's seat. But the fact that the Ulduar vehicles will scale helps a little bit -- players were concerned that every time you went in there, it'd be the same fight, but with new gear that should change. And obviously Blizzard has heard the concerns about the Oculus, so you'd have to hope they wouldn't make the same mistake twice.

Elsewhere on the forums, Zarhym promises, comically, that we'll all enjoy this (and that we'll forget to post how much we enjoy it on the forums afterwards). He says that the fight is different from anything else we've done in the World of Warcraft, and that when all is said and blown up, it'll be an epic encounter. We'll see.

Need more news about Ulduar? We've got updates, previews, speculation, and everything else you need to know about the next big raid coming in patch 3.1. If the Titans are hiding it up there, we'll tell you about it here.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding

Blizzard polls for the toughest Heroic instance


Blizzard has posted a poll on the forums asking what players think is the toughest Heroic dungeon in the game. Unfortunately, they don't say much else besides that, so guessing the reason why will be up to us and our commenters. They want to make sure Ulduar is tougher than Heroics? They want to look for particularly tough mechanics for future instances? They just enjoy seeing players have a tough time of it? Your guess is as good as ours.

Loken is notorious as a tough boss in Heroic mode, but his Halls of Lightning only makes second place, right above Ahn'kahet and its tough fights of Jedoga Shadowseeker and the insanity-inducing Herald Volaj. And it's worth noting that as of this writing, Drak'theron, The Nexus, Utgarde Keep and Violet Hold have a total of zero votes among them -- apparently everyone agrees they're easy as-is. But right there on top sits everyone's least favorite drake-riding instance -- The Oculus, with all of its drakey goodness.

Unfortunately, this may not help Blizzard -- I doubt many players would be really excited if they re-used the "drakes" mechanic in a lot of future dungeons, as the difficulty there lies in playing a completely different game rather than using the abilities of your character that you're used to. But It's an interesting poll anyway. What instance are you finding the toughest in Heroic mode?

Filed under: Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Breakfast Topic: Five-man thoughts

We talked about this quickly during yesterday's podcast, but I think most of us have seen most of the instances in Wrath at this point, so we'll ask it here: what do you think of the 5-mans so far?

Actually, I should say that I can't quite pass judgment yet -- I haven't visited the Halls of Stone or Lightning yet, and I haven't yet seen The Oculus, which is the instance I was most excited about at launch. But so far, I have to say that Azjol-Nerub is a standout -- not only does it look great, but the fact that it's pretty much all bosses and no trash is a real plus. And having a well-known lore figure to fight at the end doesn't hurt, either.

And of course I remain a fan of Utgarde Keep, though I think it'll eventually be like Hellfire Ramparts, in that I'll just have done it so much eventually that it'll lose any charm I have now. What are your first impressions on playing through all the five mans so far?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Expansions, Lore, Bosses, NPCs

Scattered Shots: Normal dungeon gear for Hunters in Wrath of the Lich King


Welcome to Scattered Shots, the weekly Hunter column where we could really use a plane to head back to Shattrath and pick up more ammo since we haven't bummed a teleport to Dalaran yet.

So. You've breezed past the early 70s. You've checked out the reputation gear for Hunters, and now you're ready to grind. So you've picked up your tabard, and you realize that you still have a question left to answer: Which dungeon should I run? What dungeon has the gear I need to get suited up and ready to run Heroics?

Scattered Shots is here to help. We're going to look at some of the best pre-Heroic drops for Hunters in Wrath, and hopefully give you some idea of what way to go when you look for your next dungeon, or at least what drops to cross your fingers for.

This guide will focus mostly on normal dungeon drops, although where a quest reward, reputation reward, or relatively easy to craft crafted item is a good option for the slot, we'll highlight it as well. By the end of this guide, the Hunter that didn't quite finish their Karazhan runs during Burning Crusade should hopefully have an idea of where to get a good outlay of gear to prepare them for heroics, and eventually for Naxxramas itself.

Good luck on the drops, and good luck winning the rolls over those enhancement shamans!

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Filed under: Hunter, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Quests, Bosses, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

WoW Insider's guide to the dungeons of Wrath

Still leveling? Looking to do some dungeon runs? Want to know where to go, or where to find your quests? ...No? Oh. Well, okay. You can leave, then. Wait, I think I heard someone say yes! In that case, you might be interested in WoW Insider's guide to the dungeons of Wrath.

In the gallery below you'll find a quick guide to all of the 5-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King, in order of the level of the instance. It contains brief descriptions of each dungeon, their level range, and just where to find all of the quests for each of them. I hope it proves useful, and if not, at least some of the pictures are pretty!

Filed under: Instances, Quests, Expansions, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Moviewatch: Muffins WotLK Exploration Part 77-80

(Viewers be warned that this video contains spoilers for the Wrath of the Lich King beta.)

At the beginning of last month, I featured a video that explored levels 70-77 of the Wrath of the Lich King beta. It was apparently so popular that Muffins was contacted by a studio for a possible job! Since then, she realized that machinima was something that she wanted to do with her life. Nothing makes me happier than when someone says that, so congratulations, Muffins!

Muffins obviously only covered a portion of the levels last time, so she's back with an exploration video for the 77-80 crowd. In it, she checks out Storm Peaks, Halls of Lightning (Instance), The Oculus (Instance), Utgarde Pinnacle (Instance), The Culling of Stratholme (Instance), and Icecrown. She noted that The Violet Eye in Dalaran seemed like a less interesting version of Black Morass, and that Naxxramas was pretty much the same as the old one except for the trash.

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ...

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath boss names revealed in Achievements


Wowhead recently went live with their database of all the Achievements currently in the Wrath beta. Among those Achievements is one for clearing each dungeon and raid currently in Wrath. Each Achievement lists its requirements for completion, so what does that mean? We now know the names of all the dungeon bosses (as well as a little from the raids)! Everything placed after the cut for those who want to avoid spoilers.

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Filed under: Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

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