You know, I thought this question would be a lot easier to answer than it turned out. After six years of playing this game, I thought surely there would be an obvious stand-out moment, but as I sat down to write this post, I realized that wasn't exactly true. Lest you think I'm implying that I've experienced nothing memorable in WoW, rest assured, that isn't the case. It's more that I have the opposite problem: I've experienced too much that is memorable. I've had some really great times in this game, and it's turned out to be nigh impossible to point to one and say, "That's it, that was my most memorable moment." Instead, I've come up with a list of things that keep coming to mind whenever I think about the topic. They are in no particular order:
1. Killing Nathanos Blightcaller
Nathanos Blightcaller was, in ye olden days, a (potentially) 40-person outdoor raid boss for the Alliance. He was also a quest giver NPC for Horde, so attacking him flagged you for PvP. Considering both of these things, you can imagine how difficult it could be for Alliance raids to actually down him, especially on high-population servers.
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The Lion King is one of those movies that everybody ought to see before they die. One of the strongest films from the Disney renaissance, it features some of the best voice acting in animation history. Who could forget James Earl Jones' deep voice imparting within Simba the need to reclaim his place as king? Or Jeremy Irons' cold, cunning, and manipulative growl with every word Scar spoke?
Voice acting can make or break films, and games are no different. As WoW has grown older, voice acting has become far more commonplace. All bosses now come with accompanying quotes. In Cataclysm, a great number of quests feature voice acting. We're surrounded on all sides by a world that is now living, breathing, and speaking.
Players have certainly caught on and appear to love the voice acting. In Wrath, several bosses went viral thanks to their memorable quotes. From Thorim's deep voice recalling meeting players "In the mountains ..." to the juvenile XT-002 lamenting the death of his toys, voices made these bosses come to life at a previously unseen level.
Which voices in the World of Warcraft are the most memorable for you, and how have they enhanced your experience?
Every Sunday Spiritual Guidanceoffers Holy and Discipline priests advice on how to wield the holy light and groove to the disco night. Your hostess Dawn Moore will provide the music.
I decided to take a break from gems this week to discuss a style of priest healing that is becoming popular among raiders: discipline raid healing. Though the concepts behind it are extremely simple to understand and execute, this style of play seems to have slipped under the radar of many players despite its amazing potential. Tag along with me after the jump and I'll fill you in on the basics and benefits of disc raid healing. Holy priests, I'm talking to you, too.
It looks like some pretty big nerfs to the Yogg-Saron fight tonight. Ulduar's big bad (well, one of two) will have a much easier first phase, as the Guardians of Yogg-Saron have ceased mind-controlling players, as well as becoming "more forgiving" in their spawn rate. Additionally, flash-frozen players that touch a cloud will no longer bring forth a Guardian.
Flame Leviathan's hard mode was hit as well. The amount of extra health he gets per tower up was reduced and the snare effect of Hodir's tower removed. Additionally, vehicles caught in a flash freeze will be freed with a single shot from a Demolisher or Siege Engine cannon. Players will also not go quite so high when ejected from Flamey following a stun, which should make them a bit easier to pick up.
Oh, and XT-002 Deconstructor won't make people into bombs quite so often (and his heart's health was reduced a touch on 25-man). Overall, it seems Yoggy will be significantly easier. My guild isn't there yet, though (next up for us is Mimiron) - people who have done the fight, how big of a deal will these changes be?
I know, it's another Retribution post, but since we got hit with the nerf bat again (ever so slightly) I decided to devote one last column to the spec before I rotate back to Protection. Besides, my past month or so has been spent raiding Ulduar as Retribution (with the first few forays as Holy) so I think that's what I'll talk about for now. Rather than talk about specific boss strategies, we'll talk about the little things we can do to perform at our best in Ulduar.
Flame Leviathan First up is Flame Leviathan. Obviously, none of the usual strategies will apply here but one key point players should remember is that the vehicles scale with gear. This means having to prepare an outfit set optimized for the encounter. One thing to note about vehicle scaling is that it doesn't look at stats, just iLevel. Optimizing a gear set for this means putting the highest iLevel item you have in every slot. For "pure" classes, this is usually their normal set-up, but for Paladins who keep several sets of gear, an iLevel-optimized outfit can be composed of healing items, a few tank items, some DPS items, and even PvP gear. Players can use AddOns such as RatingBuster to determine an item's iLevel and outfit managers such as Outfitter or Blizzard's new in-game equipment manager to quickly swap gear.
Lots of great guild news in this week's column -- many guilds, like OpEx above, from Scilla, are making their way through Ulduar and dropping lots of bosses as they go by. And many more guilds are recruiting: way more, unfortunately, than we have space for in this column. Business is booming if you're a raiding guild, apparently, and we have a feeling that's exactly what Blizzard planned.
There's also drama in this week's GW, as there is every week, and don't worry: we included the rap battle. Don't miss that one. If you've got tips for us about drama, downed news, or recruiting (though we are still overflowing on recruiting -- at this point, you're probably better off just on your realm forums), send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click the link below to read on.
Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we discuss some of the tips and tricks to remember when raiding Ulduar.
With Ulduar laid wide open, many Rogues and their guilds are flocking to its gates. Brand new bosses and shiny gear upgrades are just two of the reasons that I've seen so many 'LFM Ulduar' advertisements in trade chat. However, as the dungeon is still relatively new, many of us haven't had the opportunity to confront every giant-sized boss in the instance.
I've compiled a list of basic roles for each boss fight in the instance, as well as a list of cool tricks and tips you can use to make your first (or eighth!) run through Ulduar as smooth as possible. Blizzard has included several fights in the instance where it is advantageous to bring a Rogue, and being able to proactively seize these opportunities will put you at the head of the pack.
Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we watch the Ulduar trailer again and ask ourselves over and over why Jaina Proudmoore couldn't have been a Druid.The obvious answer is that she just wasn't cool enough, but this is the source of much cognitive dissonance at the moment.
I'm going to take a quick moment from the rest of the column and just write, in case any of the people who made it are reading this, that the Ulduar trailer was so stuffed with win that pieces of win are dribbling out of it into little win puddles and spilling over into the Sewer of Awesome. And, as NaitFury on the MMO Champion thread points out, "Those of you who say it is boring should probably go back to watching another Undead Rogue 1-shot people with Linkin Park in the background." Amen!
We're one week into Ulduar (and by "we" I mean "other people," because the game has become virtually unplayable for me post-patch, and having the game crash my computer every 5 minutes is forcing the Sewer of Awesome to run to the Vast Delta of Self-Pity), so let's pick up where we left off and tackle the Deconstructor, the Iron Council, and Kologarn.
You may have heard that a numberof guilds have cleared Ulduar to Yogg-Saron already, which to me is perfectly fine. I like to think that a lot of good, properly-coordinated guilds will kill Yoggy this week, and the Blues agree with me. Of course, this week's Yoggy kills were on the easiest possible difficulty, so world first or not, it doesn't mean a whole lot in terms of fame and fortune.
This is the beauty of Ulduar -- if you want prestige (and the best gear), you have to earn it by flexing your raiding muscle and beating encounters on their respective hard modes. If you don't have the chops or the time for the highest difficulty content, then you can still beat the instance and see every encounter.
But, of course, you want those 239-level items.
So you should probably read after the jump and find out how to activate each boss' hard mode, yeah?
Servers are still getting stabilized, players are reporting bugs left and right, and in general, it's the day after patchmas. So it's not too surprising that we're seeing some hotfixes. So far, here's what Blizz have let us know about:
XT-002 Deconstructor's heart aggro radius lowered to 60 yards.
Trash before XT-002 Deconstructor disabled temporarily, because there was a problem with them being linked.
Shattering a Construct during the Ignis the Furnace Master encounter will now decrease the number of Strength of the Creator stack buffs he has by one.
The last point is the most significant. The stated reasoning is that destruction is too bursty in PvP, which seems to have been the reasoning for half of the changes we've seen in WotLK. I hear this nerf was not unexpected - Warlocks, how do you feel about it? Was this change deserved?
Tonight from the Patch 3.1 PTR we bring you the Alliance Area 52 guild Symbolic Logic fighting against the XT-002 Deconstructor, a new Ulduar boss. They are scheduled to attempt it on hard mode, and we'll have to watch and see how it goes. You can watch it on the above stream or head over to their UStream page.
Stream is over for the evening. Thanks for coming out everyone! Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.
The last couple days of Ulduar testing have been a wash, delays and cancellations cutting things short. As mentioned by the developers when they announced the cancellation of the EU's Auriaya testing, recent tweaks and retuning hadn't yet made it to the PTR, they were contained in a future build that hadn't hit those servers yet. Really, it would be rather pointless to test those bosses. Due to this, they've pushed back all testing and changed up the testing schedule. Testing is now on hold until tomorrow, which means that either this evening or tomorrow morning, we'll be seeing a new build on the PTR.
North American realms:
Friday, 3/13, 4PM PDT: Mimiron
Saturday, 3/14, 4PM PDT: Hodir
Sunday, 3/15, 11AM PDT: Flame Leviathan
Monday, 3/16, 4PM PDT: Ignis the Furnace Master
Tuesday, 3/17, 4PM PDT: XT-002 Deconstructor
Wednesday, 3/18, 4PM PDT: Kologarn
Friday, 3/13, 19:00 CET: Mimiron
Saturday, 3/14, 19:00 CET: Auriaya
Sunday, 3/15, 19:00 CET: Flame Leviathan
Monday, 3/16, 19:00 CET: General Vezax
Tuesday, 3/17, 19:00 CET: Thorim
Wednesday, 3/18, 19:00 CET: Freya
Again, this is the new testing schedule for the upcoming week, and the one that was passed around yesterday should be disregarded.