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Posts with tag alakir

Know Your Lore: Lore summed up part 6 - Cataclysm Ends

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.

Let's be up front about this. The Cataclysm was Deathwing himself. The events were the result of Deathwing's assault on the world of Azeroth - his eruption from Deepholm, his rampage through the Twilight Highlands, his summoning of Ragnaros into Mount Hyjal, the machinations of his minions. Deathwing, in all his rampaging insanity, was exactly what he claimed he was. He was the end of the world, and had he not been stopped, Azeroth would be no more. From the Twilight Highlands to the depths of Vashj'ir, the events Deathwing set in motion unraveled the world.

Let's look over the world, cast our eyes from the jagged peaks of Hyjal to the submerged depths of Vashj'ir, descend into Deepholm and then comb the deserts of Uldum for answers to the question - what did the mad dragon want? Why did his Twilight's Hammer erect their bastion in the Twilight Highlands, where the Maw of Iso'rath erupted from the very soil? The old gods seemed on the verge of their ancient goal, thanks to Deathwing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm

The 5 worst raid encounters in Cataclysm

The 5 worst raid encounters in Cataclysm
Last week, we covered the five best raid encounters in Cataclysm. Today, we're flipping the coin to take a look at the worst. Be it bad mechanics, fight bugs, horrible randomness, or just plain boring bosses, these are the fights with elements you never want to see again. Of course, it is uncouth to criticize without suggesting improvements, so I'm also putting on my amateur game designer hat and throwing out some other options that could've made things more entertaining.

5. Maloriak, Blackwing Descent

Maloriak wasn't terrible, but the encounter had two major flaws. First, interrupts. Tier 11 was Interrupt City in general, as several classes got new interrupt abilities and Blizzard apparently wanted to make sure we were using them. However, this particular fight was notable for having two interruptable abilities, one that had to be interrupted, and one that had to not be interrupted -- but only a certain number of times. ("Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three.") While this led to some interesting voice chat during raids ("Which ability did you just interrupt?" "I don't know!"), the overall mechanic was confusing. Why not have an actual button that he runs to and presses, and your tank can choose to let in happen or not via Taunt?

Second, the fight just doesn't scale well. For well-geared groups in normal difficulty, there was an eternity when you had to stop DPS before 25% and wait for him to finish releasing all his adds and start a second green phase. Meanwhile, groups in heroic difficulty got to deal with a dark phase, which featured nothing but AoE for 90 seconds. Not the most fun, since most classes have a one-button AoE rotation, and not very balanced, as classes with consistent AoE damage (aka mana users) absolutely smoked others. If they'd just have the cut the phase to 30 or 45 seconds or so, it'd have been a lot less frustrating and a good bit more balanced.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Previous tier of raid content is meant to be pugged, says Bashiok

After patch 4.2 released, the previous tier of raiding content was hit with a huge swathe of nerfs and changes designed to make the content that much easier for raiders now just able to experience it. With tier 11 valor point gear now purchasable with justice points, Blizzard fully intends for the previous tier of content to be pugged by server populations. Blizzard's Bashiok took to the forums to discuss just that intention.

Bashiok does say that servers will take a bit to gain the momentum and general fluency with the encounters, but that it is entirely able to be pugged. Further, he says that from here on out, Blizzard has adopted the mantra of one cutting-edge tier, with the previous raids nerfed to allow players an easier time to complete them.

Personally, I am a huge fan of this type of content shift, and I think we've reached a pretty good compromise with regards to content accessibility and raid design. Raiders get their challenge while the content is relevant, hard modes are still skill-based encounters that do not get the nerf bat, and the previous tier of normal mode content is much more accessible to more casual raiders. Much as Ulduar drakes still presented a challenge in execution during Wrath even though we outgeared them, hard modes in Cataclysm are the execution challenges that will still prove to be tricky for meta achievements. Count me in.

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Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

Spiritual Guidance: Priest healing tips for tier 11 heroic mode raids

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers healing for discipline and holy priests, while her archenemy Fox Van Allen is busy looking in the mirror instead of playing a proper spec. Dawn also writes for LearnToRaid.com, produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

In previous weeks, Spiritual Guidance has tackled how to heal the various raid encounters in tier 11. This week, we're going to revisit each boss on heroic difficulty. Once more, I'll be examining which spec is better equipped to handle the fight while also examining the differences in the new encounter and how to deal with them. We have a lot to talk about, so let's get started.

First, I want to point out that a major difference between any heroic and normal mode encounter is that abilities in heroic do an increased amount of damage. In order to avoid being redundant, please keep in mind that when I point out the differences between modes that the need for more healing will be assumed. If the increased damage significantly impacts the strategy of the fight, however, I will explain how.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Patch 4.2: Normal mode tier 11 encounters nerfed

Patch 4.2 PTR testing is in full swing, and we've got another round of patch notes, courtesy of Zarhym and the official Warcraft blog. Today's notes are primarily a metric ton of nerfs to normal mode encounters in Blackwing Descent, Bastion of Twilight, and Throne of the Four Winds. The nerfs were explained by Nethaera as follows:

Nethaera
With the upcoming content patch, 10- and 25-person Normal mode raid encounters will be receiving a comprehensive set of tuning adjustments to decrease their difficulty.

These changes will allow players, groups, and guilds who have yet to experience the content in Blackwing Descent, Bastion of Twilight, and Throne of the the Four Winds an opportunity to do so.

With the addition of a new tier of armor and weapons, we want to make the previous tier more accessible in ways other than just a shift of currency type, so we are making item level 359 gear purchasable for Justice points in the upcoming content patch.


Follow us after the break for the full list of patch notes.

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Win a WoW TCG War of the Elements Epic Collection from WoW Insider

The World of Warcraft Trading Card Game's Worldbreaker block continues this month with War of the Elements, bringing the four Elemental Lords, two dragon aspects, more worgen and goblin characters, and all-new loot into play. Today, Cryptozoic Entertainment releases the War of the Elements Epic Collection, a premium package containing:
  • 6 War of the Elements booster packs
  • 1 War of the Elements playmat and deckbox
  • Collectible storage box with class dividers
  • 1 Landro's Lichling loot card
  • War of the Elements visual pocket guide
  • 5 random foil War of the Elements heroes
And Cryptozoic has given us 12 of them to give away to our readers! For a chance to win a War of the Elements Epic Collection, all you have to do is comment on this post between now and Friday, May 13 at 11:59 p.m. EST. When the contest ends, we'll choose 12 winners at random.

There are some rules, of course: you must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). You may only enter once; multiple entries will disqualify you. And you must have a valid email address attached to your commenting profile, or we won't be able to get hold of you if you win. Full giveaway rules are here.

Be sure to follow the WoW TCG on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook!

Filed under: WoW TCG

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

Shifting Perspectives: Feral cat druid raiding strategies, part 4

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

In our previous installments (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), we've covered every fight in this tier of raiding except for two. Now it's time for the toughies: Al'Akir and Nefarian. Get your snack of choice ready, as it'll take your raid team several nights to get these bad boys down.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Guest Posts

The Daily Quest: Death and guilt

WoW Insider's on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

I don't know whether or not I consider WoW a guilty pleasure. It's something I enjoy doing, even if nobody in my family plays -- much less has any idea about the game at all. And there's nothing quite like being at a family reunion, getting the inevitable "So what do you do for a living?" question and cheerily responding that I write about internet dragons and little green men. On the internet.

The looks on the faces of my relatives makes it all worth it.

So today, we've got one post about the guilty pleasures of WoW, and a couple more regarding other potentially embarassing things, most of which I've experienced at one point in time or another:
Is there a story out there we ought to link or a blog we should be following? Just leave us a comment, and you may see it here tomorrow! Be sure to check out our WoW Resources Guide for more WoW-related sites.

Filed under: The Daily Quest

Ready Check: WoW Insider's Guide to Throne of Four Winds

The Throne of Four Winds is a bite-sized raid with only two real fights. Despite its low number of bosses, the Throne of Four Winds can be very challenging to raid groups. This is because the mechanics of each fight require a lot of coordination and precise maneuvering.

In the first encounter, the Conclave of Wind, you must split your raid into three parts. There are three bosses on three different platforms. Your team must be able to move across the platforms in a coordinated way and react to what the bosses are doing. Movement of this kind can be very disorienting for a raid, so folks who aren't comfortable with the dance steps could have some trouble.

The second encounter is against Al'Akir. It's a three-phase fight and ends in three-dimensional space. Interestingly, Al'Akir combines the "fire wall" mechanic from Sartharion as well as the "fly around" mechanic from Malygos. Again, if you had trouble with those fights, you'll probably be challenged here also. That being said, Al'Akir is a pretty fun and engaging encounter.

Ready Check shares all the strategies and inside information you need to take your raiding to the next level. Be sure to look up our strategy guides to Cataclysm's 5-man instances, and for more healer-centric advice, visit Raid Rx.

Filed under: Ready Check (Raiding)

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 Press Event: New raids and lockout mechanics announced

As part of the large Cataclysm information released tonight, we've gotten quite a bit more information on how raids will be changing. One exciting idea is "downshifting," namely, the ability to split a 25-man raid up into separate 10-mans. There won't be any sort of "upshifting" allowed, however. Simply put, if your 25-man fails to proceed due to numbers, it can break up into separate 10-mans with the same bosses defeated as the 25 was at the time of division, and if you later get those other players back, another 10-man can be created with the same conditions.

In addition, raid lockouts will be more forgiving; as long as you have killed the same bosses as the raid in question, you'll be able to join a raid in progress even if you've been in a different raid to the same instance during the lockout. Basically, you will not be able to kill the same boss twice during a lockout, but you won't be totally cut off from raiding with others simply because you were in a different raid lockout earlier that fell apart, as one example.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Press Event: New lore details revealed

He's not quite dead-dead, only mostly dead, and new information from a Cataclysm press release event confirms it -- Cho'gall is back. The folks over at World of Raids have released a ton of new Cataclysm information including a good chunk of lore info. Here are some of the highlights:
  • Cho'gall is not only alive, he's the last boss in Grim Batol: Bastion of Twilight, the new entry-level raid for the expansion.
  • Upon defeating Cho'gall on heroic mode, the floor beneath you will collapse and you will fall into a cavern of flowing lava that hides a "horrifying secret," according to Lead World Designer Alex Afrasiabi.
  • Uldum was locked away by a Titan mechanic that created a projection of a large, impassible mountain -- the Cataclysm destroyed the machine and opened access to Uldum.
  • Thereazane the Stonemother will be present and involved in a reputation grind similar to the Sons of Hodir.
  • Reports state that one of the bosses in Skywall: Vortex Pinnacle is an elemental lord. Given that Skywall is the Elemental Plane of Air, this can only mean Al'Akir the Windlord.
  • Garrosh is the "acting" Warchief of the Horde. Implying "temporary." Everyone breathe a sigh of relief.
  • The Valley of Wisdom in Orgrimmar is now the Tauren district.
  • Garrosh's stronghold is not in the Valley of Wisdom; it's at the center of Orgrimmar.
  • The Park district in Stormwind has been destroyed, largely because Deathwing wasn't exactly happy about his daughter's head hanging from the rafters.
  • The Forsaken have set up a foothold in Silverpine Forest and have rebuilt many areas, to provide a base of operations for assaulting Gilneas. The current reason for the attacks is because Gilneas is strategically valuable to the Horde.
  • Less of a lore note, more of an immersion note: New music will be added for all of the cities, and a large portion of the game world.
Archaeology

Plenty to look forward to, but the most interesting change is to the Archaeology profession. Since Path of the Titans is being scrapped, Archaeology is no longer involved with it. Instead, players will use Archaeology to "dig into the lore of the game" as a new vehicle for storytelling purposes. There are two types of "artifacts" players can uncover. The first will be a lore or story artifact, while the second type can reward items -- cosmetic or fun, with the occasional rare useable weapon. Archaeology will not provide any "must-have" items, so those that don't feel like grinding out another secondary profession can skip it entirely. However, it sounds like Blizzard is taking another step towards making the story and lore of the Warcraft world a more interactive experience.

Filed under: Lore, Cataclysm

More free character transfers open for the EU

A new batch of fre realm transfers have opened up for European servers, which is always a good thing. A lot of these transfers are ones we've seen before though, so hopefully this time around these options will be more successful than they may have been previously. We also have a whole load of transfers opening up to EU-Magtheridon specifically for the Alliance, so they're continuing to try and repair the faction imbalance there. Right now, we're looking at...
  • Horde players on EU-Magtheridon may transfer to Haomarush, Tarren Mill, Trollbane, Zenedar, and Silvermoon.
  • Alliance players may transfer to EU-Magtheridon from Aerie Peak, Aggramar, Alonsus, Aszune, Azjol-Nerub, Bronze Dragonflight, Bronzebeard, Emerald Dream, Eonar, Khadgar, Kul Tiras, Runetotem, Shadowsong, Silvermoon, and Turalyon.
Check behind the cut below for the rest of the current free character transfers.

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Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, Blizzard

More free EU character migrations

Aren't you EU players just lucky lately? Here's some more free character moves for you to make -- apparently the population situation on the EU realms must be bad, because I think this is the third (at least) round of moves Blizzard has made in that region. Here are the latest ones, to be in effect now through the ninth:

Drak'thul, Grim Batol, Sylvanas --> Bladefist
Al'Akir, Neptulon, Ravencrest --> Deathwing
Burning Legion, Crushridge, Twilight's Hammer --> Dentarg
Magtheridon (Horde only) --> Zenedar, Haomarush


A lot of these are the same transfers offered previously -- in fact, all of the realms Blizzard is transferring from have been offered transfers before, though the realms people are being transferred to are switched up a bit. Anyone out there who didn't transfer in the first go-round but is willing to transfer now?

If the issues continue, Blizzard might have to come up with a new way to control the realm populations -- there's always the option of splitting up a big realm, though neither Blizz or players will probably enjoy going through that. But they've got to get rid of the queues somehow, right?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions

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