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Posts with tag bc

The false memory of WoW's difficult past

The false memory of WoW past
Vanilla raiding was not mechanically more difficult than current raiding. In fact, in terms of encounter difficulty, raiding in World of Warcraft has never been as challenging to remember and execute as it is right now. Fights like Lei Shen, Twin Consorts, Iron Qon, and Durumu ask players to learn mechanics and execute awareness at a level rivaled only by fights like Mimiron's Firefighter mode. And I'm not even talking heroic difficulty for those fights. Yes, it was often harder to get 40 people together, I'm not disputing that. But that's not design difficulty, that's social difficulty. The argument that WoW was objectively harder back then is beyond absurd.

I was there for all of those raids. I've raided in vanilla, in BC, in Wrath, and in Cataclysm. I've done hard modes and heroic modes since they were introduced. I'm neither the cutting edge progression raider nor someone who raids occasionally for fun -- I've been everywhere from a raider pushing for realm firsts to one leading a semi-casual 10-man while tanking. One thing I can and will say with absolute certainty is this: every single expansion to World of Warcraft has increased the complexity of the raid design.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Moviewatch: The Hunt [NSFW]

Having exhausted all the newer machinima that I cared to post, I decided to go digging deep into the WoW Insider archives for something really ancient that hadn't seen the light of day in a while. Serendipitously, the first thing I found ended up leading me to something we've never actually posted on the site before. Convenient, huh? It would seem that back in 2008, we posted a trailer for a feature-length machinima called The Hunt, but when the final version was released in August 2011, it was off our radar and never got published. Three and a half years will do that, I suppose!

Before we get started, please note that the video has some cursing, graphic violence, and a very short sex scene (less than 2 seconds) that you may not want your small children or boss to see or hear. That said, the whole thing runs 60 minutes long, so you'll probably want to sit down to this like a movie when you're at home anyway.

So overall, I have to say I was really pleasantly surprised by The Hunt. It's very different from the other narrative story machinima I've seen, using modern storytelling techniques, music, and even modern dialogue. The result is a simultaneously epic and ridiculous movie that's a whole lot of fun to watch, provided you're able to let yourself go with it.

I say that last bit because I do expect some of you to hate this machinima. Some of you will hate it for its unpolished voice acting, while others will hate it for the liberties it takes with the Warcraft lore. Now, I can't really help you if you're a lore buff, but concerning the voice acting, I've got a thing or two to say. First, yes, I'll admit that it's not the best -- but personally, I do think it works. The whole movie is a sort of genre parody, mixing serious fantasy story elements with comedy (think The Princess Bride), and within that world, goofy, over-the-top voices aren't out of place. The real complaint to be had with the voice acting is simply that there are only three voice actors for all the characters, and at times, some of the characters just sound too similar.

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Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Cataclysm Beta: New loading screen gallery

A new build of the Cataclysm beta just dropped, and with the update came a makeover for the loading screens for all four continents. They now feature the faction leaders for Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, Maiev and Akama for Outland, and the most recent Lich King in Northrend.

Check out the gallery below.

Filed under: Cataclysm

The Queue: You are slightly more prepared than you were


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

That's a trailer we haven't seen in awhile, huh? It's relevant today, I promise! Besides, a little nostalgia is always fun. If I have one grievance with Wrath of the Lich King's cinematic, it's that they didn't give us an incredibly corny catchphrase to spout for nearly two years.

Discolando asked...

"Is there any substance to the rumor I've recently read that patch 3.3 will contain another yet unknown raid instance, and patch 3.4 will contain Icecrown Citadel? It does seem more logical to 'finish' the expansion with the advertised antagonist instead of a deux ex machina like patch 2.4 gave us."

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

Recent hotfixes: goodbye, BC dungeon chests

Although it's no longer the first week after patch 3.1, when Ulduar nerfs and other hotfixes were coming almost as fast as we could post them, Blizzard is still fixing up the details here and there. Over the past week, a few hotfixes have gone in. Fortunately, as they have been doing recently, Blizzard has posted a nice list of what those changes are.

It's nothing too earth-shattering, as far as I can make out. Some creatures associated with the Yogg Saron fight should load faster. A few items have had their stats buffed (Earthshaper, Valorous Siegebreaker Shoulderplates, and Conqueror's Siegebreaker Shoulderplates), while Leviathan's Coil had its armor cut roughly in half. Clever DKs can no longer cut their RP costs with items meant to cut mana costs, and a bug involving Leviathan MK II's Self Repair on Mimiron was fixed.

Most recently, along with warrior buff shouts being made free again (as they should be) during preparation in arenas, Blizzard has seen the need to remove all non-boss chests in BC dungeons. They say this is "to resolve an exploit;" I assume it has something to do with people being able to farm chests too easily.

It is disappointing when fixes like this happen. On the one hand, it's "only" BC content, and chests aren't going to make or break a dungeon. On the other hand, those dungeons are deserted and useless enough as it is, and Blizzard keeps telling us they think there is still entertainment value in the old zones. Hopefully they get the chests fixed up eventually,

Filed under: Odds and ends, News items, The Burning Crusade

Loot, rationality, and the Sunwell effect


Here at WoW Insider we don't always agree with each other. Whether it's debating the merits of various tanks on different encounters, the damage difference between pure and hybrid DPS classes, the ideal function of a particular healing class in raids, or the superiority of cake over pie, our back-channel discussion tends to be pretty interesting.

Eliah Hecht's article "25-man gear should not be better than 10-man gear" sparked a lot of great discussion with our readers and, I think, some illuminating poll results as well. The majority of responders believed that giving 10-man and 25-man raids the same loot table would result in a significant drop in popularity for 25-man raiding. Overall, I tend to agree with this, but I also think that Eliah touched on something that speaks to Blizzard's evolving sense of game design, much of which is evident in the transition between late Burning Crusade and Wrath.

I would like to call this the Sunwell effect, or "ingame rationality." To wit: don't incentivize players to behave in a manner contrary to your actual design interests. I believe this played a huge role in the differences between BC and Wrath raiding, and that it underlies why the 25-man loot table has to remain superior to its 10-man counterpart.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Raiding

Mia Rose interview with Allakhazam

Mia Rose chatted it up with Andrew Beegle, aka Tamat, from Allakhazam at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Mia is known around the World of Warcraft community for her work in WoW related adult entertainment. However she also is a known Warlock with a penchant for raiding.

Mia talked about her opinions on Wrath and how excited she was to get it initially, but is now kind of so-so about it. In the interview Mia laments about how easy the current raiding content is, especially compared to how hard you had to work to get into the Black Temple back in Burning Crusade raiding.

Head over to Allakhazam and take a watch. This video is completely safe for work, as well.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Interviews

Shifting Perspectives: The Druid of 2008


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, our author is completely spaced out on cold medication, and is somewhat concerned that her raid performance has improved under the circumstances.

The time has come (the Allie said)
To talk of many things.
Of Roots and Bash and Travel Form,
And Strength (which scales with Kings).
Why Tauren cat form sucks so hard,
And whether trees have wings!

And, yes, before anyone asks, I'm tripping on too much cough syrup and ibuprofen after receiving a belated viral Christmas gift from a relative. So I'll just put this out there right now; this column's probably on the weird side. I took a long look at all three Druid specs over 2008 and saw a few sad things, a few happy things, a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants, and now I'm channeling the famous Mary Tyler Moore episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust," and that has to stop because I do not believe Mary Tyler Moore ever played a Druid.

If you're completely uninterested in reading an account of any spec that's not your own -- although that would make me weep into my little cup of generic label cough syrup -- here's a set of quick links to each:

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Humor, The Burning Crusade, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Soloing your way to a new ride

As Elizabeth observed a few days ago, there are certain pleasures to being 80. Even if you haven't gotten a shiny drop from a raid or a heroic yet, or finished grinding your way to exalted with a Wrath faction, you have one thing that absolutely no one can take away from you: an ever-increasing chance to leave classic and Burning Crusade-level mobs swinging fruitlessly at the air, completely unable to hit you.

Just writing that gives me a disturbingly evil smile, because one of the things I've enjoyed most since hitting 80 is soloing heroic Sethekk in pursuit of the Raven Lord mount. Hi there, Syth. Remember the days when you used to mop the floor with my furry ass? I do, and this dish of revenge is being served to you at the proper temperature, courtesy of the frigid Northrend climate. How does it feel to be killed just because you're on the way to something bigger?

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Instances, Expansions, Features, Humor, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

Forum post of the day: Best LOL moment in "Wrath"

Wrath is an odd mix. It's unquestionably darker in tone than both classic WoW and Burning Crusade, but it's not hard to find funny bits and pieces scattered around. Därkseid of Deathwing, after having a disgusted murloc refuse to be rescued by him ("Ewwww, orc!") during a quest in the Borean Tundra, started a thread dedicated to peoples' favorite humorous moments so far in Wrath. All the normal world PvP events can be found here (aggroing a Storm Giant while being attacked and Feigning Death onto your enemy? Check!) but you'll also find a growing catalogue of memorable quest text and great NPC dialogue, like Akini's entry on this page.

For my money it's tough to exceed the tongue-in-cheek commentary you'll find in the books scattered around Acherus as you start a career as a Death Knight, including the one pictured above. Some of them are actually serious and give accounts of the Scourge's spying into the preparations made by the Horde and the Alliance for an assault on Northrend. Some of them, like The Death Knights of Acherus, are just hilarious, namely the entry concerning one "Harmony" whose period of service turned out to be extremely brief: "The name of this death knight was found in violation of common Scourge decency. Struck down by the Lich King." Well, Arthas, in such matters I defer to your excellent judgment.

Filed under: Humor, Wrath of the Lich King, Forum Post of the Day

Maintenance for Tuesday November 11th

There will be downtime tomorrow for the U.S. realms between 5:00 a.m. PST and 11:00 a.m. PST. The maintenance will undoubtedly be getting the servers ready for the release of Wrath of the Lich King Wednesday night.

We're hopeful that this will be the only downtime this week. When Burning Crusade was launched the servers were only taken down the a couple days prior to its release. We expect the same thing to happen for Wrath.

There is also no indication that a patch will be delivered with this downtime. We give it a 50/50 chance of a small patch coming out the night of Wrath's release however, and wouldn't be surprised at all to see some hotfixes go in place over the next several weeks.

Of course, this downtime could be setting up another stage of the world event happening tonight.

Filed under: Realm Status, News items

Shifting Perspectives: State of the class, part 1 - Balance


Every Tuesday, or possibly Thursday when the writer votes on Tuesday and spends Wednesday screaming and beating her laptop over formatting errors, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert steals John Patricelli's column once again, secure in the knowledge that she will never be forced to atone for her crime as long as she writes something nice about ferals and keeps a respectful distance from Dan O'Halloran's whip.

I hate Tauren cat form.

Good. I got that out of my system and can write something productive. Although, believe me, if I could get away with it, an entire Shifting Perspectives would be devoted to just how much I hate Tauren cat form. I mean, just look at it! Look at the angle on the horns! The cat can't bite anything! Christ, I just -- hi, Dan. Yes, I'm totally writing the column! Look at me go!

This week, mindful as always of American election-year politicking, I'm going to borrow a page from presidential duties and write a little something I like to call "State of the Class." Druids have undergone a number of changes in the transition to Wrath of the Lich King, and will acquire even more as they level to 80. We are one of Blizzard's primary targets for both gear and role consolidation, which raises a few questions over how comfortably we're going to scale in relation to pure classes and what we can realistically expect on the march to a new level cap.

The TL:DR version of this article -- I believe our future is generally bright, the Druid community continues to have a few concerns over certain aspects of the class, our focus in PvP seems to be changing the most, and I hate Tauren cat form. This is a three-part post, so let's get started with balance. However, if you want to jump ahead to feral, you'll find that here; and the third part, restoration, is here.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

Ask A Beta Tester: Questions I wish we'd been asked


Here at WoW Insider sometimes we go a little nuts around big news events due to sleep deprivation or sensory overload in conjunction with large hits of caffeine. When that happens while we are writing "Ask A Beta Tester," occasionally we ask ourselves questions ("Why am I not in bed?") that we later realize might actually be useful.

As Wrath of the Lich King's release date creeps up and the beta becomes more and more deserted (seriously: Dalaran is a ghost town these days, not that my computer's wheezing hardware doesn't appreciate it), I find myself turning to a few topics that readers generally never asked about, but wound up being game-defining experiences in the beta. By necessity, most of them are a little more general -- overall impressions, things you wouldn't necessarily think to ask about unless you were a fresh arrival in Northrend and noticed the differences -- but I've included a few specific things that I hope people will find interesting. Unlike --

Why are you not in bed?

What makes you think I'm not?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Quests, Expansions, Features, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

Giving PvE players their own Arenas


Here's an interesting idea that's cropped up on the official forums: PvE arenas. In short, the idea is as follows:
  • Round up four of your friends and form a party.
  • Talk to the PvE arena master and get dropped into a cage match with a random dungeon boss from classic or BC, tuned up to level 80.
  • If you win (that is, the boss dies before the last member of your party), your PvE arena rating increases. If you lose, it decreases. Bosses have their own rating, which develops week-by-week similar to players', so beating the harder bosses will do better for your score, and they'll try to match your team up against bosses that are an appropriate level of difficulty for you.
  • PvE arena points are earned just like PvP arena points, and can be spent on rewards in a similar fashion. An alternate suggestion (also by the OP) is to reward badges based on PvE arena rating, which I think is a better idea, as well as being easier to implement, because it ties into the existing badge system.

Even Tigole thought it was a "cool idea," so there is the ghost of a chance that we will see it in a Wrath content patch. I would definitely enjoy the chance to make a quick pass at a boss or two with four of my friends, and get some extra badges for it at the end of the week. It would also be really fun to get to face some old bosses again, especially given Blizzard's steadfast refusal to implement heroic Deadmines.

Filed under: Instances, Bosses, Forums, Arena

No Wrath without Burning Crusade

We kind of already figured this (and who is really jumping into Northrend without first having finished up with Outland anyway?), but Datth has confirmed it on the forums: in order to install Wrath of the Lich King, you'll have to have Burning Crusade installed as well. Not a huge surprise, but just in case you were recruiting someone to come up to level 80 with you, make sure to tell them to buy all three versions of the game when Wrath comes out, because they'll need them.

The bigger question is: when will get a battlechest? It took about seven months for Blizzard to put Burning Crusade and World of Warcraft in the same box, but can we expect them to do it faster with Wrath of the Lich King? Probably not -- while the price may drop a bit on the current Battlechest (if you wanted to jump into the game the day of Wrath's release, it would cost you $70 total, and our guess is that that's about $10 more than Blizzard will end up charging), odds are that anyone getting in now would have to buy that and Wrath to play.

Of course, odds are that you've made up your mind about buying the expansion anyway. Anyone out there still playing with vanilla WoW? As much as Blizzard has been about skipping past all that 1-60 content as fast as possible, I wouldn't be surprised at all if they even tweaked the subscription pricing on that end to try and pull more people into buying the expansions. They already will let you try the game and first expansion for free, and you'd have to think eventually they'll try to convince the last few demographics holding out to join up as well.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

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