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Posts with tag blackwing-lair

BlizzCon 2010: Defense of Orgrimmar live raid

I finished watching the current No. 1 guild in the world <Paragon> tackle a unique live raid event developed just for BlizzCon 2010! It was a big thrill watching them do their stuff. I only wish I could've heard their communications in real time. I've always wondered what is being discussed on unknown encounters.

Except these weren't unknown encounters. We were fighting past foes like Shazzrah, Baron Geddon and the Beast. It wasn't limited to older encounters. Some newer bosses included Ozumat and Rom'ogg Bonecrusher. Apologies for the image quality on some of these folks; I'll need to select a better location and grab a better camera.

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

The Urban Legends of Warcraft: Ashbringer

One of the more interesting facets of playing a game as extensive as World of Warcraft are the legends and mysteries surrounding the game, both inside and out. A lot of these legends, mysteries and unsolved puzzles have developed over time into urban legends -- stories that sound just true enough to be plausible, but usually end up being untrue, dead ends or simply unsolved mysteries that were never meant to be puzzled out. Today we'll be talking about a weapon whose origins were so mysterious and carried so many loose ends that it left players in a tizzy for years: Ashbringer.

The legend of Ashbringer started when World of Warcraft was originally released. The orange legendary weapon was discovered in the game files by data miners, and the stats and proc on the weapon were truly amazing. At the time, even epic weapons were extremely rare, so seeing something with an orange tag on it was more than a little unique and awe-inspiring. However, other than the datamined weapon, there was no indication of it appearing in game -- that is, until players slowly leveled from launch to their first steps into the Plaguelands.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

15 Minutes of Fame: Classic raiders keep a different pace

15 Minutes of Fame is WoW.com's look at World of Warcraft personalities of all shapes and sizes -- from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, from the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

The old days are long gone, Gramps; take off the rose-colored glasses and play Wrath, where raiding is better than ever.

So goes conventional wisdom in the comments whenever anyone espouses a little nostalgia for the old days of vanilla WoW. Raiding was a far different animal back then. Players who raided were still considered hardcore -- "casual raiding" wasn't on the radar yet -- and devoted week after week of angling for a 40-man raid slot in hopes of earning the chance at a purple drop. Even though strategy sites for WoW raids blossomed sooner rather than later, videos and the trustworthy guides remained relatively sparse, and many early guilds developed their own tactics and jealously guarded alternative strategies. Standing at the mailbox in Ironforge with a massive, raid-sized weapon on your back meant wielding a badge of achievement that attracted a small crowd; bearers would be flooded with awed whispers asking where it was from.

A thoughtful look back at WoW's 40-man past yields both positives and negatives. It wasn't simply the size of the raids that made them feel so different than today's raids ; it was the interplay of raid size, the inexperience of the raiding player base, the scarcity and difficulty of rewards, the lack of universally accepted tactics and strategies ... A whole host of influences that simply can't be replicated today.

But while the era may long cold and dead, the content is still very much alive. Beyond the bored, pre-expansion players who are fending off burnout by sightseeing in vanilla WoW and The Burning Crusade instances lies another layer of players who are attacking old content with level-appropriate characters. These classic raiders aren't fruitlessly attempting to recreate the past; rather, they're enjoying an entirely different pacing for the game.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Tom Chilton on Cataclysm additions and the upcoming world event

Our friends over at WorldofWar.de (who were listening live to the podcast this past weekend) recently got an interview done with Lead Designer Tom Chilton, and you can read it over on their site right now. There's not a lot of news in there (though Chilton does gush over the Dungeon Finder, just as players have for the past week or so), but aside from the usual player housing deny and the old "we don't know what the future holds" back and forth, but there is one fun thing he reminds us of in the second half of the interview: Blizzard is adding on to the old Blackwing Lair instance in Cataclysm. It sounds like kind of what they've done with VoA: Blackrock Caverns, which we heard about at BlizzCon, will be a new area (supposedly level 85 5-man, though Chilton says "lots of bosses") inside Blackrock Mountain that's connected to all of the Black Dragonflight bosses in Blackwing Lair.

Finally, Chilton sorta-kinda re-confirms that there will be a new content patch before the expansion -- he says it probably won't be a numbered patch like 3.4 or 3.5, but he says there may be some more class balances in there, new Battle.net features, and possibly even a new raid boss. But mostly it'll just be the patch that brings us all of the world events previous to the Cataclysm shakedown that we'll all go through. Sounds like fun.



World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Lore, Interviews, Cataclysm

The Queue: I demand a recount



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. Michael Sacco will be your host today.

I'll be taking over The Queue periodically for Alex and Adam, and thus I've been given this soapbox. Well, guess what! I'm usin' it.

I demand a recount on the alleged outcome of the Rossi vs. Sacco arm-wrestling match. I don't know where the results came from, but I bet if we looked in Adam's basement, we'd find a Diebold machine that "fell off the back of a truck." Rossi may have the burly chest and body hair that give him the makings of a champion, but I've got really good hair and I can guarantee that one look at me and Rossi would give up the ghost right there. Unless we're playing by standard rules, in which case he would literally murder me.

And now, reader questions.

Sean asked...

"A question about the new Random Dungeon feature. Let's say you sign up for the first random dungeon of the morning, and you get a place that you just can't stand. (Think OK or Occ) If you bail on the dungeon, then wait out the Deserter debuff, have you messed up your shot at the Frost Emblems for the day?"

We've had a lot of questions about the new Dungeon System lately, which is good, because it shows that people are (at least) interested in it and (at most) excited about it. To answer your question, you don't miss your opportunity to get your Emblems of Frost if your first random dungeon of the day goes down the toilet. You get your Emblems upon successful completion of your first random dungeon of the day.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: I miss trash


Before you have me committed, I'll say right now that I was expecting to be thrilled with the lack of trash in the new Coliseum raids. Who wouldn't be? No more endless waves of, say, Death Knights or Spectres or that horrible two-pull on the way to killing Auriaya or what have you. And you know what? I don't miss that stuff. I don't miss any of the trash we've yet seen in Wrath of the Lich King.

In fact, what the trashless boss gauntlet that is Trial of the Crusader/Grand Crusader has done for me is to show me that I've been missing trash, real trash, since after we moved out of Mount Hyjal, and even then it was in slow decline. No, I hate to admit it, but in a blazing moment of honest to Murgatroyd old fogeyism, I came to realize that what I miss was the brutal, punishing trash pulls in Blackwing Lair. Blackwing Spellbinders were harder to deal with than some of the bosses that followed them! You could wipe multiple times before you even had the room cleared enough to pull a drake!

Yeah, it sounds ridiculous that I'm nostalgic for that. And to be honest, it's a nostalgia tinged with a certain amount of relief that I don't have to go clear it again any time soon (and if I did, well, I'm level 80 now). But what I miss, and what I feel like we've been moving away from since Hyjal (which may have taken trash pulls to a height so ridiculous that the pendulum had to swing back this way) is trash with personality. Trash that sets the story, that makes you really feel like you're actually raiding an ancient lair of evil. That being said, I'm glad TotC is trashless. Just please, let Icecrown bring back trash that counts.

How about you? Never want to see it again? Looking forward to its return? Where do you stand on trash?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Raiding

The Queue: Trinket-Palooza 2009


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. Allison Robert is your hostess today again (our condolences).

I'm in an autumnal sort of mood, hence today's picture. Yes, I know that Barrens trees always look like that. We got a really interesting question about trinkets the last time around that really caught my attention, so a lot of today's Queue is going to be comprised of an Enjoyable Stroll Down Memory Lane and Into Holy ^$*# Look At That Trinket From AQ40 How Has That Not Been Nerfed Yet.

Starlin asks...

So, what's up with Brewfest this year? Anything new or updated?


Fortunately or us, Kisirani posted on this same question yesterday. To summarize, there are no major changes to the holiday, but Coren Direbrew has been updated to level 80, the mount drop rates haven't changed (nor are they now required for the Brewfest meta-achievement), and no new pets or mounts have been added. You can reasonably expect a beefed-up holiday boss with a new loot table (most likely of ilevel 200 items, possibly 219 if they want to match the gear from heroic Trial of the Champion), but otherwise the same experience as last year. I'll have an OverAchiever for the good folks seeking Brewfest achievements up on the site soon.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Queue

Phat Loot Phursday: Onyxia Scale Cloak

Special edition of Phat Loot Phriday this week, on a Phursday! Why? Because tomorrow is gonna be full of fun in the California sun.

We did Quel'serrar a while back, so with Onyxia headed back to the game, we'll look at the other piece of gear that involved the black dragon we love to hate.

Name: Onxyia Scale Cloak (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoWDB)
Type: Cloak
Armor: 43
Abilties:
  • +7 Stamina, +16 Fire resistance. Ah, the days of level 60, they seem so far gone now. Compare this to a prime tanking cloak nowadays, and take a look at just how far we've come.
  • On equip, protects the wearer from being fully engulfed by something called Shadow Flame. What is Shadow Flame, you ask? Here's where this item really gets interesting: sit back and enjoy a tale of old level 60 raiding.
  • Shadow Flame is actually an ability used by Nefarian, Onyxia's brother, and a few other bosses in Blackwing Lair. He casts a huge unblockable AoE during his fight -- unblockable, that is, unless you're wearing one of these cloaks (although since then, Ice Block and Divine Shield will both stop it).

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Filed under: Items, How-tos, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Instances, Quests, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday, Bosses

Insider Trader: Not like it used to be


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about vanilla WoW and the way things used to be. Now that experience gains can be shut off, players can actually move through some of this content the way it was meant to be experienced. Well, it won't be exactly the way it was, but it's as close as we're getting.

Blizzard has also been implementing more elements from the old world. Naxxramas was a vanilla dungeon, and was redone to become the first raid instance of the second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, set back on Azeroth no less.

In fact, soon we'll all be battling Onyxia once again, deep breaths and all!

Professions used to be different too. Of course, most of the changes to the system have been for the better, but there were some elements that could be recycled for the future.

Last week, Insider Trader discussed a new, more progressive direction for professions, including some of the ways that this could be implemented. This week I'll be shedding new light on one particular vanilla element that has been phased out, exploring ways in which it could be reborn.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, Insider Trader (Professions)

Death Knight gets Thunderfury

via deathknight.info
Here's a world first I never thought I'd see via Deathknight.info: The first Death Knight with a Thunderfury! Night Elf Death Knight Dragoth of Frostmane-EU grabbed the legendary sword a couple weeks back, and has the achievement to prove it (It's under the Feats of Strength category). Certainly, this was no small task in and of itself. Sure, you can probably do most of the questline with four or five people now, but you'll still find yourself in Molten Core begging for the bindings to drop for at least a few weeks, and that doesn't even count the elementium.

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Filed under: Items, News items, Instances, Raiding, Death Knight, Achievements

Reader Halloween costumes 2008


Readers have already started sending in a few costumes for Halloween this year -- if you're dressing up as something from the World of Warcraft, don't forget to take a picture and send it through our tipline. Reader Taytayflann of Frostmane assembled this great Bloodfang costume from a Horde hoodie that he bought -- the shoulders, which took the longest to make, he says, are made out of shin pads, cardboard, wire, red and black cloth, and staples. They turned out really well, and even though it was probably tough putting them together, it was probably still easier and faster than traipsing around Blackwing Lair with 40 people trying to get the virtual set.

There are only a few pictures in the gallery below, but we'll be adding in your entries from the tipline throughout the weekend (both of real-life and ingame costumes), so check back to see more. And don't forget to have a safe and happy Halloween tonight from all of us here at WoW Insider.

Filed under: Tailoring, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Odds and ends, Raiding, NPCs

Maintenance for June 17th will be short

Here's a heads-up to all our North American night owls early risers and Oceanic readers: It's Tuesday morning, and that means maintenance. Luckily, it's a short one today. Bornakk has said that they expect most servers to only be down a half hour, starting at 5AM PDT and ending a 5:30AM PDT. There are some extra servers that will be down slightly longer, until 6:30AM PDT. Those servers will be listed after the break. Aussies can rejoice as well, as any Oceanic servers not on this list won't be taken down until 5AM AEST (Which is noon over here on the American west coast).

For the list of servers that will have a longer downtime, read on:

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Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items

WoW Moviewatch: The last ride of Blackwing Lair

Continuing on our unintentional weekend of Baron Soosdon, we came across an older video of his that isn't a music video! Instead, it turned out to be an artistic "epic raid" video of two guilds, The Beastro and Beyond Oblivion, kicking buttocks pre-TBC. Blackwing Lair: The Last Ride weaves in battles with cut scenes containing plot elements combined with the sounds in-game. What interested me more was the camera that he used, which allowed him to get distance shots.

[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

Select realms to undergo maintenance (updated!)


Drysc reports that a number of realms are under investigation for performance issues and will be undergoing a scheduled maintenance at 5:00 AM PDT on Wednesday, March 12 with a foreseeable downtime of 1 hour (update: Zorayn notes that downtime will be extended to 2 hours as opposed to one). As Drysc edits the thread, realms are added (or removed) regularly. From a quick perusal of the realms, it seems as though it is the Nightfall Battlegroup that is affected. Blizzard currently lists the affected realms as follows:

Aerie Peak
Altar of Storms
Alterac Mountains
Anvilmar
Arygos
Blackwing Lair
Deathwing
Demon Soul
Doomhammer
Gnomeregan
Icecrown
Jaedenar
Kel'Thuzad
Lethon
Onyxia
Sentinels
Tanaris
The Venture Co
Uldaman
Undermine

Drysc further notes that other Battlegroups are under close observation and will be taken down for maintenance should any issues arise that might require it.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, Blizzard, Forums

Patch 2.4: Hyjal and Black Temple attunements removed

Blizzard announced the following important four lines in their 2.4 Patch Notes:
  • Players will no longer require an attunement quest to enter Hyjal.
  • Players will no longer require an attunement quest to enter the Black Temple.
  • Players who have completed the attunement quests for Black Temple and Hyjal will be granted the title of "Hand of A'dal".
  • You may now fight Prince Kael'thas and Lady Vashj without first killing all the other bosses in their respective dungeons.
I have to say, despite the difficulty of Vashj and Kael'Thas, I am quite surprised to find that Blizzard has removed the attunement requirements from Patch 2.4. Naxx, Blackwing Lair, and even Molten Core still require people to become attuned. Now seemingly, two of the hardest and most revered raids do not.

While the removal of the attunement is obviously a way to get more people to see their new raid zone, the Sunwell Plateau, all is not golden. Many, many, many raiding guilds and players who have already made the brutal trek through Vashj and Kael will be quite upset. On the other hand players who are not yet able to, but perhaps ready for, the first few bosses of MH and BT, will undoubtedly rejoice.

What are your opinions of this change? How do you think it will affect the raiding landscape?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Quests, Raiding, The Burning Crusade

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