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Posts with tag brd

And the dungeons keep on shrinking

I've run the new Scarlet Monastery dungeons on the beta several times now. They're fun, well-designed, interesting dungeons. They are a bit jarring if you're familiar with the current Scarlet Monastery, however. The current four dungeons have been cut down to two, and it's been achieved by removing a lot of the long hallways full of trash pulls we're familiar with now. The Armory section of the new dungeon almost feels abrupt if you (like me) ran SM over and over again in the olden days of WoW.

It's not that the new dungeons are bad. They're objectively good, even great at places, with a good sense of the history of the place and call-backs to the classic dungeon.

They just feel kind of short to me. Smaller. Actually smaller, not in terms of the size of the hallways or anything but in terms of how much real estate they cover. And while I often rail against nostalgia, lately that sense of scale has been driving me to run older content not even to gather loot for transmog but just to see it, to look around at the scope and scale of the older dungeons.

Now, I don't want to pretend that these dungeons weren't often hideously irritating to run at the time. Getting a 5-man group all the way through Stratholme back when it was all one big, interconnected burning city full of undead and no one ever wanted to clear both sides wasn't anything but an exercise in learning colorful new metaphors as they spewed from your own mouth. You'd end up amazed you even knew the Basque term for that particular deviancy.

Still, there is something to be said for the epic scale of some of the older 5-man dungeons.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: Blackrock Depths, WoW's ultimate dungeon

Plugger Spazzring is ready for your drink order
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

You don't trust this bar. First of all, you had to fight your way through a legion of Dark Iron dwarves and their constructs just to get here. Secondly, it's run by a shady leper gnome who has one grumpy-looking golem for a bouncer. Third, there's an awful lot of laughter, yet no one here looks amused.

You are right to be nervous. This is the Grim Guzzler. This is not a nice place.

Welcome to Blackrock Depths

For someone who began playing WoW post-vanilla, it's hard to explain just how amazing Blackrock Depths was back in early 2005. It's true that people often got lost there, but it was also a fantastic place to simply lose yourself. No area of the game has ever been as convincingly comprehensive or offered more to discover. There always seemed to be another boss, event, or area to explore, another secret to unlock. It's no secret, however, that BRD remains a favorite dungeon of many WoW Insider bloggers.

BRD wasn't just a dungeon. It was a civilization, and you were there to bring it to its knees.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

20 observations from a leveling tank

My main is a druid tank and healer, but on occasion, I've returned to two low-level warrior alts and braved leveling in the Dungeon Finder. Most leveling groups are a bit like the proverbial little girl with pigtails: When they're good, they're very, very good ... and when they're bad, they're horrid.

The following is a list of somewhat random observations I have collected after several expansions' worth of tanking for low-level groups.

1. Don't take shortcuts on trash packs. The time you save sneaking past one of them will be eliminated by the time you'll lose when someone blunders into them and dies.

2. Someone will almost always blunder into them and die.

3. Despite common complaints on the forums, the vast majority of players are actually really nice people who are perfectly willing to tolerate mistakes and the learning curve. The actual occurrence of true, unforgivable jackasses seems to be about one per five groups, although this depends on when you're queuing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The OverAchiever: Pure win

Every so often I get tired of the self-seriousness that infests some of (OK, most of) the other work I do here, and get the urge to write something purely for fun. After our series on evil achievements and the relentless misery of School of Hard Knocks, I'd like to spend some time on achievements that are nothing but an absolute joy from beginning to end.

The following is an entirely arbitrary set of five achievements that I personally believe are a hoot. Eventually, I'd like to expand this in the same fashion as the evil achievements series, and I'd welcome any comments or suggestions on your own favorites. Namely, what makes certain achievements fun? Is there any achievement you've made a point of getting on each of your characters?

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

The Queue: An unrelated Q


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.

I'm in charge of the Queue train today, which means for the first time this week, this is a Star Trek free zone. Admittedly, I can't shake the obsession with the letter Q, so we're just taking things a different route today. Behold: Q.

Darasen asked...

"Perhaps this is better answered by the Priest community but thought I''d ask here. I have been leveling a healing priest through the dungeon finder and was curious about the proper use of "Power Word Shield". I use the spell constantly as it is very mana efficient. I have had some players tell me I should not use it though. A warrior told me he thought the shield kept him from gaining rage (he was unsure) and a Paladin told me that he couldn't get mana back when shielded. So should it be used regularly or not?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

WoW Rookie: Pro tips for lowbie dungeon runners

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. For links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's, visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide.

When you really need to know, turn to the hive mind. Readers had plenty to say last week about their trials and tribulations (and triumphs!) running the older instances of vanilla WoW and Burning Crusade. Thanks to speedy reader comments, we were able to update readers with a resolution to the looting mess that left most groups unable to complete the staff required to summon Ironaya in Uldaman. (Any other issues with tradeable objects inside instances? Let us know about them in the comments.) As the discussion wound through page after page of observations and frustrations and advice, a veritable gold mine of tips for running low-level instances emerged. This week, we'll recap those tips for new players who are making their way through the old instances for the very first time.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

The OverAchiever: The Keymaster

Hot on the heels of a much larger achievement we've recently covered (Twenty-Five Tabards), I've decided to do The Keymaster in this article for two reasons:

  1. I recently watched Ghostbusters.
  2. Do I need another reason?
Actually, the other reason is that if you've done Twenty-Five Tabards, Keymaster is usually pretty easy because you've likely got some Burning Crusade faction rep under your belt. I could tack on a third -- I'm constantly surprised at the number of players who aren't keyed for some of the old-world dungeons, and by "surprised," possibly I mean "irritated," because I keep getting pestered to go open doors. Happily, just about all of these keys can be soloed at 80 for most classes, and none of them are particularly time-intensive (with the possible exception of the Scholomance key due to insane travel time) to get.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Achievements, The Overachiever

Breakfast Topic: What if achievements had existed in classic WoW?

One of our readers, Eli, wrote in last night with a suggestion for a Breakfast Topic: if achievements had existed in classic WoW, what would they have been? It provoked some back-channel discussion here with staffers wondering how the game would have been different if beating the boss or dungeon wasn't the only thing on your plate:

Me: What would a hard-mode Ragnaros have been like?

Adam Holisky: Kill Ragnaros using only one tank!

Eliah Hecht: Domo comes back from the dead and starts randomly sheeping raid members in revenge.

Other suggestions included killing Hakkar with all of his priests still up, hearthing with Hakkar's debuffs and infecting at least 500 players with Corrupted Blood (back when this was still possible, of course), killing at least 500 Dwarves without dropping combat in the Lyceum, the Stratholme timed run, and -- as Sacco suggested -- "getting through an UBRS run without (anyone) quitting." Having recently leveled a Shaman through this content, I can tell you that's one achievement I wouldn't have managed.

If you were back in classic WoW again with no chance of advancing beyond level 60 talents and gear, what would make for a worthwhile achievement?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Humor, Achievements

Breakfast Topic: Steak on eggs

After posting two articles concerning mount-related issues yesterday (Engineering mounts in Wrath and the changes to the Brewfest ram/kodo), I went back to Blackrock Depths with a group to have another crack at everyone's newest best friend, Coren Direbrew. This time I was in the company of a half-crazed warlock determined to get both Brewfest mounts. He'd missed his chance at the ram last year and sworn up and down that it would never happen again, only to be aghast at Blizzard's decision to make both mounts a boss drop. To him, I imagine, it was time to knuckle down and show that ugly, yellow-bellied, boot-licking, random-number-generator just who was boss. However, as the day wore on, he realized that -- insulting the random number generator? Not a good idea.

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Filed under: Tauren, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Bosses, Mounts

Planning for the Brewmaster title in advance


A lot of people are understandably upset that the Brewfest mounts are now boss drops instead of buyable items. I've heard from no small number of folks who saved their Brewfest tickets from last year's event in order to purchase the mount with less hassle this year, only to discover that -- oops -- that wasn't in the cards. One particularly irate guildie logged off to go enjoy a mini-Brewfest of her own courtesy of the fridge after discovering that the ingame version wasn't going to cough up a ram.

The new boss, Coren Direbrew, is pretty cool and I'm happy to see older content being made relevant again (especially when it's an instance as cool as BRD), but as far as I can tell from the forums and various data sites, the drop rate on the mounts is...less than spectacular. I'm seeing estimates that range from as little as 1% to as much as 15%. Blue poster Kisirani pops up to say it's "much, much easier" to get a Brewfest mount drop than it was to get the Sinister Squashling off the Headless Horseman. Wowhead lists the Squashling as a 2% drop, so maybe the 15% figure for the Brewfest mounts is more accurate.

The mount might be a crapshoot, but you can cover the other bases on an upcoming Achievement and title by planning ahead:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Events, News items, Instances, Expansions, Bosses, Guides, Mounts, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

We've become carebears in Shattrath

Arrianae has a great point over on the forums: since when did Outland take the war out of Warcraft? Remember all that blood spilled on the Crossroads? Remember the massacres that took place at Southshore, or the daily incursions at Orgrimmar and Stormwind. STV ganking is legendary, and BRD used to have skeletons all over it. So why is it that, in Shattrath, Horde and Alliance are suddenly buddy-buddy?

The answer, says Nethaera, is that there are bigger foes to worry about in Outland, the Burning Legion definitely not the least of them. There is some good PvP to be found in Outland, although the Auchindouin nodes are usually just grabbed rather than conquered. But while Halaa in Nagrand is covered with the entrails of both sides, you still get the feeling that there, we're just fighting for a turn-in vendor. It's fun, but it doesn't have the epic, original Warcraft flavor that was so sweet in Azeroth.

I think what players want is some good old Orcs and Humans combat. Before Burning Crusade, we were asking for more World PvP, and we definitely got it-- from HFP to Zangarmarsh to Auchindouin, there are tons of ways to fight the other faction, and tons of reasons to do it. But no amount of standing around in a PvP objective feels better than sticking pointy end of sword into enemy, and that kind of ruthless attack is what players miss.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, PvP, Raiding

Around Azeroth: Christmas in July


Reader Nell of Bronzebeard sends in this shot taken in the Emperor's throne room in Blackrock Depths. The snowman, though? I'm pretty sure he'd melt long before making it to the throne room -- but I suppose we have to give some leeway, considering we're talking about a magical fantasy world.

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth or Outland that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com! Or perhaps you'd just like to see more of your pics from Around Azeroth.

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

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