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Posts with tag burning-crusade

Lil' Bad Wolf packs a big punch against Critters

Lil' Bad Wolf packs a big punch
Real talk time: I've been feeling a bit agitated at the battle pet situation in patch 5.3. Naturally, I want to collect every new pet, but RNG is a cruel mistress. The new patch introduced an updated Raiding with Leashes achievement, which has players returning to the good old BC raids. BC was my favorite expansion, so I enjoy heading back to stomp all over Lady Vashj, especially. Which is good, because I've yet to see a pet drop from SSC. But I digress.

Reader SpaceBard suggested a rundown of Lil' Bad Wolf, one of the ten new raid battle pets in 5.3. We live to serve.

Farming Lil' Bad Wolf is plagued with RNG obstacles. First, the Red Riding Hood encounter must spawn during The Opera Event -- one of three possible outcomes -- and then, of course, the pet may or may not drop. This devilishly cute Humanoid's abilities are as follows:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

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

What's the purpose of a heroic dungeon?

What is the purpose of a heroic dungeon
One of the more volatile announcements that we've heard so far from Blizzard regarding Mists of Pandaria is the fact that Mists will not include any more 5-man dungeons. In an expansion where new content seems to be rolling out on a much faster, tighter basis than any expansion prior this seems a little bizarre to players, particularly those that enjoy dungeon-based content. Yet one of the things Mists has been doing consistently throughout the expansion is delivering a wider array of things to do. In fact, there's such a variety in endgame content that players sometimes feel legitimately overwhelmed by the sheer amount of it.

But just because we aren't getting any new dungeons doesn't mean we aren't getting alternate ways to obtain all that sweet, sweet gear we know and love. Patch 5.3 will see the introduction of heroic scenarios, slightly tougher versions of the scenarios we've already seen this expansion. In addition to valor, the heroic scenarios will offer raid-finder level rewards for players that choose to participate in them -- better than any gear you'll find in a heroic dungeon at this point.

While this may seem pretty cool for some people, it does make one wonder -- what's the purpose of heroic dungeons?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

We don't need daily quests anymore

We don't need daily quests anymore
I think I've firmly established that I really love doing quests, and that I'm fine with daily quests as a whole. Sure, some of them may have had their moments of extreme frustration, but by and large the daily quest system in Mists of Pandaria is pretty entertaining. But while it's entertaining to me, and it's fine with some players, there are others who cannot stand the system. They hate daily quests. The sight of a blue exclamation point is a source of constant irritation.

And it doesn't really matter how you wrap up that package, it's still going to be annoying content that players feel they must complete in order to be competitive. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to matter what is tied to the system, or if it offers rewards of value, like Lesser Charms or valor points. Adding the value to the daily quest system doesn't make completing the quests any more compelling, it just makes them another chore that must be completed.

Which is why daily quests need to go away.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Maps, guides and forums

A trip down memory lane maps, guides and forums
Blizzard Community Manager Bashiok commented today on a thread talking about some features of Azeroth (and Outland) past. Unlike other recent discussions on the forums, though, this doesn't relate to players bemoaning some removed aspect of a long-passed expansion. No, this relates to the World of Warcraft website, and its manifold features. The thread begins with a reference to the above map, which was part of the main site, and can still be found online. It's a pretty interactive map of what was, then, the world, allowing players to see various bits of information about the world, such as profession trainers, dungeon entrances, zone levels and the like. Why doesn't the same exist now?

Bashiok
Yeah! That map was cool. I don't think it got much traffic though. Having an updated map is one of those wishlist items, but the info is already out there on fansites and such, and even a lot of that info is in-game now compared to back then, not to mention quest flow and getting around is far more intuitive, so it's not a particularly high priority.

Would you like to see more maps and other items such as this? Or do fan sites and addons pretty much have it covered?

While we're here on the old WoW site, there are a couple more pages highlighted in the same thread that are worth a look. The world dungeons, for example, had a page which gave a brief insight into the zone and the lore, and a map location. Note the limit on player numbers!
And lastly, there's the old forums. The links don't work, it seems, but there is one fun thread title. The poster was obviously a seer of some sort...
A trip down memory lane maps, guides and forums

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: Speccing for old world raids

Blood Pact Speccing for old world raids MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill harvests all the songbells ever in the search for more Imperial Silk, but slaughtering masses of Horde NPCs for reputation also works.

Patch 5.1 introduced pets to the vanilla-era raids. Patch 4.3 introduced transmogrification, which brought old raids back. Before that, some players would solo or duo old raids just for the challenge giggles. Every new expansion has raised the level cap and opened another expansion to soloing.

Whether you're soloing for a look, for improved familiarity with your spell toolbox, or for bragging rights, warlock is definitely a great class to jump into soloing old raids. At level 90, even before you're decked out in tier 14, most of the Wrath of the Lich King raids are fairly easy. But let's start with the basics -- speccing and playstyle.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard's tribute to 8 years of World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft is eight years old. Coincidentally, that's also the same age as one of my nephews, and it's really odd to think that when the kid was just a baby, I was taking my first baby steps in Azeroth. Eight years is an incredible amount of time, and Blizzard has put together the tribute video shown above as a thank you to all the players both past and present for the years of devotion.

It's a really well put together video that honestly sweeps me right back to day one of the game, when I stumbled through the night elf starting experience and delighted in the fact that my night elf sometimes flipped when she jumped. This led to years of compulsive jumping and several keyboards worth of play, all of which were totally worth it. And although I'm Horde now, I still remember those first months of frolicking as Alliance fondly.

Take a look at the video, and be sure to crank the music up -- the sweeping blend of soundtracks from vanilla to now is always worth a listen. And while you're at it, why don't you leave us a comment with your favorite or earliest memory?


Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Know Your Lore: Dailies and story development

Know Your Lore Dailies and story development SUN
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.

I have to admit that I've spent a lengthy amount of time this week trying to understand why people hate daily quests with such unbridled passion. Leveling a character through zones and completing various quests has to be one of my favorite parts of the game -- but once you reach max level, you've done all there is, from a questing perspective. In vanilla, this resulted in an absolute drought of things to do once you'd hit level 60. When daily quests were introduced in Burning Crusade, they were lauded as an excellent way for players to make gold after they'd reached max level.

But the focus of daily quests has shifted since their introduction in the first expansion. No longer just a way to make gold after the well of quests to do has run dry, daily quests have morphed into a resource to gain both reputation and unique rewards. And oddly enough, daily quests have also evolved into what is slowly starting to look like an effective storytelling tool as well. But why do some dailies work, and others falter? What makes dailies palatable?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Blizzard releases The Story of Warcraft

Blizzard releases The Story of Warcraft
Are you lost in a sea of Warcraft games, expansions and patches? Not sure which came first, the orc or the egg? Wondering what happened in the patches you missed, or the expansions you didn't play through when they were current? Blizzard has just released The Story of Warcraft, a massive guide that goes through and explains the story of the Warcraft universe game by game, from Orcs and Humans all the way to Cataclysm's Hour of Twilight.

Each chapter of the story includes a synopsis of the events in each particular game or patch. In addition, the guide contains video trailers and key art for every chapter. If you've ever been wanting to get into the lore of Warcraft, but simply didn't know where to start, this guide is for you. According to Blizzard, more bonuses like wallpaper and character cards for various Azeroth heroes will be added at a later date.

This is a pretty amazing guide, and it's something Blizzard has desperately needed for a very long time. I'm glad we've got an outline out there for people to follow. Blizzard is also taking suggestions for future updates -- check out the official announcement post and leave your comments if you have any ideas to share.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Lore

Know Your Lore: Of Elune, naaru, and night elves

Know Your Lore Of Elune, naaru, and night elves SUN
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.

Before we begin, I feel I should point out that the screenshot above is one that I created for the purposes of an article I wrote detailing the possible wind-chime origins of everyone's favorite kaldorei deity. It was not real then, and it is no more real now, over two years later. That article pointed out the possible correlations between the goddess Elune, the holy Light, An'she, and what might have been naaru intervention instead of divine, as the night elves would have everyone believe.

And while it connected a lot of dots, it was not true. It was simple theory and speculation. However, recent Ask a Cdev answers have once again brought the question of Elune's origins into play, and player reaction has been less than enthusiastic about the supposed confirmation. Most complain that making Elune a mere naaru is basically homogenizing night elf culture and history, something that plenty of players are apparently really passionate about.

To which I say two words: don't panic.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

World of Warcraft 75% off this week only

World of Warcraft 75% off this week only
Do you have a friend interested in World of Warcraft? Would you like a second account to fill with gleeful pandaren come Mists? Now's the time to get your hands on the game. Blizzard just announced that all WoW expansions are on sale this week only. The Battle Chest is $5, Wrath of the Lich King is $5, and to top it off, Cataclysm is only $10. That's $20 for the complete set, making this an excellent time to bring your friends in for the start of Mists of Pandaria -- or for you to stash a set of games for a secondary account.

Keep in mind that recruiting yourself via Recruit-A-Friend will still net you that sweet Obsidian Nightwing mount!

Prepare for Pandaria with epic savings! This week only, you can get the World of Warcraft Battle Chest for $5, Wrath of the Lich King for $5, and Cataclysm for $10 when you buy directly from Blizzard. That's 75% off the regular prices, making this a great time to set yourself up for the imminent launch of Mists of Pandaria... or to invite a friend to join you in Azeroth.

Hurry, this offer ends August 27, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.


Filed under: News items, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

A brief history of reputation in WoW

A brief history of reputation and WoW
In the early days of vanilla WoW, I had a friend who spent hours upon hours killing ghosts near and around Karazhan. This was odd, to say the least, considering there was absolutely nothing to do in that area at that point and time in the game. I asked him what exactly he was doing, and he said he was collecting Scourgestones. Apparently, the ghosts in the area inexplicably gave reputation for the Argent Dawn. Bewildered, I asked him why he was doing so. The Argent Dawn didn't offer any real rewards at that point.

"Because it's there," he replied. "I like seeing the bars go green. I want to make them all green."

For him, I suppose, it was enough. I understand his fascination more these days, as I make it a point to max out every reputation I have at exalted because I can't stand to see a bar that isn't fully green. Call it vaguely OCD if you will, but if I'm going to go exalted, I'll make sure it's 999/999.

These days, WoW offers a heck of a lot more options for filling up that little green bar -- but where did it all begin?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Nab WoW and all expansions for $20 at GameStop and Best Buy

Nab WoW and all expansions for $20 at GameStop and Best Buy
It's nowhere near Christmas, but GameStop and Best Buy are doing their best to make it feel that way. Both are running a huge sale on World of Warcraft this week. The World of Warcraft Battlechest, which includes both the original game and The Burning Crusade expansion, is only $4.99. If you want to add Wrath of the Lich King, that's $4.99 as well. And if you want to pick up Cataclysm, it's only $9.99 more -- which brings the grand total for all expansions to a cheap $20.

Not only is this great for anyone looking to give the gift of WoW, it also comes in handy for those looking to get the Obsidian Nightwing through the Recruit-A-Friend program. You can either recruit your friends and get them the games, or you can grab the games and open up a second account for yourself. Either way, $20 is a steal.

Check out either GameStop or Best Buy for online ordering, or check with your local store to see if they're carrying the games in stock.

Filed under: News items, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

WoW Archivist: Patch 2.0.3 -- The first pre-expansion event

Players zerg the Dark Portal
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?

Released on Jan. 7, 2007, patch 2.0.3 set the stage for WoW's very first expansion. One week later, The Burning Crusade officially went live. During that week, Blizzard unveiled the game's first pre-expansion event, known as The Dark Portal Opens (or Highlord Kruul Unleashed in Europe).

While perhaps not as ambitious as later in-game events, the Dark Portal offered some memorable moments -- and some valuable lessons for the game's developers. Let's take a look back!

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Become a Guardian of Hyjal with transmogrification

Become a Guardian of Hyjal with transmogrification THUR
Players expecting the Cenarion Circle to show up in Hyjal might have been a little surprised to find the Guardians of Hyjal patrolling around up there instead in Cataclysm. These defenders of the world tree Nordrassil aren't actually the Cenarion Circle at all. While some may be members of the Cenarion Circle, the Guardians of Hyjal are their own organization in their own right. This is why you'll see druids roaming around as well as warriors in full plate standing guard at Nordrassil's roots.

The Guardians of Hyjal are actually a collaboration between the druids of the Cenarion Circle and the Green Dragonflight. They've banded together to protect Hyjal from any would-be villains and to ensure Nordrassil's survival. With the uprising of Ragnaros in the region, it would seem that the group is sorely needed -- and as a faction in Cataclysm, players can join up with these guys and cash in on reputation rewards.

And if you really like the look of Hyjal's plate defenders, it's actually pretty easy to replicate it with transmogrification!

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Filed under: Transmogrification

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