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Posts with tag challenge-modes

Reminder: Get your content cleared before 6.0.2

Blizzard posted a reminder earlier this week regarding several features that will either be changed or removed from the game entirely in patch 6.0.2. While we don't at present time have a release date set for the introductory patch of Warlords of Draenor, it would still be in your best interests to complete the content now, rather than waiting and possibly missing out for good. And of course, removed content means those achievements you've gathered will be filed away as either Legacy achievements, or Feats of Strength in the upcoming expansion.

Challenge Modes should be top priority if you've got your eyes on those Mists of Pandaria sets, because they will no longer be available as of 6.0.2 -- the phoenix mounts will also be going away, although players that have earned one of the mounts will have access to all variations. Players looking for heirloom weapons from Garrosh Hellscream should hop to it, as those will also be removed once Warlords of Draenor is released in November. In addition, the Brawler's Guild will be taking a hiatus once patch 6.0.2 hits -- the bosses and encounters in the Brawler's Guild will be re-tuned for level 100. However, if you've already gained access to the Brawler's Guild, you'll still retain that access when the new expansion launches -- no need to dig up another invite.

Lastly, if you have not started the legendary cloak quest chain by patch 6.0.2, you'll no longer be able to obtain it. Players already on the chain will still retain the quests, although they will be slightly altered, as the section of the chain that requires players to collect Valor Points will be gone altogether with the removal of Valor Points in 6.0.2. For more information on changes and removals with the arrival of both patch 6.0.2 and Warlords of Draenor itself, take a look at Blizzard's full post on the official site.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Will running five player content be viable in Warlords?

I actually really enjoy five player dungeons. One of my disappointments in Mists of Pandaria was that we never got any five mans beyond the start of the expansion and that they basically became just a means to farm some valor - since no new fives were introduced, they couldn't be tuned to in any way keep up with gear from Throne of Thunder much less Siege of Orgrimmar. They became laughably easy unless you were running them as Challenge Modes, ultimately.

And this bothers me because I'm one of those people who feels like five player content never really had lived up to its promise in World of Warcraft. Especially now that raid dungeons have become so accessible, with LFR and flex making it easier than ever for almost all players to get some level of raiding if they want it, I've always felt like fives need a refocusing. Having normal and heroic difficulty fives really separate with better rewards for fives is a good start, but where Challenge Modes didn't grab me was in their completely cosmetic rewards. I always felt like CM's should offer gear on par with at least normal mode raiding - a group that decided to focus exclusively on Challenge Modes or some other form of very hard five player content should be able to progress their character not just visually, but actually as well.

Why do I feel this way? Well, I'll tell you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Get your Thundering Serpent Hatchling while you can

Challenge modes will be making an exit with the launch of Patch 6.0.2 -- players looking to get their Challenge Mode gear should do so before the patch hits. But one of the sometimes overlooked bonuses of Challenge Modes is going away as well. The Thundering Serpent Hatchling, a reward from the Challenge Conquerors: Gold - Guild Edition achievement, will also be taking its leave with the release of the patch, according to a tweet by Senior Game Designer Jonathan LeCraft.


Players might not know about this sparky little Battle Pet, especially if they've recently joined a guild. The Thundering Serpent Hatchling isn't rewarded solely to the people that earned the achievement for the guild, it's a pet that is unlocked on the Guild Vendor. Anyone with at least Revered guild reputation can purchase it, but the serpent cannot at this time be caged -- which means you aren't going to find this little guy floating around on the Auction House. If you haven't picked him up yet, you might want to do so now -- because there's been no mention made of any possible future return.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Challenge modes 101: The beginning, the middle, and the end

This is the sixth in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

Challenge modes can't be queued for like normal or heroic dungeons; you must travel to the instances and start them yourself (at least until you start getting golds and can teleport to them). Doing so will illuminate why so few people enjoyed having to do this in the age before the Dungeon Finder.

Right-click your character portrait, scroll down to instance difficulty, and click the Challenge Mode option. The instance portal will change to the hourglass graphic above. Enter and you'll find the path forward blocked by a yellow mist with a sundial in front and a list of the dungeon's requirements on your right. Clicking the sundial will give you the option to start the challenge. Once you accept, you'll get a countdown from 5, and then you're off to the races. Be sure to pre-pot!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

You ask the impossible: Finding classic world-drop recipes

I've been running a Challenge Modes 101 series recently to help players who are scrambling to get their transmog sets, mounts, and titles before the axe falls, and our commenter Drewbob pointed something out that I hadn't considered. The use of Invisibility Potions is a key part of the strategy for gold timers, but the recipe is a world drop in classic Azeroth. If you weren't lucky enough to get a drop while leveling, or buy it when it was more commonly available on the auction house, you may find it very difficult to get these days. You can't really farm for it, and on smaller servers, you've got to wonder if it's ever available at all. I bought my Invisibility Potion recipe back during Burning Crusade, and now that Drewbob's mentioned the sheer difficulty of finding it these days, I'm so grateful that I was always too lazy to switch professions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Challenge modes 101: Ranking the dungeons by difficulty

This is the fifth in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

There's no universal agreement on which dungeon is the easiest or most difficult; groups with different CC and cooldown options don't experience dungeons in the same way. However, there's some consensus on which dungeons demand the most effort:
  • Easy: Gate, Scholomance, and Scarlet Halls
  • Intermediate: Temple, Shado-Pan Monastery, and Scarlet Monastery
  • Hard: Mogu'Shan, Siege, and Stormstout
I prefer to classify them somewhat differently.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Challenge modes 101: Pull McNasty

This is the fourth in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

Pull McNasty (noun: 'púl mik-'NAS-tē): The worst and most difficult pull in a challenge mode dungeon, and most common point of failure for a group attempting to beat the gold timer.

Learning how to survive "Pull McNasty" is an essential challenge mode skill. Once your group knows how to coordinate its cooldowns, stuns, and interrupts, each successive McNasty will simply be a matter of tailoring that rotation to each dungeon's context so you're not pulling faster than your cooldown timers can support.

I've assembled a list of the various Pull McNasties past the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Challenge modes 101: Farming invis pots and how to use them

This is the third in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

For non-mages and groups without access to the rogue's Shroud of Concealment, plan on using a lot of Invisibility Potions for challenge modes. If you're not on a big server, the odds of finding them on the auction house are low, but farming them in quantity is easy. Ghost Mushrooms grow and respawn very quickly in the Fungal Rock cave in northeastern Un'Goro, and you can get more Sungrass than you'll ever use with a few circuits around the edge of Thousand Needles. Get a potion-specced alchemist to make the pots for you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Challenge modes 101: Shopping list


This is the second in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

Gear in challenge modes is scaled down to ilevel 463, so it's crucial to bring buffs to maximize your group's performance. You will need:
  • Extra helm if needed Legendary meta gems do not work in CMs. If your regular helm has one equipped, pick up an ilevel 463+ helm somewhere and equip it with an ordinary meta gem.
  • Restorative Amber Healers may find this useful as it will regenerate mana substantially faster than ordinary drinking. On the down side, it requires honored with the Klaxxi to buy and it's expensive. I don't use it while healing, but many do.
  • Invisibility Potions: Plan on using one of these in every dungeon with the exception of Gate, Stormstout, and possibly Mogu'shan and Siege. Rogues can eliminate the group's need for these altogether with Shroud of Concealment. Mages can use Invisibility instead and continue to use their potion cooldowns for DPS. You can also use Lesser Invisibility Potions, but I find the 18-second version easier to farm. We'll talk more about these tomorrow.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Challenge modes 101: Finding a group before it's too late

This is the first in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

Because challenge modes for Mists of Pandaria dungeons are set to disappear in the Warlords of Draenor content patch, I thought it might be helpful to run a series on how to get your golds squared away before that happens.

I would advise everyone to read Adam Koebel's article from January on getting started with challenge modes. I won't repeat the excellent advice given there, but will try to expand on it for the benefit of players who are trying to get all 9 golds done quickly. Take heart: My character is living proof that no one is too dumb or incompetent to do these things.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Warlords of Draenor: Guild leveling and guild perk changes

Players on the Warlords of Draenor beta have noticed something a little different about guild perks in the new expansion -- a large portion of them have simply been removed entirely, including both the Fast Track and Cash Flow perks. While some assumed this was likely a bug, it turns out this is part of change that has been planned for guild leveling. Namely, guild leveling is being by and large removed from the game. Or, if you want to think of it in a slightly different fashion, all guilds will automatically be what level 25 once was.

Why the changes? Watcher hit the forums to explain, and to point out that the perks people normally associate with guilds aren't really going away entirely. Some of them, like Ride Like the Wind or Honorable Mention will just be rolled into the game as default behavior, rather than offered as a perk of any kind. So yes, while the perk is getting removed, we won't really see a change -- flight paths will simply go 25% faster by default. The Cash Flow perk, however, is being flat out removed, and Watcher had some really good points as to why this is being changed.

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Filed under: Guilds, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Challenge mode weapon models datamined

Adriacraft is at it again, datamining new models and more from the alpha client. This time around, it's a look at Challenge Mode weapons -- presumably the rewards for completing Warlords challenge mode dungeons. Like some of the armor sets that have been datamined so far, the weapons feature some really unique animations and moving parts that are far more complex than any weapon we've seen to date. There's a wide variety to look at, here -- and while I'm ambivalent on some of the models, I have to say the sword that assembles itself is pretty interesting.

But before you get too caught up in liking or hating the weapons, keep in mind that looking at these datamined models may be pretty cool, but these are in fact alpha models. Community Manager Rygarius hopped on Twitter yesterday to remind people of just that.



Regardless of whether you love or hate these datamined models, remember that they might not actually live to see the light of day. If nothing else, they're definitely worth a look just to see the leaps Blizzard has made in weapon design -- these aren't your run of the mill vanilla weapons anymore. Be sure to check out Adriacraft for more models and sets.


Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Wowhead interviews Warlords developers at PAX East

Our friends over at Wowhead are attending PAX East this weekend, and Perculia had a chance to sit down and interview Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut and Game Designer Steve Burke about Warlords of Draenor. A variety of topics were discussed -- Garrisons were discussed in detail, as well as raid cooldowns, the strengths and weaknesses of the Timeless Isle, professions and the removal of damage bonuses, and much more.

One of the more exciting discussions addressed the issue of storage space. Mentioned in the interview was the new toy box tab that will rid your bags of all the interesting gadgets and toys you find while questing. But that's not all -- most profession materials will stack to 100 in the new expansion, and gathered quest items from kill and carry quests will be tracked, but not actually take up space in your bags. And perhaps the most exciting news from the interview (for me, anyway) is that at long last, transmogrification fanatics will be getting a second tab of Void Storage in which to squirrel away their favorite fashions. You can listen to the full audio from the interview above -- it's well worth checking out.


Filed under: Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard clarifies Challenge Mode Realm Best titles [Updated]

Challenge Mode Entrance
Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has taken to the official forums to provide more clarity on the removal of Realm Best Challenge mode titles. As ever, you can read the full post after the break, but in summary, if you're really unhappy about the removal of the titles, it's not good news.

Watcher explains the various options they considered, giving a title to everyone who'd ever been realm first, which was dismissed as too problematic for the next season. He also explains how leaving the titles with those who held them at the end of the season would not work because if those players changed servers they'd lose the server-tied titles. Response has been largely dissatisfied.

It seems to me, and I may be wrong, I am not a WoW dev after all, that it would not be so huge a feat to create a new title for those players at the top of the ranks at the season end. Challenge Modes have been compared to arenas before, and this could work exactly the same. A title like "Mystical Challenger [Name]" could be applied in the week following the end of the season, attached to the character not the server, just like they do for arena Rank One. And just like arena, players would have to vy for those realm-best top spots right up to the last weeks. The Arena comparison makes a lot of sense to me, so let's keep it going.

Hit the break for the full post, and an update posted after time of writing!

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Filed under: News items

Challenge mode rewards clarified for "end of season"

Challenge Mode Entrance
Blizzard has posted a blog detailing changes to the proposed "end-of-season" challenge mode rewards. They had previously posted a rather firm policy, detailing how this season's rewards would remain limited to those who'd previously earned them, and not be account wide. However, it seems they've changed their mind. Hit the break for the full post, as ever, but let's summarise the key points here:
  • The "Undaunted" title for all bronze medals will be account wide, so useable on any character.
  • The Pandaren Phoenix mounts earned with a full set of Silver medals will become account-wide.
  • If any character on your account has a full set of Silver medals, all four of the Pandaren Phoenixes (Crimson, Ashen, Violet, and Emerald) will become available to all characters.
  • Cosmetic sets will not be account wide. If you have all nine Gold medals, you can still buy the sets after the season ends on the character that earned the medals.
  • The "Challenger's Path" spells will be retained.
  • Realm Best titles will be permanently removed.
Hit the break for the full post.

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Filed under: News items

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