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Posts with tag cot-stratholme

No skipping the story in the Culling of Stratholme for now

The story of the Culling of Stratholme is cool, the first time you do it. However after about the hundreth time it gets to be a bit much. And thanks to the random heroic dungeon finder, I practically have Arthas' speech memorized now; he and I yell in sync at the end of each run "To the ends of the earth!"

Be honest, I know you do, too.

What has to be the most requested feature of this dungeon -- the ability to skip the long and repetitive story -- isn't coming anytime soon. When there was some discussion about this in the general forms earlier this week, Eyonix appeared and enlightened us as to Blizzard's thoughts on the matter:
We agree, but unfortunately with the current tech/flagging that exists in regards to this -- it's just not possible for the game to recognize this sort of thing and allow for a bypass. It's always a possibility for the future though.
So for the time being we'll have to live with this, but at least Blizzard is on the same page with us all. And if the Trial of the Champion and Halls of Reflection instances tells us anything, it's that Blizzard won't be building dungeons without the ability to skip the story in the future -- at least we hope so.

Filed under: News items, Instances

53 Emblems per day


This is great -- it's probably more WoW playing than I could do in one day, but maybe I'll try it this weekend anyway. loztaylor has designed a heck of an instance run that rolls through thirteen Heroics and will nab you 53 Emblems of Conquest (along with all of the other spoils of war) in one day. Basically, you'll be sweeping across the land of Northrend, hitting every Heroic you come across, and if by some chance you're able to keep the group together the whole time, and keep from passing out from all the WoW playing you're doing, at the end you'll end up with 53 Emblems, more than enough to purchase most of the Emblem gear, and almost enough to pick up a Tier piece.

Of course, if you're wearing a rep tabard, you'll also rein in a ton of dungeon rep. And if you hit the new Trial of the Champion, you'll pick up your Champion's Seals as well. And you'll have 13 Frozen Orbs to divvy among the group, a few extra Emblems and gold from doing the daily quests, and if you're good and/or lucky, you might even be able to clear up a few of the achievements or snag that blue proto-drake. Of course, doing this much of anything in the game will probably nab you plenty of rewards. But here's a tuned route to follow all the way around the world of Heroics. If I can find a willing group of suckers guildies, I think I'll give it a shot.

Filed under: How-tos, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Instances, Bosses, Making money

The (lack of) reality in the Caverns of Time

I've always considered the Caverns of Time to be like the theme park of Azeroth -- as we've discussed before, there aren't really any reasons to go to some of those instances in the first place, and the whole thing seems just so ludicrous. If we wipe, or we don't go in there, and Thrall isn't able to escape Durnholde or Arthas isn't able to murder Stratholme or any of the other premises they have set up, then wouldn't the world as we know it change? It seems like fan service -- Blizzard wants us to visit these great parts of lore, and it just seems to me like they've cooked up a weak story around getting us there.

Which is why I was surprised to read this post over on Mystic Chicanery. They argue that the Caverns of Time are actually the most "real" of all the instances in the game. If we go into Utgarde Pinnacle, for example, and murder King Ymiron, there's no reason why he should be in there again the next time we head in. And yet he is -- we can go in and murder him time and time again, doing the same thing, and getting loot every single time. But in CoT, there's a logical explanation for why the instances are always the same: to the people we're encountering in the instances, it's the first time we've met them. From the outside world, the CoT instances may seem strange (the first time I was in Durnholde, we wiped with Thrall, and I jokingly checked with my guild to see if Thrall was still standing in Orgrimmar, alive and well -- he was), but inside the continuity of those instances, they work.

Of course, we do still get different loot from it every time, as the MC post notices. But it is quite a thought: even though the Caverns of Time instances are the ones in the game that seem to least need us messing around in there, they also might just be the most logical.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Lore, Bosses

The Queue: Tank talk

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

There was a good, and amazingly civil, discussion yesterday in the comments to the Queue about which instance a tank should head to first. Most of the debate came about via my suggestion that Utgarde Pinnacle was a good candidate for a tank's first heroic. The nice thing about this game is that there is no right or wrong answer (most of the time).

However one of the only truths about the game is that you can get better at it by discussing it and debating the aspects of it with other people. So I do humbly recommend that no matter what question you ask, you always look for more than one answer and compile all the answers into one that fits you best. And with that said, ask your questions about the game in the comments and we'll see if we can't help you on this path of enlightenment. /zen

Otharello mentioned...

"I'm pretty sure that suggesting Utgarde Pinnacle for a new tank is the height of sadism."

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Filed under: The Queue

The OverAchiever: Glory of the Hero, Continued


No one's kiling any folk here today, on account of we got a really tight schedule. -- Mal, "Trash."

Seemed to have some good luck with a previous Firefly quote, so why not? We're all set in Ahn'kahet, so let's pop over to Azjol-Nerub and lay waste to some bosses there.

AZJOL-NERUB

Every achievement here is, in one way or another, a DPS race. If you've had difficulty with previous achievements in that vein or your DPS is still gearing up, you'll probably want to steer clear of Azjol for a while.

Watch Him Die

This is one of the few achievements in the game most efficiently done from a kamikaze perspective (Sarth-10 3D is the most notable of the other picks). Early attempts at this with two tanks, two DPS, and one healer failed miserably, mostly due to the combination of poisons, a Priest healer, and Watcher Narjil's Blinding Webs ability. I'll admit I tried that before anything good dropped from Naxx, so it may just have been a gear issue at the time, but:

a). If you have very good DPS, and:

b). If you're willing to suffer a repair bill

-- you can probably get this achievement in one or two tries without worrying about keeping all three Watchers tanked, bringing an off-tank, or risking a DPS having to kite all three to the entrance.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Instances, Features, Bosses, Guides, Achievements, The Overachiever

Shifting Perspectives: So. Um, do bears suck?

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we shelve the column we originally intended to run due to a rather pressing matter.

OK, folks. I have a confession to make. This week's Shifting Perspectives was originally meant to be a full guide to gearing your Restoration Druid at 80, and I'm still going to post that, either this week or next. A lot of people have (correctly, I think) observed that this column has historically paid more attention to Feral than to Restoration or Balance, and it's my aim to balance (har!) that out a bit. Part of it is just that the people who play Druids on staff here at WoW Insider are usually feral, and part of it is that -- at least as of the last numbers we had on it -- most people playing Druids are also feral. I confess I would love to see the demographics on Druids post-Wrath, because I get the sense that Balance in particular has become markedly more popular.

But the Resto post is going to have to wait a few days, not least because my eyes are swimming from so much Wowhead. We found out today that Swipe's threat is getting a significant buff, but over the course of reading the pertinent forum thread and some back-channel discussion here, I ran across a few things concerning bear tanking that really made me sit up after the hell of tanking last night's heroic Old Kingdom and go, "Wait. It's not just me?"

Personally whenever I encounter serious problems in a dungeon I tend to chalk it up to the fact that I suck. I find this to be an efficient and typically accurate means of pinpointing the source of an issue. However, my fellow Druids, our problems may actually be more wide-ranging than that.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Features, Classes, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Phat Loot Phriday: Leeka's Shield


Here's a shield for you tanks to try and get from a trip back in time this weekend.

Name: Leeka's Shield (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoWDigger)
Type: Rare Shield
Armor/Block: 7032 / 197
Abilities:
  • +37 Strength, +60 Stamina, which is quite a bit of Stamina for a shield. And we know there's almost nothing tanks love better
  • Unless it's Defense rating, of which this shield gives 38. An exceptionally nice shield -- not the last one you'll ever get, but it's definitely a reason to check out the new Caverns of Time instance the second you hit 80.
  • And yes, like most of the stuff in CoT: Stratholme, there's a little lore behind this one. There's a shop in Stratholme called "Leeka's Shields and Maces," so it's a pretty good guess that this shield came from shieldmaker Leeka back during her human days. Why do we say human? Because Leeka turned undead, and then apparently turned Forsaken -- she's an auctioneer in Undercity now. It would be awesome if she commented on this shield whenever you showed up wearing it, but maybe she doesn't remember -- do the Undead have memories of their previous lives?

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Filed under: Warrior, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Phat Loot Phriday, Lore, NPCs

WoW Radio runs CoT: Stratholme

Our good friends at WoW Radio have continued their beta instance-running ways -- previously, they've taken runs through Utgarde Keep and The Nexus, and after a short break (they're busy folks, pushing out great radio 24/7), they've done a run through CoT: Stratholme, viewable right there if you want to see it.

We should warn you that there are spoilers, of course, and personally, I think I might not watch the whole thing -- I'd kind of rather experience the Culling of Stratholme on my own. But for those of you willing to take the plunge with the WoW Radio folks, enjoy. We hear there is some good lore commentary going on, and there's even a bug where, Totalbiscuit tells us, "all Gnome females are default naked." Shudder.

Yeah I think I will pass, actually. But if you do choose to press play, enjoy the video.

Filed under: Gnomes, Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Instances, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: The next Caverns of Time encounter

It hasn't shown up on the Beta servers yet, but it's probably still one of the most eagerly anticipated instances of Wrath of the Lich King, especially for us old timers. I'm talking, of course, about The Culling of Stratholme in the Caverns of Time.

The nice thing about the Caverns of Time is that you can do stuff like this, sending people back to visit pivotal places, people, and things in the past without creating a whole new game. Despite the stumble in Mount Hyjal, when we appeared to go as tourists instead of agents of the Bronze Dragonflight to combat the Infinite Dragonflight, the Caverns of Time has been solid and well-liked, with 5-man instances that allow you to experience some important and intriguing lore and give you a definite story to follow in the instance, one that can be done in well under an hour.

Certainly, this model has lead to a lot of fans, and a lot of people hoping we'll see many more CoT dungeons to come. There's even rumors (or wishful thinking) that we'll get another Caverns of Time raid for Wrath, possibly The War of the Shifting Sands.

Whether it's true or not, I can't say, but the caverns definitely have room to expand. As the custodians themselves explain, passageways to new times could open up without warning, sending us off on new adventures. What times, places, and people would you like to visit via the caverns?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Factions, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath boss names revealed in Achievements


Wowhead recently went live with their database of all the Achievements currently in the Wrath beta. Among those Achievements is one for clearing each dungeon and raid currently in Wrath. Each Achievement lists its requirements for completion, so what does that mean? We now know the names of all the dungeon bosses (as well as a little from the raids)! Everything placed after the cut for those who want to avoid spoilers.

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Filed under: Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

WWI '08 Notes from the Dungeons & Raids Panel part 4


11:31 AM: CoT: The Culling of Stratholme. Player response to CoT was overwhelming, allowing players to play through story rather than just read it. CoT: Stratholme located in CoT, Tanaris. Removing faction requirement on CoT teleport. Level 80 instance. Scripted experience, similar to Old Hillsbrad. Experience "The Culling" mission from Warcraft 3 in the WoW universe.

Fight alongside Arthas (before he falls to the Lich King) to see how Stratholme fell, what exactly went on with Arthas to get him where he is today. Really want players to get to see more of Arthas. Timed encounters, some completely new things. Non-linear. You're actually in Stratholme, used a good portion of the original Strat dungeon, looks and feels as you would expect and tried to stick as close to lore as humanly possible. Using original voiceover acting from Warcraft 3.

11:35 AM: Infinite Dragonflight storyline from TBC will be continued in Stratholme, popular storyline, this was the perfect place to do it.

11:37 AM: Entrance in CoT similar to other dungeons, entrance reflects Lordaeron art and Strat style buildings. Plaguewood transformed. Really wanted city to feel alive, on the brink of something bad but feeling that the city was fully functioning, player arrives at a crucial moment.

11:39 AM: Player Q&A. Will there be a change in legendary drops? Atiesh-style or random drops?

A: For the most part they like the Atiesh style. Sometimes they have to deliver content and don't have time to implement quests like that hence simplified drop system. Case-by-case basis.

Q: Attunements lifted in TBC. Any in WotLK, or just gear checks?

A: Plan to reduce any complexity on attunements, don't plan to add new attunements to dungeons/heroics and entry level Naxxramas, will still have an attunement path once you get into raiding that takes you to the end but goal to make sure it's simple to understand and not as complicated as the attunements TBC shipped with.

Q: Wipe management - will there be closer graveyards, shorter run times through dungeons?

A: Yes, definitely something we constantly think about. We play all the dungeons too. If we feel like something's too far we'd move it. In most cases the distance of graveyard is based on difficulty, want to make sure there's some price for death, but not too annoying.

Q: Being a hardcore raider, you could see content that not a lot of people can see. With 10-man dungeons being the same as 25, will you reward hardcore raiders beyond just loot?

A: Want to make sure 25-mans feel like the pinnacle of raiding, hence the one tier loot separation, so you know for sure someone's done that raid, they'll wear different gear. Titles is something we're looking into working more with, titles from kills, title just from being able to get into one specific area. Definitely aren't trying to merge the two, like the first kills, videos etc. Want to keep that feeling, if you get that first kill it feels great for you.

Q: Will there be an expansion of the token system or will loot be randomly determined?

A: Don't plan to move away from token system but some of the randomness can be alleviated by simply dropping more loot.

Q: With all this talk of heroics, there are some people who can't even manage normal dungeons, is there any idea of bringing in new dungeons for them?

A: I don't think you're alone. There are a lot of players who find that first 5-man a barrier to entry, it's something we've been talking about a lot. We're not going to make everything easier but we do want to make things more accessible. It might not mean a creature is easier to kill but easier to understand, easier for new players to learn advanced techniques.

That's the end of the panel, some interesting developments in the pipeline for all levels of raiding. Keep checking back for more invitational live coverage throughout the day!
WoW Insider is on the ground in Paris at the Blizzard Invitational bringing you the big announcements and latest Wrath news as it happens. Check out our latest coverage!

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Worldwide Invitational

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