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Posts with tag dragon-soul-raid

Gamescom Raid Q&A with the Devs: Nerfs, the raid finder and more

Gamescom Raid and Dungeons Q&A with the Devs
You may have spotted Monday's post on how to design a raid, which was the first half of the Gamescom 2012 Raids and Dungeons round table with Ion Hazzikostas and John Lagrave. The second half of the Round Table was a Q&A session in which many interesting questions were asked, shedding light on some hot issues as well as simply providing a little more insight into the Blizzard Encounter Design Team's creative processes.

Again, these aren't verbatim quotations from Ion and John, as I simply can't write that fast, but the overall statements are accurate representations of their responses.

Are there any encounters Blizzard have had to alter or leave out due to technical constraints?

There was a boss leading up to the Lich King who you had to heal (Valithria Dreamwalker), and that was a huge challenge for their existing technology. If you think about it, Ion explained, up to that point, every healing spell in the game was designed to be cast on a friendly target, that is to say, a player. So the devs were faced with the task of reworking every healing spell in the game. They didn't want players to only be able to use certain spells on her, as that would have been bad, so they redid every healing spell. The technical team changed the game's design so that the boss basically became a raid team member. Ion and John explained that it's all about working out creative ways to implement the designers' ideas.

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Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Rossi-related raiding revelations

Image
Matthew Rossi recently wrote a piece on the spoils of progress, detailing, among other things, his covetous streak and how it translated into a love of raid farming, including heading back to old content, farming out legendaries, and generally stealing stuff from monsters.

He mentioned how he loved it when raids go into farm mode, loved seeing his numbers increase and eternally upgrading his loot. He even loved farming through old content he could solo to get drops the loot gods never blessed him with the first time around, or the second, or the third.

And it hit me that, while Matt and I both enjoy raiding, we enjoy it completely differently. I read his piece, and barely agreed with 20% of the things he said he enjoyed! This is not a criticism of Matt, not at all, it's simply an observation, and testament to the vast variety of playstyles catered to by WoW.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

The Dragon Soul -- a post-mortem

Technically, as I write this, the Dragon Soul isn't actually dead yet, nor do raids really die so much as either become outdated or revamped. (Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman stand as examples of raid content that died to be reused, while Naxxramas was used again as an introductory raid.) But since we're closing in on our fourth month running the raid instance, I thought this was a good time to examine it critically. What were the Dragon Soul's main themes? How did it function both as a raid instance and as a platform to end Deathwing's story arc? And most importantly to me, did I enjoy the ride?

Dragon Soul as an experience was fascinatingly diverse compared to previous raids. It eschewed the static finding of some dark cave or towering fortress to instead create a raid wherein we traveled the world, with different environments for the bosses to suit the locations and set pieces for our transitions. One complaint I've seen is that by reusing the Dragonblight and Wyrmrest Temple, Blizzard's design team was cutting corners -- but frankly, I don't find that criticism very accurate. First off, Wyrmrest is where the dragonflights typically meet, as demonstrated by Malygos' assault during the Nexus War, so it makes perfect sense for it to be where Deathwing sends his full Twilight's Hammer forces to try and crush them.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Lore, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: 4 Dragon Soul tips to make your DPSers love you

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

With the 15% nerf to Dragon Soul slated for Tuesday and Mists of Pandaria's beta test here already, Cataclysm is winding down. Many guilds are on autopilot in Dragon Soul, simply clearing the place each week for another shot at an elusive trinket or item. You can buy the heroic Dragon Soul title or mount on most realms without too much trouble. With a few months of the same eight bosses ahead of us, it's easy to understand why everyone is focused on what's coming next.

I am always looking for ways to optimize my guild's raids. If there's a way that I can shave a few seconds off a boss encounter, I'll take it. There are plenty of areas in Dragon Soul where a clever holy paladin can help move things along. I currently run with a secondary holy talent build that includes Denounce specifically for the purpose of speeding up our runs. If you're still learning Dragon Soul or working on a new heroic encounter, these tips probably won't apply to you.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Looking for raid, or looking for trade?

My interactions with the Raid Finder have been limited, for the most part. I'm in a raiding guild, and we were told when the Raid Finder came out that we would do guild runs to start out with. This was to make sure that all drops benefited everyone in the guild, and honestly, it was a smart idea. Players got their set bonuses with relative speed, and we completed the encounters with no difficulty at all just due to the fact that they were relatively easy in comparison to the normal-mode raiding we were doing.

However, after we began melting more gear than we were keeping and started working on heroics in earnest, our raid leader let us know that if we really needed anything else from the Raid Finder, we'd have to go run it on our own. So it was with a fair amount of confidence that I queued up for Dragon Soul, looking for a trinket that was so far eluding my rogue in normal mode content. No big deal, right? Easy enough, and by now plenty of people ought to be familiar with the content. Well ... not so much.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Shifting Perspectives: A feral druid guide to the Siege of Wyrmrest Temple

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

I was tired. I'd traveled to the End of Time, participated in one of the biggest moments in the history of Azeroth, and helped the spiritual leader of the Horde kill the spiritual leader of the Alliance (who, admittedly, had tried to kill us first). I'd never felt much of a calling to the Dream, but a few hundred years of meditation sounded great right about now.

Peering over the scales of my drake (I'd have flown myself, but they insisted), I gestured to the large dragon in flight beside me.

"You know, you dragons are always causing trouble," I shouted as the frigid wind of Northrend whipped by. "Can't you just drop me off at the nearest forest and call it a day?"

Nethestrasz chuckled. Through some queer trick of the dragons' magic, they were fully understandable, even in dragon form.

"If a forest existed that would be spared from Deathwing's flames, I might join you," he replied. Unfortunately, any further reply was drowned out by a sudden, loud cracking noise as the earth split asunder before us, revealing a gigantic earth elemental.

"Well, looks like it's time to be troublesome," I thought. Wordlessly, I nodded to Nethestrasz, and our army turned as one and dove for the surface.

This week and next, I'll be covering everything you need to know to DPS your way through the new Dragon Soul raid encounter. I'll provide a quick capsule strategy for those attempting the fight in the Raid Finder, then describe the changes to the fight for normal and heroic modes.

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

The Light and How to Swing It: Tanking the first 3 bosses of Dragon Soul

Dragon Soul entrance
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

In the previous weeks, we've talked about getting prepped for patch 4.3, how to hit the ground running, and what pieces of gear should be on your hit list. Now we've come to the main event: the Dragon Soul raid. Deathwing's forces are assaulting Wyrmrest Temple, and it's up to you and your allies to knock them over and finally put a stop to his perfidy. The fights ahead will test your skills and the limits of your survivability. You'll also be taunt swapping like you've never taunt swapped before (which is its own kind of exciting).

Morchok

Morchok is a fairly simple encounter (and "fairly" is being generous). Consider it the Lootreaver of Dragon Soul.

When you pull Morchok, turn him away from the raid. His Stomp attack will split damage among all targets within 25 yards, but the two closest (that is, you and your co-tank) get a double share of the damage. So unless you're trying to play Kill the DPS, face the boss away.

You and your co-tank will be swapping at around two or three stacks of the Crush Armor debuff. Each stack reduces your armor by 20 seconds, so don't allow it to stack too high. Usually I'll take the boss first, co-tank taunts at two stacks, and then taunt when my stacks fall off, and we continue to taunt when stacks drop off there on out.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

WoW Insider's guide to Warlord Zon'ozz

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop. Questions, comments, or something you would like to see? Email me at tyler@wowinsider or message me on Twitter @murmursofadruid.

Unlike the other encounters in Dragon Soul, Warlord Zon'ozz only requires a single tank. For cooldown purposes, it is possible to bring in a second tank; however, there isn't too much of a need to do so. Per usual, you will want to have around five to six healers. Switch your off tank for an additional healer if you feel that would help. Your DPS should be a solid mix of both ranged and melee; there does need to be a solid balance of both. Healers should be split among the DPS, with tank healers staying with the melee.

Abilities

Zon'ozz doesn't have all that many abilities, but he's still a hands-on encounter. Most of your time will be spent watching the Void of Unmaking and bouncing it back and forth. Healers will focus more on clearing away Disrupting Shadows. For once, tanks probably have the easiest time on this encounter, only really having to watch out for a single ability that occurs about once per phase or so.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding), Raid Guides

WoW Insider's guide to Morchok

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop. Questions, comments, or something you would like to see? Email me at tyler@wowinsider or message me on Twitter @murmursofadruid.

Greetings raiders, and welcome to WoW Insider's raid boss strategy guides! With the release of 4.3 and the new Dragon Soul raid, we're finally onto the last bastion of evil in this expansion. Finally we are given the chance to face down Deathwing himself and end his destructive madness. Before we can reach this cataclysmic destroyer, though, we'll first have to break the siege upon Wyrmrest Temple and battle our way through the most powerful minions the Destroyer has in his arsenal.

The first of this is Morchok, a giant earth elemental that is assaulting the front gates, as it were, of the Temple itself. Although not challenging for the first encounter of the raid, this pile of rocks isn't going down without a fight. Are you prepared to break yourselves upon his body? (Oh, wait ... that's a different encounter, isn't it?)

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding), Raid Guides

Patch 4.3: Watch Dragon Soul's cinematics

Spoiler alert: If you would rather check out these cinematics in game during the Dragon Soul raid, avoid clicking after the jump.

The Dragon Soul raid is finally here, and Deathwing's time is up. Now that brave heroes have thwarted Murazond's plans in the future, reclaimed the Dragon Soul artifact in the past, and escorted Thrall to Wyrmrest Temple in the present, it's time to put that bad boy to use. There are a total of four cinematics in the Dragon Soul raid, most of them 10- to 20-second transitional movies you get to watch as the action ramps up and Deathwing gets a face full of Dragon Soul.

Hit the jump for the three cinematics that are currently available to watch. We still have not seen the final cinematic, presumably Deathwing's ultimate demise, as of the writing of this article. Hopefully we will have it soon enough.

Spoiler alert: Do not hit the jump unless you want to be spoiled on these cinematics.

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Filed under: Machinima, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: The Dragon Soul

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.

It was a tiny, small, inconsequential disc. Golden in color, simple in appearance, the talisman was far more dangerous than any could comprehend. Well ... almost anyone. The goblin servants of Neltharion, the Earth-Warder, created the object, and even they weren't truly aware of just how terrible that creation truly was. For the golden disc held not only the power to tear through the Burning Legion; it held the power to control every dragon, every flight in the world -- with the exception of Neltharion, of course.

For he would rule them all. The voices told him so and promised him glory above all creatures of the world, mortal or immortal, no matter how insignificant. The Burning Legion was simply an army of pests to be eliminated, as were the kaldorei; the War of the Ancients was a petty squabble marring the glorious moment of his ascension. It was only a matter of time.

The Dragon Soul was perhaps the most dangerous creation in existence, and it was held in the claws of a dragon that was most certainly completely insane.

Today's Know Your Lore contains some information regarding Thrall, Twilight of the Aspects, the 4.3 5-man dungeons and the Dragon Soul raid. If you're avoiding spoilers, I'd skip this for now.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Patch 4.3 PTR: Gear levels revealed for Dragon Soul raid

The newest updates to the patch 4.3 public test realm have revealed the new item levels for gear acquired from the valor point vendors as well as the loot dropped from Dragon Soul bosses. With Dragon Soul, Blizzard is introducing a brand new difficulty tier in raids called Raid Finder, aimed at providing a new difficulty curve for new raiders and players who want to pug these raids.

Valor point vendors now have a piece of armor for every slot, mitigating that whole "no shoulders drop except tier shoulders" problem that warriors had this recent patch, among other classes. You will be able to fill every slot with new gear from valor points but will not be able to purchase set pieces. The new gear ilevels for Dragon Soul are as follows:
  • Raid Finder drops ilevel 384 (just a bit better than normal Firelands).
  • Normal Dragon Soul drops ilevel 397 (just a bit better than heroic Firelands).
  • Heroic Dragon Soul drops ilevel 410 (the best around).
As with other valor point tiers of gear, the boots and bracers on these vendors will be bind on equip, allowing players to purchase these items with valor points and send them to alts, sell them on the Auction House, or help out a guildmate in need.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

Patch 4.3 PTR: Dragon Soul raid now available for testing

Testing has begun for Dragon Soul, the raid instance coming with patch 4.3 that culminates in the Deathwing encounter. Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer, aka Daelo, posted a schedule today for upcoming raid testing phases for Morchok and Yor'sahj the Unsleeping, two of the pre-Deathwing bosses. Testing starts ... today, actually. Like, really soon.

PTR Raid Testing Schedule - Oct 14
And so it begins...

Today we're going to try and test a couple of the initial bosses in Dragon Soul.

14:30 PDT - Morchok (10 Player)
16:30 PDT - Yor'sahj the Unsleeping (10 Player)


There will be additional testing scheduled in the upcoming weeks, both in the morning and afternoon.

As always, the scheduling for PTR testing will be VERY fluid. Tests can be announced, canceled, or rescheduled at a moment's notice depending on build and server status, outstanding bugs, etc. I will try to give as much advance notice about tests, but that is not always possible. Also note that these encounters are all works in progress.


Looks like it's really happening. It's time to slay the dragon.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

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