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Posts with tag drakes

Defining "PuGgable"

Alan over on WoW LJ has a great question: just what is PuGgable? Lots of people are talking about Naxx and Vault of Archavon and Obsidian Sanctum as PuGable, or able to be taken down by a pickup group, but just where does the line get drawn? Is 25-man Naxx able to be killed by a PuG? Sarth with three drakes? Ulduar?

Most of the 10-man instances are generally easy enough to be dropped by a pickup group, in my experience, though probably not for the achievements. A well-geared PuG can roll right through Naxx or VoA without any problems at all. But when you start getting into the achievements (Sarth with drakes) or the higher content (Eye of Eternity is tough unless everyone in there is experienced), then things get a little shady. Which is why lots of PuG leaders will be checking gear and achievements -- they'd rather take along someone who's already done the content than worry about pulling newbies through. Services and reputations can help that a little bit too -- a good friends list can come in very handy for PuGging even hard content.

And I'd say Ulduar is not PuGgable, yet, for a number of reasons. First of all, it's brand new, which means that most pickup folks won't know the fights, and that leads to wipes and only about one or two bosses down. Plus, since it is so new, every raid reset counts, and guilds don't want their raiders using up their resets when there's a guild run later in the week (of course that's not an issue for Naxx, which most guilds have on farm anyway). Though as more people gear up and more guilds make progress in Ulduar, you have to think there'll be PuGs in there as well

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

Raid Rx: On the fly healing

Raid Rx has returned from retirement! Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. This week we're going to cover assignment-less healing: When to get away with it and when you can't!

Assignment-less healing. It often has unpredictable results. Sometimes your raid group will be lucky and emerge unscathed. I'm a control freak. I like to have a plan A, a plan B and even a plan for when things go wrong.

I've joined my share of pickup groups in the past few months. I usually play on my alt Shaman. I'm more of the Shatner type that hurls bolts of lightning. I've experienced mixed success. On bosses like Archavon, Anub'Rekhan and Sartharion with no drakes active, I notice not a whole lot of organized healing is done. Either that or it was organized behind the scenes via whispers.

To be fair, those types encounters can be done with little organization before hand. I know the first time I went into Naxx and Obsidian Sanctum wearing half blues, a smattering of crafted epics and the odd green or two. Having the healing set up in advance helped out a lot and reassured people. Sometimes it helps the raid morale some when they know the confidence emanating from healers who know who they're healing is there.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Guildwatch: Brother against brother


The worst thing about the screenshot above? "Nùker" is a character that's already been known around the server as a ninja. We swear, people -- we work week after week to bring you all this news of nefarious guild switching and loot stealing, and you're not even paying attention. Given, as ninjas go, taking the mammoth is a pretty lame way to ruin your rep (or at least ruin it even more), but still, we're posting all of this for a reason here, people!

Oh, that, and because it's really funny. More drama, downed, and recruiting news after the break in this week's Guildwatch. If you've got guild news of any kind (especially drama -- we're full up on downed news lately, but drama is harder to come by), send it right along to wowguildwatch@gmail.com. And keep an eye out for your server and guild in this week's GW -- you never know when we'll show up on your doorstep.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Odds and ends, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Ulduar vehicles will scale with gear

Here's a little consolation to those of you, like Eliah, concerned about the Ulduar vehicle fights: Unlike some of the other vehicle fights in the game already, Daelo says on the forums that the vehicles in the next raid will actually scale with gear. He says someone in blues will have a much harder time in the vehicles than someone kitted out in Naxx gear.

Personally, I've only done Oculus, but I do agree with Eliah that putting us in vehicles takes away a lot of the achievement we've gained by leveling and questing -- it's not fun to fail on a boss just because you're trying to deal with a whole new set of abilities you've had no control over until you jumped in the driver's seat. But the fact that the Ulduar vehicles will scale helps a little bit -- players were concerned that every time you went in there, it'd be the same fight, but with new gear that should change. And obviously Blizzard has heard the concerns about the Oculus, so you'd have to hope they wouldn't make the same mistake twice.

Elsewhere on the forums, Zarhym promises, comically, that we'll all enjoy this (and that we'll forget to post how much we enjoy it on the forums afterwards). He says that the fight is different from anything else we've done in the World of Warcraft, and that when all is said and blown up, it'll be an epic encounter. We'll see.

Need more news about Ulduar? We've got updates, previews, speculation, and everything else you need to know about the next big raid coming in patch 3.1. If the Titans are hiding it up there, we'll tell you about it here.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding

Ghostcrawler: If you're 80, you're hardcore

We had quite the firey argument yesterday here on the site -- first, Adam postulated that raiding was so easy we didn't even need to track it, and then I responded by saying that anyone who'd already beat the raid content was just going too fast. And now we have a response from Ghostcrawler (even though he beat us to the punch anyway by posting on Wednesday -- that's just how awesome he is). "If you're 80 already," he says on the forums, "you are a relatively hardcore player."

That will ruffle a few feathers, and I should know, because I ruffled a few of the same feathers yesterday. But the stats back GC up -- it's true that most of the players in the game haven't gotten to 80 yet, and of course it doesn't mean that you're a no-life loser if you're 80; it just means that you're faster than the average player. Congrats.

But in the hopes of actually bringing this whole thing home to a place we can all agree on without flaming each other, let's take a look at the new way of doing the endgame: the regular, show up-and-fight PvE content is now for casual players. Ulduar will be harder than the current endgame, says GC, but it still won't be as hard as AQ40 and the original Naxx were in their day. And for the hardcore players, Blizzard is offering achievements and special runs -- have you finished Sartharion with three drakes yet, he asks? Have you finished all of the achievements yet (and if you have, let us know, because we'd love to post about you)? There are really hardcore, really challenging things to do in the game, still, and Blizzard is working on offering appropriate rewards for them, says GC. But the average endgame is no longer the domain of people who raid three times a week or more, and that's the way Blizzard wants it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Raiding, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Chilton: We want "to outdo ourselves in every respect"


Gametrailers hit up Tom Chilton for an interview at Leipzig and here's the video. His main point is that Wrath is bigger and better than before -- more, better, cooler content. Intercut with lots of cool video from the beta (though some of it was seen as far back as BlizzCon last year), he lays down what's up with the next expansion.

He says that Wrath is meant for high-end players, but that there's lots for lowbies as well: recruit-a-friend was actually designed as part of the Wrath feature set, and Blizzard thought it was better to release it earlier. Inscription is also seen as a "whole-game" feature, since you can pick it up right at level one, and Achievements will work for everyone as well.

He also talks about how the new gameplay features Blizzard is building in let them do all kinds of things with quests and instances -- he specifically mentions one encounter in the Oculus where you'll get to choose a ride with different abilities, so it'll be a different experience than your normal class play. There's some great footage of air combat in there as well, and even a little tidbit about the official threatmeter. Nice interview, and it sounds like Blizzard is rolling right along with their progress in the beta.

[via WorldofWar]

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Mounts, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Achievements

The Oculus revealed

In an amazing example of the nonlinearity I mentioned yesterday (and was discussed at the Raids and Dungeons panel at the WWI), we've been given a sneak preview of the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King dungeon, The Oculus. The Oculus is a wing of the Blue Dragon-centric branch of dungeons, The Nexus.

The Oculus itself is not quite an indoors dungeon, not quite an outdoors dungeon. It is actually a series of tiered, floating rings, which you can see in the picture to the right. Which means you need a way to get between the rings, right? Right! How will we do that? Partway into the dungeon, you acquire a drake that allows you to fly within the Oculus! These drakes come in a few different flavors: DPS, Tanking, and Healing. You're allowed to pick and choose between them, too! Give your healer a break, and let them fly around on the DPS drake! They'll need to start healing again as soon as they're on the ground, so it'll only be a brief reprieve.

The dungeon will be, as I mentioned, nonlinear. All of the bosses will likely need to be killed before the dungeon is 'complete' but you're allowed to pick and choose which order you want to do them in. The simple idea of actually having a choice in that is exciting to me, especially after The Burning Crusade's linear, railroad dungeons. This drake mechanic also makes me curious about what other new features we'll run into in dungeons. Will we see siege vehicles in 5 man instances, like we're seeing in Lake Wintergrasp and the new battleground? What other challenges could be waiting for us, besides Stratholme-esque timed runs?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

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