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Posts with tag dungeons

How to go from solo WoW to group WoW

It's finally time: you've been leveling on your own but now you've been lured into your first dungeon by a quest or the promise of gear. But running dungeons with a group of four other players is a lot different from soloing -- different enough to seem like a whole new game. When you enter a dungeon, you need to work as part of a team, and take careful consideration of the rest of your group before you make any moves. It's a very different mindset than what you're accustomed to as a solo player.

Even if you feel like you know your stuff in World of Warcraft, the switch from soloing to grouping can be bumpy -- so how do you make the transition without looking like a newbie? Fortunately, we've been around the block a time or two and have some advice to help you get started, no newbie moments required.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Have you ever been vote kicked?

dungeon finder
Applied with discretion and thoughtfulness it's a useful tool, but in the hands of an overly snarky or bad-tempered group it can certainly be abused--we are talking, of course, about the group vote kick option. Most of the time when I run group content I don't even remember it's there, but occasionally there's that one person who won't stop butt-pulling adds before the tank is ready, or who just can't seem to resist spewing a never-ending stream of gross and offensive epithets, or someone logs off and just doesn't ever come back online. When that happens I'm very, very grateful for vote kicks. Sometimes, unfortunately, it gets applied less sensibly; I've heard of players being kicked for every reason from their choice of toon being disliked to not having "enough" heirloom gear equipped, and situations like that can be infuriating.

When I stopped to think about it, I realized that I have never myself been kicked from a group. I'm sure this is mostly due to the fact that I'm not a huge dungeon runner, so I'm not in random groups very often, but also at least partially because when I do run group content I tend to play a healer. Kicking a healer, while sometimes necessary, can also occasionally result in a very bored group sitting around for a while waiting for a new one, which is no fun. Sometimes people don't believe me that I've never been kicked, but I've met plenty of players who also say they haven't, either, so I've never thought myself particularly unusual, but I still I count myself as being lucky in this respect. How about you, though? Have you ever been kicked? And, perhaps more importantly, was it deserved or were you the victim of a trigger-happy kicker?

Have you ever been vote kicked?
Yes, and I can understand why I was.862 (16.1%)
Yes, but it was for a bad reason.2616 (48.8%)
No, but I probably should have been.229 (4.3%)
No, and I had no reason to be.1657 (30.9%)

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Patch 5.3: New gear vendors for Cataclysm leveling

Patch 53 New gear vendors for Cataclysm leveling
Two new gear vendors were added in Patch 5.3 that sell ilevel 232 gear so that you can immediately do the Blackrock Cavern and Throne of Tides dungeons upon reaching level 80. The ilevel requirement for both dungeons is 226 which is greater than the questing and dungeon gear from Wrath of the Lich King. Before the patch, if you were leveling up via dungeons, you had to stop and quest for a bit at level 80 in order to get the ilevel of gear required to continue running instances.

Quartermaster Iris Moondreamer at the Nordrassil Inn in Hyjal sells full sets of gear for each class. In Vash'jir, Erunak Stonespeaker saves you from drowning and then sells the same gear as Iris. The beginning quest reward gear in Cataclysm is ilevel 272, so questing for a while will get you better equipment, but these new vendors help close the gear gap.

Note: If you are choosing to buy your gear from Erunak, make sure to do so before completing the quest chain that gets you out of the sunken ship. as he stops being a vendor in the next phase.

I had missed this detail in the patch notes so it was a pleasant surprise when questing in Hyjal on a mage that had leveled the previous 20 levels via pet battles and archaeology. Though the gear gap isn't as large between the older expansions, I'd still like to see more supply vendors like these and the ones in Pandaria as you level up, particularly if you are doing so in a non-traditional way.

Filed under: News items

Worlds Yet to Conquer: Ideas for new content in old places

There is a ton of lore in the Warcraft setting, from the first RTS game to the current MMO, four expansions down and counting. And one of the things I love about the setting is just how much we haven't seen yet, for all that we've been to Outland and fought the Scourge in Northrend and are now battling the effects of the Sha while dealing with old Titan repositories and mogu armies in Pandaria.

When Cataclysm came out, one of the better revamped quest areas was in Winterspring, where the remnants of the Blue Dragonflight after the death of Malygos were trying to combat an incursion by forces from outside Azeroth. I was thrilled to see satyrs from Xoroth and new etherals, because it got me excited about all the places in the Warcraft setting I haven't been yet. So I started thinking about places in that setting, both on Azeroth and beyond, where I would love to see a dungeon or a raid to get us to go back and explore them, or even to introduce those places to the game for the first time. And because this just happens to be a website that talks about WoW, I have a ready-made place to discuss these things with you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

I hate scenarios

blood in the snow
Behind the scenes at WoW Insider, we've been talking a lot about scenarios recently, for various reasons - some of which we hope to be able to soon share! In those discussions, I relatively quickly had to come out and admit, yeah, I kind of hate scenarios. It's not that I think there's anything actually bad about them. Maybe individual scenarios have certain annoying mechanics, I honestly haven't done enough of them to know. But I kind of dread doing them, and avoid them for the most part, and there is a very simple reason why: when I first go into one, I don't necessarily know what I'm supposed to be doing.

I cannot communicate how much I despise that feeling. It's why I love being a healer. Here is your job as a healer, in any dungeon or raid ever: you stay out of the bad stuff on the ground and you play Rejuvenation (or Holy Light, or Healing Wave, or whatever) whack-a-mole with health bars. It's great. It's structured and straightforward and it's always the same. Sometimes there are additional mechanics you have to be aware of but, here's the thing - boss needs interrupts? Not a healer's job. Mobs need kiting? Not a healer's job. Turtles need kicking? Not a healer's job. Boxes need clicking? Not a healer's job (usually).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor

Things that were harder before

Things that were harder before
I did a post this week about raiding in previous expansions and in vanilla WoW, and how people often say those raids were harder and my opinion that it is easily demonstrable that current raids are if anything more complicated than they have ever been. I frankly believe there is almost no room for comparison between the game at 60 and today in terms of raid complexity and difficulty. Part of this stems from the many different variations on what the word hard means in this context. Something can be harder because it is conceptually or executionally more complex (the difficulty can stem from how much is required to successfully complete its mechanics) or it can be hard because it is laborious and/or time consuming. Was raiding with 40 people in classic WoW more laborious? Absolutely it was. It wasn't mechanically harder, but it was more time consuming and took a great deal of effort to organize and plan. It's the difference between working out a complex multi-stage math problem and carrying five thousand pounds of rocks from point A to point B.

But there were some points worth addressing. It absolutely has never been easier to level, even without heirlooms, than it is right now. Vanilla leveling to 60 took more time and effort than leveling to 90 does today. Even without heirlooms, one can easily and without much stress reach level 20 in a few hours, level 40 in less than two days, and be level 60 within a day of that, and this isn't spending all day staring at the screen either. This is a fairly casual leveling pace. I leveled a blood elf warrior to 35 in two days of rather casual play, an hour on followed by a half hour reading websites or having a snack or even going for a long walk.

It's also far easier to do the following things:
  1. Get a dungeon group. You can queue for dungeons at level 15, and from that point on, all you ever have to do to run a dungeon is hit that queue. If you're playing in the tank or healing role you can effectively chain dungeons all day, and even leveling as DPS there are stretches where you don't even need to quest or do anything but dungeon.
  2. Run a battleground. While you could argue that doing well at BG running as you level up and at max level takes some time and effort, if you want to risk queueing in whatever gear you have, it's simplicity itself.
  3. Getting ready to raid at max level. The game now has catchup mechanisms in place for players who start later. If you just got your alt to 90 and are switching to it for raiding, deciding to give raiding a try for the first time, or what have you it's not the case that your raid group is compelled to run you through previous raids for attunements and keys, much less gearing you through older raids to get ready for the current content.
  4. Find something to do. You could even argue that there's too much to do, or that it feels too mandatory. But you can't argue you don't have options - if you don't want to run dungeons, raid, or PvP there are pet battles, daily quests and scenarios you can do.
So the question then becomes this: is it better or worse for the game that these things are easier? For that matter, are they easy enough?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The good and bad of GOGOGO

This week on Drama Mamas, we discussed a couple that disagreed on how to handle GOGOGO PUGs, the sort that attempt to rush through everything as fast as possible. The tank felt that the DPS who pulled should not be healed, while the healer believed that everyone should be healed indiscriminately. In my opinion, the tank should pull and the healer should stay with the tank, healing others as needed as long as they are in range. But many in the comments disagreed.

Leveling dungeons are, for the most part, easy places to run -- over and over -- for experience and loot. The question is, are they only that or are they also places to practice your role for the endgame? Many commenters believe that endgame playing should be left for max level and that leveling dungeons should be raced through. Others believe that keeping to a standard pace is boring and chain pulling, even by DPS, is the only way to go.

In practice, a tank has little to no queue time, so the pace ends up being whatever the tank wants, else he or she will just accept the votekick and get into another group immediately. Though I don't believe in strongarm tactics, I do think the pace should be set by the tank, even if it ends up being a little slow. Learning on the way up is good. On the other hand, there is a challenge of the GOGOGO team that can be appealing.

What about you? Do you prefer GOGOGO dungeons while leveling? Why or why not?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The useless distinction between casual and hardcore

The useless distinction between casual and hardcore
If the words 'casual' and 'hardcore' ever had a useful role in determining the differences between players in World of Warcraft, and I am not convinced they ever did, they no longer do. A player who wants to have an alt of every single class at max level and makes that happen is not playing the game casually even if she never raids. A player who collects several hundred pets and levels many of them through pet battles, or has a similarly high number of mounts, or determines to go out and get every cooking recipe in the game (including Dirge's Kickin' Chimeraok Chops which you can't even get anymore but somehow he finds a way) is playing the game very seriously indeed.

Quite frankly, despite the fact that I raid a set schedule, I often feel like I'm significantly more 'casual' than many players who never raid at all. I know I play a lot less - I definitely do not log on every day, I don't run LFR unless I missed a boss in normal (because I want a shot at my Secrets of the Empire off of that boss) and I don't do pet battles, farm, or even do daily quests anymore. So with my roughly fifteen hours of WoW a week, 12 of it spent inside a raid and the other three futzing about older raids for transmog gear, am I casual or hardcore? And does it matter?

Ordinarily I'd explore the answer in the paragraphs to come. But frankly, the answer is no. It doesn't matter. It is so far from mattering that the light from it mattering won't reach us for fifty thousand years. What matters is finding out what players want to do with their time and letting them do it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, 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

The fine art of PvE twinking from level 1-35

TDQ Call To Arms
I'm sure most of you are familiar with the concept of "twinking" in WoW for PvP. It generally entails decking a low-level character out with all the best possible gear available to them and then tearing up the battlefields. In these post-experience locking days twinking is more straightforward than ever, and our own Olivia Grace has already covered a lot of the gearing aspects of twinking, for both PvE and PvP.

PvE twinking is a bit of an unusual idea. Mostly it refers to locking experience at one of the former level caps - 60, 70, 80, or 85 - in order to enjoy the challenges of old raids or to accomplish something limited to players of a certain level, such as the Herald of the Titans title. These are fun and interesting ways to spend time in the game, but what about PvE twinking at even lower levels? Say, level 20? Or 40? Why on earth would anyone want to do that?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Cataclysm

Wowhead interviews Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas

Wowhead interviews Lead Encounter Designer Ion 'Watcher' Hazzikostas
The slew of developer interviews continues! Wowhead guru Perculia interviewed Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas earlier this week, quizzing him about all things patch 5.2. Included in the discussion was the Ra'den encounter, which is not only hidden behind a heroic kill of the final boss of the raid, but also features limited attempts. Also included were plenty of questions about Tier 14 content and how the developers felt it worked out, as well as the question of just what kinds of progression paths are in store for raiders that have yet to complete Tier 14 content.

Perhaps most interesting to me, however, was a discussion regarding Challenge Modes and the lack of new 5-man content. So far we're at the second patch for Mists of Pandaria, and while we've gotten plenty of scenarios, we have yet to see any new dungeons added to the game. While Hazzikostas stated that no details were set in stone as of yet, there were plenty of dungeons that Blizzard has done in the past that would be fun to revisit.

The idea of suddenly making old dungeons relevant to players is honestly something I think could be really fun. There have been plenty of dungeons over the years that I've completely fallen in love with -- but as the game wends on and new expansions are launched, there's little reason to visit any of those prior dungeons. And while transmogrification usually leads me back, the dungeons themselves are easily soloed at this point in the game. What would it look like if the dungeons of old were suddenly a challenge all over again?

Check out Wowhead for more from Hazzikostas, including discussion on Feats of Strength, legendary weapons, those intriguing new Thunderforged items and much more.

Filed under: News items, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Does Mists of Pandaria need new heroic five-man content?

Does Mists of Pandaria need new heroic fiveman content
While recording the WoW Insider Show this week, my two co-hosts Anne Stickney and Olivia Grace were discussing heroic five man dungeons and made the interesting point that, while Cataclysm used new heroics to help people catch up in gearing as new raid tiers were released, the advent of the Raid Finder might mean that it isn't necessary anymore. If you're running LFR as your primary way to see/experience raid content, then you'd simply run previous LFR's in order to gear up and collect valor points for the various reputation vendors. This would allow you to get geared enough for further LFR as new raid tiers are released, and keeps the previous LFR's relevant. If you're running the current 10 or 25 man raids, you can use the LFR's for those raids to bootstrap yourself appropriately if you're not already geared well enough from the previous tier of raiding.

Either way, you don't need new heroic dungeons for the task - between daily quests, scenarios and LFR, the Cataclysm model which placed new five mans in patch 4.1 and 4.3 might no longer be necessary. Challenge modes keep the heroics that launched with Mists of Pandaria evergreen, since you can't outgear them, but is that enough for fans of five mans? While both Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm introduced post-launch dungeons, Burning Crusade really only introduced Magister's Terrace in its last content patch. This makes me wonder if we really need any new five mans, and if we do, what would/should they be?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Are low-level dungeons too easy?

Are lowlevel dungeons too easy
Taepsilum went on today a little bit about an assertion that low level dungeons are too easy. This position is one that many experienced players can likely sympathize with, particularly those who have alts climbing through the levels with full heirlooms and considerable player knowledge behind them.

For players in that position, yes, low-level dungeons are too easy. But, as Taepsilum points out, players with years of WoW under their belts ought to turn back the clock, to let the Ghost of Azeroth Past take them on a journey through time to their first ever dungeon. Hopefully they weren't as foolish as your writer, and didn't select tank without really realizing what it meant. The low-level dungeons have, at least to some extent, to cater to players who have never been in a dungeon before.

And, of course, for the lower levels, dungeon leveling has to contribute an equivalent amount of XP per hour to questing, or nobody would ever go into dungeons at all. But, as another poster in the same thread commented, perhaps it would be possible to open up heroic difficulties of dungeons at lower level to players who wanted a challenge?

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Challenge Modes could be coming to older dungeons

Challenge Mode could be coming to older dungeons
Blizzard Community Manager Draztal posted on the forums today in response to a topic created about Challenge Modes.

Draztal
Quote:

Will you guys ever consider adding more CMs, perhaps old dungeons like Ragefire Chasm/Wailing Caverns?.

Actually, the developers would like to add Challenge Modes to existing dungeons from previous expansions. No timelines or anything, though, but it's definitely something they're considering.


This seems like a really exciting proposition, and the question is, what dungeons would be the best ones to redo? We discussed this at WoW Insider, very briefly, and one suggestion was Upper Blackrock Spire and Lower Blackrock Spire. My preference would likely not be anything that took place in Blackrock Mountain, just because it seems like such a samey place, but what do you all think, dear readers?

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: The keys to content

Karazhan entrance
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?

Keys in WoW have come in many forms. Some hang around our neck. Some hide in belts. Others open aircraft hangars or other, very special places. Some let us pretend to be rogues. Some never made it to the live game. Some we eat or play with. Some help us get the mail or reach new heights. We find some in unexpected places. A few are just trash.

This column is not about those keys. This is about the keys that used to be a Big Deal. The keys that people went to extraordinary lengths to obtain. The keys that put you on everyone's friends list. The keys to content.

Literal gates

Today, content is rarely locked. Players take it for granted that when a new dungeon or raid goes live, they will have immediate access. For the first half of WoW's history, however, this was not the case at all.

Vanilla WoW locked away virtually all of its end-game content. Raids required attunement, which means that every single person in your raid had to complete a certain quest line.

Keys worked differently. Content that required a key wasn't gated according to some arbitrary release schedule, such as the Heart of Fear -- but by actual gates.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

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