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Posts with tag dungeons

Patch 5.1 official patch notes

Patch 51 official patch notes
Welcome to the beginning of war and the arrival of patch 5.1, Landfall. While this patch does not contain any new raid content, it is full of changes to pet battles and classes. And don't forget the new content -- an entirely new series of quests await adventurers in the heart of Krasarang Wilds, along with new scenarios to unlock. Included in the official patch notes:
  • Scenarios now include Dungeon Finder queue features, including leaders, backfill, vote to kick, and deserter debuffs. Roles are still not required.
  • Raid groups are no longer required to enter pre-Mists of Pandaria raid dungeons. Get to farming!
  • Speaking of old raid dungeons, a variety of new pets have been added to old raid bosses.
  • For fans of Pet Battles, be sure to check out the new Battle-stones, used to upgrade the quality of pets.

Read on for the full list of patch notes for patch 5.1.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Developer Q&A with Wowjuju

Developer Q&A with WowJuJu
Blizzard Community Manager Zarhym emailed WoW Insider yesterday to give us a heads up about a lengthy developer Q&A which was published over at Wowjuju. This is a hugely in-depth interview, so let's dive right in with our synopsis.

Classes

A couple of questions came up regarding the Monk ability, Zen Pilgrimage. This ability allows monks to travel to the Peak of Serenity in Pandaria, and on re-use, returns the player to their previous location. Death Knights, understandably, were asking for the same to apply to their Death Gate, which takes them to the Ebon Hold, and unceremoniously abandons them there. Monks, conversely, were bemoaning the confusing effect of the ability if they don't use it a second time, and hearthstone back instead. The devs said that both concerns were reasonable, and that they would look into rectifying the issues. WoW Insider thinks that Monks are missing a trick with what could essentially be a second hearthstone!

Hunters queried whether the increase in available pets might lead to more stable space, which, to the consternation of sentimental beast masters everywhere, was met with a resounding "No." There was also some discussion of the hunter ability Scatter Shot being dodgeable, while a rogue Blind wasn't. Rogues and hunters work very differently, rogues are reliant on expertise and positioning to avoid being dodged or parried on a plethora of other abilities, so the devs didn't really feel this was a valid comparison.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Dungeons and you - a guide to basic etiquette

Dungeons and you  a guide to basic etiquette
I am generally a tank, and therefore when I run heroics I tank them. This is not always the case. If I want DPS gear, I queue as DPS because it's only fair to perform the role you intend to gear up. This results in me ending up switching to tank after a previous tank has left, or the group has wiped a few times, about half the time I sign up to DPS. This is intensely frustrating to me, because I don't like having to switch and end up seeing the gear I came for, and signed up for, going to someone else because I'm tanking. I also don't like tanking after waiting in a queue for twenty minutes.

Therefore, this is a basics guide to dungeon running that covers a few things all groups should know, because I'm seeing a lot of groups that don't seem to know them. Five man dungeons are all about personal responsibility in the Mists of Pandaria era - you need to help keep yourself alive by making smart decisions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Interview with Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas

At the Mists of Pandaria launch event in Irvine last week, I had the opportunity to talk to Ion Hazzikostas, lead encounter designer for World of Warcraft, about Mists of Pandaria's raids and dungeons, lessons learned from Cataclysm and beyond, and the road ahead.

WoW Insider: State your name and position!

Ion Hazzikostas: My name is Ion Hazzikostas and I am the lead encounter designer for World of Warcraft.

What does that job entail?

I'm the lead on the encounter team, which is self-explanatory; we make the dungeon and raid content, primarily. We're specialists in multiplayer PVE combat. On top of the dungeons and raids, we also help with outdoor raid bosses, scenario bosses, things like that.

What would you say that your biggest goal going into Mists of Pandaria was?

Particularly on the dungeon and raid front, to provide content for everybody, for all kinds of players. And we recognize that there's a massive spectrum of millions of people who are playing and enjoying World of Warcraft - a huge range of skill, frankly, and time commitment, the whole casual-hardcore spectrum people always talk about. And one of the things that we've been doing over the evolution of the game is to add additional difficulties, additional ways of consuming that content. So, you know, we now have LFR, normal, and heroic raids, and now we've introduced challenge modes, a sort of new tier of actually legitimately difficult five-player content. It's one of the biggest differences from Cataclysm at launch; one of the things we heard from people who were in guilds with friends and they'd say "these dungeons are awesome, we're having a lot of fun" ... but the people who queued up in Dungeon Finder would have a miserable time.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Tanking Temple of the Jade Serpent

Tanking Temple of the Jade Serpent
While working on the warrior column this week, I realized I could give you guys a general guide to tanking the various Mists of Pandaria leveling dungeons, so here we go. The dungeons this time out are pretty fun and varied, and not particularly onerous to tank through.

First up is the Temple of the Jade Serpent. It's a lovely dungeon, with just enough bosses and trash to take up about 30 to 40 minutes of your time. What I like most about the temple is how the trash is all linked very specifically to the events of the temple's corruption. Which is totally our fault, by the way. Oops. Sorry, August Celestials. It's up to us to free Yu'lon's temple from the Sha.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: 7 ways vanilla Wailing Caverns baffled us

Mutanus the Devourer
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?

We've come a long, long way, haven't we, since the days of Wailing Caverns? The dungeons of Pandaria are gorgeous, vivid, and varied. The bosses are dynamic and engaging. The best way to appreciate what Blizzard is doing now is to look back at what they were doing eight years ago.

Vanilla WoW's dungeons were not always so expertly crafted. Some dungeons, like Deadmines or Stratholme, were a big hit. Others, like Razorfen Downs, were not so warmly embraced. The popularity of vanilla's Wailing Caverns is not easy to nail down. For some, especially old school Horde players, they have fond memories of the place as the first real dungeon they experienced in WoW. For others, memories of endless hours wandering its unforgiving maze haunt them to this day.

One thing is certain: vanilla Wailing Caverns runs led to a lot of questions -- questions that we no longer have to ask today when we step into a dungeon. Here are seven of them!

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Officers' Quarters: 4 radical ways to help your guild stand out in Mists

Fireworks over Pandaria
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Today we stand at the precipice of a new era. In less than 24 hours, Mists of Pandaria will usher in what could be called the Fifth Age of WoW. The long wait through 2012 has been hard on guilds, but that time is now over.

If your guild has made it this far, you should be proud of that, but this is not a time to rest. This is a time to ensure that your guild will thrive. In this new era, the best method to recruit players will not change: finding ways to set your guild apart from the dozens of others on your server. Here are four ways to do just that -- but be warned! These are not for the faint of heart.

1. Offer tutorial runs of the new dungeons. Blizzard's new guild mentoring program is a great idea, but just because your guild wasn't selected doesn't mean you can't be a force for good on your server. This strategy requires patient guild members who have run the dungeons in beta or who get a lot of practice in the early weeks of the expansion.

Start an initiative on your server in which, one night a week, you offer to run players through dungeons while teaching them the boss mechanics. Players will very much appreciate the chance to learn the runs in a low-stress and constructive environment rather than the merciless meat-grinder boot camp of the dungeon finder.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Challenge mode testing now open on the Mists of Pandaria beta

Challenge mode testing now open on the Mists of Pandaria beta
Game Designer Watcher, gadabout eye of wealth and taste, announced that the Scholomance and Gate of the Setting Sun challenge modes are now available for testing. He also provided some more details about how challenge modes are going to work.

Watcher - Challenge Mode Testing
Yes, just those two dungeons for now.

A few relevant testing notes:
  • You must have completed the Heroic version of the dungeon once in order to attempt the challenge mode.
  • Item level will be normalized to 463.
  • There is no queue system for challenge modes; groups must be formed manually and you must zone in from the outside world.
  • While the challenge is active, the group leader may Reset the dungeon at any time via a drop-down accessible by right-clicking your unit frame.

He then clarified in two additional posts that item level on live will only be normalized down to 463, and not up to 463 from a lower ilevel. Also, challenge modes grant no loot at all, only valor points for completion, and using the challenge mode reset feature does not count against the dungeon reset lockout limit currently in place. So if you're planning on spending a lot of time running challenge modes, these are all details of interest to you.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Dungeon Journals and loot tables at Wowhead

All Mists of Pandaria Dungeon Journals and loot tables at Wowhead
Wowhead has all of the loot tables and Dungeon Journals for the raids and the 5-mans that are new to Mists of Pandaria. The journals are already in the latest patch, and Wowhead has them all up for reading if you don't have access to the beta.

Some of the loot highlights include: Does the globule attach to the ear via freezing to it, or is it sticky because of the rosin? /shrug

The Dungeon Journals for two new world bosses are there to peruse as well, but they don't include the loot tables. Head on over to Wowhead for the details on the MoP dungeons and loot. Remember that all facets of the beta are subject to change without notice.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

The bounty of Cataclysm

The Bounty of Cataclysm
I wasn't fond of Cataclysm when it launched. Not because of its zones or its story, both of which I probably like more than almost anyone. My major problem on Cataclysm's launch was that I was generally solo, having to use Dungeon Finder for my dungeon runs. The rest of the folks I was guilded with weren't on at the same time I was, and that meant I had to try and tank the new dungeons (with their emphasis on CC that no one wanted to remember how to do) and then the new dungeons on heroic, with all sorts of instant-kill mechanics that were completely avoidable and which no one wanted to avoid.

Pugging these dungeons as a tank in groups full of people conditioned by Wrath heroics was like placing my genitalia in a garbage disposal, except you can generally only do that once. I ran these dungeons repeatedly. It was not pleasant. By the time I was geared enough to tank the new raids, I was so bitter and hated Cataclysm as an expansion so much that my friends and colleagues (many of whom were lucky enough to have dedicated groups running these dungeons, not being forced to pug as I was) thought I'd gone frothing, barking-mad insane. I tanked in tier 11, but I had no desire to do so; I merely did it out of obligation.

What this meant was that I missed out on getting to enjoy those dungeons. The difficulty of getting groups to avoid Corborus' burrowing, the inevitable fallout of blaming and group disintegration cost me several months when I could have been admiring how well laid-out these dungeons were, looking over their art and enjoying the mechanics on a technical level. There were a lot of cool fights I spent my time gritting my teeth through, a lot of dungeons I endured due to their tuning. It's one of the reasons I like going back and tanking them now.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Cataclysm

Ghostcrawler explains Mists of Pandaria dungeon changes

In Mists of Pandaria, there are no level 90 normal mode dungeons. There are normal dungeons, but those are leveling content. Once you hit level 90, you're expected to be geared enough to start in on heroics, because those are tuned for players to be able to step in and run them. In order to explain how this all works, Ghostcrawler took to the forums to answer some questions.

Ghostcrawler - Why take away regular queues at 90?
There are no level 90 regular dungeons.

The Mists of Pandaria heroic dungeons are easier than the Cataclysm heroic dungeons.* Once we made that decision, we thought that having two versions of the level 90 dungeons (normal and heroic) didn't make sense because they would be very similar in difficulty and offer similar loot. We thought about calling them something besides "heroic," since heroic tends to mean hard to a lot of players, but we also needed to call them something, because some dungeons like Temple of the Jade Serpent have a lower-level and a level 90 version. We thought about calling them "level 90 versions" but figured "heroic" required less explanation. (We also could have dispensed with lower level dungeons, or made lower level versions of the level 90 dungeons, but we felt like both solutions were just to make the nomenclature of "heroic" more clear, which seemed like bad reasons.)

TLDR: Some Mists of Pandaria dungeons have lower level and level 90 versions. Others just have level 90 versions. In both cases, the level 90 versions are called "heroic."

* - If you like very difficult dungeons, Challenge Modes are targeted at you.


And in case you're wondering, he also explains challenge modes in more detail as well as explaining why Blizzard has decided to tweak what you can queue for at 90. As always, even if you can't queue for something, you can always walk or ride up to the door and zone in that way.

I remember when that was the only way you could run a dungeon. I also remember when all my gear was "of the Bear." I'm old, is what I'm saying.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Tell us your healing bloopers

Breakfast Topic Tell us your healing bloopers
I like healing random 5-mans because I think healing is fun and the queues are quick. Healing is my preference for Battlegrounds, too. I follow a tank type around to the benefit of both of us -- you know, when I'm not being ganked by the intelligent enemies who know to kill the healer first. (I'm very good at dying strategically.) But since I'm an altoholic, I change my healers around when using Dungeon Finder, making me a jack of all healers, master of none. While I'm a decent healer, I have had my share of healing bloopers.

Elunamakata's post about earning your plus sign on the Healing Mains blog both humbled and educated me. I followed most of the advice already but have not always been diligent about keeping my gear updated on leveling characters. WoW Insider also provides advice for non-expert healers, such as: So that's how to avoid healing embarrassments. But even the best healers make spectacular errors from time to time (or at least remember their early oopsies). My worst blooper -- which is extraordinarily deadly for my team and makes me hang my head in shame -- is when I have accidentally targeted myself and then healed away. "Gosh, the tank is taking so much damage that my heals are ineffectual ... oh." It isn't habitual, but it's happened more than once.

Also, remember when you had to make sure you had the latest rank on your action bar? Yeah, me too. /blush

Since almost everyone has healed at least once, regardless of gender (don't get me started), tell us your most embarrassing healing moment.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Enjoying the spoils of progress

Image
I enjoy a lot of aspects of World of Warcraft, and one of those aspects is the actual playing of the game. I like combat, whether I am tanking or DPS, the active working through of encounters and even the unfolding of trash pulls. I like learning what new mechanics do, how fights unfold and how they can be successfully completed. I love all of that -- but what I also love is the period after mastering content.

I shamelessly admit it here. I love when content goes on farm. I was ecstatic as Firelands went from hard to easy. I love feeling my gear improve, seeing my DPS or health go up, looking at my avoidance and mitigation and realizing that yes, I actually can get passive unhittable just through gear. (I'll miss that when the two-roll combat system comes out.) I like going back, months down the road, and tearing Baleroc in half like wet tissue paper. Remember me?

Part of this is simply because I like WoW best when I'm killing stuff. I don't like to sit idle in Stormwind or Orgrimmar, and I'm not terribly moved to stand around hawking my crafting wares or playing the Auction House. These are fine activities, to be sure, but they're most certainly not what I like to do in the game. No, the reason I played seven years ago is the reason I play now, because I like to hit things in the face with the largest possible things I can.

And taking their stuff -- I mustn't forget how much I like taking their stuff.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

5 things you need to know about the Stormstout Brewery

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The Stormstout Brewery is one of the two instances you'll be running once you start on dungeons in Mists. It's available at 85 and is probably the easiest of the ones currently available in the beta. So it's a great place to start out your journey to 90!

Being lovely, helpful people, we here at WoW Insider thought we would put together a short and sweet set of tips to aid you in your attempts to cleanse the Stormstout Brewery of its pollution. This isn't intended as a full guide (although of course we have furnished you with one of those in the past) but more as a helping hand for those who don't want a step-by-step walkthrough.

So what does the brave adventurer need to know?

1. Watch your debuffs! There are a lot of debuffs flying around in the Stormstout Brewery, there really are. My favourite debuff is Bloat, which makes you shoot beer out of your ears. If you're a melee player or a ranged player who likes to cuddle up to other ranged players, you'll need to check if your healer's able to keep up with the damage you're no doubt inflicting on your teammates. If not, you should probably take your beery ears elsewhere.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

A proposal for scenarios in Mists of Pandaria

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We have seen and heard a ton of information on questing, dungeons, and even Pet Battles in the Mists of Pandaria beta, but one thing that has been absent thus far is also one of the things I'm most excited about -- scenarios. From what information we received at BlizzCon, we know that Blizzard intends for scenarios to be phased and quest-like in their presentation. They could be used to move stories forward, with players interacting with non-player heroes directly and even fighting alongside them in important battles.

An idea for this new game mode that I have been tossing back and forth with a few friends is creating a series of how-to scenarios that introduces the player to the aspects of group play. Meloree at Sacred Duty has suggested this as a prerequisite to entering the Dungeon Finder, but I think even having the option would improve grouping experiences dramatically. Tanks could enter dungeons and raids with a better grasp on basics like threat, positioning, and proactive cooldown usage. Healers could learn mana management, throughput efficiency, and this fabled triage model that we keep hearing so much about. Damage dealers could become familiar with high-movement fights, interrupting, and burn phase cooldown maximization.

Clearly, this seems to be well within Blizzard's capabilities to produce. We already see NPCs that tank, heal, and DPS in the game in various quests. In my opinion, there are only a couple of things that may stand in the way:
  1. Is this something the designers can do easily and quickly, or would a significant amount of resources need to be allotted to the development of this idea?
  2. Would players react positively to such tools being made available to them? Would they feel pressured or upset if they failed to complete the scenarios in their chosen role?
What do you think? Is this something you would use? Would this help the dungeon running and raiding experiences, or is the potential for disaster too great here?

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

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