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Posts with tag dungeons

5 ways to keep your tank happy in 5-man heroics

I recently wrote a similar post about how to keep your healers happy -- now I don't want it to sound like I'm hating on you tanks. See how this is a nice, predictable series? Can you guess what's coming next? I just need to think of another three ways to keep your DPSers happy in 5-man heroics -- but don't worry, I'll run some more heroics and I'll get there.

My first and still allegedly main character is a paladin tank, and I've run a few dungeons in my time. There are some simple things everyone can do to make sure their tank is a happy meaty meat shield rather than a disgruntled defender.

5. Watch your aggro. Remember this from the "How to keep your healer happy" post? Yeah, much as that helps your healer, it also helps your tank. Playing as a paladin, I have one of the easiest AoE tanking rotations out there -- but still, if a DPSer front-loads all their damage into something that isn't my primary target before I've had one GCD to hit the darn thing, even with the new aggro buff, it may well be after you. As a paladin, I can pre-bubble you with Hand of Salvation to decrease the likelihood of this happening or even a Hand of Protection on a caster (or on a melee player to troll them). I also have an arsenal of taunts. However, other tanking classes don't have it so easy -- just give the tank a moment to gain aggro, then attack the thing that they're attacking.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

5 ways to keep your healer happy in 5-man heroics

While much of Azeroth has been busy engineering the repeated demise of the big Dee-Dubya, many of us are still running 5-man dungeons. Maybe it's for valor points, maybe it's to hit the ilevel required to take a pop at that dragon, or maybe it's while frantically levelling another character to 85. With every 5-man instance comes a healer, and you really ought to be showing your healer some love.

Before you say Pah! I don't need to do anything to keep my healer happy -- I massively outgear all the 5-man content the game has to offer. This advice is worthless!, spare a thought for those who don't. The new healer who wants to get a look at some Hour of Twilight. The player with bags overflowing with PvP gear to cheat the ilevel requirement. The fresh 85s who are facing these dungeons for the first time. They need this advice, and if you're running with them, you could consider reading it too. And if you think it's not your responsibility to help your healer out now and then, remember: You don't do any DPS when you're dead.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

How to level up using the Dungeon Finder

New around here? WoW Rookie has your back! Get all our collected tips, tricks and tactics for new players in the WoW Rookie Guide. WoW Rookie is about more than just being new to the game; it's about checking out new classes, new playstyles, and new zones.

One of the quietly celebrated features in contemporary Cataclysm is the ability to level up entirely using the Dungeon Finder. It's a little rough in a few places where you cross expansions, around levels 58, 68, and 80ish. But other than those few spots, you can fly through the so-called younger levels without much trouble at all.

While speeding your way to level 85 this way doesn't require a lot of strategy per se, it still helps immensely if you get your act together beforehand. Consider issues like leveling professions, keeping up with gold, and even how you'll handle your downtime between queues. Most importantly, once you're actually inside the dungeon, you should be prepared with some tips to avoid annoying the heck out of your groups.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

BlizzCon 2011: Heroic Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery redesign

scholomance interior
One of the most exciting things last year was the announcement that in the Cataclysm expansion there would be a redesign of classic dungeons into new heroic modes for level 85. Shadowfang Keep and The Deadmines got quite a face lift including new layouts, new boss mechanics and in some cases entirely new bosses. The redesign was quite successful, and the new instances were fun and fresh and breathed new life into content that had previously been considered stale.

With the announcement of the new expansion, Mists of Pandaria, there was a very exciting announcement that we will be receiving three new heroic dungeons as redesigns. These rediscovered zones are Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery. Both are iconic instances and most players have some fond (or not so fond) memories there.. During the Dungeon and Raids panel we received a few bits of information about each of these revamps. Join us after the break for details.

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Filed under: BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2011: Dungeons and Raids information

If you're not at BlizzCon, or watching the live stream, then worry not for we're liveblogging the events and the Dungeons and Raids portion of the Mists of Pandaria preview had some interesting news all told.

For starters, there will be 9 new dunegons, six across Pandaria itself and three heroic versions of classic instances, namely Scholomance and two updated wings of the Scarlet Monastery. The new dungeons will include the Stormstout Brewery, where you work alongside Chen Stormstout himself.

There will also be three raids at launch featuring the Mogu and the Mantid races, and Raid Finder will be integrated into every raid at Mists of Pandaria's launch. World raid bosses will also be included, as Cory Stockton says "There were problems ... we've got solutions to those problems."

Stay tuned to the Raid and Dungeons panel which will be liveblogged by us.


The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding, Lore, BlizzCon

Patch 4.3 PTR: Zandalari heroics no longer in own tier; all heroics award 150 VP

The new Hour of Twilight / patch 4.3 heroic dungeons will have their own category in the random Dungeon Finder, while the Zandalari heroics tier has mysteriously disappeared. Now, when queueing for a random Cataclysm heroic, the system will include the two Troll instances if your item level is satisfactory to enter. In addition, the Hour of Twilight dungeons, as well as any Cataclysm heroic, now reward 150 valor points per completion, up to seven times week. Any heroic will now grant the same amount of valor points.

Moving the Zandalari heroics into the general heroic pool seemed like it would happen eventually, considering that having multiple tiers of dungeons to queue up for could get confusing over time. Now, players will be placed into dungeons based on their ilevel and not necessarily which dungeon category they queue for.

This presents an interesting dilemma, though. Players who want to do a quick heroic right now can queue for a random, non-Troll heroic and be in and out with half the VP (and half the stress -- I'm looking at you, Jin'do) in half the time of a Troll heroic. In 4.3, it doesn't appear that you'll have the option. Then again, everyone at a high enough gear level to care about this stuff will just queue for the Hour of Twilight heroics anyway, right?

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Tom Chilton shares info on patch 4.3 dungeons and more

When Zarhym said that patch 4.3 goodies were imminent, we didn't know he meant this soon. Our parent site, Joystiq, has the details from Tom Chilton, game director for WoW. He talks about the trio of new 5-man dungeons and the lore behind the final chapter of Cataclysm's story.

The new 5-man dungeons will have us exploring a future where Deathwing wins, to show Nozdormu the endtime that would happen if Deathwing were allowed to bring his plans to fruition. After convincing the leader of the Bronze Dragonflight to aid us, we travel back in time to the Well of Eternity to allow Thrall to steal the Demon Soul. The Demon Soul is an ancient dragon artifact that will be the focal point of our attack on Deathwing. Finally, we enter the Hour of Twilight, escorting Thrall and the Demon Soul to Wyrmrest Temple, which is where the final battle begins.

Chilton also talks about the Deathwing encounter itself, sharing with us details on the mobile fight that is like nothing we've ever seen before. Deathwing will be on the run, and we will be giving chase across the world. As Deathwing is trying to heal himself and regain his strength, players will be ripping away his armor plating and fighting the lava beasts that lurk within his body. There will be a new balancing mechanic that forces players to stay balanced while fighting, adding an entirely new angle to the encounter.

The final showdown will occur with players fighting Deathwing from floating islands in the Maelstrom. The full article on Joystiq has more details on the encounter and what we can expect to see when facing Deathwing. From my perspective, patch 4.3 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting patches of all time!

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Look at 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: News items

Reader UI of the Week: I am Jack's multi-purpose

Each week, WoW Insider and Mathew McCurley bring you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to readerui@wowinsider.com, and follow Mathew on Twitter.

Greetings, Reader UI of the Week fans. Everyone seems to have some sort of food poisoning or stomach problems this week, and I have no idea what is up with that. We have a national stomach epidemic here in the United States. Here's something that won't upset your delicate bodily balance; Jack's smooth and slick user interface setup, centered around grouping, dungeons, and questing.

While I am a raider at heart, my recent obsession has been with players and nonraiding UIs. Not that I think that there is anything wrong with a raiding UI, but as someone who primarily lives in raiding content, it is interesting to look and see what 5-man-focused UIs are built around. With the coming of the Raid Finder in patch 4.3 as an introductory raiding system, more and more players are going to have to adapt their 5-man UI setups to a raiding environment if they want to succeed in taking down the big bosses of the raiding world. Jack's UI is a competent setup that can make the change and stands up on its own two legs.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Scott Mercer talks redesigning Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman

Blizzard Insider, Blizzard's online newletter, sat down with World of Warcraft Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer to discuss the upcoming patch, Rise of the Zandalari. The interview goes into detail about revamping the old dungeon content, what classic dungeons Blizzard would potentially like to tackle next, and the challenges of turning a 10- and 20-man raid into a 5-man heroic dungeon. Hit the jump for the full question and answer session.

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Filed under: Interviews, Cataclysm

Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, bribes, and player behavior, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we are still not sure if we can be bribed, but have reached the conclusion that others might be.

This week we return for the conclusion of our series examining the likely impact of the new Call to Arms system debuting in patch 4.1. If you're looking for last week's article, you'll find that here: Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, bribes, and player behavior.

To summarize the observations and argument of the first article as quickly as possible, Cataclysm returned players to the difficulty of The Burning Crusade instancing model without the benefits that tanks gained from building a reputation as competent players -- namely, the reasonable expectation that groups would cooperate with kill orders and any requests for crowd control. The dungeon finder, arguably a tool better suited to the ease and speed of Wrath of the Lich King heroics, has left tanks in an unfortunate position: They now attempt to lead groups through more difficult content with the unreliable vote kick as their sole defense against obstreperous players. That DPS queue times have soared under the present circumstances shouldn't arrive as a shock.

I'm going to try to explain why Call to Arms may very well result in more tanks queueing for 5-mans through the dungeon finder and who we're likely to see if and/or when this happens.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Death Knight

Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, bribes, and player behavior

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we are not sure if we can be bribed.

As most of you are probably aware, Blizzard recently announced a new incentive structure for the dungeon finder system called the Call to Arms. In essence, it rewards players for performing what is then the most-needed role in the dungeon finder with a BoA bag containing gold, flasks, and, potentially, mounts and pets.

The Tuesday Shifting column covers the two roles most likely to receive the "goodie bags" -- tanking and healing (I don't think anyone's laboring under the delusion that groups can't get off the ground due to a lack of DPS) -- and the ensuing firestorm on the forums caught my eye. Predictably, players have mixed feelings about the change. Many (I think correctly) blame players' rudeness and uncooperative attitudes for driving off the tank population, but even more are indignant that Blizzard is "bribing" tanks for something they feel should have been addressed by role redesign.

Examine all the arguments in their totality, and I think there's only one real conclusion: I don't believe that Blizzard failed in its effort to make tanking more interesting and enjoyable.

I do believe that developers are struggling to deal with a problem created and driven almost entirely by player behavior. Modern heroics aren't fun, not because the content is bad (it's not) or overtuned (it's fine), but Cataclysm combines parts of The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King 5-man experience that don't play well with each other. The dungeon finder contributes to these problems, but not in the way that you'd think.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Death Knight

Patch 4.1: Blizzard unveils dungeon finder Call to Arms

Blizzard just posted a huge announcement to the WoW community site, unveiling the dungeon finder's newest evolution -- Call to Arms. Aimed at reducing the time for dungeon queues, the new Call to Arms will give players the opportunity to queue for level-85 heroics as "needed" roles (tanks and healers) to shorten queues and be rewarded with goodie bags containing gold, rare gems, companion pets, and mounts like the Deathcharger's Reins, Swift White Hawkstrider, and more.

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Guest Post: How to succeed in dungeons without really trying

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Make no mistake: Early Cataclysm dungeons are not the faceroll that we experienced at the end of Wrath. Not only have everyone's gear levels dropped dramatically relative to the content, but Blizzard has returned to a more BC-style design philosophy wherein crowd control really matters and one live mob can make the difference between an easy pull and a very difficult one.

Of course, the ideal solution is to read up on the dungeons beforehand and make sure you're prepared for them, but we don't live in an ideal world. Sometimes, you'll wind up in a random dungeon that you weren't expecting, and you haven't had time to research. Additionally, dungeon guides don't always give tips for trash, and trash pulls now require some coordination. Luckily, instance design does not expect you to have an encyclopedia in your head. An alert dungeoneer can succeed on the fly by following a few simple tips.

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Guest Posts

Lichborne: Pre-heroic Cataclysm gear for DPS death knights


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. Join World of Warcraft's first hero class as we head into a new expansion and shed the new kid on the block label.

Now that Cataclysm's been out for around a week, a lot of us have managed to hit level 85, with more dinging every day. Now that you're 85, though, what do you do? If this were Wrath, you'd grab a few reputation or BoE blues, hit the minimum ilevel for heroics, and start queueing.

In theory, you could do that for Cataclysm -- but to be honest, you'd probably fail hard. Dungeons are tough, and you won't have dudes in tier gear to drag you through. Almost everyone's going to be just about the same for the next few months: complete newbies who are still trying to get raid groups together and still trying to learn new rotations and stat weights for level 85.

With that in mind, there is one thing you can do to give yourself an edge in heroics: Gear up. This week, we're going to look at various dungeon, quest, and reputation drops to find the stuff that'll do the best job at getting you ready for heroic dungeon runs. I've put the better stuff near the top of the list, though sometimes the second or third choice may be better for you based on your stat needs or spec. I have mentioned justice point items in these lists with the understanding that a lot of us stockpiled 4,000 justice points at the end of Wrath, and you can earn justice points for normal dungeons in the random dungeon finder. That said, don't feel like you need to stay in normal dungeons until you grab all the justice point gear. Just pick up some of the second or third choices and get to heroics, where you'll earn those points a bit faster.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

15 Minutes of Fame: PvE twinks turn lowbie instances devilishly difficult

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

PvP twinking is a fairly well-known, widespread phenomenon in World of Warcraft. The idea is that players stop leveling at the very top of a particular PvP level range bracket, dig in with all the mix-maxed gear and enchants they can muster, and proceed to mop up the battleground kills. Anyone who's run a few battlegrounds on the way up through the levels has encountered that shockingly strong player who tears him a new one. We've even profiled a prolific, multi-level twinker (twinkie?) right here on 15 Minutes of Fame.

What you might not be as familiar with -- we weren't! -- is the idea of PvE twinking. Allow us to introduce a hardy band of adventurers on Blackwater Raiders (US-H) that's running each and every instance at the bare minimum level that players are eligible to enter. Ragefire Chasm at level 8? You got it. Deadmines at level 10? Aggro Magnet Central -- but yeah, you got that, too.

"It's surprisingly fun playing these classic instances that we've all done hundreds of times at such a low level compared to the mobs," gushes party leader Gilgalad. "It can take hours to clear an instance that typically takes 20 to 30 minutes for an appropriately leveled party. Some of the boss mechanics that are typically a trifle to a normal party become incredibly difficult to deal with when you are 10 levels below the boss. Arugal in Shadowfang Keep was particularly tough and required quite a few attempts before we came up with a strategy that worked."

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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