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Posts with tag encounters

Blizzard's post-mortem on Cataclysm dungeons and raids

Blizzard recently released a blog from Dave "Fargo" Kosak that acted as a post-mortem for Cataclysm's quest design. Following on its heels is this entry from Scott "Daelo" Mercer, the lead encounter designer for World of Warcraft. In it, Scott talks successes (Dungeon Journal, Raid Finder) and failures (difficulty level of launch heroics) in the dungeons and raids portion of the game's third expansion and shares what he's looking forward to with the release of Mists of Pandaria. I'm definitely with him in anticipating challenge modes and PvE scenarios.

Read the full interview after the break.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Fancy meeting you here

A random reader email we received this week sparked an interesting topic of conversation among the crew here at -- the odd places and ways people happen to meet or bump into fellow World of Warcraft players.

Some of us find fellow players through work, some of us meet them on the street or in the store, and there's no real way to identify them. Whether it's a hoodie, a sticker on a car, or someone making the familiar mouse and keyboard hand motions when mentioning they play video games, there's a peculiar thread that connects the millions of people that play WoW. It's identifying that thread that can sometimes be tricky. By the end of the conversation, it was pretty much decided that WoW players need some sort of signal to indicate they play, a secret hand gesture of some sort.

As for myself, the most random of these moments was selling my television. I found a buyer who arrived with a friend to pick up the thing and noticed the friend was wearing a WoW hat. Upon asking him if he played, I discovered not only did he play, he had played on my server, and not only had he played on my server, he played a character that I'd randomly /licked in Dalaran out of sheer boredom one evening when turning in a cooking daily.

Small world.

With a game that has over 11 million players, running into someone that plays the game at some point in real life is almost a given. Where have you met your fellow players? What's the most random, unexpected moment you've run into someone that plays WoW?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Creators of Epic Advice working on Epic Plan encounter planner

Now this is interesting. Our old friend Jesta, who made the site not so long ago, is working on a new project at, and while it's still hidden away in pre-alpha, you can see what they're up to in this thread on EA. It's a slideshow/diagramming web app, basically -- you can take maps of the game's instances, lay out icons and symbols on them as you wish, and then animate and caption boss fights and encounters. The end result is a very clear way to show off different raid strategies, and we're told the slideshows are embeddable on other sites as well (you may even see some here eventually on

Unfortunately, they're only taking signups for the beta of the service right now, and while you can watch a show in action on the technology demo, you can't make your own quite yet. But it seems like a very impressive tool for raidleaders, both to share plans with the public and players seeking help, as well as your own raid members. It'll be great to be able to make a quick and easy visual display of where to stand and what to do during boss fights and instance encounters.

Filed under: Instances, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Icecrown Gunship testing cancelled (Update: for the EU)

Excited to jump in on the Icecrown Gunship battle today on the PTR? Too bad -- Daelo has posted on the forums that due to instance server issues, today's testing has been canceled. He posted that on the EU forums, so we're not sure if that means it's also canceled on the North American realms, but we'll presume so. If we hear otherwise (as this is the PTR, all testing and data is subject to change at a moment's notice), we'll let you know.

As for what this means for the testing cycle, probably nothing at all -- delays and changes are pretty standard for the test realm, and even as they said in the original announcement, bosses can go up and down whenever the devs want. I do think we will see the gunship battle tested on the PTR at some point, though -- it seems like one of the more complicated encounters in the instance, and Blizzard will surely want to put it under a microscope sometime before the patch goes live.

Update: Apparently the gunship battle is live right now (4:40pm Pacific) on the test realm. If you want to see what it's like, get yourself a raid and head on in.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Guilds, Instances, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Ghostcrawler: There will (not) be at least 31 bosses in Icecrown

Ghostcrawler has posted an interesting little hint at the next patch (we know of) headed to the game. In response to a discussion about "tanking niches," he talks about Icecrown Citadel over on the forums, and just happens to mention that people might think of tanks as waiting outside until "boss 4, 17 and 31 (yes, IC is that big)." 31 bosses? More like Icecrowded, am I right?

Blackrock Depths is the largest 5-man in the game, if not the largest instance, and it boasts over 40 bosses (that's mostly counting encounters, though -- you wouldn't count The Seven, for example, as seven different bosses), including lots and lots of optional bosses and even a holiday boss. Ulduar, by comparison, has about 14, and Karazhan is about that same size (though that depends on how you count random bosses, like the Opera Event). No matter how you slice it, 31 raid bosses is a ton of bosses to go through -- Icecrown could be a return to a really epic, large-scale instance.

Of course, there will likely be wings involved (Naxxramas' Quarters have worked out pretty well, I think), and with the new changes to raid lockouts, Blizzard no longer needs to squeeze the raiding experience into an average of two or three nights a week (which is what it seemed like they were usually aiming for before). If yours is the kind of guild that likes to clear everything in one night, though, you might want to start freeing up some time now.

Update: GC now says he didn't mean the instance would have 31 bosses, he was just throwing in some ridiculous number to prove a point. Our question: why did he say "yes, IC is that big" if he didn't mean it would be that big?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Bosses, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.2: Argent Coliseum raid story and encounters (SPOILERS)

There's been a lot of speculation as to what Patch 3.2's new raid instance, the Argent Coliseum, will contain. We got a taste of what bosses we might fight a little while back when the 3.2 PTR launched and some Achievement information was datamined, but I've taken it all one step further.

As with my previous post on the 5-man content in the Coliseum, I've datamined a ton of information from the PTR game files, including NPC and spell data (another massive thanks to Boubouille of MMO-Champion for his help), to determine not only who we're facing up against (for sure), but how exactly the encounters will go down once we've gotten our epicly-clad heinies into the octagon Coliseum.

The same disclaimer as last time applies. The encounters could change at any time, datamining isn't an exact science, I could be misinterpreting files, etc, etc. But I'm pretty solid on what I've written down, and anything I'm speculating on will be noted as such.

Any spell or ability listed in this guide will likely be a random rank, given the spell database's knack for throwing me 10-man and 25-man spells in the same area! Don't assume that the damage values are accurate until you get killed by them!


Ready? Let's go!

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Twitterers on what makes an epic encounter

As you may have heard the other day, our Twitter account is up and running, and one of the most vocal participants so far has been our new Priest blogger, Matticus from World of Matticus. The other day, he posted a question on the Twitter account that he'd also asked people on his own blog: what makes an encounter epic?

The answers are all pretty good (I've put them all behind the break -- thanks, Twitterers!). From what most people said, lore and story play a huge part in making a fight feel epic, and not just the story of the game, but the story of the guild playing as well -- when your guild almost wipes, and pulls off a great kill, that's an epic battle whether it's in Karazhan or in Sunwell Plateau. Challenge also helps -- people raid to be pushed to the edge of their endgame abilities, and when a well-tuned fight does that, it's one of the best experiences in the game.

Great answers all -- hopefully we'll get to see more epic encounters than not in the Wrath of the Lich King (as Matticus points out, we don't need 40 or even 25 players to have a truly epic encounter with Arthas). And if you haven't started following our Twitter account (@WoWInsider) yet, please do, and stay tuned for more interesting and informal Twitter polls like this.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

Breakfast Topic: Fun with campers

The humble camper is a life-form frequently encountered amongst the many zones -- often found in great numbers throughout high-level areas in particular. By sticking to one particular spot based on a number of factors -- primarily aiming to harvest particular drops for fun and profit -- campers cause high-level questers a lot of trouble.

I've had numerous encounters with level 60 campers who decide that pulling every mob in the area, all at once, is a good tactic to maximise drops -- indeed it is, but when there are other players there waiting to complete a quest, it's not a particularly nice tactic. Of course, on PvP servers you can add ganking into the equation, making it often more fun for the would-be quester to give up rather than waste several hours on one quest.

Have you had bad camping experiences? Any tips to deal with those who just refuse to budge? Or are you a camper, and willing to defend your stance?

Asking politely is one way to deal with campers, but it only gets you so far -- nowhere, when it comes to the opposite faction. Irritating them so that they'll give up is another tactic that I've seen employed, but can't bring myself to try. Ultimately, there isn't much you can do to stop people camping, especially when they ignore you -- but don't dismiss them all as gold farmers without a second glance. Some may be questers just like you.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Breakfast Topics

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