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Posts with tag flexible

Raid design evolution and Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard has posted parts one and two of a series of Dev Watercoolers, discussing raid design over the course of World of Warcraft. Now part three is live, highlighting and explaining where raiding is going in Warlords of Draenor. The post covers new systems like the Group Finder (basically integrating the OQueue style functionality), buffs to LFR, explains the new Mythic difficulty and flexible group system for normal/heroic, and discusses how raid lockouts will work in Warlords, with each raiding difficulty (Raid Finder, Normal, Heroic and Mythic) having its own lockout, and how valor points will be scaled back to prevent players feeling like they have to clear each raid difficulty each week.

If you raid, you should probably check it out. The full text is reproduced behind the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Flex difficulty smoothing coming soon

Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has posted today on Flexible raids, and the scaling thereof. As ever, you can read Ion's whole post after the break, but the key points relate to what was discussed at BlizzCon regarding raid scaling. Essentially, the new system will, in most cases, introduce a chance at getting an extra instance of whatever ability. Ion explains this in full after the break, so I'll spare you the repetition, but the exciting news is that, to combat the current issues, it's coming in sooner than the expansion.

There are some misconceptions floating around, particularly in PuG Flex groups, that there are certain break points which make a raid drastically harder. While it is the case that, as Ion notes, certain abilities scale up with hard breaks at certain numbers, the scaling of Flex favors larger groups. The new scaling will do so even more, essentially removing hard breakpoints for raid size.

Hit the break for Ion's full post.

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Filed under: Raiding

Totem Talk: Restoration between now and Warlords of Draenor

Panda in Outland
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem talk for the shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

Well, I don't know about you but I'm still very excited about the announcement of Warlords of Draenor. I mean, it was honestly the big news from BlizzCon 2013 and the feeling is still quite electric from almost everyone in regards to it. For some, The Burning Crusade and going to Outlands was one of the greatest things to ever happen in the World of Wacraft. For restoration shaman in particular, BC was that point in time where everything was awesome and shaman were the top of the food chain for healing.

This week though, I'm not here to talk about the glory days of shaman healing. No, that will be an article for another week. This week I wanted to talk about the time between now and the next expansion. It is always a topic to think about what to do in that time where you're waiting for the next expansion to even enter beta phase. The good news is Mists of Pandaria offers so many more options than any other expansion before. I thought I would share how I'm spending my time between now and Warlords of Draenor.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Patch 5.4.2: This is just the beginning for Blizzard's Raid Finder

We posted earlier about Blizzard's first steps towards building their own answer to oQueue, leveling various criticisms at what they had done so far for patch 5.4.2. Basically, you can head back and read the previous post, but the changes so far have all been to the existing Raid Finder tool. The one that nobody knows exists. And the one that nobody can find. Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street was quick to add, though, that this is only the beginning for Blizzard's group finder.

So we can allow ourselves to hope for better with 6.0. What would you like to see? Personally, I think oQueue, for all its bugs and quirks, does a pretty great job of finding cross-realm groups for people. I'd like to see something that mirrors oQueue, but with fewer issues like spam, memory use, and more. Of course, with Blizzard designing this themselves, it's very likely to be the case that it doesn't suffer any of these ills. I'd love to see it have all the ilvl restrictions, completion restrictions and other group restrictions applicable, and to have the option to appear offline, or hide.

One big thing, too, is visibility. It needs to either be integrated into the LFG panel, or have its own micro-menu entry. The single thing that such a system needs, as I mentioned in the earlier article, is people. It needs to be right in players' faces, more convenient than the competition. I believe Blizzard can do it, but to replace such a popular addon that's done so much good to the game, they'll have to do it well.

Filed under: Raiding

Flexible raiding's magic numbers

Flexible raiding's magic numbers
Blizzard Community Manager Bashiok has blue-tagged an interesting discussion on the US forums today, asking for more feedback on Flexible raiding's numerical breakpoints.
Bashiok
Right now there are some assumptions being made about mechanical breakpoints in Flex, but there are also some valid concerns. The orbs on Norushen for example may need tweaking.

What would be super helpful is if people have examples of breakpoints they think limit them to having a certain number of people, and what those are. It's in everyone's best interests to be able to invite whoever they want, and not feel like they're limited to some number because of mechanic scaling.
The forum thread in questions certainly brings up some valid concerns. Bashiok mentions the Norushen orbs, where going over a breakpoint by just one player can provide a substantial DPS or healing boost for a boss which can prove a tight DPS requirement for some groups. The Sha of Pride's prisons are another one which seems reasonable -- over a certain number and you'll get three prisons as opposed to two, so it'd be easier for some groups to just not bring that one player who tips the balance. What's more, on AoE mechanic-heavy fights like Dark Shaman, simply having more people standing in bad is a problem, if they're not able to put out the DPS, or are failing at mechanics. Crawler Mines on Iron Juggernaut could well be another problem, as could Malkorok's swirls and Matter Scramble in Spoils.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Patch 5.4 Developer Round Table information roundup

Blizzard has just released a new developer roundtable video featuring Production Director J. Allen Brack, Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas, and Game Director Tom Chilton talking about Patch 5.4 and the future of World of Warcraft. The 28 minute video is worth a watch, but we have a full roundup of all the new and interesting information after the break.

Patch 5.4
  • Overall, patch 5.4 was a very smooth launch for them. The servers even came online earlier than expected.
  • In EU they had to temporarily nerf the Celestial bosses on the Timeless Isle because of the massive influx of players trying to get their legendary cloak. Boss health was nerfed by up to 80%, and some abilities were removed entirely to facilitate a steady rotation of players without negatively impacting server performance.
  • The rush for the legendary cloak was more of an issue on EU servers because EU tends to have more hardcore raiders, and their time zones are more compressed leading to more people playing during prime times.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

Getting out of your comfort zone

Have you left your comfort zone yet
Have you been to the proving grounds yet to try a role you normally don't play? Trial Master Rotun seems awfully lonely in his little corner of the Temple of the White Tiger with everyone so busy collecting Timeless Coins or sieging Orgrimmar. What about flexible raiding? Have you tried taking the step up from raid finder?

Blizzard has sent a clear message with patch 5.4: they really want you to get out of your comfort zone.

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Filed under: Add-Ons

oQueue how-to for Flex raiding on demand

oQueue HowTo
So you want to do Flex raiding instead of LFR? Or as well as LFR, you crazy cats? But you don't have a guild or any friends or the time to sit in trade chat forlornly spamming "520 afflock LF Flex /w" for hours on end? You want to be out in the world doing Timeless Isle things rather than stuck in cities? If only there was another way to PuG Flex raids. Well fear not, my friends, oQueue is here to save your bacon. Or any other pork product.

Before I get into the oQueue how-to, I am just going to dedicate a moment to openraid. If you're organised enough to be able to say "Yes! I can raid on Monday at 7pm!" then openraid.us or openraid.eu depending on your region should be your weapon of choice. This allows you to sign up for pre-arranged raids, or indeed to set up your own. But if you want to log in, and immediately hop into a queue for a flex raid, without the need for organization or flexibility, oQueue's the way to go. So let's get started.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Raiding

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