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Posts with tag gruul

The marathon raid day?

A friend and I were idly wondering about the possibility of tackling all Burning Crusade raid content the way you'd watch the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy on a rainy weekend: doing it all without stopping, intent on a glorious finish. Nobody's arguing that the point of such a marathon is to have fun every second while you're doing it; I'd say this is the classic undertaking where it really is about the destination and not so much the journey. But let's say you had an enterprising bunch of raiders sitting around bored on a weekend and your choices were either raiding Tarren Mill again or trying something adventurous. Or if you had Wrath coming up the next week and you wanted to conduct a triumphal tour of the content your guild had conquered, stopping only to relish the wholesale slaughter of bosses who'd given you so much trouble (here's looking at you, Gurtogg). Would it be possible to cut a swathe of destruction across the BC raiding landscape all within the space of a day?

Assuming a bunch of experienced raiders, we came up with the following figures:

Karazhan: 2-3 hours
Gruul's Lair: 1 hour
Magtheridon: 45 minutes
Serpentshrine Cavern: 3-4 hours
Tempest Keep: 3 hours
Zul'Aman: 1 1/2 hours
Mount Hyjal: 2 1/2 hours
Black Temple: 3-4 hours
Sunwell Plateau: 4-5 hours

On the low end, that's 20 hours and 45 minutes. On the high end, it's 25 hours (and I have to pause here for a moment's respect over just how much raid content Blizzard programmed for BC). If you lopped Kara and ZA off the marathon in the interest of doing only 25-man content, an experienced (albeit insane) raid that stomped each site and methodically proceeded to the next with no wipes along the way (probably not likely in Sunwell) could probably wreck BC raid content in maybe 18 hours start to finish (giving them a little extra time for travel and bathroom breaks). Has anyone been crazy enough to try this? Should anyone be crazy enough to try this?

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

Tank Talk: should the main tank position still exist?


Tank Talk is WoW Insider's raid-tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column will be rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and myself (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish. Today, dear readers, we might make ourselves hated by the entire population of undisputed, royal-bloodlined, main tanks, but that's OK. We are used to staying at the top of someone's hate list.

One of the accepted facts of raiding life used to be that the main tank was the guild's gearing priority. As Adam Holisky's observed, "Everything that happens in the raid eventually makes it back to the tank." Healers undergeared? You're screwed. DPS incompetent or just badly grouped? Buh-bye. Random number generator wreaking all manner of havoc on healer crits and boss parries? Thar be the graveyard. A truly cynical mind would opine that the tank should be as well-geared as possible if only because it makes it easier for the raid to forget that person existed as anything other than a rapidly-advancing line on the Omen screen that: a). always stayed above their own, and b). never died. There are enough random variables while the raid's learning a new boss that the tank needs to be eliminated as one, and in vanilla WoW that was certainly the goal. Raid and offtank damage on most encounters hadn't scaled to the point where you could make a compelling argument in favor of gear equilibrium across your tanking roster. What was the point of something like that when 95% of the damage in a fight was going to be absorbed by a single person?

That changed.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Tank Talk

Ask a Lore Nerd: Skeletons, slavery, and the shadows


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below (or e-mail us!), ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer your question in a future installment!

Be warned, ladies and gentlemen: There are a couple of minor spoilers for Wrath of the Lich King in this week's Ask a Lore Nerd. I don't think they're very substantial ones personally, but the choice is yours whether you want to continue reading or not.

Soirgriffe asks...

What tribe, if any, did the dire trolls come from and if not a tribe, where in general?

Just how dire trolls come to be is largely an unknown, but they don't seem to be an independent race. They're just bigger, stronger versions of a troll. All of the tribes seem to have dire trolls.

There are a couple of quests in Wrath of the Lich King that might suggest dire trolls are regular trolls who have been 'empowered' but to avoid spoiling too much, what goes on in those quests is pretty different from seeing Jin'rokh the Breaker hanging out with the Zandalari. So all that we really know is there is no racial distinction between Dire Trolls and Regular Trolls of the same tribe. One is just much, much bigger and stronger for some reason.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Ask a Lore Nerd

Tank Talk: The irresistible fight


Tank Talk is WoW Insider's raid-tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column will be rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and Allison Robert (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish.

Since Tank Talk began, we've gotten a few questions from people about raid fights that require tanks to use resist gear. With all of Burning Crusade's raid attunements now removed, and with lots of guilds testing the waters in Tier 5 and Tier 6 before Wrath hits, I figure now's as good a time as any to discuss what resist sets you're going to want if your guild is intent on progression. The resist gear issue is nowhere near as dire as it was in vanilla WoW (Molten Core, anyone?) and in general the raid as a whole rarely needs to worry.

Tanks are special. But you knew that already, didn't you?

This guide covers all of the existing 10-man and 25-man content in the game outside of Sunwell Plateau:

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Tank Talk

The one you never win


Recently the guild hit Supremus again -- or, I should say, Supremus hit us. You'd think this would be a fairly easy fight to master. Supremus has two phases: the first is a lot like Gruul except with no cave-ins, knockback, or Shatter, and during the second phase, he aggros random people and tries to reach them while moving at the approximate pace of a snail. Oh, and he sprouts volcanoes under other players that you have to avoid. These two phases alternate until he's a giant pile of rubble in Black Temple's scenic courtyard.

Yep. Easy.

We can't do it.

The guild's been farming Black Temple for months and most of the usual roster is rocking at least 3 or 4 pieces of Tier 6 -- yet the vast majority of our Supremus fights end with more than half the raid taking a dirt nap. We've reached the point where even this is still usually a one-shot, but it's more than a little disturbing. How can you one-shot Illidan with 24 people still alive...and somehow fail to steamroll the giant McLootLoot?

To be fair, it's not just raids. I've seen players break out in a cold sweat over Talon King Ikiss on heroic Sethekk (which always confused me; the great secret of the fight consists of tanking him in the doorway). Others cite Grandmaster Vorpil, the event before the second boss in Blood Furnace when you don't have a Paladin tank, or Warbringer O'mrogg on heroic Shattered Halls (actually, all of Shattered Halls can pretty much bite me. I hate tanking that place). My own personal nemesis is Vexallus on heroic Magisters' Terrace. I've even taken a group with two mages and a rogue in T5/T6 here and wiped 3 times. What gives?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

Tanking Rogue 3: Return of the Gaeowyn, or Illidan dies


You've seen him tank Shahraz and a 5-man Gruul run, and now Gaeowyn, of the Shards of Existence guild (US Illidan-A), has struck again. Technically, he gave us some teaser footage about this back at the end of his Shahraz video, but he's now released a full video of a successful Illidan tanking. As on his last 2 videos, Gaeowyn was able to use gear, talents, and buffs to stack enough dodge and parry to fully avoid all physical attacks (with a little help from Scorpid Sting and Insect Swarm, of course).

Alas, it looks like this will be his last video. He says that he doesn't want to wear out the concept -- after all, there's only so many videos you can make of a rogue standing in front of a giant monster and dodging a lot. In addition, he's switched characters to a priest to help his guild with a shortage of healers. I'll miss the series, myself, if only because it's great to see people conquer challenges in unconventional ways. It makes the game a little fresher and a little more interesting.

[Thanks for the forward, Allen!]

Filed under: Rogue, Machinima, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

Evade me no longer

For some reason, the first evade bug moment I remember happened in Zul'Farrak. We were clearing the basilisk pulls before attempting Antu'sul (why is it that the optional bosses always have a couple of sweet warrior drops?) and the mage in the group wanted to skip the whole thing. Impatient, he decided to start nuking away from atop one of the hills surrounding the area and managed to pull aggro, but the basilisk couldn't path up to him (and to be honest I'm not sure how he got up there) and promptly went evade. He wouldn't come down because he rightly knew the mob would hit him, and so it took us a solid ten minutes of arguing before he finally came into the monster's reach so that I could taunt it.

I'm thinking about this because of the Isle of Quel'Danas dailies, specifically the quest Crush the Dawnblade. For some reason whenever I do this quest I run into Dawnblade Summoners who are evading. This puzzles me because I can't understand why a ranged mob is evading: it doesn't have to path to anything to hit it, just get into range. Is there some way a hunter or some other ranged class can shoot them but stay out of their range?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Odds and ends, Instances

The tanking Rogue strikes again, 5-mans Gruul


You may remember Gaeowyn, the Rogue from Shards of Existence who tanked Mother Shahraz thanks to an insane amount of dodge via agility. She's struck again, this time taking down Gruul with herself tanking, along with a Paladin (with Blessing of Kings), a Shaman (with Grace of Air), a Hunter with Scorpid pet Sting, ad a Druid (using Insect Swarm in addition to Mark of the Wild, of course). After all the buffs and debuffs, she had 76.31% dodge, 12.16% parry, and 14.16% chance to be missed, resulting in 102.63% avoidance. She posted a link to her spec and gear for tank mode, too. The video's short, but it took them a little over 23 minutes to down him. They also got to discover that his Growth caps out at a 30-stack, and that it expires after 5 minutes.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Buffs

Guildwatch: The aftermath


Just want to get something straight, so you all sending in Downed news can be sure to work out the "notice" mechanic correctly: every guild gets to put just one boss on notice every week. You can't put instances on notice (although if you do, you have to clear that instance all in one go, and we're going to need video or it didn't happen), and you can't put more than one boss on notice -- otherwise, everyone would put everyone on notice. One boss per guild, per week. Any other kills after that are just bonuses.

Now that that's out of the way, on to the Guildwatch! Click the link below to see this week's drama, downed and recruiting news from around the realms, and be sure to send us your tips, from your guild or anyone else's at wowguildwatch@gmail.com.

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Filed under: Guilds, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch

Guildwatch: "officers dont do officers like u did"


One person in the conversation above is making sense. And the other one is named "Krazyhunter." Be careful whose alt you roll against in Kingdom of Fire on Khadgar -- losing a roll on a piece you need to an alt of a co-GM might get you kicked. And, oh yeah, no matter what guild you're in, be careful who you send angry whispers to, because they might show up here on Guildwatch.

The story above and much more in this week's GW, including the return of lots of recruiting news. If you have tips for any of the sections below, send them along to wowguildwatch@gmail.com, and click the link below to see this week's drama, downed, and recruiting news.

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Filed under: Guilds, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Forums

Naxx will be entry level raid dungeon in WotLK

Bornakk, who apparently looks like Abe Lincoln, has revealed that Naxx will be an "entry level raid dungeon" in Wrath of the Lich King, and EU CM Vaneras adds that unlike Kael'thas (who exists in two places at once ingame), it will be moving whole hog up to Northrend -- the 40 man dungeon that we have now will no longer exist.

Very interesting. Unfortunately, we're not quite clear on what "entry level" means -- it seems unlikely that Naxx would be a level 71 dungeon (or that there will be any "raid dungeons" before level 80 at all). And the fact that he uses the word "raid" definitely means it's either 10 or 25man, then, though whether it will be the new Karazhan or Gruul remains to be seen. Bornakk also says that attunement isn't solidified yet -- a lot of players are hoping that all that Argent Dawn rep doesn't go to waste, but he says it's a matter of balancing "special quest lines" with opening up content to many players.

Finally, the Ashbringer gets a mention -- apparently it will be discussed in the next Blizzcast. It's great to finally be hearing some official information about Wrath of the Lich King, vague as it may be. Hopefully there's lots more to come, sooner rather than later.
Check out more information on WoW's upcoming expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, including Blizzard's recent interview about Northrend and the new creatures that infest of Northrend.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Guildwatch: We're $#&(ing good at this game, too


Guildwatch is back, and boy do we have a drama-stacked edition for you this week. How about this Vent recording we've got, complete with classical piano playing in the background. Or this hacked guild that didn't really get hacked at all? We've got Shaman ninjas, Auction House drama, and even a Warglaive fight. Our tipsters really, really came through this week (thanks everybody!), and you reap the benefits.

Additionally, there's also plenty of downed news behind the break as well, and just a bit of recruiting news also (seems like most guilds are filled up for the time being). If you've got a tip for GW, whether for your guild or a great piece of drama you've seen somewhere, drop us a line at wowguildwatch@gmail.com and see it here next week. In the meantime, click the link below to see this week's GW!

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Guilds, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Forums

Gruul scaled down to 8-man raid (not really)


EU Stormscale Guild adult swim were recently interviewed by Nihilum (you know, those guys) for downing Gruul the Dragonkiller with a Karazhan-short 8 people. Nihilum had released a video of their guys doing Gruul with a mere 15 raiders, and it was something that adult swim leader Snookiwooki said was "pretty easy". According to Snookiwooki, adult swim had a fairly light raiding schedule and were merely looking for "stupid things to do outside of raids". Because of the nature of the fight, adult swim stuck to ranged DPS to minimize worry about cave ins.

The self-described semi-hardcore guild of 35 people believe that their accomplishment can be duplicated by any equally-geared (they're currently progressing through Sunwell Plateau) raid with the proper set-up. Snookiwooki also mentions that since they won't be attempting Gruul for a while, guilds are more than welcome to beat the record. With entry-level 25-man raid content now doable with a mere 8 people, the winds of Wrath of the Lich King seem closer than ever. Watch the video here.

Filed under: Guilds, News items, Raiding

Guildwatch: Running a Karathon


Herewith, a quick guide to Guildwatch jargon you may not have heard yet:

Loot Reaver: Void Reaver, so called because he's basically a loot pinata; hit him a few times until you get epics to drop.

Karathon: Coined this week, it's when you finish Karazhan all in one night.

Flawless Victory: Finishing a fight without any deaths (using Reincarnation or the Druid rez doesn't count).

"On Notice": Meesa boss is gonna die? Yes. Yes he is.

Got more insider guild jargon for us? If so, send them (and all your other guild news tips, anonymous as always) to wowguildwatch@gmail.com, and click the link below to see this week's Guildwatch, chock full of drama, downed, and recruiting news.

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Filed under: Guilds, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch

When your fearless leader hasn't played your class

Back when I first started tanking 5-mans, there was a particular hunter who pulled off me with irritating regularity. This was partly because the early Druid tanking set at 70 is itemized more for mitigation than threat generation, but partly because he was a young guy, he was good dps, and he knew it. MM-specced Hunters actually do have a lot of control over mobs that get pulled off the tank, and I suspect on some level he made a game out of seeing just how long he could lock something down while the exasperated tank turned her attention elsewhere, usually after bellowing at him in party chat to "DISENGAGE! FEIGN DEATH! DISENGAGE!"

Not having played a Hunter at that point, I had a fuzzy notion that Disengage somehow reduced threat and was highly affronted at any hunter with aggro spikes who wasn't using Feign Death over and over again. After starting to level a hunter alt, it quickly became apparent that: a). Disengage was a melee-only skill that still had to "hit" the mob, and b). Feign Death wasn't exactly a spammable ability and could be resisted no matter what you did. I am by no means an expert hunter player, but I have at least learned to bellow, "FEIGN DEATH ON COOLDOWN!" if they're not trapping (and just minding my own business if they are).

I am still occasionally reminded of my days as a backseat hunter, and never more so than while listening to my GM trying to figure out what's gone wrong in a raid.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Classes, Alts

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