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Posts with tag halfus-wyrmbreaker

The 5 best raid encounters in Cataclysm

The 5 best raid encounters in Cataclysm
Remember this guy?

As we prepare for Mists of Pandaria, it's beneficial to look back and capture the good memories of raids past. After some hard thinking, I've compiled a list of the five Cataclysm raid encounters that were, in my opinion, the best and most memorable of the expansion. While it's difficult to get the same experience today, due to gear scaling and difficulty nerfs, these encounters represent examples of things that Blizzard got right and we'd like to see more of.

5. Halfus Wyrmbreaker, Bastion of Twilight

OK, so the trash clear wasn't the most entertaining experience ever, but this opening boss in Bastion of Twilight hit all the right notes. His companions rotated on a weekly basis, forcing your raid to adapt just a little bit every time, but not so much to significantly alter the encounter. The intense healing requirement at the beginning of the fight provided a good challenge for healers, the add swaps kept the tanks busy, and the enrage timer was well-tuned for DPS.

Most importantly, though, all of that stuff happened at an unusual time in the fight -- the beginning. Most typical raid encounters increase in difficulty late in the fight, leading to a tedious learning process where bored raiders sleepwalk through the learned early minutes before reaching a point where they can challenge themselves and learn. Not this encounter; the majority of the time, you were heading for a win or a wipe within the first minute.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

I write about dragons on the internet, Dad

When I moved in with my father, part of it was a genuine interest in reconnecting with him, and part of it was a keen desire to help around the house and simply keep him company. My dad turns 83 this year, although you couldn't really tell that from looking at him or talking to him. He grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere, worked for Dow Chemical for an extraordinary number of years, retired, and somewhere in between had two marriages and five children. (I'm one of the products of the second marriage.)

He has seen quite a lot in his life. He saw Snow White and the Seven Dwarves when it premiered in theaters in 1937. His first car was a Model-T that he dug out of a neighbor's manure pile and inexplicably got running again when he was 14. He served in the military as a paratrooper, worked with some of the first computers in existence, and can fix just about anything I bring to him, regardless of how technologically advanced the thing is. He hasn't grown old so much as he's watched the world get older around him and adapted to it as time goes on.

And yet I still have this terrible reticence about trying to explain to him exactly what it is I do on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings, and what I do for a living.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The Light and How to Swing It: Tanking the Bastion of Twilight, part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Last week, we wrapped up Blackwing Descent with the demise of Atramedes and his progenitor, Nefarian. Now, with one front wrapped up, it's time to turn face and march into Cho'gall's fortress towering over the Twilight Highlands and wrap up another major staging ground for the threats of tier 11.

In this column, I'll give you the works on every boss: detailed descriptions of what each ability means to you as a tank, how to counter them, when to use your cooldowns for maximum effect, any pain points to watch out for, and how to maximize your kit to hit the ground running.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Spiritual Guidance: Priest healing Ascendant Council

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers healing for discipline and holy priests, while her archenemy Fox Van Allen dabbles in shadow. Dawn also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

During the past couple of months, Spiritual Guidance has tackled priest healing in Blackwing Descent and taken a peak inside The Bastion of Twilight at Halfus Wyrmbreaker and the twin dragons, Valiona and Theralion. This week, we'll be heading back into The Bastion to take a look at how to heal your way through the next encounter, Ascendant Council. This encounter is extremely chaotic and will be sure to keep discipline and holy priests busy.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

The Light and How to Swing It: A holy paladin guide to Bastion of Twilight, part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why all of Halfus' drakes don't wake up when they hear us fighting.

I always have a tough time deciding how to compose my healing guides for raid bosses. Talking about holy paladin theory is fun, but at the end of the day, we're actually being thrown into real raid encounters. We're expected to know how to heal through the incoming damage and handle all of the boss' special abilities. Knowing the specific healing per second of Divine Light isn't going to help you keep your tank alive. At the same time, there's no point in turning the holy paladin column into an esoteric version of StratFu by giving you a play-by-play review of every boss encounter.

Instead of boring you with a list of boss abilities that your raid leader is going to repeat anyway, I am going to try breaking down only what's specifically important for a holy paladin to know. You'll want to know when it's safe to use Divine Plea, when Holy Radiance is going to be most effective, and what you're supposed to dispel. Who should you put Beacon of Light on? Are any of our "Hand of" spells worthwhile on this fight? In addition, please feel free to ask any additional questions that you'd like to see answers to or add any suggestions.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Shifting Perspectives: Feral cat raiding strats for Cataclysm, part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

So, you've done all the prep work, and you think you're ready to raid. You've geared yourself appropriately; you have the right enchants, potions, and consumables; and you've set up your awesome UI. Well, congratulations, you did your homework. Now comes the test. Think of everything you've done to this point as building your potential; now comes the time to activate that potential.

I'll go over each encounter in the current raiding tier and give you what you need to know to maximize your contribution to your raid. (Hint: That doesn't always mean maximizing your personal DPS.) I'll only briefly cover fight elements that are not feral-specific; for more detail, I highly recommend reading through Tyler's posts on raiding as a balance druid. I'll tackle the fights roughly in order by difficulty (easiest to hardest), as most guilds generally follow that path for progression.

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Filed under: Raiding, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Raid Rx: Heroic Halfus healing case study

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. If you're looking for more healing advice, check out the Plus Heal community and Matticast, the new healing, raiding, and guild management podcast.

If there ever was an encounter in which Atonement-specced priests really stood out, this would be it. Aside from that, Halfus on heroic mode is a great test for healing leaders and raid leaders on the art of syncing defensive cooldowns.

Objective: Can your healing team help the raid survive the first minute of the encounter?

Once you get past that first minute, the hardest part is over, and your raid will get there. In this post, I'll show you a textbook case of cooldown planning from start to finish.

On the the matter of cooldowns, it looks like shaman will be getting their own fairly soon.

Spirit Link Totem: Reduces damage taken by all party and raid members within 10 yards by 10%. This lasts 6 seconds, and every second it is active the health of all affected players is redistributed among them, such tha teach player end sup with the same percentage of their maximum health. This counts as an Air totem and has a 3 minute cooldown.

For restoration druids, Malfurion's Gift appears to reduce Tranquility by 2.5/5 minutes. The actual effect of Tranquility has not changed. If I were to guess, I'd say it would get modified further for reduced incoming damage while the spell is being channeled. No confirmation yet either way.

So how does one survive Halfus in the 25-player raid?

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing), Raid Guides

Spiritual Guidance: Priest healing strategies for early Bastion of Twilight

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers healing for discipline and holy priests, while her archenemy Fox Van Allen dabbles in shadow and decorative cross stitching (who knew he was so crafty?). Dawn also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Last week on Spiritual Guidance, I said we'd be spending the next few weeks examining the new raid dungeons in Cataclysm and how to heal them as a priest. This week, we'll be in The Bastion of Twilight to see the first two bosses, Halfus Wyrmbreaker and the twin dragons, Valiona and Theralion.

As far as dungeons go, The Bastion of Twilight is nothing to scoff at. It is probably the hardest of the three available raid dungeons (four, if you actually count Tol Barad -- which I don't, because I have to maintain my reputation of being pretentious and aloof). Despite this, the first boss, Halfus Wyrmbreaker, is an unusually easy encounter in comparison to the others in The Bastion of Twilight, and that's why we're here today. Let's take a look at why.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Cataclysm Beta: Testing Halfus Wyrmbreaker in Bastion of Twilight

Sunday afternoon, a couple of raid encounters in the Cataclysm beta were activated so they could be tested. I managed to get in on both of them, and I'll cover my experience and initial thoughts regarding Halfus Wyrmbreaker. He is the first boss that can be found in the Bastion of Twlight. The entrance can be found in the southwest corner of Twilight Highlands at the top of an extremely high pillar.

I don't have much in regards to the lore and stuff, but something about this boss tells me that he controls and restrains drakes (or wyrms).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Cataclysm beta: Raids begin testing on October 17

Endgame raiders, start paying attention -- Daelo, Blizzard's lead encounter designer, has announced that beta raid testing will begin on Oct. 17. It looks like Blizzard wants to test the first raid encounters, Halfus Wyrmbreaker and the Omnitron Defense System, in the Bastion of Twilight and Blackwing Descent respectively. I eagerly anticipate the fight mechanics and abilities of these bosses more than you probably know.

Daelo -- Beta Raid Testing Schedule for Oct. 17
We're going to start testing a few raid encounters on all Beta servers this Sunday, October 17 at 13:00 PDT. Two encounters will be tested:

Omnitron Defense System in Blackwing Descent
Halfus Wyrmbreaker in The Bastion of Twilight

Blackwing Descent is a raid zone with an entrance located along the side of Blackrock Mountain.
The Bastion of Twilight's entrance is located within Twilight Highlands.

Since these are the beta realms, this schedule is subject to change at a moment's notice due to bugs and server issues. More raid tests will be occurring over the next few weeks.

Filed under: Cataclysm

Ready Check: First look at Cataclysm raids

There's been a huge splash of Cataclysm information released unto the wild in the last few days. Every since the beta hit the streets, we've seen information about warrior changes, hunters and even racial emotes. I guess I called it a splash. What I really meant is that there's been a flood of information everywhere. It seems like we can virtually see anything we'd possibly want to know about the expansion, right now.

But what we haven't seen yet is much information on raids. Our good friends over at MMO-Champion have some great information about 5-man instances, but their raid information is running a little behind so far. Of course, that's never kept us from drooling over new raid content before now, so let's not start bad habits. Let's take a look at what raid information we do have and spend a little time getting excited about the new expansion.

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Filed under: Ready Check (Raiding), Cataclysm

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