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Posts with tag hard-mode

Stars discuss their Yogg+0 kill

You've probably heard that the Chinese guild Stars has pulled off the world-first Alone in the Darkness, killing Yogg-Saron with no watchers helping. You may have seen the video they posted of their winning strategy. But here's something even more interesting, for me: a Q&A with the guild about their strategy and their experience with the fight.

It was originally in Chinese, but a poster on the MMO-Champion forums did a translation. It's a really interesting read. For one thing, Affliction Warlocks turned out to be the most valuable class, since DPS have to turn away periodically in phase 3 to avoid Lunatic Gaze and a heavy DoT-based class doesn't lose as much doing this.

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Filed under: Guilds, Raiding, Bosses

Mimiron hard mode nerfed

We've been seeing sporadic reports today that the Mimiron hard mode was nerfed via hotfix at some point during the night, and it appears those reports were correct. Bornakk just posted in the "recent in-game fixes" thread that the following changes were made to the hard mode of Ulduar's ingenious keeper:

  • Flame damage reduced.
  • Damage/health gained from Emergency Mode reduced slightly.
  • Range of Emergency Fire Bot's Deafening Siren reduced in heroic; no longer cast on normal.
  • Damage from Heat Wave in phase 2 reduced.
  • Damage from Plasma Blast in phase 1 reduced.

That's a pretty wide array of nerfs. I haven't tried the hard mode - my guild is still working on getting the normal mode down consistently. I do love the fight on normal, though; it's not easy, but it is super-fun.

Hard-mode raiders, what do you think? Does this fall in the category of "why would you nerf a hard mode," or was he simply ridiculous before?

Filed under: Raiding, Bosses

Patch 3.2 Druid changes


3.2 approaches! Sort of. The PTR itself isn't up yet (at least, not as I write this), but nonetheless, 3.2 approaches on little cat feet.

I'm going to examine the 3.2 PTR patch notes line by relevant line, just because there are several changes that impact Druids while not being class-specific. If you want a quick summary without being massively spoiled, Balance is getting a huge and welcome change to the functionality of Eclipse, Cats are getting bonked by the nerfbat, and PvP-Restos are really getting bonked by the nerfbat. Bears, well...not much is going to happen to bears this patch, which is a little demoralizing given the improvements being made to Pally tanks, but that's OK. We still have our, uh, amazing Tier 8 set bonuses and...um...the best -- sort of -- tanking cooldowns in, uh, the...uh...

...Oh, screw it, just stack the hell out of stamina and pray to the gods of RNG if your guild's dumb enough to try Ulduar on hard-mode. Congratulations; you have now done all you can possibly do to prepare yourself for modern tanking.

Sad lolbare is sad. But cough syrup for everybody! Is nise! Now let's take a look:

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Officers' Quarters: Normal raiders are people, too


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

"Normal" mode sounds so dull, doesn't it? Who would want to be "Normal" when you can be "Heroic" -- particularly when being Heroic garners better loot and, for healers specifically, a chance at the ultimate healing mace, Val'anyr. Most guilds on my server prefer the larger raids, and who can blame them? Normal mode is often seen as a fun distraction. Something for raiders to pass the time with, or gear up their alts in, when their guild isn't tackling the "real" version of the instance.

Sometimes Normal mode is easier. There's no question that fights like Vezax are much less complicated when you're only dealing with 10 players. It's certainly nice not having to worry about switching tanks on Kologarn or interrupting Auriaya's Sentinel Blast. But sometimes Normal is not easier. The margin of error is a lot thinner when one death means you've lost half your tanks, a half or a third of your healers, or 15-20% of your DPS. And it could be that your raid doesn't have a single battle rez, let alone three or four. Maybe that's why players prefer Heroic raids: Unless you're going after the more difficult hard-mode encounters, it's not the end of the world when you screw up and die.

This week, one guild leader asks, when most serious raiders only want to run Heroic raids, how can someone recruit for a Normal raiding guild?

Hi Scott,

I'm the GM of a reasonably-successful 10-man raiding guild (we're ranked in the top 90 US guilds according to GuildOx's "Strict 10-man" filter). Like many other guilds, we're seeing a decline in attendance lately (as per your most recent column, "Surviving summer"), and it's become obvious that we need to recruit 4-5 more people of various classes/specs so we can reliably run our scheduled raids without depending on 100% perfect attendance from anyone.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Yogg-Saron and Flame Leviathan nerfed tonight

It looks like some pretty big nerfs to the Yogg-Saron fight tonight. Ulduar's big bad (well, one of two) will have a much easier first phase, as the Guardians of Yogg-Saron have ceased mind-controlling players, as well as becoming "more forgiving" in their spawn rate. Additionally, flash-frozen players that touch a cloud will no longer bring forth a Guardian.

Flame Leviathan's hard mode was hit as well. The amount of extra health he gets per tower up was reduced and the snare effect of Hodir's tower removed. Additionally, vehicles caught in a flash freeze will be freed with a single shot from a Demolisher or Siege Engine cannon. Players will also not go quite so high when ejected from Flamey following a stun, which should make them a bit easier to pick up.

Oh, and XT-002 Deconstructor won't make people into bombs quite so often (and his heart's health was reduced a touch on 25-man). Overall, it seems Yoggy will be significantly easier. My guild isn't there yet, though (next up for us is Mimiron) - people who have done the fight, how big of a deal will these changes be?

Filed under: News items, Raiding

Ready Check: Hard modes and progression



Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Archavon or Algalon, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we look at the hard modes in Ulduar.


It is a truth universally acknowledged that a raiding guild, in possession of a good enough fortune to cover repair costs, must be in want of a challenge. Rather than make bosses difficult by default, the design of Ulduar is liberally sprinkled with the sort of challenge we only saw hints of before -- hard modes.

The idea behind hard modes is to cater for every type of raider. Whether you just want to see content, have difficulty killing it as-is, or fancy spending several evenings wiping to artificial constraints, you can do so. (Note that when I say 'normal mode' from now on I mean non-hard-mode, not 10-man.)

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Filed under: Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Ready Check (Raiding), Achievements

Forum post of the day: The end of big guilds

Oldmaveric of Azgalor posed the question on the General Discussion Forum: are Big guilds on their way out due to easy WoW? He suggested that easier content on 10 man raids and regular content nerfs has led to the breakdown of some of the top guilds and caused players to quit the game.

Savvage of Spinebreaker quickly responded that big guilds have their place, but "People can now play in closer more tightly-knit groups..." For many players, raiding offers sufficient challenge while being more enjoyable than it once was. The raiding experience is not only more accessible, but also more fun. Smaller guilds can afford to be more selective of the online personalities of their membership, while still being able to to make progress.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Chinese guild heads to Taiwan, kills Mimiron on hard mode


WoW has been in a state of flux in China lately, with the9 failing to gain approval from the government to publish Wrath of the Lich King, which in turn may or may not have lead to Blizzard licensing the operation of WoW in China to Netease instead.

In the midst of all this, it has been the players stuck in the middle, their play availability up in the air, stuck killing Kil'jaedan over and over and over as they wait for Northrend with bated breath. That said, there's still been a few players who have taken matters into their own hands.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Ulduar-10 hard mode weapons buffed

Well, this is a good piece of news for 10-man raiding. Weapons that drop in hard-mode Ulduar-10 fights are being buffed from ilvl 226 to ilvl 232, a jump of half a tier. Players who have these weapons already will see them adjusted. This puts the Ulduar-10 hard-mode weapons on par with the Ulduar-25 normal-mode weapons, a situation that was already the case for armor rewards (Ulduar-25 normal-mode weapons have always been ilvl 232).

My own casual-ish guild is only four bosses into Ulduar at the moment, so this doesn't affect me personally, but it makes sense to see hard modes drop quality rewards. I wonder if this will increase the number of guilds attempting them. Now how about a shot at Val'anyr, eh? Or perhaps a Druid tanking idol somewhere in Wrath before Ulduar-25? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Filed under: Items, News items, Raiding

The Queue: Hodgepodge


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

Lots of good questions this week, and like yesterday's Queue, we have a full set of them today as well.

Boreddruid asked...

"Is there any particular time that my guild should start 10-man Ulduar hard modes?"

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Filed under: The Queue

How to activate Ulduar's hard modes

You may have heard that a number of guilds have cleared Ulduar to Yogg-Saron already, which to me is perfectly fine. I like to think that a lot of good, properly-coordinated guilds will kill Yoggy this week, and the Blues agree with me. Of course, this week's Yoggy kills were on the easiest possible difficulty, so world first or not, it doesn't mean a whole lot in terms of fame and fortune.

This is the beauty of Ulduar -- if you want prestige (and the best gear), you have to earn it by flexing your raiding muscle and beating encounters on their respective hard modes. If you don't have the chops or the time for the highest difficulty content, then you can still beat the instance and see every encounter.

But, of course, you want those 239-level items.

So you should probably read after the jump and find out how to activate each boss' hard mode, yeah?

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Filed under: How-tos, Raiding, Guides

PTR schedule updated

As you all probably noticed, there was no patch 3.1 today. Evidently they're not doing testing Ulduar yet - three more hard mode tests are scheduled for tonight and tomorrow night.

On the North American PTR:

  • Hodir (hard mode): tonight, 7 PM EDT
  • Iron Council (hard mode): tomorrow night, April 1, 7 PM EDT. Daelo specifies that they want Steelbreaker done last.

On the European PTR:

  • General Vezax (hard mode): tomorrow night, April 1, 7 PM CET

Shirts of Uber will once again be available to simulate the raid having Ulduar gear.

Do we conclude that they're more or less done testing normal-mode fights, and that therefore the patch is pretty close? Everyone seems to be thinking the patch will be here in the next few weeks. If I were to guess, I'd say two weeks from today.

I haven't been playing on the PTR much, so I don't know myself: how hard are these hard modes? If you were going to compare them in average difficulty with a pre-LK fight, what would it be?

Filed under: Patches, Raiding, Bosses

The Queue: Close the floodgates again, please


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Hi again, everyone! I may be covering The Queue for the rest of the week while Adam Holisky flees from a righteous flood. We usually trade off days, but he's kind of a wuss and can't take a little water, so I'll spare him the tragedy of needing to toddle through a puddle or whatever.

pants asked...

"I know that they are taking away the proto-drakes for the raid achievements in 3.1, but will the title "Champion of the Frozen Wastes" be gone as well for it's respective achievement?"

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

The Queue: Ulduar progression and more

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Ah, maintenance day. The day where I finally get to go out into the world and suck some sunshine into my pallid flesh. I may even pick up some groceries! One can only order crates of Ramen off of the internet so many times before life starts to get a little bland. ...Wait, but if I leave the house... who will write The Queue!? Oh man, forget it, I'll get some sunlight next year. Maybe I can order some Pringles to add a little flavor to my noodles.

Fargostar5000 asked...

Don't know if anyone has asked this yet, but are groups going able to run Ulduar-1o successfully using only the gear from tbe other 10-mans thus far, or will heroic level raid gear be necessary/recommended?

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Officers' Quarters: The hard-mode mambo


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Arriving with the upcoming 3.1 patch, Ulduar will be ground zero for hard mode raiding -- complex encounters rewarding the best loot in the game, presumably a hardcore raider's dream. There's only one problem: Hard mode is hard. Some people don't like hard. They like easy. Easy bosses, easy loot, and everybody wins, right? But other players enjoy a challenge. This week, one reader wonders how he can get his guild to dance the hard-mode mambo with Ulduar's finest.

Hey Scott,


With the release of Ulduar on the minds of most players, I thought this might be a timely question that ties in a current issue our guild's been having with what I see becoming a serious problem for us in the new 3.1 instance.


The current problem:


After clearing all available 25-man content and having it on farm for over a month, a line seems to have been drawn in the proverbial sand. Half of our raiders consider multiple drake Obsidian Sanctum the next step in guild progression. However, the other half seem to be content farming the content that is "easy" for us and are happy not logging on when we schedule attempts.


Furthermore, whenever we do get enough people for a "progression" raid, we run into the same problem. After a few attempts (I have seen as few as 2), we inevitably get the one or two raiders planting the seed of doubt.


"We don't have the DPS for this."


"Our healing is weak."

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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