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Posts with tag herald-volazj

Breakfast Topic: What dungeon have you had to relearn?

The random dungeon finder is not only great for gearing up alts and getting mains the necessary badges to fill out their gear -- it's an amazing tool which forces an increase in the WoW community's collective knowledge about instances and game mechanics. And while some of these game mechanics will be a discussion for a future time (hint: tomorrow's Breakfast Topic), today let's focus on what instances you've had to "relearn," more or less.

Take Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom. Prior to the random heroic dungeons, I probably ran this place a grand total of five times. My warrior tank got the bracers on his fist run through it, and I did it on a few more alts just to get the Northrend Dungeon Hero achievement. Other than that, when it was the heroic daily I'd just skip it and find something else to do. Nothing annoyed me more than the Insanity that Hearld Volazj casts, and the trash pulls got on my nerves when the DPS couldn't wait for the mobs to come to the tank, inevitably leading to a wipe.

In short, it was my least favorite instance and I was able to just ignore it. From the best I can tell, before these past two weeks, the last time I set foot in it was in May 2009.

But now, the random dungeon finder has forced me to relearn the place and deal with all its mechanics. I've found ways to deal with the Hearld Volazj's abilities on my paladin tank, and I've gotten rather vocal about the group staying put as I pull trash packs back to them. And just as important as knowing the mechanics is leading the run as a tank. For instance, if I see a DPS move up with me, I'll stop and ask him to go back. If he doesn't listen, I'll ask again politely. Third time around with a random DPS not listening I'll just threaten to kick, and by that point the group is pretty annoyed with him anyways. The next thing you know, he's out the door with a successful vote to kick. The next DPS that comes in always seems to behave.

So what dungeons have you had to relearn dear readers? And better yet, what ones have you had to change your tactics on with the introduction of the random dungeon finder?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Instances

[1.Local]: What's all that morrowgrain for, anyway?

Reader comments -- ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

You know, Archdruid Fandouche Toolhelm Fandral Staghelm sure does ask for a lot of Morrowgrain ... So what's up with that?

Shade: He constructed a World Tree without the blessing of the dragon flights, causing a tree that is warped and corrupted enough that it's being invaded by harpies, grell and grelkin, and corrupting the furbolgs that are supposed to be living happily on it. A tree that invites the invasion of satyr -- and the satyr are referenced in the War of the Ancients trilogy as being products of Sargeras, warping some dude with a god complex.

Silithus? He defended Silithus once, yes -- and watched his son ripped apart before his eyes in the process. That broke him. He shattered the Sceptre of the Shifting Sands, the key to opening the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj, when the dragon flights asked him to keep guard over it in the event that the Qiraj returned. He said he was done with the dragon flights and done with protecting the place.

His last words upon leaving the scene were as follows: "My son's soul will find no comfort in this hollow victory, dragon. I will have him back. Though it takes millennia, I will have my son back!"

You want to know what he's doing with the morrowgrain? He's trying to find a way to use it to bring his son back from the dead. He may have been a "leader" at some point, but after the War of the Shifting Sands, everything -- and I mean everything -- that man does is somehow related to his son's death.

... well, at least, that's what I'm putting my money on.

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Filed under: Engineering, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, Humor, [1.Local]

One Boss Leaves: King Dred chomps Herald Volazj

Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. This season's combatants come from the original five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

The heat's on in the Two Bosses Thunderdome -- not only in the ring itself, as competitors slash, cast and bash one another on their way toward the final matchup, but in the comments too. How will style balance substance? Who can make the best case for a victory? This week, the votes pointed to King Dred. The great devilsaur raked opponent Herald Volazj 50% to 46%.

Spectators who sided with King Dred put their faith in his sheer power. "... I think this one will have to go to Dred," observed Psiwave. "I'm a Herald fanboy (Lovecraft FTW!), but the herald is punching at mist here. Dred runs on pure instinct: no doubts, no regrets, just hunger."

But plenty of readers believed Volajz's tricks would carry the match.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, Lore, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: Herald Volazj vs. King Dred

Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. This season's combatants come from the original five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

This week's Two Bosses fantasy deathmatch throws another loser who was voted back into the competition into the pit: King Dred, who lost his last match against King Ymiron, returns to test his claws against the subtle insinuations of Herald Volazj. Volazj is riding high in this season's tournament, easily winning his first matchup against Novos the Summoner and then shutting down Grand Magus Telestra.

This week's ground rules:
  • Assume that the opponents share similar levels, health pools and comparative overall damage output.
  • This deathmatch takes place in neutral territory, which shall in no way hinder either opponent from using his usual resources.
  • Don't get caught up in gameplay mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
  • Don't neglect style, story and scale.
Let the doors open, and let the contestants come forward. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls ... Dyin' time's here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, Lore, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

One Boss Leaves: Volazj shuts Telestra outside the cycle


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. Welcome to Round Two of the five-man originals Wrath of the Lich King season. Grab a seat, and let's get ready to rumble!

The demented whisperings of Herald Volazj threw Grand Magus Telestra into chaos during this week's cage match. Herald Volazj emerged the easy victor, even while spectators danced about the mechanics of the match. Would Telestra's mirror images fight one another? As mere copies of the magus, would they even be affected by Volazj's Insanity? The vote was decisive, even if the opinions were not -- but the tales of confusion in the comments were unparalleled. Savor, if you will, Kinka's epic entry.

Kinka: The Grand Magus is out with an expeditionary force seeking to map and plot ancient, malignant powers for Malygos deep beneath Azjol-Nerub. For a long while, the work is routine. After all, the undead are child's play to magi on their fire magics. That, coupled with the brute force of the handful of dragonspawn and the single young drake that had accompanied them, meant that before too long at all, they were done fighting through the undead lines and were cataloging magics thought long lost to the upper world.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Lore, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: Grand Magus Telestra vs. Herald Volazj


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. Welcome to Round Two of the five-man Wrath of the Lich King season. Grab a seat, and let's get ready to rumble!

Grand Magus Telestra's reputed "hot factor" was much cited in her first-round battle against Utgarde Keep's Prince Keleseth, but we can't puzzle out a way it could have any impact at all in this week's cage fight against the faceless Herald Volazj of Ahn'Kahet: The Old Kingdom. Telestra's Nexus brand of magic may find the Herald's boss-beating brand of Insanity a tough audience for her hair- (and opponent-) flinging ways.

We'll use the standard Two Bosses Thunderdome ground rules:
  • Assume that the opponents along with their minions share similar levels, health pools and comparative overall damage output.
  • This deathmatch takes place on neutral territory, which shall in no way hinder either combatant from using his or her usual battle abilities.
  • All the usual minions will be available to each boss.
  • Don't get caught up in gameplay mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
  • Don't neglect style, story and scale.
And now, the weekly Thunderdome call-out: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls ... Dyin' time's here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Lore, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

One Boss Leaves: It's Herald Volazj by a landslide


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

The results of this week's Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves deathmatch didn't show much insanity – just plenty of old-fashioned whuppin', as Herald Volazj laid the smack down on Novos the Summoner in a reader poll landslide.

Zeplar pled the case for Novos: "Insanity is really not that hard a phase, considering Novos doesn't have a tree healer messing him up. So I'll have to give this to Novos.

"Remember, though, that the really hard part about Volazj (at least before we got all epixed and stuff) was the trash guys just before him. Those things hit hard. To add to that, I think Volazj will win the vote because he's harder for players -- but if we are really considering him being against Novos, you have to remember Novos doesn't have a healer during Insanity."

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Filed under: Features, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: Herald Volazj vs. Novos the Summoner


Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches. This season's bosses come from the five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

While this week's Two Bosses matchup was a fairly straightforward victory for Ahn'Kahet's Prince Taldaram over the Maiden of Grief from the Halls of Stone, this week's scenario is a little farther off the beaten track: Herald Volazj (Ahn'Kahet: The Old Kingdom) versus Novos the Summoner (Drak'tharon Keep). What insanity will ensue?

Let's review the ground rules: Assume that these foes share similar levels, health pools and damage output. The battle will take place in neutral territory. For the sake of this battle, since Novos is invulnerable to damage until his shield is broken down, we'll say that each round of Novos' summons and Volazj's Insanity follows one after the other, without pause.

Don't get caught up in game mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter. Focus your debate on the three S's: Style, Story and Scale. Consider the flavor each villainous gladiator brings to bear, leave your comment on what you think would happen and why, and then cast your vote for who you think would come out on top.

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Filed under: Features, Bosses, Two Bosses Enter

The OverAchiever: Starting Glory of the Hero


Time for some thrilling heroics. -- Jayne, "The Train Job"

When I look at the Dalaran landing pad, I see fewer red proto-drakes than I should be. This pains me, dear readers. The 5-man heroic achievements are a lot of fun, if admittedly time consuming, and they force you to think on your feet and wring the most out of your character's abilities. Plus - it's a proto-drake. If you didn't get a 10-man or 25-man drake before 3.1 hit, you're out of luck there. Odds are good that you're still waiting for a green one to hatch out of the worthless egg that snake-oil salesman from the Oracles sells you, some jerk is camping the Time-Lost spawn 24/7, and the worst DPS in your Pinnacle PuG was the guy who won the blue drake off of Skadi, right right?

A lot of the WoW population has been at 80 for a while now and has some quality gear under their belts, much of it obtainable without setting foot in a raid. You should be able to pull off all of the 5-man heroic achievements in decent blues with a good group. I highly recommend trying to run with a stable set of players and -- if at all possible -- at least one Shaman. This is more true if your group is still gearing up and needs the damage boost provided by Bloodlust/Heroism.

I thought initially about organizing these from the easiest to the hardest, but I think it's ultimately less confusing to list them dungeon by dungeon. We'll address each dungeon alphabetically, so let's get started with Ahn'kahet:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Features, Bosses, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements, The Overachiever

Ask a Lore Nerd: Life and Death


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

Today we're fielding a lot of questions on the Light and the Shadow, and Life and Death. I don't know why, really, that's just how things happened! Trends like that are always fun, like the week or two where we had nothing but dragon questions. It makes picking out themes really easy!

Emorich asked...

I was under the impression that C'Thun wasn't dead. I thought we simply stopped him. After all, we were attacking one of his eyeballs, hardly a vital organ. Is Kil'Jaeden dead too? I thought we basically just pushed him back through the portal and now he's really pissed.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

Yogg-Saron, Old God of Death speculation

One of the things that caught my eye in the Ulduar preview that was posted awhile ago is the description of Yogg-Saron. The flavor text describes him as 'the Old God of death.' Considering our big target in this expansion, the Lich King, that's extremely interesting.

Wrath of the Lich King has heavily hinted at some sort of connection between Yogg-Saron and the Scourge, though we never quite find out what it is. The Scourge make heavy use of Saronite, an ore with Yogg-Saron himself as its origin. When the Alliance investigates this ore in the Dragonblight, they discover the Scourge says Yogg-Saron's name with some degree of hate and contempt.

A lot of people fear there's a "puppet of the master" thing surrounding the Lich King, that he's not actually his own power, he belongs to Yogg-Saron. I find this unlikely for one really big reason: The Scourge hates Yogg-Saron, and everybody else that we've run into that have fallen under Yogg-Saron's will either love him utterly or serve him faithfully. If you go to the Saronite Mines in Icecrown and do the quest Slaves to Saronite, you see just how faithful some of his servants become once they've been controlled. If Yogg-Saron were controlling the Lich King, we'd see a very different Scourge.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: The new 5-mans

5-mans are still my favorite part of the game. Guild runs, PuG-runs, something in between...doesn't matter. And I've had a fabulous time in Northrend 5-mans so far. Yes, Herald Volazj is pretty much the clear winner of the early 5-man bosses (gotta love that Insanity debuff), but Azjol Nerub's been very popular, and the questline leading to the cutscene at the end of Drak'tharon Keep is getting a lot of good press. Not enough people are in the late '70's or at 80 to have had a good crack at Halls of Stone, Halls of Lightning, Utgarde Pinnacle, or Culling of Stratholme, so I'm not sure how those are going to go over, but I think players in general have really enjoyed the new dungeons.

That there's markedly less emphasis on soul-crushing trash (I'm looking at you, Shattered Halls) and more emphasis on cool boss mechanics and gorgeous scenery is also pretty awesome. And then there's that giant drop in Azjol Nerub taking you past several levels of the ancient city that never fails to kill someone. I shouldn't find it funny, but I do, even when it's me.

How far along are you on the new Northrend 5-mans? Have you picked a favorite yet? And how many people have you seen die on the Azjol Nerub drop?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Features, Wrath of the Lich King

Ahn'kahet's Herald Volazj: Quite possibly the coolest boss ever


Wrath of the Lich King has a lot of new dungeons, and hopefully you've been running them all as you level. Personally, I find them all pretty awesome, but Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom is the first one that completely blew me away. Overall, I'd say it's not as good as Halls of Stone or Halls of Lightning, but Ahn'kahet has certain elements that make it one of my favorites.

Not only is Ahn'kahet visually stunning, but it gives you a glimpse into the story of Yogg-Saron and his relation to the Scourge and other forces. It's a little repetitive in some places (the first boss is a bit boring), but it also houses some of the best 5-man bosses we've seen yet. The final boss, Herald Volazj, is the embodiment of the technical advances Blizzard has made with the gameplay in Wrath of the Lich King. I almost feel bad mentioning him at all, because I've been running Ahn'kahet repeatedly with people who have never done it before. Seeing them wig out the first time they do the boss is awesome.

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

First impressions: 5-man healing in the beta


I specced resto in the beta the other week to try out the new talents and abilities Druids are getting in Wrath, and decided to brave the horrors of LFG and scribble some notes for your sake, dear readers. By the way, the aspect of beta that I will miss most? The 1 copper respec fee. Can we keep this?

Please note that this is written from the perspective of a 70 Restoration Druid, so unfortunately I can't comment on whether Priests, Shamans, or Paladins might have had an easier or harder time healing the instances. I have a good but not jaw-dropping resto set, and on the live realms clock in around +1998 to +2100 healing unbuffed. If your gear's better or worse, then just adjust the potential difficulty level as needed. And even if you're not a healer, you still might find something useful here:

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Bosses, Guides, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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