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Posts with tag heroic-dungeons

Will running five player content be viable in Warlords?

I actually really enjoy five player dungeons. One of my disappointments in Mists of Pandaria was that we never got any five mans beyond the start of the expansion and that they basically became just a means to farm some valor - since no new fives were introduced, they couldn't be tuned to in any way keep up with gear from Throne of Thunder much less Siege of Orgrimmar. They became laughably easy unless you were running them as Challenge Modes, ultimately.

And this bothers me because I'm one of those people who feels like five player content never really had lived up to its promise in World of Warcraft. Especially now that raid dungeons have become so accessible, with LFR and flex making it easier than ever for almost all players to get some level of raiding if they want it, I've always felt like fives need a refocusing. Having normal and heroic difficulty fives really separate with better rewards for fives is a good start, but where Challenge Modes didn't grab me was in their completely cosmetic rewards. I always felt like CM's should offer gear on par with at least normal mode raiding - a group that decided to focus exclusively on Challenge Modes or some other form of very hard five player content should be able to progress their character not just visually, but actually as well.

Why do I feel this way? Well, I'll tell you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Proving Grounds will not solve the real problem

Olivia Grace wrote an excellent post last week about the upcoming change that will link a silver performance in Proving Grounds to the ability to queue for heroic dungeons. You should definitely go read it, because I cheerfully cede to her points. It's not hard to get silver in proving grounds. Linking a silver performance to heroic dungeons will allow them to make heroics more challenging. These are all good things.

Now I'm going to say something - the biggest problem in heroics isn't players who don't know what they're doing. It's players who do. Specifically, it's skilled and geared players who massively, massively out-gear said heroics and want to ignore the mechanics and chain pull every mob in the place, players who are completely inconsiderate of the other players in their group. Players who are skilled, but who let their fevered egocentric natures run wild, hurling insults at lesser geared players for 'not keeping up.' Players who make the dungeon an unpleasant festival of wipes because they refuse to understand that some of the people in the dungeon are only just geared enough to be there, and can't heal through thirty mobs hitting them at once or kill those thirty mobs fast enough.

It's players who have a really well geared main, but come to the Scarlet Monastery Cathedral on their brand new monk and refuse to understand that they're not nearly as powerful now. It's not skill, it's attitude.

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

Warlords of Draenor: Proving Grounds will be required for Heroic Dungeon random queues

Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas, the Lead Encounter Designer for World of Warcraft, has already told us that proving grounds will be updated for Warlords of Draenor. In a move that helps explain why, he dropped some late night news yesterday in the form of dungeon progression information.

In short, if you want to join the dungeon finder queue for level 100 heroic dungeons, you will need to get a silver medal in the proving grounds for the role you want to queue for. That means if you want to heal, your DPS silver medal isn't good enough. You'll need to go back and get it for healing as well. This applies only to the random queue. If you're going straight in with friends, no medal is required. Normal dungeons will not require any proving grounds experience at all, and normal dungeon and scenario gear should be enough to let you queue for the raid finder.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: The return of hard heroic 5-mans?

Just occasionally I'll see a blue post that gets me really excited. And today, I saw one. Blizzard EU Community Manager Taepsilum posted in response to a thread about the difficulty of 5-man dungeons. It's a really long post, so do go and read it, but I'm just going to pull out the exciting stuff for now. He mentions, firstly, that Warlords will see the return of normal and heroic modes at max level, and goes on to add that "WoD heroics will be much harder than MoP heroics".

This is music to my ears. MoP has been a terrible expansion for 5-man content. And, while I appreciate that my experience is not the same as everyone's, 5-mans are some of my very favorite content to do to grind points, to grind gear, just to do for the sheer fun of it. I have hated the absence of new, relevant 5-mans in Mists. It's also something Blizzard devs are keenly aware of. And the latter ones in Cataclysm weren't that great either, yes there were a few tricky moments in Well of Eternity, but as ever, Blizzard overcompensated for players' complaints that the early Cata 5-mans were too hard.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

What's the purpose of a heroic dungeon?

What is the purpose of a heroic dungeon
One of the more volatile announcements that we've heard so far from Blizzard regarding Mists of Pandaria is the fact that Mists will not include any more 5-man dungeons. In an expansion where new content seems to be rolling out on a much faster, tighter basis than any expansion prior this seems a little bizarre to players, particularly those that enjoy dungeon-based content. Yet one of the things Mists has been doing consistently throughout the expansion is delivering a wider array of things to do. In fact, there's such a variety in endgame content that players sometimes feel legitimately overwhelmed by the sheer amount of it.

But just because we aren't getting any new dungeons doesn't mean we aren't getting alternate ways to obtain all that sweet, sweet gear we know and love. Patch 5.3 will see the introduction of heroic scenarios, slightly tougher versions of the scenarios we've already seen this expansion. In addition to valor, the heroic scenarios will offer raid-finder level rewards for players that choose to participate in them -- better than any gear you'll find in a heroic dungeon at this point.

While this may seem pretty cool for some people, it does make one wonder -- what's the purpose of heroic dungeons?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Patch 5.0.4 currency conversion clarified

Mists of Pandaria Currency conversion clarified
While we put together a comprehensive guide on what to expect with patch 5.0.4, there was something missing from the list. Currency conversion had yet to be explained on the current patch notes -- while we knew it was coming on Aug. 28, we didn't know the exact details. Blizzard has finally clarified the conversion rates, going one step farther by outlining what currency conversion will look like all the way up to patch 5.1.

Valor points will be disappearing, converted to justice points, and conquest will be converted to honor. There will be no gold conversion for excess points, because the cap for justice and honor points will be removed until Mists of Pandaria launches.

Blizzard Entertainment
The currency conversion coming with Mists of Pandaria is going to happen in three stages, and this is how we plan for it to progress:

With Patch 5.0.4 on August 28
  • Valor points will be converted to Justice points, and Conquest points will be converted to Honor points.
    • Neither of the resultant currencies (Justice and Honor) will have an enforced hard-cap at this time.
  • The current Arena season will end. Players will no longer be able to earn Valor or Conquest points (bosses will drop Justice, Arenas will be closed).
  • Items formerly purchasable for Valor/Conquest will be available for Justice/Honor.
With Mists of Pandaria on September 25
  • Valor can be earned again.
    • Characters can earn up to 1000 Valor per week, and carry a maximum of 3000 Valor.
    • Daily quests, random Scenarios, random Heroic dungeons, and all levels of raiding will reward Valor.
    • Valor will be used to purchase ilvl 489 gear in Mists of Pandaria.
      • The Klaxxi, Golden Lotus, Shado-Pan, and August Celestials factions will sell this gear.
      • Revered reputation with each faction will be required.
  • Conquest will become earnable.
    • There is a cap of 4000 Conquest points.
    • Arenas and Rated Battlegrounds reward Conquest.
    • It will be used to purchase ilvl 483 gear from Pandaren battlemasters on the Great Wall.
With Mists of Pandaria, Patch 5.1
  • We currently plan to upgrade the Valor system as Ghostcrawler described in Mists of Pandaria Looting Explained in the 5.1 patch, allowing you to upgrade your gear using Valor points. We'll have additional information once Mists of Pandaria launches and we get closer to the 5.1 patch release.

Do you have questions or comments about currencies in World of Warcraft? Please let us know in this discussion thread.


Hopefully this clears up everyone's questions about this process. If not, you can always check out the discussion thread on the official forums and ask away!

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Reminder: Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery prepped to change for good

Image
Everything is about to change -- again. Mists is nowhere near as world-changing as Cataclysm, but there are still going to be a couple of significant changes to the old world. Both Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery are being revamped into far more streamlined, efficient versions in preparation for their heroic iteration. Because of this, some bosses will be removed for good or changed in a significant way.

Although it has not been noted in the official patch notes for 5.0.4, players can access the lower-level version of the new Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery currently on the PTR. We don't know if this means this content will be included in the 5.0.4 patch on Aug. 28, because it's not specifically mentioned in the official patch notes, but both are playable on the PTR realms. In cases like this, it's better to be safe than sorry. Before any world changes happen, you may want to farm for any items you've been craving.

So what does that entail exactly? Here are a few suggestions.

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Filed under: Transmogrification, Mists of Pandaria

Will Mists of Pandaria end dungeon queues?

I have this habit of dealing with my insomnia by running heroic dungeons. Sometimes I tank (especially if the bribe for doing so is enacted), and sometimes I DPS. Either way, I have a reasonably solid set of gear for both, full of heroic DS gear. Lately I've noticed a strange trend: People constantly ask me why I'm there, inform me that my gear is too good for the dungeon, and otherwise give me a hard time.

Now, perhaps it's because I don't restrict myself to Hour of Twilight dungeons. This is because I don't need the gear from heroics, and so I might as well get to see dungeons I haven't gotten to see for a while. Now, if the confusion was just happening when I was DPSing, I'd be less baffled. I mean, if you're tanking your way through normal heroics to try and get geared enough for HoT dungeons and eventually the Raid Finder, sure, I could see being somewhat nervous of the dude in 410 gear who just dropped in. Really, I could get that.

What possible reason do people have to freak out when a tank in 410 gear shows up? Do you honestly think I'm running Lost City of the Tol'vir to take your gear? Is that actually happening?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: The new endgame

Mists of Pandaria Beta The new endgame
Mists of Pandaria has a whole new story on a brand new continent with inhabitants that we've never really been able to interact with before. We've mentioned the leveling experience, we've mentioned the shift away from the linear nature of quests in Cataclysm, and we've mentioned some of the cool moments you'll see as you level. And let's face it -- there are a lot of cool moments. Leveling in Pandaria feels completely different from leveling in Cataclysm.

Jade Forest serves as the starting zone and the literal impetus, in terms of story, for what drives you to the rest of Pandaria. Without the events of Jade Forest, the rest of the zones simply would not happen. In fact, without the events in Jade Forest, I suspect the rest of Pandaria would have been largely uneventful. The key lies in our arrival, which is a shift in the direction of the storytelling. We aren't reacting to traumatic events anymore; we're the cause of them.

But it's the endgame that has changed so significantly that it's unlike anything we've ever seen before -- and it's changed for the better.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler explains Mists of Pandaria dungeon changes

In Mists of Pandaria, there are no level 90 normal mode dungeons. There are normal dungeons, but those are leveling content. Once you hit level 90, you're expected to be geared enough to start in on heroics, because those are tuned for players to be able to step in and run them. In order to explain how this all works, Ghostcrawler took to the forums to answer some questions.

Ghostcrawler - Why take away regular queues at 90?
There are no level 90 regular dungeons.

The Mists of Pandaria heroic dungeons are easier than the Cataclysm heroic dungeons.* Once we made that decision, we thought that having two versions of the level 90 dungeons (normal and heroic) didn't make sense because they would be very similar in difficulty and offer similar loot. We thought about calling them something besides "heroic," since heroic tends to mean hard to a lot of players, but we also needed to call them something, because some dungeons like Temple of the Jade Serpent have a lower-level and a level 90 version. We thought about calling them "level 90 versions" but figured "heroic" required less explanation. (We also could have dispensed with lower level dungeons, or made lower level versions of the level 90 dungeons, but we felt like both solutions were just to make the nomenclature of "heroic" more clear, which seemed like bad reasons.)

TLDR: Some Mists of Pandaria dungeons have lower level and level 90 versions. Others just have level 90 versions. In both cases, the level 90 versions are called "heroic."

* - If you like very difficult dungeons, Challenge Modes are targeted at you.


And in case you're wondering, he also explains challenge modes in more detail as well as explaining why Blizzard has decided to tweak what you can queue for at 90. As always, even if you can't queue for something, you can always walk or ride up to the door and zone in that way.

I remember when that was the only way you could run a dungeon. I also remember when all my gear was "of the Bear." I'm old, is what I'm saying.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Mists of Pandaria

What do you think deserves an update?

What do you think deserves an update ANY
The story is always the same: I find a particularly intriguing piece of transmogrification gear, one that will totally make that midnight blue set I've been working on piecing together. And the piece is pretty easy to get, relatively speaking; it's a drop off of a boss in one of those old Burning Crusade-era heroics. Easy enough to solo at level 85, so it should be a snap to get, right?

Well ... not quite. Because for some reason, all of these old heroics still have their old lockouts in place. Despite the fact that you really don't get anything of consequence from these dungeons and you haven't been able to for years, you still can't repeatedly head into these dungeons. Now I realize there is a five-dungeon-per-hour limit to keep people from excessively farming, and I get that. I really do. But when you introduce a game feature that encourages farming old content, it seems silly that you not only have to cross your fingers that the item drops, but you can only attempt to get it once a day.

And really? That's not the only thing that could use an update in today's World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Mists of Pandaria Beta: All heroics open for testing

Mists of Pandaria Beta All heroics open for testing
All of the Mists of Pandaria heroic dungeons are available for testing in the beta. While they are not easily accessed in the Dungeon Finder because of an extra-high gear level requirement, you can still test the heroic of your choice by entering it through the front door.

Blizzard has planned two changes to help players get into the heroics via the Dungeon Finder:
  1. A higher level will be able to be simulated.
  2. The gear level of 440 will be lowered via a hotfix.
The full text of Daelo's post is below.


Daelo
Currently for a player to enter into a Heroic Dungeon through the Dungeon Finder system requires an item level of 440. Currently, this is a more difficult bar to clear in the beta that it will be in the final live game.

We're going to work towards hotfixing that value down, but at the same time use some new magic we have to simulate a higher level. When that change gets applied, I'll edit this thread with the news.

In the meantime, you can actually go old school to test the dungeons. Form a group, then head in through the entrance!

I'm making feedback threads for them all, since they're all open.



It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Is PvP gear good enough for heroics?

I don't really PvP these days. In vanilla, I had plenty of fun with my priest, running around and healing people who were on the mad dash for High Warlord. Back then, there wasn't really much in the way of PvP-appropriate gear -- in fact, when the honor system began, the most effective and deadly people you ran across in Battlegrounds were those who were raiding and collecting tier gear.

I remember that fact particularly infuriated a friend of mine, who over the course of vanilla did nothing but PvP, although at the time that meant basically running around Southshore and Tarren Mill. When the honor system was introduced, there was a contest held by Blizzard for those who engaged in PvP, and the top characters on the realm who got the most amount of honorable kills were rewarded with a special tabard. My friend spent weeks in Tarren Mill, happily murdering Alliance until his fingers bled, and he won his tabard handily -- after all, nobody really did as much PvP as he did. Then the Battlegrounds came out.

When he stepped into Battlegrounds, he discovered that despite the fact that he did nothing but PvP, he couldn't hold a candle against those people who engaged in raiding. The gear and weapons that they got from raiding were too powerful. And that's when he threw up his hands, said he didn't want to have to raid to be good at PvP, and promptly stopped playing the game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

Does a video game have to force us to make good choices?

Take a moment and picture this: There's a politician out there, a pretty sleazy politician, who is basically in a position of power to use that power to do whatever suits him or her best -- no regard for anyone that voted him into office, no real sense of caring for those he is supposedly serving. One day, someone comes up to that politician and says, "Hey man, I'll give you $3 million if you start taking an interest in your constituents and doing what is best for them, OK?" The politician agrees, takes the money, and promptly starts doing the right thing.

Is that politician in the wrong? Or is that politician simply learning that if he behaves badly, he'll get a bribe to start behaving correctly? What's to stop him from behaving badly again, if he thinks he's going to get another $3 million out of the deal? More importantly, if all the other politicians out there see this guy get a bribe to behave like a decent politician and all of those politicians decide to start behaving badly in an effort to get that bribe for themselves, are they in the wrong?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Has the early Cataclysm gearing model failed?

Near the end of Wrath of the Lich King, there was a real feeling that gearing had gotten out of control, between unintentionally heightened ilevels (due to the introduction of heroic modes early in the expansion), a raid-wide buff that made the penultimate raid of the expansion easily puggable (until Arthas), and ridiculously simple heroic 5-mans and Emblems of Triumph that allowed you to gear out your freshly leveled alt in high-ilevel epics.

When Cataclysm launched, part of the intent between the fairly difficult heroic 5-mans and the fact that they dropped ilevel 346 blue items was that Blizzard wanted to slow down gearing. This worked; the roadblock created by early Cataclysm heroics for casual players did serve to slow down gearing. For the first time in years, full epic-geared characters were seen as more of a rare occurrence than a staple of your average AFKer in Orgrimmar.

Fast forward to last Saturday, where I decided to transfer my blue-geared death knight (who hit 85 and was subsequently forgotten in March) to my main's server to make use of her professions. On a whim, I decided to see how long it could take to gear her. By Sunday night, she had tanked Madness of Deathwing in Raid Finder, was in three-piece tier 13, and was one item away from being in full 378 or higher epics.

It seems clear to me now that the original Cataclysm model for gearing has failed, and the roadblocks originally put in place to prevent quickly gearing alts are no longer in place. That said, I don't mind it, and I don't think Blizzard minds it. Getting gear is fun, even on an alt that's only supposed to be used for running around Tol Barad picking flowers and mining ore. I like having four characters at 380+ ilevel, and it served me well when my guild recently needed me to main-change from my mage back to my shaman to heal. So yes, the original gearing model for Cataclysm does seem to have failed -- but is that really such a bad thing?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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