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Posts with tag heroic-dungeons

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

5 ways to keep your DPS players happy in 5-man heroics

OK, you can't pretend you didn't see this one coming after the healing and tanking editions. As I may have mentioned, I have less DPS experience than tanking and healing, but from that time in Azeroth, I have gathered that there are things everyone can do to make their DPSers happy bunnies rather than melancholy murlocs. Actually, being a murloc would be pretty cool. One of my GMs does an awesome murloc impression.

So, tanks and healers, and other DPSers, how can you keep your DPS buddies happy?

1. Mark your targets. Tanks, or whoever is experienced, or whoever is taking on that role in the dungeon, mark your targets. Telepathy is not a standard talent in any tree, and while sure, it's possible to click the tank and then use an assist macro, you can easily keybind or add a button to your action bars that marks your target with a skull, a cross, a moon and so on.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

5 ways to keep your healer happy in 5-man heroics

While much of Azeroth has been busy engineering the repeated demise of the big Dee-Dubya, many of us are still running 5-man dungeons. Maybe it's for valor points, maybe it's to hit the ilevel required to take a pop at that dragon, or maybe it's while frantically levelling another character to 85. With every 5-man instance comes a healer, and you really ought to be showing your healer some love.

Before you say Pah! I don't need to do anything to keep my healer happy -- I massively outgear all the 5-man content the game has to offer. This advice is worthless!, spare a thought for those who don't. The new healer who wants to get a look at some Hour of Twilight. The player with bags overflowing with PvP gear to cheat the ilevel requirement. The fresh 85s who are facing these dungeons for the first time. They need this advice, and if you're running with them, you could consider reading it too. And if you think it's not your responsibility to help your healer out now and then, remember: You don't do any DPS when you're dead.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The Light and How to Swing It: Dealing damage in Dragon Soul heroic dungeons

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

This new series of heroics runs akin to the Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron, and Halls of Reflection trio of Wrath in that you must complete them in a specific order. In the interest of fitting all of these encounters in one post, I will need to truncate a lot of descriptions and irrelevant details. If you have any questions or suggestions for your fellow ret paladins, please feel free to drop a comment below!

Warning: This post contains strategies and brief descriptions of the new heroic dungeons in patch 4.3 that may or may not be spoiler-esque. As always with my columns, proceed with caution.

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

Lichborne: What to do with your new level 85 death knight in patch 4.2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.
So you've dinged level 85 on your death knight. Now what? Patch 4.2 bought a lot of new things for level 85s of almost any PVE playstyle to do, so you have options to choose from. This week, we'll take a look at some of the best things you can do to get yourself geared up and ready to hit the next level of PVE play once you hit level 85.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Cross-realm Dungeon Finder premium service coming soon

Blizzard has just announced a premium cross-realm Dungeon Finder feature, allowing players from the same faction to invite Real ID friends from different servers into 5-man regular and heroic dungeons. The popularity of the Dungeon Finder is well-known at this point, and expounding on the feature has been in the cards according to Blizzard for some time now.

This new feature will be part of a premium package of WoW features requiring an extra fee to use. Blizzard says that only the person doing the invites and creating the cross-server party will need to have access to the premium feature for the system to work. Currently, there is no release date, and the service is being described as a complex one to develop. Blizzard is most likely getting out in front of the news sites and datamining sites now, since pieces of this new system will begin to hit the PTR soon and Blizzard doesn't want too much speculation.

I personally think that this system is really cool for players who have an already-established friends base on other servers but don't want to leave their current home or don't have the money to do so and pay for a premium server transfer. For instance, Sacco and I can finally run some dungeons together. You hear that, Sacco? It's dungeon time.

Premium services always receive some type of backlash in the WoW community, and this one will be no different, so for caution's sake, let's wait until pricing information is officially announced before we explode with indignation. This is, however, a feature that many players have been asking for and will be very popular.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Arcane Brilliance: The first things your mage should do after patch 4.1 drops

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we'll be discussing the sparkliest ways to blow things up. Turns out there are a lot them.

Let me begin by saying that as of this writing, we don't know for sure when the patch will actually drop. What we do know, however, is that the build that's on the PTR right now is flagged as a possible release candidate build, meaning it could be the final build of the patch. That usually means the release of the patch is imminent. It may not happen this week or next (we can sometimes go through several "release candidate" builds before Blizzard finally drops the thing), but my guess is that it totally will.

So when the patch does hit, whenever that may be, what are you going to do first? You know, besides go hunting for warlocks to stuff and mount on your wall? I find it's good to have a plan when new content drops. Otherwise, I just end up only hunting warlocks, which -- while awesome -- doesn't really involve any of the new content.

So what to do? Fear not, I've compiled a handy list of the new features that apply directly to mages so you'll have something to channel your arcane energies toward once all the warlocks are dead.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Lichborne: Blizzard tackles death knight DPS utility in patch 4.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Judging by some of the most recent changes on the patch 4.1 PTR, I'd guess that someone at Blizzard has been listening to player complaints about the difficulties in bringing classes that do not have crowd control or other major non-damage related utility to dungeons.

Unfortunately, I wouldn't say they've responded in the way some of us were wishing they would, by giving death knights and warriors a simple humanoid crowd control spell. They have instead, added some tweaks that address the issue in some unexpected ways that may or may not solve the problem and in some cases feel a little bit unwieldy or unconventional.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Patch 4.1: Blizzard explains new valor point mechanics

The era of the daily heroic is over! After much speculation that the one run per day random dungeon valor point rewards would turn into seven runs per week randoms instead, it turns out we are all getting exactly what we hoped for.

Blizzard has finally commented on (and explained) the incoming valor point change, which will hopefully make gearing up and gaining valor points easier for players who don't have the time or want to play each and every night to run a random for their points. Lylirra explains:

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Filed under: Cataclysm

PTR Patch 4.1: New code hints at random dungeon change

A bit of new code recently added to the PTR that's been uncovered by MMO-Champion might hint at an awesome new change to the way valor points will be earned from the random dungeon finder. Of particular note is this string:

LFD_RANDOM_REWARD_EXPLANATION1 = "The first seven random dungeons of this tier that you complete each week will earn you:";

What this seems to suggest is that instead of doing one random heroic dungeon per day to gain valor points, the system will be changed so that the first 7 random heroics you do, no matter which days, will grant valor points. This is an awesome change for those of us who do not play every day and instead like to stockpile our heroic dungeoneering on the weekend.

Many of us weekend warriors have been asking for this very specific change to the random dungeon "highest tier" badges/points reward system since the beginning of the random heroic system. Hopefully this wonderful change makes it to live.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Cataclysm

Should level-capped players be put into content they outgear?

I do not like The Stonecore.

On a recent guild-sponsored alt run, four not-ready-for-heroics players and my level 85 shammy queued up for a random Cataclysm dungeon. We wound up with The Stonecore. We immediately decided that we didn't want to run The Stonecore, but we also didn't want to just wait the 15 minutes to requeue. So, we cleared our way to the first boss and defeated it, successfully eating up the 15 minutes.

Not wanting to actually finish an instance that didn't offer us any level-appropriate gear, we re-entered the random dungeon finder. The result: The Stonecore. Again. We gave up, ran the instance for the lousy 70 justice point payoff, and died a little inside.

A huge part of my distaste for The Stonecore is related to how often it comes up in the random dungeon finder on both heroic and normal versions. It's a wipe-filled nightmare on heroic, especially with a group that doesn't know what it's doing. (And let's be honest, text-based communication on the fly can only get you so far.) I have no complaint about getting regular Stonecore at levels 82 and 83. The problem is that I get it all the damn time when I'm level 85, and Blizzard gives me almost no incentive to finish it.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Officers' Quarters: Be kind to your tanks and healers


Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available now from No Starch Press.

If you've queued as a DPS for the dungeon finder lately, you've probably marveled at the estimated time and wondered what happened to all the tanks and healers. Maybe fewer players want to tank when crowd control is necessary; maybe fewer players want to heal when mana must be managed. Maybe it's the fact that gear is more critical at this point in an expansion, so people are shy about signing up for those roles. Or maybe all the tanks and healers are skipping the unpredictable dungeon finder crowd altogether and looking for guilds to join.

Whatever the cause, dungeon finder queues for DPS are absolutely brutal at the moment. If you don't want to wait 30-plus minutes for every run, you're going to need tanks and healers in your guild who are willing to run heroics. You may wonder, why wouldn't they be willing to run heroics? After all, the content is fresh, the upgrades are flowing, and most people still need justice and/or valor points.

The question isn't so much whether they want to run heroics; the question is whether they want to run heroics with you, right now.

This week, I'm going to focus on what players and officers can do to avoid stressing out your tanks and healers and help them to enjoy the game along with everyone else.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Spiritual Guidance: A shadow priest's guide to Cataclysm's heroic nightmares

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Bear is for tank! Spriest is for fite!

It's time for a heartfelt confession. I think I'm done with Cataclysm heroics for a while. Don't get me wrong, they can be fun, but as of late, they've become miserable endeavors.

If you're not running heroics yet, you may not know what I'm talking about. If you are running heroics (through PUGs), you know exactly what I'm talking about. An awful lot of tanks, healers, and DPSers think Cataclysm heroics are the same kind of faceroll instances that Wrath heroics were. Nothing could be further from the case. And as more and more "casual" players reach level 85, a greater percentage of players are just so terribly lost that they don't know what to do.

Wipes on the first pull. Frustrating attempts on bosses with "teammates" who just don't listen. People who AoE when they should nuke. People who use AoE and ... no, no, wait! Don't attack that, it's CCed, and ... well, crud. Now we've got merchants throwing fruit at us now, don't we? Simply put, most people are just not prepared.

It's forgivable, of course -- new, more difficult instances mean a new, gigantic learning curve. Even the best Wrath shadow priest can muck things up in a Cataclysm heroic. But that doesn't need to be the case! The shadow priest spec is an incredibly powerful one. Not only do we do get to churn out the DPS, but we have an incredible number of tools at our disposal to make up for the problems that PUG groups routinely face. From crowd control (yes, tanks, we can CC) to mana regen, there's an awful lot we can do to make heroics run smoother. Even if you're saddled with a group of four 12-year-olds from <Mommy's Little Accidents> trying to make the run as difficult as possible.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Dungeon Guide: Vortex Pinnacle

Ahh, the Vortex Pinnacle, for whenever I want to go hit up an instance that involves jumping in cyclones (or tornadoes) that toss you from platform to platform.

This 5-man instance is the ... pinnacle of the Skywall complex in the Uldum zone. You can find it just southeast of the shores. Make sure you go the right direction or else you might end up in the Throne of the Four Winds raid instance. Oh, and you're going to need a flying mount. The forces of Al'Akir are waiting to storm Uldum and the rest of Azeroth. Our mission, if we choose to accept it, is to clear out the place and prevent them from really establishing a foothold on our lands.

At a glance, here's the gist of the instance.
  • three boss encounters
  • levels 82-84
  • average item level 272 recommended (according to dungeon finder)

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The Queue: I was right edition

Welcome back to The Queue, our daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mathew McCurley will be your host today.

Welp. Pack your bags, ladies and gentlemen, I was right. Straight from the woman herself. Victory dance.

Cetha asked:

Has there been any mention on the size of the download if you get the digital copy of
Cata? I'm trying to figure out if it would just be easier to get the discs and install it than to try and download another 16GB of info again, which didn't go so well the last time.

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Filed under: The Queue

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