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Posts with tag heroic-mode

Why do heroic modes often open after normal modes?

Firelands Rags
In Siege of Orgrimmar, we had a week of normals only before advanced guilds could sink their teeth into the heroic version. Considering that these days many folks look toward heroic raids as the measure of raiding progression, it's easy to find yourself asking the question -- why would heroic modes open after normals? If heroics are really what people are waiting for, why make them wait? And wouldn't hardcore players love the chance to jump straight into a heroic with their previous tier's gear, just for the extra challenge? (Though let's be fair, how much normal-mode gear are they going to get in a single week of raiding?) Anyway, as it turns out, the answer is quite simple:
...which makes a lot of sense. Heroic modes are more complex than normal modes by far. Not only do the bosses generally hit harder, but it's common for heroics to include new mechanics entirely. Heroic Ragnaros's legs in the Firelands come to mind, for example. Considering that raids are already complicated bits of gameplay, it's reasonable to want to squeeze every last bit of testing out of a raid before implementing the most difficult parts of it.

Filed under: Raiding

Siege of Orgrimmar Tier vendors

Siege of Orgrimmar Tier vendors
Patch 5.4's new raid, the Siege of Orgrimmar, has been available on normal and flexible difficulties all week this week, but today's maintenance update heralds the release of the first wing of LFR difficulty. That said ... where the heck does one go to get cash in their tier pieces from Siege? If you've been wondering that very question, the answer is much closer than you'd think -- and a lot easier to handle, this time around.

Four new tier vendors have been placed in both the Alliance and Horde shrines in patch 5.4. Each vendor handles a particular difficulty of gear -- LFR, flexible, normal, and heroic. These vendors are all in the same area as the challenge mode gear vendor, making them ridiculously easy to get to. If you have tier tokens from any difficulty, simply visit the appropriate difficulty level vendor and turn them in.

I have to say, after an entire expansion of flying back and forth to the far reaches of Pandaria just for some tier gear, it's nice to see these guys are in someplace well and truly immediately accessible. After a day's worth of raiding, the last thing I want to do is travel around hunting for the rewards I'd already obtained. That said, it would be nice if they'd add a vendor that carries all the old tier from this expansion as well -- might as well move everyone in close, now that we're nearing the end of the expansion. Good luck to those intrepid souls stepping into LFR today, and remember -- this time around, your gear is closer than you think.

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Raid Rx: Healing heroic Morchok

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

The recent nerf to Dragon Soul with the release of patch 4.3.2 means more players are now within striking distance of Morchok on heroic modes. He's a boss that serves as an execution check for your raiding group more than anything else. If your raid group mastered the art of healing through him on normal, then it should have no problem doing it again on heroic.

Just be prepared to do it twice.

The biggest hard mode change is that Morchok clones himself. His clone has the exact same abilities as Morchok prime, except the timing will be off. Your raid will be splitting in two and pulling the two bosses away from each other. You can envision the fight as two pseudo 10-man groups fighting (or two 5-mans, if you're in a 10-man raiding group).

Come into the raid with six to seven healers, if you're a 25-man raiding group. Actually, I'd consider bringing seven if it's the very first time. For 10-man, it is not uncommon for groups to bring in up to four healers for the first time. You'll need them, due to the amount of damage being dished out to the raid. Ideally, try to insist that when your raid leader splits the raid into two groups, the players will show up in your raid frames in different groups. Having all of the players in group 1 and 2 on one side with groups 3 and 4 on the other can be beneficial. The side that is tanking Morchok is the one that could benefit from the extra healer, as it seems more damage is done on that side.

I strongly recommend bringing in tanks with their four-piece bonuses, because they will be an incredible asset.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Optional boss modes making a comeback in Mists of Pandaria?

Kaivax hit the forums to answer a player's question about Ulduar and talk about the fondness the dungeon has retained amongst the playerbase and where the optional boss modes have gone. Back during the first half of Wrath of the Lich King, "choose your own difficulty" encounters and in-fight hard mode triggers were staples of the encounters in Ulduar and the Obsidian Sanctum. When Trial of the Crusader launched, Blizzard implemented the UI-based difficulty toggle. Players have expressed desire to return to the old days, feeling that the toggle method is just too robotic when encounters could be designed around cool difficulty-swap mechanics. In his post, Kaivax hints that the design teams are thinking about bringing back these mechanics for some fights in the upcoming expansion, Mists of Pandaria.

Rather than selecting a normal or hard mode toggle before pulling an encounter, Ulduar raid groups were tasked with completing different objectives during the encounter or defeating the boss mechanics in a different order to activate hard mode. Famously, players would press a large red button behind Mimiron labelled "DO NOT PUSH THIS BUTTON," activating the encounter and a rather angry Titanic watcher. Other fights during Wrath of the Lich King such as Freya and Sartharion featured a "choose your own difficulty" mechanic wherein the player's choices before the encounter increased or decreased the boss' overall difficulty. Harder combinations of abilities would yield more impressive items.

Will Mists of Pandaria bring back our beloved "choose your difficulty" encounters and in-fight hard mode triggers? I know I'd like to get another Sartharion-style encounter, especially with mount rewards like the original provided.

Read the full blue post behind the break below.

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Filed under: Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: Juggling Yor'sahj's oozes

yorsahj
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 paladins are so awesome.

While Ultraxion is definitely the most unique fight for healers in this tier, Yor'sahj the Unsleeping is a close second place. The boss' abilities are simple for the DPS classes and tanks, but healers will constantly be reacting to the summoned oozes and their various effects. These globules cause us to shift our healing strategies with each new wave, and learning to handle the globules will be the key to mastering this encounter.

Every raid group is going to handle the ooze packs differently. You need to familiarize yourself with what each ooze can do, and then combine the effects based on your raid leader's preference. You'll be faced with three oozes at a time on Raid Finder and normal difficulties, with the option to kill one ooze out of each wave. On heroic difficulty, there are four oozes per wave, for a total of three effects on the boss after you've killed one of the oozes.

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

Firelands raid changes incoming

With the upcoming release of patch 4.3 and the final fight with Deathwing, Blizzard is reevaluating encounter difficulty in all Firelands normal and heroic mode encounters. Over the next few weeks, Blizzard will be toning down the encounters in Ragnaros' home turf to allow more groups to clear and complete the content before the final raid. It appears that the cuts will be coming to both regular and heroic modes, with about the same effect as the 4.2 changes to the first tier of Cataclysm raiding. The difficulty of Firelands will begin to be hotfixed the week of Sept. 19.

I think that the Icecrown Citadel approach, nerfing raiding content as the tier progresses, is an excellent move by Blizzard to keep raiders playing and trying encounters they may have fallen just short on progression. World firsts have already happened, and that race is long over. Now, groups that weren't working on the content as intensely now have their shot at checking out some of the great encounters in Firelands.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Raiding, Cataclysm

Not all fights require a hard mode

Hard modes are some of the most popular encounters in Wrath of the Lich King. They grant better loot and extra rewards like mounts and rare titles, especially for specific server firsts. However, I'm of the opinion that ever since Ulduar, we've kind of lost sight of how the hard mode encounters should work and have instead just started making everything have a hard mode.

Frankly, the Gunship encounter in ICC, while fun, shouldn't have a hard mode. It's not really even hard; it's just free iLevel 277 gear for turning on a toggle. I blame Trial of the Crusader -- and specifically, having an entire separate raid lockout for Trial of the Grand Crusader -- for this. I realize I may be on the losing side of this divide, but I really don't think every single fight needs a hard mode. Some fights, sure. The four wing bosses of ICC, absolutely. The Lich King? Heck, it could be argued that Arthas should have taken a page from Algalon's book and only had a hard mode, or maybe Sindragosa should have been a hard-mode-only fight instead of a wing boss, and you only get to fight her after the Lich King is dead in some sort of doomsday scenario where she's chained up by Arthas and breaks free to destroy Azeroth in case of his demise.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Icecrown raid difficulty to be set on a per-boss basis

Blizzard is once again changing the way in which we trigger heroic modes of encounters. First there was Sarth, where you left up mini-bosses. Then there was Ulduar, where you (sometimes) triggered a particular event by defeating or leaving up particular bosses or objects. Then in the Trial of the Crusader you had four different raids to do depending on your difficulty setting.

Now in Icecrown Citadel, Blizzard has appeared to reach a final solution of sorts -- potentially even going back and changing the way hard modes in Trial of the Crusader are triggered. Difficulty (hard mode on/hard mode off) of the upcoming Icecrown Citadel raid in patch 3.3 will be set on a per-boss basis.

The full statement after the break.

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Filed under: Patches, News items

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Loot Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class, raiding, and PvP guides we take a look at exactly what changes and how the changes will affect your playing.

New instances and raids are fun and all, but let's not forget what we're all here for: the loot. With the new patch out on servers, there's a whole slew of new items and gear to win and collect. Here's a quick roundup of everything we know about the new loot coming in patch 3.2, from the badges you pull from dead bosses' bodies, to the sweet epics you can turn them in to get.

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Bosses, Leveling

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)

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