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Posts with tag heroic-raids

The coming tank squish?

When Wrath launched in 2008, the last thing I ever expected to see was a decline in the number of druid tanks. We'd just come off a successful expansion of not being Innervate bots, and I thought we'd capitalize on a new set of talents and skills in Wrath to hold our own against the brand-new death knight. Not so: The population of feral (now guardian) druids went into freefall and has never really recovered, and at the time, protection paladins took a hit too.

My best guess remains that the popularity of the death knight and the protection warrior in early Wrath pushed a lot of druids and paladins out of tanking. We had more role options than they did, so respeccing to melee, heals, or ranged DPS was a better option than getting yourself or others benched. There were other things going on that probably didn't help much, but at the end of the day it was a numbers game that the bear and paladin simply lost. It was a vivid lesson that design decisions that don't necessarily have much to do with your class or role can wind up having a serious impact on them anyway.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Siege of Orgrimmar updating to Warlords-mode raiding in 6.0

Mythic mode raiding will be coming into play a little sooner than previously thought. A tweet by Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas yesterday confirmed that we will be seeing Warlords-style raiding implemented into the Siege of Orgrimmar raid with patch 6.0. The raid structure in Warlords includes Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic difficulty all available in Flex-scaling formats. Raid Finder mode as it stands today will still be called Raid Finder mode, however Flexible difficulty will now be called Normal, our version of Normal raiding will be Heroic, and Mythic raiding, a 20-man only format, replaces our Heroic mode as it stands today.

While we knew these changes would be coming in 6.0 via screens shown at BlizzCon 2013, what we didn't know is that this format will be applied to Siege of Orgrimmar, as well as all raids going forward into the new expansion. A later tweet by Hazzikostas pointed out that there will be plenty of advance notice before the change goes live, and there will also be more information on the topic at a later date. Considering we're just now seeing patch 5.4.7 on the PTR, we shouldn't expect Mythic modes to be dropped on us immediately.

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

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

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

Ol' Grumpy's guide to outdated content and you

Hey again, boys and girls. In case you don't know (and why would you?), I'm Ol' Grumpy, that permanently irascible old codger who brought you fun times like player reeducation and instance protocols. Today, I'm here to pour the soothing balm of my words over the troubled waters stirred up by the recent news that in patch 4.2, all current non-heroic raid content is getting a 20% nerf. What exactly does this mean?

Well, it means several things.
  • Current heroic raid content will remain unchanged. Heroic Cho'gall, heroic Atramedes, heroic Nefarian will all be as difficult as they are now. So you won't see guilds that are 9/12 normal mode waltzing into heroic BoT and killing Sinestra the day 4.2 goes live. She's still going to be ludicrously hard.
  • The raids we currently have will become outdated content the day Firelands becomes available, the same way Naxx became outdated when Ulduar came out and Trial of the Crusader became outdated when ICC came out. They will no longer even reward you with valor points, and all current valor point gear will switch to being purchasable with justice points (the same points one can get for running normal 85 dungeons). This means that entry-level raiding will be obsolete, and the only people doing it will be people just starting out or a few completists.
  • Therefore, it is in the interest of the game to let people see this content once it becomes obsolete and move on as quickly as possible.
  • You can return your seat to its normal, upright position now. If anyone is telling you that this is an outrage, a slap in the face, a nod to the casuals, the ruination of the game, or the horns of the dread Armagedillo poking forth, they're wrong. And possibly a hysterical maniac who overreacts to a simple armadillo pet.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Cataclysm

Watch Paragon tackle Lady Sinestra

<Paragon> was the first guild to successfully defeat Sinestra, the heroic-only boss of Bastion of Twilight. After what amounted to a difficult and sometimes buggy encounter, <Paragon> was victorious against Deathwing's consort. Be warned: There are spoilers for the encounter in the video.

The encounter itself looks hectic and challenging, with constant streams of adds and a pretty epic confrontation between Sinestra and an interesting lore figure from Twilight Highlands. <Method>, the second guild to down Sinestra, has also released their video, which can be seen here.

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: Guilds, Cataclysm

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

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