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Posts with tag heroic

Patch 4.3 PTR: Well of Eternity heroic dungeon available for testing

If you've been waiting for the Well of Eternity 5-man heroic dungeon to open on the patch 4.3 PTR, wait no more. It's now available from the Dungeon Finder tool, and you can zone into it successfully. The screenshot above is of Peroth'arn, the first boss in the instance, bossing around various minions (including a Highborne using a Blood Elf model, for some reason).

If you've been itching to sink your teeth into some serious lore, there's no time to lose! Hop on the PTR and get to testing as fast as you can.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, Cataclysm

Does the Rise of the Zandalari dungeon tier serve a purpose?

Perhaps what I should be asking is, "Does the Rise of the Zandalari dungeon tier still serve a purpose?" When patch 4.1 launched, the two Zandalari dungeons, Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman, served as a "more advanced" level of heroic dungeon, with better gear (epic ilevel 353 gear almost as good as what drops in tier 11 raiding's normal modes) and more reward. Running just heroic dungeons before patch 4.1, it was possible to accumulate 70 valor points per day per heroic, for a grand total of 490 points in a week if you weren't raiding.

Patch 4.1 shook things up, and although patch 4.2 introduced a new raid, the same basic system that debuted in 4.1 is still with us. The Zandalari heroics not only dropped epic gear, they allowed non-raiders to collect twice as many valor points, a grand total of 980 valor points. It also allowed players to run heroics in a less limited fashion; you had up to seven in a week and you could run them once a day, all seven at once, or at any other rate you liked until you'd run your seven in a week's time. This was, overall, a positive change and one that allowed non-raiders to collect the tier gear available on vendors faster. Patch 4.2's change to the valor cap (reducing it to 980 in a week) meant that the Zandalari heroics could supply non-raiders with as many VPs as raiders got from raiding.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Paragon releases heroic Ragnaros 25-man kill video

Earlier this month, Paragon earned the high honor of world-first heroic Ragnaros kill, downing the Firelord after over 400 attempts on his fight. Heroic mode encounters add something new and difficult to the mix, but it is rare that we see an entirely new phase to an encounter. Paragon's heroic Ragnaros kill video shows the final stage of the heroic fight, in which Ragnaros submerges in his lava pool and emerges at full strength on new legs allowing him movement all over the encounter room.

The final stage of the fight involves Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem, Malfurion Stormrage, and Cenarius assisting players in dealing with the entirely new mechanics this new heroic mode phase presents. If you've been trying Ragnaros or have killed him, you already have experienced the hilarious Living Meteor ability. In that new phase, meteors must be kited over patches of ice on the ground to freeze them, and then players must DPS down meteors to control the number up at any time. At that point, players are also frantically running around extinguishing ground fires and trapping Ragnaros in roots on the ground.

All in all, it looks incredibly fun and challenging, and it's very nice to see Ragnaros putting his new legs to good use kicking the crap out of guilds across the world. My favorite part of the video has to be the end, with the custom death animation for Ragnaros. Watch until the very end -- it's worth it. Congratulations again to DREAM Paragon for their heroic first kill and for this awesome video of the accomplshment.

Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

World First: Paragon defeats heroic 25-man Ragnaros

After just a few weeks of Firelands raiding, DREAM Paragon has defeated Ragnaros on 25-man heroic mode, earning them the world first and the Firelord title. DREAM Paragon announced the news on their website, promising their kill shot and comments in the near future. Congratulations to Paragon for this world first.

The heroic version of the Ragnaros fight adds a whole new phase to the encounter in which Ragnaros regains his full Firelord strength, steps out of his swirling molten pool, and becomes mobile around the platform with his new firelegs. Cenarius, Hamuul Runetotem and Malfurion Stormrage assist the players in tackling Ragnaros' many abilities in this new phase, finally putting out the Firelord's lights for good.

Heroic modes for the Ragnaros fight and others in the Firelands were also not available on the public test realm, making it that much more difficult for these hardcore raiding guilds to get time in on these encounters.

I am excited to hear about Paragon's time with these bosses in the Firelands. At only seven bosses, the Firelands is one of the more accessible raid zones, with a time commitment that feels far smaller than the monolithic endeavors of the past, like ICC or Ulduar. Has Firelands presented enough of a challenge to the top of the top guilds? Whatever the case, congratulations again! I hope that my guild will be at heroic Rag's door in the near future.

Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

Raid Rx: Preparing for Firelands

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading on the Matticast.

Now that we sort of have a release date for patch 4.2, the time has come to review everything healers should be aware of in anticipation. The gear "floor" is going to reset. This means you'll now purchase tier 11 items with justice points, so you'll have a chance to step into the new raids without having such a large gear deficiency. The valor vendor now has some new swag available for purchase. Your existing valor emblems will convert to justice points, so you may want to consider planning your item purchases around it (at least, if you still need to).

Still worried about the gear gap? Don't worry, as the Avengers of Hyjal have some new faction items you can buy to help in your efforts against Ragnaros and his minions. Certain items that are picked up from the vendor or from raid trash can be upgraded to heroic item levels.

At the end of the post, I'm going to list my thoughts on healing in tier 11, and I'd like to hear what you've thought of it.

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Breakfast Topic: How do you prefer to access "hard modes"?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Ever since Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard has toyed around with its concept of "heroic" raiding. What first started out as a mere distinction between 10- and 25-player boss fights eventually became a difference in difficulty that was available in both raid sizes. It iterated further from Ulduar's various "hard mode" triggers to a simple UI element that toggled the "Grand" in and out of Trial of the Crusader. In ICC, Blizzard seemed to finally settle on how it wanted things to work.

Heroic mode is still relegated to a UI element, but it can at least be changed on a boss-by-boss basis, which puts it a step above the Argent Tournament's four raid lockouts. I must say, though, I do miss the creative methods of triggering hard modes in Ulduar. Leaving up the towers before Flame Leviathan or killing XT's heart to throw him into a new phase were clever and engaging ways to change up fights.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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

Scott Mercer talks redesigning Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman

Blizzard Insider, Blizzard's online newletter, sat down with World of Warcraft Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer to discuss the upcoming patch, Rise of the Zandalari. The interview goes into detail about revamping the old dungeon content, what classic dungeons Blizzard would potentially like to tackle next, and the challenges of turning a 10- and 20-man raid into a 5-man heroic dungeon. Hit the jump for the full question and answer session.

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Filed under: Interviews, 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

Raid Rx: Best practices for healing heroic Chimaeron

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related.

Next big test on the raid list after taking down heroic Halfus is the heroic multi-face boss (commonly referred to as Chimaeron) in Blackwing Descent.

No, Chimaeron isn't the dragons that are pictured above (although they're all in the same place). I haven't been able to get him down yet, since he is one tough dude. The reason why I've found Chimaeron more challenging than Halfus is because the Halfus encounter is over in a minute, if your raid can survive the initial rush. In Chimaeron, the healers are working overtime. We've been able to consistently get him down to the final phase. I imagine we're not the only ones who are still struggling with him (or it).

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Breakfast Topic: Which Cataclysm heroic do you dread seeing on your loading screen?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Since every instance in Cataclysm has its own load screen, players know where they are going before they ever set foot in the instance. Some instances are harder than others. Some have awful trash. Some have boss fights that require lots of moving, and some have tons of ambient group damage. Depending on your role, which instance you want to see come up as your random probably changes. Some have that one piece of gear you need or that achievement you really would love to get; others make you feel disheartened as soon as the loading screen pops up.

I currently have two 85s; my main is a tank, and my alt is a hunter. While tanking anything but Stonecore, I am fairly happy. I hate the initial few pulls in Stonecore with Milhouse Manastorm and those damn guys that turn into rock elementals and have that disgusting AoE so much, and the trash pulls with the sentries later on also suck. My tank just runs the one heroic a day for the points so I can get my last piece of tier for feral and start picking up some of the moonkin off-spec pieces, so if I get Vortex Pinnacle every day and just blow through it, all the better.

On the other hand, with my hunter, every time I see The Deadmines I am actually happy. I still need the axe and bracers. Also, my hunter hasn't been 85 very long, so justice points are still useful to me.

What heroics do you hate to see pop up? What makes you hate this particular instance? Which are you actually happy to see?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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

Breakfast Topic: How was your first Cataclysm heroic group?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

My grinding had finally paid off: i329, and I was ready. With a trembling hand, I moused over "Random Cataclysm Heroic." I clicked. I had heard the rumors and the tales of woe. Guildies had warned us all of the terrors that lie in the heroic PUG.

I gulped and settled in for my long DPS queue. In the middle of killing some Cultists in Twilight Highlands, the dungeon popped. My heart rate doubled. I zoned in to Blackrock Caverns. I knew right away that we were in trouble. The DPS consisted of two mages and a hunter. We wiped on the first pull. Slowly, we made it to Rom'ogg. We cleared the first part of the room, and the tank pulled Rom'ogg. And the healer pulled the rest of the trash. We wiped. We came back to try it again ... and the other mage's Mirror Image pulled the rest of the trash. The tank dropped group. The next tank joined us, announced, "I hate coming in on a wipe," and then called me a Very, Very Bad Name (not to be confused with your Average Garden Variety Bad Name). I determined that I paid my $15 a month to have fun -- and split.

What was your first Cataclysm heroic experience? Was it a complete disaster, or did you miraculously pull an awesome group?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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

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