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Posts with tag heroic

Arcane Brilliance: Gearing up after the glorious patch 3.3


It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that loves nothing more than to gaze down upon the whole of Northrend from one of the floating chunks of stone around Dalaran and realize that at some point, a mage has probably killed every living thing down there. At least the targetable ones, anyway. And the ones you can't target? I'm sure more than one mage has certainly tried.

So I'm officially nominating patch 3.3 for "best patch ever" status. Here's a short list of the highlights of this patch:
  • Three highly challenging, fun, lore-filled 5-man instances, full of sweet loot
  • A massive new raid, with four gated sections, 12 bosses, and the promise of eventually being able to shove a Fireball up the Lich King's tailpipe
  • The incredible, game-changing Dungeon Finder Tool, which is responsible for peace in the Middle East, has brought an end to the recession, and has cured cancer
  • A few choice mage buffs, including a PvE viable Frost spec
  • Quest Tracking without the need for an addon
  • Quel'delar and Shadowmourne
  • A swiftly approaching new Arena Season
  • Weekly raid quests
  • The Kalu'ak Fishing Derby
  • Perky the Pug
  • A host of little changes for low level characters
  • Rocket bare
Not shabby, right? And best of all, Blizzard has managed to deploy the majority of this new content without also deploying a host of bugs, glitches, and instability, or otherwise making the game unplayable for awhile as we've come to expect from patches this large. There were some log-in issues and bugginess on day one, but by day two, everything was running relatively smoothly by day two. I'm being relatively conservative when I say that Blizzard, in my personal opinion, has hit this one out of the park.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Features, Guides, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Tank opportunities in the late endgame

I've been tangling with the tough issue of tanking again lately -- I have finally leveled up my paladin to 80, and ideally, the plan is to jump in as a dual specced tank and healer when patch 3.3 hits. All LFG all the time, eventually headed to higher level raiding. But Honor's Code has a good post up this weekend about the trouble that many tanks are facing lately -- they say that while there's lots of tanking to be had in the early endgame (every 5-man and heroic group out there needs a tank), the available positions narrow down as you get farther up. By the time you're reaching Icecrown (which I would like to do someday), there are so relatively few guilds raiding there and so few serious tanking spots within those guilds that you either have to be a really great tank, know someone who's in charge, or be ready to switch off to another spec or alt when necessary.

In essence, they're saying there's a glass ceiling for tanks. Once you reach a certain point, it's hard to find even the opportunity to be a solid tank.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Phat Loot Phriday: Mystifying Charm

Here's a spooky looking offhand for current endgame casters. If you have an item you'd like to see here next week, shout it out in the comments below, please.

Name: Mystifying Charm (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Offhand
Damage/Speed: N/A
Attributes:
  • +65 Stamina, +65 Intellect, +57 Spirit
  • Improves crit strike rating by 57 and spell power by 100.

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Filed under: Items, Tips, Fan stuff, Raiding

Patch 3.3: Helpful rewards for low-level dungeon runs

We've been talking a lot about Patch 3.3's new Dungeon Finder feature lately, and for good reason -- it's leaps and bounds better than the LFG tool we've been dealing with for the past several years. One of the features that's caught everyone's attention is the great reward that level 80 players get for completing random WotLK Heroic dungeons. Well, if you're a lower-level player using the tool to run random dungeons at your level, it turns out you get something too.

The Satchel of Helpful Goods is a level-scaling bag o' rewards, which EU Community Manager Wryxian says will contain one piece each from two sets of loot rewards. Quoth the crocolisk:

...these satchels are rewards from doing a random dungeon through the LFG tool at lower levels. There's two groups of items that can be inside them. One includes bracers, rings, necklaces and cloaks. The other has belts, boots, gloves and shoulder items. What you'll find in the satchel is one item from each group, and this is also further influenced by a ten level range. So for example, what is in a satchel received for completing a dungeon between levels 20 and 30 might be a nice necklace and some gloves, but from a dungeon between 50 and 60 you might get a ring and some new boots.

The level ranges he refers to are 5-15, 15-25, 24-34, 35-45, 46-55, 56-60, 60-64, and 65-70. Wryxian indicates that the two item groups are set up so as not to trivialize quest rewards from the zones in your level range, and to make sure that you're always receiving a variety of gear. It's unknown at this time whether these'll be blues we've seen before, a la Elven Spirit Claws, or whether they're newly-created blues with the express purpose of being Satchel rewards. Still, pretty cool. Oh, and you get money too.


Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, News items

Raid Rx: Heroic Faction Champions


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. I finally lived through Faction Champions and now you can too!

After surviving defeating Faction Champs in Trial of the Grand Crusader, I've managed to figure out a few tricks healers can use to help themselves. While it's almost impossible to come up with a unified and methodical strategy, I've compiled a list of tips and advice to maximize your survivability and the players around you. Think of it more as guidelines as opposed to solidified rules.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Phat Loot Phriday: Clemency

Umm, drool. This staff is so awesome it makes me want to go back to playing a caster.

Name: Clemency (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Two-hand Staff
Damage/Speed: 280-518 / 2.10 (190.1 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +153 Stamina, +153 Intellect. Yes, that much. +86 Spirit, too.
  • A Blue and a Red socket, with a +7 spell power bonus if you match both up. Remember, you don't have to if you don't want to, and this is certainly a socket bonus that's probably not worth going for. If you need an extra gem for your meta, this is probably the place to put it.

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Filed under: Items, Instances, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday

Patch 3.3: Just run as many heroics as you want

Blizzard's new Dungeon System is a pretty huge overhaul of the social and gameplay experience of getting an instance group together, and we're all pretty excited about it here. On top of the hassle-free daily random dungeon selection and the great new matchmaking features, you even get teleported to the random dungeon.

But as it turns out, there's even more cool stuff hiding below the surface. If you're like me, chances are good you've spent a day or two chain-running heroics to gear up an alt or to get instant gratification on that badge item you want. The issue with chaining heroics at this point in time is that eventually you hit a wall: do instances you hate (Oculus) or stop running instances because of your 24-hour heroic lockouts.

Well, in patch 3.3, everything's a-changin'. While heroic lockouts aren't going away, they will not affect your random dungeon selections. What this means is that if you and four guildies do a timed Culling of Stratholme run, and then you join the queue for a random heroic, you may be assigned Culling of Stratholme a second -- or third, or fourth -- time, depending on your luck, as your random dungeon. And you'll get two extra Emblems of Triumph for completing the random dungeon each time, even if you've run the dungeon already that day. The only way that your lockout will affect you is that you cannot create a group with /invite for that same dungeon again that day.

Basically, as long as you're choosing the Random Dungeon option, you can run as many heroics as you want, every day.

With increased rewards for, easier access to, and the trivialization of lockouts for heroics, Patch 3.3 is the perfect time to dust off that neglected level 80 alt of yours and take him or her on a tour of Northrend's most dangerous places.
Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Instances

WoW Rookie: PUGging without the bad apples


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

PUGs (PickUp Groups), which are groups of players that come together on the fly to run instance groups or raids, are a fact of life for most WoW players. Especially in today's WoW, when instances fly by more quickly than ever before (a quick TotC before dinnertime, anyone?), PUGs help you accomplish your quest, gear and achievement goals when you can't run them with a regular group or guild. And now that most players are concentrated in endgame content, PUGs are likely to be the only way you'll get a shot at running earlier instances as intended, with a group of the appropriate level.

Sounds like a winner ... So why do PUGs get such a bad rap? Mostly, it's the bad apple theory – but as Donny Osmond warbled so winningly above, "one bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, girl." In a Massively Multiplayer Online RPG like WoW, you shouldn't be afraid to get involved with other players. Let's see how you can dig into PUGs without biting into (or being) the worm.

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Instances, Features, Raiding, WoW Rookie

Phat Loot Phriday: Edge of Agony


I finally got my Green Proto-drake today, so I was tempted to do that, but instead today we'll go with the old PLP standby of big scary swords. Alliance, before you go running after this one, make sure to see the note below.

Name: Edge of Agony (Wowhead, Thottbot, MMO Champion)
Type: Epic Two-Hand Sword
Damage/Speed: 651 - 977 / 3.50 (232.6 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +112 Agility, +92 Stamina
  • Improves haste by 62, attack power by 183, and armor penetration by 86. Note that these are the stats for the 10-man normal item (Trial of the Crusader drops are pretty confusing actually). The 10-man Heroic version has a better version of this, but with the same name and graphic.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Instances, Humor, Phat Loot Phriday

Raid Rx: 14 patch 3.2 trinkets to check out


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. It's been a while since I looked at trinkets. What options are there available since then?

Yes, the linked article goes to the Priest column on trinkets. Not every healer's going to use them. But truth be told, there aren't that many new options for healers in the current game since Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader opened up. Let's look at everything available since Malygos.

So what do we have to work with?

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Arcane Brilliance: Making your Mage raid-worthy, part 1


Welcome to another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that asks all the tough questions, and then Ice Blocks before the tough answers one-shot it.

A little while after Wrath hit, Arcane Brilliance posted a column on how to gear your Mage up for Naxx. Several things have changed since then:

  1. Pretty much everything I wrote then is now wrong.
  2. You don't really gear for Naxx anymore. Naxx is now a place you go in order to gear up for other places.
  3. Trial of the Champion.
Knowing these things, I thought an updated gearing column might be in order. So if you're raising a fledgling Mage, and level 80 is about to hit you like a truckload of Death Knights, and you're looking for the quickest way to turn green and blue into purple, look no farther. Well maybe a little farther. The column's not over yet.

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Filed under: Mage, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Raiding, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Breakfast topic: Has Trial of the Grand Crusader been a reasonable challenge?


My raiding guild suffered from the Anub'Arak soft reset issue where we were unable to reach the floor where the oversized bug was. We wanted to clear him out on normal mode before we switched over to the harder difficulty. But since the floor was intact, we couldn't! (Note: This has since been fixed).

Because of this, we decided to toggle on Heroic mode for Trial of the Crusader on 25 just to get a feel for it. Some guilds believe that the Coliseum, even on heroic, is too easy. So I went in wondering what the fuss was all about. I wanted to know how easy the heroic setting would be.

But that's when I faced the reality check.

Remember, not everyone is in a top 100 guild. We burned through about 10 attempts that night just working on the first encounter alone. That experience helped to ground us and we realized what we needed to do to get through that mountain. In the end, we weren't able to even get past Gormok. We came to the conclusion that we were definitely going to need to coordinate healing and tanking cooldowns to break past the final minute of the first boss.

Nonetheless, it was fairly humbling. We'll have to go in next time much more carefully and with a more detailed game plan in mind.

It's been several days since Trial of the Grand Crusader has been accessible. Do you feel it has just the right amount of challenge for your raid group? Have you found it too easy or too difficult?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Raiding

Every kind of player's guide to Patch 3.2


If you've been hiding under a rock these past few months (and who doesn't do that every now and then, really?) you might have only just noticed that Patch 3.2 recently went live. For some of you, it's as good an excuse as any to log back into the game while for others, it might've been a surprise to find yourself suddenly downloading upwards of 300Mb of content. If you fall under the category of surprised, lost, or surprised and lost, have no fear! WoW.com is here to hold your hand and guide you through the wild and wacky wonders of the Call of the Crusade. Let's take a look at what the latest patch holds for you - and there's something for you no matter what kind of player you are - after the jump.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides

Player reaction to the 5-man Trial

All right -- patch 3.2 has been out for a few days now, and I would say that most people who are interested have had a chance to go in and run the brand new 5-man instance. Of course it's not the only change in the patch (far from it), but it's the one I was most looking forward to, and unlike the raid instances, it's all in there and doable, ready for our judgment. So what did we think?

I tried it yesterday, and my first impression was "underwhelmed." I definitely don't feel that way about 3.2 as a whole, but the instance itself seems less than impressive, a one-room fight with almost as many boring moments as there are exciting ones. The fights themselves are actually pretty commonplace for a Heroic -- the jousting fight is probably the least-liked among the playerbase (seriously, whoever really loves the jousting mechanic over at Blizzard needs to take a good long look in the mirror for some self reflection), while the best is of course the Argent Confessor, who summons a random figure from our "past memories" to fight. I got Illidan and Onyxia the first few times I ran the instance, but of course Hogger and Van Cleef and Heigan the Unclean also have a chance at making an appearance. I did like the fight, but I was kind of bummed the old memories didn't bring any of their abilities with them -- they all have the same three abilities to throw at the group.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Lore, Bosses, NPCs

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