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Posts with tag hodir

Know Your Lore: Algalon the Observer

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The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.
I have seen worlds bathed in the Makers' flames. Their denizens fading without so much as a whimper. Entire planetary systems born and razed in the time that it takes your mortal hearts to beat once.
The Titans are creatures of myth and mystery to the mortals of Azeroth. While some Azerothians (most notably Brann Bronzebeard) seek to unravel their secrets, most remain blissfully unaware and uncaring of the origins of the world. But the mysteries Brann works so hard to uncover more often than not raise far more questions than they answer, and in some cases, create havoc that could reduce our world to ashes in the blink of an eye.

In Ulduar, Brann sought to uncover the further secrets of the origin of the dwarves, something that the Explorer's League has been working on since the early days of WoW and the first player steps into the Titan stronghold of Uldaman. But what Brann uncovered was a massive facility that wasn't just for the storage of information from times long past. The facility of Ulduar and its corrupt Titans weren't anywhere near as much of a threat to the world as what came after Loken's defeat in the Halls of Lightning. For it was the moment of his defeat that the failsafe was tripped and the signal was sent.

And it was Loken's death that heralded the arrival of Algalon the Observer and the end of the world.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Eternals part three -- the Titans


The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

The Eternals of Azeroth are by and large fairly well known by the mortal races -- the Ancients of the night elves were a strong presence in the War of the Ancients, and the trolls worked intimately with their Loa gods. But there are still Eternals out there that are by and large unknown quantities in the universe -- vague historical records have been made, but the mortal races are mostly in the dark as to who these Eternals really are, and what their purpose is in the world.

Of all of the Eternals, the ones that remain the biggest mystery are the Titans, specifically the Pantheon of titans that were responsible for Azeroth's creation as we know it today. While the dwarves have uncovered a lot of information recently, there are still large chunks of time seemingly out of order or unaccounted for. There are a few different timelines, and varying opinions on what exactly occurred in each timeline -- so writing about the Titans and the creation of the world is an exercise in careful speculation. Today we'll be looking at the Pantheon -- the titan high council -- who they were, what roles they played in Azeroth, and where they are today, as well as taking a look at the creation of Azeroth.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Raid Rx: 2009 Boss healing awards


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.

Welcome to the 2009 healing awards where we look back on some of the craziest healing encounters introduced in Wrath of the Lich King. Which fights frustrated healers the most? Which ones involved a ridiculous amount of healing? Which boss went directly against our role as healers? The judging panel should have consisted entirely of gnomes, but Wilfred Fizzlebang was unable to make it at the last minute and I was asked to step in at the last minute to help finalize the results.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Breakfast Topic: Running progression raids blind

BoK brings up something I've thought a little bit about lately: their guild will occasionally run an encounter "blind," which means they'll go in without researching or learning any boss strategy ahead of time. This is generally something that only the highest-level guilds often do, and even then only on the PTR -- by the time bosses hit the live realms, their abilities are usually posted online somewhere. But some guilds enjoy a challenge, and doing a raid without knowing what's coming definitely keeps you on your toes. A lot of raiders think that's actually the "right" way to do it -- Blizzard's game doesn't come with strategies installed, so if the designers created the fight correctly, it should be clear, just from watching buffs and boss animations, what to do during a fight.

So today's query is: have you ever run something blind, or would you like to? I haven't run any raids blind -- my guild raids so little already that when we do, it's best to be fully prepared. But I did run the new 5-mans blind on the PTR, and it was an interesting experience. You really have to stay alert and try to analyze the fight as you're doing it, look for buffs and balances and try to position yourself as best you can, all while running your usual casts and abilities. It's a fun challenge, though as the fight gets tougher, it's probably less fun -- we were running with premades on five-mans, and I doubt a high-level raid would be as easy on us. Still, some of you must do it regularly, or at least be interested in going blind. What say you?

Filed under: Virtual selves, Guilds, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Raiding

Patch 3.3 PTR: The Pit of Saron in motion


As you might have read, a few members of the WoW.com crew hit the PTR over the weekend and took a few runs through the Pit of Saron, one of the new 5-man dungeons in Patch 3.3. It's also the only one currently available for testing. We didn't walk away from it with only our impressions posts for you, oh no. We also have screenshots and video.

Above you'll find our video of Forgemaster Garfrost, the first boss of the instance. Behind the cut below, you'll find the other two bosses (Krick and Scourgelord Tyrannus) and something a little... special. All of the videos are edited to make sure none of the story moments of the instance are included, so the narrative won't be spoiled for you at all. Enjoy!

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances

Ready Check: Hodir



Ready Check is a twice-a-week column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Today, we step back a little and look at endgame in the context of sports.

Let's recap Ulduar so far, shall we?

You've wrecked the Flame Leviathan. With a touch of kindness in your heart, you euthanized Razorscale. In a moment of vengeance, you laid some justice down on Ignis the Furnace Master. Guffawing in humor at his odd voice, you looted Deconstructor.

Then it came time to "bridge your experience" by beating up Kologarn. The Assembly of Iron proved to be no difficulty for your incredible raiding prowess. Even Auriaya and her small legion of adds gave you little pause.
Now, however, you're on to the big leagues. It's time for you to showdown against the Keepers of Ulduar. Immediatley after defeating Auriaya, you get to fight none other than Hodir himself.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ready Check (Raiding)

The Queue: Full of it

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Since today's first question in Maelstrom-themed, we've decided today's edition of The Queue was a good time to link the supposed leaked trailer of the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, to be announced at BlizzCon '09. We haven't embedded the video to try and dodge waking up to a DMCA tomorrow, so just check it out on YouTube. We'll let Google deal with the mess, eh?

Revan asked...

"What instances would you suggest for a Maelstrom expansion?"

All of the things you suggested yesterday would work pretty well. Nazjatar and the Tomb of Sargeras would definitely be raid zones in a future expansion. I suspect we would also have a hella fun time in The Eye of the Maelstrom, which is the center of the whole storm there. Maybe we'd even visit Mak'aru, which is where all the gross crab people live. It probably wouldn't be a raid, but I could see a 5-man there. That is, if we don't ally with the gross crabfolk. Did I mention they're gross? Gross. I'd also lay down money that we'll get an Onyxia/Gruul/Malygos-style raid with a sea monster of some sort. The Lurker Below v2.0, now with eye lasers?

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

World first of "Alone in the Darkness" a possible exploit

We reported last week that a guild named Exodus on the US realm of Ysondre had come out of nowhere to topple the world first of the Heroic: Alone in the Darkness achievement, which requires that you bring down the biggest bad currently in the game, Yogg-Saron, with no help from any of the Keepers in Ulduar. But not so fast, says Serennia over at WoWRiot -- over on their forums Ensidia is claiming that Exodus used an exploit, and that their kill doesn't count at all. Apparently, having Thorim help on the fight keeps the "Immortal Guardians" in the last phase of the fight from being a problem, and without Thorim, you have to not only do the fight without his extra 10% damage bonus (each Keeper ups your DPS that much), but you have to deal with the Guardians messing up your melee classes, and oh yeah: they both heal and get healed by Yogg. Not that it's impossible to do it, but it's definitely not easy, and Ensidia claims that Exodus found a known exploit that allows you to evade the Guardians out completely, thus turning the last phase into a straight tank-and-spank, obviously much easier.

After that, it gets into some guild back and forth (Ensidia apparently did something that might have been an exploit on Hodir, and when people call them out on that, they say that the exploits were different -- Ensidia's tactic was just an interesting use of game mechanics, while the exploit Exodus is suspected of using is more of a cheat), but the fact remains that Exodus is clearly not a guild that anyone expected to clear what might be the toughest raiding achievement in the game before anyone else, and yet that's exactly what they did. Ensidia says they won't be killing Yogg for the achievement using the exploit, and that they've reported the Exodus kill to the devs, so we'll have to see if the devs decide that Exodus did cheat, or if they let Exodus keep their achievements and mounts. We're not sure how much it all matters, with world first kills not being all that important any more (and that's exactly what the devs might say as well), but Ensidia is claiming that an exploit took place -- we'll have to see if that turns out to be true.

Thanks, Nimrod!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Blizzard, Raiding, Bosses, Forums

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution tips and tricks in Ulduar


I know, it's another Retribution post, but since we got hit with the nerf bat again (ever so slightly) I decided to devote one last column to the spec before I rotate back to Protection. Besides, my past month or so has been spent raiding Ulduar as Retribution (with the first few forays as Holy) so I think that's what I'll talk about for now. Rather than talk about specific boss strategies, we'll talk about the little things we can do to perform at our best in Ulduar.

Flame Leviathan
First up is Flame Leviathan. Obviously, none of the usual strategies will apply here but one key point players should remember is that the vehicles scale with gear. This means having to prepare an outfit set optimized for the encounter. One thing to note about vehicle scaling is that it doesn't look at stats, just iLevel. Optimizing a gear set for this means putting the highest iLevel item you have in every slot. For "pure" classes, this is usually their normal set-up, but for Paladins who keep several sets of gear, an iLevel-optimized outfit can be composed of healing items, a few tank items, some DPS items, and even PvP gear. Players can use AddOns such as RatingBuster to determine an item's iLevel and outfit managers such as Outfitter or Blizzard's new in-game equipment manager to quickly swap gear.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Encrypted Text: Rogue tips for raiding Ulduar, part 2

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we continue our discussion of tips and tricks for Ulduar.

Last week, we covered the first few tiers of Ulduar bosses, and what Rogues can do to maximize their performance on these fights. I was happy to see some great tips in the comments as well, such as using Cloak of Shadows when you are afflicted by XT-002's Light Bomb. If you have any advice to add to the conversation, please use the comments to give us your thoughts.

This week, we'll be talking about the Keepers, the real meat and potatoes of Ulduar. These bosses drop our coveted Tier 8 (complete with its fantastic 4-piece bonus!) and other loot that you'll want to get your hands on. These fights are also more technically complex, and so you'll want to be prepared before attempting to down these bosses for the first time.

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Filed under: Rogue, Tips, Raiding, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Phat Loot Phriday: Stormedge


This one's by request this week -- Twitter's own @Random_Tangent recommended it to us. We've done a few Ulduar items lately (we'll have to go phat next week), but here's another nice one.

Name: Stormedge (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Two-hand Axe
Damage/Speed: 594 - 892 / 3.50 (212.3 DPS)
Abilities:
  • Um, it's badass?
  • +106 Strength, +125 Stamina. Which means this is a straight-up 2h DPS weapon -- the Strength adds a huge damage bonus to Warriors, Death Knights, Feral Druids (edit: well nevermind then), and Paladins by giving them a +212 attack power just from the weapon alone, not to mention other places Strength is used. Shamans also get a buff -- not quite as big, but still nice.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday, Bosses

Phat Loot Phriday: Northern Barrier


Been a while since we did a shield. And since we did a BoE, actually. So here's both in one.

Name: Northern Barrier (Wowhead, Thottbot, WoWWiki)
Type: Epic Shield
Armor: 7890 Armor (221 Block)
Attributes:
  • +42 Strength, +94 Stamina
  • Increases defense rating by 63, which is just awesome.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Humor, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday

Ulduar "tuning tweaks"

Ulduar nerfs continue, tonight being called "tuning tweaks" - but nerfs they are, at least the vast majority of them. Several hard modes have been made easier (XT-002, Assembly of Iron, and Hodir). I'm told that the change to Hodir-hard is particularly significant - the timer on the hard mode was increased from 2 minutes to 3 minutes, which means this encounter might actually be possible on 25-man now. The Hodir change will not go live until maintenance.

There were also normal-mode tweaks to Auriya, Thorim, and Freya, and some of the trash (Conservatory, Vezax, Sappers) was beat up a little bit. The Ulduar nerf parade may have slowed down over the weekend, but it's back in force for Monday. I'm starting to feel a little sorry for all the bosses, seeing their power slowly drained away.

Filed under: Raiding

The Queue: Cats rule, dogs drool

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today's edition of The Queue will be pretty short and sweet. Many of the questions that were asked yesterday have since been answered in other places around the site, so I just went ahead and skimmed over those ones
to answer what hasn't been addressed already. Ready? Set? Let's go!

Becky asked...


"I may be wrong but it seems to me of all the in-game non-combat pets, there are no dogs but plenty of cats. What's with the lack of dogs? My mage wants a puppy."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

How to activate Ulduar's hard modes

You may have heard that a number of guilds have cleared Ulduar to Yogg-Saron already, which to me is perfectly fine. I like to think that a lot of good, properly-coordinated guilds will kill Yoggy this week, and the Blues agree with me. Of course, this week's Yoggy kills were on the easiest possible difficulty, so world first or not, it doesn't mean a whole lot in terms of fame and fortune.

This is the beauty of Ulduar -- if you want prestige (and the best gear), you have to earn it by flexing your raiding muscle and beating encounters on their respective hard modes. If you don't have the chops or the time for the highest difficulty content, then you can still beat the instance and see every encounter.

But, of course, you want those 239-level items.

So you should probably read after the jump and find out how to activate each boss' hard mode, yeah?

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Filed under: How-tos, Raiding, Guides

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