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Posts with tag icc

Blizzard on raid design evolution

Lead Game Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has written a very extensive blog on the evolution of raid design, the first installment of which went live this morning. In this first part, Watcher covers the history of raiding, from the launch of the game in 2004 all the way through to the end of Icecrown Citadel in 2010.

For many, these were the glory days of raiding and World of Warcraft alike, well, if you believe the forums at least. Watcher talks about the developers' aims to make raiding more accessible, and to improve the gameplay of groups by reducing them in size -- one healer in a group of fifteen healers can't have as big an impact as one healer in a group of five or two. He also discusses the introduction of varying difficulties in raiding, and looks back over all the patches of some of the game's greatest raids.

Hit the break for the full post.

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Filed under: Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Watcher on changes to raid soloing in patch 6.0

If you're like me, you do a lot of older instances for transmog gear, and as such fights like Thorim are exceedingly irksome because they can only be soloed with certain classes or professions (a death knight or hunter using a pet, an engineer with a target dummy, and some good luck on getting through the gauntlet fast) due to mechanics that you can't really outgear. Now Watcher comes with news about not just the annoying Thorim fight, but this tweet about Valithria Dreamwalker as well.

As a warrior who put together my Shadowmourne via running ICC 25 this past year, I hated Dreamwalker, the fight I had no chance of soloing and no way to get around. Making it skippable would at least allow me to kill Arthas for transmog loot and not force me to stop after clearing two wings. It's an excellent change and one I hope they get in.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Shifting Perspectives: Spring cleaning

Shifting Perspectives The sound and the furry
Every week (sort of), WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, the bookmarks folder gets the root cellar treatment.

I've been away from the game since the holidays due to what I will politely refer to as technical difficulties. (I have a variety of impolite terms for it too, but this is a family blog.) During that time, I've watched the game from the sidelines and have grown bored enough to do some maintenance on stuff that usually gets ignored until I'm rooting through it in a hurry. Add-ons were updated, dead blog links were sent to their folder, interesting ones were added, and then I turned to my collection of bookmarks in order to prune there as well.

I have a pretty sizable cache of druid or druid-related links that's grown over the years, and a lot of them are still pretty interesting. In the absence of the ability to talk about what's actually happening in the game with any fluency, I thought it might make a decent stopgap Shifting. This is a selection that's kept me absorbed for many an hour on a snowy weekend, and it ranges from comparisons between druid and warrior tanks in the classic game to where you fall on a healer's priority list when you're a jackass.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

WoW Moviewatch: Bad Girls ft. Sindragosa

My choice musical genre is electronica, and as such, words can't describe my love for Mr. Voletron. Ever since I heard his first WoW remix, XT-002 - U R Bad Toys, I've been a big fan of his.

With that said, I was quite pleased when I came across this music video for Mr. Voletron's Bad Girls remix. It had been a while since I'd heard the song, and hearing it again really brought back some nice memories from raiding Icecrown Citadel. If you've been raiding since The Burning Crusade, it might even take you back further than that.

The video is by Khayllys, who you may already know for creating the machinima for Hunter, Night Elf ERP, and ZA. This particular video doesn't stray too far outside of Khaylly's usual visual style, using lots of soft edges, high color saturation, and blurred backgrounds. The editing matches the pace of the song really well, though, jumping around and creating an almost psychedelic effect that I really liked.

Now if someone would just make a music video for Madness Will Consume You (one of my favorite Mr. Voletron tracks), I'd be really happy. Anyone? Maybe Paus?

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Shifting Perspectives: Heroic ICC for balance druids -- Plagueworks and Frostwing Halls

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week, we are exploring two of the four wings in Heroic ICC. Be prepared to face some of the most challenging content the game has to offer, folks -- it only gets real from here on out.

Here we are -- it's another week and another great time at the office. Well, the office is merely an internet myth, but my room is comfortable enough as is; it even has a sweet "Life's a Beach" coffee mug and everything. Last week, we talked about the first two wings of heroic ICC, the Lower Spire and the Crimson Hall; this week, we'll continue with the next two wings. Unfortunately, I won't be able to cover heroic Lich King since, well, I haven't yet been able to complete the encounter, and I think it would be remiss of me to try and give out information on an encounter that I'm still working on. If you have any questions on the Lich King encounter, I'd be more than happy to talk shop about it, so just send an email or leave a comment and we can get to it; otherwise, it won't be something that's likely to appear in this article.

Last week, I forgot to issue a fair warning, and for that I do apologize. Everything that I discuss here is my opinion based upon how my guild has completed these encounters and the things that I have experienced while doing them. There are multiple ways to complete every encounter, and your guild may have a completely different strategy depending on group composition that works for you. This doesn't make either you or me any less wrong, just different. That's the beautiful thing about WoW; even in the rigid isolation of PvE encounters, there are always multiple methods to deal with every encounter or boss ability depending on the resources that a guild has available to them. I cannot promise that the methods I describe will work for your guild, but I will try and offer as many different options as I possible can and allow you to make the best choice for yourself.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Heroic ICC for balance druids -- Lower Spire and Crimson Hall

Every Friday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting balance druids and those who group with them. This week, we are exploring two of the four wings in Heroic ICC. Be prepared to face some of the most challenging content the game has to offer, folks -- it only gets real from here on out.

I know, I know: No one cares about ICC any more ... Everything is all about Cataclysm ... So why bother talking about it? That's far from the truth, though. ICC still matters to many people. However, if you happen to be of the more pragmatic sort, then hear me out for a little bit. Most of the server-first and world-first kills may have already been claimed, but there is always loot to be had, gear that can be helpful for either soloing things now or leveling in the expansion. Beyond simple gear, heroic ICC is simply fun. People have argued that hard modes aren't quite the same as a truly difficult raid encounter because they are the same as the standard encounters -- perhaps true to a point, but heroic modes are really fun when they are done correctly. Heroic Putricide feels like a completely different encounter when done on heroic mode and is extremely fun.

Perhaps this issue is a little bit late in coming, and for that I apologize -- but it's better late than never, aye? To start with, the first order of business is to ensure that your guild is prepared to go against heroic encounters. The ICC buff can be very intoxicating to some players, and it may make you feel more prepared than you really are for these encounters. Perhaps, in some cases, you are, and perhaps in others, you are not. Not all heroic encounters are created equal; some are far more difficult than others. Since this issue will deal with the opening Lower Spire and the Blood wing, the three encounters you'd want to start with would be Marrowgar, Gunship and Blood Princes; Deathwhisper, Saurfang and Blood Queen Lana'thel would be the three more difficult encounters in these two sectors.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Breakfast Topic: I am the lucid dream

Recently, I was talking to Matticus and Kinaesthesia on one of our podcasts about Ruby Sanctum. Toward the end of the discussion, Kina mentioned how much he loved Halion's voice actor, Matthew Mercer (granted, we didn't know that was his name at the time.) We agreed his voice acting was excellent, and Kina suggested Blizzard ought to keep bringing him back for more parts. To date, Mercer also has done the voice of General Vezax in Ulduar and Overthane Balargarde in Icecrown.

Anyway, some days later while we priests were tossing the PoM around, the subject came up again, and Kina quoted the line Halion says when you enter phase 2: "You will find only suffering in the realm of twilight. Enter if you dare." He gushed at the inflection on the word "suffering," while I stated my preference for the way he taunts you with, "Enter if you dare."

Our talk led to other memorable lines from Wrath. I immediately brought up Sara from Ulduar and quoted her haunting, "I am the lucid dream." Plus, who could forget a first visit to Ulduar? I remember my sleepy raid's wandering into the Antechamber around 1 a.m. the first night that patch 3.1 went live. After accidentally completing Crazy Cat Lady and distributing loot, we stood around deciding where to go next. Vent had gone quiet while we all tabbed out to read up on Hodir until a deafening scream cut through the silence of the Observation Ring. Everyone on Vent promptly freaked out: "What the hell was that!?!"

I loved it.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Wrath of the Lich King

Guest Post: 32 tricks for Icecrown Citadel

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Icecrown Citadel has been out for eightmonths now, and with the availability of i264 emblem gear and the 30 percent zone buff, it's become accessible to raiders with a wide range of experience. Some players have downed the bosses 100+ times on various alts, and other players may be just starting out.

Regardless of your experience level, there are always interesting tricks about the fights that people learn over the course of time. Here are 32 of them.
  • Warlocks, time your Seed of Corruption to hit as Bone Spike cast ends, and if everyone's stacked correctly in melee range, you'll be top damage on Bone Spikes.
  • During Bone Storm casts, tanks should run to be farthest away from center of raid. Some 90 percent of the time, he'll target the farthest person away to move to.
  • Any time you have to split your DPS into two groups (whether it's Thaddius or adds on Lady D or Valithria), an easy way to get balance is to go through Recount by damage done and put Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15 on damage done on one side and the rest on the other side.
  • Spellsteal or Purge the Vampiric Might on fanatics.
  • Boomkin rooting for Darnavan works especially well, but note that he's immune to Cyclone.

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Filed under: Raiding, Guest Posts

Icecrown raid buff now at 30%

Good news, everyone! Your faction specific Icecrown Citadel buff is now 30%, meaning things just got a little more lenient in ICC. Now's your chance to capitalize on the content in there to get alts ready for Cataclysm, finish off those drakes you've been lusting after, or just proudly wear that Kingslayer title.

Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Raid Rx: Healing the Lich King


Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah 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 end boss. It is possible to heal through Arthas with a less than ideal composition -- my first kill with 25 players was done without the presence of any holy paladins. If your guild is still struggling with it and the issue might be from the healing side of things, maybe I can help you out here with some additional pointers. If you're not quite sure about the overall mechanics of the encounter, refer to Kinasthesia's awesome tutorial videos: Part 1 and Part 2.

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Arcane Brilliance: Level 80 mage gearing road map, part 2

The dawning of another Saturday brings with it another edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column delivered direct to your driveway by a paperboy who blinks from house to house, fending off overprotective guard dogs with the occasional conjured ball of flame and constantly demanding his two dollars (I really, really wish I could have found an actual clip of that, but yet again, YouTube has failed me). It's all pretty impressive, especially when you consider that this paperboy is also wearing a dress.

Okay, after last week's part one of this topic, many of you disagreed with my assertion that a fresh level 80 mage should attempt to upgrade his gear prior to jumping into random heroics. I understand this point of view. Farming random heroics is by far the fastest way to gear up initially, and it is true that if you find the right groups, you and your pathetic new-80 DPS may be viewed less as a liability and more of a charity project. Thinking about it, I too secretly enjoy having someone in the group who's needing on blue drops because they're honest upgrades for him. As long as we have a decently geared tank (or a healer who's capable of keeping him up even if he isn't), even a dungeon run with terrible damage dealers can go relatively smoothly.

If you wish to gear up as rapidly as possible and you don't mind the idea that you won't quite be pulling your own weight at first, then by all means, skip my first few suggestions for gearing up and head directly for the random heroics. Better yet, get together with some better-geared guildies and queue together. That way you'll always be in a good group and one that doesn't absolutely require you to be up-to-par right away.

This week, regardless of the path you've taken to get there, I'm going to assume that you've been industrious and spent a significant amount of time gearing through drops and collecting emblems in those random heroics. Here's the general road you should be following ...

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Spiritual Guidance: Priesting the Lich King

Every Sunday, while Fox Van Allen is still passed out in a cloud of his own Dispersion, Dawn Moore picks up Spiritual Guidance and gives it a warm bath to wash off all the residue from Wednesday. After a hot meal, a glass of apple cider and a cookie, the column is back to its old self. Joint custody allowing, Spiritual Guidance will help healing priests master discipline and holy.

I feel like such an elitist jerk this week.

You see, the other day I made my weekly trip over to WoW Progress to scope out the growing list of guilds that have killed the Lich King on 25-man heroic mode. At the time, I was trying to distract myself from the fact that I had no clue what to write for this week's Spiritual Guidance. With that in my mind, as I looked over the list of guilds that just barely spanned two pages, a thought popped into my mind: I wonder how many guilds have killed Lich King on any difficulty? I hopped over to look at 10-man progression and found only about 30% of the guilds listed on the site had defeated Arthas. The percentages surprised me; that meant the majority of raiders haven't defeated the Lich King yet.

So suddenly I felt like a jerk. For weeks now, I had disregarded writing a priest guide to healing the Lich King because I thought no one would want one. Maybe I'm just oblivious? Whatever it is, I guess my perception was off; probably has something to do with the cancer I'm getting from bubble spam. (Everything causes cancer these days, after all.)

Anyway, now that I'm remembering that some people don't rush through the game like I do, I figured I'd better get to it. So ahem ... This week I will be talking about how to heal the Lich King as a priest!

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

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

Totem Talk: Restoration in The Crimson Halls


Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration will show you how, brought to you by Joe Perez, otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and the For The Lore podcast.

Two weeks ago, we walked into Icecrown Citadel and took out the first line of defenses that the Lich King had put in place. Last week, we went though The Plague Works, toppling Tweedledee and Tweedledumb and showed the Professor the follies of potion abuse. This week, we are going to play with some vampires. Now these vampires do not sparkle, but they can still be quite annoying. These are the San'layn, a subsection of the Darkfallen, and the Crimson Halls is where their leadership calls home. There have been several seen throughout the history Azeroth and they are quite instrumental in overseeing the Scourge's operations. In the halls we get to face three princes and their dark queen.

As before, this is not an end all, be all guide. These are simply my opinions and thoughts on these bosses. There are several ways to do them, and I encourage you to find ones that work for you.

So let us take a look, shall we?

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Restoration in the Plagueworks

Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration will show you how, brought to you by Joe Perez, otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and the For The Lore podcast.

So you've bested the bony boy, defeated the dour devil, played pirate and defeated the Lich King's cherished champion. Last week we took you through The Lower Spire with some tips and a look at each boss. This week, your sights are firmly set on the next challenge. The next stop on your journey will take you into the citadel's plague wing. Don't let the name fool you; this is no Naxxramas. As before, this is not a complete raid strategy, just some tips and tricks for the restoration shaman heading into the breach.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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