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Posts with tag ilvl

Should Proving Grounds be an entry requirement for LFG content?

Should Proving Grounds be an entry requirement for LFG content
There's been an interesting discussion taking place lately regarding Proving Grounds, and their use as a barrier to entry for LFG content. Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street tweeted to clarify Blizzard's potential intent, in response to the forum thread.

I thought this was an interesting idea, and clearly something Blizzard has taken into consideration, so let's explore the good and bad sides of it. In each section, I'm going to try my best to steadfastly ignore the opposite position. Think of it as a debate I'm having. With myself.

Good Sides

Proving grounds are at least a way to show skill. The current system bases itself purely off item level, so if you have the gear on your character, or the gear in your bags, you can get into a LFR raid. This is really really easy to manipulate, particularly for classes who can equip anything, and this in itself is an issue. It's far, far harder to manipulate Proving Ground achievements, particularly given how item level is scaled to 463 in Proving Grounds.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Watcher clarifies ilvl distribution in patch 5.4

Watcher clarifies ilvl distribution in patch 54
Players participating in patch 5.4's new Flexible Raids have noticed that the ilvl for Siege of Orgrimmar loot is set to 540 -- just below the 541 ilvl of current Heroic Thunderforged gear, but above current heroic gear from Throne of Thunder, which is set at 535 before any valor point upgrades are applied. To some players, it may seem as though Blizzard is now encouraging the same kind of multiple-instance running that occurred with the Trial of the Crusader raid and its many, many difficulties.

A thread on the official forums points out that if Flexible Raid gear is better than heroic gear from the previous tier, players will be obligated to run both Flexible and Normal difficulty along with LFR in order to gear up more quickly -- since Flex difficulty doesn't share a lockout with normal modes, it's entirely possible to do so. While the arguments for and against have been both fast and furious, Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas stepped in to clarify just what the reasoning was behind the different ilvls for the different difficulties, as well as the purpose of Flexible Raids.

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Filed under: News items, Raiding

Patch 5.4 PTR news roundup

Patch 54 PTR news roundup
Patch 5.4 has hit the PTR and a flurry of information regarding the latest patch has already been released. Featuring a new raid, patch 5.4 will also include a variety of new features that are quickly shaping up to be game-changers. Curious about all the new stuff? Take a look at our coverage for more information on patch 5.4 and the upcoming content.
Stay tuned for more patch 5.4 information, and keep your eyes peeled for the PTR.


Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: Initial ilevel ideas for the new raid levels

Patch 54 Initial ilevel ideas
Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has tweeted the developers' preliminary item levels for the next tier's raid gear. Patch 5.4 is bringing in flexible raiding, a fourth difficulty level, which sits between Raid Finder and Normal raids in terms of both item level and difficulty.

Do note, first and foremost, that these numbers are not finalized. They should be taken with a very large pinch of salt, and are subject to considerable change. The PTR isn't even live at the time of writing this post, so let's not get ahead of ourselves and proclaim the end of days for raiding.

So let's look at the current item levels. Raid finder drops 502, normal mode 522, normal thunderforged 528, heroic mode, 535, heroic thunderforged 541. So, the gap between normal mode and LFR has been widened, from 20 to 25, with Flex sitting 17 levels lower than normal mode. The gaps above that are the same, but there's been no mention of something like Thunderforged gear.

For heroic geared raiders, Flex seems like a logical difficulty at these levels, but there will be some theorycrafting that needs to be done to ascertain whether the new tier's potentially lower-level drops will outdo their current gear thanks to set bonuses, trinkets and the like. What this ilvl distribution seems to be saying is that heroic-geared raiders shouldn't need to run LFR at all. But, this is all subject to change.

Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

From ding to spring: Fully clearing Mists of Pandaria's endgame raids in 3 weeks or less

Something about gearing up
In case you missed the big news, the Thunder King will be upon us in Patch 5.2, coming to you (live!) sometime in the next couple months. Unfortunately, many of you are just now receiving Mists of Pandaria under the tree, or are getting back into the game after reaching level 90, and are overwhelmed with all the endgame options available to you. Don't worry about it! By following this guide, we'll get you from a fresh level 90 character to a full clear of all 5.0 raids in three weeks or less, with no expensive outlays of time or cash. Plenty of time to prepare for dinomancers!

Prerequisites

First, you need to have a level 90 character. If you don't have one yet, it's okay: the experience required to level from 1-85 was significantly reduced when Mists of Pandaria was released, so you'll be able to catch up quickly. Once you reach 85, hop over to Pandaria and enjoy the new quests. You'll gain a level for each zone you clear, more or less. You can also run some normal mode 5-man dungeons if you'd like, though go easy; you'll be running the heroic versions quite frequently at 90.

Second, you'll want a DPS spec and a good set of starter gear for it. Completing the Dread Wastes or Townlong Steppes quests will get you outfitted; if you don't have DPS gear laying around to actually complete the quests, Len of Arms will happily sell you a set of 408's to get going. You can also search the auction house; many blue BoE's in the ilvl 430-450 range are listed frequently, for pretty reasonable prices.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Gold Capped: Stockpiling for patch 4.2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make money on the auction house. Email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

Patch 4.2 is going to bring with it a whole new tier of craftable gear, all of it better than the current craftable gear. The ilvl378 gear all takes Living Embers, which are purchasable for valor points and drop from Firelands raid bosses, but the ilvl365 stuff only takes Chaos Orbs. One way or another, everyone is going to be wanting to get this stuff crafted, and that means there's an opportunity for gold makers.

If you can gather or buy the materials, crafting these and selling them on the auction house will likely be a brisk business. If you can't, though, you can still stockpile the mats now (while they're cheaper) and sell them after the patch. Let's look at the different tradeskills that will be seeing some heavier than normal demand.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped

Tier 9 to come in three quality levels

10-man ilvl 25-man
Naxx 200
KT, EoE 213 Naxx
Ulduar 219
Ulduar hard 226 Ulduar, KT/EoE
CC
232 Ulduar weapons
239 Ulduar hard
CC hard 245 CC
258 CC hard
Well, that answers that question. According to what MMO-Champion has found in the PTR item database, Tier 9 gear from patch 3.2's Crusader's Coliseum raid comes in three different versions for each set (T7 and T8 come in two, from 10- and 25-man). There's one version at ilvl 232, one at 245, and one at 258. This leads to the following loot distribution, I'd guess:

  • 10-man normal (232) < 10-man hard (245) = 25-man normal (245) < 25-man hard (258)

Others (such as 10n < 25n < 10h = 25h) are logically possible, but to me, that's the most likely distribution that leads to three different ilvls. It's also the way Ulduar is done with normal and hard modes, apart from some differences in weapon ilvl.

Crusader's Coliseum on heroic is a bit different than Ulduar hard modes, though. It seems that when you do a heroic CC raid, you start out with a certain number of attempts (wipes), and the more attempts you have remaining upon defeating the final boss, the better loot you get. So will ilvl 258 gear be contingent upon beating CC-heroic in (say) fewer than half your attempts? I guess we'll have to wait and find out.

Of course, the really important question is: what the heck will we call the 3 different sets? T9.0, T9.33, T9.66?


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, Items, Raiding

25-man gear should not be better than 10-man gear

10-man ilvl 25-man
Naxx 200
KT, EoE 213 Naxx
Ulduar 219
Ulduar hard 226 Ulduar, KT/EoE
232 Ulduar weapons
239 Ulduar hard
Once upon a time, the only raiding in WoW was 40-man raiding, and we did it uphill, both ways, and flasks went away when you died. And we liked it. Later on in Classic WoW, some 20-man raids were introduced in the form of Zul'gurub and Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj, and they were generally seen as successful.

So successful, in fact, that when Burning Crusade came along, there were no more 40-man raids - only 10 and 25. At the beginning, the only 10-man was BC's entry-level raid, Karazhan. Everything else, from the small T4 raids (Gruul, Magtheridon) on up through T6, was exclusively 25-man. Notably, Gruul and Mags returned the same quality of rewards as KZ. Eventually a second 10-man raid (Zul'Aman) was introduced, with roughly a T5 level of difficulty, and of rewards.

Blizzard noticed that people really liked these 10-man raids. And so it came to pass that in the current expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, every raid instance is available in both 10- and 25-man versions. However, in a departure from all previous tradition, the 10- and 25-man instances at the same tier (which is to say, T7, at the moment) reward different levels of gear: Naxx-10 gives you ilvl 200 epics, whereas Naxx-25 rewards you with ilvl 213.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

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