Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag instance

Patch 5.4 PTR: Challenge Mode titles for fastest clear times

Patch 54 Challenge Mode titles!
In patch 5.4, Challenge Mode players who have already earned gold will have a strong reason to continue running them. Players who earn the fastest clear times in a Challenge Mode dungeon will receive a title specific to each dungeon. As long as players hold the record for the top time, the title will remain. A permanent Feat of Strength will also be earned upon reaching the fastest time.

However, there is a caveat: the Challenge Mode group must have at least 3 players from the same realm to earn the titles.
Patch 5.4 Challenge Mode notes
Players who obtain a realm-best time in a Challenge Mode dungeon (group must contain at least 3 people from the same realm to qualify) will receive a temporary title specific to each dungeon (e.g. Siegebreaker for Siege of Niuzao temple, Darkmaster for Scholomance, etc.). This title will persist for as long as a player retains the top time on the realm. Holding a realm-best time at any point will also confer a permanent Feat of Strength to record the accomplishment.


It's not enough to go for the gold anymore. How far will you go for the titles and Feats of Strength?

Filed under: News items

"Crash Bandicoot" creator comments on Cataclysm's problems and the evolution of WoW

'Crash Bandicoot' creator comments on Cataclysm's problems and the evolution of WoW
I didn't see this until recently, but I'm really glad I did. Andy Gavin, the co-creator of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter, ran a series between the end of November and mid-January examining WoW, its four expansions, and how each of them succeeded or failed through both personal and professional eyes. His particular focus is the endgame in each and how it worked to attract and retain players -- or, in some cases, didn't.

While there's certainly been no shortage of player commentary on how WoW's developed, Gavin's experience as a game developer who's not involved with Blizzard is a pretty unique perspective. I found his article on Cataclysm to be particularly adept at putting into words a lot of things I felt but had difficulty articulating. Most of the expansion's developmental time had to go into a revamped leveling process that few people saw unless they wanted to level a new alt. The content at 85 that greeted more casual players got bottlenecked in a series of difficult heroics that frustrated players dropped constantly.

Personally, I still consider Cataclysm to have been a necessary expansion -- it did a lot of stuff that Blizzard had to do for the game even if it wasn't as eye-catching as what BC and Wrath did -- but I think Gavin's assessment is accurate and measured. (And many of Blizzard's own observations aren't all that different.) Funnily enough, with lots of people leveling new monks in Mists of Pandaria, more people might be seeing Cataclysm content now than they did during the expansion that was actually dedicated to it.

I've linked Gavin's full series here. While it's long, it's an incredibly interesting and detailed read:

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Patch 5.2: Horridon and Iron Qon raid testing announced

More raid testing has been scheduled tomorrow for both Horridon and and Iron Qon on 10-man normal difficulty. Horridon was originally slated for last week but technical issues forced the testing to be deferred. If your gear levels aren't at high enough level, player gear will be scaled in the raid to assist with testing. If you're not sure how to get to the Throne of Thunder, we can show you how!


Raid Testing Schedule - January 17
On Thursday, January 17, we will be testing two more raid encounters in the Throne of Thunder.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below for all Public Test Realms.

Horridon - 10 Player Normal
10:30 PST (13:30 EST, 19:30 CET)

Iron Qon - 10 Player Normal
16:00 PST (19:00 EST, 01:00 CET)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a beta environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the boss being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. This is particularly true for these early tests as we are still nailing down overall patch stability. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.

Important Testing Notes

Q: How do I get into the raid zone?

A: At the northeastern edge of the swamp on the Thunder King's island, there is a Shado-Pan camp in a small cave. A sewer grate in this cave will take you directly to the zone-in point for the raid zone. (As more of the island unlocks, players will be able to access the main gate directly.)

Q: What gear do I use to test the raid?

A: As we did for Beta raid testing, we will be scaling players' gear inside the raid in order to facilitate testing. Gear will be scaled (up or down, as appropriate) to item Level 502 for the purposes of testing Normal modes.


Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2: Throne of Thunder raid testing schedule announced

Tomorrow on January 11, we'll be seeing raid encounters being tested on the public test realm for patch 5.2. Horridon and the Council of Elders will both be available on normal mode in the new Throne of Thunder raid. If your gear levels aren't at high enough level, don't worr. Player gear will be scaled in the raid to help with testing. In case you're wondering how to actually get into the raid instance, we have a guide showing you how to do just that!


Raid Testing Schedule - January 11
On Friday, January 11, we will be testing our first two raid encounters of the 5.2 test cycle.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below for all Public Test Realms.

Horridon - 10 Player Normal
10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)

Council of Elders - 10 Player Normal
16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a beta environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session or cancel it entirely, due to bugs, builds, server hardware issues, etc. This is particularly true for this test, since it's our first 5.2 raid test. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.

Important Testing Notes

Q: How do I get into the raid zone?

A: At the northeastern edge of the swamp on the Thunder King's island, there is a Shado-Pan camp in a small cave. A sewer grate in this cave will take you directly to the zone-in point for the raid zone. (As more of the island unlocks, players will be able to access the main gate directly.)

Q: What gear do I use to test the raid?

A: As we did for Beta raid testing, we will be scaling players' gear inside the raid in order to facilitate testing. Gear will be scaled (up or down, as appropriate) to item Level 502 for the purposes of testing Normal modes.




Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2: How to enter the Throne of Thunder raid

Patch 52 How to enter the Throne of Thunder raid
The recent PTR update for patch 5.2 has fixed issues with interactive objects! In other words, we can finally click the portal at the portal area in the Shrines that will transport us over to the Island of the Thunder King. You'll run into a few NPCs that are leading the charge such as Jaina for the Alliance and Lor'themar for the Horde. Your faction will have assorted daily quests for you to go out and undertake.

But we're not here for that. Where's this new raid instance?

Read on!

Read more →

Filed under: News items

Sphere of Jerkitude: That's it, I'm outta here

Breakfast Topic That's it, I'm outta here
One of our readers, Bowzer, wrote in the other night about dropping a group instantly on seeing a homophobic slur in party chat. As he observed, running across questionable-to-cruel comments in the Dungeon Finder is certainly nothing new, but he asked, "Am I wrong for being sick of the 'It's the internet, have a tough skin and get over it argument?' Is it so wrong to be a decent person?"

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't had similar thoughts. Thankfully, running into a genuine jerk is uncommon, but each one can ruin your day. I think what bothers me most is the sure knowledge that the offending player is not only entirely unrepentant, but may also be getting a kick out of making the group uncomfortable.

Worse still, there's no surefire way to deal with it. Try to address a nasty or bigoted comment in party chat? You're just giving them the opportunity to troll you further. Kick them? You may not have the votes. (If it's a guild group, you definitely won't.) Stay silent? Drop group? Submit a ticket? Or maybe just hope that the Loot God smites the offender at some point in the near future?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: The fly on the wall

Breakfast Topic The fly on the wall ANYTIME
Every so often, you find yourself in a PUG where a line in party chat makes you think that something pretty serious is going on behind the scenes. Not long before Mists hit, I was tanking an otherwise routine run in Well of Eternity with a guild group from another server. They were distracted during the run and were obviously paying more attention to what one of them mentioned was a lot of unhappy drama in guild chat. I felt it would be rude to pry, so when the run ended and they all vanished back to their own server, I was left there wondering what was going on and if everything was okay with a guild I had known nothing about 30 minutes previously.

That's not the first time that's happened, either: I had another memorable run with a warlock/paladin duo, with the former consoling the latter over a recent break-up with his girlfriend. It was a vivid reminder that the players you meet in a PUG are all real people, that most of the time you're nothing more than a fleeting participant in their lives, and that you may wander in at some personally meaningful or even painful moments.

Allowing for the fact that you can't trust everything you read in party chat, have you ever found yourself the proverbial fly on the wall in WoW?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Dungeon Mastery: Gate of the Setting Sun

Dungeon Mastery Gate of the Setting Sun
Pandaria is under siege by the pesky, bug-like mantid. It reminds me of an alternate universe Starship Troopers. The Serpent's Spine, a massive fortified wall, has kept them out but the mantid have already started laying siege to the main gate. The pandaren could sure use your help. Is there a vulnerability? The Gate of the Setting Sun seems to be where mantid forces are concentrated and that's where you'll be needed. This instance is only accessible at max level on heroic difficulty.

As you make your way across the battlements of the gate, you'll notice timed charges being dropped on the wall. In addition to clearing out pesky bug mobs that get in your way, you'll need to dodge these Bomberman style explosives. Seriously, they'll detonate and their explosions don't explode outward. They explode in four cardinal directions. In other words, stand diagonally to avoid getting fried.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard previews two MoP scenarios

Blizzard previews two MoP scenarios
Following along on the hype train (choo, choo) after the MoP release date announcement come previews for two scenarios, a new feature in the game's fourth expansion. The two scenarios in question are A Brewing Storm, where you have to protect a brewmaster with the very pandaren name of Blanche while she brews her finest beer yet, and Greenstone Village, where you take on the forces of agitated earth spirit Hui.

Scenarios are short, queueable instances for three level 90 players of any class -- no holy trinity needed. Progression is based on fulfilling story objectives instead of defeating trash and bosses. Check out the full previews for Greenstone Village and A Brewing Storm over on the official WoW site.

You can now read more about the Mists of Pandaria Scenarios feature in our updated expansion preview website! Check out our sneak peek at two of the scenarios you and your friends will be able to play in Mists of Pandaria: A Brewing Storm and Greenstone Village.

What's a "Scenario?"

Scenarios are short, instanced adventures for three players that directly follow the stories and events in the open world. In a scenario you'll be presented with a number of goals you need to achieve in order to progress. So instead of "clear trash, kill boss, rinse, repeat", you will be given objectives you have to complete to move the scenario's story forward. Yes, that's right – scenarios are heavily story-driven, much more so than dungeons.

You'll be able to queue for scenarios, dungeons, raids, and battlegrounds all at the same time in Mists of Pandaria. Scenarios share a common UI with dungeons and raids as part of the Dungeon Finder, and you can check your queue statuses by clicking on the LFD icon next to your minimap.

Check out the previews now for more info and screenshots, and make sure to check back often as we'll be adding info for more scenarios soon. Stay tuned!


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Dungeon Mastery: Shado-pan Monastery

Kun-Lai Summit is host to the Shado-pan Monastery. In Mists of Pandaria, you'll undoubtedly get a chance to experience and help rid the instance of Sha influence. Megan and I decided to check the place out and see what the deal is. We teamed up before when she carried me kindly tanked for me in the Stormstout Brewery. Like last time, I healed on my holy priest, Megan tanked on her druid, and we were accompanied with two hunters and an enhancement shaman. Your group needs to be at minimum level 87 in order to queue.

The video above is a little under 50 minutes long. We would've been able to move quicker if I hadn't been in combat all the time.

Yeesh. Even the Matticus needs a drink from time to time.

Gu Cloudstrike

Cloudstrike is the first boss your group will challenge. You'll run into Cloudstrike outside on a plateau just as you leave the first chamber. It's a three-phase encounter involving Cloudstrike and a flying serpent.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: New loot frames roll into view

Image
New loot frames! No more having to stare at your chat frames and scroll up and down to see which player won what item. Loot rolls are now condensed into a loot roll frame that appears in your screen. It lists the results of all the items that went up for grabs in the instance and who won them.

If you look at the screenshot above, you can see the roll numbers next to each player and what roll types were used. The player who won the item is listed at the top. You can expand or collapse the menu to see the list of players who rolled and what roll type they used, such as need or greed.

The only downside to this new feature is that I couldn't find a way to move the frame around. But hey, I'll take these new loot roll frames any day. What about you?

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria: Cleaning up the Stormstout Brewery

The Stormstout Brewery opened its doors for business last week. Megan and I, both avid brewery enthusiasts, decided to pay a visit. You can find the brewery entrance in the Valley of the Four Winds. As you adventure through the valley, you'll be assisting Chen Stormstout, and your adventures will take you inside the brewery, where you have to assist him in retaking and restoring the brewery to its former glory.

Our brewery testing composition consisted of myself healing (on a priest, naturally), Megan on her druid (the tank), a balance druid, and two mages. Our character levels were all over the place, from freshly transferred 85s to level 87s.

Ook-Ook

Not exactly Donkey Kong, but Ook-Ook is a giant banana-chucking monkey. Ook-Ook has a pretty fun mechanic that enables players to jump on top of barrels and direct where they go. He has a few friends that are busy. If the barrels make contact with you, you'll explode and take some damage (Brew Explosion). Don't worry -- it's not lethal. Ook-Ook Goes Bananas at 90%, 60%, and 30% intervals. He starts throwing some bananas around; they're harmless. His attack speed goes up, and he hits a touch harder. You'll see a wave of barrels coming in, so either dodge them or jump on them.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

18 observations from a leveling healer

Image
I've been leveling a goblin priest for something I call the Low-Level Tank Project, which is a count on the class representation he sees among tanks in the Dungeon Finder. Between the goblin and my restoration shaman (who reached 85 about two months ago), I've had two healers leveling mostly through dungeons recently, and a few commonalities have emerged.

This is sort of a spiritual successor to 20 observations from a leveling tank, if you'd like a more tank-flavored look at leveling groups. This outing is a more generalized approach, possibly because I take a more observational role in my groups whenever I'm healing, like Jane Goodall among the ungemmed and unenchanted chimps.

1. DPSers are enormously indifferent to aggro in early dungeons. You're not healing one tank -- you're healing four. Five, if nobody bothers to stomp the mob making a beeline for you.

2. Early dungeons aren't necessarily good training for everyone involved. I wouldn't go so far as to say they're a terrible experience, per se -- they're quick, easy, and a good way to build confidence for new players -- but the usual mechanism by which players are encouraged to behave themselves (ugly death) is a remote possibility at best.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Spill your 5-man PUG stories here

Bad PUG stories used to be a perennial feature on this site, and I've been missing them lately -- good PUG stories too, I suppose, but the bad stuff is always more fun to talk about, mostly because you get to share a sense of outrage with fellow reasonable players. Spill, folks: What's happened to you in 5-mans lately?

I'll start. I usually tank heroics but decided to heal recently (that was my first mistake), and I landed a group of guildies from another realm in a Well of Eternity PUG. Now, the average Cataclysm heroic isn't all that tough to heal these days as long as you're sensibly geared, but it didn't take me long to realize that this group was blowing through an unusually large percentage of my mana pool. They stood in front of the Dreadlord Defenders' Carrion Swarm, couldn't find an interrupt button with two hands and a guide dog, and seemed to DPS at an unusually slow rate even with the crit buff given by Illidan's Shadow Walk.

It was around the time I noticed most of the group sitting in Peroth'arn's Fel Flames that it occurred to me that either this was the most legitimately incompetent group I've ever had the misfortune of encountering, or they were doing it on purpose. But because they never quite managed to get themselves or myself killed, I let it slide. I left at the end with 50 gold and a Forest Emerald from my Satchel, wishing for a Dungeon Finder system sufficiently advanced to recognize that some groups are definitely worth, say, a pony.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

20 observations from a leveling tank

My main is a druid tank and healer, but on occasion, I've returned to two low-level warrior alts and braved leveling in the Dungeon Finder. Most leveling groups are a bit like the proverbial little girl with pigtails: When they're good, they're very, very good ... and when they're bad, they're horrid.

The following is a list of somewhat random observations I have collected after several expansions' worth of tanking for low-level groups.

1. Don't take shortcuts on trash packs. The time you save sneaking past one of them will be eliminated by the time you'll lose when someone blunders into them and dies.

2. Someone will almost always blunder into them and die.

3. Despite common complaints on the forums, the vast majority of players are actually really nice people who are perfectly willing to tolerate mistakes and the learning curve. The actual occurrence of true, unforgivable jackasses seems to be about one per five groups, although this depends on when you're queuing.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories

Joystiq

Massively

Engadget