Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag instance

Patch 4.2 PTR: First look at the Encounter Journal

Recognize the little guy in the top left corner? Yup, that's Crabby! He's back to help guide you and your party through the various encounters found in Azeroth. Who would have guessed a simple crustacean had so much to offer?

If you don't want to spoil yourself for any specific lore reasons, you may wish to avoid using the encounter journal until you at least get to the encounter itself. A recent patch 4.2 build had enabled it, and already I can see this being a huge asset to players who wish to dive into dungeons or raids.

The encounter journal effectively tells you three things:
  • Loot drops
  • Boss abilities
  • Notable phases
Some of the journal entries also provide a little lore background into the areas you're invading. If you're a person like me who doesn't read quest text much and just hits "Next" on everything, you might sometimes wonder why you're going into some dark part of the world to take down some villain. At least now we have some idea as to why.

What the journal won't tell you is how to take down bosses. You get a full list of boss abilities and mechanics, but it's entirely up to the raid to determine what tactics should be used to respond to said boss abilities.

Warning: Partial encounter spoiler ahead.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Ghostcrawler responds to heroic dungeon difficulty complaints

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street posted an entry on his blog yesterday called "Wow, Dungeons are Hard!" It's a rather lengthy (but worthwhile) read about the current state of Cataclysm heroics, Blizzard's philosophy on designing them, his impressions on their current difficulty level, and some advice for improving your performance.

Like I said, it's an epic post, and we won't reprint the whole thing here. This, however, is the key takeaway:

Wow, Dungeons are Hard!
The bottom line is that we want Heroics and raids to be challenging, and that is particularly true now while the content is new and characters are still collecting gear. They're only going to get easier from here on out. We want players to approach an encounter, especially a Heroic encounter, as a puzzle to be solved. We want groups to communicate and strategize. And by extension, we want you to celebrate when you win instead of it being a foregone conclusion.

On the other hand, we don't want you to stumble your way to victory. We don't want you to be able to overwhelm bosses without noticing or caring what they're doing. We don't want healers to be able to make up for all of the mistakes on the part of the other players. While at the end of the day, dungeons may just be gussied up loot vending machines, we want you to do more than push a button to get the loot.

Ultimately, we don't want to give undergeared or unorganized groups a near guaranteed chance of success, because then the content will feel absolutely trivial for players in appropriate gear who communicate, cooperate, and strategize.


All that being said, though, is Blizzard really satisfied with its dungeon designs and their current level of difficulty? Hard heroics are indeed hard, but the updated PTR patch notes for 4.0.6 (which went live just yesterday at almost the exact same time Ghostcrawler was discussing heroics) indicate that a series of nerfs is coming our way. That will no doubt lead to player rejoicing, but remember -- heroics are naturally getting easier as people get more familiar with them and players continue to compile better gear, which makes completion even easier still.

Read more →

Filed under: Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: What instance do you enjoy the most?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

I started playing World of Warcraft during the summer of 2008, and about an hour after logging onto my first character, I met some players who were talking about the gear they got ages ago from Karazhan and how much fun they had in the Sunwell. As someone who just joined, I was lost and confused to what they were talking about, but it sounded, well, insanely awesome. They said when I got to level 20, they would help me with a Deadmines run on their alts.

Fast-forward about 10 days, and I'm running my first instance with them. I remember entering the Ironclad Cove and being just in awe over the ship, the massive size, the insane mobs running after us after our hunter pulled on accident. It fun talking to people while playing, giving each other feedback and support.

Move to 2010, and I finally was able to accomplish my first raid, The Black Temple. It felt so nice downing a boss after all the hard work and socializing with my fellow guildies. Even now, the place offers some nostalgia and is one of my favorite instances, along with the Deadmines.

What are some of your favorite instances? Is it the challenge, the loot, the atmosphere, the memories or something else that makes you love that place?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Cataclysm Dungeon Guide: The Stonecore

Adventurers will find the site of the Stonecore in Deepholm, wedged on the west side of the Temple of the Earth. A flying mount (or a crafty summon) will be needed to discover the entrance. Earthen Ring Shaman are attempting to maintain the World Pillar and prevent it from sustaining any further damage. This is the same instance where Deathwing acquired some armor upgrades. You can read more about the Stonecore from the official preview. For an idea of what to expect and strategies to employ, keep on reading.

At a glance, here's the gist of the instance.
  • four boss encounters
  • levels 82-84
  • average item level 272 recommended (according to dungeon finder)

Read more →

Cataclysm Dungeon Guide: Vortex Pinnacle

Ahh, the Vortex Pinnacle, for whenever I want to go hit up an instance that involves jumping in cyclones (or tornadoes) that toss you from platform to platform.

This 5-man instance is the ... pinnacle of the Skywall complex in the Uldum zone. You can find it just southeast of the shores. Make sure you go the right direction or else you might end up in the Throne of the Four Winds raid instance. Oh, and you're going to need a flying mount. The forces of Al'Akir are waiting to storm Uldum and the rest of Azeroth. Our mission, if we choose to accept it, is to clear out the place and prevent them from really establishing a foothold on our lands.

At a glance, here's the gist of the instance.
  • three boss encounters
  • levels 82-84
  • average item level 272 recommended (according to dungeon finder)

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Raid Rx: Healing a level 80 dungeon vs. a level 85 dungeon

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. If you're looking for more healing advice, check out the Plus Heal community.

Everyone enjoying the post-patch so far? If I didn't know any better, I'd say some of you decided to try out a few new healing classes. I know the first thing Joe (our resident resto shaman columnist) did was switch to a dwarf shaman. Alas, I know he is still deeply saddened over the lack of keg totems. I'm assuming there is a shipload of players who decided to create a tauren paladin, eh? I decided to start a night elf mage. Stuck with taking out Nightsabers. Nice to see some things never change, right?

Anyway, in today's post, I want to shed a bit of insight about 5-man healing. The other week, I wrote about differences between 10-man and 25-man raid healing. I completely left out 5-man healing because I felt that was better left for a followup post. Unfortunately, I don't have any polished videos that demonstrate the 5-man healing environment. They're all on an older hard drive. I just purchased a beast of a computer which will allow me to record more cool stuff in the future (and I really want to try to produce additional healing videos).

Read more →

Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

WoW, Casually: Instance leveling guide

Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Before the Dungeon Finder Tool, leveling through instances just wasn't possible for those of us with limited playtime unless we had 4 friends with similar schedules and an appropriate selection of classes. But now, we can take advantage of the speedy XP, better gear and grouping practice.

More importantly, dungeons are fun. In order to research this guide, I dusted off a level 18 paladin I hadn't played for at least 2 years. I picked up skills that were new since the last time she trained, redid her talents and tested the Dungeon Finder waters. It was an absolute blast running through Deadmines with an appropriately leveled group. I've also had a great time leveling a priest in her 30s and a mage in her 60s using the Dungeon Finder. If you too want to try some instance leveling (and I bet most of you already have), here are some tips to make the most of it:

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Leveling, Guides, WoW, Casually

WoW Insider Show Episode 121: So long and thanks for all the Fah-jords

Our podcast reached the end of part one last weekend, as both Turpster and I announced that we'd be leaving the show. But we didn't let it become a sad affair -- Matthew Rossi and Chase Christian both joined us for some Warcraft discussion (including when it's ok to votekick someone, and lots of Battered Hilt discussion), and we finally were able to have one of our favorite guys stop by: Scott Johnson from The Instance podcast. It was a great show, and as usual, you can tune in at all of the links below.

Thanks again for everything -- even though Turpster and I are moving on, the podcast will continue, so be sure to come back and see what they brew up for you. But it's been a heck of a ride these past two-plus years, and we've had measurable metric tons of laughs and fun together. Thanks so much for listening and chatting with us and all the emails and excitement. Enjoy the show, and don't forget to grab your sword and fight the Horde.

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

<cke:object width="290" height="24" type="" application="" x-shockwave="" -flash"="" data="http://www.weblogsinc.com/media/audio_player.swf"> <cke:param value="http://www.weblogsinc.com/media/audio_player.swf" name="movie"></cke:param> <cke:param value="soundFile=http://podcasts.aolcdn.com/wow/podcasts/12-21-09-wow-E121.mp3" name="FlashVars"></cke:param> <cke:param value="high" name="quality"></cke:param> <cke:param value="false" name="menu"></cke:param> <cke:param value="transparent" name="wmode"></cke:param></cke:object>

Filed under: Podcasts, Podcasting, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, WoW Insider Show

Dungeon Finder reactions from players

The long-awaited Dungeon Finder is finally out on the servers, and people have had a few days with it now, so let's jump in and gauge some early reactions. Overall, it seems to be a big hit -- tanks and healers are jumping into groups right away, and while we've heard of longer waits for DPS, it doesn't seem bad at all. While of course the initial flood of people brought instance servers down (I'd expect to see the same thing happen during peak time this weekend), everything seems to be working well since then: disenchanters are correctly dropping items out, loot is getting distributed correctly, and groups are doing what they were always supposed to do: rake in the badges and rewards for players.

Hots and Dots actually has a long take on the Dungeon Finder, including "15 Things You Should Know," like that tanks and healers are still as important as ever (if you sign up for DPS and another role, you likely won't be doing DPS), and that we're finding out very quickly just how skilled or knowledgeable people really are ("the Party Leader will be forced to confess midway [through] that they actually know nothing about the instance").

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Leveling

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

Return of the Grimtotem

Cocles over at Loregy.com (who I actually got to meet the other day -- good guy, and check out his license plate) has an interesting idea about something he spotted in the information about the Cataclysm zones the other day. Thousand Needles is getting a revamp, including possibly a new instance, and Cocles says that could mean something awesome: the return of the Grimtotem clan (just a warning: there is a more serious spoiler later in that post).

I'm in. I love the "dark Tauren," and would love to see more from them. Plus, while we've seen plenty of troll instances, Cocles says we haven't seen a Tauren instance in the game (and all we can think of is good old Mr. Smite). And we haven't really heard from the Grimtotems since that whole issue with the spirit beast taming. It'd be nice to fight some cows for once.

There's lots of lore to mine there, too: Magatha is the reigning matriarch of the clan, and not only is she buddies with the Forsaken (obviously there's been something happening with them during Wrath), but she's rivals with Cairne Bloodhoof as well. It would definitely be interesting. Of course, this is all speculation -- we aren't sure that there will even be an instance in Thousand Needles, much less that it'll be Grimtotem based (the whole place is getting flooded, so anything could happen -- maybe the Naga will get a "fin-hold" there). But the idea of taking on the Grimtotem again seems like fun.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Instances, Quests, Lore, NPCs, Cataclysm

WoW.com livestreams Halls of Reflection Friday at noon PST

Halls of Reflection, the 5-man in which we're going to face down Arthas (finally -- we've been waiting for this moment since the end of Warcraft III) is now live on the PTR, and the staff of WoW.com is going to head on in there to see what there is to see. And you get to watch -- we'll be streaming our run of the brand new 5-man this Friday afternoon, starting at noon Pacific / 3pm Eastern. We'll be live on our Ustream page, with full in-game video and commentary from yours truly, as five intrepid WoW.com bloggers go and see what the Wrath of the Lich King really looks like.

Of course there will be spoilers, although if you're interested in seeing what the PTR has to offer, this will be as good an opportunity as any to do it. We've embedded the Ustream feed after the break on this post, so just come back here on Friday at noon to jump in, chat with us and other viewers live, and check out the action. If you have the Ustream iPhone app installed, you should be able to see it on there as well, so if you're out and about that afternoon, you can still watch. And we'll be recording the whole thing on Ustream, so if you can't watch it live, you will be able to come back later and check it out for yourself. Should be fun -- we'll see you back here on Friday afternoon at 3pm Eastern.

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.

Read more →

Filed under: Podcasting, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

Breakfast Topic: How do you feel about the new LFG system?

The LFG system has been completely revamped. Details were released the other day. It's supposed to be coming some time in patch 3.3. You won't have to worry about not finding a tank or a healer as the LFG interface is supposed to draw from a pool of various servers. The idea of pulling players from other servers seems like a double edged sword. Sure you might be able to run into more people and more opportunities, but what happens if you run across a ninja or an unsavory player? I suppose it's reassuring to know that they're on a different server than you are.

But here's some other changes:
  • Players can join as individuals, as a full group, or a partial group to look for additional party members.
  • Groups using this tool will be able to teleport directly to the selected instance. Upon leaving the instance, players will be returned to their original location. If any party member needs to temporarily leave the instance for reagents or repairs, they will have the option to teleport back to the instance.
Personally I like the idea of not having to fly all the way down to the Utgarde or Nexus instances. That's going to cut down on travel time for sure. Hopefully the players we'll be partying with will already be fully repaired and have enough reagents to last the run. It's nice to know that extra convenience has been added for the days where we forget. Are you looking forward to these new changes?



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: Breakfast Topics

Patch 3.3 PTR: Forge of Souls first impressions



Yesterday, the PTR servers were loaded with the most recent build of the upcoming 3.3 content. This included Forge of Souls, a new 5 player dungeon which is meant to be the introductory instance into Icecrown Citadel. As we made our way into the frozen halls of the citadel to where the dungeons are housed, we came across three portals. To the left was the Forge of Souls itself which is the first one you'll be allowed into. To the right was the Pit of Saron that Matthew Rossi covered earlier this week. Lastly, between the two was the Halls of Reflection, which strange rumors surround while its doors remain firmly locked. After opening the portcullis to the Forge we made our way inside. More of the adventure after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Walkthroughs, Instances, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Details on the Alterac Valley bracket changes


Earlier this evening we posted a list of in-game fixes, and we included in that list a bit about then-unannounced changes AV; namely that the brackets were moved around and the amount of XP gained by completing objectives was changed.

Bornakk has since came out and clarified the changes a bit, and provided a bit more detail. Most interestingly is that this change was intended for Patch 3.3, and was accidently applied to Patch 3.2.2. I'm not really sure how such a significant change could accidently make it in, but there we have it. From Blizzard's mouth to your ears.

It would make sense that the change be applied in Patch 3.3. Cross-server instances are coming in Patch 3.3, and that's going to help leveling a ton. Think of how easy things will be if you just want to chain run dungeons at 1 a.m. for a few hours. That speed and leveling agility would help offset the XP nerf contained in this sudden AV change. But as it stands, we'll have to wait a few months to allow for another quick level mechanism to be put in place.

The other part of the change that was clarified is exactly what happened with the brackets.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Leveling, Battlegrounds

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events

Event Date
Hallow's End 10/18 - 11/1
Day of the Dead 11/1 - 11/3
Darkmoon Faire 11/2 - 11/9
BlizzCon 2014 11/7 - 11/8

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Pandamonium
The gaming artwork of Jessica Dinh
Mists of Pandaria Raid DPS Analysis
Mists of Pandaria Collector's Edition
Death Knight plague epidemic
Mega Bloks: Goblin Zeppelin Ambush
Mists of Pandaria Beta: Ruins beneath Scarlet Halls
Mists of Pandaria: New warlock pets
Female Pandaren Customization

 

Categories