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Posts with tag instance

Instance throttling explained

If you do a lot of instances, you're probably familiar with the error message "Additional instances could not be launched. Please, try again later," and the accompanying dance of spamming the instance portal until it lets you in. For me it seems to happen most at the Azjol-Nerub portal, but that's probably just coincidence.

Anyway, although I've been seeing this error pretty much since WotLK launched, Wryxian just made a post today in the European forums explaining what it's all about. Basically, it's an attempt to fix instance performance; if too many instances are running at the same time on the instance server, lag and possible crashes result (and I'm sure we've all experienced that), so there's a limit imposed on how many instances can be up at any given time.

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Filed under: Realm News, Bugs, Instances

Spiritual Guidance: Is Greater Heal on Life Support?

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. Is the Priest usage of Greater Heal fading away? Matticus shall answer!

An excellent thread on Plus Heal has caught my attention and it's a topic that's also been picked up by Kestrel.

It's about the current use of Greater Heal (or lack thereof).

Check your meters. Specifically, check your cast sequences. See if you can determine how often you use Greater Heal on a typical night. If you're a player who uses it often, I applaud you. From a mathematical and healing efficiency stand point, Greater Heal has the edge.

Under lab conditions.

Except raid environments aren't lab conditions. Let's go into detail about when Greater Heal is used in Discipline and Holy after the break.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Calling it quits


If you've ever played in a group or run a dungeon, then you know the nuisance and frustration of playing in a bad group. I'm sure most of us have been there -- a dungeon run that seems a never-ending string of wipes, a PVP group that's unable to stick together long enough to accomplish any objectives, and the inevitable repair bills that arise from a group of players that doesn't quite mesh. At this point in my healing career, I practically never group with people I don't know. Too many things can go wrong and any rewards that might come from running an instance aren't worth the sanity that would be lost by trudging onward after the fifth or sixth or seventh or eighth wipe. (And even sticking with people you know doesn't always lead you to pain-free groups -- I'll just say that Loken and I are never on friendly terms.) But a thousand complants about bad group experiences aside, when you're unfortunate enough to find yourself in a bad group, how do you know when to cut your losses and call it quits? Do you flee at the first sign of trouble? Hang in until the group leader calls it quits? Or do you have some other breaking point?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances

Phat Loot Phriday: Jedoga's Greatring


Last week, I asked what you all wanted to see here, and the answer I heard most was "leveling upgrades through Northrend." So we're going husky (around size 72-79) for a while -- here's a nice attack ring from an instance that levelers will probably be hitting up this weekend.

Name: Jedoga's Greatring (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Rare Ring (Unique-Equipped, which means that you can only wear one at a time)
Damage/Speed: N/A


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Filed under: Hunter, Rogue, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Phat Loot Phriday, Wrath of the Lich King

First impressions: 5-man healing in the beta


I specced resto in the beta the other week to try out the new talents and abilities Druids are getting in Wrath, and decided to brave the horrors of LFG and scribble some notes for your sake, dear readers. By the way, the aspect of beta that I will miss most? The 1 copper respec fee. Can we keep this?

Please note that this is written from the perspective of a 70 Restoration Druid, so unfortunately I can't comment on whether Priests, Shamans, or Paladins might have had an easier or harder time healing the instances. I have a good but not jaw-dropping resto set, and on the live realms clock in around +1998 to +2100 healing unbuffed. If your gear's better or worse, then just adjust the potential difficulty level as needed. And even if you're not a healer, you still might find something useful here:

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Bosses, Guides, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Phasing is the new instancing

In an interview with Eurogamer, Blizzard's J. Allen Brack revealed just a little more about the advancements developers have made with Wrath of the Lich King. As I raved about in my post about the Death Knight starting experience, I effused about how the entire experience was instanced, creating a feel of progression through the world. It turns out I was wrong. The Death Knight starting experience isn't instanced at all. It uses what Blizzard calls "phasing technology".

In my defense, even Tom Chilton made the same mistake in the interview, saying "(the Death Knight starting area uses) instancing quite a lot more... the world changes dynamically as you move through the story." This prompted Brack to interject a correction, "It's actually not instances. What we do is we have different world states, and depending on what quests you've completed, it changes what world state you're seeing." He also mentions that the new phasing technology is used in other parts and other quests all over Northrend.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Doncha hate it when...

...you're doing a collection quest and you don't understand why the widgets aren't dropping -- until you realize you're grinding in the wrong area?

And doncha hate it when you're just a few pulls away from finishing an instance when your main tank says, "Sorry guys, I've got to go, I didn't realize it was so late"?

And doncha hate it when you finally grab that last pig's spleen, turn around to head back to the quest hub -- and walk right into an elite who sends you back for a corpse run?

And doncha hate it when you go to turn in a quest after leaving an instance run... and then realize you left the quest item back on the last boss' corpse?

I mean doncha? What else do you hate in game?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

Spiritual Guidance: Measuring a Priest

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is now Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. With summer half way through and some guilds in various states of disarray, Matticus will help you figure out what to look for when recruiting a Holy Priest!

Stop me if you've heard this one. A guild you know of has stopped raiding due to the summer season. Players are losing interest or are leaving the game or the guild entirely to go pursue other activities. It just so happens one of the characters lost is a really good Holy Priest! The replacements picked up just didn't perform up to the standard of the old Priest! Even though the new Priest has more healing, more regen, and better gear, they're still struggling on their healing jobs! What gives? Don't worry! This week, I plan on helping you dispel (get it?) a few myths, provide some raiding benchmarks and provide a few places to go to get your raid back and running in full gear again.

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Raiding, Classes, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

WoW Radio runs Utgarde Keep


Our good friends at WoW Radio have somehow boonswaggled their way into the beta, and they're letting you all reap the rewards: Totalbiscuit and his buddies all ran Utgarde Keep, the first instance of Northrend, and you can see the results above. This is the same instance we played way back at BlizzCon of last year, and it looks about the same -- you can see the hulking Vrykul, the big flame forge with its walls that come down when you pull mobs, and later on you can check out the other boss battles, including a dual boss battle (two bosses, and both have to die, or else the one that dies first spawns a shade of himself), and Ingvar the Plunderer, who has a pretty mean AoE and some cheating help. There's also a few glimpses of other beta features, including Illidan form way at the end.

Unfortunately, they don't run the next instance, Sar Chasm, which features a boss who says things to you he doesn't actually mean (spoiler: that's a joke, watch the video). But it's awesome to get a first look at Utgarde, bugs and all (the dragons who walk through the air are pretty fun), and the WoW Radio guys are pretty entertaining the whole time.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Walkthroughs, Instances, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Barrens Chat: The shocking truth


Engineers frighten me. Mostly because I tend to be the guinea pig in anything and everything I find myself involved in, and because of the things they do when we're not looking. But also because I don't understand a single thing they're trying to tell me.

I don't know about you guys, but anyone who thinks a good time involves playing with dangerous things with electrical charges, and trying to outrun explosive sheep is a little bit on the crazy side.

Gallery: Barrens Chat

Spoiled RottenBubbles bubbles everywhereAlways a catchDead RingerRevolution evolutionAll hands on deck


Every week, Barrens Chat drags its readers through the clutter-filled, cobweb infested mind of Megan Harris, and exposes the readers to her decaying sense of humor. So if you're interested in soft, fluffy delights, or are more into a quick and tasty snack you... wait. Why are all these comics focused on food so far? Maybe next week our starving artist will be a little more well fed and provide less food-for-though, and more funny.

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Filed under: Horde, Tauren, Engineering, Instances, Humor, Comics, Barrens Chat

Is Karazhan no longer for entry level raiders?


We ran Karazhan the other day and for the first time in a long time we didn't clear it in one run and took almost four hours only to call it at Prince. Only about half of our regular group could make it that day and we were forced to PuG the rest, even filling the last spot with a player who had never done Karazhan before. Our raid leader and tank grumbled throughout the entire run, sending me tells of wanting to kick people from the group. In the end, we conspired to end our misery by acceding to a couple of attempts at Prince but no more.

For the past weeks, we had been doing 2 1/2 hour Karazhan for badges, and for the most part we made sure that our raid members were equipped in Tier 4-5 or better. We'd turbo pull to bosses with a Paladin tank and Disenchanted nearly every drop because, really, no one needed anything from there. We ran it for badges and wanted to breeze through the instance as quickly as possible. We would wince if we brought someone who wasn't familiar with the strats or had more than a few blues.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding

All things Wrath of the Lich King

Over the past week, particularly in the last few days, the crisp Internet air has been abuzz with news from the upcoming expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. Fear you're out of the loop? Here's a quick round-up of all the information being released, along with analysis and opinion.

Don't forget to keep checking back, as this page will be updated as information becomes available:

Dungeons and raids
  1. An analysis on Arthas as a ten-manned event, including its impact on the 25-man raiding structure, as well an exploration of its consistency with the lore.
  2. Did you know that all expansion raids will have a 10-man setting, as well as a 25-man?
  3. Read through some of our initial impressions on the 10-man raiding set-up.
  4. We also wrote up a concise overview of the ins and outs of dungeons post-expansion, including a new token system, similar to [Badge of Justice].
  5. The Nexus has been announced on the official site as one of the new dungeons.
  6. The WoW Insider Show discusses 10-manning Arthas.
Zones, factions, and relevant lore
  1. Alex has written an excellent overview of the Grizzly Hills, a soon-to-be zone for low to mid-seventies. With old factions reappearing, along with other surprises, it's definitely something to look forward to!
  2. If news of the Dragonblight has intrigued you, you'll be pleased to know that more information has been made available.
  3. While we're brushing up on our lore and learning about new areas and factions, Alex thought it fitting to illuminate the lore behind Azjol-Nerub, as the Nerubians will have their own role in the expansion.
  4. Alex asks us about lore figures we'd like to see in the expansion.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Screenshots, Raiding, Lore, Factions, Know your Lore, Galleries, Interviews, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

MT, MrT, MagT, MST, Magisters' Terrace

We hit on this a while back, but now that Magisters' Terrace has finally landed on the live realms, it's time to choose an official abbreviation. Players are apparently all over the place, but the time for debate and discussion is over. Let's come up with the real choice for Magisters' Terrace abbreviation.

When making this decision, lots of things have to be considered. MT is out no matter what, as not only do many things in game use it as an abbreviation (main tank, mistell, Montana -- ok maybe that last one is a stretch), but it also leads us to confusion with the other "MT" instance in the game: Mana Tombs. For that reason, MaT is also out, though MagT has found a lot of foothold with many players, as has MgT. I originally thought MT would work well (since Mana Tombs is actually "Mana-Tombs," and would therefore be abbreviated M-T), but I haven't see that too much so far.

But almost surprisingly, the thing I've seen most players using is something that I originally mentioned way back as just a joke. Yes, most players I've seen are actually describing the instance as MrT. Not that that makes any more sense, but it does kind of provide a nice homage to a Mohawked WoW hero.

So in our (un)official capacity as WoW Insider, one of the 50 most influential blogs on the net, we're declaring the winner: from now on, the new Sunwell 5man will be known as "MrT." And we pity the fool who doesn't agree.


Haven't been to MrT yet (or MagT, or MgT, or whatever you decide to call it)? We've got a Kalecgos-sized roundup of info on the brand new five-man, including a step-by-step walkthrough of what's in there and how to kill it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Lore

Magisters' Terrace: Great instance or the greatest instance?

I, like many other players, spent the better part of the morning running the new 5man Magisters' Terrace instance (and yes -- it is "Magisters'," so there is actually more than one Magister in it), and while not everyone is thrilled with it (I know some are saying that it's too hard), I love it. I pretty much agree with AA -- it's not that hard when you actually figure out what to do with CC, and get a handle on the fact that even on normal difficulty, this is a dungeon that doesn't let up.

But my favorite part of the dungeon is just the fact that Blizzard put their money where their mouth is on this one -- for a while, they've been saying that they wanted a five man to be like Deadmines, in that it felt like the end of a long storyline. And MT (which is what I think it will eventually be called by most players, since who really runs Mana Tombs anymore?) is definitely that -- I won't ruin the lore too much, but it works perfectly as both a cap on what happened in Outland, and as a sweet preview to Sunwell Plateau. I never thought we'd meet some of those names in a five man instance, but I loved it, and we'll see more of that in Wrath for sure.

Plus, the encounters are fun. Unfortunately, there's nothing super new -- Blizzard cribbed directly from Warlord Kalithresh for the first boss and Curator for the second (boy, AoEing the little guys before that is exciting, isn't it?), but the miniboss battle near the end really does play like a little PvP-ish PvE (similar to the .5 upgrade event in BRD). All in all, I think it's a great instance, and a fun way to cap off five mans at level 70.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, NPCs

Getting back into the game

Knightless is having the same problem I'd guess quite a few players have -- her interest in her character is flagging a bit, and she's trying to figure out a way to get more involved in what she's doing in Azeroth. This is an interesting situation, because at this point, with almost any other game, the player would just leave and go find something else to play (and actually, I can say from experience that sometimes taking a short break from the game completely can rebuild your interest in it), but things don't really work that way in World of Warcraft -- responsibilities to your guild and the people you've met in game will keep you around even when your interest is low.

So what tips can we offer Knightless and others who are looking for ways to refresh their interest in the game? Rerolling is a big one -- I've always found that picking up a new class you've never played before can get you to look at a game in a different way. Running an instance that you haven't run in a while is always fun, too -- it only takes a little while to level up a character to Deadmines or Wailing Caverns levels, and both of those instances always renew my interest in playing through Warcraft. Running guild activities or contests are always fun, too -- especially since Knightless is a guild officer, she could organize some lower level runs or some "grind days," where guildies all get together in groups to level each other up.

Any other ideas for reviving a flagging interest in playing a character that you feel a need to play due to responsibilities or other connections in the game?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Instances, Classes

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