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Posts with tag kara

Breakfast Topic: What characterizes WoW's best raids?

Breakfast Topic What characterizes WoW's best raids
People disagree a lot as to what WoW's best raids have been, not least because it's tough to evaluate how "good" a raid was until after some time has passed. For example, an MMO Champion forum poll a few months ago selected Icecrown Citadel as the game's best "final raid," and yet, I remember lots of players complaining that it hadn't been anywhere near as good as Black Temple a the time. You also have to wonder about the extent to which accessibility plays a role. Most people who saw Sunwell at level 70 loved it, but that wasn't a lot of people.

Anyway, three of the most frequently cited "best raids" of WoW are Karazhan, Black Temple, and Ulduar. I thought it might be worthwhile to ask -- what made them so good?
  • Iconic drops or rewards Many of the drops from these places are instantly recognizable. Everybody wanted the "squid staff" off Illhoof and the Nightbane shield, and you can't swing a dead cat in trade chat without hitting another Black Temple transmog run. Even Ulduar, in the age of gear consolidation, had memorable drops.
  • Atmosphere Karazhan was essentially an overgrown haunted house. Black Temple was a fortress full of Broken that would be hostile until you set Akama's soul free, with the brooding Illidan perched on top. Ulduar was an exceptionally beautiful fortress concealing its true purpose as a prison.
  • At least one unexpected encounter You couldn't beat Kara without besting Medivh's ghost at chess, Illidan was one of WoW's most inventive fights, and, as nightmarishly difficult as it was, I still cherish my guild's first Yogg-0 kill.
What made something WoW's "best raid" for you? What mechanics or features would you most like to see repeated in a future raid?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Raiding

Shifting Perspectives: A history of feral weapons

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, we visit a now-vanished world.

Once upon a time, feral druids had their own specialized set of weapons. This was very good, because it meant that you weren't rolling against half the raid when an upgrade dropped. This was also very bad, because it meant that 98% of the game's weapons were completely useless for us.

This was before the dark times. Before gear consolidation. Before every two-bit jackass with a hard-on for agility thought himself entitled to the armory of the game's noblest class.

They were elegant weapons for a more civilized age.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

The ghosts of Azeroth

I love ghost stories, and one of the nice things about WoW is that Azeroth is full of them. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that one of the nice things for us is that Azeroth's full of them, because lore-wise it's hard to argue that the existence of any ghost is a happy occurrence. While I could (and probably should) turn this into a giant feature cataloging all the ghosts in the game, I have my personal favorites:

Caer Darrow


The inhabitants of Caer Darrow are my favorite ghosts, not least because you can't see them at all until you've done a bit of work on their behalf. The island seems utterly deserted barring the Sarkhoff couple...until you realize that it's not, and that there's an entire town full of people trapped on its "happiest day," going about its business, oblivious to how the world's moved on. That there's a ghostly vendor you can't otherwise talk to without a Spectral Essence is even better.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Shifting Perspectives: Revenge of the Karapalooza

Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we invade the menagerie, shut down the demon factory, defang the beaten dog, carefully avoid Netherspite, play some chess, and face not only Malchezaar but the legions he commands.

Greetings, druids. This week we'll finish our look at stomping Kara from Curator through Prince. If you're looking for our first installment (covering Attumen through Nightbane), you'll find that here.

Curator

For most people, the Curator was the source of the first tier piece they ever got in Burning Crusade as he drops the tier 4 glove token. Note that the Defender tokens in tier 4 and 5 went to warriors, druids, and priests, which forced BC's more popular tanking and healing classes (in addition to the new legion of shadow priests that every raid wanted) to gear at each others' expense. It wasn't until tier 6 that Blizzard went for more sensible class combinations, splitting most tanking/healing classes to different tokens.

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

Loot, rationality, and the Sunwell effect


Here at WoW Insider we don't always agree with each other. Whether it's debating the merits of various tanks on different encounters, the damage difference between pure and hybrid DPS classes, the ideal function of a particular healing class in raids, or the superiority of cake over pie, our back-channel discussion tends to be pretty interesting.

Eliah Hecht's article "25-man gear should not be better than 10-man gear" sparked a lot of great discussion with our readers and, I think, some illuminating poll results as well. The majority of responders believed that giving 10-man and 25-man raids the same loot table would result in a significant drop in popularity for 25-man raiding. Overall, I tend to agree with this, but I also think that Eliah touched on something that speaks to Blizzard's evolving sense of game design, much of which is evident in the transition between late Burning Crusade and Wrath.

I would like to call this the Sunwell effect, or "ingame rationality." To wit: don't incentivize players to behave in a manner contrary to your actual design interests. I believe this played a huge role in the differences between BC and Wrath raiding, and that it underlies why the 25-man loot table has to remain superior to its 10-man counterpart.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Raiding

The Queue: Clam stacking sea mounts


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

Good afternoon all. I want to give a shout out to everyone in Fargo, North Dakota who is dealing with the flood that's going on, in particular everyone who is busy sandbagging. It's big, bad, and full of water. But on the plus side there are now ducks outside of my apartment, and I live two and a half miles from the Red River. But ducks are cool. It's made me want to go fire up Duck Hunt. I may be pawning off The Queue this week to Alex, depending on how bad things get in my area. He's anxious to talk about Mountain Dew I hear.

Palatel asked...

"Any idea on how the leader of a Battleground is determined?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Queue

Why "easy raids" are a good thing (for now)


I really didn't expect to be writing this. Like others, I was left a bit nonplussed at the seeming ease of early raiding content in Wrath, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like an interesting intersection of prudence, circumstances, and quite possibly some residual discomfort on Blizzard's part over how awful early BC raiding was. I don't think that the current "ease" of first-tier raid content in Wrath is a bad thing -- and I also don't expect future content to stay that way.

My guild cleared all of the 25-man raid content in Wrath within two weeks of the expansion's release. Naxxramas was easily the biggest non-surprise. Doing Naxx-25 in the company of people who know the place inside and out is a pretty straightforward and -- dare I say it -- easy process. This is even more true with players who learned the original Naxx at 70, with a much greater margin for error than they would have had at 60. Honestly? Most of the fights haven't changed to the point where you'd have to toss out your previous strategy and start all over again. A raid that saw Naxx at any point between 60 and 70 is effectively an old dog that doesn't have to learn a new trick.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, 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

The marathon raid day?

A friend and I were idly wondering about the possibility of tackling all Burning Crusade raid content the way you'd watch the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy on a rainy weekend: doing it all without stopping, intent on a glorious finish. Nobody's arguing that the point of such a marathon is to have fun every second while you're doing it; I'd say this is the classic undertaking where it really is about the destination and not so much the journey. But let's say you had an enterprising bunch of raiders sitting around bored on a weekend and your choices were either raiding Tarren Mill again or trying something adventurous. Or if you had Wrath coming up the next week and you wanted to conduct a triumphal tour of the content your guild had conquered, stopping only to relish the wholesale slaughter of bosses who'd given you so much trouble (here's looking at you, Gurtogg). Would it be possible to cut a swathe of destruction across the BC raiding landscape all within the space of a day?

Assuming a bunch of experienced raiders, we came up with the following figures:

Karazhan: 2-3 hours
Gruul's Lair: 1 hour
Magtheridon: 45 minutes
Serpentshrine Cavern: 3-4 hours
Tempest Keep: 3 hours
Zul'Aman: 1 1/2 hours
Mount Hyjal: 2 1/2 hours
Black Temple: 3-4 hours
Sunwell Plateau: 4-5 hours

On the low end, that's 20 hours and 45 minutes. On the high end, it's 25 hours (and I have to pause here for a moment's respect over just how much raid content Blizzard programmed for BC). If you lopped Kara and ZA off the marathon in the interest of doing only 25-man content, an experienced (albeit insane) raid that stomped each site and methodically proceeded to the next with no wipes along the way (probably not likely in Sunwell) could probably wreck BC raid content in maybe 18 hours start to finish (giving them a little extra time for travel and bathroom breaks). Has anyone been crazy enough to try this? Should anyone be crazy enough to try this?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

Tank Talk: should the main tank position still exist?


Tank Talk is WoW Insider's raid-tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column will be rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and myself (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish. Today, dear readers, we might make ourselves hated by the entire population of undisputed, royal-bloodlined, main tanks, but that's OK. We are used to staying at the top of someone's hate list.

One of the accepted facts of raiding life used to be that the main tank was the guild's gearing priority. As Adam Holisky's observed, "Everything that happens in the raid eventually makes it back to the tank." Healers undergeared? You're screwed. DPS incompetent or just badly grouped? Buh-bye. Random number generator wreaking all manner of havoc on healer crits and boss parries? Thar be the graveyard. A truly cynical mind would opine that the tank should be as well-geared as possible if only because it makes it easier for the raid to forget that person existed as anything other than a rapidly-advancing line on the Omen screen that: a). always stayed above their own, and b). never died. There are enough random variables while the raid's learning a new boss that the tank needs to be eliminated as one, and in vanilla WoW that was certainly the goal. Raid and offtank damage on most encounters hadn't scaled to the point where you could make a compelling argument in favor of gear equilibrium across your tanking roster. What was the point of something like that when 95% of the damage in a fight was going to be absorbed by a single person?

That changed.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Tank Talk

World of WarCrafts: Raid art

Every Thursday, Shelbi Roach of The Bronze Kettle guides you in creating WoW-inspired crafts using real world mats with World of WarCrafts.

With Wrath looming over the horizon, the instances we currently spend all of our time inwill become obsolete. The dusty halls of Karazhan will be forgotten and we will never have another chance at obtaining an Amani War Bear.

So, here's your chance to commemorate the good times with your fellow guildies and spruce up your WoWspace.

Here is what you will need:
  • White Cardstock
  • Color Printer
  • Scissors
  • Paper Cutter
  • Xacto Knife
  • Double Sided Tape
  • Photo Frames (8x10)
  • Matboard (3 for 8x10 frames)
Click on the images below to view a gallery of step-by-step instructions.

Filed under: How-tos, World of WarCrafts

Insider Trader: Popular enchants and where to get them

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

If you've ever spent any time sitting in trade chat, you could probably make a list of some of the most popular enchants. Requested frequently, any enchanter possessing the the knowledge to imbue a weapon or piece of armor with the proper stats stands to make a fair amount of gold.

For example, a healer seeking Major Healing, or a meleer seeking Mongoose, will know the materials, and gather them. Each time they replace their respective weapons, back into trade they will go to request the enchant.

Today, Insider Trader presents a list of some of the most requested enchants with information about how to obtain them so that you can offer them to friends, guildmates, and your server.

It is by no means a complete list, but it will get you off to a shining start and provide you with quite a to-do list. Check out the comments section for helpful details as well.

Drop rate data was gathered from the Armory, and Blizzard uses ranges such as Very Low (1-2%). This is narrowed down with data from Wowhead where appropriate, but keep in mind that some bind on pick-up recipes can only be seen by enchanters, and Wowhead cannot filter out that data, making their estimate much lower than the actual drop rate.

In the next couple of weeks, I'll be working on the faction recipes series, focusing on enchanting, so stay tuned.

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Filed under: Enchanting, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Making money, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions)

Ask a Beta Tester: Enchanting, legacy content, and a beta medley

Welcome back to Ask a Beta Tester, wherein WoW Insider's stable of beta testers answer as many of your Wrath Beta questions as possible! Today we'll start off with burton888's question...

Is there a "magic number" for Enchanting, in that you can disenchant everythng in the game (currently 275 for pre-WotLK content)?

My 375 Enchanter was able to start disenchanting blues as soon as I hit Northrend shores, so I can't say for sure what the minimum level is. However, we can take some guesses based on what we saw in The Burning Crusade. As a few readers said, to disenchant epics it actually requires 300 Enchanting. 300 was the profession cap in WoW Classic. Assuming that trend continues, you will need 375 Enchanting to disenchant everything in Wrath. In the expansion after Wrath, it will probably take 450. Getting to 375 is a pretty safe bet.

Red asked...

How is spell damage affecting a Paladin's Ret Aura? Is it reduced like a standard DoT tick or even further? What are the numbers looking like with tested spell damage?

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Insider Trader: Faction recipes for leatherworkers

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

After a brief hiatus, Insider Trader is back and ready to take on the faction world. As you progress through Outland as a leatherworker, it will be helpful to know the factions with which you will need to be in high favor.

Here's a quick summary:
  • Honored: Ashtongue Deathsworn, Sha'tar, Keepers of Time.
  • Revered: Consortium, Kurenai/Mag'har, Lower City.
  • Exalted: Cenarion Expedition, Honor Hold/Thrallmar, Aldor/Scryers, Violet Eye.

Read more →

Filed under: Leatherworking, Items, Features, Factions, Guides, Insider Trader (Professions)

Insider Trader: Faction recipes for alchemists


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Last week, Insider Trader examined the factions that a new tailor in Outland will need to buddy up to, including what recipes they had to offer, and how far you'd need to go.

Today, we will continue through the series with the following guide to faction recipes for alchemists in Outland. Here is the quick breakdown of what you will need to grind:
  1. Honored with Honor Hold or Thrallmar.
  2. Honored with the Violet Eye (Kara).
  3. Revered with Kurenai or Mag'har. *This one may not be worth it.
  4. Revered with Scryers. Aldor has nothing for alchemists.
  5. Exalted with the Cenarion Expedition.
  6. Exalted with Sporeggar.
  7. Exalted with Lower City.
  8. Exalted with Shattered Sun.
  9. Exalted with the Sha'tar.
  10. Exalted with the Keepers of Time.

Read more →

Filed under: Alchemy, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, The Burning Crusade, Factions, Guides, Making money, Buffs, Insider Trader (Professions)

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