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Posts with tag kel-thuzad

WoW for Dummies, Act III: The end of vanilla

WoW for Dummies, Act III The end of vanilla SUN
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Vanilla WoW may not have seemed full of story to most, but it was jam-packed with plot elements, although they were hidden from all but those who paid the closest attention to what was going on around them. Most lore in the game was simply introduced with quest text -- there were no cut scenes, there was no phasing, there were none of the innovations we currently have today in regards to the implementation of lore in gameplay.

If you missed them, I recommend going back and reading through the summaries of early days of vanilla lore. There are two versions of Act I, one for Alliance and one for Horde. Act II applies to both sides of the faction fence as the story began to merge for both sides. Please note that these are summaries of the lore that existed in game -- later novels, comics, and other material adjusted what actually happened in the scope of the game universe, and some of those novels and comics are now the official canon version of these events. I've pointed out where these changes occurred.

The end of vanilla was marked with the return of foes long thought dead and gone, and the ominous stirrings of a portal to another world.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Scholomance revisited

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

On a lone island located in the middle of Darrowmere Lake it sits, the remnants of the keep of Caer Darrow. The history of this isle dates all the way back to the high elves of Quel'Danas, who used the site as the location of one of many runestones the quel'dorei used. But the history of this isle has been lost in the face of far more recent history -- the history of the noble Barov family and their downfall, the history of a school dedicated to horrors the rest of Azeroth would rather forget.

During the Second War, the ancient site was invaded by the Horde, who took the runestone and broke it into pieces that were taken to create Altars of Storms. And some time after that, the Barov line came to own the property, as well as several others across Lordaeron. The Barovs, however, were not content with their mass amounts of land -- they wanted to make sure they held that land and their fortune for as long as possible. And so they struck a deal with a powerful mage, one who could easily give them all they asked and more ... for a price.

The mage's name was Kel'Thuzad.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Jaina Proudmoore


The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Duty first. Grief second. Self-pity? Never.

Daughter of a Grand Admiral, once intended of a prince, and one of the greatest mages in the history of Azeroth -- it's a hell of a reputation to live up to, but Jaina Proudmoore is nothing if not conscious of the example she sets to others. While other leaders have suffered greatly and bear the scars of their past as a badge of honor to further their pursuits, Jaina has had her own share of grief. Yet unlike the other leaders of her time, she bears her sorrow quietly, burying it under responsibility and an unwavering dedication to the greater good of the world.

Jaina Proudmoore was the youngest of Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore's children. The only girl born to the family, Jaina had a lot to live up to -- and she was determined not to spend her life as one of other ladies of the noble court. From a young age, Jaina showed a remarkable aptitude for the magical arts. Around age 11, she was sent to Dalaran to study among the mages of the Kirin Tor -- something that may have been a daunting task for other children her age, but not Jaina. She'd spent her childhood reading tales of Aegwynn, one of the greatest Guardians the world had known. The tales of how Aegwynn had overcome the stigma of being a female wizard and achieved far greater success with her position than any man in the Guardian line only served to fuel Jaina's ambitions, even though she was but a child at the time.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Patch 3.3 PTR: Patch notes updated

New patch notes have been release for the patch 3.3 PTR. The changes present in this iteration of the notes will be active when the PTR comes up this evening after the latest patch is applied to your client. While there are a handful of changes to a few classes, there are two major areas which everyone will be talking about for a few days.

First, you no longer have to clear Naxxramas to get to Sapphiron's lair. Tha means that raids will now be able to go directly to Sapphiron, and (presumably) subsequently Kel'Thuzad.

Secondly, quest objective tracking is now present in this PTR build. This was originally present in the initial patch 3.2 builds, but was taken out by Blizzard after issues crept up with it. We'll have more on this new feature later this evening or tomorrow.

The entire list of patch notes changes after the break.

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Filed under: Patches, News items

Patch 3.2.2 PTR: Pandaren and Lil' K.T. pets revealed in latest build

Like Diablo's Cow Level, the Pandaren have almost mythic status within World of Warcraft since that memorable and almost plausible April Fool's Day prank. Blizzard has paid homage to that by tucking a pet Pandaren Monk into the latest build (10371) of patch 3.2.2 which has just gone live on the PTR.

Boubouille over at MMO Champion has once again been rooting around the patch files and he came across the first model of the aforementioned pet. Isn't he cute? Heavy on the Chinese aethetics, we have no idea how you'll be able to get this little guy. While datamining, Boubouille also discovered another hitherto unmentioned pet, Lil' K.T.. Yes, you too can have your own pocket-sized Kel'Thuzad, a tiny trophy-sized lich to call your very own! Again, we're not sure how you get one. Here's hoping he drops off his full-sized self in Naxx but who knows? For now we just have a spell note in the files

And as a note, please remember that Pandarens are not a playable race, nor is this an indication they will ever be added to WoW.

2n - 1 go left, 2n go right. I don't see enough DoTs! More DoTs now!

Are you ready for the return of Onyxia? With the Brood Mother being revitalized as a 10 and 25 person raid, you'll need to be sure you know everything that's coming at you. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2.2 will make sure your set for the next patch!

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Phat Loot Phriday: Last Laugh


This is probably my favorite name for an item in the game.

Name: Last Laugh (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic One-hand Axe
Damage/Speed: 192-357 / 1.60 (171.6 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +37 Strength, +73 Stamina. Interesting -- I don't know if I've ever seen a weapon where the attribute numbers are reversed like that. Probably not done intentionally, but it's an interesting little quirk.

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Filed under: Paladin, Warrior, Items, Odds and ends, Humor, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday, Death Knight

Breakfast topic: How do you learn tactics?

I was never one for these tabletop strategy games or D&D but thanks to WoW I have become quite a tactician. Tactics are so integrated in the game that they come into play figuring out how to down Hogger without aggroing too many of his numerous minions, to sneaking through hostile territory and avoiding NPCs who want to kill you all the way to confronting KT in Naxx or Ignis in Ulduar. The latter is especially true, Ignis is a nightmare where a knowledge of tactics is life or death. When your raid leader asks if everyone knows the tactics and you all nod heads and mutter yes, it's not actually courtesy, he or she is trying to figure out how many people will survive long enough to down the giant er ... giant.

Once upon a time all you had to do to learn the tactics was play. Wiping on bosses and the depression of death, failure and repair bills can be a great motivator. At the same time, there are few unique boss fights in WoW. They all follow some kind of pattern and sometimes phases are even borrowed from other mobs. Others, such as Shade of Aran's Flame Wreath go down in lore and legend, even getting their own ever-so-catchy (nay beautiful) theme tune. I challenge anyone to move after having heard that (I even have that in iTunes and would play it just in case my raid forgot. No one ever did.).

So I wonder, constant readers, how do you learn tactics? I can read WoWwiki, for example, until I'm blue in the face but because of the weird way my brain is wired (don't ask), the only was I can truly learn tactics is in the fight itself. Yes, there's YouTube, there's the pre-boss-fight sit down where the raid leader does a run though the fight because no one bothered to take ten minutes to do some reading up. What methods do you use?

Filed under: Guilds, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.2 PTR Tier 9 set names


Even though Blizzard already said that they'd be introducing a whole new set (or sets) of tier gear, it's still a little overwhelming to see information for Tier 9 gear considering that Tier 8-8.5 has only recently been unleashed with Patch 3.1 and Ulduar. Still, Patch 3.2 looks like some ways off and we can't get too excited about the Call of the Crusade just yet.

As soon as the PTR went live yesterday, Alex and Adam scrambled to put together a whopper gallery of Tier 9 gear which might've overwhelmed the whole lot of us who were all too eager to find out what goodies are in store with the new patch. While a lot of things can still change now until the patch goes live, we do know a few things. Check out the Tier 9 sets in the gallery below, which has been re-organized by class and spec (because we love you all that much), and let's take a look at the Tier 9 sets after the jump.

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Lore

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

Observations from running a Naxx-25 PuG


I'm very "up" on PuGs. I started my career as a PuG tank and met a lot of great players that way, many of whom I still raid with today. I've always been a stout supporter of throwing caution to the wind and joining LFG for an afternoon to see where it'll take you; it's been my experience that random players on your realm can and often will surprise you.

Once you master the art of the 5-person PuG, the ultimate risk is a raid PuG. One-shot the instance, or spend the night wiping? You won't know until you try.

I used to run Hyjal PuG's in late Burning Crusade and got to be the person in charge of arranging healers on Anetheron, explaining where to die on Azgalor, and uttering a hollow laugh at suggestions on whether or not Archimonde was in the cards (answer: hell no). I wasn't around for my guild's Naxx run one of these past weeks, and a few guildies were interested in gearing up their alts, so we thought -- PuG a 25-man Naxx? Why not?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Features, Humor, Raiding, Bosses, Classes

Guildwatch: The dreaded 0% wipe


So close, and yet so far. The screenshot you see above? It was a wipe. The whole guild died off on Kel'Thuzad... at 9.5k health, low enough for the mod above to list it at 0%. Yes, Benediction on EU Turalyon experienced the dreaded 0% wipe -- we hope you never have to see it, and we hope, just like them, that victory comes soon after if you do. They downed him on the attempt right after that one.

Lots more downed news after the break in this week's Guildwatch. To submit your tips (we do have a backlog currently, so it may take a week or two to get them in), send them off to wowguildwatch@gmail.com. And there are so many ninjas on the realms lately that unless they're exceptional or otherwise guild-related, we probably won't be listing them here. So if some random dude stole a blue out of your 5-man PuG, you'll have to look for vengeance elsewhere (the forums, maybe?). Enjoy the column!

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

Breakfast Topic: Most frustrating moment

The vast majority of the time, WoW is just pure fun to play, and even nights spent wiping on a boss can be an oddly happy experience if you're running with a cool group of people and you feel like you're making progress. But we've all had that moment in a raid or a group where you realize that things have unstoppably taken a turn for the worse, and that there's not much (if anything) you can do about it.

I've actually had two of these in recent memory: being within one perfect Kel'Thuzad kill of server-first Immortal and then losing a single player to the second Frost Blast, and then having to call a Sarth 3D kill because people seemed to find an array of new and interesting ways to get themselves killed. The silence in vent on both occasions was pretty awful, and that these two nights occurred back to back probably didn't help anyone's frame of mind. I've had a Hunter buddy previously describe her worst moment as triggering the old Karazhan pet bug -- wherein you could aggro almost everything in the instance due to bizarre pet pathing mechanics -- when she was a trial member with a new guild. A Warlock friend still cringes when he thinks about the night he accidentally looted the Champion gloves off Curator, and then having to keep the group there for two hours while we waited on a ticket (back before any of us knew how loot transfers worked). Sometimes you realize the night's just going to stay bad, and that it's time to get out of Dodge. What was your worst experience in this vein?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Features

Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Kel'Thuzad)


Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Tonight, we finish off Naxxramas, check our watches, and ask, "What else is left to kill around here?"

Out of all the forum posts written concerning raid content back in Burning Crusade, I remain fondest of a guide to Tier 6 written by Gragnarth of Andorhal, who I assume must be a deeply cynical person by nature. Within you'll find expert tips on Illidan ("If YOU get demoned you say something to the effect hey I got demoned, and then hope that you are well liked"), Shade of Akama ("I play a fury warrior, and as a result i have no clue what the strategy for this boss is"), and Rage Winterchill ("Make sure you have at least 1 person bandaging the Main Tank every minute"). But the comment that seemed to get the most mileage was one concerning Illidari Council, which was colorfully described as "THE SUPER BOWL OF NOT STANDING IN THINGS!" This phrase subsequently entered the parlance of many a raiding guild, and I'm reminded of it whenever I look at AoE-intensive fights.

Kel'Thuzad isn't a fight with the kind of AoE damage you'll see on (for example) Malygos, but I rather like to think of him as being the Super Bowl of spreading out. For every time you've heard your raid leader howl at the raid to "Spread the ^*#% out!" before, you'll be hearing it five times more here, and with good reason.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Ready Check (Raiding), Achievements

15 Minutes of Fame: Playin' it old school


15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

Upcoming Raids
Zul'Gurub (Farm)
Ahn'Qiraj (20) (Farm)
Molten Core (10/10 Farm)
Blackwing Lair (2/8)
Onyxia (Farm)
Azuregos (Farm)

ZG (Farm)? Blackwing Lair (2/8)?! LOL wut?!? We've written before about players who love to chow down on some good, old-fashioned retro WoW content, avidly mixing original instances with the latest hotness from Wrath. Heralds of Yore from Smolderthorn takes that idea to the next level: not only do they specialize in old-school content, they do it as intended – at level 60.

Why would a guild put two entire game expansions on /ignore? Hearken back to the days of "vanilla WoW" with 15 Minutes of Fame and Heralds of Yore, after the break.

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Filed under: Guilds, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, 15 Minutes of Fame

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

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