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Posts with tag looking-for-raid

Gamescom Raid Q&A with the Devs: Nerfs, the raid finder and more

Gamescom Raid and Dungeons Q&A with the Devs
You may have spotted Monday's post on how to design a raid, which was the first half of the Gamescom 2012 Raids and Dungeons round table with Ion Hazzikostas and John Lagrave. The second half of the Round Table was a Q&A session in which many interesting questions were asked, shedding light on some hot issues as well as simply providing a little more insight into the Blizzard Encounter Design Team's creative processes.

Again, these aren't verbatim quotations from Ion and John, as I simply can't write that fast, but the overall statements are accurate representations of their responses.

Are there any encounters Blizzard have had to alter or leave out due to technical constraints?

There was a boss leading up to the Lich King who you had to heal (Valithria Dreamwalker), and that was a huge challenge for their existing technology. If you think about it, Ion explained, up to that point, every healing spell in the game was designed to be cast on a friendly target, that is to say, a player. So the devs were faced with the task of reworking every healing spell in the game. They didn't want players to only be able to use certain spells on her, as that would have been bad, so they redid every healing spell. The technical team changed the game's design so that the boss basically became a raid team member. Ion and John explained that it's all about working out creative ways to implement the designers' ideas.

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Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Does World of Warcraft need to be more difficult?

The above video is a bit lengthy, but it's well worth the watch simply because it does raise a few valid points along the line. And lest you think this is yet another player whining about the endless hardcore vs. casual debate, it's not -- this is simply a player who is incredibly passionate about the game we all play. In that passion, he's decided to talk about the direction that raiding in WoW has taken and how it has gone downhill, in his opinion.

On the one hand, he has a point. There is a stark difference between the feel of raiding back in the days of vanilla, The Burning Crusade, and now. There's a stark difference in numbers, which any graph can illustrate. More and more people can complete raids now from one degree or another, which leaves people barreling through content at light speed and doesn't really give that same feeling that raiding had in years past.

On the other, is changing the difficulty in WoW really the way to accomplish that goal? I don't think so.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Mists of Pandaria: Raid Finder loot system changes clarified

If, like me, you heard about the upcoming changes to the Raid Finder's loot system and were a little confused, then this post by Zarhym clarifying what exactly will be changing is a useful read. Basically, rather than rolling against people in the raid (as is the current system), you roll and the chance that you will or won't get loot will have nothing to do with other players at all.

Zarhym -- The new LFR roll system
First, other players will not affect your loot in any way. Another player winning will not cause you to lose. Another player winning a mace will not mean that she took your mace. If there are many rogues in the raid, your chance of winning a rogue item is not diminished. We may decide that each player has an X% chance to get loot, or we may decide that X number of players get loot, and then randomly determine who those lucky players are.

Second, the item you win will be "useful" in the sense that it's potentially usable by your current spec. This does not mean that warriors will get leather because warriors can equip leather (at a huge stat loss). It also does not mean that the game will always give you an item you want or an upgrade for the items you have. It just looks and says "You are a Holy priest, so here is a random item chosen from the Holy priest-appropriate items that this boss can drop."

You'll still have a chance to not get the item you want and have to come back again, but at least this will curb that hideous sinking sensation of seeing Gurthalak drop and knowing yet again that someone else is going to get it instead of you, leading to hostility. Zarhym then goes on to explain the bonus roll system, which is a roll you can effectively trade in for a guarantee of some kind of reward, be it extra gold or a random drop from the boss. At present, this is all only for the Raid Finder, with a possibility of seeing the systems in dungeons if it works out.

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: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Does a video game have to force us to make good choices?

Take a moment and picture this: There's a politician out there, a pretty sleazy politician, who is basically in a position of power to use that power to do whatever suits him or her best -- no regard for anyone that voted him into office, no real sense of caring for those he is supposedly serving. One day, someone comes up to that politician and says, "Hey man, I'll give you $3 million if you start taking an interest in your constituents and doing what is best for them, OK?" The politician agrees, takes the money, and promptly starts doing the right thing.

Is that politician in the wrong? Or is that politician simply learning that if he behaves badly, he'll get a bribe to start behaving correctly? What's to stop him from behaving badly again, if he thinks he's going to get another $3 million out of the deal? More importantly, if all the other politicians out there see this guy get a bribe to behave like a decent politician and all of those politicians decide to start behaving badly in an effort to get that bribe for themselves, are they in the wrong?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Looking for raid, or looking for trade?

My interactions with the Raid Finder have been limited, for the most part. I'm in a raiding guild, and we were told when the Raid Finder came out that we would do guild runs to start out with. This was to make sure that all drops benefited everyone in the guild, and honestly, it was a smart idea. Players got their set bonuses with relative speed, and we completed the encounters with no difficulty at all just due to the fact that they were relatively easy in comparison to the normal-mode raiding we were doing.

However, after we began melting more gear than we were keeping and started working on heroics in earnest, our raid leader let us know that if we really needed anything else from the Raid Finder, we'd have to go run it on our own. So it was with a fair amount of confidence that I queued up for Dragon Soul, looking for a trinket that was so far eluding my rogue in normal mode content. No big deal, right? Easy enough, and by now plenty of people ought to be familiar with the content. Well ... not so much.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Should WoW players be responsible for player accountability?

Blizzard's policy as far as reporting players has been about the same since day one. If you have a problem with a player, you report them. While Blizzard can contact you and thank you for reporting the issue, it will not give any details regarding what it has done about the problem being reported. This has always been understandable to me; in the many years on and off that I worked customer service and call center jobs, rule #1 was that you did not speak to anyone but an account holder regarding the status of their account. To me, the Blizzard policy is just more of the same kind of treatment -- Blizzard cannot tell you about actions taken against another player's account, because hey, their account isn't yours, you know? It's private information.

That said, I have reported my share of players over the years, and I never really knew if action was taken against these players or not. In simple cases of name violations, like using an inappropriate word for guild or character name, I could usually tell if something had been done, because the guild or player in question would have their name changed. But in cases of player harassment ... well, you never know if they've been told anything or not. You just sort of hope this means the person harassing you will go away and that will be the end of it, but there are absolutely no guarantees.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Has the Raid Finder changed the way you raid?

My name is Fox Van Allen, and I'm a recovering raidaholic.

When I first got into raiding, it was just a casual thing. One night a week for a couple hours. Then, when Icecrown Citadel opened, it got far more serious. I was raiding several nights a week, several hours a night. I was grinding hard modes, wiping on heroic Lich King more times than I'd care to remember.

But something changed. That something: patch 4.3. The advent of the Raid Finder tool made it possible to get a group whenever I wanted. I could raid on my own schedule. I could have a life again. Sure, it's harder to get loot via Raid Finder, but I don't care about that. I'm just in it for the fun.

How about you? Has the Raid Finder changed the way you raid? Has it freed up more of your time? Or are you just as serious about raiding as you were before the Raid Finder came along?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Does WoW need more raid lockout alternatives?

I was talking to some friends about raiding lockouts before we went into Baradin Hold, in part because Baradin Hold isn't merely locked out by the usual weekly system but also by whether or not your faction holds Tol Barad. This led us to discussing the old Zul'Gurub raid lockout, a three-day cycle, and that led us to consider other possible options. Algalon, a raid encounter that gave you exactly one hour per lockout to complete, also came up. I then told them I was shamelessly going to steal our discussion and use it as grist for a post, because that's what I do.

One of the things about raiding lockouts right now is that they're extremely predictable, and their commonality across the board means that they tend to cause content exhaustion near the end of a week. Everyone does everything they're likely to as close to the reset as possible, meaning that by the end of the week, there's nothing left. Even guilds like mine that raid on a three-day-a-week schedule can exhaust almost all current raiding well before mid-week if we get some lucky breaks. What if we had some variation?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: 2011's warrior in review

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

In the past, I've done Year in Review columns and liked them well enough. The first one I wrote was in 2007 and discussed rage normalization, which to my eyes was the biggest and worst change the warrior class had undergone in The Burning Crusade. Flash forward four years. Here we are in 2011, and rage normalization has been with us for a year and the sky didn't fall. This has me in a contemplative mood. The future is Mists of Pandaria and a new talent system, but right now, it's time to look back at what were the biggest developments for the warrior class.

I don't necessarily mean good or bad, here. These are simply profound changes, things that may have also affected other classes but which definitely affected us. While 2011 was a year we made contact (because we're melee, we have to make contact) it was also a year of a great many changes.


I've talked about it before, but mastery really has been a game-changer for warriors this past year. Fury warriors got so much out of the stat before patch 4.1 that the amount of mastery they have at base was nerfed from 8 points to 2 points. It worked, after a fashion, because until patch 4.3, it became impossible for fury warriors to assemble enough mastery to make them interested in the stat again. It may be possible with Dragon Soul gear for TG fury, but with arms the dominant DPS spec for warriors in Dragon Soul raids right now, it's not likely to be tested exhaustively.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm

What the Raid Finder's success means for the future of accessible content

The Raid Finder is here to stay. It's rolled out to astonishing success, getting more people to see the encounters of the major raid of the Cataclysm expansion than we've seen since the days that Karazhan convinced Blizzard that 10-man raiding was an option worth exploring. With Blizzard explicitly intending to move forward with the Raid Finder so that every future raid will have a RF difficulty option, a few things are likely to develop.

When we consider the Raid Finder as a tool, we have to consider it both as a tool for the players (us) and as a tool for the designers, a means for them to deal with a persistent and somewhat untenable issue with the raiding game -- a ton of work goes into raid design, and statistically speaking, almost no one ever sees it. People who got to see Kel'Thuzad at level 60, Illidan or Kil'Jaeden at 70, or even Arthas at level 80 are in the minority. Thanks to the Raid Finder, Deathwing may be the most accessible big bad any expansion's ever had. Looking forward, a few broad strokes may be discerned about the Raid Finder and where it will drive the game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Cataclysm

Encrypted Text: A savvy rogue's guide to the Fall of Deathwing via the Raid Finder

defense of wyrmrest temple
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

The first half of the Dragon Soul raid consists of knocking out a few of Deathwing's commanders that are attacking Wyrmrest Temple. After toppling the first four bosses of Dragon Soul, we finally see Deathwing face-to-face at the peak of the temple. He's still too busy to attack us himself, instead sending a couple of his additional underlings our way.

Our first challenge will be overcoming Ultraxion, Deathwing's favorite twilight dragon. He's an easy target for rogues and is just about as simple for us as Warlord Zon'ozz. After that, we board an airship to face Warmaster Blackhorn and his Twilight infantry. Finally, we confront Deathwing in two separate encounters, each with its own challenges.

We fight Ultraxion from the roof of Wyrmrest Temple, as he's too massive to fit inside. He'll spend most of the encounter cleaving the entire raid, which makes Feint an amazing tool here. Use it on cooldown for the entire fight. Unfortunately for rogues, we're not able to get behind Ultraxion, due to his positioning over the ledge of the temple roof. While Ultraxion has a buff that prevents him from parrying our frontal attacks, we're not able to use any positional attacks like Backstab or Ambush.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: A savvy rogue's guide to starting Dragon Soul via the Raid Finder

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

The introduction of the Raid Finder is one of the biggest features in patch 4.3, and so far it has been everything that we could ask for and more. The queues have been quick, the bosses are tuned just right for the demographic, and the rewards are potent enough to keep the system running. Anyone with decent gear can queue up for a raid, gaining valuable experience and gear. I think the new system is perfect for allowing new raiders to get their feet wet, preparing them for what lies ahead.

Even as a pure DPS class, the Raid Finder queues haven't been too bad for rogues. Between my own experience and the word on the street (not Greg), queue times are between 15 and 30 minutes, and groups are mostly competent. To a class that's historically had problems finding a spot in a raid group, the Raid Finder looks like our new best friend. The only bummer is that we can't start or progress in our legendary quest line in the Raid Finder. In order to maximize our random group's chance for success, we need to be prepared to do our best.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Spiritual Guidance: How to get your shadow priest started with the Raid Finder

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen comes from out of the shadows to bask in your loving adoration. He is also scientifically proven more beautiful than boomkin blogger Tyler Caraway.

There's a lot of great content stuffed into the recent patch 4.3, but let's face it -- we're always going to be drawn to the content that has the best gear available. We can't help it. It's programmed in our shadow priest DNA. So while patch 4.3 has some sweet new 5-man instances with it, the real lure seems to be the new Raid Finder tool. What was once reserved for the hardest-core of players is now accessible by just about anyone with an hour and a half to spare. We can all, with the help of 24 complete strangers, defeat Deathwing. (Yes, that's a good thing.)

Before you try queueing up for the Raid Finder, though, you need to know some basics. A new level 85 player will still need to navigate the gear ladder. More importantly, though, all players need to know what the hell they're doing during the fights. Let's talk strategy, shadow priest style.

To use the Raid Finder tool to attempt the new-for-patch 4.3 Dragon Soul content, you're going to need a minimum average item level of 372. Like previous ilevel gates, you don't actually need to be equipped past an item level of 372; you merely need to have that gear in your bags or bank. This is good to know (considering how, for example, the i359 Darkmoon Card: Volcano remains a better trinket than the i365 Moonwell Chalice or i378 Rune of Zeth).

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Filed under: Priest, Raiding, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Cataclysm

Pro Tip: Don't exploit loot rules in LFR's Dragon Soul

A stern but necessary warning from Bashiok today:

Dragon Soul loot exploit
If you are getting loot off of a boss twice then it is an exploit. This has always been the case in World of Warcraft, and we expect players to know better.

We're in the process of implementing a hotfix to fix the exploit, and are deciding what steps we'll be taking for the gear that was already obtained.

We're not going to post about what people are doing (we never have and never will post exactly how the serious exploits are done), but there is a clear and intentional way people are getting a lot of loot out of the Dragon Soul raid using the Raid Finder.

This method they're using gets around the "one shot at loot per week" rule, and it's something that Blizzard clearly from the get-go didn't want to happen. Bashiok is absolutely right as well -- it's well known amongst WoW's experienced playerbase that such exploits are never to be done.

There are reports that some people who've exploited the system are getting the exploited gear stripped from them in the EU; however there is no official announcement yet as to what's happening.

Once that's announced, we'll let you know.

Filed under: Cheats, News items

Tips for great success in the Raid Finder

The Raid Finder is now live and active. This tool is probably the single greatest boon to casual and solo players added to WoW since ... well, I'd have to struggle to think of something more exciting. If you can't commit to a raid night or more than one raid night in a single week, the Raid Finder means you can still participate in the raiding game. Sure, your item level may be a few steps behind players involved in traditional 10-man and 25-man raiding. But now with the glorious Raid Finder, you can actually take part in the story.

Of course, for newer players, using the Raid Finder can be intimidating, especially if you've never spent any time in PUG raids before now. Grouping up at random with 24 other players is intimidating. You can't just ignore that; jumping into a raid group that has expectations and demands about you can be a scary thing.

With that in mind, here's a handful of tips to make sure your Raid Finder experience goes as smoothly as possible.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

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