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Posts with tag madness-of-deathwing

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

The 5 worst raid encounters in Cataclysm

The 5 worst raid encounters in Cataclysm
Last week, we covered the five best raid encounters in Cataclysm. Today, we're flipping the coin to take a look at the worst. Be it bad mechanics, fight bugs, horrible randomness, or just plain boring bosses, these are the fights with elements you never want to see again. Of course, it is uncouth to criticize without suggesting improvements, so I'm also putting on my amateur game designer hat and throwing out some other options that could've made things more entertaining.

5. Maloriak, Blackwing Descent

Maloriak wasn't terrible, but the encounter had two major flaws. First, interrupts. Tier 11 was Interrupt City in general, as several classes got new interrupt abilities and Blizzard apparently wanted to make sure we were using them. However, this particular fight was notable for having two interruptable abilities, one that had to be interrupted, and one that had to not be interrupted -- but only a certain number of times. ("Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three.") While this led to some interesting voice chat during raids ("Which ability did you just interrupt?" "I don't know!"), the overall mechanic was confusing. Why not have an actual button that he runs to and presses, and your tank can choose to let in happen or not via Taunt?

Second, the fight just doesn't scale well. For well-geared groups in normal difficulty, there was an eternity when you had to stop DPS before 25% and wait for him to finish releasing all his adds and start a second green phase. Meanwhile, groups in heroic difficulty got to deal with a dark phase, which featured nothing but AoE for 90 seconds. Not the most fun, since most classes have a one-button AoE rotation, and not very balanced, as classes with consistent AoE damage (aka mana users) absolutely smoked others. If they'd just have the cut the phase to 30 or 45 seconds or so, it'd have been a lot less frustrating and a good bit more balanced.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The Light and How to Swing It: The Fall of Deathwing, ret edition, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

This is it, guys and girls. This is the moment we have all been training for while hitting that poor target dummy in Orgrimmar, because only repeatedly bashing a plank of wood will truly prepare you to square off against a dragon as epic as the big DW. So pick up your weapon, your bag of tricks, and your handful of cooldowns -- it's time to kill Deathwing the Destroyer.

Spine of Deathwing

I remember when there was wild speculation on what the Deathwing fight in Dragon Soul would actually look like. The devs announced that we would jump on him for part of the fight, and my strange brain secretly hoped that we would start at his tail and work our way up, maybe chopping off his legs and wings into a giant container of dry rub so the Titans could come on down and throw it on a massive barbecue. Honestly, we should have done that with Onyxia so she couldn't be resurrected 14 times!

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Filed under: Paladin, Raiding, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm, Raid Guides

Totem Talk: The ups and downs of playing enhancement in Dragon Soul

Enhancement shaman mid0Morchok fight
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Josh Myers once only tackled the hard questions about enhancement but has recently expanded his sphere of responsibility to all shaman DPS specs. (And no, two-handed enhancement is still never coming back.)

I've said in the past that enhancement is in a good place in 4.3, and that's the truth. Despite some really awful itemization and some as-yet-unresolved issues with the spec, enhancement is remaining a strong middle-of-the-pack contender. In non-cutting-edge raid groups that don't have multiple Dragonwrath-wielding casters, we're even better.

Dragon Soul is a great instance for enhancement in 4.3 because it offers a variety of fights. Some play to enhancement's strengths, some highlight its weaknesses, and some fights are Ultraxion and your DPS spec doesn't matter, provided you can push buttons and click a shiny purple dot on his screen every 45 seconds. For the purpose of brevity, I'm going to assume you're familiar with the normal-mode mechanics of these fights (and if you're not, some are conveniently covered by my frenemy Tyler Caraway in the Ready Check column) and just speak to how enhancement specifically fares on these fights.

Chopping Morchok

There's nothing particularly special about Morchok for enhancement, except if you're doing the fight on heroic. Shamanistic Rage and Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem make Morchok's Stomp damage negligible, but Stomps don't really hit hard enough on normal to worry about. However, if you have a healer in line of sight during a black phase (and you've done nothing in recent memory that would cause them to hate you), Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem and Shamanistic Rage will let you stay on the boss for most if not all of the phase. If you don't have a friendly healer, enhancement still fares better than most melee on this fight, as cast Lava Bursts and Lightning Bolts still hit hard.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: Choosing an elemental shaman weapon in Dragon Soul

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Josh Myers once only tackled the hard questions about enhancement but has recently expanded his sphere of responsibility to all shaman DPS specs. (And no, two-handed enhancement is still never coming back.)
One of my favorite things about Dragon Soul are the weapons off Deathwing, as proc weapons have a long but tenuous history with WoW players. Some fondly remember the Fireball proc from Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros, while enhancement shaman look back on Onyxia's Empowered Deathbringer and wonder what Blizzard was thinking. Seriously, the lower-ilevel Calamity's Grasp off the end boss from two patches prior was a better choice.

Losing stats in favor of a weapon's proc effect is always a gamble, especially given how incredibly loaded weapons are with stats. Going from a Lightning Rod to a Ti'tahk, the Steps of Time involves giving up a tremendous 300 hit rating and even more haste rating with the hope of the haste proc's paying off in times of great need. Because of this, I was curious about how the weapons in Dragon Soul would stand up when compared to one another, especially since there are multiple non-proc weapons in the instance to compete with the proc ones. So, I took to every elemental shaman's best friend -- Simulation Craft -- and did some simulations with a variety of weapon combinations. The shocking results: Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest is still the best weapon in the game. Surprise?

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Filed under: Shaman, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Lichborne: Fall of Deathwing Raid Finder tips for death knights

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

I will be frank: Every death knight should have a solid goal to defeat Deathwing this expansion. It's not for the experience, it's not the glory, it's not even for the achievements. No, it's for one thing: It's for the tentacle sword. This baby is everything that one can aspire for in a WoW weapon. It's a sword. It can be transmogrified into our signature runeblade. It has an awesome creepy pet proc. What's not to love?

Of course, to get to the sword, you'll first have to take down four bosses, hope the sword drops, and then hope you win the roll against who knows how many other plate DPSers in the raid -- but hey, you have to start somewhere, right? Let's dive into the Fall of Deathwing.

To be frank, the most annoying part of the fight with Ultraxion, the first boss, is his trash. Dragons will fly in slowly from the skies above and must be pulled down where you can DPS and/or tank them. If you can get past that, Ultraxion himself should be a breeze.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Spiritual Guidance: Priest healing the Madness of Deathwing and heroic Dragon Soul

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers the healing side of things for discipline and holy priests. She also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

This is it -- the last priest healing boss guide of the expansion! (After this, it's pandas or bust, baby!) Are you excited? You should be, because the last boss fight of Cataclysm is a loot piñata that's actually easier than the second to last fight a lot of fun! Hopefully, you all remember the drill from last week ... You want to familiarize yourself with the mechanics of this fight before progressing further into this guide. LearnToRaid.com has a nice video guide for Madness of Deathwing, and Icy Veins has an excellent written guide.

Priests of either spec should know that cooldown management is the key to succeeding in this encounter as a priest. The encounter as a whole is not particularly difficult, but using your regen cooldowns at the right time will pave the way for you to hold onto just enough mana from start to finish. I recommend using your first Shadowfiend after the Mutated Corruption dies on the first platform, and your first Hymn of Hope just after jumping over to the second platform. Your second Shadowfiend should be used as soon as it becomes available, which will allow you to pair your third Shadowfiend and second Hymn of Hope together (just like we used to always do it in Wrath -- cast Shadowfiend, then immediately follow it up with Hymn of Hope). From there, use everything on cooldown, and you should be sitting pretty for mana the whole fight.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Korean guild KIN Raiders scores world-first heroic Madness of Deathwing

After more than three weeks of intense strategizing, planning, fighting, scandals, and more, the race to world-first heroic Madness of Deathwing kill is over. KIN Raiders, the group that swept by Paragon, Blood Legion, and the rest, for the world-first heroic Spine of Deathwing kill took their time advantage and pressed on. Only one other guild, the Korean team In extremis, has downed the Spine of Deathwing on heroic mode, so not many people were even currently working on the fight of the instance.

KIN Raider's kill happened in 25-man mode, an interesting departure from many of the world firsts now happening in 10-mans after being forced to raid light when raiders were banned for exploiting the Raid Finder for extra loot. Blood Legion also rounded out the list with many top kills on 25-man mode, but in the end, it was a 25-man Korean guild that swooped in and took the top spot.

Congratulations to KIN Raiders on their first kill of heroic Madness of Deathwing.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Raiding

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

Dragon Soul: Fall of Deathwing Raid Finder bosses explained in 5 seconds

The Raid Finder has more people than ever filling World of Warcraft's raiding zones with players, adventure, loot, and fun. With more accessible dungeons comes the potential for explanation issues -- raiding is still about communication, even in the Raid Finder. Here is a quick look at the last four bosses of the Dragon Soul raid that you can use for great success in the Raid Finder.

For tips for the first four bosses in the Dragon Soul raid, The Siege of Wyrmrest Temple, please check out our first guide.

First, here are some quick Raid Finder facts:
  • No lockouts. Participating in the Raid Finder will not lock you out from doing the raid on 10- or 25-man with your guild or group, nor will it lock you out from loot for these instances.
  • You only get to roll on loot once per boss per week. You can fight bosses multiple times but are only eligible for loot on the first kill.
  • Get 250 valor points for completing the raid wing.
  • Two tanks, six healers, 17 DPSers are needed for a Raid Finder raid.
  • You can queue up in Raid Finder with your Real ID friends across servers.

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Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

Addon Spotlight: Hermes, Extra Button, and the mature language filter addon

Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

One of the most often asked-about topics around these parts concerns the issue of raid cooldowns. A raid leader armed with sufficient knowledge and a knack for planning can orchestrate a cooldown rotation like no other. His excellence could only be improved by a cooldown monitor, allowing that intrepid leader to see what was at his disposal. Many players ask me where to find such a display. This week's Addon Spotlight pick is just the ticket. Allow me to introduce you to Hermes, a wonderful little addon that knows who has what raid cooldowns available.

But first, we need to talk about a pressing issue, a dire matter that has threatened the very virtual world we inhabit. I am of course talking about the worst bug in the history of bugs: an eternal mature language filter.

Let's fix that too, shall we?

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Patch 4.3 PTR: Raid testing schedule for Oct. 17-18

Blizzard's Daelo has just announced that several patch 4.3 Dragon Soul raid bosses are coming open for testing on the PTR. The bosses are coming fast and furious; hopefully this signifies a near-future release date for WoW's final raid content patch. The first boss (Warlord Zon'ozz) will be available very shortly, so start rounding up guildies for a test run!

PTR Raid Testing Schedule - Oct 17/18
Today and tomorrow we're going to try and test the remaining bosses in Dragon Soul on 10 player difficulty.

Oct 17
14:30 PDT - Warlord Zon'ozz (10 Player)
16:30 PDT - Hagara (10 Player)

Oct 18
10:15 PDT – Ultraxion (10 Player)
11:45 PDT – Warmaster Blackhorn (10 Player)
14:30 PDT – Spine of Deathwing (10 Player)
16:30 PDT – Madness of Deathwing (10 Player)

There will be additional testing scheduled in the upcoming weeks including 25 player and Heroic difficulties, both in the morning and afternoon. There will not be any testing during Blizzcon.

As always, the scheduling for PTR testing will be VERY fluid. Tests can be announced, canceled, or rescheduled at a moment's notice depending on build and server status, outstanding bugs, etc. I will try to give as much advance notice about tests, but that is not always possible. Also note that these encounters are all works in progress.


Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: News items

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