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Posts with tag molten-core

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

World of Wardrobe: Gathering tier 1

Heading back to pick up some awesome armor sets from vanilla WoW or that dazzling weapon that'll have your enemies cowering in fear? Transmogrification makes it possible -- and World of Wardrobe shows you how.

Transmogrification has created quite a stir among the World of Warcraft population; the possibility of finally being able to customize gear is awesome. It may not quite be the same as the armor dyes people were hoping for, but it still means that old armor sets will be able to be used again, and we're going to get rid of that horrible Every Raider Looks Exactly the Same syndrome that's been haunting the game since ... well, since raiding began.

Speaking of raiding, while there's a lot of green gear out there with lovely models to choose from, there are also tier sets -- most of which can still be gathered in game. While the old models may look at little dated to some, to others they represent the most iconic looks that World of Warcraft has to offer. Each set of tier can be found in different raid locations around Azeroth, and we'll be taking you to each in time. For now, let's begin at the beginning with tier 1!

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Filed under: World of Wardrobe

Patch 4.1: New heirlooms hint at tier 1 raiding sets

Patch 4.1 is chock-full of goodies, and it looks like a whole new slew of heirlooms are on the way. Better yet, the names of most of the heirlooms hearken back to the Molten Core days, hinting at the fact that the tier 1 sets might be coming back as heirloom sets. While the Might set is the only one currently listed, but we might be seeing fan favorites such as Giantstalker, Nightslayer, Earthfury, and others as full sets. Considering we're going to the Firelands, the second domain of Ragnaros' that we'll be facing him in, it makes sense that old Molten Core raid items might pop back up.

Check out the new items found in patch 4.1 over at Wowhead.

WoW Patch 4.1 is on the PTR, and WoW Insider has all the latest news for you -- from previews of the revamped Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub to new valor point mechanics and new archaeology items.

Filed under: Cataclysm

Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros makes Magicka appearance

Magicka has taken the gaming world by storm since its release just a few short days ago. The light-hearted game includes endless pop culture references and jokes about the fantasy genre throughout its flimsy yet charming adventure mode. We won't spoil the many gags you'll encounter throughout the game ... except for the one you see above: the Mace of the Molten Core.

The Mace of the Molten Core appears in the third level of the game, which means you find it pretty early on. Magicka is a game built on spell-slinging combat, so you likely won't be hitting your enemies with the weapon very often. Your weapon is better served to store prepared spells, but if you do choose to swing it, however, it's a very slow hammer that deals fire damage on hit -- just like the Sulfuras from the MMO we all know and love.

Filed under: News items

Taking out the trash

I always thought I would love a no-trash dungeon. I came up in raiding in the days of MC and BWL, raids that were absolutely chock full of trash. AQ40? Oh, so much trash. Trash to the point of absurdity. Going into the original Naxxramas meant dealing with a huge space absolutely stuffed full of rotting, slimy, or arachnid horrors. You spent far more time coordinating pulls on those annoying warlocks in Blackwing Lair and their dynamite-throwing goblin friends than you actually did on bosses.

In The Burning Crusade, the 5-mans had trash galore. Five, even six packs in Shadow Labyrinth, constant streams of adds in Shattered Halls, complicated trash pulls in Karazhan and Serpentshrine. I still remember with dread being the tank standing there using spell reflection to get the attention of Hyjal caster waves. Dealing with trash has always been a part of the game, as it has been part of the genre. In fact, one of the reasons that Naxxramas 10/25 felt so empty to me was that it simply held less trash than it did as a 40-man raid at level 60, so huge stretches of the place were deserted, as if Kel'Thuzad had gone on a staff-cutting binge and pink-slipped half of the Scourge before you even got there.

After we'd gotten Ulduar more or less on farm and moved on to Trial of the Crusader, I was pretty ready for a break from trash. I was very excited about a trashless dungeon where you just fought bosses. Wouldn't that be epic? Wouldn't it be awesome for every fight in a raid to be an epic struggle against a named, powerful adversary?

Turned out, not so much.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding

The OverAchiever: Cataclysm achievements FAQ

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we are pleased to discover that a certain noncombat pet's going to be a lot more fun to obtain.

Hey folks. This edition of OverAchiever was initially meant to cover archaeology achievements, but we've been getting so many questions on Insane in the Membrane and other problematic achievements that I decided to pre-empt the archaeology article. The Queue comments also tend to host a lot of achievement questions, so I want to answer as many of them as I can here. I apologize in advance to anyone who already knows some, most, or even all of the answers contained herein.

If you have a question concerning disappearing achievements, reappearing achievements, achievements that are being altered, or [insert issue du jour], hopefully you'll find the answer here. Additionally, there's some information on the Razzashi Hatchling that pet collectors might want to hear about (fair warning: It involves a Cataclysm spoiler related to Northern Stranglethorn content), in addition to notes on what's going on with the Shen'dralar, Dire Maul, Molten Core, and city reputation tabards. I ran both an Alliance and Horde character ragged on the beta to confirm everything in this article personally, and the information should be accurate as of the most recent beta patch.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

BlizzCon 2010: Defense of Orgrimmar live raid

I finished watching the current No. 1 guild in the world <Paragon> tackle a unique live raid event developed just for BlizzCon 2010! It was a big thrill watching them do their stuff. I only wish I could've heard their communications in real time. I've always wondered what is being discussed on unknown encounters.

Except these weren't unknown encounters. We were fighting past foes like Shazzrah, Baron Geddon and the Beast. It wasn't limited to older encounters. Some newer bosses included Ozumat and Rom'ogg Bonecrusher. Apologies for the image quality on some of these folks; I'll need to select a better location and grab a better camera.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Humor, Raiding

Breakfast Topic: Six impossible things

There's a nice quote from Through the Looking Glass in which Alice states to the White Queen that one can't believe impossible things. The White Queen shrugs this off as silly, "When I was your age, I always did it for a half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!" I don't really know if there's any sense to be made of it, but the phrase "six impossible things" always stuck with me. Now how does this relate to World of Warcraft, exactly?

With Cataclysm coming up, the world that we play in is changing completely. Some things we remember from days past may not even exist anymore, and some things may change altogether. So I am keeping a list of (more or less) six impossible things to accomplish before Cataclysm. It keeps me occupied when I'm not raiding, and each time I finish something, I add something else to the list. The three achievements above were all on my list, I've replaced them with Attumen's mount from Karazhan, the tiger from Zul'Gurub, and I am contemplating whether or not trying to farm for warglaives would be a good idea.

Each time I manage one of the impossible things it feels like I've accomplished something, though the merits of having accomplished anything substantial in a video game can be argued back and forth. Still, it keeps me happy, and it keeps me busy. So do you have a list of impossible things? If you do, what are they? If you don't, what are you doing to keep yourself occupied?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

15 Minutes of Fame: Classic raiders keep a different pace

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

The old days are long gone, Gramps; take off the rose-colored glasses and play Wrath, where raiding is better than ever.

So goes conventional wisdom in the comments whenever anyone espouses a little nostalgia for the old days of vanilla WoW. Raiding was a far different animal back then. Players who raided were still considered hardcore -- "casual raiding" wasn't on the radar yet -- and devoted week after week of angling for a 40-man raid slot in hopes of earning the chance at a purple drop. Even though strategy sites for WoW raids blossomed sooner rather than later, videos and the trustworthy guides remained relatively sparse, and many early guilds developed their own tactics and jealously guarded alternative strategies. Standing at the mailbox in Ironforge with a massive, raid-sized weapon on your back meant wielding a badge of achievement that attracted a small crowd; bearers would be flooded with awed whispers asking where it was from.

A thoughtful look back at WoW's 40-man past yields both positives and negatives. It wasn't simply the size of the raids that made them feel so different than today's raids ; it was the interplay of raid size, the inexperience of the raiding player base, the scarcity and difficulty of rewards, the lack of universally accepted tactics and strategies ... A whole host of influences that simply can't be replicated today.

But while the era may long cold and dead, the content is still very much alive. Beyond the bored, pre-expansion players who are fending off burnout by sightseeing in vanilla WoW and The Burning Crusade instances lies another layer of players who are attacking old content with level-appropriate characters. These classic raiders aren't fruitlessly attempting to recreate the past; rather, they're enjoying an entirely different pacing for the game.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Know Your Lore: By fire be purged -- The elements, Part 2


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.

Last week, we started our series about the elemental forces of the World of Warcraft setting with a look at the basic underpinnings of the elementals and their interaction with mortals. This week, we're going to look at the element of fire, which has often seemed the most inimical to mortal lives, and which is led on Azeroth by the dread Ragnaros the Firelord. Like the other elementals (water, earth and air), the elementals of fire were bound to the will of the Old Gods before recorded history.

Ragnaros was one of the most aggressive of the elemental lords who served the Old Gods in their war against the Titans, and after the elementals were defeated and the Old Gods locked away beneath the surface of the world, the Titans created a prison for the soldiers of the elemental lords and those lords as well, banishing them to what would be called the Elemental Plane. Confined in this durance vile and with no outside force compelling their allegiance and no external enemy to fight, the elementals turned on one another as they are often wont to do, and a battle known as the Elemental Sundering began.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: Where's the epic, part two

Okay guys. After spending days thinking this over in the back of my mind and trying to figure out which sock drawer Blizzard stuffed the "epic" into, I've come to a conclusion: It's not about the "epic". What it is about, what's lacking, is something that's strictly based on design. Let's go back to Ragnaros and Molten Core for a moment and see if I can get this point across: the reason that Ragnaros felt "epic" was because the dungeon itself was specifically designed with 40 players in mind. The spacing of the zone, the placement of the rocks and bosses was all designed around the idea that there would be 40 players in this zone.

Moving on, Hyjal felt odd at first because I was used to that 40man model. It faded because the dungeons of Burning Crusade were designed with 25 players in mind. Hyjal, Black Temple, Serpentshrine Cavern, all of it, designed with the intent of 25 players being present in that zone, so they felt natural. On the same principle, the 10man dungeons -- Karazhan and Zul'Aman -- both felt exactly right, because they were designed with 10 players in mind. Karazhan was huge, but not once did the experience feel awkward because all boss encounters and rooms were designed around 10 people playing in there.

When you get to Wrath, Ulduar in particular -- Ulduar was designed with 25 players in mind. The boss rooms, the open spaces were all created specifically so that 25 people would feel like this space was absolutely gigantic. But when you take 10 people in that space, what was once comfortably "huge" for 25 borders on the absurd for 10 players. That's why it doesn't feel right -- because the space simply doesn't fit the people in it.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Where's the epic

So we got a lot of big news yesterday: Badges are going the way of the dodo (and I for one will not miss them), and on top of that astonishing bit of news, the way we raid is about to change forever. Loot from 10- and 25-man raiding will be identical, the only difference being in the amount of loot that is doled out, or so the changes seem to indicate. For those that enjoy 10-man content this is well and good, for those that enjoy 25-man content ... well. It may get that much harder to recruit. But I'm not really going to talk about that.

What I am going to talk about is the screenshot pictured above. That's my priest, my first raiding character back in vanilla. She's taking a siesta while waiting for everyone to run back from yet another wipe on Ragnaros, the final boss in Molten Core. By everyone, I mean all 39 other people involved in the raid at the time; when I say this was vanilla I mean this shot was taken before BWL had even been hinted at. See, there's something fundamentally ... off with raiding in Wrath, and I can't really put my finger on it -- but I keep going back to this screenshot and remembering fondly the small army it took to finally make that bastard up and die.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Spiritual Guidance: Benediction

Though temporarily bested by Sindragosa's Ice Tombs, a well-timed Renew and some gnome mages have freed Dawn Moore just in time for her to wrench back Spiritual Guidance from the shady clutches of Fox Van Allen; just as she does every Sunday. After she finishes advising her fellow healing priests on the ways of the light this week, she will be waiting for a duel in Zangarmarsh atop the highest mushroom with a Flag of Ownership and Medallion of the Horde. Bring it!

I've had a lot of requests recently from readers who want a leg up on gearing out their soon to be level 80, or fresh level 80 priest for raiding. This is certainly a worthwhile topic, one I intend to get to, but not this week.

We get a lot of mail at WoW.com and this past week we got an e-mail from a player named Nemikahn who wrote a WoW version of the song Sunscreen. The various staffers read through the e-mail, groaned in realization at how old they were (the original song came out in 1998) before the e-mail got lost in the jumble of BlizzCon 2010 news. I really enjoyed the rewrite though, and thought it rather timely given we are nearing the end of this expansion. Cataclysm is coming, and it's supposed to change everything we've become familiar with. So, this week my fellow priests, my guidance is this: stop and smell the flowers. WoW operates at such a hurried pace these days. Don't feel like you always have to rush off to the next raid or complete another alt. Take more screen shots, visit your favorite zones, make sure you can contact your closest friends in the game outside of it, and most of all: create Benediction. I will, of course, help you with that last part.

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

Raid Rx: A history of organizational healing

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related.

Organizing healing continues to be one of the many intriguing challenges that raiding groups face today. In some cases, there are pre-set players assigned to do specific things. Sometimes they are even worked out in advance on a forum or a white board. In looser groups or pickup groups, there isn't the luxury of planning healing in advance and the organizers have to go with their gut feeling and "stereotype" classes in order to figure out assignments. Examples, any holy paladins are told to heal a tank. Restoration shamans are told to heal a specific group and holy priests are told to heal another group.

It wasn't always entirely like that. This week, I want to take you back in time to the era of vanilla raid healing, through the Burning Crusade and to now. I'm also going to include my thoughts as to what Cataclysm might be like.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Naxxramas Raid Deck and Treasure Packs now available

Following the success of their previous raid sets, Onyxia's Lair, Molten Core, Magtheridon's Lair, and the Black Temple, Upper Deck has released the first Wrath-themed event pack with the Naxxramas Raid Deck and Treasure Pack last December 22. Unlike their previous raid offerings, however, the Naxxramas Treasure Packs are stand-alone products which can be used separately from the raid deck.

According to Dan Bojanowski, Upper Deck's World of Warcraft TCG Senior Brand Manager, the stand-alone approach "was created as a direct result of customer feedback." Aside from containing the standard content such as exclusive foil cards, the set would also include "alternate art heroes featuring heroes from the Drums of War block in Naxxramas-themed gear and settings."

The Raid Deck, which is available for $29.99, contains a 110-card raid deck, 15 oversized boss cards, a 16-card Treasure Pack, and a UDE points card (or Loot card) and rulebook. Treasure Packs retail for $9.99 apiece and contain 15 random foil Treasure Pack cards out of a total of thirty collectible cards, a hero in Naxxramas-themed armor, and a UDE points card or Loot card. Hero cards are drawn from the Drums of War expansion set with variant art, with a total of ten cards with new art to collect. Each Treasure Pack also has a chance to contain a random Loot card from the Fields of Honor expansion set.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Raiding, WoW TCG

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