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Posts with tag mount-hyjal

Shifting Perspectives: State of the class, part 1 - Balance


Every Tuesday, or possibly Thursday when the writer votes on Tuesday and spends Wednesday screaming and beating her laptop over formatting errors, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert steals John Patricelli's column once again, secure in the knowledge that she will never be forced to atone for her crime as long as she writes something nice about ferals and keeps a respectful distance from Dan O'Halloran's whip.

I hate Tauren cat form.

Good. I got that out of my system and can write something productive. Although, believe me, if I could get away with it, an entire Shifting Perspectives would be devoted to just how much I hate Tauren cat form. I mean, just look at it! Look at the angle on the horns! The cat can't bite anything! Christ, I just -- hi, Dan. Yes, I'm totally writing the column! Look at me go!

This week, mindful as always of American election-year politicking, I'm going to borrow a page from presidential duties and write a little something I like to call "State of the Class." Druids have undergone a number of changes in the transition to Wrath of the Lich King, and will acquire even more as they level to 80. We are one of Blizzard's primary targets for both gear and role consolidation, which raises a few questions over how comfortably we're going to scale in relation to pure classes and what we can realistically expect on the march to a new level cap.

The TL:DR version of this article -- I believe our future is generally bright, the Druid community continues to have a few concerns over certain aspects of the class, our focus in PvP seems to be changing the most, and I hate Tauren cat form. This is a three-part post, so let's get started with balance. However, if you want to jump ahead to feral, you'll find that here; and the third part, restoration, is here.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

Voidwalker tanks Illidan, almost


Step aside, hunter pets. There's a new raid tank in town: Voidwalkers. The guild Hexed from Dragonblight-US got a little bored raiding the old fashioned way with all of the nerfs that have gone in, what with Killy J down already, so they decided to do things a little differently. They pulled out a Voidwalker and sent it a-tankin'.

Through liberal use of Demonic Empowerment (and its associated threat bug) and their awesome healers, Mister Voidwalker successfully tanked the Priestess mob in the Illidari Council encounter and most of Illidan himself. An incident with Parasites caused a little chaos, which ultimately spelled the voidwalker's demise. Illidan hits juuust a little too hard to live through a few of the healers scrambling away from parasites. Even if it had 23,000 HP.

It was also mentioned in the e-mail to us here at WoW Insider that they used the Voidwalker to tank the first three bosses in Mount Hyjal as well. I think even a baby kitten could tank the first three bosses of Mount Hyjal nowadays, but using a Voidy for it is still pretty dang cool. I hope to see more off the wall stuff like this before Wrath launches, so if you have it, please send it in to us!

Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Wrath of the Lich King

Guildwatch: Slow going


It's a little silly, we admit, to say "every time an expansion patch comes around," because this is really only the second time it's happened, but every time an expansion patch comes around, guild action slows down a bit, and as a result, this week (and probably the next few weeks) will find Guildwatch poking around for a little more guild news.

But the good news is that lots of guilds are taking advantage of the easier endgame, so if yours is, be sure to drop us a line at wowguildwatch@gmail.com -- no down is too small, and no drama is too minor. Whether it's your guild or someone else's, we want to hear about it, and then post it here on GW for all to see.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a night elf

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the seventh in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

The night elves are probably the most difficult race to roleplay well in all the World of Warcraft, which is particularly ironic considering how very popular they are. Many a roleplayer has been disappointed by seeing player character night elves who are 21 years old, who were born in Darnassus or Teldrassil, or whose mother or father is human -- all of which would be next to impossible according to the actual lore of the game. The only way to make things like this is to change the lore to suit your own preferences, or to rely on cliche devices such as time travel and special magics which really go too far into the realm of the abominably self-centered Mary Sue.

Night elves can also be difficult to understand, and full of contradictions: they can be over 10,000 years old, and yet they often do not possess the vast wisdom that would seem to come with such an age; they are deeply connected to nature, and yet they sometimes act without the blessings of nature; their women are supposed to be very fierce warriors, and yet their animation in the game has them bouncing up and down like teenage girls at their favorite boy-band concert.

And yet much of this is just the sort of thing that draws people to the night elves. There's a youthful passion combined with ancient grace and sadness that many roleplayers just love to get into. Also, for those who love to develop long and complex background stories for their characters, there is a great deal of history about the night elves' ancient past which can serve as good inspiration for many of your own character's life events. We won't go into every detail of ancient history today, however; instead we'll cover the basics that you'll need to know in order to start out with a night elf that fits in the Warcraft story, and direct you to some more resources if you'd like to make one with a really deep and complicated background.

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Filed under: Alliance, Night Elves, Druid, Hunter, Warrior, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Guildwatch: A little raid ID problem


Sure, it's a lot of good items being nabbed from the guild bank there, but how much will those really be worth in the expansion, right? Look on the bright side -- you'll have a bunch of new gear, and that former guildleader will still have a bad reputation.

Downed and recruiting news and the ever-popular drama can be found as usual in this week's Guildwatch. To read, just click the link below, and don't forget to send all your tips to wowguildwatch@gmail.com -- things are a little slow before the expansion, so if you've got news of progression (or a nice juicy drama story), please do share it. We thank you, and a host of drama-hungry readers will thank you as well.

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Filed under: Items, Odds and ends, News items, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

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

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be an orc

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the second in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

If you've seen Lord of the Rings, or read any other fantasy story in which orcs are portrayed, you probably think orcs are hideous humanoid monsters charging mindlessly forward to slaughter helpless innocents. Azerothian orcs are significantly different, however, with a shamanistic culture that prides honor above all other virtues.

But unless you've played World of Warcraft or Warcraft 3, you probably wouldn't know that. The orcs of Warcraft 1 and 2 were pretty squarely in "bad guy" territory, and it is only with the story of Thrall's rise to power and return to shamanism that we find out what the orcs' true history is.

Ironically, the story of the orcs is a bit like that of the horrors of modern Nazis and the lore of the ancient Jews mixed together. Imagine that the vast majority of your species came under the sway of a terrible and evil leader, utterly determined to commit genocide against your peaceful neighbors. After carrying out this deplorable task, your people sought a new enemy, and found a new world to destroy. In the midst of this conquest, however, your people's political leadership failed, the way back home was cut off, and you all ended up as slaves in exile, lethargic and utterly without hope. Suddenly, a hero appeared to unite your people, overcome your former masters, restore your ancient faith, reclaim your dignity, and establish a new homeland.

What follows is a brief account of the events most orcs know about or lived through, and a glimpse of the effects they would have had on your character.

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Insider Trader: Faction recipes for jewelcrafters, part two

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

For the past several weeks, Insider Trader has been examining the recipes that craftsmen can acquire from factions by earning reputation with them.

So far, we've covered:
Last week, we covered several factions that offer jewelcrafting recipes, but because of the sheer number available, are continuing with the last five factions this week.

The first five factions listed here can be viewed by checking out last week's edition of Insider Trader, while the last five factions, in bold text, will be covered today.
  • Violet Eye, honored. (Karazhan)
  • Thrallmar or Honor Hold, revered.
  • Lower City, revered.
  • Aldor or Scryers, revered.
  • Sha'tar, revered.
  • Keepers of Time, revered.
  • Scale of the Sands, revered. (Mount Hyjal)
  • Cenarion Expedition, exalted.
  • Consortium, exalted.
  • Shattered Sun Offensive, exalted.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Jewelcrafting, Features, Factions, Insider Trader (Professions)

Breakfast Topic: The next Caverns of Time encounter

It hasn't shown up on the Beta servers yet, but it's probably still one of the most eagerly anticipated instances of Wrath of the Lich King, especially for us old timers. I'm talking, of course, about The Culling of Stratholme in the Caverns of Time.

The nice thing about the Caverns of Time is that you can do stuff like this, sending people back to visit pivotal places, people, and things in the past without creating a whole new game. Despite the stumble in Mount Hyjal, when we appeared to go as tourists instead of agents of the Bronze Dragonflight to combat the Infinite Dragonflight, the Caverns of Time has been solid and well-liked, with 5-man instances that allow you to experience some important and intriguing lore and give you a definite story to follow in the instance, one that can be done in well under an hour.

Certainly, this model has lead to a lot of fans, and a lot of people hoping we'll see many more CoT dungeons to come. There's even rumors (or wishful thinking) that we'll get another Caverns of Time raid for Wrath, possibly The War of the Shifting Sands.

Whether it's true or not, I can't say, but the caverns definitely have room to expand. As the custodians themselves explain, passageways to new times could open up without warning, sending us off on new adventures. What times, places, and people would you like to visit via the caverns?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Factions, Wrath of the Lich King

Guildwatch: Hanging out with Illy D


Dark Haven on Baelgun actually killed our buddy Illy D this week, but we liked this picture on their website better. Yes, they're coming for you, Defiler.

This week's Guildwatch is chock full, as always, of drama, downed, and recruiting news from around the realms. If you've got some to share with us, about your guild or anyone else's, feel free to send it along to wowguildwatch@gmail.com. Click the link below to see what's going on this week in guild news.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Instances, Humor, Guildwatch, Bosses

Anetheron's Infernals hotfixed

Quite a few raiders, including some of our own here at WoW Insider, noticed one more big change to a raid boss that that came in with patch 2.4.3: Anetheron, the second boss of Mount Hyjal, was not dropping Towering Infernals on random players as usual. This made the battle pretty trivial for most raids by making it more or less a run of the mill tank and spank.

Unfortunately -- or fortunately, depending on how challenging you like your raids -- this was not an actual intended change. Vaneras and Bornakk are both reporting that Anetheron has been hotfixed and should start dropping infernals again. Sorry guys, no more free loot. Well, no more freer loot, at least.

Filed under: Bugs, News items, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

Ask a Lore Nerd: The Evil-o-Meter


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below, ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer you in a future installment!

Travis asks...

What can you tell me about the other portals around Outlands (the only one that springs to mind right now is the one in Zangarmarsh)? They look just like the one you get to Outlands through, but are just standing there doing nothing.

Answer: Those portals were once used by the Burning Legion and their lackies to travel between Outland and various other worlds. Those portals were also used to send Legion reinforcements to Outland. Before Illidan and his posse usurped Magtheridon, they went around shutting down these portals to prevent Magtheridon from being reinforced. Further, they've been kept closed so Kil'jaeden can't come stomping back into Outland to punish Illidan for not being able to kill the Lich King.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Night Elves, Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Ask a Lore Nerd

Archimonde, Eredars hotfixed

I love hotfixes. They're like patches you don't have to wait for. Just posted by Daelo, WoW's lead encounter designer (who I've been seeing a lot of lately, but don't remember seeing much before) is a brief account of hotfixes to Archimonde and the Eredar Twins. For Archie:

We just implemented a hotfix for all realms that makes Archimonde's doomfires no longer be able to move right through him after they spawn. Their movement should now be much more consistent with the previous patch's behavior, and melee should have a bit easier time dodging the doomfires as a result of the change.

He goes on to note that any other problems people might have noticed have been un-reproduceable at Blizz HQ, but they're still keeping an eye on them. As for the Eredar Twins, they "
hotfixed a bug in the Eredar Twins encounter that prevent a Hunter's Feign Death ability from working if Lady Sacrolash was alive." Nuff said there. These fixes should, as far as I can tell, be live now on the US and the EU realms.

Filed under: Bugs, News items, Raiding, Bosses

Awful Archimonde alterations in 2.4.2

As usual with WoW patches, patch 2.4.2 includes a couple of wild bugs. My personal favorites(and by favorites I mean I absolutely hate them) are the bugs(changes?) to the Archimonde encounter.

Now, this may just be "Onyxia Deep Breaths moar" syndrome, but the official Dungeons and Raids forum has some pretty substantial(mostly anecdotal) evidence to the contrary. What are these bugs? Well, it seems Archimonde's Doom Fires are spawning on top of the melee and immediately chasing them, rather than travelling out towards the ranged first. Seeing as this fight is generally carried entirely by the melee DPS, that changes the fight quite a bit. The second change/bug is that... your main tank can now be Air Bursted! Hooray! That isn't annoying at all! Sarcasm is sweet!

Archimonde certainly isn't the most difficult encounter in WoW and it is still able to be beaten even now, but I personally hated this encounter with all of my heart and soul to begin with. This doesn't help much. Admittedly, I haven't seen these bugs/changes in action personally yet, but I do not ever want to see them, either. Have I mentioned I hate Archimonde?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

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