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Posts with tag naxx-10

Shifting Perspectives: Soloing Naxxramas for feral druids in the 4.3 era

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, the editors refuse to let me write the column in Elcor.

Let's face it: Mists of Pandaria isn't going to be released any time soon, and Dragon Soul is starting to become Draggin' Soul, for those of who you starting raiding it on the release of patch 4.3. Of course, many of us are off saving the galaxy from annihilation, but if you're staying in Azeroth, you need something to do -- a new challenge. This week, I'm resurrecting my old series on druid soloing. A new tier of gear has made possible many feats that were not before, so pack your bags. We're heading back to Northrend to fight the undead ... since they cannot die. (/sunglasses)

Before we start, however, a quick refresher for those who missed the earlier series. Druids are one of the best raid soloing classes in the game for one simple reason: Prowl. While we don't have the solo survivability of a blood DK or the DPS of a hunter, we can skip the annoying trash most of the time. If you're doing a full clear, that isn't much help -- but in most cases, you can get in, kill the boss, and get out without ever having to wait to kill a trash mob.

In terms of strategy, I use this bearcat talent spec and glyphs. The primary source of your survivability will come from Leader of the Pack heals and Savage Defense shields, using Barkskin and Survival Instincts on cooldown, and popping Frenzied Regeneration as your oh-crap full heal. For some fights, you'll also be mixing in Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, and Predator's Swiftness-procced Healing Touches. For your rotation, you'll be using the default bear priority list (FF once, Demo Roar, Mangle, Thrash, Lacerate to three, Pulverize). For trivial bosses, feel free to go Cat part-time or full-time to speed things up. Finally, note that my ilevel was about 390 when I did these bosses, so this may be a bit easier or harder depending on what you're packing. (Also, credit where it's due to Reesi for helping me nail down bear details and Braindwen for his soloing guide.)

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Filed under: (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Wrath Retrospective: Raiding Naxxramas, Malygos and Sartharion


With the final content patch of this expansion on our doorstep and Cataclysm following close behind, we'll be taking the next several weeks to look back on Wrath of the Lich King and everything that made it what it is, for better or for worse, in Wrath Retrospective.

Raiding has been the generic end game for massively multiplayer online games for the past 10 years. Originally comprised of hard-to-kill, non-instanced world and dungeon bosses, end-game raiding tested players' coordination, skill, communication and tenacity. World of Warcraft pioneered the accessible raid -- instanced dungeons that guaranteed loot drops. Many people forget that guaranteed loot drops was a huge deal, right along with no failures during crafting.

Vanilla WoW raiding was an evolution on the EverQuest system, naturally, due to the prevalence of EverQuest players' not only designing and producing World of Warcraft but also their prevalence in the installed player base. Raiding had a language all its own. The first expansion to World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, attempted to stretch the bounds of raiding by scaling down player numbers and, at the same time, creating new and unique challenges in an attempt to make content more accessible. EverQuest routinely failed to make content accessible, and WoW was determined to turn the tides with the introduction of the 10-man raiding tier comprised of Karazhan and Zul'Aman. The popularity of 10-man raiding soared more than Blizzard could have ever imagined.

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

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

Requiring epic achievements for normal runs

Leafshine echoes a concern I've heard a lot around the community and even here on WoW.com lately: why are some Naxx pickup group organizers requiring the epic achievement on characters joining the raid when they're only running Naxx 10? Sure, we'd all love to have raids full of epic characters, but when you consider that to even get that gear, you have to topple Naxx 25, it seems a little silly to require a raid full of characters that don't actually need the run you're going on.

Then again, you could (and probably do) subscribe to the "free market" theory of PuGing: if you think that's silly, don't join that raid, and eventually people who want those requirements won't have anyone to run with (and if they do have people to run with, then apparently even those who have conquered Naxx 25 still want to go back and run 10, for fun or badges or offspec gear or whatever). But that does leave out people who really do need to (and can) run the instances -- just because you don't have a character full of gear from Naxx 25 doesn't mean you can't perform respectably in Naxx 10.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Raiding

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

Blood Pact: Warlock tips for Naxx-10 part 2


It's time again for Blood Pact, your weekly Warlock column, detailing the dastardly deeds of Warcraft's demonologists! Nick Whelan returns once again this week, to finish what he started. And this time, it's personal!

Last week, I wrote a column filled with tips for Naxx-10. Specifically, tips for Warlocks, because that's who Blood Pact is written for. But my list ended up being so long that I was only able to write about the Spider and Plague wings of Naxx before the article started to feel a little bloated. So I chopped it in half, and now it's time to conclude our tour of the dread citadel with the more difficult sections of the instance: the Construct, Military, and Frost wings!

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

[Updated] Blood Pact: Warlock tips for Naxx-10 part 1


The time for Blood Pact has come again! This week, we delve into the dread citadel itself, the very stronghold of mighty Kel'Thuzad's power: Naxxramas! Following meekly behind the rest of the group, documenting his experiences for your entertainment, is Nick Whelan.

With Ulduar getting closer every day, I thought this would be a perfectly inappropriate time to write up some helpful hints for all the Warlocks out there who are clad primarily in pre-raiding gear, and would like to start moving forward with their progression. This post is aimed toward helping Warlocks who haven't done much raiding in the past, and would like to try it out now that Blizz has made it so much more accessible. Furthermore, since it's unlikely that such a person has a spot waiting for them in a group which full clears weekly, I also assume in this post that the rest of the people in the raid are similarly geared. By using these tips, new raiders will be doing their part to ensure that their group gets a full clear as soon as possible.

This guide isn't meant as a substitute to an overall Naxx guide. For something like that, be sure to take a look at Ready Check. Rather, this guide is intended to cover the information specific to Warlocks which won't be included in the raid leader's pre-boss explanations. As such, some of this information might be difficult to decipher if you've never participated in the fight before. I would recommend reading Ready Check's Naxx guides first, or even just referencing this page right before the start of a boss fight.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Naxxramas gear by type


Tobold has a post up with an interesting analysis of all the epic loot that drops in the ten-man version of Naxxramas, broken down by armor type and by broad stat type (tank, melee, caster). At the top of this post is a chart I made from his armor type breakdown ("Other" is anything that's not cloth, leather, mail, or plate, i.e. weapons, off-hands, shields, jewelry, and cloaks). As Tobold mentions, this confirms that there is significantly more plate than anything else, about 50% more, even though there are the same number of plate classes as cloth classes. My guess is that this is because they expected an influx of DKs bumping up the plate numbers.

As far as stat types, leather and mail are both split half-and-half for caster vs melee. This is a little iffy. In both cases, there are two caster specs (Balance and Resto Druid, Elemental and Resto Shaman) out of six total specs (Druids and Rogues, Shamans and Hunters), so it seems a 33/66 split would make more sense, but maybe they just wanted to keep it simple.

The case that really bothers me is plate, which is split evenly between caster, tank, and DPS (see right). The only plate spec that wants caster gear is the Holy Paladin. That's one of three specs from one of three plate-wearing classes, and yet it gets a third of the plate gear. I'm sorry, my plate-clad healing brethren, but that's just not an equitable proportion. Mostly it just means that our prot pallies have full healing sets and we're still disenchanting a good chunk of the plate every week. Here's hoping we see less caster leather, mail, and especially plate in Ulduar.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

15 Minutes of Fame: Solo healing Naxx 10


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.

"I realise that I'm not the first person to do this, but I figured it was worth a post regardless," Prrancer begins his recent post on the EU Priest forums, "mostly because I keep seeing people insisting that it's impossible without an offhealer. So here it is: I solo healed the entire Naxxramas without anyone helping on any fight.

"Okay, that's a lie. We had Vampiric Embrace, and we used Judgement of Light on Sapphiron -- only Sapphiron, though. But neither our Boomkin, Enhancement Shaman or Shadowpriest cast a heal at any point during combat. The Protection Paladin did use LoH twice, although he didn't have to. (He just forgets to use Lightwell.)"

Thus begins the story of Prrancer of Liquid Courage on Jaedenar-EU (H). This is a player who likes to push the limits – and from the looks of things, he's doing a darn fine job of it.

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Filed under: Features, Raiding, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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

Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Sapphiron)

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. This week, we're heading to Sapphiron and Kel'Thuzad to visit a few old friends, complete Naxxramas, and wonder to ourselves why everyone on the server has a Journey's End but us.

Welcome back! With the Spider Quarter, Construct Quarter, Plague Quarter, and Death Knight Quarter out of your way, the teleport to Sapphiron's room (and from there, Kel'Thuzad) will become available. There's no trash to worry about, just two big, ugly bosses between you and the completion of Naxxramas. Tonight we'll deal with Sapphiron; tomorrow we'll head in to finish off the big lich himself.

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

Breakfast Topic: Get off the #%&$#^$ stone!


My guild had Tuesday night off (our raid leader sensed the coming of doom on the wind, I think, and had canceled the raid as of Sunday), so Wednesday night I found myself at the Naxxramas summoning stone doing what I do every time I run Naxx: trying to right-click the ever-shrinking portion of the stone to be found under dozens of flapping wings and giant mammoth butts in a forlorn attempt to actually -- I don't know -- summon people.

Now, it's no secret that a select portion of WoW's playerbase is comprised of people whom we might politely term "jerks," and the Naxx summoning stone is an almost unparalleled environment for them to practice their delightful skills. The stone is set on a very small ledge, servicing the summoning needs for a very popular instance, and no matter what the area was bound to be crowded. But the situation's made so much worse by the constant presence of players going /afk on top of the stone while conveniently perched on their largest or otherwise unnecessary mounts.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Instances, Features, Raiding

Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Thaddius)


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. This week we're on our way to the last two bosses of Naxxramas -- but not without a stop at the ultimate boss of the Construct Quarter.

If you didn't get to see Naxxramas at 60 but did the first boss of the Mechanar in Burning Crusade, you're already familiar with the major "trick" to the Thaddius fight. Actually, you can make a pretty compelling case that Thaddius is easier than Mechano-Lord Capacitus, mostly because the platform on which Thaddius is situated is ideally configured for the encounter. Mechano-Lord was usually a mess of planning beforehand about where you'd go if you were melee and your charge was different from the tank's, etc. That's not a problem here. But before you get to Thaddius -- who, by the way, is the source of most of the eerie cries you'll hear in this quarter -- you have to deal with a few mobs along the way.

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

Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Gluth)


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. This week we begin to examine the rest of the Construct Quarter.

Hey folks. This installment is going up a bit late due to connection issues that left me offline for most of last week, for which I sincerely apologize. We'll have Gluth today, Thaddius tomorrow, and Sapphiron/Kel'thuzad on Saturday, which should finish off all of Naxx for us. But first, let's run with the Big Dog.

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

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