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Posts with tag naxx-25

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

Observations from running a Naxx-25 PuG


I'm very "up" on PuGs. I started my career as a PuG tank and met a lot of great players that way, many of whom I still raid with today. I've always been a stout supporter of throwing caution to the wind and joining LFG for an afternoon to see where it'll take you; it's been my experience that random players on your realm can and often will surprise you.

Once you master the art of the 5-person PuG, the ultimate risk is a raid PuG. One-shot the instance, or spend the night wiping? You won't know until you try.

I used to run Hyjal PuG's in late Burning Crusade and got to be the person in charge of arranging healers on Anetheron, explaining where to die on Azgalor, and uttering a hollow laugh at suggestions on whether or not Archimonde was in the cards (answer: hell no). I wasn't around for my guild's Naxx run one of these past weeks, and a few guildies were interested in gearing up their alts, so we thought -- PuG a 25-man Naxx? Why not?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Features, Humor, Raiding, Bosses, Classes

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

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your Balance Druid at 80

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we start to wonder where the hell all the +hit from "Burning Crusade" went.

Greetings, fellow Druids, and welcome to another installment on Wrath gear at 80, and this week it's the boomkins' turn. Next week I'm going to tackle Bear gear at 80; Dan O'Halloran will take care of our Cat colleagues.

As a number of people have observed, it's tougher to get +hit-capped pre-raid in leather as opposed to cloth, so you're going to find an awful lot of cloth on the list. I realize this represents a new and exciting development in the history of moonkin itemization. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. That's French for "We're screwed."

Supplementary reading:
As with our previous entry on pre-raid Restoration gear at 80, these guides assume that you do not presently have access to either 10-man or 25-man raids.

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Filed under: Druid, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Raiding, Guides, Enchants, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider's gearing up in Northrend guides

We probably have at least an hour (or seven) of maintenance and downtime before realms start coming back up, so this is as good a time as any to make a nice list of the Wrath of the Lich King gear guides we've done so far. Not every class and spec is complete, but progress is progress, right?

If you don't see the spec/role you're looking for in our list below, never fear! Our columnists are always working on these things, and the best inspiration for all of our writers is knowing what everyone is looking for. Don't see what you're looking for? Just let us know. Don't be afraid to look at guides for similar classes, either. They might just have the information you need. For example, the Shadow Priest spell hit guide will work for most casters.

But enough talk, on with the show!

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Guides, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Construct Quarter, part 1)


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 unwisely decide to give the column to Allison "Oops, I forgot my frost resist" Robert. Not that you actually need frost resist gear for the Construct Quarter...but that's about the time she generally remembers she left hers in the bank.

Greetings, folks. Jennie's off for January, so I'll be writing Ready Check this month. Today's installment got a little long, mostly because Patchwerk tends to be a stumbling block to guilds still gearing up in Naxxramas, and Grobbulus is a little complicated to describe. So tonight I'll post on the first two bosses in the Construct Quarter, and tomorrow I'll finish with Gluth and Thaddius. Next week we'll take a look at Sapphiron and Kel'thuzad in order to finish off Naxx.

The Construct, or Abomination, Quarter of Naxxramas contains two of the raid's most storied fights in the form of Patchwerk and Thaddius. It additionally contains some of the raid's most storied trash in the form of the Frogger Hallway directly after Patchwerk. As Jennie says, if you want to experience the encounters unspoiled, don't read any further!

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

Shifting Perspectives: Gearing your Restoration Druid at 80

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we take a look at how to gear a PvE Restoration Druid at level 80, in the hopes of preventing other trees from suffering our fate during our first 10-man Naxx run, which -- no, no, it's too painful even to think about. Pass the schnapps.

EDIT: This guide has been updated for patch 3.3 and Icecrown content. Please click here for a guide on gearing a new restoration druid as of May 2010
.

Greetings readers, and welcome to Wrath Gear-A-Palooza 2009. We'll be running one of these for each Druid spec.

I'm not going to "rank" gear numerically, because I think that's a fairly unhelpful means of organizing items when your access to all of them as a fresh 80 may be very limited. Generally you're going to have access to quest rewards and faction gear before you get access to badge pieces or oft-uncooperative heroic drops, so I've organized the list by where you can get particular drops. It's generally safe to assume that a heroic drop is better than a blue you're using from an Icecrown quest, but not always. If you're starting to move into higher levels of gear, I found the following links to be incredibly helpful, and I hope you do too:
Otherwise, assuming a proper spec, gems, and enchants, you can successfully heal any of the game's 5-man or raid content (10-man or 25-man) with a healing set derived from the following list. That's a promise. This list assumes that you do not have access to 10- or 25-man raids for the time being and are gearing up primarily through questing, 5-mans, and heroics.

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Filed under: Druid, Tips, Instances, Features, Raiding, Factions, Guides, Enchants, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

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