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Posts with tag naxx

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

Random raid factors and the high cost of failure

Klepsakovic over at Troll Racials are Overpowered has a thought-provoking post asking how Blizzard's advancing raid model is affecting players and how they relate to each other. In particular, he zeroes in on a point that I think a lot of players sense but never really articulate: Not every player in a raid is going to be equally stressed by a fight, and when the stressed party or parties is randomly determined, things get ugly fast.

Compare this to encounters where the primary difficulty is role-specific or even player-specific. Good DPSers pushed their output to the limit on Patchwerk, healers learned to anticipate damage during Malygos' Vortex while one or two people got good at yanking sparks into the raid, and tanks grew experienced with fast pick-ups on Kael'thas. But the average raid group, even when experienced, probably tripped over and over again on encounters like Teron Gorefiend or Anub'arak. When you can't control who gets targeted by Shadow of Death or Anub'arak's spikes and when the randomness limits the experience that any one player can get ... Well, it's easy to see how certain fights acquire the nightmare moniker.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Thaddius encounter recreated in StarCraft II


Ever wonder what happens to raid bosses when they get bored? For Thaddius, it seems he has been spending some time moonlighting over in StarCraft II. While he was there, it also seems like he's picked up a few more tricks and upgraded his armor. After all, Naxxramas was only a setback!

IIam4 used Thaddius as an inspiration for his entry into the custom ability contest on SC2Mapster by recreating his Polarity Shift. While he was recreating this ability, he also decided to add a few new features of his own.
  • Shocking Grasp A random target will be paralyzed and take damage over time. If any other unit comes within range of the afflicted unit, Shocking Grasp will jump. This can create a chain reaction.
  • Spawn Volatile Spark Two volatile sparks are spawned, serving as summoned adds that should be DPSed down right away.
These abilities combine to create a very interesting and creative boss battle using the StarCraft II editor. The amount of micromanagement required to keep all of your units alive adds a nice level of complexity to the boss encounter. I personally like that Thaddius is a giant Maruader unit. This video is a nice showcase of the tools that were available even in the beta and exactly what could be done with enough motivation.

StarCraft II is set to release on July 27, 2010. While I'm absolutely certain it will be a fantastic game in its own rights, I can't help but wonder if we will see any more player-created World of Warcraft crossovers with the tools that are shipping with SC2. Can you imagine a campaign where the end boss is casting Defile while you try to micromanage all of your units safely around it? How about navigating your troops into position for a Shatter or managing Burning Adrenaline. Maybe a little Doomfire for good measure! This could bring a whole new level of fun to Tower Defense and Mastermind-style game mods!

So, if you could recreate any one boss or ability from WoW in a StarCraft II fight, what boss would it be?

Wrath of the Lich King Retrospective: Naxxramas

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 WotLK Retrospective.

When people talk about raiding in Wrath of the Lich King, a lot of the complaints often boil down to Naxxramas. It was out too long before a new tier of raid content, the fights were too dumbed down from the original raid's difficulty and it was too easy. It was an unimaginative way for Blizzard to cut corners and save time developing Wrath. While I'm personally critical of Naxxramas as a raid instance in its current implementation, let's look at these points and discuss their validity.
  • Naxxramas was out too long before a new tier of raid content. This one's pretty subjective, but we can consider two factors. First, Naxx went live with Wrath's release in November 2008, alongside Malygos (Eye of Eternity) and Sartharion (Obsidian Sanctum). Malygos' itemization was half a tier superior to that of Naxx itself, so that items that dropped in the 10-man version of Eye of Eternity were equivalent to those that dropped in 25-man Naxx. Malygos-25 drops were superior to anything that dropped in Naxxramas off anyone but Kel'Thuzad himself. So while we could say that this entire tier of raiding lasted from launch until the release of Ulduar in April 2009, it's unfair to single out Naxxramas as the sole offender. Furthermore, Trial of the Crusader launched in August 2009, meaning that Ulduar's duration as the top tier of raiding was only a month shorter than that of Naxxramas/EoE/OS. Are we really arguing that the 20 bosses of those combined three raids had so much less raiding potential that an extra month or so wasn't at least subjectively justifiable?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Breakfast topic: Quest detritus

Anne talked recently about all the bits and pieces that tend to accumulate in a packrat's bank vault, and I'm one of the guilty parties. I'm a hardcore collector of feral staves, tier sets, tabards, and assorted items that I just can't bring myself to delete (Seal of Ascension -- seriously, why do I still have this?). Unfortunately, the tendency carries over into quests as well. Over the course of doing Loremaster, I knocked off most of the older quests littering my log, and now I'm left with two. One's a nightmare to finish -- The Good News and The Bad News, which is part of the Scepter of the Shifting Sands line and an enormous pain in the ass due to the 10 Elementium Ores required. I've resigned myself to the quite-likely possibility that it'll be there for months to come.

The other one, much like the stuff clogging my bank, is something I can't force myself to drop. Echoes of War sent people to the original version of Naxxramas, and was required for the tier 3 questline. Incredibly enough, it was even shareable when Wrath came out, and our early Naxx raids at 80 had a good laugh over it. But I'm afraid to turn it in -- not just because the follow-up quest probably isn't there anymore, but also for some reason I don't think I can articulate very well. If I turned it in, I guess I'd feel like another little piece of old Azeroth was gone forever.

Do you have any quests like this sitting around in your log, and what keeps you from turning them in?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The sudden popularity of GDKP

We've been seeing this GDKP thing sneak up on the forums and elsewhere a lot lately, and while Scott has mentioned it (in a somewhat disparaging way, in fact), we haven't really taken a good look at it yet. So let's do so. GDKP stands for Gold DKP, which is kind of a mishmash of acronyms. DKP, or Dragon Kill Points, are a very popular way of determining loot division in a raid -- the concept dates back to earlier MMOs, and involves players earning points per boss kill that they can then spend on gear. We've talked about other DKP systems before. But rather than awarding loot based on arbitrary points, Gold DKP, as you may have guessed, instead gives loot to the player willing to pay the most gold... to the other players in the raid.

The way it works is this: You go into an instance, say Naxx, and everyone knows ahead of time that it is a "GDKP run," or a "gold run," or a "cash run." You down the first boss, and Webbed Death drops. The master looter then takes bids of gold on the item (this can be done via public chat or via an addon), and whoever bids the most gold gets the item. The person who wins then pays that amount of gold (some raids have minimum bids of, say, 100g) to "the pot," and the raid moves on. Another boss drops, another item drops -- usually all items, including recipes and mats, are auctioned off -- and another high bid goes into "the pot." Then, at the end of the raid, the pot is evenly split among all members. Everybody who joined in on the raid gets an even share of the bidded gold, including people who got no items, or the Mr. Moneybags who won them all.

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Filed under: How-tos, Fan stuff, Guilds, News items, Economy, Instances, Raiding

Guildwatch: No tabard, no loot

Some stories of drama on the realms aren't directly guild-related, but they're just too good to pass up. The one above is just such a story -- one of our tipsters was just flying around Azeroth one day when a conversation in General caught his eye. One unlucky Time-Lost Proto-drake seeker ran into his very own Griftah, and ended up with 425 less gold and a very "unusual" toy item.

That story and more in this week's Guildwatch, which starts right after the break. If you have downed, recruiting, or drama news for us, feel free to send a tip in to guildwatch@wow.com, and you might see it here in the future. Read on for more!

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

Guildwatch: More common than you think

We've seen quite a few guilds go back lately and take on Sarth 3D for the first time. Of course, it's got to be much easier now with Ulduar-level gear wandering around, and ToC giving out gear and tokens relatively easily. But especially if your guild has the time, why not go grab an "Of the Nightfall" title for everyone? That's what our friends in The Risen here did, and they look pretty snazzy.

Lots more guild progress, as well as recruiting and drama, in this week's edition of Guildwatch, which starts right after the break. If you have a tip for us about your guild or one you've seen on the forums, please format it just like the news you see below and send it along to guildwatch@wow.com. Thanks! Enjoy!

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Filed under: Guilds, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch

The five classes of guilds

Blessing of Kings does a great job with this post of putting into words (and then extending) the idea of something we've talked about many times before: all guilds are not equal. He separates them into a kind of hierarchical class structure, with "Royalty" (guilds like Stars and Ensidia) at the top of the raiding game, going down to "Aristocracy" (guilds working on hard modes), "Gentry" (guilds who've cleared normal but haven't been able to do hard modes yet), "Bourgeoisie" (guilds working on normal), and the "Proletariat" (casual folks who haven't started raiding). I think he's squeezed things down a bit farther than he should -- I would call the "Bourgeoisie" level guilds still working on Ulduar and Naxx normal fights, as I think there are quite a few of those out there. But his points are strong -- there are bands of raiding guilds, partly by Blizzard's design and partly by mere fact that people approach the content in their own ways.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Leveling

Guildwatch: "Enjoy the Soviet Union"


Oh my -- we've heard about undercutting prices on the AH before (and everyone knows that when you get undercut on the AH, you just buy the lower sales and bring them back up to your prices), but I don't think I've ever seen someone get quite so angry about it. Blueroot was just chugging along, selling Runecloth at what his Auctioneer claimed it should be, and all of a sudden Crunkya showed up, angry that he'd been undercut so much and had to invest so much money in someone that was clearly an Obama voter. Wait, what? Yeah, we're not sure how he got there either, but you can see the result above.

Lots more drama, as well as downed and recruiting news, in this week's Guildwatch, which starts up right after the break below. If you have a tip for us, from your guild or just a guild you've been following on your realm, please do take a second and email us about it at guildwatch@wow.com. We get a lot of tips and it takes a lot of time to sift through them, but as long as you make it look like what you see below (keep it short and sweet, include all necessary guild info), you'll see it here.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch

Guildwatch: It was my friend


Of course the issue is supposed to be fixed now, but after getting booted off their mains in Ulduar, Dark Haven on Baelgun had had enough, and made a dancing line of cows to display their displeasure. Pretty funny.

Lots more guild shenigans in this week's Guildwatch as usual, including some drama (both good and bad), some downed news, and some recruiting posts. Tune in after the break below to see what's going on around the servers. And if you have a tip, from your guild or something you saw on the forums, send it along to us at guildwatch@wow.com. Thanks!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

Guildwatch: "ur name is remembered"


Boyd of Order of the Oak was tooling around Storm Peaks on the Shadowsong server when he saw a pile of dead rhinos and swooped done to skin them. No sooner did he do that than he noticed a little AFK Mage of Riders of the Apocalypse sitting there, and when the person got back from AFK, as you can see above, they were quite angry. Quite angry indeed. Over two Rhino skins. We wonder whose reputation was hurt worse by this little transaction.

Many more drama stories in this week's Guildwatch, which we apologize is a little bit late thanks to the BlizzCon aftermath here on the site. But worry not -- we've got your drama, your downed, and even your recruiting news. Sorry you didn't get it earlier, but maybe it'll be a little pick-me-up this late in the week. Want to send us a tip? Please do? Email it to guildwatch@wow.com!

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Filed under: Guilds, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch

Guildwatch: He makes everything better


Can you tell what's so awesome about this picture of Anarchy of Ravencrest's 10-man Yogg Saron down? Nope, it's not the fact that they killed one of the hardest bosses in the game, and it's not even that cool type effect on the title. It's the naked Gnome. Trust us, Horde or Alliance, every guild should have a naked Gnome standing front and center in their kill shot.

Lots of naked Gnome-less downed bosses in this week's Guildwatch (which, we promise, has lots more actual text than the early version you accidentally saw today). We've also got drama and recruiting news as well -- hit the link below to read this week's column.

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

Breakfast Topic: Your best instance run ever

I love instances. They're far and above my favorite part of the game -- I'm definitely a co-op PvE kind of player, and PvE instances are, to me, what's really great about MMOs: a group of players can sit down, and in an hour or a few hours, take down dragons, kill some monsters, and nab some epic loot.

And of course I've had lots of bad instance runs. But today we're not talking about good or bad -- we're talking about the best. What's the best instance run you've ever done? If "best" can be described by how much loot you get, then a recent Naxx run probably meets the criteria for me, as by the time we'd toppled Kel'thuzad as a raid, my Hunter had picked up at least four epic upgrades (and gained probably a good thousand DPS along with those). If "best" means most fun, I can think of some old UBRS runs back in the day in which every single one of us knew the instance and each other so well that we weren't so much fighting bad guys as just hanging out and telling jokes while picking up loot.

If "best" means most exciting, then I have to think back to BlizzCon a few years ago, where we got our first hands-on of Wrath of the Lich King. I went into Utgarde Keep for the first time ever with a few guys from the press room, and though we only made it to the first boss (and I don't think we even beat him), I was just so fascinated by all of the new stuff we were seeing, my first look at the Vykrul and the huge Forge in the entryway there. So "best" can mean anything -- what's your best instance run?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Raiding

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