Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag normal

Raid design evolution and Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard has posted parts one and two of a series of Dev Watercoolers, discussing raid design over the course of World of Warcraft. Now part three is live, highlighting and explaining where raiding is going in Warlords of Draenor. The post covers new systems like the Group Finder (basically integrating the OQueue style functionality), buffs to LFR, explains the new Mythic difficulty and flexible group system for normal/heroic, and discusses how raid lockouts will work in Warlords, with each raiding difficulty (Raid Finder, Normal, Heroic and Mythic) having its own lockout, and how valor points will be scaled back to prevent players feeling like they have to clear each raid difficulty each week.

If you raid, you should probably check it out. The full text is reproduced behind the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Flex, Group Finder and Raid Finder's roles

Blizzard Community Manager Lore has been posting about the future roles of Flex, the new Group Finder, and Raid Finder in Warlords of Draenor. You can, as usual, see Lore's full post after the break, but what he's talking about is how, thanks to the success of Flex as a raid system and the resultant awkward position of LFR, a reshuffle needs to happen.

LFR has been wearing too many hats. It's been end-game progression for some, a gear grind for others, and a way to see the sights of a raid for even more, as well as everything in between. That's a hard act for one difficulty, that is simultaneously too hard and too easy.

But thanks to the runaway success of Flex, due in no small part to group-finding systems like OpenRaid or oQueue, the devs think they can make some changes to the tuning of LFR. The idea, it seems, is that the new Group Finder will make it just as easy to find a Flex group as it currently is to find an LFR one. Then, LFR tuning can be altered, allowing Blizz to "better provide for both the "busy raider" and "sightseer" styles of gameplay as a result."

So it seems likely that, if this remains the case (we're not even in beta after all) LFR will become the tourist difficulty. Flex via the Group Finder, and with friends, will become the new way to get meaningful progression encounters. And that makes sense, given how it'll be renamed to "Normal" come WoD. Hit the break for Lore's full post.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Dungeon Mastery: Shado-pan Monastery

Kun-Lai Summit is host to the Shado-pan Monastery. In Mists of Pandaria, you'll undoubtedly get a chance to experience and help rid the instance of Sha influence. Megan and I decided to check the place out and see what the deal is. We teamed up before when she carried me kindly tanked for me in the Stormstout Brewery. Like last time, I healed on my holy priest, Megan tanked on her druid, and we were accompanied with two hunters and an enhancement shaman. Your group needs to be at minimum level 87 in order to queue.

The video above is a little under 50 minutes long. We would've been able to move quicker if I hadn't been in combat all the time.

Yeesh. Even the Matticus needs a drink from time to time.

Gu Cloudstrike

Cloudstrike is the first boss your group will challenge. You'll run into Cloudstrike outside on a plateau just as you leave the first chamber. It's a three-phase encounter involving Cloudstrike and a flying serpent.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Phat Loot Phriday: Edge of Agony


I finally got my Green Proto-drake today, so I was tempted to do that, but instead today we'll go with the old PLP standby of big scary swords. Alliance, before you go running after this one, make sure to see the note below.

Name: Edge of Agony (Wowhead, Thottbot, MMO Champion)
Type: Epic Two-Hand Sword
Damage/Speed: 651 - 977 / 3.50 (232.6 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +112 Agility, +92 Stamina
  • Improves haste by 62, attack power by 183, and armor penetration by 86. Note that these are the stats for the 10-man normal item (Trial of the Crusader drops are pretty confusing actually). The 10-man Heroic version has a better version of this, but with the same name and graphic.

Read more →

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Instances, Humor, Phat Loot Phriday

Raid Rx: 14 patch 3.2 trinkets to check out


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. It's been a while since I looked at trinkets. What options are there available since then?

Yes, the linked article goes to the Priest column on trinkets. Not every healer's going to use them. But truth be told, there aren't that many new options for healers in the current game since Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader opened up. Let's look at everything available since Malygos.

So what do we have to work with?

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Loot Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class, raiding, and PvP guides we take a look at exactly what changes and how the changes will affect your playing.

New instances and raids are fun and all, but let's not forget what we're all here for: the loot. With the new patch out on servers, there's a whole slew of new items and gear to win and collect. Here's a quick roundup of everything we know about the new loot coming in patch 3.2, from the badges you pull from dead bosses' bodies, to the sweet epics you can turn them in to get.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Bosses, Leveling

Crusaders' Coliseum difficulty is a test for Blizzard

I've suspected this on the podcast, and I'm sure many people have figured this before, but Crygil makes it absolutely clear: the four difficulty levels set up on the Crusaders' Coliseum is just a test for Blizzard. This isn't at all the standard, it's just something different they're trying with this format of dungeon, and they'll be watching to see how players respond. As Crygil says, it definitely doesn't mean that they'll be going back and revamping the old dungeons to reflect the new layout (where 10 and 25-man raids each have their own Heroic modes), and the corollary is that it doesn't necessarily mean that Icecrown will be like this, either. They're giving this a shot, and if there are issues with it, they'll go back to the old way or consider something else.

Will it work? My guess is that it will. Besides the fact that players will always run the heck out of the game's latest raid (and Blizzard can definitely use that as justification that it's a popular way to do things), I think any move that gives players more options will be received well. Some guilds will try to run all four modes all the time, and will get sick of the instance way before any new content shows up, but I think most folks will just choose one or two difficulties to run every week (say, 25-man Heroic with their guild, and 10-man Heroic with a PuG), and get their gear from there. Whether we'll see this again in Icecrown, however, I'm not sure -- this seems like a setup for a lower-tier instance that everyone gets to run, not an expansion-ending, top-of-the-line raid. Blizzard may go back to the normal 10 and 25-man setup for Icecrown, and then bring this scheme back for instances in the next expansion, whatever that may be.
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Raiding

Why Blizzard is splitting normal and Heroic modes off on their own

So now that a lot of the dust has settled from the big 3.2 patch notes bombshell last week (and before it gets all stirred up again by the PTR starting up), let's reflect a bit. Specifically on the fact that unlike all of the instances in the game so far, the Crusaders' Coliseum will let you run it four different times (in 10-man and 25-man normal, and 10- and 25-man Heroic) every raid lockout period. We talked about this on the podcast: that's a lot of running the same content. But Zarhym replies with what Blizzard's thinking on this is. Currently, when you go to Ulduar, you have to decide as you go whether you'll take on the bosses' hard modes or not, and once your decision is made, that's it for the week. But with four different modes, running normal won't lock you out of Heroic, and vice versa. You've got the options to choose from.

I still think, though, that this is more of an experimental release on Blizzard's part, rather than a full rethinking of the way dungeons should be done. The Coliseum isn't an instance like we've ever seen before (though Vault is probably the closest) -- it's supposed to be extremely modular, and it's very much a patch-specific release rather than standard content like Naxx or Ulduar. We'll have to see exactly how it works, but my guess is that Blizzard is testing the waters with this and the other raid content in Wrath. Chances are that if for some reason this doesn't work out (will we eventually see raiders running all four modes every week, and finding the content much more repetitive than Blizzard planned?), the idea of simply having hard modes on bosses rather than lockouts probably isn't completely abandoned yet.


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Raiding

Spiritual Guidance: Healing Mimiron

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new UI and addons blog for WoW. Having some difficulty with Mimiron? Let me help!

Mimiron. He is the bane of all healers. Even the most seasoned of raiding healers struggled initially with this gnome and his toys. Perhaps the class and spec that has the a difficulty adjusting to the challenges is the Discipline Priest. Let me help you get through it with a systematic breakdown of the four boss phases and how you can cope no matter which spec you are.

Read more →

Filed under: Priest, Raiding, Bosses, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

All the World's a Stage: The surface layer


This installment of All the World's a Stage diverges from the series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay your race, class, and professions, in order to have a closer look at different layers of social interaction in roleplaying, and see in which ways you can tailor your character for each one.

So there you are -- you've got the coolest, funniest, most heartbreaking character idea on your whole RP server. You login, create your new masterpiece, and start leveling up... But as time goes by, you realize you have a problem. No one seems interested in you! You may be having trouble meeting people who actually roleplay on a roleplaying server, or the roleplayers you run into may not realize how truly awesome your character is. Let's say you even join an RP guild and try to impress your guildmates with your witty "/guild" chatter, only to discover that they're seem mildly interested at best.

What's a roleplaying genius to do? It would be tempting to think that you are not such a great roleplayer as you think, or that your character idea isn't as fantastic as you had hoped, but the truth might lie in something far less depressing: You may have created a character with true depth, yet lacking established friends to explore that depth with, your character has no way of showing it. Making such friends is never easy if you are too deep for them -- they expect some sort of interesting surface-level interaction first. Likewise, if a character is all silly gimmicks designed to entertain strangers, without anything deeper for potential close friends to enjoy, he or she may seem like an attention grabber, entertaining in the short term, but mostly shallow in the end. Choosing the right kind of surface-layer character traits to suit your personality and social needs is essential if you want to have a good experience in roleplaying.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Spiritual Guidance: The Undying experience of a Priest

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. This week Matt offers some tips and insights for the Priest aiming to go after the Undying title!

I wanted to share some thoughts and tips this week on a successful Undying run I participated in with my guild. It continues to be one of the most challenging achievements in the game. To put it bluntly your entire raid group must navigate and clear out every encounter in Naxxramas without dying to any of the bosses. The amount of coordination, luck and skill needed is high. Remember that dying on trash is perfectly okay. It's the bosses where you can't afford to lose players on.

But I want to let you all in on a secret. There's a trick to earning the Undying.

Read more →

Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Raiding, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: PTR loot and hymns that will never be seen in game

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of PlusHeal, a new healing community for all restorative classes. This week, Matt checks out some of the PTR loot along and a suggestion of Hymns that we will never see in game.

Have you checked out some of the drops from the PTR yet? There's a great staff from Iron Council that I'm definitely eyeing. I know a lot of spellcasters favour main hands and off hands. I always had a soft spot for staves (because of their looks). But most staves just could not compete with their main hand and off hand counterparts. Rapture will be an upgrade I'll be eyeing. There's also the Ironmender which is an offhand complement for Priests. I haven't seen any spellpower main hands yet but I'm sure there will be some popping up soon enough.

Read more →

Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Wrath of the Lich King

Ulduar and Blizzard's "hard modes"

We're only a day into 2009, and we've already got an update on one of our predictions. Vaneras has appeared on the EU forums talking about Ulduar's difficulty level and he says that yes, it will make a PTR appearance, and yes, it will be hard, but probably not in the way that we'd expect. He says that Blizzard is pleased with the way the "Sartharion with no drakes" worked, so they're planning to expand on that idea in the upcoming raids, by including more "hard modes" and more achievements, with "an increase of reward level if successful."

So the odds are that we'll still see Ulduar's normal mode downed within days if not minutes on the live realms -- it won't actually be "hard" in the sense that the guilds with high level gear won't be able to plow right through it. But there will likely be multiple challenges within that are very hard, and achievements that will likely reward special gear or titles that will take guilds a while to do. This probably won't satisfy most of the really hardcore raiders, but we've been over this one -- Blizzard would rather have the majority of the playerbase play these raids, and since challenges and achievements don't take as much development time, that's what the minority of really hardcore players will get.

Of course, as with everything, we'll have to see how it works out -- Blizzard is clearly trying to make sure everyone coming to these raids finds what they're looking for in terms of a challenge. Ulduar itself might not be as hard as we predicted, but if Blizzard really ramps up the "hard modes" within the instance, it could be a while before we see anyone able to topple all of the challenges in there.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Hardcore Casual finds himself "stuck in easy mode"

Hardcore Casual has a post up about how easy he says World of Warcraft really is -- just by learning your class, getting the right gear, and theorycrafting a bit, you can roll right through, and get to the point where even yellow or sometimes even red monsters don't give you trouble.

There is one viewpoint here (and it's not one that I necessarily espouse) that HC is just falling into the old "hardcore/casual" trap that Penny Arcade put so well this week -- he thinks that he's casual, when actually, if you're running higher-level-than-you're-meant-to five man instances with your friends (and theorycrafting a bit), you're actually what Blizzard would consider a hardcore player, and thus of course the game is easy for you. But while I think there's a little bit of that going on here, I don't think we need to go that far: the fact is that WoW is an easy game. That's how it's garnered such a big audience. And anyone who has ever beaten Diablo is going to find that yes, if you read a guide or two, run the right instances at the right times, and put some thought into your specs, you'll have an easy time.

So what HC asks for is the difficulty to scale -- instead of just Normal and Heroic, have three or four modes that players can choose to set their own experience. A few games have done this already, and indeed, Blizzard may decide that that's called for in future instances (though it seems unlikely that they'll do this on older content, considering how they've abandoned it so far). But for now, WoW is an easy game, and that's the way Blizzard wants it. After all, you don't get a 10 million subscriber base by beating players up.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Leveling

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories

Joystiq

Massively

Engadget