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Posts with tag raid-finder

Pinnacle of Storms is now open in Raid Finder

If you're looking for something to do in WoW tonight you're in luck because the Pinnacle of Storms wing of Throne of Thunder has just opened in the raid finder. If you haven't kept up with the story of patch 5.2's massive Throne of Thunder raid, this wing will pit you against Iron Qon, the Twin Consorts, and even Lei Shen, the Thunder King himself. If you need some help figuring out these fights, check out our PTR guides to Iron Qon, the Twin Consorts, and Lei Shen as well as Icy Veins strategy guides for Iron Qon, Twin Consorts, and Lei Shen.

Good luck and happy raiding!

Filed under: News items

Throne of Thunder: Halls of Flesh-Shaping Raid Finder bosses in 5 seconds

Throne of Thunder Halls of FleshShaping Raid Finder bosses in 5 seconds
The third wing of Throne of Thunder Raid Finder was unlocked this week after a short break from the last one. After our previous 5-second guides to the first and second wings, how could we abandon you now? You've almost made it through. If you thought the beasts in the Forgotten Depths were rough, just wait until you meet your new friends in the Halls of Flesh-Shaping. Here's a quick rundown to quickly share with your Raid Finder buddies (thanks for the help Lucid guildies!).

Durumu the Forgotten

There will be a tank swap, taunt at around 4 stacks of Serious Wound. Step into Life Drain to intercept. During phase two, the raid should split itself between the yellow, red, and blue cones. Move each cone around until the three fog adds are revealed, and kill them. Move out of Force of Will and pools on the ground. During the third phase, be patient and navigate the purple maze while keeping ahead of the death beam. In the maze, stuff on the ground hurts, so stick to the cleared melee or ranged path. Tip: Point your camera downward to better view the cleared maze pathing.

Primordius

Kite the boss to prevent him from picking up too many Living Fluids, and kill them. Tank swap at around seven Malformed Blood stacks and avoid dragging him over the purple Volatile Pools. Only tanks should stand in front of the boss. Collect the red Mutagenic Pools on the ground dropped by Living Fluids to become mutated, DPS the boss. Avoid the red pools when you are mutated.

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Guides, Mists of Pandaria

Why aren't more healers queueing for the Raid Finder?

Why don't healers queue for the Raid Finder
While writing the Azeroth Ethicist article on whether it's ethical to "cheat" the Raid Finder's loot distribution system, I linked a post from The Grumpy Elf about the lack of healers in the LFR queue and the effect it's having on queue times. There was an observation there about how LFR healing may actually be more stressful than its normal counterpart:

No matter what, you name it, everything in the LFR when done wrong screams "the healers will fix it". Dropping the bad where it should not be, no worries, the healers will fix it. Not using your defensive cooldowns, no worries, the healers will fix it ... even in the LFR if you do not follow mechanics it hurts and puts all the pressure on the healers.

There are a lot of reasons why the LFR queue is so long these days for the average player -- ilevel requirements (though Blizzard's made it easier to get gear from older raids to address this), the sheer popularity of new content, and, as Ghostcrawler pointed out, tanks and healers who queue with their guildies -- but I think Grumpy Elf has a point.

While I've mostly tanked in Mists of Pandaria, I healed my way through the Raid Finder in Dragon Soul, and the number of players who took unnecessary or avoidable damage was depressingly high. You expect that with anyone who might be new to the instance, but it wasn't fun seeing a raid with lots of people in normal or even heroic tier 13 ignoring, say, the players trapped in Hagara's Ice Tombs.

So for the healers out there, here's a question: Are you queuing for Raid Finder raids? If you are, is the job noticeably more difficult or stressful than it is with your guildies? If you aren't queuing, why not?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The Azeroth Ethicist: Is it cheating to trick the LFR loot system?

The Azeroth Ethicist Is gaming the LFR loot system cheating
Before I write anything else here, the issue to be discussed in this article will no longer exist in patch 5.3 if the changes announced in the PTR patch notes from May 22 survive. For the record, I think this is one of the best changes to come along in a while, as it should reduce queue times for the Raid Finder significantly, while also being a great quality-of-life bonus for anyone trying to gear an offspec. However, it's still a problem at the moment.

After reaching level 90, I ran heroic after heroic obsessively in order to scrape the ilevel needed to enter the Raid Finder. After a few drops and the generosity of a guild leatherworker, I cheerfully queued as a tank for Vaults, and then went off to do dailies, figuring that the wait might be a little longer than normal given the popularity of new raid content, but it probably wouldn't be too bad.

30 minutes later, I shrugged and thought to myself, "Well, everybody's running LFR now."

52 minutes later, it occurred to me while yanking pink turnips out of the ground that I had been a little overoptimistic about wait times. Oh well. The farm wasn't going to tend itself.

An hour and 20 minutes later, I tabbed out of the game to check the forums, wondering if others were complaining about queue times, or if I'd just had a stroke of really bad luck.

Nope. Wait times for tanks through LFR, as a legion of enraged forum posters screamed, were through the roof at the beginning of the expansion. Right now, it seems like DPS players are getting the lion's share of agony. Rather than wait it out, many -- perhaps most -- tank players chose to exploit a loophole that allowed them to get a raid more quickly on a less easily-filled role.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

What's the purpose of a heroic dungeon?

What is the purpose of a heroic dungeon
One of the more volatile announcements that we've heard so far from Blizzard regarding Mists of Pandaria is the fact that Mists will not include any more 5-man dungeons. In an expansion where new content seems to be rolling out on a much faster, tighter basis than any expansion prior this seems a little bizarre to players, particularly those that enjoy dungeon-based content. Yet one of the things Mists has been doing consistently throughout the expansion is delivering a wider array of things to do. In fact, there's such a variety in endgame content that players sometimes feel legitimately overwhelmed by the sheer amount of it.

But just because we aren't getting any new dungeons doesn't mean we aren't getting alternate ways to obtain all that sweet, sweet gear we know and love. Patch 5.3 will see the introduction of heroic scenarios, slightly tougher versions of the scenarios we've already seen this expansion. In addition to valor, the heroic scenarios will offer raid-finder level rewards for players that choose to participate in them -- better than any gear you'll find in a heroic dungeon at this point.

While this may seem pretty cool for some people, it does make one wonder -- what's the purpose of heroic dungeons?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Throne of Thunder: Forgotten Depths Raid Finder bosses in 5 seconds

Throne of Thunder Forgotten Depths Raid Finder bosses in 5 seconds
The second wing of Throne of Thunder Raid Finder was just unlocked this week, so get ready to queue. After our last 5-second guide to the first wing, we couldn't just leave you hanging without a second! After being thrown down to the Forgotten Depths, you'll be introduced to a few beastly bosses -- be prepared. Here's a quick rundown perfect for sharing with your Raid Finder comrades (thanks for the help Thugmuffins!).

Tortos

One tank on Tortos, the other on Vampiric Cave Bat duty. Don't stand in Rockfall. Healers be ready to top the raid after Quake Stomp. Kill priority is bats, Whirl Turtles, then boss. Be sure to kick one of the turtles into Tortos to interrupt his Furious Stone Breath. Although you can mostly survive the breath on Raid Finder difficulty, make your healer's life easier by interrupting.

Megaera

Note: You will have to kill the three Eternal Guardians around the cave and ring their bells to spawn the boss.

Tank the two active heads facing away from the center, and don't tank the same head twice in a row to avoid debuffs stacking too high. The raid should stack in the center during Rampage for AoE heals. Kite the beam out of the raid if you're targeted with Torrent of Ice. Run out of the raid for a Cinders dispel. Run away from the Acid Rain. Kill order of the heads in this difficulty isn't too important, just rotate -- green, red, blue will work fine.

See Ji-Kun's quick strategy after the break!

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Guides, Mists of Pandaria

Throne of Thunder: Last Stand of the Zandalari Raid Finder bosses in 5 seconds

Throne of Thunder Last Stand of the Zandalari Raid Finder bosses in 5 seconds
The first wing of Throne of Thunder Raid Finder has opened this week, so it's time to slay a few bosses. Maybe you're ready to queue up right this second. In fact, with the staggered release schedule, you're probably very ready. No time to read through our full guides, or need a short explanation ready for other players? Here's a quick reference perfect for copy and pasting into chat, because we love you.

Jin'rokh the Breaker

Tanks have a swap, watch out for the Static Wound debuff and be ready to taunt. Everyone else stand in the pools unless they're electrified, step out and stack near the boss during Lightning Storm. If you're targeted by the Focused Lightning, run away, and don't electrify the pools.

Horridon

One tank on the boss, the other on adds -- switch after each door so Triple Puncture doesn't stack too high. The adds cast debuffs, so healers be ready to dispel. Stay away from Horridon's head and tail. Kill Dinomancer adds first and stay out of stuff on the ground. Click the Orb of Command when it appears. After the door phase, War-God Jalak will spawn. Off-tank and burn him, continue on the boss.

Council of Elders

Tanks focus on swapping Frost King Malakk before reaching 15 stacks of Frigid Assault. Prioritize killing adds: Loa Spirits and Living Sands. If there are no adds, DPS the empowered boss -- it'll be big and purple. Offing Sul first is usually easiest. Priestess: interrupt Wrath of the Loa, kill spirits. Frost King: stack on the player with Frostbite. Kazra'jin: avoid charges, use damage-reduction cooldowns on Overload. Sul: interrupt Sand Bolt, kill adds, don't stand in Quicksand.

If you want a more in-depth look of the bosses in the first wing of the Throne of Thunder, check out our complete guides:

Filed under: Raiding, Raid Guides, Mists of Pandaria

Officers' Quarters: Casual raiding's demise?

Horridon smashes a raid to dust
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Cataclysm's introduction of the Raid Finder, or LFR, has certainly affected all levels of raiding. But will it eventually bring about the end of small, casual raiding guilds, as one officer fears? Or does it mean that he needs to change his approach?

Hey Scott,

I'm an officer in a small, casual raiding guild. By "casual" I mean we only raid two nights a week from 9-12, and typically we run a 10% nerf behind when it comes to clearing content.

Our niche has always been as a "friendly community that offers members the chance to experience content in a laid-back atmosphere." Here's my question . . . what do you see as the impact of LFR (and to a lesser extent, LFG) on casual raiding guilds such as ours?

Personally, I've always viewed it as a negative. LFR erodes the need for community in the game. Meanwhile, for the casual raiding guild, the biggest draw we can offer to players on our realms is our sense of "community".

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Patch 5.2: Getting ready for release day

Patch 52 Getting ready for release
Earlier today, we mentioned Bashiok's patch 5.2 release date estimate of late February. However, the blog post in which this tentative release date was mentioned contains a lot of great information on preparing for the patch which should not be missed.

Some of the topics covered include:
  • How to reach the Isle of the Thunder King and entering the new raid instance.
  • Throne of Thunder normal difficulty available in the first week, Heroic difficulty opens the week after
  • Throne of Thunder on Raid Finder opens the same week as Heroic raids (Week 2) with a new section each week after that
  • 480 item level needed to enter Throne of Thunder on Raid Finder
  • All Valor points will be reset and converted down to Justice points
  • Current Valor items will have their costs reduced (25-50% reduction)
  • Valor item upgrades won't be available in patch 5.2
  • Recapping the Legendary meta gem and what will happen to your Sha-Touched weapons
  • Ability to champion select reputations for the first Heroic and Scenario queue of the day
  • The Tillers can also help your reputation by issuing you work orders from the various factions.
  • 5.2 Valor items are tied to raid reputation from boss kills and not dailies (which can be earned via Raid Finder)
If you're still looking for ways to prepare for patch 5.2, our very own Kristin wrote up some excellent points to get yourself ahead of the pack.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Ways to avoid LFR wipes

Simple steps to avoid LFR wipes
We all know that feeling of dread. The one when you zone into your LFR group, and see the aftermath of a wipe. People start leaving, your group that you've waited an hour for falls apart at the seams, and all because of a wipe. It seems that patience, while undoubtedly sill a virtue, is in short supply once players zone in to the Raid Finder. Players leave when wipes happen, and if I put on my impatient hat, it's not that hard to see why with the sheer duration of some Raid Finder battles. Certain fights seem to last forever.

So, how do you avoid wipes in the Raid Finder?

Check roles and readiness

It's often the case that players in the Raid Finder aren't really paying attention just before a pull because of the group waiting while the tanks discuss strategy, or that the tank has zoned in, glanced at their panes, and gone barreling in without paying too much attention to the status of other players. As a result, a ready check is often a great idea. Fire one off just before the pull happens just to see whether people are paying attention, and to say "hey we're ready to go."

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Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Does Mists of Pandaria need new heroic five-man content?

Does Mists of Pandaria need new heroic fiveman content
While recording the WoW Insider Show this week, my two co-hosts Anne Stickney and Olivia Grace were discussing heroic five man dungeons and made the interesting point that, while Cataclysm used new heroics to help people catch up in gearing as new raid tiers were released, the advent of the Raid Finder might mean that it isn't necessary anymore. If you're running LFR as your primary way to see/experience raid content, then you'd simply run previous LFR's in order to gear up and collect valor points for the various reputation vendors. This would allow you to get geared enough for further LFR as new raid tiers are released, and keeps the previous LFR's relevant. If you're running the current 10 or 25 man raids, you can use the LFR's for those raids to bootstrap yourself appropriately if you're not already geared well enough from the previous tier of raiding.

Either way, you don't need new heroic dungeons for the task - between daily quests, scenarios and LFR, the Cataclysm model which placed new five mans in patch 4.1 and 4.3 might no longer be necessary. Challenge modes keep the heroics that launched with Mists of Pandaria evergreen, since you can't outgear them, but is that enough for fans of five mans? While both Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm introduced post-launch dungeons, Burning Crusade really only introduced Magister's Terrace in its last content patch. This makes me wonder if we really need any new five mans, and if we do, what would/should they be?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Are our Cataclysm attitudes ruining Mists?

Are our Cataclysm attitudes ruining Mists
Back in Cataclysm, the world was a very different place. While the journey from 80 to 85 was certainly a little tiresome, with the obligatory travel through Deepholm bringing many a draenei to their oddly-shaped knees, once that achievement flashed across your screen you were home and dry.

Gearing a character for raiding was a predictable and straightforward task. Get a few bits and jump into the latest 5-mans, which were very easy and certainly achievable with PvP gear, as long as you were one of the classes that didn't do too badly from it. Preferably not a plate tank, then!

If you were adamant that cheaty PvP-based gearing wasn't for you, you could just run a few of the normals and earlier heroics, such as the Zul'roics or even the ones before, to get yourself geared to an acceptable level for the 4.3 heroics. What's more, your main could send your alts decent, current gear with their inevitable glut of valor points, and your justice points bought you the previous tier's gear.

Why the Cataclysm retrospective? As a reminder of how easy it was, in Cataclysm's twilight hours, to level and gear alts to a raid-ready level, or, for that matter, to a competitive PvP level. Quite apart from the ease, it was really the only thing left to do, after months upon months of Dragon Soul.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

From ding to spring: Fully clearing Mists of Pandaria's endgame raids in 3 weeks or less

Something about gearing up
In case you missed the big news, the Thunder King will be upon us in Patch 5.2, coming to you (live!) sometime in the next couple months. Unfortunately, many of you are just now receiving Mists of Pandaria under the tree, or are getting back into the game after reaching level 90, and are overwhelmed with all the endgame options available to you. Don't worry about it! By following this guide, we'll get you from a fresh level 90 character to a full clear of all 5.0 raids in three weeks or less, with no expensive outlays of time or cash. Plenty of time to prepare for dinomancers!

Prerequisites

First, you need to have a level 90 character. If you don't have one yet, it's okay: the experience required to level from 1-85 was significantly reduced when Mists of Pandaria was released, so you'll be able to catch up quickly. Once you reach 85, hop over to Pandaria and enjoy the new quests. You'll gain a level for each zone you clear, more or less. You can also run some normal mode 5-man dungeons if you'd like, though go easy; you'll be running the heroic versions quite frequently at 90.

Second, you'll want a DPS spec and a good set of starter gear for it. Completing the Dread Wastes or Townlong Steppes quests will get you outfitted; if you don't have DPS gear laying around to actually complete the quests, Len of Arms will happily sell you a set of 408's to get going. You can also search the auction house; many blue BoE's in the ilvl 430-450 range are listed frequently, for pretty reasonable prices.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Elder Charms, LFR loot, and perception of the doubly random

One of the things I've noticed since Mists of Pandaria launched is rooted in a quirk of human psychology. The commonplace becomes expected, the expected becomes tedious, and what was once a reward seems less so. I'm talking about what happens when you use an Elder Charm of Good Fortune to get an extra roll on loot for a boss, whether it be in LFR or a guild raid, and you get extra gold instead of an item, or an item you already have.

Ultimately, you haven't really lost anything save the Elder Charm itself, and there's a hard cap of 10 on those, so you would have ended up using it sooner or later anyway. But it feels like a loss, strangely enough, when you use the charm and see the word gold pop up, even though it isn't. I was thinking about this while reading a forum thread with a response from Draztal today.

Draztal - the big LFR loot whiners topic
Quote:

That's basically what all the whiners are saying.

At the risk of sounding "old" but I remember years ago; if you were pugging current content raids, you were lucky if the group could even kill the boss. Never mind also getting loot.

Perhaps what's happening is that some players are having the illusion that because the roll is happening, something must drop eventually (eventually being, more often than not). But, if I may, I'd suggest you guys note down how many drops (for your character) do you encounter in your guild raids of a given week and how much competition you have going on for them.

When you factor those things in, does LFR really feel *that* different to the speed at which you gear up when you're competing against others in your guild? I'm just curious :-)


My answer is yes, it does feel different, but not because of LFR itself. It feels different mostly because, when people use their Elder Charm they have an expectation that isn't grounded in reality, myself included. No one uses that coin wanting gold. You use the coin hoping that the item you need from the boss will drop, which is human nature. But the coin is random.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Do you PUG?

Raid
I have a love/hate relationship with pugging. I'll have a mediocre to wonderful time, random after random, and then one horrific experience makes me quit PUGs for months. I have a thick skin for writing on the internet ... er, let me rephrase that. I now have a thick skin for writing on the internet for over five years. But playing with pick up groups for the same amount of time still hasn't toughened me up.

Battlegrounds? No problem. I'm not sure why. The language and verbal attacks are often much worse there, and I know that's why many people stay away. But I guess it's more impersonal there and much more common. Maybe that's why I can handle it so easily.

It is definitely much more personal in a 5-man group. That's certain. It's not "you all suck," but "you suck, Laurel." If I'm really not doing well, there are better ways to tell me, obviously. More often, however, the blamer is the one with the problem. "Learn to heal!" -- says the rogue pulling the entire room while the tank is waiting for the casters to regen mana. "[expletive deleted]," he goes on to say. These experiences really bother me and I just can't deal for a while.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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