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Posts with tag raid-retrospective

Addon Spotlight: Blizzard's built-in raid profiles

Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

Welcome to Magical Mat's Addonitorium and Fun Palace, where all of your user interface and addon dreams come true! Gaze at the mystical River of Lua. Treat your eyes to the unbridled spectacle of the Profile Forest. Enter, if you dare, the dreaded Cave of Errors ... Actually, I lied. There isn't an Addonitorium; it's just my living room. The Fun Palace is a closet with a vacuum and a Swiffer. The wet kind of Swiffer.

This week's addon really isn't an addon, but I think that the functionality that this feature provides -- and provides for everyone regardless of what you download -- has changed a great deal for the better over time. With patch 4.2, Blizzard introduced a new Raid Profiles interface option for players to tinker with. Customization on a Blizzard feature? Say it ain't so! Credit where credit is due, kind readers, for Blizzard is on the path to perfection with these additions to its new raid frames.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Wrath Retrospective: Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader, part two

Trial of the Crusader was, for all intents and purposes, an experiment. The world part of raiding, from suppressor rooms to the Twin Emperors and beyond, has always been the stifling mechanic of trash. "The real meat of the dungeon's content should be the boss fights," the masses cried! And for the most part, they are right. Trash serves many purposes, from creating artificial time sinks and flavor, to teaching players mechanics that they would then need to hone, skill wise, against a boss. Trial of the Crusader paved a very different path, succeeding in many areas, but ultimately failing in many others. ToC was uneven at best, soul-destroying at worst.

Let's look back!

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

Wrath Retrospective: Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader, part one

Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader/Grand Crusader (collectively "ToC") were the middle children of the Wrath raiding family. And like many middle children, they both turned out wildly different from the children before and after them. Ulduar and ToC could not have been farther apart in design, structure, implementation, and style. I would love to share with you my experiences in both raids as a business-casual raider and my own thoughts looking back on these two distinct experiences.

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

Wrath Retrospective: Ulduar


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.

Ulduar was released with patch 3.1 in April of 2009. Until the release of patch 3.2 in August 2009, Ulduar was the highest level 10- and 25-man raid content in World of Warcraft. It's fair to say that Ulduar was at best tangential to the overarching story of Wrath of the Lich King that concluded in Icecrown Citadel, but I also think it's fair to say that Ulduar took everything that had gone before it in Naxxramas, the Eye of Eternity and Obsidian Sanctum and distilled down to a refined, satisfying raid experience.

Ulduar took the vehicle fight mechanic of EoE and managed to make it fun, interesting and variable, incorporating the hard mode mechanic first developed in Obsidian Sanctum and then expanding on it in several different ways. It allowed for optional bosses that could be killed if a raid was gearing up or skipped once you were ready to move on to the end of the instance. It took the various teleport mechanics first seen in Karazhan and Black Temple in BC and made them part of the instance. It even had a "hard mode only" fight with a limited duration that could only be attempted for one hour every raid week from the first time it was started.

It's no secret that Ulduar is one of many people's favorite raids for this expansion (it's personally #2 for me, as I'm a much bigger fan of ICC than most), and there are quite a few reasons for that popularity.

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

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

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