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Posts with tag raiding-guide

Why Proving Ground gating on queued heroics is a good thing

It's certainly been a controversial move. Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas took to the forums recently to clarify some hastily translated interviews he did with fansites during last week's press event. There are several key things in Watcher's post that it seems people are missing, so let's just sum it up here.
  • Proving Ground Silver will be required for solo queue heroic dungeons
  • Group queue heroic dungeons will have no Proving Ground requirement
  • Proving Grounds will be updated to "further refine balance and mechanics"
Let's begin at the end. Read that last point, and then read it again for good measure. Yes, Proving Grounds have some issues at the moment, as far as balance goes. A lot of those issues actually relate to how well classes downscale with gear, how dependent they are on certain levels of certain stats. For example, let's look at fire mages. Fire mages scale really well with gear, as do their Arcane brothers and sisters. Take a fire mage and scale it right down to 463, and you'll have a harder time doing a silver Proving Ground than a class that scales down really well.

I did a little experiment as part of my research for this article. In an attempt to see how bad getting a Silver could be, I took a fire mage to the proving grounds. Not a new 90, but an unplayed one. My gear was woeful. I managed, with this gear, not at the hit cap, not even at ilvl 463 with downscaling, to reach wave 4 of Silver. Bronze took five tries.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

You're bad at WoW, and so am I

Blizzard Community Manager Lore recently posted a brief reply in an excellent thread, which brought up a topic I've wanted to address for some time: how it's OK to suck sometimes. While I'm not going to copy his two posts here, he talks about arenas, discussing how, when he and his team lose, he looks back and tries to work out where things went wrong, and what he could have done to help. He also discusses the merits of doing things like recording matches, to replay and examine what went wrong.

While the option of recording your WoW play may not be open to everyone, self-examination is. And it's something we can all afford to do. None of us ever play perfectly, we are not robots. But the key to becoming better is to admit that, to see our failings, and to improve upon them.

Sometimes it's you

Sometimes it is. Sometimes you'll lose an arena or wipe in a raid because of someone else's error -- your tanks messed up the switching, or the person who had a debuff failed to perform correctly. Even in those situations, it's good to think back and wonder whether your performance was optimal. Sure, you weren't the reason why your team wiped or lost, but what more could you have done to perform well on your own personal scale?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding

Bosses in 5 seconds: Siege of Orgrimmar LFR wing four

While we've been busy, in my guild, trying to draw awesome stars in Paragons of the Klaxxi with Iyyokuk the Lucid's fire lines, I've apparently not been busy making a Bosses in 5 Seconds for the fourth wing of Siege of Orgrimmar. By way of apology to the many people who've been asking me where it is, I'm writing it right now. Sorry for the rather lengthy delay. You can see the rest of the guides here. As ever, these are minimal guides for LFR. If you use them for anything else, that's on you!

Siegecrafter Blackfuse
  • Don't stand in the bad.
  • There will be rings of bad appearing, the first one to activate is the middle one. Don't stand in it, then do, after it's gone off.
  • Kill the fixating crawler mines. Ranged are best at this.
  • Ranged spread out for sawblades.
  • Kite the laser away from the group
  • Taunt at around 3 stacks of the debuff.
  • Swap to tank the shredder. Tanks kill the shredder. Bad on the floor hurts it. Use DPS CDs once it's jumped, keep it 40 yds from the boss.
  • On the belt, don't kill the Electromagnet, prioritize Crawler Mines*. (LFR usually skips the belt)
*While it's not needed in the instructions, this merits explanation. The Electromagnet uses Magnetic Crush which removes the Sawblades from the area. These deal a good amount of damage to anyone who stands on or near them, so removing them will help your healers and keep the deaths low. Crawler mines require several players to switch DPS off the boss.

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Filed under: Raiding

Bosses in 5 seconds: Siege of Orgrimmar wing three

Wing three is upon us! It opened today on US servers, and will hit Europe tomorrow like a runaway dinosaur fixating on the Siberian tundra. We've already got the first wing done in our inimitable five second style, and the second one's up for your reading delectation as well. Now, though, it's starting to get serious with wing three. Actually, to be honest, this is a pretty easy wing. Wing four's going to be the clincher.

As always, remember, these aren't in-depth guides for your heroic raid. They're arming you with just enough knowledge to get your group through the LFR version of the fight, mostly intact.

Malkorok
  • Healers, in phase 1, your heals won't heal. Instead there will be colored blobs on the raid frames. Keep them green. They're absorb shields, that you're building by healing.
  • He'll do cone-shaped smashes that affect segments of the room. Don't stand in them. Also, after every three smashes, he'll re-explode the three areas he smashed. Don't stand in that.
  • Soak purple swirls
  • When he goes into Blood Rage, stack up. Run out with the debuff if your healers are struggling.
  • Everything hurts more as the fight progresses.

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Filed under: Raiding

Siege of Orgrimmar LFR Wing Two opens

Siege of Orgrimmar LFR Wing Two opens
Get ready for the LFR chaos to ramp still higher as wing two opens. This section includes Galakras, Iron Juggernaut, Kor'kron Dark Shaman and General Nazgrim, and we're really getting into the fun stuff now, after the relatively gentle introduction that was wing one.

We'll be putting together a guide that details the bosses in five seconds strategy before too long, but in the meantime you can check out our full guides from our PTR testing of the bosses. Which are you most excited about? Which has got you worried? Personally I'm looking forward to Iron Juggernaut. Not because I think it's a particularly excellent fight or anything, but because it's a huge robot scorpion that shoots fire. Frankly I think that's reason enough to be excited about a fight, don't you?

And the good news is that, despite the additional difficulty of this wing, we've got two weeks to deal with it and learn the strategies before the next wing of LFR opens on the 8th of October. That one is where it really starts to get crazy, with Malkorok, Spoils of Pandaria and Thok the Bloodthirsty, so get yourself ready for some LFR fun! And be good to each other. We're all new to this.

Filed under: Raiding

The right and the wrong ways to use healing meters

The right and the wrong ways to use healing meters
Meters are a sticky topic. My esteemed colleagues Dawn Moore and Matt Low have both touched on them and their use in the past, but it's time for a few lessons. Some home truths, if you will. Healing meters are something of a problem. Why are they an issue? Well, healing isn't measurable in the same way as DPS is. A while back, in my guild, we had a paladin healer who bragged constantly about his HPS -- yes, healing per second.

Now, DPS isn't even the optimal way to measure damage. HPS is far from the optimal way to measure healing. Why not? Well, there's so much more to healing than just raw numbers. If the paladin in question blindly blasted out his max HPS in a short fight, he might accidentally be efficient, but on longer fights, where triage healing was needed and DPS was tight, he went out of mana immediately. He was using healing meters the wrong way. He was using them like damage meters, looking at hard numbers and thinking that was the measure of a good healer. So how should you use them? And what are the pitfalls to avoid?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Patch 5.4: Patch notes updated with smart heal information

Patch 54 Patch notes updated with smart heal information
The latest iteration of the patch 5.4 patch notes has been posted over at Wowhead, and they contain some changes to AoE heals. As Perculia explains,
Several heals now function like smart heals, in which the 6 most injured friendly targets within range, and minor guardians are no longer targeted. Affected heals are Healing Rain, Holy Radiance, Holy Word: Sanctuary, Light's Hammer, and Spinning Crane Kick.
Smart heals are heals which, as Perculia says, pick out the players who need healing the most, and put their heals into those people. Previously, spells such as Healing Rain would target everyone inside them, whether they needed healing or not. That included players, hunter pets, warlock minions, everything. What was the problem with that? Well, particularly in 25-man heroic raids, spells like Healing Rain were causing massive input lag.

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Filed under: Raiding

Patch 5.4: Bashiok talks raid difficulty and unlock schedule

Patch 54 Bashiok talks raid difficulty and unlock schedule
Blizzard Community Rep Bashiok has been writing up a storm in the US forums, in a thread discussing the unlock schedule of the Siege of Orgrimmar raid. Of course, as you're most likely already well aware, this is the first raid which will introduce the Flexible Raiding tier, and as a result the unlock schedule has undergone some changes, and whenever things change, people complain. The original post was calling for all content to be opened at the same time to all difficulties, and Bashiok was issued with the difficult task of quelling the unrest. I'm not going to put all his responses in here, they're too long, if you want to you can check out the original thread.

The release schedule argument basically runs as follows. One side asserts that you should allow all parties to access all content at once, otherwise it is unfair to people who can't access the harder difficulties for whatever reason, since they pay a sub just like everyone else. What's more, it encourages elitism to open the easier content later.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Bottom-line expectations for raiders in World of Warcraft

Bottomline expectations for raiders in World of Warcraft DNP
While the shape of raiding has changed drastically since World of Warcraft debuted in 2004, you'll still find that raiders in any raid group -- even other players in a Looking For Raid group -- expect a certain level of preparation, game knowledge, and social savoir faire from everyone participating. Players who trip blithely and cluelessly into the LFR or, worse, a raiding guild have no one but themselves to blame if the experience explodes in a messy, contentious drama bomb.

But isn't there a place for new raiders? Isn't the LFR supposed to be a casual, drop-in experience? Absolutely -– but that doesn't mean you can expect to stroll in with zero preparation or forethought. A game that's been running for this many years develops a higher bar for entry-level expectations. It's OK to head into a raid with no raiding experience, but you may find yourself dropped or mocked if you blunder in completely unprepared. Comport yourself with aplomb with these bottom-line expectations for anyone who wants to raid in World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Drama Mamas

Siege of Orgrimmar Preview: Norushen

Siege of Orgrimmar Preview Norushen

Norushen is expected to be a part of the third encounter in the Siege of Orgrimmar that's coming in with patch 5.4. After we cut through the trash, we found that Norushen prevented us from going any further. Apparently, he detected that we were full of pride and said our bodies had to be purged before we could advance onwards.

Our main job here is to defeat the Amalgam of Corruption. It's the elements of pride within us combined into something that we can tangibly kill. If we don't kill the Amalgam within 7 minutes, Norushen's quarantine zone kills everyone.

And how does one about purifying themselves? Why I thought you'd never ask!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Raid Guides

Siege of Orgrimmar Boss Preview: Immerseus

Siege of Orgrimmar Boss Preview Immerseus
Immerseus is the first boss in the new Siege of Orgrimmar raid, located just inside the entrance in the Vale of not-quite-so-eternal Blossoms. Descending into the room, you will encounter Immerseus in this circular area. When moused over, he shows up as "tears of the vale" -- the poor thing is created from the corruption of the life-giving pools of the Vale.

As the first boss of the raid, it should come as no surprise that Immerseus is very straightforward, but the mechanics, though simple, deal heavy damage if not dealt with correctly. Player are essentially trying to cleanse Immerseus' corruption by beating the corruption out of him, and killing it before it can get back. He has two phases, Tears of the Vale and Split. Immerseus will begin the fight in Tears of the Vale, and the object is to DPS Immerseus down to zero health, when he will shift into his Split mode.

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Guides

Siege of Orgrimmar Boss Preview: Kor'kron Dark Shaman

Patch 54 PTR Kor'kron Dark Shaman
The Kor'kron Dark Shaman are the seventh boss of the new Siege of Orgrimmar raid instance, which will arrive in patch 5.4. They are the second boss in the Gates of Retribution wing, which is the first of three wings which are located in Orgrimmar. These wings will be applicable to both the Raid Finder and Flexible Raiding difficulties. Kor'kron Dark Shaman was tested in 10-man normal mode with three healers, and two tanks.

The start of the fight sees the two shaman, Earthbreaker Haromm and Wavebinder Kardris, who share a health pool, inside what used to be Garrosh's throne room. They are accompanied by two dogs, and the room is extremely small for the fight on 10-man difficulty, let alone 25-man, so it is best that all four are pulled outside. On PTR, the pull required quite some caution, as the combination of a +100% frost damage debuff cast on the Haromm tank and Kardris' Froststorm Bolt caused some serious issues if aggro was not well-managed, not to mention the bolt one-shotting DPS and healers. The two wolves seemed completely insignificant, with only 12 million HP each they were DPS'd down extremely quickly, then the fight begins for real.

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Filed under: Raiding

Flexible Raiding lockouts and queues clarified

Flexible Raiding lockouts clarified
As with any new feature, confusion abounds around Flexible Raiding and just how it will work. Blizzard Community Manager Taepsilum took to the forums to clarify various aspects, including lockouts.
Taepsilum
Right now, the idea is to have FR lockouts work very similarly to lockouts in LFR.
You will be able to repeat bosses, and that will actually still be somewhat rewarding, you'll be able to use additional bonus rolls, earn Valor Points, and potentially loot some shinnies from trash...

There's something unique about FRs though, I'll explain it with an example:
Let's say you join a 12man and kill the first boss, leave the raid, and join a 20man, you might have to repeat the first boss.

"Might", so how does that work?
If everyone in the new 20man raid has already killed the first boss just like you did, then that boss will not spawn.
But even if only 1 of the players in that 20man has not killed the first boss, he will spawn again and everyone else will have to repeat the encounter.
This is all pretty confusing stuff! WoW Insider reached out to Blizzard for some additional clarity on just how the raid lockouts will work, and they came back with some more information.

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Filed under: Raiding

25-mans have higher Thunderforged drop rate than 10-mans

25mans have higher Thunderforged drop rate than 10mans
The new Thunderforged loot designation -- much like the affix Raid Finder -- was introduced into Patch 5.2 for a number of reasons by Blizzard. While the affix does stay certain pieces from disenchantable execution on farm bosses, players largely regarded Thunderforged items as another attempt to help 25-man raiding guilds stay afloat. The developers didn't want to go back to late Wrath of the Lich King model of completely higher loot in 25mans, so instead Thunderforged items can drop in both sized raids. However, the drop rate in 25-mans would be higher than that of 10-mans.

"How frequent is more frequent?" players would ask, especially when given the chance to chat with the developers about patch 5.2. Ghostcrawler deflected the question on TotemSpot's interview, preferring to let players figure out the drop rates themselves.

Fortunately for us, WoWProgress has analyzed the loot drops using its database of characters, guilds, and bosses killed this first week of Patch 5.2. Looking at loot gains from Jin'rokh the Breaker, specifically:
  • 11.7% of the 10-man loot equipped by characters was Thunderforged
  • 25.7% of the 25-man loot equipped by characters was Thunderforged
Even figuring in disenchanted items, WoWProgress figures the drop rates to be approximately 10% for 10-man and 25% for 25-man. From personal anecdote, my 25-man raiding guild saw usually one but sometimes two Thunderforged drops per boss in addition to four to five regular mode drops. Tier pieces, of course, will never drop as Thunderforged.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

GuildOx interviews Ion Hazzikostas

GuildOx interviews Ion Hazzikostas
As patch 5.2 looms ever closer, Blizzard has opened their doors, offering insights into the ideas, plans and processes behind the upcoming patch. WoW Insider's Anne Stickney interviewed Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak yesterday, and now GuildOx has published their interview with Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas.

The GuildOx interview brings up many interesting insights into the new raid, from the man leading the team who designed it. WoW Insider found several of Ion's answers particularly interesting, for example, he indicated that the Dark Animus fight, as pictured above, is probably the most innovative, and we certainly agree.

Ion also has some tips for guilds tackling the new raid:
Take your time, pace yourself, and enjoy the variety of the tier. It's a large one. There are fights that focus on different skills, and if you're struggling with one encounter, it's quite possible that a fight that plays to your group's strengths, and which you'll have a much easier time with, lies just over that hill.

If your guild runs into a roadblock on Normal mode, consider revisiting any 5.0 raids that you never finished, or trying some of the 5.0 Heroics for more gear upgrades to complement the ilvl-522 and -528 gear you'll be getting from your Throne of Thunder kills each week.

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Filed under: Interviews

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