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Posts with tag raids

WoW Archivist: The curse of Karazhan

Karazhan Tower
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Something has been afoot in Karazhan of late. First, dataminers noticed that Karazhan had been renamed Medivh's Big Birthday Bash on the PTR. In the rechristened raid, objects such as cobwebs and skeletons had disappeared. Then a later build renamed it Karazhan 2: Eclectic Boogaloo. Senior game designer Jonathan Craft tweeted that fellow designer Dave Maldonado was responsible. Maldonado later said that nothing is happening. It turned out to be a test to see if a phased quest could be set there, but sadly it didn't work.

Many players would be excited to return to Karazhan, and it would make sense to do this in Warlords of Draenor. After all, Karazhan is from the same expansion that took us to the shattered remnants of Draenor back in 2007. Hopefully Blizzard will find a way to feature some Karazhan-based content during the next expansion.

Karazhan remains one of Blizzard's most popular raid zones, and for good reason. But did it succeed too well for WoW's own good? Let's look back at what Karazhan offered us in its prime and how it impacted raid design in future expansions.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Major raid changes coming in Warlords of Draenor

During the World of Warcraft - What's Next? panel, Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas unveiled the way raiding will be unveiled going forward. As you can see above, the term flexible raid is no longer used to describe a difficulty setting, and the flexible raid scaling system has been more widely implemented. Here's how it will basically work:
  • First up, the raid finder (LFR) will still aim for a fixed group size of 25 players. However, if you're in an LFR group and players drop before the next boss, that boss will scale to the size of the current group - as an example, if a raid of 25 players is fighting Paragons, then four players drop on the way to Garrosh, Mr. Hellscream (if you're nasty) will scale down to a 21 player size.
  • What we now call the Flexible difficulty will become Normal in patch 6.0 - it will scale just as it does now.
  • What we now call Normal difficulty (10 and 25 man) will scale flexibly and will be called Heroic difficulty. It will scale just as normal does.
  • Finally, Ion pointed out that scaling the most challenging encounters in terms of design requires a fixed raid size, and so, they've chosen that size to be 20 players. This difficulty, analogous to what we now call Heroic will be called Mythic difficulty.
I find it interesting that they chose to lock the most difficult raiding at a 20 player cap - I've always felt that we should have gone 10/20 at Burning Crusade's launch instead of 10/25, but I wonder why they didn't do a 10/20 split on Mythic for the dedicated 10 man guilds. I didn't expect that, but otherwise, I totally called it and I'm definitely excited. (I know for my guild, 20 man Mythic will be a lot easier to adjust to, but for dedicated 10's it won't be as easy a transition.)

Also, please forgive me a moment of smuggery, but I called it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Blizzard, Raiding, BlizzCon

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

How bad is raiding for melee?

How bad is raiding for melee
It's no secret, I raid as melee DPS right now. It's also no secret I tend to die a lot. Despite constantly rotating in Enraged Regeneration, Shield Wall, Die by the Sword and the draenei racial Gift of the Naaru, I tend to explode. I'm hardly unique in this, either. I see dead melee in pretty much every successful kill, but some fights are really bad. Fights like Kor'kron Dark Shaman especially seem designed and engineered to annihilate melee players, or keep them too busy running away to actually hit anything.

I was talking to Joe "Lodur" Perez about the tendency of melee characters to die on Twitter the other day, and he made some good points about how healers are conditioned to let DPS die. It made sense but it left me wondering if it's more or less of a problem in a particular raid size, if it's universal, if some groups run heavy melee and love it or if it's always better to run high ranged and if so, what can/should be done about it. I don't have a lot of answers for it, but I do think it's a question worth asking. Do raid leaders stack ranged preferentially over melee? Do healers prefer to see a high ranged count in the roster? What are your experiences with the subject as players?

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

Patch 5.4: Answers to Frequently Re-Asked Questions

Patch 54 Answers to Frequently ReAsked Questions
We here at WoW Insider see a few questions pretty much every time a new patch is announced. Often, we see these same questions asked repeatedly, many times after we've answered them. So, out of a desire to be helpful (and to have a place to point folks) here are a few of those questions, answered for you here.

Q: What is happening to my Valor/Conquest points in patch 5.4?
A: Your Conquest points will be converted to Honor. If you have 4000 honor already, or will be pushed over the 4000 honor mark by the conversion, they will be converted to gold. All other points, be they Valor, Justice, or Honor points will not be converted.

Q: What new gear can I get for Valor points?
A: None. There is no new Valor gear. Shado-Pan Assault gear will still cost Valor, but will be discounted by 34%. All other current Valor gear (from the original reputation gear to the Patch 5.1 items) will now cost Justice Points instead.

More questions answered following the jump.

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

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

How long is too long for a raid?

How long is too long for a raid
I remember the year I spent in Icecrown Citadel. I'm not really exaggerating - it was from December to December, so about a year total. It was about the longest time I spent on a raid, including the days of Molten Core - for comparison, Molten Core was the only real endgame raid besides Onyxia's Lair from November of 2004, WoW's release date, until July of 2005, so roughly eight months. Interestingly, the Shadow of the Necropolis patch (patch 1.11) came out in June of 2006, so in the year between the first and last raids of classic WoW we saw MC, Onyxia, BWL, Zul Gurub, Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj, Temple of Ahn'Qiraj and finally Naxxramas. All of these raids released between July of 2005 and June 2006. Not all of these raids were replacements for previous ones - Blackwing Lair and AQ 40 were considered 'sidegrades' from each other, at least until one killed C'thun, who until the release of Naxxramas had the best gear in the game. The two 20 man raids, ZG and AQ20, did not replace BWL or evn MC gear, they just provided another place to go.

Because of the way raids were structured back then it's a little misleading to compare classic's raid release schedule with our modern one. Raids were something a very few players overall did - there was no parity between smaller and larger raid sizes, no LFR, no flex (although by the time Naxxramas came out, some guilds were running MC, Onyxia and even BWL/AQ with smaller raids to maximize gear acquisition before heading into Naxx) and the only way to gear up for raids was either to be carried through said raids by geared groups and handed all the stuff they didn't want or need anymore, or to start on the ground floor and run the level 60 dungeons. The design wasn't structured around raiding being accessible or allowing a larger group of players to see these fights - raiders got to see them, and if that was 10% of the people playing the game, that's what it was.

It's interesting to look at how players react to raid content now. A commonly expressed sentiment is that Throne of Thunder, a raid first released on March 5th, 2013, has been around too long and players are eager for new content. This is a raid that has been around for six month, and will be superseded around the time it enters it's seventh. While hardly the shortest time a raid has ever had to be run through, it's not much longer than the initial tier of Mists raid content, either. Mists of Pandaria released on September 25th, 2012, meaning that from October 2012 to March 5th 2013 we only had MSV, HoF and ToES - a time of about five months. What makes five months acceptable and seven months unacceptable? Are two months that much longer to raid a zone?

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

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

The living game and the end of nostalgia

The ends of nostalgia
The downside to being the equivalent of a WoW immortal, having played close to non stop for the entire history of the game, is that you see a lot of things come and go. Guilds, players, friends, raids, dungeons, zones, expansions. It was all new once, and it all eventually isn't new anymore. And as a result, although I have in the past waged wars of words against nostalgia among the WoW playerbase, I can be as guilty of it as anyone.

There are, indeed, a great many things I miss. Some of them I get to see whenever I want, like Blackwing Lair and Un'Goro Crater, others are players who stopped playing, playstyles that are no longer valid (I loved and will always fondly remember the days of fury tanking Stratholme for my guild Eldritch Way over on Kilrogg, then taking the technique into raiding on Azjol-Nerub with Sworn, fury tanking in MC, BWL and AQ before finally speccing prot to tank Naxx) and even places that are just plain gone now. The other day, while doing my weekly scouring of the Barrens I realized that ever since Cataclysm, the zone I remember is gone, baby - Mankrik's wife is buried, and the days where I rolled a horde and leveled it to 60 just so I could attack my own guildmates when they raided the Crossroads are just as buried as she is.

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

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

Worlds Yet to Conquer: Ideas for new content in old places

There is a ton of lore in the Warcraft setting, from the first RTS game to the current MMO, four expansions down and counting. And one of the things I love about the setting is just how much we haven't seen yet, for all that we've been to Outland and fought the Scourge in Northrend and are now battling the effects of the Sha while dealing with old Titan repositories and mogu armies in Pandaria.

When Cataclysm came out, one of the better revamped quest areas was in Winterspring, where the remnants of the Blue Dragonflight after the death of Malygos were trying to combat an incursion by forces from outside Azeroth. I was thrilled to see satyrs from Xoroth and new etherals, because it got me excited about all the places in the Warcraft setting I haven't been yet. So I started thinking about places in that setting, both on Azeroth and beyond, where I would love to see a dungeon or a raid to get us to go back and explore them, or even to introduce those places to the game for the first time. And because this just happens to be a website that talks about WoW, I have a ready-made place to discuss these things with you.

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

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