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Posts with tag raids

WoW Archivist: The triumph and tragedy of Ulduar

Windows in Ulduar
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?

With patch 5.2 on the PTR, everyone is talking about Mists' next tier of raiding content. If the buzz seems more intense than usual, it might be because of the hints that Ghostcrawler and others at Blizzard have dropped comparing the Throne of Thunder to Wrath's Ulduar raid.

Perhaps it's too soon to revisit Ulduar in an Archivist column. After all, the raid went live less than four years ago. I don't care. I want to talk about how amazing this place was, how Blizzard still managed to screw up such a good thing, and why we should all be excited for an Ulduar-style raid in 5.2.

Put the rose-colored glasses away here, folks. You don't need them -- Ulduar really was that fantastic.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

What raids will we see in patch 5.2?

Welcome to unfounded speculation country.

Since we're starting to hear little tidbids about patch 5.2 already why not just sit down and completely make up the flimsiest possible pretext about what potential new raids we might see in patch 5.2? We've already been mercilessly teased by the folks at Blizzard about it, who made many a WoW player from the Wrath days quiver with the following statement.

Zarhym: Just to add to that really quickly, I was sitting in on interviews with Ion (Hazzikostas) yesterday, and he kind of mentioned that we look back fondly on raids like Ulduar, in terms of scale -- so if that's any indication on where we might be going ...

Now, I have no more actual information than that to share with you. But why let that stop us? Let's sit down and play Wouldn't that be cool? and see if we can come up with any contenders for a big, sweeping Ulduar style raid for patch 5.2. What are our best contenders?

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Filed under: Raiding, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Officers' Quarters: Too much Stormstout ale

Chen enjoys a brew
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.

Adult raiders are free to enjoy a few adult beverages while they raid. This week, a guild leader wonders what to do when a raider has a few too many and ruins a night of raiding. (He also asks about raid scheduling, which isn't nearly as interesting, but we'll talk about it anyway.)

Hi Scott,

Yes, it's me again, Apocalyptic GM, sorry to be bothering you again, but you did such a good job last time of giving advice, that i felt the need to come to you again, especially now that two further large problems have arisen within my guild.

Firstly, the issue of raiding days. Currently i work shifts of 4 on 4 off at night time, which means i am only available for every 4 out of 8 days. We raided fine with this for the last 6 months ... but recently there has been some descent among the ranks, and complaints that people aren't happy with the current raiding days set up, and this hampering our time raiding. Now I could easily change to a fixed raiding days, but that would leave me frequently absent from raids, which is not something i would prefer. And this leaves me in a pickle as to what to do.

As guild master and raid leader I feel I should be able to set up raids to suit me, but then I also feel I should better accomodate my guild.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Challenge Modes could be coming to older dungeons

Challenge Mode could be coming to older dungeons
Blizzard Community Manager Draztal posted on the forums today in response to a topic created about Challenge Modes.

Draztal
Quote:

Will you guys ever consider adding more CMs, perhaps old dungeons like Ragefire Chasm/Wailing Caverns?.

Actually, the developers would like to add Challenge Modes to existing dungeons from previous expansions. No timelines or anything, though, but it's definitely something they're considering.


This seems like a really exciting proposition, and the question is, what dungeons would be the best ones to redo? We discussed this at WoW Insider, very briefly, and one suggestion was Upper Blackrock Spire and Lower Blackrock Spire. My preference would likely not be anything that took place in Blackrock Mountain, just because it seems like such a samey place, but what do you all think, dear readers?

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Officers' Quarters: My rant about raid roles

Troll priest
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.

It's been a long time since my last rant, but I read something today that really irked me, and now I feel compelled to write this column. I don't want to quote the email because the person involved asked a question that had nothing to do with this topic, and he was really just an innocent bystander getting hit with the shrapnel of a raid team willfully blowing itself up.

The part of his email that set me off was essentially this: "Our realm has very few healers, and we haven't been able to recruit one for months. As a result, our raid team is disbanding, and the raiders are going their separate ways. Our guild might lose every single officer except me."

To this I respond: What a bunch of selfish jerks.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Patch 5.1 official patch notes

Patch 51 official patch notes
Welcome to the beginning of war and the arrival of patch 5.1, Landfall. While this patch does not contain any new raid content, it is full of changes to pet battles and classes. And don't forget the new content -- an entirely new series of quests await adventurers in the heart of Krasarang Wilds, along with new scenarios to unlock. Included in the official patch notes:
  • Scenarios now include Dungeon Finder queue features, including leaders, backfill, vote to kick, and deserter debuffs. Roles are still not required.
  • Raid groups are no longer required to enter pre-Mists of Pandaria raid dungeons. Get to farming!
  • Speaking of old raid dungeons, a variety of new pets have been added to old raid bosses.
  • For fans of Pet Battles, be sure to check out the new Battle-stones, used to upgrade the quality of pets.

Read on for the full list of patch notes for patch 5.1.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: The long fight for debuff rights

Warlock casting corruption
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?

Debuffs help us beat bosses, but not all debuffs are created equal. Over WoW's eight years, debuffs have dealt extra damage, prevented damage, healed us, given us mana, slowed boss attacks, sped up our own, and helped us to hit harder.

Some are more powerful than others, but today those concerns are meaningless. Applying every possible debuff and keeping it active is a critical component to success.

Believe it or not, however, there was a time when your raid leader would yell at you for doing exactly that. Your weaker debuffs weren't just considered useless -- using them was a dire liability.

Eight is not enough

Vanilla WoW had an interesting, longstanding, and highly criticized technical limitation. A raid of any size could only apply a maximum of eight debuffs to a boss. As you can imagine, forty-player raids had many, many debuffs at their disposal, but only eight could ever be active at one time.

To make things worse, the game didn't differentiate between debuffs. The latest one that was applied would knock off the oldest one, regardless of type or power. It's not difficult to figure out how this could become a huge problem.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Patch 5.1 PTR patch notes update for Oct 23

Patch 51 PTR patch notes update for Oct 23
An update to the patch 5.1 PTR has just been released, with a bunch of new changes and adjustments. Along with a ton of class tweaks, there are plenty of changes and updates to Pet Battles and more. Most importantly and probably top on everyone's priority list is a change to raids that players have been waiting for for a very long time.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines -- as of patch 5.1, you will no longer need to be in a raid group to enter a pre-Mists of Pandaria raid.
  • Scenarios are now going to include Dungeon Finder queue features like leaders, backfill, and vote to kick.
  • The Dragon Kite can now be used in Pet Battles! Are balloons far behind? We hope not.
Read on for the full list of updates.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Interview with Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas

At the Mists of Pandaria launch event in Irvine last week, I had the opportunity to talk to Ion Hazzikostas, lead encounter designer for World of Warcraft, about Mists of Pandaria's raids and dungeons, lessons learned from Cataclysm and beyond, and the road ahead.

WoW Insider: State your name and position!

Ion Hazzikostas: My name is Ion Hazzikostas and I am the lead encounter designer for World of Warcraft.

What does that job entail?

I'm the lead on the encounter team, which is self-explanatory; we make the dungeon and raid content, primarily. We're specialists in multiplayer PVE combat. On top of the dungeons and raids, we also help with outdoor raid bosses, scenario bosses, things like that.

What would you say that your biggest goal going into Mists of Pandaria was?

Particularly on the dungeon and raid front, to provide content for everybody, for all kinds of players. And we recognize that there's a massive spectrum of millions of people who are playing and enjoying World of Warcraft - a huge range of skill, frankly, and time commitment, the whole casual-hardcore spectrum people always talk about. And one of the things that we've been doing over the evolution of the game is to add additional difficulties, additional ways of consuming that content. So, you know, we now have LFR, normal, and heroic raids, and now we've introduced challenge modes, a sort of new tier of actually legitimately difficult five-player content. It's one of the biggest differences from Cataclysm at launch; one of the things we heard from people who were in guilds with friends and they'd say "these dungeons are awesome, we're having a lot of fun" ... but the people who queued up in Dungeon Finder would have a miserable time.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Healers need something like the raid dummies

Healers need something like the raid dummies
If you didn't know by now, there will be a new raid dummy setup in Mists of Pandaria's latest beta build. They will be located in Shattrath and are designed to mimic a raid boss. They will have 50 million health, can be killed, respawn quickly and are set up in such a way that they won't interfere with other people's tests. They will not turn to face you, so you can practice DPSing from behind, and will give a full suite of raid buffs for the duration of your combat with the dummy.

The idea behind this new marvelous tool is to make it so players can get a better idea of their actual numbers in terms of damage output under the optimal conditions. It's a way to really bring simcrafting back into the game instead of solely through a spread sheet, adding a layer of practical application.

It's a fantastic idea, something that I think should have been around for a long while. While I agree something like this is fantastic for DPSers, lets not leave out the other player types as well. Something like this could be absolutely amazing for healers, something that I know would be most welcome.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria raids will have staggered release, none available at launch

 Mists of Pandaria raids will have staggered release, no raids available on September 25th
There will be no raids available to players when Mists of Pandaria is released on Sept.25, 2012. Blizzard announced today that the first tier of raids in Mists of Pandaria will have a staggered release. A single raid will be released one week after the launch of the expansion, Mogu'shan Vaults, and the raid finder version of that raid won't be available for another week after that. Nothing will change regarding the release of heroic modes, which will be available for the following lockout after players complete the raid on normal mode.

Tier 14's other two raids, Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring, will be released four weeks after the release of Mogu'shan Vaults. The full details of this announcement are outlined in the blue post below.

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Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

GuildOx data shows 50% decline in raiding guild activity

GuildOx data shows 50% decline in raiding guild activity
This news probably shouldn't come as a huge shock to anyone who understands the ebb and flow of WoW expansions, but GuildOx, a site that collects all kinds of data from the WoW Armory, has discovered that raiding guild activity has fallen 50% since the beginning of 2012. GuildOx site runner Polar tells us that a raiding guild is defined as "a guild that has gained a boss kill or raid achievement within the past month or those guilds that have completed heroic Madness of Deathwing." Activity in this case is defined, obviously, as killing a boss that week.

Again, not a huge shock; we're officially in Cataclysm's twilight (heh) years, and drop-off like this before an expansion is to be expected. It's worth noting in this case that the numbers for active raiders might be a little better than what's reflected here -- after all, plenty of guildless people have been able to raid thanks to Raid Finder, and that sort of activity wouldn't be tracked by this metric.

One thing's definitely for sure, though -- the game needs a jump start in the form of Mists of Pandaria if Blizzard wants people to stick around. Thankfully, it's right around the corner, but one wonders just how long this cycle can perpetuate. The end of Wrath and the lifetime of Cataclysm showed us that diminishing returns are already in effect, Annual Pass or no, but MoP's endgame is decidedly different than what we've seen in the past. Perhaps things will be different this time.

Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

Big Pineapple problems

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Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, and esoteroic topics that slip through the cracks.

Diablo III is a popular video game for the PC and Mac that sold a lot of copies and made a lot of people happy. Also, there was a lot of money. With great success comes great responsibility and cost, since the amount of success becomes proportional to the amount of crap to deal with to make the operation run smoothly. Being successful in the video game industry is not always what it's cracked up to be.

This past week has shed some light on two very interesting Diablo-related news pieces, putting Blizzard and its blockbuster dungeon crawler at the heart of scandals, government raids, clever vendors, banned games, and more international intrigue. You'd think that this was all a James Bond plot, but for the presence of guys with fanny packs and an overabundance of Utilikilts.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Enjoying the spoils of progress

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I enjoy a lot of aspects of World of Warcraft, and one of those aspects is the actual playing of the game. I like combat, whether I am tanking or DPS, the active working through of encounters and even the unfolding of trash pulls. I like learning what new mechanics do, how fights unfold and how they can be successfully completed. I love all of that -- but what I also love is the period after mastering content.

I shamelessly admit it here. I love when content goes on farm. I was ecstatic as Firelands went from hard to easy. I love feeling my gear improve, seeing my DPS or health go up, looking at my avoidance and mitigation and realizing that yes, I actually can get passive unhittable just through gear. (I'll miss that when the two-roll combat system comes out.) I like going back, months down the road, and tearing Baleroc in half like wet tissue paper. Remember me?

Part of this is simply because I like WoW best when I'm killing stuff. I don't like to sit idle in Stormwind or Orgrimmar, and I'm not terribly moved to stand around hawking my crafting wares or playing the Auction House. These are fine activities, to be sure, but they're most certainly not what I like to do in the game. No, the reason I played seven years ago is the reason I play now, because I like to hit things in the face with the largest possible things I can.

And taking their stuff -- I mustn't forget how much I like taking their stuff.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

How do you feel about warming the bench?

You know how raid nights go. Sometimes you have the bare minimum of people showing up, and you're desperately trying to fill spots. And on some occasions, everyone inexplicably shows up at the same time. When you go from barely scraping by with eight or 22 to suddenly dealing with a glut of 15 to 25, obviously somebody's not making it into the mix. So how do you decide who?

Some guilds simply go by attendance numbers; if you've shown up consistently, you're in. If you just happen to be making an appearance for farm night, you're out. Some guilds pick based solely on performance in the raid itself; if you're consistently pulling high DPS and not standing in fire, you're in. If you can't find your way out of a poison cloud with a map and GPS system showing you the way, you're out.

But what do you do when you're the one being sat?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

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