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Posts with tag ready-check

Ready Check interviews Brian Holinka and Ion Hazzikostas

Eye of C'Thun
This past week the hosts of EU-based podcast Ready Check were lucky enough to go visit Blizzard's offices in Versailles, where they met up with Brian Holinka and Ion Hazzikostas for a lively round of Q&A. The podcast--with attendant full transcript, don't you worry, folks who can't play the podcast--covers a very broad range of topics, and PvPers should be particularly interested in the broad discussion about arenas. Gothiques and Athene bring up some wonderful points about arena queuing, and matching, and the little ways in which the system often results in unexpectedly wasted time, as well as the ways in which not-entirely-honest players can manipulate that system in their favor. Both Holinka and Hazzikostas have insights to offer on these problems, and there's some good back-and-forth about potential solutions and improvements to the existing arena systems.

In addition to the excellent PvP discussions, the interview features some talk of Warlords of Draenor and the future--some of which we've already heard about, but I am so excited for garrisons and a toys tab that I could listen to this stuff all day long. Do you know how many bag spaces I'm going to get back once that toys tab goes live? In the words of the Diablo Templar companion, it will be glorious! There's also some really fun discussion on the philosophy and practice of encounter and mechanics design, and how the WoW team goes about building raids and bosses. This was perhaps my favorite part of the interview, because I am a hopeless PvPer and am much more at home among WoW's raid bosses. In any case, no matter what part of the game you enjoy, there's something in this interview for you. You can check out the full transcript and podcast episode at Ready Check's own website, so make sure to click on over to the whole thing!

Filed under: Podcasting, Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Ready Check: Blood Princes

Ready Check is a column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Icecrown Citadel, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses.

In every great raid, there is a council. Black Temple had the Illidari Council. Ulduar has the Iron Council. Icecrown Citadel chimes in to the chorus with the Blood Prince Council. They are three vampires who have been brought back (again) to serve the Lich King under Queen Lana'thel. These three Princes are Keleseth, Taldaram, and Valanar.

The Blood Princes can be a difficult fight for many raids, forcing a ranged DPS to tank and for your entire raid to pitch in with handling adds. The challenge is that the Council is actually three different fights that swap phases according to which of the San'layn are empowered at the time.

Let's take a look behind the jump and break down the individual pieces of this fight.

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Filed under: Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Cooldown Management



Ready Check is a twice-a-week column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Today, we're going to look at a specific tactic for speeding your success through each encounter -- cooldown management.


The proper use of a raid's cooldowns is pretty key to maximizing your damage output. (Cooldown is one word. Yes. it. is.)

One moment, you are a meager Retribution Paladin. You struggle to maintain your place on the DPS chart. Your weak blows are the stuff of ridicule and angsty blog posts. The Death Knight next to you merely smirks at your DPS, his condescending unibrow peering at you from within his dark, dark helmet of angst. Try as you might, you can barely generate a cooling wind as you struggle to perform for your raid leader.

And then you blow wings. Suddenly, your damage is the stuff of legend! With those golden heralds of power and magnificence unfurling from your broad, manly shoulders, there is no enemy who can stand before you! You speak in all exclamation points! Women and men in Leia-costumes hurl themselves at your feet, while you swat away weaksauce Rogues and OP Warlocks with the barest of effort! Ghostcrawler is forced to resign, offering you the ultimate power in World of Warcraft design! You are fantastic!

And then it's over, so very, very much too soon. You are left to wait until your next cooldown is up to once again recapture that former glory, and remember what it was like to be the quarterback.

Okay, I exaggerate. But the idea that cooldown use increase your performance should be obvious. They don't put a spell in your Spellbook because they don't want you to use it. (Well, they rarely do so, anyway.) But cooldown management is a challenge for every raider. While a lot of folks have their cooldown management well under hand, there's still plenty of folks out there who could use some handy tips.

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Filed under: Ready Check (Raiding)

The Queue: Raid goes up, boss goes down

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

I was going to follow up Adam's cute cat picture with a picture of my own pets, but since my landlord doesn't let me have any, I figure you're not interested in pictures of my roomba. It's quite cute in person, but unfortunately it comes across as a bit lifeless in pictures. It's a bit camera shy.

jet242 asked...


"I was wondering whats the best way to make money off of copious amounts of cloth, I have around 600 pieces of Frostweave sitting in the bank."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Ready Check: Sartharion



Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we try to avoid dying in a fire. Again.


In keeping with this weekend's theme, we all know there's nothing that shows your love for another pixellated avatar as sincerely as slaying a dragon for them. Throughout history, knights in shining armour have triumphed victorious in the face of fire-breathing monsters, and this week's Ready Check is no exception. (We'll deal with Sartharion's frost-breathing compatriot in an upcoming week, don't fret!)

Sartharion the Onyx Guardian is a 'standalone' boss located in the Obsidian Sanctum below Wyrmrest Temple. Accompanied by a trio of lesser drakes, this encounter can be approached a number of ways, making it challenging to a wide audience. Although clearing the trash is necessary, killing the drakes before engaging Sartharion is optional; any drakes left alive before beginning the fight will join in during the encounter, adding extra challenge (and loot) to those who desire it.

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Filed under: Tips, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Kel'Thuzad)


Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Tonight, we finish off Naxxramas, check our watches, and ask, "What else is left to kill around here?"

Out of all the forum posts written concerning raid content back in Burning Crusade, I remain fondest of a guide to Tier 6 written by Gragnarth of Andorhal, who I assume must be a deeply cynical person by nature. Within you'll find expert tips on Illidan ("If YOU get demoned you say something to the effect hey I got demoned, and then hope that you are well liked"), Shade of Akama ("I play a fury warrior, and as a result i have no clue what the strategy for this boss is"), and Rage Winterchill ("Make sure you have at least 1 person bandaging the Main Tank every minute"). But the comment that seemed to get the most mileage was one concerning Illidari Council, which was colorfully described as "THE SUPER BOWL OF NOT STANDING IN THINGS!" This phrase subsequently entered the parlance of many a raiding guild, and I'm reminded of it whenever I look at AoE-intensive fights.

Kel'Thuzad isn't a fight with the kind of AoE damage you'll see on (for example) Malygos, but I rather like to think of him as being the Super Bowl of spreading out. For every time you've heard your raid leader howl at the raid to "Spread the ^*#% out!" before, you'll be hearing it five times more here, and with good reason.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Ready Check (Raiding), Achievements

Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Sapphiron)

Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we're heading to Sapphiron and Kel'Thuzad to visit a few old friends, complete Naxxramas, and wonder to ourselves why everyone on the server has a Journey's End but us.

Welcome back! With the Spider Quarter, Construct Quarter, Plague Quarter, and Death Knight Quarter out of your way, the teleport to Sapphiron's room (and from there, Kel'Thuzad) will become available. There's no trash to worry about, just two big, ugly bosses between you and the completion of Naxxramas. Tonight we'll deal with Sapphiron; tomorrow we'll head in to finish off the big lich himself.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Thaddius)


Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week we're on our way to the last two bosses of Naxxramas -- but not without a stop at the ultimate boss of the Construct Quarter.

If you didn't get to see Naxxramas at 60 but did the first boss of the Mechanar in Burning Crusade, you're already familiar with the major "trick" to the Thaddius fight. Actually, you can make a pretty compelling case that Thaddius is easier than Mechano-Lord Capacitus, mostly because the platform on which Thaddius is situated is ideally configured for the encounter. Mechano-Lord was usually a mess of planning beforehand about where you'd go if you were melee and your charge was different from the tank's, etc. That's not a problem here. But before you get to Thaddius -- who, by the way, is the source of most of the eerie cries you'll hear in this quarter -- you have to deal with a few mobs along the way.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Ready Check (Raiding), Achievements

Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Gluth)


Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week we begin to examine the rest of the Construct Quarter.

Hey folks. This installment is going up a bit late due to connection issues that left me offline for most of last week, for which I sincerely apologize. We'll have Gluth today, Thaddius tomorrow, and Sapphiron/Kel'thuzad on Saturday, which should finish off all of Naxx for us. But first, let's run with the Big Dog.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Features, Bosses, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Ready Check (Raiding), Achievements

Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Construct Quarter, part 1)


Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we unwisely decide to give the column to Allison "Oops, I forgot my frost resist" Robert. Not that you actually need frost resist gear for the Construct Quarter...but that's about the time she generally remembers she left hers in the bank.

Greetings, folks. Jennie's off for January, so I'll be writing Ready Check this month. Today's installment got a little long, mostly because Patchwerk tends to be a stumbling block to guilds still gearing up in Naxxramas, and Grobbulus is a little complicated to describe. So tonight I'll post on the first two bosses in the Construct Quarter, and tomorrow I'll finish with Gluth and Thaddius. Next week we'll take a look at Sapphiron and Kel'thuzad in order to finish off Naxx.

The Construct, or Abomination, Quarter of Naxxramas contains two of the raid's most storied fights in the form of Patchwerk and Thaddius. It additionally contains some of the raid's most storied trash in the form of the Frogger Hallway directly after Patchwerk. As Jennie says, if you want to experience the encounters unspoiled, don't read any further!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Kil'jaeden (and friends), post-3.0.2



Kil'jaeden, the Sunwell Plateau end boss, has had a tough time lately. Since the Echoes of Doom patch, plenty of guilds have breezed through Sunwell and many of those have managed to kill him for the first time, signing off TBC raiding with a bang. Congratulations to them!

This is pretty symptomatic of raiding post-3.0.2 in general -- while nothing on the surface has changed drastically, everything's become a whole lot easier, as increased damage output, decreased mob health and relaxing of raid constraints all add up to great effect. Previously complex encounters become almost trivial and previously trivial encounters become hilarious, with a slight twist of nostalgia when remembering how hard they were first time round.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: In Limbo



Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we look to the future...

Raiding's in an interesting place at the moment. With the upcoming raid changes and dungeons we'll see in WotLK, a lot of people are looking forward and feeling less enthusiasm for the present. Some of those with bosses yet to kill in the game are becoming despondent at ever seeing the end of the tunnel, and people with everything on farm are finding excuses not to raid once they have their desired gear under their belts.

So what can raiders do now to prepare for the expansion, and how can raid guilds deal with the pre-expansion blues?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: M'uru


Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we look at a nerfed guild-killer.

The prize for this week's most-talked-about Sunwell boss goes to... an imprisoned naaru. Formerly resident in Silvermoon City, in patch 2.4 M'uru was captured by Kael'thas and taken to the Sunwell Plateau, where he now holds the place of fifth boss in the instance. After defeating the Eredar Twins (which gives you a handy teleport to their room) and clearing a few trash packs, you'll find yourself at the doorway of M'uru's circular room.

Initially a fairly unimpressive looking boss -- discounting the 'wow, it's a naaru' factor -- as the encounter gets into full swing you begin to marvel at its clockwork complexity. Killing M'uru isn't the end of the fight, either; instead of dying, he transforms into a void god called Entropius, who you have to burn down as quickly as possible. It's a very intense encounter, even post-nerf.

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Filed under: How-tos, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Ready Check (Raiding)

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