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Posts with tag serpentshrine-cavern

My most memorable experience in-game

hyppogriff flight
You know, I thought this question would be a lot easier to answer than it turned out. After six years of playing this game, I thought surely there would be an obvious stand-out moment, but as I sat down to write this post, I realized that wasn't exactly true. Lest you think I'm implying that I've experienced nothing memorable in WoW, rest assured, that isn't the case. It's more that I have the opposite problem: I've experienced too much that is memorable. I've had some really great times in this game, and it's turned out to be nigh impossible to point to one and say, "That's it, that was my most memorable moment." Instead, I've come up with a list of things that keep coming to mind whenever I think about the topic. They are in no particular order:

1. Killing Nathanos Blightcaller

Nathanos Blightcaller was, in ye olden days, a (potentially) 40-person outdoor raid boss for the Alliance. He was also a quest giver NPC for Horde, so attacking him flagged you for PvP. Considering both of these things, you can imagine how difficult it could be for Alliance raids to actually down him, especially on high-population servers.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The 15 nastiest trash clears of WoW

The 15 nastiest trash clears of WoW ANY
I was reading through some links while writing a follow-up to Robert's Not-So-Original WoW Miscellany when I happened across some discussions concerning the game's most agonizing trash. This is a popular subject for players, not least because complaining is a lot of fun, but I don't think anyone's going to argue that there haven't been some legitimately unpleasant trash clears in WoW.

Fortunately, most of the really bad trash clears are a distant memory, but there was at least one recent one that almost everyone who raided Dragon Soul could agree on. I'm going to include both dungeons and raids here, mostly because Shattered Halls was among the first things to go on this list. After including that, I knew there were other, equally nightmarish 5-mans that had to be included in the interest of fairness.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Why the Burning Crusade didn't suck

Why the Burning Crusade didn't suck
Yesterday, Brian Wood explored his thoughts on why Burning Crusade sucked. He did it in-character, playing the role of Grandpappy Frostheim, laying out his thoughts in the persona of a grumpy, crusty old dwarf telling the young'uns how bad things were back in his day. You can't take a persona like that seriously -- and you're not supposed to -- but the piece made me think about why I love Burning Crusade so much. Even after all of this time, it remains my favorite expansion, though Mists of Pandaria is pretty darn good.

Yeah, Burning Crusade had its faults. It wasn't as well-balanced as most remember, it had more than its fair share of annoying gameplay mechanics, and the fact that the developers hadn't yet solidified the roles of 10- and 25-man raids was a real drag at times. If Burning Crusade were released this year, it would have a terrible reception. There have been so many quality-of-life improvements made since its release that players would never want to live as we did in Burning Crusade ever again. Despite that, it still had many elements that I loved, and still love. Many of these things are nebulous and completely up to personal tastes -- what I love, you may hate, and that's fine. That's how opinions work.

Stranger in a strange land

To me, Outland defined the Warcraft franchise's storytelling capabilities. Though Warcraft often utilizes the same fantasy tropes you see just about everywhere in the genre, it wasn't afraid to be different -- we went to a new, completely alien planet. The playable draenei were a race of people who traverse the stars. The ethereals were merchants from another plane of existence. Outland was not just a subcontinent of Azeroth, it was a new world entirely. While it has been done in fantasy, it isn't done very often.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade

Transmogrification Contest: Create an outfit around a single piece of gear

Transmogrification contest Create an outfit using a single piece of gear as the theme
My favorite dress in WoW is the Arachnidian Robes. The first time I saw them was right after patch 3.0.2 had hit live servers, when achievements were added. I was storming through the front gates of Stormwind in a For the Horde raid, when I spotted a human female wearing the robes near the auction house. She must have been some sort of bank alt, because that's all she was wearing, but I was so impressed by her that I stopped to inspect her amid the battle.

I eventually tracked down the dress for myself four or five months later, but once I had it, I really had no idea what to do with it. It was pretty enough on its own to be a stand-alone outfit, and years before transmogrification, there was no compelling reason to try and match it to anything -- at least until recently, when my boyfriend followed up on a promise to take me to Serpentshrine Cavern. I had never seen the place and wanted an escort who had raided it when it was still new. While we were there, I picked up a pretty little tanking mace called Mallet of the Tides, which just so happened to match the Arachnidian Robes perfectly. Thus, a transmog outfit was born.

With that as my introduction, I decided I'd do something a bit different for this week's transmog column. Just as I did, I now want you to create a transmogrification outfit of your own that builds on or complements a single piece of gear (armor or weapon) that you like. Submit your outfit by Aug. 20 at 11:59 p.m. EDT and you'll have the chance to win fabulous prizes and have your outfit featured here on WoW Insider. More details after the jump.

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Filed under: Contests, Transmogrification

World of Wardrobe: Traipsing around Tempest Keep for tier 5

Heading back to pick up some awesome armor sets from vanilla WoW or that dazzling weapon that'll have your enemies cowering in fear? Transmogrification makes it possible -- and World of Wardrobe shows you how.

The Burning Crusade was an expansion of extremes. Each zone in Outland was drastically different from the next; each dungeon was just as diverse. The staggering difference between regular dungeons and the newly added heroic dungeons was the bane of many early leveling players in the expansion, though the heroic dungeons were nerfed over time. So too were the raids -- and tier 5 had two of the most drastically different raid dungeons that anyone had seen.

While Serpentshrine Cavern was the aquatic themed underwater home to Lady Vashj, countless Naga, and other aquatic creatures, The Eye was far on the other end of the spectrum. The Naaru ship Tempest Keep was divided into four sections, three dungeons and the raid instance where Kael'thas Sunstrider reigned supreme. Full of crystalline Naaru architecture, the zone had a shining, unusual, and decidedly alien flavor to it. It was hard to say which of the two raid dungeons was more difficult, but it's much easier to make that distinction today -- The Eye is by far the more challenging of the two zones, especially for those looking to pick up the last few pieces of tier 5.

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Filed under: World of Wardrobe

World of Wardrobe: Slinking around Serpentshrine for tier 5

Heading back to pick up some awesome armor sets from vanilla WoW or that dazzling weapon that'll have your enemies cowering in fear? Transmogrification makes it possible -- and World of Wardrobe shows you how.

The Burning Crusade offered several tiers of raid content, but unlike classic WoW, those first few tiers were available upon release. Vanilla WoW didn't offer all that raid content right up front; players had to wait for BWL, AQ40, and ultimately, Naxxramas. This didn't mean you could just hit level 70 and waltz on into any raid content you wanted, however. There was a progression between tiers of raids, and the tier loot reflected that progression.

Players were expected to complete Karazhan, Gruul's Lair, and Magtheridon's Lair (roughly in that order) in order to move on to the next tier of content. In order to guarantee that order of progression, Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep both required attunement chains to be completed before raid groups could enter. These chains required items from -- you guessed it -- Kara, Gruul, and Magtheridon. Serpentshrine and Tempest Keep both offered pieces for a new set of tier, tier 5.

Like tier 4 before it, tier 5 is split between the two raid zones so that raiders would experience both raids before moving on. Vashj's watery retreat, Serpentshrine Cavern, was the first stop for most raid guilds. Handily located in Coilfang Reservoir, the raid didn't require flight to get to.

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Filed under: World of Wardrobe

Spiritual Guidance: Revisiting The Burning Crusade and Wrath, solo

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen's comes from out of the darkness to bask in your loving adoration. Fox is weak versus Bubble Lead.

To be fair, it's incredibly easy to get bored with current content. Sure, things like the Molten Front and Firelands are fun and exciting for a while, but several months later when you find yourself running the same content over and over ... well.

I'm always looking for new and different things to do with my shadow priest. Last year, when I started getting bored with Icecrown Citadel, I started running heroic Magisters' Terrace solo, farming it for all sorts of goodies inside that I never wound up getting when the content was relevant. It turns out that soloing that stuff was a lot of fun, and judging by the emails I got after, a lot of you agreed with me.

Some of you have been pressuring me to update that article for Cataclysm. Obviously, a lot has changed. Mainly, we've gotten stronger, but we've also got a few new tools at our disposal. Soloing Magisters' Terrace is old news. This time around, we're going to solo some more intimidating content: Wrath heroics and BC raids.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Cataclysm Beta: Select guild raid achievement requirements reduced

I admit it. I'm an achievement-holic. I'll repeat the most idiotic, mind-numbing task for hours on end just to earn a handful of achievement points. It doesn't matter that I can't do anything with those points. I want them. I need them. And I know I'm not alone in my obsession -- some people play World of Warcraft just for the achievements. (You know who you are.)

Once Cataclysm launches, there will be a whole new set of achievements just for guilds, only compounding my poor, crippling obsession. A metric ton of them are for completing old instances and raids as a guild, and grabbing those points requires 80 percent guild participation. Under the guidelines laid out earlier in September, that meant you'd need to take along at least 20 guildies to conquer Serpentshrine Cavern (a BC 25-man), even if you could easily complete it with fewer.

Well, for those of us who are obsessed with collecting achievement points, there's good news -- Blizzard just cut the required participation rate for all the old school Burning Crusade raids. On the official forums, blue poster Mumper confirmed that they're treating all old 25-man raids as 10-mans -- instead of needing 20 guildies to take on Lady Vashj and Kil'jaeden, you will now only need 8.

The full blue post is after the break.

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Filed under: Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: Where's the epic, part two

Okay guys. After spending days thinking this over in the back of my mind and trying to figure out which sock drawer Blizzard stuffed the "epic" into, I've come to a conclusion: It's not about the "epic". What it is about, what's lacking, is something that's strictly based on design. Let's go back to Ragnaros and Molten Core for a moment and see if I can get this point across: the reason that Ragnaros felt "epic" was because the dungeon itself was specifically designed with 40 players in mind. The spacing of the zone, the placement of the rocks and bosses was all designed around the idea that there would be 40 players in this zone.

Moving on, Hyjal felt odd at first because I was used to that 40man model. It faded because the dungeons of Burning Crusade were designed with 25 players in mind. Hyjal, Black Temple, Serpentshrine Cavern, all of it, designed with the intent of 25 players being present in that zone, so they felt natural. On the same principle, the 10man dungeons -- Karazhan and Zul'Aman -- both felt exactly right, because they were designed with 10 players in mind. Karazhan was huge, but not once did the experience feel awkward because all boss encounters and rooms were designed around 10 people playing in there.

When you get to Wrath, Ulduar in particular -- Ulduar was designed with 25 players in mind. The boss rooms, the open spaces were all created specifically so that 25 people would feel like this space was absolutely gigantic. But when you take 10 people in that space, what was once comfortably "huge" for 25 borders on the absurd for 10 players. That's why it doesn't feel right -- because the space simply doesn't fit the people in it.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The OverAchiever: More Accomplished Angler

This week we'll finish our look at the Accomplished Angler meta-achievement. As with all matters concerning WoW fishing, El's Anglin is your best friend here, and more particularly their page on fishing-related achievements (which also addresses a few we don't cover here, as they're not part of the Accomplished Angler meta).

Continuing from our previous article on the first set of Accomplished Angler achievements:

The Old Gnome and the Sea


Apparently someone at Blizzard is a Hemingway enthusiast. At any rate, this achievement's easy as pie, and you'll get it after fishing successfully from any pool of fish in the game (although it does have to be fish -- it can't be the wreckage pools you need for The Scavenger). You can get this doing either of the following achievements --

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Achievements, The Overachiever

Breakfast Topic: We're doing what now?

Some instances and raids, you understand why you're there. Icecrown, for instance, makes a lot of sense to me. I get why we're running the five mans (trying to sneak into the Citadel while the Scourge is focused on the front door) and the raid (that didn't work out so hot so brute force it is!) I always enjoyed Scarlet Monastery and had no difficulty with why I was running the place either as Alliance or Horde. Alliance, you were cleaning out a nasty pack of gibbering mouth-breather sociopathic xenophobes who were totally freaking insane, and Horde... same deal, plus they were killing people you actually knew.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Instances, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

The Queue: Snape, snape


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

In celebration of the recent release of the new Harry Potter movie, I've decided to expose the two of you out there that have never seen the above video to... well, the above video. I'll say no more, folks. Watch it, then read on! Probably in beat with a metronome!

Mannas asked...

"With the new feature to switch factions, will we finally have a way to "mail" items across factions by making a toon, sending the item there, switching factions and then mailing on? Or will they somehow limit this?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Ready Check: A look back on Burning Crusade raiding



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 sing a swansong to TBC raiding in all its glory.

With less than a week to go before we all start frantically levelling and leaving Outland behind for good, let's not forget the ups and downs raiding during The Burning Crusade has brought us. From Attumen to Kil'jaeden, we've run the gamut of raiding, killing anything from pit lords to corrupted naaru with nary a blink.

We've shed blood and tears over rare drops, wiped countless times until the small hours, decked our alts out in epics and moved servers to find a better guild. We've rerolled, watched ourselves and our raid instances get nerfed, hung out in Shattrath showing off our gear, and gotten to grips with major class changes in the last two weeks. So let's look back...

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

The marathon raid day?

A friend and I were idly wondering about the possibility of tackling all Burning Crusade raid content the way you'd watch the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy on a rainy weekend: doing it all without stopping, intent on a glorious finish. Nobody's arguing that the point of such a marathon is to have fun every second while you're doing it; I'd say this is the classic undertaking where it really is about the destination and not so much the journey. But let's say you had an enterprising bunch of raiders sitting around bored on a weekend and your choices were either raiding Tarren Mill again or trying something adventurous. Or if you had Wrath coming up the next week and you wanted to conduct a triumphal tour of the content your guild had conquered, stopping only to relish the wholesale slaughter of bosses who'd given you so much trouble (here's looking at you, Gurtogg). Would it be possible to cut a swathe of destruction across the BC raiding landscape all within the space of a day?

Assuming a bunch of experienced raiders, we came up with the following figures:

Karazhan: 2-3 hours
Gruul's Lair: 1 hour
Magtheridon: 45 minutes
Serpentshrine Cavern: 3-4 hours
Tempest Keep: 3 hours
Zul'Aman: 1 1/2 hours
Mount Hyjal: 2 1/2 hours
Black Temple: 3-4 hours
Sunwell Plateau: 4-5 hours

On the low end, that's 20 hours and 45 minutes. On the high end, it's 25 hours (and I have to pause here for a moment's respect over just how much raid content Blizzard programmed for BC). If you lopped Kara and ZA off the marathon in the interest of doing only 25-man content, an experienced (albeit insane) raid that stomped each site and methodically proceeded to the next with no wipes along the way (probably not likely in Sunwell) could probably wreck BC raid content in maybe 18 hours start to finish (giving them a little extra time for travel and bathroom breaks). Has anyone been crazy enough to try this? Should anyone be crazy enough to try this?

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

Tank Talk: should the main tank position still exist?


Tank Talk is WoW Insider's raid-tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column will be rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and myself (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish. Today, dear readers, we might make ourselves hated by the entire population of undisputed, royal-bloodlined, main tanks, but that's OK. We are used to staying at the top of someone's hate list.

One of the accepted facts of raiding life used to be that the main tank was the guild's gearing priority. As Adam Holisky's observed, "Everything that happens in the raid eventually makes it back to the tank." Healers undergeared? You're screwed. DPS incompetent or just badly grouped? Buh-bye. Random number generator wreaking all manner of havoc on healer crits and boss parries? Thar be the graveyard. A truly cynical mind would opine that the tank should be as well-geared as possible if only because it makes it easier for the raid to forget that person existed as anything other than a rapidly-advancing line on the Omen screen that: a). always stayed above their own, and b). never died. There are enough random variables while the raid's learning a new boss that the tank needs to be eliminated as one, and in vanilla WoW that was certainly the goal. Raid and offtank damage on most encounters hadn't scaled to the point where you could make a compelling argument in favor of gear equilibrium across your tanking roster. What was the point of something like that when 95% of the damage in a fight was going to be absorbed by a single person?

That changed.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Tank Talk

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