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Posts with tag shattered-halls

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

The OverAchiever: The Keymaster

Hot on the heels of a much larger achievement we've recently covered (Twenty-Five Tabards), I've decided to do The Keymaster in this article for two reasons:

  1. I recently watched Ghostbusters.
  2. Do I need another reason?
Actually, the other reason is that if you've done Twenty-Five Tabards, Keymaster is usually pretty easy because you've likely got some Burning Crusade faction rep under your belt. I could tack on a third -- I'm constantly surprised at the number of players who aren't keyed for some of the old-world dungeons, and by "surprised," possibly I mean "irritated," because I keep getting pestered to go open doors. Happily, just about all of these keys can be soloed at 80 for most classes, and none of them are particularly time-intensive (with the possible exception of the Scholomance key due to insane travel time) to get.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Achievements, The Overachiever

Retaliation battlegroup down again

For the second Tuesday in a row around the same time (9:00-9:30 pm EST-ish), the US Retaliation battlegroup has crashed. Blizzard has confirmed that it's performing urgent maintenance on the hardware of the affected realms, and they'll provide an update at 11:00 PM EST/8:00 PM PST. Hmmm. Makes you wonder if whatever caused last week's crash was accidentally rolled back during server maintenance earlier today.

The following are the affected realms:


Area 52, Auchindoun, Azuremyst, Blade's Edge, Blood Furnace, Coilfang, Dawnbringer, Exodar, Fizzcrank, Galakrond, Ghostlands, Grizzly Hills, Shattered Halls, Terokkar, The Scryers, The Underbog, Velen, and Zangarmarsh.
My guild's on Retaliation and has consequently found itself without something to raid for the second Tuesday running. Last week their solution was to take off to Mug'thol and do a level 1 Hogger raid, complete with designated tanks and healers, damage meters, and -- to top things off -- a bonafide ninja looter of the Malachite drop. Our server might be down, but our hallowed traditions remain.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items

More free character transfers open for the EU

A new batch of fre realm transfers have opened up for European servers, which is always a good thing. A lot of these transfers are ones we've seen before though, so hopefully this time around these options will be more successful than they may have been previously. We also have a whole load of transfers opening up to EU-Magtheridon specifically for the Alliance, so they're continuing to try and repair the faction imbalance there. Right now, we're looking at...
  • Horde players on EU-Magtheridon may transfer to Haomarush, Tarren Mill, Trollbane, Zenedar, and Silvermoon.
  • Alliance players may transfer to EU-Magtheridon from Aerie Peak, Aggramar, Alonsus, Aszune, Azjol-Nerub, Bronze Dragonflight, Bronzebeard, Emerald Dream, Eonar, Khadgar, Kul Tiras, Runetotem, Shadowsong, Silvermoon, and Turalyon.
Check behind the cut below for the rest of the current free character transfers.

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Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, Blizzard

Shifting Perspectives: The Druid of 2008


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, our author is completely spaced out on cold medication, and is somewhat concerned that her raid performance has improved under the circumstances.

The time has come (the Allie said)
To talk of many things.
Of Roots and Bash and Travel Form,
And Strength (which scales with Kings).
Why Tauren cat form sucks so hard,
And whether trees have wings!

And, yes, before anyone asks, I'm tripping on too much cough syrup and ibuprofen after receiving a belated viral Christmas gift from a relative. So I'll just put this out there right now; this column's probably on the weird side. I took a long look at all three Druid specs over 2008 and saw a few sad things, a few happy things, a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants, and now I'm channeling the famous Mary Tyler Moore episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust," and that has to stop because I do not believe Mary Tyler Moore ever played a Druid.

If you're completely uninterested in reading an account of any spec that's not your own -- although that would make me weep into my little cup of generic label cough syrup -- here's a set of quick links to each:

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Humor, The Burning Crusade, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Shifting Perspectives: So. Um, do bears suck?

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week we shelve the column we originally intended to run due to a rather pressing matter.

OK, folks. I have a confession to make. This week's Shifting Perspectives was originally meant to be a full guide to gearing your Restoration Druid at 80, and I'm still going to post that, either this week or next. A lot of people have (correctly, I think) observed that this column has historically paid more attention to Feral than to Restoration or Balance, and it's my aim to balance (har!) that out a bit. Part of it is just that the people who play Druids on staff here at WoW Insider are usually feral, and part of it is that -- at least as of the last numbers we had on it -- most people playing Druids are also feral. I confess I would love to see the demographics on Druids post-Wrath, because I get the sense that Balance in particular has become markedly more popular.

But the Resto post is going to have to wait a few days, not least because my eyes are swimming from so much Wowhead. We found out today that Swipe's threat is getting a significant buff, but over the course of reading the pertinent forum thread and some back-channel discussion here, I ran across a few things concerning bear tanking that really made me sit up after the hell of tanking last night's heroic Old Kingdom and go, "Wait. It's not just me?"

Personally whenever I encounter serious problems in a dungeon I tend to chalk it up to the fact that I suck. I find this to be an efficient and typically accurate means of pinpointing the source of an issue. However, my fellow Druids, our problems may actually be more wide-ranging than that.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Features, Classes, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

15 Minutes of Fame: 10-boxing Karazhan, Part 2


15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

Last week, 15 Minutes of Fame visited with multiboxer Nixi of team Absolute Power-H of Archimonde to bring WoW Insider readers his 10-boxing strategy for Karazhan. This week, we'll step back for a look at Nixi's hardware setup, his top five tips for new multiboxers and a broader look at why he's a 'boxer.

Catch up with 10-boxing Karazhan Part 1, then join us after the break for an inside look at Nixi's 10-boxing team.

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Filed under: Tricks, Cheats, Instances, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Interviews, Alts, 15 Minutes of Fame

Blizzard leaning toward AE Tanking for all

You may recall earlier yesterday that we reported on Thunder Clap losing its target limit, thus quite suddenly making Warriors have a very good chance of being viable AE tanks. One thing that you might have also noticed is that the Druid's Swipe is getting the same treatment (no word on whether it will also be getting the ability to go 360 degrees, but it seems likely, if it's going to be a Thunder Clap/Consecrate equivalent). In addition, Death and Decay, the Death Knight's AE mainstay, recently received a bump to threat gain. That means that all 4 tank classes, in theory, will have the ability to do some Protection Paladin style AE tanking should they want to.

This all seems to be in line with the tanking philosophy Blizzard has been pushing for Wrath, one which Ghostcrawler recently reiterated: Blizzard wants to make sure that all tanks are as equal as possible. There should be no reason to take one class of tank over another, all things being equal, and no reason to sideline your tank because he or she is not the right class. Certainly, if this is to be realized completely, you do have to give every tank a good amount of AE capability, and this latest round of announced tank changes seems to be tailor made to do just that.

As the former player of a Druid tank and the future (current beta) player of a Death Knight tank, I'm very pleased to see these changes. I know that there was nothing more fun that running through a dungeon like Shattered Halls as a DPS with a Paladin Tank leading the way, and the idea that every tank class might be able to do that to some extent in Wrath makes me incredibly excited. It also allows groups to be more flexible in what DPS they take, including DPSers that traditionally have had a hard time getting groups due to having poor CC abilities, such as Cat Druids and Retribution Paladins.

If this change is handled right, it will go a long way toward solving the tank shortage for PuG groups, and, in fact, make the 5-man dungeon run fun again in general.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

First impressions: 5-man healing in the beta


I specced resto in the beta the other week to try out the new talents and abilities Druids are getting in Wrath, and decided to brave the horrors of LFG and scribble some notes for your sake, dear readers. By the way, the aspect of beta that I will miss most? The 1 copper respec fee. Can we keep this?

Please note that this is written from the perspective of a 70 Restoration Druid, so unfortunately I can't comment on whether Priests, Shamans, or Paladins might have had an easier or harder time healing the instances. I have a good but not jaw-dropping resto set, and on the live realms clock in around +1998 to +2100 healing unbuffed. If your gear's better or worse, then just adjust the potential difficulty level as needed. And even if you're not a healer, you still might find something useful here:

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Bosses, Guides, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Insider Trader: Popular enchants and where to get them

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

If you've ever spent any time sitting in trade chat, you could probably make a list of some of the most popular enchants. Requested frequently, any enchanter possessing the the knowledge to imbue a weapon or piece of armor with the proper stats stands to make a fair amount of gold.

For example, a healer seeking Major Healing, or a meleer seeking Mongoose, will know the materials, and gather them. Each time they replace their respective weapons, back into trade they will go to request the enchant.

Today, Insider Trader presents a list of some of the most requested enchants with information about how to obtain them so that you can offer them to friends, guildmates, and your server.

It is by no means a complete list, but it will get you off to a shining start and provide you with quite a to-do list. Check out the comments section for helpful details as well.

Drop rate data was gathered from the Armory, and Blizzard uses ranges such as Very Low (1-2%). This is narrowed down with data from Wowhead where appropriate, but keep in mind that some bind on pick-up recipes can only be seen by enchanters, and Wowhead cannot filter out that data, making their estimate much lower than the actual drop rate.

In the next couple of weeks, I'll be working on the faction recipes series, focusing on enchanting, so stay tuned.

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Filed under: Enchanting, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Making money, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions)

The one you never win


Recently the guild hit Supremus again -- or, I should say, Supremus hit us. You'd think this would be a fairly easy fight to master. Supremus has two phases: the first is a lot like Gruul except with no cave-ins, knockback, or Shatter, and during the second phase, he aggros random people and tries to reach them while moving at the approximate pace of a snail. Oh, and he sprouts volcanoes under other players that you have to avoid. These two phases alternate until he's a giant pile of rubble in Black Temple's scenic courtyard.

Yep. Easy.

We can't do it.

The guild's been farming Black Temple for months and most of the usual roster is rocking at least 3 or 4 pieces of Tier 6 -- yet the vast majority of our Supremus fights end with more than half the raid taking a dirt nap. We've reached the point where even this is still usually a one-shot, but it's more than a little disturbing. How can you one-shot Illidan with 24 people still alive...and somehow fail to steamroll the giant McLootLoot?

To be fair, it's not just raids. I've seen players break out in a cold sweat over Talon King Ikiss on heroic Sethekk (which always confused me; the great secret of the fight consists of tanking him in the doorway). Others cite Grandmaster Vorpil, the event before the second boss in Blood Furnace when you don't have a Paladin tank, or Warbringer O'mrogg on heroic Shattered Halls (actually, all of Shattered Halls can pretty much bite me. I hate tanking that place). My own personal nemesis is Vexallus on heroic Magisters' Terrace. I've even taken a group with two mages and a rogue in T5/T6 here and wiped 3 times. What gives?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

Faction frustrations eased in Wrath

If you've played a Feral Druid to 70, especially in the early days of The Burning Crusade, you probably remember grinding out Exalted with the Cenarion Expedition for your Earthwarden. Personally, my pet faction was Lower City. As a Shadow Priest, I drooled heavily all over the Gavel of Unearthed Secrets. I had hit level 70 before Karazhan raids were commonplace on my server, so I found myself in Shadow Labyrinth at every opportunity. Say what you will about the irritation of running Steamvault constantly, I think Shadow Labyrinth is just a little more frustrating. Admittedly, if I had waited a few weeks, I probably could've gotten a Nathrezim Mindblade pretty easily when Karazhan runs picked up, but what can you do?

To help avoid this irritation, Wrath of the Lich King will be introducing something currently called 'championing.'

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Factions, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

WWI '08 Panel: Warlock

Warlocks got a few mentions at this morning's WWI class panel, not only with confirmation of some previously mentioned spells in the form of Demon Form and the Demonic Circle, but in relation to the Mage, confirming the eternal struggle that seems to go on between the two classes. Still, what these mentioned changes do for the class, I believe, is mostly unclear.

Demon Form and Damage

Demon Form, otherwise known as Illidan form to the dev team, is something that a lot of Warlocks having been asking for for quite some time. Admittedly, it's pretty cool. Being able to morph into a Demon and gaining temporary access to a whole new skill set to devastate the enemy with? Yeah, I can't see that not being fun. But the question remains: How will it perform?

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Talents, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

"Maximizing" reputation gains

My Blood Elf Paladin is level 63 now, and I'm currently after Sporeggar reputation, in hot pursuit of that greatest of Protadin prizes, the Petrified Lichen Guard. Of course, when I started, the first thing I did was go buy a few Bog Lord Tendrils, planning to turn them in until I jumped out of unfriendly. It was the most efficient way to get that faction jump, so I considered the silver money well spent. With friendly under my belt, I can safe turn in a load of Mature Spore Sacs and Glowcaps (I took the quests before I turned in the Tendrils, so I can still turn them in despite being friendly).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Quests, Leveling, Factions, Alts

Wealthy elves I have known

It's probably true that the best way to make money in the game is to farm primals, but sometimes you just can't stomach the idea of killing yet another elemental or -- given how busy most of the primal hot-spots are -- having to compete to kill them. It's in trying times like these that your thoughts turn to quieter pursuits like flower-picking, finishing some quests you left lying around, or at least taking your mindless slaughter act on the road.

For my money, nothing beats the manaforges in Netherstorm. The elves there are like hundreds of milling, unsuspecting piñatas, ripe for the clobbering. Over an hourlong grind session with not-terrible gear, and with occasional breaks to tell people that you will never set foot in Shattered Halls ever again even if it is the daily, you can get the following:

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Filed under: Tips, Economy, The Burning Crusade, Making money

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