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Posts with tag sk-gaming

PvE winners and losers in patch 3.0

I'm putting together a class-by-class prediction post on how the changes we'll see in patch 3.0 and beyond will wind up affecting PvE gameplay in Wrath, but it's probably a bit premature to make specific guesses while talents and skills are still being overhauled in the beta. Still, I think a few general trends (at least for 3.0) are pretty clear.

I'm calling it now; Paladins will fare best, but Shamans will be the hardest hit by the upcoming changes, especially with respect to raiding. I think this change is driven in no small part by Blizzard's realization that Sunwell-level raid guilds are hugely dependent on the party-specific buffs like totems and Heroism/Bloodlust that Shamans bring. The problem is that Shamans are still the least-played class, which has left raiding guilds desperate for a high-end population of Shamans that simply does not exist (especially Alliance-side). Making Shaman totems and Heroism/Bloodlust buff the entire raid (but heavily nerfing how often the raid can benefit from the latter) means the days of stacking Shamans (or trying to) are effectively over.

Paladin changes, especially for holy and retribution, are equally driven by Blizzard's experience with Sunwell. With absolutely breathtaking amounts of raid damage occurring, encounters were disproportionately weighted in favor of: a). healers with more raid-healing capacity, like resto Shamans and CoH Priests (something we heard from SK Gaming months ago) and b). DPS who brought raid-wide DPS buffs to kill the boss as fast as possible (e.g. Retribution Paladins on Brutallus and M'uru). Given the new skills I'm seeing on other healing specs, I'll make another prediction; prepare to see that same level of raid damage rear its ugly head in Naxxramas again.

I'll be launching a more extensive prediction post once talents and skills are finalized for Wrath, and then I'd like to do a follow-up post at some point after guilds start conquering level 80 raid content to see whether they were any good.

Filed under: Paladin, Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Raiding, Classes

SK Gaming raiding Sunwell live tomorrow


Haven't been to Sunwell yet? Sure, you say it's that you don't have time to raid, or that maybe you just can't find a guild that vibes with you, or that raiding is pointless until the expansion releases. But we know the truth: deep down inside, you really do want to go, but you're just not good enough. Worry not, you noob: the good folks at SK Gaming (whom we've interviewed in the past) are here to let you experience the instance anyway. You may not have the healing prowess needed to stand up with the big boys, but they do and they're streaming the whole thing live over the internet, complete with commentary and two points of view.

The show starts at 2pm EDT tomorrow afternoon, and to see it, you've got to pick up Joost, which is a free download, for Windows or OS X. They're set to talk mostly, they say, about Warriors, Mages, and Paladins, as well as UI setups, and they're also planning to attempt a world record for DPS on Brutallus.

Should be fun to see, and if nothing else, you can pretend to be a raider. Take that, Brutallus! Have another Frostbolt!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Raiding

MLG Orlando coverage continues with an epic showdown

If you haven't been following GotFrag's coverage of the MLG 3v3 Tourney going down in Orlando this weekend, you really are missing out. Coverage kicks in again this morning at 9am Eastern, 6am Pacific. After the warmups, I believe the opening matchup will be Evil Geniuses (formerly Frag Dominant) up against Orz, formerly sponsored by MoB Gaming.

Let me give you a little background on this matchup. Evil Geniuses came into the last tournament as Frag Dominant. While they were never a complete unknown, most of them had never experienced the LAN tournament setting before. They managed to wow us and their competition by proving themselves capable of running multiple compositions between the three of them, and running them very well. In the end, they came out as the victors after a long series against Nihilum.

Orz was formerly sponsored by MoB Gaming, and one of their members is the fan favorite Hafu. Last month, they were slammed with a pretty major upset. They didn't do very well at all, and it actually led to their team losing sponsorship. MoB Gaming replaced them for this month's tourney. Now in Orlando, Orz has made a fantastic comeback, beating out both the SK Gaming team and the team MoB replaced them with. I bet MoB isn't feeling so hot right now.

First thing this morning, these two will be going head to head (I think). Even if you're not a PvP fan, you have to admit that's a pretty cool showdown, no?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Arena

[1.Local]: Readers speak their minds


[1.Local] serves up a smattering of reader comments from the past week, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Improving the gaming process seemed to be top of mind for many readers this week. A number of threads saw a flurry of suggestions about ways players handle current game mechanics and wish lists for improvements they'd like to see in the future. We touched on Armorying PuGgers, retooling old content versus adding more mid-level content, the state of bleeding-edge guild membership and the sometimes weighty demands of being a tank. We chewed the fat over just how serious matters of WoW are to us ... and never one to shirk matters of fashion, we considered footwear options for WoW players and Hello Kitty fans alike.

Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one!) and add your own thoughts – unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Interviews, [1.Local]

SK Gaming interview: Kil'jaeden, Sunwell, and why to stack +haste


Recently WoW Insider caught up with Neg, a restoration-specced Orc Shaman who raided with Nihilum before leaving recently for SK Gaming. An experienced player who has seen all of Blizzard's raid content, from Molten Core through Sunwell Plateau, Neg's talked to us previously about high-end raiding and what Sunwell was like on the PTR. As he's become one of a small group of raiders worldwide to finish the whole zone, we've asked him some follow-up questions about guild stability during the transition to Wrath, what Sunwell was like going live, why there are so many Shaman nowadays in high-end raiding, and the best and worst raid content on offer in WoW.

If you didn't catch our first interview with Neg, you can find that here, but read on for an inside look at the toughest raiding you'll find in the game:

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Classes, Interviews

Tuesday maintenance notice and roundup for June 3rd, 2008

Good Morning, everyone. It's 4:30 PDT on a Tuesday morning, and you know by now that that means maintenance. For now, most of us will be sitting pretty, with only an hour and a half or so of downtime from 5am to 6:30am PDT. 72 servers, however, will be getting the full treatment, and won't be up until at least 11am PDT. You can see a list of those servers in our original announcement post here.

Since we're coming up on at least an hour of no WoW, if not more for 72 servers and for those stuck at a job or schooling that doesn't allow sneaking in some game time, I would like to, as customary, suggest that you read about WoW, here on WoW Insider. I have a list of some of our best content from the past week organized for your viewing pleasure coming right up after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Realm Status, Odds and ends, News items

[1.Local]: Readers talk back

[1.Local] serves up a smattering of reader comments from the past week, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Readers put their heads together on all sorts of topics this week: the basics of tanking, the lore (or lack thereof) behind Deathknights from every race as well as Deathknight profession leveling, and a long thread on add-ons readers crave.

Readers also talked about the recent world-first raiding accomplishments – who cares, and who doesn't? Readers on both sides of the coin came together in a round of applause for SK's Kil'jaeden kill video. Readers got into a scramble again over the age-old issue of age, before finally uniting to reminisce about unconventional dungeon runs.

Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one!) and add your own thoughts – unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Features, Death Knight, [1.Local]

SK release Kil'jaeden video

As promised, SK Gaming have just released their video of their world-first kill of Kil'jaeden. They call this fight "all about absolute perfection in terms of execution," and "definitely the hardest boss ever made and an impressive final boss." Of course, this video contains full spoilers for the KJ fight. I'm just going to assume SK's site will go down, so I'm embedding it from Filefront above, and linking to WarcraftMovies if you want to download it. It's shot from five points of view, though SK promises that it is not "messy" -- hemo rogue, resto shaman, enhancement shaman, and two different destro warlocks.

And since people are always curious, the music used in the video is, according to SK:
  • Airbase - Ocean Realm
  • Alex M.O.R.P.H. - Walk the Edge (B2B Woody Van Eyden Mix)
To download in glorious 1680x1050 WMV, head on over to WarcraftMovies (edit: apparently a WCM premium account is required to download the full-res version). An H.264 version is due in a few days.

Edit 2: Here's a high-quality version at Filefront; thanks, bdew.

Filed under: Machinima, Guilds, Raiding, Bosses

SK Interview from Frostshock

Frostshock is a Hungarian site that covers World of Warcraft -- they've done us the kindness of linking to us in the past, but usually my Hungarian is so rusty that we have no idea what they're talking about. This weekend, they posted an interview with SK-Gaming, the group that nabbed the world first of Kil'jaeden, and while normally we wouldn't be able to tell a másnap from a kezdték, the newly redesigned World of Raids has a translation up.

There's a lot of the usual stuff that you hear from guild after a big down, but there's a few new things in there, too -- apparently SK and other raiding sponsors are actually paying "premiums" for world first kills. Doesn't sound like a lot, but they do say they'll be able to do a meetup this summer thanks to their run in Sunwell, so that's a fairly substantial amount for playing a game. Both M'uru and Kil'jaeden are on their top 3 encounters in the expansion, along with Magtheridon, apparently. And the Sunwell "gates" system gets a pretty good review -- SK says it kept some guilds going even when they might have been burned out on the tougher fights.

All in all, an interesting interview. They dive into drama a bit when talking about the friction between SK and Nihilum, but mostly, they just stick to what it's like raiding as a professional guild in the Sunwell. It will definitely be interesting to see how these kinds of guilds react to the 10/25 man change in the expansion -- raiding has come a long way from the 40-man runs in vanilla WoW, and these guilds may have a lot more competition for the 10man world firsts.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Bosses

SK-Gaming downs Kil'jaeden for world first


They've done it again. The first guild to kill M'uru, SK Gaming (of Vek'nilash EU), is now the first guild in the world to kill Kil'jaeden himself, the last boss of the Sunwell Plateau and of The Burning Crusade. The gate to the encounter has been open for three days in Europe. As Nihilum notes, SK's kill does end Nihilum's tradition of taking down every end boss in WoW since C'Thun. This is almost certainly the last world first we'll see until Wrath of the Lich King. The US first on Kil'jaeden is, of course, still up in the air.

Their loot was: The winning raid has one feral druid, three hunters, one mage, two paladins, four priests, three rogues, five shamans, four warlocks, and two warriors (Thanks to Nihilum for this info, and thanks to Eiel for corrections). SK promise that a video is in the works; as always, we'll keep you posted. Grats to SK!

Filed under: Guilds, News items, Raiding, Bosses

Kil'jaeden preview from VANQUISH

With the gates having opened yesterday or today, depending on which side of the Atlantic you're on, guild are starting to test their might against Kil'jaeden. In this video VANQUISH, of Cho'gall (US), shows an early attempt at KJ. They deliberately showed us a try where they didn't know much, to avoid giving spoilers; nonetheless, of course, if you don't want to know anything about the fight, this is not the video for you.

Although it's pretty hard to tell what's going on, it certainly looks epic. Reminds me a bit of Ragnaros, actually. And it seemed to be going pretty well for Vanquish, at least until a small dragon showed up and everybody wiped -- except for one craft rogue player of some sort. Jeez. Good luck to all guilds trying to down him!

Filed under: Machinima, Guilds, Raiding, Bosses

M'uru video, interview from SK-Gaming; third kill by Premonition

As the first guild to have killed M'uru, SK-Gaming has now released their video of the fight. You can see it above (if it's working; there seem to be some server issues on their end), or go to their site to download it in full-res glory. There are two different points of view: a BM hunter, and an enhancement shaman. I haven't been able to watch it yet because it's been down, but I'm sure it's an exciting fight.

The SK guild leaders also gave an interview a couple of days ago on their site. Here are some things they said that I find interesting:

  • SK is very impressed with the tuning on the fight, and think Kil'jaeden, the next fight, "might turn out to be the best encounter ever made."
  • Everyone gets to take an active role in the fight; for instance, there are adds that can only be killed by an offensive dispell, and melee gets to use stuns, mages get to polymorph, etc.
  • The viability of feral druids has been increased; they think Resto shaman is the "strongest overall class."
  • Most of the loot is pretty good, although they would have preferred a token system.
And of course they're looking forward to Kil'jaeden; who wouldn't be in that situation?

One final note: a third guild, in addition to SK-Gaming (world first) and Exodus (US first), has managed to down M'uru. Premonition, an Alliance guild on Alleria-US (and the first US guild to kill the Eredar Twins), took him down last night and received the following loot: Breastplate of Agony's Aversion, Bladed Chaos Tunic, Gloves of the Forest Drifter, and Sin'dorei Band of Dominance.

Filed under: Machinima, Guilds, News items, Raiding, Interviews

M'uru world first by SK-Gaming


On the fourth day of the second Sunwell Plateau gates being opened there, the European guild SK-Gaming has achieved the world-first kill of M'uru, the fifth SWP boss. Good job, guys! This is all the more surprising because I don't think of SK-Gaming as one of the big-name guilds, but maybe I've just been missing out. Edit: D'oh! That's the guild formerly known as Curse. I knew the name looked familiar. Also, I would sort of have expected the US realms to get there first because their gates opened a day earlier. But on the other hand, Europe has been on top of the world firsts for a while.

You can see the loot above -- click to embiggen. That Shifting Naaru Sliver sounds fun.

[via MMO-Champion]

Filed under: Guilds, Raiding

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