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Posts with tag soloing

Death Knight solos Onyxia

With how fascinated players are with using Onyxia as a benchmark, it was only a matter of time before our new legions of Death Knights tried their hand at it. Scarblade, a poster from the MMO-Champion forums, seems to hold the prize for world first solo Onyxia kill by a Death Knight. At least, as far as we know, and as of the latest beta patch. Will it count when Wrath goes retail? Who knows? We're a fickle bunch. Either way, I sincerely doubt many others attempted this as a Death Knight before Scarblade, because running around doing those attunement quests on the beta realms must be brutal even at level 80. You're just going to have to do it all over again!

Still, Scarblade was a trooper and went through the whole ridiculous attunement process. He says he tried both Frost and Blood specs before ultimately settling on an Unholy build that won the day for him. Personally, I expected this kill to have been done using a deep Blood talent spec with how well they solo. I suppose Onyxia isn't the same as your random elite thug hanging out in the middle of a field somewhere, so it makes sense that what works there might not be best in Ony's Lair. Unholy does make sense though, controlling those whelps can make or break an Onyxia attempt no matter how many people you take with you. Unholy Blight is a beautiful thing.

Yes, Scarblade did earn an Achievement for killing the ol' gal. Two, actually. One for just plain killing her, and one for killing her solo.

[ via MMO-Champion ]

Filed under: Expansions, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Be careful what you ask for

Amidst all the excitement surrounding the coming of Wrath and the beta testing revelations, I have a question. Does anybody care that Death Knights will be OP? I disagree with my fellow bloggers when they surmise that the upcoming Wrath world will not be overpopulated by Death Knights. On the contrary, I think you won't be able to sneeze without three Death Knights around you to say Gesundheit. And what's more I think they won't be a flash-in-the-pan like the Blood Elves and Draenei overpopulations were.

I believe this because I hate tanking and have never liked playing melee classes (my main is an elemental shaman and my highest alt is a warlock) and yet I'm having HUGE fun in the beta realm playing a Death Knight. I've played the class PvE to level 65, trying all three specs multiple times. I no longer fear dueling. I solo group quests that are above my level. I can approach elites one level higher than myself, alone and with no fear. I just run into a group of mobs with little strategy and almost always survive.

Although I think the clarity of the purpose for each spec is still a bit muddy, I see Death Knights mostly filling a tanking role. (Perhaps this was Blizzard's response to the tank shortage? Make a tank so fun to play that lots of people will play them?) And yet Death Knights have soloing capabilities like warlocks and hunters -- only they survive better. They are by far the best soloing class I've tried. For illustration purposes, I even made a goofy movie showing how badly you can play a Death Knight and still take some serious names without dying once.

Blizzard has proved that it knows what it's doing over the last four years. However, the current class system even without Death Knights has always had complaints about balance. As even Blizzard itself has admitted, adding a new class is not easy. Perhaps I am wrong and the tweaks they are making to the existing classes for Wrath will make everyone feel like they are overpowered. As it is, though, playing my new Death Knight gives me such a feeling of power that I've never had in the game before that I can't imagine that there won't be a lot of other players like me when Wrath hits the shelves this fall. Will this be good for class balance? More importantly, will anybody care?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight

Lichborne: On Blood leveling and Beta

Welcome to Lichborne, where every week Daniel Whitcomb makes sense of the amazing, ever-changing betatastic Death Knight class

So here's yet another example of how mutable Death Knights are at the moment: This week, I decided to spec Blood all week and make a genuine effort to learn all the ins and outs I could so that I could bring you a good solid overview of Blood for this weekend's column.

Then build 8820 came along, and Blood, while having the same basic mechanics, got a rather big hit to its health regeneration and DPS abilities, and I'm left trying to figure out the extent of the damages. In the end, I don't think Blood was horribly nerfed in this build, but it might have been slightly overnerfed.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Totem Talk: Resto questing

Totem Talk's Matthew Rossi has had a small Horde renaissance this week, and decided to take his slightly dusty Resto shaman out for a spin, healing a heroic MgT run and then running about the IoQD doing the dailies. Turns out he learned a few things in the process. He wrote a little song about it, like to hear it? Here it goes.

Okay, I apologize, but there will be no singing. Tell you what, if enough people demand it, I'll belt one out on the next WoW Insider Show I'm on.

I've posted in the past about how to quest, grind and otherwise solo on a Restoration shaman, but I didn't go sufficiently into detail as the post ended up being about the odd things people think about shamans. So this week, we'll go more into detail. There are basically two ways you can go about doing this, thanks to the recent changes Blizzard made to healing gear: you can go out and quest in your regular healing set or you can also have a set of DPS gear. Unlike a priest and more like fellow hybrids like druids, you have a choice of what kind of DPS gear to wear. You could have a set of Enhancement mail and a big 2h weapon (since Resto shammies can't dual wield but can use 2h's now) and run around hitting stuff, or you could go for the spell damage gear and imagine that you're a powerful Elemental shaman.

My own personal preference (due to that fact that my shaman has a lot of Enhancement gear) is to go the whackity whackity route and Windfury up a 2h. But in the interests of experimentation I tried both spell damage gear and my normal healing setup, and I found that my personal preference is in fact the least effective of the three for the gear I happen to have. I'm sure no one is surprised.

At any rate, let's talk turkey. Isn't turkey delicious? Druids can turn into humanoid-turkey hybrids. None of this has anything to do with Shamans of any spec soloing anything, but I've always wondered about the phrase 'let's talk turkey' and how anyone could resist saying "yay, I love stuffing!" after it. I'll get a hold of myself now. Actual details of Shaman soloing behind the jump. Whee!

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Quests, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Why we solo

Lauren of the Mystic Worlds Blog has a new post up called "Why we Solo in MMOs," offering her perspective on why, over many years and many MMOs, she has always tended to ignore the grouping game and instead go it alone. While I'm not against grouping at all -- I was very active in the 40 man raid game, and tend to run Heroics around once a week and Karazhans around 1.5 times a week across my 3 70s -- I've always felt that the solo game has a valid spot in MMORPGs, and I've often indulged in it myself. In fact, I'd bet that most WoW players do so on a regular basis these days, whether leveling up or doing their dailies.

She rattles off the usual list of reasons for going solo -- having a weird schedule, needing to take frequent "real life" breaks, not having enough time to go LFG for a dungeon, unwillingness to deal with the infamous horrible PuG group -- then takes it a step further. She believes that many people use these types of statements as excuses or defense against people who can't understand why they wish to solo in a multiplayer game, or actively flame them for it, and that the real reasons are a lot less complicated.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, PvP, Quests, Leveling, RP, Making money, Alts

Soloing can be epic, too

Though everyone talks about it a lot, raiding or even grouping isn't the only way to achieve something in the World of Warcraft. There's something for everyone.

While I do raid, there's a lot of solo content that I really feel proud of completing. At the top of my list is mastering the Shartuul's Transporter event. For quite awhile it would just stomp me into the ground, until one day I found my groove and was able to get through to the end. It took a handful of the Charged Crystal Focuses(foci?) for the 'special' abilities, but I did it. From there, I did the event as often as I could, until I could get through it without using any Foci. Now? Easy as pie. The event is basically free potions and potential epics for me now. Assuming it doesn't bug out. Spawn, you stupid eyeball! Spawn!

I've also been working on rep for a Wintersaber, but even after the buffs to reputation gains on that grind, I have a hard time staying interested. I've been doing it in little bit and pieces, and I really look forward to when I finally get a pink kitty.

So I'm curious, what are your solo accomplishments? That little(or big) thing you met head on and mastered on your own?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Quests

Don't underestimate the Isle of Quel'Danas

Patch 2.4 supplies a great amount of solo content along with the new 5-man dungeon and raid zone, but there is one thing that you should remember stepping onto the Isle of Quel'Danas: This content is not the same difficulty level as everything else we've done so far.

The dungeon and raid aren't the only things that have progressed the difficulty of the game, the solo content is more challenging as well. While the respawn rates on mobs may be turned down on the Live servers compared to what they are on the PTR, the fact remains that some of these baddies are not to be underestimated. Even the new bombing run is more difficult, though less likely to kill you than the others. When Ogri'la and Skettis were first released, they were a bit of a death trap. Most people went into them in a daze, expecting to nap through the little battles like the zones we had done before. The reality was, though, that it was quite a bit harder than that. Until we adjusted to the difficulty and played a little smarter, it was death city.

Quel'Danas is about the same. It isn't incredibly difficult, but it is a step up from what we've seen so far. Tread lightly, bring lots of bandages. If you're brand new to level 70 and your gear is... well, junk, then you might want to group with some friends for the new daily quests. And uh, don't be like me and go AFK in the middle of enemy territory and expect to come back 10 minutes later unharmed. That probably isn't going to go well for you.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Quests

Blizzard plans soloing improvements for Protection Warriors and Paladins

With healers getting some soloing love in patch 2.3, Migol asked on the forums if something similar was going to happen for Warriors and Paladins who are speced Protection. Eyonix responded that they are in fact planning to make soloing easier for all non-DPS specs, including Prot Pallies and Warriors.

Eyonix went on to say
that they don't want Protection speced players to have to carry around a second set of DPS gear in order to grind mobs more effectively. He says that while a high level DPS set may give the player an edge, the Prot specs should be able to solo in the gear they tank in.

It sounds like they are leaning toward doing something similar to what 2.3 introduces for healers. Since healers are getting free spell damage on all healing gear, will tanks get free attack power on all tanking gear?

Presumably, Druid tanks won't be sharing in this love since the Feral spec is a very powerful solo spec. So, if the changes are going to affect tanking gear, it will probably only apply to plate.

Eyonix does not give a time frame for Protection improvements other than "the future" and since it doesn't sound like they have a concrete plan yet, it probably won't be in patch 2.4.

What kind of improvements would you like to see for Protection soloing?

Filed under: Paladin, Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Forums

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Protection

The Care and Feeding of Warriors narrowly avoided a prophylactic joke in the title this week. Seriously, Matthew Rossi actually went to sleep chuckling about how funny it was going to be. Thankfully, when he woke up he realized he had been tired the night before and the joke was stupid, so he decided not to make it. Of course, by telling you this, he gets you to imagine all sorts of jokes that he may or may not have actually made.

We all know that changes are coming to just about every class in 2.3, and one of those changes is one that is intended to increase the solo play ability of dedicated healers. This is great news, of course, because it shows that the folks at Blizzard are interested in making sure that all specs have at least some viability for the aspects of the game that are necessary to prepare for instancing and raiding, namely farming for mats and questing for the repair money we all need without having to level another toon to 70 just to do our farming for us. That's why we checked the upcoming changes to warriors to see how they addressed solo prot warrior scaling.

Sound of a lot of crickets chirping.

Well, they nerfed mace spec. That'll help prot warriors solo and quest because... it will upset PvP warriors? No, that doesn't seem like it would help.

Devastate combines the effects of sunder armor? Well, I mean... good for tanking, but not really a tremendous boost to soloing unless the DPS of the attack is going up considerably. As it stands, devastate does half weapon damage, basically. It was briefly doing enough damage to be viable when it was changed to let it hit with both weapons if you were dual wielding (many prot warriors dual wield when trying to do damage because of the spec's increase to one handed weapon damage) but then that was changed back and they were left up soloing creek without a boat, as it were.

The tactical mastery change? Does nothing at all for or against prot warriors.

Disarm immunity gone? Well, Weapon Mastery is an arms talent. I fail to see how nerfing the top tier of an arms talent in any way helps protection warriors solo content or do daily quests. I guess I'm just blind.

Seriously, I am always for a class getting buffed as long as the buffs don't make them too powerful, and the changes to healing on gear don't strike me as overpowered. I'm not angered by the changes to healing spec soloability. I just want to know why warriors are the only class expected to so thoroughly eviscerate their own soloing capacity in order to tank.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

I'd rather be lonely

My little blood elf tankadin has just hit 50, and I've got to admit that I'm having more fun with WoW than I have in a long time. I'm exploring a new class and new roles, looking forward to quest rewards and leveled skills, and not dealing with raid schedules, raid invites, instanced rep grinding and all the other hassles of endgame. My 70 troll rogue sits alone in Shattrath City, probably wondering if I've ditched her for a younger, skinnier toon. And while I'm looking forward to walking my pally through the Dark Portal, part of me dreads getting her to 70.

Maybe I'm just not very good at this whole MMO concept, but I wish there were more things to do at max level in solo PVE. Questing is my second favorite part of the game, after professions, and it sucks that after 70 soloable levels, nearly all character progression is in groups. Yeah, yeah, I know, this is an MMO and I do like instances and raids, but I also like being able to log on for half an hour and accomplish something while kind of paying attention instead of having to devote a set amount of time and brainpower to an instance. Especially since on my pally, I can alt-tab and read forums or write between Holy Shields.

I'm looking forward to patch 2.1 because there looks like there will be a lot more reputation quests that can be done solo to get nice rewards. Maybe then I'll dust off my old rogue and start working on some new quests -- or at least have something to look forward to on my paladin.

Do you like soloing or not? What other options would you like to see for character advancement at 70?

Image courtesy of

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Quests

WoW Moviewatch: Huntard vs. Goliath

Paladinsucks points us to this fascinating video of a level 70 hunter soloing Azuregos. Yes, you read that right -- a single level 70 hunter soloing Azuregos. And before you say it can't be done, the hunter does say he spent 87 minutes working on this -- and if you can hold out for that long, I'm tempted to believe almost anything's possible.

Previously on Moviewatch...

Filed under: Hunter, Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

Massively multiplayer single player gaming

The PlayOn project has been quietly gathering data about how we play World of Warcraft for the past eight months, across five representative servers, and their findings are neatly summarised over at Terra Nova.

By looking at the time spent in groups, and the social interactions embodied in guilds, they've found some interesting results:

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Filed under: Virtual selves, Guilds

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