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Posts with tag strat

WoW Archivist: Strat 45 -- the original challenge mode

The streets of Stratholme
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Mists of Pandaria will introduce a new feature to WoW called challenge modes. Challenge modes are timed heroic dungeon runs offering rewards based on how fast you complete them.

What newer players may not know is that vanilla WoW also had a timed dungeon run. It was known as the 45-minute Baron, Strat 45, or sometimes simply Baron run. This "challenge mode" was actually just a quest (called Dead Man's Plea) to engage Baron Rivendare within 45 minutes and then kill him, or he would execute his prisoner and you'd fail. Why 45 minutes? That's just how Rivendare rolls.

The timed run was perhaps the most infamous step in the quest line to upgrade vanilla's rare-quality Dungeon 1 set into a mix of upgraded rares and epics known as Dungeon 2 or "tier 0.5." The quest line was added in patch 1.10, but it was removed entirely with Cataclysm's Shattering.

Because it was a part of that quest line (occurring roughly a third of the way into it), everyone wanted to complete a successful Strat 45 run. Trade chat in cities was full of "LFM 45Baron must know pulls!" However, very few PUGs in that era ever finished the run on time. It really was that difficult.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

The Queue: Tank talk

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. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

There was a good, and amazingly civil, discussion yesterday in the comments to the Queue about which instance a tank should head to first. Most of the debate came about via my suggestion that Utgarde Pinnacle was a good candidate for a tank's first heroic. The nice thing about this game is that there is no right or wrong answer (most of the time).

However one of the only truths about the game is that you can get better at it by discussing it and debating the aspects of it with other people. So I do humbly recommend that no matter what question you ask, you always look for more than one answer and compile all the answers into one that fits you best. And with that said, ask your questions about the game in the comments and we'll see if we can't help you on this path of enlightenment. /zen

Otharello mentioned...

"I'm pretty sure that suggesting Utgarde Pinnacle for a new tank is the height of sadism."

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Filed under: The Queue

The OverAchiever: Glory of the Hero, Continued

No one's kiling any folk here today, on account of we got a really tight schedule. -- Mal, "Trash."

Seemed to have some good luck with a previous Firefly quote, so why not? We're all set in Ahn'kahet, so let's pop over to Azjol-Nerub and lay waste to some bosses there.


Every achievement here is, in one way or another, a DPS race. If you've had difficulty with previous achievements in that vein or your DPS is still gearing up, you'll probably want to steer clear of Azjol for a while.

Watch Him Die

This is one of the few achievements in the game most efficiently done from a kamikaze perspective (Sarth-10 3D is the most notable of the other picks). Early attempts at this with two tanks, two DPS, and one healer failed miserably, mostly due to the combination of poisons, a Priest healer, and Watcher Narjil's Blinding Webs ability. I'll admit I tried that before anything good dropped from Naxx, so it may just have been a gear issue at the time, but:

a). If you have very good DPS, and:

b). If you're willing to suffer a repair bill

-- you can probably get this achievement in one or two tries without worrying about keeping all three Watchers tanked, bringing an off-tank, or risking a DPS having to kite all three to the entrance.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Instances, Features, Bosses, Guides, Achievements, The Overachiever

Scourge Invasion: Balzaphon

Balzaphon, like Scorn, is a lich. Like Scorn (and most liches... lichen?), he's primarily a Frost-based caster. You can find him within the burning streets of Stratholme, and while you can get at him by going in the front door, it's much easier to use the eastern entrance that takes you straight to the Undead side of Stratholme. You need the Key to the City to get in through that way, so if you don't have it, bring someone with one! Or fight your way to this spot through the other entrance.
If you go in through the Undead side (as you should) then you'll see a fork in the road just inside. There's an open gate on the left, and a locked gate up ahead. You want to hang that left, where you'll see a fountain surrounded by undead. Clear a path to the right, watch for abomination patrols, and hang that right. You'll see Balzaphon right up ahead. Before you fight him, clear around him. He has a Fear, so you should be careful in this area.

Ready? Fight! He rapid-fires Frostbolts. And I mean rapid. He casts them very quickly, and he casts them one after the other. If he takes a break from that, he casts AOEs (Frostbolt Volley, Cone of Cold) instead. Your tank will need a whole lot of healin' here. When his health starts dropping, he'll start mixing Fears in there on people, which is why you cleared around him. It's very easy to get feared into nearby groups of undead.

It's a harder fight than the earlier bosses, but Lord Blackwood is a little more tricky, I think. You'll get Balzaphon down pretty easy, just stay alive longer than he does! Easy! Right?

Now, the loot. Again, Balzaphon is caster heavy. Sort of what you'd expect from a lich. He has a spell power necklace, Chains of the Lich. He has a spell power belt, the Waistband of Balzaphon, that is marked as being frost spell power only on Wowhead but I was under the impression they has removed all class-specific spell damage/power, so who knows! He also forks over his staff, Staff of Balzaphon, from time to time.

Back in the day, the biggest draw about this guy is that if you're after Argent Dawn reputation, he drops two Corruptor's Scourgestones and he's only a handful of pulls away from the entrance. You could farm up a dozen of the things in no time flat. If you're looking to complete the Argent Champion achievement and need a lot of Dawn rep still, this is a good place to go.

If you want other bonuses, if you go a bit further up the road from Balzaphon you'll come across The Unforgiven. It's only a few pulls away, so it's some extra loot and scourgestones. And if you want to go a little further than that you'll find Hearthsinger Forresten, who will sometimes drop the Piccolo of the Flaming Fire, a trinket that will annoy your friends for eternity.

That's it for the level 60 bosses from the Scourge Invasion! The only one left now is Tenris Mirkblood inside of Karazhan. Good luck!

Filed under: Instances, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King

The Colosseum: Sodah of Detheroc

The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.

This is the last weekend of Season 4, which is ending early in preparation for the sweeping changes in the content patch. Even while we hear exciting news from BlizzCon, the final, definitive matches of the season are being played out on the live servers.

Sodah is a Druid on Detheroc, a member of several very highly ranked Arena teams. At the time of this interview, Sodah's sitting at #2 for 2v2 and 5v5, and #3 for 3v3. You can imagine he's got something to say about the way the Arena plays out, especially with the content patch and Wrath right around the corner.

Check out the interview behind the cut.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Interviews, Arena, The Colosseum

Testing strategy reading abilities, Part I

Everyone reading this site knows that it's pretty important to read strategies for the various boss encounters in WoW. No matter if they're from Boss Killers, our own Ready Check, long threads over at Elitist Jerks, or home made modifications, studying boss fights outside of the game is essential to success.

However sometimes it's kind of hard to tell if everyone is actually spending the 15 minutes to read over and understand the strategies outside of the raid. This is particularly troublesome for the raid leaders and officers, since some of the fights can be very hard to explain without first having an understanding of where and what things look like.

We're having this problem in our guild right now. Not that big of a problem, granted, but it's still something we'd like to get better at. So last night our guild master made a map of the Kalecgos play field, detailing where everyone should stand (I know that some readers will comment that it's not necessary, but it's what works for us). In the bottom right hand corner there's a derogatory yet funny message about yours truly, something along the lines of a suggested act I can go do to/with myself. It's obvious, it's funny, and it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Tonight the GM will go around and ask each of the 35 or so raiders we have in the guild, "What was out of place on the strategy map I posted today?" If they can't answer correctly, they won't be raiding with us again anytime soon.

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Filed under: Raiding, Guides

Player versus NPC health

A comment left by Argent on my article about the maximum amount of stamina got me thinking. How does player health stack and scale against NPC health? I quoted 17,500 unbuffed health as a good target for maxed unbuffed stamina, which equates to about 22,000 health fully raid buffed (possibly more depending on group, consumables, and talent composition).

So, let's take a look at what some mobs are that have around 22,000 to 23,000 health. Remember, this is as much as a fully equipped tier six warrior will probably have in raid.
If you want to just go by unbuffed numbers, some famous mobs that have around 17,500 health include:

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Instances, NPCs

Magister's Terrace videos

Spoiler alert: this video shows a successful kill of Kael'thas, the final boss of the new 5-man Magister's Terrace in patch 2.4.

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Filed under: Patches, Machinima, Instances

The living, breathing world of Azeroth - shrouded by the Dark Portal

I turned around suddenly to the clang of the gates behind me, viewing the span of a burning city before me. Undead horrors and abominations stared blankly and stumbled in sporadic groups. The city of Stratholme lay in ruins, overrun by the legions of the Lich King. I was alone; a still green adventurer that only two days prior was wandering the halls of the Scarlet Monastery. "I thought that the Scarlet Crusade was stationed here somewhere," I thought to myself. Knowing I could make no difference to the fate of this doomed city, I dug through my pack for my hearthstone, and touched it. The city view blurred and vanished before me.

My first adventure into Stratholme was far less poetic than the excerpt of my fan-fic above. Instead, it was filled with far more obscenities and questions as to why I can't get out, and statements of how no group could ever possibly take on 10 mobs, be them elite or not. They should have stuck a warning sign out front! I think back on that day, a year and a half ago, where I realized that the game did not end at 60. In fact, it had barely begun for me. And I've recently realized that the same can be said for 70.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Quests, Lore

Cloak of Shadows: 5 - Baroness Anastari: 0

Inspired by an old post about the Endgame Bosses Being Bored a couple of post-60 folks in my guild decided to pay Baron Rivendare a visit (and take some 55+ folks for a drag) as opposed to fighting for spawns in Outland. The sad thing is that this particular instance run simply drove home the point that Old Endgame just isn't nearly what it used to be.

The first thing we noticed was how utterly easy the mobs were. Gone is the time when a 45 minute run was proof of skill at L60 for non-raiding guilds. With the inclusion of a L68 Shaman healer and a L66 rogue, the instance became a cakewalk, completed in a blazingly fast 28 minutes from start to finish. (including looting) But the eye-opening sad/funny part was to come when the party got to Baroness Anastari.

As anyone who has been in Dead-side (or UD) Stratholme will tell you, the Baroness can be a bit annoying. Or at least, she could be when you were level 60, and you invariably got someone who forgot to burn all their cool-downs at the beginning of the fight. (To explain, the Baroness mind-controls a party-member and disappears. If you have special trinkets or talents, she is likely to use them immediately on your fellow party members.) So, with a few freshly minted near/60s in tow, the group jumped her, and everyone blew their cool-downs. Well, everyone except the rogue, not being used to that Cloak of Shadows button on his bar yet. Sure enough, first possession target was that same rogue. It went a little something like this:

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Humor, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Talents

Around Azeroth: King for a day

You know, players starting the game today may never see this sight. After all, with the quests, experience, and gear to be found in Outland as soon as you hit 58, why would you bother running the living wing of Stratholme? (In my experience, one of the more annoying level 60 5-player dungeons.) However, we can always look back on this screenshot of the very last room of the Scarlet Bastion in Stratholme, sent in by reader Sweetrevenge of Blackrock, and remember all the good times we had.

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth or Outland that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing! You can attach a picture file or send us a link to one -- and don't worry about formatting, we'll take care of that part.

See more of your pics from Around Azeroth.

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth: On the streets of Stratholme

Reader Plod of Daggerspine (EU) sends us this shot from the streets of Stratholme. And instead of sending in just any old image, Plod has pointed out one of the creepier things in the instance -- these charred human bodies that litter the instance, frozen in rather unhappy looking poses. Yep, they scare me, too.

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth or Outland that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing! You can attach a picture file or send us a link to one -- and don't worry about formatting, we'll take care of that part.

See more of your pics from Around Azeroth.

Filed under: Features, Screenshots, Around Azeroth

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