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Posts with tag sunwell-plateau

The Queue: You are slightly more prepared than you were


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

That's a trailer we haven't seen in awhile, huh? It's relevant today, I promise! Besides, a little nostalgia is always fun. If I have one grievance with Wrath of the Lich King's cinematic, it's that they didn't give us an incredibly corny catchphrase to spout for nearly two years.

Discolando asked...

"Is there any substance to the rumor I've recently read that patch 3.3 will contain another yet unknown raid instance, and patch 3.4 will contain Icecrown Citadel? It does seem more logical to 'finish' the expansion with the advertised antagonist instead of a deux ex machina like patch 2.4 gave us."

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

Disappointment with the patch 3.1 game world

The last few days I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out why I'm not particularly enjoying Patch 3.1 when I'm doing something besides raiding Ulduar. I should be enjoying it! When I first checked it out on the PTR, I was extremely excited about it. The Argent Tournament especially. The whole jousting deal, the Arthurian themes, the potential for story progression, the whole thing. It looked great! Unfortunately... I'm finding it pretty boring.

The Argent Tournament feels lifeless. Completely and utterly lifeless. I say it all of the time, but patch 2.4 was my favorite patch of World of Warcraft thus far, no contest. Patch 2.4 brought me more joy than even the Wrath launch. Not only did it have content for absolutely every aspect of the game, but it also actually changed the world. Storylines progressed in an in-your-face way. Sure, patch 3.1 moved the Ulduar and Yogg-Saron story forward, but would you know it if you didn't read fansites or watch the patch 3.1 cinematic? What's different? What indicator is there that something new is happening in the Storm Peaks?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Lore

Loot, rationality, and the Sunwell effect


Here at WoW Insider we don't always agree with each other. Whether it's debating the merits of various tanks on different encounters, the damage difference between pure and hybrid DPS classes, the ideal function of a particular healing class in raids, or the superiority of cake over pie, our back-channel discussion tends to be pretty interesting.

Eliah Hecht's article "25-man gear should not be better than 10-man gear" sparked a lot of great discussion with our readers and, I think, some illuminating poll results as well. The majority of responders believed that giving 10-man and 25-man raids the same loot table would result in a significant drop in popularity for 25-man raiding. Overall, I tend to agree with this, but I also think that Eliah touched on something that speaks to Blizzard's evolving sense of game design, much of which is evident in the transition between late Burning Crusade and Wrath.

I would like to call this the Sunwell effect, or "ingame rationality." To wit: don't incentivize players to behave in a manner contrary to your actual design interests. I believe this played a huge role in the differences between BC and Wrath raiding, and that it underlies why the 25-man loot table has to remain superior to its 10-man counterpart.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Raiding

Ask a Lore Nerd: Speculative speculation

Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

Today's edition of Ask a Lore Nerd is a bit heavy on the speculation side, so be warned before you start reading. We've had a lot of questions recently that we don't yet have answers to, but are asked frequently enough that I suppose I should see what I can say!

vyx asked...

"Okay, so speaking of life and death, this has bugged me for a while -- how do we explain the fact that some characters (Horde and Alliance legends for example) have died, but yet every Priest, Pally, Shammy and Druid can rez people anytime they want?

I realize it's a game and it wouldn't be so much fun if you died and then had to reroll a level 1, but there needs to be some type of lore explanation as to why people can be rezzed, but also can 'really die.' Are we supposed to just not worry about this or is there an explanation?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Ask a Lore Nerd

The Queue: Ulduar progression and more

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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Ah, maintenance day. The day where I finally get to go out into the world and suck some sunshine into my pallid flesh. I may even pick up some groceries! One can only order crates of Ramen off of the internet so many times before life starts to get a little bland. ...Wait, but if I leave the house... who will write The Queue!? Oh man, forget it, I'll get some sunlight next year. Maybe I can order some Pringles to add a little flavor to my noodles.

Fargostar5000 asked...

Don't know if anyone has asked this yet, but are groups going able to run Ulduar-1o successfully using only the gear from tbe other 10-mans thus far, or will heroic level raid gear be necessary/recommended?

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Why now's the best time to run BC content

Spartonian over on WoW LJ has been running some old content, and he points out something that everyone should hear: now is the absolute best time to be running the old Burning Crusade endgame. He says the contest is laughably easy with current endgame levels and gear, and yet, because we're still basically at the beginning of this expansion's endgame, there are still quite a few items that can be picked off of the end bosses in Black Temple and Sunwell (not to mention you can pick up the achievements for those places if you weren't able to down them before.

And he's right -- there are some nice trinkets still found in those old instances, and who wouldn't want to complete their Warglaive set or grab a Thori'dal from Sunwell? Sure, the stats may not be the best, but until the ammo changes go in, you can save money while soloing -- and own a legendary to boot.

Of course, when Ulduar shows up, we'll all likely be too busy with the new content (be it the raids or the Argent Tournment or whatever else you got) to go back to Burning Crusade. But now, during the downtime post-OS and Naxx, is the perfect time to go back and clean up the old content.

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

The Queue: Vanilla Coke edition

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. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Hey, everybody! How's your Friday afternoon so far? Mine is full of rain and Vanilla Coke. Mmm. Delicious Vanilla Coke. You know, I'm definitely a Mountain Dew man, and Voltage is my lifeblood, but some days you just want something else. I couldn't drink Vanilla Coke every day, but cracking one open now and then? Caffeinated heaven.* Now, if I can just find my dentures, I'll start answering your questions...

Hellscreamy asked...

A few days ago I read in one of the posts that Noblegarden would be getting new achievements, items and events. Is there any indication at the moment (PTR or otherwise) that this will count towards the 'What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been' achievement?

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

Breakfast Topic: Nostalgia vs. reality -- fight!

There's an interesting post on the forums that's become a catalogue of what old-time players miss most about classic WoW. While it's become a pretty thorough compilation of iconic moments, there are admissions that, well, maybe some of the stuff that's fun to look back on wasn't actually that much fun at the time. The examples include trying to get past a 40-man raid of the opposite faction into Molten Core, the boredom of raiding as little more than a glorified Decurse-bot, the countless guilds who broke up on Vael, and the fun of Tarren Mill/Southshore PvP that had the ancillary effect of making leveling in Hillsbrad such a nightmarish experience.

I'm seeing the first glimmers of such nostalgia for BC content start to emerge, and hearing a Sunwell PuG advertised as a "fun run" the other day left me speechless for a moment. It's equal parts compelling and unnerving; part of me misses the struggle to down bosses in Tiers 4, 5, and 6, but I also remember ugly M'uru wipefests. Everyone likes looking back on the first boss kill, nobody likes remembering the 45-minute trash respawn timer in SSC, and I like to think that as the game has "grown up," it has also gone resolutely forward.

But then, I'm not an old-school WoW player on the level of these forum posters, and I'm also not sure that the nostalgia for BC content will ever approach that for classic content. Is, say, Black Temple going to be looked upon as fondly as its classic counterparts like AQ40 someday, or is the classic "classic" and irretrievable for a reason?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Breakfast Topics, Raiding, Forums

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

Arcane Brilliance: The best and worst of 2008



Each year, Arcane Brilliance cooks up 52 columns about Mages, each one roasted at precisely the right temperature for precisely the right amount of time (usually a couple hours on Saturday morning over a soggy bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, to be honest). As we arrive at the 52nd week of 2008, Arcane Brilliance would like to thank each and every one of the Mages who come here every weekend to celebrate our wonderful class by reading a giant, well-cooked wall of text. Arcane Brilliance would also like to say to the Warlocks who come here to mock us and drink our delicious tears, "We hope your felhound eats you."


Wow, so 2008, huh?

A lot of things happened this year, right? Crazy.

We here at Arcane Brilliance thought that since next week's column will be posted in 2009, we should take a moment this week to remember the year that was, and what it meant to all of us who walk the path of magic. There were some pretty high highs, and some exceptionally low lows, so we figured it would be fun to throw the highs into a ring with the lows and let them fight to the death. Join us after the break to see who wins!

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

Hi Arthas! Want some help slaughtering the innocent?


A guildmate of mine was healing a Culling of Stratholme run last night and finally broached a question that seems to have occurred to everyone who's helped Arthas take his utilitarian moral perspective on the road: "Why are we helping this guy?"

It's a question that people used to ask about Black Morass a lot too (indeed, the first boss, Chrono Lord Deja, will ask you that himself), but Black Morass was a little more cut-and-dried. Medivh unquestionably cost many lives in bringing the first Horde through his portal, but if the orcs never set foot in Azeroth, then the world would have fallen to the Legion. The Bronze Dragonflight is unusually blunt about the cause-and-effect; war breaks out among the human kingdoms, the Alliance never occurs, the new Horde is not present at Hyjal to defend against Archimonde's forces -- indeed, the Legion may very well have swept the world without Hyjal ever occurring. So, despite the destruction wrought by the first Horde's entry into Azeroth (and you could argue, because of it), Medivh must succeed in opening the portal.

I'm not sure it's quite that straightforward with "Old Strat" -- and questions about whether it is prompt some thought-provoking questions concerning Azeroth's past, present, and future.

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

WoW Insider interviews Tom Chilton

A couple of days ago at the midnight release of Wrath of the Lich King in Anaheim, CA, our very own Dan O'Halloran had an opportunity speak with Tom Chilton (also known as Kalgan), Lead Game Designer of World of Warcraft. They spoke on a wide variety of topics, from raid philosophy to the growth of the game in North America and many things in between. Read on to see what Kalgan had to say!

WoW Insider:
What did Blizzard think was the most surprising class development of The Burning Crusade? Did you think Paladin tanks would be as popular as they were, did you anticipate the Druid supremacy in the arena?

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Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

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)

Shifting Perspectives: State of the class, part 1 - Balance


Every Tuesday, or possibly Thursday when the writer votes on Tuesday and spends Wednesday screaming and beating her laptop over formatting errors, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert steals John Patricelli's column once again, secure in the knowledge that she will never be forced to atone for her crime as long as she writes something nice about ferals and keeps a respectful distance from Dan O'Halloran's whip.

I hate Tauren cat form.

Good. I got that out of my system and can write something productive. Although, believe me, if I could get away with it, an entire Shifting Perspectives would be devoted to just how much I hate Tauren cat form. I mean, just look at it! Look at the angle on the horns! The cat can't bite anything! Christ, I just -- hi, Dan. Yes, I'm totally writing the column! Look at me go!

This week, mindful as always of American election-year politicking, I'm going to borrow a page from presidential duties and write a little something I like to call "State of the Class." Druids have undergone a number of changes in the transition to Wrath of the Lich King, and will acquire even more as they level to 80. We are one of Blizzard's primary targets for both gear and role consolidation, which raises a few questions over how comfortably we're going to scale in relation to pure classes and what we can realistically expect on the march to a new level cap.

The TL:DR version of this article -- I believe our future is generally bright, the Druid community continues to have a few concerns over certain aspects of the class, our focus in PvP seems to be changing the most, and I hate Tauren cat form. This is a three-part post, so let's get started with balance. However, if you want to jump ahead to feral, you'll find that here; and the third part, restoration, is here.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

Ask a Lore Nerd: Which came first, the Lich King or the Egg?


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week Alex Ziebart answers your quests about the lore in the World of Warcraft. If you have any questions, no matter how big or small they might be, ask them in the comments section below and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

It's another beautiful Sunday, and it's time for another edition of Ask a Lore Nerd! Let's jump righ tin with realmreaver's question...

If the humans turned their back on the Forsaken due to their undead condition. Why are they all lovely dovey towards the Death Knights? Are not an army of undead LOVED ONES a necessary evil too?

The Death Knight questline explains their return to the Horde/Alliance, and supplies some reasoning for why their factions are okay with them. Forsaken, on the other hand, are painted by the game to be very anti-Human. Why in the world would Humans accept them, former loved ones or not? One of their battle cries is, "Death to the living!" and they say such things consciously aware of their words. It's a completely different situation.

If a group of Forsaken went through the same thing our Death Knights did and atoned the same way our Death Knights are, they'd potentially have a shot of joining the fold, at least for awhile. As it stands, the Forsaken reject Humanity just as much as Humans reject the Forsaken. Sylvanas is their Queen, Varian Wrynn is not their King.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Death Knight, Ask a Lore Nerd

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