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Posts with tag terrace-of-endless-spring

Blizzard should rethink their content release model

Sleeping druids
Blizzard changes many things for each new expansion: raid structures, class spells and talents, game systems, UI elements -- few aspects of WoW survive an X.0 patch untouched.

It's time for Blizzard to change the one thing that has stayed the same since The Burning Crusade: the "event patch" release cycle. In WoW today, every patch is a big deal. We get previews. We get a trailer. We get fancy artwork with the X.X numbers. The patch release is an event.

Every patch has tons of content for nearly every aspect of the game. It's exciting -- there's almost too much to do. When a new patch releases, we're in WoW heaven.

Then months go by and that content grows stale. Blizzard doesn't give us new content at that point, but peeks at future content. We're starving for a delicious content meal, but we can only look at pictures of the food.

It's a feast and famine cycle that has to end. It creates this massive gap between the final content patch of one expansion and the release of the next. We must cross it once again in 2014. Players put up with it because we know Blizzard will deliver, eventually, a tremendously fun experience. But should we have to endure this, still, after the game has been around for almost ten years?

It's time for Blizzard to rethink the way they release content.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Black Prince

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Wrathion, the last black dragon -- to his knowledge -- on the entirety of Azeroth has been a puzzle from the moment his egg was created. His immediate response upon hatching was a vicious, calculated attack on his own flight via the use of assassins, which resulted in the nigh-extinction of the black dragonflight. And after completing that mission, he curiously chose, instead of going somewhere to be left alone as he stated he wanted, to go to Pandaria -- where he began an even curiouser journey that players were quickly swept into upon reaching level 90.

Wrathion's travels in Pandaria, his sudden gaining of a multitude of Blacktalon Agents, even the spot in which he chose to make his temporary home are all increasingly questionable, especially given what little we know about Wrathion himself. He gives us a grand, magnanimous story about how he's looking out for the world because he's seen visions of the Burning Legion coming to call, and of our world's destruction.

But he also said he was firmly on the side of the Horde, or the side of the Alliance, then swapped sides as efficiently as possible when it was convenient. In other words, Wrathion lies. He lies all the time. So the question we should be asking here is whether Wrathion has been giving us the real truth at all -- and what is the truth behind Wrathion's puzzling journey?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains speculation and history based on known material. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

All current raids to be nerfed by 10% with Patch 5.2

All current raids nerfed by 10%
Bashiok posted late last night on the US forums, highlighting a change in the recent patch 5.2 notes. The addition is as follows:

Blizzard
On Normal and Heroic mode, zone-wide auras have been activated in Mogu'shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of Endless Spring, reducing the health and damage of all enemies therein by 10%. A NPC near the entrance within each zone explains this, and offers to deactivate the buff for the benefit of brave/foolhardy adventurers.


Bashiok adds to his post, explaining how, in Mists, Blizzard is essentially trying to strike a happy medium between previous expansions' attitudes to gear progression. Cataclysm's gearing model devalued old content progression too quickly, allowing players to effectively jump straight into the current raids, while previous expansions had been criticized for their linearity.

Mists retains an element of that linear nature, with Bashiok saying that new characters will have to go through Mogushan Vaults, Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring, but that drop rates will be increased and the content made easier. He does note, however, that this 10% nerf is currently slated as a one-time reduction, rather than step one of a set of progressive nerfs.

What do you think of this? Hit the break for Bashiok's full post, explaining the philosophy behind the changes.

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Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Raid Finder drop rate will increase in patch 5.2

50 Raid Finder drop rate will increase in 52
Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street tweeted today regarding raid finder loot drops.


As the OP opined, this will be welcome news indeed for players worried about gearing alts after the appearance of patch 5.2. The introduction of the new raid tier so soon after the current tier likely leaves many players worried about the time investment required to catch up to a relevant gear level.

Given Blizzard's desire not to introduce new 5-man content at this stage in the gearing curve, the main gear progression will continue to be via raid finder, requiring players leveling alts for 5.2 raiding to gear up through 5.0's raid finder. The increased drop rate will, therefore, surely be welcomed. Nonetheless, it seems likely that a new 90 will have to work their way through gearing via the three current raids before being able to progress too quickly into the 5.2 tier. This seems a fairly high demand, given how easily players were able to gear alts in Cataclysm. Is the contrast between this expansion and the last too great?

With 5.2, Blizzard have certainly hinted that alt catch-up will be on the table. What else could the be doing to help players progress several characters without spoiling the fun of those who only want a main?

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: Talents and glyphs for tanking Terrace of Endless Spring

The Light and How to Swing It Talents and glyphs for tanking Mogu'shan Vaults
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Terrace of Endless Spring is a weird conclusion to the joyous majesty of tier 14. We go from one large raid to another large raid, and then the tier caps with chasing a Sha back to his Breakfast Nook of Fear. I suppose, however, you do have to give Blizzard a hand for managing to efficiently cram so many bosses into such a small area. The economy of space in there is very well executed.

Nonetheless, all meta discussion aside, from a tanking perspective, Terrace of the Endless Spring is nothing to write home about compared to the rest of the tier. The fights are okay, but don't really require the same engagement that fights in Mogu'shan Vaults, or even the Heart of Fear, demanded. Regardless, it being the last raid of the tier, the damage is higher and the need to keep yourself on two feet is oh-so-pressing. There are definitely some good tricks in your toolbox that will help keep you vertical and the thus the raid from going pear-shaped. Let's explore them.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

From ding to spring: Fully clearing Mists of Pandaria's endgame raids in 3 weeks or less

Something about gearing up
In case you missed the big news, the Thunder King will be upon us in Patch 5.2, coming to you (live!) sometime in the next couple months. Unfortunately, many of you are just now receiving Mists of Pandaria under the tree, or are getting back into the game after reaching level 90, and are overwhelmed with all the endgame options available to you. Don't worry about it! By following this guide, we'll get you from a fresh level 90 character to a full clear of all 5.0 raids in three weeks or less, with no expensive outlays of time or cash. Plenty of time to prepare for dinomancers!

Prerequisites

First, you need to have a level 90 character. If you don't have one yet, it's okay: the experience required to level from 1-85 was significantly reduced when Mists of Pandaria was released, so you'll be able to catch up quickly. Once you reach 85, hop over to Pandaria and enjoy the new quests. You'll gain a level for each zone you clear, more or less. You can also run some normal mode 5-man dungeons if you'd like, though go easy; you'll be running the heroic versions quite frequently at 90.

Second, you'll want a DPS spec and a good set of starter gear for it. Completing the Dread Wastes or Townlong Steppes quests will get you outfitted; if you don't have DPS gear laying around to actually complete the quests, Len of Arms will happily sell you a set of 408's to get going. You can also search the auction house; many blue BoE's in the ilvl 430-450 range are listed frequently, for pretty reasonable prices.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Totem Talk: Resto fun in the Terrace of Endless Spring

Totem Talk Tsulong is resto's best boss encounter to date
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and content creation at InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

The raid structure for the current tier has proven to be quite interesting. It is very reminiscent of tier 11 raids. I have gone on record many times saying how much I loved that setup, having multiple zones to go to which added variety and decreased my burnout by quite a bit. Tier 14 mimics that setup in, what is my opinion, the best ways. It offers not only a variety of locations but also a variety of mechanics to test any raid.

Terrace of Endless Spring, the last of this tier's set of raids, is one of my favorites in a long time. I love the look of the zone, the lore of the zone and most of all I love healing the zone. Why do I like it so much? It has, in what is my opinion, some of the most shaman healer friendly fights we've had in a while. This is not a healing guide for ToES, that will come later, but rather just my impressions on the zone as a whole through the eyes of a restoration shaman.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution talents and glyphs for Terrace of Endless Spring

The Light and How to Swing It Retribution talents and glyphs for Terrace of Endless Spring
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

I really like Terrace of Endless Spring. In my eyes, Terrace represents a continuation of the process of experimentation the developers began in Trial of the Crusader, namely that of making raids smaller without holding any actual content back. This experiment was continued in Cataclysm in Throne of the Four Winds, but I feel it wasn't quite a success until Terrace. Shrinking raids is a tricky proposition, but the surface area of this instance is balanced out by the complexity of its encounters.

For you regular readers out there, you might have noticed I seem to have skipped right over the second half of Heart of Fear, Nightmare of Shek'zeer. Truth be told, I didn't really find these encounters interesting enough to devote an entire column to tackling them. Don't let my apparent entomophobia hold you back, though -- please do feel free to discuss Wind Lord Mel'Jarak, Amber-Shaper Un'sok, and Grand Empress Shek'zeer in the comments below!

Anywho, let's jump right into the encounters for Terrace of Endless Spring. If you're looking for some raid guides for these bosses, Icy Veins has a great set on their site.

Protectors of the Endless

Similar in many ways to Ulduar's Iron Council, the Protectors can be pulled in a different order to vary not only the difficulty, but the gear drops. As on Iron Council, you will only be attacking one target at a time, a fact that shapes the talents and glyphs we want to use in this encounter.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing options for retribution, part deux

The Light and How to Swing It Gearing options for retribution, part deux
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

I know you all have been waiting for this post with bated breath ever since I unveiled the first half of the list a few weeks ago. "Wonderful," you whispered quietly to yourself as you read that article while snuggled beneath a warm blanket, "now I know where all of the best gear comes from!" Then Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring opened up and you found yourself in a haze, unsure of where you should focus your coin attacks. Well fear not, stalwart reader, for this post is here to save the day!

Okay, so gear lists are kinda boring -- truthfully, they are probably just as boring to read as they are to write. But I'm going to try something with this list in an attempt to forestall the drooping of the eyelids. As embarrassing as it may be, I am going to walk through my own gear and discuss which upgrades will provide the most bang for my elder buck by determining the relative value of each piece using some generated stat weights. My hope is that this process will make it easier for you to pick out the amazing upgrades from the mediocre upgrades and the higher-ilvl downgrades.

It should be noted, of course, that stat weights fluctuate as you accumulate gear, and therefore in reality there is no single set of weights you should always go by. A good practice to get into, if you're looking to maximize your DPS any way possible, is to download SimulationCraft and generate your own weights.

Setting up

Before we jump into the list, here is a link to my gear setup at the time of this writing. Of course, you can always visit my Armory and make fun of me because my sword clashes with the rest of my transmog (I'm too lazy to find a more fitting sword). Anyway, I imported this data into the latest version of SimC and generated some stat weights using default settings and 25,000 iterations.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Mists of Pandaria

Is the new LFR loot system working for you?

Is the new LFR loot system working for you
I'm not, by and large, a huge fan of LFR. Most of this isn't really due to the raids themselves, but to the fact that as a DPS I generally feel like I have to wait an eternity for that queue to fill up, especially if I wait until the end of the week to run the thing. But I like seeing the fights, and I like beating things up. I like getting loot.

Unfortunately, that last statement doesn't really happen very often. I've gotten a bare handful of pieces out of LFR, but most of the time my reward is simply gold, and the valor I get at the end of the run. That seems to be the case for most players -- after each boss kill is a litany of "Oh no, not gold again, I never get anything from here." But then I started thinking about it, and what exactly that new loot system has done for LFR raiding.

Oddly enough, it's changed it in a significant manner.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Lichborne: Terrace of Endless Spring gear for death knights

Lichborne Terrace of Endless Spring gear for death knights
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Terrace of Endless Spring is the last raid of tier 14, but features the same item levels as the Heart of Fear. If you didn't find an upgrade there, chances are you'll find it here.

As with previous weeks, we'll be examining the loot on a boss by boss basis, in order to give you a better idea about which bosses to spend your Elder Charms of Good Fortune on. In addition, our analysis will be based primarily on normal gear drops. If you are raiding LFR or heroic tiers, your gear choices may vary a bit based on item levels.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

New raid release schedule, all raids live by November 20th

New raid release schedule, all raids live by November 20th
This week marks the launch of the Heart of Fear raid. Last week, Nethaera mentioned that the raid release schedule would be staggered more, and this week, we found out exactly how it's going to work. Normal Heart of Fear launches this week, with Heroic HoF and the first half of HoF raid finder launching next week, and the second half of HoF raid finder launching to coincide with Terrace of Endless Spring on November 13th. Finally, Heroic and Raid Finder Terrace of Endless Spring will be available on November 20th, concluding the staggered release of this tier's raids.

Originally, HoF and Terrace were intended to launch together - the change in the schedule was made to stagger their releases more. Seems like a good idea to me, as it gives more chances to clear the new raids before the release of yet more content.

Bethaera - Heart of Fear Now Live & Raid Schedule
The latest Normal difficulty Mists of Pandaria Raid Dungeon is now available: Heart of Fear. Raid Finder and Heroic difficulties will be available Tuesday, November 6.

Raid Finder will unlock bosses in Heart of Fear over time, and all Heart of Fear bosses will be unlocked and available Tuesday, November 13. To access the new Raid Finder dungeons, you will need a minimum item level (ilevel) requirement of 470.

Here is the current schedule for these Raid releases:
Tuesday, October 30- Normal Heart of Fear
Tuesday, November 6- Heroic Heart of Fear and first half of Heart of Fear on Raid Finder
Tuesday,November 13- Second half of Heart of Fear on Raid Finder and Normal Terrace of Endless Spring
Tuesday, November 20: Heroic Terrace of Endless Spring and Terrace of Endless Spring on Raid Finder

All raids/difficulties will still be fully accessible by November 20, as we had always intended, but we're staggering the release a bit more.



Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: Looking for loot in tier 14 raids

Blood Pact Looking for loot in tier 14 MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill wishes she has a sorcerer's apprentice to run Simulation Craft over and over again with different reforges.

Loot lists are about as boring to write as they are to read, but they're helpful for when you're staring down a 20-second timer on the EPGP window and you're not sure what GP-spending button you'd like to hit.

After we get done with the tier 14 gear, we should be set to talk about cooler things, like whether capping hit makes sense or particular boss strategies.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Nethaera updates raid schedule, no LFR Heart of Fear next week

Nethaera has just posted an update to the raid schedule and for those of us waiting with anticipation, it's worth knowing that only Heart of Fear will be launching next week. Terrace of Endless Spring will not be launching at the same time.

Nethaera - Updated Raid Schedule Heart of Fear & Terrace
To help raiders prepare their schedules for next week, we wanted to give everyone a brief heads-up that the Normal mode Heart of Fear will be debuting alone on Tuesday, and the Normal mode Terrace of Endless Spring will now open two weeks following the release of Normal Heart of Fear.

To help players focus on tackling these new encounters without feeling overwhelmed, we've decided to stagger the release of the two remaining raid zones. Heart of Fear should prove to be a challenging zone that will take the typical group some time to master, and players must defeat the Grand Empress Shek'zeer at the end of Heart of Fear before they may move on to Terrace of Endless Spring once that zone unlocks.

The unlock schedule for Looking For Raid modes for Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring is unaffected by this change. Heroic Heart of Fear will still be accessible to players who have cleared the zone on Normal difficulty.


Our own Anne Stickney asked Nethaera on Twitter if LFR Heart of Fear will be launching next week, and Nethaera was kind enough to answer, clarifying even more. Normal mode Terrace of Endless Spring will open two weeks after Heart of Fear goes live, as well.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: 5 frequently asked Mists lore questions

Know Your Lore Mists lore and you SUN
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Mists of Pandaria contains an utter truckload of new lore. Pandaria has been hidden behind mists for ten thousand years and the elusive pandaren were little more than a myth to most, a rare sighting to others. Because of this, there was little to no record of anything related to the lost continent of Pandaria or its history. And because of that, Pandaria is packed with tons of new stories and information regarding the continent and the races that live upon it.

Even to someone familiar with lore, that overload of information can be a little overwhelming. We're all starting out at the same point in Pandaria, a point where we know nothing at all. So I find myself frequently getting asked questions about what's going on in this strange new world, and why we're doing what we're doing. As I answered the questions to various friends and guildmates, I thought perhaps I should share the answers to the most frequently asked of these questions with you all.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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