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Posts with tag tier-4

World of Wardrobe: Going out in Outland for tier 4

Heading back to pick up some awesome armor sets from vanilla WoW or that dazzling weapon that'll have your enemies cowering in fear? Transmogrification makes it possible -- and World of Wardrobe shows you how.

Now that we've finished our whirlwind tour of Medivh's home and have two pieces of tier 4 in our pockets to show for it, it's time to head to the main highlight of The Burning Crusade expansion and dig up the rest of it. While Karazhan existed on Azeroth, the rest of tier 4 exists in Outland, scattered between two smaller raids -- the lairs of the pitlord Magtheridon and Gruul the Dragonkiller. Both raids were mercifully short when compared to the length of Karazhan, but both required some precision timing by raids to complete successfully.

Last week, we touched a little on attunement chains for The Burning Crusade. Long, arduous and a complete pain for those trying to get in on raiding late in the game, the attunement chains in Burning Crusade were systematically removed as the expansion went on. For those who jumped into raiding when The Burning Crusade was launched, however, both Gruul and Magtheridon were required kills to get to the next level of raiding content with the next tier of raiding gear.

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Filed under: World of Wardrobe

World of Wardrobe: Kicking around Karazhan for tier 4, part 2

Heading back to pick up some awesome armor sets from vanilla WoW or that dazzling weapon that'll have your enemies cowering in fear? Transmogrification makes it possible -- and World of Wardrobe shows you how.

Last week, we started the journey to pick up the first raiding tier of The Burning Crusade. Tier 4 was a bit of a revolution in the way that tier gear was obtained. Players no longer had to wait for their particular piece of gear to drop; instead, they looted tokens that were then turned in for the gear of their choice. We saw the beginnings of this back in tier 2.5, but the organizational element of it was sadly missing. By the time The Burning Crusade launched, players no longer had to obtain secondary items for their tier; the tokens were all that was required. But there were other differences that were unique to Burning Crusade raids -- mainly, the placement of tier loot.

If you wanted to raid in vanilla WoW, doing so required attuning yourself to the various raids available. In the case of Molten Core, Blackwing Lair and Onyxia's Lair, this was done by completing a quest chain and obtaining an item or clicking an object that would allow you passage into the raid zone. When Ahn'Qiraj was launched, raiders had to complete an epic quest chain in order to open the gates to the raid, and non-raiders had to gather resources and supplies for the battle that would happen after. By the time the 40-man version of Naxxramas rolled around, all that was required was reputation, some gold, and a few items to get in.

This all changed with The Burning Crusade, and so did tier sets.

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Filed under: World of Wardrobe

World of Wardrobe: Kicking around Karazhan for tier 4, part 1

Heading back to pick up some awesome armor sets from vanilla WoW or that dazzling weapon that'll have your enemies cowering in fear? Transmogrification makes it possible -- and World of Wardrobe shows you how.

After the sheer confusion of tier 2.5, players had one more opportunity to get tier pieces in the form of tier 3, available solely from the 40-man version of Naxxramas. As of the launch of Wrath of the Lich King, Naxxramas relocated to Northrend and tier 3 went goodbye, to the disappointment of tier collectors. It's been hinted that the new Darkmoon Faire in patch 4.3 may offer ways to obtain tier sets that are no longer obtainable -- hopefully, this includes the long-lost tier 3.

Tier 4, on the other hand, was a step in a new direction. Players were no longer required to obtain additional materials to pick up their tier pieces; all they needed was their class token, and they were good to go. However, tier 4 wasn't found in just a single raid dungeon; it was spread all over Outland in a series of introductory raids meant to prepare raiders for the rigors of Serpentshrine Cavern, Tempest Keep, and eventually The Battle for Hyjal and Black Temple.

Tier 4 is scattered through three different raid zones, and today we're going to venture into a zone that still stands out as a favorite in many raider's eyes -- the incomprehensible tower of Karazhan. Once the home of Medivh, Karazhan also offers a variety of cool weapons and off-set armor pieces along with the elusive tier 4.

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Filed under: World of Wardrobe

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

WoW Rookie: Hear, hear for tier gear

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Reader Nick writes in with a question we've been planning to tackle here at WoW Rookie for a while now: "Hey, I'm semi-new to the game, but I don't understand what a 'tier' is. My bro has a level 80 Blood Elf Hunter, and he's always saying 'Oh, he has Tier 5; I got Tier 8.' What does that mean?"

The answer to all this math is nothing more complex than the progression of class-specific armor sets. (Oh, and tell your brother he can't possibly have T8 on the live servers yet -- that's going to drop in Ulduar.) Over the course of the game, Blizzard has introduced three-, five- and eight-piece armor sets for each class. These are the so-called "Tier #" or "T#" sets that you hear so much about, all obtained by raiding. Distinguishing between the sets grew confusing as new dungeons, raids and expansions were added, so players began referring to these armor sets in numerical order.

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Filed under: Features, WoW Rookie

Tank Talk: should the main tank position still exist?


Tank Talk is WoW Insider's raid-tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column will be rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and myself (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish. Today, dear readers, we might make ourselves hated by the entire population of undisputed, royal-bloodlined, main tanks, but that's OK. We are used to staying at the top of someone's hate list.

One of the accepted facts of raiding life used to be that the main tank was the guild's gearing priority. As Adam Holisky's observed, "Everything that happens in the raid eventually makes it back to the tank." Healers undergeared? You're screwed. DPS incompetent or just badly grouped? Buh-bye. Random number generator wreaking all manner of havoc on healer crits and boss parries? Thar be the graveyard. A truly cynical mind would opine that the tank should be as well-geared as possible if only because it makes it easier for the raid to forget that person existed as anything other than a rapidly-advancing line on the Omen screen that: a). always stayed above their own, and b). never died. There are enough random variables while the raid's learning a new boss that the tank needs to be eliminated as one, and in vanilla WoW that was certainly the goal. Raid and offtank damage on most encounters hadn't scaled to the point where you could make a compelling argument in favor of gear equilibrium across your tanking roster. What was the point of something like that when 95% of the damage in a fight was going to be absorbed by a single person?

That changed.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Tank Talk

Tiers: The past, present, and future of dungeon and raid sets


Tier gear is a concept that has been with WoW since the beginning. In Molten Core, the very first WoW raid, each class had a set of gear that looked good together, could only be equipped by that class and that was, supposedly, specially tuned to that class's stat requirements. Priests had Prophecy, Warriors had Might, and so forth. This was called tier 1.

Classic WoW had three official raid tiers: tier 1 came from Molten Core, tier 2 from (mostly) Blackwing Lair, and tier 3 from Naxxramas. T3 is notable for a few reasons:

  • It was obtained via multi-class tokens. The bosses would drop, say, the belt token for Priest, Mage, and Warlock. You'd then have to take the token, some mats dropped by Naxx trash, and some crafting mats to an NPC to get the gear. This was useful because the boss drops became more flexible: if your priests all had their belt already, you could give the token to a mage or a warlock; if it had just been a straight drop of the priest T3 belt, you'd have to disenchant it.
  • T1 and T2 filled eight slots, while T3 filled nine, adding a ring. However, the highest bonus was for eight pieces, so you could choose which piece you wanted to leave out and still get the set bonus. This is continued in BC with five-piece sets, but only two- and four-piece bonuses.
  • When Wrath of the Lich King goes live (or possibly when patch 3.0.2 does) you will no longer be able to acquire T3. Naxxramas is being moved from its current location up to Northrend, where it will become the entry-level raid for level 80. Those who already have T3 will get to keep it.

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Filed under: Items, Features, Raiding, Classes

Tank Talk: The irresistible fight


Tank Talk is WoW Insider's raid-tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column will be rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and Allison Robert (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish.

Since Tank Talk began, we've gotten a few questions from people about raid fights that require tanks to use resist gear. With all of Burning Crusade's raid attunements now removed, and with lots of guilds testing the waters in Tier 5 and Tier 6 before Wrath hits, I figure now's as good a time as any to discuss what resist sets you're going to want if your guild is intent on progression. The resist gear issue is nowhere near as dire as it was in vanilla WoW (Molten Core, anyone?) and in general the raid as a whole rarely needs to worry.

Tanks are special. But you knew that already, didn't you?

This guide covers all of the existing 10-man and 25-man content in the game outside of Sunwell Plateau:

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Tank Talk

The fate of Season 1 gear in Season 4

So don't delay, act now, supplies are running outA lot of people -- including John, who asked us about this by email -- are a little confused about what's happening to Arena Season 1 gear when Season 4 goes live on June 24th. Season 1 gear for honor is being replaced by Season 2 gear, but at the same time, Eyonix has posted to say that they don't have plans to switch around the PvE tokens for PvP gear system implemented with patch 2.4.

So wait, is Season 1 gear available during Season 4 or not? The answer is yes, but only from Tier 4 PvE tokens.

When season 3 went live, as you will remember, Season 1 gear went over to Honor, and bumped the old level 70 High Warlord and Grand Marshal gear completely off the vendors. You could not longer get it. Likewise, when Season 2 gear moves to honor, it will completely knock off the Season 1 gear from the honor vendors, and you will no longer be able to purchase it for honor.

However, if you have Tier 4 tokens, you'll still be able to head to the Isle of Quel'danas and turn them in for Season 1 Gladiator gear. If you want Season 2 Gladiator gear from PvE, you'll still have to turn in Tier 5 tokens from Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep. This might be Blizzard's attempt to keep the balance, although it seems like anyone with the ability to go take down Magtheridon for a Chestguard of the Fallen Hero could get Season 2 much easier and faster by grinding honor. It seems in this case that the dev team either felt that it wasn't worth it to go in and switch up the gear vendors or wanted to keep the amount of balance and challenge they implemented for the PvE token to PvP gear conversion.

So is Season 1 gear going away? In short, no. You'll not be able to buy it for honor anymore, but you will be able to buy it with Tier 4 tokens.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, PvP, Battlegrounds, Arena

Tank Talk: Do you feel lucky, punk?


Tank Talk is WoW Insider's new raid-tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column will be rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and myself (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish. At least, that's what the others said they were doing. I intend to use it mostly as a soapbox to complain. Absolute power tends to......something something.

Welcome to Tank Talk. I am your bear Druid hostess for this week, with a topic that occurred to me while reading a recent article here on the site. Eliah Hecht wrote that his guild is facing a not-uncommon tank shortage and that he has considered the possibility of leveling a tanking class to 70 before Wrath, or tanking on a Death Knight afterwards. A number of people on my server and in my guild have talked about doing the same thing, or switching mains once Wrath hits. With so many people playing Death Knights, I think it's very possible that more people will discover they enjoy -- or at least, don't mind -- tanking, and may seek to do so in a raid environment without necessarily knowing what they've really signed up for.

From those of us who have tanked raid content in vanilla WoW or BC, here are the 10 questions you'll want to ask yourself if you're considering the possibility of tanking serious raid content:

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Tank Talk

Wrath will bring new forum icons

Tactial mentions on the forums that all of the Rogues (in fact, this is true about almost everyone) are still in Tier 4. When Burning Crusade first came out and we all reached 70, Tier 4 was where it was at -- some people were excited about being in Tier 4, even if they hadn't earned it yet. But nowadays, Tier 4 ain't that great, and yet all of our forum icons shows us in the (now old) armor.

Drysc does say that the Armory is a click away from the forum icons, but surely Blizzard could take an afternoon and code a little customization into the icons. It seems like everyone else can render icons out of game -- why can't they? There is some good news for those looking for a forum icon update, though: Drysc says that when we're all level 80, we'll probably have new icons yet again, with shiny T7 on our characters.

Which will be great -- until a few big content patches after Wrath, when T9 will be out and we'll all be whining that we're still dressed in T7. Thus goes the circle, the circle of life.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Guild recruitment videos

While randomly browsing my realm forums last night I came across a guild that (surprise!) was looking for more members. I'm not really looking for a new guild (happy with the ones I'm in now), so I looked into this just to see what other guilds on the server were up to. They've started with 25 man content, have cleared Karazhan, and have done some of Zul'Aman. What caught my eye however was the guild recruitment video they had.

This got me thinking. Do other guilds have recruitment videos? I've heard of plenty of guilds putting together videos of each other running around and having a good time or downing a raid boss. I've been in a few of those myself. But an above average recruitment video? That I don't know.

The guild that started this thought process was Epic, on the realm Eldre'Thalas. I've done a pug or two with a few of their members before, and they're nice folks (although they don't know who I am, I'm sure). The video is very professionally done, has a noticeable 'plot' to it, and is of high quality. Props to Phytrion, a member of their guild, who put it together for them. One thing that I find is a little funny is that the character in the end has a complete Tier 4 protection Warrior armor set and is carrying the Bulwark of Azzinoth that drops off of Illidan. It's a cool shield, so I know why they used it, but the combination is a funny choice.

Do you have a guild recruitment video? Post a comment with a link and show off your stuff!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds

Are hybrid tanks going to *be* left behind?


In the wake of Alex Ziebart's recent post for Hybrid Theory, we received a number of comments from paladins on their ability to main-tank a 25-man raid. Behind the scenes, the subject was equally controversial; many of us here play tanks and we all feel passionate about our classes. An email discussion started about hybrid tanks in general, and it got to be so interesting that we were threatened with being fired if we didn't post it we were asked to share it with our readers.

Warriors? Druids? Paladins? And the people who love them? This one's for you. Now, I've previously fielded complaints that my posts are too long, so far warning; if you're not in the mood for a pretty thorough look at the current state of hybrid tanking, you'll probably want to keep moving. If you play any tank at all, just want to know more about them and the people who choose to play tanks, or are considering rolling a tank class, I hope you find the following to be of interest.

Please note that the headers below are not, as in portions of Matthew Rossi's post, quotes from anybody involved; they're just a means of helping me organize my thoughts and translate our email conversations into the blogging format. I'm attempting to condense the content of multiple email conversations.

My perspective on Alex's post

For reference, my main is a tanking feral druid in a Tier 6 raiding guild. Our main tank is a protection paladin, and we're on Reliquary of Souls at the moment. This guy main-tanked Vashj, main-tanked Kael for a certain period until we found out his computer settings made it really tough for him to see Flamestrikes (so we substituted a warrior for that reason, not because of the pally/warrior divide), and has main-tanked most of Hyjal and a fairish amount of Black Temple.

More past the cut.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Classes

When your fearless leader hasn't played your class

Back when I first started tanking 5-mans, there was a particular hunter who pulled off me with irritating regularity. This was partly because the early Druid tanking set at 70 is itemized more for mitigation than threat generation, but partly because he was a young guy, he was good dps, and he knew it. MM-specced Hunters actually do have a lot of control over mobs that get pulled off the tank, and I suspect on some level he made a game out of seeing just how long he could lock something down while the exasperated tank turned her attention elsewhere, usually after bellowing at him in party chat to "DISENGAGE! FEIGN DEATH! DISENGAGE!"

Not having played a Hunter at that point, I had a fuzzy notion that Disengage somehow reduced threat and was highly affronted at any hunter with aggro spikes who wasn't using Feign Death over and over again. After starting to level a hunter alt, it quickly became apparent that: a). Disengage was a melee-only skill that still had to "hit" the mob, and b). Feign Death wasn't exactly a spammable ability and could be resisted no matter what you did. I am by no means an expert hunter player, but I have at least learned to bellow, "FEIGN DEATH ON COOLDOWN!" if they're not trapping (and just minding my own business if they are).

I am still occasionally reminded of my days as a backseat hunter, and never more so than while listening to my GM trying to figure out what's gone wrong in a raid.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Classes, Alts

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