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Posts with tag toc

The OverAchiever: How to get disappearing mounts


Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we offer supplication to the gods of RNG.

Four mounts will be disappearing as a result of current Wrath achievements becoming feats of strength in Cataclysm. As such, this article's essentially an extension of The OverAchiever: Do them now!, which singled out all of the known future feats. If you're interested in snagging a Swift Zulian Tiger, Swift Razzashi Raptor, Swift Alliance Steed/Swift Horde Wolf or Crusader's Warhorse, you'll find some information past the cut.

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Filed under: Raiding, Achievements, The Overachiever

The OverAchiever: Do them now!


Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, it's time to get a move on.

We've had some recent news concerning achievements in categories we've already covered, and my original intent this week was to play catch-up with that in addition to finishing off the new reputation, world event, and feat of strength achievements in Cataclysm. However, given equally recent news concerning achievements that are set to become feats (and may do so as early as patch 4.0.1), I thought it would be more sensible to cover the stuff that you'd want to do as soon as possible before it disappears.

I've cross-checked the list of known Cataclysm feats of strength against the feats already present in game, and as far as I know, this should be a comprehensive set of current Wrath of the Lich King achievements that will become inaccessible as of patch 4.0.1, patch 4.0.3, or Cataclysm's release (or at least, a comprehensive list as of the current beta and PTR builds).

I've written this list assuming the following:
  • Although it hasn't been officially confirmed that all of these will disappear in patch 4.0.1 or 4.0.3 rather than the expansion itself, for the time being, I'm guessing it's one of the two patches you need to worry about.
  • With the recent announcement of arena Season 8 ending on Oct. 12, 4.0.1 may hit in less than two weeks. Zarhym's post just made it clear that the season could end as early as the 12th, not that it definitely would, and there's still a lot of stuff to fix on the PTR and beta -- but every Tuesday from hereon is a potential patch day.
  • Accepting Oct. 5 or 12 as possible patch dates, I've included an opinion on the feasibility of getting the following achievements done as quickly as possible.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Wrath Retrospective: Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader, part two

Trial of the Crusader was, for all intents and purposes, an experiment. The world part of raiding, from suppressor rooms to the Twin Emperors and beyond, has always been the stifling mechanic of trash. "The real meat of the dungeon's content should be the boss fights," the masses cried! And for the most part, they are right. Trash serves many purposes, from creating artificial time sinks and flavor, to teaching players mechanics that they would then need to hone, skill wise, against a boss. Trial of the Crusader paved a very different path, succeeding in many areas, but ultimately failing in many others. ToC was uneven at best, soul-destroying at worst.

Let's look back!

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

Arcane Brilliance: Level 80 mage gearing road map, part 2

The dawning of another Saturday brings with it another edition of Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column delivered direct to your driveway by a paperboy who blinks from house to house, fending off overprotective guard dogs with the occasional conjured ball of flame and constantly demanding his two dollars (I really, really wish I could have found an actual clip of that, but yet again, YouTube has failed me). It's all pretty impressive, especially when you consider that this paperboy is also wearing a dress.

Okay, after last week's part one of this topic, many of you disagreed with my assertion that a fresh level 80 mage should attempt to upgrade his gear prior to jumping into random heroics. I understand this point of view. Farming random heroics is by far the fastest way to gear up initially, and it is true that if you find the right groups, you and your pathetic new-80 DPS may be viewed less as a liability and more of a charity project. Thinking about it, I too secretly enjoy having someone in the group who's needing on blue drops because they're honest upgrades for him. As long as we have a decently geared tank (or a healer who's capable of keeping him up even if he isn't), even a dungeon run with terrible damage dealers can go relatively smoothly.

If you wish to gear up as rapidly as possible and you don't mind the idea that you won't quite be pulling your own weight at first, then by all means, skip my first few suggestions for gearing up and head directly for the random heroics. Better yet, get together with some better-geared guildies and queue together. That way you'll always be in a good group and one that doesn't absolutely require you to be up-to-par right away.

This week, regardless of the path you've taken to get there, I'm going to assume that you've been industrious and spent a significant amount of time gearing through drops and collecting emblems in those random heroics. Here's the general road you should be following ...

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Two Bosses Enter: Tyrannus joins ToC faction champs in season finale

Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. Your votes, along with the decisions of our distinguished judges (representing WoW.com staff and readers), determine who makes it out alive.

It was a close match, but Scourgelord Tyrannus foiled Argent Confessor Paletress' attempt to snatch away a Thunderdome victory and get into the season's finals. It will be the Scourgelord who steps foot into the cage this week to face off against the Trial of the Champion PvP faction champs in the season finals of Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves. The vote was 51.5% in favor of Tyrannus, to Paletress' 44.9%; three out of four judges also handed the fight to the intimidating Scourgelord.

Now, it's time to clear the field and let the finalists square off: Scourgelord Tyrannus and his mount, Rimefang, versus all five of the Trial of the Champions PvP faction champions. For the final time in this season of Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls ... Dyin' time's here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: Faction champs elude LK, Paletress takes on Tyrannus

Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. Your votes, along with the decisions of our distinguished judges (representing WoW.com staff and readers), determine who makes it out alive.

We're down to the second and last match of the semi-finals in the ICC 5-man/Trial of the Champion season of Two Bosses Enter, One Man Leaves. This week, the Trial of the Champion PvP faction champs handily scampered beyond the reach of the Halls of Reflection version of the Lich King, 58.2% to 38.5%). Their victory earns them a berth in the season finals, throwing down inside the Two Bosses Thunderdome against the winner of this week's matchup: Argent Confessor Paletress versus Scourgelord Tyrannus.

Two Bosses Enter Semi-Finals
The Five-Man Bosses of Icecrown Citadel and Trial of the Champion

Match 1: ToC PvP Champions vs. Lich King (Halls of Reflection version)
Match 2: Scourgelord Tyrannus 60.7% vs. Argent Confessor Paletress 60.7%

As you can see, Paletress and Tyrannus are seeded in identical positions going into this deathmatch. Just as in previous Thunderdome tussles, we'll allow Paletress to front-load her usual supporting cast (after all, Tyrannus has Rimefang to keep him company). Let's see what the judges predict for this matchup, after the break. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls ... Dyin' time's here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: LK voted back in, stalks ToC faction champs

Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. Your votes, along with the decisions of our distinguished judges (representing WoW.com staff and readers), determine who makes it out alive.

Despite a campaign by Judge John Zakour to bring back Eadric the Pure in last week's vote (offering to give away two Zakour books to readers if Eadric was voted back in), there will be no running away in the Thunderdome again this season. The Lich King stalked predictably back into contention with a lead of just 0.9% -- a mere 21 more votes than Eadric. As Judge Sky Paladin put it, "The difference between victory and defeat was less than a raid group." The spectator decision throws the Lich King back into the Thunderdome today in the first match of the semi-finals.

Two Bosses Enter Semi-Finals
The Five-Man Bosses of Icecrown Citadel and Trial of the Champion

Match 1: ToC PvP Champions 50.1% vs. Lich King (Halls of Reflection version)
Match 2: Scourgelord Tyrannus 60.7% vs. Argent Confessor Paletress 60.7%

Instead of holding the judges' decisions for after the fight as we have in previous matches, we're going to share their votes with you now, before the reader poll so that you can use their rationales to help you consider your vote. Now, let's settle back for the first match of the semi-finals, the Trial of the Champions PvP Champs versus Lich King (HoR version). Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls ... Dyin' time's here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: ToC champs edge out Devourer, Black Knight wrangles Paletress

Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. Your votes, along with the decisions of our distinguished judges (representing WoW.com staff and readers), determine who makes it out alive.

It took hard work from all five ToC PvP champs to take down the Devourer of Souls in this week's Thunderdome pit fight -- but take him down they did. Three of our four judges gave the champs the nod, while tournament spectators saw them just squeaking by.

Join us after the break for the judges' decisions and final results of ToC PvP champs vs. Devourer of Souls, and then cast your own vote for the next Thunderdome deathmatch: The Black Knight vs. Argent Confessor Paletress. Dr. Dealgood's got the right idea: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls ... Dyin' time's here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Two Bosses Enter

The OverAchiever: The 25 most evil achievements, part 1

What are evil achievements? They're the soul-killing rep grinds, the raiding milestones that required sacrificing a farm animal to get, and even fun pasttimes like battlegrounds into which a sizable dose of misery has been added. Eventually you just want to grab the nearest developer and shake him back and forth, screaming, "What the hell were you thinking?"

Last week I previewed three of the most evil achievements in the game, both to collect my own thoughts and to canvass commenters' opinions for a larger article. This week, I'd like to present the first set of evil achievements for your reading, wincing and antacid-chugging pleasure.

A note on judging the "evil value" of achievements
: I've been adding to this list for a while, and it's drawn from both the achievements we've covered in this column and some I've seen players complain about frequently in game. Obviously, there's no real way to quantify exactly how difficult or excruciating achievements are, so I'm going with the definition I gave above. Any incredibly difficult or RNG-saturated achievement made the short list, but I also tried to keep some unusual picks in mind. In this vein, there's an achievement in today's column that, while extremely easy by today's standards, was a screaming horror when it first debuted. I may wind up doing a list of honorable mentions as well.

So, in no particular order, I am pleased to present World of Warcraft's 25 most evil achievements, starting with #25-16 this week.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Two Bosses Enter: Grand Champions gang up on Marwyn; Eadric faces Lich King

Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. It's a brand new season and a brand new format, introducing judges from WoW.com and the WoW community at large -- and of course, your votes. Grab a seat, and let's get ready to rumble!

Last week's matchup between Marwyn and the entire ToC PvP Champions team was a good set-up for this week's deathmatch between Eadric the Pure and the Lich King (5-man version). It's all about balance. Yes, lore comes into play. But inside the Thunderdome, lore isn't the only factor. Every point must be balanced against the others.

This week, a group of five adventurers -- the ToC Grand Champions -- made short work of Marwyn (just as your own groups probably do whenever you face Marwyn in a random). Step into the Thunderdome with us after the break, where we'll hear the judges' decisions and consider what many of you have been waiting for: the first of many bouts involving some version of the Lich King himself. Oh yes, it's finally time ... And in the words of Dr. Dealgood: "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls ... Dyin' time's here."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Two Bosses Enter

Two Bosses Enter: Paletress smites Falric, Marwyn faces ToC champs

Two Bosses Enter ... but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com's series of fantasy death matches. It's a brand new season and a brand new format, introducing judges from WoW.com and the WoW community at large -- and of course, your votes. Grab a seat, and let's get ready to rumble!

Judges and spectators were unanimous this week in their vote for Argent Confessor Paletress, moving her past Falric to the next round. As with most matches, however, it's not the victory that's the most satisfying; it's the twisted, bloody spectacle on the Thunderdome floor. From the judges, we receive a warrior's clinical dissection from Judge Rossi; a characterization of the fight based on the personalities of the combatants from Judge Zapperz; a lengthy, lore-based tale from Judge Sky Paladin; and the pragmatist's view from Judge Michael Gray.

Step into the Thunderdome with us after the break, where we'll hear the judges' decisions and get your votes on the next match, a crazy free-for-all featuring Marwyn versus all five of the Trial of the Champion PvP champions. In the words of Dr. Dealgood: "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls ... Dyin' time's here."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Two Bosses Enter

Officers' Quarters: Verge of collapse


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available this spring from No Starch Press.

If ever there were a time for guild-leader or raid-leader burnout to set in, we are living in it. We are at the end of perhaps the most challenging six months of raiding content in WoW's history -- not in terms of its difficulty, but in its sheer potential for drama and member loss.

First we had the half-hearted tier that consisted entirely of Trial of the Crusader, a one-room raid that took all of an hour to clear, and Onyxia, a well-loved but well-worn raid boss that was also a quick, and often boring, clear. Keeping raiders motivated during what felt like an endless four months wasn't easy. Many raid leaders were pulling out their hair trying to fill slots.

For the most serious guilds, ToC was an absolute nightmare. Not because the content was itself difficult, but because of the rewards offered for clearing the zone without a single wipe, or even a single player death. Some very good players cracked under this kind of pressure. In a situation where one person's mistake -- not to mention disconnects, lag, or other external factors -- can quickly cause a death or a wipe and cost the entire raid access to loot, offering these achievements seemed to me like Blizzard was going out of their way to cause drama.

Icecrown Citadel was supposed to be our savior, but instead it brought new and unanticipated problems.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Abilities I usually wish didn't exist in 5-mans

Most tanks are control freaks. As a matter of fact, you should hope that your tank is a control freak, because the ones who shrug off a mob running around loose are the ones you probably don't want tanking your run anyway. With that in mind, there are several player abilities that, while great for soloing or PvP, don't make the transition to a 5-man very well. Either they make life a real nuisance for your group members due to inherent design, or they tend to do so in the hands of a player who doesn't deploy them in a particularly helpful fashion.

Not all tanks will have the same degree of irritation with all of the following skills (for example, I play a druid, and because bears don't have a ranged silence, a knockback on a caster mob is much more likely to annoy me than, say, a death knight tank), but I promise you that they've all been mentioned by my tanking colleagues as abilities with a high chance of blowing a pull.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances

Raid Rx: 2009 Boss healing awards


Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related.

Welcome to the 2009 healing awards where we look back on some of the craziest healing encounters introduced in Wrath of the Lich King. Which fights frustrated healers the most? Which ones involved a ridiculous amount of healing? Which boss went directly against our role as healers? The judging panel should have consisted entirely of gnomes, but Wilfred Fizzlebang was unable to make it at the last minute and I was asked to step in at the last minute to help finalize the results.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

No skipping the story in the Culling of Stratholme for now

The story of the Culling of Stratholme is cool, the first time you do it. However after about the hundreth time it gets to be a bit much. And thanks to the random heroic dungeon finder, I practically have Arthas' speech memorized now; he and I yell in sync at the end of each run "To the ends of the earth!"

Be honest, I know you do, too.

What has to be the most requested feature of this dungeon -- the ability to skip the long and repetitive story -- isn't coming anytime soon. When there was some discussion about this in the general forms earlier this week, Eyonix appeared and enlightened us as to Blizzard's thoughts on the matter:
We agree, but unfortunately with the current tech/flagging that exists in regards to this -- it's just not possible for the game to recognize this sort of thing and allow for a bypass. It's always a possibility for the future though.
So for the time being we'll have to live with this, but at least Blizzard is on the same page with us all. And if the Trial of the Champion and Halls of Reflection instances tells us anything, it's that Blizzard won't be building dungeons without the ability to skip the story in the future -- at least we hope so.

Filed under: News items, Instances

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