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Posts with tag trial-of-the-grand-crusader

Ra-den encounter features a return of limited attempts

Raden encounter features a return of limited attempts
The Throne of Thunder has been compared to Ulduar in more ways than one -- the size and scope of the dungeon, the multitude of boss encounters, and even the thematic elements of the dungeon itself. But it looks like there is one more comparison to add to the pile. Ra-den, the bonus boss unlocked only upon defeating Lei-Shen on heroic mode, has a mechanic to limit the number of times he can be engaged in any given week.

Those that remember Algalon remember the one hour limit on attempting the boss. One careless pull, one wipe, one disconnect could potentially ruin a guild's chances for downing the boss in a lockout period. But Ra-den isn't limited by a time clock; instead, he's simply limited by the number of attempts a guild can make. Screenshots have shown that number to be 30, however keep in mind that the number of attempts, and even the limited nature of the encounter, can be changed at any time. Patch 5.2 is still on the PTR, after all.

Blue poster and Game Designer Watcher had some words of wisdom to share following the unplanned discovery of Ra-den's limited attempts on the PTR.

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Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Random raid factors and the high cost of failure

Klepsakovic over at Troll Racials are Overpowered has a thought-provoking post asking how Blizzard's advancing raid model is affecting players and how they relate to each other. In particular, he zeroes in on a point that I think a lot of players sense but never really articulate: Not every player in a raid is going to be equally stressed by a fight, and when the stressed party or parties is randomly determined, things get ugly fast.

Compare this to encounters where the primary difficulty is role-specific or even player-specific. Good DPSers pushed their output to the limit on Patchwerk, healers learned to anticipate damage during Malygos' Vortex while one or two people got good at yanking sparks into the raid, and tanks grew experienced with fast pick-ups on Kael'thas. But the average raid group, even when experienced, probably tripped over and over again on encounters like Teron Gorefiend or Anub'arak. When you can't control who gets targeted by Shadow of Death or Anub'arak's spikes and when the randomness limits the experience that any one player can get ... Well, it's easy to see how certain fights acquire the nightmare moniker.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The OverAchiever: Cataclysm achievements FAQ

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we are pleased to discover that a certain noncombat pet's going to be a lot more fun to obtain.

Hey folks. This edition of OverAchiever was initially meant to cover archaeology achievements, but we've been getting so many questions on Insane in the Membrane and other problematic achievements that I decided to pre-empt the archaeology article. The Queue comments also tend to host a lot of achievement questions, so I want to answer as many of them as I can here. I apologize in advance to anyone who already knows some, most, or even all of the answers contained herein.

If you have a question concerning disappearing achievements, reappearing achievements, achievements that are being altered, or [insert issue du jour], hopefully you'll find the answer here. Additionally, there's some information on the Razzashi Hatchling that pet collectors might want to hear about (fair warning: It involves a Cataclysm spoiler related to Northern Stranglethorn content), in addition to notes on what's going on with the Shen'dralar, Dire Maul, Molten Core, and city reputation tabards. I ran both an Alliance and Horde character ragged on the beta to confirm everything in this article personally, and the information should be accurate as of the most recent beta patch.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

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

The OverAchiever: Endangered achievements

With Cataclysm news ramping up lately, one of the things I've been thinking about is the possibility of certain achievements going bye-bye. While achievements have only been in the game since patch 3.0.2, we've already seen a few of them (and/or their rewards) go to that big MMORPG in the sky. Blizzard's tended to do this when an achievement would simply have been too easy past a certain point, or -- as with Timear Foresees -- when game changes rendered them obsolete.

Below are four achievements that I think might be facing the firing squad as we ramp up to Cataclysm. (I'm sure there are more, but these were just the ones that occurred to me first.) I'll be revisiting this article later to see if I was correct about any of them.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

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

The OverAchiever: Dungeon and raid titles

Titles; they are cool, they are wonderful, and in a not-inconsiderable number of cases, they are very hard to get. Almost without exception, every single title in the game is also linked to an achievement. Today we're going to examine how you can get (or, in some cases, how it was possible to get) about half of the 19 titles currently available from dungeons and raids. Next week, we'll cover the last half, going in alphabetical order.

If you're a skimmer, the two toughest achievements are actually at the tail end this week, and if you're currently in Icecrown Citadel, there's two currently-unobtainable titles that may interest you here (in addition to another set next week).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Overachiever

Raid Rx: Cheater's guide to healing heroic Val'kyr Twins


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.

So the good news is we managed to get Twins down on heroic. The 25-man iteration is largely more challenging than the 10 man due to the amount of coordination required. There's two methods for taking down Twins and I'll go over them in detail here. One is the traditional method which stresses individual ability to dodge balls and the other is the not-so-traditional method which relies heavily on lady luck.

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

Scattered Shots: Picking the right hunter loot, part 2



Welcome back to the
Scattered Shots, where real players are hunters and everyone else is just an avatar. I'm Eddie Carrington, aka Brigwyn from The Hunting Lodge and THL Podcast. Each week we discuss ways to help improve your hunter.

Welcome back to part 2 of our "Picking the right hunter loot" guide. Where each week we take a look at raid loot from WoTLK and help you understand what makes something hunter loot versus loot hunters can use. Here's what we talked about before:

Part 1
– We reviewed what item stats make up hunter gear. Also, we explained why every hunter needs to stack hit and strive for the hit cap. We also explained how agility, attack power, critical strike, and armor penetration work with each of the three hunter specs.

This week we're going to start exploring the hunter loot that drops in Trial of the Crusader and Trial of the Grand Crusader. I'm sure we'll have some spirited debate over the merits of each item. And, I'm pretty sure we'll see druids mangling their keyboards and rogues will throw in a cheap shot or two over our ability to equip almost anything.

In an effort keep the carnage at a minimum let's try to keep a few things in mind. We're only reviewing raid loot and how each item affects your hunter and favorite raiding pet's performance. Which means, we're not going to talk about where else to go and get geared. Nor are we going to debate what is and is not considered "Best in Slot" or not. And if you're looking for PvP alternatives? I promise, we'll tackle all of those later on in a different guide.

Now if you're wondering why we're not talking about what's over on the PTR for patch 3.3. We'll make sure and cover all of Icecrown when it's released. Then head on back to the other Northrend raids and finish up where we left off.

With that said, let's walk through the swirly portal and head into Trial of the Crusader and it's heroic sibling Trial of the Grand Crusader.

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Filed under: Hunter, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Guides, Classes, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Guildwatch: "You guys raid like little girls"

Ok Blizzard. We give up. Patch 3.3 can come out now, please. Guilds are cleaning up even the Tribute achievements in Trial of the Crusader, and pretty much everybody is just sitting around waiting for Icecrown to drop. Even drama is taking a break -- with plenty of loot to go around and everyone getting what they want, nobody is actually fighting any more. Where's our crazy ninjas and raiding breakups? We need to get some new progression content, and soon!

Way too much "good" drama (including a daring emergency Vent call) in this week's Guildwatch, alongside the usual downed and recruiting notices. If you don't see something you like, you can help: send your tips about drama, downed (hopefully we'll see lots of Marrowgar downs next week), and recruiting news to guildwatch@wow.com. Meanwhile, this week's GW is after the break.

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Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, Guilds, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch

Shifting Perspectives: Why effective health needs to die, part 2


Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we examine the issue of effective health in more depth.

We've discussed in the previous column why effective health is important; here, we're going to discuss why it's not as important as you might think if you had nothing beyond the collective opinion of the Tanking forum to go on. While this has something to do with the mob mentality of the forums themselves, it has more to do with how the concept of effective health isn't usually placed in context. Tank death on hard modes is quickly attributed to EH discrepancies, with rather less discussion on encounter mechanics, inappropriate gear, or that great but frequently unacknowledged bugaboo -- player error. It is for this that I say effective health needs to die.

What is effective health?


I neglected to put some hard numbers on this in the last article, but calculating base effective health is actually pretty simple. It's your health as modified by the damage you'll take after armor contribution (AC), or Health / (1 - AC%).

A 50,000 health tank with 25% armor contribution has 66,666.67 effective health (50,000 / 0.75).

A 50,000 health tank with 50% armor contribution has 100,000 effective health (50,000 / 0.5).

A 50,000 health tank with 75% armor contribution (the maximum functional AC) has 200,000 effective health (50,000 / .25).

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Raid Rx: Heroic Faction Champions


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. I finally lived through Faction Champions and now you can too!

After surviving defeating Faction Champs in Trial of the Grand Crusader, I've managed to figure out a few tricks healers can use to help themselves. While it's almost impossible to come up with a unified and methodical strategy, I've compiled a list of tips and advice to maximize your survivability and the players around you. Think of it more as guidelines as opposed to solidified rules.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

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