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Posts with tag ulduar-raid

Breakfast Topic: I am the lucid dream

Recently, I was talking to Matticus and Kinaesthesia on one of our podcasts about Ruby Sanctum. Toward the end of the discussion, Kina mentioned how much he loved Halion's voice actor, Matthew Mercer (granted, we didn't know that was his name at the time.) We agreed his voice acting was excellent, and Kina suggested Blizzard ought to keep bringing him back for more parts. To date, Mercer also has done the voice of General Vezax in Ulduar and Overthane Balargarde in Icecrown.

Anyway, some days later while we priests were tossing the PoM around, the subject came up again, and Kina quoted the line Halion says when you enter phase 2: "You will find only suffering in the realm of twilight. Enter if you dare." He gushed at the inflection on the word "suffering," while I stated my preference for the way he taunts you with, "Enter if you dare."

Our talk led to other memorable lines from Wrath. I immediately brought up Sara from Ulduar and quoted her haunting, "I am the lucid dream." Plus, who could forget a first visit to Ulduar? I remember my sleepy raid's wandering into the Antechamber around 1 a.m. the first night that patch 3.1 went live. After accidentally completing Crazy Cat Lady and distributing loot, we stood around deciding where to go next. Vent had gone quiet while we all tabbed out to read up on Hodir until a deafening scream cut through the silence of the Observation Ring. Everyone on Vent promptly freaked out: "What the hell was that!?!"

I loved it.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Wrath of the Lich King

Spiritual Guidance: Disciplined raid healing

Every Sunday Spiritual Guidance offers Holy and Discipline priests advice on how to wield the holy light and groove to the disco night. Your hostess Dawn Moore will provide the music.

I decided to take a break from gems this week to discuss a style of priest healing that is becoming popular among raiders: discipline raid healing. Though the concepts behind it are extremely simple to understand and execute, this style of play seems to have slipped under the radar of many players despite its amazing potential. Tag along with me after the jump and I'll fill you in on the basics and benefits of disc raid healing. Holy priests, I'm talking to you, too.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Ulduar drakes not being removed anytime soon

Blizzard simply can't make up their minds about this, can they? The Rusted and Ironbound Proto-Drakes, which are rewarded for completing Glory of the Ulduar Raider on Normal and Heroic, were slated for removal at an unspecified time in the future after patch 3.2's launch. The reasoning was that it would be easier to acquire them with Coliseum gear, and they were meant for cutting-edge players only.

However, Eyonix has just announced that they are not planning on removing these proto-drake rewards from the achievement in patch 3.2, and furthermore, they don't plan to do it "in the foreseeable future." In the event that they do change their minds again, you are promised a one-month warning. So get back to those hard-modes!


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, News items, Raiding, Mounts, Achievements

Breakfast topic: Are manually extended raid lockouts a good thing?


Hands up who remembers running Karazhan back in the days when it took a week to clear and you needed every one of those nights to do it?

Are you currently spending your evenings raiding in Ulduar? Is Ignis taking more time to down than you anticipated? I think we've all been there, you're in the zone but just can't kill that pesky raid boss before the raid timer goes ding and everything resets. I've once did an early morning raid (we're talking like 2am here) through Kara, powering through all the bosses, because the timer was due to set that morning and it was fun, even if we didn't quite clear Medivh's tower out. I think we stopped after Prince as none of us could keep our eyes open. But there's something heartbreaking about getting down to that final boss and calling it a day, knowing that you have to start all over again the following day. It's kind of soul destroying.

Patch 3.2
finally offers an answer in the form of a raid lockout extension. If you're mid-raid and haven't a hope in hell of finishing by the reset, you can manually extended it for another week. But I wonder, constant readers, are you going to use it? Will it motivate you to finish a raid or do you think it slow progression down?

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

Ensidia and Method to compete in Ulduar timed run

Live PvP competition is old hat. 2009 appears to be the year of PvE (if you ask me, every year should be that year). At the Games Convention Online, in Leipzig over the weekend of July 31 – August 2, two of the strongest PvE guilds in the world, Ensidia and Method, are competing in a timed run of Ulduar.

It's going to be on 10-man, which is kind of strange, given that most people (and especially hardcore raiders) seem to think of the 25-man version as the "real" version of the raid. Maybe they wanted it to be easier for spectators to follow the action.

Points will be awarded for killing end bosses of a "zone" faster than the other guild, with points increasing from zone to zone. I'm guessing that by "zone" the press release refers to the Siege, the Antechamber, the Keepers, and the Descent into Madness, but the translation is not perfect - I could be wrong.

The Ensidia/Method matchup is going to be on August 2nd; as a prelude, two German guilds (Irae AoD and For the Horde) are going to compete on the same event on August 1st. Apparently the raids will be streaming live on allvatar.com, although I can't really get very far on that site - WTB English translation. Does anyone know if it will be free to watch or not?

Filed under: Events, Guilds, Raiding, Europe

Stars discuss their Yogg+0 kill

You've probably heard that the Chinese guild Stars has pulled off the world-first Alone in the Darkness, killing Yogg-Saron with no watchers helping. You may have seen the video they posted of their winning strategy. But here's something even more interesting, for me: a Q&A with the guild about their strategy and their experience with the fight.

It was originally in Chinese, but a poster on the MMO-Champion forums did a translation. It's a really interesting read. For one thing, Affliction Warlocks turned out to be the most valuable class, since DPS have to turn away periodically in phase 3 to avoid Lunatic Gaze and a heavy DoT-based class doesn't lose as much doing this.

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Filed under: Guilds, Raiding, Bosses

Stars snag world-first legitimate Alone in the Darkness


World-first Heroic: Alone in the Darkness? "Didn't Exodus already get that?" you may ask. Well, they did get the achievement, but they used an exploit, and were slapped on the wrist to the tune of a 72 hour suspension. Which means: the stage was open for a legitimate world-first!

In a break from the tradition of European guilds getting major world-first accomplishments, Chinese guild Stars (playing on the Taiwanese servers) has apparently completed the achievement legitimately. They got that nifty Mimiron's Head mount, too.

In case you're scratching your head wondering what this is all about, during the Yogg-Saron fight (the last boss of Ulduar), the four Keepers of Ulduar (Freya, Thorim, Hodir, and Mimiron) help you out. You can choose how many of the Keepers you want to activate for the fight, and if you use fewer than all of them, it's hard-mode. "Alone in the Darkness" is Yogg-Saron with zero keepers: as hard as it gets.

Congratulations to Stars on a truly impressive feat.

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Bosses, Achievements

Ready Check: Hodir



Ready Check is a twice-a-week column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Today, we step back a little and look at endgame in the context of sports.

Let's recap Ulduar so far, shall we?

You've wrecked the Flame Leviathan. With a touch of kindness in your heart, you euthanized Razorscale. In a moment of vengeance, you laid some justice down on Ignis the Furnace Master. Guffawing in humor at his odd voice, you looted Deconstructor.

Then it came time to "bridge your experience" by beating up Kologarn. The Assembly of Iron proved to be no difficulty for your incredible raiding prowess. Even Auriaya and her small legion of adds gave you little pause.
Now, however, you're on to the big leagues. It's time for you to showdown against the Keepers of Ulduar. Immediatley after defeating Auriaya, you get to fight none other than Hodir himself.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ready Check (Raiding)

Mimiron hard mode nerfed

We've been seeing sporadic reports today that the Mimiron hard mode was nerfed via hotfix at some point during the night, and it appears those reports were correct. Bornakk just posted in the "recent in-game fixes" thread that the following changes were made to the hard mode of Ulduar's ingenious keeper:

  • Flame damage reduced.
  • Damage/health gained from Emergency Mode reduced slightly.
  • Range of Emergency Fire Bot's Deafening Siren reduced in heroic; no longer cast on normal.
  • Damage from Heat Wave in phase 2 reduced.
  • Damage from Plasma Blast in phase 1 reduced.

That's a pretty wide array of nerfs. I haven't tried the hard mode - my guild is still working on getting the normal mode down consistently. I do love the fight on normal, though; it's not easy, but it is super-fun.

Hard-mode raiders, what do you think? Does this fall in the category of "why would you nerf a hard mode," or was he simply ridiculous before?

Filed under: Raiding, Bosses

Ulduar proto-drakes will get one-month warning for removal


The roller-coaster of "will they or won't they remove the Ulduar raid drake rewards" seems to have come to a definitive answer. The rusted and ironbound proto-drakes will be removed, but they will give us "about 1 month of warning" so you can make a final push if you really want it. The drakes are rewards for completing Glory of the Ulduar Raider (and the 25-man version).

Bornakk points out the parallel with the Arena mount rewards, and says that this is no accident: these are supposed to be rewards for the "top tier" of raiders, and letting people earn them with more powerful equipment from higher raids would defeat that purpose. Therefore, he says we should expect it to go this way in the future, as it was with the Naxx drakes.

As a side note, he says they may be removed when patch 3.2 comes out or some time after. This suggests to me that they think there's a decent chance patch 3.2 will come out less than a month from now. If they knew it was going to come out later, they'd just give the one month warning a month before they expected the patch to drop.


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, News items, Raiding, Mounts, Achievements

Yogg-Saron and Flame Leviathan nerfed tonight

It looks like some pretty big nerfs to the Yogg-Saron fight tonight. Ulduar's big bad (well, one of two) will have a much easier first phase, as the Guardians of Yogg-Saron have ceased mind-controlling players, as well as becoming "more forgiving" in their spawn rate. Additionally, flash-frozen players that touch a cloud will no longer bring forth a Guardian.

Flame Leviathan's hard mode was hit as well. The amount of extra health he gets per tower up was reduced and the snare effect of Hodir's tower removed. Additionally, vehicles caught in a flash freeze will be freed with a single shot from a Demolisher or Siege Engine cannon. Players will also not go quite so high when ejected from Flamey following a stun, which should make them a bit easier to pick up.

Oh, and XT-002 Deconstructor won't make people into bombs quite so often (and his heart's health was reduced a touch on 25-man). Overall, it seems Yoggy will be significantly easier. My guild isn't there yet, though (next up for us is Mimiron) - people who have done the fight, how big of a deal will these changes be?

Filed under: News items, Raiding

Blizzard launches Ulduar Bosstiary


Although this comes a little late for a few players, not everybody is raiding Ulduar yet, and those that are haven't necessarily cleared it. To help appease your curiosity about what creatures lurk within the latest raid, or if you simply want to know a bit about the background of the guys that have been handing you purples recently, check out Blizzard's latest web feature, the Bosstiary.

It's an interactive map of Ulduar (same graphics as the in-game map), and if you click on any of the boss icons, it pops up a little paragraph about the boss. For instance, did you know that Auriaya is Ulduar's archivist? Makes sense - librarians love cats. Also, apparently Kologarn was created by Ignis. I guess Iggy must have been a big Monty Python fan.

I think this is a neat way to learn a little more about the story behind the bosses. I hope they continue doing this for raids to come.

Filed under: Blizzard, Raiding, Lore, Bosses

Breakfast Topic: How is vehicle combat treating you?


The other week, I finally took my druid into Ulduar for the first time. The instance has been calling to me for weeks, but my guild has only just started EoE. Having spent all our time prior to 3.1 in Naxx, we've only now got to the point when we're all in enough epics to survive for more than five minutes. So we went in, grabbed vehicles and started downing towers and other random buildings. Then it was time for a meet and greet with one F. Leviathan. Needless to say we didn't just wipe, we crashed and burned, but I found the use of vehicles interesting, even if the controls infuriated me beyond belief.

I've done my time in Wintergrasp and I love it, especially when you can hitch a ride and let someone else do all the shooting (/joke). However I've always found the targeting system a little awkward. The vehicle interface in general feels clunky -- particularly when you're doing certain quests. Wintergrasp is bearable, but boss combat means you have to be more on your toes, especially when it's a team effort between the people driving and those who are unleashing hell upon Flame Leviathan and its minions.

So I'm quite curious to know what you guys think of the use of vehicles in WoW. Do you like the interface? Is there enough variety? How do you find using them in PvE combat in Ulduar? What about Wintergrasp? Do you wish we could have those flying vehicles mentioned way back at the WWI? Drop your comments in the box and cast your vote in our poll below.
What do you think of vehicle-based combat in WoW?
I love it! It really adds a new dimension to the game3228 (29.3%)
I like it but prefer hand-to-hand combat2040 (18.5%)
It's okay for Wintergrasp but not in Ulduar, there's too much going on691 (6.3%)
It would be better if the interface weren't so clunky1955 (17.7%)
I hate it. I want to play my class.2075 (18.8%)
I've not tried any of the vehicle based combat yet477 (4.3%)
There's vehicle combat in the game??558 (5.1%)

Filed under: Patches, Breakfast Topics, Expansions

Ulduar-10 hard mode weapons buffed

Well, this is a good piece of news for 10-man raiding. Weapons that drop in hard-mode Ulduar-10 fights are being buffed from ilvl 226 to ilvl 232, a jump of half a tier. Players who have these weapons already will see them adjusted. This puts the Ulduar-10 hard-mode weapons on par with the Ulduar-25 normal-mode weapons, a situation that was already the case for armor rewards (Ulduar-25 normal-mode weapons have always been ilvl 232).

My own casual-ish guild is only four bosses into Ulduar at the moment, so this doesn't affect me personally, but it makes sense to see hard modes drop quality rewards. I wonder if this will increase the number of guilds attempting them. Now how about a shot at Val'anyr, eh? Or perhaps a Druid tanking idol somewhere in Wrath before Ulduar-25? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Filed under: Items, News items, Raiding

Ensidia snag world-first Rusted Proto Drake


Yesterday Ensidia completed the 10-man achievement Glory of the Ulduar Raider, giving them the first Rusted Proto-Drakes in the world. The 25-man version has yet to be cleared by anybody; the Ensidia member who posted the news mentions that he feels the 10-man achievements are significantly easier than the 25-man ones, though I'm not sure if this would still be the case if they were doing 10s in 10-man gear.

In other news, the Rusted Proto-Drake (second mount shown in the video above) is one of the coolest-looking mounts I've seen in WoW, though in my opinion the best mount in Wrath so far is the Mimiron head.

Filed under: News items, Raiding

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