Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag upper-blackrock-spire

WoW Archivist: Upper Blackrock Spire

Whelps and eggs in the Rookery
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

You may have taken Upper Blackrock Spire, Warlord Zaela, but the classic version lives in our hearts, where your orc friends can't get to it. In 2005, UBRS was the dungeon everyone desperately aspired to run. They begged to run it. They paid to run it. They sat in capital cities for hours just hoping, dreaming, that someone, somehow, would put together a UBRS group.

The dungeon was the pinnacle of content for classic WoW's "nonraiders" and the gateway to raiding for raiders. Quests here attuned you for Onyxia's Lair and Blackwing Lair. (And who doesn't love a good lair?) Another quest allowed your Molten Core raid to summon Majordomo Executus. No endgame PvE'er could avoid UBRS, even if they wanted to. We didn't avoid it, though, because the original "Ubers" (OO bers), as players affectionately called it, was awesome.

What made it so special? Why was it so revered, and why are some players sad that it has been removed from WoW forever? Let's turn back the Empowered Hourglass to 2005 to find out.

Ascension

UBRS, like many of WoW's classic endgame dungeons, required a key to enter. It was not nearly as simple as grinding out some reputation -- click the link for the full rundown of just how painful getting this key was. Even the quest giver knew trying to get a key would be awful. He told you, "Understand this, mortal: the chance that one of the three generals of the lower citadel would carry a gemstone at any given time is rare. You must be vigilant in your quest. Remain determined!"

In early 2005, when many players were finally hitting the endgame, very few had a Seal of Ascension to grant UBRS access. To put this in perspective, by the end of classic, my guild of more than 200 people only had about five or six keys. If you had a key, you had two choices. You could hide in your guild and only do guild runs. Or you could advertise that you had one to your realm, find yourself on everyone's friend list, and get requests day and night, every time you logged in, to run UBRS. Even if you tried to keep it a secret, someone in your guild may have outed you. Once that cat was out of the bag, your WoW experience changed dramatically. You were now a realm celebrity.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

Patch 6.0.2: How to queue for UBRS at 90

Players are of course salivating at the idea of exploring the first new content we've seen in World of Warcraft since Patch 5.4 dropped well over a year ago. That being said, it's worth remembering that there are always issues on patch day of a big new patch like 6.0.2, and also that this particular dungeon is a special case - it's a dungeon that will ultimately be for level 100 players, and we're getting a taste of it now at level 90. So it's worth keeping the following in mind.
So remember, when you're trying to run UBRS when the servers come back up, please keep these two facts in mind, as it will make your experience more pleasant. And also remember, this is new content tuned for ilevel 510 and up - if you've been steamrolling Mists of Pandaria dungeons for a while, those were tuned for much lower gear requirements. Maybe slow your roll a tiny bit until you get the feel of the place.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Official Draenor dungeon previews

If you've been wondering about the various new dungeons we'll be seeing in Warlords of Draenor, prepare to have your questions clarified. Earlier this week, Blizzard posted an official preview of all the dungeons introduced in the next expansion, including the revamp of Upper Blackrock Spire. The previews do a great job of giving an idea of what we'll be seeing in the dungeon without actually giving away any potential storyline spoilers -- just a brief overview of why the dungeons are there. There isn't even a boss list that tells you who you'll be seeing, which is nice for those wanting a little information without giving everything away.

More importantly, each dungeon includes a short piece of commentary by one of the many artists and designers involved in bringing it to life. Each bit of commentary goes over one particular feature or design element of the dungeon and how it was brought to life. We don't usually see the behind-the-scenes for the dungeons we run, and it's cool to see some of the crew involved in dungeon design being given the opportunity to talk about their work. And even if you've already been playing through the dungeons in the beta, there's still information here that you can't get just from running it in game.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

WoW Archivist: The keys to content

Karazhan entrance
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Keys in WoW have come in many forms. Some hang around our neck. Some hide in belts. Others open aircraft hangars or other, very special places. Some let us pretend to be rogues. Some never made it to the live game. Some we eat or play with. Some help us get the mail or reach new heights. We find some in unexpected places. A few are just trash.

This column is not about those keys. This is about the keys that used to be a Big Deal. The keys that people went to extraordinary lengths to obtain. The keys that put you on everyone's friends list. The keys to content.

Literal gates

Today, content is rarely locked. Players take it for granted that when a new dungeon or raid goes live, they will have immediate access. For the first half of WoW's history, however, this was not the case at all.

Vanilla WoW locked away virtually all of its end-game content. Raids required attunement, which means that every single person in your raid had to complete a certain quest line.

Keys worked differently. Content that required a key wasn't gated according to some arbitrary release schedule, such as the Heart of Fear -- but by actual gates.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

The missed opportunity of 20-man raiding

With the release of the Raid Finder and the recent changes to valor points, the debate about 10- vs. 25-man raiding, which is harder to run, and which is harder to balance rages on. I have friends on both sides of the 10/25 debate. I understand both points of view, and I think both are utterly wrong. Completely, absolutely wrong. The issue to me is when we went from 40-man raids down to the current raid sizes, the decision to offer 25-man raids didn't really work. I think we should have gone to 10- and 20-man raiding at the dawn of The Burning Crusade, and I still think we should.

We had 20-man raids back in classic WoW -- two of them, in fact, Zul'Gurub and Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj. Neither exists as a 20-man raid any more, so this may seem odd to players who didn't raid then, but these were considered the small raids. People who had just spent hours raiding in Molten Core, Blackwing Lair or AQ40 would put together these runs on the fly to gear their alts or get a shot at off-spec loot, while other guilds that didn't have the numbers for 40-man raids would spend their time raiding these while trying to build up their numbers.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

Armor Set Collecting: Dungeon Set One

Set collecting is one of those things that you either love or hate -- either the thought of running around in old gear is curiously nostalgic, or you simply don't care to fill your bank with a lot of useless junk. With the introduction of Cataclysm, a lot of these old dungeon sets appear to be changing or disappearing entirely, making them a hot commodity for set collectors. Since a lot of players these days picked up the game in the BC or Wrath eras, not everyone knows where these pieces come from and how to get them.

The first of these sets is the Dungeon Set One. Obtained through various level 60 instances, these blue armor sets were the top of the top before the days of Molten Core and purples everywhere. Originally, these sets had very boring graphics, until a patch was implemented in which all sets got a shiny new graphics update. In the early days of vanilla, these sets were pretty much all players needed to farm for, and the +8 to all resistances that served as a set bonus for each was handy in places like Molten Core, which was nothing but a fun fire factory in which you wanted to stack as much fire resistance as possible. There are nine sets to collect, and each set is class-specific. All set pieces can be found in Stratholme, Scholomance and Blackrock Spire (both lower and upper).

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, RP

Insider Trader: Not like it used to be


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about vanilla WoW and the way things used to be. Now that experience gains can be shut off, players can actually move through some of this content the way it was meant to be experienced. Well, it won't be exactly the way it was, but it's as close as we're getting.

Blizzard has also been implementing more elements from the old world. Naxxramas was a vanilla dungeon, and was redone to become the first raid instance of the second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, set back on Azeroth no less.

In fact, soon we'll all be battling Onyxia once again, deep breaths and all!

Professions used to be different too. Of course, most of the changes to the system have been for the better, but there were some elements that could be recycled for the future.

Last week, Insider Trader discussed a new, more progressive direction for professions, including some of the ways that this could be implemented. This week I'll be shedding new light on one particular vanilla element that has been phased out, exploring ways in which it could be reborn.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, Insider Trader (Professions)

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories

Joystiq

Massively

Engadget