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Posts with tag wrath-101

Wrath 101: Emalon the Storm Watcher


So ends the age of the weekly loot piñata. The Wintergrasp raid instance, somewhat inappropriately called the Vault of Archavon, has a new tenant who isn't quite the pushover Archavon the Stone Watcher has been since the launch of Wrath of the Lich King. The Vault of Archavon was essentially every Level 80 player's weekly lottery and near guaranteed shot at Emblems. It was the most compelling reason to capture Wintergrasp as the raid was only available to the faction in control of the zone. Enter Emalon the Storm Watcher, a new raid boss with Patch 3.1 who drops Ulduar and Season 6 loot. Emalon's difficulty is ramped up considerably from Archavon and -- if initial forays are any indication -- hard enough to give seasoned raiders like our own Matt Low an aneurysm.

Unlike his meek neighbor Archavon, Emalon actually requires a bit of strategy and situational awareness. He also comes with four bodyguards, the Tempest Minions, who are integral to the fight. As can probably be inferred from his name and his crew, Emalon the Storm Watcher's primary source of damage is lightning, or Nature damage. It won't be necessary to stack resistance, just an understanding of the fight, his abilities, and knowing what to do and avoid. You can visit Emalon by turning into a corridor on the right just before heading into Archavon.

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Filed under: Raiding, Bosses, Guides

Wrath 101: Darkmoon Cards


Now that that Silas Darkmoon and his merry bunch are in town -- well, if you'd like to call outside of desolate Shattrath your town -- it's a good time to take a look at the four new Darkmoon Cards that have come out in Wrath of the Lich King. The method of acquiring the cards, unlike in the past, is no longer as random as it used to be. The new darkmoon cards can be created through the Inscription spell Darkmoon Card of the North, which is learned from Grand Master Inscription Trainers at skill level 400.

It still isn't easy to get the right cards, of course, as each Darkmoon Card of the North can produce one of eight cards from four different decks. With a little patience and a lot of resources, it's possible to get the right cards or trade for them. Failing that, there's always the Auction House, which is still the most common way to complete a deck. You will also sometimes see entire decks for sale. Realm economies notwithstanding, the most expensive deck will be the infamous Nobles Deck. What is the this deck and what Darkmoon Card does it give? A look at all the new Darkmoon Cards in Wrath after the jump.

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Filed under: Items, Guides, Inscription

Wrath 101: Flight paths in Icecrown


Finally, we come to the end. Icecrown is the very last zone in Wrath, and a very gloomy one it is (in my opinion). This zone, as well as Storm Peaks, was designed with flying mounts in mind, but like Storm Peaks it still has flight paths for those of us who prefer to travel on autopilot. And like Zul'Drak, all the flight paths are neutral, being controlled by either the Argent Crusade or the Knights of the Ebon Blade.

Unlike either of those zones, however, the FPs in Icecrown are extensively phased. Only two of them, Argent Vanguard and Death's Rise, are accessible immediately upon entering the zone, so don't go cruising around trying to pick up all the FPs. Just go through the normal quest lines and you'll unlock all four of them sooner or later.

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Filed under: Guides, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath 101: Getting your dungeon reputation tabards

Reader Paul K. sent us a query today about how to go about getting each of the champion dungeon tabards available at level 80, and since I'm about to hit level 80 (hopefully will be doing it tonight), I figured I'd do the work so the rest of you don't have to. Wearing these tabards will give you faction reputation for whatever tabard you're wearing in the endgame 5mans, so instead of running Steam Vaults over and over and over for Cenarion Expedition rep (oh man am I tired of that grind), you can just put on one of these, and then run whatever instances you want.

There are currently four factions that you can champion in the game, and all of the tabards for each are available at Friendly. So you'll need at least friendly with all of the factions -- Wyrmrest Accord, Knights of the Ebon Blade, Kirin Tor, and the Argent Crusade -- before you go around to pick them all up. Getting there isn't hard at all -- if you've leveled by questing, you should have built up the necessary reputation (the one exception in my case is the Knights of the Ebon Blade -- I'm neutral right now, but I haven't really done any questing in Icecrown yet at all).

After the jump, a list of where you need to go to get each tabard.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Factions, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath 101: Resilience at Level 80


The current trend in Arena matches nowadays are quick and dirty fights that last no more than a minute. Perhaps two at best. This is because of the prevalence and dominance of burst damage, which Blizzard acknowledges. This is in contrast with the latter seasons of Arenas where matches were drawn out and crowd control, mana draining, and exceptional healing dominated matches. Blizzard is aware of this trend but say they want to observe things first until players get more Resilience.

One common question I've been asked and often seen thrown in the general and trade channels is "what is the new Resilience cap?" The answer isn't a straightforward one. It's important to first understand what Resilience means and why it's so important for PvP. Resilience is the character attribute that reduces the chance a player will get hit by a critical strike, reduces the damage done by critical strikes and damage over time effects, and reduces the amount drained by mana draining effects. It's an awesome mechanic and is probably my favorite item stat. More Resilience means higher survivability in PvP, but conversely -- because it takes up valuable stat points -- means players generally deal less damage than players dressed up in PvE gear.

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Filed under: Items, PvP, Guides, Arena

Wrath 101: Honor points


One of our site leads, Dan O'Halloran, asked me a question that surprised me yesterday. He asked me what he was supposed to do with Honor points and where he could spend them. See, Dan isn't a huge fan of PvP. In fact, he only happened to try out the wonderfully fun and crazy Wintergrasp in between exploring on his brand-spankin' new epic wings. I think he found it fun enough to play it again.

This brought us to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, a whole lot of players are going to be accumulating Honor pretty soon without them knowing it. He thinks that a lot of players, mostly strictly-PvE carebears, would be curious enough about Wintergrasp to try it out... and hopefully enjoy it enough to play it again. I hope so, too. This means a whole lot of players who'd never PvP'd before, like Dan, for example, would need some sort of guide on Honor points and what to do with them. Here's where we step in with this handy little Honor overview.

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Filed under: PvP, Guides, Battlegrounds

Wrath 101: Flight paths in Storm Peaks


Welcome back, flight path fans! Storm Peaks is the penultimate zone in Northrend, and a welcome return to navigational complexity. As I mentioned in my last post on Sholazar, it is also my favorite zone in Northrend; I really enjoy all the Titan stuff as well as the background on the dwarves we get in the Alliance quests. The Sons of Hodir have the dubious honor of being probably the most difficult essential faction to rep up with, but that's going to get much easier in 3.0.8 when Relics of Ulduar become a rep turn-in. Anyway, I'd better get on with the FPs; there are quite a few of them.

Neutral

  1. K3 (41,83), run by the goblins, is the entry point to Storm Peaks (and a pun off a famous mountain). I only wish we could ride on rockets all the time out of this one.

  2. Dun Niffelem (63,61) is a heavily phased Frost Giant town, headquarters of the Sons of Hodir. You will not be able to go here without being attacked before doing some significant questing (but don't worry, they're very enjoyable quests).

  3. Bouldercrag Refuge, in the northwest of the zone, has a flight master at 31,36.

  4. There's also a small cluster of NPCs up near the Ulduar instances, including a flight master (45,28), a repairer, and a reagent vendor. This is very handy for those Halls of Stone and Halls of Lightning runs (both of which are pretty nasty on heroic, in my opinion, especially the Tribunal and Loken). It will become even more essential in patch 3.1, when the Ulduar raid is due to be added.

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Filed under: Features, Guides

Wrath 101: Flight paths in Sholazar Basin


If you liked my Grizzly Hills guide, you'll love this Sholazar Basin one. Sholazar takes the the honor of having the fewest flight points of any Northrend zone, featuring only two neutral points.
  1. Nesingwary Base Camp. This FP is interesting in that it is not immediately open - you need to do some quests to retrieve an engine and collect parts in order to rebuild the flying machine in order to be able to fly from it. After doing the quests, the flying machine itself, named the Spirit of Gnomeregan (26,58), acts as flight master.

  2. River's Heart, in the center of the zone. This FP (50,62) does not need to be unlocked by questing. There is also a Cold Weather Flying trainer here, in case you happen to ding 77 while questing in Sholazar (though on both of my 80s so far, I hit 77 either one or two zones earlier).

The next post will take me to my favorite Northrend zone, Storm Peaks, which is a little more interesting FP-wise. Until then, have fun, and if you see our local friendly spirit beast, be sure to tell a hunter.

Previously: Lower Northrend (Alliance/Horde), Grizzly Hills, Zul'Drak.


Arthas awaits and so do your questions. Find the answers you've been looking for that will help you with your journey into Northrend and to level 80 with Wrath 101.

Filed under: Guides, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath 101: The Vault of Archavon


So you've won Wintergrasp. Now what? Well, the very first thing that most players do when they wrest or maintain control of the zone is head into the Vault of Archavon. The vault is a raid instance accessible only to members of the faction that control Wintergrasp. It is one of the more important reasons why control of Wintergrasp is so important. Archavon the Stone Watcher is an extremely easy raid boss who drops pieces of Tier 7 and Arena gear. In short, he means free epics.

While there are no level restrictions to entering Wintergrasp (though if you can't fly you'll either have to take the portal or be summoned), players must be Level 80 and in a raid group in order to enter the Vault of Archavon raid instance. It's a very short raid with exactly four trash mobs who have special abilities, but are essentially tank and spank and prepare the raid for how the boss will be like. Archavon is a DPS race.

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Filed under: PvP, Instances, Raiding, Guides

Wrath 101: PvP welfare gear


With gear upgrades these days being so easy to come by, I'm not so sure 'welfare epics' is such an accurate term for PvP gear anymore. That said, Arena Season 5 started the other day without so much as a whimper. It kind of crept in quietly, without even a patch to go along with it. I'm sure it's taken a few players by surprise to see so many new PvP gear available from different sources that it can get confusing. I know I wrote about it in an old post, but quite a bit has changed since Beta, and some things don't quite apply. Don't worry, we're here to help you make sense of it all.

First of all, in the new PvP rewards system there are three tiers of PvP gear. The Savage Gladiator, Hateful Gladiator, and Deadly Gladiator are equivalent to Level 80 dungeon blues, 10-man raid epics, and 25-man raid epics respectively, with a lot of item points thrown in the way of Resilience and sometimes Stamina. These items aren't the best for PvE, so gear accordingly. You'll be wasting a lot of item points by way of Resilience, so keep in mind that all this new gear is best for your Battleground and Arena pursuits.

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Filed under: Items, PvP, Guides, Arena

Wrath 101: The battle for Wintergrasp


Now that you've taken a look at the zone, it's time to understand how to play the game. The battle for Lake Wintergrasp is one of the most fun parts of the game today -- it's certainly my favorite thing, such that I sometimes only log in whenever I know there's a battle. The great thing about Wintergrasp is that there are numerous battles throughout the day. It's the game's best mini-game, and I'm looking forward to seeing it get even more awesome as more and more players reach Level 80 and Blizzard makes improvements to the zone.

Pre-game
An hour before each battle, an NPC in Dalaran -- Arcanist Braedin for the Alliance and Magister Surdiel for the Horde -- will yell that a battle will soon begin. He will repeat this battle cry again at thirty, fifteen, ten, and five minutes in order to alert the inhabitants of Dalaran to hopefully drive players into going to the zone. To make it easy, portals to Wintergrasp appear at the Silver Enclave and Sunreaver's Sanctuary.

Generally, a portal to Wintergrasp appears in Dalaran for the controlling faction and observably disappears about an hour before battles begin. This usually means that defenders must make their way through flying mounts into the zone before the battle begins or wait until the game ensues whereupon their faction's respective Wintergrasp Battle-Mages will open a portal to allow reinforcements. Defenders will port directly in front of Wintergrap Keep, where the Titan Relic is housed, while players on offense will port into their respective landing camps -- the Horde on the West side, and the Alliance on the East.

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Filed under: PvP, Guides, Battlegrounds

Wrath Dailies: Aces High!

For our Wrath Dailies series thus far, we've been trying to do them in groups. For example, we did the Kalu'ak dailies first, and now Adam is going through the Cooking dailies. I've decided to jump out of order for this one, because it's actually somewhat important beyond just another daily quest. This quest is actually training for Phase 3 of the Malygos encounter, in which you do battle with the Aspect of Magic from the back of a red drake.

You pick up Aces High! from Corastrasza on the Band of Transmutation, one of the floating platforms around The Nexus. If you've never done it before, head down to the Transitus Shield, there's a quest that will tell you exactly where to go. Practicing with this quest will make the fight much, much easier when you fight Malygos one day, because the abilities the Drake has in this quest are the exact same as the ones in that fight.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Walkthroughs, Raiding, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath 101: Wintergrasp zone overview


These days, my schedule revolves around partitions of two and a half hours. This is the time I allot for meals, errands, work, showers, and most other mundane things. In between those two and a half hours, I take a break from whatever I'm doing and play ten to forty minutes of Wintergrasp. Ever since I made my way into the zone, I've made it my second home in the World of Warcraft. I log out in Wintergrasp about as often as I do in Dalaran. I know I said that PvP is sort of pointless right now, but Wintergrasp is the most fun I've had in Wrath and the game in a while. Nowadays, whenever I dream, I dream of siege vehicles and exploding walls and towers.

Wintergrasp is the smallest zone in Northrend, bordered by Sholazar Basin, Icecrown, and Dragonblight. It is a PvP zone, which flags all players entering it for PvP. This isn't an issue on PvP servers, but on normal or RP servers, this makes everyone in the zone fair game. There is no physical way to access Wintergrasp other than through a flying mount, creating a natural Level barrier of 77 although lower-level players can be summoned or take the portal from Dalaran. It is my favorite zone in Wrath of the Lich King, although it isn't without its flaws.

Gallery: Wintergrasp

Wintergrasp under Alliance controlWintergrasp under Horde controlWintergrasp KeepGates to the fortressWintergrasp wallWintergrasp tower

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Filed under: PvP, Guides, Battlegrounds

Wrath 101: Flight paths in Zul'Drak


Continuing on from Grizzly Hills, we come a bit north to Zul'Drak, a zone that's apparently one giant troll city. I'm a big fan; some people don't seem to love it much, but presumably everyone needs to know how to get around, so let's get into the flight paths. All the hubs in Zul'Drak are neutral (generally Argent Crusade-aligned), meaning there's just one list for both Horde and Alliance.
  1. Light's Breach is where you typically start in ZD. Danica Saint at 32,75 handles the air traffic there.
  2. Ebon Breach is the starting point for what is (in my opinion) one of the best questlines in the zone. The flight master there is Baneflight, at 14,74. See what they did there? Baneflight? I assume that's hilarious if you're a ghoul or something.
  3. Argent Stand is one of the two major hubs in the zone. Gurric is the flight master, at 42,65.
  4. Maaka (60,57) provides flights from Zim'Torga, which features a delicious Blessing of Kings-bot and some good questing.
  5. Rafae is at the small camp near Gundrak (71,23), providing easy access to that instance (which I haven't run more than once, still).

We're starting to get into zones where you're more and more likely to have your own flying mount, but I will press on through Sholazar, Storm Peaks, and Icecrown in the days ahead. Stay tuned! Previously posted: Howling Fjord, Borean Tundra, and Dragonblight (Horde/Alliance); Grizzly Hills.

Arthas awaits, and so do your questions. Find the answers you've been looking for to help you with your journey into Northrend and to level 80 with Wrath 101.

Filed under: Guides, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath 101: Farming for Eternals

So you're level 80. What now? Raiding? PvP? Hah, no, not really. It's time to start farming mats for... everything! When you're off farming, Eternals (the Wrath equivalent of Primals) are probably on the top of your list. We've had a lot of people asking us what the best places for Eternal farming are, so we're here with the answer.

Below is a quick guide to the best spots for every type of Elemental Eternal in Wrath of the Lich King, and it's assumed that you have Cold Weather Flying when you're out farming. Most of the best farming spots aren't exactly tuned for players lower than level 77, and you can't get to the really awesome spots at all. So hold off on your farming until you're 80, or near 80. It will make your life easier.

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

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