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Posts with tag wrath-of-the-lich-king

What's the purpose of a heroic dungeon?

What is the purpose of a heroic dungeon
One of the more volatile announcements that we've heard so far from Blizzard regarding Mists of Pandaria is the fact that Mists will not include any more 5-man dungeons. In an expansion where new content seems to be rolling out on a much faster, tighter basis than any expansion prior this seems a little bizarre to players, particularly those that enjoy dungeon-based content. Yet one of the things Mists has been doing consistently throughout the expansion is delivering a wider array of things to do. In fact, there's such a variety in endgame content that players sometimes feel legitimately overwhelmed by the sheer amount of it.

But just because we aren't getting any new dungeons doesn't mean we aren't getting alternate ways to obtain all that sweet, sweet gear we know and love. Patch 5.3 will see the introduction of heroic scenarios, slightly tougher versions of the scenarios we've already seen this expansion. In addition to valor, the heroic scenarios will offer raid-finder level rewards for players that choose to participate in them -- better than any gear you'll find in a heroic dungeon at this point.

While this may seem pretty cool for some people, it does make one wonder -- what's the purpose of heroic dungeons?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Breakfast Topic: Does anything in WoW bother you?

Breakfast Topic Does anything in WoW bother you
During Wrath of the Lich King, I used to hate the log in screen with a passion. It all started when I loaded up the client for the first time and was tricked into turning up the volume when I heard a soft, mysterious tune whispering in my ear. A second later I was ripping my headphones off as a massive, skeletal dragon deafened me with her landing and roars. Curse you, Sindragosa!

My dislike for the log in screen peaked one evening after a long raid night in Ulduar. I remember sitting on vent with friends when I was suddenly disconnected. It was just a random connection hiccup but as I sat there waiting to reconnect I realized something ... Why are there chain guard rails in Icecrown? Seriously, what would prompt the Scourge to implement safety measures into their architecture? They're undead, it's not like they need OSHA standards.

Fast forward to Mists of Pandaria and there's still little things like that which bug me. Take, for example, Farmer Yoon. When you first meet him, he is mocked by Haohan Mudclaw for being a "citypaw." But where are there even cities in Pandaria? The biggest settlements in Pandaria are still just rural villages. Nonsense, I say!

Does anything in the game bother you like that?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

We don't need daily quests anymore

We don't need daily quests anymore
I think I've firmly established that I really love doing quests, and that I'm fine with daily quests as a whole. Sure, some of them may have had their moments of extreme frustration, but by and large the daily quest system in Mists of Pandaria is pretty entertaining. But while it's entertaining to me, and it's fine with some players, there are others who cannot stand the system. They hate daily quests. The sight of a blue exclamation point is a source of constant irritation.

And it doesn't really matter how you wrap up that package, it's still going to be annoying content that players feel they must complete in order to be competitive. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to matter what is tied to the system, or if it offers rewards of value, like Lesser Charms or valor points. Adding the value to the daily quest system doesn't make completing the quests any more compelling, it just makes them another chore that must be completed.

Which is why daily quests need to go away.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Archivist: The triumph and tragedy of Ulduar

Windows in Ulduar
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?

With patch 5.2 on the PTR, everyone is talking about Mists' next tier of raiding content. If the buzz seems more intense than usual, it might be because of the hints that Ghostcrawler and others at Blizzard have dropped comparing the Throne of Thunder to Wrath's Ulduar raid.

Perhaps it's too soon to revisit Ulduar in an Archivist column. After all, the raid went live less than four years ago. I don't care. I want to talk about how amazing this place was, how Blizzard still managed to screw up such a good thing, and why we should all be excited for an Ulduar-style raid in 5.2.

Put the rose-colored glasses away here, folks. You don't need them -- Ulduar really was that fantastic.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Blizzard's tribute to 8 years of World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft is eight years old. Coincidentally, that's also the same age as one of my nephews, and it's really odd to think that when the kid was just a baby, I was taking my first baby steps in Azeroth. Eight years is an incredible amount of time, and Blizzard has put together the tribute video shown above as a thank you to all the players both past and present for the years of devotion.

It's a really well put together video that honestly sweeps me right back to day one of the game, when I stumbled through the night elf starting experience and delighted in the fact that my night elf sometimes flipped when she jumped. This led to years of compulsive jumping and several keyboards worth of play, all of which were totally worth it. And although I'm Horde now, I still remember those first months of frolicking as Alliance fondly.

Take a look at the video, and be sure to crank the music up -- the sweeping blend of soundtracks from vanilla to now is always worth a listen. And while you're at it, why don't you leave us a comment with your favorite or earliest memory?


Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Know Your Lore: Dailies and story development

Know Your Lore Dailies and story development SUN
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

I have to admit that I've spent a lengthy amount of time this week trying to understand why people hate daily quests with such unbridled passion. Leveling a character through zones and completing various quests has to be one of my favorite parts of the game -- but once you reach max level, you've done all there is, from a questing perspective. In vanilla, this resulted in an absolute drought of things to do once you'd hit level 60. When daily quests were introduced in Burning Crusade, they were lauded as an excellent way for players to make gold after they'd reached max level.

But the focus of daily quests has shifted since their introduction in the first expansion. No longer just a way to make gold after the well of quests to do has run dry, daily quests have morphed into a resource to gain both reputation and unique rewards. And oddly enough, daily quests have also evolved into what is slowly starting to look like an effective storytelling tool as well. But why do some dailies work, and others falter? What makes dailies palatable?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Digital Battle Chest now includes Wrath of the Lich King

Digital Battle Chest now includes Wrath of the Lich King
As time marches forward, so too does the digital edition of the WoW Battle Chest. Not only are new purchasers able to get all the content from World of Warcraft and its first two expansions in one easy purchase, but in addition, all current World of Warcraft subscribers, even those that have never bought either Wrath of the Lich King or The Burning Crusade, will have access to all the content available in both expansions.

This is an extremely positive change for a variety of reasons, including (but not limited to) those of you who want to use Refer a Friend on a second account for the Obsidian Nightwing, or giving the game as a gift to a friend or loved one to check it out. With so many expansions under the bridge (we're up to four as of next week) it's good to give players a leg up on the content.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

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

Mists of Pandaria beta: Who needs Frostmourne when you've got Lobstmourne?

Mists of Pandaria beta Who needs Frostmourne when you've got Lobstmourne ANY
The Mists of Pandaria beta has had some bizarre moments, but the last thing I was expecting was an epic lobster chase across the lost continent. While exploring off the coast of Krasarang Wilds, I stumbled across Damlak, a level 90 elite makrura who was strolling just off the shore of a small island to the south. After gleefully murdering the lobster, I was rewarded with a book and an item called Damlak's Clamshell. The Clamshell may vendor for a gold, but its use effect is far too fascinating to pass up.

It was the book that was even more interesting, however. Titled Troubles From Without, the book detailed the locations of several different elite makrura scattered all over Pandaria, with a basic rundown of their abilities. And so off I went to murder a fleet of elite lobster, collecting shells from each. After collecting all six shells, the book then advises you to head to another small island off the south coast of Krasarang Wilds to summon Clawlord Kril'mandar, The Pinch King.

Yes, you read that title right.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

WoW Insider reviews Pearl of Pandaria by Micky Neilson & Sean Galloway

WoW Insider reviews Pearl of Pandaria by Micky Neilson
I have to admit it. When I first heard word of Pearl of Pandaria at BlizzCon, I was not expecting it to be anything extraordinary. The artwork was awesome, the panel previews looked top-notch, and I've been a Galloway fan for years. The news that Micky Neilson was writing the title was definitely good news. But I didn't expect the graphic novel to really hold much weight, particularly since it was mentioned that the novel takes place before Cataclysm. It actually takes place somewhere at the beginning of the war in Northrend.

Because of this, I figured it would simply be a standalone piece. It'd be a well-written, fun little tale that would explain where the heck Chen was has been all these years. But when I started playing the Mists beta, I fell in love with Li Li, Chen's precocious niece with a penchant for acrid sarcasm. After meeting Li Li, I was a bit more excited to read the book, because I figured more Li Li would be a good thing. And then I got Pearl of Pandaria and sat down to give it a read, fully expecting a simple lighthearted and fun little piece of work.

I don't think I've ever been quite so delighted to be utterly wrong.

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Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

World of Warcraft 75% off this week only

World of Warcraft 75% off this week only
Do you have a friend interested in World of Warcraft? Would you like a second account to fill with gleeful pandaren come Mists? Now's the time to get your hands on the game. Blizzard just announced that all WoW expansions are on sale this week only. The Battle Chest is $5, Wrath of the Lich King is $5, and to top it off, Cataclysm is only $10. That's $20 for the complete set, making this an excellent time to bring your friends in for the start of Mists of Pandaria -- or for you to stash a set of games for a secondary account.

Keep in mind that recruiting yourself via Recruit-A-Friend will still net you that sweet Obsidian Nightwing mount!

Prepare for Pandaria with epic savings! This week only, you can get the World of Warcraft Battle Chest for $5, Wrath of the Lich King for $5, and Cataclysm for $10 when you buy directly from Blizzard. That's 75% off the regular prices, making this a great time to set yourself up for the imminent launch of Mists of Pandaria... or to invite a friend to join you in Azeroth.

Hurry, this offer ends August 27, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.


Filed under: News items, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

A brief history of reputation in WoW

A brief history of reputation and WoW
In the early days of vanilla WoW, I had a friend who spent hours upon hours killing ghosts near and around Karazhan. This was odd, to say the least, considering there was absolutely nothing to do in that area at that point and time in the game. I asked him what exactly he was doing, and he said he was collecting Scourgestones. Apparently, the ghosts in the area inexplicably gave reputation for the Argent Dawn. Bewildered, I asked him why he was doing so. The Argent Dawn didn't offer any real rewards at that point.

"Because it's there," he replied. "I like seeing the bars go green. I want to make them all green."

For him, I suppose, it was enough. I understand his fascination more these days, as I make it a point to max out every reputation I have at exalted because I can't stand to see a bar that isn't fully green. Call it vaguely OCD if you will, but if I'm going to go exalted, I'll make sure it's 999/999.

These days, WoW offers a heck of a lot more options for filling up that little green bar -- but where did it all begin?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Nab WoW and all expansions for $20 at GameStop and Best Buy

Nab WoW and all expansions for $20 at GameStop and Best Buy
It's nowhere near Christmas, but GameStop and Best Buy are doing their best to make it feel that way. Both are running a huge sale on World of Warcraft this week. The World of Warcraft Battlechest, which includes both the original game and The Burning Crusade expansion, is only $4.99. If you want to add Wrath of the Lich King, that's $4.99 as well. And if you want to pick up Cataclysm, it's only $9.99 more -- which brings the grand total for all expansions to a cheap $20.

Not only is this great for anyone looking to give the gift of WoW, it also comes in handy for those looking to get the Obsidian Nightwing through the Recruit-A-Friend program. You can either recruit your friends and get them the games, or you can grab the games and open up a second account for yourself. Either way, $20 is a steal.

Check out either GameStop or Best Buy for online ordering, or check with your local store to see if they're carrying the games in stock.

Filed under: News items, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Does World of Warcraft need to be more difficult?

The above video is a bit lengthy, but it's well worth the watch simply because it does raise a few valid points along the line. And lest you think this is yet another player whining about the endless hardcore vs. casual debate, it's not -- this is simply a player who is incredibly passionate about the game we all play. In that passion, he's decided to talk about the direction that raiding in WoW has taken and how it has gone downhill, in his opinion.

On the one hand, he has a point. There is a stark difference between the feel of raiding back in the days of vanilla, The Burning Crusade, and now. There's a stark difference in numbers, which any graph can illustrate. More and more people can complete raids now from one degree or another, which leaves people barreling through content at light speed and doesn't really give that same feeling that raiding had in years past.

On the other, is changing the difficulty in WoW really the way to accomplish that goal? I don't think so.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

The Smart Kids -- or, why Cataclysm failed to impress

I was a smart kid. You remember those kids from school who were always the first to turn a test in and the ones to get the best grades? The ones who never seemed to put any effort into studying but always managed to get an A? That was me. You'd think that being a smart kid would make life incredibly easy, but it did exactly the opposite. Of course you had the endless students who hated you or made fun of you because you were smart, but there was something much harder to deal with than that.

See, in public schools (in America, at least), teachers generally teach at the speed of the slowest kid in class. This is absolutely appropriate, because you don't want anyone to fall behind. For the slowest kid, this meant that subjects were presented in a way that they could understand, and they'd learn the lessons even if it took a little extra time. But for the smartest kid in the class, it meant that classrooms were places of exquisite torture where information flowed at a snail's pace, and most of the information presented were things the smart kid already knew.

It made school an excruciatingly boring place to be.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

I am not going to miss Tol Barad at all

I am not going to miss Tol Barad even one bit ANY
I've been making a pretty concerted effort over the past month or so to knock out all those things that I hadn't quite gotten around to finishing for one reason or another in Cataclysm. Last week saw the end of the grueling grind to get enough tokens to purchase the mount shown above, which is easily the most hideous mount I now possess. I'm not sure who thought aqua went with olive green and pink, but whoever they were, I wholeheartedly hope they aren't doing the color scheme on any further mounts.

While I was pleased to get the mount despite its questionable color scheme, there was something I was far, far happier about. I got all the tokens I needed, I got the mount, and at last, at long, long last, I never had to look at Tol Barad ever again. The only things I enjoyed from Tol Barad were getting a pet and two mounts, and the backstory that never really developed further than "Here is a mysterious island with some really strange stuff and ghosts on it." The story disappointed me, the mounts and pet were happily added to the collection, and as for the rest of it ... Well, let's just say I'm not holding any candlelight vigils for the zone.

In Mists of Pandaria, we don't have a Tol Barad. We don't have a Wintergrasp. And I am perfectly happy with both of those things.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

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