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With Patch 5.4 less than a week away now, Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas takes you through the new Siege of Orgrimmar raid instance, adding his insights from a design perspective into each of the 14 encounters. While there’s no specific practical tips that will help you conquer any of the encounters on day one, they add a nice dose of perspective. Perhaps the most interesting information “tidbit” is the insight into the Iron Juggernaut encounter, and how the iconic giant metal scorpion came about. Ion Hazzikostas– This boss was the product of a particularly rowdy brainstorming session. We started with the idea of a siege tank. We ended up with a mecha-scorpion with a laser-mounted tail, flamethrower mouth, a drill and a sawblade for arms, and many, many cannons. We owe the artist who brought this monstrosity to life a drink or three. It makes sense: something as ridiculous but

 

Official 5.4 Raid Schedule Released

by Booka on

Long gone are the simple days of a new patch day meaning complete access to everything in the patch. The advent of LFR and now Flex raiding and their stuttered releases now mean that everybody’s favorite calendar app gets in on the new patch day fun. As has been announced, Patch 5.4 is destined for a September 10 release, and along with it, the opening of Normal mode and the first wing of Flex, the “Vale of Eternal Sorrows”. As has been the more recent tradition, Heroic won’t be accessible until September 17, as will the first week of LFR. The wings of Flex and LFR will then open alternately until all are open by October 22. As always, the dates are subject to change they decide it needs alteration. Don’t forget to access the new LFR you’ll need a minimum ilvl of 496. Check out the full schedule below. September

If you haven’t gotten a look at the upcoming Siege of Orgrimmar raids on the Patch 5.4 PTR yet, you’ve got at least one more chance to do so before the update goes live.  On September 3rd and 4th, several raid encounters will be open at specific times for focused testing on the Public Test Realm: Tuesday, September 3 Galakras – 25 Player Heroic 10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST) Malkorok – 25 Player Heroic 13:30 PDT (16:30 EDT, 22:30 CEST) Paragons of the Klaxxi – 25 Player Heroic 16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST) Wednesday, September 4 Sha of Pride – 25 Player Heroic 10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST) Spoils of Pandaria – 25 Player Heroic 13:30 PDT (16:30 EDT, 22:30 CEST) Thok the Bloodthirsty – 25 Player Heroic 16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST) The design team’s own Watcher reminds players that test times may change or

Patch 5.4 is bringing with it a host of new features, from in-game excitement such as the Proving Grounds and the Timeless Isle, to larger structural changes such as Connected Realms and the removal of Arena teams. But if you’re anything like me then there’s only one thing on your radar (or is that raid-ar) for the next patch – the Siege of Orgrimmar. Not only do we finally get to put a stop to Garrosh, but we get to do it (mostly) inside the iconic Horde city. This is shaping up as one of the most exciting raid encounters yet, as Alliance and Horde join forces to bring an end to the crazed Warchief, and (perhaps) install somebody new. Siege will encompass 14 boss fights (separated across four wings for Flex and LFR) beginning in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, which has been corrupted by Sha energy and drained

Somewhere between the realm of Blizzard headquarters and the cozy rooms of its players is the realm of the Controverse, the place where Blizzard’s careful decisions and real player feedback clash. This week, we will look at something that’s been on the table for quite some time without a please-all solution in sight: group-finding tools. Disclaimer: Although LFR is better associated with the old raid browser that came out with patch 3.3, popular usage has retrofitted this abbreviation to be used with its replacement, the raid finder, introduced in 4.3. LFG will be used in this newer sense within this editorial. Group-finding tools have been both a blessing and a curse. Including things like the raid finder (LFR), the dungeon finder (LFD), the battleground finder, and others, these tools were designed with the intent of getting more players to do content faster instead of, well, using things like ye old LFG

 

Patch 5.4 Preview: Flex Raiding

by JR Cook on

Patch 5.3 has been out for a few weeks now, so it’s time to start hyping up Patch 5.4! The first feature that is getting previewed is a great one for smaller guilds or group of friends who see raiding as a social experience but still want to progress. World of Warcraft is introducing what they are calling “flex raiding” which basically functions as an in between for normal raid and looking for raid and the item level will fall in between those 2. Ever have a group of 12 people who want to go on a raid? Now you can. In fact any number of people between 10-25 can go on the raid and the raid difficulty will fluctuate on the fly for whatever size group you have – that is amazing and quite powerful. The Flex Raid is meant to gear more toward those social small groups who

Along with with class balance changes, new scenarios and a multitude of other features, World of Warcraft’s Escalation patch is bringing with it some updates to dungeons, raids and loot. While a lot of the changes are aimed towards getting people gear, there are some thoughtful updates which should improve the quality of life for a large percentage of players, Mists of Pandaria and beyond. The more relevant changes include the ability to roll on off-spec loot, an upgrade to Bonus Rolls and a decreased level requirement to enter select dungeons. OFF-SPEC LOOT Hybrid classes, rejoice! Tomorrow’s patch brings with it the option to roll on off-spec loot. This means that Paladins, Druids, Warriors, Priests, Shamans, Monks and Death Knights will have the ability to enter LFRs and do their thing while trying to obtain gear for their other specializations. Yes, the other classes can technically get in on this

One of the top hardcore raiding guilds in World of Warcraft is calling it quits and the reasoning given by Killars on this Facebook post boils down to hardcore raiding just being too hard. Killars goes on to say that the game is not to blame but it’s the raiding community that is to blame. You see… we’ve basically been killing ourselves off slowly since day 1. In the last few years we’ve certainly picked up the pace, but the “hardcore raider” is a dying breed and it’s certainly becoming a more difficult breed to be a part of. What I mean by this is of course the time commitment and the level of shear dedication and determination it takes and costs to be at the very top. This isn’t to poke fun, but to just shed light of why many people, and subsequently, many guilds will fall. Raiding for

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