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Ensidia claims I Can't Hear You Over the Sound of How Awesome I Am4 years ago
Ensidia of Tarren Mill-EU has claimed the achievement I Can't Hear You Over the Sound of How Awesome I Am.
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EU Battle.net is down4 years ago
The EU's Battle.net has been offline for a few days now so EU guilds and toons are currently not updating. I hope that our friends at Blizzard have this fixed soon. Also, the US Battle.net seems to be very slow in providing responses at the moment so the US updates are slower than normal.
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Ghostcrawler Comments on Raid Progress4 years ago
Ghostcrawler covers design goals for progressing guilds through raid content in his latest blog source

We addressed our views on dungeon difficulty several weeks ago, and in the interim many players have asked for us to comment on raid difficulty.

I chose to use the word "progress" in the title for this blog quite intentionally. We think progression is the key to players having fun. When groups stop making progress, the members get frustrated. When individuals feel like they are stuck, that's when they start to lose interest. I don't think it strictly has to do with the flow of loot being shut off. A big part of it is the sense that as you climb up that mountain, you are getting closer and closer to the summit instead of just sliding back down to base camp at the end of each day.

Let's consider two extremes. If you complete the raid content very quickly and have Sinestra on farm and everyone has acquired their best in slot items, then you're probably ready to take a break from raiding. If you worked really hard to get to that point, as many of the current "finished" guilds did, then you're probably pretty happy about resting until Firelands becomes available. However, if that break point happens too soon, too easily, for too many guilds, then the raiding game can feel empty. Players run out of content before they are ready to run out of content, if that makes sense. Now let's consider the other extreme, where a guild just has no realistic chance of ever beating a boss. This can be particularly demoralizing if it's the first boss, but it can happen at any time. That guild might not feel like they are making progress. Many guilds are willing to put in a few weeks trying to master a new encounter, but if it gets to the point where they are wiping for months, there's a good chance they'll start to see burnout and thinning ranks. The sweet spot in raid balance for us to hit is that everyone feels like they can still make progress. Content that is too hard or too easy doesn't meet that goal.

Raid encounters, to some extent, nerf themselves. This is because every week, the raid members acquire more and more gear. Secondarily, the community acquires more and more knowledge and experience, which translates into better videos, strategy guides, or even UI mods, as well as just more players who have experienced the encounters firsthand. Each week that you are able to kill any bosses, your group's gear improves overall, through Valor points if nothing else. When Firelands is available, everyone's gear will quickly take a step up in quality. This will give you an even better chance to beat those bosses that are blocking you now. We wouldn't be surprised to see some guilds try the first few Firelands bosses one night, while using the next night to go back to get the head and chests from Nef and Cho'gall in order to complete their set bonuses, that is until acquiring new set bonuses becomes feasible. On some bosses, though, better armor and weapons may not be enough because some mechanics just can't easily be outgeared. To mitigate that problem, our tendency is to nerf content over time just to make sure a wide variety of players see it. The trailblazers get to see the fights before anyone else, but we don't lock the dungeon door behind them.

Having said all of that, there are some encounters that still need adjustment. Heroic 10-player modes can often be the hardest to balance, because those groups just don't have access to the sheer number of tools in one group that the larger raids have. You've probably seen some hotfixes go out recently and we might make more adjustments in 4.1. We'll continue to monitor progress and make adjustments when we feel the time is right.

Overall, we are pretty happy with our current raid balance. Most guilds that are trying seem to be making some progress. On some realms, we're seeing pickup groups for at least the earlier bosses, which seems appropriate for where we are in the content cycle. The Heroic versions are particularly challenging, though even in that case, there is a gradient with easier and very difficult bosses. For those of you who feel like you are stuck on progression, we'd like to hear more about why. Are you trying to PUG the encounters? Do you have a very casual guild with a lot of different players each night? Is the problem that you're undergeared or that the mechanics are too unforgiving? What are the mechanics that are really hard for raid leadership to explain or even understand? Are your tanks exploding, or are your healers running out of mana, or are you failing the berserk timers? We have data on all of this, but it's useful to hear it from your point of view as well. Remember, our goal is that you beat the fight because you understood the mechanics and executed your tanking, DPS, and healing around those constraints. If you're just kind of powering through a boss ability or phase that you don't really understand, then it's going to be a lot harder for you. As always, feedback on which encounters you are enjoying and which ones you never want to see again is also appreciated, though we've gotten a lot of that already, and are designing your Firelands foes with that in mind.

P.S. I am as excited about the Firelands encounters as I am about the current ones. We can't wait for you to wipe to them, er... see them.

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street is the lead systems designer of World of Warcraft. He wipes to the elevator boss.

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Immersion claim Glory of the Cataclysm Raider4 years ago
Congratulations to Immersion of Auchindoun-EU who claimed the world-first Glory of the Cataclysm Raider. They rounded out the meta by completing the challenging Stay Chill achievement.
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Patch 4.1 info released4 years ago
Blizzard has started to release details of the new patch 4.1. Full details

That's right, folks. Development on the first major content patch for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is well underway! We're currently making preparations to bring some of the initial content and updates we've been working on for this patch to the Public Test Realms. So you ask, what will we find in the first 4.1 test client? (You did ask that, right?) Well, let me tell you!

The Gurubashi Tribe Persists

Originally a 20-player dungeon released in patch 1.7, Zul'Gurub will once again open its gates, featuring updated lore, all-new encounters, achievements, and improved loot! Zul'Gurub is now a level-85 five-player Heroic difficulty dungeon. To provide a new tier above the current Cataclysm dungeons, players can expect to find epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is 346.

The Return of Zul'Aman

Ever a player favorite, the level-70 ten-player dungeon of Zul'Aman is being reintroduced as a level-85 Heroic five-player dungeon. Zul'Aman will join Zul'Gurub in a new Dungeon Finder tier of Heroic dungeons, providing epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is also 346. While Zul'Aman will be more of a throwback to the original dungeon featuring many of the same encounters, players can expect to find some updated gameplay mechanics, as well as new environment textures and lighting.

With the Zuls returning, you may be wondering about the unique mounts that were once contained therein. We're pleased to announce that new versions of the rare raptor, tiger, and bear mounts will be available, while the old versions of these mounts will remain unique to those who already have them. We'll reveal more about how these updated mounts can be obtained in the future.

Class Design

While we do intend to make fewer balance changes in patch 4.1, you can still expect to find a fair number of updates. Below are just a few we'd like to share with you right now. Keep in mind these changes don't encompass the entirety of the 4.1 changes, nor do the initial Public Test Realm patch notes.

To start, we want to do a better job of balancing the AoE power of the different damage-dealing specs. You can expect to see some changes to this end made throughout the testing process.

Inner Rage is now available at level 56. It was intended to solve an excess rage problem that largely isn't affecting warriors anymore. We've added a replacement ability for warriors at level 83: Rallying Cry.

Colossus Smash now ignores 70% of an opponent's armor, down from 100%. We are compensating Fury and Arms warriors by increasing the damage of other attacks.

Word of Glory: We want Retribution and Protection paladins to have reasonable healing on themselves or others, but we know paladins sometimes feel like they can't use their Holy Power on anything but their heals in some situations. We'd rather these two specs spend most of their Holy Power on damage-dealing abilities, with occasional healing.

More To Come

We're still hard at work on additional features, balance updates, and bug fixes for patch 4.1. We look forward to sharing more information with you in the days and weeks ahead as we release new content on the Public Test Realms. Until then, have a look at the patch notes we've prepared thus far. As always, these notes are not final and will continue to change as we go through the iterative development and testing processes.

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GuildOx adds Rated BG Guild Ranks4 years ago
GuildOx is proud to announce the addition of Battleground Rating guild ranks, Battleground Rating player ranks and Honorable Kill player ranks. We have had several requests for rated battleground rankings so we have added a system that averages the top 10 rated battleground players in each guild and uses this score to rank guilds. Additionally, you can view the top battleground and honourable kill ranked players ranked across the world.

We have also included guild signature images showing your battleground ranking, guild tags so you and display it on your web site and updated XML/JSON feeds with the new ranking data.

New Rated Battleground Guild ranking: http://www.guildox.com/go/g.asp?a=14
New Rated Battleground World Player ranking: http://www.guildox.com/go/g.asp?a=13
New Honorable Kill World Player ranking: http://www.guildox.com/go/g.asp?a=12

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Epic trinkets and heroic raid gear4 years ago
I have completed the modeling of the epic trinkets in our Loot Rank module. I have also updated all of the heroic raid gear and assigned it to bosses. Engineering cogwheels are now supported as well. Check out Loot Rank for more.

-Polar
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Remember to Update4 years ago
Has your guild just completed a raid boss kill? You can help keep GuildOx up to date by jumping on to your GuildOx page and hitting the "Update" button or re-submit your guild through the "Add Guild" option. Our crawlers automatically cover all ranked guilds across a 3-4 day period but it does not hurt to submit your guild as soon as you get a kill. Tip: be sure that at least 6 players have logged out first so that we correctly pick up your kill from the blizzard armory.
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Announcing GuildOx Alerts4 years ago
I am pleased to announce a new feature for premium members - GuildOx Guild Alerts. You may nominate up to five guilds and GuildOx will send you an email alert when these guilds get a boss kill or raid achievement. This feature allows you to keep up to date with how your fellow guilds are doing with the Cataclysm content.

You can set these alerts up in the options page.

For a limited time - this new feature is also available for non-members until Feb 8 - Try it out today!

-Polar
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GuildOx 25m rankings explained in detail4 years ago
I want to take this opportunity to clear up a few things regarding 25m rankings. I get a lot of emails on the topic so I thought it was worth dispelling some of the myths.

Since Cataclysm, Blizzard has not (yet) provided an XML-based method to establish when a guild kills a raid boss on 25 or 10 player mode.

This is a fact that we have to live with. There is some talk of a first quarter release of new XML feeds that will hopefully give us the data we need.

In the meantime, automated guild ranking systems like GuildOx need to use other methods.

Most automated systems, like GuildOx, are still using the pre-Cataclysm data from the old wowarmory. Some of this XML data is still updating with Cataclsym info and some is not. The data that does update shows a time/date stamp for each player when they achieve a boss kill. Unfortunately, it only shows an accurate time/date stamp for the first kill that the player completed. Data for subsequent kills is not made available.

Automated systems can only reliably score the first kill for any guild, be it 10m or 25m, but not both.

While we can sometimes see enough players on a subsequent kill to determine that it was a 25m kill, there are many times when we cannot. Visit our EJ thread for a bit more detail on this.

I have chosen to only track first boss kills rather than put up rankings that miss out on a lot of valid kills.

With the release of Cataclysm, I had a decision to make with regards to 25m rankings. I knew that automated services could not accurately track all 25m kills. I made the decision that it was better to show rankings of 25m guilds that had killed bosses first in 25m mode as opposed to cobbling together 25m rankings based on partial kill data.

What's the advantages and disadvantages of the GuildOx 25m rankings?

The big advantage is that you know that what you see is what you would expect. If a guild has made their last two first-kills as a 25m outfit then they will be accurately tagged and ranked as a 25m guild. This works nicely for GuildOx since we use simple scoring systems and it fits in with our "you are only as good as your last kill" philosophy.

The downside is that there might be some guilds that have been killing raid bosses in 10m mode first, and then killing them in 25m mode in a later week that will not be ranked as a 25m guild. This is an unfortunate reality of this system. The good news is that once these guilds start killing bosses first in 25m mode then they will be automatically included in the 25m rankings with no penalty.

This system is just temporary!

As soon as our friends at Blizzard bring out an accurate method to work out the mode of the boss kill then GuildOx will certainly be showing all kills that a guild makes and ranking them accordingly.

If you have any comments or suggestions then please head on over to our EJ thread.

-Polar
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