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The Nighthold - Raid Boss Strategy Guide and Loot


by Published on 2011-10-20 08:45 PM

We have tons of people there and everything will be reported on MMO-Champion as it happens. Stay tuned, we're now less than 24H away from the opening ceremony.

by Published on 2011-10-20 05:20 AM

Dragon Soul PTR Testing - Madness of Deathwing
Exordium and Pillow Fort managed to unlock the Madness of Deathwing encounter on test realms and actually went through most of it! Obviously it's pretty spoilery and you shouldn't watch it if you don't want to (almost) see how the last fight of the expansion ends.

Keep in mind that this fight was not supposed to be tested and is still incredibly bugged and possibly very undertuned.

Description from Youtube (Spoilers)
Blizzard decided not to open this fight to testing because the jumping from platform to platform was extremely buggy, as you'll see at the end of the video. Basically what you have to do is kill the appendage that's on each platform after killing a big tentacle. Each aspect has their own platform, and when you destroy the appendage on that aspect's platform, you lose the buff they give you. This makes the fight harder as you destroy each platform.

Due to the bugs with jumping, we were forced to destroy the best platforms first, which made the fight harder (though it's still incredibly undertuned). Once we finally cleared all 4 platforms, deathwing slams his head on the middle platform with only 10 mil health, you get all the buffs back, and I assume it's just supposed to be like the last 10% of the Lich King, as it would have been a ridiculously easy burn if we could get over there.

Blizzcon 2011 Goody Bag
s1fizik on Squidoo seems to have gotten his hands on a Blizzcon Goody bag a little bit early, check the full post for pictures of all of the items. It contains the regular promo items and ads, as well as:

  • Diablo 3 Tyrael Collector's Statue
  • Limited Edition Diablo 3 Authenticator
  • Loot Card
  • Promo Deck for World of Warcraft Card Game
  • Diablo 3 bookmark with Brady Games Quest

Patch 4.3: Fangs of the Father
Killars from vodka spent some of his free time on test realms going through the legendary quest and came back with a few fun pictures! The stats for the first epic version of the daggers are now known, and it also seems that you will need to spend 10,000 gold at some point during the questline.

by Published on 2011-10-19 04:07 AM

BlizzCon Schedule
BlizzCon is coming up later this week, and we have whipped up some fancy countdowns for you to stare at while you wait! The schedule is entirely dynamic and will automatically update the panel times according to your timezone! For those of you who want to speculate on the potential next WoW expansion, there are only 2 things that might point to what's going to happen at Blizzcon:

That's all we know for the moment! Pinky swear.

Blizzcon Schedule

Note: all times are converted to the timezone your computer is currently in.

Thanks to Thoorium, Dinnerbone and Marlamin for putting these together!

Dragon Soul PTR Testing - Ultraxion, Blackhorn, and Spine of Deathwing
More of the Dragon Soul raid was tested recently and n1kftw was once again kind enough to upload videos of the encounters on Youtube for us.

It also seems that some guilds were able to reach the Madness of Deathwing, even if the testing wasn't available. This is a nice first peek at the last raid encounter of the Cataclysm expansion!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Number of Changes in Patch 4.3
As we mentioned in the Rate of Change blog not long ago, we feel like we have reached a point where too many changes can do as much damage as not enough changes. It shouldn’t be too surprising to see lots of requests (or demands!) here on the forums for balance changes, whether those are small numbers tweaks or larger ability redesigns. The risk of the echo chamber effect can be strong though. A great majority of players don’t participate in forum discussions at all, and even among those who do, it tends to be those with a grievance who make a post. Indifferent players don’t often post to say they are indifferent, and many players won’t expend the effort to publicly state that they disagree with your idea. (When they do, they also risk igniting some exhausting flame wars.) But you have to remember that even if it seems like “everyone” is rallying for a certain change, you’re not seeing the majority and you have no idea if they would agree with the necessity of the change.

When asked directly, they might not even disagree with the their character getting buffed or a mechanic smoothed out. But over time these seemingly “no brainer” changes can build up into an intimidating list. Class changes, especially in between expansions, and especially when hotfixed in between two patches, can be exhausting for many players. They don’t want to have to figure out if their rotation or gear strategies have changed overnight. They don’t want to have to devour all the latest theorycrafting and wonder if they’re supposed to respec every time they log in. That sort of thing may be fun for a lot of you guys – the active forum community. Heck, it’s fun for the kind of people that end up being game developers. But that doesn’t mean it’s healthy for the game. We have to weigh very carefully whether a seemingly innocuous change is worth making, because those changes are not “free” in the sense that they do burn some political capital with players. We have definitely been getting the message lately that the design churn in the last few patches has been too great, so we’re trying to be more cautious.

It's the kind of topic that is worth discussing though. It may be that small changes to passive abilities, like the hunter, warlock and DK tweaks in 4.3, are small enough not to bother people. On the other hand, it could be that some players may be still living under a fear of change and we haven’t scaled back enough.

We didn’t say we weren’t going to make balance changes when we feel they are justified, and we have made many for 4.3 already. We just wanted to point out that too many changes, even with the noblest of goals, can be as unhealthy for the game as failing to make changes that are necessary. We don’t want to hit either extreme. Some players seem to be looking for near constant balance adjustments (weekly or more often), and while the designers would be thrilled to do it, they also believe it would have severe long-term consequences. You may not know the kinds of players who get weary of constant design noodling, because they might not post on the forums, but there are a lot of them out there. Our strategy will continue to be: make most changes in expansions, some changes with patches, and the occasional change via hotfix. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Is Cataclysm the final expansion?
Cataclysm is absolutely not the last expansion. We have plenty of vigor left in us yet. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
No Word of Glory through Beacon?
Word of Glory definitely triggers BoL. That was an oversight in the patch notes posted 90 minutes ago. We apologize for the confusion. We have updated the notes to read:

Beacon of Light is triggered by Word of Glory, Holy Shock, Flash of Light, Divine Light and Light of Dawn at 50% transference and Holy Light at 100% transference. It does not transfer Holy Radiance, Protector of the Innocent or other sources of healing. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

PTR: Holy Paladin Changes
The 4.3 design is that Holy Radiance generates Holy Power if you have the Tower of Radiance talent. This is the only way it has ever worked for 4.3. In a nutshell, we did not want Ret and Prot paladins using Holy Radiance on cooldown just for the Holy Power benefit. It looks like some bad data-mining may have led to the belief that Holy Radiance would always generate Holy Power even without Tower of Radiance, but that was never the intent. The quote “Holy Radiance no longer grants a charge of Holy Power,” [post 1] is likewise incorrect and confusing. Before 4.3 there was no connection between Holy Radiance and Holy Power. After 4.3, the Tower of Radiance talent provides the Holy Power. We will let you know if the design changes again, but do not anticipate that being the case. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
by Published on 2011-10-18 04:35 PM

Public Test Realm Patch 4.3 Notes - 10/18 Update
The Patch 4.3 PTR Notes have been updated and Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest is being nerfed in Patch 4.3.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New Dungeon & Raid Content
  • Dragon Soul is now available for limited 10-person testing. Your participation and feedback is appreciated. For the latest testing schedule, please visit the PTR Discussion forum here.

  • Guild Standards are again useable in Firelands. Duration has been increased to 15 minutes, the effect has a 100 yard radius, and now affects dead players.

  • Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest: The chance for this item’s effect to be triggered has been reduced.

Classes: General
  • Spells which have an effect broken by taking damage past a threshold (Entangling Roots, Fear, Frost Nova, etc.) now count damage that was prevented by damage absorbs or other damage reducing effects.

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Hurricane has a new updated visual effect.

Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Monstrous Bite now reduces the target’s healing received by 25%, up from 10%.

Beast Mastery
  • Widow Venom now reduces the target’s healing received by 25%, up from 10%.

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Beacon of Light is triggered by Word of Glory, Holy Shock, Flash of Light, Divine Light and Light of Dawn at 50% transference and Holy Light at 100% transference. It does not transfer Holy Radiance, Protector of the Innocent or other sources of healing.

Rogue (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Wound Poison now reduces the target’s healing received by 25%, up from 10%.

Warrior (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Mortal Strike now reduces the target’s healing received by 25%, up from 10%.

  • Furious Attacks now reduces the target’s healing received by 25%, up from 10%.

User Interface
  • Added a feature to interact with NPCs, game objects (mailbox, mining nodes, etc.), and corpses on left-click as well as right-click. There is now an option under Interface:Controls to turn this feature off.

PTR Raid Testing Schedule - Oct 18
Madness of Deathwing testing is gone because of a test, but apparently players will still get to ride Deathwing like a wild puppy today!

Post streams and screenshots in comments!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Today and tomorrow we're going to try and test the remaining bosses in Dragon Soul on 10 player difficulty.

Oct 18
10:15 PDT – Ultraxion (10 Player)
11:45 PDT – Warmaster Blackhorn (10 Player)
14:30 PDT – Spine of Deathwing (10 Player)

There will be additional testing scheduled in the upcoming weeks including 25 player and Heroic difficulties, both in the morning and afternoon. There will not be any testing during Blizzcon.

As always, the scheduling for PTR testing will be VERY fluid. Tests can be announced, canceled, or rescheduled at a moment's notice depending on build and server status, outstanding bugs, etc. I will try to give as much advance notice about tests, but that is not always possible. Also note that these encounters are all works in progress.

[EDIT - Oct 17 15:02 PDT - Removed the Madness of Deathwing from the schedule. We found an issue on the current PTR build that would be a showstopper for that encounter.]
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
More an abomination of dark energy than a dragon, Ultraxion has spent his short life absorbing the essence of captured nether dragons. Ultraxion is the only twilight dragon Deathwing has praised, and his arrogance is overshadowed only by the crackling energies surging through his twisted form. Loyal to his master, Ultraxion swears to bring about the fall of Wyrmrest Temple.

Stage One: Growing Instability
During the battle, Ultraxion will grow increasinly unstsable with barely-contained Twilight energies.

  • Unstable Monstrosity - Growing Twilight instability causes arcs of Twilight energy to erupt from Ultraxion's hide, inflicting 300000 Twilight damage every 6 seconds, split evenly amongst enemy players in the Twilight Realm and within yards of the target. Every minute that Ultraxion remains in combat reduces the time between arcs by 1 second, to a maximum rate of one arc per second. In addition, the instability prevents Ultraxion from dodging or parrying attacks, and allows attackers to explot weaknesses from any angle.
  • Twilight Shift - At the beginning of the battle, Ultraxion pulls all enemies with him into the Twilight Realm where they can bear the full brunt of his powerful Twilight assaults. Being pulled into the Twilight Realm grants players the Heroic Will ability.
    • Heroic Will - Steels the caster's mind to resist the forces of Twilight. Pulls the caster out of the Twilight realm for up to 5 sec, but renders them unable to attack, cast spells, or move while concentrating.
  • Fading Light - Sucks the light out of the target, drawing them into Twilight over 5-10 seconds. Upon expiration, targets in the Twilight Realm will be instantly killed. Targets in the normal realm will be pulled into the Twilight Realm, and all threat against Ultraxion will be reset. Additionally, no threat will be generated for 10 sec.
  • Hour of Twilight - The Hour of Twilight falls upon Ultraxion's foes. Enemies caught within the Twilight Realm take 300000 unresistable Twilight damage. Enemies within the normal realm are instantly pulled back into the Twilight Realm. If two enemies are not hit by Hour of Twilight, the Aspects will take the full brunt of the attack, disrupting the shield protecting the Aspects and heralding the end of all life on Azeroth.
    • Looming Darkness - When struck by Hour of Twilight, powerful waves of Twilight energy course through the victim, rendering them more susceptible to the harmful effects of Hour of Twilight. Additional damage taken by Hour of Twilight will instantly kill the target.
  • Twilight Burst - When no targets are within range of his powerful claws, Ultraxion expels a powerful burst of Twilight energy, inflicting 75000 unresistable Twilight damage and increasing magical damage taken by 50% for 6 sec. Stacks up to 100 times.
  • Twilight Eruption - After 6 minutes have passed, Ultraxion's instability reaches uncontainable levels, erupting outwards as a massive explosion that destroys all nearby foes and Ultraxion himself.


  • Gift of Life - Alexstrasza creates a crystal of pure life energy. Activating the crystal imbues one healer with the essence of life itself, increasing healing done by 100% for the duration of the battle. The crystal has one charge. Only one buff granted by Alexstrasza, Ysera, or Kalecgos can be present on a player at any time.

  • Essence of Dreams - Ysera creates a crystal of dream energy. Activating the crystal imbues one healer with the power of dreams, which causes all healing done to be duplicated and distributed evenly amongst all friendly targets within yards for the remainder of the battle. The crystal has one charge. Only one buff granted by Alexstrasza, Ysera, or Kalecgos can be present on a player at any time.

  • Source of Magic - Kalecgos creates a crystal of amplified arcane energy. Activating the crystal imbues one healer with the essence of magic, reducing the mana cost of all spells by 75% and increasing spell haste by 100% for the remainder of the battle. The crystal has one charge. Only one buff granted by Alexstrasza, Ysera, or Kalecgos can be present on a player at any time.

  • Timeloop - Nozdormu captures all players within a finite timeloop. Any attack which would otherwise kill the player will instead bring them to 100% of maximum health and remove the Timeloop.

  • Last Defender of Azeroth - Thrall, now the Earth-Warder of Azeroth, blesses all tanks with the immovable strength of the ancient stones of the world. Reduces defensive cooldowns by 50% and increases defensive ability durations by 100%.

Warmaster Blackhorn
Though once vast in number, only a few dozen twilight dragons now remain. Astride these hardened survivors are the last vestiges of the Twilight's Hammer's army: the elite drake riders of Deathwing's personal escort. Led by the insidious Warmaster Blackhorn, they move with unholy purpose, driven to protect their dark master.

Stage One: Dragonriders, Attack!
Flying alongside the Skyfire and surveying the scene while his massive twilight drake lobs balls of destruction at the gunship, Warmaster Blackhorn gives the order for his elite dragonriders to swoop into battle.

  • Goriona - The massive twilight drake that is the mount of Warmaster Blackhorn himself.
    • Twilight Onslaught - Goriona unleashes a massive blast of dark energy at the Skyfire. Twilight Onslaught deals 800000 Shadow damage, divided evenly among all victims within its 10 yard radius, as well as the Skyfire itself. If the attack strikes the deck of the Skyfire without hitting any player, the gunship itself suffers the full damage.
  • Twilight Assault Drake - These drakes will strafe across the deck of the ship, depositing their fierce riders, and then retreat to a safe distance to bombard the gunship.
    • Twilight Barrage - The twilight drakes launch bursts of dark energy at the Skyfire. Twilight Barrage deals 200000 Shadow damage, divided evenly among all victims within its 5 yard radius. If the attack strikes the deck of the Skyfire without hitting any player, the gunship itself suffers the full 200000 damage instead.
  • Twilight Elite Dreadblade -
    • Blade Rush - The Dreadblade charges at the location of a random distant foe, dealing 80000 Physical damage to all enemies in its path.
    • Degeneration - The Dreadblade carves a swath of destruction with its dark sword, dealing 40000 Shadow damage to enemies in a frontal cone, and afflicting them with a lingering effect that deals 3000 Shadow damage every 2 sec for 1 min. Stacks.
  • Twilight Elite Slayer -
    • Blade Rush - The Dreadblade charges at the location of a random distant foe, dealing 80000 Physical damage to all enemies in its path.
    • Brutal Strike - The Slayer deals a vicious blow with its jagged sword, causing 150 Physical damage, and afflicting the target with a lingering effect that deals 3000 Physical damage every 2 sec for 1 min. Stacks.
  • Twilight Sapper - Sleek infiltrator drakes will airdrop goblins, strapped with powerful explosives, onto the deck of the ship. These Sappers will rush to breach the gunship bridge, where they can detonate their destructive payload for maximum effect.
    • Detonate - Upon reaching the Skyfire's bridge, the Sapper detonates his explosives, dealing 250000 Fire damage to enemies within 8 yards, and damaging the Skyfire itself for % of its total durability. This explosion is also fatal to the Sapper himself.
  • The Skyfire - This massive gunship, with Sky Captain Swayze at the helm, is equipped with numerous cannons and a pair of harpoon guns for its defense. While sturdy, the gunship is not indestructible, and it cannot be allowed to sustain too much damage, or the pursuit of Deathwing will come to an untimely end.
    • Harpoon Guns - The Skyfire is equipped with two repurposed harpoon guns, seized during its prior service in Northrend. During the battle, gunners will spear the Assault Drakes and reel them in, bringing them within reach for ranged attackers on the deck of the gunship. The drakes will strain against the line, eventually breaking free and returning to a safe distance. After a pause to reload, the harpoon gunners will then spear their target anew.

Stage Two: Looks Like I'm Doing This Myself
Once the Skyfire's defenders defeat three waves of dragonriders, Warmaster Blackhorn himself will leap down onto the deck of the gunship.

  • Warmaster Blackhorn
    • Devastate - Blackhorn sunders the target's armor, dealing 150% weapon damage and applying the Sunder Armor effect, reducing armor by 21% for 30 sec. Stacks.
    • Disrupting Roar - Warmaster Blackhorn screams fiercely, dealing 50000 Physical damage to all enemies, also interrupting the spellcasting of enemies within 10 yards for 8 sec.
    • Shockwave - Blackhorn strikes the ground, unleashing a wave of force that deals 100000 Physical damage to enemies in a 80 yard frontal cone, stunning them for 4 sec.
    • Vengeance - As Warmaster Blackhorn takes damage, he becomes increasingly deadly, dealing an additional percent damage for each percent of health he is missing.
  • Goriona - After depositing her master on the deck of the Skyfire, Goriona hovers alongside the Skyfire, raining destruction down on the adventurers.
    • Twilight Flames - Goriona fires a blast of dark energy at a random player, dealing Shadow damage to enemies in a $A1 yard radius. Twilight Flames lingers on the deck of the Skyfire, dealing 39000 Shadow damage to enemies within 7 yards every 1 sec for 0.001 sec.

Spine of Deathwing
When Deathwing first channeled the Dragon Soul's power against the other flights, the massive energies that were unleashed threatened to break apart his very body. Rather than forgo this weapon, he had adamantium plates fused to his scales to hold his body together. Later reinforced with elementium, these plates are now his weakness--the sole vulnerability to Deathwing's lethal presence.

Barrel Roll
Throughout the encounter, Deathwing tries to throw players from his back when he senses that they are all standing on the same side of his spine. During a barrel roll, all players and other creatures not attached to his back are thrown off.

Elementium Reinforced Plates
The glancing strike from the Dragon Soul has destroyed one of the large armor plates on Deathwing's back and loosened another three. All of these plates must be removed if Thrall is to have a chance to get a clear shot.

  • Burning Tendons - Burning Tendons are exposed when one of Deathwing's armor plates is pried up. Destroying these fibrous strands is the key to removing an armor plate.
    • Seal Armor Breach - When an armor plate is pried up, the Burning Tendons rapidly pull the plate closed, protecting the tendons from further damage and preventing the plate from flying off.

Deathwing's Immune System
The creatures that comprise Deathwing's Immune System emerge from the holes in his back left by torn off armor plates. Deathwing defends himself with increasing intensity as more plates are torn off.

  • Grasping Tendrils - These tendrils sprout from holes in Deathwing's back that aren't currently occupied by Corruption tentacles. Players that wander too close will be grasped, reducing their movement speed by 35% and inflicting 6500 Fire damage every 0 sec. until they move away. This effect prevents players from being thrown off Deathwing's back.
  • Corruption - These tentacles are dramatic physical manifestations of the Old God Corruption that runs rampant through Deathwing's body. They are the first to emerge from the holes in his back left by armor plates, and they seal the wound completely, preventing any other creatures from emerging from it.
    • Searing Plasma - Coats the victim in the searing blood of Deathwing. The thick blood will absorb up to 200000 healing done to the target and will cause the victim to cough up blood, periodically inflicting 10000 Physical damage.
    • Fiery Grip - Grips victims with a whip-like cord of plasma, stunning them for up to 30 sec and inflicting 50000 Fire damage every 5 sec. The corruption must channel to maintain this effect, and it may be broken by inflicting significant damage to the tentacle. This effect prevents players from being thrown off Deathwing's back.
  • Hideous Amalgamation - These unstable creatures are a patchwork of Elementium Armor fragments and pieces of the former Dragon's body held together by his molten blood.
    • Absorb Blood - Absorbs nearby Corrupted Blood residue. The Amalgamation grows more unstable with each Residue absorbed, increasing its damage by 10% and attack speed by 10%. At 9 stacks it will become superheated.
    • Superheated Nucleus - The core of the Amalgamation becomes critically unstable, causing it to inflict 15000 Fire damage to all enemies every 3 sec. If it is destroyed in this state it will trigger a Nuclear Blast.
    • Nuclear Blast - The superheated nucleus of the Amalgamation triggers a massive explosion, inflicting 375000 Fire damage to targets within 10 yds. This blast is powerful enough to pry up one of Deathwing's Elementium plates if it is within range.
    • Degradation - Destroyed Amalgamations degrade the maximum health of all enemy targets by 6%. This effect occurs regardless of the state of the nucleus and stacks up to 15 times.
    • Blood Corruption: Death - Deathwing's corruption courses through your veins. This corruption will take hold if it is not removed quickly, infecting the player with the Blood of Deathwing. When dispelled this effect jumps to a new target and can mutate into Blood Corruption: Earth.
      • Blood of Deathwing - The blood of Deathwing explodes violently from your veins, inflicting 875000 Fire damage to you and several other players.
    • Blood Corruption: Earth - A shadow of Neltharion courses through your veins. This corruption will take hold if it is not removed quickly, infecting the player with the Blood of Neltharion. When dispelled this effect jumps to a new target and can mutate into Blood Corruption: Death.
      • Blood of Neltharion - The barest hint of a shadow of the former Earth-Warder suffuses your blood. Damage taken from all sources is reduced by 10%. This effect can stack up to 3 times.
  • Corrupted Blood - These living globs of Deathwing's blood appear fragile, but leave behind an indestructible residue when killed.
    • Burst - Corrupted Blood explodes when destroyed, inflicting 20000 Fire damage to nearby enemies.
    • Residue - This indestructible residue is left behind when a Corrupted Blood is destroyed. It slowly creeps toward the nearest hole in Deathwing's Back where it will be reconstituted into a new Corrupted Blood.
by Published on 2011-10-18 12:04 AM

Update - Added a video of the creepy crate at the bottom of the news!

Hallow's End 2011 Updates and Changes
Hallow's End is going live today and the event received a couple of interesting upgrades ...

Masks are now sold by vendors
The masks required for A Mask for All Occasions are now sold by a vendor, it will obviously make the achievement considerably easier now that all you need to get a mask is 2 x Tricky Treat

Headless Horseman Loot
Like every year, the Headless Horseman is getting upgraded cataclysm-level loot!

Level Type Spec Slot Name
365SwordMeleeMain HandThe Horseman's Sinister Saber
365PlateMeleeHeadThe Horseman's Horrific Helmet
365FingerMeleeFingerSeal of the Petrified Pumpkin
365FingerPhysical DPSFingerBand of Ghoulish Glee
365FingerSpell DPSFingerThe Horseman's Signet
365FingerSpell SpiritFingerWicked Witch's Ring
20MountThe Horseman's Reins

Feline Familiar, Creepy Crate and Little Wickerman
The new Feline Familiar companion pet and Little Wickerman are available from vendors for 150 x Tricky Treat each!

It also seems that a new quest chain is available in Stormwind/Orgrimmar Inns, completing it will reward you with a nice Creepy Crate!

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