You're all going to ask, so here is your answer: most likely no. The latest PTR Maintenance was yesterday and as I write this post it's still going on because there is more work to do. I could be wrong but I really don't see it happening.
TheSpeedGamers Mario Marathon
If you read this site regularly you probably know that every now and then I like to mention of the Speed Gamers Marathon on the front page. I think I skipped the past 2 but an 8 days Mario Marathon is currently in progress and it's definitely worth mentioning.
The marathon is to support ACT Today (Autism and Care Treatment) and will last until Friday. As usual I'll keep the stream and the ChipIn widget on the front page for a while.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Raids & Dungeons
Caster Legendary in Cataclysm
Blizzard has already confirmed that the first tier of Cataclysm raiding will have a caster DPS legendary weapon. Probably a dagger.
I don't *think* we've confirmed that, but there was a lot of press last week so maybe somebody said something off the cuff.
We haven't put a legendary on the first tier of content the last two expansions. It just feels too soon and doesn't have the same impact when everyone is upgrading their gear so quickly from leveling.
We agree that it's probably the caster's turn when we do get around to adding one. I would be surprised if it was a dagger given that our artists like to have so much fun with the art -- even though Warcraft daggers are as large as claymores from other games, they're still relatively small. (Source)
Legendaries in 10 and 25-man raids
How legendaries will work out on a chance to obtain the items has yet to be determined. We are trying to avoid having one raid be the defacto better way to go simply based on gear and leave it up to the way players want to play. (Source)
Raid progress and shared 10/25-Man Raid ID in Cataclysm
I don't think it is that simple. Making raid progress is a really powerful motivator for a lot of players. While we design raiding to be much more inclusive than it used to be, we still want skill to be a big component. We don't want raiding to just be about who has the most free time, but who uses that time for the most progress. To be successful, MMOs need to had wide appeal. You should be able to have a professional or social life or (heaven forbid) other games you like to play and still feel like you can make progress in WoW.
The old BG model was one that essentially rewarded who played the most. Since some players were willing to play a ridiculous and unreasonable number of hours, the numbers were tuned around that to the point at which many players felt like the feature just wasn't for them. As you point out, they could have just made very slow progress, but in reality they felt so far behind that they chose not to participate at all. While the Arena design has its limitations, one of the things I like is that you can play your matches for the week and be done.
There are plenty of players who chose 25-player raiding over 10-player raiding and had no desire to kill a boss multiple times a week, but felt like they had to do so to earn badges and loot to stay competitive. We considered models such as letting you kill a boss as many times a week as you wanted but only having loot rights once, but then we realized how horrible that was going to be for say the guild's main tank who would be asked to raid constantly without even the hope for more loot of his own.
Really we're just trying to deliver on the original LK intent, which was you choose whether you like 10 or 25. (Source)
Amount of gear in 10/25-Man Raids
The amount of gear in the 25 person raids will be roughly equivalent on per-person basis to the 10 person raids. One thing to keep in mind it that we don't plan to allow players to upshift from 10s to 25s, only downshift from 25s to 10s on a given week.
The statements beforehand said that 25person would have more gear per person than 10s, so I wonder if "roughly equivalent" indicates a change in plans, or just not wanting to commit yet to either "exactly the same" or "more".
The number 6 per boss was being mentioned I believe, so slightly more I guess, but anything can change in testing so I wouldn't say that it is set in stone. But we all know you guys won't call us out if anything changes during a beta, right?
So basically there will be no real incentive (gear-wise at least) to run 25 man raids.
There are rewards like badges/gold for the additional coordination involved, but we are trying to avoid having gear be the reason that one style is better than the other.
Guild Perks / Leveling
Guild Talents "removal"
The only difference in the way we are handling the guild talents is it will be possible to get all of them instead of having one person in your guild pick and choose which ones you got. The feature has always focused on leveling your guild to unlock new perks. In fact, you're getting more perks this way than you would have if the decisions had been exclusive. (Source)
I understand not giving the GM all the power, but having a group customization would be fun.
But why would that be fun? Let's walk through it for a bit. Do you think it would be fun to try and recruit new members because you chose the "right" talent build? Do you think it would be fun to try and argue with your members about what the right talents were to take? Do you think it would be fun to feel like you should leave your guild because they took a lot of talents that didn't affect your play style? Those were all the problems we ran into as we started implementing things. Instead of the feature being exciting, it was causing a lot of anxiety for everyone here who was in a guild. Guilds are supposed to be about friends -- not min maxxing guild benefits. There are plenty other aspects of the game where you can min-max. (Source)
Guild Perks and Items rewards
There are two categories of rewards. The perks are things earned by the guild. If you join a high-level guild, you get those benefits immediately and you lose them if you bail on the guild. They are passive bonuses and a couple of spells, not items. Separately, there are also items you can purchase. The items are yours to keep even if you leave the guild. In order to discourage guild hopping, you have to make some kind of investment in the guild. But you can still choose to leave if in the future you just find that you'd rather be with someone else. (Source)
There are many ways to earn guild levels. We want to make sure nearly every existing guild has a shot at them all. The only question will be how fast you level. (Source)
Player vs. Player
We keep a lot of players in mind when designing these types of things which is why we want to make it easily accessible. The guild you are listed in has a rather large number of people and the guild leveling/achievement system will help support this. Being in a guild like this, it likely won't be difficult to find a few guildies to put together a team and hop in the rated BG queue. There will still be non-rated BGs much like they are today if that suits you better.
There likely won't be detriments for losing rated BG games, but the increase of rating for winning. (At least when you first get going in them). Yes, you need to win to get rewards. Rated BGs aren't meant to be a way to just casually and aimlessly get the best PvP gear in the game, but to reward those who compete (and win) on the grand scale of battlegrounds. (Source)
Joining Rated Battlegrounds
This was just mentioned above, but I'll reiterate just for the sake of it. You need to be in a full group to join the rated BG queue. The team can change every week, between every match, whenever you like. The rating you receive is personal and not team-based so it doesn't matter who else is in the group. (Source)
Levitate/Water Walking exploit in Battlegrounds
Water Walking and Levitate was indeed removed from Battlegrounds. This was done to prevent the exploit in Strand of the Ancient.
[...] You shouldn't be able to use it during the preparation phase. After the preparation phase, these spells should work normally. Also, the fix should not remove any active auras that are turned on during the preparation phase (i.e. Path of Frost, Paladin Auras, etc). (Source)
Worgens/Goblins Death Knight on Cataclysm release day
We weren't going to prevent goblin or worgen DKs from day one. The realm first feats are cool, but I'm not sure we should let them dictate what classes people can and can't play. The entire realm first thing is over in a day or two anyway.
The thread implies you guys heard something different though, possibly from the recent press event. (Source)
One safe way to check is to log into your account at http://battle.net and check the "Manage My Games" section. If you actually received a beta invite, it wouldn't be in the form of a key. Your account would simply be flagged and the Cataclysm logo would show up in the "Manage My Games" section, allowing you to install it.
This is the safest way to check without clicking on any links sent to you. With that said, we have not begun sending out beta invites yet to my knowledge. (Source)
Cutting features from the game
If you were a game developer, perhaps you'd make different choices in our shoes. It's a subjective business and if you were super passionate about guild talents, perhaps you could have come up with a model that solved all of our concerns. Sometimes those concerns are visible early and sometimes you really have to get into the meat of the implementation before you realize the problems. We think the Blizzard development model has worked pretty well for over 15 years. Part of that model is being willing to cut something (features, or even titles) that isn't working out, no matter how much effort we've put into them. Keeping a feature that didn't work but that was clearly the pet feature of some developer has marred several potentially good games.
[...] As I mentioned in the above response, we have killed entire games and even game worlds before. If you go back and look at previous expansions of World of Warcraft, and certainly vanilla, there were features on the list that eventually were scrapped or changed into something completely different. As with much of our design, the alternative is not to share any information until we are 100% sure it is going to come to pass. That would mean you would know almost nothing about Cataclysm at this stage though, which would also be pretty frustrating. Every good game studio I know cuts features (and titles!) all the time.
It's like sculpting in stone. It's like good writing. You carve away until what you have left is the best you can make it. (Source)
Hit and Defense Stats
As I've posted before, we like hit. It's the kind of thing that makes you pay attention to your gearing, because rather than just snatch up each item that's a higher ilevel than what you currently have, you have to actually look at the stats. You can't approach every decision with "I like hit, so if it has hit, I'll take it."
Defense was a different beast because it was serving as a barrier to entry. Mages and hunters can run a dungeon just fine without being hit-capped. Sure their damage will be lower, but not so low that they can't handle the content. Defense wasn't designed the same way -- a tank not at the defense cap risked dying on a boss fight and literally couldn't handle the content. If we had instead taken defense and stripped off the extra avoidance and changed it so that it decreased crit damage (so it made more of a smooth curve), then we probably could have kept it, even with an eventual cap. (Source)
Stealth in Cataclysm
Every rogue has the best stealth built in -- they have Master of Deception for free. Druids still have to talent Feral Instinct for it because we don't want every druid (read Balance and Restoration) to have uber stealth. (Source)
Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator)
Elemental and Restoration dual-wield in Cataclysm
Elemental and Resto are going to be pretty unlikely to want to dual-wield in Cataclysm. For the most part we want them using a one-handed caster weapon and shield. (Source)