MMO-Champion - Mini Deathwing, Southern Barrens, Blue Posts
Mini Deathwing
The latest beta patch added the model of the Mini Deathwing to the game. It could be the Collector's Edition pet but at this point there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in the game files to confirm that. Best viewed with something cute to hug in your arms. (I'm willing to volunteer for that depending on who you are)





Cataclysm Preview: Southern Barrens
Originally Posted by Slorkuz (Blue Tracker)

For our ongoing coverage of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we recently sat down with game designers Dave Kosak and Roman Marotte to ask them about the work they've done on the Southern Barrens, a once-familiar place drastically altered by Deathwing's return and the continuing struggle between the Horde and the Alliance.

Q. What was the original concept for the zone?
A. The Barrens is one of the areas of Kalimdor hardest-hit by the Cataclysm. It has literally been ripped in two! The Northern Barrens retains much of the feel of the original zone and fulfills a similar gameplay purpose: it's primarily a training ground for low-level Horde characters. That gave us enormous freedom to create a whole new gameplay experience for the Southern Barrens. In the wake of the Cataclysm, the Alliance has been aggressively expanding into the heart of the continent from the east coast. As players enter the zone, they'll find that the Horde is really up against the ropes. The escalating conflict between the two rival factions is front and center here, providing a backdrop for much of the area's quests.

Q. Who will be using this zone (what levels/factions)?
A. The Southern Barrens is geared toward Alliance and Horde characters from levels 30–35.

Q. Without giving up any spoilers, what's the general storyline for this zone? How has it changed from the original design?
A. "An eye for an eye" is the theme, with each side taking and losing ground, descending deeper and deeper into violent conflict. From the Horde perspective, players will learn the grim fate of Camp Taurajo and Honor's Stand. It's then up to the players to rally their faction's disorganized forces, initiate a change in local leadership, and avenge the sacking of Taurajo. The Alliance, meanwhile, struggles to hold on to recent gains, fending off attacks from all fronts. Players will also fight to save Northwatch Hold from the brink of capture and keep the roadways from Theramore open. Additionally, both factions have to deal with the explosive growth of a strange new jungle spreading across the Barrens. This is all entirely new content for the expansion.

Q. What do you think is the most exciting new addition to or feature of the zone?
A. Definitely the Alliance/Horde conflict, which really comes alive in the Southern Barrens. We tried to give players the feeling of participating in large PvP-style conflicts, even if they're playing solo. Alliance and Horde members will struggle to capture and defend key points of the battlefield against waves of enemy troops. New technology will allow players to experience the story in ways they never could have prior to Cataclysm. For example, the Horde assault on the fortress at Bael Modan, and its aftermath, should really pull players into the action by showing dramatic changes in the world.

Also, one word: Mankrik.

Q. What goes into redesigning a zone like this?
A. The Southern Barrens was a complete rework, so we really started from scratch, identifying the key areas of contention and then building a short storyline around each one. To accentuate the conflict, battles continually rage in hot spots around the zone. Finally, we put together a quest structure that throws players into the thick of those engagements. We invested a lot of effort into infusing the right emotions into the zone. If you're a Horde player, for instance, we want you to be completely outraged by what happened at Taurajo!

Q. So what has happened at Camp Taurajo? It appears to be in ruins.
A. That depends on whom you ask! Alliance players can speak to General Hawthorne at Forward Command and discover his reasoning for removing Taurajo from the Horde arsenal. On the other hand, if you speak to the various Horde leaders at Hunter's Hill, Camp Una'fe, or Vendetta Point, you'll hear a very different version of events. We suspect that debate over the ethics of this one will rage for some time.

Q. What was the most challenging aspect about implementing so many changes to an existing zone?
A. It was a real challenge getting the story to flow organically from the start of the zone to the climax. Key NPCs move around and are killed during the fighting; that's always tricky to pull off.

Q. What should players do or go see first?
A. Alliance players will definitely want to get to Northwatch Hold as soon as possible: it's about to fall to the Horde! Likewise, Horde players should check out the utter devastation at Taurajo. Someone... has got... to pay.

Q. Why is the Great Gate barring entry to and from the Barrens and Mulgore?
A. The Horde built the Great Gate in reaction to Alliance aggression from Dustwallow Marsh, including the construction of a highway running from Theramore straight to the Barrens. The gate was finished just in time: Alliance forces had penetrated all the way to the entrance of Mulgore, and the gate slowed them down long enough for the Horde to rally and launch a counterattack (with the player's help, of course!).

Q. Will you explain a bit about the emergence of the Overgrowth and the new Horde Camp Una'fe?
A. Players may be familiar with the story of Naralex, the ambitious druid who tried to reinvigorate the springs of the Wailing Caverns to return the Barrens to the lush expanse that it once was. His story continues in the Southern Barrens as he tries to contain and cope with the unintended consequences of his near-fatal exposure to the Emerald Nightmare. The uncontrolled growth in this part of the Barrens threatens the Alliance and the Horde alike. Teegan's Expedition in the east is stymied in its attempts to get Alliance supplies to the front, while at Camp Una'fe to the west, Taurajo's survivors find themselves overwhelmed as well.

Q. What are the Alliance forces at Forward Command and Fort Triumph and the Horde forces at Desolation Hold hoping to accomplish in the Southern Barrens by vying for control of the Battlescar?
A. Geography defines the conflict here. The Battlescar sits in the middle of a narrow pass, a natural bottleneck. The Alliance needs to blast its way through here in order to maintain an overland link between Theramore and Northwatch Hold, not to mention a route into the Stonetalon Mountains, where the Alliance can lend aid to its allies. If the Horde can seal off this pass, then Theramore will essentially be isolated. The conflict comes to a head in the Battlescar... and the future of Kalimdor may hinge on the outcome.

Thank you, gentlemen, for taking the time to discuss the work you've done to breathe new life and adventure into the Southern Barrens for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm!


Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Wrathgate/Battle for Undercity gone in Cataclysm
It's not bugged. The quest ends at the cinematic now. (Source)

AE Tanking skills cooldown
We just didn't like the direction we were heading where every tank had an ability to guarantee that incoming adds would head right for them, and every tank had an ability to do reflective damage that had literally no decision or skill on the part of the tank to employ.

Use your Consecrates, Shockwaves, Swipes and Death and Decay when they would have the most impact, not on cooldown. Get adds to stick to you because you use abilities at the right time, not because once a mob hits you, you generate free threat. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Shield of Righteousness outdated in current Beta Build
The actual tooltip says:

Slam the target with your shield, causing Holy damage. Consumes all applications of Holy Power to determine damage dealt:

1 Holy Power: 30% Attack Power
2 Holy Power: 60% Attack Power
3 Holy Power: 90% Attack Power

Shield Slam hits for 100% of attack power, but it's physical damage. On the other hand, it doesn't require a secondary resource.

[...] It's not Shield Slam and it's not intended to fill that role. I was merely offering that so players would have a point of comparison for the kind of numbers their attack should produce.

We had pulled SoR from the beta because it was one of the things that, in our minds, made the Prot paladin and warrior feel too similar. We wanted to bring it back because paladins like the ability, but we didn't want to bring it back as a Shield Slam clone.

[...] If you use Shield of the Righteous with 1 stack, you hit softer, which may not be that big a deal since you can do it again after the next Crusader Strike / Hammer of the Righteous. However a 1 stack Shield of the Righteous only grants 5% block, which may be less than you want. (Source)

Holy Shield
To add to my previous tooltip, here is Holy Shield. Remember it's a passive now.

Your Shield of the Righteous hits increase your block chance by 5% per stack of Holy Power consumed. Lasts 20 sec.

As far as the burst threat concerns go, use Avenger's Shield. It hits very hard in Cataclysm. (Source)

Words of Glory / Holy Shield
We're talking about 15% block here, not 15% damage reduction. Sure over the course of a fight, you'd notice 15% block. But if you let Holy Shield drop for a few seconds you have virtually no way to know if that would even affect the next several seconds of the fight. Would you have blocked anyway? Great! You didn't need the Holy Shield. Would the boss have hit you even with the extra 15% block? Bummer, you wasted Holy Shield. If it's a dragon breathing on you, then the block does nothing.

We want Prot to be able to use Word of Glory sometimes and we're evaluating the best way to make that happen. We don't want a model where Prot uses the heal on cooldown because then we just have to assume it's up all the time and it feels more like something you have to maintain instead of something you can use for emergencies. (Source)

We're less sure about Inquisition. It's fine if Ret is designed around keeping it up nearly all the time because they're only spending Holy Power on damage attacks otherwise. With Holy Shield though it might feel like Prot needs to keep two Holy Power-based things running, which is probably two much to ask of a tank. In the prior model you could choose Inquisition's damage instead of Holy Shield's mitigation, but with the new Shield of the Righteous model, we realize that's probably not going to happen so we need to evaluate if that's okay. (Source)

Divine Purpose and Holy Wrath
We changed Divine Purpose yet again (and probably not for the last time) so that it gives Holy Power on almost all specials. This is one of the major sources of unpredictability in the rotation, so we need to get the numbers right where getting extra Holy Power is fun and that the more skilled players can utilize it better.

We actually want Holy Wrath to feel like a filler. The reason is that we think it's bad gameplay when players have absolutely no gaps in their rotation. Our encounters get increasingly complex to the point where we often ask you to worry about extra things beyond your core rotation. We also don't want things that break up your rotation (like say a knockback or fear) to be horribly punitive (it can be punitive, but shouldn't destroy your dps relative to someone else's).

To use the specific example, Ret isn't going to want to skip over a Crusader's Strike or Templar's Verdict opportunity except under extreme duress. But missing a Holy Wrath once in awhile won't be devastating. It might be a dps loss, but it won't crater your dps. We want all of the classes to have the occasional GCD with nothing going on, so long as it is truly occasional and not constant. This is less important with casters because they do have short periods while casting to look around and notice the state of the encounter. With the live DKs for example, there is absolutely no time to do anything but mash buttons, or the whole rotation collapses. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Rage Scaling
Bloodrage and Berserker Rage have been off the GCD for ages. Rage has mattered at various points of WoW's history, and neither ability has strictly been used on cooldown in the past. It's a new mechanic causing the problems.
I disagree. I think it is just because rage actually matters as a resource, so things that provide rage now feel like very important buttons instead of convenience abilities. We could remove Raging Blow and Fury's mastery, and warriors would still smack Bloodrage on cooldown just because of rage normalization.

Currently, Deadly Calm is the only way to proc Inner Rage aside from auto-attacking for ~15 seconds. I'm not sure where the disconnect is. Lack of confidence in players' observations? We're certainly not trying to circumvent the limits and discipline of a rage system.
Players in beta are either in Icecrown-level epics or quest greens. Nobody has gemmed and enchanted Cataclysm raid gear, or even heroic blues yet. Rage won't scale with gear to the degree that it did in the old model, but it will most definitely scale. Haste, hit and crit all have a huge impact on rage generation, and you just aren't going to get high ratings for those until you're in endgame gear.

On a dummy in live (my benchmark for the leanest possible rage income), I'll only get into trouble if I start fooling around with Heroic Strike or Cleave. That is, I think, roughly how it should be.
Sure, but once you have Blackwing Descent raid gear, you're still going to have a lot more rage. If you never run into rage problems now unless you hit Heroic Strike, then you're going to hit pretty quickly the situation where you never run into rage problems even when you hit Heroic Strike. We normalized rage, but we didn't want to normalize it completely. Gear still makes a big difference for rage income -- just not damage per se.

If you can, at least consider the relative angle. I haven't tested Fury for a couple of builds; just whacked a dummy for ten minutes on a pre-made after doing the same with Arms, and it was like night and day. Granted, in its cozy epic-80 niche, Fury still has rage close to where it should be. I wasn't staring at greyed-out buttons unless I did something stupid. Really, really fun and free. Just couldn't get that with Arms.
Yeah, I'm actually more worried about things feeling good for Arms, because Arms just doesn't hit as frequently as Fury, so the income is going to feel spikier. (Source)

Bloodsurge
As I suggested recently, we have already reverted the Bloodsurge change. We don't want Slam to be that predictable. (Source)

Bloodrage and Berserker Rage on GCD
Bloodrage and Berserker Rage are on the global cooldown because warriors were just hitting them on cooldown now that rage is something they actually have to pay attention to. (Source)

We are hitting them on cooldown because right now we 100% NEED that rage due to the current rage system and the rage starvation going on while leveling. If the rage equation were tweaked so that we can sustain our rotations then we wouldn't need to be hitting them on cooldown.
This is going to be a tricky thing to nail, and we knew it would be. There are some warriors who interpret any limits on their ability to push their buttons as being rage starved. Yet if you literally never pay attention to the bar, then it isn't a resource at all. Your "sustain our rotations" could mean that you should always be able to hit every button when you want to. What is the role of rage in that model? We are taking a look at the ratings decay as you gain levels. Now that the talent trees have lost so much crit, haste and hit, they may be too steep. I just mention that as an example of the kind of thing that is going to affect rage generation. (Source)

And if you're worried about Bloodrage being used for activating Raging Blow, then make it not an enrage
It's not really Raging Blow. It's the fact that rage isn't unlimited any more, so now Bloodrage is attractive as a button to hit on cooldown. By contrast, Tiger's Fury is not used on cooldown because you can push it at the wrong time. The health cost isn't a serious consideration of Bloodrage, but eating up a special attack is. (Source)

Enrage Uptime
We're going to continue to iterate a lot on enrage uptime. We want Fury to be enraged a lot (say 60 to 75% of the time), but want them to have enough control so that if they run into an unlucky streak, they can use one of their buttons to become enraged. Enrage has a longer duration on our internal builds, but we still want to avoid it being up constantly. (Source)

[...] That's not really it. As I suggested above, we don't want Enrage to be up say 60% of time, allowing your cooldowns to then push enrage time up to 100% total. But if we make Enrage on a long duration that means it needs a really small proc chance, which shifts it from being unpredictable to being slot-machine-level random. I'm not worried that there is a sweet spot in there somewhere where you often get Enrage procs to fill in the time in between say Death Wish and Bloodrage. We'd rather lower the damage on the Enrage talent, since getting to the Enraged mechanic is also valuable, especially for Fury. (Source)

Bloodthirst
The 3 sec Bloodthirst cooldown definitely makes us nervous, because it leaves so few opportunities to do anything else in the rotation, so we're just going to have to watch it. (Source)

[...] We might try 4.5 sec too. We just want to make sure Fury has something to do within that window when they aren't enraged, and we don't want that something to be Whirlwind. We also don't want to add yet another new warrior attack just to fill that niche. (Source)

Booming Voice
It's fine for Booming Voice to be an optional talent. You can't view it strictly in terms of rage per unit time, because availability counts for a lot too. What I mean is if you had an ability that gave you 100 rage on a very long cooldown, it might not be as useful as something you could rely on more often. (Source)

Deadly Calm
The intent is that Deadly Calm will often proc Inner Rage when it has finished, However if you could use it while you were in Inner Rage then you'd just use Deadly Calm to get around the rage loss that Inner Rage is supposed to cause (and in fact, that might make the ability more limiting because you'd be dumb to use it anywhere else). (Source)

Titan's Grip vs. Single-Minded Fury
Don't worry about the relative damage increases of Titan's Grip versus Single-Minded Fury. We've made no attempt to balance those against each other and won't spend that effort until we're happy with the basic rotation, which we aren't just yet. (Source)

Heroic Strike
If you have 30 rage and Bloodthirst is on cooldown, then you'll probably hit Heroic Strike. (Source)

Recklessness still on GCD
There probably isn't a good reason for it to be, to be honest. We'll discuss changing it. (Source)

Fury Rotation
Yeah, the windows are what we're going for. It might be that 6-10 sec duration feels better.

It should be something like this:

No enrage: Bloodthirst, Heroic Strike, Colossus Smash, Slam procs.

Enrage: Bloodthirst, Raging Blow, Colossus Smash, Slam procs, with Heroic Strike just for excess rage. (Source)

Concept Arts
2 New pieces of Concept Arts have been added to the Official Gallery



Fan Arts
4 New pieces of Fan Arts have been added to the Official Gallery



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This article was originally published in forum thread: Mini Deathwing, Southern Barrens, Blue Posts started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 150 Comments
  1. Rycul's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DrgnDancer View Post
    At a guess, Undercity is being sufficiently redesigned that it ceases to make any kind of sense. They could phase it of course, but it would be really jarring running through "Old Undercity" just for the one questline. Anyone in beta that can verify if UC looks a lot different?
    The undercity during the Wrathgate quest is the same as the one you run around in normally. The only difference is that npc´s and objects are phased. The physical location of the zone and your character are the exact same ones as when you are in the ´normal´ Undercity.

    So if they change anything in Undercity, you will most likely see this in the Wrathgate version as well since it´s the same place anyway. I say ´most likely´ because come Cataclysm, Blizzard is able to phase terrain as well, meaning that technically one phase could look entirely different from another, but that´s probably not how Blizzard intends to use it
  1. Anticaster's Avatar
    Jay Leno Mini pet. Southern Barrens seems like it will have a lot more to do and gets lower level players more involved with the horde vs alliance war.
  1. dotSeed's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Civfanata View Post
    I await the weeks of blue "spam" over say mages and warlocks. Shall we complain then that there is no love for warriors and pallys?

    Maybe they see the need to do warriors and pallys as they are two tank classes and once they are hammered out they can dare I say balance the dps around their CDs and tanking abilities? And we get the extra dps/healer flavors because they can do those roles too?

    Patience they will be coming.
    This. There's no point in trying to balance all four tanking classes at once whilst tank design as a whole is in flux, so it makes sense they're hammering out their plan (less passive, thoughtless threat/AOE), see how it plays out, and then moving on to the next batch of classes. Everyone will get their love, people need to quit it with the paranoia.
  1. Kamata's Avatar
    Awesome! Hugz tiem!
  1. pomr's Avatar
    It really doesn't matter which classes they focus on initially -- people will cry and piss and moan if one of them isn't their class. 8)

    Do I want to see more on Shaman and Rogues? Of course! But they are focused on Paladins and Warriors, as has been mentioned probably due to tanking and how it affects everyone else. I wouldn't be surprised to see them focus next on Druid and DKs to tune their tank functionality, and then move on to Healing classes.

    That's how I'd do it anyway.

    TL;DR: They need to do every class; it will take time, and they don't have unlimited resources to work with.
  1. Tang's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zazazazazaza View Post
    " It could be the Collector's Edition pet but at this point there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in the game files to confirm that."
    You shouldn't need game files to tell you, because it's common sense. They like to do mini dragons as CE pets, and Deathwing is the big bad, so of course it's going to be mini Deathwing. It was easy to guess before we even knew there was a mini Deathwing model.
  1. Taeloria's Avatar
    Here's the thing I see coming across from the pally boards though

    Player: "Waaahhhh Blizz we're too easy to play, all we do is smash buttons that aren't on CD"

    Blizz: "Ok, we'll make them more complex" Introduces new resource system

    Player: "F you blizz you're making them too hard"

    Seems no matter what blizz throws out people will never be satisfied.

    On another note, about the UC questline, considering how the quests in UC and surrounding areas at 1-60 take place post Varimathras' defeat and Lich King's death, I can actually see why it was taken out. Even though I myself wonder how they're going to work that out chronologically wise with Deathwing...now go back in time and stop Illidan's and LK's forces, now come back and finish the job against Deathwing, I don't see how they could do a "Oh yeah, btw a guy that died 2 years ago is back and trying to take over Undercity"

    And please no "was merely a setback" moments again blizz.
  1. Rogge's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pomr View Post
    It really doesn't matter which classes they focus on initially -- people will cry and piss and moan if one of them isn't their class. 8)
    Is this initially? Since we're over a month into the beta and still only covering two classes, that would mean we got 4+ months of the beta left. What a disappointment.
  1. Crumpet's Avatar
    omg omg omg IT'S SO FUCKING CUUUUTE I WANT ONE I WANT*explodes*
  1. Vook's Avatar
    Great. Just great. Now I'm going to have perverted thoughts about BQL every time I fight her!
  1. Zombikilla's Avatar
    Any1 else remember when a very similar pet was shown on these forums as a photoshopped version of the Onyxia Whelp? they look too similar if memory serves me right.....
  1. Clockwork Pinkie's Avatar
    It's the Jay Leno of pets.
  1. pomr's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rogge View Post
    Is this initially? Since we're over a month into the beta and still only covering two classes, that would mean we got 4+ months of the beta left. What a disappointment.
    I expect that things will move faster once they get the really hard to balance and complex healing/tanking classes done. The scope of the changes they're making are immense. Just hang in there, they're making progress!
  1. PsychoRaven's Avatar
    I have to say It really saddens me that Blizzard is removing one of the most awesome quests in the game. I've done Battle for the Undercity several times and just love it. I was really looking forward to taking my new characters I'll role in Cataclsym through it.
  1. enh's Avatar
    More importantly is warrior and paladin the only class in cataclysm because the amount of effort they put in those two classes is starting to get ridiculous.
  1. pomr's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by PsychoRaven View Post
    I have to say It really saddens me that Blizzard is removing one of the most awesome quests in the game. I've done Battle for the Undercity several times and just love it. I was really looking forward to taking my new characters I'll role in Cataclsym through it.
    Calling it a Quest is a bit generous, though I suppose one of the breadcrumb thingies is just as dull, though at least they're done quicker. It is at best a spectator event, seriously - what's to love about it? You get to wait forever and a day for the thing to start, if it doesn't bug on you, and then you get some buffs that essentially make you unkillable while the NPCs do all the stuff that has effects. You don't actually have any impact on the events that transpire. Might as well be another cutscene.

    Boring. Boring. BORING.

    I love that they're getting rid of it. <3
  1. Cordae's Avatar
    I MUST HAVE IT. IT MUST BE MINE!

    ... also. The reason there's so much Paladin and Warrior talk?

    They QQ the loudest. :3
  1. Niero123's Avatar
    Oh come on. The Pet is a disgrace
  1. Thorinair's Avatar
    I think it will be like this:
    You will no longer be able to get any pet in game or with collector's edition. Instead, you will have to buy them off the pet store. Including Mini Deathchin.

    ... :P
  1. cogzwell's Avatar
    It's obviously the real final raid boss

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