MMO-Champion - Hunter & DK Pet Changes, Archaeology, Blue Posts
Cataclysm Beta - Build 12942 Hunter Pet Changes
This build revamped most of the pets abilities with a very simple goal, make pets useful. The result is a more active pet for Death Knight, and an insane amount of possible raid buffs for hunters depending on what pet they have. Yes, they also have Heroism/Bloodlust if they're specced in Beast Mastery.

If you ever dreamed about your pet having tons of possible abilities, your dream probably looked a lot like this list.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Hunter (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Utility Abilities
(Pets with a - E are exotic pets tameable only by Beast Mastery Hunters)

Bloodlust / Heroism
  • Ancient Hysteria (Core Hound - E) - Increases melee, ranged, and spell casting speed by 30% for all party and raid members. Lasts 40 sec.
    Allies receiving this effect will become Sated and be unable to benefit from Bloodlust or Time Warp again for 10 min. / Instant, 6 min cooldown

Healing
  • Spirit Mend (Spirit Beast - E) - The Spirit Beast heals the currently friendly target for {1237.75+((RAP*0.35)*0.5)} plus an additional {475.97+((RAP*0.35)*0.335)} over 10 sec. / 25 yd range, Instant, 40 sec cooldown

Stat Boost (BoK)
  • Embrace of the Shale Spider - Fills all friendly party and raid members with the Shale Spider's embrace, increasing Strength, Agility, Stamina, and Intellect by %. / Instant

Stamina Buff

Critical Strike Buff
  • Furious Howl (Wolf / Dog) - The wolf lets out a furious howl, increasing the critical strike chance of all party and raid members by 5%. / Instant, 45 sec cooldown
  • Terrifying Roar (Devilsaur - E) - The devilsaur lets out a terrifying roar, increasing the critical strike chance of all party and raid members by 5%. / Instant, 45 sec cooldown

Casting Speed Reduction
  • Lava Breath (Core Hound - E) - Your pet breathes a double gout of molten lava at the target, reducing the target's casting speed by 25% for 10 sec. / 30 yd range, Instant, 8 sec cooldown (No longer deals damage)
  • Spore Cloud (Sporebat) - Dusts nearby enemies with spores, reducing all enemy targets within 6 yards casting speed by 25% for 9 sec. / 6 yd range, Instant, 12 sec cooldown

Attack Speed Reduction
  • Dust Cloud (Tallstrider) - Your tallstrider kicks up an obscuring cloud of dust, causing all enemies within 10 yards to have their melee and ranged attack speed reduced by 20% for 8 sec. / 5 yd range, Instant, 40 sec cooldown
  • Tailspin - Your fox twirls its tail around, kicking up an obscuring cloud of dust, causing all enemies within 10 yards to have their melee and ranged attack speed reduced by 20% for 8 sec. / 5 yd range, Instant, 40 sec cooldown

Movement Speed Reduction
  • Ankle Crack (Crocolisk) - Snap at the target's feet, reducing movement speed by 50% for 6 sec. / 5 yd range, Instant, 10 sec cooldown (Replaces Bad Attitude)
  • Frost Breath (Chimaera - E) - Your pet simultaneously breathes frost and lightning at an enemy target, slowing the target for 5 sec. / 30 yd range, Instant, 10 sec cooldown (No longer deals damage)
  • Time Warp (Warp Stalker) - Slows time around the enemy, reducing their movement speed by 50% for 6 sec. / 25 yd range, Instant, 15 sec cooldown

Healing Debuff
  • Monstrous Bite (Devilsaur - E) - Your devilsaur ferociously bites the enemy, reducing the effectiveness of any healing received by 25% for 8 sec. / 5 yd range, Instant, 8 sec cooldown

Root
  • Venom Web Spray (Silithid - E) - Sprays toxic webs at the target, preventing movement for 5 sec. / 30 yd range, Instant, 40 sec cooldown (Up from 4 sec, no longer deals damage)
  • Web (Spider) - Encases the target in sticky webs, preventing movement for 5 sec. / 30 yd range, Instant, 40 sec cooldown

Silence / Interrupt
  • Serenity Dust (Moth) - The moth's wings produce a cloud of dust that interrupts the enemies spellcasting and preventing any spell in that school from being cast for 2 sec. / 25 yd range, Instant, 1 min cooldown

Armor Reduction (Sunder Armor)
  • Tear Armor (Raptor) - Tears at the enemies armor with the raptor's talons, reducing it by 4%. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts 30 sec. / 5 yd range, Instant, 6 sec cooldown
  • Corrosive Spit (Serpent) - Spits poison at an enemy, corroding their armor, reducing it by 4%. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts 30 sec. / 30 yd range, Instant, 6 sec cooldown

Increased Bleed Damage
  • Gore (Boar) - Your boar gores the enemy, causing it to take 30% additional damage from bleed effects for 15 sec. / 5 yd range, Instant, 10 sec cooldown
  • Tendon Rip (Hyena) - Tears at an enemy's legs, increasing damage taken from bleed effects by 30% for 15 sec. / 5 yd range, Instant, 10 sec cooldown

Increased Magic Damage
  • Fire Breath (Dragonhawk) - Breathes Fire on the target, increasing magic damage taken by 8% for 45 sec. / 40 yd range, Channeled, 30 sec cooldown
  • Lightning Breath (Wind Serpent) - Breathes lightning, increasing magic damage taken by 8% for 45 sec. / 40 yd range, Channeled, 30 sec cooldown

Increased Physical Damage
  • Acid Spit (Worm - E) - Your worm spits acid, causing the enemy target to take an increased 4% physical damage for 25 sec. / 20 Focus, 30 yd range, Instant, 10 sec cooldown
  • Ravage (Ravager) - Violently attacks an enemy, causing the enemy target to take 4% increased physical damage for 25 sec. / 5 yd range, Instant, 15 sec cooldown

Stun
  • Sonic Blast - Emits a piercing shriek, stunning the target for 2 sec. / 20 yd range, Instant, 1 min cooldown (No longer deals damage)
  • Sting (Wasp) - Your wasp stings the target, stunning them for 2 sec. / 5 yd range, Instant, 45 sec cooldown

Physical Damage Reduction
  • Demoralizing Roar (Bear) - The bear roars, reducing the physical damage caused by all enemies within yards by 10% for 15 sec. / 5 yd range, Instant, 10 sec cooldown

Disarm
  • Clench (Scorpid) - The scorpid clenches the enemy's weapon with its talons, and disarming their main hand and ranged weapons for 10 sec. / 5 yd range, Instant, 1 min cooldown

DPS Abilities
  • Bite - Bite the enemy, causing {187.74+((RAP*0.35)*0.40)} damage. / 25 Focus, 5 yd range, Instant, 3 sec cooldown
  • Claw - Claw the enemy, causing {187.74+((RAP*0.35)*0.40)} damage. / 25 Focus, 5 yd range, Instant, 3 sec cooldown
  • Smack - Smack the enemy, causing {187.74+((RAP*0.35)*0.40)} damage. / 25 Focus, 5 yd range, Instant, 3 sec cooldown

Cataclysm Beta - Build 12942 Death Knight Pet Changes
I already mentioned that the Death Knight's ghoul is already getting an overhaul in this patch. Unholy Death Knights can pick the Shadow Infusion and Dark Transformation talents.

If the Death Knight uses Death Coil 5 times and activates Dark Transformation, the ghoul gains a 100% damage buff and a new set of skills for 30 seconds.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
  • Gnaw becomes - Strike an enemy with a smashing attack, dealing 125% of normal melee damage and stunning for 4 sec.
  • Huddle becomes - Unleash a fortifying roar, reducing all damage taken by 50% for 10 sec.
  • Claw becomes - Rakes an enemy with deformed claws, dealing 150% of normal damage to the target and up to 2 additional targets.
  • Leap becomes - Charge an enemy, interrupting spellcasting and immobilizing them for 2 sec.




Golden King Video Preview
Kody released a short video preview of the Golden King, the Alliance lion guild mount. It currently costs 200 gold and require your guild to have the Dungeon Diplomat achievement. The blank spot on the lion is supposed to display your guild tabard but it is currently bugged on beta realms.



How Archaeology works
Ghostcrawler explained how Archaeology works on official forums, there is also a very nice post from MortalWombat on our forums with a couple of extra information and tons of screenshots.

Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler (Blue Tracker)
Archaeology just went in this build for the first time and we don't yet have any of the support around it to teach players what to do. It has been informative to watch players learn to swim by drowning, but we thought it was time to offer a little more direction.

Digsites
Once you train archaeology, you can see digsites on your map (not your minimap - your map). There are always 4 digsites per continent. These will not change until you dig one out. Most of the time, you're probably only going to be concerned with the 4 sites on your current continent, but at higher character and archaeology skill levels, there will be 16 sites active at one time (4 each in Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor, Outland and Northrend.)

You will only find sites in zones of your level or lower. A level 25 player will have all 4 sites per continent in level 25 zones. (This means Outland and Northrend will have no sites at this time.) A level 80 player will have all 4 sites in any zone. A low level Kalimdor player might have sites in Ashenvale and Stonetalon, while a level 82 might have Uldum, Ashenvale, Stonetalon and Silithus.

Sites are race specific. You can usually guess the race by the location. Kalimdor tends to have a lot of night elf ruins. Eastern Kingdoms tends to have a lot of dwarf ruins.

Some races are only available on some continents (such as orc and draenei on Outland). You need to have a minimum character level and a minimum archaeology level to use these. Currently you can see them if you are a certain character level but can't gather from them until your archaeology skill is higher. For Outland, the skill is 300. While somewhat consistent with other gathering skills, we think this is confusing and we will change it so that you don't even see the digsites until your archaeology skill is sufficiently high. Tol'vir artifacts are the most rewarding, but also require near max archaeology skill to recover.

Some players are reporting some issues with digsites not showing up correctly. We'll look into these bugs.

Unlike other gathering skills, digsites are player-specific. Other players will be searching in different locations. There is no competition for digsites.

Fragments
Each digsite can be searched 3 times before it despawns and a new site spawns. If there is a digsite somewhere too far away from you or otherwise inconvenient, just ignore it and hit the closer ones. You won't run out.

To search a digsite, use the Survey ability. The survey tool will spawn and point in the approximate direction of the artifact. Red means you're far away. Yellow means you're close. Green means you may be within 40 yards or so. When you discover your find, you'll get fragments specific to a particular race.

There are two main strategies to surveying. You can attempt to triangulate by moving around the outer edge of a digsite. (Like quest blobs, the digsites are not necessarily circular.) Other players just keep surveying, heading in the direction the tool points until they strike paydirt.

Remember, the thing you uncover is yours. There is no competition with other players and nobody can gank your node.

Artifacts
Whenever you get a new fragment for a race, you'll start a research project. You can only work on one artifact per race at a time. When you have enough fragments, click Solve to complete that artifact. You won't waste excess fragments -- they will just start the next project. You can be working on one project for each race at a time.

Most artifacts are common. These give you a little bit of lore or flavor text and an item you can sell for a small profit (presumably to a museum!) The profit increases as the value of the artifact increases. You can estimate this by the number of fragments needed to finish the artifact. You will only find cheaper artifacts at low level, but you can find cheap and valuable artifacts at higher level (the reason for this is we want players to be able to find all the artifacts if they want to). You won't find a second copy of a common object until you have found all the artifacts of that race. If you get stuck at a certain skill level of archaeology or character level, you may find an artifact more than once until you reach the next tier.

Some artifacts are rare. These always make a blue or purple item. Many of these have no in-game power and are toys or for flavor. Some of them are actual weapons and armor. The latter items are all bound to account. They aren't heirlooms in that they don't scale, but you can pass them around. So if you are level 80 and you find a level 60 axe, you can always have another character use it when they are level 60. You will never get a rare artifact more than once.

The future
We designed archaeology to be easily expandable, so we plan to add much more content in future patches, including new races to research (though to be fair, there's a sizable amount of content already). We also have a feature that is not available on beta yet, that allows you to use your archaeology skill for a slight (think Fish Feast-level) bonus in the Cataclysm dungeons.
Random Character Services Buttons
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
In the latest build players will notice paid character services buttons appear next to characters at random on the Character Selection screen. These are the buttons you would normally see after purchasing any service, such as race, realm, or faction changes, or character customization. If a character service button shows up next to one of your characters, you can click it to make use of a free race change or character customization (faction change coming soon). You can make use of these buttons as often as you like, but the services for which you’re selected are randomly chosen for you and will update every hour. So, say if you don’t want to change your race but would like to customize your appearance on a specific character, you will need to wait for the right button to appear.

Please note that these buttons are only for beta testing purposes and are not intended to be released for free on live realms. We want beta testers to stress test our paid services so we can ensure they are operating smoothly when World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is released.

New Flight Skill
Just in case you missed it.
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
We’ve added a new flying skill called Flight Master's License. When World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is released, players who purchase the expansion will see this skill available from flight trainers for 250 gold once they reach level 60. This new skill is required for flying around all Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms zones, including the new level 80-85 zones.

Battleground Titles and Achievements
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
Honor titles have been added into World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. These titles are earned when specific Battleground Achievements are completed, and are triggered when specific Battleground rating milestones are met. The titles remain the same as the original PvP titles, however, players who obtained these titles from the original Battleground ranking system will not lose them. The Feats of Strength associated with the original titles have been altered slightly to denote that they were earned under the old system, although the titles themselves remain the same.

As of now, the first ranks -- Private for Alliance and Scout for Horde -- are earned when a player reaches a Battleground rating of 1100. The ranks increase every 100 rating points, up to Grand Marshal/High Warlord at 2400 rating. Titles earned through the new system are yours to keep and will not be wiped with each season.

In addition, all-new titles and Achievements will be added for top performers. Hero of the Alliance and Hero of the Horde will be awarded to players who finish a season in the top .5% of the rated Battleground ladder. These titles will be wiped at the end of each new season, however, a new Achievement will be awarded to players who earn this title each season. Let’s see how many seasons in a row you can stay in the top .5%!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Player vs. Player
Rated Battlegrounds Min Level
It's limited to 85's. (Source)

"Old" Battleground Titles back in Cataclysm
As you noted in your edit, the original titles are not going to be taken away from players who already have them. The Feats of Strength associated with the old titles will be changed slightly to more clearly distinguish them from the Achievements associated with the returning titles.

Here's a brief rundown of how the rated Battleground titles will function in Cataclysm, and how the original titles can be earned by players who did not have a chance to participate in the original ranking system:

As of now, the first ranks -- Private for Alliance and Scout for Horde -- are earned when a player reaches a Battleground rating of 1100. The ranks increase every 100 rating points, up to Grand Marshal/High Warlord at 2400 rating. Titles earned through the new system are yours to keep and will not be wiped with each season.

In addition, all-new titles and Achievements will be added for top performers. Hero of the Alliance and Hero of the Horde will be awarded to players who finish a season in the top .5% of the rated Battleground ladder. These titles will be wiped at the end of each new season, however, a new Achievement will be awarded to players who earn this title each season.

Let’s see how many seasons in a row you can stay in the top .5%! (Source)

Guild Leveling / Perks
Guild Perks on Beta
All guild perks should be working as of today's build except for Happy Hour and Chug-A-Lug. These will both be active in our next build. (Source)

Mobile Guild Bank requirements
You need Friendly guild faction to use the mobile guild bank. That is updated in the tooltip for the next build. There is currently a bug where it is set to friendly. (Source)

Guild Raids & Dungeons Achievements
In general we require 80% of the group to be comprised of guild members. There are exceptions to this case though like 40 man raids and arenas. All the gritty details below are below.
4/5 - dungeons
8/10 - 10 player raid, 10 player BG
20/25 - 25 player raid, 25 player BG
10/40 - 40 player raid
12/15 - 15 player BG
2/2, 3/3, 5/5 - Arenas (Source)

Guild leveling on beta
This feedback is extremely useful guys, please keep it coming. A few things to note:

-XP is currently not being earned for all the dungeons, only Throne of the Tides, Blackrock Caverns and The Stonecore are giving XP. In our next build, ALL dungeons going back to classic will give guild XP. Guild XP gained from bosses is based on the bosses level and is modified by things like the number of players in your party/raid and if the encounter is heroic or not.

-XP is currently not being given out for rated BG's. (obviously, since they are not on beta)

-XP is currently not being given out for Achievements. This will also be implemented in our next build. Note that guild achievements give large amounts of XP at a time and for this reason, they will not respect the daily cap.

-XP for quests if working correctly and most of your leveling has been based off of this alone so far.

-As far as rep gain goes, you need to remember that rep gain is based on your guild xp contribution. As you can see from my notes above, you currently only have one way to contribute, quests. Once our next build goes live and you can earn guild XP from boss kills, this rate should increase. You can expect a similar increase from rated BGs. Before you ask, guild achievements do not grant guild rep since they are earned by the entire guild.

Hope this helps and keep that feedback coming! (Source)

Mage (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Arcane Blast changes in Build 12942
It goes a little beyond that, as the arcane blast debuff only affects arcane blast. Essentially, arcane blast is the highest sustained dps (but unsustainable in terms of mana), followed by arcane barrage, followed by arcane missiles (which is very close to arc barrage in dps, and free of course).

So, from the standpoint of a boss fight arcane is less about a constant rotation, and more about optimizing your mana bar to the fight you're involved in (with a little rng in the mix). (Source)

Combustion
In the next beta build combustion's instant damage is guaranteed to crit. Not only does this mean ignite is guaranteed to be instantly re-applied but also that you have a shot at a hot streak to re-apply pyro. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Selfless Healer
The damage buff to Selfless Healer is intended to make using Word of Glory less of a dps loss. It's just giving you back some change. It isn't intended to be a mandatory talent, and it would be hard to keep the buff duration up all the time time anyway. (Source)

[...] If you had read a little more before running to the forums (armed with only data-mined information I might add), you would have seen that using Selfless Healer will still be a dps loss. That is the intent. The change is just to make it less of a dps loss than it was previously. Giving up a Templar's Verdict is a lot for a paladin. (Source)

Inquisition
You should use Inquisition when you need to AE tank, since it will boost the damage on Consecrate and the Holy portion of Hammer of the Righteous. You should use Shield of the Righteous on single targets. If you get a proc, you might decide to use Shield of the Righteous even on larger groups. (Source)

Holy Paladin "nerf"
What you call nerfs (and buffs) I call class balancing that is being done during beta. End result will be a working class that can fulfill it's role.
Yeah, pretty much this. Since you don't really have anything to compare it to (in that you aren't seeing your character on live suddenly healing for less than she did the day before), it's hard to get too upset over seeing numbers go down. Some of the numbers are just too high right now. It will all even out before we're done. (Source)

[...] We wanted going to melee to benefit from Seal of Insight to be an option you might consider on some fights. With the previous numbers, you would be stupid to play any other way, which was not our intent.

We were seeing too many paladins use nothing but Holy Shock -> Word of Glory and be effective at doing so. The intent was to give paladins more healing spells to use in Cataclysm, and this mechanic was dominating too much. It will still be quite effective.

The other concerns seem to be about mana and throughput number changes. It's too early to worry about those yet. It will be some time before we feel like the numbers are stable enough. We'll make sure paladins have about the same mana regen as the other healers. (Source)

Does Haste affects Judgement of the Wise/Bold?
Yes. (Source)

Sanctified Wrath (Yep, I screwed up. Rank 3 didn't change = didn't show up on my side. You can call me stupid)
* Sanctified Wrath is now a Tier 4 talent, down from Tier 5. Now increases the critical chance of Hammer of Wrath by 20/40%, down from 25/50% and reduces the cooldown of Avenging Wrath by 20/40 secs, down from 30/60 secs.
I *think* this is a data-mining error. This implies we removed rank 3, which we have not done. It's still 60% / 60 sec at max ranks. (Source)

Seal of Command
It improves the damage of these 3 Seals. The cleave only applies to Righteousness. (Source)

Art of War Change
The overall damage is lower than TV now, which was the goal. (Source)

Retribution Mana management
Ret doesn't need a lot of mana to do the basic rotation. They were getting so much mana that they were doing things like casting Exorcism a lot, using Consecrate on cooldown and using expensive heals. A little of that is okay, but it should be a bonus when you get a lot of mana, not something you do all the time. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Shield Slam Damage
We need to shift some of the damage from Shield Slam to Devastate and Revenge. It's fine that it hits like a monster, but it shouldn't totally dwarf everything else. (Source)

Heroic Strike in SMF on Beta = Bug
Heroic Strike doesn't interact with either Bloodsurge or Single Minded Fury.

Bloodsurge can only be proc'd by Bloodthirst. SMF only affects Slam (and damage). The latter just has some goofy tooltip bug in your build. (Source)

Haste scaling
Not everything needs to scale with haste (or crit for that matter). They just need to scale well enough that A) the stat isn't viewed as garbage on gear, or B) that Fury (in this case) doesn't blow past Arms at high gear levels.

[...] Haste does not affect Rend ticks. Our general philosophy is that melee dots do not need to be sped up. Melee benefits from haste by generating more resources. Thus, there should be no Taste for Blood losses with haste. Rend can crit however.

Since I can probably guess the question that will get asked next, Slam also won't scale with haste. However, we have changed Blood Frenzy from being passive haste to a chance that your autoattacks will generate extra rage. This should help Arms scale with haste a little better, as well as give Arms a slightly less predictable rage income (in the way that crit used to deliver, but without the crit scaling problems).

We're not worried about Heroic Strike ever beating Slam. If that happens, it's just a tuning problem easily solved.

[...] We want haste to apply to as close to 100% of your damage as possible. For casters it always applied to cast time spells. Now it also applies to dots. For melee, it improves your auto attack damage but also grants you more resources, therefore improving your special attacks as well. (Source)

Cataclysm Zone Q&A: Ashenvale
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

Q. What was the original concept for the zone?
A. The concept for Ashenvale was to show the effects of the Cataclysm while taking the opportunity to streamline the zone's level design. There were areas of Ashenvale that were pretty unfriendly in terms of accessibility and quest flow. The level designers and quest designers worked together to alleviate the problem areas and highlight the big changes.

Q. Who will be using this zone (what levels/factions)?
A. Both Horde and Alliance players, roughly from levels 20–25. We anticipate that this will be a well-traveled zone in terms of general player flow.

Q. Without giving up any spoilers, what's the general storyline for this zone? How has it changed from the original design?
A. Among other catastrophes, an enormous volcano has erupted in central Ashenvale. As the night elves struggle to deal with the chaos caused by the Cataclysm, the Horde is seizing what it perceives to be a golden opportunity. Garrosh Hellscream's forces are now bearing down upon the night elves and have overtaken several key positions that once served as Alliance strongholds. There is a definite feeling that the balance of power in this region now teeters on a goblin tripwire….

These changes also mean that Horde players will have much more to do in Ashenvale.

Q. What do you think is the most exciting new feature of the zone?
A. Visually, it has to be the volcano. It's stunning, and it provides a great landmark in a place otherwise known for its dense forest. Thematically, the tension present in the zone gives it a whole new feel. The Horde is barricaded inside the walls of Splintertree Post under a massive assault by the night elves and their allies. Meanwhile, Astranaar is desperately fighting off waves of Hellscream's forces. Practically everywhere you go in Ashenvale, it's impossible to escape the fact that it has become a warzone.

Q.What goes into redesigning a zone like this?
A. A bit more than meets the eye, we think. Ashenvale is deceptively large, and previously there were many issues in terms of quest flow and Horde/Alliance content balance. Soon after we rolled up our sleeves and broke ground, we realized that our work was cut out for us. There were numerous quests we wanted to keep, but there were also a great many that no longer fit or didn't play out efficiently. We also needed to create a variety of new quests, especially ones "For the Horde"™.

Q. What was the most challenging aspect about implementing these changes?
A. It can actually be a bit tougher to come in and "do surgery" to an existing zone than it is to completely gut it and start from scratch. Given our ambitious time constraints, trying to determine what stays, what goes, and what other changes to make is certainly a challenge.

Q. What should players do or go see first?
A. Horde players should visit the Mor'shan Rampart first. There's a new Horde contingent there who is fighting hard to make sure that no night elves escape Hellscream's onslaught -- not that they'd make it far into the Northern Barrens! Alliance players who come down from Darkshore will want to help defend Maestra's Post and Astranaar as both settlements struggle to keep from falling under Hellscream's control.

Q. Who seems to have the upper hand in the zone: the Horde, the Alliance, or the elementals?
A. The Horde and the Alliance are throwing themselves at each other on many fronts; neither has a clear upper hand here. The elementals in Ashenvale are a minor nuisance in comparison to the faction struggle.

Q. Should we expect any changes within Blackfathom Deeps?
A. There are no significant changes planned for Blackfathom Deeps at this time.

Q.What has happened to Silverwind Refuge?
A. The Horde has happened!

Q. What has changed the most: the storyline or the terrain?
A. The amount of change has been pretty equal between storyline and terrain. The terrain is much less frustrating than before, and the visual results of the Cataclysm tell the story as much as the quests do. Story-wise, the theme hasn't changed so much as its intensity has.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Hunter & DK Pet Changes, Archaeology, Blue Posts started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 155 Comments
  1. Riboflavin's Avatar
    yes it's terrible that other classes have tremor totem....wait what..
  1. Falcio's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lihonessa View Post
    I have a few things to say about this.
    Like I said before, Bloodlust is a class-defining ability. It is one of the very few abilities of the Shaman that are currently still unique. In fact, almost all of our totems are overwritten by other skills from other classes; in some cases, this causes Bloodlust to be the only unique thing we bring to a raid! Because of this fact, I'm certain that if Blizzard continues with giving their unique abilities to other classes, they will become an obsolete class. And I don't want to have to reroll to a class I don't like, just so I can actually play the game!
    Let me give an example. If a raid group were to pick an evenly geared Shaman or Mage for a raid, who would they pick? Naturally, they would pick the Mage; Not only do they have their unique raid-wide buff, they also deal more damage then Shamans with equal gear level! As for PvP, the same applies - Shamans have very few ways of getting away, while Mages have many. Now, let's include the Hunter on this list: While I believe that they have about the same damage output as Shamans in equal gear, in PvP they have a lot more survivability due to their talents and playstyle, which still makes them preferred over a Shaman in that aspect!
    And I say again, if the only thing that makes the Shaman stand out is a spell that, for some fights, is required in order to even clear the fight, then there's a really big problem here.

    A class should be able to feel unique, but they shouldn't feel like they should get special treatment because of that one thing that only they can bring, and that's really how the Shaman class is now. If I'm vying for a spot against a Shaman, why should they take me when the Shaman has a buff that is required for some fights to succeed? No matter how much DPS I do over the Shaman, I would be cut for him, because his buff benefits every single raid member. It's completely unfair, and something that's been said since Wrath beta with the advent of "bring the player, not the class."

    It's not fair to other players that the Shaman would always edge out on them not due to skill, but due to utility. It's a completely terrible design.

    To go on your example, let's also put up the example that the Shaman is a good player that has a cool attitude and disposition and pulls out really good numbers, while the pure DPS Mage has a very lousy attitude and complains about every single detail from other players while assuming that they cannot make any mistakes at all, but also pulls good numbers. In this example, I would honestly pick the Shaman.
    On the flipside, let's say that my raid group consists of 24 really great DPS, but we have to have a Shaman who refuses to play by the rules, continuously AFKs, and his only real benefit to the raid is the unleashing of lust after much hassling. In this current raid environment, the raid leader will either try and find another Shaman to replace him, or just deal with him with the logic that he's bringing a buff that is needed for the encounter at hand. In the Cataclysm environment, the Shaman in my example can no longer act like that and not expect a real punishment in the form of not being able to raid half-heartedly.

    Of course, these examples are two extremes. There are going to be cases where a Mage and a Shaman, both with good attitudes and good gear, will be vying for a spot in a raid and one of them will be cut. It's just how things work, and it'll be a tough decision for a lot of people, too.

    Look, I understand your plea. I get that you think it'll create a problem in the natural balance of the game. But trust me when I say that, in all intents and purposes, it's good for the game. Blizzard, I would hope, is not doing this change to harm Shamans, but to help the raid groups on a whole. And because of the lost must-have-in-raid utility, it creates a drive to them to make sure that Shamans stay competitive in both healing and DPS. Trust me, if you really do love the class, then you can remain that class. If you're a strong player and your attitude is sound for your raid leader, then you will get your spot. It creates a drive of excellence to know that you must perform to your class's best to be given that raid spot. It makes you appreciate that class more.
  1. Anium's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lihonessa View Post
    When I read that Mages would get their own Bloodlust, I grumbled, but I didn't protest.
    Now, however, I feel that a huge border is being crossed.



    WHAT
    THE
    HELL?!


    What on earth is wrong with Blizzard?! Hunters do not need a Bloodlust. Hell, they don't deserve one!
    Bloodlust is one of the very few remaining key spells left which make the Shaman stand out, and I am strongly against handing it out to all the other classes out there. Sure, Shamans were considered OP once, but this was back in Vanilla when Frost Shock was still strong! We've passed that point, yet still they continue to take abuse over, and over, and over...

    And for you sceptics who say that Shamans still have totems, who cares if they do? The buffs they give are only mediocre, we only really use a handful of the thouzands of totems we recieve, and they die in one hit.

    While I (reluctantly) allow Mages to have Bloodlust, I'm going to have to make a stand here.
    SAY NO TO HUNTERS WITH BLOODLUST!!!

    You're a fool.
  1. informedcitizenry's Avatar
    So what do people think of Archeology? Reading the description it looks very complicated, which surprises me because I figured Blizz has been making this game more accessible to the casual player. I can see a lot of new people to this game taking up this prof and dumping it pretty quickly. I'm still not even sure if it's a gathering or crafting prof. Are people in Beta doing this? Is it worth it?
  1. rangerfox's Avatar
    I knew hunters were going to be overpowered in Cataclysm because of the overhaul, but this is just ridiculous and going way too far.
  1. Adrain Shepard's Avatar
    Oh and Goblin mounts are also in as well(In goblin slums.)=) btw Hello everyone.I just Registered. =)
  1. Panoramixe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by informedcitizenry View Post
    So what do people think of Archeology? Reading the description it looks very complicated, which surprises me because I figured Blizz has been making this game more accessible to the casual player. I can see a lot of new people to this game taking up this prof and dumping it pretty quickly. I'm still not even sure if it's a gathering or crafting prof. Are people in Beta doing this? Is it worth it?
    It's easier than fishing and currently rewards pretty much nothing, is way too slow to level and is plagued with bugs. Which is fine since it's only recently added and will be changed loads before release.

    I have a few things to say about this.
    Like I said before, Bloodlust is a class-defining ability. It is one of the very few abilities of the Shaman that are currently still unique. In fact, almost all of our totems are overwritten by other skills from other classes; in some cases, this causes Bloodlust to be the only unique thing we bring to a raid! Because of this fact, I'm certain that if Blizzard continues with giving their unique abilities to other classes, they will become an obsolete class. And I don't want to have to reroll to a class I don't like, just so I can actually play the game!
    Let me give an example. If a raid group were to pick an evenly geared Shaman or Mage for a raid, who would they pick? Naturally, they would pick the Mage; Not only do they have their unique raid-wide buff, they also deal more damage then Shamans with equal gear level! As for PvP, the same applies - Shamans have very few ways of getting away, while Mages have many. Now, let's include the Hunter on this list: While I believe that they have about the same damage output as Shamans in equal gear, in PvP they have a lot more survivability due to their talents and playstyle, which still makes them preferred over a Shaman in that aspect!
    There are no class-defining "raid buffs" anymore.
    Not even mages will have a unique buff anymore, you can be certain another class will have it. (And scrolls will have it too.)

    All classes are meant to be obsolete, as in you'll still be able to raid properly if class X doesn't show up. X can be any of the 10 classes, why the hell do you think shamans should be different?

    As for pvp, seriously? There isn't even any 83+ gear available, but you sir know exactly how classes will be at level 85 pvp don't you? CLASS BALANCING HASN'T EVEN STARTED YET.
  1. Demoncrash's Avatar
    how long does dark transformation last?
  1. Kiro's Avatar
    Absolutely terrible change with giving out Bloodlust and basically the ability to hand out any buff at will via hunter pets. By far the most stupid thing Blizzard has done to date. They are really trying to kill this game off. They gave it to yet another class that has a ton of utility already. This could have been seen coming though since they gave it out to mages though, further diluting this game into the abyss of homogenization-hell.

    Honestly, these changes have gone too far. When is this dumbing down, watering down, homogenization process going to come to an end? It's like Blizzard is actually TRYING to kill off their game with their sheer laziness now.

    This can be blamed on all the people who cheered Blizzard on each time they copy and pasted item models, abilities, and effects. Only people who don't see this as a bad thing are hunters, those who are going to make a hunter their main now, and the mobs of people that still say Blizzard can do no wrong.

    Seriously. Make classes feel unique from each other again. Make there be a reason you chose said class, and stuck with it. Not diluting it into basically, "Tank, DPS, Healer" classes. These are some really telling moves to the game.
  1. booh1992's Avatar
    This is pretty cool, we should be happy that we don't have to corner a shaman to get lust/hero in a raid in cata.
    I like the changes, their pretty cool; as well it makes choosing a pet for raids much better, huntards would look at you in a raid if you had any other pet than a wolf on my server v.v
    Plus the ghoul changes are sooo epiicccc!
  1. lolipopp's Avatar
    :-) i am happy with hunt changes ...well deserved
    p.s. pvp with core hound is a MUST !
  1. Panoramixe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kiro View Post
    Absolutely terrible change with giving out Bloodlust and basically the ability to hand out any buff at will via hunter pets. By far the most stupid thing Blizzard has done to date. They are really trying to kill this game off. They gave it to yet another class that has a ton of utility already. This could have been seen coming though since they gave it out to mages though, further diluting this game into the abyss of homogenization-hell.

    Honestly, these changes have gone too far. When is this dumbing down, watering down, homogenization process going to come to an end? It's like Blizzard is actually TRYING to kill off their game with their sheer laziness now.

    This can be blamed on all the people who cheered Blizzard on each time they copy and pasted item models, abilities, and effects. Only people who don't see this as a bad thing are hunters, those who are going to make a hunter their main now, and the mobs of people that still say Blizzard can do no wrong.

    Seriously. Make classes feel unique from each other again. Make there be a reason you chose said class, and stuck with it. Not diluting it into basically, "Tank, DPS, Healer" classes. These are some really telling moves to the game.
    Personally I think people like you are what's wrong with this game.
    How can you honestly say a buff, one stupid long cooldown button, is what defines your class?

    Buffs are there to give you the feeling being in a group/raid makes you more powerful, let class uniqueness be based on rotations, lore and graphics rather than one fucking button.
  1. Falcio's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kiro View Post
    Absolutely terrible change with giving out Bloodlust and basically the ability to hand out any buff at will via hunter pets. By far the most stupid thing Blizzard has done to date. They are really trying to kill this game off. They gave it to yet another class that has a ton of utility already. This could have been seen coming though since they gave it out to mages though, further diluting this game into the abyss of homogenization-hell.

    Honestly, these changes have gone too far. When is this dumbing down, watering down, homogenization process going to come to an end? It's like Blizzard is actually TRYING to kill off their game with their sheer laziness now.

    This can be blamed on all the people who cheered Blizzard on each time they copy and pasted item models, abilities, and effects. Only people who don't see this as a bad thing are hunters, those who are going to make a hunter their main now, and the mobs of people that still say Blizzard can do no wrong.

    Seriously. Make classes feel unique from each other again. Make there be a reason you chose said class, and stuck with it. Not diluting it into basically, "Tank, DPS, Healer" classes. These are some really telling moves to the game.
    Why do people believe that making it so a group that can't find a certain class, but are still able to get a silly buff means they are secretly trying to destroy your class?

    Why do you insist that your class should be defined by a single move? Don't you think that hurts the game more than helps it? When I think Hunters, I think ranged physical DPS with pets. When I think Mages, I think of the classic magic user archetypes. When I think Warriors, I think of shield-bearers or axe-welders. And when I think of Shaman, I think of a totem user of 3 types: a healer, a caster, and a melee attacker.

    I do not think of Hunters as "the class with the 10% AP aura" or a Mage as "the class with the Int buff and the spell crit increase". I don't think of Warriors as "the class with an easy ability to destroy armor for my physical DPS." And I don't think of Shaman as "that class with Bloodlust."

    The further we go from that mindset, the better.

    Yes, classes should feel unique, but they shouldn't feel entitled to special treatment. You shouldn't be playing a class just because of Bloodlust or because of an AP bonus or because of a spell crit increase. You should be playing it because you enjoy it. You enjoy the rotations, or you enjoy the mechanics, or you just enjoy the idea of being that class.

    You don't need to be a special snowflake. The only way you can in the Cataclysm game is if you truly excel in your class and spec, which should be a much better idea to go for, IMO.
  1. Ripitgood's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedevil21 View Post
    QQ I welcome the hunter changes, bought time we got some pet love. Keep it coming blizzard, keep it coming!

    /signed by a hunter ^_^
    Yea, Maybe the old-school hunters will get a new aspect of the game to them. While the nub huntards who make hunters look like tards. Will quit cause using the pet will be "to hard"....

    God if we can get that lucky....(I hate the pants-on-head-tards that infested this game with there syndrome when LK release.

    ---------- Post added 2010-09-15 at 09:26 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcio View Post
    Why do people believe that making it so a group that can't find a certain class, but are still able to get a silly buff means they are secretly trying to destroy your class?

    Why do you insist that your class should be defined by a single move? Don't you think that hurts the game more than helps it? When I think Hunters, I think ranged physical DPS with pets. When I think Mages, I think of the classic magic user archetypes. When I think Warriors, I think of shield-bearers or axe-welders. And when I think of Shaman, I think of a totem user of 3 types: a healer, a caster, and a melee attacker.

    I do not think of Hunters as "the class with the 10% AP aura" or a Mage as "the class with the Int buff and the spell crit increase". I don't think of Warriors as "the class with an easy ability to destroy armor for my physical DPS." And I don't think of Shaman as "that class with Bloodlust."

    The further we go from that mindset, the better.

    Yes, classes should feel unique, but they shouldn't feel entitled to special treatment. You shouldn't be playing a class just because of Bloodlust or because of an AP bonus or because of a spell crit increase. You should be playing it because you enjoy it. You enjoy the rotations, or you enjoy the mechanics, or you just enjoy the idea of being that class.

    You don't need to be a special snowflake. The only way you can in the Cataclysm game is if you truly excel in your class and spec, which should be a much better idea to go for, IMO.
    Falcio is right here Kiro, What your looking at as "destruction" to the game play. Is actually a much needed and wanted re-re-change to the game. In vanilla raid leaders could have a decent comp of everything due to 40 man raids. Now we have at max a 25man. So at one point. In big guilds you have to decide what class's make the cut and others don't. Your looking for the best raid comp you can get. So you want the 5% crit from a druid aura for your melee. While a 5% spell crit from the boom-chickens. With changes like this to hunters pet. It gives a utility even more utility, While saying. This shaman does less dmg as a whole than a hunter, So the hunter brings his BL/Hero pet and helps the group as a whole. I'm sure there is more to it. But that is the basic idea behind it.

    ---------- Post added 2010-09-15 at 09:30 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Anium View Post
    You're a fool.
    Anium is so correct here, Shamans were considered OP once. And there still considered OP in their own right. BL might be in a hand basket for classes who would otherwise not have it. But shamans don't have a internal cd on windfurry anymore. Which was the reason shamans were OP in vanilla, Due to the fact you could make 6 hits in one swing in PVP. (autoattack, windfurry 1-2, windfurry 1-2, autoattack). Frost shock just yelled NO RUNSIES!
  1. Arisette's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by dwbrown7680 View Post
    Looking at this from the PvP side of things, Hunters are already known for retarded fast damage. Add in Camo and the ability to grab almost any buff/debuff they need for their team and this could get quite OP quite quickly. Although from a PvE standpoint it is a pretty nice welcome change.
    We have to be out of combat to switch pets, Camo won't work on the new pet brought it, and you can still "see" us in camo, but you can't target us. A quick AoE will break us out of it. And it only lasts a minute with a... 2 min cooldown? Can't remember.

    Another thing to remember is that pet abilities that did damage before aren't doing so now. Additionally, in order to get the Heroism/Bloodlust buff, hunters have to be Beast Mastery... and Big Red Hunter-Pet no longer makes us immune to CC for 10 seconds. It'll break CC, though, giving us some use there. So we can't Big-Red ourselves, Hero/Blood, and pop out of Camo (the extra damage from this ability was also taken away) and take out an entire group. We're still killable, folks- I play an Ele Shaman hardcore in pvp and Heroism does not always save my butt- it's a nice boon, really, but nothing that'll break pvp.

    ---------- Post added 2010-09-15 at 06:49 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiro View Post
    Absolutely terrible change with giving out Bloodlust and basically the ability to hand out any buff at will via hunter pets. By far the most stupid thing Blizzard has done to date. They are really trying to kill this game off. They gave it to yet another class that has a ton of utility already. This could have been seen coming though since they gave it out to mages though, further diluting this game into the abyss of homogenization-hell.

    Honestly, these changes have gone too far. When is this dumbing down, watering down, homogenization process going to come to an end? It's like Blizzard is actually TRYING to kill off their game with their sheer laziness now.

    This can be blamed on all the people who cheered Blizzard on each time they copy and pasted item models, abilities, and effects. Only people who don't see this as a bad thing are hunters, those who are going to make a hunter their main now, and the mobs of people that still say Blizzard can do no wrong.

    Seriously. Make classes feel unique from each other again. Make there be a reason you chose said class, and stuck with it. Not diluting it into basically, "Tank, DPS, Healer" classes. These are some really telling moves to the game.
    Dang, I'm sorry, I forgot to bring my tote-... wait, I don't have totems. I have... True Shot Aura!... oh, DKs have it too. Hm... I'm.. ranged physical damage!...

    What about the hunter says "I'm a perfect class that can do everything"? Last I checked, we were considered a "pure dps class"... that is, we ONLY DPS. We are versatile for solo play, but then again, what class isn't versatile? Druids can do four different roles in a raid, shaman can do three, paladins can do three, priests can do two, as well as DKs and warriors. We need to be giving boons to pure dps classes, otherwise you'd see a general lack of these pure dps classes showing up in your raids because people want that DPSer that can also switch to a healer role. THAT'S versatility. There's no encounter in ICC or any of the Wrath raids that say "We NEED a hunter;" you hear raids needing Heroism for that extra burst for encounters like Blood Queen, or druids for battle rez.. but no one has said "We need a hunter to complete this raid."

    With these new hunter pet boons, we're no longer going to be penalized for being a pure dps class by bringing certain raid buffs to raids that otherwise would not have them, therefore making our class more marketable to raid. Why would a hunter want to bring a pet that can do Heroism/Bloodlust if there's already a shaman or a mage? We can bring other utility pets to fill in other missing raid elements. If anything, it's giving us versatility where we had none of it previously.

    Buffs do not create an entire class. Their mechanics do- hunters play differently from any other class and that works between all the other classes entirely. I would not feel like a shaman if I am a hunter (who has to be a certain spec, mind you, in order to get the Heroism-ability pet, unlike shaman who just.. get it) with a corehound pet. Heroism/Bloodlust does not a shaman or a mage make.

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