MMO-Champion - Cataclysm Release Date, Gathering XP, Blue Posts
So, when is the release of Cataclysm?
Now that Patch 4.0.1 is on PTR, I get a lot of mails asking for a release date and I guess I can answer that without too much risk now.

Keep in mind that Blizzard didn't announce it because the release can still be postponed, but as far as I know the target release date for Cataclysm is the first week of November (that would be November 2, if you like numbers). The first part of the Cataclysm prologue started exactly 8 weeks before that and the next part of the pre-Cataclysm event will probably happen in 2 or 4 weeks depending on their schedule.

You got your answer, and hopefully people won't yell at me if something goes wrong.


Gathering professions now give XP
Originally Posted by Daeleht (Blue Tracker)
This is an intentional change, however the values may not be final. Tradeskill nodes are intended to give you experience when you loot them.

Bastion of Twilight - Twilight Ascendant Council
The last member of the Twilight Ascendant Council had its model updated in the latest build. This encounter definitely looks promising.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Mimiron's Head/Invincible in 4.0
Ghostcrawler's stated idea to make such things really low drop rates is still a real possibility. Whether or not this change will take effect with patch 4.0.1 is to be determined. (Source)

Flying in Azeroth
Flying in Azeroth will not be possible until your account is upgraded to Cataclysm. Patch 4.0.1 is slated to be released prior to Cataclysm and will not include the changes to the old world or any content exclusive to Cataclysm. This patch will apply many systems, class, and user interface changes. It's very similar in nature to the major patches which preceded the releases of The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. (Source)

Raid/Dungeons Content Difficulty
You are correct that a lot of players moan about things being too easy without having seen the content personally. We definitely place less emphasis on their feedback than on people who have actually tried those encounters.

The hardest encounters of LK were harder than anything we've offered before. And honestly, that point isn't often in contention. I think what surprised players is say how far they got in Naxxramas on their very first night, without a lot of planning or gearing, or how they managed to kill 2-3 heroic bosses on their first night of a new heroic wing being opened in Icecrown (though to be honest, fighting a boss for weeks on normal mode first definitely exacerbates that phenomenon).

We'll continue to offer some content for the cutting-edge progression raider. There is an encounter in Bastion of Twilight for them. But we also think true pugs shouldn't be stumbling their way through encounters they've never seen before, at least without a very strong or experienced leader.

To use my own guild as an example, in say the Serpentshrine days, we'd take a few weeks to master a new boss. I could probably count the number of time we got two new bosses on one night. I think a progression rate like that feels better to a lot of players. You spend time in between raid nights discussing what you could do differently on a tough boss, but then celebrate each victory.

A heroic dungeon doesn't need to be quite so brutal, but it still doesn't seem bad if you wipe on a new boss 2-3 times before you figure out a solid stragegy and everything falls into place. A lot of players love that puzzle-solving aspect of the encounters. It lets them exercise their mind, creativity and knowledge of game mechanics. When you can just overpower the boss and ignore the encounter mechanics, then a lot of that is lost. (Source)

Class balance on PTRs
Most likely not. We'll be evaluating the way players are performing in content on the 4.0.1 test realms, but keep in mind the class changes are balanced around level 85 gameplay. It's almost more likely we'd end up taking away the Icecrown Citadel buff (I'm only saying this is a possibility), as in many cases healing, tanking, and damage dealing may stand to benefit a lot from these changes at level 80.

Things will be a little bit interesting since these changes are being applied while players are still actively working through the current Wrath of the Lich King content. Bear with us and provide as much feedback as you can about your experiences with these changes under the current content, but keep in perspective that the new class design is meant to be balanced around the upcoming Cataclysm content. We're more interested in ironing out bugs and polishing the systems than attempting to balance them intricately for level 80 gameplay. (Source)

Using all your healing spells
This is a very common line of argument we see from players, especially healers. It runs something like "I use all my heals. I seem to be a pretty good healer. Therefore only using a few heals makes you a bad healer." It should make you a bad healer (if our numbers are appropriate) but often it does not. Often those 1-2 spells can take you 90% of the way there and the additional heals used my more savvy players only adds 10% or so optimization on top of that. You might have been a better paladin for using all of your toolbox, but the fact is that even very mediocre paladins could heal just fine using only those two buttons. That's not what we are going for. If you're used to using a variety of spells, then this change won't affect you much. (Source)

Making healing more challenging
We see the sentiment expressed often that making healing more challenging might drive players away. That is a risk, but the flip side is that making healing more engaging might attract some players who find it boring today.

While it has always been a goal to make World of Warcraft approachable to a lot of different kinds of players, including those who found traditional MMOs too hardcore, we'd rather retain players because the gameplay is fun than because the gameplay is easy.

Taking your argument to a probably illogical conclusion, if we made healing even easier, we might get even more players to heal. Is that really good for the game as a whole though? (Source)

Lack of healers in the Dungeon Finder in Cataclysm?
Players played WoW for six years without Dungeon Finder though. Dungeon Finder is awesome, don't get me wrong, and I spent a lot of time personally working on it. But the intent is not to be able farm dungeons as fast as you possibly can.

Healing (and tanking as well) isn't for everyone. It takes the right kind of mindset. I know there are players who want to make healing and tanking super easy in an attempt to adjust the ratios of dps to tanking and healing. There are also some who just want to get rid of the healing role completely.

None of those are our goals though. We want to make healing fun for healers, not make healing so easy that anyone can jump in without any fear of failure.

I remember looking for Scholomance or Shadow Labs pugs for literally 2-3 hours. There is almost no chance of that ever happening again now that we have Dungeon Finder, even if tanking and healing require a little more finesse.

So to answer your question, I think having more healers available at any cost is bad for the game. We want healing to be fun for people who like healing. If that means the mages and rouges have to wait 15 minutes for Dungeon Finder instead of 5 minutes, I think we can live with that. If nothing else, fast Dungeon Finder queues (or ease in finding a raid slot, etc.) remain attractive benefits of tanking and healing. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
70% spell pushback
Hopefully they just make the 70% baseline for everyone with no pushback with earth shield or concentration aura type spells. Spell pushback is one of those things that can really drive you crazy in both PvP and PvE.
We did. We just changed the base pushback resistance so that we didn't have to duplicate the same passive bonus in every tree.

Tanking / Crusader Strike
If CS and HotR are meant to be single/multi-target counterparts, then they should both hit as the same type of damage. Since CS is stuck as physical due to Ret using it, HotR should probably be switched to physical as well. Mana cost of HotR seems lower than it should be, compared to CS.
We want Prot paladins to be able to swap between Shield of the Righteous and Inquisition when going from single-target to AE tanking. One of the mechanics that lets that work is Hammer of the Righteous being improved by Holy damage.

Crusader Strike should win handily against single targets. If it's not doing that yet it's just a numbers adjustment, so you'd be better off testing as if it were the case rather than trying to build a rotation based around something that you know we're likely to change. (Source)

MMO Report
It's time for your monday's MMO Report, Casey is back!



Comics
Teh Gladiators #166 + #167 and Dark Legacy Comics #255 is out. Sometimes a nice smile goes a long way.

This article was originally published in forum thread: Cataclysm Release Date, Gathering XP, Blue Posts started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 188 Comments
  1. Bogrim's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by GayGirlie View Post
    First of all, they are increasing the damage healers can do. You can't really make healers do as good dps as the real dpsers though as then there would be no point in rolling pure dps classes.
    That's not really the problem either, is it. We're looking at the core of it at this moment - when players get better, and not just in terms of gear, then healing becomes mind-numbingly easier. Everyone looks back at TBC as "the real heroics" where some instances were still challenging long into the end of the expansion - except for the healer's challenge, which *always* lessened when the players did their job right. And at the same time you see healers complaining about those mistakes, complaining about DPS not watching out for avoidable damage and tanks not being properly geared, because it makes their job harder and not always doable. You can't just narrow it down to "there would be no point if healers could-" or "it wouldn't work if healing was too easy-".

    Quote Originally Posted by GayGirlie View Post
    Secondly, they DID admit they can't really make healing more entertaining for the masses without making it too easy. It just is not possible to cater to both the group who can't heal properly and need to be held by the hand and those who can heal properly and enjoy healing when it's challenging. Those are just too contradictory groups.
    If only there was some way to specialize the classes like say, points you could spend making choices for how your class should excel to satisfy players of different tastes. Talent specs have become incredibly static and lack their original purpose for a very long time. Now that talents are being revamped, now is the time to expand the concept and allow more flexibility in the player's choices other than "Should I go for Cauterize or Blazing Speed for survival".

    They said they'd get rid of static talents, but going down the talent trees I still see plenty of them. Talents which could have been replaced with actual choices to how you want to play your healer. Here's a suggestion for a talent of such nature; "When you overheal a target, you have a percentage chance to empower your next Smite spell enough to make it worth casting." Whoops, suddenly topping people off in a boring run would still let the healer take some interest in running the dungeon.

    Alternatively, you can give the healer choices like Paladins are getting with Holy Power. Make them spend their resources, and allow it to be turned into damage if there's not a need for healing at the present moment.
  1. Myzou's Avatar
    Honestly, I don't see November 2nd working, for one major reason: (But either way, I'm happy. Sister reactivated our accounts because of 4.0 hitting PTR :3)

    Worgen Female STILL haven't been implemented. They require a large amount of time to test new races for any graphical bugs/etc.

    So hopefully beta testers will race change immediately to Worgen Female when available to try to help flesh out the bugs ASAP.
  1. Lumocolor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ent0mbed View Post
    EDIT: Personally I believe Boubouille's information is probably pretty close if not exact. He provides us *awesome* info constantly and is very rarely wrong. I bet we have a Blizzard announcement within the next week.
    I totally agree, Boub is usually right about these things and he probably is again this time. I just personally don't think things will be as polished and relatively problem free as we've been use to getting with a date that is almost here and the progress i've seen playing alpha/beta for 5+ months.
  1. ganodorf's Avatar
    i totally believe boubouille....i am even surprised not to see the game before blizzcon tbh....2 years ago beta testers were saying the same things (game is far from finished, gonna take 6 months etc...) and it seems they can't understand that, as half of this posts say, they are absolutely not playing the most updated version of the game!!!
  1. Paff's Avatar
    That date makes sense, indeed. I wonder whether it's Blizzard who leak secret information to Boubouille or it's just Boub who sets deadlines for Blizz to meet. Anyway, now they all must work real hard, not to let internets down.
    And a great one DLC today.
  1. Duster505's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by GayGirlie View Post
    First of all, they are increasing the damage healers can do. You can't really make healers do as good dps as the real dpsers though as then there would be no point in rolling pure dps classes.

    Secondly, they DID admit they can't really make healing more entertaining for the masses without making it too easy. It just is not possible to cater to both the group who can't heal properly and need to be held by the hand and those who can heal properly and enjoy healing when it's challenging. Those are just too contradictory groups.

    It'd be really silly if healing was suddenly made so god damn easy that any kind of a retard could come and keep the group alive without any effort. Atleast now it requires a person who is genuinely interested in such.
    The thing is... You can play DPS class and be crap at it and still progress. There is no holding hand needed there. Already in current form you will have to show quite a skill to both tank and heal. Mostly because there is just one of those two in 5 man group - but 3 dps. One decent DPS will do the job - even tho the two others are crap. One bad tank or 1 bad healer and the group is going nowhere.

    So... They will not fix anything by making tanking and healing harder. They will have to adress the DPS classes and give them other roles to. CC is ok - but at this point in time like for the last two years - most dps classes only think about toping the dmg meters and that will not change alot with Blizzard making more challenging content for healers and tanks.

    Personally - I think dungeon finder will not work in Cata. PPL will simply give up using it.
  1. Sparkymisslecat's Avatar
    Not to question Boub - but Nov 2nd does seem kinda soon, six or seven weeks away? Beta is still going, and they're still making changes. I would think it would take that long just to get the code burned onto ~9 million disks, packaged and shipped all over the globe. If they do it by Nov. 2nd, I will be impressed.

    What has been the historical time between close of beta and release date?
  1. HighOverlordSaurfang's Avatar
    Well your Mostly spot on about this stuff So I trust you lol.
  1. Solute's Avatar
    They will announce a firm release date at Blizzcon, so October 20th we will all know.
  1. Myzou's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkymisslecat View Post
    What has been the historical time between close of beta and release date?
    From what I recall, I believe 1 or 2 weeks. Then any changes that were done after that were saved for the next ".XX" patch.
  1. Pumps's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sig View Post
    If I had to guess the release date (though probably someone else already guessed it) I'd say the 7th of December. Why? Because in the Gnomer retaking fluff text on Blizz's website, the person talks of a "12.7% chance of a cataclysmic event". 12.7.

    Which is a Tuesday, by the way.

    Just saying.
    Which would be the 12th of July in most of the world.
  1. Sig's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Pumps View Post
    Which would be the 12th of July in most of the world.
    Except that since the authors were American that means absolutely nothing. It means 12th of July where I live too. So what?
  1. Lokran's Avatar
    Nice one!
  1. Ripitgood's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoodi View Post
    Your release date is wrong
    Dosen't seem like it is. If you have a beta pass. You've seen the amount of beta content there pushing through. In HUGE WAVES. They send a wave out, It's tested. Reported on, then retracted polished and put on hold for it's live release date. November sounds right, they've started the prologue to Cataclysm 8 weeks before November. They've got all the time they need to finish it. November 2nd sounds fairly right. If not it's close as close can get....
  1. Abracadavra's Avatar
    I just preordered the game, and I don't know how accurate they are, but on the site the release date is stated to be November 30th. I sure hope it comes sooner than this, but I seriously doubt it shall be Nov 2d. For once, they still test things and even if they work on continuous fire 24/7 I still think 1 month and a half is too little time, and then it should be more... let's say "suspense building", I mean pre events and all that. We should have time to enjoy them in game, not just have 2 days of whatever they prepared then BAM, Cataclysm.
  1. Slundy's Avatar
    Blizzard has always stated (and followed through each time) that six to eight weeks would be given to the end date of the current arena season... this hasn't even happened yet. I think more responsible postings should be made here. And the Beta is nowhere near ready, in fact it's a huge mess.
  1. smurfke80's Avatar
    yes nice a date (lets hope it the correct so i can get some days off xD
  1. Cymrych's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Myzou View Post
    Honestly, I don't see November 2nd working, for one major reason: (But either way, I'm happy. Sister reactivated our accounts because of 4.0 hitting PTR :3)

    Worgen Female STILL haven't been implemented. They require a large amount of time to test new races for any graphical bugs/etc.

    So hopefully beta testers will race change immediately to Worgen Female when available to try to help flesh out the bugs ASAP.
    I would have to agree with this. As of now, there are so many bugs in beta, it's not even funny. Hell, for a while the bug report system itself wasn't even working. As it stands, I'd be disappointed if this released at any point in November, let alone the first week. If this does release November, I think I'd be tempted to by a Frostmourne replica and shove it up Bobby Kotick's...
  1. orinoko's Avatar
    i feel like cartman waiting for the relase of nintendo wii
  1. Thalium1's Avatar
    im excited

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