MMO-Champion - Battle.net World Championship, Blue Posts, Blizzard Art
First Glimpse of the 2012 Battle.net World Championship
Teamliquid has an interview about the Starcraft portion of the 2012 Battle.net World Championship. A few of the main points are summarized below, read the full interview for all the details.


  • The prize pool will be comparable to the Battle.net continental invitationals in 2011.
  • Qualifications will begin in Q2 this year.
  • The entire 2012 season is going to be played with Wings of Liberty.
  • There will be five regional championships, with the final being held in Asia.
  • There will also be national championships before the regionals.
  • Blizzard won't be running all of the matches, instead they will be working with existing eSports organizations.
  • There will be more matches and ways to see them than there were for Blizzcon 2011.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hot off the presses and fast on the heels of the recently announced 2012 Battle.net World Championship event set for later this year, Team Liquid took the time to interview Ilja Rotelli, director of global community and eSports at Blizzard Entertainment. The interview looks deeper into the new structure of the Battle.net World Championship and the future of Blizzard eSports. Here’s a brief snippet from the interview to whet your appetite.

At the national qualifier level, do you hope to hold some tournaments that are completely open to anyone who wants to compete?

Ilja Rotelli: That is precisely one of the design philosophies we originally adopted. The idea is that we want to make a more aspirational and participatory eSports environment for StarCraft. The idea that there are superstars that seem so far away, that one can't hope to become; this makes eSports very restrictive.

Blizzard has a slightly different goal from eSports companies. If you think very frankly about the business goal for Blizzard as a company, we gain when more people play the game, and a strategy that makes sense to achieve that goal is to go grassroots. We don't have plans in place yet, but in my dreams, this is the beginning, where we go as grassroots as we can for the first year. Then, in 2013, we would love to add an additional layer to the bottom of the structure, to be even more grassroots than now. This is just a philosophy, not a practical plan that we have in place, but certainly that is one of the design principles we have been using so far.

Visit the Team Liquid site to read the complete article.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Allow Players to Turn Off Enchant Effects
I realize this thread has been around for a while but the topic is still relevant. As many of you may or may not know, weapon enchants have been a feature of World of Warcraft since the beginning. Providing iconic and recognizable looks to various enchants is something that’s added an element of uniqueness to the game and to your character. However, we do understand they can sometimes overpower the aesthetics of the awesome weapons you can obtain in game now. It’s certainly something we have discussed with the developers recently and we’ll be looking into potentially allowing an enchant toggle. If and when such a feature is introduced, we’ll be sure to let the community know as soon as possible. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Damage in Arenas
As you already mentioned, in the upcoming patch there is a change to Vial of Shadows that should reduce some of the burst damage you are experiencing in PvP.

Dying in openers certainly isn't fun, and can be incredibly frustrating if you're the one on the receiving end of such a coordinated attack, but don't give up! In addition to perhaps taking some time to focus on other activities such as Rated and unrated Battlegrounds where you have more people to watch your back, you might also consider browsing some PvP videos from other members of the community to not only help inspire you, but to also arm you with a further arsenal of tactics that you can use to your own advantage against opposing teams.

Also, from my own experience, when I was having a lot of trouble against a certain class or spec that I felt countered my usual tactics, I found it helpful to sometimes grab a friend that played that class and spent some time dueling them so that they could critique me on areas where I could improve my skills, including my timing on using certain abilities, and how I could counter some of their own tactics. That way when I stepped back into arenas, I was more confident in my own skills and felt better-prepared for how to expose the weaknesses of my enemies.

Keep at it, and remember there are players out there equally as scared to see you step out onto the Arena floor.(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Expansion Name
It's not irrelevant, particularly given almost everything that happens after the Cataclysm and Deathwing's demise is centered around the discovery of this new continent. These forgotten lands, as well as the way the Horde and Alliance go about exploring them, are central to the overall story line (much like Illidan and the Burning Legion were to The Burning Crusade, the Lich King and his Scourge were to Wrath of the Lich King, and Deathwing's destructive return to Azeroth was in Cataclysm).

I'm not sure I understand your argument. It feels like you're claiming we're naming the expansion after a new race's starting zone (not true) and arguing that's "jumping the shark." If you're only taking issue with the title, I don't think that qualifies for such a label at all. More importantly though, I get the sense you learned only two bulleted details about the expansion (new race and new land to explore) before deciding to post this thread. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Encounter Designers Who Worked on Ulduar
What a coincidence! We happened to talk about raid design and results with Ghostcrawler and Mumper yesterday, and everyone looked back fondly on Ulduar, among others. Yes, the same designers and artists who worked on Ulduar are still working on raids.

Here's the thing -- Ulduar is an example of a raid where lots of players got to enjoy the first few bosses, and very few players ever saw the last few. Yogg Saron and Algalon were among the least-killed bosses ever, and not because they were exceedingly difficult. Rather, clearing the dungeon all the way to Yogg took up a big chunk of a raiding week (and you only had an hour to kill Algalon), and the ability to extend raid lockouts came later in 3.2.0 (but extending raid lockouts means getting less loot overall). Raid Finder partially resolves the length-of-raid problem, so we can consider designing longer raids, but that's not always an easy call. Long raids mean longer development time, and while some players might be willing to wait, we understand why others might get impatient.

Of course, having multiple raids in a tier (like the combination of Bastion of Twilight and Blackwing Descent) has the advantage of giving players different environments to play in while potentially making scheduling and logistics easier.

Pushing a big red button for Mimiron was very cool, and again is fondly remembered. We have created something like 40 raid bosses since the creation of those encounters however, and we cant help but think that it would start to feel really gimmicky and forced if every raid encounter had its difficulty set by pushing a button, (or not killing adds, or changing the order you kill the bosses, or the other mechanics we used in Ulduar). We think Mimiron would feel less special if there were six more bosses in the game with big red buttons, and we’re just not sure the design space is there to have a near infinite variety of means by which players launch a heroic mode in game.

Nonetheless, because there are so many requests for those style mechanics, we are considering doing a few bosses with optional modes (in the same way Mimiron, Freya or Sartharion had them) in Mists of Pandaria. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Talent Trees
One of the problems we're specifically trying to address with the new talent system is getting back a little to the sense that there are 10 classes in the game (soon 11) instead of 30 (soon 34). A common complaint we saw about the Cataclysm talent design was that hybridization was greatly downplayed. Now it’s easy to dismiss going down two trees as never really having worked out, but it’s clear that many players are in love with the idea of doing so.

We also just want to keep the total number of talents under control, since the intent is that they have pretty big effects. If you're facing a Frost mage in PvP in Mists of Pandaria, you’ll have even less of an idea of what is in their toolbox than you do today. If you're a raid leader, you won’t be so certain what abilities your Discipline priest has to deal with the upcoming boss. A little of that keeps gameplay feeling fresh, but too much of it can be overwhelming. If each of the three mage specs, for example, had different talent choices, then we would have 612 total talents in the game instead of 198. Even 198 is a lot to learn. We also have the suspicion that coming up with 612 really awesome talents will be much more challenging. One of our design philosophies is concentrated coolness: have a few awesome things instead of a lot of mediocre things.

Now in some ways we are strengthening the concept of a spec by really pushing rotations and some other signature spells to specific specs. Immolate is Destruction only. Backstab is Subtlety only. Given that, talents are a great vehicle to make sure that your character still feels like a warlock or a rogue at the end of the day.

We really want to avoid talent synergies where only one talent on a tier makes sense for your character. This would be the case if say Fire mages did bonus damage with only Fire spells, or there was one healing talent on a tier competing against two DPS talents for your priest. Please continue to bring up concerns you have in this regard (though not necessarily all in this thread) and we will try to address them. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Intellect on Plate
The situation with intellect plate is an ongoing discussion among the designers, but we have yet to come up with a solution that's better than just continuing to make intellect plate.

  • Let Holy paladins wear Strength plate – This would require a lot of conversions. Does hit become Spirit? What happens to expertise? Do all Strength items convert or just actual armor pieces? Can paladins mix and match with Intellect jewelry and trinkets? Do Holy paladins also hit really hard in melee, or do they lose that ability? Does it make paladins too effective as hybrid classes if they can share much of their gear across three different roles?
  • Let Holy paladins wear mail – Our mail is designed to look like shaman or hunters, not paladins. It’s cruel not to let a paladin wear the paladin tier armor, and also weird that a given tier piece could be plate or mail even though it looks identical.
  • Let priests wear plate – We like the design for priests as cloth-wearers, we would not want to drop less cloth overall (since only mages and locks would need it at that point), and we don’t want priests to look like warriors, DKs or paladins.

Individually these aren't difficult problems, and we have the ability to solve each of them, but at the end of the day the designers don’t think any of those solutions are preferable to just keep on making Intellect plate for Holy paladins. Maybe someday there will be a new class that also uses Intellect plate. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blizzard Art
Blizzard has added four more pieces to the World of Warcraft: Classes and Cataclysm Art galleries.


This article was originally published in forum thread: Battle.net World Championship, Blue Posts, Blizzard Art started by chaud View original post
Comments 60 Comments
  1. Idletime's Avatar
    Raiding stopped being interesting the minute everyone was able to clear the content and the elimination of progression with the substitution of mediocrity became the new standard. Conquering things as they were intended and on equal footing rewards the player with a feeling of pride. Nobody asks the question, "So how far did you progress that toon?" anymore. Now, everyone's a winner in three different levels of the same gear.

    Rather than a marathon, the system has been broken into a series of sprints where everyone running the marathon is asked to take a break while everyone else catches up. Then you fire the starting gun again. It was more fun when you could take a break from the game, come back 6 months later and find a guild still doing the content you were doing when you left. Today you come back and are playing a game of catchup because the previous tiers go largely ignored.

    Ulduar was, and always will be apparently, the pinnacle of WoW raiding. It had perfect separation of player ability. I got to see through all of it on my old main and it took about 5 months. If people couldn't make it to the end boss, then you had something to work on. The nerf to the instance came with gear available from later (and easier) content. That was fine, because I routinely went back to retain achievements and mounts on other characters.

    I'm not the greatest player ever, but being given nerfs and easy instances was sort of like being told "you're terrible at this and we know it, so let's remove the hurdles" when I never asked for it. And this made it boring.
  1. Sidone's Avatar
    Now i'm sad that they changed the cowl and shoulder effect from the tier 8 priest artwork
  1. Meldon's Avatar
    what about converting caster stats for retribution and tank paladins ? let retribution deal spell damages (and give us a goddameed holy resistance) with intellect
  1. Anubis1345's Avatar
    I still think that Holy Paladins could be changed to use str for their stats. Gear that had hit and expertise would not be good for them, but the rest of the status are fine. It would be no different than with holy priests not wanting cloth that has hit on it.
  1. Scratches's Avatar
    Sigh, if only the in-game models had the kind of detail that that concept art depicts. Hell, I'd even take half.
    As an artist myself, seeing all the flat models (e.g., skirts) and armor that's just painted-on just makes me smh and cry a little on the inside...
  1. marrefar's Avatar
    Possible solution to the plate int issue: Let the mages get it as an option in the spec, would be nice to see some battlemages around!
  1. Prokne's Avatar
    The reason so few people killed Yogg in wrath was because Ulduar was only out for 4 months and the next raid was way too easy so everyone skipped it. Ulduar only has 10 bosses if you skip the optional ones, the only thing that made it long was the trash and the fact that it was relatively hard so you might not one shot everything. Also their excuse that making all hardmodes activated lwould start to become gimmicky and boring is bs. They could use their imagination to think of new ways to initiate hardmodes but instead they go for the incredibly boring toggle hardmode in UI, boss health up, does more damage, some fights have 1 or 2 extra abilities.
  1. ganush's Avatar
    I love how people keep voting Ulduar the best raid experience in the game and saying how much they loved it, yet Blizzard has to down play that, because they have no intention of ever producing that level of content again. I'm so tired of Blizzard's rhetoric and hollow explanations, it'd be better now if they just kept their blue posts to themselves on this type of topic. I never killed Yogg or Algalon until after ToC was out, yet my times in Ulduar were the most fun raiding I have ever had. 6 hours a week was plenty of time to get through it. I have not felt the thrill of a kill very often in Cata. The first tier had it's moments, the only fight in Firelands that made me yell was the first time we killed Rag, and DS has had no such moments for me so far.

    As for spell plate, why not look at it from a different perspective. Rather than changing what Holy Pallies wear, I'd think they could have Ret or Unholy DK's wearing spell plate. I actually really think they missed the boat on Unholy as a spell plate class.
  1. Gigi1975's Avatar
    Wow the Priest T8 model looks better in the art then it does in game
  1. The Last DJ's Avatar
    I love the rose-tinted glasses with which everyone views Ulduar. It was a neat dungeon with an amazing story behind it, visually entertaining (if you're into constellations), and each boss was relatively different in their encounter. Problem was it ran about 5 bosses too long. It got real tedious real fast, and after the first, I dunno, months worth of lockouts, everything became automated. I remember doing Flame Leviathan the first few times as a gunner, acting on point to call out the approach of the spider tanks. Doing Decon for the first time and wiping in a spectacularly hilarious fashion because none of us were expecting his voice/dialogue. "No Munchie, don't press Mimiron's button. No Munchie, bad Munchie! Don't press the button. SIT! DOWN BEAR! DOWN! BAD BEAR! BAD MUNCHIE!" That stark, almost sad realization that you had to every week fight your way past the veritable loot pinatas that was Siege to get to the slightly more entertaining Keepers encounters. I honestly liked ToC when it first came out. "Wait ... you mean we sit here and the bosses come to us? No dipstick getting lost or aggroing a trash pack trying to skip it? No 'up the stairs around the corner through three teleporters and five hallways across the treehouse roof and down the rainspout around the loopy-doo remember to stay to the left and Parn do you THINK maybe you could pop on some Cheetah Feet so we'd get there faster than a settler got to Oregon in a fuckin' covered wagon?' ... no Munchie deliberately killing people with Mimiron Frogger 2.0? We just ... stay here? That's what I call Mag-fuckin'-neato."
  1. lilbuddhaman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Idletime View Post
    Ulduar was, and always will be apparently, the pinnacle of WoW raiding. It had perfect separation of player ability. I got to see through all of it on my old main and it took about 5 months. If people couldn't make it to the end boss, then you had something to work on. The nerf to the instance came with gear available from later (and easier) content. That was fine, because I routinely went back to retain achievements and mounts on other characters.
    The "pinnacle" of wow raiding was most of BC, rarely have seen someone say the opposite who has done vanilla through Lich King. I'm guessing you didn't raid in BC, if you even played.
    Other than that, I agree with your statements.

    edit:

    Maybe I'm all "rose tinted sunglasses" about the "old days" but BC to me was a combination of wow accessibility with old school mmo progression, as well as a broadening of the game instead of a narrowing.

    Take note that I'm factoring "competitive" pvp into my opinions as I wasn't a pvper. If anything it was "the beginning of the end" by not splitting mechanics of pvp and pve. That would have saved a massive amount of heartache from players a long time ago, and would have promoted growth of both without all the issues that one would cause the other. There has not been a single patch since arenas came into existence that didn't have at least one pvp-related nerf/buff/change that also directly effected pve players for no good reason.

    And with every expansion mechanics have gotten worse because of it, and moreso dumbed down as a the laziest way of "fixing" the issue. The devs really have no clue how to balance the game, and have ALWAYS taken the easy route. See: shapeshifting root breaks, bloodlust, rogue stealth just to name a few. When I left the game (late WotLK) the game was dive bombing into a 4 class system; that is Tank, healer, melee dps, ranged dps. Today it is essentially that and with MoP it will be exactly that. Instead of a class having many unique mechanics, they have at best two and the rest are shared between several other classes.

    Everything that has made this game more accessible has made it less fun. Believe it or not, it is possible to make a game initially accessible to "casual" players while also being fun/deep for "hardcore" players. The problem is that it takes some amount of effort, which Blizz refused to do.

    It baffles me as to how even the most hardened fanboy could not have seen the reality of the game by now. (which is shit)
  1. The Last DJ's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by lilbuddhaman View Post
    The "pinnacle" of wow raiding was most of BC, rarely have seen someone say the opposite who has done vanilla through Lich King. I'm guessing you didn't raid in BC, if you even played. A combination of wow accessibility with old school mmo progression.

    Other than that, I agree with your statements.
    BC raiding was great mechanics-wise. I loved Kara to death. We'd continue to run Kara every week long into t6 - it was 22 friggin' badges for an hour-and-a-half of work that was largely still entertaining (easy as fuck, but entertaining) well into t6. Problem with BC raiding for me at least, was that I had absolutely no vested interest in Kael'thas or Illidan as villains. I outright can't stand either of them, and I wasn't entirely sold on them being shoehorned into big bad expac villains. Tempest Keep was a visual nightmare that left me with a splitting headache every raid night without fail, SSC was pretty ... meh. (Even if I found Lady Vashj to be a much more entertaining villain, story-wise.) The thing about TBC raiding was that it was (for me at least) a middle bit of uninspiring painful meh bracketed by amazing content. I mean Sunwell was fucking stunning.
  1. lilbuddhaman's Avatar
    The unnerfed Kael'Thas and the first couple of kills on Vashj, Illidian, and Archimonde were incredible experiences. I imagine if I would have steamrolled an "easy" version of each one before doing the "normal" or "hard" version I would have been incredibly dissapointed, like how I felt with EVERY boss in Lich King. Speaking of Lich King; Icecrown was a sloppily done instance. Black Temple with skulls thrown on everything.
  1. Worgoblin's Avatar
    I'd really like the ability to toggle weapon enchant graphics on/off. I'm surprised this hasn't already been added.
  1. The Last DJ's Avatar
    I'm not as emotionally hung up on "easymode" LFR as what seems to be the vocal majority of the player base. It's something else to do, really, and that's all it boils down to. Raiding in WoW has always been the big thing. That's what you do. You play WoW to do endgame content, whether it was raiding or grinding ladder rankings. Players of other games talk a lot of shit on WoW based on this fact. And some people are scared of it. They're fucking terrified of the idea of raiding, thinking of all those friggin' stories of bitter ex-players or hearsay, and expecting damn near every raid group to consist of 25 Onyxia Guys. You don't get the full endgame experience of WoW dinking in 5 man heroics that were logically designed to be the first step of progression. Now a new player who's not sure of whether or not he's ready to raid can do those heroics, and then dabble his toes in the kiddie pool that is LFR. Does he like the experience? Does he feel comfortable dealing with 14 to 24 other people? Is he comfortable with his class mechanics and even how his computer runs the raid scenario? If that's the case (and he's welcome to run it a few times just to really make sure after the shiny newness has worn off), then he can app to a raiding guild, or go on server-organized PuGs. It's not the people LFR is aimed at that have turned it into scuzzy den of terribads and horror stories - it's the people with grandiose entitlement complexes coming in to stomp on the good fun of all the "baddies" and "casuals". Blizzard was well-intentioned with the design of LFR, just like they were with LFG. Problem is they're a little too naive when it comes to just how big a douchebag some of their players can be when it comes to what "I deserve for my 15 bucks".

    Hell, I WISH we had an LFR for BC/Wrath content. It would have weeded out a lot of people in my guild who were so very not mentally capable raiders, and saved us so very many wipes after a new healer or tank or special-role DPS fucking hyperventilated themselves into unconsciousness from the stress of first-time raiding. ("WHAT DO YOU MEAN I TANK THAT OGRE? I'M A MAGE IN CLOTH! I DON'T TANK! I'VE HAD IT BEATEN INTO MY HEAD FOR 70 LEVELS THAT IT'S BAD WHEN I TAKE DAMAGE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?!") Asking players about any serious phobias has also now become rule fucking 1 on the recruitment list. Nothing like having your eardrums shattered by the terrified wail of a new healer brought in on a trial run on Maexxna only to learn that he's absolutely pants-pissingly terrified of spiders.
  1. Lumineus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by lilbuddhaman View Post
    The "pinnacle" of wow raiding was most of BC, rarely have seen someone say the opposite who has done vanilla through Lich King. I'm guessing you didn't raid in BC, if you even played.
    LOL.

    Burning "Woo, Mana Burn Aura! Wait, What's A 'Hybrid Melee?'" Crusade?

    Burning "We're Going to Let Other Classes Besides Warriors Tank... LOL J/K!" Crusade?

    Burning "Sorry, You Can't Even Heal This Raid Because You Have No AoE" Crusade?

    Bitch, please.

    Yeah... I'm gonna guess you played a Destruction Warlock or something.
  1. Salech's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lumineus View Post
    LOL.

    Burning "Woo, Mana Burn Aura! Wait, What's A 'Hybrid Melee?'" Crusade?

    Burning "We're Going to Let Other Classes Besides Warriors Tank... LOL J/K!" Crusade?

    Burning "Sorry, You Can't Even Heal This Raid Because You Have No AoE" Crusade?

    Bitch, please.

    Yeah... I'm gonna guess you played a Destruction Warlock or something.
    I agree with him, and i played an elemental Shaman.
  1. lilbuddhaman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lumineus View Post
    LOL.

    Burning "Woo, Mana Burn Aura! Wait, What's A 'Hybrid Melee?'" Crusade?


    Burning "We're Going to Let Other Classes Besides Warriors Tank... LOL J/K!" Crusade?

    Burning "Sorry, You Can't Even Heal This Raid Because You Have No AoE" Crusade?

    Bitch, please.

    Yeah... I'm gonna guess you played a Destruction Warlock or something.
    And the works of someone who didn't play BC clearly.

    -From day one was a feral druid. Main Tanked every non-gimmick fight in expansion (ie: requires a specific warrior ability or cooldown), and consistently maintained ~90% the dps as a feral cat as non-legendary rogues. Something I felt perfectly acceptable, a small but fair Hybrid tax

    -My top 100 US guild ran with a full assortment of healers pally, druid, priest alike; certain specs were required, but that is simply the name of the raiding game.

    Fankly, you don't know shit. Its not even about absolute nitpicking specific behaviors that were minor to the big picture. It was Risk vs Reward an aspect completely lost to wow.

    Likely you played has some randomly chosen "spec" that was pvp focused and bitched because it wasn't pve viable, IF you even raided in BC at all, which I highly doubt given your generalized statements of the situation in BC.
  1. MoroboshiY's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by lilbuddhaman View Post
    And the words of someone who didn't play BC clearly.
    Actually, he's spot on.

    -From day one was a feral druid. Main Tanked every non-gimmick fight in expansion (ie: requires a specific warrior ability or cooldown), and consistently maintained ~90% the dps as a feral cat as non-legendary rogues. Something I felt perfectly acceptable, a small but fair Hybrid tax
    Guess you forgot that from day 1 feral druid damage started OP and their ride on the buff-nerf rollercoaster was not as harsh as what other classes saw in TBC. ("Warriors and the abortion known as Rage Normalization: Part I" and "Ret Paladins losing Crusader Strike only to gain it back near the end of the damn expansion" say hi.)

    Its not even about absolute nitpicking specific behaviors that were minor to the big picture.
    Minor? Denying people raid spots over some of the problems in TBC is minor? Sitting mages during sunwell was minor? Ret paladins and fury warriors being worthless in dungeons that were designed around CC when they had none to bring to a group is minor? Paladins still being tank healers at the time is minor?

    It was Risk vs Reward an aspect completely lost to wow.
    The risk is still the same. Dying, repairs and wasted flasks are still part of the equation.

    It may sound surprising, but not everyone who was around back in TBC looks back at that expansion with fondness. I'll be the first to tell you they went overboard with Cataclysm, which is a shame because they had it just right in WotLK. So yes, to me Ulduar is the pinnacle of raid design between normal/hard modes, variety in bosses and overall leangth of the instance.
  1. Nanela's Avatar
    Maybe someday there will be a new class that also uses Intellect plate.
    HAHAHA how long do you think wow will survive?

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