MMO-Champion - Kun-Lai Summit Preview, Dragon Soul Challenge, Developers Q&A, Blue Posts, TCG Art
Diablo 3 - Unlock #5 - Blizzcast 17, Open Beta Weekend Errors, New Wallpaper Available

Kun-Lai Summit Zone Preview
Longview and Dr. Wuky offer us a look at Kun-Lai Summit in a previous beta build.

Important - As usual, this is WORK IN PROGRESS. The screenshots and video do not reflect the final version of the zone.


















Vodka vs Method Dragon Soul Challenge
The Dragon Soul Challenge is a head-to-head speed clear competition between vodka and Method. With no buff and no stopping, the first guild to fully clear 25 player Heroic Dragon Soul wins. Both raids will occur simultaneously on 4/21/2012 at 2:00 pm EST[8:00 pm CET].

They invite all fans of World of Warcraft to view and participate in all the action at http://athenelive.com/dschallenge. The primary stream will showcase players from both guilds and be casted by Athene and Kinaesthesia. 100% of all proceeds from this event will go directly to the Save the Children charity.

Razer, Curse, and other sponsors will be providing prizes to the viewers such as signed Cataclysm Collectors' Edition games, Razer headsets, mice, and keyboards, Curse shirts and Premium accounts, and other prizes.



WoW China Developers Q&A
Otarma was kind enough to translate some of the questions from the WoW China Developers Q&A for us. If you want to see all of the questions or help to provide a more accurate translation, see the original topic!

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Will we be able to steal people's crops in the Tiller's farming area?
No, you are the only one who can see your farm.

Will there be more faction-themed mounts (e.g. Armored Razzashi Raptor and Rivendare's Deathcharger)? Some complain that Alliance can have more Horde-themed mounts.
We want to make sure both factions have all the new mounts. After all, even in the old days, all that it took to collect all the mounts was a lot of time investment.

Are there plans to adjust leveling speed? Or lower the XP required to level from 60 to 80?
It's hard to say. The current leveling speed is already too fast. Many players switch to next area so quickly that they cannot experience the full quest lore. We might adjust the quest routes for levels 60 to 80 so that players can choose the route they want.

I heard there would be archaeology dailies. Are these dailies available only when archaeology skill reaches 525? Or is it like the fishing and cooking dailies in Cata, which merely require minimum skill points?
The latter. Archaeology dailies are like fishing and cooking, chosen randomly from 3-5 quests every day.

Is there a reputation requirement to use elder tokens to buy gear?
No. You will be able to use elder tokens to buy gear from specific NPCs. The elder-token gear is different from the reputation gear sold by reputation vendors. Except for some gear that requires certain levels, you can buy many enchants from these NPCs (similar to those provided by rep vendors in Cata). Rep vendors will also sell some rep gear like before that costs gold, not elder tokens, and this gear requires certain level of reputation.

Is it possible to introduce the option of invalidating the Alt+Tab combination like SC2 does so that players who do arenas or raids won't accidentally switch to their desktop? Such accidents are common because many players use Alt in their customized hotkeys.
Currently we don't have such plan. Our UI settings are already too complicated.

Will there be some graphical upgrades in Mists of Pandaria?
We further enhanced rendering, shadow and environment fog. But they are not easy to see. We may consider giving a detailed list of changes or some before-after comparison screenshots.

Some players feel empty during the time of leveling from 1 to 85 because of the acquiring frequency of skills and talents decreased. What do you think?
The frequency at which you acquire skills is as high as it was before, if not higher. After all, those skills that used to require talent points are available from your specialization directly. The most different part now is players do not click talent trees once every 1 or 2 levels. We never considered it interesting to have players choose to add 1% damage to their frost spells. We plan to introduce a window to tell players when they can learn a certain spell. However, the new talent system is more important to level 90 characters than the leveling characters. We will introduce a similar mechanic to dungeon unlocks. (e.g. a Level 15 Horde character will receive a message to tell him/her that Ragefire is accessible now)

Is there going to be a queuing system for challenge mode dungeons like the normal and heroic dungeons?
Np. Challenge modes will be extremely difficult. You have to run the challenge with a group that you are familiar with. Our current design philosophy is that once a member goes AFK after entering the dungeon, you will have to start over.

Is there going to be any requirement to enter challenge modes? Since all the ilevels of a player's gear are normalized, will there still be something like an ilevel requirement?
There will be a minimum ilevel requirement, maybe higher than heroic dungeon.

Ideally, how long will it take for a PuG to complete a run of a heroic dungeon in Mists? You mentioned earlier that the difficulty of heroic dungeon would be close to the ones of WotLK, so how about the time taken?
The time needed to complete a WotLK heroic dungeon varied greatly from the time this expansion launched to the introduction of LFD. In Mists we believe 30 to 45 minutes is an ideal average value.

Will there be any rules about pet trading? Will we be able to trade pets of limited editions (like Panda Cub) or Blizzard Store pets (like Wind Rider Cub)? How about achievement pets?
We plan to allow players to trade Blizzard Store pets excluding Guardian Cub (because it's not BoP and it's unique). Collector's edition and other limited edition pets (like Mini Tyrael or BlizzCon pets) will not be tradable, either.

You said earlier that not all pets can take part in pet battle system. What are the exceptions?
Currently the exceptions are pets with humanoid children models. They will not be included in pet battle system. Nor will the Guardian Cub.

Scenarios seem fun enough. Will they provide some solid rewards other than VP and rep? And are all scenarios accessible only to level 90 players?
Given the simplicity and convenience of Scenarios, VP and rep are enough. Currently scenarios are accessible to level 90 players only, but we might introduce some low-level scenarios in future.

Compared with WotLK and TBC, leveling from 80 to 85 in Cataclysm is significantly faster. How about MoP?
It's hard to predict before the game goes live. On average we think it won't be faster than Cataclysm since you are not allowed to use flying mounts during leveling. So the time taken should be a little bit longer.

Some players think it's not a good idea to have Mistweavers healing while damage-dealing. Have you considered other devices of gaining chi?
We won't force Mistweavers to do so. It's only an optional game style, just like Atonement Priests healing with Smite. In some special encounters, Mistweavers can totally stay in the back of the raid with other healers. We haven't completed all the Monks skills so chances are some other ways of gaining chi can be added in.

The number of 25-man raiding guilds seems to be declining. Are there going to be any plans to encourage them? Or do you plan to remove 25-man raids?
A: The number of 25-man raiding guilds is probably going to keep decreasing, but we will still continue to provide 25-man raids unless one day no one does 25-man raids anymore. We do not have direct plans to encourage players to choose 25-man. We hope to keep 10-man and 25-man raids close enough so players can choose the type that they find interesting. (Provided you have enough people to run 10-man or 25-man raids)



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Talent System Feedback
I wonder, when mop rolls out, and every fire mage has the same spec, will you admit failure? Theory crafters will figure out which combination of talents and glyphs provides the best dps given a situation. We call those situations boss fights. Look back at your data, and tell me how many fire mage specs where used on ragnaros.
Yep, we would admit failure if every Fire mage still takes the same talents. We don't think the theorycrafters will be able to solve the problem as easily as you describe though. Does Greater Invis or Cauterize provide the higher dps? Both can save your life, depending on you and the situation. Maybe Nether Tempest or Living Bomb might have a marginally higher dps than each other for some fights, but still, it's much easier for us to balance two abilities against each other than it is to balance a 33/5/3 build against a 34/3/4 build.

As to your Ragnaros question, the answer as you can imagine is that the talent builds were virtually identical. That's what we we're trying to fix. However, if you look at glyphs, the situation is much more diverse. The new talents are more akin to Major glyphs, in that they aren't just passive dps increases. About 30% of mages had Glyph of Dragon's Breath and about 30% had Glyph of Blink. Which was the higher dps? Apparently there was disagreement, or nobody knew, or it didn't matter.

You didn't remove traps either. Look at warriors. Yep blade storm tanking sounds boss.. until you realize that dodge, parry and block do not function while channeling an ability. Don't worry, I had to look that up on a third party website, because blizzard refuses to document their own games basic mechanics.
We want Bladestorm to be attractive to tanks. It would be a flaw in the tree if one of the talents was a no-brainer to skip. In 5.0, Bladestorm does not prevent dodge, block or parry, and it even allows shouts, of which Last Stand is included.

I sympathize with the problem that our tooltips can't explain all of the nuance, depth and exceptions for the abilities. At times we have tried to be more complete, but the tooltips ended up reading like legal documents and of course grew very long. It's a problem we'll continue to try and solve though.

The issue is you are asking us to ignore the fact it's you that designed the 4.x system and you also similary tried to "sell us" that system as a net positive back in the pre-4.0 days. It's a matter of trust and prior performance.
Hey, we're happy to admit our mistakes and try to improve the game for the future. I suspect you'd probably prefer that than if we stubbornly clung to failed experiments. Our sincere hope is that new talent system fixes the problem of player choice and customization once and for all. I think it has a strong chance of doing so. But I've been in this business long enough to know that I might be wrong.

If for an example in a raid I am a healer who "never has to move" or that the "movement I do doesn't really need any fancy augmentation from a talent" then offering me three "movement" talents won't seem interesting. That's why throughput "increasers" seem more interesting to people because at least they can see the utility because for the most part
I'm not trying to nitpick through all these examples. I just want to communicate that the system would be a lot less compelling if there were obvious choices or non-choices like this. But please keep telling us of any you think fall into that category. We have time to fix them.

We do some Patchwerk-style fights still (Ultraxion was pretty close), but there are plenty of fights with many moving parts as well. Maybe we're arguing semantics here, but I don't think "increasers" are interesting. They may be useful, perhaps even mandatory, but that works against their being interesting. You don't have to think about them much. You don't have to experiment. You don't have to be a clever player to benefit from them. They just kind of sit there, making your numbers bigger.

Deciding "will I use this talent?" is interesting (in my definition anyway, which is the definition commonly used in game design, so maybe I'm just slipping into industry jargon). Deciding how to use the talent is interesting. I love the thought that a mage who has killed the Sha of Fear a dozen times might decide to switch from Rune of Power to Incanter's Ward, just to keep things interesting.

As an example from Mage Tier 4, Cold Snap screams Frost. It does not reset any Fire or Arcane ability, want to take a guess how often any Fire or Arcane mage takes that? Or flip it around, want to take a guess how often any Frost mage doesn't take it?
Cold Snap doesn't reset Frozen Orb though, which would make it too attractive to Frost and not attractive enough for Fire. It resets spells like Frost Nova, which all mages have and will likely use. It also restores your health, making it useful even if you don't have a spell on cooldown.

Agreeing with this sentiment more and more as I peruse the new warrior tree. None of the talent choices are exciting at all relative to the other two choices in the tiers. It really does feel like I can just pick whatever without any real impact on my performance.
You *should* be able to pick whatever you want without any impact on your performance. If one talent increased your performance more than the others, we would all just take that talent (unless some of us didn't care about performance, which is always possible).

Bladestorm, Shockwave and Dragon Roar all have different cooldowns. That alone will give them a different feel -- do you want to hit weaker buttons more frequently or more powerful buttons more rarely? But your overall DPS can be the same (unless the fight length makes the length of the cooldowns relevant, but even that is interesting in that you need to consider it). If Dragon Roar did the highest damage in most situations, then the other two choices are boring and won't get used a lot.

This attitude 'use cookie cutters or you're bad' annoys me to no end, in vanilla, TBC I not ONCE used a cookie cutter spec and on my NE priest I was second tank healer in Molten core at 58
If that's the case, that's awesome. That's what we want. But most players aren't in your situation. They take virtually the same talent choices as everyone else. You would probably be sad too if you felt like that was your only real option. We want every player to feel like they can choose whether they like A instead of B or C.

GC you take so much heat. Props to you man, for weathering a very turbulent storm daily.
It's cool, man. They just want the game to be fun, which is exactly what we want. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Trading Card Game Art
Blizzard has updated the Trading Card Game art gallery to feature ten new pieces.





Curse is Hiring!
Due to continuing growth, Curse is looking to fill a few positions in the near future!

If you're looking for a chance to get into the industry, this may be the opportunity you've been seeking . At the moment, we are looking to fill the following positions:





  • Senior .NET Web Developer - Interested in working on some of the most popular .NET-based sites in the world? Curse.com, Wowstead.com and DarthHater.com are just a few of our cutting edge .NET sites you’ll be working on as a Senior .NET Web Developer.
  • PHP Web Developer - As a PHP Web Developer, the employee relies on experience in web application development to design and build the company’s PHP-based web sites.
  • Account Coordinator - Account Coordinator works with Account Executives & Regional Sales Managers on digital advertising campaigns from beginning to end, and from time-to-time interfaces with multiple departments including: Creative, Ad Operations, Marketing, PR and Finance.



For more information on working at Curse, please head to our Jobs page.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Kun-Lai Summit Preview, Dragon Soul Challenge, Developers Q&A, Blue Posts, TCG Art started by chaud View original post
Comments 94 Comments
  1. Ryme's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Isharii View Post
    Would be interested in that speed run challenge if it wasnt being casted by Athene. I cant stand listening to him.
    You're probably only aware of his alter-ego, his serious side is something quite different. Besides, you get to help Save the Children, and the guy's helped raise over $350,000 for them, I think he deserves some support
  1. McNeil's Avatar
    Did anyone notice that car wash picture? 3rd row below, all the way to the right
  1. CaptainArlong's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nyashka View Post
    Wow they've finally found out how to make mountains look more realistic. They probably got inspired by skyrim.
    What?... They're video game mountains, why are you even looking at them?
  1. DietzThought's Avatar
    I love the sky. I guess many people won't like it because it's so cartoonish, but i think it fits perfectly.
  1. lekein's Avatar
    I thought Pandarens were not okay in China? Have they changed their stance now? Or will MoP not be released there?
  1. Halaberiel's Avatar
    "The number of 25-man raiding guilds is decreasing, but we will still continue to provide 25-man raids unless one day no one does 25-man raids anymore. We do not have direct plans to encourage players to choose 25-man. We hope to keep 10-man and 25-man raids close enough so players can choose the type that they find interesting. (Provided you have enough people to run 10-man or 25-man raids)"

    They've got it spot on in my opinion. Let the players decide what format they prefer. People shouldn't have to be encouraged to play 25 mans, they should just want to play them... With the introduction of LFR I don't think 25 mans are ever going to be phased out. They're putting the ball in our court, giving us the choice.
  1. Azrile's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Inahu View Post
    This is a huge ideology problem for Blizzard, in my opinion. At what point was it determined that players HAVE to experience all of the "quest lore" in all of the zones? At what point was it determined that this was more important than a smooth, engaging levelling arc?

    Frankly, as far as I'm aware, most players already skip 3-4 of 7 Outland zones because they don't need to do the rest. The only way to experience all of the zones at the right level would be to actively forego part of the "quest lore" from other zones. I don't think the problem with Outland is missing out on quest lore, there's so little of it to actually enjoy that tethers to any engaging storyline experience. Hellfire has a lot of Fel Orcs, but you never really learn too much about why unless you read every scrap of quest text. Zangarmarsh has something to do with Naga stealing water, but that too isn't very interesting. Most players probably don't have a clue as to why there are a bunch of black dragons impaled in Blade's Edge Mountains.

    I suppose what I'm getting at, is that the supposed "quest lore" in Outland zones at least is not really worth enjoying. It's not up to the standards we've come to expect from the 1-60 experience, or the levelling experience offered by other MMOs that give you a better feel for what you're doing and why you're doing it. Enjoying it for its own sake at the expense of a fun levelling experience is what causes players to encounter inertia and stop playing because they feel that their character isn't progressing as fast as they would like.
    He is not saying ¨all the zones´.. what he means is that when a new player gets to a zone at the appropriate level, more than likely they finish the zone doing gray quests. I think they are ok with people skipping 4 of the outlands zones completely. What they are not ok with is someone entering southern barrens at the minimum level required, then skipping the last 5 quests because they are gray.

    The could really easily rework Outlands to have a Northern path and a Southern path. North( Zangermarsh, BM, N) South(HF, TF, Nag and the last one I can´t remember)
  1. Rinnegan's Avatar
    Is it possible to introduce the option of invalidating the Alt+Tab combination like SC2 does so that players who do arenas or raids won't accidentally switch to their desktop? Such accidents are common because many players use Alt in their customized hotkeys.
    Blizz: Currently we don't have such plan. Our UI settings are already too complicated.

    - I do have a plan!

    Watch this video



    Install http://www.randyrants.com/sharpkeys/
    Change tab to any useless key
    profti!

    This is how I did it.
  1. Khalkaroth's Avatar
    "Will there be any rules about pet trading? Will we be able to trade pets of limited editions (like Panda Cub) or Blizzard Store pets (like Wind Rider Cub)? How about achievement pets?

    We plan to allow players to trade Blizzard Store pets excluding Guardian Cub (because it's not BoP and it's unique). Collector's edition and other limited edition pets (like Mini Tyrael or BlizzCon pets) will not be tradable, either."

    What's so morally wrong about this? If anything, it will still be a way to get these...

    While they're at it, why don't they make mount tradable. After all, "even in the old days, all that it took to collect all the mounts was a lot of time investment." What prevents us from doing that said time investment to get it? Blizzard. Because they removed the mounts.
  1. Dasn's Avatar
    curse has been looking for an account executive for like a year now
  1. Steamwheedle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Azrile View Post
    He is not saying ¨all the zones´.. what he means is that when a new player gets to a zone at the appropriate level, more than likely they finish the zone doing gray quests. I think they are ok with people skipping 4 of the outlands zones completely. What they are not ok with is someone entering southern barrens at the minimum level required, then skipping the last 5 quests because they are gray.

    The could really easily rework Outlands to have a Northern path and a Southern path. North( Zangermarsh, BM, N) South(HF, TF, Nag and the last one I can´t remember)
    The question, and my reply, was about the 60-80 levelling experience, not the 1-60 levelling experience.
  1. Beachcomber's Avatar
    The "help wanted" graphic looks strangely similar to a certain twink warlock's website...
  1. MoanaLisa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by lekein View Post
    I thought Pandarens were not okay in China? Have they changed their stance now? Or will MoP not be released there?
    No, it's not a problem and never really was. Where have you been anyway? Under a rock? This was debunked over a year ago.
  1. Zephs's Avatar
    This soundtrack reminds me of 'The Walking Dead' theme at 2:38. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1sqQIuLRMM)
  1. ImpTaimer's Avatar
    Will we be able to steal people's crops in the Tiller's farming area?
    No, you are the only one who can see your farm.
    I laughed WAY too hard at this. Oh chinese people....
  1. Attsey's Avatar
    Wow, for this challenge the remove buff option will be used. Lets hope that button actually works.....
  1. aikouka's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Strafer View Post
    If only I could do that shit they want on the Curse jobsite.
    You really want to live in Huntsville, Alabama that badly?
  1. nan0byt3's Avatar
    Hey the Kung Lai Summit video, did anyone see the trolls hangin around the Mogu? Around the 4:25-4:40 area. Perhaps this is where that "Zandalari Isle" comes into play and we see an alliance between them and the Mogu. Just speculating here but I thought it was interesting.
  1. Tierbook's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by nan0byt3 View Post
    Hey the Kung Lai Summit video, did anyone see the trolls hangin around the Mogu? Around the 4:25-4:40 area. Perhaps this is where that "Zandalari Isle" comes into play and we see an alliance between them and the Mogu. Just speculating here but I thought it was interesting.
    i dont think any of these vids are including the zandalari isle
  1. Vandexander's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rinnegan View Post
    Q: Is it possible to introduce the option of invalidating the Alt+Tab combination like SC2 does so that players who do arenas or raids won't accidentally switch to their desktop? Such accidents are common because many players use Alt in their customized hotkeys.
    Blizz: Currently we don't have such plan. Our UI settings are already too complicated.

    - I do have a plan!
    Very cool app, Rinnegan! Could definitely come in handy for all sorts of things.

    For the alt-tab (and alt-F4) issues, I discovered a different solution, AutoHotKey (http://www.autohotkey.com/). It's a free, open-source utility for Windows that will let you automate almost anything by sending keystrokes and mouse clicks. I discovered it after hitting alt-F4 while I was tanking a boss in Dragon Soul (my group was *not* happy with me).

    It was pretty easy to set up, and although I'm only using it for un-mapping alt-F4 (so it does nothing!), it has lots of potential.

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