MMO-Champion - Patch 5.1 Pet Battle Updates, Heroic Terrace Videos, Blue Posts, The Daily Blink
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Patch 5.1 - Pet Battle Updates
Patch 5.1 adds several new battle pets to the game, and people have been hunting them down on the PTR to provide locations for you!

Several of the pets drop from old world bosses in Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, Ahn'Qiraj, and Naxxramas. The others come from Achievements, the Blizzard Store, Tailoring, Quests, the Darkmoon Faire, or the Brawler's Guild.

New battle stones have been added to allow you to upgrade pets. It will cost you 1000 Justice points or a rare drop after a battle with a wild pet to upgrade to uncommon. Rare stones can also be obtained as a rare drop after defeating a wild pet, or from the Sack of Pet Supplies that are rewarded by Pet Battle quests.

The Pet Journal also has several updates, with better filtering, searching, and the rarity of each pet being shown without any addons. There are several other smaller changes being made, such as an increase to a cap of 650 pets or pet quality being displayed in battles. Read the full notes to see the full list of changes and check out the screenshots below for the UI improvements!





Heroic Terrace of Endless Spring Videos
Minor progression changes today with another seven guilds defeating Lei Shi. This brings us to fourteen 25 man guilds and three 10 man guilds still working on Sha of Fear. Blood Legion released videos of Tsulong and Lei Shi today!





Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvE
I...don't understand. You cant make up VP from a prior week. There's no increase for missing a prior week, right?
But you get valor *every* run now. Now the bonus is just a bonus, not the only way to earn valor.
No matter what's a bonus and what isn't, the dailies + heroic VP changes make you feel mandated to play every single day.
It's more efficient because of the bonuses, but not the only way to earn Valor. I tweeted previously about possible vs. optimal.
You dont see a problem Greg with people with less time having to do thing in less eficient ways? 7 a week was fine
Our data suggests fewer players completed 7/week than 1/day. Worse, players who wanted to do more than 7 had nothing to do. (Source)

What lead to the decision to make an epic two handed weapon so difficult to obtain? The one is Palace is under 1% drop rate.
Epics from dungeons intended to be rare. Elegon drops one in Raid Finder. 2H is a huge dps for Str users, so we're careful. (Source)

The second half of normal HoF really has no business being harder mechanically than heroic MSV. Casuals are gonna get stomped.
Second half of MSV has more mechanics than first half, and Raid Finder groups are figuring it out. (Source)

PvP
13 pages and counting. Peoples' opinion is clear. Now it's your turn! I'd appreciate reading, atleast OP. http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/5847925038
I read that forum regularly. Ultimately, we want WoW PvP to be about skill and gear and not just skill. We can tweak numbers but we like the feature. (Source)

On AJ in Top 10 3v3 there are four priests, all with Discipline as one of their specs. One ONLY has Disc.
It depends a lot on which stats you look at. Just 3s? Just US? Just certain Battlegroups? Top 10? Top 100? All?
Those graphs speak popularity, not performance or even spec. And no, popularity != performance.
Yep. We see the same phenomenon with raid logs. (Source)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Resilience and duration of Crowd Control mechanics
That is quite an interesting concept, but it appears to take something that is and should be quite simple, then makes it incredibly complex. It would be quite difficult to know how long you will be CC'd or CC'ing for in a match because it would vary from player to player.

There would be other issues with such a system too, what if a player had more PvP power than the other person had Resilience? Say a Human Warrior (purely theoretical) that stacks PvP power and is using Titan's Grip, they can get approximately 53% PvP power and they face someone just getting into PvP having only 40% resilience. They will be stunned by any of the Warriors CC for 13% longer.

You could change the "8 second cap" to be "capped at skills base PvP duration", but other issues could possibly arise too. Maybe there would be technical limitations on such a system or Resilience may out scale PvP power making CC almost useless and vice versa.

We have said previously that we are content with the current state of crowd control, but it is really cool to see more on how you would all like to see CC function in PvP. Just because we are okay with how CC works right now doesn't mean we are not open to feedback from the community on the subject, so feel free to add your thoughts in this topic.

Yeah, prepare to get flamed. The current state of crowd control is making people quit left and right. It's really sucked the fun right out of this game.
I will say something that was said last time we mentioned that we are content with the current state of CC to try and prevent this. It is something I already touched on in the last post.

Just because we are okay with how CC works right now doesn't mean we are not open to feedback from the community on the subject, so feel free to add your thoughts in this topic.
So we are not against making changes to how CC works in PvP right now, we are simply content with how it works at the moment. We fully understand that there are some players that are frustrated by CC right now and if you have thoughts or feedback on the topic, feel free to discuss it here. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria and WoW Art Style
The quest areas are awesome, I am not only finding them fun but loving the theme and atmosphere. The same goes for the dungeons as well I really love the designs and the attention to detail. Excuse my rant its just been so long since I have enjoyed this game and it really feels like Blizzard have really well made this expansion.
I’m glad you’re enjoying MoP so much, I couldn’t agree more with you when it comes to attention to detail regarding design.
Sometimes I see players complaining about an out-dated graphics engine based solely on technical details, like the new API functions that usually come with each new generation of video cards that software engines can take advantage of, but I think that most of the times they forget about the most important thing, the design of the game itself.

World of Warcraft is quite cartoonish, that’s obvious and it’s on purpose, it’s a design decision and I think it’s a really good one, it adds a lot to the longevity of the game, and it also makes it possible to play on low-settings and still have the game looking good.
Also I have to say that engines aren’t something static, sometimes I think players forget about that, our engine is made in-house and so of course technical details are not as well spread on the internet as the ones from other engines, but as most players probably noticed, for example, the game now supports DirectX 11, and 64-bit OS’s. There have been a ton of changes made under the hood along these years; some of them are even visually unnoticeable since they are only performance improvements, but these are very important updates, raiding in a 25-man environment with addons and the like can actually be extremely CPU-intensive. I think those that have tried Sha of Anger in a 40-man raid with other raids around them “helping out”, understand the importance of having an efficient game engine.

The amount of care that is put into design is quite impressive, there are lots of things that players don’t consciously notice and just take for granted, but after questing or raiding on a certain area, they will probably notice in the end that there was something special on that scenery that they just couldn’t quite put their finger on what it was. The design ends up being extremely appealing and I think most players would be surprised to know the amount of attention and resources that are spent on fine-tuning very small details.

I’ve played other games with the latest generation graphics engines and I must say that while some like to take advantage of showing off the engine capabilities, and try to impress players with technicalities, like using extremely high resolution textures and latest vertex shaders, most of them fail in delivering superb design, and by that I mean the amount of care and artistic talent that is put into real 3d modelling of in-game objects, of quest design, raid encounters and whatnot, that requires real work and artistic talent. I’ve seen some of the latest games using super simple 3d models and just applying some high resolution texture over it with stuff like tessellation and displacement mapping as a fast but impressive way to create surface relief and give it some finer 3d details.
When seen independently this kind of things can look impressive, but are they memorable? I don’t think so; good design is not based on simply using the latest technology, good design should have an intrinsic value in itself and be able to persist through time.

For example, the style of architecture that is used throughout Pandaria is consistent, fits like a glove into the environment and actually follows a lot of rules, grabbing inspiration and giving proper respect to old-eastern culture and architecture.
Of course this is done in a way that fits into the already well-established and respected WoW culture and design.

I would bet that most players would correctly recognize a 3d architecture model from WoW faster than they would from most other games. There is some “artistic glue” that connects it all together in World of Warcraft and makes everything look consistent, thus easily persisting in our memories as WoW or even as “Blizzard style”.

Multi-core optimization to get use out of 4 CPU cores instead of current 2, would help a lot in the FPS side during Raids
This is a problem that many games face and it's a hard one to tackle, new and possibly better OS's also play a big role in this area as they can control which threads go to each core.

But I agree, this would be a major improvement as CPU's seem to be evolving into more and more cores, instead of the number of transistors in each one, eventually things get so small that technology might hit a physical limitation. We’ll just have to wait and see, maybe some new scientific discovery will change this and we get back to single core CPUs (Hello quantum!)

Optimization for 2+ CPUs would be great, but I don’t know how feasible it is, I suspect it would take major resources to do any kind of major improvement on this, resources that might be better spent somewhere else since the game runs just fine on current CPUs.

There are also many constraints software wise that make this something very hard to accomplish with such a complex game, I suspect that some optimizations can be done but the game will continue to use some cores more than others, simply because some threads will be under a heavier workload than others and you can’t easily split them into multiple ones, some calculations require one thread and don’t run well in parallel, any kind of major change on this I suspect would probably require an almost complete rewrite of the game code or some special compiling, but this is mostly speculation on my part, maybe devs can tell us otherwise one of these days. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The Daily Blink - Black Friday at the Black Market
The Daily Blink put out their own Black Friday ad this week!

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