MMO-Champion - Throne of Thunder Raid Preview, Patch 5.2 PTR Live, Blue Posts, Blue Tweets, Fan Art
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Patch 5.2 - Throne of Thunder Raid - Area Preview
We have looked at the Encounter Journal for Throne of Thunder recently, so let's take a look at the actual raid now! You can follow along with the raid zone maps.

Keep in mind this is just a preview and it was not intended to be previewed yet. Things will change in the future!






Patch 5.2 PTR Live
The Patch 5.2 PTR is finally live, so take a look at the notes and copy your characters! Not all of the new content is working yet, but you can still take a shot at the new world boss!



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Leveling Gear Vendors
Vendor gear could get soulbound when u purchase it ( bop )

Indeed that would be a solution, but the other part of the equation it would render the AH economy even more valueless for if people find they need to fill a slot with a better piece, they could just buy it from a vendor.

I think the balance here is right. Vendor gear is not meant to be "great" merely "adequate". Better gear is designed to be obtained by game interaction, not by shopping at vendors.

I think we're essentially discussing convenience vs gaming experience here. I would personally have to agree with the latter sentiment above, that vendor gear like this isn't meant to provide meaningful upgrades, such as from grey/white gear to greens for low level characters. Without high level characters backing you up, you have to go out and explore, fight and win to get better stuff.

For me at least, part of the fun when I start a brand new character on a new realm is having to quest for a while in the most basic of equipment. Then, when you get that first green and you can feel the difference in combat, it feels good, whether it's from a reward or a drop. Just running to a vendor and buying yourself some new gear that is equivalent to the quest rewards seems a little boring in comparison, it would take away some of that excitement. As it stands now, I usually go and grab the white gear for new characters as soon as I can afford it, because any upgrade, no matter how small, helps. And, at that level, grey/white stuff works just fine.

Vendors for expansion switches would be nice indeed. Especially BC->Northrend and Northrend->Cat. Especially Northernd->Cat would be nice, as for healers its hard gearing to be able to join Cat instances soonish due to ilvl requirement.
I have noticed (recently in fact) that the first few quests in Cataclysm can certainly be tough unless you're in really good gear from Wrath. However, you get some great upgrades from those quests which make things easier almost immediately. So I still question the need for vendors at expansion junctions, considering how quickly you pick up replacement gear.

There are vendors in Crossroads that sell green gear, also in Sepulcher and Hillsbrad. They are in other places too like Duskwood.
Yeah but by this stage, green gear and some blue items are readily available through quests and dungeons, so it's not like the vendor gear is a significant upgrade. I think that's the argument here, to be able to buy gear that's better than what's available through normal levelling, am I right?

Also at low level you tend to outlevel your gear very quickly, I recently did Deadmines as a first dungeon and got 3 bits of gear and 2.5 levels. Edit: I agree with Jonní, it can be difficult to do the first few quests in a new expansion, but if you buy a few bits of gear beforehand it can be easier.
Okay so to address the original topic of whites and greens to lowbies; Yes, you do get new gear quickly at that level, but by doing cool things like dungeons as you mention. Which is why I think being able to just buy greens from the get-go on a new character would be a little sad.

On the topic of new gear for expansions, it's true that you can invest a little cash (of which you should have plenty by this point in the game) in the AH to make the transition a little easier, for sure. There are some nice crafted sets available, you could have someone make you that—I did this for my Paladin, who had some awesome healing gear but nothing at all for DPS, and she failed hard in the starting zone for Pandaria. Again, it comes down to convenience vs. having to go out there and 'play the game', be it chatting to crafters, earning gold to buy yourself a starting set for the new lands or toughing it out by struggling through those first few quests. Just plonking a vendor in the new zone as soon as you arrive with shiny new gear isn't much fun. This isn't the case with the Pandaria vendors by the way, you've probably replaced most of your gear by the time you reach them, although they do offer you the chance to get things for any slots you might still be needing (and gear for offspec ofc).

So lets say i am a healer but i am feeling forced to choose dps gear from quests so i can keep on questing . Why can't i choose dps and healing gear from quests ( x2 rewards ) ? The healing gear for running dungeons and battlegrounds as a healer while leveling and dps gear so i can keep on questing. If you get what I mean. Cause if i end up with dps gear from quests how can I be healer? Must I buy gear from AH? Must I queue for dungeons as a dps and if by any chance the healer in the dungeon doesn't need the lets say healing helmet i can roll too?
Is it really fair that a hybrid class gets two rewards from a quest while a DPS-only class gets one? I don't think that would go down very well. I recently levelled a healer myself, but as a Priest, I could happily heal through levelling dungeons in my DPS gear. I know that for Paladins and Druids for example, this isn't the case. Like I said before though, it's not that hard to pick up sets for your offspec through the AH, crafting and Pandaria vendors for characters in that level range.

I think the options are quite clear when you set out to level up; if you go for DPS, you'll get through quests at a nice pace, and this is why having two specs is really handy, because you can keep your healing/tanking spec and use it when you want to, in dungeons or PvP. It's cool that you get that diversity with your character, unlike pure DPS classes. Of course, at some point you have to make that decision when you turn a quest in—do I want this cool healing staff, or the big DPS upgrade one? But we're drifting off topic here!

The point is, gear is available to purchase in the AH or via crafting all through vanilla, TBC, Wrath, Cata and Pandaria if you want to gear up through alternate ways than quest/dungeon/PvP rewards. I'm just personally unconvinced that having vendors who virtually hand you all the upgrades you need before starting a new expansion is the best way to go. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Valor Points Cap
The cap should not really be seen as punishment to people for being able to reach the maximum amount of Valor points every week. The idea behind the cap is to give people a choice on how they reach the cap without having them feel obliged to do everything.

Valor points should also not be considered the primary way of gearing your character. The idea behind Valor in MoP is for them to be a supplement to the gearing process. i.e. you gear up normally through dungeons and raids. As it is normal to have streaks of bad luck, and thus having weeks when you are obtaining no or only few upgrades, you can get a little gear on the side by using Valor points and by doing a little crafting/trading.

Please explain how I upgrade my armor twice for a total of 8 itemlevels without VP?
Just as the method of acquiring Valor points is a choice, so it is a choice how you decide to spend your Valor points.

The cap means that you cannot have everything at once, or even very quickly(as that would render the normal gearing process irrelevant), and this means that you will have to prioritise and make a choice when spending your points... one that actually matters. You must choose what is most beneficial to your character - decide if it is better in the long run to upgrade a piece or replace that piece with something else. If you feel the best way to spend your Valor Points is to upgrade your armor, well then that is what you spend your Valor Points on when you are able to do so.

The primary means of acquiring new gear is through defeating content like for an example raids, whereas Valor Points is a supplemental means of getting new gear. For an example, if you have acquired the best possible gear you can get from one tier of content, then you should be well equipped to face the next tier of content above it, which will reward you with even better gear if you succeed. The Valor Points system serves as a supplement to that process, helping you with a new piece of gear or an upgrade here or there, but it is not meant as an alternate gearing process.

There are several reasons behind the Valor cap btw., none of which are to serve as a punishment for people with a lot of time on their hands. Just in case you would like to know the reasons behind the Valor cap, they are as follows:

  • To make sure that the normal gearing process through facing and defeating different tiers of content is not circumvented or rendered irrelevant.
  • To make your choices matter. We want there to be choice and decision-making involved when building and playing your character.
  • To ensure that as many people as possible can use their time in-game on something they think is fun and that they enjoy doing, and not make people feel like they have to spend massive amounts of time every day just to reach a theoretical maximum weekly limit of Valor Points.

Whether or not the cap is too low is of course a different matter, and this kind of thing is of course something the developers are keeping an eye on continuously as the game evolves and progresses. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character
Will there be any new animations with new character models, or all the same?
They need new anims to support the more complex models (e.g. facial bones). We don't want to lose what's familiar though. (Source)
What about actual combat aminations? ie, the undead female animation that is a flip. That would suck to lose.
We agree. Many of those are iconic. We don't want your characters to be unrecognizable. That's just wrong. (Source)

efficiency is more fun than non-efficiency. non-efficiency = time wasting = frustration.
I don't buy it. Some of the most fun things in life are stupidly inefficient. I think being inefficient in an MMO is a social thing. (Source)
We call it the Mechanar syndrome. Players didn't farm Mechanar because it was our crowning achievement in dungeon design. (Source)

rotation is everything tho. Without all 10 members of raid with flawless rotations, progression does not happen.
I respectfully disagree. That's only an issue for the world first crowd. Our encounters tend to be pretty forgiving of errors. (Source)

How come spirit is still a white stat? It behaves like a green stat, should it not BE a green stat?
We treat it as primary sometimes and secondary sometimes. Agree that it needs to be more consistent. (Source)

What's the reasoning behind Valor of the Ancients not being account wide, and just realm wide...
Technical limitations. (Source)

When the *easiest* endgame content rewards Valor Points, why do Justice points still exist?
It can take a long time to acquire enough Valor to really improve your gear. Justice helps in the interim. (Source)

Why did you end up deciding to keep valor gear in the game? Their was talk that you wouldn't have any this expac.
Even though we think it's important to the game, players can get really frustrated with the RNG of boss drops. (Source)

What's the point of Tomes of Clear Mind when they are so easy to get? Why not just let people change talents/glyphs whenever?
We want a small switching cost. We don't think it will feel good to rebuild your character every single pull. (Source)

Misc
Want to start the day wishing you patience in the face of sha of aggressive twitters. Delighted with your job so far.
Thanks. I am concerned that it has become too much "yo buff my class," which isn't going to be interesting in the long term. (Source)

This expansion is about PvP.
This expansion is about H vs A. That doesn't have to mean PvP. (Source)

do you have any mathematicians with strong skills in your balancing team?
Ridiculously so. (Source)

Stop using the semantics to win arguments. Treat "ignored" as a feeling and not literal. Would help everyone.
Perhaps the feedback would be more effective if players stuck to feedback, even subjective, and not their feelings? (Source)
It's a game, why shouldnt people discuss about how a class feels to play?
How the class feels to play is great feedback. How you feel the designers treat your class is much less interesting. (Source)

Do you guys plan on fixing pvp? the difference between ilvl 458-483 is way too much.. like everything else its simply ignored
"Simply ignored..." You realize we push hotfixes almost every single day and 5.1 contained a long list of PvP changes. (Source)
Like why would you even waste time responding to stuff like this?
Given the volume of correspondence I get, anything I can do to improve the signal to noise ratio is beneficial in the long run. (Source)
Sometimes I am curious if someone really has perceptions that skewed or is just trying to get noticed. (Source)

Just curious, do you ever wonder if you are fixing something that isn't broken? Do you regret any changes you make?
We worry about that constantly, and we regret plenty of changes. Nature of the beast. Too cautious and you never change anything. (Source)

Bli$$ard logic: Keep people playing as long as possible with the least effort from their side.
You're half right. It's hard to argue that WoW doesn't provide a lot of content and updates. Players always want more of course. (Source)

Jay said on his page that he doesnt come on or respond much because of unhappy diablo fans.
A lot of devs do avoid the forums / twitter because they can be so negative. It's sad, but also hard to blame them. (Source)

IMO things in Tigole and Furor era were better. XDDD
When paladins were just healers? (Source)

Fan Art
More of the nice Fan Art produced by the community!

This article was originally published in forum thread: Throne of Thunder Raid Preview, Patch 5.2 PTR Live, Blue Posts, Blue Tweets, Fan Art started by chaud View original post
Comments 80 Comments
  1. Strafer's Avatar
    Still bugged like crazy. Right Click interaction doesn't work. Zeppelins doesn't work.

    Yay.
  1. Ferrouswheel's Avatar
    Not feeling the top of the raid. Has a 5man quality to it. The caves are nice though.
  1. Dravelar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrouswheel View Post
    Not feeling the top of the raid. Has a 5man quality to it. The caves are nice though.

    It should look better on a dark sky
  1. Banzhe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gangstagore View Post
    Ulduar 2.0 i can feel it
    Tbf, even as a rough draft, Throne of Thunder is making Ulduar pale in comparison.., can't wait to hit this shizzle!
  1. Fu1grim's Avatar
    looks like a quake 3 map i cant place
  1. Cairm's Avatar
    Sooo big. Sooo nice!
  1. AK_47's Avatar
    The design are nice, the architecture as well, however I'm very disappointed by the colors and tones. Everything is so grey and sober ... it lacks charisma
  1. Crabmother's Avatar
    Imagine having to run to every boss from the entrance. No portal or anything.
  1. Xkiller9000's Avatar
    Ulduar is back, WOOHOO, probably just as long too in terms of time to complete.
  1. Gallahadd's Avatar
    wwwoooowwwwww Throne of Thunder looks AWESOME, seriously best looking Raid Tier in a long time. If the encounters are 1/2 as fun as they look on paper (or a 1/4 as good as that place looks) then I can see Throne of Thunder being one of the best raids ever.

    You can do it blizz!
  1. netherspite's Avatar
    This new raid is awesome. The design reminds me of Hexen... Old good times...

    And yes, it is as epic as Ulduar was in this preview. Not sure yet if it will be as good populated by mobs and bosses though.

    P.S. Don't dare calling this best raid in 8 years. There is nothing better than Karazhan :P
  1. OIS's Avatar
    First thought that came to my head when I read the name "Throne of Thunder" was Thorim.
  1. Slorg's Avatar
    I dont know why but when i saw Oondasta i started to sing Helter Skelter, except I changed the lyrics up so it goes "Sha of Anger, Sha of Anger, Sha of Anger, you may world boss but you ain't oondasta!"
  1. Sharlok's Avatar
    except for the entrance area where it looked a bit too much like a bad movie of a castle in 1800 great britain I was blown away by everything else after that. It looks like a lot of space for trash though, hope they wont overflow it with units...

    I'd give it a 9 out of 10 going by just the looks. if everything else is up to par we might have just seen the first glimpse of the best raid blizz has ever created. but lets wait and see..
  1. illibladesedge's Avatar
    this place better have teleports
  1. Cotech's Avatar
    Raid looks awesome, getting a feeling of AQ40 with how big the area feels, mixed together with BT (the caves) and Ulduar (/ HoL) for the upper parts. Just hope the bosses turns out as nice!
  1. Aqua's Avatar
    ...Dat cave area in the raid. Someone on the raid development team is owed a drink from me.

    It looks grand. It looks lengthy, it looks astounding. THAT is the raid we've been asking for.
  1. NineK's Avatar
    /e wonders why so many writes a comment here, dont they know I will win this last and cutiest kitten on them all... /puzzled
  1. Duster505's Avatar
    Doesn't look interesting to me. Dark and cold. Wont be coming back for that.
  1. willowe's Avatar
    Reminds me more of Black Temple than Ulduar.

    Black Temple was/is fun, so, that's not a bad thing

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