MMO-Champion - Heroic Scenarios, Scenario Steps, Mar 27 Hotfixes, Blue Posts, Sound Design, Comic
1.0.8 Will Have a PTR, Clarification on Itemization and Legendary Items, Fan Creation of the Week: Eat Game Live, Curse Interview With Matthew Berger

Patch 5.3 - Heroic Scenarios
Patch 5.3 adds a new type of scenario, the Heroic Scenario. These currently require an item level of 496 to queue for, but keep in mind that this is the PTR and things are not final. (Remember that the Patch 5.2 LFR initially had a higher item level requirement, which was then lowered)

Upon entering a heroic scenario, you will see the additional objectives listed to the right. These are optional, and will reward you with an extra 90 Valor Points if you successfully complete both. If one of the two is failed, you receive no bonus Valor Points. Even if you fail the objectives, you will still earn the increased amount of gold.

Only two scenarios have bonus objectives implemented so far, and both use a hidden timer as one of the bonus objectives. There is no way to know how long you have, or if you failed until after the attempt is complete.


The difficulty in these scenarios is increased by more damage and increased health. The NPCs seem to have ~2.3x the health and do significantly more damage. The damage is significant enough that you can't ignore all the mechanics and just AoE down everything, but not excessively challenging, especially with the current item level requirement. Most of the fights are possible to do with just two players, but having someone who wears plate or can throw a few offspec heals may come in handy if someone stands in something.

You will earn 140 Valor for your first scenario if the bonus objectives are completed and 115 Valor if it isn't your first. Keep in mind that that the amount of Valor isn't final yet, and many of the tooltips refer to 50 bonus Valor for completing the bonus objectives, rather than 90.


Patch 5.3 - New Scenario Steps
You can see the new scenario achievements on WoWDB.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Blood in the Snow
  • The Mountaineers - Contact the Dark Iron Mountaineers atop Shimmer Ridge and find a way to stop the storm.
  • Save Scout Stonebeard - Slay the trolls cooking Scout Stonebeard and free him.
  • Save Scout Boldbrew - Slay the trolls trying to cook Scout Boldbrew.
  • Save Scout Forgefellow - Slay the trolls about to sacrifice Scout Forgefellow.
  • The Cold Cave - Slay the elemental spirit in the ice cave to end the snowstorm.
  • Victory or Death - Join Moira's forces, slay the Zandalari leader, and captures the Frostmane village.

Dark Heart of Pandaria
  • Talk to the Boss - Speak with Grizzle Gearslip.
  • Rock Grinding - Destroy the greater elemental ravaging the Big Blossom Mine.
  • Time is Money - Finish gathering the archaeology fragments from the dig site.
  • End of the Mine - Travel deep into Big Blossom Mine and blast open the wall.
  • Heartbreak - Destroy the Echo of Y'Sharrj.

The Secrets of Emberdeep
  • Infiltration - Breach the main chamber and stop the mongrel forces.
  • Reconnaissance - Investigate the main chamber.
  • The Sealed Gate - Help Ticker build a device to open the next gate.
  • Holdout - Defend the Gob Squad while Patch establishes an escape route.
  • Egress - Escape with the Gob Squad.

Battle on the High Seas
  • Boarding Party! - Protect the Ship! Defeat the Horde Boarding party.
  • Explosives Acquisition - Steal Explosives from enemy Demolitionists.
  • To Smithereens! - Plant explosives on the Alliance Ship to destroy it!
  • Defeat the Admiral! - Defeat Admiral Hodgson.



Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: March 27
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Classes

Creatures
  • Itoka's Strange Metal Ingot can now be looted by multiple players.
  • Oondasta's health had been reduced by 50%.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios

Items

Bug Fixes
  • Tyrannical Conquest achievement should now be correctly tracking a character's Conquest gains.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Faerie Dragons Model Change Error
You owners of the adorable Sprite Darter Hatchling can rest assured, we do not intend to change the model you’ve come to know. There was an error with a file that caused the change, and we’ll be correcting it in future PTR build. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.3 PvP
They are pretty much forcing us in to pve it seems, time to get that hard core raid on the go
Can you explain why you feel this way? In Battlegrounds and Arena, PvP items will trump PvE gear.

PvP gear offers the same stats as a PvE gear in the same item level, the things you will lose out on is set bonuses, some sockets, and maybe some socket bonuses.
Actually, the sockets come at the price of some of the iLvl budget. So even if you miss out on a socket or two, PvP gear gets some more stats as well as PvP power not being a part of the iLvl budget.

Because PvE gear will be BiS if you don't change something. Which means that PvPers will be forced to PvE to get the best gear.
Only in world PvP, but our developers are already looking into solutions for this.

Also, this is the Arena and Rated Battleground forum, if you wish to discuss the World PvP aspects of this change, please do so in this thread: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7171277166

To be fair, you did say that that honor gear would be somewhat worse then last seasons conquest gear too. I understand if people don't believe you.
Well, if you won't believe me there is a blog that states quite clearly that in instanced PvP such as Battlegrounds and Arena, PvP gear will be BiS. I quoted this previously in the thread from the PvP Gear in Patch 5.3 blog — "Even Honor gear, with its considerable amount of PvP Power, will provide more damage in PvP than normal and Heroic raid gear."

It was just posting a thought on why people are against this to start with. Myself I know that PvP gear will be the best but I'm a bit worried about all the gems slots in the PvE gear and the fact that reslience gems are still in the game.
Actually, this is something I addressed in an earlier post. The sockets of PvE items are a part of the iLvl budget, so if an item has more sockets it generally has less stats when unsocketed. The PvP power on the PvP gear is not a part of the iLvl budget. You can also use your sockets to gear for PvP power and resilience, those gems are not restricted to PvE gear only. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.3 World PvP
Nakatoir mentions that World PvP is an 'unfortunate sacrifice' does this mean you are doing nothing to prevent this unfortunate sacrifice, or are you just going to allow PVE geared players to dominate pvp geared players in world pvp.
I already mentioned that we don't want to ignore world PvP and dueling in the post that you quoted:

This doesn't mean that world PvP and duels will be ignored. We definitely understand that players are wanting more huge, epic and glorious PvP such as those that come from world PvP, we just don't feel that it's the right place with the faction imbalance that is present in such battles.
So we are well aware that you all enjoy world PvP and we want to deliver on providing an enjoyable experience like world PvP. The main point here is that we feel that while it can generally be an amazing and fun experience, it normally comes down to two things; ganking, and the number of players on opposing sides.

We understand your desire for world PvP and while it's an enjoyable activity, it can never really be balanced because of the inherent factors that it relies on. We feel that those cool, epic battles out in the world can be done in a much better way through an instanced environment; we will however keep looking into ways to improve the world PvP experience.

Maybe a bluepost could share some light on why it would be so hard to enable PvP power in world zones? Seems like it is simple enough to enable doesnt it? It has to be made once, it doesnt depend on class, spec, item.
The problem with such a solution is that it would not result in much of a change. The reason this system works for Battegrounds and Arena is because the items will be capped at 496 Ilvl, and the PvP power on PvP gear will make it stronger than the PvE versions. In an open world scenario however there is no Ilvl cap. This means that the gear obtained in PvE will be able to outperform that which is obtained through PvP. We understand the frustration involved in such a change, but do note that we are looking at the effect that this has on world PvP and if we make some changes to this, we will let you know.

I think there's some gross exaggeration of just how many people will actually be rocking full HC gear. You're not suddenly going to see everyone running around with it, stop acting like they are.
This is true as well, the number of players that have access to Heroic raiding gear is actually a very small percentage of the total population. You shouldn't suddenly be seeing large numbers of Heroic geared raiders running around in the world just ganking others. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Under the Hood: Anatomy of Sound Design
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Patch 5.2: The Thunder King brought with it not only new and exotic locations to visit (if you don’t mind a few storms) but a slew of new creatures. One of these creatures is the Zandalari Battlesaur whose roar can shake even the most stalwart hero. But, what exactly goes into crafting a voice for such a creature? The World of Warcraft Sound team was able to pop the hood and give us a look at the anatomy of the sound design within.

There are subtleties to sound design that aren’t always evident at first listen. In this case, the Zandalari Battlesaur’s roar consists of several layers of sound that are integrated into one unified voice. These layers include:

  • A voice actor - We pulled in some of the best voice talent in the industry who excel in making creature sounds. In this case, we were able to bring in Jon Olson who also did the non-Voice Over sounds for sha and hozen mobs. What you hear is an edit of two takes that form a base layer of performance and sound that other layers and effects are crafted around.
  • Bear - Early last year, senior Sound Designer Chris Kowalski took his recording gear and his courage to Big Bear to gather some scary up-close source material from several of the wild animals at Predators in Action. The bear recordings from that visit were used to add size and embellish some of what the actor did.
  • Tiger - While at Predators in Action, Chris was also given the opportunity to record the tiger that was used in the movie Gladiator. This resulted in a ton of great material, including a lot of big cat chest rumbles and roars you may hear mixed into several creatures across Pandaria.
  • Final Sound - The final mix is comprised of all the layers above along with additional processing and mastering that make it fit within the world.

Here’s a brief video with individual sounds before and after they’ve been mixed in.


We spoke with the World of Warcraft Sound Supervisor (and the sound designer behind the Zandalari Battlesaur), Mike Johnson and Sound Producer Jay Maguire for a little more insight.

Q. How many team members do you have currently working on World of Warcraft sound design specifically?

[Jay Maguire] We currently have five sound designers working full-time on World of Warcraft. They are Mike Johnson, Jon Graves, Chris Kowalski, Eric LeBlanc, and Peter Steinbach. The soundscape of World of Warcraft is continually evolving along with the game and this talented group is always looking for ways to raise the bar and immerse players in the environment through ambient background sound, vocal post-processing, and spell, creature, and object sfx.

Q. How often do you get to go out into the field to do recordings for sound design?

[Mike Johnson] Not often enough unfortunately, so when we do have the ability to go out and record some new source material we really go after the big stuff that we need, like animals. One of the things that I wanted to accomplish for Mists of Pandaria was adding as much variation as possible to our creature kits, so getting enough material to work with was essential. Since we had so many new creatures to make in Mists we made it a top priority to get a wealth of new animal recordings to use in our design work at the studio here at Blizzard. Obviously you can’t go out into the wild and record a Battlesaur, or Mogu, or a Sha so we have to think of individual layers (both real and synthetic) that when mixed together make these creatures.

Q. What sorts of Foley work can you do at the studio itself?

[Mike Johnson] On Mists of Pandaria, we recorded a great deal of new source material for the new Monk class (mainly whooshes and impacts) and for various mounts and creatures as well. Everyone on the World of Warcraft Sound Team spent time in our recording booth recording what they felt they needed in order to bring their creations to life. For the Monk we had a whoosh recording session where Chris (Kowalski), Jon (Graves), and Peter (Steinbach) all took turns swinging around various objects tied onto the end of a rope at high speeds. Many of these whooshes were then processed by Chris and then utilized for all of the new abilities for the Monk class. We also did a big vegetable destruction recording session where we tore up ears of corn, smashed walnuts, hit cabbage, and twisted celery among other things to use for sweeteners. These sounds were used in various ambiences, Monk abilities, creature exertions, farming, doodads, spells and in many different quests.

Q. What’s the most satisfying part of working on sound designs such as these?

[Mike Johnson] The most rewarding part of creating sounds for World of Warcraft is experiencing the new expansion while it has little or no sound while in development and hearing it all come together in the final shipped version of the game.

There are so many other audio disciplines like Dialog, Music, and Cinematics in addition to sound design that are equally responsible for creating a believable soundscape to immerse our players into the game world.

Of course during production we’re aware of what each other is doing, but something magical happens when it all comes together at the end and we get to hear everything together and it just works.

Ways to Earn Hearthstone Cards
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Players will earn their first set of cards as soon as they start playing Hearthstone, and certain game modes and features will award additional cards through gameplay.Here are the different ways to get cards:

  • Practice Mode: Play against A.I. opponents representing different classes to unlock new heroes and basic cards.
  • Play Mode: By participating in traditional head-to-head matches, players have a chance to win card packs.
  • The Forge: Build a deck by selecting one card from each of a series of randomized card choices, and then play against other Forge participants. The cards you pick to build your deck are yours to keep—play well enough, and you could win even more. Note that you must trade in a certain number of card packs to participate in The Forge (further details to be announced later).
  • Crafting: Disenchant expert cards in your collection to receive arcane dust, and then use your collected dust to craft other cards of your choosing. Basic cards cannot be disenchanted.
  • Card Packs: Purchase card packs containing five random cards using your Battle.net Balance or a variety of supported payment methods. One of the cards will always be of “rare” rarity or greater; in some cases, you may find that one or more additional cards has also “upgraded” to a higher tier of rarity.
  • Achievements: Certain achievements in the game may grant additional cards.

The Daily Blink - Hearthstone: The Game for *Almost* Everyone
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