MMO-Champion - Ghostcrawler Interview, Timeless Isle Armor, 5.4 Notes Update, Blue Posts, TCG Art
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Patch 5.4 - Ghostcrawler Interview
Ghostcrawler was in Asia last week and QQ was able to sit down with him for an interview. Keep in mind that things are often lost in translation or mistranslated! Thanks to ngacnlcq for the translation.

  • The item level squish might take place next expansion. (See tweet)
  • There is still no timeline for the DotA battleground release.
  • The Hearthstone board that was added in a PTR build is just for decoration and there is no plan to add Hearthstone to WoW.
  • The Lesser Charms that may be added to the Asian store are there as a convenience item for players that may not have time to do their daily quests that week or players who just want to save time. There are no plans to add items to the store that will increase player stats.
  • Patch 5.4 is the last content (raid?) patch, but there will be bugfix and balance patches after it, as well as a pre-expansion patch.
  • If a fourth class role was ever implemented, it might provide buffs or support, but it would be a big change to the game and is very unlikely to happen.


Patch 5.4 - Timeless Isle Armor
The Timeless Isle will allow players to obtain item level 496 and 535 gear through drops found around the island.

The items used to create the 496 armor are found all over the island in chests and dropped by mobs, similar to the items used to create armor in Battlefield: Barrens. The Burden of Eternity is a rare drop from mobs, found in the Blazing Chest, or in one of Kukuru's chests.

The item level 535 version of the gear is called "Timeless" and is obtained by using a Burden of Eternity on an item that creates armor, such as a Timeless Leather Helm.

Patch 5.4 normal difficulty gear has an item level of 553, while flex gear is 540, and raid finder gear is 528. This makes the 535 Timeless gear a nice upgrade for players that will only raid in Raid Finder difficulty and a temporary upgrade for players who will be raiding Flex difficulty. It is also an upgrade for players who are currently raiding Throne of Thunder Normal, as well as any Heroic raiders still missing a slot.

Type Role Normal (496) Timeless (535)
Plate ArmorStrength TankElder TortoiseshellElder Tortoiseshell
Plate ArmorStrength DPSCliffbreakerCliffbreaker
Plate ArmorIntellect HealerEverbrightEverbright
Mail ArmorAgility DPSCrimsonscaleCrimsonscale
Mail ArmorIntellect DPS/HealerOrdon Legend-KeeperOrdon Legend-Keeper
Leather ArmorAgility Tank/DPSCranefeatherCranefeather
Leather ArmorIntellect DPS/HealerFire-ChanterFire-Chanter
Cloth ArmorPure Intellect DPSCloudscorcherCloudscorcher
Cloth ArmorIntellect DPS/HealerAmaranthineAmaranthine
Timeless LavalliereAllNecklacesNecklaces
Timeless CloakAllCloaksCloaks
Timeless SignetAllRingsRings
Timeless CurioTank
Strength DPS
Agility DPS
Intellect DPS
Healer
Resolve of Niuzao
Alacrity of Xuen
Discipline of Xuen
Yu'lon's Bite
Contemplation of Chi-Ji
Resolve of Niuzao
Alacrity of Xuen
Discipline of Xuen
Yu'lon's Bite
Contemplation of Chi-Ji





Patch 5.4 PTR Official Patch Notes Update - July 29
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes
Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • General
    • Unholy Presence now grants a flat 10% Haste to all things, up from Haste for melee (attack speed and Rune regeneration) only. The movement speed buff remains unchanged.
    • Fixed a bug that caused Improved Blood Presence and Runic Corruption to incorrectly increase activation rates of some trinkets and effects.
  • Unholy
    • Ghoul's Leap and Gnaw abilities are no longer on a global cooldown, and no longer cost Energy.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Talents
  • Glyphs
    • New Major Glyphs
      • Glyph of Enduring Deceit: Camouflage also reduces spell damage taken by 10%

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Talents
    • Rune of Power now has an increased effective range. The Mage can remain up to 8 yards away from their Rune of Power and still receive benefits to mana regeneration and spell damage (up from 3 yards).

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Brewmaster
    • Fixed a bug that caused the damage of some abilities for Brewmasters with Vengeance to scale incorrectly.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Holy
    • Judgment for Holy Paladins now costs 12% of base mana to cast (up from 5% of base mana).
  • Talents
    • Sacred Shield for Holy Paladins can now be active on more than one target at a time, but the talent now costs mana, and has 3 charges with a 10-second recharge. cooldown.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Talents
    • Psyfiend health has been reduced by 75%, but fixed a bug where Psyfiend wasn't being affected by base Resilience.

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Talents
    • Totemic Restoration has been replaced with a new talent, Totemic Persistence.
      • New talent: Totemic Persistence. Summoning a second totem of the same element no longer causes the first totem to be destroyed. Only one non-Fire totem can benefit from this effect at a time.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • General
  • Affliction
    • Drain Soul no longer energizes Soul Shards from the pets and guardians of players, and now deals 40% less damage. If other periodic Affliction damage effects are triggered by Drain Soul, they now deal 60% of their normal damage (down from 100%).
    • Haunt now deals 50% more damage, and increases damage done by all of the Warlock's damage-over-time other spells against the target by 45%.
  • Talents
  • Class Armor
    • Warlock Tier-14 4-piece set bonus now reduces the cooldown of Unending Resolve by 20 seconds. increases all damage dealt by the Warlock by 10% while Dark Soul is active.

Items
  • Indomitable Primal Diamond's chance for the meta-gem effect to activate is no longer affected by the wearer’s haste. Additionally, the chance to activate the effect has been increased by 50%.
  • [PTR]: For testing purposes, Glyphataur, Ph.D (He's a doctor!) will be available near the Alliance/Horde shrines in Vale of Eternal Blossoms selling new glyphs.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Past Legendary Items for Patch 5.4
The legendary meta gem will still function, but Sha-touched gems and sockets will not be applicable to new 5.4 items.

No extra sockets in 5.4? Then why the hell did you update the 5.2 weapons from ToT to be able to use them? This is incredibly stupid and seems like a total oversight. 1750g for a new weapon socket is SO not that expensive.
We updated the 5.2 weapons to allow the additional socket (but not the Sha-touched gems) because a very large number of players were getting their extra sockets just in time for the patch to drop (and thus, would only be able to use their reward for a week or two). That's not the case with 5.4. The 5.2 legendary meta gem will continue to function, and the 5.3 epic cloak will upgrade into the 5.4 legendary.

We feel that, at this point, the Sha-Touched gem and socket have had plenty of time to be useful and it's time for them to go. As Lothrik mentioned, we'll be balancing content assuming that they're not present anyway. That said, nothing on the PTR is final, and we are still open to discussion on the topic. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Proving Grounds Feedback
Just a quick note that we're still doing a lot of tuning for Proving Grounds, and your feedback has been (and continues to be) invaluable. There will be a bunch more bug fixes and tweaks in the next build for testing.

In particular, the next build has a lot of work done on the AI for the friendly party members in the Healer trials. Once it hits the PTR, we'd really appreciate any feedback on how they're acting, especially specific examples of things they do that seem "dumb." I don't have an exact timeframe on when that build will go up, but it should be within the next few days (UPDATE: should be today!) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
RPPMScaling with Rune Regeneration Mechanics
After some investigation, we found that rune regeneration mechanics were, indeed, giving an unintended increase to RPPM proc rates. Unholy in particular gains a significant performance boost from this bug. We're going to fix the bug, but we'll also be compensating Unholy.

In the next build, Unholy Presence will give pure haste, rather than just attack speed. This will allow it to (legitimately) increase proc rates for RPPM mechanics. Runic Corruption and Improved Blood Presence, however, will no longer have an effect on RPPM proc rates. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

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

This article was originally published in forum thread: Ghostcrawler Interview, Timeless Isle Armor, 5.4 Notes Update, Blue Posts, TCG Art started by chaud View original post
Comments 140 Comments
  1. Thyranne's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by lazzy View Post
    You're by far the most ignorant person I've ever seen on the forums.

    The company put it right in front of you and said WE NEED TO DO THIS. It doesn't matter whether it's true or not i'm sure it is. That's besides the point. That's just one of the reasons they want to squish.

    You would rather argue over it when they said it has to be done.

    I don't know what else to call you. You seem pretty damn goofy to be quite honest.
    Sorry but I don't believe in lies. I know it's a lie because I do know how it works. They can say whatever they want. They can give any other excuse but saying "because decreases performance" is a lie.

    I don't believe blindly what I'm told. But believing what they say just because they say is ignorance.

    Quote Originally Posted by corebit View Post
    A current heroicly geared character can literally one-shot a fresh 90.
    Then they should decrease the increase which would be fine to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by corebit View Post
    Then we also start to see silly things like DKs soloing Sha of Fear, a raid boss of the CURRENT expansion.
    He used a bug.
  1. Lunazul The Druid's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by corebit View Post
    People saying that item/level/number squish is not necessary because "it's just numbers" are really clueless. It affects the game a lot more than just the numbers aspect.

    A few examples:
    A current heroicly geared character can literally one-shot a fresh 90.
    Then we also start to see silly things like DKs soloing Sha of Fear, a raid boss of the CURRENT expansion.

    If the game keeps scaling exponentially this way, eventually characters will be one-shotting each others for as little as a 20-ilvl difference between them. A squish must happen to bring some sanity and balance back into the game.
    Not sure how correct I am but I was under the impression that damage was going to stay the same? so really the squish is just about numbers
  1. corebit's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Thyranne View Post
    Then they should decrease the increase which would be fine to me.
    Which is the purpose of the item squish, but on a global scale.


    Quote Originally Posted by Thyranne View Post
    He used a bug.
    Even if the DK used a bug, he couldn't have done it without the ridiculous itemlevel jump in gear. So this is still proving my point.
  1. Thyranne's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by corebit View Post
    Which is the purpose of the item squish, but on a global scale.
    I remember reading a twit from GC saying that he liked the big Ilvl jumps (it was a question about fire mages if my memory isn't failing me).


    Quote Originally Posted by corebit View Post
    Even if the DK used a bug, he couldn't have done it without the ridiculous itemlevel jump in gear. So this is still proving my point.
    He also stated it's irrelevant content.
  1. Joán's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Thyranne View Post
    Because when you allocate a space in the memory you have a data type. You can't put a 3.7 in an integer unless you cast which makes you lose performance.
    If you've played wow you might've noticed that damage, healing and health numbers in wow never use decimals. Because they are integers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thyranne View Post
    It uses float.

    That's how you can handle spells like this.
    There's nothing about "1838 + 161% of spell power" that requires a float. Floats are used in programming for really big numbers in situations where you are fine with losing decimal accuracy - simply put, they are stored as a base and an exponent, which means the bigger a number gets, the less accuracy you get in the least significant digits. The largest storeable single precision float is astronomically huge (something in the vicinity of 3.4 * 10^38) and has no relevance to this game.
  1. Thyranne's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Joán View Post
    If you've played wow you might've noticed that damage, healing and health numbers in wow never use decimals. Because they are integers.
    Ever heard of casting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joán View Post
    There's nothing about "1838 + 161% of spell power" that requires a float. Floats are used in programming for really big numbers in situations where you are fine with losing decimal accuracy - simply put, they are stored as a base and an exponent, which means the bigger a number gets, the less accuracy you get in the least significant digits. The largest storeable single precision float is astronomically huge (something in the vicinity of 3.4 * 10^38) and has no relevance to this game.
    How do you put 161% of 10 in an integer? Cast it, which costs performance.
  1. derpkitteh's Avatar
    item squish is a waste of time really. big numbers are what makes more gear fun :/
  1. MasterHamster's Avatar
    I really wish they could properly explain how a squish will help performance.
    Because most people with some basic knowledge about how computers calculate things knows that as long as you're within an integers boundaries, there is no (noticeable) difference in computing time.

    Sadly, it's a lot easier to fall into the "logic" that "bigger numbers must mean longer calculation!"

    I don't really care how high numbers are, what I do care about is soloing older content and I'd be delighted to know how they plan on keeping the balance, although 1-60 needs way less squishing than higher levels.
    You can't divide all numbers by 10, even though that's somehow a favorite argument in this debate. Okay, so my level 35 warrior will have 300 hp and my 90 paladin 70,000? Gee, that accomplished a lot.
  1. Nerraw's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shudder View Post
    It's fun watching them kill their own game. Yes please, waste resources on an item squish and cash shop.
    I don't see how recalculating numbers take anything away from the art asset teams.
  1. Joán's Avatar
    It is a very well known fact supported by the client, empirical observations and numerous blue posts that health and damage values in wow are integers. There are no floats in these calculations beyond implicit conversions used to get a rounded integer out of a division (not that that is in any way relevant to the current matter). They "need" to do the item squish because they can support bigger numbers only by going for solutions that involve more memory being consumed by EVERY NUMBER in wow, and/or making all users still playing on 32-bit computers or operating systems very unhappy. It's simply the most practical solution.

    How do you put 161% of 10? Cast it, which costs performance.
    I get the distinct impression that you don't even know what these words really mean or how they are used in the real world. Sorry, but as an actual programmer I can only shake my head at this and move on from this thread.

    PERSONAL OPINION: On the matter as a whole, I do think the number squish will be annoying and aggravating to me. I would much prefer they keep scaling numbers the way they have now (there's no difference in readability between 1k, 1m and 1b damage or health). As they said, they implemented it internally already but it "felt wrong". I can accept that it's a passable solution to a very real problem they are facing but that doesn't make me happier about it.
  1. tyrindor's Avatar
    Item Squish will cause more sub loss than gain. Too many players play for larger numbers, even if the numbers are relatively the same strength in the world, they are still smaller and feel incorrect after playing so long with bigger numbers. Blizzard tested this on an internal build and said they won't do it because they felt it didn't feel right. Now they are saying they will. What the heck? If they felt it didn't feel right, why give into the public that hasn't tested it and thinks it would?

    It's not hard to do an number condense, making things easier to read but keeping the numbers the same. Reducing "player stats" is not the way to do it, people will feel weaker, relative or not. They simply need to start showing 1,430 as 1.43k, 1,320,000 as 1.32m, 1,758,495,596 as 1.75b, etc in damage/heals on the screen, skills, gear, etc. Just change how number are presented to the player, not the actual numbers themselves. There is no need to an item crush. This format will always make any number easily readable and will take much less development time. It will also not piss off the people that play FOR bigger numbers, many people treat the game like Diablo. Do they realize how pissed Diablo players would be if the numbers were reduced across the board?

    With 4 difficulties, and now a complete number change, they really are going out of their way to kill any immersion this game had.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerraw View Post
    I don't see how recalculating numbers take anything away from the art asset teams.
    So an art team is all that is required to not slow the game down? Typically in game development, the art team finishes their job way before any other team... Item squish would be a huge task to do correctly and not effect soloability. It would not be a simple recalculation, it would be a very long step by step process.
  1. Thyranne's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Joán View Post
    It is a very well known fact supported by the client, empirical observations and numerous blue posts that health and damage values in wow are integers. There are no floats in these calculations beyond implicit conversions used to get a rounded integer out of a division (not that that is in any way relevant to the current matter). They "need" to do the item squish because they can support bigger numbers only by going for solutions that involve more memory being consumed by EVERY NUMBER in wow, and/or making all users still playing on 32-bit computers or operating systems very unhappy. It's simply the most practical solution.



    I get the distinct impression that you don't even know what these words really mean or how they are used in the real world. Sorry, but as an actual programmer I can only shake my head at this and move on from this thread.

    PERSONAL OPINION: On the matter as a whole, I do think the number squish will be annoying and aggravating to me. I would much prefer they keep scaling numbers the way they have now (there's no difference in readability between 1k, 1m and 1b damage or health). As they said, they implemented it internally already but it "felt wrong". I can accept that it's a passable solution to a very real problem they are facing but that doesn't make me happier about it.
    I'm a programmer too. Just because you don't see a FIST instruction in your high level language when you are casting from float to int it doesn't mean you are not converting a float at the stack 8087.
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    If you don't think people are going to log in after the squish, see how weak they are and log out never to return you're naive. Blizzard is very much aware of this and it's why they've been scared to do it. Hell look how many people quit and freaked out over the new talent system. Blizzard has said themselves the biggest reason people are putting in the "Why are you quitting?" field is "too many changes". Something huge like an item squish would drive so many out, only to appease like 5 people in this thread who think the numbers are, "silly".
  1. corebit's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterHamster View Post
    I really wish they could properly explain how a squish will help performance.
    Because most people with some basic knowledge about how computers calculate things knows that as long as you're within an integers boundaries, there is no (noticeable) difference in computing time.

    Sadly, it's a lot easier to fall into the "logic" that "bigger numbers must mean longer calculation!"

    I don't really care how high numbers are, what I do care about is soloing older content and I'd be delighted to know how they plan on keeping the balance, although 1-60 needs way less squishing than higher levels.
    You can't divide all numbers by 10, even though that's somehow a favorite argument in this debate. Okay, so my level 35 warrior will have 300 hp and my 90 paladin 70,000? Gee, that accomplished a lot.
    The interview never mentioned anything about performance, maybe you are replying to another poster?

    Bigger numbers does not mean longer calculation to the CPU, you are correct. Current CPUs large pipelines and architecture can crunch large numbers in little no problem.

    Someone mentioned float. Calculating floats however ARE slower than integers that's a fact, even though modern CPUs (GPUs particularly since floats appear most prominently in graphics) have made calculating floats much faster.

    And although you like to solo older content, that's not and never was part of Blizzard's design, nor they have come out and promised anything of the sort "We support people soloing older content". It was a simply a side effect due to all the exponential scaling and Blizzard never coming around to fix that.
  1. Thyranne's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by corebit View Post
    And although you like to solo older content, that's not and never was part of Blizzard's design, nor they have come out and promised anything of the sort "We support people soloing older content". It was a simply a side effect due to all the exponential scaling and Blizzard never coming around to fix that.
    If it wasn't supported then why did they remove the group requirement to get inside raid zones? Why did they add pets to old raids? Why did they made it easier to solo bosses like the first guy in BWL and C'Thun?
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Changing old boss mechanics to help people soloing them and putting in pets and transmog to me = supporting soloing old content.
  1. zorn711's Avatar
    The Lesser Charms that may be added to the Asian store are there as a convenience item for players that may not have time to do their daily quests that week or players who just want to save time. There are no plans to add items to the store that will increase player stats.
    We won't sell items on the store, just tokens that let you loot items. Huge difference. WHAT?!?
  1. Enril's Avatar
    another buff for mages and a fuck u for hunters:/
  1. Tenjen's Avatar
    numbers inflation makes everything that more messed up and harder to manage both for them and the players the higher you go. An Item squish is really needed at this point.

    And its not really that intensive. Programmers will have an easier and quicker time dealing with the smaller numbers in terms of output and feedback from their calculations and so shall we.

    Also given the large differences in the asian market and the very different subscription method they have, the tokens being purchasable could help them a lot. Even if its only for a chance bonus roll.
  1. lyphe's Avatar
    BRING ON THE SQUISH! I've wanted it for a while personally.

    It bothers me that Blizzard needs to waste time addressing all the tinfoil hat concerns about this. Who cares if it improves performance or not. Hell, who even cares if it affects old content - although they have stated too many times already that it will not. The squish is obviously ( and primarily ) about returning the numbers to a more manageable feeling level.

    And there is no right or wrong answer. Some people prefer numbers on par with original vanilla, while others are awed by big digits and want things to keep growing. It's just preference. For me, I prefer more reasonable numbers and I look forward to the squish.

    Ironically, I bet most of the people complaining about the squish ( and going back to vanilla type numbers ) are the same ones that always talk about how great vanilla was and that they want vanilla servers. I don't know this for sure, but I'd wager that it's the case.

    Bottom line: Get out of the face of the devs and let them do their thing. Babysitting the QQ's just uses resources that could be expended elsewhere.

    Bring it on ... squish it!

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