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. corebit's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shudder View Post
    Changing old boss mechanics to help people soloing them and putting in pets and transmog to me = supporting soloing old content.
    If Blizzard truely supported soloing old dungeons as a feature, they would have balanced the classes accordingly instead of only a few select classes/specs able to solo almost all content and other classes having almost no chance unless they outlevel it severely. Most transmog runs to 80/85 content are still done in groups.

    Removing the group requirement and putting pets into the super old raids would just be a temporary measure, because a thing like item squish is a massive undertaking. This kind of token effort really doesn't sound like support to me.

    Also, I read the Chinese interview. Unless the interviewer mistranslated GC's words, the certainty was very strong: "...we WILL do the item squish.." (...我们压缩...)
  1. lyphe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shudder View Post
    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".
    The person that logs in and logs back out to ever return, is likely a medically-certified moron.

    People will log in and play, or log out depending on how good the expac and content and new character models are. They will stay logged in or log out depending how good the game is. If somebody logs into an incredible new expac and then logs back out because they're iLvL is lower ... well ... do I really need to explain further how ridiculous your comment is?
  1. Thyranne's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by lyphe View Post
    The person that logs in and logs back out to ever return, is likely a medically-certified moron.

    People will log in and play, or log out depending on how good the expac and content and new character models are. They will stay logged in or log out depending how good the game is. If somebody logs into an incredible new expac and then logs back out because they're iLvL is lower ... well ... do I really need to explain further how ridiculous your comment is?
    Some people care about their character progress.
  1. ern066's Avatar
    Does item level squish really matter? Not being able to solo old content is what really matters. Say no to the item level squish. Or say goodbye to good old wow players.
  1. Tenjen's Avatar
    people dont seem to understand what an item squish is. All numbers are being tuned down to manageable levels of perception.

    this isnt a HUGE nerf to damage while everything has impossible amounts of health. the ratio's of damage to health will remain the same as they are now (as well as the overwhelming level a lvl 90 will have on a lvl 80 dungeon boss) but the numbers on all sides will be tweaked lower .

    10k dps will be the new 547k, not just 10k dps as we see it now at lvl 90.

    It will be like calculating feet in kilometers instead

    instead of saying iam traveling 328084 feet, you'll say 100 KM
  1. corebit's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Thyranne View Post
    Some people care about their character progress.
    Item squish doesn't take away any of that. DnD (or at least the older editions) manages to keep the scaling very tight and no one complains there is no progression there, so I don't think any reason why WoW couldn't manage it.

    Does item level squish really matter? Not being able to solo old content is what really matters. Say no to the item level squish. Or say goodbye to good old wow players.
    I have played since Vanilla so I am one of the old wow players, and I don't recall "soloing" being a staple or unique feature of the old WoW when back then you required a group for almost anything.
  1. CcFreAk's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    They definitely went out of their way to design that new armor...
    I don't really expect something super awesome from account bound gear that can be bought with coins or found in chests.
  1. darkthunder's Avatar
    I love how the "naysayers" are complaining about the inevitable item squish, that they will be nerfed. If Blizzard nerfs everyone the same amount, is it still technically a nerf?
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by corebit View Post
    If Blizzard truely supported soloing old dungeons as a feature, they would have balanced the classes accordingly instead of only a few select classes/specs able to solo almost all content and other classes having almost no chance unless they outlevel it severely. Most transmog runs to 80/85 content are still done in groups.

    Removing the group requirement and putting pets into the super old raids would just be a temporary measure, because a thing like item squish is a massive undertaking. This kind of token effort really doesn't sound like support to me.

    Also, I read the Chinese interview. Unless the interviewer mistranslated GC's words, the certainty was very strong: "...we WILL do the item squish.." (...我们压缩...)

    There is nothing stopping you from leveling one of said toons, also old content to them are the ones they tune to allow you to solo them, like bwl. It's also the ones they put pets into. They don't care if you can solo cata content.

    Quote Originally Posted by lyphe View Post
    The person that logs in and logs back out to ever return, is likely a medically-certified moron.

    People will log in and play, or log out depending on how good the expac and content and new character models are. They will stay logged in or log out depending how good the game is. If somebody logs into an incredible new expac and then logs back out because they're iLvL is lower ... well ... do I really need to explain further how ridiculous your comment is?
    Every time I see WoW in a news article or a gaming article I always scroll down to the comments and it's always filled with, "I quit that game cause of the stupid new talent system" or "They dumbed the game down too much". If you honestly believe casual players who don't go to the forums (Which is the majority) aren't going to freak out when the squish happens then I don't know what to tell you. I can't help your ignorance. The talent changes to me weren't that big of a deal, but I can see why many freaked and quit. The squish would be a bigger deal to a lot more players.
  1. ern066's Avatar
    All i'm saying is that fixing in numbers doesn't look very important compared to people having to compete with others for old content mounts and transmog gear. It's going to be very frustrating if we'll have to group for that elusive onyxian mount only to see it go away in a very bad roll like in wrath days. That is something we don't do now, and won't like it to happen either.
  1. Durka's Avatar
    Squish does not matter. Only to people's damn E-peens. Completing content is what matters, and you will do that regardless.

    OT, I really miss those days of spamming in Westfall for a group to complete the quests in the northern towers with the elites....ANYONE ELSE???!!! These days everything is so simple. Everything is soloable (quests while leveling). Bring back some tough quests with good rewards while leveling. The rares in MOP kinda helped, but I miss group quests.
  1. ganush's Avatar
    So, beyond the debate about the squish, I find another bit of info in this release more interesting.

    You will be able to get better gear by grinding out 535 pieces in the Timeless Isles than you will be able to running LFR. This looks like Blizzard's not so subtle attempt to get players running Flex raids instead of LFR to 'see' the content. I think that the number of LFR users will definitely drop if there is a non-raid alternative to get upgrades, and will massively drop once people may be down to a slot or two left to upgrade. Just as Blizzard seemed to try to artificially boost LFR usage by making it the only gearing path for alts and catch-up gearing in the first 3 patches, it seems like now they are reversing course and sabotaging its particiipation numbers by giving players a non-raid alternative to getting better gear, while at the same time boosting participating in their new feature 'flex' raiding. Manipulating game play through reward to prove that their latest feature is great, because they can then back it up with participation numbers, is a pretty slick trick. Players follow the gear, that is what drives the game, and Blizzard uses this to validate their changes. Don't get me wrong though, I think Flex is a great addition to the game, so for me this would be a fantastic shift in design.

    It begs the question tho "Is this the beginning of the phasing out of LFR and a push towards Flex being the alternative raiding source in the next xpac?"
  1. Thyranne's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ganush View Post
    So, beyond the debate about the squish, I find another bit of info in this release more interesting.

    You will be able to get better gear by grinding out 535 pieces in the Timeless Isles than you will be able to running LFR. This looks like Blizzard's not so subtle attempt to get players running Flex raids instead of LFR to 'see' the content. I think that the number of LFR users will definitely drop if there is a non-raid alternative to get upgrades, and will massively drop once people may be down to a slot or two left to upgrade. Just as Blizzard seemed to try to artificially boost LFR usage by making it the only gearing path for alts and catch-up gearing in the first 3 patches, it seems like now they are reversing course and sabotaging its particiipation numbers by giving players a non-raid alternative to getting better gear, while at the same time boosting participating in their new feature 'flex' raiding. Manipulating game play through reward to prove that their latest feature is great because they can then back it up with participation numbers is a pretty slick trick. Players follow the gear, that is what drives the game, and Blizzard uses this to validate their changes. Don't get me wrong though, I think Flex is a great addition to the game, so for me this would be a fantastic shift in design.

    It begs the question tho "Is this the beginning of the phasing out of LFR and a push towards Flex being the alternative raiding source in the next xpac?"
    People won't even run LFR for valor points because heroic scenarios give way more VP and are faster with no AFK.
  1. Ilthana's Avatar
    Warlock tears are the sweetest nectar to Blizzard?
    Good thing I have a mage to raid with next teir
  1. Quilzar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ganush View Post
    So, beyond the debate about the squish, I find another bit of info in this release more interesting.

    You will be able to get better gear by grinding out 535 pieces in the Timeless Isles than you will be able to running LFR. This looks like Blizzard's not so subtle attempt to get players running Flex raids instead of LFR to 'see' the content. I think that the number of LFR users will definitely drop if there is a non-raid alternative to get upgrades, and will massively drop once people may be down to a slot or two left to upgrade. Just as Blizzard seemed to try to artificially boost LFR usage by making it the only gearing path for alts and catch-up gearing in the first 3 patches, it seems like now they are reversing course and sabotaging its particiipation numbers by giving players a non-raid alternative to getting better gear, while at the same time boosting participating in their new feature 'flex' raiding. Manipulating game play through reward to prove that their latest feature is great, because they can then back it up with participation numbers, is a pretty slick trick. Players follow the gear, that is what drives the game, and Blizzard uses this to validate their changes. Don't get me wrong though, I think Flex is a great addition to the game, so for me this would be a fantastic shift in design.

    It begs the question tho "Is this the beginning of the phasing out of LFR and a push towards Flex being the alternative raiding source in the next xpac?"
    What do you mean like Valor gear is 522 compared to LFR 502?

    People read so much into so many things (and some people get frustrated when the things they have made up don't happen).

    LFR is for randoms.

    Flex is for PUGs and Friends.

    Normals and Heroics are for Raiding guilds.

    Do I think this is to many levels of difficulty?

    Sure I can see that.

    But I think I would rather they merged Flex and Normals (and tuned Normals slight lower than say Horridon was) and keep LFR, than get rid of LFR.
  1. Layuth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rsmiskell View Post
    I'm so done with whoever made this expansion - let's move onto the next one and get back to WoW content that doesn't suck.
    You are acting like Cataclysm did not suck. I am sorry to disappoint you but I think the days you want are gone.
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ganush View Post
    So, beyond the debate about the squish, I find another bit of info in this release more interesting.

    You will be able to get better gear by grinding out 535 pieces in the Timeless Isles than you will be able to running LFR. This looks like Blizzard's not so subtle attempt to get players running Flex raids instead of LFR to 'see' the content. I think that the number of LFR users will definitely drop if there is a non-raid alternative to get upgrades, and will massively drop once people may be down to a slot or two left to upgrade. Just as Blizzard seemed to try to artificially boost LFR usage by making it the only gearing path for alts and catch-up gearing in the first 3 patches, it seems like now they are reversing course and sabotaging its particiipation numbers by giving players a non-raid alternative to getting better gear, while at the same time boosting participating in their new feature 'flex' raiding. Manipulating game play through reward to prove that their latest feature is great, because they can then back it up with participation numbers, is a pretty slick trick. Players follow the gear, that is what drives the game, and Blizzard uses this to validate their changes. Don't get me wrong though, I think Flex is a great addition to the game, so for me this would be a fantastic shift in design.

    It begs the question tho "Is this the beginning of the phasing out of LFR and a push towards Flex being the alternative raiding source in the next xpac?"
    And when the queue times start going up a lot of people will just say screw it, snowballing it even more. I'm all for the death of LFR, I feel it's ruining the game. Rewaring afking and ignoring mechanics while basically soloing a raid since the 24 other people might as well be bad AI is not what an mmo is about.
  1. Antherios's Avatar
    People saying that they will unsubscribe for the next patch because of the item squish

    "yeah guys, im not playing anymore"
    "why?"
    "yeah you know, they are scaling down the damage, so i wont see big numbers on my screen now.. and i wont simply play an mmo that doesnt let me see big numbers on my screen to make me feel awesome"
    "oh ... ok, bye!"

    Disregarding a whole expansion of new features, leveling content, raiding content, etc for 1 systems change .. yeah you better quit now and save yourself the money
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Antherios View Post
    People saying that they will unsubscribe for the next patch because of the item squish

    "yeah guys, im not playing anymore"
    "why?"
    "yeah you know, they are scaling down the damage, so i wont see big numbers on my screen now.. and i wont simply play an mmo that doesnt let me see big numbers on my screen to make me feel awesome"
    "oh ... ok, bye!"

    Disregarding a whole expansion of new features, leveling content, raiding content, etc for 1 systems change .. yeah you better quit now and save yourself the money
    You do know what a tipping point is right? Nobody quits this game because of one reason. It's usually a myriad of reasons and eventually one thing comes along and you just think yeah k I'm done now. I really doubt all the people they lost from the new talent system were perfectly happy with everything else in the game. That was just the tipping point.
  1. ganush's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Quilzar View Post
    What do you mean like Valor gear is 522 compared to LFR 502?

    People read so much into so many things (and some people get frustrated when the things they have made up don't happen).

    LFR is for randoms.

    Flex is for PUGs and Friends.

    Normals and Heroics are for Raiding guilds.

    Do I think this is to many levels of difficulty?

    Sure I can see that.

    But I think I would rather they merged Flex and Normals (and tuned Normals slight lower than say Horridon was) and keep LFR, than get rid of LFR.
    I could care less if LFR exists, because I have quit running it. It'll be nice to have alternatives to grinding valor to get gear upgrades that aren't LFR, so I may dust of an alt or two in 5.4. I can promise that the only way I will ever use LFR again is if for some reason it becomes a place I can improve my main again. I hope that is not the case. It's existence is meaningless to me unless I'm lured in for character progression again. I think with the new gear levels in 5.4 that LFR participation will drop quite massively, especially if people find flex raiding managable and rediscover what it is to raid casually with friends as opposed to 24 random people, some of whom are usually rude idiots. I don't 'hope' for anything to happen, but I believe the game would be better right now if LFR wasn't forced down the throats of the player base.

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