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by Published on 2013-03-22 04:31 AM

"Ask the Devs" Round 2: Itemization - Answers (Part 1)

Isle of Thunder - Stage 3 Unlocked

Blizzard at PAX East
Blizzard has something new to share on Friday at 10 AM EST / 7 AM PST! The event will be streamed, so check back tomorrow morning.



Blizzard Invades PAX East March 22-24
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
PAX East kicks off this week! Are you ready?

What: Hosted annually in Boston, PAX East is a celebration of gaming culture and community
Where: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center booth #1036 of the Expo Hall
When: March 22–24

Head on over to east.paxsite.com for panel schedules, hotel and travel information, forums, and more. If you have an iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, or Windows 7 smart phone, you can also download the super sexy (and super official) PAX East 2013 app from Guidebook for free.


Something New
We've got something new to share, and we're bringing it to PAX East! If you're attending, be sure to arrive at the Naga theater early in order to secure a seat for our presentation. If you're not going to PAX East this year (or you just went a little too crazy the night before), we've got you covered -- the whole thing is being streamed live on the official PAX Twitch channel at 10:00 a.m. EDT Friday, March 22.

The Great Jewel of PAX East
Gather your gear, heroes, and get ready to face down the Burning Hells on the PlayStation 3!

Our action-packed single-player hands-on demo will showcase several key elements that make Diablo III on the PS3 so much fun, including a reimagined interface and inventory system, direct character control, updated camera, and bosses and monsters specifically tuned for console. Players will also get to experience gameplay from Act III of the campaign where they’ll get to test their mettle as either the cunning Demon Hunter or mighty Barbarian.


We'll have demo stations available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT in booth #1036 of the Expo Hall, so if you’re in the area (and in the mood for some ritual demon slaughter), be sure to stop by and check it out!

RNG is RNG: Raffles, Giveaways, and More...
In addition to showcasing the PS3 version of Diablo III and chatting you up about the game as you saunter by, we'll also be giving away enough swag and prizes to make a Treasure Goblin jealous.


The Diablo III team will be sharing updates, photos, and more live from the convention floor, so be sure to "Like" us on Facebook and follow our official Twitter feed so you don't miss out.

For those who are Boston-bound, we salute you . . . and hope to see you there!

Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: March 21
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Classes

Quests
  • Crumbled Chamberlain: Statue pieces now do not despawn when looted, allowing other players to loot the statue piece as well.
  • Stone Cold: Fixed an issue where players were unable to interact with Grave Guardian statues.

Creatures
  • Oondastas for everyone! Oondasta now respawns much more frequently.
  • Exchange Guards have resumed their stance of not interfering with players engaged in Horde/Alliance hostilities(PvP combat).

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Throne of Thunder
    • Gastropod should now favor attackers that are at range.
    • Reduced the amount of creatures in the area leading up to Ji-Kun in Raid Finder.
    • Fixed an issue where players winning a bonus roll after defeating Iron Qon on Heroic mode could receive a non-heroic version of the tier token.
    • Fixed an issue where damage from Lei Shen's Crashing Thunder, Lightning Whip, Overcharge and Discharged Energy was not being reduced Feint.
    • Twin Consorts
      • Reduced the health of Suen and Lu'lin in 25-player Heroic mode.
  • Icecrown Citadel
    • Fixed an issue where Master Looters were unable to assign Shadowfrost Shards to another player.
  • Temple of Ahn'Qiraj
    • The Prophet Skeram has loot again and no longer creates illusions for now. He'll be back to normal in a future patch.

Items
  • Increased the cast time to perform the ritual for summonable bosses using Shan'ze Ritual Stone on the Isle of Thunder from 2 seconds to 5 seconds.
  • All uncommon(green) item drops from the Isle of Thunder should now be disenchantable.
  • Darkmoon Whistle should no longer cause other players to drop out of stealth.
  • Essence of the Breeze should now only usable while on the continent of Pandaria.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Cross-Realm Zones and Mounts
Don't think people have realized yet but the "zoning" issue that used to knock people off of 2 person mounts and kill them, it has been fixed. BUT now the issue has arised where I am getting DC'ed every time I'm between zones trying to "remount" once a zone line has been crossed.
We did manage to fix the 2 person mount issue, but yes, we know there's still an intermittent disconnect issue that we want to correct as well. We know what we need to do to fix it (*crosses her fingers*) but it won't be able to happen for a bit longer (potentially the next patch). We're continuing to work to improve it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The Crumbled Chamberlain
Good news, we're applying a hotfix to address the Crumbled Chamberlain pieces respawn. It should be in after this morning's restarts. Pieces will then spawn in the same locations for that day, but will change locations the following and so on. This way, if someone snags the piece you're going for, it's not going to jump to a new location. You'll still be able to get it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Throne of Thunder Difficulty Feedback
Throne of Thunder normal isn't tuned assuming you are a Heroic raiding guild. If your raid is still progressing through Tier 14 (say, at Garalon) it's very likely you'll be able to only kill Jin'rokh and then face a very difficult battle trying to slay Horridon or Council of Elders, though.

In that case (and for the guilds still progressing through T14) it probably makes more sense to go back clear the rest of Tier 14 (which is now more doable thanks to the 10% reduction in damage and health of bosses as well as the new VP gear you can get with 5.2 Patch).

Guilds that have completed Tier 14 Normal already should be able to progress through Throne of Thunder. Of course, you might not clear all of it in a couple weeks, but it's something definitely doable without getting Heroic gear from Tier 14 (gear from Normal Tier 15 is higher item level).

On the other hand, it's also important to keep in mind that Jin'rokh is a rather easy boss. He's not necessarily a representation of the rest of the raid's difficulty. Which is something many of you have probably noticed while progressing on Horridon or Council of Elders. And that might set a wrong expectation as to how quickly you can/should progress in Throne of Thunder. It's very possible to kill Jin'rokh without much difficulty and then suddenly feel like Horridon is a brick wall, don't despair!

There are many encounters in Throne of Thunder that your raid will have to learn. And it's normal to feel things may be overtuned at the beginning of a new raiding tier while everyone is trying to better understand what each boss does and how to execute the fight properly.

Not everything comes down to how much gear your raid has. In fact, you might overgear, say, Horridon, and yet be unable to progress past him due to an inefficient strategy.

In any case, the developers are keeping an eye out on how things are going, and they will be making adjustments as needed. Ideally, no one should find him/herself in a situation where it looks like it's impossible to win without getting more gear and unable to actually get more gear.

So, don't give up. Go get those VP items (some items from Raid Finder might help as well, absolutely) and keep refining your strategies. The boss kills will come. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The Daily Blink - Wallpaper
Yesterday's comic was so well received, it was made in to a wallpaper!

by Published on 2013-03-21 06:52 AM

"Ask the Devs" Round 2: Itemization - Answers (Part 1)

Isle of Thunder - Stage 3 Unlocked

Heroic Dark Animus 25 Video
We finally have some videos of the Heroic Dark Animus encounter! It took several days for guilds to defeat this encounter, making it the hardest fight so far. Icy Veins has a nice strategy guide if you don't understand what is going on.



Throne of Thunder Heroic Progression
Blood Legion and Method joined DREAM Paragon at 11/13 today! You can keep up with the kills on Manaflask, our forum thread, and WowProgress.



Zandalari Warbringers Hotfix Clarification
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Ok, here is clarification from Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas (Watcher) regarding the change to Zandalari Warbringers.

Yes, it’s intentional. Zandalari Warscouts are supposed to be difficult solo encounters; you can use various control mechanics on them.
Zandalari Warbringers, however, are designed for groups of players. They’re immune to snares and other control effects for the same reason that most 5-player dungeon bosses are: those effects would make the encounter easier than intended. Grab some friends, or invite the people camping the spawn to join your group, and you should be just fine.


In summary, it is dangerous to go alone. Bringing friends should make taking down a Warbringer much more manageable.

Was making Horrific Visage uninterruptabale also intended?
Bring a friend with a dispel magic ability to counter Horrific Visage's fear effect.

Oondasta Spawn Rate Increased
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I'd like to have an elite world boss not a rare world boss
Agreed, this is an amazing fight of epic proportions and really tiny arms. We definitely want players to have more chances to experience it. The epicness should be about fighting it, not about finding when it spawns, even though that can also be somewhat fun as long as the timer is not so long that it gets frustrating.

You should be able to find Mr. “Tiny Hands” Oondasta a bit more often now.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Secrets of the Empire Drops and Raid Difficulty
It seems like these are awarded randomly per person (LFR style) from normal mode raids. Is this intended? The previous tier had legendary items dropping randomly per person from LFR and to the raid as a whole in normal.

Has anyone gotten a secret from LFR and Normal/Heroic? It seems as if just like the rep you can only get a shot at a secret once per boss.

Everyone has a personal chance to receive a Secrets of the Empire drop on Normal/Heroic; the quest loot functions the same way that the Raid Finder version of the Legendary quest did prior to 5.2.

We wanted to have a single shared chance per boss per week because we'd prefer to avoid making raiders who are killing bosses on non-Raid Finder runs to feel obligated to do Raid Finder specifically for Legendary quest drops. If those players want to do it for Valor or off-spec gear, that’s great, but doing Raid Finder shouldn’t be necessary for optimal Legendary acquisition. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mandatory Daily Quests
I think one of the issues is not the amount of dailies, but the feeling that they're mandatory. We don't have any VP items on the new 5.2 daily reps (not technically true there are a couple, but they're low enough ilvl as to not feel mandatory for raiders), and we'll see how that feels for everyone. There's also not a lot of clarity about what you should be doing to progress in the most efficient way. If you hit 90 today you'd be wise to run some Heroics and only do the 5.1 dailies until you have the ilvl to queue for 5.0 LFR's, and then progress to 5.2 LFR, and you can probably ignore pretty much everything else. That is, if getting to 5.2 raids is your goal.

But that's the important question, what is your goal? Why are you doing all of the dailies? What are you looking to accomplish? If it's to see the raid content then certainly working on all of the dailies every day is not going to help get you there, or at least not very quickly. And like you said trying to do all of them every day can really eat up a big chunk of time.

We have a lot of level-cap questing content because there are a lot of people that just like questing, and it's there and gives some reward for doing it, but if you don't like that kind of content we don't want for it to feel mandatory. 5.2 was one step in that direction and if it feels like a good compromise for everyone we can keep going that way. If you want a big shiny dragon, sure you'll have to spend time on dailies, but it won't keep you from being able to progress smoothly, or feeling like you're missing out on an avenue of progression.

The problem is dailies have become Blizz's go-to solo pve content for each new content patch.

5.1, what was the new pve solo content to do? Dailies. 5.2? Dailies. LFD/LFR que's are so long, you can either sit in town, or do the only new content - dailies. People look forward to the content patches for NEW stuff to do, and when the only option for pve solo content is dailies, of course they will be sick of it.

If we could produce unlimited amounts of content we would, of course, but the laws of physics unfortunately prevent it. Having repeatable questing content gives people who enjoy questing something to do. You're being unfair by glossing over LFR and dungeons because of queues. If you don't want to wait for queues you can build your own group and zone into the dungeon, like you did before (and dailies existed then too!), but the fact of the matter is that it's still more convenient despite the queue times. Or, you could play a tank or healer and spend no time in queues. That's always an option.

If you have other solutions I'd be happy to hear them. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
How likely is it you guys will soon take similar steps across classes? Mists offered simplfied talents; are abilities next?
Great question. We tried to prune abilities for MoP without much success. It's tough to simplify classes in a game this old. (Source)
Don't want to give everyone a very simple rotation. Would love less action bar bloat, but which stuff to cut is always tough. (Source)

If you're allowed to say...when you guys test out theroretical dps between specs, what average iLvLs do you use?
All of them. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Hey GC do you have any comment regarding the future of DW frost? Seems the 2h specs are way ahead and aoe has taken a beating
DK DW is pretty good whenever you need to cleave. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Do you ever see the team overhauling hunter aspects to be more fun and compelling?
Overhaul would be unlikely. Cutting them more likely. Not enough design space to make them fun and equal. (Source)

before you discover/nerfed stampede bug, u nerfed stampede heals, lynx rush, and bestial wrath. Then silenc shot, powershot.
Yes, all of that is true. A lot of different reasons though. BW was more of a philosophical change not a means to "fix hunters." (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Hey Greg, can you please give us some insight into why IB doesnt spread LB anymore? Don't understand it at all...
The synergy between Inferno Blast and Living Bomb was so strong that Fire wouldn't have taken the other bombs seriously. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Changed my weapon yesterday but my little "sha" miss me. Any plan for a minor glyph of Sha for Priest ?
Probably. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
With Pummel & Disrupting shout being free to use as a Melee DPS what is the justification for the cost on Kick for rogues.
Kick no longer has a cost. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Thanks for the warlock nerfs, I really needed to do even less damage than everyone else. #error112 #occupygregstreet
If you're doing less damage than everyone, I'm not sure it's a warlock issue. Their DPS overall is pretty competitive. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
GC, has the 25% dmg buff to Prot Warrior SS been implemented? The tooltip damage and actual damage it inflicts don't match up!
Tooltips don't always update automatically when we change numbers on the server. Pretty sure that change is live though. (Source)

Hopefully not reposting. Interested in seeming lack of change to Fury warrior for 5.2. Not complaining, just curious.
Pretty happy with Fury overall. We did make slight changes to Bloodsurge. What are your concerns (if any)? (Source)

Oondasta in China
Dave Kosak shared a picture of wipes on Oondasta in China. They use gravestones rather than skeletons to represent corpses.



The Daily Blink - One for the Warriors
The Daily Blink has a better way to handle Void Storage.

by Published on 2013-03-20 08:02 AM

Lowering Item Drop Rate, Blue Posts, Lyndon's Happy Day Fan Art

Isle of Thunder - Stage 3 Unlocked

Patch 5.2 - Glorious Tyranny Enchant
Patch 5.2 added a new weapon enchant for players with a 2200 rated battleground or arena rating, [Enchant Weapon - Glorious Tyranny]. The blue post below addresses some of the reasoning for adding it.



Throne of Thunder Heroic Progression
No real progress today, only Exorsus moving up to 10/13 bosses down. WoWProgress changed their ranking system, explaining why a 9/13 guild is ranked higher than a 10/13 guild in the listing. (Moonz skipped Dark Animus)

You can keep up with the kills on Manaflask, our forum thread, and WowProgress.



Addon: Satchel Scanner
After talking about satchel contents yesterday, now is a good time to talk about getting the [Misty Satchel of Exotic Mysteries]! There is an addon called Satchel Scanner that can keep an eye on the LFD frame and alert you if it is currently being offered.

Using it is pretty simple, open the config, check the roles you are interested in, and start the scan. When the satchel comes up, it will alert you with a raid warning and sound. You can show or hide the panel with "/ss3 toggle", allowing it to continue scanning in the background.

More options are coming in a future version, so be sure to send the author feedback if you want some more features!



Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: March 19
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Classes

Quests
  • Captive Audience: Fixed an issue with Rune Prisons that prevented new captives from spawning.

Creatures
  • Summonable bosses on the Isle of Thunder now leash back instead of despawning when pulled too far from their spawn point.
  • Zandalari Warbringers are now immune to crowd control and interrupt effects.
  • Fixed an issue where some players may not receive loot after defeating Nalak.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Mogu'shan Vaults
    • Increased the time before the gate to closes while engaging Feng the Accursed to 8 seconds, up from 3 seconds.
  • Throne of Thunder
    • Council of Elders
      • Reduced the penalty to damage taken from the Shadowed Soul debuff from 5% to 3% per stack on 10-player Heroic mode.
    • Dark Animus
      • Dark Animus will now use its abilities at more consistent intervals.
      • Interrupting Jolt now deals less damage on 10/25-player Heroic mode.
      • Explosive Slam now deals significantly less damage on 10-player Heroic mode.
      • Fixed an issue where Matter Swap could sometimes teleport players beneath the world.
    • Ji-Kun
      • Fixed an issue where Bore Worms would remain submerged.
      • Fixed an issue where Bow Fly Swarms would enter combat while remaining out of melee range.
    • Lei Shen
      • Fixed an issue where players defeating Lei Shen did not receive credit towards the Pinnacle of Storms achievement.
    • Megaera
      • Reduced the damage dealt by Megaera’s breaths and Ignite Flesh on 10-player Normal mode.
      • Reduced the damage dealt by Rampage on 10-player Normal mode.

PvP

Battlegrounds
  • Eye of the Storm: Horde teams are now being awarded the proper amount of victory points when holding 3 towers.

Items

UI
  • There should no longer be a delay in displaying Isle of Thunder stage progression status on the World Map.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Why do all "fun" items have such long cooldowns?
Much of the time, 'fun' items are nerfed to prevent an exploit of one sort or another.

Cheaters are why you can't have nice things. Well, they're still pretty nice, just not as often. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Glorious Tyranny PvP Enchant
Could you please explain why there is a weapon enchant that is only viable for melees? Isnt that a bit unfair against casters?
Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this enchant.

Once we’ve switched the way Elite gear becomes available to players (from the 2200 rating requirement to 27000 Conquest Point requirement), we felt the need to add something cosmetic, to visually distinguish high rated players from the rest, it’s just a cool thing to do and players were clearly asking for it, recognition is generally a good thing, it values people and it’s very motivational.

So the issue I have with this is that we’ve changed the way players can buy Elite gear, partially because ilvl disparity in PvP only helps to further increase itself, once players start to get Elite gear, the gap between those players and the ones still trying to grab it, widens, and it gets harder to beat those players.

So what does this have to do with the enchant? Well, the enchant was introduced as one of those visually distinguishable features exclusively available to high rated players, which causes 2 problems:

- If the enchant is too good for PvP, it will reintroduce the first problem that we’ve tried to solve back into the equation.
- If it’s too bad for PvP, no high rated player will want to use it, so the item becomes pointless.

So for this to actually work in its current form it simply needs to be on par with top PvE Enchants. This sort of balance can be hard to achieve, especially when we have static stats and characters that can duel-wield and others that cannot, so it’s not just about casters vs melee.

We’re aware of the issues being reported about this enchant and about not having more cosmetic perks to make high rated players stand out from the crowd. We’ll make sure to pass your feedback along to devs. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Catch Up Speed
And where was the problem with this? Isn't that the way games should be? You start at the beginning and go through all of the content in a specific order. Which game, except actual WoW, no matter whether on- or offline, allows you to leave out content and go directly to the final bosses?
With that route specifically? It was on the fact that if you came late to the game you didn't really have any way of catch-up to get into more advanced guilds, other than try to actually run that content when perhaps most guilds at that point had already moved past.

If you flash forward to Cataclysm, it probably isn't crazy to argue that it was too easy to bypass entire tiers by going into the Patch 4.3 5-man dungeons, sure.

If you flash forward to the present....
In Pandaria, now you do have to run that content, but the availability of tools as the Raid Finder and increased drop rates in previous raids means that while you're following that same route (as players were doing in Vanilla WoW) you're doing it at a quicker pace and even without the need of finding a guild running that content, looking for applicants and on the same time of the day you can raid.

So, it's not that there was something wrong with going through that route (in my opinion, I shall add), but, the fact there weren't many ways to bypass content meant that, the higher you went on that progress, the less guilds were around progressing, hence, less players were ready to experience that content. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Towns Giveaways
Curse is giving away 15 Steam for Towns, as long as you enter by March 25 at midnight! Towns is a city-building RPG in which you are the leader of a group of citizens, commanding them to build, create, and explore to support your victory. If you already own the game, there is another ongoing contest for some Logitech Peripherals. Check out the wiki if you need help getting started.



Dark Legacy Comics #381
DLC #381 has been released!

by Published on 2013-03-19 09:45 AM

Item Drop Rates Will Impact Gold and Crafting Drops, KageKaze's Diablo Digest, Chris Metzen on Blizzard Art

Isle of Thunder - Stage 3 Unlocked

Patch 5.2 and Raid Finder Satchels
Patch 5.2 added some occasional rewards to the failbags to make them more rewarding. Thanks to the helpful people running the WoWDB addon, we now have a rough idea of what the bags can contain. (Click here if you have Curse Client already installed to help us collect data!)

It looks like there is roughly a ~7% chance for a satchel to contain an item from the list below in addition to gold. Keep in mind not all of the below items appear at an equal rate. For a very rough idea of drop rates, see the pages for the Amber Encased Treasure Pouch, Cache of Mogu Riches, and Dividends of the Everlasting Spring.

Satchel Drop Rate
  • Patch 5.0 Raid Finder - Dropped ~84% of the time before Patch 5.2. Now only drops 67.8% of the time (Std. Dev. 3.2%)
  • Throne of Thunder Raid Finder - Drops ~81% of the time (Std. Dev. 1.7%)
  • Keep in mind that the sample sizes we have for drop rates after Patch 5.2 are fairly small, only a few hundred kills of each boss in LFR difficulty, and only the first three bosses in Throne of Thunder.
  • We can assume that when a satchel does not drop, you are winning loot, as we don't save drop rates for bonus roll items. This means the drop rate of loot in Patch 5.0 raids went from 16% to 32%.

Patch 5.0 Raid Finder / World Boss Satchels

Oondasta / Throne of Thunder Satchels
  • The same as the above, except item level 502 Raid Finder gear rather than item level 476 and 483.
  • [Primal Egg], which turns in to [Cracked Primal Egg] and drops a mount

Weekly Throne of Thunder Quests Satchel


Throne of Thunder LFR Opens More Bosses Today
The second set of three bosses of Throne of Thunder become available on Raid Finder difficulty today! You can find their encounter journal and loot tables on the pages linked in the menu, and boss guides over at Icy Veins.



Patch 5.2 Hotfixes - March 18
Some hotfixes went out this afternoon, but no official notes yet.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Items

Creatures



Tyrannical PvP Weapons Hotfix
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Season 13 Tyrannical gear has an item level of 493. This is TWO item levels higher than the 2/2 S12 Malevolent. The difference in stats are minimal. Weapons are even worse, as S12 2/2 T2 weapons have better stats than S13 T1.
You’re absolutely right, the difference in ilvl doesn’t make that much sense, and that’s why we’ve decided to change it.
We'll be increasing Tyrannical weapons ilvl from 493 to 498, matching the 2/2 upgraded S12 T2 weapons’ ilvl. This should probably go live after this week’s maintenance in most regions.

I understand that a new character will still only have immediate access to S13 Malevolent weapons, which are far behind ilvl 498, but S13 Tyrannical weapons will be available to anyone who goes at least for the minimum conquest cap (1800)+1 RBG in about 4 weeks (matching the required 7250 conquest earned this season to buy T1 Tyrannical weapons).

Again, thanks for keeping us on our toes and continuously helping us improve the game, we really do appreciate it.

Throne of Thunder Heroic Progression
Not much progress today, with DREAM Paragon moving up to 11/13 bosses down. Still no Dark Animus video, so we will take a look at the Durumu the Forgotten fight! You can keep up with the kills on Manaflask, our forum thread, and WowProgress.





Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character
in an interview with MMORPG you said the new models will have new animations. "old" fitting the new skeleton or total "new"?
Pretty much a total redo, but we want them to be recognizable. Still needs to feel like your character. (Source)

the "fixing up" part after you get an item is the fun part. Whats the sense of just picking it up and going "DONE. Next"?
That's an interesting perspective, though to be fair, not the one we usually hear. (Source)

You leaning toward making customization easier or eliminating some of it?
We don't know yet. Have explored no hit/exp. Could also have fewer enchants and fewer gem sockets overall. (Source)

Doesn't it seem like Valor of the Ancients should trigger when you achieve 1000VP on a realm in a week? Not a specific toon?
Debated that, but it makes you e.g. want to do first dungeon with every alt before playing your main. (Source)
Current system makes you want to cap one char before touching another. IMO that's worse.
We've discussed whether Valor of the Ancients was a good idea (its intentions were certainly noble). (Source)

The point was that we can't offer mains 20% of the content so that folks with 5 characters would have 100% of the content. (Source)
Account-wide things reduce alt load without reducing main. Also, I find playing just one class too boring to endure
We like alts. We just want to be careful not to take away all the gameplay of leveling an alt. (Source)

Your game, your rules. For me, worst part of MoP was how I felt constrained on alts; & hostility to crafting alts
Crafting alts is an interesting topic. I have a concern some have them to get around 2 prof limit not because they enjoy alts. (Source)
I don't understand your concern. Why would it be a problem, if someone spends their time to level such alts?
If you like alts, it isn't a problem. If you just want all the professions and feel like you have to have alts, it might be. (Source)

Hey Greg, answer me please please please: Will priests be able to transmog staves into polearms someday? All staves suck ;/
Currently, our design is you have to be able to use the item. Priests can't use polearms. (Source)

PvE
what are your thoughts on progression trend of multiple alt runs to funnel gear to main group, BiS for first week of heroics?
It's hard behavior to stop in general. Heroics are proving hard enough that alt heroics shouldn't be much of a thing for awhile. (Source)

weren't "flavor" item supposed to be added to the lfr gold bags in 5.2? all i see is gold, gold, gold :s
They are. We couldn't add them in every bag given the frequency that players earn them. (Source)

Are there any discussions about how to improve wait times on Raid Finder? Depends on other variables, but seems like 1 hr/Que.
It's often caused by lack of healers and tanks and our suspicion is those players are more likely to queue with friends. (Source)

Hey Greg, why no new 5 mans until next expansion?
4.3 had 3 good 5-player dungeons, but the raid received its share of criticism. There is a connection. Always love to do more. (Source)
5.2 should have been around dugneons and IF YOU HAD TIME, some dailies and scenarios
Not the same team. We are hiring encounter designers though. (Source)

Any plans on allowing solo que for LFD/LFR? would love to do elite island with friends while waiting for que.
Yes, we would like to do that. (Source)

Future
Is going into LFR as "tank" but choosing "DPS" gear still a consideration?
We hope to provide a better option next patch or two. (Source)

Hey has the Scarlet Crusade Tabard been removed by an oversight or purpose? The mobs dropping them aren't there.
We are going to add it back as a rare-ish drop in the next major patch. (Source)

will we hear about item squish anytime in the future again or is it scrapped
No, not scrapped but not a sure thing either. (Source)

Any chance for a BoA guild invite to help small/slow/solo guilds with guild invites for Alts?
Discussed that or similar solutions tied to guild permissions. (Source)

will the encounter journal ever be updated for old world raids or are you satisfied with the current setup?
No, we'd like to update it. It just isn't a high priority. (Source)

The Daily Blink - Which Raid Size is Harder?
The Daily Blink examines the difficulty of the two raid sizes.

Real answer: LFR. Reason? Because it's the answer that makes everyone reading this rage the hardest. [trollface.jpg]
by Published on 2013-03-17 10:23 PM

Reminder for Heart of the Swarm Items, Vote for Ask the Devs Questions!, Top 3 Weapons for Followers

Isle of Thunder US - Stage 2 Unlocked

Patch 5.2 Dev Interviews
Let's take a look at another one of the dev interviews today, the MMORPG interview with Ghostcrawler.

  • New character models are still actively being worked on.
  • Pandaren are a good example of how detailed the new models will be. They have facial animations with moving eyes and mouths, fingers that are all individual and not just a mitten, as well as new animations.
  • "MMORPG: As long as my Dwarf looks prettier. That’s a good thing. Greg: It is coming, and the new dwarf is very pretty."
  • Defense of the Alehouse is an experiment right now, with no definite release date.
  • Blizzard is working on other battlegrounds that we likely will see sooner.
  • Patch 5.3 will tell the story that leads up to the Siege of Orgrimmar. Varian will bring the Alliance together and push the Horde apart.
  • Work had started on Patch 5.2 and 5.3 before 5.0 even launched.
  • Blizzard can now plan for the next expansion far enough ahead to put some seeds of what is to come in the current story.
  • On Blizzcon: "I think we’re going to have a lot to talk about."
  • Moving to free to play would require it to be more successful than the current business model, which isn't the case right now.


Throne of Thunder Heroic Progression
Lots of progress this weekend! Method, DREAM Paragon, and Blood Legion are all now 10/13. While there is no video of Heroic Dark Animus yet, Blood Legion has uploaded one of Primordius.

You can keep up with the kills on Manaflask, our forum thread, and WowProgress.





Automatic Flight Path Discovery Unintended
It looks like we can look forward to a post in the coming week about why automatic flight path discovery was unintended and is not coming back.



Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character
Where's character progression for nonraiders when new valor gear requires raid rep? "Playing my way" was nice while it lasted.
There is gear on the non-raid reps (Sunreaver and Kirin Tor), just not the best gear. (Source)

A lot of post on fixing 25M raiding. I don't think it's broken, but we need some hlp with logistics and management. Any plans?
What would help with logistics and management? (Source)
We rely on third party websites and/or making endless level 1 alts to make contact with players.
Yeah, we need to come up with a communication system players can use for legit needs without opening up new ways for spam. (Source)

We got your stance about PlayerHousing (it's a no-go for now), but what about GuildHousing?
We worry that guild housing is only content for the guild leaders. (Source)

Are the new legendary meta gems replacing our normal meta gems or is it in addition to them?
They are just meta gems, so they replace the one you normally use. (Source)

Why can't your team keep upgrades in for 5.0/5.1 gear only? Make them upgrade through Justice...
There is no technically simple way to do so. We agree upgrading the ilevel of blues in general feels good. (Source)

Why can't Fist-Weapons and daggers be interchangeable like every other 1h weapon for transmog now?
Animation technical limitation. Maybe someday. (Source)
Why doesnt that limitation apply to Guns/Bows/Crossbows, which all use different animations yet can be mogged?
Originally coded that way since the gun sounds bug some players so much. Not an unsolvable problem but it does take some code. (Source)

Hey Greg, I was just wondering: is there any posiblity that in the close future we will see cross realm herilooms?
Yeah, the possibility exists. We have no design objection. Mail wasn't set up to work that way. (Source)
couldn't uou change heirlooms to something like mounts? Scroll down ui that would help keep track. A lot better
Yeah I said last Blizzcon that I'd love to see that. (Source)

Hey guys, is the "Appear offline" feature going to be implemented tomorrow in 5.2? Thanks!
Pretty sure it is not in 5.2. Ran into some technical limitations. Still like the design idea. (Source)

No interviewer has asked this past week about it so here goes: Update on model revamps? Last update was last year iirc
Any answer just tends to build excitement to a scary level so it's best just to keep quiet for now. (Source)

Are you going to fix the proc rate on the 5.2 trinkets? Currently they are way too unreliable.
We're considering some pseudo randomization in players' favor. E.g. if no proc, increase chance next time. Avoids bad streaks. (Source)
I really hope some action is taken on this quickly i'm going to be passing on trinkets in ToT on my shaman until then.
We think we're going to apply the pseudo random thing. We'll write up details somewhere players can see it. (Source)

“Getting new gear is annoying. Cost of reforging, enchanting/gemming, transmogging (void storage all add up. Blah.” @Ghostcrawler
We agree. Too much post-modification takes the fun out of getting a new piece. Need to work on that. (Source)

We also added some protection to the ToT RPPM trinkets to avoid streaks of bad luck and buffed some to boot. Details soon. (Source)
Do you think you may be setting a bad precedent? Soothing Mist and now trinkets have streak protection. Might become expected.
Would that be a bad thing? Quest drops have had it for years and we want to add it to bonus rolls as well. (Source)
Just worried you might be painting yourself into a corner. Precedents have come back to bite you before.
Funny you mention that, because I feel like precedents have become a big part of this job. Like being on a supreme court at times. (Source)

The new system will prevent unlucky streaks, but not lucky ones. Why not a ramping up proc chance from t=0 ? (less variance)
Lucky streaks were what we were trying to deliver. Otherwise, procs might as well be passives since they're so predictable. (Source)

twizzcast: playing alts is just something for times youve got nothing to do? What if people just like to play multiple classes
But, making a main take 100% and all of the alts 0% means you're not actually playing an alt. Needs to be somewhere in the middle. (Source)
The point was that we can't offer mains 20% of the content so that folks with 5 characters would have 100% of the content. (Source)

Doesn't it seem like Valor of the Ancients should trigger when you achieve 1000VP on a realm in a week? Not a specific toon?
Debated that, but it makes you e.g. want to do first dungeon with every alt before playing your main. (Source)

Professions
Odds on a revamp for fishing and lw? Fishing is slow, tedious, uninteractive; LW requires too many mats for how fast you level
Odds are high, but not for 5.2. (Source)

GC, w/ the recent revamps to leveling profs. I want to level a JC. But should I wait? Any plans to revamp leveling JC?
Not for 5.2 and we haven't decided what profs to focus on for 5.3 yet. (Source)

Are we going to get our filters back in Profession windows? Or new filters? I'd like to separate swords from all weapons.
They need much better filtering overall. (Source)

I don't like the Blacksmithing changes, because it dumbs down another aspect of the game. Farming old ore was easy anyway
Usually players use "dumbing down" to mean less skill required not less time commitment. (Source)

That new engineering mount, the sky claw. Is it still in there? No mention of it in patch notes.
It's not. We had to pull it at the last second. Hopefully we can fix it and it will return. (Source)
What about the other engineering items from the 5.2 PTR like the fridge? Are they ever coming out?
We'd like to put them all out together rather than trickling a recipe in here and there. (Source)

Race to World First
Now that the race is on once again, the Race to World First documentary is free to watch for the next two weeks.



Guild Wars 2: The End of Culling
An interesting post popped up this week that demonstrates a solution for game performance during large scale PvP battles. Previously, in large scale PvP, players that were farther away from you were hidden to reduce the load on your client. This led to people that you couldn't see attacking you for several seconds before they became visible.

Under the changed system, the client can render characters using the normal high res models, low res and much more generic model, and the just nameplates only. Players can set the number of characters to render with a model vs nameplates, as well as the quality of models to be used.

by Published on 2013-03-16 06:04 AM

Legendary Dyes Still in the Works, Blue Posts, Fan Creation of the Week: Crimson-Shirou Cosplay

Isle of Thunder US - Stage 2 Unlocked

Patch 5.2 Dev Interviews
Let's take a look at another of the dev interviews today, the NowGamer interview with Ghostcrawler.

  • In Cataclysm, players who hit 85 and were not in a raiding guild or a serious PvPer didn't really have much to do, so Mists of Pandaria aimed to solve that problem.
  • Thunderforged Weapons were supposed to be a way to keep loot somewhat interesting, even after farming the same bosses for months. The increased drop rate in 25 player difficulty was just a way to give players a reward for the increased logistical challenges.
  • It is much easier for a 25 player raiding guild to drop to 10 players than it is for a 10 player raiding guild to grow to 25 players. Blizzard still likes 25 player raiding though, as it offers a more epic experience, more opportunities for players, and a more resilient raiding group.
  • There is a good chance that item upgrades will come back in odd numbered patches, as players have run out of new gear to buy with Valor. This also increases player power to help them through progression if they are stuck.
  • If item upgrades come back, it is likely that they will be much cheaper, making it practical to upgrade everything.
  • The Patch 5.1 legendary quest that required 6,000 Valor was likely too high, with a number closer to 2,000 or 3,000 being more appropriate.
  • There is a lot of interest on the dev team in turning old player favorites into challenge modes.
  • Challenge mode participation rates are higher than Blizzard had predicted.
  • Adding new class abilities is exciting for current players, but adds something new to learn for returning players. Striking a balance between keeping things fresh for existing players and not making a larger barrier to returning players is challenging.
  • Blizzard has talked about getting content out faster for a long time, but is really starting to deliver on it now.
  • Adding new things that last one expansion, but not forever is part of the plan, with the farm in Mists of Pandaria as an example. Otherwise you end up with a system like guild leveling that must be supported forever.
  • WoW on a console would be very challenging, but possible. There would be a lot of design issues to solve.
  • Patch 5.2 is an example of the the type of content players can expect year after year, for as long as players keep playing. World Of Warcraft is alive and well!


Solution for Unlucky Bonus Roll Streaks
One of the ideas mentioned in the interviews was a increasing chance to win something to offset unlucky streaks, and Cory Stockton shared a little more about it today!



Throne of Thunder Heroic Progression
Not much progression today! Exodus, Экзорсус, and Apex joined the 8/8 club, but no one has been able to down Dark Animus yet. You can keep up with the kills on Manaflask, our forum thread, and WowProgress.



Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: March 15
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Classes

Quests
  • Be Raptor: Fixed an issue where the final cutscene may not display correctly. Players should now be able to obtain completion credit and turn the quest in.
  • Liquid Gold: Players should now be able to loot supply crates and complete the quest.
  • Lunk's Adventure: Rendan's Weakness: Iron Summit Guards should now join the conga line, allowing players to complete the quest.

Creatures
  • Arcanital Mara'kah's barrier spell now lasts 30 seconds, up from 20 seconds.
  • Players of both factions are now eligible to receive loot from Nalak when at least one of the factions has fully unlocked the Isle of Thunder.

Pet Battles
  • Resilient should now properly prevent Critter pets from being stunned by Rupture.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Throne of Thunder
    • Council of Elders
      • Fixed an issue where the Council of Elders did not always drop 2 items on 10-player normal mode.
    • Durumu the Forgotten
      • Azure Fogs are now no longer able to be damaged by area-of-effect spells when they are not revealed.
    • Twin Consorts
      • Suen's Fan of Flames now has a 50-yard range.

PvP
  • Tyrannical Conquest achievement for both factions now requires a character to obtain 25,000 Conquest points in Season 13, down from 27,000 Conquest. The tooltip and progress indicator will still display that the character needs 27,000 Conquest. This will be fixed in a future patch.

Items

UI
  • Fixed an issue where stage progression on the world map for Isle of Thunder was not displaying correctly for players outside the isle.
  • Reduced the amount of spam on Local Defense - Isle of Thunder channel while engaging Kirin Tor or Sunreaver NPCs.

Bug Fixes
  • Using a potion while under Stealth/Invisibility no longer causes the potion to go on permanent cooldown.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Treasure Room is Far Too Confusing
Hey now, my first time I killed the boss and got out with Tenwu. But of course, I went to youtube to look this stuff up before my first time. I'm not sure that's a good thing for players to feel like is the *right* approach. And right now, that is very much the right approach. You are simply cheating yourself if you don't make use of third party resources on this.

I'm also not a fan of the term "tutorial." People hear "tutorial" and they think of pop ups, NPC's offering tips, and the like. It can be fun to explore yourself. It's not fun when exploration feels punishing to your weekly five-minute long opportunity.

I admit, if this were just a series of rooms linked together with no major goal other than hopefully opening chests, I'd feel different. In large part, my feelings about this are influenced by the fact that they also decided to attach achievement parts to it. Five minutes a week to try to learn the place for these achievements just feels obnoxious.

But that's true of anything. You're at a disadvantage for anything if you don't look at a guide first. And certainly if you're an achievement hunter you would. If you're just a casual player you might jump in, go WHAT IS HAPPENING and run around furiously trying to open chests ... and that's kind of what it should be like. It should be high stress. There are supposed to be traps and events to slow you down that you aren't aware of. If you didn't open a ton of chests that's ok, it's free stuff even if you only open 1.

Yes you're at a disadvantage if you don't buy the strategy guide for every new game that comes out, but discovery of the game, its mechanics, trying to interpret the design intent, and overcoming those challenges is part of what makes games fun. At least for me. If you want to look up videos for everything before trying them though you can.

I think the disconnect here is if you feel like this is a piece of content that owes you something; a minimum reward level and you feel cheated if you're not allowed to achieve that. It's not. It's free stuff that isn't directly related to character growth or improvement. You can run it every week or never run it and probably not be any better or worse off in the long run. It's just fun. If fun is looking up the strategies beforehand, cool, and if not, good luck! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Throne of Thunder LFR Drop Rates
i have done ToT lfr, first normal run so i got the bag from every boss + i used 3 coins, and once with only coins, totally i spent 6 coins and no loot at all. srsly is the droprate on 5% on every boss or what!? it's freakin lfr!
The coins have a low chance of awarding you items, just as it was in the 5.0 raids. On the other hand, a handful of 6 examples is a rather limited sample to draw conclusions on what the droprate is, or how useful the Raid Finder of Throne of Thunder is, particularly for those folks that have been running mostly the 5.0 Raid Finders but nothing else beyond that difficulty.

However, if you're a normal raider, it's likely that, in the long run, Raid Finder won't hold many interesting items for you, since Normal gear has a higher item level (522 as opposed to LFR's 502). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvE
Will there ever be an option for LFR where we can chose Off Spec for the loot rolls since its personal loot?
Likely, yes. (Source)

So did the failbag changes not make patch 5.2 release ?
Yeah, they should be in. Remember: just for Raid Finder's personal loot bag. Bonus roll doesn't give a bag. (Source)

why can we queue reg randoms for JP with guildies like we could in Cata? Hate being FORCED into heroics when I feel not ready
So many people wanted to jump right to heroics that we weren't sure there was an audience. In retrospect there seems to be. (Source)

God forbid you increase the spawn rate. Or allow players to tap a mob without allowing people to grief others.
Increasing the spawn rate of quest boss mobs is weird. They already respawn almost instantly when someone kills them. (Source)

Not that I'm opposed: why are you now going back to the TBC model where a boss is not intended for most players?
It's 1 boss in the 30+ we've made for MoP. I think most players can live with that ratio. (Source)

PvP
Any plans to use lfr engine to match random battlegrounds (especially to balance healers numbers?)
Yes. (Source)

Why its still possible in 2013 to get 4 healers team against non healers team in random battleground?
It's possible because the BG queue system is like 5 years older than the LFR one. We want to redo it though. (Source)

Do we have a new resilience formula with 5.2? Same values show different tooltips for 5.2 and 5.1.
Yes. It's a linear curve instead of an exponential one. Lower ilevels might get a buff. Higher ilevels should stay the same. (Source)

So you don't like uncounterable things. But for some reason that doesn't include ... blanket silences?
We don't like blanket silences, but without them, instant heals couldn't be countered. (Source)
Change blanket silences to only affect instant casts?
That's interesting. Would have to think about it more. (Source)

gorefeinds into a vortex into a solar beam surrounded by a rof is a huge part of high Rbgs play, seems too strong, thoughts?
It's definitely potent. I hate to just nerf everything that's an effective strategy though. (Source)

Altho, you cant really compare rets to holy, they need to be viable in comparison to other melee classes.
Now that sentiment I agree with. I was just pointing out how much the healer respec issue complicates interpreting representation (Source)
I pay to play ret. Zero interest in playing holy thanks. I expect to be on a par with other melee. Not unreasonable.
No, that's totally reasonable. I was just explaining why looking at representation can give a skewed perspective. (Source)

Are you happy with the FACT that high end raiders are useless in PvP with their heroic gear
They definitely aren't as powerful as folks who earned actual PvP gear, which seems like the superior design, no? (Source)

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


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