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by Published on 2013-05-18 01:45 AM

Patch 5.3 Release Next Week
Patch 5.3 will be released next week!



Patch 5.3 Mounts
Patch 5.3 adds several new mounts: Enchanted Fey Dragon, Hearthsteed, Armored Red Dragonhawk, Armored Blue Dragonhawk, Brawler's Burly Mushan Beast, and the Iron Hitching Post.







Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Patch 5.3 Experience Changes
So my question is this... What EXP and Level would you need to be at... (IE: Level 88 and 3/4) for when 5.3 comes out, to instantly hit 90? I completely hate Dread Wastes.

I know that I need gear, and Dread Wastes has good drops, but I hate leveling there.

So anyone able to do the math.. It seems that the WowWiki EXP Table isn't accurate.

Any excess experience over the amount needed to level will likely be lost. Overall though, the 33% reduction to XP needed to level is huge, and it's still a net gain. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Releasing During Boss Encounter
As a "non-hardcore" player, it seems odd to me that its thought to be OK to lock people out of playing (can't release, can't rez, can't do anything) in a LFR, or, for that matter, in any part of the game. Its a bad user experience. What am I supposed to do? AFK? I know you hardcore people don't care and will flame about it, but, seriously, this is why people go start investigating other MMORPGs... sitting in front of a game where you can't do anything is boring, and, in many games, the answer isn't "just suck it up". You don't have to, because it either doesn't happen, or there's some other option that's part of the game.
The reason you couldn't release while the boss encounter is active is so you remain eligible for loot/bonus rolls if the rest of the raid was able to successfully defeat the boss. You'd be singing a different tune if you were able to release to the graveyard resulting in lost loot eligibility. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP
If you could say just one thing to help the community understand (frost) (mage) PvP balance, what would you say?
Brian may answer differently, but I would say mages are hard to counter for average players but easy for great players. (Source)
So historically a nerf to say Deep Freeze or poly risks making them dead at the high end. (Source)

Fixing the fact that melee is practically unusable in RBGs should be the priority before gutting a spec back down to nothing
We're not convinced it's melee. We think it's Gorefiend + Ursols + Solar Beam feels mandatory. (Source)

Have you taken the fact that people will just Role check as DPS then SWITCH specs ONCE in BG??
To what end? To have a bad team with no healers? (Source)
I think he's saying they'll queue as DPS then switch to a healing spec to have more than the other team.
Does that actually give you a stronger team? (Source)

"To facilitate jerks, hybrids will now need to click 'healer' to steal BG queues" Am I reading that right? Force spec swap!
Why would someone want a short BG queue just to get on a weakened team that loses their match? (Source)
In LFR, it's easier to "fake heal" and still beat the bosses. But in a BG, you'll feel it. (Source)

In the recent article on PVP it sounds like your fine with the fact that the BiS trink for PVP could very well be a PVE trink.
No, that's the opposite of what we were trying to say. (Source)

so removing flag carriers/making unwanted was a result of the new resilience system?Its a little bit stupid,dont you think?
Just want teams to have options for their carriers rather than having yet another part of the game dependent on finding a tank. (Source)

Why it you dont like multiboxers in bgs and yet allow premades. Flip Flops like this is why your loosing subs.
Some things are much easier to prevent than others. Still doing something even though we can't do everything isn't flip flopping. (Source)

if you're eliminating resil and nerfing pow rating by 50%, what exactly is the point of pvp gear? So much for incrementalism.
We want gear to matter in PvP, but skill needs to matter a lot too. This is consistent with feedback from many PvP players. (Source)

I find it amusing how a minigame with very little PvP support has better balance than the entire PvP metagame.
You find it odd that a turn-based game with no teams and no actor movement is easier to balance? (Source)

We are trying role checks for BGs in 5.3 to make sure there are enough healers on both sides. (Source)
Have you taken the fact that people will just Role check as DPS then SWITCH specs ONCE in BG??
To what end? To have a bad team with no healers? (Source)
I think he's saying they'll queue as DPS then switch to a healing spec to have more than the other team.
Does that actually give you a stronger team? (Source)
How will this system help over live?It won't figure an accurate # of heals due to heals queing as dps
The goal is just to make sure you don't get a team without some healers. (Source)

Why won't you nerf the burst in pvp and buff the sustain dmg? Have you tested it and it didn't work out or?
Yes. We don't think PvP is fun when nobody dies and Arenas last 45 min until mana dries up. (Source)

Drastic PVP changes mid-season? Devaluation of PVP gear vs. PVE gear? Loss of character progression for PVP-only players?
The first was because players essentially demanded it, and they were right to do so. The second we just disagree is a thing. (Source)

it seems that your reaction is to change the game to bring pve players to do pvp. (with changes favoring players pve)
The goal is to let PvE players use their PvE gear to get into PvP until they can earn better PvP gear. The flip side is true. (Source)
At the moment, both gearing paths are so long that it divides players and allows for little crossover. (Source)
But PvP players should ultimately want PvP gear. The PvE gear just gets them in the door. (Source)

It's weird how everyone knows where and how to get a battleground bot, yet you guys have no clue how to stop our misery.
Some of our moves are legal, and it doesn't work well if we tip our hand there. Not talking about it != nothing is happening. (Source)

World
Why aren't low pop/imba servers priority #1. Social games need the social aspect. I feel like I'm missing out a lot.
They are a high priority, but the solutions are complex. It's not a snap-fingers-to-solve problem. (Source)

Seems like this might be one of those "more interesting to the developer" situations. Players want less flying/tele?
A lot of players want less flying. They understand why it makes the world feel smaller, hurts world PvP and so on. (Source)
Teleporting is harder for me to explain via twitter, because it gets into the area of short term benefits with long term costs. (Source)
Honesty I jwish you embrace all their regressive ideas. Get rid of flying, lfr, lfr you name. Watch the game tank.
It is hard to move backwards for sure. (Source)

Why are you afraid to take resources away from end game to finish storylines/pretty up the game?
We did a lot of that in Cataclysm, but in retrospect aren't sure it was time well spent. (Source)
If it is kept relevant to the majority, it doesn't feel like wasted content. Reusing zones is not a bad idea
I don't want to portray anything as "wasted" content. There is usually a benefit to most of the things we do. (Source)
It's just a question of bang for the buck sometimes, which is frustrating, but a reality. (Source)
Was the issue based on reworking old zones or it was 1-60 content instead of 80+?
Redoing the art of the old zones and the quests was time we could have spent on more 80-85 content. (Source)
Some people love leveling, don't get me wrong. But even more players are focused on max level. (Source)

Knowing what you do now, how would've you done the 1-60 zones revamp from Cataclysm? Would you do it differently?
Not sure. Not 100% up to me of course, but I think focusing a lot more on 80-85 would have been on the table for sure. (Source)

Talk of needing a "world" in WoW but then when a request for a better one is made... this. expansion longevity pls
We're focused on Pandaria right now. Part of the reason the Cata world felt small is we spent so much effort on the old world. (Source)

What is the true reason behind the inequality of every capital city? Why is there only 'one' super capital for each expansion?
For BC, LK and MoP we thought it was cool to have a new place for high level characters to hang out. (Source)
For Cat, we thought it made more sense to revamp two existing cities in keeping with the theme. (Source)
Since orcs vs. humans is the heart of Horde vs. Alliance, we chose their cities. (Source)
What about the concept of an Evolving game world? Or will this game always be stationary?
We love the concept of an evolving game world. (Source)

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

by Published on 2013-05-17 07:18 AM

Diablo III on PS4: Conversations With the Creators, Possible Changes in CS Practices, Diablo III with 33% Off the Price, Anniversary Art

Patch 5.3 PTR - Build 16958
Another PTR build came out very early in the morning yesterday. It is a Release Candidate build, which means Patch 5.3 is closer to going live.



Blizzard Insider #48 - Interview with Tom Chilton on Patch 5.3: Escalation
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In Patch 5.3: Escalation, players fight back against the aggressive reign of Garrosh Hellscream, once proud War Chief of the Horde. His crimes are many and his allies are dwindling, but he still holds the Horde capital city of Orgrimmar and retains full command of a vast army of loyal Kor’kron elite soldiers, fed by reinforced supply lines running throughout the Barrens.

Toppling the tyrant will not be easy.

To prepare you for this monumental struggle, the Blizzard Insider discussed the content in Escalation with Game Director Tom Chilton.

Blizzard Insider: Before we dive into the details of Patch 5.3, can you tell us about how the previous patch, 5.2: Rise of the Thunder King, has gone?

Tom Chilton: Overall we’re very happy with how the Thunder King raid turned out. I think it ranks among our best ever as far as size, scope, and overall quality of raid mechanics goes. Lei Shen in particular stood out as a great final encounter for the raid, on par with Yogg-Saron or Ragnaros. One of the more experimental aspects of the Thunder King patch that we’re especially happy with is the Determination buff, which gives all Raid Finder group members a 5% boost whenever they wipe. Raid Finder groups tend to have players of all skill levels, so this change has really helped these groups hold together and learn the mechanics of more difficult encounters, which overall has made Raid Finder groups a more viable option for progression.


Blizzard Insider: How does Escalation fit into the larger story arc for Mists of Pandaria®?

Tom Chilton: Patch 5.3 tells the story of what’s been happening on the Kalimdor home front while the continent of Pandaria was being explored across the South Seas. As the name implies, the core conflict revolves around Garrosh Hellscream and his escalating war efforts. Of course, the Alliance opposes Garrosh—for obvious reasons—but now even large factions of the Horde have turned on Garrosh as well. They’ve grown tired of his constant warmongering, and so Vol’jin leads the Darkspear trolls in open rebellion against their former war chief. Garrosh seems to be universally despised, so now players on both sides of the Horde and Alliance will soon get a chance to take a swing at him.


Blizzard Insider: Can you talk about the new features being added with Escalation? What features are you most looking forward to seeing players dig into?

Tom Chilton: The new Scenarios constitute the backbone of the Escalation patch, and we think players are going to have a lot of fun with these. Another big change will be the new events in the Barrens. The main supply lines that feed Garrosh’s war machine in Orgrimmar run throughout the Barrens, so players must win victories there first before they’ll be able to take on Garrosh directly. From the design side, we want to use the Barrens events to experiment with end-game open world content in new ways and try to get away from some of the more repetitive aspects of daily questing. As a result, we shaped the events as a series of dynamic events, rather than a straightforward progression of daily quests. We hope this ends up feeling much more fluid and freeform than previous end-game quests, with players of both the Alliance and Horde rampaging around, raiding Garrosh’s supply lines and spoiling his war efforts. Plus, just having the Horde and Alliance together in the Barrens at the same time will open up a lot of opportunities for world PVP.


Blizzard Insider:Can you talk a little about the changes to PvP combat? In what ways do the mechanics of PvP evolve in Escalation?

Tom Chilton: One of the biggest evolutions in PvP stems from the changes to the Resilience system. Mechanically speaking, Resilience stays much the same as before, but most of it has been removed from gear, and instead players are getting a much higher innate level of Resilience. Gear still matters in PvP, and certain gems and enchants will retain bonuses to Resilience, but the overall survivability difference between players with different sets of gear is narrower after patch 5.3. This means player skill plays a larger role in determining the outcome of a PvP battle than before. Plus, the Resilience change has the secondary benefit of allowing PvE players to cross over more easily into PvP, since they won’t have to first collect a separate set of Resilience gear in order to survive.


Blizzard Insider: How about new PvP content?

Tom Chilton: On the PvP content side, we’re also adding a new Battleground and a new Arena with Patch 5.3. The Battleground is called Deepwind Gorge and it features a “gold grab” mechanic, where both factions race to collect a certain threshold of gold for their side. Players can get gold in two ways, either gradually over time by holding key strategic points around the mining operations, or they can steal a gold cart from the other team’s base and drag it back to their own base. So Deepwind Gorge essentially combines classic “king of the hill” with “capture the flag” PvP mechanics.

The new Arena is called the Tigers’ Peak, and it experiments with the concept of “high ground” in an interesting new way. The Arena geometry includes several raised pillars, the tops of which are ringed with fences. These fences do not block line of site or ranged attacks, but they will catch any player who gets knocked back into them, thus enabling ranged players to hold the high ground and snipe or land heals from on high a bit more easily than they could otherwise with normal un-railed pillars.


Blizzard Insider: Can you go into details on the new Scenarios in Patch 5.3? Has the design philosophy of Scenarios changed much since they were first introduced at the beginning of Mists of Pandaria?

Tom Chilton: One thing we thought that Scenarios lacked after the launch of Mists of Pandaria was a sense of possible failure. Don’t get me wrong, they were always meant to be quick, fun, bite-sized pieces of content, but I think we can offer more of a challenge to players who are ready for it. So we’re introducing Heroic versions of several existing Scenarios, plus all the new Scenarios coming with Patch 5.3.

Unlike most normal Scenarios, the Heroic versions will only be available if you’re already in a premade group with two other players. Since the difficulty will be ramped up, we wanted to be able to tune the Heroic Scenarios around a group of players who know each other and are used to playing together. Plus, since it’s easier to build a group when you only need two other players, rather than the usual five, we figured Scenarios are a good place to experiment with requiring premade groups again.


Blizzard Insider: Let's talk loot. What kinds of items can players expect to find?

Tom Chilton: Players can definitely expect the usual Item Level upgrades. In addition, we’re also tweaking the loot system so players have option to choose which spec they wish to receive gear for [bonus rolls, Raid Finder loot, Heroic Scenarios, and Mists of Pandaria quests]. This means, for example, you can collect gear for your tank spec while you’re DPS-ing, or vice versa, which makes it easier to collect different sets of gear for your off-spec. In addition, on the art side, we’re also reintroducing the old world Dungeon Tier 2 armor sets back into the game as rewards for the revamped Barrens content. This enables new players to collect some of the older gear sets for Transmogrification without having to go back and farm the old world dungeons

Blizzard Insider: Anything else you’d like to share before you go?

Tom Chilton: Yeah, one more thing—another cool feature we’re adding with 5.3 is the ability to see other players’ Pet Battles, so you can conduct Pet Battles with an audience now. Other than that, we just wanted to say thanks again to our all of our play testers who’ve played through the 5.3 content on the Public Test Realm—your time and contributions are always much appreciated.


PvE Gear in PvP
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This one is a bit of an eyeful, so be prepared for a long post. I recommend reading the whole thing, but there is a TL;DR at the end. If my memory serves me well, this will be my biggest post since joining the community team!

Mírion has hit the nail on the head in pretty much all of his posts in this thread so far. Rated PvP has been seeing a decline in participants over time; however this is not because of balance issues as most people assume it to be. It is mostly due to the increased separation and distinction between PvP and PvE gear. As has been said, getting a full set of PvP gear is not really that hard in the sense of difficulty, but it is when you consider the grind and the feeling you get in those first few steps of PvP without the right gear.

I am sure that most, if not all of you here have at least once had the experience of entering into PvP either late in an expansion or season. If you have, then you know how difficult the process of getting your honor set and first few conquest pieces is. You start off by getting hit by trucks and attacking back with the damage of a wet noodle, as your gear gets better though, the experience improves and you start having fun. But you have to remember that it's those first few steps which are the most crucial to people continuing their PvP experience.

This separation of gear has caused a decrease over time in the number of PvP participants because the first few steps into PvP are so daunting for those who try it that the turnover results in a drop rather than an increase. For PvP, because so many people get scared away from it when they first have a go, you have much less "fresh blood", so to say. This ends up resulting in there not being enough new players sticking with PvP to compensate for those that decide to move onto something that is better suited to them.

Let's take two examples of people who are taking their first steps in PvP right now and making their decision if this is something they want to keep doing:

  • Player A is an established raider. They’re geared out in some pretty sweet ToT items, but wants to try out something new.
  • Players B is a freshly dinged level 90. They’re keen-eyed to try out PvP and has their crafted PvP set.
  • And to have them here to be used in the two below examples, Tyrannical, the BiS PvP geared player having a bit of fun in battlegrounds.

Now the below scenarios are extreme cases, you will not always be coming across a BiS person in PvP, and there are ways in which to increase your enjoyment when starting out such as playing with friends. While a lot of players will push through this initial hurdle and start to enjoy their time in PvP, I just want to give you some examples of what a first time experience can be.

Epic storytelling time #1:
Player A:
A enters an Arathi Basin match, bright-eyed and keen to try out this aspect of the game that's entirely new to them. The gates open for A and they charge off to Lumber Mill and engage their new-found foes. They are having a jolly time doing some decent damage and even scoring a kill while no one is attacks them, however then Tyrannical on the opposing side decides to attack A and he dies in an instant. A wonders what happened, but ignores the occurrence the first time.

A resurrects at base and heads out into the battle, but the same thing keeps happening — A goes into battle, gets attacked and dies. They get tired of this happening repeatedly and decide that PvP is not quite their cup of tea.

Epic storytelling time #2:
Player B:
B just got their Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's gear and an okay BoE weapon from the Auction House. They queue up for a battleground and get thrown into Twin Peaks, ready for battle they run out of the gates bearing down on the opponents flag, eager to capture it and bring glory to their team.

Another person manages to grab the flag before B can reach it, but that's okay — B now wants to go take down the enemy flag carrier. Little to B's knowledge, Tyrannical has the flag and is running along to bring it to their base. B intercepts Tyrannical and starts attacking as hard as he can but is doing little to take away from Tyrannical’s health. Tyrannical decides that the damage B is doing, while minimal, is becoming a nuisance, B is attacked and dies in moments. Like A, B ignores this first occurrence and decides to head back in to battle. But after this situation is repeated they become frustrated by doing so little damage and dying so quickly. They give up on PvP and move on to another aspect of the game where they feel they can make a more meaningful contribution.

As you can see, both players entered into PvP, bright-eyed and looking to have some fun, but they were met with a brick wall as they began their journey. Because of this brick wall that they encountered though, their motivation waned until they gave up and eventually decided to move to something else. The changes that we have planned for patch 5.3 are designed to improve the first time PvP’ers experience to try and increase the retention rate of newcomers to the scene.

The change will also ensure that PvP gear remains the best possible choice for PvP, do not fret over this. What we is to improve the experience for those starting out in PvP and as such increase the pool of players and the size of the community; which in-turn makes the experience of current PvP’ers playing the game that much better too.

TL;DR — The changes help increase the size of the PvP community and makes PvP more welcoming to new players, without making PvE gear BiS.

Making PvE gear BiS something I'm a bit scared off, since you nerfed the PvP gems it just seems like the pure stat gems will be better. Hope you're keeping an eye on them.
However any additional gem sockets come at the cost of the Ilvl budget, lowering some other stats. Base stats will be near, if not exactly identical when scaling comes into account. The reason that PvP gear will be stronger is because of the PvP power stat that is not taken into account for the Ilvl budget on items.

In the blog you posted it said that you removed resilience on "most" pvp pieces, are they still on trinkets?
At this time Medallions still have Resilience on them, Insignias, Badges and Emblems do not have resilience. This can possibly change in the future, but right now we will be keeping an eye on trinkets to ensure that they do not become a problem.

what about player C ?
I was giving some examples of situations where players take their first few steps into PvP. The examples I gave were enough to display the point behind the post, any more would have just made it far too big for anyone to read.

anyway... without these double proc, how do you kill a healer?
Coordinating burst and having good CC timings and effective target swaps. I take it from your posts that you are referring to difficulties killing a healer solo, first off — bad idea; it's do-able, but I would definitely recommend going at them with a friend. Healers are built around the concept of being able to, if played well, keep a team of three players alive against another team of three players, generally 2 DPS and a healer. If a healer was designed to be taken down by a single player in a 1v1 situation, then what kind of hope would they have in keeping a group alive in arenas or battlegrounds?

Healers can be killed and are far from being immortal, you just need to apply the appropriate pressure and play your cards right.

begin with ... these trinket should not even exist, or certainly should not be allowed to use them in pvp.

these trinkets currently have a unique function spoil the game.

Those trinkets offer a different playstyle and have received multiple changes to adapt them for PvP. Not only this, but those trinkets will also be susceptible to the same effects of the Ilvl cap as every other piece of gear in patch 5.3.

There is a PLAYER C which you didn't consider in your example. Player C enters a Battleground to get trashed like player A and player B but does not quit.

While a lot of players will push through this initial hurdle and start to enjoy their time in PvP, I just want to give you some examples of what a first time experience can be.
But I do understand where you are going with your post. But if the situation you give is accurate, then once that player reaches full BiS PvP gear, they will just stop until a new season comes around. A better way to entice people like this to play and continue to play is not to just offer them a way to enhance their characters power which is quite limited in how far it can go, but rather to also provide other rewards like those planned for patch 5.3. Some of the rewards we have planned are for when players reach 2500 rating, they can get a special tabard and a cloak. We also are thinking of potentially adding in rewards for accomplishments such as X number of RBG's or Arenas won.

Also, I am not sure where the progression of gear is being halved. The gear progression is no different from what it has been in previous seasons (Elite weapons being the exception), outside of the start of Season 13 where Elite gear was better than the normal one. In all previous seasons the progression was as follows:

  • Crafted PvP gear
  • Honor Gear
  • Conquest Gear
  • Elite weapon (Only one that was an upgrade)/cosmetic elite upgrades

Now the progress of gear will be as follows:

  • Crafted PvP gear
  • Honor Gear
  • Conquest Gear
  • Cosmetic upgrades

So in the end, the progression of gear has not really changed apart from the Elite weapon just becoming a cosmetic improvement. All this change is doing is leveling out the playing field a bit more to make entry into PvP a lot less daunting to help welcoming more people into the PvP community — this helps the entirety of the PvP community, even the player C you mentioned as they now have more people to play against.

You don't get ilvl 440 gear and go to take on Ra-Den.... that is why there is other raids and LFR to gear up and "progress" to finally take down Ra-Den one day. The point is to grind and get the gear to be able to do so.

Same with PvP. You don't just slap on gear and expect to take down a fully geared PvP player, that is just silly and should not be accomplished by someone with PvE gear.

PvE however has dungeons, heroics, LFR and then raiding in order to ease you into the process, so you are able to participate in gear appropriate content until you are able to enter raids. When a PvP player starts off their journey, they have no equivalent of dungeons where the health and damage of their opponent isn't insurmountable. They are thrown straight into a raid, where they have to overcome a raid boss with the gear you would normally use in a normal dungeon.

Why not make BG with a ilvl cap and pitch players with a certain amount of PvP ilvl against each other and those with better gear against their counterparts.
That's kind of what this change does, without diminishing the overall pool of players. It also accomplishes multiple other tasks as well, such as helping prevent PvE gear in PvP.

I was refering to the gear grind through the upgrade system in patch 5.1
This system got a lot of disapproval from the PvP community, from the feedback we received it was deemed best for it not to return in patch 5.2 or 5.3, which I am sure a lot of people here are glad to hear.

and, as you said, the expected elite gear in patch 5.2 which was abandoned during the first few weeks in favor of the 5.3 system.
This was removed because the gear inflation that would have occurred with season 14 would have been immense. Also, the difference between someone starting out in PvP and someone in full elite would have been too big. The new system for 5.3 was developed and deemed more appropriate and better for the community as a whole. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Patch 5.3 Release Date
Do you know if 5.3 is coming out this month or not for sure. I heard that is what you guys are aiming for but not sure if its a possibility it might not happen.
At current, it won't be much longer. We're hoping to get it out soon (and not the usual soon). I can't confirm more than that for you right now. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Death Knight Changes and CC in PvP
I'm glad they're reverting the nerfs and buffing necrotic strike, I was getting worried.
That's not the case anymore, the developers implemented a different change so that Death Knight diseases will no longer gain benefit from Tricks of the trade:

  • Change reverted: Festering Strike reverted to deal 200% weapon damage.
  • Change reverted: Scourge Strike reverted to deal 135% weapon damage.
  • Change reverted: Unholy Might reverted to 15% Strength increase.
  • Frost Fever and Blood Plague: The damage from these two diseases can no longer benefit from the damage increase granted by Tricks of the Trade.

How can one class just flop over the second he makes one tiny mistake, while the other can survive 3 people dpsing him while his healer:

- Runs of to get out of combat and ress
- Sits in multiple full CCs

Speaking of CCs and (burst) damage, which is something that gets mentioned from time to time:

The developers are keeping an eye on both burst and CC. Not being able to play your character for some time isn't fun, and neither is being bursted from 100% to 0.

Crowd Control is an integral part of World of Warcraft PvP. Without it, it would be little more than tunneling down your opponent. CC introduces the opportunities for skill and timing to come to shine in a way that wouldn't be possible in its absence.

What helps developers the most are specific examples. They do see the YouTube videos that the community shares from time to time, and all too often, they're taken against an undergeared opponent, or a player has every conceivable RNG going for them when they post a highlight.

Nonetheless, they're looking at simplifying CC and diminishing returns in the future, and they already recognize that some abilities and combinations of abilities can lend themselves to burst that's higher than what they'd like, such as Incanter's Ward (which was recently modified on the PTR to Incanter's Ward now allows the Mage to gain up to a maximum of 15% increase to spell damage, down from 30%, but the effect now lasts 25 seconds, up from 15 seconds.). That's the kind of ability that they'd likely 'smooth out' a bit, as they did in this case, where its effects get spread out in such a way as to not damage PvE dps, while lessening its burst potential in PvP. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Dark Legacy Comics #389
DLC #389 has been released!

by Published on 2013-05-16 09:04 AM

Diablo 3: A Look Back

Ion Hazzikostas Interview
As Patch 5.2 comes to an end, developer interviews begin again! Today we are taking a look at an interview with Ion Hazzikostas (Lead Encounter Designer) by Convert to Raid.



Throne of Thunder
  • The team is happy with how Throne of Thunder turned out, as it really delivered on the varied and large environments, fun encounters, great art, and an interesting race for World First.
  • Lei Shen delivered on how great the final boss of a tier should be and is comparable to Heroic Ragnaros in terms of difficulty and structure.
  • The difficulty ramp up between bosses was not as smooth as it could have been, especially going from Jin'rokh to Horridon. This is something that can be improved upon in the next raid, and was addressed with hotfixes this time.
  • Throne of Thunder has a linear progression path, but many players missed the less linear progression that was seen in Ulduar and Icecrown. Giving players the option to work on another boss is helpful and there were areas in Throne of Thunder that could have been designed with this in mind.
  • Ra-Den didn't work out completely as envisioned. The sense of mystery associated with a boss that no one knows anything about is nice, making the content a bonus prize for defeating Lei Shen. It was hard to balance and test without the regular player testing, which resulted in clever use of game mechanics to defeat Ra-Den. Normally hotfixes would have been used to solve the problem, but limited attempts made it a more complicated situation.
  • There might have been slightly too much trash on Raid Finder difficulty, because there are no epic rewards that drop from the trash like Normal and Heroic difficulty. Trash is still an important pacing and environmental factor though, as you are progressing towards Lei Shen through his army.


Raiding
  • During Sunwell progression, raiding 20 hours over several days to get a world first on M'uru was unprecedented. Blizzard tried attempt limits or time limits to reduce the need to raid constantly, but it has always been an arms race between the top guilds to raid longer hours.
  • Limited attempts in Icecrown resulted in using alts to practice encounters before doing them on main characters, increasing the amount of time top guilds spent raiding instead of decreasing it.
  • The devs would like to see more organized raiding, such as the organized PuGs that existed before Raid Finder.
  • There is a group of players that wants to do group raiding, but they aren't well served by the current difficulty choices. This would include the friends and family type guilds that don't remove players because they aren't performing at their best. In Wrath of the Lich King, 10 player normal difficulty raiding served these players well, but there is now a gap between Raid Finder and Normal difficulty.
  • When 10 and 25 player had separate lockouts and different loot, they were really different difficulty levels as well. Things were somewhat easier in 10 player difficulty, as it had the lower tier of loot and should be more accessible.
  • Now that both 10 and 25 player difficulty offer the same loot and have a shared lockout, there is a need to ensure the difficulty is similar for both raid sizes. This eliminated the lower difficulty 10 player raids, which left some players with no content to raid in a more casual organized group.
  • Removing shared lockouts would just make people feel that it was mandatory to do the raid on both sizes every week to get gear faster.


Raid Finder
  • Raid Finder is great for letting players see content and progress their character with a more flexible schedule, but one of the best things MMOs offer is the cooperative social experience that is group raiding.
  • The success rates on Spine of Deathwing and Madness of Deathwing upon release in Raid Finder were about the same as they are on Lei Shen today. The success rate quickly went up on Madness of Deathwing, going from 25% during the first few weeks to 60 or 70% towards the end of the expansion.
  • Garalon was initially too difficult in Raid Finder difficulty, but hotfixes solved that problem.
  • Before the Determination buff was added, if a group failed at an encounter a few times, there wasn't much hope that anything was going to get better. This resulted in some churn in the group and continued failure. The only way to solve this problem was making the encounter easier so that groups failed less.
  • Determination allows the group to slowly make more progress on a boss, as well as give people who were thinking about leaving a reason to stick around.
  • This worked as intended, as the number of people leaving after failed attempts is significantly lower now. This also helps to reduce the amount of partially completed raids that people enter after a long queue.
  • Raid finder is designed to not be attractive to players that are doing most of the raid on Normal or Heroic difficulty, but for players that don't have a fixed raid group to play with.
  • In the past, relatively few people were able to see Arthas, Illidan, and other end bosses in raids. Raid finder allows millions of people to see the entire story.


Future / Misc
  • Patch 5.4 will have a raid that is similar in size to Throne of Thunder.
  • The team started working on Patch 5.4 as soon as they were done with work on the Patch 5.2 PTR content.
  • It would have been nice to have more dungeons while leveling in Pandaria, as there wasn't enough variety. This is something that can be improved upon in the future.
  • Requiring a group for Heroic Scenarios was done to ensure some level of communication between players, making it possible to make the content more difficult and interesting.


Patch 5.3 PTR - Build 16958
Build 16958 will be deployed to the PTR realms soon.

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Hunter (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Pets
  • Sting now has a 1.5 min cooldown, up from 45 sec.



Patch 5.3 PTR - Build 16954
Build 16954 was not a release candidate.

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Shaman (Forums)
Elemental & Restoration
  • Lava Burst now has a 2 sec cast time, up from 1.5 sec.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
RPPM and Item Upgrades
Definitely worth confirmation!

Yes. For these special trinkets like RoRO or UVLS the proc rate increases with ilvl.
And here it is. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Paladins in Throne of Thunder
This is what they've told us: Paladins are quite useful but they feel cases like solo tanking Heroic Megaera (which was mentioned on this thread) has more to do with how encounter mechanics work than the way the class is designed. It's something the developers will work on to be more careful in the future.

Also, with patch 5.3, there'll be some adjustments to certain Paladin abilities, including a nerf to Shield of the Righteous and Glyph of the Battle Healer (which was meant for Retribution Paladins to begin with). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character
interesting tweet, what do you mean by this? Like old days where armor/stam values were different based on armor type?
Perhaps. Armor matters much less with so much non-physical damage. (Source)

had 10 85's 5 DS geared in Cata, have 4 90's and 1 ToT geared now. Stopped alt playing completely now. Better? Just curious.
You are comparing the final raid tier to the not-final raid tier.... (Source)
It is irrelevant that they are different tiers GC, you have made alt playing not fun in MoP.
The tons of raid-geared alts didn't happen until Dragon Soul. Then players naturally expected to keep the into 5.0. (Source)
I'm not saying there weren't alts before, but the average player having 4-5 happened in Dragon Soul. (Source)

Lots of discussion lately about gear and its place. Why not simplify? Do away with bracer, belt, boots and 1 trinket?
Would that make loot feel more fun? (Source)

You say you have the best programmers, any chance they can programme the lucky coins to not give you an item you already have?
Trivially. But should they? There are downsides to getting all the gear you want as fast as you want it. (Source)

Looking at the evolution of ilvl of gear in MOP in pvp/pve, do you think it should be done differently next expansion?
We're still trying to solve letting PvE have better upgrades in later tiers without making PvP have huge catchup mechanics. (Source)
In PvE, you can just avoid the harder instances until you have better gear. In PvP, you're going to run into everybody. (Source)

Feel like BoAs take fun away, never replacing gear is lame. Love the XP buff but not trivialized content #toolatetochange
I see where you're coming from, but they're more aimed at people who feel like they're done with the gear w/ leveling thing. (Source)

Working stiff, almost no time to play now, so I don't; dailies too time consuming/no catchup method for gear. Fix next xpac?
Is the issue that you can't get into dungeons or raids, or that you want to be able to do charms, valor and rep in addition? (Source)
I ask because a major problem with Cata (we were told) was that raiders had little to do when they weren't raiding. (Source)
We added other supplemental loot systems for players looking for more to do. But players with less time felt left out. (Source)
(And before anyone suggests it, alts suffer from the same problem. Alts used to be something you could do if you had free time.) (Source)
(But now we hear from folks that they don't have time for their alts. It's tough to solve.) (Source)
It's a Catch 22 being able to provide meaningful content for players with a lot and without a lot of time. (Source)

UI / Addons
Greg, srsly. What kind of answer is that? Nothing in the game itself uses a questhelper either. Still you added it.
The game has quests though and that info wasn't available. Nothing in the game points you to coordinates. They feel optional to me. (Source)

please fix lag on Lei Shen. seems to be tied with stampede
It is, but we can't reproduce it except for players with out of date Recount or Skada. (Source)

not fun having half our 25m get d/c on bosses when a hunter decides to stampede. and this is with recount off. please fix
Are you certain none of the 25 players have recount or skada enabled? We haven't been able to reproduce that case. (Source)
I never used a damage meter and lagged like crazy on Sha of Fear Heroic. Maybe something deeper... DBM? Ace?
It is definitely related to the stabled pets showing up as "unknown" and then flooding the log when the names are realized. (Source)
We're not giving up, but it's definitely one of those holycrapwhatisthisactualbug? moments. (Source)

Official LFGuild forums unusable mess. Like finding a job on craigslist with not categories, just by post date. Discouraging.
We agree with that, and the Guild Finder tool doesn't solve the problem either. (Source)
WE need a good, robust guild finding system, but you can't just throw good, robust systems together. (Source)

You 'could' does not mean you 'should'. Why would you even design abilities for bosses, if they were to be ignored?
An example is a tank swap mechanic relevant to tanks and perhaps healers that doesn't need to be shouted out to the raid. (Source)
Another is when a boss mod yells out a countdown for a minor boss debuff that adds to the healing requirements but isn't urgent. (Source)
Bossmods focus your awareness when used/configured well, but they're never judicious about what's on by default.
They are better about not stealing your raid markers as much as they used to. (Source)

If you could remove 1 addon and all like it from the game, ie: Recount/skada, DBM which would you remove and why?
I'm not sure I'd want to remove any of those. Mods are generally good for the game and players like them. (Source)
Maybe a mod that is cheating (which we tend to block anyway) or something so unstable that it causes players a lot of grief. (Source)

The Daily Blink - Ready Level One
The Daily Blink takes a look at the future of WoW...

by Published on 2013-05-15 08:58 AM

Community APIs, Clarification on Servers Availability, Fixing Inability to Play, Agent.exe, Monster Density and Difficulties, Wallpapers

Patch 5.3 Achievement Rewards
Patch 5.3 adds many new achievements, as well as a few with rewards. You can pick up new titles from Pet Battles, Deepwind Gorge achievements, and the new Barrens quest line, as well as another Brawler's Guild invite and new shirt from the Brawler's Guild, and an Armored Dragonhawk for collecting 200 mounts!

Name Side Points Reward Category
Brutal Pet Brawler Win 250 PvP pet battles through Find Battle with a full team of level 25 pets.
10Battle
Darkspear Revolutionary Aid Vol'jin's troll uprising during Patch 5.3: Escalation.
Horde 5Pandaria
Deadly Pet Brawler Win 1000 PvP pet battles through Find Battle with a full team of level 25 pets.
10Battle
Deck Your Collection Defeat the following Brawler's Guild bosses.
Alliance 10Brawler's Guild
Deck Your Collection Defeat the following Brawler's Guild bosses.
Horde 10Brawler's Guild
Having a Brawl Reach Rank 9 with Bizmo's Brawlpub.
Alliance 10
Rewards: Brawler's Pass
Brawler's Guild
Having a Brawl Reach Rank 9 with Brawl'gar Arena.
Horde 10
Rewards: Brawler's Pass
Brawler's Guild
Hordebreaker Pit Vol'jin's troll uprising against Garrosh Hellscream's Horde during Patch 5.3: Escalation.
Alliance 5
Rewards Title: <Name> the Hordebreaker
Pandaria
Master of Deepwind Gorge Complete the Deepwind Gorge achievements listed below.
10Deepwind Gorge
Mount Parade Obtain 200 mounts.
Horde 10General
Mount Parade Obtain 200 mounts.
Alliance 10General
Raiding with Leashes II: Attunement Edition Collect all of the battle pets listed below from Karazhan, Serpentshrine Cavern, and Tempest Keep.
10
Reward: Tito
Collect
The Longest Day Complete all of the pet battle daily quests listed below in a single day.
10Pet Battles
Tournament Glory 2013 Rated in the top 1000 of teams participating in the 2013 Tournament Arena Realm
Feats of Strength


Patch 5.3 PTR Notes Update - May 14
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes

Quests
  • Flames of the Void: Fixed an issue where players were unable to mount the War Serpents.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
Scenarios
  • Crypt of the Forgotten Kings
    • Fixed an issue where Uncontrolled Anger was improperly causing characters to drop out of stealth.

PvP
PvP Items
  • The amount of PvP Power and Resilience on gems and Mystic Cogwheel have been reduced by 50%.

Items

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Transmogrification UI Keeps Breaking
Usually when UI stops working it's due to an addon interfering. You can do some troubleshooting by unchecking all your addons before logging in, if transmog works you know it was one of your addons. You can then go through and add them back one at a time.

Personally I might just go and make sure everything is up to date first. If you have some wildly outdated addons that seem to have been dropped by the creator (no updates within the last couple patches), it may be best to seek out alternatives.

Otherwise you can do a full interface reset.(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Lore
You guy's kinda lied about Mists not having a villian. To some extent Garrosh seems to be filling that role.
Yeah, that was always the plan but we talked about it sooner when we realized "no big villain" was confusing or unattractive. (Source)

could explain again what's the point of solo scenario in an mmo game? why can't you ask help from friends what guilds are for?
They let us tell stories in a way normally impossible in an MMO. We can change the environment and make you feel special. (Source)
We agree in an ideal world that a few friends could run them with you though. (Source)

Pet Battles
Whats the logic adding battle pet spectator mod and not for arena/rbg? why you so hate PvP community? @Ghostcrawler
They are completely different systems. You're comparing a 4 day task to a 4 month task. (Source)

Pet Battle Spectating being released before Arena Spectating is an atrocity.
Hours of work versus months of work I'm afraid. Still, we'd like to add it. We know there is a lot of support among players. (Source)

Why Pet Battle Spectating? Im still trying to understand the need for it Was it causing performance issues?
I don't know that there was a *need.* Before, players would just stop and appear idle, which is a bit odd. (Source)
Usually characters doing something appear to be doing something. (Source)

Hey Gc. i know this has bin asked alot but since blizz might be introducing Petbattle Spectating,will we se thesame arena/rbg?
Unfortunately, it's an apple vs. orange comparison. Pet battles take place in the world. Arenas are on a separate server. (Source)
The programming needs aren't remotely similar. That doesn't mean we've given up on PvP spectator. But it is very not simple. (Source)

Warrior Card Reveal: Commanding Shout
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In this Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft card reveal, we have the latest intel from the front lines on one of the Warrior’s powerful class-specific cards—Commanding Shout.

Do you want to learn about the way of the Warrior? Do you have what it takes to be in command? What was that? Could you speak up? Say that again. We can’t HEAR YOU! Why the need to shout?

HERE’S WHY!

*ahem* Sorry about all that. We got carried away. We’re just excited to show you what Commanding Shout can do for the bold (and brash) Warchief of the Horde, Garrosh Hellscream.

Commanding Shout keeps your minions alive—albeit barely—but barely breathing is good enough. In Hearthstone, you’ll often use your minions to attack your opponent’s minions. When you attack, if both your minion and the enemy minion die, it’s called a “trade.”

Commanding Shout makes sure you never trade. Upon hearing the bellowing roar of your Commanding Shout, your minions will survive engagements with enemy minions instead of trading. Sure, they’re probably standing on the precipice of death, but they’ll live to fight another day . . . or moment . . . whatever.

Some minions enjoy getting hurt. Check out this guy:

The Amani Berserker thrives in the midst of battle, as reflected by his Enrage ability. This troll gets +3 Attack while he’s damaged.

You have numerous ways to damage your minions and Enrage them. Some cards can deal direct damage to minions, including your own. You can also send your minions into battle, ideally attacking a weaker enemy. It can be tricky to find just the right opportunity to attack another minion without trading, though. That’s where Commanding Shout comes in. With this card, your rage-filled minions are guaranteed to survive any attack!

But Enrage isn’t the only reason you’ll want to keep your minions bruised and bloodied....

Rampage turns that nearly dead minion into a RAMPAGING POWERHOUSE for only 2 Mana!

Nothing feels better than watching your opponent deal a few damage to your minion, hoping desperately to finish the job on the next turn, only to see it become an unstoppable behemoth.

Warriors love to deal damage, but they also love to TAKE it. So next time you’re on the opposite end of the table staring down the son of Grom Hellscream, poised to launch a Fireblast at one of his soldiers, think twice before you hurl it. You might be playing right into his hand.

by Published on 2013-05-14 05:58 AM

Addressing Security Issues, AH Exploits Still Under Review, Preparing for D3's First Anniversary, ZzEzZ's Proc Coefficient List, Curse Weekly Roundup

Patch 5.3 Profession Changes
There aren't many profession changes in Patch 5.3, but the major one makes leveling mining and herbalism possible in Pandaria with a low skill level.

  • Miners can now level mining from a low skill level completely in Pandaria. Nodes will yield Ghost Iron Nuggets with the amount being determined by your skill level. You can combine ten nuggets to make one ore.
  • Herbalists can now level herbalism from a low skill level completely in Pandaria. Nodes will yield a partial herb with the amount being determined by your skill level. You can combine 10 of the partial herbs to form a complete herb.
  • Currently on the PTR, you will sometimes get fragments and the actual herb or ore when gathering near the minimum level for that node type.
  • The Engineering mount and pet (Skyclaw and Pierre) won't make it in to Patch 5.3.




Patch 5.3 Not This Week
Bashiok confirmed that Patch 5.3 will not be going live this week, but it is likely that we will see it very soon!



Patch 5.3 PTR - Build 16946
Build 16946 went on PTR realms tonight and it is not a Release Candidate build.

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Death Knight (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Unholy

Hunter (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Pets
  • Spirit Mend now has a 30 sec cooldown, down from 40 sec.

Mage (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Talents
  • Flameglow now absorbs 15% of Fire Spell Power, down from 20%.
  • Incanter's Ward now grants 15% increased spell damage for 25 sec, rather than 30% increased spell damage for 15 sec.

Shaman (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Elemental & Restoration
  • Lava Burst had base damage increased by 25%, but no longer lists additional damage from spell power.

Raid & Dungeon Abilities
  • Breath of Hate Targets in a cone in front of the caster take Shadow damage over 3 sec. 3 sec cast (Channeled).7 sec cooldown.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mage PvP Burst
We are aware that there are many players who have issues dealing with Mage burst capabilities, however we feel that the main problem right now isn't simply Deep Freeze or Frozen orb directly, but rather the damage increase caused by Incanter's Ward. When stacked with other damage increasing effects such as procs and Frost Mage mastery, it can add up to an additional 30% damage multiplier, which can be quite devastating against many opponents. Because Incanter's Ward is one of the bigger reasons for high Mage burst, we have plans to make changes to it in patch 5.3.

In an upcoming change to the patch 5.3 patch notes you will see that we are looking to change the maximum spell damage increase from 30% to 15% but have the effect duration increased to 25 seconds, up from 15 seconds. This will lower the damage coming from Frozen Orb, Frost Bomb and other skills during a Mages burst window, but that damage multiplier will just last for a bit longer. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvE
I'd love to have your opinion on the way to bring back Raid Attunements
We've talked about them a lot. Like many features, we went from one extreme to another. Might be a sweet spot. (Source)

means 10-15 people have dropped)And it means about a hour on a single boss.
I'm not sure we can deliver an epic raid experience if wiping 5-7 times is off the table. (Source)

even simply boss fights are a way too long this days.
How long do you think a boss fight should last? 2 min? 6? (Source)

By which I mean, we were trying to "fix" the ICC model, but maybe it was okay in retrospect. (Source)
ICC model was great, it take this long to see that equalizing 10/25 might've been a bad call or just this long to admit it? :P
But we know some players liked having two lockouts and it certainly propped up 25s better. So who knows. It's complicated. (Source)

Yeah, to get a drop is fun. To never get a drop isnt fun. Thats why i thought its an idea to remove RNG from looting.
To get a drop *sometimes* is even more fun. It's ultimately why slot machines can be so addictive. (Source)
I adore the PVP model w/ Nalak. Consistent progression w/ points AND opportunity for drop. Feels productive/exciting
Do you think Nalak should have been available sooner, like Anger was? (Source)

Why did u opt to have the ILvl difference between LFR and normal 20 for this tier of content instead of 13 like previously???
Couple reasons. Helps LFR feel less important to N raiders. Also keeps some prestige for N gear. (Source)

Would you say all the steps taken in MOP to protect the egos of raiders has been worth the cost of alienating casual players?
Worry the opposite is true. When you can see most of the content and get epics from LFR, it lessens motivations to raid. (Source)
Historically, if your guild broke up, you'd look for a new one. Now folks can just play WoW solo using LFR. Not the same experience. (Source)
Again, this doesn't mean we're going to remove LFR. It just means it shouldn't replace other content for all. (Source)

So far there is nothing in mop that I feel makes the loss of 5-mans a fair trade. Especially LFR which IMO is the worst
We know some like dungeons. But players burn out on a couple of new dungeons in a week or two. Raids keep them engaged for months. (Source)
We'd like to figure out some way to do both, but that means a dungeon that doesn't get stale after 20+ runs. (Source)
A raid boss might also get stale after 20 kills, but that's 20 weeks with weekly locks. Dungeons encourage faster burn out. (Source)
Again I am talking about trends overall. I understand players are individuals with their own desires. (Source)

I think getting more skillful is a longterm investment. Getting better ilevel is a more "realistic" goal.
Mmm. Not so sure. Noticing you're standing in a fire can be an aha moment. (Source)
Put another way, I can wipe on a boss 30 times and get better every time until we score a kill. That's short term skill. (Source)
YOU can tell players to improve skills, but the game doesn't. The game teachers players to get better gear, but not practice.
How so? Standing in fire is not a gear issue. Having whole raid alive is more DPS than a few ilevels and is pretty apparent. (Source)

The current raid tuning is almost perfect in my opinion (started raiding in WotLK). ToT is a great raid!
It is good on 25. It came out the door a little too hard on 10s. (Source)
Is that really a problem trading easier organisation with harder content ?
Would be different if we came out and said that 10s were intended to be very hard or very easy. (Source)
Are 10s largely defined by an inability to invest the amount of time that 25s do? Hence the lack of high end 10s?
It could also be that there are virtually no N 25 guilds. Most 25s have heroic intentions. (Source)

Are 10s even balanced around having every buff?
It's tough. We made the call because 10s felt like second class citizens with their lower ilevels. (Source)
No. Ten heroic might be a different story, but there aren't all that many 10 heroic guilds either. (Source)

Uld, ICC, & Nax had various progression paths to complete. But ToT is strictly linear, is this the direction of future raids?
Ideally we'd prefer the raid path have some choices. (Source)
Yup. Strict linearity is my only issue w/ ToT layout. Raid gets tired of approaching "the burnout boss".
Yeah, we agree. It's nice to have a few options to switch focus from one boss to another. (Source)
ICC wings were good, but creatively very bad I thought. 3 boxes off of a middle box room, where were the twists and turns?
Is there a raid whose layout you thought really nailed it -- that felt like a place? (Source)

Any way to keep two healing specs from zoning into same scenario? Not able to complete several runs as disc w/ atonement
You should be fine for normal scenarios even with 3 healers. They aren't tuned on a razor's edge. (Source)

Why can we not at least do old raids on separate lockouts? No harm in 10 and 25 ICC still is there?
No probably no harm. The system isn't set up to support that easily, but I don't know that it's a major design concern. (Source)

Idea behind Challenge Modes is sound I give you that, but how you did it, and how it works and the rewards behind it = garbage I'm sorry
Why are the rewards garbage? Because they have no player power? They are for prestige. And yes, we like them. (Source)

HEX: Shards of Fate - MMO TCG
Cryptozoic, creators of the WoW TCG, recently announced a new MMO and TCG hybrid on Kickstarter called HEX. This game is more complex than Hearthstone and has an additional MMO aspect of the game. You can see some of the gameplay here.


  • Cards
    • Beta will begin in late summer 2013.
    • You start with 60 cards for free when creating your account. You can buy booster packs of 15 cards for $2.
    • You can add gems to sockets in cards, allowing you to change how the card plays.
    • You can transform cards that with their card power during the match.
    • Cards have a "double back" that stores achievements, which will allow you to unlock extended art. The double back also stores badges from winning tournaments and stats from your gameplay with that card. Earning experience with that card allows you to unlock the foil version of the card.
    • There are five different types of cards:
      • Action - Cards are used to cast buffs, attack, or defend against other actions. Basic actions are only usable during your turn, quick actions are usable at any time, and once an action is over the card goes to the graveyard.
      • Constant - Cards are the same as Action cards, but have effects that stay in play, preventing them from going to the graveyard.
      • Artifact - Cards that are artificially created objects, such as robot troops or a cauldron.
      • Troop - Cards that can attack, block, or defend, and stay in play until it is destroyed.
      • Resource - Cards that grant resource points, a threshold, and a charge point.

  • PvE
    • You can form a guild with friends and save decks into a guild bank for other members to practice against.
    • Your guild can also participate in guild tournaments and PvE raids.
    • Dungeons are a solo experience, allowing you to lose three battles before having to restart. The more of a dungeon you explore and defeat, the higher your momentum, and the greater your reward at the end.
    • Raids involve three players fighting against a strong enemy.
    • The choices you make while playing through dungeons and raids will change the story, making it a unique experience.
    • You can trade cards and equipment with other players, or sell it in the auction house.
    • In PvE, your champion will level through gaining experience. This will make your champion stronger and change the art on the card. Every 10 levels you will earn a talent point, allowing you to choose from one of three talents.
    • Equipment is only used in the PvE campaign, and is used to improve the card it is attached to.

  • Champions
    • Each champion has six equipment slots, allowing you to place up to three pieces of equipment on one card, or spread them out on different cards. Some cards have set bonuses.
    • There are 20 champions to choose from in PvP and each has a champion power, similar to the Hero Power in Hearthstone.
    • There are six classes to choose from: Cleric, Ranger, Warlock, Mage, Rogue, and Warrior.
    • There are two factions and eight races to choose from for your character.

by Published on 2013-05-12 10:05 PM

Public Games in 1.0.8, Blue Posts, BlizzCon Ticket Reminder, ChromeOnRust's Stats and Affixes Guide, Diablo Fan Art

Patch 5.3 - Brawler's Guild Changes
Patch 5.3 adds several new bosses to the Brawler's Guild, as well as some other things:

  • Card Trader Ami will sell you cards that allow you to fight bosses from ranks you have already defeated.
  • Defeating some of the new bosses will give you access to some of the new Brawler's Guild shirts.
  • Defeating all of the new bosses will give you the Wraps of the Blood-Soaked Brawler.
  • A new VIP lounge has been added on the zeppelin circling the arena for Rank 8 players. The Alliance also have a VIP lounge in the balcony.
  • Reaching Rank 9 will give you another invite to the brawler's guild.
  • Reaching Rank 10 rewards access to purchase the Brawler's Burly Mushan Beast.
  • Spectator totems and consoles have been added to give you a better view of the fight.
  • The Alliance fight pit floor has been raised to make it easier to view the fight.



The boss in the video preview image above is Hexos. You must constantly turn so that he does not hit any of the incoming rectangles, while doing ~100K DPS.


Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Talking a lot about class cooldowns. We could lower CDs or lower magnitude and buff sustained. (Source)
This could have both PvE and PvP benefits. The CD effects would be harder to notice though. Thoughts? (Source)
Imagine Recklessness as a 10% crit buff or a nerfed GoaK on a 2-3 min timer along with sustained DPS buff. (Source)

Curious: what do you feel is the best crit %, from a "fun to play" perspective? Assume dps is normalized.
Assuming nothing procs from crit? I'd say something like 15-20%. If you're depending on procs etc. then much higher. (Source)

Do you feel hunters need the most work out of all the pures for spec differences and dmg output as of now for 6.0?
We think rogues and hunters need more spec differentiation. (Source)

Do you feel warlocks are generally behind most other pure dps classes in terms of damage and cc (especially mages, rogues)?
Warlocks? No. Hunters are the only pure that feel a little low, and we are buffing them slightly in 5.3. (Source)

Hey GC. How do you feel about DoT snapshotting being an important part of some specs DPS? Seems opaque and complex imo.
It can be opaque and complex. It can also be one of those things to let really skilled players stand out. (Source)
I've said a few times lately that we're cool with difficult hoops for marginal gains. (Source)
But if the gains aren't marginal then the hoops feel mandatory. (Source)
Is there any way to win there? Or is this just another knife's-edge situation?
We just need to make sure that players who want to skip those complications still have fun. (Source)

so why does shape shifting as a druid clear movement impaires but not shaman's ghost wolf? + the additional 10% speed increase
That's just a druid class benefit. We try not to have every class mechanic work the exact same way. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
are you happy with how the current dk resource system works? Or do you feel the rune system was better in wrath?
Honestly not sure. Current model solves the orphaned rune and GCD lock problems better, but it is complicated. (Source)

Why weren't DK dots nerfed to refresh their strength instead of messing with the numbers on FeS, SS, and UM?
We wanted the Festerblight style to be optional, not mandatory. (Source)
It doesn't look like much of an option anymore as it now relies on getting tricks + unrealistic execution to be optimal
The problem might be Tricks. We may have overnerfed the FB damage. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
any though on makeing more glyphs baseline like glyph of lifebloom for resto druids?
When it makes sense. If we make every good glyph baseline then we need to make more glyphs (and hope they aren't too good). (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Many hunters want a MM completely re-design. Possible?
I would use that word with caution. It would not be at the warlock level. Are there things we can do? Yes. (Source)

Marks/Surv feel less developed now that most of their appeals were made into talents. They feel less flavorful now
We want the spec choice to come down to kit or specific rotation. (Agree that hunters need work on both.) (Source)
Marks rotation feels like the most rewarding. BS baseline will be nice. BM is more survivable than survival though
My perception (which could be wrong) is SV hunters are the most likely to be sad when they can't play their spec. (Source)

So what's the verdict on Scater/Trap DR GC?
We aren't changing it for 5.3 (meaning it will be as on live). We nerfed some BM pet CC instead. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Can you give any insight as to why the Cata version of Sacred Shield was removed from Ret? And is it possible it will return?
Honestly, it's because in Cata so many paladins asked for the LK version back. I guess we could alternate every expansion. (Source)
Is it not possible to have the Cata version of Sacred Shield baseline for Ret while also having the talent choice?
One of the issues is that Ret mostly takes SH while Prot only takes SS. Maybe both Ret and Prot would want (Cata) SS as a talent. (Source)
Could replace current talent with the Cataclysm Sacred Shield and give the current one to Prot baseline I guess. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Why did u diceded to decrease amount of armor ignored on Find Weakness?
PvE buff and PvP nerf. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Will enhancement get a overhaul/ new resource system anytime soon? Feels old and clunky and enhance got so much potential!
Overall, we don't foresee adding new resources (like Holy Power or Embers) to any existing classes or specs soon. (Source)
We're pretty happy with Enhance's cooldown-driven rotation. Major changes aren't likely soon. (Source)

Could we at least ask for options to modify ascendance damage and move it to outside the cooldown?
The concern is that shifting too much DPS out of CDs makes the CDs feel meh. It's nice when you can really feel them. (Source)
This may be true but it changes the pvp meta game. Some may like it but I don't and some of my mates quit.
That's the concern and why we're floating the idea out there rather than just doing it for 5.3. (Source

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Are you done with affliction pvp for 5.3? I am not playing ptr so i would love to know how do you think its performing atm.
We don't get a ton of PvP testing on smaller patches like this so most of our information is just player feedback. (Source)
We like Aff rotation in PvE, but we're worried that MG and SB:SS hold them back in PvP. Would rather just have strong dots. (Source)

Currently, RoF feels really clunky for Warlocks to use in single target fights, but it's required. Any plans to change this? To which I mean, doesn't feel like it belongs there in the single target rotation. Just feels clunky and annoying. Thoughts?
We agree. We didn't remove it for 5.3 because we'd want to buff ember generation to compensate. (Source)

When would we see the change to increase ember generation (without relying on RoF to generate embers)?
My guess is 5.4. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
How come arms warriors lost shield slam/shield block if you want to do more with them?
Because shield macros suck. You will see quite often our dev style is one step back, two steps forward. (Source)
We make short-term changes that are good for the game but against our long-term goals, which understandably confuses players. (Source)

Warriors are just HORRIBLE on PTR. Dead in three seconds, dominated by ranged classes. Enough already.
What changed from live? We buffed warrior defenses and no caster should have gotten large DPS buffs. (Source)

So you are saying you can't just put down a blocking volume around your Battlegrounds edges to stop that?
If the solutions are that obvious, chances are they've already been considered and rejected. (Source)

Toxic Behavior
What did you think of Riot's Toxic Player Behavior presentation at GDC? Any lessons that can be applied to WoW?
I think it's awesome. A lot of lessons that can be applied to WoW (or any game) but hard to go into via twitter. (Source)

What do you think Blizz can do better, if anything, to combat toxic attitudes within the WoW community?
Interesting Q. We removed the need for friends in order to see content, which is awesome, but we didn't insert anything in place. (Source)
With friends, you are happy somebody got loot. In LFR, other players are tools to get what you want. (Source)
Providing more info to players so they didn't have to know all the tribal secrets would help. (Source)
Letting you care a little more about the group would help. (Source)
But honestly, I find most players I interact with are helpful and generally pretty nice. I understand there are always bad apples. (Source)

Player Subscription Losses
You have lost 1.3 million subscribers because the game is to time consuming for us casuals. Bring back tabards. Dailies suck
We heard from A LOT of players in Cataclysm that they didn't have enough to do and got bored. It's a tough sweet spot to hit. (Source)

I hope you folks realize your sub drop cannot continue
I can't imagine the original devs expected the game to go on as long as it has. Keep playing and we'll keep developing. (Source)

Activision Q1: 1.3M lost subs, how much was PVE & PVP? Can you hear player feedback now? Class balance & cut time sinks!
The losses were mostly in Asia. China's game market has matured amazingly in only a few years. They release many MMOs a year. (Source)

LFR has cut into raiders avail for normals. Low motivation since end boss killed on release. Led to sub-unsub cycle?
Most of the losses were in Asia, where the raiding culture is pretty different. Recall, they have 3 lockouts already. (Source)

Another 1.3 million subscribers gone. Can we start agreeing that maybe pushing out new dailies every patch is not great?
Players come for new expansions and then drift away. This is nothing new and why we are trying to release expansions faster. (Source)

Misc
You may be releasing patches fast but most of them are bare bones. 2 major patches = 2 daily hubs and a raid. The end.
What is a patch that you thought offered a reasonable amount of content? (Source)
5.2 was good but would have been better with a 5 man or 2. But least you aknowledge no 5 mans was a mistake.
Not a mistake, in that we wouldn't change it if we could do it all again. (Source)
More of a compass heading that we'd like to figure out a way to do it all in the future. Dungeons are cool. We get that. (Source)

Why is it a problem if I like to repeatedly run dungeons? Am I doing it wrong if that's what I find fun?
Nope, and we try to support it. We just don't make that the most rewarding way because we think it's good for the long term game. (Source)
We have found that making things too convenient and letting players focus too much on small parts of the game leads to burn out. (Source)
I know it might seem a paradox that a more convenient game is less compelling, but our data supports it. (Source)
Yet your two most succesful expansions had it as the most rewarding way. What you are doing is WRONG
Our two most successful expansions had terrible class balance too. I'm not sure that's why they were successful. (Source)

You forced me to do what I don't like or even hate: scenarios, dailies, pet battles, brawler guild and etc.
I can understand scenarios and dailies. Why would you do pet battles and brawler's guild if you don't enjoy them? (Source)
There are achievements for pet battles? You have to gain them even if you hate it.Just so others can see big numbers
Achievements are the epitome of optional. If you're saying you are forced to do achievements then... I don't know. More gin. (Source)

Just to play devils advocate. I would like 1 raid + Silvermoon, please. Then you will say "The majority would not".
I don't know what the majority would say. But we don't design around majorities. (Source)
The majority would say buff paladins because they are often the most popular class. (Source)

Is the Black market AH successful in takeing gold out of the economy? What sort of adjustments would you make?
Not sure. Pretty happy with it overall. (Source)

The vast majority of the playerbase enjoy slower patches so we can enjoy one's content longer. ICC was great.
Look, if I'm not comfortable speaking on behalf of "the vast majority of the playerbase" I don't see how you can be... (Source)
I'll buy that you and maybe a lot of your friends feel that way, which is totally legit. (Source)
But we also have a lot of data about how players spend their time and when various players tire of a certain patch. (Source)

Your a multimillion dollar company, Hire a new artist. Do not say we are picky about who we hire. (Multimillion)
I don't think hiring anyone who walked through the door would give you the quality of art your are looking for. (Source)

I'd take that over more broken pvp, or fast raid releases. If hardcore raiders are the minority, why cater to them?
If we don't care about small minorities, then we should stop supporting trolls and dwarves. (Source)

well we all thought that Cataclysm was going to include the BC starting zones since they are in fact in Azeroth!
We thought the BE and Draenei start zones had aged much better than the older ones. (Source)

Weekly News Recap
Here is your chance to catch up if you missed a day of news this week!

  • May 5
  • May 6
    • We summarized Riot's GDC presentation on Toxic Player Behavior.
    • We looked at how Pet Battle Spectating appears to other players.
    • The WoWkemon addon also gives your battle status and lets you spectate from anywhere with other players on your realm.
  • May 7
  • May 8
    • WoW dropped to 8.3 million subscribers, a loss of 1.3 million in the first quarter.
    • Most of the decline in subscribers came from China, where there have been many other MMOs launched recently.
    • Heart of the Swarm was the #1 PC game of the quarter, selling 1.1 million copies in two days.
  • May 9
  • May 10


Dark Legacy Comics #388
DLC #388 has been released!


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