MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

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by Published on 2013-05-11 05:38 AM

Auction Houses Up and Running

Patch 5.3 - The Tiger's Peak Arena
Patch 5.3 adds a new arena map, The Tiger's Peak. This map is an open circle, with two smaller half circles that will allow some LoS on each side. The intensity of the snow varies over time, so it may prove to be an additional visual distraction that isn't present in the other arenas.

There are two raised platforms on the left and right side of the arena that can only be climbed via a set of stairs on the side facing the wall. There is a fence around the side of the platform facing the center of the arena which you can jump over to leave the platform, but it is too high to jump from the arena to the platform. The fence does not block line of sight though, so you can cast on players in the center of the arena from the platform.





Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: May 10
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes
  • Fixed an issue where healing reduction effects from Mortal Wounds, Wound Poison, and Widow Venom were stacking.
  • Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Guardian
      • Growl should now properly transfer Vengeance to the casting Druid when taunting off of another tank character.
  • Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Item Sets
      • Tier-15 Warlock 4-piece set bonus should now properly increase the damage of Malefic Grasp and bonus periodic damage for Drain Soul.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Throne of Thunder
    • Primordius
      • Viscous Horror can now be seen from farther away.
    • Twin Consorts
      • Tanks under the Beast of Nightmares debuff should no longer receive stacks of Corrupted Healing from self-heal mechanics.

Valor Points and Rewards
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
They're talking about the reputation needed to purchase the valor gear. Not getting the valor itself. All of my alts are valor capped but you know what I can't do? SPEND IT. Why? Because I refuse to do xmillion dailies, or farm a million warscouts on all of my alts.
Shado-Pan Assault rep is gained by killing bosses, not doing dailies. But whatever, item upgrades are coming back in 5.3 (and they're cheaper) so that'll be a nice way to dump some VP.

And you recommend that people get the 480 ilvl required to get into T15's LFR... how exactly? You can't rely on LFR drop rates even after the increase that was provided, and the majority of players don't have 50k in gold to dump on every alt that they hit max lvl with to buy crafted items.
You can't discount the entire idea of running 5.0 LFR to gear up because drops are random. Sure you could still get some bad rolls and it may take you a bit longer, but there are many who (with a bunch of Elder Charms, aka bonus rolls) are able to completely gear up for ToT within two weeks.

If you want an absolutely reliable way to see an item, do something, and get that item no questions asked, you can do dailies to gain rep and get them for VP, but it's not going to be the quickest way.

This isn't a question of what you can and can't do, the only question is how you want to do it. The Catching Up to 5.3 blog assumes you want to gear up as quickly as possible.

Valor gear should not be gated by rep. And what I want to do in many cases is gain rep... but you've left me with no options other than dailies to get rep reliably in virtually every case.
Yeah I think that's something we learned from and agree with to a point. The Shado-Pan Assault is technically a rep, but the limit is determined by boss kills. VP items are intended to fill gaps when your boss kills don't give you the items you need. Instead of implementing yet another currency and 'boss kill tracking system' to allow you to fill in the gaps, your access to items is determined purely by killing bosses. Plus tying it to a faction helps make it feel like it's a part of the world and not just a static tracking system.

Most of the good SPA rep rewards are frontloaded at Neutral to Honored at least. You hit Friendly week 1, and Honored shortly after that. Getting to Exalted is almost purely vanity, since it's just a tabard and some shoulders that don't even have a socket. You also don't have to do dailies to unlock those 522s, just a week or two of LFR.
Right!

Unless you're waiting for a helm, in which case, HAHA! Jokes on you! Seriously though, is there some reason for not putting helms/boots on SPA?
We tend to not want everything to be super formulaic. It gets tiresome when every tier of every expansion the same items are available in the same ways. Mix it up, etc. etc.

Bind on Pickup Reagents and Alt Characters
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We like that people enjoy having alts. It's been a personal hobby of mine to continually level characters, and it's of course something a lot of people do. However, in some ways it works against some game systems that are intended to be a part of the MMO experience. Professions are one such system.

The intent with professions is that you can only have two, and for all the other professions you don't have you have to work with others within the game to get what you need. Say you're a blacksmith, and you can make an item another player or even that player's profession needs, and that interplay creates interpersonal interactions and even those small interactions feed into the larger social experience. Over the years a number of things have changed and lessened those interactions based around professions, but probably none more impactful than alts. With good intentions to help people catch up to the end-game, it of course allows for people to have more alts with more professions, which in turn reduces reliance on others and shrinks the reasons you have to interact with others.

Most people don't keep tons of alts geared up for end-game, but quite a few do have alts that are there to help 'feed' their one or two main characters. Which is where the binding comes in. You're playing on one character, getting motes/spirits, and wanting to transfer those to alts to make stuff, which then feeds back to your main in either the items made, or the gold from selling them. That's totally understandable, but really fundamentally goes against the intent of profession limits. It can also lessen the personal value of playing and connecting with a character. When you have everything, your personal connection to any one of those things is diluted, and you naturally care a little less about each.

I understand that may be a hard sell because it's a limitation and not letting people do whatever they want, but it's at least logical. I think it is, anyway. Maybe one solution is we could say you can only have two professions per Battle.net account! And really strong arm people into it, but of course that'd be a pretty negative change in taking so much away. Instead saying here's an item that we really want you to earn and use on the character you're playing and obtained it with to reinforce the value in playing that character (and not just shipping items off to crafting alts). People still have crafting alts, of course, and some choose to play them a little just to seek out the motes/spirits, and that's ok. What we don't want is to encourage the notion that you can just play one character and keep a cadre of alts that ensure you have everything you'll ever need. Working with others to achieve great things is by and large the overarching point of these kinds of games.

All that said we have tended to remove the soulbinding of these types of crafting materials as the expansion that introduced them draws to an end.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Feedback and Development
Back in BC developers created an entire new raid that was never meant to come to fruition because players surprisingly began clearing Black Temple and were screaming they were bored.
Sunwell Plateau was absolutely in development from the start. Black Temple was supposed to be in the game when BC launched. To keep from delaying it any further quite a few things didn't make the launch game that were supposed to, and were then added in major content patches. Sunwell was always on the feature list from before the expansion was released, and was always an intended raid.

We've gotten a lot tighter with our dev cycles, obviously, but that doesn't change that the vast majority of content you see throughout the life of an expansion is in some stage of development before an expansion ships - or in some cases just couldn't make the initial release. This go around I'd say the one big exception is the Battlefield Barrens event coming in 5.3, which wasn't something that was concepted until around 5.2 when we thought we really needed a bigger story lead up and tie-in to 5.4 as we didn't have one planned. Quests and Scenarios that use existing locations are pretty quick to turn around. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Flameglow
What about smaller hits like melee rogue damage? 30% of that gets absorbed too.
We recently made a change on the 5.3 PTR to make it so that the max absorb value equals to 15% of the mages spellpower, but no more than 30% of the total damage of the incoming attack.

So let's say a mage has 21000 spell power, Flameglow will absorb no more than 30% of the incoming attack up to the amount of 3150 damage . We hope that this change will make it so the talent continues to be attractive, but not so powerful against characters who hit more often but for less damage. Please feel free to provide us with any feedback you have about this change. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

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

by Published on 2013-05-10 07:02 AM

Diablo 3 is in Top 10 Best PC Games This Quarter, No ETA on AH Availability in the US, Exact Changes to Drop Rates, Game Guide is Updated

Patch 5.3 - Reduced Costs for Patch 5.2 Heirlooms
Patch 5.3 will also reduce the price for the new heirloom items added in Patch 5.2 by 60%. Don't forget that two new Heirloom shields that cost 2175 Justice Points each are also coming in Patch 5.3!

Please note that only the upgrade Heirlooms that were added in Patch 5.2 have had a cost reduction, the old level 80 heirlooms are still the same price.

  • Patch 5.2 Heirlooms purchased with Justice points had costs reduced from 2175, 2725, and 3500 Justice Points to 870, 1090, and 1400 Justice Points.
  • Patch 5.2 Heirlooms purchased with Honor points reduced from 2175, 2725, and 3500 Honor points to 870, 1090, and 1400 Honor points.
  • Patch 5.2 Heirlooms purchased with Darkmoon Faire prize tickets reduced from 110, 130, and 160 prize tickets to 44, 60, and 64 prize tickets.



Preparing for Patch 5.3: Escalation
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Now that the patch is on the horizon, we’ve narrowed down some of the key things you might want to know before the big day. If you want to find out more about everything that’s coming, you can check out the latest Public Test Realm patch notes, or even download and play on the PTR itself.

Be Prepared
Hold on to some of those currencies you’ve been earning over the course of patch 5.2. The gear-upgrading Void Binders are returning in patch 5.3, but it will be cheaper to upgrade items using Valor and Justice Points. Upgradeable PvP items from Season 12 will be eligible for upgrade once again at their original costs. In addition, Heirloom items will be cheaper to upgrade, whether you’re using Justice Points, Honor Points, or Darkmoon Faire tickets. We’re also speeding up the leveling process from 85 to 90. Here are the details:

  • The experience required to level from 85 to 90 will be reduced by 33%. Time to dust off those alts!
  • The Void Binders are coming back!
    • Items upgraded with Valor will now cost 250 Valor Points to upgrade per 4 Item Levels, for a total of 500 Valor for 8 Item Levels per item. This applies retroactively to all items that can be upgraded using Valor.
    • Items upgraded with Justice will now cost 750 Justice Points to upgrade for 8 Item Levels. They can only be upgraded once, for a total of 750 Justice and 8 Item Levels per item. This applies retroactively to all items that can be upgraded using Justice.
    • Malevolent Gladiator’s Conquest (Season 12) items that have upgrades available will still be upgradable at their original Conquest Point costs (750 Conquest Points per 4 Item Levels, with two upgrades possible).
    • Dreadful Gladiator’s Honor (Season 12) items that have upgrades available will still be upgradable at their original costs (one upgrade at a cost of 1500 Honor Points for 8 Item Levels).
    • No other PvP items will be able to be upgraded.
  • The amount of Justice, Honor, and Darkmoon Faire tickets needed to upgrade Heirloom items will be reduced by 60%.

Item Level Requirements
Are you ready to face the Raid Finder, Heroic dungeons, and new Heroic Scenarios? Make sure that you’re geared up to dive right in:

  • Heroic Scenarios require an average Item Level of 480; unlike normal Scenarios, you’ll need a pre-made party to enter.
  • An average Item Level of 440 is required for Heroic dungeons.
  • An average Item Level of 460 is required for the Raid Finder version of Mogu’shan Vaults.
  • An average item level of 470 is required for Raid Finder versions of Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring.
  • An average Item Level of 480 is required for the Raid Finder version of Throne of Thunder.

Lesser Charms of Good Fortune
We’re adding more ways to acquire Lesser Charms of Good Fortune in patch 5.3. In addition to the changes that took effect in patch 5.2, which reduced the number of Lesser Charms of Good Fortune required to purchase three Mogu Runes of Fate from 90 to 50 and allowed players to earn Lesser Charms from Pet Battles, these new sources of Lesser Charms will be available in patch 5.3:

  • Outdoor world creatures level 90 and above now have a chance to drop Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.
  • Rare spawns in Pandaria (except Zandalari Warscouts and Zandalari Warbringers) and bosses encountered as part of the Battlefield: Barrens quest event in Kalimdor will drop Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.

PvP Season Update
PvP Season 13 is still in full swing. We discussed many of the changes coming to PvP gear in our PvP Gear in 5.2 and Preparing for PvP in Patch 5.3 blogs, and the changes below are explained in greater detail there. As a reminder, the 7,250 Conquest Point requirement to purchase non-elite Conquest Point weapons is being removed with patch 5.3.

A number of significant changes are coming to PvP and PvP gear:

  • All characters now have a base Resilience of 65%.
  • Battle Fatigue now reduces the effectiveness of healing and absorb spells and abilities by 45% (was 30%).
  • PvP Power bonus to healing is now based on class and specialization.
    • Healing specializations receive a 100% bonus to healing from PvP Power.
    • Damage specializations for Druids, Monks, Paladins, Priests, and Shaman receive a 70% bonus to healing from PvP Power.
    • All other specializations and classes (including tanking) receive a 40% bonus to healing from PvP Power.

Patching Smoothly
It’s easy to make sure that you’re ready to play when the realms become available on patch day. If you haven’t played in a while, one of the simplest things you can do is open the World of Warcraft launcher and allow the updater to download the latest available game files. If you use user interface add-ons, make sure you have the latest versions and that they’re updated and ready to go for the new patch. This is also a good time to update your video card’s drivers.

If you experience any patching issues, there’s a technical support forum thread all about patching that could help. You can also follow @BlizzardCS on Twitter for the latest support-related news.

Getting Additional Account Help
If you’re having an issue with your account, a number of resources are available to you. If other players are experiencing a similar issue, they may have already posted about it on the Customer Support forum located here, so that can sometimes be a good first stop. If you need more information or direct assistance, the Battle.net Support site will allow you to search through available solutions, submit a support ticket, or contact customer support directly.

A compilation of resources and information can also be found on the Customer Support forum, including information on in-game support, reporting bugs and cheats, submitting suggestions, reporting forum violations, and sharing forum feedback.

Good luck, and we’ll see you in Azeroth!

Valor Points and Rewards
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I'll pass on the Zerg mode aka Challenge mode I don't want to play beat the clock for no reason.
... it's not for no reason, you get rewards based on your time.

Also, no one has ever called it Zerg mode before. And never should again.

it is Zerg mode you play beat the clock to get 15 extra valor and pretty and useless armor that armor should have been a dungeon set or a raid tier not just xmog gear.
Well it's just not really the right way to use the word, but anyway, even if you get Bronze (which is all you need to shoot for) that's 55 Valor, which, for the time investment, is probably the fastest way to get Valor. This thread is about the OP not wanting to do dailies to get Valor, not your personal take on if you like Challenge Modes or not. But now that we're on the subject, cosmetic rewards are actually fairly highly sought after, and considering from tier to tier people may or more not like how their set looks, allowing people to get fairly rare pieces to transmog into has been a pretty popular and appreciated reward. If you don't like them that's cool, there's a lot of content and not everyone is going to like all of it.

If we are sentenced to doing dailies to get rep to get valor gear, can you at least increase the amount of valor you can have total? Or perhaps earn each week? It would grant me more incentive to grind. Nothing too outrageous. Just a thought.
You shouldn't be grinding any reps to get Valor gear. Those items aren't really worth going after any more. There's the Shado-Pan Assault, but you get rep by downing each ToT boss each week, and there's no way to 'grind' that.

If you're working on Kirin Tor Offensive or Sunreaver Onslaught, hitting Honored is pretty quick, buy the belt for 300g and then only continue with it if you want to hit Exalted or want some of those other rewards. If you're just looking to gear up I'd probably stop there.

Check out the Catching Up to 5.3 blog for specifics on how to be gearing right now.

Yes by all means don't grind rep to get gear, BUT do the rep with Kirin tor to get gear??? Do you hear yourself?? Once again Blizz don't get it, the double gate for valor gear SUCKS! It does not matter if it takes a week, 3 weeks or 3 months to get to valor gear, it is the grind that is bad. I ran dungeons and scenarios and LFR to get valor points, now I gotta grind rep to get the gear.
No you don't. If you want to get that belt it's a pretty small time investment to hit Honored, but it's not necessary to hit ilvls to get into ToT LFR by any stretch.

That said, a more interesting question is this: in a loot system where VP gear never degrades to JP gear to enable people to catch up faster or gear alts with BOE's, why do we even bother having JP past the first week at 90? Honor conversion for those that like to pvp notwithstanding, the currency currently has absolutely no purpose in game that I can find.
We've spoken to that a few times, but essentially it was just an oversight in making VP too much of the gearing process at the start, and there's really no point now in trying to force JP into the mix. The current progression works well, it's quick, it helps people get alts into the latest content, and we're not really looking to force a change just so Justice Points can feel better about themselves. (poor Justice Points, so lonely)

I think what they're trying to say is if this is the expansion where you are being encouraged to play the game how you want to play it then valor through dailies is too slow.

If all you like to do is dailies and that's how you choose to play the game then it would take you about a month of just doing Isle of Thunder dailies to be able to purchase one trinket. A little less if you kill rares or participate in non-IoT dailies.

Valor rewards are balanced against the difficulty of the content, and the time and organization it requires. If everything gave the same amount of valor it wouldn't be a choice, there would be 1 fastest and easiest way to get Valor because it would literally be the fastest and easiest way.

Collecting Player Feedback
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
1. In game surveys are accessible to everyone with an active account. Due to a myriad of reasons, not all players can or choose to post on the official forums to voice their opinions (ahem, players with "forum bans" or players who simply do not utilize the forums).
Totally agree with you there, the forums, fansites, front page, and even gaming-websites as a whole is just one slice of the playerbase. Most players don't learn about new patches until they log in when it's released. Which probably seems crazy to everyone here, but that's because you're the type of person that would come to a gaming forum, read the posts, and even less likely actually log in and post(!). Most or all of your friends are probably like you as well, because (unsurprisingly) we tend to make friends with people that are like us. It's that projection bias that makes it difficult to understand that there are people out there that are not like us. We love you for being who you are, passionate people coming and giving us feedback is a big reason for why we exist, but we all have to understand (and account for the fact that) most people just don't do that.

Still, I don't think surveys would be as useful as you may think.

2. Surveys allows players to "vote" once per active account on features they would like to see implemented. No more players jumping on alts to voice their opinion for or against a given feature in forum threads!
Surveys can be great on getting individual's perspectives, but it can also be dangerous in creating expectations. As much as some people say they won't get their hopes up, asking people which of three new features they want to see will absolutely incline them to expect the feature they chose to be implemented. Some more than others. And - not to get into it too much, you can find all sorts of papers and articles and such on it - what people say they want and what they actually want are two different things. Sometimes it's interpreted as game developers telling players what they want, and to some degree that's true. It's important as designers to be able to filter things down to their root causes. Sure someone says they want Dance Studio, but in fact what they're really after is ... I don't know, more character customization options, and in fact the Dance Studio is probably a pretty poor way of achieving that, and the development time investment to do it would compromise our ability to ... have unique raid bosses, item tiers, have to cut an entire zone, or etc. etc. Most people don't care to think about dev resource management, and that's good, because it's not very fun.

3. Surveys tied to accounts allows developers a way to analyze a lot of player opinion data very quickly (who does and doesn't like x feature, their pve/pvp participation, subscription history, etc). This way, Blizzard can see what type of player likes which particular features, and can adjust accordingly.
We do have a lot of data already. We know what PvE/PvP participation is, we know how often people are using their farms, we know often often people take talents or glyphs, we know how often people are using specific abilities, we know subscription history, we know how often groups are clearing content, we know queue times, etc. We can anticipate what the majority of players are looking to do, and develop that content. Not too long ago Heroic dungeons were a big thing and a lot of people were upset and wanted more in this expansion, which isn't possible to pull off before the end of this expansion, but we did hurry to put together some challenging small-group content with decent rewards to see if we could scratch that itch with Heroic Scenarios. It will be interesting to see... well first what people think of them, and second how close it gets for people to filling that role, but also just how many people actually try them, considering how loud of an issue that was.

Ultimately though there is no right single way to gather feedback. We use a variety of methods and venues to see and experience how people are playing the game, what they think, and what they want. We're always looking for more, and certainly surveys could be a part of that, but we get so much feedback and data already I'm not sure the pros for surveys outweigh the cons.

Hearthstone Fireside Duels and Q&A
Blizzard spent an hour playing Hearthstone and answering questions this morning!

by Published on 2013-05-08 08:22 PM

WoW Down to 8.3 Million Subscribers
Activision Blizzard's press release states that World of Warcraft is down to 8.3 million subscribers. This is a loss of 1.3 million, down from 9.6 million last quarter. Most of the loss came from the East once again.

  • Blizzard expects to have less subscribers at the end of the year than they do today.
  • Most of the decline in subscribers came from China.
  • There has been less engagement by casual players.
  • Blizzard is going to work on improving the experience for returning players.
  • Blizzard All Stars and Titan will not be released in 2013 according to the slide below.
  • Heart of the Swarm was the #1 PC game of the quarter, selling 1.1 million copies in two days.
  • There has been increased competition with F2P games in Asia.
  • Players consume content faster and subscribe and unsubscribe as new content is added.

by Published on 2013-05-07 11:59 PM

1.0.8 Official Patch Notes

Patch 5.3 - Pet Battle Spectating, Blue Tweets, Riot on Toxic Player Behavior, Fan Art

Patch 5.3 PTR - Build 16924
Build 16924 will be deployed to the PTR realms soon.

New Strings
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion



Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Death Knight (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Unholy
  • Unholy Might now increases your Strength by 10%, down from 15%.

Druid (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Guardian

Hunter (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Beast Mastery
  • Exotic Beasts now reduces the cooldown of your Pet Special Abilities by 1%, down from 30%.

Pets
  • Rabid now has a 1.5 min cooldown, down from 2 min.
  • Burrow Attack now has a 14 sec cooldown, down from 20 sec.
  • Sonic Blast now has a 2 min cooldown, up from 1 min.

Mage (Forums, Talent Calculator)

Frost

Paladin (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Protection



Patch 5.3 PTR Notes Update - May 7
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes
  • Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Gorefiend's Grasp can now affect a maximum of 4 player targets. The number of non-player targets that can be affected remains unlimited.
    • Unholy

  • Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Cloak and Dagger now requires the Rogue to be in Stealth. Shadow Dance will not remove the Stealth requirement for Cloak and Dagger. has a range of 20 yards, down from 30 yards.
      • Shuriken Toss now deals 100% more damage in the initial ranged attack, damage is no longer doubled when used on targets farther than 10 yards away, and energy cost has been increased to 40 energy, up from 20.
    • Combat
    • Subtlety
      • Find Weakness now bypasses 100% of armor against non-player targets, and bypasses 50% of armor when used against other players (was 70% armor bypass for all targets).

  • Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Blood Horror no longer activates from attacks made by pets.

Quests
  • The Strength of One's Foes: All bosses in Mogu’shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of the Endless Spring now have a chance to drop either a Sigil of Power or Sigil of Wisdom

Pet Battles
  • Battle Pets
    • Tiny Blue Carp, Tiny Green Carp, Tiny Red Carp, and Tiny White Carp are now tradable, and can be caught more than once.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Dungeons
    • Minimum level requirement to enter and equip items found in the following dungeons via Dungeon Finder have been adjusted.
      • Gate of the Setting Sun is now available in Normal difficulty, and accessible to level 89 characters.
      • Grim Batol is now accessible at level 84, down from level 85.
      • Lost City of the Tol'vir is now accessible at level 84, down from level 85.
      • Magisters' Terrace is now accessible at level 68, down from level 70.
      • The Mechanar is now accessible at level 68, down from level 70.

PvP
  • PvP Power conversion ratio to obtain 1% damage at level 90 has been changed from 265 to 400.
  • PvP Items
    • The amount of PvP Power and Resilience on gems have been reduced by 50%.
    • Big Zokk Torquewrench has returned from their leave of absence.
    • Glorious Conquest Quartermasters (Acon Deathwielder, Ethan Natice) have returned after refitting their wares.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • To facilitate a more balanced team composition, players now need to select a role when queuing up for a Battleground or Rated Battleground.

Items
  • Justice Heirloom vendors now have Heirloom shields in stock.
  • Kirin Tor and Sunreaver Beacons are now usable from inside the Throne of Thunder.

UI
  • Dungeon Journal has been reorganized. The model view has moved into a sub-tab and replaced with a listing of bosses for the dungeon or raid.

Pet Battle Spectating
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Yea, who needs arena spectating when you've got this
The pet battle spectating is not really "spectating" as such. You do not get to watch players versus other players, you only get to see them when they are fighting a wild pets. Before this change all you would see when a player was battling wild pets was them just standing there idly, now the battle will be visible to outside parties and not just to the player battling the wild pets. This means that the "pet battle spectating" is not really a new system for watching pet battles that had to be developed, it was simply a change to make wild pet battles visible to outside observers.

The same cannot be said for an arena spectating mode though. In order for us to create a system for arena spectating we would need to build a system from the ground up. While the ability to spectate arena matches is something that we would definitely love to implement into World of Warcraft, at this current point we have no plans for it.

Its coded message to PvP community "We dont give a fck about PvP or you, pokemon is all that matters"
That's as far from the truth as it gets, there is loads of new content and changes on its way for PvP in patch 5.3;
  • Balance adjustments/changes
  • New Arena
  • New Battleground
  • Conquest point catch-up system
  • PvP gear changes
  • PvP stat changes
  • Battle fatigue changes
  • And more...

If we did not care for the state or well-being of PvP in World of Warcraft we would say so, however the reality is that we do care for PvP and we are constantly making changes and additions in order to improve it.

Mists of Pandaria Collector’s Edition - Limited Quantity Available
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
If you missed out on getting your own Mists of Pandaria® Collector’s Edition, here’s your second chance. We have a limited quantity in our warehouse that we will be making available on a first-come, first-served basis on the Blizzard Store for $69.99. We won’t be printing any more of these exclusive sets, so pick one up before they disappear into the mists forever.

In addition to an exclusive art book, behind-the-scenes DVD/Blu-ray set, soundtrack, and mouse pad, the World of Warcraft ®: Mists of Pandaria Collector’s Edition includes all the in-game items also found in the Digital Deluxe version. Take a look at the full contents here.

To upgrade your account with the digital items from the Collector’s Edition once you receive your copy, you can log in to Battle.net account management and enter the game key here.
by Published on 2013-05-07 09:23 AM

The Making Of: Diablo, Blue Posts, Community Commentary: Why Can't We Be Friends?, Mephisto's Visage Fan Art

Patch 5.3 - Pet Battle Spectating
Patch 5.3 will allow you to see the battle that is taking place when players are doing battle with Wild Pets out in the world. Currently you just see a player standing there idly while they are fighting. This won't allow you to target the battle pets or see numbers for health and damage.



WoWkemon Addon - Pet Battle Spectating
To go along with the spectating added in Patch 5.3, you can also see the numbers with the WoWkemon Addon's spectate mode. We looked at WoWkemon late last year, but spectate mode is a newer feature. Unfortunately it only works with players on your realm for now, but you can always submit suggestions to the author!



Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Reputation / Questing
The problem is when trivial content (dailies) is needed for better content ("bonus" rolls). Would like them removed
We are trying out options that aren't trivial or solo, such as rare mobs or summonable bosses. (Source)
But we do want to motivate players to get out into the world and not just tunnel on instances 100% of the time. (Source)

We've chatted about item squish... Ever considered a level squish? You know, lowering the cap back to 60 and readjusting.
What is the ultimate goal there? To speed leveling? To make it less intimidating? (Source)

23 Wisdoms and 9 Powers. Wisdom isn't the issue.
Wisdom was the issue when everyone ran tons of MSV and less HoF. Now folks run MSV less and so have lots of Wisdom. (Source)

World
Do you guys plan to fix up Silvermoon soon? The Sunwell has been restore since 2 expansions ago.
What new content would you be willing to give up so that artists could focus on Silvermoon? (Source)
It should be done for consistency. How about you make a patch focused on Lor'Themar, Velen/Anduin and revamp both BC zones ^_^
I'm not sure many players get excited about consistency. In a world of infinite artists, I'd totally agree. (Source)

"Would you spend art time on Silvermoon or new raid?" Huge bummer that this is even an "or" question, and it's happening a lot
Why? There are a limited number of hours in the day and we can only hire folks so fast. (Source)
And even if we could double our art team tomorrow, I'd then ask do you want 1 raid + Silvermoon or 2 raids? (Source)
Prioritization is just a part of this or any business. It's not a questions of being cheap. It's a question of bang for the buck. (Source)
I get it can remove the fantasy of the world to portray things in terms of artist hours, but those are very real considerations. (Source)

Does the potential low-pop/imbalanced server solution also address the poor economies of these servers?
Poor economy plus the lack of people for group content are the main problems in our minds. (Source)

Misc
What if raiding was an option, daily questing was an option and dungeons were an option?
Then my expectation is players would choose the most efficient path (not the most fun) and tunnel on that one. (Source)

in comparison to dungeon/raid ,class,race,zones and new features dev time what would it take to give WoW a new graphic engine?
We improve it every expansion. What is your imagined goal behind scrapping it and starting over? (Source)
WoW is more complex, but based on games I've done before, a new engine could take 4-5 engineers 2-3 years - VERY rough guess. (Source)

We have heard what you didn't like or thought could be better. What did you like about Mists? What do you like coming up?
Like: The new talent tree and glyph design. Challenge Modes. Wrathion. Cho. (Source)
Like: Less teleporting; the world feels like a world. Bonus rolls. Large raids. The farm. Brawler's Guild. Pet battles. (Source)

Is there an internal check that can distinguish between interesting for a developers mind vs player or is it metric reliant?
That is a very relevant question. We discuss all the time whether X is fun for the player or fun for the designer. Very easy trap. (Source)
It's not something I can explore via Twitter, but might make an interesting blog. Very common rookie mistake (though I make it too). (Source)

GC,how often do you restrain yourself from replying to some of these tweets with "Stop being bad"?Props for putting up with it
It wouldn't be worth it in the long run. If I don't show respect to players, they have every right to lose respect for me. (Source)

Bring back BC developers please.
Most of them are still here. (Source)

And really an entire continent of NPC’s telling me to slow down so you don’t have to design more content got old fast.
We are releasing patches faster than ever before. (Source)

Riot GDC Presentation: Reducing Toxic Player Behavior
Riot had a presentation at GDC this year about how they addressed toxic behavior by League of Legends players. WoW also has its own share of toxic behavior, and while their solutions are not directly applicable to WoW, it is still an interesting presentation! You can see the whole presentation here.

  • A significant number of players say that they are quitting LoL due to bad player behavior.
  • 98% of players only have infrequent and non severe toxic behavior and 2% of players have more frequent and severe toxic behavior. (Slide)
  • Riot looked at what would happen if they removed the worst 2% of players, but found that the occasional toxic behavior of the other 98% of players made most games appear to still have toxic behavior. (Slide)

  • Shield Players from Negative Behavior
    • The first experiment involved turning off cross team chat by default for players, but allowing them to turn it back on.
    • This dropped the amount of games that used cross team chat by 1%, from 46% to 47%.
    • This caused a 32% drop in negative chat (that led to a report), 2% drop in neutral chat, and 35% increase in positive chat. (Slide)
    • This also dropped the amount of reports per active player by 6-17% in different categories of toxic behavior. (Slide)

  • Reform or Remove Toxic Players
    • Players can report others for negative behavior in game and the Tribunal system will build a case for frequent offenders. This case includes chat logs, as well as parts of the gameplay.
    • The community then is allowed to vote to Pardon or Punish the offender.
    • When comparing the Tribunal decision to the judgement of the official support staff for a sample set of cases, the outcome was the same 80% of the time. Most of the time when the judgement was not the same, the players were actually more lenient than the official staff would have been.
    • Examples: Case 1, Case 2, Case 3.
    • Riot then added reform cards that are sent to the player after they were banned. These include the judgement, punishment, and evidence from the case.
    • The cards that explained why a player was banned and showing them what they did caused player recidivism rates to go down by 2-13% in future games. The recidivism rate previously went up when players just received a vague a ban notice. (Slide)
    • The offending player is also able to link the card to everyone else, which ended up in the community agreeing with the decision most of the time. (Slide)
    • Some of the banned players even claimed they learned something from being the feedback offered after they were banned! (Slide)

  • Create a Culture of Sportsmanship
    • There are five categories for tips shown in game: Fun Facts, Positive Behavior, Negative Behavior, Self-reflection, and Gameplay Tips. (Examples)
    • Each tip could then use one of three front colors: Red, Blue, and White.
    • Then the tip was either placed on the Loading Screen, In Game, Both, or Nowhere.
    • Every game got a random combination of these variables with a 10% set of games that acted as a control, having none of these tips.
    • Games with the tip: "X% of players punished by the Tribunal improve their behavior and are never punished again" in white on the Loading Screen saw a 4-6% decrease in toxic behaviors. (Slide)
    • The next tip had some interesting results depending on font color: "Teammates perform worse if you harass them after a mistake." (Slide)
      • Red - 6-11% decrease in toxic behaviors.
      • White - Negligible impact.
    • As did this one: "Players who cooperate with their teammates win X% more games." (Slide)
      • Blue - 4-6% decrease in toxic behaviors.
      • Red - Negligible impact.
    • Some tips didn't do so well, as this one cause a 5-15% increase in toxic behavior with a red color: "Who will be the most sportsmanlike player in the game?" (Slide)



Fan Art
This is some interesting fan art that appeared on Reddit today, involving exporting WoW assets and replacing elements, then rendering them in another program. You can follow the artist's progress here.

by Published on 2013-05-05 08:14 PM

Mannercookie's Insanity Barb Build, Types of Density on the PTR, Tyrael Fan Art

Patch 5.3 - Dungeon Journal UI
Patch 5.3 finally makes it faster to move through the Dungeon Journal by putting boss selections for an instance on the left always, and loot, abilities, and model on the right, making it much faster to switch between bosses to find the right loot list.



Otis - Dungeon Journal Addon
If you don't want to wait a few weeks for Patch 5.3, you can install the Otis addon to make life a little bit easier. It adds arrows to the side of the Dungeon Journal that allows you to quickly move up and down through the boss list.



Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character
I'd say Glyphs and Talents look too similar atm.
Yeah, I think that's fair criticism. (Source)

We added talents in vanilla so rogue 1 and rogue 2 could be different. With tri spec, what if every rogue feels the same again? (Source)
I think you picked the worst class to make an example for you here.
In my experience, hunters are even more likely to swap specs than rogues. Even rogue specs have more kit than hunter specs. (Source)

Pandora's box was open at the moment you allowed us to change spec unlimited number of times.
Then maybe we need to close the box. Another idiom is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. (Source)

Can you reconcile your tweet yesterday about yr friend being "just a druid" w/ the "Bring the player not the class" mentality?
I don't think it's a contradiction. You should be able to bring a Balance or Feral most of the time. (Source)
Now there are some cases where we discourage extreme ranged or melee stacking, which is more necessary evil than cool design. (Source)

And how about "bring player - not spec" argument?
Unless you are on heroic Lei Shen, you can probably play any spec you want and be fine. This was not the case in Sunwell. (Source)
In Sunwell, you had to stack certain classes to get the right buff / debuff matrix. That is what "bring the player" was all about. (Source)

How much would you like Crit, Haste and Mastery to be just as good as one another for all specs, allowing freedom for style?
It's tricky. If they are all interchangeable, then you don't look at the stats at all. Better would be if you can feel the delta. (Source)
For some casters, you can really feel diff between a high crit and high haste build. I wish it felt more so for everyone. (Source)
Then the stats could be equal value while the decision was still meaningful. (Source)

I was looking at simulation numbers on noxxic. Can't believe I'm alone in thinking it's demotivating to see my class so low.
We don't put much faith in class comparisons from sims. Different people with different skills work on the various components. (Source)
So even if e.g. the hunter simming is strong, it may not mesh with the shaman simming. (Source)
Sims are better for helping you determine gems, rotations, reforge etc. for your character. (Source)

PvE
Can we get a heads up as to VP incoming patch, will it be reset or can I have it stored ready?
We will give you notification before 5.3 ships. (Source)

Sunwell raids stacked the top DPS with 1 each of the buff classes. Heroic ToT is the same except it's Raid CDs now.
Disagree. Heroic ToT class stacking is nothing like Sunwell class stacking. (Source)

This is opposite of truth. Having the highest ilvl possible when stepping into ANY raid IS MANDATORY
I disagree. Skill has a much greater impact than ilevel. That is why Blood Legion can beat content with very little new gear. (Source)
Worldclass is irrelevant. There'd be no point to gear if it didn't facilitate success. Stop with the straw man.
But skill matters more than gear especially for non-worldclass, because the worldclass can't improve their skill much more. (Source)
Gear helps for sure. If you want to farm LFR for tiny DPS upgrades, go for it. My contention is that behavior is optional. (Source)
mechanics or not the guild rollling in a sub 496 ilvl is gonna have a bad time in tot where the 515 guys are gonna breeze
Yes, that is different. If you don't have a lot of N gear from previous tier, then LFR will serve as a useful catchup. (Source)

why is it we can burn extra mogu coins in LFR but not on nalak for example?
We didn't want to encourage rampant realm hopping, which can lead to instability when there are too many folks in one spot. (Source)
Now that 5.2 has been out for awhile, it would probably be okay for the older bosses. (Source)

have you consider make DBM as default UI, like many other popular 3rd party UIs they are becoming essentials
We try to communicate essential info in raids. The raid mods often provide too much info, which has 2 problems. (Source)
Difficulty is probably obvious, but they also make fights seem complicated by bringing your attention to stuff you could ignore. (Source)

I have even seen in blue posts where you or someone else says normal raiders run LFR! Pls get stories straight!!!
Some heroic raiders run LFR. The question is how forced they feel to do so. (Source)
In 5.0 when everyone was in blues, LFR gave epics and felt really important. (Source)
In 5.2, LFR offers much less to N raiders unless you've been unlucky or are impatient to complete a set or something. (Source)
As I've said, if it's fun for you, go for it. I wouldn't consider it mandatory though. (Source)
In heroic, there are tight enrage timers. In 5.2, there really aren't in normal. (Source)
It comes down to your error rate on mechanics. Improving ilevel can gives you more room to have more errors and still win. (Source)
But causing fewer errors in the first place is likely an even surer track to victory. (gives -> give) (Source)

don't you fear pve gear will become too strong and scare away pure pvpers who dont want to pve?
We don't think PvE gear will be more attractive than PvP gear for PvP with these changes. (Source)

the blog about how to gear was a little inelegant and convoluted let's say. Is End game gearing gonna be like that forever?
What we don't like is that the current system is fairly opaque. Nothing tells you "Go here for a good belt upgrade." (Source)
Also, the system gets more convoluted when tiers advance. Should I do MV LFR or ToT LFR? Is the DMF trinket still good? (Source)
We like to encourage lots of different paths towards a goal rather than e.g. raid or die. (Source)
what if i just want to raid or die? All I want to do is dungeon and rad? Why can't that be an optimal choice? Not the only one
Optimal tends to become the only. We try to make the most optimal path the most diverse one (but again not the only one). (Source)

Weekly News Recap
Lots of news this week, so here is your chance to catch up if you missed a day of news!



Computers - Setup of the Month (by chaud)
Each month or every 2 months, depending on the hardware evolutions, the lovely chaud will work on a couple of hardware setups for those of you who are thinking of upgrading their computer!

This month
The current SSD prices seem to be moving back up slowly, with almost all SSDs under $1 per gigabyte when on sale. No new GPUs or SSDs worth waiting for are expected before the third quarter this year. RAM prices have been increasing for the past few months, so if you were thinking about adding RAM anytime soon, now is the time.

The new Haswell CPUs from Intel are almost here and should bring a mild performance improvement, power usage reduction, and significantly better integrated graphics.

Unless you are doing a lot of video rendering or something that is similarly multithreaded, you do not need the 3770K and should spend that money elsewhere.

Make sure to keep your AMD and Nvidia drivers up to date.

Don't hesitate to post any feedback in the comments of that news post, and don't forget to visit the Computer Forum for any extra questions! If you are interested in Folding@home, take a look in our team's thread.


Peripherals/Monitors
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorAsus VS229H-P 21.5" LED IPS Monitor - $140ASUS VS248H-P 24-Inch Monitor - $170
KeyboardKensington Pro Fit Media Keyboard - $20Cyborg V.5 - $48
MouseLogitech G400 - $37Razer Deathadder - $46
SpeakersCreative A220 2.1 Speaker System - $30Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $40
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE278Q 27-Inch - $266HP ZR2440W 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $369
KeyboardLogitech G510 - $90Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $76 ($129)
MouseLogitech G500 - $45Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $70
SpeakersLogitech Z323 2.1 Speaker System - $60Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $65


Puppy and Dolphin
Mix and match anything but the CPU/Motherboard combo between Puppy and Dolphin. Pick one of the two CPU/Motherboard combos.
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT Source 210 - $35NZXT Source 210 - $35
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 - $58XFX Core Edition PRO 550W - $69
CPUAMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition- $85AMD FX-6300 - $117
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $28Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $30
MotherboardASUS M5A97 R2 AM3+ 970 - $99ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0 AM3+ 990FX - $135
MemoryKingston HyperX Blu 4GB 1333 - $318GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $71
Graphics CardASUS 7770 - $109Gigabyte 7850 2 GB or Gigabyte GTX 660 OC 2GB - $195 / $210
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $57Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $91
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23
Total$525$766 - 781


Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn. SSDs are always optional.
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master HAF 912 - $58Cooler Master HAF 932 - $160
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $90Corsair 750HX - $130
CPUIntel i5-3570K - $210Intel i7-3770K - $317
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $53Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $80
MotherboardASUS P8Z77-V LK - $115ASUS P8Z77-V - $176
Memory8GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $7116GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $120
Graphics CardGigabyte 7950 OR MSI GTX 660 Ti - $310 / $299Gigabyte 7970 OR GIGABYTE GTX 670 - $400 / $393
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $91Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $91
SSDSAMSUNG 840 128GB (Review) - $100
OR
Plextor 128 GB M5 Pro (Review) - $132
Intel 330 180GB (Review) - $150
OR
SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB (Review) - $139
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23
Total$1010 - $1153$1590 - $1647

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