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by Published on 2013-04-24 08:42 AM

680% Magic Find Cap in 1.0.8, Inspiring Presence Back to 2%, Diablo 3 Soundtrack, BlizzCon Tickets on Sale Thursday, Curse Weekly Roundup

Patch 5.3 - No Sky Claw Mount or Pierre Pet
It looks like the Engineering created Sky Claw and Pierre won't make Patch 5.3, so you will have to make do with Waffle Joe!

BlizzCon Tickets On Sale Wednesday
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Just a reminder that the first batch of BlizzCon 2013 tickets will be going on sale tomorrow (Wednesday, April 24) at 7 p.m. PDT through the online Blizzard Store—visit the ticket sales page at that time for the chance to buy yours.

If you’re going to try for tickets, we recommend reading through our earlier ticket sales information article and the ticket info section of the BlizzCon website for helpful tips to ensure your ticket purchase goes smoothly.

If you don’t get tickets tomorrow, a second batch will go on sale Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. PDT. In addition, tickets to an exclusive pre-BlizzCon dinner to benefit Children's Hospital of Orange County will go on sale Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. PDT (BlizzCon admission included). Don’t forget that if you want to attend the StarCraft II 2013 World Championship Series Global Finals in-person, you’ll need a ticket to BlizzCon. For those unable to attend the show, in-depth coverage of BlizzCon will also be available through the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket—further details will be announced at a later date.

BlizzCon 2013 will take place November 8 and 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center, and tickets cost $175 USD each. Tickets to the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner cost $500 USD each and include BlizzCon admission. For further information, check out the official BlizzCon site.

​Click here to buy tickets on Wednesday at 7 p.m.!

Upcoming Pet Battle Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Here's what we're thinking and working on at the moment, and again, please share your thoughts and feedback:

Aquatic: Harmful DoTs reduced by 50% (up from 25%)
  • Aquatic-types currently reduce the effect of harmful damage over time abilities by 25%. Because few creatures have more than one DOT, this ends up being a less than steller damage reduction over the course of the battle. We feel increasing the effect to 50% should help aquatic pets benefit more from their passive.

Critters: Immune to CC completely
  • Critters currently reduce the duration of crowd control effects by one round, which makes fast critters significantly more powerful. We'd like critters of all speeds to benefit equally from their passive, so we're considering making them immune to crowd control effects completely. This would include stuns, roots, and other incapacitating effects.

Magic: Cannot be dealt more than 35% of total health in one move (down from 40%)
  • Magic-type creatures currently cannot take more than 40% of their maximum health as damage when struck. When balance changes were made to reduce the damage of some very heavy-hitting abilities, this passive was indirectly nerfed. We're thinking if we buff the effect to 35% of maximum health, that should compensate for previous adjustments.

Again, everything is subject to further adjustments, but our ultimate goal is to bring all passives up to the power level of some of the current favorites, such as Undead.

Class Uniqueness
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Didn't people complain about class favoritism whenever a class got something special? And now people complain about this. Figures.
We still strive to make the classes as unique as possible while offering a balance that doesn't lead to anyone feeling useless in raids (which was a very real concern a few years ago), and to a greater or lesser extent, I think we accomplish that goal. When I play a Warrior, Death Knight, Rogue, or Monk, for example, there are certainly similarities--they are all melee classes, after all. Crucially, there are also significant differences that span the entire experience of playing each class, and which contribute to a distinctly different feel for each one. Even among "pure" classes, each spec can feel quite distinct from the others, and that's certainly the case amongst hybrids.

So, for fear of using an often tossed buzzword, "homogenization" is a matter of degrees. I personally don't feel that we've at all crossed a threshold where playing one class feels essentially like playing another. I find myself reading posts where players are talking about the buffs a class brings to a raid, or listing off the abilities a class has like a litany. These lists are, themselves, devoid of context though. More classes bring more buffs because that was a problem we needed to solve. Classes have similar abilities to encourage flexibility in group composition. If these are the only measures by which you judge how similar classes are, then I think that you're missing the trees for the forest. Nuance matters. "Feel" matters. How a class toolset interacts with itself matters.

I would make the case that, for the purposes of game play, how a given spec or class plays is really what makes it distinct from the others, even if different classes can sometimes share similar roles. After all, that's nothing new to World of Warcraft; we've always had healers, dps, and tanks. Players have greater flexibility than ever to choose a class that they enjoy playing for the raw experience of playing it, rather than for what buff it provides.

I don't mind so much the same effects on different classes to even out raid need but I do wish that the classes were different enough that just by eying a piece of gear you could tell what class it was meant for even if it wasn't a set. A good example was back in BC when you could tell the difference between Lock oriented gear and Mage oriented gear by the amount of Stamina on it.
This is intentional. There was a lot of "wasted" gear back in the day.

It was very common to go into a raid without a full assortment of classes (which was also common, because some of the classes simply didn't have enough to offer in a raid), and get gear that wasn't good for anyone in attendance. It didn't prove to be a good item design then, and I suspect that it wouldn't work much better now. We've done a lot to solve problems like this over time.

Introducing actual choices in gearing is extremely difficult, because when it comes to player power, all it takes is a spreadsheet showing that item A is better than item B, and suddenly item B is "trash". It becomes a let down to get it, even though ostensibly it's supposed to be an upgrade.

Is that why rogues all feel the same?
Rogues are something of an edge case, and moving previously spec defining abilities into the talent tree probably contributes to this, though I'd argue that it's resulted in a class that's more fun to play overall. Still, I find that Combat feels different from Assassination feels different from Sub. The differences are admittedly more subtle (no pun intended) than some other classes, though.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Doing amazing dps on raids, then walk out and everything feels slow and clunky cause I don't have a 5% crit buff
Our goal is that you feel more awesome when you're with your friends. That is the whole intent behind raid buffs. (Source)

Tier skipping is necessary, old content is OLD and should be treated as old. Blizz needs to stop catering for elitists
It's fun to kill the final boss in a raid. We don't want players to kill boss 1 and 2 and then go on to the next raid. (Source)

I propose world bosses should only drop loot you don't have, especially if it's Unique-Equipped loot, so much frustration.
Would you rather have no loot or repeat loot? Because we're not just going to give you good loot every kill. (Source)
why not?
Because you'd be done with the raid in two weeks and then ask politely how long until the next raid is ready. (Source)

Why is there no time for 5-mans but plenty for Heroic raids? More do dungeons than heroic. Why not develop to larger group?
Many players care about heroic raiding even if they don't run it. Blood Legion's Lei Shen video has like 60K views. (Source)
And to be fair, most of the work goes into the raid in general which also supports LFR and normal, not into heroic content. (Source)

Screw that! I don't want a healer queing in scenario, 45min LFR Q, I don't have time to waste about 5-10 mins.
It's a heroic scenario. You won't be able to queue. (Source)
No queueing, will there be an ilvl req for these? Please say no, would rather they be skill-based.
There is an ilevel requirement but it's more to keep people from stumbling into content that they can't handle. (Source)
If you're interested in heroic scenarios, chances are you'll meet the requirements to do them. (Source)

We are trying role checks for BGs in 5.3 to make sure there are enough healers on both sides. (Source)

50% Battle Fatigue ouch. That'll hurt things like Recup/Second Wind severely. Any thoughts on letting them ignore it?
We don't think the %heals need the nerf. Might let all classes (e.g. rogue, warrior) benefit from PvP Power healing to offset it. (Source)

Disabling auto follow in Battle Grounds has only hurt the multi boxer.
The problem is when multi boxers are having fun in PvP, everyone else often is not. (Source)

Any thoughts of making fear break from damage? It's just a thought. I usually take at least 20-25% of my health before it does
It used to, but if a lock had someone dotted, the Fear would just immediately break. It could be the threshold is too generous. (Source)

If an equally skilled & geared DPS and Healer 1v1'd, in your opinion should the healer be able to forever out heal the damage?
If they can't then how would the healer ever keep up a 3 player team? (Source)
That said, it's more complicated than that. Healers can run OOM. DPS can interrupt or CC or get kill windows. (Source)

I think when exp 5 class/systems design team begin their work you might consider one CC DR and nerf pvp healing.
Agree on taking another look at DRs. PvP healing doesn't feel bad to us at the moment though (except maybe too many instants). (Source)

Just so we're clear: PvP balance (buffs/nerfs) happen around the Top PvP spec of a class, instead of "All 34 specs"?
There are two schools of thought: make PvP fun with fewer specs vs. get all 34 in there and embrace chaos. (Source)
We don't have an official stance yet and try to keep in touch with how the community feels. (Source)

is the new debuff when holding flags as prot in rbg meant to disscourage tank roles in rbg or to encourage pvp power for them?
We want tanks as flag carriers to feel useful but not mandatory. (Source)

You guys don't think there is too much CC in PVP? reality check please.
I'd argue nearly all of the depth from PvP comes from CC. Without it, you're just blowing people up. (Source)
The CC that offends us the most are stuns, since they stop you and let someone do lots of damage. (Source)
Debating having more stuns that break on damage (even if it's faily high damage). (Source)

65% base resi takes away from the feeling of progression for PvPers. Power isn't enough to keep that feeling. Your thoughts?
That was our philosophy for years, but we've come around. Increasing damage / healing with gear feels better. (Source)
When you can't even survive PvP with very low resilience, it's hard to be motivated to continue. (Source)

Dark Legacy Comics #346
DLC shows us one of the things that gold can buy.

by Published on 2013-04-23 04:39 AM

Waller Affix Complaints, Still Nothing Concrete for 1.0.9, Diablo 3 as an FPS?, Archon Inferno's Disintegrate Build

Patch 5.3 PTR Notes Update - Level 85 to 90 XP Reduced by 33%

Ra-Den Kill Videos
Congratulations to Method for their World First kill of Ra-den, as well as earning I Thought He Was Supposed to Be Hard?

Oondasta and Nalak Loot Eligibility Change
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Back in early March we made a hotfix to remove loot and bonus roll eligibility for players that defeated Oondasta and Nalak while visiting from a different realm. At the time, the change was made to address realm stability issues. Since then, we’ve address those issues by making tuning adjustments for Oondasta such as increasing the spawn rate, and reducing Oondasta’s health by 50%.

In an upcoming hotfix, players coalesced from a different realm will be eligible to receive loot or use a bonus roll after defeating Oondasta or Nalak once more. Keep in mind, players are still only eligible to receive loot or use a bonus roll once a week.

This change will take effect in each region after their scheduled weekly realm maintenance.

Mogu Rune of Fate – Lesser Charm Change
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re deploying a hotfix late tonight that will reduce the number of Lesser Charms of Good Fortune required to purchase 3 Mogu Runes of Fate from 90 down to 50. Meaning when you log in Wednesday and purchase your 3 Mogu Runes of Fate, which are used for 5.2 raid boss bonus rolls, it will only cost you 50 Lesser Charms.

We recommend waiting until after the scheduled Wednesday maintenance to ensure this change has gone through before purchasing your Runes.

Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: April 22
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
  • Players coalesced from a different realm are now eligible to receive loot or use a bonus roll after defeating Oondasta or Nalak.


Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Throne of Thunder - Twin Consorts
    • Cosmic Barrage now summons 4 Crashing Stars (down from 6) on 10-player Normal, Heroic, and Raid Finder difficulty. 8 Crashing Stars (down from 12) are summoned on 25-player Normal and Heroic difficulty.

  • Sinister Primal Diamond should now correctly have different activation rates depending on the class and specialization. In addition, activation rate for Fire Mages has been increased.

Upcoming Pet Passive Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We're going to be buffing some pet passives in a future patch, and elementals are on the list. We feel that the elemental passive is currently too confusing in that it is somewhat ambiguous with regard to direct effects of weather, but not effects that are not directly related to weather.

For example, if your opponent has a pet that gains an additional attack in a Blizzard, they will still get the additional attack against your elemental pet. This can feel bad in some cases and we want pet passives to always feel good and useful. We also feel that weather is one of the more fun and synergistic elements of Pet Battles, so at this point in time, we’re thinking of redesigning the elemental pet passive along the lines of a ~50% reduction in damage for the turn one is swapped in. Our goal being that we’d rather have a passive in place that increases the strategic depth of elemental pets, and is clear in its intention and functionality.

Keep in mind, we’re still evaluating the numbers and everything is subject to change, but we’d sincerely appreciate any constructive feedback you may have!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Patch 5.3 Experience Changes
How will it work...

Scenario 1:
  • Before the patch: Character has 50/200 xp, xp bar shows 25% progress to next level.
  • After the patch: Character has 50/100 xp, xp bar shows 50% progress to next level.

Scenario 2:
  • Before the patch: Character has 102/200 xp, xp bar shows 51% progress to next level.
  • After the patch: Character has 102/100 xp, and will level as soon as they gain an experience point.

Let me know if that helps. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World PvP and Gear
That is referring to world PvP. In world PvP, those in full Conquest gear "should be pretty competitive with a Heroic raid–geared player—they may have more survivability, but you might do more damage." In instanced PvP, such as Arena and Battlegrounds the player in PvP gear will have an upper hand, and the player with PvE gear has the better equipment for dungeons and raids.

I hope this clears that up, the devs are referring to world PvP specifically and not PvP in general. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Ask the Devs Questions
Mobius, to answer your question as to why your question was not taken:

Any changes planned for DKs? Like removing the rp cost from Icebound Fortitude or removing the health loss every 2 sec from Unholy Frenzy.
As you can see, the question is not about the planned changes for patch 5.3. For those that are complaining that you aren't satisfied with the questions we responded to, take into consideration the following things:
  • Did you ask a question? We only took questions that were posted in the Ask the Devs thread. If you don't ask, we can't answer.
  • Was your question about the patch 5.3 changes relating to PvP? If not, then it was not taken because it broke one of the first rules for the Ask the Devs
  • Did you up-vote questions you wanted to see answered? The highest voted questions were the ones we chose.

There were many questions that were able to be asked about the 5.3 changes for PvP. There was a new battleground, a new arena, many class changes that would affect PvP and as can be seen, resilience changes. No questions were avoided, if they met the rules of the thread and were voted for, then they were chosen.

The major things which are constanly posted about here and on the usa forums: too much burst, too much cc +remove the pve trinkets, are simply ignored.
There are actually responses to all three of those. The Devs spoke about CC, the PvE trinkets and the burst they create. Unfortunately, if you check the Ask the Devs thread, there are no questions which actually asked about the 5.3 changes and the way in which they would address burst, outside of those pertaining to the Shado-Pan trinkets. If you wanted an answer specifically to the ways in which 5.3 was planning to address your particular issues with burst, then you should have asked them. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Tier 15 Interview With Method
Manaflask has once again interviewed Method about their thoughts on this tier of content. You can see the hightlights below, or read the full interview on Manaflask.

  • 10 and 25 player difficulties are different races due to the different difficulty of the bosses in each size.
  • Due to the difficulty differences, Method no longer feels like they are directly competing against Paragon anymore.
  • The lack of any gating was nice, as was the longer period of pure progression.
  • The boss tuning was well done in this tier, with the exception of Twin Consorts (which was hotfixed).
  • Lei Shen was well tuned, well designed, and one of the better encounters in the game.
  • Ra-den was significantly easier than Lei Shen, and really was a bonus boss rather than the "final boss" of the tier.
  • The opinion on limited attempts on Ra-den was split, with some guild members liking it and some disliking it.
  • Everyone agreed that Dark Animus was the most frustrating boss due to the wipes early in the fight.
  • Method raided 14-16 hours a day during much of the progression.

by Published on 2013-04-22 06:46 PM

The Secrets of Ragefire Scenario, Blossoming Ancient Pet, Blue Tweets, News Recap

Patch 5.3 PTR Notes Update - April 22
Lots of interesting changes today, with the highlights below:

  • Experience needed to increase from level 85 to level 90 has been reduced by 33% (How it will work)
  • Reduced the number of Lesser Charms of Good Fortune needed for the Mogu Runes of Fate weekly quest to 50, down from 90.
  • Shado-Pan Assault belts now require Friendly reputation to purchase, down from Revered.
  • Shado-Pan Assault chest pieces now require Honored reputation to purchase, down from Revered.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
  • Experience needed to increase from level 85 to level 90 has been reduced by 33%.

  • Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator
    • General
      • Tranquility now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-player instance. This change also applies to players using the Symbiosis version of Tranquility.
    • Restoration
      • Ironbark now has a cooldown of 60 seconds, down from 2 minutes.
      • Swiftmend area-of-effect component now heals injured allies within 10 yards, up from 8 yards.
      • Wild Mushroom: Bloom now heals all allies within 10 yards (up from 8 yards) for 100% more, and includes bonus healing from Rejuvenation overhealing.
    • Item Sets
      • Restoration PvP 4-piece set bonus now reduces the cooldown of Ironbark by 30 seconds (down from 90 seconds).

  • Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Revive Pet now has a cast time of 4 seconds, down from 6 seconds.

  • Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Mistweaver
      • Revival now has a healing cap of 15 raid members (up from 6) when used in a 25-player instance.

  • Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

  • Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Glyphs
    • Discipline
      • Atonement now heals nearby friendly targets for 90% of the damage dealt, down from 100%.
      • Penance now deals 10% less damage, but healing done is increased by 10%.
    • Holy
      • Divine Hymn now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-player instance.
    • Shadow
      • Vampiric Embrace now has a healing cap of 15 raid members (up from 6) when used in a 25-player instance.

  • Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Demonic Gateway cast time has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 5 seconds, gains its first charge after 5 seconds (down from 13 seconds), and gains a new charge every 10 seconds (down from 15 seconds). The summoned gateway has 100% of the summoning Warlock's health, 100% of the Warlock's resilience, and can now be attacked and killed by enemy players.
    • Item Sets

Pet Battles
  • General
    • Pandaren Spirit Pet Supplies now has a chance to drop a family specific rare Battle-Stone.
  • Battle Pet Quests
    • A new achievement and reward has been added for characters that complete every Pet Battle daily quest in a single day.
    • Protection for bad luck streaks have been added to Battle-Stones from pet supplies bags and wild battles. Each bag or battle that does not provide a stone has a progressively better chance to award a stone to the player.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Raids
    • Bonus Roll
      • Reduced the number of Lesser Charms of Good Fortune needed for the Mogu Runes of Fate weekly quest to 50, down from 90.
    • Terrace of Endless Spring
      • Players no longer need to have defeated Grand Empress Shek'zeer to enter the Terrace of Endless Spring in Normal difficulty.
    • Throne of Thunder
      • Primordius
      • The Genetically Unmodified Organism achievement has been redesigned. It now requires players to defeat Primordius while none of the players in the raid received a harmful mutation.
  • Dungeons
    • Completing the Challenge mode daily quest now awards a Heroic Cache of Treasures with a chance to contain an epic item!

by Published on 2013-04-21 10:06 PM

MrMonstrosity's 1.0.9 Suggestions, Community Commentary: Video Guides by ChromeOnRust, Fan Creation of the Week: The Art of Samo Kramberger

Patch 5.3 - The Secrets of Ragefire Scenario
Today we take a look at one of the shorter scenarios added in Patch 5.3, The Secrets of Ragefire. The Gob Squad has tracked the people that disappeared from Durotar to Ragefire Caverns, a supposedly abandoned section of Ragefire. After blowing open the door, you will find a large cavern filled with Kor'kron that are hostile.

The first miniboss you fight is Dark Shaman Xorenth, presumably related to the low level friendly quest NPC Invoker Xorenth. The Gob Squad warns him that Goblins are not his enemy, and he responds by calling them a lesser race.

After disposing of Xorenth, you look through piles of things around the cavern, such as discarded artifacts from the digsite in Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Another set of crates contains Kor'kron weapons and supplies, with the text "From the look of things, Garrosh is planning an invasion". The third thing you come across is Proto-drake eggs, causing one of the goblins to suggest that Garrosh may be working with the Dragonmaw.

Upon noticing a large door on the other side of the cavern, Ticker produces a Mantid bomb, which you collect parts to help and modify (including a pony). Unfortunately the bomb has no effect on the door, only inuring the other members of the Gob Squad. More Kor'Kron attack while the remaining members of the Gob Squad build a teleporter to escape and tell Vol'jin what you have seen.

Patch 5.3 - Blossoming Ancient Pet
The Blossoming Ancient pet coming in Patch 5.3 will change models with the seasons. It will be purchased from the Blizzard Store.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
any ideas on making casters actually go oom aside from healers? Atm only spriests do. Mages stay full mana
Arcane can run OOM, which is by design. Other casters are not intended to. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Are you happy with Death Knight's Rune enchanting?
No. We've had long-term plans to revisit it. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
can you elaborate on the reason for the feral buffs? (or point to somewhere they've been discussed)
We thought their sustained DPS was a little low. (Source)

No changes to resto Druids? like we do need some changes cant just forsake us because a new class for the same niche is out
We don't make changes to every spec for the sake of it. Many players focus way too much on number of patch notes per class. (Source)
However, having said that, we did make some Resto druid changes just today. You'll see them soon. As ever, nothing is final in 5.3. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Any info on the Wild Quiver data mine? Curious as to if it's a tool tip fix or a hint at something new.
Just a bug fix to make the effect use the correct weapon. (Source)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
the TeB change on MMO champ has left the entire monk community in confusion.. care to elaborate? nerf? buff? confused.
Bug fix. All of that is to prevent monks from benefiting from mastery before level 80 (when they don't have mastery). (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Holy Paladin T15 4pc is incredibly weak, a 20% bonus on something that makes up 5% of our healing? Offset pieces are better.
5% from Beacon? That seems low to me. 10%+ is more typical. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Any plans for holy priests 5.3 (chakra rework maybe?) if not any future plans? Would love to see some changes soon.
Not for 5.3. Long term we'd like to keep the idea of Chakra but make it easier to use and more fun. (Source)

Are you really nerfing Smite by a flat 20% with the glyph change? It's already the weakest spell in Atonement by far... ugh.
Atonement is really overpowered. We're trying to nerf it without removing all of its fun. (Source)

It might just be a tool-tip change. If not, why nerf the damage of Penance? Disc damage in PvP is already garbage.
We want to make sure healing someone with Penance heals more than Atonement DPS with Penance. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
As I read the 5.3 patch notes, once you activate Fire & Brimstone you have to exhaust your embers to turn it off. Correct?
It will auto turn off, but you can also click off the buff or just click the spell again to toggle it off. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
So when is the minimum range for Heroic Leap going to go away?
It's not. That would be more of a Heroic Hop. (Source)

Why the change to Enraged Regen for Warriors? I'm not a fan of it myself.
Curious as to why. Overall, the feedback was that having to cache rage for an emergency button was hard to use. (Source)

You dislike the idea of account-wide gear. Is that why its taking so long for cross realm BoAs?
I dislike shifting lots of gear to be BoA. I like existing BoA gear being easy to transfer to all your characters. (Source)

Well since you seem to like to deflect your failures in MoP, lets ask why everything in WoW is still BoP. Make stuff BoE.
There is a big risk there of making the AH the best way to gear. Another recent game had this problem. (Source)
I'd love it if bop items that haven't been equipped could be mailed between chars and only locked if equipped
We dabble with that, but it ultimately means your hunter gets all geared up without you ever having to actually play them. (Source)

Do you think that all players are able to play 12 hours a day to get a better gear ? I don't have so much time.
You can make progress at whatever rate you are comfortable playing. You just won't make the fastest progress. (Source)

Could you explain why we can't use legendary meta in upgraded 504 helms? It seems a little silly.
The intent was always for Throne of Thunder helms. Apologies that we did not communicate that intent well. (Source)

I have almost never tweeted. Please never allow this. No one will have anything but legendaries. Be more creative.
To devil's advocate, players might also get sick of them if everyone has them. The same happened to paly T2. (Source)

Have you discussed maybe making thunderforged items not upgradeable? You could make non tfed gear turn into tfed after upgrade
The main goal with Tforged was to keep those earlier bosses still feel exciting. If Tforge was just Valor savings not sure. (Source)

I have a reputation on my realm. (community) Thats useless in LFR. (anti social concept)
Agree that LFR is an anti-social concept. To be fair, that's not it's goal though and the benefits far outweigh that cost. (Source)
But we realize we have some work to do to get the social elements back into the game. Cutting LFR just isn't among our options. (Source)

wow needs a decent guildfinder tool. XRealm and Armory linked either through the website or in game (or both)
Yeah, we agree. (Source)

community in wow has severely degraded with lfd/r. could they at least try to prioritize same realm groups?
They do. It's just a compromise to avoid players having excessively long queue times. (Source)

Loot is a bonus to raiding. A community is a must have for an MMO. Otherwise we have only LFR/LFG, no guilds.
My personal conviction is you will have more fun playing WoW with friends. Solo LFR is for when that isn't feasible. (Source)

There's currently a bug with rppm trinkets which let's you guarantee a proc on pull if you don't release after wipe, Fix inc?
You'll get a proc pretty quickly regardless - should be within seconds, just not necessarily the very first hit. (Source)

PPM bad-streak protection, does it suggest a 5 min break between pulls is optimal? It promotes boring gameplay if so.
If you are out of combat for even a minute, you should get the hit on one of your first few attacks. (Source)
This is true for fast trinkets like the 3.3 RPPM Agi ones, but a UVLS user has to wait many minutes for the bonus.
Should only be true of your very first attack. It will still proc in the first few seconds. (Source)

at the bmah i see a lot of brawler guild invites noone bids for. Is it probably not as successfull as you planned?
I think we're at the point where most players who wanted invites have them now. (Source)

Weekly News Recap
Lots of news this week, so here is your chance to catch up if you missed a day of news! We will be adding this in video format in the future as well, so check out this early preview.

Gargoyles: Ji-Kun Kill Video
Another nice intro from Fifth Element!

by Published on 2013-04-20 05:41 AM

WotB and Archon to Receive Changes, Act IV Density to be Buffed, What's Your Favorite Shrine?, Wizard Arcane Torrent Build

Ask the Devs - 5.3 PTR Edition

Patch 5.2 Dev Interview
One of the interviews we didn't have time to cover in the past is the EPIC Podcast interview with Cory Stockton and Dave Kosak.

  • We may see some of Sylvanas before the end of the expansion, but no promises.
  • Pet battle PvP was designed to remove any fear of PvP, no communication with the other player, no win/loss record, etc.
  • A future patch might start tracking pet battle PvP wins and add a quest to win 10 PvP pet battles every week.
  • Blizzard was surprised by how popular and well received pet battles were. The participation rate is very high.
  • Patch 5.3 adds the first set of Burning Crusade raid boss pet drops, and a future patch will have the second set.
  • Pet gender was added in case it wanted to be used later, but currently the team is happy with the current depth the pet battle system has.
  • When adding tech for Burning Crusade Heroic Dungeons, the team added support for ten versions of a NPC with for varying difficulties, thinking they would never use that many. Mists of Pandaria now uses six!
  • Pet battles added Lesser Charms as a reward in Patch 5.2, and it is possible that we may see more rewards like this in the future, including Valor Points.
  • The new scenario into stories were added so that you can see the lore once, and then enjoy the scenario after that without repeating the lore every time.
  • The Determination buff came from seeing groups wipe once or twice and leaving and then queuing again. This contributed to the problem of entering a raid that was partially completed and made for an unpleasant LFR environment.

Blizzard <3s Bad Robot
We finally have a source for the Bad Robot pet from the Patch 5.3 PTR!

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
One of the core values we live by here at Blizzard is “Embrace Your Inner Geek.” We play countless games, we collect comics and card games, we love cutting-edge technology and computer hardware, we’re fascinated by science and discovery, and many of us are movie buffs. Movies represent the combined imaginations of talented writers and visionaries, artists and operators, editors and producers, that can culminate in an awesome cinematic experience.

It’s with this motivation that we express our respect for JJ Abrams' Bad Robot Productions.

Coming in a future patch, characters with the Engineering profession will be able to produce this mechanical homage to the company that brought us award-winning television shows like Lost and Fringe, and are continuing the epic Star Trek and forthcoming Star Wars film sagas. Everyone has a chance to get their hands on this pet, allowing them to show off their mutual appreciation for Bad Robot, and the stories they’ve brought to our TVs and movie screens.

We hope everyone enjoys this new pet!

Live WoW Developer Q&A Thursday, April 25
Originally Posted by Blizzard
Good people of Azeroth, lend me your eyes!

We’ll be hosting a live World of Warcraft developer Q&A open to the community on Thursday, April 25 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. PDT. Designers Dave Kosak, Ion Hazzikostas, Brian Holinka, Cory Stockton, and Greg Street will be available to field your questions about Mists of Pandaria gameplay and design, patch 5.2 and beyond. This will be a moderated chat on the Cover it Live platform hosted on the front page of our official site. Community managers Bashiok, Crithto, Daxxarri, Rygarius, and I will be there to filter your submissions for the developers.

We receive thousands of questions each time we host these events, so please be patient with us and bear in mind that we won’t get to every question. You can help by keeping your inquiries concise and focused on one topic per entry. Submissions that are well over 200 characters, or contain multiple questions on an array of topics, are much less likely to receive responses. We want to cover as much ground as possible and appreciate your assistance in helping us to achieve that.

We look forward to chatting with you on Thursday!

About the Panelists

Dave Kosak, Lead Quest Designer
As Blizzard Entertainment's lead quest designer for World of Warcraft, Dave Kosak oversees the development of all quest content for the game and its expansions, as well as contributing to the overall fiction of the game world.

Prior to joining Blizzard Entertainment, Kosak was a co-founder and original creative director of GameSpy.

Ion Hazzikostas, Lead Encounter Designer
As lead encounter designer on the World of Warcraft® team, Ion Hazzikostas’s primary responsibility is overseeing the creation of the game’s dungeon and raid content. Hazzikostas joined Blizzard Entertainment in the summer of 2008 as a game designer, and his responsibilities have included raid boss design and implementation, class design and balancing, and maintaining the World of Warcraft achievement system. Prior to arriving at Blizzard, he worked as an attorney at a law firm in Washington, DC.

In his spare time, Hazzikostas enjoys exploring Southern California in search of craft beer. Having grown up in New York City, he is a lifelong Yankees fan.

Brian Holinka, Senior PvP Game Designer
As a senior game designer on Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft® team, Brian Holinka focuses exclusively on continuing to make the World of Warcraft PvP experience enjoyable for all of its players. Holinka works with the systems and content teams to create a balanced competitive environment with exciting rewards and diverse content.

Prior to joining Blizzard Entertainment in 2012, Holinka worked on the multiplayer components of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, Homefront, and Frontlines: Fuel of War. Holinka got his start in the game industry moonlighting on the “Desert Combat” mod for Battlefield 1942 while serving as a Captain in the United States Air Force.

Cory Stockton, Lead Content Designer
As Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.'s lead content designer for World of Warcraft®, Cory Stockton is responsible for overseeing the design and implementation of all exterior zones, dungeons, Battlegrounds, Arenas, and cities. He is also involved with many other aspects of the game, such as dungeon scripting and the Pet Battle System.

Stockton started at Blizzard Entertainment in June 2005 as lead dungeon designer before transitioning to his current role. Prior to his arrival, he was a lead designer on the Ratchet & Clank series and also contributed extensively to the Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver series.

In his spare time, Stockton plays games extensively, and enjoys collecting classic consoles and games. He holds an associate's degree in computer animation from the Art Institute of Phoenix.

Greg Street, Lead Systems Designer
As the lead systems designer for World of Warcraft®, Greg Street is one of the two lead designers on the team that reports to the Game Director. He leads a team that is in charge of World of Warcraft class, item and tradeskill design. He and his team also design the user interface for the game and handle all of the various combat calculations and number tuning.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Ask the Devs Questions
boring, they seem to have picked the questions (again) that they have easy copy/paste answers ready.
The questions chosen were the ones that were on the topic in question, which was the upcoming PvP changes in patch 5.3. No questions were skipped because of their difficulty in answering. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
[PvE] Why casters never have to worry about going OOM and warriors struggle for rage? Casters spam what they want, no downside
Why do warriors have no cast bars (but one) and mages must stop and cast? Class mechanics work differently. (Source)

What made Rets need a buff? Not that I'm QQing or anything, but my Unholy DK would like some too.
Unholy is doing great right now IMO. Ret was average on some fights, low on others, and didn't have a good fight to shine. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
is Solar Beam included in glyph of omens ? official notes says yes, mmo-champ says no.
No, Solar Beam is not in Glyph of Omens because it's off the GCD. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
just want to say stupid move on the hunter changes in 5.3. even more stuns for any spec. not fun when you get perma stunlock
They have to give up Silencing Shot to take the stun. Not sure you'll see that many take that trade. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
15% Sword of Light on live right now to 30% on PTR huge, if you think that's needed why not a hotfix? 5% would be okay to wait
These are just changes we're trying out on the test realm. We need to evaluate data and feedback before 5.3 goes live. (Source)

Hey ! Don't you think Holy paladins in PVP are a little bit underpowered compared to other healers atm?
They were too good last season, but dropped off a lot. Also had good synergy with warriors, which is a factor. (Source)
high % doesn't mean good, shamans / priests are good, work in every comp and that's not "synergy" with every class
There are many ways to measure it: rep, number of viable teams, pure power. Ultimately we concluded they were too strong. (Source)

That's because it actually gives 1 HP on cast while aiding in raid healing. More HP = more EFs = more ST healing.
If you need the HR to actually heal, that's one thing, but it shouldn't be simply a Holy Power delivery mechanism. (Source)
But HR is only transferring 15% to the tank, while DL on the tank gives you 100% and Holy Power. (Source)

Making Holy Radiance reset the cooldown of Holy Shock would make everything better.
Concerned that would force Holy Radiance into a single-target rotation. (Source)
Holy Radiance is already best for a single target rotation. HR + HS does more healing than DL + HS.
Which is silly. Daybreak should never be a single target throughput increase. HR alone is weaker than DL, as it should be. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Exactly this. Give us something better to do as a filler. How about renew, binding, etc changes?
"Better to cast" sounds like Atonement HPS is beating actual heals. (Source)
Disc healing is underpowered w/o atonement (absorbs /= heal), time for grace to be on priest not the target?!
But absorbs are generally more powerful than heals so it makes sense they aren't as strong point for point. (Source)
If Disc can heal as well as anyone and has absorbs on top of that, why play anything else? (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Why Enhancement and not Elemental? Enhancement damage is insane right now as is, our ENH Sham beats me and we have same ilvl
Overall, Elemental is going better than Enhance, and Elemental is getting a buff through LB cast time. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
I don't understand all of these "animation limitations" for TG and XMog (daggers/fist weapons) - is it really that difficult?
Actually, yes. Animation requires a specific set of skills and talent for a developer, and a lot of work. (Source)
My hunch is many players have a grasp for what modeling and texturing are like, but animation is more of a black box. (Source)

but strength polearms with be back again soon right? RIGHT?!
We'd like to do more Str polearms even if we can't sort out TG (which we hopefully can). (Source)
and as i have countless times tried to suggest every way possible, why not make PvP str Polearms?
There is a PvP Str polearm on the list for 5.4. No promises of course. (Source)

With the addition of the new warrior specialization ability, will we see the similar effect attached to second wind go away?
Yes. Trying Second Wind just as heals to potentially open up the other talent choices since you get the rage no matter what. (Source)

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

by Published on 2013-04-19 03:18 PM

Brawler's Guild Shirts, World First Level 90, April 18 Hotfixes, Blue Posts, Fan Art

Ask the Devs - 5.3 PTR Edition
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With the development of patch 5.3 in full swing, we’ve collected a series of PvP-focused questions from the community; the development team has the answers in this new edition of Ask the Devs.

PvP Item Level Cap
Question - How are we planning to have the ilvl cap work in patch 5.3? Rumor has it that the cap will slowly increase over the course of a season. If this is the case, where is the big enjoyment we get out of new gear, especially weapons?

Answer - For patch 5.3, PvP items will just be capped outright. The current plan for 5.4 is to have the cap gradually increase over time so that players won’t acquire new gear that doesn’t benefit them (because it would just be lowered to the cap). We’re also talking about different ways in which to calculate the cap. For example, if you had full ilevel 496 gear and acquired a new 520+ weapon, it would just get dropped to 496 as well. Maybe we can design the system so that your average overall can climb to a slightly higher number.

Overall the intent is that elite PvP gear is cosmetic. We don’t want item levels within PvP gear to have such a huge disparity that a new PvP player has a miserable experience—that’s the entire intent of this change.

Question - Currently the 5.2 ladders are being plagued with PvE trinkets that have really nice procs. Are the ilvl caps going to assist with any future cases of strong PvE items and trinket procs? If not what have you got planned to avoid PvE items being BiS for PvP?

Answer - We think “plague” is too strong a word here. Our goal is not to prohibit all PvE gear in PvP, or we would do just that. We like that either gear type can be used to get a leg up in the other format. What we don’t want is for players who are in full Conquest gear to feel like they need to go pursue a PvE item in order to be competitive. We have made some changes to trinkets already and we will modify others if we feel it’s necessary. Our tactic overall is to have PvE trinkets with the potential for PvP burst (such as those with a large primary stat proc) to proc more frequently but for smaller amounts against players.

Resilience Changes
Question - Why did you decide to remove resilience from PvP gear? Don’t you feel that there are bigger issues in the current pvp system, like too much cc or better class balance?

Answer - As it stands now, players need a certain percentage of Resilience just to have any fun in PvP. It’s a very discouraging experience to step into a random Battleground with a bare minimum of PvP gear and not be able to stay alive enough to contribute to your team at all. However, we were concerned that if we brought the minimum level of Resilience up that there wouldn’t be enough head space remaining to be able to offer it as a progressive stat on gear; starter gear would have had 65% and max gear would have something like 70%. Yet Resilience as a concept is still important—the damage that a player can do was originally and is ultimately calibrated around how long it takes to kill a quest creature in the outdoor world, but PvP battles at such a fast pace aren’t very fun. Therefore, we decided it just made more sense that players take less damage from other players.

Changing the way gearing works doesn’t preclude making other PvP changes we feel are necessary, and indeed there are several class PvP changes in patch 5.3. On the topic of crowd control specifically, overall we don’t feel like there is too much. We think crowd control is critical to PvP, because without crowd control, battles among players devolve into tunneling and burst cooldowns. Knowing when and who to control, when and who to dispel, and how the various diminishing returns work is knowledge that helps to differentiate player skill in PvP. We would like to make another pass at the amount of instant crowd control in the game, and we think the diminishing returns system could stand to be slightly streamlined overall, but I wouldn’t expect major overhauls to this design.

Question - With the changes to PvP gear and resilience in 5.3, how is it that you plan for World PvP to work so that PvE gear won’t be overly dominant?

Answer - Fully geared Conquest gear gives you about 60% PvP Power, which translates to 60% more damage. Wearing such gear, you will have a significant advantage over the LFR-geared player, have a moderate advantage over the normal-geared player, and should be pretty competitive with a Heroic raid–geared player—they may have more survivability, but you might do more damage. Statistically, Heroic-geared raiders are a very small percentage of WoW players, so you’re unlikely to even encounter them out in the world. If you do, the outcome will likely come down not to small gear disparities, but who is more skilled at PvP, who got the jump on whom, and which side outnumbers the other.

World PvP is inherently unfair, which is also part of its charm, compared to structured Arenas and Battlegrounds. (Imagine for a moment world PvP with gates that opened after a shared countdown!) Overall we think the gear changes we’re talking about will be a good improvement for organized PvP, without causing much or any harm to world PvP.

Question - In patch 5.3, all resilience is being removed from gear. Does this include the PvP heirlooms? If it does, will we be replacing the stats with something else that is useful?

Answer - We did not remove Resilience from heirlooms for patch 5.3. If we feel like the other Resilience changes in 5.3 are successful, then we might go back and look at the lower-level PvP gear, including heirlooms. One option is to replace the Resilience with PvP Power. Also keep in mind that the 65% Resilience is at level 90; it will be smaller at lower character levels, where the presence of Resilience on gear can still provide some benefits.

Question - Because of base resilience and the iLvl cap, what do you plan to do about PvE geared tanks in rated battlegrounds? They will be a clear choice over flag carriers with PvP gear.

Answer - The main role of tanks in PvP is as flag carriers. There is a debuff that applies to flag carriers that causes them to take additional damage, and we made a change to have this debuff even stronger for tanks in Rated Battlegrounds. Philosophically, we’re okay with tanks being useful in PvP, but in general, characters that are hard to kill with a reasonable amount of control aren’t fun for anyone else, so we’re definitely not trying to encourage even more tank participation in PvP. With this change, you can still use a tank as a flag carrier, but it should also feel more feasible to try having other classes and specs carry the flag as well.

Question - Why was 65% resilience the chosen number? Do you feel that this will be too much or too little damage reduction and do you plan on changing this in the future?

Answer - It’s close to what players have today in full Conquest gear, and we think survivability feels okay for those characters. We may increase it to 70% or higher depending on how things feel, especially in patch 5.4.

Question - What is the objective of allowing resilience gems and resilience enchants in a pvp set? We have experienced that right now everything that adds resilience to your gear is useless. Are you going to improve resilience gems and enchantments to make them more appealing to use or are you going to remove it over time?

Answer - As we said above in regard to heirlooms, we wanted to evaluate the Resilience changes in 5.4 before propagating them through every system in the game. It could be that we redesign Resilience gems and enchants in patch 5.4. Keep in mind that the relative survivability you get from those gems and enchants has not changed, even though the numbers are smaller. If you enjoyed 10% less damage before, you still will now.

Question - Will this resilience change have any impact on PvP Power? Can you elaborate on what you are doing to make it a more attractive stat for Flag Carriers and healers?

Answer - We increased the PvP Power benefit to healing from 50% to 100% and increased Battle Fatigue by a proportional amount. These two changes should keep healing at about the same strength as in patch 5.2, but make PvP Power as a stat more attractive to healers. We discussed flag carriers a bit in an earlier question; we’re not really worried about tanks anywhere but CTF, and we have a CTF-specific solution.

Rewards and Incentives
Question - The Elite set is becoming a vanity item again in patch 5.3, and it’s very expensive and frustrating having to gem and enchant your gear a second time. Have you considered making Elite gear function similarly to Challenge mode gear?

Answer - The current design is a remnant of our plan in patch 5.2 where the older piece is consumed in order to purchase the newer piece. We implemented the system in such a way because it allowed players to transfer the upgrades to the new piece without requiring additional Conquest points. Now that we don’t support upgrading PvP gear, we could reconsider this design for the next season and make Elite gear behave more like Challenge mode gear.

Question - In patch 5.3, the elite gear will be quite difficult to attain for casual Arena players. What kind of rewards do you have planned for casual PvP’ers to keep them interested in PvP?

Answer - Elite gear is positioned as one of the ultimate PvP rewards. Similarly, Heroic raid gear is also hard to obtain for casual players. In the meantime, more casual PvP players should see steady rewards as they earn the normal Conquest pieces. We do think that there’s room for more PvP rewards that aren’t just aimed at the very best PvP players. Next season, we’re discussing some rewards aimed at participation (e.g. win 50 Rated Battlegrounds) and not just the players with the highest win percentages.

Class Changes
Question - The change in patch 5.3 that makes Gateway require a four second cast time and being attackable is going to be quite damaging to warlocks when affliction is already in quite a poor state. What was the reasoning behind this change and what do you plan to do with Affliction to make it more competitive?

Answer - Our overall goal was to make Gateway less binary. As implemented on live realms right now, it feels very hard to get up, but then brutally punishing to the other team once you get it at full effectiveness. With these changes, it’s easier to get the Gateway up but less transformative when you are successful. We are still evaluating their health—we don’t want them to be trivial to destroy. One change that players may not be aware of is that in patch 5.3 the first charge happens after 5 seconds (down from 13 seconds), and each additional charge requires 10 seconds (down from 15 seconds).

We don’t feel that Gateway is the key to making Affliction more competitive. We changed Haunt to refund a Soul Shard when it is dispelled, with the intent that Shards spent on Haunt instead of Soul Swap shouldn’t feel wasted. We also redesigned the PvP set bonus to grant additional damage to DOTs. While this benefits all Warlocks, it will benefit Affliction the most, which should help make them more competitive with the other Warlock specs.

Question - What is the reasoning behind the upcoming changes to Void Shift? This spell already has a high risk to use, why target it for a nerf?

Answer - Shadow is overperforming and something needed to go. Shadow priests have high damage, strong defenses, and lots of utility. What we think was putting them over the top was being able to save their healer with things like Void Shift and Mass Dispel.

Question - Why are you buffing the way PvP power affects hybrid healing? Classes without healing abilities are also affected by PvP fatigue, such as Second Wind and recuperate. What about the survivability loss those classes get from this change?

Answer - In patch 5.3, all specs (even classes without healing specs) benefit from a PvP Power-to-healing conversion. This means that any heal should benefit from PvP Power; this includes percentage heals such as Second Wind and Recuperate. Previously things like Second Wind and Recuperate weren’t benefitting from PvP Power at all.

A Few Extras
Question - Are there any plans for patch 5.3 or beyond to allow players to be able to join multiple 3v3 teams at once, or even allowing cross-realm arena teams?

Answer - Not in patch 5.3, though we may do something like this at some point in the future. We think that such an idea is interesting and could encourage more people to participate in PvP.

Question - Casting spells is still quite a painful process, especially with skills like Mind-numbing Poison and Necrotic Strike. What have you got planned for 5.3 to start moving the game back to casted spells rather than instants like was promised some time ago?

Answer - It’s a bit of a chicken and egg issue. We’ve gone on record as saying we think PvP would be more fun with fewer instant spells, since instant spells allow players to move a lot and don’t open them up to being countered. Once we tame instants, it’s entirely possible that Mind-Numbing Poison and Necrotic Strike will be too powerful. They already slow player casts by less than what they do on creatures, and that number could be even lower (though at some point the debuff would just end up being unnoticeable).

Regardless, a change like this one is huge—it’s not just a simple data tweak, so don’t expect something for 5.3. Instants are used throughout the game and we can’t simply, for example, change the cooldown of Holy Shock.

Question - A new battleground and arena are planned for patch 5.3. This is really cool, do we have any more plans for battlegrounds and arenas and what can you share about these?

Answer - There is nothing new in the pipeline at this time. We may spend some time fixing older ones. We have a lot of data now about which Battlegrounds players are voting out of participating in, so that gives us some direction on which Battlegrounds we could potentially fix . . . or even cut.

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