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by Published on 2013-03-14 06:47 AM

Blizzard at PAX East, D3 Boss Mechanics, Legendary Item Drop Rates, Monster Affixes, Poll: What's Your Preferred Format for Dev Interviews

Isle of Thunder US - Stage 2 Unlocked

Patch 5.2 Dev Interviews
Let's take a look at one of the dev interviews today, Ghostcrawler speaking with the Call To Auction.

  • There are so many professions that it is hard to give all of them attention that they deserve. Some ideas that were thrown around are making it easier to switch professions, keeping old recipes if you drop and learn a profession again, and allowing characters to learn more than two professions.
  • Managing the WoW economy is not a trivial task, as it needs to be relatively easy for players to keep up with basic necessities like repair bills, but at the same time still adding cool things to spend gold on like the Grand Expedition Yak or BMAH items that remove gold from the game.
  • Patch 5.3 or 5.4 may add catch up mechanisms to Herbalism and Mining, allowing characters to farm nodes in Pandaria for yields that depend on your skill level.
  • Cross-realm Auction Houses are being explored, especially merging the auction house or player trading between groups of lower population and faction imbalanced realms. This would not be region wide, but balanced like cross-realm zones are.
  • There aren't any current plans to add more tradable pets from the Blizzard Store.
  • Sunsong Ranch may not see any more significant updates, but similar features will be explored in the future.
  • Buy orders for more expensive items may be a possibility in the future.
  • Items that players always buy and never bid on, like flasks, could have longer listing times in the future.
  • A longer term feature would be to separate the auction house system from the mail, as it doesn't fit the fantasy of the game as well as it could.
  • Another long term feature would be a UI to allow bulk milling or prospecting.


Throne of Thunder Heroic Progression
Another day of Heroic difficulty raids and Blood Legion is on top with 6 bosses down, followed by Exodus, Method, and Envy. The 10 player guilds aren't having as much luck, with DREAM Paragon and Moonz having four bosses down, followed by Gag Reflex with three down.

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



Oondasta and Nalak Hotfixes
It seems lower population realms may have a chance to kill Oondasta after all! Keep in mind that this is just a possibility and not an announcement.



Scenario and Brawler's Guild Updates
Dave Kosak shared some more possibilities of what we might see in the future with the Brawler's Guild and scenarios.



PvP Season 13 Begins
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
PvP Season 13 for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria has begun! Team and Personal Ratings have been reset and players can once again take to the Arenas and Rated Battlegrounds to test their mettle.

The bid for PvP supremacy continues. Do you have what it takes to climb to the top of the leaderboards?


Real Proc Per Minute (RPPM) Trinket Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Summary:
We added a bit of cheating in the player’s favor to avoid long streaks of bad luck. This change is now live.

Longer explanation:
Traditionally, trinkets and similar proc effects in the game had high proc chances with an internal cooldown (ICD). This made the procs random in theory, but really pretty predictable. You would know that a trinket would proc on the pull and then reliably every 45 sec (or whatever the ICD was).

For 5.2, we made a change to trinkets to make them less predictable and less boring with the RPPM system. Sometimes you can get lucky and get several back to back procs. This feels cool. Sometimes you can also be unlucky, and get long streaks when the trinket just refuses to proc. A trinket that is intended to proc every 1 minute could in theory go 8 minutes or more without activating.

Last night we hotfixed in a change for trinkets that use the RPPM system. Every time your trinket fails to proc, it increases the chance it will proc. Unlucky streaks will be more rare and extremely unlucky streaks should never happen. In addition, we increased the chance for these trinkets to proc on the pull. To top it off, we increased the proc rates of the Agility and Strength trinkets in Throne of Thunder by 10% and the Intellect and Spirit trinkets by 5%.

Painfully detailed explanation for theorycrafting:
As usual, you absolutely do not need to know or understand the following in order to use or best take advantage of these procs. This info is just for theorycrafters who want to understand the exact details of the system, so that they can model and simulate it better.

Calculate the proc frequency as normal. Based on that, you can figure out the expected average proc interval. We also now keep track of time since the last successful proc (this is different from the time since last chance to proc), capped at 1000 sec. Multiply the proc chance by MAX(1, 1+((TimeSinceLastSuccessfulProc/AverageProcInterval)-1.5)*3). For example, if a proc has an average proc interval of 45 sec, and it’s been 72 sec since your last successful proc, you’ll get a 1.3x multiplier to your proc chance. If you’ve been out of combat for a few min, and it’s been 5 min since your last successful proc, you’ll get a whopping 16.5x multiplier to your proc chance.


Unerring Vision of Lei-Shen now has 65% of the normal proc rate for Balance Druids, up from 50%.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Troves of the Thunder King Scenario Confusing
I know all the elite players here have figured it out, but I just ran the treasure room for the second time. This time I headed toward the door at the other end much quicker only to find it locked. How do I open it? No idea, so I run around looking. I even looted the big box in the middle that looked different than the others and it is still locked.
I spent my entire first run in the first room and came out with over 400g, ~24 parchments, around 15 motes of harmony, 3 Shan'ze stones, 15 Elder Charms, and a few greens.

Potentially not the most lucrative strategy, but really cleaning up that first room and then of course finding keys to open the chests at the end after time runs out worked pretty well.

I think a week lockout for a five minute run is excessive.
There's no lockout. You can run it for as many keys as you have, and you can find more than one key per week, although it is suitably rare.

Considering the whole idea is you're heading into a treasure room, and we want it to feel exciting that you're able to come out with a bunch of treasure, yeah of course we're not going to let you chain-run it and just get tons and tons of gold and tons and tons of items. We'd have to reduce the amount of treasure you can find considerably, which really undermines the entire fantasy of being in a treasure room.

The change in drop rate functions as an effective lockout. It's not exactly like other lockout mechanics, and there is a possibility of exception, but I think it's reasonable to consider it just like other lockouts. Once you've gotten one key, you would probably waste tremendous amounts of time if you set your sights on getting a second key each week.

Also, when you said you're not going to let people chain run it to get tons and tons and tons of items, you make it sound like that was what I suggested. My feeling is that the scenario is punishingly short to become familiar with on what is effectively a once a week basis FIVE MINUTE event.

For sure, and that's all reasonable. You can say "once a week" and be mostly correct, my intent was to correct a common misconception that it's literally 1 key per week. You can argue it's close enough, but my goal is accuracy in information.

What I would have done is allow a person to zone into the scenario, but then be able to take a "practice" option where you get no rewards. When Blizzard's people did internal testing on this stuff, I'm sure it felt like a lot more fun. They probably did not wait a week between each time they tested it out. I think it's extremely easy to forget how SHORT five minutes is and how LONG a week is in real time.
I think it's reasonable to expect a tutorial or practice run on everything in the game, because in general we're fairly experience-focused with everything we do. We tend to go away from punishing mechanics, we try to make things clear and concise, and we want the experience to be fun at every moment. That said, this is running into a room of free stuff to pick up, and even if you only open three of four chests, that's three or four chests of free stuff for 5 minutes of just running around. Obviously at the end of that you may be frustrated that you didn't do better, but I don't think that means we need to rush out and make a tutorial. It's ok that you didn't do well your first time. Next time you'll do better. It's free stuff. It's supposed to be high-tension, and everyone that goes in thinks they can do better next time. Letting people discover how something works is OK sometimes, not everything needs a tutorial, especially when it's a piece of content for level-capped characters that's essentially for fun and doesn't directly increase the power of your character.

The fun thing about soloing old instances is that you get to take your time and take in the atmosphere and the artwork. You notice a lot of things that you miss out when you were doing it with a group because in a group it's "gogogogo".

So what did you guys do with the game's very first "solo scenario"? You added a timer ...

But ... it's not supposed to be like soloing old instances. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Challenge Mode Accessibility
What about bring them to LFD where you can get valor points on full completion. (Even without Bronze completion, you will get loads Valor Points for that).
The developers don't have currently any plans to bring Challenge Modes to the Dungeon Finder tool. Also, the difficulty was specifically designed without PuGs in mind. It's very rare you'll be able to meet the level of coordination required on a random group (since it's likely you've never played with anyone else before).

Also, even if you only complete the daily quest for that Challenge Dungeon of the day, it remains as one of the best methods to cap your Valor Points for the week, even if you get just bronze. So it might be a good idea to keep visiting them if you manage to get a stable group going, even if at first it looks like you aren't improving much. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Poll: What is your Brawler's Guild Rank?
How far have you made it through the challenges in the Brawler's Guild? With new gear in 5.2, now might be a good time to take a look at the Brawler's Guild guide and give it another shot if you didn't finish!

by Published on 2013-03-13 05:59 AM

Patch 1.0.7a Now Live

Update: Blood Legion has reclaimed the top spot with 6/13 and Exodus is right behind them, also at 6/13.

Throne of Thunder Heroic Progression - Day 1
The first day of Heroic difficulty raids in the US is over and Exodus is on top with 4 bosses down. Blood Legion is next with 3, followed by Midwinter and Supermassive with 2. In the 10 player raid size, Rehabilitation Clinic has two bosses down, followed by almost 50 guilds with 1 boss down.

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



Blizzard at PAX East
Blizzard sent out an email to the press a few weeks ago about something new being at PAX East, and Rob Pardo dropped some more hints on Twitter today. You can see the last update he gave us on Titan here.



Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: March 12
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Classes

Quests

Pet Battles

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Our lead encounter designer offers their thoughts on feedback regarding raid boss hotfixes.
  • Throne of Thunder
    • Horridon
      • Reduced the health of adds in the Horridon encounter by 15% for 10-player normal mode and 10% for 25-player normal mode.
    • Lei Shen
      • Fixed an issue where images of Past Self created by Alter Time could be killed during the encounter.
    • Megaera
      • Reduced the health of Megaera's heads in 10-player normal and heroic modes.
    • Zandalari Council
      • Kazra'jin's Reckless Charge should no longer hit players twice at the point of impact.
  • Scholomance
    • Fixed an issue in Challenge Mode where players may not receive credit for killing Lilian Voss.

PvP

Battlegrounds
  • Secondary stats on heirloom items should now scale correctly while inside a Battleground.

Items
  • Protections for unlucky streaks have been added for trinkets that use the RPPM (real procs per minute) system. (You can find a translated version of the Chinese post on this subject here.)
    • Activation chance for trinket effects on a pull has been increased.
    • Every time the trinket fails to activate, there's an increasing chance that it will activate.
    • Increased the activation chance for agility and strength trinkets from Throne of Thunder by 10%.
    • Increased the activation chance for intellect and spirit trinkets from Throne of Thunder by 5%.

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an issue where players may be unable to obtain Isle of Thunder daily quests for Stage 2.
  • Fixed an issue where some players may be unable to loot Isle of Thunder rare spawns.
  • Players will no longer get dismounted when flying over the Shrine of Goldrinn.

TwizzCast Live with Greg Street Wed, 6:30 PM PST
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Tomorrow night we'll be putting the good folks over at TwizzCast on the phone with lead systems designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street. Following up on the developer interviews conducted just prior to patch 5.2's release, Greg will be talking a little about his initial impressions of the patch after its first week on live realms, in addition to fielding questions submitted to the TwizzCast team by players.

Suggesting Questions
If you have any questions you'd like to see the TwizzCast crew ask Greg in the interview, you can submit them the following ways:

Tuning in Live
You can catch this special episode of TwizzCast live on http://twitch.tv/TwizzCast 6:30-7:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time Wednesday, March 13. While the interview will be made available shortly after the broadcast concludes, we'd love to have you tune in live and join the twitch chat room! While sitting in on the call next to Greg, I'll also be in the chat room with one or two of my community manager cohorts to talk to viewers during the interview.

Knowing the Format
Please keep in mind that this is a live podcast interview and not a community Q&A. While TwizzCast staff is collecting questions from the community, all questions will be determined and prepared in advance, and they will not be able to cover everything in 30 minutes. What questions are chosen is at the sole discretion of Twizz, Reb and Martiean, and the three of them are hard at work ensuring this interview will be well worth everyone's attention.

I hope to see you in the chat tomorrow evening!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Class Hotfixes – 3/12
Any word on when Chi Wave is going to be fixed? As it stands we are lucky to get full duration in a raid setting.
Our developers are aware of an issue with Chi Wave’s heals not bouncing correctly and are working on a hotfix to correct this.

PVE-wise it's understandable, but when frost bomb had to be nerfed to do 20% less dmg in pvp environment, and now you are buffing it by 40%? Is there really no other way to balance out pve damage, because it really is not fun having something over powered as frost bomb for pvp...
Providing a clarification over PvP damage concerns.

  • Frost Bomb now deals 60% of its damage when used against other players, down from 80%.

Effectively a 4% buff in PvP then?
That would be correct. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Throne of Thunder Hotfix Reasoning
Hey all,

Lead encounter designer Ion Hazzikostas (Watcher) has been reading through a lot of your feedback regarding the raid boss hotfixes, and he passed along the following response to this thread:

I just wanted to offer some context for the recent tuning hotfixes to the Horridon and Council of Elders encounters in the Throne of Thunder raid.

First off, the Council change, reducing their health in 10-player modes, was honestly just a bug fix. Yes, it made the encounter easier, which also makes it a nerf, but we simply goofed on the numbers. We generally aim for a 3:1 ratio of health for enemies in 25-player raids as compared to 10-player mode, since 25-player raids typically have ~17 DPS and 10-player raids have 5 or 6. Instead, the ratio on the bosses themselves (but not the Loa spirits or Sand Elementals) was mistakenly 2.5:1, and we didn’t notice until we started taking a closer look at why 10-player groups seemed to be having a harder time with the encounter. I apologize for the error on our part.

Second, regarding Horridon, that change was an intentional difficulty adjustment, with the aim of smoothing out the difficulty curve of the first section of the raid. By reducing the health of the trolls pouring out of each gate, we reduced the DPS requirement (and thus the gear requirement) of the encounter, but generally kept the mechanics checks intact. The trolls having 10-15% less health doesn’t mean that raids can suddenly fail to interrupt Venom Priests, ignore Effusions, stand in Sand Traps, or cuddle up with Frozen Orbs. It just means that there’s a lower DPS requirement to keep up with the waves while doing so. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Round 2 Voting: 2013 Alienware March Gaming Bracket Challenge
Curse is holding a contest that puts characters from various video games against each other in a vote off to see who will win. Hoptallus is the only WoW character left, so be sure to vote for him if you find him more deserving than Commander Shepard! You can also enter to win an Alienware x51 computer.

by Published on 2013-03-12 09:34 PM

March 12 Class Hotfixes
Look for more information on the ToT RPPM trinkets soon!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Lead Systems Designer Greg Street (Ghostcrawler) wanted to give notice of several class hotfixes that went live last night along with the reasoning behind those changes.

Hotfixes:


We’re happy with the relative power of Arcane, Fire and Frost mages in PvE to each other, but all three specs are below where we want them. We were hoping that once groups got past the first few 5.2 raid encounters that benefit a lot from multi-dotting that we’d see mage DPS climb, but it’s not there yet. We don’t want to change rotations or force players to change specs, so we wanted a relatively passive change.

We decided to buff the bombs because it affects all three specs relatively similarly and is as close to a passive form of damage as mages have. Had we buffed the cast-time nukes, the risk is that mages would lose even more DPS on high movement or high multi-dot fights, which wasn’t our intent. If these buffs aren’t sufficient, we will happily make more, but we’d rather make a few buffs a few times in a row rather than over buff then have to nerf it back down.


We want the dot specs to do well in multi-dot scenarios, but Affliction, Demonology and Shadow were doing too well on multi-dot fights and are still quite competitive on non-multi-dot fights. Balance druids, so far, are where we want them to be.


We’re keeping a close eye on death knights. Frost and Unholy are both performing really well, but Frost was higher than we wanted during cleave-type scenarios. They will still be quite good at cleaving even with this change.

Tank DPS is a difficult metric to measure because some tanks care a lot about their DPS, and work to maximize it, while others are content to fill the more traditional tank role of worrying about survivability and boss control, and pay less attention to their DPS. Therefore, it’s challenging to analyze logs and determine whether you’re seeing the full potential of tank DPS or not. For now, we think warrior and DK tank DPS was a little low, so we took steps to adjust it.

Remember, it’s not a goal that every spec do exactly equally well in every possible encounter, and in fact we think that would be boring. We just don’t want things to get so extreme that certain specs feel like they aren’t meaningfully contributing to the group’s efforts. All of this means that raid performance is a somewhat subjective call and we’d like to ask that you keep that in mind as you offer your feedback.

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

It is worth noting that the bridge trash isn't as bad as it is in normal difficulty and the difficulty is significantly lower than it was on the PTR during earlier testing.





Throne of Thunder Heroic Progression
Blood Legion has defeated the first two bosses in Heroic 25 man difficulty and Gag Reflex has the first boss down in Heroic 10 man difficulty. You can keep up with the kills on Manaflask, our forum thread, and WowProgress.

by Published on 2013-03-12 03:44 AM

Update: Mage and Warrior buffs, Warlock and Priest nerfs, and Death Knight changes are here!

Upcoming Hotfix to Arcane Power on Crit, Demon Hunter Fan Art, Heart of the Swarm is Live!

Isle of Thunder US - Stage 2 Unlocked

Patch 5.2 Dev Interviews
Another day, another interview. Tonight we take a look at an interview with Dave Kosak, Lead Quest Designer by Buffed.de.

Future
  • There are no more five man dungeons planned for Mists of Pandaria. (Discussion)
  • Garrosh and Varian will show up again in Patch 5.3, with another chapter of Varian's story.
  • The rewards from the daily quest factions in patch 5.2 were intended to make daily quests feel less mandatory, with the best rewards coming from raid reputation.
  • More scenarios are coming in future patches. We may see very challenging three player scenarios with pretty good rewards.
  • Future patches won't make dramatic changes to Azeroth when the war comes back, but there will be small changes to reflect the war going global.
  • The story of the last Pandaren emperor that cloaked the continent in mists will be revealed at some point in the future.
  • An animated ebook is coming that tells more of the story of Pandaria and the last emperor, Shaohao.
  • The story of the Zandalari isn't over yet!


Patch 5.2
  • Isle of Thunder unlocking is faction based and participation based. The unlock speed is based on participation percentage, not population. Doing just one quest is enough to count as contributing for the day.
  • Most realms will fully unlock the Isle within six weeks, with some doing it slightly faster or slower.
  • The Isle of Thunder has things like the summonable bosses, rare spawns, chests, Lorewalker objects, and other things to make it more than just a place to go and do daily quests. More things like these will be experimented with in Patch 5.3.
  • The Tiller's farm worked out well, and we may see more places to interact with every day in the future.
  • The Troves of the Thunder King scenario is intended to be easy to find a key for at least once a week, with a small chance to find another.
  • Outdoor bosses, rare spawns, and the Isle of Giants are all ways to encourage players to group up, and we will see more in the future.
  • The solo scenarios added in Patch 5.2 allow players to experience the Isle of Thunder unlock events even if they were unable to play for a few weeks, but we won't see a lot of these in the future. They are better for special events or skill challenges, such as the final part of the Patch 5.2 legendary quest chain.


Isle of Thunder Participation
Dave Kosak shared what the percentage of participation for your faction actually means. Some time towards the end of last week US realms stopped unlocking at the same exact rate, so be sure to encourage your faction to do daily quests if you want to keep up!



Oondasta and Nalak Hotfixes
Groups of 80 to 200 players have been forming cross realm raids to kill Oondasta, which occasionally caused some realm stability problems.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re in the process of implementing a hotfix that will remove players’ eligibility to receive loot from Oondasta and Nalak, The Storm Lord if they’re not on their home realm.

We think it’s great that encounters like Oondasta have been able to bring back some of the excitement of massive spontaneous outdoor raids. However, with cross-realm groups giving the ability to play with friends on each other’s realms, the amount of people concentrating on a single realm to try to zerg these bosses down can unfortunately cause a number of stability issues, impacting the availability of the game for everyone.

While Nalak isn’t available yet, we want to preemptively address this so that the first realm to unlock it doesn’t then become the single focus for the rest of the region.

Here’s the hotfix note that’ll be added to the blog shortly:

  • Players visiting a different realm are no longer eligible to receive loot from Oondasta or Nalak, The Storm Lord.

Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: March 11
Tonight's hotfixes address several issues, such as the 5% drop rate of the Zandalari dino pets, Throne of Thunder tuning adjustments, AQ exploits, and Blacksmiths making Lightning Steel Ingots too early.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Classes

Quests

Creatures
  • Players visiting a different realm are no longer eligible to receive loot from Oondasta or Nalak, The Storm Lord. A forum thread discussing the reasoning for this change have been created.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Oondasta to not award loot to some players.
  • Fetid Meat Pile now properly lets players that are sufficiently far away to drop out of combat.
  • Zandalari Dinomancer now have a much lower chance to drop the Zandalari Anklerender, Footslasher, Kneebiter, and Toenibbler.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • All raid bosses now drop the appropriate number of tier tokens for Raid Finder, 10/25-player normal and heroic modes.
  • Fixed an issue where Luck of the Draw would sometimes be incorrectly applied to Challenge Mode groups.
  • Throne of Thunder
    • Combustion now deals 100% of the player’s damage to Primordius while the player is under the effects of Fully Mutated.
    • Reduced the health of The Council of Elders for 10-player normal and heroic mode.
    • Fixed an issue with Durumu the Forgotten where Life Drain's stun was not transferring correctly.
    • Reduced the health of the Gurubashi, Amani, Drakkari, and Farraki adds on the Horridon encounter.
    • Iron Qon for 25-player normal and heroic modes had the following change: The amount of damage dealt by Unleashed Flame and number of people needed to trigger Unleashed Flame had been reduced.
    • Iron Qon for 10/25-player normal modes had the following changes: Shatter damage have been reduced by 20%, damage from Arching Lightning have been reduced by 10%, and Rising Anger stacks more slowly.
  • Scholomance
    • Fixed an issue where Lilian Voss' Dark Blaze was invisible.
  • Temple of Ahn’Qiraj
    • The Prophet Skeram and any illusions created during the encounter no longer drop loot or provide reputation when killed. This is a temporary change to address an issue with the encounter.

Battlegrounds
  • Fixed an issue with latency near the beginning of a Battleground.

Professions
  • Blacksmithing
    • Creation of Lightning Steel Ingots now requires at least one of the factions to have unlocked the Thunder Forge.

Items

Bug Fixes
  • The Skin of the Saurok disguise in Ihgaluk Crag will no longer cancel Druid Moonkin and Tree of Life forms.
  • Fixed an issue where Worgen were unable to use Two Forms after crossing into a coalesced zone while in combat.

Blue Tweets
Be sure to read these carefully, as they make note of upcoming class changes.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Also considering buffs to warrior and DK tank DPS. Possible nerfs to dot classes. Nothing extreme. DPS looks good overall (but only 1 week). (Source)
DK tank DPS Really? If that's the case please look at Prot Pally.
Prot paladin DPS looks good overall. Is there a specific fight you're referencing? (Source)

How do you feel about absorbs always being chosen over other heals in battle and making Paladin and Priest always on top?
It's just a trait of absorbs. Hots also tend to "heal snipe." It's one reason meters aren't a great indicator of healing power. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Sims aren't end all be all, then are you seeing in practice unholy being much higher than frost? Why more frost specific buffs
Yeah Unholy ended up on top and the goal isn't to make every Frost DK swap. Should be personal preference for 95% of players. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Can we get the LOS requirement dropped from Dismiss Pet? Would help out when terrain in boss rooms traps them
That seems like a reasonable request. We'll discuss it. Counters a PvP strat, but that strat is mostly annoying. (Source)

But the Silencing Shot nerf IS noticed in PVE, especially with any rares/elites that cast heals. How to interrupt now?
There is no encounter in PvE balanced around every player needing to interrupt that often. (Source)

Confused by Diziet interview and hunter class review. Hunters needed a nerf a la spriests but were in a good place in pvp?
Fixing the Stampede bug after launch and nerfing Silencing Shot a little in 5.2 are the only nerfs IIRC. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
To clear up some confusion, Critical Mass is a 1.3 modifier on live. There is a tooltip bug that makes it appear to be 1.2. Our apologies. (Source)

After a few more days, we now think mage DPS is low. We want to keep parity among mage specs so the buffs will likely be fairly passive. (Source)
When will these changes happen? I love arcane, raid leader has me going frost for tomorrows raid. Thank you again for all u do
The intent is before the raid reset / heroics unlock. (Source)

You overdid it destroying Fire & redid it in 5.2 to Arcane. It's galling to see Blizzard surprised Frost is over-represented.
That's not what I said. We like Frost vs. Fire vs. Arcane. We think all 3 are low compared to say lock and hunter. (Source)

I seem to be spamming scorch because of movement issues with the new bosses on ptr, anything new on the way? ;/. Sry to bother
Quickly moving then stopping to cast is generally higher performance than moving all the time and spamming Scorch. (Source)

Speccing Flameglow is boring, there's no visual (and its called flameglow, huh..) It could atleast have a little visual..
It's a passive. The visual would be up 100% of the time. (Source)
Can we get an aura to flameglow pls?
It's on always. Do you just want an icon to remind you or do you want to see a visual 100% of the time? (Source)

5.0 fire, 5.1 arcane, 5.2 frost. I feel that when i am comfortable with one spec i have to change every patch since mop releas
My advice overall is to play that you enjoy and not swap constantly based on what some website says. (Source)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Whats the reasoning behind monk fierce tiger hotfix nerf? I understood the 5.2 nerfs but isn't this too many at once?
We found a last minute bug with our testing related to the lvl 30 talents. It as our mistake unrelated to any performance on live. (Source)
Does this mean the 10% damage reduction on stance will be reverted? *Puppy Eyes*
No, we had to add that nerf because their damage was 10% higher than we wanted. My apologies. (Source)
Any chance of fixing the bug and reverting to 20%? Could cause problems layer. Balancing around bugs = bad.
The bug was in our testing, not the WW. We caught it too late. You were doing +10% DPS than we intended. Sadface. (Source)
The excuse doesn't make sentence, dude. How does lv 30 talents affect dps?? Chi wave?
Try measuring your DPS with and without Chi Wave. What is the difference? (Source)
How do want to make WW viable? their dmg is lower than in 5.2! srsly people are massabandoning their monks
Mass abandonment after 2 days also seems like a bit of an extreme reaction. (Source)
Maybe, although I'm sure it's crossed the mind of several after your such amusing understanding of balance in 5.2.
Are you saying you have a crystal clear picture of balance after 3 days? Hmm. (Source)
I just find the explanations for this "10%" reduction a bit reduntant. But im a fighter and so is my monk!
It's not this simple, but imagine Fierce Tiger had a bug that made it do 10% more DPS than intended. The hotfix was to fix that. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Why the change to the paladin 4pc pvp set to not work with eternal flame?
We wanted to cut down on Holy instants, so we changed the bonus to work with WoG/EG to Flash. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Disc feels functionally much better. Coming back with the DA change is tough but adaptable. Overall, great work.
Glad to hear it. Let's see how it feels in a week or two once everyone has wrapped their head around all the PvP changes. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Using totems while silenced is annoying ok but to be blanket silenced every 15 seconds isn´t?
The point of silences is to counter things, especially heals and defenses. We don't like uncounterable things. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
As an Affy Warlock, having Haunt tied into the Soul Shard system feels clunky. It felt better as a cooldown.
We like Haunt. Concerned that Soul Swap consumes all available shards though which means less for other things. (Source)

Just curious, how's the reaction to the Warlock quest been? I've spent about 20 hours wiping on Kan, feels overwhelming atm
Overall, I'd say it was this. Players who can't beat him: Please nerf. Players who managed to beat him: Please don't! (Source)

Any worse on whether Kanrethad might receive some kind of nerf? I've given all I've got, and I just can't do it as-is
Maybe someday. For now, the fight is more about execution and using all your tools than DPS. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Why did warriors get such a nerf in 5.2? Why is deadly calm gone? Why such a hate for dps warriors?
Did you really find Deadly Calm fun? I felt we added it in a weak moment. (Source)

Did you guys just not care to put a prot war explanation in the class reviews?
We made almost no changes. We adjusted their scaling a little to avoid high Vengeance craziness. (Source)

The Daily Blink - Donate, and Buff a Mage in Need
The Daily Blink came up with a new way to help out mages after the devastation brought by Patch 5.2. Let's just say it has a quick effect...

If the whole puppy commercial torture thing doesn't pan out, we'll pool all the money and buy pre-made Hunter characters on eBay.
by Published on 2013-03-10 09:09 PM

Should Blizzard Announce Features Well in Advance?, Blue Posts, What Inspired Your Diablo 3 Character Name?, Curse Weekly Roundup

Isle of Thunder US - ~80-90% Unlocked (Stage 1) - US realms are no longer all unlocking at the same rate

Patch 5.2 Dev Interviews
Today we continue our interviews recap with an interview with Tom Chilton by Blizzplanet!

Blizzplanet
  • Ghostcrawler's unannounced feature might be in Patch 5.4 if it is complete in time. As far as a hint goes, "A lot of players have suggested that they be able to do older content, so it is something along those lines".
  • If Mists of Pandaria could be done over, there isn't much that would be changed, other than how mandatory daily quests felt.
  • Hopefully this is as slow as new content will ever be delivered from now on!
  • Part of the team has been split off to work on the odd number patches, Patch 5.1, 5.3, and maybe even Patch 5.5!
  • The rest of the team works on the even numbed patches with raids, Patch 5.0, 5.2, and Patch 5.4.
  • The team working on WoW has also been enlarged, and is now bigger than ever before. The team size will be increased as time goes on.
  • The tech used for Sunsong Ranch moves the tech closer to the possibility of player housing, but defining what it is, why it would be cool, and how it would work is still not there yet.
  • The changes made to the Patch 5.0 raid failbags were smaller, but should be more significant with the Patch 5.2 bonus roll improvements. Even when you don't win loot, you should have a chance to win something cool like old mounts or things that were used to incentivize tanks in dungeon finder. Another option mentioned for bonus rolls or failbags is some Valor Points or increased amount of gold.
  • Challenge modes are still working out well, but it isn't expected that most players will take part due to the difficulty. There aren't any major changes planned and the feature will continue to be used in the future.
  • Thunderforged items are less about getting 10 man raid groups to switch to 25 man than they are about rewarding 25 man groups for the increased complexity.


Thunderforged Items Drop Rate
WoWProgress took a look at the gear worn by guilds that have killed Jin'rokh the Breaker and found that there is roughly a 10% drop chance in 10 man and 25% drop chance in 25 man.

Congratulations to Rehabilitation Clinic and Exodus for finishing up Lei Shen first last week. Good luck to everyone this week!



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
10 Player Raids and Tier Tokens
Then on top of that I found out about the t15 token changes, where it isn't a guaranteed drop in 10 man anymore, 0-2 tokens can drop, and in 25 2-4 tokens can drop. Which puts double RNG into tier, making it especially bad for 10 man cause they can continuously get zero tier. On top of that 10 man is tuned much tighter then 25. 1 Person messes up your likely to wipe unless you really outgear the content. It seems blizzard is trying to completely revive 25 mans and put 10 mans in its grave..
Having 0 tier tokens drop for 10 person raid groups was unintended. We're currently looking to address this in a coming hotfix similar to the one that had been implemented for 25 person raid groups.

From Patch 5.2 Hotfixes - March 7:
- The appropriate number of tier tokens should now drop for 25-player normal and heroic difficulties. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Paladin PvP Feedback
Me: So im sorry, but im a little bit confused. Firstly, what do Paladins who just go Holy have to do w/ this question? is he trying to say that all the Paladins who are in Glad range as Holy magically played Ret and then re-speced for giggles? Anyone care to explain to me what he is trying to say? As well, Holy is good, but... honestly, imba? a bit of a stretch id say, the spec is balanced.
Holy, as I understand, is one of the highest represented healers at top ratings right now. While I am not saying from this information we can conclude that holy is "imba", but they are definitely one of the strongest healers at the moment. Healers are also in a higher demand than DPS as more people want to be the one wailing away on the opponent.

I also feel that you are twisting what is being said by GC, he did not state that they magically hit glad range after respeccing, it is just that holy is such a strong spec in PvP comparatively to Ret that many highly ranked paladins may have switched to it for the competitive advantage it holds.

Me: So every Ret is in fact insane for choosing that spec in the first place? ok, im sure we all knew that, I did anyways, but what else are we getting told here? That since Holy is strong that Ret should stay broken and all Paladins should roll Holy? whats the point of a talent tree?

Once again, the success of Holy Paladins this season is getting used in a very sad way to overshadow and justify keeping Rets down

You are twisting his words again, and wouldn't the words "imba" and "OP" be meaning the same thing in the way they are both used? That Holy is above average.

The success of Holy paladins in this season is not being used as an excuse to "keep Rets down". He is just saying that the number of rets represented at higher ratings is probably low because many highly rated players want to take advantage of the benefits that lie in playing as Holy.

We have mentioned many times that we want and are attempting to improve the current state of Ret paladins, as can be seen in the patch notes. The success of one spec is not a reason to leave another in the cold, in a perfect world all specs would be equal but sadly it is not entirely plausible. We don't feel that Rets aren't viable right now or that they are bad, it's just that they simply don't perform as well as Holy and that is why their representation is lower.

Me: Ok, I can agree that Holy never rly had any offensive pressure as far as CC goes, that is if we dont count the first 1-2? seasons of Wotlk, but ok nvm. Holy was solid tons of times before, and is generally one of the strongest Healing specs. Was op a few times, but that is sorted. And imo? thats fine, if a spec works good and is not op then its fine.
Your picking at semantics with the "OP" statements now. The general idea that he is trying to get across is that Holy is a strong spec that is capable of outperforming other healers right now, it also has benefits that outweigh those given by Ret, so many of them changed to Holy.

Alright... so from what I can see, mentioning that Holy is OP and imba in 3 out of the 4 questions that are generally about Ret tells me that Holy is gonna get stuffed. As well, their constant denial of what is going on w/ Rets indicates that no real changes are going to happen. Ret will get some love in 5.2, no questions there, our dmg will go up by a nudge, but the main problem remains, we are the #1 target for zerging down due to not having a realistic PvP defensive kit for this expansion.
Holy is receiving a few changes (most notable is the nerf to their CC chain) to lower their strengths, there are not many as you can see in the patch notes and they are far from being prevented from remaining competitive. In regards to your concern of Ret paladins receiving no survivability buffs, the patch notes show that they are receiving some very beneficial changes to their survivability and utility as well as minor increase to their damage.

  • Balance, Feral, Windwalker, Retribution, Shadow, Enhancement and Elemental now gain 25% of the bonus healing provided by PvP Power (was 0). Dedicated healers will continue to gain 50% of the bonus healing, and no bonus damage, from PvP Power.
  • Sword of Light now increases Flash of Light by 100% (was 30%) and increases the Paladin's damage with two-handed melee weapons by 15% (was 10%).
  • When Hand of Sacrifice is cast by a Retribution Paladin, all harmful magic effects are removed from the party or raid member.
  • Hand of Purity now reduces all incoming damage by 10% in addition to its other effects.
  • Eternal Flame's periodic heal now provides 100% more healing when self-cast.


There are of course other changes but these are only the increases to Rets survivability. I think that is a pretty big list of buffs, and that's not including any additional changes that have been made but not announced just yet. So you can expect an increase to your survivability, damage and utility come patch 5.2, Rets are far from not getting any real changes. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

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 have bottomed out for now, with almost all SSDs under $1 per gigabyte. No new CPUs, GPUs, or SSDs worth waiting for are expected before late in the second quarter this year.

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 - $144ASUS VS248H-P 24-Inch Monitor - $170
KeyboardLogitech Media Keyboard K200 - $17Cyborg V.5 - $43
MouseLogitech G400 - $30Razer Deathadder - $45
SpeakersCreative A220 2.1 Speaker System - $27Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $40
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE278Q 27-Inch - $290HP ZR2440W 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $359
KeyboardLogitech G110 - $86Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $70 ($115)
MouseLogitech G500 - $49Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $69
SpeakersLogitech Z323 2.1 Speaker System - $59Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $80


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 GAMMA Classic - $34NZXT GAMMA Classic - $34
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 - $58XFX Core Edition PRO 550W - $70
CPUAMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition- $105AMD FX-6300 - $130
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $27Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $33
MotherboardASUS M5A97 R2 AM3+ 970 - $95ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0 AM3+ 990FX - $121
MemoryKingston HyperX Blu 4GB 1333 - $278GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $59
Graphics CardASUS 7770 - $109Gigabyte 7850 2 GB or Gigabyte GTX 660 OC 2GB - $195 / $210
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $56Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $95
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23
Total$534$760 - 775


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 - $46Cooler Master HAF X - $162
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $87Corsair 750HX - $140
CPUIntel i5-3570K - $220Intel i7-3770K - $324
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $57Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $79
MotherboardASUS P8Z77-V LK - $120ASUS P8Z77-V - $175
Memory8GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $5916GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $103
Graphics Card7950 OR GIGABYTE GTX 660 Ti - $280Gigabyte 7970 OR GIGABYTE GTX 670 - $400 / $370
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $95Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $95
SSDSAMSUNG 840 128GB (Review) - $101
OR
OCZ 128 GB Vertex 4 (Review) - $126
Intel 330 180GB (Review) - $130
OR
SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB (Review) - $138
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23
Total$987 - $1113$1471 - $1639


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

by Published on 2013-03-09 09:24 AM

More Activity From Community Managers, Give Blizzard Your Legendary Ideas!, Blue Posts, Lastzoul's Flying Dragon Monk Build

Isle of Thunder Day 3 - 60% Unlocked (Stage 1)

Patch 5.2 Dev Interviews
Today we continue our interviews recap with an interview with Tom Chilton by Twizzcast!

  • Scaling down gear and character stats for old content is on the list of things that would be nice to do, it is just a matter of when there will be time to do it.
  • Plans for how the patches will end up are still flexible at the start of an expansion, but there is still a roadmap of what Blizzard would like to accomplish throughout the expansion.
  • There is usually a very light amount of planning for the next three expansions. This is limited to what they would be about, the theme, and some of the major features. Plans usually end up changing, so not a lot of time is spent on it.
  • Isle of the Thunder King and Lei Shen were already planned out a year ago. Blizzard started actively working on Patch 5.2 five months ago, fleshing out details and deciding what features will be included.
  • During the process of working on a patch things are often added that are not planned far ahead of time. For example, the Brawler's Guild was just an idea that came up while working on Patch 5.1.
  • Patch 5.2 made some changes intended to make it reasonable for players to catch up with others. The secondary effect is making it somewhat easier to maintain alts.


No Flying for Leveling Alts in Pandaria
Zarhym shared a few clarifications to his tweet yesterday.



Pet Battle XP Hotfixes
Due to the below bugs, leveling via Pet Battles was the fastest way to level for a short time after the patch was live.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We're in the process of updating the hotfixes blog with the recent changes to Pet Battle XP, but wanted to provide a bit more insight into why the changes were made and how XP is calculated.

  • All buffs to player XP (heirlooms, enlightenment, guild bonus etc.) were bugged, these where hotfixed to work as expected.
  • General player XP from pet battles was tuned too high, these numbers have been balanced accordingly.
  • Player experience is granted based on a number of factors. These are player level, number of pet opponents, maximum pet opponent level and the level disparity between opponents pets and your pets.
  • Our philosophy is that player XP from pet battles should be, in general, somewhat slower than normal questing.

Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: March 7
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Classes

Quests
  • Cleaning House: Players should now be able to obtain credit for defeating Fizzy Yellow Alemental and complete the quest.
  • Giant Dinosaur Bone: This quest is now a proper daily quest and can only completed once each day.
  • Plunder the Black Temple: Door to the Den of Mortal Delights should now open properly when the player reaches the appropriate step in the quest.
  • The Warren-Mother: Players should now be able to obtain credit for defeating Chaufa and complete the quest.
  • Where are My Reinforcements?: Players should now be able to receive completion credit after speaking with Ban Bearheart.

Creatures
  • Ra'sha now scales their health based on the number of players they're engaged in combat with.
  • Zandalari Prospect now properly drop loot.

Pet Battles
  • Experience gains from winning a Pet Battle have been reduced.
  • Heirlooms and experience buffs will now correctly increase the amount of experience gained from winning a Pet Battle.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Ghost Iron Lockbox and Elementium Lockbox are no longer eligible for need rolls.
  • The appropriate number of tier tokens should now drop for 25-player normal and heroic difficulties.
  • Mogu'shan Vaults

  • Heart of Fear
    • Blade Lord Ta'yak and Wind Lord Mel'jarak as well as their minions are now affected by the Klaxxi Resonance debuff.

  • Throne of Thunder
    • The Mistweaver ability Revival will no longer dispel players who have any of the following effects:
      • Primordius: Clear Mind, Fully Mutated, Improved Synapses, and Thick Bones
      • Durumu: Dark Parasite
      • Jin'rokh the Breaker: Ionization
    • Crazed Storm-Caller should now be able to use the spell Storm Energy.
    • Roaming Fog should no longer cause Druids to drop out of shapeshift form.
    • Spirit Flayers now despawn when Stormbringer Draz'kil is defeated.
    • Spiritfire Beam will now only jump to targets less than 3 yards away.
    • Torment now has a duration of 10 seconds.

PvP
  • Season 13 one-handed weapons, excluding the Spellblade and Gavel had their cost reduced from 2250 to 1750 Honor or Conquest points respectively.
  • Players taking periodic damage while in PvP should no longer stand up while eating or drinking.
  • Big Zokk Torquewrench is going on a short leave of absence to take care of unfinished business.

Professions

Items
  • Mistlurker Helm, Mistborne Hood, Mountainscaler Hide Helm, and Mountainscaler Satin Hood should display the item information correctly and appear when worn.
  • Overgrown Lillypad now works when on the Isle of Thunder.
  • Thunder Caressed Waistguard now gives a bonus to Expertise instead of Parry.

Sunsong Ranch
  • The way to obtain Work Order quests on the Sunsong Ranch farm has changed. The quests will be given while harvesting crops, or by interacting with the drop-off crate.
  • Fixed an issue where players could be placed into the incorrect phase after abandoning the quest, "Inherit the Earth".
  • Fixed an issue where Occupied Soil would sometimes not update correctly or become non-interactive after clearing the associated Squatting Virmen.

Patch 5.2 Class Reviews - Warrior and Monk
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
We don’t alter classes lightly, and every change comes only after a great deal of player feedback, developer thought and careful analysis. We also know that while class changes can help keep things fresh, they can also mean that there’s a need to re-learn things about your character that you thought you already knew. We want to make this process clearer, more understandable, and easier to adapt to as we move into patch 5.2, so I’ll be working with World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street to write a short blog series that will provide an overview of the important changes coming to each class.

Many of the 5.2 patch notes fall into two main categories: balance tuning and talent adjustments. Unless we called out a specific reason otherwise, you can assume that the various +10% or -10% adjustments you’ll see in the patch notes were made to keep all of the specs where we want them in 5.2. In some cases these are changes to reflect the different environment in 5.2 with new gear and set bonuses. In other cases, we are correcting issues we found in patch 5.1.

In terms of talent adjustments, while we’re still happy overall with the Mists of Pandaria talent overhaul, we do recognize that there were some talents that weren’t tuned as well as they could be or just weren’t attractive. That’s not to say that all talents should be all things to all players all the time; some talents are situationally quite attractive, and we’re happy with those. On the other hand, others just never see much use and we would rather provide players real options for each talent tier.


There were a few main goals to accomplish with Warriors:

  • As with all the classes, we wanted to make the less popular talents more attractive.
  • Despite a few nerfs, we felt that Arms was still too dominant in PvP and needed additional changes.
  • Because we changed Taste for Blood for Arms, this meant we also had to tweak that spec’s PvE rotation a little. We took the opportunity to improve the values of Haste and Mastery for Arms.
  • We wanted to remove Deadly Calm, because it was just adding to action bar bloat without adding much to gameplay.

Warrior talent diversity wasn’t too bad overall. It’s true that some talents have proven to be quite situational, but we still see them being used in those situations. We made some small buffs to Bladestorm, including preventing it from being countered by relatively short-cooldown disarms. We also buffed Storm Bolt outright and made Enraged Regeneration a little cheaper. Second Wind has garnered a lot of attention from the community, and it gets a lot of the blame for Warriors being so hard to kill in PvP. We’re still not entirely sure if Second Wind or Defensive Stance was more of the culprit there (more on this below). We tried some initial nerfs to Second Wind, but we were ultimately happier keeping the talent intact. It’s very popular in both PvE and PvP and if it continues to overshadow the other two talents, we’ll figure out what the best move is then.

Coming out of Cataclysm, we felt like we had reduced Warrior mobility too much in the name of balance, and in the process had removed what was always an iconic feature of the Warrior class. While we felt it necessary to adjust Warrior burst, survivability and control, we didn’t want to totally crush their mobility. To address burst, we re-designed Taste for Blood. Initially, we didn’t think that Taste for Blood would have significant PvP implications because it was so hard and unpredictable to build up stacks. Nevertheless, when it did happen, it felt like it couldn’t be countered. It was also so random that it wasn't the most compelling mechanic in the Arms PvE arsenal, so it didn’t feel like it was worth preserving. Instead, we redesigned Taste for Blood to no longer buff Heroic Strike. That alone was a useful burst damage adjustment, since Heroic Strike is off the global cooldown which allowed it to be stacked with other attacks, such as Overpower. We also removed Glyph of Death from Above damage buff to Heroic Leap, because it felt gratuitous; it’s still a good Glyph.

The second main PvP adjustment was to Warrior stun talents: Shockwave and Warbringer. The Warbringer stun now shares diminishing returns with non-proc stuns, but we attempted to compensate by giving it a snare as well. Meanwhile, Shockwave has a longer base cooldown, but will have a shorter cooldown if it hits multiple targets. We feel this rewards tactical and positional gameplay while still preserving an on-demand stun if it’s needed.

The third PvP nerf was to make it less attractive to sit in Defensive Stance all the time in PvP. Defensive Stance should be there when you’re getting trained, but its overly generous 25% damage reduction coupled with Arms not requiring Rage for so many attacks made Battle Stance un-competitive. We reduced the damage reduction for non-tanks and now ask Arms to use more Rage in their rotation to give Battle Stance a clearer role.

The change to Taste for Blood does have some PvE ramifications, but it also helps make the rotation less random overall. (Warriors who love unpredictable procs can try out Fury, which is intended to be more random.) We changed Sudden Death to activate from Mastery procs as well as auto attacks, and we improved the value of Haste for all warriors (though admittedly, this does not contribute to Protection’s active mitigation).

Finally, we concluded that Deadly Calm wasn’t providing compelling gameplay. Deadly Calm was an interesting button in Cataclysm, particularly when paired with set bonuses, but it didn’t mesh well with more active Rage management in Mists of Pandaria. Warriors already have a lot of damage cooldowns, and Deadly Calm was often macroed—even by skilled Warriors. Speaking of cooldowns, we also reduced both the effect and cooldown of Recklessness to give Warriors more frequent access to a damage cooldown while further reducing PvP burst.


It was time for Monks to get their first post-expansion revision. These were the goals:

  • As with all the classes, we made adjustments to make under-used talents more compelling.
  • Correct PvP under-tuning, particularly with Windwalkers.
  • Bring Windwalkers up to par in both PvE and PvP.
  • Offer Mistweavers a unique healer play style.

We saved the Monk changes for last. While a lot will be different for Monks in 5.2, this kind of evolution is to be expected after an entirely new class is introduced and put through its paces in a live environment. Still, while there are a lot of tweaks, there’s not much in the way of major overhauls and you won’t have to re-learn how to play your Monk.

We altered the way the whole level 30 set of talents works. Rather than being limited by resources, they’ll now fit into rotations on a cooldown basis. Previously, Chi Wave, Zen Sphere, and Chi Burst were too situational or simply used as fillers when no other abilities were available. Now that they are free but limited by cooldown, Monks can use them frequently as part of their core rotations without having to worry about other attacks dropping from the rotation.

We felt like Windwalkers didn’t have a signature ability to differentiate them from the other Monk specs, nor did they have a good tool to use when a cleave would be optimal, so we gave them Storm, Earth, and Fire (based on the Pandaren ability from Warcraft III). We also changed the Windwalker Mastery from Combo Breaker to Bottled Fury, which increases the damage bonus provided by Tigereye Brew. This accomplishes the dual purpose of freeing up some global cooldowns (allowing Windwalkers to be more resource limited, and less GCD limited) and to provide some on-demand burst. The old Mastery, Combo Breaker, has become a passive ability granted early on in the leveling process. While we were concerned with burst damage at the beginning of the last season, we don’t want Windwalkers to have completely anemic burst either.

We didn’t want to recreate the balance problem we had when we introduced Death Knights during Wrath of the Lich King, but we ended up being too conservative. The result is that Monks haven’t been as well represented in PvP as we’d like. While we toned down the control of several other classes, we felt like we needed to give Monks some substantial buffs to make them more viable in PvP. To increase survivability, we added a new level 30 ability to Brewmasters and Windwalkers: Nimble Brew. Nimble Brew clears roots, stuns, and fear effects, reduces the duration of future such effects for a few seconds, and can be activated while stunned. We also created the powerful new Ring of Peace talent, and baked the old Deadly Reach talent it replaces directly into Paralysis.

Early on, we said that Mistweavers would have the option to be melee healers, dealing damage and healing their allies at the same time. We haven’t quite delivered on that, but in patch 5.2 we’re making an effort to allow “fist-weaving” to be a more viable play style. The actual healing provided by Fistweaving was okay, but Fistweaving damage was so low that it wasn’t worth it for Mistweavers to move to melee to try it out. With the 5.2 buffs, it should be. These changes prompted a few others to make sure that casting heals like a traditional healer and causing melee damage to heal were separate rotations, without allowing Monks to cherry pick the best moves from each, which caused balance problems in testing. The goal is for Fistweaving to be similar to Atonement healing for Discipline Priests. The Monk will sacrifice some DPS and healing compared to a dedicated healer or damage dealer, but it will be possible to contribute a good amount of each, which is sometimes quite valuable.

Brewmasters are seeing the fewest changes, and they’ve proven to be very capable tanks, though they do require a fair amount of skill to play. The level 30 talent changes will help spice up their rotation.

Phasing and Large Group World PvP
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Devs believe that what is happening here is not actually a result of realm coalescing.

It looks like this probably has something to do with another tech we have in place to reduce a player’s AOI (Area of Interest) in crowded areas.

This can have many consequences, for example, you’ve probably already noticed that when you fly by some terrain at high speed you will often see objects and characters appear and disappear very fast, this dynamic loading usually works great, and allows for better and more fluid gameplay. The thing is, loading too many things at once can drastically decrease the performance due to the intensive and sudden workload spike that it can cause on the CPU/GPU level but also on the connection level due to internet bandwidth typically being limited.

Devs will look into this more carefully on the programming side of things. They’ll try to find out if there are any spells, items or anything unexpected that might be hogging too much memory and cause dynamic loading to be prematurely activated.

Ultimately, we think that these massive world PvP events are a great and fun way to play the game, we want to make sure that the experience is as good as it possibly can be, and that things like dynamic loading aren’t impacting these events, at the same time we need to certify that server performance remains unaffected as well.

OpenRaid Pet Battle Competition
OpenRaid is holding a Pet Battle competition tonight with some TCG Loot prizes. If you are interested in pet battles and have max level pets, be sure to take a look!



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


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