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by Published on 2013-03-17 10:23 PM

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

Isle of Thunder US - Stage 2 Unlocked

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

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


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

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





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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

Isle of Thunder US - Stage 2 Unlocked

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

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


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



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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Items

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Published on 2013-03-15 08:28 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 the recent Twizzcast interview with Ghostcrawler, where they managed to cover a lot in 30 minutes.

Alt Characters and Catching Up
  • The Dragon Soul patch went on for a longer time, and Raid Finder made it easier to gear alts than was previously possible.
  • In Mists of Pandaria, it isn't as easy to gear alts because there is a lot more for players to do. Many of the alts were created when there wasn't much to do in game.
  • Gearing alts will be something to do when you are done with your main or somehow run out of things to do. Some of the changes in Patch 5.2 were made to make this a little easier. (More Elder Charms, higher LFR drop rates, new rep gear for gold, etc)
  • LFR is a step of the gearing up process for the first tier of content, as it fits between heroic dungeons and normal raids. However, after the first tier, gear from LFR may not be a significant upgrade from Normal or Heroic difficulty gear at all.
  • People would stop playing weeks or months before a new raid because they didn't want to spend time progressing on content that would be outdated as soon as there was a patch. Making catching up too easy reduced the motivation to deal with challenging content.
  • Players that are coming back to the game shouldn't be able to jump right in to end game content with players that have been playing for several months, as some catch up will be required.

Raid, Item, and Class Balance
  • Trinkets are balanced with simulation testing and in game testing, followed by testing on the PTR, and then finally data from live realms.
  • Some players overreact when they see numbers like a 25% reduction to one spell that only makes up 10% of their damage overall. This ends up in a few percentage adjustment to a class's DPS.
  • When balancing classes, there is a lot of in house simulation that looks at DPS on target dummies, AoE situations, burst situations, and other situations.
  • The PTR data is also taken in to account, but it is limited in its usefulness. Usually players on the PTR are just there to play around or are top players practicing the new raids, not average players. There is a lot more useful data once a patch has gone live.
  • Classes shouldn't get an ability that will guarantee them a raid spot because of how good it is.
  • The Rogue population has been dropping for a long time, so Smoke Bomb was added to give them some group utility.
  • The more cooldowns that are added, the harder it is to create encounters that will be challenging, as you can just use a lot of cooldowns on it.
  • There were too many tank and spank style encounters in the past, leading to players being bored. Now Blizzard is trying to ensure there is at least one thing for everyone in the raid to think about during the encounter, rather than just focusing on the boss as a target dummy.
  • The Sealed Tome of the Lost Legion isn't super rare, so most Warlocks that want to start the quest will be able to. One idea that was brought up is increasing the drop rate over time so that everyone can get it. Adding green fire was one of the few ways to increase player prestige without increasing player power.

Low Population Realms
  • Low population realms aren't fun. WoW is designed to be played with friends!
  • Blizzard is investigating making it easier to move all of your characters to a new realm.
  • There aren't any easy solutions, especially when players hear that Mal'ganis has a good raiding community or Tichondrius has a good PvP community. This results in players transferring or creating characters on high population realms, making popular realms grow faster, while lower population realms die faster.
  • Merging or shutting down realms isn't possible because many players like their realm, have a character name they like, and don't want to be forced out or to change their name.

PvP
  • On PvP: "We have some pretty bold plans going forward".
  • Giving players new and different ways to kill each other may not be the best way to advance PvP. There is some room to polish the systems that already exist, especially some of the battlegrounds that players aren't enjoying.
  • One of the things being considering is packaging the big battlegrounds like Alterac Valley and Isle of Conquest in with Wintergrasp and Tol Barad and having a new large scale battleground event. (This wasn't really clear, listen to 25:10 to hear the answer)
  • The PvP and PvE daily quest choice was new tech added to give players a choice of the playstyle they wanted to take part in that day, rather than feeling that both styles were mandatory.

Future
  • Patch 5.3 will be a smaller patch, similar to Patch 5.1. It will happen "sooner than players are expecting" and will be followed by Patch 5.4, another larger patch with a raid.
  • The team and systems are finally set up to where Blizzard can really deliver content faster.
  • Proving Grounds is still being worked on as place to safely learn to tank and heal without ruining the experience of other players. It may not be ready for Patch 5.3 or Patch 5.4, but it is still being actively worked on and is not a "it would be nice to do someday" feature.
  • Players expect change in a game, especially to flawed systems, otherwise they become burned out or bored. New expansions should have roughly 30% new stuff, 30% old stuff, and 30% old stuff that has been evolved a little bit.


Throne of Thunder Heroic Progression
Another day of Heroic difficulty raids and Blood Legion is still on top with 8 bosses down, followed by Method with 8 down, and Exodus with 7 down. DREAM Paragon managed to kill 4 bosses since yesterday, putting them at 8 bosses down.

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



Automatic Flight Path Discovery Removed
One of the smaller changes in Patch 5.2 was the removal of automatic flight path discovery.



Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: March 14
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Classes
  • Monk
    • Chi Wave should now correctly bounce between targets that are in range.

Creatures

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • The time for players to decide if they want to use a bonus roll has been increased to 3 minutes.

PvP

Professions
  • Thunderforges on the Isle of Thunder can now also function as a normal anvil and forge.
  • Archeology
    • Mantid archeology items should now correctly award a Mantid Amber Sliver when turned in.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
One Death Knight Per Server Limit
Any idea when we might see this lifted? I've seen on MMO-champ a few times where it's been stated this limitation is outdated and no longer needed. It was also said that they likely will remove it, I'm just wondering if there is any sort of time frame for this planned at all?

I'd really enjoy rolling another Death Knight on my home server, on the Horde side, just for the benefit of heirloom gear and to experience the horde storylines and what not, hence the inquiry.

Honestly, there's no update I can provide on when this will be lifted, but we're aware of the feedback. It may be a possibility for the future though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Larger Backpack Request
I think above all the player base should have a quest to receive a larger backpack. I understand new players start with a 16 slot, and that's a godly amount of space at level 10. After 8 years, I've seen classes come and go, and content in game come and go. I just think that with 8 years of playing, this might have been addressed. Just curios as to why simple quests like this we're never introduced.
We'd love to be able to upgrade it too, but it's not as simple as upgrading it. It was coded into the system early in the development of World of Warcraft and isn't as easy as writing up some new lines of code. In addition, we're not sure that simply adding a larger backpack is the solution people really are looking for. You'll get a few more slots, but you'll most likely fill those relatively quickly.

We've made some progress in regard to storage such as being able to learn pets and mounts etc. vs. having to carry them with you all of the time. We have Void Storage now as well as changed over some currencies (over time) from physical objects to something that gets tallied in your character pane; little quality of life increases such as those over time. The developers continue to do their best to keep storage in mind when designing new content.

But, if you're anything like me, you probably have a difficult time letting go of items that are either sentimental in nature or items that you "might need later... maybe". I'm with you, but in that case, I try to "spring clean" now and then just to go through what I have and figure out what I truly don't need and can get rid of.

As always though, we're open to constructive feedback and discussion. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Raid Finder Difficulty Feedback
I genuinely feel sorry for people who can't commit to a raiding guild and are left with LFR as their raiding experience.
As long as people that are not you are having fun with what they do, and you are having fun with what you do...

Also, keep in mind that right now the average player on Raid Finder is most likely more skilled/experienced than those that will visit the place in, say, 2 months. So perhaps things that now you can ignore because of overgeared/experienced players will pose a challenge to the folks doing LFR with LFR gear from the previous tier. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.2 and PvP Gear
Thanks Nakatoir, and now that I'm back from an unfortunate ban, I'd like to ask you what your opinion is on the stat difference between the s13 Tyrannical gear and the 5.3 PvE gear. While you miss out on PvP stats, the ilvl from the PvE gear is so much higher that it might outweight PvP gear for certain classes. What do you think about this?
Sadly I cannot give much of a comment on the difference in stats as the 5.3 gear is yet to be released. I can say however that we want to try and make sure that going into all future patches, including this one, that gear rewarded through PvP remains the best for PvP purposes. We understand that the community is concerned with PvE gear returning in PvP and we will do our best to prevent this.

As for the 5.2 gear difference, I am going to assume that you are concerned with Heroic gear. As you can see on these Hunter sets, while the main stats are lower, the survivability and damage increases caused by the PvP stats compensate for this, and then some. The equivalent budget given to these PvP stats would be approximately 40 Ilvl's, which is quite a lot.

I totally misstyped me there, thank an all-nighter for that. I meant 5.2 Heroic PvE gear. Especially openers from Rogue teams (mass stealth) might totally gib the enemy teams within the first few seconds. We will see how it goes, I guess.
No biggie, I assumed you did and that is why I mentioned 5.2 in the post.

But just to quell some of your concerns in the area of damage, this is something that we are keeping an eye on and will make changes as they are necessary. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Marvel Heroes Beta Key Giveaway
Curse has Marvel Heroes beta keys to give away! The first big beta weekend is taking on Saturday, March 16th from 10 AM to 6 PM PDT, and Sunday, March 17th from 6 AM to 2 PM PDT. You can read more about the Marvel Heroes MMORPG here.

Beta keys are being given away to Curse Premium members on Thursday and Friday, and then to everyone on Saturday starting at midnight.



Comics - Dark Legacy Comics #380
DLC #380 has been released.

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.


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