MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

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by Published on 2013-05-01 07:09 AM

Watch Tower and Weeping Hollow Density Adjusted, The Process of Adding Changes, Game Devs Don't Work on the Website, Console and PC Team are Different

Patch 5.3 - Heirloom Shields
Patch 5.2 added two new Heirloom shields to the game, but there were some issues with them and they never were added to vendors.

It appears the issues have been resolved, and we will see Weathered Observer's Shield and Flamescarred Draconian Deflector in Patch 5.3 at the cost of 2175 Justice Points.



Ghostcrawler on Tri Spec
It appears uniqueness is part of the reason we won't be seeing Tri Spec in Patch 5.3.



Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: April 30
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Throne of Thunder
    • Lei Shen
      • Lei Shen's hitpoints have been reduced by 10% on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Static Shock from the North Conduit now deals 300,000 damage at 0 energy, down from 650,000 on Raid Finder difficulty.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvE
Stack ranking healers based on meters is like stack ranking cars based on max speed. It doesn't tell the whole story. (Source)

Are you guys really okay with months of LFR becoming useless by Valor Gear? All that time spent on gear is wasted.
Aren't you always replacing your gear every few months though? What is the specific valor concern? (Source)

What's diff between reason Blizz used 4 shared lock-out vs. normal raiders feel complld to do normal+LFR each week?
Why do you run LFR as a N raider? What is there for you? (Source)
Valor Points. At our current progression we are still scrapping for any source of upgrade. Plus the SP-A rep to buy.
You won't get additional rep for doubling up, but if you are on e.g. 3rd boss in N then it might make sense to do the rest in LFR. (Source)
To be fair, that's fairly min-max behavior. If you're on 3rd boss on N, a couple more valor pieces isn't what's holding you back. (Source)
Normal Raiders feel the LFR mandatory cus of the stuff. LFR ToT stuff ilvl should be = to 489 to prevent that.
If you're a N raider, you are earning 522+ ilevel. (Source)
If you don't have much 522 because you're stuck on an early boss, then getting a few 502 probably isn't what's blocking you. (Source)
If you like earning ilevel as fast as possible, by all means go for it, but I wouldn't consider it mandatory. (Source)

Didn't you just hotfix nerf health in Horridon and Sounds like a gear issue to me. Those weren't mechanic nerfs.
We don't make fights that are target dummies. Nerfing numbers means you can afford more mistakes on the mechanics. (Source)
As I said, if improving gear is fun for you, that's great. Just don't obsess unnecessarily over marginal ilevel improvements. (Source)

We need Normal tuned down. The amount of non heroic guilds finishing Nrrmals in time is negligible
We're happy with N difficulty for 25. It was a little hard for 10s, but we made some fixes. (Source)

for 'real' raiders progression is the motivation. raiding for loot is an outdated vanilla attitude.
That hasn't been our experience. Raiding is fun, but becomes less so the moment you stop getting rewards. (Source)

What's with the can't release spirit until whole raid whipes mechanic? I find it kinda annoying I wish I knew why it was there
It solved a whole lot of problems where players wouldn't get credit or loot if they released before a kill. (Source)

I'd always thought testing times are based on when you guys can get all *your* hands on deck to observe, no?
There's an element of that for sure. Being on the west coast doesn't always work to our advantage. (Source)
If you're a two-night-a-week guild, are you going to sacrifice one of those just to help us out? I mean we appreciate it for sure. (Source)
My point was we get a lot of testing by heroic raiders. It's harder for normal raiders to justify spending the time. (Source)

It would have to be a sizable reward to get me to leave my guild groups for the thankless world of pug tanking.
We really don't want you to do that. I fundamentally believe WoW is more fun with friends than solo. (Source)
Hard to believe that, when raid tuning means either settle for LFR or ditch underperforming friends.
Would you be satisfied if you could run Raid Finder with just your friends? Or is your expectation to run an easier ver of normal? (Source)

What if..... you didn't change the ilvl or stats on LFR gear ,but made the gear blue quality.
A whole lot of players use LFR. We want to preserve the prestige of N and H raiding, but don't want to push folks out of LFR. (Source)

in ToT almost every encounter has a tank swap based on a debuff stack, are we gonna see different mechanics in the next tier?
If we can come up with good ones. We (and tanks) soured on the "soak up the cleave" mechanic. (Source)

I get bored whenever I feel I can't progress, be it gear or stuck on a boss or whatnot.
Frustration at lack of progression is a common problem. (Source)
However, it happens when players can't kill a boss and also when they kill everything and run out of content. No progress. (Source)

Actually you can force. Called remove LFG/LFR and you'll see 'communities/interaction' occur instantly.
Er, for some players, sure. Others just log off when they can't get a group. (Source)
I had friends and still sat in chat for 2h looking for Arcatraz pugs. Not the best of times. (Source)

why is mob tagging still in the game? surely fostering co-operation is a good thing?
It is, but tabbing SW:Pain on every mob in a zone isn't our idea of cooperation. (Source)

GC, will we ever see a return to the way VPs were awarded thru heroics in WotLK? Some people can't log in every day!
You can keep running dungeons on the days you can log in. You keep getting valor beyond the first run. (Source)
In the DS model, 7 runs capped you. Now, takes 18 runs if you do 1 per day, and 1 more run per missed day.
Fewer players capped when it was 7 a day. Totally understand that that model worked better for some players. (Source)

What is your design for PvE set bonuses? Stronger as tiers progress? Or just fun bonuses, should people have 4pc or offpieces?
I personally like the idea that off pieces can be competitive, but it's a hard sell to many players (and some designers). (Source)
I know that for throne of thunder with thunderforged pieces alot of people will be dropping tier pieces for BiS thunderforged.
I think that's kind of cool rather than tunneling in on set pieces only, but we'll see how it feels in a few more weeks. (Source)
Why do we even have off-set pieces? So that armor looks different? But all offset match set artistically anyway.
One reason is players like to match their gear (easier with transmog now). (Source)
Another is that raid quality armor takes about a month for an artist to make and we make 22 (including PvP) plus weapons. (Source)

Challenge mode was the biggest waste of resources, unpopular, unappealing, not worth it. Scrap it.
Disagree. It's more popular than expected and I personally find it a ton of fun. It's cool to use all your abilities for a change. (Source)

Exodus Done With 25 Man Raiding
Late last week Killars posted an interesting message as to why Exodus is done raiding. They ended up in 8th place in Tier 15, down from 6th place in Tier 14.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Yes, I'll confirm the news here for anyone not in the loop or questioning the rumors. will no longer continue to function as a 25 man raiding guild. No plan to go 10 man as of yet, but that really doesn't matter because 25 man is what the hardcore raiding scene really is about and Exodus will no longer be competing in such a scene.

Why? How? Well this game isn't to blame. In the last few years this game (despite many people quitting and guilds dying) isn't to blame for vodka/Exodus' demise it's the raiding community. I don't mean this is a pointing the finger sort of way, it's an inevitable sort of flaw in the competition of the top end raiders. You see... we've basically been killing ourselves off slowly since day 1.

In the last few years we've certainly picked up the pace, but the "hardcore raider" is a dying breed and it's certainly becoming a more difficult breed to be a part of. What I mean by this is of course the time commitment and the level of shear dedication and determination it takes and costs to be at the very top. This isn't to poke fun, but to just shed light of why many people, and subsequently, many guilds will fall. Raiding for many many hours on end is fun, CAN be exciting, and at the end of it all can really prove who really wants that world first/us first/realm first the most.

Unfortunately we (hardcore raiders) pushed too hard. Tier after tier we just keep adding to the insanity in both farming preparations and actual progressing. It's almost as if progression itself never really ends after a end tier boss dies. Combine this with Blizzard actually putting new content out faster, alts playing a big role, PTR/BETA, dailys, coins, BMAH, well... you just get lost in it all. Right now there are a few legit world first guilds left. The competition is slim because the competition is literally eating each other (well not that literally). Good luck to everyone left in the race for this expac, but I don't know how much longer this sort of thing can last.



Fan Art Update
The World of Warcraft Fan Art Section has been updated with two new pieces of fan artwork.

by Published on 2013-04-30 07:31 AM

1.0.8 is Not This Week, Diablo III Hotfixes: April, What if All Legendaries Were Good?, On Gear Customization and Stats

Patch 5.3 - Battle on the High Seas Scenario
Battle on the High Seas is the shortest scenario added in Patch 5.3, taking less than 10 minutes to run.



Patch 5.3 - Sigil of Power and Wisdom Drop Rate
It looks like it will be easier to collect those Sigil of Power and Sigil of Wisdom to catch up on the legendary quest line in Patch 5.3!



Children's Week 2013 Live
Children's Week 2013 is live, but doesn't have any significant changes this year. Our friends over at Icy Veins have a nice guide! Be sure to use alts to collect all of the pets.



Glorious Conquest Vendors Removed Until 5.3
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The Glorious Conquest PvP quartermasters (Acon Deathwielder for the Horde and Ethan Natice for the Alliance) will be removed to refit the items that they sell before patch 5.3 arrives. Glorious Conquest PvP gear is being changed from item level 512 to item level 496, but this wasn’t a change that could be applied via a hotfix. In the meantime, we wanted to avoid a situation where players intending to purchase upgrades would buy these items, only to find that they had purchased cosmetic items when they are reduced to their new item levels with the arrival of patch 5.3.

You can read about the coming item changes in the PvP Gear in Patch 5.3 blog. See you on the battlefield!

BlizzCon Benefit Dinner Tickets On Sale Wednesday
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Before the BlizzCon festivities begin, we're inviting you to join Blizzard game developers, artists, executives, and other employees for an evening of good food and good conversation—all for a good cause. Approximately 200 tickets to a special pre-BlizzCon dinner to benefit Children's Hospital of Orange County will be going on sale Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. PDT. Keep your eye on the ticket sales page at that time for the chance to get yours.

For more information on the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner, visit the info page on the official BlizzCon website.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Cross-Realm Zones and Pandaria
While blue feedback is always appreciated, to me this came off as dodging the question. Can you say definitively you will not crz Pandaria (at least until next xpac) ?
To the best of my knowledge, there are no plans to change how things are working for outdoor areas in Pandaria at this time. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
UI / Addons
better solution would be to add arena focus 1-5 and arena target 1-5 on the key binding options (cont..)
We'd actually like to do that. (Source)

Many popular addons like Questhelper have become baseline over time. Why of all things do map coordinates still need an addon?
Nothing in the game itself uses coordinates, does it? (Source)

Pet Battles
Agree, but for example Minfernal is not fun to farm. Always 5-8 ppl camping out.
The challenge of rare anything is players want them to be rare to everyone but them. If they aren't rare, they lose value. (Source)

do devs see idling folks in Felwood camping Minfernals as an issue? CRZ + long spawn times = many folks in small area.
The idea behind rare spawns is they're hard to get. If there are fewer folks competing, we'd just decrease spawn rates to compensate. (Source)

World
Hey GC. Is there a specific lore-reason why flying is disabled in Silvermoon City/Eversong Woods, or just an oversight?
Making Silvermoon flyable would take longer than it took to make Stormwind flyable. Just wasn't built with that in mind. (Source)

Misc
So at the end of cataclysm I remember reading a post mortem of things you learned. I'm curious what you've learned from mists?
Hmm. I'd say two things off the top of my head. 1) We wanted to offer options but didn't offer *enough* options (e.g. GL). (Source)
2) As many difficulty levels as we offered, it wasn't enough. (Source)
I said 2, but also we didn't do a good job of providing direction at L90. Also wish we had added some dungeons in maybe 5.3. (Source)
When I said "not enough direction at 90" I meant that you probably wanted to get better gear but weren't sure how or where or in what order. (Source)

It makes 0 sense to share data with people that don't have the knowledge to interpret it correctly.
Ultimately, we don't want to be in the position of having to ask community permission every time we want to make a change. (Source)
Which is how I think it would feel if we had to defend every data point to every challenger. (Source)

Pretty disappointed in any event, hope this doesn't turn out to be another "TRISPEC! ...nvm, just kidding"
We have to be able to use our PTR builds to actually test stuff. Please don't use PTR as some kind of press release. (Source)
what you use the public TEST realm for testing? What kind of ass backward development methodology is that?
I don't fault players. Data mining and sometimes even our patch notes represent any change as a fact not an experiment. (Source)

do you think listening to players too much has changed the game in a negative way? I enjoyed TBC more despite the imbalances.
Overall, I'd say no. But I agree there is a risk there. (Source)
If you implement too many suggestions, you end up with everything meh instead of having some things feel really awesome. (Source)

Dark Legacy Comics #387
DLC takes a look at why healer queues are so long!

by Published on 2013-04-28 10:33 PM

Infinite Crisis (MOBA) Beta Keys Now Open to Everyone!

Second Batch of BlizzCon Tickets Sold Out, ChromeOnRust's RPM Barb Build, Fan Creation of the Week: The Art of Robert Maldonado

Patch 5.3 - Deepwind Gorge Battleground
Patch 5.3 adds a new battleground, Deepwind Gorge. This battleground is placed in the western part of the Valley of the Four Winds, in a gorge that is only present in the battleground, not in the regular world. This is a 15 player battleground for level 90 players.

The battleground has two different objectives, the first being the three mines. There is a northern Pandaren mine, central mine, and a southern Goblin mine. The mines are captured like the bases in other battlegrounds, just clicking the flag and capturing it. While you hold the mine NPCs will mine gold for your faction, bringing you closer to the 1600 resources required to win.

The second objective is the cart of gold placed at each faction's base. You can click the cart to attach it to yourself, and then walk back to your base to capture it. You do not need your own team's cart to be present to capture, unlike the normal battleground flags. Holding the cart limits your movement speed to normal running speed, with only things like Blink allowing you to get there faster. If you kill the enemy cart holder, you must click on the cart to return it to your base before someone on the other team clicks to pick it up.

Capturing the cart rewards you with 20 bonus honor, 200 resources, and the message that your faction has stolen gold from the other. Currently it doesn't seem to take any gold from the other faction.

As far as gameplay goes, the map seems a bit large for only 15 players, so be sure to test it and provide feedback!







Patch 5.3 PvP Power Change Confirmed
On Friday we mentioned that on the PTR you now needed 400 PvP Power rating to get 1% more damage, rather than the 265 needed on live. Holinka confirmed that this was a real change over the weekend.



Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
so your saying that they are in line with other healers now? Because that is totally false. Representation dropped
Buffing rogues also brought up priests. Nerfing warriors also brought down paladins. And so on... (Source)
Just for clarification, you're not inclining that buffing the Rogue class also buffed Priests right? Your talking rep % total?
Some players tend to equate Arena 3s representation as a proxy of "spec power." Many factors drive rep. (Source)
Another example is when team X is popular, then the teams that counter X also tend to be popular. (Source)

Can, uh, you explain the Divine Hymn/Tranquility PTR patch notes? Did you guys just make those CDs scale via raid size?
Yes. They were disproportionately stronger in 10s than 25s. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
What about Death Grip? Has no minimum range and would make sense if it did. DK's are strong so would be sensible.
One difference (not that there needs to be one) is Heroic Leap does damage and Death Grip does not. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Our Mushroom patch note is confusing people. It now heals for double (+100%) what it does on live, which includes Rejuv overhealing. (Source)
Mushroom also has a larger radius. Remember, this is just on PTR. It may or may not go live. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Aren't talents supposed to be CHOICES? Silencing Shot is not a choice, it is a necessity.
We are worried that's the case. If we can't make other choices compete with it, then we'll have to consider other options. (Source)

The whole pvp community has cried out for hunter nerfs, and what do you do!? buff them... Plz just you try beating one in pvp!
What buff? Hawk? We nerfed Blink Strike burst and Intimidation at the same time. (Source)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Why are fist weapons not displayed on monks?
It's a technical limitation because fist weapons are the same as fighting unarmed to the code. (Source)

"We don't think there's too much CC" Then why was Nimble brew implemented?
To buff Windwalkers. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
I dont get the "Devotion Aura can now be used while silenced" change... I can already do that on live. Lol.
With the 5.3 change, using Devotion Aura will remove the silence effect on you. We will clarify the patch note. (Source)

Currently Glyph of Inquisition is totally worthless. Any chance we will see it changed to something more like Savage roar?
Nearly every Feral takes Savagery. Very few Ret take Inquisition. Neither glyph is therefore meeting our design. (Source)
I like the idea behind inquisition, but even the players who should take it simply won't in today's WOW environment.
Agreed. We hoped players would evaluate their own performance and decide what works best for them. But lists are easier. (Source)
I don't know if that's fair... you don't need a list to know that glyph is a damage loss.
It's not a damage loss if you are constantly flubbing Inquisition up time, which we know is a thing. (Source)

Don't you feel SR and Inq are too design-lazy? Spec not enough buttons, nerf damage by x% and give ability increasing by x%.
Actually the contrary. They ask for management of resources besides just "hit X on cooldown." (Source)
In turn, resource management allows for more skilled players to achieve better performance as their reward. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Remember when I said we'd go back to bubble spam? We're there. 40% of healing from one spell. This is soul-killing. Angry.
Even if that's true, I'd still argue it's better than 80% from Prayer of Healing. PW:S requires a little more finesse. (Source)

You guys know how often Spirit Shell gets used as a single target solution, instead of as a raid wall? Doesn't seem very often
Group healing as a whole just dominates single-target healing in raids, especially in 25s. (Source)

Atonement is only overpowered in ToT because many of the bosses have damage buffs. Outside ToT and it's not that OP.
We disagree. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
No more so than Rogues. And rogues are hardly being touched. Don't you think rogues have an over-the-top toolset?
Rogues have several nerfs in 5.3. The intent is not to nerf them back to 5.0 levels but somewhere in between. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Do you have anything in the works for elemental shamans in either of the upcomming pathces as we cannot keep up with ench atm?
In PvE? I think Elemental is ahead on most fights... (Source)

Wondering if you forgot Shaman HTT in the latest raid CD buffs? This will hurt them.
Debating it, but shaman have the opposite problem where they are proportionately stronger in 25s. HTT is also a talent. (Source)
HTT is a talent but it's not really optional for Resto. It should be considered baseline in terms of balance
We don't think Resto needs the buff in 25s, and we are loathe to make a popular talent even more popular. (Source)

Yet nothing is done to help Shamans in 10. Do you not realize how core HTT is to resto? This isn't our bed.
I see where you're coming from, but arguing us to buff a talent everyone already takes is going against our design intent. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Locks are fine in pve with heroic gear/ legendary head gem. Before that they are trash.
Locks in PvE are fine even in LFR gear in our opinion. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Enrages have no real tangible results for Arms Warriors dps wise unlike for fury.Any plans to make them more tangible for Arms
Enrage does increase Arms damage non-trivially. It doesn't change your rotation. (Source)
But that Raging Blow is one of the elements that makes Arms and Fury feel different instead of carbon copies. Hopefully. (Source)

the annoying thing about the zerker regen change is now its another thing to track. is it 5% with rage? shit better not use.
To be fair, tracking Enrage was always the intent. It just has a consolation prize if you really need healing ASAP sans Enrage. (Source)

Do you think it's possible to make War Berserker Stance more like a glass cannon thing? Dmg bonus but less survival?
In PvE that ends up being a healer problem and not a warrior problem. (Source)

Reputation / Questing
Why was the daily cap removed when the amount of dailies was increased substantially?
Mostly because players didn't want older (lower-level) dailies to count against the cap. (Source)

Are you happy with 5.2 up to now? especially daily quest participation.
Overall, yes. One challenge is people are hitting exalted well before the island is unlocked, and then participation drops off. (Source)

Is the legendary Valor quest change retroactive? If I have 3000/6000 or more, will it complete as of 5.3?
It should. It's possible you will have to earn 1 more Valor register that you've crossed the threshold. Looking at it. (Source)

Is it intentional that you can champion MoP faction reps at level 17? Cause I def can.
Not sure it really hurts anything. (Source)

With PTR changes to SPA rep, is there just nothing at Revered? Seems kind of odd.
Talked about the commendation at Revered. (Source)
Ah, alright. Most of your tweets seem to be replies, so unless I look at you specifically or someone RTs, I don't see them.
The developers have discussed adding a Shado Pan Assault commendation at Revered. Not 100% sure if we will yet. (Source)

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



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

by Published on 2013-04-27 04:52 PM

Update: Sold out to people who got in queue in the first few seconds!

Blizzcon 2013 tickets on sale in 10 minutes!
The sale of Blizzcon 2013 tickets will begin very shortly. If it's anything like the previous years, you will have to be very fast to grab your ticket!


Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The second batch of BlizzCon tickets will be going on sale tomorrow (Saturday, April 27) at 10 a.m. PDT through the online Blizzard Store—visit the ticket sales page at that time for the chance to buy yours.

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

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

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

Click here to buy tickets on Saturday at 10 a.m.!
by Published on 2013-04-27 07:02 AM

Exploits in Diablo 3, Community Commentary: Hardcore New Player Guide and Veteran Challenge, Imperius Fan Art

Patch 5.3 on the Background Downloader
Late this week the launcher started to download ~270 MB of assets for Patch 5.3. It is likely that the patch will be here in a few weeks, but no Release Candidate build yet!



Patch 5.3 PTR - Build 16896
There was a very minor PTR patch this afternoon, it only had two significant changes, one of them being the addition of the Block Chat Channel Invites option.

The other change was an increase in the amount of PvP Power Rating needed to get 1% PvP Power from 265 to 400.


Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • BLOCK_CHAT_CHANNEL_INVITE - Block Chat Channel Invites|TInterface\OptionsFrame\UI-OptionsFrame-NewFeatureIcon:0:0:0:-1|t
  • LOOT_NOUN - Loot
  • OPTION_TOOLTIP_BLOCK_CHAT_CHANNEL_INVITE - Block all incoming chat channel invites.



Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: April 26
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Classes

Creatures
  • Fixed an issue where players in a tanking specialization may not receive loot under certain conditions when Nalak is defeated.
  • Fixed an issue where bonus rolls on Nalak did not work properly for players coalesced from a different realm.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Throne of Thunder
    • Durumu the Forgotten
      • Cones of light should now properly reveal fog beasts that spawn under Walls of Ice on 10-player and 25-player Heroic difficulty.
    • Iron Qon
      • Fixed an issue where players were able to remain out of range for Quilen champions' abilities on 10-player and 25-player Heroic difficulty.

BlizzCon Tickets On Sale Saturday
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The second batch of BlizzCon tickets will be going on sale tomorrow (Saturday, April 27) at 10 a.m. PDT through the online Blizzard Store—visit the ticket sales page at that time for the chance to buy yours.

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

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

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

Click here to buy tickets on Saturday at 10 a.m.!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Misc
There are no easy fixes to low pop relams. We are working on some fixes, but too early to talk about them yet. (Source)

So what you're saying is that it's bad to bench people because you want to stack a class but fine when you want diversity?
We don't want e.g. warlocks to never get brought to a raid. If you are encouraged to bring a mage b/c you have 3 locks, that's fine. (Source)
And in most cases, you could bring 6 locks and still progress. You're less efficient, but not dramatically so. (Source)
My overall advice to most players is to pay more attention to fun and less to efficiency. I predict you will enjoy the game more. (Source)

A lot of people still don't know about changes you guys make, any plans on in-game patch notes?
If they don't read our website why would they read them in game? (Source)

Do you guys have interns programming your tooltips or something? Seems that there are always a TON of "tooltip bugs".
There are just a lot of things that can change a spell's points and the game doesn't know them all innately. We have to fix 'em up. (Source)
We've gotten spell tooltips much more accurate to the point where the inaccuracies jump out now. (Source)
If you look back over the history of WoW, the tooltips were stupidly inaccurate. (Source)

As an artist I can tell 100% that there are more than enough skilled artists with superior quality compared to something
We would love to get more of their resumes. Many artists these days study photo manipulation, but can't always make a good sword. (Source)

You can`t seriously be saying making more content is a problem of there not being enough skilled people in the WORLD to hire?
We haven't interviewed everyone in the world yet. Hiring is a slow process and we are quite picky. We don't hire to fill a quota. (Source)

(Curiosity): does Blizzard have a working definition of “casual”? If so, is it more about what you do, or how much you play?
We don't really. Casual is too broad a word. We try to have content aimed at a wide variety of players. (Source)
I just see a casual gamer as someone who is playing "casually", means on occassion.
There are also very experienced and skilled players who play only rarely. "Casual" doesn't really describe them. (Source)
Likewise, we have players who play nearly every night, but only to RP and avoid raids or BGs. Not sure they are "casual." (Source)
It's just one of those words that isn't precise enough to do the job. (Source)

Questions about data mined patch notes make you crazy. Confirm or deny ?
Confirm, especially repeated questions that I already addressed. (Source)

Hearthstone Gameplay - Paladin vs Warrior
Another new match, this time between a Paladin and Warrior. You can talk about it in our Hearthstone forum or help out by adding the new cards to the Hearthstone wiki.

by Published on 2013-04-26 12:25 AM

Live Developer Q&A Transcript
Originally Posted by Blizzard
Classes
Combat Rogue is clearly not a good spec for PvP atm at all, sustained dmg is barely noticable, there is no possible 'no cd burst' possibility by design, Killing Spree is jumping on pets/minions, hardly usable in 3v3. Are you gonna bother trying to fix this spec for PvP or just focus on Subtlety?
It's challenging to make all 3 specs of a pure DPS equally viable in both PvP and PvE. In most cases, we want to ensure that at least one of those specs is competitive and improve the others when possible. It is a lot harder to change class than change spec, but we appreciate that players do enjoy some specs more than others.

Which mage specs are you focused on making viable in PvP? And what about PvE? Just curious so that I know what to play/not-play
We don't specifically say "this spec will be the PvP spec." Rather, players find what performs best and gravitate towards that spec. If other specs are not as competitive and we have ideas on how we can improve them, we do.

How do you feel active mitigation turned out and what would you do if you could change it?
We actually like it a lot. We want to make secondary stats (like haste is for paladins) more useful to all the tanks. We also might do something different with avoidance long term. It's functional but not as exciting as active mitigation in our opinion.

Why do you balance (or try to!) around Arena, yet reward more for RBGS? Melee cant get into RBGs! Its unfair that casters get a gear advantage in arena for being Overpowered in RBGs.
The synergy between spells like death grip, solar beam and ursol's vortex has created an environment where melee are at a big disadvantage. We have been working on reducing the effectiveness of that combination without destroying those specs in other areas of the game.

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
When will necrotic strike be fixed?
We have a hotfix in the works to restore necrotic strike to its previous values on live. It wasn't meant to nerf them but fix a problem with necrotic strike and base resilience.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Path of Blossoms had major potential, glyph to add a stacking snare/root could have seen much better usage for PvP, maybe a return?
It certainly is an interesting idea for the future

Any plans on addressing WW Monks huge ramp up time in pvp, and to a lesser extent in pve?
It's just the nature of how Monks work that their burst cooldown works very differently. It's an attempt to make them feel different and unique.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
What is the "fantasy" for a retribution paladin in your eyes?
The classic knight in shining armor. The intersection of warrior and priest. The protector of the innocent. Inquisitor. Punisher. The champion of the Light who uses offense over defense. Uther. Arthas.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Why do Warriors (Arms & Fury) still have moves that require Shields, and thus, macros? You think a master of arms or a raging berserker could hit a fire ball back like a baseball. (Link could do it!)
Shields are cool. We'd like to do more with them, for paladins and shaman too. We agree that macros aren't an awesome way to handle shields. We'd rather do more with the base UI. Imagine you had a shield slot on your character pane even if you didn't have it "out" at the moment. Something along those lines.

Items
You have mentioned before that you are able to compensate for the increase in item levels. Has the recent item level jumps led to more talks on the whole "great item squish," first proposed during Mist's Alpha?
We think the item level inflation has worked fine in MoP. We havent' given up on the idea of a squish, though TBH we were hoping to see even more demand for from players.

About item upgrades coming back next patch-with the Thunderforge "thing" in ToT its realy annoying to have to upgrade items that you MIGHT replace. Everyone in a top raiding guild feels obligated to upgrade all of his items but that feeling that you don't have TF version of something will rankles alot. Can you maybe implement a limit of how many items you can upgrade (limit on how many upgraded items you can have equipped)? It will bring some sort of strategizing and make item upgrading much less annoying.
The major change we're making to item upgrades in 5.3 is drastically reducing their cost. We agree that it felt pretty bad to upgrade a non-best-in-slot item in 5.1 and then end up replacing it. 1500 Valor was a pretty hefty investment. But at 250 VP per upgrade, you can realistically upgrade all your gear over the course of a tier, which should change things a bit.

Hey folks! I have a question concerning the model for legendary items we've seen used this expansion: How do you feel about the way the questline and rewards have come so far? Will everyone who's been working on the item since 5.0 get a legendary in 5.4, or will there be a hard "choice" guilds will need to make concerning who gets the final form?
The intent is that everyone will (eventually) be able to get them. Players who put in more effort will generally get them first.

Will there be a final legendary weapon in mop? Or will we just get legendary power through many different items?
Oh hellz yeah. You're getting a glorious orange item. Wrathion is true to his word.

What are your feelings about RPPM trinkets?The general opinion in our guild(top 10 25 man guild) is that they are bad for the game.Its simply HUGE rng which is not even balanced between classes.Having or not having procs on pull on Lei Shen HC for example can make or break which force guilds to wait to make sure that all RPPM trinkets will proc.
This sounds like a bit of hyperbole to me. You're saying you intentionally wipe Lei Shen pulls when not enough trinkets proc in the first 15 seconds? I am highly skeptical. We did add protection against streaks of bad luck to the various ToT trinkets, and they're generally the overall strongest options currently available. We're still fine-tuning their design, but the so-called "RPPM" trinket model allows for more interesting gameplay decisions, particularly where skilled players can react to procs and modify their actions accordingly. Individual players may experience more variation, but on a raidwide level, trinket proc luck is incredibly unlikely to meaningfully vary to a degree that it would affect your entire group's success or failure.

PvE
Now that Ra-den has been defeated by a number of guilds around the world, what are your thoughts about the success of this encounter with its limited attempts and accessibility? Can we expect to see more such encounters in the future?
Mixed thoughts about Ra-den. The sense of mystery surrounding him was pretty cool. The first guilds that took down Heroic Lei Shen had no idea what to expect when that grate in Primordius's room opened. And after the grueling pace that some guilds set in blazing a path through the main Throne of Thunder progression, it gave them a chance to relax a bit, while still retaining a competitive mindset. The encounter itself had some bugs and tuning issues that were regrettable, and that's ultimately our failing. Clever raiders often work out unforeseen solutions to the problems presented by encounters, and unfortunately the "right" way to do Ra-den ends up being one that bypasses half the mechanics on the encounter. But with an environment of limited attempts and competition between guilds, re-tuning the encounter on the fly in order to correct that would have been problematic.

So, overall, a mixed bag. I wouldn't expect to see Heroic-only and/or limited-attempt bosses become a regular thing, but it's something we may revisit in the future, applying lessons learned from past experience as always.

Regarding heroic scenarios: Are there any differences between the normal and heroic difficulty of a scenario besides extra health and damage for mobs? (i.e. greater mob density, additional abilities)
There are! Unique bosses, trash, abilities and obviously the bonus objectives.

How many bosses will 5.4 have?
We're pretty happy with the overall size and epic feel of the Throne of Thunder raid. In that ballpark.

Should we expect the Siege of Orgrimmar to be moved back to prolong the expansion?
Nope, we are feeling really happy with the pace of our patches and all signs indicate we will keep moving at that pace for the forseeable future.

Random Heroics Not So Heroic? It seems that 3 of the 9 MoP dungeons (Nizuao, Scholomance and Shado Pan Monastery) show up a disproportionate amount of time when queueing for random heroics. In 5.2, VP bonuses were added for all three, suggesting WoW's design team saw something worth addressing there as well. Can you speak to this at all? Are there factors that can skew LFG towards particular dungeons, and are there any immediate plans to tinker with the system?
Random dungeons are... random? The VP bonuses were added to a handful of dungeons and scenarios based on their length, since when players queue Random in order to get Valor, we didn't want it to feel like a penalty when the loading screen for a lengthier instance popped up.

Something that bothers me-Heroic 25 man Lei Shen awards the same amount of VPs as clearing Temple of the Jade Serpent. Dont you think that if you can clear ToT 25 HC (or normal atleast) is worth a valor cap so you dont have to do random HCs or LFR for those extra points?Thats from me cheers.
As for sources of Valor, part of the intent of the system is to encourage players to experience a wide variety of content. Heroic Lei Shen drops slightly better loot than Sha of Doubt, so it's not like killing him is strictly underrewarded. That said, we are significantly buffing the amount of Valor rewarded by activities like Challenge Modes (and the new Heroic Scenarios) in 5.3, so you should be able to do more challenging content with your guildmates to get the remainder of your VP for the week, if you feel that LFR or random heroics aren't of interest.

In regards to the dark animus encounter, how did you imagine the large anima golem would fit into the encounter?, since every strat basically ignores them.
Using the Large golems can allow you to buy more time before the Animus itself reaches 100 Anima, but Crimson Wake was probably too punishing, such that the DPS loss from having to avoid it wasn't worth the extra 20-40 seconds on Heroic.

How do you feel about encounters in LFR that have their key mechanics completely changed from regular modes?
Ideally, we try to keep the differences between LFR and Normal to a minimum. It lets players potentially get used to the mechanics of the fight on LFR and then carry that experience over into Normal, and it lets veteran guild raiders better guide LFR groups. In some cases, however, there's no way to realistically salvage the original mechanic (imagine a version of Dark Animus that required all 25 LFR members to maintain specific positions and each handle their own Anima golem in a raidwide coordinated fashion...).

The rigid size structure of raiding makes it an extremely organised hobby. Do you think you could ever do flexi-group-size raids?
It's an interesting idea. There are a lot of challenges and questions we'd need to figure out, though. E.g., Elegon works fine with 1 person per pylon, and Elegon works fine with 3 people per pylon. What does Elegon look like with 1.4 people per pylon?

What are your feelings on "raid fights are trending towards more/too complex" wrt mechanics and timers
Good question. A constant challenge for us is striking a balance between the desire to see innovative mechanics and new challenges, and keeping content accessible and elegant. An encounter can have a ton of mechanics, yet compartmentalize them well enough that they all are easily understood and learned. Or it can have a handful, but throw them at you so frenetically that you're overwhelmed. The Dungeon Journal isn't always the most helpful tool in that regard -- you may open the DJ entry for a fight like Horridon and have your head explode, but the actual experience of learning the encounter only throws a handful of mechanics at players at a time, and you really don't need to worry about what the Amani Warbear does when you're still figuring out the Gurubashi Venom-Priests. That's not to say that we never fall into the trap of excessive complexity.

Also, while we're aware of the prevalence of boss mods, we try to avoid assuming that everyone uses them. Recently, we've increasingly done things like giving bosses visible energy bars that serve as an in-game version of your DBM/BigWigs timer for major abilities (e.g. Sha of Fear's breath).

Do you guys have any plans to ever make a LFD for Challenge Mode Dungeons?
We've generally found that "very hard" and "randomly matchmade groups" is not the best combination.

Any chance we'll see more weapon proc weapons next raid tier?
I'd say right about a 100% chance.

PvP
Battlegrounds such as Warsong Gultch and Twins peaks, players are focused more on "Farming Middle" or getting as many Killing Blows as possible rather then completing objectives. Any thoughts on trying to make Battlegrounds objectives or tasks more appealing? E.g.: You gain 5 Conquest Points for killing flag carrier/return flag
We've talked about revising how we reward honor in a way that promotes players focusing on objectives. We have to be careful of how we do this since more passive things, like guarding an objective in Arathi Basin, are important and help your team win.

Any plans of putting all CCs on the same DR? Would be much nicer in pvp if you can't be feared, stunned, feared, stunned, feared, dead.
We don't think this is a very good solution, especially with the number of CCs in the game. Ultimately, it would lead to casting spells ending with an "Immune" message and that doesn't feel good. But, we do appreciate that players aren't happy with the current state of Crowd Control and we're talking about how to fix it and make the DR system easier to understand.

Do you think less CC spells with larger effects or many CC spells with smaller effects are best for the game?
We understand that many players would like to see less PvP but with more impact. The challenge is that in PvP, players have to be able to kill each other. Healers have to be strong enough that they have an impact when they're healing, but that means the only way to get a kill is shutting them down for a short time. It's definitely a goal of ours to improve the Crowd Control experience in the future.

Instant heals in PvP are ridiculous at the moment....any plans to adjust this?
Instant heals, interrupts, crowd control and crowd control breaks are all very interlinked and in order to change one we have to change them all. It requires a lot of change.

Is it possible to make fear,polymorph,cyclone instant cast but with cd to try help with the high amount of CC's ingame atm?
We like the idea of cast time crowd control. Crowd Control should be powerful and come at a cost. Cast times are something players can counter. We'd definitely like to see more cast time crowd control spells. But a problem exists with melee since cast time spells don't feel good as melee.

There has been lots of talk recently about incentivizing more players to take part in rated pvp, but some players just prefer the freer, more chaotic nature of world pvp and random battlegrounds. Will you bear in mind that it would be a shame to compromise these aspects of pvp in favour of pushing more people towards the rated systems?
Absolutely! Even in ranked PvP the majority of players have the default cap so we understand that many players are not hardcore competitors. More than World PvP, unrated battlegrounds are the primary casual PvP experience in WoW and we try to support that experience as much as possible.

Would it be possible to open more BGs at lower levels? AB and WSG just aren't enough. I'd love to see AV at least at the beginning. Something big!
Battlegrounds are expansion content and most of them are tied to their relative expansions. It's why you don't see them open up into higher levels. But it's certainly something we could consider for the future.

Regarding Random Battleground, when observing how other PvP environments handle player progression, do you think WoW might over-emphasize the importance of player victory?
Battlegrounds are objective based team activities and the best way to incentivize players to play the game properly is by rewarding players primarily for victory. If we incentivize anything else, players will focus on that instead.

Any chance we might see a full fledged PvP zone that's NOT trying to be a BG? Something more like the 5.2 dailies but with the entire zone focused on PvP. Maybe with quest and captur-able areas and stuff like that.
Along with a lot of players, we see the appeal of the large epic PvP experience that a lot of players are pining for. Unfortunately, the nature of server imbalances has made this challenging on a lot of servers in the past. We definitely like the idea of something big huge and epic and we talk about concepts all the time.

The Rated Battleground gladiator mounts was a great idea and chances of bringing them back because after you get 2400 theirs no reason to play apart from getting your cap. Also now t2 is gone from 2200 theirs no reason to play at high ratings.
Yeah agree that we need more rewards to keep most players going outside of gear and rating. But we think granting player power based on rating made it difficult for players to break through that threshold.

Is there any talk of moving to a division system for arena rankings? (e.g. CoD, LoL)
We certainly think there are some benefits to those division systems, like providing intermediate milestones for all players. Ultimately, you still get to a situation where you feel like it's hard to improve.

Are there any chances you will work on the arena matchmaking in 2s and 3s? I hate joining arenas with another non-geared player and getting put up against full tyranical geared players with nearly 1.5 our health? Are there any ways to avoid this like leaving our pve gear in the bank or will we just have to suffer until we farm all the conquest from bgs?
Every players has a matchmaking rating (MMR) that is used to match them against opponents. This rating goes up or down based on whether or not you lose to a higher or lower rated oppponent. It is a good system and ultimately tries to give you interesting matches for your skill level. Using gear as a metric for matchmaking could be easily exploited.

What if players can kill a player of the same faction? If the price was to lose rep with your faction and eventually be at war with your faction just to get more targets, so be it. Id gladly exile myself to start more world PvP.
One of the best things about World of Warcraft is the natural animosity you feel for the enemy faction and the kinship you have with your allies. I'm not sure creating an environment where anyone can kill you at any time would be fun.

So with the 5.3 PvP changes it was mentioned that a player in full Tyrannical gear will be able to evenly match a player in full Heroic Raid gear in PvP. Why is it that Raiders will have a somewhat easy time getting into PvP content but PvPers won't have such an easy time getting into Raids due to their ilevel being far behind that of a Normal or Heroic Raider?
In the context of instanced PvP (battlegrounds and arenas), PvP geared players will have a distinct advantage. But the ilevel and itemization on PvP gear does allow players to get a foothold into PvE. The main point on both sides is that your gear should feel useful when crossing over. In the case of PvE gear in PvP, we felt the lack of resilience made the gear almost useless.

Is there a possibility of Arenas going cross realm?
Not sure if you mean making cross-realm teams or cross-team ladders. In both cases, we think they are good ideas and there is a strong chance we'll move in that direction.

Any words on more possibilities for PvP players to get gold?
There are a lot of ways for players to make gold in the game without necessarily doing their primary activity. For comparison, raiding is not the main source of income for PvE players. The farm alone is an easy and efficient way to engage in the player economy and make yourself some money.

PvE players use PvE to gain gold, as you just stated. Why can't PvP players use PvP to obtain enough gold to AT LEAST repair? I am fully geared and have trouble repairing as I refuse to do PvE/quests(person preference).
The need for gold incentivizes you to engage in the world beyond PvP. We think the game is better if you engage in different parts of the world.

Will there be any spectator mode added to arena/rbgs?
We don't have any plans for a spectator mode in arena/rbgs.

I understand that making all 34 specs viable for pvp would be a mess from the design and even from player PoV. But some cases were the specs differences are minimal (fury and combat/assa come to mind) seems like it's just lack of interest on your part... Can we expect some philosophy change on that matter?
If we can do something to make a spec more competitive we do, but class balance is heavily intertwined. Buffs to one spec often act as nerfs to another spec and vice versa.

Professions
We like gathering professions and think it's more fun to explore and level up when you have gathering. Not sure we're ready to pull the handle on everyone getting a gathering prof, but it is something we discuss. We have a different solution that hopefully isnt too clever for its own good that we are currently exploring.

Is there any chance of Engineers seeing the new crafted items in 5.4?
That is the plan, though I will be honest that we're not sure we can make the Skyclaw work. We are currently working on a different Engineering mount. Stay tuned.

Lore
That 7th Sha, still lurking?
You'll hear about it in 5.3... but that won't be the end of it!

Your thoughts on Wrathion? Is he a good guy or another Deathwing, but just a better manipulator?
Maybe Wrathion really has the best interests of the world at heart. Or maybe Wrathion's view of "best interests" doesn't sync up with OUR view. Dude's an enigma, man!

There has been a lot of talk of the alliance being shortchanged lore-wise this expansion. Are there any plans to change this? (aka where is the fist pumping moment?)
I think the Alliance has had some strong moments this expansion: Jaina's arc is interesting, it's nice to see her engaged in world events again. The Dalaran sequence was a pretty awesome Alliance win. We've spent more time with Varian and Anduin than in any other expansion. (Though if your complaint is that we've been human-heavy with the lore, we're pretty guilty! An informal survey of our team reveals that that most of us are human.)

When we tried to figure out the story arc for this expansion, we wanted to focus on war. And we thought, after Cataclysm, we really needed an Alliance win. We're getting to raid a capital city and overthrow its Warchief - something that's never happened before! POW! Obviously we needed to spend some time developing the major expansion villain, so we're seeing a lot of Garrosh.

The overall story depicts the Alliance drawing together while the horde is splintering apart. By 5.4 the Alliance war machine is hitting the beaches of Durotar, having softened them up with wetworks in advance. Fun stuff.

We really focused on Varian, Jaina, and Anduin this time around. We'll be able to spotlight other characters in the future.

Can we move away from the "Alliance is the good guys" phase? WoW lore is usually about grey areas, usually no one being the clear 'good guy' (though perhaps not in the manner of Warhammer, in which everyone's insane). MoP, however, has painted a lovely (awful) picture of most of the Horde - Orcs in specific. Sure, there's Garrosh, but can we please see the Alliance do something despicable so that I can see less "HORDE R EVAL" Scrolls of Lore threads?
Good question! Alliance seems awfully good ... when compared to Garrosh, who's started using his own people as cannon fodder and is weaponizing everything he can get his hands on. But there are still grey areas. Do you think Jaina did the right thing in Dalaran? What about Admiral Rogers gunning down drowning soldiers in Pandaria? There's an edge there.

Following the fall of Garrosh, will the Alliance be turning its attention to reclaiming its lost territory in the Northern Eastern Kingdoms? I speak primarily of Lordaeron, Gilneas, and Stromgarde.
This is something we struggle with, because after Cataclysm we seriously question the time-investment of re-doing old zones. Presumably, from a lore standpoint, the Horde is going to have to back down from areas on the edge of conquest (particularly Ashenvale.) But we don't want to re-do that zone - it's an important Horde level-up area. And even if we DID re-do it, we'd still have to have quests - it couldn't just be night elves /dancing. On a related note, would you guys be willing to sacrifice a new zone in the next expansion for us to re-do Gilneas? As an Alliance only zone? What gameplay would we get out of it?

So it's an open question for us, how we show the impact of the war without re-doing zones that we just re-did for Cataclysm.

A fear many Alliance players have is that everything that the Horde has done to the faction up until this point will be laid on Garrosh and all will be forgiven. Can we safely assume that this will not be the case? To the Alliance, the Horde has a lot to answer for without Hellscream.
I address this somewhat in an above answer - how SHOULD we depict Alliance justice without deleting a bunch of old zone content? Also, we still need to make sure a Horde EXISTS after Garrosh falls, because, you know, they're half our players. But certainly going forward into the next expansion we can carry forward the themes of Horde trying to rebuild itself from an absolutely terrible war and the Alliance - a unified victorious juggernaut - taking the initiative in the challenges that lie ahead.

Orgrimmar is going to be a bloodbath.

Is there going to continue to be more story development involving more of the female world leaders, quest NPCs and such? Pandaria gave us people like Suna and Taoshi, but we also have Alleria, Tyrande, Moira, etc?
We got to spend more time with Jaina lately, and Moira gets a great moment in 5.3. (I really like Moira.) I'm also a fan of Zaela of the Dragonmaw - do you guys think she should survive the war?

Feedback from 5.1 shows that not everyone was happy with Tyrande being so hotheaded. We were trying to get her a little back to her impulsive War3 roots, but it doesn't seem to have played well with fans. So I'd like to revisit Tyrande at some point.

Now, Sylvanas? UP TO SOMETHING, I guarantee.

Admiral Rogers seems to strike a chord with people, she's pretty badass. We also spent a little time with Vereesa Windrunner, who's coping with the loss of her husband... all interesting story hooks. We can only follow up on so much story, but we like to spend time with interesting characters whenever gameplay allows.

I saw an article about Garrosh, questioning his being Corrupt. It had some pretty good arguments that sided against it. I'd post the link if it were allowed, though I'm not sure if I am so I won't. The way it is being built up seems to point towards corrupt though. What's your take on it?
So many Warcraft villains are corrupt or possessed. Garrosh? He's just a bad apple. Everything is a weapon to him. Even the sha.

Does Rastakhan support what Zul and his followers are doing? I know he didn't believe Zul's visions at first, but now?
Rastakhan was only humoring Zul until the Cataclysm struck. Afterwards, Zul commanded a lot of respect among the Zandalari. Rastakhan's empire is sinking into the sea, and only Zul has a way out - I think he supports the prophet. We'll see more of the Zandalari... someday!

This might be a little specific, but I loved the dialogue options you get (as Alliance) with Jaina during the Shieldwall questline where you first meet with her and Anduin in Dalaran. Do you think you guys would ever include that RP mechanic again in future quests?
Truth told? Most players skip right over that and click randomly, so far as we can tell. But we definitely like a lot of flavor. I don't think we'll always include that as a quest mechanic, but we'd like to have more places where you can pick a character's brain.

From a lore perspective, going into expansions and even content patches it's becoming more important to refer to outside material (especially with the last few novels) to fully grasp what is going on in the game that goes beyond supplementary material. In the future, are we going to be seeing more of this implemented in the game itself (especially with scenarios filling some of that role currently.)
I'm not sure that statement is true with regards to Pandaria - we kicked off the expansion by showing the war heating up with the destruction of Theramore in-game. If you really want to know what's inside Jaina's head, you can read the novels, but otherwise, it was pretty much in-game: War is on, a new continent is discovered, let's roll! Now, whether or not the Theramore events were adequate is another matter... they definitely needed a little more setup and context. But, we're getting there.

With MoP there was a vast improvement in Lore/Story telling with Lorewalker Cho narrations and the lore objects. In which ways are you going to continue to improve Storytelling after MoP?
I'm glad you liked Cho! A very talented voice actor, Jim Cummings, really brought that character to life for us. (Trivia: He was also Minsc in the Baldur's gate series!) We're really happy with how those events played out - it's optional content, so it's not in your face, but lots of people took the time to do it and were rewarded with some fun stories. Lorewalker Cho may not accompany us into other expansions, but we'd like to keep rolling with a similar system...

Have you ever considered doing a false ending for an expansion? Like having a final raid set up and then having it relieved that the bad guy you were fighting wasn't the true villain?
As I recall, most people figured Illidan was the ultimate antagonist of Burning Crusade....

So apprently the Klaxxi have told us that our Gods are not our Gods (Mind exploded), so it seems we have the wrong believes of the Gods in Azeroth? Will we see more of this information giving to us by the Klaxxi be revealed in the futures patch.
The "Your/our" typo should be fixed in 5.3. The Klaxxi definitely worship the Old Ones, though, so watch out if there's ever a chance of one reappearing on Azeroth....

Turalyon and Alleria are still absent after all these years. Did they find a portal to a tropical island planet and are sitting on the beach drinking cocktails with the little umbrellas in them right now or something?
I LIKE that answer! But I suspect they opted to do something heroic instead. We'll come back to them when the time is right.

Whatever happened to Koltira Deathweaver? As a Death Knight, that's one plotline that's left me hanging. Mograine can't be to happy about one of his best getting kidnapped either...
Poor Koltira. I guess you should NEVER cross Sylvanas... you'll be chained beneath Undercity for multiple expansions! He's one of those plotlines we'd like to return to... eventually.

Future
How much does feedback from players affect design decisions, especially after release?
A great deal! Now obviously we're willing to consider more sweeping changes for expansions than for patches or hotfixes, but I'd say 75-90% of our changes are trying to address player feedback in some form.

Any chance of Tabards getting their own form of storage eventually? I have so many clogging up my bank!
High chance. It won't be 5.3 or 5.4 though.

Any news on the character model updates for the old races?
That sound you hear is Chris Robinson, our art director, going door to door trying to find what room we are doing this interview in so he can do me great harm for even considering answering this question.

Any plans to allow players to adjust settings for particle density from other players' spells? Need to see boss's spells, hard to through everything else in a raid.
Totally agree. We had a decent handle on this last expansion but it's gotten out of control again. We have a meeting tomorrow in fact to discuss solutions.

Any plans to make the LFR queuing system allow you to queue to more then one at a time
Yes. Not for 5.3, though.

Any plans to add unattained mounts to the journal similar to pets?
It's something we want to do, we have actually already done some work on it. It would work very similar to the pet journal. No timeframe on it though, it's a big undertaking.

Pet Battles
Wild battle pets, released after 5.0, have gradually gotten less and less breeds. Is this because of the pet "gem slots" Cory talked about? If not, will pets continue to be released as mono-/dual-breed pets?
No particular reason tbh. We try to vary up the breeds based on what type of pet it is. Reward pets are locked to one breed for obvious reasons but we plan to keep adding lots of multi-breed pets in the future.

Epic pets soon? And if so is it just going to be through an item like epic pet battle stone, or something more interesting?
Current plan is to introduce a couple epic pets in 5.4. We are working on a cool, new way to obtain them as well. Pretty hyped about it.

About rare pet battle-stones, i have about 7 of a family that i don't need anymore, any chance we may be able to "trade" them for other family stones?
Working on something for this exact issue in 5.4. I feel your pain.

Will Battle pets caught in the wild be Trade able?
Great question! This is something we went back and forth on quite a bit before MoP shipped. We are very happy with the call we made though. Love the fact that players are actually out in the world, catching pets and not sitting in town.

In pet battles, I feel you made us fight Legendary pets too early, in future expansions are all the pet battles going to be Legendary?
Lots of things we can do to make fights interesting outside of a pet being legendary.

Can we ever expect to see a more in depth pet battle pvp system? With how popular they are would you guys be open to adding a win/loss tracker. I see that we are getting a win tracker but a rating or season type system would be amazing!
We are taking a watch and see approach on it. We added a weekly quest and some tracking to 5.3. If that pans out successful, we will continue to add to the PVP side of pet battles.

Will there be any spectator mode added to Pet Battles?
5.3!

Reputation / Questing
Will you be using scenarios as a way to level our characters similar to dungeons?
Certainly something that we have an interest in trying moving forward. We think scenarios can fill a lot of roles and earning XP could certainly be one of them.

Should we hope for even more voice acted quests in the future? Cause they definitely made questing feel more alive. Also a sound option for dialogues volume, so we can hear the bosses' quotes a lot easier.
We like being agile and versatile with our quest content, and we rearrange events right up to the very last minute. So I think in the future we'll continue to limit VO to very important key story moments, and not use it everywhere. That said, we're glad you enjoyed the VO work in Mists. We think it really gives those moments a lot of gravity.

Do you feel that delivering the reputation-based story quests as in 5.1 was a success, and will it be used again?
Love this question! We got a very positive response to the way 5.1 story quests rolled out over time as you did dailies. It was pretty time-consuming from a development standpoint but was totally worth it, as opposed to - for example - adding 40 new randomized blue bangs instead. Expect to see more like that in the future.

RE: Green fire quest. Lessons learned? Any plans you can elaborate on for other classes?
We LOVE class-specific quests, especially ones that really sell the fantasy of the class and feel epic. Feedback on the green fire quest has been great, with two exceptions: 1. Nobody liked the hook to get started, so we should revisit that (although we definitely wanted green fire to be exclusive) and 2. many complained that the last fight was too difficult (although we ALSO got feedback that many players loved the challenge.)

Unfortunately, really strong class quests take a lot of time to make. A LOT of time. So we have to pick and choose our moments. I wouldn't expect to see a lot of class stuff in the future, but hopefully we can shine the spotlight around.

The advent of phasing in the game in Wrath and increased use in Cata and MoP has been good. It's allowed to show some permanent results for quests and such. Will phasing be used more in the upcoming patches and expansions to show the results of questing in a more permanent manner that doesn't affect lower level characters leveling?
There are a lot of things about phasing that we like. Also a number of things we would like to solve. We are hoping to introduce some tech to help groups of friends be able to play together even if they are in different phases. Stay tuned!

What happened to the "Trials of the High King" quest that was proposed even before MoP was announced?
The first trial, the trial of Patience, was in 5.1. Player response wasn't 100% positive so we really went back to the drawing board and the next one, the trial of Loyalty, isn't coming out until 5.3. As players have noted on the PTR, it's less of a "Trial" and more of a demonstration of Loyalty that moves the whole Alliance. We wanted to do these as scenarios so that we could invest maximum resources and really make them cool and repeatable. Now the question is whether or not scenarios are the right place for this type of content. What do you guys think?

Concerning Quest based lore progression - some events like the Battle for Undercity were taken our of the game for being misplaced in the narrative. Should I worry about other quest lines ending in epicness being taken out of the game?
Actually the problem was that the Battle for Undercity played out TERRIBLE when you were the only person doing it and you had to wait sometimes as long as five minutes for it to start. These days we'd do it as a solo scenario. It was a cool lore moment. It would be nice to re-integrate it into the game, but the effort it would take to build it would mean building one less scenario for the current expansion. (...maybe a heroic scenario someday? We reserve the right to pull stuff out of the game when it just doesn't live up to gameplay standards. We're trying to make sure content these days will survive the test of time (i.e, if you play the Isle of Thunder sequence two years from now, it should still feel pretty epic.)

How successful do you feel the legendary quest-line have been so far? And do you plan on keeping it like this in future expansions?
We think it's been a great vehicle for keeping people engaged throughout the expansion, and rewarded for participating. The final items -- both the epics in 5.3 and the legendaries in 5.4 - should be well worth the effort. It's been very successful, we'll do something like it again!

World
I loved the epic feeling to the pre lich king world event where you were involved in it for as much or as little time as you wanted. Is there any plans to bring world events like that back instead of the one shot 15 min events that currently seem to be happening?
A lot of players have responded that they really missed some kind of big world event. We were a little surprised by how frequently we heard that, so we'll definitely try to work in something epic in the future. When it comes down to it, we'd rather invest our time in something players will play for months than for days, which is why it became much lower priority this time.

One of the major complaints about the final Cataclysm raid was the lack of new environments. How do you plan to avoid this problem in the Siege of Orgrimmar?
Lesson learned. You can plan on seeing new environments in the 5.4 raid for sure. (along with Orgrimmar)

How will cross-realm zones work in the new Barrens quest hubs? Seems like it could get pretty crowded.
The current plan is for Barrens to NOT CRZ at the launch of 5.3. We can always turn that off or on if we want to.

Do you plan on addressing the server population issues soon or you just planing on keeping exploiting it to make further revenue off of server transfers?
We do have plans and we are actively (as in I was in a meeting on it yesterday) working on a plan. We don't want to share that plan until we are reasonably confident that it is going to work. We want to be clear that we don't think the experience for players on very low pop realms (which includes very imbalanced factions on otherwise active realms) is a good one. We want to solve it.

Do you have plans to address PVP servers where one faction is insanely active while the other is essentially dormant
Greg mentioned in another answer that we are looking at solutions for zones with low populations and faction imbalances.

I personally feel like the seasonal events are great fun but after having completed all of them on multiple toons as well as each year tried to get new pets I've become slightly bored with them. I've thought and wondered why aren't there every couple of months some sort of small event that gratifies groups of players for completing tasks. Maybe its some sort of scavenger hunt and or blood bath. Like what if the 3rd Tuesday of each month a random event was on the board at org and we had to show up somewhere to complete a task and the winner and or winners got some sort of transmog item or pet and or achievement.
This is something we have been thinking about and we would like to have more things like it. the fishing tournaments are great examples.

Will the barrens quests interfere with the leveling process in the area
Nope - it doesn't impact the leveling content and low-level players are neutral with the Kor'kron, who consider you beneath them. Uh... you're welcome to try to take one out, though!

Misc
Why the absolute focus on casual gaming
Back in vanilla, a lot of our players were content just to level characters. just leveling was a huge commitment. In later expansions, even though players reached max level pretty quickly, they could still go back and level an alt. But even if you love alts, there are only so many you are willing to level before you're kind of done with it. LK brought achievements, which again provided some amount of content for a lot of players, but just adding new achievements only provides so much additional content. So in Cataclysm and MoP we decided to bring a lot of players into raiding, which is one of the most epic and rewarding experiences in WoW. It was a pretty successful endeavor.

I'm going to assume that's what you meant, but I'll also add that heroic Lei Shen and gold Challenge Modes are as non casual as anything we've ever offered in WoW.

When...Will...We..See..Sargeras??
You are not prepared.

Any chance we will see Illidan return soon?
Also not prepared.

Regarding players who quit WoW, what tactics or ideas are being made to keep, or attract the former players back?
We have tried things like Scroll of Resurrection in the past and may do so again. The risk of focusing so much on former players is it risks our current and very loyal players from feeling like they aren't valued, which couldn't be farther from the truth.

Longer term, we want to focus on making it easier to get to the good stuff in the new expansion. Getting excited about MoP, then logging in and remembering you were in Blade's Edge doing Ogri'la dailies and having no idea what to do next or how or when or how long to get to Pandaria is quite the bummer.

Cut content is pretty ubiquitous in WoW (Abyssal Maw, Azjol-Nerub, Path of the Titans, etc.) If you can say, what were some of things cut from MoP and it's patches?
We honestly did not cut much from MoP. We were very happy with the amount of content that we delivered. We thought alot about the item squish but ended up holding off. That was probably one of the biggest things.

Are there any future plans to develop systems that make constant actual character progression beyond gear possible? One of the coolest things about making a toon your main in Everquest was the Alternate Advancement system (which I am sure more than a few of your community members and devs have had experience with). This system attached inherent value to staying with your main and also made your main character feel unique. As tiers and expansions come and go, the AA exp and points/percs you earned stay with you, there are so many points to go for that you have limitless access to continued character development. I love WoW always have, always will. However I feel like a lot of the RPG and character development is just not there, I can level two hunters to 90 and the only difference other than racial bonuses is the gear I wear, spec i pick (1 of 3) and the talent layout of 7 choices. It feels more like doing a load out for call of duty, than a character I have invested years of time into.
Path of the Titans was something like AAs I am told. (I was not an EQ player.) We still like the idea of Paths or something like them to reward players power that isn't tied to levels or gear. We have a lot of progression systems that aren't power (say pet battles) that work pretty well.

How has the usage of twitter affected your decisions, to receive questions, feedback, and requests from players?
The best thing about twitter is it forces players to focus their feedback to the most important things to them and to be very brief. That allows me to communicate with a lot more players than I ever could via forums.

I REALLY REALLY want to see Naga as a playable race but every time I ask if they ever will be, I always get non yes or no answers that just leave me hanging. So do u think Naga could ever be a playable race? Yes or No
Could? Yes. They are cool. It would present some unique challenges, such as lack of pants.

Ogres as a playable race? Any chance of this happening (however remote)?
We considered them for Cataclysm. We got to the point of trying to figure out what ogre ladies looked like.

Who is the monster behind Throne of Thunder trash? They are truly evil and deserve a raise!
We actually contracted out the creation of the equally-epic-yet-non-loot-dropping-non-boss mobs in Throne of Thunder to a giant snail. I think he did a pretty good job.

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