MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

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by Published on 2013-02-17 10:20 PM

Scheduled Game Maintenance - 2/19/2013, Fan Creation of the Week: The 3D Character Art of Marie-Michelle Pepin, Curse Weekly Roundup

TCG Pet Giveaway Update - The WoWDB winners have finally been selected. Please check your PMs on WoWDB, we are still waiting on the last winner (username starts with "v") to reply. Thanks to WoWTCGLoot for the prizes, and look for another contest soon.

Season 13 Armor Sets Recap
With all of the Season 13 sets being in game now, it is time to preview the last one and recap them all! We have seen a few of the off set pieces appear on the BMAH on the PTR, so it is safe to assume that they will be sold on the BMAH once the patch is live, just like the current PvP gear.

The priest set is still missing the belt and there may be other minor issues with the sets, so keep in mind that these are just previews and not the final product.





Class Male Image Female Image Video Items
Death Knight Male Female Video WoWDB
Druid Male Female Video WoWDB
Hunter Male Female Video WoWDB
Mage Male Female Video WoWDB
Monk Male Female Video WoWDB
Paladin Male Female Video WoWDB
Priest Male Female Video WoWDB
Rogue Male Female Video WoWDB
Shaman Male Female Video WoWDB
Warlock Male Female Video WoWDB
Warrior Male Female Video WoWDB


Ra-den Limited Attempts Feedback
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Thanks for the ongoing discussion -- the feedback is appreciated. A few brief points/responses to the general direction of the discussion:

This system isn't set in stone. Our intent is to release a well-tuned encounter that doesn't have significant bugs. If the first guilds get there, and it turns out that despite our best efforts, we've failed in that goal (a la Sinestra), we'll turn off the attempt limit, and that will be that. (I mean major bugs -- if there's something small, we'll wait until the weekly reset and fix it for everyone.) There's no scenario in which the first guilds to get there waste their attempts trying to kill something that's broken; we won't let that happen.

When I say that Ra-den is a "bonus boss" I'm not saying he's optional. Of course I know there's no such thing as an optional boss in progression, and people are very much going to count him as part of the progression race. But if you think back to Algalon, he actually wasn't that complicated, or that hard. Firefighter, Freya with 3 Keepers, or Yogg-1 required you to learn and coordinate far more than Algalon. Algalon literally had three mechanics to deal with for the entire fight, and in practice most guilds killed him in around 3 hours or a couple dozen attempts. It's just that they were tuned tightly numbers-wise, and the one-hour weekly limit turned what would have otherwise been a single night of progression into three or four weeks. Heroic Lei Shen is a harder and more complex fight than Ra-den, and I'm not going to claim otherwise. Ra-den is just different; he's a bit of a mystery, and something we haven't tried in a while.

Regarding alts: To engage Heroic Lei Shen, you must have killed 11/12 bosses on Heroic in that lockout. To engage Ra-den, you must have killed Heroic Lei Shen in that lockout. I'm incredibly skeptical that anyone is going to manage that with multiple alt clears in parallel, both due to gear disparity and because doing so would mean forfeiting much of the ability to optimize raid composition for progression on the hardest fights.

Finally, we'll see what we can do to minimize the quality-of-life issues here. I can't promise this will be doable until we've implemented it, but we'll try to make sure that very short attempts don't count (accidental bodypulls and such), and that we make an exception to the usual rules and reset shaman Reincarnation at the start of each Ra-den pull.

Tear Down This Wall! (Horde)
This is the Horde version of the Tear Down This Wall solo storytelling scenario. You can find the Alliance version here.



WoWDB Addon Data Collection
Finding the locations of the new Patch 5.2 Rare Spawn NPCs or adding new data from the other Patch 5.2 additions is done with the help of many players. The more people that contribute data, the more accurate and quickly we can update the database.

To help out, just click here if you have Curse Client already installed.

When you are playing the addon will gather data and save it. When you are done playing, Curse Client will see the game close and upload the collected data from the addon. You can see the last time data was uploaded by looking in the Plugins tab of the options, as well as making sure the addon is enabled there.

If you have any WoWDB related feedback, you can post in this thread or send us an email.



Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
I really liked Cata BM hunt and Arc mage, know others disagree. Is it hard to find middle ground when changing rotations? 1/2
Yes! Very hard. Many players ask for a change, then many more come and ask to have the old way back. (Source)

Do you expect Dodge/Parry to make it to the next Expansion?
Not sure. Maybe only one? Maybe leather tanks dodge and plate tanks parry? More hooks (like GC change) would help. (Source)

Have you compared die by the sword and evasion? 100% parry chance, 20% reduction damage, 2min cd vs 50% dodge. unbalanced
You can't compare abilities in a vacuum -- both classes have several other defenses. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Will the 1 DK per realm restriction ever be removed?
Probably. It has outlived its original purpose. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Willing to acknowledge Rdruid hots are pretty weak vs the amount of pvp burst? What ever happened 2 your desire 2 reduce burst
We buffed Resto druid healing in 5.2, esp. Rejuv. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Frost is almost as populous as Warriors above 2200, what nerfs Don't mages need? Survivability and Burst are crazy
Nerfing a million things just because isn't good design. We hit RoF, Frost Bomb, CS. Those are all noticeable changes. (Source)

Mages didnt need more defences so you give them new def talents. Eles beg for more def, you copy paste sham rage. So unfair...
Do you think it would be fair for mages to just have 2 talents in that one row with a blank space? (Source)

love how you say initially mages burst is a concern but since then all nerfs reverted and buffs actually given, makes sense...
We replaced Glyph of Fire Blast, which let mages detonate their bombs on demand. That is the major burst nerf. (Source)

Scorch used to be a filler spell, low casttime & low dmg. Useable if locked out of frost tree etc, do not remove it.
I can't imagine you get locked out much these days (because that would imply casting) but you still have Frostfire Bolt. (Source)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
know you considered monks w/o auto-attack, did you also consider removing it for all? Feels like it wouldn't be a huge deal
It feels weird. Your dude just stands there a lot. Despite all its warts, WoW's success owes a lot to combat responsiveness. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
howbout ret glyphs lolol. Or the ret "rotation" totally not fun.
The glyphs could be better (and there are some buffs in 5.2) but I really like the Ret rotation in MoP. To each their own. (Source)

and what about making hand of salvation dispell things in PVP, instead of sac ( for rets )? This way both would be used
Salv is currently a button you can take off your bar for PvP. We didn't want to require yet another keybind. (Source

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Speaking of Frostfire Bolt, mages aren't penalized to cast it, Unlike Shadow Priest's Mind Spike. (Removes DoTs)
We don't intend for Mind Spike to be part of the normal rotation. The dot penalty keeps it out of there. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
'Thought we were supposed to get the 'full story' for locks in 5.2 but it ends at BT which was already in 5.1. Did it get cut?
There was no warlock quest in 5.1. The entire quest chain is available in 5.2. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
U nerfed warriors rage, control ( DR with warbringer ) and survivability ( D stance nerf ). Nerf just one thing man. C'mon...
Stuns are the most powerful CC in the game. Sitting in Def Stance 100% of the time was never the intention. (Source)

What will it take to convince you new shockwave CD is a poor change for new players, prot warriors and pve in general?
It requires more skillful play, which is a good thing. We don't balance intro content so tight that a new player should struggle. (Source)

Character
This is a mixed msg, vanilla/tbc had that model if because of gear checks/difficulty yet you moved away from it.
IMO loot should be about deciding whether A or B is best, not marking off a checklist of BiS. (Source)

One problem is that stat weights (e.g., Mr. Robot) say that Spirit is top priority. Actual amount needed varies by individual.
Yeah, I don't know how you assign a stat weight to Spirit. So much of it is what you're comfortable with as a healer. (Source)

yes. Gemming more than enchanting. Design has left enchanting at 1 answer per slot. There is no choice.
Is there for gemming? (Source)

Do you think weapons cause too much of a DPS swing? Luck with Weapon RNG more important than class balance now imo
It's a concern for sure. The question is whether it's worth "nerfing the fun" of getting a new weapon. (Source)

In the dev's eyes, what is the purpose of JP these days, especially in 5.2?
JP serves more to help a fresh 90 get geared. They can't provide awesome gear because they are uncapped. (Source)

Will you need to have completed the 5.0 tier legendary to start 5.2 legendary questline?
Yes. It's a progressive quest line. (Source)

I honestly have more fun hunting Transmog-items than raiding anymore. Any chance we'll see more "retired" items return?
Probably, but we'll also probably dole them out slowly so that each patch brings new transmog gear to hunt. (Source)

PvE
Will Throne of Thunder be gated like Tier 14? If so, both modes normal and heroic?
Not gated, but you have to finish normal to start heroic. (Source)

Is Throne of Thunder going to be gated in any way when 5.2 launches?
Just the standard normal required for heroic and LFR will be delayed in chunks. (Source)

will raid groups need to have completed normal TOES to enter normal throne of thunder once its released?
No. (Source)

dear GC can you explain why Korea gets better loot on 25man and we EU and US only get a higher chance in 25man to get TF gear?
More Asian players were asking for separate lockouts than NA / EU players typically do. Much more controversial here. (Source)

so we are going back to the BC/Vanilla wow progression for raiding eh? It sucked then and will suck now.
No, not going back that far. Just want things to feel more like progression and less like episodic content. It's an RPG after all. (Source)

do zerk timers in normal modes still serve a point
They discourage really weird stacking behavior (e.g. 10 healers) but overall we agree they are too short for normal modes. (Source)
Isn't beating a (soft/hard) enrage timer the fundamental point of being DPS? Garalon annoying but essential
It's frustrating for a N group to execute the fight mechanics perfectly but wipe to a tight DPS check. For H, it should be tight. (Source)

Do class tokens still serve a purpose? In 10m they cause issues when recruitment causes an imbalance in class distribution
Design-wise, they slow players down from gearing up instantly and encourage a diverse raid comp. (Source)

Is one of the consequencies of the wipe buff in lfr you are going to balance lfr bosses to be harder?
We're not going to go buff them all, but when we hit an LFR Elegon or Garalon in the future, hopefully the group won't collapse. (Source)
lack of damage/healing isn't the problem with garalon, it simply requires too much coordination for a group of random people
That is probably true, but seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (the buff) might encourage the group not to break up. (Source)

PvP
If more BGs are implemented, will you increase the amount we can blacklist?
We want to get some good data on which ones are being blacklisted first. Maybe that can help us create more popular BGs overall. (Source)

Blizzard made a blog for pvers to help them balance pve, why do you STRICTLY REFUSE to do this for pvp? Its unfair and neglect
PvE balance often comes down to numbers which can be empirically tested. PvP balance is subjective. Numbers matter much less. (Source)
If the balance for pvp is so simple and small then why don't you do it? all cc 1 dr fixes a lot of shit.
I said PvP balance wasn't simple. In any case, we think a single DR takes out a lot of the learning and depth from PvP. (Source)

Hi GC, would it be a good idea to add some gold to PvP rewards? We could use some gold from PvP imo, even just a little bit
Fundamentally we like the idea. The risk is that it combines botters two favorite activities. (Source)

Do you think a 1v1 arena could work (can get conquest)- with some rules like no tank or healing specs allowed?
As long as players didn't expect much balance. Would come down to individual CC breaks etc. (Source)

moreover, according to scoreboards, PW:S is damage prevention, and it doesnt event count it.(Yeah, I know it 'doesnt matter'.)
The BG scoreboard needs to include absorbs as healing. It's in the works. (Source)

Players already gravitate more towards RBGs. There are more players playing RBGs than Arena at any given time.
Possibly because of the huge time commitment, the Arena players just finish faster and then go do something else. (Source)

I can read between the lines. For some reason you're motivated toward making RBGs more popular.
You don't have to read between the lines. We want more RBG participation. (Source)

I dearly hope you halve the amount of cc we have today in the next expansion
We LIKE CC. Layering and countering CC is what gives PvP depth. Else, it's just who can blow each other up faster. (Source)
Now, less uncounterable CC, I totally agree would be a good thing. (Source)

Curse Weekly Roundup
Valve sits down with JJ Abrams to talk about a possible Half Life or Portal movie at this years DICE. James from Curse Entertainment wants to show you he can do stuff IRL and Gamestop is shutting their doors for a number of stores.

by Published on 2013-02-16 01:05 PM

TryHard: New Crafting Items Guide, Blue Posts, Poll: Which New 1.0.7 Recipes Are You Going to Craft?

Patch 5.2 - Ra-den Limited to 30 Attempts Per Lockout
Ra-den is the new Heroic difficulty only boss in the Throne of Thunder raid. Someone found their way to his room on the PTR during testing today and spotted an attempts counter. You can find his loot table here.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
So much for surprises. Yes, that is currently the plan.

A few comments on our thinking. First off, I've seen some people quoting a 2010 WoW Dev Twitter chat where we said "Limited Attempts didn't really work out" as one of the WotLK retrospective points. That was true as they were generally utilized in that expansion. In the very same dev chat, we also said "If we do limited attempts again it would probably be limited to optional bosses like Algalon."

Well, guess which boss Ra-den is probably most like?

The actual Algalon approach (or really, if you want to be accurate, the Vaelastrasz v1.0 approach) is not one we're likely to repeat. It definitely adds quite a bit of tension, but a narrow time window ends up being more about frantic racing back to the zone, rebuffing, and rushing to pull again, since it's hard to justify time spent strategizing while the clock is ticking. But even worse, a lengthy disconnect or some sort of server issue can completely ruin the entire week's effort. Having your main tank suffer a power outage 10 minutes into your hour on Algalon was not a happy time.

Now, as for actual limited attempts, aside from using them a bit too widely in Lich King (including on Normal modes in Icecrown Citadel), they also largely failed to accomplish their objective of focusing guilds on quality, rather than quantity, of learning attempts and progression. As many people recall, the cutting-edge guilds that were progressing in ToGC or Heroic ICC would commonly learn mechanics, practice execution, and refine strategies on their lesser-geared alts (and/or on Normal mode), before stepping up to risk precious Heroic attempts. That clearly wasn't the intended experience, and just added a layer of nuisance to the whole affair.

In our entire history of using limited attempts, there was only one boss where I'd say they actually worked out fairly well: Heroic Lich King. The main reason for this was that you couldn't access Heroic Lich King at all unless you defeated Putricide, Sindragosa, and Lana'thel on Heroic difficulty as well. And during the first few weeks of Heroic progression, that was beyond the means of essentially all the alt raids out there. After all, the point of running split main/alt raids is to funnel gear to the mains to maximize their effectiveness for Heroic progression, right? So by definition the alts are less geared than the mains, and if the mains can just barely, barely beat something, the alt group is going to be in for a rough time.

As a result, I don't believe we ever saw a single true alt Heroic Lich King progression raid. Similarly, I don't think we're going to see alt raids on Ra-den. The number 30 is also large enough that while one accidental pull or disconnect is of course still going to sting, it isn't crippling.

I'd also really like to emphasize that Ra-den is a true bonus boss. Lei Shen is the final boss of Throne of Thunder, just as Yogg-Saron was the final boss of Ulduar. Lei Shen offers an epic challenge, and should feel like the pinnacle of the zone as a whole. Ra-den is your reward if you manage to beat the zone on its hardest difficulty -- he's a bonus level. And sometimes the rules are a bit different on those.

Patch 5.2 - Isle of Thunder Stage 3
Another stage unlocked, and with it comes another solo storytelling scenario. To the Skies! takes you across the island to open up the Thunder Forge!

Unlocking this stage is part of the 5.2 legendary quest line and will allow you to being crafting Lightning Steel Ingots for the new replica Blacksmith weapons.





Patch 5.2 - Weekend LFR Testing Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The final two LFR segments of Throne of Thunder will be available for the next 72 hours (starting right now), for open testing, since those sections have seen less testing than the front half of the zone. We've made and are continuing to make adjustments to the first two wings based on the last week's LFR testing, and will open those portions up again with the next PTR build.

Please share any and all feedback about the boss and non-boss encounters in the sticky threads for each wing.

PTR Class and Set Bonus Issues
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • We're worried that we're not going to be able to get the new Seal of Justice on PTR in a good place. We still like the goal of giving Ret more damage outside of their long cooldowns, but Censure just brings a lot of benefits that are going to be hard to reproduce in any kind of "build up to burst" mechanic. When faced with decisions like these where the new design isn't a clear win, we think the right decision is to revert the change. It's possible we could buff Seal of Justice (the 5.1 version) to 20% damage from 16% damage, but overall it would still probably not get much use in PvP.
  • However, we haven't given up on the idea of solving Ret's problems of long cooldowns. We are going to try changing the 4pc PvP set bonus to lowering the cooldown on Avenging Wrath by 1 min. This is a set bonus that has worked out pretty well in PvE and would help Ret keep up pressure more frequently without getting to the point of one-shot abilities.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • We are going to make the new Divine Aegis undispellable.

I appreciate the gesture, but i think this still has a problem. Chiefly that PI and Hero don't stack, both being haste buffs.
That was just a bug. Sorry. They should stack.

Blue please clarify if mastery will effect Spirit Shell.
No. It does on 5.1 but will not in 5.2. When mastery affects Spirit Shell it changes the spell from "turn your heals into absorbs" into "use this as a healing cooldown because it makes all your spells stronger."

Moving Sudden Death back to White swings might be the solution to fixing this problem, but even than it's looking optimal even during CS to use the two stacks of Overpower to reduce Mortal Strike's Cooldown.
We did return Sudden Death to white swings and Strikes of Opportunity (mastery) at a 10% proc chance. Overpower still has a 1 sec GCD and reduces the cooldown of Mortal Strike to avoid the 0.5 GCD hole.

We want Slam to be worth using when you don't have Overpower procs or when you want to maximize DPS during Colossus Smash. We don't want to buff Slam so much that the rotation just becomes MS -> Slam.

When it feels too expensive though, switch to Jab Jab Tiger Palm or just swap to actual heals.
To be technically correct, I should have said Jab -> Tiger Palm. We talk about Jab Jab Uplift so often that it has become a thing around the office. I joked about making our next Arena team name Jab Jab Uplift.

By actual heals, I meant Spinning Crane Kick, Surging Mist or anything that grants chi, assuming you're using Renewing Mist on CD already.

A bug that's been there since PI was put into the game? Wow...
It's really an MoP bug. Previously you cast PI on someone, where the behavior was intended.

I assume it is still going to be calculated as the expected value of the heal cast outside of SS including crits and any resulting aegis? In that sense it is indirectly affected by mastery as mastery buffs the base value of the heal as well as the aegis portion of the crit.
Yes. Spirit Shell on live today doesn't know whether your heal would have crit or not. We're not running a simulation and then intercepting the results and turning them into bubbles -- we're just predicting the average. It shouldn't work any differently. Yes, your crit won't benefit from the bubble part of mastery, but the heal part of mastery should almost entirely offset that.

Metagems
We switched Capacitive to use melee hit/crit instead of spell hit/crit.

Could you explain why Balance Druid dots function differently with respect to Crit than every other class' dots? Currently Crit updates dynamically for Balance Druids whereas other classes get snapshot values.
Good question. We decided to dig into all of the dots and found they worked pretty inconsistently. (Consistency isn't always critical because it does lead to a certain amount of homogeneity, but too little consistency can just be confusing too.) We made a pass at all of the class dots and made them snapshot crit chance. This will have implications in any simulations out there.

However, this has some implications on the Unerring Vision of Lei Shen trinket. We’re tentatively fine with the idea of you seeing that proc go off, and reapplying DoTs which crit for their whole duration, in most cases. There’s a couple cases where those periodic crits cause other effects, which end up being very powerful. For example, a Balance Druid can now apply Moonfire and Sunfire, and pretty much chain instant Starsurges for 15 sec, many of which are extending that Moonfire and Sunfire, probably out to 20-25 sec. That’s extremely strong, but we’re going to try leaving it alone for now.

The one which is simply too strong to leave is for Shadow. For Shadow having Unerring Vision and the PvE set bonuses would mean that every SW:P tick guaranteed crits, so spawns a Shadowy Apparition, which has a 65% chance of extending SW:P and VT. And the VT ticks have a 10% chance of spawning a Shadowy Apparition as well. And both can trigger a mastery tick, both of which can also spawn another Shadowy Apparition. The net result is that the feedback loop is so strong that in attainable gear, it’s net positive, resulting in SW:P and VT lasting forever (or at least until you get very unlucky and get a long string of failed procs, which will probably take several minutes to happen).

Since 100% crit SW:P and VT that never need to be refreshed is a wee bit too strong, we’re building in a failsafe. We’re fine with you getting a normal SW:P/VT duration of all crits, but not forever. When Shadowy Apparition extends SW:P and VT, and that DoT has already lasted longer than its normal duration, it will recalculate its crit chance. The result should be that the trinket procs, you reapply SW:P/VT, and get 18/15 sec of crits, then they drop to your normal crit chance.

When Smite healing mastery is useless…
Mastery increases Atonement healing. Suppose I have mastery such that my Absorbs are increased by 36.33%, and healing is increased by 18.17% (same values we mentioned yesterday). I Smite for 35391, non-crit. Atonement heals the tank for… 35391*1.1817=20910. Now suppose that Smite crits, for 70782. Atonement crit heals the tank for 20910, plus a Divine Aegis for… 20910*1.3633=28506. (Atonement critting is still based on whether the Smite crit).

Haste, mastery, and crit will all benefit Atonement healing. Yes, when PI and Bloodlust are stacked, you’ll be GCD capped, so haste isn’t helping you during that brief cooldown window, but that’s a small portion of the overall time.

While implementing support for this, I was wondering about a few things:
- Does the damage from this scale with SV mastery? (Assuming yes)
- Do pet attacks proc it? (Assuming no)
- Do dot based abilities proc it on initial application? Do they proc it on ticks? (Assuming yes and no based on the wording, but this is of particular interest to SV with explosive shot and BA)
- Can the lightning strike proc wild quiver?

All of your assumptions are correct. Lightning Strike cannot proc Wild Quiver.

Does Slice and Dice count as haste for the real PPM system?
Yes. RPPM uses the highest of all haste/attack speed/cast speed effects.

Is that a 10% proc chance on just mastery (retaining the 20% we previously had on swing) or 10% on swing and 10% on mastery?
Sorry. It's 10% on swing and a 10% on mastery.

Did I miss a 50% atonement healing nerf somewhere?
Whoops. Atonement heals yourself for half, and that's where our numbers came from.

Correction: Atonement heals the tank for… 35391*1.1817=41820. Now suppose that Smite crits, for 70782. Atonement crit heals the tank for 41820, plus a Divine Aegis for… 41820*1.3633= 57012. (Atonement critting is still based on whether the Smite crit).

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Vanilla WoW Nostalgia
Answer can be found in the vid I posted above, game is hardly any time consuming now.
It really depends on which activity are you doing. Sure, if you only do dailies, scenarios, etc, it doesn't take much time. If you want to cap your valor points, you'll have to put some time into the game, though.

If you're chasing Heroic raid kills, you'll have to devote time as well. That's the beauty of the game these days, you can devote as much time as you want (and your reward will probably be comparable to how much time you've spent).

It doesn't matter if you don't get to see an end boss, it tells you hey I need to put some effort into this game if I want to do it, and before I get to see the end boss I have to experience the other fights as well.
For some it does. It was kinda weird for some people to see Illidan on the cinematic in TBC and never get to see him while he was current content because of .

If you don't have enough time well that is a different thing, but allow people that have or find time and put effort to feel awarded for it, don't just let everyone who can press Join LFR see and defeat the boss.
People that have time (and the will) can defeat Heroic bosses and get rewarded much more than someone seeing the content through LFR. And from time to time there're bosses that are exclusive to Heroic raiders (Algalon, Sinestra, and now Ra-den when 5.2 is released).

That's what in my opinion new WoW will never have and why old way of raiding will always be better than the current one, it simply does not feel rewarding enough for people that want to put effort and this has absolutely nothing to do with nostalgia because it's a fact, whoever raided whoever spent hours grinding/gearing after finishing what they started (eg Illidan) they could say I feel proud of myself and get a sense of accomplishment something people today will NEVER feel.
It's your opinion, so you can't make it a fact. I feel as proud of my Arthas kill as I do of my TBC/Wrath/MoP kills. It's just up to you to how much importance you wish to give to those events.

For me Arthas ranks higher than the others. Why? Because I've liked the Lich King character for a really long time and I feel his story (Arthas) was interesting to me.

Anyone saying FOR A FACT that any stage of this game was the best, is a person unable to grasp the simple concept of "subjectivity". What one considers the peak of existence for this game, others didn't even bother coming back to beyond reaching max level.
True. As much as I love those evenings in BRD with my friends, I wouldn't have the time for it today. Time changes.

If you had a good guild with a sufficient array of active people, you had it all. If you didn't? Well, you best get searching! Happened to level on a medium pop server that died before you hit 70? You better transfer!
In fact, I remember some guilds became "feeders" of the most progressed guilds on the realm, so these guys could never really climb through the ranks because they kept losing raiders to guilds with more progress.

Most people are just nostalgic. Nobody remembers the monotonous, the day to day. Everyone remembers the peaks. Do you remember the grind between 55 and 58?
This is true, we tend to forget the bad memories and keep the bright ones. Back in Vanilla, I leveled my first character from 58 to 60 just circling Corin's Crossing because it was most efficient than trying to quest back then. And it wasn't terribly fun...

For me, BC had its perks (I cleared everything but SWP before the great nerf). I enjoyed it overwhelmingly, and believed there was nothing greater than THAT era, even in WOTLK or Cata. Come Mists, I can now appreciate the range of content, the ease, the beauty of choice, etc. that was not there in BC. As mentioned before, I would like the sense of a community back and not just the current XBOX live crowd, but if that requires removing LFD/ LFR, then I'd rather stick with ignoring people.
But even these days, you surely have your community, right? I mean, your own circle of friends (perhaps your entire guild, perhaps just some guildies and a couple friends on the realm).

We're all part of the same community. If anything, I'd say now we have the luxury of deciding when and how we want to participate with strangers. Before it was your only way of accessing to certain content (5-man PuGs or more progressed raiding guilds) and as with everything else in life, at times you'd have wonderful experiences and at times absolutely miserable ones.

So, was that better than being able to stick with your friends and try to go as far as possible? It's really up to each individual. Some people love to make new friends, some would rather stick to their circles.

WoW was better because the community was far better. All this LFG/LFR stuff ruined the community, but certainly brought in the big bucks.
The community wasn't really better. Perhaps what happened was that the interaction was more limited? Through the Finder tools you can literally encounter hundreds of players every single day, it's hard to not come across a rotten apple every so often. Back then we didn't even have a Raid Finder, so most experiences with large groups were on PVP, and I'm fairly sure we all have memories of how heated the BG chat would be at times, as well as players from the opposite faction shouting text that was offensive for your team.

The bad apples were already there, but our exposure as individuals... I'd wager it was much smaller, since even arranging a 5-man group (a pure PuG, that is) was a rather lengthy process.

It's human nature, we naturally dislike change. I guarantee if you go on any popular game forum you'll see how terrible people think that game is now compared to how it used to be.
Oh, but this happens even on games that are yet to be released... There'll always be people hoping for something that is not what they feel they're getting.

When questing you had to read the quest and understand where the mobs are or what to do for it, now you get the quest and look at map go where the circle is, so stupid, and nobody quests in the old zones anymore the world is empty, the world is dead.And there are many other things but ill stop here.

As far as I remember, many players would read the quest name, go to Thottbot, type the name of the quest, note the coordinates and then, with their addon, and then go there and get it done. Leveling guides from 1-60 were also popular because many players felt lost on their way to max level without them. You might feel that was epic, but it was truly confusing for the people that really didn't know where to go next or how to get to maximum level.

i love this blue poster, he dumps on vanilla all the time
Vanilla gave me very memorable experiences. I enjoyed the discovery of Azeroth, the trek with my first character all the way to level 60. My first Molten Core, UBRS, WSG, you name it. But looking back, that doesn't prevent me from seeing the flaws it had in many regards.

Vanilla was good in some aspects and bad in others. And every expansion since then has had its own lows and highs.

Except back then your reputation mattered and helped to keep people in check. With no server transfers or name changes people couldn't afford to continually be idiotic in their interaction with others. That really any better?
There were plenty of ninja looters, gankers and PVP griefers back then. It wasn't any different to today. Reputation and helping others was important only to those that cared about it, just as (surprise) today.

There's always been the choice of sticking with friends and progressing as far as you could. Now, if friends just aren't cutting it you can leave them behind without a seconds thought and jump into the anonymous world of LFD/LFR.
Quite the opposite, you can actually go with them onto LFD/LFR if for some reason they can't go through normal modes and you'll get as far as you can. Back in the days, you had to leave them behind if you wanted to go kill, say, Kil'jaeden, and they weren't cutting it.

Playing the devil's advocate here, but basically The game now is just this
1)ACCEPT QUEST
2) OPEN MAP
3) COMPLETE QUEST BY GOING TO THE NUMERS ON YOUR MAP
4) VIEW ALL MAJOR PVE CONTENT IN LESS THEN A DAY BY PRESSING QEUE (FEEL FREE TO AFK IN LFR)
5) THE PEOPLE YOU MET IN CROSSREALM ZONES, DUNGEONS, RAIDS, SCENARIOS, PVP YOU'LL MOST LIKELY NEVER SEE AGAIN

Back then it was something like this...
1) Accept quest
2) Minimize WoW, check in Thottbot (for example) the quest(s?)
3) Complete quest going to the noted coordinates.
4) Minimize WoW, go to youtube, view all major PVE content in a couple hours by pressing "play" (Feel free to kick back and relax)

Point 5 doesn't really apply here because we didn't have Cross-realm zones, dungeons, raids, scenarios back then, but it did apply on PVP however.

Looking back at the other 4 points. We could argue the first three now have reduced hassle. And I don't know about you, but I'd rather take part on viewing all major PVE content and achieve it by myself (no matter if its on LFR, Normal or Heroic) than see some random pixel heroes go do it while I'm left trying to figure out what's going on. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Darker Nights Suggestion
So, in the original thread we mentioned we'd make sure the devs knew that many players out there (not just here in EU, but also on US forums) want to have darker nights in WoW...

While there's nothing to announce, what we can tell you is that they'd like to see a depper day/night cycle brough back into the game.

Some of you have speculated about why nights were made brighter and we just wanted to let you know the change was purely an art decision.

If it does come back at some point in the future, it wouldn't be as dark as some of you have suggested through screenshots (pitch black, or very close to pitch black) because it's very important to see mobs in dark environments, though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Player Proposed PvP Changes Feedback
- Strip classes off their CC. Some classes should not be able to CC at all. Warriors did perfectly fine throughout Vanilla, TBC and WotLK (bar S5) without any form of stun, same with many other classes that lacked CC. Rogues and Paladins were the only classes that had a form of stun and it should remain like that.
Warriors had mace stun in BC, Mages had Deep Freeze in WotLK and Impact stun in both WotLK and BC, Druids had both Bash and Pounce, even hunters had a form of stun in BC. Many more classes than just rogues and Paladins had a form of stun.

Stating that you feel some classes should not be able to CC because that is how it was back in the old days is not an appropriate argument, because it's not true. Since the beginning of WoW all classes have had at least some form of CC, be it roots, snares, interrupts, disarms, fears, stuns, incapacitates or disorients. However, saying you feel that every class has too many CC's now is understandable, but do note that we are not going to simply remove every single CC from the game.

If we were to remove all crowd control from the game, then everyone would simply run at each other and just mash buttons, with all things being equal whoever got the first hit would win. We definitely understand that there are legitimate reasons for why some players just don’t like CC, but when it comes to designing an interesting and interactive combat model for PvP, there are many more reasons for CC to exist.

- Make Blue PvP gear (Not the crappy Contender's set, but stuff as Dreadful) completely craftable. I'm getting sick of losing games against opponents I know I can win against just because they bought a RBG boost. World of Warcraft being a MMO (jk LFR) doesn't justify the huge gear gap this game currently has.
We are addressing gear disparity in patch 5.3, we know that catching up part way through a season where you have fallen behind in gear is frustrating. You can find out more about the upcoming gear changes for PvP here: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/blog/6994181

- Bring back CLASS UNIQUENESS! Every class has everything now. It's just plain boring. You might aswell remove classes because they are all copies of each other. Why did Paladins get an interrupt AND an AoE blind? What do Monks lack that no other Melee has? Why did Rogues and Mages get a heal?
Yet one of the key arguments that you see quite regularly here is, "Y has the ability to do Z. Why is it that my class, X, cannot also do Z?"

This is not to say you are wrong or that the above argument is in any way valid. The abilities a class has is just one of the things that makes them unique, you have to also think of their intricacies and how each one operates using their own mechanics and/or resources. Just because the game has moved away from more clunky systems such as Aura/Aspect twisting and stance dancing doesn't mean that all classes have become the same. We have been implementing new systems to the game that keeps making classes feel and play uniquely, like Holy Power and many others.

While it's not immediately evident, crowd control abilities are also unique to every class. In the end a stun ends up doing the same thing for all classes, but the how its used and what is done to use it is generally unique to each class. Saying that there are no unique classes because they can all CC is the same saying every class is identical because they can do damage (I understand that this is a hyperbole, but you get my point). The above reasons are why you see a great variety in classes played, because they are all different, if each of them were the same then why would there be classes?

- Make casters actually have to cast again. The current state of the so-called "casters" is completely retarded. They're basicly Melee DPS but from Ranged. It's just stupid.
I made a post about this a while back, we understand that the amount of instant casts is quite frustrating right now and we are looking into this. We wish to start not only moving many of the crowd control spells back to having a cast time, but also other spells as well. You can already see some of this shift in the 5.2 patch notes, such as the cast time on Blinding Light and an arming time on Ring of Frost when used with Presence of Mind. You can see the old post on this topic here: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/to...365?page=6#108 (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Comics - Dark Legacy Comics #376
DLC #376 has been released.

by Published on 2013-02-15 08:24 AM

Clarification on Gem Design Drops, Price for Unsocketing Marquise Gems, Dat Modz’s Crafting Recipe Route, TryHard: Best Legendary Items for Monk

Patch 5.2 - Isle of Thunder Faction Quartermaster Update
The rings offered by the Kirin Tor Offensive and Sunreaver Onslaught were added to quartermasters in the latest PTR build. The rings cost 937 Valor Points and required Exalted with the respective faction.

The quartermasters also now sell Blood Spirits for 400 Valor Points each. They are used to craft item level 496 gear. You can see full reagent breakdowns on the crafting page for each item.

Level Type Spec Slot Name
496FingerTankFinger Ancient Overlord's Onyx Band
496FingerTankFinger Ancient Overlord's Onyx Band
496FingerMeleeFinger Refurbished Seal of Jin
496FingerMeleeFinger Refurbished Seal of Jin
496FingerSpell SpiritFinger Ancient Primalist's Seal
496FingerSpell SpiritFinger Ancient Primalist's Seal
496FingerPhysical DPSFinger Refurbished Band of Jin
496FingerPhysical DPSFinger Refurbished Band of Jin
496FingerSpell DPSFinger Restored Hexxer's Signet
496FingerSpell DPSFinger Restored Hexxer's Signet


Patch 5.2 - Isle of Thunder Stage 2
Another stage of the Isle of Thunder has unlocked on the PTR, unveiling another one of the solo scenarios used for storytelling, Tear Down This Wall! This time around we take a look at the Alliance version of the scenario, as the Horde one is nearly identical, just using different characters and dialogue with the same events.

After completing the scenario, you still have access to the same set of daily quests as before, but you have unlocked the outer city where there is/will be an additional questing area.



Patch 5.2 Honor Gear
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The Patch 5.2 Malevolent gear may have more PvP power and Resilience, but Patch 5.1 Malevolent gear has higher Item levels and as such stats. To have more clarity on this you can read the below comparisons:

  • 5.1 Malevolent Gear has a higher ilevel than 5.2 Malevolent Gear.
  • 5.2 Malevolent Gear has more PvP Power/Resilience than 5.1 Malevolent Gear.
  • 5.1 Malevolent Gear
    • 483 ilevel (491 with 2/2 upgrades)
    • ~30 ilevels of PvP Power and Resilience
  • 5.2 Malevolent Gear
    • 476 ilevel
    • ~36 ilevels of PvP Power and Resilience

In the end, the effective Ilvl of patch 5.2 and 5.1 Malevolent gear puts them at about equal. The reason for lowering the item level and increasing the PvP stats for the 5.2 version of Malevolent gear is because we want players to run 5.0 LFR, this means that the Ilvl of honor gear needs to be lower than the entry requirement of 483. The result of this was lowering the Ilvl (stats) of the gear, but increasing it's PvP power and resilience to compensate. That difference in power you feel is going to be extremely prominent, is actually quite minor.

PTR Class and Set Bonus Issues
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Is this RealPPM calculated differently due to being on crit rather than being on hit? Does it account for a characters crit chance in the 1 RPPM or is it just a 1 RPPM that procs on a crit?
Currently, no, the fact that it only procs on crits basically doesn’t matter for more than flavor. However, we’re considering making these multiply the proc chance by your crit chance, so that they get the "more crit = more procs" effect that all proc-on-crit trinkets have had historically. Like I said yesterday, one of the reasons we haven’t posted all of these numbers til now is that they’ve been in flux as we make adjustments like this. This is one such change we’re still considering.

Tiger's Palm will restore 2% mana at all times. Is the possible use of Tiger's Palm to dump extra Chi (generated by Soothing Mists during down time, or Power Strikes, for example) in exchange for mana intended? Or are you planning to tie the mana regen mechanic to Muscle Memory to prevent this?
We’re currently still planning to let Tiger Palm always restore 2% mana. Yes, this is a potential way to convert chi into mana efficiently, but it still doesn’t generate as much mana as it cost to generate that chi, so isn’t mana positive. And the healing it provides, without Muscle Memory, is rather small. It’s definitely something we’ve noticed and are keeping an eye on, though.

Could you clarify on what trinkets you're talking about specifically? To me "stacking agi trinket" would seem to be describing Renataki's Soul Charm yet the context of the statement seems to indicate you're talking about Talisman of Bloodlust / Primordius' Talisman of Rage / Gaze of the Twins.
Sorry for the confusion, I was indeed talking about Talisman of Bloodlust, Primordius' Talisman of Rage, and Gaze of the Twins. They all are just RPPM random proc chances, and if the buff is already up when you get another proc, it refreshes and stacks to 2 (or 3, etc).

Renataki’s Soul Charm, Fabled Feather of Ji-Kun, and Wushoolay’s Final Choice all proc a buff that automatically gains a stack every 2 sec (and have ICDs such that it’s not possible for them to proc again while they’re already up). Also, this is a good time to note a nuance with Delicate Vial of the Sanguinaire: its proc’d buff can stack just like Talisman of Bloodlust, Primordius' Talisman of Rage, and Gaze of the Twins, up to a max of 3 stacks. We didn’t note that in the tooltip since (apart from tanking large packs of mobs), it would be extremely rare for it to happen.

For Disc priests, will Atonement count as 'helpful spell'? In cata this was the case for some trinkets early on, but not in DS.
Currently, no, but since it’s RPPM, any single heal or periodic tick every 10 sec will give you the full proc frequency. A single Renew out, or a PW:S cast every 10 sec, etc.

Ghostcrawler, is it intended that abilities like denounce or roar of sacrifice prevent Lava burst from critting even though it clearly states "always deal a critical strike."?
Chaos bolt which has the always critical isn't affected by this. The nerf to lava burst damage means while these effects are up we do next to no damage with it even worse than lava burst not critting before. Hopefully this is just an oversight.

Whether the Immovable Object or the Unstoppable Force wins is something we’re inconsistent about at times. We'll discuss this and make a call. I agree at first glance that it would make sense to work like Chaos Bolt.

Esentially, this makes it worth roughly ~half of a generic trinket of similar ilvl, because the proc isn't adding any itemization, unlike every other trinket in existence. If there were agility specs that had huge discrepancies in secondary stat weights (i.e. best stat is 3x+ the average value of the worst two stats) then maybe someone could find some use for it, but, as far as I know, community theorycrafting indicates that this is not the case.
This is a tricky one to balance. As you say, it doesn’t actually increase your total stats, it just converts your (presumably weaker) lower secondary stats into your (presumably stronger) higher primary stats. The larger the difference in value between your best secondary and worst secondaries, and how much of those weaker secondaries you end up with on gear, all factor into this. For many classes, haste/crit/mastery are all actually relatively close in value (despite how much some people scream that stat A is “utter garbage” and the like). In that case, this isn’t much of a DPS gain, on average. However, there’s another nuance to this that complicates things further: many classes can game the proc somehow. Just to pull a random example out of thin air (this may not be a big gain, but it illustrates the point), as an Enhancement Shaman, you could try to line your Ascendance up with a Mastery Re-Origination. This is definitely one where we’d love to see more theorycrafting.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Power Infusion - in addition to current effects, also increases all damage by 10%.
  • And now, Discipline. Recall that the main problems we are trying to fix for Disc in PvE are that they are overpowered and relying too much on Prayer of Healing spam, especially in 25s. We made some changes to Divine Aegis, but we're not happy with them. Because of the interaction with crit and mastery, we worry Disc will be too crit-dependent and won't be strong enough when they fail to crit. On top of that, we're worried that it will be too easy to push Disc priests into loving mastery and hating crit or loving crit and hating mastery. To try and address all of those problems, old and new, we are trying a few different things:

    1) Divine Aegis now works differently. It causes any critical heal to proc a bubble for 100% of the heal instead of doubling the heal. In other words, a crit for Holy is a 200% heal. A crit for Disc is a 100% heal + a 100% bubble. The bubble however benefits from mastery, so it's more likely a 100% heal + a 130% bubble.
    2) Power Word: Shield can now crit for Discipline.
    3) Mastery now boosts shields by 1.6% per point (down from 2.5% per point) but now also increases all healing by 0.8% per point.

    What we hope this does:

    • Keeps the kit of Divine Aegis making crits do something special.
    • Makes Disc still awesome at bubbles, but not quite so weak at heals. (Holy will cast bigger heals than Disc, but not 50% higher.)
    • Makes Prayer of Healing good for periods of restoring damage, but makes Power Word: Shield better for periods of preventing damage. (Inner Focus to force Divine Aegis and Spirit Shell also help with preventing damage).
    • Making crit a good stat, because it benefits most of the toolbox (including PW:S) and causing Divine Aegis bubbles, but also keeping mastery a good stat, because the bubbles are large, and even when you don't get a bubble, it will still help your heal.

"Help, I'm a nervous Disc priest. Reassure me!"

Keep casting Prayer of Healing like you do today. Keep using Spirit Shell when you anticipate big damage. Start using Power Word: Shield more than you likely do today. Remember that we buffed Penance. Atonement still works. You might need to pay more attention to Spirit (the way the other healers do today).

Yes, I wrote all of this from a PvE point of view. We made several other Disc changes to help in PvP, and we haven't reverted any unless I explicitly mentioned them.

Will the mastery provide a straight up boost to healing too or is it still a 20% buff to absorbs + x% per point of master and y% boost to your healing?
The way mastery works for everyone is there is a base amount so that you benefit even with no mastery gear. We used to call it 8 "points" but we don't use that terminology anymore. for Disc, the base amount is +12.8% to absorbs and +6.4% to heals. A character with 8824 mastery would have +36.33% to absorbs and +18.16% to heals. The 3000 mastery raid buff would bump that up to +44.33% to absorbs and +22.16% to heals. Also note that the metagem which increases the size of your crits still works.

If you had all of the above mastery and the crit gem and you cast a heal for 100K, it would heal for 122K, or if it crit, it would heal for 126K and proc a 182K absorb from Divine Aegis.

Trinkets

Update on the RealPPM-OnCrit trinkets, Gaze of the Twins and Cha-Ye's Essence of Brilliance: See the previous post for commentary on why, but we’re going to change their proc rate to vary based on your crit chance:

  • Gaze of the Twins – [0.8*(1+MeleeCritChance)] RealPPM on critical harmful abilities and spells, periodic spell, and melee/ranged abilities and swings. No ICD.
  • Cha-Ye's Essence of Brilliance – [0.77*(1+SpellCritChance)] RealPPM on critical harmful spells and periodic spells. No ICD.

Also, we’re going to try to get Rune of Re-Origination and Unerring Vision of Lei Shen on Flaskataur for you to try out. We don’t want to make every item in the game accessible (at some point it is possible to spoil the joy of getting loot completely), but those two in particular are unique effects for which we’d love to get more feedback before they drop for "real."

The reason Jab Jab Uplift ultimately came to be was because of it's reliability. Part of it was mana efficiency, but most of it comes down to it's the only on-gcd guaranteed chi generation.
We don't really have a problem if you use Jab Jab Uplift infrequently when you absolutely feel like you need chi. But it's going to be expensive to do so. We ask healers to make decisions about efficiency versus throughput all the time. When it feels too expensive though, switch to Jab Jab Tiger Palm or just swap to actual heals.

Also please buff offensive penance to 40 yards with the glyph of holy fire. It's the only thing that is still 30.
We tried to do that, but Penance is a funny spell, which made this implementation difficult. We went ahead and just made it 40 yards for damage baseline, which will have the same problem of not all your spells being the same range if you lack the glyph, but at least then you have the option.

With the buffs to penance and the increased focus on Atonement, are you at all worried about seeing guilds stacking Disc priests simply because of their dps?
Disc and Fistweaving monks should do less DPS than a true DPS spec and less healing while in DPS mode than someone casting healing spells. The advantage they provide is that sometimes a little healing and a little DPS is what you need. These changes weren't intended to be a huge buff to Atonement, so we'll have to see how it shakes out.

It doesn't help much, either since it doesn't fix their scaling.
This word, through overuse, has now lost as much meaning as the word "clunky." You're going to have to find another way to express your concerns if you want us to pay attention to them.

Testing has shown that our Single Target DPS is dropping on the ptr with your current changes, nerfing a middle of the pack to back of the bunch class seems like there must be a vendetta.
We need numbers or a link or something. If there is testing, we need to see it if you want any hope of convincing us. (BTW, saying you're not whining and then saying we must have a vendetta against you don't really jive.)

Holy gets it's much higher than .08 mastery when it doesn't crit always. We're doing slightly better than them on crits (and only slightly), but the crit % makes it not only really low, but very random and unreliable. Years of healers preferring haste over crit for reliability in healing should factor in here somewhere I'd think.
The hot from Holy is often overhealing. Not always of course, but often. On the other hand, the bubble is almost never overhealing, and in fact often causes everyone else to overheal. You won't crit very often, but when you do, it's essentially a big crit, not unlike an Elemental shaman doing damage. That gives crit some value that other healers don't even have. On the other hand, if you feel like you must get a bubble off and can't rely on RNG, you have four great choices: PW:S a few people, Inner Focus a Prayer of Healing, cast Spirit Shell, or use PW:B.

Also, does this make disc the first spec to have a dual mastery or have we seen this before?
Demonology's is similar. Ultimately, we want mastery to be about what your spec uniquely does, but it also has to affect a large enough percent of your damage or healing to make the stat compete against crit and haste. Our design intent for Disc is not to cast nothing but bubbles, so even though bubbles are a big part of the kit, they aren't going to be 90% or whatever of actual heals. So in this case, we felt it made sense to have mastery also help the heals in order to keep it competitive.

The DA is 160k and the heal is 200k for a 360k heal. The DA is also only 160k so it's less likely to hit the max bubble size cap.
We increased the DA cap from 40% to 60% to work better with the new design.

As someone mentioned before, because you've shifted such a huge portion of our crit heals into an absorb, we're now even more susceptible to dispels in PvP. Making DA undispellable is a pretty big hammer, so I understand that you're reluctant to do this, but there must be some middle ground.
We will discuss this. My gut is that you aren't critting enough in PvP for loss of DA to amount to that much lost healing, but it does make Inner Focus less useful, and in any case, the change isn't intended to be a PvP nerf.

Motivations for PvPing
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
While the gear grind has blown if you're late, really the new Conquest change coming in 5.2 with the "catch up" is just awesome.
Just a note: we'd love to implement the catch-up mechanic sooner, but it isn't planned to be ready before patch 5.3. There are some changes in 5.2 that will still help narrow the gear gap a bit, including better Honor gear, and Conquest Point armor you can purchase without first meeting a seasonal rating requirement. Conquest weapons will become available after hitting a 7,250 requirement for the season.

That said, it's likely that gear is here to stay. I've elaborated on this at length elsewhere, but it boils down to the fact that, even with gear differentials, World of Warcraft PvP can be very competitive. Gear and getting more powerful via gear, is a big part of World of Warcraft, and it isn't likely to be going away for the foreseeable future. That said, if you're into organized PvP and you want to do battle in an environment where everyone is operating with the same tier of gear, then you might want to keep an eye open for when the Tournament Realm begins again.

People DON'T PvP to collect gear. The dynamic combat against real human competitors provides the draw to play, and people only care about gear insomuch as you HAVE to have PvP gear to PvP with any significant success.
That's an awfully definitive statement, but I'm reasonably sure it isn't accurate. All the evidence points to the fact that a majority of players in general like being rewarded for their activities in game, including PvPers. Heck, as I mentioned in the previous lengthy discussion on this topic, the majority of modern pure competition games have borrowed elements from RPGs and implemented progression systems of one sort or another.

As I said earlier in this thread though, when the Tournament Realm returns, it'll be as close as you can reasonably get to a pure competition game in World of Warcraft PvP. It's a separate experience for a reason, though.

World of Warcraft is a progression game, and getting gear and becoming more powerful is absolutely integral to the experience. I conceptually get why there are players who want 'pure competition' in World of Warcraft. Many want it just on principle, while I suspect that others believe that they'd do better in PvP if it was in place. Still, the facts suggest that, barring significant gear disparities, knowledge and execution (skill) trumps gear. Also, in Rated PvP, the matchmaking system places teams up against roughly equivalent opponents, which somewhat mitigates the effects of gear in that context.

There are logistical and design issues at work here. It's really not as simple as simply saying "Here's your PvP suit. Go to town." If there's no PvP gear progression, then Raid gear begins outshining PvP gear and becomes the obvious choice. If the default PvP gear outshines Raid gear right off of the bat, then it becomes the obvious choice for entry level PvP, rendering those item rewards instantly obsolete. Our current design direction dictates that we don't want major, artificial divisions to exist between PvP and PvE. Your character should always be your character, and your gear is part of that package. While your current gear might not be optimal for a specific purpose, we want you to be able to take whatever you're wearing wherever you want to go (within reason, hence item level restrictions). For now, we strongly believe that arranging systems so that PvP gear only works in PvP and PvE gear only works in PvE would not feel good, nor be good for the game.

You do realize that in 5.3 "Tyrannical Gladiator’s gear can be purchased for Honor after 27,000 Conquest Points are earned for the season. (5.3)".
So you can look forward to more players queuing random with full PvP gear. Blizzard is so much in support of have gear imbalanced in random BG they are now encouraging geared players to rejoin the random BG system to earn offspec pvp gear.

I wrote that blog, so yes, I am aware. By the time that system goes in, the catch-up mechanic should be in place to make it easier for players joining PvP for the first time to get geared to a reasonable level. As others have noted, geared players do random battlegrounds for a variety of reasons even now, and that's not likely to stop. We wanted to provide those players with a reasonable way to experiment with different specs or stat loadouts. We are very interested in balancing the PvP system between easing new players in, while at the same time rewarding players for being invested.

I was wondering why the beyond was put into your "PvP Gear in 5.2 and Beyond" Draxxarri and now I see. Way to keep stringing us along with vague statements.
When writing that blog I tried to be as clear and specific as possible, by bulleting each upcoming feature and noting which patch that feature is expected to be a part of in parentheses. Might I ask what you found vague? The entire point of any blog we post is to illuminate, not obfuscate, so if something isn't clear I want to fix it.

As far as making the random Battleground experience better? That's something we're giving thought to, but I don't have anything specific to share for now. It is a challenge; even the best ideas can have significant potential pitfalls.

This. Right here is the issue. People who "dabble" in Random BG's for some honor or PvP, or new people trying to PvP without a dedicated group for rated BGs/Arena will walk into a random queue, and get smoked by an opposing team in full Glad. How do you think they feel? "Oh well, they're so skilled. I guess I should step up my game" or "Wow, they have such better gear than I do. I don't want to sit through loss after loss until I have the honor/cponquest to get close. I'll just quit now." It sounds defeatist, and it is, but that's what a lot of people think.
It is a situation that we'd like to address. It's just not as easy or straightforward as it seems, but like I said, we have stuff on the table.

If that were true then you wouldn't be artificially deflating the stats of PvP gear to prevent it from being used to gain entry level access to PvE content, as you plan to do in the next patch.
I'm not sure that's the case. You can potentially wear the PvP gear into the PvE content and still perform at a decent level (though meeting the required item level might be an issue without some supplementals). Regardless, it's still okay for that purpose, but not the best and most obvious choice--which is what we intended.

it's simple, fair, and balanced. and it CAN'T be that hard to design.
It's hard to believe how time intensive it is to design arenas and battlegrounds. You can't just make a box and slap new textures on it. You also have to make sure it's perfect in a multitude of tiny ways that don't apply to any other content in the game, and are largely invisible. Does this texture cause people to hang up for no reason? Is there a chance that someone could fall through the world if a perfect storm of x+y+z occurs? Are there weird line of sight things here? How does this decorative feature interact with everyone's class abilities? Is it even fun to play on? The list goes on and on, and battlegrounds are even "worse". For example, Warsong Gulch suffered from issues for years. We'd fix something, and new issues would appear. At one point we even took it out of the rotation so we could work on it. Even now, I'd hesitate to say that it's "perfect", despite all the hard work that's gone into it.

I do have a question for Arena competitors though: Do you really care what the arena looks like, outside of terrain features that supply an advantage or inflict a disadvantage on your team composition?

That's not to say that I think we should just be handed a set of gear once we decide to pvp. There should still be a set of gear you have to obtain, but I think one should be it. You have the crafted stuff if you want to have something just walking into bg's, and then you get your main set for the season from honor. After that, conquest points can be used to get aesthetic items that differentiate you such as transmog gear, titles, mounts, tabards, etc.
I believe I covered this in a prior post in this thread. While I personally think that they're cool for a lot of reasons, aesthetic only rewards aren't really the best option, because there are power increasing rewards being handed out in PvE that would quickly over-shadow PvP gear if there was no power progression. I'll quote what I wrote above, because I think it's still relevant to this point:

"There are logistical and design issues at work here. It's really not as simple as simply saying "Here's your PvP suit. Go to town." If there's no PvP gear progression, then Raid gear begins outshining PvP gear and becomes the obvious choice. If the default PvP gear outshines Raid gear right off of the bat, then it becomes the obvious choice for entry level PvP, rendering those item rewards instantly obsolete. Our current design direction dictates that we don't want major, artificial divisions to exist between PvP and PvE. Your character should always be your character, and your gear is part of that package. While your current gear might not be optimal for a specific purpose, we want you to be able to take whatever you're wearing wherever you want to go (within reason, hence item level restrictions). For now, we strongly believe that arranging systems so that PvP gear only works in PvP and PvE gear only works in PvE would not feel good, nor be good for the game."

Truthfully, I was applauding such a bold move on Blizzard's part to finally put a hypothetical end to the monumental grind to get gear, but seeing that it won't be here in 5.2 for the new season is just a huge letdown. Presumably, it will be here in 5.3, which, if it follows suit with MoP's patch release pace, will be in the middle of S13. It sounds awfully sloppy.
Just for clarity, catch-up hasn't been delayed, and was always planned for 5.3. We announced catch-up for 5.3 in this blog: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/839...yond-1_17_2013

Short Story: The Trial of the Red Blossoms
Blizzard added a brand-new short story to the Destination: Pandaria section of the World of Warcraft community site. The story involves the Shado-pan and consequences for a young thief.

by Published on 2013-02-14 10:09 AM

Diablo III Hotfixes: February, Be My Nephalem? Show Off Your Diablo-Themed Art and Cards!, Game Guide Updated for Patch 1.0.7

Preparing for PvP In 5.2, Patch 5.2 PTR Notes Updated

Patch 5.2 PvP Blog Post Updated
The Preparing for PvP In 5.2 blog post was updated to reflect that the new Malevolent Gladiator's gear in Patch 5.2 that is purchased with Honor is of lower item level than the current Malevolent Gladiator's gear. The new items are new versions of the gear, so the reduced item level should not affect items purchased before the patch.



Patch 5.2 - Cross-Realm Patch 5.0 Raids
Ghostcrawler confirmed that the old Patch 5.0 raids will all be cross-realm once Patch 5.2 is live.


OpenRaid Reminder
Now that cross-realm Patch 5.0 raids are confirmed, this might be a good time to remind everyone about OpenRaid. It is a site that allows you to easily form cross-realm groups for PvP and PvE content. Currently you can do all of the old WoW content, except for Mists of Pandaria raids.

It is an easy way to grab nice meta achievement mounts like the the Bloodbathed Frostbrood Vanquisher or Ironbound Proto-Drake, as well as transmog gear, chances at mounts that drop from old raids, and even a way to finish getting the drops for your old legendary item! You can also find some Challenge Mode groups and RBG groups as well.

Once Patch 5.2 is live, it will provide an opportunity to gear up your characters faster by running the Patch 5.0 raids in Normal or Heroic difficulty. Doing Normal difficulty will give you higher item level loot, extra chances at loot compared to just running LFR, and help you to catch up on the legendary quest line, so that you can get your legendary meta gem sooner!



PTR Class and Set Bonus Issues
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Soo, in short you just nerfed us ele shamans so we can swich targets easly?
There was no nerf. Sorry if my explanation was unclear. Lava Burst with Flame Shock should do exactly the same damage it does on live. Lava Burst without Flame Shock will do more damage than it does on live. It is a buff to unfavorable situations.

Now all that said, Elemental's damage is still low. I didn't want that message to Distract players from the Lava Burst change. I also didn't want players to campaign for just buffing the heck out of Lava Burst, because that would have done damage to the rotation and PvP. Instead, we want to buff Elemental evenly. Imagine a Shamanism buff if you must until we decide the actual change.

Rogue 4 piece is COMPLETELY useless for combat. We already energy cap during Ad Rush, so giving us more energy during Shadow Blades does nothing, as de-coupling Ad Rush/Shadow Blades appears to be a DPS loss even with the 4 piece. I thought the goal was to boost combat single target damage in 5.2. Guess not.
We would need to see some numbers on this. If you hate to decouple the two CDs then I could see how it would be a problem. But decoupling them and using the set bonus should be a DPS increase.

Go back to the start, start with the principle of "Basic rotation is MS->OP->OP->X" and "Sometimes you will prioritize Slam over OP when you are running high on rage", and figure out how to make it work from there. As it is, always having OP always taking priority over all the other fillers leaves the rotation feeling too cramped and awkward, and takes all rage management out of the rotation, leaving us with no choices except hitting HS when we can't spend enough rage with the default rotation.
The intent is Mortal Strike -> Overpower with Slam used during Colossus Smash or during moments of excess rage.

We tried the change to Overpower proc'ing Sudden Death with noble intentions of making the rotation more dynamic since CS would be slightly more predictable. However, the change isn't a clear win, so we're not sure it's a good change. We are likely to go back to autoattacks proc Sudden Death, but leaving the 1 GCD on Overpower. We are also intrigued by the idea of having Opportunity Strike (mastery) also proc Sudden Death, so we might run some numbers on that. The buff to Deep Wounds, mastery and haste should all help with Arms scaling (though we remain convinced that players often focus much too much on scaling and not on overall DPS).

Do you not have the ability in-house to test this?
Of course we do. But we're not seeing what you're seeing. Therefore we need to understand the source of the difference.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • We are sympathetic to the argument that we have been schizophrenic (to use the term incorrectly) in the Shadow PvP 4pc VT dispel bonus. Originally the enemy strategy was to just "get it over with" and dispel VT until the horror went on DR. We changed the way dispels work so that isn't much of a strategy these days, however the dispel is still in the hands of the enemy and not the Shadow priest, which we agree makes the DR extra punitive. We also think we've hit Shadow hard enough in PvP that this nerf isn't required, so we're going to remove the DR from the Horror proc from VT dispels.
  • We haven't forgotten to have Solace provide a heal for Holy. That's still in the cards.

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • We think we understand the rogue concerns on the PvE 4pc better now. We don't mind Combat having to unlink AR and SB to maximize the bonus, and we still think the set bonus is a DPS increase over not having it. However, it may be the case that the value of the set bonus forces Combat to swap to another spec because the cooldown stacking is one of the mechanics that keeps Combat competitive. To try to (ahem) combat this, we are going to do something unusual and allow the set bonus to also reduce the global cooldown on rogue abilities to 0.7 sec during Shadow Blades. This should help prevent GCD lock / energy capping. Normally we are very reluctant to reduce the GCD lower than 1 sec, so this is very much an experiment.

DPS Tuning
  • We continue to tweak Arcane numbers, so if you're trying to theorycraft Arcane, you may want to hold on for a bit longer. At the moment, we have restored Arcane Charge back to +50% damage and +150% mana cost but reduced the damage of Arcane Blast (-22.2%), Arcane Missiles (-22.2%) and Arcane Barrage (-13.6%).
  • Likewise, I wouldn't worry about the details of monk numbers, especially healing, too much yet. If you want to keep track however, here are recent changes: Mana cost of glyph of Uplift +21%, Mana cost of Jab +33%, Teachings of the Monastery now provides 2% mana to Tiger Palm, Reduced T15 4pc from -5 sec cooldown on Thunder Focus Tea.

Here's the followup question then. Will this Disable the AR glyph? That brings Combat to a .5s GCD with the glyph if they're stacked.
They will stack. As I said, it's an experiment.

Could you possibly speak on this subject? It feels like the tier is designed exclusively for Holy, and that makes me sad.
We've been searching for some hard numbers (key phrase there) on secondary stat values for Disc with the 5.2 changes, but so far we can't find much discussion out there beyond "Well, I guess we might want more crit so PoH will give DA again." If you know of any we might not have seen (another key phrase there), let us know.

Below are the scary guts of the new trinkets and metagems. This information is for theorycrafters. You don't need to read this to understand how the mechanics work or enjoy their benefits.

Trinkets

Agility DPS
  • Vicious Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault – 15% chance on landing harmful abilities and spells, and melee/ranged abilities and swings. 105 sec ICD.
  • Renataki's Soul Charm – 0.56 RealPPM on landing harmful abilities and spells, and melee/ranged abilities and swings. 22 sec ICD.
  • Talisman of Bloodlust – 3.00 RealPPM on landing harmful abilities and spells, and melee/ranged abilities and swings. No ICD.
  • Bad Juju – 0.50 RealPPM on landing harmful abilities and spells, and melee/ranged abilities and swings. No ICD. Voodoo Gnomes are mostly for flavor; they deal ~200 damage before armor per hit.
  • Rune of Re-Origination – 0.46 RealPPM on landing harmful abilities and spells, and melee/ranged abilities and swings. 22 sec ICD

Strength DPS
  • Brutal Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault - 15% chance on landing harmful abilities and spells, and melee/ranged abilities and swings. 75 sec ICD.
  • Fabled Feather of Ji-Kun - 0.56 RealPPM on landing harmful abilities and spells, and melee/ranged abilities and swings. 22 sec ICD.
  • Primordius' Talisman of Rage – 3.00 RealPPM on landing harmful abilities and spells, and melee/ranged abilities and swings. No ICD.
  • Spark of Zandalar - 5.00 RealPPM on landing harmful abilities and spells, and melee/ranged abilities and swings. No ICD.
  • Gaze of the Twins – 1.00 RealPPM on critical harmful abilities and spells, periodic spell, and melee/ranged abilities and swings. No ICD.

Intellect DPS

Healer

Tank

Legendary Metagems
  • Sinister Primal Diamond – 0.84 RealPPM on damage/absorb of harmful or periodic spell. No ICD.
  • Courageous Primal Diamond – 1.00 RealPPM on attempting helpful spell. No ICD.
  • Indomitable Primal Diamond – 1.00 RealPPM on damage/absorb taken from melee ability or swing. No ICD.
  • Capacitive Primal Diamond – 15.00 base RealPPM on landing melee/ranged abilities and swings. No ICD. At 5 stacks, fires Lightning Strike, which deals [280 + 75% AP] Nature damage. That base proc rate is multiplied by an additional coefficient by spec:

    - Assassination: 1.535
    - Combat: 0.99
    - Subtlety: 0.98
    - Feral: 1.934
    - Windwalker: 1.084
    - Beast Mastery: 1.604
    - Marksmanship: 1.594
    - Survival: 1.449
    - Enhancement: 1.093
    - Retribution: 1.923
    - Frost DK (2H): 1.309
    - Frost DK (DW): 1.572
    - Unholy: 1.34
    - Arms: 1.771
    - Fury (TG): 1.784
    - Fury (SMF): 1.951

This will make us mistweaver only use Jab in combo with TP or we will loss so much mana.
Yes. To oversimplify, we don't want Jab, Jab, Uplift, nor do we want Soothe, Soothe, Tiger Palm. We want Fistweaving to provide significant damage and healing, but both should be less than an actual DPS spec or a traditional healer (again Atonement is the model). Fistweaving will be awesome for some situations, but we want it to be a compromise, otherwise, you'd want monks for all your healers, since you get all this bonus DPS on the side for no healing cost. In order to deliver on this, we have to make it harder to cherry pick some Fistweaving abilities and some Mistweaving abilities.

I question why Rogues are getting 0.7 GCD consideration while Feral is stuck weaving 1.5sec GCD heals into their DPS rotation.
Cat Form has reduced the GCD of spells to 1.0 sec for a few builds now. As I've said, the rogue GCD change is very much an experiment. If it doesn't work out, it's one set bonus that will eventually be replaced. This should not open the gates for everyone requesting microscopic GCDs for their spec. At the end of the day, we have a client-server architecture and the GCD provides time for data communication back and forth.

Why is the PPM different by spec considering that realPPM is supposed to give every class/spec roughly the same proc rate already?
Three reasons. A) RealPPM procs still scale more frequently with haste, which many specs have drastically more or less of. B) The proc that it gives you in this case scales directly with AP, which many specs have drastically more or less of. C) It’s not terribly uncommon for A or B (but not usually both) to occur on a trinket, and we can swallow that much variance. And there are typically other options for trinkets if one underperforms for you; there isn’t here, and we want the legendary metagems to be equally awesome for everyone. As a sidenote, we didn’t do that spec variance yet for the Sinister (caster DPS) one, but are still considering doing so. The situation there doesn’t seem quite as skewed as it did for the physical DPS, so we haven’t yet, but still very well might.

Can you at least clarify how Rune of Re-Origination would work? Wording on the trinket is not very clear.
Warning: technical mumbo jumbo follows.

At proc time, it checks how much crit, haste, and mastery you have (yes, this is a snapshot, and does NOT include the mastery raid buff). It finds which is the highest of those 3 (tie breaking rule: crit trumps haste trumps mastery), and gives you a buff of +[sum of lowest two stats] to your highest stat, and -[lowest stat A] and -[lowest stat B]. For example, if you have 6000 mastery, 3000 crit, 2000 haste, and the proc goes off, it gives you a buff that provides [+5000 mastery, -3000 crit, -2000 haste]. It does not continue adjusting that buff as stats change during its duration. Yes, this means that if you have a temporary buff to a stat that is not your highest (even with the temporary buff), and that temporary buff falls off during Re-Origination, you *could* end up with negative rating. In this obscure edge case, negative crit does reduce your crit chance, negative mastery does reduce whatever it normally does, and negative haste is ignored.

What's the rate for specs not mentioned in the list for the Capacitive Primal Diamond? Examples include Blood DKs, Prot Warriors/Paladins.
Just the base 15.00 RealPPM.

Why does the trinket note that it can stack if the RPPM isn't high enough to allow it to in the first place?
RealPPM isn’t an ICD. Note that the stacking Agi trinket is only 10 sec duration, whereas the stacking Str trinket is 20 sec duration. And remember that haste increases the frequency of procs. Neither of these is expected to stay at max stacks very much of the time. It’s more that it can quite often proc again while it’s already up and by letting it stack, that becomes an awesome occurrence, rather than a disappointing one.

Can the Capacitive Primal Diamond cause a critical strike?
Yes, but it uses your spell crit/hit rates.

One concern from Mistweavers when dealing with Capacitive Primal Diamond is that the Conductive proc would affect Eminence.
Yes, the Lightning Strike should trigger Eminence. We don’t expect that to be particularly worthwhile though.

Raid Testing Schedule - February 14-15
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
On Thursday, February 14, and Friday, February 15, we will be testing more raid encounters in the Throne of Thunder.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below for all Public Test Realms.

Thursday, February 14

Jin'rokh the Breaker- 10 Player Heroic
10:30 PST (13:30 EST, 19:30 CET)

Megaera - 10 Player Heroic
13:30 PST (16:30 EST, 22:30 CET)

Twin Consorts - 10 Player Heroic
16:00 PST (19:00 EST, 01:00 CET)

Friday, February 15

Ji-kun - 10 Player Heroic
10:30 PST (13:30 EST, 19:30 CET)

Dark Animus - 10 Player Heroic
13:30 PST (16:30 EST, 22:30 CET)

Iron Qon - 10 Player Heroic
16:00 PST (19:00 EST, 01:00 CET)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a beta environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the boss being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Noblegarden Comes Early to the PTR
Noblegarden is coming to the PTR a little early for testing. Be sure to hop in and give it a try!

Why? What have you done? What do you know?
Just a little bug testing. We just wanted to give people a heads-up in case they start to wonder why Noblegarden has sprung up. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

5.2 Update: You Can Keep Your Valor!
You can get reputation by raiding? For a different faction than the Shado-Pan Assault? How does that work?
Yes. No.
Only works for Shado-Pan Assault, sorry if I wasn't clear enough on my original post.

I don't care about saving valor, since as you said, we will have to do quite a bunch of raid before we can buy something good to use. In other words, we probably will have enough valor when we are able to buy something.

Actually there are items at each reputation, even neutral, and getting to Friendly is (I believe) essentially just a single boss kill. It ramps up from there obviously, but you will have stuff to spend Valor on pretty quickly.

So you do me like this, the day AFTER I spent 750 valor on my lock and priest so it won't be wasted just in case the patch was soon? You OWE me my valor back. When do I get it refunded?
I'm not sure what you're owed. You knew what you were spending points on and got what you paid for.

This is why we so often repeat with every patch that things are subject to change during development and testing. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Failbag Rewards In 5.2 - Thoughts?
The change is still in for the failbags to ... not be fail. They'll have a chance to contain things like very valuable grey items (essentially randomizing the gold you get from the bags), LFR versions of non-boss loot, Spirits of Harmony, consumables, pets and mounts, and... maybe some other stuff I forgot. Lots of things! Opening them should have some anticipation and surprise now.

Can you clarify what you mean by "LFR versions of non-boss loot" though? Do you mean ilvl scaled up 5man loot?
Meaning items that drop off "trash". Greens and blues and such. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

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

by Published on 2013-02-13 05:35 PM

Patch 5.2 Update - You Can Keep Your Valor!

Preparing for PvP In 5.2
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
If you haven’t been keeping up on the latest World of Warcraft news, you might not be aware that World of Warcraft Patch 5.2: Throne of Thunder is on the horizon. Well, 5.2 is well on its way and it’s bringing PvE features like a brand new questing hub and a huge new raid, but it’s also introducing new features that will have a significant impact on the PvP aspects of World of Warcraft, including a number of class and gearing changes.

I thought this would be a great time to discuss some of the ways we can prepare for when 5.2 goes live and we can once again attend to the important business of watering the tree of awesome with the blood of our enemies.

Gearing Up
We’ve already covered that the way PvP gear is acquired is changing in patch 5.2, but I’ll briefly recap.
  • Rating requirements will be removed from PvP gear.
  • Malevolent Gladiator’s gear will be available for purchase with Honor Points.
  • A new tier of Conquest Point gear will be added that becomes available once 27000 Conquest Points have been earned for the season.
  • Team Rating will gradually increase during the season for teams and players who continue to compete in PvP. This system is explained in the Mists of Pandaria PvP Dev Watercooler.

As Bashiok mentioned in his recent 5.2 Currency Conversion blog, any unspent Conquest Points will turn into Honor. That could represent a significant chunk of Honor Points, so if you find that you don't have quite enough Conquest to buy or upgrade a piece now, you could still potentially afford to buy a piece of Honor gear when the new season starts.

If you’re just starting your PvP journey in 5.2, then you might want to think about investing in a set of crafted Dreadful Gladiator’s gear to get started on the right foot.

Decisions, Decisions
If you’re already wearing Malevolent Gladiator’s gear in patch 5.1, then you could be faced with a choice. In patch 5.2, the Item Upgrade vendors will no longer be active. A new set of non-upgradeable Malevolent Gladiator’s gear is being introduced in patch 5.2, though it is a lower item level and has boosted PvP Power and Resilience to compensate.

So, if you have the points to buy gear, do you buy a current Malevolent piece now, do you upgrade an existing piece before patch 5.2 arrives, or save points to buy new pieces once patch 5.2 arrives? Keep in mind that a fully upgraded (2/2) piece of 5.1 Malevolent Gladiator’s gear will be slightly better than its 5.2 counterpart, so if you already own pieces that you haven’t fully upgraded yet, then going for full upgrades might be a good course of action. On the other hand, even a piece that isn’t fully upgraded will be about as good as one of the brand new pieces in patch 5.2. Since any Conquest Points you have when patch 5.2 arrives will be turned into Honor that can be used to buy Malevolent pieces when the patch arrives, it’s up to you to decide how you want to spend those points.

Class Changes
Knowledge is power! Lots of class changes are coming in patch 5.2, so it’s a good idea to stay up to date on the latest changes by visiting the PTR patch note blog, and reviewing the class notes. Take note of the class changes—knowing what you, your teammates, and your foes are capable of will help shape the team compositions you use and the tactics you employ in battle.

If you’re feeling particularly feisty, you can download the Public Test Realm Client by visiting the Account Management page to experiment with the coming changes firsthand. Not only will you be helping us test the upcoming patch, but you’ll gain a keener grasp of what the changes will mean for you.

What About Mid-Season Catch Up?
That’s actually planned for patch 5.3. You can read more about it in the PvP Gear in 5.2 and Beyond blog I mentioned earlier.

When Does The New Season Begin?
Patch 5.2 is arriving soon, so keep an eye open for the blog announcing next season’s start date.

That’s Teamwork!
It can be difficult finding and fielding a team for organized PvP. If you’re looking for allies, you have many places to begin the recruitment process, ranging from the official forums to fan sites like Arena Junkies (also a great place to look for information), to just hopping into the General channel while playing to see if someone wants to play a few games.

If you’ve had success finding or forming an Arena Team or Rated Battleground group, how did you go about it? Let us know in the comments.

Patch 5.2 PTR Notes Update - Feb 11
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes

Pet Battles
  • Master Trainers in Northrend, Cataclysm, and Courageous Yon will no longer field pets with higher than intended stats.
  • Ghostly Bite's damage has been reduced by 20%. now has a cooldown of 7 rounds (was 3 rounds).
  • Ghostly Skull: Ghostly Bite and Siphon Life have swapped ability positions.
  • Spectral Strike now has a cooldown of 4 rounds (was 3 rounds).
  • Light now has a cooldown of 4 rounds (was 3 rounds).

Raids, Dungeons and Scenarios
  • Throne of Thunder loot drops and bonus rolls are now available for testing in Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic difficulty. Please note that at this stage of testing, bonus rolls are not yet available, art for weapons, armor pieces, and the drop rates themselves are not yet final.

Bug Fixes

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