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by Published on 2013-02-11 05:20 PM

WoW is on sale for 50-70% off in the US and EU. The total cost, including Mists of Pandaria, is 35 USD / 31 EUR.

Patch 5.2 - Preparing to Kill a King (Feb 26th)
It looks like we will see Patch 5.2 on in roughly two weeks, or February 26th, assuming that everything goes well.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With 5.2 fast approaching I’ve been wanting to get my thoughts together on how I should be playing in the last couple weeks before the patch. Are there any reps I should catch up on; do I need to worry about spending currencies or upgrading items; and just in general what do I need to start doing now to maximize my play time before and after the patch releases? This isn’t going to be earth shattering info to anyone who has been following closely, but hopefully it’s a helpful reference.

So, It’s Like a Seat of Sound?
It’s probably most appropriate to start by talking about the new raid, the Throne of Thunder, as entering and clearing it is the goal for PvE progression. The raid is located on a new island, which can be reached by using a portal found in your faction’s Shado-pan camp on the west coast of Townlong Steppes. When 5.2 releases you’ll automatically receive a quest that will get you there, so no need to write that one down.

As the 5.2 raid Throne of Thunder is one continuous, sprawling dungeon, each difficulty will open in its entirety once unlocked. Normal difficulty will be available the first week, then Heroic the week after. LFR will, as usual, be broken up into sub-sections and those will be releasing over time, likely with the first section opening with Heroic in the second week, and a new section each week afterward. Of course we don’t tend to give out patch release dates ahead of time, because things can slip, but right now we’re targeting the last week of February.

To get into the LFR difficulty of Throne of Thunder you’ll need an item level of 480. A quick way to find your item level is to search for your character in the upper right search bar of WorldofWarcraft.com. Your item level is a big number in the upper right of your character’s profile. You can also see it in-game by expanding the advanced character stats.



The new LFR will require an average ilvl of 480, so get crackin'!

If you’re shy of 480 you’ve got some gearing up to do. There are a few different methods of finding and targeting upgrades. The in-game Dungeon Journal can filter by class and spec, showing you what each boss drops that’s good for you, and is actually a pretty easy and straightforward way to create a shopping list. The one downside is you’re not going to have lists of Valor-purchasable items with the Dungeon Journal to compare against. Likely the most popular strategy is to use item database sites and look for specific items (LFR / Valor / BoE), and arrange by ilvl or source. Askmrrobot.com offers an upgrade list too. I’ve also recently been using their new Find Upgrades feature, which has a bunch of useful options. It’s a premium feature so they do charge for it, but it’s free for the first week or so. If nothing else it can be a good option to just help you clear that 480 hurdle.

Upgrade 'Em While You Got 'Em
Like prior raid tiers we’re down-converting Valor to Justice with the patch. This means any Valor you have before the patch will become Justice, and any Justice over the cap will be converted to gold. There is a difference this time in that current Valor items are not being changed to cost Justice, and instead their cost is just being reduced (25-50%). That means you’re not going to benefit by waiting for the down-conversion to pick up any current Valor items. You’re going to want to strategize spending Valor beforehand, if there’s anything you want to buy with Justice (and there’s new Justice-bought heirlooms coming in 5.2), or maybe even if you want the gold. With both currencies at cap you could make around 1,400 gold with the conversion, so maybe that’s even a consideration. After the patch you’ll need to build Valor back up if you want any Valor items of course, but at a reduced cost it may be an option if you’re still looking to get over that 480 hurdle.

Personally I’m not really looking to pick up any Justice items, so my plan is to spend all of my Valor before the down-conversion, and the next section describes what I’m likely to spend the majority of it on.


You can keep your Valor Points, see this post for more information.

Later Space Mummy
Item upgrades won’t be available in 5.2, so getting those upgrades done before the patch hits is probably a good idea. Upgrades are likely coming back in 5.3 (at least for PvE), but spending the Valor now on upgrading pieces you don’t expect to replace quickly is pretty safe. Of course you could always get that lucky boss drop that completely demolishes your fully upgraded item, but those kinds of situations are par for the course.

This is one place where the Askmrrobot upgrade recommendation tool is pretty helpful for me. The rating on how best to spend Valor is quite useful. I’m over 480 so I’m personally just looking at spending Valor on upgrading my best items now.



Is that a mount!? Can it be a mount!? I want that to be a mount. GIMME DAT MOUNT

Be Less Charming Every Day
Throughout Mists of Pandaria we’ve all been working to collect Lesser Charms of Good Fortune. Once a week there’s a quest to exchange 90 Lesser Charms for 3 Elder Charms. The Elder Charms can then be used to get an additional chance at loot (bonus roll) from raid boss kills. In 5.2 the weekly quest to turn in the Lesser Charms changes, and will instead give you 3 Mogu Runes of Fate. The Mogu Runes of Fate can be used the same way, on bonus rolls, but only in the 5.2 Throne of Thunder raid and on the two new world bosses (Nalak and Oondasta). Elder Charms will still be available for the 5.0 raids, but they’ll instead be dropping from mobs in the new outdoor Thundering Isle zone.

There are a few different ways you can use this information depending on how well you’re geared, and how well geared you want to be before the patch. The new raid will require 480 item level for the LFR, and so if you’re at or above 480 you’re probably wise to just hold on to your Lesser Charms. If not, those bonus rolls may well be the quickest way to getting into the Throne of Thunder.

Personally I’m hanging on to mine. I think spending some Valor is probably the wiser course for getting over the hurdle. I do plan to still be doing dailies in 5.2, but I have enough reps at Exalted now that I don’t expect I’ll be coming across enough Lesser Charms to be overburdened and not working through my stack each week.



I'll just come back when you look like you're in a better mood...

Ketchup
As I briefly mentioned in the Currency Conversion section, 5.0 Valor items are seeing their prices reduced by 50%, and those added with the 5.1 factions (Operation Shieldwall and Dominance Offensive) will see their prices cut by 25%. In addition, the chance to get drops in the 5.0 LFR raids is being greatly increased, including the chance to get an item when using an Elder Charm for a bonus roll. All of this means gearing up alts will be a bit quicker, and if you’re not at that 480 requirement yet it should be pretty fruitful to run those raids for a few more weeks to get you there.

Sounds Like Heavy Metal
This isn’t really anything you can prepare for, but I think it’s at least worth mentioning here. In the Throne of Thunder, the Normal and Heroic raid bosses have a chance to drop an item with a new Thunderforged designation. (Normal / Heroic) Thunderforged items are 6 item levels higher than their standard counterparts. Bonus rolls can award a Thunderforged item (again, only in Normal and Heroic), so probably the only thing to plan for ahead of time is having Lesser Charms ready and waiting to exchange for Mogu Runes of Fate.



♫Said if you want to call me baby, just go ahead now♫ (Two Princes, get it? Ugh just keep reading...)

On Doomed Azeroth, Black Prince Choose You
As we’re all aware, Wrathion, the Black Prince, using his voodoo crystal ball of Black Dragonflight future-sight has determined Azeroth is headed for (more?) doom and despair. To help solve this problem he wants to give you a Legendary item, but only after you’ve gone around terrorizing the world and killing a bunch of people. Fishy. Over the course of each patch he gives you some tasks for new toys, ultimately leading to your very own Legendary item in (presumably) patch 5.4.

This is where things get a bit tricky because, up until this point, everyone has been working to obtain their Sha-Touched weapons, the gem to put into it, and adding a prismatic slot. But in 5.2 the reward veers left, no Sha-touched weapons will drop in the new raid, and the new Wrathion reward is a Legendary meta gem, which leaves your Sha-touched weapon and gem to be replaced by what will certainly be more powerful weapons in the Throne of Thunder. You will still be able to apply the prismatic slot upgrade to 5.2 raid weapons, though.

Considering the prismatic slot is usable on 5.2 raid weapons, my recommendation would be to try to catch up if you haven’t yet, but balance it against other priorities. You’d be pretty lucky to get a weapon drop your first time into the new raid, and if you’re running LFR the raid is broken up into smaller sections which open one at a time each week. So if you have more pressing matters, this is one thing you can continue to work on even after 5.2 releases and probably not be too far behind.



Well at least they don't have robots full of blood. Nevermind.


It's Not a Tabard!
In 5.2 you’ll be able to champion a Mists of Pandaria faction (except for Black Prince) by choosing a new option added to your reputation list (in the same list where you can show that rep as your XP bar). By championing a faction you can earn 750 reputation for the first Heroic dungeon each day, and 325 for the first Scenario. This allows you to augment (or avoid) daily quests with those factions to get to Exalted that much quicker.

In addition, if you have The Tillers at Exalted and all of your farm plots unlocked, you’ll be able to take on a work order each day from one of the various factions (except for Black Prince) which will reward you with additional rep.

The new reputation and quest hub in 5.2 is pretty cool; it unlocks and builds up via server progression a la Isle of Quel’danas. What will be a lot cooler for some of you though is that there are no Valor items associated with the rep. (Alliance / Horde) At least this time around, all the Valor items are tied to a raid reputation, which you can earn even through LFR. It will require boss kills though, so no ICC rep runs.

I know some people are already saying they’re going to stop doing dailies until then. I don’t know; I’m already playing more or less every day, doing a daily hub here and there isn’t going to break my time-bank, and I’m still going to be hitting Exalted quicker than if I was waiting. Up to you, but I’m hoping to have less and less 5.0 content to have to think about once 5.2 hits.

That'll Do, Tree
I think that about does it. You’ll of course want to look at mixing up food and elixirs, and gathering mats for crafted items. There’s also the new the world bosses, but that’s not content you really need to prepare for specifically, at least not to the same extent you need to gear up for a raid dungeon. It may be worth noting though that one of the world bosses, Oondasta, is intended to be crazy-difficult. If you’re not in an organized Heroic-level raid group and teaming up with other Heroic-level raid groups, you’re going to want to stick to the other world boss, Nalak; although, keep in mind Nalak unlocks with the island’s server progression, so it’s something to look forward to. Sha of Anger still has Tier-14 and Season-12 items, so that’s certainly something a lot of people will continue to hit up, and I expect it to stay pretty active even well into the new patch.

Let’s open it up to your comments! How are you planning and preparing for 5.2? Did I miss something? Any tips or tricks on how to maximize your time as you progress?

Thanks for reading, may all your bonus rolls be BiS, and I’ll see you in-game!

Micah “Bashiok” Whipple is a Community Manager for World of Warcraft and thinks you’re just the bees knees. It’s worth mentioning though that he’s deathly afraid of bees, as well as various types of pivotal hinges.
by Published on 2013-02-10 09:45 PM

Araxom on Hardcore, Fan Creation of the Week: Pixel-Ninja Cosplay, Curse Weekly Roundup

Patch 5.2 on the Background Downloader
This weekend the Launcher started downloading ~1 GB of assets for Patch 5.2. Keep in mind that this doesn't mean the patch is coming anytime soon, especially as LFR bosses still need tuning and Isle of the Thunder King still needs testing.



Patch 5.2 - Assault on Zeb'tula
Assault on Zeb'tula is the solo scenario that you experience when going through the Horde Isle of Thunder intro quest line.

Upon logging in to Patch 5.2, you will be sent to the Horde camp near Shadopan Garrison, in Townlong Steppes. Scout Captain Elsia will escort you to the Isle of Thunder and then you have a brief conversation with Lor'themar Theron. After speaking with him, he will ask for your help in establishing a base on the island.


Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Scout Captain Elsia: Pandaren legends tell of Lei Shen, "The Thunder King." He was the brutal founder of the Mogu empire over 12,000 years ago. He united the mogu, defeated the other pandaren races, and founded a glorious nation with the slave labor of those he conquered.
Scout Captain Elsia: The Thunder King built a palatial fortress on the borders of his empire. We should see it soon...
Scout Captain Elsia: There! Just ahead: The Isle of the Thunder King.
Scout Captain Elsia: The Pandaren are terrified that the former Emperor will try to reclaim his empire, and enslave them once again. But we have our own reasons for assisting them. I will allow Lor'themar to explain.
Scout Captain Elsia: Whoa! Careful - it is nearly impossible to fly anywhere near the island!

Lor'themar Theron: Aethas, leave us for a moment.
Lor'themar Theron: Hero, you have served the Horde nobly across many campaigns. I feel I can take you into confidence. Our Warchief's campaign across Kalimdor and Pandaria is pulling the Horde apart at the seams. We are here to fight the Thunder King. Justice demands it, and Hellscream is too preoccupied at Domination Point to pay attention here. But, in defeating him, we must seek out the source of his great power. We must claim it for ourselves, as leverage against our "Warchief." In the event of an uprising, we must be prepared.
Lor'themar Theron: Heads up! Ha-hah! It will feel good to bloody my blade again. Against Alliance or mogu, does not matter to me.
Lor'themar Theron: Enough talk. You know how precarious our position is. Between the Alliance and the Thunder King, only with the help of heroes like you can we hope to succeed here. Anar'alah belore, hero. Good luck.



Love is in the Air 2013
Love is in the Air once again, at least until February 23! Not much has changed this year, other than the addition of updated Neck slot rewards.

Level Type Spec Slot Name
480NeckTankNeck Shard of Pirouetting Happiness
480NeckMeleeNeck Choker of the Pure Heart
480NeckSpell SpiritNeck Winking Eye of Love
480NeckPhysical DPSNeck Sweet Perfume Broach
480NeckSpell DPSNeck Heartbreak Charm



Q4 2012 Earnings Call
There were a few more interesting points from the Q4 2012 earnings call, other than the subscriber number drop.

  • The majority of the decline in subscriber numbers came from China, and the number in the west was more stable.
  • Engagement was better in the months after the Mists of Pandaria launch than it was after the Cataclysm launch in all regions, including China.
  • The next WoW update should reach players "in the coming weeks".
  • There should be a Blizzcon 2013 announcement soon.
  • Since Cataclysm, players are more apt to come and go from the community. This is being addressed by providing more frequent content updates.


Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PTR Class and Set Bonus Issues
I believe he said it will last 15 seconds and stack exactly how Censure does now. If that is the case we should be able to swap between two targets in that 15 second time span. However, since the stacks will get consumed it will be more difficult to keep them up on more than one target.
Our intent was that if you were building stacks of Justice and had to swap targets, you'd then be building stacks on two targets. The more generous we make the duration, the easier that is to do, but the harder it is for enemies to escape as well.

Scorch was our only way to obtain at least some mobility before it became castable while moving (yes some of us actually PvP'd as fire before this change). Before that, and at least for me, my only option to chase somebody besides keeping living bomb up was spamming icelance and tbh, I never liked it.
Another idea is to put Scorch back in the talent tree and just remove Blazing Speed. Maybe Blink just provides too much of the same niche. Scorch trumps Ice Floes at the moment, but we think we could solve that.

Any chance shadow priest PvE damage and off-healing concerns will be addressed before 5.2 goes live? Part 1 of the thread is full of them. Part 2 just became PTR world of paladincraft. Maybe make a separate paladin thread before having to close this one too?
RE: Shadow. We haven't buffed damage yet. Mind Blast is a likely candidate because it helps damage on the move and doesn't change rotation priorities. Mind Sear perhaps too. All of that is off the top of my head, so don't hold me to it.

RE: Paladins. Welcome to my world.

Your data is full of PVE Ret paladins. PVP paladins use FoJ in arenas.
I was explicitly referring to relatively high-end Arena players. Many (guessing 60% because I don't have the data right in front of me) use FoJ. The rest split between Burden and Repentance about evenly. We can't always answer why players use certain abilities, but we can usually answer what they're using.

Death Knight
- You now maintain the same percentage of health when you switch into and out of Blood Presence
- Strangulate (but not Asphyxiate) is off the GCD.

Can Hunters please see some adjustments on our end talents to make more than Glaive Toss worth taking for raids? Barrage is very limited and Powershot is useless and never taken in raids, doing less than half the DPS of Glaive Toss.
I know you've mentioned this before, but it doesn't match up with what we're seeing. Do you have a link or some other evidence we can chase down?

I may regret this, because I don't know that I can capture every one and we iterate on this stuff really rapidly. We may change a number one day and change it again the next when we look at AE or PvP damage or whatever. If frequent iteration scares you, look away! But in the interest of providing context and helping theorycrafting, I'll give it a go.

DPS Tuning Adjustments

- Arms - Increased Deep Wounds by +100%.
- Balance - Increased Starfire, Wrath and Starsurge by 9%.
- Mind Blast - Increased Mind Blast by 20%. (Yeah I know you have to stop and cast it modulo procs, but I meant in contrast to Mind Flay which makes you really plant.)

Recent datamining has shown Invocation being nerfed to reduce our natural mana regen by 100%, up from 50%.
It was that way briefly (and the PTR pull may have caught that change). Instead we are leaving Invocation at -50% mana regen, but we changed Evocation to generate 10% mana per tick for Arcane, but affected by Arcane Charges (25% per charge and consumes all charges).

The intent of this change is to try and spare you from having to do single GCDs of Evo every 3 casts, which is probably worth it but not much fun. It's a net buff to Evo total mana regen but a net nerf to frequent Evos.

A lot of Warlocks are wondering why our AOE spells are getting reduced so dramatically?
Are you referring to Seed of Corruption and Fire and Brimstone? We don't usually do 15 yard radii for AE spells. It just felt gratuitous and was causing warlocks to do a lot of extra damage in some situations without requiring any extra effort on their part. It was also a bit ridiculous with Mannoroth's Fury.

i assumed this was suppose to spread the snare from warbringer to other targets also never actually seen it in any official patch notes.. was this an error on their part or is bugged currently on the ptr?

The Glyph of Blitz works with the snare as well as the stun. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World of Warcraft Difficulty Over Time
BUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Thanks for showing your ignorance
Ah, you're welcome, I'll educately bow down my head in a sincere apology, as you have eloquently, elaboratedly and irrefutably proved through facts and your own experience that I am completely wrong about this affirmation.

If you want to say I'm wrong, at least go on and elaborate why. We all might be missing an interesting point of view just because you decided to take a shortcut that didn't add anything to the discussion.

Most of current encounters are just combination of total randomness that decides will you wipe or not (sunbeams spawning on top of the adds on Tsulong as example). It's not hard, it's just random.
So, a boss that you can predictably determine which ability is going to cast next (any vanilla boss with a DBM-like addon) is harder than a boss with more room for random abilities? Random sounds actually like a good reason to define something as hard. If you can't control it, you can't just yawn through it.

Why do you think that making the game less accessible again would bring back the old times?
This is an interesting question, especially for those of you that do consider reducing the accesibility of the game would bring back players. (As a side related note, since we're mostly talking about raiding content, remember that Patch 5.2 introduces a Heroic only boss, Ra-den).

Okay, so at this point anything I say you can easily reply with, that's not about accessibility. Pet management was removed, pets changed to be a vanilla set that all share the same three talent trees, and ammo removed. Call it what you want, I call it dumbing down.
Has the mechanic of the hunter (requiring an appropiate pet to be used at every time if you want to maximize your dps output) and its damage (you're insane if you weren't using the strongest ammo available to you) become simpler just because now you don't have to feed your pet or pick the highest dps available ammo? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Invocation on PTR Feedback
We hear you, we really do. I’d just like to reinforce that it’s only PTR so don’t get overly upset about it, but please do continue to keep providing feedback about it, this is exactly when it’s needed the most, it’s one of the core reasons we have a PTR realm in the first place and we really do appreciate your help with tuning and balancing the game during this important stage.

So… Invocation. Duration and healing got reduced by 50%, it does seem like it should end up being the same “on average” as it is on live but I do realize that it’s actually not, it’s probably a lot more powerful for PvP as it is on the PTR right now.
I mean, the healing ends up being the same (on average, as in “healing per second”) as it is now on live, but the important fact that we have to retain here is that the heal only comes at the end of the cast, and in PvP that means a lot, it means that you can get interrupted and get no healing or DPS buff from it.

With a 3 second cast and no cooldown, things change; First, if you do get interrupted you will be able to cast it as soon as the interrupt effect wears off; Secondly, interrupting a 3 second cast (can be shortened by haste) is much harder than a 6 second one, so chances are, a mage will be able to complete his Invocations with a lot more ease.

Devs are still evaluating everything about the PTR, there isn’t much that they can’t tweak if they feel it’s necessary.

I hope that my reply is clear enough in the sense that it provides you with enough certainty and confidence about your point of view being understood, we’re definitely not ignoring you, we’ll evaluate everyone’s feedback like we always do, and you can be sure that it will be conveyed to the developers. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Simcraft and Raidbots is all we have. If you don't give us your data all we have is "trust us"I'll trust Raidbots
You can trust whatever you want. I'm just explaining why it's not as simple as linking to a URL and expecting us to buff you (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
I'm just praying Blizzard botches arcane mages and we can play frost next tier.
You may jest, but this is a really insightful tweet. Now imagine all the guys who want to play Fire or Arcane. How to solve? (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Any chance that Holy Paladins will ever receive a way to "melee heal" like Fistweaving?
Not in the immediate plans, but I agree it would fit the paladin kit. We'll keep it in mind. (Source)

please just buff ret sust damage or give us pressure mechanics or better cc. Sucks to be useful 20 secs every 3 min.
Every time we discuss nerfing burst and buffing sustain, hundreds of Rets cry no. (Source)

Today I had to bench myself as the raid leader on Sha of Fear 10m H progress because Ret DPS is terrible. Any buffs in sight?
I'm assuming you understand the problem where DPS is very hard to measure on that fight since everyone is so spread out. (Source)

giving repentance a cast and making it talent is like your prep mistake with rogue. Ret needs it as instant.
We'd probably get rid of every instant CC if we could. The expansion of instants caused a lot of problems long term. (Source)

please look at rets in PvE GC we bring no unique buff give us attack speed
We are trying to get away from unique buffs. We don't want every group to feel a Ret is mandatory. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
With the 5.2 disc nerf, will mastery be redesigned? Seems pretty pointless, pws is rarely cast and divine ae cant be count on.
We want you to cast more PW:S (not just LK levels). (Source)

You nerfed Shadow's core abilities without having a concept? Great, exactly what I expected from you.
Sorry you think Shadow is fine in PvP. We disagree and we are not alone. (Source)

please gc, are there still more buffs for disc pvp coming? Pws undispellabe would be glorious.
Not a fan of undispellable anything TBH. (Source)

No other healer has to choose which foot to shoot for 30 seconds either. It an outdated mechanic like tree form
We disagree. Tree form gave up utility and DPS for healing. Chakra lets you focus on DPS, AE or ST but you can still change. (Source)

how are Surge of Darkness/Mindbender even close to a "Strong Cooldown", compared to other casters? Stop joking.
We don't want to give every single spec a 2 min cooldown or whatever. That really leads to classes all feeling the same. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Greg, maybe shamans could receive the new frog model in Hex? How about it?
Already done. (Source)

Curse Weekly Roundup
The Ouya is set to arrive in stores this June, Assassins Creed gets a new hero, Minecraft got some updates, Season 3 games are underway for League of Legends fans, and this week's Game Forecast.

by Published on 2013-02-08 11:56 PM

Patch 5.2 PTR - Build 16562
A new build will be applied to the PTR tonight. Keep checking back, as we will update our notes often!

LFR Raid Testing Returning Soon
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We are going to temporarily close LFR testing until we can get a new build up, hopefully this afternoon (in NA).

Thank you to everyone who has participated so far.

New Items
Many of the Throne of Thunder bosses now have some of the many new items from this build assigned to them. In the interest of not making the front page even more massive by linking 100s of items, you can browse them on WoWDB.

The only non raid loot item news is the addition of Spoils of the Thunder King and Advanced Refrigeration Unit changing from 32 slots to 36.





New Icons



New Strings
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • CHANGE_ACCOUNT - Change Account
  • ERR_IN_PVP_QUEUE - Can't do that while queued for battle.
  • SPELL_FAILED_CUSTOM_ERROR_64 - There are no valid targets within range.



Achievement Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Feats of Strength

Guild Feats of Strength
Guild
  • Realm First! Ra-den (New) First guild on the realm to defeat Ra-den in Throne of Thunder on Heroic difficulty while in a guild group. 10 points.

Pandaria Raid
Dungeons & Raids

Player vs. Player



Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Item Set Bonuses

Mage (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Talents
  • Invocation now causes you to passively regenerate 100% less mana after completing an Evocation, up from 50%. See this blue post for the upcoming change.

Major Glyphs
  • Glyph of Blink now increases your movement speed during Blazing Speed by an additional 5%, down from 50%.

Monk (Forums, Talent Calculator)

Mistweaver

Windwalker
  • Storm, Earth, and Fire - Monk and spirits deal 45% of the Monk's normal damage when 2 Spirits Summoned, up from 40%.

Paladin (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Talents

Protection
  • Grand Crusader no longer procs off of Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous, instead when you dodge or parry a melee attack.

Retribution
  • Seal of Justice was reworked, and has tooltip errors. No longer lists a movement speed reduction.

Priest (Forums, Talent Calculator)
  • Devouring Plague initial damage has no base damage anymore and just scales based on spellpower, rather than a base plus a lower amount of spellpower. The DoT component damage has been reduced by 40%.

Talents

Shadow
  • Devouring Plague initial damage has no base damage anymore and just scales based on spellpower, rather than a base plus a lower amount of spellpower. The DoT component damage has been reduced by 40%.

Warlock (Forums, Talent Calculator)

Affliction
  • Seed of Corruption explosion now has a 10 yd radius, down from 15.
  • Soulburn: Curse: Your Curse of the Elements will affect all enemies in a 10yard radius around your target, down from 15.

Demonology

Destruction



PTR Class and Set Bonus Issues
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
GC currently (on live) Vampiric Touch don't return mana when hit shielded targets, is this intent? Also, dispelling VT causes it to diminish return itself and Psychic Horror intended as well? I think it devaluate the dispel protection.
The first part (vs. shields) is a bug and now fixed. The second part (the dispel DR) is intended.

the Rogue Assassination ability Venomous Wounds does not currently proc off of absorptions effects;
Also a bug. Most things that proc on an attempt to deal damage should proc if the damage was absorbed.

Paladin
We finished looking at Seal of Righteousness and Justice. Righteousness we ended up buffing by 50% so it should be a good choice against 4 targets instead of 6.

Justice is much more complicated. It was intended as a PvP seal, but the damage loss is so significant and the snare just not that valuable (which is ironic when you consider Ret's history of not being able to catch things), and Burden of Guilt is there if you really do want to snare. Furthermore, just buffing Justice's damage risks Seal twisting in PvE becoming a thing, where you stack up Censure and then swap to Justice. It could be cool if designed right, but would probably just be annoying. We just don't have much room to buff Justice, and players might still forsake it in PvP.

So, we're going to redesign it and attempt to solve another problem, which is Ret's damage outside of cooldowns (which are quite potent). Justice will now proc (and Judgment will count for the proc) a stacking debuff on the target that increases the damage of your next Templar's Verdict. With 5 stacks, this will be a big hit (but not an insta-gib) and opens up some interesting decisions about how to use Holy Power, such as Inquisition or WoG, if you're trying to hold TV. While Truth + Censure will still do more sustained damage overall, there is a chance Justice will see some situational use in PvE, and we're okay with that. Justice is a Ret-only thing, so it should be a Seal they actually use. It won't snare at all, which I expect some will call a devastating nerf, but again, there's Burden of Guilt if you really need a snare.

Combined with removing the snare, it's a really stupid change that solves none of the issues it was meant to and creates others. It's worse than no change, it's active destruction.
We went through several pages (on this and other forums) of Ret paladins saying they'd never use Justice because Truth is a lot more damage, they have Burden of Guilt if they really need a snare (and our numbers suggest plenty of high-end PvP players take it), and there are enough snares from allies that having an easy-to-apply snare isn't even that important.

Likewise, we had a lot of feedback, principally from Ret paladins, that changing Seals (occasionally - not rotationally) was something they wanted to do. Given that Ret has some problems with burst damage outside of cooldowns, we thought this was a good solution. Truth still does more sustained damage, if sustained is important to you, and has some perks such as being able to do damage to two targets at once or apply an anti-stealth dot.

Now given the size and diversity of our player base, it doesn't surprise me that other players will feel differently and expect that Justice is very important in PvP. We have to make these kinds of decisions all the time where we get competing, often contradictory, feedback.

Check it out when it's available on PTR or when we're able to provide actual numbers and let us know how it feels.

(Having a passive snare for Ret that's available all the time with no damage trade-off is just not something we're going to do. Why not just apply a snare when you enter PvP at that point?)

No more embers on SB killing blows (and it only refunds 1 ember period for the very last SB you used if killed in 5 sec).
We didn't make any intentional change here. It could be a bug.

- if you get blanket silenced and a melee attacks you (rogue's garrote comes to mind), they don't get feared, and you still lose the blood horror buff. So I spend health and a cd for no effect at all. - if a warrior spell reflects, he can successfully reflect blood horror back at the warlock.
Silence shouldn't prevent the horror proc. We'll get that fixed. Warriors can Spell Reflect Nature's Grasp proc, so it seems consistent that they can reflect the Blood Horror proc.

If there are no enhancement buffs after this then they are truly biased.
We asked you not to whine. This is whining. Please don't do it. I don't have a lot of time, so I want to actually get something out of reading this thread, and posts like this just waste my time and that of anyone else trying to read this thread.

My apologies if I sound like a jerk. I'm not going to mention this again.

Currently to maximize DPS Enhance is casting Lightning Bolt before reaching 5 stacks of Maelstorm quite often. This is cause Lightning Bolt does the same amount of damage regardless of how many stacks of Maelstrom you have. As a melee spec I find having to 'stutter step' in order to get casts off is really akward. I was thinking that if Maelstrom Weapon increased the potency of your spells with each stack kind of like how the Healing Storm glyph operates for healing then it would be more favorable to cast an instant spell at 5 stacks as opposed to hard casting prior to the 5th stack.
This is intended behavior. We like that there is some decision about when to use Maelstrom Weapon, and the mechanic has worked this way for some time, possibly always. That said, you don't have to game it. It will be a DPS loss, but not a massive one, if you only use MW at 5 stacks. Do what works for you. Trying to use MW at various stacks to improve your DPS and failing to do so might be lower DPS than always using it at 5 stacks.

That said, HTT swings wildly in the other direction for Restoration due to both Purification and Mastery scaling.
We think this is a legit concern and we're looking at it, but we also want to make really sure any change didn't feel like a massive nerf to Resto, who relies on Healing Tide a lot for group healing. Opening up talent options is important to us, but so is enjoying your class, and big nerfs to talents to make the other choices seem better is a last resort. (Yes, we do it. You don't need to bring up examples of when we've done it. But we don't like to.) It could be that it's not worth the risk of changing, but we are considering how we'd do it.

Any thought on removing preparation all together and lowering the remaining rogue cooldowns. The recent cloak change makes gameplay feel smoother and I'm really digging it.
I don't think we'd remove Prep. Would the design be stronger without Prep and lowered cooldowns? Possibly. But we're convinced what would happen is that all the rogues that love Prep for whatever reason would come out of the woodwork. It's been a core ability forever and all that. Years from now when we did threads asking players what to fix about their class, I'm convinced we'd see "Bring back Prep!" I really don't mean to sound cynical; I'm trying to sound practical.

I know many of you are smart players and you expect all players to be just as logical and objective and see that there is no massive difference between a cooldown that finishes the cooldown or other spells and those spells all having shorter cooldowns. I don't think the reaction would be universal praise though.

If both just do damage, whichever does more wins, which apparently will be Truth.
Sustained damage doesn't count for as much in PvP as being able to land a kill within a narrow window. If you want to have good damage meters at the end of a BG, then Truth may be fine for you (it has other benefits because of the dot as well). If you need to kill someone while their healer is CC'd, then you may not have time to let Censure finish ticking for its full amount.

(The same is true in PvE by the way. Sometimes something needs to die right now.)

I'm fine with switching a seal to snare if I have to, but being forced to spend a talent point for the same mechanic handed to EVERY SINGLE MELEE with zero tradeoff besides maybe a GCD is really irritating.
A GCD is a DPS tradeoff.... Other abilities, like Hamstring, have costs. In any case, we balance classes around their entire package of abilities not single ones. Specs with very good snares often have weaknesses elsewhere.

I made that comment for a very specific reason, which was to try to get players to not lobby for a Seal of Truth-level ability that also snared everyone. And yet, I guess that was a mistake because my making that comment still brought out a lot of lobbying for the very thing I said we weren't going to do.

Can you tell us when you'll start doing PvE adjustments?
Soon? We're actually working on it now. I will try to give you our quick summary of who is likely to go up or down so you can prepare for it before you see the notes or datamining.

Eye of Kilrogg glyph no longer allows you to place your Demonic Circle if the location is out of line-of-sight. Then to make matters worse, it places it at your current player location instead of giving a LoS error, thereby making it even more difficult to replace a soon to expire Demonic Circle that may appear to be in LoS, but actually isn't. Eye of Kilrogg can't even be used in RBGs, yet this was somehow necessary.
We had to implement the nerf to stop some exploits where it was possible to get Demonic Circle in areas that you aren't supposed to path. We didn't want to nerf the mechanic overall and in fact we think we found a compromise where you have to either LoS OR be able to path to the location. That should cut out the exploits while still letting you use Eye to get behind a pillar or something legit.

Believe me, nothing frustrates us more than having to nerf something because of 'sploiters.

A very simple bug to fix that only requires the Meteor to check for the Glider buff or similar things before activating
Things that may seem simple to players are often anything but. That was the case here. (Typically, statements like this are followed with various players trying to tell our programmers how to code, and typically I answer that if you're that awesome at coding, please send us your resume.)

Rapture now reduces the cost of Power Word: Shield by 25% and provides mana equal to 150% (was 200%) of the Priest's Spirit, but no longer benefits from Spirit provided by short-duration bonuses. Really..... a Mana Nerf?????
It wont't feel like a nerf when you consider that PW:S is cheaper and Meditation is now the same as other healers in cases except timing Rapture for use with things like Mana Tide (which is what we call cheesy). We also changed the Disc set bonus in PvP to make Flash Heal cheaper.

Overall, Disc in PvE on live just does not worry about mana the way other healers have to and all are supposed to. PvP is a different story, but the changes above are intended to help fix.

Paladin
Here is the current PTR Seal of Justice: Fills you with Holy Light, causing melee attacks (and Judgment) to apply Justice to your target. Justice: The attacking Paladin's next Templar's Verdict striking this target will also deal 25% weapon damage as Holy per application of Justice. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts 15 sec. Undispellable. Using the TV consumes the stack. The Justice proc itself is not affected by mastery, nor is the mastery proc from TV counted for purposes of how hard Justice hits.

We understand the concern that this superficially looks a little like the old Taste for Blood. Taste for Blood was designed to be very random in order to limit the planning the warrior could do and limit its frequency. (It was also off the GCD, a buff rather than a debuff which made it feel even less predictable to the victim, and stackable with other big hits like Heroic Leap.) Justice is designed to be a very predictable mechanic in order to unload some decent damage even when GoaK and wings are on CD. Yes, it will be even bigger when stacked with CDs. Big hits that take a lot of planning and give their target plenty of notification and opportunities to counter are more acceptable than those that come out of the blue.

We also understand the concern that this forces paladins into taking Burden of Guilt if they want a snare. However, that is offset by the data that suggests some (but not all) paladins take Burden today (meaning the cost for taking it isn't too great), but hardly anyone uses the current Seal of Justice today; i.e. most Rets are running around with no snare at all.

On the other hand, if Ret still isn't going to use this new Justice, then there is no reason to change it, and we could just leave it as a dead spell for 5.2.

Is there a reason why Subtlety's Slice and Dice can be refreshed with a weaker (aka shorter) version when Combat's can't (you get the 'more powerful spell active' error)?
That is odd. Neither should be refreshed with a weaker aura. We'll look at it.

Could you guys PLEASE look at Death Knights final tier talents as they are now they are absolutely USELESS in a raid situation Remorseless Winter is an AoE cc that obviously dosent work on a raid boss there immune then there's gorefiends grasp an AoE deathgrip obviously useless in a raid encounter as they are immune to its affects as well then there's Desecrated Ground? i forget the last ones name but boss loss of control mechanics can not be broken by any ability. PLEASE look them over and give one of them something useful to raid boss encounter i feel left out of all the cool level 90 talents.
Originally, they all did damage in addition to their other utility so players would use them in raiding environments. Unfortunately, the damage just overshadowed everything else. Players tried to figure out how to work them into their normal rotations to maximize DPS, and then the utility almost became a liability, because you had to delay the ability (i.e. nerf your DPS) in order to use their utility. We think DK rotations have enough going on that the level 90 talents don’t need to provide say Unholy Prism etc. and the DK level 90 talents as is are still useful. We don’t have many raid bosses these days that don’t come with some kind of add that often does need to be CC’d, and raids still have trash, as do challenge modes.

I don't get the justice change either because at first GC didn't want to buff sustain because it meant buffing burst so now he plans to buff burst which will buff burst even more!?
I think we’re all using terms like “burst” too generically. The more specific problem is that Rets have a couple of really strong cooldowns that they can’t use very often. This leads to the perception that their damage is great with GoaK + Wings and weak outside of it. A few weeks ago (largely through Twitter), I explained that we could drop Wings CD, but then you’re looking at a 10% DPS increase every minute (or something). That means there are more frequent periods of high damage, but it’s a big nerf to having on-demand burst. On the other hand, we don’t want to just buff say Judgment, CS, TV and Exorcism across the board, because then inside of GoaK + Wings, Ret just blows people up. We’re trying to use the new Justice as a shorter cooldown to improve damage outside of GoaK + Wings + trinket. (It also improves damage with GoaK + Wings even more, but only for one hit. You can’t unload with Holy Avenger and the new Justice for example.)

Sweeping Strikes, Cleave, Thunderclap, Whirlwind, and Talented attacks. All vying for a place in AoE.
We treat cleaves (2-3 targets) and AEs (4, 6, 10+) targets a little differently. Because we try to have mostly 2 tank fights these days, cleave situations are a lot more common. Sweeping Strikes and Cleave are for cleaving (and I agree you could argue that Heroic Strike and Cleave aren’t as important for Arms as they used to be). Whirlwind is for actual AE situations. Thunderclap can be used for anything, though you can’t really and wouldn’t want to just spam Thunderclap.

Also, think about how often in PvE you are doing AE vs. doing single-target damage in PvE. I think sometimes all of us (developers included) get too focused on these mythical Patchwerk fights that just don’t happen very often anymore. Increasingly, every spec is going to need an interesting AE rotation because increasingly you’re asked to do a lot of AE. (Channeling Blizzard is not an interesting rotation in our book.)

Look at it this way, you say that 90% or Locks are using sac and that's why it needs to be nerfed, but really the vast majority of those people are playing with Sac becasue they DON"T WANT TO USE A PET.
If you hate pets, take Sac (though I also have to challenge a little bit why you picked a pet class to play in the first place). What we don’t want is for warlocks to take Sac just because it’s a dps increase. The average warlock should have a demon out. If a subset of them do not because they take Sac, we’re okay with that. If very few of them have demons out because a spreadsheet said Sac is a 1% dps increase, then we’re not okay with it.

Do you consider this change to make progression PVE ret's reinstitute seal twisting as mandatory? Or is the debuff going to be mutually exclusive to Censure? Also, "melee attacks" in this case mean CS/HotR, Judgement, and white attacks only, correct? I guess I'm just concerned with how this plays into min/max PVE, esp considering the fact that seals are still on the GCD.
We don’t want to encourage more Seal twisting. We could consider a 20 sec shared cooldown on Seals if we needed to. We’d rather a PvE paladin consider which Seal made more sense for the fight at hand and a PvP paladin use Justice unless they really wanted Censure for some reason (to damage two targets at once or prevent stealth for example). As I said above, we are trying to fix a PvP problem here. If the new idea doesn’t solve that problem and paladins just prefer Truth still and we create a lot of pressure to Seal twist, then we’re doing more harm than good.

Also, is there still a passive damage component associated with SOJ, like the current 16% weapon damage as holy on Live? Or is this new Justice Debuff the only form of damage associate with the seal?
No, there is no passive component. We did that because it let us make the debuff that much larger.

Can you share the proc rate for us? is judgment 100% chance to generate a proc?
The proc rate is 100%, just like Censure. There is no random chance involved.

Will I be able to prevent the application of Judgment stacks with AMS?
It will behave like Censure (Seal of Trurth’s proc), and I don’t believe you can prevent Censure with AMS. I may not be correct with that assumption.

And do i need to state how rediculous this is for combat? its got to the point where the rogues in my guild thought about not popping ar and sb together for combat because of the rediculous nature of our energy situation and that inherently hurts our long term dps because sb wont benefit from the 2-3 cycles/finishers we use during the AR. I Hope all of what i have said makes some sense to you, im not whining here, im simply pointing out a fundemental issue with the 4 piece.
What is the inherent problem with not using Adrenaline Rush and Shadowblades together? Doesn’t that sort of give you two Adrenaline Rushes? If it’s a big DPS loss then that would be a problem, but all it really seems to be doing is changing up your rotation a bit.

What exactly is the intention? Justice for pvp. Truth for pve? Truth for cds or something?
We’d be pretty happy with Justice for PvP, Truth for single target PvE and Righteousness for AE PvE. That was the original MoP design intent, but Justice’s damage is too low, and the dot from Censure does have some PvP benefit. That said, we try not to be too heavy handed with our designs. We give players tools and let them use them creatively, so long as the specs stay relatively balanced and nobody’s rotation becomes stupidly convoluted or numbingly simple. So if players find ways to use Righteousness in PvP or Justice in PvE, we’re okay with that.

Raid & Dungeon Abilities
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Anima Ring Forms several spheres in a circle around the target. The spheres move toward the center of the circle. Enemy targets that touch a sphere will consume it, increasing the damage they take from melee attacks by 100% 200% for 15 sec. This effect stacks. In Heroic Difficulty, touching a sphere also inflicts 250,000 350,000 Fire damage over the duration. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Blazing Sunlight Inflicts 50,000 Inflicts 80,000 Fire damage instantly and 20,000 Fire damage every 1 sec. for 30 sec. Limited to 3 targets. 2 sec cast. 5 sec cooldown.
  • Caustic Gas Inflicts 1,350,000 Inflicts 0 Nature damage split evenly between all enemies within a 30 yard cone. 3 sec cast. 12 sec cooldown.
  • Caw 100 yd range. Instant. Inflicts 300,000 Physical damage to all targets within 8. 100 yd range. Instant.
  • Chain Lightning Inflicts 60,000 Inflicts 80,000 Nature damage and jumps to another target within 5 yards. Affects 3 total targets, increasing damage by 50% per jump. 50 yd range. 2 sec cast. 5 sec cooldown.
  • Cheep Inflicts 100,000 Physical damage to all enemies within 0 yards of the target. 200 yd range. Instant.
  • Cheep Inflicts 50,000 Physical damage to the target Limited to 1 target. 500 yd range. 2 sec cast.
  • Choking Mists (New) Chokes an enemy with mist, silencing and pacifying them for 8 sec and inflicting 65,000 Nature damage every second. Limited to 1 target. 2 sec cast. 2 sec cooldown.
  • Corrosive Breath (New) Breathes corrosive gas on all enemies in front of the caster, inflicting 65,000 Nature damage every second for 3 sec. Enemies hit by Corrosive Breath take 25% increased damage from all sources for 15 sec. Instant.
  • Crush Armor (New) Crushes an enemy's armor, increasing the damage they take from all sources by 50% for 18 sec. Melee range. Instant. 5 sec cooldown.
  • Crystal Barbs (New) Shoots crystals at 3 enemies, inflicting 150,000 Physical damage. Limited to 3 targets. 1 sec cast. 5 sec cooldown.
  • Deadly Plague Inflicts 10,000 Inflicts 20,000 Shadow damage every 3 sec. for 5 min. Instant.
  • Deluge Summons a fierce void of water, dealing inflicting Frost damage to nearby enemies. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Disorienting Roar Horridon emits a powerful roar, inflicting 250,000 Physical damage and disorienting all enemies for 3 sec. 2 sec cast. 2 sec. 2 sec cast.
  • Double Swipe Inflicts 200,000 Inflicts 300,000 Physical damage to targets in a 35-yard cone in front of and behind the caster. Instant.
  • Double Swipe Inflicts 200,000 Inflicts 300,000 Physical damage to targets in a 35-yard cone in front of and behind the caster. Instant.
  • Explosive Slam The golem slams the ground, inflicting 200,000 Fire damage to enemies within 12 11 yds. of his target. Enemies struck are seared, increasing the damage of subsequent Explosive Slams for 25 sec. 15 yd range. 2.5 sec cast.
  • Eye Sore 100 yd range. Instant. Inflicts 50,000 Arcane damage to the target every second. 100 yd range. Instant.
  • Eye Sore 100 yd range. Instant. Inflicts 125,000 Arcane damage to the target every second. 100 yd range. Instant.
  • Feed Pool 100 yd range. Instant. Inflicts 60,000 Nature damage to the target each second. 100 yd range. Instant.
  • Feed Young The caster summons forth globules of food for their young. Instant. 5 sec cast (Channeled).
  • Feeding Frenzy (New) Increases attack speed by 10% for each nearby Shale Stalker. Instant.
  • Fireball Inflicts 50,000 Inflicts 100,000 Fire damage. 50 yd range. 2 sec cast.
  • Fungal Explosion (New) Explodes inflicting 100,000 Nature damage to all enemies within 4 yards. Instant.
  • Fungi Spores (New) Covers an enemy in fungal spores, inflicting 35,000 Nature damage to them and their allies within 5 yards every second for 20 sec. Instant.
  • Furious Stone Breath Inflicts 200,000 Nature damage to all enemies every 0.5 sec for 4.5 sec. Costs 100 Fury to cast. Unlimited range. Instant. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Gnawed Upon The caster takes a bite out of the victim inflicting 400,000 physical damage and increasing the damage they take by 100% for 20 sec. 100 yd range. Instant.
  • Grow (New) Grows, increasing all damage done by 15%. 1 sec cast. 3 sec cooldown.
  • Infected Talons 100 yd range. Instant. Inflicts 30,000 Nature damage to the target every 3 seconds. 100 yd range. Instant.
  • Lightning Nova (New) Summons lightning to blast all enemies within 15 yards for 125,000 Nature damage. 2 sec cast. 3 sec cooldown.
  • Lingering Gaze 100 yd range. Instant. Inflicts 75,000 Shadow damage to the victim every second. 100 yd range. Instant.
  • Living Poison Inflicts 100,000 Nature damage to enemies within 8 4 yards every 1 sec. Instant.
  • Mortal Strike Inflicts 200% Inflicts 300% weapon damage and leaves the target wounded, reducing the effectiveness of any healing by 50% for 8 sec. Requires Melee Weapon. Melee range. Instant.
  • Mutation Instant. Inflicts 50,000 Nature damage and grants a mutation. Instant.
  • Rending Charge Charge the opponent and strike them, causing them to bleed for 20,000 40,000 Physical damage every 1 sec. for 6 15 sec. 6 yd range. Instant.
  • Shale Shards (New) Spits a shale shard at an enemy, inflicting 55,000 Physical damage every 3 sec. for 12 sec. Limited to 1 target. Instant.
  • Siphon Life (New) Drains 100,000 life from all enemies further than 15 yards from the caster. 2.5 sec cast. 3 sec cooldown.
  • Static Burst Jin'rokh the Breaker performs a quick strike, dealing inflicting 100,000 Nature damage to all players. After 3 sec., this applies 10 Static Wound stacks to his current target. Melee range. Instant. 5 sec cooldown.
  • Storm Energy Charges the player, causing them to inflict Nature damage to nearby players. Unlimited range. Instant. 8 yd range. Instant.
  • Touch of the Animus The Dark Animus periodically corrupts a random target, inflicting 70,000 Fire damage every 10 8 sec for the remainder of the encounter. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Transfusion Defeating any size Anima Golem will cause the Anima that was powering them to flow into the nearest another golem with enough available capacity. Instant. In LFR difficulty, a random golem is chosen. In other difficulties, the nearest golem is chosen. Instant.
  • Ventral Sacs Sacs located around the frill will periodically erupt, inflicting 15,000 20,000 Nature damage to all enemies every 1 sec. Instant.
  • Volatile Mutation Instant. Inflicts 600,000 Nature damage and grants a harmful mutation. Instant.
  • Volatile Pathogen Inflicts 100,000 Nature damage to the target every 1 sec. and summons a Living Fluid. 100 yd range. Instant. 100 yd range. Instant.



The Daily Blink - The History of WoW in One Panel
The Daily Blink has a good summary of the subscriber number dip.

by Published on 2013-02-08 09:51 AM

Diablo III Has Sold Over 12 Million Copies, Diablo III Lectures on GDC 2013, Poll: Who's Your Favorite Diablo III Villain?, Witch Doctor Fan Art

WoW Down to 9.6 Million Subscribers

Patch 5.2 Valor Gear
Patch 5.2 brings us new gear purchased with Valor Points from the Shado-Pan Assault. They will offer a variety of item level 522 gear starting from Neutral reputation all the way up to Revered. Reputation is earned mostly from killing raid bosses, including LFR bosses.

You can purchase these items from Ao Pye in Townlong Steppes. It is possible that Teng of the Flying Daggers will also sell them in the future, but she currently only sells the Grand Commendation. Currently the only reward at Exalted is the Shado-Pan Assault Tabard.

Prices are the same as they have been for Valor gear recently: 1250 for the Necks/Wrists/Rings, 1750 for the Hands/Trinkets/Shoulders/Rings, and 2250 for the Chest/Legs.

Level Type Spec Slot Name Req. Standing
522NeckTankNeck Vanguard's BattletagsNeutral
522NeckMeleeNeck Striker's BattletagsNeutral
522NeckSpell SpiritNeck Mender's BattletagsNeutral
522NeckPhysical DPSNeck Flanker's BattletagsNeutral
522NeckSpell DPSNeck Destroyer's BattletagsNeutral
522TrinketTrinket Steadfast Talisman of the Shado-Pan AssaultFriendly
522TrinketTrinket Vicious Talisman of the Shado-Pan AssaultFriendly
522FingerTankFinger Loop of the Shado-Pan AssaultFriendly
522FingerMeleeFinger Band of the Shado-Pan AssaultFriendly
522FingerSpell SpiritFinger Ring of the Shado-Pan AssaultFriendly
522FingerPhysical DPSFinger Seal of the Shado-Pan AssaultFriendly
522TrinketPhysical DPSTrinket Brutal Talisman of the Shado-Pan AssaultFriendly
522FingerSpell DPSFinger Signet of the Shado-Pan AssaultFriendly
522TrinketSpell DPSTrinket Soothing Talisman of the Shado-Pan AssaultFriendly
522TrinketSpell DPSTrinket Volatile Talisman of the Shado-Pan AssaultFriendly
522ClothSpell SpiritWrists Bracers of Shielding ThoughtFriendly
522ClothSpell DPSWrists Troll-Burner BracersFriendly
522LeatherSpell SpiritWrists Hearthfire ArmwrapsFriendly
522LeatherPhysical DPSWrists Willow-Weave ArmbandsFriendly
522MailSpell SpiritWrists Spiritcaller CuffsFriendly
522MailPhysical DPSWrists Powderburn BracersFriendly
522PlateTankWrists Axebinder WristguardsFriendly
522PlateMeleeWrists Bonecrusher BracersFriendly
522PlateSpell SpiritWrists Softscar ArmplatesFriendly
522BackTankBack Many-Layered ScalecloakHonored
522BackMeleeBack Spikeshard GreatcloakHonored
522ClothSpell SpiritLegs Wisp-Weave PantaloonsHonored
522ClothSpell SpiritHands Ghostbinder GripsHonored
522BackSpell SpiritBack Dreamweaver DrapeHonored
522BackPhysical DPSBack Longshot ForestcloakHonored
522ClothSpell DPSLegs Charfire LeggingsHonored
522ClothSpell DPSHands Flameweaver HandwrapsHonored
522BackSpell DPSBack Shadowspike CloakHonored
522LeatherPhysical DPSLegs Legguards of Hidden KnivesHonored
522LeatherPhysical DPSHands Daggerfinger ClutchesHonored
522LeatherSpell DPSLegs Trousers of Waning ShadowHonored
522LeatherSpell DPSHands Gloves of Enduring RenewalHonored
522MailPhysical DPSLegs Homeguard LeggingsHonored
522MailPhysical DPSHands Gauntlets of the LongbowHonored
522MailSpell DPSLegs Kilt of Rising ThunderHonored
522MailSpell DPSHands Totemshaper GlovesHonored
522PlateTankLegs Thunderbreaker LegplatesHonored
522PlateTankHands Stoneward HandguardsHonored
522PlateMeleeLegs Vaultbreaker GreavesHonored
522PlateMeleeHands Bloodstained SkullsqueezersHonored
522PlateSpell DPSLegs Legguards of RenewalHonored
522PlateSpell DPSHands Touch of Soothing MistsHonored
522ClothSpell SpiritShoulders Halo-Graced MantleRevered
522ClothSpell SpiritChest Robes of Misty BindingsRevered
522ClothSpell SpiritWaist Girdle of Glowing LightRevered
522ClothSpell DPSShoulders Frost-Kissed ShoulderwrapsRevered
522ClothSpell DPSShoulders Shoulders of Demonic DreamsRevered
522ClothSpell DPSChest Fire Support RobesRevered
522ClothSpell DPSWaist Firestrike CordRevered
522LeatherSpell SpiritShoulders Heartroot ShoulderguardsRevered
522LeatherSpell SpiritChest Raiment of Silent StarsRevered
522LeatherSpell SpiritWaist Martiean's Splitleaf GirdleRevered
522LeatherPhysical DPSShoulders Wallwalker SpauldersRevered
522LeatherPhysical DPSChest Roofstalker ShadowwrapRevered
522LeatherPhysical DPSWaist Darkfang BeltRevered
522MailSpell SpiritShoulders Lightning Strike MantleRevered
522MailSpell SpiritChest Skinsealer TunicRevered
522MailSpell SpiritWaist Cracklebite LinksRevered
522MailPhysical DPSShoulders Targetblinder SpauldersRevered
522MailPhysical DPSChest Carapace of Segmented ScaleRevered
522MailPhysical DPSWaist Nightflight ChainRevered
522PlateTankShoulders Sparksmasher PauldronsRevered
522PlateTankChest Breastplate of Brutal StrikesRevered
522PlateTankWaist Reinforced Spiritplate GirdleRevered
522PlateMeleeShoulders Sightblinder ShoulderguardsRevered
522PlateMeleeChest Gianttooth ChestplateRevered
522PlateMeleeWaist Swordhook SlingbeltRevered
522PlateSpell SpiritShoulders Shoulderguards of PotentiationRevered
522PlateSpell SpiritChest Hauberk of Gleaming FireRevered
522PlateSpell SpiritWaist Waistplate of Channeled MendingRevered
1Other Grand Commendation of the Shado-Pan AssaultRevered
1TabardTabard Shado-Pan Assault TabardExalted


Warlock Green Fire Toggle
Once you have earned Green Fire, you will be able to disable it by speaking with Jubeka Shadowbreaker in Shadowmoon Valley.



Isle of the Thunder King: PTR Unlock Schedule
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Pandaria, her hills of gold
In dark and mournful times of old
Did once a hopeless horror hold

When from her sacred vale did spring
With storm and flash, a monstrous thing!
His name, Lei Shen: The Thunder King.

World of Warcraft Path 5.2: The Thunder King is almost here. The Kirin-Tor Offensive, led by Jaina Proudmoore, and the Sunreaver Onslaught, championed by Lor’themar Theron, are converging on the Isle of the Thunder King to topple the first emperor before he can wreak havoc across Pandaria. Their campaign will march slowly across the island, unlocking new content over time.

We’re ready to test the full breadth of the island, and that’s where you come in: Players who participate on the Public Test Realm can enjoy an accelerated unlock schedule, blasting from the beach to the shores and into the Thunder King’s inner citadel in a matter of a few short weeks. By participating, you’ll be a great asset to Jaina and Lor’themar. More importantly, you’ll help us knock out any nasty problems with the island and its progression before we go live.

Transfer over a character and report to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms for instructions !

Below is a tentative unlock schedule. This is of course subject to change and does not reflect patch release dates.

Active – PTR set to stage 0. The Sunreavers and Kirin-Tor will besiege the island from offshore.
Feb 8 – PTR set to Stage 1. You’ll be able to conquer a foothold on the island itself.
Feb 12– PTR set to stage 2. With your help, Jaina and Lor’themar will blast the walls and infiltrate the outer city.
Feb 15– PTR set to stage 3. Daring players can infiltrate the mines and blast open the doors to the Thunder Forge.
Feb 19 – PTR set to stage 4. Block further Zandalari reinforcements by overtaking the shipyard.
Feb 22 – PTR set to stage 5. Fight your way to the Thunder King’s front door! Jaina and Lor’themar will have a ... reckoning.

Question for you Nethaera. With the wording for Stage 5, does this indicate that the Raid itself will not be open until the push has progressed to where we are "at the Thunder Kings front door" making the launch of the raid 2+ weeks after the launch of the patch itself?
As far as I'm aware (last I heard caveat and all that) the Island unlocks do not affect the Raid availability. The Island unlocks will affect some other things (of course.)

Isle of the Thunder King and Isle of Giants
Dave Kosak recently answered a few questions about how the Isle of the Thunder King and Isle of Giants will work.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP and the Global Cooldown
But personally I would find it annoying when there on global cooldown, especially with raiding. Makes them feel...........Clunky :P
This is quite true, having these types of abilities on the global cooldown would probably make them feel clunky, on top of that it can waste part of the time that they are active in order to begin utilising them. Also remember that these "Swifty" macros are an all or nothing venture, they are not a guaranteed "I-win" button.

When a player pops all of their cooldowns in one big hit, they are taking the risk of simply wasting them because their opponents go on the defensive. The choice to use a cooldown is exactly that, a choice, and it can backfire. When it backfires, the player using the cooldowns feel they should be compensated because their damage is now lower and they feel their cooldowns need to be up again to be useful. When it works however, the person that's on the other end feels it’s completely unfair, even if they are able to survive it at other times through their own reactions and defensive abilities.

That chance and randomness in fighting people with different skill levels to counter and react to the strategies of another is part of what makes PvP more engaging and exciting. If it were simply about looking at someone’s output versus another person’s output and declaring a winner on potential damage done, then it would make the gameplay stale because you would always be able to know the winner beforehand. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World of Warcraft Difficulty Changes Feedback
Complexity gives people more to learn, thus prolonging the life of a game because every time you think you've mastered something, there's always something new to learn.
Throw too much complexity to a game, and then suddenly you're not prolonging its life, but rather, overwhelming newcomers.

The people that are usually the most adamant against complexity are the ones that don't have the patience to learn something properly and demand that it be lowered to their level so they can "enjoy everything right off the bat".
As long as you have a challenge at some level on the game (for some it will be Heroic Sha of Fear, for others it will be Shado-Pan Monastery Challenge Mode trying to get gold, for others it'll be Garalon Normal, for others getting to 2.5k rating on PVP... I could go on) what's the harm if things are made more accessible to other players? (As long as you have your challenge)

The LFR is a great example of this, instant gratification with absolutely no commitment required. No preparation required, no need to know what the bosses do, no nothing. Just go in, spam 3-4 buttons and you're done.

And you want this to be encouraged? Christ, modern gamers make the mind boggle.

It's not quite instant gratification (you have to defeat the boss, do the whole run, etc etc), neither on the same level of rewards that players get for completing Normal of Heroic content.

I disagree. Lets look at raids (I didnt do any at MOP, but know them quite well). At Vanilla it took a good guild to clear a new raid several weeks. A medicore guild or casual, some months. Today you join the LFR and a few hours later you have finished the content. Do you see the big difference there? In vanilla you were busy for many weeks, today for several hours.

In vanilla you had a real competition within your faction. You always had to be better than the other players, you had to win a lot and these BG´s did last 1 or 2 hours. Today you have 5 min arena games where a fotm wins. But even if you dont win, you will be a winner at the end of the season. Again, its missing the depth.

That's not depth. Content in vanilla required more preparation, but bosses were much, much easier than today's Heroic content.

The duration of the content doesn't have much to do with the depth of the game. In fact, there's much more depth and complexity in overcoming your opposition on a Rated Battleground today (as strategies keep evolving as the community does and teams can be very coordinated) as opposed to trying to cap Lumber Mill for the 100th time with a bunch of strangers that refuse to stay in their bases and would rather camp the roads.

I dont deny that you can do more things today, but the "how" is what matters and there wow has lost a lot of its depth and fun.
Many of the things that have been mentioned on discussions like this have to do with "the grind" more than the activity itself.

Was Battleguard Sartura a fun encounter in Ahn'Qiraj? Sure, it was.
Was it incredibly fun to farm the resistance sets required for some bosses back then? I'm not so sure there's going to be a common agreement there... (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvE
Would it be too complex to make 10 baseline and increase dungeon diff linearly for every extra player until 25?
Worry that it wouldn't scale that naturally. Would suck to see: You need 12 for boss 1, 10 for boss 2, then 20 for boss 3. (Source)

Why do you think a random token is any less exciting than a random item? That almost sounds sadistic.
Depends perhaps whether you like gift cards or actual gifts for holidays. (Source)

If the rewards don't incentivise 25s, should the next approach be to make it easier to find raiders?
Making it easier to find raiders is great all the way around, but seems like it benefits 10s just as much. (Source)

understand thunderforged but not a fan yet. 522 normal gear is extreme though, no? try 509/513 or something, feels bad at 522.
Can you elaborate on the issue? Why is 522 a bad number? (Source)

Just wondering if you will have to have downed Sha of Fear to enter Trollduar and will the req IL be 500? (for normal mode)
There is no ilevel or sha requirement for normal mode, though it will be harder if you're undergeared of course. (Source)

Has there been any discussions to make an exclusive 10s and 25s? The gear could be the same but the bosses would be different
You would get half as many bosses (or patches would take us twice as long). (Source)

I thought the Justice/Valor point system was the mechanic to ensure even unlucky people got loot from raiding.
In N or H, usually your friends will eventually take pity on you. In LFR, you theoretically could fail every roll forever. (Source)

PvP
IMO, PvP would be better with more casting and interrupting than more instants and immunities. Going to be a tough sell though. (Source)

"Tyrannical Primal Diamond"Please just leave stuff like this out of PvP. Adding a gem like this makes no sense at all!
You'd rather complete the raid quest chain to get a gem? (Source)

I'm confused. I thought you were going away from PvE manditory for PvP? Whats with new meta gems?
The PvP gem won't require raiding. (Source)

Is dueling healthy for the community? It's not balanced, so it serves little purpose.
It's fun for a lot of players. That serves a purpose. (Source)

"also want to reiterate that we see very little PvP participation during the PTR"erm WHAT?you know that we cant PvP on PTR atm
I can't remember how many major patches I've been through. A dozen? This is an eternal issue not a 5.2 issue. (Source)

Why was removing blanket silence reverted? It would have solved a lot of issues with CC and locking out and smooth out thegame
I tried to explain in US PTR forum. This was one of those deals where many high-end players thought we were making a mistake. (Source)

Grand Empress Kill Video
Fifth Element of Stormrage-US came up with a unique intro for their Grand Empress kill video.

by Published on 2013-02-07 09:16 PM

Important - Some people got automatically redirected to Facebook from MMO-Champion for a couple of minutes. Nothing compromised or anything like that, this is happening all over the web.

WoW Down to 9.6 Million Subscribers
Activision Blizzard's press release states that World of Warcraft is down to 9.6 million subscribers as of December 31, 2012. This is lower than the amount of subscribers from the "over 10 million" announced for Q3 2012. A few other interesting points:

  • Mists of Pandaria was the #3 best-selling PC game at retail.
  • Diablo III was the #1 best-selling PC game at retail, breaking PC-game sales records with more than 12 million copies sold worldwide through December 31, 2012.
by Published on 2013-02-07 07:49 AM

1.0.7 Is Very Close, To AH or Not to AH, Adding Sockets Not Likely To Come Soon, Angels Will Never Be a Playable Class, Blue Posts, Project Blackstone

Project Blackstone
We now finally know what the Project Blackstone domain was for! You can take a look around with the password, "Y7_$0>0k_3<$m" and see some more of the action on Twitter:





Patch 5.2 - Green Fire Quest Preview
Patch 5.2 finally adds the Green Fire quest line for Warlocks. After finding a The Codex of Xerrath as a somewhat rare drop, you combine the tome with a Healthstone to bind it to you. If you want to test the quest line on the PTR, you can get it as a guaranteed drop from an NPC near the Shado-Pan Garrison.

Once bound, you begin with a quest to find the origins of the tome by speaking with your demons. Each demon will tell you something different about it. You then take the tome to a Warlock Trainer to find out more.

Your Warlock trainer will recognize that the tome is important to the Council of the Black Harvest, and ask you to read through Part One of Legacy of the Masters.

You will then need to look through Jubeka's Journal and find fragments in Hellfire, Blade's Edge, Netherstorm, and Shadowmoon Valley. At three of the fragments, you will witness a memory, of which you can find the text below.


Netherstorm Memory
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: Such strange creatures. Why do they remain so long after the legion has left?
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: ...there's a slight flaw in that supposition.
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: Oh?
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: The Observers were in the service of Illidan... not the legion.
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: Well, he's gone too... so why are they still around?
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: How should I know?
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: Well, I've spent weeks trying to understand how to summon one of these things. If you know something I don't, I'd appreciate it if you'd share it with us "lesser" mortals.
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: What's the problem? You handled the binding of the Fel Imps and Voidlords effortlessly.
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: They were trivial by comparison! These things are never in the same place.
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: There's something... strange about them... something out of place...
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: Oh dear...
Blade's Edge Memory
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: I tire of your evasive babble, doomguard. Explain to me why you and your kind are drawn to sacrificial magics.
Doomguard: My contract is to fight for you, not to reveal the legion's secrets, mortal.
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: Do not attempt to decieve me, demon!
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: Your kind far predates Sargeras's betrayal. What WERE you?
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: This knowledge is useless... what are you trying to achieve, Kanrethad?
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: STAY OUT OF THIS! The demon will answer, NOW!
Doomguard: What an odd demand. Not even my own kind care about our origins. Why should you?
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: If you do not care then there is no harm telling me.
Doomguard: ... before Sargeras freed us, we were the Titan's hounds. Forever enslaved to police the use of arcane.
Doomguard: Sacrificial magic was considered the greatest violation of life and we were attuned to instantly punish those who delved into such... delicious sorcery.
Doomguard: You have your petty secret, Kanrethad. Now, I demand knowledge from you... why do you care?
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: I don't believe that is part of our contact. We are done here.
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: Jubeka, complete the ritual.
Shadowmoon Valley Memory
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: What is it you wished to show me...?
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: ... I've seen the fear in your eyes, Jubeka.
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: What...? No! I.. I have... no idea...
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: Gul'dan destroyed this world in his bid for power... you're concerned I will do the same to Azeroth.
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: ...
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: No! Stay back...! You... you're dangerous. I remain content summoning demons, but you...
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: ...you toy with becoming one yourself!
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: There are two sides to the blade of Demonology...
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: ... the threats that besiege us from the outside...
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: ... and those that threaten us from within.
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: I chose you as my companion for a reason.
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: And what depraved reason is that...?
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: ... If I fail, I need you to banish me forever.

You then follow the soulstone that was created by the fragments to the gates of the Black Temple, find the mark on the door, and enter the scenario. After defeating Kanrethad, you are granted Green Fire!


  • Enter the Black Temple - Avoid the guards and enter the Sanctuary of Shadows.
  • Search for signs of the Council's Presence - Find the Council of the Black Harvest's trail.
  • Follow Akama to the Shrine of Lost Souls - Walk with Akama to the Shrine of Lost Souls.
  • Uncover the Council's Plan - Investigate the Reliquary of Souls.
  • Defeat the Essence of Order - Claim the soul crystal left behind by the Council of the Black Harvest.
  • Escape the Shrine of Lost Souls - Fight off the demons unleashed by the Reliquary and return to Akama in the Halls of Anguish.
  • Plunder the Den of Mortal Delights - Grab as much treasure as you can before time runs out.
  • Head to the Temple Summit - Take the Empowered Soulcore to the Temple Summit.
  • Defeat Kanrethad - Place the Empowered Soulcore in the Demonic Soulwell, and defeat Kanrethad.

As of now, it seems that the part of the quest line with The Eye of the Storm, Wrathion, and Warlock Island has been abandoned.



10% Nerf to Patch 5.0 Raids
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Something that has continued to evolve over the life of the game has been end-game progression, and what’s required of your character to see what is at any one time considered the final raid. Originally it was a very linear path. You had to gear up through one raid before you could attempt the next, and the one after that, and so on. It meant that if you were even slightly behind the curve you could potentially never catch up. We began adding mechanics and options in Burning Crusade and beyond to ensure players could, with effort, have some ability to catch up. Fast forward to Cataclysm where we believe we went too far the other direction and a freshly minted 90 didn’t really have to do anything before jumping directly into Dragon Soul.

In Mists of Pandaria we want to get back to where we were in helping people catch up, but only through some effort in completing prior content. We don’t want it to be a linear A->B->C model again, because that causes a lot of undue burden on guilds attempting to catch up alts and replacements, but we also don’t want the Cataclysm model of being able to more or less skip straight to the end, invalidating everyone’s efforts who came before.

New characters coming into Mists of Pandaria will be going through Mogu’shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of Endless Spring, killing bosses, and gearing up before moving on. Due to that we’ll be adjusting the difficulty, as well as item drops, to make progression a bit quicker without shortcutting people directly to the Throne of Thunder raid. With the release of 5.2 enemy health and damage in the three prior raids will be reduced by 10%. We expect this to be a one-time reduction, and not a slowly increasing reduction as we’ve done previously. In addition, item drops are being greatly increased, including those from Elder Charm of Good Fortune bonus rolls. In addition, as stated in the patch notes, costs of 5.0 and 5.1 Valor items are being reduced by 50% and 25% respectively.

IN ADDITION! If you’re killing bosses in Normal and Heroic before 5.2 releases, and thus pre-nerf, you’ll actually get Feats of Strength honoring the accomplishments you made before the change – which is pretty cool. IMO.

With these changes we hope to see players able to catch when coming into the game mid-expansion, or leveling an alt, but still putting in the time and effort to get to the latest tier.

Patch 5.2 Currency Conversions
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Patch 5.2 introduces a new raid tier and PvP season, and so the higher tier currencies will be down-converted during maintenance. This time around there won’t be a soft cap, old Valor items aren’t changing to cost Justice, and we’re adding a new rank of PvP gear. Let’s break down exactly how it’s all going to harmoniously work together.

PvE
All Valor is converted to Justice
Justice above the 4000 cap is converted to gold at a rate of 47 silver per point

So let’s say the realms go down for the 5.2 patch and you have 450 Valor and 3800 Justice. Because of the 4000 Justice cap, you’d log back in after the patch is released with 0 Valor, 4000 Justice, and be 117 gold and 50 silver richer after the conversion.

With 5.2 we won’t be changing current Valor items to cost Justice, but they will be much cheaper (discounts from 50-75% off their current costs). You’ll need to acquire Valor after the patch is released to buy pieces for their discounted rate, or to buy the new 5.2 Valor items, but we’re also introducing new items to spend your Justice on, including heirlooms and Pet Battle stones.

Charms
While Charms won’t be converted, Lesser Charms of Good Fortune will no longer be used to purchase Elder Charms in patch 5.2. Instead Lesser Charms will purchase Mogu Runes of Fate. They’ll be purchasable in the same way; once a week, 90 Lesser Charms can be converted to 3 Mogu Runes of Fate via a quest in your faction’s Shrine. Mogu Runes of Fate will be usable for bonus rolls on 5.2 raid and world bosses only. Elder Charms will continue to be used for bonus rolls on 5.0 raids and world bosses, and will now be acquired as item drops by killing enemies in the new 5.2 Thundering Isle outdoor zone.

PvP
All Conquest is converted to Honor
Honor above the 4000 cap is converted to gold at a rate of 35 silver per point

For example, if I log out before the 5.2 maintenance period with 450 Conquest and 3800 Honor, my excess of 250 Honor would be converted, and so when I log in after 5.2 is released I would have 0 Conquest, 4000 Honor, and be 87 gold and 50 silver richer.

In 5.2 we’re introducing an entirely new tier of PvP gear that will be purchasable with Honor to help smooth out the gearing progression for new and returning players, alts, etc. so they can catch up and be a bit more successful coming in mid-season or even mid-expansion. You can read more about all the changes being made surrounding that in the PvP Gear blog we posted a few weeks back.

LFR Raid Testing Coming Soon
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We're planning on opening the LFR wings of the Throne of Thunder raid sequentially, beginning on Thursday, February 7, by 11am PST (2pm EST, 8pm CET). We will leave LFR open through the weekend, so hop on the PTR, check it out, and share your feedback!

The item level requirement for the 5.2 LFR sections is 480 -- if you can't meet this threshold, note that there are vendors with epic PvP and PvE set pieces that may help you reach it.

FEEDBACK: Oondasta
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Please use this thread to discuss the world boss Oondasta, who looms over the Isle of Giants off the northern coast of Kun-Lai Summit. He's fairly challenging and, to my knowledge, has not been defeated at all yet.

Guilds that are logging on to test our other raid encounters in Throne of Thunder are encouraged to check him out, perhaps in between testing sessions. I'll even make a post here naming and congratulating the players who manage to secure the ever-prestigious World First Public Test Realm Kill(TM).

FEEDBACK: Warlock "Green fire" Questline
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Yes, it's happening, and next PTR build you should be able to test it. Please use this thread for your feedback on the experience, and please expect there will be spoilers here.

(Please do not use this thread to discuss other warlock or non-warlock related topics, including but not limited to, your pitch for a quest line for your class.)

To begin the Black Harvest questline on the PTR, you can find an item that starts the quest as a drop on the "Green Flame Infernal." When 5.2 goes live, the item will be rarer but not stupidly rare.

Known Issues:
1) At one point you will be asked to speak with a Warlock trainer. The quest is not hooked up to every possible trainer, so keep talking to trainers until you find one.
2) At a later point in the quest, there is a timed element. In the current build, you must finish the trial within the time frame given or be forced to redo it. In a future build, you will be able to proceed even if you fail the time check. This will make sense when you see it.

One request: if you are providing tuning feedback (i.e. if a fight is too easy or too hard), could you please let us know the ilevel of the character you're using?

We appreciate all the feedback.

the Den of Mortal Delights part isn't particularly clear as to what I'm supposed to do or what will complete the objective. It says "loot everything you can in the time available" and I'm looting everything I can click on, but I'm still failing the objective.
I edited the original instructions, but this is the second issue I mentioned. The timer is supposed to expire, at which point you are done looting and continue on your adventure. On your version of the PTR, if the timer expires before you reach the end of the loot run, you fail. This isn't intended. For now, your best bet might be to ignore the loot and just book it to the end.

PTR Class and Set Bonus Issues
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Will the 'always hit' apply to moving targets as well or is it just for stationary targets?
Always hit your primary target, even if moving.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • We are reverting the nerf to Body and Soul. It will stay at 4 sec duration.
  • Holy Fire will be instant baseline. We agree it is an unnecessary nerf to remove that 5.1 functionality, but we also like the range increase from the 5.2 version of the glpyh, so just removing Holy Fire's cast time seems like the right move. Solace will still be positioned as an upgraded Holy Fire that generates mana.
  • We understand that reverting the Devouring Plague change (restoring it to its 5.1 functionality) is a nerf to Shadow mastery, but overall we are still sympathetic to the arguments that losing burst from Devouring Plague is a negative in PvE and doesn't really solve the PvP burst problem (which is more about holding procs). We haven't adjusted Shadow's PvE damage yet in any case.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • We are going to try Grand Crusader proc'd by CS, HotR and dodge and parry (at lower chances for each).
  • We are going to buff Seal of Justice and Seal of Righteousness damage. Neither of these Seals is seeing enough use. Justice was always intended to be a strong PvP Seal, and it just isn't right now. We haven't solidified numbers yet - I'm just sharing our intent.

PvP
We're making a change to the way damage-to-healing conversions work so that the healing is not affected by resilience. The healing will be based on how much damage would have been done as if the target had no resilience. If you hit an opponent for 10K and have a mechanic that converts damage into 50% healing, your hit may land for 6K because of resilience, but the heal will still be 5K (50% of the unmitigated damage). This only applies to resilience, not to armor, Shield Wall or other forms of damage reduction.

This change currently includes Atonement, Glyph of Battle Healer, Ancestral Guidance, Vampiric Embrace, Nature's Vigil, Glyph of Siphon Life, Eminence, Glyph of Flame Shock and Leeching Poison.

Related, we have read feedback that certain mechanics, such as Retribution's mastery, Hand of Light, are double-dipping from resilience. If this happened, then your attack would be mitigated by resilience and then the mastery proc (which is supposed to be a percentage of the main attack) would also be mitigated by resilience. However, we can find no evidence that this is actually happening. In our testing, Hand of Light is never mitigated by resilience a second time. If anyone has additional information, please share.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
The 2pc Windwalker PvE bonus no longer drops spheres in a circle. They drop right next to you, much like the Brewmaster's Gift of the Ox, so that you can shift side to side and pick them all up.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
We are currently trying Overpower on a 1 sec GCD (again). We like the way it feels and we like that it boosts Arms' damage without having to increase the damage of special attacks (which risks PvP burst), so we're going to let you guys try it next PTR build.

Leeching poison not getting that change or just forgot to list it?
It is and I did forget (and edited the note above).

Will they still be getting reduced by Battle Fatigue, or are those conversions set to ignore it as well?
Battle Fatigue will still reduce the healing.

I feel like there's a huge disconnect here between the way we play and the way you guys play. The issue with this set bonus isn't the way the orbs are dropped, it's that extra energy is very rarely something we ever need.
Our suspicion is you are viewing this through the lens of 5.1, where you are often GCD capped. The 5.2 mastery changes open up a lot more GCDs (that you can then fill with extra energy). Have you tried the set bonus on the PTR?

Battle Fatigue is gone on the PTR, that's why a ton of feedback about some hybrids heals in the ptr are false. Just saying that this is a cause of some incorrect feedback, and make PVP on the ptr quite frustrating to test.
This is accurate. Battle Fatigue isn't working at the moment on the PTR. We're aware of it and we keep that in mind when evaluating feedback. It's a good idea for you all to do so as well.

I don't care so much about Shattering throw (mostly a PVP thing), or Cleave (I don't mind if it's useless much much HS is for us), but Whirlwind, Sweeping Strikes, and Thunderclap all really need to be looked at.
Awhile ago, we made Whirlwind only cost 20 rage for Arms to address Arms needing to spend more rage on Overpower. I may have forgotten to report it and I don't think it's in the patch notes. Cleave is supposed to be expensive (like Heroic Strike). Thunder Clap is really cheap already. Sweeping Strikes is expensive but also quite powerful so we suspect it's okay, but we'll adjust if needed.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Patch 5.2 Class DPS Balance
The ones that are played by players who know their class, the raid mechanics, and can adapt to situations on the fly.
I have nothing to add here.

No, I kid. But that was an excellent point.

Something that Ghostcrawler has brought up in the past is that top players will tend to hone in on a specific spec, and wring the most out of it. Parses are posted showing the results, and others follow suit. Soon the parses get dominated by players doing very well with a particular class and spec. Now, we know from internal testing that other options might be competitive, or even better, but because of the... uh, I guess I'll call it the 'echo effect', those specs never really get a chance to shine because everyone has already found something that works, and works well.

Of course, that's not always the case. Sometimes those other specs might not be getting spotlight time because they're much harder to get optimal performance out of, or other factors. Still, it's a real phenomenon.

The other thing to keep in mind is that we (as a community) have developed a strange relationship with damage numbers. Once upon a time, there were pretty broad differences in dps between the highest and lowest dps classes. Bringing the wrong class could have a real impact on your ability to win a fight. Over the years I think we've gone a very long way toward fixing that, and the gap between the different classes and specs has narrowed considerably. Instead of 50 and even 100% differences in output, now we're usually talking about 5 and 10% differences. At these ranges, skill, timing, and knowledge play a more central role than ever before in determining how much practical damage a class is capable of, and even the classes that aren't topping the charts are contributing essential and meaningful amounts of damage.

Don't get me wrong, I have fun vying for the top spot too. I'm just saying that even if your class isn't the #1 top damage for a particular encounter, you're still in a position to help make an important contribution to the fight and ensure that your raid group is killing bosses.

Not trying to quote out of context, but a 10% difference will never sit well with the bulk of the community. I'd even go so far as to say a 5% difference is probably too much. Yeah it's come a long way, but it simply doesn't work in the community's perspective on damage output.
I know, and I get it, but I also think that's kind of unfortunate. Due to vagaries in individual player capabilities, differences in class ability mechanics, latency, encounter design, the moon phase, etc., getting dps numbers within a couple % points of each other is extremely difficult. In some cases, it's not even desirable. What I mean by that is, it's cool that some classes perform better in specific encounters when their unique traits become valuable. As I said earlier, being top dps is fun, if it's you. It can be fun OR frustrating to shoot for that target if it isn't you. Regardless, the point of good dps is defeating encounters, which is much more a product of the raid's efforts as a whole, and their collective skill and knowledge.

Would we like dps (and tanking, and healing) output to be even more balanced, just on principle? It would be awesome. Is there a point of diminishing returns where constantly tweaking those things doesn't significantly impact the success or failure of players and raid groups in general? I think that's also the case. I'm not saying we can't do better, but we do have to prioritize our time to yield the best overall experience we can provide. We've made progress over time, and we'll continue to try to do so. In the meantime, I hope that most players feel like they can choose the class they want to play, and not feel like that choice is holding them back from being a productive member of their group.

This notion that a thin layer of elite players is leading the masses down the wrong path is cute. It's way more likely that your lab results, for whatever reason, don't translate perfectly in a live environment.
Oh, we know for a fact that lab results don't always translate into a live environment. I didn't use the word 'wrong' because it would be... well, wrong. Our theory crafting community is smart, and their analysis is sound. The specs and classes they advocate have been proven to be strong and effective, and are the top performers in many cases.

What I'm suggesting is that often other specs can still be viable, competitive, and better than they're presented to be by parses, but that's not always reflected because they didn't make the initial theory crafting cut. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.2 LFR Item Level
A couple of points to make here.

First, the mere fact that item level 502 gear is available from Throne of Thunder LFR doesn't mean that the day patch 5.2 goes live, everyone will suddenly be handed a set of that 502 gear. The sections of LFR are going to unlock over time, and as a quick glance around the Raid & Dungeon forums will tell you, players sometimes only receive gold when defeating bosses, instead of loot (shocking, I know). Sure, maybe 3 months down the line, someone who has been running Throne LFR regularly will have slightly better gear than someone who's been doing Normal mode raids today. But the Normal mode raider who has spent those same 3 months in Normal mode Throne will have far superior items (ilvl 522) by that point anyway.

Second, part of the reason that the items are ilvl 502 is the existence of the array of Valor gear to which LFR-only players have had access to throughout patches 5.0 and 5.1. Many LFR-only players have a number of 489 and 496 Valor items that they've purchased and perhaps even upgraded. If we'd made Throne LFR drop ilvl 496 items, as suggested, a large number of LFR-only players would find that many of the 5.2 LFR drops were barely upgrades, or even downgrades in some cases.

And just to anticipate a familiar criticism ("But if the point of LFR is just to see the content, then what do they even need gear upgrades for?") let me just say that meaningful rewards are important for every playstyle, and character progression is an integral part of WoW. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

LFR Loot System Feedback
LFR loot system is a joke, really. I've looted a couple of items 2 times already, and T14 head and shoulders 3 times. Instead of giving us duplicates the whole time, fix your lootsystem so we actually receive items that we still need and benefit us.
That's not the point of the LFR loot system. It's not mean to conveniently help you fill your gear slots with what you're missing. Is a different loot system from what we're used to see, but, as in any other loot system, it might take a while before you see the item you want finally drop. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Is WoW Losing its Epicness?
With prestigious I mean the players that go all in and really gives their heart and soul to clear the most difficult encounters, setting a benchmark for the rest of us to strive for. While these players are a small % to the community as a whole, they are the forerunners and give others an incentive to push a little harder to get further. This is now slowly getting trivialized with pokemon, cute pandas, transmogs, LFR, daily rep gear better than raid gear etc etc.
This is where most arguments just lose it (for me, of course). You might, of course, strive to achieve what others have done, but projecting that same impression onto a majority doesn't really work. The fact is, most of the players probably can't even name the best raiding guild in the world, because they just don't care. So they might give an incentive to push to some folks, absolutely (those in the raiding competition, most likley).

Then you go on and proceed to argue that these other things that have nothing to do with bleeding edge progression raiding, for some reason, "dumb down" the game, when, in fact, it's just expanding the amount of choices you have at your disposal.

If the game loses it's focus on skills and perseverance, we're only left with the social aspects and I don't really see why we just couldn't sit on FB and play farmville or some pokemon app there?
If that's what you feel WoW offers to you, then I'm afraid you are not really looking at what those activities actually have to offer to any player that wants to do something else than bleeding edge progression raiding.

This paragraph makes it sounds like the 'prestigious raiders' are climbing Everest to collect medical supplies or something. They are people spending a lot of time on a computer game, not war heroes. I for one do not aspire to be like them, I just want to enjoy playing Wow.
Coriandra sums pretty well how some players feel. While for some of you raiding is everything that exists in WoW, for others is high-end PVP, for others is doing 5-man with their friends, challenge modes, scenarios, pet batlles, heck, it might be just flying around Azeroth just because they can.

The thing is, in a game as massive as World of Warcraft you can make of it whatever you want to, and it can't be a bad answer. As long as you have fun, and feel like you're getting from the game something worth it, then there's no real harm if some people just want to PVP all day long, or if some players would rather see all raid content through Raid Finder without caring at all about world firsts.

Also, please realize that some of the casual players of today, will be the hardcore players of tomorrow; and some, if not all hardcores of today, will be the casuals of tomorrow. There's no benefit in acting like it's two separate ponds that aren't connected and pretending you will always be part of this one pond.

Based on what some of you have commented and what I saw yesterday both here on the forums and on Twitter, I'm just curious...

Why do you feel the game has been dumbed down when, in fact, heroic raid bosses (for example) are increasingly harder? You've probably seen even players arguing that this tier in Normal feels harder than it should as well.

I mean, I totally understand you feel the game is easier than before, but consider three things:
-If you're a dedicated player, your skill will improve at some point, and (most likely) at early stages your improvement will be more dramatic, so the room to make the game harder without being outright silly (numerically or mechanically) gets smaller (which should help put in perspective the amazing work developers do when coming up with new boss fight mechanics and concepts).

-Heroic raiding content is increasingly more difficult (just compare Heroic Ragnaros to Heroic Sha of Fear and to Kil'jaeden, both mechanics wise and leeway to meet enrage timers, etc)

-Most of the things you mention as being dumbed down don't really seem to target you. But rather a different segment of players that might still be getting the hang of the game or don't want/can't devote as much of their time into the game as they would like.

Considering all this, how does it affect you in a negative way (assuming that you are at the high-end spectrum) that the game is more accessible or there are more things to do for players that are not you specifically? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Thunderforged Tier Items
There are still no plans for tier items to be available with the Thunderforged designation. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

"Raiding is too Difficult and Time Consuming"
Like why do I have to sit around in normals for 3 months wiping 8 hours a week to get anywhere? It was cool to release 3 raids, but whats the point if you're gonna make them so hard no one will even get to the second one before next tier? I thought normals were supposed to be easy and hms were supposed to be the hard raids? Wiping isn't fun... bring back DS difficulty. That was perfect for normals, people could actually do them in a respectable amount of time.
I can commiserate with your feelings, but the best thing you can do is share with us specifically what encounters or issues you're having. It may be something we may need to look at and address on our end, or it may be something that other players can give you additional insight on to make the encounters seem less difficult for you.

As I see it, these are the things that could be affecting how you and your Raid team are performing:

  • You've found a bug or an imbalance in an encounter that's causing you issues.
  • Your Raid team may not be using solid achievable tactics to approach the encounters and may need to refine them more.
  • Members of your Raid team may not have the most appropriate gear for the encounters. which can cause additional burden on other members who do have appropriate gear.
  • Members of the Raid team may need to change spell rotations or even talent options for specific encounters

Again, I think by citing specific issues and problems, you may find better success in overcoming them. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Patch 5.2 Mage Balance
The Glyph of Evocation seems to have been updated on the PTR.

If you have the Invocation talent, a full Evocation will only heal you for 20%.
So, yes a mage will be able to spam it with the invocation talent, but since evocation reduces the channelling time and duration by 50%, this also means that it will heal exactly the same as it did before, since the glyph changed from 40% to 20% Health.

The old Invocation also had a 10 second cooldown, that means that although mages couldn't spam it, it wasn't that much different… Evocation used to last for 6 seconds, that means they would only have 4 seconds downtime on evocation and to be honest, going from 4 seconds of evocation downtime to 0 seconds, is not such a huge difference, because chances are, the first evocation that regenerated 40% HP for 6 seconds was enough of a buffer for the mage to wait 4 more seconds and move away or blink/frost nova/pet nova/sheep and do it again.

Still, I’m not trying to defend the changes here, simply stating some facts and my own opinion, keep in mind that anything is still subject to change and it’s exactly this kind of feedback that we need to make us rethink anything that might need tweaking. Thanks for keeping us on our toes. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.2 and Flameglow
I think its cute that its implied blizzard have a board meeting about pvp balance and get a bunch of feedback from all the devs.
Of course they do, they have regular meetings to discuss both game balance and the feedback they receive from the community. Just because you do not agree with some changes does not mean that they ignore your feedback or don't care, they simply cannot implement every change that the community mentions, especially if they feel it's not entirely beneficial to the health of the game.

On the topic of the Flameglow talent that is mentioned in this comic, I think there are some misunderstandings on how this new talent functions which I would like to address. First of all, this new talent for mages functions as follows:

Protects you with fiery energy, absorbing [ 20% of Fire Spell Power ] damage from each attack against you (up to a maximum of 30% of the attack).

Too many people are focusing on this talents potential to protect the mage from a maximum of 30% of an attack, where you must realise that under the more dire of circumstances where damage is high, it's protection is quite minimal. With most mages only just breaking 20,500 spell power unbuffed they will only protect themselves for a maximum of 7,000 damage with full procs and buffs, and 5,000 under normal buffed circumstances.

Let's take Ice Barrier which is also in the same tier as Flameglow, for a mage who has 20,000 spell power it will absorb approximately 70,000 damage. For Flameglow to absorb this damage at the same amount of spell power, you would need to take more than 17 hits where each hit does a minimum of 14,000 damage. Another situation you need to consider is that when big burst damage comes in to play.

If you are about to be hit hard, let's say you get hit by a big skill for 70,000 damage. At 20,000 spell power again, your Ice Barrier will absorb all of this, your Flameglow however will only absorb a measly 4000 damage and you will get hit for 66,000.

As you can see, Flameglow is certainly a good talent but it is not an outright winner against either Ice Barrier or even Temporal Shield. They all simply offer different situational uses and styles of gameplay. I would think that Flameglow works best against DoT's or lots of low damage, whereas Ice Barrier would be better against holding up against larger, more bursty damage. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Powershot Fixes
Both Powershot and Glaive Toss have been rebuilt and should now always hit their primary targets, plus, they should also be much more responsive to secondary targets.

This new implementation of the two abilities isn’t on PTR yet but will be as soon as both abilities have been through QA. Once we have a new PTR build go live, feel free to test them and provide us with some feedback, this is when it is most important and when it can dramatically change what ends up going live. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Your Developer Interview Druthers
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I'm in the process of scheduling fansite interviews with our developers to cover patch 5.2 content and design, and I'm curious what formats and topics are most popular among the community. In addition to this simple poll on preferred format, please elaborate on what you think makes for a successful (or unsuccessful) interview. Some examples:

  • What topics interest you most? (i.e. systems, encounters, lore, content, art, sound, etc.)
  • Why do you prefer the format you voted on?
  • What sites or podcasts are your primary sources of WoW news?
  • What sites or podcasts have conducted the most compelling interviews in the past?
  • In a single interview do you most prefer one-on-one, multiple people asking questions, or multiple developers answering questions?

Keep in mind this is specifically about press/fansite interviews with developers, and not public Q&As. The two aren't mutually exclusive and we'd like to host another developer Q&A in the near future.

Your feedback will help me assess our resources and determine a solid 5.2 interview strategy. Much appreciated!

I don't think they really address the issues that are on the forums. Its more of a PR thang, really.
It's worth pointing out that I'm specifically asking for your feedback because I want to make the developer interviews as effective as possible, and not just about PR. Our PR department does setup interviews between developers and some of the larger press/media publications/sites, but I oversee the fansite interview process and treat it as a very different animal.

I recognize that the audience frequenting fansites is completely different, typically better informed about the latest gameplay news, and prefers more in-depth design discussions.

Why is yet another dev Q&A being held on a third party site? Do you despise your own venue so much?
I'm not talking about dev Q&As. I'm talking about journalists, podcasters, and news/editorial folks sitting down with developers to interview them about World of Warcraft design, and what you think the best interview format and topics are.

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



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