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by Published on 2012-09-26 06:44 AM

Item Affixes and Monster Levels, More on Monster Powers, Status of the PTR, 1.0.5 PTR System Changes

Patch 5.0.5 Hotfixes - September 25
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Battlegrounds
Alterac Valley
  • Boss NPCs in the level 85-89 bracket are now level 90, and their guards are now level 89.
Isle of Conquest
  • Boss NPCs in the level 85-89 bracket are now level 90, and their guards are now level 89.
  • Boss NPCs in the level 90 bracket are new level 91, and their guards are now level 90.

Classes
Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Thrash periodic damage has been increased by 60%.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Keg Smash damage has been increased by 50%.
  • Keg Smash can now hit every target in range (was previously a maximum of three).

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Dungeons and Raids
Bastion of Twilight
Stormstout Brewery
  • Ook-Ook should now suffer impacts from players on barrels who hit him immediately after another barrel does.

Pet Battles
  • Battle pet quests are no longer flagged for Mists of Pandaria only, and can be accepted by players who have not yet upgraded.
  • Slicing Wind can now hit multiple times on pets, regardless of their family type.
  • Crimson Moth and Wharf Rat should appear as expected in the Pet Journal.

Quests
  • Players will now receive AOE credit for sinking both the Bladefist Reaper and Stygian Scar while in proximity of the ships being destroyed during the quest "Unleash Hell".
  • Players no longer remain in the Orgrimmar Gunship phase of "Into the Mists" once the quest is completed.
  • In the quest "Strongarm Tactics", players should now receive credit for killing Gyro-mechanic Lavenderp or Master Engineer Cogswing if the other NPC is slain by a second player.
  • Players should be able to turn in the quest "The Elder's Instruments" and then see and interact with Pearlkeeper Fujin.
  • The quests "Regroup!", "You're Either With Us Or......", and "Face to Face With Consequence" should be offered automatically to characters who enter Honeydew Glade after leaving Thunderhold without receiving them from General Nazgrim and Taren Zhu.
  • In the "Wicked Wikkets" quest, paratroopers how drop the quest item Alliance Service Medallion 100% of the time.
  • The cutscene that plays during the quest "The Jade Serpent" cannot be cancelled by the player. This is intended.

Bug Fixes
  • Players should not receive duplicate messages in chat channels.
  • Crossing a zone boundary on a multi-passenger mount should no longer dismount passengers.

Developer Interviews
Another few interview recaps for you today! Thanks to AusGamers, Twizzcast, and Tankspot.

Ion Hazzikostas - Lead Encounter Designer (AusGamers)
  • Phasing in Cataclysm helpd players feel like they were advancing the story, but at the same time it divided players. It was fun to change the world, but not as fun not being able to quest with friends.
  • Pandaria doesn't have a lot of well known lore or characters compared to previous expansions, but it goes back to the Vanilla WoW style exploration and discovery combined with the more familiar Horde vs Alliance theme.
  • There is a lot of the story told through questing right from your arrival in Pandaria. For example, there was no Silithus in Warcraft 3, but players had a lot of fun going through Silithus and learning about the Qiraji and fighting those threats.
  • Even the daily quests will progress the storyline in Mists of Pandaria.
  • It feels like 10 bosses in a tier is a good number, so don't expect 18 bosses in every upcoming tier.
  • One of the new mechanics is the ability to exert force on a player, such as wind blowing them back or pushing them forward depending on if they are moving against the wind or towards the wind.
  • Another mechanic is a attack pattern that you can actually dodge, giving your raid a boost in damage when successful at avoiding them.
  • The chess event and the Icecrown Gunship battle didn't have enough replay value and were less challenging after you had done them a few times. We might see more if this is improved upon.
  • It is possible that 10 and 25 man raid achievements could be split again in the future to give 25 man raiders more recognition.

Ion Hazzikostas - Lead Encounter Designer (Twizzcast)
  • Encounters make use of the tools of each class, which has been made easier to do with the talent changes in Mists of Pandaria.
  • Scenarios are currently for telling a story, not any kind of a challenge.
  • Only having two difficulties and no scenarios, challenge modes, or LFR made inital Cataclysm content tuning difficult, as there is a very wide range of skill levels.

Ion Hazzikostas - Lead Encounter Designer (Tankspot)
  • Raids with fewer bosses emphasize the imbalance between classes due to fight mechanics more than larger raids.
  • Any progression oriented guild should have a legendary gem for everyone in a few months.
  • Challenge modes should be fun for raiders that don't have the time to raid at a competitive level anymore.
  • Community and Blizzard run timed raid events have been very popular in the past, so that is something worth exploring in the future.
  • There is no ability to scale down character stats yet, just gear. When that feature is added it will open up many other cool things that aren't possible now, such as scaling down to play older challenge modes or raids.
  • Scenarios aren't likely to be a game changer for people that raid, but they are nice for telling a story and avoiding long queue times.
  • Proving Grounds will have some kind of ranking system with scores, allowing you to brag that you are "the best healer on the server". It will also let tanks practice tanking without ruining the dungeon experience of four other players.


Challenge Modes Leaderboard Preview
Blizzard recently shared a preview of the Challenge Mode leaderboards on Facebook. You can see videos, images, and set procs on our Challenge Mode sets page.



Blizzard vs Blood Legion - Challenge Modes
If you were unable to catch it during the event last night, can can watch Blizzard Testers (left) and Blood Legion (right) try one of the new Challenge Modes.


Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I don't have to try it out. I watch the video and can actually see what the priest is casting. Like Conductivity, Atonement should allow the priest to DPS during times of light damage. I just watched a video where 90% of a speed run challenge mode dungeon was "light damage"
It's amazing how player synergy goes a long way. Sure, some dungeons Challenges will favor some classes or class combinations over others, but that hardly matters if each class isn't using every tool in their arsenal to benefit the entire group most effectively. Our team had a healer. But they also devised extremely calculated strategies with every pull to take as much of the healing burden off their priest as possible. Their healer would've been in much more trouble had the rest of the group not executed CC with complete efficiency. They min-maxed the dungeon and had it down to a science, which is what groups will have to do if they want to top the Leaderboards.

To speak to both posts below, the main reason I love the design philosophy of Challenge Modes is that they'll still cater to a wide range of endgame players. There isn't a huge barrier to entry in World of Warcraft for manually forming a group of five capable, moderately coordinated players. Once you do, you'll find that bronze is very accessible with decent clears of Challenge dungeons without any major disasters (i.e. repeated wipes on bosses). Perform that way in all nine dungeons in Challenge Mode and you'll unlock the title "Challenge Conqueror."

If your group is well coordinated, or takes the time to gain more experience in bronze-medal clears, you'll probably enjoy the task of hitting silver. Get silver times in all nine and you'll get a sweet mount. And by the way, if you're good enough from the start the awards will be retroactive -- winning silver on your first clear of a Challenge dungeon will count toward the bronze achievement as well.

But gold is going to be quite difficult. It's going to take a lot of practice and coordination for most people. That's how you get the unique Transmogrification sets that have some insane visual effects specific to each class. You can see images of the sets and Leaderboard samples on our Facebook album.

The Leaderboards definitely won't be for everyone. But it's also likely players who work hard toward gold might feel compelled to outdo themselves, or their realm or guild mates. But getting to the top of the Leaderboards will no doubt be for extremely skilled, relatively hardcore players.

The added difficulty in this dungeon setting, requirement to manually create a group, item scaling to prevent out-gearing, and awards/bragging rights that cater to a healthy breadth of players, is what we hope will make it a popular new system in the game.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
So excited for Challenge Mode competition at USA launch! Makes a great spectator sport because there is so much movement and action.
It would make an even better spectator sport if you could spectate
Yeah. Hopefully someday. We'd love to have a spectator mode.

When will the req to be in a raid group to enter raids be removed? everyone knows work around's anyway so what's the point?
Soon! Maybe next major patch!

Give every class a special area like Peak of Serenity like Monks have. (Paraphrased)
I worry if every class had a special place that they wouldn't feel special any more.

What do you think about the current bandage system? I think it could use a lil revamp, maybe so that DoTs don't interrupt it?
I'm not sure First Aid has much of a role these days. I kind of wish it did.

Any thoughts about making TCG items BOA (such as Fishing chair, fools gold etc)
I agree that would be cool. Is sad to have your toys on the "wrong" character.

Any chance of getting the blacksmith TBC specialization weapons back on a trainer or vendor? E.g Lionheart Executioner.
That's a common request. We want to do more with BS. Look at Cooking in MoP as an example of our new ideas.

Any plans to do anything about the overcrowding of hotbars with skills for some classes. Eventually it will get overwhelming.
It's overwhelming now! We weren't successful in pruning many abilities. Too many player favs.

What about the opposite of CRZ, that tech that allows zones to deal with overpopulation with multiple shards?
We'll see, but we don't want to totally give up on the idea of a realm's community and already much works against that.

Was in Deepholm and saw people from other servers, do you think its fair that we have to compete for rare spawns with them?
They were designed with certain player densities in mind.
I understand bringing some low pop ones together,I was just a little miffed when I ran into Illidan people camping rare spawns
We always wanted there to be competition for rare spawns. That's how the game felt when there were more folks in lower zones.

If DS closes after Mists, how will rogues be able to get the Fangs of the Father? And will the clusters be available in LFR?
DS isn't closing. You just can't use Raid Finder for lvl 85 raids when you fare 90.

With acct wide achievements, if you gold all challenges on one character, do you get xmog set on all?
Just that character.

Since Vanilla it's bugged me the Eviscerate icon looks like some one is getting stabbed in the back. Does it bug you?
Yes, it bugs me too. We started to change some of these icons, but decided they were... um... iconic and let them stay.

Why, in an xpac so aimed at playing the toon you want, did you chose to make SoH BoP in stead of BoA? Please make boa!
We probably will eventually. At first we want your prof choice to be meaningful, not a problem you solve by having many alts.

Any plans to address the players on your own forums, or are they effectively abandoned?
I post on the forums frequently. Just perhaps not as much as players would like.

You don't want players to feel forced into LFR, so you give them a chance to get legendaries there? Wheres the logic there?
If you're the kind of player who completes set bonuses by running LFR, then maybe.
no. EVERYONE wants legendaries. saying "if you do LFR you get an extra chance for it" is OBVIOUSLY gonna push them into LFR.
You are probably thinking of them like Dragonwrath drops. I'd be surprised if N/H raiders are in Raid Finder after a week or two.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
If you had a chance to redo the class specs with out consequence, would you keep Beast Mastery in the game?
Yes. It has a strong kit. Players "get" it.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
One of your tweets said Volley was boring. "Channel, snooze, repeat". Can we have a change to Mind Sear then? etc..
Shadow dots are worth using for AE on many targets unless they will die really quickly. Mind Sear is better for fast kills.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
May I ask the reasons for the warrior nerfs? Just curious... Would like to understand the developers views on this.
Damage was too high at 90. Players were able to improve a little more on the rotation and gear than we anticipated. We don't like the risk of WW going into single-target rotation though, so we might tweak numbers some more.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Questing the Only Way to Level
The point of this thread was to ask the question why is questing the only way to level? If I want to bg or dungeon grind, why should I be penalized for choosing to play the game a different way? Why should I be forced to quest? Why is Blizzard forcing me to play the game a certain way?
Questing is hardly the only way to level, and while it’s easy to toss around imaginary numbers on how many people are interested in quest text, I can assure you that a rather large number of people do care. I actually think you’re missing out on quite a lot of great story nuggets if you ignore the text entirely, but you know what they say: different strokes for different folks.

With that being said, if your aim is to simply reach max-level as quickly as possible, there are a number of different ways to do so. I know of several people that have rotated between running dungeons, questing, running BGs, and grinding mobs as the mood strikes them. I’d definitely encourage people to experience the game the way they would like to experience it. Battle some pets, work on some professions, explore exotic new places, and just, well, enjoy the journey. There’s an awful lot to see and do beyond those bubbles on your XP bar.
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Cross Realm Zones
Just saw a player from different server in Jade Forest. Again Blizz, you seem to say one thing and do another. Guildmate reported it.
While we aren't sharing zones in Pandaria, this doesn't preclude people from grouping with friends and bringing them over to play via Real ID or Battle Tag. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Initial Impressions
It's still 30 seconds.. most choices are no brainers.
I suspect that what constitutes a 'no-brainer' for you might not be so clear to another player. Personally, I've already thought of several different talent load-outs I'd like to experiment with for different circumstances on the characters I play.

Perhaps they're worthy of more thought than first impressions provide?

This is the expansion that Cataclysm should have been. You know that feeling you got when you walked through the dark portal or into Northrend? That sense of "wonder" and "anticipation" for what is to come? Mists of Pandaria has that.
This captures the feeling I'm getting from Mists very nicely. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Gyrocopters Quest Bug
We're aware of the issues players are having with this quest. We're monitoring the situation closely and looking to see what we can do to ease the burden. As the introductory Alliance quest for Pandaria, we know it's a big deal. In the meantime we ask only for your patience. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Realm Queues and Free Character Transfers
We're watching realm populations very closely. For those on high-population realms, your patience is appreciated. The fact is it's not wise for us to be incredibly hasty with free transfers. The game has been out less than a day. We're also in peak play times in the evenings. It's something we have to evaluate carefully as the number of concurrent players stabilizes over the week so that, if free transfer are needed, we can provide the service in the most effective way possible to/from the realms that need it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Curse Weekly Roundup
The Curse Weekly Roundup is here with news about Slender, Minecon 2012, the PS3 Slim, Planetside 2, and more.

by Published on 2012-09-24 12:10 AM

Patch 1.0.5 Interview, How to Change Monster Level, Appear Offline Option, Curse Weekly Roundup

Harvest Festival has started! (Icy Veins Guide)

Update: Added a mounts preview!

Mists of Pandaria Live!
Mists of Pandaria is now live in the US and in Europe, have fun!


Streams



Patch 5.0.4 Guide
If you are just coming back to the game now, don't miss all of the system changes in Patch 5.0.4!



Introducing the Monk Class
The Monk class is being released today with the expansion! For more information on the class check out the links below, for gameplay discussions head to our Monk forums!












Mounts



Pet Battles




Mists of Pandaria Zones







Mists of Pandaria Dungeons








Mists of Pandaria Raids

Heart of Fear





Terrace of the Endless Spring




Mogu'shan Vaults





World Bosses




Mists of Pandaria Scenarios







Armor Sets








Mists of Pandaria Factions







Mists of Pandaria Profession Previews
Every profession has something new in Mists of Pandaria. Take a look at the official preview for a nice summary and check out the previews below for all the new stuff!








WoWDB Addon Data Collection
You may have noticed that we are making slow and steady progress on WoWDB, but now we need some help from you! If you are using Curse Client, you can contribute data like mining node locations and what a vendor sells.

To help out, just install the WoWDB Profiler addon from Curse and check the box in the Curse Client options as seen below. When you are playing the addon will gather data and save it. When you are done playing, Curse Client will see the game close and upload the collected data from the addon.

Don't forget to update your addons, authors have made lots of fixes since Patch 5.0.4!



FoxTrot
FoxTrot shows us what is happening to all of the returning players.

by Published on 2012-09-22 06:43 AM

PTR is Now Live - More Infernal Machine and Hellfire Ring Information and PTR Patch 1.0.5 Unofficial Changes - PvP Tokens and More

Mists of Pandaria Interview With Cory Stockton
We recently had the chance to speak with Cory Stockton (lead content designer) about upcoming content in Mists of Pandaria. A very short summary is below, but you should read or watch the entire thing!

  • There will be alternating patches that bring daily quests, scenarios, and other smaller items and then patches that bring raids.
  • There may be some faction specific scenarios coming in the future, but faction specific raid bosses are unlikely.
  • There may be an event that sets up the raid on Orgrimmar in a future patch.
  • Fishing and Cooking are much easier to level on alts now.
  • The new character creation preview armor is not in game yet, but if there is demand and somewhere good to add it, expect to see it in the future!
  • Transmogrification restrictions will be relaxed some more to offer more customization.
  • Other sources for transmogrification gear are coming in the future that deliver gear in a meaningful way.
  • It is unlikely we will see old raids with gear and level scaling in LFR anytime soon, but maybe some smaller revamped content in a manner similar to the Scholomance update.


Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Q: Mists of Pandaria is releasing in a few days, how do you feel about the expansion and what are you the most excited about?
A: We are super stoked! All of us have a vibe that this is going to be super awesome. I think for a lot of us it brings back a vibe of what Northrend felt like. There is a lot of anticipation and a ton of content in the game that people didn't get to see in beta. There are so many little things that I think people are going to be hyped about, so we have a really good vibe about it. It feels great to have a continent again. One continent that we can talk about, something we were missing in Cataclysm and it feels great to have it back.

Q: It was mentioned a couple of times that the objective was to release patches faster for this expansion, does it mean smaller patches and a better organization of content to keep players busy? What can we expect from Patch 5.1 and 5.2 for example?
A: We want to deliver patches as quickly as possible, but every patch can't be a gigantic 4.3 type patch. We still want to be able to deliver something to players as quickly as possible.

We are looking at a method where we can deliver a patch that might have a set of daily quests, scenarios, and some new content very quickly while at the same time the entire team is working on a raid patch. A little bit of time after that the raid patch would come out, and we would continue with another patch that had some scenarios, daily quests, a battleground and then that would be followed in that same space of time by another raid patch.

The idea being that we are always updating the content for players and we would create spaces in between patches that allow for players to consume the amount of content coming in the raid patches. Releasing a raid and then releasing another patch two months later doesn't make a lot of sense. It doesn't give people enough time to actually be able to experience everything there is in a raid. There is a minimum time frame that you need but we are already working like crazy on Patch 5.1 and 5.2. Those patches are already far along in progress.

As far as what you will be seeing, Patch 5.1 will continue the Alliance and Horde conflict, which we are really going to push home. Alliance and Horde are going to land on the shores of Pandaria and transform the area they land in. There will be a number of daily quests and scenarios to go with it. That is what we are planning, obviously it is still in progress, but we want to get that out to players very quickly.

Q: With the war between the Horde and Alliance as the main focus of the expansion, will it affect upcoming PvE content in any way? Is it possible to see faction specific bosses for dungeons and even possibly raids?
A: Faction specific bosses is something we have talked about a bunch. The main issue about that is that it means that everyone gets less. If we make four faction specific bosses, everyone only will see two. So that is what we are trying to fight against.

What we are looking at doing in the patch is adding faction specific scenarios. Each faction would get their own scenario and possibly some shared objectives. They wouldn't be the exact same, but they would be similar, using different characters and things like that. So that is one thing we are looking to do on that end. For raiding, we probably are not going see that because of the amount of time we spend on a raid boss means we want everyone to see it.

As far as affecting the world, the general concept of why we are going to Pandaria is the Alliance vs Horde fight. Garrosh wants to claim it as his own and paint it red, whereas Varian initially is going to save his son. Once he finds out that Garrosh wants Pandaria, Varian realizes that he can't let him have it, so that conflict erupts. That is what plays out through the entire patch cycle. You are definitely going to see an impact on Pandaria in Patch 5.1 when it changes some of the landscape. We have a lot of story to tell in the launch about what Pandaria is, what its history is, and giving players a chance to absorb all of that. Then we will be continuing with the Alliance vs Horde conflict.

Q: Will we see any changes to the world outside of Pandaria other than Theramore and possibly the Orgrimmar raid? Is the war going to affect the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor too?
A: There is a possibility that in a later patch you could see something that could happen to possibly set up what is going to happen in Orgrimmar. Orgrimmar is in a final raid with Garrosh that we have talked about. Obviously you will see changes to Orgrimmar, but we are talking about possibly doing something before that to set it up, so that when it happens it doesn't feel like something that hit you by surprise. The majority of what you are going to see is focused on Pandaria though. Anything that you see that might reference the existing world will probably come through scenarios, which is a great way for us to use scenarios.

Q: The challenge armor sets introduced new visual procs on armors for all classes, is this something we can expect to see regularly? Is there any plan to update the challenge armor sets or include new rewards after the first set of dungeons and raids?
A: Possibly. It is the first time we have ever done armor sets that don't have stats on them which are made just for transmogrification. The concept behind those is that if someone sees you in a set of challenge mode gear, they know that you are a badass and you are able to do the hardest five man content that we could create. That is before you even get into the leaderboards for servers and guilds. Players are going to be able to get lower times on the leaderboard than you would need just to earn the armor. We are going to have to see how it plays out.

We put a lot of time and effort into those sets. If you aren't giving people item levels, you have to give them something, which is where coming up with the spell effects came from. The effects are linked to animations, so when you play the animation you will see them. It is something new for us, so we will have to see the reaction and see how it plays out. If they are popular and challenge modes end up being something where we do seasons, then you could totally expect to see something similar to what we have done with other stuff where we create a new set of gear for each season. I think it is too early to tell, but it is something we are definitely hoping happens. We are pretty stoked on the whole challenge mode concept.

Q: Regarding tier sets, some classes have only one set of tier gear, while others have multiple sets tailored to each of their specs. Have you ever considered making one set for each class that would have it's stats and set bonuses change based off of the players spec?
A: We talked about that a little bit, but it has mostly come down to who we felt needed that specifically and if it felt like they were at a disadvantage if they didn't get that. In general, we are trying not to change stats dynamically because it creates confusion for players more than anything in the long run. That is something you will see minimized going into the future, but in certain cases we feel like we need it because of where the classes are and the way their specs fit together. In general that is something we want to minimize though.

Q: Have you thought about adding raid quests that do not involve a legendary item? Something like the Champion of Naaru and Hand of A'dal quest chains that could reward a title or transmogrification gear?
A: That idea has totally come up. In Icecrown we did the weekly raid quests, which was a tiptoe into doing questing within raids. That was a little different because it was randomized. Every time you went in there was a different thing for you to do and the rewards were completely different. In general we liked some of the concepts from how that worked, and that is what sparked the conversation, especially with transmogrification. It gives us a whole new set of rewards. That is a really cool idea and something that we can hopefully expand upon. We have a history of trying questing in raiding before, so it is definitely something we could look at again.

Q: Any plans on making secondary professions account wide? Not making primary professions account wide makes sense, but Fishing and Cooking are tedious to level on all characters and don't provide any powerful character specific rewards like primary professions.
A: That is a really awesome idea. I think you probably have seen us doing things going towards that. If you look at Fishing, we moved Nat Pagle out to Pandaria and he is using one of our new friendship reputation systems. If you become friends with him, he will sell you Nat's Fishing Journal, which will teach Fishing skill to your alts. You can buy multiple journals and teach them Fishing all of the way up to 300 or 450, I think it is 450 (The tooltip says 600). If you have one fisherman, you can use that fisherman in Pandaria to buy the book and hand it to other alts to level up.

We have a very similar thing with cooking with catchup mechanisms. If you have one character that has high level Pandaria cooking, you can buy recipe books to hand down to lower level characters to raise their skill quickly. You are seeing what you are talking about already. We haven't paid a lot of attention to First Aid; there isn't a ton of gameplay in First Aid to expand upon, but that general core philosophy is something that you can see in some of the things that we are already doing.

Q: The character selection screen now features different sets of armor on each class. Most of them look like high-resolution version of old gear. Does it mean Blizzard is planning to go back to improve older sets of armor now that transmogrification is in game?
A: They are definitely based on what we felt were player's favorite original sets. It's actually interesting, a lot of what we based the sets on is what characters are wearing in the original WoW cinematic. The hunter set is based on what the dwarf was wearing when he shoots the gun and sends his bear out in front of Ironforge. The idea is when you see that, you get the iconic look of this is what my class will be. From that, we tasked all new art. To the eye it might look like they are higher res versions, but they are definitely all brand new art. They aren't a texture that is higher res; we had them made completely new.

As far as bringing back other sets, it depends on if things are popular. If it something that players want and we have a cool way to give it out as a reward, we are definitely going to do it. A question we have seen often is, "Am I going to be able to get those sets that are in the previews". Currently the sets aren't available in game, but when we made them we designed them to be actual armor, so it is just a matter of us finding a cool spot to give those out and we certainly could.

Q: Are there any plans to let players use other unused and no longer available color variations of gear through transmogrification? When will there be any updates to the transmogrification system?
A: Transmogrification is it's whole entire thing, it's awesome. We held out so long on doing a feature like this and we actually didn't know what the reaction would be. We had a lot of reservations about it, but we loved the concept behind it. That is why you see transmogrification limited; we don't want certain parts of WoW to look ridiculous. We don't want you to turn your sword into a 17 Pound Catfish and run around with it. There are limitations on that kind of thing, but we are seeing how popular transmogrification is and how some of our limitations are getting in the way of things that would offer more customization. Maybe changing colors or things like that to let players feel more unique is something we are totally open to.

Now that we have wrapped up our work on the Mists of Pandaria launch we can start to look at some of our existing features and look for ways that we can offer that customization. In general the answer is yes, we want to do more of that, but we still want to be careful to make sure that WoW doesn't come off looking ridiculous through things that we have allowed people to do through transmogrification. We are super stoked about how popular the feature is and have been blown away by the popularity. It is the reward structure for Challenge Modes, so clearly it has become something big.

Q: Is there any plan to add other sources of transmogrification gear in Raids, PvP, or even daily quests?
A: Yes, for sure. I don't think we can share those right now, but we definitely want to give out more transmogrification gear in other ways. It can't be a floodgate though. We want to do it in ways that makes it feel awesome to get the gear. Challenge modes are a great example of how we can get that gear out and let people use it in a way that means something.

Another example would be not leaving old PvP gear in when we added the transmogrification system. We didn't want people to have easy access to the gear from the original PvP honor system, because we felt like that gear looks great and is meaningful, so we want to find another way for players to get it. It is definitely something we want to do and something you will probably see us doing throughout the patches.

Q: Have you given any thought to making old raids available with normalized gear and stats, similar to Challenge Modes? This would make old content more fun and relevant again. Maybe even with LFR to make it easier to find groups.
A: That has come up a number of times, but it always comes up against the battle of "Do we want to spend time turning Blackwing Lair into a LFR and offering gear, or do we want to create six new raid bosses for the next patch?". That is always what it comes down to; everything comes at a cost of content. We can't just take Blackwing Lair and throw it in the LFR system. We would have to redo the majority of the fights. Going back and changing something is sometimes much more difficult than starting from scratch.

It doesn't mean that you won't ever see it, but if we ever did something like that it would be along the lines of what you see with out classic heroics. We tiptoed into that by doing Deadmines and Shadowfang; they have been very popular. We had an awesome response to Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery, but we have only done four of them in the five years since we introduced that concept. If we did something like that, it would be in a similar way. You would see a whole new raid which is accompanied by something old and smaller. It is definitely an idea that we like.

Q: Moving from realms to realms is getting cost prohibitive for players now that a lot of them have a lot of alts. Are there any plans to allow a one-time transfer of all characters from one realm to another at a lower price?
A: I wouldn't be the person to answer that question, so I don't really know. When we offer new pricing and new features that involve real world money the designers generally aren't too up to date on that. I see the idea though. When guild transfers happened that was because a lot of us were moving our entire guilds and it seemed that there was an easier way to do it, Within the team we were moving. We have the ability here to move a number of people and that seemed like something players would want, so that is how that turned in to a paid feature. It is probably something that falls along those same lines.

Q: Is there anyone already working on the next expansion at Blizzard?
A: Yes. 100%. We are already working on new stuff. As long as players love the game, are invested, and are going to keep playing, we are going to continue to make expansions.

Warrior and Warlock Challenge Mode Gear Procs
Tonight we take a look at a little bit more flare for the Challenge Mode gear! Each set has a special proc that will go off during combat or other actions. Some of the sets even have multiple procs or slight variations depending on what you are casting.

You can find the Challenge Mode set previews on our Challenge Mode Gear page, found in the menu in the navbar.





Cross-Realm Zones
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
A number of concerns have popped up since cross-realm zones were introduced to live realms, and we want to take a moment to explain how they work. We also want to address some of the anomalies you may be experiencing, including some recent bugs that we’ve hotfixed, or are currently investigating.

Cross-Realm Zones 101
Cross-realm zones are a new technology that allows players in underpopulated areas of the world to meet, group up, and adventure with players from other realms. This technology effectively populates low-level zones and other previously uninhabited areas, resulting in a livelier game world. Cross-realm zones allow players to form a group with other players from within a select pool of realms in order to quest just like they normally would, while still allowing the social structures of their home realms to remain intact. Cross-realm zones populate an area with players from other realms based upon the following criteria:

  • Realm type
  • Time zone
  • Language

Realm Type
When traversing Azeroth, players may encounter players from other realms who share their same realm type. PvE with PvE, PvP with PvP, RP-PvP with RP-PvP, and RP-PvE with RP-PvE.

The exception to this is that players are freely able to invite Real ID and BattleTag friends to join their party, even if their realm types do not match. In this case, players will be randomly placed within a party member’s realm. While it might be a little disconcerting to know that players from non-RP realms are adventuring in RP realms, or that players from PvP realms are exploring PvE realms, this is working as intended. Those players are in the company of friends from the target realm.

Please keep in mind that if you choose to group with Real ID and BattleTag friends, you may be placed on a different realm type depending on the members of your party. As such, we recommend grouping with players who belong to realm types you are comfortable with experiencing (such as PvE or RP).

Time Zone
When we initially looked at the North American time zones, we didn’t think that the time differences would have much of an impact on players participating in cross-realm zones. However, the inclusion of some Oceanic realms was an oversight. Following a recent change, players will no longer be placed on a realm with a time difference greater than three-hours. We’ll watch the results of this change and if three hours still feels too odd, we can continue to iterate.

Language
Currently, realms are coalesced by language, meaning that players on Spanish-speaking realms will be placed in coalesced zones with other players on Spanish-speaking realms, and Brazilian realms will be placed in coalesced zones with other Portuguese-speaking players. This separation by language wasn’t initially in place with the launch of path 5.0.4, but has since changed so that we can provide a better gameplay experience in each region. Players on Oceanic realms, while English-speaking, are also only coalesced with other players on Oceanic realms in order to prevent players from being placed on realms with a local time difference greater than three hours.

Lack of Realm Community
We understand that players are concerned about CRZ potentially impacting the sense of community. Cross-realm zones were intended to make lower level zones feel less empty, but may also impact other more populated zones. With more populated areas, we’re aware of concerns over increased competition for resource nodes as well as quest and rare mob spawns. This is something that we’re in the process of evaluating. We’ve already taken some steps to address it by increasing the spawn rates of most rare spawns. If a zone becomes too populated, we’re capable of adjusting how many realms are able to connect to it. Just keep in mind that we do choose spawn times of creatures and profession nodes with a certain zone population in mind -- CRZ affords us the ability to better maintain those populations.

Please note that Pandaria zones will not have CRZ enabled when Mists of Pandaria is released, but players can group up cross-realm in Pandaria with Real ID or BattleTag friends. The Wandering Isle, the pandaren starting area, will also not have CRZ enabled at launch, though we’ll have multiple instances of this zone running as needed for each realm, in an attempt to prevent overcrowding.

Low Population Concerns
Cross-realm zones are the first step toward improving the play experience when leveling on a low-population server. The world will be more populated, opening up the possibility for you to make BattleTag friends who you can then invite on future adventures. World of Warcraft is meant to be a massively multiplayer role-playing game, so we want to give players on lower population realms access to a larger community to play with.

Cross-realm zones won't fix economy-related issues for lower populated realms and it wasn't intended to. Regarding the suggestions for a cross-realm auction house, this is something we can evaluate at a future date. However, great care must be taken and we must carefully evaluate its impact on realm economies if such a change were to occur.

Known Bugs and Resolved Issues
We’re working behind the scenes to look into and address many of the recently shared CRZ concerns. In addition to the hotfixes that have already been applied to help streamline the player experience, we have some additional hotfixes on the way to address some of the known bugs.

Tol Barad and Wintergrasp Concerns
We unfortunately didn’t identify some of the issues with these PvP zones because these areas didn’t see much activity during the beta testing period. An early bug allowed players from multiple realms to participate in Tol Barad and Wintergrasp battles, or quest in these zones in between battles; however, this has been addressed and these zones should never be coalesced. We’ll consider offering full CRZ functionality for these zones in a future patch when we can solve some of the logistical issues coalescing initially brought about.

Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza
In the case of the weekly Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza, we also found that players from other realms were able to jump to a realm in a different time zone to get a head start on fishing, allowing them to win their home realm’s tournament as soon as it began. This isn’t fair for anyone and will require some new tech on our end to ensure the integrity of timed competitions. Unfortunately, this change will require a client-side patch, so we are disabling the fishing tournaments until we can deliver the fix for them in a future patch.

Ignoring or Reporting a Player from Another Realm
We understand that players want to be able to ignore and report players from other realms, and we’re working to identify and correct any issues currently preventing this. We take harassment very seriously, and if another player is harassing you, you can submit a ticket so that we can investigate your report.

Cross-Realm /who Requests
This is something we’d like to do, and we’re looking into it.

Realm “Hopping” by Changing Party Leaders
While it might sound like fun to go exploring in other realms by changing party leaders, this was not intended, and allowed some players to take advantage of bosses such as the Darkmoon Rabbit and challenges such as the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza. As such, we’ve made a fix that will stop groups from being able to do this.

Chat, Achievement, Skill Spam
We’re aware of chat, achievements, skills, and World Defense announcements being spammed in cross-realm zones and are working on a solution for this. We agree: it’s annoying.

Found Other Bugs?
Every bit of assistance you can offer us in tracking down bugs and squashing them would be invaluable. After reading this, if you’re experiencing any issues with CRZ that pretty clearly seem unintended, please provide us as much detail as possible on the Bug Report forum. If you’re curious as to what entails a “good” bug report, please read this simple, yet effective guide.

We’re definitely keeping tabs on this thread and ones like it, and will continue to roll out hotfixes to address any remaining issues as quickly as we can, so keep an eye out on our list of hotfixes for further details.

The bottom line is that cross-realm zones are meant to improve the leveling experience in lower-level zones while allowing you to quest with your Real ID or BattleTag friends. We’re currently in a strange part of the patch cycle where the level cap is 90, but everyone is still stuck at 85. We believe that most of the concerns about competition are having a larger impact now because everyone is waiting for Mists of Pandaria.

Please provide any additional feedback you have below. We’re continuing to read the concerns and bug reports you’ve been sharing. We’re committed to polishing the cross-realm zone feature so that it provides the best possible gameplay experience for all of our players.

Mists of Pandaria Midnight Activation Details
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The time is nearly upon us as the mists begin to part and a new age of discovery amidst turmoil begins! For those of you prepared to begin your adventures the moment Mists of Pandaria is launched in your region, we’ve put together some important details that should get your expedition underway.

As soon as we activate the new expansion content on launch, players who already have a Mists of Pandaria license with the data installed will gain instant access. If you’re in the game when the clock strikes midnight, you don’t even have to logout!

So, what happens at midnight for those of us with Mists ready to go?
  • A yellow System Message will appear in your Chat Log telling you to visit Orgrimmar or Stormwind to start your travels.
  • Level-85 characters will receive a new quest, no matter where they are in the world, which will guide them to Varian or Garrosh for further orders. If you’re online at midnight you will receive the quest even if your Quest Log is full -- or you can visit Varian or Garrosh to get started on your journey to Pandaria.
  • Level-85 players will notice their experience bars automatically change so that experience can once again be earned.
  • Players who are at the Character Creation screen at midnight will notice the button to create a pandaren character will be enabled. (Reminder: This also applies to players who don’t have a Mists of Pandaria license, as all races are now included with a base copy of World of Warcraft.)
  • Players who are at the Character Creation screen at midnight will notice the button to create a monk character will be enabled.
We’ve been very hard at work on this new technology with the goal of ensuring that players can enjoy a more stable and seamless transition into the next expansion than ever before. Our staff will be monitoring realm stability and gameplay issues around the clock, as we want to provide you with the best experience possible.

We’ll see you on Pandaria!

So, can i log out at 11:55pm (PDT of course) and sit at the character creation screen for 5 minutes for the Monk icon to "light up" and gets to creating right at 12:00? or will I need to log completely first?
Yes, if you sit at the login screen the buttons will become enabled in real time. You shouldn't need to logout of your account.

What about us with 25 dailies? Did you guys test that yet haha
Yes. You'll have somewhat of a "soft cap" on quests. So if you're Quest Log is full at midnight, visiting Varian or Garrosh will still allow you to embark on the quest to Pandaria (though, before you do I'd suggested turning in all those dailies).

In other words, you won't miss receiving the quest if you have 25. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Warlock Guide
Our friends over at Fatboss made a nice long video guide to the different Warlock talents, spells, and glyphs. Let them know if you liked it and want to see more! You can find the Mage guide here.



Of Orcs and Humans: The Story of Warcraft
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
W just released The Story of Warcraft, a comprehensive collection that will bring you up-to-speed with everything that’s happened in the Warcraft universe since the release of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.

The story of the brave people of Azeroth and beyond has been growing and expanding with each additional release in the Warcraft series of games. It’s a tale of mighty heroes, of powerful foes, a tale of strength, and honor, and of unlimited adventure. Now, you can check out a chronicle of the major events that happened in each Warcraft game, expansion, or major content patch. Each entry includes a short summary, a video trailer, and key art for the chapter. More content such as wallpapers, character cards (so you can keep track of the scores of heroes of the Warcraft universe), and more will be added to this section soon, so stay tuned!

Check out The Story of Warcraft now! And if you have any feedback or suggestions for future updates, we’d love to hear your thoughts! Just post in the comments and let us know what you think.
by Published on 2012-09-21 06:29 AM   

Patch 1.0.5 PTR Patch Notes - 1.0.5 Coming to the PTR

Rogue and Shaman Challenge Mode Gear Procs
Tonight we take a look at a little bit more flare for the Challenge Mode gear! Each set has a special proc that will go off during combat or other actions. Some of the sets even have multiple procs or slight variations depending on what you are casting.

You can find the Challenge Mode set previews on our Challenge Mode Gear page, found in the menu in the navbar. Each class has a proc for their set, so keep checking back to see your class's set!





Patch 5.0.5 Hotfixes - September 20
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
General
  • Cross-realm zones no longer bring together players who are more than 3 timezones apart.
  • When Tol Barad and Wintergrasp battles commence, cross-realm zoning should now cease for the duration, and resume after the end of the battle.
  • Cross-realm zones no longer behave erratically when a party changes leader.
  • The organizers of Azeroth's fishing tournaments have temporarily shut down their weekly affairs. Fishing tournaments will return soon.

Classes

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Starfire damage has been increased by approximately 3%.
  • Starsurge damage has been increased by approximately 3%.
  • Wrath damage has been increased by approximately 9%.
  • Non-Restoration Druids will now properly get a mana discount when casting Cenarion Ward while Heart of the Wild is active. Feral and Guardian Druids will also properly gain increased healing.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Glyph of Scattering should no longer cancel DoTs on boss creatures, but does still still remove all DoTs from non-boss NPCs and enemy players.

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Immunity to Fear will no longer prevent Void Tendrils from landing on a target.

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Lightning Bolt damage has been increased by approximately 8%. This also applies to Overload Lightning Bolt and Echo of the Elements Lightning Bolt.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Mortal Strike now does 165% weapon damage (down from 185%).
  • Overpower now does 105% weapon damage (down from 120%)
  • Slam now does 190% weapon damage (down from 215%).
  • Raging Blow now does 190% weapon damage (down from 215%),
  • Bloodthirst now does 90% weapon damage (down from 100%).
  • Wild Strike now does 195% weapon damage (down from 220%).

Items

Quests

Bug Fixes
  • Tanks in Theramore's Fall are no longer skinnable for leatherworkers. They can still be dismantled by engineers.

Developer Interviews
The developers are doing interviews as we get closers to launch, so here is a recap from a few more. Thanks to OMFGCata, Convert to Raid, and WoWInsider. Keep checking back for more interview summaries, along with our own interview with Cory Stockton!

Ion Hazzikostas - Lead Encounter Designer (Convert to Raid)
  • The lessons learned from the Theramore feedback will be applied to the scenarios made in the future.
  • A balance between showing the story and letting people skip it is seen with the event at the end of Dragon Soul that can be skipped if you don't want to watch it.
  • Patch 4.0 had several 10 man bosses that were not tuned well compared to the 25 man versions, either much harder or much easier. Tuning got better over the expansion and lessons learned will be applied in Mists of Pandaria.
  • Raiders liked the Patch 4.0 dungeons, but LFD users found them frustrating. Most people who are doing the heroic dungeons are now using the LFD tool, making it necessary to make the dungeons easier. This leaves Challenge Modes for players that want content that is harder.
  • Challenge modes won't be coming to raids immediately, but the leaderboard aspect might be something to consider adding. There might not be a large enough group of players that are interested in timed raid runs that don't reward player power increases, but it would give guilds that have content cleared something to compete against other guilds with.
  • LFR justifies the creation of more raid content when millions of players are able to see content. Only a few thousand people actually saw Kel'thuzad, but millions saw Deathwing. The reason Mists of Pandaria is starting with 18 bosses and adding larger raid tiers than we have had previously is because many players are going to see the raids through LFR.
  • Beta was very successful, even without level 90 premades. Thousands of people participated in raid testing and provided feedback.
  • The first raid will open one week after Mists of Pandaria launches, and the next two will open four weeks after that.


Cory Stockton - Lead Content Designer (OMFGCata)
  • The Alliance and Horde both want Pandaria and the Pandaren on their side.
  • The Jade Forest revamp was the result of feedback from a Strike Team. It wasn't clear why you were in Pandaria and what was going on, so the experience was revamped to make it much clearer.
  • The smaller phasing you see in the world while progressing through the story does not actually put you in another phase, it just changes what you see.
  • World Bosses are back because the loot, spawn time, camping, graveyard zerging issues are now able to be solved by new tech.
  • More bosses per tier is the goal, as longer raids make for more LFR segments.
  • There are a large number of players that enjoy crafting or aren't able to do raids, which is why the profession recipes like engineering goggles are still relevant even past the first content patch. The gear is still fun to make and useful for those players. It is unlikely that we will see crafted gear that remains upgraded and relevant throughout the entire expansion.
  • Blood Spirit is found from Disenchanting raid weapons and then used for crafting epic gear. It is there to offer an alternative to just Disenchanting some loot and getting materials for an enchant.
  • The legendary gems are the start of a story that will last through the entire expansion. Every patch there will be a way to keep that legendary going and do more with it so that it is useful for a long time. It also takes care of the problem of previous legendary items lasting a year and being class restricted.


Dave Kosak - Lead Quest Designer (WoWInsider)
  • Theramore freed Jaina from being a peacekeeper and shows an important event in the war between the Horde and Alliance.
  • Every new faction is a story to experience rather than a reputation bar to fill. Doing the daily quests unlocks this story.
  • There is a little bit of Titan vs. Old God lore in Mists, but it is way way way under the surface.
  • Wrathion has the best interests of Azeroth in mind, but his interests may not necessarily line up with our interests.
  • It isn't likely that the Lorewalkers will be expanded upon beyond some things to collect in new areas in other patches. This all depends on player engagement and feedback though!
  • There are lots of books sitting around in Pandaria, just waiting to be read.


“Appear Offline” Option Coming Soon to Battle.net
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In the coming months, we're planning an update to Battle.net that will give you more control over your online presence when playing Blizzard games. Soon, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III players will be able to select "Appear Offline" as one of their Battle.net social-status options (along with Available, Busy, and Away) for those times when they want to wander Azeroth by their lonesome, dominate the galaxy in radio silence, or slay demons in solitude. When you choose this option as your status, all of your Real ID friends, BattleTag friends, and character-level friends will see you as “Offline” in their friends list whenever you’re logged into a game.

The “Appear Offline” status option will be added to World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III separately in future updates for each game. For Diablo III, we expect to add the feature in a patch after 1.0.5. For World of Warcraft and StarCraft II, we expect to add the option sometime after the release of each game’s upcoming expansion.

Thanks for your continued feedback, and we’ll share more information on the availability of this new feature in the months ahead.

Tier 14 Priest Preview
The Tier 14 set for priests has been swapped around from our original preview. You can find all of the other sets on the Tier 14 sets page.





Tier 14 Armor Previews
If you want to see higher res previews of all the color variations, along with videos, check out our Tier 14 sets page.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Checking in at item level 496, the first tier of raiding gear players will find in Pandaria is set to wrap you up in an all-new look.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Casters in PvP
I'm showing how i started mage as fire for the first time in Ruthless gear, and how quick i learned how easy it is so inflic alot of damage to your opponents (i:e how to get a 100% proc on insta Pyroblast)
Sorry, but I have to respond with this — On a non-moving target that is always in line-of-sight and does not put any pressure back onto you meaning you can go 100% offensive. It is also a good idea to keep in mind that level 85 balance is not indicative of what the balance will be at level 90.

Is there a different set of abilities im supposed to use to cause damage to players that i can't see when im on target dummies?
I feel that you may have misinterpreted my post. While it is possible to cast the spells mentioned while moving, you cannot guarantee a real target will always be in line of sight to maintain the highest possible damage output. When attacking a target dummy, you will also not have to be thinking about protecting yourself, crowd control or silences. This means you do not need to utilize defensive cooldowns or maneuver strategically.

As can be seen from some of the posts above; simulations are good to base a theory off of, but they cannot take into account variables that occur when putting that theory into practice. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Rating Decay
As has been said before, rewarding players for not actively participating in arena is something that we don't like. Players in season 11 were sitting on their rating due to its length and because they were waiting on Mists, but also while they would like to play arena more they feel there is too high a risk of losing the rating that they achieved. This is definitely a part of the system we feel can be improved upon.

There has to be caution taken with changes to the rating system though. If it is made to punish people for not playing, it may end up punishing players for going on a holiday or being ill which is something that we would like to avoid as well. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Scenarios Feedback
how about the fact that NONE of this is explained properly? we dont see rhonin die, we dont see how jaina survived and we dont see WHY it happened
This is actually a concern the Developers addressed in a recent Developer Q&A session over at the Best Buy site. Here is what they had to say:

Q: The story of Tides of War is really interesting. I don't think players can get engaged if they have no idea what's happening, the bomb dropping is really anticlimactic. I felt a bit disappointed so little got included in the scenario. Was this because of lack of time, of developers or because you rather keep all that info in the novels.
A: I've been watching the Theramore feedback closely, and this comment seems pretty universal. We tried to keep everything all in the scenario, to make it really self-contained, but not burden it with lots of story that you have to slog through every time you played the scenario. It's pretty clear from the feedback that people wanted more story. We should've surrounded the scenarios with more quests or explanations to help round out the story for the people who wanted to know what exactly was happening. Lesson learned!


As you can probably get from this, we acknowledge that we didn't put in the level of context that people expected, and this is an important lesson we will keep in mind when working on future scenarios.

We want scenarios to be repayable, so we are concerned about burdening players with too much story that feels mandatory to wade through, but we can of course see from all the feedback we got from you guys that is also an issue if there is not enough story. We realise that Theramore could have benefited from one or more one-time quests on either end of the scenario, perhaps it could even have been a part of a one-time quest chain.

May I throw a quote to you? "As with many things, if we can't do something right, we end up not doing it"

Obviously you did. And you never did anything worse since you decided to give shamans to alliance, and paladins to horde and bloodelves...

First of all, we never said that we never make mistakes. We are only human after all, and to err is human!

Second of all, what is right is entirely in the eye of the beholder. We do not think that Shaman and Paladins becoming cross faction classes was a mistake, but this of course is an entirely different topic, so let's keep that discussion out of this thread, shall we?!

What I am trying to clarify here is that we’re trying to do things right and do our best to avoid adding things to the game that can be done better. Of course, if we realise that something wasn't done exactly right after adding it, then we will of course attest to that. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Quest For Pandaria, Part 1
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We just released the first part of Quest for Pandaria, a four-part novella set between World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria.

Reunited with her beloved uncle Chen and safely back home on the Wandering Isle, Li Li Stormstout finds it difficult to adjust to life on Shen-zin Su. After all the adventures and excitement of her journey to find her uncle (which you can read about in Pearl of Pandaria, a graphic novel that’s now available here and wherever fine books are sold), Li Li yearns to see more of this amazing world just waiting to be discovered. But after everything that happened, and with all the grief she caused her family, running away again is something that Li Li just can’t do. Lost, sad, and dejected, Li Li is certain that she’ll never get to explore more of this magical world... until one day, the unexpected return of a pandaren most thought dead and the mysterious artifact he bears give Li Li a moment of hope — one moment that makes everything else possible.

Read part one of Quest for Pandaria now!
by Published on 2012-09-20 06:28 AM

Even More 1.0.5 Information, Whirlwind Demon Hunter Build, Diablo III: Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls Ebook

Paladin and Priest Challenge Mode Gear Procs
Tonight we take a look at a little bit more flare for the Challenge Mode gear! Each set has a special proc that will go off during combat or other actions. Some of the sets even have multiple procs or slight variations depending on what you are casting.

You can find the Challenge Mode set previews on our Challenge Mode Gear page, found in the menu in the navbar. Each class has a proc for their set, so keep checking back to see your class's set!





Developer Interviews
The developers are doing interviews as we get closers to launch, so here is a recap from the first few. Thanks to ArenaJunkies, Gamespy, and wowcrendor.

Quests
  • Patch 5.1 will release "shortly after the game is out".
  • Phasing is only used for major events in Mists of Pandaria.
  • You can see your friends while in a different phase and each of you will see a different phase.
  • It will take a raid of roughly 40 players to take down the Sha of Anger. He will appear in different areas of the zone and change what is spawned around him.
  • Scenarios are a replacement for group quests that you won't have to wait in queue for a long time for.
  • Challenge Modes will require you to be on the same server as other players. (This conflicts with Ghostcrawler's tweet)
  • Questing is less linear and you should be able to skip some of the quest hubs without missing too much of the story. Jade Forest is more linear than the rest of the zones.
  • The daily quests that are available change every day and change based on your reputation with the faction.
  • You have a NPC companion that fights alongside you when doing Shado-pan daily quests.
  • Cataclysm was more content than had ever been done before because of the 1 to 60 revamp, but many people just looked at the 80 to 85 experience.

PvP
  • Blizzard follows the player run and professional tournaments, but realizes that it is a hard to watch eSport and is hard to watch. It isn't likely that arenas will be as popular as Starcraft ever, but the goal is to make them fun for the players are are interested in playing.
  • The addition of a tournament UI is still on the list of things that would be nice to do as soon as there is development time for it.
  • Rating decay may not be the best solution, especially during longer patches like 4.3 when people may not be interested in playing every week. Players should play because they enjoy it and not avoid playing because they might lose rating.
  • The current rewards system is working well and the improvements to PvP gear through PvP Power and Resilience should make the gear more attractive.
  • The battleground queuing system is old and could use work, it may take advantage of the LFD system and perform faster and smarter in the future. This could include queuing with groups to fight other premades.
  • Blizzard believes that the PvP weapons will be stronger than the heroic PvE weapons due to the PvP stat changes.
  • Many players are worried that overpowered abilities will allow players to reach high rating within the first two weeks and camp it for the rest of the season. Whether or not Blizzard makes huge sweeping changes is just going to depend on the magnitude of the problem, as it really upsets players and can seem unfair after they have already formed teams and started playing.

Ghostcrawler (Misc)
  • If Ghostcrawler could change one thing about Cataclysm, he would move all the zones into one continent. The teleporting between zones didn't feel like WoW should.
  • Cross-Realm zones were designed to fix lower level zones that are dead, not low population realms. The game isn't likely to support people that want to opt out of Cross-Realm zones.
  • A Cross-Realm Auction House has been talked about, but it would be hard to do it right and dynamically. It is something being considering for the lowest population realms though.
  • Cooking has been improved for Mists of Pandaria. Similar changes might come to other professions depending on player feedback.
  • Fishing still isn't where it should be. Making it more like minigame or adding more complexity to the system might be solutions in the future.
  • Burning Crusade raid progression went through all of the content, but Wrath of the Lich King made old raids obsolete quickly after each patch. Mists of Pandaria uses Raid Finder to keep older content relevant to gear up alts for new content.
  • Gearing up was too fast for alts or people returning in Cataclysm and WotLK, so in Mists of Pandaria characters that are still working on normal modes when a new raid tier comes out should want to still complete the final bosses before moving on to the new raid. Burning Crusade took too long to gear up new players, making it necessary for them to go through all of the old raids.
  • Players expected Theramore to be a big event, rather than a preview of how the Scenario system works. It was a systems preview and not an event.
  • Scenarios have no tank, so you have to rely on your own skills a little bit more compared to dungeons and raids.
  • Making challenge modes for raids is difficult because of length of raids compared to dungeons. They also make trash important, as it is much more difficult in challenge mode. Even in heroic difficulty raids the trash isn't very difficult.


Battle Chest and Wrath of the Lich King - Together at Last!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Haven’t yet ventured to the frozen reaches of Northrend? Beginning today, September 19, players are now able to get the original World of Warcraft, The Burning Crusade, and Wrath of the Lich King for only $19.99 (EU: €14.99) as part of the newly upgraded digital Battle Chest, available now on Battle.net. In addition, all World of Warcraft subscribers will now automatically have access to all of the content and features of both The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, even if they never purchased either expansion, at no additional cost.

It’s time to sail north, adventurer — the Lich King awaits!

Your Guided Tour Behind the Mists of Pandaria
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve been hard at work preparing one of Azeroth’s biggest content updates, and giving you even more gameplay options in World of Warcraft than ever before. See for yourself what the latest expansion, Mists of Pandaria, has to offer in our most recent Twelve-Day Journey Into Mists of Pandaria Facebook campaign. The video provides a complete overview showcasing eight zones, seven scenarios, nine dungeons, three raids, two battlegrounds, one arena, 300 daily quests, monks, pirate monkeys, and so much more!

Head over now and if you like what you see, be sure to “Like” it on Facebook and share it with your friends, guildmates, vague acquaintances, random strangers, and anyone else you think would enjoy seeing some of the wonders that lie waiting behind the Mists of Pandaria.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Cross Realm Fishing Derby
We’ve looked into this issue and have a fix in the works to make the fishing tournaments behave in a more predictable manner. Unfortunately, this will require a patch in order to take effect, so we are disabling the fishing tournaments until we can deliver the fix for them in a future patch.

As a side-note: we’ll be posting about some larger CRZ concerns in the very near future, so hang in there. We’re listening, and we’re working to address those concerns just as quickly as we can. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Stormstout Brewery Challenge Mode
Our thanks and congratulations go out to all of you who tested the Stormstout Brewery Challenge Mode with us. Here are the top six times we recorded on the beta servers:

#1. Time: 14:49.1
#2. Time: 16:40.6
#3. Time: 18:34.4
#4. Time: 20:57.9
#5. Time: 28:13.7
#6. Time: 30:19.2 (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Scenario Difficulty
Just read a quick word on scenarios @ mmo from blizzard twitter, where i became rather.. confused by a certain statement

"Scenarios aren't intended to be particularly challenging endgame content. Similar to old group quests"

No one is asking for endgame content difficulty, however facerolling through trash for 5 minutes can't be considered challenging in any way. Old group quests such as ring of blood in nagrand actually required certain tactics back in burning crusade, you couldnt just faceroll the elite mobs, some had certain tactics, one ressurected, one absorbed spelldamage and did more damage to the tank ect.. none of this exists in the theramore scenario.


We agree that Theramore's Fall was too easy, which is why we have increased the HP of all enemies in this scenario through a recent hotfix. It is not our intent that scenarios should be steamrolled like what we saw with the release of Theramore's Fall.

It should be said that scenarios in Mists of Pandaria will be more tuned for players in quest gear and dungeon blues, and as such will not be tailored for players in raid gear. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Challenging Content In Mists of Pandaira
Regarding challenge modes specifically, there're a few bits of information that the developers have commented over the past days on live chats and social media, which I believe might be interesting for you:

  • Challenge modes have no lockout (so you can try them as many times as you want in a single day).
  • These are harder than level 90 heroics, you can't outgear them (gear will be normalized inside), and certain things, such as set bonuses will not work. Trinkets do, though. At least for now.
  • The developers hope that the time required to get "gold" in challenge dungeons is similar to achieving Gladiator in PVP. Meaning, someone sporting a whole set of challenge gear should be akin to seeing someone in a Gladiator mount.

The theory is that challenge modes will fill this niché, but if past experience is anything to go by it will either be too easy or will be subjected to nerfs. Still, can always hope.
The developers have commented this several times. They do expect that most players will be able to achieve Bronze as long as they play properly. Silver is a step up in that regard, but you might still be able to stop and consider your next move before further progressing on the instance.

And finally, the design philosophy for challenge dungeons is so that the developers don't intend to lower the bar to get silver/gold.

Problem with challenge mode is it is restricted to 5 man. 25man guilds will have to pick the best and make groups. If this was in raiding part of wow then yes players would be happy.
Well, on raiding, as it's been mentioned on the thread, you'll be awarded a Feat of Strength for defeating the final bosses of each raid instance without the debuff. And the Protectors of the Endless encounter in Terrace of Endless Spring has even better loot if you defeat Protector Kaolan last (which makes the encounter harder, in a similar way as it happened with the Iron Council in Ulduar depending on your kill order). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Characters
Blizzard is displaying some information about Mists of Pandaria characters on their Facebook page.



Blizzard Games News
Lindsay returns to update us on Diablo 3, the Worlds Inc. Lawsuit against Blizzard, and Mists of Pandaria.


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