MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2012-11-02 09:56 AM

Molten And Desecrator, Service Outage Information - 11/1/12, Blue Posts, Halloween At Blizzard, Diablo Halloween Costumes

Patch 5.1: Item Upgrades
Patch 5.1 will finally implement the item upgrade system that first appeared in beta. The same frame is being used now, with a background that matches the other Ethereal frames, making it likely that this will be another function performed by our Ethereal friends. The window title still says Valor Upgrade, but the game has support for Valor, Conquest, Justice, and Honor points upgrades.

It appears all items that are upgradeable can be upgraded by 8 item levels, but Conquest and Valor points will do it in two steps rather than all at once. The currency used to upgrade an item is set per item, so you cannot use Honor to upgrade Valor Points gear or any other type than what is set for the item.

Important: There are a lot of details missing about how the system works, it is not intended to be tested yet, and the values are not final!

Upgrade Costs

Currency Cost Item Level Upgrade Max Number of Upgrades
Valor Points750 × 4 Item Levels2
Conquest Points750 × 4 Item Levels2
Justice Points1500 × 8 Item Levels1
Honor Points1500 × 8 Item Levels1

Upgrade Examples



Heart of Fear Progression
After a few days of progression, there are now 72 guilds that have cleared the Heart of Fear raid on Normal difficulty, with Duality (US-Zul'jin) grabbing the first clear. Heroic progression starts next week, along with the first half of LFR.

Wowprogress shows 32 guilds have completed it in 10 man difficulty, and 40 guilds in 25 man difficulty.



Patch 5.0.5 Hotfixes - Nov 1
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
General

Classes
Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Stampede Pets summoned into the Arena, Rated Battlegrounds, and Wargames will now do the correct amount of damage.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Shaman Searing Totem will no longer break on Heroic Elegon due to the line of sight restrictions while the energy vortex is active.

Quests
  • The quest "In Battle's Shadow" now only requires the appropriate faction to take and no longer requires a quest prerequisite.

Dungeons & Raids
  • Updated the Dungeon Finder matchmaking system to properly identify Monk classes and their available roles.
  • Heart of Fear
    • Garalon now mends his injured legs more frequently in Normal mode.
    • Garalon will now take longer before he casts Massive Crush.
    • Players will now be able to zone back to Ta’yak’s room once he’s been killed.
  • Mogu'shan Vaults
    • Jasper Chains now casts less frequently in both Normal and Heroic 10-player difficulty.
    • A few indirect spells will no longer trigger the Spirit Kings’ shields on Heroic Difficulty.

Items
  • One-hand melee weapons will now show the correct Conquest cost.
  • The Dreadful Gladiator’s Emblem now displays the proper stats: +809 Spirit, +293 PvP Power, +293 PvP Resilience, +40,673 health for 15s on use

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an issue with the Battle Spear of the Thunder King in which the quest could not be properly completed due to the spear object not being visible to the player.
  • Fixed an issue in which classes were sometimes receiving select inappropriate loot items.
  • Fixed an issue in which players would sometimes be disconnected from the game when knocked off of an elevator.
  • Fixed an issue in which Ashweb Weavers for the Golden Lotus dailies would sometimes evade.
  • Fixed an issue in which Captain Doren would evade during the quest, “The Darkness Within” if the player died while he was transforming into his Sha form.
  • The Ancient Guo-Lai Cache will now properly despawn after being closed.

Heart of Fear Now Live & Raid Schedule
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The latest Normal difficulty Mists of Pandaria Raid Dungeon is now available: Heart of Fear. Raid Finder and Heroic difficulties will be available Wednesday, November 7.

Raid Finder will unlock bosses in Heart of Fear over time, and all Heart of Fear bosses will be unlocked and available Wednesday, November 14. To access the new Raid Finder dungeons, you will need a minimum item level (ilevel) requirement of 470.

Here is the current schedule for these Raid releases:

  • Wednesday, October 31 – Normal Heart of Fear
  • Wednesday, November 7 – Heroic Heart of Fear and first half of Heart of Fear on Raid Finder
  • Wednesday,November 14 – Second half of Heart of Fear on Raid Finder and Normal Terrace of Endless Spring
  • Wednesday, November 21 - Heroic Terrace of Endless Spring and Terrace of Endless Spring on Raid Finder

All raids/difficulties will still be fully accessible by November 21, as we had always intended, but we’re staggering the release a bit more.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Hotfix Timing
The hotfix list posted covers a pretty large window of time (October 26 - Nov 1, as stated). The Jasper Chains change on Stone Guard was made at the end of last week, and corrected the fact that the ability was being cast with roughly the same frequency on 10-player as on 25-player mode. This meant that an entire 10-player raid could quickly find themselves chained to each other, while a majority of a 25-player group would still have been unfettered after the same amount of time. That was never our intent.

Now, as for the Garalon hotfixes, the Mend Leg hotfix was made on Tuesday afternoon, before more than a few dozen people in the world had seen the encounter at all, and certainly before any guilds had defeated it. The berserk hotfix was enacted the following morning. Ultimately, both of these hotfixes were intended to bring the DPS requirement down to an appropriate level for a Normal mode encounter halfway through the zone. Normal mode encounters should be reasonably beatable using available Normal mode gear; we were seeing Heroic-caliber guilds with a significant number of ilvl 502 items (from Heroic Mogu’shan, and more powerful than the handful of 496 epics available from the first two bosses of Heart of Fear) struggling to meet the berserk timer on the fight. We made an adjustment accordingly, and we feel that Garalon remains a step up in difficulty from the prior two encounters in the zone.

Our rationale regarding avoiding midweek hotfixes that make a fight easier only applies to Heroic encounters: When a guild encounters a Heroic boss that seems excessively difficult, they may opt to defeat it on Normal and move on. If we make the fight easier midweek, they don’t have the option to go back and fight that easier version, and that can be frustrating and seem unfair. A Normal mode brick wall is a brick wall regardless, so there is no such potential unfairness. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Reins of the Raven Lord Drop Rate
If you are still looking for Reins of the Raven Lord Lord it's still in the game. Got it as a drop a few days ago.

Could be a bug if the mount is not listed as a drop on the Dungeon Journal. It should be reported to our Bug Report forum. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Account-Wide Cloud Serpent Riding
Some account-wide mounts have restrictions based on profession, faction, or class. In this instance, cloud serpents have a factional requirement. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

LFR Feedback
You are gimping your raid group by not running it. I'm sick of feeling that I have to suffer through the mess that is LFR each and every week. Blizzard made 10 and 25s share a lockout because 25 man guilds were "forced" into running the lower skilled 10s for extra gear each week. This new system is no different but 100x worse due to the nature of LFR.
Actually, the new system is quite a bit different than the 10- and 25-player lockout situation. A much greater percentage of the population will experience each new raid using Raid Finder, compared to normal and (especially) Heroic difficulties. The loot system is vastly different in Raid Finder to account for matchmade players, the dungeons are often split up differently for LFR (i.e. Dragon Soul in two parts), and the quality of loot that drops is lower. Given all of this, the cons largely outweigh the pros in your suggestion to make all difficulties of a raid dungeon share lockouts.

But let's discuss the issue you raise: "I run raid content in an organized group. I don't want to do LFR on top of my normal raiding, but I feel like I have to if I want to gear up as fast as possible."

The statement might be true for some, but I have a lot of follow-ups.

  • Are you in a guild that has success with Heroic raid progression? This one's pretty important, as any guild that's good enough to be farming, or at least killing several bosses in, Heroic Mogu'shan Vaults and Heart of Fear by the time Terrace of Endless Spring opens via LFR, will not likely need a single piece of gear from LFR. Terrace of Endless Spring LFR items won't be as good as your Heroic raid gear.
  • Is your guild demanding that you run LFR every week for the chance at some upgrades you haven't made via normal difficulty yet? In your post you say we're forcing you into LFR, but that's not true. I won't argue semantics, but if you're min/maxing your character for every competitive edge possible, that's a playstyle choice.
  • How badly are you really hurting your raid by not running LFR? Is your progression in normal difficulty such that upgrading from a piece of ilvl 463 gear to 476 gear is "make or break" for the entire raid? With stat inflation, the difference between these item levels is almost negligible, unless you're comparing full sets. But in the amount of time it might take you to get several upgrades via LFR, you should be getting several upgrades via normal difficulty -- and you get a head start on normal difficulty with Raid Finder always releasing at least a week later.

Certainly there's a psychology to hunting down every advantage you can, and the endgame is largely about that. But there are a lot of nuances in the raid progression system to ensure that:

  • A) Raid Finder has a healthy pool of players from which to choose
  • B) Organized raiders who regularly tackle Heroic difficulty will have virtually no need to run Raid Finder much at all this expansion (since a new tier's LFR ilvl won't outdo the previous tier's Heroic ilvl)
  • C) Organized raiders who make progress each week on normal difficulty shouldn't hit any pass/fail gear checks and lose because they're not running LFR every week.
  • D) You're not forced by the game (AT ALL) to keep running LFR each week for gear if you want to be successful in the higher difficulties.

I asked a lot of questions because you're demanding a very dramatic change to the game, but you've shared almost no details regarding why this change is completely necessary for everyone, and you're posting on an account that gives me absolutely no insight into your level-90 progression.

My point is that everyone including you has now said there is no need to run LFR and Normal each week, so why would any normal mode raider care that they could only do normal modes over LFR difficulties each week?
Mmm.. That's not quite what people are arguing -- at least that's not what I'm arguing.

Yes, I'm saying the game isn't set up so that you'll fail in normal/Heroic raids, if you're not running LFR every lockout as well. But now it sounds like your argument is: "If LFR isn't required for normal progression, no one should care if they share lockouts."

That's very flawed.

You first said we're literally forcing you to do LFR to progress. I pointed out that you're not actually forced to do it, in that you shouldn't hit a brick wall in progression because you didn't collect enough LFR gear. Now you're saying you want us to force everyone to choose between LFR and normal difficulty each week, just because it's not mandatory to run both.

I don't understand the value in asserting that we're forcing you, by design, to make certain raid progression choices -- when we're actually not -- and then arguing we should more directly force everyone to make certain raid progression choices.

How badly are you really hurting your raid by not running LFR?

That's subjective as there is no true way to find out. Let's just assume a raid group of ten people each person has two pieces of LFR gear, that's a lot of extra stats across the raid and def helps against something like a elegon fight with tight enrages.[/i]
Right. So it's a choice you're making for every advantage in the game. Do you want every advantage possible in the game? 'Cause you have to put in extra effort for that.

That was in response to your second post in the thread Z, and ya buddy you knew what you were doing with it and got the responses you wanted of the 11/10 and lolol Zarhym owned that guy blah blah blah. It was rude and not an open dialogue.
You're making big assertions and suggesting (to put it mildly) that we change the lockout system for everyone. If you're serious about this change at all -- and not just trolling -- I reserve the right to review your reasoning in context in order to formulate an answer to your suggestion. In other words, regardless of what you think my job entails, I'd certainly be of less use if I can't even point out logical fallacies in design suggestions, for fear that that'd be rude.

If you'd rather me placate you and say "thanks for the suggestion," sorry. This is a discussion forum. The dialog goes both ways.

1) LFR will remain relevant through this particular tier because it is the first one.
LFR is relevant right now. For sure. My guild for an example is 3/6 H, and 25 man (so we get bonus loots), and at least a third of my raid could still use an upgrade from LFR just due to RNG. We're still going in there! And, when you release HOF and Terrace LFR, I will certainly be in there tons to grab my tier. I have to plan all these LFRs into my week. I know this is a unique situation right now because it is the very beginning of the expansion. I am hoping that you guys' plans to devalue LFR for raiders kick in in a couple tiers with the ilvl changes; however, at this very moment, you should really believe that raiders of ALL flavors are running it.

You're correct. That's why I said in my original post that I didn't want to argue semantics over, "Blizzard is forcing me to do this." Raid Finder absolutely provides a strategic advantage for progression raiders looking to increase their character power as quickly as possible, fill out set bonuses, etc. But yes, over the course of this expansion's lifecycle that should be diminished, particularly for Heroic raiders. The need to regularly run (meaning over the course of several weeks) the Raid Finder versions of upcoming Mists of Pandaria raids should feel far less crucial, if not nonexistent, for dedicated raid guilds.

2) Valor Points.
LFR represents a larger quantity of VP than even raiding. VP is important now for gear, and will be important in the future for our upgrade paths; the cap is pretty far away by design. As long as that holds true, and as long as LFR rewards so much VP, we'll all be running LFR.

Assuming we're talking about an above-average, organized guild, Challenge dungeons are mathematically the fastest path to the VP cap. Of course the difficulty isn't comparable between LFR and Challenge Modes, but a serious raiding guild can go into an organized five-player setting and get to the VP cap faster, as opposed to gambling with a random LFR queue or facerolling LFR with a full guild clear.

You don't even have to be anywhere near a record-breaking time to be getting more VP/minute than in LFR.

3) Not every HM raider hits a new tier in Best in Slot.
You guys are opening instances very quickly. I appreciate that we are being provided with lots of raids, but you must understand that there are tons of times when LFR - at that single moment in time - represents an upgrade path for a given raider even if they are clearing a lot of heroic mode bosses.

Absolutely, and that's okay sometimes. In my first post I said that one of our goals is to ensure that Raid Finder has a healthy pool of players from which to choose. Our goal isn't to make sure progression raiders never want or need to run LFR. Having experienced raiders queuing up is usually going to be a net gain for everyone (in terms of wait times, success rates, etc.). There is usually some benefit to most level-90 players running Raid Finder, but that's obviously very different from "forced content."

It kind of depends on your goals, your guild's goals, and what you want to get out of the game. I'll still assert that Raid Finder isn't a progression roadblock for those who prefer to stick with normal/Heroic raiding.

4) Procs and tier bonuses will be devalued, but once in a while there might come one that's OP.
You also assume that the ilvl change will completely devalue LFR gear. I hope this will be true, but I suspect the devs - who try as hard as they can - will still occasionally throw in a very op set bonus or trinket proc. These things just happen.

I definitely see your point, and even I've been involved in several discussions with the developers about this concept, so I know they discuss the itemization/progression model quite a bit in their daily lives.

Of note, we recently spoke about the Sigils for the legendary gem. Even in that case, they're watching closely and expect the LFR runs simply for more shots at the Sigils will tail off. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

MMO-Report
The MMO Report is back with the Dust 514 trailer, MechWarrior Online news, Age of Wushu screenshots, and more!

by Published on 2012-11-01 06:02 PM

Google Alert when visiting MMO-Champion - Final Update
Earlier today MMO-Champion got flagged as "unsafe" by Google, resulting in a big ass warning message every time you tried to access the site explaining that MMO-Champion will eat your soul. Well good news, MMO-Champion doesn't eat souls!

This is what happened in a nutshell.
  • In the morning an ad network got compromised and ended up serving a malware. (This is a pretty popular/high-end ad network and I'm not sure if I can give away the name without getting my ass kicked. I'll let them do their own communication)
  • We disabled ads as soon as the first warning appeared.
  • MMO-Champion or any of our infrastructure wasn't compromised, this was entirely 3rd party.
  • Since it's 3rd party and it's always better to be safe than sorry, take this as an opportunity to run a good old Malwarebytes Anti Malware scan on your computer.

Obviously we apologize for the inconvenience.
by Published on 2012-10-31 04:30 PM

Day of the Dead is today, and Icy-Veins has a short guide!

Dev Watercooler: Mists of Pandaria PvP
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Now that Mists of Pandaria has been out a few weeks, we wanted to let you all know what we consider working well in PvP, what we want to improve, and what’s coming down the pike. I’m going to split this up into three parts: a discussion of Matchmaking Rating (MMR), class balance concerns, and a sneak peek at some of our PvP plans.

MMR
As I’m sure you’re aware, the intent behind MMR is to match players by skill. This is accomplished by comparing an assigned number (MMR) that adjusts based on the relative MMR of the opponents you win or lose to. Matching players by their effectiveness or performance helps make sure that less experienced players aren’t always getting stomped by expert players, and that competitors at all levels are earning their victories by battling players of roughly equivalent ability. MMR isn’t intended to be a “PvP score”—its primary function is in matchmaking. We’ve seen a lot of players asking for an MMR reset, and to be fair, we had originally planned on doing one (and even announced it beforehand). Some of you may be concerned that high-ranking players won’t have a reason to play and will be able to just sit on their high ratings, perhaps even earning Gladiator without having to fight opponents. While we think there’s some legitimacy to the concern, we don’t think resetting MMR is the right way to address it.

Because MMR is a measure of your performance as a player, we don’t think it makes a lot of sense to reset MMR at the end of a season or expansion. It’s unlikely your skill atrophied significantly more than that of your competition between seasons, so there isn’t a lot of benefit in measuring it again. If we did reset MMR then what you’d likely see is a handful of mismatched games, where experienced players rock weaker players until MMR is calibrated again. That’s a lot of pain for relatively little gain since the MMRs will likely settle back into the same places anyway. It is important to remember that the Conquest point cap, Elite rewards and Gladiator titles are all tied to Team Rating and not MMR. Your Team Rating increases and decreases as you win and lose, and your Team Rating is really the most important number when it comes to Arena PvP.

However, we took a hard look at the way we measure Team Rating, and came to the conclusion that our formula doesn’t do a good enough job of measuring the potential for improvement over the course of a season. While your skill may not necessarily improve over the course of a season, your gear definitely does, and that should have an effect on the relative power of your team. We’re currently working on a change to allow Team Ratings to grow faster over time, as long as you keep playing. We don’t have any specifics to share yet, but this correction will have the added benefit that players who continue playing will be capable of reaching higher Team Ratings, and therefore potential access to rewards, than someone who stops playing and sits on their rating.

As a potential example let’s say the Fatty Goat Steaks have a Team Rating of 2700 and the Mushan Tongues have a Team Rating of 2500. The Fatty Goat Steaks decide their Team Rating is high enough that they’re going to sit out the rest of the season. The Mushan Tongues keep playing each week, their gear gradually improves, and they continue to win many of their matches. Because of the new inflation component, their Team Rating rises, let’s say, 300 additional points to 2800. They are now higher ranked than the Fatty Goat Steaks. If the Fatty Goat Steaks decide to jump back into Arena matches, they can benefit from the inflation as well, but they’re going to have to play and win to catch up. It’s not going to be a system where you have to play every day just to defend your rating, but certainly one where you can’t sit at the top doing nothing and collect your rewards at the end. We’ll have more details on exactly how this system will work as we get closer to its implementation.

We believe this adjustment to the Team Rating formula will have a similar benefit to the “rating decay” that some of you have been asking for, but will feel more positive – rather than feeling like you must keep running just to stay in place (i.e. keep your current score), players that continue participating will be rewarded with higher Team Ratings. As a season wears on, this should also make upper brackets more active as well.

To support this change we’re going to expand the 5.1 feature of improving the item level of your raid armor and weapons using Valor to now include Justice, Honor, and Conquest points as well. A Gladiator who has purchased a full set of Conquest gear will now have a compelling motivation to keep playing in patch 5.1, since they’ll be able to improve that set by spending Conquest points.

Class Balance Concerns
We have 34 class specializations in the game now, and the intention here isn’t to go through every one to discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Instead, I’m going to address the ones that players seem to be most concerned about. That’s inherently a subjective call on my part, so I apologize if you think we missed something. Also, simply because something isn’t mentioned here doesn’t mean it’s being ignored. You can see some of the specific changes we are trying out in the 5.1 patch notes.

Beastmastery Hunters – We agree that stacking too many cooldowns to blow someone up is not interesting, skillful, or fair. (I also want to be clear that with all of these issues, we’re not blaming players for using the tools that we gave them; we’re blaming ourselves.) We’re taking a hard look at the various Hunter cooldowns with the intention of reducing their burst. Hunters are receiving a buff in that they will no longer need to swap between Aspect of the Hawk and Aspect of the Fox. We also hope these changes help result in higher representation of Survival and Marksman Hunters.

Update - We have just discovered a bug in which the debuff that makes Stampede pets weaker than normal pets was not being applied in Arenas. This helps explain why hunters could cause so much damage in Arenas but not in (say) the outdoor world or a dungeon environment.

Warriors – We don’t think Warrior burst is out of control the way Hunter burst is. It’s possible that the combination of Warrior control and burst are too hard to counter, though. The changes we’re looking at are reducing both burst and control. The Glyph of Gag Order in particular is just too powerful for PvP. We think that if you manage to keep a Warrior from you, you should be allowed to get off a cast (and if you’re a Warrior who just can’t stand the thought of that, you can still spec into Storm Bolt.) Shockwave, Avatar, and Recklessness are also mentioned a lot, and we’re looking at them as well.

Rogues – We think that Rogue damage in PvP is appropriate—the damage that some other classes are dealing is too high, and we want to adjust those cases before we do any tinkering elsewhere. We still like the Rogue suite of tools and abilities, but we feel like some of these mechanics might have been eclipsed by newer, shinier versions. We are looking at improving Rogue mobility and control in conservative ways.

Mages – We are going to tone down Mage burst and control. We had hoped moving more of their control to talents would force some exclusivity in crowd control options, but it wasn’t sufficient. We increased the cost of Spellsteal significantly to promote its use strategically instead of stealing everything available. We’ve also been trying out changes to Deep Freeze, Frost Bomb, and Pyroblast to reduce burst and control.

Monks – We know some players are concerned about Windwalker viability in Arenas. The Monk class has a high skill cap and they come with a learning curve. The Windwalker PvP bonuses are quite powerful and players aren’t really taking advantage of them yet. We absolutely want the newest class to be popular, but we’re also trying to be conservative and not recreate the situation where the Death Knight dominated PvP and PvE when it first launched. We do want to give the Monk a few more weeks and see where it stands, but we are keeping a close eye on how things develop.

Healing – We agree that off-spec healers are too competitive with dedicated healers. Specs such as Shadow, Elemental, and Balance are supposed to be able to provide some healing—that’s one of their perks—but they shouldn’t be able to substitute for a dedicated healer. The change we are going to try here is to have PvP Power benefit either your damage or healing depending on spec. We are concerned that healing may be too high even for dedicated healers, especially for Restoration Shaman and Holy Paladins, who are incredibly strong in PvP at the moment. After we tone down some of the burst damage coming from Hunters, Warriors, and Mages, we may try the PvP healing debuff at 30% instead of the current 15%, but that won’t happen until after we’ve resolved the damage issues.

Crowd Control – At the moment, we’re satisfied with the state of crowd control. We tried to not add new stackable forms of crowd control to any given spec, but because players have so many crowd control options (say, choosing a stun vs. a snare via talents) the overall number of crowd control spells that a PvP player needs to learn has grown. The pool just became deeper. We know that some of you have concerns, and we’ll keep an eye on it.

Burst – Aside from Hunters, and possibly Warriors and Mages, we don’t think burst is out of control. Other specs that get mentioned by players are Destruction Warlocks, Frost Death Knights, and Shadow Priests. Those are definitely on our radar, but we don’t have any changes to announce at the moment.

PvP Sneak Peek
We have a lot of irons in the fire on the development team, and we’re usually reluctant to discuss ideas that aren’t fully implemented in the game yet. Despite all of our caveats, ideas that we delay or cancel tend to get turned into “broken promises.” With that in mind, please understand that you may not see some of these ideas in the next patch, or the patch after that, or any time soon. These are just ideas we’re bouncing around:

Loss of Control UI – This is a feature we’ve wanted to build for a long time, and it’s finally close. If you’re feared, you probably realize you’re feared because your character runs around crazy with a big chattering skull over your head. However, if you’re stunned or silenced or disarmed, you don’t often realize it immediately and push your buttons which don’t do anything and as a result the game feels unresponsive. The loss of control UI makes sure you know when something prevents you from using your abilities. It has benefits for solo or instance play as well, but it’s largely a PvP-driven feature.

Rated Battleground Participation Rewards – If you’ve PvPed for any length of time, you’ve been in one of those matches where the final score is so close that victory was a breath away. When we do our jobs right and give you one of those really close matches, it’s sad to not get any reward for participating, so we want to give out some kind of small reward. The rewards will be based on the final score to discourage exploitation.

Battleground and Arena Maps in Dungeon Journal – While veteran PvP players already know all of the Arena and Battleground maps, we think Dungeon Journal is a good way to introduce the basic objectives and map overlay so newer competitors don’t have to learn to swim while drowning.

Improved Scoreboard – It might seem silly to some, but we think small touches matter. Right now, the entire way we end a Battleground hasn’t changed much: it feels a little archaic and isn’t very exciting. We want to have an actual “You win!” toast, followed by a more exciting scoreboard.

Smoother Battleground Brackets – We have technology now to scale down player items for Challenge Modes, and you might be aware that we scaled up player items during our beta raid testing. We’d like to use the same mechanic to scale up players within the lower level PvP brackets. For example, in the level 15 to 19 bracket, we could make all characters behave as if they were level 19 for purposes of the Battleground. If this idea works well, we could potentially condense lower level brackets and maybe reduce queue times.

Matchmaking – Our Battleground matchmaking system hasn’t changed much since it debuted and doesn’t yet benefit from many of the advances we developed for Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder. The original Battleground queuing system was designed for speed because it only had a single realm of candidates. By incorporating more of the new tech we’ve since developed, we can help ensure that there are a certain number of healers per team or at least a good class distribution.

Honor and Conquest Item Upgrades – We’ve talked about how we’re going to allow players to upgrade raid items with Valor. As mentioned above, we are going to let PvP players increase the item level of their Honor or Conquest gear by spending Honor or Conquest, respectively.

Small Groups joining Rated Battlegrounds – We still don’t want to let solo players queue for Rated Battlegrounds because it would undermine the intent of coordinated group PvP, and then they really just become normal Battlegrounds that reward better gear. However, we’ve heard your concerns that getting even 10 players together to queue for a Rated Battleground can be challenging. Our idea is to let a group of 5 players queue together, which we would then match with another group of 5 players. We think this can still provide a relatively balanced and viable team. One of the crazier ideas on the table would be to convert some of our smaller Battlegrounds, such as Gilneas, to have a 5v5 option.

Tol Barad and Wintergrasp – We are discussing making level 90 versions of these PvP zones that players could queue for to earn bonus honor.
As I said, this is a brain dump of a lot of ideas that a lot of different developers are working on. This is not a list of patch notes and not all of these may come to pass. Please let us know what you think, if we’re on the right track, or if you think we missed a big PvP issue. PvP balance is always going to be really subjective, and while balance is desirable, continual buffs and nerfs that don’t actually solve problems have the potential to be worse than the imbalances they’re trying to fix.

Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the lead systems designer for World of Warcraft. He has NEVER impersonated a female in the game in order to get loot.
by Published on 2012-10-30 08:14 PM

Cross-Realm Zones Update

Patch 5.1 PTR - Build 16231
A new beta build will be deployed on the PTR soon. We will be updating these notes frequently, so keep checking back!

New Vol'jin Model



New Items
It looks like there will be upgraded versions of the legendary gems from Wrathion!

Level Type Slot Name
520Crystal of Fear Gem Refined Crystallized Dread
520Crystal of Fear Gem Refined Crystallized Terror
520Crystal of Fear Gem Refined Crystallized Horror


New Loading Screens



Achievement Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Pet Battles



Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Monk (Forums, Talent Calculator)

Brewmaster

Mistweaver



Strings Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • ENCHANTED_TOOLTIP_LINE - Enchanted: %s
  • LOSS_OF_CONTROL_DISPLAY_CYCLONE - Cycloned
  • LOSS_OF_CONTROL_DISPLAY_MAGICAL_IMMUNITY - Pacified
  • LOSS_OF_CONTROL_DISPLAY_TURN_UNDEAD - Feared
  • OPTION_LOSS_OF_CONTROL_DISARM - When you have been disarmed. Abilities that require a weapon will be disabled.
  • OPTION_LOSS_OF_CONTROL_FULL - When you lose full control of your character from Banish, Charm, Stun, Disorient, Polymorph, Fear, Horror, Incapacitate, Sap, Sleep, Cyclone, and Shackle Undead.
  • OPTION_LOSS_OF_CONTROL_INTERRUPT - When you have been interrupted. This also shows when you have been locked out of a specific spell school.
  • OPTION_LOSS_OF_CONTROL_ROOT - When you have been rooted. You cannot move but can still cast spells and do melee attacks.
  • OPTION_LOSS_OF_CONTROL_SILENCE - When you have been silenced or pacified. You cannot cast some of your spells.
  • REFORGE_TOOLTIP_LINE - %c%s %s (Reforged from %s)
by Published on 2012-10-30 06:41 PM

Cross-Realm Zones Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As promised, we wanted to give you all an update on what we’ve been working on with regards to the cross-realm zone feature. Just to recap, cross-realm zones are meant to improve the leveling experience by increasing the amount of people in the same zone together, while also allowing you to quest with your Real ID or BattleTag friends. It’s a complex feature, and there are still some technical issues that we’re continuing to work to address. We’re committed to further refining the system so that it provides the best possible gameplay experience.

This is an update on the technical issues we’ve been working on and some of the progress we’ve made.

Time Zone Jumps

Right now we have a three-hour time zone differential limit on which realms can be mixed together. This is intended to reduce day/night jumps from occurring when crossing CRZ zones, as well as time zone jumps that may cause world events to end earlier than intended. We agree that the day/night jump can be jarring, and planning for last minute turn-ins for events can be difficult and frustrating.

We’re still discussing how to best approach this situation. One of the ideas being floated around is potentially changing how regional time zones work on a very fundamental level. It’s a change we’ve been discussing for quite a while, and perhaps the CRZ system provides the catalyst to go ahead and make it. We’ll keep you updated as we consider the best solution.

CRZ Transition Lag and Performance

There are still some tech-related quirks that are being hashed out, including framerate hitching when crossing into a CRZ zone, reports of performance issues, and resource nodes/NPCs/players disappearing. We’re still investigating each specific cause and working to smooth these types of issues out.

We also continue to see some reports that people are being dismounted when crossing borders. Single-player mounts should not being doing this, so please post any details in the Bug Report forum if it continues happening. There are technical limitations preventing multi-passenger mounts from holding separate characters when crossing a zone boundary. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that we can quickly or easily fix.

Despite a few lingering technical issues, we’re happy with how CRZ is populating the leveling areas with other players, and helping to once again foster MMO social experiences in the 1-85 content. The process for tuning CRZ is of course one that’s ongoing, and we’re committed to continuing to work on it and iron out any remaining issues as quickly as possible. If you do have bugs to report, please provide details and the reproduction steps (if possible) on the Bug Report forum. Providing detailed information helps tremendously, and when possible, add your report to a relevant thread before creating your own.

Thank you again for your feedback. We’re continuing to monitor reports and we’ll provide updates as they become available.

Reference: This is an update to the initial thread discussing how Cross-Realm Zones work.
by Published on 2012-10-30 07:32 AM

1.0.5 Undocumented Changes, Blue Posts, Curse Weekly Roundup

Patch 5.1: Cataclysm Animation Updated
In Patch 5.1, Warlocks will get a new spell: Cataclysm. The animations has been toned down from the original version.



Reminder: Normal Difficulty Heart of Fear Opens This Week
Don't forget that Normal difficulty Heart of Fear is opening this week! Heroic and Raid Finder difficulty will open next week.





Level Type Spec Slot Name
496FingerMeleeFinger Ring of the Bladed Tempest
496NeckPhysical DPSNeck Choker of the Unleashed Storm
496Off HandSpell DPSHeld In Off-hand Tornado-Summoning Censer
496ClothSpell SpiritFeet Boots of the Blowing Wind
496BackSpell SpiritBack Drape of Gathering Clouds
496ClothSpell DPSWrists Twisting Wind Bracers
496LeatherPhysical DPSWrists Bracers of Unseen Strikes
496LeatherSpell DPSHead Hood of Stilled Winds
496MailSpell SpiritWrists Bracers of Tempestuous Fury
496MailSpell SpiritHands Kaz'tik's Stormseizer Gauntlets
496MailPhysical DPSLegs Sword Dancer's Leggings
496PlateTankHands Windblade Talons
496PlateMeleeWaist Waistplate of Overwhelming Assault
Level Type Spec Slot Name
496FingerTankFinger Vizier's Ruby Signet
496NeckPhysical DPSNeck Pheromone-Coated Choker
496FingerSpell DPSFinger Fragment of Fear Made Flesh
496BackMeleeBack Hisek's Chrysanthemum Cape
496ClothSpell SpiritFeet Scent-Soaked Sandals
496ClothSpell SpiritHands Gloves of Grasping Claws
496ClothSpell DPSWrists Attenuating Bracers
496LeatherSpell SpiritHands Gauntlets of Undesired Gifts
496LeatherPhysical DPSFeet Boots of the Still Breath
496MailSpell SpiritChest Mail of Screaming Secrets
496MailPhysical DPSChest Zor'lok's Fizzing Chestguard
496PlateTankLegs Articulated Legplates
496PlateMeleeWaist Warbelt of Sealed Pods
496PlateSpell SpiritChest Chestplate of the Forbidden Tower
Level Type Spec Slot Name
496FingerTankFinger Ring of the Shattered Shell
496NeckMeleeNeck Necklace of Congealed Weaknesses
496ClothSpell SpiritShoulders Shoulders of Foaming Fluids
496BackPhysical DPSBack Legbreaker Greatcloak
496ClothSpell DPSHead Xaril's Hood of Intoxicating Vapors
496ClothSpell DPSFeet Sandals of the Unbidden
496BackSpell DPSBack Stormwake Mistcloak
496LeatherSpell SpiritChest Robes of Eighty Lights
496LeatherPhysical DPSHands Bonebreaker Gauntlets
496MailSpell SpiritChest Vestments of Steaming Ichor
496MailPhysical DPSHands Grips of the Leviathan
496PlateTankHead Garalon's Hollow Skull
496PlateMeleeChest Garalon's Graven Carapace
496PlateSpell SpiritHands Grasps of Panic
Level Type Spec Slot Name
496Junk Gauntlets of the Shadowy Conqueror
496Junk Gauntlets of the Shadowy Protector
496Junk Gauntlets of the Shadowy Vanquisher
496NeckSpell SpiritNeck Korven's Amber-Sealed Beetle
496FingerPhysical DPSFinger Painful Thorned Ring
496BackTankBack Cloak of Raining Blades
496ClothSpell SpiritChest Robes of Torn Nightmares
496LeatherSpell DPSHands Clutches of Dying Hope
496MailPhysical DPSShoulders Wingslasher Pauldrons
496PlateMeleeFeet Impaling Treads
Level Type Spec Slot Name
496Junk Leggings of the Shadowy Conqueror
496Junk Leggings of the Shadowy Protector
496Junk Leggings of the Shadowy Vanquisher
496FingerSpell SpiritFinger Seal of the Profane
496ClothSpell DPSWaist Belt of Malleable Amber
496LeatherPhysical DPSFeet Treads of Deadly Secretions
496MailPhysical DPSFeet Monstrous Stompers
496PlateMeleeShoulders Shoulderpads of Misshapen Life
496One-handed SwordMeleeOne Hand Scimitar of Seven Stars
496DaggerSpell SpiritMain Hand Un'sok's Amber Scalpel
Level Type Spec Slot Name
496Junk Chest of the Shadowy Conqueror
496Junk Chest of the Shadowy Protector
496Junk Chest of the Shadowy Vanquisher
496ClothSpell DPSLegs Leggings of Shadow Infestation
496LeatherPhysical DPSShoulders Shadow Heart Spaulders
496MailPhysical DPSHead Crown of the Doomed Empress
496One-handed MaceSpell SpiritMain Hand Kri'tak, Imperial Scepter of the Swarm
496Fist WeaponPhysical DPSOne Hand Claws of Shek'zeer


Patch 5.1: Lor'themar Audio
Lor'themar got a few more lines in the most recent PTR patch.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Auction House in Shrine of 7 Stars/2Moons
It might be true that it was the same in Wotlk but doesn't mean it was a good idea. Also, The portal to Pandaria is only in SW meaning that other cities aren't much of an option. If you really want to spread the population out then make a portal to Pandaria in all major cities.
For the most part, we actually feel the method used in previous expansions and again here in Mists of Pandaria works well. We also don't believe it's very demanding asking most players to take just an extra few minutes to access an auction house. Obviously some players will want the most accessibility as quickly as possible, but to avoid overcrowding and to disperse the population, this is the best method of meeting those goals. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvE
Don't want to double dip w/ rep and dungs,so what incentive to run dungs is there at all? Dailies = faster vp AND rep.Not fun.
ilevel 463 gear. The valor from them isn't bad either. (Source)

When will you decide it's not fair that bad players are being excluded from mounts and transmog gear from challenge modes?
Hopefully never. We used to only make content for hardcore. No longer. So it's fine that Challenge Modes *are* for them.
Cool, but why "hopefully"? you also said you will fight hard not to nerf them. Fight against? Someone else make those calls?
No, it's not an internal struggle or anything. I just hate to make promises when the game may feel different years from now. (Source)

Are there any changes planned to make Razorgore soloable in 5.1? He drops a pet after all
Perhaps. (Source)

Hit the "entered too many instances" cap while doing challenge modes, is this intended?
No. I've seen players think that was supposed to be part of the challenge. Heh, but no. (Source)

Why isn't the +300 Spirit food +450 like the Stamina food? Oversight or intended?
We treat Spirit sometimes as a primary sometimes as a secondary. We agree we need to be more consistent. (Source)

Why did valor for LFD go back to 1/day instead of 7/wk? It's a regressive change for no reason as far as I can tell.
We wanted a better catch up mechanism. More folks did them when we had 1/day than 7/week. Latter felt too much like a job.
You are simply loosing out on the bonus. Many of us can't log in every day and capping valor is hard.
Many folks can't log in every day. But some want to. Some want to play a lot on weekends. Cata didn't offer enough for them. (Source)

So from my understanding LFR makes it's decision loot depending on your spec, why am I as a holy priest getting shadow gear?
That sounds like a bug. What specific item did you get?
While you'll want mostly Spirit gear you will see gear as a healing priest without Spirit or Hit on them.
We view +int -hit gear as healer gear. Spirit is good, but the kind of thing you need in every slot, especially in later tiers.
Spirit is a must in the first tier. Any non spirit item IS NOT a healer item in this tier.
Depends on your healing style. I tend to use a lot of the cheap heals so I get away with less Spirit. Not saying ignore it.
Wrists from valor without spirit (no drop from Mogu Shan), Chest from valor withuot spirit. See the problem?
I'd be surprised if you had every piece from Mogu'shan before Heart of Fear opens up. There's a Spirit chest there. (Source)

LFD: Why can Shaman Need on Strength Shields or Warriors Need on Agility gear? Is that considered good game design?
The dungeon loot system isn't smart enough to detect differences in shields. The raid one is. (Source)

Any chance of increasing the time you have to do a bonus roll. it's too short atm.
Possibly, but we want the roll to be personal and immediate, not something you decide on after you see who wins what.
I mean seeing others items they won..doesnt effect anything for anyone else
In a non-LFR raid, legs drop and you wait to see who wins before using bonus roll to try for them. Slows everything down.

A patchnote early october said, that lvl90 could queue normal mop dungeons. Now its crossed over. What changed your mind?
It was a technical problem. Still wouldn't mind 90s runnin Mogu'shan, but we aren't going to make normals of everything.

If I queue for LFR with a wait of ~30 min, and do a scenario for ~10 min, should the time to LFR pop afterwards be ~20 or ~30?
The way it *should* work is that your other queue ticks in the background and is hopefully ready after the scenario.

Lost roll on Hunter DPS trinket 11 times now. Going on 15th hour of non stop holiday boss kills. Losing to Tanks and healers
We could use Raid Finder system for dungeons, but it doesn't support off spec like the dungeon one does.

Why do they keep failing to realize players will do fights with the least possible number of healers
If we try to make the fight about DPS and not healing, it ends up making the fight about healing because healers get sat. (Source)

Heroic dungeons are much easier in MoP compared to Cata, are you planning on increasing difficulty as MoP goes on?
Nope. That's what Challenge Modes are for. (Source)

Can we see Heroic Stormwind Stockades and Ragefire Chasm anypoint in the future?
We'd love to get more feedback about which dungeons players would love to see us revisit (and which ones need Challenge Modes) (Source)

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


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