MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

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by Published on 2012-06-08 06:20 AM

Diablo 3 - Trading Forum Changes, Commodity Sales Return, Disparity Between Melee and Ranged, Blue Posts

Level 90 Talent Animations Preview
Be sure to turn on annotations if you want to use the menu to skip to your classes' talents.

Warning - Some of these spells were recorded from the point of view of another player and might show up with lower particle effects than you would see them if you casted them yourself. You can see an example of this with the Mage Rune of Power spell.

Dragon Turtle Vendor
The latest beta build added a vendor for the Dragon Turtle mounts, with all of them selling for 3,000 gold. This price is very unlikely to be final! The vendor is located just outside of the Stormwind city walls near the Cataclysm portals.

WoW China Developer Interview
otarma was able to translate the latest China Developer's interview for us once again! Keep in mind that things can get lost or mistranslated when doing translation.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Why don’t you allow cross-realm trade between Real ID friends?
It would make cross-realm item circulation too easy, which would impact the economy of individual realms. However, if you really want to play with someone, you can transfer to their realm.

Some players are nostalgic about the raid attunement quests. These players sometimes feel the only reason to kill the raid bosses is the loot. Some players are even asking for the return of raid attunement quests. Will this change in MoP?
Quest lovers and raid lovers don’t have much in common. For many raiders, it is a chore to be forced to do a bunch of raid attunement quests. We are not going to introduce any raid attunement quests at all. On the contrary, because players want to have a reason to raid, we will tell the stories through the means other than quests, such as dialogues of NPCs, events in instances, and the quotes of raid bosses.

How do players reach Pandaria?
Through portals. Currently there are no routes to Pandaria.

Will there be regular championships for pet battles?
Currently we don't have any plans to do so.

Some changes in Cata made some reputations ungrindable (such as the two centaur factions). Will this be fixed?
If the reputations are achievement-relevant, we will fix it, otherwise we don’t want players to grind the reputations that reward nothing.

When people try to do The Loremaster achievement, it’s difficult to find the quest lines that they abandoned halfway. How do you think of it? Is there a way to make the achievement easier?
If you can give us a specific example then we can probably fix it. Besides, the Loremaster achievement in MoP has a little tweak. The quest achievements of the new zones will credit the quest lines instead of numbers of quests accomplished. So the credits are “complete X Y Z story lines”.

Are the mounts from Jewelcrafting profession BoP?
No, they are BoE.

I ask this out of curiosity. Are there more quests in MoP than in Cata LV 80-85?
Currently we have about 1300 quests, of which about 300 are dailies. Some quests are available to Alliance or Horde only, but most quests are neutral. The number of faction-specific quests is probably less than 200. We don't have data to compare with the previous expansions yet, but it is likely that the number is close to WotLK. The quests are more focused on dailies (MoP focuses on dailies more than any other expansion).

Of course, the dailies will be randomized. You can never accept all of them at the same time. If you max out the reputation levels of all factions to provide their quests at max numbers, you can accept about 48 level 85+ dailies at the same time.

After the launch of MoP, will you continue to introduce more world bosses in the following patches?
Yes, depending on how well the world bosses are received. If it's a success then we will certainly introduce more.

The Rise of Zandalari patch seemed unfinished; the whole story was not fully described. Will there be more stories about Zandalari?
Yes, you will see a lot about Zandalari in Kun-lai, and you will discover the connections between Zandalari, Pandaria and Mogu.

LFR provides a lot of convenience for players who are not in raiding guilds. Simply clicking a button to find a raid also decreased the communications within realms. The communications between strangers became less and less. How do you plan to deal with it?
We don't have plans to force players to communicate; it is not necessary for those who try LFR to befriend total strangers. Our bottom line is, we think if you play this game with your friends it will be happier, but if you don’t have friends to play with, then LFD and LFR will also help you experience dungeons and raids.

The popularity LFR received and the benefits it brought are undisputed, but did it bring negative effects too? For example, do players get bored more easily because they can experience raid so easily without the efforts of teamwork?
This system certainly has some flaws. One of them is that it gives players more reasons to not play with friends, make new friends or join a guild. But according to the statistics before and after the release of patch 4.3, we didn’t find players more easily bored about the new raid.

A more functioning guild finder may solve the problem to an extent, but a single system could not possibly fulfill the needs of all players. We hope to make more improvements in 5.0 (including off-line communications or a database website).

WoW China and Korea Server Merges
There is also some older news out of China and Korea about server shutdowns!

They have shut down servers with very low populations, allowing players and guilds to transfer to another server. If a player comes back to the game after their realm has been shut down, they are still able to transfer by using the website. Thanks goes to otarma again for translation.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Since the announcement of the Gaming Environment Optimization Program Phase 1, we have received a lot of support from the players of the relevant realms. So far, Phase 1 goes very well. Most players have arrived at the target realms and received a much better gaming experience. In order for players to begin their new gaming experience more efficiently, we will initiate Phase 2 of the Gaming Environment Optimization Program On June 5th. Hence the source realms will be shut down. The players of the source realms need to organize and take care of the items and money in mailboxes and AH so the transfer can be completed more efficiently.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Why Not Add Head Enchants to Inscription?
Part of the logic in getting rid of the head enchant was to make it easier for players to use their gear. Gems, enchants and reforges all have their place but too much of that sort of preparation before you can actually use an item gets annoying. I'm not saying freeing up one head enchant solves that problem, but it's a small step. I don't know that enchanting the helmet in and of itself is so much fun that we need to preserve it. I think in the meeting where we discussed cutting the enchant there might have even been a little bit of cheering.

In addition, we're not saying we'll never make head enchants again. Maybe we'll come up with a clever use for them or maybe we'll come up with some kind of system that needs a different kind of reward (this was the original genesis of the enchants back in the day). It would be harder to implement such a design if we had to go take the head enchants away from one of the professions. For now, the idea will just go back in the vault. It may not be there forever. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Testing Heroic Dungeons
We're still investigating the stuck character issue. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New Beta Scenarios Feedback Forum
Hey all! We hope you're enjoying some of the new features we've added to the beta recently. And, to that end, we've opened up a Beta Scenarios forum so you can let us know what you think of this new system.

Don't be stingy with the feedback! We're very excited about scenarios and look forward to hearing what you have to say about them over the course of testing. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The Daily Blink - And He Shall Be Known as Sparkle-Tony
The Daily Blink has predicted the next Blizzard Store mount! For the full comic, read it on their site.

by Published on 2012-06-07 06:02 AM

Diablo 3 - Diablo III Developer AMAA, Update on Auction House Commodity Sales (Working on US servers), Account Security Alert: LinkedIn

Silvershard Mine Battleground Preview
Keep in mind that this is just a preview using a Wargame and not the final product.

Temple of Kotmogu Battleground Preview
Keep in mind that this is just a preview that uses a Wargame, of a battleground that was not meant to be tested during this patch, and is not the final product.

Player Faction In Tooltips
The default tooltips now contain the faction of other players, allowing you to see if the unflagged Pandaren are Alliance or Horde. This can be augmented with the various unit frame addons to make it easier to tell which faction a Pandaren belongs to.

Human Character Selection Screen Update
The Human character selection screen has been updated once again! This time it was just smaller tweaks, as you can see with the previous two versions.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Orgrimmar Layout Organization
It's a bit more "organized" since Garrosh took the reins. Though, his organization style may not be the most impartial. After awhile you get used to where things are and how to get there. The same goes for Undercity (even though people say they get lost there.)

They're like any city you visit for the first time. It's going to take you a bit to figure out where the bank is, or where the auction house is, how to get to flight masters etc, but after a bit, it will be like coming "home". (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Death Knight (Forums)
Compendium of Issues
Death runes were designed to provide flexibility to an otherwise inflexible rune resource. By making abilities directly cost death runes, this flexibility is lost.
Only to an extent. (Abilities like Blood Tap were really the intended solutions for flexibility.) Death Runes were also included just to add variation to the rotation so that it didn't become so predictable and metronome-like: Frost, Unholy, Blood, Blood, Frost+Unholy, Repeat.

Adding a Death Rune cost to some abilities is an elegant way to allow all 3 specs to fit an attack into their rotations. Otherwise, you'd see a lot of "Costs 2 Blood for Frost, and 1 Unholy and 1 Frost for Unholy" and so on. Some of these abilities are also talents -- if you hate Death Rune costs, skip over them.

Unholy's execute is much stronger than Frost's. In a vacuum, that sounds OK. You just have unholy do less damage in pre-execute stages, right? Damage is damage, right? But no, actually it causes all kinds of problems.
We just don't agree that these are really problems. Some classes and specs do more damage during Execute phases and some don't. We don't want every spec to perform equally in every possible situation (largely because the only reasonable way to deliver on that would be for everyone to work exactly the same). We just want reasonable players to feel like they can choose the spec they want to play. We don't anticipate a great deal of "Okay everyone, switch to Frost for this fight," or at least not because of Soul Reaper.

Why do 2H frost and DW frost have to play differently, when it has proven impossible to balance? Why can't switching from DW to 2H be a purely cosmetic change?
Because it's boring. Why not make switching from Frost to Unholy spec be purely cosmetic since that would be easier to balance too? We like that dual-wield (for any class) feels faster and that frequency of auto attacks influences your overall rotation. It adds interest for a DK who wants to try something else. It lets a player wonder if that shiny new axe that dropped is worth swapping to a different rotation or not.

Believe me, if we could go back to a world where equipping an axe felt different than equipping a sword, we'd do that too. It has just been historically challenging for us to provide enough weapons for everyone. Providing 1H Str weapons as well as 2H Str weapons hasn't been a serious issue.

Lastly, DKs already have 4 separately refreshing resources to manage (blood, frost, unholy runes and runic power). No other class in the entire game has more than two. Monks originally had three, but this was reduced to two because it was "too confusing". Asking DKs to manage death runes means we will now have five.
While we continue to tweak it, overall we like the DK resource model. It's definitely not a class for players who don't like resource management. The issue with the monk wasn't the number of resources -- there is nothing inherently magical about having 1 or 3 or 6 resources -- it's that the overall package wasn't intuitive. Players weren't sure if they were supposed to save up black and white chi or just use them as they came in. The monk abilities were also individually pretty complex, which is why we thought the resource model could be simpler. For DKs, several of the abilities are just various forms of damage and it's the resource model that provides the depth. Yet most DKs seem to grasp the basic mechanic of cheap diseases being necessary in order to make the more expensive double rune "finishers" do decent damage.

Frost presence is too good. It forced you to degrade base runic power generation way too far. DW frost is 100% GCD-locked at all times..
We agree this is a problem. We think it would feel better if Frost Presence didn't provide so much Runic Power. The problem is that it has to in order to be competitive with Unholy Presence. It would be goofy if, in order to compete with Frost Presence, Unholy Presence only lowered the cooldown of abilities by 0.1 sec.

One potential solution we might try is just to give Frost and Unholy Presence a 1 sec GCD (or all DKs for that matter), lower the Runic Power from Frost Presence and give Unholy Presence a different bonus. We generally have shifted classes that are resource constrained to having a 1 sec GCD, and most existing DKs are already pretty used to it.

(As an aside, it's interesting from a game design nerd point of view to look at the history of stances / presences / auras / seals / aspects / armors in WoW and even other games. Usually when there is supposed to be a choice between two modes that convey different bonuses, there nearly always ends up not being a choice, or else the answer becomes to stance dance frequently. With the exception of needing to be in "healer mode" or "tank mode" the overall modal design has some non-trivial problems. But I digress.)

While I admire the persistence of my fellow DKs, and agree fully with the above issues, I can't help but look at the plethora of ignored threads that exist and throw my hands up in despair.
Not helpful. You guys have an enormous capacity to influence the quality of these forums. We're not going to ban our way to a higher level of discussion, nor are the busy developers going to post every time someone feels neglected. Post your feedback. If you have done so, then consider your job done. Once you go from posting feedback on the game to posting about about how we have not yet responded to or acted upon your feedback, then you are doing damage to the forum discussion. Think like a good newspaper or magazine writer - make sure the most important part of your message gets across. Don't distract from that message with a bunch of clutter or needless posts (including shameless bumps).

Consider this: it is not in your best interest to make it harder for community managers or developers to find actionable, detailed, constructive feedback.

I try not to make it a habit of posting in really whiny threads, so if you don't get a response, that is certainly one potential reason why. It's far more likely though that we are just really busy and reading takes much less time than responding.

Unholy will have the best execute in the game by a fairly large margin. The spec was balanced around its extremely strong execute. That means that the spec does pretty terrible damage when not in execute range.
Last I looked, Soul Reaper is like 7% of Unholy damage and 4% for Frost. If you guys think the numbers work out differently, then let us know, but it's helpful to provide documentation. (Please understand that the class team doesn't have the bandwidth to debug everyone's theorycrafting - it's nothing personal.) Frost vs. Unholy DPS is pretty close in our internal tests. Once we see more players posting beta fight parses, we'll make sure our internal tests match reality.

Besides, single-minded Fury warriors probably have "the best execute in the game by a fairly large margin."

Could you please address our Level 90 talents as they relate to PvE content? Is it your intention that this is a PvP-only tier?
It's a narrow-minded view, IMHO, to call anything that isn't +damage a PvP ability. There are plenty of raid bosses where crowd control is vital. It's really useful in challenge modes and scenarios as well. If you're running relatively easy content and never crowd controlling anything, then no, crowd control abilities aren't going to be as useful to you, but if every ability in WoW has to be +damage and every encounter has to be only about how quickly you DPS something down, then that narrows our design space quite a bit.

The problem with the DK 90 row when it did damage was then all of those abilities had to be factored into DPS rotations, which meant you were balanced around using them on cooldown, which also meant they likely weren't available when you did need to Gorefiend's Grasp someone. (This point isn't just relevant to DKs either.)

Abilities costing death runes isn't intuitive or even interesting. It's complexity for the sake of complexity.
You're entitled to your opinion of course, but we thought it was less confusing than having Necrotic Strike and Soul Reaper cost different resources for different specs, or worse, having three differently named abilities that essentially did the same thing. We could have tried a Runic Power implementation, but then the abilities would be used more frequently than we intended, so they'd also need longer cooldowns or something else and they'd compete with abilities like Frost Strike. It's just a different design.

What happened with our windfury raid haste buff? Is it gone for good or coming back at some stage?
Yes, it's just a bug that it's missing. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hunter (Forums)
Ranged Weapon Visibility
Ranged weapons will show up sheathed on your back. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums

Account Security Alert: LinkedIn
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
LinkedIn has recently stated that it is investigating claims of a possible compromise of user account passwords. Please note that these claims have not been confirmed, and that updates regarding the status of the investigation are currently being provided on LinkedIn's official Twitter page:

If you are a LinkedIn user and happen to use the same password for your LinkedIn account and your account, we strongly encourage you to reset your password at this time. To complete a password reset, go to Account Management > Settings > Change Password. You can also visit this page if you've forgotten or lost your password:

Additionally, if you used your email address to sign up with LinkedIn, you may also wish to update your email address via Account Management as general security precaution. To update your email address, go to Account Management > Settings > Change Email Address.

If you are unable to update your password or email address and believe your account might be compromised, please contact our customer support staff by using the Account Recovery Form. For additional security tips and suggestions, be sure to check out the Account Security Awareness guide at

The Daily Blink - The Only Info We Really Care to Inspect
The Daily Blink proposes a different type of inspection update!

by Published on 2012-06-05 09:32 PM

Mists of Pandaria Beta - Build 15752
A new beta build will be deployed on beta realms soon. Don't miss the /flirt Pandaren emotes below!

New Models
A Celestial Serpent and Celestial Human were added in this build.

Pandaren Race Intro Audio
This is just the audio, we will update with the video as soon as we can!

Pet Battle Music
This is some of the music that will play during pet battles.

New Pandaren Emotes
The Pandaren got a few new emotes in this build!


New Loading Screens
Scarlet Halls and Terrace of Endless Spring have loading screens now.

New Items
For a full list of new items, check out WoWDB!

Level Type Slot Name
90JunkN/AGhost Iron Lockbox
1JunkN/AKrastinov's Bag of Horrors
1QuestN/ANat's Fishing Journal
1QuestN/ANat's Fishing Journal
414ArmorTrinketExplosive Barrel
429ArmorTrinketDislodged Stinger
429ArmorTrinketNurong's Gun
500SwordOne HandPlasma Sword
1SpearMain HandSharpened Tuskarr Spear
419Food & DrinkN/ACup of Kafa
85OtherN/AIron Belly Spirits
85OtherN/ATotem of Harmony
85OtherN/AExploding Keg
85OtherN/ATrophy Wolf
419OtherN/ACovered Basket
85OtherN/AJin Warmkeg's Brew
85OtherN/ATrophy Fox
85OtherN/AKen Ken's Mask

Achievement Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

Pet Battles
Pet Battles

  • One Step at a Time - Complete The Crumbling Hall and The Thunder Below without taking damage from any source.

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

Druid (Forums)
Major Glyphs
  • Glyph of Shred no longer removes the positional requirement from Ravage.

Hunter (Forums)
  • Fetch now has a 0.1 sec cast time.


  • Cackling Howl (New) The hyena lets out a cackling howl, increasing the melee and ranged attack speed of all party and raid members within 100 yards by 10% for 2 min. Instant. 1.5 min cooldown. Special Ability.
  • Dust Cloud weakens the armor of the target by 4% for 30 sec. Stacks up to 3 times.
  • Serpent's Swiftness (New) Increases the melee and ranged attack speed of all party and raid members within 100 yards by 10% for 2 min. Instant. 1.5 min cooldown. Special Ability.
  • Tear Armor weakens the armor of the target by 4% for 30 sec. Stacks up to 3 times.

Mage (Forums)

  • Pyroblast DoT damage remains the same, but is spread out over 18 sec instead of 12 sec.

Monk (Forums)

  • Rushing Jade Wind no longer allows you to move at 100% speed while using Spinning Crane Kick after you cast Rushing Jade Wind.
  • Zen Sphere had a tooltip fix to show damage at 460 + 65% of AP.

  • Avert Harm now works on nearby party and raid targets rather than all friendly targets.
  • Breath of Fire had the bonus damage from when Dizzying Haze is on the target increased by 355%.
  • Summon Black Ox Statue passive now absorbs 197.1% of AP + 50 damage, rather than 14,232.



Priest (Forums)
  • Cascade is now instant cast, down from 3 sec. Range reduced to 40 yd from 100.
  • Flash Heal now costs 6.6% of Base Mana, up from 6%.
  • Halo: Creates a ring of Shadow energy around you that quickly expands and grows in power, up to 30 yds away. Deals up to (20,216 + 195.0% of SP) Shadow damage to enemies, and up to 0 healing to allies, with the greatest effect at 25 yds. 100 yd range. Instant.
  • Halo: Creates a ring of Holy energy around you that quickly expands and grows in power, up to 30 yds away. Deals up to (20,216 + 195.0% of SP) Holy damage to enemies, and up to 0 healing to allies, with the greatest effect at 25 yds. 100 yd range. Instant.
  • Prayer of Mending now costs 3.9% of Base Mana, up from 3.5%.
  • Renew now costs 2.9% of Base Mana, up from 2.6%.
  • Shadowfiend no longer grants this bonus effect for Shadow: Your Mind Flay critical strikes reduce the remaining cooldown of this ability by 10 sec.

  • Archangel now has a 2 minute cooldown for the Dark Archangel portion of the spell.
  • Mindbender no longer grants this bonus effect for Shadow: Your Mind Flay critical strikes reduce the remaining cooldown of this ability by 10 sec.

  • Meditation now allows 40% of your mana regeneration from Spirit to continue while in combat, up from 25%.
  • Penance now costs 3.4% of Base Mana, up from 3.1%.


Holy & Discipline
  • Greater Heal now costs 6.6% of Base Mana, up from 6%.
  • Heal now costs 2.2% of Base Mana, up from 2%.
  • Holy Fire is now a Holy & Discipline Specialization spell.

  • Devouring Plague had the healing component reworked: Also heals the caster for 1% of their maximum health when it deals direct damage, and 0.30% of their maximum health when it deals periodic damage. Damage and healing increased based on the number of Shadow Orbs consumed.

Warlock (Forums)
  • Drain Soul now causes double the normal damage and your periodic damage spells tick 50% (was 100%) faster if the target is at or below 20% health.
  • Malefic Grasp: Now your periodic damage spells tick 50% faster while afflicted by Malefic Grasp, down from 100%.
  • Unstable Affliction base damage was increased by 100%.

New and Updated Maps
Several maps were updated or had concept art added to them in this build.

Strings Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • AUTO_OPEN_LOOT_HISTORY_TEXT - Auto Open Loot Rolls Window|TInterface\\OptionsFrame\\UI-OptionsFrame-NewFeatureIcon:0:0:0:-1|t
  • FEATURE_NOT_AVAILBLE_PANDAREN - This feature unlocks after you choose a faction.
  • INSTANCE_PARTY_LEAVE - Leave Instance Group
  • OPTION_TOOLTIP_AUTO_OPEN_LOOT_HISTORY - When checked, the Loot Rolls window will automatically open to show you your group members' rolls when Bind on Pickup items drop.
  • SLASH_OPEN_LOOT_HISTORY3 - /lootrolls
  • SLASH_OPEN_LOOT_HISTORY4 - /lootrolls
  • SPELL_FAILED_CUSTOM_ERROR_165 - You have already sampled sap from this Feeder.
  • SPELL_FAILED_CUSTOM_ERROR_166 - Requires you to be near a Mantid Feeder in the Heart of Fear.
by Published on 2012-06-05 04:13 PM

Dragon Soul Difficulty Change - 25%
This change is already live on US realms, but not on the EU realms.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
At the completion of scheduled server maintenance during the week of June 5, the “Power of the Aspects” spell will grow more powerful, reducing the health and damage dealt of all enemies in the Dragon Soul raid by 25%. This spell has grown progressively stronger over time to reduce difficulty and make the encounters more accessible. The spell will affect both normal and Heroic difficulties, but it will not affect the Raid Finder difficulty.

If you don’t need the help of the Dragon Aspects, the spell can be disabled by talking to Lord Afrasastrasz at the beginning of Dragon Soul.

We hope you continue to enjoy Dragon Soul, and that these changes encourage you to attempt a higher difficulty, or just keep pushing to take down that next boss.

The Future of PvP in Mists of Pandaria
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With the Mists of Pandaria beta in full swing we thought we’d take this opportunity to shed some light on what lays ahead for PvP. To that end, we sat down with World of Warcraft Game Director Tom Chilton to discuss the future of PvP in Mists of Pandaria.

What is the overarching design philosophy for PvP in Mists of Pandaria?
We want to have more new PvP content than we’ve ever had before. With this expansion we’re adding two completely new Battlegrounds with new gameplay types. We’ve never done that before at the start of an expansion. We also have a new Arena to add to the current pool of options. That will bring our count of Battlegrounds up to ten and our Arena count to six.

Temple of Kot'mogu - Who's got the relic now?

How is the war being brought back to World of Warcraft in relation to PvP?
Well, the best answer to that is that we’re very deliberately trying to get people back out into the world, and so that means on a PvP realm, you’ll have more people to kill that are out in the world. Generally speaking, the most fun outdoor PvP is just the spontaneous conflict that happens as a natural result of people being out in the world. It’s not the stuff the designers create for you.

Many players on PvE realms are concerned about being forced to PvP or take part in World PvP when they don’t want to, what can you say to them about the plans for this?
There are no plans to force PvP on players who are on PvE realms. Their experience shouldn’t change and they’ll have the same opportunities for PvP (if they wish to take part) as they do now. It’s also worth noting that the Black Market Auction House has the potential to become a world PvP location for those on PvP realms. Just like the name implies, these are goods being sold out in shady locations away from the prying eyes of guards in the cities. They are not in neutral or safe zones. For PvE realms, it’s not going to have that same risk for placing a bid as on a PvP realm (aside from being outbid).

Temple of Kotmogu - Plenty of room to run and run and run.

On the other hand, PvPers are afraid that things won’t be taken far enough and they won’t get the world PvP they want; they often mention the issue of guards in major cities hampering their ability to do these raids. What could you say about that?
We know that for many PvPers, the idea of getting a large raid (or two) together to invade a city is something that can make for great world PvP. We also know that there has been an issue with guards causing this to be a less appealing undertaking for them as the guards have gotten stronger. We obviously want those guards there doing their jobs, but we don’t want them to be the wall that you just can’t get over. So, we are planning to adjust the guards only on PvP realms to where they aren’t quite as strong as you’d find them on a PvE realm, and they won’t respawn quite as quickly either. We’re still working on this, but we hope to get this adjustment in before the release of Mists of Pandaria. It’s worth noting that the guards on PvE realms will remain the same as they are now.

Temple of Kotmogu - One of four artifacts in Temple of Kotmogu

How is it possible to make it different between the realm types when it wasn’t in the past?
The difference is in the available technology that we have now that we didn’t have in the past. As the game has evolved over the years, so has technology and our capability to find ways to implement that new technology that makes our ideas of “what if” or “wouldn’t it be cool” become reality. With the change to the guards, we think that could be a real game changer for those that really like the idea of raiding cities or areas and holding them against the “enemy”. Beyond that though, there isn’t really a difference, but with the new daily quest hubs, it should prove to be a real hotspot for PvP on a regular basis.

Silvershard Mine - Which switch is which?

Will there be bigger changes between PvP and PvE realms in the future?
It’s always a possibility. We want to see how things go with these changes first. We don’t want to promise any big plans at this point in time, but we are always thinking of ways we can add to the experience where we can.

Silvershard Mine - Up or down?

What about the general idea that there aren’t enough people out in the world to even engage in PvP?
The new Cross-Realm Zones technology that we introduced recently in the beta should also help make sure more world PvP happens.

Silvershard Mine - Almost there...

What about the use of flying mounts? Many players are concerned about the use of flying mounts to avoid having to ever engage in PvP on PvP realms.
We know this is a concern and we have some things in mind for helping in this regard. First, we’re limiting the use of flying mounts within Mists of Pandaria to level 90. Second, with so many players taking part in the quest hubs, we think we’ll see a lot more PvP happening out in the world. After all, you have to land sometime. If that’s not enough though, we have an item that we’re adding to the game that players will be able to use from the ground that makes it possible to dismount a flying enemy player (within a reasonable range and PvP flagged). We’re still discussing the particulars of how this item will be available.

Will there be a Wintergrasp or Tol Barad for Mists of Pandaria?
No. We’re deliberately trying to get people out into the world and these areas ended up being more like instanced areas than World PvP. We don’t want to create another one and have it result in the same sort of gameplay. With that being said though, we’ve instead moved the bosses you would have found within an instance like Baradin Hold out into the world. We think the allure of a boss kill is a great impetus to go out into the world and engage in PvP.

Could you recap the new battlegrounds that are being added? What new gameplay styles do the two new Battlegrounds have to offer players?
We have two new Battlegrounds that we’ve talked about before, each featuring a completely new type of gameplay that we haven’t had available before.

The design of the Silvershard Mine hasn’t really changed since we last discussed it at our Mists of Pandaria media event. Players essentially escort one of several mining carts to a depot to score points. Strategic locations will feature switches that allow you to change tracks. The more people you have helping out, the better, though you’re going to want to stop or at least stall the other team from getting their carts into a depot as well.

For our other Battleground, Temple of Kotmogu, we’ve made some slight changes since we last talked about it at the event. We did some internal testing with just one artifact and discovered that the gameplay devolved into a sort of deathmatch in the center of the map. So we didn’t just double the amount of artifacts that were in play, we quadrupled it and ended up with four artifacts at different spots that could be used to score points. You’ll still score the most points for staying in the center area of the of the field of battle, but there’s a lot more going on with four artifacts to keep track of and hand off to your team.

Tol'vir Proving Grounds - Three is the number

Is the way we queue for Battlegrounds changing at all?
Yes, we’re adding a way for players to down-vote two Battlegrounds that they don’t want to see show up when queuing for random Battlegrounds. The exception to this is if it’s the Battleground featured with Call to Arms. You won’t be able to down-vote those when they happen, but this should make it so that it’s less likely you’ll be taking part in a Battleground that you don’t particularly enjoy. It should also help make it more likely that when a particular Battleground comes up on the Call to Arms, you may be able to enjoy it more. We’re also changing the way Call to Arms works so that there will always be a Call to Arms Battleground available. This will allow us to cycle through a larger amount of Battlegrounds on a regular basis.

When will players get to try out the new Battlegrounds for themselves?
We’re hoping to have these new battlegrounds in the beta for everyone to play within the next couple of weeks or so. We’re looking forward to getting everyone’s feedback and seeing how they play out with a larger test audience.

Tol'vir Proving Grounds - A peaceful arial view

Is anything changing with Arenas?
Yes, actually. Players will be able to see their opponent’s class and specialization before the match begins. They won’t be able to see the specific talent choices or glyphs being used, however. From there, it’s a bit like playing poker. You won’t know what exact abilities your opponent is using, but you’ll be able to modify your own talents in the staging area before the match starts to try to anticipate what they could be using.

Tol'vir Proving Grounds - Are you worthy?

Is anything changing with Rated Battlegrounds?
We don’t have any changes planned for Rated Battlegrounds at this time, though we may at some point in the future decide to add in the newest Battlegrounds, Silvershard Mine and Temple of Kotmogu.
by Published on 2012-06-05 06:31 AM

Diablo 3 - Discounted Potions, Barbarian Spreadsheet, Easter Eggs, Diablo III Developer Q&A, Blue Posts, AH Poll

Mists of Pandaria Coming to the PTR
BlizzardCS has mentioned the Mists of Pandaria PTR that recently appeared on the account pages. The old PTR client is now able to download MigrationContent for the next patch, suggesting that it will be able to update to Mists of Pandaria.

As a reminder, when the patch is on the PTR and available for testing, it is likely that only the new systems will be in place, not any of the new Pandaria content, similar to the patch that takes place before every expansion is released.

Black Market Auction House Bid Cap Increased
The BMAH has had the bid cap increased to the new gold cap of 999,999 gold. Once you bid that amount, no one can outbid you, but the auction will continue to run for the entire duration.

A few new Mists of Pandaria items have started to appear since our first post, as indicated by the blank items that are sold by Mists of Pandaria NPCs.

Brewmoon Festival Scenario
Today we have another Scenario preview, the Brewmoon Festival. This is one of the longer scenarios that are able to be tested right now. Keep in mind this is still an early preview and everything is subject to change.

Horde Theramore Scenario Voiceovers
The previous beta patch also added the voice acting for the Theramore scenario. This is the Horde version of events.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Testing Heroic Dungeons
Currently for a player to enter into a Heroic Dungeon through the Dungeon Finder system requires an item level of 440. Currently, this is a more difficult bar to clear in the beta that it will be in the final live game.

We're going to work towards hotfixing that value down, but at the same time use some new magic we have to simulate a higher level. When that change gets applied, I'll edit this thread with the news.

In the meantime, you can actually go old school to test the dungeons. Form a group, then head in through the entrance! I'm making feedback threads for them all, since they're all open.

The level of the bosses in Heroics should be 92. Note that MoP has a different hit/miss formula than Cataclysm. Check your character sheet for more information.

We're looking into the character stuck issue, I don't have an ETA. We have the hotfix ready to go, just waiting on some logistical issues to be handled. It should hopefully be deployed by tomorrow morning PDT. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The New Spellbook
We know from feedback and from testing that dividing spells among 3 tabs felt arbitrary to a lot of players. Some players didn't even realize they had access to some spells. The current design has all of your class spells in alphabetical order, with the exception that active abilities (those you can drag to your bar) come before passive abilities. We would consider a design where the passives are mixed in with the actives. (The general tab is for anything that isn't related to your class, such as racial abilities and things like riding.)

We've seen some ideas from players that we should attempt to categorize class abilities further, such as offensive vs. defensive, or buffs vs. heals, but worry that it would be very challenging to come up with a single organizational scheme that is intuitive to most of our players. I think it's like one of those deals where everyone organizes their hard drive, desktop or email inbox differently. Some people have tons of little categories that make sense to them (key point) and some keep everything in one big bucket. There isn't a one-size fits all scheme that works. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Jumping the Shark Quest Bug
Fix for this is coming in the next build. It's a bug. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hunter (Forums)
Glyph of Stampede
The design intent is that Stampede skips over any unusable pets (such as an exotic for a non-BM) hunter or any blank slots (in the case that maybe you left a hole in case you tame something interesting along the way). For any skipped slots, Stampede would just clone your current pet for that slot, so you would still always have 5 pets when you Stampede.

The idea of the glyph is that it would use the clone mechanic all the time. Theoretically, a hunter with only one pet would be wasting the glyph. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The Daily Blink - So Shines a Good Deed in a Weary Forum
The Daily Blink gives us some of Ghostcrawler's song lyrics. Sadly no one has actually sung the song for us yet.

by Published on 2012-06-03 06:30 PM

Diablo 3 - Power Leveling, Item Level Update, User Questions Answered, Blue Posts, and Diablo Wallpaper

Character Inspection Changes
This build brought two small changes to inspecting other characters. When you inspect someone, you are able to see their specialization, talents, and glyphs.

You may now inspect anyone as long as you can target them, including targeting them through being in the same group, no matter where they are. This even works in cross realm groups! The only thing that doesn't show when the other player is not visible to you is their 3D model.

Female Pandaren Emote Voice
The latest patch brought us some new Female Pandaren emote voices. The animations in the video are not complete and are not intended to be in perfect sync with the video.

A Brewing Storm Scenario
Today we have a preview of one of the shorter scenarios that have been released so far, A Brewing Storm. Keep in mind this is still an early preview and everything is subject to change.

Level 90 Rewards
As previously mentioned, this build opens level 90 to players. Upon reaching level 90, Lorewalker Cho sends you a nice mail with a free purple firework and points you towards breadcrumb quests.

These breadcrumb quests are found on the lower outdoor tier of your faction's city in Pandaria and point you to all of the daily quest areas. Unfortunately many of the lines are not available to players yet, including the Cloud Serpents and Tillers farming area.

Diablo 3 Blue Posts
Nothing from the CMs about WoW recently, so we have a post from the Diablo side on the speed at which Blizzard makes changes.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Rapid Game Changes
There's a time and a place for fast-action, high-priority designations. And believe me, we do have those types of approval pipelines. I'd argue though that reacting in a rash manner does not, in most cases, make for great game design.

Game design really is an art form more than a mathematical equation, even with so much math involved. The end goal should be amazing gameplay. And how that's defined will differ from person to person.

Sure, we can be slow to act. Sometimes we can be too slow. But even with the mistakes we've made -- and the mistakes we're sure to make in the future -- I think we're better off taking a measured approach to potential design changes.

If you know you're slow to react and implement changes, can't you be a little more forthcoming with informing us of what you want to do?
We're always striving to improve our communication. The primary function of the community team is to listen to the players, so we've spent a lot of time these past few weeks compiling feedback and taking it to the developers.

The flip side of that coin is for us to relay information back to the community as best as we can and as often as possible.

Does your team simply hate talking with the public for fear of "breaking promises"?
No, but you're asking very specific questions about late-game class balance only a couple of weeks into Diablo III's life cycle. The overwhelming majority of the community isn't even there yet. We're watching things very closely and have a lot of tweaks in mind, many of which are already being worked out, but we're not looking to jump all over balance adjustments and catch players off-guard. And it's certainly not an MMO where balance is among the biggest concerns.

For those who have already invested a lot of time into this game I'm sure these last couple of weeks have felt like a lifetime. But with regard to this game's lifespan, we're barely in our infancy.

All of that said, we're already preparing another game design update to share with everyone soon. We hope that'll provide additional insight into our plans for the foreseeable future. (Blue Tracker / Official Forum)

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

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