MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

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by Published on 2013-01-07 03:34 PM

World of Warcraft - Patch 5.2 Teaser
Blizzard just released a teaser for the upcoming Patch 5.2, currently available on PTRs!

by Published on 2013-01-06 10:35 AM

No Upgrades for Patch 5.2 Items
It looks like you won't be able to upgrade the new gear you get in Patch 5.2!

Patch 5.2 Transmogrification Changes
As part of the the transmogrification changes being implemented in Patch 5.2, almost every Main Hand weapon was converted to a One Hand weapon. You can see the list of the remaining Main Hand weapons here.

As far as the other previously mentioned changes go, almost every type has been implemented so far. Most two handed weapons that share animations can now be transmogrified with each other, as well as most one handed weapons with other one handed weapons. Keep in mind that this is the first build of Patch 5.2, and more changes could come in later builds.

  • Daggers cannot be transmogrified into swords or vice versa.
  • Polearms cannot be transmogrified into other two handed weapons.
  • Fist Weapons cannot be transmogrified into other one handed weapons.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Are encounters still designed *without* dual-spec in mind, as it was once claimed ? (Think 1-tank fights)
Yes, but during that time we've also seen the community shift from thinking a 10% dps delta is unacceptable to a 5% or 1%. (Source)

I feel as though your team has lost touch. You have nerfed my class every patch since MoP release. How fun do you think thatis
Probably not fun for you. That's understandable. Probably more fun for the players trying to compete with an OP class though. (Source)

Any chance on sticking to, "Bring the player and not the class" in regards to Mass Dispel?
What do you need Mass Dispel for that normal dispels can't solve? Not every 10 has a priest.... (Source)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
You completly destroyed Rdruid again with 30% healing reduction. We are now unplayable again, congratz...
How would a global healing debuff make one healer weaker than others? (Source)

I'd like to add to this, whats with the Resto druid nerfs when we are the only healing class yet to receive love
We have a crazy idea for mushrooms that we're working on. Too soon to know if it's a keeper. (Source)
Can you give us a hinty hint hint with what you are gonna do with Wild Mushroom: Bloom? Pretty please? *puppy dog eyes*
Love to, but we've learned to be cautious since some players can't differentiate work in progress vs. broken promises. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
no quivers in 5.2? cmon man this can't last as long
We removed quivers years ago. I'm not understanding the expectation that they will soon be coming back... (Source)

'Bestial Wrath may now be activated when there is no line of sight to the Hunter's pet.' it's a joke' ?
No joke. What's the issue? (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
is the Frostjaw PvE bug known? it only lasts 4 seconds on all targets. #mildlyirritating
It does DR even in PvE. Do you never see it at 8? (Source)

what you think about mages situation? fire nerfed due to very high dps and now arcane doing crazy damage
Compare individual fights (esp. all and not top 100) and they are pretty close on most fights. Some like Elegon throw #s off. (Source)

Greg, that is an incredibly ignorant thing to say. It also allows for movement, procs missiles, and does damage.
All that is also true, but the recent AB + Scorch "rotation" isn't super compelling and cheats Arcane's mana management. (Source)
Then stop redesigning arcane every expansion, forcing us to find the best way to play every time.
The goal hasn't changed. Arcane should manage mana. But the spec isn't fun when at just AB spam. We correct that when it occurs. (Source)
Lots of respect for the challenges your team faces. Seemed like scorch weaving was a fun mistake? Why not harness it?
Can you explain why you thought it was fun? It just seems like a way to get around Arcane's intended mana management. (Source)

Spam might be too strong a word don't you think ? :P
Probably. The design intent was still that Scorch is supposed to be about movement, not Arcane mana-savings. (Source)
mate dont just ignore the mage twitts .. without a silence & without a stun how are you suppose to be able to pvp ?
You'll have to use Counterspell to actually counter a spell. Blanket silences were on many PvP players' hit lists. (Source)
Is it fair to compare a silence to disarms? If one is too good, what about the other? If disarms fair, then silence fair?
Potentially, but players were complaining much more about silences. (Source)

Could you please explain what your aim is with the mage nerfs? It seems you just hate people playing arcane and want them to
Many mages saying right now we hate Fire and want you to play Arcane. Really, we're just trying to let you play what you like. (Source)
In all honesty, I'm feeling like we need a complete revamp. I don't see what direction you guys want Mages to be in for MoP.
We really like the mechanics of all 3 mages now. Most of the changed we've made are just damage adjustments. (Source)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
is there any talk about fixing monk tanking? from what i see no high end guilds are running monk tanks. They seem squishy.
I know of several. It probably requires a decent skill cap to play well though. Probably not for everyone. (Source)

Unsure if this is your department or not, are there any intentions to make Monk fist weapons show in combat?
We would like to, but there are some technical limitations. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Hey GC, could you explain the reasoning behind the ProtPal nerf to self healing?
HotR heal was degenerate vs. large #s. But we didn't want it to be a nerf on e.g. Stone Guard, so we might just buff SoI. (Source)
yeah i would like to know as well because battle healer was nice to have as ret and now its useless for raids
The change should not have affected Battle Healer, only Seal of Insight. (Source)

Interesting monk changes. I really think giving rets Divine Purpose baseline for them would help em a lot. Also no enh buffs;(
We heard from Rets before who didn't like the unpredictable play style of DP so we thought it made sense as a talent. (Source)

Retribution paladins bust is high but sustain damage is low compared to other classes, any chance on a buff on sustain dps?
This is common feedback, but not sure how to fix. Wings to 10% or a 5 min timer? Ick? (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
please, pass huge regards to the art department for the priest T15 set. Looks amazing.
After so many sets, it impresses the hell out of us that they keep coming up with great new looks. (Source)

If Shadow is ALWAYS the superior DPS spec by at least 20% I'm OK with Holy DPS being alright, just not better.
Right. A Shadow priest should never consider going Holy to increase their DPS. (Source)

Given 250% Rapture(PTR) and 20k Spirit means Disc Priests gain free 13k mp5. There is no other healer class that comes close.
The 200% Rapture was only broken with bonus Spirit from stuff like procs. Why will 250% be worse? (Source)

Holy Priests' Chakra: Chastise being a viable DPS spec: Intended? Plans to fix? Maybe even a Spriest single target buff also?
It's not supposed to be a DPS spec the way Shadow is. We were probably too generous with Mind Sear. (Source)
While HolyDPS AoE is edging out Shadow AoE for now, single-target DPS between the two is competitive. Thoughts?
All the people comparing Holy to Shadow seem to be ignoring the fact that Holy is also beating a lot of non-priest DPS specs. (Source)

I really hope you address priest talents and streamline their glyphs. Spriests need double dispel in pvp for lack of utility
Disagree. We predict Shadow is going to be the new spec everyone complains about in PvP with all these other changes. (Source)
if you predict everyone will be complaining about Shadow, are you also implying that the buffs are too much?
I just meant there are no real nerfs for them in 5.2 yet and we suspect they're flying under the radar at the moment. (Source)

Holy priests are down at 5% of hc 25 total healingspots. Do you feel that is ok?
No, but we think it's because they all went Disc. We see Spirit Shell PoH spam in Raid Finder these days. (Source)

Divine Star just doesn't feel as fun as the alternatives, strong or not.
See, I actually find it fun. The others you can just use on cooldown without much thought as to best use. (Source)

maybe wrong, but wasn't the lateral healing along the path reduced from 6 to 3 yds? negates some of the buff
We're trying to distinguish it from the other heals. Sometimes Halo is better sometimes Divine Star is. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
"Sub" *may* be low!! LOLOL. Out to lunch man. truly, you are.
Have you tried it? Sub can do really comparable numbers, but many PvE rogues are Mut / Combat so there are 100x less Sub parses. (Source)

GC my friend, im trying to understand the Blade Fury nerf. Is it to get us rogues to play other specs on aoe fights more?
Yes. Combat had just become "swap on cleave fights only." A cleave advantage is fine, but it was too far off. (Source)
The problem is that BF was Combat's only "reliable" AoE. FoK and CT just do pitiful numbers for Combat.
They may need a better AE mechanic for larger groups. (Source)

Do you think the lack of distinction/identity in rogue specs is a problem? If so, would we not see a fix/revamp till 6.0?
Possibly. We want to see what the warlock revamp does to lock popularity. Risk is always alienating players who like their dude. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
New Level 75 Ability: Storm, Earth and Fire - shouldnt it be more shaman talent ? and is there plan to remake totem talents?
Check out the abilities that the Pandaren brewmaster had in Warcraft 3. (Source)

Enhancement Shaman are having troubles in pvp. Two silences chained together or a stun into a silence negates our abilities.
We think Enhance is in a good place in PvP, and the new patch brings some stun and silence nerfs as well. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
you say affliction is too high yet arcane is simming far higher? Bias much, also nerfing afflic will kill4 pvp
Simming is good for gear or rotation choices. It is generally not good at stack ranking dps. (Source)

would you guys consider baking the stamina buff into Dark Intent? It sucks to have to pull a bad pet just to buff the raid.
Do you mean you use another pet or you just always Sac them all? Neither is an ideal design. (Source)

New Blood Fear is awful, no one in their right mind will take it. And seriously why nerf destro dps? It's already crap
BF competes with def talents and needs to be defensive. Sac competes with other demon talents and can't be the only choice. (Source)

Did you miss the fact that most warlocks don't use pets, and those that do don't use Imps?!
Warlocks are supposed to use pets and all pets are supposed to be viable. That's the problem, not Blood Pact. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Think UH mostly hindered by mechanical over-pretzeling & Arms by being on very rigid treadmill rotationally.
Yeah, we would agree with both of those statements. Neither is just a raw numbers problem. (Source)

Do you worry Prot War Rage is way too consistent/predictable — sort of removing the identity of the Rage resource for Prot?
It was less predictable during beta, but we received a lot of negative feedback until it evolved to where it is now. (Source)

Prot warriors have at least 2 strong DPS glyphs. With tight enrage timers, these are mandatory. Isn't this against your goals?
It's challenging with tanks, because control and survivability glyphs would be considered more mandatory. The design space is tiny. (Source)

What about warrior/feral PvP burst ? You dont have plans to fix that ? You can remove Skull Banner form PvP ...
TfB, Heroic Leap and Sockwave were nerfed for warriors. Some burst is okay, and we think the Feral issue was the Cyclones. (Source)

With 2nd wind going 3% ->2% , will it no longer be affected by battle fatigue?
Potentially. We made the Second Wind nerf before the Battle Fatigue hotfix. (Source)

Can u confirm that second wind will no more be affected by Battle Fadigue?
All heals, even %s, are affected by Battle Fatigue. If that makes Second Wind too weak, we can adjust, but on live it feels OP. (Source)

any reasons about Shield Barrier nerf in the 5.2 patch notes?
Just trying to keep the balance between block and barrier even. Barrier risked becoming the only button. (Source)

Reason for Death From Above glyph nerf? Possible to make it apply only to damage against players/partially inactive in PVP?
Heroic Leap is already a powerful ability and the glyph makes it even more useful. The high damage on it just felt gratuitous. (Source)

Computers - Setup of the Month (by chaud)
Each month or every 2 months, depending on the hardware evolutions, the lovely chaud will work on a couple of hardware setups for those of you who are thinking of upgrading their computer!

This month
The current SSD prices seem to have bottomed out for now, with almost all SSDs under $1 per gigabyte. A few sales have even gone under 50 cents per gigabyte, so look for something on sale! No new CPUs, GPUs, or SSDs worth waiting for are expected before late in the first or the second quarter this year.

Unless you are doing a lot of video rendering or something that is similarly multithreaded, you do not need the 3770K and should spend that money elsewhere.

Make sure to keep your AMD and Nvidia drivers up to date.

Don't hesitate to post any feedback in the comments of that news post, and don't forget to visit the Computer Forum for any extra questions! If you are interested in Folding@home, take a look in our team's thread.

ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorAcer V223W EJBD 22-Inch Widescreen - $140ASUS VW246H 24-Inch Widescreen - $202
KeyboardLogitech Media Keyboard K200 - $12Cyborg V.5 - $43
MouseLogitech G400 - $40Razer Deathadder - $45
SpeakersCreative A220 2.1 Speaker System - $30Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $43
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE278Q 27-Inch - $295HP ZR2440W 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $385
KeyboardLogitech G110 - $85Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $78 ($140)
MouseLogitech G500 - $56Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $70
SpeakersLogitech Z323 2.1 Speaker System - $59Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $84

Puppy and Dolphin
Overclocked Puppy will outperform Dolphin when multiple threads are in use (Not WoW) and come close in most other cases.
Mix and match anything but the CPU/Motherboard combo between Puppy and Dolphin. Pick one of the two CPU/Motherboard combos.
Mix and match anything between Dolphin and Narwhal.
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT GAMMA Classic - $36NZXT GAMMA Classic - $36
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 - $60XFX Core Edition PRO 550W - $77
CPUAMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition- $98Intel i3-3220 - $120
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $25Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $30
MotherboardASUS M5A97 R2 AM3+ 970 - $97Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H - $117
MemoryKingston HyperX Blu 4GB 1333 - $218GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $49
Graphics CardMSI 7770 - $125MSI 7850 Twin Frozr or EVGA GTX 660 - $165 / $239
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $63Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $92
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $25Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $25
Total$550$711 - $785

Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn. SSDs are always optional.
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master HAF 912 - $63Cooler Master HAF X - $163
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $90Corsair 750HX - $130
CPUIntel i5-3570K - $220Intel i7-3770K - $320
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $57Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $80
MotherboardASUS P8Z77-V LK - $124ASUS P8Z77-V - $190
Memory8GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $488GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $48
Graphics CardXFX 7870 (7950) OR GIGABYTE GTX 660 Ti - $257 ($290) / $280Gigabyte 7970 OR GIGABYTE GTX 670 - $442 / $380
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $91Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $91
SSDSAMSUNG 840 128GB (Review) - $100
OCZ 128 GB Vertex 4 (Review) - $110
Crucial 128 GB m4 (Review) - $112
Corsair Force Series GT 120 GB - $130
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23
Total$973 - $1116$1425 - $1617

Icy Veins Christmas Contest Voting
Icy Veins held a screenshot contest with some nice prizes, including a signed Collector's Edition of Mists of Pandaria, mounts, pets, AskMrRobot / Curse premium, and more!

Now that the judges have selected the best images, it is up to people to vote on the winners!

Curse Weekly Roundup
Evan is back with news about Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition selling Million copies sold, Sony's new patent, Black Ops II DLC, and this week's Game Forecast.

by Published on 2013-01-05 11:52 AM

The Art of Blizzard Book Launch, What Item Would You Want to Have IRL?, Community Spotlight: 2012 Retrospective, "Holiday in Sanctuary" Giveaway

Patch 5.2 - Warlock Island
It isn't clear where this island will be used, if at all, during the new Warlock quest line for green fire. The sky is similar to the one used in the Black Temple, where most of the quest line takes place. The second part of the Island is just a copy of the Maw of Neltharion.

Don't forget that this is not ready or intended to be previewed, is not a 100% accurate preview, and is likely to change before release.

Patch 5.2 - New Heirloom Items
Patch 5.2 adds several new Heirloom items that scale to level 85. These are upgraded versions of current heirlooms and can be purchased with the old heirloom and Justice Points.

The Justice Points cost is the same as it is for the level 80 version. The new shields cost 2175 Justice Points.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PTR Access – Known Issue
We’re aware that some players are having connection issues when attempting to log into the Public Test Realm. We’re investigating the issue with our QA and development teams to resolve the problem.

Please be aware that our Customer Support department cannot assist with issues pertaining to PTR access, or upgrading your current PTR account's status. If you have an open ticket we’d appreciate you closing it and waiting for further updates here regarding resolution of the issue.

Thank you all for the reports and for your patience. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.2 and Conquest Points
As far as I can tell we still haven’t released information about when the current arena season will be over.

But whenever a season ends, Conquest Points usually reset, and get converted to Honor and/or gold when above the cap. You can probably expect the same thing to happen this time, but we’ll provide more exact information when we get closer to the end of the season.

Don't worry too much about it, we always put out some news whenever a PvP season is about to end with at least 1 or 2 weeks’ notice. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Elegon Hotfix
This specific hotfix requires realm restarts, which have not happened since it went in. The fix should be picked up with maintenance next week. Sorry about the confusion! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

LFR to See Content
If you're pressed for time and your goal is to see and experience raid content, LFR(Looking For Raid) is available and a relatively accessible way to experience that content. The item levels dropped from LFR isn't as high end as those from Heroic modes, but your character's item level doesn't have to be the sole barometer of how much fun you're having. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

What is the ETA for Stormwind and Orgrimmar Repairs?
With the majority of stone and lumber being sent to the various war fronts for construction and repairs, there's essentially nothing left for the craftsmen to work with. In fact, the laborers seen toiling over the constructions are not actually doing anything. We've told them they can go home, or volunteer for Pandaria duty, but every day they climb up those ladders, and every day slowly hammer at boards and walls to no effect. They take their lunches in solitude, sometimes taking a break to stare at the sun, and at the end of their shift they climb down and go home.

They've repeated this every day for over two years. We're quite worried about them. Top men are currently investigating the possibility of providing them with twigs and small rocks with the belief that some progress may snap them out of it.

(Dave Kosak answered this today as well!) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.2 Release Date
How many grunts must the Horde call upon
Before patch five point two is here?
Yes, 'n' how many troops must the Alliance train for war
Before the Thunder King begins his reign?
Yes, 'n' how many ales must be brewed in advance
Before the Pandaren can be well supplied?
The answer, my friend, is comin' soon indeed,
The answer is comin' soon indeed. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
How about next raid content? İt will be a equal quality with ulduar and sunwell?
I'm pretty excited about it personally, but I don't want to overpromise anything. (Source)

Wasn't the Void Storage feature supposed to work WITH the Transmog, so we could transmog things that are in the Void Storage?
It was designed to work the way it does, but not having to move stuff out of VS is a common request we're considering. (Source)

So, going by the information available as of now, 5.2 will once again be a 5 months wait?
Was 5.1? (Source)
5.1 was supposed to be launched with Mists. It was cut and "masked" as a patch to combat GW2. 5.2 isn't like that.
I think you greatly overestimate our ability to hit a target date even if we paid that close attention to competitors. (Source)

2. try: is there a chance we will ever see flying combats / air pvp ? maybe as a bg or open world ?
Pretty unlikely TBH. It would take huge changes to our combat engine. (Source)

Are you guys still kinda working on that thing that has spells land on different parts of the target's body?
Yeah. It won't be anytime soon though. It's a big project. (Source)

What about the resource-collection part of the War Effort? That does't concentrate players in one spot.
Yeah, the overall feel of that was pretty cool. Not sure farming Linen was, but a neat idea to revisit someday. (Source)

You make raids for 2 or sometimes even 1 tank out of 25 people and wonder why there aren't more tanks...
There were few tanks even back when the majority didn't raid. It's the responsibility IMO. (Source)

Why were the fully raid buffed DPS dummies not implemented on live servers - only PTR? Intention behind this?
We don't want players to obsess with theoretical DPS. Who wins a target dummy doesn't actually mean anything. On PTR it's to help us. (Source)
But that's punishing the theory crafters who hate using sims but would rather the real thing; over a dumb epeen contest
I'd argue that the dumb contest would do more damage to the game than better theorycrafting would bring. (Source)

LFR is awful. What happened to encouraging people to do content with friends and guild? Another blow to alts as well.
I 100% believe you will have more fun and stick with the game longer if you play with friends. LFR is for when you can't. (Source)

also do you have anything in mind for pvp power to enhance heals outside instances? world-pvp being so important now
Unless something changed recently, PvP Power does enhance heals in the outdoor world. Just not in instances. (Source)

linear progression was the worst idea you ever could return to.. you leave behind lots of alt-players and returners.
We understand that. But the alternative is that other players feel their accomplishments have no meaning if rapid catch up exists. (Source)

The Daily Blink
The Daily Blink tries their hand at writing a children's book!

by Published on 2013-01-04 09:28 AM

Community Commentary: The Many Routes to Paragon 100, More on Gold Spam, Which Follower Accompanies You?, DiabloFans - "Holiday in Sanctuary" Giveaway

Cinder Kitten Giveaway: Prizes have been sent out.

Patch 5.2 World Bosses
Patch 5.2 will add two new World Bosses to the game, Nalak and Oondasta.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Nalak, The Storm Lord
  • Arc Nova - A pulse of electric energy inflicts 350,000 Nature damage to players within 35 yards and knocks them back.
  • Lightning Tether - Nalak tethers several players to him, inflicting 10,000 Nature damage every 1 sec. and an additional 20,000 Nature damage if they are greater than 30 yards from Nalak. Lasts 15 sec.
  • Static Shield - Jolts of power surrounding Nalak inflict 20,000 Nature damage every 1 sec. to a random player.
  • Stormcloud - Nalak places storm clouds above several players, which inflict 50,000 Nature damage every 3 all players within 10 yards for 30 sec.

  • Crush - Oondasta crushes his current target, inflicting 500,000 Physical damage and reducing armor by 25% for 60 sec. This effect stacks.
  • Frill Blast - Oondasta's armor is more than just for decoration, and can charge up this powerful blast that inflicts 800,000 Fire damage to all players in a 60-yard hemisphere in front of Oondasta.
  • Growing Fury - Oondasta's rage grows as the fight progresses, increasing all damage by 10%. This effect stacks.
  • Piercing Roar - Oondasta unleashes a piercing roar, inflicting 200,000 Physical damage to all players and interrupting spell-casting, preventing spells of that school from being cast for 10 sec.
  • Spiritfire Beam - Oondasta fires a beam of spiritfire energy at a player, inflicting 150,000 Fire damage and jumping to a nearby ally. Up to 20 players can be affected, with damage increasing by 50% with each jump.

Patch 5.2 - Isle of Giants
The Isle of Giants is located north of Kun Lai Summit and currently only has Oondasta, flightmasters, and empty camps on it.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Valor Points Cap Feedback
Im confused? You dont want people to feel like they have to cap every week? Why a cap then?
There will unfortunately always be people who feel like they have to reach the cap every week, and if there is no cap, then these people will make their own cap which is typically the maximum possible.

If we had set no cap, then the theoretical maximum of Valor Points possible to acquire in one week would serve as the cap instead... and reaching the theoretical maximum of Valor Points possible to acquire in one week would require a lot of time to play every single day. If that was the case, how do you think that would impact the people who are feeling that they are "forced" to reach the cap every week in order to maximise their gearing process? How do you think that would impact the people who are trying to gear up their alts? How would it impact the new player levelling a new character trying to catch up with his friends who invited him to the game? How would it impact the progress in guilds with a combination of members with a lot of free time to play and members with precious little time to play?

The cap is both a blessing and a curse. Some are glad it is there, some absolutely despise it and want it gone, some just want it lower, and some want it higher. We are trying to find the best spot for the cap to accommodate as many people as possible, but we cannot please everyone, and that is why the cap is always under constant evaluation. Community feedback on this topic is therefore also super important, as that will help the developers in their evaluations on whether or not the cap is in a good spot.

So in essence, the cap helps people that is driven by doing their best with the limited time on their hand, actually do other stuff thatnfarming valor.

Raising the cap would most likely just having people like me only do stuft that awards valor and then miss other aspects of the game entirely.

This is indeed one of the reasons why there is a cap, and why it is where it is currently.

If we are to lower or raise the cap, we will always need to consider if the people who will be pleased will outnumber the people who will be disappointed... it is not always an easy nor obvious call to make.

People trying to gear alts would welcome a limitless amount of valor per reset (No cap), essentially they'd be in total control of the character progress, one week they might not have as much time as the next, win / win.

A new player would also welcome limitless VP gain, he / she could gain ground in hours where friends aren't around, with the current system the new player is locked in whatever stage the person is behind those he's trying to catch up to.

If the overall goal with the VP was to accommodate as many as possible, then not having a cap would surely be the better option?
These are all very good points, and I would personally agree with you that limitless Valor Points would be a nice thing if it wasn't for the fact that they are intended as a supplement to the normal gearing process. We should not forget that there are more than one reason behind the cap.

If the acquisition of Valor Points became limitless as you suggest, then we would quickly find the situation to be one where gearing up through Valor Points no longer serves as a supplement to the normal gearing process through facing and defeating different tiers of content. If the acquisition of Valor Points became limitless, it would serve as the primary method of gearing up for a very large group of players (if not almost every player), thus the normal gearing process (through raiding for an example) would be circumvented. Also, limitless Valor Points would likely render everything but the latest content tiers mostly irrelevant, as the game would become all about farming Valor Points for gear through dailies. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Lesser Charm of Good Fortune
40 rolls is still a somewhat small sample size. It only means that you and your friends had some bad luck. As you can see from some of the replies from other players, some have got quite a few items from charms of good fortune, in the end, as the sample size gets bigger and you take into account the rolls of every player in the realm, it all evens out and the experimental drop rate gets closer and closer to the theoretical value that was in the code. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
How is logging into alts to do the Blingtron daily a chore? It's less than 5 clicks basically.
How many alts do you have? What if they aren't all in the same place? Why is that a better design than just upping the first gift? (Source)

Are there plans to make the Valor of the Ancient buff account wide rather than realm wide? or is there a technical limitation?
It's a technical limitation. (Source)

Bank Space and stacking up items. What do you think about that? Bags are getting full ever since MoP came.
Yeah, we offered a lot of things like toys and cooking mats that fill up bags. (Source)

So, with helm enchants coming back in 5.2, can we get all the premop helm enchants that were removed back?
I think you are jumping to conclusions about the mechanic. Check it out in game first. (Source)
do you see a problem where only pvpers that pve will have this "legendary" head enchant? idc either way, jw.
Players are reading way too much into that patch note. It's not even a head enchant! (Source)

arguments against incentivizing 25m raid with same gear as 10m, but upgraded 1 of 2?
We considered it, but the problem is that the 10s couldn't upgrade their gear until 5.1, making 25s drop strictly better gear. (Source)

They didnt blew through content at the start. First tier of raiding and initial dungeons were not consumed fast
But those were content that many players felt were not for them. (Source)

Galleon respawns more freq in 5.2, can we say the same for Oondasta?
Let's just say that Oondasta is going to deliver on the rare and tough design we wanted from Galleon. We are prepared for tears. (Source)

In Cata dungeons seemed to prepare you for Raiding, mop it seems that their role Is gear Not challenging players to be better.
Challenging dungeons work well for groups of friends, not anonymous Dungeon Finder groups. (Source)
Challenging dungeons were the main cause of failure in the first half of Cata. They certain damaged cata more than tabards
Broader than that I think. Players blew through some content quickly and couldn't / weren't interested in other content. (Source)
But cata had other content. It had daily quests. don't understand why you think they'd be interested now?
Cataclysm's dailies were a totally different beast until the Molten Front quests, which were very popular. (Source)

Are there any plans to let players choose for which role they want drops in LFR? e.g queue as tank but get dps or heal-gear??
We would like to do that. Trying to design a suitable UI. (Source)

Not related to game design, but gf got kicked for low healing in a painless LFR run. 40 mintues gone for nothing. Need to rant
It boggles me when players get focused on hyper efficiency on content that doesn't demand it. (Source)

I'm coming back to WoW after a 6 year break. What's changed?
They found Mankrik's wife. (Source)

Pointing fingers at the people who made the game just like Jay? I thought you were better than that... (not really)
Most of the people who made vanilla are still here. They would also acknowledge hybrids had very narrow roles in vanilla. (Source)

5.2 patch notes are amazing for pvp. Who are you and what have you done with Chilton and Street?
They are bound and gagged in the basement, forced to play Axis and Allies until 5.2 ships. (Source)

Throne of Thunder Outdoors
This should be closer to what the outdoor part of the raid will feel like. Still a preview, work in progress, not meant to be previewed of course!

by Published on 2013-01-03 07:23 AM

PvP in Diablo, Good Game, Bad Community, Gold Spam, DiabloFans - "Holiday in Sanctuary" Giveaway!

Cinder Kitten Giveaway: Two of the winners still have not replied to my PM! You only have one more day to reply before new winners are selected.

Patch 5.2 - Throne of Thunder Raid - Area Preview
We have looked at the Encounter Journal for Throne of Thunder recently, so let's take a look at the actual raid now! You can follow along with the raid zone maps.

Keep in mind this is just a preview and it was not intended to be previewed yet. Things will change in the future!

Patch 5.2 PTR Live
The Patch 5.2 PTR is finally live, so take a look at the notes and copy your characters! Not all of the new content is working yet, but you can still take a shot at the new world boss!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Leveling Gear Vendors
Vendor gear could get soulbound when u purchase it ( bop )

Indeed that would be a solution, but the other part of the equation it would render the AH economy even more valueless for if people find they need to fill a slot with a better piece, they could just buy it from a vendor.

I think the balance here is right. Vendor gear is not meant to be "great" merely "adequate". Better gear is designed to be obtained by game interaction, not by shopping at vendors.

I think we're essentially discussing convenience vs gaming experience here. I would personally have to agree with the latter sentiment above, that vendor gear like this isn't meant to provide meaningful upgrades, such as from grey/white gear to greens for low level characters. Without high level characters backing you up, you have to go out and explore, fight and win to get better stuff.

For me at least, part of the fun when I start a brand new character on a new realm is having to quest for a while in the most basic of equipment. Then, when you get that first green and you can feel the difference in combat, it feels good, whether it's from a reward or a drop. Just running to a vendor and buying yourself some new gear that is equivalent to the quest rewards seems a little boring in comparison, it would take away some of that excitement. As it stands now, I usually go and grab the white gear for new characters as soon as I can afford it, because any upgrade, no matter how small, helps. And, at that level, grey/white stuff works just fine.

Vendors for expansion switches would be nice indeed. Especially BC->Northrend and Northrend->Cat. Especially Northernd->Cat would be nice, as for healers its hard gearing to be able to join Cat instances soonish due to ilvl requirement.
I have noticed (recently in fact) that the first few quests in Cataclysm can certainly be tough unless you're in really good gear from Wrath. However, you get some great upgrades from those quests which make things easier almost immediately. So I still question the need for vendors at expansion junctions, considering how quickly you pick up replacement gear.

There are vendors in Crossroads that sell green gear, also in Sepulcher and Hillsbrad. They are in other places too like Duskwood.
Yeah but by this stage, green gear and some blue items are readily available through quests and dungeons, so it's not like the vendor gear is a significant upgrade. I think that's the argument here, to be able to buy gear that's better than what's available through normal levelling, am I right?

Also at low level you tend to outlevel your gear very quickly, I recently did Deadmines as a first dungeon and got 3 bits of gear and 2.5 levels. Edit: I agree with Jonní, it can be difficult to do the first few quests in a new expansion, but if you buy a few bits of gear beforehand it can be easier.
Okay so to address the original topic of whites and greens to lowbies; Yes, you do get new gear quickly at that level, but by doing cool things like dungeons as you mention. Which is why I think being able to just buy greens from the get-go on a new character would be a little sad.

On the topic of new gear for expansions, it's true that you can invest a little cash (of which you should have plenty by this point in the game) in the AH to make the transition a little easier, for sure. There are some nice crafted sets available, you could have someone make you that—I did this for my Paladin, who had some awesome healing gear but nothing at all for DPS, and she failed hard in the starting zone for Pandaria. Again, it comes down to convenience vs. having to go out there and 'play the game', be it chatting to crafters, earning gold to buy yourself a starting set for the new lands or toughing it out by struggling through those first few quests. Just plonking a vendor in the new zone as soon as you arrive with shiny new gear isn't much fun. This isn't the case with the Pandaria vendors by the way, you've probably replaced most of your gear by the time you reach them, although they do offer you the chance to get things for any slots you might still be needing (and gear for offspec ofc).

So lets say i am a healer but i am feeling forced to choose dps gear from quests so i can keep on questing . Why can't i choose dps and healing gear from quests ( x2 rewards ) ? The healing gear for running dungeons and battlegrounds as a healer while leveling and dps gear so i can keep on questing. If you get what I mean. Cause if i end up with dps gear from quests how can I be healer? Must I buy gear from AH? Must I queue for dungeons as a dps and if by any chance the healer in the dungeon doesn't need the lets say healing helmet i can roll too?
Is it really fair that a hybrid class gets two rewards from a quest while a DPS-only class gets one? I don't think that would go down very well. I recently levelled a healer myself, but as a Priest, I could happily heal through levelling dungeons in my DPS gear. I know that for Paladins and Druids for example, this isn't the case. Like I said before though, it's not that hard to pick up sets for your offspec through the AH, crafting and Pandaria vendors for characters in that level range.

I think the options are quite clear when you set out to level up; if you go for DPS, you'll get through quests at a nice pace, and this is why having two specs is really handy, because you can keep your healing/tanking spec and use it when you want to, in dungeons or PvP. It's cool that you get that diversity with your character, unlike pure DPS classes. Of course, at some point you have to make that decision when you turn a quest in—do I want this cool healing staff, or the big DPS upgrade one? But we're drifting off topic here!

The point is, gear is available to purchase in the AH or via crafting all through vanilla, TBC, Wrath, Cata and Pandaria if you want to gear up through alternate ways than quest/dungeon/PvP rewards. I'm just personally unconvinced that having vendors who virtually hand you all the upgrades you need before starting a new expansion is the best way to go. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Valor Points Cap
The cap should not really be seen as punishment to people for being able to reach the maximum amount of Valor points every week. The idea behind the cap is to give people a choice on how they reach the cap without having them feel obliged to do everything.

Valor points should also not be considered the primary way of gearing your character. The idea behind Valor in MoP is for them to be a supplement to the gearing process. i.e. you gear up normally through dungeons and raids. As it is normal to have streaks of bad luck, and thus having weeks when you are obtaining no or only few upgrades, you can get a little gear on the side by using Valor points and by doing a little crafting/trading.

Please explain how I upgrade my armor twice for a total of 8 itemlevels without VP?
Just as the method of acquiring Valor points is a choice, so it is a choice how you decide to spend your Valor points.

The cap means that you cannot have everything at once, or even very quickly(as that would render the normal gearing process irrelevant), and this means that you will have to prioritise and make a choice when spending your points... one that actually matters. You must choose what is most beneficial to your character - decide if it is better in the long run to upgrade a piece or replace that piece with something else. If you feel the best way to spend your Valor Points is to upgrade your armor, well then that is what you spend your Valor Points on when you are able to do so.

The primary means of acquiring new gear is through defeating content like for an example raids, whereas Valor Points is a supplemental means of getting new gear. For an example, if you have acquired the best possible gear you can get from one tier of content, then you should be well equipped to face the next tier of content above it, which will reward you with even better gear if you succeed. The Valor Points system serves as a supplement to that process, helping you with a new piece of gear or an upgrade here or there, but it is not meant as an alternate gearing process.

There are several reasons behind the Valor cap btw., none of which are to serve as a punishment for people with a lot of time on their hands. Just in case you would like to know the reasons behind the Valor cap, they are as follows:

  • To make sure that the normal gearing process through facing and defeating different tiers of content is not circumvented or rendered irrelevant.
  • To make your choices matter. We want there to be choice and decision-making involved when building and playing your character.
  • To ensure that as many people as possible can use their time in-game on something they think is fun and that they enjoy doing, and not make people feel like they have to spend massive amounts of time every day just to reach a theoretical maximum weekly limit of Valor Points.

Whether or not the cap is too low is of course a different matter, and this kind of thing is of course something the developers are keeping an eye on continuously as the game evolves and progresses. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Will there be any new animations with new character models, or all the same?
They need new anims to support the more complex models (e.g. facial bones). We don't want to lose what's familiar though. (Source)
What about actual combat aminations? ie, the undead female animation that is a flip. That would suck to lose.
We agree. Many of those are iconic. We don't want your characters to be unrecognizable. That's just wrong. (Source)

efficiency is more fun than non-efficiency. non-efficiency = time wasting = frustration.
I don't buy it. Some of the most fun things in life are stupidly inefficient. I think being inefficient in an MMO is a social thing. (Source)
We call it the Mechanar syndrome. Players didn't farm Mechanar because it was our crowning achievement in dungeon design. (Source)

rotation is everything tho. Without all 10 members of raid with flawless rotations, progression does not happen.
I respectfully disagree. That's only an issue for the world first crowd. Our encounters tend to be pretty forgiving of errors. (Source)

How come spirit is still a white stat? It behaves like a green stat, should it not BE a green stat?
We treat it as primary sometimes and secondary sometimes. Agree that it needs to be more consistent. (Source)

What's the reasoning behind Valor of the Ancients not being account wide, and just realm wide...
Technical limitations. (Source)

When the *easiest* endgame content rewards Valor Points, why do Justice points still exist?
It can take a long time to acquire enough Valor to really improve your gear. Justice helps in the interim. (Source)

Why did you end up deciding to keep valor gear in the game? Their was talk that you wouldn't have any this expac.
Even though we think it's important to the game, players can get really frustrated with the RNG of boss drops. (Source)

What's the point of Tomes of Clear Mind when they are so easy to get? Why not just let people change talents/glyphs whenever?
We want a small switching cost. We don't think it will feel good to rebuild your character every single pull. (Source)

Want to start the day wishing you patience in the face of sha of aggressive twitters. Delighted with your job so far.
Thanks. I am concerned that it has become too much "yo buff my class," which isn't going to be interesting in the long term. (Source)

This expansion is about PvP.
This expansion is about H vs A. That doesn't have to mean PvP. (Source)

do you have any mathematicians with strong skills in your balancing team?
Ridiculously so. (Source)

Stop using the semantics to win arguments. Treat "ignored" as a feeling and not literal. Would help everyone.
Perhaps the feedback would be more effective if players stuck to feedback, even subjective, and not their feelings? (Source)
It's a game, why shouldnt people discuss about how a class feels to play?
How the class feels to play is great feedback. How you feel the designers treat your class is much less interesting. (Source)

Do you guys plan on fixing pvp? the difference between ilvl 458-483 is way too much.. like everything else its simply ignored
"Simply ignored..." You realize we push hotfixes almost every single day and 5.1 contained a long list of PvP changes. (Source)
Like why would you even waste time responding to stuff like this?
Given the volume of correspondence I get, anything I can do to improve the signal to noise ratio is beneficial in the long run. (Source)
Sometimes I am curious if someone really has perceptions that skewed or is just trying to get noticed. (Source)

Just curious, do you ever wonder if you are fixing something that isn't broken? Do you regret any changes you make?
We worry about that constantly, and we regret plenty of changes. Nature of the beast. Too cautious and you never change anything. (Source)

Bli$$ard logic: Keep people playing as long as possible with the least effort from their side.
You're half right. It's hard to argue that WoW doesn't provide a lot of content and updates. Players always want more of course. (Source)

Jay said on his page that he doesnt come on or respond much because of unhappy diablo fans.
A lot of devs do avoid the forums / twitter because they can be so negative. It's sad, but also hard to blame them. (Source)

IMO things in Tigole and Furor era were better. XDDD
When paladins were just healers? (Source)

Fan Art
More of the nice Fan Art produced by the community!

by Published on 2013-01-02 08:53 AM

Blizzcon 2013 Confirmed, TryHard Video: Starting Fresh, DiabloFans - "Holiday in Sanctuary"

Death Knight and Warrior Season 13 Armor Sets Preview
Keep in mind that this is just a preview and the final sets may be different!

Patch 5.2 LFR
It looks like LFR will be broken into four different groupings this time.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Last Stand of the Zandalari - The forces of the Zandalari forces have dug into the ruins surrounding the Thunder King's island citadel.
  • Forgotten Depths - Beneath the foundations of the Throne of Thunder lie vast caverns, teeming with ancient horrors.
  • Halls of Flesh-Shaping - In the horrific chambers beneath Lei Shen's citadel, the mogu conducted terrible experiments into reshaping life.
  • Pinnacle of Storms - From within his inner sanctum, the risen Thunder King plots the return of the great mogu empire.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Any news on 25men raiding and incentives for them? Numbers of guilds still dwindling, you mentioned a developer blog
We have an idea, but it's a bit controversial so we're not ready to spring it on you yet. (Source)

Could you give me a reason as to why 25man raids don't just straight up drop items that already are already 2/2 upgraded?
Because that would cause progression-oriented 10 player raids to feel like they had to switch to 25s to benefit from the ilevel. (Source)

Why the Empress nerf? We were still working on it but felt it was 100% doable.
Ten player raids were bringing 4 healers, which felt broken. (Source)

So what about new players 5.3? What about alts? Coming back in the middle of MoP=impossible?
There's a big continuum between instantly caught up and impossible. (Source)

Is 10H Shek'zeer designed to be 4 healed?
Not ideally. Discussing it. (Source)

Any reason why Flask Cauldrons didn't make an appearance in MoP ?
We wanted to return some responsibility of raiding to individual members not just officers.
This answer does not make sense. So you should remove feasts too... You are just adding work to the officers.
This is a tiny, tiny step back towards that. It doesn't seem unreasonable. (Source)
Once upon a time, players spent a big chunk of time preparing for raiding, not just logging in (+ summoned) and then done. (Source)

How "bad" would it for the game if LFR never dropped twice the same item (DW aside) ? Did you do that projection internally ?
If players could gear up that much faster, then they'd finish the content (and demand something new) that much faster... (Source)

LFR is the only way for me as a casual to get loot. After the 4th run with nodrops, i got so angry.. i destroyed my mouse
You'll still get valor from those runs though and that gear is higher ilevel. I've raided for weeks many times with no drops. (Source)

Expanding on recent LFR thread, could there be two options at queuing for loot? 'Queued spec' or 'any spec' would make sense.
Yeah it needs something like that, but it needs to be clean, not a double role check. (Source)

Unfortunately, most of what LFR healing consists of is meter padding.
I wouldn't take LFR meters as a meaningful indication of anything. That's just not what LFR is about. (Source)

A player is fighting vs Galleon. He changes to another group. The second group can loot. Is it ok for you?
I know there were some mixed messages from us on this, but it's fine. (Source)

Every gladiator/2400+ player I know feels that you balance poorly. Nerf "a" classleave starsurge at 250k = golden
We have heard very little Starsurge QQ, even from highly rated players. (Source)

Do healers in pvp have roles between classes, or should they be similar to each other?
They should feel different, but generally you don't need enough of them for well-defined niches to be important. (Source)

So, warriors back to the free-kills in PVP again.Surprise.Plz don't kill PVE viability when you do.
Despite what forums would have you believe, there is a continuum between overpowered and free kill. (Source)

How do you feel about the players getting to 90 just now and not being able to play arena competitively due to being behind
We want to reward players who keep playing. Too often in the past catch up was so easy that it trivialized accomplishments. (Source)
So, since Mt. Everest was climbed the first time, have we put up gates to stop people from going up there?
We don't put chair lifts up there... (Source)
Also, they havent pu lifts because of technical limitations, not because of climbers having their achieve screwed
I'd argue mountain climbers like to climb things that are challenging, not things that anyone can stroll up. (Source)
But you brought this trivialization of content yourselves starting with patch 3.2 >.> … what have you learned since then?
We learned not to let players catch up so trivially that it negates everyone else's accomplishments. (Source)
Greg, you need to stop blaming the wrong things for cataclysm failures. Catch up mechanics dont hurt the game
We just disagree on that. I understand you have very strong feelings about how things should work. (Source)

why make us to do Rated BGs for cap?
We know from history that players will do the most convenient thing to earn points without a strong incentive to do otherwise. (Source)

In your opinion, whats a more fun pvp experience? A team objective based bg? or chasing a druid around a piller for 30+ mins?
I personally prefer the former, but as I've said, I know not all our players like what I like. (Source)

Upgrading PVP gear via Conq sure is rough for newcomers to arenas who want to catch up. It was already so hard to compete =\
If newcomers can catch up too quickly, then the players who stuck with it start to wonder why they bothered. It's a fine line. (Source)
Getting gear is 0% of PvP. In fact we hate that part. It's the competition. Please realize that.
For tournaments, gear shouldn't matter. For playing your character, we want it to. It's a powerful incentive. (Source)
WoW is an RPG. Getting gear is a big part of that. We don't think the game would have legs, even in PvP, without it. (Source)

heres one more, how about balance pvp around BG and RBG instead of 3v3 arena. BGs are were 90% of pvp takes place if not more
I don't think that % is correct. Arenas, even very casual 2s, are very popular. (Source)
yes that maybe true, but you balance pvp around 3v3, where the most pvp is not played
PvP might not be played by you in 3's but it is the most competitive and balanced bracket even rbgs are a mess
RBGs feel pretty good to us. What are your concerns? (Source)

My point, is that Tanks have a purpose in arena, pvp has become who can lock down who first. Its not methodical.
We're just not convinced that tanks in Arena would be very fun for everyone else. Tanks make great flag carriers in BGs. (Source)

WoW Art
More artwork today, some of which is TCG art.

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