MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2012-11-17 10:10 AM

Uber Bosses Speed Kill Video, Blue Posts, Bonus Blizzard Comic Contest Entry, Black Ops 2 Outsells Harry Potter and Star Wars

Patch 5.1 - Loss of Control Alerts
Patch 5.1 adds alerts when you lose control of your character to the default UI. They tell you what is affecting your character and the remaining duration.





Popular Glyphs
Guildox recently added a new feature that will show you which glyphs are popular with the top 5% of players, broken down by PvP and PvE. If you are looking for the popular glyphs for your class, this should help!



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Cross-Realm Zone Feedback
Obviously they listen to feedback. But that doesn't necessitate any applause. When they discount feedback (even after listening to it) that was well reasoned and highly supported, they should offer better explanation (if they want to keep their community feeling like communication is valuable). They should be judged based upon the context of the time, and right now the context does not look good.
Brace yourself, because I'm about to say some things that will probably ruffle a few feathers. Got your feathers ready? Okay, here we go:

We have a long tradition of explaining our design decisions. In addition the various posts we make on the forums, there are numerous Dev Watercooler blogs authored by Ghostcrawler and other developers that exist solely to discuss what we're thinking, and why we're thinking it. Those vary in frequency since, ultimately, developer time is best spent doing things like developing World of Warcraft.

That said, there will be times when, after reviewing the feedback, we still stick to our guns and not offer a follow-up explanation regarding why. There are pitfalls to starting a discussion to provide our rationale after such an event:

  • Players that are okay with or neutral toward the situation don't particularly care.
  • The players that aren't okay with the situation almost certainly aren't going to change their minds because we made a post. They're almost always heavily invested in a particular position on the subject, and further discourse won't alter their opinion. In these cases, the expressed desire for follow-up on feedback doesn't result in useful clarification; it simply provides more ammunition for a debate. Typically a debate that already played out in prior feedback and resulted in a decision one way or another.
  • While sometimes it's necessary to make our stance clear, refraining from a 'this is just the way it is, and here's why' statement can offer us the latitude to change our minds in the future. In some cases, we're still evaluating a situation, but we need to see how it plays out for longer than a few weeks.

And, on that note, it's very much worth noting that we change our minds with a fair amount of frequency. Our decision to provide alternative means to acquire Brawler's Guild invitations was based on player feedback, but I didn't create a post to discuss why that decision was made, just as I probably wouldn't have created a post to explain why we didn't make the change--the rationale was already out there, and it's still largely in place. That change is a compromise.

CRZ is harshly criticized by some, and praised by some, but mostly it fits seamlessly into the gameplay of many (as it was intended to). The technology makes possible some truly cool things, like cross realm parties. It's a response to the many complaints that the old world felt empty and devoid of life. It's also a lot more than that. We're aware of the concerns that players have expressed about it, and we'll continue to improve it so the experience that players have with it only gets better.

Yes, the current design for dailies is very much based on player feedback, and it fixes some of the things that, ultimately, really weren't working well in Cataclysm. Now we're seeing a totally different kind of feedback, and we'll learn from that too. World of Warcraft is still very much an iterative entity.

Finally, some food for thought. Some changes that are pretty much universally embraced now were highly contentious in their time. For example, one of the largest debates World of Warcraft has ever seen revolved around something as essential and commonplace today as offering non-raiders access to epic items. Some of you will recall that this was an extremely active debate, and opinions were harshly divided (and harshly expressed) on the subject. We'll continue to listen to player feedback as we design into the future - but we also know that we can't please all the people all the time. If nothing else, history has absolutely taught us that.

Of course, we're still going to try.

I don't know why you guys cannot admit you made a mistake and just give us some alternate ways to gain rep. Many excellent suggestions have been made and yes, before you say it, making the dailies the only path to reputation progression was a mistake.
There are discussions about adding in some reputation gain from other methods. There's not much concrete to report yet, though.

If CRZ is here to stay, it would be nice if we could get some confimation that the fishing tournaments will be back and that two player mounts will eventually be fixed.
Those are both issues that we're working on, amongst others. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Spectator Mode in Arenas
A spectator mode is something that we think would be a really cool feature and we would like to implement one. The main problem is that it's a huge feature and simply a matter of being able to getting around to creating it. So hopefully at some point in the future we may do this, but right now we do not have any plans to create a spectator mode.

but right now we do not have any plans to create a spectator mode.

Why not? To busy making new and exciting scenarios? I think more people would want an spectator client for PvE & PvP then new quests or scenarios.

We fully understand that there are those out there that would like to be able to spectate both PvP and PvE, however you have to remember that there are also many readily available streams, like the one you provide, which allow players to spectate others. We know that this first person perspective is not as thrilling as say, watching from a camera you can move freely on your own, but it is a way to spectate others playing the game.

You also have to remember that while there are players that want a spectator client, the number that would actually use it regularly or even continue to use after its initial release is quite low. We have to be sure that we continue to deliver on new content for players to consume as well as avoiding taking away from other new and awesome projects that are in the pipeline. I am not going to say that this is something that we will never do, it is just something that we do not have planned as of yet.

the number that would actually use it regularly or even continue to use after its initial release is quite low

That's just not true.

The whole pvp community would use it for as long as this game lasts.

I am not denying that some of the PvP community would use it regularly, I would even admit that if a spectator option was implemented I would pop in and watch some arena matches in the downtime of my gaming sessions. But while you, others in this thread and myself would be more than happy to enjoy such a feature that does not mean that the entire PvP or even World of Warcraft community would.

Do remember as well that the technology for spectating, the mechanics that allow you to access it and all the surrounding parts to creating this type of system would need to be designed as well as being made for use in mass. This would take a great deal of time to create and implement, it would also take away from other key projects. When it comes down to it, we need to prioritize in the development process; sadly right now there are other things that have a higher priority.

Don't forget though, this is something that is on our radar and we never said it was a system we will not implement. To quote Tom Chilton on the subject; "It's just a question of being able to get around to doing it, so someday...Hopefully."

Erm, you already have a Spectator Client? Or is the one that we've been seeing im MLG and BlizzCon just not really been there? Your wording hints that one doesn't exist.

I'm believing what you're trying to say is that you're just not ready to give it to us. You have tools, but those tools require access levels to be used. Teleports, target's vision etc. and to see current arena matches being played.

Question is, why not?

Actually, those are special accounts created only for use at these events specifically so that the casters can perform their roles optimally and provide the best viewing experience for everyone. It's not something that we can simply add into the game client and is not really an actual spectator mode, simply a workaround to allow for spectating that is little more than a mobile camera in the game.

Spectator mode would need to be fully built from the ground up in order to give regular player accounts spectating abilities. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP
How fast you'd be able to react and defensively dispel you and your teammates is what made you a good priest.
Disagree. You could spam dispels on anything. That wasn't skill, just button mashing. Skill requires analysis not just reflexes. (Source)

Good luck! trying to take down a healer with the Gag Order nerf, or even trying to catch one with the Avatar nerf aswell......
There is quite a large continuum between being a free kill and being a god. There is space to be somewhere in the middle.
Your going in the wrong direction, hurting warrior mobility in a game full of endless cc's in pvp, we don't want Cata again!
We nerfed control and CC breaks, not mobility. A Double Time nerf would be mobility. It's all related, but that was our logic. (Source)

Can you bring pre-Wrathful WotLK PvP weapons back for Transmog.. pretty please?
If we did that would they be rewards for skilled PvP players or something everyone could grab? (Source)

Does a destro lock bursting 370k through 60% res in 1.2 sec fit your image of pvp?
The CB landed in 1.2 but likely took much longer to set up. Do you think there is just a max damage that a single ability should do? (Source)

Why when you said "pve'ers shouldn't be forced to pvp and VICE VERSA" you didn't rly mean it?
We meant glads shouldn't have to raid for the best gear. We want all players to participate out in the world doing stuff.
So, you are saying forcing PVP'ers to PVE is fine, as long as those PVP'ers aren't glads???
I'm saying an experience where you never leave town and queue for PvE or PvP isn't healthy for the long term of the game. (Source)

OK, so what on earth is the deal with the total absence of honor weapons? I thought I was just being stupid. What's really frustrating is they were in... the items exist but are unavailable.
We make a lot of items in bulk that aren't intended to ever go into the game. Heroic raid trash versions are another example.

A real explanation on honor weapons not available and solutions to rating camp.
Honor weapons would have been the only weapons. There was no way to keep them away from PvE players. Maybe at ilevel 450. Maybe.
Sorry but I really don't see how you missed this with the PvP Power mechanic you introduced specifically for PvP gear.
The weapon would have to have nothing but PvP Power. Otherwise it's better than the quest weapons you could achieve.
Just slap pvp power and pvp resilience as the only stats, PVE players would stay away from them.
We don't typically itemize gear to such extremes, but I suppose we could. (Source)

Any chance of making the old WSG/AB pvp vendors be in a more convenient place for those who want to level via pvp?
Yeah, would like to do this. Did you see the green gear vendors in Pandaria? PvP versions (at all levels) are another idea. (Source)

Instant cc & dumb mechanics like gagorder just further lowers the skillcap. wotlk had the highest skillcap.
Eh, LK had its share of dumb mechanics too. Agree about Gag Order though. (Source)

I think you guys should bring back 2v2 and put more effort into balancing PvP imo.
I fear that 2v2 is inherently unbalanceable. Either a healer is mandatory or one isn't. If it is, then 3s aren't fair. (Source)
It's only inherently broken so long that you keep healers unable to go OOM. Fix healers and you fix 2v2.
Not that simple. If 1 healer + 1 DPS is balanced, then 1 healer + 2 DPS isn't going to be. (Source)
2on2 is unbalanceable That game never was or is balanced. pvp gets worse every addon because of more spells
If we could do it all over again, I'm not sure we'd have 3 different brackets. 2s are popular because logistics are easy. (Source)

Are you guys even looking into sorting out the pvp side of the game? It's nearly the point of just not playing anymore
We're working on a blog on PvP to explain some of our philosophy and plans.
Currently, wins on PvP the one who uses his burst first.
I disagree. I think it's just a few broken specs running it for everyone.

Why are so many things focused on PvP when PvP is just a minigame in WoW?
Because a lot of players care so much about it? (Source)

Any news about Skirmish Arenas? They're sorely missed, and you know that. Nakatoir said he'd give us a proper answer, waiting.
We get the request a lot, but when we had them they were not widely used. We'll consider adding them back, but low priority ATM.
But Mop philosophy is that we can play the game how we want, all we're missing is skirmishes. You get the request, why not add
It would mean not adding something that might be important to someone else. Balancing that is one of the hard parts of this gig.
You mean like wargames/pet battles? Not sure how many asked for pet battles, yet they got it. Bring it back someday.
We also add things players may not ask for. Given the popularity of pet battles, that one was a good call. Wargames, maybe not. But we know a lot of players miss skirmish, and we'd love to bring it back someday. (Source)

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Makes Over $500 Million in 24 Hours
Activision Blizzard's non MMO games are doing okay as well, as Black Ops 2 sold over $500 million worth of copies in the first 24 hours. Gamestop alone sold over 1 million copies at the midnight launch.



Blizzard Games News
Lindsay is here with this week's Blizzard News!

by Published on 2012-11-16 09:03 AM

Future Updates, What Would You Like to See in an Expansion?, Top 10 Wanted Features, Community Commentary: Gearing up Your Follower

A Little Patience Scenario Video
Today we are taking a look at another one of the new scenarios in Patch 5.1, A Little Patience. This is an Alliance only scenario that consists of you helping to build defenses before reclaiming the Temple of the Red Crane.



WoWProgress Video Listings
WoWProgress recently added a nice feature that lets you add boss kill videos to your guild's page. You can see one of the videos Vodka added below, with a very close wipe at the start!





Battle.net World Championship this Weekend!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The Battle.net World Championship kicks off at 6:00 p.m. PST this Friday, November 16, and you can catch all the action live, FREE, and in HD over at http://www.battle.net/bwc. Tune in to watch the epic finale of the StarCraft II World Championship Series and the World of Warcraft Arena Global Finals, as some of the world’s best pro gamers battle it out for glory, cash prizes, and the coveted title of world champion.

You’ll also be able to catch the action when guilds Stars and Supreme Quicksand take to the stage to compete head to head in Challenge Mode dungeons and in the Live Raid. See the schedule below for all of the World of Warcraft events.

Friday, November 16

Stream: WOW Main
  • 06:00 p.m. PST - Opening Ceremony
  • 07:00 p.m. PST - Dungeon Challenge with Stars and Supreme Quicksand
  • 08:15 p.m. PST - Team ROCCAT SYI vs. Team Old Boy
  • 09:30 p.m. PST - I’m just being honest vs. Bring It
  • 10:45 p.m. PST - Team Old Boy vs. Yaspresents
  • 12:00 a.m. PST - Delirium Termans vs. Team ROCCAT SYI
  • 01:15 a.m. PST - Evil Geniuses vs. DoubleG
  • 02:30 a.m. PST - AHQ eSports Club vs. Bring It
  • 03:45 a.m. PST - LG-IM vs. Double G

Stream: WOW 02
  • 06:00 p.m. PST - Opening Ceremony
  • 07:00 p.m. PST - Team ROCCAT SYI vs. LG-IM
  • 08:15 p.m. PST - I’m just being honest vs. Evil Geniuses
  • 09:30 p.m. PST - LG-IM vs. Evil Geniuses
  • 10:45 p.m. PST - DoubleG vs. Delirium Termans
  • 12:00 a.m. PST - AHQ eSports Club vs. I’m just being honest
  • 01:15 a.m. PST - Team Old Boy vs. I’m just being honest
  • 02:30 a.m. PST - Delirium Termans vs. Yaspresents
  • 03:45 a.m. PST - Yaspresents vs. Bring It

Saturday, November 17

Stream: WOW Main
  • 05:30 p.m. PST - Live Raid with Stars and Supreme Quicksand
  • 06:45 p.m. PST - Team Old Boy vs. DoubleG
  • 08:00 p.m. PST - WB Semi Final 1
  • 09:30 p.m. PST - WB Final
  • 11:00 p.m. PST - LB Round 2
  • 12:30 a.m. PST - Grand Finals
  • 02:30 a.m. PST - WoW Award Ceremony

Stream: WOW 02
  • 05:30 p.m. PST - Evil Geniuses vs. Yaspresents
  • 06:45 p.m. PST - Evil Geniuses vs. Bring It
  • 08:00 p.m. PST - WB Semi Final 2
  • 09:30 p.m. PST - LB Round 1
  • 02:30 a.m. PST - WoW Award Ceremony

Visit the event site for the complete schedule and don’t forget to join us for the opening ceremony at 6:00p.m. PST Friday night! Read more about the Battle.net World Championship Series in our Press Release.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Heart of Fear Raid Finder Loot Issue Hotfixed
I have an update for characters that experienced this issue. Those characters have been given two Elder Charms of Good Fortune. Those charms will be added the next time those characters login. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Cross-Realm Zones Feedback
It was a feature developed to save money on server costs, but spun to the playerbase as being a positive feature to make the world feel "alive" again
You're just not correct, and you have no basis for comparison to even begin to understand any financial motivations behind the implementation of CRZ.

That's my biggest problem with a lot of the negative feedback I see on hot issues like CRZ: Not that it's negative, but that people usually need to explain the unknown by formulating what I'd define as straight-up conspiracy theories. And they spread like wildfire. We are probably in part to blame for it, but sometimes all the insights and behind-the-scenes facts just can't be shared in a meaningful way with the public. There's just not a lot to be accomplished by engaging with people who say such changes are financially driven (i.e. cost efficiency > gameplay or customer concerns), or that they provide the path of least resistance for us in terms of our production pipeline.

We come off looking very defensive purely by nature of responding to a fallacious, hyperbolic, or incredibly presumptive argument. And, yet, that somehow tends to validate a conspiracy on the forums. This is an extreme example, but I'll use it since it was posted in this very thread:

Not gonna read your propaganda, you own wowinsider and they never criticize you when you do a crappy job. Your platitudinous tripe is just orwellian speak. There is no point to feedback, you don't respect anyone's opinion on this forum, and you never acknowledge your faults. There's also no point to public test realms, you ignore all feedback given to you in those as well, their only point is to flesh out bugs, not to criticize your game design. You guys are just terrible at your jobs, and too proud to admit it
Most people probably (hopefully!) understand that this is a major leap into the deep end of connecting dots simply because those dots exist in the same space and time. And the people who truly believe this type of stuff are going to feel validated if we A) defend ourselves purely on the basis of liking things like truth and facts (even you used the term "spin" to describe this); or B) remain silent because the endless tug of war that could result is a colossal waste of organic material.

Anyway, don't get me wrong. Your criticisms are well founded. I'll keep them in mind as I continue discussing the larger points of contention in the community with our developers and executives. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Off-Spec Healing
they already said they are nerfing it.
Indeed we did. We completely agree that it is very frustrating for dedicated healers to find that off-spec healing is actually quite competitive with their own. Off-spec healers such as Shadow, Elemental, Paladin and Laser Turkey are meant to be able to output some healing - which is one of their benefits - but they shouldn't be able to replace a dedicated healer. The plan we have right now is to make PvP power only enhance either your damage or healing depending on the spec that you have chosen.

Check out the blog by Ghostcrawler on Mists of Pandaria PvP here: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/blog/6415071

So, all Paladins are off spec healers no?

Guess it does not matter, Ret was made with one defensive mechanism, healing, after that gets nerfed (And lol, Ret healing is nerf worthy?) not a single person will play Ret, so I would like to congratulate u for destroying Ret.

I was referring to Retribution Paladins in my post specifically and as they have the ability to assist their entire team with healing on-demand through the use of their abilities, they are able to off-heal. I will edit my first post to specify Retribution Paladins for you.

It is also not entirely true that healing is the only defensive ability that you have, Paladins also have as I am sure your aware, Divine Shield, Divine Protection, Hand of Protection, Lay on hands and also while weaker if this change occurs, heals. There are other abilities in the Pally arsenal that can be used defensively as well, so stating that heals is the only way a Paladin has to protect themselves and others is not entirely true. Do remember that you would still have your heals, while weaker they could still help in keeping both you and your team alive.

Understand that this is also not a definite change, it is simply something that we are considering to deal with the high healing numbers that are seen from some off-spec healers. We greatly welcome your feedback and thoughts on this, so please continue to provide it.

I hope this is just a bad joke. Divine Protection, 20% less damage on a 60sec cooldon can hardly be called a defensive mechanism. Divine shield is a good ability, but 5 min cooldown? c'mon. You can't use Lay on Hands in the arena, nor can you use Hand of protection if you used Divine Shield.

So basically you say that we have a nice array of defensive spells in the arena: 8 sec immunity on 5 min CD (instantly removable by Priests, Druids, Warriors), and 20% less damage on an 1 min CD. WoW. You are a PvP hero.

I am not commenting on how great, useful or even terrible certain defensive abilities are, I am simply stating that there are additional defensive abilities available other than healing. Lay on Hands was more referring to the array of defensive abilities that are available, not that it is usable in arena specifically. I did also state that there are abilities that I have not yet mentioned, such as defensive CC as well as escape abilities that can help you get away, like Hand of Freedom and the first tier talent.

And we have 20-25k healings after the patch goes live.
Woah ...wait, what? This is in what patch notes now?
As I already said, this is a change we are considering and is not in any way definite or final. So continue to give your feedback on off-spec healers and possible changes, we are listening to it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Battle.net World Championship – Raid Challenge
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Day Two of the Battle.net World Championship starts with a bang as two of China’s top raiding guilds, Stars and Supreme Quicksand face off in an exhibition live raid to clear Mogu’shan Vaults with the fastest time. Tune in to the live stream on November 18 at 02:30 CET to witness the competition.

This challenge is sure to test both guilds’ skill and coordination. The competing players will need to plumb the depths of the Mogu'shan Vaults, choosing a raid composition and strategy that strikes a precarious balance between speed and safety. Do they attempt the run with fewer healers than the norm, to edge out their competitors and eke out precious seconds on the clock, but risking a catastrophic wipe? Or do they go with a tried and true strategy, secure in the belief that steady (but not slow!) wins the race?

Each battle presents its own unique challenges, but there are a few that could make or break each guild’s attempt. The Spirit Kings encounter is perhaps the most taxing fight in the Vaults and is sure to be a pivotal moment. We can expect to see both groups play it safe here, because all it may take to secure victory might be succeeding on the first attempt while the other group falters. It’s notable that they will be facing a special version of The Spirit Kings where each foe attacks in the same order, to ensure that the competition remains on an even footing.

Meanwhile, both the Gara'jal the Spiritbinder and the Will of the Emperor encounters will require the groups to divide their damage between their main target and lesser minions. If they devote too little to the boss they risk falling behind on the clock, but if they devote too little to minions they risk becoming overwhelmed and suffering a wipe that could cost them time on the clock… and victory.

Meet the Raiders
Our colleagues in China recently had a chance to talk with guild leaders Bluewind of Stars, and Crayon Xiaobu of Supreme Quicksand, who will each lead their incredibly talented teams against one another in the Dungeon Challenge and live raid competitions. We’ve translated the interviews into English for your reading pleasure. You’ll find that, while these leaders hold each other in high esteem, both are prepared to fight for victory this weekend in Shanghai.

Interview with Bluewind of Stars

Q. To start, let’s talk about your progress through Mogu’Shan Vaults. Are you satisfied with the results? How are you approaching Heart of Fear and future Mists of Pandaria raid content?
A. Actually, we’re not satisfied with the progress we’ve had in Mogu’Shan Vaults, and made a postmortem for this “failure” after we cleared it. It’s a really tough time for us now. Our raid team is composed of veterans and new recruits, as some of the once-hardcore members have become casual. Our team is in the middle of a training period, while their skill level is comparable with that of the veterans, new recruits need more experience. We didn’t consider this as a big issue, while we found out in the end that it really was. This is perhaps why we didn’t achieve the goal we had set for ourselves. Nevertheless, we are working hard for the live raid preparation -- been practicing a lot of Mogu’Shan runs and gave everyone quite some pressure. The new bloods are improving, and our gear is now good enough to meet the new challenge: Heart of Fear. After all, I would say I’m very confident for the next two raid dungeons.

Q. Can you share with us the Stars procedure of learning new boss encounters?
A. We always play hard when we confront a new boss, about 8-10 hours a day, which might be a bit shorter than other top guilds, but what we do more is that we sum-up and ponder over.
Generally speaking, we’ll always take a quick trial of new bosses on PTR, having a brief impression of the boss. But it’s hard to do well on PTR, so we still need to make a plan that we try to cover everything that could happen in the encounter. This always takes us 2-3 days. Once the boss goes on the live realm, we’ll check our plan at the first moment in the live environment and make some adjustments. We always spend much time discussing, but we always enjoy the procedure.

Q. BWC is at hand! Are you prepared?
A. We have done some preparations for the speed runs -- took much time in learning or practicing the encounters. It’s hard to say whether we’re prepared, or whether we can defeat our opponent. As you know, Supreme Quicksand is a top guild that only spent 1 hour, 13 minutes, and 59 seconds finishing 25H Dragon Soul. They are very strong and powerful, but we will do our best to give everyone a wonderful competition.

Q. Are there any effects the BWC competitions will have on your raid progress? Are you looking forward to BWC?
A. There are, of course. The BWC event takes place when the Terrace of Endless Spring opens, so there will be some influences. But the BWC invitation is definitely a great honor. It has always been a dream for me, and for other guild members as well, to communicate with the game developers. So we’ll do anything we can to work with Blizzard for the event. I’m really looking forward to BWC. To compete against great opponents, to attend the convention, it will be an amazing experience for all of us.

Interview with Crayon Xiaobu of Supreme Quicksand

Q: Can you give us a brief introduction for your guild? When and how it was built?
A: Our guild was called SEED, and was reformed into Supreme Quicksand in December 2005. Some of the former guild mates followed me; together with some new blood we established Supreme Quicksand as it is today. Our goal is to play WoW together without a negative impact on our work and everyday life, so here we are.

Q: In a recent live raid event, you beat out five of the top Chinese guilds in Heroic 25-player Dragon Soul with a clear time of 1 hour, 13 minutes, and 59 seconds, and now you make your way to BWC to face Stars. Do you like to participating in competitions like this?
A: Of course we like it. It is really a good chance to show our guild to others, and also to learn from others.

Q: Did you watch Athene’s Dragon Soul Challenge that took place on May 12, where Stars came out the victor? What do you think about your BWC opponent?
A: Yes, I have watched that one. Stars has always been a great opponent, and a coach to China guilds as well. We have been watching them since Patch 1.9, and we learned much from their videos. Their strategies have provided helpful information for our learning of the encounters. After the Dragon Soul Challenge, we watched the Stars live raid video again and again, and we practiced about ten times. But even with better gear we didn’t make it to break Stars’ record. So for the Live Raid at BWC, we know we don’t have enough chance to win, but we’ll do our best to bring a wonderful competition to the audience.

Q: In addition to the live raid, the Dungeon Challenge is awaiting you. Are you ready for it?
A: When we tried the challenge mode right after hitting level 90, we wiped again and again. It is really challenging like the name suggests, but also fun. After some practice, we did our best to find all the possible ways to shorten the time. Now that more raid dungeons are unlocked, we usually focus on the raid part. But we did some homework both on raids and challenge mode. We practiced and made plans for them.

Guild Wars 2 - The Lost Shores
The Lost Shores update is coming to GW2 starting tonight. It brings a new dungeon, new Beta PvP map, Ascended items and Infusions, a weekend event, and more. GW2DB has been updated as well!



MMO-Report
The MMO Report is back with SWTOR, Elder Scrolls Online, and a final Uncle Casey's Mailbag.

by Published on 2012-11-15 08:54 AM

Purpose of Monster Power, MP10 Purist. Blue Posts, Barbarian Fanart

Patch 5.1 PTR Notes Update - November 8

Assault on Zan'vess Scenario
Today we take a look at Assault on Zan'vess, one of the new Scenarios in Patch 5.1.



Battle.net World Championship Official Trailer
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Over the past year, more than 600 players from around the world competed in one of the most epic eSports contests ever. The field has now been narrowed to 32 StarCraft II players and 10 World of Warcraft Arena teams, and each is set to face off for more than $500,000 in prizes and the title of world champion.

The Battle.net World Championship kicks off at 6:00 p.m. PST this Friday, November 16, and you can catch all the action live, FREE, and in HD by visiting http://battle.net/bwc. Read all about it in our latest press release.



New Battle.net World Championship Event Site Open
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This Friday the Battle.net World Championship will take Shanghai, China by storm. To make sure that you have all the information you need, we've launched a brand new event site complete with player profiles, brackets, event schedule, and more. Keep up on all the World of Warcraft and StarCraft II event news and make sure you're ready to take in all the action live on the free stream starting at 6:00 PM PST Friday, November 16.

Terrace of Endless Spring Now Available & Raid Schedule
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The latest Normal difficulty Mists of Pandaria Raid dungeon is now available: Terrace of Endless Spring. All Heart of Fear bosses are also now available in Raid Finder.

To access the new Raid Finder dungeons, you will need to meet a minimum item level (ilevel) requirement of 470.

Here is the current schedule for these Raid releases:

Wednesday, November 14 - Second half of Heart of Fear on Raid Finder and Normal Terrace of Endless Spring
Wednesday, November 21 - Heroic Terrace of Endless Spring and Terrace of Endless Spring on Raid Finder

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Let’s Talk About Brawler’s Guild
Will gear levels be throttled for the fights so that progression raiders and/or PvPers have no preexisting advantage, and the bragging rights are solely based on player skill?
Stat scaling isn't currently planned for the Guild, no. Skill will absolutely factor in, especially at high Ranks, but bragging rights in this context can certainly also include raw character power. The fights aren't tuned for stat scaling, and beyond that, gear is an important part of World of Warcraft. We don't want to go too crazy with eliminating its value by over-using stat scaling.

Naturally, and as with all things, we might revise that perspective in the future, but it's not on the table at the moment. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Updated Character Models
Nope, unfortunately we can't share anything just yet. But we will as soon as we can! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Water Jet
I don't think we've seen the last of it. Delayed is more likely than scrapped, I'd say.
I think that's a fair assessment. We weren't happy with how this spell was working out on the PTR, and pulled it for now. We're looking into giving it some more polish, and possibly implementing it when the time is right.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Rep is more "mandatory" for raiding than the head enchant was in Wrath/Cata since it gives you more advantage.
There were no alternatives to head enchants. There are better pieces than every valor item. (Source)

Was it a mistake 2 add talents that were available 2 each spec in cata available for an entire class. Arms getting shckwve etc
We think that's what makes the talents fun. Choosing a spec for one ability was less so.

If heal reduction in pvp isn't enough, would you consider mana regen nerf? Burst damage rules when mana is infinite, right?

Not sure. A lot of healers in PvP complain about mana already. (Source)

Could u write a dev watercooler about class rotations; why it was important that arc mage/bm hunter got more buttons?
Players complained that one-button-wonders could top meters, but others would complain if they paid a simplicity tax. (Source)

"Movement should be terrible for a ranged spec. Full stop." Can you justify the hunter changes in light of that?
Definitely worried that moving will be too good for hunters, but it was better than Aspect twisting. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
What's this new Tooth & Claw for druid bears in 5.1ptr? Just curious what gap it fills, add more variation?
Maul is kind of a dead button since rage is better spent on defenses much of the time now. This is an attempt to solve that. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
I know you aren't ignoring MM, but do you really think the minor changes in 5.1 will be enough for it to be viable?
We increased the duration of Steady Focus, which is both a quality of life and DPS increase. (Source)

Do spirit beasts do more dps than regular pets since panda?
That's not our intent. They shouldn't. We'll have to check if they don't if that's the contention. (Source)

<3 the Fox changes, but what about "ranged should lose DPS while moving"? Will u reintroduce a penalty like sniper training?
We might reintroduce Sniper Training if hunters never stop moving, but not for 5.1.

Nerfing froststorm breath? BM AOE is already horrible. Why nerf it more?
I think data mining is picking up changes we hotfixed in weeks ago. Don't assume datamined tooltip changes are real changes. (Source)

So I was curious to see the 5.1 patch notes contained nothing in regards to BM hunters having reduced damage output.?
Their damage output is fine. Their damage output in a short window is not, and that's where we targeted the changes. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Did the mage change to Invocation not make it in this last PTR patch?
Not sure we're going to change it. Mages might stop Evocating ever. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Word of Glory has been bugged since MoP came out, being treated as a ranged attack. Doesn't work out of attack range or LoS
It's because of the glyph of Harsh Words. Not sure how to fix. (Source)

Seriously do something about that Execution Sentence, it's pure garbage..don't make us all use Holy Prism
Exec is the most popular last I looked. Might depend on your spec. (Source)

rPaladins Mastery: Hand of Light double dips from resilience, making it do half the damage. Any chance to make it ignore resi?
We'll look at it. It happens in a few other places too (Combustion maybe?).

What's the deal with holy pallys having no damaging aoe? And don't say talents cover it
Holy has great CC, decent mobility, lots of instants and good ranged damage. It's okay for them to have some limitations. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Any pvp buff for poor disc priest in pvp?
Thinking of bringing Focused Will back.
Dear God no, no disc priest in his or her right mind wants more Rapture. Mana return on archangel, sure.
Not crazy about buffing Archangel. That makes Smite more mandatory. (Source)

What is your reason for buffing Mindbender instead of PW:Solace? Mindbender has now become mandatory. I hope solace gets buff.
We haven't buffed Mindbender lately AFAIK. Solace was considered mandatory in beta. (Source)

Would you consider removing the group-target limitation from Prayer of Healing? It's starting to feel dated.
Talking about it, but that does make PoH into Chain Heal / Holy Radiance. I do feel smart when I use PoH well. (Source)

Are you planning any Disc buff other than Mass Dispel? Disc is weak atm.
We didn't change Mass Dispel (except for Symbiosis version). (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Rogues don't find your game and many are going to quit if they don't see good changes in 5.1. Stop telling us what we find fun

What if I tell you what I find fun and you tell me what you find fun & everyone stops trying to be the voice of the community. (Source)

Was Cold Blood removed because of Shadow Blades? Would really love it back. Good on-demand burst & loved the visual.
Cold Blood helped make rogues not care about crit as a stat. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Can you guys make gag order prot only and usable against players. Think the change hurts prot flag carriers. (Source)
GC explain gag orders removal from pvp so i can understand why
Warriors have high mobility and damage. If you escape them you should be somewhat safe (and warriors always have Storm Bolt). (Source)

Is recklessness granting immunity to fear intended? Currently It does, but the tooltip doesn't say so.
It's a leftover bug. Fixed in 5.1 I believe. (Source)

PvP warriors will lose silence on heroic throw. Its going to make us very weak against ranged classes with snares.
I understand, but if you can easily counter anything thrown at you, the other guy has no options. (Source)

H throw silence is skillless? How about counter spell etc True they should get rid of all blanket silence
We don't think HT silence is "skillless." It was just too much with all the other tools and we didn't want to hurt e.g. mobility. (Source)

Warrior Cd stacking was bad, but losing the rage from avatar will really hurt, any plans to buff some sustained dmg?
We increased the duration to offset the rage loss. (Source)

Shield block allows skilled warriors to play both offensive & defensive when needed. DBTS is just pop & keep bursting, boring.
I like the idea of Shield Block but don't you think many warriors will just complain more about needing shields for defense?
DBTS also replaced both retalitation & shield block. Warrior went from the most rewarding class to a one-dimensional class imo
DBTS was an answer to all those warriors who hated to have to use a shield for Shield Wall.
If you made wep. swap intuitive part of Warrior kit (ie, base UI support / Druid GCD leniency), would go over better
Yeah agree. Would love to do this. (Source)

Regarding Cold blood response... Does warrior not care about crit because of recklessness?
Warriors have extra mechanics to make crit more valuable. Note that we did lower it from 100% to 50% a couple of expansions ago. (Source)

Baneling Pet
The Baneling is included in the Heart of the Swarm Digital Deluxe edition and Collector's Edition.

by Published on 2012-11-14 09:17 PM

Heroic Empress 25 Video, Nov 12 Hotfixes, Win Trading, Blue Posts, HotS Release Date

Patch 5.1 PTR Notes Update - November 8
Only changed and new notes are below, see the full notes on the Blue Tracker.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
General
The Pandaren Campaign begins!
  • Players can visit their faction strongholds in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms to begin the quest to summon their war fleets to the continent of Pandaria. (Alliance players that couldn't previously complete the starting quests can now speak with Taradormi at Lion's Landing to travel the timeways and experience those quests... BACK IN TIME).
  • Players can follow the story of the Pandaren Campaign through a series of special quests tied to their reputation with the landing forces. Heroes assisting with the war effort will join key characters and faction leaders as the growing conflagration spreads across Pandaria... as well as other locations around Azeroth.

Brawler's Guild
  • Entry into the brawler’s guild is by invitation only. Invitations can be found on the black market auction house, by invitation from somebody within the guild, and occasionally as drops from certain Horde and Alliance NPCs.

Classes
Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • New Pet Ability: Water Jet. Water Jet channels a jet of frigid water at the target, dealing Frost damage over 4 seconds. Frostbolt cast by the pet's owner that hit the target while it is being blasted with icy water will grant a charge of Fingers of Frost. This ability has a 24 second cooldown (shared with Freeze) and a 1 second cast time.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Spells affected by Inner Focus cast while Spirit Shell is active now fully apply critical effect heals to the shield provided.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Items
  • Spirit of Harmony can now be purchased for 600 Conquest Points at the Conquest Quartermaster.
  • The Dancing Steel, Jade Spirit, Colossus, and River’s Song enchantments now use the Real PPM system utilized by Windsong and Elemental Force.

Sunsong Ranch
  • A new Seed has been added: Portal Shards
    • A mage who fell on hard times back in Dalaran has found a new home on Pandaria. Barnaby Fletcher will occasionally visit Halfhill Market to peddle a new type of seed – and take advantage of the Tillers’ hospitality.
    • Portal Shards grow into consumable items which can be used to open a portal from Sunsong Ranch to a major faction city.
  • Seeds now stack to 50.
  • Runty crops now have a spell visual to help call attention to themselves.
  • Growing crops now display the duration until the crop is ready to harvest.
  • Characters who have earned the “Friends on the Farm” achievement will no longer find gifts while harvesting Cooking Ingredient crops – instead, they have a chance to find special seeds such as Magebulb, Enigma Seed, Songbell, and more.

Raids, Dungeons and Scenarios
  • Non-boss enemies in Mogu'shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of Endless Spring now respawn much more slowly.
  • Raid groups are no longer necessary to enter pre-Mists of Pandara raid dungeons. Enemies in these raids that previously required more than one player to defeat are now more easily dealt with by players battling alone.
  • Scenarios
    • New level 90 Scenarios have been added, including additional faction specific Scenarios:
      • Assault on Zan'Vess
      • Alliance
        • Lion's Landing
        • A Little Patience
      • Horde
        • Domination Point
        • Dagger in the Dark

PvP
  • The growing conflict between the Horde and the Alliance has spilled across the face of Azeroth: level 90 players can now queue for Wintergrasp and Tol Barad via the PvP tab to battle one another in these epic conflicts.
  • Arena matches now have a 25 minute time limit (was 45 minutes).
  • Rated Battlegrounds now share the same spell restrictions as Arenas.

Bug Fixes
by Published on 2012-11-14 09:52 AM

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm Release Date Announced, Poll: Who's the Greatest "Great Evil"?, Fowl Lair (Wheel of Misfortune)

Blood Legion Video - Heroic Grand Empress Shek'zeer
Blood Legion has released their video of the Heroic Grand Empress Shek'zeer 25 man kill.



Patch 5.0.5 Hotfixes - Nov 12
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Creatures

Items
  • Fixed an issue with the way that Might of Ursoc could interact with the Druid's Deep Earth Vestments 4 piece set bonus when in a group.

Dungeons, Raids & Scenarios
Heart of Fear
  • Wind Lord Mel'jarak
    • Fixed an issue that could sometimes prevent Mel'jarak from properly gaining Recklessness.
  • Grand Empress Shek'zeer
    • Players affected by Fixate will no longer incorrectly maintain threat after the effect ends.
    • The range of the Empress's various damage dealing abilities has been increased.
  • Imperial Vizier Zor'lok
    • In the Heroic mode version of this encounter, Zor'lok should never choose the platform of Attenuation when combat begins.
    • Zorlok will now always cast Force and Verve after summoning Noise Cancelling Zones.
    • Fixed an issue that could cause players affected by Convert to be damaged by Zor'lok's abilities.
    • Fixed an issue that could cause Convert to affect more than one healer in 10-player raid groups.
  • Amber-shaper Un'sok
    • Mutated Constructs now deal appropriate damage.
    • Fixed an issue that could cause Inferno Blast to interact with Amber Carapace in a way that dealt extreme damage to secondary targets.
  • Garalon
    • In the Raid Finder version of this encounter, Garalon's Fury ability will now stack 5 times with a 15 second duration, and Pungency now stacks 20 times.
    • In the Raid Finder version of this encounter, Garalon will not enter combat until a player enters one of the visible circles surrounding his body or legs, or performs a hostile action.
    • Pets now correctly gain Weak Points when attacking Garalon's legs.
    • Several abilities that deal additional damage to a secondary target no longer improperly include bonus damage provided by Weak Point when determining the damage dealt to secondary targets.

Mogu'shan Vaults
  • The Stone Guard
    • Using Alter Time will no longer prevent Mages from losing stacks of Energized Tiles in this encounter.
  • Elegon
    • Pets will now correctly attack Elegon from behind.

Bug Fixes
  • Highly Explosive Yaungol Oil no longer deals damage to hostile players.
  • Fixed a phasing issue that could occur during the quest "Battle Axe of the the Thunder King".
  • Fixed an issue with the way that Glyph of Jab could interact with various weapons.

Heart of Fear Raid Finder Loot Issue Hotfixed
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve applied a hotfix to resolve an issue where players in Raid Finder were being saved as having killed a boss after a wipe in Heart of Fear. The hotfix is active and doesn't require a rolling restart to take effect. Heart of Fear is now safe for your Raid Finder adventuring needs.

For the small number of players who were ineligible for a chance at loot as a result of this bug before it was fixed, we're currently discussing the best resolution and will provide an update as soon as we can. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Does the solution only affect people who killed the bosses or also the people were just locked incorrectly? I wiped and didn't kill a boss and got saved apparently. Am I now unsaved and can go safely or do I need to wait for a solution?
This does not affect those that killed a boss and got loot. The hotfix was to correct an issue where players got saved when a boss resets; like after a wipe.

You didn't read, I haven't killed the Boss because we wiped repeatedly and I'm still saved to it. According to that, it should have fixed itself but didn't.
The hotfix prevents more people from being saved incorrectly when a boss resets. For players already saved, we're still exploring what we can do and will provide an update as soon as possible.

Arena Exploitation and Win Trading
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Providing an environment where players can compete in the spirit of fair play is extremely important to us, particularly in rated Player versus Player combat. As part of that commitment we regularly monitor gameplay, and have discovered an issue where some Arena teams have exploited the queuing system to obtain high team ratings, “dodge” unfavorable team compositions, and engage in win trading.

These, and all, exploitative activities are absolutely prohibited. We will investigate the situation carefully, and players that have been found to have participated in exploitation will be subject to the appropriate actions against their World of Warcraft accounts. In the meantime, we are currently working to resolve any remaining issues with the queue system to prevent this behavior in the future.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Responding to Player Feedback
The OP has a point.. They did specifically say that they felt it was too much for players to feel that they had to grind reputations for head and shoulder enchants and then they turn around and put the enchants for other slots behind reputations.
Not really. They're different things. The enchantments were absolutely, without-question mandatory, because there was no other way to obtain those particular power increases no matter what else you did in the game.

The current dailies might feel that mandatory to some particularly progression focused players, but it is entirely possible to skip them, and the gear they provide, pretty much entirely and still arrive at the same level of character potency.

No doubt someone will mention profession recipes. Profession recipes have virtually always required some hoop jumping - ranging from RNG raid drops to rep grinds; the best recipes have always required a little something extra.

I have one question: Where's the proof?
I'm not interested in citing the entire massive list directly, but World of Warcraft has a long history of adjustments in response to player feedback. A couple simple recent examples would be raising the Arena and Rated Battleground base point caps or the upcoming changes to the way that Pandaria faction reputation is gained by alternate characters on an account.

When something you feel strongly about hasn't been changed, that doesn't mean that we've dismissed feedback. In fact, sometimes we really like a suggestion, but implementing it doesn't quite fit into the schedule yet, or there are technical or design reasons why it doesn't fit into the game yet. Sometimes, we want to wait til we can implement a more elegant solution. And, of course, sometimes we simply disagree that a particular change is the right course for the game. Nonetheless, in none of these cases is feedback dismissed - it was still taken into account during the decision making process.

You mean the one that just got a huge nerf? Yeah, they nerfed all the dmf cards.
No! Bad! Stop pointing to data-mined content as fact. The change that got picked up was actually an adjustment to Darkmoon Card trinkets for Challenge Mode stat scaling.

When I read this, here's what I am understanding. The enchant on the gear is MORE IMPORTANT than the actual gear itself? So, enchant > gear?
Unfortunately, it seems that you did misinterpret what I wrote. No, the enchantments are not more important than the gear, but they do complement all the gear you'll ever get over the course of that expansion (which is what made those reps essential). In Cataclysm, and previously, you had to have those item enhancements because they would apply over any gear you ever got. In Mists, you can skip rep gear, and move on to better gear, and never miss the reputations you didn't earn in the long run. Not that I'm advocating skipping dailies - there are definitely reasons to do them; just not to the point of fatigue that some choose to. We loosened the cap, and the intention there was to give players some flexibility regarding how they approached them.

While better gear is always helpful, the rep gear is only compelling enough to be called "necessary" relatively early in the progression cycle - and, in truth, it's only "necessary" for the guilds that are competing on that level. On the other hand, it seems that a certain type of player is always running extra miles of one sort or another to be at the cutting edge of content in every expansion, and with every new raid release. I mean, is any tangible, useful reward we provide--regardless of venue--going to seem to be anything less than absolutely mandatory to such a player, unless it is purely cosmetic?

Finally, as Zarhym mentioned elsewhere. We are paying attention and want to do better in the future. We're not in a position to completely re-work the way players interact with dailies on-the-fly, right-this-second. That expectation is unrealistic. We are always interested in learning better ways to approach these design challenges and make fun and compelling content, though.

That's fairly rude and unbecoming of someone who is in the position you are in, Dax. Treating people like an animal by saying, "No! Bad!" and then rubbing their nose in it for jumping the gun is definately not what you should have done. Rather, you should have POLITELY STATED the incorrectness of it and moved on. In this case, both parties here made an error in judgment. Shame to both of you.
It was a tongue in cheek post, though I've re-read it and I still don't find it particularly offensive. Agree to disagree?

This is an interesting example of dissonance in the style of communication that the community wants though. There's a segment of the community that would prefer nothing but perfectly polite, all-the-sharp-edges-grinded-off kind of customer service speak. Meanwhile, there were many players in this thread requesting 'bluntness'--some specifically to the point of rudeness. I think I usually tend somewhere in the middle, with a touch of humor thrown in now and then.

Daxxari, my question for you is, how am I supposed to feel you guys in Blizzard HQ enjoy our feedback if you delete all the posts that consists of feedback?.....
Simply because a thread contains feedback doesn't mean that it abides by our posting guidelines or code of conduct. Constructive feedback should probably be the buzzword, rather than feedback on its own.

We welcome it, we want to read it, and we want to share it with the development teams. You still need to play by the rules while you're here, if you want to be heard.

Those polls only used a few thousand people...
It's true that the forum population represents a relatively small chunk of the overall player base. It's also true that the kind of player that's apt to post on the forums doesn't necessarily represent all of the vast and incredibly diverse World of Warcraft community, but that doesn't mean that the feedback here isn't useful. We do realize that forum goers are often our most invested, passionate players. We appreciate you guys, and what you have to say matters.

That said, election polls and the forums are different in several key ways. Among them--and I don't want to get into how statistics works in detail (especially since I'm not an expert)--but I do know that the forums are what is called a 'self selecting sample', and that trying to derive representative statistics from such a sampling is an excellent way to get skewed results. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Cross-Realm Zones and Gathering Professions
Cross realm zones bring the number of players per zone up to the intended number, the number we had in mind when designing the zone. The competition over mining nodes you're experiencing now should be on a par with those who are on realms with a high population. Your profession levelling speed should be roughly the same speed as everyone else.

While I can understand that you enjoyed being able to level up gathering professions quickly before, it wasn't ever meant to be that easy. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Heart of the Swarm Arrives March 12, 2013 - Presales Now Live
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Prepare for the approaching Swarm.... On March 12, 2013, StarCraft® II: Heart of the Swarm™ launches around the world, igniting an intergalactic storm of intense strategic combat and opening a savage new chapter in the war between terran, protoss, and zerg. You can pre-purchase the expansion NOW directly through Battle.net® and be ready to play the moment it goes live.

In addition to the Standard Edition and retail-exclusive Collector’s Edition packed with bonus items, you’ll also have the option to upgrade a Standard Edition to the Digital Deluxe Edition, which comes equipped with all the in-game content from the physical Collector’s Edition, including a Torrasque skin for your zerg Ultralisks in Heart of the Swarm multiplayer, unique Swarm-infested portraits for your StarCraft II character profile, a Baneling pet for your World of Warcraft® characters, and a set of zerg-ified blade wings for your heroes in Diablo® III.

Whether you plan to tear a path of destruction through the all-new Kerrigan-focused single-player campaign or jump right into the multiplayer action with the devastating new units under your command, it’s never too early to begin preparing for your Heart of the Swarm experience. Simply log in to your Battle.net® account and pre-purchase Heart of the Swarm, and you’ll be flagged to automatically download the expansion content prior to launch.

Learn more about Heart of the Swarm

Learn more about the Digital Deluxe Edition

Learn more about the Collector’s Edition

For more details on the March 12 launch of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, head to the Heart of the Swarm game page to learn more about the expansion and pre-purchase your digital copy.



The Daily Blink
The Daily Blink shows off the advantage of being a Druid when doing Survival Ring: Blades.

Alternative punchline for fans of 'Red Meat': I hate you, Milkman Dan.
by Published on 2012-11-13 06:57 AM

Update: Darkmoon trinket stats are not changing after all!

TryHardEmnity Witch Doctor Budget Guide, Diablo "Tristram Village" Cover, Curse Weekly Roundup

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





Patch 5.1 PTR - Build 16297
A new build will be deployed on PTR realms soon. There were two item changes this time, first an eight item level increase on Zen Alchemist Stone.

The second change is a reduction to the Darkmoon Faire trinket procs: Relic of Niuzao, Relic of Yu'lon, Relic of Xuen / Relic of Xuen, and Relic of Chi Ji. (See Blue Post)

This build is a Release Candidate, which means that Patch 5.1 is getting closer to going live.



Brawl'gar Arena Map


String Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • ERR_CANT_CAGE_PET_YET - You can't cage this pet for another %d hours and %d minutes.



Achievement Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Pandaria
Quests

Pet Battles



Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Monk (Forums, Talent Calculator)
  • Spear Hand Strike now costs 10 Energy, down from 30.
  • Stance of the Wise Serpent (New) Increases healing done by 0%, replaces your Energy resource with Mana, grants hit and expertise equal to 0% Spirit gained from items or effects. Increases haste from items by 0%. Your attack power is equal to 0% of your spell power, and you no longer benefit from other sources of attack power. In addition, you also gain Eminence, causing you to heal the lowest health nearby target within 20 yards for an amount equal to 50% of non-autoattack damage you deal.

Raid & Dungeon Abilities
  • Crush Garalon crushes his foes, inflicting 800,000 Physical damage to enemies within 12 14 yards and 150,000 Physical damage to all enemies.
  • Fright Inflicts 75,000 Inflicts 82,000 Shadow damage and inflicts Fear for 2 sec.
  • Nightmares Inflicts 100,000 Inflicts 110,000 Shadow damage and inflicts fear on enemies within 8 yards for 3 sec.
  • Shadow Breath Inflicts 200,000 Inflicts 240,000 Shadow damage and increases Shadow damage taken by 100% for 30 sec.
  • Sun Breath Inflicts 1,000,000 Inflicts 1,100,000 Nature damage and stuns Sha enemies within 0 yards and causes Bathed in Light on allies.
  • Unstable Bolt Inflicts 150,000 Inflicts 165,000 Shadow damage, but costs the Unstable Sha 15% of its total health to cast.



Manaflask Interviews Blood Legion
Manaflask had the opportunity to ask Riggnaros a few questions after their victory in Heart of Fear. Favorite boss? Grand Empress Shek'zeer. Most fun boss? Amber Shaper Unsok! Read the full interview to see what he would change about the instance and more.



Garalon Hotfixes - Raid Finder, Normal, Heroic
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We have a few updates regarding the hotfixes, and a couple new changes based upon some of the feedback we've received:

  • In Raid Finder, the 30-second cooldown added to Garalon's Crush ability didn't properly apply through our most recent hotfix. We've isolated the issue and will apply a new hotfix to address this tomorrow during restarts.
  • Also included in the next hotfix, the Raid Finder version of Pungency (with relation to Garalon's Pheromones ability) will only stack 20 times, and Fury will only stack 5 times.
  • Once the realms are back up tomorrow, classes with pets can rejoice! All class pets will now gain the Weak Points buff in all versions of the encounter (Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic).

EDIT: Clarification, not just Hunter pets, but all classes that have pets.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Daily Quest Feedback
Finally ready to call it quits, realized today after almost 8 years of playing that I just didn't enjoy the game anymore.

MoP ruined this game for people like me, I have a family, and I cannot and WILL not be forced into doing dailies across all my toons or hell even ONE toon in order to progressively gear my characters.

The new loot system for LFR, Sha, etc is completely unbearable, constantly seeing 28g pop up across all my toons gives me ZERO incentive to continue grinding out the casual content I am used to.

And its not like I havent given it time, I leveled nine classes to 90, and going through the same content over and over wasn't so bad, its the point where you get to 90 and you are pigeon holed into grinding dailies over and over or PVP'ing (which I do NOT enjoy). So I canceled today, which is saying alot because I play alot and used to enjoy this game massively.

Some will flame me, blizz will probably close the post, but truth be told, if they don't address these things soon there will be many following suit.

There is definitely legitimacy to your post, and we've been reading a lot of the feedback players have been sharing lately as we evaluate our endgame progression systems. Even as World of Warcraft evolves over each expansion, and as happy as we are with the experience we crafted for Mists of Pandaria, we always know we can do better.

Having said all of that, I'm just not personally sure we can design a game that's going to feel fresh and rife with content every time you login, if the expectation is that the average World of Warcraft player will have nine level-90 characters less than two months after the expansion's release. I really don't mean this as a judgment of how you choose to spend your time, either. But when considering everything you said in your post -- you mention needing time for family and enjoying casual content -- your noted (or implied) play time really sticks out.

Another sticking point is you brought up being forced to either do dailies or PvP. Why? Looking only at progression of character power at 90, do you not want to do scenarios, dungeons, or raids? What pushes you into reputation progression such that you feel you have to do it x9 and burn out on the game?

Zahrym what you said is offensive.
That's silly. The idea that I should have a placating "grin and bear it" approach to players on the forums -- as was discussed last week -- is what you should actually find offensive. And I'm only responding to this to make a quick point:

A lot of people have called my recent posts (and me personally) any number of negative things. Let me just say that I read a lot of great critical posts on the forums everyday -- there are some great ones in this thread. And we're constantly discussing the feedback with our developers. Just because I'm challenging a person's analysis of the game doesn't mean I'm not listening to them, or don't think they're making any good points.

If I can offer counterpoints to threads that will focus the debate on further specifics and details of a topic, that allows me to take more succinct feedback to the developers, often times including many of the great suggestions I see.

Because you have locked away a portion of the progression path behind endless dailies.
But character progression isn't blocked entirely "behind endless dailies." You can get into Raid Finder without any reputation rewards. Sure, it's clearly more effective to be earning some steady reputation with the core factions (which is the point) while running other content, but that's less relevant when an argument is made in absolute statements, such as "forced," "mandatory," and "locked away."

I'm not naive and I know that if you invest more time into your character by doing dailies along side your group content, your rate of progression will be faster. And again, that's by design. But certainly we enjoy hearing feedback about the design and how things could be tweaked to improve the model.

For instance, we talked recently to the developers about an evolution on the idea of being able to champion a faction via a tabard. What we don't want to repeat is the design that let players max out every faction reputation just by wearing a tabard while doing other content. So instead of endlessly getting reputation for every dungeon, maybe you only get a bonus once a day. It doesn't allow you to skip dailies altogether, but you can at least pad your rep gains a little bit.

Another cool part about this idea is that we can probably make it work through the UI, rather than requiring you to wear a tabard you may not think matches your bracers (teehee). It could be as simple as making it so that you champion the faction you selected to show as your XP bar.

And since it's brought up a lot, I completely understand the existing concerns players have about earning Valor through other sources and being locked from spending it for reputation rewards. It's something we'll continue to talk about -- be precise and feel free to suggest improvements!

It's worth throwing out there that it really doesn't take many daily quests to hit Honored with Golden Lotus, and you can easily hit Honored with The Klaxxi before you even unlock their daily quests. So it doesn't take much to give you a bear minimum of two ilvl 458 blues to spend JP on, and two ilvl 489 epics to spend VP on. That's a pretty fair boon if you're climbing to ilvl 460.

Important! I want to make sure it's totally clear one last time. I'm not saying our model is perfect and your feedback is incorrect. I'm trying to offer counterpoints so we can all signal in on the root of some of the popular concerns within the community. Operative word: TRYING.

Will say it again, what is wrong with killing 500 mobs in dungeons when you kill that much or more while doing dailies? What difference is there between months worth of dailies and hashing out instances? Bring back frequently dropped items like sunfury signets, arcane tomes, relics of ulduar. What is so wrong with letting us get rep the way we want? we pay to play your game.
Paying to play the game doesn't inherently entitle you to get what you want the way you want. We take player feedback very seriously, but this isn't design by democracy.

To answer your first two questions, the difference is there is a reward structure in place for dungeons, and a reward structure in place for reputations. You want full access to rep rewards and dungeon rewards without putting effort toward both. Purely from a player standpoint, in terms of getting what you want with as little hassle as possible, it's understandable you might not see anything wrong with that.

But here's a design problem in the Cataclysm model you want back:

  • Doing dailies over time unlocks access to rep rewards
  • Doing dungeons gives you a shot at loot drops, in addition to points you can use to buy gear (in case RNG hits you hard)
  • Wearing a tabard while doing dungeons gives you a shot at loot drops, in addition to points you can use to buy gear, in addition to access to rep rewards

You may not like daily quests. But that alone isn't justification for making daily quests irrelevant for those running group content. By running dungeons with tabards, you effectively got to double-dip in Cataclysm by gaining access to rep rewards, VP rewards, and dungeon drops. It was super convenient, and also left players with a system that didn't really reward you for doing more than the bare minimum of raiding and running seven dungeons each week.

Now there is incentive to vary the content you do. The idea that, "I have a tabard so this endgame content doesn't apply to me," is gone.

Do you take this to the Dev team? What I mean is do you collect the discontent and address it higher?
Absolutely! We chat with them via IM and email daily, we meet with them at least once a week to ask common questions from players, and we do a very in-depth global community report every week that breaks down all of the hot topics in the community and offers action items if applicable. Every community report is read by the game's lead designers, all the way up to Rob Pardo and Mike Morhaime.

Some of the topics we cover might not be as easy to openly discuss with the community, but rest assured that's because the necessary discussions and meetings are taking place to really dig into the hot topics/questions so we can form a more concrete agenda.

Zarhym, I get your point about the old tabard model. I do. But there's got to be a happy medium here. I ran dailys a lot during Cata, and WotLK on multiple characters. They were quick, easy, tasks, where each hub took no more than 30 minutes. Completely solo. In fresh 80/85's in quest greens from 2 or 3 leveling zones back. I'd run them on multiple characters in the same day even.
I personally agree about needing to strike a better balance, happy medium, or some form of compromise (beyond the Revered bonus in 5.1).

MoP dailys on the other hand are much, much more difficult, tedious and frustrating. Hence, for most of us casual players, they are too time consuming. Golden Lotus? Takes me an hour to do them. Klaxxi? Another hour. Shado-Pan? Haven't even unlocked those yet. Or August Celestials for that matter.

Doubling the rep gains from dailys is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't fix the problems I mentioned above with the MoP dailys. The mobs hit to hard, have too much life and are too packed in. The quests themselves simply aren't enjoyable for this reason. Whatever happened to that molten front model you said you were going to stick with for dailys? The dailys we have now are nothing like those.

It's difficult to tackle the "fun" factor compared to previous daily hubs. That's very subjective and I, in fact, disagree with you on a personal level.

But comparing the new daily quests to the Molten Front, in terms of difficulty, isn't totally fair. When we said we wanted to stick to that model, we meant allowing the quest hubs to have some story progression for each character over time, and having a large pool of daily quests to really randomize which ones you get each day.

I remember doing Tol Barad dailies when I first hit 85. Those were pretty brutal until I geared up. When I was first doing Golden Lotus it was kind of rough too. But by ilvl 450 they were noticeably much easier, and I could complete them much faster. You might be forgetting how good your gear was when you were doing Molten Front dailies. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

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