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by Published on 2012-09-28 10:00 AM

Public Test Realm Patch 1.0.5 Notes for 9/27

Brewfest 2012
Brewfest is upon us once again, and Icy-Veins has an in depth guide to all things Brewfest. This year the event was slightly delayed to allow people to get a start on Mists of Pandaria. It requires level 89 for completion of all of the event.

If you are still leveling, don't forget to grab the Brewfest Enthusiast buff at 6:15 AM and 6:15 PM server time outside of Ironforge and Orgrimmar at the Tapping of the Keg ceremony.

There are a few new items this year, such as the Pandaren Brewpack and upgraded epics.


Level Type Spec Slot Name
470TrinketTrinket Bubbliest Brightbrew Charm
470TrinketTrinket Bitterest Balebrew Charm
470TrinketSpell DPSTrinket Mithril Wristwatch
470TrinketPhysical DPSTrinket Coren's Cold Chromium Coaster
470TrinketTankTrinket Brawler's Statue
470TrinketHealingTrinket Thousand-Year Pickled Egg

Brewfest Prize Token Rewards

Level Type Slot Name Cost
20Companion Pets Wolpertinger's Tankard200 ×
20Companion Pets Pint-Sized Pink Pachyderm100 ×
20Holiday Preserved Brewfest Hops20 ×
1Quest "Brew of the Month" Club Membership Form200 ×
10HeadHead Belbi's Eyesight Enhancing Romance Goggles100 ×
10HeadHead Blix's Eyesight Enhancing Romance Goggles100 ×
1HeadHead Brown Brewfest Hat50 ×
1HeadHead Green Brewfest Hat50 ×
1HeadHead Blue Brewfest Hat50 ×
1HeadHead Purple Brewfest Hat50 ×
1ChestChest Brewfest Regalia200 ×
1ChestChest Brewfest Dress200 ×
1FeetFeet Brewfest Boots100 ×
1FeetFeet Brewfest Slippers100 ×
1Consumable Pandaren Brewpack100 ×
1Consumable Brewfest Pony Keg100 ×
1Consumable Brewfest Keg Pony200 ×
20Consumable Fresh Brewfest Hops2 ×
20Consumable Fresh Goblin Brewfest Hops5 ×
1Consumable Brewhelm2 ×


Developer Interviews
Another two interviews today, this time with Jason Hutchins, Game Producer and Gary Platner, Lead Environment Artist. The second interview is with Russell Brower, Director of Audio at Blizzard. Thanks to NinjaPull for providing the interviews!

Game Producer and Lead Environment Artist
  • In Cataclysm, high end players would sometimes race to see who could complete a dungeon or raid first, so Challenge Modes were added to support that gameplay style.
  • The 50 artists are broken up into five teams: World environment, dungeons, props, animations, and characters and armor sets.
  • Mists of Pandaria brought several art improvements:
    • Increased the distance you can see.
    • Higher level of detail in the world.
    • Ground textures are higher res.
    • Lighting system and shadows were improved.
    • More control over texture blending.
    • Ambient occlusion (SSAO) was added.
  • Draenei were harder to design than Worgen because it was harder to define what kind of race they were. Everyone understood the Worgen were supposed to have an Eastern European Gothic look.
  • Clouds that interact with the mountains were added to add to the Asian influenced landscape.
  • One of the things that sets Blizzard apart is the allowance for iteration. Even if a zone has been mostly completed, the art team can decide that it isn't right and go back and redo it until it feels right.
  • There was a lot of new technology that went into Mists of Pandaria. It would have been impossible to make this expansion just a few years ago.

Director of Audio
  • The audio team even has a hand in the phone tree audio for the Customer Service line.
  • Eight years ago there were only three members on the team, now there are almost 40.
  • They do a lot of recording in the field to expand the selection and avoid reusing sounds.
  • The music used Asian instruments and skilled players.
  • The sound is a combination of the sound of Warcraft and an Asian influence.
  • Pandaren are all about family, nature, spirit, and harmony, but they know how to fight when they have to. They live every day as their last and do everything all out, no matter what it is they are doing.






Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Pet Battle Training Cost
The cost is there, in part, because pet battles are intended to be a fun mini-game, particularly for players who've been around a while and want some new ways to spend their time while logged in -- it's not a profession. The system isn't really targeted toward new players while they're focused on leveling and character progression.

This is why there is a low level cap, but a buy-in barrier. It allows players with high-level characters and/or lots of alts easy access to the system, while reducing the risk of it being distracting or confusing for people just learning the core gameplay systems/mechanics. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Questing
Since the subject of this thread is largely a matter of personal taste, I'm not sure that I can speak directly to your concerns. I mean, core World of Warcraft gameplay evolves over time, but the essential experience will still be there.

What I've personally really enjoyed about questing in Mists is that, as I travel through a zone, there's sort of a zone story-line series of quests, a la some of the Cataclysm zones, but I'll also find entire quest hubs in the course of my explorations too. I've also seen some really cool quest mechanics (GIZMO! SOCKS!) in the course of these quests, and I find myself getting involved in the stories too.

I think the point of the quests that that have you collect x whatevers, or kill so many of y, is that they get you out into the world, killing monsters, seeing the sights, and playing your character, and doing stuff with your character's abilities. I don't personally get head-down-gotta-plow through-these-quests style tunnel vision though, and I make a point of looking around, getting into some PvP, etc. as I go along.

Every quest probably shouldn't involve super unique mechanics. I imagine that would get fatiguing after a short while. So, with that in mind I suppose what I'd like to know is: what kind of questing experience were you hoping to see?

That is the problem. I don't do anything with my character's abilities anymore! I used to be a hero. Now all I am is a vehicle driver, the guy in some other npc's body, the guy riding the back of a giant, the guy leading a squad of npc's, etc. What happened to quests where I am the hero?
My first impulse was to ask if we're playing the same game, but that would be snippy.

I can say pretty confidently that my experience has been quite different though. I feel like I've gotten a chance to play my character quite a lot (and I've had a lot of fun messing around with talents at the same time), while also getting a pleasant break now and then doing something with more unique mechanics. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Scenarios and Player Specs
I chose to take my warrior to 90 first instead of my priest so I don't have firsthand as to difficulty in a healing spec, but it seems interesting they wouldn't have a second DPS spec. (Do a lot of people actually level in healery specs?) Maybe it's a misunderstanding of what Scenarios are, and why they aren't swapping. Maybe you should just let them know they should probably swap to DPS for Scenarios.

People should be approaching them as outdoor group quests that happen to be in an instance, and not dungeons. It's just getting used to the concept I think. The ability to queue for them probably makes it a lot tougher to shake the "ok I'm going into dungeon/raid" mode.

It isn't like a dungeon, but with outdoor group quests you get to pick who you play with. Disc is a very good spec to run scenario with because it is a good balance of some DPS with good off healing. It is effective.
I wouldn't disagree with that. Would you also say the same for your two group-mates, holy paladins and resto druids? Would you then say each of you had reasonably chosen a spec based on the type of content a Scenario offers?

I can't control who I end up with in scenarios.
Right, which is why my point is I think it's a perception issue where people believe they should be jumping into Scenarios believing it's like a dungeon and that they'll be healing.

I'm going to hit up a designer though, maybe there is some possibility of saving groups from themselves so certain specs aren't matched up at some point. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Pearl of Pandaria Now On Sale!
If you are curious what it looks like, take a look at the preview images that were released.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The original graphic novel Pearl of Pandaria is now available! Be sure to pick up this story and meet the Pandaren, the newest playable race in World of Warcraft.

Written by Blizzard’s own Micky Neilson and with art by fan favorite Sean “Cheeks” Galloway, this story follows Li Li Stormstout’s adventures through Azeroth. Li Li comes from a line of adventurers who left their homeland long ago to explore the world, and she wants nothing more than to chase that dream.

But when Li Li runs away to find her famous uncle Chen, how will she survive Azeroth’s perils?

You can find the book on Amazon.com and other comic book retailers, and at the Blizzard Store.

Welcome to Game Update 1.4: Terror from Beyond
Originally Posted by SWTOR
Our fourth major Game Update 1.4: Terror From Beyond goes live today. The center piece is a new Operation that shares the name of the update. This new Op is our most ambitious and difficult to date. The visuals are amazing, the battles are uniquely challenging and the final boss is the most impressive we’ve ever released.

In addition to a new Op we’ve introduced many smaller changes. The shadow system has gone through an overhaul that not only makes the game look better, but also makes the shadow system run better on many machine specs. Changes have been made to class balance, focused mainly on crowd control and the Resolve system. A lot of bug fixes as well.

This Game Update is also the start of a new release cadence. Our strategy so far has been to release big updates every few months. But this leaves long periods of time where you, our fans, don’t have anything new. So we’re moving to a model where we release Game Updates on a much more regular cadence. Our initial aim is for something as close to every six weeks as we can get. I’d promise an exact schedule, but in a live game we need some flexibility as the stability of the service trumps the release of an update on a particular date.

This year has been exciting so far with three Game Updates. But before the end of the year, it’s our intention to have released another three Game Updates, starting with Terror From Beyond. This is in addition to moving to Free to Play. But I can say in all honesty, that our plans for 2013 are even bigger. Our team’s experience, improving tools and better production processes are allowing us to move faster in development than we ever have before. More exciting news to come!





Mists of Pandaria EU Launch Event
Blizzard shared some photos from the Mists of Pandaria EU Launch events on Facebook. You can find the entire event video on Youtube.

by Published on 2012-09-27 07:44 AM

Voice of the PvP Vendor, Important Information on Key Drops, Information on Character Copies , Blue Posts

Mists of Pandaria Interview with Rob Pardo
We had the opportunity to talk to Rob Pardo (Chief Creative Officer) at the Mists of Pandaria Launch event.


Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Q: Mists of Pandaria just launched, how are you feeling?
A: Very excited, it's pretty awesome to get the next World of Warcraft expansion in the hands of the players.

Q: It's almost 8 years old; are you finding it increasingly difficult to add players and get new players?
A: Not really. I do think that you see less new players, but at the same time there are still a lot of people out there that are still playing when the game has been out so long. I think you might even start seeing another generation of players start coming in to WoW.

Q: Does it get easier to develop more expansions as time goes on?
A: It never gets easier to make games. We always say, "Making games is hard, and the next expansion is going to be just as hard as the one before that, which is just as hard as the one before that one".

Q: What is your favorite feature of Mists of Pandaria?
A: Pandas. How can that not be your favorite feature? We have been wanting to add Pandaren to the game since before World of Warcraft launched, ever since Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne when we added the Brewmaster. We knew that one of these days we were going to put Pandaren into World of Warcraft.

Q: If you had unlimited resources and unlimited funds, what would you add to World of Warcraft?
A: That is an interesting question. I think if we could just wave our magic wand it would be really great to up the graphic fidelity of the entire game and get it up to where the other games are at these days. I think World of Warcraft ages really well, but it still ages. I think people would be really excited if we were able to bring that up to modern day graphics standards.

Q: You have improved Battle.net considerably over the past year. Do you feel that you are done with the upgrades, or do you have more plans to upgrade the platform?
A: I don't think we will ever be done with upgrades. Battle.net has been around for about 15 years now. It's something that we are always going to be adding to. As new technology becomes available and as other platforms add things, we are always going to add features to stay cutting edge with our own platform.

Q: How did the design philosophy of online gaming change over the past years? I assume the players today are very different from the ones who played 8 years ago.
A: Yeah, I think the biggest thing is you are seeing online games really become popular. I think if you look back when World of Warcraft came out, a lot of people at the time felt like "This is going to be a niche game. How many people have constant internet connections and want to play a game all the time on the internet". I think that obviously has been proven to be false. Nowadays with the explosion of social gaming and mobile gaming, pretty much every game nowadays is online in some way or another. I think you are seeing players that now expect it rather than it being a bonus feature on the back of the box.

Q: The beta test for Heart of the Swarm started a few weeks ago, do you think the expansion will be enough to bring back players who left a while back?
A: Yeah, absolutely. I think a lot of people that may have left earlier in Starcraft will want to see the next part of the trilogy. In the very beginning we designed Starcraft 2 to be this big and epic trilogy that allowed you to play through the entire storyline. For the multiplayer focused people we are obviously adding a lot to the game. If you look back to the original Starcraft, it hit its stride after Brood War. Hopefully we can do the same thing with the Heart of the Swarm.

Q: People are still wondering what the Titan project could be. Do you know when we’ll get more information on the subject? How many people are working on the project at this point?
A: Titan? What's that? It's still moving along. I don't want to get anyone's hopes up that it is around the corner or anything, it is a very big project, it has a long way to go. I don't really know when we are going to start releasing more information. We are definitely in the middle of development at this point. The team is over 100 people now.

Q: I heard a rumor that you have been developing it for six years now, is that correct?
A: I'd have to think about that one. I guess it depends on how you look at such things, because when we first started the team, we started really small. We start with a couple of people and talk about the concept and draw some concept art. It definitely has not been in core development for that long. I'd say core development was closer to four years, but even that was with a smaller team.

Q: Diablo 3 sold very well but received mixed reception at release because of various problems. Blizzard worked really hard and greatly improved the game over the last few months but do you feel that the launch was rushed? Would you hold it a few more months if you had to do it again?
A: The tricky thing about the Diablo 3 launch was the new codebase. Diablo 3 was a whole new engine and Battle.net had just done a new major revision. It is very hard with the way that we launch games with millions and millions of players to test it. We had hundreds of thousands of players in the open beta without a lot of problems, but when we launched the game we had ten or twenty times that amount of players. Lots of things show up with that many players that don't show up with one tenth of them. I'm not sure holding it back would have uncovered a lot of those things. If you think back to World of Warcraft it was very similar. It was a whole new engine and battle.net platform, so it took us a while to plug all of the leaks and get the game completely stable.

Q: Players keep asking again and again when we will get updated player models, is it still on the list and do you have any idea when and how you'll release those? How big of a challenge is it?
A: It's still on the list. It's not something that we are looking at doing really soon. It's something that our art director has been doing some R&D on and we have been talking a lot about. The challenges... How many player models do you upgrade? Do you upgrade them all at the same time? Do you do them over time? There's also the issue of, do we up the system requirements? Do we make it part of a patch? Do we make it part of an expansion? There are lots of unknowns still out there, but it is something that we would really like to do.

Q: One of the biggest problem after Wrath of the Lich King was the 1 year gap between the last patch and the new expansion, causing a lot of players to leave. The gap was slightly smaller after Cataclysm but still significant. Are you working to reduce it further or do you think you're in a good spot now?
A: I think we still have to find a way to get content out faster. Ever since we shipped World of Warcraft, we have been going about half as fast as we would like to go. There's a lot of different reasons for that. A lot of people suggest hiring more developers. Well, we are very picky and it takes us a while to hire developers that really add to the content of the game. Also, over time it has gotten a little bit slower to make content we have made the content more complex. Our encounters got more complex, the art is higher resolution, even our quests have had a lot added to them. As we have added people, we have added quality rather than to the speed of the content. It is something we need to really try to do better, and hopefully we can do that with the next cycle.

Q: Now that we're a few months away from the release of Diablo 3, can you tell us how the real money auction house worked out for Blizzard? Are you happy with the feature and how it was received by players? Would you consider adding the same feature to new games, or even existing games?
A: I would say that internally the way we look at the feature right now is mixed. I think it was really a big experiment and it is something that I think has done really well in some ways and in some ways has really changed the game a lot. I think it gets to be a very complex answer, because there is the component that is the real money auction house and there is the part that is the auction house.

When you see a lot of complaints on the forums, they are talking about how it has gotten so easy to skip to the best items in the game and how it devalues your progression or advancement. A lot of that would happen with any sort of auction house, even if you are paying gold you have that same sort of feeling. You have to separate that from the real money component of it, which also has its own unique issues.

Anyone that plays the game now looks at items with a dollar sign attached. With all of the different games out there that have microtransactions that is more acceptable, but in some peoples' minds it has damaged the purity of the game. One of the main reasons why we did it is that we knew there was going to be a lot of third party auction sites out there. We felt like it is already going to exist so we would rather give players a more safe and secure way of doing that. I think in that way it has been successful. We are really talking a lot internally though about the right way to evolve or iterate on the auction house.

Interview with Team FS, First Level 90
FS of Ravencrest was able to reach level 90 within a few hours of Mists of Pandaria release, but was then reset to level 87. Athene was able to talk to someone involved with the effort about how it worked and the community's reaction.



Blue Posts
There are free character transfers away from several high population realms. (US and EU)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Realm Queues
Or considering you're the largest MMO in the entire world, you could upgrade your servers? Disgusting idea, I know.
Money doesn't buy infinite technology. I hope this is understood. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Spec Specific Quest Rewards
What's the point of this? I don't understand why I can't do my questing as ret but still gear up my prot/holy sets on my pally, or work on my druid's tank gear while questing as balance. Would it be so hard to allow access to all gear that would be appropriate for your class, instead of just your spec, instead of making people respec every time they turn in quests?

The goal was to make choosing rewards a bit more streamlined, so that each reward that you see when you turn in a quest is potentially good for you. After all, as you're leveling, it's not a bad idea to pick up gear that makes your leveling spec more powerful. It's also worth noting that the more powerful rare-quality items awarded by major capstone quests will usually offer you choices that include all the specs available to your class, since we figured that those items would probably be a bit more permanent. If we offer epic quest rewards at maximum level, those too would most likely offer a variety of spec options.

If you're experiencing any issues getting a healing or tanking set together, there are vendors in Jade Forest, Valley of the Four Winds and Townlong Steppes that sell sets of armor, so you can 'catch up' on pieces you might have missed. There's an emphasis on healing and tanking in those sets too; though they're a bit weaker than the quest rewards that were offered in previous zones so that they don't render quest rewards inconsequential. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Pet Battles Forum
We've just opened up a Pet Battles forum here- http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/7388394/

We felt it might be nice to have a go to spot for everyone to discuss their teams, tips, and tricks. Feel free to head over there for all of your Pet Battle Discussions and enjoy! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Cross-Realm Zones in Mists of Pandaria
Just to follow-up, we're looking into reports of any unexpected behaviors with the Cross-Realm Zone sharing to make sure there aren't any from how the intended design should be.

As always, the feedback has been appreciated from everyone.

I did verify that it will most likely pull players to the highest level person's realm/realm type. Though there are potential exceptions that could affect it. We're continuing to monitor feedback and should we have anything more to share, we will. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hotfix Limitations
Some things are handled server-side, some are handled client-side. Can't hotfix a client-side issue as that requires a new client build.
This pretty much sums it up. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
I don't want to sound like an asshole here, but statistically speaking, "my friends and I feel X" is not the same as "everyone feels X."
But it is suggestive of same. Equivalent statement to “preliminary data suggest ___, which warrants further examination.”
Also a common argument, but when scientists say that, they *have* data but are being cautious. Anecdotes are not data.
Agree, but it’s not black and white. Between unknown and known is a vast middle ground where we may guess.
Totally agree. A great part of this job is making calls with very little information, with all the risk that entails.
Also especially misleading in WoW since virtually all the discussion takes place in little echo chambers.
So, so true. We even catch ourselves forgetting that sometimes.

We're working hard to restore the Pandaria soundtrack to the iTunes Store; it was up briefly, then iTunes pulled it for a meta-data tweak. Audio quality is not affected for those of you who managed to grab a copy before it was pulled. I hope iTunes reposts it ASAP!

Does Lead Systems Designer mean Pet Battles are in your jurisdiction as well? I would assume so, but I figured to check.
Pet Battles are an unusual feature in that so many people worked on them. They are without jurisdiction.

Any plans to make the black market AH a part of the remote ah? Just seems like it would help encourage more bidding this way.
We'll see, but at the moment we like the potential for PvP on PvP realms outside of the Black Market pavilion.

Can we do Challenge Modes Cross-realm?
You can do Challenges w/ Real ID/BattleTag friends. Notice the asterisks by names on the Realm Leaderboard.
I'm not sure I like the trend of the 'zerg'. I miss the old days of CC and letting the healer get mana before the next pull.
Not going to be able to zerg unless you're capable of gold attempts. It's not the concept. CC, good pulls & play are priority.
I hope that is the way it will work. I got really tired of healing pugs that zerg. Can't heal without mana people!
Well, there's no LFD either. Ideally your group isn't so random it's considered a PuG, even if formed through public chat.

Will there still be an advantage for raiders in raid gear for challenges? I would love to focus on cmode but have no time to raid
No. Unless they're at hit cap and you're not. iLvL will be scaled down to heroic dungeon blue level. Set bonuses deactivated.
I remember reading trinkets will be enabled. Will proc/use effect power be scaled down as well?
Yep!

If you guys add more dungeons in patches... I think it would be a great idea to add more gold tmog. Like maybe weapons? Recolors?
That's certainly a possibility if the feature ends up being really popular.

"Guild" run is defined as 80% of raid, so 8/10 for 10 man and 20/25 for 25. But what is a guild run for world bosses realm firsts?
8 members. Good luck!

Is there any chance we can get a search feature for mounts like there is for battle pets? i have 100+! hard to find the right one
Working on it for 5.1.

What are population imbalanced players supposed to do on a pvp server. It's so bad on Sargeras horde can't quest
We might offer faction-specific transfers in the future. Right now we're focused on realms w/ queues.

Both character level & how many people from each realm are in the group seems to matter when selecting the realm in a cross-relam party.
Correct. And what each realm ruleset is. That has priority in the algorithm over level/realm.

Many MANY thanks for all the kind words as Mists goes live! I'm thrilled to be a part of such an amazing team. Jade Serpent guide you!
Jade Serpent's statue kinda blew up. It the best guide?
Kinda says a lot about her that she still gives the player a chance after that

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Can you give us PVPers some light on the incredibly OP monk 4pc set bonus 'touch of death'? I have concerns.
If your health is that low in PvP, the monk was going to kill you anyway. One of those bonuses that sounds more OP than it is.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Do you have any reports of threat issues, or any plans underway to modify current threat levels? Primarily in Paladins
We have received very little feedback that threat could be a problem. What's up?

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
The best rogue ever swapped to warrior is this what you want all rogues to do? is that the secret?
Works both ways though. Will it make warriors acknowledge they might be fine for PvP? Unlikely.
What does it matter if the best rogue ever switched to warrior. maybe warrior suited his playstyle better?
I haven't asked him, but I certainly haven't stuck with the same class for 8 years. Players sometimes over interpret omens.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Execute still hits ridiculously hard. Many warriors were asking for it do be nerfed.
Are they stupid? It's a finishing move for a reason
We totally agree it was puny in Cataclysm. It isn't in MoP and it won't be even with this change. We have a lot of room still.

Blizzard Devs Discuss the Mists of Pandaria Release
Blizzard Entertainment Chief Storyteller Chris Metzen and World of Warcraft Art Director Chris Robinson talked about Mists of Pandaria on the night before release.

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

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

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

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

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

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harvest Festival has started! (Icy Veins Guide)

Update: Added a mounts preview!

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


Streams



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



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












Mounts



Pet Battles




Mists of Pandaria Zones







Mists of Pandaria Dungeons








Mists of Pandaria Raids

Heart of Fear





Terrace of the Endless Spring




Mogu'shan Vaults





World Bosses




Mists of Pandaria Scenarios







Armor Sets








Mists of Pandaria Factions







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








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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

  • Realm type
  • Time zone
  • Language

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’ll see you on Pandaria!

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Patch 1.0.5 PTR Patch Notes - 1.0.5 Coming to the PTR

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

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





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

Classes

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

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

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

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

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

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

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

Items

Quests

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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





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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read part one of Quest for Pandaria now!

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