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by Published on 2012-02-15 10:03 PM

Mists of Pandaria Talent Calculator Update - Feb 15
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve just updated our Mists of Pandaria Talent Calculator to reflect many of the most recent changes and renovations currently being made to the next expansion of World of Warcraft.

We’d like to discuss these and other changes to talents and specializations in this thread. Here are a couple of thoughts to start with:


  • For shaman and hunters, we still have a ways to go with the revamp of talents, and this latest calculator doesn’t have some of the changes that we’re currently working on.
  • If you don’t see a favorite spell in the talent list, there is a good chance it is something you get automatically for choosing a particular spec. For example, all Fury warriors learn Raging Blow without having to choose it as a talent. All Discipline priests know Divine Aegis. Chances were almost certain that you were going to choose those anyway so we just gave them to you.
  • If you don’t see a favorite spell or mechanic as a class ability, spec ability or talent, then there is a good chance it is becoming a glyph. Examples include Atonement (priest), Gag Order (Warrior), Rude Interruption (Warrior), and the Acts of Sacrifice Cleanse component (Paladin).

Feel free to have a look at the updated calculator, and then discuss it there!

Talent Calculator Update Clarifications
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Why did attacks using % weapon damage drop so much?
We are in the process of recalculating the way damage is dealt. Individual weapon damage is going up by the same proportion in order to keep DPS at level 85 about the same. This should ensure that, at lower levels, these abilities aren’t overpowered.

Why doesn’t every spec get a passive ability at level 10?
Some specs no longer need them. For example, Fire mages don’t get bonus damage with Fire spells – they just have mostly Fire spells to cast. Some hybrids still need passives to differentiate their DPS, healing, and tanking trees. Furthermore, we can always add more if the need arises.

Paladin
Is this invisible haste buff still present for Protection Paladins going forward to 5.0, as the new talent tree update currently shows both CS and HoTR having 4.5 sec CDs and thus, actually in game they have a 3.0 sec cooldown -- or do they actually have a 4.5 sec cooldown? And if they have a 4.5 sec CD now, are they still linked or are they now unlinked?
Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous still share a cooldown, with a base of 4.5 seconds for both specs. Sanctity of Battle can lower this cooldown for Retribution.

Priest
Why didn’t the priest tree change?
We are still in development. It is a challenge, when giving players a sneak peak at work in progress, to decide when to release what we have versus waiting to accumulate even more changes.

Do Discipline priests have Prayer of Healing or not?
Our current design direction is this: Holy does AE healing with Prayer of Healing, and Discipline heals with (a much more powerful than today) Holy Nova. Divine Aegis would work with Holy Nova under this model. However, please see the question above. The priest tree is still in heavy development.

Death Knight
  • The death knight abilities Death Siphon, Soul Reaper, and Necrotic Strike cost 1 Death Rune. They are not free.
  • The calculator is not currently displaying that cost type (properly).

Warlock
  • Archimonde’s Vengeance has a 1 minute cooldown.
  • Grimoire of Sacrifice grants a 30% boost for 15 sec, which drops to 15% for the remaining duration.
  • Blood Fear replaces Fear.
  • Soul Link replaces Health Funnel.
  • Harvest Life does not hit polymorphed targets.
  • Demon Soul is not listed at this time, but this is just an error in the calculator.

Warrior
We are iterating a lot on tank rotations right now. We want rage (and all tank resources) to be something players actually use for mitigation, because we think that will be more fun than having a resource that gets ignored. Under this model, Protection warriors can’t have many DPS abilities that cost rage, because rage will be too valuable for Shield Block and Shield Barrier on fights where survival is a challenge. An ability with no resource cost needs some kind of cooldown or it will just be macro’ed and / or spammed, which isn’t a lot of fun.

Prot warriors have a lot of abilities to manage: Shield Slam, Revenge, Devastate, Thunder Clap, Shield Block and so on, as well as several emergency buttons to handle situations such as streaming adds. We’re okay with melee specs having an occasional free GCD, as long as it doesn’t happen with frustrating regularity.

Talent Calculator Changes
The talent calculator changes have been moved to a dedicated news post to facilitate discussion.
by Published on 2012-02-14 10:02 PM

Diablo 3 - AH Testing, Valentine's Day Wishes, Diablo Wallpaper, Diaboleques, and Curse Word Monthly

Update - Ok the contest is pretty popular and some people's post got caught in a server crash. You will not be disqualified if you tried to post another time because of that, we know who you are.

MMO-Champion Giveaway - 20 x Heart of the Aspects Mount
The new mount looks so nice that we couldn't help but share a few with you! You can enter the contest only by commenting on this news post. Please only enter once, multiple entries will disqualify you.


  • To enter the contest, just post a reply in this news post, you have until Thursday Febuary 16th @ 5:00 AM EST to enter the contest, this thread will be closed and winners will be selected randomly.
  • Entering more than once is useless and will get you disqualified. There will be no 2nd chance for people posting more than one comment in this thread, you have been warned. (We will also of course check for double accounts, etc)
  • If you want to discuss the mount, please head to the existing Heart of the Aspects Mount now available! news post.

Good luck!

by Published on 2012-02-14 10:01 PM

Blizzard Store: Heart of the Aspects Mount now available
The Heart of the Aspects is now available for 25 USD on the US store and 20 EUR on the EU store.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
When attacking from the air, it's best to advance from the angle of the sun so as to blind your foes… Or just ride a luminous dragon that glows like a thousand suns. Either way, you're good.

The Heart of the Aspects flying mount will travel as fast as your riding skill will take you and, once purchased, applies to all present and future characters on a single North American World of Warcraft license.


by Published on 2012-02-14 05:35 AM

Diablo 3 - Fists of Thunder Runed, Battle.net Balance, Poll Recap, Beta Screenshots

Ulduar Encounter Difficulty
There was recently a blue post talking about the nostalgia people feel for Ulduar and the increased difficulty. Kaivax made the point that "Ulduar is an example of a raid where lots of players got to enjoy the first few bosses, and very few players ever saw the last few".

Ulduar isn't too relevant anymore, as we saw yesterday with a Hunter soloing Algalon, but we wanted to see how significant the drop-off of players was as the bosses got more difficult, so we looked at a sample that contains ~130k level 85 characters that completed Ulduar achievements before Patch 3.2 was released. The percentages in the chart are normalized to 100% for The Siege of Ulduar (10 player).

This means that we are looking at boss difficulty relative to the easiest bosses, not the percent of the player population that completed each encounter. Keep in mind there is some inaccuracy, as the characters that made it to 85 may not include many of the characters who completed it at level 80 and then became inactive.

Ultimately, out of the 100% players who completed The Siege of Ulduar (10 player), only 1.1% of them defeated Algalon in 10-man before Patch 3.2 was released. The 25-man version was even less accessible and only 0.38% of the sampled players completed the encounter.

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!

Poll: When did you start playing WoW?
Were you playing when Ulduar was current content? Or were you killing Core Hounds when you first started? Let us know!



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Love Is In The Air, So Wear A Mask
With the onset of Valentine’s Day, thoughts of romance and companionship plague the air like a masterfully-designed virus. Not even the realm of my dark masters is safe, for Azeroth is currently teeming with positive emotions due to the “Love Is In The Air” festivities.

To further my understanding of these alien thought processes, I request your favorite canonical pairing in the Warcraft universe and why you believe this pairing works. These pairings do not need to be of the flushed quadrant; your favorite examples of companionship, friendship, or “bromance” are also needed. Should you provide this information, you are then entitled to also include your most desired pairing, but only if you also provide adequate reasoning for this union.

In order to ensure proper formatting, below is an example:

Favorite Pairing:
Reasoning:

Desired Pairing: A’dal (void state) / Xi'ri (void state)
Reasoning: So turn the Lights off / I'm not afraid / Afraid of the Dark
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

"Break the Trees" – New WoW Parody by Sharm
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Singer, songwriter, and parody artist extraordinaire, Sharm has been entertaining World of Warcraft fans with her clever lyrics and angelic voice for almost five years now. She delights us again with her latest song, "Break the Trees," a witty compilation of verses comprised solely of the names of class talents set to the beat of Britney Spear's hit, "Break the Ice."

Whether you're a tank, a healer, or a damage dealer, "Break the Trees" is sure to be a treat. Check it out below or visit Sharm's official page on YouTube.


Fan Art
The World of Warcraft Fan Art Section has been updated with five new pieces of fan artwork.


by Published on 2012-02-12 08:19 PM

Diablo 3 - Blue Posts, Lore Quiz, Minecraft Tyrael, Level 1 Witch Doctor, LoLPro

Algalon Solo Kill
Caribald posted an interesting video of a solo kill of Algalon using a hunter and a description of what went in to the fight. Congratulations to Caribald!



Till Death Do You Part - Iron Man WoW Challenge
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Players across Azeroth have recently embraced a new, very personal achievement: leveling a character "Iron Man" style. What started out as only a small movement, this bare bones, no-frills style of play has now transformed into a community-wide call-to-arms known as the Iron Man WoW Challenge, inviting World of Warcraft enthusiasts to see how close they can get to level cap with only the barest of necessities.

The goal of the Iron Man WoW challenge is simple: reach level 85. The catch, however, is that you must accomplish this task without the assistance of talents, class specialization, stat-improved gear, professions, buffs, item enhancements, or other players. And if you die? Well, then it’s back to square one.

Here are some of the latest rules:

THE BIG ONE: If you die, EVER, that character is removed from the challenge. [...]

The Most Valued Forum Posters
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
It’s been quite a while since we’ve shared information regarding our forum MVP program. If you frequent Blizzard forums you’ve no doubt seen jade text stamped across threads here and there. Those with the power to wield green words are regular players -- just like you -- who’ve been recognized for their contributions to the forums in one way or another. And since we want to provide these player advocates with the resources they need to continue being awesome posters, MVPs have direct lines of contact with Blizzard community managers.

Now the time has come to bolster the MVP ranks. Those chosen for the program aren’t official representatives of Blizzard, and they don’t have to agree with every decision we make. They also aren’t expected to give up their posting personas in order to join. Our goal is to find frequent posters who are a positive influence on the gaming community in some form, whether it be through posting strategy guides or tips on various aspects of gameplay, or even just bringing a positive and constructive tone to the forums when socializing with their peers.

If you or someone you know fits the description of a Most Valuable Poster as laid out in the MVP FAQ, email us at [email protected]. We select MVPs based on a large set of criteria, so don’t be discouraged from putting your name out there if you only post on, say, the Protoss Discussion or DPS Class Role forums. MVPs are welcome to post wherever they’re comfortable, including across the Diablo III, StarCraft II, and World of Warcraft forums.

But remember! The key to being a strong candidate is having a solid posting history. We’re always on the lookout for the next shining beacon of good within the community to join the illustrious ranks of our MVPs.

Want to know more about how a Blizzard MVP operates? World of Warcraft MVP Eldacar recently spoke with WoW Insider in this behind-the-scenes interview.

New Transmogrified Screenshot Gallery
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve selected some of our favorite screenshots featuring your Transmogrified characters and created a new screenshot gallery. You can view, sort, and comment on these wonderful creations, and discuss the items that were used to create these unique looks. Send in your Transmogrification screenshots for a chance to be featured in future updates!


MMO-Report
The MMO Report has Warhammer, TERA, and Uncle Casey's Mail Bag this week!

by Published on 2012-02-11 05:07 AM

Diablo 3 - Hall of Fallen Heroes, Annual Pass, Frustration with Release, Cinematic Awards, and Diabloesques

Mists of Pandaria Talent Calculator Update Soon
Zarhym mentioned on Twitter that work has started on an update to the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator.
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
We're working on an update to the Mists web talent calculator. Things are still in flux, but we hope you enjoy the class design progress.

Blizzard and Valve Queue for Legal Battlegrounds Over DotA
The term "DotA" has long been used as the name for the popular Warcraft III mod, but Valve attempted to trademark the name for their upcoming DotA 2 game. This didn't sit well with Blizzard, with Rob Pardo saying:


"It just seems a really strange move to us that Valve would go off and try to exclusively trademark the term considering it's something that's been freely available to us and everyone in the Warcraft III community up to this point...To us, that means that you're really taking it away from the Blizzard and Warcraft III community and that just doesn't seem the right thing to do".


Valve then countered that the community was okay with it, with Gabe Newell saying:


"The issue with that was, when we were talking with IceFrog originally, he wanted to build the sequel to DOTA. So the reason to call it Dota 2 is it actually does a pretty good job of communicating to gamers what it is the game is going to be. If a gamer looks at this game and you ask them, is that Dota 2? They're going to say yeah, that makes sense. That's a good name for it. That's really what's driving that. I haven't had any customers or gamers react negatively to it. They seem to be pretty comfortable with it."


Two of the developers that were involved with the original DotA game filed to block Valve's application, which is still an ongoing case. In Blizzard's opposition filing, they contend that DotA has been used by the community for the Warcraft 3 mod and that Valve has never used it before.

"DOTA, that for more than seven years has been used exclusively by Blizzard and its fan community, under license from Blizzard. By virtue of that use, the DOTA mark has become firmly associated in the mind of consumers with Blizzard, including to signify a highly popular scenario or variant of one of Blizzard's best-selling computer games, Warcraft III...

In contrast to Blizzard, Applicant Valve Corporation ("Valve") has never used the mark DOTA in connection with any product or service that currently is available to the public. By attempting to register the mark DOTA, Valve seeks to appropriate the more than seven years of goodwill that Blizzard has developed in the mark DOTA and in its Warcraft III computer game and take for itself a name that has come to signify the product of years of time and energy expended by Blizzard and by fans of Warcraft III. "

Blizzard then goes on to argue that the World Editor EULA requires Blizzard's prior written consent to use for any commercial purpose, which they have granted to various 3rd parties for the promotion of the DotA mod. Valve's response is a denial or lack of sufficient information claim of anything that mentions Blizzard's widespread and long standing use of the mark.

The companies will either come to an agreement of some kind or the case could move on to a trial later this year.


LoLPro - League of Legends Guides
League of Legends is a fairly popular game, so our friends over at LoLPro.com have put together in depth guides and videos for the champions. Every guide is authored by a professional League of Legends player such as Voyboy, Salce, Doublelift, Crumbzz, SYDTKO, Pobelter, Westrice, Dyrus, Nyjacky and many more.

The guides may be helpful should you want to improve your skills to participate in the next tournament. The first Curse tournament will have eight teams competing for a $5,000 prize. The winning team will then be flown to Curse headquarters in San Francisco, to play the Curse team, for a chance at an additional $20,000.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft War College – Getting Geared
The battlefields of World of Warcraft are littered with the bones of those who have become casualties in the ongoing conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. You do not need to become one of them. One of the keys to victory is knowledge, and that is where the World of Warcraft War College enters the picture. In these discussions between players, you can learn and share strategies with other players to improve your tactics and improve your odds of emerging victorious from the field of battle.

Are you a veteran Gladiator with countless victories tallied? Are you new to World of Warcraft and striving to improve your PvP skills? In this weekly feature, we invite players of all skill levels to ask questions, share tips and tactics, and join a conversation dedicated to surviving and thriving in World of Warcraft PvP.

This week, the topic of discussion is:

Getting Geared – Whether getting ready to jump into PvP with a new character or preparing for a new PvP season, it’s important to get enough Resilience on your items to be competitive. What are the best techniques you've found to gear up fast?

Join the War College forum thread here. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Bind on Account items
In terms of Bind on Account items, we believe that using the mail system to transfer heirlooms from one character to another is less than ideal. We’d like to work ourselves away from that sort of item distribution model, and have some design goals in mind that would change the mechanics of how heirlooms are distributed in-game.

We think it would be wonderful to simplify the system so that, for example, you might have a constant heirloom page across all your characters that you could peruse and select from at your leisure. Conceivably, we could do something similar for pets and mounts.

As always, these sorts of design ideas are constantly being evaluated. I just think it’s worth pointing out we’re not currently aiming to create a system that would allow players to mail heirlooms across realms or accounts. We believe that would be a sub-optimal design, and we have better solutions in mind for the future. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Winning Multiple Items in LFR
Our patch note is wrong and we apologize for the confusion. We'll get it updated.

The way it currently works is you'll lose the Need+ roll bonus if you win an item that drops twice from the same boss, but you won't be made completely ineligible to win it twice. If no one else has the Need+ bonus or rolls Need on the item, you'd still win it.

We have updated the 4.3.2 patch notes to better describe the way this system change works.

Players no longer benefit from a role-based need bonus on the second of multiple copies of the same item on a single Raid Finder boss kill. For example, a player who chooses Need on two set piece tokens or two weapons (and wins the first) will only automatically roll 1-100 for the second from that particular boss. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Low Population Realms
That thread is one that we are monitoring continuously for feedback, and those who wish to get their voice heard on this topic will certainly get their wish granted if they post in said thread.

We acknowledge that this is a very important topic for those of you playing on realms with low population, and it is an important topic for us as well. We are looking into ways to improve the situation, but as we mentioned in the thread linked to by Danellos above, there is no simple and easy fix to this. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Talent Calculator
Thank you for your feedback on the Warlock talents, however as you have mentioned the talents are not set in stone right now and may change. You have to remember that the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator was placed on the website towards the end of November last year and it has not been updated on the website since. During these past few months of development though, there would have been major changes that are not able to see yet.

We will probably not be updating the talent calculator until we're around about at the point of the friends and family alpha test. The reason for this is that it is not exactly useful or efficient for us to be continuously updating the calculator at this stage.

There have been no announcements for when an update to the Talent Calculator will be released. But I am sure we are all hoping for a more up-to-date talent calculator to be revealed, because I know everyone would like to see what has been done to refine and improve upon the ones we see now! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Annual Pass and Diablo III Release Date
I've seen these threads before, and it’s concerning to me. I'm confused as to what people believed the Annual Pass provided when they signed up.

It's a year-long World of Warcraft contract for people who would be playing World of Warcraft for the next year, but who also want to play Diablo III. In those cases we say Ok, agree to pay through for that year, and you don't have to make the choice, we'll give you Diablo III for free, plus a bunch of other goodies just in case you're not totally sold.

I'm not sure how a Diablo III release date impacts your intent to continue playing and paying for World of Warcraft for a year. Or maybe a better question is, how does a free copy of Diablo III being released at any different point in time affect your intent to pay for World of Warcraft for a year?

Even if Diablo III was to release after your 1 year contract was up and paid off, you're saving the cost of a copy of Diablo III, and keeping all the extras. I don't see how that's a trick, or a scam, or otherwise a bad deal. Unless you were buying it, not intending to play WoW, believing it would get you Diablo III sooner than other people?

I sympathize with people excited about the game, and disappointed it’s not out, I want it to be finished as much as anyone, but I just have trouble understanding this point as I see it consistently made.

I know there was some wording on a website page somewhere saying 'early next year', but I'm not aware of the actual Annual Pass agreement having any release date schedule ever mentioned for Diablo III or the Mists beta.

In any case, assumptions that a contract was in any way changed aside, it doesn't change the value of the Annual Pass and the fact that you're getting Diablo III for free. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World of Warcraft Monopoly® and StarCraft Risk®
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re pleased to announce a partnership with USAopoly to release fresh takes on two classic board games. Monopoly®: World of Warcraft® and RISK®: StarCraft® combine tried-and-true foundations with new designs and gameplay elements inspired by our popular gaming universes. Those who dare to engage will discover a new chance to claim supremacy, both over their friends and over the battle-torn lands of Azeroth and the Koprulu Sector.

These games will formally debut at the 109th annual Toy Fair this Sunday, February 12 in New York City.

We’re holding a poll on Facebook right now where you can vote on which player pieces will make it into the final Monopoly: World of Warcraft board game! Ten options, including Murky, Chen’s Keg, Mechagnome, and a Spellbook are present, and the six most popular pieces will be represented in the game when it launches this May. [...]

The Daily Blink - The Numbers Behind the Numbers
The Daily Blink breaks down the subscriber number changes from the Q4 2011 Call.


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