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by Published on 2012-09-06 04:47 AM

Developer Journal: Crowd Control Changes

Mists of Pandaria Enchanting Preview
Today we are taking a look at the new weapon enchants in Mists of Pandaria. For the full list of all new enchants, see our full preview page. If you want to refer to it again in the future, you can find it in the menu on the right of the navbar.




Name Description Skill
Enchant Weapon - Elemental ForcePermanently enchants a melee weapon to sometimes inflict 3,000 additional Elemental damage when dealing damage with spells and melee attacks. Requires a level 372 or higher item.
525 550 575 600
Enchant Weapon - WindsongPermanently enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increase your critical strike, haste, or mastery by 1,500 for 12 sec when dealing damage or healing with spells and melee attacks. Requires a level 372 or higher item.
550 575 590 605
Enchant Weapon - ColossusPermanently enchants a melee weapon to make your damaging melee strikes sometimes activate a Mogu protection spell, absorbing up to 7,500 damage. Requires a level 372 or higher item.
575 600 603 605
Enchant Weapon - Jade SpiritPermanently enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increase your Intellect by 1,650 when healing or dealing damage with spells. If less than 25% of your mana remains when the effect is triggered, your Spirit will also increase by 750. Requires a level 372 or higher item.
600 615 615 615
Enchant Weapon - Dancing SteelPermanently enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increase your Strength or Agility by 1,650 when dealing melee damage. Your highest stat is always chosen. Requires a level 372 or higher item.
600 615 615 615
Enchant Weapon - River's SongPermanently enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increase your dodge by 1,650 for 7 sec when dealing melee damage. Requires a level 372 or higher item.
600 615 615 615


Pandaria Faction Capital Cities: Engineer Auction House
Engineers are in luck once again, as the capital cities in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms have a steam powered auctioneer for them to use. You can find H.A.R.V.E.Y. in the Shrine of Seven Stars and D.E.N.T. in the Shrine of Two Moons.



Ask Creative Development - Round III Answers
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The heroes of Azeroth have faced down many foes; blazing Elemental Lords freed from titanic prisons, mighty demons from beyond the stars, armies of shambling corpses and even eldritch gods who defy explanation. And yet, there exist only a chosen few equipped to deal with the powerful beast that is . . . Ask CDev. Through the heroic efforts of our brave loremasters here at CDev Publishing, we proudly present to you the answers to Ask CDev #3! We even managed to get them out before our stated deadline of “when the Andromeda galaxy collides with our own.”

Here, there be dragons and magical beasts

Q: Wrathion constantly claims that he is the last black dragon, but what of Sabellian and the other black dragons in Outland (and even the Netherwing)? Did Wrathion somehow have them killed, or is he ignorant of their existence?
A: Wrathion states, “To my knowledge, I am the only black dragon who remains.” Thankfully, Wrathion is not omniscient, and he is simply ignorant of the dragons beyond the Dark Portal. Both the black dragons under his elder half-brother Sabellian and the Netherwing flight remain in Outland. There is also the possibility that some black dragons on Azeroth have managed to evade Wrathion’s detection as well.

Q: Alexstrasza states that the Aspects' "great purpose" has been fulfilled. However, the titans empowered the Aspects to watch over Azeroth and not to just stop Deathwing's second Cataclysm. Since Aman'Thul gifted Nozdormu with his powers over time, it's possible he predicted Deathwing's ultimate corruption, but that doesn't explain why the Aspects would be like, "alright, job's done, vacation time" when there's still other threats to consider (N'zoth and the Burning Legion, for example). Is this a retcon or are we missing something?
A: Aman’Thul, the wise leader of the titan Pantheon, had seen in a vision that the Old Gods would one day cause a catastrophe with the potential to wipe out all life on Azeroth. He and a few members of the Pantheon empowered the five Dragon Aspects with the ultimate goal of averting this single catastrophe, this Hour of Twilight, though they strove to defend Azeroth whenever a suitably apocalyptic threat emerged. Despite Aman’Thul’s vast powers, however, he was not omniscient: neither he, nor any of the other titans or Aspects knew that Neltharion the Earth-Warder would become a pawn of the Old Gods and the herald of the apocalypse. However, following the War of the Ancients and Neltharion’s betrayal, Nozdormu received another vision of the future that made it clear that their own brother would be the Hour of Twilight’s harbinger. The titans bestowed upon all five Aspects enough power to avert the apocalypse, and by turning one of the Aspects to their side, the Old Gods believed this would make their ultimate plan foolproof.

Q: Why don’t we see mountain giants, faerie dragons, chimaera, and certain ancient units from Warcraft III like the ancients of winds or wonders and trees of life aiding the night elves now?
A: Many of the forest creatures that assisted the night elves were not, obviously, part of the actual military hierarchy of the Sentinels. The mountain giants, for instance, hold allegiance only to the titans, while the faerie dragons and chimaera are simply somewhat intelligent animals with ties to the Emerald Dream and Nordrassil, respectively. These beings all assisted the night elves not due to a desire to help them in particular, but because the night elves were the largest local force who opposed the Burning Legion. Short of a planetary threat, it is rare to see mountain giants, faerie dragons or chimaera fighting with a mortal army. The ancients, on the other hand, suffered heavy losses during the Third War, with many, especially the varieties that were never in great supply to begin with, returning to the forests to hopefully spread their seeds and replenish their numbers undisturbed.

Magic and Elements

Q: Is there a reason that many priest spells, especially shadow priest spells, have names that refer to psychic phenomena like "Mind Spike" or "Psychic Horror?” Are priests implicitly telepaths?
A: The Light is often said to bring about feelings of positive emotion -- hope, courage, comfort -- and the like. Shadow abilities are just the opposite, able to impart feelings like despair, doubt, and panic. In a poetic sense, it can be said that the emotions which the Light brings about come from the “heart,” whereas the emotions manipulated by shadow are often based on survival logic, and therefore affect the “mind.” That said, priests and their abilities are not necessarily always psychic or telepathic in nature.

Q: Throughout the events of Cataclysm, every Elemental Lord except Therazane is killed or captured. What happens to the political structure of the Elemental Planes with their lords gone?
A: There are many elementals imprisoned within the Elemental Planes, though only the most powerful have intelligence comparable to that of a civilized humanoid. Most of these elementals were pressed into service by the Twilight’s Hammer and their Old God masters during the events of the Cataclysm, and most perished. As such, it will take a long, long time for the elemental planes to rebuild their forces into an army that could threaten Azeroth again, as most of the remaining elementals are of relatively bestial intelligence and have no desire to rule over much of anything. For the Firelands in specific, the Avengers of Hyjal are guarding its few remaining portals, to ensure that a new Firelord can never rise again.

Of the Gods

Q: Is there truly an Old God underneath the Tirisfal Glade?
A: Nope! There’s something incredibly unsettling there, but it’s not an Old God. It isn’t recommended to go digging through the Glades, though.

Q: What is Elune? Is she tied to any other beings (Naaru, Titans, Loa, Elementals, An’she, etc.) in the setting’s cosmology?
A: See the final answer in Ask Creative Development, Round 2. Velen has been a prophet of the naaru for many thousands of years, and it’s unlikely that he would propose such a theory without significant evidence and consideration.

Breaking Free

Q: Why do some Alliance soldiers raised by the Forsaken immediately become loyal to the Forsaken while others do not? Are they being mind controlled? If so, by whom: Sylvanas or the Val’kyr? How does this relate to the fact that the Forsaken cultural identity is based on their free will and rebellion against the Lich King?
A: Free will is one of the cornerstones of Forsaken culture, with the great capacity for both good and evil that it entails. However, some undead, especially those who die in combat or under extreme stress and are raised soon after, enter into a violent, frenzied state. Undead in this state are easily manipulated and their rage is often directed at the foes of those who raised them. After the effects wear off, if the risen corpse has not been destroyed, they are given the same ultimatum that other Forsaken are offered: join the Dark Lady or return to the grave.

Q: From the quest “A Special Surprise,” a Worgen Death Knight could learn from Lord Harford that they were servants of Arugal before their death and resurrection. But, how did they keep their humanity and intelligence without drinking the Ritual Water?
A: When the player death knights are pressed into the service of the Lich King, their minds are flooded with his indomitable will. The mind of a worgen who has not undergone the purification ritual beneath Tal’doren is in a state of constant battle between the wild, animal instincts of the curse and the rational mind of a human. Almost invariably, the curse overwhelms the human mind and renders the worgen little more than a ravenous beast. With the addition of the Lich King’s control, however, the instincts of the curse are shattered by his power, leaving the logical, human mind in the service of the Scourge. And with the Lich King’s will removed, as was the case with the Knights of the Ebon Blade at Light’s Hope Chapel, only the human portions of the mind remain, giving the now free, undead worgen control over its destiny. Similarly, the Forsaken discovered that the Archmage Arugal had access to enchantments that allowed his favored worgen servants -- which included Lord Harford -- to retain a fair deal of their human intelligence as well. The source of these enchantments remains a mystery to this day, as Arugal took these secrets with him to his grave.

The Price of Rule

Q: Why did the throne of Khaz Modan fall into the hands of the Bronzebeard clan, when the Anvilmar family still had descendants? Was it one of the causes of the War of the Three Hammers? Did the Bronzebeard clan usurp the throne from the Anvilmars?
A: Though the bloodline of the Anvilmar family was running thin by the death of Modimus Anvilmar, it was by no means defunct, as evidenced by its modern-day descendants Thargas and Hjalmar Anvilmar. Modimus had done an admirable job of easing the tensions between the three main clans of Ironforge during his tenure as high king, though tensions always simmered under the society’s surface. After Modimus’ death and before his eldest son could be officially crowned, civil war broke out between the three clans. None know who struck the first blow -- Bronzebeard and Wildhammer dwarves blame the Dark Irons, while the Dark Irons blame the Wildhammers -- all that we know is that the Bronzebeard dwarves emerged victorious due to owning the largest, best equipped army of the three clans. Madoran Bronzebeard, leader of the Bronzebeard clan, became the ruler of the now shattered nation of Ironforge. However, due to his clan’s close ties with the Anvilmar family, he offered the now-deposed prince and his descendants a permanent seat on Ironforge’s senate as a token of reconciliation.

Q: Can we get some information on Garithos? Where he was from and on whose orders was he acting? Was there any significant event in his past that caused his hatred of non-human races?
A: Grand Marshal Othmar Garithos was the only son of a baron who ruled over lands in what would later be the Eastern Plaguelands that bordered Quel’Thalas. While his father ruled from the town of Blackwood on the shores of the similarly-named lake, Garithos joined the army as a knight during the Second War, where he saw combat in Quel’Thalas defending the elves’ homeland from invading orcs. While he was in Quel’Thalas, however, a small band of orcs broke off from the main invading force and burned his home town to the ground, killing all of its inhabitants in spite of the valorous defense marshaled by its lord. Othmar’s family perished doing their duty, defending the homes and lives of their subjects. He blamed the elves for the loss of his town and family, believing that the elves diverted forces away from the Alliance’s true goal: the defense of humanity alone. After his father’s death, Garithos was awarded his title and continued his service in the armies of Lordaeron. By the time of the Scourging of Lordaeron, he had attained the rank of Grand Marshal and was the highest ranked surviving military officer in the region, promoted not necessarily due to his own abilities, but his father’s reputation and title. Cut off from the chain of command, Garithos amassed a small army of volunteers and conscripted civilians, and gave them the mission that he assumed the Alliance should have always had: the preservation of humanity above all else. Despite the ad-hoc nature of his forces, other states recognized him as potentially the last remnant of Lordaeron’s government and certainly the strongest warlord in the area. As such, officials from neighboring non-human states such as Ironforge and Quel’Thalas sent him aid, ignorant of his intolerant policies.

For the Alliance

Q: What is the lore behind Gilnean druidism and the existence of “harvest-witches”? Is it a native practice, developed by the humans? Did they somehow pick it up from the night elves, even before the Eastern Kingdoms’ discovery of Kalimdor?
A: In the early days of humanity and its civilization, many tribes of humans had primitive belief systems that incorporated simple nature magic. However, the rise of organized religion such as the Holy Light and the potent arcane magics introduced by the high elves quickly supplanted such traditions. Gilneas, due to its relative isolation, has retained a degree of their ancient culture in the contemporary era. The religious leaders of what was in Gilneas referred to as the “old ways” eventually became “harvest-witches”; those who used their nature powers to augment Gilneas’ agricultural output during and following its period of industrialization. Due to the presence of harvest-witches in their culture, when Gilneans learned about night elf druids (albeit through second, third and even fourth-hand sources) they became fascinated by them and their exotic connotations, to the point where many started referring to harvest witches as “druids”, though this was quite far from the truth, as few Gilneans had any idea what a druid actually was! Harvest-witches have a limited control over nature, especially plant life, and the powers of harvest witches bear a coincidental resemblance to the low-level abilities of actual druids. Harvest witches who contracted the worgen curse (which was druidic in origin) found that their powers were somewhat amplified, and after making first contact with the night elves cursed harvest witches were offered induction into the Cenarion Circle for both study and training.

Q: In Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Maiev Shadowsong mentions the Night Elves wiping out various races in the past. Was this just bluster, or have they actually engaged in genocidal campaigns?
A: Maiev may not be the most balanced individual on Azeroth, but she does understand the value of intimidating her enemies. The night elves have never completely wiped out a species, though they have engaged in brutal and efficient campaigns of total war that have shattered their enemies’ civilizations, such as the War of the Satyr, in which they completely decimated any semblance of central leadership for the satyrs, forcing them to live in small sects to this day.

For the Horde

Q: How did the blood elven fel eye glint become so widespread? The Warcraft Encyclopedia suggests that Rommath only taught the blood elves of Azeroth about how to siphon arcane magic, as most of the populace would likely be “horrified” if they knew the true extent of Kael’s dealings with Illidan.
A: The situation regarding blood elf eyes is, in fact, extremely similar to that of the green skin of orcs: just being around heavy use of fel magic turned the eyes of the blood elves green. You could be the most pious of priests or most outdoorsy of Farstriders, chances are, if you were a high elf in Quel’Thalas or Outland following the Third War, you were around fel energies, and your eyes would turn green. Like the orcs’ skin color, such an effect would take a very long time to wear off. Fel magic works a bit like radiation in this sense; it permeates the area and seeps into anything in the vicinity. Anything near a source of fel magic shows signs of slight corruption, it just so happens that high elves and orcs manifest it in a very visual way.

Q: How does Cenarius view the Horde? Considering that Cenarius’ first instinct upon seeing orcs in his forest was to attack them, and Cenarius was killed by the father of the current warchief, it seems odd that Cenarius and his allies are so cordial to the Horde and orcs in particular in Hyjal.
A: Despite no longer having warlocks in their ranks, the orcs of Thrall’s Horde still carried within them the unmistakable mark of the Burning Legion upon their very souls up until the moment that Grom Hellscream defeated Mannoroth. Cenarius, as a being so attuned to nature that he can sense the slightest corruption, assumed that the orcs in Ashenvale were scouts of the Legion. This, ironically, sent the Warsong clan back into the service of Mannoroth and lead to the reestablishment of their connection to the potent fel magics that first bound them to the Legion. Cenarius’s spirit returned to the Emerald Dream after his defeat, and within it, he was able to sense the events of the Battle of Mount Hyjal. Cenarius saw the orcs defend Nordrassil hand-in-hand with the night elves and humans, and developed a growing respect for them. Cenarius saw that, despite their fel taint, they were allies against the Legion and defenders of the land (noting Garrosh’s father’s victory over his former enslaver in particular), so when both he and the Horde returned to Hyjal to defend the World Tree once again, Cenarius saw the orcs and their allies in a new light.

Dividing Loyalties

Q: Are the Wastewander Bandits of Tanaris and nomadic humans of Uldum native to the region or did they come to Kalimdor during the period of the Third War? If it’s the latter, why did their societies change so much in the short amount of time between then and WoW?
A: The Wastewander Bandits descend from a small band of human pirates who arrived in Kalimdor shortly after its discovery by the peoples of the Eastern Kingdoms. When the Southsea pirates arrived and entered into competition with them, they were essentially marooned in Tanaris after their few ships were stolen. They took to a new life as bandits and started raiding rich goblin settlements and capturing their life-giving water wells. After the failure of Uldum’s cloaking device a few bandits split off from the Wastewanders to pilfer the treasures of the titans.

Q: The New Council of Tirisfal stated in the comic that they intended to investigate Cho’gall and the Twilight’s Hammer. However, in Cataclysm itself and the Bastion of Twilight in specific, the New Council of Tirisfal is nowhere to be found. What have its members, such as Meryl Firestorm or Med’an been up to?
A: Most of the members of the New Council of Tirisfal have scattered to the winds, as it was not quite the secret and binding order that the original Council was. Reghar Earthfury is a member of the Earthen Ring and compatriot of Thrall. Vindicator Maraad returned to the Exodar and helped quash a riot caused by asylum seekers. High Priest Rohan returned to Ironforge, assisting Prince Anduin Wrynn of Stormwind with relief efforts following the Cataclysm, and also helped sort out the short succession crisis during the city’s Dark Iron occupation. Hamuul Runetotem joined the Cenarion Circle in battling the fire elemental forces of Ragnaros and the Twilight’s Hammer invading Mount Hyjal. Broll Bearmantle settled in Darnassus, temporarily assuming Malfurion’s duties of overseeing druid scouting parties while he assisted Tyrande in combat in Feralas. Jaina Proudmoore’s recent adventures following her tenure on the New Council of Tirisfal can be read in Christie Golden’s upcoming novel Tides of War. Meryl Felstorm, though not officially part of the new Counci, has been seen in various ancient libraries researching ancient tomes related to binding, imprisoning and banishing demons, in hopes that he might find a permanent prison for the dreadlord possessing him, Kathra’natir. As for the wonderfully unique Med’an, no one has seen hide, nor hair of him following Maraad’s return to the Exodar, leading some to believe that he has traveled to a new world or plane to continue his training.

Q: Why is Tol Barad apparently home to a population of tauren?
A: The island of Tol Barad’s location on sea lanes and lack of policing due to the collapse of many of the Alliance’s states during the events of the Third War made it a very attractive location for pirates. The town of Rustberg, originally housing many of the nearby prison’s staff, was abandoned when they were recalled to Stromgarde to deal with the catastrophes back home. The town was repurposed by a band of pirates into a base from which they would strike at the wealthy trade towns along the shores of the Baradin Bay. Over the years, some pirates had journeyed to Kalimdor and recruited or impressed various tauren into their crews, tauren who would later call Rustberg home just as their shipmates do.

Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Can rogues, ferals, and hunters get some info on the change to stealth?
There was no intentional change to stealth for balance reasons, and we don't see anything immediately wrong with the data, but can investigate more.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
I was wondering if you could comment on the design intent for pets?
Currently, it seems all pets are missing avoidance and their armor value isn't enough to withstand incoming damage. Even with Mend Pet glyphed, you still have a lot of trouble healing through damage without using another ability (such as Spirit Mend) on your pet as well.

Pets lost a lot of armor coming into Mists. The new scaling system didn't make up for all of the base armor they had before. So, we are going to significantly buff pet armor across the board. Theorycrafters will want to reset the armor values of relevant pets when this fix goes live. As an example, hunter pets will go from 100% of master armor to 170%. Cloth wearers will get more and plate a little less.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Hand of Light has a weird interaction with the spell dmg taken debuff presently.
Yeah, this is a bug. It should be 5%. It may be fixed already.

Tank Time
After consideration, we are a bit worried about paladin survivability as well. Shield of the Righteous, buffed by mastery, is a massive amount of mitigation, but the risk is that whenever paladins didn't have it available, they'd risk spike damage. (As an aside, it was also weird for paladins to suddenly be the spikey tank after years of being the opposite.) We're going to increase the Stamina benefit of Guarded by the Light from 15% to 25%.

One additional paladin note is that we are moving the initial tick of Sacred Shield to the end. We didn't want players to feel like the right way to play was to constantly cancel and overwrite the bubble.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Halo and Diminishing Returns beyond 6 targets: ... what?
Halo chooses its targets at cast time. You can think of it as firing a volley of missiles at cast time.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
When are you implementing the warrior changes ?
It is active on live and in beta. The tooltips won't be updated until we make a client patch.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Ragnaros Mount Droprate
Fixed as of now.
The droprate was never intended, so it should indeed be fixed by now. Currently it is only the heroic version that guarantees a drop.

put simply - blizz should clamp down on abuse of bugs / exploits. even if its something as simple as a 24hr ban before a mentality sets in of "oh well lets abuse this since there are no consequences" for example recently in trade you would see spamming FL grps with "OMG RAGGY MOUNT BUGGED DROPPING 100% FROM NORMAL JOIN MY GRP AND LETS FARM IT BEFORE THEY FIX IT" 99% of people were clearly aware it was most likely a bug and saw no issue with doing it anyway. no one else view this mentality as a problem?
We do take exploits very seriously, however getting this mount required no exploitation. The drop rate was a bug though, and even though I am sure some were aware of this, there were also those who didn't know. It is therefore quite unlikely that we will take further action on this, and if we do, it would most likely be something minor like removing the mount from those it shouldn't have dropped for under normal circumstances. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Heart of Fear (Raid Finder)
Amber-Shaper: Break free at 90% isn't working. It's only working with the 20% tooltip, rather than the 90% LFR one.
The Dungeon Journal does not say 90%, it says 10%. Break Free lights up at 20% of remaining health just like on Normal/Heroic. If you get DPS'd down to 10% though, on LFR you automatically break free, so that there's no risk of overzealous DPS or slow reaction from the transformed player resulting in death when everything was otherwise done correctly. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Execute in PvE
We shifted some of the damage away from Execute when this topic first came up. We're happy with it now. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Hunter Bug
As someone posted above, this is a known issue that we are working on. This thread mischaracterizes the situation and isn't helpful. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The Daily Blink - Introducing: Zarhym, Evil Mastermind
The Daily Blink explains some of the reasons for Zarhym's recent Community Manager of the Year award.

'How do you type without arms?' 'I don't know, how do you post without a brain?'
by Published on 2012-09-05 06:58 AM

Alkaizer - Paragon Level 96 Barbarian, svenskadiablo's Interview With the Game Developers

Patch 5.0.4 Professions Issues
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With the recent release of patch 5.0.4, two profession-related issues have cropped up. Unfortunately, neither of these can be hotfixed and will require a full client-side patch. Both of them will be addressed in some manner once the expansion has been released. Details of the two issues can be found below:
  • There is a bug preventing players from applying weapon chains to ranged weapons. When Mists of Pandaria does arrive, players will be able to attach the newest weapon chain to ranged weapons. All previous weapon chains will then be updated in a future patch.
  • Alchemists may have noticed that they are currently unable to select a specialization. This is because the specialization quest now requires materials from Mists of Pandaria. While this change was intended to eventually happen, our intentions were not to leave alchemists without the ability to select a specialization prior to the expansion’s release. You should be able to correctly select your specialization as of September 25.

We apologize for the inconvenience these may have caused. It’s only a matter of weeks now until Mists of Pandaria arrives, so we ask for your patience in the meantime. Thank you for your understanding. We can’t wait to finally clear the mist for all of you!

The Lorewalkers Faction Preview
The Lorewalkers is a faction that is tied in to Archaeology and the lore of Mists of Pandaria. Finding various objects around the world will give you achievements and reputation with them, as well as access to various stories told by Lorewalker Cho.

If you have been following every Lorewalkers post, the new or updated items are below, otherwise check out the full preview.



Rewards
The Lorewalkers also offer some other nice rewards at their Quartermaster. You can get Restored Artifacts by completing archaeology artifacts or purchasing one for a Spirit of Harmony.

Level Required Level Type Name Required Rep Cost Source
1 Lorewalker's LodestoneExaltedVendor
1 Lorewalker's MapExaltedCreated, Vendor
6060Mount Disc of the Red Flying CloudExalted600Vendor
11Miscellaneous Lorewalkers TabardExalted10Vendor

Disc of the Red Flying Cloud




Lorewalkers Tabard




Dark Heart of the Mogu



Raid Testing Schedule - September 6
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Raid testing will resume this Thursday, September 6.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below for all Beta Test Realms, regardless of suggested geographical region.

Stone Guard (Mogu'shan Vaults) - 10 Player Normal
10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)

Blade Lord Ta'yak (Heart of Fear) - 25 Player Heroic
16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a beta environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session or cancel it entirely, due to bugs, builds, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.

Would it kill you to put 25man at 19:30 and 10man at 01:00? Especially when the 10man is normal and the 25man is heroic.
Blade Lord Ta'yak was originally scheduled for the 01:00 CEST time slot last week. We're just sticking to that schedule. We try to keep an even split of the availability of Heroic bosses in particular between the early and late time slots.

Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Tank Time
I mentioned previously (though it very well could have been in another thread) that we have been looking a lot at tank balance. We think tanks surviving short windows of spike damage has been fairly balanced in beta for some time, and indeed we are seeing all tank classes used effectively in beta Challenge Modes and Heroic raid testing.

We have made a few changes to longer-term tank healing required, which will show up both on beta and live very soon. I mentioned that we were initially going to nerf monk and DK, but we now think they and paladins are fine. Instead, the rage tanks required too much healing, so we are causing them to take less damage and have more rage for active mitigation.

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Auto attack rage generation increased by 75%.
  • Thick Hide now provides 12% physical damage reduction.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

I'm confused. Auto attacks currently generate 6.2 Rage. Does this mean they will now generate 10.85 Rage (~75% increase)?
Yeah, sorry, those are internal tuning numbers for us that won't have any context for you. It is a 75% increase on auto attack rage.

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Can you clarify how Healing Stream Totem scales with haste, because it's starting to do my head in.
Sure. The short version is that it’s not a HoT, and it functions differently. The totem casts a heal instantly, and once every two seconds (reduced by haste), and despawns after 15 sec (unaffected by haste). So haste on a HoT typically works to add ticks at certain breakpoints, which will half the time increase the total duration beyond the base, but that doesn’t happen with Healing Stream Totem.

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Could we get some news if the devs are doing anything to fix the range issue with Inferno Blast's mechanic?
There are some times where we do some tricky things under the hood to make things feel better, and this is one of them. The intended gameplay is that you should be able to get a Heating Up proc while already casting another spell, and follow that one with an Inferno Blast to force a Hot Streak proc. You should never need to cancel your current cast to get that benefit.

So, tricky under-the-hood things follow. Again, you do not need to know or understand this to use Inferno Blast effectively, or play Fire; it should “just work." But, for those interested in the gory details, here they are:
  • Fireball, Pyroblast, and Frostfire Bolt (which was bugged until recently) have a cap on their effective travel time.
  • Their effects will take place after a maximum of 0.75 sec.
  • The fireball visual will still travel at the same speed, but you’ll see the damage number pop up and get the Heating Up proc after 0.75 sec, even though the fireball visual is still traveling through the air.
  • We normally prefer the game to feel more visceral, by tightly syncing visuals to effects, but this change felt worth the gameplay benefit to us. In a future patch, we may be able to hasten the visual to match.
  • If you have Heating Up, and get a non-crit, then Heating Up gets removed, as expected.
  • However, if the non-crit came from a spell with a travel time, or from Scorch (which is supposed to be able to replace Fireball rotationally while moving), then we delay the removal of Heating Up by 0.25 sec.
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Death Knights and Upcoming Nerfs
I posted recently in the large class balance theorycrafting thread that we have buffed the mitigation and rage generation of Guardian druids and Protection warriors. After some more analysis, we don't think DKs and monks needed additional nerfs to be on par with paladins, who were our target. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Season 11 Arena Rewards
Apologies for the error in the original post, rewards will be given out 2 weeks after the season ends, which means next maintenance (September 11). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.0.4 Spellbook Changes
I've addressed this a few times, but we didn't think the old spellbooks organized by spec made much sense. It worked okay for classes like mage, where everything was themed to magic school, but really Arcane became the dumping ground for almost everything. For paladins, Consecration was a Holy ability, I think, even though it did damage and was a primary tanking tool. For warriors, Fury tended to have a bunch of shouts because I guess you yell a lot if you're angry. With all of the class changes, I think players would still have trouble finding both old and new spells if they were on spec pages still.

The new spellbook lists all class spells alphabetically, with active ones first and then passive ones. I can appreciate the feedback that some players would rather have an active and a passive tab, or that all spells should be organized in one list without the active and passive separation. I don't think there is a solution here that is right for everyone, so we may add more options or filtering in the future.

I am less enamored of the idea of trying to categorize spells as core, cooldown, defensive or what not, just because so many abilities break the rules and do a few different things. We don't design spells to fall into neat categories so I'm pretty sure they wouldn't just happen to work out that way. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Monks and the Term "Hero Class"
"Hero class" meant that the DK started at higher level (and also with a lot of blue gear and so on). We thought it made sense for the DK story because you're treated as a high-level character and veteran of past events. We didn't think that made as much sense for the monk, especially when there were so many low-level pandaren running around, and the (perhaps flimsy) justification for non-pandaren monks learning how to be monks from the pandaren. We might very well use hero classes again if it makes sense for a future class though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Darkmoon Rabbit Pet
So... you're basically mad because you can't dictate who wins a pet. Got it.
I don't think that's fair... the majority of the game is built around controlled environments (instances) giving out tha loots in specific and controlled ways. When almost everything the game presents (systems-wise) is countered by the rather loose mechanics of a rare spawn, it might seem like it's unfair, or maybe even like it's breaking the intent of how loot is (or should be) distributed in the game. Given how the majority of the game functions, I think that expectation is at least understandable.

While we may be challenging some of what people believe the formula of the game is... these kinds of things can be fun because we may be challenging some of what people believe the formula of the game is. It seems to me like one of those thing that at some point in the future you'll look back fondly on the crazy shenanigans that took place - although it doesn't seem like it now. Whether it be an outdoor raid boss or some world-PvP... just from my personal outlook I'd say this expansion is a bit looser and looking to create more of the backdrops where those spontaneous situations can occur, and long-lasting memories will be made. I think that's pretty exciting. Or at least I'm excited. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.0.4 Soloing Loot Change
We design dungeons primarily as group activities. We have no problem supporting soloing old content as a fun thing to do, but we don't want it be among the best ways to generate gold, which it was at risk of becoming. The metric here is not which methods can earn you the most gold (which are probably still things like being an AH baron or selling raid slots), but which methods were trending as the most popular ways to earn gold. If optional content is too richly rewarding, it ceases to become optional and just becomes the way most players play the game.

You should solo old dungeons or raids to see the content, challenge yourself, or maybe get some transmog gear. We don't think it needs to be richly rewarding, financially. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Zarhym: Community Manager of the Year
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Thank you all for voting for us (and me)! <3

You can read my little attempt at an acceptance speech here: http://talkingcongas.tumblr.com/post/30904207924/cmoty

What's a zarhym? he looks like a companion pet you get in dal
And I expect them all to be named accordingly.

Fan Art
Penseroso shares some art of various characters.

by Published on 2012-09-04 05:46 AM

1.0.4 Demon Hunter Build - Bowling Ball, Better Cooling, Contest Winners

Ragnaros Mount Hotfix
The Smoldering Egg of Millagazor from Ragnaros was dropping for 100% in Normal Difficulty for the past few days until a hotfix was made tonight that fixed the drop rate. Normally the mount only drops 100% of the time in Heroic mode.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
This did not appear to be a bug at first, but with all of the QQ about earning the mount from other players they suspended it.
No, it was fixed because the drop rate was never intended.

For them this was a brand new encounter, why take that away from them?
I'm not entirely certain how fixing an unintended drop rate for a single item takes the encounter away from anyone.

My understanding is that it is a guaranteed drop
That is currently for heroic version.

Will I be suspended/banned for winning a mount I had no idea was bugged? I know it probably won't happen, I would love a blue to chime in on this.
I can't say for certain but as I understand it, obtaining the mount required no exploitation. The drop rate should be fixed now. Additional actions would seem unlikely.

Mists of Pandaria Archaeology Preview
Today we are taking a look at some of the changes made to Archaeology in Mists of Pandaria. You can find these changes and all of the longer lists that go with them in the menu on the right of the navbar.

  • You are now able to survey up to six times per digsite. This change went live with Patch 5.0.4.
  • There will be two new races to solve for, the Pandaren and the Mogu.
  • You won't want to vendor the new artifacts, as they only sell for 1g. Instead, you use them to create a Restored Artifact.
  • Restored Artifacts can be used to purchase crates that contain 5-9 fragments for the non Pandaria races, as well as two other items.
  • Occasionally an Ancient Haunt will spawn after finding artifact fragments. They rarely drop a Mogu or Pandaren keystone and always drop ~7 fragments.
  • There are some Archaeology daily quests now!
  • You can find Pristine versions of artifacts and put them on display.



Lorewalker Story: Seven Burdens of Shaohao
In Mists of Pandaria there are several extra lore related achievements to go with the regular zone exploration achievements.

Once you have found all of the objects for an achievement, Lorewalker Cho will send you mail that asks you to meet him at the Seat of Knowledge. Once there he will narrate a small story that gives you some more information about Pandaria lore.

In the video below, the What is Worth Fighting For story is told to you.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Class / Spec Complexity and Listening to Feedback
I think there are a couple of points here worth addressing that either came up since my initial post or I missed the first time.

I think part of what the OP is asking for is alternatives to the hunter (IIRC) rotation with fewer buttons. That's a reasonable request. We tried in the talent trees overall to make sure there was always a passive option for every tier so you didn't need a button. The level 60 tier has 2 active buttons and one that is somewhat reactionary, and the level 75 tier has 3 active buttons. We like the hunter tree overall and are unlikely to change it at this stage, but I think it's a fair criticism for players who like fewer buttons.

Second, there is a lot of supposition that we somehow baited and switched players by changing the game. We have to change the game. Many of the rules and mechanics in vanilla wouldn't be acceptable to players these days. So I think we're just arguing about degree of change. Some warlocks are saying their class changed too much and some rogues are saying their class didn't change enough. Those are all valid opinions and the kinds of things we try and take into consideration when we're deciding on class changes going into an expansion.

I hope you take my word though that every change we make, even the ones that end up not working out again, are made because we are ultimately trying to make the game more fun for the players, and not because we're bored designers trying to entertain ourselves by experimenting with your characters. We weigh every change. You still may not agree with them all, but I want to reassure you that they aren't made on a whim, and nearly every one began with player feedback at some point.

Finally, it has been mentioned a few times in this thread that when most players feel a certain way, that the developers should absolutely take action. I'd generally agree with that statement. The main problem with that strategy is that we don't really have any idea what most players want. (And no, you can't just extrapolate that if 4 forum posters feel one way, then 400,000 non-posters must as well).

Instead, we fall back a lot on logic, common sense, professional experience and a lot of gut instinct. We do use a lot of ways to capture player feedback, and the forums are one of those tools. They're good for pitching ideas or points of view, but bad for trying to figure out how many other players agree with you.

What happens nearly every time is some group of players advocates position A and another group advocates position B. What sometimes happens after that is the A players try to argue that they are smarter, more experienced, or more important players, therefore their opinion should count more. As you have all experienced, it can escalate into an argument quickly. We try to take both positions under advisement, consider what A or B would mean for the game, maybe try some things out internally, and eventually come to a conclusion. Sometimes we do A, sometimes B, sometimes nothing, and sometimes C. None of that means we ignore player feedback. It definitely does not mean that we ignore these massive groups of sensible players who are unified on a given position that is so self-evidently correct that we're obviously derelict in our jobs for not implementing their changes immediately. Those scenarios just don't exist. It would make our lives much easier perhaps if they did.

Just my 2 copper here but in my opinion the problem is not the analogy so much as it always feels like anytime GC responds to any criticism over the years he consistently degrades the "way" you post be it bad analogy or "not constructive" etc. I may have missed a few posts over the years but he always seems to find a way to deflect from the intent of how a critical poster "feels" about an issue and rarely ever acknowledges that a critical post could have merit.
I do that a lot because it's in our (the developers') best interests to have clear, concise and specific feedback. Improving the tone of the discussion pays far larger dividends to me personally that turning the forums into an ask the devs Q&A. I don't personally (and neither does Blizzard as a company) have the bandwidth to answer even a fraction of the questions we receive. Therefore, trying to get the community to understand how to improve the efficiency of their messages can in turn improve the efficiency of our game design.

The second problem is, sometimes C just doesn't make sense. Literally, no sense. Example: What was the reason given for "homogenizing" Rogues? To paraphrase: "We wanted Rogues to feel like Rogues, and not have 30+ classes in the game to balance." After which we see Monks with three separate specs, Druids with four (4!!!), and even a complete change to one of Warlocks.
In this specific case, it's because rogues are a pure class with 3 DPS specs. If for example Combat had superior damage and Subtlety had superior control, then one is the PvE spec and one is the PvP spec and Assassination is probably dead. We thought the only reasonable way to let rogue spec be a choice was to share the utility and the damage, and make the spec choice about the way you do damage. Warlocks, mages, hunters and even the DPS specs of warriors and DKs follow a similar pattern.

I'm sure they must have statistical tools.

- How many people spec X v. Y v. Z?
- How many people use glyph A, B, C...?
- How many people talent D, E, F...?
- How many people use ability G, H, I...?
- In what parts of the game do they use A-Z?
- How do spec/glyph/talent choices and ability use correlate with time played in game?

Yes, we do all of that. I'd wager we collect more information than most players realize.

What it doesn't provide us is context. Do more players spec X because the guides tell them to? Because X does higher damage? Because it's harder to screw up the X rotation? Because X has prettier spells? Because X is more fun? Because they've just always played X?

Even more important, how much change would it take to get some players to go Y? How much change can we risk before everyone goes Y? We've caused that several times, and I hate it when that happens. It's a failure on the part of me and my team when it does.

A question to consider: Is there any real evidence on Blizzard's side that the majority want their chosen playstyle changed so much each and every expansion that they essentially have to relearn it?
We can't measure majorities for the reasons I mentioned above. Instead, we look at what players are complaining about, and try to evaluate the passion, legitimacy, and logic of what they say. To use just a few examples, players complained that warlock rotations were convoluted, that rogues had too many ramping mechanics, that rage was too boom or bust, that hunter minimum rage sucked, that mages had to be Frost for control, that totems were just group buffs with too many drawbacks, that Presences didn't match spec, and so on. Those are just a few examples, and I know not every player agrees with them.

As I mentioned before, you also have the cases (I see this the most with rogue and maybe shaman) that while the rotations aren't necessarily broken, the players are just tired of them and want something new. It's very hard to balance "Give me something new" with "I like my character exactly as they are." (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

No Mana Constraints
It is just completely and utterly false. Mana might feel tigher at 85 (post-patch 5.0.4) than it does at 90? Mana is much, much, much tighter at 90 than it is at 85 (post-patch 5.0.4). It's not even close.
We're talking about 5 different numbers here.

1) Mana at 85, pre-geared.
2) Mana at 85, post-geared.
3) Mana at 85, post-geared, post patch. <-- You're probably here right now.
4) Mana at 90, pre-geared.
5) Mana at 90, post-geared.

Our expectation is that things look like this: 2 > 5 > 4 > 3 > 1

To explain:
  • Mana for a Dragon Soul geared healer (2) is too good, but not dramatically so.
  • Mana for a new level 85 (1) is too punishing.
  • For Mists, mana for a raid-geared character (5) should feel good, but not as good as 2.
  • For Mists, mana for a new level 90 (4), should not feel as punishing as 1.
  • For the current "lame duck session" you're playing a level 85 character using Mists numbers (3). This is NOT the same number as 2 or 5. We knew this would be the case, so we nerfed Dragon Soul by an additional 5% to make sure nobody started stumbling where they had smooth sailing the week prior.

In other words, 1 and 2 no longer exist, so we're looking at 5 > 4 > 3.

Value 3 will be irrelevant to most players in a few weeks, at which point the only relevant thing is 5 > 4 (meaning geared characters have more mana than ungeared characters). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

FEEDBACK: Heart of Fear (Raid Finder)
The Wind Lord Mel'jarak encounter has a bug in LFR mode that prevents Recklessness from being triggered (increased damage taken on the boss for each trio of Mantid that are defeated). This should be fixed tomorrow. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

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.

So far you have helped us identify a number of bugs that we are working on fixing and more data will help us get things working smoothly for the Mists of Pandaria launch.

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.



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


by Published on 2012-09-02 08:35 PM

Monk 1.0.4 Guide, 3D Fan Art, Inferno Booster Pack Giveaway

Terrace of the Endless Spring Raid Preview
Today we have a preview of the bosses in Terrace of the Endless Spring, the raid which is unlocked after completing the Heart of Fear raid. Not only does Elite mode drop better gear, it now drops some bonus pieces of gear on Protectors of the Endless.




Mogu'shan Vaults Raid Preview
Today we have an updated preview of the Mogu'shan Vaults raid! If you don't remember what the raid zone looks like, you can take a look at our very early preview. Keep in mind that the zone was very unfinished at that time and that does not represent the final area. You can find these pages in the menu at the right of the navbar in the future.





Tiller's Daily Quest
We are also taking a look at one of the new daily quests that you do for the Tiller's faction. The Water, Water Everywhere quest asks you to fly around the Heartland and water dusty spots in the crops. You can unlock a kite that flies much faster and a kite that flies higher later on.

One extra source of rep we didn't mention in the original preview is harvesting crops! Each plant you harvest will give you 49 Tillers reputation.



MMO-Champion Forums Moderator Recruitment
Good news everyone! We're recruiting moderators for the forums again! The amount of users and posts keeps increasing and we reached the point where we need some help before the trolls take over and play Whack-a-Mod in the Darkmoon Faire. I know it sounds fun, but I'm going to assume we don't want that.

This time around we are mostly looking for mods for the class forums as things to start to ramp up for Mists of Pandaria. Exceptional people are always encouraged to apply though! Please be sure to read the entire post before applying.



Darkmoon Faire Quest Reset Issue
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We are aware of an issue in which the Darkmoon Faire quests did not reset properly. We are currently working on a hotfix that we will apply to all realms as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Transmutation Mastery Change
The profession has been changed to prepare for the upcoming expansion and will now require the higher grade material in order to complete the quests. (Official Forums)

Class Complexity
You have to consider that WoW is a multiplayer game in which players are very often competing, whether comparing damage meters in a raid or out and out trying to kill each other in PvP. Changes to your your character end up affecting everyone who comes into contact with your character. If you can order up exactly what you want, you're affecting a bunch of other people.

In your hamburger analogy, you're telling the restaurant "You should make sure that nobody can have mayonnaise because I don't like it."

I've actually used the restaurant analogy myself, because few restaurant patrons have the impression that they're going to be able to go back into the kitchen, give the chefs pointers, rearrange the menu and so on just because they think highly of their own opinions on food. Restaurants may honor your request to hold the salt or put the dressing on the side, and many chefs are probably thrilled to get feedback on the dishes they prepare to get an idea of what their customers like or not, but ultimately if you don't like a restaurant's food, you should probably go to another restaurant, not try and change the menu.

As far as class complexity, that's another attempt to serve a very diverse player base. Some players like a few buttons and some like to have a lot. If the restaurant required every dish to have the same number of ingredients, that doesn't improve the quality of the food. I only think it's a problem if some classes are so much more challenging to play that those players expect to do higher DPS as a result, or I guess if the number of buttons is truly stupid.

Also, remember that there is a huge difference between reasonable and optional. If adding an ability to your rotation improves your DPS by 1% then it might not be worth worrying about. I actually wish guides would focus a little more on describing both the "90% rotation" as well as the "theoretically highest rotation." (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Second Wind and Healing Nerf
We applied a healing nerf to Arenas and BGs because it was getting impossible to kill anyone. We hope this is just a temporary 85 measure.

Based on some of these reports, it sounds like percentage heals like Second Wind were affected. They probably shouldn't be. Percentage heals aren't boosted by PvP Power, so they shouldn't be nerfed by the blanket PvP healing debuff. We'll discuss and likely fix it.

Our stance on Second Wind hasn't changed. Under some circumstances, especially duels, it can account for a tremendous percentage of your health healed, but usually in group PvP (where we spend far more balance emphasis) you're unlikely to stay below 30% health for very long -- you'll either be healed up or killed. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

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

This month
Hard drive prices are stagnant and still above the pre-flood prices, so now is still a good time to buy a SSD. The current SSD prices seem to have bottomed out for now, with almost all SSDs under $1 per gigabyte. A few sales have even gone under 50 cents per gigabyte, so look for something on sale!

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

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

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


Peripherals/Monitors
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorAcer V223W EJBD 22-Inch Widescreen - $138ASUS VW246H 24-Inch Widescreen - $188
KeyboardLogitech Media Keyboard K200 - $17Cyborg V.5 - $48
MouseLogitech G400 - $37Razer Deathadder - $47
SpeakersLogitech S220 2.1 Speaker System - $27Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $38
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE276Q 27-Inch - $305HP ZR2440W 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $379
KeyboardLogitech G110 - $54Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $69 ($95)
MouseLogitech G500 - $50Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $71
SpeakersLogitech Z323 2.1 Speaker System - $58Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $79


Puppy and Dolphin
Overclocked Puppy will outperform Dolphin when multiple threads are in use (Not WoW) and come close in most other cases.
Mix and match anything but the CPU/Motherboard combo between Puppy and Dolphin. Pick one of the two CPU/Motherboard combos.
Mix and match anything between Dolphin and Narwhal.
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT GAMMA Classic - $40NZXT GAMMA Classic - $40
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 V2 - $50XFX Core Edition PRO 550W - $66
CPUAMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition- $104Intel i3-2120 - $125
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $26Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $32
MotherboardASUS M5A97 AM3+ 970 - $95Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H - $120
Memory4GB PNY Optima DDR3 10600 - $228GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $53
Graphics CardXFX 7770 - $114XFX 6870 or ASUS DCII GTX 560 - $137/ $170
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $66Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $103
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$539$698 - $731


Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn. SSDs are always optional.
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master HAF 912 - $55Cooler Master HAF X - $182
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $85Corsair 750HX - $160
CPUIntel i5-3570K - $230Intel i7-3770K - $320
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $56Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $84
MotherboardASUS P8Z77-V LK - $146ASUS P8Z77-V - $180
Memory8GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $538GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $53
Graphics CardXFX 7850 Double D - $240XFX 7970 Black Edition OR EVGA GTX 670 FTW - $430 / $405
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $103Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $103
SSDSAMSUNG 830 128GB (Review) - $100
OR
OCZ 120 GB Vertex 3 (Review) - $75
Crucial 128 GB m4 (Review) - $105
OR
Corsair Force Series GT 120 GB - $112
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$990 - $1090$1406 - $1543


Mists of Pandaria Almost Never Was
The Verge had an interesting short piece back during Gamescom that is worth a read.

  • A different expansion was pitched, accepted, and background work and lore was started on.
  • The team then changed direction to Mists of Pandaria when everyone agreed that it felt right.
  • This expansion goes back to World of Warcraft's roots more so than any expansion before it, thanks to the sense of exploring an entirely new area.
  • Mists of Pandaria has something that wasn't in the original lore and is more about discovery than previous expansions.


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

by Published on 2012-09-01 07:53 AM

Upcoming Change to Trail of Cinders and Patch 1.0.5, +x% Elemental Damage Mechanic, Diablo III Web APIs, Inferno Booster Pack Contest

Patch 5.0.4 Interview
Buffed.de had the chance to speak with Ghostcrawler recently about Patch 5.0.4 and the future of Mists of Pandaria. You can read the full interview on their site!

  • Updating character models is a priority and something that the artists are still working on. They were working on Dwarves and are now working on Humans and Orcs. If Humans and Orcs are done successfully, they feel that they can do all of the races.
  • When the models are done it may be a gradual rollout rather than all at once depending on how long it takes. There is even a chance that we may see them during Mists of Pandaria.
  • The majority of the new talent system feedback has been positive.
  • Blizzard considered making this new talent system during Cataclysm, but decided against such a big change and gave the old system one more chance.
  • The old talent system was difficult to learn and easy to master, which was a poor design.
  • There should not be any more major changes to beta.
  • The Theramore Scenario is the pre Mists of Pandaria event. It was a tradeoff between making a sea battle event that would be played for two weeks or spending that time on expansion features that will last a year or two.
  • Grinding faction reputation to access the Valor Points gear is not mandatory, as you can find equivalents through raiding, PvP, or crafting.
  • The Golden Lotus prerequisite for daily quests from other factions is going to stay like it is now, as the devs are pleased with how it works.
  • The first patch will bring new quest hubs and new dailies which deal with the conflict between the Horde and Alliance.
  • Valor upgrades will be in Patch 5.1, because players will upgrade gear much faster in Patch 5.0. You will spend Valor Points and be able to upgrade your item level twice per item. This system may replace buying Valor Point items in a future patch. If future patches still offer Valor Point items, they will be to help alts catch up enough to be able to play the current end game.
  • Future patches might bring larger scenarios with up to 25 people. These would need to be much larger and more epic, with the players working together in smaller groups.


Mists of Pandaria Dungeon Previews
You can find these pages in the menu on the right side of the navbar if you want to refer to them in the future!



















Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Are you prepared to boldly go where no adventurer has gone before? We’ve just released a major update on the Mists of Pandaria preview website detailing nine of the new and improved dungeons that you and your friends will explore in the upcoming expansion.

Be sure to check out all the information we’ve compiled for you, including screenshots, maps, boss info, and more, about the following dungeons:


Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As you can imagine, things have been pretty busy, so forgive us for not getting to these questions sooner.

We first wanted to update you with several tuning tweaks that we made recently that are not showing up correctly on your client tooltips (either beta or live). We wanted to document these so-called "stealth" buffs and nerfs to aid theorycrafting and avoid any confusion. We hope to get updated tooltips to the client soon (tm).

I should also note that these are very typical of the kinds of changes we make at this stage in development now that everything else has stabilized. We're not making more changes than normal, but just trying to document them better.

AoE damage adjustments:

  • Sweeping Strikes now deals 50% of the triggering hit’s damage to an additional nearby target, down from 100%. Arms’ cleave damage was extremely high.
  • We reduced the damage dealt by Glyphed Ice Lance to a second target to 40% of normal damage.
  • Warlock sustained AoE damage was significantly too high, across the board. We reduced the base damage multiplier on Fire and Brimstone from 45% to 35%, and reduced the damage of Seed of Corruption, Felstorm, Wrathstorm, Harvest Life, Hellfire, Immolation Aura, and Void Ray by 30%.
  • We reduced the damage of Divine Storm by 25%. Retribution Paladins were significantly too high on sustained AoE damage.
  • Frost Death Knights needed a boost, so we increased the damage of Howling Blast to secondary targets up to 80% of the primary damage, from 50%.
  • Chain Lightning now deals 17.5% less damage to the primary target, but chains 80% of the damage to each successive target, up from 70%. This should help spread the damage better, and also reduce the damage against a single target. The total damage remains the same, when glyphed.
  • We increased the damage of Hurricane by 7.5%. Moonkin sustained AoE damage was too low, and we also wanted to emphasize Solar’s dominance over Lunar for AoE.
  • We increased the damage of Mind Sear by 30%. Shadow sustained AoE was significantly low. It should still be preferable to multi-DoT on a few targets, but this should make Mind Sear a more attractive option against larger groups.
  • We increased the damage of Swipe and Thrash by 6.5% in Cat Form. Ferals were a bit low on AoE damage.
  • Rogues needed a rather significant boost to their sustained AoE damage. We opted to give that to them in the form of buffing something that was previously primarily there for utility, not damage, by a very large amount, turning it into a major damage button. We increased the damage of Crimson Tempest’s DoT by 700%.
  • Beast Master AoE-focused pets were extremely overpowered for sustained AoE. We reduced the damage of Froststorm Breath and Burrow Attack by 50%, and increased their costs from 20 to 50. These pets should still be a sustained DPS gain to use, but not quite so absurdly so.
  • We increased the damage of Spinning Crane Kick, Rushing Jade Wind, Crackling Tiger Lightning, and Chi Torpedo by 10%. We also reduced the period and duration of Spinning Crane Kick by 25%, and made it affected by melee haste.

Single target damage adjustments:

  • We increased the damage of Ice Lance by 12.5%.
  • We reduced the damage bonus to Frost Strike on Threat of Thassarian from 50% to 40%. Dual-wielding Frost was a bit higher than two-handed Frost.
  • We fixed a significant bug that was affecting Frost Mage damage. Frostfire Bolt was not benefitting from Frostburn (Mastery). After fixing that, we brought their DPS back down by reducing the damage boost that the Frostbolt debuff provides from 8% per stack to 5% per stack.
  • We reduced the damage increase to spells from Dream of Cenarius from 65% down to 50%.
  • We reduced the attack power buff of Rabid from +50% to +25%. BM hunters needed to come down a bit, especially in burst.
  • We had previously buffed Snake Trap's appalling damage, but it was high enough that hunters might have started using it in single-target rotations, which wasn't intended. We reduced the melee damage of the snakes by 75%.

Tank survivability adjustments:

  • We were concerned that Blood DKs were too susceptible to spike damage. Blood DKs rely on being able to take damage and then heal it back, despite taking the largest hits of any tank. This works fine most of the time, but strings of unavoided hits or really large hits in a row might have presented a problem. We chose not to reduce damage taken, but to increase their maximum health instead. The stamina buff from Blood Presence from +8% to +25%.
  • Brewmasters were proving extremely strong because they could maintain Shuffle as much as they wanted and Purify a very large amount of Staggered damage. Additionally, despite being very avoidance-heavy, they also were taking very smooth damage, since Stagger blunts so much of the attack’s damage. We reduced the base Stagger amount from 30% to 25%, and reduced the bonus energy regen provided by Stance of the Sturdy Ox from +30% to +10%.

Miscellaneous adjustments:

  • We increased the duration of Glyph of Mind Spike from 6 sec to 9 sec.
  • We increased the healing of Chi Torpedo by 25%, but Chi Torpedo and Expel Harm no longer cause Eminence. As mentioned before, the general principle here is that spells and abilities which do both damage and healing are balanced around the healing they do, and don’t need to do additional healing through Eminence.
  • While we feel the damage of the warrior's Dragon Roar is balanced with the other two talents, the length of the stun feels gratuitous and helps prevent targets from being able to use defensive abilities. We're reducing the duration of the Dragon Roar stun to 0.5 sec, but changing its diminishing return category to the random / proc stun.
  • Finally, we were worried about mage mana regeneration at level 85. Arcane in particular works better when it has the advantage of the level 90 talents. Once Mists is released, Arcane will be able to perform fine while leveling up and running the occasional dungeon. However, we're in this rare "lame duck" period where players are still actively running what will very soon be lower level content (i.e. Dragon Soul and the 4.3 dungeons). As a temporary measure, we've doubled mage mana regen across the board to 2% per sec up until level 85. This bonus will start scaling down by 20% per level between 85 and 90.

There may be additional band-aids we need to apply (to any class) to account for the fact that the game is now largely balanced around level 90. The game systems need to function at all character levels, and they will, but most players will care a lot less about level 85 balance in a few short weeks.

If you believe any of these buffs, nerfs of changes to be inappropriate, you're welcome to share your feedback, but you will likely need stronger evidence than a link to the latest output from Simcraft or other simulations.

Secondly, we posted details on several weapon enchant procs previously, which seemed particularly useful. With that in mind, here are some more:

  • Lord Blastington’s Scope of Doom – 1 PPM, no ICD.
  • Vision of the Predator – 15% chance on direct/periodic spell damage dealt, 105 sec ICD.
  • Carbonic Carbuncle – 15% chance on direct white/melee/ranged/harmful-spell landing, 105 sec ICD.
  • Windswept Pages – 15% chance on direct white/melee/ranged/harmful-spell landing, 65 sec ICD.
  • Searing Words – 45% chance on direct white/melee/ranged/harmful-spell crit, 85 sec ICD.
  • Light of the Cosmos – 15% chance on periodic damage, 45 sec ICD.
  • Essence of Terror – 15% chance on harmful spell landing, 105 sec ICD.
  • Terror in the Mists – 15% chance on direct white/melee/ranged/harmful-spell landing, 105 sec ICD.
  • Darkmist Vortex – 15% chance on direct white/melee/harmful-spell landing, 105 sec ICD.
  • Relic of Yulon – 20% chance on direct/periodic spell damage, 50 sec ICD.
  • Relic of Xuen (STR) – 20% chance on white/yellow melee landing, 45 sec ICD.
  • Relic of Xuen (AGI) – 20% chance on white/yellow/ranged crit, 55 sec ICD.
  • Killing Machine – 6 PPM on white melee landing, no ICD.
  • Sudden Doom – 3 PPM on white melee landing, no ICD.
  • Fangs of the Father
    • Assassination: 23.139% chance on white/yellow melee landing, no ICD.
    • Combat: 9.438% chance on white/yellow melee landing, no ICD.
    • Subtlety: 28.223% chance on white/yellow melee landing, no ICD.
    • These chances are multiplied by 0.9 for lvl 89 targets, 0.8 for lvl 90 targets, 0.7 for lvl 91 targets, 0.6 for lvl 92 targets, and 0.5 for lvl 93+ targets.
    • After adding a stack, if you have >30 stacks, you have a [1/(51-stacks)] chance to proc the Fury buff.

A few more trinket procs. We probably won't go through every quest and dungeon trinket unless that information is really needed.


The problem with that comparison is that other tanks generally don't have a whole lot of abilities they want to use on the same resource as their active mitigation.

Think about it.

Things that use Holy Power other than SotR/WoG: (nothing)
Things that use Rage(Bear) other than SD/FR: Maul
Things that use Rage(War) other than Shield Block/Barrier: Cleave/HS (with no proc)
Things that use Frost/Unholy runes other than Death Strike: Death & Decay (with no proc), Plague Strike/Icy Touch (only used if you let diseases fall off between Outbreak).

Things that use Chi other than Purifying Brew/Blackout Kick: Guard, Level 30 Talents, Rushing Jade Wind, Breath of Fire, and indirectly (via energy) Dizzying Haze, Path of Blossoms, Transcendence: Transfer, Healing Sphere.

It’s true that monks have many resource-consuming "fun buttons," but they’re not unique in that regard. Bears, for example, are limited by both rage and time (which converts to rage). They have Maul to consume rage (at a very poor rage to damage conversion rate, but stackable), and many fun/utility abilities which are on the GCD, so effectively cost rage, or require shifting out of form, which can’t be done while actively tanking, and reset your rage. Paladins can continue using SotR and drop WoG completely for more damage, and are somewhat GCD limited. DKs have Army of the Dead, Chains of Ice, Control Undead, Dark Simulacrum, Glyphed Death Coil, Necrotic Strike, Path of Frost, Raise Ally, and Strangulate.

For Monks, you mention Guard, which is just as important as Blackout Kick and Purifying Brew, not some auxiliary fun/utility button, and Rushing Jade Wind, which is effectively free because it replaces a Blackout Kick. Breath of Fire and the level 30 talents are available to use for more damage, similar to Maul or SotR or Heroic Strike, or for group healing. If Healing Sphere were free, it’d replace Tiger Palm rotationally, and make them defensively GCD-limited. Dizzying Haze, Path of Blossoms, and Transcendence: Transfer are intended to be used at range, or to get to range.

As a Brewmaster, you shouldn’t be using the level 30 talents rotationally, other than perhaps against sustained magic damage, or where their group healing utility is more useful than your own survivability. We fully intend you to maximize your survivability and damage reduction while actively tanking, unless the utility provided by them is especially useful.

The TLDR of all this is something we try and state frequently: you can't just compare classes without evaluating the entire package. Lists of "these all work this way so my thing should work that way too" usually don't present super compelling arguments (for us at least).

One of the healers for that run, a shaman, was really frustrated last night because she had constant low-on-mana issues that she simply wasn't having before.
There is a two part answer here, and it's a big discussion. First, mana might feel tighter at 85 than it will at 90. As I said above, we spend most of our effort making sure raiding at 90 feels good because after a few more weeks, the number of raids below level 90 will be a very small number. Part of the reason we made sure Dragon Soul was good and nerfed was so that nobody's progression would be unduly affected by the level 90 numbers.

Second, mana was a non issue for many raid healers, especially those in heroic gear due to the way Intellect provided so much longevity by increasing the mana pool. Those healers who didn't pay a lot of attention to Spirit (say you had Power Torrent instead of Heartsong) might definitely notice lower regen. So I don't want to suggest that you'll soon be back up to endless mana. Our goal for Mists was to make mana when undergeared not as punishing, but to make mana when well geared not as trivial. We just needed to reign in both extremes.

We didn't see healers struggling with mana on the level 90 raids to the point that we'd worry about it, but those characters weren't wearing the actual gear they'll acquire in Pandaria, and despite the many volunteers we had, it's still a small sample size.

So, we'd like to see how it feels at 90 before making any regen changes. If the next few weeks are unbearable for healers, then we'll do some sort of band-aid the way we did for Arcane mages above.

This isn't the appropriate thread to get back into the discussion of whether healers should ever be mana limited, or whether static mana pools are a good idea, etc. Feel free to bring those up in other threads. In this thread, the most helpful responses on the topic would be along the lines of the degree of the change. How much sooner are you using Mana Tide? Are there some fights you could defeat last week that just feel impossible this week? Is it something healers will adjust to after another week of Dragon Soul?

Is it intended for DK CDs like, Army of the dead and Empower runic weapon not to reset after wiping to an encounter b/c other lengthy CDs from other classes are being reseted after a wipe. It would be great to know if that behavior is intended or just an oversight.

Is this happening to you on live? My doomguard wasn't resetting last night on live after a few wipes so it might be something we get at 90. Does AotD reset work for you on the beta? (I'm assuming AotD would reset because it's 10 minutes, but not Empower Rune Wep since it's 5)

Most long-term cooldowns are not reset when a raid encounter ends. The ones we specifically wanted to hit were the battle rezes and the big, raid-wide cooldowns like Bloodlust and Alter Time. The question we asked ourselves was: would a reasonable, progression-oriented but not world-first guild delay their next pull by several minutes to wait for X to come off of cooldown? For Rebirth or Bloodlust, we concluded the answer was yes. For Army of the Dead or Empower Rune Weapon, we concluded the answer was no.

I agree. Guilds may just end up waiting the 10 minutes anyway. But at least now we know.
Alright, this post caused a knockdown, drag out in my office. Weapons were recklessly pulled down from walls, etc. I mumbled something about how I'm the boss and what I say goes, but that didn't work either.

After the dust cleared, we decided that we would allow any cooldown that lasts 5 minutes or longer to be reset on raid encounters. The one exception is shaman Reincarnation, because we don't want to have to include it as a true battle rez, but think it would be too valuable if you could use it every single attempt. Most fights (we hope) aren't planned around the shaman dying.

We'll implement this change as soon as we're able.

Never mind theorycrafting this and that heres hard fact.
Stating that your opinion is fact does not make it so. This is largely a theorycrafting thread. It's fine if that doesn't interest you, but then neither should the thread.

Just to check: It sounds like the intent is that every class generates roughly the equivalent of one proc-capable event per GCD (plus or minus half a second or so)?

To testers: My very-rough mental estimate based on the above description is putting spriests and afflocks (afflocks in particular) at a slight disadvantage compared to casters, and casters at a significant disadvantage compared to melee - how is this working out in reality?

That’s pretty much accurate. Note that we aren’t trying to get Stormlash exactly balanced between classes, just that it’s within the same order of magnitude. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
The mechanic changed, but it's no longer affected by Master of Beasts.
Bug. Murder of Crows should also benefit.

Mostly I'm focused on the numbers, but I do want to comment on the AoE pet nerf. The particular thing I want Blizzard to focus on is that BM hunter AoE should be balanced around normal pets, beast cleave, etc. and not around the assumption that a BM hunter would bring an AoE pet (no hunter I know of does).
That’s exactly how we feel as well. We had been balancing BM AoE with Beast Cleave as the primary AoE method, and were thinking that the AoE pets would be a small boost on top of that if you went with them. However, as we recently noticed, the AoE pets over doubled your AoE DPS. The sheer damage that a Stampede of five Rabid Chimaeras were able to put out was, in a word, absurd. These changes should bring them back in line with where we intend them to be; a small boost over the other pets for AoE damage.

Additionally, we’re going to revert the more expensive focus costs of Froststorm Breath and Burrow Attack and instead go with 10 focus +5 focus per sec, and change Froststorm Breath to scale with the pet’s melee haste and crit, instead of spell haste and crit.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Has anyone figured out (or could a blue just tell us) how the mistweaver mastery proc rate works with AE heals? Does the chance apply evenly to every effective heal from soothing mist to SCK in the middle of 25 people, or do AE heals have the proc chance reduced? If so, by how much?
Since Mistweavers heal from such a significant variety of spells, some of which tick very fast, it’s not purely a raw chance per heal event. The chance displayed on your Mastery tooltip is the base chance, but there’s a multiplier on ticks from various overly frequent sources:


Excellent, thanks a lot for that. Since they're not on the list can we assume surging mist, chi wave, chi burst, ZS: D, and Uplift are all at 1.0 multipliers per target?
Updated Gift of the Serpent proc scalars:

  • Renewing Mist: 0.15
  • Chi Wave: 0.25
  • Zen Sphere (Periodic): 0.25
  • Zen Sphere (Detonate): 0.15
  • Chi Burst: 0.15
  • Soothing Mist: 0.3
  • Soothing Mist (Statue): 0.15
  • Enveloping Mist: 0.2
  • Uplift: 0.25
  • Revival: 0.15
  • Eminence (Self and Xuen): 0.2
  • Eminence (Statue): 0.1
  • Chi Torpedo: 0.15
  • Spinning Crane Kick: 0.1

We said MULTIPLE times that if you limit how much chi we can have, what we are going to do? trim the fat and focus 100% of our chi on shuffle and purefying brew. Christ we been there at least half a dozen times on beta.
Every. Single. Time you guys mess with our energy regen, we left our other skills out of the rotation and focus 100% of our effort on shuffle/PB.

Great, then we’re on the same page. Other than niche situations, Shuffle, Purifying Brew (and Guard, which I assume you also are including) should be where you spend your Chi, just as a Guardian Druid uses nearly all of their rage on Savage Defense or Frenzied Regeneration, or a Protection Paladin uses nearly all of their holy power on Shield of the Righteous or Word of Glory.

The thing that has changed significantly since you last tried 11 (or 10.4) energy/sec base, is that Tiger Palm is free, so you have something to do with the extra time.

- 100% uptime on shuffle for 5 mins require 50 BoK uses or 100 chi.
- that leaves us with 55 chi to spend on other things.
If we use PB every 8 seconds that would cost about 38 chi, leaving 17 to spend on other things.
Long story short we can produce 155 chi and need 138 to keep shuffle up 100% and use PB very often.

You shouldn’t need (or usually want) to keep Shuffle up 100% of the time. You should have a limited amount of resources, that you need to intelligently distribute between Guarding, Shuffling, and Purifying. It shouldn’t be as simple as “Everyday I’m Shuffling”.

Having no wiggle room on Chi generation makes expertise HARD CAP our number one secondary stat. This is a problem. No serious tank I know is concerned with having hit/exp being valuable, but having a exp HARD CAP be number one is a little ridiculous. Before the energy change a minor tweak could have changed it.. now that a missed/dodged/parried Keg Smash is even more detrimental to survivability this quirky the hard cap will have to be met.
Can you provide a source for this? We’re skeptical that hard-capping both hit and expertise is optimal for Brewmasters.

So we've been discussing your changes.. you mentioned dropping stagger by 5%, but the new beta build is at 10%.
Yes, you are correct. We ended up reducing it all the way to 20%, not 25% as I said before. I mentioned in another thread that we're looking a lot at tank survivability and will have some more changes for you soon (tm). These are numbers adjustments, not mechanics changes.

The new rotation keeps about the same optimal usage of Purify - 85%. The difference is instead of 80% uptime of Shuffle with that, you have 75% uptime and simply never use anything but PB and BoK. Level 30 talents are never worth using for self-healing purposes, since you would be better off pushing back to 85% shuffle uptime given additional chi.
Sounds perfect. Thanks! We want Brewmasters to use the level 30 talents, but they shouldn't be rotational as they are for Mistweavers.

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Now that Crimson Tempest’s DoT actually does some dmg could we get the rolling dot mechanic put in this? It currently works like hemo (could we get that on this too) if you use it again with a smaller one it overwrites the bigger dot. Both dots already can't crit just like ignite I would hope they could at least get the rolling mechanic it has.
It’s currently intended to not do that, though it’s something we’re considering.

Are these accurate? I only ask because since the hotfix sub is proccing as slow as combat now and you didn't say anything about it in your hotfix updates post.
Which hotfix? Nothing has changed with this recently.

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
When I use the Unleashed Elements attack with Frostbrand Weapon and the Unleashed Fury talent, I go up to 150% speed (according to my character sheet). However, when I switch to Ghost Wolf while in this form, there is no additional speed increase; it stays at 150%, and then after 4 seconds it goes down to 130%. They don't stack. Is this intended?
Is Ghost Wolf's speed increase intended to stack with anything?

This should be fixed soon. Ghost Wolf should stack with other speed increases.

Echo of the Elements appears to duplicate Unleash Flame casts, but not Unleash Frost. Intended?
This should also be fixed soon. Unleash Frost should be able to Echo.

Searing totem is still a 35yd range for Elemental. Could we please see it bumped up to 40 yds? Thanks!
Sure. We recently changed Searing Totem to 25 yard range base (so 40 for Elemental).

Healing Stream and Healing Tide totem pulse speed is based off of only spell haste right? or does it vary by spec?
Only spell haste.

Also is Fire Elemental's attack speed based off of spell haste or melee haste?
Only melee haste.

I'd really like to know exactly how Stormlash functions.
There is a quote from Bismark or Saxe or someone about how laws are like sausages and it's best not seeing them getting made. I used to work with Bruce Shelley, and he said the same thing about game design.

Stormlash is complicated. You do not need to understand or remember all of this to benefit from the spell. We're just sharing the insides of the sausage because it was asked for theorycrafting purposes.

Stormlash. Chapter One...

  • The base damage is 20% of AP or 30% of SP, whichever is higher.
  • That amount is multiplied by 0.2 for normal pets, and by 0 for guardian pets.
  • Next, if it’s an autoattack (or spell that we count as an autoattack such as Wind Lash or Shadow Blades or Tiger Strikes), then it’s multiplied by 0.4, and then by WeaponSpeed / 2.6. And if it’s an offhand attack, it’s then multiplied by 0.5.
  • If it’s periodic damage, it doesn’t Stormlash, unless it’s Mind Flay, Malefic Grasp, or Drain Soul.
  • For all other spells, it’s then multiplied by BaseCastTime / 1.5 sec, with a floor on the BaseCastTime of 1.5 sec.
  • And then there are multipliers for certain spells: 2x for Lightning Bolt, 2x for Lava Burst, 2x for Drain Soul, 0.5x for Sinister Strike.
  • Finally, that’s the average damage it deals. It will actually deal that +/- 15 %.
  • It also has a 0.1 sec ICD on triggering, and can miss based on spell hit.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Quick point of interest. Succubus and Grimoire of Supmremacy talent: shivarra, for Warlocks. Tooltip says that Seduction/Mesmerize will be applied to target who stun/silence/fears the master. noticed that as a rogue stealthed, sapping a warlock causes the seduction/mesmerize to occur and pull the rogue out of stealth.
Bug, or Working as Intended?

Bug. The Succubus and Shivarra were autocasting Seduction / Mesmerize on the CCer, without bothering to check if they could actually see the target.

Fix the pet aggro issues! Let me at least raid as Demonology using Grimoire of Supremacy!
Should be fixed now. There were some issues with threat from pets in Dragon Soul specifically.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
cleave is its not worth using cleave at all as SMF as the damage of heroic strike is 17645 and cleave on two targets is 17643 which is 11 damage difference, although it isn't much at all it still isn't worth using cleave at all, maybe add the do more damage when using one handers like heroic strike has.
We recently made Cleave do 1.4x damage when using a 1H weapon, just like Heroic Strike.

Does heroic throw reset the swing timer anymore? If not, please make it do that again, or attach a very minimal rage cost to it. Due to the ability costing 0 rage and not resetting the swing timer (So we think.), it has snuck its way into our single target rotation to fill up empty-gcds.
We purposely left Heroic Throw (and Storm Bolt) not resetting the swing timers for warriors who absolutely can't stand to have idle GCDs. As long as Heroic Throw doesn't push other abilities out of your rotation, we don't have a problem with it.

Beta Dungeon and Raid Testing
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
FEEDBACK: Mogu'shan Palace (Challenge)
In this beta build, we will be unlocking the Challenge mode for the Mogu'shan Palace instance.

A few relevant testing notes:
  • You must have completed the Heroic version of the dungeon once in order to attempt the challenge mode.
  • Item level will be normalized to 463.
  • There is no queue system for challenge modes; groups must be formed manually and you must zone in from the outside world.
  • While the challenge is active, the group leader may Reset the dungeon at any time via a drop-down accessible by right-clicking your unit frame.
  • You may want to dig up those dusty keybindings for things like crowd control and interrupts.

Please use this thread to share feedback regarding the dungeon, including information on group composition and completion times. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

FEEDBACK: Heart of Fear (Raid Finder)
The two Looking For Raid segments of the Heart of Fear raid zone are now open, and should remain open until at least the end of the weekend, but likely longer.

Please use this thread to post any feedback regarding your experiences with the LFR version of Heart of Fear. (Official Forums)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mobile Armory Remote Guild Chat Update
The issue affecting connectivity has been resolved. Thank you for your patience. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Healers and Hit Bonuses
To clarify, monks will keep their Spirit to hit conversion. Other healers will just have enough free hit to hit. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New LFR Loot System Feedback
I'm betting they've put some sort of minimum in (e.g. at least 5/25 people will always get loot). They aren't completely stupid.
Nope. There is a small chance nobody will get loot and an infinitesimal chance everyone will get loot. Random is random.

I had thought the loot system was supposed to favor a person who actually needs the loot. I ran 2 LFRs yesterday and got 3 pieces of gear I already had.
The game doesn't analyze your character and come up with a list of potential upgrades. It just makes sure it doesn't give priest gear to a paladin.

It doesn't favor anyone and that's the point. All loot rolls are individual and not affected by anyone else.
Correct. Remember the goal here was not to make gearing up faster or to provide players a way to force certain loot drops. The goal was to remove potential drama that results when a group of strangers in a fast-moving raid doesn't have the time or inclination to site down and agree on who should get what loot. Nobody can accuse you ever again of "ninjaing" an item that was a better upgrade for them. Players can be angry at the laws of probability (or even us) instead of each other.

I understand some of you liked the wheeling and dealing of deciding who should get an item. We just think that will work better for a pug in normal difficulty where you have more control over group composition, can agree on some ground rules, and generally move at a slower pace.

It would be nice if the loot was at least trade-able within the raid. I ran on my mage yesterday, and although I need gear, I got pieces I already had. I then looked at the DPS meters and noticed someone who had very good APM and was at least trying to DPS but was lacking and gear and attempted to toss it to them but alas I could not.
It's great that you're willing to help out your fellow player, but as soon as the possibility for that exists, it undermines our attempt to remove drama, because it would allow players to try and argue with you that they deserve the item you won.

And players are going to flip a conniption when no one gets any loot off a boss.
As I said, we'd rather you get frustrated because RNG isn't working in your favor rather than get frustrated because someone who doesn't even care whether they won an item that you desperately want refuses to trade it to you.

But i need to SEE what I didn't win. Right now it seems like the boss died, and I got 25g in a sack. that's it. I don't care that I didn't win any loot, but I DO need to see WHO did, and WHAT they won.
We considered this, and still might, but part of what we didn't like with the old system was how spammy the messages were. If 10 people win loot, it still might be pretty spammy. As other players point out, there is also a secondary consideration that it might be more frustrating to see a couple of guys win an item that you wanted rather than just not know.

I expect the common lack of understanding of statistics will be directed firmly at Blizzard over and over again.
Yep. Players mad at us is a superior situation to players being mad at each other.

They wont tell us. one post said 5%, then another post said not 5%. 4 per 25 would be 16%, but I doubt its that, because they dont want people gearing that fast and there is Charm or good fortune tax. So its probably around 10% but there is no way to know for sure till blizz fesses up.
Off the top of my head, I believe the chance is 15%. That does not include the Charm of Good Fortune.

New roll results frame added. This new feature can be accessed by clicking the word "[Loot]" in chat, or by typing "/loot". What does this do? And does it apply to LFR?
If you want to see the results of a loot roll, you can look at the [Loot] link. This system replaces the spam of having a bunch of rolls in chat. This is particularly helpful under Master Looter when you invite individuals to roll. It does not apply to Raid Finder. If we decide that announcing who won what in Raid Finder is a good idea then we could add it.

Personally I never found an instance where someone got mad because they didn't win what they wanted. However I did find circumstances where someone would win a piece that they already had or didn't need such as having the normal or heroic version of the piece. But honestly, the solution to that problem is sooo easy to fix. Just don't allow players to win loot if they already have the piece on their character or in their bags, it is that simple.
You're lucky. I've seen plenty of ugly arguments in the Raid Finder runs I have been on. (I always pass on everything, because I'm just there to observe.) If you're running with friends, then there is a big incentive to not be a jerk. If you're running with some dude from another realm who you'll never see again, then there's much less reason to be nice to the guy.

I'll also challenge the "it is just that simple." Some warriors want two copies of Gurthalak. Do we always push two-handed weapons to warriors? Just Fury warriors? What about caster shaman who might want to gem their Elemental and Restoration sets differently? What if you don't have the LFR version of the item, but you have the normal version? What if you don't have that exact item, but you have a better item for the same slot? We can come up with rules for all of those, but they're not simple rules and players may not understand them. Today you can roll on an item that you already have. Maybe you want to disenchant it. Maybe you're just greedy.

Furthermore, if we don't let you get an item you already have, we're not going to give you the other item that you want -- that just lets you gear up more quickly. Instead, we'd give you gold instead. When fishing for a particular item, I think it would feel better to get an epic item that I already own rather than to get nothing but gold over and over again. But I understand that might be subjective. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Golden Lotus Reputation Grind
If you've ever worked in a large company before as part of a development team, you've probably been in the situation where you come up with a great idea, work hard at making it a reality and then have management come back at you saying "Thanks for all the hard work but we decides things will be like this instead. Make it happen".
Our management doesn't work that way. You can blame me for anything you don't like about the game.

But, if you're saying that you like to play WoW by just running raids and nothing else or you expect your alts to be as powerful as your mains without having to actually play them, then that is going counter for the direction we're taking for Mists. I'm trying to explore a little bit in this thread what some players are looking for. You can consider the Golden Lotus faction to essentially be another questing zone (Vale of Eternal Blossoms in fact) but a maximum level zone for reputation instead of leveling zone for experience. Players don't often suggest that they should be able to skip whole leveling zones, even on alts, so I want to understand the desire to skip over this content. If the issue is just that "faction grind" and "daily quests" leave a bad taste in your mouth from previous experiences, then that's totally reasonable, but give us a chance to show you how much better these new ones are. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Numbers Tweaking
We're working on Kill Command for Dragon Soul. It works fine on all of the level 90 raid bosses.

As we often caution, there is a big difference between target dummies and raid bosses. We aren't going to (and don't want to!) guarantee that every spec does equal DPS on every encounter. We think it's interesting and fun that encounter mechanics can play into the strengths and weaknesses of various specs, so long as the delta isn't gigantic.

Also remember that while we test for a variety of skill levels, the numbers that tend to get tossed around are the highest possible numbers for a skilled player playing flawlessly. Very few of us can play flawlessly. Improving your individual play will almost always have a greater impact on your DPS than the kinds of buffs we typically hand out. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New LFR Loot System
Is there no more drops or what ? I did several attempts now and still no drop other than 25 g what is wrong ?
The drops are there! The Raid Finder now uses a new looting system introduced with patch 5.0.4, called Personal loot. You can read more about it on this blog article by Ghostcrawler. (Official Forums)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Beta Warrior Feedback
We felt like the uptime that a warrior had on a target in PvP was high enough without changing Heroic Leap to be a snare breaker.

We considered a variety of ways we could lower uptime, but ultimately settled on the PvP set bonus. One reason was because nobody actually had it yet, so it would feel like less of a nerf than changing something like the Charge talents. The other reason had to do with clarity. As I have said recently, one of my biggest concerns about the talent changes effect on PvP is that it makes it so much harder, perhaps even unreasonable, to learn the toolbox of every potential opponent. As a caster, a warrior that is at range and immobilized should be the visual trigger that it's okay to start casting, but you already have to mentally account for so many things, from trinkets to Spell Reflect, possibly Storm Bolt and perhaps even Disrupting Shout depending on range. Having to also mentally keep track of the warrior's Heroic Leap cooldown erodes clarity even further.

We don't find the argument that you need a dispeller to handle roots and snares to be compelling. You're not supposed to be a one man army. You're supposed to be glad that you have teammates to help you out. We don't think this one change is going to mean warriors don't have sufficient time to perform melee attacks (even sans dispeller).

I'll admit it was a very cool bonus and one I was looking forward to on my warrior, but on top of the overall package that warriors have, it looked like it was going to become a problem.

I don't expect many warriors to agree with our logic, because that would ultimately mean admitting that you were too powerful in PvP, but you asked for it, so there it is.

That said, I DO think what GC said about Stormbolt is silly because of course you'd want to use it in your rotation as a PVE DPS Warrior if you spec'ed into it. Otherwise it'd be nearly useless in PVE situations.
Yeah my comment was unclear. Storm Bolt doesn't reset the swing timer because we don't want warriors to have to worry about when it's okay to use or not. Use it. We let Heroic Throw not reset the swing timer because it's a small source of damage you can use when nothing else is available if you hate having empty GCDs. It will be a very small percent of total damage.

You honestly think Warrior mobility was higher than other Classes ? I think you should go look at Druids then because ours is about half as good as their is right now.
That's not the issue. The issue we were concerned about was warriors being too good in PvP, and that the leading contribution to that was that they were almost impossible to control. Warriors have a lot of mobility and a lot of answers to being controlled. Nerfing a set bonus that nobody actually has on live and few players have gotten used to seemed like the appropriate place to address that.

If we conclude that druids are too dominant in PvP, then we can look at whether their mobility is the main contributing factor, or whether it's something else like crowd control or healing.

If you think that warriors are weak in PvP or that other classes are too powerful, then that's an appropriate thing to bring up, but I don't expect to see a very diverse set of opinions in a thread that has been about warrior issues for 46 pages. I know it's not fun to be nerfed, and I don't honestly expect many players to say "Yeah, it's true, we were probably too good." That happens, but it's very rare. It's easy to look at a toy you almost had that slipped away and be disappointed. I get that. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Build 16030 Retribution Changes
I dont mind the DS nerf near as much as the mastery nerf as 1; its a double dip nerf to DS as DS is on the mastery and 2: a mastery nerf is a straight up damage nerff to all pally abilities so its not just the 3% for 1 or 2 spells its 3% from CS, HotR, HoW, TV, and DS. Which is the entire ret rotation. even small nerfs to mastery have large repercussions to ret cus its effects as so wide spread into the ret spec.
Ret mastery was not nerfed. It has been 15% for quite awhile. You're probably just seeing a tooltip correction. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Stamina Buff for Death Knights
As Reltus quotes, we were worried about DK spike damage. With this change we feel that all of the tanks are pretty close in terms of surviving spikes, but at the moment DKs and Brewmasters require too little healing and warriors and druids require too much healing. Paladins are in a good place and serving as our target. Our solution to the rage tanks is probably going to be to give them more rage to use their defenses more. We haven't decided what to do with DK and monks yet. We're not considering major mechanics changes -- just numbers adjustments. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Chain Lightning Changes
I believe my post said:
  • Chain Lightning now deals 17.5% less damage to the primary target, but chains 80% of the damage to each successive target, up from 70%. This should help spread the damage better, and also reduce the damage against a single target. The total damage remains the same, when glyphed.

In other words, it does less damage to one target but that is offset by more damage to subsequent targets. We want to keep it an AE ability. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Trading Card Game Art Update
The Trading Card Game art gallery has been updated to feature ten new pieces.


by Published on 2012-08-30 09:54 PM

Mists of Pandaria Beta - Build 16030
A new beta build will be deployed on beta realms soon. We will be updating these notes frequently, so keep checking back!

This build is Patch 5.0.5 and has "lots of tweaks and fixes from both the beta and stuff that's occurred on live".


Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Death Knight (Forums)

Frost

Druid (Forums)
  • Hurricane base damage increased by 27% and SP scaling increased by 7%.
  • Swipe now does 400% weapon damage, up from 375%.
  • Thrash damage increased by 7%.

Talents
  • Dream of Cenarius now increases the damage done by your next 2 Moonfire or Sunfire casts by 50%, down from 65%.

Hunter (Forums)

Talents

Pets
  • Burrow Attack now costs 50 Focus, up from 20. Base damage reduced by 50%..
  • Froststorm Breath now costs 50 Focus, up from 20.
  • Rabid now increases your pet's attack power by 25% for 20 sec, down from 50%.

Mage (Forums)
  • Ice Lance base damage increased by 13%. SP scaling increased by 13%.
  • Mana Attunement increases mana regeneration by 400%, up from 150%.

Frost
  • Frostbolt causes the target to take an additional 5% damage from your Frostbolt and Ice Lance, and your Water Elemental's Waterbolt, down from 8%.

Major Glyphs
  • Glyph of Ice Lance: Your Ice Lance now hits 1 additional target for 40% damage, down from 50%.

Monk (Forums)
  • Chi Torpedo damage increased by 10% and healing increased by 25%. AP scaling increased to 51.8%, up from 41.4%.
  • Spinning Crane Kick now does damage every .75 sec and lasts 2.2 sec, rather than every 1 sec for 3 sec.

Talents

Brewmaster
  • Stance of the Sturdy Ox now increases Energy regeneration by 10%, down from 30%. Stagger now causes 80% (was 70%) of the damage to happen instantly and the remaining 20% (was 30%) to be divided over 10 sec.

Paladin (Forums)
Retribution

Priest (Forums)
  • Mind Sear damage and SP scaling increased by 30%.

Rogue (Forums)
Combat
  • Blade Flurry now reduces energy regeneration by 20% when active, down from 30%.

Subtlety
  • Premeditation now allows additional combo points to last 18 sec, down from 20.

Shaman (Forums)

Warlock (Forums)
  • Seed of Corruption base seed damage reduced by 30%. Damage target needs to take before explosion and SP scaling reduced by 30%.

Talents

Affliction
  • Seed of Corruption base seed damage reduced by 30%. Damage target needs to take before explosion and SP scaling reduced by 30%.

Demonology

Destruction
  • Fire and Brimstone: Your next Immolate, Incinerate, Conflagrate or Curse will hit all targets within 15 yards of the target and deal 43.4% of their normal damage, down from 55.8%.
  • Havoc now has a 25 sec cooldown, down from 45 sec.

Pets
  • Felstorm now does 100% weapon damage, down from 150%.

Warrior (Forums)

Talents
  • Dragon Roar now does a .5 sec knockdown, down from 3 sec.

Raid & Dungeon Abilities
  • Stomp Splits 750,000 Splits 675,000 damage between all targets within 25 yards.

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