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by Published on 2012-10-04 02:00 PM

2.7 Million copies of MoP sold, WoW passes 10M Subscribers
Blizzard just published the sales numbers for Mists of Pandaria and it looks like our favorite game is back over the 10M subscribers mark. For reference, the sales number for the previous expansions were:

  • The Burning Crusade - 2.4M First Day, 3.5M First Month
  • Wrath of the Lich King - 2.8M First Day, 4M First Month
  • Cataclysm - 3.3M First Day, 4.7M First Month

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PARIS, France -- October 4, 2012 -- Following the September 25 global rollout of World of Warcraft®: Mists of Pandaria™, the new expansion to the world’s #1 subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that millions of players have already joined the fight for Pandaria. During the first week of launch, prior to the release in China on October 2, the expansion had already sold through approximately 2.7 million copies and the game’s global player base passed 10 million subscribers, with growth across all major regions.*

“With Mists of Pandaria, we set out to expand on the sense of fun and discovery that’s always been at the heart of World of Warcraft -- in addition to adding a huge variety of new content and features to the game,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “It’s been gratifying to see the results of all of the work we put into this expansion and to hear all of the positive feedback from players so far.”

The World of Warcraft development team is already hard at work on the first major post-launch content update. Further details, including features and release timing, will be provided in the weeks ahead.

[Read More ...]
by Published on 2012-10-04 07:32 AM

Wizard Synergies and Meteor Tuning, State of Monks, PTR Patch on Thursday & Error 12 and Blue Posts

All Gold Challenge Modes Completed
Two groups have now earned a Gold time in all of the challenge mode dungeons, earning them access to the Challenge Mode Sets. WoWProgress has a nice worldwide leaderboard for characters.

You may have to turn off the Silver Time count by clicking in the legend to see all of the Gold Time runs.

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!


Aquila Interview
Nik recently had the chance to speak with the members of Aquila that were the first to complete all Challenge Modes with a Gold time.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Firstly huge congratulations, from playing live and attempting the challenge modes myself a bit I know first hand how challenging (excuse the pun) they can end up being.

Do you want to introduce yourself?
Hey everyone! I play Shadow Priest called Taik and I'm an officer in a Finnish guild called Aquila. I joined Aquila almost 2 years ago and ended up as the raid leader in the late tier 11.

Our group consisted of:
Taik - Shadow Priest
Razoki - Combat/Assassination Rogue
Rathy - Blood Death Knight
Decev - Frost/Blood Death Knight
Deloop - Elemental/Resto Shaman

First real question from me really is how did you manage to fit it all in? Between gearing, dailies, slight bit of pvp and everything else in this expansion I’ve barely had time to have a moment to think let alone invest time in challenge modes.
Most hardcore guilds use the first week of an expansion to level and gear up multiple characters for raid progress. As Aquila is a semi hardcore guild we're fine with members leveling and gearing just one character. Our group managed to to hit realm first level 90 in about 13-15 hours and used the next 2 days to fully gear up from heroics.

After that we ran out of things to do on our mains so we decided to try challenge modes. The first challenge mode was easily cleared in 2 hours but after that the difficulty ramped up pretty hard and we had to spend more time to progress and improve our strategies. For the rest of the week we ran the last few heroics and did dailies or PvP during the day and then progressed challenges in the evening.

How many hours did it really take you to do? From what I’ve seen from some of the videos you’ve not had the easiest of times with some of the instances.
We started the challenge runs on Thursday by choosing the daily challenge in Shado-Pan Monastery. We had been steamrolling over heroics for 2 days and went in blind and started AoE pulling with 4 DPS and a tank. Shortly after we realized how much harder the challenges were and ended up running with a healer. The final time for that run was almost 2 hours and we called it for the day.

From Friday to Monday we spent about 4-10 hours a day on challenge mode progress which means the total time spent is somewhere between 25-30 hours. Hardest of the challenges for us was Scarlet Halls because of the gimmicky mechanics like the dogs and archers in the beginning and the damage of trash mobs. It was too difficult to pull more than one trash pack at a time so we started to run out of cooldowns to use.

The last day of challenges was probably the most enjoyable and we ended up streaming the last 8 hours we spent on the last 3 gold times. We also saved the last day of progress on Razoki's stream channel and made a video of the final boss of Shado-Pan.

If you had to go back and do it again would you change anything? I can see from the rankings and your group setup that DK’s are highly featured.
We would've ran our current setup from the beginning. We started off with double rogue and ended up swapping one of them for a Death Knight because of the insane AoE damage and survivability that Remorseless Winter and Army of the Dead bring. We would probably use cooldowns more intelligently as well. For the first few golds our hybrids had to off heal and shaman had to switch to restoration a couple of times during the run because we didn't use Army of the Dead or Earth Elemental to soak tank damage.

Our classes synergized together really well for challenges. We had balanced amount of AoE and single target bursts DPS, both of which were required for gold times. All 5 of us also had engineering and the Nitro Boosts, Goblin Gliders and Gnomish Army Knife resurrections helped immensely. We also joked about never doing these instances again after challenges are cleared but we'll probably try to improve the high scores in the not too distant future.

You ran a healerless comp very similar to lots of other groups. Were your priest/shaman required to do anything special during the runs in order to survive?
We killed almost everything without healer with the exception of a few bosses and trash packs. For example Sha of Violence was unkillable without a healer so we had our shaman switch to resto for it. The rest of the instances were either healed by priests Vampiric Embrace and Halo, Shamans Guidance, damage soaked by Army of the Dead and Earth Elemental or just simply off spec healing by the priest. We also used a lot of damage Mitigation abilities like Anti-Magic Zone and Anti-Magic Shell, Feint and Cloak of Shadows, Dispersion and Death Knight self heals so our priest and shaman could dps as much as possible. Hardest parts to heal were Scarlet Halls trash mobs and Sha of Violence in Shado-Pan Monastery.

I know that you don't want to give away all of your tactics, but do you think that a rogue is a requirement in order to get a good time? I know first hand how well group stealth can be used.
Rogue was helpful in terms of skipping some packs but not mandatory. Other classes bring more survivability, burst and aoe DPS than rogues so it's a fair tradeoff for gold modes. In Shado-Pan the combination of Mass stealth and invisibility potions allowed us to skip almost all trash mobs between 2nd and 3rd bosses. For other instances the invisibility potions alone are enough. On the other hand invisibility potions also put your damage potion on cooldown for 10 minutes so mass stealth is better in some situations.

Lastly out of all the instances and runs you’ve been able to do what was the favorite for you?
Our favourite instances are Mogu'shan Palace and Shado-Pan Monastery. Neither of these have any annoying gimmicks that might ruin the run and both have insane aoe pulls which require good cooldown usage.

Any shoutouts you’d like to give as an ending?
Shoutouts to everyone in Aquila for being supportive and helping with potions, foods, flasks etc. It was awesome to have the entire guild on mumble cheering for us during the Shado-Pan Monastery clear. Also special shoutouts to Mieto and Táukki who were with us for the silver mode clears but had to step out for gold runs.



Upcoming Raid Releases
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The first Normal difficulty Mists of Pandaria Raid Dungeon is now available: Mogu’shan Vaults. Raid Finder and Heroic difficulties will be available Wednesday, October 10.

Raid Finder will unlock bosses in Mogu’shan Vaults and Heart of Fear over time, and all Mogu’shan Vaults bosses will be unlocked and available Wednesday, October 17. To access the new Raid Finder dungeons, you will need a minimum item level (ilevel) requirement of 463.

Here is the current schedule for these Raid releases:

  • Wednesday, October 3 - Normal Mogu’shan Vaults
  • Wednesday, October 10 - Heroic Mogu'shan Vaults and first half of Mogu'shan Vaults on Raid Finder
  • Wednesday, October 17 - Second half of Mogu'shan Vaults on Raid Finder
  • Wednesday, October 31 - Normal Heart of Fear and Normal Terrace of Endless Spring (Must clear Heart of Fear first) with Heroic and Raid finder versions unlocking one week later.

We will update this blog with additional unlock information at a future point in time.

Character Gearing and Reputation Grinding
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mists of Pandaria Alts and Reputation Grinds
We're working on a change for a future patch that will make it easier to gain reputation with a specific faction on every alt on your Battle.net account, after you reach a certain reputation with that faction on another character.

Stay tuned for more information on this, likely coming before the end of the week. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Purpose of Justice Points
There is literally no point in JP or JP gear once you are already running heroics.
I think that might be misrepresenting the situation a bit. Even if Justice Gear isn't at the same level as Heroic gear, it will still raise your average item level and help shore up your Heroic and Valor gear to potentially get you into normal raiding and LFR faster.

What are you and what are we getting out of having a currency obtained from heroics give out loot that is useless to heroics?
I think that Justice Points are perhaps more of a stepping stone than they once were. They were originally added for those situations where RNG turns against you, and you haven't obtained a drop for a particular slot. Even if you didn't get the gear over successive runs, at least you have some Justice Points to help fill in the gaps in the meantime. They are returning to that intent more than being an alternative method of accruing Heroic level gear.

After you obtain your Heroic gear, it's true that Justice Points won't be as useful. Obviously, they can be turned over for Honor, and at some point in the future we may add trade materials or Heirlooms to the quartermasters.

If every single piece isn't 463 you don't get to do LFR. Please consider reducing LFR to 458 to match up with justice.
That's part of the reason why I mentioned Valor Points in a previous post. Item level 489 Valor pieces will certainly help bring your average item level up. Some of those pieces are now available at Honored reputation with Mists of Pandaria factions.

Also - Didn't you remove head enchants because you didn't like forcing people to grind a reputation so they could raid? Suggesting that for people to get their ilvl high enough to get in to LFR they should go and grind a rep so they can purchase a VP item is basically the same thing.
We're not opposed to making earning some reputation compelling. You'll recall that a lot of those items were only available at very high reputation levels though, whereas the Valor Items I was referring to become available at Honored.

Yes, but a majority of valor gear only becomes available at revered for various factions.
Granted. You won't need all of those pieces to progress into raiding or LFR though. Hopefully, as you continue to do dailies (assuming they're something you want to do, that is), you'll gain enough reputation to allow you to pick up the occasional Revered level Valor piece to supplement your raiding set.

By the way, I don't want any of you to feel as though your feedback is falling on deaf ears. I'll make sure that your perspectives are shared with the development team. On the same token, I want to emphasize that Justice Points aren't useless, even if they don't fulfill the same role that we've grown accustomed to.

I bet this came about from one of the meetings where you get input from the other blizzard teams. Seems like this cross team strategy is working out well.
Sarcasm aside, Blizzard always operates in a spirit of cooperation.

I'm sure that many of you recall the days before Valor and Justice. You'll recall that before there were points there were badges. Before that, there was nothing. Many of us remember the days when you could spend upwards of an hour in a single dungeon, and come away from it without a single drop: not a even an Uncommon. We try new things. A lot of the time they work well. We're not always right, and sometimes they don't. Sometimes what ultimately ends up being a good change for the overall World of Warcraft experience doesn't seem so great at first: there was a significant segment of the player base that railed heavily against the idea of purchasable dungeon quality gear, let alone raid quality gear, period. We've come a long way since then, and we'll see where this shakes out together.

Moreover it further makes the case that once you've done "enough" dungeons to be kitted out with, say, 70% 363 gear, and have earned enough justice to buy some stopgaps, there is little incentive to keep running the dungeons.
In reality, that's no different from how Justice worked before, except the process would occur faster then. In the early days of Cataclysm, for example, between dungeon drops and Justice Point gear, active tanks (and to a lesser extent healers) very rapidly loaded up on all the tanking gear they could carry, filled out dps sets, loaded up on Heirlooms, then walked away from dungeons without looking back.

There are potential down sides to any system. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Conquest Gear
The Conquest PvP gear is intended to be equivalent to raiding gear, not heroic dungeon or justice points gear. So you are actually comparing apples to oranges, where apples are clearly better than oranges and that is the natural order of things

If you compare the two items below you can see that they are quite similar overall and can potentially be used in both settings, but each one is clearly better for its intended purpose of either PvP or PvE:

Malevolent Gladiator's Warboots of Cruelty
Jasper Clawfeet

The reason that these are better for their specific roles (even though there are major stat differences) is because while PvP power and resilience do not influence PvE in any way, they have a large impact on PvP.

So this is why the Honor and Justice points gear is being changed but not Raiding and Conquest; because PvP and PvE gear of the same level are meant to be able to adequately perform both roles but be best for their intended purpose. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Daily Quests and Rep Grinds
A: Op if i could be bothered i would argue with you all day about things but I can't. This game has nothing to offer other than max level content, why on earth would I want to be a low level?

B: If you dont want to level, do dailies, grind rep, earn stuff, earn your levels, make gold, level proffessions and such don't

A: It's not enjoyable. Doing the same thing day after day on repeat for the next two years is fun?

B: It's lazy players like you who mess up this game for players who actually enjoy grinding for items, farming for gear/professions and such. get a feeling of accomplishment for doing so.

A: That's why we need choice, options for both types of players. I have no issue with things being hard but when its boring as hell to achieve something it takes the value of doing so away.

Whether something is 'enjoyable' or not is a matter of opinion. Plenty of people enjoy the leveling process—I'm one of them. I'd rather be gearing up a new character than getting my behind handed to me in PvP, for instance.

Giving someone the option to start at max level is controversial. Some people will of course take the path of least resistance, despite how they feel about the current way we level characters. This scenario reminds me a little of the situation with the LFD tool. Many claim that they would prefer to make groups the old fashioned way, having to travel to the instance instead of porting there etc. but that they feel they have to use the tool now because it's there.

Basically, I think if you give people the option of doing something faster, most will, even if they feel it takes something away from their gaming experience. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Posts
More EU free character transfers off of high population realms have started.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Sever Queue Times
This is not my main. My mains are on another server. I use this as an alias to avoid being ridiculed by a community that believes every person making a complaint is a troll. This is not a solution. As a paying customer, something needs to be done about this.
It's not fun to wait in queues, I hit them myself from time to time. People tend to 'clump up' to play with friends or join guilds on specific realms, and then everyone comes back for expansions or even new patches. We'll pretty commonly see queues hit a couple hours. The realm hardware, not to mention game content, is designed to house and support a specific number of characters per realm. It's not feasible to increase and decrease those allotments as interest increases and wanes, which is why we offer free character transfers when queues get too high.

With the advent of BattleTags and cross-realm zones, being on separate realms from your friends actually doesn't mean much as to your ability to talk and interact with them. Of course the best solution might just be trying to get everyone to move with you. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Cloud Serpents and Account Wide Mounts
Cloud Serpents. You need to grind the reputation to buy the cloud serpent license or some other nonsense. Hope that gets changed.
Cloud Serpent mounts are indeed account-wide. However they require the Cloud Serpent Riding skill, which is a faction requirement and character specific. Characters that meet the faction requirement will see the mount as account-wide. I’ll bring this up with our developers to see if that’s intended. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Challenge Mode Nerfs
We've said this in the past, but it might be a good moment to bring it back up. Challenge modes have a different design philosophy than raids, and therefore the developers don't plan to nerf them.

If you haven't tried them yet, go give them a try. It's not just a race against the clock. And if you see someone sporting the full transmogrifiable set, you'll know that you're looking at a really skilled player. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Quest "!" on Zone Maps?
The zones are set up in such a way that exploring the world is going to yield quests and quest hubs that you aren't directed toward during the course of the main story line. The exclamation points on the map help give a hint, at least, where some of them are. Certainly though you'll find more just by exploring. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Pre Level 90 Flight Restrictions
but wrath was alot more alt friendly, i understand us having to do it on the first toon but as soon as alts get involved with that brutal (and yes its brutal) grind to level (and the grind is far from over then too, with 2 hours a day worth of dailies for EVERY toon, 2 alts makes 6 hours a day worth of dailies)
I think adding a Tome would be cool, but just to ensure we're all remembering history correctly, Tome of Cold Weather Flying wasn't added until patch 3.2. 8 months after release. Not saying it needs to be 8 months again, but I'd (personally) argue it's not something that needs to be available day 1 either.

I would ague your dead wrong. I will just get around your no flying restrictions by using a 2nd account to level my alts on and my 2 person flying dragon to take my alt where ever I need it. I think that indicated the need for this if you have players looking for how to get around this stupid limitation.
Like I said, games are different for everyone. I wouldn't dare tell you what you would prefer or not, but as you can see by the comments here your perspective isn't shared by everyone. As the game creators we have to leverage what individual types of players want against our own artistic and design visions, and hopefully those line up the majority of the time. In this case (aside from the convenience of helping alts fly sooner) I'd say most people are enjoying the change of pace.

You don't get honest opinions here and it's only a fraction of the population.
It is interesting how that flips around to suit the wielder. We're not listening, we're listening too much, everyone hates it, not everyone is giving their opinion, etc.

This same complaint came up in the first couple weeks of Wrath. As far as I've seen many people look back on that expansion with fondness, and "Remember when we couldn't fly?" isn't even in the top 40 of complaints about it. I guess what I'm saying is that it seems really super important right now, but ultimately it leads to a better experience in the long term for the majority of players. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Other Lore for Expansions
If you can manage to find copies of the D&D "Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game" dungeon guides, I swear they read like a laundry list of things that have come true since release. They aren't canon, and I don't think anyone is literally going back and checking things off, but they contain a lot of un-materialized ideas for classes and playable races. It stands to reason those ideas are still swimming around somehow, somewhere. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists Of Pandaria Wallpapers
Blizzard hosted a 12 day journey on Facebook that included character bios, cover art, wallpapers, and videos to get people amped to play the new expansion. Check out the full summary for all of the media.


by Published on 2012-10-03 01:33 AM

Displaying More Than Five Buffs, No Nerf to Sever, Blue Posts

Justice and Honor Gear Item Level Changes

Normal Difficulty Mogu'shan Vaults Cleared
Congratulations to Exodus (US-Cho'gall) for completing Normal difficulty Mogu'shan Vaults before everyone else!



PvP Season 12 Streams
With the start of the new PvP season, many of the higher ranked players will be streaming tomorrow (Oct 3) at 11 AM PDT / 2 PM EST / 20:00 CET.



Tanking Damage Adjustment Hot Fixes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve recently implemented several hot fixes to adjust tank damage output, particularly area of effect (AoE) damage. Now that Mogu’Shan Vaults is available, and the first week of Mists of Pandaria raiding is about to begin, we wanted to call out what’s changing.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Warriors have several mechanics that improve their tanking performance when dealing with multiple foes, as well as their damage output against them. Their damage against packs of creatures, especially when three targets were present, was much higher than other tanking classes. While some variance is expected, it was clear that an adjustment was necessary.
The primary culprits here were Revenge and Deep Wounds:

  • Revenge now deals 50% damage to a secondary target, and 25% damage to a third target.
  • Deep Wounds now does 50% less damage for Protection Warriors only.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
One of our goals with our active mitigation tanking model is that you have opportunities to trade significant survivability for more damage when maximum survivability isn’t required. For example, a Warrior could opt to use their rage for Heroic Strike instead of Shield Block or Shield Barrier. This damage gain is intended to be relatively small, and not worth the loss in survivability when actively tanking.

However, for Protection Paladins, this trade-off was much too lucrative. For maximum survivability, Protection Paladins are intended to use Seal of Insight, since it provides a buff to their self-healing, and also provides a significant self-heal on their melee in combination with Vengeance. Unfortunately, when using Seal of Insight, their damage was too low compared to the other tanks. When using Seal of Truth, their damage was too high. So, we’ve increased Protection Paladin damage in general to compensate for Seal of Insight’s relatively low output, while simultaneously reducing the damage of Seal of Truth to bring it into line.


Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Bear tanks have been in a decent place, but we were a little concerned about their sustained area of effect damage. This update to Thrash should address that.

  • The periodic damage of Thrash (Bear) now deals 60% more damage. Initial direct damage remains un-changed.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
We’re really excited about how Brewmaster Monks are turning out. They can still stand a few tweaks though. Their damage, especially AoE damage, was relatively low, and they lacked a way to apply Weakened Blows to a large pack of creatures (which all of the other tanks have).

  • Keg Smash now deals 50% more damage and strikes all nearby targets, rather than three.
  • Swift Reflexes now deals 100% more damage.

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
While Blood Death Knights have been higher on damage than most other tanks, we’re expecting that the adjustments we’re making to the other tanking classes will close the gap. While we haven’t made any changes to Blood lately, we will be keeping a close eye on it.

Patch 5.0.5 Hotfixes - October 2
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
General
  • Players no longer require Honored reputation with Mists of Pandaria factions to purchase gear with Justice Points.
  • The reputation requirement to purchase certain pieces of Mists of Pandaria Valor Point gear have been reduced from Revered to Honored. These include:

  • The item level of Mists of Pandaria gear that is purchased with Justice Points has been raised from 450 to 458.
  • The item level of Mists of Pandaria gear that is purchased with Honor Points has been lowered from 464 to 458. As a result, the quality color of these items has been changed from Epic to Rare. However, the PvP Power and PvP resilience of these items has been increased significantly so these items retain their previous degree of effectiveness in PvP.
  • Mists of Pandaria PvP item vendors were tired of getting the dook kicked out of them. Their health has been increased significantly.
  • The item level requirement to queue for Mists of Pandaria Heroic dungeons has been reduced from 440 to 435.

Classes
Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • The area of effect damage from Nature's Vigil will no longer hit stealthed targets.
  • Fixed an issue with Incarnation that could allow flight without using Flight Form.
  • Dream of Cenarius now correctly increases the healing from Cenarion Ward by 30% instead of 70%.
  • Starsurge casts that trigger an Eclipse now deal the correct amount of damage.
  • Mojo is now removed properly when a druid assumes Flight Form.
  • Symbiosis has been changed, and now grants the following abilities:

  • The periodic damage of Thrash (Bear) now deals 60% more damage. Initial direct damage remains un-changed.

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Death and Decay will no longer trigger the Runic Return two piece PvP set bonus.
  • Howling Blast and Unholy Blight now properly spread their diseases to the primary target as well as other targets within range.

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Nether Tempest no longer strikes targets the Mage is not already in combat with.
  • Charges of Ice Floes are no longer consumed when the Chilled effect from Frost Armor is applied to enemies.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Casting Roll while accepting an Arena queue will no longer prevent the monk from taking actions once within the arena.
  • Glyphed and un-glyphed versions of Spinning Fire Blossom now deal the same amount of damage.
  • Missing with Blackout Kick after the Mastery: Combo Breaker activates will no longer grant two free Chi.
  • Swift Reflexes now deals 100% more damage.
  • Keg Smash now deals 50% more damage and strikes all nearby targets, rather than three.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Protection warrior damage values has been adjusted:
    • Revenge now deals 50% damage to a secondary target, and 25% damage to a third target.
    • Deep Wounds now does 50% less damage for Protection warriors only.
  • Warbringer will now stun the correct target when using macros.
  • Wild Strike that consume the last charge of Bloodsurge will now properly cause a one second global cooldown, rather than a 1.5 second global cooldown.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Hellfire no longer does damage immediately when it is initially cast, and now does the correct amount of damage over its 14 second duration.

Creatures
  • Players visiting other realms via RealID or Battletag parties will no longer receive loot from Galleon/Salyis's Warband.
  • Mutated Silkmoths and Tiny Mutated Silkmoths are now more abundant.
  • Sprites will now only stack the Spritely buff to 20 (was 40).
  • Orchard Wasps will no longer attack critters in the area.
  • Creatures slain in the Krasarang Wilds will no longer clutter the environment.
  • Groundbreaker Brojai in Krasarang Wilds is no longer quite so loud.
  • Captain Doren will now correctly respawn if players leave his cave after he enters his Sha form.
  • Cheerful Jessu and the mailbox are now always available in Pearlfin Village.
  • Birds and beasts in Kun-Lai Summit are now meatier.
  • Various NPCs in Kun-Lai Summit now respawn less frequently.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the Sha of Anger to despawn under certain certain circumstances.
  • Captain Ripflesh should no longer despawn unexpectedly.
  • Creature respawn rates in Howlingwind Cavern has been adjusted when many players are in the area.
  • Giant Cave Bats now award significantly less experience.
  • King Spineclaws now award significantly less experience.
  • Captive breeding programs have brought the endangered Briny Clacker and Brineshell Snappers back to sustainable populations.
  • The Shuffling Mistlurker's Smash attack no longer has a knock-back effect. They are still jerks.
  • Osul Sharphorns in Townlong Steppes now leash properly, and no longer knock themselves silly when using Gored or Demolish.
  • Ordo Overseers now leash properly and reset if they stray too far away from the farm.

Items

Pet Battles
  • Many pet abilities have been improved.
  • Wild battle pets in The Veiled Stair now spawn at the correct level.
  • The Clockwork Gnome's ability, Build Turret, now properly has a 2 round cooldown.
  • A wayward Tiny Harvester can now be battled normally.
  • Turns should no longer inadvertently be skipped when multi-round abilities are used in a Pet Battle.
  • Fixed several issues that could occur when using offensive pet abilities in PvP, Tamer and Wild Pet battles.

Quests
  • Fixed several issues involving daily quests and Cross Realm Zones.
  • Players are now able to complete the quest "Mimicking Nature's Call".
  • Anduin Wrynn should now return if he wanders off during quests in the Krasarang Wilds.
  • Players are no longer able to obtain multiple Teng Appleblooms during the quest "Priorities!".
  • The Silk Cocoon Bucket for the quest "Where Silk Comes From" can now be looted multiple times by different players.
  • Players who have completed the quest "Weed War" no longer leave a weedy lawn in their wake.
  • The Diabolical Plans that start the quest "Diabolical Plans" now drop properly for Horde players.
  • Chen Stormstout and Li Li Stormstout will no longer disappear unexpectedly during the quest "Chen and Li Li".
  • Hao Mann is no longer quite so loud.
  • Hatchling Poop for the daily quest "Pooped" is now slightly more... persistent.
  • Players can no longer be interrupted by enemy attacks when looting the Big Bag of Poop and the Tiny Bag of Poop for the daily quest "Pooped".
  • Turning in the repeatable quest "Replenishing the Pantry" no longer fulfills daily quests completed achievement criteria.
  • Fixed an issue that could prevent players from turning in the quest "Immortality?".
  • Players must now properly earn the right to Lao-Chin the Iron Belly's company by completing "The Challenger's Ring: Lao-Chin the Iron Belly".
  • Peat Clumps for the quest "Golgoss", and Peat Mounds for the quest "Arconiss", can both now be interacted with properly.
  • Shao-Tien Ritual Statues for the quest "Smashing Impression" have been fixed so that they can once again be broken.
  • All players attacking Aetha, Leechfingers, and The Ook of Dook will now properly receive credit for their respective quests.
  • Players should now receive credit for the quest "Free From Her Clutches" when freeing Kunchong Hatchlings, and Kunchong Cages will now reset properly once opened.
  • The following quest items can now be looted by all party members: Clacker Tails for the quest "Fine Dining", Volatile Blood for the quest "A Bloody Delight", Pristine Mire Beast Eye for the quest "Putting and Eye Out", Amber-Encrusted Brain for the quest "A Little Brain Work", and Thresher Jaws for the quest "Shark Week". In addition, players can now obtain up to ten un-opened Thresher Jaw at one time.
  • The daily quest, "My Town, It's on Fire Again" is now more fiery.
  • The daily gift quest granted by "Blingtron 4000" is now only available to players of level 80 and above.
  • Terracotta Defenders now properly attack the player who looted the Bottom Fragment of Lei Shen's Tablet for the quest "Stealing Their Thunder King".
  • Shao-Tien Surveyors are now easier to spot from a distance.
  • The Claw of Anger, which begins the quest "Remnants of Anger", can now be looted by all members of the party or raid that slew the Sha of Anger.

Dungeons & Raids
  • Level 85 players should be able to queue for random normal difficulty Cataclysm dungeons.
  • Cannons in the Gate of the Setting Sun now properly propel players precisely.
  • Zao Sunseeker can no longer be encountered in the Temple of the Jade Serpent.
  • Level 90 players can now join the random queue for normal versions of lower level Mists of Pandaria dungeons.
  • Striking Ook Ook with multiple barrels simultaneously now awards the correct number of stacks for the achievement, "Keep Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'".
  • The doors leading to Master Snowdrift in the Shado-Pan Monastery should now remain open to prevent players from becoming locked out during the gauntlet. The inner doors will still close once Master Snowdrift himself is engaged.
  • Hateful Essence in the Shado-Pan Monastery will no longer cause players to become stuck in combat.
  • The High Inquisitor Whitemane encounter in the Scarlet Monastery now properly awards reputation upon completion.

Bug Fixes
  • Player resources are now properly set to default values when the arena preparation phase ends.
  • Players can no longer stack on top of the Season 12 PvP item vendors, PvE item vendors and Challenge Mode item vendors.
  • Portal: Vale of Eternal Blossoms and Teleport: Vale of Eternal Blossoms are now properly retained after a paid faction transfer.
  • Players are now ported directly to The Grim Guzzler tavern after accepting the queue for Coren Direbrew.
  • All players that slay Warbringer Qobi are now properly awarded the Brewmoon Festival achievement.
  • Turning in the quest "Flying Colors" will now properly complete the Tian Monastery portion of the Upjade Complete achievement.

PvP Season 12 MMR Change
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As some of you have noticed, MMR did not reset today with the start of Season 12. This was indeed a last minute decision and we apologize for any confusion this has caused.
by Published on 2012-10-02 09:01 PM

Justice and Honor Gear Item Level Changes
You can see the current stats on the Season 12 Armor sets page and on WoWDB for the off set items.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re working to adjust current Justice and Honor gear to better align with intended values. Currently it’s more lucrative to run Battelgrounds for ilvl 464 epics, and convert all Justice to Honor to gear up. While some crossover is fine, the most optimal way to gear for PvE doesn’t make sense to happen through PvP.

This hotfix will ideally go out today, and once applied will change all Justice and Honor items (including those already purchased) in the following ways:

Justice Items
Current – ilvl 450 Rare
New – ilvl 458 Rare

Honor Items
Current – ilvl 464 Epic
New – ilvl 458 Rare

We’ll be increasing the PvP Power and Resilience on the Honor items by 15% to compensate for this change.

Again, our design in Mists of Pandaria is to allow for a greater degree of crossover between PvE and PvP using the same gear, but the original item levels simply made Honor gear (through Battlegrounds or conversion of Justice to Honor) a far better route to gear up for PvE. Players who enjoy PvE shouldn’t feel forced to PvP to get the best gear, and vice versa.
by Published on 2012-10-02 02:10 AM

Faction Justice Gear Reputation Requirements Hotfix
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We've just applied a hotfix that removes the faction requirements for Justice gear.

Shado-Pan and August Celestial factions will no longer require Golden Lotus faction to purchase this gear. This will allow players who have reached level 90 to have additional sources of item level (ilevel) 450 gear to progress into the Dungeon Finder Heroic dungeons more readily.

Players who are looking to purchase this gear should seek out the following vendors:

Townlong Steppes:

Vale of Eternal Blossoms:

Dread Wastes:

Reminder: Mogu'shan Vaults Raid Opens This Week
Don't forget that Normal difficulty Mogu'shan Vaults is opening this week! Heroic and Raid Finder difficulty will open next week.




Level Type Spec Slot Name
489NeckTankNeck Beads of the Mogu'shi
489ClothSpell SpiritLegs Jade Dust Leggings
489BackSpell SpiritBack Cape of Three Lanterns
489ClothSpell DPSWaist Ruby-Linked Girdle
489ClothSpell DPSHands Claws of Amethyst
489LeatherSpell SpiritWaist Stonebound Cinch
489LeatherPhysical DPSLegs Stoneflesh Leggings
489MailSpell SpiritHead Sixteen-Fanged Crown
489MailPhysical DPSChest Stonefang Chestguard
489MailPhysical DPSWrists Stonemaw Armguards
489PlateTankWaist Star-Stealer Waistguard
489PlateMeleeFeet Jasper Clawfeet
489PlateSpell DPSFeet Heavenly Jade Greatboots
489DaggerPhysical DPSOne Hand Dagger of the Seven Stars
Level Type Spec Slot Name
489FingerSpell SpiritFinger Feng's Ring of Dreams
489Off HandSpell SpiritHeld In Off-hand Fan of Fiery Winds
489FingerPhysical DPSFinger Feng's Seal of Binding
489NeckSpell DPSNeck Amulet of Seven Curses
489BackMeleeBack Cloak of Peacock Feathers
489BackPhysical DPSBack Arrow Breaking Windcloak
489ClothSpell DPSChest Imperial Ghostbinder's Robes
489LeatherSpell SpiritHead Hood of Cursed Dreams
489LeatherPhysical DPSWaist Tomb Raider's Girdle
489MailSpell SpiritWaist Chain of Shadow
489MailPhysical DPSFeet Wildfire Worldwalkers
489PlateTankWrists Bracers of Six Oxen
489PlateMeleeHead Nullification Greathelm
489PlateSpell SpiritLegs Legplates of Sagacious Shadows
Level Type Spec Slot Name
489NeckMeleeNeck Soulgrasp Choker
489FingerSpell SpiritFinger Circuit of the Frail Soul
489ClothSpell SpiritFeet Sandals of the Severed Soul
489ClothSpell DPSShoulders Shadowsummoner Spaulders
489LeatherSpell SpiritShoulders Spaulders of the Divided Mind
489LeatherPhysical DPSShoulders Netherrealm Shoulderpads
489MailSpell SpiritLegs Leggings of Imprisoned Will
489MailPhysical DPSWaist Fetters of Death
489PlateTankFeet Sollerets of Spirit Splitting
489PlateMeleeWrists Bonded Soul Bracers
489PlateSpell SpiritWrists Bindings of Ancient Spirits
489ShieldSpell SpiritOff Hand Eye of the Ancient Spirit
489Fist WeaponPhysical DPSOne Hand Gara'kal, Fist of the Spiritbinder
Level Type Spec Slot Name
489NeckSpell SpiritNeck Zian's Choker of Coalesced Shadow
489NeckPhysical DPSNeck Amulet of the Hidden Kings
489ClothSpell SpiritHead Hood of Blind Eyes
489BackPhysical DPSBack Arrow Breaking Windcloak
489ClothSpell DPSHands Undying Shadow Grips
489BackSpell DPSBack Mindshard Drape
489LeatherSpell SpiritWrists Bracers of Dark Thoughts
489LeatherPhysical DPSWrists Bracers of Violent Meditation
489MailPhysical DPSLegs Subetai's Pillaging Leggings
489MailSpell DPSFeet Meng's Treads of Insanity
489PlateTankShoulders Shoulderguards of the Unflanked
489PlateMeleeChest Breastplate of the Kings' Guard
489PlateSpell SpiritWaist Girdle of Delirious Visions
489ShieldTankOff Hand Steelskin, Qiang's Impervious Shield
489PolearmPhysical DPSTwo Hand Screaming Tiger, Qiang's Unbreakable Polearm
Level Type Spec Slot Name
489TrinketTrinket Vial of Dragon's Blood
489TrinketTrinket Bottle of Infinite Stars
489TrinketTrinket Light of the Cosmos
489FingerTankFinger Band of Bursting Novas
489ClothSpell SpiritWaist Galaxyfire Girdle
489ClothSpell DPSWaist Orbital Belt
489LeatherSpell SpiritFeet Phasewalker Striders
489LeatherPhysical DPSChest Chestguard of Total Annihilation
489MailSpell SpiritShoulders Shoulders of Empyreal Focus
489PlateMeleeHands Starcrusher Gauntlets
489PlateSpell SpiritHead Crown of Keening Stars
489One-handed AxeMeleeOne Hand Elegion, the Fanged Crescent
489Two-handed SwordMeleeTwo Hand Starshatter
489WandSpell DPSRanged Torch of the Celestial Spark
Level Type Spec Slot Name
489TrinketTrinket Lei Shin's Final Orders
489TrinketSpell SpiritTrinket Qin-xi's Polarizing Seal
489NeckSpell DPSNeck Worldwaker Cachabon
489ClothSpell DPSHead Hood of Focused Energy
489LeatherSpell SpiritLegs Magnetized Leggings
489LeatherPhysical DPSHead Crown of Opportunistic Strikes
489MailPhysical DPSHands Grips of Terra Cotta
489PlateTankChest Chestguard of Eternal Vigilance
489PlateMeleeLegs Jang-xi's Devastating Legplates
489PlateSpell SpiritShoulders Spaulders of the Emperor's Rage
489BowPhysical DPSRanged Fang Kung, Spark of Titans
489One-handed MaceSpell SpiritMain Hand Tihan, Scepter of the Sleeping Emperor


PvP Season 12 Begins October 2!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Prepare yourselves for battle as the bloody struggle between the Horde and the Alliance continues on Pandaria’s shores!

The first PvP season of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria begins tomorrow, October 2! Once realms have come back up from scheduled maintenance, Matchmaking (MMR), Team, and Personal Ratings will be reset and players will able to compete in level-90 Arenas and Rated Battlegrounds for the best PvP gear, items, and titles.

Pet Battles - Hotfixes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
As Mists of Pandaria continues to unravel its mysteries, there are bound to be a few bugs that crop up from time to time and we’re working diligently on getting each one addressed. For the pet battlers among you, here are some of the hotfixes we’ve recently applied to the game:

  • A bug has been fixed that caused turn inputs to sometimes be skipped, causing only one pet to take action that turn
  • Conceding in a random PVP Pet Battle should now count as a loss
  • State-dependent abilities should no longer have their effects reversed (example: Maul should correctly require that the target be Bleeding)

Full balance change-list that was applied during the recent hotfixes:
  • Build Turret: Cooldown increased by 1 round
  • Tidal Wave, Magma Wave: Damage increased 40%
  • Scorched Earth: Initial damage increased 66%
  • Call Blizzard: Damage increased 66%
  • Sunlight: Damage increased 100%
  • Sandstorm: Damage increased 66%
  • Call Darkness: Damage increased 100%
  • Illuminate: Damage increased 100%
  • Arcane Storm: Damage per pet increased 60%
  • Moonfire: Damage increased 150%
  • Call Lightning: Damage increased 150%
  • Cleansing Rain: Healing increased 60%
  • Dive/Devastate/Proto-Stike/Lift-Off/Heroic Leap/Meteor Strike/Launch: Damage increased 17%
  • Howl: Duration increased to 2 rounds, cooldown increased to 3 rounds
  • Horn Attack: Damage increased 47%
  • Crouch/Staggered Steps: Cooldown reduced by 1 rounds
  • Extra Plating: Duration and cooldown increased by 1 round
  • Perk Up: Healing increased 40%
  • Swarm/Stampede/Zergling Rush/Flock: Damage increased 12.5%
  • Quake: Damage increased 20%, cooldown reduced 1 round
  • Tympanic Tantrum: Damge increased 40%, cooldown increased 1 round
  • Bleat: Cooldown reduced 1 round
  • Ancient Blessing: Healing increased 40%
  • Crystal Overload: Damage to self reduced 37.5%
  • Conflagrate: Base and bonus damage increased 25%
  • Plant: Healing per turn increased 20%
  • Inspiring Song: Healing per pet increased 20%
  • Coocoon strike: Cooldown reduced 1 round
  • Squawk: Cooldown removed
  • Cyclone: Damage per pet increased 40%
  • Whirlwind: Damage per pet increased 10%
  • Focus: Duration increased 2 rounds
  • Surge of Light: Base damage increased 25%
  • Perfumed Arrow: Damage increased 10%
  • Aged Yolk/Eggnog/Sear Magic: Cooldown reduced 1 round
  • Lock-On: Damage reduced 10%
  • Wind-Up: Damage increased 12.5%
  • Rabid Strike: Damage increased 30%
  • Bonestorm: Cooldown reduced 1 round

In addition, we’re investigating a possible issue with traps not upgrading and will get it resolved as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your continued feedback and bug reports. We appreciate your enthusiasm for this new feature, as well as the time you’ve taken to discuss the Pet Battle system!

Mists of Pandaria Launch Event
Curse was able to make it out to the Irvine launch event and speak with a few of the fans there.

by Published on 2012-09-30 10:47 PM

Interviews with Mike Morhaime and Rob Pardo, Wizard Guide, and Curse Survey

Mists of Pandaria Interview with Ion Hazzikostas
We had the opportunity to talk to Ion Hazzikostas (Lead Encounter Designer) at the Mists of Pandaria Launch event.


Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Q: Can you tell us a little more about your job and the responsibilities of the encounter design team?
A: I am the lead encounter designer for World of Warcraft. I run the team that makes the raid and dungeon content for the game. We also help out with major scenario bosses and outdoor quest bosses. We are specialists in multiplayer PvE combat.

Q: Are you happy with how the PvE content turned out?
A: Incredibly happy. We have more endgame PvE content than ever before in any of our expansions. We have 18 raid bosses waiting for players. 16 in instances and 2 outdoor world bosses. Nine instances, a new challenge mode feature, and there is really no end to the new raid and dungeon content.

Q: Do you have a favorite encounter?
A: That's like asking me to pick a favorite child. It's tough. One encounter that is really cool and I am looking forward to players seeing in the Mogu'shan Vaults raid, which opens up next week, is the Spirit Kings encounter. That is an encounter that has four ancient Mogu kings. The Mogu'shan Vaults is the repository of ancient Mogu history and secrets. They are the race that rule over the continent of Pandaria thousands of years ago, before their empire crumbled mysteriously. Their greatest secrets and history have been locked away in this vault. As players are exploring it, they trigger a trap or unlock something that reanimates the spirits of four of the great Mogu warlords from the past. The mechanics of the encounter are very reminiscent of the Omnitron Defense Council in Blackwind Descent where the bosses come out in a different order. Each one of those poses different threats as well as some very cool visuals. It is just a very dynamic experience that will change every time you pull the boss or play the encounter. I think players are going to have a really great time with it.

Q: What's next for your team?
A: Fixing bugs, though there won't be any in the content once players get to see it. We will always be working on the next thing. We are going to keep making more raids and more dungeons, so we are hard at work on whatever comes next. Players will have to see what that is.

Q: Can you give us an example of something that didn't make it out in the expansion?
A: For the most part we got the main things that we wanted to get out there out there. There is really more end game content than ever before. There were a couple of scenarios that players who were in the beta might have seen names of that we are still working on and will release in a future patch. The actual core raid and dungeon content that we wanted is all there.

Q: Scenarios seems to be aimed at a more casual play. Will we ever see some more challenging scenarios that really pushes the players?
A: Potentially. One of the main features of the scenario system is how accessible it is. It is a short, roughly 15 minute experience. There are no specific role requirements, so the queues are really quick. You can hop on during your lunch break, queue for a scenario, and you will be playing a scenario right away, which is a very cool thing. As a primarily queue focused experience, those scenarios aren't the best place to push the envelope of challenging content. Now that is not to say that we might not explore that space in the future, in terms of smaller group content that doesn't necessary have the traditional Tank, DPS, and Healer roles, but is hard.

One lesson that we have learned from Cataclysm is that challenging PvE content and random matchmaking queues don't really go well together. One of the core experiences that we hope for players to have as game designers when we make challenging content is the evolution of learning a fight. You fail initially, you make mistakes, you lose. Then you adapt, learn from those mistakes, apply your knowledge, and you eventually overcome and win. You feel good about that and you celebrate. Then you come back next time and you get to apply your knowledge and exhibit mastery of the encounter. That is really what feels good and reinforces the whole learning mechanism of learning the encounter and mastering it.

That breaks down when you are playing with random groups. You might have learned the mechanics, but that is no guarantee that the people you are playing with have done the same. Your own personal knowledge ends up not mattering when it comes to success or failure, and that can lead to frustration. We heard a lot of feedback about the release dungeons in Cataclysm, so we applied that to crafting our experiences for the Mists of Pandaria heroic dungeons, which players should find much less frustrating. At the other end of the spectrum we have a challenge mode difficulty that will make sure that the hardcore guilds or groups of friends who like to play together and use voice chat for coordination that was required in the Cataclysm launch heroics have that gameplay experience available to them.

Q: The legendary questline and itemization seems to work differently in Mists of Pandaria, with entire raids getting a legendary gem upgrade. Did raid design influence this decision to make raid balancing easier and make sure it doesn’t depends on how many legendary weapons people stack?
A: What players are seeing of the legendary quest experience throughout Mists of Pandaria in Patch 5.0 is just the tip of the iceberg. As players may have seen hinted at the in the achievement names, there are future steps to this questline in Patch 5.1, 5.2, and so forth. The legendary gem is just the first step. It is something players can work on in parallel. It isn't something where the guild leader has to decide who gets the first or second. Anyone who works on the personal parts of the quests and does the raid portion gets a gem which they can put in a Sha-Touched weapon from LFR, Normal, and Heroic. The stronger of a weapon that you get, the stronger the combined effect of the weapon and gem is going to be. Even though you can get the gem in Looking for Raid mode, the heroic raider who has a Heroic Sha-Touched weapon is going to have a much more powerful weapon in the end.

As far as raid balance goes, it is certainly helpful. The one thing we found with how Dragonwrath played out and the transition of Dragonwrath to Dragon Soul is that our traditional model of what a legendary item meant, its power level, wasn't really compatible with a model in which the legendary is at least one person, if not more, in every single raid group is going to have. It was different in Burning Crusade, where we could say "If you have Illidan's Warglaives, you win. You are going to top damage meters, do 20% more damage than anyone who doesn't, but that is okay because you are one guy that got really lucky." It is a very different dynamic when a guild can have twelve Dragonwraths from having farmed them up. Suddenly it affects raid balance, not just class balance. One of the big questions going in to Dragon Soul was how to handle ranged vs melee balance. If you have a raid where every caster has a Dragonwrath, is the melee balanced against the casters with Dragonwrath? That would make the casters without one fall behind. Is the melee balanced against the caster without one, in which case high end guilds where everyone has the weapon won't bring melee. This was not a great place to be. We are still evolving how legendary distribution methods should work.

One thing that we felt was really successful in the Cataclysm legendary experience were the custom quest lines that we offered for people that did the Dragonwrath quest line or the daggers quest line. That was some really cool gameplay, evocative of what players like about the priest and hunter quest lines in Vanilla. That is the kind of thing we can expect to see continued.

Q: Now that the first phase of the legendary questline is raid-wide, does it mean every player will get a legendary weapon in a few patches?
A: Not necessarily. I think the future steps of the legendary chain have yet to be announced, and that is something that players will see as we get there.

Q: Can you tell us a little more about the proving grounds game mode and when we will see it? Should we expect something challenging with unique rewards or is it just an innovative way to teach players how to play their class?
A: When you were talking about the things that we wanted to make in Patch 5.0 and didn't, that is one shining example. The Proving Grounds feature was a one player scenario that would give players a chance to learn the basic skills needed for tanking, healing, or doing damage. Proving Grounds for a tank might have an NPC healer that you have to protect from a stream of mobs that are coming in. There are different mobs that those mobs pose, spells that they cast or the ways in which they move. You have to hold agro, move around a lot, control the playing field, and do all the things that a tank would have to do in a fast moving dungeon group. The longer your NPC survives, the better your score will be. At the very high end it would give players who are very competitive a way to say "I am the best tank on the server", through leaderboards that would accompany it.

At the other end of the spectrum, it would give players who aren't as experienced at tanking a chance to learn those skills in a safer environment. World of Warcraft from level one to the max level is a DPS orientated game. Your quests are generally completed by killing things, even if you are a tank or healer spec. You are defeating creatures, looting them, getting them things, and so forth. If you don't do instance runs while leveling, you may reach max level without experience in applying those skills. There is no way to practice how to tank right now, other than the one that comes at the expense of four other people's experiences. You are stumbling through learning how threat works, learning how your buttons work, how the other dynamics of group gameplay work while other people are getting frustrated. That is part of what leads to the long queues as we are waiting for more tanks. It can be a very pressure filled experience and not a lot of people like being in the spotlight in that sense. If they had a chance to practice those skills and gameplay involved before they go in, they might feel more comfortable in doing it.

Q: Can we expect any kind of unique armor sets or rewards for the challenge modes?
A: Certainly. The reward structure for challenge mode players is equivalent to getting gladiator in PvP in terms of how difficult to earn it will be. Your gear is scaled down, so it isn't something that you can come back to a few patches later and get gold medals with no problem. For players who earn gold medals in all of the challenge modes will obtain a class specific set of armor for transmogrification. This armor has unique effects associated with it, aside from looking really over the top and epic. You will really stand out when standing around in Stormwind or Orgrimmar with this armor on. It has build in animations as well. For example, the Shaman armor has giant totem poles on the shoulders. When you cast spells, fire will well up within them. When you do a /laugh, the heads on the totem poles will laugh along with your character. Every set has a few built in hooks like that for players to discover. It is something that players can really take pride in and show off. Everyone who sees someone wearing the armor set will say "Where can I get that?" and "You must be really good at the game to have earned it".

Q: Is there any chance that you will bring back shorter raids like Zul'Aman in future patches.
A: It basically fits the storytelling we are trying to do. The 4.1 patch tried to focus on the evolution of the Zandalari trolls and what was happening there, so it made sense to bring back those old raids. We don't just bring them back; we update them heavily. To a player who does Zul'Gurub today, it is almost is unrecognizable compared to the Zul'Gurub that was a 20 player raid years ago. It is the same thing when you go into Deadmines, Scholomance, or Scarlet Monastery; they are very different zones with different bosses and mechanics. Players enjoy that and we enjoy visiting our classic dungeons and settings, but it is on a case by case basis that depends on the story we are trying to tell in a given patch.

Q: What are the most challenging raid encounters and dungeons in this expansion according to you and why?
A: All of the challenge modes are tuned to be demanding as far as dungeons go. Just finishing them is going to be an accomplishment for many players. With the way the medals are tuned, just getting a Bronze medal in a challenge mode is both a challenge and an accomplishment. Players who get all of the Bronze medals will get a title to show off their accomplishment. Shado-pan Monastery is going to be a tough one for players to go into. That is the enclave of the Shado-pan monks, who are an order of Pandaren that are dedicated to protecting the continent of Pandaria with ancient traditions. The overall feel of that dungeon is very much inspired by some of the cooler moments that we enjoyed in movies like Kill Bill. It has a Hollywood martial arts feel to it, a very cool place overall, but very hard on challenge mode.

On the raid front, in keeping with our traditions the hardest boss is probably the heroic mode of Sha of Fear, our final boss of this patch. Odds are good that it will be hard. The heroic mode was not tested at all on beta servers, so it has surprises that players will have to discover for themselves. There is a whole extra phase that is awaiting players that is not in normal mode, similar to heroic Ragnaros.

Q: A blacklisting feature was added for PvP to remove two battlegrounds from our random battleground queue; do you plan to add a similar feature for the random dungeons system?
A: We don't have any specific plans along those lines in the future, but it may be something we can consider. We obviously look at the dungeons our players run the most and the feedback that players are giving on the dungeons. The first thing we would rather do is improve the experience. If we are consistently hearing players groan when a specific loading screen pops up we would rather figure out what's wrong there and improve it. With battlegrounds it is a little bit different because don't purport to offer the same experience as each other. Some involve vehicles, some don't, some are small, some are large, so it is really hard to compare Battle for Gilneas to Alterac Valley. You are not necessarily looking for each of those experiences when you queue up, so players can decide not to play a large scale battleground today and blacklist Alterac Valley and Isle of Conquest. You could decide you want to play a large scale battleground, so you blacklist CTF maps. With our dungeons we try to offer a relatively consistent experience in terms of the feel and flow of PvE gameplay.

Q: Is there anything else that you want to talk about?
A: We are really excited to see all of these fans come out tonight to celebrate our launch, and even more excited to see everybody get on and dive into the game over the next week or so. It's been a labor of love for the past year and a half or two years. One of the most gratifying moments for us as a designer or anyone in a creative line of work is seeing people get to enjoy what you have produced. We can't wait to see people play the game and I can't wait to get home myself and start leveling.

Ask Mr. Robot Updated
Ask Mr. Robot recently updated for Mists of Pandaria. As you start to gear up for raids this week, make sure you are wearing the most optimal set of gear!



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mists of Pandaria Soundtrack
Did a quick check on iTunes, there is nothing from Blizzard Entertainment on there. I wish they would. I'm not about to spend $2k on a Vanilla Collector's Set on Ebay, but I would love to have the soundtrack that was included in that, and the one from Burning Crusade.

For those interested, the Mists of Pandaria Soundtrack is available for digital download on iTunes. Also available are the soundtracks for Cataclysm, Wrath of the Lich King, and Burning Crusade.

Anyone else get goose bumps while listening to the chorus portions in ‘Heart of Pandaria’? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Why isn't there a search function for your mounts tab when there is one for pets, bags, proff thingies?
Enroute for 5.1

Are you aware that the "Traveling Pet Mauler" achieve has STV instead of N. STV and S. STV? It didn't activate from either.
That’s intended. Not working however, is not. We will take a look.

I think Slam and Wild Strike need tweaks like make them off the GCD, I never find a gap to use them in PvP and PvE
Hindering Strikes glyph makes HS attractive in PvP. It might be fine to not use Slam much. WS gets boosted a lot by Bloosurge.

Tab for fun novelty items please? Lots in MoP and are taking up heaps of space. Don't want to delete because I like them!
I think this is part of an overall problem where our inventory feels very 2005.

We need more fun/silly/vanity type stuff - Like learnable Noggenfogger.
We focused a lot on Cooking, Inscription and Arch for MoP. If those changes prove popular, we'll do more.

I thought the Pandaria "cities" had auction houses in them through all of beta, what changed on live?
We thought the Dalaran model worked out well. Good balance between spending time in old and new cities.

WoWDB Addon Data Collection
Thousands of players have been contributing to the data on WoWDB and collecting this data is even more important with Mogu'shan Vaults opening this week, as drop rates are still undetermined there.

If you want to help out, just 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.



Curse Weekly Roundup
Evan and Lindsay tell us about Star Wars: The Old Republic, the MoP Launch, Call of Duty Zombies, FIFA 13, Minecraft, and a nice Game Forecast for next week.


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