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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!

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

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

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

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

Favorite Pairing:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some of the latest rules:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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