MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

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by Published on 2012-06-27 06:48 AM

Digital Purchase Restrictions Have Been Updated, Repair Costs, Diablo III Feedback, Blue Posts, Diablo 3 - From a New Angle

Beta Giveaway: We sent out the beta keys to winners today by PM. Make sure to log in and check, as you may not have email notification on receiving a PM turned on!

Gara'jal the Spiritbinder - Raid Encounter Preview
Gara'jal the Spiritbinder is the third boss of the Mogu'shan Vaults encounter. During testing only one group was able to defeat the boss.



Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Mogu'shan Vaults
The mogu, proud of their supremacy, kept lengthy records of their accomplishments within a great complex of vaults. Guarded by ferocious magical beings, these sacred chambers have remained silent since the mogu's departure.

Achievements

Gara'jal the Spiritbinder
  • Spirit Totem - Gara'jal the Spiritbinder periodically summons a Spirit Totem at a random location.
    • Cross Over - Spirit Totems cause the nearest 3 players within 7 yards to cross over to the spirit world when they are destroyed. The process of Crossing Over leaves the victim with 30% of their current health.
    • Cross Over - Players use Spirit Totems to cross over into the spirit world. Players exist in the spirit world for 30 sec before returning to the real world.
    • The Spirit World - Players crossing over to the Spirit World must return to the real world within 30 sec or die.
      • Frail Soul - Returning to the real world from the Spirit World inflicts players with a Frail Soul for 60 sec. Attempting to cross into the Spirit World with a Frail Soul kills the player.
    • Spiritual Innervation - Healing a player in the Spirit World energizes their soul with Spiritual Innervation. The effect of Spiritual Innervation varies depending on the class and specialization of the healed player, and the effect grows with larger heals.
  • Shadowy Minion - Shadowy Minions only exist in the Spirit World, but damage players in the real world with Spiritual Grasp.
    • Spiritual Grasp - A Shadowy Minion reaches into the real world with a Spritual Grasp, inflicting 20,000 Shadow damage on a random player in the real world.
    • Shadow Bolt - A Shadowy Minion fires a bolt at a random player in the Spirit World, inflicting 26,000 Shadow damage.
  • Voodoo Dolls - Gara'jal the Spiritbinder fixates on his current target and then that player and 2 other players to turn into Voodoo Dolls. A Voodoo Doll copies 100% of their damage received to all other Voodoo Dolls in the raid. The Voodoo Doll effect persists until either the victim perishes or Gara'jal the Spiritbinder banishes his fixated target to the Spirit World. Players turned into Voodoo Dolls cannot enter the spirit world. In 25 player raids, Gara'jal chooses 3 other players from the raid to turn into Voodoo Dolls.
  • Banishment - Gara'jal the Spiritbinder banishes his current target to the Spirit World. While in the Spirit World, a Severer of Souls assaults the victim. In Heroic Difficulty, three Severers of Souls attack.
    • Severer of Souls - Severers of Souls attempt to tear apart the soul of Banished victims.
      • Soul Sever - If players do not defeat every Severer of Souls within 30 sec., the Banished victim dies.
      • Soul Explosion - The Severer of Souls immense spirtual energy explodes outward at a random player in the real world. The Soul Explosion inflicts 45,000 Shadow Damage to the target and all players within 5 yards of them.
  • Frenzy - Gara'jal the Spiritbinder Frenzies when he reaches 20% remaining health, gaining 100% melee haste and inflicting 50% additional damage. Gara'jal the Spiritbinder also stops summoning Spirit Totems.
  • Right Cross - Gara'jal the Spiritbinder attacks with a crushing right handed punch, inflcting 100% weapon damage as Shadow damage to his target.
  • Left Hook - Gara'jal the Spiritbinder attacks with a mighty swing of his left fist, inflcting 100% weapon damage as Shadow damage to his target.
  • Hammer Fist - Gara'jal the Spiritbinder slams his opponent with both fists, inflcting 100% weapon damage as Shadow damage to his target.
  • Sweeping Kick - Gara'jal the Spiritbinder attacks with a sweeping kick, inflcting 100% weapon damage as Shadow damage to his target.



Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Why do Unholy Aura/Windfury Totem (and other attack speed buffs) not increase rune regeneration speed? Same question with goblin racial. Heroism and Unholy Frenzy however do. In contrast a caster's Cast time, DOTs and HOTs are affected by group buffs as well as things like Heroism and Power Infusion. Is this a bug? If not, could you please outline exactly what it is that will affect a Death Knight's rune speed regeneration?
Sure. “Haste” is somewhat of an overloaded word, in WoW’s vocabulary. There are, mechanically, several different kinds of haste:

Melee: Affects melee attack speed
Ranged: Affects ranged attack speed
Spell: Affects spell casting speed
Regen: Affects rune/energy/focus regen speed

Various sources of haste provide some or all of those. Haste rating, for example, provides all of them. There’s a raid buff that just applies 5% spell haste. And another that just applies 10% melee and ranged Haste. Typically, we refer to the combination melee+ranged as "attack speed," to indicate that it’s only affecting your attack speed, not your regen.

However, we’re not entirely consistent about this. On the character screen, the line that says “Haste” is really showing attack speed. We try to be specific about which one we’re giving you in specific spells or abilities. For example, the goblin racial and Unholy Aura specifically state that they increase attack speed, so they don’t give regen haste. Occasionally we mess up and refer to something as the wrong type of haste, but I don’t know of any more of those offhand.

Hunter (Forums)
What? It's already not worth using either single target or in an AoE situation. Also, hunter shots are currently partially blockable as are pet attacks. Pet attacks are also suffering from glancing blows. Is this intended?
All of the hunter level 90 talents are getting an across the board damage buff (they’re intended to be worth using single-target, and currently they’re not). I just meant that Barrage’s damage will be lowered a bit relative than Powershot. Hunter ranged attacks should not be blockable, and they currently are (known issue, will be fixed). Pet attacks should be blockable and able to glance.

Mage (Forums)
In regards to the mage level 90 talent Incanter's Ward, I have a bad feeling the fact that Priest shield spells are absorbed on higher priority than IW is going to foster a hateful relationship between a mage with the talent and the disc priest who is spell-blocking him. It would be a nice improvement to have Incanter's Ward at least have a higher absorb priority than other raiders' absorb spells if not also higher than Ice Barrier.
That’s a bug (or rather, we’re waiting on some code changes to support it that haven’t been implemented yet). Incanter’s Ward should always be used first to absorb damage.

Is Mage mana regen intended to increase only with Haste Rating, or with total haste? At present, it appears that neither the Frost Armor 5% haste buff nor the 5% haste aura increase regen.
Bug. Mage mana regen is currently scaling with melee haste instead of spell haste like it should be. That will be fixed in a future build.

We're also really wondering about the various "ignite-like" mechanics in the game....

Specific questions: Do these mechanics have the same basic implementation internally? In other words, can we trust that there is a single set of assumptions we can make about how the damage calculation and propagation works that will allow us to simulate all these mechanics correctly? And are there any details you can give us that would reduce the number of assumptions we need to make?

Ahhh, Ignite mechanics. What a storied history they have.

While there have been several versions of Ignite and similar effects, historically, the general goal for quite a while now has been for this sort of effect to be simply a way to move part of the damage from an attack into a DoT, to reduce burst, and add flavor. And since these attacks were likely to happen again before the DoT finished, each one needed to "roll" the damage left over from the previous DoT into the new one. However, that damage rolling processing has always been somewhat delayed. That leads to the “munching” problem (two hits could land at nearly the same time, and the first one wouldn’t have been processed yet when the second one lands, leading to the first one’s DoT getting overwritten by the second one’s).

However, we got some code changes done in 5.0 that handles rolling periodics better. If Blackout Kick does 20% of its damage as a DoT, then at the end of the fight, Blackout Kick’s DoT should have done exactly 20% of the damage of Blackout Kick (barring any rounding errors or overkill of course). The actual logic involved is rather simple: When reapplying this DoT, take the damage left in the previous DoT and distribute it evenly across the new DoT’s ticks. Do remember that refreshing a DoT refreshes it to the full duration, plus the next tick (so that you can clip DoTs by 1 tick and have no loss).

For example, suppose Blackout Kick does 20% additional damage as a DoT that ticks every 2 sec, for 4sec.

0sec: Blackout Kick lands for 100 damage. DoT applied, with 4sec remaining, doing 10 damage per tick.
2sec: Blackout Kick DoT ticks for 10 damage. 2sec remaining, still 10 damage per tick.
3sec: Another Blackout Kick lands, and this time it crits, for 200 damage. The DoT is refreshed and extended to 4sec past the next tick; 5sec remaining, or 3 ticks. It needs to do a total of 10 damage still from the previous DoT, and 40 more for this one, for a total of 50 damage over 3 ticks, so ticks for ~17 damage, 3 more times.
4sec: Blackout Kick DoT ticks for 17 damage. 4sec remaining, still 17 damage per tick.
6sec: Blackout Kick DoT ticks for 17 damage. 2sec remaining, still 17 damage per tick.
8sec: Blackout Kick DoT ticks for 17 damage, and expires.

Hope that helps.

Spells that use this mechanic include: Ignite, Blackout Kick, Echo of Light, Devouring Plague, Touch of Karma, Hand of Gul’dan, Bloodbath, Temporal Shield, Piercing Shots, Explosive Shot, and several set bonuses.

One additional addendum on the Ignite things: Explosive Shot does not do this in your current build, but will in the next. The others should all work that way in your current build.

Priest (Forums)
How does Psyfiend pick which target and in what order to fear if there are more then one enemy attacking the priest? Is it based on location, order of who attacked when, or is it totally random?
Without trying it out, I believe it prefers the last target that attempted an attack on the priest.

What counts as the three direct attacks for Spectral Guise? Any attack that isn't a DoT, or is there more specific list of attacks?
Any damage event, including DoT ticks.
What exactly is considered a range attack for Phantasm? Is it any attack that can be cast beyond melee range, or are there spells that are exception to this?
The mechanics for this are identical to Smoke Bomb or Camouflage, so try those out to compare.

Shaman (Forums)
Our shaman guy is working on implementing Stormlash, but he's lacking details on how the damage scales, in particular whether or not it scales with the cast time of the proccing spell, and if so what the formula is. I haven't looked into it myself so I don't have any more specific questions, but any other details you could share on Stormlash would be helpful as well.
We’re currently in the process of tuning Stormlash, so you can expect its numbers to change somewhat. It does vary the damage by the cast time of the spell or attack that proc’d it, but that formula is likely to change (and/or likely to include other variables). I’ll try to get that formula for you after we tune it.

Warlock (Forums)
I'm assuming you're referring to the dot it triggers, Shadowflame, but that functions as a dot with a stacking mechanic: For one, it can crit, which seems counter to the whole premise of rolling forward a fixed amount of damage. It also just doesn't roll damage in that way at all - I can cast two HoGs back-to-back or I can wait and do the second one just before Shadowflame wears off, and after the second HoG I get a 2-stack dot ticking 7 times for the same amount in both cases.
By Hand of Gul’dan, I did indeed mean Shadowflame. However, as you point out, this rolling periodic mechanic interacts rather oddly with debuffs that stack. So, we’re just going to take it off of Shadowflame. Shadowflame will be a simple DoT that can stack, not using this rolling periodic mechanic.

Warrior (Forums)
Pre-MoP Deep Wounds used this mechanic - does the MoP version continue to use it, or something else?
Mists’ Deep Wounds is no longer that kind of DoT; it’s now much more similar to Rend.

Raid Testing Schedule - June 27
Check back tomorrow afternoon for streams of the raid testing!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
On Wednesday, June 27, we'll be testing two encounters.

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

Will of the Emperor - 10 Player Normal
10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)

Imperial Vizier Zor'lok - 10 Player Normal
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.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Add Facebook Friends Option in WoW
Can Blizzard find a way to hook FB accounts and wow accounts together so when im on wow i can find all my FB friends that play wow and send them a real ID friend request?
It's a possibility for the future. We have this for Starcraft II as someone already mentioned, I just couldn't promise it or give any sort of potential date by which such a thing would happen (if we do it.) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Dungeon Difficulty
My question is why does Blizzard nerf heroic dungeons, i mean at first they are hard but what people don't realize about them is that you gear up. Hard is good and i'm sure most people don't want an easy game but a hard game that takes skill.
It's always about balance as always. We have a variety of people who play the game and we have to keep in mind what constitutes challenging and what constitutes frustrating and find a way to move frustrating back in line with challenging. Then from there, we run into different ideas of what challenging is.

So, we have to take a look at where the trouble spots are, investigate who is making it through and who is having difficulty. Beyond that, it then gets down to the nitty gritty. Is it simply a class issue? Is it a mechanic issue? Is the dungeon overall just too difficult for a variety of class combinations to get through? At what point do people "give up" or just flat out leave or not even attempt the dungeon to begin with?

Once we determine what is the "core" contributing factor, the designers decide on a course of action. Sometimes that course of action is to alter the dungeon itself and make it more accessible. We want the game to be fun. We want people to feel like they can accomplish the task at hand without it being a painful endeavor. We also ultimately want people to get a chance to see the content to begin with. The idea of creating a "piece of art" is to share it with others. The same is true for the various aspects of the game. While there may be aspects of the game that are less accessible for one reason another to a wide array of people, something that's considered a key aspect of the available gameplay is not something we want to heavily restrict or hold people back from.

They were good for 5 man groups. They were not good for 5 random people playing together.
This is a very good statement. I have often said that World of Warcraft has a lot of working parts and part of making development changes and balance is in being able to discern which parts need a little extra greasing to work better. There is also a distinct difference between a random group vs. a guild group or group of friends working together. While skill plays a part, so does understanding the people you're playing with and making what they do/how they play work for the group. If you aren't able to adapt to that, or the mechanics of the dungeon make adjusting too difficult, then it's another flag that perhaps something isn't working as well as it should be to allow that progress.

Again, people do want challenge, but challenge is different for everyone. Understanding where the limits of human patience are is important. For example, I'm more apt to stubbornly keep going up against something until I get it right no matter how long it takes, (give it a break maybe now and then) but go back to it so I can "beat" it. Others may give something a try once or twice then give up. In this case, our tolerance levels for "failure" or anticipation of gaining success at some point are a bit different.

I'm a bit confused with these parts in comparison to that of mechanics. For myself and doing the random groups and succeeding in the majority of them, I found what was usually the key point was players willing to work together and help each other and that those who are unwilling to adapt typically resulted in failure. With that said, are you saying that in the case of players not willing to be team players, the developers will make changes even if its not the fault of the mechanics?
Generally speaking, if a majority of randoms are not succeeding, then there is some potential evidence that it's a mechanics issue either in the classes being used (and their abilities) or the dungeon mechanics being difficult or hard to understand. If we're seeing a margin of error but overall progress is "acceptable" for a large portion of players given time, we may just hang back and watch. The key is in allowing for that reasonable amount of time to go by in order to gather appropriate data to know for sure what it is that's occurring.

So let me turn this around. Does Blizzard think that it's acceptable for a dungeon to be punishing?
Sure, to a degree. We're introducing Challenge Modes in Mists of Pandaria and those will be challenging though I hesitate to use "punishing". Again, we want it to be fun, so if you feel "punished" for trying to do it versus enjoy the challenge, it can be potentially problematic getting more people interested in it. After all, we expect that those who take part are going to be doing it with friends or guildmates which should keep it at "challenging" vs. /beatheadondesk .

The thing is why make harder content for the ones you call hardcore players just to nerf it later for others to get in?
Usually the changes are done after a period of time has gone by in which most of those "hardcore" players have done the content. That's cool and all, but again, getting others the opportunity experience the content isn't a bad thing either. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Human Female Model Update
Blizzard keeps talking about updating the models, but nothing has happened. How about in the next expansion? Please at least give the girls legs!
We did indeed say we'd like to update the models and it's definitely on our to-do list. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Undead Model UIpdate
More customization options would be fun, for sure. We're always having to weigh up which areas to work on in the game next though. Right now the team is focusing on Mists, then we'll be creating new content beyond that to keep everyone progressing. I'd personally love to be able to change my character's build, cheekbones, leg length etc. but if I had to choose between that and waiting longer for new content, I'd probably go with the new content.

It's all very well having a great-looking character, but I need content to make me want to log on in the first place. What priority would you give things, just out of interest? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Server Faction Balance
We continue to look into possible changes, we're not ignoring the issue. The cross-realm zones will make areas feel less secluded on low-population realms, you'll feel less vulnerable to passing raiding parties from the opposing faction. But aside from that, we don't have any news for you on this subject yet. I'll reiterate; we are aware of your situation, and believe me, we want you all happy and enjoying the game, and as soon as we come up with anything else that may help those of you who are unhappy on these affected realms, we'll let you know.

For now though, please continue adding your thoughts to the existing threads (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Trading Card Game Art
Blizzard has updated the Trading Card Game art gallery to feature ten new pieces.



by Published on 2012-06-26 06:45 AM

Patch 1.0.3a Tomorrow - Official Patch Notes, 1.0.3b Soon

Account Wide Mounts Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We have been discussing this issue the last couple of days and we made the call to make the following mounts account-wide:


At this point, the only mounts that are not account-wide are either class specific or rewarded from PVP. We feel like both these types of mounts should still be character specific.

Thanks for your feedback on this issue!

Challenge Mode Valor Rewards
Valor Point rewards were added to the Challenge Mode UI in a recent patch, but we have no word on if they are final yet. As a comparison, doing a random Heroic Dungeon rewards 60 Valor Points, and a random scenario rewards 30 Valor Points.

It is very unlikely the times that you see are final, as they are the same for every dungeon.



Heroic Scholomance Video Guide
Tonight we take a look at the revamped Heroic Scholomance!



Loot

Level Type Slot Name
463ArmorTankBackPhantasmal Drape
463ArmorTrinketSearing Words
463ArmorMeleeTrinketLessons of the Darkmaster
463ArmorSpell DPSTrinketPrice of Progress
463ArmorTankNeckNecklace of the Dark Blaze
463ArmorSpell DPSNeckAnarchist's Pendant
463ClothSpell DPSHeadBarovian Ritual Hood
463ClothSpell DPSWaistIncineration Belt
463ClothSpell DPSLegsLeggings of Unleashed Anguish
463ClothSpell DPSWristsDeadwalker Bracers
463LeatherSpell SpiritHandsRattling Gloves
463LeatherPhysical DPSHeadSoulburner Crown
463LeatherPhysical DPSWaistIcewrath Belt
463LeatherPhysical DPSLegsGhostwoven Legguards
463LeatherPhysical DPSHandsTombstone Gauntlets
463MailSpell SpiritChestShivbreaker Vest
463MailSpell SpiritWristsShadow Puppet Bracers
463MailSpell SpiritHandsGloves of Explosive Pain
463MailPhysical DPSFeetBone Golem Boots
463PlateTankShouldersVigorsteel Spaulders
463PlateTankChestBreastplate of Wracking Souls
463PlateTankFeetWraithplate Treads
463PlateMeleeHandsDark Blaze Gauntlets
463PlateSpell SpiritShouldersShoulderguards of Painful Lessons
463ShieldSpell SpiritOff HandMetanoia Shield
463Two-handed AxeMeleeTwo HandGoresoaked Headreaper
463Two-handed SwordMeleeTwo HandGravetouch Greatsword
463WandSpell DPSRangedNecromantic Wand


Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Scholomance
Individuals seeking to master the powers of undeath know well of Scholomance, the infamous school of necromancy located in the dark and foreboding crypts beneath Caer Darrow. In recent years, several of the instructors have changed, but the institution remains under the control of Darkmaster Gandling, a particularly sadistic and insidious practitioner of necromantic magic.

Maps




Achievements
  • Heroic: Scholomance - Defeat Darkmaster Gandling in Scholomance on Heroic Difficulty.
  • Attention to Detail - Defeat Jandice Barov without ever eliminating a false image in Scholomance on Heroic Difficulty.
  • Rattle No More - Defeat Rattlegore without allowing him to gain more than 5 stacks of Rusting in Scholomance on Heroic Difficulty.
  • Sanguinarian - Defeat a Krastinovian Carver that has 99 stacks of Boiling Bloodthirst in Scholomance on Heroic Difficulty.
  • School's Out Forever - Defeat 60 Expired Test Subjects within 20 seconds in Scholomance on Heroic Difficulty.

Instructor Chillheart
  • Stage One: First Lesson
    • Ice Wall - Instructor Chillheart summons a wall of ice that slowly sweeps across the room, instantly killing any player it touches.
    • Wrack Soul - Instructor Chillheart shatters the soul of a player, inflicting 15,000 Shadow damage every second for 10 sec. When Wrack Soul expires, it jumps to another player.
    • Ice Wrath - Instructor Chillheart wreaths a player in ice for 10 sec, causing them to inflict 45,000 Frost damage to all of their allies within 3 yards every second.
    • Touch of the Grave - Instructor Chillheart's icy touch causes her next 10 melee attacks to inflict an additional 45,000 Frost damage.
    • Frigid Grasp - Instructor Chillheart summons ice at a player's location that explodes from the ground, inflicting 200,000 Frost damage to all nearby players.
  • Stage Two: Second Lesson - When Instructor Chillheart's physical body dies, the foul magic that animated her escapes back to her phylactery. Fragments of Instructor Chillheart's soul escape the phylactery and animate the tomes of magic scattered throughout the classroom.
    • The Anarchist Arcanist
      • Arcane Bomb - The Anarchist Arcanist creates an orb of magic that explodes on impact, inflicting 60,000 Arcane damage to all players within 2 yards.
    • Antonidas' Self Help Guide to Standing in Fire
      • Burn - Antonidas' Self Help Guide to Standing in Fire inflicts 60,000 Fire damage to all players within 2 yards of it.
    • Wander's Colossal Book of Shadow Puppets
      • Shadow Bolt - Wander's Colossal Book of Shadow Puppets hurls bolts of dark magic at random players, inflicting 37,500 Shadow damage.

Jandice Barov
  • Wondrous Rapidity - Jandice rears her staff back with a flash of wondrous Arcane force, unleashing a barrage of attacks that inflict 175,000 Arcane damage in a cone in front of her.
  • Gravity Flux - Jandice creates a gravity distortion field that inflicts 175,000 Shadow damage to all enemies who enter it, knocking them back and causing them to briefly go blind.
  • Phantasmal Images - At 66% and 33% health Jandice dissipates into thin air, creating multiple illusions of herself. Destroying the one illusion Jandice hides behind forces her back into the fray. In Heroic difficulty, defeating the wrong image causes a Flash Bang, inflicting 60,000 Arcane damage to all enemies.
    • Whirl of Illusion - Whereas Jandice hides behind images of herself, the real Jandice dances in a Whirl of Illusion, inflicting 15,000 Arcane damage to all enemies every 1 seconds.

Rattlegore
  • Rusting - Rattlegore's dull blades rust with each successful melee attack, increasing damage by 10% but lowering attack speed by 5% and movement speed by 5% for 15 sec. This effect stacks.
  • Bone Spike - Rattlegore launches a powerful spike of bone at a random player, inflicting 225,000 Physical damage and knocking them back a great distance. Bone Armor absorbs the effect of Bone Spikes.
  • Soulflame - The souls of the dead Boneweavers continue to torment the living, periodically engulfing a section of the room in Soulflame. The flame inflicts 80,000 Fire damage every 0.5 sec. and grows in size over time.
  • Bone Pile - Bone Piles lie scattered throughout the summoning room. Interacting with a Bone Pile grants a player a charge of Bone Armor.
    • Bone Armor - Surrounds the caster with a series of whirling bones that absorbs one Bone spell.

Lilian Voss
  • Stage One: Fetch Me Their Bones! - Darkmaster Gandling turns Lilian Voss against her former allies, employing her powerful abilities to gather more corpses for his devious purposes. Though she tries to fight against his dark will, she cannot control her actions at this time.
    • Shadow Shiv - Lilian leaps onto a player and strikes them with both runeblades, inflicting 60,000 Shadow damage to players within 8 yards.
    • Death's Grasp - Lilian draws upon dark powers to pull all players to her location.
    • Dark Blaze - Periodically summons a patch of dark fire at the player's location, inflicting 25,000 Fire damage every 0.5 seconds.
  • Stage Two: Your Soul is Mine! - When Lilian's health reaches 50%, her will finally breaks. Darkmaster Gandling forcefully rips her anguished soul from her physical body, then commands Lilian's Soul to attack the players.
    • Blazing Soul - Lilian's soul blazes with barely-contained hatred, periodically inflicting 30,000 Fire damage to all players.
    • Unleashed Anguish - Lilian's anguish is further unleashed when striking players in melee. For every melee strike, Lilian will unleash another barrage of Blazing Soul. However, the movement speed of Lilian's Soul is significantly reduced.
    • Fixate Anger - Lilian's Soul fixates on a player. She will only attempt to attack that player and cannot be taunted.
  • Stage Three: A Perfectly Good Corpse - When Lilian's Soul reaches 1% health, Lilian's Soul fades into the spirit realm and cannot be attacked. Darkmaster Gandling reanimates what remains of Lilian's physical body to fight alongside Lilian's Soul. The reanimated corpse retains all abilities Lilian Voss used in Stage One.
  • Finale: Die, Necromancer! - When Lilian's physical body reaches 1% remaining health, she musters the strength to recombine with her soul for a final assault on Darkmaster Gandling.

Darkmaster Gandling
  • Incinerate - Gandling deals 70,000 Fire damage to his current target.
  • Immolate - Gandling burns an enemy for 50,000 Fire damage, then inflicts 30,000 additional Fire damage every 3 sec. for 21 sec.
  • Rise! - Gandling summons a legion of Failed Students to fight for him. The students swarm the area, fighting anything they can. While channelling this spell, the Darkmaster takes 50% less damage.
    • Failed Student - The Darkmaster raises the bodies of failed students to attack players.
  • Harsh Lesson - Darkmaster Gandling teleports a random player to one of his study rooms for a harsh lesson!
  • Study Rooms
    • Expired Test Subject - The Darkmaster keeps these former test subjects in the nearby rooms. They attack anyone who enters their rooms.
    • Fresh Test Subject - The Darkmaster keeps these subjects alive in the nearby rooms for testing. Each test subject suffers from Explosive Pain.
      • Explosive Pain - Gandling's experiment inflicts excruciating pain on the Fresh Test Subject. Dispelling the effect from the Fresh Test Subject unleashes an explosion of magical energy. This explosion inflicts 75,000 Shadow damage to Expired Test Subjects within 8 yards.



Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
How committed is the development team to having all tanks perform within an "acceptable variance" on all encounters? In Cataclysm we saw several "niches" become severe problems for tank balance on certain heroic encounters. For example:

Deathknights on Yor'Sahj, "Bearcatting" on Madness, Spine, Ultra, and Blackhorn, Deathknight and Druid compared to Paladin and Warrior for Impales on Madness, Warriors for Blood tanking on Spine, Paladins for most of heroic T12 due to Divine Guardian, and Warrior/Druid/Deathknight vs Paladin on Al'Akir.

We don't think any of those cross the line. If it were the same class showing up for all of those bullet points, that would be a problem. Our tanks all have strengths and weaknesses and unusual encounter mechanics may synergize or clash with them, but that's more interesting than extreme homogeneity, which would be the alternative. We like the puzzle aspect of "solving" boss encounters according to the comp and strengths of individual groups. We think it has helped contribute to the fun of killing bosses having such extraordinary legs (meaning that we're on tier 14 now and have made hundreds of dungeon bosses).

If memory serves the first Spine kill was Blood DK / Prot paladin and the second was a pair of druids. Now granted, world firsts sometimes have to resort to unusual strategies since they undergear the fights because they haven't had weeks to farm up better gear. Your mileage may vary.

As a counter-example, paladins on Heroic Major Domo initially were able to solo-soak the scorpion cleave, letting guilds with paladin tanks keep him in scorpion form longer than those without. We thought that crossed the line and we changed the boss mechanics to disincentivize that particular strategy. I fully admit that these calls are subjective.

It was explained that "Expertise will negate dodge and spell miss, then parry". No. I've tested this. Expertise reduces Dodge then Parry. Paperdoll is wrong and hasn't been updated yet.
Expertise does indeed reduce dodge and then parry. The character sheet itself does not appear to update correctly.

You're missing the point. Expertise doesn't help spell miss, which is a huge problem for any melee class that still has abilities on the spell hit table.
As far as we know, it does (and if it does not, it's a bug). You can't trust the tooltip in this case, because as I said, it is not yet updating -- you would have to actually test it in game.

Some follow ups on things that I said we’d investigate. More still to come. This thread has been great. Please try to keep it focused on theorycrafting discussion ("How does Combat Potency’s proc chance work?") and not general Q&A ("Explain your design intent with X"). Thanks!

  • Pet Scaling: Still working on a more comprehensive description of our new pet scaling system. Please continue to report things that seem like bugs or inconsistencies.
  • Shadowy Apparitions: Looks like this got fixed sometime recently; its damage matches the tooltip now. Not sure which way was correct, but an example data point is that it does 19908 damage with 16334 spell power and Shadowform and no other buffs.
  • Gargoyle and Haste: It was incorrectly getting only melee haste from the DK, not spell haste. It now gets spell haste from your highest haste.
  • Barrage vs Powershot: We’re currently planning to reduce Barrage’s damage a bit, so that it ends up being on par with the others on the row in terms of overall DPS.
  • Frost DK Weapon Twisting: We’re looking for a more elegant way to solve this, but may end up just disabling Threat of Thassarian and Might of the Frozen Wastes for ~10 sec whenever you swap weapons. Obviously, the weapon twisting behavior is not what we want to encourage; we want Frost DKs to choose either DW or 2H, and stick with that choice (and have them be competitive choices).
  • Spinning Crane Kick: Will only generate Chi if it hits at least 3 targets.
  • Malefic Grasp: There’s another bugfix coming still for this so it won’t match what you see quite yet, but here’s how it should work:

    1) DoT hastening of Malefic Grasp and Drain Soul back to +100%, from +50%.

    2) Damage of MG and DS reduced, so that the total DPS gain remains constant (-40% to MG, -13.333% to DS).

    3) Since MG once again simply doubles tick rate, it effectively means there should be an additional tick between each existing tick. So, if MG is active during a midpoint between normal ticks, an extra tick goes off.
  • Brain Freeze with Multi-DoTing: Brain Freeze will only be triggered by your most recently applied bomb.

Druid (Forums)
Nature's Vigil is currently affecting Frenzied Regeneration. That doesn't seem intentional.
I believe the intention is that the healing amount is increased, but that it does not deal damage based on that healing.

Here are some more incoming changes relevant to Balance Druid theorycrafters.

We are experimenting with some changes to the rotation. No promises that these changes will stay, but we definitely look forward to your feedback (both in terms of theorycrafting and how fun it is). Shooting Stars should occur much more frequently, and Starsurge should be a more important (read: high damage) button. Additionally, we’re adding a new passive that has some interesting implications. Should you choose to ignore it, your DPS will likely be only a few percentage behind someone who uses it optimally, but it should hopefully provide some more varied gameplay. To use some game designer jargon, we’re happy with Moonkins’ macro level rotational gameplay, but think they needs some more mirco-level decisions.

  • Shooting Stars chance increased from 20% to 50%.
  • Starsurge damage increased by 30%.
  • Fae Empowerment: New passive for Balance Druids. When you cast Faerie Fire, you gain Lunar Empowerment and Solar Empowerment.
  • Lunar Empowerment: Increases the damage of your next 3 Starfires within 15 sec by 15%.
  • Solar Empowerment: Increases the damage of your next 3 Wraths within 15 sec by 20%.

Please note that these changes are straight DPS buffs, and we don’t think Moonkin need a buff right now, so we need to reduce overall damage (probably across the board) so that overall DPS stays the same. These nerfs may take a few builds, because we need to evaluate if these rotation changes are worth doing. However, don't be surprised when you see them, and help spread the word when you see the inevitable "I can't believe we were nerfed!" posts.

Hunter (Forums)
I'm curious about the Hunter technique of macro'ing Fox and Hawk into cast time/instant shots, respectively, to maximize uptime with the Hawk AP buff while moving.
We don't consider that fun gameplay. You're basically opting out of Aspects as a mechanic and just always benefiting from the right Aspect because you're "clever" enough to know there is a macro. Usually in this situation we put the "stance" on the normal GCD or make the shared GCD longer.

Barrage: This ability seems to do 400% weapon damage in total but it does not seem to be normalized, unlike powershot which is normalized (as well as just about every other hunter ability). Is this an oversight or is it not normalized for a reason?
Bug (and a slightly sneaky one). The issues you raise with Murder of Crows and Dire Beast are one of the challenges with summoned creatures. It's possible they won't always get the same number of attacks off, but we can balance around the average.

As an aside, we have a lot of abilities that summon extra creatures for hunters, including Stampede. This can create client performance problems on lower end machines, so we may ultimately have to redesign some of them. (We don't want to hear raid or BG leaders asking hunters not to use certain abilities.) Stampede would be the last one we touch.

Nowhere was a promise made that Piercing Shots, Mastery, et al. would be exempt from break CC. "Not a fair requirement" and "probably do need to pause" are not the words of a promise.
If you CC someone (say Scatter Shot, Freezing Traps and Wyvern Sting) and your autoshot gets turned off but Piercing Shots or Wild Quiver merrily break the CC, then that's a bug. If you CC someone and then keep shooting at them, then you're a bad hunter, and it's fine to break the CC. (In other words, you're supposed to choose between CC or damage.) Serpent Sting is a bit of a gray area, because you do have control over whether you put it up. You could be in a situation where you have a dot up and then decide to CC that target, but that situation happens for a variety of classes. We provide the glyphs for that situation. (Like everything else we discuss in this thread, none of that is set in stone.)

Mage (Forums)
Hi Doctor Street. A question has arisen concerning the mage tier 6 talents and if we'll be balanced around 100 up time on their use for our dps to be competitive with other classes.
Are Mages going to be balanced under the assumption that they have perfect 100% uptime of their level 90 talents? No. Are they going to be balanced under the assumption that they take one of them and use it reasonably well? Yes.

Monk (Forums)
Is that a range Mistweaver or a melee one?
Yes.

Paladin (Forums)
Currently because of the mana cost of spells and how slowly we generate Holy Power, I'm basically relying on Holy Shock and Holy light, with some WoG's / Eternal Flame on the tank. But I'm almost forced to not use Flash of Light of Divine Light because of the mana cost to heal ratio. More than a few casts of either of those will put me in the danger zone of going oom, with not a lot of healing to show for it. Also Holy Radiance doesnt do nearly as much AoE healing as it was in Cataclysm, where i could rely on it to keep the group up during rough raid damage periods.
Holy Radiance is quite overpowered on many Dragon Soul fights, so I wouldn't use that as a yardstick for how spells should perform. Many of the nerfs we have made to Holy paladin healing over the course of beta have come about when our internal raid tests were dominated by Holy paladins (both throughput and efficiency) and Mistweaver monks. We'll compare these results to healers on beta now that raid tests are open.

Priest (Forums)
What was the decision process behind moving Vampiric Embrace from a passive ability to an active one?
In order to balance it, the number either needs to be very small, or the duration needs to be less than 100%. We generally think active abilities are more engaging than passive ones, so we went with the latter.

As far as your other Shadow questions go, I suggest just waiting until the next build so that you can see all of the numbers. It might take a lot of time to explain via text that would just lead to more questions. If the intent still isn't clear at that point, we can clear things up.

Shaman (Forums)
Currently Stormlash totem is scaling to ridiculous levels for certain classes(I've noticed Warlocks, Balance Druids, and Warriors so far) getting almost 400% more usage out of the totem than the myself as Elemental(With 2 back to back totems during heroism it did 300k damage for myself, but 1.2m for the warrior, 1.6m for the demo lock, 1.6m for the Balance druid.) Are you going to balance this down to those classes and then look at Stormlash and balance it around 25m but make sure it'll still be worth it for 10m.
That sounds off. It is possible something is proc'ing it than we don't intend. We don't want the shaman dropping the totem just to make someone else super awesome. It's a matter of degree -- if melee benefit a little more, no big deal. If some specs get 400%, then that may lead to a stacking issue. If it becomes a mandatory raid cooldown, then that's a problem. The benefit should be more like Shattering Throw -- nice to have, but not mandatory. (Mandatory tends to be in the eye of the beholder however.)

GC - you wanted more info on the Earth Elemental dodge thing:
Thanks, we’ll investigate this.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Level 90 Premade Character Availability
We are not planning on making new max-level template characters available in the near future, so if you're looking to participate in testing the Normal or Heroic versions of the Mists raid zones, you'll want to level to 90 in the beta.

By way of explanation: While we're excited about moving into the raid-testing phase of our beta, we're still looking closely at feedback and player behavior across all types of content, including the level-up experience and max-level daily quests. When we make raid-ready template characters available, that inevitably comes at the expense of the quality and quantity of testing in these other areas. In the past, this was an unavoidable sacrifice, since it was unrealistic to ask people to fully gear up for endgame raiding, much less Heroic raiding, in a beta environment. The new item-scaling system we have in place, however, provides an alternate solution. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Curse Weekly Roundup
Pico is back with news about MoP, GW2, LoL, and Abraham Vampire Hunter!

by Published on 2012-06-25 05:27 PM

Mogu'shan Vaults Raid Testing
Today was 10 man normal difficulty testing of Gara'jal the Spiritbinder at (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST) and The Spirit Kings at (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST). Testing is now complete with one kill of Gara'jal the Spiritbinder and many kills of The Spirit Kings. Check back in the next few days for videos of the encounters!

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Mogu'shan Vaults
The mogu, proud of their supremacy, kept lengthy records of their accomplishments within a great complex of vaults. Guarded by ferocious magical beings, these sacred chambers have remained silent since the mogu's departure.

Gara'jal the Spiritbinder
  • Spirit Totem - Gara'jal the Spiritbinder periodically summons a Spirit Totem at a random location.
    • Cross Over - Spirit Totems cause the nearest 3 players within 7 yards to cross over to the spirit world when they are destroyed. The process of Crossing Over leaves the victim with 30% of their current health.
    • Cross Over - Players use Spirit Totems to cross over into the spirit world. Players exist in the spirit world for 30 sec before returning to the real world.
    • The Spirit World - Players crossing over to the Spirit World must return to the real world within 30 sec or die.
      • Frail Soul - Returning to the real world from the Spirit World inflicts players with a Frail Soul for 60 sec. Attempting to cross into the Spirit World with a Frail Soul kills the player.
    • Spiritual Innervation - Healing a player in the Spirit World energizes their soul with Spiritual Innervation. The effect of Spiritual Innervation varies depending on the class and specialization of the healed player, and the effect grows with larger heals.
  • Shadowy Minion - Shadowy Minions only exist in the Spirit World, but damage players in the real world with Spiritual Grasp.
    • Spiritual Grasp - A Shadowy Minion reaches into the real world with a Spritual Grasp, inflicting 20,000 Shadow damage on a random player in the real world.
    • Shadow Bolt - A Shadowy Minion fires a bolt at a random player in the Spirit World, inflicting 26,000 Shadow damage.
  • Voodoo Dolls - Gara'jal the Spiritbinder fixates on his current target and then that player and 2 other players to turn into Voodoo Dolls. A Voodoo Doll copies 80% of their damage received to all other Voodoo Dolls in the raid. The Voodoo Doll effect persists until either the victim perishes or Gara'jal the Spiritbinder banishes his fixated target to the Spirit World. Players turned into Voodoo Dolls cannot enter the spirit world. In 25 player raids, Gara'jal chooses 3 other players from the raid to turn into Voodoo Dolls.
  • Banishment - Gara'jal the Spiritbinder banishes his current target to the Spirit World. While in the Spirit World, a Severer of Souls assaults the victim. In Heroic Difficulty, three Severers of Souls attack.
    • Severer of Souls - Severers of Souls attempt to tear apart the soul of Banished victims.
      • Soul Sever - If players do not defeat every Severer of Souls within 30 sec., the Banished victim dies.
      • Soul Explosion - The Severer of Souls immense spirtual energy explodes outward at a random player in the real world. The Soul Explosion inflicts 45,000 Shadow Damage to the target and all players within 5 yards of them.
  • Frenzy - Gara'jal the Spiritbinder Frenzies when he reaches 20% remaining health, gaining 100% melee haste and inflicting 50% additional damage. Gara'jal the Spiritbinder also stops summoning Spirit Totems.
  • Right Cross - Gara'jal the Spiritbinder attacks with a crushing right handed punch, inflcting 100% weapon damage as Shadow damage to his target.
  • Left Hook - Gara'jal the Spiritbinder attacks with a mighty swing of his left fist, inflcting 100% weapon damage as Shadow damage to his target.
  • Hammer Fist - Gara'jal the Spiritbinder slams his opponent with both fists, inflcting 100% weapon damage as Shadow damage to his target.
  • Sweeping Kick - Gara'jal the Spiritbinder attacks with a sweeping kick, inflcting 100% weapon damage as Shadow damage to his target.

The Spirit Kings
  • Meng Sharpfang - When the players defeat the Mad King, he remains in battle in a weakened state and only uses his Maddening Shout ability.
    • Maddening Shout - The Maddening Shout of Meng Sharpfang causes all enemies to go mad, inflicting 10,000 Shadow damage every 3 sec. and causing all enemies to hate each other. Players regain their sanity after taking 10,000 damage from another player. The Mad King retains Maddening Shout after being defeated.
    • Crazed - The Mad King becomes more insane every 0.5 sec. Crazed increases the Mad King's Physical damage dealt by a percentage equal to twice his current Insanity. When the Mad King reaches 100 Insanity, he switches personalities to Cowardice.
    • Cowardice - The Mad King becomes more insane every 0.5 sec. Cowardice causes the Mad King to reflect damage equal to 50% of his current Insanity. When the Mad King reaches 100 Insanity, he switches personalities to Crazed.
    • Crazy Thought - A Crazy Thought crosses the Mad King's warped mind, increasing his Insanity by 10.
    • Delirious - The Mad King enrages, doubling the rate he gains insanity.
  • Qiang Steelskin - When the players defeat the Warlord King, he remains in battle in a weakened state and only uses his Flanking Orders ability.
    • Flanking Orders - The Warlord King orders a flank, calling in a wave of Mogu attackers. These Flanking Mogu cast Overhand Strike, inflicting 100,000 Physical damage to enemies in front of them within 0 yards. The Warlord King retains Flanking Orders after being defeated.
    • Massive Attacks - No single man or woman can stand against the brutal attacks of the Warlord King. His Massive Attacks inflict 900,000 Physical damage, split among all enemies hit.
    • Annihilate - Qiang focuses on Annihilating his enemies in front of him, inflicting 300,000 damage to enemies within 0 yards.
    • Impervious Shield - The Warlord King uses his Impervious Shield, gaining immunity to all attacks and spells and increasing his attack speed by 200% for 10 sec.
  • Sebotai Swiftfoot - When the players defeat the Bandit King, he remains in battle in a weakened state and only uses his Pillage ability.
    • Pillage - The Bandit King charges a random player and Pillages them, stealing all of the target's posessions. The Pillaged effect reduces the player's damage and healing done by 50% and reduces their armor by 50%. The Bandit King retains Pillage after being defeated.
    • Volley - Sebotai launches three Volleys in quick succession. The first inflicts 50,000 Physical damage to enemies in a large cone in front of the caster, then 75,000 Physical damage in a medium cone, and finally 100,000 Physical damage in a small cone.
    • Rain of Arrows - The Bandit King fires a Rain of Arrows at the location of a random player, inflicting Pinned Down on all targets within the 8 yard area. Pinned Down inflicts 10,000 Physical damage every 1 sec. until another player removes the arrow from the victim.
      • Pinning Arrow - The Pinning Arrow causes Pinned Down, inflicting 10,000 Physical damage every 1 sec. until a player destroys the Pinning Arrow.
    • Sleight of Hand - Damaging attacks against the Bandit King cause the attacker to suffer being Robbed Blind. The effect reduces damage and healing done by 50% and reduces armor by 50%. The Bandit King becomes vulnerable to Stun effects while using Sleight of Hand.
      • Robbed Blind - Robbed Blind reduces the target's damage and healing done by 50% and reduces their armor by 50%.
  • Zian of the Endless Shadow - When the players defeat the Sorcerer King, he remains in battle in a weakened state and only uses his Undying Shadows ability.
    • Undying Shadows - The Sorcerer King creates an Undying Shadow at the location of a random player. The Undying Shadow inflicts 15,000 Shadow damage every 1 sec to players within 10 yards until destroyed. The Sorcerer King retains Undying Shadows after being defeated.
      • Undying Shadow - The Undying Shadow inflicts 15,000 Shadow damage every 1 sec to players within 10 yards until destroyed. An Undying Shadow fixates on the closest nearby player when the Sorcerer King summons it. After the Undying Shadow dies it starts to reform itself, creating Coalescing Shadows. After 30 seconds the Undying Shadow fully coalesces and reforms.
        • Coalescing Shadows - The Coalescing Shadows inflicts 15,000 Shadow damage every 5 sec. to players within 10 yards. After 30 seconds the Undying Shadow fully coalesces and reforms.
    • Shadow Blast - The Sorcerer King launches a Shadow Blast at the location of a random player. The Shadow Blast inflicts 70,000 Shadow damage upon impact to players within 8 yards of the targeted location.
    • Charged Shadows - The Sorcerer King blasts a random player with Charged Shadows, inflicting 85,000 Shadow damage to the target then chaining to further targets within 8 yards of each other.
    • Shield of Darkness - The Sorceror King protects himself with a Shield of Darkness. The Shield inflicts 200,000 Shadow damage to all enemies whenever a damaging ability lands on the Sorceror King.
      • Darkness - Inflicts 200,000 Shadow damage to all enemies.
by Published on 2012-06-24 06:42 PM

Diablo 3 - Inferno Farming Spots, Natalya's Set Bug, Blue Posts, and Diablo 3 Toolbox for Chrome

Mists of Pandaria Box Art
Someone over on Reddit posted an image that looks like it could be the Mists of Pandaria box! As expected, it mentions that you need the Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm expansions to play. The Burning Crusade is not mentioned because it is free for anyone who owns WoW as of last year.

Minimum Requirements
  • Dual core CPU, up from a single core at 1.4 Ghz. It looks like it may mention a Intel Pentium D rather than Intel Pentium 4.
  • 2GB RAM (or 1GB for Windows XP), up from 1GB RAM.
  • The X1800 Pro (2005) is now the minimum required GPU, up from the 9500 (2002), which may no longer be supported.
  • The GeForce FX 5000 series (2003) also has been dropped from the minimum requirements, replaced by the 6800 (2004).
  • The minimum hard drive space is still 25GB.
  • The minimum resolution is 1024x768.

Recommended Specifications
  • 4GB RAM, up from 2GB.
  • 64bit Windows 7, up from 64bit Windows Vista/7.
  • Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2, up from the Intel Pentium D.
  • Nvidia 8800GT, up from the 8600.
  • AMD 4830 512MB, up from the 2600.



South Korean Diablo III Refunds
South Korean players who were unhappy with the stability problems during the Diablo III launch will be able to apply for a refund! This was prompted in part by the Korea Fair Trade Commission investigation into denied refunds, which resulted in a raid on their office. South Korean Law allows a customer to receive a refund within seven days of purchasing something if the problems with the product are not caused by the consumer.

The number of Korean players connected peaked at 430,000, which prompted the installation of more server capacity. The peak for all of Asia was 640,000.

A player must have not played past level 40 in order to obtain a refund, which will be given out from June 25th to July 3rd. If you purchase the game from now on and want a refund, you will be able to get it as long as you have not played past level 20 and are within 14 days of the purchase date.

Players who do not apply for a refund will get a free month of Starcraft 2 access, which can be gifted to a friend if the player already has a copy.



Mogu'shan Vaults: Stone Guard
On Friday, several groups were able to test the Stone Guard encounter in Mogu'shan Vaults. Groups will be able to test the Gara'jal the Spiritbinder and Spirit Kings 10 man normal encounters on Monday, so check back around 13:30 EDT or 19:30 CEST for some streams!


Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Mogu'shan Vaults
The mogu, proud of their supremacy, kept lengthy records of their accomplishments within a great complex of vaults. Guarded by ferocious magical beings, these sacred chambers have remained silent since the mogu's departure.

The Stone Guard

  • Amethyst Guardian - The Amethyst Guardian gains energy when within 12 yards of another Guardian. The Guardian uses this energy to cast Amethyst Overload. If no other Guardian is within range, it instead gains the Solid Stone effect. In 10 player Normal Difficulty, a rotating set of three of the four guardians are present each week.
    • Amethyst Pool - The Amethyst Guardian creates a pool that inflicts (65,000 + 4.2% of SP) Shadow damage every 1 sec. to enemies who enter the area. Lasts 20 sec.
    • Amethyst Overload - Upon reaching full energy the guardian overloads, inflicting 500,000 Shadow damage to all enemies and interrupting Amethyst Petrification. The Overload does not free fully petrified enemies.
    • Amethyst Petrification - The Guardian attempts to turn its enemies to amethyst, reducing the Shadow damage they take by 80% but progressively slowing their movement speed. Enemies who reach 100 stacks of Petrification turn to stone and cannot move or act.
  • Cobalt Guardian - The Cobalt Guardian gains energy when within 12 yards of another Guardian. The Guardian uses this energy to cast Cobalt Overload. If no other Guardian is within range, it instead gains the Solid Stone effect. In 10 player Normal Difficulty, a rotating set of three of the four guardians are present each week.
    • Cobalt Grasp - Cobalt bursts from the ground at a random player's feet, inflicting 52,000 Arcane damage and preventing all movement for 6 sec.
    • Cobalt Overload - Upon reaching full energy the guardian overloads, inflicting 500,000 Arcane damage to all enemies and interrupting Cobalt Petrification. The Overload does not free fully petrified enemies.
    • Cobalt Petrification - The Guardian attempts to turn its enemies to cobalt, reducing the Arcane damage they take by 80% but progressively slowing their movement speed. Enemies who reach 100 stacks of Petrification turn to stone and cannot move or act.
  • Jade Guardian - The Jade Guardian gains energy when within 12 yards of another Guardian. The Guardian uses this energy to cast Jade Overload. If no other Guardian is within range, it instead gains the Solid Stone effect. In 10 player Normal Difficulty, a rotating set of three of the four guardians are present each week.
    • Jade Shards - The Jade Guardian fires shards of jade in all directions, inflicting 70,000 Nature damage to all players.
    • Jade Overload - Upon reaching full energy the guardian overloads, inflicting 500,000 Nature damage to all enemies and interrupting Jade Petrification. The Overload does not free fully petrified enemies.
    • Jade Petrification - The Guardian attempts to turn its enemies to jade, reducing the Nature damage they take by 80% but progressively slowing their movement speed. Enemies who reach 100 stacks of petrification turn to stone and cannot move or act.
  • Jasper Guardian - The Jasper Guardian gains energy when within 12 yards of another Guardian. The Guardian uses this energy to cast Jasper Overload. If no other Guardian is within range, it instead gains the Solid Stone effect. In 10 player Normal Difficulty, a rotating set of three of the four guardians are present each week.
    • Jasper Cleave - The Jasper Guardian inflicts 109,850 Fire damage to its current target and their nearest allies, affecting up to 5 targets.
    • Jasper Overload - Upon reaching full energy the guardian overloads, inflicting 500,000 Fire damage to all enemies and interrupting Jasper Petrification. The Overload does not free fully petrified enemies.
    • Jasper Petrification - The Guardian attempts to turn its enemies to jasper, reducing the Fire damage they take by 80% but progressively slowing their movement speed. Enemies who reach 100 stacks of petrification turn to stone and cannot move or act.
  • Shared Abilities - All four guardians have access to these abilities.
    • Solid Stone - When no other stone guards are nearby the Guardian reverts to stone form. While in this form it takes 90% reduced damage but cannot gain energy.
    • Rend Flesh - The Guardian rends the flesh of the target, causing 42,648 Physical damage every 1 sec. Lasts 15 sec.
    • Power Down - When the guardians reach 85%, 65%, and 40% remaining health, one of them will power down all Energized Tiles in the room to prevent players from using the energy.
  • Encounter Area -
    • White Floor Tiles - These tiles absorb the energy from Living Amethyst, Living Cobalt, Living Jade, and Living Jasper when a player stands on them. Each tile absorbs one charge of energy. For each tile currently energized in the room, every player gains a stack of Energized Tiles.
      • Energized Tiles - The energy of the living stone flows through the room tiles, empowering players and increasing damage dealt by 1%. This effect stacks.
    • Living Amethyst Crystal - The energy that powers the Amethyst Guardian forms into a crystal. Players who interact with this crystal gain the Living Amethyst effect.
      • Living Amethyst - 5 charges of the energy that animates the Amethyst Guardian tear though your body. Each charge inflicts (13,000 + 10.0% of SP) Shadow damage every 1 sec. Players drain the energy charges into white floor tiles to energize them.
    • Living Cobalt Crystal - The energy that powers the Cobalt Guardian forms into a crystal. Players who interact with this crystal gain the Living Cobalt effect.
      • Living Cobalt - 5 charges of the energy that animates the Cobalt Guardian tear though your body. Each charge inflicts (13,000 + 10.0% of SP) Arcane damage every 1 sec. Players drain the energy charges into white floor tiles to energize them.
    • Living Jade Crystal - The energy that powers the Jade Guardian forms into a crystal. Players who interact with this crystal gain the Living Jade effect.
      • Living Jade - 5 charges of the energy that animates the Jade Guardian tear though your body. Each charge inflicts (13,000 + 10.0% of SP) Nature damage every 1 sec. Players drain the energy charges into white floor tiles to energize them.
    • Living Jasper Crystal - The energy that powers the Jasper Guardian forms into a crystal. Players who interact with this crystal gain the Living Jasper effect.
      • Living Jasper - 5 charges of the energy that animates the Jasper Guardian tear though your body. Each charge inflicts (13,000 + 10.0% of SP) Fire damage every 1 sec. Players drain the energy charges into white floor tiles to energize them.



MMO-Report
The MMO Report is back with news about The Secret World, Guild Wars 2, and more!

by Published on 2012-06-23 06:35 AM

Diablo 3 - Blizzard Agrees That Act 3/4 Drop Rates Are Low, Monk Guide, 13 Questions Answered, RMAH Poll

Mists of Pandaria Beta Key Giveaway
If you aren't in the Mists of Pandaria Beta yet, now is your chance! If you are a Curse Premium member, there is a very limited amount available on a first come, first serve basis over on Curse. It looks like all of the keys on Curse have been claimed, but don't worry, you can still win one in our giveaway!

  • The giveaway is for 100 x Mists of Pandaria Beta Keys.
  • To enter the giveaway, just reply to this post!
  • 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)
  • The giveaway will be closed on Sunday, June 24th at 11:59 PM EDT (5:59 AM CEST) and winners will be chosen randomly.
  • If you want to talk about the rest of the news post, head over to this topic on the forums!



New Tillers Quests
The recent beta builds have added a few more quests that will give you an idea of what you will be doing on your farm. These also finally explain a little bit more about what Jogu wants to sell you!


Level Name Objective Money Faction +Rep
90The Cabbage TestPlant a Green Cabbage in Sunsong Ranch. You can purchase seeds from Merchant Greenfield in the Halfhill Market.570The Tillers 350
90That Dangling CarrotPlant a Juicycrunch Carrot in Sunsong Ranch. You can purchase seeds from Merchant Greentill in the Halfhill Market.570The Tillers 350
90Why Not Scallions?Plant a Scallion in Sunsong Ranch. You can purchase seeds from Merchant Greenfield in the Halfhill Market.570The Tillers 350
90A Pumpkin-y PerfumePlant a Mogu Pumpkin in Sunsong Ranch. You can purchase seeds from Merchant Greenfield in the Halfhill Market.570The Tillers 350
90Red Blossom Leeks, You Make the Croc-in' World Go DownPlant a Red Blossom Leek in Sunsong Ranch. You can purchase seeds from Merchant Greenfield in the Halfhill Market.570The Tillers 350
90The Pink Turnip ChallengePlant a Pink Turnip in Sunsong Ranch. You can purchase seeds from Merchant Greenfield in the Halfhill Market.570The Tillers 350
90The White Turnip TreatmentPlant a White Turnip in Sunsong Ranch. You can purchase seeds from Merchant Greenfield in the Halfhill Market.570The Tillers 350


Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I ask this since 1 point of spirit will be essentially worth the same regardless of Tier of Gear. A crossover point of the importance of spirit/regen will exist. (I thought was the goal of having fixed mana pools was to avoid this.. as is, we potentially run the risk of being able to "overgear content with spirit")
It’s intentional that your regen increases over time. The idea is that your Spirit / regen increases with gear, but the amount you need to heal also increases as you do higher tier content, so that as your regen improves you are casting fewer efficient Heals and more inefficient Flash Heals and other expensive spells. The problem on live is that Intellect was also a regen stat (and a really good one that also improved your spell power) so mana regeneration grew at a faster rate than healing demands grew.

Just curious, and perhaps not relevant, but to what extent do abilities and their scaling get planned out for the increased ilvl that comes with each successive tier of content? Does that sort of thing get looked at during the beta, or is it more of a "we'll deal with that later because things are going to change anyways"? It seems like every expansion healing is really tight at launch, and turns into roflaoefest in the last tier, because that's the only way to "challenge" the healers. Similarly, (shield) tanks are short on their avoidance early on, but then end up capping their CTC.
We balance around the last planned tier for an expansion, and even a tier beyond that, just in case we add another tier or even something like Ruby Sanctum. What we can’t predict easily are what the encounters are going to be like at that time or what set bonuses will be, because we don’t plan those out multiple tiers in advance. In the case of shield tanks capping block, we knew we were going to have a problem and we intended to nerf it before the final tier, but then decided that the nerf would be so severe and so devastating to tanks, that the problem wasn’t worth solving at the time.

Man, GC. I know this is your job and everything, but how do you keep all of this info in your head? I don't think I could handle this for just a couple classes, much less the entire spectrum. Ins and outs of everything from the individual workings of spells to how an entire spec should flow. Just -SO- much information.
I do spend a lot more time dealing with this stuff than many players can afford to do, but the real answer is that it's a team effort. I have a bunch of really smart designers and they are all contributing to this process, and we're further supported by our community teams (in all regions) funneling questions and information to us. I’m the one posting, but it’s very much a group effort.

Isn't this especially problematic to balance specs though?
Sorry, my answer was unclear. The question was specifically: do you look at the last raid tier? Yes, we do. We also look at the first tier and all tiers in between. We also look at players in blue gear and quest greens and even what players first getting the MoP changes at level 85 will look and feel like.

Sometimes we still get it wrong, though we have gotten dramatically better over the years. Sometimes the numbers are balanced but we decide to change the mechanics of a spell or rotation, which then means the numbers are thrown off. Sometimes encounter specifics play a big role. The Firelands raid tier had a ton of movement fights followed by Dragon Soul, which had a ton of group up fights, and those allow different specs to shine and throw a harsh light on different sets of problems. Sometimes we balance around one rotation and then some time after ship, players figure out a different rotation or stat allocation or talent selection, which we didn't foresee and which throws our numbers out of whack. Sometimes there are bugs that we don't know about and balance around, which then throw off numbers when they are fixed down the road.

But we do look at everything. To use a concrete example, one of the things we do is whack ratings when an expansion begins so that there is room to grow into additional gear. As I have said before, this feels bad to players but is sort of inevitable because we can't start at say 75% crit chances and grow into 130% crit chances. However, we think the current loss of stats in MoP is too extreme, and is exacerbated by losing all of the passive talents and glyphs that often added haste and crit especially. We believe, and we're certainly hearing the feedback, that players are playing from level 85 to 90 with haste, crit and mastery percentages that are so low as to be unfun. We think we have room to bring those up a little, which is something we're looking at right now.

Death Knight (Forums)
However, there's no way that all of this accounts for the giant discrepancy between Blood and Brewmaster damage, nor does it explain why DK's should even be thinking of using Heart Strike over Death Strike - but if we want to come close in damage we have to.
We have had a suspicion that Death Strike damage is too low. The target dummy / Patchwerk test is even harder for tanks, because the specifics of the encounter (are you kiting, doing DPS when you’re not the target, tanking two things?) matter so much. Parses for us to compare with our internal raid tests are great.

Druid (Forums)
Alright, i've been testing Incarnation for some time and i have a few questions about it.
Your analysis of Incarnation looks about in line with our expectations; we expect that the fact that you can line Berserk and Tiger’s Fury up with it will be significant. Force of Nature’s damage for Ferals looks rather out of line; we’ll investigate that.

Monk (Forums)
One of the things that I've noticed when testing Elusive Brew is that the stacks will sometimes fall off when using a slow 2hander. It turns out 3.6 base speed is a bit too slow to reliably crit every 30 seconds with ~20% crit, especially when facing boss parry/miss rates and crit supression.

Even my nearly hit/exp capped monk had his stacks fall off, as opposed to DWing's rather constant and steady gain of stacks. Is this on the radar?

The chances of this should be low (but indeed significant), and you can still use up the stack before it falls off anyway.

Paladin (Forums)
Thanks for the reply. Is the intended design to have the 6 second timer ticking no matter what or start only when the target of Sacred Shield begins to take damage? Say I cast it on the tank, who doesn't take their first hit until 3 seconds after my cast. Will the second absorb be up after initial cast plus 6 seconds or initial cast plus 9 seconds?
Initial cast plus 6 seconds. When the target takes damage is now irrelevant, it just refreshes the shield every 6 sec. Think of it like a basic HoT like Renew or Rejuv; except instead of ticks healing, it applies/refreshes (but not stacks) an absorb shield.

Edit: That's Guardian's damage on a standstill target (just to clarify) It just doesnt have the noticable impact or power I guess I'd expect on a 5min CD ability.
Until recently, the Guardian for Ret was hitting in like the three digits. Almost all of the benefit from the cooldown was from the buff to the paladin and the explosion. We want the guardian to do some damage (he has that badass sword after all) and fixed this. I’m not sure if you have those changes yet.

Priest (Forums)
It's no surprise. I am against Rapture as a regen mechanic. It's imbalanced against holy. Don't get me wrong, I LIKE having lots of regen... it just really isn't fair. Then add in the fact that Weakened Soul with multiple Disc Priests is always a fight in 25's with multiple discs. (now I understand that Rapture seems to be balanced round a 60 second Rapture CD... it still presents a potential stacking issue).
We’re just not seeing a big discrepancy in longevity between Holy and Disc whether they are trying to heal efficiently or inefficiently. Hopefully with raids opening today, we’ll get more feedback from players trying the content to see how mana feels.

Rogue (Forums)
The ppm model for combat potency on combat rogues: It's pretty clear from tooltip wording (and from my initial tests) that slower offhands will have a greater chance to trigger combat potency. What I was wondering is if Main Gauche sourced combat potency procs are based on the main hand speed, the off hand speed, or a fixed proc chance entirely?
Combat Potency’s proc chance works as follows: Can be triggered by white offhand attack and main gauche hits (must land successfully). The proc chance is 20% for Main Gauche hits, and [20*OffhandWeaponSpeed/1.4]% for white offhand attacks.

Shaman (Forums)
If you guys have the time, would you mind confirming for me how Overload works with Chain Lightning, and how this behaves with the glyph. I'm assuming that the overload chance (X) is divided by 3 and applied to each CL hit (ie: each hit gets X/3, which means the chance of a single CL overload is (1-X/3)^3). What I'm not sure of is whether the glyph applies X/3 to all 5 hits, so the chance at least on would be (1-X/3)^5, or it goes to (1-X/5)^5 instead.
Each target hit by your Chain Lightning has a 1/3 chance of being able to proc Chain Lightning Overload. The glyph does not change this. If you have a 30% Elemental Overload chance, and cast Chain Lightning on 3 mobs, there is a 10% chance on each of those targets (individual chances) for there to be a Chain Lightning Overload cast at that target (not the original target). If you then glyph Chain Lightning and cast it on 5 targets, there is still an individual 10% chance on each of those targets to have a Chain Lightning Overload cast at them. This also works the other way as well, however, as Chain Lightning on a single target effectively will give you 1/3 the number of Overload procs as Lightning Bolt will (per cast, of course).

Warlock (Forums)
Oh no, they'll see my op multi dotting
Dot specs do well on council fights. Who knew? As I mentioned before, it’s important to look at target dummy / Patchwerk damage and actual encounters. We’re not going to balance every spec to the same damage on every encounter – that would be a little boring.

Warrior (Forums)
So I think that removing the Rage income from these skills would be a bad way to push us into using Defensive Stance. For me, it would feel much more intuitive that leaving Defensive Stance even further reduced my defensive capacity rather than that it made me have to attune to an alternate form of Rage generation.
Keep in mind that going to Battle Stance gives you rage from white attacks. Prot spending a lot of time in Battle Stance was essentially double-dipping – rage from white attacks and yellow attacks. We're fine if your damage is higher in Battler or Berserker Stance, but you need to feel the most survivable in Defensive or everyone will be miserable.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Paladin (Forums)
Holy Paladin Issues
Holy Shock is intended to be +25% crit chance. It is also broken in your current build. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warlock (Forums)
Haunt Uptime and drain Twisting
Haunt is balanced around Nightfall procs. While it may currently be a small DPS upgrade (3%?) to swap Drain Soul and Malefic Grasp, the intent is that you use Drain Soul to generate shards when you need to hit a burst window or of course below 20%.
I feel like my statement was confusing. Let me try again:

  • Haunt is balanced around Nightfall procs. We don't assume you can keep Haunt up 100% of the time.
  • Currently (meaning at this moment on beta) it may be a small DPS increase to swap Malefic Grasp for Drain Soul. This small increase has led players to speculate that you're supposed to do that.
  • You aren't.
  • The primary intent is that you use Drain Soul in execute rage.
  • The secondary intent is that if you know a part of the fight is coming up when you absolutely need to kill something, that you can drop your DPS by using Drain Soul to build up shards to keep Haunt up 100% of the time during that window. This will hurt your sustained DPS, so if that is all you care about, don't do it. Your friends may yell at you though if you can't beat the encounter.
  • If the temptation to twist channels is still there, we will keep nerfing Drain Soul until that is not the case. At some point however, we will discourage locks from using Drain Soul for the burst window scenario mentioned above, because the total DPS loss wouldn't be worth the momentary DPS gain. That would be unfortunate.
  • Therefore we have to be careful not to make Drain Soul too good or too bad.
  • If that means that very skilled locks can occasionally sneak in a Drain Soul for an extra shard for a small DPS gain, we're okay with that. If it looks like lots of warlocks are trying to do that rotation though, we'll continue to nerf Drain Soul.

I think you meant to say " we will keep BUFFing MG until that is not the case" and " If it looks like lots of warlocks are trying to do that rotation though, we'll continue to BUFF MG"
I see what you did there, but we also don't want MG to be too large a portion of damage (including the haste benefit) because then you're even more dependent on shards. We still want lots of damage to come from the dots themselves. (We could buff MG and dots of course.)

We could just prevent DS from working above 20%, but then we'd lose the burst potential.

So we won't have accurate numbers until MG gets fixed.
There are some dot clipping issues with MG at the moment. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Raid Testing Schedule - June 25
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
For Monday, June 25 we'll be testing two encounters.

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

Gara'jal the Spiritbinder - 10 Player Normal
10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)

The Spirit Kings
16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid. We might have to change the time of a testing session due to various issues with bugs, builds, server hardware issues, designers being sick, class issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information.

Lost TV Spot Revealed
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
You may remember Aubrey Plaza’s World of Warcraft TV spot that first aired last fall. However, what few people know is that a second version of the commercial was created and produced, but never aired on network television… for reasons that will soon become Obvious (big “O” intended).

For reference, here’s the version of Aubrey’s TV spot that actually was aired.

And now, click over to IGN.com to see the version of Aubrey’s TV spot that was never released… until today. Enjoy



Student Art Contest Winners
Blizzard's University Relations and World of Warcraft teams put out the call to college and university students to submit an original 3D environment piece fit for World of Warcraft. The challenge was to create something the art team has never seen before, but still works within the World of Warcraft universe. The winners' artwork can be found below.



by Published on 2012-06-22 05:50 AM

Diablo 3 - 1.0.3 Drop Changes Explained and Dev Blog Soon, Repair Cost Discussion, Lots of Blue Posts

Flippable Table - Cooking Reward
Yes, the Flippable Table is exactly what the name implied! It can be purchased for 20 x Ironpaw Tokens in Halfhill.


Mists of Pandaria Music - 15781
The recent beta patch added even more music!



Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Circular references are driving me insane when it comes to simulations! Insane!!! I want my Recount so that I can obtain realistic samples
We would like to enable addons as soon as reasonably possible. We understand it can make analysis and even playing difficult. In all of our previous expansions, overall feedback becomes more positive simply by enabling addons, because then players are playing in an environment more familiar to them.*

One of the big challenges for us is the number of reported memory errors goes up astronomically once addons are involved, and it is important for us to distinguish between what is signal (our errors) and what is noise (the addons).

* - I feel the need to caveat that we are improving the WoW UI all of the time, but players have enormously different desires for their own personal UI. Furthermore, I wanted to address this one issue because it is very relevant to theorycrafting, but this thread should not become a UI discussion thread.

Is there any particular item level you're interested in exploring at the moment, for the sake of comparing apples to apples?
I’d say that in terms of comparing apples to apples, as you say, using ilvl 463 (dungeon blues) gear for example data is a good default. That said, we’re looking at tuning for all appropriate levels, and it’s not terribly difficult for us to adjust what we’re testing on our side, to compare to your data in other gear levels, as long as you tell us what gear you’re using (such as Ashunera did on page 2).

Why has all to be a mystery that has to be reverse engineered so we can mildly understand it?
The first answer is it would probably be a full time job for someone on my team to maintain the accuracy of all of that documentation. The more important answer is that theorycrafting is a lot of fun for some players. It’s possible to remove too much mystery. Remember that you only need a basic understanding of combat mechanics to kill things. I’d wager you could do fine in Raid Finder with only the 6 buttons from your Core Abilities page. If you want to understand things in exhaustive detail there is a LOT of exhaustive detail. But you should be opting into it.

Again, I’d like to reiterate, that while we’re reading all of these posts, just like we read all of the posts in this forum, we’re explicitly using this thread to respond to theorycrafting data, mechanics, etc. This still isn’t the place to discuss “are you happy with this design,” “I feel underpowered,” “what is the intent with this design,” “you’re ignoring our feedback,” etc. All of that feedback is perfectly acceptable in other Beta Class threads (well, less so the "ignoring us" comments which are rarely productive).

I've been reading the new thread at http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/5889309137 and I have some things I want to add however I m in EU server and I can't log to pitch in. Would you consider posting a reply on my behalf?
We are looking into ways to get more direct feedback from other regions, and I totally sympathize with this situation.

Given the fact that Balance is such a touchy issue, and no one takes to the forums to complain when they're top dps, I feel the devs at Blizzard put up with an amazing amount of complaining, and still do an amazing job. I applaud the CM team for sifting through the rants and raves and passing on the relevant information to the Development team, and I thank Blizzard as a whole for continuing to maintain such an incredible game.

It shows a lot of humility for Blizzard to acknowledge that despite the powerful resources at their disposal, there is a great deal of power, information, and just plain ingenuity in the community of fans. And the people at Blizzard value this information. That's a big part of why I keep playing. People from the casual gamer to the hard core theorycrafter stumble upon unforeseen builds and rotations, and the creativity of the community no doubt leaves Dev's scratching their heads at many times. So hats off to you Blizzard, keep making amazing things, and every now and then, I hope you find a thank you here and there to keep you going.

This is a super complex game, and the community is integral in fully exploring the world that we build, both in terms of in-game, and in-theory. There are so many spells and abilities and talents and glyphs and encounters and situations, etc., that trying to evaluate all the combinations and identify problems can be troublesome. Theorycrafters are a huge boon to us, and the rest of the community, because they are able to really deep dive into their own specific niches (typically a single spec), and identify problems or unintended consequences that we may miss when looking across the whole class landscape. So we figured it was about time we gave back and tried to help you guys out some as best we can. Selfishly, it can help us detect bugs in our own testing or design flaws in the rotations we've designed. There are times we assume something is working one way because that is the way we designed it and there are times when the community assumes something works one way because they can't peer at the complexities that sometimes exist under the hood.

One other thing related to global mechanics - with the change to hit and expertise cap points, and crit depreciation, have there been any changes made to the way melee roll tables work overall?
The two links you mention are old, but the ideas are accurate. White attacks are still ‘one roll’ (Miss Dodge Parry Block Glance Crit Hit), and yellow attacks are still ‘two roll’ (Miss Dodge Parry Block, Crit). The only change to that is that Block against players is an additional separate roll now. Glances can still only occur on white attacks. I believe our recent blog post about this stuff included all off the relevant chances for these, but if you have more specific questions, feel free to ask.

Also what's the deal with this (identical characters in identical gear)...
The amount of base dodge and parry you get changed, as well as the diminishing returns curves. Our previous blog post on hit table chances includes the base chances. Additionally, Strength gives a significant parry chance directly (just like Agility gives dodge chance), rather than giving a small amount of parry rating.

In PvE settings, there aren't too many DoT effects that present life or death decisions. Magics, Poisons and Diseases are either handled by the healer or by the Paladin him/herself. I'm assuming part of this is to help between Cleansing/Dispelling because of the new CD, but DoT effects only ever tick once every 2-3 sec; that means this Hand spell only reduces 2 or 3 of the DoTs ticks by 70%.
A lot more boss abilities are actually periodic than players often realize. Many of those can’t be dispelled. Examples include Fiery Grip on Spine or Black Blood of Go'rath during the tentacle phase of Zon'ozz.

Also, a couple clarifications on previous posts:

First, Strength gives a very significant parry chance to paladins, warriors, and DKs directly (just like Agility gives dodge chance for rogues, druids, shaman, hunters, and monks). We don't want Agi to be very attractive to plate-users and Str for leather/mail dudes.

Secondly, players have been curious about the combat table chances against players of boss mobs. What is described in that blog post is indeed accurate for a boss attacking a player. That does mean that a player has a base 3% chance to be missed, 3% chance to dodge (if they know Dodge), 3% chance to parry (if they know Parry), and 3% chance to block (if they know Block). That chance is indeed reduced by 1.5% per level difference, so a 92+ will never miss a 90. So to use a simple example, a monk with no parry on gear or other buffs has a 3% base parry chance, plus 5% from Swift Reflexes, for a total character sheet parry chance of 8%. A level 93 boss attacking that Monk will get parried 3.5% of the time. Hope that clears things up.

Death Knight (Forums)
That sounds much better for sustained DPS comparisons of 2H and DW side-by-side, but will you address weapon twisting? I don't want carry around two 1Hs and need to have "/cast [equipped:one-handed] Frost Strike; /equip 1Hs" and "/cast [equipped:two-handed] Obliterate; /equip 2H". As others have mentioned the respective +50% damage bonuses are far too significant and ought to be spread across other abilities, which will also rein PVP burst in.
Frost DKs twisting weapons like that is something that’s on our list of things to fix before release.

Ghost, what about the damage spread of Obliterate, Frost Strike, Howling Blast, and Icy Touch? The discrepency is huge which means not using Obliterate feels bad, especially with Killing Machine. Are you guys looking into spreading around the damage better for 2H Frost?
Our internal tests are showing DW and 2H Frost DKs where we want them in terms of damage breakdowns (but a little high overall). It’s not intended that their rotations or damage breakdowns are identical. If you can provide your data and analysis, what your modeling is showing should be the optimal rotation, etc., that’d be great.

Some specific numbers regarding AotD and Gargoyle. The question becomes are they really meant to be so low?
Army of the Dead is low and just hasn't been buffed yet. Some full logs and specific gear used, situation, etc, would be helpful. I believe we do have some known issues with the Gargoyle in particular, with how it benefits from your haste.

Also, please excuse the constant ‘I believe’ and ‘I think’s and such included in all of our responses here; there is a whole team of people working on these things collaboratively, and in the interest of getting fast responses out to you all, I’m not always double-checking everything, but trying to be clear where that’s the case.

Druid (Forums)
Glyph of Fae Silence, I keep asking this and never get a response I hope I can get one here. Is it intentional that Fae Silence does not work on targets already affected by Faerie Fire or is it a bug?
Bug.

Mangle Procs Galore. Bottom line up front: We have procs flowing out our ears between double bleeds and application all granting a 25% chance to go off.
As mentioned earlier, bleed ticks no longer proc the Mangle cooldown reset.

Currently Cenarion Ward will not consume the healing bonus from Dream of Cenarius. This makes Dream of Cenarius completely and totally undesirable for Guardians. That may be intentional, but some clarification would be appreciated.
This is a bug; all three level 30 talents will benefit from the increased healing buff from Dream of Cenarius. For example, a Guardian druid in Bear Form, with Dream of Cenarius and Renewal, who has recently Mangled a target so they have the Dream of Cenarius buff up, can hit Renewal to instantly restore 51% of their max health. We just fixed it to apply to Renewal and Cenarion Ward a few minutes ago, though, so you won’t see that for a build or two.

Actually, is the design intention to have both Eclipses with the same damage output for single targets and AoE?
Actually, no. We’re currently intending for Lunar to be slightly better at single target damage and Solar to be AoE damage. When you have time between phases or situations where you can use Astral Communion to quickly switch sides, you should be able to further optimize performance by tailoring which Eclipse you line up with which boss phases. The difference should not be significant enough, however, that in a Patchwerk-style scenario, you are compelled to only DPS in one eclipse.

As a side note, I posted incorrect information about Mushrooms. They DO count as Solar, and we think that's fine.

Spending a lot of our day trying to keep both Harmony and Lifebloom up (while trying to take advantage of all the new toys we got in MOP) is just too overwhelming even in MOP 5-mans.
Yes, we agree. Both of those durations could increase without much risk.

There was a post not too long ago telling the Moonkin players that you were looking into a way for us to play around with our Eclipse.
There may occasionally be times where it’s actually worth it to use AC rotationally, but they should be generally pretty rare. What it should let you do is more directly control your Eclipse cycle, so that you can ‘game’ Eclipse to line up with fight mechanics.

Mastery - As of right now Mastery is going to be the stat to miss COMPLETELY. Only two (three with Incarnation) abilities will benefit from it, both of which are based on Attack Power ONLY. Even then in 483 PvP gear, with full raid buffs and ZERO Mastery, Rip is still hitting for 300k damage.
We’re currently modeling Mastery as roughly equal in value to Crit and Haste for Ferals, typically a couple % better. If you can provide any more detailed analysis, we’d be interested in seeing it.

Incarnation - As of this point Incarnation is bad for Feral druids. Due to Ravage and Pounce's 50 energy cost, there is just not enough energy to compensate normal shreds. based on my analysis you are looking at a 600 dps loss if you spec into Incarnation. If Ravage and Pounce cost 40 energy instead, then it would be a dps buff.
Incarnation should allow you to replace several Shreds with Ravages. Ravages are indeed more expensive, so the CP per energy will be lower (except above 80%, where it will be much higher). But, Ravage does ~50% more damage than Shred, for only 25% more energy. Is your modeling show that that’s not enough to be a sustained DPS increase? (Not to mention being a significant burst DPS increase.)

I'm still in the early stages for Guardian but as of this point bears will only need to gear for dodge > crit > hit/exp > haste > Mastery up to 6 rage per second. This allows for at least 1 stack of Savage Defense will be available at all time. Beyond 6 Rage Per Second you will get to 0 stacks at some point during the fight. Beyond 6 RPS, uptime on SD only grows minisculally beyond 60% (6.66 RPS - 61.16% uptime; 7.5 RPS - 61.33% uptime; 10 RPS - 61.6% uptime) For example, with 6.666 RPS, we can use Savage Defense every 9 seconds up to 3 minutes into the fight. Afterwards we can use it every 10 seconds.
While there is effectively a ‘cap’ on converting rage to Savage Defenses uptime (as you describe, that’s effectively 6.666 RPS to use it on charge cooldown), that should translate to a very ‘soft’ cap on hit/exp/crit, as streaks of rage gain and rage drought may occur. And, more importantly, Frenzied Regeneration should provide a very attractive value in bleeding off excess rage, which is effectively uncapped. Our current design is that against difficult content, Savage Defense provides more average damage mitigation than Frenzied Regeneration heals, but given that it is avoidance (and thus not necessarily reliable), you will sometimes resort to using Frenzied Regeneration to smooth over spikes when you feel you need to. The goal in terms of feeling is that you should ‘want’ to use Savage Defense as much as possible, but sometimes you ‘need’ to Frenzied Regeneration to respond to unexpected spikes in damage.

2) Overlapping Mangle procs.
3) Thrash 6 second CD.
4) Dead GCDs.

The proc to reset the cooldown on Mangle from Thrash, Lacerate, and Faerie Fire now all occur on initial hit, instead of on bleed ticks. It should no longer be possible to get multiple procs within the same GCD, or to have any benefit from purposely leaving GCDs empty. Can you offer any further details about how the rotation can be gamed in these sort of ways?

Hunter (Forums)
Powershot and Barrage are both broken. Neither of them are doing 400% weapon damage (Edit: to primary target). Tested with static damage white bow, no pet and no gear on. On top of that, there's no scaling from RAP. So, they're extremely underwhelming for PVE.
I believe there was previously a bug with their damage calculations, but that has been fixed. If you can try in the next build that goes to Beta, and provide data, that would be helpful.

I've found it incredibly frustrating that Misdirection hasn't worked from day one.
Misdirection works correctly in a group. There is a bug preventing it from working when you are not in a group, which means you can't MD to your pet when solo. This will be fixed in a future build.

Also, Powershot vs Barrage. Currently as is, there is no reason in to take Powershot over Barrage for PvE, unless you specifically need it for the knockback. They have the same focus cost, same effective cast time, same damage... but Barrage has half the cooldown, making it the clear winner. And while they both have the same effective cast time, Barrage is channeled, which means damage happens right away up front. Powershot requires a 3 second cast. Lynx Rush's damage, in all the testing I've done, is abysmal. It does not warrant a 1.5 minute cooldown at all.
We generally try not to make you choose between Damage and Utility, so tuning talents that are each Damage+Utility can be tricky. It does seem that Barrage always wins on damage right now, so look for changes to one of them in a later build. If you have some data and/or analysis on Lynx Rush, we’d be interested.

Mage (Forums)
Currently estimating Frost's and Fire's damage distribution to be something roughly like…
I believe there are a few changes coming in the next build that will significantly change that breakdown for Frost. Once you get that build, we’d love to see your further analysis.

I've discussed this in the Mage threads, but one source of concern at the moment is the three Bomb spells and their interaction with Brain Freeze. Taking just the bomb spells themselves, they all obviously have different strengths at different numbers of targets and in different situations. Frost Bomb is weaker than the other two bombs in 2-3 target cleave situations, and that's fine. However, with the buffs to Brain Freeze FFB, we run into a more significant problem. When only a single bomb is active, all three bombs produce similar Brain Freeze PPM, but multidotting changes the picture a great deal.
Regarding the mage Bomb spells, that’s something we definitely want to balance right. The concern of Brain Freeze procs making Nether Tempest always optimal for Frost mages, regardless of the number of targets involved does seem to be a problem; we’ll investigate that.

Monk (Forums)
Most of what we've been modeling so far has been focused on nailing down our "rotation" and the interaction between Purifying Brew and Blackout Kick/Shuffle. Mostly we've been trying to figure out when to use which one, and if we'll have any chi left over for anything else. It's something I do want to add as soon as we can hammer that part out, though. Think I have most of the mechanics down on it... Seems to proc from any melee attack (including Tiger Strikes?), and doesn't appear to have an ICD. Only question I have is what the actual proc rate is, since that's pretty darn tricky to work that one out. Guessing it varies with weapon speed?
Gift of the Ox can proc from all successful melee attack hits. On special attacks, it has a 10% proc chance. On white hits and Tiger Strikes hits, it has a [WeaponSpeed/25]% chance for 2H weapons, and [WeaponSpeed/50]% chance for 1H weapons. For example, while dual wielding 2.6 sec speed fist weapons, each white hit will have a 5.2% chance to proc.

Another question regarding Brewmasters: A few builds ago we had Recoil as a proc from our autoattacks that generated extra energy. I no longer see it in my spellbook. I don't recall seeing any mention of this in any list of changes posted anywhere so was this removed intentionally or is this a bug?
Intentional. We’re currently opting for Gift of the Ox and Brewing: Elusive Brew to fill the role of providing value to offensive stats for Brewmasters. That’s one thing I wanted to point out though; I haven’t seen Gift of the Ox included in any of the community modeling we’ve seen so far, and it’s rather significant.

Patch isn't live, but the tooltip for Sturdy Ox says the bonus regen was cut down to 15%, which puts us all the way down at 9.2/s.
This is a tooltip error that is fixed for the next build. It was accidentally displaying the health increase number for both of those figures. It still gives 30% increased energy regen rate.

As an aside, as our spells have become increasingly more complex, our tooltips have had a harder time capturing the real values. We then have to resolve a lot of tooltip bugs (at least the ones that can be resolved) and these then get data mined as real changes to the spells. All of that can make the beta process more confusing and feel more iterative than it really is (though it is plenty iterative).

Mistweaver with a agility weapon is hitting harder with some abilities since most of the melee abilities scale with weapon damage, are you going to fix that in a good way? I can see a lot of Mistweaver going for an agility weapon. And abilities like Chi torpedo (doing 10k healing in agility and 2k in intellect) and rushing jade wind do more damage in agility gear than intellect gear, even though we have more attack power in intellect gear.
There were some bugs with Mistweaver damage in particular in previous builds, and still a couple known issues, as you mention. It’s not intended that a Mistweaver benefits from using an Agility weapon, even when doing full Eminence healing, and we’ll make sure that’s the case before release. I believe it currently is somewhat beneficial, which we’ll solve.

I guess my main concern with the current windwalker is that 20-30% of simulation time is spent waiting. (while this is just an early similation and definitely not complete).
While seeing your more detailed data would be interesting, that doesn’t sound out of line with our expectations. Similar to other energy users, they aren’t expected to be 100% GCD locked. Their GCD usage should increase with gear, though. Just what % of their available GCDs being used feels ‘right’ is very subjective, and is something that we are interested in feedback on, but this isn’t the thread for that.

Regarding Windwalker Monks, the new Blackout Kick dot component is a little broken at the moment. The assumed function (or at least our consensus) of the dot was to roll in a manner similar to ignite ticks for mages, but it currently seems to do almost anything but roll at all. Is the dot supposed to stack or 'roll', or are we supposed to monitor its duration to ensure no overlap?

In addition, Fist of Fury is presently in the running to be included in the Windwalker single target damage rotation. Is this an intended design, or should it be used a little more sparingly as the situation calls for?

I believe the build currently on beta has several bugs with the Blackout Kick DoT, which are fixed in the next build you get. It should ‘roll’ like Ignite does. That is to say, that at the end of the fight, total Blackout Kick DoT damage should exactly be 20% of your Blackout Kick direct damage, regardless of any overlaps in the DoT effects (minus the usual rounding differences and whatever overkill damage there was, of course). Fists of Fury is intended to be useful on a single target, but there may be times that you save it to use it at a better time where its utility is more valuable.

Do you expect the level 30 monk talents to fit into monk rotations? Are they just there for a heal/damage combo that we'd situationally use over a more damaging attack or should we be expecting to fit them into our normal ability usage? Is energy regen finalized for monks at 8/s for Windwalkers and 10.4 for Brewmasters?
They’re currently not intended to be used rotationally (at least on a basic Patchwerk encounter), but may adjust them somehow still. Energy regeneration rate isn’t set in stone, but we don’t currently have plans to change it.

Are Tiger Strikes supposed to be additional melee attacks for the purposes of enchant procs? They don't seem to be affected by dodge, parries, or glancing so I'm wondering if they're really just doubled autoattacks.
Tiger Strikes are intended to feel like additional auto attacks, but are built differently. Tiger Strikes (the buff) should be able to proc from regular auto attack swings (even misses). The buff charges should similarly be consumed by regular auto attack swings (even misses), and a Tiger Strikes attack should fire. This attack is displayed in white in the floating combat text, but as you should see via the combat log, is really a ‘yellow’ melee attack in terms of how it calculates its hit table. It can miss, be dodged, parried, blocked, etc. As it’s really a ‘yellow’ attack, it cannot glance, though, and does not suffer a reduced chance to hit due to dual wielding. Its proc rate is one of the knobs we have to help tune DW vs 2H monks, since it favors DW somewhat due to not suffering the DW hit penalty. They are currently considered procs for the purposes of not being able to proc additional procs. However, they are explicitly set to count as auto attacks for the purposes of Brewing: Elusive Brew and Eminence.

Paladin (Forums)
How is the Sacred Shield talent intended to work?
In the current build you have, it appears to function very oddly, but is actually bugged and doesn’t even work how it looks like it does. So, don’t bother trying to investigate the nuances of the current version of it. We just rebuilt it to function closer to our intended design. The new version you should get in the next build is much simpler and easier to understand. It’s a ‘shield over time’. Instantly, and every 6 sec, it refreshes a simple absorb shield on you, which absorbs up to X damage. That shield is no longer ‘1 charge’ or anything; it’ll work on streams of little hits or slow big hits just as effectively. The absorb shows up as a separate buff, and is removed if the main buff is removed or expires.

Priest (Forums)
Regarding the healing per mana versus the healing per second between the chakra serenity and chakra sanctuary stances:
Thanks for this analysis. It does seem clear that Serenity is underpowered compared to Sanctuary, and we’ll be adjusting one of them in a future build. We also realized that the specific spells which were affected by either Chakra (including the Renew refresh and Serenity crit bonus) were inconsistent and out-of-date.

How exactly does Shadow Word: Insanity work? It seems like the damage is increased in some way based upon how long each DoT consumed has been ticking when Insanity is cast. Is it based off number of ticks? % of base ticks? % of ticks adjusted for haste?
The damage scales based on the percentage of ticks that have already gone off from the spell (specifically, for each DoT, the damage is increased by (# ticks elapsed / (total ticks – 1)) * 100%, so for a base SW:P which would tick 6 times, SW:I gains 20% damage per tick elapsed), the tooltip should reflect this in a future build. The intention is that you can use Shadow Word: Insanity in solo combat when a mob is getting low to help push them into Shadow Word: Death range, or before your DoTs fall off on a raid boss to eek some more damage out of them. The damage increase based on duration is there to avoid a situation where the right way to play is to apply your DoTs and then blow them up, which we don’t consider fun gameplay.

Oh, speaking for secondary stat balancing, the last lot of numbers I ran for Shadow Priests had Haste at something like 0.8 (relative to Int at 1.0, though true this was before Mind Surge was removed), Crit around 0.5 and Mastery a pretty poor 0.25. (Numbers for level 85).
Shadow’s rotation (especially with some talents) is something that has been in flux lately, and that’s one of the few remaining places where we haven’t balanced secondary stats how we’d like yet, while we work to nail down the rotation changes. Off the cuff, I’m sure that crit is relatively underpowered currently, due to removing the mechanic where Mind Flay crits reduce the cooldown on Shadowfiend, and not compensating for that elsewhere, yet. Mastery is also one of the last things we tune when trying to balance secondary stats, as it’s typically the easiest to get right by simply changing the coefficient on it. As I think I mentioned earlier, the extra ticks should function 100% like additional real ticks, and there were some bugs with that in your current build, which we’ve since fixed.

On the topic of Shadow Priest AoE again, obviously at level 90 we're going to be balanced around using our level 90 talent pick when it comes to AoE. However without that talent (as we haven't yet modeled them all) at present Mind Sear certainly seems to be under-performing.
I believe Mind Sear being underpowered is something on our radar at the moment and we’re planning on adjusting that.

  • Devouring Plague procced ticks do not heal unlike non-procced ticks.
  • Shadow Word: Pain procced ticks do not proc Shadowy Apparitions or Divine Insight. Last I checked they also didn't benefit from 4pc T13.
  • Vampiric Touch procced ticks do not proc From Darkness, Comes Light. They *do* give the extra mana regen however.
  • Mind Flay procced ticks that crit didn't reduce the cooldown on Mindbender/Shadowfiend but that's no longer an issue.
  • Also from what I recall (memory hazy here) procced ticks also didn't count as periodic damage when it came to proccing things like the Necromantic Focus trinket.

These do all sound like bugs; I believe most of these are fixed in a later build (probably not the next one you get, but the one after that). As you've probably seen by now, Shadow is one of the specs whose rotation we are still tweaking.

Rogue (Forums)
In a future build, you should find that glyph turned into Glyph of Adrenaline Rush: Reduces the global cooldown of your Sinister Strike, Revealing Strike, Slice and Dice, Eviscerate, and Mutilate by 0.2sec while Adrenaline Rush is active.
If you aren't using Adrenaline Rush as Assassination, you're doing it wrong. (I meant Rupture, not Mutilate.)

The general consensus among rogues is that the Glyph of Sinister Strike is a trap glyph. The added 25% damage done by Sinister Strike for a 25% increase in energy cost is not enough to offset the damage lost due to reducing combo point generation by 25%. Less Sinister Strikes will slow down Bandit’s Guile progression and will lead to less finishers thus slowing down Restless Blades interaction and resulting in fewer uses of Adrenaline Rush and Killing Spree. Is this glyph supposed to be used by Combat rogues in PvP and not in PvE, or are there any plans to address this issue?
In a future build, you should find that glyph turned into Glyph of Adrenaline Rush: Reduces the global cooldown of your Sinister Strike, Revealing Strike, Slice and Dice, Eviscerate, and Rupture by 0.2sec while Adrenaline Rush is active. (Edit: I originally stupidly wrote Mutilate here, but it is Rupture.)

Shaman (Forums)
The heal spells you want to apply these buffs to are 2+ second cast time spells, and if you are still casting when the buff fades you do not gain the benefit. Which means you have 2~ seconds from casting Unleash Life to gain the Unleash Fury buff's benefit. This is an extremely short window of time!
Agreed; the duration of both of these buffs will be 10sec in the next build.

Easiest one to test with, and the one I know for certain didn't work prior to todays build, is Wrath of Unchaining. You can pop Ascendance, open and still gain stacks from using Stormstrike, but it will just idle at that initial stack count despite your standard melee attacks continuing to go off.
We found the issue that was preventing Wind Lash from triggering trinket procs, and fixed it for a future build.

A series of Enhancement dummy tests
Logs like this are great for comparing to our own internal tests and modeling, especially with the logs for each power talent. In this case they line up very nicely with what we expect. Thanks. In terms of overall performance, it looks like your performance is about where we want it at 90 in that gear, modulo some fine tuning. If there are others doing significantly more than that (e.g., if there are Windwalkers doing 65k DPS in that gear in that situation), we’re likely to bring them down. Additionally, should we need to increase Enhancement’s damage, it is indeed likely that we’d put that damage into their active abilities at this point.

Oh, something else from those logs I posted, despite being both hit and expertise capped, Earth Elemental was being dodged. I did not notice it for Fire Elemental.
Looking at the data I have in front of me at the moment, I don’t see why the Earth Elemental would be any different from the Fire Elemental. It’s possible that there’s a bug with the Draenei racial not transferring to pets (which it should) right now; we’ll investigate that. Pets should inherit your full hit table chances now. That’s a relatively new system, so if your testing shows otherwise, we’d like to see that data.

Is it intended that Enhancement Shaman can't proc "on melee hit" trinkets from regular melee attacks during Ascendence, or just a side effect/bug of the initial implementation due to the change from physical to spell damage? I suspect the Enhsim guys would find that information useful.
This sounds like a bug. Wind Lash hits should not count as normal auto attacks, but they should count as melee attacks for the purposes of procs. i.e., if Stormstrike or Lava Lash can proc something, Wind Lash should also be able to. If you can provide an example of something you think should proc but isn’t, I can check what’s going on there.

Warlock (Forums)
You seem to have given the Succubus (and the Shivarra) a “regular” (in the sense that it is not a resource consuming auto-castable ability you can click on and off) auto attack which she does not have on live. Is this a bug? If not, is there any possibility the Imps will get a similar ability since they are now the only pet that doesn't have one?
Yes, this is intended for the Succubus, but we don’t currently have plans for the Imp to get an auto attack. The Imp is intended to stay a pure long range caster.

I have a question about Mastery: Master Demonology and Metamorphosis. This ability gives X% damage bonus in caster form and Y% damage bonus in demon form. The tool tips (which could certainly be wrong and in any case they are somewhat ambiguous even if they are right) imply that when you switch from caster to demon form you KEEP your caster bonus and the demon form bonus is added on top of it. However, when I compare Soul Fire damage (since that ability is available in both forms) with and without Metamorphosis it seems low, as if I was actually LOSING the caster form bonus when I went into Metamorphosis. Regardless of whether the game and/or tool tips are broken, can you tell us if you intend for the caster from bonus to stay or be dropped when you use Metamorphosis?
Master Demonologist’s damage buffs are exclusive between caster and Metamorphosis forms. The amount shown in the tooltip is the total benefit you get from mastery in that form.

3% is huge. If you don't think people are going to drain twist for 3% damage you're crazy.
This is a common phenomenon where players may try to execute a very challenging rotation for a small DPS upgrade and find they do less damage than if they just stuck with the simpler rotation. We like to leave a little bit of room for very skillful players to try their hand at maximizing damage. The huge delta in damage on the same fights should suggest that player skill is still one of the most important components to DPS. Nonetheless, we can probably bring down the theoretical gain to 1% or lower.

As part of my work on SimulationCraft I've been trying to determine exactly how the dot-speedup mechanic of Malefic Grasp and Drain Soul works, and I've decided the way it currently works must be a bug:http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/5633977563
We’re definitely actively investigating that in particular, and I’ll try to get details on exactly how it works for you.

I realize that fel energy regen is bugged, but I was wondering: does the what the fel energy tool tip says, that regen is 10 energy/second, reflect what is supposed to be happening and therefore we should sim with that number?

On a related note, since pets are supposed to be energy limited rather than time limited will energy regen scale with haste or is it intend that pets won't really scale with haste (except for auto-attacks and when starting from 200 energy and cast time is briefly the limiting factor)?

The intended fel energy regen rate is 10 per second, modified by spell haste. If you have 30% haste, your pets should regenerate 13 energy per sec. I’m not sure exactly how it’s bugged right now; I believe it’s actually getting 23 per sec or perhaps 26. Regardless, 10*(1+SpellHaste%) is the intended regen rate.

Even though regen is currently too fast, mathematically at least some of the pets should be able go Out of Energy just by casting their “main” auto-cast ability, but they never do. Using the Felhound as an example, I have seen it sit there and not cast Shadow Bite even when it has more than 60 energy and SB is off cool down. Instead it tends to wait until roughly 100-110 energy before casting, which is great because when I want to cast a time critical ability like Spell Lock there is, or very soon will be, enough energy to use it rather than having to (possibly) build all the way up from zero. Did you do this on purpose or is this a bug?
This is actually intended. We modified the auto-cast functionality to only use their basic attacks when above certain energy thresholds. This has the effect that it still uses energy fast enough to never cap out and waste energy, but pools a significant amount of energy beyond that, for you to manually use on utility spells, or simply burst damage via their basic attack. Hopefully this feels intuitive and useful.

Lastly, I think there needs to be some change to the guardian cooldowns so that we can actually use them on most attempts in raid PvE without having to worry if it will be wasted on a wipe. I won't rehash all of the proposed solutions becuase that's been done enough, but with DS teir being replaced by new gear I am worried about going back to the way things used to be.
We have new tech to reset certain long cooldowns that you’re sometimes tempted to wait around for before each pull (such as Summon Doomguard), when you wipe on an encounter. This tech hasn’t been hooked up to every encounter yet, but you should be able to see this work on some encounters (such as Stone Guard on this Friday). This won’t apply to every long cooldown. Our current rule of thumb is that it applies to cooldowns longer than 5min, but no longer than 10min, but there will be some exceptions to that. It is going to be very subjective which cooldowns are included, but again our rule of thumb is: would reasonable groups kill time waiting for this cooldown to finish before starting an encounter? Please don't lobby for every cooldown you have to be included.

When I go into demon form I start doing some kind of auto-attack (I'm not sure that it actually IS auto attack but it seems like it) and I was hoping you could shed some light on what is happening because it behaves very strangely. If I equip a wand I launch “fire” balls that do white damage and the attack rate is very slow, but if I equip a staff (which has a slower attack speed than the wand) I actually speed up, launch “shadow” balls, and do yellow damage instead, and if I go unarmed it does the same thing as with a staff but less damage and maybe slightly faster.. (BTW, “fire” and “shadow” refer to the graphic you see not the magic type) I haven't yet had a chance to try swords or daggers to see if that makes any difference. What exactly is going on here?
We still have some residual cruft left over from the conversion of wands from ranged weapons to main hand weapons. The intention is currently that while you have a wand equipped, you can effectively shoot your wand as an auto attack from range, just like hunters (simple right click on a mob to auto wand), except not while moving. However, all caster spells should reset this ‘swing timer’ so to speak, so wanding should never be a part of a normal DPS rotation, any more than melee attacking is currently. This is currently working for some wands, but not others, and has some issues which we’re working to resolve. It seems that this auto wanding is also overriding the Metamorphosis Touch of Chaos, which it shouldn’t. You should be safe ignoring wanding for the purposes of DPS modeling, but if anyone finds a way to make use of it for sustained DPS we’d like to hear about it.

Anyway, what you’re really interested in is Touch of Chaos. While in Metamorphosis, you gain Touch of Chaos, which is effectively a ranged Shadow damage auto attack. It fires every 1sec (reduced by spell haste), even while casting.

Is it intended that to get max dps out of pets we have to have a macro that spams their special attack?
No, solving that was one of the primary reasons for the switch to energy on Warlock pets. However, there’s currently a bug which is drastically increasing their energy regen rate, making the balance of the different pets way off, and making them limited by cast times in some cases instead of their energy regen rate, as is intended.

I did some very simple 5 minute pet-only parses on the Raid dummies on my Warlock to compare pet damage, and I found a few issues. All the tests were done with Grimoire of Supremacy, and I did not use macros to force pet attacks. I'll investigate more thoroughly when I have more free time.
We mentioned earlier that warlock pets are all getting almost double the intended amount of energy regen, which is extremely skewing the pet balance. But, I wanted to say that these logs were helpful to have as comparisons as well. Glyph of Demon Training will no longer be a DPS increase when they’re energy limited, rather than time limited. The Void Lord’s damage will go down considerably once it stops spamming Torment non-stop. The Void Lord is intended to be strong DPS while it is actively tanking, but not while not tanking.

In short, shouldn't Grimoire pets do as much dmg as regular pets for that duration and benefit from mastery, crit, haste and sp equally?
Yes. There’s currently a bug where the guardians don’t inherit your stats, making them do considerably less damage.

Seeds of Corruption:Now this spell has turned into an amazing spell compared to its current state on live. You get to keep corruption AND can have 2 seeds on one target (soulburn and regular seed) which is amazing. The question is, How are we suppose to use this spell now? spam seed the same target or do it on multiple ones? The problem is that it takes really long to detonate (cast time + travel time + detonation time) especially if you are trying to seed multiple targets. I am not sure if affliction can keep up with the other classes since the AoE is not bursty and on demand like for example, Mind seer.
We’re trying to focus on ‘how does this work under the hood’ sort of questions, rather than ‘why did you design it this way’ or ‘how are we supposed to use this’ sort of questions, but I’ll comment on this since there’s a few significant changes to Seed of Corruption that I’d like to call out.

Old Seed of Corruption: Broke on any non-proc’d damage from any source. Typically spammed on one target while in a group, and other players’ damage broke it. The ‘non-proc’d’ requirement probably is never even noticed, but includes Seed’s explosion itself. i.e., if you seed multiple mobs, the explosions from one will not pop the others.

New Seed of Corruption: Breaks on any damage from you. The explosion from one (and indeed, any other proc’d damage) CAN pop other nearby seeds.

While this means that Affliction’s ramp up time on AoEing may be longer than most, it does mean that their potential burst (when there’s time to setup the seeds) is incredibly high; Seed multiple mobs and the explosion from one will typically set off all of the others in a chain reaction. 8 Seeds exploding at the same time is probably the most burst AoE damage in the game right now, but also requires significant setup time, so isn’t really “on demand” burst. Still, it should be such that if you’re AoEing near a boss that you have already DoTs up on, it’s easy to Seed the boss and then start seeding the other mobs while your DoTs pop the boss’ seed. Additionally, the ability for Seed of Corruption and Soulburn: Seed of Corruption to stack was unintended, but we’re currently going to leave it and see how that plays out. We may change that in the future (mostly due to it not being intuitive), but will experiment with it for now.

Drain Soul is supposed to replace Affliction filler malefic grasp at certain points in fights, most notably during the execution phase of any fight sub 20%, but it is not currently supported by the talents that are supposed to affect Warlock filler spells (Soul Leach and Affliction's Grimoire of Sacrifice)
The next build should include Drain Soul being affected by Soul Leech and Grimoire of Sacrifice.

Warrior (Forums)
The execute ability is currently doing a TON of damage (equivalent to around 2 slams) is this intended?
Yes. We want to restore that button to its former glory. We figure anyone in execute range in PvP is within a couple of globals of dying already.

The removal of rage from white swings has completely removed Haste as a viable defensive stat for prot warriors… even for bears it's scales with their rage generation
The difference is that the gear we intend for Prot warriors has no haste or crit on it while the gear we intend for Guardian druids does. We don't want to slap players wrists too hard who use gear outside of what we intend, but at the same time, if we were ever in a place where the DPS plate want the crit / haste gear AND the plate tanks want the crit / haste gear, there will be some tears.

Crit is somewhat in same boat, it offers no defensive value.
You can still become Enraged, which increases rage income. As I said though, plate tanks scaling with crit is in the "nice to have" category for us.

Conversely Expertise and Hit are ridiculously powerful against rage dry spots.
On the other hand, this was by design. Unlike haste and crit, we do put hit and expertise on tanking gear, and we don’t think tanks will ever value those stats enough if they are just for threat.

I really do think Bears Rage model is really good, half their rage from white swings half from active abilities.
We changed it for a few reasons, largely based on feedback. When rage comes from white attacks, then it comes in unpredictably instead of the big chunks from yellow attacks. Now granted the other two warrior specs still must contend with that issue, but it’s usually not an issue of the group wiping if the Arms warrior mismanages rage. Secondly, when you’re kiting or moving which are not uncommon for tanks, any rage from white attacks get shut off. Your yellow attacks you can save to a degree. That said, we could experiment with putting a little rage on white attacks, but it would have to come from Shield Slam, Revenge and Devasate, because we think the overall income of rage for Protection is at the right level. We don’t want the defensive buttons to feel like something you keep up all the time like the Thunder Clap debuff.

So you're not concerned about Execute displacing Overpowers, completely removing Heroic Strike, and possibly also displacing Mortal Strike?
For 20% of the fight? No. The idea is that your rotation changes when the target is in Execute range. Overpower is free and Heroic Strike might still be applicable if your rage income is faster than you can Execute, so I don’t think the rotation just becomes Execute, Execute, Execute.

With the removal of Vengence, it did not fix my issues with Defensive Stance, but more so nerfed the better alternative. (No vengence = less Attack Power = weaker Barrier) Even so, Battle Stance still out-does Defensive by a fair margin.
Additionally, Shield Slam and Revenge will only generate rage in Defensive Stance in a future build. We want to leave some room for Prot warriors to go into Battle Stance when OT'ing or perhaps when solo, and we want to leave some room for Arms and Fury to use Defensive Stance when emergency tanking.

I can think of many things - but Anger Management used to be a part of our toolkit and that added into our current design would help break the spikey feeling without worry of making the pool too big from auto-attacks.
Baking in Anger Management to Defensive Stance as a solution to diminish spikes without tying rage to auto attacks nor making Prot warriors have too much Battle Stance envy is sensible. We might try it again.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Raid Testing Schedule - June 22
For Friday, June 22 we'll be testing just one encounter, the 10 player Normal difficulty version of the Stone Guard encounter in Mogu'shan Vaults. There will be further opportunities to test this encounter. Think of today as a warmup!

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

Early Session: 10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)
Late Session: 16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid. We might have to change the time of a testing session due to various issues with bugs, builds, server hardware issues, designers being sick, class issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Two Dungeons Disabled for this Beta Build
We're in the process of turning off both Temple of the Jade Serpent and Shado-pan Monastery at this time due to a client crash error when viewing the Sha boss model. This makes defeating these bosses... very difficult.

When we get a new build that fixes the error, we'll reenable the dungeons. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blizzard Games News Update
Pico is back with an update on the news in WoW, SC2, and D3!


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