Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We appreciate that everyone who signed up for the Annual Pass is genuinely excited about seeing the new content and helping us test it for release. We definitely want to get all Annual Pass holders into the beta test as soon as humanly (and technologically) possible.
To do so, we need to make sure that our new systems remain stable as we add players. If we let everyone in at the exact same time, we risk damaging the stability of the service, and then no one would be able to play. We can’t let everyone in at the same time; however, all Annual Pass holders will be invited before any opt-ins.
We’re in the process of sending 100,000 invites to Annual Pass holders, and we recommend keeping an eye on your email and Battle.net account for an invite to come explore Pandaria.
Rest assured that we WILL get all of our Annual Pass holders into the beta test. Thank you for the passion and support you’ve shown for the game, and please be patient with us as we continue driving hard toward finishing up Mists of Pandaria and getting it into your hands as quickly as possible.
Tier 14 Paladin and Warlock Videos
Everything looks better in videos, I published 2 small video previews of the new T14 sets discovered last night.
Temple of the Jade Serpent Instance Preview
Our lovely Nik (watch our stream!) went through the Temple of the Jade Serpent instance currently available for testing and made a quick video preview of the instance! Now with more monsters, evil bosses, and comments!
Pet Battle System and Pet Journal Preview
Let's discuss the Pet Battle System and the upcoming Pet Journal! The features aren't really implemented on beta yet but datamining yielded a decent amount of data to work with! We also have a small video preview of the Pet Journal.
Hunting Wild Pets
Acquiring wild pets will be done by tracking them on your minimap, we don't really have details on the entire process/fight but some of those pets will be much rarer than the others. Spawn conditions could depend on the time of the day or the weather in the zone you're in!
However, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will spend forever browsing the web looking for spawn locations. The game will apparently include a convenient map to show you where you are likely to encounter a specific pet.
There is currently 10 pet types in the game. Each type can be strong or weak against another type, for example, Dragonkin attacks deal bonus damage to Flying companions and less damage to other Dragonkin and Water companions. All the details are in the pet skills chart below!
We also have a (mostly) complete of pet skills as of today, keep in mind that this is early beta and the feature isn't even implemented yet. A lot of that stuff is likely to change.
Dragonkin attacks deal bonus damage to Flying companions and less damage to other Dragonkin and Water companions.
Male Panda Hairstyles - Fur, Topknot, Mohawk, Topknot 2, Beaded Tail, Backbrushed, Mane & Topknot, Long Topknot, Backbrushed Topknot, Tail & Bow, Top Bun, Tall Topknot, Tuft, Top Bun Mane, Chonmage, Wrapped Topknot, Chopstick, Spiky
Scent of Blood: Reworked: Your successful main-hand auto attacks have a chance to increase the healing and minimum healing done by your next Death Strike within 20 sec by 15%, and to generate 10 Runic Power. This effect stacks up to 5 times.
A Murder of Crows: New. Summons a flock of crows to attack your target over the next 30 sec. If used on a target below 20% health, the cooldown will be reset. 60 Focus, 40 yd range, Instant, 60 sec cooldown.
Call Beast: New. Summons a powerful wild animal to assist you in combat for 12 sec. Each time the animal deals damage, you will gain 2 focus. 1 Frost, 1 Unholy, 30 yd range, Instant, 30 sec cooldown.
Glaive Toss : Now has to be cast on a a target rather than in front of you. No longer resets cooldown upon hitting two targets.
Lynx Rush: New. Your pet rapidly charges from target to target, attacking 9 times over 4 sec, dealing its normal attack damage to each target. 100 yd range, Instant, 2 min cooldown.
Powershot: Now does 25% weapon damage to all enemies in between you and the target, down from 100%.
Focus Fire: No longer has a 15 sec cooldown. Now restores 10 Focus (was 4) to your pet and increases your ranged haste by 8% (was 3%).
Frenzy: Your pet has a 40% chance to gain 15% increased attack speed after attacking with a Basic Attack, lasting for 20 sec and stacking up to 5 times.
Black Arrow: No longer has a 30 sec cooldown. Now does 110% Weapon damage, up from 85%. DoT damage increased to 4660, up from 3580. Wording removed: "Lock and Load cannot trigger from the damage done to these additional targets."
Lock and Load: Now has a 10 sec cooldown. No longer works with Explosive Trap.
Beacon of Light: Reworked: Your Holy Light will also heal the Beacon for 50*2}% of the amount healed. Your Holy Radiance will heal for X% of the amount healed. All other heals will heal for 50% of the amount healed.
Daybreak: New. After casting Holy Radiance, your next Holy Shock will also heal other allies near its target for 50% of the healing done.
Devotion Aura: Now reduces all magic damage taken, not just Fire, Frost, and Shadow.
Holy Radiance: Now heals allies of the target for 50% of that amount, instead of a static number.
Divine Star: Reworked: Fires a Divine Star in front of you, traveling 20 yds, causing 1849 to 3081 Divine damage to all enemies and 1 healing to all allies in its path. After reaching its destination it will return to you, also dealing damage and healing to all targets in its path. Now has a 15 sec cooldown, 30 yd range, and costs 7% of base mana.
Halo: New. Creates a ring of Holy energy around you that quickly expands and grows in power, up to 30 yds away. Deals up to 18487 to 30811 Holy damage to enemies, and up to 0 healing to allies, with the greatest effect at 25 yds. 28% of Base Mana, 30 yd range, 2 sec cast, 60 sec cooldown.
Cascade: New. Launches a Holy bolt at the target that grows in power as it travels, which causes up to 13557 damage to an enemy, or up to 13557 healing to an ally. This effect can bounce from allies to other allies, or from enemies to other enemies. Each time it bounces it will split into 2 bolts, preferring farther away targets, and never hitting the same target twice. Cascade can bounce up to 4 times. 14% of Base Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 25 sec cooldown.
Blindside: New. Performing a successful Mutilate has a 30% chance of leaving you in an advantageous position, enabling a single use of Dispatch regardless of the enemy target's health.
Dispatch: Now does 225% weapon damage plus 859.5, up from 195% weapon damage plus 744.9.
Mutilate: Now does 130% weapon damage, down from 140%.
Hemorrhage: Reworked: An instant strike that deals 100% weapon damage (145% if a dagger is equipped), causing profuse bleeding that deals an additional 40% of the direct strike's damage over 24 sec. Awards 1 combo point. Awards 1 combo point.
Water Shield The caster is surrounded by 3 globes of water, granting 1368 mana (was 407) per 5 sec. When a spell, melee or ranged attack hits the caster, 2928 mana (was 871) is restored to the caster. This expends one water globe. Only one globe will activate every few seconds. Lasts 60 min. Only one Elemental Shield can be active on the Shaman at any one time.
Unleashed Fury: Earthliving Weapon further increases the effectiveness of your next single-target heal on the targeted ally by 50%.
Healing Surge: Healing increased to 8205 to 9374, up from 4975 to 5683.
Stormlash Totem: New. Summons a Stormlash Totem with 5 health at the feet of the caster, empowering allies within 30 yards with lightning. While empowered, allies' spells and attacks will trigger bursts of electricity, dealing additional Nature damage to their target. Lasts 10 sec. 5% of base mana, 5 min cooldown, Instant.
Healing Wave: Healing increased to 5469 to 6248, up from 3109 to 3552.
Nether Plating: While using a Demon Form (was Metamorphosis), your armor contribution from items increases by 400% (was 600%), the chance you'll be critically hit by melee attacks is reduced by 6% and the duration of stun and snare effects is reduced by 20% (was 50%).
Heroic Strike: Now does 100% (was 160%) weapon damage plus 498 (was 796.8) (140% (was 224%) plus 697 (was 1116) if a one-handed weapon is equipped).
Skull Banner: Now increases critical damage by 20%, instead of critical chance by 30%.
Bloodthirst: Reworked: Instantly attack the target, dealing 100% weapon damage plus 1246 with your main hand weapon and restoring 1% of your health. Bloodthirst has an additional 40% chance to be a critical strike.
Single-Minded Fury: Reworked: When you dual-wield one-handed weapons, all damage is increased by 35%, and your off-hand weapon will deal an additional 40% damage.
Wild Strike: Now does 270% weapon damage, up from 135%.
Slam: Now does 225% weapon damage plus 2101.5, up from 150% weapon damage plus 1401.
Glyph of Curse of Exhaustion: Curse of Exhaustion now reduces the targets movement speed by 50% (was 70%), lasts half as long and has a 10 second (was 20 second) cooldown.
Glyph of Demon Hunting: Grants the ability Threatening Presence. You imbue yourself with Demonic energies, reducing damage taken by 5% and allows the use of various demonic abilities. In addition, Soulshatter taunts your target, Twilight Ward will absorb all schools of damage and Demonic Slash is shorter range and generates fury.
Mists of Pandaria Dungeon Preview - 5 Videos!
Let's continue the area previews and jump to dungeons! Some of them like the Temple of the Jade Serpent are almost done, while others like the Mogu'shan Palace are clearly only available in early beta stages in the game files.
Mists of Pandaria Raid Sneak Peek - Mogu'shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, Terrace of Endless Spring
It's time to bring back the good old MMO-Champion spirit and post actual news! Today we have a mini sneak peek of the 3 raids introduced in Mists of Pandaria! You probably also noticed that I've been releasing a couple of teasers on our social networks, now might be the best time to join us if you haven't done that yet!
Dev Watercooler - Mists of Pandaria Looting Explained
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Hey, how about that landslide of Mists of Pandaria information? It has taken a few days, and will probably take a few more, for the nuance of everything to really sink in. One of the topics we've been getting lots of questions about is the crazy new loot model we're introducing in Mists. We've answered several related questions in the forums, but thought it might be prudent to just put all the information in one place.
I should clarify that the systems we're introducing are actually pretty simple in practice. I'm only going into a fair amount of detail because those are the kinds of questions we are getting. You don't have to understand all the particulars to participate, and we're certain that it will just all make sense once you are experiencing it in-game instead of hearing it described (that whole "show, don't tell" thing). Let's begin:
Here is how looting works in today's Raid Finder groups:
The boss dies.
The game randomly decides which items off of the boss's loot table drop.
The group rolls Need, Greed, or Pass on each item.
If you were raiding with a group of friends, you might discuss who should get each item. Even if you ultimately lost, hopefully you are happy that a friend got an upgrade and that your group as a whole is now a little bit stronger.
But if you're in Raid Finder, you are quite possibly alone with a bunch of strangers.
So, if you can Need, you probably do, because there's no time for discussion, some of the rollers may be AFK, and even if you piss someone off, you aren't likely to have to pay the social cost of doing so since you'll never see them again.
The highest roll wins.
Here's how the new Raid Finder system will work in Mists of Pandaria:
The boss dies.
The game automatically decides who won some loot, and gives those players a spec-appropriate item.
Some players may still get mad, but hopefully they are mad at the laws of probability and not at the rest of the raid.
So, realistically, that's really all you need to know to understand how it'll play out in-game. For those looking for more detail, here's what's happening behind the scenes:
The boss dies.
Each player has a chance to win loot, independent of the other players.
For each player who wins loot, the game randomly assigns them a spec-appropriate item from that boss's loot table. This subset contains only items that the game (meaning the designers in this case) thinks are appropriate for your class and current spec.
Notice that you aren't rolling Need or Greed. You don't have an option to Pass. The game just says "Take this."
You can't trade this item, or that would defeat the purpose of removing the social pressure on groups of strangers. If you don't want the item, you are free to vendor, delete, or disenchant it.
The big difference here is that instead of kill -> loot -> roll, the new system uses kill -> roll -> loot. The loot is not determined until the winners are determined. It's all automatic, and you're under no obligation to pass or roll — these choices no longer exist. The game decides who gets loot, not the players. The end. Nobody is going to be a callous jerk and take the item that you rightfully deserve. Nobody is going to try to talk you into trading an item to them because they are down on their luck and can't ever win a weapon. No DPS dude is going to ninja the tanking shield that you need for your guild to progress.
We understand some players are interested in off-spec or transmogrification loot, and we will consider future changes to the system to accommodate those desires. However, we're not sure fundamentally that Raid Finder is the best avenue for acquiring that loot. You would either need to take it from another player who actually desires it for their main spec, or a conversation would have to take place to make sure nobody else needed it more than you do. In other words, you would have to stop people from just rolling Need whenever they could. I've seen some suggestions that we allow an option for essentially "I'm happy to get loot beyond just what my main spec can use," and maybe that's the kind of approach we could take, but let's make sure the basic design works first. For now, there are other avenues, such as dungeons, faction gear, normal raids or older content to provide off-spec or cosmetic gear.
Here is a model I've seen some people say they want:
The boss dies.
I get the exact item or items I want.
I never have to come back and kill this boss again.
I politely ask Blizzard when there will be new content for me to run.
I added that, somewhat tongue in cheek, to point out that the intent of the new system is not to make killing bosses or getting loot more efficient, or to let you choose buffet-style which items you get. We like random loot being random, as long as it isn't so frustratingly random that you stop enjoying the experience. The intent of the new loot system is really to relieve social pressure on a group of random and anonymous strangers. We think it is reasonable for groups of friends, such as the typical raiding guild, to have a discussion about how to divvy up loot. That discussion is a tried and true RPG tradition going back to D&D or earlier. We don't think that is a reasonable expectation for Raid Finder, though.
The personal loot system will initially be used for Raid Finder and for world bosses. We want to use it for world bosses because we want it to be fairly easy to form PUGs to take down these bosses when they're up. If my raiding guild is about to take on a world boss, and some lonely hunter is asking to join the group (it's always a lonely hunter, isn't it?), it would be nice to be able to bring him on without worrying about that jerk taking loot away from me or my friends. We want to foster a "the more the merrier" attitude with world bosses.
This is why it's so important to us that the size of the group shouldn't matter. We don't want guilds to try to kill a world boss with the smallest number of players necessary in order to maximize loot per player. When everyone has their own chance at loot, why not make the group as large as you can? Note that you still have to be a member of the group that taps and kills the boss. We want to have a little bit of competition for world boss kills, especially between the Horde and the Alliance. We think that is part of the fun of world bosses; otherwise, why not just stick the gronn in a cave? (That sounds dirtier than I intended.) We don't want everyone in the zone to get credit just by lurking around. We want you to cooperate with other players, and we're trying to remove barriers to cooperation by eliminating loot drama.
We have one other new system that will use part of the personal loot model. This is what we're calling the bonus roll.
Once upon a time, raiders had to invest a lot of time and effort every week preparing for a raid. This felt kind of cool in the abstract because it built anticipation, rewarded players who prepared for raid night, and otherwise just added a little more ceremony to the act of entering the dragon's lair to seek glory and treasure. The reality is that you spent your time killing mobs to farm flask materials or gathering Whipper Root Tubers. The reality didn't match the fantasy and we eventually greatly minimized the need to farm consumables altogether. Of course, that led to another problem, as raiders would log on for raid nights, finish, and then have nothing to do the rest of the week. The bonus roll is intended to give those players something to do that is hopefully more enjoyable than grinding elementals or Blasted Lands boars. We want to see players out in the world doing stuff, and we want that stuff to be a little more interesting (if not downright fun) than farming mats.
The way it works is like this: We have two major Pandaren factions, the Elders and the Craftsmen. Completing daily quests and scenarios for each group earns you one of two currencies. The Craftsmen tokens are spent mostly on cosmetic items. The Elder tokens are spent mostly on power items. The intent here is to let players who want some optional content to be able to devote time to both Craftsmen and Elders, while more min-max focused players or players who don't want such a time commitment can stick to Elders. The Elder tokens can be used to purchase head enchants, some nice purple items, and the kind of gear you've come to expect from factions. However, they also sell an item called a Charm of Good Fortune. Imagine you can complete a quest once a week to buy one Charm for 25 Elder Tokens. You also might be able to save up a few charms, but you won't be able to hoard them until the next tier of content.
If you have one or more Charms of Good Fortune, then whenever you kill a raid boss (in Raid Finder, normal or heroic) then a new UI window will pop up asking if you want to spend your Charm on a bonus roll. If you click yes, then you'll instantly get another shot at that boss's loot table! You will always win something from the bonus roll, such as a pile of gold, gems, or flasks. However, you also have a small (but not miniscule) chance of receiving a piece of epic loot. As with the personal loot system, the item will always be something designed for your current spec. Also, just as with personal loot, the game doesn't analyze if you already have the item, if the item would be an upgrade for you, or if you prefer axes to swords or anything like that.
Most importantly, winning a bonus roll has no effect on what other players win on their bonus rolls or what the boss drops normally. If you have saved up several Charms (this will probably happen when you play but don't raid every week) then you can use one per boss, but you can't cash in multiples on a single boss kill. If you want to save up all of your Charms for the final boss because he (or she in the case of the mantid raid) drops weapons or whatever, that is your prerogative, but you'll only be able to spend one per kill. If you want to save up your Charms for heroic bosses, go for it.
Here is an example of per-person loot and the bonus roll in action:
Stan is a death knight.
Jim Bob is a warrior.
Naomi is a hunter.
The three friends run Raid Finder together and tackle Mogu'shan Vaults. They get matched with a bunch of random folks from across their region. On the fourth boss, the Council of Kings, the game decides that Jim Bob wins an item. Jim Bob is a Fury warrior, so the game is either going to give him a two-handed Strength axe or a Strength bracer, because those are the two Fury-appropriate items on the Council of Kings loot table (in this theoretical example). Regardless of what Jim Bob wins, Stan might also win the same items. Naomi won't ever be offered those items, because they aren't appropriate hunter loot. If she had gotten lucky and earned loot for the kill, it would have been hunter appropriate.
Let's say Naomi is frustrated because Bob and Stan both won loot and because the trinket she wants won't ever drop. So, she decides to use a Charm of Good Fortune. Let's say she gets lucky and the game decides that she won an item instead of gold, flasks, etc. (Thanks, game!) She might get the trinket she wants, or she might get an Agility neckpiece that is also on the Council of Kings loot table. Her winning an item doesn't affect Stan or Jim Bob or anyone else, even if they use their Charms as well.
Okay, we're almost done here, but I did want to mention two other relevant changes.
Area of Effect Looting
Yes, we are doing area looting. After killing a group of enemies, you may have a bunch of corpses lying around (perhaps because you went all Bladestorm on a bunch of hozen). If you loot one of the corpses, the loot window will include items from all of the nearby corpses for which you have loot rights. Some recent games have incorporated a similar feature, and it's one of those things that players just want in their MMO these days. It's already in and it works fine.
The Future of Valor
The second change I want to mention is that we plan to adjust the role of Valor points. Valor (or the various other names that the currency has had over the years) was originally added to WoW for two reasons: it helped to mitigate really bad luck, for those times when the boss just refused to drop the item you wanted, and it helped encourage players to stay with the group even if they didn't need anything off the next boss.
Over time, we have felt like Valor has taken on too prominent a role, to the point that it risks becoming more important than actual boss loot. This is particularly the case when the tier sets are available on the Valor vendors. We think killing dragons and ransacking their hoard is more epic than shopping at the magic armor store, so we want to shift back toward boss kills being the primary source of epic PvE gear.
In Mists of Pandaria, Valor will be used to power a new feature that allows you to increase the item level of your existing epic items. This means that each week, you can become a little more powerful, hopefully allowing you to kill that boss that has eluded you thus far. There will be a bit of a game in trying to decide when to upgrade your gear versus hoping for a new piece to drop from a raid boss, but our plan is that even heroic gear can be upgraded slightly in this way.
We won't allow you to upgrade Raid Finder gear so much that it becomes better than normal gear, but imagine if you can increase your item level by around eight points. At this time, we're thinking there won't be gear on the Valor vendors at all, but we'll see how that shakes out. Valor will come primarily from dungeons (including challenge modes) and scenarios. You might earn a little from daily quests and raiding as well, but that won't be as efficient.
That's a lot of information to absorb all at once I know, and I'm sure it will lead to dozens of questions. It'd be more helpful to us if you were to focus your discussion on how things will feel, and the basic rules of the system, instead of immediately leaping to the conclusion that you've figured out some exploit and ergo the whole thing is doomed to failure. We've stitched up a lot of the egregious loopholes already and the system is a little more complicated behind the scenes than I figured was worth getting into here.
Check it out in beta if you get the chance. Let us know how it feels. We have time to iterate and refine this stuff. Good luck on getting the loot you want, too... but not too quickly.
Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street is the lead systems designer of World of Warcraft. The first epic item he can recall getting was the Drillborer Disk.