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by Published on 2012-01-24 08:08 AM

Patch 4.3.2 Going Live This Week - Or Maybe Not
I just received an update on the Patch 4.3.2, it seems that the update was postponed because of a very bad bug. As far as I know it means the patch won't happen tomorrow, however it might happen on wednesday in the US and thursday in Europe. If it's not the case it will be postponed to next week.

The info was solid and was backed up by a few other things (announcement of PTRs going down, etc) but those last minute changes happen, and there's nothing I can do against them. This is also the reason why Blizzard doesn't announce patches early.

Even if I always warn that things might be postponed, it still sucks when it does happen, and this is pretty much how comfortable I feel when I have to announce it. Feel free to yell at me and make me sad. I'll be in my corner trying to hide in my happy place.
by Published on 2012-01-23 11:46 PM

Diablo 3 - Patch 10 - Unofficial Changes

Patch 4.3.2 Going Live This Week
The information isn't official yet but assuming everything goes as planned, Patch 4.3.2 should be going live this week. This patch is bringing us Cross Realm raids for older content with RealID friends, a few item tweaks and new items, a few new achievements, and a reduced game client install size. It also brought testing of the 64-bit client which didn't appear to have widespread or major bugs, however I'm not really sure if it will be available on the live realms.

As usual there's a slight chance (1%) that the patch will be postponed if something terrible happens, but as far as I know, we're good to go this week.

Cross Realm Raids
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We previously introduced the ability to form cross-realm parties with Real ID friends, and now with Patch 4.3.2, we're adding the ability for players to use that same functionality to form raids to run older normal or heroic raids, or participate in Battlegrounds!

This will allow you to join up with your Real ID friends from other realms and:
  • Form a cross-realm raid and use Raid Finder
  • Jump in to any classic dungeon or raid and be automatically placed in the same instance
  • Join forces and dominate the Battlegrounds

Please note, you will not yet be able to run normal or Heroic Dragon Soul with cross-realm Real ID raids.

As we look forward to the BattleTag system, it’s a very exciting time for World of Warcraft. No matter what realm you and your friends are on you’ll be able to team up and take on group content throughout the game.

4.3.2 PTR and New File Optimization Tech
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With the 4.3.2 patch we’ll be testing some new file optimization tech. As you may be aware, with previous major expansion patches (2.0, 3.0, 4.0, etc.) we’ve carried out a time-consuming process to reorganize the game files currently installed on your hard drive to integrate all previous patch files, essentially ‘cleaning up’ what’s on your computer and reducing the full installation size. This process used to require an amount of free hard drive space double that of the entire installation size to complete, which is why we’ve reserved them for large expansion-sized patches.

The new tech we’re testing with the 4.3.2 PTR will process these cleanups with no additional hard drive space required beyond what the patch is adding. Because of that you may see them appear more frequently with patches.

While the cleanup is occurring you’ll see a specific message on the launcher informing you the process is currently taking place. If you encounter any issues with the new process please be sure to visit our support site at http://www.battle.net/support/


Items
Vial of Shadows had the proc damage cut in third and proc frequency tripled to reduce burst in PvP.

Many of the original level 60 ranked PvP gear items have had Replica added to the start of their name, making their name identical to the versions being sold in Area 52, for example the Replica High Warlord's Cleaver. However, they still retain their higher item level and stats.

Gurthalak, Voice of the Deeps had its proc time increased to 12 seconds from 10 seconds. This change was made to all three versions of the item.

The three new items added in Patch 4.3.2 are found on the TCG Loot vendor in Booty Bay. They are part of the Timewalkers: War of the Ancients expansion. (Feldrake, Eye of the Legion, and Demon Hunter's Aspect)



Client Strings Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • ERR_PARENTAL_CONTROLS_DISCONNECT_WARNING = "You will be disconnected due to parental controls in %d |4minute:minutes;.";
  • ERR_PARENTAL_CONTROLS_DISCONNECT_WARNING_SOON = "You will be disconnected due to parental controls in less than 1 minute.";
  • TIME_PLAYED_ALERT = "You have been playing for %s. Excessive gameplay can cause inconvenience in your daily life.";



Achievements Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Dungeons & Raids

Player vs. Player

Feats of Strength



Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
General
Mounts
  • Feldrake Summons and dismisses a rideable feldrake. This is a flying mount. 1.5 sec cast

Companion Pets

Classes: General
Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Tier 13

Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Beast Mastery

Survival
  • Deterrence now also reduces all damage taken by 30% while active.
  • Black Arrow now ticks every 2 secs instead of every 3 secs. Damage is now spread over 20 secs, up from 15 secs.
  • Lock and Load no longer affects Arcane Shots.

Marksmanship
  • Bombardment now lasts 5 secs instead of affecting your next multi shot only.

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Fire

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Tier 13

Encounter
10 Man
  • Sludge Spew: Inflicts 29250 43875 to 30750 46125 Shadow damage to an enemy.
  • Stomp: Splits 750000 damage between all targets within 25 yards. Morchok's current target and their The two targets closest ally will to Morchok take a double portion of the damage.
  • Void Diffusion: Deals 180000 Shadow damage split evenly between units. In LFR mode, the base this damage dealt is 50,000. does not split.

10 Man Heroic
  • Stomp: Splits 750000 damage between all targets within 25 yards. Morchok's current target and their The two targets closest ally will to Morchok take a double portion of the damage.
  • Void Diffusion: Deals 269100 Shadow damage split evenly between units. In LFR mode, the base this damage dealt is 50,000. does not split.

25 Man
  • Sludge Spew: Inflicts 43875 82875 to 46125 87125 Shadow damage to an enemy.
  • Stomp: Splits 2300000 to 2700000 damage between all targets within 25 yards. Morchok's current target and their The two targets closest ally will to Morchok take a double portion of the damage.
  • Void Diffusion: Deals 540000 Shadow damage split evenly between units. In LFR mode, the base this damage dealt is 50,000. does not split.

25 Man Heroic
  • Stomp: Splits 2000000 damage between all targets within 25 yards. Morchok's current target and their The two targets closest ally will to Morchok take a double portion of the damage.
  • Void Diffusion: Deals 807300 Shadow damage split evenly between units. In LFR mode, the base this damage dealt is 50,000. does not split.

Items
  • Vial of Shadows: Your melee and ranged attacks have a chance to trigger an additional attack for 4028 12084 to 6042 18127 physical damage.
  • Vial of Shadows: Your melee and ranged attacks have a chance to trigger an additional attack for 3568 10706 to 5353 16059 physical damage.
  • Vial of Shadows: Your melee and ranged attacks have a chance to trigger an additional attack for 4546 13640 to 6819 20461 physical damage.



Official Patch 4.3.2 Notes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes: General
  • Vengeance is no longer triggered by receiving damage from other players.

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • The Tier 13 Balance Druid 4-piece bonus now also increases the damage of Starsurge by 10%, in addition to its current effect.

Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Aspect of the Hawk now grants roughly 35% more attack power.
  • Deterrence now also reduces damage taken by 30% while active.
  • Black Arrow now ticks every 2 seconds for 20 seconds, as opposed to every 3 seconds for 15 seconds. The total damage dealt by the ability is unchanged.
  • Lock and Load no longer benefits Arcane Shot, nor is it consumed by Arcane Shot.

Mage (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Fireball damage has been reduced by roughly 6%.
  • Pyroblast damage has been reduced by roughly 6%.

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Holy Radiance now costs 40% of base mana, up from 35%.

Priest (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Mass Dispel should again prefer dispelling targets that have magic effects that can be dispelled.

Rogue (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Adrenaline Rush no longer triggers a global cooldown.

Dungeons & Raids
  • You can now form same-faction raids with Real ID friends, allowing you to enter Raid Finder in groups larger than 5, run older normal or heroic raids, or participate in Battlegrounds. You will not yet be able to run normal or heroic Dragon Soul with cross-realm raids of Real ID friends.
  • Several typo fixes and clarified descriptions have been added to the Dungeon Journal entries for Dragon Soul.
  • Players can no longer win multiple copies of the same item on a single Raid Finder boss kill. For example, a player who chooses Need on two set piece tokens or two weapons and wins the first, will not be eligible for the second on that particular boss.

Baradin Hold
  • The roaming Eyes of Occu'thar have been replaced by hateful creatures who serve Alizabal.

Dragon Soul
  • Warmaster Blackhorn
    • The visual warning for Twilight Elites' Blade Rush should be easier to see.

Items
  • Vial of Shadows damage (Lightning Strike) has been reduced to approximately one-third of previous damage. However, it will now trigger approximately 3 times as often. This is intended to keep overall DPS the same while reducing burst damage, especially in PvP.
by Published on 2012-01-22 08:45 PM

Lunar Festival
A few changes were made to Lunar Festival this year, with two faction specific pets being added and new Elders for you to visit in the Cataclysm zones. You can find a list of the Elder's locations on Wowpedia.


The new Lunar Lantern and Festival Lantern are new rewards from the Lunar Festival. The new Lunar Lantern would be the Alliance version and the Festival Lantern the Horde one. Each costs Coin of Ancestry x 50 from the vendor.


Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Every year the druids of Moonglade hold a celebration of their city’s great triumph over an ancient evil. During the Lunar Festival, citizens of Azeroth have the opportunity to honor their elders by celebrating their sage wisdom, sharing in magnificent feasts, and of course…shooting fireworks!

The Lunar Festival returns to Azeroth in a cascade of pyrotechnics on Sunday, January 22! With the start of a new year, elders of generations past manifest around the world to impart their wisdom upon all who would listen. Should you encounter these venerable spirits in your travels and take the time to heed their wisdom, they may even pass along tokens of their gratitude -- Coins of Ancestry, the lessons of a past age in physical form. Gather enough of these Coins of Ancestry and the Cenarion Circle will open to you their stores of celebratory fireworks, trinkets, garbs, and recipes!

The Cenarion Circle have even more cause to celebrate this year than any previous, for this year also marks the first Lunar Festival since the return of many Ancients that had fallen in battles past: Goldrinn, Malorne, Aviana, and Cenarius himself. But this celebration is muted by the eternal torment of one of their own -- Omen, blessed by the moon goddess Elune, has risen again from the depths of Moonglade’s lake. Driven mad by the Burning Legion’s tainted magics during the War of the Ancients, Elune’s blessing of immortality means that he will forever be cursed to return in his maddened state at the advent of a new year. Heroes are called to help ease this tormented Ancient’s suffering, in the hopes that perhaps next year will see him return with a clearer mind.

Lunar Festivities end Sunday, February 12.

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

This month
Hard drives remain expensive, so now is still a good time to buy a SSD, as the next generation is a while away and the current prices are fairly flat, with sales bringing the cost very close to $1 per gigabyte.

AMD's Bulldozer arrived to negative reviews, citing excessive power usage and heat output and very poor single threaded performance. The previously mentioned patches for Windows are now available and give a few percent performance increase. (Patch 1, Patch 2)

New CPUs from Intel should be arriving in early April if you aren't in a hurry to build, bringing increased performance and lower power consumption.

The new 7970 GPU from AMD has been released and can be had for ~$550 if you can find it in stock. The 7950 will be here in a matter of weeks somewhere in the low ~$400 price range. More GPUs will likely be released next month. New GPUs from Nvidia likely won't be here before early March.

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

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

Peripherals/Monitors
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorASUS VW224U 22-Inch Widescreen - $149ASUS VW246H 24-Inch Widescreen - $200
KeyboardMicrosoft Digital Media Keyboard 3000 - $21Cyborg V.5 - $47
MouseLogitech G400 - $37Razer Deathadder - $48
SpeakersLogitech S220 2.1 Speaker System - $30Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $40
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE276Q 27-Inch - $279HP ZR24w 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $375
KeyboardLogitech G110 - $70Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $74 ($130)
MouseLogitech G500 - $58Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $68
SpeakersCreative Inspire T3130 2.1 Speaker System - $45Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $79


Puppy and Dolphin
Overclocked Puppy will outperform Dolphin when multiple threads are in use (Not WoW) and come close in most other cases.
Mix and match anything but the CPU/Motherboard combo between Puppy and Dolphin. Mix and match anything between Dolphin and Narwhal.
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT GAMMA Classic - $40NZXT GAMMA Classic - $40
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 V2 - $58Corsair CX600 V2 - $70
CPUAMD Phenom II X4 960T Black Edition- $115Intel i3-2100 - $125
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $27Corsair Air Series A70 - $38
MotherboardASUS M5A97 AM3+ 970 - $116Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 - $123
Memory4GB PNY Optima DDR3 10600 - $254GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 12800 DDR3 - $40
Graphics CardXFX 6770 - $95MSI 6850 or EVGA GTX 560 - $174 / $175
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Black 500GB - $120Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $157
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23
Total$619$791


Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn. SSDs are always optional.
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master HAF 912 - $66Cooler Master HAF932 - $143
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $90Corsair 750HX (7 Year Warranty) - $144
CPUIntel i5-2500k - $230Intel i7-2600k - $320
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $55Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $88
MotherboardGigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 - $160ASUS Z68 P8Z68-V PRO - $205
Memory4GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 12800 DDR3 - $408GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $54
Graphics CardXFX 6950 1GB OR EVGA GTX 560 Ti- $220/ $230XFX 6970 2GB OR EVGA GTX 570 - $325 / $360
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $157Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $157
SSDCrucial 128 GB m4 (Review) - $180
OR
Corsair Force Series GT 120 GB - $180
Intel 510 Series 120 GB (Review) - $275
OR
OCZ 120 GB Vertex 3 (Review) - $165
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23
Total$1041 - $1231$1624 - $1769



Trading Card Game Art Gallery Update
The Trading Card game art gallery has been updated with ten new pieces.



by Published on 2012-01-21 04:38 AM

Diablo 3 - Patch 10 Not This Week, Conference Call, Senior Game Producer Leaves, Blue Posts

Activision Blizzard Q4 2011 Conference Call
The Q4 2011 Earnings call will take place on February 9, at 1:30 PM PST, which brings us an update on subscriber numbers for the final quarter of 2011. Keep in mind last call informed us of a 800,000 subscribers loss, but this time around the Annual Pass and Patch 4.3 may soften the blow.

The week of the call also may bring us information on upcoming releases, if there will be any announcement expect it before the call takes place. During the previous call they wanted to remind investors that there is normally an increase in subscriptions around December, with previous quarters showing the following losses:





Mists of Pandaria Talent System
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
So my question is, with only 6 'tiers' of talents after MoP, what is happening to all the other talents that are currently in game? Are they going to be skills you learn from your class trainer, either active or passive? Or removed from the game completely?

A little of both. To better explain, let's divide the current talents into five categories: 1) mandatory, 2) very cool, but not mandatory, 3) sort of cool, 4) boring, and 5) useless.

We're going to give you all of the "mandatory" talents to your class spec, and you'll learn those talents at certain levels like you do with core class spells. Players who skip over what we consider mandatory talents today -- like Raging Blow or Hot Streak -- are unintentionally (or maybe even intentionally) gimping themselves, and that's not what we want to have happen. We want players to be able to experience the full power of their class, so we're going to award certain talents straight-out.

The second category of talents -- the cool, but not mandatory ones -- are really the heart of the new talent system (they're the talents you'll probably be choosing from in each of new six tiers). You may be glad you have talent A, but talent B and talent C are also compelling options, and it should ideally be an interesting choice about which one you take and when.

The third category of talents are still pretty cool, but they just aren't at the same level as other talents. These talents make good glyphs. For example, an early version of the warrior tree had Rude Interruption as a talent, but we feel it's too situational to compete with the other talents, so we'll likely make it a glyph.

The next category are boring talents -- the kind that reduce cooldowns or increase damage on some abilities. In most cases, we're just baking talents these right into the spells themselves. While there were occasionally situations where you got to decide which of these talents to take, the answers often relied on complex math problems that some other player ended up solving for most of us.

Finally, the current trees (despite our best efforts) still have some bad talents. They're the talents you almost inevtiably end up with when you have a talent tree with X rows and Y columns that you need to populate. In the end, not a lot of players end up taking these talents, so we'll just cut them. We don't think they'll be missed, but if turns out that players wind up actually missing some of the Cataclysm talents in the Mist of Pandaria design, then we've probably made a mistake somewhere. Ideally, you won't miss a thing and will have more fun picking talents that cater to your play style (or, at the very least, the current situation.)

New Warcraft Art
The World of Warcraft: Classes and Cataclysm Art galleries have been updated with five new pieces of Warcraft artwork.

by Published on 2012-01-20 04:24 AM

Diablo 3 - System Changes (Many new changes!)

Mists of Pandaria: PvP Recap
According to the recent blue posts, Mists of Pandaria information is finally on the way. While we are waiting for new announcements we can review the new PvP changes that are coming in Mists of Pandaria using a dedicated thread in our Mists of Pandaria forum.

Previous Coverage:



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
New Character Models
It's absolutely not a "too bad" situation, Sutei. I know the concept of us having near unlimited resources to throw at whatever we want to is intriguing, but it's just not the case. We don't have an army of artists on layaway that we can transfer onto a project.

Just the same, we don't necessarily want to exponentially expand the head count of the art team to ensure a specific project gets done. There's a synergy we strive for on each of our development teams. In fact, we go to pretty great lengths to vet applicants whenever hiring for a new position. We need to know our iterative design philosophy and our core values are shared. So, if we were to hire several new artists to get this project finished, you certainly wouldn't see the results of that "right this moment."

Right now it's just difficult to give any sort of estimate on when new models might be available. Whenever a new expansion is in development there are many, many requests for new art assets. We're elbow deep in designing new gear sets, fleshing out the environments, finishing up several new creature models, etc.

If all of this makes you feel that much further away from ever seeing new character models, I can say the project is still a regular topic of discussion for us. We want to figure out the best way to introduce such a feature without shocking a huge chunk of the playerbase that doesn't really think about how their character's features could be improved every time they log into the game. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New Character Models
Nothing about the forums being down and characters being stuck with silhouettes earlier has anything to do with some sort of preparation for an announcement.

We haven't teased anything on Twitter. Bashiok and I confirmed on our accounts this week that we'd have an update on the status of Diablo III from Jay Wilson going up today (which happened this morning).

I did mention on my feed yesterday that I had just gotten out of a meeting with Greg Street and Cory Stockton (same as every Wednesday), and that they've made a ton of progress on Mists of Pandaria since we last spoke -- the ball is rolling. Cory also echoed my statement on his feed by saying it's rolling very fast now. But... we're not quite ready to reveal our work just yet. Right now we're locking down the plan of action for releasing new information.

I'm confident it's going to be a fun ride. Just sit tight while we plot the course. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Dragon Soul Trash
If I had to choose which trash I'd get rid of or change, the drake event before Ultraxion would be my first choice.
That would probably be ours as well. We're considering it. I doubt we'd remove it entirely [...](Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Ask The Devs
They switched to the live Q&A, but then stopped doing those too for some reason.
This is sort of correct. We feel that the CoverItLive platform we used for two developer Q&As post-BlizzCon is a better format. The methods for choosing questions are never perfect -- especially when there are so many -- but CoverItLive allows us to answer more questions much more quickly than we did with "Ask the Devs," not to mention it takes up way less time for our developers.

We haven't stopped doing the CoverItLive developer Q&As. There are a couple of reasons we haven't done this in a while. For one, there are only so many questions we can field regarding future content (in this case Mists of Pandaria) before we have to step back and say, "wait until we have these things more fleshed out so we can put the upcoming features in a contextual preview." Also, we really want to make sure there isn't an expectation that these Q&As will be done at regular intervals. We'll host them when we feel they'll appropriately compliment new information that's gone out.

We are in the initial planning stages of the next Q&A for World of Warcraft, but its timing is still contingent upon a lot of other things. It just doesn't make sense to host another one right now when we haven't really released further previews of the next expansion since BlizzCon.

That said, our goal is to try and cover as much ground with CoverItLive as possible. We want to expose you to different development teams at appropriate times (whether it be class designers, UI designers, the art team, etc.) so you really get a feel for all of the work that goes into everything we do. At the same time we want to make sure we get these kicked off for our other franchises as well. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Diablo 3 System Changes
Some major changes have been made in Diablo 3, including changes to the core character attributes. For the full changes post and the follow-up by Bashiok, see the news post by our friends at Diablofans.


  • Scrolls of Identification are gone - players can now identify rares/legendary items without them.
  • Button '5' is now dedicated to potions.
  • The Mystic artisan has now been removed from the game.
  • The Cauldron of Jordan and Nephalem Cube have been removed.
  • The Stone of Recall is now a button at the bottom and has been renamed "Town Portal".
  • The Blacksmith is now responsible for salvaging players'
  • Common (white colored) items are no longer salvageable.
  • Character Attributes have been changed. We're changing core character attributes to Strength, Dexterity, Intellect, and Vitality...
  • Character stats are now placed in the same place as the inventory panel and the old dedicated stats panel has been removed.



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


by Published on 2012-01-19 02:15 AM

Update: Added Bashiok's follow-up statement.

Diablo 3 - Patch 10 Soon, Article Tomorrow, Twitter Wave #4, Generated AH Items, Sword of Justice #2, Poison Dart

Dragon Soul Difficulty Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
During the scheduled server maintenance on the week of January 31, the Dragon Soul raid will become enveloped by the “Power of the Aspects” spell, reducing the health and damage dealt of all enemies in the raid by 5%. This spell will grow progressively stronger over time to reduce the difficulty and make the encounters more accessible. The spell will affect both normal and Heroic difficulties, but it will not affect the Looking for Raid difficulty.

The spell can also be disabled by talking to Lord Afrasastrasz at the beginning of Dragon Soul, if a raid wishes to attempt the encounters without the aid of the Dragon Aspects.

For those of you who raided in Firelands and/or Icecrown you’re no doubt aware that as time goes on we want to keep people progressing by adjusting the difficulty. For any number of reasons a group may be having difficulty on a specific encounter each week, and our intent in adjusting the content is to ensure the ability to keep progressing, enjoying the content, and gearing up. With Icecrown we progressively buffed the players, and while this slow progression (and ability to opt-out of the buff) were both beneficial, it led to an expectation of your characters power, and once you left the raid you could certainly feel less effective. For Firelands we attempted to fix that by nerfing the content instead of buffing players, but we nerfed the content difficulty all at one time, which was counterproductive for players who really didn’t need as severe a change as we made. With Dragon Soul we’re attempting to do the best of both by having a progressive nerf to the content, keeping player power constant while providing small increases in assistance over a long period of time, as well as allowing players to opt-out of the assistance by speaking to Lord Afrasastrasz.

We hope you continue to enjoy Dragon Soul, and that these changes encourage you to attempt a higher difficulty, or just keep pushing to down that next boss.

Dragon Soul Difficulty Changes Follow-up
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Believe it or not there are actually guilds and raiding groups that are attempting to progress through Normal and Heroic raids, but are hitting a wall, and have been hitting a wall. We have actually statistical date we base our changes on, we know exactly how many people are clearing these raids each week, we know exactly how many people are able to down just a few bosses, and how many were only able to down a few bosses every week for weeks on end and then stopped raiding altogether.

The issue we're constantly trying to combat is the one where people feel like they're just out of options. One way this is an issue is the content is too easy, they blasted through it, have everything they could possibly want, and have nothing else to do. Ideally that's a small subset of very hardcore players. For everyone else it's a feeling of just being stuck with no possible way to progress. Very few players are willing to suit up, buff up, do all the necessary requirements to raid, jump in, and then do no better than they did last week for hours and hours, only to return next week and do the same.

If a guild doesn't want the help, they're free to opt out of the buff. For those that do it's an approximate 5% change, which is pretty minor, and we expect it to be about a month before we raise it another 5%. This first change will absolutely help the guilds that are just barely scraping by, or just need a tiny bump to cross the next hurdle, but it's just not logical to exclaim that someone will roll into Raid Finder, grab a couple items, then be looting Heroic Deathwing's corpse the next night.

We feel the content has been out for quite a while now, that most people who have progressed and downed Deathwing on Heroic have done so, they've had sufficient time to celebrate in their accomplishments, and these very small progressive alterations will only help guilds that are already doing well in the raid get over some hurdles they may be facing.

If they don't have to be like us, why do they have to have nerfs to get to our position in HM Raiding?
Because they want to and they pay the same amount for the game? I don't know, man. How is it good for the game to have 1% of players parading around for months and months and a 99% sitting around with nothing to do because they're sick and tired of wiping?

Your solution is "Well then they should get better or quit." and that's just not reasonable for a video game comprised of millions of people looking to just have some fun. It's still a computer game.

If there's a easy, normal, and hard difficulty, why tweak normal until it becomes as easy as the easy mode?
Well the nerfs are going to be progressive enough, as I said, I don't see a 5% change being a big enough change for Raid Finder players to suddenly start clearing Normal. We also don't know where we'll end up. We plan to increase the spell by 5% about every month, but we're not sure if we'll need to. If we see a lot of people able to keep progressing and downing bosses, maybe 5% is all we need. It's going to be watching completion numbers and seeing where that gets us. We're not assuming we'll need to go as far as we did with ICC. It's not going to be automatic, our hand is on the dial.

The increase is not automatic or set in its frequency. We will be manually controlling when it increases, if at all. It will be completely based on how many people we see able to complete the raid, and our decision to increase it or not.

Curse Weekly Roundup
Pico is back to tell us about the things you might have missed recently in SWTOR, Minecraft, WoW, and more.


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