MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

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by Published on 2012-04-19 09:19 PM

400,000 Annual Pass Invites Sent Out
This means that almost all of the 1.2 million Annual Pass holders have now been invited to beta!

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve sent the remaining 400,000 Annual Pass beta invites last night, which concludes the entirety of those who have signed up for the offer thus far. Of course the Annual Pass offer is still available, providing those who sign up for a year of World of Warcraft with a special in-game mount, a beta invite for Mists of Pandaria, and a digital copy of Diablo III. From here on out we’ll be continuing to invite anyone else who signs up for the Annual Pass.

See you in Pandaria!

[edit] Due to the large number of invites sent there are some that bounced back for various reasons, and we'll be working to apply those invites over the next few days. If you haven't received your invite yet it's likely you're one of the few affected by such an issue, and rest assured we're working to get you into the beta as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.
by Published on 2012-04-19 03:18 AM

Diablo 3 - No More Starter Access, Release Schedule Coming, Inferno Farming, Blue Posts, and Curse Roundup

WoWDB Pet Pages Update
Work continues at a steady pace on WoWDB, with the addition of more information for Pets after the changes in the last Beta build. We now have fixed the dedicated pages for all of the Battle Pet abilities and added more information to each pet's page.


The tooltips for individual abilities will show you which pets the attack is strong against, and which pets the attack is weak against. The page will also show you which pets can learn the abilities. On each pet's page, we have listed all of the spells that the pet can learn. We will continue to add features as the system is fully implemented in the beta.



BattleTags Now Live...ish!
The Diablo III beta is now connected to the live version of Battle.net. If you are in the Diablo III beta, or your friends are in the Diablo III beta, you are able to add them to your friends list via Battletag in Diablo III. Once they are added, they will appear on your friends list in WoW, allowing you to take part in cross-realm activities together. You can even add your friend's other friends by BattleTag (when they are BattleTag friends and not RealID friends with the player).

If you want to take advantage of this, be sure to add your friends before May 1, when the Diablo III beta ends. If you don't, you will be stuck waiting until May 15 when Diablo III is released to add any new friends. There is no word yet on when we will be able to add people in WoW directly by BattleTag.



Horde Pandaren Introduction
After leveling a new Pandaren character the player must choose a faction to leave The Wandering Isle. After selecting a faction you meet with the faction leader to learn a little bit more about the faction.



Patch 4.3.4 64-bit Client
If you are having trouble getting the Launcher to work correctly with Patch 4.3.4, don't forget to delete the following files if you have the 64-bit client installed: Battle.net-64.dll, MovieProxy.exe, WoW-64.exe.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
A 64-bit client is once again available for use with Patch 4.3.4. Before being able to launch WoW in 64-bit mode you will need to download the 64-bit client for PC/Mac (using one of the links below), and unzip it into your World of Warcraft directory. Once you extract the files you can start the 64-bit client by opening the Launcher as normal (Run as Administrator if applicable). To switch back to the 32-bit client, go into Options -> Game Preferences, and check the Launch 32-bit client setting. The game will display which version you are using at the bottom left hand corner of the login screen. ex: Version 4.3.4 (15595) (Release x64)

Build 4.3.4.15595 - Windows - Mac

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Next wave of Mists beta invites?
As soon as we're ready to invite more people to test the beta, we'll let you know as we have with previous waves.

It just wouldn't be very helpful if we made an advanced warning announcement that an advanced warning announcement will be coming soon. 'Cause then people would be asking for hints as to when the warning about the warning is coming. Pretty soon they'll want clues about the hints about the warning warning to come before the announced announcement.It's not a good idea to look at it that way since we're not sticking to an invite schedule. We invite large chunks of Annual Pass holders, then we give it a while to monitor realm stability and population. Each wave of invites has a varied impact on the beta test. We can't know in advance how many of the people invited will start playing right away (if at all), or how often they'll all play, etc.

Once things start to stabilize after invites are sent out and we see more predictable statistics, we'll set up another wave and start inviting more people. It isn't an exact science, which also means it's not very feasible for us to be transparent about every step of the process between waves of invites being sent.

There are a few simple goals with beta:

- Get plenty of people testing all the new content/features so we get solid feedback, as well as address bugs and crashes

- Get the remaining Annual Pass holders in as quickly as possible so they're given what they've been guaranteed

- Make sure the environment is stable enough that we can accomplish the first two goals

Having said all of that, I just want to try and drive the point home that you'll virtually never get an adequate answer when you ask us when another wave of beta invites will be going out. The community team will be notified once the developers and producers are prepared to invite more people. We get the messaging together, localize it as needed, and post as soon as we get the green light. There's virtually no point in that process where publicly providing estimates on when the next wave is coming will be useful, as that whole process generally happens within a matter of hours (not days or weeks).

Aside from being unable to get everyone into the beta myself, I hope this info helps a bit. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Announcements
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Looking for players — PvP forum
As you may have noticed, we have moved quite a few recruitment threads from this forum. Although we think it's great that you use our forums to find and join other players for more epic fun and challenges, this particular forum is dedicated to discussions about Arenas and Rated Battlegrounds, and as such is not a venue for recruitment or arranging groups.

In order to more conveniently facilitate guild recruitment and such, we have set up a new forum that is aimed at all players who are looking for other players for various PvP activities.

Looking for Players – PvP: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/4087193/

We kindly ask you to please use the forum above from now on for all your PvP team searches and recruitment needs, and to be considerate of those players who wish to use this forum for its intended purpose — discussions about Arenas and Rated Battlegrounds. Please note that any thread created for the purpose of recruiting players for any kind of group or guild may be removed without warning.

We thank you for your understanding and we hope that you will succeed in finding other players to have fun with. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Looking for players — PvE forum
As you may have noticed, we have moved quite a few recruitment threads from this forum. Although we think it's great that you use our forums to find and join other players for more epic fun and challenges, this particular forum is dedicated to discussions about Raids and Dungeons, and as such is not a venue for recruitment or arranging groups.

In order to more conveniently facilitate guild recruitment and such, we have set up a new forum that is aimed at all players who are looking for other players for various PvE activities.

Looking for Players – PvE: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/874708/

We kindly ask you to please use the forum above from now on for all your PvE group searches and recruitment needs, and to be considerate of those players who wish to use this forum for its intended purpose — discussions about Raids and Dungeons. Please note that any thread created for the purpose of recruiting players for any kind of group or guild may be removed without warning.

We thank you for your understanding and we hope that you will succeed in finding other players to have fun with. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Battle.net® Update: Updated Terms of Use
In preparation for the upcoming launch of Diablo® III, we’ve updated the Battle.net® Terms of Use to cover some key changes that will be occurring prior to the game’s release.

New Battle.net Balance Limits and Security Requirements: With the upcoming release of Diablo III’s currency-based auction house, account security will become more important than ever; we are making a few changes to ensure that players who wish to use the auction house have a safe and worry-free experience. Beginning prior to the launch of Diablo III, in order to carry a Battle.net Balance greater than $100 USD (or equivalent), players will be required to attach a Battle.net Authenticator or Battle.net Mobile Authenticator to their Battle.net account. In addition, we will be instituting a Battle.net Balance maximum limit of $250 USD (or equivalent). We’ll go into more detail about the different options for making purchases in the currency-based auction house prior to launch.

Global Play: When Diablo III presales began, we mentioned as part of the purchase process that Diablo III players would be able to choose to play on game servers based in the Americas, Europe, or Asia, regardless of what region they were connecting from or which language-version of the game they purchased (with certain restrictions). As you’ll see in the updated TOU, the name for this functionality is “Global Play,” and we’ll be providing more information about exactly how it works, including the restrictions noted above, prior to Diablo III’s launch.

Stay tuned to diablo3.com for further details on the currency-based auction house and Global Play in the coming weeks. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
by Published on 2012-04-18 05:07 AM

Diablo 3 - Unlock #4 - Dev Diary 3, Monk Sigil, Blizzard Music, Blue Posts, Christina Sims, the Female Monk

Alliance Pandaren Introduction
After leveling a new Pandaren character the player must choose a faction to leave The Wandering Isle. After selecting a faction you meet with the faction leader to learn a little bit more about the faction.



WoWDB Update - Advanced Tooltips
We're progressing on WoWDB and even if it's still far from finished, we just climbed the first step toward improving how we work on MMO-Champion: advanced tooltips!

They're basically the same thing as regular tooltips but with more information when possible. Obviously we're not gathering data from users yet and we will start doing so in a few weeks when the beta looks a little more stable, but as soon as we do we will be expanding the information readily available to users.

HTML Code:
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://static-azeroth.cursecdn.com/current/js/syndication/tt.js"></script>

We're very considerate (yes, we are!) and also took into account that some people might not like the new tooltips, that's why we're giving you the choice! If you want to control the tooltip type for each spell, you can add "?simple" or "?advanced" to the WoWDB link. For example:

If as a site owner you want to disable them, you can also do it by embedding the following code with your tt.js. Users who want to use the advanced versions of tooltips will still be able to use the ?advanced links on your site, but any regular link will default to the simple version.

HTML Code:
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://static-azeroth.cursecdn.com/current/js/syndication/tt.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">var WowDbSettings = { AdvancedTooltips: false };</script>

Where are we going with this? The ultimate goal is pretty simple, if we're doing things right, you shouldn't have to visit the site to get your information. It's also going to be incredibly useful since it will let us track a lot more things on patch days, making our classes changes much more accurate and interesting. This is obviously very much a work in progress and we will be improving this over the next days/weeks but we're terribly interested in feedback and wanted to launch the feature as soon as possible.

In the end, the database has a long way to go. The interface is pretty terrible and finding anything is hard. We're on our way to fixing it (we'll do a first pass on navigation/filters this week now that things are implemented, new design a little later) and we're busy experimenting with cool stuff. It should be fairly shiny soon!

Feedback on the new tooltips would be greatly appreciated!


Changes to Inactive Guild Leader Replacement
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Inactive Guild Leader Replacement was added to World of Warcraft in patch 4.3, and allows an active member to take over the guild leadership position from an inactive guild leader, encouraging guild activity by giving players a way to promote a new leader if theirs has been absent for an extended period of time.

Based on your feedback, we recently modified the Inactive Guild Leader Replacement process. From our most recent hotfixes for World of Warcraft:
  • Inactive guild leader replacement now requires 90 days of absence, up from 30 days.
  • Ascent to the rank of guild leader is now only available to guild members at Rank 2, 3, or 4, where the guild leader is considered Rank 1.
The option to dethrone the guild leader is only visible to the highest-ranked player logged in at any given time.

Since we made this change in a hotfix, it is still possible for the in-game process to present itself to guild members who are at Rank 4 or lower. However, if a guild member at Rank 4 or lower attempts to replace the absent guild leader, they will see an error in-game. This will only be the case until we apply a change to a future patch.

World of Warcraft Patch 4.3.4 Notes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Ticket Submission UI Improvements
  • A new Submit Bug button has been added. Clicking this option will open a report dialog box, along with basic instructions on what to include in your bug report.
  • A new Submit Suggestion button has been added. Clicking this option will open a text dialog box, along with a description of what to include in your suggestion.
  • The Report Lag button has been removed.
  • The Report Abuse button is now called Report Player.
    • The Report Player function offers four categories: Spamming, Language, Name, and Cheating.
    • Reporting a player for Cheating now opens a text window in which a description of the occurrence can be written.
    • Reporting a Name opens a window with three categories: Player Name, Guild Name, and Arena Team Name. There is also a text field for optional information.
    • Report Player now includes text and visual instructions for how to submit a report.
  • Right-clicking a character’s portrait now offers additional reporting options.

Patch 4.3 Hotfixes - April 17
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes
Warlock
Destruction
  • Bane of Havoc no longer persists when the warlock changes to a spec that does not include the talent.
Items
  • Fras Siabi's Barely Bigger Beer is a now bit less big, and its effect no longer stacks.
UI
  • Inactive guild leader replacement now requires 90 days of absence, up from 30 days. Ascent to the rank of guild leader is now only available to guild members at Rank 2, 3, or 4.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Annual Pass Invite Order
We've stated in the past there are several ways by which candidates are invited to test Mists of Pandaria beta. All we've said with regard to Annual Pass holders is that they'll be invited before people who submitted through our opt-in process, and that they'll be invited in order of Annual Pass purchase date and total cumulative play time on the account.

So here are a few things I didn't feel like typing on Twitter to one person all but accusing us of a conspiracy:

1) You don't have access to enough information to determine with certainty the way in which each and every person flagged for beta access was invited.

2) Even if you were able to prove that one Annual Pass holder was invited a) in an Annual Pass invite wave, and b) before someone who purchased their Annual Pass earlier, has more cumulative play time on their account, and was also invited in an Annual Pass wave, that still doesn't prove there's a systemic flaw in the way in which all accounts are being flagged.

3) We're aware that the terminology we used when initially announcing the Annual Pass feature was misleading. We've already stated we regret the way that went down. That said, we had no reason to falsely claim we'd be distributing invites in a way we had no intention of actually following. There's just no good reason to lie about that and hope people wouldn't catch on. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Red Panda Male Tail
We consider the pandaren models pretty much done: i.e. the distinctive longer tails for female red-coloured pandaren, that we like, are there to stay. Let's say it like this: we don't want to repeat the female worgen on this one. We don't want to second-guess the design.

This may just be my interpretation and not our company's, but the way I see it is that with many things there's always going to be people that like it exactly how it is — as we do — and those that don't. If we change it, the people who didn't like it before the change might be satisfied by it changing, but there's also the chance they might not be. What's guaranteed, though, is that those who did like it just as it was (usually the silent majority) definitely won't like it being changed. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Jewelled Panthers
So I am not sure offhand if any of this information is new or not, but here it is anyhow just in case any of it is news to you.

These will be Jewelcrafter recipes and we're not actually completely decided on whether there will be a recipe for each colour, or whether the creation of one will produce one of the four colours at random.

As I think you already know, the black one will be a little different. It's a flying mount and it'll be created by combining the other four mount colours together.

We're estimating that the cost of creating these mounts will be very expensive. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Monk (Forums)
Monk Mistweaver Feedback
We don't want to need Agility.
We don't want that either. Mistweavers should use Intellect leather. We just have to make sure that any of their damage-dealing abilities don't make Agi attractive. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Paladin (Forums)
Holy Paladin Solo DPS
We don't want Holy to be a DPS spec, but we do want Holy paladins to be able to do reasonable damage when solo, to keep up pressure in PvP, or when grouped in moments when healing isn't critical. Holy Shock and Denounce are supposed to provide that damage, but their numbers are abysmally weak at the moment. We will fix.

The above is relevant to all healer specs mind you. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warlock (Forums)
Affliction Warlock Feedback
We are discussing removing the limit one on Agony. We think Malefic Grasp already solves the same problem of wanting to make sure that focusing on a single target can be as effective as multi-dotting the room.

(As an aside, it's fine to multi-dot the room, but we want to avoid a situation where a dot class is either terrible with one target or doubles everyone else's damage when there are multiple targets.)

If we make the Agony change, then Soul Swap could move Agony and UA and feel worth doing (assuming Seeds already covers Corruption in an AE environment). It's also possible we could just bring down the Soul Swap cooldown as well. (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 2012-04-17 06:10 AM

Diablo 3 - The Daily Fallen, Diablo III: The Order, Blue Posts, Beta Screenshots

Battleground Preview: Silvershard Mine
Silver Shard Mine is an upcoming battleground located in Stranglethorn Vale. There are minecarts that take off from the center of the map and head to three different supply chains. As they are on the way to the depot, you can capture them in the same way you capture points in Eye of the Storm.

Both factions try to capture the cart before it reaches the end of the line, but there are checkpoints along the line that can be channeled to switch the direction the cart will go from left to right, giving your faction time to reclaim it.

Disclaimer - As usual, this is WORK IN PROGRESS. The video and screenshots do not reflect the final version of the battleground.








Patch 4.3.4 Live This Week
We haven't talked about it much, but Patch 4.3.4 will be going live this week with two main changes.

BattleTags
The first change is the addition of BattleTag support in the UI. Unfortunately there does not appear to be any way to add a player by their BattleTag at this time.

In the current state on the PTR, a player can add a friend by their BattleTag in the Diablo III beta, and then interact with that friend on the WoW PTR servers. This means that players may be able to add friends in a similar manner through the Diablo III game once it is released on May 15th, but will be unable to do so until then.

New Support Options
The second change is the addition of additional support options, such as reporting a player for their name or cheating from the target frame, rather than just the friends list or manually filling out their name in a ticket. The GM ticket UI now also allows you to submit bug reports and suggestions in game rather than on the forums.


Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With the upcoming World of Warcraft Patch 4.3.4, there will be a few changes to the way you interact with Customer Support in the game. We are implementing brand new interfaces to report harassment, naming violations, and potential cheating. By building these reporting methods directly into the game client, you can automatically gather information on who you are reporting and what you're reporting them for. In addition, we've also added options to report bugs and submit suggestions for World of Warcraft.

Reporting a Player
If you encounter a player using an offensive name or foul language, violating our chat policies, or cheating, you can quickly right-click on their name in chat, and select Report Player For. If you have the character targeted, you can right-click their portrait and select Report Player.


Submitting a Bug
If you have stumbled upon a bug, you can report it to the World of Warcraft Development & Quality Assurance teams, directly through the Customer Support window. In the Customer Support interface, click Submit Bug and fill out the requested information.

Note: If a bug has seriously affected your character in a way that requires Game Master intervention (lost items, reputation, raid progress, etc.), Open a Ticket so we may investigate the situation.



Submitting a Suggestion
If you wish to provide feedback to the World of Warcraft team, you may do so directly through the Customer Support window. In the Customer Support interface, click Submit Suggestion and fill out the requested information. Be sure to be as specific and constructive as possible.

Note: By submitting a suggestion, you confirm that the suggestion is your own idea, the idea is not confidential, and you permit Blizzard Entertainment to use the idea publicly with no obligation to compensate you.


Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Amount of Changes in Mists of Pandaria
This is a really tricky space for class designers to navigate. We see a lot of "why won't you fix my issues?" pleas mixed in with "I don't want to relearn how to play." Neither opinion is right or wrong of course, and there is a lot of subjectivity about what each mean. "I only wanted you to change A and B, not C and D" is posted in the same thread as "Please don't change A!" Even the OP above had to add "don't change... except for...."

The talent changes do give us the opportunity to clean up (in our parlance) various rotations because we now have the concept of spec spells. Previously, we often had to jump through hoops to keep players from having to use awkward yet higher DPS rotations.

To use one example, we didn't want Fury warriors to have to "cast" Slams and most Fury warriors didn't want to either (meaning we weren't just smacking players' wrists for finding a way to play that we had not envisioned). But any time we needed to buff Slam for Arms, we risked Fury side effects unless we messed with the Bloodsurge proc for Fury to keep Slam the same for them. In Mists we can just make Slam an Arms spec spell to avoid that issue completely. There are many other comparisons, especially for rogues and warlocks who often incorporated many more buttons than they needed to do to execute a rotation just because those buttons were there.

Similarly, it gives us a chance to clean up action bars a little by doing things like streamlining the number of heals non-healers need. Shadow needs some heals to feel like a priest, but it doesn't need the repertoire that a Holy priest has.

But these changes, made with the best of intentions, still count as changes. Returning players, especially players returning from early Cataclysm or Lich King still have to learn them. I had a warrior player the other day ask me why he needed Heroic Throw and Heroic Leap because they were just extra buttons on his bars, yet I also imagined the outrage if we tried to prune them.

We really try not to make change for changes sake (and you are free to call us on it if you think you see it). Every change is to solve some problem, likely a problem that representatives of the various classes and specs have advocated at one point or another. (Here is where players will typically say "I have been an X for 8 years, and I never remember seeing someone ask for Y" - please don't turn the rest of this thread into that).

We have also been trying to limit large class changes to expansions and not patches, even though that policy frustrates players as well who don't want to wait many months for a more dynamic rotation or a quality of life improvement. It's a design philosophy challenge for sure.

The best advice I can give you (any of you) is to offer specifics. Generic "I don't like my guy anymore" doesn't give us much indication of what we would have to do to get you to want to play him again. If there is a change you don't like, let us know, but be prepared to defend that position against other players who may disagree with you. We're not actually looking for players to vote on changes, but it is helpful for us to see both sides of a debate.

Also remember that nearly every change at this stage is made for fun and not for balance. That means our hands aren't tied. But it also means we are making decisions based on something really subjective upon which players very possibly are not going to agree.I find the discussion really interesting, especially when it sticks to the topic of "How much change is appropriate?" and doesn't try and discuss every single class in one thread.

I did want to clarify a few points just to make sure we are all on the same page.

We haven't changed healing. Healing should feel really similar to how it felt in Cataclysm, but a little more forgiving when you're still in greens and blues.

We do want to give tanks more control over their survivability, but that's because we've really toned down the effort it takes to maintain threat, so we want tanks to have something upon which to focus their attention.

We also spend a great deal of effort balancing at 85. As we have mentioned before, we want everyone who logs in when the expansion goes live to have about the same amount of damage and healing that they have today in Cataclysm. The sources of some of that damage and healing will change, but overall the numbers should be familiar. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Exploiting Bugs and Glitches in Beta.
I'm unable to go into specifics so I'll just say this:

If you come across a bug and you want to retain your ability to test in the beta, report it and don't exploit it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Ji Firepaw Feedback
Thanks. Your feedback has been received. I don't think we need another 100+ pages of discussion about one line of quest text or this will end up being a very long beta.

Whether or not you've contributed to this topic, it's time to move on. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

10 and 25 Player Raid Size Balance
We'll continue making adjustments as necessary to keep 10- and 25-player raids within a relative alignment, in terms of time investment, difficulty and rewards. It may never be perfect, but we still see interest in both raid sizes for different reasons. And ultimately we'll continue designing 25-player raids as long as there are a decent number of guilds interested in the format. We've seen no evidence as of yet that such interest is waning to any degree that should cause us great concern.

We tend to begin raid design around 25 players anyway before tuning for the various sizes and difficulties. That, when combined with our intent to carry on with 25-player Raid Finder group sizes, makes it very much worth our time to continue designing 25-player raids.

Regardless of what players' personal preferences or opinions are regarding the varied raid formats in World of Warcraft, we don't see removing options as a smart choice in the foreseeable future. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Faction Favoritism
You act as though I don't think there's any disconnect at all, or that all complaints from Alliance players about perceived story imbalances between factions are baseless.

These are fallacies which, as with this one below from you, I was initially biting my thumb at in my post you quoted.

The frustrating thing, though, is that you haven’t just received criticism, but constructive criticism as well. Plenty of people have offered copious amounts of suggestions since even before the release of Cataclysm, and you’ve ignored every single one.
You do everyone on the forums, yourself included, a disservice by making the leap in logic that, because we didn't act upon feedback submitted to us, we ignored it. Many of the suggestions you referenced in your post would've been pretty massive undertakings toward further redesigning the 1-60 experience in Cataclysm. From your point of view, and given how you feel about Alliance design, it's probably a pretty easy call. The decision should've been to make those changes to better flesh out the Alliance and, in particular, worgen story.

But we don't get to do this over, so we have to look at it from a pragmatic standpoint. Regardless of what we know today, it still would've been an incredible risk back then to delay the expansion, just to further redo the 1-60 experience to ensure the Alliance portion cannot be seen as anything other than equivalent (at least) to the Horde portion, in terms of quality. This is not to mention that, to a sadly large extent, the revamp of the 1-60 experience went pretty unnoticed to the average player. The average player has been more concerned about a lack of content at level 85 than what zone story lines ended more in favor of the Horde than vice versa.

And since we weren't going to change the expansion's story partway through purely based on the concern that players didn't feel Thrall was a neutral enough character, we went ahead with our plan.

Now enter Mists development. For months now we've been listening to the Alliance concerns on all types of matters, from lore, to faction pride, to populations, to behavior at BlizzCon, etc. And so many of them are legitimate. We've taken a lot of this to heart while developing the next expansion, while also building upon the larger story that's sure to span many more expansions and even new games (hopefully) down the road.

But then these valid concerns get whittled away and almost lose their meaning as they're put on this tit-for-tat list, where they're used as emotional leverage. And suddenly every little piece of information that comes out regarding future content gets ripped apart to determine exactly where our true motivations and biases lay. It actually increases the social divide between players, inflames the loudest people on both sides of the aisle, and prevents us from getting any reasonable word in edgewise without being cut down for our perceived ignorance in all matters relating to Alliance player wants/needs, if not our malicious attempt to outright make the Horde the cooler faction by story and design.

While both sides have done some pretty great and pretty terrible things in the stories past, there's a reason we don't make one the definitively evil or definitely good side (don't point to a few moments on a recent timeline to refute this point -- I'm talking big picture). Playing with friends aside, it's still a goal of ours to make sure that you're playing whatever faction and race you think is coolest, or which one you identify with or enjoy most. To think we're actively designing the game any other way is to get caught up in this debate so much so that you lose sight of what the game is all about.

I'm proud to be all gnome when it's time to crawl dungeons with my Alliance friends. I'm excited to represent goblins when it's time to collect bounties with my Horde friends. That said, my ultimate affinity is for my gnome and the Alliance, if not purely because that's how I ultimately jumped on the Warcraft train.

And I'm sure plenty of you out there would spit on both of those races. And -- since these words have never come back to bite anyone in the past -- I say bring 'em on. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Curse Weekly Roundup
Curse went to PAX-East and has some updates from the event this week!

by Published on 2012-04-15 04:07 PM

Diablo 3 - Unlock #3 - Developer Diary II, Battle.net Updated ToU

Dungeon Preview - Updated Mogu'shan Palace (Build 15589)
Mogu'shan Palace is one of the new dungeons introduced in Mists of Pandaria, you might remember it from our first wave of dungeon previews. As you can see, Blizzard made a lot of progress and the dungeon is starting to look really good.

This is still a work in progress and it will look even better when it hits the beta servers!







Stormstout Brewery Introduction Quest
In this quest chain you first meet Chen Stormstout soon after entering Valley of the Four Winds for the first time. You help him through several of the quest hubs, brewing beer many times.

Eventually he will take that beer to the doors of Stormstout Brewery, his ancestral home, only to find that it has been overrun. You then play as Chen Stormstout, killing your way through part of the brewery and attempting to talk to Uncle Gao, who doesn't seem to be all there.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Respec on Beta
Either in the next beta build or the one after that, you will be able to speak to your appropriate class trainer and they can unspec, unglyph or untalent you for a small fee. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Druid (Forums)
Feral Incarnation Models
There will be art for the cat, bear and moonkin form of Incarnation, but they will likely be adjustments (such as armor perhaps) to the existing forms, not brand new models. Hopefully we'll have something we can show you in a couple of weeks. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hunter (Forums)
Reverting Black Arrow back to its 4.3 Design
That does bring up a good question. Mainly regarding Serpent Spread. It appears that Black Arrow with the cast time, direct damage, and AoE components all added replaced Serpent Spread (was removed entirely.)

With the revert in Black Arrow's design, will we see Serpent Spread return or will Black Arrow retain its AoE damage and direct damage but be instant cast?

We would re-implement Serpent Spread. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Monk (Forums)
Monk Changes in Beta
  • We're thinking that Jab and Expel Harm saw a bit too much increase to mana last patch, and we’re going to reduce them somewhat.
  • We’ve increased the mana gain from Cherry Mana Tea. This spell will change whenever we tune mana and healing numbers, which has been happening a lot lately.
  • We've changed the number of serpent statues you can have out at once from 2 to 1. However, while in Stance of the Wise Serpent, you now have Eminence on yourself, causing half of your damage to be healing to nearby targets. This will allow “melee healing” monks to heal through dealing damage without having their statue down. The statue is intended to be more of a “cooldown” you use on tough fights, not similar to a totem you plop down.
  • We’re going to try having Renewing Mists also generate Chi (along with Surging Mist and Soothing Mists) when you cast it. The bug with Renewing Mists not showing up on raid/party frames should also be fixed in an upcoming build.
  • We’re getting rid of Jasmine Force Tea because we felt it was confusing to convert Mana to Chi, then Chi back to Mana with Cherry Mana Tea.
  • We’re going to make Surging Mist require a target rather than being a cast-time smart heal. The reason why it was originally a smart heal without requiring a target was to let you build up a stack of Vital Mists by using Jab, then cast an instant Surging Mist without having to change your target. We think the right place for the original Surging Mist smart heal is via a glyph.
  • One issue we’re concerned with is Surging Mist and Renewing Mists generating Chi, making it harder for you to burn down your Chi. We’re likely going to add another high Chi ability, and/or adjust talents so you can have some choice.
  • We like how Chi Wave bounces from friends and enemies, because the whole theme of the monk healer is weaving damage and healing together. If Chi Wave was a pure heal, it would break away from that theme.
  • With regard to feedback on these subjects, what we're really looking for is playing as a DPS healer (as opposed to the traditional "pure healing" playstyle), or perhaps a mix of the two. We want both the traditional and dps-to-heal to be viable and fun.

The Daily Blink - If You Don’t Get It, It’s Probably for the Best
The Daily Blink notes a change in Ji Firepaw's dialogue.

by Published on 2012-04-14 07:28 AM

Update #2 - Moving to temporary comments once again, hopefully we'll fix the bug for good this time.
Update - Comments are playing hide and seek again, tech team is on it.

Druid Symbiosis Spells
Druids get a fun new ability in Mists of Pandaria that gives them a spell from another class and the target an ability from the druid. With the help of some of our nice forum users, Sunfyre compiled a list of all of the ability swaps that take place.

These abilities are changing every patch, so consider them a preview and not the final list of spells.

Spells Gained by Druid
Source Class Guardian Feral Restoration Balance
Death Knight Bone ShieldDeath CoilIcebound FortitudeAnti-Magic Shell
HunterIce TrapPlay DeadDeterrenceMisdirection
Mage Mage WardFrost NovaIce BlockMirror Image
MonkN/AN/AN/AN/A
Paladin ConsecrationDivine ShieldCleanseHammer of Justice
PriestFear WardDispersionLeap of FaithMass Dispel
Rogue FeintRedirectEvasionCloak of Shadows
Shaman Lightning ShieldFeral SpiritSpiritwalker's GracePurge
Warlock Life TapSoul SwapDemonic Circle: TeleportUnending Resolve
Warrior Spell ReflectionShattering BlowIntimidating RoarIntervene

Spells Granted by Druid
Target Class Tree 1 Tree 2 Tree 3
Death Knight Blood: Might of UrsocFrost: Wild Mushroom: PlagueUnholy: Wild Mushroom: Plague
HunterDashDashDash
Mage Healing TouchHealing TouchHealing Touch
MonkBrewmaster: Survival InstinctsWindwalker: Savage DefenseMistweaver: Cyclone
Paladin Holy: Rebirth???Protection: Barkskin
PriestDiscipline: Entangling RootsHoly: Entangling RootsShadow: Tranquility
Rogue GrowlGrowlGrowl
Shaman Elemental: Solar BeamEnhancement: Solar BeamRestoration: Prowl
Warlock RejuvenationRejuvenationRejuvenation
Warrior Arms: Stampeding Shout Fury: Stampeding ShoutProtection: Frenzied Regeneration


Battleground Preview: Temple of Kotmogu
Temple of Kotmogu is an upcoming battleground located in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The main objective is to hold a ball to earn points for your team. You earn more points the closer you stand to the center, and gain increased levels of the buff.

Disclaimer - As usual, this is WORK IN PROGRESS. The video and screenshots do not reflect the final version of the battleground.








World Boss Raid - Galleon
Galleon is one of the new World Bosses in Mists of Pandaria, located in the Valley of the Four Winds. He currently spawns a few times a day on the beta servers, and our wonderful livestreamers made an attempt (2:07:48) to defeat him with 80 players that was unsuccessful (down to ~65%).

This time around they are going to make another attempt with more players on Sunday April 15th at 22:00 CET / 4:00 PM EST. This will take place on the Mekkatorque-EU beta realm. The spawn timing isn't known exactly right now, so if you want to take part, be ready to spend some time waiting. For more details speak with Niklive (Alliance) or Longview (Horde) in game.

There are multiple mobs involved in the encounter, with Galleon and Chief Salyis being the main two. Galleon has 261 Million health and Chief Salyis has 11 million health.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Fire Shot - Saurok Skirmishers riding on Galleon's back fire flaming crossbow bolts at random players, inflicting 15,000 Fire damage.
  • Stomp - Galleon stomps the ground, inflicting 92,500 to 107,500 Physical damage to players within 70 yards and knocking them down for 3 sec.
  • Cannon Barrage - Chief Salyis orders his minions to fire off eight powerful cannon blasts. Each blast inflicts 300,000 Fire damage to players within 10 yards and knocks them back.
  • Salyin Warmonger - Chief Salyis' Warmongers periodically jump down from Galleon's back to engage players.
  • Impaling Pull - Pulls a distant target towards the Warmonger and inflicts 13,875 to 16,125 Physical damage.





Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Changing Talents and Specializations
Either in the next beta build or the one after that, you will be able to speak to your appropriate class trainer and they can unspec, unglyph or untalent you for a small fee. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New Spellbook Feedback
To clarify, the new spellbook has 4 tabs (5 if you have a pet or are a druid).

The first tab is general, and contains riding, armor skills, languages and guild perks.
The second tab is your current spec tab. It contains all of the spells -- class and spec, active and passive -- that apply to your character.

The other 2-3 tabs are for other specs. They contain all of the spells (class and spec) that those specs can use. If you want to know if e.g. both Holy and Shadow have Power Word: Shield, you can look on those tabs.

We are currently still sorting spells within a tab by active and then passive, but we may merge them back together if the active vs. passive thing proves confusing.

This design is different from the spellbook on live, which classified every spell as belonging to a spec. This made some sense for say mages, whose spells tend to all have fire, frost or arcane theming, but didn't work well for many other classes. Sinister Strike is on the Combat tab, but Eviscerate is on the Assassination tab. Garrote is Assassination, but Sap is Subtlety. Super intuitive, huh?

We understand that putting lots of spells on one tab is overwhelming, but arbitrarily dividing spells onto multiple pages is confusing. There's no clear win either way. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Demonology Direction
  • You aren’t intended to be a melee caster in Meta. Things like Demonic Leap, Carrion Swarm and Immolation Aura are more situational and fun toys than core rotational spells you need on a challenging raid boss. We did experiment with Demo spending more time in melee earlier on, but we have backed off of that for some of the reasons you guys mention.
  • The basic rotation is something like: Keep Corruption up. Use Hand of Gul’dan on cooldown. Respond to Molten Core procs with Soul Fire. Use Shadowbolt when there is nothing else to do. Fel Flame is for movement. Breath of Gul’dan is for melee.
  • During Meta, all of your rotational spells should cost Fury. You shouldn’t have to pay nearly any attention to mana.
  • The basic mechanic of Demonic Fury is to build to 1000, go into Metamorphosis, and then pop out again when you reach 500. If you need that extra dps *right now*, you stay in Metamorphosis until you run out.
  • There’s a bug right now where when you exit Metamorphosis, it drains half of your remaining Fury. It’s the same bug causing the DK spell conversion to drain all of your runic power.Use Demonic Slash and use Soul Fire when you get a Molten Core proc. The Molten Core procs will come from Wild Imps.
Wild Imps has changed so that imps consistently proc from your Shadowbolt and Demonic Slash. The Wild Imps in turn can proc Molten Core. If you like the old Wild Imps mechanic, you can recreate it with a glyph.

We are experimenting a lot with Demo, so let us know how these latest changes feel. We don't feel that the older design of Demo (use both Fire and Shadow spells with lots of demon damage) was super compelling. It is a spec that has wanted a home for some time. Affliction and Destruction by comparison have a stronger kit. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Black arrow Feedback
We agree with you that the redesigned Black Arrow hasn't worked out well yet, and even overlaps a little with the new Powershot talent. We are likely to revert Black Arrow to the 4.3 design. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Free BattleTag Change
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
When we introduced BattleTag nicknames, many of you created one to try the feature in the Diablo III beta test or simply establish your new identity in anticipation of Diablo III's release.

Today, we're releasing an update that will give everyone one opportunity to change their BattleTag nickname for free. If you picked a nickname you're not happy with, don't worry -- you can pick a new one. Even if you haven't created your BattleTag identifier yet, you'll still get one free BattleTag change to use after it's been created (similar to the way character name changes for StarCraft II worked).

As we announced previously, BattleTag nicknames will be required in order to play Diablo III, and in the future, they'll be used in a variety of ways across all of Battle.net. To set or change your BattleTag, simply log in to Battle.net account management, head to the Account > Summary page, and look for the Create or Change option. BattleTags aren't unique, so you can pick any name you like as long as it adheres to the BattleTag Naming Policy.

Here's what you can expect from BattleTags when Diablo III launches:
  • Your BattleTag will serve as your public identity when chatting, grouping, or interacting with other players in Diablo III.
  • Once two players agree to become BattleTag friends, you'll automatically be able to see and interact with each of the Diablo III characters your friend plays automatically – no need to add multiple character names to your friends list individually.
  • Prior to the game's release, your presence on the Diablo III forums will be connected to your BattleTag, rather than any one specific character in the game. You'll transcend boundaries!
Our long-term plans include adding the ability for BattleTag friends to participate in cross-game chat (in StarCraft II, Diablo III, and World of Warcraft, and future Blizzard Entertainment games), as well as offer other features similar to what's currently available via Real ID. More cool additions to BattleTag are on the horizon, but we're not quite ready to talk about those yet.

We'll continue to keep you up to date on our plans for BattleTag nicknames as more info becomes available. For more details, check out the BattleTag FAQ.

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