Dragon Soul PTR Testing - Morkoch and Yor'sahj the Unsleeping
Last night a couple of players had a chance to test the first bosses of the new Dragon Soul raid, it was pretty hard to get streams and videos because of slight server issues but the wonderful n1kftw was kind enough to upload videos of the 2 encounters on Youtube for us.
Firelands Changes Impact - Update
I may not have been clear enough when we posted the Firelands Graphs previously, so let me remind you that they are intended to show which changes made Firelands easier, not how many people raid.
Some people translated that to "1.35% of players saw the end game content!" and forgot that the sample was 2.7M characters, not 10 players, and someone smart pointed out that this % is probably around 15 or 20% at this point. (Which is pretty impressive for the end boss of the latest raiding tier)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Death Knight Tier 13 Preview
No, as far as I know we don't plan to make it a reveal at BlizzCon, though there's a chance the timing of its release could, by coincidence, be around that time. It's still planned to be revealed in the same manner the rest have been -- via a blog on our front page with the visual retrospective of previous tiers and developer description. We'd love to post it by next week if we can, but I can't promise that with all the BlizzCon preparations taking place. [...]
I'll give you a bit of the lowdown on why the death knight set hasn't come out yet, even in the 4.3 PTR files third-party sites are looking through. As with all sets, a concept art piece was done for death knight tier 13. When that was translated to the actual in-game look, we felt it wasn't up to par with the concept, and ultimately wasn't nearly at the quality level of the other tier 13 sets. But, that death knight set was completed weeks ago.
So, there are times where multiple iterations of how a set will look in the game are made, based on the original concept piece. In this case though, we felt there to be such a gap in quality that we went back to the drawing board and came up with an entirely new piece of concept art, scrapping the original concept and in-game art done for death knights.
Well, I can say the new concept art is done and the set is close to being ready for image captures. I've not seen either, but I've heard very good things. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Firelands Raid Completion
As others have pointed out, your 1.35% is just wrong due to the stats MMO is stating, but whatever, we’re not going to reveal any of our internal numbers to show how wrong you are, or discount the numbers posted on MMO for that matter. I will say they’re likely as accurate as they can be. Meaning, they’re wrong, but at no fault of theirs simply due to the data they have available to them. While we do have data we pull and review very regularly, it’s not always a true measure of success or failure without considering the context.
We try and make content for all of our players. It’s both a blessing and a curse that the WoW player base is as large and diverse as it is. “Hardcore” players for example tend to dramatically underestimate the skill gap between themselves and the vast majority of other players. A lot of games handle this problem through multiple difficulty settings. That is harder to do in a game as content rich as World of Warcraft, but it is something we’re looking at more and more with new features like Raid Finder essentially adding a more accessible setting.
But even with a system (we believe) as awesome as the Raid Finder, there are no simple solutions.
Players are motivated to raid (and do any content for that matter) for a lot of different reasons. A sizeable number of players are satisfied with seeing most of the game content once. If they kill the dragon or slay the Lich King, they (appropriately) feel like they have won the game. That view is pretty heretical to the traditional raider, who is used to working for weeks to defeat a boss and then spending the next few weeks or months farming that boss so that their group has a leg up for the next tier of content. Other players can be motivated by gear, and once they accrue their rewards they are done with the content. Others are motivated by the challenge, and if things are too easy, they lose interest. These players also tend to assume that everyone shares their mindset and they will be happy to wipe on a fight over and over and over with hopes of improving. In reality, we know from data that a lot of players might be willing to wipe a few times, and then after that, they’re done raiding and potentially even playing. It might be easy to dismiss those players and argue raiding is not for them, but that’s not really our design goal. Raids represent an enormous commitment of developer resources. In the same way that we would never make 20 new Arenas just for Gladiator-level players, we don’t want to develop a raid that only 2% of our raiders can see. We will make sure that there are challenging encounters for players who enjoy that sort of thing (as many of us professional game developers do), but then our goal will be to, over time, broaden the potential audience by bringing the content difficulty down. We think the shock with Firelands for some players was that the nerfs were so severe instead of gradual. For the 4.3 Dragon Soul raid we plan on gradually nerfing it over time, sort of like we did with Icecrown Citadel, except by nerfing the content instead of buffing the players.
There is another portion of players that are just not interested in raiding no matter how accessible it is, and that’s fine too, but we do keep track of how player behavior in the past may match player behavior currently or even in the future as we make these choices. Overall our goals are to ultimately get as many people seeing and downing Deathwing as saw the end of Naxxramas in Wrath of the Lich King. That’s not all going to be day 1 of the patch, or even in the first month, but with the Raid Finder and gradual lowering of content we think we can create that initial super high barrier to test the true worth of the hardest of the hardcore, while also providing some fun and accessible content to a much wider swath of players.
Yeah, we need to offer a lot of different kinds of content so that non-raiders still have things to do, or even for raiders to do on off nights. The Molten Front dailies were really popular for several weeks, but like all content, players eventually move on. We hope the DMF and even Transmog will provide some non-raid focused activities in 4.3, but beyond that we have plans to do a lot more. And when you see them you'll be all like :O and we'll be all like :D and then people on the forums will still be all like（╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻
The point of not divulging statistics is that they are only one part of what drives overall goals and development. Unfortunately, the fundamental truth is that people put too much behind numbers (case in point, posts in this thread and a couple other dozen that sprung up because of the MMO post), and will build entire cases on them alone with no thought for context or meaning.
Bottom line is that no matter what numbers we show you, it's not going to make any situations 'better'. From time to time we show StarCraft II players literal win/loss %, as accurate as they can possibly be pulled from the source itself, and they're either ignored (because players simply don't want to believe their experiences are "wrong") or laughed at as being some underhanded plot to feed them misinformation.
Numbers don't win us anything. They don't win you anything. Conversations are worth having - ones based on experiences and feelings. We know what the numbers say, but they don't mean anything if you are still unhappy with your enjoyment of the game and your perception of its direction.You're spot on, and while we were coming to some of those same realizations not too long ago, unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your outlook) it's not something we realized in time for Dragon Soul. But we do plan to act on those realizations before too long. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Blizzard Charity Auction Benefitting St. Jude
Want to own a piece of Blizzard Entertainment history? After a series of World of Warcraft infrastructure upgrades, we’ve preserved the retired HP server blades that once hosted many realms in our archives. In the near future a selection of these blades will be made available for auction, and the net proceeds will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
There will be additional testing scheduled in the upcoming weeks, both in the morning and afternoon.
As always, the scheduling for PTR testing will be VERY fluid. Tests can be announced, canceled, or rescheduled at a moment's notice depending on build and server status, outstanding bugs, etc. I will try to give as much advance notice about tests, but that is not always possible. Also note that these encounters are all works in progress.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
The most powerful elemental still under Deathwing's sway, Morchok-once a passive guardian-is now convinced that his only respite will come with Azeroth's demise. Morchok rages against the foundation of Wyrmrest Temple, Azeroth's last beacon of hope in the Hour of Twilight.
Morchok performs a massive stomp, splitting 750000 damage between all players within 30 yards. The two closest targets take a double share of the damage. In Heroic Difficulty Stomp also increases the Physical damage taken by affected players by 50% for 20 sec.
Morchok strikes his current target, inflicting 120% normal melee damage and reducing the target's armor by 10% for 20 sec. This effect stacks up to 10 times.
Morchok conjures an explosive crystal onto the battlefield that explodes after 12 sec. for massive Shadow damage. The explosion splits the damage between the three closest enemies, and the total damage inflicted increases depending on the distance of each player from the crystal. In 25 Player raids, the damage splits between the five closest enemies.
At 20% remaining health, Morchok becomes furious and increases his attack speed by 50% and his damage inflicted by 20%.
The Earth Consumes You!
Morchok uses the power of the earth to draw all players to him, inflicting 50% of their total health as Physical damage. While the power of the earth draws the players to him, Morchok also summons Earth's Vengeance.
Earth's Vengeance - Shards of Earth's Vengeance erupt from the ground, inflicting 15000 Physical damage to nearby players within 2 yards and leaving behind obstacles.
Black Blood of the Earth - Morchok causes the Black Blood the Earth to erupt outwards from him, inflicting 5000 Nature damage and increasing Nature damage taken by 100% every sec. while a player stands within the blood. This effect stacks up to 20 times.
Upon reaching 90% health, Morchok tears himself in half, creating his twin, Even Morchok. His twin will do the same spells Morchok performs, a few seconds later.
Yor'sahj the Unsleeping
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Yor'sahj the Unsleeping
Since the fall of the Bastion of Twilight, Yor'sahj the Unsleeping has eagerly assisted Deathwing, providing the Destroyer with the means to release more faceless ones from their prisons deep beneath the earth. Their numbers are endless and their power is beyond reckoning, and Yor'sahj intends to reap a grim reward for his faithful service.
Soulflayer Yor'sahj blasts his primary target with dark energy, dealing 90000 Shadow damage and reducing the amount of healing they take by 10%.
Call Blood of Shu'ma
Soulflayer Yor'sahj calls to the might of Shu'mas, summoning three differently colored globules of his blood. These globules path slowly towards Yor'sahj, infusing him with additional powers if they reach him. In Heroic difficulty four slimes answer Yor'sahj's call.
Fusing Vapors - The blood globules emit a vapor that fuses with all other nearby globules when attacked. The vapor heals the nearby globules for 5% of their maximum life.
When one globule dies, the surviving globules completely fuse and gain immunity to all forms of damage.
Glowing Globule - When a Glowing Globule reaches Yor'sahj, it infuses Yor'sahj with the Glowing Blood of the Shu'ma.
Glowing Blood of Shu'ma - Yor'sahj's Void Bolt now hits all nearby targets instead of one, Yor'sahj uses his abilities twice as often, and his attack speed increases by 50%.
Cobalt Globule - When a Cobalt Globule reaches Yor'sahj, it infuses Yor'sahj with the ability to summon Mana Voids.
Mana Void - A Mana Void leeches all the mana from every ranged spell caster and healer, storing the mana within itself. Destroying the Mana Void evenly returns the total of the leeched mana via Mana Diffusion to players within 18 yards.
Crimson Globule - When a Crimson Globule reaches Yor'sahj, it infuses Yor'sahj with the Searing Blood ability.
Searing Blood - Yor'sahj sears the blood of three random players, inflicting a base of 35000 Fire damage. The further the target stands from Yor'sahj, the greater shock received from the blast. In 25 player raids, Yor'sahj sears the blood of eight random players.
Dark Globule - When a Dark Globule reaches Yor'sahj, the corruption of the blood seeps out into the Mouth of Shu'ma. This vile corruption then periodically creates Forgotten Ones that attack the players.
Forgotten One - These creatures fixate on a random target.
Psychic Slice - The Forgotten One emits a wave of psychic force at its current target, inflicting 44000 Shadow damage.
Acidic Globule - When an Acidic Globule reaches Yor'sahj, the mouth of Shu'ma infuses with the acidic blood and stimulates further Digestive Acid production.
Digestive Acid - Digestive Acid periodically secretes from the stomach lining, inflicting 60000 Nature damage to a player and nearby allies within 4 yards.
Shadowed Globule - When a Shadowed Globule reaches Yor'sahj, it infuses Yor'sahj with the Deep Corruption ability.
Deep Corruption - Yor'sahj's Deep Corruption spreads to every player, causing every fifth healing or absorbtion effect cast on a player to trigger a violent detonation, inflicting 50000 Shadow damage to all players.
Update - Added Illidan's updated model. Update - Added finalized spell changes. Update - It seems that Shadowy Gem and Elementium Gem Cluster are the 2 new items you'll gather to build your legendary daggers.
Charge (and related abilities) should now correctly path to a target even if the target moves during the Charge. This change should decrease the likelihood of the warrior Charging to a different location than the target.
Slam now uses a new character attack animation.
Colossus Smash now uses a new character attack animation.
Dual Wield Specialization no longer increases Physical damage by 5%. It continues to increase off-hand attack damage by 25%.
Firelands Changes Impact
Blizzard made major changes to Firelands a few times during Patch 4.2 (July 26th and Sept. 20th) to allow more players to see the Firelands content. We take a look at just how many more players were able to down Heroic Ragnaros and clear Normal Firelands. Data was looked at for over 2.7 million level 85 characters, most of them being in the US.
Class balance for characters with the Heroic Ragnaros achievement was also graphed. The Heroic Firelands Boss Kill Ease graph displays the percentage of characters that have killed each boss, provided they have killed at least one of the Heroic Firelands bosses.
2011 Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest
Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The Halloween season has finally arrived, and we’re ready to cut straight to the heart of the holiday. If you’re dying to pick up a knife and hack, gash, slash, and jab at something, then you might be excited to hear that as of October 11, Blizzard’s 2011 Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest has officially begun! Unleash your magical axes, psi blades, chitinous claws, and other creative cutlery to carve up Blizzard-themed jack-o’-lanterns of epic awesomeness. If you’re unclear as to what epic awesomeness looks like in the flesh, you can check out last year’s winners for some inspiration.
We’ll choose ten of the grandest Cucurbita to earn a delightful prize package consisting of:
Marauder StarCraft II Gaming Keyboard
Banshee StarCraft II Gaming Headset
Spectre StarCraft II Gaming Mouse
StarCraft II Zerg Edition Messenger Bag
Don’t delay, start carving right away! The ninth annual pumpkin carving contest ends on October 25, so be sure to check out the contest page for rules and eligibility and get straight to slicing.
Patch 4.3: Cauldron of Battle Big Cauldron of Battle and Cauldron of Battle were recently changed on the PTR to Bind to Battle.net Account from Bind on Pickup. No more hassle with using your Alchemist alts!
Patch 4.3: Hurricane and Wrath Animations
Last PTR update Druids got a new animation for Hurricane. An updated version of Wrath that looks much better than the first preview was also added. See our previous preview for the other updates to Druid, Shaman, and Warlock.
Curse Website Redesign Curse.com has a fresh new design and even more supported games. In addition to add-ons, Curse.com offers custom maps, high-quality/exclusive demos, client downloads, and beta key programs. Head over to the new Curse.com now and try it out! You can let us know what you think on Facebook or Twitter. The updates include:
Updated UI - Easier browsing of addons and a cleaner and more modern look.
New Net Bar - Allows you to log in to many Curse sites with just one username and password as well as keeping up to date on beta key giveaways and other contests.
Easier add-on discovery - Easier to find and share add-ons through filters, browsing categories, and addon packs. Addon packs take the hassle out of selection addons for your UI by letting someone else do the work.
More downloads and supported games - Not only WoW, but Rift, Minecraft, Starcraft II, Runes of Magic, Warhammer, and more!
Premium Upgrades - Premium users will benefit from their faster download speeds as file sizes for demos and game clients are much larger than add-ons.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Tome of Light Buff
We didn’t actually buff Tome of Light per se. It was just twice as good as the tooltip said it was, and since we didn't think that a nerf was in order, we're just correcting the tooltip for 4.3. You guys shouldn't notice a change to Tome of Light.
You should notice a change to Holy Word: Serenity, though. As you know, that ability hasn't always benefited from the 25% crit bonus that it's supposed to get. It was a little tricky to figure out why that was happening, but we've gotten to the bottom of it. Holy Word: Serenity should be fixed for 4.3, so you should notice a change there.
[...]Sorry for the confusion! The bug came in an earlier version of 4.3 and was fixed recently in 4.3. Please recall that, while you guys are just getting your first look at it, internally we have been working on 4.3 for a long time.
However, this fix has introduced another bug. With the priest tier set bonus, the duration of Sanctuary can be longer than its cooldown. This causes a host of technical problems because that spell just isn’t set up right to have multiple copies, nor do we really want Sanctuary to have 100% uptime in the first place. So, we're likely to revert the change to Tome of Light (restoring it back to 15% / 30%) but we'll also lower the base cooldown of Serenity so that it will have a 7 sec cooldown with Tome of Light.
Note: All of this discussion applies to the 4.3 PTR, where some amount of "design churn" is to be expected; we want to avoid making you to feel like your character is under a barrage of constant changes after a patch goes live. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Guardian Cub: Legal Gold Selling
TCG Loot card mounts like the Spectral Tiger have been BoE for a long time now (since patch 3.2), and that was and continues to be well-received, and as far as we've been able to tell hasn't had any adverse impact to the game or economy - despite them selling for sometimes astronomical amounts of gold.
It’s potentially worth noting that no new gold is being introduced into the game's economy with those mounts or the new Guardian Cub pet.
Our goal with the Guardian Cub is to provide alternative ways for players who don't want to spend real money to add these pets to their collection. Even though this has been available a while now with the TCG mounts, this is obviously a new kind of way to deliver Pet Store pets, and we're definitely interested to hear your feedback and ultimately see how this will play out. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
No Orc or Undead Paladins?
[...] We've already incorporated a lot of race/class combos that never existed from the release of the game. I think you could argue we should just make it so every race can be every class at this point, we're pretty much there, and I think you could argue that we should hang on to the few distinctions we have left.
I'll make one argument, it would be a lot of work to scale/fit each class-specific armor piece to two additional models (male/female) of a new race. Not insurmountable, but it'd be a call we'd really have to evaluate and be prepared to take on that extra work for every set that's produced. Aside from any lore-related explanations we want to keep.
Personally I think the distinction that only some races can be some classes adds a lot to the game. It makes it feel more real, even if I don't know what the lore reason is. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
BlizzCon: Ask the Artists
At this year’s BlizzCon we have a stage dedicated to featuring Blizzard artists of all disciplines and styles, from Glenn Rane (Digital Painting, Creative Development) to Samwise Didier (Traditional Drawing, StarCraft II). Whether you’re attending the event or watching from home, we’re giving you an opportunity on the forums to ask a question of the artists. All you have to do is list the discipline and/or category below which best fits your art-related question and ask away here: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/for...c/3341766856#1