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by Published on 2011-09-08 08:40 PM

Dragonwrath Questline - Smoldering Essences Updated Changes
Originally Posted by Daxxarri (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
That's another issue, though it has less to do with drop rates and more to do with how the quest can reasonably be completed. We came up with a "parallelization" concept where a player could be on phase 3 of making Dragonwrath, while another raider in the same group could be on phase 2. We thought that would feel better for the players involved, and it did, but more because they were getting their staves faster than for any other reason. The real problem with this idea is that it made it very difficult to balance the time investment it takes to create a staff. The first staff might take x amount of time to create, but then subsequent staves could potentially come out the door a lot faster.

Legendaries aren't very legendary if 20% of the raiding population is carrying them -- never mind the ripple effects that their presence can have on game balance in PvE and PvP. Ultimately, 'parallelization' made a too powerful item, too easy to get, too quickly. In short, it was a mistake that we regret, and one we won't be repeating in the future. It also left us with a situation that we needed to address, though, which is why we nerfed the quest item drop rates to begin with.

All of that is merely by way of explaining how we arrived at this point. The heart of the issue for many of you has been 10-player raid drop rates and I’d like to take a moment to thank those of you who provided clear, constructive feedback in these threads and elsewhere. It’s been really valuable during our deliberations and helped us arrive at a decision that we think will address our concerns and yours.

We’ve decided to revert the drop rate change for 10-player heroic Firelands completely. We’ll also be slightly buffing the drop rates in 10-player normal. In the end, we should get the following results:


  • 25-player heroic has 44% lower drop rates in phase 3 relative to 4.2 launch.
  • 25-player normal remains unchanged from 4.2 launch.
  • 10-player heroic remains unchanged from 4.2 launch.
  • 10-player normal has 33% higher drop rates in phase 3 relative to 4.2 launch.

We plan to hotfix the new rates into place as soon as possible, and we should see them in-place pre-raid this evening barring unforeseen complications.
by Published on 2011-09-07 06:26 PM

Update - Daxxarri wrote a short post on the subject, but it looks like we won't get anything more than that.
Originally Posted by Daxxarri (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We didn't particularly want a lot of these items in circulation, so that's partially intended. We really do want to keep legendary weapons legendary, and Dragonwrath ended up being more readily available than we were comfortable with.

Nonetheless, we should have recognized that the completion rate was faster than we wanted, and taken action, sooner.

Legendary Staff - Smoldering Essence Droprate Stealth Nerf Confirmed
One of the many stealth nerf deployed yesterday on live realms was a nerf of the questline to obtain Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest, but not in a good way.

The droprate of Smoldering Essences required for the Heart of the Flame quest has been considerably lowered, you will now get about 50% less essences than before the nerf.


  • For example, you will now get 9 or 10 essences from bosses in 25-Man Heroic mode instead of 17-19.
  • Players in 10-Man Heroic mode will only get 3 or 4 instead of an average of 7.

This change is surprising and might not be a good news for players, if Blizzard suddenly wants some parts of the game to last longer before the next patch.

Just like any of yesterday's nerf to the firelands raid bosses, we don't have any comment or information from Blizzard at this point and the only comment is from a Blizzard QA poster who confirmed that this is indeed an intentional change.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
This was an intentional change, not a bug.
by Published on 2011-09-07 03:52 AM

Heroic: Ragnaros Nerf
The Heroic version of Ragnaros in the Firelands has been hotfixed and considerably nerfed a few minutes ago.


  • The 25-man version of Ragnaros now has 246M HP, down from 290M.
  • The 10-man version of Ragnaros now has 74M HP.

There are also various reports of the fight feeling easier overall, and a couple of other fights in the Firelands raid seems to have been changed as well. Hopefully this wasn't a stealth nerf and we'll hear from Blizzard soon.


Diablo III Data Flowing In
Diablo 3 data has been appearing on the web, so we have mostly Diablo III related news for you today. Diablofans has additional information on their site and forums.

General Info
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Raw Data
Male/Female Titles
  • Level 10: Sir / Dame
  • Level 15: Baron / Baroness
  • Level 20: Count / Countess
  • Level 25: Duke / Duchess
  • Level 30: Lord / Lady
  • Level 40: King / Queen
  • Level 50: Defender
  • Level 60: Champion
  • Level 70: Guardian
  • Level 80: Conqueror
  • Level 90: Destroyer
  • Level 100: Avenger
  • Level Max: Patriarch / Matriarch

Corrupted Titles
  • Wanderer
  • Local Hero
  • Demon's Bane
  • Tempted
  • Fallen Hero
  • Tainted
  • Villian
  • Rotten
  • Scourge of Tristram

Game Types
  • Cooperative
  • Diablo III
  • DotA
  • Arena
  • Team Deathmatch

Game Zones
  • Act 1: Tristram Tristram
  • Act 1: The Cathedral
  • Act 1: The Cemetery
  • Act 1: The Fields
  • Act 1: The Highlands
  • Act 1: The Halls of Agony
  • Act 2: Caldeum
  • Act 2: Stinging Winds
  • Act 2: Dahlgur Oasis
  • Act 2: Desolate Sands
  • Act 2: Archives of Zoltun Kulle
  • Act 3: Depths of the Keep
  • Act 3: Bastion's Keep
  • Act 3: Fields of Slaughter
  • Act 3: Arreat Crater
  • Act 4: Gardens of Hope
  • Act 4: Silver Spire
  • Act 4: Bastion's Keep

Runestone Effects



Secret Level - The Pinnacle of Ponies
Don't forget that this is only datamining, not confirmed info.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Strings
  • Battle For Ponies
  • The battle for ponies is about to begin.
  • The Pinnacle of Ponies Event
  • Ponies_HopePrison - Hope's Prison
  • PoniesPurificationTimer - Purification Timer
  • Bridle_Ponies - Bridle

Rewards
  • Quest_Act4_PoniessFall_MonkReward - Magic Fist Weapon
  • Quest_Act4_PoniessFall_DHReward - Magic Hand Crossbow
  • Quest_Act4_PoniessFall_BarbReward - Magic Weapon
  • Quest_Act4_PoniessFall_WDReward - Ceremonial Dagger
  • Quest_Act4_PoniessFall_WizReward - Magic Wand

Bosses?
  • TentacleHorse - Rainbow Western
  • Unique_TentacleHorse_A - Midnight Sparkle
  • TentacleHorse_B_Unique - Nightmarity
  • Unique_TentacleHorse_A - Nightmare is Magic
  • Unique_TentacleHorse_B - Generosity in Death



Videos


Screenshots



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


by Published on 2011-09-06 04:14 AM

Stats: Character Leveling Speed in Cataclysm
There were no blue posts today because of the Labor Day holiday, Blizzard posters will probably be back tomorrow with more news!

It has been too long since we posted some stats and this time we took a look at how many characters reached Level 85 each day since Cataclysm was released. This only includes data from the US Realms to keep the dates simpler. This does not include all of the level 85 characters in the US, only a sample of 1.1 million. Interested in seeing some other statistics? Let us know in the comments!


  • You can see that a very large number of people reached Level 85 in the first week after release, thousands even the first day.
  • It seems that people enjoy leveling during the weekend with a spike on Saturday and an even larger spike on Sunday.
  • You can see where Patch 4.1 and Patch 4.2 came out, decreasing the amount of leveling briefly.

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!


Poll: How many characters have you leveled to 85?
While we were working on these stats, we figured it was a good time to ask how many characters you have leveled to 85. Let us know in the poll below!




Comics
Dark Legacy Comics #303 and Teh Gladiators #268 + #269 are available!

by Published on 2011-09-05 02:44 AM

Patch 4.3 Previews Recap
Patch 4.2.2 is finally on live servers and there has been a lot of information posted recently about Patch 4.3, more is likely coming and we can finally hope for a Patch 4.3 PTR "soon". Time for a recap!

Patch 4.3 - Misc / Class Changes

Patch 4.3 - New Features

Patch 4.3 - Developers Interviews


Addon Review: GTFO
GTFO is an addon that will be useful to anyone who does PvE, especially those of you that play with Spell Detail level turned down. It will warn you when you are standing in something that you shouldn't be, even in content from Vanilla to Firelands. The alert is just audio currently, but it does expand functionality when used with a few other addons. If you play with sounds off, it can unmute sounds to give you the alert as well.

The warnings come in four different categories, including High/Low for damage amounts, Failure for when you stood in the fire for too long, and Friendly Fire for when you need to get away from someone in the raid who is doing damage to you.

It has the option to turn off the alert for easy content and integrates with Recount/Skada to save statistics and see who is failing the most. The damage amounts will not be fully accurate in all cases, but the counters should be.


It also works with Power Auras Classic to provide a visual indicator when you are standing in something! Adding this alert just takes a few steps that are clearly outlined on the download page. Doing "/gtfo test", "/gtfo test2", "/gtfo test3", "/gtfo test4" will let you trigger a test of the damage alerts to ensure the volume and graphic are working as you intended.


Be sure that you don't use LUI with it, as there are some incompatibility issues in the current version. If you are already using it you need to remove the Recount data from your WTF folder for each character. "/gtfo options" will get you right into the options screen. Give it a try and let us know what you think!



MMO-Report
What better way to start off your week than with another episode of The MMO Report!



The Daily Blink - In This Strip, Baine Switches to Decaf
The Daily Blink doesn't disappoint!

by Published on 2011-09-03 04:16 AM

Update - Clarified a few misquotes apparently, thankfully everything can be blamed on chaud.

Interviews: Warcraft After Cataclysm
Tom Chilton and Greg Street have been making the rounds again with interviews on IGN and Gamasutra.

Patch 4.3
  • If you add up all of the Deathwing encounter stages, it will be the longest fight in the game.
  • Each stage of the fight will take place in a different location and offer some loot.
  • The encounter starts at Wyrmrest Temple, progressing toward the players being on Deathwing's back while he is flying toward The Maelstrom.
  • The new five man encounters will build up to the Deathwing fight, similar to how the Icecrown five man instances built up to the Lich King.
  • To combat the complaints of armor always looking the same, there is a sub-lead who is in charge of guiding the art team to produce new styles not found in the game yet.

After Cataclysm
  • More armor customization could be coming in the future; Transmogrification was a solution that could be finished in time for Patch 4.3.
  • After Patch 4.3, and the world event, the team is going to focus on keeping players entertained and enjoying the game as well as new and potentially returning players.
  • On Mists of Pandaria: "Most of the time when we do anything panda-related it's going to be a comic book or a figurine or something like that."
  • There are more people that played World of Warcraft but no longer play World of Warcraft than currently play World of Warcraft
  • They believe that each spec plays like a separate class, making the game feel as if there are 30 classes.
  • Player created content is still in the back of their minds because of how well it worked in Starcraft II. Developing tools for players would take a lot of work, but the reward would be great as well.


Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Worgen Mounts
These mounts are mainly being added to even up the number of mounts Alliance players can get, compared to Horde players. Mount collectors and those of you interested in going for the mount achievement have been asking for this for a while, and the additional horses will address that issue.

The Worgen's unique racial mount equivalent is the Running Wild skill. That's not going anywhere. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Transmogrification: Incomplete tier sets
This is going to be half the fun for a lot of people looking forward to Transmogrification; finding matching sets and combinations that look awesome together

While it's too early to say for sure, it's possible that after this feature launches, there will be a number of items that people request become available to Transmogrify. We're going to monitor this feedback and hopefully be able to build on the feature based on that, however, that's not to say every item people ask for will suddenly appear in the game. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Three Talent Specs
Indeed, as Xarthat said, we're still really keen for players to put a lot of thought and decision into their character's chosen talent specs.

Sure, it would be handy to have more specs lined up to swap in or out when faced with a different situation, but right now we feel that your talent spec(s) should be something you choose, maybe refine over time, and hopefully pwn with. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Diablo III Beta Opt In
It is almost time for Diablo III Beta, Blizzard posted another beta opt in reminder on the official blog and DiabloFans has some additional leaked gameplay to go with the screenshots below.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Interested in signing up for an advance look at Diablo’s coming invasion of Sanctuary? To be eligible to participate in the Diablo III beta test, you need an active Battle.net account with any Blizzard game title attached to it. If you don’t already have an account, it’s easy to create one. Once you’ve set up a Battle.net account, or if you’ve already got one, you can access it by visiting http://us.battle.net/en/ and clicking the Account button on the upper right. Then, to opt into the beta, just click the Games & Codes section of your Account Management page, and then select the Beta Profile Settings option from the drop-down menu. You’ll be prompted to download the System Check beta opt-in application; running it will opt you in to the Diablo III beta. If your system specifications change, you can run the System Check application again to update your information.

While running the System Check application doesn’t guarantee you a place in the Diablo III beta, we wish you luck and hope to see you in Sanctuary.

FAQ:
How are beta test participants selected from the opt-in pool?
Beta testers are chosen according to their system specifications and other factors, including an element of luck. Our goal is to have a good variety of system types to best test compatibility.

Will there be any other ways to get into the beta besides the opt-in?
We’ll very likely be providing beta entry giveaways through various promotions on our sites, as well as through our official fansites. We’ll have information available on these promotions as they approach.

How many players do you plan to invite to the beta test?
The number of players we invite will be based on our testing needs. If during the course of testing we determine we need more players to participate, we’ll invite more.

What game content will be available in the beta?
You’ll be able to try out all five character classes and experience the early stages of Diablo III from the start of the game through the Skeleton King encounter. You’ll be able to interact with new and returning characters in New Tristram and fight the reawakened evils emanating from the cursed Tristram Cathedral.

Will the PvP arenas be available in the beta?
We don’t plan to include the PvP arenas in the beta test.

How long will the beta test last?
We have not determined an exact date for the end of the beta test. We will notify participants when the beta test is nearing completion.

Will the Diablo III Auction House be available in the beta?
We currently plan to test the functionality of the Diablo III gold-based auction house sometime after the initial beta launch.

Will Mac users be able to participate in the beta?
Yes, Mac users will be able to participate in the beta at the same time as Windows users.




Burning Crusade Art Gallery Updated
The Burning Crusade game art gallery has been updated with four new pieces.


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