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by Published on 2012-02-08 02:48 AM

Diablo 3 - Bashiok Answers Questions, Known Achievement Issues

Patch 4.3.2 Hotfixes - February 7
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Dungeons and Raids
Dragon Soul
  • After the instance is cleared, Crimson Lifebinder now resurrects the non-player characters at Wyrmrest Temple, and they are fully functional.
  • Ultraxion
    • The event leading to Ultraxion now requires 15 Drakes killed, down from 24.

Events
Love is in the Air
  • Players are now able to receive Lovely Charms while on the quest "Test Your Strength", when the player's inventory has both the Darkmoon Adventurer's Guide and Lovely Charm Collector's Kit.
  • Players now have the chance to receive both the Lovely Charm and Grisly Trophy from a single kill.
Lunar Festival
  • Elder Dawnstrider now spawns farther away from nearby Flame Crest mobs.

Items

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Account Wide Achievements
While we’re still working out many of the details regarding account-wide achievement functionality, I want to clarify that we plan for the system to apply to all achievements -- not just those added in Mists of Pandaria. It’s intended to be an overall change to the current achievement system.

Our goal is to make it so that you feel like you only have to get an achievement once. We think the time and effort you put into achievements should be evident regardless of which character you’re playing. The update will be implemented at the Battle.net level and, as such, would apply to all of the attached World of Warcraft licenses on the account. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Account Wide Achievements
I want everyone to be a bit cautious about their expectations as of yet. We still have a lot of details to work out in regard to how this will all work. Once we have more specific information to share on it, we'll let you all know. I don't want anyone to get too far ahead on things until we can share more and explain any possible "ifs", "ands", and "buts" with you all should there be any put in place. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Please Welcome Nyorloth!
In a break from tradition, I am not a member of the Community team; long have I gestated within the Story Development division of the Publishing Team, itself a division of Creative Development. My purposes here are myriad, but to mention a few:


  • Increase the transparency of how we develop stories within our games and ancillary fiction.
  • Encourage more constructive discussions of the lore, so that we may better understand your likes/dislikes in order to shape our future projects.
  • To serve as a scapegoat for when something happens in the lore that you don’t like.

My eye has glimpsed the forming of an Ask CDev on the horizon... perhaps, even, Soon™! You would all do well to gather your questions now, in preparation for this momentous event. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blizzard Art Update
Blizzard added seven pieces to the Wrath of the Lich King art gallery. These pieces offer an inside look at the creative process behind building the Warcraft universe.




Curse Weekly Roundup
Pico is back to tell us about the things you might have missed in SWTOR, WOW, Soul Calibur V and Minecraft news recently.

by Published on 2012-02-07 03:35 AM

Diablo 3 - Battle.net Balance, Diablo Chat Channels, Nyorloth, Master of Lore

Battle.Net Balance Active
The previously mentioned Battle.net balance is now active! The FAQ has also been updated with some additions:


  • In the near future, players will also be able to use Battle.net Balance for the digital World of Warcraft Battle Chest and World of Warcraft digital upgrades.
  • Any amount you add to your Battle.net Balance will not be refundable (except as otherwise provided by law).

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Battle.net Balance is now live! As we announced previously, Battle.net Balance is a new feature that gives players an alternate way to purchase Blizzard digital products and services directly through their Battle.net accounts. Players are now able add to their Battle.net Balance using a variety of payment methods, and then use that balance toward Blizzard Entertainment products and services such as World of Warcraft game time; paid services, such as realm transfers and character name changes; digital versions of select Blizzard games, including Diablo II and StarCraft II; and in-game pets and mounts. In the near future, players will be also able to use Battle.net Balance for the digital World of Warcraft Battle Chest and WoW digital upgrades. In addition, with the upcoming launch of Diablo III, players will have the option to use Battle.net Balance to buy and sell items in the game’s currency-based auction house.

For more information, check out the Battle.net Balance FAQ, or head to the Battle.net Balance page in Account Management to manage your balance.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mages and Arenas
Just off the top of my head, this is how diminishing returns works for mages:

  • Deep Freeze is on the stun diminishing returns.
  • Ring of Frost and Polymorph are on the disorient DR.
  • The mage Frost Nova and the Water Elemental's Freeze are both on the root DR.
  • Improved Cone of Cold and Shattered Barrier are on the random root DR.
  • There are also several snares which are not affected by DR, such as Frostbolt

The random root DR mentioned is actually a separate category to normal roots. We reserve this only for effects that are procs, instead of those that are the general effect of a spell. This is a very subtle and subjective classification that often comes down to simply what feels right.

Currently, we think that Frost mages have too much control in PvP. This is just something that has grown over time because we always felt that these "chilling" and "freezing" effects should naturally slow you down. Part of the design that we are implementing with the Mists of Pandaria talent changes are to move some of that control Frost mages have to the talent tree. This means it will be possible for a Frost mage to choose these options, but they come at the expense of others, Arcane and Fire mages also have the opportunity to get those control choices as well! :O

The overall effect of this is that Arcane and Fire should stay about neutral in regards to their control, but frost will lose some of it. On the other hand though, it is possible for a Frost's damage to go up and be competitive with that of the other mages if they do not go for the control talents. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Inscription and Glyph Discovery
Back in May of 2010, we began tossing around ideas about how to improve Inscription. But at that time, Mists of Pandaria was still in the early stages of character talent development. As that was hashed out, it directly affected how we were then able to approach potential Inscription and glyph changes. As a matter of fact, at one point during the discussions, glyphs were going to be removed altogether. That then evolved into the idea of Prime glyphs being removed, Major glyphs being adjusted such that their added bonuses did not affect talents, and Minor glyphs being revamped so they felt more interesting.

Have no fear, I have been assured that Inscription and glyph discovery are being actively discussed in preparation for upcoming changes with Mists of Pandaria. This comes with one albeit relieving caveat: Glyphs that are now learned solely through the Book of Glyph Mastery are planned to be available through the Northrend and Minor research dailies. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Account-wide Achievements
With Mists of Pandaria, account-wide achievements will indeed become available at the Battle.net account level, and many achievements will be shared among characters. A wide array of achievements will certainly be covered, including achievements that relate to everything from raiding and PvP to maxing out professions and assorted fun challenges. We really love the idea that players will at last be able to proudly display proof of the full scope of their adventures around Azeroth, regardless of which character they choose to play on any given day.

While we are still working out the details regarding how various specific achievements will interact with the new system, once we have a bit more information to share with you, we’ll certainly let you know. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Why Mists of Pandaria?
First, for some context, we showed a lot of pandaren at BlizzCon because that was the art we had completed at the time (and obviously it's the new playable race). Are there pandaren all over the new continent? Of course. There are also some really unique cultures and new races, including some very diabolical villains in the form of the mogu, the mantid, and the sha.

As a few posters have pointed out, Pandaria starts out relatively unspoiled. (spoiler!) That isn’t going to last. The Horde versus Alliance conflict is going to continue to ratchet up in a way we've often talked about, but never really delivered before now. It gives the story more depth (we hope!) when you get to see the “before” before the “after.”

The new continent has a heavy Asian vibe, but it’s still a fantasy game and there are some very fantastic and original landscapes as well. The last few zones in particular are what we like to call "high concept." You won’t find anything like them in the real world.

With all that said, you might still be asking, "why MoP?"

We think, more than seven years into World of Warcraft's life cycle, it's time to start some new stories. Previous expansions relied heavily on heroes and villains established in the Warcraft RTS games. We aren’t content to rest on our laurels though. We want to introduce some new characters to get to know. We want to have some new enemies to fight. Perhaps, most importantly, we want to start sowing the seeds for future stories. Nothing is lamer than finding out that the boss you're supposed to kill is someone you've never heard of. It’s a lot more fun when you get to know the bad guys, get a reason to hate them, and feel like you're thwarting their diabolical plans and not just killing them for loot.

We've focused a lot on the lighter side of Mists of Pandaria as a contrast to the world-ending vibe of Cataclysm. It’s not all unicorns and butterflies however. There are dark secrets lurking beneath the new continent, and in some ways they're even more insidious, because you get to experience the beautiful new landscapes before they become threatened and sometimes even destroyed.

To summarize, we provided you all with a very basic framework for the next expansion at BlizzCon. By the time the press tour ends in March, expect to get a lot more information on the real meat of this expansion. It won't be correctly summarized by a portrait of a smiling panda chewing on bamboo.

Phasing is one of the most powerful tools in the designer toolkit. But like many powerful tools, it can cause great damage if used incorrectly. We definitely have overdone it in the past.

There is some phasing in Mists, but we try to take care not to separate friends, create ghosted mining nodes, and similarly disrupt your gameplay. What we were really referring to by the “dark secrets” is the way the story unfolds. The story in Cataclysm was something players knew from the outset -- Deathwing is back. The players were still heroes trying to undo some of the damage he caused, but they also still largely reacted to the things Deathwing and his minions had already done. In Mists we're attempting to take that one step further and have the world react to the players, and not just have the players react to the world. It gives the game a dynamic, “alive” feeling which is very much needed in a persistent-world game.

Some of the changes we’re talking about aren't going to happen right away, but we’ll build toward them in subsequent patches. While you can’t truly keep story secrets in this business, we're trying not to spoil the surprises too early. In retrospect, we’ve taken a little bit of flak for this approach, because the misconception among some players is that the new continent has no conflict. There is plenty of conflict, but a lot of it begins when you arrive (rather than in Cataclysm, where great cracks in Azeroth appeared before your adventuring began). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

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




MMO-Report
The MMO Report has SWTOR, The Secret World, and Uncle Casey's Mail Bag this week!

by Published on 2012-02-05 11:41 AM

Love Is in the Air! (February 5th - February 18th)
Love Is in the Air once again! The event starts on February 5 and ends February 18 and brings us a new mount this year: the Swift Lovebird! See below for more details!


Love Token Rewards
The same Love Token rewards as last year are available, with the addition of the new Swift Lovebird mount for those of you who really really like pink.






A few important things to keep in mind:


  • If you have a lot of money and don't feel like farming Love Token, you can buy Lovely Charm Bracelet from other players and exchange them for Love Token at any Love is in the Air rewards NPC without any limit. If you really want to show off on your server and be the first with the mount, that's the way to go.
  • The Swift Lovebird mount and the Truesilver Shafted Arrow companion pets are not bind on pick up and can be bought at the Auction House. Obviously, it also means the event is a good opportunity to farm something valuable and sell it if you're short on cash.
  • Don't forget the other mount, Big Love Rocket from the daily dungeon encounter!


Crown Chemical Co. Encounter Rewards
The Crown Chemical Co. Encounter is now available in your Dungeon Finder and you can run the event as much as you want to get one of the rare necklaces. As far as we know they haven't been updated this year and it's very likely that you have something better than the ilvl 346 rewards you get from the encounter.

Level Type Spec Slot Name
346NeckMeleeNeckChoker of the Pure Heart
346NeckPhysical DPSNeckSweet Perfume Broach
346NeckSpell DPSNeckHeartbreak Charm
346NeckSpell SpiritNeckWinking Eye of Love
346NeckTankNeckShard of Pirouetting Happiness

You also get Heart-Shaped Box once a day, the box has a chance to contain one of the following rewards:


  • Forever-Lovely Rose will replace your hat and show your character holding a rose between his/her teeth. Cannot be used in transmogrification.
  • Vile Fumigator's Mask is an awesome looking fumigator helm but sadly cannot be used for transmogrification.
  • Toxic Wasteling is a companion pet that will grow in size if you let it eat critters!
  • The Heartbreaker allows you to break hearts ... why would you do that? You're mean.
  • Big Love Rocket mount has a very small chance to drop from the box, and is the only reason why you will run the encounter every day.





Farming Love Tokens
There are a couple of ways to acquire Love Token and they're all pretty simple, you can even grind them if you absolutely want all the rewards as fast as possible.

1. Crushing the Crown Daily Quest
Crushing the Crown starts from the Love is in the Air quest giver in Stormwind/Orgrimmar and requires you to destroy a chemical wagon in Uldum. Lower versions of the quest are also available. Rewards Love Token x 5.


  • Crushing the Crown - Kill 5 Crown Technicians and use Snagglebolt's Khorium Bomb to destroy one chemical wagon east of the Tomb of Khartut in Uldum, then return to Detective Snap Snagglebolt in Orgrimmar.
  • Crushing the Crown - Kill 5 Crown Technicians and use Snagglebolt's Khorium Bomb to destroy one chemical wagon east of the Tomb of Khartut in Uldum, then return to Inspector Snip Snagglebolt in Stormwind.

2. Gifts to Faction Leaders Daily Quest
Daily quests to give Gifts to faction leaders are also available. You can start the quests by talking to Kwee Q. Peddlefeet in any capital city,



You can complete all 4 quests every day, but you will have to travel to each capital city to start them. The quest itself requires you to kill 10 monsters (green difficulty or higher) with the Lovely Charm Collector's Kit in your inventory (provided automatically when you start the quest) to gather 10 x Lovely Charms and change them into a Lovely Charm Bracelet!

Completing one of those quests will reward you with Love Token x 5 and completing all 4 will get you 20 Tokens each day. (Yes, my maths skills are impressive)

3. Samples Random Daily Quest
You will randomly get one of the 3 free samples quest each day. A Perfect Puff of Perfume, A Cloudlet of Classy Cologne, and Bonbon Blitz all require you to use an item 10 times on other players or NPCs. Pretty easy way to get another Love Token x 5 every day.



4. Crown Chemical Co. - Dungeon Finder
The Crown Chemical Co. encounter available in the Dungeon Finder rewards you with Heart-Shaped Box. It was updated this year and now contains 5 to 10 Love Token along with the old items.


Love Is in the Air Customer Support Policy
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Love is in the Air from February 5-20, and with these romantic feelings comes one of Azeroth’s many special world events! World events are a time for players to celebrate in-game holidays, acquire special vanity items or pets, and earn those much sought-after achievements. As these things are highly valued by our players, our support staff is available should things go awry. If you’d like to learn more about this event, be sure to check out our Community Blog.

There are some situations, however, in which there may be limitations to the assistance we can provide. While some of the policies below are primarily aimed at our world events, they are all in line with our other more general support policies. As always, exceptions may be made, particularly in the case of extenuating circumstances or bugs. Keep an eye out for such issues by visiting our Support Site and searching for the issue you are experiencing, or checking the Breaking News.

Event Item Purchases
Many holidays provide special forms of currency, usually tokens or other exchangeable items, with which purchases can be made from limited availability vendors. Many of the items from these vendors may be necessary to complete achievements associated with world events, so they are often highly coveted. The majority of these items are non-refundable, and this functionality is intended. As a result, make your purchases wisely, as Game Masters will be unable to facilitate such refunds.

Achievement Related Issues
For many, world events are one of the most convenient means to acquire achievements. Achievements represent overcoming extreme odds, having a bit of luck, and generally serve as a milestone for your character to proudly show off. Achievements are, by definition, accomplishments that require skillful effort and often a non-trivial amount of time to earn. Because of the intent behind achievement design philosophy and tool limitations, Game Masters are unable to grant, remove, or alter achievements in any way.

Limited Duration Events
World events can make time fly by quickly, so make sure that you get all your achievements, quests, and special events done before it’s too late! While availability may be limited, Game Masters are only able to provide restorations if they have accompanying logs to prove that a loss occurred. If the item was never acquired or the quest never completed, a restoration isn’t usually possible.
Also bear in mind that the event end date will always be listed in your Events Calendar in-game, and the deadline corresponds with realm time, not your local time. We highly advise making certain all your tasks are completed well in advance, and wish you all the best throughout your seasonal adventures!
by Published on 2012-02-04 02:47 AM

Diablo 3 - Patch 12 Incoming - Patch 12 Notes, Your thoughts on beta, Blue Posts

NAO Invitational Qualifiers
Curse, Skill-Capped, and Logitech are sponsoring a player run Arena tournament with over $4000 in prizes. You can find the list of prizes on ArenaJunkies. See the structure and rules for more information about how the teams are selected.



Darkmoon Faire Achievement Progress Update - Feb 3
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
January’s Darkmoon Faire achievement progress status was cleared prior to the launch of February's faire. Any achievements that were started but not completed have had their criteria reset. Completed achievements are unaffected.

However, any future achievement progress (February included) will be saved to your character and will continue to contribute towards progression of those achievements in subsequent visits to Darkmoon Faire.

Regrettably, we are not able to restore any progress you may have made during January's faire. We do appreciate the impact this may have had and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
WoW Raid Design
Some solid, constructive feedback and observations have been offered in this thread. But I think it’s important to point out that it’s incorrect to assume that there has been reduced development time put into raids.

If anything, over the years we’ve put increased attention into raids so that a wider breadth of players can experience them. There are a great deal more options for pursuing raiding now than say, in classic World of Warcraft or The Burning Crusade, when raid groups were a fixed size and only one difficulty setting existed. We realize that some players prefer to run with 24 other comrades-in-arms at the max difficulty setting (I’m actually one of them ), whereas others prefer more intimate raids or a lower difficulty setting.

In Mists of Pandaria, we plan to be able to continue to support a wide variety of raiding styles. And, from one player to another, if you’re eager for raid zones with an “epic” feel, you’re going to really enjoy some of the stuff we have in store. We’ll have some further details on that front coming up in the near future, but know that we really do appreciate your passion for the game and your continued feedback. We are listening. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Talent Calculator
The intent of the talent calculator was to give players something to fool around with. We wanted everyone to get a feel for the idea we're going for in Mists so that it wouldn't sound as crazy or shocking when seen on "paper."

We've responded many times about talent calculator feedback, even pointing out we're not going to be able to discuss things point by point with players because the systems are rapidly changing while in development. The calculator itself is quite out of date.

So you're right. I took the time to respond to this thread when I could've responded elsewhere. But what did I say? I basically said things are looking awesome so far and I can't wait to be able to share more information.

Would you feel better if I found a thesis from you about the problems you have with the out-of-date Mists talent calculator for rogues, only to say, "A lot of the details you're discussing aren't fully fleshed out yet, so we'll talk again when we have updated Mists class info to provide"? Even if you think the answer to that is "yes," I wouldn't be surprised if you then came back here in two weeks to tell me how many amazing threads there are out there about the "REAL" issues that are going completely ignored. It's a neverending cycle and I'm not interesting in always looking for the squeakiest wheels to grease on the forums.

The only inevitability in community management I've found is that, whenever we post ANYWHERE on the forums, someone will be sure to tell us where we should be posting, and which part of the community is really being ignored. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World of Warcraft Seventh European Anniversary: Half-Price Sale
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In February 2005, World of Warcraft arrived here in Europe. It’s been seven years and Azeroth is still buzzing with excitement! Players have been through incredible trials in dungeons, raids and battlegrounds.

And now, in honor of World of Warcraft’s Seventh Anniversary in Europe, we’re offering the biggest discount ever on the entire WoW game range! From now until February 19, all boxed games and digital upgrades are available at half price, as well as two in-game collectibles. Don’t miss your chance to join in Azeroth’s anniversary celebrations by snagging Wrath of the Lich King for just €10/£7.50 and Cataclysm for only €15/£12.50.

The doors to Ahn’Qiraj have been opened. Onyxia has manipulated mortals and dragons alike. Sargeras has attempted to unleash the Legion upon Azeroth and beyond. The Lich King has vowed to destroy life itself. Armies of elementals have left their realms to conquer our world. The Cataclysm is now upon us and the battle between the Horde and the Alliance is becoming ever fiercer. For seven years, countless horrors have sought to destroy Azeroth and its heroes. But never before have they been confronted by an offer such as this!

Never played World of Warcraft? There has never been a better time to join and become the latest hero in a world filled with orcs, gnomes, dragons, magic, and murlocs! Already a fan? Here’s your chance to upgrade your account or invite friends to take part in the most epic adventure of all time. Visit the Blizzard Store to take advantage of this amazing special offer. You can also benefit from these discounted rates on digital games via your Battle.net account!

In addition, we’re offering two in-game collectibles at half price. Want to travel Azeroth in style? The Celestial Steed will bring you wherever you want to go, for half the cost! Always dreamed of a terrifyingly cute undead companion? Get a Lil’ K.T. pet for a lil’ price!

So come and join the in-game celebrations today — we’ve already put the cherry on the cake!
Happy Seventh Anniversary!

NAO Invitational Qualifiers Video
The second round of the qualifiers is taking place on February 3rd/4th 7-11pm EST. You can see a sample of one of the games you missed in the video below!

by Published on 2012-02-02 11:54 PM

Patch 4.3.2 Hotfixes - February 2
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
General
General
  • Mass Dispel should once again dispel up to 10 friendly or enemy targets.
  • Resilience should now properly reduce the damage over time effects for targets affected by Mind Control.

Dungeons and Raids
Dragon Soul
  • Lord Afrasastrasz no longer offers the option to disable the Power of the Aspects buff in Raid Finder mode.
  • The Spine of Deathwing
    • Corrupted Bloods should no longer maintain threat after reconstituting themselves from residue.

Events
Darkmoon Faire
  • Soothsayer's Runes and A Treatise on Strategy should now drop from all appropriate Heroic and raid bosses.
  • Murozond's Temporal Cache now has a chance to contain Monstrous Egg and A Treatise on Strategy.

Quests and Creatures
  • Players who inadvertently disconnect during Tailgunner! should now find themselves able to complete the quest.
  • Baby Crocolisks have been given tiny teething rings, and Tiny Teeth! should no longer transfer to other players.
  • Players should no longer encounter any invisible Young Crocolisks during the quest The Pit of Scales.

Items
  • Cunning of the Cruel will now trigger its Shadowbolt Volley approximately three times as often, but will deal approximately one third as much damage. This results in the tooltip for the item being incorrect, but should moderate its burst damage in PvP.

Patch 4.3.2 64-bit Client Available
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
A 64-bit client is once again available for use with Patch 4.3.2. 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 4.3.2 (15211) (Release x64)

Build 4.3.2.15211 - PC link, Mac link

**Important things to keep in mind**
  • The 64-bit client is being distributed separately from the Retail version as it is not yet supported for use with World of Warcraft.
  • Launching the game in 64-bit mode can only be done after patching the game to version 4.3.2, downloading and extracting the necessary files.
  • The game’s built in voice chat does not currently work when using the 64-bit client.
  • [Mac] The 64-bit Mac client does not currently support the in-game movie recording functionality.
  • [Mac] The 64-bit Mac client iTunes' Remote feature does not work at the present time.
  • [Mac] The 64-bit Mac client does not currently support the customized LCD display for the Logitech G15 series of keyboards.
  • [Mac] The 64-bit Mac client is currently not supported on 10.5 systems. You will need 10.6.8 or later for this version.

Additional System Requirements:

Windows XP Professional “x64 Edition” / 64-bit Windows Vista / 64-bit Windows 7 (latest service packs).Mac OS 10.6.8 or newer.Mac Computer with Core 2 Duo or better2 GB or more of RAM. [...]

Mists of Pandaria Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mists of Pandaria and a Change in Attitude
It's great to see some positive discussion and speculation about where this game is headed.

We're definitely very focused on opening the doors a little wider to new ideas to really grasp onto what will make this game as fun as possible. It's 7 years old after all. We're not going to reinvent the wheel in Mists of Pandaria, but we want to introduce new types of compelling content with meaningful reward structures so your progression paths don't feel quite as redundant.

You'll get a captivating story, breathtaking new lands to explore, a wide array of new and awesome good/bad guys (from what I've seen, REALLY awesome), a slew of new dungeons and raids, a new playable race, a new class, many outstanding systems improvements, etc.

We hope these features are more or less to be expected with virtually every expansion. But this time we're also pouring our heart and soul into some really fun new features that'll allow you to progress in slightly less conventional ways.

I get so excited every time I meet with Greg Street, Cory Stockton, Dave Kosak, and Tom Chilton to discuss everything they're working on each week. It's even got me logging into some of the characters I haven't played in a while more often lately, just because I want to be fully prepared to diversify my gameplay and explore different avenues of content on different characters.

I think it's really going to be about playing the game the way you want to play it, without feeling entirely like you're missing out on valuable rewards.

[...] Yesterday we discussed low-population and faction-imbalanced realms with our developers. They have some pretty bold and spectacular plans for addressing this in anticipation of implementing some of the features we plan to in Mists. I just don't have a lot of information to share with you at this stage of programming and development. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Pandaren Mounts
The pandaren mount is still being finalized, so what you’ve heard (or seen) are just rumors at this point. Obviously we want the mount to be something awesome, which will take some time to perfect. In addition to the pandaren mount, expect to see a ton of new mounts in Mists of Pandaria. In fact, if any of the new creatures being added in the next expansion look up to the task, I’m sure the developers are looking for ways to throw a saddle on them so they can adventure through Azeroth with our heroes. Though I’m sure some are more comical looking than others. :P Anyway, once the information is ready, we’ll get it out to all of you. Trust! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Future Mists of Pandaria News
We'll be keeping everyone informed. Don't worry. We can't give time frames right now. As you know, we usually say it will be ready when it's ready. That said, I can reiterate that we are pushing forward very well on the next expansion and again point out that we were able to show so much at BlizzCon for a reason. I am not going to reassure you of when we intend for this to come out since I don't have that authority or permission to do so as of yet.

We're completely aware of how quickly players consume content. We're also aware that not all players have consumed all of the current content either. Does that make us less aware that there are many who are ready for more? No. But, we want to make sure we deliver our best with Mists of Pandaria and it won't be long until you start seeing a lot more of what we have in store for it and for you.

There are a lot of misconceptions floating around and being repeated that are based on what you believe is correct information or at least suppositions. Again, I am not in a position to clarify or negate those misconceptions beyond what I've said here. At least not yet. Hopefully, it won't be long before you will get that "big picture" look that you've been hoping for.

We do have a plan to update the calculator with all of the changes that have been made (thus far based on constructive community feedback and internal testing) in the near future. I don't want to promise any particular date as of yet, though it could be mid-month that we're able to make those updates. As always, this is not a firm date/promise right now, it's just a guesstimate of when we may be able to update again. When we do update, we'll make sure to let you all know.

We did have a lot to show during BlizzCon including zone fly-throughs, the starting area for the pandaren etc. (It was definitely a lot.)

I can't give you an update on where we are currently (that has to wait for the media), but I think the media event will be a great way for everyone to get a good look at it again and see for themselves. The female pandaren model is in progress. We're just not quite ready to show her yet though or discuss her. I can say though that it will not be the male model with a title over her head that says, "I'm a girl" any longer though.

We are most definitely not dismissing concerns. We have regular meetings and do reports each week specifically to point out the current concerns and issues the community is discussing. Perhaps it may seem dismissive if we aren't agreeing with an idea or sentiment, but that doesn't mean that we aren't still discussing it in some way.

You have no need to ask for forgiveness for wanting to know more. We fully intend to deliver more and we did cover a lot of it during BlizzCon as well. We'll be refreshing that information however and moving you all forward with us by letting you know how things have advanced/changed and developed since then though.

We love your questions. We just may not be able to answer them all when or how you want. We may on occasion be a bit more silent about things than you (or we) might like, but as I've said in the past, there is a method to the madness.

What we always want to make sure of though, is that if people are asking questions or sharing feedback, that it be done constructively. We don't mind negative or viewpoints that aren't shiny and happy as long as they are done in a way that is constructive and doesn't become defamatory toward other posters or Blizzard employees. This is a place for discussions and it's important that when we come here to discuss, we do so with some thought and care for the people sitting behind the keyboards on both ends of the spectrum.

In short, we care. We care a lot. We may not always show it perfectly, but we love the community we have and we love the work we do.

Neth, I don't suppose you have any comment on how beta invites will be working for Annual Subs?


I can't comment on this yet, but we will be putting together information on how everyone will be getting into the beta including those that signed up for the World of Warcraft Annual Pass. We know it's something people are concerned about and we want to make sure that we're as clear as possible on the process. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Blacksmithing and Epic Gems
This is only the case if you assume that everyone is fully decked out in the epic Jewelcrafting gems. Due to the drop-rate being quite low and the cost to buy them quite high, it is not really feasible that the average player will be able to acquire enough of these gems while the 4.3 content is still current to create an issue. We feel the benefits that Blacksmithing offers balance out very well when compared to the difficulty of obtaining epic gems, as such we do not currently have any changes planned in regards to this. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Transmogrification and the Future
Remember that Transmogrification isn't 'done', and that more changes might come in the future. At first, we had concerns that if we allowed non-ranged weapons to be transmogrified into completely different weapons that they would lose a sense of flavor and identity. Our perspective may be changing on that front, though, and over time the current restrictions could be eased further.

Anyway, it's because hunter ranged weapons each make a distinct sound that they were a bit more loosely restricted in this first pass. I'm sure that the hunters in the audience can explain why that's valuable.

We really, really want to avoid accidentally going to far then find ourselves in the position of having to take options away. There's not really a specific timeline established, no. I think it's reasonable to look forward to incremental changes, as we have time to implement them, and as they make sense. We're also looking at finding new ways of making Transmogrification fun and rewarding.

On the other hand, I don't currently see a future where all restrictions are dropped completely, but I've learned that it's also generally wise to avoid the word "never".

What about lightening up on restrictions?
We still want Transmogrification to evolve, so that's still likely.

Why aren't there anymore 2H caster maces? Or strength polearms?
We've moved away from making really "wacky" decisions about item stat assignment to make weapon selection more intuitive. These aren't rules that are written in stone, of course, just general guidelines we've been following to make it more clear which classes a particular type of item is likely to be good for.

How about the main hand weapons, is there any reason we cant mog these?
The one hand/main hand/offhand restriction is also something we're looking at. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Glyph Inscription Leveling
The Book of Glyph Mastery is actually a topic we’ve been discussing in our meetings. I can’t make any promises just yet but can at least acknowledge that we’re tossing around ideas for the book and for researching new Inscription glyphs. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Changes Made to WoW
Take LFG. Yes, convenient, it's quick, it's good! But at the same time it destroyed server communities and turned the whole experience of going to dungeons from a fun adventure into a mini-game grindfest. Overal? Bad change in my opinion.
The option to manually find people for your group and travel to the dungeon is still there, so you're totally free to continue doing it that way if you wish. But LFD is a very handy and convenient tool for most people, its popularity demonstrates that beyond a doubt.

Having said that, we're very aware of these concerns, and we're working hard on ways to get players out of the cities and back into the world again in Mists.

Take talent trees. They are forcing us to choose. Okay, neat, that's a bit more interesting. Downside? Only 6 points, means levelling will be even more boring. Can't really judge this one yet though.
So currently you get to pick a new talent point every two levels. If, like me, you’ve researched your optimum spec online, gaining a point simply means selecting whichever talent my favoured guide tells me to choose. This could mean, for instance, a very small increase in the effectiveness of one particular skill, which isn’t terrible exciting, and doesn’t always make a huge immediate difference to your game play. With the new talent trees, every time you get to spend a point, it should be on something very significant and useful.

Instantly learning abilities as you level up without a need to visit a trainer. Convenient? Yes. But also completely ruining what little experience you had left of living in an actual world of warcraft. BAD change.
Bearing in mind how quickly it’s possible to level, it’s not always fun to break from questing just to take a trip back to town when you gain access to a new skill. Personally speaking, I tend to wait until I need to return for a few reasons, such as using the Auction House, bank, visiting the profession trainer etc. meaning I will sometimes go for a few levels without picking up that new skill. There are still plenty of things to keep you travelling to the cities and back while levelling, but when it’s convenient for you to do so, not when you ‘should’.

You're basically telling us that we're wrong for not liking these features of WoW, because the numbers are against us. A lot of people use LFG, so that must mean it is fantastic?
No I'm not saying that at all, but it's clear that many people appreciate it. The point you make about a path of least resistance is true, but it's a fine balance. Make something too easy (such as a free gear vendor) and it's no fun, no challenge. LFD keeps the challenge part (the dungeon) but alleviates the often-long-winded group-finding part, allowing people to quest or gather mats, just go about other tasks while a group is found for them. Granted, it's not for everyone, some people enjoy putting a group together personally but, again, we're not forcing anyone to use it.

As I said just now, we've acknowledged people might have issues with some of the changes LFD made to the game. We're hearing it loud and clear, and we're working to address some of these in the expansion. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
by Published on 2012-02-02 08:22 PM

Diablo 3 - 100,000 Diablo III Beta Invites

Update on Retribution Paladin Bug
The bug has been fixed and unless you've been a really big meaniepants, you won't get banned for playing your ret paladin yesterday.
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The bug where paladin Seals could sometimes cause excessive damage has been fixed. This bug came as a result of a hotfix we put in to fix an issue where some attacks, such as Scatter Shot, were still causing Vengeance in PvP situations. While these things may seem totally unrelated, it has to do with our proc system, which is an extremely complicated mechanic under the hood. We reverted that hotfix, meaning you may sometimes see Vengeance in PvP. But we don’t think that will present a major balance concern at this time.

To be clear, we have no current plans to take action against players who experienced this bug last night unless we come across any extreme cases. The error was ours and we haven’t seen any evidence -- so far -- of players excessively exploiting the bug. We reserve the right to take action if we do find evidence of players crossing the line to repeatedly exploit this bug for major in-game advantages.

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