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by Published on 2011-09-22 01:10 AM

Update - Added the updated screenshots from the Patch 4.3 Dungeons Preview, Part One: End Time at the bottom of the post.

Paladin Tier 13 and Visual Retrospective


Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Adventurers will be tested like never before in 4.3 as they take on Deathwing and his minions, emerging with powerful new treasures. Please enjoy this preview of the paladin tier 13 set, as well as a visual guide to tiers 1 through 12 for Transmogrification purposes.

Battleplate of Radiant Glory


Design requested a set to ‘key off the Guardian of Ancient Kings summon,’ and I though the concept of ‘feathered’ plate mail, rendered in silver and gold, would create an aggressive, yet sweeping and powerful silhouette. The previous paladin raid set had a good deal of cloth, but we wanted this set to be entirely platemail.

The key to a strong paladin tier is hitting a balance between martial prowess and elegant grace -- tapping into that classic Arthurian knight archetype.

Paladin Tier 1-12








End of Time - Updated Preview
The Patch 4.3 Dungeons Preview, Part One: End Time has been updated with 6 new screenshots.


by Published on 2011-09-21 02:09 AM

I guess we had a ridiculous amount of news posts today, don't forget to check the previous ones!



The Deathwing Raid: Interview with Scott Mercer [SPOILERS]
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In World of Warcraft content patch 4.3, players will make their ultimate stand against Deathwing the Destroyer. Almost a year has passed since the corrupted Dragon Aspect burst forth from the Maelstorm to bring the Cataclysm down upon the mortal races. Now the determined survivors from the Horde and Alliance have rallied to unleash vengeance of their own.

To prepare for this earth-shattering battle, the Blizzard Insider recently discussed the upcoming Dragon Soul raid with Scott Mercer, lead encounter designer from the World of Warcraft team. Read on for all the epic details.

***

CAUTION: THIS INTERVIEW CONTAINS SPOILER INFORMATION ON THE CATACLYSM STORY AND THE FINAL BATTLE AGAINST DEATHWING.

***

Blizzard Insider: Before we dive into the details, can you tell us about Deathwing’s character arc to date?

Scott Mercer: Deathwing has changed the face of Azeroth probably more than any other villain in Warcraft’s history. He tore the Barrens in half. He caused tidal waves that transformed both continents. He even burned his claw marks into Stormwind Keep, leaving his personal signature on the Alliance capital. In many ways Deathwing embodies the Cataclysm itself, not just as the direct cause of it, but also as the thematic center of the expansion. His violent transformation from Earth-Warder to Destroyer ultimately led to all these changes across Azeroth, so in a very direct way, his character arc represents the force that set the entire expansion into motion.

That said, we’ve been building towards a showdown with Deathwing for some time. Players have been wrestling with his Twilight's Hammer minions since before Cataclysm, and we’ve already seen Deathwing defeat Alexstrasza in single combat. The powers that be in Azeroth know Deathwing presents a mortal threat, so in the wake of all the chaos and destruction, forces are finally rallying to oppose him. That’s how patch 4.3 begins, with the major players of Azeroth gathering to decide how they are going to tackle this seemingly unstoppable monster.


Insider: Can you tell us about the new 5-player dungeons that lead into the Deathwing raid?

Scott Mercer: The short version is that the players are sent on a series of quests to recover the Dragon Soul artifact so Thrall and the other dragonflights will have the firepower they need to confront Deathwing. The new 5-player dungeons involve the Caverns of Time and require the players to go forward in time to witness a future where Deathwing has destroyed the world. Then, from that bleak future, they must go back in time to the War of the Ancients to recover the Dragon Soul and bring it back to the present. We’ve discussed a lot more details on the new 5-player dungeons in other interviews. They're going to lead in directly to the patch 4.3 raid instance, which is called Dragon Soul. When the raid begins, the players have recovered the Dragon Soul artifact and arrive at Wyrmrest Temple to find it under siege by Deathwing’s forces.


Insider: Aside from a battle with Deathwing, what other encounters do you have planned for the Dragon Soul raid?

Scott Mercer: When players first arrive at Wyrmrest, they have to fight off a variety of Deathwing’s minions who are laying siege to the temple. There’s Morchok, a stone giant who is pounding the base of Wyrmrest, and Warlord Zon’ozz and Yor’sajh the Unsleeping, two servants of the Old Gods in league with Deathwing who are summoning more minions to sack the gates.

In addition to lifting the siege around Wyrmrest, the players also have to return to the Eye of Eternity to get the Focusing Iris so the Dragon Aspects can refocus their power into the Dragon Soul. We have some new gameplay elements in mind for these raids, including a mechanic where players are granted the ability to dodge a deadly attack from a twilight dragon by phasing away.



Insider: What details can you tell us about the Deathwing raid? How does it differ from other raids?

Scott Mercer: Dragon Soul is the most story-driven raid we’ve ever created. We’re even building several cut scenes to transition between the last three stages of the final encounter with Deathwing.

The first stage occurs as players are flying on an airship, chasing down Deathwing while his Twilight's Hammer drake riders are swooping in to harry the pursuit. In the second stage, players paratroop commando-style onto Deathwing’s back and start ripping up his armor, trying to pry a hole big enough to give Thrall a clean shot with the Dragon Soul. During this phase, players are actually riding on Deathwing as he’s swooping around and trying to knock the players off with barrel rolls and such. Players will have to hang on at key points in the fight to avoid falling while also tangling with all kinds of monstrosities that are rising out of Deathwing’s corrupted magma blood. Once the players get enough of Deathwing’s armor off, Thrall blasts Deathwing with the Dragon Soul and sends him crash-landing into the Maelstrom.

Insider: Very cool! And the final stage?

Scott Mercer: Well, the interesting thing about Deathwing’s armor is that it wasn’t really built to keep things out--he doesn’t have to worry about weapons like swords and arrows. Instead it was built to keep things in. His body is this incredibly volatile mixture of corruptive energy and burning magma, so without his armor to hold it all together, he starts to lose it and come apart in all kinds of crazy ways. The final stage of the raid begins when Deathwing’s deformed body rises out of the Maelstrom to face off against the players in the final showdown. I won’t go into too much detail about this final stage, but I will say that it’s going to be unbelievably epic. Even in his weakened state, Deathwing still presents a major threat, and bringing him down will require the combined efforts of the players, Thrall, and even the other Dragon Aspects.

Insider: What difficulties did you encounter while designing the Deathwing battle?

Scott Mercer: It took a lot of new technologies to set up the fight on Deathwing’s back. The artists in particular focused on selling the fantasy that you’re grappling with a giant dragon midflight. We’ve never done anything quite like that before. Overall, setting the right scope for an encounter like Deathwing required a lot of development disciplines working together--artists, coders, encounter designers, level designers, and animators. We built corrupted Deathwing as a giant set piece with a lot of moving parts--probably our most complicated character model to date--but we felt it was necessary to convey the epic scale and do justice to the final boss of Cataclysm.


Insider: Let’s talk loot. What rewards await players who are strong enough to tackle Deathwing the Destroyer?

Scott Mercer: There will be a new tier of armor sets, of course. We’re also adding a new legendary weapon--a pair of daggers for rogues--with a new quest chain involved in obtaining them. The artists and animators are working on a new mount, a drake from the red dragonflight that borrows many visual elements from the Alexstrasza character model. Players can get one version of the new mount as the reward for the meta achievement for completing all other Dragon Soul achievements. There will also be a second, rarer version of the mount, that’s obtainable as a single, guaranteed drop off Heroic corrupted Deathwing.

Insider: Thanks for your time. Is there anything else you’d like to share before you go?

Scott Mercer: Sure, there’s a lot going into the next content update besides just the Dragon Soul raid--Transmogrification, Void Storage, the new Darkmoon Faire, and more. The patch should have something for everyone.
by Published on 2011-09-20 05:24 PM

Update #2 - The Diablo III Beta Is Now Live!

Update - Post updated with the new version listing a lot more details, you can find the original announcement there: Firelands Raid Hotfixes Sept. 20. Also today:




Patch 4.2 Hotfixes - September 20
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
September 20

Dungeons & Raids
Firelands
  • Hell Hound Rend Flesh damage has been reduced by 25%.
  • The damage multiplier granted by energy to Unstable Magma has been reduced by 50%.
  • Alysrazor
    • Health and damage have been reduced by 25% on normal difficulty. Health and damage have been reduced by 15% on Heroic difficulty.
    • Alysrazor now drops 1 additional feather in 10-player mode and 2 additional feathers in 25-player mode in all cycles.
    • The Wings of Flame buff duration on Alysrazor is now uniformly 30 seconds.
    • Alysrazor’s Fiery Tornados now move slower.
  • Baleroc
    • Health and damage have been reduced by 25% on normal difficulty. Health and damage have been reduced by 15% on Heroic difficulty.
    • Baleroc now swings 25% slower while Decimation Blade is active.
    • The duration of Tormented has been reduced on normal difficulty.
  • Beth'tilac
    • Beth'tilac's health and damage have been reduced by 15% on both normal and Heroic difficulty.
  • Lord Rhyolith
    • Health and damage have been reduced by 15% on both normal and Heroic difficulty.
    • The health and damage of additional enemies in this encounter have been reduced by 15% on both normal and Heroic difficulty.
  • Majordomo Fandral Staghelm
    • Health and damage have been reduced by 25% on normal difficulty. Health and damage has been reduced by 15% on Heroic difficulty.
    • Druid of the Flame have had their health reduced by 15%, and Sunfire damage reduced by 25% on both difficulties.
    • The health and melee damage of Spirit of the Flame have been reduced by 25% on normal difficulty, and reduced by 15% on Heroic difficulty.
  • Ragnaros
    • Ragnaros' health and damage have been reduced by 25% on normal difficulty.
    • Ragnaros' damage has been reduced by 15% on Heroic difficulty.
    • Magma Trap damage has been reduced on all difficulties.
    • The health and damage of additional enemies in this encounter have been reduced by 25% on normal difficulty and 15% on Heroic difficulty.
    • Wrath of Ragnaros now knocks targets up, but not back, on normal difficulty.
  • Shannox
    • Health and damage have been reduced by 15% on both normal and Heroic difficulty.
    • Riplimb's health has been reduced by 15%.
    • Rageface's health has been reduced by 15%.
    • Magma Flare damage and Hurl Spear damage have been reduced by 15% on both difficulties.
by Published on 2011-09-20 04:10 PM

Rogue Tier 13 and Visual Retrospective


Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Adventurers will be tested like never before in 4.3 as they take on Deathwing and his minions, emerging with powerful new treasures. Please enjoy this preview of the rogue tier 13 set, as well as a visual guide to tiers 1 through 12 for Transmogrification purposes.

Blackfang Battleweave


A "bat-themed" armor set for rogues seems like a no-brainer, but we were careful to skirt the more obvious inspirations. World of Warcraft often makes playful references to pop culture, but it’s important -- particularly with player gear -- that what we create has integrity within our universe. Rogues look good in close-fitting masks, collars, and cowls rather than elaborate armored helms. It also helps reinforce the rogue's sneaky silhouette if the shoulder pads have a streamlined shape... even if that shape has sharp, bladed details.

Rogue Tier 1-12







by Published on 2011-09-20 03:48 PM

Update - Someone pointed out that I forgot to post the updated items for this year's Brewfest, fixed!

Level Type Spec Slot Name
365DaggerPhysical DPSOne-HandDirebrew's Bloodied Shanker
365MacePhysical DPSOne-HandTremendous Tankard O' Terror
365TrinketDPSTrinketBitterer Balebrew Charm
365TrinketHealingTrinketBubblier Brightbrew Charm
365TrinketPhysical DPSTrinketCoren's Chilled Chromium Coaster
365TrinketSpellTrinketPetrified Pickled Egg
365TrinketSpell DPSTrinketMithril Stopwatch
365TrinketTankTrinketBrawler's Trophy



Tier 13 Set Pieces Acquisition
Originally Posted by Takralus (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We recognize that making the tier 13 set pieces available only as raid drops leaves players much more subject to RNG drop rates/loot rolls, but we have a couple of plans to try and alleviate the sense of burden that stems from the randomness of token drops.

The way tier 13 pieces will be obtained in the 4.3 raid won't be unlike raids past, meaning players will still need to roll on multi-class set tokens. That said, we'll be tweaking the tier 13 10-player drop rates a little bit (for the better) relative to the 25-player version, given that these tier pieces can't be purchased from vendors for Valor Points.

In addition, due to tier pieces not being offered for Valor Points, another thing you'll see in patch 4.3 is a much wider array of desirable non-set loot (covering more slots than prior patches) available from the vendors, for those players who are unlucky with specific token drops, or who aren't interested in raiding—although, once you get more details about the Raid Finder, we hope you'll find interest in having a go.

Keep in mind we do intend to allow tier 13 set pieces to drop for those using the upcoming Raid Finder. Similar to the difference between normal and Heroic versions of tier sets, the Raid Finder set will have a lower item level than the normal and Heroic counterparts.

Set pieces from all three difficulty levels can still be mixed and matched for the two and four-piece bonuses.
by Published on 2011-09-20 01:11 AM

Update - Added Transmogrification Rules.

Patch 4.3 Raid Preview: Dragon Soul
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
World of Warcraft patch 4.3 will offer players the opportunity to take the fight to Wyrmrest Temple and beyond, assisting Thrall and the Dragon Aspects as they seek to bring an end to the Black Dragonflight once and for all. 10- and 25-person raids will get to take on Deathwing himself, with three levels of difficulty to consider and epic gear to claim.

Forged by Deathwing during the War of the Ancients, the Dragon Soul harnessed the power of the other dragonflights, until it was ultimately destroyed. After recovering a version of the artifact from the Caverns of Time, Thrall and the allied dragonflights now rally at Wyrmrest Temple in a desperate bid to use its might to defeat Deathwing.

Created by the titans as a sanctuary for all Dragonkind, the crumbling Wyrmrest Temple is now the final hope for the forces allied against the black dragon Neltharion, once the Earth-Warder and protector of Azeroth, now Deathwing the Destroyer. It is here that the remaining aspects -- Alexstrasza, Ysera, Nozdormu, Kalecgos, and Thrall -- have gathered to empower the Dragon Soul -- Azeroth's last chance to stop the great behemoth. As they begin to charge the Dragon Soul with energy, Deathwing and his entire army assault Wyrmrest Temple. Players must thwart the attacking forces long enough for Thrall to charge the Dragon Soul.

Before you face Deathwing the Destroyer, you must prevail against six mighty bosses.

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.

Countless ages ago, Warlord Zon'ozz and his soldiers waged endless war against the forces of C'Thun and Yogg-Saron. Millennia have passed, but the warlord still serves the chaotic might of the Old God N'Zoth. Deathwing has now unleashed this legendary faceless one to crush the defenders of Wyrmrest Temple.


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.


Hagara the Binder, one of the first students of arcane magic under the Forsaken, showed surprising potential for one who had started learning so late in life. But in her undisciplined attempts to bind elementals into servitude, she was ensnared and twisted by the Windlord, Al'Akir. Now fiercely loyal to the Twilight's Hammer, Hagara binds others for her elemental masters to torment.

More an abomination of dark energy than a dragon, Ultraxion has spent his short life absorbing the essence of captured nether dragons. Ultraxion is the only twilight dragon Deathwing has praised, and his arrogance is overshadowed only by the crackling energies surging through his twisted form. Loyal to his master, Ultraxion swears to bring about the fall of Wyrmrest Temple.


Though once vast in number, only a few dozen twilight dragons now remain. Astride these hardened survivors are the last vestiges of the Twilight's Hammer's army: the elite drake riders of Deathwing's personal escort. Led by the insidious Warmaster Blackhorn, they move with unholy purpose, driven to protect their dark master.


When Deathwing first channeled the Dragon Soul's power against the other dragonflights, the massive energies that he unleashed threatened to break him apart. Rather than forgo this weapon, he had adamantium plates fused to his scales to hold his body together. Later reinforced with elementium, these plates are now his weakness -- the sole vulnerability to Deathwing's lethal presence.

Your assault on the massive Deathwing will begin a battle unlike any other. It is a fight so wide-ranging and intense that it comprises two unique encounters, taking place across Azeroth. Taking to the skies, players will parachute from soaring gunships to attack the monster mid-flight and attempt to weaken him by ripping away his armor, exposing the molten flesh beneath. Should they succeed, they will plunge into the depths of Maelstrom for the final encounter.

No adventurer has yet taken on an enemy so large and dangerous and lived to tell the tale. Will you?

Transmogrification Rules
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Since we announced the transmogrification feature coming to World of Warcraft with patch 4.3, we have monitored thousands of follow-up comments, questions and suggestions from players all over the world.

What follows is our current list of rules for transmogrification. This is a set of rules that we expect to change over time, and is not intended to be 100% comprehensive, but we hope that it can be referenced to answer most questions that players currently have about what they can and cannot expect to be able to do with transmogrification.


  • The character must be able to equip both items.
  • Only uncommon (green), rare (blue) or epic (purple) items may be transmogrified. (exceptions: a select few of these items will prevented from being used to transmogrify if they are inappropriate)
  • Items must share the same armor type (examples: plate for plate, cloth for cloth)
  • Weapons must be the same weapon type (exceptions: Guns, Crossbows, or Bows)
  • Guns, Crossbows, and Bows can be used to transmogrify Guns, Crossbows, or Bows.
  • Main hand weapons can only be used to transmogrify Main hand weapons.
  • Off-hand weapons can only be used to transmogrify Off-hand weapons.
  • One handed weapons can be used to transmogrify a Main hand or Off-hand weapon.
  • Using an item for transmogrify makes it soulbound.
  • Using an item for transmogrify makes it non-refundable.
  • Using an item for transmogrify makes it non-tradable.
  • Heirlooms and Account Bound items can be transmogrified.
  • Heirlooms and Account Bound items can be used to transmogrify.
  • Legendary items cannot be transmogrified.
  • Legendary items cannot be used to transmogrify.
  • Fishing Poles cannot be transmogrified.
  • Fishing Poles cannot be used to transmogrify.
  • Mailing an item strips its transmogrification.
  • Placing an item in Void Storage strips its transmogrification.
  • Vendoring an item strips its transmogrification.
  • The displayed enchant will be that of the currently equipped item.
  • There may be individual items that are excluded from being transmogrified on the basis that they were originally added to the game as absurdities. (examples: a weapon that looks like a fish, or a chest piece that is invisible)

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