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by Published on 2011-11-01 08:18 PM

MMO-Champion Guardian Cub Tradeable Pet Giveaway
The new Guardian Cub is now available and the first ones will be tradeable in 24H and we're giving away 15 of them!

  • The giveaway is for 15 x Guardian Cub companion pets. You can obviously only win one.
  • To enter the giveaway, just reply to this post!
  • The giveaway will be closed 24H after posting this news and winners will be chosen randomly.

Do not bother trying to cheat the system with dual accounts and things like that, we can track them down pretty easily and it will disqualify you automatically. Good luck!

by Published on 2011-11-01 07:49 PM

Update - You will have to wait 24H before you can see one at the Auction House, it comes with a bind on pickup lasting 24H.

Guardian Cub Tradable Pet Now Available!
The new Guardian Cub pet is now available, and you can trade it and sell it at the auction house!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Now available in the Pet Store: the new and titanically cute Guardian Cub companion. Orphaned by its titan creators, the fledgling Guardian Cub has taken wing to look for a happy home. Adopt one today and it will stay by your side through thick and thin, following your character just about anywhere your adventures take you—even into the skies of Azeroth.

The Guardian Cub is the Pet Store's first tradable pet, meaning it can be swapped between characters in-game or given as a gift to guildmates, friends, family, or that special someone (after a cooldown period -- see below). Due to his finicky nature, each Guardian Cub will only give its allegiance to one owner, meaning it’s a one-time-use pet that permanently binds to a single character. Be sure to choose a master wisely.

The Guardian Cub is available now in the Pet Store. Check out the mini-FAQ below for more information on how this flying friend differs from other Pet Store companions.

Q: How does the Guardian Cub pet work? How is it different from other Pet Store pets?
Unlike the other Pet Store companions, the Guardian Cub is a tradable, one-time-use pet that permanently binds to a single character upon use. When you purchase the Guardian Cub from the online store, the character you designate will receive a bind-on-use item in his or her in-game mailbox, which can then be added to the character’s inventory. You can either use the item yourself to permanently add the pet to your character's collection (consuming the item in the process), or -- after an initial 24-hour cooldown period -- you can trade the item to another player so he or she can add it to one of their character's collections. Note that once the pet has been added to a character's Companions list, it can no longer be traded, so make sure you're giving the cub a happy home.

Q: Will I be able to carry more than one Guardian Cub at a time?
While a character can only have one Guardian Cub in his or her Companions list, you can have as many in your inventory as you like. Please note that Guardian Cub items do not stack, so each one will take up a bag or bank slot.

Q: How much will the Guardian Cub cost in the Pet Store?
The Guardian Cub will be priced the same as the other Pet Store pets ($10 USD). All sales of the Guardian Cub are final -- no refunds will be given once a purchase is made.

Q: Why did you decide to make the Guardian Cub tradable?
Since the introduction of the Pet Store, many players have been asking for ways to get the companions we offer there without having to spend real-world cash. By making the Guardian Cub tradable (much like the BoE mounts from the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game), players interested in the new pet will have fun, alternative in-game ways to get one. In addition to trading the pet, players can give the Guardian Cub as a gift to another character for a special occasion; guild leaders can use them to reward members for a job well done; and so on. We also hope this change will help reduce the number of incidents of scamming via trading for invalid pet codes.

Q: Could I put the Guardian Cub up on the auction house to try to make some gold if I wanted to?
While our goal is to offer players alternative ways to add a Pet Store pet to their collection, we’re ok with it if some players choose to use the Guardian Cub as a safe and secure way to try to acquire a little extra in-game gold without turning to third-party gold-selling services. However, please keep in mind that there's never any guarantee that someone will purchase what you put up for sale in the auction house, or how much they'll pay for it. Also, it’s important to note that we take a firm stance against buying gold from outside sources because in most cases, the gold these companies offer has been stolen from compromised accounts. (You can read more about our stance here.) While some players might be able to acquire some extra gold by putting the Guardian Cub in the auction house, that’s preferable to players contributing to the gold-selling “black market” and account theft.

Q: Are you changing the other available Pet Store pets (e.g. Lil' Ragnaros, the Pandaren Monk) to work this way?
No, the other available Pet Store pets will continue to work as they always have.

Q: What about future Pet Store pets?
It's too early to say how we'll handle future Pet Store pets. We made this change in response to feedback from players looking for alternate ways to get the Pet Store pets, and we're always looking into other opportunities for improvement. We're interested in hearing what players think of the Guardian Cub, and we hope you'll have fun with this new flying friend.
by Published on 2011-11-01 01:32 AM

Patch 4.3 - PTR Build 14911
A very minor PTR build is being deployed on test realms tonight.

Achievements Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Feats of Strength
  • Murkablo Proud owner of Murkablo from the 2011 BlizzCon.

Guild - Raids & Dungeons

Client Strings
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • ERR_PARTY_LFG_BOOT_VOTE_REGISTERED = "Your request to kick %s has been successfully received. %d |4more request is:more requests are; needed to initiate a vote.";
  • INELIGIBLE_FOR_LOOT = "You are not eligible for these items because you recently defeated this encounter.";
  • LOOT_ITEM_WHILE_PLAYER_INELIGIBLE = "%s receives loot: |TInterface\\Common\\Icon-NoLoot:13:13:0:0|t%s";

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)

Patch 4.3 Dragon Soul Raid Mounts
One of the latest PTR builds added 2 mounts to the Dragon Soul loot tables, the Life-Binder's Handmaiden drops from Madness of Deathwing (last encounter of the Dragon Soul raid) in Heroic Mode. People defeating Madness of Deathwing in normal mode will be rewarded with Reins of the Blazing Drake.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
New Guild Services Now Available - Updated
And one last update for you folks today: Guild services are now open on all North American realms. :)

[...] Yup! "North American realms" refers to any realm that appears in the realm list when launching the NA game client. This includes realms that fall under both the Oceanic and Latin America tabs, as well. :) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Test Realms - Play AGAINST The Blues! BGs - 11/01/11
Greetings All!

Tomorrow 11/01/11 the mightiest combatants of Blizzard will once again gallantly stride across the blood-soaked soil of Azeroth. That's right, we're doing a Play-with-the-Blues Battlegrounds event on the PTRs!

From 3:00pm-6:00pm PST we'll be queuing for specific battlegrounds, be online and watch for the server alerts to know where to find us.

Hope to see you online! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Test Realms - Play ALONGSIDE The Blues! - LFR 11/04/11
After you've tested your mettle against us during the "Play AGAINST The Blues" event on Tuesday you can follow it up by joining us on the PTR in the fight against Deathwing and his minions!

On Friday 11/04/11 we'll be online from 3:00pm-6:00pm PST and will be queuing up for Dragon's Soul raids using the Looking For Raid tool. Queue up using the LFR tool to join us. You will know us by our guilds [Blizzard Horde] & [Blizzard Alliance]. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

2011 Halloween Pumpkin Contest Winners
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The winners of this year's pumpkin-carving contest have been chosen -- and they're monstrously spectacular. We'd like to thank everyone who participated this year, and we can't wait to see your mad scientist skills in action again next time around. Check out all of the creepy, incredible, and creative winning pumpkins here.

Blizzard Art Gallery Update
The World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Art gallery has been updated with five pieces representing the Warcraft universe.

by Published on 2011-10-30 09:14 PM

Patch 4.3 World Map and Minimap Improvements
The world map and mini-map got a couple of upgrades on test realms and they should be slightly more useful after the patch, hopefully we will see it on live servers soon.

  • The minimap has an improved menu and will let you track a couple more things, including archaeology and questing areas.
  • You can now track areas on your minimap, archaeology sites and quest objectives areas will now be displayed directly on the minimap!
  • The world map now (finally) shows the level of regions on mouseover.

Patch 4.3 - Priest Glyph of Shadow
Priests are getting a new minor Glyph in patch 4.3, the Glyph of Shadow! As mentioned during Blizzcon, this glyph changes the alpha of your character and lets you see most of your equipment while in Shadow Form.

Patch 4.3 - Divine Aegis Animation
While we're talking about priests, here is a video preview of the new effect on Divine Aegis.

Patch 4.3 - Hurricane Animation
Druids also got some more tweaking to the new Hurricane animation. Don't forget about the other animation updates:

Comics: Dark Legacy and Teh Gladiators
Dark Legacy Comics #310 and Teh Gladiators #284 + #285 are available!

The MMO Report did a nice Blizzcon special this week, with a quick overview of all we learned.

by Published on 2011-10-28 05:25 PM

Update - There was another "update" to PTR 4.3 notes today, this is the same thing as yesterday's update except that Blizzard fixed the error on Beacon of Light.
Originally Posted by Kaivax (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Word of Glory definitely triggers BoL. That was an oversight in the patch notes posted 90 minutes ago. We have updated the notes to read:

Beacon of Light is triggered by Word of Glory, Holy Shock, Flash of Light, Divine Light and Light of Dawn at 50% transference and Holy Light at 100% transference. It does not transfer Holy Radiance, Protector of the Innocent or other sources of healing.

We apologize for the confusion.

Death Knight Tier 13 and Visual Retrospective
The Death Knight Tier 13 Armor Set is now official and looks exactly like the version we previewed a few days ago.
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 death knight tier 13 set, as well as a visual guide to tiers 7 through 12 for Transmogrification purposes.

Death Knight – Necrotic Boneplate

Death Knight Tier 7-12

High resolution screenshots of all recolors on both male and female are available in yesterday's Tier 13 Armor Sets Model Preview.

Death Knight

Curse visits Blizzcon 2011
The entire Curse team was at Blizzcon this year and our lovely Pico got to meet a couple of WoW players.

Blizzard Insider #42 -- Meet the Pandaren Monk
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With the launch of the next World of Warcraft® expansion, the Mists of Pandaria™ will lift to reveal the pandaren, a long-secluded race that has spent generations mastering the way of the monk -- World of Warcraft’s newest playable class.

To get an inside look at the upcoming World of Warcraft race and class options, the Blizzard Insider recently sat down with Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street to discuss the design decisions that went into creating the pandaren monk. So read on, and be among the first to meet the brawling heroes who are, even now, secretly training within the mists.

Blizzard Insider: How will the pandaren race differ from the other races of Azeroth? What ideas are being explored for their racial abilities?

Ghostcrawler: Ultimately, the challenge with races is to make them feel unique without actually providing them with so much power that players feel like they don’t have a choice in which race they want to be. If tauren are the best warriors, then Horde players might feel like they are sacrificing too much in order to try out a different race or stick with a race they really like. With the pandaren, you probably won’t see anything so amazing that everyone gravitates to them… except that their art and animation is just so wonderful.

The biggest difference for the pandaren is that they can join the Horde or the Alliance, which is something we’ve never tried before. That alone will make them feel unique. They also have a very strong cultural kit. Our trolls might be somewhat Jamaican and the draenei have Eastern European accents, but the pandaren have a very strong Asian influence. That affects everything from their animations -- which have a martial arts vibe, even for non-monks -- to their hairstyles.

For racial abilities, we’re giving them a bonus to cooking… and to eating. We’re also giving them a moderate bonus to rested experience to make it less daunting to level one all the way up to level 90. They also get the mystical-martial ability to paralyze opponents by touching their pressure points. Finally, we came up with a silly racial, Bouncy, that causes them to take less falling damage. While the pandaren are as noble and epic as any of our races, we felt like we had to acknowledge their, shall we say, endomorphic body shape in some way.

Of course, as with any design this early out, this may all change by the time the new expansion goes live.

Insider:How did the team decide on monks as the new playable class? Were there any other ideas that were considered?

Ghostcrawler: We settled on the pandaren race first, and after that, the new class was a no-brainer. We actually did discuss whether World of Warcraft needed a new class at this time. As awesome as they are, it was disruptive to add the death knight, and it took us some time to get them feeling fun and balanced. Ultimately, though, we decided the time was right, and at that point the big decision was whether the new class would be a Brewmaster specifically, or a monk that you could play with a Brewmaster kit. At the moment, we’re going with the tank being the Brewmaster, but that could change.

Insider:How will the monk differ from other classes?

Ghostcrawler: We’re trying a few different things. For now, the monk has no auto-attack, which is unique among melee classes. The monk has a different resource as players might expect, where they have both light and dark resources that power different abilities. We are even trying to have the monk healing spec use a lot of punches and kicks. While monk characters will care about weapons, and weapons contribute to their damage and healing, you don’t see the weapons in a lot of attacks. We save them for some of the big finishers.

From a non-gameplay standpoint, the most noticeable difference is the huge number of animations the monk has. When you think of a magic-using class, you think of a lot of splashy spell effects. With the monk we thought it made more sense to invest heavily in animation, and the artists really delivered on that.

Insider:How are you structuring the monk’s talent tree?

Ghostcrawler: Well, the talent tree design overall is changing dramatically in Mists of Pandaria. Each class will just have one talent tree with a lot of attractive -- and hard -- decisions. However, like other classes, the monk will have three different specializations available at level 10. For now, we are calling these for the melee damage spec, Brewmaster for the tanking spec, and Mistweaver for the healing spec. The Brewmaster should have the feel of dodging and weaving in combat, reminiscent of the drunken master from martial arts flicks. The Windwalker will be the kung fu master who beats the crap out of opponents with fists and feet. The Mistweaver is partially the wise healer archetype, but like the old men in martial arts movies, he can beat down his enemies as well.

It’s also worth pointing out that even though many races can be monks, the story of the game is that it is the pandaren who introduce the ways of the monk to the Alliance and the Horde, so even non-pandaren monks will have a strong Pandarian -- the continent -- kit.

Insider:What are the challenges involved in adding a new class to the game? Were there any specific things you learned from the addition of the death knight class in Wrath of the Lich King that you hope to apply to the monk?

Ghostcrawler: Adding a class is one of the most challenging things we can do. There are a couple of mistakes we made with the death knight that we’d like to avoid. The death knight resource model, for example, ends up feeling really complicated. We also had some balance problems early on, partially based on -- possibly biased -- feedback that the death knight felt weak. We didn’t want our brand-new class to feel neglected, so we overdid it a bit. Then when we got them back in line, it felt to the death knight players like we had pulled the rug out from under them. On the other hand, the death knight is a really iconic character for World of Warcraft, and the class abilities and spell effects really deliver on that fantasy. We need to make sure the monk feels just as cool and really delivers on what players expect a monk to play like.

Insider:How will monks be itemized?

Ghostcrawler: They wear leather armor, so the tank and DPS monks will want the same Agility-based armor that rogues and Feral druids wear. The healing monk will want the Intellect-based armor worn by Balance and Resto druids. For weapons, the two signature items are fists and staves. At the moment, we are focusing the Windwalker on fists and the Brewmaster on staves, but we might give players more flexibility than that. The melee monks can also use weapons like one-handed maces, axes, and swords. The Mistweaver can use healer staves, maces, axes, and swords. Monks can’t use shields, and no melee class uses ranged weapons any longer.

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

Ghostcrawler: One of the victories we had with the death knight came when we introduced a fun ability at relatively low level that became synonymous with the class. I’m talking about Death Grip, which lets the death knight yank enemies over to him. We decided we needed something similar for the monk, so we came up with Roll. Roll is like a combination between warrior Charge and mage Blink. Unlike those two abilities, Roll can be used sideways or backwards as well. It looks great to see a character, a pandaren especially, tuck into a somersault. It’s a lot of fun.

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