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by Published on 2013-02-19 02:33 PM

Troves of the Thunder King, Patch 5.2 Notes Update, Blue Posts, Starcraft Universe

BlizzCon 2013 Storms Anaheim November 8-9
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
BLIZZCON!!!1!1 The seventh BlizzCon is coming to the Anaheim Convention Center Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9, 2013. Those who join us for this epic community gathering will experience two solid days of hands-on time with the latest Blizzard games, in-depth developer discussion panels, intense eSports action featuring some of the top players in the world, and a variety of other exciting activities and events. Further details on the show, including ticket pricing and availability, will be posted here on at a later date. In the meantime, check out the press release for more info and prepare to help us blow Anaheim's mind.
by Published on 2013-02-19 08:24 AM

Diablo 3 Nominated for 2 BAFTA Awards, ProzaicMuze Guides Update, Auriel Fan Art

Patch 5.2 - Troves of the Thunder King
Patch 5.2 makes use of solo scenarios for several storytelling purposes, but one of the scenarios is purely to give you loot! To enter the scenario, you need to acquire a Key to the Palace of Lei Shen. This key drops very rarely from mobs on the Isle of Thunder, more often from rare spawns on the Isle of Thunder, and in the rare spawn chests that appear on the isle.

Once inside, you can purchase various items for one to three Elder Charms to make the scenario easier. These allow you to do things like sleep a target for 25 seconds, walk on water and over tile traps, open a single locked gate, distract or trap a mob, and a quick forward jump. Most of these items require a reputation level higher than friendly, so you will want to earn reputation with the new daily quest factions to take advantage of these items.

When you are ready you can speak to Taoshi to begin. Once the doors open, you have five minutes to loot as many chests as you can. The only thing standing in your way are hostile NPCs, doors locked by levers, and lots of traps. There are columns of lightning that slow you down and cause damage, spiders that web you to the ground, tile traps on the floor that will stun, throw, or damage you, statues that will stun and damage you, or sentries that will damage you.

The hostile NPCs consist of patrolling trolls, lions that wake up when you enter combat near them, and a final boss. The final boss is carrying one of the Golden Treasure Chests and guarding three others.

While looting the chests, you will come across the smaller Mogu Treasure Chests that contain 5-10 gold, Mote of Harmony, Spirit of Harmony, Shan'ze Ritual Stones, Elder Charm of Good Fortune, a Tattered Historical Parchments, and Burial Trove Keys.

The chest you are really interested in are the Golden Treasure Chests, as they contain greater amounts of the items from the other chest, as well as higher drop rates and more gold.

After the five minutes has elapsed, Taoshi pulls you out to a safe room with several of Lei Shen's Burial Troves, which require the Burial Trove Key to open. Inside these chests you will find the same loot as the previous chests, but even more of it, along with 10 Justice Points and roughly 60 gold.

One well executed run can earn several hundred gold, 10+ Elder Charms, some Shan'ze Ritual Stones, 20-30+ Tattered Historical Parchments, and many Motes and Spirit of Harmony. It is unlikey you will earn this much on your first few runs, as it takes time to learn where all of the chests are.

Patch 5.2 - Ra-den's Room Updated
Throne of Thunder has received some significant improvements since we last previewed it (Indoor / Outdoor). One of the bigger changes is the improvement made to Ra-den's room.

Patch 5.2 Official Notes Updated
The Chinese Battle.Net site had their Patch 5.2 notes updated, so the US and EU should be updating soon as well. Thanks to ngacnlcq for the translation! Keep in mind that this may not be perfectly accurate, so should be regarded as a preview of what is to come, not fact.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Take Over The Farm (was Buy The Farm)
  • Players that have grown attached to working the land at Sunsong Ranch can now take over the farm through quests purchase the land from Farmer Yoon.
  • Characters that are exalted with the Tillers and have unlocked all of the farm plots can choose whether they want to take over the farm or not.

  • Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Glyph of Evocation now causes mages with Invocation talent to gain 10% of your health (was 20%) upon completing an Evocation.
    • Arcane
      • Arcane Blast damage reduced by 22.2%.
      • Arcane Missile damage reduced by 22.2%.
      • Arcane Barrage damage reduced by 13.6%.
    • Frost
      • Frostbolt now deals 52% more damage, but its debuff no longer increases subsequent Frostbolt damage.

  • Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Chi Wave now does 100% more damage, but its healing reduced by 14%, and no longer costs Chi, but now has a 15 second cooldown.
    • Zen Sphere now has a limit of 2 (was 1), detonates when either the recipient reaches 35% health or the Zen Sphere is dispelled, and no longer costs Chi. The spell now has 10 seconds cooldown. Its damage over time increased by 22%, healing over time reduced by 61%, healing when detonated reduced by 62% and detonation area increased by 40%.
    • Chi Burst now does 340% more damage and healing increased by 69%, no longer costs Chi, and has a 30 second cooldown.
    • Mistweaver
      • Jab now costs 6% (was 4%) of base mana to use.
      • Glyphed Uplift now costs 8% (was 6.6%) of base mana.
      • Teachings of the Monastery now provides additional benefits.
        • Tiger Palm damage increased by 100% and restores 1% of max mana.

  • Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Retribution
      • Seal of Justice now causes melee attacks to do 20% (was 16%) more holy damage.
      • The 2-piece PvP set bonus now provides 1000 PVP Power (was 800).
      • The 4-piece PvP set bonus redesigned and now reduced Avenging Wrath's cooldown by 65 seconds.

  • Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Power Word: Solace has been replaced with a new talent: Solace & Insanity
      • For Holy and Discipline, Power Word: Solace replaces Holy Fire. It deals the same damage, and interacts with other spells and abilities in the same manner, but Power Word: Solace doesnt trigger Atonement, is instant, costs no mana, and restores 1% of maximum mana on each cast. When Power Word: Solace deals damage, it will also heal a friendly player within 40 yards of the target equal to 100% of its damage (When priest is healed, the healing is equal to 50% of its damage).
    • Power Infusion now also causes priest to deal 10% more damage, other effects remain unchanged.
    • Discipline
      • Mastery: Shield Discipline now also increases healing of all healing spells, but the bonus it provides reduced by 36%.
      • The range of Penance is 40 yards to both friendly targets and enemies (was 40 yards to friendly targets and 30 yards to enemies).
      • Spirit Shell now provides an absorbing shield equal to your average healing and absorb effects, including critical healing and Divine Aegis. Spirit Shell no longer benefits from Mastery, and now properly includes the benefits of Divine Aegis and critical effect chance.
      • Divine Aegis now causes critical healing to apply an absorbing shield to the target, equal to 100% of the healing, rather than double healing. In additional, it also causes Power Word: Shield to have a chance equal to priest's critical change to absorb double damage. Divine Aegis is no longer guaranteed when Prayer of Healing is cast. The effect now activates when the spell crits.

  • Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Arms
      • Overpower now costs 10 rage, and causes Mortal Strike cooldown reduced by 0.5 seconds.
      • Sudden Death now has a 25% chance to activate from Overpowerhas a 10% instead of a 20% chance to activate from auto attacks and Opportunity Strike. In addition, using Execute makes Overpower free for 10 seconds.

  • Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Lava Burst base damage reduced by 33%, but now always crits. It does 50% more damage to the targets that affected by Flame Shock.
    • Ancestral Guidance now copies 60% (was 40%) of the healing.
    • Conductivity now shares healing equal to 30% (was 20%) of the initial healing.

Raids, Dungeons and Scenarios
  • The bags gained via LFR now have a chance to contain bonus rewards, including consumables, Spirit of Harmony, rare pets or mounts, and greens and blues that drop in normal and heroic mode.
  • Added a new Elder Charm called Mogu Rune of Fate. Mogu Rune of Fate can be used in the new content to provide bonus loot chance for Throne of Thunder, Nalak the Storm Lord, and Oondasta. Mogu Runes of Fate can be purchased with Lesser Charms of Good Fortune. Elder Charms of Good Fortune will still apply to Mogu'shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, Terrace of Endless Spring, the Sha of Anger, and Salyis' Warband (Galleon).
  • The cap of Elder Charms of Good Fortune each character can have increased to 20 (was 10).

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Normal Difficulty Learning Curve
How are we expected to gear up to iLevel 500 for 5.2 when the 5.0 Raids are tuned so horribly? There is no learning curve at all for the first 8 Bosses. They can all be beaten on the first few pulls with the exception of Elegon who might take an hour or two. Then comes Garalon who is so tightly tuned it feels like pre-nerf Spine HC.
Patch 5.2 will reduce the damage and health of bosses on Patch 5.0 raids by 10%. And The 5.0 Raid Finders will have their droprate upped as well. Pair that with Patch 5.2's upcoming Raid Finder (which requires item level 480) and hopefully you'll have more than enough gear in a timely manner to finish whichever bosses you have still left in 5.0 and move on to the Throne of Thunder.

Unfortunately Draztal the game doesn't work like that as much as Blizzard would like it too. When 5.2 comes out, even those players that didn't get around to completing T14 raids will enter ToT and forget all about T14 raids. Granted there is not "catch up" system this time like other tiers which is good and bad ( good from a new player PoV, bad from an alt PoV). I hope this doesn't lead to normal modes gettign hit hard with nerf bats like firelands was
If they have enough gear to push through ToT certainly they have it to clear the remainder bosses of 5.0 raids once 5.2 has been released. Of course, it's up to each individual guild to do whatever they consider better. If they don't feel like finishing MV/HoF/TES... more power to them? Those that clear it before current content on normal will get a Feat of Strength called "Ahead of the Curve" for each of the end bosses in these three raids, too. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Of all professions, which one could need the most work to be better in the next expansion?
I'd say Leatherworking, but would be interested in other opinions. (Source)

When you make acc wid proffessions i close my account sorry this idea is Bullshit .
Why? Do you think it's a badge of honor for folks who have done it? Or do you just like the diversity? (Source)

PTR Changes to Blacksmith leveling are inspired. Can we see Tailoring & Leatherworking getting the same treatment?
If the Blacksmithing and Engingeering ones are popular, we'll keep expanding it. (Source)

How many more major content patches should we expect out of MoP?
How many would you like ideally? (Source)

Please don't let space issues get pushed past 5.2. Add a 2nd expensive void storage page. Should be trivial to implement.
Void Storage wasn't designed to let players keep every piece of gear ever or we wouldn't have capped it at all. (Source)

Any plans w/LFR loot to allow passing on loot you already have? Or allowing players to choose the type of loot they get?
Letting players choose to e.g. raid as Ret but choose Holy gear is something we plan on doing (though unlikely to make 5.2). (Source)
We don't like passing in LFR. The entire point of the new system is to remove the social element of loot among strangers. (Source)

hey, remember the Battle for Undercity quest chain, and how it was removed. It would make a great scenario!
We agree. If only we had scenario tech back then. A good wish list feature for someday. (Source)

Warlock class mount fire should be green too! I like green. I just love it. I like every kind of green...
Class mount change requires different artists than the spells, but we can try and get it for 5.3. (Source)

what are the chances of a tabard list like pets and mounts? like to keep my 25 or so keepers but need that bank space.
It's in the plan, just not something you'll see for 5.2. (Source)

UI / Addons
Have you guys ever though on getting rid of all 3rd party add-ons in WoW? I think it would add & fix a lot of problems @Ghostcrawler
Not really. It's a ton of work to support them, but many if not most players use some. The customization is cool and valuable. (Source)

Do you think that the AH needs an overhaul? From a gold maker's point of view this default AH UI is entirely insufficient.
We understand that folks who play lots of AH want additional functionality. Seems like a fine roll for add-ons though, no? (Source)

Ever considered adding a UI element for players to track important buffs/cooldowns? Just icons/bars, with minor customization.
We've considered it. Players are very specific about what / how they want info displayed though, so it's tough to design. (Source)

and your solution was adding a bunch of crap to the game (pet battles, LFR, transmog, challenge... when we just wanted raids
I think it's a dangerous use of "we" to assume a lot of players prefer raiding to pet battles or transmog. (Source)

Not true. Having nothing to do in Cata started in 4.1 with months of only two dungeons. Very few complaints in 4.0
Players stopped playing 4.0 very quickly. (Source)

U've tried so many things 2 keep and bring back players but not a loyalty scheme. Seems pretty mean spirited. R u a meanie GC?
I am a meanie. Loyalty schemes are tricky. Ones used by airline and phone companies say "Don't you DARE switch even if you hate us." (Source)

It would seem though loud and angry mobs motivate more change then civil and intelligent posts. Sadly, that is how it appears.
It's not true. I think anger is what you insert in an argument when you don't have anything else. (Source)

is there any truth to a rumour you're working on bringing out level 80 servers?
No. (Source)

Probably because the current crop of designers has special needs.
True story. My need is gin after reading all these tweets. (Source)

StarCraft Universe - Open Beta
StarCraft Universe is a fan created Starcraft II mod that aims to create a MMO-RPG style game within Starcraft. It takes place in an alternate timeline, 11 years after the events which transpire in the 'In Utter Darkness scenario of the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign. Currently a small single player portion has been released for testing, but a multiplayer version will be coming in the future.

by Published on 2013-02-17 10:20 PM

Scheduled Game Maintenance - 2/19/2013, Fan Creation of the Week: The 3D Character Art of Marie-Michelle Pepin, Curse Weekly Roundup

TCG Pet Giveaway Update - The WoWDB winners have finally been selected. Please check your PMs on WoWDB, we are still waiting on the last winner (username starts with "v") to reply. Thanks to WoWTCGLoot for the prizes, and look for another contest soon.

Season 13 Armor Sets Recap
With all of the Season 13 sets being in game now, it is time to preview the last one and recap them all! We have seen a few of the off set pieces appear on the BMAH on the PTR, so it is safe to assume that they will be sold on the BMAH once the patch is live, just like the current PvP gear.

The priest set is still missing the belt and there may be other minor issues with the sets, so keep in mind that these are just previews and not the final product.

Class Male Image Female Image Video Items
Death Knight Male Female Video WoWDB
Druid Male Female Video WoWDB
Hunter Male Female Video WoWDB
Mage Male Female Video WoWDB
Monk Male Female Video WoWDB
Paladin Male Female Video WoWDB
Priest Male Female Video WoWDB
Rogue Male Female Video WoWDB
Shaman Male Female Video WoWDB
Warlock Male Female Video WoWDB
Warrior Male Female Video WoWDB

Ra-den Limited Attempts Feedback
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Thanks for the ongoing discussion -- the feedback is appreciated. A few brief points/responses to the general direction of the discussion:

This system isn't set in stone. Our intent is to release a well-tuned encounter that doesn't have significant bugs. If the first guilds get there, and it turns out that despite our best efforts, we've failed in that goal (a la Sinestra), we'll turn off the attempt limit, and that will be that. (I mean major bugs -- if there's something small, we'll wait until the weekly reset and fix it for everyone.) There's no scenario in which the first guilds to get there waste their attempts trying to kill something that's broken; we won't let that happen.

When I say that Ra-den is a "bonus boss" I'm not saying he's optional. Of course I know there's no such thing as an optional boss in progression, and people are very much going to count him as part of the progression race. But if you think back to Algalon, he actually wasn't that complicated, or that hard. Firefighter, Freya with 3 Keepers, or Yogg-1 required you to learn and coordinate far more than Algalon. Algalon literally had three mechanics to deal with for the entire fight, and in practice most guilds killed him in around 3 hours or a couple dozen attempts. It's just that they were tuned tightly numbers-wise, and the one-hour weekly limit turned what would have otherwise been a single night of progression into three or four weeks. Heroic Lei Shen is a harder and more complex fight than Ra-den, and I'm not going to claim otherwise. Ra-den is just different; he's a bit of a mystery, and something we haven't tried in a while.

Regarding alts: To engage Heroic Lei Shen, you must have killed 11/12 bosses on Heroic in that lockout. To engage Ra-den, you must have killed Heroic Lei Shen in that lockout. I'm incredibly skeptical that anyone is going to manage that with multiple alt clears in parallel, both due to gear disparity and because doing so would mean forfeiting much of the ability to optimize raid composition for progression on the hardest fights.

Finally, we'll see what we can do to minimize the quality-of-life issues here. I can't promise this will be doable until we've implemented it, but we'll try to make sure that very short attempts don't count (accidental bodypulls and such), and that we make an exception to the usual rules and reset shaman Reincarnation at the start of each Ra-den pull.

Tear Down This Wall! (Horde)
This is the Horde version of the Tear Down This Wall solo storytelling scenario. You can find the Alliance version here.

WoWDB Addon Data Collection
Finding the locations of the new Patch 5.2 Rare Spawn NPCs or adding new data from the other Patch 5.2 additions is done with the help of many players. The more people that contribute data, the more accurate and quickly we can update the database.

To help out, just click here if you have Curse Client already installed.

When you are playing the addon will gather data and save it. When you are done playing, Curse Client will see the game close and upload the collected data from the addon. You can see the last time data was uploaded by looking in the Plugins tab of the options, as well as making sure the addon is enabled there.

If you have any WoWDB related feedback, you can post in this thread or send us an email.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
I really liked Cata BM hunt and Arc mage, know others disagree. Is it hard to find middle ground when changing rotations? 1/2
Yes! Very hard. Many players ask for a change, then many more come and ask to have the old way back. (Source)

Do you expect Dodge/Parry to make it to the next Expansion?
Not sure. Maybe only one? Maybe leather tanks dodge and plate tanks parry? More hooks (like GC change) would help. (Source)

Have you compared die by the sword and evasion? 100% parry chance, 20% reduction damage, 2min cd vs 50% dodge. unbalanced
You can't compare abilities in a vacuum -- both classes have several other defenses. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Will the 1 DK per realm restriction ever be removed?
Probably. It has outlived its original purpose. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Willing to acknowledge Rdruid hots are pretty weak vs the amount of pvp burst? What ever happened 2 your desire 2 reduce burst
We buffed Resto druid healing in 5.2, esp. Rejuv. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Frost is almost as populous as Warriors above 2200, what nerfs Don't mages need? Survivability and Burst are crazy
Nerfing a million things just because isn't good design. We hit RoF, Frost Bomb, CS. Those are all noticeable changes. (Source)

Mages didnt need more defences so you give them new def talents. Eles beg for more def, you copy paste sham rage. So unfair...
Do you think it would be fair for mages to just have 2 talents in that one row with a blank space? (Source)

love how you say initially mages burst is a concern but since then all nerfs reverted and buffs actually given, makes sense...
We replaced Glyph of Fire Blast, which let mages detonate their bombs on demand. That is the major burst nerf. (Source)

Scorch used to be a filler spell, low casttime & low dmg. Useable if locked out of frost tree etc, do not remove it.
I can't imagine you get locked out much these days (because that would imply casting) but you still have Frostfire Bolt. (Source)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
know you considered monks w/o auto-attack, did you also consider removing it for all? Feels like it wouldn't be a huge deal
It feels weird. Your dude just stands there a lot. Despite all its warts, WoW's success owes a lot to combat responsiveness. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
howbout ret glyphs lolol. Or the ret "rotation" totally not fun.
The glyphs could be better (and there are some buffs in 5.2) but I really like the Ret rotation in MoP. To each their own. (Source)

and what about making hand of salvation dispell things in PVP, instead of sac ( for rets )? This way both would be used
Salv is currently a button you can take off your bar for PvP. We didn't want to require yet another keybind. (Source

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Speaking of Frostfire Bolt, mages aren't penalized to cast it, Unlike Shadow Priest's Mind Spike. (Removes DoTs)
We don't intend for Mind Spike to be part of the normal rotation. The dot penalty keeps it out of there. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
'Thought we were supposed to get the 'full story' for locks in 5.2 but it ends at BT which was already in 5.1. Did it get cut?
There was no warlock quest in 5.1. The entire quest chain is available in 5.2. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
U nerfed warriors rage, control ( DR with warbringer ) and survivability ( D stance nerf ). Nerf just one thing man. C'mon...
Stuns are the most powerful CC in the game. Sitting in Def Stance 100% of the time was never the intention. (Source)

What will it take to convince you new shockwave CD is a poor change for new players, prot warriors and pve in general?
It requires more skillful play, which is a good thing. We don't balance intro content so tight that a new player should struggle. (Source)

This is a mixed msg, vanilla/tbc had that model if because of gear checks/difficulty yet you moved away from it.
IMO loot should be about deciding whether A or B is best, not marking off a checklist of BiS. (Source)

One problem is that stat weights (e.g., Mr. Robot) say that Spirit is top priority. Actual amount needed varies by individual.
Yeah, I don't know how you assign a stat weight to Spirit. So much of it is what you're comfortable with as a healer. (Source)

yes. Gemming more than enchanting. Design has left enchanting at 1 answer per slot. There is no choice.
Is there for gemming? (Source)

Do you think weapons cause too much of a DPS swing? Luck with Weapon RNG more important than class balance now imo
It's a concern for sure. The question is whether it's worth "nerfing the fun" of getting a new weapon. (Source)

In the dev's eyes, what is the purpose of JP these days, especially in 5.2?
JP serves more to help a fresh 90 get geared. They can't provide awesome gear because they are uncapped. (Source)

Will you need to have completed the 5.0 tier legendary to start 5.2 legendary questline?
Yes. It's a progressive quest line. (Source)

I honestly have more fun hunting Transmog-items than raiding anymore. Any chance we'll see more "retired" items return?
Probably, but we'll also probably dole them out slowly so that each patch brings new transmog gear to hunt. (Source)

Will Throne of Thunder be gated like Tier 14? If so, both modes normal and heroic?
Not gated, but you have to finish normal to start heroic. (Source)

Is Throne of Thunder going to be gated in any way when 5.2 launches?
Just the standard normal required for heroic and LFR will be delayed in chunks. (Source)

will raid groups need to have completed normal TOES to enter normal throne of thunder once its released?
No. (Source)

dear GC can you explain why Korea gets better loot on 25man and we EU and US only get a higher chance in 25man to get TF gear?
More Asian players were asking for separate lockouts than NA / EU players typically do. Much more controversial here. (Source)

so we are going back to the BC/Vanilla wow progression for raiding eh? It sucked then and will suck now.
No, not going back that far. Just want things to feel more like progression and less like episodic content. It's an RPG after all. (Source)

do zerk timers in normal modes still serve a point
They discourage really weird stacking behavior (e.g. 10 healers) but overall we agree they are too short for normal modes. (Source)
Isn't beating a (soft/hard) enrage timer the fundamental point of being DPS? Garalon annoying but essential
It's frustrating for a N group to execute the fight mechanics perfectly but wipe to a tight DPS check. For H, it should be tight. (Source)

Do class tokens still serve a purpose? In 10m they cause issues when recruitment causes an imbalance in class distribution
Design-wise, they slow players down from gearing up instantly and encourage a diverse raid comp. (Source)

Is one of the consequencies of the wipe buff in lfr you are going to balance lfr bosses to be harder?
We're not going to go buff them all, but when we hit an LFR Elegon or Garalon in the future, hopefully the group won't collapse. (Source)
lack of damage/healing isn't the problem with garalon, it simply requires too much coordination for a group of random people
That is probably true, but seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (the buff) might encourage the group not to break up. (Source)

If more BGs are implemented, will you increase the amount we can blacklist?
We want to get some good data on which ones are being blacklisted first. Maybe that can help us create more popular BGs overall. (Source)

Blizzard made a blog for pvers to help them balance pve, why do you STRICTLY REFUSE to do this for pvp? Its unfair and neglect
PvE balance often comes down to numbers which can be empirically tested. PvP balance is subjective. Numbers matter much less. (Source)
If the balance for pvp is so simple and small then why don't you do it? all cc 1 dr fixes a lot of shit.
I said PvP balance wasn't simple. In any case, we think a single DR takes out a lot of the learning and depth from PvP. (Source)

Hi GC, would it be a good idea to add some gold to PvP rewards? We could use some gold from PvP imo, even just a little bit
Fundamentally we like the idea. The risk is that it combines botters two favorite activities. (Source)

Do you think a 1v1 arena could work (can get conquest)- with some rules like no tank or healing specs allowed?
As long as players didn't expect much balance. Would come down to individual CC breaks etc. (Source)

moreover, according to scoreboards, PW:S is damage prevention, and it doesnt event count it.(Yeah, I know it 'doesnt matter'.)
The BG scoreboard needs to include absorbs as healing. It's in the works. (Source)

Players already gravitate more towards RBGs. There are more players playing RBGs than Arena at any given time.
Possibly because of the huge time commitment, the Arena players just finish faster and then go do something else. (Source)

I can read between the lines. For some reason you're motivated toward making RBGs more popular.
You don't have to read between the lines. We want more RBG participation. (Source)

I dearly hope you halve the amount of cc we have today in the next expansion
We LIKE CC. Layering and countering CC is what gives PvP depth. Else, it's just who can blow each other up faster. (Source)
Now, less uncounterable CC, I totally agree would be a good thing. (Source)

Curse Weekly Roundup
Valve sits down with JJ Abrams to talk about a possible Half Life or Portal movie at this years DICE. James from Curse Entertainment wants to show you he can do stuff IRL and Gamestop is shutting their doors for a number of stores.

by Published on 2013-02-16 01:05 PM

TryHard: New Crafting Items Guide, Blue Posts, Poll: Which New 1.0.7 Recipes Are You Going to Craft?

Patch 5.2 - Ra-den Limited to 30 Attempts Per Lockout
Ra-den is the new Heroic difficulty only boss in the Throne of Thunder raid. Someone found their way to his room on the PTR during testing today and spotted an attempts counter. You can find his loot table here.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
So much for surprises. Yes, that is currently the plan.

A few comments on our thinking. First off, I've seen some people quoting a 2010 WoW Dev Twitter chat where we said "Limited Attempts didn't really work out" as one of the WotLK retrospective points. That was true as they were generally utilized in that expansion. In the very same dev chat, we also said "If we do limited attempts again it would probably be limited to optional bosses like Algalon."

Well, guess which boss Ra-den is probably most like?

The actual Algalon approach (or really, if you want to be accurate, the Vaelastrasz v1.0 approach) is not one we're likely to repeat. It definitely adds quite a bit of tension, but a narrow time window ends up being more about frantic racing back to the zone, rebuffing, and rushing to pull again, since it's hard to justify time spent strategizing while the clock is ticking. But even worse, a lengthy disconnect or some sort of server issue can completely ruin the entire week's effort. Having your main tank suffer a power outage 10 minutes into your hour on Algalon was not a happy time.

Now, as for actual limited attempts, aside from using them a bit too widely in Lich King (including on Normal modes in Icecrown Citadel), they also largely failed to accomplish their objective of focusing guilds on quality, rather than quantity, of learning attempts and progression. As many people recall, the cutting-edge guilds that were progressing in ToGC or Heroic ICC would commonly learn mechanics, practice execution, and refine strategies on their lesser-geared alts (and/or on Normal mode), before stepping up to risk precious Heroic attempts. That clearly wasn't the intended experience, and just added a layer of nuisance to the whole affair.

In our entire history of using limited attempts, there was only one boss where I'd say they actually worked out fairly well: Heroic Lich King. The main reason for this was that you couldn't access Heroic Lich King at all unless you defeated Putricide, Sindragosa, and Lana'thel on Heroic difficulty as well. And during the first few weeks of Heroic progression, that was beyond the means of essentially all the alt raids out there. After all, the point of running split main/alt raids is to funnel gear to the mains to maximize their effectiveness for Heroic progression, right? So by definition the alts are less geared than the mains, and if the mains can just barely, barely beat something, the alt group is going to be in for a rough time.

As a result, I don't believe we ever saw a single true alt Heroic Lich King progression raid. Similarly, I don't think we're going to see alt raids on Ra-den. The number 30 is also large enough that while one accidental pull or disconnect is of course still going to sting, it isn't crippling.

I'd also really like to emphasize that Ra-den is a true bonus boss. Lei Shen is the final boss of Throne of Thunder, just as Yogg-Saron was the final boss of Ulduar. Lei Shen offers an epic challenge, and should feel like the pinnacle of the zone as a whole. Ra-den is your reward if you manage to beat the zone on its hardest difficulty -- he's a bonus level. And sometimes the rules are a bit different on those.

Patch 5.2 - Isle of Thunder Stage 3
Another stage unlocked, and with it comes another solo storytelling scenario. To the Skies! takes you across the island to open up the Thunder Forge!

Unlocking this stage is part of the 5.2 legendary quest line and will allow you to being crafting Lightning Steel Ingots for the new replica Blacksmith weapons.

Patch 5.2 - Weekend LFR Testing Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The final two LFR segments of Throne of Thunder will be available for the next 72 hours (starting right now), for open testing, since those sections have seen less testing than the front half of the zone. We've made and are continuing to make adjustments to the first two wings based on the last week's LFR testing, and will open those portions up again with the next PTR build.

Please share any and all feedback about the boss and non-boss encounters in the sticky threads for each wing.

PTR Class and Set Bonus Issues
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • We're worried that we're not going to be able to get the new Seal of Justice on PTR in a good place. We still like the goal of giving Ret more damage outside of their long cooldowns, but Censure just brings a lot of benefits that are going to be hard to reproduce in any kind of "build up to burst" mechanic. When faced with decisions like these where the new design isn't a clear win, we think the right decision is to revert the change. It's possible we could buff Seal of Justice (the 5.1 version) to 20% damage from 16% damage, but overall it would still probably not get much use in PvP.
  • However, we haven't given up on the idea of solving Ret's problems of long cooldowns. We are going to try changing the 4pc PvP set bonus to lowering the cooldown on Avenging Wrath by 1 min. This is a set bonus that has worked out pretty well in PvE and would help Ret keep up pressure more frequently without getting to the point of one-shot abilities.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • We are going to make the new Divine Aegis undispellable.

I appreciate the gesture, but i think this still has a problem. Chiefly that PI and Hero don't stack, both being haste buffs.
That was just a bug. Sorry. They should stack.

Blue please clarify if mastery will effect Spirit Shell.
No. It does on 5.1 but will not in 5.2. When mastery affects Spirit Shell it changes the spell from "turn your heals into absorbs" into "use this as a healing cooldown because it makes all your spells stronger."

Moving Sudden Death back to White swings might be the solution to fixing this problem, but even than it's looking optimal even during CS to use the two stacks of Overpower to reduce Mortal Strike's Cooldown.
We did return Sudden Death to white swings and Strikes of Opportunity (mastery) at a 10% proc chance. Overpower still has a 1 sec GCD and reduces the cooldown of Mortal Strike to avoid the 0.5 GCD hole.

We want Slam to be worth using when you don't have Overpower procs or when you want to maximize DPS during Colossus Smash. We don't want to buff Slam so much that the rotation just becomes MS -> Slam.

When it feels too expensive though, switch to Jab Jab Tiger Palm or just swap to actual heals.
To be technically correct, I should have said Jab -> Tiger Palm. We talk about Jab Jab Uplift so often that it has become a thing around the office. I joked about making our next Arena team name Jab Jab Uplift.

By actual heals, I meant Spinning Crane Kick, Surging Mist or anything that grants chi, assuming you're using Renewing Mist on CD already.

A bug that's been there since PI was put into the game? Wow...
It's really an MoP bug. Previously you cast PI on someone, where the behavior was intended.

I assume it is still going to be calculated as the expected value of the heal cast outside of SS including crits and any resulting aegis? In that sense it is indirectly affected by mastery as mastery buffs the base value of the heal as well as the aegis portion of the crit.
Yes. Spirit Shell on live today doesn't know whether your heal would have crit or not. We're not running a simulation and then intercepting the results and turning them into bubbles -- we're just predicting the average. It shouldn't work any differently. Yes, your crit won't benefit from the bubble part of mastery, but the heal part of mastery should almost entirely offset that.

We switched Capacitive to use melee hit/crit instead of spell hit/crit.

Could you explain why Balance Druid dots function differently with respect to Crit than every other class' dots? Currently Crit updates dynamically for Balance Druids whereas other classes get snapshot values.
Good question. We decided to dig into all of the dots and found they worked pretty inconsistently. (Consistency isn't always critical because it does lead to a certain amount of homogeneity, but too little consistency can just be confusing too.) We made a pass at all of the class dots and made them snapshot crit chance. This will have implications in any simulations out there.

However, this has some implications on the Unerring Vision of Lei Shen trinket. We’re tentatively fine with the idea of you seeing that proc go off, and reapplying DoTs which crit for their whole duration, in most cases. There’s a couple cases where those periodic crits cause other effects, which end up being very powerful. For example, a Balance Druid can now apply Moonfire and Sunfire, and pretty much chain instant Starsurges for 15 sec, many of which are extending that Moonfire and Sunfire, probably out to 20-25 sec. That’s extremely strong, but we’re going to try leaving it alone for now.

The one which is simply too strong to leave is for Shadow. For Shadow having Unerring Vision and the PvE set bonuses would mean that every SW:P tick guaranteed crits, so spawns a Shadowy Apparition, which has a 65% chance of extending SW:P and VT. And the VT ticks have a 10% chance of spawning a Shadowy Apparition as well. And both can trigger a mastery tick, both of which can also spawn another Shadowy Apparition. The net result is that the feedback loop is so strong that in attainable gear, it’s net positive, resulting in SW:P and VT lasting forever (or at least until you get very unlucky and get a long string of failed procs, which will probably take several minutes to happen).

Since 100% crit SW:P and VT that never need to be refreshed is a wee bit too strong, we’re building in a failsafe. We’re fine with you getting a normal SW:P/VT duration of all crits, but not forever. When Shadowy Apparition extends SW:P and VT, and that DoT has already lasted longer than its normal duration, it will recalculate its crit chance. The result should be that the trinket procs, you reapply SW:P/VT, and get 18/15 sec of crits, then they drop to your normal crit chance.

When Smite healing mastery is useless…
Mastery increases Atonement healing. Suppose I have mastery such that my Absorbs are increased by 36.33%, and healing is increased by 18.17% (same values we mentioned yesterday). I Smite for 35391, non-crit. Atonement heals the tank for… 35391*1.1817=20910. Now suppose that Smite crits, for 70782. Atonement crit heals the tank for 20910, plus a Divine Aegis for… 20910*1.3633=28506. (Atonement critting is still based on whether the Smite crit).

Haste, mastery, and crit will all benefit Atonement healing. Yes, when PI and Bloodlust are stacked, you’ll be GCD capped, so haste isn’t helping you during that brief cooldown window, but that’s a small portion of the overall time.

While implementing support for this, I was wondering about a few things:
- Does the damage from this scale with SV mastery? (Assuming yes)
- Do pet attacks proc it? (Assuming no)
- Do dot based abilities proc it on initial application? Do they proc it on ticks? (Assuming yes and no based on the wording, but this is of particular interest to SV with explosive shot and BA)
- Can the lightning strike proc wild quiver?

All of your assumptions are correct. Lightning Strike cannot proc Wild Quiver.

Does Slice and Dice count as haste for the real PPM system?
Yes. RPPM uses the highest of all haste/attack speed/cast speed effects.

Is that a 10% proc chance on just mastery (retaining the 20% we previously had on swing) or 10% on swing and 10% on mastery?
Sorry. It's 10% on swing and a 10% on mastery.

Did I miss a 50% atonement healing nerf somewhere?
Whoops. Atonement heals yourself for half, and that's where our numbers came from.

Correction: Atonement heals the tank for… 35391*1.1817=41820. Now suppose that Smite crits, for 70782. Atonement crit heals the tank for 41820, plus a Divine Aegis for… 41820*1.3633= 57012. (Atonement critting is still based on whether the Smite crit).

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Vanilla WoW Nostalgia
Answer can be found in the vid I posted above, game is hardly any time consuming now.
It really depends on which activity are you doing. Sure, if you only do dailies, scenarios, etc, it doesn't take much time. If you want to cap your valor points, you'll have to put some time into the game, though.

If you're chasing Heroic raid kills, you'll have to devote time as well. That's the beauty of the game these days, you can devote as much time as you want (and your reward will probably be comparable to how much time you've spent).

It doesn't matter if you don't get to see an end boss, it tells you hey I need to put some effort into this game if I want to do it, and before I get to see the end boss I have to experience the other fights as well.
For some it does. It was kinda weird for some people to see Illidan on the cinematic in TBC and never get to see him while he was current content because of .

If you don't have enough time well that is a different thing, but allow people that have or find time and put effort to feel awarded for it, don't just let everyone who can press Join LFR see and defeat the boss.
People that have time (and the will) can defeat Heroic bosses and get rewarded much more than someone seeing the content through LFR. And from time to time there're bosses that are exclusive to Heroic raiders (Algalon, Sinestra, and now Ra-den when 5.2 is released).

That's what in my opinion new WoW will never have and why old way of raiding will always be better than the current one, it simply does not feel rewarding enough for people that want to put effort and this has absolutely nothing to do with nostalgia because it's a fact, whoever raided whoever spent hours grinding/gearing after finishing what they started (eg Illidan) they could say I feel proud of myself and get a sense of accomplishment something people today will NEVER feel.
It's your opinion, so you can't make it a fact. I feel as proud of my Arthas kill as I do of my TBC/Wrath/MoP kills. It's just up to you to how much importance you wish to give to those events.

For me Arthas ranks higher than the others. Why? Because I've liked the Lich King character for a really long time and I feel his story (Arthas) was interesting to me.

Anyone saying FOR A FACT that any stage of this game was the best, is a person unable to grasp the simple concept of "subjectivity". What one considers the peak of existence for this game, others didn't even bother coming back to beyond reaching max level.
True. As much as I love those evenings in BRD with my friends, I wouldn't have the time for it today. Time changes.

If you had a good guild with a sufficient array of active people, you had it all. If you didn't? Well, you best get searching! Happened to level on a medium pop server that died before you hit 70? You better transfer!
In fact, I remember some guilds became "feeders" of the most progressed guilds on the realm, so these guys could never really climb through the ranks because they kept losing raiders to guilds with more progress.

Most people are just nostalgic. Nobody remembers the monotonous, the day to day. Everyone remembers the peaks. Do you remember the grind between 55 and 58?
This is true, we tend to forget the bad memories and keep the bright ones. Back in Vanilla, I leveled my first character from 58 to 60 just circling Corin's Crossing because it was most efficient than trying to quest back then. And it wasn't terribly fun...

For me, BC had its perks (I cleared everything but SWP before the great nerf). I enjoyed it overwhelmingly, and believed there was nothing greater than THAT era, even in WOTLK or Cata. Come Mists, I can now appreciate the range of content, the ease, the beauty of choice, etc. that was not there in BC. As mentioned before, I would like the sense of a community back and not just the current XBOX live crowd, but if that requires removing LFD/ LFR, then I'd rather stick with ignoring people.
But even these days, you surely have your community, right? I mean, your own circle of friends (perhaps your entire guild, perhaps just some guildies and a couple friends on the realm).

We're all part of the same community. If anything, I'd say now we have the luxury of deciding when and how we want to participate with strangers. Before it was your only way of accessing to certain content (5-man PuGs or more progressed raiding guilds) and as with everything else in life, at times you'd have wonderful experiences and at times absolutely miserable ones.

So, was that better than being able to stick with your friends and try to go as far as possible? It's really up to each individual. Some people love to make new friends, some would rather stick to their circles.

WoW was better because the community was far better. All this LFG/LFR stuff ruined the community, but certainly brought in the big bucks.
The community wasn't really better. Perhaps what happened was that the interaction was more limited? Through the Finder tools you can literally encounter hundreds of players every single day, it's hard to not come across a rotten apple every so often. Back then we didn't even have a Raid Finder, so most experiences with large groups were on PVP, and I'm fairly sure we all have memories of how heated the BG chat would be at times, as well as players from the opposite faction shouting text that was offensive for your team.

The bad apples were already there, but our exposure as individuals... I'd wager it was much smaller, since even arranging a 5-man group (a pure PuG, that is) was a rather lengthy process.

It's human nature, we naturally dislike change. I guarantee if you go on any popular game forum you'll see how terrible people think that game is now compared to how it used to be.
Oh, but this happens even on games that are yet to be released... There'll always be people hoping for something that is not what they feel they're getting.

When questing you had to read the quest and understand where the mobs are or what to do for it, now you get the quest and look at map go where the circle is, so stupid, and nobody quests in the old zones anymore the world is empty, the world is dead.And there are many other things but ill stop here.

As far as I remember, many players would read the quest name, go to Thottbot, type the name of the quest, note the coordinates and then, with their addon, and then go there and get it done. Leveling guides from 1-60 were also popular because many players felt lost on their way to max level without them. You might feel that was epic, but it was truly confusing for the people that really didn't know where to go next or how to get to maximum level.

i love this blue poster, he dumps on vanilla all the time
Vanilla gave me very memorable experiences. I enjoyed the discovery of Azeroth, the trek with my first character all the way to level 60. My first Molten Core, UBRS, WSG, you name it. But looking back, that doesn't prevent me from seeing the flaws it had in many regards.

Vanilla was good in some aspects and bad in others. And every expansion since then has had its own lows and highs.

Except back then your reputation mattered and helped to keep people in check. With no server transfers or name changes people couldn't afford to continually be idiotic in their interaction with others. That really any better?
There were plenty of ninja looters, gankers and PVP griefers back then. It wasn't any different to today. Reputation and helping others was important only to those that cared about it, just as (surprise) today.

There's always been the choice of sticking with friends and progressing as far as you could. Now, if friends just aren't cutting it you can leave them behind without a seconds thought and jump into the anonymous world of LFD/LFR.
Quite the opposite, you can actually go with them onto LFD/LFR if for some reason they can't go through normal modes and you'll get as far as you can. Back in the days, you had to leave them behind if you wanted to go kill, say, Kil'jaeden, and they weren't cutting it.

Playing the devil's advocate here, but basically The game now is just this

Back then it was something like this...
1) Accept quest
2) Minimize WoW, check in Thottbot (for example) the quest(s?)
3) Complete quest going to the noted coordinates.
4) Minimize WoW, go to youtube, view all major PVE content in a couple hours by pressing "play" (Feel free to kick back and relax)

Point 5 doesn't really apply here because we didn't have Cross-realm zones, dungeons, raids, scenarios back then, but it did apply on PVP however.

Looking back at the other 4 points. We could argue the first three now have reduced hassle. And I don't know about you, but I'd rather take part on viewing all major PVE content and achieve it by myself (no matter if its on LFR, Normal or Heroic) than see some random pixel heroes go do it while I'm left trying to figure out what's going on. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Darker Nights Suggestion
So, in the original thread we mentioned we'd make sure the devs knew that many players out there (not just here in EU, but also on US forums) want to have darker nights in WoW...

While there's nothing to announce, what we can tell you is that they'd like to see a depper day/night cycle brough back into the game.

Some of you have speculated about why nights were made brighter and we just wanted to let you know the change was purely an art decision.

If it does come back at some point in the future, it wouldn't be as dark as some of you have suggested through screenshots (pitch black, or very close to pitch black) because it's very important to see mobs in dark environments, though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Player Proposed PvP Changes Feedback
- Strip classes off their CC. Some classes should not be able to CC at all. Warriors did perfectly fine throughout Vanilla, TBC and WotLK (bar S5) without any form of stun, same with many other classes that lacked CC. Rogues and Paladins were the only classes that had a form of stun and it should remain like that.
Warriors had mace stun in BC, Mages had Deep Freeze in WotLK and Impact stun in both WotLK and BC, Druids had both Bash and Pounce, even hunters had a form of stun in BC. Many more classes than just rogues and Paladins had a form of stun.

Stating that you feel some classes should not be able to CC because that is how it was back in the old days is not an appropriate argument, because it's not true. Since the beginning of WoW all classes have had at least some form of CC, be it roots, snares, interrupts, disarms, fears, stuns, incapacitates or disorients. However, saying you feel that every class has too many CC's now is understandable, but do note that we are not going to simply remove every single CC from the game.

If we were to remove all crowd control from the game, then everyone would simply run at each other and just mash buttons, with all things being equal whoever got the first hit would win. We definitely understand that there are legitimate reasons for why some players just don’t like CC, but when it comes to designing an interesting and interactive combat model for PvP, there are many more reasons for CC to exist.

- Make Blue PvP gear (Not the crappy Contender's set, but stuff as Dreadful) completely craftable. I'm getting sick of losing games against opponents I know I can win against just because they bought a RBG boost. World of Warcraft being a MMO (jk LFR) doesn't justify the huge gear gap this game currently has.
We are addressing gear disparity in patch 5.3, we know that catching up part way through a season where you have fallen behind in gear is frustrating. You can find out more about the upcoming gear changes for PvP here:

- Bring back CLASS UNIQUENESS! Every class has everything now. It's just plain boring. You might aswell remove classes because they are all copies of each other. Why did Paladins get an interrupt AND an AoE blind? What do Monks lack that no other Melee has? Why did Rogues and Mages get a heal?
Yet one of the key arguments that you see quite regularly here is, "Y has the ability to do Z. Why is it that my class, X, cannot also do Z?"

This is not to say you are wrong or that the above argument is in any way valid. The abilities a class has is just one of the things that makes them unique, you have to also think of their intricacies and how each one operates using their own mechanics and/or resources. Just because the game has moved away from more clunky systems such as Aura/Aspect twisting and stance dancing doesn't mean that all classes have become the same. We have been implementing new systems to the game that keeps making classes feel and play uniquely, like Holy Power and many others.

While it's not immediately evident, crowd control abilities are also unique to every class. In the end a stun ends up doing the same thing for all classes, but the how its used and what is done to use it is generally unique to each class. Saying that there are no unique classes because they can all CC is the same saying every class is identical because they can do damage (I understand that this is a hyperbole, but you get my point). The above reasons are why you see a great variety in classes played, because they are all different, if each of them were the same then why would there be classes?

- Make casters actually have to cast again. The current state of the so-called "casters" is completely retarded. They're basicly Melee DPS but from Ranged. It's just stupid.
I made a post about this a while back, we understand that the amount of instant casts is quite frustrating right now and we are looking into this. We wish to start not only moving many of the crowd control spells back to having a cast time, but also other spells as well. You can already see some of this shift in the 5.2 patch notes, such as the cast time on Blinding Light and an arming time on Ring of Frost when used with Presence of Mind. You can see the old post on this topic here: (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Comics - Dark Legacy Comics #376
DLC #376 has been released.

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