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by Published on 2011-10-18 12:04 AM

Update - Added a video of the creepy crate at the bottom of the news!

Hallow's End 2011 Updates and Changes
Hallow's End is going live today and the event received a couple of interesting upgrades ...

Masks are now sold by vendors
The masks required for A Mask for All Occasions are now sold by a vendor, it will obviously make the achievement considerably easier now that all you need to get a mask is 2 x Tricky Treat

Headless Horseman Loot
Like every year, the Headless Horseman is getting upgraded cataclysm-level loot!

Level Type Spec Slot Name
365SwordMeleeMain HandThe Horseman's Sinister Saber
365PlateMeleeHeadThe Horseman's Horrific Helmet
365FingerMeleeFingerSeal of the Petrified Pumpkin
365FingerPhysical DPSFingerBand of Ghoulish Glee
365FingerSpell DPSFingerThe Horseman's Signet
365FingerSpell SpiritFingerWicked Witch's Ring
20MountThe Horseman's Reins

Feline Familiar, Creepy Crate and Little Wickerman
The new Feline Familiar companion pet and Little Wickerman are available from vendors for 150 x Tricky Treat each!

It also seems that a new quest chain is available in Stormwind/Orgrimmar Inns, completing it will reward you with a nice Creepy Crate!

by Published on 2011-10-17 06:44 PM

PTR Raid Testing Schedule - Oct 17/18
It looks like Blizzard is trying to get as much testing done as possible before Blizzcon! Tonight's testing is Warlord Zon'ozz and Hagara, as usual, post your streams and screenshots in comments!

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Today and tomorrow we're going to try and test the remaining bosses in Dragon Soul on 10 player difficulty.

Oct 17
14:30 PDT - Warlord Zon'ozz (10 Player)
16:30 PDT - Hagara (10 Player)

Oct 18
10:15 PDT – Ultraxion (10 Player)
11:45 PDT – Warmaster Blackhorn (10 Player)
14:30 PDT – Spine of Deathwing (10 Player)
16:30 PDT – Madness of Deathwing (10 Player)

There will be additional testing scheduled in the upcoming weeks including 25 player and Heroic difficulties, both in the morning and afternoon. There will not be any testing during Blizzcon.

As always, the scheduling for PTR testing will be VERY fluid. Tests can be announced, canceled, or rescheduled at a moment's notice depending on build and server status, outstanding bugs, etc. I will try to give as much advance notice about tests, but that is not always possible. Also note that these encounters are all works in progress.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Warlord Zon'ozz
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.

Focused Anger
Warlord Zon'ozz increasingly focuses his anger and rage, increasing his Physical damage done by 10%. This effect stacks.

Psychic Drain
Warlord Zon'ozz channels a wave of psychic force in a 30 degree cone in front of the himself, inflicting 120000 Shadow damage and leeching life for ten times the amount of damage dealt.

Disrupting Shadows
Warlord Zon'ozz covers random players with Disrupting Shadows. The effect inficts 30000 Shadow damage every 2 seconds. The shadows also knockback the targeted player if the effect is dispelled. In Heroic Difficulty the curse knocks back all players within 0 yards.

Void of the Unmaking
Warlord Zon'ozz summons a Void of the Unmaking. This void travels forward until it encounters a soul to absorb.

  • Void Diffusion - When the Void collides with a player it diffuses, inflicting 150000 Shadow damage split evenly between nearby players. The force of this diffusion causes the void to richocet in the opposite direction, and the absorbed souls increases the damage the Void inflicts by % per diffusion.
  • Zon'ozz Diffused - When the Void collides with Warlord Zon'ozz, it inflicts a distracting shock to him. The Void Diffusion increases the damage Zon'ozz takes by 5% for every time the Void of the Unmaking bounces between players. This collision enrages Warlord Zon'ozz, causing him to awaken the Maw of Go'rath and lose his Focused Anger. In Heroic Difficulty the awakening of the Maw of Go'rath causes many different types of tentacles to emerge and attack the players.
    • Black Blood of Go'rath - Warlord Zon'ozz inflicts 10000 Shadow damage every 1 sec. to all players for 30 sec. In Heroic Difficulty each tentacle of Go'rath inflicts 300 Shadow damage every 1 sec. to all nearby enemies. The damage is multiplied by the number of tentacles alive.
    • Claw of Go'rath -
      • Ooze Spit - When not tanked the Claw of Go'rath spits ooze at a random player, inflicting 100000 Shadow damage to the target and any allies within 4 yards.
    • Eye of Go'rath -
      • Shadow Gaze - The Eye of Go'rath casts its Shadowy Gaze at a random player, inflicting 30000 Shadow damage.
    • Flail of Go'rath -
      • Wild Flail - The Flail of Go'rath whips about wildly, inflicting 40000 Physical damage and knocking back nearby units within 10 yards.

Hagara the Stormbinder
Hagara, 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.

You pups don't stand a chance!
Hagara wields the power of ice to paralyze and destroy her enemies.

  • Ice Lance - Hagara conjures crystals of ice that fire lances towards melee attackers. The lances deal 15000 Frost damage in a 3 yard area around the first enemy struck.
  • Ice Tomb - Hagara traps an enemy in a tomb of ice. The tomb remains until destroyed.
  • Shattered Ice - Launches a volley of ice at a random enemy. Inflicts 78000 Frost damage and reduces the enemy's movement speed for 4 sec.
  • Focused Assault - Slices rapidly at the enemy for 5 sec.

Frozen Tempest
Hagara repels all enemies to the outer ring of the Oculus, where they must flee a moving wave of ice.

  • Water Shield - While casting Frozen Tempest, Hagara protects herself with a shield of water, granting her invulnerability.
  • Binding Crystal - Four binding crystals protect Hagara while she channels Frozen Tempest. Destroying them removes her shield.

Electrical Conduit
Hagara conjures a lightning storm to electrocute all nearby enemies.

  • Crystal Conductor - Hagara conjures crystal rods which protect her from the lightning storm she conjures. Crystal rods connected to the storm deal Nature damage to allies unfortunate enough to be close.
  • Bound Lightning Elementals - Hagara calls two elementals to aid her during the electrical storm. Upon death, they cause a conductor to overload and electrocute nearby players.
by Published on 2011-10-16 06:17 PM

Atramedes Solo Kill
Mionelol is continuing to kill bosses without any help, now moving into Tier 11 content. If you want to watch all 40 minutes, the uncut version is also available.

Patch 4.3: Epic Gem Patterns
The epic gem pattern vendor appeared recently on the PTR, hiding inside some boxes in Orgrimmar. Along with the epic gem cuts, he offers a Tome of Burning Jewels, which allows you to learn a random epic gem cut at the slightly discounted price of 4 Illustrious Jewelcrafter's Token each.

Don't forget to continue doing your Jewelcrafting daily if you want to get the epic gem cuts though, as they cost 5 Illustrious Jewelcrafter's Token each and there are already 51 recipes on the vendor. Keep in mind that Ghostcrawler warned that epic gems will only come from raids rarely, and maybe not even at all from the Looking for Raid difficulty level.

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

We get a little bit more love in The MMO Report this week, which has SWTOR and Minecraft.

by Published on 2011-10-15 03:49 AM

Dragon Soul PTR Testing - Morkoch and Yor'sahj the Unsleeping
Last night a couple of players had a chance to test the first bosses of the new Dragon Soul raid, it was pretty hard to get streams and videos because of slight server issues but the wonderful n1kftw was kind enough to upload videos of the 2 encounters on Youtube for us.

Firelands Changes Impact - Update
I may not have been clear enough when we posted the Firelands Graphs previously, so let me remind you that they are intended to show which changes made Firelands easier, not how many people raid.

Some people translated that to "1.35% of players saw the end game content!" and forgot that the sample was 2.7M characters, not 10 players, and someone smart pointed out that this % is probably around 15 or 20% at this point. (Which is pretty impressive for the end boss of the latest raiding tier)

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Death Knight Tier 13 Preview
No, as far as I know we don't plan to make it a reveal at BlizzCon, though there's a chance the timing of its release could, by coincidence, be around that time. It's still planned to be revealed in the same manner the rest have been -- via a blog on our front page with the visual retrospective of previous tiers and developer description. We'd love to post it by next week if we can, but I can't promise that with all the BlizzCon preparations taking place. [...]

I'll give you a bit of the lowdown on why the death knight set hasn't come out yet, even in the 4.3 PTR files third-party sites are looking through. As with all sets, a concept art piece was done for death knight tier 13. When that was translated to the actual in-game look, we felt it wasn't up to par with the concept, and ultimately wasn't nearly at the quality level of the other tier 13 sets. But, that death knight set was completed weeks ago.

So, there are times where multiple iterations of how a set will look in the game are made, based on the original concept piece. In this case though, we felt there to be such a gap in quality that we went back to the drawing board and came up with an entirely new piece of concept art, scrapping the original concept and in-game art done for death knights.

Well, I can say the new concept art is done and the set is close to being ready for image captures. I've not seen either, but I've heard very good things. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Firelands Raid Completion
As others have pointed out, your 1.35% is just wrong due to the stats MMO is stating, but whatever, we’re not going to reveal any of our internal numbers to show how wrong you are, or discount the numbers posted on MMO for that matter. I will say they’re likely as accurate as they can be. Meaning, they’re wrong, but at no fault of theirs simply due to the data they have available to them. While we do have data we pull and review very regularly, it’s not always a true measure of success or failure without considering the context.

We try and make content for all of our players. It’s both a blessing and a curse that the WoW player base is as large and diverse as it is. “Hardcore” players for example tend to dramatically underestimate the skill gap between themselves and the vast majority of other players. A lot of games handle this problem through multiple difficulty settings. That is harder to do in a game as content rich as World of Warcraft, but it is something we’re looking at more and more with new features like Raid Finder essentially adding a more accessible setting.

But even with a system (we believe) as awesome as the Raid Finder, there are no simple solutions.

Players are motivated to raid (and do any content for that matter) for a lot of different reasons. A sizeable number of players are satisfied with seeing most of the game content once. If they kill the dragon or slay the Lich King, they (appropriately) feel like they have won the game. That view is pretty heretical to the traditional raider, who is used to working for weeks to defeat a boss and then spending the next few weeks or months farming that boss so that their group has a leg up for the next tier of content. Other players can be motivated by gear, and once they accrue their rewards they are done with the content. Others are motivated by the challenge, and if things are too easy, they lose interest. These players also tend to assume that everyone shares their mindset and they will be happy to wipe on a fight over and over and over with hopes of improving. In reality, we know from data that a lot of players might be willing to wipe a few times, and then after that, they’re done raiding and potentially even playing. It might be easy to dismiss those players and argue raiding is not for them, but that’s not really our design goal. Raids represent an enormous commitment of developer resources. In the same way that we would never make 20 new Arenas just for Gladiator-level players, we don’t want to develop a raid that only 2% of our raiders can see. We will make sure that there are challenging encounters for players who enjoy that sort of thing (as many of us professional game developers do), but then our goal will be to, over time, broaden the potential audience by bringing the content difficulty down. We think the shock with Firelands for some players was that the nerfs were so severe instead of gradual. For the 4.3 Dragon Soul raid we plan on gradually nerfing it over time, sort of like we did with Icecrown Citadel, except by nerfing the content instead of buffing the players.

There is another portion of players that are just not interested in raiding no matter how accessible it is, and that’s fine too, but we do keep track of how player behavior in the past may match player behavior currently or even in the future as we make these choices. Overall our goals are to ultimately get as many people seeing and downing Deathwing as saw the end of Naxxramas in Wrath of the Lich King. That’s not all going to be day 1 of the patch, or even in the first month, but with the Raid Finder and gradual lowering of content we think we can create that initial super high barrier to test the true worth of the hardest of the hardcore, while also providing some fun and accessible content to a much wider swath of players.

Yeah, we need to offer a lot of different kinds of content so that non-raiders still have things to do, or even for raiders to do on off nights. The Molten Front dailies were really popular for several weeks, but like all content, players eventually move on. We hope the DMF and even Transmog will provide some non-raid focused activities in 4.3, but beyond that we have plans to do a lot more. And when you see them you'll be all like :O and we'll be all like :D and then people on the forums will still be all like(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

The point of not divulging statistics is that they are only one part of what drives overall goals and development. Unfortunately, the fundamental truth is that people put too much behind numbers (case in point, posts in this thread and a couple other dozen that sprung up because of the MMO post), and will build entire cases on them alone with no thought for context or meaning.

Bottom line is that no matter what numbers we show you, it's not going to make any situations 'better'. From time to time we show StarCraft II players literal win/loss %, as accurate as they can possibly be pulled from the source itself, and they're either ignored (because players simply don't want to believe their experiences are "wrong") or laughed at as being some underhanded plot to feed them misinformation.

Numbers don't win us anything. They don't win you anything. Conversations are worth having - ones based on experiences and feelings. We know what the numbers say, but they don't mean anything if you are still unhappy with your enjoyment of the game and your perception of its direction.You're spot on, and while we were coming to some of those same realizations not too long ago, unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your outlook) it's not something we realized in time for Dragon Soul. But we do plan to act on those realizations before too long. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blizzard Charity Auction Benefitting St. Jude
Want to own a piece of Blizzard Entertainment history? After a series of World of Warcraft infrastructure upgrades, we’ve preserved the retired HP server blades that once hosted many realms in our archives. In the near future a selection of these blades will be made available for auction, and the net proceeds will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

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.

Comics: Dark Legacy and Teh Gladiators
Dark Legacy Comics #308 and Teh Gladiators #278 + #279 are available!

by Published on 2011-10-14 09:19 PM

Update - Looks like streams are over for tonight, but I'm pretty sure we'll see a bunch of videos up pretty soon!

PTR Raid Testing Schedule - Oct 14
Super short notice but it looks like we'll get to see the Dragon Soul raid today!! Post stream links and screenshots in comments!

Originally Posted by Daelo (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
And so it begins...

Today we're going to try and test a couple of the initial bosses in Dragon Soul.

14:30 PDT - Morchok (10 Player)
16:30 PDT - Yor'sahj the Unsleeping (10 Player)

There will be additional testing scheduled in the upcoming weeks, both in the morning and afternoon.

As always, the scheduling for PTR testing will be VERY fluid. Tests can be announced, canceled, or rescheduled at a moment's notice depending on build and server status, outstanding bugs, etc. I will try to give as much advance notice about tests, but that is not always possible. Also note that these encounters are all works in progress.


Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
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.

Morchok performs a massive stomp, splitting 750000 damage between all players within 30 yards. The two closest targets take a double share of the damage. In Heroic Difficulty Stomp also increases the Physical damage taken by affected players by 50% for 20 sec.

Crush Armor
Morchok strikes his current target, inflicting 120% normal melee damage and reducing the target's armor by 10% for 20 sec. This effect stacks up to 10 times.

Resonating Crystal
Morchok conjures an explosive crystal onto the battlefield that explodes after 12 sec. for massive Shadow damage. The explosion splits the damage between the three closest enemies, and the total damage inflicted increases depending on the distance of each player from the crystal. In 25 Player raids, the damage splits between the five closest enemies.

At 20% remaining health, Morchok becomes furious and increases his attack speed by 50% and his damage inflicted by 20%.

The Earth Consumes You!
Morchok uses the power of the earth to draw all players to him, inflicting 50% of their total health as Physical damage. While the power of the earth draws the players to him, Morchok also summons Earth's Vengeance.

  • Earth's Vengeance - Shards of Earth's Vengeance erupt from the ground, inflicting 15000 Physical damage to nearby players within 2 yards and leaving behind obstacles.
  • Black Blood of the Earth - Morchok causes the Black Blood the Earth to erupt outwards from him, inflicting 5000 Nature damage and increasing Nature damage taken by 100% every sec. while a player stands within the blood. This effect stacks up to 20 times.
Even Morchok
Upon reaching 90% health, Morchok tears himself in half, creating his twin, Even Morchok. His twin will do the same spells Morchok performs, a few seconds later.

Yor'sahj the Unsleeping

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Yor'sahj the Unsleeping
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.

Void Bolt
Soulflayer Yor'sahj blasts his primary target with dark energy, dealing 90000 Shadow damage and reducing the amount of healing they take by 10%.

Call Blood of Shu'ma
Soulflayer Yor'sahj calls to the might of Shu'mas, summoning three differently colored globules of his blood. These globules path slowly towards Yor'sahj, infusing him with additional powers if they reach him. In Heroic difficulty four slimes answer Yor'sahj's call.

  • Fusing Vapors - The blood globules emit a vapor that fuses with all other nearby globules when attacked. The vapor heals the nearby globules for 5% of their maximum life.

    When one globule dies, the surviving globules completely fuse and gain immunity to all forms of damage.
  • Glowing Globule - When a Glowing Globule reaches Yor'sahj, it infuses Yor'sahj with the Glowing Blood of the Shu'ma.
    • Glowing Blood of Shu'ma - Yor'sahj's Void Bolt now hits all nearby targets instead of one, Yor'sahj uses his abilities twice as often, and his attack speed increases by 50%.
  • Cobalt Globule - When a Cobalt Globule reaches Yor'sahj, it infuses Yor'sahj with the ability to summon Mana Voids.
    • Mana Void - A Mana Void leeches all the mana from every ranged spell caster and healer, storing the mana within itself. Destroying the Mana Void evenly returns the total of the leeched mana via Mana Diffusion to players within 18 yards.
  • Crimson Globule - When a Crimson Globule reaches Yor'sahj, it infuses Yor'sahj with the Searing Blood ability.
    • Searing Blood - Yor'sahj sears the blood of three random players, inflicting a base of 35000 Fire damage. The further the target stands from Yor'sahj, the greater shock received from the blast. In 25 player raids, Yor'sahj sears the blood of eight random players.
  • Dark Globule - When a Dark Globule reaches Yor'sahj, the corruption of the blood seeps out into the Mouth of Shu'ma. This vile corruption then periodically creates Forgotten Ones that attack the players.
    • Forgotten One - These creatures fixate on a random target.
      • Psychic Slice - The Forgotten One emits a wave of psychic force at its current target, inflicting 44000 Shadow damage.
  • Acidic Globule - When an Acidic Globule reaches Yor'sahj, the mouth of Shu'ma infuses with the acidic blood and stimulates further Digestive Acid production.
    • Digestive Acid - Digestive Acid periodically secretes from the stomach lining, inflicting 60000 Nature damage to a player and nearby allies within 4 yards.
  • Shadowed Globule - When a Shadowed Globule reaches Yor'sahj, it infuses Yor'sahj with the Deep Corruption ability.
    • Deep Corruption - Yor'sahj's Deep Corruption spreads to every player, causing every fifth healing or absorbtion effect cast on a player to trigger a violent detonation, inflicting 50000 Shadow damage to all players.

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