MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2011-03-18 04:45 PM

Ghostcrawler Developer Blog: Raid Progress
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
We addressed our views on dungeon difficulty several weeks ago, and in the interim many players have asked for us to comment on raid difficulty.

I chose to use the word "progress" in the title for this blog quite intentionally. We think progression is the key to players having fun. When groups stop making progress, the members get frustrated. When individuals feel like they are stuck, that’s when they start to lose interest. I don’t think it strictly has to do with the flow of loot being shut off. A big part of it is the sense that as you climb up that mountain, you are getting closer and closer to the summit instead of just sliding back down to base camp at the end of each day.

Let’s consider two extremes. If you complete the raid content very quickly and have Sinestra on farm and everyone has acquired their best in slot items, then you’re probably ready to take a break from raiding. If you worked really hard to get to that point, as many of the current “finished” guilds did, then you’re probably pretty happy about resting until Firelands becomes available. However, if that break point happens too soon, too easily, for too many guilds, then the raiding game can feel empty. Players run out of content before they are ready to run out of content, if that makes sense. Now let’s consider the other extreme, where a guild just has no realistic chance of ever beating a boss. This can be particularly demoralizing if it’s the first boss, but it can happen at any time. That guild might not feel like they are making progress. Many guilds are willing to put in a few weeks trying to master a new encounter, but if it gets to the point where they are wiping for months, there’s a good chance they’ll start to see burnout and thinning ranks. The sweet spot in raid balance for us to hit is that everyone feels like they can still make progress. Content that is too hard or too easy doesn’t meet that goal.

Raid encounters, to some extent, nerf themselves. This is because every week, the raid members acquire more and more gear. Secondarily, the community acquires more and more knowledge and experience, which translates into better videos, strategy guides, or even UI mods, as well as just more players who have experienced the encounters firsthand. Each week that you are able to kill any bosses, your group’s gear improves overall, through Valor points if nothing else. When Firelands is available, everyone’s gear will quickly take a step up in quality. This will give you an even better chance to beat those bosses that are blocking you now. We wouldn’t be surprised to see some guilds try the first few Firelands bosses one night, while using the next night to go back to get the head and chests from Nef and Cho’gall in order to complete their set bonuses, that is until acquiring new set bonuses becomes feasible. On some bosses, though, better armor and weapons may not be enough because some mechanics just can’t easily be outgeared. To mitigate that problem, our tendency is to nerf content over time just to make sure a wide variety of players see it. The trailblazers get to see the fights before anyone else, but we don’t lock the dungeon door behind them.

Having said all of that, there are some encounters that still need adjustment. Heroic 10-player modes can often be the hardest to balance, because those groups just don’t have access to the sheer number of tools in one group that the larger raids have. You’ve probably seen some hotfixes go out recently and we might make more adjustments in 4.1. We’ll continue to monitor progress and make adjustments when we feel the time is right.

Overall, we are pretty happy with our current raid balance. Most guilds that are trying seem to be making some progress. On some realms, we’re seeing pickup groups for at least the earlier bosses, which seems appropriate for where we are in the content cycle. The Heroic versions are particularly challenging, though even in that case, there is a gradient with easier and very difficult bosses. For those of you who feel like you are stuck on progression, we’d like to hear more about why. Are you trying to PUG the encounters? Do you have a very casual guild with a lot of different players each night? Is the problem that you’re undergeared or that the mechanics are too unforgiving? What are the mechanics that are really hard for raid leadership to explain or even understand? Are your tanks exploding, or are your healers running out of mana, or are you failing the berserk timers? We have data on all of this, but it’s useful to hear it from your point of view as well. Remember, our goal is that you beat the fight because you understood the mechanics and executed your tanking, DPS, and healing around those constraints. If you’re just kind of powering through a boss ability or phase that you don’t really understand, then it’s going to be a lot harder for you. As always, feedback on which encounters you are enjoying and which ones you never want to see again is also appreciated, though we’ve gotten a lot of that already, and are designing your Firelands foes with that in mind.


P.S. I am as excited about the Firelands encounters as I am about the current ones. We can’t wait for you to wipe to them, er... see them.

Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the lead systems designer of World of Warcraft. He wipes to the elevator boss.
by Published on 2011-03-18 04:46 AM

Target position on Minimap in Patch 4.1
Patch 4.1 adds a very useful feature to the game, anything you target will now have its position displayed on the minimap! It's obviously very useful when you're looking for a NPC after using the /target command and I'm sure it will make a couple of rare elite hunters happy. (Unless you have NPCScan, in this case you're probably already happy)



Weekly Daily Quest Cap on PTRs
The change to the daily quest cap I mentioned yesterday is now available for testing on PTRs! For the few people who do not trust file changes for that kind of stuff, here is a nice screenshot of the new LFD Panel with the updated text + the new options.

Unless a blue poster says something about it, you can probably expect this change to go live and grinding dungeons might get considerably easier for some of you.





Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard promised me a pony! (and a raid in 4.1 at Blizzcon)
BlizzCon is a behind the scenes look into the development process. We offer that behind the scenes look because we know people enjoy being able to see our processes, and also hear about what we're thinking about and planning. That comes with the hope that the information is indeed taken as we intend it, which is a candid look at our thoughts and processes. Not bullet points of finalized game features.

Unfortunately those candid thoughts and processes are sometimes interpreted as promises for the development of our games.

The reason we commonly do not discuss our plans until they're in the process of being implemented, or actually complete, is exactly for that reason. BlizzCon is a huge exception to our rule, and while we're not going to stop having BlizzCons and offering those behind the scenes looks for those in attendance who come to see exactly those things, it's really unfortunate to see when they're referenced as promises. (Source)

The death of World PvP
Hrm, I reckon it's rewards that ruined world PvP. Everyone harkens back to TM/SS as the holy grail of world PvP, and that was before and maybe slightly after the honor system was implemented (but before real rewards existed from it). I think you can encourage world PvP all you want, and if there aren't rewards behind it you'll keep people interested for about as long as it takes them to realize there are other things to do that give real power increases. Why would anyone spend any amount of time just pushing back and forth for no reason when you can spend your time toward actual rewards and character improvement? Maybe there are some of you, but I guarantee it'd be short lived.

I mean shoot, you have Isle of Quel'Danas or even quest hubs in Cataclysm where people are literally forced together, and there's complaints that they just want people to stop PvPing so they can get their stuff done so they can get their rewards. That's kind of unfair because I know many did enjoy those situations, but somehow it never meets the awesomeness of TM/SS, and I reckon it just never could again.

The best I can think that you could do is create a specific world PvP zone where you don't allow flying mounts, give some objective to tug-o-war over, and so you can justify giving some semi-meaningful rewards and keep people interested you'd need to find some way to even up the sides (because world PvP is inherently going to be unfair). I think you do all that and you probably have the best working solution for bringing back world PvP. (Source)

Comics
Dark Legacy was a little late this week and I had to postpone the comic update. This week, Dark Legacy Comic #279 and Teh Gladiators #218 + #219!

by Published on 2011-03-17 02:28 AM

PTR 4.1 Build 13750 Strings - Weekly Daily Quest Reset
A couple of nice strings have been added to the client, I'll emphasize on the first one because I'm sure a lot of people will be happy with the change...
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • LFD_RANDOM_REWARD_EXPLANATION1 = "The first seven random dungeons of this tier that you complete each week will earn you:";

Apparently, Blizzard is going to change the daily dungeon quest to a 7 daily quests/week cap instead of 1 quest/day. Obviously this change will make the life of players considerably easier, especially for those of you who have a lot of rerolls or only play on week ends. Of course, nothing confirmed yet, etc etc etc ...


The other changes are:
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Random Dungeons
  • INCLUDED_DUNGEONS = "Included Dungeons";
  • INCLUDED_DUNGEONS_SUBTEXT = "The following dungeons are included in your level range when queueing for a Random Dungeon:";

Interface
  • BUFFS_ON_TOP = "Buffs On Top";

Graphics
  • GXAPI = "Graphics API|TInterface\\OptionsFrame\\UI-OptionsFrame-NewFeatureIcon:0:0:0:-1|t";
  • GXAPI_D3D11 = "DirectX 11";
  • GXAPI_D3D9 = "DirectX 9";
  • GXAPI_GLL = "GLL";
  • GXAPI_OPENGL = "OpenGL";
  • OPTION_TOOLTIP_GXAPI = "Select the graphics API.";

Network (Including the lag optimization deployed in 4.0.6 and disabled shortly after)
  • OPTIMIZE_NETWORK_SPEED = "Optimize Network for Speed";
  • OPTION_TOOLTIP_OPTIMIZE_NETWORK_SPEED = "Enable this option to optimize network usage for speed in order to decrease lag.\nThis will increase your bandwidth usage, and may cause problems in some environments. Disabling this option may help resolve certain disconnection issues.";
  • OPTION_TOOLTIP_USEIPV6 = "Enables the use of IPv6, the technology behind the next-generation Internet.\nRequires IPv6 connectivity to the internet. Checking this box without IPv6 connectivity may prevent you from playing WoW.";
  • USEIPV6 = "Enable IPv6 when available";



Patch 4.0.6 Hotfixes - March 16
A new wave of hotfixes has been deployed on live servers. (Well, that's actually an update of the past 2 weeks apparently)
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
March 2 - March 16

General
  • Using macros no longer halts or delays transports.

Classes
Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Casting Holy Word: Chastise against bosses will cause damage, but no longer disorient them when they are immune to such effects.

Dungeons & Raids
Bastion of Twilight
  • Valiona and Theralion overall damage and health has been reduced by roughly 10% on Heroic difficulty. In addition, Twilight Zone no longer increases damage taken from Rift Blast.

Blackwing Descent
  • Atramedes will no longer sometimes snap back to his starting location as he finishes casting Sonic Breath.
  • Magmaw overall damage and health was a little too high on all difficulties and has been reduced slightly. In addition, on Heroic difficulty, Nefarian will now prefer ranged targets when spawning Blazing Bone Constructs.
  • Maloriak’s Scorching Breath should no longer incorrectly share its damage among pets. To offset what would be increased damage per player as a result of this fix, the damage dealt by the ability has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
  • Players will move at the same speed, even when setting their normal speed to "walk" using the keybind, when Nefarian casts Dominion.
  • The Omnotron Defense System encounter has had its health reduced by 15% on Heroic difficulty, and the damage of Incineration Security Measure has been reduced.

Items
  • The Sands of Time is now a blue superior-quality item. This item can still be used to craft Vial of the Sands when combined with other required materials. The vendor price is unchanged.
  • Players are no longer able to activate Synapse Springs in conjunction with Fury of Angerforge, or vice versa, with or without a macro.

Professions
Engineering
  • Flexweave Underlay, Parachute Cloak, and various rocket boot effects can no longer be used in rated Battlegrounds.
  • Players are no longer able to activate Synapse Springs in conjunction with Fury of Angerforge, or vice versa, with or without a macro.

PvP
Battlegrounds
  • Players can no longer carry enemy flags while on the elevated graveyard in Twin Peaks. An aura will cause the flag to reset as intended if taken to the graveyard via Demonic Circle or Leap of Faith.

Quests & Creatures
Feralas
  • Shandris Feathermoon can no longer be pulled too far from her default location before resetting (i.e. she won’t be waging war from the Orgrimmar Auction House anymore).

Uldum
  • The Beserking buff obtained by killing Schnottz Supply Choppers will now be removed when a player leaves Uldum.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Optional Bosses/Heroic Halls of Origination
We'll need to weigh the value of optional dungeon and raid bosses further before we make any changes. There's good arguments on both sides. On the one hand, optional bosses can be great for keeping dungeons and raids from feeling too linear or formulaic -- and, when done right, they can also give groups a meaningful choice between getting extra loot and completing a run faster. On the other, optional bosses can sometimes create social tension, especially in Dungeon Finder groups, if players disagree whether they should invest the time to fight them.

We know there’s room for improvement, though. For example, we understand that it's probably not the best idea to have optional bosses dropping loot that's BiS. Giving those bosses side-grades (rather than strict upgrades) or similar items could make the "extra loot" vs. "quicker run" decision less stressful. We also feel that optional bosses in general might work better in raids than in dungeons because raids tend to be made up of players who know each other and/or have a strong leader who's empowered to make calls about which bosses to kill.

Heroic Halls of Origination is a good example of where optional bosses can cause conflicts. In retrospect, we feel that it may have been better to require players to kill all four of the "top" bosses -- Isiset, Ammunae, Setesh, and Rajh -- to get credit for their random Heroic dungeon rewards (instead of just Rajh). While we don't yet know if retrofitting the dungeon or the random dungeon reward requirements is the best course of action, we've learned a lot from watching groups, reading your feedback, and just playing ourselves. We’re definitely keeping those lessons in mind as we develop future content and if we do make any changes, we'll be sure to let you know. (Source)
by Published on 2011-03-16 02:15 AM

Update - Patch 4.1 - PTR Build 13750
A new PTR build is being deployed on test realms.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Achievements
Dungeons & Raids
  • Here, Kitty Kitty... Successfully feed Temple Rats to 4 of Bethekk's Pride during the High Priestess Kilnara encounter.
  • Heroic: Zul'Gurub Defeat Jin'do the Godbreaker in Zul'Gurub on Heroic difficulty.
  • Heroic: Zul'Aman Defeat Daakara in Zul'Aman on Heroic difficulty.

Feats of Strength

Guild - Dungeons & Raids

Items
PvE

Spells
Herbalism
  • Lifeblood now has a 2 min cooldown, up from 20 sec.

Hunter (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Beast Mastery
  • Feed Pet now instantly restoring 50% of its total health. Cannot be used while in combat.

Pets

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Arcane

Glyphs

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Holy

Discipline

Shadow

Warlock (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Affliction



Patch 4.1/4.2 - Winged Lion Mount?
I spent a couple of days debating if I should post this model or not since it seems to be an early beta of the model and I'll assume that at this point my readers are smart enough to understand that the things they see can be a work in progress, so there you go!

One of the latest beta build of Patch 4.1 on PTRs added a new mount model, the Winged Lion Mount! We don't have any information on this mount for the moment, and as I said it looks like a very early version of the model but ... IT'S A LION WITH WINGS!



Patch 4.1 PTR Notes Update - March 15
The Patch 4.1 PTR Notes have been updated once again with a couple of class changes and more raiding nerfs.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Classes: General
  • Several persistent ground effects now display different visuals for hostile and friendly players. The following spells have the same visual effects for friendly players, but new alternate visuals for hostile players: Ring of Frost, Consecration, Desecration, Wild Mushroom, Flare, Ice Trap, Power Word: Barrier, Smoke Bomb, and Hand of Gul'dan. As a general rule, the alternate effects have a red tint or hue indicating they are created by an enemy player.

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Restoration
  • Efflorescence has been redesigned. It creates a healing zone at the feet of a Swiftmend target, but this healing zone now restores health equal to 4/8/12% of the amount healed by Swiftmend to the three most injured targets within 8 yards, every 1 second for 7 seconds. This periodic effect now also benefits from spell haste, but the individual ticks cannot be critical effects. In addition, Living Seed is no longer a prerequisite talent for Efflorescence.

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Arcane
  • Improved Arcane Explosion now also reduces the mana cost of Arcane Explosion by 25/50%.

Frost
  • Ice Barrier base damage value has been increased by approximately 120%. In addition, the benefit from spell power has been increased by approximately 8%.

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Frost Armor (new glyph): Frost Armor also causes the mage to regenerate 2% of maximum mana ever 5 seconds.

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Colossus Smash now ignores 50% of a hostile player's armor (PvP), but continues to ignore 100% of a non-player character's armor (PvE).

Dungeons & Raids
Blackwing Descent
  • Atramedes
    • Searing Flames now causes a 6-second cooldown on Modulation.
    • Searing Flames no longer increases Sound on players.
    • Players should no longer be able to avoid the first period damage tick of Searing Flame, and Searing Flame now ticks every 2 seconds. The damage of Searing Flame has been increased to compensate for it ticking less frequently.
  • Nefarian's End
    • The damage of Shadowflame Barrage has been reduced by 15% (10-player normal and Heroic difficulty only).
    • The damage of Tail Lash has been reduced by 20% (10-player normal and Heroic difficulty only).

Bastion of Twilight
  • Dragon Siblings
    • Blackout can now be dispelled on Heroic difficulty.
  • Cho'gall
    • The health of Blood of the Old God on 10-player Heroic difficulty has been lowered by roughly 20%.
    • The health of Darkened Creations on 10-player Heroic difficulty has been lowered by roughly 20%.
    • Corruption: Accelerated on 10-player Heroic difficulty has been lowered slightly.
    • Knockbacks and Deathgrip can now be used to interrupt players that are converted by Cho’gall.

Battlegrounds
Arathi Basin
  • Arathi Basin is now available as a 10v10-player rated Battleground.

Botting in WoW
This comment by Bashiok follows a giant banwave of people botting Archaeology and PvP earlier this week. That's why you shouldn't cheat if you want to keep your WoW account and that's why pointing to any exploit or cheat on our forums will get you banned, hard.
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
We’re in the process of stepping up our detection and tracking to log and action players that are botting, or habitually AFKing in the Battlegrounds. We’ll be taking aggressive action and removing earned items, Honor Points, and ultimately suspending or even banning accounts of those that are found to be botting or habitually AFKing. It’s a sophisticated level of monitoring we’re undertaking. No one actively playing in the Battlegrounds normally should be concerned that they’ll be actioned.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Heroic Leap
Perhaps I should elaborate further. Heroic Leap should work on flat surfaces, and in a great many places, actually. We've had players telling us that it fails constantly, but without providing more specific information regarding where and how; hence the requests for more reports. There are very specific situations where we have purposefully stopped it from functioning to help prevent exploitation, which I've covered in more detail below.

Plus it causes tons of exploit issues, due to the elevation of the leap.
Exploitation was indeed a concern, and some of the Heroic Leap failures you’ve seen might be because of the restrictions we put in place to prevent exploitation. If you’re in an area where flying is restricted (like a Battleground) and your leap would cause you to gain more than about 4 yards of altitude, then the spell should fail -- though the cooldown shouldn’t be wasted. It should otherwise generally work on flat terrain and succeed much more often outdoors.

It wasn’t an ideal solution, but we added this limitation because players were able to use the targeted jump to exploit terrain to reach inaccessible areas or even leave the map. This wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction either; we received literally hundreds of documented cases where warriors could exploit the ability. The short term alternatives, such as disabling it in Battlegrounds completely, felt worse. Ultimately, we want to remove the height restriction in Battlegrounds and other restricted areas when we have a more robust technical solution. (Source)
by Published on 2011-03-14 04:31 PM

Ask the Devs Q&A #1 Answers
Originally Posted by Nethaera (Blue Tracker)
Q: Will updated textures be applied to the Vanilla and TBC races in the future to coincide with the new Goblin and Worgen race textures? – Tank (Latin America), Welcome (North America/ANZ), Mizah (Europe [English])
A: The art team very much wants to update the older races. We feel like it’s something we owe the game and the players. We’re just looking for the right time to dive into that enormous task, without having to take too much time away from making new creatures or armor. We also have to be very careful to improve the graphics without fundamentally changing the way the models look. Players are quite attached to the look of their character, and they can be pretty sensitive to even small changes. We’re continually reminded of that fact.

Q: Are there any plans to update Outland and TBC zones to facilitate better level flow? – Atreydes (Latin America)
A: We think the flow of the zones works out well. It is true that you can finish the continents before hitting every zone because of the accelerated quest experience (further enhanced by mechanics such as heirlooms) but most players going back through the content on new characters seem perfectly happy to get through it faster than they did with their original character. What we don’t like is the strange way you go back in time when you go to Outland and Northrend and then back to the future (heh) when you go to the level 80-85 zones. That is definitely something we want to fix.


A similar but slightly different question was asked by one of our Russian players:

Q: Will the Outland and Northrend be “renewed”? Will there be new quests? - Мандрэйк (Europe [Russian])
A: Because we did those areas more recently than Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, we don’t feel the same urgency to go update them. They just don’t have the level design and quest flow problems to the same extent as the original content. We recognize though that some players are getting awfully tired of Hellfire Peninsula, and we’d like to come up with a good solution there.


Q: Mastery rating has become the most important attribute for Death Knight tanks, yet there isn’t any Rune Forge for mastery. Will you consider adding a new Rune Forge for Death Knight tanks? - Highlordkahn (Taiwan)
A: We want to do another pass at the Rune Forge enchants. We think we can make some more compelling choices.


Q: What is your favorite escape/distraction when you arent working on WoW? – Danksz (North America/ANZ)
A: We polled the entire World of Warcraft development team and included the most interesting, unusual, and potentially terrifying responses. They included: roasting my own coffee; hiking all over SoCal; gardening with yuccas and bamboo; building my own 3D printer; attempting to turn my living room into a live action scene from Tron using blacklights, stencils and a helluva lot of paint; autocross racing my sweet ride; board games (I have over 450 of them); being spinal tapped to Tumblr, Reddit and 4chan; mastering cooking (duck confit, breads, pastas, more breads); building Star Wars Lego sets; trying to control my computer using brainwaves and an EEG reader; plein air/outdoor watercolor painting; geocaching; hockey; painting miniatures; swing dancing; crafting old-time cocktails; running 5 / 10 Ks / mud runs; motorcycling; go; blending smoothies; skydiving; work on my Jaina/Varian fanfic; baking bread; playing drums; reading sci-fi; comics; playing WoW.


Q: Will we ever see a feature like the Appearance Tab - some way to make use of all the different equipment art for items we already have without having to give up on stats in order to do so? If no, then why not? – Welcome (North America/ANZ), Ферундал (Europe [Russian])
A: Having more ways to customize the appearance of their character is something players often ask for and something we’d love to improve. Seriously. We hear you loud and clear on this one. We do have some ideas we’re discussing, but we’re not ready to share them quite yet. Our concerns have always included making sure that the character art still maintains a level of quality even if extensively customized, and making sure that character silhouettes are easily recognizable. Those aren’t show-stopping concerns that would prevent us from ever taking the plunge, but they are concerns.


Q: Are there any plans to bring new items to Archaeology with each future patch? - Idej (North America/ANZ)
A: We may not make it every patch, but we designed Archaeology specifically with this kind of expandability in mind. Our most immediate plans are to add rare items to the Vrykul and especially Troll races, since they have so few, and add more to Fossils in general since you end up with so many Fossil sites. We also have some plans to make it slightly easier to focus on races upon which you want to focus.


Q: Will the devs consider giving us reason to interact in the new world of cataclysm? We sit in cities waiting on queues. Theres little reason to leave the city gates outside of farming and archeology. The *main* cities feel alive, the world however feels quite dead. - Odiem (North America/ANZ)
A: While you’re leveling up your character and gathering professions, you’re more than likely interacting with the world plenty. World of Warcraft’s endgame has centered on dungeons, raids, Battlegrounds and Arenas for some time, so it’s natural that you spend more time in cities organizing and preparing for those group-based events. We do think there is more that we can do to promote compelling solo gameplay for max level characters, though. The 4.2 patch has a pretty epic questing experience involving the Firelands and we’re really excited to see how players respond to it.

A similar but slightly different question was asked by one of our Korean players.

Q: PvP realms are getting indistinctive from the PvE realm as players are not engaging into PvP contents, since they are not finding it attractive. The only difference from the PvE realm is that it’s possible to attack opponent around zones in Conflict. Is there any plan to strengthen the difference between PvP and PvE realms? – Soulcube (Korea)
A: We don’t think it’s that world PvP is unattractive, we just think it’s just the cumulative effect of a lot of changes we made to the game to meet other goals. For example, flying mounts are really cool and convenient, but they mean you are much less likely to stumble upon someone from the opposite faction while travelling. We considered teleportation a mandatory feature for Dungeon Finder to succeed, but then you are less likely to bump into an enemy outside of a dungeon. To get world PvP back in some form, we’d have to develop something like the Isle of Quel’danas: a non-flight zone that is not a sanctuary where players congregate to finish quests or earn rewards. We’ll think about ways to do something like that again in the future.


Q: I think a lot of people would like to see some more options for inventory storage are there plans for any of the following? Bank slots/Equipment manager storage/Upgrade backpack/storage for costume, cosmetic, toys/tabard storage. – Shinysparkle (North America/ANZ)
A: We do have some storage solutions in the works. We’d like to convert tabards in particular to something like the current UI to manage titles. We don’t want to just keep giving players larger and larger bags in which to lose items. We’re focusing more on better ways to organize items.


Q: Were hero classes considered a failed experiment, or are there plans for more? – Grozzil (North America/ANZ)
A: No, we still like the concept a lot. The story behind the death knight character was that you were this fallen champion risen by the Lich King, who you eventually turn against (spoiler alert). It wouldn’t have made sense to start you in a forest killing gnolls and boars. You were supposed to feel like a high level character already! We also wanted to make the DK mechanics slightly more complex, so we wanted to make sure only veteran players were exposed to them. In general we want to add classes to the game very selectively because the game can probably only support so many and it’s a lot of new stuff to learn; even if you don’t play the new class yourself, you’ll group with them or fight against them. Introducing the DK was a learning experience for us, to say the least, but we aren’t afraid to try it again when the time is right.


Q: Would you tell me your thoughts about the recent PvP balance? I’m wondering about the future plans that Devs has on PvP balance change. For example, only a few number of Hunter are found in the Arena and this has not been changed for years. - Stormnreaker (Korea)
A: We are pretty happy with PvP balance overall. We think this season may be the best overall in terms of balance. There are definitely some areas where we can improve. Remember that part of our goal with Cataclysm was to encourage more players to try Rated Battlegrounds as an alternative to Arenas. Some classes that struggle in Arena, like hunters and Balance druids, perform very well in Battlegrounds. We recognize that Rated Battlegrounds haven’t yet caught on with players, especially more casual PvP players, as much as we’d like.


Q: While mining and herbalism both supports two other professions (jewel crafting and blacksmith for mining, inscription and alchemy for herbalism), skinning only support leather working and is less viable. Will you consider adding some small advantages for skinning, for example, chances to get more cooking material, to make skinning more attractive? - 柴德洛夫 (Taiwan)
A: Skinning has its own advantages though. For example, you can skin the same targets you are killing for quests or while running a dungeon, while Mining and Herbalism often require you to go out of your way to gather that resource. Sometimes you get lucky and find a field of recently-killed corpses, just waiting to be skinned.


Q: Is the Holy Paladin mastery going to remain as is, or will it see a change in the future? – Judgesyou (North America/ANZ)
A: We like the mechanic. Having a shield complements their potent single-target heals rather than competing against them. As you have probably seen by now, we did increase the duration of the absorb so that it would come into play more often. We believe the Holy mastery, as is the case with some of the other healing masteries, is not an easy thing to simulate or sometimes even determine from logs. It’s hard to put numbers on it in the same way you can assign values to haste and crit. We believe this had led some players to undervalue it. We’ll see how it feels with the longer duration.


Q: Gatherable nodes inside a phase area is really disturbing, especially in Twilight Highland, where nodes often appear on mini-map and vanish upon approach. Could you fix that, or move all the nodes outside of the phasing area? – 補釘 (Taiwan)
A: Yes, this is very frustrating and it happens to us all the time when we’re playing as well. Ultimately we want to fix it in a robust way so that when you see a node on the mini-map, it is something from which you can actually gather. We don’t want to have to just avoid phased areas when placing herb or mining nodes, because some phased areas are quite large and ultimately we don’t want the fact that we thought the questing experience would be enhanced by phasing to spoil the gathering experience down the road.


Q: Considering how often changes meant to balance PVE performance for certain classes then creates imbalance in their performance in PVP, and vice verse, have the developers ever considered completely separating the two? – Azunya (North America/ANZ)
A: That’s a common solution proposed by our active forum participants for whom balance may be the single most important concern when they play. You have to put yourself in the mind of a new player just trying to pick up the game though. Already there are a bewildering array of class abilities and talents, many with their own idiosyncrasies or special rules. Now you have to virtually double that if you want all of the player spells to have a PvE and a PvP tooltip. We prefer solutions like resilience and diminishing returns on crowd control that are more global rules rather than virtually every ability having a PvE vs. a PvP coefficient. We want it to feel like one game with a unified set of rules.


Q: Daily Battlegrounds only reward 25 conquest points, which is really low (considering the fact that daily heroic dungeon rewards 70 valor points). Would you consider to adjust that, as Battlegrounds attracts PvP beginner more than Arena does. –賽君 (Taiwan)
A: I think it’s fair to say that Rated Battlegrounds aren’t yet offering rewards commensurate with the logistical and time commitments that they ask. We really wanted Rated Battlegrounds to be attractive to players who loved PvP but weren’t huge fans of Arenas. We don’t think we’re quite there yet and Arenas continue to be very popular just because they take fewer players and can be completed quickly. If you love Arenas, great. But we want there to be alternatives.


Q: Moonkins lack the “execution” phase spell or talent, is that an intended design and why? –輕體小子 (Taiwan)
A: While it’s true that a lot of character classes have a special ability they can use at the 20% health mark, we didn’t set out to make sure everyone had one. Balance druids have changed a lot in the last two expansions and went from a pretty simple rotation (spam Wrath or Starfire) to a pretty complex one. We’re not sure at this time they need yet another mechanic to manage, but it’s a potential design direction to explore for the future.


Q: During the expansions released since vanilla, the specialities of the different classes were watered down more and more. By now, many classes can do almost everything and almost none is still special. Are there any steps planned to give the classes more “charisma”, so that they are more distinguished from each other and regain their special flair? – Blades (Europe [German])
A: Sometimes when players say “special flair” what they really mean is “something so awesome that everyone will have to take me.” We really don’t want to go back to that model, which just isn’t tenable in a game with 10-player raids and 30 different talent trees. We have no problem spreading around buffs and utility that we consider more-or-less mandatory, such as the battle rezes and raid buffs. At the same time, we think there are enough unique abilities out there to make the various talent trees shine. Shaman have a great interrupt with Wind Shear. Warlocks can get out of danger with Demonic Portal. Discipline priests can mitigate a lot of damage with Power Word: Barrier, but Unholy death knights have their own version in Anti-Magic Zone. We struggle a lot with how much homogenization is good for the game, largely so that you can play with your friends, and how much is bad for the game, because then your character feels less special. It’s something we’ll continue to work on in an attempt to strike that perfect balance.


Q: What do the developers think of the current state of hunters? (PVP balance) – Albevil (Europe [Spanish])
A: Hunters are good for very skilled players and particularly in Rated Battlegrounds. Our challenge has always been to make the class a little more forgiving to play in PvP at the medium level without making them unbeatable in the hands of a truly talented player. We think the recent changes, such as Auto Shot on the move and allowing Deterrence to prevent attacks that typically always hit, will help bridge that gap. We’re starting to discuss more whether hunters need the opportunity to do some damage in melee range instead of always focusing on escape. While the hunter is ultimately a ranged class, it is true that other casters can make the decision to keep casting while in melee range, even if they suffer consequences for doing so.


Q: Players don’t use the client-implemented Voice Chat feature because third party applications are much betters. Can I expect improvements in the voice quality and a fix in the delay issue in the future? – 밥상의달인 (Korea)
A: We aren’t at all happy with the quality and feature set of Voice Chat. We think we can do a lot better. While we aren’t working on it right this moment, the next time we revisit Voice Chat, we want it to be an epic improvement, the same way Dungeon Finder redefined Looking for Group.


Q: Healers cannot get Flask of Flowing Water from Guild Cauldron, which means Guild Cauldron is useless to healers. Can I expect any improvement for this? –꼬꼬마샷다 (Korea)
A: We couldn’t figure out an elegant way to determine if healers wanted the Spirit flask or the Intellect flask, so we erred on the side of throughput and gave them Intellect. Healers who would prefer Spirit can just get the normal flasks. We’ll think about another way to handle this. Spirit is obviously very popular among healers, but we don’t want to have a system that pops up a window asking you which flask you want.


Q: Could we see more dynamic events in WoW? For example something like sand storms in Uldum that would blind everyone affecting the agro of the mobs. – Dagoûu (Europe ([French])
A: We would like to ultimately have the world feel more dynamic and a bit less predictable. We would want for these events to feel epic though and not just annoying. We’re going to test the waters here a little in a future patch and see what feels good.
by Published on 2011-03-13 11:50 PM

Death Knight Solo Yogg-Saron Kill
The solo kill of Yogg-Saron got quite a lot of attention on forums last week and "some people" eventually convinced me that it was a shame to not front page it, I agree! Mionelol managed to solo the last boss of Ulduar with a Death Knight and will probably make you cry if you're one of those people who wiped on the encounter in a weird achievement-run PUG.

The kill is definitely impressive, congratulations! The video can also be found on WarcraftMovies if Youtube hates your country.



Patch 4.1 Updated TBC Maps
Patch 4.1 will add the last wave of missing dungeon maps to the game by updating all the TBC content! Most TBC 5-man dungeons and raid instances got a shiny new world map.

The latest PTR build also included the maps of Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub and the updated map for Baradin Hold with a brand new wing/boss! Keep in mind that the next arena season is scheduled for Patch 4.2, you won't see that part of Baradin Hold before a few months.


Baradin Hold (Updated)

Zul'Aman

Zul'Gurub



Auchenai Crypts #1

Auchenai Crypts #2

Coilfang Reservoir

CoT Hillsbrad

CoT Mount Hyjal

CoT Black Morass

Gruul's Lair

Hellfire Ramparts

Magister's Terrace #1

Magister's Terrace #2

Magtheridon's Lair

Mana Tombs

Sethekk Halls #1

Sethekk Halls #2

Shadow Labyrinth

Sunwell Plateau

Tempest Keep

The Arcatraz #1

The Arcatraz #2

The Arcatraz #3

Blood Furnace

The Botanica

The Mechanar #1

The Mechanar #2

Shattered Halls

The Slave Pens

The Steamvault #1

The Steamvault #2

The Underbog



The MMO Report
Hey, looks like it's monday and time for the MMO Report!



The Daily Blink - But Really, I’m Number One


Site Navigation