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by Published on 2011-06-21 04:26 PM

Midsummer Fire Festival
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The festivities have begun as the citizens of Azeroth and Outland celebrate the hottest of seasons by playing with fire all across these worlds! You'll want to take part no matter your experience or character level, as this is one of the most rewarding holiday events of the year. It's also one of the most PvP-heavy events, so strap into your gladiator gear and get ready to desecrate or defend the Midsummer bonfires.

As with most holidays you'll want to stop by a capital city to begin the event’s main quests, including the ever-fun torch tossing challenges. While in each of the capital cities, be on the lookout for enemy players; stealing the flames from capital city bonfires is a necessary step in getting everything out of this once-a-year event.

Ultimately you'll collect Burning Blossoms through your participation in these events, a special holiday currency you’ll then spend to purchase various items and pets available from the Midsummer suppliers and merchants.

New or Leveling Players

If you're not at max level yet you'll want to stop by the bonfires located near most towns and cities. By honoring the friendly bonfires, or desecrating the enemy faction bonfires, you'll be awarded a great deal of experience and gold. Be sure to use a Burning Blossom while at a bonfire to receive an hour-long critical strike buff to increase your damage output while questing. Relighting an extinguished bonfire will also grant a zone-wide buff that gives all players a bonus fire damage proc.

Dancing around the ribbon pole at any friendly bonfire location will grant you a 10% bonus to XP for up to an hour (spin longer to increase the buff duration). Make sure you're stopping by as many locations as you can to honor or desecrate each bonfire, and keep the 10% bonus up to make leveling even faster.

Be warned that desecrating enemy fires will flag you for PvP -- even if you play on a PvE server!

Level 85

The Frost Lord Ahune appears during the Midsummer Fire Festival, and max-level characters can use the Dungeon Finder to queue up for a chance to take on this holiday boss. Talk to Luma Cloudsister once you’re inside the instance to begin your quest to summon and defeat Ahune. If successful, he’ll drop one of five ilevel 353 cloaks (Icebound Cloak, Shroud of Winter's Chill, The Frost Lord's War Cloak, The Frost Lord's Battle Shroud, Cloak of the Frigid Winds), and very rarely a unique Formula: Enchant Weapon - Deathfrost weapon enchant recipe for enchanters. Players will also receive a Satchel of Chilled Goods for their first Ahune victory each day. These satchels contain Justice points, a very small chance at the Frostscythe of Lord Ahune, and an even smaller chance at an ice elemental non-combat pet. Although only one Satchel of Chilled Goods can be had per day per person, a group of five characters can summon and defeat Ahune five times in the same instance by each using their quest item to summon him.

‘Til the Last Ember

On July 4, players are invited to their faction’s capital cities to enjoy a fireworks display and toast the end of the Midsummer Fire Festival. Revelers will appear in the city streets looking for a /dance or /kiss, rewarding those that reciprocate with a limited-duration buff. Fireworks displays will start at 6:00 p.m. PDT and occur every hour on the hour until the end of the event.

Shall We Play a “War” Game?
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Last December we introduced a new feature to World of Warcraft called War Games. This feature would provide players with the opportunity to face off in battles of epic proportions for fun and bragging rights. Arena teams and Battleground teams could meet up, pick their field of battle, and go toe-to-toe to hone their skills, see who was king (or queen) of the hill, and settle a score or two. While this was an exciting new feature, starting a War Game wasn’t as visible or easily accessible as we had wanted it to be. To address this issue, patch 4.2 implements a new interface option within the Player vs. Player (H) tab that makes it easier than ever to call out friend or foe for a face-off.


To answer your burning questions, we’ve updated the FAQ below.

Q: What's a War Game?
A: A War Game is an unranked match in which one group of players challenges another group to an Arena or Battleground skirmish in a setting of their choosing. The leader of the group will be able to initiate a War Game by opening the Player vs. Player window (H) as explained below.

Q: How does it work?
A: After you've formed your group (a minimum number of party members is needed depending on the Battleground or Arena chosen), open the Player vs. Player window (H), and select the War Games tab. To start a War Game you must be the party leader, select a Battleground or Arena, target an opposing party leader, and click the Start War Game button.

The other party leader will receive a pop-up notice stating " has challenged you to a War Game in the ."

The challenged party leader then has a little over a minute to accept the challenge. Once he or she accepts, each group will be placed in the queue and will receive a pop-up window prompting them to enter the skirmish once it's ready.

Q: Can I play War Game skirmishes against members of my own faction?
A: Yes! The War Game skirmish system allows you to challenge players in your same faction to Arena and Battleground matches. You can also challenge those of the opposite faction.

Q: What Battlegrounds and Arenas are available to play?
A: Players can choose from the drop-down menu the following Battlegrounds and Arenas to play in:

  • Battlegrounds
    • 10v10 (minimum 5v5)
      • Warsong Gulch
      • Twin Peaks
      • Battle for Gilneas
      • (Rated)Eye of the Storm
    • 15v15 (minimum 8v8)
      • Arathi Basin
      • Eye of the Storm
      • Strand of the Ancients
    • 40v40 (minimum 10v10)
      • Alterac Valley
      • Isle of Conquest
      • Random Battleground
  • Arenas (2v2,3v3,5v5, minimum 2v2)
    • Nagrand Arena
    • Blade’s Edge Arena
    • Ruins of Lordaeron
    • Dalaran Sewers
    • The Ring of Valor
    • All Arenas

Q: Can I challenge a team from another realm to a skirmish?
A: No, you can only challenge opponents on your own realm.

Q: Can I start a game if one team has fewer group members than the other?
A: You are able to create a Battleground War Game with uneven team sizes, but you are not able to create an Arena War Game with uneven team sizes. For example, an 8v5 Warsong Gulch War Game is possible, but launching an Arena War Game with uneven team sizes won't work.

Q: What's the largest possible size for a War Game?
A: Arena War Games can support up to 5v5 matches. Battleground group sizes are limited to the maximum number of participants each map normally allows.

Q: Are any statistics recorded from War Game skirmishes?
A: No, they work similarly to the old Arena skirmish system. Kills, damage, and healing are tracked and displayed at the end of the match, but wins and losses are not.

Q: How long does it take for a War Game match to start?
A: Once the challenge has been accepted, you will generally be through the queue in less than 30 seconds. War Games offer you a quick way to get into practice matches with other teams, test out potential recruits, or just have fun with your friends.

Q: Can I receive achievements or guild experience in a War Game?
A: Because you can pick who you play against, nothing is awarded for playing in these skirmishes -- except for the rush that comes with a hard-won victory, of course.

Q: Do I get honor for killing players in a War Game Battleground?
A: No. These are skirmish matches, so no honor is awarded for objectives or kills.

Q: Why have you added this feature?
A: Players have long been asking for a way to challenge specific teams, guildmates, friends, and rivals to skirmish matches in Arenas and Battlegrounds of their choosing. We hope you enjoy this new feature, and we look forward to seeing you on the battlefield!

by Published on 2011-06-21 07:01 AM



Road to Patch 4.2 - Firelands Raid Loot List
Today I have a nice compilation of all the items you can expect to find in the Firelands raid instance! All pages have been updated with screenshots and you should have a good idea of what to expect in the instance. For additional items check out the following articles:



If everything goes well, I'll have absolutely everything compiled very nicely before the end of the week!

Level Type Spec Slot Name Boss
391Misc.Crystallized FirestoneAll Bosses - Upgrade
404StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandDragonwrath, Tarecgosa's RestLegendary Staff Quest
397BowPhysical DPSRangedArathar- the Eye of FlameRagnaros (H)
397MaceMeleeTwo-HandSulfuras- The Extinguished HandRagnaros (H)
397MaceSpell SpiritMain HandKo'gun- Hammer of the FirelordRagnaros (H)
397StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandSho'ravon, Greatstaff of AnnihilationRagnaros (H)
391AxeMeleeOne-HandGatecrasherBaleroc, the Gatekeeper (H)
391AxeMeleeOne-HandBlackcleave ChopperRaid Trash - Upgrade
391AxeMeleeTwo-HandSkullstealer GreataxeShannox (H)
391AxeSpell SpiritMain HandEye of PurificationUnknown
391CrossbowPhysical DPSRangedArbalest of Erupting FuryLord Rhyolith (H)
391DaggerMeleeOne-HandAlysra's RazorAlysrazor (H)
391DaggerPhysical DPSOne-HandFeeding FrenzyShannox (H)
391DaggerPhysical DPSOne-HandAvool's Incendiary ShankerUnknown
391DaggerPhysical DPSOne-HandEntrail DisgorgerUnknown
391DaggerSpell DPSMain HandChelley's Sterilized ScalpelRaid Trash - Upgrade
391GunPhysical DPSRangedLava Bolt CrossbowRaid Trash - Upgrade
391MacePhysical DPSOne-HandShatterskull BonecrusherUnknown
391Off-HandSpell DPSOff-HandMolten ScreamBaleroc, the Gatekeeper (H)
391Off-HandSpell SpiritOff-HandGoblet of AngerShannox (H)
391PolearmPhysical DPSTwo-HandRanseur of HatredRaid Trash - Upgrade
391ShieldSpell SpiritOff HandWard of the Red WidowBeth'tilac (H)
391ShieldTankOff HandShard of TormentBaleroc, the Gatekeeper (H)
391StaffPhysical DPSTwo-HandFandral's Flamescythe (Video)Majordomo Staghelm (H)
391StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandFuneral PyreBeth'tilac (H)
391StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandRunestaff of NordrassilLegendary Staff Quest
391StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandSpire of Scarlet PainRaid Trash - Upgrade
391StaffSpell SpiritTwo-HandSmoldering Censer of PurityUnknown
391SwordMeleeTwo-HandZoid's Firelit GreatswordUnknown
391SwordSpell DPSMain HandVolcanospikeLord Rhyolith (H)
391SwordSpell DPSMain HandFirethorn MindslicerUnknown
391SwordTankOne-HandMandible of Beth'tilacBeth'tilac (H)
391WandSpell DPSRangedStinger of the Flaming ScorpionMajordomo Staghelm (H)
391PlateHandsFlickering HandguardsBaleroc, the Gatekeeper (H)
391PlateMeleeChestBreastplate of Shifting VisionsMajordomo Staghelm (H)
391PlateMeleeFeetArachnaflame TreadsBeth'tilac (H)
391PlateMeleeHandsFireskin GauntletsLord Rhyolith (H)
391PlateMeleeHeadGreathelm of the Voracious MawAlysrazor (H)
391PlateMeleeLegsLavaworm LegplatesAlysrazor (H)
391PlateMeleeWaistUncrushable Belt of FuryShannox (H)
391PlateMeleeWristEarthcrack BracersLord Rhyolith (H)
391PlateSpell SpiritChestClutch of the FiremotherAlysrazor (H)
391PlateSpell SpiritFeetTreads of the Penitent ManMajordomo Staghelm (H)
391PlateSpell SpiritHandsGrips of the Raging GiantLord Rhyolith (H)
391PlateSpell SpiritHeadCasque of FlameBaleroc, the Gatekeeper (H)
391PlateSpell SpiritLegsLegplates of Absolute ControlShannox (H)
391PlateSpell SpiritShoulderSpaulders of Manifold EyesBeth'tilac (H)
391PlateSpell SpiritWristBracers of the Dread HunterShannox (H)
391PlateTankChestCarapace of Imbibed FlameBeth'tilac (H)
391PlateTankFeetCracked Obsidian StompersLord Rhyolith (H)
391PlateTankHeadHelm of Blazing GloryBaleroc, the Gatekeeper (H)
391PlateTankLegsLegplates of Frenzied DevotionShannox (H)
391PlateTankShoulderSpaulders of Recurring FlameAlysrazor (H)
397PlateTankShoulderPauldrons of Roaring FlameRagnaros (H)
391PlateTankWristBracers of the Fiery PathMajordomo Staghelm (H)
391MailShoulderFlickering ShouldersBeth'tilac (H)
391MailPhysical DPSChestFlaming Core ChestguardLord Rhyolith (H)
391MailPhysical DPSFeetDecimation TreadsBaleroc, the Gatekeeper (H)
391MailPhysical DPSHandsGrips of Unerring PrecisionMajordomo Staghelm (H)
391MailPhysical DPSHeadScalp of the Bandit PrinceShannox (H)
391MailPhysical DPSLegsMoltenfeather LeggingsAlysrazor (H)
391MailPhysical DPSWristHide-Bound ChainsRaid Trash - Upgrade
391MailSpell DPSShoulderCraterflame SpauldersAlysrazor (H)
391MailSpell SpiritChestGatekeeper's EmbraceBaleroc, the Gatekeeper (H)
391MailSpell SpiritFeetTreads of Implicit ObedienceShannox (H)
391MailSpell SpiritHandsClawshaper GauntletsAlysrazor (H)
397MailSpell SpiritHeadCrown of FlameRagnaros (H)
391MailSpell SpiritLegsThoracic Flame KiltBeth'tilac (H)
391MailSpell SpiritWristLava Line WristbandsLord Rhyolith (H)
391LeatherShoulderFlickering ShoulderpadsShannox (H)
391LeatherWristFlickering WristbandsAlysrazor (H)
391LeatherMeleeHeadHood of Rampant DisdainLord Rhyolith (H)
391LeatherMeleeWaistRiplimb's Lost CollarRaid Trash - Upgrade
391LeatherPhysical DPSChestBreastplate of the Incendiary SoulBaleroc, the Gatekeeper (H)
391LeatherPhysical DPSFeetSandals of Leaping CoalsMajordomo Staghelm (H)
391LeatherPhysical DPSHandsGloves of Dissolving SmokeShannox (H)
391LeatherPhysical DPSLegsCinderweb LeggingsBeth'tilac (H)
391LeatherPhysical DPSShoulderShoulderpads of the Forgotten GateBaleroc, the Gatekeeper (H)
391LeatherSpell SpiritChestIncendic ChestguardLord Rhyolith (H)
391LeatherSpell SpiritFeetPhoenix-Down TreadsAlysrazor (H)
391LeatherSpell SpiritHandsCindersilk GlovesBeth'tilac (H)
391LeatherSpell SpiritHeadCowl of the Clicking MenaceBeth'tilac (H)
391LeatherSpell SpiritLegsFirecat LeggingsMajordomo Staghelm (H)
391LeatherSpell SpiritWristGlowing Wing BracersBaleroc, the Gatekeeper (H)
391ClothHeadFlickering CowlLord Rhyolith (H)
391ClothSpell DPSChestRobes of Smoldering DevastationBeth'tilac (H)
391ClothSpell DPSFeetCoalwalker SandalsShannox (H)
397ClothSpell DPSHandsFingers of IncinerationRagnaros (H)
391ClothSpell DPSLegsLeggings of Billowing FireAlysrazor (H)
391ClothSpell DPSShoulderMantle of Closed DoorsBaleroc, the Gatekeeper (H)
397ClothSpell DPSWaistMajordomo's Chain of OfficeRagnaros (H)
391ClothSpell DPSWristWristwraps of Arrogant DoomMajordomo Staghelm (H)
391BackPhysical DPSBackDreadfire DrapeLord Rhyolith (H)
391BackSpell DPSBackWings of FlameAlysrazor (H)
391FingerMeleeFingerAlysrazor's BandAlysrazor (H)
391FingerPhysical DPSFingerWidow's KissBeth'tilac (H)
391FingerSpell DPSFingerCrystal Prison BandShannox (H)
391FingerTankFingerStalwart Ember SealRaid Trash - Upgrade
391NeckMeleeNeckNecklace of FetishesShannox (H)
391NeckMeleeNeckFirebound GorgetRaid Trash - Upgrade
397NeckPhysical DPSNeckChoker of the Vanquished LordRagnaros (H)
391NeckSpell DPSNeckFlowform ChokerMajordomo Staghelm (H)
391NeckSpell SpiritNeckHeartstone of RhyolithLord Rhyolith (H)
391TrinketTrinketSpidersilk SpindleBeth'tilac (H)
391TrinketMeleeTrinketApparatus of Khaz'gorothRaid Trash - Upgrade
391TrinketPhysical DPSTrinketThe HungererMajordomo Staghelm (H)
391TrinketSpell DPSTrinketJaws of DefeatMajordomo Staghelm (H)
391TrinketSpell DPSTrinketNecromantic FocusBaleroc, the Gatekeeper (H)
391TrinketSpell DPSTrinketEye of Blazing PowerAlysrazor (H)
391TrinketTankTrinketScales of LifeRaid Trash - Upgrade
397TrinketMeleeTrinketVessel of AccelerationRagnaros (H)
397TrinketPhysical DPSTrinketMatrix RestabilizerRagnaros (H)
397TrinketSpell DPSTrinketVariable Pulse Lightning CapacitorRagnaros (H)
Level Type Spec Slot Name Boss
384BowPhysical DPSRangedArathar- the Eye of FlameRagnaros
384MaceMeleeTwo-HandSulfuras- The Extinguished HandRagnaros
384MaceSpell SpiritMain HandKo'gun- Hammer of the FirelordRagnaros
384StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandSho'ravon, Greatstaff of AnnihilationRagnaros
378AxeMeleeOne-HandGatecrasherBaleroc, the Gatekeeper
378AxeMeleeOne-HandBlackcleave ChopperRaid Trash
378AxeMeleeTwo-HandSkullstealer GreataxeShannox
378AxeSpell SpiritMain HandEye of PurificationUnknown
378CrossbowPhysical DPSRangedArbalest of Erupting FuryLord Rhyolith
378DaggerMeleeOne-HandAlysra's RazorAlysrazor
378DaggerPhysical DPSOne-HandFeeding FrenzyShannox
378DaggerPhysical DPSOne-HandAvool's Incendiary ShankerUnknown
378DaggerPhysical DPSOne-HandEntrail DisgorgerUnknown
378DaggerSpell DPSMain HandChelley's Sterilized ScalpelRaid Trash
378FingerMeleeFingerAlysrazor's BandAlysrazor
378FingerPhysical DPSFingerWidow's KissBeth'tilac
378FingerSpell DPSFingerCrystal Prison BandShannox
378FingerTankFingerStalwart Ember SealRaid Trash
378GunPhysical DPSRangedLava Bolt CrossbowRaid Trash
378MacePhysical DPSOne-HandShatterskull BonecrusherUnknown
378Off-HandSpell DPSOff-HandMolten ScreamBaleroc, the Gatekeeper
378Off-HandSpell SpiritOff-HandGoblet of AngerShannox
378PolearmPhysical DPSTwo-HandRanseur of HatredRaid Trash
378ShieldSpell SpiritOff HandWard of the Red WidowBeth'tilac
378ShieldTankOff HandShard of TormentBaleroc, the Gatekeeper
378StaffPhysical DPSTwo-HandFandral's FlamescytheMajordomo Staghelm
378StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandFuneral PyreBeth'tilac
378StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandBranch of NordrassilLegendary Staff Quest
378StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandSpire of Scarlet PainRaid Trash
378StaffSpell SpiritTwo-HandSmoldering Censer of PurityUnknown
378SwordMeleeTwo-HandZoid's Firelit GreatswordUnknown
378SwordSpell DPSMain HandVolcanospikeLord Rhyolith
378SwordSpell DPSMain HandFirethorn MindslicerUnknown
378SwordTankOne-HandMandible of Beth'tilacBeth'tilac
378WandSpell DPSRangedStinger of the Flaming ScorpionMajordomo Staghelm
378PlateHandsFlickering HandguardsBaleroc, the Gatekeeper
378PlateMeleeChestBreastplate of Shifting VisionsMajordomo Staghelm
378PlateMeleeFeetArachnaflame TreadsBeth'tilac
378PlateMeleeHandsFireskin GauntletsLord Rhyolith
378PlateMeleeHeadGreathelm of the Voracious MawAlysrazor
378PlateMeleeLegsLavaworm LegplatesAlysrazor
378PlateMeleeWaistUncrushable Belt of FuryShannox
378PlateMeleeWristEarthcrack BracersLord Rhyolith
378PlateSpell SpiritChestClutch of the FiremotherAlysrazor
378PlateSpell SpiritFeetTreads of the Penitent ManMajordomo Staghelm
378PlateSpell SpiritHandsGrips of the Raging GiantLord Rhyolith
378PlateSpell SpiritHeadCasque of FlameBaleroc, the Gatekeeper
378PlateSpell SpiritLegsLegplates of Absolute ControlShannox
378PlateSpell SpiritShoulderSpaulders of Manifold EyesBeth'tilac
378PlateSpell SpiritWristBracers of the Dread HunterShannox
378PlateTankChestCarapace of Imbibed FlameBeth'tilac
378PlateTankFeetCracked Obsidian StompersLord Rhyolith
378PlateTankHeadHelm of Blazing GloryBaleroc, the Gatekeeper
378PlateTankLegsLegplates of Frenzied DevotionShannox
384PlateTankShoulderPauldrons of Roaring FlameRagnaros
378PlateTankShoulderSpaulders of Recurring FlameAlysrazor
378PlateTankWristBracers of the Fiery PathMajordomo Staghelm
378MailShoulderFlickering ShouldersBeth'tilac
378MailPhysical DPSChestFlaming Core ChestguardLord Rhyolith
378MailPhysical DPSFeetDecimation TreadsBaleroc, the Gatekeeper
378MailPhysical DPSHandsGrips of Unerring PrecisionMajordomo Staghelm
378MailPhysical DPSHeadScalp of the Bandit PrinceShannox
378MailPhysical DPSLegsMoltenfeather LeggingsAlysrazor
378MailPhysical DPSWristHide-Bound ChainsRaid Trash
378MailSpell DPSShoulderCraterflame SpauldersAlysrazor
378MailSpell SpiritChestGatekeeper's EmbraceBaleroc, the Gatekeeper
378MailSpell SpiritFeetTreads of Implicit ObedienceShannox
378MailSpell SpiritHandsClawshaper GauntletsAlysrazor
384MailSpell SpiritHeadCrown of FlameRagnaros
378MailSpell SpiritLegsThoracic Flame KiltBeth'tilac
378MailSpell SpiritWristLava Line WristbandsLord Rhyolith
378LeatherShoulderFlickering ShoulderpadsShannox
378LeatherWristFlickering WristbandsAlysrazor
378LeatherMeleeHeadHood of Rampant DisdainLord Rhyolith
378LeatherMeleeWaistRiplimb's Lost CollarRaid Trash
378LeatherPhysical DPSChestBreastplate of the Incendiary SoulBaleroc, the Gatekeeper
378LeatherPhysical DPSFeetSandals of Leaping CoalsMajordomo Staghelm
378LeatherPhysical DPSHandsGloves of Dissolving SmokeShannox
378LeatherPhysical DPSLegsCinderweb LeggingsBeth'tilac
378LeatherPhysical DPSShoulderShoulderpads of the Forgotten GateBaleroc, the Gatekeeper
378LeatherSpell SpiritChestIncendic ChestguardLord Rhyolith
378LeatherSpell SpiritFeetPhoenix-Down TreadsAlysrazor
378LeatherSpell SpiritHandsCindersilk GlovesBeth'tilac
378LeatherSpell SpiritHeadCowl of the Clicking MenaceBeth'tilac
378LeatherSpell SpiritLegsFirecat LeggingsMajordomo Staghelm
378LeatherSpell SpiritWristGlowing Wing BracersBaleroc, the Gatekeeper
378ClothHeadFlickering CowlLord Rhyolith
378ClothSpell DPSChestRobes of Smoldering DevastationBeth'tilac
378ClothSpell DPSFeetCoalwalker SandalsShannox
384ClothSpell DPSHandsFingers of IncinerationRagnaros
378ClothSpell DPSLegsLeggings of Billowing FireAlysrazor
378ClothSpell DPSShoulderMantle of Closed DoorsBaleroc, the Gatekeeper
384ClothSpell DPSWaistMajordomo's Chain of OfficeRagnaros
378ClothSpell DPSWristWristwraps of Arrogant DoomMajordomo Staghelm
378BackPhysical DPSBackDreadfire DrapeLord Rhyolith
378BackSpell DPSBackWings of FlameAlysrazor
378NeckMeleeNeckNecklace of FetishesShannox
378NeckMeleeNeckFirebound GorgetRaid Trash
384NeckPhysical DPSNeckChoker of the Vanquished LordRagnaros
378NeckSpell DPSNeckFlowform ChokerMajordomo Staghelm
378NeckSpell SpiritNeckHeartstone of RhyolithLord Rhyolith
378TrinketTrinketSpidersilk SpindleBeth'tilac
378TrinketMeleeTrinketApparatus of Khaz'gorothRaid Trash
378TrinketPhysical DPSTrinketThe HungererMajordomo Staghelm
378TrinketSpell DPSTrinketJaws of DefeatMajordomo Staghelm
378TrinketSpell DPSTrinketNecromantic FocusBaleroc, the Gatekeeper
378TrinketSpell DPSTrinketEye of Blazing PowerAlysrazor
378TrinketTankTrinketScales of LifeRaid Trash
384TrinketMeleeTrinketVessel of AccelerationRagnaros
384TrinketPhysical DPSTrinketMatrix RestabilizerRagnaros
384TrinketSpell DPSTrinketVariable Pulse Lightning CapacitorRagnaros


Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Justifying Class Changes
The blog seemed to be popular, and even players who disagreed with their being nerfed seemed to appreciate the fact that we tried to give some insight into what we were thinking. GC and the his crew are going to try to keep making similar blogs for every patch. I think it was one of the more positively received blogs in long while.

Offering a lot of justification for changes early on a patch though is challenging for a number of reasons. First is that patch builds are often just snapshots of the data at any given time. We wait until everything is near perfect for actual releases (as far as you can ever do with as complex a game as this), but when we are in PTR mode the devs are trying to get builds out quickly. That means you'll often see a change that was half-implemented or something that a designer was messing around with. There often isn't justification for those type of changes -- it could just be trying to fix a bug or seeing how something feels with a slight redesign. Second, it takes a lot of time to justify those changes and designers are often really busy implementing the actual changes at that stage in the beta. When the changes are not even necessarily 'real' changes, justifying what might not stick probably isn't a great use of time.

Finally, we greatly appreciate feedback from the community and it can have a big influence on our game design, but at the same time we want to avoid the perception that the players are collaborating on with us on designing the game. It's tricky to manage expectations in that way, but if we lead players to believe they have more influence on design decisions than they actually do, then there's a lot of undue frustrated and dismay when we don't make a change that some may really wants us to make. Being able to take player feedback while making sure they don't expect that feedback to be implemented as-is can be a tough balancing act, but is still a necessary one. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Trading higher risk for higher return
In general we like designs like this a lot. The challenge is that WoW is a game where you are tanking for a group, so there is a substantial social dynamic at play. We don't want things to play out is like this: "Oh, look, our DK tank has the easy mode Death Strike talent. Ergo, he's a bad tank. Let's kick him and get a good one."

Never mind that the DK in question probably tanks better with the "automatic" Death Strike rather than fumbling through the "manual" one. Never mind that the difference between the two is probably not going to make the difference between success or failure unless you are on Heroic raids (in which case why on earth do you have a pug tank?)

Obviously we shouldn't design around misinformation. But at the same time, social pressure is really powerful. If the active / harder-to-use / more pro mode of Death Strike becomes the only acceptable standard, then we haven't accomplished anything but complicate the game.

It's something to think about at least. ;) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Holy Paladins
Here are developer thoughts on a few Holy paladin-related issues from this and related threads:

Mana -- we still think the 4.2 changes are necessary. Many of you disagree. We're not sure we can resolve the disagreement without all of us (players and developers) sitting around a table going over a lot of raid parses, which obviously isn't very realistic. We don't want to shut down the conversation completely, but at the same time, this is a topic we have spent a lot of time on internally, and we still like the 4.2 changes. If you're right and we overcompensated, then we'll admit we were wrong and make changes. We don't think that will happen though. We think Holy paladins will remain awesome healers.

Beacon of Light -- Ideally the way we want it to play out is that you are healing non-Beacon targets (i.e. using the transfer) most of the time. However, sometimes that 50% healing transfer isn't sufficient and you have to actually heal the Beacon target directly. Yes that is less efficient, but there is no point worrying about efficiency when your tank is dead. (If you can't sometimes heal your Beacon target directly without having severe mana problems, then you probably need to gear up more for the content you're attempting.) Tower of Radiance was designed as consolation for healing the Beacon target. It was a better talent when it affected Holy Light, but unfortunately it was so good that the default behavior became only healing the Beacon target. That's not what we want either.

Light of Dawn -- like many AE spells, Light of Dawn doesn't scale well from 5-player dungeons (or even 3-player Arena teams) up to 25-player raids. Maybe the solution in the future is to somehow have the spells themselves scale with group size, but in the mean time we made 4.2 changes to get players in larger raids to use Word of Glory a little more often. Light of Dawn will still gets tons of use in big raids, and we're fine with that.

Holy Radiance -- this spells hasn't played out as we hoped. The initial design was that the paladin would heal targets around him, perhaps relying on the Speed of Light sprint to get to clumped, wounded targets, or even try healing in melee on occasion. We solved initial usability problems by just buffing the heal over and over, especially the range, such that the position of the paladin in the group is almost irrelevant now. Yet because it maintains an instant cast, there isn't a lot of interesting gameplay around Holy Radiance. It would probably work better as a cast time heal with no cooldown, so that you had the choice of using it or a single-target heal in the same way a shaman chooses Chain Heal when appropriate. Ultimately this might allow paladins to feel like they could be assigned to AE healing. That's a big redesign, but something we're considering. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Holy Shield Redesign / Protection Paladins
On the topic of who wanted this change, we’re just in a better position than players to get a sense for what a wide variety of paladins are asking for across the world. Players are most familiar with what their friends on their own realm are thinking, or what they read on the forums they frequent. Those are typically fairly small sample sizes. And I don't mean that as a slight against anyone in this thread who disagrees with our decisions. It's just the nature of the way in which data can be collected.

The more salient point though is that this isn’t a decision-making process that is heavily influenced by polling. The change made was a suggestion we saw several times, considered, and decided we agreed with. We know there are players who disagree with the decision, which to be fair, is the outcome of every single design decision we make. We think the most fair point is that some tanks already have enough going on, and as we suggested in the recent Blood DK discussion, we’re considering options to let players opt out of complexity at their discretion.

As far as Protection paladin mastery goes, one solution we like, as we alluded to before, is to split Protection’s mastery into multiple components so that hitting the “hard cap” is less of a hard cap. There are two problems with this design. First, it would feel a lot like the warrior mastery, and we know some of you want to be less like warriors, not more. Secondly, it would be a huge nerf to Protection survival overall. We could compensate for it elsewhere, but you will see a lot of players upset about the nerf -- players who liked stacking mastery to the cap and then being able to focus on other stats. We looked a lot at the paladin gear for Firelands and concluded that while it will be easier to max out mastery, there won’t be so much of it that paladins get frustrated when mastery gear drops. It might let them swap out a few other pieces or use fewer gems. We could have the problem again in the next raiding tier, but we have ample time to consider our options before that time.

This sort of leaves me with one question. Are you guys okay with Paladins block capping? You guys tend to bounce between the two ideas of "we are okay with it" and "we don't want it."
At the 10,000 foot view, it's not ideal. But it doesn't cause so many problems, balance or otherwise, that it was worth the potential fallout from a change. Even if we make a change that we think is for the better, it's still a change that requires some amount of relearning on the part of the player base, so we try and pick our battles. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Rogue (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Rogues popularity
This is a topic we discuss a lot. We don't believe it has anything to do with game balance though. Rogues were also less popular than other classes at times when they consistently topped damage meters and dominated PvP. This isn't a trend that seems to rise and fall with current game balance. Overall, we've never seen a strong correlation between which class is considered overpowered and what players are playing. (Note: This is true overall, but if you move to smaller and smaller sample sizes, perhaps Arena teams above or below a certain rating threshold or raids above or below a certain level of progress, then you can see some correlations between power--real or perceived--and popularity.)

We do know that a lot of rogues appeared to reroll DK, at least when the class was first introduced. We also think rogues were more popular back in the day before flying mounts and instance-teleportation, where ganking someone out in the wilderness was more common. We saw a surge in the popularity of hybrid classes, especially druids and paladins, as running heroic dungeons became something nearly every player did instead of a more dedicated minority.

It's possible that some rogue mechanics aren't as fun as they could be. This is a really subjective issue though, and it's trivial to find members of every class and spec declaring that their character is clunky and ill-conceived while some other class or spec appears sleek and shiny. We made some changes (i.e. stealth movement speed) to try and make some of the rogue mechanics more fun and this is the kind of thing we'll continue to keep an eye on.

Plenty of players love rogues though. We don't want to give the perception that the class is dying or anything like that. It's just less commonly played than say paladin, which is probably why you see so many paladin-related threads on all three forums.
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
by Published on 2011-06-20 05:39 PM

Patch 4.2: New PvP Mounts for Rated Battlegrounds
For more information on Patch 4.2 mounts, check out our preview.



Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In order to best accommodate players under the unique play style of Rated Battlegrounds, we’ll be offering all-new PvP ground mounts -- the Vicious War Wolf (Horde) or Vicious War Steed (Alliance) -- in a unique way. If you want to sit your knickers on these sweet new rides come patch 4.2, Rage of the Firelands, you must earn achievements for winning either 75, 150, or 300 Rated Battlegrounds.

One account-bound mount will be awarded for each of these achievements earned, so if you win 300 Rated Battlegrounds with a character, you’ll be afforded the opportunity to give that character and two of your alts each a wolf or steed. Since these mounts are tied to each achievement and not to your placement on the competitive ladder, they will be awarded instantly rather than at the end of each season as with Arena mounts. Your Rated Battleground wins tracked for these achievements are cumulative and are not reset with each season, so you can work toward the reward at your own pace.


For those of you storming the front lines, protecting vital tactical positions, and keeping your teammates alive in Rated Battlegrounds, we wish you the best of luck in obtaining awards that befit your show of valor!

by Published on 2011-06-19 07:43 PM

Road to Patch 4.2 - Encounter Journal
The release date of Patch 4.2 is getting close and I will recap its major features throughout the week to end up with a nice and complete guide to Patch 4.2 for the release, hopefully on June 28th. Let's start with the highly anticipated Encounter Journal!

Road to Patch 4.2

Encounter Journal
The Encounter Journal is an in-game encylopedia listing everything you need to know on instances and raid bosses. Assuming people start using it regularly, it will probably fix a lot of issues people had in pick up groups where people were just too afraid to ask what a boss does and would rather die than look stupid and get kicked.

The encounter journal can be accessed from the bottom menu bar or by hitting CTRL + Shift + J on your keyboard.


You will then access the instance selection menu with a "Dungeons" and "Raids" tabs, allowing you to get details on any raid or dungeon encounter introduced in Cataclysm (including the Firelands raid)


Cataclysm Raids Tab

Firelands Raid Boss Selection


Encounter Journal - Boss Loot Lists
The encounter journal includes a list of items dropped by each boss with a couple of extra features:


  • The list can be filtered for 10 and 25-Man encounters. It doesn't really change anything these days but it will probably be useful if an item is only available in 25-Man at some point, or when older raids are supported.
  • The "Heroic Mode" filter is also available in the loot list and will display loot from the Heroic version.
  • A filter by class, to easily get a list of the gear relevant to your class only. (The Druid filter automatically lists all the items in the instance)
  • You can also list the loot from all the bosses in the instance by clicking the Chest icon when at the Boss selection screen.


Boss Loot Table

Class Filter

Paladin Loot!

Instance Loot Table


Boss Information and Abilities
The main objective of the Encounter Journal is to give you all the information you need to engage a boss without being clueless about what's going to happen to you and your raid. The journal provides you with:


  • A description of all the abilities used by the boss.
  • A description of all abilities used by NPC adds that might spawn during the encounter. (Hostile and Friendly)
  • The evolution of the fight over multiple stages.
  • A general idea of how mechanics work.
  • An "heroic only" filter to display abilities and variations of the fight only happening in Heroic Mode.

You might also notice a couple of icons icons next to some of the spells. Those are alerts used to bring your attention to important point of the fights, 12 Alerts are available in the current version of the Encounter Journal:


For example, this is the journal entry for Beth'tilac, one of the boss of the Firelands raid instance.


Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Beth'tilac
Matriarch of the Cinderweb Brood, Beth'tilac and her merciless offspring sate their appetites by sucking the magma and fire from the corpses of elementals. To provide her broodlings with added sustenance, Beth'tilac has woven a network of incendiary webs throughout her lair to trap unsuspecting prey.

Stage One: The Cinderweb
Beth'tilac retreats to the top of her web at the beginning of the encounter.

Fire Energy
Beth'tilac slowly loses Fire Energy over time. Cinderweb Drones also siphon some of her energy when their own energy is depleted. Whenever Beth'tilac runs out of Fire Energy, she will set herself ablaze, causing Smoldering Devastation.


  • Ember Flare - Intense heat burns enemies near Beth'tilac, inflicting 18500 Fire damage to players at the same level as Beth'tilac.
  • Meteor Burn - Meteors crash down onto the web, inflicting 37000 Fire damage to players within yards of the impact. The meteor also burns a hole in the web through which players may fall.
  • Consume - Beth'tilac consumes Cinderweb Spiderlings, healing Beth'tilac for 10% of her maximum health.
  • Smoldering Devastation - When Beth'tilac's Fire Energy fully depletes, she will set herself ablaze and inflict 380000 Fire damage on all players located at her same level.

Cinderweb Spinner
Cinderweb Spinners dangle from the web above on a filament strand. Using Taunt or a similar ability on a Spinner will cause them to drop to the ground. Once killed, their web filament remains. Players may then interact with the filament and move to the top of the web.

  • Burning Acid - The Cinderweb Spinner spits burning venom at a random player, inflicting 18850 Fire damage.
  • Fiery Web Spin - The Cinderweb Spinner channels a fiery web onto a random player, stunning them for 25 sec.

Cinderweb Drone
These large spiders climb out of caves below the Cinderweb. When their Fire Energy fully depletes, the Cinderweb Drone climbs up to Beth'tilac and siphons Fire Energy from her.

  • Consume - Cinderweb Drones consume a Cinderweb Spiderling, healing itself for 20% of its maximum life, increasing damage dealt by 20%, and increasing movement speed by 20%.
  • Boiling Spatter - The Cinderwb Drone spits burning venom in a 20 yard long 60 degree forward cone, inflicting 58967 Fire damage on any enemy within the area.
  • Burning Acid - The Cinderwb Drone spits Burning Acid at a random player, inflicting 18850 Fire damage.
  • Fixate - The Cinderweb Drone fixates on a random player, ignoring all other targets but decreasing its damage dealt by 75% for 10 sec.

Cinderweb Spiderling
These tiny spiders climb out of caves below the Cinderweb. They instinctively move towards Cinderweb Drones.

  • Seeping Venom - The Cinderweb Spiderling leaps onto a random player within 5 yards, injecting them with venom and inflicting 6936 Fire damage every 2 seconds for 10 sec.

Cinderweb Broodling
These unstable spiders fixate on a random player and cast Volatile Burst when they reach their target.

  • Volatile Burst - Cinderweb Broodlings explode when they reach a player, inflicting 41624 Fire damage to all enemies within yards.

Stage Two: The Frenzy!
After she has performed Smoldering Devastation three times, Beth'tilac enters a frenzy. She lowers herself from the safety of the top of her Cinderweb and no longer calls for aid from her brood.


  • The Widow's Kiss - Beth'tilac's deadly kiss boils the blood of her current target, reducing the healing dealt to the target by % every 2 seconds for 20 sec. The kiss also causes the target to inflict increasing Fire damage to their surrounding allies within 10 yards.
  • Ember Flare - Beth'tilac emits a blazing heat, inflicting 18500 Fire damage to enemies on the same level as Beth'tilac.
  • Consume - Beth'tilac consumes Cinderweb Spiderlings, healing Beth'tilac for 10% of her maximum health.
  • Frenzy - Beth'tilac periodically casts Frenzy, increasing her damage dealt by 5% until the end of the encounter. This effect stacks.



The MMO Report
It's time for your weekly MMO Report, with an E3 2011 special this week.



Comics
Dark Legacy Comics #292 and Teh Gladiators #244 + #245 are out. I'm one week late on comics again but if I cover my ears with my hands and close my eyes I can sing "la la la la la la" and pretend I'm not.

by Published on 2011-06-18 08:45 AM

Patch 4.2 - PTR Build 14313
Another bugfix build has been deployed on test realms tonight. That one really didn't have any interesting changes and it looks like the June 28th release date shouldn't be reported, I'll assume Blizzard is done at this point.


End of Season 9 Postponed for 1 Week
The patch won't hit the live servers next week and as predicted, it means the Arena Season will end later than expected.
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As an update, Season 9 will be ending no earlier than June 28.

[...] Unfortunately, there are many logistical reasons for why we needed to push back the end date to the 28th. Keep in mind our original announcement said it could end "as early as June 21." It wasn't an absolute confirmation of the end date. The announcement now says it could end "as early as June 28", which means it's still not guaranteed to end that day. It just depends on if all of our other ducks are in a row.


Tier 12 Armor Sets - Final Model/Color Preview
Tier 12 Armor Sets models on actual T12 set items have been available on test realms for a few days and we finally know what will be the color of every version of Tier 12 Armors! If everything goes according to plan, there will be another small update later this week, with multi-race + video previews for each class.

Tier 12 Armors - All Classes
Normal Mode
Heroic Mode

Death Knight
Normal Mode
Heroic Mode

Druid
Normal Mode
Heroic Mode

Hunter
Normal Mode
Heroic Mode

Mage
Normal Mode
Heroic Mode

Paladin
Normal Mode
Heroic Mode

Priest
Normal Mode
Heroic Mode

Rogue
Normal Mode
Heroic Mode

Shaman
Normal Mode
Heroic Mode

Warlock
Normal Mode
Heroic Mode

Warrior
Normal Mode
Heroic Mode
by Published on 2011-06-17 03:23 AM

Oh well I guess that was a lot of news post today. Don't miss the other 2 important announcements:



Patch 4.2 to be released on June 28th
As I mentioned earlier this week, the late PTR build on wednesday means we won't see the patch next week, but the week after. The official site points to a release date on June 28th.



Patch 4.2 - Rage of the Firelands Wallpaper
Blizzard released a nice patch 4.2 themed wallpaper



Patch 4.2 PTR Notes - 06/16 Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • The talent Killing Machine can now properly be triggered from off-hand attacks as well as main-hand attacks.

Shaman (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Unleash Wind now deals 175% weapon damage, up from 125%.

Enhancement
  • Stormstrike now deals 225% weapon damage, up from 125%.

Currency
Conquest & Honor Points
  • The minimum cap on Conquest Points earned per week from Arenas is now 1500 1350 at 1500 or less Battleground Arena rating. The maximum cap remains 2700 is now 3000 at 3000 or more Battleground Arena rating. The cap continues to scale non-linearly between those two points. For comparison, during season 9 the cap ranged between 1343 and 3000.

  • The game now separately tracks different Conquest Point caps for Battlegrounds and Arenas. The cap for Arena rating will always be 2/3 of the cap for Rated Battleground rating at any given Arena rating. Battleground ratings receive a bonus of 22.2% to the cap they generate, meaning the cap from Battleground rating now ranges between 1650 and 3300. Players may earn a total number of Conquest Points per week equal to the higher of these two caps, but once players have reached the cap for either Arenas or Battlegrounds, they can no longer earn Conquest Points from that source. Conquest Points from Battleground holidays only count toward the total Conquest Point cap.


    • Example: During the first week of Season 10 everyone starts with a rating below 1500. Therefore, the cap from Rated Battlegrounds will be 1500 1650 and the cap from Arena rating will be 1000 1350. In the first week, the character wins enough Arena matches to reach the 1000 1350 point cap. After that point, Arena wins will no longer grant Conquest points for the week. However, the character can still earn up to 500 300 additional points, but can only earn those points from either Rated Battlegrounds, or from the Conquest Point bonus for holiday and/or daily random Battlegrounds. The following week the cap will be recalculated based on the character's ratings, and it is possible Arena rating could now generate the higher cap. The second week, the character's cap from Arena rating is 1600 1800, and the cap from Rated Battlegrounds is 1500 1650. The character has a total cap of 1600 1800 Conquest points for the week. Up to 1500 1650 points can be earned from Rated Battlegrounds, but the last 100 150 must come from a different source.

PvP
Arenas
  • The individual Matchmaking Rating column has been removed from the Arena scoreboard.

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