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by Published on 2011-08-20 02:10 AM

Blizzard updated the Void Storage preview and we finally have time to go through all the Transmogrification blue posts from the past few days, hopefully they will answer most of the questions you have about the feature!

Updated Void Storage and Bag Search Images
Originally Posted by Lylirra (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We've just added some new images to our Void Storage preview which show off the updated UI for Void Storage vaults, as well as the new bag search feature in action. Let us know what you think!

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/3342240#blog

Also, just to clear up a few points of confusion:


  • Void Storage vaults will be per character, not per account. We're still very interested in providing a way for players to share BoA items cross-realm, but there are a number of technological milestones we need to reach before we can make that kind of service available.
  • The prices for unlocking a Void Storage vault, depositing items, and withdrawing items are still under discussion. The values shown in the blog screenshots should not be considered final.
  • You don't need to place an item in Void Storage in order to use it for Transmogrification. The systems are completely separate. They're designed to complement one another, but not require each other.
  • Most tabards will be eligible for Void Storage (excluding a few which cannot become soulbound to a character).



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Transmogrification
Transmogrification Details / Legendary Items
You will not be able to transmogrify using a legendary item as either the source or the recipient of a change. This system is going to launch with fairly conservative rules, so that we can get it up and running as soon as possible and make fun improvements down the road. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that we’ll eventually allow transmogrification to use the twill set or [insert your favorite item here], but probably not for the initial launch of the feature.

We would like to offer some alternative ways to get favorite items that are no longer available, such as perhaps the dungeon tier sets or the DK start gear. This is something we will expand over time – not every favorite item will be immediately available at launch. But we’ll keep a list of items that get requested by the players and work to get them in someday.

If you want to obtain the look of gear that you've deleted in the past, then yes, you'll need to farm that old gear back. Opening a petition for that old gear isn't likely to bear fruit unless the item was deleted quite recently (usually within a month or two). Please don't submit a petition as a shot in the dark, since that just bogs down the system for everyone.

Alts can hang onto cool looking quest items and drops that they get while leveling, to use with the feature. It won't be limited to tier items, but that does mean that if they want to sport a full set of tier 5, then yes, they'll need to acquire it, just as any other character would. We are interested in providing a means for players to purchase certain gear sets which aren't available for one reason or another, such as the dungeon sets or death knight starter set. Such a vendor would not provide access to all the gear a player has ever owned, though.

[...] What would determine what items each character had access to? An achievement? Having looked at a boss that one time? Walked into a particular zone, perhaps? Would all characters get access to all armor art every time a new item is introduced, forever? Perhaps all characters would just get access to all the art from prior to Transmogrification -- but what about new characters? Why should they get access to all that art? What meaning would there be to a character's appearance, at all, in such a system?

It's less short-sighted than you think, and it's hardly an unreasonable requirement. It's actually quite neat and tidy. In the short term, it's a bit frustrating for those that already had the gear at one time (I'm one of them). In the long term, we feel that it's the most elegant method of approaching the issue of restricting Transmogrification. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Transmogrify and Void Storage Requests
Part of this is due to technical limitations. One of the reasons we're able to offer so many more slots of storage to players now is because it's fairly simple data storage when we're talking item IDs. Throw in enchants, gems, and reforging though, and you have a lot more data that has to be stored. Void Storage is a means of deep storage. We don't want this system to be used as a secondary bank where you're constantly shuffling items in and out. If you have an abundance of items which are eligible for placing in Void Storage, the idea is you can store them "long-term" to free up bank space without having to delete them.

It's perfect for seasonal outfits, items you think look really cool, etc. It's the place to put the gear you just don't want to delete, but don't regularly use either. If we just gave you 80 more bank slots -- which is a monumental technical task as I said earlier -- we'd have to consider nominating you for "Hoarders: World of Warcraft Edition."

[...] Right now, we're looking at allowing tabards to be stored in Void Storage vaults. That may change as testing continues, of course, and depending on the feedback we receive from you guys (and gals).Void Storage vaults will be per-character and not per-account, so it won't be a way for players to trade BoA items cross-realm. While that's still something we want players to be able to do, we've several technological hurdles to overcome before we can make that type of service available.We're still discussing a lot of those details, so I can't really give you a "yes" or a "no" right now.

That said, the main requirement for an item to eligible for Void Storage is that it's soulbound. While Void Storage was primarily designed for gear that you plan to use for Transmogrification, that doesn't mean we won't allow other soulbound items -- even if they can't be equipped -- to be stored in Void Storage vaults, too. Such exceptions seem probable. It's unlikely that we'll allow profession items, tradeskill items, pets and mounts, or consumables to be placed in Void Storage, though. You don't need to place an item into Void Storage in order to use it for Transmogrification. The two systems are completely separate.

We're implementing Void Storage and Transmogrification at the same time because we know that, with Transmogrification, players are likely going to want and/or need more storage space, specifically for the long-term. And that’s the niche Void Storage fills. Just because one system (Void Storage) was designed to complement another (Transmogrification), that doesn't mean the two rely on each other functionally. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Transmogrification Item Restrictions
Well, I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but...

We have an obligation to players and to our hard working artists to keep the game from looking too silly. I know looking ridiculous is fun for some players, but World of Warcraft was established with a design that the game overall kept its silliness in check. That’s one of the reasons we resisted adding a feature like Transmogrification for so long.

So weapons that look like fish, for example, probably won't be available as source items for Transmogrification, even if one is technically a dagger and has stats. There are a handful other weapons with "silly" models (such as frying pans, brooms, etc.) that may or may not be allowed -- it's still under discussion. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Can you Transmogrify BoA items?
We likely won't allow heirlooms to be transmogrified. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Transmogrification and new Models
We're still going to want to create awesome new high-end items.

It doesn't make sense to start 'skimping' because showing off that you're on the cutting edge is really one of the major draws to high end raiding, pumping up your stats and looking cool while you do it. But it also doesn't make sense to change our efforts because one day the armor sets we're making now are ones that people are going to want to use in the Transmogrification system.

One day four people are going to roll over Deathwing, farming the set so they can wear their favorite looking tier.

Obviously there's a lot of subjectivity to which set someone thinks is the best, or how people want their characters to look, and that's the point of Transmogrification. If someone wants to race to build a full T13 set and then transmog it to look like they're wearing an older tier, that's their choice, but our expectation is that the majority will want to show off their achievements while they're sexy, and that the sets we're making now will be someone's favorite in the future.

I do, however, fully expect that much like with every tier there will be many people who hate on them, and I fully expect Transmogrification will be used as a reason as to why they are the worst sets ever made. But, that's ok, we'll keep truckin'. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Transmogrification and BoEs
Yes, they become soulbound. [...] If you Transmogrify a Bind on Equip item, it will become bound to you. Items used in Transmogrification will also become non-refundable and non-tradeable as well.

[...] The Void Storage is at least partially intended to complement Transmogrification, so that bank space is at slightly less of a premium. In short, if you've got enough bank space to keep those old pieces of gear around and still have enough room for your other stuff, then good on ya. If you're running out of room, then Void Storage is a good place to stash those old armor pieces that you'll only really drag out when it's time to 'mog something. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Transmogrifier and Death Knights
We're looking at possible ways for players to obtain particular items and sets that are no longer available, including the death knight starter set. If we do implement this, it may not be available immediately, but over time as we fine-tune the feature (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Transmogrification Restrictions
Many players currently wear alternative items while hanging out in cities such as seasonal outfits, role-play gear etc. Other players, as Alicè pointed out, have gear that doesn't match and maybe doesn't look as cool as a full set could, so you're already exposed to a variety of looks on characters.

This feature will allow players to refine how their character looks, use nice-looking gear that may be sitting gathering dust in the bank perhaps. Of course, your idea of nice-looking may vary from other people's, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Seriously, though, if your main reason for disliking this feature is fear of a sudden influx of ridiculous outfits, please know that we plan to restrict transmogrification a little in regards to armor types. For instance, if a character is wearing plate, they won't be able to make it look like a cloth dress, and vice versa, armor types are locked. So you shouldn't see too many Warriors taking on a boss in a pink evening gown.

Over time, we'd like to add ways for players to obtain some special items that are no longer available—dungeon tier sets, for example. [...] You must own the item, have it in your possession and be able to wear or use it at the time of transmogrification. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Plans for Legacy Armor Vendor
If there are sets which are extremely popular with players and cannot be obtained in the game anymore through any means, we'll consider making them available elsewhere. I believe another Community Manager pointed out that the original vanilla dungeon sets and death knight starter area set are good examples of this.

It is, however, not extremely likely you'll see a lot of sets which are no longer possible to obtain be added back in for 4.3. We'll be expanding upon Transmogrification over time, in which case we'll absolutely consider adding highly coveted "out-of-stock" sets elsewhere.

Keep in mind though most of the original raid and PvP sets can still be obtained in the game. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Transmogrification and Armor Art
I think there will always be players who want to roll in the latest set, and our artists take great pride in their work, so they will always try to make all the art for new gear as awesome as they can.

For players who are between full sets, Transmogrification offers a cool opportunity to sport a 'complete' look, and enjoy favorite gear art from the past. Few players will want to look the same all the time though, so I expect that new art and new tier sets will remain in demand.The question is a bit off topic for this thread, but yes. The item must be in your possession, and you have to be able to use (wear it), at the time of the Transmogrification. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Player vs. Player
Any new Battlegrounds for 4.3?
We don't have any plans right now to add a new Battleground in patch 4.3. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Evenin' PvP Enthusiasts
Q: Given that you are now implementing raid finder tool would you please please implementing similar tool for rated battlegrounds?
A: We can bring this up with the developers. It'd probably have to fundamentally function a bit differently from the Dungeon Finder and proposed Raid Finder though, otherwise a cross-realm random RBG Finder wouldn't differ that much from randomly queuing for a normal Battleground, aside from the fact your team can persist after a battle concludes.

Q: This has been asked many times but is there any status update BoA realm transfer?
A: We also spoke to GC about this again yesterday (we ping him about it a lot). He made it clear that there are no design issues or qualms about allowing this functionality. Instead, it's an issue of programmer bandwidth. Because of the way WoW was originally structured around accounts, followed by the introduction of Battle.net accounts, there's a technical limitation to allowing cross-realm BoAs which has to be overcome by our Battle.net team, not the WoW development team. At the moment that team is incredibly busy building out the Battle.net platform to expand its functionality for World of Warcraft and StarCraft II, and get Diablo III going. We're adamant about making this happen. Unfortunately, I can't really give you a timeline and I know it's already felt too long.

Q: Affliction warlocks and shamans are the main classes doing well in high end and even low end PvP. These classes have far to much synergy and because of this any class combined with them does well, do you have guys have any intention to fix this?
A: Based on my recent conversation with GC, he did mention in particular that a Resto shaman tweak needs to be made. In particular, he's prepared to get his nasty claws on Windshear.

Q: Any chances of bringing back old AV? Seems like most PVPers support this idea.
A: I even ranted to Tom Chilton and Greg Street about this recently. For all the reasons it was wrong, I still loved losing all track of time while involved in an endless -- quite literally -- battle for AV. I loved doing constant suicide runs from SF graveyard on my gnome 'lock just to try and interrupt the Horde summons.

We haven't stopped talking about it. Part of the problem is Battlegrounds are incredibly scripted, to the point they're actually worked on quite a bit by our encounter design team. We need to keep working on new ways of developing Battlegrounds to improve their design.

But, to your point, it's doubtful AV 1.0 will be resurrected, and there's only so much tweaking we can do to try and improve the current one -- we'd be working on very old framework with AV. At this point, it'd probably be easier and produce better results if we started from scratch.

Q: Skirmishes, sir?
A: The last time we talked to the developers about it, they mentioned the possibility of these going back in to compliment War Games. But given they saw very little evidence to suggest coding for Skirmishes paid off for players, it seems a low priority. [..] When designing Cataclysm, we looked at the data and saw an extremely fractional percentage of the entire playerbase actively using Skirmishes. So with all of the other changes happening, along with BG War Games, we decided not to polish up Skirmishes and keep them in.

Q: What your thoughts are on the "Halaa" type zone suggested by other players?
A: Speaking personally, I think they have a good place in WoW and should come back. A place like Halaa doesn't take nearly as much design time as a place like Tol Barad or Wintergrasp, yet the payoff is relatively high. The Tol Barad style is a quite massive undertaking, and ultimately becomes a very contentious PvP content topic, especially when daily quests and raid bosses are at stake.

Q: Bring back world PvP!
A: All I can say for now is that we've driven people to SW/Org in this expansion too much and that's not cool. We want to fix that in the next go. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Miscellaneous
Faction Bias
Many games out there tend to have a "good/honorable" faction and an "evil/dark" faction. We've strayed from that formula after evolving the Horde and Alliance stories through Warcraft I-III and World of Warcraft.

The point is there is moral ambiguity on both sides, even while, at a glance, the Horde would appear more savage and the Alliance would appear as the more traditional good guys. We like having more character depth than that. We like fusing both factions with moral and political ambiguities. Both the Horde and Alliance have seen moments of triumph, as well as moments of disgrace.

Their destinies, however, are not written in stone. Only time will tell how the actions of their leaders will be judged. But one thing is certain, neither faction is one dimensional in terms of their actions, ambitions, and morals. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The Daily Blink: Aggro Challenge: ACCEPTED!
The threat comics keep on coming!

by Published on 2011-08-18 04:17 PM

Patch 4.3 Preview: Void Storage
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
For quite some time now, players have been asking for a location in which to store important keepsakes including treasured armor sets, unique quest rewards, and gifts from friends, as well as other valuable items they’ve collected on their journeys throughout Azeroth.

This is a feature we’ve wanted to add to the game for a while, so we’re excited to announce that, thanks to the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of the Ethereals, a new long-term storage option will soon be available to completionists and collectors alike.

Void Storage

In patch 4.3, characters of all levels will be able to take advantage of a new technology known as “Void Storage”, which will open up 80 slots of long-term storage space. Void Storage vaults will be available in both Stormwind and Orgrimmar and can be accessed simply by speaking with your local Vaultkeeper.

A variety of items can be placed into Void Storage — including soulbound items and Battle.net Account Bound items — making it the perfect location to store trophies from past conquests, as well as armor you may want to hold onto for Transmogrification. So, if you’ve been looking for a good home for those old tier sets or your vanity holiday items, Void Storage is it! And it’s as easy to use as dragging and dropping.


In return for this unique service, the Ethereals will require a small fee for each item deposited into or withdrawn from their Void Storage apparatus. Multiple items can be added and removed at once, and the cost of each transaction will be display at the bottom of the screen, updating dynamically as you select additional items to deposit or withdraw. Once an item is placed into Void Storage, it can remain there indefinitely for no additional cost.


It’s important to note that the goal of Void Storage isn’t to be a second bank, but rather a place where players can safely store items they wish to keep for the life of the game, either for sentimental or aesthetic reasons. Since this particular storage option isn’t really intended for belongings that you’d use a regular basis (like your current set of raiding gear, for example), any item placed in Void Storage will be stripped of all its enhancements, including enchants, gems, sockets, and reforged stats. This will help us reduce the impact such storage can have on the game servers, and ultimately allows us to provide a lot of long-term storage space with minimal impact on everyone's play experience.

Bag Search: Find What You Need, When You Need It

Now, you might be thinking, “Alright, those Ethereals are pretty nifty, and having more storage is great! But what about actually being able to find what I own? Do you know how long I looked for that one stack of Papa Hummel’s Pet Biscuits? Like, a year. Okay, maybe 15 minutes. Either way, not even a tiny, delicious fat baby raptor is worth that kind of effort, and I love fat baby raptors.”


Never fear, fellow tiny-limbed-corpulent-dinosaur enthusiast! We’ve got you covered. In addition to Void Storage, we’re also adding a bag search feature in 4.3 that will allow players to search for items within their bags and bank space with just a few keystrokes.

Integrated directly into the bag and bank UI, this new search feature will be incredibly quick and easy to use. To find an item in one of your bags, in your character’s personal bank, guild bank, or Void Storage vault, you’ll simply type the name of the item — or a word in the item’s name — into a small search box located near the top of your main backpack and your open inventory will be filtered accordingly. Only the items that match the word or name you’ve entered will display, making it easier than ever to find exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.

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Please keep in mind that both Void Storage and the upcoming bag search features are still in development, so their functionality may change before release. We’re very excited to be offering both of these inventory management features and will be providing more information as the development of patch 4.3 continues.

Curse Party at Blizzcon 2011!
On Friday, October 21st from 8 PM to 2 AM on the 2nd floor of the Hilton hotel next to the Anaheim Convention Center, Curse will be celebrating BlizzCon with fellow gamers and VIPs. The party will feature an open bar, swag, live DJ, giveaways, etc!

There will be several VIP’s in attendance including Felicia Day and several members from the cast of The Guild, several of your favorite WoW community members, bloggers, and more!

At this point I'm assume that most of you know The Guild but if you don't, here is the first episode of the fifth season.

<a href='http://www.bing.com/videos/browse?mkt=en-us&amp;vid=y02jncib&amp;from={from}' target='_new' title='Season 5 - Episode 1 - Road Trip!' >Video: Season 5 - Episode 1 - Road Trip!</a>
by Published on 2011-08-17 04:35 PM

Update - Added Press Conference Video and fixed "Whack-a-Gnome" ... Apparently, that's "Whack-a-Gnoll" .... Too bad. The guy who gave me that info will be quickly fired!

Also, Transmogrification will have a lot of restrictions when it's first released, check out this blue thread for more information (I'll get everything on the front page soon)

Patch 4.3 Press Conference Video
The entire video of the press conference is finally online! Watch it on own3D in HD. The World of Warcraft stuff starts around 19:00


Patch 4.3 Interviews - Updated
Interviews keep hitting the web and we now know a few more things thanks to the interviews on Kotaku, Gamona.de, and Buffed.de!

New Raid
  • Deathwing raid will be the final raid of the expansion.
  • You will even get to ride on Deathwing's back during the fight, apparently to take him down over multiple phases.
  • The project for an Abyssal Maw is gone for the moment, the storyline wasn't convincing enough/fitting.

5-Man Instances
  • 3 new 5-man instances will be added in this patch.
  • One of the instance will be in the Caverns of Time, for the War of the Ancients

Transmogrifier (Preview below)
  • The Transmogrifier NPC, which will let you change the appearance of any armor piece on you, while retaining the stats of your current gear. (= T12 stats, but with the Tier 2 look!)
  • Players won't be able to change the appearance of their armor into another armor type or class armor set, and you might have to own the armor before you can use it to swap the appearance of your existing armor.

Void Storage
  • The Void Storage is a new type of bank where players will be able to store their old armors in order to free up space in their regular bank.
  • It will hold 100-150 items. Anything stored there will lose all gems and enchantments.

Raid Finder
  • The Raid Finder will be introduced in Patch 4.3, it will work like the Dungeon Finder.

Darkmoon Faire
  • There will be a new Darkmoon Faire island with a bunch of new activities such as "Whack-a-Gnome" "Whack-a-Gnoll" (Sorry gnomes!)


Patch 4.3 Preview - Transmogrification
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
You’ve been asking for it, and we were listening. In patch 4.3 you’ll be able to customize the appearance of your weapons and armor like never before.

The Ethereals, emerging from the nether, will bring with them a new technology they call Transmogrification. They’re heading to the capital cities of Azeroth to set up shop and to offer adventurers a unique service -- copying the appearance of one magical item onto another. They only ask for a modest gold donation to recoup their costs.

Visiting a Transmogrifier will present players with a new interface that will allow them to change the appearance of an item while retaining its original stats. This means that you can raid in your paladin tier 12 Immolation set, but look like you’re wearing Lightbringer, while priests can bring Benediction back -- at least in spirit. Hunters can once again roam the jungles of Stranglethorn Vale in their tier 2 Dragonstalker set. You could even slip into the saucy tailored Black Mageweave set for that matter. You know, with the thigh highs, and the little gloves, and the cute little… ahem.


Placing an item into the Transmogrifier interface will offer a preview of how the item will appear once the change is applied. However, not all item pairings are compatible with Transmogrification. In general, only items that have stats can be used in the transmogrification process. You must also be able to wear both items when using this service. Ethereals don’t have much in the way of ethics, but allowing someone to appear as if they’re equipping unusable items crosses the line. Similarly, they won’t allow you to change weapon or armor types. Sneaky death knights can’t make that breastplate look like a cloth robe, and you can’t make a one-handed axe look like a two-handed axe, or transform a sword’s appearance into that of a mace. Guns, bows, and crossbows will be the exception to this rule. You will finally be able to retain your dwarf’s racial gun bonus while appearing with all the splendor and elegance of a bow wielder (or at least the relative silence of one).


Placing items into the Transmogrify interface will increase the gold cost of the process, and clicking the Transmogrify button (assuming you have the necessary funds) will put the appearance change into effect. The process can be reversed by clicking the undo icon on each item, and then hitting the Transmogrify button once more to save the changes. Any item that’s transmogrified will have text indicating it’s been altered by the process for all to see, similar to the item tooltip callout for reforged items.


Transmogrification encourages players to hold onto items with sentimental or aesthetic value, and the Ethereals anticipate that personal bag and bank space will be at a premium now that everyone will be hoarding their frilly pantaloons and leather jerkins. In anticipation of this new demand for additional storage space, they’ll be introducing a unique Void Storage service. What’s Void Storage, you ask? We’ll provide more details soon.


We’re looking forward to seeing how players choose to customize their character’s appearance, and hope you’re as excited as we are for the arrival of patch 4.3 and the Transmogrification feature. Do you have a favorite set or weapon that you’ll be bringing back? Let us know in the comments below.
by Published on 2011-08-17 12:16 PM   

Update - Added the translation of the original article, thanks to Treeston!

Patch 4.3 - Deathwing, Transmogrifier, Void Storage
Tom Chilton (Kalgan) answered a couple of questions from Gamona.de on Patch 4.3, and we got a bunch of very interesting news out of it. Patch 4.3 will feature:


  • New Raid - The Deathwing raid, making it very likely to be the last patch before the next expansion.
  • 3 new 5-man instances - Including one in the Caverns of Time. (War of the Ancients was mentioned as a cataclysm instance a few years ago, but a lot of things have changed since then, who knows!)
  • The Transmogrifier NPC, which will let you change the appearance of any armor piece on you, while retaining the stats of your current gear. (= T12 stats, but with the Tier 2 look!)
  • Players won't be able to change the appearance of their armor into another armor type or class armor set, and you might have to own the armor before you can use it to swap the appearance of your existing armor.
  • The Void Storage is a new type of bank where players will be able to store their old armors in order to free up space in their regular bank.
  • The Abyssal Maw dungeon is gone for the moment, the storyline wasn't convincing enough/fitting.

If someone feels like adding information or even translating the article completely, post in comments!

Translation of the original article on gamona.de
We're at GamesCon in Cologne, Germany, and just did an interview with Tom Chilton, Lead Game Developer and Chris Robinson, Lead Art Director, in which they revealed a lot of details regarding patch 4.3 - and it seems that the announcement of it being huge was no joke:

Patch 4.3 will bring us the Deathwing raid instance! This means it's likely that we'll be able to fight the Aspect of Death in an epic encounter within this year. The raid that was originally expected for this patch, the "Abyssal Maw", was cut from the schedule because, as Chilton states, the setting and the story were not convincing enough.

Furthermore, 4.3 will also bring three entirely new 5-man instances - Chilton assured us that these won't contain any re-vamped content, but instead be brand new with unique design and models. Chilton also hinted at one of those being within the Caverns of Time, allowing players to experience another great moment of Warcraft Lore first-hand.

The interview also revealed the purpose of the "mystery ethereals" in Stormwind (and likely other cities, too). The "Transmogrifier" NPC will allow players to change the displayed model of equipment to that of another item while keeping the original attributes: Transmogrification is only possible within an armor class - Plate armor can only assume the looks of other Plate armor, for example.
  • Class restrictions apply to Transmogrification - Warriors cannot transmogrify their armor to look like Death Knight tier sets.
  • The developers are considering whether they should only allow using the models of equipment that has already been obtained

The "Void Storage" is a very large bank-esque storage which allows old equipment to be stored, freeing up inventory/bank slots for players. The developers aren't sure yet about the definition of "old equipment". The cost of the storage (and whether there even is one) is another thing that is not yet decided

Another possible feature that was hinted at is the possibility of "void stored" equipment being available to other characters on the account (NOTE: That part might be speculation from Gamona, not cross-server transfers actually confirmed. Hard to tell.)

Overall, it seems that we've got a huge patch ahead of us - a new raid, three brand new instances, Transmogrification and Void Storage.

by Published on 2011-08-17 03:05 AM

Patch 4.2 Hotfixes - August 16
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes
  • Threat
    • Threat generation for all tanks has been increased to 500%, up from 300%. This applies to warriors in Defensive Stance, death knights in Blood Presence, druids in Bear Form, and paladins with Righteous Fury.
    • Vengeance should no longer be generated when damage is fully absorbed by damage shields. When the shield breaks from damage or damage is partially absorbed, the amount of Vengeance generated is equal to the full amount of damage taken (including the damage absorbed.)
    • More information can be found in our latest Dev Watercooler.

Dungeons & Raids
Baradin Hold
  • Occu’thar has come into a larger supply of PvE gear than he previously possessed.

Firelands
  • Hell Hounds should now be nigh impossible for a single player to kill.
  • The Grab Bag dropped by all Firelands bosses should now occasionally contain Crystallized Firestones in Heroic difficulty.

Baleroc
  • Baleroc should now always choose Inferno Blade the first time he casts Blades of Baleroc.

Beth’tilac
  • Beth'tilac now does slightly less damage on normal difficulty.

Lord Rhyolith
  • The explosion damage radius of each Magma Meteor just before Lord Rhyolith should now more closely match their spell effect visuals.
  • Volcanoes should no longer emit plumes of smoke while they are dormant.
  • Concussive Stomp should no longer knock nearby players back.
  • Magma Flow lines are now 30 yards long, down from 40 yards.
  • Rhyolith now activates volcanoes less often on normal difficulty.
  • Stepping on an active volcano now removes 16 stacks of armor, up from 10.

Majordomo Fandral Staghelm
  • All threat generated in this encounter has been reduced in Heroic difficulty.

Ragnaros
  • Ragnaros’s Sons of Flame should now be immune to silence effects.

Shannox
  • Shannox, Riplimb and Rageface have all had their damage reduced slightly on normal difficulty.

Quests
  • Players should now be able to keep the Quest Giver buff from the quest Welcome to the Machine in Hillsbrad Foothills.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
GC's latest blog: Active Mitigation Playstyle
Right now it's tough for DK tanks because they're the only ones on anything resembling an active mitigation model. The one active mitigation guy is going to look like he's working harder than the passive mitigation guys because, in a lot of ways, he is. If all tanks had worked this way from the start, it would be the norm, and nobody would be worried about jumping onto that model.

We've already established that threat isn't making for very compelling encounter design, and removing it offers us the ability to get creative with some of the mechanics that we're using; both in encounter and class design. In a world with no threat management, and no active mitigation, that doesn't leave a lot for tanks to do though. We think that making tanking more active, and focusing that activity around mitigation (which feels immediately useful) will generate some very rewarding gameplay. We want the act of tanking to be engaging, interesting and fun. We think the path forward will offer more of that for all the tanking classes.

Also, I've seen a number of references to making tanking easier in this thread and elsewhere. "Easier" isn't really the goal. The goal is to discard a mechanic which we don't think is working particularly well anymore, and replace it with something more focused and interesting. Doing so should also have the effect of allowing tanks who aren't as geared still do their job when grouped with players who outgear (or even outlevel them a bit). They'll still be responsible for doing a good job, but their absolute ability to hold the attention of the boss won't be a factor; their ability to play well and mitigate damage will be.

We're aware of player concerns about Blood tanking, and we'll work to ensure that Blood tanking will continue to be viable and effective into the future. On that note, we're interested in addressing some of the concerns that have been expressed about the spec (potentially as soon as the next major patch), though we want to accomplish that goal without sacrificing what sets the spec apart and makes it interesting. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Cross-Realm Raid Finder
We have some plans. They're good plans. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

US Battle.net Invitational VoDs
The results are in! The North American Battle.net Invitational World of Warcraft Arena competition, held last week at Blizzard Entertainment headquarters, has come to its thrilling conclusion. The first nine qualifier matches are now available on the official BlizzCon community site. Want to see who advances toward glory, riches, and the chance to compete live at BlizzCon 2011? You can check out the matches from the first day of competition now. Be sure to get caught up on all the action, as we’ll be posting the remaining matchups in the near future, revealing which two teams duke it out in the Grand Finals, and ultimately who will be competing at BlizzCon this October. Don’t fall victim to spoilers. Watch the matches. Enjoy the spectacle. Profit!

If you’re curious about the order in which the matches are being released, we’ve made sure to align them according to how they played out last week. You’ll be able to see the tournament brackets update in the correct order as you watch each of the matches. We thank you for your patience as we prepared these brutal bouts for public consumption. (Blue Tracker / Official Blog)

Discounted Shipping From FigurePrints Until 15 September
Take advantage of this hot summer deal by getting discounted rates on shipping to Europe for all World of Warcraft FigurePrints ordered from now until 15 September. If you've been considering a custom World of Warcraft character statue of your own, now is the perfect time to save some cash.

If you’ve never seen a FigurePrint, check out their gallery of characters and the “FigurePrints - How They Are Made” movie. FigurePrints are one-of-a-kind, custom statues of your World of Warcraft characters that present a three-dimensional snapshot of your in-game history. FigurePrints statues are equipped with the actual weapons and armor your character wears, and you sentimental types can choose from any of the items you’ve got stashed away. You can even choose from a variety of poses for your character to be immortalized in.

Visit FigurePrints.com for more information or to place an order. (Blue Tracker / Official Blog)

WoW TCG: Twilight of the Dragons Now In Stores
Deathwing the Destroyer has arrived in the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game and he’s brought both the Twilight and Black dragonflights with him. Tainted by corrupt magic before they were hatched, the Twilight dragons threaten to bring an age of darkness to the land. Unleash their fiery fury as you crack open packs of Twilight of the Dragons, in stores now.

Embrace the chaos and ally with Nefarian, Cho’gall, and Sinestra, or defend Azeroth against their assault by joining Thrall, Caelestrasz, Merithra, Arygos, Anachronos, and the elemental ascendants.In this time of great peril, will you join Deathwing’s forces or defend against it? Choose your side and prepare for war!

Please note, these cards are only available in English. (Blue Tracker / Official Blog)

API: Completed quests available
I'm happy to announce that completed quests have been added to the character profile API resource. By using the 'fields' query string parameter to include the 'quests' value, the character profile returned will include a list of quest ids that the character has completed.

Example: http://us.battle.net/api/wow/charact...?fields=quests (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Comics
NerfNow #561 is especially relevant today!

by Published on 2011-08-16 06:19 PM

Dev Watercooler -- Threat Level Midnight
Blizzard is going to make a couple of changes to threat, among other things:

  • Hotfix: The threat generated by classes in their tanking mode has been increased from three times damage done to five times damage done.
  • In an upcoming patch: Vengeance no longer ramps up slowly at the beginning of a fight. Instead, the first melee attack taken generates Vengeance equal to one third of the damage dealt by that attack. As Vengeance updates during the fight, it is always set to at least a third of the damage taken in the last two seconds. It still climbs from that point at the previous rate, still decays at the previous rate, and still cannot exceed the current maximum.

Read the entire blog post for more details and upcoming changes.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Threat revisited

One of the fun things about working on an MMO is that the game design will evolve over time, and you have the opportunity to make changes to reflect those design shifts. (And yes, we know that it can sometimes evolve too quickly).

Back in December, I wrote a blog post about our vision for how threat should work. Since then, the game and the community have continued to progress and the designers have found ourselves changing our minds about the role of threat. Enough that we’re planning to apply a hotfix this week to change how threat works.

Why have threat?

Threat’s role, just so we’re all on the same page, is to make fights more interesting. Tanks spend a lot of effort staying alive, but they aren’t under immediate threat of death one-hundred percent of the time. Plus, their staying alive is also dependent on their healers and other external cooldowns. We have always been concerned that if threat was not a big part of tanking gameplay that tanks might get bored just waiting around until it was time to use a cooldown. Likewise, if DPS and healers had no risk of being attacked themselves then the sense of danger facing a powerful creature could erode. Furthermore, every character’s toolbox includes some cool survival and utility abilities and the game feels more shallow if those are exclusively used for PvP. It’s fun for a mage to Frost Nova an attacker and Blink away. It’s fun for a hunter to Feign Death. Yes your life would be a lot easier without threat mechanics, but our goal isn’t to make fights as easy as possible. Our job is to make fights fun. Having too much to manage might not be fun, but it’s also not fun to be bored.

That’s been our traditional argument for threat needing to matter. Here is the case against it:

Why not have threat?

Throttling


  • As I said in the previous blog post, it’s not fun to feel throttled. It’s not fun for the Feral druid to stop using special attacks in order to avoid pulling aggro. It’s fun to use Feint at the right time to avoid dying, but it’s not fun for Feint to be part of your rotational cooldown. We want you to spend most of your effort trying to overcome the dragon or elemental, not struggling against your own tank.

Tanks are busy


  • I’d also argue that our encounters aren’t really boring these days. We ask tanks to do a lot -- everything from picking up adds, to moving bosses around, to staying out of fires, to providing interrupts, in addition to the classic tank roles of staying alive and generating threat.

Threat stats aren’t fun


  • We put threat stats (hit and expertise for the most part) on tanking gear, because without those, tanks would be limited to choosing from among mastery, dodge, and parry. (In the current state of itemization, you are rarely choosing more Strength, Agility, Stamina, or armor.) Druids can’t parry, and even for the plate users, there is a tight relationship between dodge and parry, and even mastery for the warrior and paladin. That gets us dangerously close to the old model of stacking a single uber stat (like Stamina or defense), which makes gearing choices too simplistic for tanks. Did something drop? Okay, put it on. (Contrast this to a DPS caster who might want more or less hit or might favor haste over crit, etc.)

    We want threat stats to be interesting, but the reality is that they aren’t. Any decent tank will usually choose survivability stats over threat stats. Back in the day when taunts and interrupts could miss, you could argue hit was marginally useful. But in a world where hit is really just for generating threat, it isn’t very exciting and tanks get understandably emo when we put too much on their gear. (DKs are somewhat of an exception in a good way -- more on that in a sec.) We do see some players try and get excited about threat stats or even proud of their ability to generate threat, but overall we feel like threat stats are a trap, and it’s usually the case that improving your survivability will have a better net impact on your group’s progression.

We don’t need a more complex UI


  • We have threatened for years (see what I did there?) to build in some kind of threat tracking tool into WoW. But is that really good for the game? Do we really need yet another UI element for players to look at instead of looking at the actual game world? We know many raiders in particular use third-party threat mods today, but that has really been borne out of necessity rather than a sense that watching threat is super compelling gameplay. (When we say “super compelling gameplay” you can mentally replace that with “fun.”)

Dungeon Finder


  • I know this bullet will be a point made by players critical of this change, but I would feel remiss in not bringing it up. We want it to be a positive experience when Dungeon Finder matches experienced players with newer players. The skill and gear of the former can help make up for that of the latter. Who better to teach you boss mechanics than players who have done the fights before? Even better, the gear of a veteran tank can make up for the less powerful gear of a beginning healer (which doesn’t necessarily mean a noob -- it could be the alt of a very experienced raider).

    However, this system fails and often spectacularly so when it’s the tank who is the undergeared player. Even if a competent healer can keep the undergeared tank alive, the fully raid-geared DPS spec is going to constantly be on the verge of pulling threat. That’s not an issue of skill. It’s just numbers. It’s also not a problem that is easy to overcome for either the overgeared DPS or the undergeared tank -- it’s just not a lot of fun for anyone.


So now what?

Given all of that, and watching how tanking has unfolded in Cataclysm, we’ve gotten over the concept that threat needs to be a major part of PvE gameplay. We have therefore decided to buff tank threat generation in a hotfix this week to where it’s generally not a major consideration. We expect the community to gradually stop using threat-tracking mods as players realize they don’t need them.

It’s an important distinction that the concept of “aggro” will still exist. If a DPS spec attacks an add the second it shows up, then the creature is going to come at her. However, if a tank gets an attack or two on a target, then the target should stick to the tank. Worrying about who has the creature’s attention should generally only be a concern at the start of a fight or when additional creatures join the battle. Worrying about a warrior or DK (the classes with nearly non-existent threat dumps) creeping up on tank threat after several minutes will almost certainly not be an issue any longer. (And if it is, we’ll have to make further adjustments.)

We like abilities like Misdirect. It’s fun as a hunter to help the tank control targets. We are less enamored of Cower, which is just an ability used often to suppress threat. We like that the mage might have to use Ice Block, Frost Nova, or even Mirror Image to avoid danger. We don’t like the mage having to worry about constantly creeping up on the tank’s threat levels. The notion of aggro (who the target is attacking) is a keeper. The notion of threat races (who is about to pull aggro) is going to be downplayed from here on out.

Upcoming changes

Here are the specific changes you’re likely to see:


  • Hotfix: The threat generated by classes in their tanking mode has been increased from three times damage done to five times damage done.
  • In an upcoming patch: Vengeance no longer ramps up slowly at the beginning of a fight. Instead, the first melee attack taken generates Vengeance equal to one third of the damage dealt by that attack. As Vengeance updates during the fight, it is always set to at least a third of the damage taken in the last two seconds. It still climbs from that point at the previous rate, still decays at the previous rate, and still cannot exceed the current maximum.

Long-term changes

You could argue that once threat is very easy to manage that a warrior tank could just go AFK. In reality, given today’s boss encounters, an AFK warrior would end up standing in the wrong place, missing a tank transition, or otherwise do something or fail to do something that wipes the party or raid.

That said, we ultimately don’t want tanking to be just standing there soaking boss hits and we would like to have more stats on gear that tanks care about. To solve those challenges, we want to shift more tank mitigation to require active management. We’ll still give all the tanks emergency cooldowns like Shield Wall and Survival Instincts. However, we want to move the shorter cooldowns like Shield Block, Holy Shield and Savage Defense so that they work more like Death Strike. Blood DKs have a lot of control over the survivability they get from Death Strike, but as part of that gameplay, they have to actually hit their target. The other three tanks will get similar active defense mechanics. This doesn’t mean everyone needs to use the DK model of self-healing, but they can use the DK model of managing resources to maximize survivability.

Death Strike consumes resources to help the tank survive. We toyed at one point with the paladin Holy Shield being a Holy Power consumer and we think we could do so again. Heck we could make Word of Glory the thing you’re supposed to do with Holy Power, so long as we balanced all tanks around that idea and didn’t feel it infringed too much on the DK mechanic. We could make Shield Block cost rage, and change Protection warrior rage income such that they had to manage rage, the way Fury and Arms warriors now must do. If tanks generated more rage from doing damage and less from taking damage, then hitting a target becomes very important, but for mitigation, not threat management reasons. This is a bigger change than it seems though. We don’t want a model where the Prot warrior ignores Shield Slam, Devastate and Revenge (since threat isn’t a big deal) in order to bank all rage for Shield Block (because survival is). Imagine a rage model where you always had enough rage for your core rotational abilities (they could be cheap or even generate rage), so that you could funnel most of your rage into Shield Block when survival mattered and Heroic Strike when it did not. Redesigning Savage Defense to make it a rage sink is an even bigger change, but we think there is an opportunity there to make the rotation more interesting for druids (and all tanks really). Their rotation would help them achieve the goal that usually matters the most to tanks: living.

This is the kind of design for which we’re really going to need a lot of feedback once it hits. We can implement and verify empirically how much threat a tank generates, but it’s hard for us to replicate the experience of all of the various raiding groups and dungeon parties out there. We invite you to try out the immediate and eventually the long-term changes when they are available and let us know how they feel. Do you miss the threat game? Are you bored when tanking now? Conversely, with the changes, is tanking more fun for you? Does this new implementation of Vengeance feel better? Some systems design calls we can make just by processing numbers, and some are more squishy and involve a lot gut checks and wishy-washy “but how does it FEEL?” language. Messing with this kind of thing is definitely somewhere in the middle.


Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the lead systems designer for World of Warcraft, and lead eater at the dinner table.

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