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by Published on 2011-07-05 12:21 AM

Legendary Staff / Dragonwrath Tarecgosa's Rest - Mount
During one of the latest update to the official armory site, the page of Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest has been updated to include a new spell: Tarecgosa's Visage.


It looks like the Legendary Staff also comes with a built-in mount now, Blizzard was pretty sneaky about it but it looks like we'll see the mount model on live servers after all. See the preview below!





Comics
Dark Legacy Comics #295 and Teh Gladiators #250 are out!



The Daily Blink - This Memo is Completely Real
Oh The Daily Blink ... You filthy, filthy, filthy trolls ...

by Published on 2011-07-04 03:15 AM

WoW Expansion "Vengeance of the Void" Rumor is a fake
People are starting to get crazy on forums about a rumor started on a well known hacking/cheating site that we won't mention here, you all know which one it is anyway.

The information started hitting a couple of news sites because, well, I guess any attention is good and double checking sources is hard (because you might want to do that considering what the original source is) but I'd rather kill the rumor before people start being very annoying about it.


Why would you believe me more than someone else? Good thing. Well, this document is a pretty obvious fake anyway (especially with stuff like "neglected Shadow Priest class" in official documents) and Blizzard just doesn't draft that kind of stuff 3 months before the event before they send it to the entire company.

Btw, internal documents would never say "Activision Blizzard", unless they're scheduled for public release. The address isn't even Blizzard's, it's the Activision Blizzard HQ. You don't send that kind of mail to two companies 3 months before the Blizzcon just for fun.

I mean, seriously guys, Blizzard isn't stupid when it comes to leaks, they don't just take the risk of doing that stuff so early.
by Published on 2011-07-03 06:38 PM

A Future for Alcaz Island?
I was poking at the Patch 4.2 game files during the week end and it looks like Blizzard has a couple of plans for Alcaz Island, a new map "Scenario, Alcaz Island" seems to be in the game files.

Map.dbc


WorldSafeLocs.dbc

It looks like the zone will be instanced at some point, and available as a "Scenario". I couldn't find anything else on "scenario" in the game files but it's very unusual to have an additional information such as this one in the name of the Map. The only exception is "Transport:" maps and we could potentially be looking at a new type of instance here.

The "Expansion" field of the Map.dbc is set to "3" and seems to point to Cataclysm content but there's also the slight possibility that it's early data from the next expansion that got mislabeled.


Firelands / Molten Front Daily Quests - Progression Breakdown
A few days ago, Spl4sh3r posted a fairly useful list on the forums to try to explain how much time it will take you to unlock the different phases of the Firelands / Molten Front Daily Quests.

Phases Description
Phase 1 - Beginning
Phase 2 - Molten Front
Phase 3 - Choose between Druids of the Talon and Shadow Wardens
Phase 4 - Choosing the other option from Phase 3
Phase 5 - Choosing "Additional Armaments" (See Firelands Daily Quests Rewards)
Phase 6 - Choosing "Filling the Moonwell" (See Firelands Daily Quests Rewards)

Time to unlock the Flameward Hippogryph Mount - 30 Days

Amount of Marks Earned Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Phase 5 Phase 6
One time Quests 16 x 15 x 5 x 5 x 4 x 15 x
Beginning Daily Quests 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x
Molten Front Daily Quests N/A 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x
Faction 1 Daily Quests N/A N/A 9 x 9* x 9* x 9* x
Faction 2 Daily Quests N/A N/A N/A 9* x 9* x 9* x
Armaments Daily Quests N/A N/A N/A 5 x 4 x 4 x
Total Marks Needed 20 x 150 x 150 x 125 x 125 x 125 x
Time to Complete 1 Day 10 Days 7 Days 7 Days 5 Days 5 Days
(*) You can only complete quests from the Phase 3 or Phase 4 on a given day, not both phases, resulting in a total of 9 Marks for that day.


Reminder - RaidComp up to date for Patch 4.2!
There wasn't any major change to raiding mechanics in 4.2, which means that RaidComp still works for Patch 4.2! Check it out if you're wondering how to optimize your raid composition!



Firelands Raid Trash - Who wants to be a millionaire?
This video from Mione shows why Blizzard had to hotfix the trash of the Firelands raid instance earlier this week.

by Published on 2011-07-02 12:21 AM

Patch 4.2 Hotfixes - July 1st / Firelands Heroic Disabled
We're now walking in the land of hotfixes land, with CMs doing a nice job compiling all the stuff Blizzard has been fixing for the past few days. Among other things ...


  • Firelands Heroic difficulty has been turned off in all regions until the following week's realm maintenance.

Which somehow confirms what was posted earlier on our forums about STARS being asked nicely to get out of the instance.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
July 1
General
  • Characters should no longer randomly suffer falling damage.

Classes
  • Pets should no longer be attacking new targets at random while a player is under the effects of any crowd control.

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • It is no longer possible to cancel Lunar Shower by right-clicking the buff, or canceling it via a macro.
  • Starfall is no longer hitting targets that are within 40 yards if they are not in combat with the druid or his/her party/raid members. It is targeting all hostile characters in combat with the druid’s party/raid members, is not hitting Stealth characters, is not breaking crowd control effects, and is not targeting nearby critters.

Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • All of the Hunter-centric rare spawns in Mount Hyjal and Molten Front are now immune to both Distracting Shot and Taunt.

Priest (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • The Flash Heal from Surge of Light will now correctly activate Chakra.
  • The heal-over-time effect from the Glyph of Prayer of Healing now will correctly apply to targets that are within 30 yards of the target of Prayer of Healing, but over 40 yards away from the priest.
  • Channeled spells are no longer being interrupted if cast immediately after Shadowfiend.

Rogue (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Sap is no longer placing the rogue in combat when he/she is visible and the target is sapped.

Warlock (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Warlocks will no longer fall through pillars in Ring of Valor if the pillar is moving when the player uses Demonic Circle: Teleport.

Dungeons & Raids
Dungeon Finder
  • It is no longer possible for two separate guild groups with less than five players each to be matched with any other groups or players in the queue from the same guild.

Firelands
  • Firelands Heroic difficulty has been turned off in all regions until the following week's realm maintenance.
  • Alysrazor
    • Blazing Talon Clawshapers and Blazing Initiates cannot be interacted with any longer prior to them shifting to human form.
    • The Molten Feather power bar is now reappearing when appropriate.
  • Baleroc
    • Baleroc's gate will now properly unlock itself again after a wipe, even if Shannox is still alive.
  • Beth’tilac
    • Beth'tilac's trash will no longer respawn after she has been killed.
    • Cinderweb Drones will now add threat to players on the bottom floor (below the web) and not give any threat to players above the web.
    • The Widow’s Kiss will now ignore immunities, including Divine Shield and Anti-Magic Shell.
  • Rhyolith
    • Rhyolith is now slightly easier to turn in 10-player mode.

Creatures
  • Cinderweb Spiderlings no longer drop any loot and their health is restored to full after players exit combat.
  • The Flame Archon range of Fiery Torment has dramatically increased.
  • Flamewaker Subjugator, Flamewaker Animator, and Unstable Magma health has been reduced. Flamewaker Subjugator damage has been increased for 25-player raids.
  • The damage-over-time effect from the Hell Hound ability Rend Flesh now stacks up to 5 times, down from 10.
  • Molten Flamefathers had too much health in 10-player mode, and too little health in 25-player mode. This has been corrected.
  • Surger damage dealt by Surge has been reduced.
  • Unbound Blazing Elementals now have a greatly reduced chance to drop epic items and crafting recipes. They also drop less gold.
  • Unbound Pyrelords can properly target banished/cycloned Smoldering Elementals with Ignite Elemental. In addition, Ignite Elemental cannot be interrupted.
  • Unbound Pyrelord health has increased, while Unbound Smoldering Elemental health has decreased.
  • Neither the Sulfuron Span nor Shatterstone volcano are able to be affected by the siege damage done by a Saronite Bomb.
  • The rate at which crafting recipes drop has been greatly reduced.

Quests
Zul’Drak
  • Players are again successfully able to complete the quest Betrayal.

Items
  • The Heroic and normal versions of the crossbows Arbalest of Erupting Fury and Lava Bolt Crossbow no longer have identical stats.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Puggable raids
No matter what Blizzard says, making new raid tiers undoable by pugs is total garbage. Personally I have absolutely no problem doing older raids, but seriously is making the first 2 or 3 or maybe 4 bosses of a new raid easy all that much to ask?
We actually do have a measurement of sorts in place like this. It might not be to your expectations if you want to successfully pug half of the bosses during the first week they're available, but it's worth mentioning it does exist.

Whenever designing a new raid dungeon, we have a basic 1-5 scale we use to rate each encounter in terms of complexity. While complexity may not be synonymous with difficulty in some cases, it is in most. So for an example of what we're looking at, every encounter in Molten Core would be a 1 on our scale in terms of complexity, while bosses like Cho'gall and Sinestra are each considered a 5. (For an example of when a complex fight might not translate into difficulty once the mechanics are known by the raid, Flame Leviathan is also a 5 -- there are a LOT of mechanics in that fight.)

So, using those few examples, I'll say we try to create the raids of today with the average complexity of all boss encounters dialed in around 2.5. We have to balance out the really complex encounters with encounters which have more simplistic mechanics. Again though, that doesn't always mean they're less difficult.

To define complexity, we're talking about all of the spells, abilities, scripts, or mechanics triggered during each fight. So if you look at a boss like Lucifron (1) in Molten Core, there are fewer than 5 mechanics in the whole fight. Meanwhile, Beth'tilac (5) in the Firelands has well over 100 mechanics (not just spells and abilities, but triggers for webs, adds, etc.). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Melee Friendly Encounters
Your reinterpretation seems to suggest that we're ignoring the issue when that's not the case. The take away from the quote should be that we were aware of the issues regarding ranged vs. melee, but that didn't mean that warriors got to outclass the other melee dps while we addressed them.

We're certainly aware that encounter design in the previous tier ended up feeling melee unfriendly. As a result, we were careful to include more melee friendly fights in the Firelands raid. We'll also make adjustments if things feel off in this tier of content (though that doesn't necessarily mean that melee and ranged will be tied for the top spot on every boss fight). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Frenzied Regeneration Tooltip
Frenzied Regeneration tooltip is reading 15%. It should be, and is, 30%.
That's a tooltip bug. We got some nifty new (and complicated) tech for tooltips up and running for Cataclysm, which allows us to do things like make tooltips reflect talents and glyphs in a highly accurate fashion, as opposed to the static tooltips we used to have. Overall it's a good thing, but when a system gets more complicated there are more opportunities for bugs to show up as a natural consequence. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Rogue (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Rogue Deadly Poison Stacking and DPS Ramp Up
You've got a point.

While we're unlikely to eliminate dps ramp up time for rogues altogether, we're sensitive to the fact that rogues require multiple methods to do so, when combo points do a pretty good job of handling that job. We will look at methods of streamlining rogue dps ramp time at some point in the future. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blizzard Art Gallery Update
The World of Warcraft Burning Crusade Art gallery has been updated with five pieces representing the Warcraft universe.


by Published on 2011-07-01 01:32 AM

Stars (TW - Crystalpine Stinger) already working on Firelands Heroic - Shannox World First Kill
A lot of guilds killed all the bosses of the Firelands raid in normal mode already but it seems that Stars (TW - Crystalpine Stinger) decided to take it one step further.

After clearing the encounters in normal mode, the entire raid changed faction to reset their raid ID and started working on heroic encounters shortly after, that kind of thing happened in the past and it's not really surprising to see it used again to grab first kills.

As I write these lines, Stars killed Shannox in Heroic Mode. It's not really my place to judge if something is against the rules or not and I will just keep tracking heroic first kills as they happen.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Eternal Embers and Seething Cinders Droprates
You’re assuming the drop chances for embers averages out to .5 per boss in 10’s and 2 per boss in 25’s, which it doesn’t. Whether you’re in 10’s or 25’s you’re going to see an equal drop average for Eternal Embers per player, and the same can be said for Seething Cinders. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New Content - Differences between PvE and PvP Players
The answer to your question revolves around a common difference in how PvE players and PvP players approach the game. Generally speaking, PvE players want more quests, more dungeons and more raids to experience -- more and new content is king. On the other hand, while some PvP players do want new maps, many others would be happier if we perfected the Arena or BG maps that already exist - or even if we cut existing maps. After all, PvP players don’t graduate out of Arathi Basin or Dalaran sewers the same way PvE players graduate from dungeon to heroic, or raid tier to raid tier. We did make some improvements to the existing PvP maps, such as trying to return Ring of Valor to circulation and changing the way flags work in Eye of the Storm (for rated play).

We’d love to add a lot more maps than we currently do, but we need to do it in such a way that doesn’t make the PvP experience worse for players who are more interested in refining their PvP experience than in seeing new maps. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 4.2 Hairstyles
We had a bunch of hairstyles we threw in for testing on the PTR and the majority of them did not pass the test. (quality, art direction, bugs, etc.) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 4.0 Raids now puggable
We specifically intend for the 4.0 raids to be puggable now that Firelands is out. Grabbing some tier 11 by way of Justice, quest rewards, plus across the board difficulty nerfs should really be enough to get them going.

The patch has only been out a day or so though. I think it'll probably take a little bit before people really get it into their heads that they should be pugging the previous tier because it's not too hard to be successful. It's just getting people used to the various encounters and mechanics.

Maybe people are waiting for the holiday weekend? If nothing else, leading one yourself is always an option. I think we'd agree that we need some better ways to get pug raids together considering we intend to follow the "New Raid is Hard, old Tier is Puggable" format from here on.

Still unsure what that means regarding the final raid (i.e. Deathwing). Do pugs not get to see him until the next expansion is released? (Not saying whether that's a good thing or not, but personally I enjoyed getting to Arthas on some of my alts without spending near as much time as I did on my main.)
In ICC we had a stacking raid buff over time which gradually made the content easier. Not saying we’ll do that exact thing again but the philosophy was around even then that everyone who wants to can eventually see the content, but it’s going to take very organized groups (which typically means raiding guilds) to see the encounters first.

So casuals will constantly be a tier behind for the rest of the life of this game? If that is what is actually coming out of your mouth I'll save myself the time and unsub now. What a piss poor vision for your game. There are normal and heroic versions of raids for a reason. That heroic difficulty was implemented so that the two segments of the population (casual and hardcore) would both have something to do. You are now bifurcating the raiding population AGAIN, by telling casuals that they have to run around in the left overs.
Trying to label all of our players as “casual puggers” vs.” hardcore raiders” is ridiculously simplistic. Among raiders there is an enormous diversity of players. There are those who will raid virtually every night when new content is out, to guilds that raid once a week (and even then will cancel raid nights fairly commonly). If you must try to label raiders, you’d be closer to the Blizzard model if you said normal mode is for organized raids, heroic mode is for more hardcore organized raids, and the previous tier of content (and Baradin Hold) is targeted for pick-up groups. Also consider that even within a raid zone we try to design easier bosses (usually near the front) and more challenging ones (usually at the end) which can help blur those lines and offer smoother transitions for each category.

Overall, we think you’ll have a better experience playing World of Warcraft if you play with friends, either existing or those you meet in game. WoW, while much more solo friendly than most older MMO games, is still intended as a multiplayer game. We provide features like Dungeon Finder for when playing with friends isn’t possible, and as we said above, we’d like to offer more features like that. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Tabards Tab
Are there any considerations for a tab for your tabards?
Yes!

[...] To clarify: he asked if we were considering it, and yes we are considering it. :) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Keyring Removal
On a serious point though some people are upset about the removal of the key ring. While that seems like we're just taking it out to be bullies, it specifically frees up storage space we can then make into useful features. Not that it will specifically be used for 'tabard storage', but we are going to be using the space the removal of the key ring freed up. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Thrall and Aggra's "wedding"
Correct. Their pledging of their lives to one another was essentially their 'wedding', although I'm sure Orcs don't use such nomenclature to refer to these things. Maybe 'life bond' fits better. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Does Blizzard plan on adding the rest of the dungeons and raids to the Dungeon Journal?
Absolutely. With the time it takes to present a single boss in the Dungeon Journal we were only confident supplying Cataclysm content with the release of the feature in 4.2, but we are on a path to filling it out with all dungeons and raids in the entire game. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Steam Summer Sales
In a very, very, very unrelated sidenote, Steam Summer Sales are up. I don't usually news non-WoW stuff but ... well, I like Valve and I'm pretty sure a lot of people will be happy to hear the news. Also, don't forget that we have a Video Games Forum!

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