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by Published on 2012-09-06 05:39 PM

Mists of Pandaria Beta - Build 16048
A new beta build will be deployed on beta realms soon. We will be updating these notes frequently, so keep checking back!

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Terky is now a Battle Pet.

Death Knight (Forums)
  • Death Strike now does 280% weapon damage, up from 230%. Damage increased by 43%.

  • Heart Strike now does 115% weapon damage, down from 170%. Damage reduced by 54%.

Hunter (Forums)

  • Burrow Attack no longer costs 50 focus, instead costs 10 Focus, plus 5 per sec.
  • Fire Breath now increases magic damage taken by 5% for 45 sec, down from 8%.
  • Froststorm Breath no longer costs 50 focus, instead costs 10 Focus, plus 5 per sec.

Monk (Forums)

Shaman (Forums)

Warlock (Forums)

  • Hellfire mana cost is now 2% of Base Mana, plus 2% per sec, down from 4% of Base Mana, plus 4% per sec.

Warrior (Forums)

  • Revenge now generates 15 Rage in Defensive Stance, up from 10.
  • Shield Slam now generates 20 Rage in Defensive Stance, up from 15.
  • Unwavering Sentinel now increases your armor value from items by 25%, up from 10%.

  • Running Wild now can't be cast in Tree of Life Form, Moonkin Form.

Raid & Dungeon Abilities
  • Crush Garalon crushes his foes, inflicting 800,000 Physical damage to enemies within 12 yards and 100,000 75,000 Physical damage to all enemies.
  • Overwhelming Assault Inflicts 150% weapon damage to his current target and increases damage from further Overwhelming Assaults by 100% for 45 sec. 50% for 45 sec.
  • Spiritual Grasp Inflicts 40,500 Inflicts 54,000 Shadow damage to the target.
by Published on 2012-09-06 04:47 AM

Developer Journal: Crowd Control Changes

Mists of Pandaria Enchanting Preview
Today we are taking a look at the new weapon enchants in Mists of Pandaria. For the full list of all new enchants, see our full preview page. If you want to refer to it again in the future, you can find it in the menu on the right of the navbar.

Name Description Skill
Enchant Weapon - Elemental ForcePermanently enchants a melee weapon to sometimes inflict 3,000 additional Elemental damage when dealing damage with spells and melee attacks. Requires a level 372 or higher item.
525 550 575 600
Enchant Weapon - WindsongPermanently enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increase your critical strike, haste, or mastery by 1,500 for 12 sec when dealing damage or healing with spells and melee attacks. Requires a level 372 or higher item.
550 575 590 605
Enchant Weapon - ColossusPermanently enchants a melee weapon to make your damaging melee strikes sometimes activate a Mogu protection spell, absorbing up to 7,500 damage. Requires a level 372 or higher item.
575 600 603 605
Enchant Weapon - Jade SpiritPermanently enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increase your Intellect by 1,650 when healing or dealing damage with spells. If less than 25% of your mana remains when the effect is triggered, your Spirit will also increase by 750. Requires a level 372 or higher item.
600 615 615 615
Enchant Weapon - Dancing SteelPermanently enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increase your Strength or Agility by 1,650 when dealing melee damage. Your highest stat is always chosen. Requires a level 372 or higher item.
600 615 615 615
Enchant Weapon - River's SongPermanently enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increase your dodge by 1,650 for 7 sec when dealing melee damage. Requires a level 372 or higher item.
600 615 615 615

Pandaria Faction Capital Cities: Engineer Auction House
Engineers are in luck once again, as the capital cities in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms have a steam powered auctioneer for them to use. You can find H.A.R.V.E.Y. in the Shrine of Seven Stars and D.E.N.T. in the Shrine of Two Moons.

Ask Creative Development - Round III Answers
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The heroes of Azeroth have faced down many foes; blazing Elemental Lords freed from titanic prisons, mighty demons from beyond the stars, armies of shambling corpses and even eldritch gods who defy explanation. And yet, there exist only a chosen few equipped to deal with the powerful beast that is . . . Ask CDev. Through the heroic efforts of our brave loremasters here at CDev Publishing, we proudly present to you the answers to Ask CDev #3! We even managed to get them out before our stated deadline of “when the Andromeda galaxy collides with our own.”

Here, there be dragons and magical beasts

Q: Wrathion constantly claims that he is the last black dragon, but what of Sabellian and the other black dragons in Outland (and even the Netherwing)? Did Wrathion somehow have them killed, or is he ignorant of their existence?
A: Wrathion states, “To my knowledge, I am the only black dragon who remains.” Thankfully, Wrathion is not omniscient, and he is simply ignorant of the dragons beyond the Dark Portal. Both the black dragons under his elder half-brother Sabellian and the Netherwing flight remain in Outland. There is also the possibility that some black dragons on Azeroth have managed to evade Wrathion’s detection as well.

Q: Alexstrasza states that the Aspects' "great purpose" has been fulfilled. However, the titans empowered the Aspects to watch over Azeroth and not to just stop Deathwing's second Cataclysm. Since Aman'Thul gifted Nozdormu with his powers over time, it's possible he predicted Deathwing's ultimate corruption, but that doesn't explain why the Aspects would be like, "alright, job's done, vacation time" when there's still other threats to consider (N'zoth and the Burning Legion, for example). Is this a retcon or are we missing something?
A: Aman’Thul, the wise leader of the titan Pantheon, had seen in a vision that the Old Gods would one day cause a catastrophe with the potential to wipe out all life on Azeroth. He and a few members of the Pantheon empowered the five Dragon Aspects with the ultimate goal of averting this single catastrophe, this Hour of Twilight, though they strove to defend Azeroth whenever a suitably apocalyptic threat emerged. Despite Aman’Thul’s vast powers, however, he was not omniscient: neither he, nor any of the other titans or Aspects knew that Neltharion the Earth-Warder would become a pawn of the Old Gods and the herald of the apocalypse. However, following the War of the Ancients and Neltharion’s betrayal, Nozdormu received another vision of the future that made it clear that their own brother would be the Hour of Twilight’s harbinger. The titans bestowed upon all five Aspects enough power to avert the apocalypse, and by turning one of the Aspects to their side, the Old Gods believed this would make their ultimate plan foolproof.

Q: Why don’t we see mountain giants, faerie dragons, chimaera, and certain ancient units from Warcraft III like the ancients of winds or wonders and trees of life aiding the night elves now?
A: Many of the forest creatures that assisted the night elves were not, obviously, part of the actual military hierarchy of the Sentinels. The mountain giants, for instance, hold allegiance only to the titans, while the faerie dragons and chimaera are simply somewhat intelligent animals with ties to the Emerald Dream and Nordrassil, respectively. These beings all assisted the night elves not due to a desire to help them in particular, but because the night elves were the largest local force who opposed the Burning Legion. Short of a planetary threat, it is rare to see mountain giants, faerie dragons or chimaera fighting with a mortal army. The ancients, on the other hand, suffered heavy losses during the Third War, with many, especially the varieties that were never in great supply to begin with, returning to the forests to hopefully spread their seeds and replenish their numbers undisturbed.

Magic and Elements

Q: Is there a reason that many priest spells, especially shadow priest spells, have names that refer to psychic phenomena like "Mind Spike" or "Psychic Horror?” Are priests implicitly telepaths?
A: The Light is often said to bring about feelings of positive emotion -- hope, courage, comfort -- and the like. Shadow abilities are just the opposite, able to impart feelings like despair, doubt, and panic. In a poetic sense, it can be said that the emotions which the Light brings about come from the “heart,” whereas the emotions manipulated by shadow are often based on survival logic, and therefore affect the “mind.” That said, priests and their abilities are not necessarily always psychic or telepathic in nature.

Q: Throughout the events of Cataclysm, every Elemental Lord except Therazane is killed or captured. What happens to the political structure of the Elemental Planes with their lords gone?
A: There are many elementals imprisoned within the Elemental Planes, though only the most powerful have intelligence comparable to that of a civilized humanoid. Most of these elementals were pressed into service by the Twilight’s Hammer and their Old God masters during the events of the Cataclysm, and most perished. As such, it will take a long, long time for the elemental planes to rebuild their forces into an army that could threaten Azeroth again, as most of the remaining elementals are of relatively bestial intelligence and have no desire to rule over much of anything. For the Firelands in specific, the Avengers of Hyjal are guarding its few remaining portals, to ensure that a new Firelord can never rise again.

Of the Gods

Q: Is there truly an Old God underneath the Tirisfal Glade?
A: Nope! There’s something incredibly unsettling there, but it’s not an Old God. It isn’t recommended to go digging through the Glades, though.

Q: What is Elune? Is she tied to any other beings (Naaru, Titans, Loa, Elementals, An’she, etc.) in the setting’s cosmology?
A: See the final answer in Ask Creative Development, Round 2. Velen has been a prophet of the naaru for many thousands of years, and it’s unlikely that he would propose such a theory without significant evidence and consideration.

Breaking Free

Q: Why do some Alliance soldiers raised by the Forsaken immediately become loyal to the Forsaken while others do not? Are they being mind controlled? If so, by whom: Sylvanas or the Val’kyr? How does this relate to the fact that the Forsaken cultural identity is based on their free will and rebellion against the Lich King?
A: Free will is one of the cornerstones of Forsaken culture, with the great capacity for both good and evil that it entails. However, some undead, especially those who die in combat or under extreme stress and are raised soon after, enter into a violent, frenzied state. Undead in this state are easily manipulated and their rage is often directed at the foes of those who raised them. After the effects wear off, if the risen corpse has not been destroyed, they are given the same ultimatum that other Forsaken are offered: join the Dark Lady or return to the grave.

Q: From the quest “A Special Surprise,” a Worgen Death Knight could learn from Lord Harford that they were servants of Arugal before their death and resurrection. But, how did they keep their humanity and intelligence without drinking the Ritual Water?
A: When the player death knights are pressed into the service of the Lich King, their minds are flooded with his indomitable will. The mind of a worgen who has not undergone the purification ritual beneath Tal’doren is in a state of constant battle between the wild, animal instincts of the curse and the rational mind of a human. Almost invariably, the curse overwhelms the human mind and renders the worgen little more than a ravenous beast. With the addition of the Lich King’s control, however, the instincts of the curse are shattered by his power, leaving the logical, human mind in the service of the Scourge. And with the Lich King’s will removed, as was the case with the Knights of the Ebon Blade at Light’s Hope Chapel, only the human portions of the mind remain, giving the now free, undead worgen control over its destiny. Similarly, the Forsaken discovered that the Archmage Arugal had access to enchantments that allowed his favored worgen servants -- which included Lord Harford -- to retain a fair deal of their human intelligence as well. The source of these enchantments remains a mystery to this day, as Arugal took these secrets with him to his grave.

The Price of Rule

Q: Why did the throne of Khaz Modan fall into the hands of the Bronzebeard clan, when the Anvilmar family still had descendants? Was it one of the causes of the War of the Three Hammers? Did the Bronzebeard clan usurp the throne from the Anvilmars?
A: Though the bloodline of the Anvilmar family was running thin by the death of Modimus Anvilmar, it was by no means defunct, as evidenced by its modern-day descendants Thargas and Hjalmar Anvilmar. Modimus had done an admirable job of easing the tensions between the three main clans of Ironforge during his tenure as high king, though tensions always simmered under the society’s surface. After Modimus’ death and before his eldest son could be officially crowned, civil war broke out between the three clans. None know who struck the first blow -- Bronzebeard and Wildhammer dwarves blame the Dark Irons, while the Dark Irons blame the Wildhammers -- all that we know is that the Bronzebeard dwarves emerged victorious due to owning the largest, best equipped army of the three clans. Madoran Bronzebeard, leader of the Bronzebeard clan, became the ruler of the now shattered nation of Ironforge. However, due to his clan’s close ties with the Anvilmar family, he offered the now-deposed prince and his descendants a permanent seat on Ironforge’s senate as a token of reconciliation.

Q: Can we get some information on Garithos? Where he was from and on whose orders was he acting? Was there any significant event in his past that caused his hatred of non-human races?
A: Grand Marshal Othmar Garithos was the only son of a baron who ruled over lands in what would later be the Eastern Plaguelands that bordered Quel’Thalas. While his father ruled from the town of Blackwood on the shores of the similarly-named lake, Garithos joined the army as a knight during the Second War, where he saw combat in Quel’Thalas defending the elves’ homeland from invading orcs. While he was in Quel’Thalas, however, a small band of orcs broke off from the main invading force and burned his home town to the ground, killing all of its inhabitants in spite of the valorous defense marshaled by its lord. Othmar’s family perished doing their duty, defending the homes and lives of their subjects. He blamed the elves for the loss of his town and family, believing that the elves diverted forces away from the Alliance’s true goal: the defense of humanity alone. After his father’s death, Garithos was awarded his title and continued his service in the armies of Lordaeron. By the time of the Scourging of Lordaeron, he had attained the rank of Grand Marshal and was the highest ranked surviving military officer in the region, promoted not necessarily due to his own abilities, but his father’s reputation and title. Cut off from the chain of command, Garithos amassed a small army of volunteers and conscripted civilians, and gave them the mission that he assumed the Alliance should have always had: the preservation of humanity above all else. Despite the ad-hoc nature of his forces, other states recognized him as potentially the last remnant of Lordaeron’s government and certainly the strongest warlord in the area. As such, officials from neighboring non-human states such as Ironforge and Quel’Thalas sent him aid, ignorant of his intolerant policies.

For the Alliance

Q: What is the lore behind Gilnean druidism and the existence of “harvest-witches”? Is it a native practice, developed by the humans? Did they somehow pick it up from the night elves, even before the Eastern Kingdoms’ discovery of Kalimdor?
A: In the early days of humanity and its civilization, many tribes of humans had primitive belief systems that incorporated simple nature magic. However, the rise of organized religion such as the Holy Light and the potent arcane magics introduced by the high elves quickly supplanted such traditions. Gilneas, due to its relative isolation, has retained a degree of their ancient culture in the contemporary era. The religious leaders of what was in Gilneas referred to as the “old ways” eventually became “harvest-witches”; those who used their nature powers to augment Gilneas’ agricultural output during and following its period of industrialization. Due to the presence of harvest-witches in their culture, when Gilneans learned about night elf druids (albeit through second, third and even fourth-hand sources) they became fascinated by them and their exotic connotations, to the point where many started referring to harvest witches as “druids”, though this was quite far from the truth, as few Gilneans had any idea what a druid actually was! Harvest-witches have a limited control over nature, especially plant life, and the powers of harvest witches bear a coincidental resemblance to the low-level abilities of actual druids. Harvest witches who contracted the worgen curse (which was druidic in origin) found that their powers were somewhat amplified, and after making first contact with the night elves cursed harvest witches were offered induction into the Cenarion Circle for both study and training.

Q: In Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Maiev Shadowsong mentions the Night Elves wiping out various races in the past. Was this just bluster, or have they actually engaged in genocidal campaigns?
A: Maiev may not be the most balanced individual on Azeroth, but she does understand the value of intimidating her enemies. The night elves have never completely wiped out a species, though they have engaged in brutal and efficient campaigns of total war that have shattered their enemies’ civilizations, such as the War of the Satyr, in which they completely decimated any semblance of central leadership for the satyrs, forcing them to live in small sects to this day.

For the Horde

Q: How did the blood elven fel eye glint become so widespread? The Warcraft Encyclopedia suggests that Rommath only taught the blood elves of Azeroth about how to siphon arcane magic, as most of the populace would likely be “horrified” if they knew the true extent of Kael’s dealings with Illidan.
A: The situation regarding blood elf eyes is, in fact, extremely similar to that of the green skin of orcs: just being around heavy use of fel magic turned the eyes of the blood elves green. You could be the most pious of priests or most outdoorsy of Farstriders, chances are, if you were a high elf in Quel’Thalas or Outland following the Third War, you were around fel energies, and your eyes would turn green. Like the orcs’ skin color, such an effect would take a very long time to wear off. Fel magic works a bit like radiation in this sense; it permeates the area and seeps into anything in the vicinity. Anything near a source of fel magic shows signs of slight corruption, it just so happens that high elves and orcs manifest it in a very visual way.

Q: How does Cenarius view the Horde? Considering that Cenarius’ first instinct upon seeing orcs in his forest was to attack them, and Cenarius was killed by the father of the current warchief, it seems odd that Cenarius and his allies are so cordial to the Horde and orcs in particular in Hyjal.
A: Despite no longer having warlocks in their ranks, the orcs of Thrall’s Horde still carried within them the unmistakable mark of the Burning Legion upon their very souls up until the moment that Grom Hellscream defeated Mannoroth. Cenarius, as a being so attuned to nature that he can sense the slightest corruption, assumed that the orcs in Ashenvale were scouts of the Legion. This, ironically, sent the Warsong clan back into the service of Mannoroth and lead to the reestablishment of their connection to the potent fel magics that first bound them to the Legion. Cenarius’s spirit returned to the Emerald Dream after his defeat, and within it, he was able to sense the events of the Battle of Mount Hyjal. Cenarius saw the orcs defend Nordrassil hand-in-hand with the night elves and humans, and developed a growing respect for them. Cenarius saw that, despite their fel taint, they were allies against the Legion and defenders of the land (noting Garrosh’s father’s victory over his former enslaver in particular), so when both he and the Horde returned to Hyjal to defend the World Tree once again, Cenarius saw the orcs and their allies in a new light.

Dividing Loyalties

Q: Are the Wastewander Bandits of Tanaris and nomadic humans of Uldum native to the region or did they come to Kalimdor during the period of the Third War? If it’s the latter, why did their societies change so much in the short amount of time between then and WoW?
A: The Wastewander Bandits descend from a small band of human pirates who arrived in Kalimdor shortly after its discovery by the peoples of the Eastern Kingdoms. When the Southsea pirates arrived and entered into competition with them, they were essentially marooned in Tanaris after their few ships were stolen. They took to a new life as bandits and started raiding rich goblin settlements and capturing their life-giving water wells. After the failure of Uldum’s cloaking device a few bandits split off from the Wastewanders to pilfer the treasures of the titans.

Q: The New Council of Tirisfal stated in the comic that they intended to investigate Cho’gall and the Twilight’s Hammer. However, in Cataclysm itself and the Bastion of Twilight in specific, the New Council of Tirisfal is nowhere to be found. What have its members, such as Meryl Firestorm or Med’an been up to?
A: Most of the members of the New Council of Tirisfal have scattered to the winds, as it was not quite the secret and binding order that the original Council was. Reghar Earthfury is a member of the Earthen Ring and compatriot of Thrall. Vindicator Maraad returned to the Exodar and helped quash a riot caused by asylum seekers. High Priest Rohan returned to Ironforge, assisting Prince Anduin Wrynn of Stormwind with relief efforts following the Cataclysm, and also helped sort out the short succession crisis during the city’s Dark Iron occupation. Hamuul Runetotem joined the Cenarion Circle in battling the fire elemental forces of Ragnaros and the Twilight’s Hammer invading Mount Hyjal. Broll Bearmantle settled in Darnassus, temporarily assuming Malfurion’s duties of overseeing druid scouting parties while he assisted Tyrande in combat in Feralas. Jaina Proudmoore’s recent adventures following her tenure on the New Council of Tirisfal can be read in Christie Golden’s upcoming novel Tides of War. Meryl Felstorm, though not officially part of the new Counci, has been seen in various ancient libraries researching ancient tomes related to binding, imprisoning and banishing demons, in hopes that he might find a permanent prison for the dreadlord possessing him, Kathra’natir. As for the wonderfully unique Med’an, no one has seen hide, nor hair of him following Maraad’s return to the Exodar, leading some to believe that he has traveled to a new world or plane to continue his training.

Q: Why is Tol Barad apparently home to a population of tauren?
A: The island of Tol Barad’s location on sea lanes and lack of policing due to the collapse of many of the Alliance’s states during the events of the Third War made it a very attractive location for pirates. The town of Rustberg, originally housing many of the nearby prison’s staff, was abandoned when they were recalled to Stromgarde to deal with the catastrophes back home. The town was repurposed by a band of pirates into a base from which they would strike at the wealthy trade towns along the shores of the Baradin Bay. Over the years, some pirates had journeyed to Kalimdor and recruited or impressed various tauren into their crews, tauren who would later call Rustberg home just as their shipmates do.

Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Can rogues, ferals, and hunters get some info on the change to stealth?
There was no intentional change to stealth for balance reasons, and we don't see anything immediately wrong with the data, but can investigate more.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
I was wondering if you could comment on the design intent for pets?
Currently, it seems all pets are missing avoidance and their armor value isn't enough to withstand incoming damage. Even with Mend Pet glyphed, you still have a lot of trouble healing through damage without using another ability (such as Spirit Mend) on your pet as well.

Pets lost a lot of armor coming into Mists. The new scaling system didn't make up for all of the base armor they had before. So, we are going to significantly buff pet armor across the board. Theorycrafters will want to reset the armor values of relevant pets when this fix goes live. As an example, hunter pets will go from 100% of master armor to 170%. Cloth wearers will get more and plate a little less.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Hand of Light has a weird interaction with the spell dmg taken debuff presently.
Yeah, this is a bug. It should be 5%. It may be fixed already.

Tank Time
After consideration, we are a bit worried about paladin survivability as well. Shield of the Righteous, buffed by mastery, is a massive amount of mitigation, but the risk is that whenever paladins didn't have it available, they'd risk spike damage. (As an aside, it was also weird for paladins to suddenly be the spikey tank after years of being the opposite.) We're going to increase the Stamina benefit of Guarded by the Light from 15% to 25%.

One additional paladin note is that we are moving the initial tick of Sacred Shield to the end. We didn't want players to feel like the right way to play was to constantly cancel and overwrite the bubble.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Halo and Diminishing Returns beyond 6 targets: ... what?
Halo chooses its targets at cast time. You can think of it as firing a volley of missiles at cast time.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
When are you implementing the warrior changes ?
It is active on live and in beta. The tooltips won't be updated until we make a client patch.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Ragnaros Mount Droprate
Fixed as of now.
The droprate was never intended, so it should indeed be fixed by now. Currently it is only the heroic version that guarantees a drop.

put simply - blizz should clamp down on abuse of bugs / exploits. even if its something as simple as a 24hr ban before a mentality sets in of "oh well lets abuse this since there are no consequences" for example recently in trade you would see spamming FL grps with "OMG RAGGY MOUNT BUGGED DROPPING 100% FROM NORMAL JOIN MY GRP AND LETS FARM IT BEFORE THEY FIX IT" 99% of people were clearly aware it was most likely a bug and saw no issue with doing it anyway. no one else view this mentality as a problem?
We do take exploits very seriously, however getting this mount required no exploitation. The drop rate was a bug though, and even though I am sure some were aware of this, there were also those who didn't know. It is therefore quite unlikely that we will take further action on this, and if we do, it would most likely be something minor like removing the mount from those it shouldn't have dropped for under normal circumstances. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Heart of Fear (Raid Finder)
Amber-Shaper: Break free at 90% isn't working. It's only working with the 20% tooltip, rather than the 90% LFR one.
The Dungeon Journal does not say 90%, it says 10%. Break Free lights up at 20% of remaining health just like on Normal/Heroic. If you get DPS'd down to 10% though, on LFR you automatically break free, so that there's no risk of overzealous DPS or slow reaction from the transformed player resulting in death when everything was otherwise done correctly. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Execute in PvE
We shifted some of the damage away from Execute when this topic first came up. We're happy with it now. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Hunter Bug
As someone posted above, this is a known issue that we are working on. This thread mischaracterizes the situation and isn't helpful. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The Daily Blink - Introducing: Zarhym, Evil Mastermind
The Daily Blink explains some of the reasons for Zarhym's recent Community Manager of the Year award.

'How do you type without arms?' 'I don't know, how do you post without a brain?'
by Published on 2012-09-05 06:58 AM

Alkaizer - Paragon Level 96 Barbarian, svenskadiablo's Interview With the Game Developers

Patch 5.0.4 Professions Issues
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With the recent release of patch 5.0.4, two profession-related issues have cropped up. Unfortunately, neither of these can be hotfixed and will require a full client-side patch. Both of them will be addressed in some manner once the expansion has been released. Details of the two issues can be found below:
  • There is a bug preventing players from applying weapon chains to ranged weapons. When Mists of Pandaria does arrive, players will be able to attach the newest weapon chain to ranged weapons. All previous weapon chains will then be updated in a future patch.
  • Alchemists may have noticed that they are currently unable to select a specialization. This is because the specialization quest now requires materials from Mists of Pandaria. While this change was intended to eventually happen, our intentions were not to leave alchemists without the ability to select a specialization prior to the expansion’s release. You should be able to correctly select your specialization as of September 25.

We apologize for the inconvenience these may have caused. It’s only a matter of weeks now until Mists of Pandaria arrives, so we ask for your patience in the meantime. Thank you for your understanding. We can’t wait to finally clear the mist for all of you!

The Lorewalkers Faction Preview
The Lorewalkers is a faction that is tied in to Archaeology and the lore of Mists of Pandaria. Finding various objects around the world will give you achievements and reputation with them, as well as access to various stories told by Lorewalker Cho.

If you have been following every Lorewalkers post, the new or updated items are below, otherwise check out the full preview.

The Lorewalkers also offer some other nice rewards at their Quartermaster. You can get Restored Artifacts by completing archaeology artifacts or purchasing one for a Spirit of Harmony.

Level Required Level Type Name Required Rep Cost Source
1 Lorewalker's LodestoneExaltedVendor
1 Lorewalker's MapExaltedCreated, Vendor
6060Mount Disc of the Red Flying CloudExalted600Vendor
11Miscellaneous Lorewalkers TabardExalted10Vendor

Disc of the Red Flying Cloud

Lorewalkers Tabard

Dark Heart of the Mogu

Raid Testing Schedule - September 6
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Raid testing will resume this Thursday, September 6.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below for all Beta Test Realms, regardless of suggested geographical region.

Stone Guard (Mogu'shan Vaults) - 10 Player Normal
10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)

Blade Lord Ta'yak (Heart of Fear) - 25 Player Heroic
16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a beta environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session or cancel it entirely, due to bugs, builds, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.

Would it kill you to put 25man at 19:30 and 10man at 01:00? Especially when the 10man is normal and the 25man is heroic.
Blade Lord Ta'yak was originally scheduled for the 01:00 CEST time slot last week. We're just sticking to that schedule. We try to keep an even split of the availability of Heroic bosses in particular between the early and late time slots.

Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Tank Time
I mentioned previously (though it very well could have been in another thread) that we have been looking a lot at tank balance. We think tanks surviving short windows of spike damage has been fairly balanced in beta for some time, and indeed we are seeing all tank classes used effectively in beta Challenge Modes and Heroic raid testing.

We have made a few changes to longer-term tank healing required, which will show up both on beta and live very soon. I mentioned that we were initially going to nerf monk and DK, but we now think they and paladins are fine. Instead, the rage tanks required too much healing, so we are causing them to take less damage and have more rage for active mitigation.

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Auto attack rage generation increased by 75%.
  • Thick Hide now provides 12% physical damage reduction.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

I'm confused. Auto attacks currently generate 6.2 Rage. Does this mean they will now generate 10.85 Rage (~75% increase)?
Yeah, sorry, those are internal tuning numbers for us that won't have any context for you. It is a 75% increase on auto attack rage.

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Can you clarify how Healing Stream Totem scales with haste, because it's starting to do my head in.
Sure. The short version is that it’s not a HoT, and it functions differently. The totem casts a heal instantly, and once every two seconds (reduced by haste), and despawns after 15 sec (unaffected by haste). So haste on a HoT typically works to add ticks at certain breakpoints, which will half the time increase the total duration beyond the base, but that doesn’t happen with Healing Stream Totem.

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Could we get some news if the devs are doing anything to fix the range issue with Inferno Blast's mechanic?
There are some times where we do some tricky things under the hood to make things feel better, and this is one of them. The intended gameplay is that you should be able to get a Heating Up proc while already casting another spell, and follow that one with an Inferno Blast to force a Hot Streak proc. You should never need to cancel your current cast to get that benefit.

So, tricky under-the-hood things follow. Again, you do not need to know or understand this to use Inferno Blast effectively, or play Fire; it should “just work." But, for those interested in the gory details, here they are:
  • Fireball, Pyroblast, and Frostfire Bolt (which was bugged until recently) have a cap on their effective travel time.
  • Their effects will take place after a maximum of 0.75 sec.
  • The fireball visual will still travel at the same speed, but you’ll see the damage number pop up and get the Heating Up proc after 0.75 sec, even though the fireball visual is still traveling through the air.
  • We normally prefer the game to feel more visceral, by tightly syncing visuals to effects, but this change felt worth the gameplay benefit to us. In a future patch, we may be able to hasten the visual to match.
  • If you have Heating Up, and get a non-crit, then Heating Up gets removed, as expected.
  • However, if the non-crit came from a spell with a travel time, or from Scorch (which is supposed to be able to replace Fireball rotationally while moving), then we delay the removal of Heating Up by 0.25 sec.
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Death Knights and Upcoming Nerfs
I posted recently in the large class balance theorycrafting thread that we have buffed the mitigation and rage generation of Guardian druids and Protection warriors. After some more analysis, we don't think DKs and monks needed additional nerfs to be on par with paladins, who were our target. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Season 11 Arena Rewards
Apologies for the error in the original post, rewards will be given out 2 weeks after the season ends, which means next maintenance (September 11). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.0.4 Spellbook Changes
I've addressed this a few times, but we didn't think the old spellbooks organized by spec made much sense. It worked okay for classes like mage, where everything was themed to magic school, but really Arcane became the dumping ground for almost everything. For paladins, Consecration was a Holy ability, I think, even though it did damage and was a primary tanking tool. For warriors, Fury tended to have a bunch of shouts because I guess you yell a lot if you're angry. With all of the class changes, I think players would still have trouble finding both old and new spells if they were on spec pages still.

The new spellbook lists all class spells alphabetically, with active ones first and then passive ones. I can appreciate the feedback that some players would rather have an active and a passive tab, or that all spells should be organized in one list without the active and passive separation. I don't think there is a solution here that is right for everyone, so we may add more options or filtering in the future.

I am less enamored of the idea of trying to categorize spells as core, cooldown, defensive or what not, just because so many abilities break the rules and do a few different things. We don't design spells to fall into neat categories so I'm pretty sure they wouldn't just happen to work out that way. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Monks and the Term "Hero Class"
"Hero class" meant that the DK started at higher level (and also with a lot of blue gear and so on). We thought it made sense for the DK story because you're treated as a high-level character and veteran of past events. We didn't think that made as much sense for the monk, especially when there were so many low-level pandaren running around, and the (perhaps flimsy) justification for non-pandaren monks learning how to be monks from the pandaren. We might very well use hero classes again if it makes sense for a future class though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Darkmoon Rabbit Pet
So... you're basically mad because you can't dictate who wins a pet. Got it.
I don't think that's fair... the majority of the game is built around controlled environments (instances) giving out tha loots in specific and controlled ways. When almost everything the game presents (systems-wise) is countered by the rather loose mechanics of a rare spawn, it might seem like it's unfair, or maybe even like it's breaking the intent of how loot is (or should be) distributed in the game. Given how the majority of the game functions, I think that expectation is at least understandable.

While we may be challenging some of what people believe the formula of the game is... these kinds of things can be fun because we may be challenging some of what people believe the formula of the game is. It seems to me like one of those thing that at some point in the future you'll look back fondly on the crazy shenanigans that took place - although it doesn't seem like it now. Whether it be an outdoor raid boss or some world-PvP... just from my personal outlook I'd say this expansion is a bit looser and looking to create more of the backdrops where those spontaneous situations can occur, and long-lasting memories will be made. I think that's pretty exciting. Or at least I'm excited. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.0.4 Soloing Loot Change
We design dungeons primarily as group activities. We have no problem supporting soloing old content as a fun thing to do, but we don't want it be among the best ways to generate gold, which it was at risk of becoming. The metric here is not which methods can earn you the most gold (which are probably still things like being an AH baron or selling raid slots), but which methods were trending as the most popular ways to earn gold. If optional content is too richly rewarding, it ceases to become optional and just becomes the way most players play the game.

You should solo old dungeons or raids to see the content, challenge yourself, or maybe get some transmog gear. We don't think it needs to be richly rewarding, financially. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Zarhym: Community Manager of the Year
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Thank you all for voting for us (and me)! <3

You can read my little attempt at an acceptance speech here:

What's a zarhym? he looks like a companion pet you get in dal
And I expect them all to be named accordingly.

Fan Art
Penseroso shares some art of various characters.

by Published on 2012-09-04 05:46 AM

1.0.4 Demon Hunter Build - Bowling Ball, Better Cooling, Contest Winners

Ragnaros Mount Hotfix
The Smoldering Egg of Millagazor from Ragnaros was dropping for 100% in Normal Difficulty for the past few days until a hotfix was made tonight that fixed the drop rate. Normally the mount only drops 100% of the time in Heroic mode.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
This did not appear to be a bug at first, but with all of the QQ about earning the mount from other players they suspended it.
No, it was fixed because the drop rate was never intended.

For them this was a brand new encounter, why take that away from them?
I'm not entirely certain how fixing an unintended drop rate for a single item takes the encounter away from anyone.

My understanding is that it is a guaranteed drop
That is currently for heroic version.

Will I be suspended/banned for winning a mount I had no idea was bugged? I know it probably won't happen, I would love a blue to chime in on this.
I can't say for certain but as I understand it, obtaining the mount required no exploitation. The drop rate should be fixed now. Additional actions would seem unlikely.

Mists of Pandaria Archaeology Preview
Today we are taking a look at some of the changes made to Archaeology in Mists of Pandaria. You can find these changes and all of the longer lists that go with them in the menu on the right of the navbar.

  • You are now able to survey up to six times per digsite. This change went live with Patch 5.0.4.
  • There will be two new races to solve for, the Pandaren and the Mogu.
  • You won't want to vendor the new artifacts, as they only sell for 1g. Instead, you use them to create a Restored Artifact.
  • Restored Artifacts can be used to purchase crates that contain 5-9 fragments for the non Pandaria races, as well as two other items.
  • Occasionally an Ancient Haunt will spawn after finding artifact fragments. They rarely drop a Mogu or Pandaren keystone and always drop ~7 fragments.
  • There are some Archaeology daily quests now!
  • You can find Pristine versions of artifacts and put them on display.

Lorewalker Story: Seven Burdens of Shaohao
In Mists of Pandaria there are several extra lore related achievements to go with the regular zone exploration achievements.

Once you have found all of the objects for an achievement, Lorewalker Cho will send you mail that asks you to meet him at the Seat of Knowledge. Once there he will narrate a small story that gives you some more information about Pandaria lore.

In the video below, the What is Worth Fighting For story is told to you.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Class / Spec Complexity and Listening to Feedback
I think there are a couple of points here worth addressing that either came up since my initial post or I missed the first time.

I think part of what the OP is asking for is alternatives to the hunter (IIRC) rotation with fewer buttons. That's a reasonable request. We tried in the talent trees overall to make sure there was always a passive option for every tier so you didn't need a button. The level 60 tier has 2 active buttons and one that is somewhat reactionary, and the level 75 tier has 3 active buttons. We like the hunter tree overall and are unlikely to change it at this stage, but I think it's a fair criticism for players who like fewer buttons.

Second, there is a lot of supposition that we somehow baited and switched players by changing the game. We have to change the game. Many of the rules and mechanics in vanilla wouldn't be acceptable to players these days. So I think we're just arguing about degree of change. Some warlocks are saying their class changed too much and some rogues are saying their class didn't change enough. Those are all valid opinions and the kinds of things we try and take into consideration when we're deciding on class changes going into an expansion.

I hope you take my word though that every change we make, even the ones that end up not working out again, are made because we are ultimately trying to make the game more fun for the players, and not because we're bored designers trying to entertain ourselves by experimenting with your characters. We weigh every change. You still may not agree with them all, but I want to reassure you that they aren't made on a whim, and nearly every one began with player feedback at some point.

Finally, it has been mentioned a few times in this thread that when most players feel a certain way, that the developers should absolutely take action. I'd generally agree with that statement. The main problem with that strategy is that we don't really have any idea what most players want. (And no, you can't just extrapolate that if 4 forum posters feel one way, then 400,000 non-posters must as well).

Instead, we fall back a lot on logic, common sense, professional experience and a lot of gut instinct. We do use a lot of ways to capture player feedback, and the forums are one of those tools. They're good for pitching ideas or points of view, but bad for trying to figure out how many other players agree with you.

What happens nearly every time is some group of players advocates position A and another group advocates position B. What sometimes happens after that is the A players try to argue that they are smarter, more experienced, or more important players, therefore their opinion should count more. As you have all experienced, it can escalate into an argument quickly. We try to take both positions under advisement, consider what A or B would mean for the game, maybe try some things out internally, and eventually come to a conclusion. Sometimes we do A, sometimes B, sometimes nothing, and sometimes C. None of that means we ignore player feedback. It definitely does not mean that we ignore these massive groups of sensible players who are unified on a given position that is so self-evidently correct that we're obviously derelict in our jobs for not implementing their changes immediately. Those scenarios just don't exist. It would make our lives much easier perhaps if they did.

Just my 2 copper here but in my opinion the problem is not the analogy so much as it always feels like anytime GC responds to any criticism over the years he consistently degrades the "way" you post be it bad analogy or "not constructive" etc. I may have missed a few posts over the years but he always seems to find a way to deflect from the intent of how a critical poster "feels" about an issue and rarely ever acknowledges that a critical post could have merit.
I do that a lot because it's in our (the developers') best interests to have clear, concise and specific feedback. Improving the tone of the discussion pays far larger dividends to me personally that turning the forums into an ask the devs Q&A. I don't personally (and neither does Blizzard as a company) have the bandwidth to answer even a fraction of the questions we receive. Therefore, trying to get the community to understand how to improve the efficiency of their messages can in turn improve the efficiency of our game design.

The second problem is, sometimes C just doesn't make sense. Literally, no sense. Example: What was the reason given for "homogenizing" Rogues? To paraphrase: "We wanted Rogues to feel like Rogues, and not have 30+ classes in the game to balance." After which we see Monks with three separate specs, Druids with four (4!!!), and even a complete change to one of Warlocks.
In this specific case, it's because rogues are a pure class with 3 DPS specs. If for example Combat had superior damage and Subtlety had superior control, then one is the PvE spec and one is the PvP spec and Assassination is probably dead. We thought the only reasonable way to let rogue spec be a choice was to share the utility and the damage, and make the spec choice about the way you do damage. Warlocks, mages, hunters and even the DPS specs of warriors and DKs follow a similar pattern.

I'm sure they must have statistical tools.

- How many people spec X v. Y v. Z?
- How many people use glyph A, B, C...?
- How many people talent D, E, F...?
- How many people use ability G, H, I...?
- In what parts of the game do they use A-Z?
- How do spec/glyph/talent choices and ability use correlate with time played in game?

Yes, we do all of that. I'd wager we collect more information than most players realize.

What it doesn't provide us is context. Do more players spec X because the guides tell them to? Because X does higher damage? Because it's harder to screw up the X rotation? Because X has prettier spells? Because X is more fun? Because they've just always played X?

Even more important, how much change would it take to get some players to go Y? How much change can we risk before everyone goes Y? We've caused that several times, and I hate it when that happens. It's a failure on the part of me and my team when it does.

A question to consider: Is there any real evidence on Blizzard's side that the majority want their chosen playstyle changed so much each and every expansion that they essentially have to relearn it?
We can't measure majorities for the reasons I mentioned above. Instead, we look at what players are complaining about, and try to evaluate the passion, legitimacy, and logic of what they say. To use just a few examples, players complained that warlock rotations were convoluted, that rogues had too many ramping mechanics, that rage was too boom or bust, that hunter minimum rage sucked, that mages had to be Frost for control, that totems were just group buffs with too many drawbacks, that Presences didn't match spec, and so on. Those are just a few examples, and I know not every player agrees with them.

As I mentioned before, you also have the cases (I see this the most with rogue and maybe shaman) that while the rotations aren't necessarily broken, the players are just tired of them and want something new. It's very hard to balance "Give me something new" with "I like my character exactly as they are." (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

No Mana Constraints
It is just completely and utterly false. Mana might feel tigher at 85 (post-patch 5.0.4) than it does at 90? Mana is much, much, much tighter at 90 than it is at 85 (post-patch 5.0.4). It's not even close.
We're talking about 5 different numbers here.

1) Mana at 85, pre-geared.
2) Mana at 85, post-geared.
3) Mana at 85, post-geared, post patch. <-- You're probably here right now.
4) Mana at 90, pre-geared.
5) Mana at 90, post-geared.

Our expectation is that things look like this: 2 > 5 > 4 > 3 > 1

To explain:
  • Mana for a Dragon Soul geared healer (2) is too good, but not dramatically so.
  • Mana for a new level 85 (1) is too punishing.
  • For Mists, mana for a raid-geared character (5) should feel good, but not as good as 2.
  • For Mists, mana for a new level 90 (4), should not feel as punishing as 1.
  • For the current "lame duck session" you're playing a level 85 character using Mists numbers (3). This is NOT the same number as 2 or 5. We knew this would be the case, so we nerfed Dragon Soul by an additional 5% to make sure nobody started stumbling where they had smooth sailing the week prior.

In other words, 1 and 2 no longer exist, so we're looking at 5 > 4 > 3.

Value 3 will be irrelevant to most players in a few weeks, at which point the only relevant thing is 5 > 4 (meaning geared characters have more mana than ungeared characters). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

FEEDBACK: Heart of Fear (Raid Finder)
The Wind Lord Mel'jarak encounter has a bug in LFR mode that prevents Recklessness from being triggered (increased damage taken on the boss for each trio of Mantid that are defeated). This should be fixed tomorrow. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

WoWDB Addon Data Collection
You may have noticed that we are making slow and steady progress on WoWDB, but now we need some help from you! If you are using Curse Client, you can contribute data like mining node locations and what a vendor sells.

So far you have helped us identify a number of bugs that we are working on fixing and more data will help us get things working smoothly for the Mists of Pandaria launch.

To help out, just install the WoWDB Profiler addon from Curse and check the box in the Curse Client options as seen below. When you are playing the addon will gather data and save it. When you are done playing, Curse Client will see the game close and upload the collected data from the addon.

Fan Art Update
The World of Warcraft Fan Art Section has been updated with three new pieces of fan artwork.

by Published on 2012-09-02 08:35 PM

Monk 1.0.4 Guide, 3D Fan Art, Inferno Booster Pack Giveaway

Terrace of the Endless Spring Raid Preview
Today we have a preview of the bosses in Terrace of the Endless Spring, the raid which is unlocked after completing the Heart of Fear raid. Not only does Elite mode drop better gear, it now drops some bonus pieces of gear on Protectors of the Endless.

Mogu'shan Vaults Raid Preview
Today we have an updated preview of the Mogu'shan Vaults raid! If you don't remember what the raid zone looks like, you can take a look at our very early preview. Keep in mind that the zone was very unfinished at that time and that does not represent the final area. You can find these pages in the menu at the right of the navbar in the future.

Tiller's Daily Quest
We are also taking a look at one of the new daily quests that you do for the Tiller's faction. The Water, Water Everywhere quest asks you to fly around the Heartland and water dusty spots in the crops. You can unlock a kite that flies much faster and a kite that flies higher later on.

One extra source of rep we didn't mention in the original preview is harvesting crops! Each plant you harvest will give you 49 Tillers reputation.

MMO-Champion Forums Moderator Recruitment
Good news everyone! We're recruiting moderators for the forums again! The amount of users and posts keeps increasing and we reached the point where we need some help before the trolls take over and play Whack-a-Mod in the Darkmoon Faire. I know it sounds fun, but I'm going to assume we don't want that.

This time around we are mostly looking for mods for the class forums as things to start to ramp up for Mists of Pandaria. Exceptional people are always encouraged to apply though! Please be sure to read the entire post before applying.

Darkmoon Faire Quest Reset Issue
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We are aware of an issue in which the Darkmoon Faire quests did not reset properly. We are currently working on a hotfix that we will apply to all realms as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Transmutation Mastery Change
The profession has been changed to prepare for the upcoming expansion and will now require the higher grade material in order to complete the quests. (Official Forums)

Class Complexity
You have to consider that WoW is a multiplayer game in which players are very often competing, whether comparing damage meters in a raid or out and out trying to kill each other in PvP. Changes to your your character end up affecting everyone who comes into contact with your character. If you can order up exactly what you want, you're affecting a bunch of other people.

In your hamburger analogy, you're telling the restaurant "You should make sure that nobody can have mayonnaise because I don't like it."

I've actually used the restaurant analogy myself, because few restaurant patrons have the impression that they're going to be able to go back into the kitchen, give the chefs pointers, rearrange the menu and so on just because they think highly of their own opinions on food. Restaurants may honor your request to hold the salt or put the dressing on the side, and many chefs are probably thrilled to get feedback on the dishes they prepare to get an idea of what their customers like or not, but ultimately if you don't like a restaurant's food, you should probably go to another restaurant, not try and change the menu.

As far as class complexity, that's another attempt to serve a very diverse player base. Some players like a few buttons and some like to have a lot. If the restaurant required every dish to have the same number of ingredients, that doesn't improve the quality of the food. I only think it's a problem if some classes are so much more challenging to play that those players expect to do higher DPS as a result, or I guess if the number of buttons is truly stupid.

Also, remember that there is a huge difference between reasonable and optional. If adding an ability to your rotation improves your DPS by 1% then it might not be worth worrying about. I actually wish guides would focus a little more on describing both the "90% rotation" as well as the "theoretically highest rotation." (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Second Wind and Healing Nerf
We applied a healing nerf to Arenas and BGs because it was getting impossible to kill anyone. We hope this is just a temporary 85 measure.

Based on some of these reports, it sounds like percentage heals like Second Wind were affected. They probably shouldn't be. Percentage heals aren't boosted by PvP Power, so they shouldn't be nerfed by the blanket PvP healing debuff. We'll discuss and likely fix it.

Our stance on Second Wind hasn't changed. Under some circumstances, especially duels, it can account for a tremendous percentage of your health healed, but usually in group PvP (where we spend far more balance emphasis) you're unlikely to stay below 30% health for very long -- you'll either be healed up or killed. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Computers - Setup of the Month (by chaud)
Each month or every 2 months, depending on the hardware evolutions, the lovely chaud will work on a couple of hardware setups for those of you who are thinking of upgrading their computer!

This month
Hard drive prices are stagnant and still above the pre-flood prices, so now is still a good time to buy a SSD. The current SSD prices seem to have bottomed out for now, with almost all SSDs under $1 per gigabyte. A few sales have even gone under 50 cents per gigabyte, so look for something on sale!

Unless you are doing a lot of video rendering or something that is similarly multithreaded, you do not need the 3770K and should spend that money elsewhere.

Make sure to keep your AMD and Nvidia drivers up to date.

Don't hesitate to post any feedback in the comments of that news post, and don't forget to visit the Computer Forum for any extra questions or help getting an even better deal! If you are interested in Folding@home, take a look in our team's thread.

ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorAcer V223W EJBD 22-Inch Widescreen - $138ASUS VW246H 24-Inch Widescreen - $188
KeyboardLogitech Media Keyboard K200 - $17Cyborg V.5 - $48
MouseLogitech G400 - $37Razer Deathadder - $47
SpeakersLogitech S220 2.1 Speaker System - $27Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $38
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE276Q 27-Inch - $305HP ZR2440W 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $379
KeyboardLogitech G110 - $54Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $69 ($95)
MouseLogitech G500 - $50Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $71
SpeakersLogitech Z323 2.1 Speaker System - $58Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $79

Puppy and Dolphin
Overclocked Puppy will outperform Dolphin when multiple threads are in use (Not WoW) and come close in most other cases.
Mix and match anything but the CPU/Motherboard combo between Puppy and Dolphin. Pick one of the two CPU/Motherboard combos.
Mix and match anything between Dolphin and Narwhal.
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT GAMMA Classic - $40NZXT GAMMA Classic - $40
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 V2 - $50XFX Core Edition PRO 550W - $66
CPUAMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition- $104Intel i3-2120 - $125
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $26Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $32
MotherboardASUS M5A97 AM3+ 970 - $95Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H - $120
Memory4GB PNY Optima DDR3 10600 - $228GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $53
Graphics CardXFX 7770 - $114XFX 6870 or ASUS DCII GTX 560 - $137/ $170
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $66Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $103
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$539$698 - $731

Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn. SSDs are always optional.
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master HAF 912 - $55Cooler Master HAF X - $182
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $85Corsair 750HX - $160
CPUIntel i5-3570K - $230Intel i7-3770K - $320
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $56Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $84
MotherboardASUS P8Z77-V LK - $146ASUS P8Z77-V - $180
Memory8GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $538GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $53
Graphics CardXFX 7850 Double D - $240XFX 7970 Black Edition OR EVGA GTX 670 FTW - $430 / $405
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $103Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $103
SSDSAMSUNG 830 128GB (Review) - $100
OCZ 120 GB Vertex 3 (Review) - $75
Crucial 128 GB m4 (Review) - $105
Corsair Force Series GT 120 GB - $112
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$990 - $1090$1406 - $1543

Mists of Pandaria Almost Never Was
The Verge had an interesting short piece back during Gamescom that is worth a read.

  • A different expansion was pitched, accepted, and background work and lore was started on.
  • The team then changed direction to Mists of Pandaria when everyone agreed that it felt right.
  • This expansion goes back to World of Warcraft's roots more so than any expansion before it, thanks to the sense of exploring an entirely new area.
  • Mists of Pandaria has something that wasn't in the original lore and is more about discovery than previous expansions.

Fan Art Update
The World of Warcraft Fan Art Section has been updated with four new pieces of fan artwork.

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