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by Published on 2011-07-27 01:50 AM

Firelands 25-Man Heroic Mode Stealth Nerf
A couple of unanounced changes were deployed on live realms and nerfed Firelands raid bosses apparently.


  • Baleroc's health was changed from 217M to 195.6M in 25-Man Heroic Mode.
  • Majordomo Staghelm's health was also reduced by about 10% in 25-Man Heroic Mode.

I'm still trying to track down the changes but if you noticed something else, please post a comment in this news post or in the existing threads of the Raids & Dungeons Forums! (Picture below shamelessly stolen from Sinfonia's post)

Hopefully Blizzard will eventually tell us what the changes exactly are.



Ragnaros 25-Man Heroic World 2nd Kill by Method
A few hours ago, Method became the second guild in the world to defeat Ragnaros in 25-Man Heroic mode! Congratulations to them! It also means that we'll eventually get a nice video from Paragon in a few hours.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Battle.net Authenticator Changes
We understand the concern many players have with the recent Battle.net authenticator changes. To that end, we’re exploring the idea of adding an “Opt Out” option within Battle.net Account Management, which would then force the prompt for an authenticator code whenever you log into World of Warcraft.

To be clear, we have gone to great lengths to ensure Battle.net accounts and authenticators provide players with a high level of security. Maintaining a safe and secure Blizzard gameplay environment remains a top priority for us.

[...] We've been discussing the best way to implement new options for this feature since the moment it was announced. We don't yet have additional details about exactly how we might implement the feature, or whether it's something you'll need to opt out of by default, or opt into by default. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Very Rare Drop Mounts
You'll likely always see a variety of ways to obtain mounts in the game. We don't necessarily implement all of them in a way that ensures we acquiesce all mount collectors or achievement hounds.

We want a healthy number of mounts to remain fairly rare in the game, and sometimes that involves making them huge luck finds in dungeons or raids. For the average player, there will always be plenty of new mounts to acquire or work toward, but we also want to have a decent variety of coveted mounts that only a lucky handful of players will find.

Players often express concern that they end up looking like everyone else when they acquire awesome gear. This was somewhat a flip from the concept that tier sets were much too difficult to obtain back in the day. We share this concern and also think it's a problem that would apply to mounts as well, if some of the more rare ones out there had their RNG components removed.

There are so many mounts in the game now that having some really rare and random prestige rides is okay by us. ;) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

TCG Art Gallery Update
The Trading Card Game art gallery has been updated with 10 new pieces.



by Published on 2011-07-26 05:07 AM

Firelands Raid 10 vs 25 Comparison
DREAM Paragon posted an interesting comparison of the Firelands Raid 10 and 25-Man fights on their site. This is probably a good read for guilds wondering if it's time to switch to 10-man because things are feeling harder, and all the 10-man raids out there can most likely steal their setup if they feel like they're struggling on something.

Raid Setups @ http://raidcomp.mmo-champion.com/

DREAM Paragon's conclusion on differences between 10-man and 25-Man
It's immediately obvious that there's a much greater degree of clarity and control in the 10-mans. Thinking logically, this should help quite a lot with the learning curve and avoiding mistakes, but that's not really something we could say our little skirmish 'proved' in practice. We already knew what the encounters were about and what the flame to avoid looked like -- relearning to accommodate differences is very different than learning from scratch.

A theme of more significance that you can clearly see in the three harder bosses for this tier is that the dps requirement is much too lenient in 10-man. This means that you don't really have to cut the amount of healers, which ensures relaxed gameplay for the healers while about half of their 25-man brethren are taking beta blockers just to be able to see clearly. The other half is naturally on the bench, sitting out for the extra dps. Perhaps this is a backlash from what we've been hearing about T11, but it really doesn't work as it is.

Proper tuning has repercussions though, since class balance has a huge impact when you're forced into two-heal and solo heal situations. And that's not even a stretch -- don't be surprised if you see a druid solo healing Ragnaros 10 hc before this tier is over. Might or might not happen, but at least it seemed plausible enough. Try doing that with a shaman.

This leads us to the fact that the gap between an optimal setup and the wrong setup seems to be quite a bit larger in 10-man than in 25s. If the encounters are really hard, you'll need a proper setup. Guilds shooting for a world first should always be expected to come up with one, but those below, the ones without alt raids, will be left hanging. If the encounters are tuned for the 'average' setup, guilds who can afford the optimal one will steamroll through them.

If we were really playing 10-man, we *would* have a close to optimal setup. Even right now, scaled down from 25 to 10, we would have about 14 players and 30-ish fully raid-capable characters. The difficulty and tuning we're concerned about is for that scenario, not for the level where you're simply enjoying the game with the hand you've been dealt.


For more information and comparison of 10/25-Man modes for all the bosses, check out the full article on DREAM Paragon's website.


New BlizzCon Site Now Open
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve just opened up a brand-new BlizzCon community site for you to find all of the latest BlizzCon news, discussions, and more. Make yourself at home on the new community forums, check out the latest BlizzCon updates, and share news items via Twitter, Facebook, and more. As we get closer to the show, the new BlizzCon site will be your headquarters for panel schedules, lists of activities to look for at the convention, tournament updates, and lots more, so be sure to check in often.

Blog comments, forum posting, and profile management are only available to those with an active StarCraft II or World of Warcraft license.

The Info-Packed Website for the 2011 European Battle.net Invitational is Now Live!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
From today, we’ll be supplying you with lots of mouthwatering updates, information and treats on this dedicated event website leading up to the big weekend. Browse the site and discover the free HD live stream, detailed information about the event, and much more.

Get into the right mindset with classic matches and pictures of last year’s event. We’ll continue to add more content over the coming weeks, so by August 6, when the action is about to start, you’ll find everything you need to know about the 2011 Battle.net Invitational in one place:


  • Tournament information: What is it, when, why, and where? Any more questions?
  • Travel information: Do you want to soak up the atmosphere at the Invitational in person? We’ll tell you how to get there
  • Video playlist: Find classic replays and the newest matches conveniently listed right on the front page
  • Twitter feed: Stay up to date with all Battle.net Invitational tweets
  • Facebook integration: Like, share and follow the event together with your friends
  • Blog overview: Missed a blog update? See all related articles about the event at a glance

Coming soon:


  • Player profiles: Who will be fighting for glory and prize money?
  • Media section: Browse pictures of past events and watch videos of the matches – stay tuned for current media
  • Brackets: What legendary encounters are you about to witness?
  • Tournament schedule: Know what’s happening when
  • HD live stream: Watch the combatants battling it out live on stage, professionally shoutcasted and broadcast right into your home

So, are you ready for juicy eSports action? Our website will provide you with everything you need to enjoy the 2011 European Battle.net Invitational in Warsaw, Poland. Make sure to stop by regularly in the coming days to get warmed up for the big showdown!

Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects -- Excerpt Three
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Written by New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden, the new novel Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects is now on store shelves. We're pleased to present a series of three excerpts from the novel for your reading enjoyment.

Read the third excerpt below.



Comics
Dark Legacy Comics #298 and Teh Gladiators #256 + #257 are out!

by Published on 2011-07-24 10:43 PM

Diablo 3 Beta coming "soon"
Every now and then I have people asking me about a potential ETA for the beta of Diablo 3. This is a pretty hard question to answer but we can guess that it will be available very soon.

1. Activision Earning Call - During the latest conference call, Activision announced that the beta would start during Q3 2011, that's between July 1st and September 30th.

2. Press Tour - A Diablo 3 press tour is scheduled for Diablo fansites on August 1st, this is pretty much what happened with Cataclysm with the Press Tour happening 2 weeks before the start of beta.

3. Box Art - Last but not least, the Diablo 3 beta box art has been uploaded on the european battle.net last week, Blizzard seems to be getting ready for a launch "soon" - https://eu.battle.net/account/local-...-gb/d3-big.png (Thanks to Fisker for finding that one)


I'm not saying that it will happen omg omg omg super soon, because beta get postponed easily but things are definitely moving forward and I wouldn't be surprised to see something happen a few days after the press event.

For more information on Diablo 3 and a coverage of the press tour, your best bet is to keep an eye on Diablofans.com


Addon Review - PassLoot (by chaud)
PassLoot is another great addon for lazy efficient players who don't want to continue to do the mindless loot rolls necessary in groups. It allows very complex or very simple filter settings that will take over looting for you. You can filter by item level, name, quality, type, slot, class, spec, group status, uniqueness, and much more. It even allows for removal of the confirmation popups for BoP and DE actions.



After installing PassLoot, open the menu in game with "/passloot menu". This is where the filter magic happens. First Add a filter, then click on the Temp Description to change the name in the box below. Press enter after you change the name to something useful. Some of the easier filters to setup are for green quality items.

To DE or Greed green quality items in 5 man dungeons, first add the Confirm DE option from the list on the left if you want to skip confirmation. Then add Group / Raid and set it to either Group or Any depending on if you want the filter to be active in raids as well. Next is Item Level filters, generally it is safe to DE anything from 100 to 319 as there are some holiday and other items that have a level less than 100. Finally add a filter for Quality and set it to Uncommon. This means that the addon will only roll on Green items. Other handy filters are Usable, Zone Type, and Equip Slot. Below are two example filters I have used in the past to get you going.


You can set up similar filters for blues or epics depending on your guild's loot rules for raids, as well as filtering by item name, type, slot, or zone. Take care to set your filters correctly to avoid DEing something you really wanted to keep as GMs will not undo your mistakes. This should help to remove most of the mindless looting from your PvE and let you focus on not standing in the fire!

Under the Output menu you can control the notifications of actions taken by the addon. It can output to many different sources, including many SCT addons or raid warnings, so that you don't miss the action it takes.


NPCScan Update
It's also a good occasion to point out that NPCScan has been updated for Patch 4.2 last week and as usual, it will make your rare elite hunting considerably easier.



Comic-Con - Blizzard Panel - WoW, Diablo, StarCraft Swag
Blizzard had a 1 hour long panel at Comic-con focused on WoW/Diablo/Starcraft merchandising, you won't really hear anything new about the game but you will probably learn a few things on what's coming for WoW TCG, comics, and other products.

Check out Gamespot.com for the HD Version
by Published on 2011-07-23 05:16 AM

DREAM Paragon kills Heroic Ragnaros in 10-Man
Since DREAM Paragon still holds the only recorded kill of Ragnaros in heroic mode, it is probably worth reporting that they also killed the 10-Man version as well. Congratulations to them, see their statement below!

After a very deserving break from a tight raiding schedule that we kept for the past few weeks, we went back in to the Firelands. The goal was pretty simple: Check out the fights on 10-man heroic to gauge their relative difficulty compared to 25-mans. There's been so much discussion on various community sites about this topic, saying that 10-mans are "overtuned" and near unkillable and whatnot. Others saying it's the other way around.

After a quick clear of the filler bosses yesterday, we decided to go all out on Ragnaros today. We begun importing our 25-man tactics and had multiple very silly wipes. Once we realized we could just ditch the overly complicated tactics, we made several P4 wipes. Soon afterwards we were able to slay him and get the world first 10-man Ragnaros Heroic kill as well.

All in all, Ragnaros on the 10-man Heroic mode took 32 wipes in total with everything (such as multiple disconnects) included.




Adopt a Pet and Support Japan Earthquake Relief by July 31
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Until July 31, when you purchase the latest World of Warcraft companion up for adoption in the online Pet Store, we’re donating 100% of the $10 USD adoption fee to the American Red Cross's Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief efforts.

This is a great time to tame the wild and noble Cenarion Hatchling! This little critter is the twin of the rare Hippogryph Hatchling pet players could randomly encounter in the first World of Warcraft Trading Card Game set, Heroes of Azeroth -- and he's emerged from the forests to lend a helping talon to some friends in need. This support will enable the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support, and other assistance to victims of this disaster.

To learn more, please visit the Pet Store FAQ.

The American Red Cross name and emblem are used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion, or political position. For more information about the American Red Cross, visit http://www.redcross.org.



Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects -- Excerpt Two
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Written by New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden, the new novel Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects is now on store shelves. We’re pleased to present a series of three excerpts from the novel for your reading enjoyment.

Read the second excerpt below.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Feral performance in PvE
That said, we're happy with Feral performance in PvE overall. It we were to nerf Predatory Swiftness, it'd have a minor impact on PvE. Unheeded Warning is both a PvE and PvP problem. The particular mechanics of the trinket keep it disproportionately powerful for Feral druids. Nerfing Berserk would have PvE ramifications, but we'll take steps overall to make sure your dps doesn’t drop in PvE. We do everything we can to ensure we're considering all aspects of gameplay when approaching class balance. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Feral stealth isn't superior to Rogue's
Given that they are exactly the same mechanically, this shouldn't be the case. This has been a particularly pervasive myth that I'd like to lay to rest. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The fact that this shouldn't be the case, doesn't mean it isn't. Also, saying its a myth, or believing it must be, does not make it so.
You're correct. Merely saying something isn't so, doesn't mean a thing.

Knowing that they're the same ability used by different classes, and knowing that this exact issue has been tested, repeatedly, in response to claims otherwise, does. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Feral Instinct
This is correct, choosing the Feral spec and gaining Feral Instinct merely brings Feral spec Stealth into line with Rogue baseline stealth (whose talents have been rolled into the ability). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

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





by Published on 2011-07-22 02:46 AM

Blizzard Leaked Product Slate (Mostly) Confirmed
Blizzard finally announced the release of World of Warcraft in Brazil (see the press release below) 5 months after I first mentioned it in a news post, proving once again that if I throw enough random stuff on the front page I will eventually be right every now and then!

For more information, you can check the previous news posts about that leak:



Also, some dates probably shifted a little since the release of that slate and realistically, the WoW movie probably got kicked out of the schedule for the moment.



World of Warcraft coming to Brazil in 2011
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
SAO PAULO, Brazil. -- July 21, 2011 -- At an exclusive press event at the Museu da Casa Brasileira in São Paulotoday, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced that a fully localized Brazilian Portuguese version of its critically acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft®, will be released in Brazil later this year. Brazilian Portuguese will be the ninth officially supported language for World of Warcraft worldwide, and the third supported language in Latin America, complementing the existing English and Spanish versions.

An official Brazilian Portuguese World of Warcraft community website will also be available at launch.

In addition, players in Brazil will have access to customer service for the game in Brazilian Portuguese.

"One of our top priorities is ensuring that our games are easily accessible to players all around the world. By offering a fully localized version of World of Warcraft along with customer service in Brazilian Portuguese, we’re able to deliver an experience that meets our standards and the expectations of our players in Brazil," said Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard Entertainment. "We look forward to welcoming Brazilian gamers to the global World of Warcraft community, and we hope they have a great time in Azeroth."

World of Warcraft, which now includes the content of thefirst expansion, The Burning Crusade®, as part of the base game, will be available in stores throughout Brazil at a suggested retail price of BRL 29.90. Fully localized versions of the second and third expansions, Wrath of the Lich King™ and Cataclysm™, will also be available at a suggested retail price of BRL 99.90 each. World of Warcraft, Wrath of the Lich King, and Cataclysm will come packaged in a DVD case and will include the game media and documentation in Brazilian Portuguese.

Existing players on the North American realms will be able to download and install a free language pack to play World of Warcraft in Brazilian Portuguese. In addition, Blizzard will be creating designated Brazilian Portuguese realms as an option for players who have installed the language pack or purchased the Brazilian Portuguese game client.

Subscription plans will be available at launch at an expected price of BRL 15 (30 days), BRL 42 (90 days), and BRL 78 (180 day). Sixty-day time cards will also be available in retail stores at launch.

Players will also have the option to purchase and download full Brazilian Portuguese versions of World of Warcraft and its expansions through Blizzard’s Battle.net website (http://us.battle.net/pt/), using international Visa or MasterCard, or by using various local debit cards, credit cards, cash payments, bank transfers, or eWallet options through Blizzard Entertainment’s payment-gateway partner, DineroMail, for no additional fee. These payment method options include Boleto Bancario in Brazil.

Additional pricing details and an official release date for the Brazilian Portuguese version of World of Warcraft will be announced closer to launch. For more information on World of Warcraft in Brazilian Portuguese, please visit: http://us.blizzard.com/pt-br/company...ow-brazil.html.



World of Warcraft Mobile Armory for Android™ Now Available
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The World of Warcraft Remote app for Android has leveled up to become the World of Warcraft Mobile Armory! We've just released a brand-new update for the free official World of Warcraft application for Android devices, and you can get it now from the Android Market. With the name change comes a number of improvements and additions that will help you stay even more connected to World of Warcraft wherever you go, including:


  • Talents and glyphs
  • Professions
  • Reputations
  • Calendar events
  • Bookmarks
  • Search improvements
  • And much more!

Visit the Android Market and download the free Mobile Armory app today.

Android is a trademark of Google Inc. Portions of this page are reproduced from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.

Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects -- Excerpt One
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Written by New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden, the new novel Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects is now on store shelves. We’re pleased to present a series of three excerpts from the novel for your reading enjoyment.

Read the first excerpt below.

[Read More]

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