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by Published on 2011-05-11 01:38 AM

Patch 4.2 PTR Notes - May 10th Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes: General
  • All healing critical strikes now heal for 2 times a normal heal (+100%), up from 1.5 times a normal heal (+50%).

Buffs
  • All class abilities which place a buff on friendly targets no longer generate any threat. This goes for raid-wide buffs like Mark of the Wild and Power Word: Fortitude, as well as triggered effects such as Blessed Resilience or Fingers of Frost, and single-target buffs like Dark Intent and Hysteria. The exception is buffs which directly cause healing or damage, such as Thorns or Renew. Abilities such as these still generate normal threat.

Pets
  • The Aggressive pet stance has been removed and replaced with the Assist stance. This stance will cause the player's pet to attack the player's target. The pet will not change targets unless the master attacks a new target for a few seconds.

Spell Interrupts
  • When interrupted while casting a single-school spell such as Mind Flay or Frostbolt, players will now be able to cast dual-school spells such as Mind Spike (Frost and Shadow schools) or Frostfire Bolt (Frost and Fire schools). However, being interrupted while casting a dual-school spell will still interrupt all respective schools as intended.

Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Obliterate base damage has been reduced to 150% weapon damage, down from 160%.

Frost
  • Annihilation now increases Obliterate damage by 12/24/36%, down from 15/30/45%.

Unholy
  • Unholy Might now increases Strength by 10%, up from 5%.

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Ferocious Bite damage has been increased by 15%. In addition, its base cost has been reduced to 25 energy and it can use up to 25 energy, for up to a 100% damage increase.
  • Mangle (Cat) damage at level 80 and above has been increased to 530% weapon damage, up from 460%.
  • Omen of Clarity clearcasting buff from now lasts 15 seconds, up from 8 seconds.
  • Ravage damage at level 80 and above has been increased to 975% weapon damage, up from 850%.
  • Shred damage at level 80 and above has been increased to 520% weapon damage, up from 450%.
  • Swipe (Cat) now deals 600% weapon damage at level 80 or higher, down from 670%.


Balance
  • Insect Swarm now generates 8 Lunar Energy for Balance druids.
  • Moonfire now generates 8 Solar Power for Balance druids.
  • Sunfire now generates 8 Lunar Energy for Balance druids.
  • Earth and Moon's duration has been increased to 15 seconds, up from 12.
  • Fungal Growth spell visual effect has been updated to be less visually intrusive and more aesthetic.
  • Lunar Shower has been redesigned. When casting Moonfire, the druid gains Lunar Shower. Lunar Shower increases the direct damage done by Moonfire by 15/30/45%, and reduces the mana cost by 10/20/30%. This effect stacks up to 3 times and lasts 3 seconds. While under the effects of Lunar Shower, Moonfire generates 8 Solar Energy, and Sunfire generates 8 Lunar Energy. The amount of Lunar/Solar Energy gained does not change based on the number of points spent in the talent, or stacks of Lunar Shower. Those druids who wish to delay transition in or out of an Eclipse state should now cast the one of their two basic attacks which will not move the Eclipse bar (either Starfire or Wrath).
  • Solar Beam has a new spell effect.
  • Wild Mushroom: Detonate can now also trigger Earth and Moon, in addition to Starfire and Wrath.

Restoration
  • Symbiosis (Mastery) has been removed and replaced with Harmony. Harmony increases direct healing by an additional 10%, and casting direct healing spells grants an additional 10% bonus to periodic healing for 10 seconds. Each point of mastery increases each bonus by an additional 1.25%. Healing Touch, Nourish, Swiftmend, and the initial heal from Regrowth are considered direct healing spells for the purposes of this Mastery. All other healing from druid spells is considered periodic.

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Berserk duration increase is now 10 seconds, up from 5.

Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Multi-shot damage has been reduced. It now deals 120% weapon damage at level 80 or higher, down from 137%.
  • Traps now scale with hunter stats such as hit, expertise, spell penetration and attack power as intended.

Mage (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Spellsteal now has a 6-second cooldown.

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Divine Light mana cost has been increased to 35% of base mana, up from 30%.
  • Flash of Light mana cost has been increased to 31% of base mana, up from 27%.
  • Holy Light mana cost has been increased to 12% of base mana, up from 10%.
  • Rebuke, Divine Shield and Divine Protection have new icons.

Holy
  • Holy Shock mana cost has been increased to 9% of base mana, up from 8%.
  • Speed of Light now increases movement speed when Holy Radiance or Divine Protection are cast. In addition, this talent now reduces the cooldown of Holy Radiance by 13/26/40 seconds, up from 10/20/30.

Protection
  • Ardent Defender has a new spell effect.
  • Hammer of the Righteous mana cost has been lowered to 10%, down from 12% to match Crusader Strike.
  • Judgements of the Wise now procs on attempt rather than on strike, which means judgements that miss can still grant mana. This is to help ensure Protection paladins are not starved for mana if they aren't capped on hit rating.

Shaman (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Lightning Shield and Water Shield can no longer be dispelled.
  • Unleash Elements is now in the Nature school, and thus can no longer be used if a shaman's Nature school has been locked out.
  • Water Shield has had its internal cooldown reduced to 3.5 seconds, once again matching other shields. The amount of mana restored when Water Shield procs has been reduced by 50%.

Elemental
  • Lava Flows now grants a 30/60/90% haste buff when a Flame Shock effect is dispelled, up from 10/20/30%.
  • Thunderstorm now reduces the movement speed of players it knocks back by 40% for 5 seconds.

Restoration
  • Improved Water Shield has been redesigned and renamed Resurgence. When Water Shield is active, Resurgence causes critical direct heals to restore mana (Resurgence rank 2 is roughly equal to 150% of the old Improved Water Shield value when a Healing Wave or Greater Healing Wave critically hits, and scaled down accordingly for faster or multi-target spells).
  • Mana Tide now grants 200% of the caster's Spirit, down from 400%.

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Unleashed Lightning (new Prime glyph) allows Lightning Bolt to be cast while moving.

Warlock (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Soul Harvest has a new spell effect.

Dungeon & Raids
  • The Firelands, a new 10- and 25-player raid, is now available for limited testing. Please visit the PTR Discussion forum for the latest raid testing schedule.

Guilds
  • The daily guild experience cap has been increased by 25%.
  • The weekly guild reputation cap has been increased by 25%.
  • The guild experience cap is now removed at level 20, down from level 23.

Items
  • Darkmoon Card: Hurricane damage done when triggered has been increased by 40%, however, it can no longer deal critical strikes and no longer receives any modifiers to its damage from the equipping player.

Set Bonuses
  • The 4-piece Elemental shaman PvP set bonus (Gladiator's Thunderfist set) has been redesigned. It now causes Lightning Shield to generate an extra charge, rather than consuming one, when it is triggered by receiving damage, up to a maximum of 3 (9 with the Rolling Thunder talent).

Professions
Skinning
  • Players can no longer skin corpses already being actively skinned or looted by other players.

PvP
Conquest Points
  • The minimum cap on Conquest Points earned per week is now 1500 at 1500 or less Battleground rating. The maximum cap remains 3000 at 3000 or more Battleground rating. The cap continues to scale non-linearly between those two points.
  • The game now separately tracks different Conquest Point caps for Battlegrounds and Arenas. The cap for Arena rating will always be 2/3 of the cap for Battleground rating at any given Arena rating. Players may earn a total number of Conquest Points per week equal to the higher of these two caps, but once players have reached the cap for either Arenas or Battlegrounds, they can no longer earn Conquest Points from that source. Conquest Points from Battleground holidays only count toward the total Conquest Point cap.

Quests & Creatures
  • There are no longer oddities in the critical strike and dodge chance of lower-level creatures.

User Interface
  • Raid Profiles are in the process of being implemented and are not fully functional. Raid Profiles will allow players to save the raid window user interface layout based on type of content (i.e. 10-player raids, 25-player raids, Battlegrounds, etc.).
by Published on 2011-05-10 06:08 PM

Update - The staff isn't final (and Lylirra is the most awesome Community Manager on earth for pointing out that we have no way to datamine it for the moment)
Originally Posted by Lylirra (Blue Tracker)
Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest does have a proc, but the information hasn't been included in the PTR data files yet (which means there's nothing to datamine right now).

We did, however, hint at what the proc will be in our 4.2 preview: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2685003

The great staff duplicates destructive magics, and also bestows upon its wielder the ability to transform into a member of the Blue Dragonflight.

Also, please keep in mind that some items on the PTR are still considered "works-in-progress," so certain aspects of their design -- including stats, on-use abilities, and appearance -- may change before the next patch goes live. :)

Oh! And just to clarify (since I saw this asked in another thread), Dragonwrath will not be BoE.

Patch 4.2 - PTR Build 14040
A new PTR build will be deployed on test realms today.



Tier 12 - Druid Model Preview
The Druid Tier 12 files are partially in this patch and I had enough to do a small preview.


  • The gloves are slightly bugged and will look a little weird.
  • The shoulders aren't in the game files yet.



Item Additions

Legendary Staff

Level Type Spec Slot Name
378StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandBranch of Nordrassil
391StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandRunestaff of Nordrassil
404StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandDragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest


Avengers of Hyjal Faction Rewards

Level Type Spec Slot Name
378PlateTankWaistGirdle of the Indomitable Flame
391FingerTankFingerAdamantine Signet of the Avengers
378TrinketTankTrinketStay of Execution
378BackTankBackDurable Flamewrath Cloak


Additional Items

Level Type Spec Slot Name
365GunPhysical DPSRangedExtreme-Impact Hole Puncher
378StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandBranch of Nordrassil
391StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandRunestaff of Nordrassil
404StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandDragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest
378PlateMeleeChest Battleplate of the Molten Giant
378PlateMeleeHands Gauntlets of the Molten Giant
378PlateMeleeHead Helmet of the Molten Giant
378PlateMeleeLegs Legplates of the Molten Giant
378PlateMeleeShoulder Pauldrons of the Molten Giant
378PlateMeleeChest Elementium Deathplate Breastplate
378PlateMeleeHands Elementium Deathplate Gauntlets
378PlateMeleeHead Elementium Deathplate Helmet
378PlateMeleeLegs Elementium Deathplate Greaves
378PlateMeleeShoulder Elementium Deathplate Pauldrons
378PlateMeleeChest Immolation Battleplate
378PlateMeleeHands Immolation Gauntlets
378PlateMeleeHead Immolation Helmet
378PlateMeleeLegs Immolation Legplates
378PlateMeleeShoulder Immolation Pauldrons
378PlateSpell DPSHands Immolation Gloves
378PlateSpell SpiritChest Immolation Breastplate
378PlateSpell SpiritHead Immolation Headguard
378PlateSpell SpiritLegs Immolation Greaves
378PlateSpell SpiritShoulder Immolation Mantle
378PlateSpell SpiritShoulderx3 Raid - 4.2 - Firelands - Boss 1 Loot 2 - Plate Int Spirit
378MailPhysical DPSChest Flamewalker's Tunic
378MailPhysical DPSHands Flamewalker's Gloves
378MailPhysical DPSHead Flamewalker's Headguard
378MailPhysical DPSLegs Flamewalker's Legguards
378MailPhysical DPSShoulder Flamewalker's Spaulders
378LeatherMeleeChest Dark Phoenix Tunic
378LeatherPhysical DPSHands Dark Phoenix Gloves
378LeatherPhysical DPSHead Dark Phoenix Helmet
378LeatherPhysical DPSLegs Dark Phoenix Legguards
378LeatherPhysical DPSShoulder Dark Phoenix Spaulders
378LeatherMeleeChest Obsidian Arborweave Raiment
378LeatherPhysical DPSHands Obsidian Arborweave Grips
378LeatherPhysical DPSHead Obsidian Arborweave Headpiece
378LeatherPhysical DPSLegs Obsidian Arborweave Legguards
378LeatherPhysical DPSShoulder Obsidian Arborweave Spaulders
378LeatherSpell DPSChest Obsidian Arborweave Robes
378LeatherSpell DPSChest Obsidian Arborweave Vestment
378LeatherSpell DPSHands Obsidian Arborweave Gloves
378LeatherSpell DPSHead Obsidian Arborweave Cover
378LeatherSpell DPSShoulder Obsidian Arborweave Shoulderwraps
378LeatherSpell SpiritHands Obsidian Arborweave Handwraps
378LeatherSpell SpiritHands x3 Raid - 4.2 - Firelands - Boss 1 Loot 2 - Leather Int Spirit Glove
378LeatherSpell SpiritHead Obsidian Arborweave Helm
378LeatherSpell SpiritLegs Obsidian Arborweave Leggings
378LeatherSpell SpiritLegs Obsidian Arborweave Legwraps
378LeatherSpell SpiritShoulder Obsidian Arborweave Mantle
85EngineeringSchematic: Extreme-Impact Hole Puncher
1MiscellaneousShirtLegendary Shadoweave Shirt
20PetCreepy Crate
1QuestBilgewater Writ of Commendation
1QuestGilneas Writ of Commendation



Map Changes

Firelands Raid



Firelands Daily and Nexus (Legendary Staff)



Achievements Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

Ragnar-O's Defeat Ragnaros while three Living Meteors are ignited by Lava Wave.


Spell - Class Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Companion Pets

Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Frost
  • Rune Strike got its "causes a high amount of threat" back.

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Balance
  • Lunar Shower now has an additional effect: While you are under the effect of Lunar Shower, Moonfire generates 8 Solar Energy and Sunfire generates 8 Lunar Energy.

Feral

Mage (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Frost

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Holy

Retribution
  • Repentance now has a 30 yards range, up from 20 yards.
by Published on 2011-05-10 06:01 AM

WoW Lost 600k Subscribers, down to 11.4M
Activision Blizzard's earning call was today and we learned, among other things, that the WoW playerbase is down to 11.4M players. That's 5% less than before the expansion and it seems that players went through the Cataclysm content faster than expected.

Blizzard also promised faster release of new content and expansions during the call.

From Curse.com
During today's Activision Blizzard earnings call, World of Warcraft and its expansion Cataclysm were two very hot topics. Listeners asked a number of questions related to the game, more than any other title or franchise in the publisher's stable.

Of note, World of Warcraft's subscriber base has reached pre-Cataclysm levels, according to Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard Entertainment. He then later stated an actual number, with subscriptions at the end of March clocking in at right around 11.4 million.

That's down by about 5% from the announced 12 million mark late last year. Interestingly enough, that was right before Cataclysm released. In fact, it's actually lower than the milestone reached in 2008 with the release of Wrath of the Lich King.

But one important thing to point out, and Mr. Morhaime touched on this as well, is that World of Warcraft's subscriber base does not change linearly. It fluctuates based on content consumption, which players seem to be doing a whole lot of -- at a more rapid pace -- with Cataclysm. "Subscriber levels have decreased faster than previous expansions," he said.

Surprising? Not really. We have to remember that when these numbers were pulled, Cataclysm was in a bit of a lull. The expansion had been out for close to four months, and most of its content had been consumed by a large percentage of the player base -- aside from heroic raids.



Diablo 3 Public Beta in Q3 2011
The 2nd big interesting thing from the earning call was the announcement of Diablo 3's public beta in Q3 2011, it looks like the summer will be busy between Patch 4.2 and Diablo 3 ... For more Diablo related news, head to Diablofans.com.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The 3rd quarter reference in the earning's call today was a calendar quarter, meaning that we're aiming to launch the Diablo III beta between July 1st and September 30th. Keep in mind that it's our current goal, and of course that can change as development continues.

2011 Arena Pass: Phases
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The 2011 Arena Pass is split into several different phases. To help you gain a more detailed understanding of how this year’s Arena Pass will unfold, you can find an explanation of the different phases in this article. You can also find out which matches are counted towards receiving a pet or title!

Registration Phase
4 May – 21 June (9pm CEST)
During this period you can register for the European 2011 Arena Pass Service. Registration will be closed outside of these dates.

Practice Phase
11 May – 8 June
During this period you will be able to enjoy the Arena Pass Realm and practice your setup with your friends. Matches played during this phase will not count towards the pet and title prizes.

Ranked Ladder Phase 1
8 June– 22 June
All Arena Rating points will be set to zero when this phase begins. Ranked 3v3 matches played during this phase will count towards the pet and title prizes. If a player switches from one Arena Team to another, the Arena Team that the player joins will have their Arena Rating reduced by 150 points.

Ranked Ladder Phase 2
22 June – 4 July (9pm CEST)
Ranked 3v3 matches played during this phase will count towards the pet and title prizes. During the Ranked Ladder Phase 2 of the Arena Pass Service, players cannot switch Arena Teams.

Prize Eligibility
Ranked 3v3 matches that count toward the pet and title prizes will start on 8 June 2011, (once the weekly maintenance has ended) and end 4 July 2011, at 9pm CEST.

Please note that phases begin once weekly maintenance has finished on the dates specified, and end at the beginning of maintenance on the dates specified (unless stated otherwise).

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Legendary Staff availability
It's actually easier to get started on the path to acquire this legendary; the journey itself is more difficult though. Regardless, players who have cleared the prior tier of raid content are the only ones eligible to begin the quest line -- any player who's part of a group which is capable of accomplishing that probably has a good shot at getting a staff for themselves. (Source)

Legendary Staff - Guild Pet Reward
We're doing something wholly unprecedented in the history of World of Warcraft, by making the acquisition of this Legendary result in a pet for the whole group responsible. Never before has an entire guild been able to acquire any kind of item for helping a member acquire an item or achievement.

We thought that was pretty cool. (Source)

Legendary weapons in 5-man instances?
At least for the foreseeable future, we’re shying away from the model where individuals or five man groups can acquire legendary items, because that could have several possible effects which don't mesh well with our idea of what these items should represent. The items might become common enough that orange becomes the new purple, or so random that the acquisition doesn’t feel particularly good, or we’d have to include a lot of artificial controls on how many of those items end up on a given realm despite a thin veneer of accessibility. Any way you slice it, we think that this would diminish the appeal of these items, and that’s not the way we want to go for now.

We do want the path to getting them to be more than a scavenger hunt though, and we’re continually trying to make the experience of acquiring a legendary weapon more… legendary. We learn as we go. For example, we’re unlikely to ever again do the Molten Core / Black Temple style legendary drops where sometimes you get lucky and more often, you don’t. We think that was really excessively random, and perhaps more importantly, it lost the entire sense of ceremony involved in forging your weapon. To return to the point of discussion that spawned this thread, Dragonwrath is almost the polar opposite of that. Sure, there is a “gated” portion of the quest line, which involves killing Firelands raid bosses, because we want this weapon to be something that a group has to work for and so that nobody is completing their legendary on the first week. But there is also a ton of other content as well: many new quests, legendary-specific raid boss fights, and a great personal challenge which evokes the spirit of those old classic World of Warcraft epic quests. The staff is really awesome in itself, and is rewarding for the whole group which completes it. I think that’s pretty cool, and I hope that those who get the opportunity to pursue the staff feel the same way. (Source)

Legendary items are only for people lucky enough to have a raid!
I'm not sure that you can call being a dedicated raider a matter of luck.

When someone plays a video game, they’re usually faced with a lot of choices. World of Warcraft has a ton of choices, and being part of a guild and choosing to raid is one of the more important choices one makes. World of Warcraft has also had a pretty clear structure of progression for a long time. There’s leveling content; all the quests, dungeons, and events which one can experience as they increase in power toward maximum level. Then, at the level cap, there are some new tiers of content. Top end daily quests, five man dungeons and heroics, battlegrounds, PvP zones and the like. This is all extremely accessible, and (we hope) all players who reach maximum level in World of Warcraft will experience all of it. Then, for the players who choose to pursue the necessary preparations and relationships, there are arenas, rated battlegrounds and raids. Those are the most demanding World of Warcraft experiences available, and we hope that most players will make the choice to take their skills there and see at least some of that content, since there are some very rich experiences to be had.

Raids in particular are intentionally challenging environments, and they are meant to stand up as obstacles to overcome, to reward players who are willing to develop the relationships and coordination with other World of Warcraft players to meet and beat the toughest challenges the game has to offer. They represent achievements to aspire to and we put a lot of time into that content and try to make it rewarding because we want you to want to see it.

Legendary weapons are legendary in part because of lore, and in part because of the grand adventure it is to achieve them. They are intended to represent a goal for an entire guild and raid group, and acquiring such a weapon reflects on the raid and guild as a whole. This helps us keep these items rare, which makes them more exciting and prestigious, which, in turn, allows us to make them more powerful. (Source)

The Daily Blink
I didn't post anything from The Daily Blink in a while and they said I can have my Garfield plush back only if I resume posting. I liked this one a few weeks ago but couldn't post it because of all the Patch 4.2 content, fixed!

by Published on 2011-05-08 07:09 PM

Dragonwrath - Tarecgosa's Rest Model Preview
We already know how the legendary staff will look, thanks to the official preview from Blizzard, but I had a couple of requests from people who wanted to see it in a higher resolution and on a character so I made you a nice video!







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
New SSDs are finally here, faster and more expensive than the current generation. Look for small price drops over the next few months as the last gen is put on sale. New AMD CPUs will be here in the middle of June, performance is still unknown. The new Intel Z68 chipset that allows for SSD Caching and using both the integrated GPU and overclocking the CPU will be launched later this week, with stock showing up soon after. It will only show significant performance gains in video encoding, as SSD caching doesn't make a huge difference compared to actually using a SSD.

Make sure to keep your AMD and Nvidia drivers up to date. If you experience problems after updating, roll back to the recommended Nvidia Drivers.

New to building your own computer? ArsTechnica just released a nice guide for new builders (Part 2 and Part 3). They don't talk about it specifically, but Artic Silver 5 is standard for thermal compound, avoid using what came with your heatsink. Usually it is easier to connect the case headers when the motherboard is not in the case, provided the wires are long enough. She does mention a five hour build time, two hours seems more likely.

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!

Peripherals/Monitors

ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorASUS VW224U 22-Inch Widescreen - $140ASUS VW246H 24-Inch Widescreen - $199
KeyboardMicrosoft Digital Media Keyboard 3000 - $25Cyborg V.5 - $38
MouseLogitech MX518 - $38Logitech G500 - $55
SpeakersLogitech S220 2.1 Speaker System - $28Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $40
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE276Q 27-Inch - $313Dell UltraSharp U2410 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $520
KeyboardLogitech G110 - $62Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $75 ($120)
MouseRazer Deathadder - $46Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $69
SpeakersCreative Inspire T3130 2.1 Speaker System - $49Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $70



Puppy and Dolphin

ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT GAMMA Classic - $35NZXT GAMMA Classic - $35
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $80Corsair 650TX V2 - $80
CPUAMD Athlon II X4 640 AM3 - $100AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition - $122
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $30Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $30
MotherboardGIGABYTE GA-770T-USB3 AM3 - $89GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 - $130
Memory4GB PNY Optima DDR3 10600 - $324GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 4GB 12800 DDR3 - $62
Graphics CardXFX 5770 - $105XFX 6850 or EVGA GTX 460 - $152/ $180
Hard DriveSAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB - $61SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB - $61
DVDLite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $25Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $25
Total$527$697 / $725


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 - $60Cooler Master HAF932 - $160
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $80Corsair 750HX (7 Year Warranty) - $140
CPUIntel i5-2500k - $225Intel i7-2600k - $315
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $58Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $80
MotherboardASUS P8P67-M PRO - $150ASUS P8P67 DELUXE - $258
Memory4GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 4GB 12800 DDR3 - $628GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $123
Graphics CardXFX 6950 1GB OR MSI GTX 560 Ti- $235 / $260XFX 6970 OR EVGA GTX 570 - $320 / $330
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $89Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $89
SSDOCZ Technology 120 GB Vertex 2 3.5-Inch (Last Gen) - $210
(Replacement Info)
Intel 320 Series 120 GB (Review) - $231
OR
OCZ 120 GB Vertex 3 (Faster, more expensive) - $310
DVDLite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $25Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $25
Total$1169 / $1194$1741 - $1830



The MMO Report
It's time for your weekly The MMO Report.



Blizzard Art Gallery Update
The Cataclysm Art Gallery has been updated with four pieces representing the Warcraft universe.

by Published on 2011-05-07 08:09 AM

Landro's Lichling Kiss-A-Thon! - Winners
The winners of the Landro's Lichling Kiss-A-Thon! have been picked! The 8 winners have received a PM with their loot code and the next contest will be available shortly.

Thanks again to WoWTCGLoot.com for providing us with delicious loot cards.


Thrall - Elemental Bonds Questline (Spoilers)
The next questline on our list of previews is the "Elemental Bonds" questline, these quests are focused on Thrall and the transcript below is the first big event mentioned in Blizzard's official preview.



Once again there are huge spoilers in there and you probably don't want to read that part of the news if you like surprises.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Aggra - Do you think it will work, Go’el – the druids and shaman uniting to restore the World Tree? Could it actually heal this broken world?

Thrall - The Aspects believe it will … and they should know, they grew it in the first place.

Ysera - Welcome, son of Durotan. And to you, Aggralan of the Frostwolves.

Aggra - Lady Ysera

Malfurion - "Greetings friends."
Malfurion - "I sense a vast power has grown within you, young Thrall. You've achieved much since last we met."

Thrall - Master Stormrage, it’s good to have you back in the waking world.

Ysera - Friends, we have gathered here today to heal this world that we've sacrificed so much to save.
Ysera - For the first time, the Earthen Ring and the Cenarion Circle will unite to restore this great tree thereby healing the whole of Azeroth.

Nozdormu - Time is precious, sister. Let us see to our ritual.

Stranger - I'm sorry. Are we interrupting?

Thrall - THE TWILIGHT’S HAMMER!!

Stranger - Not so fast, son of Durotan. You and your allies have certainly set us back. But, the hour of twilight can not be averted!
Stranger - The Twilight Prophet knows that you, and you alone, are our final obstacle. He sent me to remove you from the game.

Thrall - I do not fear death.

Stranger - Death? (Laughter) Who said anything about death?

Thrall - *Screams in pain*

Aggra - Go’el. No!

Stranger - You may be this world's greatest shaman, Thrall, but you are only mortal. This is my master's curse upon you. Turning your great bond with the elements into your undoing.
Stranger - Even now, the elements are tearing you apart. And they shall feed upon your doubts and fears, 'til the last spark of life on this wretched world has been snuffed out.

Malfurion - "You'll regret this stranger!"

Stranger - (Laughter) Will I?
Stranger - Come, Shan'do. Certainly you recognize your former pupil.

Malfurion - "Fandral! What have they done to you!?"

Fandral - Naive, as always, I see. Your pet orc cannot save you now, Malfurion.
Fandral - And the flame of our vengeance draws near. Be ready!

Malfurion - "Fandral is corrupting fellow druids into something sinister. He may have other followers already. I must warn moonglade."

Aggra - But what of Go’el?

Ysera - He was the Earthen Ring's most powerful shaman, and the ceremony cannot continue without him. But, we must prepared to accept that he may be lost forever.

Aggra - No! Those mongrels have stolen my Go’el, but I will not forsake him... Ancestors forgive me.
Aggra - Steady yourself, friend. If we want Go’el back we must be prepared to fight for him.



Blue Posts
I couldn't report a couple of blue posts this week due to the Patch 4.2 frenzy, you'll probably find a couple of interesting posts below!
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Dungeon Finder Call To Arms extra mounts rewards - More mounts!
Looking back on it I have to admit it's worded fairly poorly. The intent has always been that they won't contain raid mounts, but can contain mounts from anywhere else. It's really at the discretion of the designers to choose the mounts, we just didn't want people to think it'd be dropping Mimiron's Head or anything like that. You're right, it's a bit misleading. I wish we had caught that.

Sorry for the confusion. (Source)

Battlegrounds Win/Loss Ratio - Does the Horde win more in Battlegrounds?
Assuming the numbers you referenced from a third-party site about win/loss ratios between factions are accurate -- color me skeptical -- do you believe the Horde won 10% more often in Battlegrounds because of the way the two factions are designed (in terms of gameplay)?

If so, what distinct design imbalances exist between the two factions that you believe would cause the Horde to win overall in Battlegrounds 10% more often? They'd have to be major imbalances to produce such a ratio.

If it's not by design, but by player preference -- meaning more PvP-oriented players perhaps tend to roll Horde -- then what do you suggest we do? You say people will quit if we do nothing. Would they not quit if we maybe forced a percentage of PvPing Horde players over to Alliance?

Here is my take. If there are any discrepancies in Battleground performance between Horde and Alliance, they exist in each individual Battleground (not all of which favor Horde), are almost negligible in the grand scheme of balance to which you're referring, and really aren't reflective of overall design flaws. In terms of gameplay, the two factions are roughly equivalent. We designed both with love and care -- what faction, race, and class you choose to pick should entirely be based on your personal preference.

So, while there might be very small design flaws in making all Battlegrounds absolutely even for each faction, every other discrepancy is more a sociological issue. Could you argue we've designed one faction to be more appealing than another? I guess so, but then you're really starting to press into subjective arguments. (Source)

Are bosses too hard/is information too difficult to find?
When you use the word "study" here, are you referring to a normal learning curve (which is standard for most games, even simple ones like checkers and hopscotch)? Or are you being more specific, suggesting that even if someone learns how to play World of Warcraft, the only way he or she can progress through any kind of end-level or dungeon content is by spending countless hours pouring over manuscripts of boss encounters, class specializations, and item spreadsheets?

Standard learning curves aside, I'd argue that most players are capable of tackling dungeon content reasonably well (albeit not necessarily willing to, and that's fine) without referring to outside resources . Do those resources help? Definitely. For a lot of people, they do a great job at breaking important information into palatable, easy-to-digest pieces. And, of course, the more you know about a certain subject, the easier it is to approach. The same applies for most things in life: riding a bike, driving a car -- even playing other popular video games like Portal, Smash Bros, and League of Legends.

Now, could we make it easier for players who want to become more proficient to get their hands on helpful information? Absolutely. To touch upon your concerns specifically, we think the upcoming Dungeon Journal in 4.2 will be a huge boon to players when it comes to jumping into new encounters (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2456449381). We also think that the game could do more to prepare players for those situations, in general -- in terms of actual gameplay -- and have a few ideas regarding how we might be able to accomplish that in the future. (Source)

Amani War Bear Color
It's purple. Yes, the one we originally previewed is a different color and we may make use of it one day. We try to get information to you as quickly as possible via content previews. The major issue we run into though, is that we're pushing for image assets and functionality information as soon as they come off the presses from our developers. So the quicker we are about getting you information, the more likely it is that something will change between the time the preview is posted, and the time the feature/content goes live. This is one of those cases and we're trying to work on ways to minimize them as much as possible. (Source)

Flying mounts in no-fly areas
Allowing more flying mounts to be used as ground mounts in no-fly areas is definitely something we're looking into. Right now, we sort of place flying mounts into three categories: Those that already make sense running around on the ground, and look good doing it. Those that would require a few more animations before they'd really look and feel appropriate. And those that would still seem out of place no matter what kind of visual tweaks we'd make to their ground run/walk.

Hippogryphs are a good example of a flying mount that we feel could work in no-fly areas with some additional animations. It's something we'd like to do in the future, definitely, but we wouldn't be able to guarantee any sort of timeframe when a change like that could occur. (Source)

Paying for premium services
These are premium services added to better accommodate the wants and needs of players. They do not factor into what you get for buying the game/expansions and paying monthly for access to the serers. By no means do you need any of these premium services to enjoy World of Warcraft gameplay to the fullest extent. Should you desire to take advantage of some extra services to enhance your enjoyment of the game though, they're certainly there for you... if you feel it's worth the price.

We've made countless quality-of-life improvements to the game in terms of content, UI, data storage, character profiles, etc. We've expanded upon what you get for your monthly subscription by leaps and bounds since the game was first released, but the subscription price has not changed.

Everything we do and every service we add costs more money than you might realize. So, if we do occasionally add some premium services which are purely to give you more options for enjoying the game how you want (changing your realm, faction, race, name, physical appearance, etc.), we need to make sure there is an appropriate value added to those services so we can sustain them, sustain our business, and keep focusing on making this the best game possible. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Unstable Affliction Hotfix
Spell power still affects it, but we felt the buff to the "backlash" damage from UA being dispelled was a little too high when the coefficient remained the same. Now you're getting about half the spell power bonus to the UA dispel damage, but the net effect should still be a buff to that damage in 4.1 compared to 4.0.6.

[...] It was my understanding that this hotfix was to compensate for an oversight. I believe it was intended that the coefficient be changed along with the buff in 4.1, but was missed originally, then caught when we started parsing the post-4.1 class performance data. I could be wrong though, so I'll see if I can get a better answer for you when I'm not at home trying to level an alt. (Source)

Yay! Let's nerf things before we fix the bugs!
That's a bit of an oversimplification of the issue here. When I say "a bit," I'm oversimplifying how drastically off the mark your comment is.

We pushed a hotfix for the pushback issue on April 27. Around the same time a change was checked in to tone down the dispel damage of Unstable Affliction. We understand some of you disagree, but the numbers were too high. Affliction warlocks are faring quite well right now, particularly in Arenas where this change really matters.

The reduction to the UA dispel damage was made on May 2, but we also found out that a programming issue prevented the original hotfix to the pushback bug from working correctly.

Performing server-side fixes to the game is tricky. Sometimes a bit of trial and error is involved to ensure the code changes we're making don't have major adverse affects on gameplay. We've been doing extensive testing on ways to fix the pushback issue for the last few days now. It looks like a client-side patch will be required. That's still not going to stop us from making other necessary adjustments. Even with the pushback issue, UA dispel damage was too high.

[...] I take it back. The pushback fix should now be live. You might need to log out for about 10 minutes to ensure it's picked up properly. It otherwise doesn't require a realm restart though. (Source)

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