MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2011-03-22 07:10 PM

Ask the Devs - Answers #2 "PvP"
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
Q: Is it a possibility that the premade group requirement will be dropped from Rated Battlegrounds, allowing players to queue for a Random Rated Battleground? I'm sure many people would be ok with the inherent risk and disadvantage of grouping with random players for rated content if it meant they could at least make use of the rating system. – Gëtmastiffd (North America/ANZ), Kaymac (North America/ANZ)

A: If you take away the group requirements for Rated Battlegrounds, then you don’t have Rated Battlegrounds – you just have the same old Battlegrounds we’ve always had expect they now reward the best loot in the game. We understand there are heavy logistical requirements to organizing teams – that is in part why the rewards are so good. We believe that if we just opened the doors to random queuing that the system would be less about organized teams competing against organized teams and more about the luck of whether you got a good team or not. You are much more optimistic than we are about how forgiving players would be when Blizzard ignorantly / cruelly stuck them in a team with one Prot paladin and six rogues with no resilience. ? Teams on the other hand have all the responsibility themselves. If they feel comfortable bringing an experienced player with sub-optimal gear, they can make that call. If they think a certain number of healers or particular comp is required, they can try to locate them. Most importantly, there is a leader with some level of power. If you ignore the leader and just do your own thing, the leader can choose to replace you.

This is our first stab at offering very powerful gear through Battlegrounds and it is going to take some tweaking to get right. We understand that some more casual players may have given up on the system and we want a chance to fix that. It’s possible we could require fewer players to form a team, such as merging two groups of 5 together – at least we’d know for sure that you had 2 healers and had put some thought into your comp. We could also put in some kind of browsing system to make it easier to find people looking for Rated Battle Grounds.


Q: Why can't we have a pure, straight up, unadulterated Death Match style Battleground? - ???? ???? (Taiwan), Gulantor (North America/ANZ)

A: We think Battlegrounds work better when there is a goal that the team can work towards. Huge melees with lots of players tend to be chaotic by nature so there is less room for skill to influence the outcome. It feels more random, and the more random the system is, the more arbitrary the rewards will feel. It might be something we try someday.

For example, emergency buttons are balanced around the assumption that only a few players are ganged up against you. Even in the 5v5 Arena bracket, it’s very difficult to survive being focused by so many players at once, so you feel like you don’t have many options. There is a reason that most of our Arena attention is on 3v3 – it just feels the best.


Q: Arena Skirmishes: What happened to them? They were a useful tool in trying new compositions, testing out a new teammate, or just having some fun during downtime. Wargames are nice, but did skirmishes have to go in order for them to be implemented? – Zubzar (North America/ANZ), Nølfen (Europe [French]), Jinusek (Europe [English]), Whoohoo (Europe [German])

A: We didn’t cut Skirmishes because they were flawed. We just thought we’d get more bang for the buck out of Wargames. While some players enjoyed Skirmishes, we can tell you that overall they were used very rarely. We would have kept them if it had been relatively easy to do so, and we may add them back someday, but it’s just not a huge priority based on their previous popularity.


Q: In Cataclysm, PvP fights were supposed to be slow and everyone should spend longer in a wounded state. But from what I’m seeing, healers are still able to bring someone up from 1% to 100% in 2 or 3 global CDs. So it comes down back to the WOTLK style, either you burst someone in a CD and damage spike, or you need a setup with tons of CC. There simply is not a state where someone is at 50% health and you can keep him around that way with your damage. He will be at 100% in the next 2 global CDs. Any plans to address this? – Noidealol (Europe [English])

A: We just don’t think that is the case in Cataclysm relative to Lich King. Players have roughly 100,000 health, and even the big heals, which are very hard to use in PvP, only heal by 30,000 or so. Most healers do have some kind of emergency button (say Nature’s Swiftness plus Healing Touch) and that may be what you’re seeing, or else hots are ticking away for a longer period of time (longer than 2-3 GCDs for sure). We have had some burst issues rise up from time to time (say Aimed Shot, or more recently warriors), but we take pains to stomp them out when they happen. Overall we’re seeing a wide variety of classes and specs participating in Arenas, which argues that there are several strategies that work, not just the focus on one dude and blow him up strategy that prevailed in the previous expansion.

All that said, we are looking closely at healing in PvP right now. It can be really hard to kill say a flag carrier being assisted by multiple healers (especially once there is less burst damage from Balance druids and warriors).


Q: Will guilds focused on PvP be able to progress and have rewards just like guilds focused on PvE?/ Will it be possible in the future to advance guild reputation through PvP? – Smrt (Europe [German]), Ypsen (Europe [French])

A: We did try and emphasize Rated Battlegrounds as a way that guilds could progress. We thought it made more sense to have guilds focused on BGs than on Arenas, since the latter just don’t require the large infrastructure of a guild for support. It was a purposefully limited approach as the Guild Advancement system was new and rather complex, but now that we've had time to watch and see how it's being used we're a bit more comfortable opening it up where it makes sense. So in 4.1 we are actually making it so you can earn guild XP and reputation from Battlegrounds, Arenas, or just Honorable Kills. Details aren't totally nailed down yet so we'll let you know the specifics in upcoming PTR patch note updates.


Q: With the proliferation of spell interrupts and other control mechanisms, and the ever-increasing value of mobility, how do the developers plan to successfully move casters away from instant casts and make hard casting in PvP more viable? – Maldramere (North America/ANZ)

A: It will require several changes. We feel these changes will ultimately make the game better, but they are big, scary changes, so they aren’t the kind of thing we can just make in patch 4.1. For starters, we need to make instant spells less powerful. The fact that they are instant should be the big thing those spells have going for them, because immunity from interruption and the ability to shoot and scoot are gigantic advantages. Those spells don’t need anything else to be attractive. Secondly, we need to tone down the role of interrupts and silences so that casters are actually casting their spells more often. We’ll also have to look at crowd control, because once you can’t interrupt every Polymorph being cast, you’re going to spend a lot of time as a sheep. Ghostcrawler has an upcoming blog in which he speculates about this issue a bit more.


Q: Players’ skill level in PvP between rated and random battlegrounds are very different. Could a personal rating system such as the one in Starcraft II be implemented so similar level players can be matched up? – ?? (Korea)

A: We have a personal rating system for Rated Battlegrounds. We don’t use it in the random Battlegrounds because random Battlegrounds are engineered for speed of matchmaking, not for setting up perfectly balanced teams. We do evaluate gear with random BGs, which often (but certainly not always) correlates with your skill. The system begins to break down when you're balancing skill versus how quickly people want to just get in and play. Creating a system that's more stringent in how it chooses players means longer wait times, so we try to strike a balance with random Battlegrounds to have some factors (gear) but not so much that queue times become even longer. It's also worth stating that the matchmaking employed by StarCraft II is just much simpler than what it would require to assemble a viable Battleground team.


Q: CC used to be the big thing for arena, but now it’s all about damage. Is it the direction you are taking at the moment? – Thatis (Taiwan)

A: If crowd control really was as weak in Arenas as you’re claiming, then Holy paladins would be the healer of choice and Resto druids wouldn’t have much of a role. But the Entangling Roots and Cyclone of the druid make a huge difference in Arena, and we see a lot of healing druids.

Ultimately, we think there has to be a place for both crowd control and damage. It can be just as frustrating to be chained from a fear to a poly to a stun without having an answer as it can be to die to two dudes killing you in a few GCDs without an answer. We don’t want Arena in particular to be all about which comp has the best layering of crowd controls that don’t share diminishing returns, because that greatly lowers the number of viable comps out there (and why rogue-mage-priest dominated in earlier seasons). We have taken steps this season already to nerf both out of control damage and excessive crowd control for some classes.

The best thing you can do is just keep providing feedback when you think something is broken. Many other players will disagree with you, and at times so will we. The signal to noise ratio for PvP balance is frankly always going to be bad, and the design calls are extremely subjective. We are constantly amazed that some players playing very powerful specs perceive themselves as weak or interpret very gentle nerfs as soul-crushing. That doesn’t mean that we’re never going to listen, but it does mean the burden of convincing us something is broken is going to be high, probably higher than it is for PvE.


Q: Warrior damage is currently game-breakingly out of control and looking at the 4.1 patch notes it is only set to get worse. Your attempts at toning down the burst from Colossus Smash will have very little effect on high armor targets and absolutley no effect on medium to low armor targets, factor in the compensation you have given to Slam, Overpower and Mortal Strike and it ultimately leads to a significant damage increase. With warrior damage already absurdly high and a resilience nerf in the works what is the reasoning behind these changes? – Albany (Europe [English])

A: This question was most likely written before the most recent 4.1 patch notes, but we think it was totally valid at the time it was written. We were in a tricky spot with warriors where we couldn’t nerf their burst damage without affecting their sustained PvE damage. A few things contributed to this, Colossus Smash for sure, but also the new design for Heroic Strike, allowing them to sandwich in extra damage on the same GCD as Mortal Strike or Raging Blow. We finally bit the bullet and made Colossus Smash work differently in PvP and PvE. That type of separation is always a last resort for us, but we feel like it was the right call in this case. We also toned down the base amount of Fury mastery while keeping mastery scaling the same, and compensated them with auto attack damage. We also fixed a sneaky bug where trinket effects that were not intended to stack, were stacking. Despite some of the more hyperbolic responses, we think warriors will continue to use Colossus Smash in PvP. They may think about it a little more before using on a clothie, and we’re actually fine with that. (It’s still probably a 13% damage increase vs. cloth.)


Q: Can I hear your thoughts of the survival abilities of the Warlock on PvP? – Mccoll (Korea)

A: Overall, we think they’re fine. Warlocks in PvP often compare themselves to Shadow priest, and to be fair, Shadow priests have some very potent emergency buttons, particularly Dispersion. Warlocks have good self-healing (which also to be fair, was nerfed recently), abilities like Demonic Circle and fears that are good for both offense and defense. Once Shadow priests lose their defensive dispel capabilities, we think they will be less versatile and their entire package will be more comparable to warlocks.


Q: Balance druids are widely recognized as deficient in PvP. Can you describe your motivation for nerfing Balance druids' burst damage, crowd control, and self-healing in 4.1? This seems like a lot, given that you have acknowledged that Balance druids are currently weak in Arena (during your first Q&A). (It would be great if you could speak generally to what your vision or plan is for this class, in PvP. Some players believe that Blizzard does not intend for feral or balance druids to be played in arena. Please tell us for the record that this is not true!) Thank you. – Jynks (North America/ANZ)

A: Last week the words actually used were that Balance druids struggle in Arena. They are exceptional in Battlegrounds. But Balance druids cast hard spells a lot, which are more likely to be interrupted in Arenas. They do good damage in Battlegrounds when they can dot multiple targets, but those are more likely to be dispelled in Arenas. Despite those weaknesses, Starsurge needed to be nerfed. Broken spells shouldn’t make up for being weak in Arena.

We want Feral and Balance to be played in PvP and ideally in Arena. It is hard to make every spec equally viable in Arenas without giving everyone all the same set of tools, which was part of the entire genesis towards the emphasis on Rated Battlegrounds for Cataclysm. We know some players scratch their heads when we nerf Balance and Feral in PvP because they historically haven’t been as highly represented as some other specs. However, it’s not cool for a spec to be super annoying or frustrating to play against just because they aren’t common. But to answer your question for the record, yes we want them to be viable.


Q: Elemental Shaman are rarely seen in high rating Arena teams nowadays. I want to know the thoughts and opinions of the Dev. Team regarding the PVP abilities of the Elemental Shaman. Can I expect any improvement? – ?? (Korea), Mythren (Europe [English])

A: As with Balance above, Elemental was hurt by several of the Cataclysm changes. They hard cast spells a lot in a world where every melee spec (and many casters) have a reliable interrupt. (And as we’re saying elsewhere, we think interrupts are too good in PvP overall). Likewise, Elemental is hurt by dispels. Our intent was to make dispels more expensive, but that hasn’t really toned them down as much as we wanted. Long-term, as with the interrupts, we do need to chill dispels out even more. But certainly dispelling Flame Shock hurts Elemental’s damage a lot. Similarly, Elemental’s big claim to fame in Lich King was how much burst they could do in a small window, and we have toned that down a lot with the larger health pools that players have. Finally, the Heroism / Bloodlust buff was once mandatory for 5v5 brackets, and obviously isn’t any longer. Elemental could probably benefit from another survivability cooldown. Elemental Mastery doesn’t fit that niche as well as we’d like, since you need it for offense as well.


Q: Why do hunter traps continue to be resisted when the hunter is both spell pen capped, and specced 2/2 into Survival Tactics? – Zubzar (North America/ANZ)

A: It’s just a technical limitation. The way the code works, the traps are objects and not part of the player. We can calculate how much damage they should do based on player stats, but it is currently impossible for them to inherit things like spell pen. Spell Penetration does nothing for your traps. We don’t even have a way to make them always hit, because then they would always hit, even against a stealthed rogue for instance (which we’re sure is a solution hunters would be perfectly happy with). We know it’s not a very satisfying answer, but at the end of the day, World of Warcraft is a piece of software and given that we have some of the best programmers in the industry working on it, there aren’t any simple solutions that are going to fix this problem in the short term. It is absolutely a problem though and we do want to fix it.


Q: The healing abilities of hybrid classes are being severely limited (eg. Retribution Paladin, Shadow Priest). Compared to this why do DPS Classes such as Rogue, Warlock have strong healing capabilities? Can I get some explanations for this? – ????? (Korea)

A: Our definition of hybrid is a class that can respec to tank or heal. That versatility is much less relevant in PvP than in PvE. So it isn’t all our intention that classes who have a healing talent tree are good healers at all times and more than you might expect Restoration or Balance druids to be tanky just because they have a tank spec.

We don’t specify a set amount of self-healing and try to adjust everyone to hit those targets. Instead we balance specs around their entire package. If rogues die a lot, then we can explore the option of increasing their mitigation, giving them stronger survival cooldowns, or increasing their self-healing. We found that rogues were one of the most painful classes to level, so when we revamped them for Cataclysm, we wanted to make sure they didn’t have to stop and eat or bandage every few pulls. Warlocks self healing did get nerfed, but also remember that their resource mechanic is burning health to generate mana, so they need a way to replenish that health.

Finally, hybrids can absolutely swing the outcome of battles with their self or off-healing. Feral druids can stop, shift, and heal themselves up. It happens all the time (though obviously not while being focused). That doesn’t mean that those specs are supposed to be chain healing the whole time (that’s what actual healers do).


Q: Frost Mage and Blood Death Knight are almost unbeatable in PvP situations. Do you have any plan to adjust balance issues regarding the two Classes? – ????? (Korea)

A: The kit of the Frost mage is to have a lot of control and emergency buttons. This gives them a high skill cap, both in that it can be hard to stop a good Frost mage and it can be hard for less skilled PvP players to handle even a decent Frost mage. At the high end of PvP, we think Frost mages are balanced. It’s everything below that where they can be frustrating to handle. We need to figure out ways to affect the latter without affecting the former. One solution is to take some of their control away, but make some of the remaining abilities undispellable. Those spells are always dispelled in high-end games, but less often in lower-end games.

With the exception of a few (kind of silly) dual Blood comps in the 2v2 bracket, we see most of the Blood DK complaints when they are Battleground flag carriers. Tanks are hard to kill – that’s their thing. When tanks do obnoxious amounts of damage in PvP in addition to high survivability, as happened in some of the Lich King seasons, that feels broken. In Cataclysm, their damage is a lot lower in PvP, but their survivability is high, which feels more appropriate. We did nerf the Glyph of Dark Succor to keep it from being abusive. We’d rather the role of tanks in PvP be as flag carriers and defenders rather than the dude chasing you around trying to kill you.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Raid PUGs
Raid bosses aren’t designed with pick up raids in mind, but the bosses should get more challenging as a raid progresses through the instance. Naxxramas is perhaps not a good benchmark to set raiding expectations against for a couple of reasons. It was content that a number of players were already familiar with, and it was also tuned to a difficulty that was a bit lower than we would have preferred.

I too vividly recall the start of Burning Crusade, and pick up raids were anything but common at the start of that expansion. In fact, the idea of a pick up raid was flatly laughable for quite a while. They didn't really appear with any regularity until the mid-portions of the Burning Crusade expansion, and only after most of the participating players knew the fights very well, or just overgeared them by a pretty wide margin. Even in Wrath of the Lich King, pick up raids didn't start becoming super common until a tier or two of content had already been released. The scenario you mentioned in your original post, of constant pick up raid spam in trade, didn't really occur until a bit later.

We are starting to see pick up raids form for current content even though the next tier of gear hasn't been released yet. In that light, progression appears to be on track.

On the subject of progression, in 4.1 Valor Points should become more rapidly accessible too. As more players acquire gear of high ilevel, and as average gear levels rise as a result, it will be easier to find effective pick up raiding groups.

Designing raids with PUGs in mind
Raiding is the pinnacle of what can be achieved in World of Warcraft; on the PvE side, anyway. With that in mind, we feel that those encounters should be epic, with epic challenges and rewards to match. Cutting edge raiding should present a real challenge and feel rewarding for players who are dedicated to facing down that content on its own terms.

Nonetheless, we fully expect that raid content will become available to a larger population of players as time goes on. Our intent has always been that players will be able to see more and more content with less and less coordination as time goes on. Ghostcrawler’s recent blog on raid progression (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2452061#blog) states that very specifically, and it will result either from the natural proliferation of gear as time goes on, or if that’s not substantial enough, direct adjustments to difficulty. That’s really the underlining intent of our raid progression philosophy in Cataclysm: to strike a better balance between the hardcore raiding of yesteryear and the more accessible raiding of Wrath.

The solution comes down to timing. We want to keep it epic for the high end raiders, but also ensure that content becomes more accessible over time. (http://blue.mmo-champion.com/topic/164963/i-quit[Source[/url])url

Comics
Dark Legacy Comic #280 and Teh Gladiators #220 + #221 are out!

by Published on 2011-03-22 01:13 AM

Blizzard Store Mount - Winged Lion
Blizzard just released a picture of the upcoming Blizzard Store mount, the Winged Lion datamined a few days ago.

by Published on 2011-03-20 07:01 PM

Mione - Solo Twin Val'kyr and Faction Champions
Mione had a busy week after the Solo kill of Yogg-Saron and decided to visit the Trial of the Crusader instance.

The Twin Val'kyrs are pretty fast to kill apparently but the Faction Champions are ... well ... longer ... much longer ... in fact, it took almost 2 hours to kill them. Congratulations to Mione, and good luck for the solo kill of the Lich King.





Karazhan Map in Patch 4.1
Patch 4.1 updated most of the TBC dungeon with new world maps but so far the dungeons with a lot of floors (Black Temple/Karazhan) were missing. The latest PTR build added Karazhan maps and you can now check out how the 17 floors look from above.







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 showing up, faster and more expensive than the current generation. Currently they are overpriced because they are new, look for price reductions over the next few weeks. New AMD CPUs are unlikely to surface before June or July.

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!

Peripherals/Monitors

ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorASUS VW224U 22-Inch Widescreen - $157ASUS VW246H 24-Inch Widescreen - $221
KeyboardMicrosoft Digital Media Keyboard 3000 - $25Cyborg V.5 - $38
MouseLogitech MX518 - $29Logitech G500 - $58
SpeakersLogitech S220 2.1 Speaker System - $25Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $40
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE276Q 27-Inch - $300Dell UltraSharp U2410 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $520
KeyboardLogitech G110 - $65Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $75 ($130)
MouseRazer Deathadder - $47Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $70
SpeakersCreative Inspire T3130 2.1 Speaker System - $45Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $75



Puppy and Dolphin

ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT GAMMA Classic - $40NZXT GAMMA Classic - $40
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $80Corsair 650TX V2 - $80
CPUAMD Athlon II X4 640 AM3 - $100AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition - $140
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $27Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $27
MotherboardGIGABYTE GA-770T-USB3 AM3 - $85GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 - $130
Memory4GB PNY Optima DDR3 10600 - $334GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 4GB 12800 DDR3 - $59
Graphics CardXFX 5770 - $110XFX 6850 or EVGA GTX 460 - $159 / $190
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB - $40SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB - $60
DVDLite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $25Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $25
Total$540$720 / $751


Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn.
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master Centurion 5 II - $55Cooler Master HAF932 - $140
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $80Corsair 750HX (7 Year Warranty) - $142
CPUIntel i5-2500k - $233Intel i7-2600k - $340
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $48Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $75
MotherboardASUS P8P67-M PRO - $173ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 - $248
Memory4GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 4GB 12800 DDR3 - $598GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $100
Graphics CardXFX 6950 1GB OR EVGA GTX 560 Ti- $283 / $260XFX 6970 OR EVGA GTX 570 - $360 / $410
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $88Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $88
SSDNoneOCZ Vertex 2 120 GB (Review) - $200
OR
Corsair Force 120GB (Review) - $230
DVDLite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $25Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $25
Total$1044/ $1021$1733/ $1783



The Daily Blink - Tiers of Sadness

by Published on 2011-03-19 02:25 AM

Ghostcrawler Developer Blog: Raid Progress
If you missed it earlier today, make sure you read Ghostcrawler Developer Blog: Raid Progress!


New Valor Points and Daily Dungeons gains in Patch 4.1
We finally have a blue posts about the changes to daily quests!
Originally Posted by Lylirra (Blue Tracker)
Right now, you receive 70 VP for the first random Cataclysm Heroic dungeon you complete each day. In 4.1, you'll receive 70 VP for the first seven random Cataclysm Heroic dungeons you complete each week. Similarly, you'll receive 140 VP for the first seven random Rise of the Zandalari Heroic dungeons (the new Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub instances) you complete in the week, too. Collectively, you'll be able to earn up to 980 VP exclusively from Heroic dungeons, which in turn will count towards your weekly 1250 VP cap.

By transitioning random Heroic dungeon rewards from a daily format to a weekly one, we'll be able to give players more control and flexibility over how they can earn VP -- which is cool! -- but this also means that we've a lot more bookkeeping to do in terms of where those points are coming from. To help with that, we're adding a "Valor Point bar" (similar to an XP bar) to the top of Dungeon Finder UI that will track your weekly cap, as well as how many Heroics you can still run for VP during the week.

We're going to be writing up a pretty big blog about that system since it's somewhat complicated, but here's what you can take away right now:


  • In 4.1, running random Heroic dungeons for VP is now something you can do on your own schedule. Feel like spending your entire Saturday queuing up as random? No problem!

  • The first seven random Rise of the Zandalari Heroics you run for the week will award 140 VP each. This is double the VP that you’ll receive from your first seven random "tier 1" Cataclysm Heroics, since the dungeons are considered a "step up" in difficulty.

  • You'll be able to randomly queue for the Rise of the Zandalari Heroics separately from the tier 1 Cataclysm Heroic dungeons.

  • Each week you can earn up to 980 VP just by running random Heroic dungeons. If you want to maximize your VP gains, you can still reach the overall weekly cap of 1250 by defeating raid level content.

This isn't yet on the PTR for testing. We'll let you know when it is, though, and will continue to provide more information as the development of 4.1 progresses.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
RSA Vulnerability and Blizzard Authenticators
The Blizzard Authenticators are based off modified Vasco tokens. I'm sorry to hear about RSA's troubles, but it will not affect the Blizzard Authenticator. (Source)


People blocking mailboxes with flying mounts
You may have noticed that a number of mailboxes were added to the capital cities so that, if you happen to find one blocked, it should be relatively easy to walk a few steps and find another one that remains unobstructed. Most vendors are located inside buildings where mounts aren't allowed too.

Having the option to use one's flying mounts within the capital cities is ultimately more convenient than removing them to ensure access to services which should be reasonably accessible to begin with. (Source)


Heroic Instance Tiers
But, yes. The Rise of the Zandalari Heroics are considered a tier above the current Cataclysm Heroics. You can randomly queue for them separately, but you'll still only be able to earn at most 980 VP per week from running Heroics, period (no matter what tier they are). (Source)


Reasons behind the change to daily dungeon
Some people don't have time to log in every day, but have, for instance, a lot of time on the weekend to play.
We hear you, and we agree that asking players log in every day (or night) just to keep pace with their VP is a bit unreasonable and can sometimes lead to World of Warcraft feeling less like a game and more like a job. That's ultimately why we're making these changes. We want you to log in because you enjoy raiding, or questing, or -- in this case -- running dungeons, not because you feel like you need to complete a specific chore every day in order to stay viable/competitive. (Source)


Amount of instances in a week
It sounds like you meant that you could do 7 total heroics; not 7 tier 1 AND 7 ZG/ZA... so its possible to get a TOTAL of 980 VP (Source)


Hitting the cap with the new dungeon dailies
Even with only doing the dungeons (both types), you'll hit the cap before the week is over, without stepping foot into a raid.
Nah, you won't. You'll only be able to earn up to 980 VP per week from running random Heroics, not 1470 VP (we're purposefully placing a soft cap on VP from Heroics). If you want to reach the 1250 weekly cap, you'll still need to run raid content.

Again, I know it's a bit complicated, so let me give you some examples:

Example 1:
Player A has a blast on a Friday with his friends and runs seven Rise of the Zandalari Heroics, earning 980 VP (7 x 140 VP). The next day, he helps a friend with a random tier 1 Cataclysm Heroic -- let's say Heroic Deadmines. Because player A has already earned 980 VP from random Heroics, he won't receive any VP from the Saturday's Deadmines run.

Example 2:
Player B kills 25-man Argaloth, Council of Wind, and Halfus Wyrmbreaker, earning 270 VP on Tuesday night. She then runs three random tier 1 Cataclysm Heroics during the workweek for 210 VP. Come Saturday, player B wants to kill LOTS of trolls and decides to chain-run a few random Rise of the Zandalari Heroics. At this point, player B has 770 VP available to be earned from Heroic dungeons (980 VP - 210 VP). This means she can run six of those dungeons -- for the first five, she'll get 140 VP; for the sixth, only 70 VP.

Example 3:
Player C raids a lot of bosses, killing 10 of them with 24 of his peers on Tuesday/Wednesday, earning 900 VP. He can still earn 350 VP before hitting the weekly cap. The 980 VP Heroic dungeon cap won't affect him at this point. He can do five tier 1 Heroics -- or three Rise of the Zandalari Heroics, or two Rise of the Zandalari Heroic + one tier 1 Heroic -- to earn those 350 VP.

This is all much easier to understand with pictures (which we'll be sure include in spades in the blog post), but I hope the above makes sense for now. (Source)

Fan Arts
The Blizzard Fan Art Section has been updated with nine new pieces of fan artwork set within the Warcraft universe.




The Daily Blink - Okay, One More Movie Poster
I guess this is very relevant today.

by Published on 2011-03-18 04:45 PM

Ghostcrawler Developer Blog: Raid Progress
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
We addressed our views on dungeon difficulty several weeks ago, and in the interim many players have asked for us to comment on raid difficulty.

I chose to use the word "progress" in the title for this blog quite intentionally. We think progression is the key to players having fun. When groups stop making progress, the members get frustrated. When individuals feel like they are stuck, that’s when they start to lose interest. I don’t think it strictly has to do with the flow of loot being shut off. A big part of it is the sense that as you climb up that mountain, you are getting closer and closer to the summit instead of just sliding back down to base camp at the end of each day.

Let’s consider two extremes. If you complete the raid content very quickly and have Sinestra on farm and everyone has acquired their best in slot items, then you’re probably ready to take a break from raiding. If you worked really hard to get to that point, as many of the current “finished” guilds did, then you’re probably pretty happy about resting until Firelands becomes available. However, if that break point happens too soon, too easily, for too many guilds, then the raiding game can feel empty. Players run out of content before they are ready to run out of content, if that makes sense. Now let’s consider the other extreme, where a guild just has no realistic chance of ever beating a boss. This can be particularly demoralizing if it’s the first boss, but it can happen at any time. That guild might not feel like they are making progress. Many guilds are willing to put in a few weeks trying to master a new encounter, but if it gets to the point where they are wiping for months, there’s a good chance they’ll start to see burnout and thinning ranks. The sweet spot in raid balance for us to hit is that everyone feels like they can still make progress. Content that is too hard or too easy doesn’t meet that goal.

Raid encounters, to some extent, nerf themselves. This is because every week, the raid members acquire more and more gear. Secondarily, the community acquires more and more knowledge and experience, which translates into better videos, strategy guides, or even UI mods, as well as just more players who have experienced the encounters firsthand. Each week that you are able to kill any bosses, your group’s gear improves overall, through Valor points if nothing else. When Firelands is available, everyone’s gear will quickly take a step up in quality. This will give you an even better chance to beat those bosses that are blocking you now. We wouldn’t be surprised to see some guilds try the first few Firelands bosses one night, while using the next night to go back to get the head and chests from Nef and Cho’gall in order to complete their set bonuses, that is until acquiring new set bonuses becomes feasible. On some bosses, though, better armor and weapons may not be enough because some mechanics just can’t easily be outgeared. To mitigate that problem, our tendency is to nerf content over time just to make sure a wide variety of players see it. The trailblazers get to see the fights before anyone else, but we don’t lock the dungeon door behind them.

Having said all of that, there are some encounters that still need adjustment. Heroic 10-player modes can often be the hardest to balance, because those groups just don’t have access to the sheer number of tools in one group that the larger raids have. You’ve probably seen some hotfixes go out recently and we might make more adjustments in 4.1. We’ll continue to monitor progress and make adjustments when we feel the time is right.

Overall, we are pretty happy with our current raid balance. Most guilds that are trying seem to be making some progress. On some realms, we’re seeing pickup groups for at least the earlier bosses, which seems appropriate for where we are in the content cycle. The Heroic versions are particularly challenging, though even in that case, there is a gradient with easier and very difficult bosses. For those of you who feel like you are stuck on progression, we’d like to hear more about why. Are you trying to PUG the encounters? Do you have a very casual guild with a lot of different players each night? Is the problem that you’re undergeared or that the mechanics are too unforgiving? What are the mechanics that are really hard for raid leadership to explain or even understand? Are your tanks exploding, or are your healers running out of mana, or are you failing the berserk timers? We have data on all of this, but it’s useful to hear it from your point of view as well. Remember, our goal is that you beat the fight because you understood the mechanics and executed your tanking, DPS, and healing around those constraints. If you’re just kind of powering through a boss ability or phase that you don’t really understand, then it’s going to be a lot harder for you. As always, feedback on which encounters you are enjoying and which ones you never want to see again is also appreciated, though we’ve gotten a lot of that already, and are designing your Firelands foes with that in mind.


P.S. I am as excited about the Firelands encounters as I am about the current ones. We can’t wait for you to wipe to them, er... see them.

Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the lead systems designer of World of Warcraft. He wipes to the elevator boss.
by Published on 2011-03-18 04:46 AM

Target position on Minimap in Patch 4.1
Patch 4.1 adds a very useful feature to the game, anything you target will now have its position displayed on the minimap! It's obviously very useful when you're looking for a NPC after using the /target command and I'm sure it will make a couple of rare elite hunters happy. (Unless you have NPCScan, in this case you're probably already happy)



Weekly Daily Quest Cap on PTRs
The change to the daily quest cap I mentioned yesterday is now available for testing on PTRs! For the few people who do not trust file changes for that kind of stuff, here is a nice screenshot of the new LFD Panel with the updated text + the new options.

Unless a blue poster says something about it, you can probably expect this change to go live and grinding dungeons might get considerably easier for some of you.





Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard promised me a pony! (and a raid in 4.1 at Blizzcon)
BlizzCon is a behind the scenes look into the development process. We offer that behind the scenes look because we know people enjoy being able to see our processes, and also hear about what we're thinking about and planning. That comes with the hope that the information is indeed taken as we intend it, which is a candid look at our thoughts and processes. Not bullet points of finalized game features.

Unfortunately those candid thoughts and processes are sometimes interpreted as promises for the development of our games.

The reason we commonly do not discuss our plans until they're in the process of being implemented, or actually complete, is exactly for that reason. BlizzCon is a huge exception to our rule, and while we're not going to stop having BlizzCons and offering those behind the scenes looks for those in attendance who come to see exactly those things, it's really unfortunate to see when they're referenced as promises. (Source)

The death of World PvP
Hrm, I reckon it's rewards that ruined world PvP. Everyone harkens back to TM/SS as the holy grail of world PvP, and that was before and maybe slightly after the honor system was implemented (but before real rewards existed from it). I think you can encourage world PvP all you want, and if there aren't rewards behind it you'll keep people interested for about as long as it takes them to realize there are other things to do that give real power increases. Why would anyone spend any amount of time just pushing back and forth for no reason when you can spend your time toward actual rewards and character improvement? Maybe there are some of you, but I guarantee it'd be short lived.

I mean shoot, you have Isle of Quel'Danas or even quest hubs in Cataclysm where people are literally forced together, and there's complaints that they just want people to stop PvPing so they can get their stuff done so they can get their rewards. That's kind of unfair because I know many did enjoy those situations, but somehow it never meets the awesomeness of TM/SS, and I reckon it just never could again.

The best I can think that you could do is create a specific world PvP zone where you don't allow flying mounts, give some objective to tug-o-war over, and so you can justify giving some semi-meaningful rewards and keep people interested you'd need to find some way to even up the sides (because world PvP is inherently going to be unfair). I think you do all that and you probably have the best working solution for bringing back world PvP. (Source)

Comics
Dark Legacy was a little late this week and I had to postpone the comic update. This week, Dark Legacy Comic #279 and Teh Gladiators #218 + #219!


Site Navigation