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by Published on 2011-03-17 02:28 AM

PTR 4.1 Build 13750 Strings - Weekly Daily Quest Reset
A couple of nice strings have been added to the client, I'll emphasize on the first one because I'm sure a lot of people will be happy with the change...
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • LFD_RANDOM_REWARD_EXPLANATION1 = "The first seven random dungeons of this tier that you complete each week will earn you:";

Apparently, Blizzard is going to change the daily dungeon quest to a 7 daily quests/week cap instead of 1 quest/day. Obviously this change will make the life of players considerably easier, especially for those of you who have a lot of rerolls or only play on week ends. Of course, nothing confirmed yet, etc etc etc ...


The other changes are:
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Random Dungeons
  • INCLUDED_DUNGEONS = "Included Dungeons";
  • INCLUDED_DUNGEONS_SUBTEXT = "The following dungeons are included in your level range when queueing for a Random Dungeon:";

Interface
  • BUFFS_ON_TOP = "Buffs On Top";

Graphics
  • GXAPI = "Graphics API|TInterface\\OptionsFrame\\UI-OptionsFrame-NewFeatureIcon:0:0:0:-1|t";
  • GXAPI_D3D11 = "DirectX 11";
  • GXAPI_D3D9 = "DirectX 9";
  • GXAPI_GLL = "GLL";
  • GXAPI_OPENGL = "OpenGL";
  • OPTION_TOOLTIP_GXAPI = "Select the graphics API.";

Network (Including the lag optimization deployed in 4.0.6 and disabled shortly after)
  • OPTIMIZE_NETWORK_SPEED = "Optimize Network for Speed";
  • OPTION_TOOLTIP_OPTIMIZE_NETWORK_SPEED = "Enable this option to optimize network usage for speed in order to decrease lag.\nThis will increase your bandwidth usage, and may cause problems in some environments. Disabling this option may help resolve certain disconnection issues.";
  • OPTION_TOOLTIP_USEIPV6 = "Enables the use of IPv6, the technology behind the next-generation Internet.\nRequires IPv6 connectivity to the internet. Checking this box without IPv6 connectivity may prevent you from playing WoW.";
  • USEIPV6 = "Enable IPv6 when available";



Patch 4.0.6 Hotfixes - March 16
A new wave of hotfixes has been deployed on live servers. (Well, that's actually an update of the past 2 weeks apparently)
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
March 2 - March 16

General
  • Using macros no longer halts or delays transports.

Classes
Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Casting Holy Word: Chastise against bosses will cause damage, but no longer disorient them when they are immune to such effects.

Dungeons & Raids
Bastion of Twilight
  • Valiona and Theralion overall damage and health has been reduced by roughly 10% on Heroic difficulty. In addition, Twilight Zone no longer increases damage taken from Rift Blast.

Blackwing Descent
  • Atramedes will no longer sometimes snap back to his starting location as he finishes casting Sonic Breath.
  • Magmaw overall damage and health was a little too high on all difficulties and has been reduced slightly. In addition, on Heroic difficulty, Nefarian will now prefer ranged targets when spawning Blazing Bone Constructs.
  • Maloriak’s Scorching Breath should no longer incorrectly share its damage among pets. To offset what would be increased damage per player as a result of this fix, the damage dealt by the ability has been reduced on Heroic difficulty.
  • Players will move at the same speed, even when setting their normal speed to "walk" using the keybind, when Nefarian casts Dominion.
  • The Omnotron Defense System encounter has had its health reduced by 15% on Heroic difficulty, and the damage of Incineration Security Measure has been reduced.

Items
  • The Sands of Time is now a blue superior-quality item. This item can still be used to craft Vial of the Sands when combined with other required materials. The vendor price is unchanged.
  • Players are no longer able to activate Synapse Springs in conjunction with Fury of Angerforge, or vice versa, with or without a macro.

Professions
Engineering
  • Flexweave Underlay, Parachute Cloak, and various rocket boot effects can no longer be used in rated Battlegrounds.
  • Players are no longer able to activate Synapse Springs in conjunction with Fury of Angerforge, or vice versa, with or without a macro.

PvP
Battlegrounds
  • Players can no longer carry enemy flags while on the elevated graveyard in Twin Peaks. An aura will cause the flag to reset as intended if taken to the graveyard via Demonic Circle or Leap of Faith.

Quests & Creatures
Feralas
  • Shandris Feathermoon can no longer be pulled too far from her default location before resetting (i.e. she won’t be waging war from the Orgrimmar Auction House anymore).

Uldum
  • The Beserking buff obtained by killing Schnottz Supply Choppers will now be removed when a player leaves Uldum.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Optional Bosses/Heroic Halls of Origination
We'll need to weigh the value of optional dungeon and raid bosses further before we make any changes. There's good arguments on both sides. On the one hand, optional bosses can be great for keeping dungeons and raids from feeling too linear or formulaic -- and, when done right, they can also give groups a meaningful choice between getting extra loot and completing a run faster. On the other, optional bosses can sometimes create social tension, especially in Dungeon Finder groups, if players disagree whether they should invest the time to fight them.

We know there’s room for improvement, though. For example, we understand that it's probably not the best idea to have optional bosses dropping loot that's BiS. Giving those bosses side-grades (rather than strict upgrades) or similar items could make the "extra loot" vs. "quicker run" decision less stressful. We also feel that optional bosses in general might work better in raids than in dungeons because raids tend to be made up of players who know each other and/or have a strong leader who's empowered to make calls about which bosses to kill.

Heroic Halls of Origination is a good example of where optional bosses can cause conflicts. In retrospect, we feel that it may have been better to require players to kill all four of the "top" bosses -- Isiset, Ammunae, Setesh, and Rajh -- to get credit for their random Heroic dungeon rewards (instead of just Rajh). While we don't yet know if retrofitting the dungeon or the random dungeon reward requirements is the best course of action, we've learned a lot from watching groups, reading your feedback, and just playing ourselves. We’re definitely keeping those lessons in mind as we develop future content and if we do make any changes, we'll be sure to let you know. (Source)
by Published on 2011-03-16 02:15 AM

Update - Patch 4.1 - PTR Build 13750
A new PTR build is being deployed on test realms.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Achievements
Dungeons & Raids
  • Here, Kitty Kitty... Successfully feed Temple Rats to 4 of Bethekk's Pride during the High Priestess Kilnara encounter.
  • Heroic: Zul'Gurub Defeat Jin'do the Godbreaker in Zul'Gurub on Heroic difficulty.
  • Heroic: Zul'Aman Defeat Daakara in Zul'Aman on Heroic difficulty.

Feats of Strength

Guild - Dungeons & Raids

Items
PvE

Spells
Herbalism
  • Lifeblood now has a 2 min cooldown, up from 20 sec.

Hunter (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Beast Mastery
  • Feed Pet now instantly restoring 50% of its total health. Cannot be used while in combat.

Pets

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Arcane

Glyphs

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Holy

Discipline

Shadow

Warlock (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Affliction



Patch 4.1/4.2 - Winged Lion Mount?
I spent a couple of days debating if I should post this model or not since it seems to be an early beta of the model and I'll assume that at this point my readers are smart enough to understand that the things they see can be a work in progress, so there you go!

One of the latest beta build of Patch 4.1 on PTRs added a new mount model, the Winged Lion Mount! We don't have any information on this mount for the moment, and as I said it looks like a very early version of the model but ... IT'S A LION WITH WINGS!



Patch 4.1 PTR Notes Update - March 15
The Patch 4.1 PTR Notes have been updated once again with a couple of class changes and more raiding nerfs.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Classes: General
  • Several persistent ground effects now display different visuals for hostile and friendly players. The following spells have the same visual effects for friendly players, but new alternate visuals for hostile players: Ring of Frost, Consecration, Desecration, Wild Mushroom, Flare, Ice Trap, Power Word: Barrier, Smoke Bomb, and Hand of Gul'dan. As a general rule, the alternate effects have a red tint or hue indicating they are created by an enemy player.

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Restoration
  • Efflorescence has been redesigned. It creates a healing zone at the feet of a Swiftmend target, but this healing zone now restores health equal to 4/8/12% of the amount healed by Swiftmend to the three most injured targets within 8 yards, every 1 second for 7 seconds. This periodic effect now also benefits from spell haste, but the individual ticks cannot be critical effects. In addition, Living Seed is no longer a prerequisite talent for Efflorescence.

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Arcane
  • Improved Arcane Explosion now also reduces the mana cost of Arcane Explosion by 25/50%.

Frost
  • Ice Barrier base damage value has been increased by approximately 120%. In addition, the benefit from spell power has been increased by approximately 8%.

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Frost Armor (new glyph): Frost Armor also causes the mage to regenerate 2% of maximum mana ever 5 seconds.

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Colossus Smash now ignores 50% of a hostile player's armor (PvP), but continues to ignore 100% of a non-player character's armor (PvE).

Dungeons & Raids
Blackwing Descent
  • Atramedes
    • Searing Flames now causes a 6-second cooldown on Modulation.
    • Searing Flames no longer increases Sound on players.
    • Players should no longer be able to avoid the first period damage tick of Searing Flame, and Searing Flame now ticks every 2 seconds. The damage of Searing Flame has been increased to compensate for it ticking less frequently.
  • Nefarian's End
    • The damage of Shadowflame Barrage has been reduced by 15% (10-player normal and Heroic difficulty only).
    • The damage of Tail Lash has been reduced by 20% (10-player normal and Heroic difficulty only).

Bastion of Twilight
  • Dragon Siblings
    • Blackout can now be dispelled on Heroic difficulty.
  • Cho'gall
    • The health of Blood of the Old God on 10-player Heroic difficulty has been lowered by roughly 20%.
    • The health of Darkened Creations on 10-player Heroic difficulty has been lowered by roughly 20%.
    • Corruption: Accelerated on 10-player Heroic difficulty has been lowered slightly.
    • Knockbacks and Deathgrip can now be used to interrupt players that are converted by Cho’gall.

Battlegrounds
Arathi Basin
  • Arathi Basin is now available as a 10v10-player rated Battleground.

Botting in WoW
This comment by Bashiok follows a giant banwave of people botting Archaeology and PvP earlier this week. That's why you shouldn't cheat if you want to keep your WoW account and that's why pointing to any exploit or cheat on our forums will get you banned, hard.
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
We’re in the process of stepping up our detection and tracking to log and action players that are botting, or habitually AFKing in the Battlegrounds. We’ll be taking aggressive action and removing earned items, Honor Points, and ultimately suspending or even banning accounts of those that are found to be botting or habitually AFKing. It’s a sophisticated level of monitoring we’re undertaking. No one actively playing in the Battlegrounds normally should be concerned that they’ll be actioned.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Heroic Leap
Perhaps I should elaborate further. Heroic Leap should work on flat surfaces, and in a great many places, actually. We've had players telling us that it fails constantly, but without providing more specific information regarding where and how; hence the requests for more reports. There are very specific situations where we have purposefully stopped it from functioning to help prevent exploitation, which I've covered in more detail below.

Plus it causes tons of exploit issues, due to the elevation of the leap.
Exploitation was indeed a concern, and some of the Heroic Leap failures you’ve seen might be because of the restrictions we put in place to prevent exploitation. If you’re in an area where flying is restricted (like a Battleground) and your leap would cause you to gain more than about 4 yards of altitude, then the spell should fail -- though the cooldown shouldn’t be wasted. It should otherwise generally work on flat terrain and succeed much more often outdoors.

It wasn’t an ideal solution, but we added this limitation because players were able to use the targeted jump to exploit terrain to reach inaccessible areas or even leave the map. This wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction either; we received literally hundreds of documented cases where warriors could exploit the ability. The short term alternatives, such as disabling it in Battlegrounds completely, felt worse. Ultimately, we want to remove the height restriction in Battlegrounds and other restricted areas when we have a more robust technical solution. (Source)
by Published on 2011-03-14 04:31 PM

Ask the Devs Q&A #1 Answers
Originally Posted by Nethaera (Blue Tracker)
Q: Will updated textures be applied to the Vanilla and TBC races in the future to coincide with the new Goblin and Worgen race textures? – Tank (Latin America), Welcome (North America/ANZ), Mizah (Europe [English])
A: The art team very much wants to update the older races. We feel like it’s something we owe the game and the players. We’re just looking for the right time to dive into that enormous task, without having to take too much time away from making new creatures or armor. We also have to be very careful to improve the graphics without fundamentally changing the way the models look. Players are quite attached to the look of their character, and they can be pretty sensitive to even small changes. We’re continually reminded of that fact.

Q: Are there any plans to update Outland and TBC zones to facilitate better level flow? – Atreydes (Latin America)
A: We think the flow of the zones works out well. It is true that you can finish the continents before hitting every zone because of the accelerated quest experience (further enhanced by mechanics such as heirlooms) but most players going back through the content on new characters seem perfectly happy to get through it faster than they did with their original character. What we don’t like is the strange way you go back in time when you go to Outland and Northrend and then back to the future (heh) when you go to the level 80-85 zones. That is definitely something we want to fix.


A similar but slightly different question was asked by one of our Russian players:

Q: Will the Outland and Northrend be “renewed”? Will there be new quests? - Мандрэйк (Europe [Russian])
A: Because we did those areas more recently than Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, we don’t feel the same urgency to go update them. They just don’t have the level design and quest flow problems to the same extent as the original content. We recognize though that some players are getting awfully tired of Hellfire Peninsula, and we’d like to come up with a good solution there.


Q: Mastery rating has become the most important attribute for Death Knight tanks, yet there isn’t any Rune Forge for mastery. Will you consider adding a new Rune Forge for Death Knight tanks? - Highlordkahn (Taiwan)
A: We want to do another pass at the Rune Forge enchants. We think we can make some more compelling choices.


Q: What is your favorite escape/distraction when you arent working on WoW? – Danksz (North America/ANZ)
A: We polled the entire World of Warcraft development team and included the most interesting, unusual, and potentially terrifying responses. They included: roasting my own coffee; hiking all over SoCal; gardening with yuccas and bamboo; building my own 3D printer; attempting to turn my living room into a live action scene from Tron using blacklights, stencils and a helluva lot of paint; autocross racing my sweet ride; board games (I have over 450 of them); being spinal tapped to Tumblr, Reddit and 4chan; mastering cooking (duck confit, breads, pastas, more breads); building Star Wars Lego sets; trying to control my computer using brainwaves and an EEG reader; plein air/outdoor watercolor painting; geocaching; hockey; painting miniatures; swing dancing; crafting old-time cocktails; running 5 / 10 Ks / mud runs; motorcycling; go; blending smoothies; skydiving; work on my Jaina/Varian fanfic; baking bread; playing drums; reading sci-fi; comics; playing WoW.


Q: Will we ever see a feature like the Appearance Tab - some way to make use of all the different equipment art for items we already have without having to give up on stats in order to do so? If no, then why not? – Welcome (North America/ANZ), Ферундал (Europe [Russian])
A: Having more ways to customize the appearance of their character is something players often ask for and something we’d love to improve. Seriously. We hear you loud and clear on this one. We do have some ideas we’re discussing, but we’re not ready to share them quite yet. Our concerns have always included making sure that the character art still maintains a level of quality even if extensively customized, and making sure that character silhouettes are easily recognizable. Those aren’t show-stopping concerns that would prevent us from ever taking the plunge, but they are concerns.


Q: Are there any plans to bring new items to Archaeology with each future patch? - Idej (North America/ANZ)
A: We may not make it every patch, but we designed Archaeology specifically with this kind of expandability in mind. Our most immediate plans are to add rare items to the Vrykul and especially Troll races, since they have so few, and add more to Fossils in general since you end up with so many Fossil sites. We also have some plans to make it slightly easier to focus on races upon which you want to focus.


Q: Will the devs consider giving us reason to interact in the new world of cataclysm? We sit in cities waiting on queues. Theres little reason to leave the city gates outside of farming and archeology. The *main* cities feel alive, the world however feels quite dead. - Odiem (North America/ANZ)
A: While you’re leveling up your character and gathering professions, you’re more than likely interacting with the world plenty. World of Warcraft’s endgame has centered on dungeons, raids, Battlegrounds and Arenas for some time, so it’s natural that you spend more time in cities organizing and preparing for those group-based events. We do think there is more that we can do to promote compelling solo gameplay for max level characters, though. The 4.2 patch has a pretty epic questing experience involving the Firelands and we’re really excited to see how players respond to it.

A similar but slightly different question was asked by one of our Korean players.

Q: PvP realms are getting indistinctive from the PvE realm as players are not engaging into PvP contents, since they are not finding it attractive. The only difference from the PvE realm is that it’s possible to attack opponent around zones in Conflict. Is there any plan to strengthen the difference between PvP and PvE realms? – Soulcube (Korea)
A: We don’t think it’s that world PvP is unattractive, we just think it’s just the cumulative effect of a lot of changes we made to the game to meet other goals. For example, flying mounts are really cool and convenient, but they mean you are much less likely to stumble upon someone from the opposite faction while travelling. We considered teleportation a mandatory feature for Dungeon Finder to succeed, but then you are less likely to bump into an enemy outside of a dungeon. To get world PvP back in some form, we’d have to develop something like the Isle of Quel’danas: a non-flight zone that is not a sanctuary where players congregate to finish quests or earn rewards. We’ll think about ways to do something like that again in the future.


Q: I think a lot of people would like to see some more options for inventory storage are there plans for any of the following? Bank slots/Equipment manager storage/Upgrade backpack/storage for costume, cosmetic, toys/tabard storage. – Shinysparkle (North America/ANZ)
A: We do have some storage solutions in the works. We’d like to convert tabards in particular to something like the current UI to manage titles. We don’t want to just keep giving players larger and larger bags in which to lose items. We’re focusing more on better ways to organize items.


Q: Were hero classes considered a failed experiment, or are there plans for more? – Grozzil (North America/ANZ)
A: No, we still like the concept a lot. The story behind the death knight character was that you were this fallen champion risen by the Lich King, who you eventually turn against (spoiler alert). It wouldn’t have made sense to start you in a forest killing gnolls and boars. You were supposed to feel like a high level character already! We also wanted to make the DK mechanics slightly more complex, so we wanted to make sure only veteran players were exposed to them. In general we want to add classes to the game very selectively because the game can probably only support so many and it’s a lot of new stuff to learn; even if you don’t play the new class yourself, you’ll group with them or fight against them. Introducing the DK was a learning experience for us, to say the least, but we aren’t afraid to try it again when the time is right.


Q: Would you tell me your thoughts about the recent PvP balance? I’m wondering about the future plans that Devs has on PvP balance change. For example, only a few number of Hunter are found in the Arena and this has not been changed for years. - Stormnreaker (Korea)
A: We are pretty happy with PvP balance overall. We think this season may be the best overall in terms of balance. There are definitely some areas where we can improve. Remember that part of our goal with Cataclysm was to encourage more players to try Rated Battlegrounds as an alternative to Arenas. Some classes that struggle in Arena, like hunters and Balance druids, perform very well in Battlegrounds. We recognize that Rated Battlegrounds haven’t yet caught on with players, especially more casual PvP players, as much as we’d like.


Q: While mining and herbalism both supports two other professions (jewel crafting and blacksmith for mining, inscription and alchemy for herbalism), skinning only support leather working and is less viable. Will you consider adding some small advantages for skinning, for example, chances to get more cooking material, to make skinning more attractive? - 柴德洛夫 (Taiwan)
A: Skinning has its own advantages though. For example, you can skin the same targets you are killing for quests or while running a dungeon, while Mining and Herbalism often require you to go out of your way to gather that resource. Sometimes you get lucky and find a field of recently-killed corpses, just waiting to be skinned.


Q: Is the Holy Paladin mastery going to remain as is, or will it see a change in the future? – Judgesyou (North America/ANZ)
A: We like the mechanic. Having a shield complements their potent single-target heals rather than competing against them. As you have probably seen by now, we did increase the duration of the absorb so that it would come into play more often. We believe the Holy mastery, as is the case with some of the other healing masteries, is not an easy thing to simulate or sometimes even determine from logs. It’s hard to put numbers on it in the same way you can assign values to haste and crit. We believe this had led some players to undervalue it. We’ll see how it feels with the longer duration.


Q: Gatherable nodes inside a phase area is really disturbing, especially in Twilight Highland, where nodes often appear on mini-map and vanish upon approach. Could you fix that, or move all the nodes outside of the phasing area? – 補釘 (Taiwan)
A: Yes, this is very frustrating and it happens to us all the time when we’re playing as well. Ultimately we want to fix it in a robust way so that when you see a node on the mini-map, it is something from which you can actually gather. We don’t want to have to just avoid phased areas when placing herb or mining nodes, because some phased areas are quite large and ultimately we don’t want the fact that we thought the questing experience would be enhanced by phasing to spoil the gathering experience down the road.


Q: Considering how often changes meant to balance PVE performance for certain classes then creates imbalance in their performance in PVP, and vice verse, have the developers ever considered completely separating the two? – Azunya (North America/ANZ)
A: That’s a common solution proposed by our active forum participants for whom balance may be the single most important concern when they play. You have to put yourself in the mind of a new player just trying to pick up the game though. Already there are a bewildering array of class abilities and talents, many with their own idiosyncrasies or special rules. Now you have to virtually double that if you want all of the player spells to have a PvE and a PvP tooltip. We prefer solutions like resilience and diminishing returns on crowd control that are more global rules rather than virtually every ability having a PvE vs. a PvP coefficient. We want it to feel like one game with a unified set of rules.


Q: Daily Battlegrounds only reward 25 conquest points, which is really low (considering the fact that daily heroic dungeon rewards 70 valor points). Would you consider to adjust that, as Battlegrounds attracts PvP beginner more than Arena does. –賽君 (Taiwan)
A: I think it’s fair to say that Rated Battlegrounds aren’t yet offering rewards commensurate with the logistical and time commitments that they ask. We really wanted Rated Battlegrounds to be attractive to players who loved PvP but weren’t huge fans of Arenas. We don’t think we’re quite there yet and Arenas continue to be very popular just because they take fewer players and can be completed quickly. If you love Arenas, great. But we want there to be alternatives.


Q: Moonkins lack the “execution” phase spell or talent, is that an intended design and why? –輕體小子 (Taiwan)
A: While it’s true that a lot of character classes have a special ability they can use at the 20% health mark, we didn’t set out to make sure everyone had one. Balance druids have changed a lot in the last two expansions and went from a pretty simple rotation (spam Wrath or Starfire) to a pretty complex one. We’re not sure at this time they need yet another mechanic to manage, but it’s a potential design direction to explore for the future.


Q: During the expansions released since vanilla, the specialities of the different classes were watered down more and more. By now, many classes can do almost everything and almost none is still special. Are there any steps planned to give the classes more “charisma”, so that they are more distinguished from each other and regain their special flair? – Blades (Europe [German])
A: Sometimes when players say “special flair” what they really mean is “something so awesome that everyone will have to take me.” We really don’t want to go back to that model, which just isn’t tenable in a game with 10-player raids and 30 different talent trees. We have no problem spreading around buffs and utility that we consider more-or-less mandatory, such as the battle rezes and raid buffs. At the same time, we think there are enough unique abilities out there to make the various talent trees shine. Shaman have a great interrupt with Wind Shear. Warlocks can get out of danger with Demonic Portal. Discipline priests can mitigate a lot of damage with Power Word: Barrier, but Unholy death knights have their own version in Anti-Magic Zone. We struggle a lot with how much homogenization is good for the game, largely so that you can play with your friends, and how much is bad for the game, because then your character feels less special. It’s something we’ll continue to work on in an attempt to strike that perfect balance.


Q: What do the developers think of the current state of hunters? (PVP balance) – Albevil (Europe [Spanish])
A: Hunters are good for very skilled players and particularly in Rated Battlegrounds. Our challenge has always been to make the class a little more forgiving to play in PvP at the medium level without making them unbeatable in the hands of a truly talented player. We think the recent changes, such as Auto Shot on the move and allowing Deterrence to prevent attacks that typically always hit, will help bridge that gap. We’re starting to discuss more whether hunters need the opportunity to do some damage in melee range instead of always focusing on escape. While the hunter is ultimately a ranged class, it is true that other casters can make the decision to keep casting while in melee range, even if they suffer consequences for doing so.


Q: Players don’t use the client-implemented Voice Chat feature because third party applications are much betters. Can I expect improvements in the voice quality and a fix in the delay issue in the future? – 밥상의달인 (Korea)
A: We aren’t at all happy with the quality and feature set of Voice Chat. We think we can do a lot better. While we aren’t working on it right this moment, the next time we revisit Voice Chat, we want it to be an epic improvement, the same way Dungeon Finder redefined Looking for Group.


Q: Healers cannot get Flask of Flowing Water from Guild Cauldron, which means Guild Cauldron is useless to healers. Can I expect any improvement for this? –꼬꼬마샷다 (Korea)
A: We couldn’t figure out an elegant way to determine if healers wanted the Spirit flask or the Intellect flask, so we erred on the side of throughput and gave them Intellect. Healers who would prefer Spirit can just get the normal flasks. We’ll think about another way to handle this. Spirit is obviously very popular among healers, but we don’t want to have a system that pops up a window asking you which flask you want.


Q: Could we see more dynamic events in WoW? For example something like sand storms in Uldum that would blind everyone affecting the agro of the mobs. – Dagoûu (Europe ([French])
A: We would like to ultimately have the world feel more dynamic and a bit less predictable. We would want for these events to feel epic though and not just annoying. We’re going to test the waters here a little in a future patch and see what feels good.
by Published on 2011-03-13 11:50 PM

Death Knight Solo Yogg-Saron Kill
The solo kill of Yogg-Saron got quite a lot of attention on forums last week and "some people" eventually convinced me that it was a shame to not front page it, I agree! Mionelol managed to solo the last boss of Ulduar with a Death Knight and will probably make you cry if you're one of those people who wiped on the encounter in a weird achievement-run PUG.

The kill is definitely impressive, congratulations! The video can also be found on WarcraftMovies if Youtube hates your country.



Patch 4.1 Updated TBC Maps
Patch 4.1 will add the last wave of missing dungeon maps to the game by updating all the TBC content! Most TBC 5-man dungeons and raid instances got a shiny new world map.

The latest PTR build also included the maps of Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub and the updated map for Baradin Hold with a brand new wing/boss! Keep in mind that the next arena season is scheduled for Patch 4.2, you won't see that part of Baradin Hold before a few months.


Baradin Hold (Updated)

Zul'Aman

Zul'Gurub



Auchenai Crypts #1

Auchenai Crypts #2

Coilfang Reservoir

CoT Hillsbrad

CoT Mount Hyjal

CoT Black Morass

Gruul's Lair

Hellfire Ramparts

Magister's Terrace #1

Magister's Terrace #2

Magtheridon's Lair

Mana Tombs

Sethekk Halls #1

Sethekk Halls #2

Shadow Labyrinth

Sunwell Plateau

Tempest Keep

The Arcatraz #1

The Arcatraz #2

The Arcatraz #3

Blood Furnace

The Botanica

The Mechanar #1

The Mechanar #2

Shattered Halls

The Slave Pens

The Steamvault #1

The Steamvault #2

The Underbog



The MMO Report
Hey, looks like it's monday and time for the MMO Report!



The Daily Blink - But Really, I’m Number One

by Published on 2011-03-12 07:26 AM

PAX East is this week! If you're interested in previews and announcements, check out the PAX East 2011 Coverage on Curse.com!

Cataclysm - Heroic Zul'Gurub Dungeon and Boss Guide
Jesse Cox from OMFGcata released a nice video of the updated version of Zul'gurub. If you didn't have time to visit the new instance on PTRs, you should probably spend 15 minutes watching it, you will probably end up thinking "hey, the new ZG is better than I thought!".



Patch 4.1: Addon Messages Will Be Filtered
Boring stuff you will probably not understand unless you're an addon developer, but it seems important!
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
Addon authors that use chat messages should check that their addons still work in 4.1

Authors will need to add calls to RegisterAddonMessagePrefix() in order to receive addon messages of a particular prefix, presumably during PLAYER_ENTERING_WORLD for the majority of addons. Note that this system errs on the side of sending too much; it is possible for addon messages to make it to the CHAT_MSG_ADDON handlers when no addon has registered it.


  • RegisterAddonMessagePrefix( <string> )
    • Returns a boolean if successful (could fail if it hits the client side limit of 512 prefixes).

  • IsAddonMessagePrefixRegistered( <string> )
    • Returns a Boolean if the prefix has been registered.

  • <table> GetRegisteredAddonMessagePrefixes( <table> )
    • Returns a table (or you can pass in a table), that will be filled in with all prefixes that were registered.

Prefixes are limited to 16 characters now, and they no longer take up a portion of the 256 character chat message limit. The server has a 64 prefix limit. If you exceed this limit your client will not filter any messages.

Also: SendAddonMessage() is now allowed for the OFFICER channel.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Winged Raids and Firelands
A developer working on a particularly awesome Firelands boss encounter today took me on a tour of the dungeon. I think you'll find the layout to be a pleasant change of pace from winged dungeons. Many of the mechanics being worked on that I was shown were quite nifty as well. I'm really excited for this one. (Source)

Quest Phasing
This is the sort of philosophy we're going for with phasing, as we do feel it's an important tool for storytelling. We do recognize issues where we've "over-phased" zones in the past though, and we generally tried to take a more minimal approach to phasing in Cataclysm. While there is still a good deal of phasing involved in many of the zones, we tried to make each phase a little more intricate and less intrusive on group gameplay. We want to make sure that, in times when a group is required, phasing doesn't hold you back from grouping with friends. (Source)

Phased Ore/Herbs
It is an issue we're aware of and having been looking into. We've applied a number of hotfixes to phased gathering nodes since the release of Cataclysm, but this one is still there and is certainly a bugger. (Source)

Appearance Tab - Using other items visuals while keeping your real gear
We have discussed these types of ideas with the developers several times in recent history. We're not entirely opposed to some of the ideas, though the feature would probably be more limited than the functionality many players are asking for.

This is still largely a contested concept though, as we'd want to make sure it's done well and doesn't have unforeseen negative impacts on gameplay/art style. When we have more information to share with you regarding our decision whether or not to move forward, and how, we'll be sure to let you know. (Source)

Blizzard Art Gallery Update
The World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Art Gallery has been updated with four pieces representing the Warcraft universe.



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


by Published on 2011-03-11 06:30 AM

Zul'aman and Zul'gurub Loot Table
The latest PTR build added items to Zul'gurub and Zul'aman and we now have a pretty good idea of what will drop there.


  • No screenshots for the moment, models aren't implemented yet.
  • The list might not be final, especially because it's incredibly annoying to scan for items in the current PTR build.

Level Type Spec Slot Name
353AxeMeleeTwo-HandReforged Trollbane
353BackMeleeBackHex Lord's Bloody Cloak
353BackPhysical DPSBackRecovered Cloak of Frostheim
353BackSpell DPSBackHakkari Loa Drape
353BowPhysical DPSRangedMandokir's Tribute
353BowTankRangedVoodoo Hunting Bow
353ClothSpell DPSFeetBoots of the Ursine
353ClothSpell DPSLegsSerpentine Leggings
353ClothSpell DPSShoulderJan'alai's Spaulders
353ClothSpell DPSWaistSash of Anguish
353ClothSpell DPSWristWristwraps of Madness
353ClothSpell SpiritChestHexing Robes
353ClothSpell SpiritHeadThe Hexxer's Mask
353ClothSpell SpiritShoulderClaw-Fringe Mantle
353ClothSpell SpiritWristWristwraps of Departed Spirits
353DaggerPhysical DPSOne-HandTwinblade of the Hakkari
353DaggerSpell DPSOne-HandVoodoo Hexblade
353FingerMeleeFingerRing of the Numberless Brood
353FingerPhysical DPSFingerArlokk's Signet
353FingerSpell DPSFingerShimmerclaw Band
353FingerSpell DPSFingerSignet of Venoxis
353FingerSpell SpiritFingerSoul Drain Signet
353Fist Weap.Physical DPSOne-HandThekal's Claws
353Fist Weap.Physical DPSOne-HandArlokk's Claws
353LeatherMeleeFeetFasc's Preserved Sandals
353LeatherMeleeHeadThe Savager's Mask
353LeatherMeleeLegsLeggings of Dancing Blades
353LeatherMeleeWristAmani'shi Belt
353LeatherPhysical DPSChestShadowtooth Trollskin Breastplate
353LeatherPhysical DPSWaistBelt of Slithering Serpents
353LeatherSpell DPSChestVestments of the Soulflayer
353LeatherSpell DPSFeetTwo-Toed Moccasins
353LeatherSpell SpiritLegsLeggings of the Pride
353LeatherSpell SpiritWristArmbands of the Bear Spirit
353MaceMeleeTwo-HandJeklik's Smasher
353MaceSpell SpiritOne-HandAmani Scepter of Rites
353MailPhysical DPSHandsHandguards of the Tormented
353MailPhysical DPSHeadHeaddress of Sharpened Vision
353MailPhysical DPSLegsZombie Walker Legguards
353MailPhysical DPSShoulderPauldrons of Nalorakk
353MailPhysical DPSWaistWaistband of Hexes
353MailSpell DPSWaistHawkscale Waistguard
353MailSpell DPSWristShadowmender Wristguards
353MailSpell SpiritChestBreastplate of Serenity
353MailSpell SpiritHandsMojo-Mender's Gloves
353MailSpell SpiritLegsKilt of Forgotten Rites
353MailSpell SpiritShoulderSpiritbinder Spaulders
353NeckPhysical DPSNeckAmulet of the Watcher
353NeckTankNeckAmulet of Protection
353Off-HandSpell SpiritOff-HandLost Bag of Whammies
353PlateMeleeChestChestplate of Hubris
353PlateMeleeFeetSkullcrusher Warboots
353PlateMeleeHandsPlunderer's Gauntlets
353PlateMeleeHeadRoaring Mask of Bethekk
353PlateMeleeLegsJungle Striders
353PlateMeleeWristDeathcharged Wristguards
353PlateSpell SpiritChestTroll Skull Chestplate
353PlateSpell SpiritFeetBoots of Bad Mojo
353PlateSpell SpiritHeadPlumed Medicine Helm
353PlateTankChestBattleplate of the Amani Empire
353PlateTankHandsBone Plate Handguards
353PlateTankHeadSpiritshield Mask
353PlateTankShoulderPauldrons of Sacrifice
353PlateTankWaistCoils of Hate
353ShieldSpell DPSOff HandZulian Ward
353ShieldTankOff HandShield of the Blood God
353StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandLegacy of Arlokk
353SwordMeleeOne-HandZulian Slasher
353SwordMeleeOne-HandRenataki's Soul Slicer
353SwordTankOne-HandBloodlord's Protector
353WandSpell DPSRangedTouch of Discord
353WandSpell DPSRangedZulian Voodoo Stick
70MountAmani Battle Bear



Blue Posts
I guess we finally know why Ghostcrawler is gone from the forums: we can blame the europeans (but not me) and the whiners who don't take the time of reading posts when they come from a blue tracker. There, that's why the daily classes update are gone, but now we have super fast updates to patches hotfixes!
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Why Ghostcrawler stopped posting on official forums
These forums have always been about players talking to players. We don't want to foster the expectation that it's going to get a blue response if someone tries hard enough (lol I'm replying to a thread calling for a blue). While GC added a lot to these forums (and I say 'these forums' because he only posted in the North America forums) we think we can reach more players, particularly those in other regions, more directly through the blogs, or concerted Q&A's. Blogs also tend to be a better medium for getting the message out there loud and clear, but does have downsides that it removes the conversation that we know is appreciated quite a bit.

While forum posts do lend themselves to that conversational approach, they actually have a lot of downsides to them from our perspective of attempting to get clear and clean information to the players. They aren't very visible is really the first and maybe biggest problem. You can liken forum posts and the information given in them to some of the displeasure surrounding how hotfixes are communicated. I may reply to a thread 20 times and in my #13 reply I say something really important regarding class balance. Who is going to see that? How quickly will that knowledge actually permeate? Will the message be kept clear? Will my clarification in post #17 that explains what people are misunderstanding in #13 be seen by everyone that read #13? People tend not to read past the first blue post in a thread, or skip around and don't read them all, so if you have a correction/addendum to the first post, or just expound upon a thought, it's generally lost on the majority of readers. Blue trackers can help with this, but we're generally not having to explain that "post #13 wasn't the end of the thought and it's being taken out of context" to people who just go to blue trackers. Forum posts also tend to be fairly quickly written by one of us without much in the way of peer-review, and anything written off-the-cuff like a reply to a thread can tend to be more precarious than a more substantive outlet that has an official process of review and correction before its posted (like the blogs). Much to the dismay of many forum goers I'm sure, there's just an infinitely smaller chance we'll say something stupid or mess up in a fully published blog post.

As with anything we do, we never believe we're perfect. There's always room to improve. The blogs may not be the best outlet but we're continually working to improve upon the content we're delivering, and have some pretty exciting stuff planned. We're also working to make the comment system for the blogs a bit more like the forums so conversation can be held there more easily, as well. Of course you've no doubt see we're running a recurring global Ask the Devs Q&A. It's one way where we're hoping to fill that gap of direct developer interaction that the blogs probably just can't hit. We think the Q&A's are going to be extremely popular and fill a big part of what made GC's interactions on here so useful. And we’re going to continue collecting feedback and posting when appropriate, but we'll also be trying to come up with additional ways to facilitate the communication between the developers and players. (Source)

Recycling content in future patches
There definitely is not a hard and fast rule about updating existing content. If we feel revamping existing content makes sense in the current state of the game and lore -- and we think it will be fun -- sure, it's a possibility. You definitely shouldn't expect this every patch though. In the grand scheme of World of Warcraft's history, we've reintroduced very little existing content per patch and expansion. (Source)

And let's get real - we know why you're recycling old content. With the next Starcraft 2 expansion, Diablo 3, and an "unannounced MMO" all in production, I'm guessing the art team has its hands full. Recycling old content is an easy way to create a "new" instance with old art assets.
There isn't a singular Blizzard Entertainment art team. Each franchise has its own art department. We don't just pull resources from one project to give more attention to another in the sense you're suggesting. This is why we have multiple development teams (which include art teams for each) and can work on multiple franchises simultaneously. (Source)

"OMG ALL THE DEVS ARE GONE!"
That wasn't at all the context of the post to which I was responded. That player was suggesting that a singular art team directs their attention away from WoW to work on art for our other games. That's not true.

Now, if an individual person does move onto a new project, their position is filled. Therefore, the resources are still there (which is why I said "in the sense you're suggesting"). This is how career advancement works at any company. How else do you account for a company's growth? You bring in new talent (or move them up from within the company) and train them under the current folks so they can eventually fill the vacancy.

This talk about losing WoW developers, or that WoW is left to a "B team" is getting tiresome. There is no finite pool of talent and we have every intention of making sure WoW development remains very strong.

All of this is practically besides the point anyway. All you've been told is some talented people who helped build WoW into what it is today have moved over to another project to help bring it to fruition. You don't know who those people are, what positions they held on the WoW team, or how many of them have moved onto other projects. Most of them, in fact, are programmers working to develop the systems and tech for a new project. And the programmers WoW has now are amazing. They've taken the original systems and improved upon them many times over.

Just as an example, think back to how slowly UI improvements would be implemented in vanilla and TBC. Now there are scores of great UI improvements nearly every patch. That team is incredible and very experienced. Just the same, the class design team has hardly changed in years, save for a couple of additions (read: not subtractions).

Every department at Blizzard has expanded immensely over the years to accommodate the growing playerbase, as well as our ambitions for the future of the company. You can look at our job opportunities page just to get an example for the talent search we have constantly going on.

Bringing in new talent and growing the company from within is far from a bad thing. It's a great thing and has allowed us to develop several projects simultaneously without short-changing any of them. Anyone who says otherwise is working on an incredible amount of speculation and assumptions.

And even still, the WoW development leadership remains largely unchanged. Every time I stop by to chat with these people -- the same people I've been interacting with for years now -- I'm inspired by their creativity, their talent, and their dedication to making this game mega-awesomesauce. (Source)

Ragnaros Model
The problem is that you have no context or perspective on the model you've seen a static image of.


  • 1) Standing next to the full-sized, animated model will give you a very different perspective when you're looking up from his toenail
  • 2) Knowing that he will only come out of his lava pool to reveal his full figure in a Heroic-only phase of the fight will give you a bit more context

He's not just going to be running around the moment every raid reaches him.

I don’t think a lot of you understand; perspective is a large part of art design. The designers probably designed the model looking upwards from his feet. I bet you Rags’ll look epic when you see him in person
This is sort of what I was getting at with my first point. The perspective is completely different when a player character is standing near him. The proportions were designed with that in mind, which is why the screenshot of the model really doesn't do Ragnaros justice at all. (Source)

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