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by Published on 2013-08-13 02:59 PM

Blizzard Trademarks "The Dark Below" - WoW or D3 Expansion?
Blizzard just trademarked "The Dark Below" and it definitely looks like it has something to do with a new game or expansion!

  • Computer game software; Computer game software downloadable from a global computer network; Downloadable computer game software via a global computer network and wireless devices; Downloadable electronic games via the internet and wireless devices

It could be anything, but it could also be the next WoW expansion. With Gamescom coming up in a couple of days, we could also be looking at the name of the next Diablo 3 expansion.

In any case, it looks like it's time to jump on the speculation train until we can get our hands on more information.

by Published on 2013-08-13 12:54 PM

Patch 5.4 PTR - Build 17299
Build 17299 will be deployed to the PTR realms soon.

Legendary Cloak Proc Changes
There were a few changes to the legendary cloak procs:

New Items
You can see all of the new items on the WoWDB PTR site. Teebu's Blazing Longsword is now Unique-Equipped rather than Unique!

This set is currently marked as being for Shaman only

Level Type Slot Name
1Junk Big Bag of Herbs
500CosmeticHead Kor'kron Dark Shaman Cowl
500CosmeticShoulders Kor'kron Dark Shaman Shoulder
500CosmeticChest Kor'kron Dark Shaman Vestment
500CosmeticWaist Kor'kron Dark Shaman Belt
500CosmeticLegs Kor'kron Dark Shaman Kilt
500CosmeticFeet Kor'kron Dark Shaman Treads
500CosmeticWrists Kor'kron Dark Shaman Bracers
500CosmeticHands Kor'kron Dark Shaman Gloves
277Fist WeaponMain Hand Wrathful Gladiator's Razor
277Fist WeaponOff Hand Wrathful Gladiator's Razor

New Strings
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_LICENSE_ACK_TEXT_CN - You are purchasing the virtual items with Battle Coins. Your Battle Coins will be deducted immediately by clicking the "Buy Now" button and won't be refunded under any circumstances. Are you sure you want to purchase this?
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_LICENSE_ACK_TEXT_TW - You are purchasing the virtual items with Balance. If you do not have enough Balance, please visit the Account Management site. By clicking "Buy Now", you agree to the |HurlIndex:10|h|cff71d5ffTerms of Sale|r|h
  • SPELL_FAILED_NO_TELEPORT_FROM_DUNGEON - Leave Instance Group to exit.

Achievement Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • A Bone Apart Help Tomb "Tom" Bone Apart Help Zarhym find his body in the Cavern of Lost Spirits on Timeless Isle. 10 points.
  • Timeless Legends (New) Find all of the lost pandaren artifacts on the Timeless Isle. 10 points.
  • Treasure, Treasure Everywhere Locate all of the Moss-Covered, Skull-Covered, Sturdy, Smouldering Smoldering, and Blazing chests on the Timeless Isle. 10 points.

  • Shaohao Earn Venerate status with Shaohao. 10 points. Earn Exalted status with Emperor Shaohao. 10 points.

Pandaria Raid
Dungeons & Raids
  • Celestial Challenge Guild Run (New) Complete the trials of all four Celestials, besting them each in combat on the Timeless Isle, while in a raid with at least 8 guild members. 10 points.
  • Giant Dinosaur vs. Mega Snail Open the Thrice-Locked Cage during the Thok the Bloodthirsty encounter in Siege of Orgrimmar of Flexible, Normal, or Heroic mode on Flexible, Normal, or Heroic difficulty, and then allow its inhabitant to feast upon Thok's corpse once you have defeated the encounter. 10 points.
  • None Shall Pass Defeat the Amalgam of Corruption without allowing any unleashed corruption to fuse with it. 10 points. in Siege of Orgrimmar on Flexible, Normal, or Heroic difficulty. 10 points.
  • Now We are the Paragon Defeat the Paragons after assuming the mantle of three different Paragons. 10 points. in Siege of Orgrimmar on Flexible, Normal, or Heroic difficulty. 10 points.
  • Ordos Guild Run (New) Defeat Ordos, Fire-God of the Yaungol, atop the Timeless Isle, while in a raid with at least 8 guild members. 10 points.

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Item Set Bonuses

Druid (Forums, Talent Calculator)
  • Moonkin Form had text removed from the tooltip "The Druid cannot cast healing spells while shapeshifted".
  • Shooting Stars proc chance is reduced against multiple targets. Druid - Balance Spec.[/ins]

Hunter (Forums, Talent Calculator)
  • Arcane Shot now does 125% weapon damage, down from 165% weapon damage. Additional damage reduced by 43%.

Beast Mastery

  • Aimed Shot now does 400% ranged weapon damage, up from 350%. Additional damage increased by 31%.


Mage (Forums, Talent Calculator)
  • Combustion now burns the target for additional damage equal to 20% (was 50%) of the damage per tick of the Ignite every 1 sec for 10 sec.

Monk (Forums, Talent Calculator)

  • Brewing: Tigereye Brew now grants a charge for each 4 Chi you consume through use of abilities and attacks, up from 3.
  • Mastery: Bottled Fury now has a 20% proc chance, up from 16%.
  • Tigereye Brew now grants a charge for each 4 Chi you consume through use of abilities and attacks, up from 3.

Priest (Forums, Talent Calculator)

  • Shadowform now allows you to cast Renew, Prayer of Mending, and Leap of Faith while in Shadowform.

Major Glyphs

Rogue (Forums, Talent Calculator)
  • Fan of Knives damage and AP scaling increased by 25%.
  • Sinister Strike now does 672 damage in addition to 240% of your normal weapon damage, up from 422 damage in addition to 190% of your normal weapon damage.

  • Dispatch now does 645% weapon damage plus 5,, up from 460% weapon damage plus 2,576.
  • Mutilate now does 280% weapon damage plus an additional 874 with each weapon, up from 200% and 446 with each weapon.

  • Revealing Strike now does 160% weapon damage, up from 125%.
  • Vitality now increases your Attack Power by 35%, up from 30%.

  • Backstab now does 380% weapon damage plus 1,744, up from 315% weapon damage plus 1,206.
  • Sanguinary Vein now grants 25% additional damage, up from 20%.

Shaman (Forums, Talent Calculator)
  • Stormblast now does 380% weapon damage, down from 450%.
  • Stormstrike now does 380% weapon damage, down from 450%.

  • Conductivity now grants 2 sec to Healing Rain's duration, down from 3 sec. This cannot cause Healing Rain to last longer than 40 sec.

Elemental & Restoration
  • Lava Burst base damage reduced by 10%. Now does an additional 90% of SP damage.

  • Lava Lash now does 260% of weapon damage, down from 300%.
  • Stormstrike now does 380% weapon damage, down from 450%.

Warlock (Forums, Talent Calculator)


  • Immolate damage and SP scaling increased by 10%.

Warrior (Forums, Talent Calculator)

  • Slam now costs 30 Rage, up from 20. Damage increased by 125%.

Raid & Dungeon Abilities
  • Ancestral Chain Heal Heals a friendly target for 30% 25% of their max health, chaining to nearby friendly targets. 60 yd range. 2.5 sec cast.
  • Annihilate Inflicts 3,500,000 Shadow damage to enemies within 0 yards in front of the caster and 325,000 360,000 Shadow damage to all enemies in the Realm of Y'Shaarj. Unlimited range. 2.5 sec cast.
  • Arc Lightning Inflicts Nature damage to a random enemy. 100 yd range. Instant. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Blade of the Hundred Steps Imbues all players of the tank role in the current quadrant of this warehouse with a boon. Attacks have a chance to call down a bolt of lightning, inflicting 487,000 364,000 Nature damage to enemies within 4 yards and stun them for 2 sec. This effect bypasses a creature's immunity to stuns and has a 15-second cooldown. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Call Reinforcements! Calls reinforcements, because he surely cannot do this alone! Melee range. 2 sec cast. 1.5 sec cast.
  • Canned Heat Burns the target for 250,000 125,000 Fire damage every second. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Claw of Burning Anger Imbues all players of the damage dealer role in the current quadrant of this warehouse with a boon. Attacks have a chance to damage a target for 144,000 130,000 Fire damage. This effect has a 5-second cooldown. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Deafening Screech Inflicts 0 Physical damage to all enemies and interrupts spellcasting for 2 sec. 100 Mana. 3 sec cast.1 sec cooldown.
  • Desecrate Inflicts 200,000 Inflicts 150,000 Shadow damage to enemies within 15 yards and creates a Desecrated Weapon at the location. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Desecrated Inflicts 100,000 Inflicts 150,000 Shadow damage every 1 sec. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Desecrated Inflicts 150,000 Inflicts 200,000 Shadow damage every 1 sec. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Deteriorate Deteriorates the living tissue of an enemy target, inflicting 150,000 250,000 Arcane damage and an additional 50,000 100,000 Arcane damage every second for 6 sec. Limited to 2 targets. 40 yd range. 1 sec cast.
  • Drakefire Inflicts 100,000 Fire damage to enemies within 5 yards of impact. Each time this ability is cast, the caster gains a 20% 10% bonus to Fire damage dealt. This effect stacks. 500 yd range. Instant.
  • Drakefire Inflicts 0 Fire damage to enemies within 0 yards of impact. Each time this ability is cast, the caster gains a 20% 10% bonus to Fire damage dealt. This effect stacks. 500 yd range. Instant.
  • Empowered Desecrate Inflicts 300,000 Inflicts 200,000 Shadow damage to enemies within 15 yards and creates a Empowered Desecrated Weapon at the location. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Empowered Gripping Despair Inflicts 30,000 Shadow damage every 1 sec for 15 10 sec. When Empowered Gripping Despair expires or is removed it causes Explosive Despair. Melee range. Instant.
  • Empowered Gripping Despair Inflicts 30,000 Shadow damage every 1 sec for 15 10 sec. When Empowered Gripping Despair expires or is removed it causes Explosive Despair. Melee range. Instant.
  • Empowering Corruption Empowering Corruption heals nearby Minions of Y'Shaarj for 100% health to full and increases max health by 200% and increases damage dealt by 200%. Stacks. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Empowering Corruption (New) Empowering Corruption heals nearby Minions of Y'Shaarj to full and increases max health by 200% and increases damage dealt by 200%. Stacks. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Enrage Periodically enrages, increasing damage dealt by 200% but decreasing movement speed. While enraged, attacks have a chance to shatter the armor of his target, decreasing their armor by 20% for 2 min 60 sec. This effect stacks. Instant. 5 sec cooldown.
  • Fiery Edge A beam of fire forms between two friendly targets, burning them and any allies in the path of the beam for 10 6 sec. 100 yd range. Instant.
  • Flames of Galakrond Inflicts 50,000 Inflicts 30,000 Fire damage every 1 second. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Grapple The pterrordax grabs a nearby player and lifts them up to great heights before letting them go. The target takes 0 Physical damage every 3 2 seconds until they are dropped. Unlimited range. 3 sec cast.
  • Gripping Despair Inflicts 30,000 Shadow damage every 1 sec for 15 10 sec. Stacks. Melee range. Instant.
  • Hellscream's Warsong Hellscream's Warsong inspires his allies, increasing Physical damage dealt by 200% and increasing health by 200% 150% and increasing health by 150%. Unlimited range. 1.5 sec cast.
  • Injection Inflicts 0 Nature damage every second for 20 sec. When this effect fades it causes a reaction. The injection reacts upon leaving the victim's bloodstream, spawning several Amber Parasites. 100 yd range. 3 sec cast.
  • Injection 200 yd range. Instant. The injection reacts upon leaving the victim's bloodstream, spawning several Amber Parasites. 200 yd range. Instant.
  • Matter Scramble Highlights several locations on the ground which will scramble the locations of players standing inside them. If the Golem attempts to scramble a location with no players, the fabric of space tears, inflicting 300,000 Fire damage to players within 30 yards. 3 2 sec cast. 5 sec cooldown.
  • Path of Blossoms Charges a distant target, leaving behind a trail of fiery blossoms which on contact, inflict 150,000 175,000 Fire damage to enemies within 3 yards. These blossoms linger for 30 sec. Casts Mass Paralysis upon reaching the distant target's location, stunning any remaining targets within 3 yards for 6 sec. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Reaction: Red The catalyst reacts with the toxin in your veins, causing an explosion for 400,000 Fire damage to you and any friends within 10. Unlimited range. Instant. yards. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Screeching Howl The pterrordax lets out an ear piercing scream dealing 0 Physical damage. Unlimited 100 yd range. 3 sec cast. 2 sec cooldown.
  • Sha Pool Inflicts Inflicts 10,000 Shadow damage every 1 sec for 10 sec. Instant. This effect stacks. Instant.
  • Shattered Armor Periodically enrages, increasing damage dealt by 200% but decreasing movement speed. While enraged, attacks have a chance to shatter the armor of his target, decreasing their armor by 20% for 2 min 60 sec. This effect stacks. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Shock Blast Inflicts 100,000 Nature damage to random enemies. 300 yd range. Instant. Limited to 4 targets. 300 yd range. Instant.
  • Staff of Resonating Water Imbues all players of the healer role in the current quadrant of this warehouse with a boon. Heals have a chance to create a wave of force that contains 0 healing energy which travels forward 40 yards. Any friendly targets in the wave's path consume healing energy based on their missing health. This effect has an 8-second cooldown. The wave also damages enemies for 277,000 520,000 Nature damage. After 2 sec or once all healing energy has been consumed, the wave dissipates. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Staff of Resonating Water Imbues all players of the healer role in the current quadrant of this warehouse with a boon. Heals have a chance to create a wave of force that contains 0 healing energy which travels forward 40 yards. Any friendly targets in the wave's path consume healing energy based on their missing health. This effect has an 8-second cooldown. The wave also damages enemies for 277,000 520,000 Nature damage. After 2 sec or once all healing energy has been consumed, the wave dissipates. Unlimited range. 3 sec cast.
by Published on 2013-08-12 05:03 PM

Tier 16 Hunter, Flex Difficulty Feedback, Blue Tweets, Setup of the Month, News Recap

Ghostcrawler Interview
TwizzCast interviewed Ghostcrawler at 3 PM EST.

Siege of Orgrimmar
  • Siege of Orgrimmar has a little bit of branching in paths and ideally raids in the future will have more, allowing you to skip a boss or do bosses in a slightly different order.
  • The first three or four bosses shouldn't be too hard for most raiding guilds, allowing them to have bosses they can use to gear up with as they progress.
  • The heirloom weapons that drop from Garrosh are personal loot in Flex, Normal, and Heroic difficulty.
  • The first heirloom weapon that drops for you will be for your current loot spec, but after that you will get one at random.
  • The heirloom weapons are also intended to make Mists of Pandaria a little more alt friendly.

Proving Grounds
  • Proving Grounds was originally targeted for the Mists of Pandaria launch, but kept getting pushed back until there was enough time to finish it.
  • For Patch 5.4, Proving Grounds remains targeted at level 90 players learning new roles.
  • As long as Proving Grounds works out well, it could be used as a lower level training environment in the future.
  • Proving Grounds could even be used to replace item level as the gating requirement for Raid Finder or other things that use matchmaking.
  • Proving Grounds won't be perfectly balanced for every class and spec, so it shouldn't be used as a class or spec ranking tool.

Flex Difficulty
  • Most guilds should be able to make progress in Flex difficulty.
  • Scenarios might be a useful place to apply the Flex scaling tech in the future, scaling from 3 to 5 players.
  • Any other content that doesn't need very tight balance is also a good candidate for scaling. This means heroic raids are not a good candidate.
  • The idea of scaling raids past 25 players has also been considered, allowing you to scale up to a higher limit like 30 players.

Connected Realms
  • Connected Realms will be merged in groups large enough to come to a good population level. This could take anywhere from two realms to many more realms.
  • Connected Realms will be rolled out slowly to make sure everything works well. Blizzard will start with a small pool of realms and ensure that the tech and gameplay works properly before adding other realms.
  • Everyone will be able to keep their player and guild names. Sever names or other indicators will be used to differentiate between identical names from different realms.

  • It is easy for your character's level to advance much faster than your profession skill level. Fixing this will take a significant amount of developer time, as what to do with all of the recipes have to be considered.
  • Future expansions will make leveling professions a little bit nicer, similar to the mining and herbalism changes.
  • Swapping professions is somewhat painful now, which is something that can be looked at in the future.

  • The developers have to strike a balance between making too many changes and making the necessary changes.
  • There are a lot of players that want changes to improve their class, but there are also a lot of players that don't want any changes because they don't have time / don't care to relearn their class or spec.
  • Valor Points will not be converted to Justice Points for Patch 5.4. "Players who want to stockpile their 3,000 Valor before Patch 5.4 hits will be able to do that, and probably should start thinking about that."

Coffee with the Devs: Dissecting Patch 5.4 Class Changes
Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Yeah, I know, long time no coffee table. I’ve been busy.

I wanted to take a moment to provide context for some of the Patch 5.4 class changes that we’ve been making. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to get acquainted with the 5.4 PTR Patch Notes, as this watercooler is going into detail on the changes listed. I’ll discuss the changes to each class, but here are a few things to keep in mind before we get started:

  • The team made a lot of changes to glyphs that weren’t working out well or were just to provide some new choices. There were a lot of changes so to keep this blog manageable, I’m not going to go into them in detail.
  • I’m not going to get into specific damage or healing tuning unless it requires extra explanation for some reason. In general, you can assume that your damage was too low or too high if you see generic buffs or nerfs to abilities.
  • As I write this, Patch 5.4 has not shipped yet, so if there are changes yet to come, I’m obviously not going to be able to cover them!

One final caveat: please don’t consider the number of changes or the size of the paragraphs as an indication of the degree to which we love or hate your class. When players start weighing the number of words we use on each class, the end result is just to make us less likely to want to engage in discussions like this. Paladins and Hunters have a lot of words below because their changes are fairly complex and I felt they required more explanations than other classes.

With all that in mind, here we go!

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Most of our core changes were to Blood DKs. We added the Riposte passive to DKs (and Warriors) to allow them to increase their damage using the avoidance stats that naturally occur on their tanking gear. We also removed the Runic Power cost of Dancing Rune Weapon to allow it to be used more as a cooldown when needed. Finally, we changed Scent of Blood to also be proc’d by avoidance, to make sure avoidance stats can help provide more active mitigation.

In terms of DK talents, as with all the classes, our primary goal was to open up some more talent choices and address some underpowered talents. While Anti-Magic Zone was capable of mitigating a lot of damage when used at precisely the right time, it was also easy to not gain the full benefit of the cooldown. We changed it to just be damage reduction similar to Power Word: Barrier. We also buffed Death Siphon and Plague Leech, which were underutilized.

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
We buffed Guardian spec Stamina outright because we felt the spec needed it. Druids have less reliable damage reduction, which isn’t a problem itself, so long as they have the health pool to compensate for it. For Feral Druids, we reverted an earlier nerf to Cyclone’s cooldown but removed Cyclone from Predatory Swiftness. We felt like this ability had become a PvP problem that was too unpredictable to counter. We also lowered the PvP duration of Faerie Fire to make it less of a hard counter to stealthed players. We changed Innervate to scale with Spirit so it would scale with gear better. We also made a few changes to the Restoration healing toolkit. Our change to Efflorescence is an attempt to get Swiftmend back to its original design of being a potent single-target heal. We’re making that change slowly by having the 5.4 Efflorescence glyph move the ground heal from Swiftmend to Wild Mushroom. We further tweaked Wild Mushroom for Restoration by limiting it to a single mushroom.

We had several specs whose passive damage reduction we felt was starting to cause balance problems, and Balance’s Moonkin Form was among these. Originally we converted the physical damage reduction to spell damage reduction at a time when the spec needed a PvP buff, but we felt like the fact that Balance required less healing in PvE was causing raids to favor them over other casters.

Most of the changes to Druid talents were because of the situation where certain specs leaned heavily on certain talents in a row and tended to ignore the others—Dream of Cenarius, Force of Nature, Nature’s Vigil, and Soul of the Forest fall into this category. We changed Nature’s Swiftness to be a core Restoration ability because we felt the healers were dependent upon it. We replaced it with a new passive talent, Ysera’s Gift.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
We had three main issues we wanted to resolve for Hunters this patch: Silencing Shot, Readiness, and Stampede.

The problem with Silencing Shot is it’s just too powerful as a talent. No self-respecting Hunter is going to choose any talent but Silencing Shot, especially in PvP, but in PvE as well. At the same time, we think Hunters, especially Beast Mastery, have proven really powerful in PvP this expansion—and frankly the game has too many blanket Silence already, so we didn’t want to just give Silencing Shot to all Hunters. Our decision was to give Silencing Shot to Marksman, who needed a PvP buff anyway. We did give all Hunters a base interrupt with the new Counter Shot, which can interrupt a spell being cast, but can’t pre-Silence a caster.

Readiness has been another problematic ability for us to solve. It started as a talent, but was too good compared to the other choices. We ended up giving Readiness to all Hunters, but we were never happy with this implementation. For PvP, it made Hunters really difficult to balance with the ability to reset so many offensive and defensive abilities. For PvE, we felt like Readiness wasn’t doing anything interesting besides making the opening attack sequence twice as complicated as it needed to be. If Readiness was an ability that a clever Hunter would bust out at a clutch moment, then you could argue it would be an interesting ability, but of course it was never actually used that way. Given that Hunters already have a lot of cooldowns, situational abilities, and just buttons in general, we didn’t think Readiness was worth saving. We did make small buffs to Deterrence and Disengage and we will make sure DPS is where it needs to be (which, if I had to guess, will be relatively higher than it was in Patch 5.3).

We felt like Stampede had been nerfed too much in PvE for PvP reasons. It’s the intent that Stampede is a potent cooldown for Hunters, so we increased its damage back to an exciting level and just had it do less damage in PvP. Finally, we made a change that some (though to be fair not all) Survival Hunters had asked for a long time, to remove Explosive Trap from Lock and Load (and therefore from the shared cooldown with Black Arrow) so that they could use Explosive Trap (typically with the knockback glyph) without interfering with Black Arrow/Lock and Load.

Hunter talents were in a pretty good spot overall after a bit of iteration throughout MoP. We did nerf Aspect of the Iron Hawk, because as with Shadow Priests and Balance Druids, we felt like the damage reduction was just too potent. We changed Narrow Escape to be dispellable as a PvP nerf. We buffed Spirit Bond, which has felt particularly weak, and we buffed A Murder of Crows.

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
We didn’t think Mages needed many changes overall. One goal of ours was to fix Frost Mastery, which we felt was increasingly making them difficult to tune in PvP. When you take a spec with high burst and good control and then give them Mastery that links the two together, you’re bound to have trouble. The new Mastery, called Icicles, spreads the burst out over a few seconds but in a novel way that doesn’t feel too similar to, say, Ignite. As a consequence, we removed the mechanic where Frostbolt buffs other spells and just let those spells do higher damage to begin with. As of this writing, we haven’t made any mechanical changes to Fire, though if you saw any earlier patch notes, we experimented with a few. Long term, we still have concerns about the interplay between Alter Time and Combustion, and we still have concerns about Fire scaling with Critical Strike, but we’re not convinced either of these problems is so egregious that it needs to be fixed in Patch 5.4.

In terms of talents, we increased the damage of the bomb tier, and buffed Ice Flows and Temporal Shield, which were underutilized. Long term, we still think the level-90 tier needs some work, but we were concerned that attempting to replace two or three of these talents for Patch 5.4 would lead to a lot more iteration before they felt good again. But we did ease the restrictions on Rune of Power. Since it didn’t feel like a crisis, we think more dramatic change is better saved for an expansion, when we have more time to consider new visuals, test, and get feedback.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Earlier in the PTR cycle, we attempted to solve Mistweaver mana problems, by which I mean Mistweavers didn’t have to stack Spirit to the extent other healers did. We became concerned that it would take quite a number of changes to solve this problem, resulting in a lot of relearning for players, so we agreed to accept the current status quo and balance Mistweavers around the fact that they have less Spirit (and therefore more of other secondary stats) compared to other healers. For Windwalkers, we redesigned their Mastery (yet again) and buffed the Storm, Earth, and Fire ability so that the Cleave aspect of the cooldown would feel really potent.

Brewmasters were in pretty good shape, but we did feel like Keg Smash made their damage too high compared to other tanks.

Several Monk talents were underpowered or difficult to use. We buffed Chi Brew, Zen Sphere, Power Strikes, and Healing Elixirs. We made Xuen easier to control by providing him with a true pet bar. We changed Chi Burst to require no target. Ring of Peace has a better visual that’s more representative of the affected area, and we tweaked its numbers. We didn’t think we could solve Rushing Jade Wind’s problems, namely that it was too similar to Chi Burst, so we redesigned it as a replacement for Spinning Crane Kick.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Most of our core changes were to Holy Paladins. Specifically, we felt like the healing style of blanketing a group with Eternal Flame to proc absorbs from Illuminate Healing had become too widespread, and didn’t fit the healing style we wanted for Paladins. When some Paladins choose to use a heal-over-time spell, that’s the kind of diversity we want the talent tree to deliver. However, when every Paladin uses heal over time spells, then it’s just the way Paladins work.

In this case, we didn’t want to make Eternal Flame a core ability. Unlike Restoration Druids, Mistweaver Monks, and to a lesser extent Holy Priests, we don’t think every Paladin should be extensively using heal-over-time spells. The only change we made was to have Eternal Flame’s periodic heal not proc the Illuminated Healing absorb. It can still be used the way any HoT is used, to provide a buffer that can be layered with other heals, but it will no longer be an efficient way to blanket many targets with long-lasting absorbs. We made significant changes to Sacred Shield and Selfless Healer as well to help offset this nerf, which I’ll discuss below.

We also felt like Seal of Insight had a design problem. When Holy Paladins could melee targets, they had no mana problems at all, but when they had to heal at range (which we wanted to at least be an option, if not the default healing style), they suffered for mana. We thought it best to unshackle Holy Paladins from the pressure of having to stand in melee, so we removed the mana return from Seal of Insight and buffed Divine Plea. We had to provide more mana to Protection Paladins as well, since they typically tank using Seal of Insight. We also buffed Guardian of Ancient Kings for Holy, because we felt like it was too focused on single-target healing at a time when most healers are required to do a lot of area healing. Finally, we allowed the Sanctity of Battle passive to also affect Holy Shock, with the intent of making Haste slightly better for Holy.

Aside from the mana buff mentioned above, we changed Crusader Strike to also provide Weakened Blows as a quality of life improvement. We also changed Grand Crusader to proc from avoidance instead of attacks. We aren’t trying to make Dodge or Parry a Paladin’s best tanking stats, but those stats are going to appear on tanking gear, so we want to make sure they can tie into active mitigation. We’re happy with how active mitigation is working out overall and we want to put even more emphasis on it, for all tanks, in the future.

Retribution didn’t need much attention overall in our minds, but we did make Inquisition require less maintenance overall, and we reduced the cooldown and strength of Guardian of Ancient Kings, so that Retribution could use the cooldown more frequently. Retribution players had concerns that their damage was too tied to long cooldowns.

For Paladin talents, we tried to improve Selfless Healer for Holy by allowing Judgment to provide Holy Power, and we tried to improve Sacred Shield by removing the target cap and having a cooldown and charges instead. We’ve come to the conclusion that the same talent choices for healers and other specs just won’t always work, which is why you increasingly see talents work slightly different for healers in the case of Paladins, Priests, and Druids in particular. We replaced Burden of Guilt as a talent (and made it a slightly weaker glyph) with the ability to use Turn Evil on players. We hope that this will open up some PvP comp choices for Paladins, since Fear are not always easy to get. We buffed Hand of Purity so that it will still have some benefit on boss abilities that can’t be prevented from immunities. We buffed Sanctified Wrath for Holy and Protection. We also simplified Unbreakable Spirit by just having it apply the cooldown all the time rather than having to be “driven down.”

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
We made a few changes to each Priest specialization. For Discipline, while we don’t think the shields, Atonement, or potent cooldowns are overpowered individually, we felt that having all three in one spec gave them too much Versatility compared to the other healers. We know Atonement is fun, and while it’s useful, it doesn’t truly compete with a dedicated healer or DPS, so we think it’s in a good spot. We like Discipline to have a strong shield kit, and we’re happy to see more Power Word: Shield use in 5.2 than in 5.0. That left the cooldowns as targets, and we felt like Spirit Shell was the right one to nerf. We also felt like Rapture scaling so well with Spirit turned what was originally supposed to be a mechanic offering a discount on Power Word: Shield to reward smart use had instead become a bona fide mana regeneration mechanic. For Holy, we buffed Sanctuary and Serendipity to help keep Holy in mana a little longer. We also finally gave in and reversed Lightwell and Lightspring, so that the more passive (and popular) totem-like use of the spell became the default. We reduced the damage reduction of Shadowform as we did for Hunters and Balance Druids, because we felt like it offered too much of a passive benefit. We also completely rebuilt Shadowy Apparitions so that it keeps the kit of a delayed source of damage, but won’t get stuck on terrain or objects or struggle with bosses that move or fly.

For Priest talents, we are trying one more time to make Angelic Feather compete with the other movement talents, and let Mindbender and From Darkness, Comes Light compete better with Solace and Insanity. We also buffed Divine Insight for Discipline and Twist of Fate for all three specs.

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
We buffed Evasion for Rogues outright to increase their survivability against melee. We also buffed Recuperate because we agree that it went from being a potent heal in Cataclysm to a more middling one in MoP. The other core changes were really focused on Combat. We increased the cost and damage of Sinister Strike in order to help address Rogues having too much energy with high Haste values, which led to a spammy, RSI-inducing style. (It’s fine for Combat to feel fast-paced, but it had gotten out of control.) To offset the loss of combo points from less frequent Sinister Strike, we added (or returned, depending on your point of view) the Ruthlessness passive. The other Combat change was to redesign the targeting system of Killing Spree. Killing Spree now hits a single target if used without Blade Flurry. During Blade Flurry, it continues to work as it does on live.

For talents, we were worried in previous patches that we had overbuffed Burst of Speed, but clearly that is not yet the case, so we lowered its cost. We buffed the numbers on Cheat Death, Cloak and Dagger, Night Stalker, Paralytic Poison, and Shadowstep, since they were seeing less use than other talents.

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
We’re happy with Enhancement and Elemental performance overall, but we are keeping an eye on their burst in PvP. We did feel that Restoration wasn’t really delivering on healing when grouped and stationary, which should be a Shaman’s strength. To remedy that, we changed Chain Heal to no longer decrease effectiveness per jump and buffed Healing Rain’s radius and healing. We also gave Healing Tide Totem to all Shaman, because we felt like Restoration was never going to choose another talent so long as they had the option to choose a group healing cooldown.

With Shaman talents, we still had the problem that some talents were only attractive to some specializations. We buffed Astral Shift, Stone Bulwark Totem, and Unleashed Fury for this reason. We had to replace Healing Tide Totem, so we introduced Rushing Streams, which allows Healing Stream Totem to heal two targets at once. We redesigned Conductivity to make it more useful for all Shaman by having it increase the duration of Healing Rain, saving GCDs (global cooldowns). We were convinced that Totemic Restoration was just a problematic talent. It saw little use in PvE, but was really annoying to deal with in PvP, since a Shaman could just drop totems for a split second and benefit from their effects. The replacement talent, Totemic Persistence, allows Shaman to summon a second Water, Earth, or Air totem without destroying the first one. (Including Fire Totems would have been a non-trivial DPS increase, making this the only talent attractive to Elemental or Enhancement.)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Because Warlocks had so many changes coming into Mists of Pandaria, we had to iterate on a lot of these new mechanics throughout the expansion and tried to not change things too much for Patch 5.4. We did nerf Fel Armor for the same reasons we lowered the passive damage reduction of Balance Druids, Shadow Priests, and Hunters. We increased Fel Flame’s damage but removed its DoT extension, which had become a liability for Fel Flame in PvE rather than letting it provide damage on the move as it was intended. For Affliction, we shifted more damage to DoTs and away from Malefic Grasp. Malefic Grasp is a cool spell, and we like channeling it to increase DoT damage, but we felt like too much damage had been shifted away from DoTs, which hurt Affliction in PvP and made all Affliction locks have difficulty moving. We also simplified the Soul Swap mechanic slightly by removing the glyph and the initial damage component. For Destruction, we changed Rain of Fire to not be so essential to the single-target rotation by reducing its Ember generation. We made Howl of Terror baseline for all Warlocks because we thought they had lost too much of their Fear-based control package.

Our biggest challenge with Warlock talents was the level-90 tier, where most Warlocks chose Kil’jaeden’s Cunning (often to the frustration of raid leaders forced to deal with Slow-moving Warlocks). We removed the snare from KJC but reduced the number of spells it affected. The talent should help with movement but not guarantee characters never need to stop moving. We buffed Mannoroth’s Fury by allowing it to increase the damage as well as radius of area-effect spells, but on a cooldown so the Warlock has more control over the effect and so it’ll feel more potent when active. We decided we could not safely balance Archimonde’s Vengeance in its “damage reflection” kit, so we redesigned and renamed the talent to emphasize the Dark Soul cooldowns (with the intent that one talent needed to be attractive in fights with no movement or area damage).

In addition to these substantial changes to the level-90 row, we wanted to buff several unattractive talents. Harvest Life never had a strong niche, so we made it improve Drain Life rather than act as an area-effect Drain Life. We replaced Howl of Terror (now baseline) with a talent inspired by the Cataclysm version of Shadowflame that many players asked for. Demonic Breath is a cone-based snare. Soul Link was also returned to an older design which is easier to use and more powerful.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Most of our Warrior changes were to increase Protection Warrior damage, try to improve the area-effect and Cleave damage of Arms, or to address PvP quality-of-life issues. Buffing Blood and Thunder helped both Arms and Protection. Changing Enrage and Ultimatum for Protection Warriors provided both more damage and active mitigation by making Critical Strike a more valuable stat. We don’t expect Prot to heavily stack crit, but they’re going to have some anyway just from core stats and group buffs, and it does open up the possibility of using crit gear. We also gave Protection the same Riposte ability we gave to Death Knights, to make sure the avoidance stats that do show up on tank gear provide some active mitigation.

For Arms, we reduced the cost of Thunder Clap, buffed Sweeping Strikes, and gave Slam a Cleave ability. We didn’t think Fury needed much attention overall, though we did change the animation system to allow them to dual-wield polearms. For the PvP changes, we reduced the cost of Shattering Throw, gave the Safeguard root break to Intervene baseline, took Hamstring off the global cooldown, and reduced the cooldown of swapping stances. We also made a change to allow Shield Wall and Spell Reflect to not require a shield to be equipped, but to still provide the visual cue that a Warrior was using these abilities by having a shield visually appear even if one was not technically equipped.

For Warrior talent changes, we buffed Bladestorm, Enraged Regeneration, Impending Victory, Storm Bolt, Vigilance, and Warbringer in addition to the Safeguard change mentioned above to open some more choices for Warriors, especially in PvP. We understand that Shockwave is hard to live without in PvP, but we didn’t think that was easily fixable without nerfing Shockwave—and probably speaks more for to the relative strength of stuns compared to other forms of crowd control, which is something we’d like to address long term. (Perhaps stuns need to be shorter, dispellable, or break on damage so they aren’t quite so game-changing.)

Final Thoughts
So there you have it. Hopefully you now have a little more insight into why we’re making the changes we’re making. I know it can feel like the developers are out to punish players sometimes, but really our primary goal is to keep everyone having fun. That includes redesigning awkward mechanics and buffing weak spells, but it also means nerfing overpowered mechanics so that other classes or specs don’t feel as if they can’t compete. We made a lot of talent and glyph changes because we want to deliver on the promise that players have a lot of choices in both of those systems. I won’t pretend that we’ll get everything perfect this time around either, but we should be closer. Please keep providing us with specific, constructive feedback. We still have time to respond to feedback, even after the patch launches.

As far as coffee with the devs go, I will personally try to get back to releasing them more frequently than I have over the past few months. No promises, but the one I am thinking of now is my own personal preemptive post-mortem of Mists of Pandaria. We’re very proud of the expansion overall, but we’re also our own harshest critics.

Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is one of the lead designers on World of Warcraft. He has been bitten by, but not limited to, the following animals: Atlantic brief squid, Roseate spoonbill, Texas ribbon snake, coatimundi. Follow him on Twitter at @Ghostcrawler.
by Published on 2013-08-11 08:50 PM

D3 Available on Day 1 on PSN, Blue Posts, Imperius Fan Art (+ Video), Curse Weekly Roundup

Fireside Chat Episode 8 VoD, Weekly News Recap, The Burdens of Shaohao - Parts 4 & 5

Patch 5.4 - Tier 16 Hunter Armor Set
Keep in mind that this is just a preview and the final set may be different!

Flex Difficulty Feedback
Flex difficulty needs more testing and feedback, so be sure to give it a try if you have time this weekend!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Many thanks for the excellent feedback thus far.

On Malkorok in particular, a bit more breathing room between the final Implosions and Breath wouldn't hurt (on Normal as well), and Blood Rage is actually doing more damage than it should be for our current Flexible tuning (a bug).

As for Flexible mode in general, we'll be reducing the overall difficulty relative to Normal across the board for our next PTR test. It's also quite possible (likely, even) that specific mechanics are overtuned on Normal as well, which will of course translate to excessive difficulty on Flexible as well -- we don't consider our Normal mode tuning final yet by any means.

I'd like to briefly clarify Flexible mode's target audience and what that means regarding how we tune the content: Flexible mode is primarily for roughly the audience served by 10-player Normal raiding in Wrath of the Lich King (10 Normal used to be a tier lower than 25 Normal). Not every guild that raids is a raiding guild, if that makes sense. I'd say that Flexible mode is for social groups that raid; Normal mode is for raiding guilds (and Heroic is for hardcore raiding guilds). That distinction consists of factors such as whether or not the group will ever recruit based on class needs, or remove someone based on performance (or even openly criticize them).

But a friends-and-family group is far from a ragtag pickup group. We're assuming that you have a leader running the show, are communicating, and are willing and able to coordinate a strategy and execute individual mechanics. Also, unlike Looking For Raid, which has a relatively flat difficulty level and which is designed to be successfully completed by all appropriately-geared players, Flexible mode entails progression. You'll learn and farm earlier fights to work your way up towards the more demanding ones deeper in the zone. A boss like Malkorok is Boss 9 of 14, and is generally designed as such. I'd compare him to bosses like Rotface or Festergut in Icecrown Citadel. Those certainly saw plenty of PUG action later in the 3.3 patch cycle, when the zone-wide Icecrown buff had ramped up a bit and the strategies were widely-known.

Now, will players form PUGs for Flexible Siege of Orgrimmar? Absolutely -- and we're excited at the prospect. But that's an organic process that will evolve over time, if we get the tuning right. I don't recall very many Trade chat PUGs waltzing into Icecrown Citadel in January 2010 and killing Festergut.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Legendary Cloak
In vanilla and every expansion before MoP we had legendary weapons to anticipate. Why isnt there any in MoP?
Weren't happy with the entitlement feel of DWrath and Fangs. If we do leg weapons again, we'd likely make them much rarer. (Source)
Either forget legendaries, or accept that people want OP items, and OP for some means unbalance so make it easy..
Legendary weapons are kind of OP by their nature. That's fine. Last few we just made it so every potential user could get. (Source)

I am thoroughly disappointed with the legendary being a cloak. All of this work throughout the xpac and we don't use it again.
What do you mean by "don't use it again?" (Source)
it disapp. me that now there's a leg. for everyone and it's a cloak thats shaped like a towel and clips models. Why no weapon?
We feel like we've done that a lot before. We want to keep things fresh. When rewards are too predictable they get boring. (Source)
Precedent is the problem. Ppl expected awesome weapons. Disappointed by dish towels (however awesome they may be)
Imagine the problems with this sentence: "I can easily predict what WoW will do next based on precedence." (Source)

Also is the proc. from the Tanking Cloaks working while in a DPS spec ?
No, you'll have to be a legit tank to benefit from the tank proc. (Source)

Why gate the new world boss using the legendary cape? Seems arbitrary and bad for alts.
I still struggle to understand wanting lots of alts but not having to play them as much as a main. Isn't that the point of an alt? (Source)

And yet you think about changing reforging or even removing it.
My experience is that most players just use an add on or website to tell them how to reforge. (Source)
It probably works the best for healers, since sufficient regen is a feel thing, not something you can dictate. (Source)

I do like reforging to make poor items (haste trink for fury war) easier to swallow. I don’t like it for hit/exp though.
Yeah, the cascades where getting one new item causes you to reforge all are the worst. (Source)
Do you think it's more of a hit/exp-as-a-capped-stat issue then?
Certainly part of it, but we also don't like all the work that has to go into a drop before it's ready to wear. (Source)
Aren't enchants and gems and valor upgrades (and maybe transmog) enough? (Source)

Characters / Items
how do you feel having Pandaren shared between both factions has worked out? Would you do the same if new races were added?
Not a fan of it overall. We just didn't want to deny anyone Pandaren. (Source)

Was creating a humam char yday, all faces look awful! Compared with mop/cata races... new models can't get here fast enough.
Yep. Pretty much. (Source)

Can you please explain to me why the tier sets for tier 16 look so bland and tasteless? & why season 14 rogue looks like plate
Response to tier art is so ridiculously subjective that I long ago gave up trying to understand player reaction to it. (Source)
The advice I gave before is provide feedback on the kind of designs you'd like to see for future tiers and not just shout BAD. (Source)

Is the current Challenge Mode gear still going to be attainable next exp, or will it go away for good??
Current plan is you can still try to obtain it since it scales your gear. Not 100% sure though. (Source)

Random question, Do you think you'll ever have (8) set bonuses again?
I think it's unlikely in PvE. I'm not a fan of players ignoring all pieces except tier sets. Makes loot less interesting. (Source)

What is your opinion on the fact that when everyone can get 'Epics' the term 'Epic' is cheapened.
I feel like some of that is just standard mudflation. Would earning your way from blues to epics feel the same after 9 years? (Source)

of course they can be, but blizz prefers to ignore the storage space issue. Be lucky to see a fix even next xpac.
We aren't ignoring it. We just don't believe near infinite storage is necessary. We don't like e.g. 100 slot bags. (Source)

PTR notes: RPPM proc rates for items that proc haste, wont benefit from haste to proc more?? huh?
The interaction of RPPM with haste made those mechanics more powerful than intended. (Source)
We had cases where RPPM trinkets were a 10%+ damage increase and situations where no non-RPPM trinket would ever compete. (Source)

Any chance of Void Storage ever having the deposit cost removed? That's why I never use it. Withdraw makes more sense.
Transmog was originally conceived as a way to wear older tier sets. It has grown into much more though. (Source)
Given that, we don't think the current UI necessarily supports the feature as well as it could. (Source)

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
The current SSD prices are stable, with most SSDs under $1 per gigabyte when on sale.

The new Haswell CPUs from Intel are here and they run a little bit on the warmer side. Depending on how much you want to overclock, you may need to spend a bit more for a better CPU cooler like the NH-D14 or H90.

Unless you are doing a lot of video rendering or something that is similarly multithreaded, you do not need the 4770K and should spend that money elsewhere.

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

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

ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorAsus VS229H-P 21.5" LED IPS Monitor - $135ASUS VS248H-P 24-Inch Monitor - $170
KeyboardKensington Pro Fit Media Keyboard - $18Cyborg V.5 - $47
MouseLogitech G400 - $47Razer Deathadder - $50
SpeakersCreative A220 2.1 Speaker System - $26Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $36
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE278Q 27-Inch - $260HP ZR2440W 24-inch - $370
KeyboardLogitech G510 - $90Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $60 ($121)
MouseLogitech G500 - $45Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $70
SpeakersLogitech Z323 2.1 Speaker System - $59Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $70

Puppy and Dolphin
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT Source 210 - $40NZXT Source 210 - $40
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 - $50XFX Core Edition PRO 550W - $50
CPUAMD FX-6300 - $125AMD FX-8320 - $145
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $28Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $33
MotherboardASUS M5A97 R2.0 - $100ASUS M5A99FX PRO - $120
MemoryKingston HyperX Blu 4GB 1333 - $358GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $70
Graphics CardXFX 7770 - $97ASUS 7870 2 GB or ASUS GTX 660 Ti - $200 / $199
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $55Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $85
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22

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 - $50Corsair Air 540 (Special Layout) - $140
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $90Corsair 750HX - $110
CPUIntel i5-4670K - $219Intel i7-4770K - $330
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $57Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $77
MotherboardASUS Z87-A - $112ASUS Z87-PLUS - $165
Memory8GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $7016GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $137
Graphics CardMSI 7950 OR MSI N760 TF - $240 / $260MSI 7970 OR Gigabyte GTX 770 - $350 / $400
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $85Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $85
SSDSAMSUNG 840 128GB (Review) - $98
Plextor 128 GB M5 Pro (Review) - $120
Corsair Neutron GTX 120GB (Review) - $125
SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB (Review) - $130
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$1043 - $1085$1492 - $1574

Weekly News Recap
Another busy week full of news, so here is your chance to catch up!

by Published on 2013-08-10 07:38 AM

BlizzCon Costume Contest Q&A, Community Commentary: DiaBro3, What to Include in Visual Customization

Pandaria Gameboard Audio, Fireside Chat #8 Reminder

Patch 5.4 - Ashhide Mushan and Bloody Coins
Patch 5.4 adds Speaker Gulan, who will sell you a Censer of Eternal Agony, which allows you to become hostile to all players (including your own faction) and kill them for Bloody Coins, which are used to purchase a PvP trinket, pet, mount, as well as a few other items.

Level Type Slot Name Cost
1Other Censer of Eternal Agony2500 x
1Other Black Ash1 x
496TrinketTrinket Pouch of White Ash20 x
1Other Fire-Watcher's Oath50 x
1Other Vengeful Porcupette100 x
90Mount Reins of the Ashhide Mushan Beast500 x

Patch 5.4 - Base Resilience and Battle Fatigue Changes
It seems that Base Resilience and Battle Fatigue will be increased in one of the upcoming PTR builds.

Patch 5.3 Hotfixes - August 9
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

  • Celestial Blessings: Reduced the health and damage of Neltharion's Tears for players attempting Yu'lon or Xuen's Celestial Challenge.

Website Cleanup Incoming
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Like any good webmasters, we look at World of Warcraft site stats on a regular basis, and we're always evaluating which aspects of the site people find most useful. Over time, we've identified a few areas that players don't really seem to visit but that still require a bit of effort for us to keep updated each time we release a new content update. For most of these, it's pretty obvious why they don't draw a lot of attention-they tend to focus on things that are simply more compelling to look at inside the game, are a "given," or are already well-served and readily available elsewhere, like on fansites.

Early next week we'll be doing some cleanup and removing the following rarely visited, higher-maintenance sections from the World of Warcraft website:

Game Guide

Guild Profiles

Character Profiles

Here are just a few fansites that provide a wealth of information on the above topics, as well as a whole lot more!
  • Wowhead
  • Warcraft Pets
  • Warcraft Mounts
  • WoW-Petopia

Doesn't WarcraftPets USE the pets section of the armory to update people's collections? You are going to break their site with this decision. Please don't remove the Pet & Mounts section.
To clarify, this cleanup process shouldn't affect the API fansites and other people use to pull game data.

Flexible Mode Testing - August 9-12
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We've unlocked the Underhold wing of the Siege of Orgrimmar (Malkorok, Spoils of Pandaria, and Thok the Bloodthirsty) for testing over the weekend, continuing into Monday.

Players with a premade group of between 10 and 25 players can queue using the same interface that you'd use for Dungeons, Scenarios, or LFR. Flexible mode bosses have all the same mechanics as the Normal mode versions, but are otherwise tuned to be more forgiving, and will scale in health and damage output with the number of players in the raid. As you go from a 12-player raid to an 18-player raid, for example, some abilities may affect more targets or hit slightly harder, creatures will have more health, and so forth. Difficulty is almost certainly higher than our final target, but we're probably scaling players down a bit too far for testing right now (ilvl 522 for the Underhold wing).

Please provide specific comments and feedback in the dedicated feedback thread.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Combat PvE and Patch 5.4
So, like I mentioned earlier in the thread, we upped the energy cost and damage of Sinister Strike to try to cut back on the spam just slightly. Incidentally, it also helps with the issue of energy capping while both Adrenaline Rush and Shadow Blades are active with the Tier 15 4-piece bonus.

We feel that, with the higher Sinister Strike energy cost in place, we can leave the Tier 15 4-piece as it is. It'll still be a good set bonus, but not quite as good as before, to the point that we don't think it'll have an adverse effect on Tier 16 balance.

Now, I recognize that the general sentiment in this thread seems to disagree with that. Part of why I'm posting this is that I'd like to understand why that is. Keep in mind that this isn't part of balance tuning -- that'll be starting soon, but for the moment we're just trying to get Combat to "feel" right. We're confident that we can make the numbers line up properly with how things are currently functioning on the PTR, but if you disagree, we'd like to know why. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.4 PTR - Proving Grounds Bug
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve discovered a fairly significant bug that explains why we’ve been seeing such drastically different reports on Proving Grounds difficulty. Simply put, PvP gear is not getting its item level downscaled to 463 the way that PvE gear is; it’s staying at item level 522.

We hope to have this fixed ASAP. In the meantime, if you’re testing out Proving Grounds on the PTR, please try to avoid using PvP gear if at all possible.

The Burdens of Shaohao
Blizzard released a six part series that looks at Emperor Shaohao as he progresses toward discovering the truth about his future. Today was the release of the final part. If you want to see more like this in the future, be sure to let Blizzard know you enjoyed it!

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