World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2013-04-05 08:42 AM

BlizzCon 2013 Tickets On Sale April 24 and 27, Why Web Based Auction House Won't Happen, Poll: Solo, With Friends or Public Games?, Blue Posts

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Heroic Lei Shen 25 Videos
Method and Blood Legion both released videos of their Lei Shen kills today!

Patch 5.3 PTR Notes Update - April 4
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
  • Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Nimble Brew now also removes horrify effects, and reduces the duration of horrify effects and fear, and is available to all Monk specializations (formerly only available for Brewmaster and Windwalker Monks).
    • Talents
      • Ring of Peace had been redesigned. The ability forms an 8-yard sanctuary around a friendly target for 8 seconds, instantly disarming and silencing enemies within the area-of-effect for 3 seconds. Enemies that use abilities other than auto-attacks or cast spells on allies within the Ring of Peace will be disarmed and silenced for 3 seconds. Disarm and silence effects are subject to diminishing returns.

  • Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Mass Dispel no longer dispels magic effects that are normally undispellable. Cast time has been decreased to 0.5 seconds, down from 1.5 seconds for Discipline and Holy Priests.
      • Void Shift had its cooldown decreased to 5 minutes, down from 6 minutes for Discipline and Holy Priests. For Shadow Priests, cooldown has been increased to 10 minutes, up from 6 minutes, and the spell is no longer usable while in Arenas or Rated Battlegrounds.
    • Glyphs
      • Glyph of Mass Dispel has been redesigned and no longer reduces cast time. The glyph now enables Mass Dispel to dispel magic effects that are normally undispellable.
    • Discipline
      • Atonement now heals nearby friendly targets for 80% of the damage dealt, down from 100%.

  • Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Lightning Bolt can now be cast while moving.
    • Glyphs
      • New Glyph: Glyph of Lightning Shield causes Lightning Shield to reduce the amount of damage taken by 10%.
      • Glyph of Unleashed Lightning has been removed and replaced with Glyph of Lightning Shield.

  • Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Defensive Stance now decreases damage taken by 25%, up from 15%.
    • Protection
      • Unwavering Sentinel no longer increases the damage reduction of Defensive Stance by 10%.

Pet Battles
  • General
    • Fixed an issue where pet abilities that had a chance to stun were not working correctly.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Scenarios
    • Lorewalker Cho will allow heroes to take part in either faction's scenarios, so players can see what the other side has been up to.

  • Battle Fatigue now reduces the amount of healing and absorbs by 50%, up from 30%.
  • PvP Power bonus to healing for healing specializations has been increased to 100%, up from 50% for Druids, Monks, Paladins, Priests, and Shamans.
  • PvP Power bonus to healing for damage specializations has been increased to 75%, up from 25% for Druids, Monks, Paladins, Priests, and Shamans.

  • Players starting on Cataclysm content can purchase level-80 gear from Iris Moonweaver in Hyjal and Erunak in Vashj'ir to more easily qualify for Blackrock Caverns and Abyssal Maw: Throne of Tides.

  • When using name plates, castbars will now display for all NPCs.

Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: April 4
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
  • Extended Shore Leave: This quest has been temporarily removed from quest rotation to address an issue with the Zandalari Warship.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Fixed an issue where Warlocks remained in the wrong phase at The Black Temple after completing the quest Seek the Signal.
  • Throne of Thunder
    • Durumu the Forgotten
      • During the Light Spectrum phase, Yellow Eye's cone now moves more quickly on Raid Finder difficulty.

  • Darkmoon Card: Blue Dragon now has a reduced chance to activate its effect for characters that are level 61-69 and its effect no longer activates for characters above level 69.

Pet Battle Accuracy Changes in Patch 5.3
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Greetings, trainers!

We wanted to take a moment to discuss some of the broad accuracy changes we’re making to Pet Battles in patch 5.3. The overarching goal behind these changes is to provide transparency to reduce the amount of uncontrolled randomness, where one miss often makes or breaks a match. Once patch 5.3 is live, you’ll see “hit chance” listed for all abilities, and this value will update if the pet is affected by abilities that increase or reduce the chance to hit.

In addition, we’ve removed the base 5% chance to dodge, and reduced the chance to miss opponents of higher levels from 5% per level to 2% per level. The end result should be that your attacks that should hit, will hit, and there’s greater incentive to get out there and fight higher-level pets for greater experience rewards.

In a turn-based game, randomness can be a lot of fun if handled correctly. Without a little randomness, the outcome of a match could be predicted to a high degree of certainty before the first swing, and that’s no fun. Randomness often works best when it is opt-in, often in exchange for greater attack power, longer duration, etc. In fact, many higher-damage battle pet abilities already had a reduced chance to hit, which will now be visible.

With the removal of the base dodge chance, we were left with a large number of abilities that now had a 100% hit chance. We’ve made a handful of minor modifications to some of these abilities, giving them greater damage in exchange for a reduced chance to hit. It’s worth noting that every battle pet type (e.g. Dragonkin) have at least one ability that hits 100% of the time, allowing you to opt-out of the randomness if you prefer a less risky strategy. (Check out the full list of basic abilities that have gained additional damage in exchange for reduced accuracy below.)

Finally, we’ve left the base 5% chance to gain a critical strike (for 1.5x damage), and +/- 10% damage variance on all abilities, at least for the time being. We believe that getting a crit generally feels good, and the damage variance is often enough to make a match a bit less predetermined without swinging the match heavily in one player’s favor.

We also wanted to thank the community for the great feedback we’ve gotten so far about Pet Battles. Keep it coming!

As noted earlier, the following basic attacks have had their damage increased by 5-15% and accuracy reduced by 5-15%:

(See Blog Post for full list)

Curse Gaming Survey
How are you gaming in 2013? Curse is interested in your opinion! Spend a moment taking our survey and let us know how you are gaming this year!

Hearthstone Wiki
Curse has created a nice Hearthstone wiki, with lists of all the cards, heroes, classes, and abilities. There will likely be lots to do once beta starts if you are interested in helping out!

by Published on 2013-04-04 02:30 PM

Battleground Roles, Loot Spec Menu, LFR Difficulty, Blue Tweets, HS Interview, Comic

BlizzCon 2013 Tickets On Sale April 24 and 27
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Mark your calendars—a Blizzard is coming to Southern California! Tickets for BlizzCon® 2013 will go on sale in two batches on Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. PDT and Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. PDT through the official BlizzCon website. In addition, a limited number of tickets to an exclusive pre-BlizzCon Benefit Dinner will go on sale Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. PDT.

BlizzCon 2013 takes place November 8 and 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, and tickets to the two-day show will be available at $175 USD each. Tickets to the Benefit Dinner (which includes admission to BlizzCon) will be priced at $500 USD each, with proceeds benefitting Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Tickets to previous BlizzCon events have sold out within minutes, so be sure to synchronize your hourglasses.

Paladins, demon hunters, and Ghosts who can’t make it to the show in person will once again have the option to enjoy BlizzCon from home by ordering a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering comprehensive live coverage of the event via a multi-channel Internet stream. Further details on the Virtual Ticket, including pricing, availability, and programming information, will be announced at a later date.

See the full press release or check out the BlizzCon Ticket page for more information, and be sure visit the official BlizzCon website at the dates and times above for a chance to purchase a ticket to the show. We hope to see you in Anaheim!
by Published on 2013-04-04 08:05 AM

Patch 1.0.8 Known Issues List

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Patch 5.3 - Battleground Roles
Patch 5.3 finally adds roles to queuing for random battlegrounds. Things don't appear to be working completely yet, as everyone is accepted as a healer, no matter what they queue as.

Patch 5.3 - Loot Specialization Menu
The new Loot Specialization menu is in, allowing you to choose what spec you want loot for when getting bonus rolls, Raid Finder gear, and Pandarian quest rewards.

Warcraft April Fools
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Based on all the interesting replies I've been receiving on Twitter, I just want to specify here that I was primarily referring to website content and the priorities of our Web and Community teams. These are the teams that tend to put the most focus on April Fools jokes on our websites. People are extrapolating a lot of strange conclusions out of what I said... or, I guess more accurately, what I didn't even say.

And, as I said in the first of those tweets listed on MMO-C, we DID work on ideas for this year's April 1, but they didn't really pan out. We decided we couldn't justify spending MORE time on it this year with everything else going on. This doesn't mean we had more time to kill in previous years, or that we'll never do gags on our website again. It was a matter of priorities and time investment.

It's awesome that people enjoy when we do fun stuff. We like fun too. I'm sure we can all continue to have fun together, even if we didn't fool people on the day everyone not only expects it, but apparently demands it.

Zarhym, I hope you remember that tweet the next time you're inclined to give the canned "Doing X doesn't take away resources from Y, we have independent teams" response we've been treated to for years. I'm glad you guys are finally admitting something we all knew and decried for many, many years now.
This is the problem with pulling things we say out of context and using them as blanket statements to justify why we didn't meet your expectations.

Here's an example:

Very rarely does website development interfere with game development. There's communication between the teams so that we have a shared vision, obviously, but each team has its own resources specific to their respective design focuses.

Here's a counter example:

The Web & Mobile team, unlike the WoW development team, is a shared-resource team. Not only does the scope of the projects they work on extend far beyond what most people are assuming in this thread, they support all Blizzard websites.

The point:

Context matters. We can say that developing April 1 jokes doesn't require pulling resources from game design, while it CAN ALSO be true that Blizzard's continued expansion in the web, mobile and social media spaces to support increasingly more games DOES put more strain on our Web & Mobile and Communications departments.

I've experienced it first-hand during my six years with Blizzard Community Development. The way I work with WoW's game designers hasn't changed all that much over the years (although we've evolved our relationship with them and try to be as efficient as possible when we ask for their time). That said, the scope of my job, as well as the functions of the Blizzard Communications department as a whole, have grown and changed quite dramatically.

Sometimes I'm still surprised by how difficult it is to maintain a rational public dialog about anything we're doing or saying. April 1 is what it is, and perhaps we'll have cool things to share on future occasions. But, the fact that this is even a part of the WoW discussion beyond 12:00 am April 2 seems like folly to me. I don't intend to spend anymore time on it.

New Raid Finder Wing Difficulty
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I'm personally ok with it if I'm not able to roll over every fight the first day it's available on the LFR. I personally think a sense of progression can be had, even in a group of 25 strangers. There have been some hotfixes already for the fight in LFR, I'm not sure if it needs more, but I'm sure if the designers feel it does they will make them.

Personally I appreciate that some fights require more knowledge and coordination, and aren't surefire gimmies. The fight has been available for 1 day to most of the people attempting it. I'm not sure that's enough information to claim that it's too hard for LFR. My group last night wiped a good number of times and then got it down with about 15 people that did understand the mechanics and were able to pull it off. That felt good to overcome the challenge finally, even if I was one of the dead.

There were a group of people in my guild back in the day that just could not do the Naxxramas Safety Dance on Heigan no matter what. Ever. No matter where you go people will make mistakes, or lack the coordination to overcome some mechanics. Considering the fight was able to done by 15 people in my LFR group last night though, I feel like it's a surmountable challenge even if a large portion of the raid is laying there. And hey, I can get better and maybe won't die next time, right?

One thing to keep in mind was "how many stacks of determination" did you have before you were able to kill the boss. Was the increased dps/health/healing help in determining that only 15 people were needed to kill him?
Maybe? But that's what that mechanic is there for. It helps make up for low damage, or healing, or coordination, or understanding/ability to overcome a fight. The intent was to not make LFR completely different, but help give people boosters when they need them. It's still more efficient to not wipe, and so logically that's what people should still be striving to do.

No offense, but you're not really engaging the substance of his post, which is that the "maze" mechanic is incredibly difficult to distinguish. You have a dark floor with a dark purple overlay, with a dark purple fog over that overlay. I had to TURN DOWN my settings to distinguish the maze in normal.

The problem isn't the cones or the other mechanics. The problem is the maze portion of the fight which is difficult to see and distinguish. I think when you have a mechanic where you have to DECREASE your settings to be able to play. You ought to reconsider or fix those settings.

Quite right, most are not saying it's too hard as a mechanic, just that visual effect needs alteration to make it more... attemptable even. I don't think that's something we'd disagree with. The effect went through a number of changes on the PTR, including very late in the testing cycle to try to resolve some performance issues it was causing. It's certainly a doable fight, but I think it's safe to say we don't think it's perfect as-is.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
do you see mage bomb buff as a permanent change or just temporary solution until some new changes to mage class balance?
Ideally we'd shift DPS back to casted nukes, but we didn't want to force players to respec or create PvP burst risk via a hotfix. (Source)

Venruki said on his stream Flameglow was the most OP mage ability. Why did you give it to them in a supposed nerf patch?
Anything weaker and mages would just stick with Ice Barrier. Now it's a choice (and Ice Barrier still wins vs a lot of classes). (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
disc has nice dps and good absorption shield. what make holy priest different from disc and the other healers?
Holy's heals are bigger and has more AE tools. Divine Hymn still works in situations when you can't group for Barrier. (Source)
Holy offers nothing other than fun gameplay. We are not taken to raids, we are useless in 10s.
We're not seeing that. The number of Holy priests has jumped up a lot in 5.2 (though there are still more Disc). (Source)
Seems pretty close on Megaera: [cherrypick] 90-95 percentile even has Holy higher w/ lower Std. Dev.
Also trends don't change overnight. Someone used to playing Disc might not change unless Disc was dreadful for some fight. (Source)

It makes Chakra about the mechanics useful to situation, not the numbers. Becomes fun again.
So Sanctuary would say: Reduces the CD of your CoH spell by 2 sec, and transforms your HW: Chastise spell into HW: Sanctuary? (Source)
I feel it keeps core functionality, and incr flexibility, but how do you interpret such an implementation of Chakra?
We think new tools would be more fun than passive bonuses. (CoH CD is kinda a new tool.) (Source)

Could You pls tell us reason of removing divine hymn from discipline priests?
We wanted to differentiate Discipline and Holy more. (Source)

Holy Priests are rare imo. Just because Atonement works so well for this tier.
A ton of Disc in 5.0 so not everyone will switch ASAP. Also, Disc is even more attractive in 10s. Holy pop growing though. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Other than that do our mechanics not work well with the current content which is somewhat I do understand. 2/2
We want to make sure Resto does well in situations where HR and CH can be used in full. If we buff them, would likely be there. (Source)
Resto seems to be average even when HR/CH/HTT/Ascendance can be used to full effect - i.e Megaera, etc.
We agree. Megaera *should* be a good fight for Resto shaman since it lets them use abilities that they can't use on e.g. Tortos. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Any changes in the making for warlocks that you wouldnt mind sharing?
Nothing concrete, but we're not happy with the way Soulburn Soul Swap is working out. More of a fun concern than a balance one. (Source)
Are you happy with what a warlock brings compared to other caster counterparts? In arenas.
Generally, but we're concerned Affliction doesn't bring the dot pressure it could (and they don't need a dot buff in PvE). (Source)

Will the Dreadstead ever be made to match our green fire?
Hopefully. (Source)

If Blizzard is moving towards homogenizing all abilities/buffs then why do Warlocks still have a unique ability; Healthstones?
We only share mandatory ones. Stones are a nice to have, not a must bring. Bloodlust, brez are a must. (Source)

Will there ever be a Feat of Strength for beating Kanrethad?
Traditionally, we haven't liked doing achievements (or feats) that are only obtainable by one class. (Source)

- GoSac nerfed so that we get to deal with buggy pets that randomly despawn. Sweet deal. Fixing?
Warlocks are a pet class. That talent was never intended to let them not be a pet class. (Source)
Make pets viable and we'll stop bitching. Until then, make GoSac a dps equivalent. Don't make players pay for devs fail coding
Unless you rolled your warlock very recently, you signed up for a pet class. We will continually try to improve pets though. (Source)
for me the prob is pet's don't feel important. felhunter was buffed by affli dots for example. imp with destruction etc.
We have gone back and forth on whether specific pets should have strong spec synergies. Each design has pros and cons. (Source)

- Acknowledged, but missing the point. Nerf GoSac to stick us with bugs in order to min max? That's my issue, not the pets.
Imagine GoSac becomes a cooldown, not a way to have a petless spec. That is more in keeping with our design. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
so u buffed def stance back up to 25% it seems. Why?
We like the skill of stance swapping. Previous problem was dudes never left Def. With rage changes, we think that is less of a risk. (Source)
thing is this isn't a great solution for warriors. def stance = no damage cuz no rage = trained 24/7 = gg cata style.
That's kind of the point though. One stance won't solve every problem. (Source)

The removal of the Enraged text from Raging Blow is just a weird PTR tooltip issue, yes?
Correct. The only actual change in 5.3 for warriors so far is Vigilance resetting Taunt. (Source)

Regarding the Loot Specialization in 5.3, will this be able to be switched per boss or per instance?
Per boss. (Source)

i loved the diff horde/ally armor sets from ToC personally.
Yeah that was cool. The tradeoff was all plate dudes looked alike. (Source)

I understand that it might be difficult to impossible with the technology at present, but I wanted to at least ask.
We don't know if it will happen in time for 5.3 but we do have an engineering task to make TG work with polearms. (Source)

Is there any plan in the future for your account wide achievement score to be displayed in guild? I would love for this chang
We would like to. The whole point was to let players not feel obligated to repeat achievements on alts. (Source)

For 5.3 could old pvp armor that's flagged as "Rogue, Druid" have Monk added to it for transmog purposes?
Seems like a reasonable request. (Source)

Hearthstone Interview
The Instance recently had a chance to interview the Hearthstone devs!

  • Nothing is set in stone yet, but the devs are looking at tying WoW and Hearthstone together with some kind of promotions.
  • Players that are playing other Blizzard games will be able to see that people are playing Hearthstone through
  • Classes will operate in a way that captures the important parts of the class from WoW, with similar spell effects to WoW and the older Warcraft games.
  • Limiting the deck to 30 cards, down from 60, was done to make it more accessible to work with a deck.
  • Asynchronous play may come in the future, closer to the tablet version release.
  • Other classes may be added in the future, but the devs are focusing on the original classes for release.
  • The game should be easy to pick up, even for people that have never played any card games or WoW. There is a good amount of strategic depth as well, so it should be interesting even for expert players.

Dark Legacy Comics #383
DLC #380 has been released.

by Published on 2013-04-03 06:55 AM

Developer Journal: Multiplayer Improvements

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Patch 5.3 PTR Notes Update - April 2

Patch 5.3 - Blood in the Snow Scenario Intro
Some of the new scenarios in Patch 5.3 will have an intro by Lorewalker Cho, starting with Blood in the Snow. Unfortunately the new scenarios are still not open for testing, so you cannot progress further than this one yet.

Patch 5.3 - Tyrannical Gladiator's Greatcloak
Another PvP vanity item appeared in a recent PTR build, the Tyrannical Gladiator's Greatcloak.

Warcraft April Fools
Zarhym addressed the lack of a Warcraft April Fools joke this year today.

Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: April 2
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

  • To the Skies!: Fixed an issue where players would remain on Thunderwing and be unable to progress to Stage 3.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Throne of Thunder
    • Assassination Rogues should no longer be receiving non-dagger agility weapons from bonus rolls and Raid Finder.
    • Vampiric Cave Bat now deals less damage in Raid Finder difficulty.
    • Durumu the Forgotten
      • Eye Sore and Mind Daggers now deal less damage on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Amber Fog, Azure Fog, and Crimson Fog now remain visible after being revealed on Raid Finder difficulty.


Ask the Devs - Upcoming PvP changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Current Status
LOCKED — Questions and voting will begin soon.

The topic for this Ask the Devs is, “PvP changes on the PTR”.
Be sure to stay on topic, as questions that stray from this won't be answered.

How it works:
  • Voting will begin on 09/04/13 and end on 11/04/13.
  • The thread will be open for 48 hours, after which time it will be locked and you’ll no longer be able to post or vote for questions to be sent to the developers.
  • Once the thread has been locked, we’ll tally up the votes and send the top questions off to the World of Warcraft developers.
  • We’ll provide answers directly from the developers during the following week. Watch the blog for their responses!

The Rules:
  • There’s a limit of one question per post.
  • Stay on topic. Questions that are not related to the chosen topic will not be sent to the developers, even if they’re rated highly.
  • Only post questions in the Ask the Devs thread – discussions are not permitted. If you would like to discuss the questions or a related matter, please do so in another thread.
  • A question being highly rated does not guarantee that it will be answered. We will, however, try to get as many questions answered as possible.
  • “Disliking” a post will not count toward its tally. Only “likes” will be counted.

Some Tips:
  • Don’t post or vote for questions that you know we cannot or will not answer. This Q&A is designed to give you more insight into the changes that are happening on the PTR, not to make announcements about future projects, expansions, or release dates. This includes questions not related to the Ask the Devs topic.
  • Make your questions as short and concise as possible so that they’re easy to understand for us and other players.
  • “Like” a post if you’d like to vote for it. Don’t bother “disliking” a post, as this will not influence our decision on which questions are sent to the developers.
  • Vote for any of the questions you’d like to see answered, but keep in mind the above tips.

Small Client Patches
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As you may have noticed there have been a few small patches being downloaded and installed by the World of Warcraft launcher. These are part of a new bit of tech we’ve been testing that allows us to quickly release small client-side patches without needing to build and release a large scale patch. These allow us to now make client-side changes quickly and easily, very similar to the server-side hotfixes we’ve become used to for all these years. We treat them the same as server-side hotfixes, so they’ll be noted in the usual hotfix blog as it’s updated.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
UI / Addons
Hey Greg! Any chance you guys are going to break Feat of Strengths into subcategories? I currently have 55 and It overwhelms.
Gratz! We think our achievement UI needs some work, including filtering. (Source)

need to make ui able to see absorbs from ss,da, & pws to let me know when they are capped to make sure I dont overuse.
You can see absorbs in 5.2. You can't see their caps because we couldn't solve that to our liking but mods might. (Source)

Yo GC, would love to see a in game tabard u.i similar to titles. Drop down menu > tabard > check to equip or display none.
Agree. We just have to solve a few that have a clicky effect like teleports. (Source)

If you can redesign WoW from scratch, do you still think it's good to support custom addons?
Yes, though we might have aimed more for supporting more customization and less automation. (Source)

Guild Wars 2 Aprils Fools
The team went all out with an 8 bit style 3D world full of jumping puzzles and adventure! You can see GW2Guru's writeup here for more details, or watch the video below.

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