World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

Layers of Fear Giveaway: Winners have been PMed, check your PMs to see if you won!

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 [email protected], 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!

by Published on 2013-08-09 10:28 AM

Diablo III at Gamescom 2013, Blue Posts, Fix for Keywardens Below Inferno on the Way

Patch 5.4 - Timeless Isle Vendors Update
The vendors on Timeless Isle have had several additions and changes since the last time we looked at what they sold.

Previously we looked at how your could upgrade item level 496 gear to item level 535 with a Burden of Eternity. Along with killing rare spawns, looting chests, or doing a quest, you can now purchase them for 50,000 x Timeless Coin from Mistweaver Ai.

Mistweaver Ai also now sells the item level 476 weapons that were added in the most recent build for 20,000 (Two Hand) or 10,000 (One Hand) x Timeless Coin.

Level Type Spec Slot Name
476ShieldTankOff Hand Daylight Protectorate
476ShieldSpell DPSOff Hand Shield of the Eternal Noon
476BowPhysical DPSRanged Featherdraw Longbow
476One-handed MaceMeleeOne Hand Pandaren Peace Offering
476PolearmMeleeTwo Hand Yak-Herder's Longstaff
476StaffPhysical DPSTwo Hand Contemplation of Shaohao
476StaffSpell DPSTwo Hand Cloudscorcher Greatstaff
476Fist WeaponPhysical DPSOne Hand Hozen Can Opener
476DaggerPhysical DPSOne Hand Scavenged Pandaren Dagger
476DaggerSpell DPSOne Hand Ordon Sacrificial Dagger

You can also purchase the item level 535 trinkets for 50,000 x Timeless Coin.

Level Type Spec Slot Name
535TrinketTankTrinket Resolve of Niuzao
535TrinketMeleeTrinket Alacrity of Xuen
535TrinketPhysical DPSTrinket Discipline of Xuen
535TrinketSpell DPSTrinket Yu'lon's Bite
535TrinketHealerTrinket Contemplation of Chi-Ji

You can also pick up a trinket for alts or a quick teleport to the isle for 7,500 x Timeless Coin.

Level Type Spec Slot Name
496TrinketDPSTrinket Time-Lost Artifact

If you enjoy PvP and want to work towards rewards like the Ashhide Mushan Beast, you can purchase the Censer of Eternal Agony for 2,500 x Timeless Coin.

Level Type Slot Name
1Other Censer of Eternal Agony

Finally, for those of you who really enjoy farming, there is a Heavenly Golden Cloud Serpent that you can purchase for 100,000 x Timeless Coin!

Level Type Slot Name
90Mount Reins of the Heavenly Golden Cloud Serpent

Patch 5.4 - Pet Cap Increase
For those of you that enjoy collecting pets, Patch 5.4 will allows you to catch a few more by increasing the cap on number of pets to 1,000.

Patch 5.4 - Upcoming Class Tuning
It appears we are getting close to the part of the PTR cycle when major changes are done and it is time for balancing the numbers!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Shado-Pan Onslaught raid debuff in the ptr. I thought valor upgrades were supposed to be the 'make bosses easier' buff/debuff?
That's the design for current tier. If anyone is still struggling in ToT, it feels like 5.4 is the time to let them finish it. (Source)

WoW is all about personal exp. Class satisfaction and smooth gameplay is the recipe, and not the content.
Yet that is clearly not what a lot of players want. They want their spec to be desirable for a viable comp. (Source)
Well the game is NOTHING in comparison to vanilla and TBC. PvP is unbalanced and "heroic" raids are too easy.
Um I think the heroic raiders would tell you these fights are the hardest they've ever done. (Source)
Some say that people just got better. Back then there were only few good players. Could be.
No doubt in my mind that players got much better. Just consider the tools we have now: e.g. Icy Veins, Ask Mr. Robot, even DBM. (Source)

As far as PvP goes that's a bigger topic but we've been most successful in seasons with a few, balanced comps. (Source)
I'm sorry, how long has ToT heroic taken to clear? A few weeks? So compare that to the Sunwell and BT? Which took MONTHS...
I'm pretty sure the number of attempts (the relevant metric) per heroic boss has never been higher. (Source)

How was the feedback on 10vs25man droprate of TF? Personally I'd prefer 15% 10man 25%25man or so. We didn't see too many in 10
10s want more of course, but we're fine with it being a small 25 perk. (This was not the overall reason for TF though.) (Source)
its a HUGE perk in 25s when in 10s u get a tf drop finally and its a tank shield but ur tanks are druid and monk -.-
We kind of think 25s need more perks though to overcome the inherent logistical benefits of 10s and effects of entropy. (Source)
I'm in a Taiwan server, an RL of 10s, still stuck at Leishen because 25s is too easy and ppl just dont want to run 10s.
We heard a lot from players in Asia that 25 was too hard compared to 10s. Why do you think your experience is different? (Source)
(Note for non-Asians that Asian 25s have buffed bosses, drop better gear and are on a different lockout than 10s.) (Source)

TF items suck, I've yet to speak to anyone within my community ( top 20 US 25 man raiders ) that likes it.
Very high end raiders often don't want any randomness to loot because that infringes on skill being the deciding factor in a race. (Source)

no one wants to spend weeks and weeks and weeks trying to get a single piece of loot. Wrath/cata model, GO BACK TO IT!
The opposite potentially worse problem is that you're sitting on 11 characters with full loot wondering what to do next. (Source)

trying to understand ur design philosophy with instances. Which do you design to be harder? Challenge modes or heroic raids.
They're just different. Not sure which is harder. Heroic raids you can outgear to some extent. (Source)

What were your impressions of MoP's appeal/success in Taiwan when you visited? Any big differences from US/EU?
No huge diffs. They're very into the story. Lots of Qs about Klaxxi in SoO. Probably more raid-focused players there than here. (Source)

As convenient as LFR is s, I worry that seeing content robs people of motivation to raid Normal-modes. Is that a concern?
Not sure how many players run normal just to see the content. Normal has always been fairly hard. (Source)
A bigger concern is that LFR robs people of the motivation to have friends, and we think friends are really important. (Source)

Ghostcrawler on Heirloom Weapons
Sadly Ghostcrawler had no comment on the level 90 to 100 range on the new Heirloom weapons from Garrosh. Keep in mind that the item levels on the items may not be final.

The Burdens of Shaohao
If you can't get enough of Lorewalker Cho's storytelling, this should be a fun week for you. Blizzard is releasing a six part series that looks at Emperor Shaohao as he progresses toward discovering the truth about his future.

by Published on 2013-08-08 07:35 AM

Round Table Meetings at Gamescom 2013, Blue Posts, What Creature of Sanctuary Would You Want As a Pet?

In-Game Real Money Beta Purchase Reward Clarifications, Buffs After Silence, Server Regions

Patch 5.4 - Heirloom Raid Weapons
Along with all of the other Siege of Orgrimmar loot, Patch 5.4 adds some Heirloom weapons that drop from Garrosh. These items do not drop in Raid Finder difficulty, only Flex, Normal, and Heroic. Keep in mind that nothing on the PTR is final until it goes live.

Patch 5.4 PTR Notes Update - August 7
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
  • Vengeance has received several changes.
    • So as not to affect Challenge Mode leader boards, the above Vengeance changes will not apply there. For Challenge Modes, Vengeance will continue to work as it did in patch 5.3.

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • General
    • Wild Mushroom for Restoration Druids now summons a single mushroom at the friendly target’s location. If the mushroom is recast, the mushroom moves to the new location and retains its accumulated bonus healing.
      • The amount of healing stored on a Wild Mushroom is now reduced by Battle Fatigue.
  • Talents
    • Dream of Cenarius has been completely redesigned to reduce complexity and increase usability, but maintain the spirit of the effects. Benefits now vary by specialization.
      • Guardian: Increases the amount healed by Healing Touch by 20%. Increases the critical strike chance of Mangle (Bear) by 10% and critical strikes of Mangle (Bear) have a 40% chance to make the next Healing Touch or Rebirth instant, free, and castable in all forms. Instant cast version of Healing Touch now benefits from Attack Power instead of Spell Power.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Talents
    • Rushing Jade Wind has been redesigned and replaces Spinning Crane Kick.
      • Rushing Jade Wind: The Monk summons a whirling tornado around them, dealing damage to nearby enemies (heals nearby allies for Mistweavers). Rushing Jade Wind has the same costs, Chi generation, and periodic rate as Spinning CRake Kick, but, deals 60% of the periodic damage or healing, lasts 6 seconds, is instant, and not channeled.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • General
    • Shadow Word: Death damage is now increased by 80% when used on enemies that have less than 20% health, but the cooldown is no longer reset if the target does not die.
  • Discipline
    • Grace can no longer be dispelled.
  • Class Armor
    • Discipline/Holy PvP 2-piece set bonus' (4-piece set bonus pre-Season 12) Holy Spark effect can no longer be dispelled.
    • Shadow PvP 4-piece set bonus is no longer an area-of-effect and only affects the character that dispels Vampiric Touch.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Arms
    • Slam now deals 50% more damage, but the Rage cost has been increased by 50% as well. While Sweeping Strikes is active, Slam will deal 35% of damage dealt against the primary target to all other enemies within 2 yards, and targets affected by Colossus Smash receives 10% more damage.


  • Mantid Artifact Sonic Locator no longer randomizes digsites when acquired, and is more difficult to obtain. They can now only be purchased as part of a Mantid Artifact Hunter’s Kit, which includes a Lorewalker’s Map.

  • New Raid and PvP blacksmithing plans have been added. These new plans can be researched by crafting Balanced Trillium Ingot, allowing the blacksmith to learn a random new plan.
  • Plans for Balanced Trillium Ingot could be found as a drop from creatures in Pandaria.

  • A number of new cooking recipes have been added, including new foods that give +300 to a primary stat and noodle carts. Some of these new recipes can be learned from drops in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, others from quests.

  • Items formerly obtained with Valor Points that now cost Justice Points as well as gear crafted from new PvP recipes or plans will now disenchant into Sha Crystal Fragments.
  • Multiple Sha Crystal Fragments can be combined into a Sha Crystal.

  • Engineers that are able to acquire Chief Engineer Jard’s Journal can learn to craft Jard's Peculiar Energy Source; a new material used in a number of new engineering schematics. The journal can be obtained as a drop from creatures in Pandaria.
  • Blingtron 4000 Gift Package now has a chance to contain Lil’ Bling, a companion pet.

  • With the lakes and rivers in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms drained of water, the Cloud Serpents carried little buckets of Jewel Danio and relocated them to the Timeless Isle so they can thrive once more.

  • Many new glyph techniques have been added, and some existing glyphs have been changed. Some of the new techniques can be obtained from creatures anywhere in Pandaria, while others can only be found on powerful creatures that reside on the Timeless Isle.
  • A new technique to create Crafted Malevolent Gladiator’s Medallion of Tenacity can be found as a world drop

  • New Raid and PvP leatherworking patterns have been added. These new patterns can be researched by crafting Hardened Magnificent Hide, allowing the leatherworker to learn a random new pattern.
  • Patterns for Hardened Magnificent Hide could be found as a drop from creatures in Pandaria.
  • Leatherworkers can find a pattern to craft Drums of Rage as a drop from creatures in Pandaria. The drums can be used by anyone to give their raid a minor bloodlust-like effect.

  • New Raid and PvP tailoring patterns have been added. These new patterns can be researched by crafting Celestial Cloth, allowing the tailor to learn a random new pattern.
  • Patterns for Celestial Cloth could be found as a drop from creatures in Pandaria.

  • Trinket, enchant, set bonus, and legendary meta-gem effects whose triggered effect benefits from haste no longer also have their chance to trigger the benefit from haste. Activation chances and internal cooldowns for those effects and other trinket effects have been adjusted to compensate and will now be displayed on their tooltip.

Raid Testing Schedule - August 8-9
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
On Thursday, August 8, and Friday, August 9, we will continue testing raid encounters in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid. We're moving on to 10-player Heroic testing at this time, and then 25-player mode as the PTR cycle progresses.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below for all Public Test Realms.

Thursday, August 8
Immerseus - 10 Player Heroic - 10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)
Norushen - 10 Player Heroic - 16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

Friday, August 9
Spoils of Pandaria - 10 Player Heroic - 10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)
Paragons of the Klaxxi - 10 Player Heroic - 16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a beta environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the boss being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Instead you did the exact opposite and went to a complete standstill. Main heroes mostly do nothing at all.
Characters like Garrosh and Jaina have a lot of presence in the 5.0 story. Now, you may not like them or wish we had included more. (Source)

Wotlk had the highest integration of players to the story. Cata and mop had arguably none or really week.
We also heard criticism that Arthas turned up every time you opened a closet. Risked making him feel more annoying than frightening. (Source)

Real question, what is the intrinsic value of content? Story/Aesthetic difficulty matters less.
Seeing content and seeing story are both rewards. In WoW, gear just tends to be a more motivating reward for many. (Source)

I have a feeling that y'shaarj is the true baddie in this expansion amirite?
He is dead. (Source)
How can Old Gods die if "They're outside the cycle"?
"What is dead may never die?" (Source)

stop saying u lose a leveling zone when u can phase for hight levels like u do on Theramor
Okay, so you're asking for Ashenvale to be phased at higher level to reinforce Alliance winning back some land? (Source)

Just trying to understand how the ongoing story makes sense after changes such as this - esp for lower level toons
We often have a problem with the lower level time flow. Arthas is dead 1-60 then alive 61-80 then dead again 80-90. (Source)
Why not turn TBC & WotLK into optional content that can be played in scenarios / cavern of times?
It's a neat idea. It just takes designer time away from other ideas (which doesn't mean it's off the table). (Source)

Can we get a list of to-be-joined servers in 5.4 so we can start matching guilds/arena teams up? Thanks!
There are no Arena teams any longer. We'll provide lists of connected realms when we have resolved which ones are affected. (Source)

50% Off Swift Windsteed Mount - This Week Only
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Whether trekking along the jagged trails leading to Kun-Lai Summit or galloping through the clouds, the Swift Windsteed always has a regal bearing. Now, for the first time you can grab the reins of one of these rare creatures for half off—but hurry, as this sale ends August 13, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

Get yours now! (US / EU)

Hearthstone - State of the Game
There was a new Hearthstone blog post today that talks about the current state of the game. It revealed that beta is finally feature complete and still planned for the summer, but it won't be ready this week.

Players who purchase a pack of cards during the beta will receive a golden Gelbin Mekkatorque card. This card will not be disenchantable and only obtainable as a beta reward. Be sure to read the full blog post on Hearthpwn.

The Burdens of Shaohao
If you can't get enough of Lorewalker Cho's storytelling, this should be a fun week for you. Blizzard is releasing a six part series that looks at Emperor Shaohao as he progresses toward discovering the truth about his future.

Site Navigation