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by Published on 2012-09-18 05:54 AM

Mists of Pandaria Launch Times - US: Midnight PDT / EU: Midnight CEST

Wyatt Cheng and Jay Wilson on 1.0.5, Blizzard Comic Contest Winner, Curse Weekly Roundup

Death Knight and Druid Challenge Mode Gear Procs
Tonight we take a look at a little bit more flair for the Challenge Mode gear! Each set has a special proc that will go off during combat or other actions. Some of the sets even have multiple procs or slight variations depending on what you are casting.

You can find the Challenge Mode set previews on our Challenge Mode Gear page, found in the menu in the navbar. Each class has a proc for their set, so keep checking back to see your class's set!





Guildox Adds Alt Detection
Today Guildox added Alt Detection, which finds all of your alts that they have seen by comparing your account wide achievement timestamps. The only way to opt out of this is by going into the game, selecting Interface/Display and then checking the "Display Only Character Achievements to Others". You can see an example of the alts listing here.



Live Developer Chat Presented by Best Buy, Sept. 18
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Best Buy will be hosting a World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Developer Chat tomorrow, Tuesday, September 18 at 4 p.m. PDT. Lead systems designer Greg Street, lead encounter designer Ion Hazzikostas, lead content designer Cory Stockton, and lead quest designer Dave Kosak will be on-hand to field questions from anyone who'd like to join in. The event will be held on the Best Buy chat client, so be sure to register for their forums if you'd like to participate.

All questions will be reviewed and answered in a queued format before being published, and community manager Crithto and I will be there to help facilitate things for our developers. Given that our friends at Best Buy are conducting this promotional chat, we expect that it may attract a broad audience of gamers curious about Mists of Pandaria. While we'll make every effort to get to as many questions as possible, we anticipate receiving many questions about the core features the upcoming expansion has to offer.

These gentlemen are outstanding developers and a lot of fun to talk to -- it's sure to be a lovely time. We hope you'll come take part!



Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Theramore scenario completely underwhelming compared to other pre expansion events. It's Meh.
Was never meant to be a world event. It's the first Scenario of the game. Tons more content coming next week!

So if we're rolling Monk in Mists we won't be able to get the Theramore Tabard or Mini Mana Bomb?
That's correct. They're tied to the level-85 FoS and won't be available after Mists launch.

What's the ETA for Beta going down? Will we get 24 hours notice or just a 15minute shutdown?
I've confirmed the current plan is to keep beta online at least until the launch of Mists of Pandaria on September 25. No major plans that I'm aware of for an event at the end of beta. Maybe some QA shenanigans? No clue. We'll be busy!

Shouldn't a preview be an indication of how fun new content is? Where is the challenge?
Scenarios aren't intended to be particularly challenging endgame content. Similar to old group quests.
Challenge may have been the wrong word, lets try Entertainment. 5 minutes of entertainment is quite small.
Some will be longer than others, but 20-30 min will prolly be about average at launch.

Is there a lockout on scenarios? Or can i run it as many times a day as i want?
Scenarios shouldn't have a lockout. You can run them as often as you'd like

Can you confirm the H:Rag mount drop % reduction once MoP is released?
Yes, the plan is to make the H Rag mount a rare drop in Mists, similar to the Cataclysm changeover and Icecrown.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Beta Class Balance Analysis
Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
It's a bit difficult for us as it appears the Blood Boil tooltips have not been updated yet. I'm at work so I can't check in-game, but all the datamining sites still show it as 711-869 + 19.2% AP. I assume that the new BB numbers are 3065 base damage plus 13.45% AP.
There are a few layers of multipliers that get applied to it, but the raw damage before multipliers (at level 90) previously was 711 to 869 plus 19.2% of AP, and now is 3474 to 4244 plus 11% of AP. It was intentionally a scaling nerf.

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
One stack of Dream of Cenarius (damage) is being consumed on an ability miss. Is this working as intended? Is Wild Charge (Caster Form) intended to trigger GCD?
Yes and yes.

Went to test some things on how exactly Ferocious Bite's additional energy consumption works on live servers, and discovered some very odd results when using a Ferocious Bite with Omen of Clarity while energy capped.
We looked at this issue, and it's all server- client timing stuff. What seems to be happening is that when you're at or near full energy, the UI doesn't get the execute energy cost displayed quickly, so it appears to take less than 25 energy. We will try to get it to be more responsive.

The 12% damage reduction added to Thick Hide is not appearing on the tooltip in game, is this simply a tooltip error or did that change get lost somewhere in the miasma of patches?
It should be active. When the most recent patch went out, some of the earlier hotfixes had to be reapplied, but that should be the case now. We will likely have to wait and update the tooltip itself in the future.

Are there any plans to change Wild Mushrooms :Bloom?
We’re keeping an eye on how people use it for now. We don't feel that it's useless as you claim, but it isn't rotational, which you seem to want.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Classes get energy costs associated with attacks at least partially refunded and sometimes fully refunded. For monks, energy is partially refunded and chi is fully refunded.

Blackout Kick will simply eat the chi cost without dealing damage.

However, this change affects Mistweavers and Windwalkers.

A hotfix will be going out soon that makes Blackout Kick once again refund Chi on miss / dodge / parry if you don’t know Brewmaster Training (Windwalkers, Mistweavers, and pre-lvl 34 Brewmasters).

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Is Capacitor totem supposed to not be effected by hit rating? It doesn't look like my hit is helping Capacitor totem's effect land on my targets.
It should benefit from your hit chance. We will investigate and fix if needed.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
I tested the Soul Swap glyph earlier this evening and just now at 1:50 am Medivh time on a couple of target dummies and can verify that the glyph is still triggering the SS cd preventing SB/SS from being cast. The game says, "the spell isn't ready".
That’s intended. Glyphed Soul Swapping should still trigger a cooldown, but Soulburned Soul Swapping should not (regardless of glyph).

Seeing strange behavior in channeled spells with ticks (Drain Soul, Drain LIfe, Malefic Grasp, etc).
We’re not seeing this, and it’s not an intentional design.

There is roughly a 2 second delay after the GCD when Soul Swap is off cooldown but not castable.
Okay, here's the poop. During beta, we received feedback that players would hit Soulburn, Soul Swap and then accidentally hit Soul Swap again, which would pull their dots back off the target, and prevent them from putting them back on. To prevent this, we added a hidden delay of 3 sec to prevent you from Soul Swapping to the same target.

However, with the glyph, you actually do want to hit the same target more than once quickly to effectively put dots on two targets quickly.

Our solution is to have the delay only kick in when you aren't glyphed. If you have the glyph, there will be no delay. We should be able to add this tweak easily. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Arena Team Idling
It's quite difficult to accurately measure the number of players that were sitting on high ratings during season 11, this is because it was the last one for Cataclysm and a large number of players were idling in anticipation for Mists of Pandaria. Generally, it is quite rare for us to see large numbers of players that will achieve a high rating and sit there successfully without playing for long periods.

You have to play a certain amount of games a month or whatever across the whole season till the end to be eligible for titles. If you don´t play your rating drops.
This is something that is always under discussion. Rewarding people for not playing is something that we don't like. No matter the rating system that we use it is still going to cause players to try and play the system and not the game itself. This is something we would like to avoid and the reason that it is still heavily under discussion for us. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

25 Death Knights Clear Heroic Dragon Soul
Raegwyn and 24 of his Death Knight friends have managed to clear 25 Man Heroic Dragon Soul. The raid setup was 4 Tank Blood, 17 DPS Blood, 3 Deathcoil Heal Blood, and 1 Dual Wield Frost. A Druid and Priest were used to dispell on Spine. Congratulations to them!

by Published on 2012-09-17 05:39 PM

Update: Now live in the US!

Theramore Scenario Now Live
The Theramore scenario is now live in the EU and US! Anyone who is level 85 and has an item level of 353 can take part. Check your mail after the scenario as well!

Level Type Spec Slot Name
1Other Everlasting Alliance Firework
1Other Everlasting Horde Firework
1Junk Mini Mana Bomb (Horde)
1MiscellaneousTabard Theramore Tabard (Alliance)
384ClothSpell SpiritHead Theramore Arcanist's Hat
384ClothSpell DPSHead Squallshaper's Hat
384ClothSpell DPSHead Rok'nah Hag's Hat
384LeatherSpell SpiritHead Rok'nah Raider's Helm
384LeatherPhysical DPSHead Rok'nah Skirmisher's Helm
384MailSpell SpiritHead Rok'nah Wolfcaller's Helm
384MailPhysical DPSHead Rok'nah Wolfstalker's Helm
384PlateTankHead Golden Circlet
384PlateMeleeHead Black Circlet
384PlateSpell SpiritHead Silver Circlet
384ShieldSpell SpiritOff Hand Blood Guard's Shield
384One-handed AxePhysical DPSOne Hand Overseer's Handaxe
384Two-handed AxeMeleeTwo Hand Grunt's Greataxe
384GunPhysical DPSRanged Marine's Rifle
384PolearmPhysical DPSTwo Hand Skirmisher's Spear
384One-handed SwordTankOne Hand Captain's Cutlass
384One-handed SwordMeleeOne Hand Sailor's Scimitar
384StaffSpell SpiritTwo Hand Staff of the Faithful
384StaffSpell DPSTwo Hand Archmage's Staff
384DaggerPhysical DPSOne Hand Marksman's Blade







Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Theramore's Fall, the first of many Scenarios coming to World of Warcraft, is a story-changing event that will be available to level-85 characters for one week only -- the week leading up to the launch of Mists of Pandaria on September 25.

For the duration of the week of September 17-24, level-85 characters will be able to queue up for and participate in the Alliance and Horde versions of this new Scenario with two friends. (Please note: if friends are not available to you at the time, two will be provided. Batteries not included. Subject to change. Void where prohibited.)

After the lifting of the mists, Theramore's Fall will join all other Scenarios as level-90-only content, and everyone -- including players who missed it at level 85 -- will be able to play through the event. Upon completing the Scenario for the first time, players will see the aftermath of the battle whenever visiting Theramore in Dustwallow Marsh. Theramore will eventually be changed permanently to its post-battle state in a future patch, sometime after the launch of Mists of Pandaria, whether or not players have completed the Scenario.

Not sure if it has been posted yet but does anyone no exactly when the scenario will become available

Will it be tuesday 12am? like a world event or will it be after maintenance so Wednesday morning in my timezone ...

For US servers it will be unlocked today in the afternoon.
by Published on 2012-09-16 09:50 PM

Demon Hunter 1.0.4 Guide, Diablo Statue, and DPS Calculator for Android

Zone Previews: Krasarang Wilds, Dread Wastes, and Townlong Steppes
As we get closer to Mists of Pandaria, now is a good time to take a look at the new zones. You can find this preview again in the menu at the right side of the navbar. Below are edited videos by BaronSoosdon that adds some eye candy to the zone!









Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvE
Your tidbits about 10/25 don't do the topic justice at this point. Any chance on a more detailed thought in the near future?
Yeah, it would make a good watercooler / coffee article. Good idea.

How will the mounts from Sha of Anger/Galleon work? Will they be random internal roll chances for players like the other loot?
Yes.

Challenge Modes
I'm assuming challenge modes won't be able to be done with a friend on Real ID?
I'm pretty sure you can. Battle Tags too.

Do the Challenge Modes have a lockout? Is it possible to restart a run once the timer has started?
You can reset them if you realized you screwed up.

Are Challenge Modes Heroics with a timer or do they come with increased enemy damage and health etc?
Both. The timer won't be very relevant for Bronze. You just need to finish.

Do challenge modes and heroics have separate lockouts?
Challenge modes have no lockout.
They do reward VP
But so do a lot of things and there is a VP cap.

Do you expect players to be able to jump into challenge modes in blues? or will set-bonuses make that non-viable?
Challenge modes are harder than level 90 heroic dungeons and we don't scale gear upwards. Set bonuses also are disabled.

How will trinkets work in challenge mode? Are there a few that will be accepted or will they be scaled some how?
For now they all work.

Based on internal and external testing/feedback, which Challenge Mode dungeon appears to be "hardest" at present?
I'd say Brewery. Scarlet Halls is up there too.

LFR
Is the Bag of Gold from LFR in case you win the roll but no loot is available on their loot table or do you get 1 every time?
If you don't win an item, you win gold. All LFR MoP bosses have deep enough loot tables.

So why does LFR exist when it requires little to no effort?
LFR is like a roller coaster. It's not hard but it can be fun.
But it completely removes the purpose of raiding - to see the awesome content. 1.1M drop in subs wasn't just cause of diablo 3
I don't raid just to see the content. I raid to hang out with my friends and strategize to beat the boss. LFR can't do that.

If you're "pushing secondaries", should elixirs be a viable option over flasks?
Have you looked at their stats?

Why do you lie that Raiders don't need LFR when legendaries drop there?
The items that drop in N and H are higher ilevel. RF would at best tide you over a couple of weeks.

Previous Raids / Reasons to Raid / Raid Difficulty
"We took the resources and put them back into FL" Does this mean the official stance on FL is that it was not terrible?
Nope. I was really happy with Firelands.

As we approach MOP and Dragon Soul becomes irrelevant.....will you admit that it's the worst raid to ever be made?
I liked DS. It went on too long as final raids tend to do. There are some things we'd do differently.
I didn't hate DS, and I know we got better since ICC, but DS was also considerably easier and shorter than ICC was.
Not the length of a single raid. The number of months when there was nothing else. The raid itself was probably a little short.
Tell us what you wish you could have done differently other then get MoP out faster
Some new architecture, less teleporting, maybe 1-2 more bosses. Maybe 1-2 more new boss models. More DW in the DW fights. I should add that we are our own harshest critics. That should not be interpreted as we hate the work we do.
People liked the difficulty and the raid when it was fresh and muchness nerfed. The worst raid thing is just boredom
Players drop out of raiding when there is no sense of progression. That can mean too easy or too hard. It's a myth that hard content just inspires people to keep trying. Dedicated players might make 400 attempts. Others just quit.
but simply the fact that the progression through content/gear was interrupted and restarted every patch cycle.
Yeah, when you catch people up too quickly, you do erode the desire to stick with tough challenges. Easier to wait than wipe.
Also, don't nerf Heroics unless you plan to introduce Challenge raids. Heroic-bound raiders don't want it.
Not actually true. Heroic raiders quit when they see no progress after weeks of wiping just like everyone else.
You didn’t Nerf Black Temple or sun well. Pretty sure they are better then any cata raid. Even if they were harder.
They were good raids, but very few players saw them. At the time, things like leveling alts or professions were fun alternatives
(Tweet missing, about leveling alts instead of raiding)
But once you level so many alts, it holds less attraction. Raiding = one of few systems we've come up with that keeps attention. Raids have a good track record for holding player attention so we like letting lots of folks raid.
The top end beats it easily, and the bottom end gets stuck. There has to be something for them to do other than quit.
Exactly.

Bliz likes the idea of more people seeing content because it values the work more.
That's not really it. When players have a lot to do, they want to play. Simple as that. Raids give players a lot to do.
True but you also just confirmed what I said. The strength of BC was the amount of raid content. The present system of raids being obsoleted during their own expansion has caused a dramatic reduction in raid content - and this came about in large part because of the idea of making them more accessible.
I think the strength of BC was it was the first expansion. Making an alt was exciting and new. We didn't need Raid Finder then.
True but why did you need raid finder? What shifted so much in Cata? TBH I believe the benefit 25 mans brought was not realized until most of them went away.
What shifted in Cata was players needed something new to do. For many, raids were something new.

PvP
The guards on PvP realms are already weaker than the guards on PvE realms?
Not sure if that change is live. It is on MoP launch for sure.

Why does the bg downranking feature not work correctly?
You can down rank. We didn't say that would do anything. JK it broke at the last sec. We will fix.

Will you ever do something with the 2v2 bracket, since it's a joke or you'll ignore it becuase its hard to balance it?
We don't ignore it but it is hard to balance. Either you are force to have a healer or you don't. We try to go with the latter.

Will there be a rating decay system implemented into arena for mop to prevent teams sitting on rating? Or something similar?
That's always under discussion. We don't like rewarding people to not play. Rating systems always encourage weird behavior.

Future
Will we see options like brown orcs and wildhammer dwarves when you get around to the model updates?
Discussed a lot. We debate whether you would just pick the skin or whether we need to explain why some of them were now available.

Are we ever going to see changes to the blood elf areas and when will i get to fly through silvermoon city!
Fixing Silvermoon would take much longer than fixing Stormwind for much less impact.

Any chance of an Azjol-Nerub raid at some point? Would love to see more of that beautiful art.
Would love to see that too. (This is in no way an announcement of anything.)

My guild recently cleared vanilla and some BC raids. Thoughts on reusing those encounters? I'm sure it's a catch-22.
Yeah, you have to strike the balance between nostalgia and "rehashed content."

Are we ever going to see Path of the Titans?
Still love the idea, but I want to do it right, not some one off-thing. Needs to be a major feature.

Have you guys ever thought about making currency such as JP account wide? It would mimic the D3 system a bit.
We'd consider letting you transfer some. If it is all account level, you wouldn't need to ever play your alt.

Will we ever be able to transmog Legendaries? The amount of time investment to get some of them, deserves it.
Maybe. We don't want to see everyone running around with Sulf. Common legendaries aren't legendary.

Will there be any new melee animations? Especially DKs. Love to get something like 'slam; with DK flavor.
We would like to add new melee animations. No ETA.

He also seems to avoid Q's about Char slots and if they will ever be more then 11 per server
We just went from 10 to 11. Too soon to know if and when we'll increase it.

Terrible rumors of ICC & Ulduar 25 meta mounts being removed. Can you confirm yes or no?
Pretty sure we didn't touch those mounts.
Wonderful rumors of Naxx 10 & 25 meta mounts being returned. Can you confirm yes or no?
We haven't changed them.

Have the "Charm of Good Fortune" been removed or are they still planned to be released.
Charms are alive and kicking.
Could you clarify about Charms of Good Fortune. Only usable in LFR or usable on normal/heroic mode raid bosses too?
All. Boss dies. You decide whether to use a charm for bonus loot. Normal boss loot is distributed however your group does it.

Off the record, how do you feel about player housing at this point?
We've always said we'd want to do it right and want it to have a purpose. Neither is easy.

Is there any future plans to make tabards hidden? Will make it a lot better imo for transmorg?
So you're declaring your allegiance via a tabard, but don't want anyone to know?

You have often say that you dislike the fact sending mails to your alts. Would realm-wide gold be an option in the future?
Potentially.

Have you considered making the Auction House global to help less populated servers with their often dodgy economy?
Potential downsides are not ever being able to corner the market or even recognize regular sellers. I predict it would be less fun for sellers. Maybe easier for buyers, but easy doesn't always mean more fun.
As a resident of Trollbane EU, I can't help asking if that's worse than not having sellers, regular or otherwise.
Just because A > B, doesn't mean A is the best answer.

Classes
Have the Devs ever considered a series of class based quests that would reward an evolving class/spec weapon?
Yes. But then we have one less loot reward. The Borderlands devs did a great answer for why you can't build your own gun.

Out of curiosity: What mistakes, design and number wise, did you learn from with DKs that you haven't made with Monks?
Long discussion, but one mistake with DKs is we listened to forum community too much and just kept buffing them before launch.
Also, concerning "buffs" for DKs- did you mean number or concept wise? Curious because of how much of the original DK is gone.
Mostly ability mechanics. Lots of concerns about DKs being kitable until they ended up with crazy CC and ranged attacks. Should clarify that I am *not* blaming players for that. It was all my fault.

Are monks as hard to balance as DKs were?
It's less about the balance and more about the design in general. Players have different expectations without years of tradition.

Any chance of making it so hunters cannot roll need on melee weapons? Saw a tanking sword (+parry/strength) ninja'd by hunter.
We need to expand the smarter Raid Finder loot system to dungeons. Dungeons just know hunters can equip swords.

What do you think of hunters' current status on simcraft?
I don't know how accurate the various specs are in simulation craft. Are you comfortable vouching for its accuracy? Sims overall are better used for improving your rotations or making gear choices than for stack ranking all DPS specs.

When will the warlock/hunter pet agro bug & lack of avoidance be fixed? Been bugged since 5.0.4. Hurting raiding/heroics.
Avoidance works fine except for Wild Imps.

Any plan on making wands able to auto-attack without incuring a GCD? Was this even intended when you made the MH switch?
We don't want wands to be the high dps choice. Daggers and staves still need a purpose. Wands have the same stats as daggers etc. We didn't want them to trump other int weapons.

Are you satisfied with the current tanking paradigm? Specifically, DPS matters, threat doesn't, AoE is easy, manage cooldowns.
As a developer, I like it. As a tank, I want threat to matter but I realize that's not fun for everyone else.

Why the 8 second CD on purify-like abilities? Was there really a problem with them having no CD?
They were spammed instead of being used reactively.

Are you 100% happy with the talent system? Seems some classes have a lot of underwhelming talents while others seem amazing great
Pretty happy, yes. We still see a lot of "X is useless," but we also see a lot of knowledgeable players using them.

When you talk about choices on the forum, what do you mean when you say "interesting choice?"
An "interesting" choice is one without a clearly superior answer. Choosing between 5% haste and 10% haste is not interesting.

I keep asking #monk questions, and no answers! WHY!
Because the answers take more characters than twitter offers.
There are questions all over the beta class forums that are not getting answered either
Believe it or not, my job is not to answer questions. I try to get to them when I can.

Why did you nerf warrior healing by 33.33% when warrior healing is pathetic in comparison to ret and hybrid healing?
Paladins have better heals. Warriors have better movement. Apples to oranges. Compare classes, not abilities IMO.
Apples to oranges? My expectation of your response wasn't high to begin with but I'm very disappointed.
Why? Do you think all classes should have the same amount of self-healing? I'm legitimately curious.
You have a problem
I disagree. It's only a problem if the situation you describe means that the paladin is generally better in PvP.

Does that mean SW is 2%/sec officially? Last I heard you were likely to reverse. No big deal - still works fine - but curious.
SW is 3%. The current healing debuff makes it 2%. Hopefully no debuff at 90. If so, we might need special handling for SW.

Any chance spell plate will be eliminated or more specs will use it?
Would love to get rid of it, but we don't like any of the obvious solutions. Please Twitter don't spam me with obvious solutions.

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Why did you remove Hungering cold from Death knights?
We couldn't balance HC without a cast time, and the cast time felt terrible to a lot of DKs.

What do you have against DW tanking? Miss that on my DK and was hoping it would make a comeback with Monks
Just bandwidth. We went from 3 DK tank specs to 1 because we were spending so much time balancing DKs.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Can you give hunters any sign for quivers ? We would be happy to hear anything about that.
Quivers have been something we have discussed with the character art team for years. Would love to do it. No ETA.
Blizz Dev team said we will get quivers @ blizzcon.why not bring back the quivers which are in since the first day of WoW?
When we removed the bag we lost the ability to display them. We can fix that (and want to) but it's not simple.

I apologize for being annoying but do you not have any info from my question this morning? Throwning weapons never to return?
Unlikely. Throwing weapons aren't handled well by the engine for hunters.

Could you please give us hunters Volley back?
Can you explain how Volley was fun? Channel, snooze, repeat.
Does an ability have to be fun in order to stay in the game?
Ideally, yes. Volley was designed in an era when AE was for Strat rats. Now AE is common and we like to keep you awake.

You noted the rogue spec flavors. Thoughts on hunter spec flavors? Beast guy, Military sniper, Feral woodsman?
Hunters harder. MM and BM emphasize guns or bears, but we've never quite nailed a kit for SV. Currently tricks and traps.

Can BM Hunters be viable tanks? Will we be able to queue LFD as a tank ever?
Would take massive changes to convert a DPS spec to a tank AND be fair to current tanks. Not every BM or Demo wants to be a tank.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Could you please talk to the ww monks regarding FoF rooting us in a raid setting?
Not sure what there is to say. We like it. Some forum posters don't.

Would it be possible to get some of the numerous class based questions from ama answered such as the monk ones
We can consider it. It's very easy for class Qs to just be arguments. "I don't like X. Are you going to change it?"

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Paladins already lost the stam buff that you guys just gave us last week?
Don't think so...

I keep seeing holy pallys topping both dps and heals in bgs as ret it irks me is this intentional or will be fixed?
We hotfixed Holy Shock damage. Need to look at Denounce too.

WoG's proc of divine purpose is extremely high,even cast with 1HP,a macro is made to proc DP then use more WoG or SoR. A bug?
I think there is a bug where WoG can roll for the proc twice.

Currently, WoG with no CD and Bastion of Glory is awesome. But are you going to end up putting CD on it again like 4.0 to 4.1?
No, because all tanks have active mitigation now. The problem before was it would have been a huge buff to paladins alone.

If you don't mind my asking, what was the rationale behind making Consecration prot-only? Was such an iconic 'Paladin' move.
We didn't think Ret had room for it with the shorter cooldowns on J and CS. Ideally, we want 4-5 abilities in rotation.

The recent hotfix to Divine Purpose, does this mean it can no longer proc off itself?
We'll make a forum post on Divine Purpose. It's complicated.

Using free week of WoW. Tanked on Paladin after 1.5 years. Why go back to the clunky rotation from Cata beta? 3sec CS HotR ftw
3 sec CS means every other attack must be a CS. The new rotation gives you more flexibility (and TBH has been more popular).

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
What is your response to people saying that rogues "weren't updated as much as other classes in MoP"?
Our goal isn't to change for the sake of it. We improved poisons and tried to distinguish rotations.

How do you see WoW's rogue? Assassin, Swashbuckler, Thief, Dirty Fighter, or all of the above?
We try to cover those archetypes with the different rogue specs: poisoner, sneaky guy, duelist.

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Why does it feel like you guys ignored shaman and gutted the class? Nothing Synergizes, currently low low dps. Furthering the point: they actually do less things than they did before.
Players always tell us we ignore *their* class. In what circumstances (85, 90, PvP) is your dps low? You mean stuff like losing Strength of Earth and gaining Capacitor? What specifically do you miss?

What happened to cool shaman totems like repulsion totem? did they just not work or did you just not love shamans anymore?
Repulsion specifically had too many tech issues. It would have been easy for other players to cheat.

Elemental fury doesn't work on such magic damage like enchanting or trinkets
Ele Fury modifies spells by school, so it won't apply to effects that aren't shaman spells.

That make the 4pt14 useless for us ( Tidal Waves always up )
We think this is a fair concern. We'd consider changing the set bonus slightly - still Tidal Waves but in a different way.

Have you considered removing SLT? It's pretty clear many dps shaman hate being balanced to a totem and other players actions.
We like Spirit Link Totem and don't balance Elemental damage around its utility.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
What are your thoughts on Crit > STR for Warriors in stat weight values as Arms & Fury, were the #'s balanced around this?
You rarely choose Str vs. crit for gear except for gems, and we're pushing the secondaries a lot anyway in MoP.

Misc
I think you focus too much PvE balance on raids & numbers and overlook the rest.
We balance for raids and PvP because that's where tuning matters the most. We design for ALL aspects of the game though.

Do you plan raids to be completed in an amount of time or is that not a factor to consider?
How many hours for one run or how many weeks the content lasts?

Any attention going to be given to low-level dungeons? These need to be a learning experience again, rather than "gogogo."
Not sure I agree. When low level dungeons are hard, folks just skip them, because we can't make the loot motivating enough.

Any idea what the plan is before raids in MoP will be Real ID friendly?
Will likely be that you can do previous tier cross realm. You can do DS now. When 2nd MoP tier comes out, you can do 1st.
Would you be able to clarify on Cross Realm Raids - We'll not be able to use it for ''current'' content?
Correct. You can do it for current tier -1. I did it last night with a friends's guild. Very cool.
After CRZ release do we have any chance to get RealID raids for actual content?
Let's see how it goes. Cross realm is cool but so is having an actual guild on your realm.

World
Will cross-realm zones be active in Pandaria zones on release? I feel like this could mess with realm first achievements.
No, they will not.
Will we be able to quest with friends cross realm in Pandaria as soon as it comes out?
Yes, assuming you mean Real ID or Battle Tag friends. I think playing with friends is one of the big sleeper features for MoP.

Quick Q about CRZ...is it intended for people on diff server types (PVE/PVP) to be able to quest with one another? Or a bug?
If you invite them, they can join your realm. You should never be merged PvP to PvE or RP at random. Inviting the PvP players to a PvE realm doesn't let them gank you.

Any ETA on that post that was mentioned during the AMA re: CRZ? lotsa vague references to "misinformation" but nothing yet
Still coming AFAIK.

Will Pandarens, more specifically monks be able to group with other races before lvl 10 as they have no faction until then?
There are no other races on the Wandering Isle. You can group with other (non-aligned) pandaren if you'd like.

Character
Why can't you ignore players on other realms?
We will get ignore and report working ASAP. /who is tougher but we want to get that eventually too.

Hey GC, can we please have a "Every Woman for Herself" racial on Human Females? It's so weird to click it as "Himself"
TBH it bugs me too.

Any Reason Why "Blue Banner" Achievements don't credit their points to other characters? - seems wrong
Those are account level achievements. Your whole account should get them and the points.
In which case I'd expect to see a new character start with a total above 0 in the guild roster listing - right?
Might need to log in with each character to get the achievement points totaled correctly. But yes. Guild UI may not be updated.
Lovin the 5.x changes. Achieves account-wide = awesome BUT in guild panel it shows indiv toon points. Will you fix?
Yeah, we just overlooked that.

Any plans to make classic PvP titles and transmog account wide?
Not at the current time no.

You mentioned the other day that you'll be able to get multiple legendary gems. Is that a long process? Or should players hold off on slotting the gem if they think they're going to get the next version soon (e.g. a couple weeks)?
It was in the AMA. Think of it like a faction, with the gems at revered or whatever.
Will the legendary gem quest be for every raider in the raid, at same time?
Yes. We didn't want the politics and competition. Trying not to spoil it all.

When are you guys gonna repair the pet journal bug so I only have 1 copy of the pet?
Not a bug. You can sell the others. Seemed mean to delete pets if someone had them on each character.

Will we have to re-log at midnight for MOP launch to start getting XP?
The plan is no. /crosses fingers.

Professions
Have you looked at profession leveling. With leveling improvements it now takes a dedicated grind to keep a profession up
Check out Cooking and Inscription in MoP. Those are examples of ways we can improve catch up for all professions.

Misc
Did opening up the beta to (I'm assuming) so many more people help you guys or was it just to give people a preview of MoP?
No, it helped. Beta is not just about player feedback but also about what we observe with so many players playing.
Was patch 5.0.4 kind of an open beta for MoP?
We do like to have a few weeks to catch systems issues before the new content appears. Like a "soft opening" for a restaurant.

What's the official pronunciation: PAN-da-ren? pan-DAR-en? pan-DARE-en? Ditto for the continent name
We use pan-DARE-en and pan-DARE-ee-a (as I said before, like "bacteria").

How can you be proud of the way the armor looks in MoP? the armor looks like crap, hire a new art team already
Are you suggesting art is subjective?!

Was Ulduar always meant to host yogg saron?
IIRC he was originally in the Azjol raid. Ulduar merged with it. I might be misremembering.
If Yogg wasn't originally meant to be the end boss of Ulduar, who was?
Could have been Loken, or the four, or maybe we just hadn't gotten there yet. Really cant remember too well.

Sargeras coming back in a Kael'thas fashion. Emerald dream was cut with a the book. Any hints? is Sargeras lurking, biding?
Sargeras is out there. Burning Legion grows in strength. While Azeroth is focused on war, some already look ahead to that fight.

As a team, how do you decide how to balance change for people who hate change and people who thrive on it?
We debate that a lot. One way is to have some classes not change much.

Have you considered doing detailed feedback/discussion sessions with players about particular specs or one class at a time?
Problem is it builds up so much expectation. Whoever is last has to wait months, which then easily leads to disappointment.

Please note that my QQ comes from love of my class, not hatred of the game
Player passion is a good problem for developers to have.
You've taken a ridiculous amount of abuse over the years. Do you sometimes wonder "why do I bother?"
No. I love my job. Having passionate players is a privilege not a burden.

The best thing about having you on twitter is the eu fan base can finally interact with you.
Agree!

Will Blizz ever make Naga a playable race? Is the whole naga riding mounts the reason why they havent yet?
It's hard to fit legs or boots on naga...

Will the date for the SoR change any time soon?
I haven't tweeted about SoR or RaF because I don't want to get the details wrong off the top of my head. Not trying to ignore anyone. Some tweets are areas outside my realm of expertise or I feel have been beat to death in forums.

Could we please get a search bar for mount page similar to the one on the companion page? Would be brilliant.
Yeah we need one.

Is there a specific design philosophy behind vanity items/toys being short lived with long cooldowns?
In general, they can have big visuals which are annoying (and maybe less special) if spammed.

I know this is very subjective... but can you please explain what makes RNG fun? It's seems so much more frustrating than fun.
RNG is a barrier for players to overcome. I often describe it as the curves that make a racing game interesting.

Do you plan on reviving the mystery of WoW? Still remember getting no mans land in hyjal and thinking "what will it be?
Players are so good at documenting and data-mining everything now that it is certainly a challenge to maintain mystery.

Am I going to have to play FarmVille to get Tillers rep?
We'd prefer you play World of Warcraft to get Tillers rep.

Personal
Do you visit MMO-Champion and if so do you troll people on there.
I visit most active WoW sites and forums. I never post as a normal dude.

How much time do you (and the others) spend on trawling other sites (e.g. EJ and maintankadin) for opinions with higher STNR?
A lot. We find players are more honest outside of our own forums.

Have you ever played Wow on a public server with players who didn't know it was Ghostcrawler they were playing with?
Yes. Without sounding vain, it's funny when they quote me to me.
Is it funny when they misquote you, and you can instantly correct them?
No, I ususally say "He sounds like a clueless jerk."

Do you like being the face of blizzard to players?
Honestly, no, just because it doesn't give enough credit to all of the other people that pour their souls into the game.

Do you plan on remaining active (ie posting stuff) on the forums after MoP goes live?
Unlikely. I can't give the forums the amount of attention players seem to need. Too much "You're ignoring my class" or "You answered the wrong thread.
While we can't replace Ghostcrawler the community team will still be there and will keep relaying his wisdom.
Can't stress what Neth says enough.

Good to see ya on the tweets. Love how your to the point and say how you see it. Question whats your fav expantion.
Have a soft spot for BC because I was just one of the guys at a midnight launch standing in line.

I've found this "Twitter" challenges my verbosity. Does it suck seeing great questions and not having room to reply?
Yes, but it is liberating in a way too. Players have no expectations of gigantic answers to every bullet.

You've said a thick skin is necessary, but do you ever get tired of the conspiracy theories? (like the current 'plays mage')
I'd say the annoying ones are the ones that persist, almost to the urban legend degree (e.g. BK dictating class design).

Just curious but when did you get employed by Blizzard?
I started on Sunwell.

If you mind elaborating, what's your definition of "casual"? has it to do with regularity or quantity of playing time?
It's not a great term. It's hard to play WoW a lot and not become hardcore to some degree. By "casual raiders" I usually mean folks who might raid only a couple of hours a week or regularly skip a lot of weeks. It's fine if they don't progress as fast as 3 night a week raiders, but they do need to progress (or they stop playing).

What is your favorite mount? You can pick one land and one flying!
I'm partial to the nether rays. For ground, I might say the Grand Expedition Yak, because I worked on it a lot.

I know you have a personal vendetta against warriors but please dont nerf them... Nerf something op like a mage
I find that arbitrarily nerfing classes I personally don't like is good for the longevity of the game. I actually don't. It's just easier for the internet to explain things they don't like that way. I know I sound like an ass, but don't you think I'd lose my job if I designed solely for my own classes? It's not logical.

Just out of curiosity, what classes you personally don't like?
If history is any indication, whichever one you are playing.

I certainly noticed in the class Q&A @ Blizzcon that one dev answered the DK and Druid Qs, others for other classes etc
It's hard for every designer to play every class equally, but we all contribute to design. It's a group effort.
That explains why GC answered the mage questions
I don't play mage.

What is your favorite piece of pandaria lore/storyline? Did anything suprise you as you tested the expansion?
I really liked the Emperor Shouhou story Kosak came up with. Feels a lot like mythology in a good way. Surprise. Hmm. Maybe that Lili was fun to have around when she could have been annoying. Oh and for a time Snowblossom was probably unbeatable. We called her the Destoyer of Men.

What is your dream race/class combo that currently doesn't exist in the game? (Either because it's not allowed or not in game)
Dwarf lock and druid troll were my dream, and we got them in. Pandaren & Blood Elf druid and gnome hunter & pal are most common requests. BE druid doesn't make sense from lore. It makes sense from Horde players who want a pretty druid. (Not judging.)

If you could play any race in WoW lore, what would it be? Why?
I've always been partial to orcs. Also liked the nelfs when they were fierce.

From a design perspective what has been your favorite raid boss encounter?
Design: Mimiron. To tank: Deathwhisper (or maybe Razorgore). To heal: Chimaeron. To DPS: New Rag.
Not sure I agree with either Deathwhisper or Razergore being fun to tank. Alys and Nef were better imo.
I meant the adds on both those fights if it wasn't obvious.

I used to really dislike you but your tweetreplies over the last couple of days made me reconsider. (and I even play a warrior)
Twitter is probably a better reflection of one's personality than forum posts.

I used to think you thought of your job as work. But reading your tweets makes it look like you really love it.
Yes, I do. It's not always an easy job, but I am very fortunate to have one I love.

Does it bother you that most people's frustrations with WoW involves self induced burnout?
Actually a little. I can understand them getting burned out but I wish they recognized that.

Here's a non-typical question: If you could make a perfect costume for your favorite character at Blizzcon, what would you be?
Sha of Fear.

How do you deal with all the negativity?
Gin.

How about some hard hitting questions then. Tea or Coffee when working? (Or something different altogether?)
I drink an unhealthy amount of coffee.

A shot for each negative comment you get. Take one that negates the 1st shot for every positive comment you get: how drunk?
I'd be dead.

Many Chinese players don't like you, one even said would kill you if he went to US. So how do you get thru these harsh words?
I meet with Chinese players at China Joy. They are always excited and gracious. So I don't know what the concerns are you mention.
Not always. From where I came, is a large Chinese WoW based forum. People there just blame everything they don't like on you.
Well, that's fair, but I need to know what they don't like in order to have a chance to fix it.
Shall we retranslate Chinese players' comments back to you? Some of them are pretty insulting.
Insults aren't helpful. Concerns they have that we can address are.

Do you guys get angry about that sort of criticism?
It's hard for us to get angry when the criticism has the goal of improving the game.

Greg, as you worked on RTS design before, any role on SC2 so far for you? Testing or advising?
I do a SC2 strike team too (see answer about D3). Not sure those guys need my advice.

Hey GC, what kind of college courses would you recommend for someone planning on becoming a video game developer/designer?
Depends a lot on whether you're looking at art, code or design. There are a few design schools, but almost any major will work.

How did you transition from your PhD to game design? Am a social sci doctor (PsyD) who wants to career change but how to start?
I read a lot about the industry and what studios were hiring. The trick is to make yourself stand out and networking trumps all.

Behind the Design of Mists of Pandaria
If the tweets aren't enough for you, The Escapist has a nice interview with Ghostcrawler about the thought process behind different aspects of the Mists of Pandaria design.



Curse Weekly Roundup
Pico brings us the weekly gaming news including: the November 18th launch of the WiiU, Guild Wars 2 sells 2 million copies, Steam Greenlight project is a go, Minecraft XBox 360 updates, Terraria comes to XBLA and PSN, and finally new NVIDIA GPUs have arrived!

by Published on 2012-09-15 06:34 AM

Scheduled Maintenance, Puzzle Ring - So Many Goblins, Build Diversity & Skill Hotswapping, Poll

Patch 5.0.5 Hotfixes - September 14
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Here you'll find a list of hotfixes that address various issues related to the recently released World of Warcraft patch 5.0.5. Hotfixes are updates we make on our end without requiring you to download a new patch. Some of the hotfixes below went live the moment they were implemented, while others may require your realm to be restarted to go into effect. Please keep in mind that some issues cannot be addressed without a client-side patch update. We will continue to update this list in the days to come as additional hotfixes are applied.

General
  • Talents can no longer be removed if they are currently on cooldown.

Classes

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Druids under the effect of Dash no longer gain the Stampeding Roar buff from other Druids.
  • Eclipse should no longer provide bonus damage after it fades.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • The Devilsaur Hunter pet ability Terrifying Roar should no longer apply to player pets or guardians.

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Pyroblast and Combustion should combine to do the expected amount of damage and critical damage.
  • The initial damage of Combustion is now properly affected by Shatter, increasing its crit chance accordingly.
  • Cauterize can now only absorb up to twice the mages's maximum health.
  • Glyphed Inferno Blast should properly apply the Pyromaniac debuff.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Holy Paladins should now get the intended 15% bonus to spell hit.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Shadow Word: Pain should now interrupt flag captures and other similar processes with its initial damage (but not it's periodic damage over time).

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Crimson Tempest should now stack correctly with Sanguinary Veins and Mastery: Executioner.
  • Cheat Death can now only absorb up to twice the rogue's maximum health.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Shadowburn should always return a Burning Ember when it instantly kills the warlock's target.
  • Soul Leech now causes Fel Flame to heal the Warlock for 10% of damage dealt in all three specs.
  • Fel Armor now increases Warlock's health by 10%.

Dungeons and Raids
Scholomance

Items
  • The level requirement for use of a number of elixirs has been fixed.

Quests
  • Players are now able to complete the quest Mimicking Nature's Call by using the Carved Horn near the frozen waterfall in Howling Fjord.
  • The quest objective for Call of Duty should again require that players "Ride the mercenary ship to Vashj'ir".

Bug Fixes
  • Level 10 characters logging into patch 5.0.5 for the first time will now learn Control Pet and Control Demon properly.
  • Death Knights advanced via a scroll of resurrection should now receive all level appropriate abilities including Death Gate and the two unique mounts: the Deathcharger and the Winged Steed.
  • In the Gilneas starting area, Lady Sylvanas' health has been returned to normal.

Vale of Eternal Blossoms Zone Preview
As we get closer to Mists of Pandaria, now is a good time to take a look at the new zones. You can find this preview again in the menu at the right side of the navbar. Below is an edited video by BaronSoosdon that adds some eye candy to the zone, let us know what you think!





Kun-Lai Summit Zone Preview
As we get closer to Mists of Pandaria, now is a good time to take a look at the new zones. You can find this preview again in the menu at the right side of the navbar. Below is an edited video by BaronSoosdon that adds some eye candy to the zone, let us know what you think!





EU Community Q&A
Blizzard sent out answers to a number of questions to the EU fansites, and you can find the full list on WoWSource. We have selected some of the more interesting questions below.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Q: Do you plan to implement more new functions in the BG UI, like tag as team button, categorize BGs by type (CTF, Payload, Murder Ball, etc.) to make BGs even easier to get into for MoP?
A: No current plans to adjust any of the Battleground UI features.

Q: What are you doing in order to try and ensure that players no longer play for a short while at the start of a season and then sit on their ratings to get gladiator? This causes issues because there are quite often very few players playing at higher ratings because of this and it creates a repetitive experience of fighting the same teams constantly.
A: It's really difficult to measure this type of thing right now, but we don't ordinarily see large numbers of players making a habit out of achieving a rating and sitting there successfully without playing.

Q: Ever since the transmogrification feature has been added to the game, players seem to be more concerned with their character’s appearance. Since so many tabards give such good buffs, players feel “obligated” to use them, even if it ruins their character’s look. Having said that, do you have any plans for adding an interface option to “Hide Tabard”?
A: The reason we haven't allowed tabards to be hidden is because the very idea of a tabard is to allow the wearer to proudly display the faction or guild they're representing. With that being said, we know that tying bonuses to tabards creates the feeling of a mandate to wear some of them. We're fixing this in Mists by removing the whole concept of tabards providing reputation bonuses. Reputation and factions work a bit differently than those in past expansions. Beyond tabards which provide reputation bonuses, there aren't really any other tabards players should feel obligated to wear for an extended period.

Q: Does the current account-wide achievement/mounts/pets tech allow you to also have account-wide attunements if desired in the future? (Although we don’t have attunement questlines anymore).
A: We don't have any plans to bring attunements back, nor is there any intention to somehow share quests across characters. There are points where we have to draw the line and say "this is something you have to earn at the character level." We don't want to pull too much meaning from the act of rolling alts.

Q: Looking back, are you happy with the moment at which the debuff was introduced in Dragon Soul? (Some players feel it happened too early.)
A: Yes, we're happy with the point at which the debuff was introduced. The timing of each nerf was completely data-driven. As we see participation and progress start to flatline across the board due to raid groups hitting "brick walls" on particular bosses, we introduce a nerf to encourage them to come back and keep trying. Each time we do this we see Dragon Soul participation increase exponentially compared to previous weeks.

The most advanced raiders who can work through a single progression block for weeks a time, or who aren't stopped by such blocks for very long, will probably never see eye to eye with us on these nerfs. They perceive it as nerfs to content that's already doable. But as we've said in the past, it's not reasonable to ask the majority of casual riders who'd like to progress through normal (and maybe some Heroic) to wipe on the same boss for weeks or months at a time without giving up. It's better for the overall community for us to make goals feel more attainable over time before they become discouraged and stop playing, particularly during long content lulls like the one between Dragon Soul and Mists of Pandaria.

Q: Players on low population realms are very concerned that the cross realm zones won’t alleviate their troubles. They point out that the cities will still feel empty and the economy will not be improved, and they do not see that guild recruitment will become any easier. Do you have any plans to address these concerns?
A: We recognize that the cross-realm zone feature won't solve all population and balance issues. With that said, we're anxious to see what effects it does have, and we'll be monitoring realm population and faction balance very carefully.

Q: What's the reasoning behind removing the Auction House from Pandaria?
A: Firstly, we want to ensure our servers are stable. The Pandaria hub will be a very crowded area. Ultimately, we think the model for TBC and WotLK worked okay, so we don't foresee any major issues with requiring players to return to capital cities to use the AH. This also helps keep the capitals from being ghost towns.

Q: With cross-realm questing coming in MoP, will elite quests be re-introduced?
A: No, we don't have plans to bring back elite or group quests in Pandaria zones. Scenarios are designed to somewhat replace the need for those quests, while also providing a matchmaking, cross-realm option to solve the problem of players not being able to find groups for elite quests if they miss the initial game release leveling rush.

Q: Many raiders ask for more recognition (feats of strength, achievements, cosmetic rewards, pets, mounts, titles, etc.) for completing dungeons before debuffs are enabled. Have you given this anymore consideration for Mists?
A: Yes, this is what the new "Cutting Edge" feat of strength is intended to accomplish. This feat of strength will only be obtainable when players complete the content before any debuffs are introduced to nerf the content, or before the next raid tier becomes available. We'll see how it goes, but the idea is to stick with this type of reward structure for future raid tiers.

Q: Can you elaborate on how the raid progression (gear-wise) will look in Mists of Pandaria? Some players wonder if having LFR right from the start means we might see a progression system that requires players to start on Tier 14 and progress from there, or if there’ll be new heroics and gear that will allow players to bypass older raid tiers, as in Cataclysm and Wrath of the Lich King.
A: Each new LFR tier will have an increased minimum ilevel requirement, so there will be sort of a natural progression path there further in the lifespan of the expansion. Players will conceivably run Heroic dungeons to gear up enough to hit the minimum ilevel for the first tier of LFR, then collect enough gear to be eligible for the second tier of LFR, and so on. That said, it won't be mandatory for every player to progress this way, particularly if they run normal or Heroic raids. We're not yet ready to talk about the potential for additional Heroic 5-player dungeons with higher ilevel requirements coming in future Mists patches.

Q: Players with heirlooms in low level BGs can, quite frankly, trounce anyone in questing gear, and this is highly frustrating for new players and those who don’t have heirlooms. Seeing that ‘twinks’ were moved to their own BG queues for also having a massively unfair advantage over regularly geared players, are you considering doing something about this situation too?
A: Heirloom gear is basically the equivalent of rare-quality items at any given level. It doesn't feel right to nerf them somehow in PvP when people can run low-level dungeons for similar gear. Players competing with heirloom gear in Battlegrounds will still continue to gain experience if they don't branch off into the "twink" queue.

Q: From a lore aspect, how do you feel the three dragon soul dungeons turned out? Some players were surprised to see Benedictus’ story play out the way it did as no one really anticipated seeing that twist.
A: We originally wanted more story hooks to really highlight Benedictus's betrayal. Unfortunately, we didn't end up having the time to build his character out as much as we had hoped.

Q: In BC, 5-man dungeons were replete with missions that appeared to be heavily lore-centric; this was not felt too much with Cataclysm. Is there anything in the pipeline to add more lore-based and engaging content in regular dungeons for current or future content?
A: We don't feel like dungeon quests really served the purpose they were meant to. They didn't really help advance the story and sometimes just added an unnecessary feeling of gating. These days we try to do a better job of telling the story of various dungeons by nicely tying the lore to the zones in which the dungeons reside. A great example of this in Mists of Pandaria is the quests in Valley of the Four Winds really paving the way for what's happening in Stormstout Brewery.

Q: Can you explain our stance on the difficulty of the leveling experience? Many players, having been around for some time, feel that low-level content is too easy beyond level 20 and should increase in difficulty over time (they cite lack of elite packs, no more group quests, gear optimization, etc).
A: We agree that the low-level experience is a little too easy at times. We wanted to make sure we weren't scaring new players off, but we don't want to bore people either. There needs to be some fear of death. We've been going through and working to increase spawn points and try to make the world feel more dangerous in certain places (particularly 1-20). We don't want to make it frustrating, but people should notice in the 85-90 zones that much more attention needs to be paid to how their characters are positioned, what other creatures are around them, how many creatures they can take on at once, how creature pathing could put them in harm's way, etc.

Q: Some players had great experiences with things such as the Chess Event in Karazhan and the Ulduar Siege encounter in Wrath patch 3.1. Are there any plans to add additional interactive encounters such as these in future raids?
A: Whenever it makes sense we'll certainly try to do more unique events like these. They're a lot of work, but they're definitely a lot of fun too. The chess event, for example, was an idea one developer worked through on his own time and had a decent mock-up ready to present to the dungeon encounter team. He saw it through and it was awesome, so we added it to the game.

Q: Regarding LFR, is it your intention to make LFR completely uninteresting for hardcore raiders so that they don’t ever want to go there with their main characters? Some people dislike the idea of having to go through LFR to get some upgrades and claim that even if the chance of getting and upgrading gear is smaller than before, most guilds will always go there if there is any chance at all of getting the slightest competitive advantage from it.
A: While we would prefer that LFR not be part of the progression path for people who are doing the content on normal/Heroic with organized guilds, we understand that competitive raiders will take every possible advantage, and that when everyone is starting in dungeon blues, they will take any possible upgrade they can get. We’ve made adjustments to the loot system that curb some of the more onerous practices (i.e. doing a dozen guild runs to optimize LFR loot allocation). We’ll structure the power level of future tiers’ LFR loot so that it doesn’t replace Heroic gear from the prior raid, and we’re continuing to discuss other solutions internally to limit the pressure for competitive raiders to run LFR. That said, there are some positive community effects when groups of guildmates hop into the LFR queue, and are able to lead and share knowledge about the encounters with the core LFR audience.

Q: When will we update the Zergling Leash model to get it more in-line with the HotS models?
A: We have no plans at this time. It’s not a simple model port from game to game.

Q: People would like to see more ways to teach other players how to become better at PvP, especially in the battlegrounds. Many people feel that game really needs more tutorial systems and tooltips that could help newcomers or "weak/unskilled" become better players. What are your thoughts on this, and is it something you would consider for the game?
A: We want to make an effort to make BGs easier to learn. At some point we want to do Dungeon Journal-type entries that explain the lore and basic strategies of each map. Eventually we’d like to elaborate on that by having fly-through videos that demo what each BG is all about. We might do more queue separation as well based on gear quality, if we can avoid inflating wait times.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Stormstout Brewery Challenge Mode Event
The barrels are bugged and we're working on a hotfix for them.

In general, in Challenge modes we try to remove randomness, because we don't want external factors to have an undue influence on completion time, and we definitely don't ever want people to be 80% of the way through a clear and say, "Oh, the boss spawned with the wrong set of abilities, reset and try again."

On Normal and Heroic, Yan-Zhu picks three random abilities out of a possible six. On Challenge mode, we've pre-selected the same set of three abilities every time.

Similarly, in Mogu'shan Palace, the Trial of the King encounter normally randomizes the order of the bosses, and Raigonn in Gate of the Setting Sun randomizes the order of the adds he summons, but in Challenge mode those are all set to specific orders. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Theramore Scenario Item Level Requirement
Thank you for giving us some much needed answers Neth!!! Appreciate it!
I just went back to verify this further to make sure I wasn't giving incorrect information. (Sorry for the confusion folks.) There is also an item level that goes with it. At level 85 Theramore's Fall is set to item level 353. At level 90 the item level is currently set for 425.

If you're not at the correct item level for the level 85 scenario when it goes live, you still have some time before it releases (Sept. 18) and it will be running for a week at that level before it goes to level 90. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Challenge Mode Stats Normalization
The explanation can get a bit technical, but basically no, you don't need a separate set of gear for challenge modes.

When your gear is scaled down, we keep your hit and expertise % the same, and if needed, subtract extra from your other ratings while keeping their proportions the same. It's also worth noting that we've added 1 level to every enemy in challenge mode dungeons, so that the bosses are 93 instead of 92.

These numbers aren't accurate, but just to illustrate how it'll work: If you have 15% hit, 10% crit, 10% haste, and 10% mastery, and your gear needs to be scaled down by 20% to reach the normalization threshold, normally you might expect your stats to go down to 12% hit, 8% crit, 8% haste and 8% mastery. Instead you'll end up at 15% hit, 7% crit, 7% haste, and 7% mastery. (I know that not all stats require the same ratings so this isn't precise, but hopefully you get the idea.)

Now, I did lie a little bit: If you're very precisely trying to hit some haste breakpoints for your spec, you may end up wanting to keep a separate set of challenge mode gear, but that's the sort of behavior we expect from people who already have Gold and are trying to improve their time by a second or two for realm/region leaderboard bragging rights. But the impact of a stat point or two here or there is going to be trivial compared to basic things like how your group handles patrols, how much or little crowd control you choose to use, and so forth. If you think back to something like the original Zul'Aman bear run, success or failure was never a matter of having 1% extra crit or not; it was more typically a product of whether you let that scout make it to the drums, or whether you got too reckless and wiped to one of the bosses. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Healing Balance
Hello my fellow life menders and givers,

Most of the tuning that has been done so far has been focused on level 90, that's why sometimes we may see a few abilities that are clearly too good at lower levels. (Holy Shock comes to mind, and this one has already been hotfixed).
We’re not focusing our efforts in balancing abilities prior to Mists, the most important thing right now is that we get everything tuned correctly for the new MoP content and particularly for level 90. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

D3 Poll: Should Skill Swapping Reset NV Buff?
If you need some context, take a look at this blue post!


TCG Art
Blizzard has updated the Trading Card Game art gallery to feature ten new pieces.



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