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by Published on 2011-01-21 08:48 AM

Patch 4.0.6 Justice and Honor Trade Goods Vendors
Patch 4.0.6 introduces 2 new vendors to the game, the Honor and Justice Trade Goods vendors! They can be found next to the other Justice and Honor NPCs and will sell reagents for a very reasonable price.

Please note that some of these items are stacks of items so pay attention to the quantity on the icon! The Satchel of Freshly-Picked Herbs contains a selection of 20 random Cataclysm Herbs.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Lady Sinestra First Kill (and bugs)
I do think you have to take the tone of that post in the context in which it was written. Because Sinestra is a super-hardcore boss, they were pretty much the first ones to really push her mechanics to the limits. It's easy to see from their post that they were understandably frustrated. Not only were they trying to learn the mechanics and develop strategies, but we were watching closely, hotfixing several different issues as they stumbled across them. This meant they had to adapt to the changes we were making on the spot in addition to figuring out how to kill her -- and she's definitely no pushover.

We do wish it would have been a cleaner fight for them, but we really appreciate them pushing the limits of hardcore raiding, and testing us to design new and compelling challenges. (Source)

Dungeon Difficulty and Ghostcrawler's Blog - Wow, Dungeons are Hard!
I know you're probably frustrated by any number of issues Ghostcrawler tackled in his blog. We completely get that, which was the entire point of his post. We're not telling players it's our way or the highway. We're not burying our heads in the sand and letting you figure it out. He took a lot of his own time to try and provide some insight and positive reinforcement, admit some design mistakes we've made in Cataclysm, and let you know (most importantly) that we hear you.

We also have to recognize that there is a harsh debate within the community right now about the difficulty level. Players are flinging mud at one another and saying "learn to play", or "go grind in some other hardcore MMO". People aren't in agreement about these things and need to tone down the rhetoric (which Ghostcrawler addresses eloquently in his blog).

We're not going to join that debate, though we are players too. The best we can do right now -- as I think Ghostcrawler noted well -- is keep the dialog open and encourage constructive criticism, and even positive feedback. Hearing both what players like and don't like about select aspects of gameplay is useful to us.

The entire reason behind him writing that blog sprung from us sending him a particular thread (amongst many other we've been sending him since the launch of Cataclysm) that had him really concerned: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1660221627

He wants to see the tone of the debate changed so we can work together to make this a better game, so it's really unfortunate when you post as though he's throwing the naughty finger in your face. His post was not written from a place of hubris. Those who would take it that way probably just fundamentally disagree with the current design philosophy. But only two things are true in this case: 1) we will never please everyone with our design, and 2) we will never stop listening to our players.

In any event, I appreciate you taking the time to post. I just hope you can keep an open mind and a thoughtful dialog with us, as simply sharing with us how you perceive Ghostcrawler's attitude to be won't move game design anywhere. That's just the reality of it all. (Source)

Removing guild reputation requirements for officers
Sounds great, here's how that would work out: I have an awesome end-game progression guild. We're level 25. You give me 20k gold, I send you an invite and promote you to the highest officer rank. You buy whatever rewards you want, and then leave.

This is not the intent of the system. (Source)
by Published on 2011-01-20 03:15 PM

Update - Added more screenshots from bugged early attempts.
Update - Added a statement from Paragon

Lady Sinestra 25 Heroic World First Kill by Paragon
That's it, Paragon defeated Lady Sinestra, the heroic-only boss of the Bastion of Twilight a few seconds ago. Only Al'akir remains undefeated but it could be pretty fast now that the Sinestra first kill is out of the picture.


Raid Composition
Mancheese
Synti
Lappé
Sejta
Xaar
Devai
Kruf
Baltha
Gorerotted
Kolor
Lihaa
Diamondtear
Ilonie
Lazeil
Smirk
Jhazrun
Xenophics
Zhinn
Maeil
Nakkimon
Rakez
Diivil
Jubeto
Manni
Verdísha


Lady Sinestra Loot Table

Level Type Spec Slot Name
379PlateMeleeWristBracers of the Mat'redor
379PlateSpell SpiritWristBindings of Bleak Betrayal
379PlateTankFeetWar-Torn Crushers
379MailPhysical DPSLegsTwilight Scale Leggings
379MailSpell SpiritFeetBoots of Az'galada
379LeatherPhysical DPSWaistBelt of the Fallen Brood
379LeatherSpell SpiritFeetNightmare Rider's Boots
379ClothSpell DPSHeadCrown of the Twilight Queen
379ClothSpell SpiritWristBracers of the Dark Mother
379FingerMeleeFingerDargonax's Signet
379NeckTankNeckCaelestrasz's Will
379TrinketSpellTrinketShard of Woe
379BackSpell DPSBackShroud of Endless Grief



Statement from Paragon
We have just managed to kill Sinestra 25-man in heroic mode. We reached the boss as the second guild in the world.

The encounter itself was quite unfinished, especially on the first few days. There were some absolutely massive bugs that were obvious from the first pull; Shadow Orbs sweeping the whole room and killing everyone in the raid. The Dark Simulacrum (and other reflects) & Wrack was probably the biggest one. You could literally hit the boss for 1 billion damage with a single GCD - it was pretty damn scary watching Sinestra almost die to it by accident. Blizzard however fixed this within an hour or two after receiving the report.



Luckily this was hotfixed right away by Blizzard

There were still a bunch of hotfixes even between attempts; a tactic that could be used to handle a part of the fight wouldn’t just simply work at all on the next and just left us scratching our head. At these points, we often took theorycrafting breaks even up to an hour before figuring out what exactly we’re supposed to do next. Some people got pretty upset after the first sub-10% attempt, finding out that the tactic we used was unintended and hotfixed right afterwards.

Overall just a very weird raiding experience. Some good stuff, some bad stuff, some unfinished/buggy stuff, but definitely very stressful. Personally I’m not sure what to think of it quite yet.


--------------------------------------------

All in all, this tier of raiding in my opinion has been the hardest tier of raiding overall. There haven’t been many pushover bosses on Heroic difficulty, there hasn’t been any gating, there haven’t been any attunements and such - it has just been one big absolutely brutal grind.

Probably the biggest difference between this tier and the previous ones have been the various bugs and exploits, sadly enough. There are also a lot of completely baseless rumours going around of us exploiting various bosses. Even some top guilds have made some pretty sad and misinformed comments based on nothing but hearsay and quotes from forum trolls, who have absolutely no first-hand knowledge at all.

We didn’t use any exploits/bugs whatsoever on Cho’gall. We didn’t use them on Nefarian. We didn’t use them on Sinestra. I’m not sure what all bosses there are even rumours about anymore, it’s hard to keep track of with the amount of trolls absolutely exploding everywhere.

It will all be completely obvious once we have time to get the videos done.



"This screenshot is from our first days on the boss, the adds haven't been able to be cc'd anymore for a couple of days."
by Published on 2011-01-20 10:42 AM

Patch 4.0.6 PTR - Official Notes Update (January 19th)
The Official Patch 4.0.6 PTR Notes have been slightly updated.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Dungeons & Raids
Deadmines
  • Foe Reaper 5000
    • Foe Reaper 5000's health has been reduced slightly. In addition, he now enrages at 40%, up from 30%.
    • When enraged, Molten Slag spawn 33% faster.
  • Vanessa VanCleef
    • Some boat fires will now go out when Vanessa VanCleef is defeated, making it easier to get back onto the ship from the cavern entrance.
    • Vengeance of VanCleef has been redesigned. It is now a stacking buff that increases damage dealt, size, and attack speed, and stacks up to 40 times. Vanessa will begin casting this as soon as she jumps back onto the boat after detonating charges.


Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Arms
  • Drums of War no longer lowers the rage cost of Piercing Howl.
  • Mortal Strike cost has been reduced by 5 rage.
Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Death Knight (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Scourge Strike / Dreadblade
The Shadow portion of Scourge Strike is intended to be affected by Dreadblade (this was part of the intent behind changing Unholy mastery); however, there's a bug on the PTR right now that's preventing this from happening correctly. It should be resolved soon, or may already be resolved in the next PTR build. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Racial Flight Forms
Worgen and trolls should both be getting new Swift Flight Form models this patch, even if that's not the case on the current PTR build. We have no current plans to update the models of the tauren and night elf Swift Flight Form model. The reason trolls and worgen are getting new models is because they're new to the druid class and have not yet received their own. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Hammer of Wrath damage "nerfed" by 50% on PTRs
This is actually a bug. A very non-excessive, non-stealthy bug. There was small coding change in the latest PTR build that caused Hammer of Wrath, a ranged ability, to use ranged attack power instead of melee attack power. The change itself was completely unintended and has since been corrected.

That said, we're still watching paladin damage (both sustained and burst), and if we feel that further adjustments need to be made, Hammer of Wrath may actually be a good candidate.

[...] There's no changes planned right now, but Hammer of Wrath does hit for a lot and would be an ability we'd likely look at changing if we felt that paladin damage was too strong. (Source)

Class Balancing
That's not really how it works. Balance is an ongoing, iterative process, and we continually examine how class abilities interact and scale with one another. Even when we're not actively developing a patch, we don't just sit around with our hands over our eyes and wait for something to happen. We consider alternatives and monitor areas of balance we feel may need further finessing if things don't stay at the status quo.

So, simply because we have an idea for how we might be able to tone down paladin damage in the future -- if it becomes necessary -- that doesn't mean change is imminent. It also doesn't mean that we've made some fancy list with little empty checkboxes on one side and paladin abilities on the other and are now sitting perched with a big red pen in our hand, just waiting to draw an X through the one labeled "Hammer of Wrath." No, all it means is that we feel Hammer of Wrath may be a reasonable candidate for adjustment should we need to reexamine paladin DPS sometime down the line. Your fellow posters have offered counters as to why that may not be best approach, of course, and we absolutely appreciate the feedback. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Circle of Healing Radius (PS: This one's totally my fault)
This information is actually incorrect. In addition to Circle of Healing receiving a 30% healing buff, its radius (around the target) is also being increased from 15 yards to 30 yards in patch 4.0.6. If this change isn't already live on the PTR, it should be soon, so you and fellow priests will be able to test out new positioning and see how it feels. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Build 13529 Warrior Changes (Please read Bad Datamining about that)
Heroic Strike was never 93% damage. That was just bad data-mining. You can't always trust the automated tools of third-party websites to correctly extract and organize all of the client data being sorted through. This type of misleading information has come out several times now over the course of testing patches 4.0.3 and 4.0.6, so it's a really good idea for players to be suspicious of data-mined material.

We brought down Heroic Strike to 60% (20% decrease in overall damage from live realms), and it has stayed at 60% throughout 4.0.6 development.

We did buff Raging Blow (and some other stuff) to compensate for the Heroic Strike nerf, since the intent was to make Heroic Strike a clear rage dump and not to lower warrior damage. We were concerned our initial buff of Raging Blow was too high, leading to possible (but realistically pretty unlikely) burst scenarios, so we took it down a little (but still higher than on live realms), and buffed Slam instead to make the Bloodsurge proc something you actually want to take advantage of. (Source)

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



Holiday Dessert Contest Winners
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Another holiday season has come and gone, and while parting may be bittersweet, the entries you baked up and photographed for the 2010 Blizzard Holiday Dessert Contest were all sweet, all the time. This contest was a community favorite last year, so we once again asked you to bake a dessert with a distinctly Blizzard flavor and snap a photo to share the joy (if not the taste). We were amazed by the deliriously delicious delights and tantalizing treats you tempted us with!

After reviewing all of the entries, we came away more than a little hungry (send cupcakes, pls), but we were finally able to get over our grumbling tummies to select these truly mouthwatering winners. Feast your eyes on these five fantastic finalists, and please join us in congratulating them on their leet baking skills!

by Published on 2011-01-19 01:56 PM

Update Priest - Yep, screwed up on the Circle of Healing change. Fixed, sorry about that. (Blue Post)

Patch 4.0.6 - PTR Build 13529
A new build will be deployed on test realms very soon with a bunch of new changes. You probably already saw some of them in the official notes update from the past week, keep in mind that datamining isn't an exact science, if you're not sure about a change and if it's not in the official patch notes, wait for a confirmation from a blue poster before you whine about it.




Achievements Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Professions

Quests

Professions Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Alchemy

Blacksmithing

Cooking

Engineering

Enchanting

Jewelcrafting

Leatherworking
  • Chestguard of Nature's Fury now has 321 Intellect (-20) and 221 Mastery Rating (-20). Now has a Red Socket (+10 Haste Rating socket bonus)
  • Lightning Lash now has 233 Intellect (-20), 149 Spirit (-3) and 169 Haste Rating (-10). Now has a Red Socket (+10 Intellect socket bonus)
  • Stormleather Sash now has 233 Intellect (-20) and 116 Mastery Rating (-20). Now has a Red Socket (+10 Intellect socket bonus)
  • Twilight Scale Chestguard now has 321 Intellect (-20) and 214 Critical strike rating (-20). Now has a Red Socket (+10 Haste Rating socket bonus)
  • Shifting Cloak no longer requires Skin of Shadow to be crafted.

Tailoring

Spell Changes
These changes are mostly the results of tooltip comparison, some changes might be outdated or just wrong because we suck at parsing data. If you have any doubt, check the official patch notes and if official patch notes do not exist for that change just assume it's very temporary or wrong.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
New Items

Item Sets

Death Knight (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Blood
  • Heart Strike now causes 175% weapon damage, up from 120%. Deals an additional 15% for each of your diseases present on the target, up from 10%.
  • Improved Death Strike now increases the damage done by Death Strike by 30/60/90%, up from 15/30/45%. Still increases critical strike chance by 3/6/9% and amount healed by 15/30/45%.
  • Scarlet Fever (Rank 2) now procs from Blood Plague. (Tooltip bugfix)

Frost
  • Chilblains now also causes your Chains of Ice to immobilize targets for 1/3 sec.

Unholy
  • Rage of Rivendare now increases damage of Plague Strike, Scourge Strike, and Festering Strike by 12/24/36%, down from 15/30/45%.
  • Shadow Infusion now increases the damage dealt by your Ghoul by 8%, down from 10%.

Glyphs
  • Inscription: Glyph of Dark Succor now causes your Death Strike ability to always restore at least 15% (down from 20%) of your maximum health when used while in Frost or Unholy Presence.

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • The act of shapeshifting now frees the caster of "movement slowing effects" instead of "Movement Impairing effects".

Balance
  • Wild Mushroom detonation damage has been increased by 13%, from [ 747 to 904 ] Nature damage to [ 845 to 1022 ] Nature damage.
  • Fungal Growth now lasts 20 sec, up from 10 sec.
  • Moonkin Form no longer increases armor contribution from items and reduces all damage taken by 15% instead.
  • Typhoon now costs 16% of base mana, down from 32%.

Restoration

Hunter (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Beast Mastery

Marksmanship
  • Aimed Shot! (Master Marksman) now deals 203% ranged weapon damage, up from 103% and now scale from 72.4% of Ranged AP, up from 48%.
  • Aimed Shot now has a 2.4 sec cast time, down from 3 sec. Now scales from 72.4% of Ranged AP, up from 48%.
  • Arcane Shot now scales from 4.83% of Ranged AP, up from 4.2%
  • Chimera Shot now scales from 73.2% of Ranged AP, up from 48.8%

Survival
  • Black Arrow now deals 2035 Shadow damage over 15 sec, up from 1800. (+13%)
  • Explosive Shot now scales from 23.2% of Ranged AP, up from 20.5%.
  • Serpent Spread is no longer capped to 4 targets. (PTR change)

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Arcane
  • Mage Armor now reduces the duration of all harmful Magic effects used against you by 35%, down from 50%. No longer has a mana cost.

Fire

Frost

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

Holy
  • Protector of the Innocent healing has been reduced by 30%. Now heals for [ 2605 to 2997 ] at Rank 3, down from [ 3722 to 4282 ].

Protection
  • Vindication no longer causes your Hammer of Justice to interrupt creatures that are immune to stuns.

Retribution
  • Hand of Light now increases damage of Templar's Verdict, Crusader Strike, and Divine Storm by 16.8%, down from 20%. Each point of Mastery increases the damage by an additional 2.1%, down from 2.5%.
  • Divine Storm now deals 100% weapon damage, up from 80%.
  • Repentance no longer breaks from damage from Censure.

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy
  • Chakra tooltip fixed to include Binding Heal in the first line of the description.
  • Circle of Healing now has a 30 yards radius, up from 15 yards.
  • State of Mind no longer increases the duration of Chakra, now Reduces the cooldown of your Chakra spell by 3/6 sec.

Discipline
  • Penance healing has been increased by 20%. Now heals for [ 2822 to 3189 ], up from [ 2351 to 2657 ]
  • Improved Power Word: Shield no longer increases damage absorbed by an additional % when cast on self. Now increases Increases the damage absorbed by your Power Word: Shield by 10/20%. (Up from 5/10%)
  • Power Infusion now has a 40 yards range, up from 30 yards.
  • Strength of Soul's Silence, Interrupt, and Dispel immunity now procs when you cast Inner Focus (on any target) instead of Power Word: Shield on yourself. Immunity now lasts 3/5 sec, up from 2/4 sec.

Shadow
  • Mind Blast damage has been increased by 60%. Now deals [ 1617 to 1709 ] damage, up from [ 1028 to 1086 ].
  • Mind Sear damage has been reduced by 30%. Now deals [ 104 to 113 ], down from [ 146 to 158 ].
  • Shadow Orb Power now Increases the damage done by your Shadow Orbs by 11.6%, down from 21.6%.
  • Mind Soothe now lasts 20 sec, up from 15 sec.

Glyphs

Rogue (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Assassination
  • Garrote now costs 45 Energy, down from 50 Energy.

Combat
  • Blade Flurry now has a 10 sec cooldown and lasts "until cancelled".

Subtlety
  • Redirect now requires active combo points.
  • Elusiveness now reduces the cooldown of Cloak of Shadows by 10/15 sec, down from 15/30 sec.

Glyphs

Shaman (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Elemental
  • Spiritwalker's Grace now lasts 15 sec, up from 10 sec.
  • Windfury Weapon now triggers 3 extra attacks, up from 2.
  • Lava Burst damage has been increased by 10%. Now deals [ 1394 to 1778 Fire Damage], up from [ 1267 to 1615 ] damage.

Restoration

Glyphs

Warlock (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Demonology
  • Fel Armor now causes you to be healed for 3% of any single-target spell damage you deal.
  • Demonic Aegis now increases the amount of health returned by Fel Armor by 50/100% (instead of mana, from the old version of Fel Armor)
  • Mana Feed no longer affects Drain Mana (Drain Mana is removed in 4.0.6)

Destruction

Pet

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Arms
  • Heroic Strike now scales from 60% of Attack Power, down from 93%.

Fury
  • Slam now deals 175% weapon damage plus 748. Up from 125% weapon damage plus 538.
  • Bloodsurge now also causes your instant and free Slam to deal 20% more damage.
  • Inner Rage now has a 30 sec cooldown and Reduces the cooldown of Heroic Strike and Cleave by 50% for 15 sec.
  • Recklessness now gives your special attacks an additional 50% to critically hit instead of giving your next 3 attacks a 100% chance to critically hit. Still lasts 12 sec and increases damage taken by 20%.
  • Raging Blow now deals 120% weapon damage, down from 145%.
by Published on 2011-01-19 03:44 AM

Cataclysm Hotfixes - Updated Jan. 18
We finally have an update on the hotfixes deployed on the live servers for the past 10 days! It includes a couple of fun things:


  • The infamous Nefarian hotfix, also known as "many druids! handle it!"
  • Lot of class balance changes, a Death Knight PvP bugfix/nerf and a couple of mana adjustments for Mage and Druid. Oh and Warlock Doom bolts change.
  • Lifebound Alchemist Stone can no longer be disenchanted, ouch.
  • Guild experience daily resets should no longer sometimes fail to occur.

Weird mana changes explanation - A lot of people are confused by the weird mana changes, the reason why spells still require the old mana cost to be cast properly is because of how spell hotfixes work. The mana cost of a spell is built-in your client to prevent an insane amount of requests asking the server "hey, how much mana should I use for that spell?" whenever you spam all your keys.

It makes the server happy, but it means that Blizzard has no way to bypass that check after a spell is hotfixed, you will just have to wait for Patch 4.0.6 to be deployed on live servers to see that change reflected on your client. It doesn't matter anyway, in the end the spell will use the reduced amount of mana and will make you more awesome.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Here you will find a list of hotfixes that address various issues related to the release of patch 4.0.3a and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. While many have already been deployed on all realms, some may not be implemented until the next time your realm is restarted. We will continue to update this thread in the days ahead as additional hotfixes are applied.

January 8-18

General
  • Broiled Dragon Feast is correctly being tracked by the guild achievement, Set the Oven to "Cataclysmic".
  • The guild achievement Lower Blackrock Spire Guild Run can now only be earned in a group of at least 4 players from the same guild in a 5-player party.
  • The achievement Sunwell Plateau Guild Run now requires a guild group to complete. This achievement can no longer be completed without the requirement of having 75% of the raid be guild members.
  • Guild experience daily resets should no longer sometimes fail to occur.

Classes
Death Knight (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Druids previously unable to learn Nature's Grasp will be able to learn that spell now.
  • Rejuvenation now consumes 16% of base mana, down from 26%, but still requires 26% of base mana in order to be cast.

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Rank 1 of Pyromaniac no longer improperly gives 5% passive haste.
  • The mana costs of the following mage spells have been reduced, but they still require the previous percentage of base mana in order to be cast: Arcane Barrage (11% of base mana), Arcane Blast (7% of base mana), and Fireball (12% of base mana). As an example, Fireball requires 16% base mana to cast, but only consumes 12% of base mana.

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Sin and Punishment is now properly causing its terror affect when dispelled. In addition, it no longer shares diminishing returns with fear effects. It now shares diminishing returns with horrify effects.
  • Priests who were unable to learn Holy Nova will now be able to train the spell.

Warlock (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • While Nightfall is active, Doomguards will not instantly cast Doom Bolt.

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • A bug has been fixed where the Shield Block ability granted 25% more critical block chance than was intended for Protection warriors with very high total chance to avoid attacks.

Dungeons & Raids
  • It should no longer be possible for players to inadvertently be locked out of killing a raid boss depending on whether or not they were online when the boss was killed.
  • The battle resurrection counter will now correctly reset if players are not inside the dungeon when an encounter resets.

The Bastion of Twilight
  • Many adjustments to the behavior of various mechanics in the Sinestra encounter have been made.
  • Fester Blood now hits everyone in the room instead of having a 20-yard radius on Heroic difficulty during the Cho'gall encounter. No more kiting he who has too many eyeballs.
  • Valiona's Blackout can no longer be absorbed by Grounding Totem or reflected. Its healing absorption effect has also been increased for 10-player normal difficulty.

Blackwing Descent
  • Atramedes will now reset if the players targeted by Sonic Breath or Obnoxious Fiends attempt to leave the room.
  • Zoning into the dungeon after a soft reset now causes all Atramedes-related objects and creatures to reset completely. The introduction event will replay once the dwarves have been cleared. Entering combat with Atramedes forces the gongs to become usable and the fight will function normally from this point.
  • Atramedes will no longer despawn when his tail passes through the area trigger in the entrance to his room. He will no longer despawn randomly during the fight. Pulling him out of his room will now cause him to reset.
  • The damage of Chimaeron's Caustic Slime has been reduced for both raid sizes and dungeon difficulties.
  • Chimaeron will not cast Caustic Slime on Feral tanks in Bear Form unless there aren't enough non-tank specialized targets available. This fix applies to Magmaw's targeting functionality as well.
  • Rip and Bane of Doom damage is no longer affected by the damage increase of Stolen Power when engaging Nefarian.
  • Abberrations spawned during the Maloriak encounter were displaying inappropriately high health values on Heroic difficulty. This has been corrected.

Items

Professions
  • Archaeology keystone fragments can no longer be prospected.
  • Lifebound Alchemist Stones can no longer be disenchanted.

PvP
Arenas
  • Ring of Valor has been temporarily disabled until select bugs can be fixed in an upcoming patch.

Battlegrounds
  • Teams who are in the rated Battleground queue and have a member disconnect are now removed from the queue after 10 minutes if the player does not come back. The team is still at the top of the queue if the player comes back and the Battleground will pop almost instantly.
  • Battleground ratings, wins, and losses should now always update after every game when playing in rated Battlegrounds. Certain conditions were not causing this to happen previously.
  • Players who do not show up to a Rated Battleground, either by leaving the queue or letting the Battleground queue time out, are not being credited for a win.
  • Players who are removed from a Battleground when it closes due to a lack of players will not receive the Deserter debuff.
  • Players are again able to queue for more than one Battleground at a time without issue.

Quests & Creatures
Darnassus
  • Worgen character hearthstone location is now set to the Craftsmen's Terrace in Darnassus upon completing the quest "Ruh'theran Village".

Deepholm
  • Fungalmancer Glop no longer grants experience and now rewards quest kill credit to all players who have damaged him.

Tol Barad Peninsula
  • Players will receive quest credit for killing any quest boss, regardless of party status, so long as they participate in killing these bosses.
  • Problim can now be seen from a much larger distance.
  • Cell Watchers in D-Block are no longer incorrectly tagged as elite.
  • "The Leftovers", "Swamp Bait" and "A Huge Problim" can now be shared between members of the Alliance. In addition, these quests now award the correct amount of gold and faction for the Horde and Alliance as well.
  • Darkwood Broodmothers no longer flee at 25% and periodically inflict targets with Reckless Toxin instead.
  • Hungry Ghouls and Skeletal Beastmasters now drop the Cursed Femur quest item when on the quest "Salvaging the Remains", and the tooltip also indicates these creatures drop the quest item.
  • Restless Infantry and Restless Soldiers now spawn more quickly.

Twilight Highlands
  • If reinforcements are not called after 60 seconds, Skullcrusher will now despawn. When reinforcements are called, Skullcrusher no longer improperly despawns.

Uldum
  • Titanic Guardian's Burning Gaze ability should no longer put everyone in the zone in combat.

Holiday Card Contest Winners
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
We'd like to thank the artists and designers who made our 2010 holiday season just a little warmer by participating in our second annual Blizzard Holiday Card Contest. We asked you to craft festive cards inspired by Warcraft, StarCraft, or Diablo -- and you delivered more holiday cheer than we could have ever imagined!

We were touched, delighted, and amazed by all the heartwarming, funny, and beautiful holiday cards you sent us, but now the contest has come to a close, and we're ready to announce the winners.

Please join us in congratulating these creative card crafters, and feast your eyes on their awesome entries:

by Published on 2011-01-18 08:53 AM

Guide Contest - Final update and Prizes
I couldn't pick all the good guides I got during the contest and I figured I could do one last update with all the guides from people who didn't win but still did a good job. If you have some free time, I strongly suggest the Guides Submission - Rare and Guides Submission - Uncommon forums to check out all the submissions.

It was ridiculously hard to pick winners for the contest and I hated every second of it. Refusing good guides just because there was something slightly better or because it didn't match the few criteria I had is like resurrecting a gnome in a raid, it really really sucks but you know you have to do it anyway. I'll probably switch to a voting system for the next contest and hope that people won't try to cheat it too much.

Also, I will (finally) send the prizes to the winner today, the reason why I delayed them for so long is mostly to make sure that none of the guide was stolen from another player/website. I figured that waiting 10 days to make sure that nobody come and claims one of the guide was the best thing to do, it didn't happen, enjoy your prizes! (It's also too late to do it now, don't waste your time trying to steal a prize with that)

General

Technical

Classes

Professions & Gold Farming

Miscellaneous

PvP

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to submit a guide, and thanks to WoWTCGLoot.com for providing the shiny prizes.


Guild Reputation Cap
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
Well, I think this is a valid complaint being that there's an initial buy-in period where you're kind of wondering why you have to level up reputation with a guild you've been in for a year, but that's sort of the nature of implementing new features like this.

You are correct in that we do not want people to join guilds, be able to immediately buy rewards that the guild unlocked, and jet. Your idea of unlocking rewards based on time spent in the guild instead of contribution isn't quite right either.

Guild rep exists to gate rewards based on someone's actual contributions to their guild, not just being some dope on the roster. Jumping in to guild dungeon and raid runs (with 80% members, [40% for 40 person raids] until 4.0.6 which drops 5 person dungeons to variable gains based on 3/5, 4/5, and 5/5), winning rated bg's, or earning guild achievements, all help earn guild rep. And yes, so do quests, should you find yourself doing them.

The point is not to force you to do things you do not want to do, but instead be rewarded for participating in activities with your guild. And it uses criteria that ideally keep it from getting too 'gamey'. We could probably say if you make a flask, give it to a guild mate, and they drink it, you get some guild rep. And then that type of action turns into a fun farming game that has nothing to do with actually encouraging guild interaction. The criteria we've set are hopefully those that are both beneficial to the guild and its members, as well as avoiding making grindy actions the best way to get rep.

As far as making it account wide, I'm not a designer, but that definitely hinders, again, the guild participation factor. Once you have guild rep set on one character, and if that then applied account wide, your desire to contribute to guild content that isn't pushing gearing your character drops substantially. However, if you have an alt that's 80, yeah you probably will want to join in on that Blackrock Caverns run being put together. Otherwise you're a jaded 85 guildie who has variable interest in actually helping someone else out (Yes, yes, I'm sure you're the most selfless and helpful person in your guild, but that scenario is too often the rule and not the exception). It could also be gamed to some degree... but I'm not sure to much effect.

As I said initially this can be a weird start conceptually, but while contributing with guild members you're gaining rep, and you'll get access to those rewards from then on. As this is still a fairly new and fairly big and complex system we're watching it very closely, and fully intend to keep adding to it and improving upon it. Your constructive feedback is welcome.

How do random dailies or fishing quests have anything to do with guild interaction?
Maybe not a whole lot directly (although there are a ton of indirect benefits), but it is a way for the super low pop guilds or very inactive guilds, and their members, to rep up. Say your guild has 10 people and of those 10 people a couple log in maybe once a week, we want there to be some way that you'll eventually level your guild, and in addition, be able to rep up and purchase rewards. It's going to be slower, for sure, but it's there.

As for your previous comment regarding flasks etc. I think I can see who contributes to the guild on a larger scale as well via the use of the Guild Bank. Isn't helping the guild aquire the mats and items that help us all do things a valid part of contributing to a guild?
Sure, but again, that can be gamed. Making guild rep a meta game of depositing mats, to remove them, launder them, and re-deposit to exalted is not the point of the system. And while it would be cool to recognize those things, there's simply too many loopholes.

Computers - Setup of the Month (by chaud)
chaud's setup of the month is one week early this month because of the release of the new CPUs, it's a pretty good time to upgrade and I guess a lot of people will be interested in the article. (The next one might be in 2 months instead of one now that the big wave of upgrades is done)

Read if you plan to upgrade - New CPUs and GPUs are not coming anytime soon, so now is a good time to buy. New SSDs are coming later in Q1 that might be of interest if you are not ready to buy just yet.

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!

Peripherals/Monitors

Component Puppy Dolphin
MonitorASUS VW224U 22-Inch Widescreen - $150ASUS VW246H 24-Inch Widescreen - $221
KeyboardMicrosoft Digital Media Keyboard 3000 - $25Cyborg V.5 - $37
MouseLogitech MX518 - $35Logitech G500 - $50
SpeakersLogitech S220 2.1 Speaker System - $23Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $40
Component Narwhal Unicorn
MonitorDell E2311H 23-inch LED-backlit Widescreen - $332Dell UltraSharp U2410 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $556
KeyboardLogitech G110 - $66Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $70
MouseRazer Deathadder - $47Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $71
SpeakersCreative Inspire T3130 2.1 Speaker System - $50Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $84


Puppy and Dolphin

Component Puppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT GAMMA Classic - $40NZXT GAMMA Classic - $40
Power SupplyOCZ ModXStream Pro 500W - $65Corsair 650TX - $80
CPUAMD Athlon II X4 635 AM3 - $99AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition - $150
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $28Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $28
MotherboardGIGABYTE GA-770T-USB3 AM3 - $93GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 - $135
Memory4GB PNY Optima DDR3 10600 - $354GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 4GB 12800 DDR3 - $75
Graphics CardXFX 5770 - $145XFX 6850 or EVGA GTX 460 - $190 / $229
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB - $44SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB - $60
DVDLite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$571$780 / $819


Narwhal and Unicorn

Component Narwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master Centurion 5 II - $54Cooler Master HAF932 - $137
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX - $80Corsair 750HX (7 Year Warranty) - $130
CPUIntel i5-2500k - $233Intel i7-2600k - $330
HeatsinkTuniq Tower 120 Extreme - $59Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $85
MotherboardASUS 1155 P67 P8P67 Pro - $201ASUS 1155 P67 P8P67 Deluxe - $248
Memory4GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 4GB 12800 DDR3 - $754GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 4GB 12800 DDR3 - $75
Graphics CardXFX 6870 OR EVGA GTX 470- $240XFX 6970 - $380 OR EVGA GTX 570 - $370
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $98Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $98
SSDNoneOCZ Vertex 2 120 GB (Review) - $223
OR
Corsair Force 120GB (Review) - $230
DVDLite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$1062$1723



Reminder - Curse is still recruiting!
Curse is still recruiting and you should definitely apply if you think you have the skills required to join the company! A few positions are now filled but we're still looking for skilled people for the jobs below.






Comics
Nerfnow.com has an interesting (or depressing?) comic on MMORPGs last week!


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