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by Published on 2012-10-05 04:02 PM

Mists of Pandaria - Patch 5.1 PTR Coming Soon
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
While Mists of Pandaria already comes packed full of some of the most diverse and expansive World of Warcraft content to date, we’re staying true to our goal of delivering new content faster. With that in mind, we’re pleased to share that the first major Mists of Pandaria content update, Patch 5.1, is well underway.
In fact, our plan is to release a build of patch 5.1 on the Public Test Realms soon so you can experience it for yourself! Initially, the PTR build won’t include all of the 5.1 patch content, but here’s a glimpse of the major features that are already in the pipeline.

Patch 5.1 Features

Pandaria and the War of Conquest
While members of the Horde and the Alliance have been busy exploring the exotic continent of Pandaria, Garrosh and Varian have been gathering their forces in preparation for the struggle to exert the influence of the Horde and the Alliance over these long-lost lands. Players who have quested through Pandaria will see forces of both factions arrive in force on the shores of the unspoiled continent, bringing the tensions between the Horde and the Alliance into sharp focus. New daily quest hubs and faction reputations will be available to adventurers eager to do their part in the brewing conflict.

Brawler’s Guild
Underground fighting rings have sprung up in Stormwind and Orgrimmar that will give brawlers a chance to earn bragging rights by testing their solo PvE mettle against some of the toughest creatures found in World of Warcraft. The first rule of brawls is you don’t talk about brawls. The second rule…

Pet Battles Improvements
Several UI and other improvements will be added to the Pet Battles system, including a way to upgrade the rarity of pets that you’ve captured.

Item Upgrades
You will be able to spend Valor Points to improve the item level and quality of gear you already own.

The Quest Continues
Wrathion is keenly interested in the conflict exploding between the factions on Pandaria’s southern shore. He’s sure to have additional tasks for players to complete as they continue their quest for Legendary gear.

Keep in mind this is only a taste of what’s to come, and that there’s even more in store. Stay tuned for additional details as we prepare release Patch 5.1 for testing!
by Published on 2012-10-04 05:24 PM

2.7 Million copies of MoP sold, WoW passes 10M Subscribers

All Gold Challenge Modes Completed, Upcoming Raid Releases, Blue Posts, MoP Wallpaper

Upcoming Reputation Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Earning reputation with various factions has long been an important part to World of Warcraft and as time has gone on, we've made tweaks and changes to the system to make it more interesting and to give players access to unique items. For example, we recently hotfixed the game to apply a change to some reputation items which you can read about in our recently updated blog that allows players to purchase certain items much sooner. And we're not done!

Coming in a future patch, earning reputation is going to become much more fluid. Basically, once one of your characters has reached at least Revered reputation with a faction, all other characters on the same account will then earn reputation with the same faction at twice the rate. Going one step further, and as an added bonus, your main character who reached Revered will also begin to earn double the reputation as he or she climbs to Exalted.

Here's a simplified break down:
  • Any single character earns Revered reputation with a faction
  • All other characters on the account begin to earn double reputation for that one same faction
  • The Revered character earns double reputation as he or she works toward Exalted
  • ???
  • Profit

We’ll keep you posted as this change is closer to being implemented. In the meantime, we’d love to hear your feedback!
by Published on 2012-10-04 02:00 PM

2.7 Million copies of MoP sold, WoW passes 10M Subscribers
Blizzard just published the sales numbers for Mists of Pandaria and it looks like our favorite game is back over the 10M subscribers mark. For reference, the sales number for the previous expansions were:

  • The Burning Crusade - 2.4M First Day, 3.5M First Month
  • Wrath of the Lich King - 2.8M First Day, 4M First Month
  • Cataclysm - 3.3M First Day, 4.7M First Month

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PARIS, France -- October 4, 2012 -- Following the September 25 global rollout of World of Warcraft®: Mists of Pandaria™, the new expansion to the world’s #1 subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that millions of players have already joined the fight for Pandaria. During the first week of launch, prior to the release in China on October 2, the expansion had already sold through approximately 2.7 million copies and the game’s global player base passed 10 million subscribers, with growth across all major regions.*

“With Mists of Pandaria, we set out to expand on the sense of fun and discovery that’s always been at the heart of World of Warcraft -- in addition to adding a huge variety of new content and features to the game,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “It’s been gratifying to see the results of all of the work we put into this expansion and to hear all of the positive feedback from players so far.”

The World of Warcraft development team is already hard at work on the first major post-launch content update. Further details, including features and release timing, will be provided in the weeks ahead.

[Read More ...]
by Published on 2012-10-04 07:32 AM

Wizard Synergies and Meteor Tuning, State of Monks, PTR Patch on Thursday & Error 12 and Blue Posts

All Gold Challenge Modes Completed
Two groups have now earned a Gold time in all of the challenge mode dungeons, earning them access to the Challenge Mode Sets. WoWProgress has a nice worldwide leaderboard for characters.

You may have to turn off the Silver Time count by clicking in the legend to see all of the Gold Time runs.

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!

Aquila Interview
Nik recently had the chance to speak with the members of Aquila that were the first to complete all Challenge Modes with a Gold time.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Firstly huge congratulations, from playing live and attempting the challenge modes myself a bit I know first hand how challenging (excuse the pun) they can end up being.

Do you want to introduce yourself?
Hey everyone! I play Shadow Priest called Taik and I'm an officer in a Finnish guild called Aquila. I joined Aquila almost 2 years ago and ended up as the raid leader in the late tier 11.

Our group consisted of:
Taik - Shadow Priest
Razoki - Combat/Assassination Rogue
Rathy - Blood Death Knight
Decev - Frost/Blood Death Knight
Deloop - Elemental/Resto Shaman

First real question from me really is how did you manage to fit it all in? Between gearing, dailies, slight bit of pvp and everything else in this expansion I’ve barely had time to have a moment to think let alone invest time in challenge modes.
Most hardcore guilds use the first week of an expansion to level and gear up multiple characters for raid progress. As Aquila is a semi hardcore guild we're fine with members leveling and gearing just one character. Our group managed to to hit realm first level 90 in about 13-15 hours and used the next 2 days to fully gear up from heroics.

After that we ran out of things to do on our mains so we decided to try challenge modes. The first challenge mode was easily cleared in 2 hours but after that the difficulty ramped up pretty hard and we had to spend more time to progress and improve our strategies. For the rest of the week we ran the last few heroics and did dailies or PvP during the day and then progressed challenges in the evening.

How many hours did it really take you to do? From what I’ve seen from some of the videos you’ve not had the easiest of times with some of the instances.
We started the challenge runs on Thursday by choosing the daily challenge in Shado-Pan Monastery. We had been steamrolling over heroics for 2 days and went in blind and started AoE pulling with 4 DPS and a tank. Shortly after we realized how much harder the challenges were and ended up running with a healer. The final time for that run was almost 2 hours and we called it for the day.

From Friday to Monday we spent about 4-10 hours a day on challenge mode progress which means the total time spent is somewhere between 25-30 hours. Hardest of the challenges for us was Scarlet Halls because of the gimmicky mechanics like the dogs and archers in the beginning and the damage of trash mobs. It was too difficult to pull more than one trash pack at a time so we started to run out of cooldowns to use.

The last day of challenges was probably the most enjoyable and we ended up streaming the last 8 hours we spent on the last 3 gold times. We also saved the last day of progress on Razoki's stream channel and made a video of the final boss of Shado-Pan.

If you had to go back and do it again would you change anything? I can see from the rankings and your group setup that DK’s are highly featured.
We would've ran our current setup from the beginning. We started off with double rogue and ended up swapping one of them for a Death Knight because of the insane AoE damage and survivability that Remorseless Winter and Army of the Dead bring. We would probably use cooldowns more intelligently as well. For the first few golds our hybrids had to off heal and shaman had to switch to restoration a couple of times during the run because we didn't use Army of the Dead or Earth Elemental to soak tank damage.

Our classes synergized together really well for challenges. We had balanced amount of AoE and single target bursts DPS, both of which were required for gold times. All 5 of us also had engineering and the Nitro Boosts, Goblin Gliders and Gnomish Army Knife resurrections helped immensely. We also joked about never doing these instances again after challenges are cleared but we'll probably try to improve the high scores in the not too distant future.

You ran a healerless comp very similar to lots of other groups. Were your priest/shaman required to do anything special during the runs in order to survive?
We killed almost everything without healer with the exception of a few bosses and trash packs. For example Sha of Violence was unkillable without a healer so we had our shaman switch to resto for it. The rest of the instances were either healed by priests Vampiric Embrace and Halo, Shamans Guidance, damage soaked by Army of the Dead and Earth Elemental or just simply off spec healing by the priest. We also used a lot of damage Mitigation abilities like Anti-Magic Zone and Anti-Magic Shell, Feint and Cloak of Shadows, Dispersion and Death Knight self heals so our priest and shaman could dps as much as possible. Hardest parts to heal were Scarlet Halls trash mobs and Sha of Violence in Shado-Pan Monastery.

I know that you don't want to give away all of your tactics, but do you think that a rogue is a requirement in order to get a good time? I know first hand how well group stealth can be used.
Rogue was helpful in terms of skipping some packs but not mandatory. Other classes bring more survivability, burst and aoe DPS than rogues so it's a fair tradeoff for gold modes. In Shado-Pan the combination of Mass stealth and invisibility potions allowed us to skip almost all trash mobs between 2nd and 3rd bosses. For other instances the invisibility potions alone are enough. On the other hand invisibility potions also put your damage potion on cooldown for 10 minutes so mass stealth is better in some situations.

Lastly out of all the instances and runs you’ve been able to do what was the favorite for you?
Our favourite instances are Mogu'shan Palace and Shado-Pan Monastery. Neither of these have any annoying gimmicks that might ruin the run and both have insane aoe pulls which require good cooldown usage.

Any shoutouts you’d like to give as an ending?
Shoutouts to everyone in Aquila for being supportive and helping with potions, foods, flasks etc. It was awesome to have the entire guild on mumble cheering for us during the Shado-Pan Monastery clear. Also special shoutouts to Mieto and Táukki who were with us for the silver mode clears but had to step out for gold runs.

Upcoming Raid Releases
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The first Normal difficulty Mists of Pandaria Raid Dungeon is now available: Mogu’shan Vaults. Raid Finder and Heroic difficulties will be available Wednesday, October 10.

Raid Finder will unlock bosses in Mogu’shan Vaults and Heart of Fear over time, and all Mogu’shan Vaults bosses will be unlocked and available Wednesday, October 17. To access the new Raid Finder dungeons, you will need a minimum item level (ilevel) requirement of 463.

Here is the current schedule for these Raid releases:

  • Wednesday, October 3 - Normal Mogu’shan Vaults
  • Wednesday, October 10 - Heroic Mogu'shan Vaults and first half of Mogu'shan Vaults on Raid Finder
  • Wednesday, October 17 - Second half of Mogu'shan Vaults on Raid Finder
  • Wednesday, October 31 - Normal Heart of Fear and Normal Terrace of Endless Spring (Must clear Heart of Fear first) with Heroic and Raid finder versions unlocking one week later.

We will update this blog with additional unlock information at a future point in time.

Character Gearing and Reputation Grinding
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mists of Pandaria Alts and Reputation Grinds
We're working on a change for a future patch that will make it easier to gain reputation with a specific faction on every alt on your account, after you reach a certain reputation with that faction on another character.

Stay tuned for more information on this, likely coming before the end of the week. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Purpose of Justice Points
There is literally no point in JP or JP gear once you are already running heroics.
I think that might be misrepresenting the situation a bit. Even if Justice Gear isn't at the same level as Heroic gear, it will still raise your average item level and help shore up your Heroic and Valor gear to potentially get you into normal raiding and LFR faster.

What are you and what are we getting out of having a currency obtained from heroics give out loot that is useless to heroics?
I think that Justice Points are perhaps more of a stepping stone than they once were. They were originally added for those situations where RNG turns against you, and you haven't obtained a drop for a particular slot. Even if you didn't get the gear over successive runs, at least you have some Justice Points to help fill in the gaps in the meantime. They are returning to that intent more than being an alternative method of accruing Heroic level gear.

After you obtain your Heroic gear, it's true that Justice Points won't be as useful. Obviously, they can be turned over for Honor, and at some point in the future we may add trade materials or Heirlooms to the quartermasters.

If every single piece isn't 463 you don't get to do LFR. Please consider reducing LFR to 458 to match up with justice.
That's part of the reason why I mentioned Valor Points in a previous post. Item level 489 Valor pieces will certainly help bring your average item level up. Some of those pieces are now available at Honored reputation with Mists of Pandaria factions.

Also - Didn't you remove head enchants because you didn't like forcing people to grind a reputation so they could raid? Suggesting that for people to get their ilvl high enough to get in to LFR they should go and grind a rep so they can purchase a VP item is basically the same thing.
We're not opposed to making earning some reputation compelling. You'll recall that a lot of those items were only available at very high reputation levels though, whereas the Valor Items I was referring to become available at Honored.

Yes, but a majority of valor gear only becomes available at revered for various factions.
Granted. You won't need all of those pieces to progress into raiding or LFR though. Hopefully, as you continue to do dailies (assuming they're something you want to do, that is), you'll gain enough reputation to allow you to pick up the occasional Revered level Valor piece to supplement your raiding set.

By the way, I don't want any of you to feel as though your feedback is falling on deaf ears. I'll make sure that your perspectives are shared with the development team. On the same token, I want to emphasize that Justice Points aren't useless, even if they don't fulfill the same role that we've grown accustomed to.

I bet this came about from one of the meetings where you get input from the other blizzard teams. Seems like this cross team strategy is working out well.
Sarcasm aside, Blizzard always operates in a spirit of cooperation.

I'm sure that many of you recall the days before Valor and Justice. You'll recall that before there were points there were badges. Before that, there was nothing. Many of us remember the days when you could spend upwards of an hour in a single dungeon, and come away from it without a single drop: not a even an Uncommon. We try new things. A lot of the time they work well. We're not always right, and sometimes they don't. Sometimes what ultimately ends up being a good change for the overall World of Warcraft experience doesn't seem so great at first: there was a significant segment of the player base that railed heavily against the idea of purchasable dungeon quality gear, let alone raid quality gear, period. We've come a long way since then, and we'll see where this shakes out together.

Moreover it further makes the case that once you've done "enough" dungeons to be kitted out with, say, 70% 363 gear, and have earned enough justice to buy some stopgaps, there is little incentive to keep running the dungeons.
In reality, that's no different from how Justice worked before, except the process would occur faster then. In the early days of Cataclysm, for example, between dungeon drops and Justice Point gear, active tanks (and to a lesser extent healers) very rapidly loaded up on all the tanking gear they could carry, filled out dps sets, loaded up on Heirlooms, then walked away from dungeons without looking back.

There are potential down sides to any system. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Conquest Gear
The Conquest PvP gear is intended to be equivalent to raiding gear, not heroic dungeon or justice points gear. So you are actually comparing apples to oranges, where apples are clearly better than oranges and that is the natural order of things

If you compare the two items below you can see that they are quite similar overall and can potentially be used in both settings, but each one is clearly better for its intended purpose of either PvP or PvE:

Malevolent Gladiator's Warboots of Cruelty
Jasper Clawfeet

The reason that these are better for their specific roles (even though there are major stat differences) is because while PvP power and resilience do not influence PvE in any way, they have a large impact on PvP.

So this is why the Honor and Justice points gear is being changed but not Raiding and Conquest; because PvP and PvE gear of the same level are meant to be able to adequately perform both roles but be best for their intended purpose. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Daily Quests and Rep Grinds
A: Op if i could be bothered i would argue with you all day about things but I can't. This game has nothing to offer other than max level content, why on earth would I want to be a low level?

B: If you dont want to level, do dailies, grind rep, earn stuff, earn your levels, make gold, level proffessions and such don't

A: It's not enjoyable. Doing the same thing day after day on repeat for the next two years is fun?

B: It's lazy players like you who mess up this game for players who actually enjoy grinding for items, farming for gear/professions and such. get a feeling of accomplishment for doing so.

A: That's why we need choice, options for both types of players. I have no issue with things being hard but when its boring as hell to achieve something it takes the value of doing so away.

Whether something is 'enjoyable' or not is a matter of opinion. Plenty of people enjoy the leveling process—I'm one of them. I'd rather be gearing up a new character than getting my behind handed to me in PvP, for instance.

Giving someone the option to start at max level is controversial. Some people will of course take the path of least resistance, despite how they feel about the current way we level characters. This scenario reminds me a little of the situation with the LFD tool. Many claim that they would prefer to make groups the old fashioned way, having to travel to the instance instead of porting there etc. but that they feel they have to use the tool now because it's there.

Basically, I think if you give people the option of doing something faster, most will, even if they feel it takes something away from their gaming experience. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Posts
More EU free character transfers off of high population realms have started.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Sever Queue Times
This is not my main. My mains are on another server. I use this as an alias to avoid being ridiculed by a community that believes every person making a complaint is a troll. This is not a solution. As a paying customer, something needs to be done about this.
It's not fun to wait in queues, I hit them myself from time to time. People tend to 'clump up' to play with friends or join guilds on specific realms, and then everyone comes back for expansions or even new patches. We'll pretty commonly see queues hit a couple hours. The realm hardware, not to mention game content, is designed to house and support a specific number of characters per realm. It's not feasible to increase and decrease those allotments as interest increases and wanes, which is why we offer free character transfers when queues get too high.

With the advent of BattleTags and cross-realm zones, being on separate realms from your friends actually doesn't mean much as to your ability to talk and interact with them. Of course the best solution might just be trying to get everyone to move with you. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Cloud Serpents and Account Wide Mounts
Cloud Serpents. You need to grind the reputation to buy the cloud serpent license or some other nonsense. Hope that gets changed.
Cloud Serpent mounts are indeed account-wide. However they require the Cloud Serpent Riding skill, which is a faction requirement and character specific. Characters that meet the faction requirement will see the mount as account-wide. I’ll bring this up with our developers to see if that’s intended. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Challenge Mode Nerfs
We've said this in the past, but it might be a good moment to bring it back up. Challenge modes have a different design philosophy than raids, and therefore the developers don't plan to nerf them.

If you haven't tried them yet, go give them a try. It's not just a race against the clock. And if you see someone sporting the full transmogrifiable set, you'll know that you're looking at a really skilled player. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Quest "!" on Zone Maps?
The zones are set up in such a way that exploring the world is going to yield quests and quest hubs that you aren't directed toward during the course of the main story line. The exclamation points on the map help give a hint, at least, where some of them are. Certainly though you'll find more just by exploring. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Pre Level 90 Flight Restrictions
but wrath was alot more alt friendly, i understand us having to do it on the first toon but as soon as alts get involved with that brutal (and yes its brutal) grind to level (and the grind is far from over then too, with 2 hours a day worth of dailies for EVERY toon, 2 alts makes 6 hours a day worth of dailies)
I think adding a Tome would be cool, but just to ensure we're all remembering history correctly, Tome of Cold Weather Flying wasn't added until patch 3.2. 8 months after release. Not saying it needs to be 8 months again, but I'd (personally) argue it's not something that needs to be available day 1 either.

I would ague your dead wrong. I will just get around your no flying restrictions by using a 2nd account to level my alts on and my 2 person flying dragon to take my alt where ever I need it. I think that indicated the need for this if you have players looking for how to get around this stupid limitation.
Like I said, games are different for everyone. I wouldn't dare tell you what you would prefer or not, but as you can see by the comments here your perspective isn't shared by everyone. As the game creators we have to leverage what individual types of players want against our own artistic and design visions, and hopefully those line up the majority of the time. In this case (aside from the convenience of helping alts fly sooner) I'd say most people are enjoying the change of pace.

You don't get honest opinions here and it's only a fraction of the population.
It is interesting how that flips around to suit the wielder. We're not listening, we're listening too much, everyone hates it, not everyone is giving their opinion, etc.

This same complaint came up in the first couple weeks of Wrath. As far as I've seen many people look back on that expansion with fondness, and "Remember when we couldn't fly?" isn't even in the top 40 of complaints about it. I guess what I'm saying is that it seems really super important right now, but ultimately it leads to a better experience in the long term for the majority of players. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Other Lore for Expansions
If you can manage to find copies of the D&D "Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game" dungeon guides, I swear they read like a laundry list of things that have come true since release. They aren't canon, and I don't think anyone is literally going back and checking things off, but they contain a lot of un-materialized ideas for classes and playable races. It stands to reason those ideas are still swimming around somehow, somewhere. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists Of Pandaria Wallpapers
Blizzard hosted a 12 day journey on Facebook that included character bios, cover art, wallpapers, and videos to get people amped to play the new expansion. Check out the full summary for all of the media.

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