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by Published on 2011-04-14 08:33 PM

Patch 4.1 - PTR Build 13875
A new build is being deployed on PTRs and they will apparently be brought back online. The downtime was most likely the result of a ... small problem with one of the latest Mac build and doesn't mean the patch will hit live servers sooner than we thought.

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Death Knight (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Death Strike now heals for 20% of the damage sustained, up from 15%.

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Swipe now deals 670% weapon damage, up from 335%.

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Improved Hamstring now reduces the global cooldown of Hamstring by 0.3/0.5 sec, down from 0.5/1 sec.
by Published on 2011-04-13 04:57 PM

Ask the Devs - Answers #5: Achievements
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

Q: When will achievements finally be awarded account-wide? – Larosh (Europe [German]), Eneia & Payasos (Europe [Spanish]), Rageudder & Kellgros (Europe [English]), Деадхил (Europe [Russian]), Nyn (North America/ANZ), ****무나 (Korea)

A: Making achievements account-wide is something we'd like to do, but it's not a goal we could provide a current timetable for. All of the original World of Warcraft coding was done with the expectation that the data on every realm would always be independent. Now that we are trying to make as many things as possible account-wide, we’re having to rebuild all of those systems. It is absolutely something we want to do, but it will take a lot of time away from other features.

Q: Will we ever be able to spend our achievement points on something? Or will there be a feature where it will be required to have x amount of points? – Nordicberry (Europe [English]), Hogosha & Wulkuhr (Europe [German]), Neroth (Europe [French]), Kularia (Northa America/ANZ), Trafalgarlaw (Latin America)

A: We want Achievements to remain as an optional thing you can do as bragging rights, or to challenge yourself. As soon as we add any kind of player power, or use them to gate anything, then they feel mandatory for a lot of players. In fact, we think one of the reason achievements are fun is that the drive to complete them is totally up to you, which keeps them (hopefully!) from feeling like a chore. If you want to go after some achievements that's a choice, and choosing not to care about achievements doesn't mean you're making your character less powerful.

We do offer pets, mounts and titles for specific achievements, and we’re unlikely to ever do anything much more “mandatory” than those.

Q: Do you plan to implement more achievements directly linked to professions or classes? – Cith (Europe [French]), Tsuteymanga (Europe [English]), Sergan (Latin America)

A: Until we can do account-wide achievements it would be pretty cruel of us to offer achievements for say Illustrious Grand Master Alchemy, Blacksmithing and Jewelcrafting on the same character. The same is true of classes. The best we could to today would be to have something like “Land a Pyroblast for X damage” and have an equivalent one for all 10 classes, since you could get only one. We do have more room with the guild achievements, since not every task needs to be completed by one player. We’ll continue to look for fun achievements for Cooking, Fishing, First Aid and Archaeology until then.

Q: Will we ever see a change to the Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin exalted achievement /reputation grinds? While normally a fan of time consuming achievements, these two seem to be a tad excessive. Warsong moreso as you can go entire games without gaining any reputation at all. You could in theory lose every AB you ever do, and eventually get exalted at a "reasonable" pace. Perhaps award rep for Flag returns, killing efcs, capping bases, HKs similar to Alteracy Valley, etc. – Idkmybffyata (North America/ANZ), Lunaticheart (Korea)

A: We think those are fine as achievements. They definitely take a huge time commitment, but so do some of the other achievements. And you don’t need to get them for the meta achievements.

Q: As some achievements like The Keymaster and the Shen’dralar reputations have been removed, have you considered creating a Feat of Strength for those achievements or is it possible that we get them back in the future like normal achievements? – Enarhion (Europe [Spanish]), Деадхил (Europe [Russian])

A: We added a Feat for Exalted Shen’dralar rep in 4.1. We’re unlikely to add a Keymaster feat.

We added the Keymaster achievement and then almost immediately decided to deemphasize the existence of keys in the game, and thus removed the achievement. Unfortunately it probably isn't even possible to track who had the older keys now.

Q: Guild Achievements related with professions are much more difficult than other Guild Achievements. Is there any plan to give a chance for small guilds to get those Achievement rewards? –*미** (Korea), Joq (North America/ANZ)

A: We think some of these are way too high and we plan on lowering them to more sane numbers for 4.1. The Pen is Mightier glyph achievement for example would have been reasonable with the old glyph model but is ridiculous today. We were waiting to collect some additional data from guilds currently working on those achievements, but we feel like we have enough information now to lower them. Pen is Mightier for example will go from 25,000 glyphs to 2,500 in 4.1.

Q: I'd like to see the achievement system become more active and dynamic, will we ever see achievements that unlock quest lines, dungeons, or other Easter egg content as a reward for dedicating so much time in Azeroth? – Grandevil (North America/ANZ)

A: Probably not. As we said above, we want Achievements to feel optional. Some players don’t care for the game of collecting pets or mounts, so they still feel like they can opt out of achievements. If there was a cool quest line involved, then players who felt like they could safely ignore achievements in the past would now have to go back and play catch up. If you are doing achievements today, it should be because you like to do them, not because you’re hoping for some additional reward to materialize in the future.

Q: Currently, the achievement rewards are more focused to common tasks, such as raids, events, PvP. Have you considered creating achievements with rewards that ask to do crazy things around the world, like for example, soloing bosses or mobs, or more achievements like the “Jenkins” one, that are meant to do crazy things. – Thodyr (Europe [Spanish]), Khaelthas (Europe [French]), Assmira (Europe [German])

A: We like for achievements to be fun, but we don’t want for players working on achievements to have a huge negative impact on other players. At first glance, soloing a boss mob might sound like a decent achievement. But consider that if the achievement is very easy to do then hitting all those dungeons may just feel like a chore. On the other hand, if it’s challenging to do then we suddenly have to go back and worry about class balance in a way we never had to before. Blood DKs for example excel at soloing older bosses because of their self-healing mechanic, but the same isn't true of most other classes and specs. We try not to have achievements that require you to ask your group to do something really bizarre or not fun. “Run a dungeon without picking up any loot,” would just be frustrating every time you had to debate with your group whether you were going for the achievement or not. “Jenkins” is a fun for a silly achievement, considering its history, but too much of that sort of thing would get tedious pretty quickly.

Q: Will we ever see a "search" feature in the achievement window? That's a lot of achievements to search through if you're looking for something specific. – Grandevil (North America/ANZ), Lonik (Europe [Spanish])

A: Yes, this is something we plan on doing. The current UI makes it hard to find specific achievements. There are several places in the current UI that could benefit from a smarter search.

Q: Will you ever bring back the mounts for achievements that were removed (Naxx Glory runs) as you didn't remove the later mounts? – Joyia (North America/ANZ)

A: This is a tough one. On the one hand, we know there are a lot of players who would still like to get their hands on these mounts. On the other hand, we were pretty clear that they would only be available for a limited time, and we hate to go back on our word because we know some groups went through heroic efforts to get them before the door closed. This is the kind of thing that is not set in stone and player feedback might eventually convince us to change our minds.

Q: The Achievement reward for “What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been” still remains as a purple proto-drake, which is a WotLK model. How about coordinating the color of the reward upon each expansion theme? – Shory (Korea)

A: The issue with meta-achievements like this is deciding how to structure them for the future. Do current players with the achievement just get a new mount every expansion? Do the old mounts go away and the new mount replaces it? Do we require you to just do one additional holiday and now you can get a second mount? We added Long Strange Trip when achievements first went in the game, and we didn’t always do a great job of designing some achievements with expandability in mind. If we had made the Long Strange Trip reward a protodrake at level 80 and then had a new achievement for doing the holidays again at level 85 that rewarded a different drake, then we might have some easily expandable content. We didn’t do that though, and it’s hard to go back and mess with existing achievements, especially ones that were hard to complete.

Q: There are still no Achievements beyond “Collect 75 unique companion pets”. Can I expect a reward for 100 companion pets in the future? – Whitewnd (Korea)

A: Patch 4.1 has achievements for 100 and 125 companions. Those particular achievements don’t reward pets, but we’ll probably do another reward at some tier in the future, perhaps 150 or 200 pets.

Q: Are we going to see more PvP achievements that reward mounts? Currently most of the cool mounts are awarded for PvE achievements. – Demodras (Europe [English])

A: PvP achievements are even trickier to design than PvE achievements because it’s harder to come up with something cool to do that doesn’t make the experience worse for everyone else. You don’t want to see the one dude who is trying to engineer capturing and losing a flag twenty times in one BG just so he can get the achievement for capturing a lot of flags. As a result, many of the PvP achievements are just for winning a lot of Arenas or BGs, which we feel already come with a lot of rewards. On that note, we are adding unique ground mounts to winning Rated Battle Grounds similar to the flying mounts you get for excelling at Arenas.

by Published on 2011-04-13 01:17 AM

Patch 4.1 PTR Notes - April 12 Update
The Patch 4.1 PTR Notes have been updated to reflect the changes from the latest PTR build.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Dungeons & Raids
Dungeon Finder
  • Players will now get bonus rewards 7 times per week (while earning less than 980 Valor Points) instead of once a day when using Dungeon Finder.
  • When there is only 1 player left in a Dungeon Finder group, they will now be able to queue for replacements as long as they queue within 2 minutes or stay in the dungeon.
  • Once the dungeon is completed the eligible player will receive a Satchel of Exotic Mysteries (account bound) with various potential rewards including: gold, rare gems, non-combat pets, and (very rare) mounts.

  • The criteria on many of the profession-related guild achievements has been significantly reduced.

Item Sets
  • The caster shaman 4-piece PvP set bonus now reduces the cooldown of Grounding Totem by 3 seconds, up from 1.5.

User Interface
  • The Network category contains the options "Optimize network for speed" and "Enable IPv6 when available". "Optimize network for speed" will be enabled by default, and will send packets more frequently at the cost of higher bandwidth. The higher bandwidth may lead to disconnects for some players who have limited bandwidth. Players getting disconnected frequently should try unchecking this box.

Death Knight (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Rage of Rivendare again applies 15/30/45% additional damage to Plague, Scourge, and Festering Strike, up from 12/24/36%.

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Swipe (Cat) damage has been doubled.

  • Berserk is no longer on the global cooldown.

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Selfless Healer: The damage bonus from this talent now has a 30-second duration, up from 10.

Shaman (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Grounding Totem cooldown has been increased to 25 seconds, up from 15.

  • Earth Shield healing done by Restoration shaman has been reduced by 20%.
  • Nature's Blessing has been improved to 6/12/18% bonus direct healing on Earth Shielded targets, up from 5/10/15%.

  • Glyph of Grounding Totem now increases the cooldown of the ability by 35 seconds, down from 45 seconds.

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Improved Hamstring now reduces the global cooldown on Hamstring by 0.5/1 0.25/0.5 seconds in addition to its current effects.
by Published on 2011-04-12 09:23 PM

Blizzcon Tickets on Sale on May 21 & 25
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
BlizzCon® is a celebration of the global player communities surrounding the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® universes. This two-day event features discussion panels with Blizzard Entertainment developers, hands-on play time with the latest versions of Blizzard Entertainment games, professional and casual eSports tournaments for players to showcase their talents, social events for players and developers to meet one another, community contests with great prizes, and much more.

BlizzCon 2011 Tickets - $175 USD
Tickets to attend BlizzCon 2011 will go on sale in two batches on Saturday, May 21 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time and Wednesday, May 25 at 7 p.m. Pacific Time. Visit the official BlizzCon website or the online Blizzard Store on either of these dates for a chance to purchase tickets.

Benefit Dinner Tickets - $500 USD (BlizzCon admission included)
On Thursday, October 20, Blizzard will host a special pre-BlizzCon dinner to benefit the Children's Hospital of Orange County, where guests can meet and chat with game developers, executives, and other folks from Blizzard before the show. A limited number of tickets go on sale Saturday, May 28 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.

BlizzCon Virtual Ticket - $39.99 USD
Watch BlizzCon 2011 at home! Comprehensive live coverage of BlizzCon will be available to viewers around the world as a multi-channel Internet stream and also via Pay-per-View on DIRECTV in the US. Limited streaming coverage of the opening ceremony and eSports tournaments will also be available online for free.
by Published on 2011-04-12 01:22 PM

Patch 4.1 - PTR Build 13860
A new build will be deployed on test realms today! This build is a Release Candidate (marked as "Release") and it means that the patch will hit the live servers within the next few weeks. (As I said, last week of April/first week of May is very likely)

Achievements Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Death Knight (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

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

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

  • Earth Shield healing value has been reduced by 20%, from 1770 to 1416.
  • Nature's Blessing now increases the effectiveness of heals on Earth Shielded targets by 6/12/18%, up from 5/10/15%.


Item Sets

by Published on 2011-04-12 07:00 AM

Patch 4.1 Dungeon Call To Arms Interface/Mechanics
A lot of people still wonder how the dungeon Call to Arms works and I hopped on PTRs to check it out.

Rated Battlegrounds VS. The Blues
It looks like the lack of blue posts lately is because the blues have been spending most of their time training in PvP!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Greetings Once Again!

I know a lot of you had fun a couple weeks back when we logged on to the PTRs and ran ZA & ZG with you. Well, we're coming back! This time however rather than fighting alongside you we're going to be duking it out on the fields of honor, better known as Rated Battlegrounds!

We're going to be online tomorrow, 4/12/2011, at 4:30pm PST.

To participate you'll need to roll Horde characters (we flipped a coin) and form teams on the Broxigar PTR realm. The reason we're specifying a faction is because this is actually a big test of our experimental same-faction rated battlegrounds.

Hope to see you online, I'm sure this'll be a blast!

Patch 4.1 - New Game Master/Support Interface
The support interface gets a redesign in the next patch, you should be able to find what you're looking for easily now!

Dark Legacy Comics #283 and Teh Gladiators #226 + #227 are out!

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