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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!

by Published on 2011-01-17 08:47 AM

Is Patch 4.0.6 this week?
People are already asking me if Patch 4.0.6 will be deployed on live servers this week and the answer is very likely to be no, some of the changes in the official notes aren't even on test realms yet, don't count on it.


Cho'gall Heroic World 2nd Kill by Paragon
Paragon also killed Cho'gall in Heroic Mode during the week-end and reached Lady Sinestra, the heroic only encounter of the Bastion of Twilight, things might get interesting very soon. To this date, Paragon is the only guild with 11 Heroic boss kills in Cataclysm, followed by For The Horde with 10 kills.



Addon Review - Quest Completist (by Shamanic)
This addon, created by Viduus of Frostmane EU is a quest tracker/finder updated for Cataclysm, allowing you to track all the quests you have completed - and which ones you have yet to complete.



Using this Addon
In order to bring up the console you type /qc

The first thing you want to do is "Perform Server Query" by clicking on "Zones" and it's the final option. This will update to the addon which quests you have already completed. You will need to give the client a minute or two to get all the data but this only needs to be done once.

You will most likely want to select "Hide Opposing Forces Quests" in order to only see quests available to your faction.

Now you can select your zone, including Zones, Dungeons & Raids, Professions, Classes etc. When you open the console, the zone listed will be the one that you are standing in, if you are travelling through zones the console will automatically switch, making it very easy to find the quests for the area you're currently in. The total number of quests found is displayed on the bottom right. If you want to track which quests you have not already completed you can tick "Hide Completed Quests". Now only quests you have not completed are shown. Quests you are already on are marked with a question mark, and quests you have completed but not yet turned in would be highlighed yellow.


An excellent feature is the listing of daily quests. See for example Twilight Highlands. This allows you to keep track of which zones have daily quests. Hovering over the quest will give you information including quest text, objectives, quest giver and the co-ordinates. The addon offers TomTom support.


It is a work in progress and you can help the addon author keep this addon updated by sending your Saved Variable file found in \WTF\Account\Saved Variables\QuestCompletist.lua to [email protected]

Conclusion: This is a very simple addon with an attractive user interface with a one click setup (query server) required, overall a very easy to use and useful tool for quest hunters and loremasters.


Revenge: Marrowgar Solo Kill by Raegwyn
You probably heard Raegwyn's name a few times in the past, he's that crazy Death Knight who likes to solo stuff that people aren't really supposed to kill alone in the first place. Last time he tried to kill Marrowgar it ended fairly painfully because of the enrage timer but things are now very different with 5 extra levels...



The MMO Report
It's monday and the lovely and cuddly Casey is back for this week's MMO Report!



Comics
Dark Legacy Comic #272 and Teh Gladiators #202 + 203 are out!

by Published on 2011-01-15 05:16 AM

Reminder - We also had the Cho'gall Heroic World First Kill by For The Horde today! Check the dedicated news post for more information!



Patch 4.0.6 PTR Notes - January 14 Update
It's a bird? It's a plane? No! It's another PTR Notes Update! If you're looking for me, I'll be leveling my warlock.

For those of you asking, Honor Trade Goods vendors are on PTRs but they don't have any item for sale, we'll have to wait for the next PTR build to get a list of prices I guess. (or a blue post, maybe)
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
Guilds
  • Once a guild hits level 23, the daily cap on experience gained is removed.

Racials
  • The gnomish racial trait Escape Artist now has a 1.5-minute cooldown, down from 1.75. In addition, it is now possible to use and waste this ability when not snared or rooted. This is consistent with other dispels.

Classes
Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Balance
  • Fungal growth duration has been increased to 20 seconds, up from 10. In addition, it should now be much more responsive when detonating Wild Mushrooms.
  • Moonkin Form now grants 15% damage reduction instead of increased armor.
  • Starfall will no longer strike targets that are not in combat and will now drop stars at a slightly faster rate.
  • Wild Mushroom is now instant cast, down from 0.5 seconds. In addition, the radius of detonation has been increased to 6 yards, up from 3, and damage done increased by 30%.

Restoration
  • Disentanglement (new specialization): Causes shapeshifting to remove roots in addition to snares.

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

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Retribution
  • Divine Storm weapon damage percent increased from 80% to 100%.
  • Hand of Light (Mastery): A percentage of the damage done by Templar's Verdict, Crusader Strike, and Divine Storm is done as additional Holy damage. This Mastery now grants a 2.1% increase to Holy damage per mastery, down from 2.5%.

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Mind Blast damage has been significantly increased. It should be roughly 50% greater than Mind Spike.

Discipline
  • Grace is no longer limited to one target at a time.
  • Penance mana cost has been increased by 7%, but healing has been increased by 20%.

Shadow

Rogue (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Combat
  • Blade Flurry is now a toggle that can be turned off by pressing the button again. In addition, this ability no longer has a fixed duration, but will go on cooldown for 10 seconds after being canceled (similar to Stealth).

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

Warlock (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Fel Armor has been redesigned. It now surrounds the caster with fel energy, increasing spell power and causing the warlock to be healed for 3% of any single-target spell damage he or she deals.

Demonology
  • Demonic Aegis now increases the healing effect of Fel Armor by 50/100%.

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Slam weapon damage percent (at level 80+) has been increased from 125% to 145%.

Fury
  • In addition to its current effects, Bloodsurge now also causes the next Slam to deal 20% more damage.
  • Raging Blow weapon damage percent (at level 80+) has been increased from 110% to 120%.

Professions
Archaeology
  • The sell value of all common artifacts has been doubled, while a small subset of common artifacts have had their sell value increased far beyond that.

Engineering
  • Mystic Cogwheel is a new Engineering Cogwheel gem which provides resilience rating and can be purchased from the Engineering vendor for 55 Honor Points.

Items
  • The Honor Commodities and Justice Commodities Vendors now sell raw tradeskill materials. These are not intended to be a cost-effective source of these materials, but an option for players with lots of Justice or Honor Points who have already purchased all of the gear that interests them.
  • Lich King trinkets with bonus armor values have been adjusted using the new Cataclysm formula, reducing their armor values substantially.

Set Bonuses
  • The PvE hunter 4-piece set bonus has been redesigned. It now reduces the cast time of Steady Shot and Cobra Shot by .2 seconds.
  • All PvP 4-piece bonuses have had their flat stat values cut in half. Primary stats are very powerful in Cataclysm, so much so that players were considering using PvP gear in PvE just because of these primary stat bonuses.
  • PvP hunter bonus change reverted
  • PvP enchants are properly valued and attached to Honor Quartermasters and Tol Barad/Baradin Hold Quartermasters.

Quests & Creatures
  • Chief Engineer Scooty moved from Booty Bay to Grom'gol

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
/cancelauras and addons
The patch note specifically refers to addons. A while back, we blocked addons from automatically (meaning without players pushing a button) removing auras. Our logic was that canceling auras should be a player decision and require player action. To be honest, we don’t want canceling auras to be a huge part of the game period, but it has some niche uses mostly among high-end players and we are okay with that.

In any case, what the patch note refers to is that addons can now cancel auras automatically outside of combat. Outside of combat, players are just using it for convenience and not for any kind of combat benefit. In this sense it is a buff not a nerf, but either way players can still use /cancelaura for their own personal macros – they just have to hit the button.

I'm probably just going to remove the Addon section from the patch notes. Those notes really only make sense to addon authors, and we have a direct line of communication with most of them where we can share any changes from 4.0.6 which may affect how they create/update mods. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Entanglement
The below post is correct. We will share additional information with you regarding our plans for Balance as soon as we can, though it'll probably have to wait until after the holiday weekend.

It's included in Restorations Specialization, meaning when you chose Restoration as your spec. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Making Chakra a Stance
We do see this a lot and understand why players find the idea so appealing -- it'd be incredibly effective to shift effortlessly between AoE or single-target healing at the push of a button. But if we were to go that route, why have Chakra at all? Holy priests might as well have both bonuses as passive effects because there's no real commitment.

The intent of Chakra is that you commit to single-target or AoE healing. It provides a meaningful choice where you need to use your knowledge of an encounter and coordinate with other players, as well as draw upon your experience and gut instinct as a priest. At the same time, it's not a permanent commitment the way choosing between Disc and Holy is locked in during combat. If you picked the wrong Chakra, or the situation changes, you don’t have to wait that long to switch. It’s also possible to use AoE spells during the single-target mode – you’re just not using your full bonus. (Source)

Leaders of the Horde and the Alliance, an Epic Short Fiction Series Continues….
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
King Varian Wrynn, Queen Sylvanas Windrunner, King Genn Greymane, and Trade Prince Gallywix—these are just a few of the leaders who continue to shape Azeroth's destiny. They are the embodiments of their races' strongest traits... and at times their greatest failings. In the coming months, Blizzard Entertainment will be releasing short stories that will peer into the hearts of these legendary heroes and offer insight into what new trials might lie ahead as they lead their people in a world forever changed by the Cataclysm.

The second story of this exciting series, "Lord of His Pack" gazes into the mind of Genn Greymane, the strong-willed king of Gilneas. When his nation falls to the Forsaken, Genn and his fellow citizens set out across the perilous seas to find sanctuary with their night elf allies. It soon becomes apparent that the recent Cataclysm has not only ravaged the lands of Azeroth, but its oceans as well.

In the midst of a great tempest threatening to tear the struggling fleet apart, the events that led to the loss of Genn's kingdom haunt him mercilessly. To weather both storms, Genn must come to terms with his past choices and face their results in his present.
by Published on 2011-01-15 02:22 AM

Cho'gall Heroic World First Kill by For The Horde
For The Horde was the first guild in the world to kill Cho'gall in the Bastion of Twilight in Heroic Mode, making them also the first guild to unlock the very scary Lady Sinestra! Congratulations to them!

You can probably expect a few more information on the encounter soon! (Depending on how much they want to keep things secret for a Sinestra first kill)

by Published on 2011-01-14 10:28 AM

Update - Updated the Raiding Tactics picture.

Live Hotfixes List Update Soon
A lot of people have been contacting me to get more information on the latest hotfixes deployed on live servers, sadly this isn't really something I can help with because ... well, these changes are serverside and surprisingly, I don't have access to Blizzard's servers.

However, Zarhym posted on the official forums and mentioned that a new update to the hotfixes list should be available very soon.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
We've gotten behind on updating the list as a result of 4.0.6 patch notes flyin' out the door. We'll try to make sure we post this past week's changes soon.

Basic Raiding Tactics (by Aear @ EU-Bloodhoof)
A few days ago a very nice picture describing basic raiding tactics appeared on Reddit, I didn't really have time to post it because of all the 4.0.6 crazyness lately but it's definitely worth a look if you tend to just smash buttons and hope that everything will be ok when you're in raid. (We all do that anyway)



Patch 4.0.6 Cinematics Menu
The Cinematics menu on the login screen has been updated with Patch 4.0.6, I'm sure you never noticed this option in the first place and you should use it more often because WoW cinematics are even more awesome than bunnies.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Normal Dungeons / LFD Changes in 4.0.6
In 4.0.6, we've made a few adjustments so that players will be able to queue for the normal versions of Throne of the Tides and Blackrock Caverns after hitting level 85. While these dungeons will not be added to your Random Dungeon pool, you'll still have the option to queue for them individually.

[...] As Throne of the Tides and Blackrock Caverns are not max-level dungeons, it's true that they won't provide reputation from faction tabards or drop the highest iLevel gear. Even so, many level 85 players have politely requested that we add these normal dungeons back into their "Specific Dungeons" queue. Maybe they missed the opportunity to run the dungeons while leveling, or maybe they're having a hard time with the Heroic versions and would like some added practice. Either way, the request was sound and a relatively small change overall, so we were happy to implement it.

Edit: Also, just to reiterate, if you're level 85 and choose Random Dungeon, you will not be placed into a Throne of the Tides or Blackrock Caverns group. These normal dungeons can only be queued for by level 85 players using the "Specific Dungeon" list. So, if you'd prefer not to run either once you're max level, you definitely have that option. (Source)

Guild XP in 5-Man Instance changes in 4.0.6
A group that has 4 guild members in it will earn 100% the normal rate; therefore, a group that has only 3 guild members in it will earn 50% -- or half -- of what the group of 4 earns. This is, of course, based on a five-man group.

How will this work for raids? Will it still be @ an 80% threshold as it is now?
Raids will continue to require 80% guild participation in order for guild experience and achievements to apply (excluding 40-man raids, which currently only require 40% guild participation).

Sounds good to me, but doesn't this really cripple guildless players that rely solely on the LFD tool?
Hm. I wouldn't think so, but it is something we'll be keeping an eye on. In fact, it's possible these changes may actually encourage guilds to use LFD more since the required number of guild members is being lowered from 4 to 3 (in order to be eligible for experience and achievements).

In my guild, for example, we'll sometimes only have 10 members on at once. Of those 10 members, only 4 to 5 may be level 85. And of those level 85s, only 3 may want to run a Heroic dungeon. Right now, those 3 guild members may decide it's not worthwhile to organize a run and go on to do other activities -- but, if they had the added bonus of guild achievements and experience, it just might be the incentive they need to queue up through LFD. Similarly, by queuing up with only 3 guild members (instead of waiting for a 4th), that leaves 2 spots open for LFD, up from only 1. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
4.0.6 Changes (Continued)
Also, I think I muddled things a little bit when I was pointing out the DA buff. What I was trying to say (and poorly at the time) was that currently, Disc has a pretty strong Prayer of Healing because of DA and Inner Focus. Granted, it will be slightly less strong with the PoH change, but there is a Grace buff to 4.0.6 will make you better when healing multiple targets with normal heals as well. (No longer applies to just a single target.)

We believe that Discipline is looking solid in the PTR, and again, would welcome those who want to test it and provide constructive feedback on it.

As for the comment about having other healers around in Raids- Of course you'll have additional healing help for those big AoE damage fights. It's a Raid which has more players in it and thus more room for additional healers. I don't think any healer could expect to solo heal a Raid and be successful and if they can, then it's something we would have to look at.

[...] We're keeping an eye on things and I'll be spending some time on the PTR as well (for what that's worth). I believe that Discipline won't be bad off once these changes are in and people have the appropriate gear and stats (don't forget to reforge, enchant, and gem). We'll keep watching for constructive feedback and keep working toward finding that sweet spot between difficulty and fun. (Source)

Fan Arts
The Blizzard Fan Art Section has been updated with 4 new artwork.

by Published on 2011-01-13 04:46 AM

Update - Added a couple of blue posts at the bottom of the thread.

Patch 4.0.6 PTR Notes Update - January 12
The patch notes for the upcoming Patch 4.0.6 have been updated once again! Check out the new changes below. If you're looking for a complete list of the changes, please check the Public Test Realm Patch 4.0.6 Notes - Updated Jan. 12.



Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
General
  • Human Illusion: This affect is no longer applied to worgen who travel into the Caverns of Time.

Guilds
  • We have redefined the definition of a Guild Group for 5-player dungeons.
    • If 3 out of 5 players in a group are members of the same guild, they will now be able to complete guild achievements and earn guild experience at 50% of the normal rate.
    • If 4 out of 5 players in a group are members of the same guild, they will now be able to complete guild achievements and earn guild experience at 100% of the normal rate.
    • If 5 out of 5 players in a group are members of the same guild, they will now be able to complete guild achievements and earn guild experience at 125% of the normal rate.
    • Also note that Heroic dungeons offer a 1.5x multiplier on all guild experience earned.

Dungeons & Raids
Blackwing Descent
  • The Dwarven Golem Council will now go berserk after 10 minutes in Heroic difficulty.
  • Atramedes will now go berserk after 10 minutes in Heroic difficulty.

Deadmines
  • Foe Reaper 5000's health has been reduced slightly. In addition, he now enrages at 40%, up from 30%.
  • While in Helix's Nightmare during the Vanessa VanCleef encounter, Helix is now larger a little easier to see.
  • The final rope swing while fighting Vanessa VanCleef has been removed. Players no longer need to swing off of the boat at the end of phase 3.
  • The ship teleporter now activates when Ripsnarl is first engaged, rather than when he is defeated.

Shadowfang Keep
  • Lord Godfrey should now face a random target when casting Pistol Barrage.

The Stonecore
  • Ozruk
    • He now does more melee damage.
    • There is now a precast visual on the ground to make it clear how far away a player must get to be clear of Shatter.
    • The cast time of Shatter has been increased to 3 seconds, up from 2.5.
    • Shatter damage is now reduced by armor, but has been increased by 33.3% (repeating, of course) as a result.

Throne of the Tides
  • Commander Ulthok now does more melee damage.
  • Gilgoblin Poisoned Spear impact damage has been reduced slightly.

PvP
Tol Barad
  • The weekly PvP quest "Victory in Tol Barad" now awards 200 Honor Points and 3 Tol Barad Commendations.
  • Players can now see the status of Tol Barad on the World Map no matter where they are. The time to the next battle is displayed by zooming into the Tol Barad section of the map. The current controlling faction can be seen on the Eastern Kingdoms map.

Classes
Death Knight (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Death Coil damage has been reduced by roughly 10%.

Blood
  • Heart Strike now deals 175% weapon damage plus 15% per disease, up from 120% plus 10% per disease.
  • Improved Death Strike now increases the damage of Death Strike by 30/60/90%, up from 15/30/45%.

Unholy

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Dark Succor (new glyph) raises the minimum healing done by Death Strike from 7% to 15% of maximum health, but only while in Unholy or Frost Presence.

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Shapeshifts: Entering or leaving a shapeshift no longer cancels root effects. It continues to cancel movement slowing effects.

Balance
  • Typhoon mana cost has been reduced by 50%.

Restoration

Hunter (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Aimed Shot weapon damage has been increased to 200%, up from 150%. In addition, the base cast time has been reduced to 2.4 seconds, down from 3.
  • Arcane Shot damage has been increased by 15%.
  • Hunters can now use Auto Shot while moving.
  • Cobra Shot change reverted (waiting on code change to make haste scaling more consistent with spell haste)
  • Steady Shot change reverted (waiting on code change to make haste scaling more consistent with spell haste)

Beast Mastery
  • Animal Handler now provides a passive 25% bonus to attack power, up from 15%.

Marksmanship

Survival

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

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

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Discipline

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

Combat
  • Blade Flurry is now a toggle that can be turned off by pressing the button again.

Subtlety

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Garrote now increases the duration of Garrote by 1.5 seconds, down from 2.

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

Elemental

Restoration
  • Earth Shield can no longer be dispelled.
  • Mana Tide Totem has been redesigned. The totem no longer multiplies the Spirit of those affected by it. It instead gives a flat amount of Spirit equal to 400% of the casting shaman's Spirit, exclusive of short-term Spirit buffs affecting the shaman when the totem is dropped. In addition, its effects are now raid-wide.

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Hex now reduces the cooldown by 10 seconds, down from 15.

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Recklessness now increases special critical strike chance by 50%, down from 100%, but lasts the full 12 seconds instead of allowing only 3 charges.
  • Slam change reverted (waiting on code change to make haste scaling more consistent with spell haste)

Professions
Enchanting
  • Three new enchants are available. They increase Agility by 50, Strength by 50, or Intellect by 50 respectively. Item level 300 or higher required. These new recipes are rare world drops.
  • Enchant Off-Handed - Superior Intellect now increases Intellect by 40, down from 100.

Engineering
  • The Heat-Treated Spinning Lure buff duration has been increased to 15 minutes, up from 5. In addition, the recipe now creates 2 at a time.
  • Volatile Air now has an increased chance of dropping from rich mining nodes and Pyrite with the Electrostatic Condenser.

Tailoring
  • Illusionary Bag now has 26 slots.

Items
  • Daybreaker Helm stats have been reallocated, lowering Strength and increasing parry rating.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Various classes boost/nerfs
We're currently in a position on the PTR where we can test and see how changes are affecting the various classes. We're still working to make changes that benefit the game without suddenly putting things into full tilt. The decisions being made are about what we see as being potentially more beneficial without being "too much". That includes whether or not the mana regen really matters in comparison to being able to do more healing etc. The question becomes, if you're able to put out a bit more healing for the mana cost than you were doing before, is the mana regen boost worth it or is it just adding "too much?"

As this is on the PTR currently, the answers will be found there with testing. I highly suggest loading it up and providing constructive feedback on your experiences there so that we can take a look at your experiences, match them with what others are experiencing, and then take a look at our own numbers and experiences to see where they line up or go off kilter.

We're still in the process of making changes and adjustments (and will continue to do so even after it's live as necessary) and really like getting the constructive feedback now while we can still make these adjustments. We may not always agree with you, but please don't doubt that we're not at least rolling the ideas and thoughts you all have around in our heads a bit before saying, "no." (Source)

Haste affecting skills (This change has been reverted in today's notes)
It looks like the haste change either didn't make it into the PTR build or is bugged. Steady Shot, Cobra Shot and Slam don't appear to be affected by the haste change. Some hunters might be noticing more focus, but that's more than likely from the Hunting Party bug fix. We're still investigating.

To clarify on haste affecting SS and CS - - haste did lower their cast time before but it was a rather old implementation and (although I don't know the technical reasons behind it) there was a desire to update it. The designers wanted to change how Slam works with haste, and getting that code change from the programmers in turn allowed them to handle the hunter shots in a more elegant way as well. Ideally. In retrospect the changes probably shouldn't have even made the patch notes because it was a behind the scenes code change (which happens all the time) and not a meaningful redesign. On the other hand, it's likely some slight differences would be noticed in the shot behavior which might have had some impact on people's DPS and gearing. But, as I said, it's not working correctly and I'm not sure what the next steps are going to be. Whether the fix goes in or doesn't, the effect on SS and CS will be minimal-to-non-existent. (Source)

Classes with too much AE Damage
Frost DKs and Demo Locks were definitely doing too much AE damage on fights. We knew once we got those under control that Serpent Spread might be next. AE abilities of every class were nerfed coming into Cataclysm, yet when some players compare their AE damage to that of DKs, locks, and hunters, they were left scratching their heads. We don’t think Serpent Spread is as big a problem as those other abilities, and if we over-nerfed it, then we’ll back those changes out. If you've actually tested the changes and have feedback we definitely welcome it, or even proper theorycrafting by those with an abacus and slide rule, but just seeing a patch note and commenting on it isn't very helpful for us to get good feedback passed along. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Survival Nerfs
The patch isn't finished. Our intent is to bring Survival DPS down to the level of some of the other dps specs while making Marks and BM more attractive in PvE. With pure DPS classes it is probably impossible to engineer a three-way tie on all encounters. However, we think we can make them close enough so that players can choose to play their favorite without feeling like they are a burden on the rest of the group.

For an overall approach, we made a few changes that will buff Survival, or even hunters in general. First, focus generation was lower as a result of a bug with haste buffs such as Hunting Party. We've fixed that bug, so focus generation will be higher now when that buff is present (presumably all the time for Survival). Second, we made Steady Shot scale with haste, which will let hunters get more attacks in overall and have more focus with which to do so. These changes would have been a net buff for Survival without additional nerfs to compensate.

[...] Bottom line is that Survival does too much damage right now on live. The damage needs to come down. We'll be working to make sure the final numbers take into account all the other various changes that are going in to the patch to ensure it remains a viable spec, ensure the other two specs are competitively viable as well, and in-range of what we expect the damage output of the class to be relative to others.

We're evaluating hunter DPS even now, and if it turns out the changes go too far we'll make adjustments. (Source)

PvP changes
On PvP, we don't think high damage is the key to hunter success. The Deterrence and Master's Call changes are intended to help to that end and make some defensive mechanics a little less tricky to use. Again, we'll continue evaluating the changes. The patch isn't going live tomorrow. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Frost "buff"
We did buff Frost Bolt. And we did buff Ice Lance when Fingers of Frost is up. However, we've decreased all Frost damage to Frozen targets by about 15% from previous values. The net result is intended to be that Frost Bolt is a little better against non-Frozen targets, and about the same versus Frozen targets. Ice Lance with FoF is still good, but Ice lance damage against Frozen targets is down a bit.

The intent isn't to nerf PvE frost at all, but instead reward Frost Bolt use in PvP a bit more, and reduce the damage and effectiveness of Ice Lance in PvP.

The important take away here is that datamined changes from pre-release builds and tests are not accurate ways for you to get information on intended game adjustments. Take it with a grain of salt, and approach it with a giant cup of curiosity. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Sin and Punishment diminishing returns
Thanks for pointing this out, Ecnad. We're aware of the issue and will be hotfixing this bug with diminishing returns and Sin and Punishment in the near future. (Source)

Lightwell / Priests Changes
This was, indeed, a correction to the tooltip and not a change to Lightwell. It has not been nerfed in the next patch and while there have been some changes done, they should predominantly result in better healing overall (in relation to priests). To check out the hotfixes that were implemented prior to the PTR, you can see them here. http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/1232869 You'll notice Lightwell's health was boosted up by 50%.

The change we are making are a little bit like balancing scales. We trim a little on one side and add to the other. If you look through the PTR notes ( http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2011384 ) closely, you'll see this within them.

Currently, Holy has a lot of mana on live, but to counter the change we're making to Prayer of Healing, we're buffing Circle of Healing. We’re making Chakra easier to use. We’re also giving you the option to make Prayer of Mending a little better. Holy on live is pretty strong overall.

As we said in the Wow, Dungeons are Hard blog, ( http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2053469 ) any Holy priest with 1700 to 1800 Spirit shouldn’t have mana problems. If they do, something else is going on such as dps being too low or players taking too much avoidable damage. You can reach those numbers without ever stepping into a raid. Finish Twilight Highlands. Get the Cord of the Raven Queen epic belt from being Exalted with the Guardians of Hyjal – you’ll be Revered just by completing the Hyjal quests. Max out your Tailoring and make yourself some better gear or just buy some from another player. Get the Mandala of Stirring Patterns trinket from Tol Barad (the quest area – it doesn’t require setting foot in the PvP area). Look for Sprit enchants. Reforging is your friend. Reforge everything to Spirit until you feel that you won’t run out of mana.

Keep in mind, you're not alone in the dungeon and the dps and tanks also need to take responsibility for what they are doing and how much of your mana they are requiring you to use. You also don't need to keep everyone topped off. You just need to anticipate the damage and adjust accordingly.

We want people to pick and choose the spells and abilities they need to use in correlation to the events going on in the game. If someone still has Prayer of Mending on them and they haven't taken damage yet, do you need to recast it? Does someone need a shield or renew vs. a full heal? Can you use something else in your bag of tricks that you normally would just bypass as "useless" that would instead by useful in a certain situation? Can you use binding heal? You may just need to cast a high expense spell to get the job done, but if you have the mana to do so, why not? Those spells are meant to have use.

I've also looked into Discipline in light of the change to Prayer of Healing. In general, there shouldn't be a time that there is so much AoE damage that everyone is going to need it immediately. Raids may be a little different, but you should have plenty of support from other healers as well at that point.

The cost of shield may have gone up, but so has the damage mitigation for it, though in light of Cataclysm, damage mitigation isn't all a Discipline priest needs to do anymore. They need to be in there, mixing it up and healing versus just using a few spells. Don't forget you also have Power Word:Barrier if you can convince people not to run away from the glow y dome of goodness.

Divine Aegis was also buffed a bit and with Inner Fire should help with Prayer of Healing.

Keep in mind, this is just a short list of changes, and the rest can be found on the PTR notes and more are being added practically daily at this point. Changes are still ongoing as well. Continuing to provide constructive feedback on these changes and how you've been experiencing them (for those that go on the PTR) is always very helpful. (Source)

Cataclysm LP Now Available on iTunes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Want to bring the music from the latest World of Warcraft expansion with you anywhere you go? The World of Warcraft: Cataclysm soundtrack is now available as an iTunes LP from the iTunes Store, featuring 17 eminently epic tracks as well as special bonus content including artwork, liner notes, and behind-the-scenes interviews. If you previously purchased a copy of the Cataclysm soundtrack album from iTunes prior to the release of this special LP version, don't worry -- you'll be able to receive the bonus content at no additional charge.

For more information or to purchase the Cataclysm soundtrack LP, visit the iTunes Store.

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