World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2013-08-24 12:34 PM

Lore, Mechanics and Beta Interview With Josh Mosqueira, Nephalem Trials Interview, Lylirra Tweets About the Expansion, RoS Concept Art

Beta Key Wave on Tuesday, World of Warcraft Trading Card Game Ends

Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews
Polygon had the chance to interview Tom Chilton at Gamescom. Gamebreaker recently had the chance to interview Greg Street and Ion Hazzikostas. You can find information from previous interviews on our Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews page.

Polygon Interview
  • Mists of Pandaria was the first push to appeal to more casual players and it was very successful. If they had not done so, the game would be in bad shape.
  • The audience has changed since Vanilla, so players wanting the game to stay the same wouldn't have had the same fun gameplay even if it did.
  • Mists of Pandaria had a lack of new experiences for the hardcore audience, which is something that will be focused on in future expansions.
  • It might make sense for WoW to go free to play at some point, but there is a lot of risk in doing so. Some games double their audience, but some don't or even if they do, the increase doesn't last after the initial interest wears off.

  • The expansion ends on a high note for the Alliance. The full story has not yet been told!
  • The population targets for Connected Realms are between an average and full realm, providing enough players that you can do PuG Flex mode raids from trade chat or see a real population in the capital city, but not so many people that you have a login queue.

Ability Bloat
  • Reducing the number of buttons is a goal, but that has to be balanced with changing classes too much.
  • Many players will be happy that they don't have to worry about Readiness anymore, but other players will miss it.
  • The base healing spell that healers are supposed to use until they gear up enough to have a significant amount of regen and throughput might not have a role in the game anymore. They are situational after you are no longer in greens and blues.
  • Mists of Pandaria removed some abilities, but ended up adding some of them back because of player outcry and legitimate concerns.
  • One of the mistakes made when doing a pass of abilities in Mists of Pandaria was removing very situational or fun abilities. For example, Eyes of the Beast doesn't take up a keybind or important action bar slot, but it is something that players miss now.
  • Players often ask for new abilities so that they are on par with other classes. For example, Paladins got a Kick like interrupt that they didn't have a few expansions ago, but maybe every class doesn't need an interrupt / disarm / silence.
  • Every time the level cap is raised in WoW, the devs feel like players are owed some new spells. It wouldn't be any fun to go 5 levels without adding new spells.

  • Trying to get rid of a lot of the silences didn't work out well, as no one was able to stop the healers. Changes to instant casts and silences are better suited for an expansion rather than a mid expansion patch.
  • There have been significant improvements to the PvP gearing system. The goal going forward is to make sure the best PvP gear comes from PvP and the best PvE gear comes from PvE. A little bit of crossover is fine, but no high end PvP player should feel like they have to go and farm for a certain item from PvE to remain competitive.
  • The Crowd Chose You!!! buff was added to shut down the really long drawn out fights in a reasonable way. The devs don't want players to change how they play arenas based on this buff, so if it has a detrimental effect it will be modified or removed.

  • High King Mekkatorque will come and clear a large number of troops in the Barracks section of the raid, while the Horde actually has to fight through them.
  • Nourshen has a Proving Grounds like component to the fight, as individual players must go through a role dependent trial at a certain point in the fight.
  • It is important that players feel like their actions matter in raids, not that they are just cogs in a machine. At the same time, you can push this idea too far when a single individual can wipe the raid or the fight requires every person to master an individual check. A good example of this is Heroic Dark Animus or Thaddius. Ideally a raid leader could choose the stronger players in the raid to handle the responsibility of the individual dependent mechanics.
  • Riposte was added to compensate for the weaker Warriors and Death Knight active mitigation mechanics compared to other tanks. It also helps to equalize tank damage output in the short term.
  • In Cataclysm, building a legendary out of drops that came on a predictable schedule every week removed some of the excitement from getting a legendary weapon. Legendary weapons in the future will likely be distributed similar to older legendary weapons and less like the Cataclysm legendary weapons.
  • If the devs were to use scaling to allow players to run older content at more appropriate item and character levels, it would not impact players who enjoy soloing old content.
  • There is also a difference between the nostalgia of older dungeons and raids and what it would be like to do them again as part of the core game. People think back to the fond memories from BWL or Molten Core, but it doesn't mean that it would be fun to do with a group regularly anymore as an incentive activity.
  • Heroic Scenarios worked out really well both in terms of the content and how they work, requiring you to find friends or other players to do the content with rather than just queuing.
  • Blizzard would like to get back to a place where mechanics matter a little bit more, as there is a big audience for that type of cooperation in smaller organized groups.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Resto Shaman - Patch 5.4 Issues and Concerns
Lore, the problem is that pets and all other non player units (Wild Imps, etc) all are healed by Healing Rain, and also do not count towards the DR cap divisor. IE, each Healing Rain tick is the same if 10 players and 0 pets are in it compared to 10 players and 10 pets on live. As a result, we are losing a great deal of overhealing on pets, guardians, etc. Nearly 50% of Healing Rain ticks in a typical 25 man raid on live seem to be on non players.

Normally, that overhealing isn't a factor. However, the amount of healing that Ancestral Guidance and Ascendance copy is based off total raw healing (effective + overheal). As a result, not having those "apparently useless" Healing Rain ticks on non player NPCs is going to result in a significant nerf to both cooldowns - estimated at 25-35%.

Just double checked on this; we actually prefer that AG and Ascendance don't become more effective with more insignificant pets around. We'd rather not have their effectiveness swing so wildly based on whose trinkets or set bonuses have procced (and so on).

This will obviously have an effect on the healing output of those couple of abilities, which falls back into what I was saying before -- we'll be watching closely how things work as we continue testing, and will be making further adjustments where necessary.

I am also going to have to disagree with the idea that ELW will end up on most people standing in a Healing Rain.
"Most" was a poor choice of words on my part. We still expect that a decent number of people in the Healing Rain will wind up with Earthliving active. Like I said though, we're watching it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World of Warcraft Trading Card Game
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We wanted to take a moment to thank all of you World of Warcraft Trading Card Game players out there for your support of the game for close to seven years.

We’ve had a blast working on it, and we knew that Set 21, Timewalkers: Reign of Fire would really grab everyone's attention. In addition to delivering original and fun gameplay mechanics and giving players a new way to explore the story of Warcraft III, it’s stuffed with every single one of the much-sought-after Loot cards from each of the previous sets.

Set 21 represents something else as well: it’s the climactic last set for the WoW TCG. We are grateful for being able to collaborate with the artists and everyone else who helped make this game a reality all these years. We're also thankful for all the players and retailers who've participated in the community globally. You made ripping open booster packs, discovering the wonders they held, and then building decks and taking them into battle a truly awesome experience.

Thank you all again for your support in making the WoW TCG one of the most epic trading card games of all time.


Q: What about my loot cards that I haven’t redeemed yet?
A: You can still redeem your loot cards on our website (simply follow the instructions there).

Q: Will there still be tournaments for the WoW TCG?
A: While there will not be official tournaments hosted by Cryptozoic or Blizzard Entertainment, players are able to continue organizing tournaments as long as they follow our tournament guidelines listed here.

Q: I’m an artist/tournament winner; who should I contact if I have any questions?
A: Please contact Cryptozoic for any follow-up inquiries.

Q: Will you be renewing the contract for the WoW TCG with another partner?
A: While we don't have any specific announcements to make at this time, we don't expect to renew the license for the WoW TCG.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Flex Raiding
If Flex is coming at the same pace as norm does this mean norm is going to be gated? Any info would be appreciated.
It's a little confusing, but technically flex uses a lot of the LFR mechanics, including wings and personal loot. (Source)

- "Flex released alongside Normal." MT (LFR instead of Normal) or Gated Normal Progression? #SoO
The plan ATM is the first wing of flex will open on day one so those guilds can try it out. All of normal will be open on day one. (Source)

So is SoO Normal gated or not?
Only traditionally in that you can't skip bosses or wings. (Source)
Flex will likely be gated, but wing 1 open on day 1 along with normal. Heroic on week 2, prob with LFR wing 1. Not set in stone. (Source)

Reputation / Questing
May sound counter-intuitive, but e.g. account reps would let us PLAY our alts vs grind a rep for the nth time
What rep do you need though, esp. in 5.4? (Source)

if we were able to do everything at our own pace (VP Cap, etc) The pace woulda been perfect
Not sure I agree. We received overwhelming feed in Cata that players didn't have enough to do. They finished too easily. Got bored. (Source)
Now maybe there's a way to let players play at different cadences that match their real life. (Source)
But we wouldn't want to reduce the content and let everyone just finish easily. Short term convenience at the expense of longevity. (Source)
the #1 problem I had with MoP is if I missed a day, there was no way to get it back. One of the big flaws w/locking so much
Yes, we set caps to save players from feeling they had to earn e.g. 20K valor a night, but too many felt like the caps were guides. (Source)
Systems like a cap on spending but not earning might help there. So are more open models, like the Timeless Isle. (Source)

Now we're arguing semantics. How massive is massive? Jupiter>Earth and Quasar>Earth both massive. The fun isnt there anymore.
Just how many people are in your CRZs? (Source)

Aren't Connected Realms just realm mergers without forcing name changes? Are there any other differences?
We think keeping your name and realm identity are important as is a returning player being able to find her home once again. (Source)

thoughts on switching connected realms over time if need be? The word permanent sounded pretty final.
It's permanent in the sense that if you have a guild from two realms, we don't want to up and break it. (Source)

10m gets 1.5 hour tests, 25m gets 30 mins? What gives? No way to test. How to find bugs in 30 mins?
It's more about feedback and tuning than bugs. Our QA team will find most of the bugs. (Source)
The first time an encounter goes out, we iterate on it a lot. In subsequent attempts, less so, as you might expect. (Source)

also, are there any considerations about removing/changing some of the cooldowns in game? PvP feels very CD-centric this xpac.
We think CDs that are always used together aren't very interesting game design. (Source)

Thoughts on battle fatigue having different values for 2s/3s i.e in 2s stronger BF. Could allow tuning to make 2s competitive?
We wrote off 2s for a long time as impossible to balance. We're changing our minds though. (Source)
They remain super popular, so maybe we just need to embrace them. (Source)

Any concern that increase rate of content is good for PvE but not PvP? PvP feels like a rollercoaster. Getting nauseous.
We feel like shorter seasons are generally good. What is your concern? (Source)

UI / Addons
Have you guys considered implementing a Mount Journal, that shows which mounts players are missing
yes. (Source)

Proving Grounds
why are proving gounds just for 90's and why no gear? If pg is to teach, then why not for lower levels?
We want to see how the feature is received first. It will need some more polish to be an effective teaching tool. (Source)

Hearthstone Wiki Beta Key Giveaway
Our friends over at Gamepedia are holding a Beta Key Giveaway for contributors of the Hearthstone Wiki. All you have to do to enter is make a useful edit to the Hearthstone Wiki. Winners will be chosen randomly, with each of your edits counting as an entry into the contest.

The giveaway is open to everyone, but due to legal restrictions, only residents of North America are eligible for the physical prizes. The prizes include a Beta Key, iPhone cases, a headset, mouse, and earbuds. Winners will be selected on September 2nd, 2013.

Penny Arcade - Hearthstone
Gabriel over at Penny Arcade seems to be enjoying the Hearthstone Beta as much everyone else!

by Published on 2013-08-22 10:06 PM

Patch 5.4 PTR - Build 17325
Build 17325 will be deployed to the PTR realms soon.

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Death Knight (Forums, Talent Calculator)
  • Soul Reaper now does 130% weapon damage, up from 100%. Damage and AP scaling increased by 20%.

  • Soul Reaper now does 130% weapon damage, up from 100%. Damage and AP scaling increased by 20%.

  • Soul Reaper now does 130% weapon damage, up from 100%. Damage and AP scaling increased by 20%.

Paladin (Forums, Talent Calculator)
  • Light of the Ancient Kings now heals the target of your heals for 30% of the amount healed, rather than the target of your heals and allies within 10 yards of the target.

  • Guardian of Ancient Kings no longer heals nearby friendly targets. Now heals for an additional 30% of the amount healed, up from 10%.

Shaman (Forums, Talent Calculator)

Elemental & Restoration
  • Lava Burst base damage increased by 11%. SP scaling no longer listed.

  • Fire Nova damage and SP scaling increased by 82%.
  • Lava Lash now does 300% weapon damage, up from 260%.

Raid & Dungeon Abilities
  • Blade of the Hundred Steps Imbues all players of the tank role in the current quadrant of this warehouse with a boon. Attacks have a chance to call down a bolt of lightning, inflicting 354,000 413,000 Nature damage to enemies within 4 yards and stun them for 2 1.5 sec. This effect bypasses a creature's immunity to stuns and has a 15-second cooldown. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Caustic Blood Injects the victim with poison, inflicting 0 Nature damage every second. This effect stacks up to 10 times. This effect fails to apply to tanks using their Active Mitigation abilities. Unlimited range. 3 sec cast. 10 yd range. 3 sec cast.
  • Corrosive Blood Inflicts 0 Nature damage initially, and then 0 Nature damage every 2 seconds. Limited to 1 target 2 targets. 300 yd range. 3 sec cast.
  • Embodied Doubt Inflicts 150,000 Shadow damage to all enemies within the realm of Y'Shaarj. Increases damage taken by Embodied Doubt by 2% 25%. Stacks. 1,000 yd range. 2 sec cast.
  • Falling Ash Summons a core of smouldering ash that will fall over 30 15 sec. Deals 999,999 Fire damage to enemies within 17 yards and 0 Fire damage to all enemies on impact. 3 sec cast.
  • Foul Stream Deals 200,000 Deals 300,000 Nature damage to all enemies on a line. 50 yd range. 3 sec cast.
  • Poison Bolt Inflicts 100,000 Inflicts 200,000 Nature damage. Limited to 1 target. 40 yd range. 2.5 sec cast.
  • Serrated Slash The sawblade slashes nearby targets, inflicting 50 250,000 Physical damage and knocking them back. Instant.
  • Serrated Slash The sawblade slashes nearby targets, inflicting 50 250,000 Physical damage and knocking them back. 300 yd range. Instant.
  • Shock Pulse A mighty seismic eruption knocks enemies back and inflicts 75,000 Nature damage. 4 sec cast.12 sec cooldown.
  • Sundering Blow Inflicts 0 Physical damage and sunders the target's armor, reducing armor by 10% for 60 30 sec. Generates 5 rage per stack of Sundering Blow on the target. Next melee. Melee range. 3 sec cast.
  • Toxic Storm Summons a powerful toxic storm that deals 200,000 300,000 Nature damage to enemies within 9 yards every 2 sec. and periodically creates Toxic Tornadoes. Instant.
  • Toxic Tornado Toxic winds deal 200,000 300,000 Nature damage to enemies within 5 yards every 1 sec. and knocks them up. Instant.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Battlefield: Barrens and Path of the Last Emperor
What about the quest leading up to the Battlefield barrens that offer the 502 boots?
Hi there. The quest, 'Path of the Last Emperor' will not be going away when patch 5.4 goes live. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Patch 5.4 Resto Shaman Concerns
So first off, yes, these changes are indeed being made as measures to help with the input lag problem. We obviously recognize that they're pretty big changes and we're going to have to do some additional tuning as a result (and that goes for everyone effected, not just Shaman).

Looking at some of the Shaman-specific concerns we've seen come up:

Earthliving Weapon: We recognize that the changes mean less opportunity for Earthliving to proc, but we're not sure it's overall a big deal. Given Earthliving's duration and the fact that the new, "smart" Healing Rain will still be hitting several targets (just not all at once), we still expect that most people standing in a Healing Rain will still wind up with Earthliving active. If there is a negative impact, we don't expect it to be a big one. It is something we'll keep an eye on, though.

Ancestral Vigor: This we consider to be a good deal more important, as keeping Vigor active on as many targets as possible is one of Resto's strengths (and feels good as part of their overall kit). Due to the ramp-up time, we feel that having Vigor fall off is a much bigger setback than Earthliving. We haven't made a final call on exactly what we'll do here yet; one idea we've discussed is extending Ancestral Vigor's duration, but that could easily change as we continue tuning.

Ancestral Guidance/Ascendance: We're not sure there's actually a problem here. Currently, past 6 targets, Healing Rain's actual healing output is reduced per player it affects. The end result is that roughly the same amount of raw healing is going out if it only hits 6 players as it would if it were hitting 25. In fact, in many cases, it could actually be more. If even one of those 25 players were already at full (say they've got a bunch of absorbs on them, or used something like Divine Shield or Dark Bargain), that amount that previously would have just been overhealing will instead be allocated to someone else that actually needs it.

Again, we recognize that these changes are going to require some extra tuning, so we'll be keeping a close eye on how things shake out in continued testing. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Patch 5.4 Windwalker Feedback
We’re definitely getting very, very different results from you guys in our own testing. For clarity, I’m not just talking about simulations – we’re getting much higher performance, in tier 16 gear, in actual playtesting on the 5.4 PTR client. We’ve even gone so far as to make duplicates of several of your characters just to be certain we’re testing under the same exact conditions.

This leads us to believe one of two things:

  • There’s some sort of bug we haven’t caught yet that’s causing a massive DPS increase somewhere unexpected (which is possible, and we’re investigating, but haven’t found anything to suggest that’s the case), or
  • We’re doing something that the community isn’t, which could possibly be due to inaccurate simulations (which in turn lead to incomplete testing of alternative builds or rotations)
One trend in particular that we’ve noticed is that PTR Windwalkers are placing far more emphasis on Haste than we are. There’s a few minor rotational and talent differences as well when we compare our parses to yours (most of which come from the lower haste), but the biggest difference by far seems to be in how we’re prioritizing secondary stats.

Again, these are results we’re able to replicate in the same test environment you guys have, using the same gear, with the same buffs/debuffs and so forth.

We're not comparing 5.4 Windwalker to 5.3 Windwalker, we're comparing 5.4 Windwalker to 5.4 everyone else. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
The bit about hardcore players not always caring about the long term interests of the game is spot on. (Source)
But it's not the players' job to make a good game. It's the devs' job. So not sure you can blame even HC players. (Source)

The screenshot with four class specs and a tinker class is fake. We can't confirm/deny every rumor but this one is just a clever fake. (Source)
Thanks for clarifying that. Is the Tinker a class that you feel would fit into WoW? I'd love to see it.
Not sure. Might be a little too whimsical for WoW. Would depend on the treatment. (Source)

any comments on the controversy behind alleged trademarking of The Dark Below?
Players seem very confident in their ability to CONFIRMED! these days. (Half Life 3 - CONFIRMED!) (Source)

Please, Greg... tell me we'll get to see the real scope of Azjol-Nerub someday.... soon™?
I am personally a huge Azjol-Nerub nerd, but I can't ram through my pet projects single handedly. Maybe someday. (Source)

Dear WoW community, the pitchfork and torches strategy has never been an effective one for fomenting class change. (Source)
I've been doing this long enough (15 years!) to know that players love the revolution narrative: (Source)
The downtrodden unite into a resistance movement that rises up against The Man and gets much needed change for their neglected characters. (Source)
It's a charming story and probably reassuring when the developers in truth have almost all the decision making power. (Source)
how about unsubbing? Is that effective?
Out of protest? I don't think so. Too hard for that message to get through. (Source)

I know you like good args., but it's hard to know what counts. You do ignore some good args. for reasons you can't say in pub.
Sure. And sometimes we agree with an argument and still won't make a change for other reasons. (Source)
We aren't going to answer "What can I do to make an argument so good that you will 100% make a change?" (Source)
And also part of what you're seeing is just the impossibility for us to publicly address every argument or even every popular one. (Source)

Any chance you'll ever release a copy of your internal sim (if you have it) to give us a tool to bypass those problems?
No. Everyone would invest too much energy trying to prove our tool wrong. It's how these things go. (Source)

Took a look at your twitter for the first time ever. I do not envy you. People are rough. Curious, do you raid on a raid team?
Yes. I'm on a heroic 25 team. I have been raiding just about since I dinged 60. (Source)
Do your guildies know who you are? How do you respond to their criticism?
Many know. I let them bitch away. It's not fair not to be able to just because I joined them. (Source)
I would bet he plays a lock.Fire mages nerfed 60% afflic/destro buffed. #numbersshowlockswerealreadyahead
.Do you guys realize I would actually get fired if I just kept buffing my characters all the time? (Source)
I think creators should not play thier own game , and yes we do believe you favor buffs of the toons you play .I
I think I'd be pretty out of touch if I didn't play my own game. How would I know what to fix? Who yells the loudest? (Source)

I hear you're on a 25H team. Roughly how much of your day/week is WoW related? work wise and personal play time.
I play WoW entirely too much when I'm not working, but I feel like I need to in order to stay in touch. (Source)

Ola, Mr. Street. just a thought; do you JUST work on WoW? if so, anything else at Blizzard you'd like a crack at?
I spend 90% of my time on WoW. I help out on other games, usually feedback or brainstorming, when those teams ask. (Source)
I worked on RTS games for years so I have a soft spot for SC and I have always been a Diablo fan. (Source)
by Published on 2013-08-21 05:49 PM

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Revealed

Preparing for Patch 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar - September 10

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
World of Warcraft Patch 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar is almost upon us. To help you prepare, we’ve provided an overview of vital information you need to know so things go smoothly when patch day arrives. You can also review the current Public Test Realm patch notes, or even download and play on the PTR itself for a taste of what’s to come.

The new patch brings a new raid, many class changes, a new PvP season, and a whole new questing area. It also marks the end of the Battlefield: Barrens event. Read on to learn how you can be best prepared to dive into the adventure when Patch 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar hits.

Class Changes
There are changes coming to every class in Patch 5.4, including glyphs and abilities, as well as alterations to established mechanics like Vengeance. This is an excellent time to head over to the Public Test Realm patch notes to begin familiarizing yourself with what to expect when you log in on patch day. Do keep in mind however that the PTR notes aren’t final, and things could still change before the patch.

Don’t forget to check out Ghostcrawler’s Dev Watercooler: Dissecting Patch 5.4 Class Changes, where the doughty crab drops some knowledge on the reasons behind the class updates you’ll be seeing.

Currency Conversions
Justice and Valor won’t be converted in Patch 5.4, but with the PvP Season turnover, you can expect your Conquest to be converted to Honor as usual.

Please be aware that the conversion cost of Justice to Honor is going up, and it will cost 500 Justice to purchase 250 Honor.

Where’s the New Valor Gear?
There won’t be a new Valor Quartermaster come 5.4. Instead, we invite those of you intent on gearing up quickly to face Patch 5.4’s challenges to visit the new Timeless Isle. You can get a taste of what’s to come by reading Bashiok’s Timeless Isle preview.

The Ethereals who offer Item Upgrades are sticking around, so you’ll still be able to spend your Valor on upgrading your existing gear.

PvP Updates
Season 14 Begins!
PVP Season 14 arrives with Patch 5.4, which means a few different things. First, Season 14 Grievous gear will become available. Elite versions of Season 14 Grievous will also be available as a mark of prestige for players that reach a personal rating of 2,000 and earn 27,000 Conquest Points over the course of the season, and the non-Elite pieces will no longer be a pre-requisite to purchase them. The prior season’s Season 13 Tyrannical gear will be available for purchase with Honor Points, while Season 12 Malevolent gear can now be crafted. Finally, equipping any pair of PvP trinkets from Season 12 or later will grant a 10% reduction in damage taken from other players.

New Arena System
Big, big changes are coming to how Arenas are organized in Patch 5.4. The most important part is that players will no longer need to create or join an Arena team to compete. Similar to the Rated Battleground system, players in a party of the appropriate size (even cross-realm!) can queue for an Arena bracket of the same size as their party (2v2, 3v3, or 5v5).

For the details regarding how Arenas work in 5.4, check out Daxxarri’s blog on the subject: Patch 5.4 Arena Update.

Be Prepared
The Vale of Eternal Blossoms and the Golden Lotus
You might already be aware that Garrosh’s callous actions will bring great destruction to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. This also means that the majestic pagoda that once housed the Golden Lotus will be no more.

While this is truly a tragedy, the Golden Lotus fight on. You can still complete quests for them, as well as earn reputation with the Golden Lotus by slaying their enemies in the Vale. Get the details from Nethaera’s write up: Patch 5.4: Destruction of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms

Battlefield: Barrens
The conflict that has been occurring in the Barrens is culminating in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, but that also means that the various quests offered there, as well as the Darkspear Rebellion Quartermaster, will no longer be available once the patch hits. If you want any of the items that the Quartermaster provides, such as Xan’tish’s Flute or Latent Kor’Kron armors, then your time grows short!

While the quests and the Quartermaster will be gone, the Kor’kron and their camps will remain in the Barrens (though it will no longer be possible to get the various Battlefield: Barrens supplies from them), and those foes will now drop Gahz’rooki’s Summoning Stone, Raptorhide Boxing Gloves, and the Kor’Kron Supply Satchel.

Attention title hounds! The Battlefield: Barrens exclusive titles, Hordebreaker (Alliance) and Darkspear Revolutionary (Horde) disappear with this patch! If you want either one, you’d better get out there and finish the quest line before it’s gone.

Attention Transmogrification enthusiasts! Griftah’s Authentic Troll Shoes are disappearing with Patch 5.4! They may return again at some point in the future, but if you want to be sure to have them, this would be a great time to visit the Barrens and help out the Darkspear Rebellion.

Wowhead has posted a useful guide that can help you make sure to get the most from Battlefield: Barrens before it’s gone.

The Mantid Artifact Sonic Locator is seeing some changes (you can read the PTR patch notes for details), but the big news for now is that it will be more difficult to obtain in the future, so you maybe want to grab yours now.

New Craftable Raid & PvP Gear
New for 5.4 crafting materials will be usable to craft new Raid and PvP gear. You’ll be able to learn how to create the new crafting materials via recipes that drops from creatures in Pandaria. Be sure to check out the Professions section of the patch notes to see if it might be a good idea to hold onto some of the mats that you’ve already got stashed.

With the destruction in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, Jewel Danios have been airlifted to their new habitat on the Timeless Isle... where you can fish them up!

Patching Smoothly
It’s easy to make sure that you’re ready to play when the realms become available on patch day. If you haven’t played in a while, then one of the simplest things you can do is open the World of Warcraft launcher, and allow the updater to download the latest available game files. If you use approved User Interface AddOns, make sure you have the latest versions and that they’re updated and ready to go for the new patch. This is also a good time to update your video card’s drivers, to ensure that there aren’t any compatibility issues.

If you experience any patching issues, there’s a technical support forum thread all about patching that could help. You can also follow @BlizzardCS on Twitter for the latest support-related news.

Getting Additional Account Help
Help with account and in-game issues is just a few clicks away. There may already be a post that addresses your concern on the Customer Support forum, and reading the posts there can be very helpful; the stickied posts at the top are a good first stop, and will help you get the most out of the forum.

The Blizzard Support site provides options like searching through available solutions, or, if the self-help options don’t do the trick, submitting a support ticket might help you get back into the game fast.

Good luck, and we’ll see you in Azeroth!
by Published on 2013-08-21 03:29 PM

Tier 16 Priest, 5.4 Dev Interviews, 5.4 PTR Notes Update, Raid Testing, Blue Posts

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Revealed
You can read more on Diablofans!

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
A presence more sinister than any demon hangs over Sanctuary….

It watched from the shadows as a hero of nephalem lineage struck down Diablo, the Prime Evil, and trapped the demon lord within the Black Soulstone.

It waited in silence as the mortal armies of Sanctuary crushed the leaderless remnants of the Burning Hells and scattered them into the stinging winds of Kehjistan.

Now, as hope springs anew, its long vigil has ended.

Shrouded in mystery and imbued with a power as ancient as the universe itself, it comes to the war-torn world of Sanctuary. It cannot be stopped. There is no escape.

In its wake, only death will remain.

The next chapter in Sanctuary's epic saga has been unveiled. Prepare to take on Death itself in Diablo III's upcoming expansion set: Reaper of Souls.

In Reaper of Souls, players will explore haunting new environments and face down fearsome new enemies within and beyond the world of Sanctuary as they seek to unlock the mysteries of Malthael, the Angel of Death.

Stalwart adventurers can choose to continue their journey as one of five existing heroes—the Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, or Wizard—or adopt the mantle of a new class: the Crusader, a fierce melee warrior whose command of the battlefield is matched only by his unwavering conviction.

Advance through additional levels of supremacy, mastering bold new powers of raw, demon-slaying potential along the way. Customize your strengths with an improved Paragon system. Battle your way through newly randomized 3D maps and epic new quests in Act V. And test your mettle in all-new game modes—including Loot Runs and Nephalem Trials—designed to provide players with a highly replayable (and highly rewarding) end-game experience.

For more information, check out the official press release and be sure to visit the new Diablo III: Reaper of Souls web page for feature details, screenshots, concept art, gameplay teaser trailer, and more.

Gameplay Teaser

by Published on 2013-08-21 04:32 AM

Loyalty Giveaway Concluded, 9 Wins in the Hearthstone Arena, Gelbin Missing Animations

Patch 5.4 - Tier 16 Priest Armor Set
Keep in mind that this is just a preview and the final set may be different.

Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews
Horde for Life had the chance to interview Marco Koegler (Technical Director) recently. You can find information from previous interviews on our Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews page.

Technical Aspects
  • Developing WoW with countries that have poor network connectivity in mind is part of the reason why you can play WoW relatively well on a poorer connection.
  • Making the game feel like you are playing locally by compensating for latency on the client and server end has always been an important part of development.
  • Fixes that took days in the past now take a matter of hours thanks to the advancement in how patching is done.
  • Whenever new features are added, people on older hardware are kept in mind to make sure the game is playable for them still. It is a painful process to maintain that kind of compatibility, but Blizzard doesn't want people to be unable to play the game due to new features.

  • The BMAH has been successful at giving players that are focused on earning gold items to purchase, such as mounts, pets, transmog sets, and other things. It was also useful in phasing in access to the Brawler's Guild. There aren't any changes to the BMAH planned. It isn't decided yet if new locations will be added outside of Pandaria in the future.
  • CCP allows players to run somewhat more freely with the economy, but Blizzard is interested in making sure that no one has a severe impact on other players.

Experiments and the Economy
  • The Guardian Cub was an experiment in allowing people to sell an item purchased with real currency for gold. If it would have been hugely popular, we might have seen more things like it. Playing with an established economy is dangerous though, so the devs are careful not to do anything major.
  • There are currently no plans to directly sell gold to players. It wouldn't be popular with players or good for the game.
  • The new items added to the in game store in Patch 5.4 are really only targeted at Asia as time saving conveniences. Blizzard definitely doesn't want to venture into the pay to win territory or change the current business model. It is an experiment, similar to the Guardian Cub.

Previous Expansions
  • At one point in developing the water effects for Cataclysm the oceans were 3D, moving up and down and side to side, but it looked odd with characters swimming in it. Having the waves move players or making them less visible under waves didn't work out well, so the team went with a 2D water surface with a ripple effect.
  • Vashj'ir made it difficult to place spells in a 3D environment. There was also an underwater wave effect that gave some people motion sickness, which was addressed by making the effect less pronounced in the center of the screen.

Patch 5.4 PTR Patch Notes Update - August 20
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Battlefield: Barrens
  • Vol’jin and his forces move beyond gathering supplies and into a full assault on the Horde capital. As such, the Battlefield: Barrens weekly quest will no longer be available once the invasion on Orgrimmar begins in 5.4.
  • Ravika, the Darkspear Rebellion Quartermaster, will no longer be available.
  • Latent Kor'kron armor tokens will no longer drop or be available for purchase. Players who still have a Radical Mojo will continue to be able to combine it with existing Latent Kor'kron armor tokens.
  • Gahz'rooki's Summoning Stone and Raptorhide Boxing Gloves are now available as a rare drop from Kor’kron, and other associated creatures in Northern Barrens.

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Frost
    • Frost Strike now deals 115% weapons damage (up from 105% weapon damage).
    • Obliterate now deals 250% weapon damage (up from 230% weapon damage).

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Glyphs
    • Major Glyphs

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • General
  • Enhancement
    • Lava Lash now deals 260% weapon damage (down from 300% weapon damage).
  • Talents
    • Echo of the Elements' spell duplication effect can no longer occur more than once every 4 seconds when used against hostile players, and their pets or guardians.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Affliction
    • Soul Swap no longer does any damage, and now copies damage-over-time effects instead of just moving them without needing a glyph. Copied effects now once again preserve their power and duration. Duration has been reduced to 3 seconds (down from 20 seconds).

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Arms
    • Slam now deals 25% more damage, but the Rage cost has been increased by 25% as well. While Sweeping Strikes is active, Slam will deal 35% of damage dealt against the primary target to all other enemies within 2 yards, and targets affected by Colossus Smash receives 10% more damage.

  • Surprise Attack!: Fixed an issue where players may sometimes not receive credit for defeating Hei Feng.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • All non-gladiator gear in Battlegrounds, Rated Battlegrounds, and Arenas will be scaled down to an item level ceiling of 496.
    • Grievous Gladiator gear is exempt from this item level ceiling.
    • The item level ceiling will increase at a rate of 1 item level point per week until it reaches a maximum of 512.

Raid Testing Schedule - August 21
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
On Wednesday , August 21, we will continue testing raid encounters in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below for all Public Test Realms.

Wednesday , August 21
  • Norushen - 25 Player Normal - 10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)
  • Thok the Bloodthirsty- 25 Player Normal - 13:30 PDT (16:30 EDT, 22:30 CEST)
  • Garrosh Hellscream - 25 Player Normal - 16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a beta environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the boss being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Change to RPPM Mechanics
As an update to this, as part of our continued balancing, we're going to increase the "time since last proc" reset on boss pulls to 120 seconds. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Experience Increase Potions
Hold your horses. The in-game store items that you mentioned may be popular in Asia, but we have to see what pans out here in Europe and the US. They may not make it into the game at all if we don't feel it's the right thing to do. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
IMO sets that become classics are ones that embody a class in some way. T16 has coherent theme accross all sets, but doesn't -
I see what you're saying, but polls of best sets always skew towards early ones, which makes me think nostalgia plays a big role. (Source)

Please rethink this RPPM change. Fun trinkets like UVLS are now having stupid low uptimes. Better yet, go to back to ICD.
ICD trinkets just feel passive. Every 10 sec, you get 1000 stats like clockwork. With RPPM we wanted to recapture fun double procs. (Source)

quick q: do you guys nerf drop rates anywhere near as often as people think you do without telling us in patch notes?
No. (Source)

the expansion is coming to an end and for the first time in the last 3 I don't have all classes at level cap. Alts != fun atm.
Many players got so many maxed out alts during the final patch in ICC and DS. (Source)
mostly the gear hump once you ding 90. Takes so much maintenance to be current. Wish valor ot Ancients stacked
If you go Flex or Heroic Scenarios, there is no ilevel. If you want higher ilevel for that or other content try Timeless Isle (Source)
Hscenario takes ilvl I'm almost sure.
In 5.3. Not in 5.4. We concluded that premade content generally doesn't need those requirements, (Source)
You seem to miss that many heroic scenario groups are being built using the trade chat. It's infact not premade
Premade is premade. If you invite even a stranger you have a chance to vet or kick them. (Source)

will the item upgrade NPC stay with the release of 5.4?
That is what we are thinking at the moment. (Source)

So, will I be able to send heirlooms to a connected realm?
The goal of connected realms is to give you folks to play with, not to give you more alts. (Source)
I'm not saying it won't happen, but just keep the goal in mind -- that's our priority. (Source)

Also did you play pre-reforge version of WOW? believe me no one wants it back reforge became core of wow's end game style.
Can you explain why? Nobody is making interesting decisions, except possibly healers. Everyone else follows a website or calculator. (Source)
Reforging is good because it means the gap between BiS and everything else is smaller. "Interesting" isn't relevant.
Interesting decisions are much more important to the developers than the gap between BiS and not BiS. YMMV. (Source)
the only real gap exists between "interesting for developers" and "interesting for players".
They are sometimes at odds since the player mindset is typically to remove obstacles and the developers' is to add them. (Source)
It may be counter intuitive, but obstacles are fun. Curving tracks with hills and koopas > straight drag strips. (Source)

For hardcore raiders, having highly geared "Alts" is needed.
That's a choice very competitive guilds make. I don't see why we'd need to make alts easier to level and gear just for them. (Source)

Then stop adding flavor items that players can't collect. Do you expect people to farm for items then trash them?
Inventory space is a resource. It has been since vanilla. (Source)

And that's different from the current legendaries how? You created the sense of entitlement by making them readily available
The cloaks are just a different cat entirely. Nearly everyone can get them. The original question was class-specific weapons. (Source)
In some ways, we thought glaives worked better than daggers, when rogues could sort of know the date they would be completed. (Source)

25 Death Knight Mogu'shan Vaults
OpenRaid and #Acherus will be running an Alliance-US Mogu'shan Vaults this weekend with only Death Knights!

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