World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2013-05-23 04:59 AM

A Few Hours Left of the Anniversary Buff, Matching System for Public Games, Sword of Justice Trade Paperback, ChromeOnRust: How Magic Find Works

Patch 5.4 Vengeance Change
Ghostcrawler talked about a potential change to how Vengeance works in Patch 5.4 last week, as well as answering a few questions about it.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Please don't do this. I do not wish to be made back into a simple meatshield. Staying alive and doing good damage is fun.
Your damage will still be fine and higher than pre Vengeance. Tanks don't need to win meters IMO. (Source)

Who benefits from this change? dps who like topping metres?
Healers who don't have to contend with tanks sitting in fires? (Source)

If all that loot didn't get people running 25 mans why do you think vengeance will? I don't get it man honestly.
It's not intended as a 25 perk. The environments are different in terms of DPS and require different numbers. (Source)

I think it's in addition to the PvP nerf tanks are getting theyre working hard to balance PvP and it's PvE
It's not a PvP issue. It's some protection against tanks doing unusual or goofy things to increase their AP to unintended levels. (Source)

Why do you want to make tanking more difficult? I would think with few tanks and healers you would want to make it easier.
Do some quick calculations. Do your tanks hit those numbers regularly without doing things like solo tanking? (Source)
If that's your reasoning I guess I understand it. If your goal is to make solo tanking harder this will do it.
We do want to make solo tanking harder on fights intended for 2 tanks. Solo tanking is fun to a degree, but it shouldn't be the right answer to increase DPS or mitigation. (Source)
Just want to point out that this change would hurt 10m far more than 25m though, compounding factors involved. I really don't understand why you think the cap in 25m should be higher than 10m even with higher tank damage.
Tanks are a greater percent of damage done in 10s. 1 per 4 DPS rather than 1 per 7 or so in 25s. Which means tanks should care more about their damage in 10s than in 25s which is odd. And because tanks do get hit harder in 25s they need more Vengeance to translate to higher active mitigation. So we think the pitch is sound on those fronts. Where it runs into trouble is that tanks don't have the same health. When the cap is lower, high health tanks will just have higher Vengeance. Furthermore, mitigation not based on Vengeance, such as Death Strike, just become more powerful at the cap. These are problems we'd have to solve if we go through with it, but there should be lots of PTR testing for 5.4. (Source)

Seems like a 180 from what you preached awhile ago, awhen you were fine with it. Why the change in philosophy?
Tank DPS will still be quite high even with this change. Wait for some players to estimate numbers. (Source)

I can't understand, why tanks dps was affected by this feature, if you could have just buffed threat directly.
We like for tank damage to be relevant, and for active mitigation to scale. Vengeance provides all of that in addition to threat. Having huge threat modifiers on low damage abilities was also something tank complained about constantly. It may bug DPS players to get out DPSd by a tank, which is understandable, but that happened in dungeons way before Vengeance. Overall Vengeance still solves a lot more problems than it creates. (Source)

Perhaps the source of vengeance needs to be looked at. Im not sure the complexity but can ground aoe not give it
Yes. We are going to start flagging certain ground mechanics to not give Venegance. (Source)

Random Battleground Healer Balancing Disabled
It looks like the long queue times were being caused by the new balancing system.

Patch 5.3 Hotfixes - May 22
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
  • Players that die and release around the Seat of Knowledge area will now be provided with a Spectral Gryphon (Wisp for Night Elves) or a Spectral Wyvern; allowing them to fly back to their bodies.


Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Talents
    • Force of Nature: Balance Treant should be more responsive while chain casting. The global cooldown on their version of Wrath has been reduced to 0.5 seconds, down from 1.5 seconds.
    • Force of Nature: Restoration Treant should no longer cause their target to Taunt enemies.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Shadow
    • Vampiric Embrace should now split healing amongst multiple allied targets by the proper amount.

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • General
    • Healing Rain area-of-effect now should cap properly at 6 targets.
  • Talents

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • General
    • Demonic Gateway now should correctly gain charges while the Warlock is mounted or on a passenger mount.
    • Siphon Life should now heal for the proper amount for Warlocks that have the Fel Armor passive ability.
  • Glyphs

  • Enemy at the Gates: Fixed an issue where players were unable to ride the War Serpent.

Pet Battles
  • Fabled Pandaren Pet Supplies should now always contain a Lesser Pet Treat.

Pet Battles
  • Scenarios
    • Secrets of Ragefire: Fixed an issue where certain situations could cause the Scenario to get stuck on Stage 3.

  • Enchant Weapon - Spirit of Conquest is now soulbound.
  • Enchant Weapon - Bloody Dancing Steel is now soulbound.

Battlefield: Barrens
  • Kor'kron Commanders are now non-faction specific multi-tap for all characters that attack them.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Elite Gear and Rating Requirements
Don't worry, elite gear tied to rating is coming back next season.
As I understand it, this is indeed the current plan. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Talent Choice Simplicity
Well. To be fair, a lot of people never look up how to spec their characters, and so in those cases the old system probably felt slightly more dynamic. Unfortunately what they didn't know is that their choices were probably wrong. But maybe they don't care that their choices were wrong and their character was suboptimal - that's an honest way to play a game. Not everyone wants to ensure their character is maximizing its output, and it's the look and feel of the system that's more important than its actual effect.

That said, the new trees are still superior in offering competing options and each one can change up how your character plays, and differentiate it from someone else. If you look at build guides these days the suggestions for talents are usually just breakdowns on how each one works and which ones work better in what situations. There generally aren't any clear cut builds because most choices are viable depending on what you're doing. Obviously everyone is going to have favorites, but the fact that talent builds are a discussion instead of a map on how to place points, I think it's worked out quite well.

I'll add in the caveat that it's not perfect, some trees don't offer great options, some options aren't taken very often, and those are things we'll continue to tweak. Overall though we're quite happy with how the new trees have hit the goals we set forth. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Conquest Point Catch Up
I've not even done arena on this char in this season, and my cap is only 10k.
This is because the catch up system doesn't function as is explained in the opening post of this thread. The cap you mentioned in your post is actually correct if you have not earnt any Conquest points yet this season, because we are in week 10. The formula is as follows (As Russlad said):

(Week of season x 1000) - Conquest already earned. = Conquest cap

If the result of this equation is a negative or below your normal weekly cap, this means that your Conquest cap will be calculated as it would any other normal week.

If you weren't 90 during those weeks you missed don't get any extra points from what I understand. Seems kinda buggy, my SP that has missed loads of weeks didn't get a bigger cap either but granted it has full gear.
This is incorrect. If a character dinged level 90 this week, their cap would be the same as a character that has been level 90 since patch 5.2 but has not earned any Conquest points this season. You do not miss out on cap for weeks of the season that you were not level 90 for. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Please dont nerf flying because of a small minority sport like world pvp.
We like the MoP solution for now - no flying while leveling with some no fly zones on top of that. (Source)

Consider adding a LFD-style bag system to LFR. Dps get shorter queues, tanks and healers get occasional rewards. Everyone wins
We might. (Source)

How long do you think your expansion design methodology (new continent, new class/race, 3 new herbs/ores/cloth) can last?
I think players want to see some new gameplay too and not just new iterations of the things they've seen before. (Source)
Even if they aren't for you, challenge modes, pet battles, the farm, scenarios were all new types of ways to spend time. (Source)

Not saying it’s bad, I like it…just feels totally different.
The 5.0 talent design will stick around for awhile. We agree that leveling is missing frequent rewards though. (Source)
The *current* talent design feels pretty solid to us. We'll iterate but no overhaul plans. #famouslastwords (Source)

Why not spend time optimizing existing game systems like crafting instead of adding new systems that eat up developer time?
Ideally we try to do a little of both. Some players get bored of the old systems even if they are very well polished. (Source)

A patch used to include dungeons and raids, not a patch is just balance and dailies.
Dragon Soul came with few new boss models and virtually no new architecture because of the 3 dungeons included in that patch. (Source)
By contrast, Throne of Thunder has a lot of new boss models and a lot of architecture. It came at the expense of no dungeons. (Source)
Is there a happy medium? Can we do both? Perhaps. It's something we will work on in the future. (Source)
Now granted many players enjoyed the heck out of those dungeons. But others were quite candid about the raid. (Source)
This makes me believe that dungeons take a lot more effort than many peeps realize. oO Loved the Eternity one.
The architecture (the physical dungeon) takes a very long time. The encounters take time too, but usually less. (Source)
You can mitigate that by doing outdoor dungeons, but it's easy to overdo those. (Source)
Why can't the scenario team work on dungeons instead? Can't stand scenarios as healer; even in guild as disc.
Good dungeons require a lot of art. (Source)

ICC had new boss models, a lot of arche AND dungs. And you were going to hire more people since 4 years ago
We could only do that because the previous tier had a rather small raid and dungeon (that are not universally loved). (Source)
We could delay patches more in order to have more content per patch. Not sure that's the right answer either. (Source)
Could also hire more, which we are trying to do. That's a slow solution though unless you're willing to sacrifice quality. (Source)
Couldn't you combine Scenarios with 5 man logic and use existing environment? Same for raids?
We could, yes. Concern would be that players may view that as rehashed content and not the "real" dungeons they were looking for. (Source)

I hope you guys understand the no new 5 mans announcement, non-queueing for heroic scenarios, etc. drive away casual players.
We're not sure that just 1-3 new dungeons provides content for players for very long. Even Magister's I didn't run 30-40 times. (Source)

tri-spec won't happen, fine... Where are the proving grounds? A whisper in the wind.
Working on them. But when we talk about unannounced features too much they tend to become "promises." Just the way it goes. (Source)

Why not use scenario to show progress in the stories in EK/Kalimdor? Like scenario showing the war in Ashenvale/Gilneas?
That would be cool. Currently our scenarios are focused on recent events, but the possibility certainly exists. (Source)

Will an item level squish affect our ability to solo older content? If it doesn't, I have no problem with it.
The goal is it will not affect your ability to solo older content. (Source)
Squish is useless, because it just delays the inevitable. Numbers will get out of hand again. Regular squishs inc?
Maybe? With the squish we had planned for MoP, we wouldn't need to do it again for 2-3 expansions. Every 1 might feel weird. (Source)

Any plans to impelement an in game voice communication? You need other software to play any serious pve/pvp. Isn't that weird?
Would love to do it, but it's one of those solutions that you have to get right and we certainly did not with our first attempt. (Source)

Icy Veins Class Guides 5.3 Update
Icy Veins has updated their class guides for Patch 5.3, as well as having them reviewed by top players of each class.

by Published on 2013-05-22 10:24 AM

Diablo III’s One-Year Anniversary Infographic

Patch 5.3 Dev Interviews
Gamebreaker had a live video interview with Blizzard this week, so here is a recap in case you missed it!

Subscription Numbers
  • Players come back for expansions, and patches help a little bit, but players are always lost over time until the next expansion. Blizzard is trying to get content and expansions out quicker to make sure everyone has something to do.
  • When quitting the game, players mention that the game changes too fast and they couldn't keep up.
  • The devs read fansites and the official forums to get feedback and see what players are thinking, but the players that actually post or even read those sites are the minority.

PvP Changes
  • The PvP gearing changes in Patch 5.2 were meant to address the different tiers of PvE gear by matching them with different tiers of PvP gear. Upgraded items made this a messy and a non optimal solution.
  • Patch 5.2 tried to make some of the less interesting talents more desirable choices, but the changes went a little bit too far and made some classes too good. This will hopefully be corrected by the changes in Patch 5.3.
  • The goals of any class changes are to try and make different classes and specs competitive, then make the gameplay fun, and then make some talents and rotations interesting and fun to play.
  • World PvP outcomes generally depend on how many players of each faction there are in the battle and not the item level of the other faction's gear. The gearing changes in 5.3 aren't likely to cause drastic changes for most world PvP battles.
  • After the gearing changes made in 5.3, Conquest gear should let you start to raid with your friends, and PvE gear should let you start to PvP with your friends.
  • There is no advantage to be gained by queuing as an incorrect role for battlegrounds, as the system has no set number for each role, it just roughly matches the number of healers on both sides. Signing up as a healer when you are not healing won't give you a faster queue, but it will put your team at a disadvantage.
  • Matching players by gear for battlegrounds is a nice idea, but it would be hard for players to tell that it is working. The base resilience change and other changes in 5.3 should help to address large gear disparities.
  • Warsong still has problems with graveyard camping. One potential solution can be seen in Deepwind Gorge, which has two different graveyards, putting you at the one on the opposite side when you die.
  • The best kind of CC has a cast time and is interruptible and the worst kind is instant cast that has no cooldown or stuns.

  • The original scenarios are too easy now, as they were designed for players with older gear with lower item levels. Heroic scenarios provide more difficulty and better rewards.
  • Throne of Thunder had to be a big and epic raid, which took up a lot of dev time. When the team compromised with Dragon Soul and delivered a raid and five man dungeons in one patch, the raid ended up being a little bit smaller than everyone wanted. The team is growing though, so progress is being made towards being able to do both.
  • The first tier of raids in this expansion had slightly easier content in the 10 player difficulty, which matched the audience who was raiding 10 player difficulty.
  • There aren't many 25 player raiding guilds that only focus on Normal difficulty. These guilds usually try to get through Normal difficulty encounters quickly to move on to Heroic difficulty encounters.
  • There are a lot of 10 player raiding guilds that just focus on Normal content though, which means the players doing 10 player difficulty in Throne of Thunder struggled a little bit compared to the 25 player guilds.

Patch 5.4
  • In Patch 5.4, Valor Points will still be used to upgrade your items. There may also be other sources of gear for players that don't like raiding, which will not require Valor Points.
  • The new events in the Barrens are designed to keep players out in the world, without using daily quests. As long as things go well in 5.3, there will be something similar added in Patch 5.4.

Patch 5.3 Hotfixes - May 21
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
  • Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Force of Nature now summons Treants that have 40% of the Druid's health, up from 10%.
        • Balance Druid Treants: Cast time for Wrath has been increased to 2.5 seconds, up from 2.0 seconds, and damage dealt has been increased by 25%.
  • Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Mistweaver
      • Surging Mist will again properly grant Chi to the casting Monk when healing targets other than themselves while Glyph of Surging Mist is active.
  • Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Divine Protection should now be usable while stunned.
  • Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Fixed an issue for Restoration Shamans where Ascendance did not divide the amount healed by Restorative Mists among nearby allies properly.

  • Path of the Last Emperor: Seer Hao Pham Roo should no longer be overlapping with Lorewalker Cho.

  • Galleon should now use the correct loot table while awarding loot.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Karazhan
    • Chess Event: Increased the delay between moves for enemy chess pieces.
  • Scenarios
    • Fixed an issue with characters not shape-shifting back into the correct race while under the effects of an illusion spell enabling them to participate in an opposing faction's Scenarios.

  • Conquest Quartermasters (Armsmaster Holinka and Roo Desvin) have been temporarily disabled while we work to resolve an issue with the Tyrannical Conquest achievement.
  • Big Zokk Torquewrench has been found by a search party and brought back from their extended leave of absence.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Deepwind Gorge has been temporarily removed from Rated Battlegrounds rotation while we work to resolve an issue affecting base capture.

Battlefield: Barrens
  • Map markers for caravans that have been destroyed should now be properly removed from the world map.
  • Overturned caravans should now despawn properly.

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed a crash on startup for Macs with the GMA 950 chipset.

Conquest Vendors Temporarily Disabled
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The achievement, Tyrannical Conquest, is only intended to be awarded when players earn 25,000 Conquest Points. Due to an issue that was not detected during the PTR testing process, the achievement could be awarded much earlier than intended. We are currently in the process of working to resolve the issue.

In the meantime, we’ve applied a hotfix that temporarily prevents players from purchasing gear from Tyrannical PvP item vendors.

LF Feedback - Pet Abilities Adjustments
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re looking to make further Pet Battles adjustments in a future patch (potentially 5.4), and your valuable feedback is needed!

Currently, in an Elemental vs. Mechanical matchup, Elementals gain both an attack bonus versus Mechanicals as well as a defensive bonus against Mechanical abilities. In order to help even the playing field a bit, we were mulling over some potential changes to damage types, and the families they would be weak against.

Here are some initial ideas that are being kicked around:

  • Mechanical abilities would deal less damage versus Critter (instead of Elemental)
  • Elemental abilities would deal less damage versus Dragonkin (instead of Critter)
  • Flying abilities would deal less damage versus Elemental (instead of Dragonkin)

And here is a second set of ideas we’re considering:

  • Undead abilities would deal less damage versus Elemental (instead of Aquatic)
  • Mechanical abilities would deal less damage versus Aquatic (instead of Elemental)

Your thoughts on these potential changes would be really helpful, so please take a moment to reply below and let us know what you think.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Heroic Scenarios
Punishment for players who aren't social?
There are a great many things to do in World of Warcraft for players that prefer to be less engaged socially, such as Raid Finder, Dungeon Finder, PvP queues, questing, etc. The fact that there are pursuits in the game oriented toward organized gameplay isn't a punishment.

Quite the opposite. Heroic scenarios represent a reasonable challenge. It would be misleading to present a queue, since in other cases they exist only for gameplay elements designed specifically for randomly assembled groups, and for those players who queue to struggle because the content wasn't designed with random queuing in mind.

I know it would mean stepping outside of a comfort zone, but if you want to try them out, maybe you'll actually find that you have some fun finding other players on your realm to explore them with.

Aww...first time I'm ever quoted by a blue and I was being silly. I definitely agree with the sentiment that it just isn't intended to be done with a random queue. I think it is a good thing to encourage people to work in teams smaller than 10 again since the social part of the game (outside of guilds is dwindling)
That's awesome to hear! I'm curious to see what you think of them after you've tried a few.

I hear the loot has the potential to be pretty good. And I just quoted you in particular because I wanted to address the argument (not your argument) that pre-made group content represents some kind of punishment. I also quoted you because you're awesome. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

25k Conquest Achievement Fix
This is intentional. The achievement will be awarded once again after the issue that was causing it to be awarded too early is resolved.

Any estimate on how long this is going to be?

There's no ETA available at the moment, but it is something that we hope to resolve as soon as possible. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

25k Conquest Achievement Fix
And I still can't buy stuff from the QM's. I won arenas and BGs, then logged over to an alt.... now I can't buy them on this character...
Both the achievement and the vendors have been disabled until a fix can be applied that resolves an issue that was allowing the Tyrannical Conquest achievement to be awarded too early. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Heirloom Discount
Which discount were you referring to, out of curiosity? I don't recall any patch notes referring to Heirloom discounts?

I believe that the the Heirloom upgrades were reduced in price from their original costs, though. Perhaps that's the source of the confusion? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Queue Times
We're definitely aware of the issue and are currently investigating it now, though we don't have an ETA for you just yet. Hang in there and we'll keep you informed should there be any further updates we can provide. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Openraid Event - Midwinter
Openraid is holding another event this weekend! This time you have the chance to ask questions and raid with Midwinter, the 7th place guild for this tier. This time around it is for US-Alliance players, but anyone can ask questions.

Dark Legacy Comics
DLC #390 has been released!

by Published on 2013-05-20 03:39 AM

The Fight with Rubberbanding Continues, BoA Stats Will Be Searchable in the AH, Anniversary Buff Clarifications, Idea for a Buff, Curse Weekly RoundUp

Update: Blizzard posted the official notes tonight, and you can see the changes from the PTR notes here!

Patch 5.3 Live This Week
Patch 5.3 is going live this week, less than three months after Patch 5.2 went live!

  • Heroic Scenarios give 120-150 Valor Points for your first every day and a chance to get a item level 516 item. The Challenge mode daily quest also gives you a chance at item level 516 gear.
  • The legendary quest line continues, with a reward of item level 600 cloaks.
  • The Kor'kron have taken over the Troll area in Orgrimmar, as well as Razor Hill, and are advancing on Sen'jin Village. You will team up with Thrall, Vol'jin, and Chen Stormstout to push them back and retake Razor Hill.
  • The weekly Barrens quest will give you a chance to buy an item level 489 item.
  • There are several new mounts in this patch, with the most interesting being the Enchanted Fey Dragon.
  • You can now use items in your bank and Void Storage for transmogrification.
  • A quest was added that will reveal the final Sha and reward you with item level 502 boots.
  • Four new scenarios, one battleground, and a new arena were added to the game.
  • There are lots of PvP changes, with a 65% base Resilience, less PvP Power and Resilience on gems, no more Resilience on most gear, the Conquest catch up cap implemented, and more!
  • The Brawler's Guild has some new bosses and other updates, along with some new shirts.
  • Heirloom shields are finally on the vendors.
  • You can now level mining and herbalism in Pandaria, no matter what skill level you are at.
  • There are many more changes, so be sure to read the full post!

Patch 5.3 Notes

Heroic Scenarios
Patch 5.3 adds Heroic Scenarios, which are made more difficulty by NPCs that do more damage and have increased health.

  • Heroic Scenarios require a pre-made group and an item level of 480 to queue for.
  • The first Heroic Scenario of the day will reward 120 Valor Points, with an additional 30 if you are able to complete the time based bonus objectives.
  • You will also earn a Heroic Cache of Treasures, which has a chance to drop epic item level 516 gear.
  • Doing another scenario after the first reverts to the old Greater Cache of Treasures and 70 Valor Points plus 30 Valor Points for the bonus objectives.
  • You can only complete a Heroic Scenario or Normal Scenario for the daily bonus Valor Points reward, not both.
  • Heroic Deeds is a one time only quest, found in your faction's Vale city, which will grant you the Bulging Heroic Cache of Treasures. This has a guarenteed item level 516 item inside.

Challenge Mode Daily Quest Reward
The Heroic Cache of Treasures has been added to the Challenge Mode Daily Quests. This gives you a chance at the item level 516 loot, better than what you can get from Raid Finder!

Legendary Questline
Patch 5.3 continues Wrathion's questline with a few more quests. You first visit Wrathion so that he can send you to collect blessings from the four Pandaria Celestials. There are four challenges, one for tanks, healers, and two different ones for DPS. After completing the challenge most suited to your class and spec, you will return to Wrathion to receive one of the item level 600 cloaks below. The line ends with you waiting for Patch 5.4 and the Siege of Orgrimmar.

If you aren't caught up just yet, keep in mind that the A Test of Valor quest now only requires you to earn 3000 Valor Points, down from 6000.

Be sure to listen to the audio if you are interested in the Burning Legion and what is coming!

Level Type Spec Slot Name
600BackTankBack Oxhorn Bladebreaker
600BackTankBack Oxhoof Greatcloak
600BackMeleeBack Tigerclaw Cape
600BackSpell DPSBack Jadefire Drape
600BackSpell SpiritBack Cranewing Cloak
600BackPhysical DPSBack Tigerfang Wrap

The Darkspear Rebellion
Patch 5.3 starts setting up the story for Patch 5.4 and brings the fight back to Azeroth. One of the first things Horde players will notice is the Troll area of the Valley of Spirits in Orgrimmar has been taken over by the Kor'kron Guard, with Kor'kron Overseers taking aim at the residents. The trainers, bank, auction house, and every other NPC has been shut down, only talking about how dangerous it is now.

Things aren't much better for the Trolls outside of Orgrimmar, as they are being kept in cages or down on their knees, blindfolded, in front of armed and Neutral flagged Kor'kron Grunts. Riko is standing on some crates as well, and he is likely involved in the Patch 5.3 quests.

Further south in Razor Hill the Kor'korn have also posted guards, but operations are still continuing normally there. High Overseer Bloodmane has moved down to Razor Hill from his position outside of Orgrimmar.

Moving further south to Sen'jin Village, the guard presence there has been greatly increased, with the guards asking if you are going to help and saying "Welcome to da' revolution".

Going west to the Barrens, it looks different if you are level 90, similar to the Krasarang Wild changes. You can help to escort the Barrens Caravans through safely, as they are attacked when they pass through the Barrens. Doing so will give you a box of surplus supplies, required for a new weekly quest.

Four new Kor'kron camps have been added around the Barrens, harvesting Stone, Lumber, Oil, and Meat for the war effort. It appears they have also hired some Goblin Mercenaries to handle some of the work.

There are several quests that will also take place here, such meeting up with Sully and Amber in Durotar, who go through the new Dranosh'ar Blockade area to gather intelligence. You then head down to find Vol'jin and Chen Stormstout in Sen'jin Village. After this you begin to collect supplies from the Barrens, defend Sen'jin Village from the Kor'kron assault, and finally capture Razor Hill from the Kor'kron.

The Alliance are taking part in this quest line with separate Alliance caravans in the Barrens, and are able to open a dialogue after rescuing Zen'tabra from the Kor'kron.

While all of these events are taking place in Azeroth, events are unfolding in Pandaria. Things begin with a conversation between Taran Zhu and Sunwalker Dezco about the massive pit that has been dug in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The story behind this is revealed in the Dark Heart of Pandaria scenario, which is currently unavailable. The Alliance also get a view of the current story in the Blood in the Snow scenario.

Chen is troubled by these events, and sends you to find Seer Hao Pham Roo, an expert on the last emperor. Once you assist him in climbing Mount Neverrest you are rewarded with some item level 502 boots.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Taran Zhu: Tauren! What have your people done? You have dredged open a scar within our sacred Vale!
Sunwalker Dezco: Lord Zhu, please understand - the orc "Warchief" who ordered the deed no longer speaks for the whole of the Horde. Many voices are rising up against him.
Taran Zhu: Your politics are no concern of mine. Your Horde has disrespected the sanctity of this place. You are no longer welcome here - leave at once!
Sunwalker Dezco: Give us time, Lord Zhu. Give us the opportunity to bring Hellscream to justice.
Taran Zhu: Sunwalker, I respect your people. You have aided us in our campaign against the Sha and the Thunder King. Otherwise, I would've already ordered the Shado-Pan to purge this entire shrine. But my patience is at an end. The Horde must leave.
Sunwalker Dezco: Please. Give us time to make this right.
Taran Zhu stares grimly into the distance.
Taran Zhu: Very well. You have until season's end. No longer. We pandaren are no strangers to dealing with tyrants. The coming battle will try your souls. May the celestials guide your actions.

Battle of Razor Hill
The Horde begin by traveling to Sen'jin village after completing two of the new scenarios, and speaking with Vol'jin. He sends you in to the Barrens to collect 15 Lumber, Stone, Oil, and Meat, which requires killing one mob per item, looting crates with the items, or escorting the caravans that travel through the Barrens.

After gathering those supplies, you return to Vol'jin in time for the Battle of Sen'jin Village, in which you join Thrall and Chen Stormstout in defending the village from the Kor'kron attackers.

After a solid victory in Sen'jin Village, you march onward to Razor Hill with Vol'jin and Chen Stormstout. Upon arriving at Razor Hill, the battle is already underway in the air and on the ground. You defeat some guards, named NPCs, and release captive Razor Hill NPCs from cages before heading to see Vol'jin once again. Once at the small new Sanctuary area outside of Razor Hill, Baine Bloodhoof shows up to speak with Vol'jin about helping the revolution.

Darkspear Rebellion Quartermaster
Ravika, the Darkspear Rebellion Quartermaster can be found in Sen'jin Village before you complete all of the Battle for Razor Hill questline, and outside of Razor Hill once you have retaken the city. She sells various items for the new Barrens resources (Kor'kron Stone, Kor'kron Oil, Kor'kron Lumber, Kor'kron Meat).

The Latent Kor'kron Belt pieces cost 200 of the Barrens resources from the vendor, as well as rarely dropping from Kor'kron NPCs you are killing in the Barrens for the Battlefield: Barrens weekly quest. They can be combined with a Radical Mojo from the weekly quest to create a piece of item level 489 spec appropriate armor.

New Mounts
Patch 5.3 adds several new mounts to the game, but we don't have sources for all of them yet.

Transmogrify From Bank and Void Storage
Patch 5.3 adds the ability to transmogrify to items that are located in your bank or Void Storage without having them in your bags!

New Scenarios
Four new Scenarios are being added in Patch 5.3.

Story and Lore
Lorewalker Cho will have a new story to tell in Patch 5.3, which you must listen to before doing the Blood in the Snow Scenario. You can also help the Old Seer climb Mount Neverest to learn about the final Sha and earn some item level 502 boots!

Level Type Spec Slot Name
502ClothSpell SpiritFeet Modest Sandals
502ClothSpell DPSFeet Unassuming Slippers
502LeatherSpell SpiritFeet Treads of Respect
502LeatherPhysical DPSFeet Self-Effacing Boots
502MailPhysical DPSFeet Treads of Reticence
502MailSpell DPSFeet Unpretentious Boots
502PlateTankFeet Sabatons of the Humble
502PlateMeleeFeet Subservient Greatboots
502PlateSpell SpiritFeet Boots of Boundless Patience

PvP Changes
There are a lot of changes coming to PvP in Patch 5.3, so be sure to read the PvP Gear in Patch 5.3 and PvP Gear in 5.2 and Beyond blog posts!

  • Battlegrounds, Rated Battlegrounds, and Arenas now have an ilevel cap. All gear will be scaled down to ilevel 496.
  • All characters now have a base Resilience of 65%.
  • PvP Power conversion ratio to obtain 1% damage at level 90 has been changed from 265 to 400.
  • Battle Fatigue now reduces the amount of healing and absorbs by 45%, up from 30%.
  • Healing specializations receive a 100% bonus to healing from PvP Power.
  • Damage specializations for Druids, Monks, Paladins, Priests, and Shamans receive a 70% bonus to healing from PvP Power.
  • All other specializations and classes (including tanking) receive a 40% bonus to healing from PvP Power.
  • Resilience has been removed from most PvP gear and set bonuses, excluding PvP Trinkets.
  • PvP Power and Resilience amounts have been halved on gems.
  • Dancing Steel and Jade Spirit now have a PvP version that shares the same visual effect as Glorious Tyranny, costs a scroll of the base enchant, and requires a 2200 rating.
  • The seasonal currency requirement of 7,250 Conquest Points earned will be lifted from weapons
  • The Conquest Point catch up cap will be introduced: (Current week of the season) * 1000 – (Conquest earned thus far this season)
  • Tyrannical Gladiator's Tabard and Tyrannical Gladiator's Greatcloak are available as new prestige items at 2500 rating for 1000 Conquest Points.

Battleground Roles
Patch 5.3 finally adds roles to queuing for random battlegrounds. The role you select is used to try and balance the number of healers on both sides.

Deepwind Gorge Battleground
Deepwind Gorge is set in the western part of the Valley of the Four Winds, in a gorge that is only present in the battleground, not in the regular world. This is a 15 player battleground for level 90 players.

The battleground has two different objectives, the first being the three mines. There is a northern Pandaren mine, central mine, and a southern Goblin mine. The mines are captured like the bases in other battlegrounds, just clicking the flag and capturing it. While you hold the mine NPCs will mine gold for your faction, bringing you closer to the 1600 resources required to win.

The second objective is the cart of gold placed at each faction's base. You can click the cart to attach it to yourself, and then walk back to your base to capture it. You do not need your own team's cart to be present to capture, unlike the normal battleground flags. Holding the cart limits your movement speed to normal running speed. If you kill the enemy cart holder, you must click on the cart to return it to your base before someone on the other team clicks to pick it up. Capturing the cart rewards you with 20 bonus honor and 200 resources and actually steals 200 from the enemy team.

Tiger's Peak Arena
Tiger's Peak is an open circle, with two smaller half circles that will allow some LoS on each side. There are two raised platforms on the left and right side of the arena that can only be climbed via a set of stairs on the side facing the wall. There is a fence around the side of the platform facing the center of the arena which you can jump over to leave the platform, but it is too high to jump from the arena to the platform. The fence does not block line of sight though, so you can cast on players in the center of the arena from the platform.

Patch 5.3 Achievement Rewards
Patch 5.3 adds many new achievements, including a few with rewards. You can pick up new titles from Pet Battles, Deepwind Gorge achievements, and the new Barrens quest line, as well as another Brawler's Guild invite and new shirt from the Brawler's Guild, and an Armored Dragonhawk for collecting 200 mounts!

Name Side Points Reward Category
Brutal Pet Brawler Win 250 PvP pet battles through Find Battle with a full team of level 25 pets.
Darkspear Revolutionary Aid Vol'jin's troll uprising during Patch 5.3: Escalation.
Horde 5Pandaria
Deadly Pet Brawler Win 1000 PvP pet battles through Find Battle with a full team of level 25 pets.
Deck Your Collection Defeat the following Brawler's Guild bosses.
Alliance 10Brawler's Guild
Deck Your Collection Defeat the following Brawler's Guild bosses.
Horde 10Brawler's Guild
Having a Brawl Reach Rank 9 with Bizmo's Brawlpub.
Alliance 10
Rewards: Brawler's Pass
Brawler's Guild
Having a Brawl Reach Rank 9 with Brawl'gar Arena.
Horde 10
Rewards: Brawler's Pass
Brawler's Guild
Hordebreaker Pit Vol'jin's troll uprising against Garrosh Hellscream's Horde during Patch 5.3: Escalation.
Alliance 5
Rewards Title: <Name> the Hordebreaker
Master of Deepwind Gorge Complete the Deepwind Gorge achievements listed below.
10Deepwind Gorge
Mount Parade Obtain 200 mounts.
Horde 10General
Mount Parade Obtain 200 mounts.
Alliance 10General
Raiding with Leashes II: Attunement Edition Collect all of the battle pets listed below from Karazhan, Serpentshrine Cavern, and Tempest Keep.
Reward: Tito
The Longest Day Complete all of the pet battle daily quests listed below in a single day.
10Pet Battles
Tournament Glory 2013 Rated in the top 1000 of teams participating in the 2013 Tournament Arena Realm
Feats of Strength

Brawler's Guild Changes
Patch 5.3 adds several new bosses to the Brawler's Guild, as well as some other things:

  • Card Trader Ami will sell you cards that allow you to fight bosses from ranks you have already defeated.
  • Defeating some of the new bosses will give you access to some of the new Brawler's Guild shirts. These shirts all have an equip effect, which looks similar to the effect of Precious' Ribbon, rewarding you with an extra buff on you at all times.
  • Defeating all of the new bosses will give you the Wraps of the Blood-Soaked Brawler.
  • A new VIP lounge has been added on the zeppelin circling the arena for Rank 8 players. The Alliance also have a VIP lounge in the balcony.
  • Two new ranks have been added, Rank 9 and Rank 10.
  • Reaching Rank 9 will give you another invite to the brawler's guild.
  • Reaching Rank 10 rewards access to purchase the Brawler's Burly Mushan Beast.
  • Spectator totems and consoles have been added to give you a better view of the fight.
  • The Alliance fight pit floor has been raised to make it easier to view the fight.

Heirloom Shields and Patch 5.2 Heirloom Price Reductions
Patch 5.2 added two new Heirloom shields to the game, but there were some issues with them and they never were added to vendors.

It appears the issues have been resolved, and we will see Weathered Observer's Shield and Flamescarred Draconian Deflector in Patch 5.3 at the cost of 2175 Justice Points.

Patch 5.3 will also reduce the price for the new heirloom items added in Patch 5.2 by 60%. Don't forget that two new Heirloom shields that cost 2175 Justice Points each are also coming in Patch 5.3!

Please note that only the upgrade Heirlooms that were added in Patch 5.2 have had a cost reduction, the old level 80 heirlooms are still the same price.

  • Patch 5.2 Heirlooms purchased with Justice points had costs reduced from 2175, 2725, and 3500 Justice Points to 870, 1090, and 1400 Justice Points.
  • Patch 5.2 Heirlooms purchased with Honor points reduced from 2175, 2725, and 3500 Honor points to 870, 1090, and 1400 Honor points.
  • Patch 5.2 Heirlooms purchased with Darkmoon Faire prize tickets reduced from 110, 130, and 160 prize tickets to 44, 60, and 64 prize tickets.

Profession Changes
There aren't many profession changes in Patch 5.3, but the major one makes leveling mining and herbalism possible in Pandaria with a low skill level.

  • Miners can now level mining from a low skill level completely in Pandaria. Nodes will yield Ghost Iron Nuggets with the amount being determined by your skill level. You can combine ten nuggets to make one ore.
  • Herbalists can now level herbalism from a low skill level completely in Pandaria. Nodes will yield a partial herb with the amount being determined by your skill level. You can combine 10 of the partial herbs to form a complete herb.
  • Currently on the PTR, you will sometimes get fragments and the actual herb or ore when gathering near the minimum level for that node type.
  • The Engineering mount and pet (Skyclaw and Pierre) won't make it in to Patch 5.3.

New Battle Pets
Patch 5.3 brings 20 new Battle Pets to World of Warcraft. Most of the new Battle Pets are part of either the Patch 5.2 content or The Burning Crusade's T4 and T5 raids. Unfortunately, Pierre has been pushed back again to Patch 5.4. In addition to the many balance/functionality changes announced for Battle Pets in the 5.3 Patch Notes, Simca has created an extensive list of Unannounced Battle Pet Changes.


Four new Battle Pets have been added to Karazhan. The Big Bad Wolf from the Opera Event drops the Lil' Bad Wolf. The Curator drops his Menagerie Custodian. Terestian Illhoof drops one of his Fiendish Imps. Lastly, Prince Malchezaar drops one of his famous Netherspace Abyssals.

Serpentshrine Cavern

Three new Battle Pets have been added to Serpentshrine Cavern. Morogrim Tidewalker has a chance to drop a miniature Sea Giant called Tideskipper. Hydross the Unstable can sometimes drop a Battle Pet version of the elementals he spawns called Tainted Waveling. Additionally, Lady Vashj can now drop a Coilfang Stalker, a Battle Pet very similar to one of the adds she spawns.

Tempest Keep

Three new Battle Pets have been added to Tempest Keep. Al'ar now has a chance to drop one of his Phoenix Hawk Hatchlings. Void Reaver drops a miniature version of himself called a Pocket Reaver. Lastly, High Astromancer Solarian can drop a Lesser Voidcaller.

Isle of Thunder / Isle of Giants

On the Isle of Thunder, the Quivering Filth in the pool of waste in the center of Ihgaluk Crag now have a chance of dropping a Filthling.

On the Isle of Giants, Direhorns now sometimes drop Direhorn Runts.

Throne of Thunder

Three more Battle Pets have been added to the Throne of Thunder in Patch 5.3. The Pygmy Direhorn that missed the cut last patch now drops from Horridon. Primordius now drops a Living Fluid on Raid Finder difficulty and a Viscous Horror on Normal and Heroic difficulty.

New Achievement Rewards

Tito is a reward of the new achievement Raiding with Leashes II: Attunement Edition, which requires you to collect all of the new Patch 5.3 pets in Burning Crusade raids.

Stunted Direhorn is the reward for the new achievement Brutal Pet Brawler, which requires you to win 250 PvP Pet Battles using only level 25 pets.

Other Patch 5.3 Pets

Gahz'rooki is sold by Ravika in Durotar at the cost of one Radical Mojo. To obtain a Radical Mojo, you must first complete the Patch 5.3 Troll Rebellion event. Afterwards, talk to Kit'a Arrowtusk in Durotar and complete the quest Battlefield: Barrens (Alliance / Horde)

The Unborn Val'kyr's exact spawning mechanism is currently unknown, but it has been sighted in at least two different locations that happen to be along the paths of rare spawn mobs in Northrend. It is quite possible that the Unborn Val'kyr randomly spawns in place of Northrend rares.

The Blossoming Ancient is a new pet that will be available in the near future from the Blizzard Store. Its color changes with the seasons.

Pet Battle Spectating
Patch 5.3 will allow you to see the battle that is taking place when players are doing battle with Wild Pets out in the world. Currently you just see a player standing there idly while they are fighting. This won't allow you to target the battle pets or see numbers for health and damage.

Dungeon Journal UI and Loot Specialization Menu
Patch 5.3 finally makes it faster to move through the Dungeon Journal by putting boss selections for an instance on the left always, and loot, abilities, and model on the right, making it much faster to switch between bosses to find the right loot list.

There is also now a Loot Specialization menu, which allows you to choose what spec you want loot for when getting bonus rolls, Raid Finder, and Pandarian quest rewards.

In-game Browser and Support Tools in 5.3
Keep in mind that the browser is limited to the support site only. You can't use it to visit the official forums or other websites.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re adding a feature-limited web browser to World of Warcraft that will replace the in-game support system with a direct portal to the Support site. Our aim is to give players in-game easy access to the site’s robust knowledge base and support contact system.

We’ve gone to great lengths to improve our website support systems and we want to offer access to all of its robust features in-game. The new browser will make it it easier to find information to help you resolve issues you’re experiencing or contact our representatives if you need a little extra help.

Gamon Updates
Everyone has a role to play in the upcoming war, even Gamon! He got a few upgrades in Patch 5.3, as he is now a level 90 Rare Elite with 39 million health.

New and Modified Maps

New Loading Screens

AskMrRobot Updated
AskMrRobot is ready to go for Patch 5.3, so get started picking out your upgrades! Keep in mind they have a free trial that works for a week.

OpenRaid may be a good source to find players for Heroic Scenarios if you don't have any luck with your guild or friends being online!

Patch 5.3 Video Recap
Don't have time to read the full patch notes? Jess is here with a fast paced recap of the changes coming this week!

WoWDB Addon Data Collection
Quickly populating the database with 5.3 additions is done with the help of many players. The more people that contribute data, the more accurate and quickly we can update the database.

To help out, just click here if you have Curse Client already installed.

When you are playing the addon will gather data and save it. When you are done playing, Curse Client will see the game close and upload the collected data from the addon. You can see the last time data was uploaded by looking in the Plugins tab of the options, as well as making sure the addon is enabled there.

If you have any WoWDB related feedback, you can post in this thread or send us an email.

by Published on 2013-05-18 01:45 AM

Patch 5.3 Release Next Week
Patch 5.3 will be released next week!

Patch 5.3 Mounts
Patch 5.3 adds several new mounts: Enchanted Fey Dragon, Hearthsteed, Armored Red Dragonhawk, Armored Blue Dragonhawk, Brawler's Burly Mushan Beast, and the Iron Hitching Post.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Patch 5.3 Experience Changes
So my question is this... What EXP and Level would you need to be at... (IE: Level 88 and 3/4) for when 5.3 comes out, to instantly hit 90? I completely hate Dread Wastes.

I know that I need gear, and Dread Wastes has good drops, but I hate leveling there.

So anyone able to do the math.. It seems that the WowWiki EXP Table isn't accurate.

Any excess experience over the amount needed to level will likely be lost. Overall though, the 33% reduction to XP needed to level is huge, and it's still a net gain. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Releasing During Boss Encounter
As a "non-hardcore" player, it seems odd to me that its thought to be OK to lock people out of playing (can't release, can't rez, can't do anything) in a LFR, or, for that matter, in any part of the game. Its a bad user experience. What am I supposed to do? AFK? I know you hardcore people don't care and will flame about it, but, seriously, this is why people go start investigating other MMORPGs... sitting in front of a game where you can't do anything is boring, and, in many games, the answer isn't "just suck it up". You don't have to, because it either doesn't happen, or there's some other option that's part of the game.
The reason you couldn't release while the boss encounter is active is so you remain eligible for loot/bonus rolls if the rest of the raid was able to successfully defeat the boss. You'd be singing a different tune if you were able to release to the graveyard resulting in lost loot eligibility. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
If you could say just one thing to help the community understand (frost) (mage) PvP balance, what would you say?
Brian may answer differently, but I would say mages are hard to counter for average players but easy for great players. (Source)
So historically a nerf to say Deep Freeze or poly risks making them dead at the high end. (Source)

Fixing the fact that melee is practically unusable in RBGs should be the priority before gutting a spec back down to nothing
We're not convinced it's melee. We think it's Gorefiend + Ursols + Solar Beam feels mandatory. (Source)

Have you taken the fact that people will just Role check as DPS then SWITCH specs ONCE in BG??
To what end? To have a bad team with no healers? (Source)
I think he's saying they'll queue as DPS then switch to a healing spec to have more than the other team.
Does that actually give you a stronger team? (Source)

"To facilitate jerks, hybrids will now need to click 'healer' to steal BG queues" Am I reading that right? Force spec swap!
Why would someone want a short BG queue just to get on a weakened team that loses their match? (Source)
In LFR, it's easier to "fake heal" and still beat the bosses. But in a BG, you'll feel it. (Source)

In the recent article on PVP it sounds like your fine with the fact that the BiS trink for PVP could very well be a PVE trink.
No, that's the opposite of what we were trying to say. (Source)

so removing flag carriers/making unwanted was a result of the new resilience system?Its a little bit stupid,dont you think?
Just want teams to have options for their carriers rather than having yet another part of the game dependent on finding a tank. (Source)

Why it you dont like multiboxers in bgs and yet allow premades. Flip Flops like this is why your loosing subs.
Some things are much easier to prevent than others. Still doing something even though we can't do everything isn't flip flopping. (Source)

if you're eliminating resil and nerfing pow rating by 50%, what exactly is the point of pvp gear? So much for incrementalism.
We want gear to matter in PvP, but skill needs to matter a lot too. This is consistent with feedback from many PvP players. (Source)

I find it amusing how a minigame with very little PvP support has better balance than the entire PvP metagame.
You find it odd that a turn-based game with no teams and no actor movement is easier to balance? (Source)

We are trying role checks for BGs in 5.3 to make sure there are enough healers on both sides. (Source)
Have you taken the fact that people will just Role check as DPS then SWITCH specs ONCE in BG??
To what end? To have a bad team with no healers? (Source)
I think he's saying they'll queue as DPS then switch to a healing spec to have more than the other team.
Does that actually give you a stronger team? (Source)
How will this system help over live?It won't figure an accurate # of heals due to heals queing as dps
The goal is just to make sure you don't get a team without some healers. (Source)

Why won't you nerf the burst in pvp and buff the sustain dmg? Have you tested it and it didn't work out or?
Yes. We don't think PvP is fun when nobody dies and Arenas last 45 min until mana dries up. (Source)

Drastic PVP changes mid-season? Devaluation of PVP gear vs. PVE gear? Loss of character progression for PVP-only players?
The first was because players essentially demanded it, and they were right to do so. The second we just disagree is a thing. (Source)

it seems that your reaction is to change the game to bring pve players to do pvp. (with changes favoring players pve)
The goal is to let PvE players use their PvE gear to get into PvP until they can earn better PvP gear. The flip side is true. (Source)
At the moment, both gearing paths are so long that it divides players and allows for little crossover. (Source)
But PvP players should ultimately want PvP gear. The PvE gear just gets them in the door. (Source)

It's weird how everyone knows where and how to get a battleground bot, yet you guys have no clue how to stop our misery.
Some of our moves are legal, and it doesn't work well if we tip our hand there. Not talking about it != nothing is happening. (Source)

Why aren't low pop/imba servers priority #1. Social games need the social aspect. I feel like I'm missing out a lot.
They are a high priority, but the solutions are complex. It's not a snap-fingers-to-solve problem. (Source)

Seems like this might be one of those "more interesting to the developer" situations. Players want less flying/tele?
A lot of players want less flying. They understand why it makes the world feel smaller, hurts world PvP and so on. (Source)
Teleporting is harder for me to explain via twitter, because it gets into the area of short term benefits with long term costs. (Source)
Honesty I jwish you embrace all their regressive ideas. Get rid of flying, lfr, lfr you name. Watch the game tank.
It is hard to move backwards for sure. (Source)

Why are you afraid to take resources away from end game to finish storylines/pretty up the game?
We did a lot of that in Cataclysm, but in retrospect aren't sure it was time well spent. (Source)
If it is kept relevant to the majority, it doesn't feel like wasted content. Reusing zones is not a bad idea
I don't want to portray anything as "wasted" content. There is usually a benefit to most of the things we do. (Source)
It's just a question of bang for the buck sometimes, which is frustrating, but a reality. (Source)
Was the issue based on reworking old zones or it was 1-60 content instead of 80+?
Redoing the art of the old zones and the quests was time we could have spent on more 80-85 content. (Source)
Some people love leveling, don't get me wrong. But even more players are focused on max level. (Source)

Knowing what you do now, how would've you done the 1-60 zones revamp from Cataclysm? Would you do it differently?
Not sure. Not 100% up to me of course, but I think focusing a lot more on 80-85 would have been on the table for sure. (Source)

Talk of needing a "world" in WoW but then when a request for a better one is made... this. expansion longevity pls
We're focused on Pandaria right now. Part of the reason the Cata world felt small is we spent so much effort on the old world. (Source)

What is the true reason behind the inequality of every capital city? Why is there only 'one' super capital for each expansion?
For BC, LK and MoP we thought it was cool to have a new place for high level characters to hang out. (Source)
For Cat, we thought it made more sense to revamp two existing cities in keeping with the theme. (Source)
Since orcs vs. humans is the heart of Horde vs. Alliance, we chose their cities. (Source)
What about the concept of an Evolving game world? Or will this game always be stationary?
We love the concept of an evolving game world. (Source)

TCG Art Update
Blizzard has updated the Trading Card Game art gallery to feature ten new pieces.

by Published on 2013-05-17 07:18 AM

Diablo III on PS4: Conversations With the Creators, Possible Changes in CS Practices, Diablo III with 33% Off the Price, Anniversary Art

Patch 5.3 PTR - Build 16958
Another PTR build came out very early in the morning yesterday. It is a Release Candidate build, which means Patch 5.3 is closer to going live.

Blizzard Insider #48 - Interview with Tom Chilton on Patch 5.3: Escalation
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In Patch 5.3: Escalation, players fight back against the aggressive reign of Garrosh Hellscream, once proud War Chief of the Horde. His crimes are many and his allies are dwindling, but he still holds the Horde capital city of Orgrimmar and retains full command of a vast army of loyal Kor’kron elite soldiers, fed by reinforced supply lines running throughout the Barrens.

Toppling the tyrant will not be easy.

To prepare you for this monumental struggle, the Blizzard Insider discussed the content in Escalation with Game Director Tom Chilton.

Blizzard Insider: Before we dive into the details of Patch 5.3, can you tell us about how the previous patch, 5.2: Rise of the Thunder King, has gone?

Tom Chilton: Overall we’re very happy with how the Thunder King raid turned out. I think it ranks among our best ever as far as size, scope, and overall quality of raid mechanics goes. Lei Shen in particular stood out as a great final encounter for the raid, on par with Yogg-Saron or Ragnaros. One of the more experimental aspects of the Thunder King patch that we’re especially happy with is the Determination buff, which gives all Raid Finder group members a 5% boost whenever they wipe. Raid Finder groups tend to have players of all skill levels, so this change has really helped these groups hold together and learn the mechanics of more difficult encounters, which overall has made Raid Finder groups a more viable option for progression.

Blizzard Insider: How does Escalation fit into the larger story arc for Mists of Pandaria®?

Tom Chilton: Patch 5.3 tells the story of what’s been happening on the Kalimdor home front while the continent of Pandaria was being explored across the South Seas. As the name implies, the core conflict revolves around Garrosh Hellscream and his escalating war efforts. Of course, the Alliance opposes Garrosh—for obvious reasons—but now even large factions of the Horde have turned on Garrosh as well. They’ve grown tired of his constant warmongering, and so Vol’jin leads the Darkspear trolls in open rebellion against their former war chief. Garrosh seems to be universally despised, so now players on both sides of the Horde and Alliance will soon get a chance to take a swing at him.

Blizzard Insider: Can you talk about the new features being added with Escalation? What features are you most looking forward to seeing players dig into?

Tom Chilton: The new Scenarios constitute the backbone of the Escalation patch, and we think players are going to have a lot of fun with these. Another big change will be the new events in the Barrens. The main supply lines that feed Garrosh’s war machine in Orgrimmar run throughout the Barrens, so players must win victories there first before they’ll be able to take on Garrosh directly. From the design side, we want to use the Barrens events to experiment with end-game open world content in new ways and try to get away from some of the more repetitive aspects of daily questing. As a result, we shaped the events as a series of dynamic events, rather than a straightforward progression of daily quests. We hope this ends up feeling much more fluid and freeform than previous end-game quests, with players of both the Alliance and Horde rampaging around, raiding Garrosh’s supply lines and spoiling his war efforts. Plus, just having the Horde and Alliance together in the Barrens at the same time will open up a lot of opportunities for world PVP.

Blizzard Insider:Can you talk a little about the changes to PvP combat? In what ways do the mechanics of PvP evolve in Escalation?

Tom Chilton: One of the biggest evolutions in PvP stems from the changes to the Resilience system. Mechanically speaking, Resilience stays much the same as before, but most of it has been removed from gear, and instead players are getting a much higher innate level of Resilience. Gear still matters in PvP, and certain gems and enchants will retain bonuses to Resilience, but the overall survivability difference between players with different sets of gear is narrower after patch 5.3. This means player skill plays a larger role in determining the outcome of a PvP battle than before. Plus, the Resilience change has the secondary benefit of allowing PvE players to cross over more easily into PvP, since they won’t have to first collect a separate set of Resilience gear in order to survive.

Blizzard Insider: How about new PvP content?

Tom Chilton: On the PvP content side, we’re also adding a new Battleground and a new Arena with Patch 5.3. The Battleground is called Deepwind Gorge and it features a “gold grab” mechanic, where both factions race to collect a certain threshold of gold for their side. Players can get gold in two ways, either gradually over time by holding key strategic points around the mining operations, or they can steal a gold cart from the other team’s base and drag it back to their own base. So Deepwind Gorge essentially combines classic “king of the hill” with “capture the flag” PvP mechanics.

The new Arena is called the Tigers’ Peak, and it experiments with the concept of “high ground” in an interesting new way. The Arena geometry includes several raised pillars, the tops of which are ringed with fences. These fences do not block line of site or ranged attacks, but they will catch any player who gets knocked back into them, thus enabling ranged players to hold the high ground and snipe or land heals from on high a bit more easily than they could otherwise with normal un-railed pillars.

Blizzard Insider: Can you go into details on the new Scenarios in Patch 5.3? Has the design philosophy of Scenarios changed much since they were first introduced at the beginning of Mists of Pandaria?

Tom Chilton: One thing we thought that Scenarios lacked after the launch of Mists of Pandaria was a sense of possible failure. Don’t get me wrong, they were always meant to be quick, fun, bite-sized pieces of content, but I think we can offer more of a challenge to players who are ready for it. So we’re introducing Heroic versions of several existing Scenarios, plus all the new Scenarios coming with Patch 5.3.

Unlike most normal Scenarios, the Heroic versions will only be available if you’re already in a premade group with two other players. Since the difficulty will be ramped up, we wanted to be able to tune the Heroic Scenarios around a group of players who know each other and are used to playing together. Plus, since it’s easier to build a group when you only need two other players, rather than the usual five, we figured Scenarios are a good place to experiment with requiring premade groups again.

Blizzard Insider: Let's talk loot. What kinds of items can players expect to find?

Tom Chilton: Players can definitely expect the usual Item Level upgrades. In addition, we’re also tweaking the loot system so players have option to choose which spec they wish to receive gear for [bonus rolls, Raid Finder loot, Heroic Scenarios, and Mists of Pandaria quests]. This means, for example, you can collect gear for your tank spec while you’re DPS-ing, or vice versa, which makes it easier to collect different sets of gear for your off-spec. In addition, on the art side, we’re also reintroducing the old world Dungeon Tier 2 armor sets back into the game as rewards for the revamped Barrens content. This enables new players to collect some of the older gear sets for Transmogrification without having to go back and farm the old world dungeons

Blizzard Insider: Anything else you’d like to share before you go?

Tom Chilton: Yeah, one more thing—another cool feature we’re adding with 5.3 is the ability to see other players’ Pet Battles, so you can conduct Pet Battles with an audience now. Other than that, we just wanted to say thanks again to our all of our play testers who’ve played through the 5.3 content on the Public Test Realm—your time and contributions are always much appreciated.

PvE Gear in PvP
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This one is a bit of an eyeful, so be prepared for a long post. I recommend reading the whole thing, but there is a TL;DR at the end. If my memory serves me well, this will be my biggest post since joining the community team!

Mírion has hit the nail on the head in pretty much all of his posts in this thread so far. Rated PvP has been seeing a decline in participants over time; however this is not because of balance issues as most people assume it to be. It is mostly due to the increased separation and distinction between PvP and PvE gear. As has been said, getting a full set of PvP gear is not really that hard in the sense of difficulty, but it is when you consider the grind and the feeling you get in those first few steps of PvP without the right gear.

I am sure that most, if not all of you here have at least once had the experience of entering into PvP either late in an expansion or season. If you have, then you know how difficult the process of getting your honor set and first few conquest pieces is. You start off by getting hit by trucks and attacking back with the damage of a wet noodle, as your gear gets better though, the experience improves and you start having fun. But you have to remember that it's those first few steps which are the most crucial to people continuing their PvP experience.

This separation of gear has caused a decrease over time in the number of PvP participants because the first few steps into PvP are so daunting for those who try it that the turnover results in a drop rather than an increase. For PvP, because so many people get scared away from it when they first have a go, you have much less "fresh blood", so to say. This ends up resulting in there not being enough new players sticking with PvP to compensate for those that decide to move onto something that is better suited to them.

Let's take two examples of people who are taking their first steps in PvP right now and making their decision if this is something they want to keep doing:

  • Player A is an established raider. They’re geared out in some pretty sweet ToT items, but wants to try out something new.
  • Players B is a freshly dinged level 90. They’re keen-eyed to try out PvP and has their crafted PvP set.
  • And to have them here to be used in the two below examples, Tyrannical, the BiS PvP geared player having a bit of fun in battlegrounds.

Now the below scenarios are extreme cases, you will not always be coming across a BiS person in PvP, and there are ways in which to increase your enjoyment when starting out such as playing with friends. While a lot of players will push through this initial hurdle and start to enjoy their time in PvP, I just want to give you some examples of what a first time experience can be.

Epic storytelling time #1:
Player A:
A enters an Arathi Basin match, bright-eyed and keen to try out this aspect of the game that's entirely new to them. The gates open for A and they charge off to Lumber Mill and engage their new-found foes. They are having a jolly time doing some decent damage and even scoring a kill while no one is attacks them, however then Tyrannical on the opposing side decides to attack A and he dies in an instant. A wonders what happened, but ignores the occurrence the first time.

A resurrects at base and heads out into the battle, but the same thing keeps happening — A goes into battle, gets attacked and dies. They get tired of this happening repeatedly and decide that PvP is not quite their cup of tea.

Epic storytelling time #2:
Player B:
B just got their Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's gear and an okay BoE weapon from the Auction House. They queue up for a battleground and get thrown into Twin Peaks, ready for battle they run out of the gates bearing down on the opponents flag, eager to capture it and bring glory to their team.

Another person manages to grab the flag before B can reach it, but that's okay — B now wants to go take down the enemy flag carrier. Little to B's knowledge, Tyrannical has the flag and is running along to bring it to their base. B intercepts Tyrannical and starts attacking as hard as he can but is doing little to take away from Tyrannical’s health. Tyrannical decides that the damage B is doing, while minimal, is becoming a nuisance, B is attacked and dies in moments. Like A, B ignores this first occurrence and decides to head back in to battle. But after this situation is repeated they become frustrated by doing so little damage and dying so quickly. They give up on PvP and move on to another aspect of the game where they feel they can make a more meaningful contribution.

As you can see, both players entered into PvP, bright-eyed and looking to have some fun, but they were met with a brick wall as they began their journey. Because of this brick wall that they encountered though, their motivation waned until they gave up and eventually decided to move to something else. The changes that we have planned for patch 5.3 are designed to improve the first time PvP’ers experience to try and increase the retention rate of newcomers to the scene.

The change will also ensure that PvP gear remains the best possible choice for PvP, do not fret over this. What we is to improve the experience for those starting out in PvP and as such increase the pool of players and the size of the community; which in-turn makes the experience of current PvP’ers playing the game that much better too.

TL;DR — The changes help increase the size of the PvP community and makes PvP more welcoming to new players, without making PvE gear BiS.

Making PvE gear BiS something I'm a bit scared off, since you nerfed the PvP gems it just seems like the pure stat gems will be better. Hope you're keeping an eye on them.
However any additional gem sockets come at the cost of the Ilvl budget, lowering some other stats. Base stats will be near, if not exactly identical when scaling comes into account. The reason that PvP gear will be stronger is because of the PvP power stat that is not taken into account for the Ilvl budget on items.

In the blog you posted it said that you removed resilience on "most" pvp pieces, are they still on trinkets?
At this time Medallions still have Resilience on them, Insignias, Badges and Emblems do not have resilience. This can possibly change in the future, but right now we will be keeping an eye on trinkets to ensure that they do not become a problem.

what about player C ?
I was giving some examples of situations where players take their first few steps into PvP. The examples I gave were enough to display the point behind the post, any more would have just made it far too big for anyone to read.

anyway... without these double proc, how do you kill a healer?
Coordinating burst and having good CC timings and effective target swaps. I take it from your posts that you are referring to difficulties killing a healer solo, first off — bad idea; it's do-able, but I would definitely recommend going at them with a friend. Healers are built around the concept of being able to, if played well, keep a team of three players alive against another team of three players, generally 2 DPS and a healer. If a healer was designed to be taken down by a single player in a 1v1 situation, then what kind of hope would they have in keeping a group alive in arenas or battlegrounds?

Healers can be killed and are far from being immortal, you just need to apply the appropriate pressure and play your cards right.

begin with ... these trinket should not even exist, or certainly should not be allowed to use them in pvp.

these trinkets currently have a unique function spoil the game.

Those trinkets offer a different playstyle and have received multiple changes to adapt them for PvP. Not only this, but those trinkets will also be susceptible to the same effects of the Ilvl cap as every other piece of gear in patch 5.3.

There is a PLAYER C which you didn't consider in your example. Player C enters a Battleground to get trashed like player A and player B but does not quit.

While a lot of players will push through this initial hurdle and start to enjoy their time in PvP, I just want to give you some examples of what a first time experience can be.
But I do understand where you are going with your post. But if the situation you give is accurate, then once that player reaches full BiS PvP gear, they will just stop until a new season comes around. A better way to entice people like this to play and continue to play is not to just offer them a way to enhance their characters power which is quite limited in how far it can go, but rather to also provide other rewards like those planned for patch 5.3. Some of the rewards we have planned are for when players reach 2500 rating, they can get a special tabard and a cloak. We also are thinking of potentially adding in rewards for accomplishments such as X number of RBG's or Arenas won.

Also, I am not sure where the progression of gear is being halved. The gear progression is no different from what it has been in previous seasons (Elite weapons being the exception), outside of the start of Season 13 where Elite gear was better than the normal one. In all previous seasons the progression was as follows:

  • Crafted PvP gear
  • Honor Gear
  • Conquest Gear
  • Elite weapon (Only one that was an upgrade)/cosmetic elite upgrades

Now the progress of gear will be as follows:

  • Crafted PvP gear
  • Honor Gear
  • Conquest Gear
  • Cosmetic upgrades

So in the end, the progression of gear has not really changed apart from the Elite weapon just becoming a cosmetic improvement. All this change is doing is leveling out the playing field a bit more to make entry into PvP a lot less daunting to help welcoming more people into the PvP community — this helps the entirety of the PvP community, even the player C you mentioned as they now have more people to play against.

You don't get ilvl 440 gear and go to take on Ra-Den.... that is why there is other raids and LFR to gear up and "progress" to finally take down Ra-Den one day. The point is to grind and get the gear to be able to do so.

Same with PvP. You don't just slap on gear and expect to take down a fully geared PvP player, that is just silly and should not be accomplished by someone with PvE gear.

PvE however has dungeons, heroics, LFR and then raiding in order to ease you into the process, so you are able to participate in gear appropriate content until you are able to enter raids. When a PvP player starts off their journey, they have no equivalent of dungeons where the health and damage of their opponent isn't insurmountable. They are thrown straight into a raid, where they have to overcome a raid boss with the gear you would normally use in a normal dungeon.

Why not make BG with a ilvl cap and pitch players with a certain amount of PvP ilvl against each other and those with better gear against their counterparts.
That's kind of what this change does, without diminishing the overall pool of players. It also accomplishes multiple other tasks as well, such as helping prevent PvE gear in PvP.

I was refering to the gear grind through the upgrade system in patch 5.1
This system got a lot of disapproval from the PvP community, from the feedback we received it was deemed best for it not to return in patch 5.2 or 5.3, which I am sure a lot of people here are glad to hear.

and, as you said, the expected elite gear in patch 5.2 which was abandoned during the first few weeks in favor of the 5.3 system.
This was removed because the gear inflation that would have occurred with season 14 would have been immense. Also, the difference between someone starting out in PvP and someone in full elite would have been too big. The new system for 5.3 was developed and deemed more appropriate and better for the community as a whole. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Patch 5.3 Release Date
Do you know if 5.3 is coming out this month or not for sure. I heard that is what you guys are aiming for but not sure if its a possibility it might not happen.
At current, it won't be much longer. We're hoping to get it out soon (and not the usual soon). I can't confirm more than that for you right now. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Death Knight Changes and CC in PvP
I'm glad they're reverting the nerfs and buffing necrotic strike, I was getting worried.
That's not the case anymore, the developers implemented a different change so that Death Knight diseases will no longer gain benefit from Tricks of the trade:

  • Change reverted: Festering Strike reverted to deal 200% weapon damage.
  • Change reverted: Scourge Strike reverted to deal 135% weapon damage.
  • Change reverted: Unholy Might reverted to 15% Strength increase.
  • Frost Fever and Blood Plague: The damage from these two diseases can no longer benefit from the damage increase granted by Tricks of the Trade.

How can one class just flop over the second he makes one tiny mistake, while the other can survive 3 people dpsing him while his healer:

- Runs of to get out of combat and ress
- Sits in multiple full CCs

Speaking of CCs and (burst) damage, which is something that gets mentioned from time to time:

The developers are keeping an eye on both burst and CC. Not being able to play your character for some time isn't fun, and neither is being bursted from 100% to 0.

Crowd Control is an integral part of World of Warcraft PvP. Without it, it would be little more than tunneling down your opponent. CC introduces the opportunities for skill and timing to come to shine in a way that wouldn't be possible in its absence.

What helps developers the most are specific examples. They do see the YouTube videos that the community shares from time to time, and all too often, they're taken against an undergeared opponent, or a player has every conceivable RNG going for them when they post a highlight.

Nonetheless, they're looking at simplifying CC and diminishing returns in the future, and they already recognize that some abilities and combinations of abilities can lend themselves to burst that's higher than what they'd like, such as Incanter's Ward (which was recently modified on the PTR to Incanter's Ward now allows the Mage to gain up to a maximum of 15% increase to spell damage, down from 30%, but the effect now lasts 25 seconds, up from 15 seconds.). That's the kind of ability that they'd likely 'smooth out' a bit, as they did in this case, where its effects get spread out in such a way as to not damage PvE dps, while lessening its burst potential in PvP. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Dark Legacy Comics #389
DLC #389 has been released!

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