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by Published on 2011-03-25 05:50 PM

Update 09:30PM CEST - It also looks like Reins of Poseidus is now an epic item, it will probably a loot from the rare NPC Poseidus in Vashj'ir.
Update 08:30PM CEST - Extinct Turtle Shell is now bound to account apparently and seems to be a potential Archaeology reward.
Update 08:00PM CEST - Added item changes/additions.
Update 07:45PM CEST - Added the final/clean version of class spells and professions changes.
Update 07:00PM CEST - Added the final/clean version of the Achievements changes.

PTR Patch 4.1 - Build 13793
A new build is finally being deployed on PTRs!

Item Changes



Achievements Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Dungeons & Raids
Cataclysm Dungeon
  • Ring Out! will only rewarded if all players defeat Daakara without leaving the turquoise stonework.
  • Here, Kitty Kitty... now requires you to defeat High Priestess Kilnara after having fed 4 Temple Rats to Bethekk's Pride. Now rewards 10 points, up from 0.

Exploration
Eastern Kingdoms

General

Guild (bottom tab)
General

Player vs. Player
Arathi Basin

Battle for Gilneas

Rated Battleground

Twin Peaks

Professions
Fishing



Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Class Skills
Companions
  • Guardian Cub Right Click to summon and dismiss your Guardian Cub. Instant
  • Pterrordax Hatchling Right Click to summon and dismiss your Pterrordax Hatchling. Instant
  • Voodoo Figurine Right Click to summon and dismiss your Voodoo Figurine. Instant

Mounts
  • Amani Battle Bear: Summons and dismisses a rideable Amani Battle Bear.
  • Subdued Seahorse Summons and dismisses a rideable Subdued Seahorse. This mount is a zippy swimmer.Due to his capricious nature, swim speed is not affected by effects that increase or decrease mount speed. 1.5 sec cast
  • Winged Guardian Summons and dismisses a Winged Guardian. This mount changes depending on your Riding skill and location. 1.5 sec cast

Death Knight (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Blood
  • Blood Strike base additional damage has been increased by 25%, from 680 to 850.
  • Blood Strike Off-Hand now scales from weapon damage instead of offhand weapon damage. (Not sure if it's relevant, but listing it)

Frost
  • Obliterate base additional damage has been reduced by 37.5%, from 1040 to 650.

Unholy
  • Desecration no longer triggers against targets that are immune to movement slowing effects.

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Feral
  • Ferocious Bite now scales from 32.7% of AP with 3 combo points, up from 23.27%. (Tooltip fix)
  • Savage Defense now only procs from non-periodic critical strikes.
  • Stampede now also causes Ravage to not have a positioning requirement.

Restoration
  • Nature's Swiftness now increases the amount healed by 50% if the spell is a healing spell.

Balance
  • Cyclone now lasts 6 sec, up from 5 sec.
  • Starfall - Shapeshifting into an animal form or mounting cancels the effect. Any effect which causes you to lose control of your character will suppress the starfall effect.
  • Starlight Wrath now Reduces the cast time of your Wrath and Starfire spells by 0.15/0.25 sec, up from 0.1/0.2 sec.

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

Marksmanship
  • Multi-Shot now deals 138% weapon damage, up from 118%.

Pet - Generic Hunter

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Frost
  • Frostbolt base damage has been increased by 10%, from [ 657 - 838 ] to [ 723 - 922 ]
  • Fingers of Frost now increases Ice Lance damage by 25%, up from 15%.
  • Ice Barrier now scales from 87% of Frost Spellpower, up from 80.7%.

Arcane
  • Arcane Blast now has a 2.2 sec cast time, down from 2.5 sec. Base damage reduced by 12%, from [ 1933 - 2247 ] to [ 1710 - 1988 ]

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Protection
  • Sacred Duty now also procs from Avenger's Shield. Now lasts 10 sec, down from 15 sec.

Holy
  • Illuminated Healing now absorbs for 12% of the amount healed, up from 10%. Each point of Mastery increases the absorb amount by an additional 1.5%, up from 1.25%.

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Discipline
  • Rapture now instantly energizes you with 5/7% of your total mana, up from 4/6%.

Rogue (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Subtlety
  • Cheat Death now cannot occur more than once per 90 sec, up from 1 minute.

Shaman (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Elemental Combat
  • Fire Nova now has a 100 yards range, up from 40 yards.

Enhancement
  • Dual Wield now increases chance to hit with melee attacks only.
  • Seasoned Winds no longer procs from interrupts with Grounding Totems.

Warlock (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Glyphs


Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Protection
  • Gag Order chance to silence the target now also affects Pummel.

Fury
  • Enraged Regeneration - Enraged, and new Enrage effects may not be gained while active.
  • Slam now deals 145% damage plus 624, down from 174% weapon damage plus 748.
  • Whirlwind now reduces the cooldown when it hits targets with the main-hand weapon.
  • Raging Blow now deals 100% weapon damage, down from 120%.

Arms
  • Colossus Smash now bypasses 100% of the armor but bypasses less armor on players.
  • Mortal Strike now deals 150% weapon damage, down from 175%.
  • Overpower now deals 125% weapon damage, down from 145%.
  • Improved Slam now increases Slam's damage by 10/20%.

Professions
Inscription

Cooking

Jewelcrafting

Alchemy

Engineering

Enchanting

Leatherworking

Tailoring
by Published on 2011-03-25 04:23 PM

Patch 4.1 Content Preview: Rise of the Zandalari
Blizzard finally posted a small preview of the Patch 4.1 content, confirming the updated skin of the Amani War Bear in the process.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
In years past, the Zandalar tribe, encompassing the wise and scholarly progenitors of the trolls, heroically assisted the Horde and the Alliance with thwarting the nefarious activities of their brethren in Zul'Gurub and Zul'Drak. Yet the chaos unleashed by the recent Cataclysm has reshaped the Zandalari's philosophy about the world and the dwindling remnants of their race. Led by a mysterious prophet known only as Zul, the Zandalari have issued a call to Azeroth's embattled troll populations: unite into a single mighty empire and save their race from extinction.

Thus far, the Gurubashi and Amani trolls have answered the summons and received aid from the Zandalari, allowing them to rebuild their respective capitals in Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman. Not all trolls, however, have so eagerly adopted the Zandalari's grandiose vision of a new troll empire. Vol'jin and his Darkspear tribe are opposed to the warmongering espoused by Zul. To prevent the burgeoning Gurubashi and Amani troll forces from wreaking havoc on Azeroth, Vol'jin has reached out to his Horde comrades and members of the Alliance for assistance. Should the Darkspears' campaign fail, a new troll empire shall rise and bring war to a world already beset by suffering and conflict.



A Threat Fought in Secret

Using a great deal of discretion, Vol’jin has dispatched Darkspear delegates to the capital cities of Stormwind and Orgrimmar calling for all able-bodied adventurers to investigate recent threats that have risen in the jungles of Stranglethorn.

The outlook isn't good. The Gurubashi tribe, their strength renewed, is running rampant throughout Stranglethorn. Players will have a chance to embark on all-new level-85 solo quests in Stranglethorn and will discover exactly what tribulations lie ahead -- Gurubashi leadership is still largely intact and rehabilitated through the new union with the Zandalari. Along the way, players will assist a sassy, headstrong Darkspear spirit-talker named Bwemba, they'll track down the elusive Hemet Nesingwary, and they'll encounter many of the new Zul'Gurub bosses throughout the steaming jungles of Stranglethorn.


Rewards for addressing the issues in Stranglethorn include an adorable panther pet of your own to care for. Players should seek out Vol'jin's representatives in Orgrimmar or Stormwind Harbor to begin their adventure.


Return to Zul'Gurub

This ancient city has once again become the staging grounds for an empowered Gurubashi people to strike against those who they perceive to be invading their ancestral lands. Now backed by the Zandalari, the Gurubashi present all-new challenges for players in this level-85 5-player Heroic dungeon. While players may see some familiar faces in this dungeon, the encounters and fight mechanics have been considerably updated. For allying yourself with the Darkspears, High Priest Venoxis, Broodlord Mandokir, High Priestess Kilnara, Zanzil, and Jin'do the Godbreaker would like to make one thing clear -- your intrusion will cost you. Take their heads and you’ll be presented with a treasure map. You’ll want to seek out its precious booty, including an account-bound ring with a gem so big it’s visible when worn!


Also, for those with a high enough Archaeology skill, an additional boss can be unlocked in Zul’Gurub. Gri'lek, Renataki, Hazza'rah, and Wushoolay will be randomly selected to put an end to those who dig too deep for greater riches. Should your group survive the challenge, you'll unearth a selection of rewards available from any of the four bosses, as well as loot unique to each boss.


The Amani Regrouped

With the aid of the Zandalari, the remaining Amani have reassembled under new, sturdy leadership in Daakara. Zul'Aman has been converted into a challenging level-85 5-player Heroic dungeon. For those who fought Zul'jin back during The Burning Crusade, much of the dungeon will feel similar, but the mechanics have been updated to suit a 5-player group. Akil'zon, Nalorakk, Jan'alai, Halazzi, Hex Lord Malacrass, and Daakara look to bring their tribe out of hiding and into the spotlight as a force to be reckoned with. Challengers beware.


Both Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub will require players to have a minimum average item level of 346 before they can enter. These two Heroic dungeons will exist in a separate Heroic difficulty tier in the Dungeon Finder, above the current Cataclysm Heroic dungeons. In return, they will offer players item level 353 epic-quality loot. Players can expect to find items for nearly every gear slot available in these two dungeons, though much focus has been placed on offering players itemization for hard-to-fill slots or specializations, such as bracers, helms, shoulders, guns, and wands.


Rare Mounts and More

As with the original iterations of Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman, players will have a chance to obtain updated rare mounts. The Swift Zulian Panther and Armored Razzashi Raptor are obtained in Zul'Gurub, while the Amani Battle Bear can be earned by killing the first four bosses of Zul'Aman in a limited amount of time.


The interests of the Zandalari no longer align with your own. Vol'jin needs your help to stop this play for power. Will you rise to the challenge?
by Published on 2011-03-25 05:07 AM

US First Glory of the Cataclysm Raider by Midwinter
Hey, look, we still have region first kills/achievements! Midwinter (US-Ysera) was the first guild to complete Glory of the Cataclysm Raider on US servers! Congratulations to them!



Patch 4.0.6 Hotfixes - March 24
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Here you'll find a list of hotfixes that address various issues related to the recently released World of Warcraft: Cataclysm patch 4.0.6. Hotfixes are updates we make on our end without requiring you to download a new patch. Some of the hotfixes below will go live the moment they are implemented, while others may require your realm to be restarted to go into effect. Please keep in mind that some issues cannot be addressed without a client-side patch update. We will continue to update this thread in the days ahead as additional hotfixes are applied. Visit our Bug Report forum for a list of 4.0.6 known issues.

March 17 - March 24

Dungeons & Raids
  • Using Mind Control on the final creature of any dungeon gauntlet event should no longer cause the event to reset.
  • Creatures no longer evade and reset after Mind Control effects wear off.

The Bastion of Twilight
  • On Heroic difficulty, Fester Blood will no longer sometimes cause Cho’gall to stop consuming fire elementals.

Blackrock Caverns
  • Aura of Arcane Haste is now removed when leaving the dungeon.

Blackwing Descent
  • Magmaw will no longer cast Tantrum as long as he has a target in melee range.

Blackwing Lair
  • Razorgore does not evade when attacked immediately after being released from the orb. He should also no longer reset when the orb controller is interrupted.

Halls of Origination
  • The achievement Faster Than The Speed Of Light should now immediately be awarded upon completion.

Items
  • Drums of Forgotten Kings resistance does not stack with Shadow Protection, Resistance Aura, Elemental Resistance Totem, or Aspect of the Wild. It chooses the highest value for each resistance.
  • Shadow's Edge is no longer able to be disenchanted.

Latency Issues
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
We’re aware some players are experiencing ongoing latency issues while trying to play World of Warcraft. We’ve taken steps to investigate the cause, and at this time we’re confident that our systems and network are performing properly. We are actively collaborating with our industry contacts to assist in the diagnosis and hopeful resolution of broader internet latency issues, which are suspected to be the cause of degraded performance.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft Magazine #4
From what I understand the fourth issue will be on it's way shortly and if you were subscribed for the first year, you will be receiving this issue in your mailbox soon. You can check out the fourth issue's cover art as well here- http://cde.cerosmedia.com/1A4d80e47506a60012.cde/page/1 It has a goblin vs. worgen theme.

That said though, if you haven't resubscribed as of yet, you can do so on the site. We understand if you are disappointed in the wait times to receive your issues, but have been working with Future to make sure that the issues you are receiving are top quality.

Information on the fourth issue, including a sneak peek, can be found on the official WoW Magazine site here- http://www.worldofwarcraftthemagazin...FQE2gwodHDeCcg

As for exclusive content, the artwork is exclusive on the cover and within the pages as are the interviews that you see with Blizzard Staff along with other insights shared within it from other community members etc. Those are not revealed anywhere else save for if the magazine has already been released to paid subscribers, guaranteeing that no one else sees it before you do.

That said, the magazine is meant to be a bit of a keepsake of high quality (perfect for your coffee table) and we'll continue to keep an eye out for constructive feedback to pass along to Future, or you can reach out to them directly should you wish. I'm sure they'd love to hear from subscribers.

https://w1.buysub.com/pubs/WC/WWC/co...76046707&vid=1 (Source)

Blizzard Art Gallery Update
The World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Art gallery has been updated with seven pieces representing the Warcraft universe.




Comics
A Winged Lion comic from Nerfnow.com today!

by Published on 2011-03-24 03:49 AM

Boss ‘Fixation’ Bug and Hotfix
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
Due to a fix applied earlier today a bug was introduced that is causing bosses which have any ‘fixate’ abilities, meaning those that will fixate on and/or chase a certain player, to not function correctly. This is currently noticeable for most players on Atramedes in normal or heroic, and Ascendant Council and Sinestra on heroic, but affects a great number of other bosses throughout the game.

We have a fix currently in the testing stages but it will require realm restarts to apply. We’re currently anticipating rolling restarts to happen early tomorrow morning during off-peak hours. We apologize for any inconvenience for those attempting bosses tonight with these mechanics.

Guild Challenges Information
Zarhym wrote a couple of blue posts about Guild Challenges, it's not really a preview yet but at least we know where it's going now.
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
We haven't shared much information about this feature because it's remained very much in development. That said, we're about ready to release Guild Challenges for testing on the PTR soon. We'll also be sharing more information on how Guild Challenges work in the near future.

[...] What about if Guild Challenges gave experience above the cap, functioning like rested experience and moving the cap further relative to the experience gained through completing said challenges?

Don't worry. I can read, I swear. I'm referring to experience and not rep.

Ok now you're just tormenting us Zar. How about a one-sentence teaser about what guild challenges actually are?
Built into the user interface, Guild Challenges will be separated into three categories: Guild Dungeon Run, Guild Raid, and Guild Rated Battleground. You just need to be in a guild group to complete each category a set number of times per week, earning your guild achievements, experience above the cap, and gold deposited into the Guild Vault (a lot more gold if the guild is level capped). We'll have more details for you probably by next week.

Are these challenges only going to be able to be completed at level 85? It would be nice to see some love for low-level members in the guilds!
As I understand it, you'll be eligible to contribute equally to things like the Guild Dungeon Run challenge, provided the dungeon you're running is level-appropriate for the guild group.

That's pretty disappointing. Isn't this what guilds are already doing anyway? I thought it would be more like guild quests that create a phased challenge somewhere in the world for your guild to complete. This just promotes even more LFG queueing while sitting in town. Some love for world zones in endgame please.
We're working on something sort of along these lines as a much more robust content feature for the future, but I can't put a date or patch number on that yet. It also won't necessarily be centered around guilds.

Was that ambiguous? I've never been ambiguous before, so I wouldn't know.

The Daily Blink - Mages Get A Slight Buff in 4.1
Another piece from The Daily Blink! Hopefully I made the warning big enough.

by Published on 2011-03-23 05:19 PM

Guild Transfer & Guild Rename Services Coming
Originally Posted by Nethaera (Blue Tracker)
We want to give everyone an early heads-up regarding our plan to implement a guild relocation service for World of Warcraft. The idea is for a guild leader to be able to transfer a guild to another realm. The guild structure remains intact, including the guild leader, guild bank, ranks, and guild name (depending on availability).

Guild members who decide to relocate with their guild may initiate their own paid character transfer. Upon a successful transfer they will automatically be part of the guild when they first log into the new realm. Their guild rank and guild reputation will be intact.

Guild leaders who do not want a change of scenery may also choose to pick a new guild name using another new service. These services are in development and we will be providing additional details at a future point in time.

As with all of the features and services we offer, we intend to incorporate the guild relocation service in a way that will not disrupt the game play experience. Please note that this feature will require extensive internal testing, so you may see bits and pieces of the service appear on the public test realms. We'll announce further details at http://www.WorldofWarcraft.com .

Dev Watercooler: The View From 10,000 Feet
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
So how is the view from way up here? It’s great actually -- we’re really happy with how Cataclysm is going so far, and we have big surprises on the horizon. On the other hand, there are details you can see at ground level that you can’t make out from 10,000 feet.

When we started these blogs, the idea was to foster developer communication to the players without some of the inherent problems of posting in forums. Some players have pointed out recently, and we totally agree, that the blogs up until now have been from a very high vantage point. We looked for topics with universal interest that would feel important and newsworthy. That has worked overall, but we also feel like we’ve lost something from when I used to be down in the metaphorical trenches talking to players in the forums.

So we’re going to try something a little different. We’re going to unleash some blogs that are much more conversational and less proclamational (that's a word now). If we deliver on this, it will hopefully feel like you’re eavesdropping on our design meetings. You won’t always learn a lot about exciting new features coming to the game, but you will (ideally) learn something about the design process itself. (When we have big, exciting news to share, or ‘State of the Game’ style blogs, we’ll still do those as well.)

But to pull off this more casual blog style, let’s establish a few ground rules:

1) No promises. I’m going to be talking about a lot of things we might do or things we could do. You shouldn’t interpret this brainstorming as patch notes. Our creative process is insanely iterative. We might pitch dozens of ideas before we find one we like. That can be really exhausting if you’re not used to it. If you’re more interested in final decisions and not idea churn, then this style of blog won’t be for you.

2) Don’t read too much between the lines. I’m going to point out a lot of design flaws in our game. “Oh no! Goatcaller admitted WoW was deeply flawed! It’s shark-jumping time!” Look, Blizzard is very critical about our own designs. There is virtually nothing in World of Warcraft that could not be improved. That has always been the case and will continue to be the case. Just because I’m going to be sharing that more frankly with you doesn’t mean that the game now has more cracks in its foundation than it ever did. There is an old saying (misattributed, from what I understand, to Otto Bismarck) that laws are like sausages; it is best not seeing them being made. My old friend and mentor Bruce Shelley used to apply the same maxim to game design.

3) No complaints about the topic. If we didn’t have an interesting discussion about a topic recently, e.g. shaman mechanics, I’m not going to invent one. That doesn’t mean that the class is perfect, or that we don’t love shaman players, or that the shaman class has no direction, or that the class design is frozen in carbonite. I’m not going to keep hash marks next to every class and spec to make sure I’ve covered their "Very Important Issues" lately in a blog. World of Warcraft design being what it is, we’ll probably eventually get around to talking about everyone on here, but it may take weeks or months or years. My team is responsible for areas of the game including classes, items, encounters, trade skills, achievements, combat, and UI, so my blogs will probably stick to those topics.

Okay, all that preamble is out of the way now. I’ll probably refer back to it sometimes, if we have some players stomping all over the ground rules.

One topic we’ve been discussing lately is the role of Hit and Expertise on tank gear (or more precisely, plate tanking gear). The conventional wisdom is that Hit and Expertise are threat stats, and you may need to swap them out with some of your mitigation stats depending on the situation. Realistically, unless you severely overgear the content, we don’t think that is actually true. Tanks almost always worry about survival first and foremost, which totally makes sense, and are willing to trade off threat stats for better mitigation in almost all situations. It’s much harder to progress if the tank explodes than it is if the cat occasionally pulls aggro. (It’s not quite that simple, but I’m going to gloss over details and exceptions since I spent so much text on the preamble up above).

Once upon a time, taunts could miss, and so Hit was marginally more interesting than it is today. Once upon a time, having a boss parry your attacks could speed up its swing timer, which turned Expertise into a (often weak) survival stat. Boss parries felt very random though, both in the sense that sometimes the tank would suddenly take much more damage than anticipated and there was no easy way to know which bosses had parry speed up. (Today, you can assume none of them do.) Until recently, interrupts could miss, but asking a tank to stack a bunch of Hit just for those few opportunities when they were probably going to hit anyway but disaster would occur if they did not felt crummy too.

The problem is that there aren’t a lot of stats that are interesting to tanks. Stamina and Armor are great, but their stat budget is often in lockstep with item level. (It would be interesting to consider if we could make that not the case once again, but that’s the topic for another blog.) We got rid of Defense as a stat that tanks needed to worry about. We have managed to make Mastery pretty good to excellent for tanks, so that’s at least one stat they like to see. Dodge and (if you’re a plate-wearer) Parry are good, and slightly interesting because of talents like Hold the Line. But beyond that, it starts to go downhill. Sure Haste and Crit can sometimes be fun, but really they often aren’t worth the trade off. That leaves us with Hit and Expertise. We’d like to make them more interesting to tanks. But how?

One way is by turning them into defensive stats. They are defensive stats for Blood death knights, because the DK self-healing is tied into Death Strike, which can miss. It might be possible to do something similar for the other classes. Imagine if Shield Block had to actually hit the target. Presumably you raise your shield, but not high enough to intercept the incoming blow. Now hit becomes a mitigation stat for warriors as well. We might have to adjust the mitigation amount on Shield Block or give warriors a small Hit bonus so Hit capping wasn’t totally unreasonable, but you get the basic idea. You could do the same with paladins (make Holy Shield more interesting?) and druids as well (Savage Defense could proc on a hit).

Is this a good idea? We’re not sure yet. You won’t see this change in the 4.1 patch for certain. There are trade-offs to making Hit and Expertise more valuable. Gearing as a tank might be more fun for experienced players, but it also might be more challenging for less experienced players. The number of struggling tanks in your Dungeon Finder groups might go up. Some less knowledgeable players (and to be fair, this stuff doesn’t exactly explain itself on the character sheet) might stack Hit way too high at the expense of a more valuable mitigation stat, such as mastery.

It is the kind of thing we’re talking about though, and if you want to make a contribution to the tanking forums but aren’t quite sure on a topic, here is one potential possibility.

-Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the lead systems designer of World of Warcraft. He still has Buru’s Skull Fragment.

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