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by Published on 2012-07-26 07:21 AM

Demon Hunter - Inferno Diablo Budget Guide. MoP Release Date and Diablo 3 Perks, John August on Diablo III's Story, D2 and D3 in Starcraft 2

Symbiosis Update
Druids get a fun new ability in Mists of Pandaria that gives them a spell from another class and the target an ability from the druid. The spells have changed around since we last posted about it, so here is an updated list of the spell swaps!

Spells Gained by Druid
Source Class Guardian Feral Restoration Balance
Death Knight Bone ShieldDeath CoilIcebound FortitudeAnti-Magic Shell
HunterIce TrapPlay DeadDeterrenceMisdirection
Mage Frost ArmorFrost NovaIce BlockMirror Image
MonkElusive BrewClashFortifying BrewGrapple Weapon
Paladin ConsecrationDivine ShieldCleanseHammer of Justice
PriestFear WardDispersionLeap of FaithMass Dispel
Rogue FeintRedirectEvasionCloak of Shadows
Shaman Lightning ShieldFeral SpiritSpiritwalker's GracePurge
Warlock Life TapSoul SwapDemonic Circle: TeleportUnending Resolve
Warrior Spell ReflectionShattering BlowIntimidating RoarIntervene

Spells Granted by Druid
Target Class Tree 1 Tree 2 Tree 3
Death Knight Blood: Might of UrsocFrost: Wild Mushroom: PlagueUnholy: Wild Mushroom: Plague
Mage Healing TouchHealing TouchHealing Touch
MonkBrewmaster: Survival InstinctsWindwalker: Bear HugMistweaver: Entangling Roots
Paladin Holy: RebirthRetribution: WrathProtection: Barkskin
PriestDiscipline: CycloneHoly: CycloneShadow: Tranquility
Rogue GrowlGrowlGrowl
Shaman Elemental: Solar BeamEnhancement: Solar BeamRestoration: Prowl
Warlock RejuvenationRejuvenationRejuvenation
Warrior Arms: Stampeding Shout Fury: Stampeding ShoutProtection: Savage Defense

Mists of Pandaria Beta Key Sweepstakes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
If you fancy yourself an explorer eager to set an early foot, hoof, or paw on the long-hidden continent of Pandaria, be sure to enter the Mists of Pandaria Beta Key Sweepstakes!

Starting July 31, we'll be randomly selecting 2,000 winners each week to receive a key to our exclusive World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria beta test. In addition, every other winner chosen will receive a second key to share with a friend! Drawings will occur every Tuesday for five weeks for a total of 15,000 keys.

Signing up is easy. Simply follow Warcraft on Facebook and complete our official entry form between now and August 27 for your chance to win. For more information about how to participate, check out the sweepstakes rules and eligibility page and our sweepstakes FAQ. Good luck!

To help clear up some concerns regarding the recently-announced World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Beta Sweepstakes, we’ve put together a quick FAQ featuring the most common questions that we’ve seen from the community.

Q. Why did you replace the opt-in with a sweepstakes on Facebook?
A. The Mists of Pandaria beta opt-in has not been replaced. The sweepstakes is an additional way for us to randomly give out keys to our Facebook followers, but it has not replaced the beta opt-in. We’ll still be sending out beta invites to players who have opted-in, as normal.

Q. Why Facebook?
A. When we release important news and announcements about World of Warcraft, Facebook is among the ways we get the message out. Since a significant portion of our players have Facebook accounts, we’d like to encourage them to follow us so that they can stay up-to-date on the latest news and events. Most every news item and story that goes out on our website we also send out on Facebook, so it’s a great way to keep up on World of Warcraft and Mists of Pandaria.

Q. Why is my country unable to participate in the sweepstakes?
A. Unfortunately, some countries have laws or restrictions which prevent us from making contests available to their residents. The beta opt-in is still running, however, and does not have the same rules and limitations. If you’re unable to participate in the Facebook sweepstakes we encourage you to sign up for the opt-in through Account Management.

Q. Do I need a Facebook account to enter this promotion?
A. No. While entering with a Facebook account will provide you with some additional benefits, such as sharing if you’ve won with your friends, you don’t need an account to participate. If you’d like to enter, but don’t have a Facebook account (and don’t want one), you can click on the “Alternate Method of Entry” link at the bottom of the official rules page.

Q. The contest states that Facebook will not be given my personal information. What do you guys need it for?
A. If you’re selected as a random winner, we’ll need your name and email address to ensure that you receive your beta key. We will not use this information for any other purpose.
As for the Facebook application itself, while it will request access to your Friends List, it will not generate any unwanted notifications, messages, or wall posts. The request will simply allow the application to show you your friends list in case you want to let them know about the sweepstakes.

Q. When exactly will the weekly drawings be held?
A. Drawings will be held every Tuesday, starting July 31. We’ll gather up all of the entries submitted before 11:59 p.m. PST, Monday and then randomly select 2,000 qualified winners from that pool. Out of those 2,000 winners, half of them will receive an additional key to give to a friend, sent to the email provided in the entry form. Winners will be removed from the entry pool and the process will repeat again the following Tuesday. A total of 5 drawings will be made, with the final drawing being on August 28.

Please note that if you are randomly selected as a winner, it may take a few days before you are notified and receive your beta key via email. In the meantime, we ask that players please refrain from posting on Facebook or the official forums about whether or not they’ve been selected.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mists of Pandaria Digital Deluxe Mount and Pet
The pet and mount are both available to the Digital Deluxe version. These are also account wide. The page is just missing showing the pet currently. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Beta Class Balance Analysis
If you switch targets while he's tanking something, he'll provoke the new target off you when his cooldown ends - so in essence, he can only "tank" something you're attacking.
We’re going to try to solve this by making Xuen fixate on the target you summon him on. If that target dies, he’ll revert to assisting you.

Not sure if this has been addressed but it seems like I am now generating a burning ember when out of combat. Is this intended or a bug? I am running the glyph of burning embers. I do have to say if it is intended it made QOL for a destro lock so much better.
Yes, this is intended; Destruction warlocks now only decay down to and regen up to 1 Ember out of combat, similar to how Demonology does with 250 Demonic Fury. Oh, and in the next build, we are toning down the fiery effect and sound at 1 Ember.

Wait, are you sure about that Zar? I remember previous Flametongue testing showing that it had around a ~0.15 ICD. This was to help prevent using double Flametongue imbues and weapon syncing for Enhancement.
What Zarhym shared is correct, the development team just double-checked.
Flametongue has no ICD. Using Flametongue on both weapons should naturally be a DPS loss over using Windfury and Flametongue.

Explosive Shot mechanics: Some time ago, GC announced that explosive shot would join other effects in having "ignite" mechanics. We have been testing it recently to model it in Simc and FemaleDwarf. The mechanics have clearly been changed, but don't match the typical ignite model. For example individual ticks to crit and debuff changes on the target affect the damage of future ticks. Further, some damage appears not to get rolled into the ignite-style debuff. We have looked at a few models (e.g., the ES under LnL don't do ignite but other do, crit dmg is subtracted from the dot pool, etc.). So far the models don't correctly model crits. Can you please explain the actual and/or planned future mechanics here?
The version in your current build has a bug with this rolling periodic-type effect on Explosive Shot in particular. That’s been fixed for the next beta build. I believe, in that build, it’s not counting the extra initial periodic tick that Explosive Shot deals when calculating the rolling damage. Regardless, fixed for the next build. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Making Leveling Interesting
Having also leveled through vanillla, I'm familiar with the 'dangerous' experiences mentioned by the OP. Due to several things such as the sprinkling of elite mobs throughout zones, loot and quest rewards that weren't really that good for anyone (Hmm, a cloth item with strength and intellect, but hey, it's an upgrade for my warrior so I'll equip it!), and of course something we all face when new to a game — the great unknown — it did seem a lot more challenging.

But in reality, all I ever did with those elites was to give them a very wide berth. If I had a quest that involved killing them, most of the time it would sit and rot in my quest log until it went grey because it required more people to help, people that were busy off having their own adventures. I personally don't miss those quests taking up space in my log, and I'm also kinda glad that if I accidentally stumble into an area that used to be inhabited with elites, it no longer means a long time-wasting trip through black and white land to reclaim my broken corpse. I can't speak for everyone, but I don't think dying is much fun and I try to avoid it at all costs.

If you'd like to try leveling with an extra element of challenge, firstly you should go solo, it's not really surprising you find it easy with a friend. Secondly, if you want danger, roll on a PvP server. If you have a real death wish, pick a realm where the opposing faction has a higher ratio. Next up, try leveling in zones aimed at higher levels. It'll significantly raise the chance you'll take on more than you can handle. Lastly an obvious one: No heirlooms.

This is true. If the mobs just had a bigger hp pool could create the illusion of difficulty. I find killing mobs in three seconds a bit boring personally.
Would taking 10 seconds instead to kill each mob give you a better game experience while leveling? Considering how many mobs you have to get through for some quests, that could get really grindy :S

What really can get annoying is how fast you get through with a zone, specially with heirlooms. And I know what you're gonna say "take your heirlooms off then!", but the problem isn't the rate at which I level.. After like 5 lvl 85s I don't really feel like wasting months and months to level a new alt, yet if zones could be available for a few more levels....I like to see the areas, the quest lines and follow a new story, yet it gets a bit disheartening to keep going when all your quests are green or gray and you can one shot every single mob along the way.
That's a valid point, but it's a side effect of equipping heirlooms.

You admit yourself that you want to level quickly, and that's what heirlooms are for, to give you the desired effect through bonus XP as well as ensuring you always have decent stats for your level. However, quest XP also has to be tuned for players not wearing heirlooms and/or with guilds that don't have the bonus XP perk. For example, if you gain 5 levels in a zone by the time you reached the end of that zone, non-heirloomed players will have gained nowhere near that much, so the level of difficulty has to reflect that.

You seem to be under the nigh permanent illusion that something taking a very long time equals it being difficult and that that's what we're after. It isn't. We want the content when leveling to be harder, not slower.

And it has nothing to do with us really. We're veterans, and we can do nigh anything you throw at us that would be reasonable to expect in the leveling game. We want you to make a harder leveling game such that you can ease people into a harder endgame, so that you don't have to spend such a ridiculous amount of time making really easy and boring content at max level because nobody ever figured out how to play on the way up.

As I said earlier, I don't see longer fights against low level mobs as being more challenging at all, just more grindy.

I see and understand what people are saying here, I'm sorry if some of my answers to individual comments are coming across as responses to the issue as a whole. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Content Consumption Speed and Difficulty
and making it accessible isn't always a good thing. if everyone can climb Mount Everest, nobody will be interested in doing it. see my point?
Then, please, answer the question: How many people, provided the means for it, would climb Mount Everest if offered the chance? By your reasoning, just as much as today (because if it becomes too popular, nobody will be interested in doing it). However, I can tell you, at the very least there'd be one more person willing to climb it (myself), and I'd argue I wouldn't be the only one willing to go and climb Mount Everest if that chance was there.

You cannot possibly say, given the available information, that just because players run LFR, they enjoy LFR. There are many posts on this forum by players with over a dozen LFR Deathwing kills who say it's boring, they dislike running it and wish it weren't there.
Sorry, but you can't say, based on such a small sample, that there's a majority of people not enjoying LFR. You just can't. It isn't fun for you and for some players posting on these forums? Sure.

Even given that some players love LFR, it makes the game considerably worse for others. Unless you have a measure of these two groups and their quantifiable feelings on the matter, you cannot make the statement that more players raiding is better than less players raiding. It simply does not follow.
More players raiding is better than less players raiding. It's a simple matter of numbers. Yes, more is good.

If you where somewhere in BT or Sunwell you still ran Karazhan and ZA every week to help people gearing up, it was fun.
It was fun for some. In other guilds, you almost had to beg people to go back there because they had seen the place just too many times already and didn't really have a reason to go there.

Sample is a sample, people guess the outcome of elections based on small samples with accuracy to 0.5% all the time.
Yeah. But those samples actually take a broad range of people in. If I did a sample only on left-party minded people, my sample would say that they would win the elections with a massive landslide. It's kinda the same in this case. If you ask mostly hardcore players, of course, you'll get the impression the game's too easy (and vice versa).

More is not better, more leads to quantity and not quality. More people having access to something without effort devalues the reward and the effort put in by others. Easy content being consumed fast is what leads to problems like what we have now, DS for 6+ months and people having nothing to do in game.
You can not judge neither what constitutes effort for other players, nor what is easy content for others. It's easy and effortless for you? Good for you, but don't make the assumption it is for everyone else, because it's not really the case. There're guilds still advancing through Heroic DS and they're actually being challenged and putting a ton of effort on it.

Back in TBC we did run Kara/ZA for newer members that needed gear, we also ran attunements for members that needed them, it was fun, people LOVED to raid. YES, some people complained, but it was minority, same way you treat the "minority" that complains now how easy the game is.
And they went out of their own interest? Or perhaps because you had some kind of system that would reward attendance to those raids? (DKP, for instance) That was the case in some guilds. DKP (or whichever system) was in place to "encourage" raiders that didn't need anything from those places to actually login and go there (same way it was being used to ensure that raiders would appear during progression nights and not just for "farm status" bosses). They had fun with the social aspect of the game, but didn't particularly enjoy killing Shade of Aran for the 100th time.

've never heard of a single guild that used a DKP system for outdated content, especially not for gearing up new members. It was something you did because you wanted to be treated the same way if you were in the position of the newbie. And because you knew that it would ultimately help your guild in it's progression, which was something that actually meant something to you back then.
I saw my fair share of them back in the days. Granted, it didn't happen in my guild and the most hardcore guilds I knew back then didn't really have it for the reasons you mention.

Draztal repeating over and over that there are still people progressing through DS hc is not helping my mental state either tbh.
Does it bother you that that's actually happening? That people is progressing through DS these days? Or is it something else?

Or are you trying to state that the entire WoW community should wait for new content until every single player cleared Dragon Soul Heroic?
Not at all. I was curious about what he said. Nothing else.

The example is good, today's heroic raiding = Everest reduced to a pile of rubble!
The proper example would be people climbing Everest without oxygen and just by themselves (which is one of the hardest feats, if not the hardest, that exists in mountain climbing) as opposed to people that do with the use of oxygen bottles and Sherpas guiding them through the most dangerous sections of the mountain.

That's one of the things that I haven't seen many acknowledge here. There's people out there that are actually being challenged by the current difficulty of Dragon Soul.

What do you think about the fact that many of those people who are being 'challenged' by the content (by which I assume you mean that they are still progressing in heroic) are only still progressing because they started raiding months into patch 4.3?
This is not true, there're guilds that started when the patch was released, that are still progressing through Heroic Dragon Soul and being challenged along the way. As crazy as it might sound, it's true. Same way that people in Wrath of the Lich King started raiding on ICC on release day, and never got to beat Heroic Lich King.

More players raiding is better, are you !@#$ing kidding? (Pardon the language, but your really boiling blood now!)
Yes, more players seeing the content the devs have put so much time on, is a good thing. There's nothing crazy about that notion.

If your measure of success is how many people are enjoying endgame PVE content, and particularly compared to the previous endgame model where applicable, then participation numbers are not a measure of success.

So unless you have numbers to show how many players are actually enjoying WoW's PVE endgame compared to 4 years ago, -enjoying- not -participating in-, please stop repeating this point that more people 'seeing the content' is a great thing. Because you cannot substantiate it.

And you can speak on behalf of all those silent players to say they're not having fun? And by which definition of enjoyment should we go? Yours? If people go there every week, they must enjoy that activity to some degree (no, really, most people won't do something they don't enjoy).

Those are not progressing, they are farming. Maybe you should look up the word "progress" in a dictionary. They have beaten the challange and their gear and constant "practise" makes it very easy for them. Maybe you should try it some day so you dont sound like a casual that never did any progress.
I'm telling you they are progressing. So, please, don't try to twist my words. They are still progressing and hoping to get to Deathwing soon. And in case you didn't realize, yes, I'm speaking about cases I actually know from firsthand experience.

As for your assumption about my casualness, thanks. I've been raiding (and still do) since 2005. And I've enjoyed raiding on every stage of the game up to now.

I am getting tired of this flawed argument. LFR is not about experiencing the content, it is about easy epics. That alone.
Not at all. It's just aimed at a different demographic. If for you it's about easy epics, that's all fine. But it certainly wasn't created with that objective in mind.

I don't know anyone who actually enjoys doing LFR, they do it because it is mandatory for their personal progression.
You don't know anyone, doesn't mean they don't exist, right? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Player Housing
I'm afraid there's no update since the last time we spoke about it. We know it's a feature that some players would be interested in, but consider the fact that players are sad to see the world outside the city is quieter since the introduction of things like the LFD tool and flying mounts etc. I'm speculating here, but player housing may take yet more people out of the world, and even cities.

Plus there's also the continuous weighing-up we have to do when it comes to development time. I imagine it would be a huge task, taking the devs away from creating new encounters and other features. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Polling Players for Opinions
Something we'd like to see a lot more of is voting up or down on comments here in the forums. This way, when someone gives their thoughts on a topic, we can get a much better idea of how many people agree or disagree. It's also handy if you don't have time to make your own reply. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Battleground Win Ratios
From the perspective of someone who mainly plays as Alliance, I can tell you that it often feels very similar from the other side of the playing field. We also have those players that advise everyone to lose quickly just two minutes or so into the game.

Having said that, the experience varies a lot from week to week. Sometimes I won't win a game all night, other times it's a lot better. Also, I find my chances of winning seem to go up significantly if I team up with friends. Even if it's just me and one other person communicating and working together, we can often help turn the tide. Give it a try!

I have a feeling that blizzard use some advanced balancing algorithms for bg-s, like giving invisible buffs to one team so both sides win/lose approximately same. This is based on my subjective observation that I sometimes kill very easy some players and sometimes it's very hard (note that they use similar gear) in 1v1 inside bg.
No. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Vanity Items as PvP Rewards
PvE players can get mounts from meta achievements, RNG boss drops while PvP players have to get Gladiator to get a cool mount which is nearly impossible for the average player.
PvP players have Meta achievements that offer vanity rewards. "The Arena Master" and "Battle Master" offers a title, "Master of Isle of Conquest" offers a tabard and there are, as Tentimer mentioned, many other titles that can be gained through PvP.

This subject was already touched on slightly by the “Gear in PvP” thread by Rasen where he spoke about getting cosmetic rewards in PvP over gear upgrades. The difficulty that is present with vanity rewards in PvP is that they cannot work the same as for PvE. Gating for rewards using ratings would be cool but these are similar to what is already awarded for the end of each season. Just requiring honor and conquest points takes away the prestige of the items because they would then be achievable by everyone. So this begs the question of what kind of achievements do you think would be good for something such as this in PvP? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

An Alternative End Game - a Focus on the Journey
Perhaps you should try traveling for inspiration or for simple enjoyment, and not for the sole purpose of reaching a destination?
That's what I meant, there's a goal, a reason for any journey (even if it's just having fun).

Can we get a CM who isn't Draztal? Every post I read he/she is just dodging the actual point to argue on one minor detail. Here we see arguing semantics.
I'll try to word better my posts next time. I'm definitely not arguing semantics (why would I, since I'm not even a native english speaker in the first place).

Draztal, judging from that comment, i see you've never had a long walk in your town at night, or in a forest during the autumn, or on a mountain during summer.
I have, I definitely have. And I had a reason for doing them. The intent of my post yesterday was rather philosophical and not about specifics (in those cases you're walking because either you like it, for the relaxation, or something else).

I'm normally highly fond of your posts in particular Draztal, however this one doesn't sit right with sentimental old me. How about we say life is the journey, and death is the destination? I don't know about you, but I'll take my time and enjoy the ride rather than eagerly anticipating my arrival.
Way to go to the extreme, hah! To be fair, I get your point. My question was just from a "philosophical" point of view. And this particular case mentioned by Andrai is kind of what I was looking for:

I know with austerity and the price of fuel in Europe people don't tend to do this any more. But, when I first started driving and fuel wasn't bank breaking. I used to just jump in the car some weekends and drive. Anywhere.
The journey had NO destination. Yet, I enjoyed it nonetheless.

I'm certainly not dismissing Straif's post, this bit: A focus on the journey and experiencing the content, therefore the reincarnated character has a reduced experience xp rate, no rested xp and no heirlooms can be used.

Was what made me post here. It's a valid point for that journey (experience the content). However I've seen other players (not in this thread, though) arguing that they like the journey when they know they can't get to the end. And that's where my post comes from.

In one hand you have people that want a journey and they actually know why, there's a reason to it (a destination, even if it's not necessarily getting to the end of the road). In the other hand, you've got people that say they want that same journey, but when questioned about it, they can't really put into words why they want a never-ending journey.

And that's what my question was directed to. Would there be any fun to a never-ending journey that is actually there just for the sake of not letting you reach the destination? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Raid Testing Schedule - July 26
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We will be testing two 10-player Heroic raid encounters tomorrow, Thursday July 26th.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below for all Beta Test Realms, regardless of suggested geographical region.

Imperial Vizier Zor'lok (Heart of Fear) - 10 Player Heroic
10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)

Elegon (Mogu'shan Vaults) - 10 Player Heroic*
16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

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

*In particular, Elegon may change to Blade Lord Ta'yak instead. We'll update this post accordingly.

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

by Published on 2012-07-25 01:51 PM

If you still need a beta key, see the Mists of Pandaria Beta Key Sweepstakes and Sweepstakes FAQ!

Mists of Pandaria to be Released on September 25

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Heroes of Azeroth, prepare to embark for an exotic new frontier! World of Warcraft®: Mists of Pandaria™ is launching on September 25, 2012 and you can be ready to play when the servers go live by pre-purchasing the game digitally. Plus, for the first time ever, players will have the option to upgrade a pre-purchase to the all-new Digital Deluxe Edition which comes with all of the in-game items from the retail Collector’s Edition, including a World of Warcraft pet and mount, banner sigil and accent for Diablo® III, and® portraits for StarCraft® II.

Beginning September 25, 2012, World of Warcraft players around the world will be able to set sail for the long-lost continent of Pandaria, where they’ll explore forgotten dungeons, vanquish risen evils, and play their part in the Horde-Alliance conflict as it reaches a critical breaking point.

Whether you plan to level your existing character to 90 or start fresh with a new pandaren monk, it’s never too early to begin preparing for your adventure. Simply log in to your® account, and then pre-purchase Mists of Pandaria. You’ll then be flagged to automatically download the expansion content prior to release so you’ll be ready to go when the game launches.

During the pre-purchase process, you’ll have the option to grab either the Mists of Pandaria Standard Edition for $39.99 USD or the all-new Digital Deluxe edition for $59.99 USD -- or, if you snag the standard edition now and decide you want to upgrade to Digital Deluxe later, you’ll have the opportunity to do so for an additional $20.

The Digital Deluxe edition includes a full digital copy of the expansion, as well as a selection of Pandaria-inspired in-game content for World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and StarCraft II. If you’re looking for even more plunder, a special Mists of Pandaria Collector’s Edition with additional bonus items will also be available exclusively at select retail locations for a suggested retail price of $79.99 USD.

For more details on the September 25, 2012 release of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, be sure to hit the official press release, or head to our new Mists of Pandaria game page to learn more about the expansion and prepurchase your digital copy.

*When you pre-purchase World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, you will be able to download an encrypted version of the game once it’s available, prior to the game’s release. This content will be unlocked and available
by Published on 2012-07-25 07:35 AM

Guild Wars 2 Database Updates!

New Bug - Barbarian Edition, Developer Blogs in the Works, Activision Blizzard Q2 2012 Conference Call, Diablo III Web API .NET Library, API Blue Post

Greenstone Village Scenario
The Greenstone Village scenario recently opened in beta! All scenarios now reward a Cache of Powerful Armor, which has a chance at a dungeon quality blue (for your class) along with gold.

Galleon World Boss
Galleon was enabled for testing a few weeks ago and didn't pose much of a challenge to a small group of Level 90 PvP geared players.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Beta Class Balance Analysis
Since everyone is thinking it, I'll ask...
Ghostcrawler: I still love you guys, but I have to travel a bit for business. Rest assured, you're in very capable hands. We spend extraordinary efforts to make sure the development team is all on the same page, so you shouldn't notice any differences.

Is there an ICD for Strikes of Opportunity? I don't believe players ever confirmed or defined one (if they did, I'm open to the answer/verbal abuse).
There's only a 0.1sec ICD.

Is this about the general size of "tiny ICDs" used to prevent things from chain-proc'ing off of the same attack/ability? (for example, is there also a 0.1 sec ICD on static shock and echo of the elements? perhaps even flametongue weapon?)
We don’t frequently use tiny ICDs like that, but it solves problems in a few cases. Static Shock and Flametongue have no ICD at all. We mentioned Echo of the Elements having a short ICD before, and yes, it is also 0.1sec.

Is it intended that, while stealthed, if the priest takes ANY damage (including any dots on the priest when spectral guised is used), knocks the priest back out of stealth and ends the ability? It makes the spell basically a momentary target drop, since most class specs now have access to dots.
Yes. Unless otherwise specified, stealth breaks on taking damage or perfoming any offensive action. While this does make it less powerful than if it didn't break on damage, we still expect it to be valuable in PvP. Additionally, dispels before you use Spectral Guise can remove many of the DoTs that would otherwise break it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Amount of Gold Dropped in Old Raids
In general, enemies in raids and dungeons drop significantly more gold than outdoor foes, specifically because we are assuming that the gold is going to be split 5, 10, or 25 ways. As player power rises over time, it obviously becomes possible to complete old content with significantly fewer players, such that the gold rewards become disproportionately high.

In the past, our only solution was to drastically reduce the gold dropped by legacy content across the board (e.g., Magtheridon, much of Karazhan, etc.). In Mists, we have a new system in place that normalizes gold yield based on the number of players involved in the kill. If a Black Temple enemy drops 100 gold today on live, and you kill it with a 25-player raid group in Mists, it'll also drop 100 gold and each player will get 4 gold. If you solo Black Temple, that enemy will also give you 4 gold. If you do it with 4 friends, it'll drop 20 gold and each of you will get 4.

In other words, the gold obtained from killing raid or dungeon creatures no longer depends upon how many people you bring, or do not bring, with you. This system does not apply to anything in the outdoor world.

If this is the case, will the original gold values of the bosses in Gruul's Lair, Magtheridon's Lair and Karazhan be restored so groups will once again get more gold from the boss than from a single trash mob?
Yes. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Theramore, Jaina, and War
If the Alliance are getting into the war thanks 2 Theramore, what were they smoking when Garrosh did EVERYTHING ELSE?
Theramore is a galvanizing event, not the first battle.

This may be the first book I actually pass over.
Remember that few people understand Jaina or the burdens she bears. The love story isn't conventional/expected. (Twitter)

An Alternative End Game - a Focus on the Journey
Just for the sake of curiosity, since there are mentions about focusing on the journey and never getting to the destination...

What's the point of a journey that doesn't lead to a destination? I mean, the reason why you start it is (or it'd be expected to be) to get, eventually, to a destination. But a journey is not a journey unless you're going somewhere. And if that somewhere remains costantly in a distant, unachievable vacuum, then what purpose does that journey serve? (I'd argue you could call it a journey, even, if you're never getting where you want to). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

We Need a New Insane Achievement
Nice read indeed! It could be interesting to know what you guys think think should be the requirements for a new insane achievement then? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Purpose of Beta Testing
I do agree that betas have changed over the past 6 years tho.
They have indeed. Beta tests tend to have multiple functions and purposes these days, but the primary purpose of beta tests remain the same as always though, which is to test the new game/content. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Annual Pass, Diablo III C.E. Upgrade - Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This is an update for all Annual Pass holders who upgraded to a Collector's Edition of Diablo III. As noted in the Annual Pass FAQ, players who have subscribed to an Annual Pass and did the upgrade also receive 4 free months of World of Warcraft subscription time. This time is not automatically applied to your World of Warcraft subscription and needs to be applied manually. If you're an Annual Pass holder and purchased a Diablo III Collector's Edition upgrade, you merely need to log into your account and at the top you should see a blue notification banner that says:

Claim Free Game Time
Because you have a World of Warcraft Annual Pass, and have upgraded Diablo III to a Collector's Edition, you are eligible for 4 months of free game time. Claim your free game time on this account.

Just click the link provided and you should be all set.

We have received a few reports from players who received an error message after clicking the link. Please know we are aware of this issue and are working to get it resolved as quickly as possible for those affected.

Guild Mentoring Program: There’s Still Time to Apply
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re waiting for you! We understand that sometimes messengers don’t arrive at their destinations in one piece (if at all). These are dark days in Azeroth and the Cataclysm has put a bit of a kink in the machine (whether goblin or gnome.) To make up in any failure on the part of our chosen messengers, we’re putting out this reminder to all eligible guilds. We’re still looking for the heroes of Azeroth to step forth and teach the next generation of heroes a thing or two about how to succeed against the countless foes that seemingly spring from the very soil beneath their feet.

If you think your guild has what it takes, make sure you apply before time runs out. We’re accepting applications until Friday, August 3. Read more about the Guild Mentoring Program here.

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

by Published on 2012-07-24 07:21 AM

Diablo III Inferno Item Booster Pack Winners, Invulnerable Wizard Bug, Auction House Price Tracking Tool, Wow Annual Pass - Four Free Months

Don't miss Mists of Pandaria Digital Deluxe Edition and Upgrade Notification from earlier today!

Terrace of Endless Spring: Lei Shi
Lei Shi is the third boss in Terrace of Endless Spring. He drops Tier 14 shoulder tokens along with the normal armor and weapons.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Terrace of Endless Spring
Hidden high in the mountains, the Terrace of Endless Spring is the sacred center of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Its peaceful fountains are said to have the power to heal and rejuvenate, but when the Sha of Fear attacked, many of the complex's guardians turned on each other in fits of terror.

  • Heroic: Lei Shi - Defeat Lei Shi in Terrace of Endless Spring on Heroic difficulty.
  • Face Clutchers - Defeat Lei Shi while all members of the raid are afflicted by Parasitic Clutch in Terrace of Endless Spring on Normal or Heroic difficulty.

Lei Shi
  • Afraid - Lei Shi grows more afraid as players hurt her. She gains 1% casting speed for each 1 percent health of her total health lost.
  • Spray - Lei Shi casts Spray instead of using melee attacks. Spray causes water to burst from the ground at a player's feet, inflicting 104,000-218,400 Frost damage to all players within 2.5 yards and increasing their Frost damage taken by 10% for 15 sec.
  • Hide - Lei Shi hides from players. Players cannot target her while hiding, but area of effect attacks and spells can still hit her. Lei Shi reveals herself after the players strike her enough times.
  • Get Away! - Lei Shi channels the waters of the Endless Spring, pushing players away and inflicting 60,000 periodic Frost damage. Players who fight the current take half damage. Lei Shi channels for 30 sec or until players inflict 5% of her maximum health in damage.
  • Protect - Lei surrounds herself with an inpenetrable bubble and animates several elementals to protect her. She maintains the bubble until players defeat one of her Animated Protectors.
    • Animated Protector - When Lei Shi casts Protect, she animates these elementals from the bracers scattered throughout the area. The elementals turn back into water and fall to the ground when the effect ends.
  • Scary Fog - Sha energy coalesces around several players, inflicting 5,000 Shadow damage every 2 sec. for 40 sec. In addition, players and enemies near an afflicted player take 5% more damage from all sources. This effect stacks.

Wild Pet Trading Removed
Keep in mind that you can still level a pet and then sell it, as long as it wasn't caught from the wild.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We just finished a pass making all pets that are caught via pet battles in the world non-tradeable. This means these pets cannot be put in cages for trading or posting on the AH. We felt that the option to buy these pets on the AH would take away from the exploration/collection gameplay of the system.

This could always change in a future patch, but this is how it will go out with MoP. You should see the change in our next build.

Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Since everyone is thinking it, I'll ask...what should we read into the fact that you, and not GC, is now responding to posts in this forum?
That I’m not as busy as others are right now (which is a terrible understatement).

Back in the Black Wing Decent and Bastion of Twilight myself and a few friends of mine discovered that dots already on the target don't actually get re-evaluated when their caster receives a large haste boosts such as heroism and time-warp. This forces you to reapply your dots so that their period of ticking is shortened by the haste gain.

As you can probably tell this is quite a hassle. Especially as an Aff lock with mucho spell haste procs. Is this still the case?

Yes. The parameters of a DoT are determined at cast time. This may be a good time to explain one related topic though: Refreshing DoTs and whether that recalculates their parameters. For several classes, we have various mechanics that allow you to refresh or extend an existing DoT. In some of these cases, doing so recalculates their parameters; in other cases, it does not. Why the inconsistency, you ask? The rule we follow is that if the mechanic allows you to perpetually extend one DoT forever, it needs to recalculate. If it isn’t intended to let you maintain one DoT forever, it doesn’t need to recalculate. For example, the Demonology warlock's spell Touch of Chaos extends Corruption significantly, and it’s quite likely you’ll roll one corruption the whole fight, so it then recalculates. Alternatively, there’s a new mechanic coming for Affliction where Haunt adds 1 tick to each of your DoTs when it hits; that does not recalculate damage.

GC, just a quick clarification. The new Armor Damage Reduction formula used for 86+ characters: Armor / (Armor + 4,037.5 * Level - 31,7117.5) Does this continue on to level 93, similarly how the current Cata formula worked to 88 until this expansion? or is there another formula for level 91 and beyond?
It continues on to level 93. Just to clarify to make sure there are no misunderstandings, adding denotation for which variables are of the target and which are of the attacker: DamageReduction = TargetArmor / (TargetArmor + 4037.5*AttackerLevel – 317117.5).

Monk (Forums)
Currently Rushing Jade Wind is causing 6sec shuffle for each target it hits. (given the cap on shuffle is 12sec, it basically means you get 12 sec shuffle if you cast on more than 1 mob).
This is something we're keeping an eye on for balance problems but for now, this is intended. There is a chance we may change it in the future.

Still on lvl 90 talents for monks, whats the intent on Xuen tiger?
Xuen does indeed cause Eminence for Mistweavers and is purely DPS for Windwalkers. For Brewmasters, he has a provoke, not a taunt. Provokes are what we normally give pets and they work like taunts but don’t work on most bosses. For example, Army of the Dead ghouls have a provoke. He should be decent at tanking and scales with your stats, the hope being he is useful as an off-tank. However, he won't be able to tank a raid boss (since he has a provoke, not a taunt), but he should be able to tank some adds and dungeon mobs. Please try that out and let us know how he does.

Paladin (Forums)
Is it intended for Judgment to no longer apply/refresh Censure anymore? If so why was that change made?
Yes, Judgement has had quite the long history and has been a relatively unique ability since its inception. It's been a mix between a ‘ranged’ type attack or a ‘spell’, or for most of the past few years it’s been a ‘melee’ attack with a long range. That’s why it triggered Censure. But it also shared a bunch of properties with spells. So, for Mists, we decided to finally make it consistent with everything else and just say that it’s purely a spell, just as much as Exorcism or Holy Shock are spells.

Shaman (Forums)
Is it intended for Healing Tide Totem to act as healing done by the shaman, or as a separate entity to avoid being split by Ascendance(Resto) as its currently not being duplicated and divided.
Intended. Totems' actions don't count as the shaman's. This is consistent with Searing Bolt not triggering Echo of the Elements and other similar effects.

Pets are currently not taking bonus health from Ancestral Vigor from what I can see. They're receiving the buff but not gaining any maximum health.
We plan to fix this in a future build. Currently, pet scaling from your own health is overwriting buffs. We plan to fix this. (This would also affect Glyph of Water Elemental, by the way).

Warlock (Forums)
Windwalk Totem currently does not prevent warlocks from becoming snared via KJ Cunning. Is this intended or bugged?
Fixed in the next build.

Alternatively, there’s a new mechanic coming for Affliction where Haunt adds 1 tick to each of your DoTs when it hits; that does not recalculate damage.
I wanted to post a correction on this part. Our design process is very iterative and we’re constantly trying out new things. The above mentioned mechanic for Haunt extending DoTs is something we’ve been trying internally, but have decided not to go with for now, so don’t expect to see it in a future build.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Upcoming Pet Battle Changes
Many changes have been ongoing with the quests. Our next build should have significant updates.

A few highlights on what we have been working on:
  • Unique Tamer emotes
  • Unique Tamer pets
  • Tamer battles have been tuned up in difficulty
  • One Grand Master Tamer per continent. Defeating him/her will unlock all the daily's on that continent.
  • The flow has been consolidated to work though our two main trainers in Stormwind and Orgrimmar.
  • We have implemented more than 40 Tamer fights across the entire game. This does not include the boss fights!
  • Daily quests on Grand Master Tamers offer the Sack of Pet Supplies as a reward.
  • A new achievement reward for defeating all the Tamers. A "Tamer" title.
  • All of the quests to fight Tamers are now account-wide. This means that the one-shot quests can only be completed by one character on your account. The daily's can be completed by any character, once per day. Account wide quests are denoted in the quest log.
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warbot Fuel
There will be a way to get Warbot fuel in MoP. Still figuring out the specifics, but we are going to make it happen. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Remove 'Safe Zones' from PvP Servers
We feel it is rather necessary that the starter areas remain uncontested territory, as it gives newcomers a better chance to get a feel for the game and learn how it works... people need a chance to tie their boots before they get their faces smashed in :-)

We acknowledge that the pursuit of good world PvP can make the line between griefing and PvP quite blurry, and that is very much a part of the game which seasoned PvP players are fairly used to. But it is not fun to be new to a game, or re-rolling a new character for that matter, if you can’t even leave the starter area because some enemy faction player is corpse-camping or ganking everyone and everything in sight.

i heard you're going to try get us more involved with wpvp in mop but how will that change with the current dungeon/bg systems? wont people still just afk in sw/org in wait for their stuff to pop up?
We are indeed trying to get people more involved with world-PvP in Mists of Pandaria.

We are trying to provide a greater incitement for people to go back into the world by offering more content to do outside of the cities - this combined with cross realm zones means that you should come across more people(including enemy players) in the world overall. Additionally - the guards on PvP realms will be nerfed, so bashing in some skulls inside enemy towns and cities should be more feasible as well.

Is there any info about how much weaker the guards on PvP realms will be, compared to the ones on PvE realms?
I'm afraid I have no info available on this as of yet, but I can imagine that it will be something that may need a few adjustments over time anyway. The guards still need to matter and have some ability to protect the citizens of towns and cities, so they shouldn't be complete pushovers, but they also shouldn't be a near invincible army as they are today.

The plans are to adjust the guards on PvP realms so they are less strong than those found on PvE realms, and they will also take longer to respawn than those on PvE realms. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Importance of Beta Testing
May I field you a quick question? When Cata & D3 came out the servers were heavily fluxed with players, down time and angry mobs of people in a certain nation we will not mention... my question is have the errors of the past been noted and improved on ?
We have been rather overwhelmed in the past with more players than anticipated logging in upon release, but have taken note of past launch experiences indeed, and we will of course do everything we can to improve ourselves. More than anyone, we would like a smooth launch, and we want people to be happy and have fun when they log in after release.

I'm just wondering if the stuff reported in the beta really gets noticed...:-/. I've been reporting bugs like a woman crazed, but I guess those bugs are not "important" enough for recognition since they still are left unfixed. Namely visual bugs and such.
All reported bugs (that can be verified and reproduced of course), do get noticed and put on a list of things to fix. However it can take some time before they get fixed, as some bugs are more difficult to handle than others, and the less severe bugs do not have as high a priority as the really critical ones... I hope this makes sense to you. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Curse Weekly Roundup
Pico gives us news about ComicCon, War Z, World of Tanks, Endless Space and more.

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