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by Published on 2010-10-11 07:34 PM

Update - US Maintenance extended to 06:00PM
Some servers are already coming up, but you might have to wait a few more minutes to see yours coming back online.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
We’re in the process of finalizing our tests on all realms and are extending the anticipated time for bringing them back online to 6:00 p.m.
EU Maintenance extended, now scheduled to end at 04:00PM CST as well, instead of 12:00PM

Update - WoWTal.com has been updated with a new feature, you can now click the "Use it ingame!" button to get a /run command to copy and paste in game to automatically spec your char.



Patch 4.0.1 on live servers this week
We have a long maintenance, official previews everywhere, and a couple of information confirming the patch on my side. Patch is this week, enjoy!

Extended Maintenance 4.0.1 Release - 10/12
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
Extended maintenance will begin tonight at midnight, Tuesday, October 12 for the release of patch 4.0.1. Maintenance will begin at 12:01 AM PDT and conclude at approximately 12:01 PM PDT. During this time all realms and many web services will be unavailable.

Due to the size of the patch we highly recommend you enable your background downloader. If you need assistance doing so please visit http://us.blizzard.com/support/artic...rticleId=35274

Water Engine
The Cataclysm water engine should be available in this build, here comes the shiny!



Interface Changes
A lot of features from the Cataclysm interface will be introduced with this patch.




Stats changes in 4.0.1
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
We've previously unveiled some of the stat changes that are coming with Cataclysm, including stat alterations, stat removals, or changes to how they're obtained. This is an update to that preview intended to explain the actual changes and to detail what everyone will be seeing on their characters.

Stat Changes

Stamina - Due to the assigning of Strength, Agility, and Intellect, non-plate wearers have more Stamina than before. Health pools are now much closer between plate-wearers and other classes.

Spirit - This stat should only be found on healing gear. Non-healing casters have other systems in place to regenerate mana.

Intellect - Intellect now grants Spell Power and increases your Critical Strike chance with spells.

Haste - Haste should now be more attractive for melee classes by allowing them to recover resources such as rage, energy, and runes more quickly. Our intention is for Haste to let you "do stuff" more often.

Parry - Parry provides the same avoidance as Dodge, and you'll receive a percentage of your strength as Parry Rating.

Mastery - This is a new stat that will allow players to become better at whatever makes their chosen talent tree cool or unique. It's directly tied to talents, so what you gain from improving this stat is entirely dependent upon your class and the talent specialization you choose. We’ll talk more about specific Mastery benefits in the future.

Armor - The amount of bonus Armor received per stat point on items has been drastically reduced, and Armor is no longer given by Agility. In addition, Armor now better mitigates differences among Armor types so that protection from mail, leather, and cloth is much closer to that of plate.

Resilience - This now only affects damage done by players and their pets. It will not impact crit chance, crit damage, mana drains, or other such effects.


Removed From Items

Attack Power - This stat is rarely present on items, although it is derived from other stats. Strength and Agility, which are present on items, grant the appropriate amount of Attack Power (generally 2 Attack Power per point of Strength or Agility) depending upon which stat a particular class favors.

Block Rating - Block has been redesigned to scale better. Blocked attacks will simply hit for 30% less damage. Block Rating is no longer given out directly as a stat. Instead, Mastery for Protection paladins and Protection warriors increases the chance to block.

Spell Power - Spell Power is no longer present on most items. Instead, as mentioned above, Intellect now grants Spell Power. One exception is that caster weapons still have Spell Power. This allows us to make weapons proportionately more powerful for casters in the same way they are for melee classes.

Armor Penetration - This stat is no longer present on items. Armor Penetration still exists in talents and abilities.

Shield Block Value - There are some effects that increase the Block value by a percentage, but this does not exist as a stat.


Removed From the Game

MP5 - This stat no longer exists in the game. Holy paladins and Restoration shaman have been redesigned to benefit from Spirit.

Defense - Defense is now removed from the game. Tanking classes will become uncrittable versus creatures by shifting into Defensive Stance, Blood Presence, or Bear Form, or by using Righteous Fury.

Spell Ranks - Spell ranks now cease to exist. All spells have one rank and will scale appropriately by caster level. The levels at which you can learn certain spells have been changed in order to fill in some of the gaps, and there are many new spells to learn along the way as well.

Weapon Skill - This stat will be removed from the game completely. Classes will start with all the weapon skills they need to know and will not need to improve them.


What Else You Should Know

Combat ratings - Ratings are much harder to "cap out" at maximum gear levels. Ratings are steeper in Cataclysm, and creatures in later tiers of content will be harder to hit or crit, similar to how level-83 mobs are harder to hit or crit than level-80 mobs.

Reforging - This new itemization customization feature allows you to partially change the stats on an item. You can reduce the value of an existing stat on an item, and add an equivalent amount of another stat that was not already present on the item. This makes it far easier to reach important thresholds like the Hit Rating and Expertise Rating caps.

Patch 4.0.1 Class Mechanics Changes
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
Patch 4.0.1 will bring about major changes to all World of Warcraft classes, including sweeping talent tree revamps, altered spells, and improved abilities. We wanted to go over some of the more complex changes that are being made. If your class isn't listed here, it does not mean we didn't spend as much time on it -- the class will still receive a broad range of updates to talents, spells, and abilities -- we simply feel that these mechanics merit additional explanation.

Death Knight (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Runes
  • The way in which runes regenerate has been changed. Rather than each rune type (Blood, Frost, Unholy) regenerating simultaneously, they now fill sequentially. For example, if you use two Blood runes, then the first rune will fill up before the second one starts to fill up. You essentially have three sets of runes filling every 10 seconds instead of six individual runes filling every 10 seconds. This allows the death knight rotation to be more forgiving, so that the player can take advantage of things like ability procs or respond to movement. This system makes it a little easier to get back on track without six separate runes now "out of sync" from the standard rotation.

You're a Bloody Tank
  • The time has come to dedicate a death knight talent tree to tanking, and that is what is in store for the Blood tree. We felt that we could offer a more focused and polished tanking tree rather than having to scatter similar tools throughout the trees. This also allows us to really focus the other trees into more flavorful damage-dealing specializations.

Runic Empowerment
  • This mechanic allows for runes which were on cooldown to instantly activate, which prevents the rotation from becoming too predictable and boring.

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Eclipse
  • This is a new mechanic being added for Balance druids. The resource is managed through a new bar near the health and mana bars. As the druid casts Arcane spells, the bar moves towards the sun element until the druid achieves a Solar Eclipse, which buffs Nature damage. The goal is then to cast Nature spells, until the bar moves toward the moon element, which triggers a Lunar Eclipse and buffs Arcane damage. The gameplay becomes trying to quickly move the bar from one end to the other in order to maximize each Eclipse buff.

Hunter (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Focus
  • This is a new resource which has replaced mana. Hunters never felt like they should be casting mana-based spells, and having a resource that lasted for a long time and then was painfully gone didn’t lead to compelling gameplay.

Pets
  • Hunters can now use Call Pet to choose from among five different pets. They can swap out any of these five pets with other pets they have tamed by visiting a Stable Master. The Stable Master now allows the hunter to store twenty pets total.
  • Pet families have been updated. Each family can now provide unique buffs to parties or raids, so if a class buff is needed for a raid and that class isn't represented in the group, chances are a hunter can provide a little assistance by calling out a specific pet.

Ammo
  • Ammo is no more. As a hunter, you're just that good now.
  • Any quivers or pouches used to store ammo will automatically be converted into a bag of roughly equal value.

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy Power
  • This is a new resource which works similarly to combo points. Paladins will generally want to build up Holy Power until it shines through with a bright yellow glowing effect. Once Holy Power has been built up, it can be consumed to augment existing abilities. For example, Word of Glory can be used to cast an instant-cast free heal. This gives paladins several options for how to spend their Holy Power, depending on the scenario.

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Soul Shards
  • As items, Soul Shards are going away entirely.
  • Any shard bags used to store Soul Shards will automatically be converted into a bag of roughly equal value.
  • Soul Shards are now a new resource for warlocks. Each warlock will have a total of three. These Soul Shards can be expended using a new spell, Soul Burn, which allows the warlock to augment the next spell cast. The augmentation effect will vary depending on which spell is used, and all warlock spells which can be empowered by Soul Burn will have a tooltip listing of the effect it grants. Soul Shards will no longer be necessary for summoning demons or casting any other spell typically used when out of combat.

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Rage
  • Rage is being normalized so that its generation is no longer based on damage done by auto-attacks. Each auto-attack will provide a set amount of Rage, with off-hand weapons granting 50% of the rage main-hand weapons do. Haste will allow Rage to generate more rapidly by increasing attack speed. In addition, while taking damage, the amount of Rage generated will now be based on the warrior's health rather than the opponent's level. The essence of this change is to improve the scaling that occurs with warrior gear. With warriors balanced around the top tiers of items, we've found that the class tends to underperform more drastically than others in lower-quality items. These changes should correct that.

Flexible Raid Lock System in 4.0.1
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
Almost six months ago we announced that Cataclysm raids were being redesigned to make both raid sizes the same difficulty, drop the same quality of loot, and exist in the same lockout. This evolution in raid philosophy is built on the belief that the size of your raiding group should be a choice based solely on what's more fun and enjoyable for you, and that you should not have to complete the same raiding content twice in a week to maximize your character's progression. These systems are the culmination of a great deal of design and player feedback from the last few years. With the release of the 4.0.1 patch, the new Flexible Raid Lock system will debut in Icecrown Citadel and The Ruby Sanctum.

With the Flexible Raid Lock system, instead of being locked to a specific raid size or raid group, each character will have the opportunity to defeat each raid encounter once a week. You could kill Lord Marrowgar and Lady Deathwhisper with a 10-player raid on Wednesday, join a 25-player raid to kill Festergut and Rotface on Thursday, and then lead a completely new 10-player raid to kill The Lich King on Friday. Every raid has a list of encounters associated with the zone. For example, Icecrown Citadel has twelve encounters. After you defeat Lord Marrowgar, you can open up your character's raid information dialog and see the list of encounters in Icecrown Citadel with Marrowgar marked as defeated. You may no longer fight Lord Marrowgar with any raid size or difficulty until the weekly raid reset for your region occurs.

Another key change is that if you join someone else's raid in progress, you are no longer locked to that raid after merely zoning in. Your raid status will only change when a boss is defeated, at which point it will be updated to reflect the state of the instance in which you are currently participating. So, let's say you have killed the first four bosses of Icecrown Citadel, and you then join a raid that has defeated the first four encounters, as well as Festergut and Rotface. The dialog that displays upon entering Icecrown Citadel will show that the raid has defeated 6 of 12 encounters. If you help them defeat Professor Putricide, then you would be marked as having defeated not only Professor Putricide for the week, but also Festergut and Rotface. If instead after joining the raid you then proceeded to wipe ten times to Professor Putricide, you could leave the raid with only the first four bosses marked as completed.

To help communicate to players which bosses are dead in the raid leader's raid, there is new functionality to link in chat a list of the encounters the raid has defeated. So before you join a raid, you can see what they've already defeated. If a raid leader advertises in chat that she needs another healer for an 8/12 Icecrown Citadel run, you can see precisely which bosses are still available to fight. If you were only looking for that one item from Queen Lana'thel that never drops for you and this raid already defeated her, you will know not to join that raid.

Let's look at another example of the Flexible Raid Lock system. A guild schedules three nights for 25-player Icecrown Citadel raiding on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On Wednesday, the raid defeats Lord Marrowgar, Lady Deathwhisper, Icecrown Gunship Battle, and Saurfang. On Thursday, five people cancel their raid attendance due to real life emergencies. The raid leader knows that if he cancels Thursday raiding, there's little chance they'll have enough time on Saturday to defeat the other eight bosses in Icecrown Citadel. So he splits the remaining 20 Thursday raiders into two 10-player raids. Each new raid enters Icecrown Citadel and defeats Rotface, Festergut, Blood Council, and Valithria Dreamwalker. The next Saturday with all 25 players online, they reform as a 25-player raid and enter Icecrown Citadel once more. Only Professor Putricide, Queen Lana'thel, Sindragosa, and The Lich King remain. After a tough fight, the Lich King falls and everybody celebrates. Without the Flexible Raid Lock system the entire raid probably would have missed out on a night of raiding, and likely would not have reached the Lich King.

While players can freely move between raids of different sizes in normal difficulty, there are some additional rules for Heroic difficulty. If a 10- or 25-player raid defeats a boss on Heroic difficulty, then those players may now only raid additional Heroic encounters with that specific raid. If your Heroic 25-player raid defeats the first four bosses of Icecrown Citadel on Heroic, then they may not split up into two 10-player raids and continue to fight in Heroic difficulty. You may also not join someone else's raid if they have defeated a Heroic encounter.

But let's say you are a member of a Heroic raid in Icecrown Citadel, and after killing Lord Marrowgar on Heroic you have Internet connection issues that prevent you from raiding for two nights. During those two nights, the rest of the raid kills everything. Without the Flexible Raid Lock system, you would be done with raiding Icecrown Citadel for the week. Ouch. With the Flexible Raid Lock system, you can join someone else's raid as long as they are doing Normal difficulty. This would at least give you the opportunity to earn your Justice Points for the week. If this raid attempted to switch to Heroic difficulty for Icecrown Gunship Battle with you in the raid, the raid leader would receive an error message stating that she cannot change to Heroic, because someone in the raid (i.e., you) is already locked to a different Heroic instance.

All of the new Cataclysm raids will feature the Flexible Raid Lock and Dynamic Difficulty systems, and when the Cataclysm occurs the other Wrath of the Lich King raids will also have these features. It's important to note that this system doesn't affect Heroic dungeons, they will work as they always have. We look forward to feedback for this new system after 4.0.1 is released. As a reminder, Icecrown Citadel and The Ruby Sanctum are the only two raids that support the Flexible Raid Lock until the Cataclysm occurs.

Reforging
Reforging is finally here! You can swap 40% of any of the secondary stats of an item (mostly ratings) for another secondary stat. Reforging is done by NPCs in Capital Cities, ask a guard if you want to know where they are!

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Power Auras / Spell Procs Alert
The extremely popular Power Auras is now part of the default interface. You will now get visual alerts when most of your procs are ready, each with its own unique art.





Relic Slots Items
Most items had their stats changed a little to match the new mechanics but the biggest change is on relics. They now have stats and can be socketed, future relics will not be restricted to a single class.



Road to 4.0.1 - WoWTal v2!
WoWTal.com is up to date for Patch 4.0.1 and has brand new talent trees, Glyph lists, and more! Check it out!



Currency and Honor Calculator
The old currency and honor points will be converted to new values with this patch! The currency calculator has been updated to the latest values, is now pretty, and even supports the 4000 Justice / Honor points cap for gold conversion!




Emblems and Badges




Honor points







Upcoming Changes to Glyphs in 4.0.1
Originally Posted by Lylirra (Blue Tracker)
In the upcoming 4.0.1 patch, we'll be introducing a major overhaul of the current glyph system. This update features a host of changes including the addition of a new glyph tier, the transition of glyphs from consumable items to permanent spells, and a more streamlined user interface.

In its Prime
Glyphs will now be separated into three different tiers: minor, major, and prime.

  • Prime - Prime glyphs will typically provide direct increases to damage or healing throughput. Examples of prime glyphs include Glyph of Howling Blast, which will cause the death knight ability Howling Blast to infect targets with Frost Fever, and Glyph of Insect Swarm, which increases the damage of druid's Insect Swarm ability by 30%.
  • Major - Major glyphs will typically augment spells and abilities to offer additional utility. Examples of major glyphs include Glyph of Silencing Shot, which will cause a hunter to instantly gain 10 focus when successfully silencing an enemy's spell cast, and Glyph of Ice Block, which will reset the cooldown on Frost Nova every time a mage uses Ice Block.
  • Minor - Minor glyphs will typically provide players with additional convenience or cosmetic changes. Examples of minor glyphs include Glyph of Righteousness which will reduce the mana cost of Seal of Righteousness for paladins by 50%, and Glyph of Levitate which will remove the reagent requirement for a priest's Levitate spell.

In total, there will be nine glyph slots: three minor, three major, and three prime. As players level, they will be able to progressively unlock "sets" of these slots in increments of three (one minor slot, one major slot, and one prime slot). The first set of glyph slots will be unlocked at level 25, the second at level 50, and the final at level 75.


Teach a Man to Glyph...
In addition to the glyph tier changes, glyphs will also be transitioning from single-use items to permanent spells that a player can learn. While the item from which a glyph will be taught will still be consumed on use, once a glyph is learned, a player will always have access to it. This functionality will feel very similar to the current mechanic that allows players to learn certain recipes and patterns from item drops.

Despite these changes, activating a glyph will more or less function as it does now. To activate a glyph, players will simply need to select the desired glyph from their list of known glyphs and then click on the appropriate tiered slot.



Dust to Dust
With the transition from single-use items to permanent spells, the process for switching activated glyphs has been slightly altered. Similar to activating a learned glyph, players will need to select the new glyph from their list of known glyphs and then "place" it on top of the old glyph. While this process will not destroy the old glyph as it does at present, it will require a new reagent, Dust of Disappearance, which can be purchased from Inscription vendors or be crafted by scribes.

As a precaution, the following dialogue will also appear before a glyph is exchanged:

Are you sure you want to inscribe this glyph? The existing glyph will be lost.

Cost: 1 Dust of Disappearance

Players will be given the opportunity to confirm the exchange or cancel out of it. Please note that the old glyph will not be permanently lost; it will simply be deactivated.


Gotta Catch'em All
To complement each of these changes, the glyph UI window has been completely redesigned. All glyphs will now be organized in the glyph panel according to their tier (minor, major, or prime) and, much like how class spells and abilities display in the trainer window, will be sortable by "Already Known," "Unavailable," and "All Glyphs" categories. Players will also be able to search for glyphs using keywords and results will populate under each corresponding collapsible tier.

To access the new glyph UI, players will need to open up the Talent pane (default: N) and then click on the "Glyphs" tab.
If you need a list of all the Glyphs available for your class, make sure you check out yesterday's Glyph Preview!



Addon Updates
Just like any major patch, this one will most likely break a couple of your addons. Most of the popular addons are already updated to support Cataclysm and you probably have tons of time to update them while the servers are down.

  • If you hate updating tons of addons, downloading the Curse Client might work just fine for you.
  • If you want to save a lot of time over the next weeks and like to update everything in a single click, upgrade to Curse Premium!.

Name Category
Download Curse Deadly Boss Mods Boss Encounters, and Combat
Download Curse HealBot Continued Unit Frames, Buffs & Debuffs, and Healer
Download Curse Atlasloot Enhanced PvP, Arena, Map & Minimap, and Professions
Download Curse GearScore Tooltip
Download Curse Recount Combat
Download Curse OmniCC Combat
Download Curse X-Perl UnitFrames Unit Frames, and Raid Frames
Download Curse Grid Unit Frames
Download Curse Auctioneer Auction & Economy, Mail, and Tooltip
Download Curse Quartz Combat, and Buffs & Debuffs
Download Curse Prat 3.0 Chat & Communication
Download Curse Bagnon Bags & Inventory
Download Curse Bartender4 Action Bars
Download Curse Omen Threat Meter Boss Encounters, and Combat
Download Curse Titan Panel Titan Panel
Download Curse Decursive Buffs & Debuffs, Boss Encounters, Combat, and PvP
Download Curse Atlas Map & Minimap
Download Curse Gladius Arena, Combat, PvP, and Unit Frames
Download Curse Postal Mail
Download Curse _NPCScan Achievements
Download Curse VuhDo Buffs & Debuffs, Druid, Healer, Raid Frames, and Unit Frames
Download Curse Tidy Plates Unit Frames, Artwork, Combat, and Tank
More 4.0.1 Add-ons »


Patch 4.0.1 Classes pages
Classes pages are still the easiest way to get an overview of your class in Patch 4.0.1 without going through tons of diffs! Make sure you check them out!




Patch 4.0.1 Classes Changes
Expansion do not happen that often and I decided to do something stupid. Here is an extensive list of all the classes changes in Cataclysm/Patch 4.0.1!

  • This list is ridiculously long, really.
  • I'm still working on that list and cleaning it up.
  • There is no way I have all the changes listed there, I spent the past 18 hours working on that list and I'm definitely stupid enough to make a couple of errors and forget a few things.
  • If something looks like a nerf, keep in mind that it's supposed to be balanced at level 85. A lot of these spells are supposed to run with fully itemized mastery gear, you don't have that yet.
  • Report any bug or stupid thing in comments, or better, on Twitter.

All classes changes have been moved to their respective classes pages!


by Published on 2010-10-11 04:46 PM

Tenacious D Live in Concert at BlizzCon 2010
Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
IRVINE, CA. Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that the greatest band in the world*, Tenacious D, will perform at the closing concert during this year’s sold-out BlizzCon®. Taking place October 22-23 at the Anaheim Convention Center, BlizzCon is a celebration of the global player communities surrounding Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft®, Diablo®, and StarCraft® game universes. While tickets to the convention are currently sold out, viewers can watch at home by ordering a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering over 50 hours of event coverage (including Tenacious D’s performance) globally over the Internet and also on DIRECTV® in the United States.

Tenacious D is made up of musical visionaries Jack Black and Kyle Gass. After forming in 1994, the duo rose to rock god-dom following the release of the HBO cult-hit series Tenacious D: The Greatest Band on Earth. Since then, Tenacious D has released two albums and a pair of live DVDs, sold out arenas around the world, and starred in their own feature-length movie, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny. At the BlizzCon closing ceremony on October 23, the band will perform an earth-shattering set that includes the debut of new, soon-to-be-legendary songs.

“The best way to wrap up two days of epic entertainment is with an epic rock concert—and few bands fit the bill like Tenacious D,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re looking forward to a great show and can’t wait to see what Jack and Kyle have in store for everyone attending BlizzCon and watching from home.”

In addition to serving as a gathering place for the Blizzard Entertainment gaming communities, BlizzCon will have an array of activities, including discussion panels, competitive and casual tournaments, contests, hands-on playtime with current and upcoming Blizzard Entertainment games, and more. Viewers at home can order a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket for $39.95 USD, available as a multi-channel Internet stream around the world (pricing and availability may vary by region) and also via DIRECTV in the United States. Visit www.blizzcon.com for more details and ordering information.

To keep pace with the continued growth of World of Warcraft as well as development on other Blizzard Entertainment games, the company is currently hiring for numerous open positions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at us.blizzard.com/jobs. As BlizzCon draws closer, further details about the show will be announced at www.blizzcon.com.
by Published on 2010-10-10 05:58 PM

Is Patch 4.0.1 this week?
Yes, most likely. I'm still trying to get a confirmation on that but really, It's not like it's going to happen on october 19th a few days before Blizzcon. The super mega awesome info compilation for the patch should be available soon, except if I hear that the patch has been delayed.

Update - Oh! Look! An extended maintenance!
Originally Posted by Rishgur (Blue Tracker)
We will be performing extended maintenance on Tuesday, October 12th. Maintenance will begin at 12:00 AM PDT and conclude at approximately 12:00 PM PDT. During this time, all realms and many web services will be unavailable.

Thank you for your patience.

Road to 4.0.1 - Classes pages
A lot of people are contacting me to know more about the changes made to classes in 4.0.1, I'd like to remind you that the class pages are up to date and should answer 90% of your questions. They will be updated with a few more information very soon/if the patch is confirmed for this week.




Road to 4.0.1 - WoWTal v2!
WoWTal.com is (finally) updated with a couple of much-needed features and should be ready for Patch 4.0.1 and Cataclysm. It's theorycrafting time!

  • Cataclysm/4.0.1 Glyphs are finally supported.
  • Masteries/Primary spells are supported.
  • Interface has been cleaned up.
  • The header and the ad slot are gone. (We didn't even have ads anyway)

There are probably a few remaining bugs, feel free to report them in comments. (PS: Using Internet Explorer 7 is a bug on your side.)



Road to 4.0.1 - Glyphs Preview
I didn't really preview glyphs during the beta testing of Cataclysm, mostly because changes were so massive that it was pretty much impossible to track. It's time for a nice preview of the glyphs you can expect on 4.0.1 live realms.



Blizzcon 48-Hour Sale Delayed
Originally Posted by Bornakk (Blue Tracker)
We are still in the process of resolving some issues that are preventing the 48-hour sale for BlizzCon attendees from beginning today as originally scheduled. The sale has been pushed back by one day to begin Sunday, October 10, at 10:00 a.m. PDT. It will now run 60 hours and end at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Tuesday, October 12. The 48-hour sale for Virtual Ticket Holders is still scheduled to begin October 13 at 10 a.m. PDT.

Thank you for your patience and we look forward to seeing you with your items at BlizzCon!

The MMO Report
The MMO Report is back!

by Published on 2010-10-09 07:36 AM

Custom Latency Tolerance
Originally Posted by Kalgan (Blue Tracker)
As an update to this, the next beta build will include a slider bar (labeled "Custom Latency Tolerance") that lets you tune how sensitive the ability queue is (including sliding it all the way to zero if you choose). This value allows you to control (in milliseconds) how long before the GCD finishes the client will let you queue your next ability.

The optimal setting will probably be right around what your ping time is. So, if your ping is 100 for example, you'd probably want to set it at 100 or slightly higher.

Does that mean that the plans to add in the ability to replace a previous command is out? or is that still a possibility?
That's still in too. It's just that while overriding is helpful it can still fail if your override gets to the server a little too late and your previously queued ability goes off anyways.

why cant you just make the client dynamically change this setting based on the ping rather than make the player choose it and probably get it wrong?
We plan to do this as the default value (when you aren't overriding it) in a future patch. There are some complexities that prevent us from being able to do it right now.

How are you going to address people using the TCPAckFrequency registry hack to "lower" their ping? Are you going to disable it in-game, similar to how you handled the nagle algorithm?
The server now enforces the actual global cooldown value, whereas in the past it allowed a .4 sec slush. So, instead of having a slush factor that let somebody cast a bit early, it now catches the request, waits until the cooldown has actually completed, then casts the spell for you (the queue'd ability) at the soonest possible time.

Muffins Presents: Cataclysm Part 3 - Uldum, Twilight Highlands & Instances
Muffins released the 3rd part of the Cataclysm video previews!




Cataclysm - Camel Mount Animations
My first preview of the Camel Mount didn't have any animations, they were added to the beta a few builds ago and you can now take a look at them in all their glory. Camel mounts are reputation rewards in Uldum.



Guild Members Capped in 4.0.1 - Update
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
We previously announced in the Cataclysm Beta forums that we'd be enforcing a 600 guild member cap with patch 4.0.1. We've reevaluated what we believe the realms are capable of supporting and instead will be enforcing a guild member hard cap of 1,000 members. This means that guilds with more than 1,000 members will no longer be able to invite new members until they drop below the cap. For example, if a guild has 1,500 members they'll be able to continue as-is, playing and earning guild achievements for as long as they choose, through Cataclysm and beyond, but they will not be able to add new members until they fall below the 1,000 member cap. If a guild has fewer than 1,000 members, they won't be able to add members above that number.

This new guild cap is being enforced for several reasons, but they all factor into a need to control guild sizes in light of the new guild systems, including guild leveling and achievements. Previously, adding players to a guild was as simple as adding people to a chat channel. While approximately 500 members were visible in the UI, there was no real need to limit guild size. That is no longer the case. Guild leveling in Cataclysm features unified progression powered by a series of complex systems that track the contributions of all guild members. The larger the guild, the bigger the impact on these systems. We found it necessary to determine a maximum guild size to ensure continued performance now and into the future.

We want to reassure the few guilds that this does impact that they have ample time to plan and rearrange their guilds as they see fit. While this hard cap will go into effect with 4.0.1, guilds should feel safe rearranging members as necessary up to the release of Cataclysm on December 7 when the guild leveling system goes into effect. There will be no impact on guild leveling progression before then. If a guild were to disband after Cataclysm, or a group of people were to leave and start a new guild, they would lose the time and experience they previously contributed and potentially extend the amount of time it would take to regain the new guild perks.

While some players have used options including mods and custom chat channels to support large player and guild alliances that number multiple thousands, groups of that size aren't ideally suited to our design philosophy. As always, we're continually looking into adding new features to help facilitate guild management, scheduling, and player communication.

Cataclysm Art & Video Contests
Originally Posted by Lylirra (Blue Tracker)
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will soon be upon us, and the denizens of Azeroth must be prepared! We're reaching out to the World of Warcraft community's talented filmmakers, artists, and graphic designers to help spread the word by entering two brand new contests.

If you've got the skills to make a truly moving or hilarious Cataclysm-themed commercial parody (Sockets are Forever is a great example: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/downl...tml#valentines), then the Cataclysm YouTube Commerical Contest might be for you: http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/communi...taclysm-video/

If your talents lie in creating original artwork or graphic design, then perhaps you'd like to whip up an epic advertisement or public service announcement for the besieged denizens of Azeroth. You can learn more about the Cataclysm Print Ad Contest here: http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/communi...taclysm-print/

Whether you chose to enter either or both of these contests, please be sure to read the rules for full details and eligibility.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

310% Speed mount skill
You'll have to pay for the skill, but your mount speed will increase with your riding skill level. This way, you can pretty much roll through all of your favorite mounts without feeling as if you are neglecting any of them.

[...] I apologize for the added confusion. If you have 310% now, the boost is free. (Source)

[...] We want people to be able to pick and choose the mount (or mounts) they enjoy using without feeling like they're being penalized. There are a lot of different mounts to choose from and for some people, that mount they got awhile back that was so awesome, lost its luster after that next fast mount came out. (Source)

Reforging - Primary vs. Secondary Stats
The primary stats (strength, agility, intellect or stamina for tanks) are nearly always going to be more powerful than the secondary stats. That's the primary reason why you can't refoge them. With the exception of gems and enchants, you don't have a ton of flexibility in stacking your primary stats on gear -- they come at pretty set ratios to item level. You can choose to just gem all primary stats, or you can get fancy with the orange, purple and green gems since socket bonuses are more powerful in Cataclysm.

It's a bigger problem if either haste, crit or mastery are of wildly different value for a given spec. (Source)

Justice Point Drop Quantities (See the original post)
Just a quick note that the points listed here aren't final, we're still trying to balance the numbers. Specifically for Cataclysm drops. It's possible they may still change. (Source)

Tanking
Dazed
You should not be getting dazed on live if you are the defense "cap" and you shouldn't be getting dazed on the PTR if you have the anti-crit talents. If you meet those requirements, then it's a bug. (Source)

Pulling aggro from tanks
Unless you're doing something unusual, healer threat is generally pretty low, and tends to go lower if there are many targets. The biggest danger tends to be when adds spawn and a heal lands before you have done any threat against the new arrivals. If you are targeting Thunder Clap (I'm going to use Thunder Clap as my example, but this discussion is not limited to warriors) so that everything is in range and healers are still pulling, then something unusual is probably happening. Maybe you're taking so much damage that the healers are just spamming heals on you, which might suggest you need to somehow manage some of the adds that doesn't involve all of them beating on you so much.

You're probably at more risk overall of having dps pull off of you. Here are the scenarios again about how that could work:

One target -- if a dps pulls off of you, they are either blowing cooldowns before you have a chance to respond, or your threat generation is much too low for some reason.

Many targets -- in this case, the dps are probably AE'ing. Usually they will kill things pretty quickly, but they might get a few adds on them. These situations are always a little chaotic, but also don't last very long. We don't do many huge AE packs of mobs that hit brutally hard.

A few targets -- in this case, you might be CC'ing one or two, tanking a few others, but burning down the targets one at a time. If the dps are on the right target and pulling off of you, then we're back to situation one. If they are on the wrong target, then they are playing badly and should be corrected and / or mocked, depending on how you roll.

On the one target scenario, you may not need to Thunder Clap on cooldown. The cooldown is 6 sec and the debuff duration is 30, and the threat is not so massive that you should just always Thunder Clap any target. On the few targets scenario, it's at your discretion. Thunder Clap may help keep aggro on the targets not being dps'ed but you might also break CC. On many targets, you should Thunder Clap your heart out. You can tab target your other abilities around, and many tanks do, but you can't realistically tab target them all, so it's not going to make a massive difference. In the few case, you are going to want to spend most of your single-target abilities on the dps target, but perhaps start shifting over to the next target so that you have a headstart when that becomes the target.

That was a long explanation, and it's possible your question was just a thinly veiled jab at how your single target and AE rotations aren't that different, but I think the prioritization of how you use them is.

He was saying that our AoE threat is mostly fine right now because of tab target and cleave, but that's for smaller groups. He's saying we struggle holding larger groups because we don't have other options.
And I'm saying you can hold them well enough. If the mage catches a couple of whelps, it's probably not going to kill him before the whelps die. If we did AE packs of giants or devilsaurs or Marrowgars, then it would be critical for a tank to be able to hold a very large number of targets. But we don't. "Tanking" those large packs is really more about trying to decrease the damage done to others. You aren't going to be able to control it that well. Generally if you find you can't control N number of targets, then it's a reasonable bet that we don't expect you to control that many. You're supposed to CC some or just burn them down, depending on the scenario. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Word of Glory as Protection
This is the kind of thing we're still messing around with. We want Protection to be able to use Word of Glory occasionally in emergencies or to help the healers out, but we are aware that if it's too potent, paladins will just tank by healing themselves (either because of threat generation or mana savings).

We also need to make sure that the AP coefficient for the heal isn't affected by Vengeance. (Source)

Artworks
The Blizzard Art Gallery has been updated with 2 new artworks.

by Published on 2010-10-08 12:22 AM

Patch 4.0.1 - PTR Build 13162
One of the most exciting PTR build is being deployed on test realms, the amazing amount of changes will keep you busy for hours, or even days, it's just amazing! (Note: I might be using sarcasm.)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Affliction

Destruction

Pet Abilities
  • Suffering now has a 5 yards range, 10 yards radius unchanged.

World of Warcraft Reaches 12 Million Players!
"Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated."
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
IRVINE, Calif. -- October 7, 2010 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced today that the subscriber base for World of Warcraft®, its award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), now exceeds 12 million players worldwide. This milestone was reached in the wake of the mainland Chinese launch of World of Warcraft's second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King®, and also as global anticipation continues to mount for the December 7 release of the game's third expansion, Cataclysm™.

"The support and enthusiasm that gamers across the world continue to show for World of Warcraft reaffirms our belief that it offers one of the best entertainment values available today," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We are as committed as ever to taking the game to new heights, and we look forward to demonstrating that with Cataclysm in December."

Since debuting in North America, Australia, and New Zealand on November 23, 2004, World of Warcraft has become the most popular subscription-based MMORPG around the world. It was the bestselling PC game of 2005 and 2006 worldwide, and finished behind only World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade®, the first expansion pack for the game, in 2007. For 2008, the World of Warcraft series represented three of the top five bestselling PC games, with Wrath of the Lich King finishing the year at #1, and in 2009, World of Warcraft titles claimed three of the top six spots.*

World of Warcraft is currently available in eight languages and is played in North America, Europe, mainland China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Chile, Argentina, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

To keep pace with the continued growth of World of Warcraft as well as development on other Blizzard Entertainment games, the company is currently hiring for numerous open positions. More information on career opportunities available at Blizzard Entertainment can be found at www.blizzard.com/jobs.

For further information on World of Warcraft, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Cataclysm, please visit the official website at www.worldofwarcraft.com.

Battle.net Authenticator Change
Originally Posted by Lylirra (Blue Tracker)
To help keep Battle.net accounts as secure as possible, we’ve recently changed how Battle.net authenticators can be used. Going forward, Battle.net authenticators can now only be associated with one Battle.net account at a time. No changes are being made to how many game licenses a single Battle.net account can support. You can still have multiple World of Warcraft accounts under a single Battle.net account, for instance, and all game licenses linked with a Battle.net account will still be protected if an authenticator is in use.

Those of you who currently have more than one Battle.net account associated with a single authenticator will be able to maintain your existing setup without needing to do anything. This change will only affect new authenticator attachments. But, if at some point you decide to detach the authenticator from any of your Battle.net accounts for any reason, you won't be able to reattach it if it's already associated with another Battle.net account.

For more information on the Battle.net authenticator and mobile authenticator application (available for free with many mobile carriers), please visit http://us.blizzard.com/support/article/blizzardauth
Cataclysm actually adds a couple of security features linked to the authenticator, you can now restrict guild ranks to people using Authenticators.


  • AUTHENTICATOR_CONFIRM_GUILD_DEMOTE = "%1$s can't be demoted to %2$s because that rank requires an Authenticator. Do you wish to demote %1$s to %3$s?";
  • AUTHENTICATOR_CONFIRM_GUILD_PROMOTE = "%1$s can't be promoted to %2$s because that rank requires an Authenticator. Do you wish to promote %1$s to %3$s?";
  • AUTHENTICATOR_GUILD_RANK_CHANGE = "This action would make the lowest guild rank require an Authenticator.";
  • AUTHENTICATOR_GUILD_RANK_IN_USE = "You can't set this option on a guild rank in use.";
  • AUTHENTICATOR_GUILD_RANK_LAST = "You can't set this option on the lowest guild rank.";



There was also another weird authentication added to the game files a while back, it might be for internal use only and I decided it would be safer to hide the phone number just to make sure that I don't make Blizzard very sad.


  • PHONESECURE_ENH_TEXT = "For security reasons, please call +x-xxx-xxx-xxx from the phone registered on this account to validate this login attempt, and enter your PIN as well as the following security code: %d.";
  • PHONESECURE_HEADER = "Phone Call Required";
  • PHONESECURE_TEXT = "Please call %s from your registered phone, and enter your PIN as well as the following security code: %s.";#
  • PHONESECURE_WAITING = "Waiting for authorization... %d";


BlizzCon 48-Hour Sale: Shop Before the Show
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
Heading to BlizzCon 2010? Planning to purchase some souvenirs at the show? From October 9 at 10 a.m. Pacific time until October 11 at 9:59 a.m., BlizzCon 2010 ticket holders will have the opportunity to purchase select BlizzCon 2010 store merchandise online (while supplies last). Items purchased through this sale will be shipped directly to your home, giving you more time to take in the panels, tournaments, and other events at the show. To participate, log in to the online Blizzard Store during the sale hours using the Battle.net account provided when you purchased your BlizzCon 2010 ticket (viewable in the buyer's Order History), and head to the More Products section. A second 48-hour sale for BlizzCon Virtual Ticket purchasers will be taking place beginning October 13 -- place your order by October 10 to participate.

http://us.blizzard.com/store/
by Published on 2010-10-06 07:11 PM

Update - Added today's blue posts!

Patch 4.0.1 - PTR Build 13156
A new build is being deployed on PTR realms. Also, don't miss today's announcement:



Spell Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Death Knight (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Blood

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Feral
  • Bear Form now increases threat by 200%, up from 125%.

Hunter (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Survival

Pet Abilities

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy

Protection

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Destruction
  • Improved Soul Fire effect now has a 15 sec cooldown, down from 30 sec.
  • Conflagrate now deals fire damage equal to 60% of your Immolate's periodic damage on the target, down from 100%.

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Protection

Costs of Heirlooms in 4.0.1
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
The current cost of 1-80 hierlooms on the PTR is much higher then it should be. Teir 10-251 gear costs 695/1100 JP, whereas the heirlooms cost 2700/3500 JP.

Can you confirm that we can still do the ToC dailies in ice crown for those badges and buy heirloom items with them after 4.01/cata is released?
They'll still be available and purchased using Justice Points, and Justice Points will be the currency that drops from ... pretty much everything. Anything that dropped any emblem or badge anywhere will drop Justice Points (as long as you're of the correct level range). (Source)

On the current PTR build, they still cost Champion's Seals at the Argent Pavilion.
Yes, and they will continue to. Confirmed that there are no planned changes for the Argent Tournament heirlooms prices or otherwise.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Level 80 Balancing in 4.0.1
Here's the deal: level 80 is going to be a little crazy. There is a reason we're going to end the PvP season before the next patch goes live. There is a reason we had to make PvE adjustments, such as Chill of the Throne. Critical new abilities aren't available until higher level. Combat ratings are much higher than they will be once everyone starts leveling, and likely higher than they ever will be again. Health ratios are much lower than they will be with higher level gear.

We're not totally throwing up our hands at level 80, but it's also far less of a concern than level 85. If there is truly broken stuff going on, we'll fix it, but some things will also fix themselves once you can level again.

The "lame duck session" before a new expansion goes live is always a little odd and exciting. My advice is to chill a little, sit back, and watch Deathwing destroy your world. (Source)

Tank Threat buff in latest build
We did recently buff the threat generated by Defensive Stance and its equivalents.

Note that with this change, the threat generated by tanks will be about the same as it is on live, which is that a tank can generate about three times as much threat as a dps class.

On live, remember that classes like rogues have an innate threat reduction, warriors have reduced threat in Battle or Berserker Stance, and mages had talents to reduce threat generated. We removed all of those. Until this recent change, that left tank threat slightly low relative to live. We hoped Vengeance would have made up for the loss of Tricks, Misdirect and (to a lesser extent) Vigilance, but in retrospect we think we were still underestimating how much they were buoying tank threat.

If you never used Tricks or Misdirect, then threat should feel about the same in Cataclysm as it does on live. If you use Tricks and Misdirect on live, then you might need Vengeance stacked before you feel the same, but at the same time Tricks and Misdirect still work just fine for establishing initial aggro before Vengeance has a chance to stack anyway. (Source)

AE Tanking and Crowd Control
it seems like Blizzard wants to take tanks back to the Vanilla days of "Tank 1 mob and CC the rest".
We think doing that sometimes and AE'ing sometimes is preferable to the world of AE'ing everything all the time. If all you are doing is trying to process dungeons as fast as possible to get to the badges, then I can understand that mentality, but it's not one we want to foster. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Retribution and Crowd Control
We think there is a risk that Ret is overly susceptible to spammed snares or roots. One idea we are trying (standard no promises) is to let Cleanse remove snares or roots when a Ret paladin uses it on himself. That implementation would keep one of the most important uses of Cleanse, without letting Ret strip away buffs and debuffs, which is something we're really trying to clamp down on (for everyone).

We also discussed the oft-suggested idea of making Freedom not dispellable when used on yourself, but our concern there was a Ret would never ever Freedom anyone else and face the dispel risk, so something that was once group utility just becomes a self buff. (As I have referenced before, one of our goals around Ret PvP is to make the spec more of a team player and less of a guy who has an answer for everything.) We still think undispellable Freedom, even for Ret only, is just too powerful. (Source)

Single Target/AE Healing
My point, and maybe it was said a little too tersely, is that Pallies are BY DESIGN supposed to have slightly weaker AoE heals than everyone else, with the counter-balance that their single-target (tank) healing is slighly stronger than everyone else. If you don't like that, then you will be much happier in the longer term rerolling a different healer, since Blizz does not seem like they are budging on this viewpoint.
It's not that we want paladins to be single target healers. It's that we felt like we had to give the healers very similar single target spells (a decision that many healers object to, I should point out) so we are loathe to just give paladins Chain Heal or Circle of Healing. Yes, Holy Radiance and Ray of Light (and even Beacon) are pretty unusual spells. That doesn't mean they have to be terrible by definition. We understand that it's pretty common for the community, upon finding something wanting in their class, to look across the aisle at another class and say "Ooh, I want that!" It's a challenge to keep the 5 healing specs unique, but it's also very important to us. The OP calls those gimmicks. We call it trying to avoid homogenization. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Conflagration change in latest build
We added the dot back when the burst was too high, but it was always kind of weird to consume a dot to cause a dot, and we figured now was a great time to fix that.

Go hop on the PTR. Cast Conflag. You should be happy. (Source)

Conflagration scaling
Conflag behaving a little differently with regard to haste is cool, and certainly better than the alternative, which is that it doesn't care about haste at all.

So then the question is whether it does too much damage with high haste. It might at level 80 and probably won't at level 85. (Source)

Shadowbolt
He's been doing that a lot to us lately.. "Shadow Bolt will be affliction's filler when not refreshing dots etc." But it has been proven that DL is indeed better than SB as afflictions filler on the ptr/beta.
Again, in this case, my information is more up to date, and I predict you'll be using Shadow Bolt. (Source)

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