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by Published on 2010-08-11 07:08 AM

Cataclysm Preview: Darkshore
Originally Posted by Wryxian (Blue Tracker)
Game designers Luis Barriga and Craig Amai sat down with us to discuss upcoming changes to Darkshore's landscape, the fate of Auberdine, and the challenges of redesigning an old-world zone from the ground up in this World of Warcraft: Cataclysm content preview.

Q. What was the original concept for the zone?

A. Darkshore was one of the areas hit hardest by the Cataclysm, so the main idea was to present a zone that had literally been shattered by those events. That was the approach we took for the revamp in terms of lore and aesthetics.

In terms of gameplay, our goal was to take advantage of the changes to the environment and use them to help address previous issues with quest flow. It was an opportunity to streamline progression within Darkshore so that the overall experience for players would be much smoother and require less running back and forth.

Q. Who will be using this zone (what levels/factions)?

A. Darkshore is designed for Alliance players, primarily night elves and worgen, from level 11 through 20.

Q. What is changing about the zone?

A. Auberdine has been destroyed; entire species of creatures have been wiped out, and the land has been torn wide open in multiple places.

The Cataclysm has also given the upper hand to a number of nearby foes, including coastal naga, Twilight's Hammer cultists, and opportunistic trolls of the Shatterspear tribe who seek to exploit weakened night elven settlements.

Q. What's happened to Auberdine?

A. Auberdine has been nearly razed to the ground, and what wasn't destroyed by the Cataclysm is now under assault by air elementals led by Twilight's Hammer cultists. The city is pretty much in ruins, but some survivors did make it out alive.

Q. With Auberdine in ruins, where do night elves go now?

A. Lor'danel. It's a small night elven town just to the north of the ruins of Auberdine.

Q. Without giving up any spoilers, what's the general storyline for this zone?

A. Darkshore has suffered immensely from the massive seismic ripples of the Cataclysm. The night elves are in survival mode, helping refugees and, wherever they can, fending off the advances of the Twilight's Hammer cult, the naga, and the Shatterspear trolls. Meanwhile, Malfurion Stormrage, recently returned from the Emerald Dream, has traveled to the epicenter of the destruction and called upon the ancient powers of Cenarius to contain it.

Q. What do you think is the most exciting new addition to the zone?

A. Without a doubt, the most exciting addition to Darkshore is the gigantic vortex in the center of the zone, where the devastating forces of the Cataclysm are being pit against the primal power of Malfurion Stormrage. Our amazing artists and level designers made us an epic energy vortex to serve as a visual centerpiece for the destruction, and it looks phenomenal.

Q. What goes into redesigning a zone like this?

A. Redesigning Darkshore required much more work than we originally anticipated. This was one of the first zones we tackled that centered on the effects of the Cataclysm, so we started out with the modest goal of adding a few themed quests and improving the general flow of the zone. As we piled on the visual changes, though, we soon discovered that a lot more manpower was needed to generate content that correctly reflected Darkshore's new landscape and lore.

Q. What was the most challenging aspect about implementing these changes?

A. At first we thought that we would be able to work with the majority of the original quests in Darkshore, but most of them just didn't make sense when viewed in the context of the zone's new storyline and direction. For example, chasing after corrupted wildlife and investigating washed-up threshers would seem out of place when everything around you is being ravaged by natural disasters, elementals, naga... and worse. Reaching the realization that we would basically have to scrap all of the old content and start from scratch -- and then actually bringing that plan to fruition -- was probably the hardest part of the process.

Q. What should players do or go see first?

A. Players should start in the town of Lor'danel and then play through the quest series naturally, slowly heading south. Higher-level players (levels 15 and up) may want to skip ahead and meet up with Malfurion Stormrage at the center of the zone, but Darkshore feels best if you experience the entire storyline from the beginning, as intended.

Q. What's happening at the Master's Glaive? The last time we saw it, it was mostly buried underground.

A. Twilight's Hammer cultists have recently begun to unearth the remains of Soggoth, one of the more powerful servants of the Old Gods, from beneath the Master's Glaive with the intent of bringing him back to life. Players will have to foil the cultists' plans before the new incarnation of Soggoth reaches full strength.

Q. Is there anything new at the Grove of the Ancients?

A. The Grove of the Ancients was shielded from most of the devastation caused by the Cataclysm, due in large part to the power of the ancient guardians residing therein. Protecting the grove required an enormous amount of energy, though, and as a result, most of the guardians have gone into a sort of slumber. Players will have to figure out a way to wake them and bring them into the fight to ensure the survival of Darkshore.

Thank you, Luis and Craig, for taking the time to talk about your involvement in reshaping Darkshore for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm!
I went back to the zone on beta servers and did a couple of screenshots, there are a couple of spoilers but it should be enough to get you excited about that zone.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
HoT and DoT refresh
Dots and hots adjust on the fly now when they're refreshed. There is less reason to try and get everything lined up perfectly for big numbers before you cast the spell. You'll be able to game it a little bit for the initial spell duration, but it won't refresh infinitely with the big numbers.

We have to rebalance the entire game anyway given the magnitude of the Cataclysm changes, so don't worry about being penalized for any old mechanics that may no longer be relevant. (Source)

Healer mana balance
Healer mana is completely balanced around encounter length. If we had 30 minute long encounters, this would be a problem, but we don't. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Pet Scaling
I verified that they do in fact scale. However, as I said the first time, you are unlikely to even be able to notice one way or the other so this seemed like an odd thing to be concerned about.

Likewise, the amount of dps loss due to pet scaling from a Destro warlock who stacked mastery and a Demo warlock who stacked mastery would probably be on the order of less than 1%.

Scaling is very important, but keep it in perspective. Forum posters have a tendency to over worry about the problem. If you were going to get gear that gave you 10,000 mastery, then the numbers would get out of whack, but that's not going to happen, at least before we rebalance everything again. The scaling only has to last for 3-4 raid tiers. Warlocks not scaling with crit or haste were very real problems. Situational pets not scaling with gear or pets in general not scaling from one secondary stat are going to have pretty small impacts on the numbers. (Source)

Demon Soul
We understand the concern about Demon Soul. We added that based on early feedback that the Soul Shards were too utility focused and might be ignored on the typical boss fights. The design we have at the moment isn't final. (Source)

New Wallpaper: Marines vs Zerg!
A new wallpaper has been added to the official site.

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

NPC Leaders Updated Models
People keep requesting screenshots of some of the faction leaders, here is a nice compilation of all the important NPC/leaders with a special model in Cataclysm. I also added the ones updated in Wrath of the Lich King but I didn't include leaders with a regular player model.

The revamp isn't complete yet, others NPCs are most likely getting a new model in Cataclysm. (Thrall comes to mind)



Cataclysm Beta - Companion Pets
A couple of companion pets have been added to the beta and I finally managed to track them down. You can probably expect a lot more of them in the future.





WoWTal.com Update
WoWTal.com has been updated and is a little more pretty. Glyphs have been removed for the moment, the current glyphs are outdated and most of them won't be in Cataclysm. We'll have to wait until they hit the beta servers to add them again.
Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler (Blue Tracker)

Bigger topic, but minor glyphs are almost always cosmetic / convenience features for Cataclysm. The big distinction is between prime glyphs (unambiguous dps increases) and major glyphs (utility, survival or very hard to math out dps increases). Under that model, affecting Fear is probably a major.

While we probably won't change every glyph, there is a chance we might, so I ask players not to focus too much on the current LK glyphs.


Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Heirlooms in Cataclysm
Existing heirlooms are currently set to provide bonus experience up to level 80, so you'll be able to outfit eligible Goblin and Worgen characters right from the start. New heirloom items will also be available for purchase, and those items will allow you to gain bonus experience all the way up to level 85.

Now, as beta testing continues, certain aspects of this system may be adapted, but we've no current plans to prevent the use of existing heirlooms in Cataclysm. (Source)

[...] Right now, the plans are to introduce most of the new heirlooms through the guild reward system; however, we also intend to make some available for purchase outside of it. (Source)

Escort Quests in Cataclysm
Interesting topic. While escort quests do allow for dynamic storytelling, we know that they can sometimes feel a bit awkward to play. This is in fact something we're working to address in the upcoming expansion.

Escort quests will still be present in Cataclysm to a degree, but you'll find that they've evolved. Our quest designers have worked very hard to improve the overall gameplay, incorporating new mechanics to bring that goal to fruition. As a result, players will not only get to experience different kinds of escort quests, but the quests themselves should also feel much more intuitive and better paced. (Source)

Classes
Vengeance fun factor
It's subjective so not every tank will agree, but we believe it is more fun to hold threat because of dealing damage than to hold threat through other mechanics. Granted there are probably tanks who would be content to do 20 dps, so long as they could hold aggro. When you're dealing with an audience this large, you can't limit yourself to "Would *someone* like it this way?" You have to do what is right for the game overall. (Source)

The real issue is that Vengance doesn't do a thing when you're hitting your buttons. Vengance, in its current form, has nothing to do with what you do. It only happens when you get hit, counterintuitive, reactive mechanic instead of an active one.
Vengeance is an attack power boost. If you aren't maximizing that attack power by hitting the right buttons, then you aren't making effective use of the mechanic. Your argument is like saying that Blessing of Might isn't an attack power boost because it 's caused by something else (the paladin) and not by what you do. (Source)

Vengeance RNG
Vengeance's RNG nature shouldn't have big impacts in short time scales. It's designed to be more of a long term mechanic such that it slowly builds and slowly falls off.

For example, Ret paladins (especially pre-Cataclysm) have a lot of damage that is based on slow stacks caused by white swings. Paladins don't worry that their damage will be very random, because over long time slices the RNG will generally work in their favor.

Don't think of Vengeance in terms of burst threat or Shield Slams. Think of it in terms of autoattacks over the long haul. In a fight like Yogg, Vengeance isn't what it going to make the difference between grabbing an add quickly. That's what Shield Slam is for. Vengeance is for a long fight, like those boss fights where the lock or the Fury warrior starts to creep up on your threat (particularly in the absence of Tricks of the Trade and Misdirect). (Source)

Vengeance - Scaling and Avoidance
It depends on the encounter, but dps need to generally give the tank a moment to get solid aggro. That's not changing. It should feel like it does today. What we're trying to fix is the problem where tanks playing 100% optimally (or even much less optimally) can stay ahead of the rest of the group early in content, but have trouble the more patches come out because the dps are scaling. If you've ever seen the dps start to creep up on you, that's the problem we're trying to solve. If you don't see that phenomenon today, which it sounds like from your post, then don't worry about it.

Vengeance diminishes at half the rate if you avoid the attack. Furthermore, absorbs don't count at all -- if you absorb an attack, it counts as if you were hit. Again though, I think this concern is over too short a time slice. You're not often going to face the situation where if you dodge 10 times in a row that Vengeance falls off, and even if it does, you should be able to get it back up again before dps start to pull off of you. If you manage to hold threat fine in Icecrown today without Vengeance, then you should be fine with Vengeance. If you're very dependent on Tricks today to keep yourself ahead of the dps, then you're going to be more dependent on Vengeance (but given that there are a lot of tanks who aren't operating at the razor's edge of threat generation today, you might also want to look at what they are doing differently).

That said, if avoidance becomes this huge albatross, it would be easy for us to change it and let it count fully for Vengeance duration. The reason we implemented it the way we did was because we didn't want to encourage weird exploits, such as dragging the crappy trash mob to beat on you through the entire instance. But there are other ways to solve that problem too. (Source)

Vengeance - Buff or Nerf?
It's not intended to be a buff. It's not intended to be a nerf either, but given that one of things we're trying to do is provide more skill between good and bad tanks, it may feel like one. In reality, it is intended to make paladin tanking more engaging than the 6969 rotation. The other 3 tanks have a resource that often limits what ability they can push when (especially after rage normalization). Prot paladins don't really manage mana as a resource. We could have gone that way too, but it always risks them wanting to try and wear caster gear or gem for int or whatever. Instead your main resource is Holy Power. Holy paladins worry less about Holy Power but a lot more about mana. (Source)

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Furor
Furor is 100% chance to proc rage with 3 points. [...] You also keep 100 Energy when you shapeshift into cat with 3 ranks. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Protection
Here is the current design we have in our local builds. It might not appear in the next beta build, but could be the one after that. There's also a chance we will have changed it again before you get a chance to try it.

Holy Shield is a 15% block buff with a 20 sec duration. It no longer has stacks and can be overwritten to refresh its duration. It is caused by both Shield of the Righteous and Inquisition. You can Crusader Strike -> Shield of the Righteous over and over if you'd like, but the Shield of the Righteous will hit for much less without 3 stacks (it will hit softer with <3 stacks than it does today, more like TV does in the beta). Likewise, Inquisition will fall off pretty quickly without 3 stacks (with 3 stacks it lasts 12 sec for Prot and 30 sec for Ret), so there is some motivation to go for the longer buff.

The idea is that you can use Shield of the Righteous for single targets or use Inquisition to buff a larger variety of abilities when AE tanking. Furthermore, if you ever let Holy Shield drop off, you should be able to get it back up pretty quickly at full strength.

There is a chance we will allow Word of Glory to also proc Holy Shield, but we're very concerned about the right way to play becoming to just spam heals on yourself. We still don't want you to have to keep up both Inquisition and a 3 stack Shield of the Righteous at once, because we think that crosses the line into being too maintenance-y, and once you can do it, you'll feel like you have to do it. (Source)

It sounds like we're still able to put up Inquisition, and within those 15 seconds, stack another three Zeal to use a max-power Shield of the Righteous. It sounds like that would be a bit too much damage, honestly, even given the setup time required. Inquisition would be down for a bit after that, but we could just repeat the process a few seconds later.
Doh. I meant 12 sec for Prot (and edited). We don't want 100% uptime for Inquisition for Prot, because then you'll be balanced around that, which would be frustrating given the amount of hit and expertise you're likely to be rocking as a tank. Hopefully there will be room for very skilled tanks to line up their biggest Holy attacks with Inquisition being up (again, in an AE situation) without it being a huge dps / threat loss if you fail to do so.

Ret still has 30 sec Inquisition, because we do want them to keep it up almost all of the time and have room in their cycles to hit Templar's Verdict or Divine Storm. (Source)

Divine Guardian
One of the problems we were trying to avoid with the paladin 85 was the guardian that is fire and forget. We didn't want the Holy and Ret versions particularly to just come in and do stuff without your interaction. With the current implementation, you tell the Guardian exactly who you want him to heal. The game doesn't need any more smart heals, IMO.

[...] We can adjust if 5 heals isn't long enough, but it's a lot of healing during that time. The art for the guardian is quite epic, so we didn't want him to be out a large percentage of the time. We'd rather him feel awesome when he is out. (Source)

Healing as a paladin in Cataclysm (Source)
All of the multi-target healing for Paladins -- you know, the two new really exicting spells -- were both revamped very, very downwards at roughly the same time. And they had been implemented already.
I'm not entirely sure what this means, and in any case, numbers aren't a very sensible thing to focus on at this point. They are the easiest thing to change.

Healing Hands heals for about 6x more than Healing Stream.

Light of Dawn may be the most powerful AE heal in the game in terms of raw throughput, but it is balanced by not being spammable. (Source)

In smaller group encounters both light of dawn and healing hands seem like they will be a lot less effective than a 25 man raid because there will never be enough targets grouped up for them to really do enough healing to justify the cost.
That's a fair concern, but on the other hand, the distances involved in dungeon encounters usually aren't as great as ranged encounters, and because the fights don't last as long, you're not always in danger of running out of mana. Assuming we keep Light of Dawn at a 30 sec cooldown, you'll probably get less than 10 on a dungeon boss, and that's unlikely to kill your mana.

The videos I have seen of Light of Dawn make it seem more like a line heal than a cone heal but I assume the spell is still in early stages considering it use the horn effect from ulduar motorbikes as a graphic.
It's a cone and we were pretty generous with the area since we understand that it's not always easy to predict where the outer area of a cone is. (Source)

being aware of positioning is something very different for all healers. Currently we don't even have to be facing the boss to use judgments of the pure- a sign that developers realize that healers don't care about the way they are facing. I'm not saying it's automatically a bad thing for a healer to worry about positioning but it's a much bigger difference then you give credit for.
I'd say not caring about the direction you're facing is a bad thing. It's understandable given the evolution of the dungeon or raid encounter, but we don't think healers staring at party frames and never looking into the game world is a good thing for the game. Now granted we can't just slap your hand every time you don't look at the boss, but it's a good long-term goal to get healers to pay more attention to the world and less to the UI.

Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Healing mechanics
I think it's fair to say that the shaman was probably the closest to the Cataclysm healing style even in Lich King. On the other hand, you are getting some new toys that should change your moment to moment decisions from level 80 upwards.

Was Shaman healing a big factor in how you wanted other people to heal because of how fluid Shaman healing is?
Yeah that was a big part of it. The other 3 classes (a little less so Holy priests) basically had their favorite spell and used it nearly all the time, with other spells just being filler. Shaman really did feel like they had a choice between HW and LHW and then Chain Heal more situationally. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Warlocks in Cataclysm
Fear -- we might add a glyph that slows feared targets to make extra adds less of a risk.

Drain Life -- you should still cast Shadow Bolt as Affliction when you don't need to refresh dots, etc.

Hellfire -- you still must channel it (meaning you can't cast other spells), but you can move while channeling.

Seed of Corruption -- Unless you raid Patchwek and Golemagg a lot, AEs aren't just for trash anymore.

Doom Guard and Infernal -- I don't think we'll reach the point where your damage scales poorly because your long-term cooldowns don't scale well with gear. We're not against scaling their stats. I'm just not sure it will have a noticeable effect.

Soul Harvest -- It's basically a Drain Soul that can be used when there are no souls around. As we've said before, we'd prefer to balance warlocks around average encounter length. Once we provide a way to get shards back in combat, we are concerned that locks will blow their shards on cooldown, and then be unhappy when they have to go into lower dps-mode to generate the shards back. If the model just doesn't work without infinite / renewable shards, then we'll change it, but it's far to early to know whether that is the case.

WTB glyph of fear that makes targets cower. I've said it many times but one more can't hurt.
Cower or slow, perhaps. We'll see. (Source)

Affliction rotation
The basic Affliction "boss rotation" should still be something like UA -> Corruption -> Bane of Agony -> Haunt -> Shadow Bolt. Haunt refreshes your Corruption through Endless Affliction. Nightfall procs Shadow Bolts. When the target is wounded, you can switch to Drain Soul.

On faster fights, you can go Corruption -> Shadow Bolt -> Drain Soul, or even Shadow Bolt / Searing Pain for very fast fights.

When you need to run you can use Fel Flame.

The general DPCT should be something like this (off the top of my head, so this may not be perfect): Drain Soul (wounded), UA, Bane of Agony, Bane of Doom, Corruption, Haunt, Shadow Bolt, Incinerate, Drain Life, Drain Soul (not wounded).

Most of the Drain Life stuff in the talent tree is to support PvP, leveling or when you need health.

This is all work in progress of course, and not etched in stone. (Source)
by Published on 2010-08-09 09:48 AM

Troll and Gnome Character Selection Screen
The latest beta build fixed the bugs with the new character selection screens for gnomes and trolls, hopefully the revamped starting zones for both races and the more attractive creation screen will give us more gnomes to harass.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Tanks - Vengeance
Imagine the tooltip for Vengeance read "Your damage scales with the rest of your raid as if you wore dps gear instead of tanking gear." That's pretty much it.

Q: Why not just make it +threat?
A: Tanks tell us *constantly* that damage is fun and threat without damage is not fun. Devastate is a much more fun button than Sunder Armor.

Q: Why make me have to worry about threat?
A: Because it's part of your job. A fight where there is no real danger of losing threat means half those buttons on your bar don't do much.

Q: Why not make tanks wear dps gear?
A: A few reasons. The big one is that tanks care about survival so they want to gear for survival. The bear solution works okay, but I suspect if they had the choice, the druids would rather see us itemize bear leather (if we could solve all the skewed distribution problems that led us to the current goal in the first place).

Now, it would be awesome if tanks did consider dps stats more seriously, and maybe outside of the instagib environment of Lich King, they will. Back in the day, tanks at least have say swords and rings for +threat fights even if they didn't use them all the time.

Q: Why does Vengeance needs to fall off at all?
A: Because we want you to care about actually hitting your buttons. You should be good at threat because you know when to use a Shield Slam for burst threat, not because of a nearly-passive aura that makes stuff stick to you like glue. If we wanted Vengeance to solve every problem of tanking, we would just make Defensive Stance et al. give you a 1000% threat modifier such that you'd never have problems.

Q: But if Vengeance falls off, we'll wipe.
A: That's not the intent. You have Shield Slam and similar abilities. You have a lot of threat generating tools. Heck, you have Taunt much of the time.

Q: What is the role of Vengeance in PvP?
A: Hopefully irrelevant. If making it dispellable isn't sufficient, we'll simply turn it off.

Q: Why can't tanks do competitive damage in PvP?
A: Because they chose the tank role instead of the dps role. Tanking comes with enormous advantages that are helpful in PvP, such as being hard to kill, hard to control and having good control of your own. That will be even more useful in the Rated BGs of Cataclysm.

Q: [I don't like that design. I prefer a different design.]
A: Feedback like that is useful to a point, but understand that your feedback will be more valuable if it does align with our goals. Saying "I think tanks should do the same damage as dps specs," is fine feedback, but it's something we're unlikely to change.

Hunter (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Focus
We implemented focus because hunters do not feel like a magic class to us. They aren't casting spells. They are shooting things with a ranged weapon. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Protection
Paladins were always the "Block first, ask questions later" tank class of TBC and Wrath. Yes warriors use shields too, but Holy Shield made us block far more than the other guy.
We're just not happy with the way Prot paladins have been playing in Lich King. If you've followed these forums for some time that should come as no surprise. It's difficult to do that without breaking some eggs / butchering some sacred cows / insert your own metaphor here. Now we don't want to lose what it is that attracted you to the class in the first place, but we do need some space to come up with something we think is fun. (Source)

Holy Power as a mechanic is far from a polished entity.
I would agree. It just went in a few weeks ago. But we have plenty of time before we ship. (Source)

TLDR: 1) Please rethink the Holy Power = Mitigation philosophy and work it into Holy Power = Burst Threat philosophy.
The problem with this is that survival tends to trump threat concerns for tanks much of the time, and that's a totally logical response to have given the encounters you're asked to tank. While there are some fights where burst threat matters, there are plenty that don't. Almost every fight involves the tank staying alive however. We didn't want to introduce this new mechanic which was supposed to add some interest to all three paladin trees, and then have Prot paladins fall back on just mashing buttons on cooldown the way they play today, at least on the fights where threat wasn't tight. (Source)

The MMO Report
It's monday! MMO Report Time!



Comics
Dark Legacy Comic #250 and Teh Gladiators #156 + #157 are out!

by Published on 2010-08-08 04:38 PM

Cataclysm Build 12694 - Talent Calculator
I didn't post the talent calculator on patch days because of a few issues caused by the new client (The annoying 0 values on most of the new spells). The problem is now resolved, feel free to use the Cataclysm Talent Calculator again.



Cataclysm Build 12694 - Reputation Enchantments
The latest beta build added the spells for reputation enchantments, nothing really super-interesting but I figured it would make a couple of theorycrafters happy.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Reputation Enchantments - Shoulders

Reputation Enchantments - Head

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Concentration Aura
Someone else is getting Concentration Aura. Place your bets. (Source)

200% crits
Warlocks and mages get 200% crits.

We have talents or passives for the hybrid classes because we want the nukers to get the big crits but not the healers. But for mages and warlocks, it seemed silly to have identical passives that say "you get 200% crits" when we don't do that for all the melee classes who get 200% crits.

Incidentally, hunters also get 200% crits in Cataclysm. They already did for the most part on all of their physical attacks, but unless I'm mistaken, attacks like Arcane Shot could only get a 150% crits. That is fixed for Cataclysm. (Source)

Raid Buffs in Cataclysm
Nobody has more powerful versions. All raid buffs are identical in power in Cataclysm. Some have different durations or radii or other measurements of convenience. "I won't get brought because his buff is more powerful than mine," is a pretty reasonable argument. "I won't get brought because his buff is more convenient than mine," just doesn't carry the same punch.

Players are going to find themselves in situations all the time where they bring the same buff that someone else brings. Shaman and paladins are probably in the best situation of bring able to bring something no matter what else the group already has. But we still want for groups to be able to bring say two Fire mages, and in that case, their contributions are identical. (Source)

Failed specs
Yet, even though Enhance's dps was low, there were thousands of dps shaman raiding ICC. By far the majority of raids had at least one. The only specs we really failed on in LK raiding were Frost mage, Subtlety rogue, BM hunter and Arms warrior. (Source)

Hybrid Builds
We really haven't ever supported the true hybrid builds where someone goes halfway down two trees. It would be one thing if someone really wanted to play say an Affliction warlock who also emphasized demons or the Ret paladin who also wanted to be a better healer. But almost without exception the hybrid builds that have ever existed involved sneaking down into a second tree to get an overpowered talent or two. The developers never really wanted the last talent in a tree to be a decision. They want you to get that talent. When players would make builds that didn't go to the bottom of their tree they would feel like something was wrong with the tree. Nobody wants that 31-point talent to be a hard choice.

So, yeah, go get that 31-point talent. You'll have some decisions to make on the way down and then you'll have 10 points that can get you 3 or 4 additional talents from a pool of 15 or so that are left over. Not all of those builds will make sense, but many of them will. That feels like plenty of choice to me and both you and we will know that you have the basics that make your spec work. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Subtlety
We're going to make Dirty Tricks baseline.

We still think the mobility between Subtlety and the other trees is a little far apart. This is something we want to address.

We also think Subtlety's damage against heavy armored targets is probably a little low and we're looking at that as well.

However, as we said in the Twitter dev chat, if you had a tree with Assassination's burst or Combat's timers *and* Shadowstep and Prep, why would you play anything else in PvP? In PvE, we want to get all 3 rogue specs to be as close together as possible. But part of that involves Rupture and Honor Among Thieves, which are just more potent in PvE than PvP. In PvP, we think it's fair that Subtlety does less toe-to-toe damage given that the tree has so many advantages when not toe-to-toe. (Source)

Sprint cooldown
I will admit that the 3 min cooldown on Sprint feels a bit antiquated. It's something we're discussing but it's too soon to promise anything. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Totems not as useful as before?
This is a pretty common sentiment among shaman, but it's just not one we agree with. Elemental shaman having to give up their dps totem for a dps buff was a situation we weren't happy with. But Enhance giving up a dps buff for utility totems -- and very powerful utility totems -- isn't the same thing in our minds.

We don't want to have to balance the game around the assumption that Earthbind or Tremor Totem are up 100% of the time in a raid, which they would be if they also gave you the Strength of Earth buff. (For starters, we'd have to give equivalents to other classes since otherwise having a shaman would be a huge advantage.) Once you remove Tremor and Earthbind, (and disregarding Stoneclaw and Earth Elemental as super situational) then you're left with Strength of Earth vs. Stoneskin, and the powers of those two really aren't comparable. If you have one shaman, drop Strength of Earth. If you have two, or someone else who can bring that buff, then you can add Stoneskin. If you really need Earthbind or Tremor for an encounter, then you can live without Strength of Earth. Most of the time in PvE when you need those other two, it's not for the entirety of the fight anyway. (Source)

[...] If the model was that shaman were brought for their buffs then that would be a problem. But the model is that shaman are brought because they contribute to the group as a whole, which includes bringing some buffs (and to be fair, more than most classes) but also doing competitive dps. If your dps is too low, then *that* is the problem, not that you don't bring a powerful buff so awesome that you're virtually guaranteed a raid spot even if you go AFK half the time. (Source)

[...] And if you have a paladin, you probably have Devotion Aura, so then there is no reason to drop Stoneskin either. And if the group also has a warrior, then that warrior might Battle Shout, rendering Horn of Winter useless. You just aren't going to be guaranteed a raid slot because you bring the only reasonable version of a group buff. The good news is that nobody is. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Rage Normalization - Crits no longer generate extra rage
We actually are concerned that even with normalization that rage scales too well with gear. Currently on beta, rage generation feels about right at level 80, but the income drops down more and more with higher levels. Now we have no doubt once warriors get epic gear with tons of haste and crit that they will have plenty of rage again, but that's the problem that rage normalization was really intended to fix.

The solution we're looking at, and I predict a lot you aren't going to like it, is not to have crits provide extra rage. That will let us bump rage income across the board without it getting infinite again at the epic level. This actually provides a certain amount of consistency with other classes because then crit would be about bigger numbers and haste would be about being able to do more because you have more resources to work with.

We think to feel right that warriors (and bears) generally need enough rage income to hit their main rotational buttons, but not Heroic Strike or Cleave. You might occasionally have to wait a second for that Bloodthirst or Mortal Strike, but we don't want that to be a regular occurrence (unless you just squandered your rage by playing badly.) Getting a lot of rage, because say you were stunned or took a lot of damage from something or the shaman popped Bloodlust, then just lets you Heroic Strike or Cleave more, get bigger Executes, save GCDs from going to Bloodrage, etc.

But also to feel right, this needs to occur in both quest greens and fully-gemmed and enchanted endgame gear. We don't think that is happening enough yet on beta.

Rest assured, you'll still scale just fine with gear.

Hit rating and rage generation
We know Cataclysm warriors will value hit pretty highly, and to be honest that's not a bad place to be coming off of LK where warriors viewed hit as junk. Then again, part of that was because of the Heroic Strike bug, so maybe hit would have been more valuable even in LK.

We're also taking a hard look at combat ratings across the board right now in Cataclysm. We removed so many passive combat ratings from the talent trees (as well as things like Misery and the Draenei racial) that we're concerned that our current ratings are too brutal. If we relax those, then everyone will see their hit go up.

If after all that dust settles warriors still are penalized too much for a miss then we might consider something to address that, but only if we were confident that warriors would still desire hit on gear more than they did in LK. (Source)

Rage "nerf"
It's just tricky because we know that warriors used to the Icecrown raiding environment are going to feel rage nerfed almost no matter what. Some of those warriors are going to complain about being rage starved anytime they aren't hitting Heroic Strike on cooldown. We just have to be very cautious when we get feedback. It is 100% supposed to be a nerf, but only to the degree of having to pay attention to that red bar up there under your health. It isn't supposed to be a dps nerf (minus the Heroic Strike bug and Shadowmourne and other things that make Fury dps too high on live). (Source)

Warrior Scaling
Totally. A little more rage is fine. Cats get more combo points as their geat gets better. Mages get more mana. We're just worried that the Cataclysm numbers currently in beta will make warriors still scale too well with gear, which means the leveling warriors don't have fun or the warriors facing the Bastion of Twilight out-dps the other classes. (Source)
by Published on 2010-08-07 07:51 AM

Cataclysm Models - Twilight Ascendants
I think this is the last model added in the latest beta build, it took a little more time than usual to get everything fixed because the new streaming client hates me but I think we should be ok. Actually, the next few days will probably be interesting.

The Twilight Ascendant (Air) model has been added to the game, I also added the Fire model from last week to the screenshot.


There is also a short video of some of the new models from TotalBiscuit, who seems to do most of the work for me lately.



Deathwing vs. Alextrasza Fight Sound Files/Transcript Spoilers!
Most of the sound files of the fight between Alextrasza and Deathwing are up now. Cataclysm is going to be fun, oh, so fun. Thanks to Ralth for all the work he did on the transcripts, more to come.

OBVIOUS SPOILERS! COVER YOUR EYES AND YOUR EARS AND PUSH YOUR PAGE DOWN BUTTON! (I have no idea how you're going to do that with 2 hands)

Alexstrasza and Deathwing Fight Dialogue
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event01.ogg "Mortal, I want you to bear witness to this, but for your own safety, Stay back! Calen, you too"
VO_QE_Calen_Event01.ogg "I will not leave your side."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event02.ogg "Your life isn't yours to throw away Calen, should I fail, the fate of this world may rest on your shoulders."
VO_QE_Calen_Event02.ogg "Yes mother."

*Alexstrasza goes to Deathwing*
VO_QE_Deathwing_Event01.wav "Lifebinder. Do you presume that I am at your beck and call? I have a world to unmake."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event03.ogg "It pains me Neltharion, but I must end you, as i have ended Malygos!"
VO_QE_Deathwing_Event02.wav "Ha ha ha ha. End? Me? Lifebinder. You think life is yours to take away? Life is weak. Mortal. Fleeting. Fragile. Death is final. Death is eternal. Death is my realm. Look upon me, and you see death incarnate. The unmaker... of worlds."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event04.ogg "I see the hallow metal shell of a once great ally and the precious gift of the titans wasted."
VO_QE_Deathwing_Event03.wav "Then witness my new gifts! Bestowed by this worlds TRUE MASTERS."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event05.ogg "Neltharion, look at yourself, misshapen, twisted, you are coming apart."
VO_QE_Deathwing_Event04.wav "Just as all life ends in death, all order must end in chaos! Come! Embrace the inevitable... as I have!

*Alexstrasza and Deathwing fight*
VO_QE_Calen_Event03.ogg "Don't let them out of sight, quickly, come with me!"
VO_QE_Calen_Event04.ogg "There, they've fallen."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event06.ogg "The earth-warder.. he is dead.."
VO_QE_Calen_Event05.ogg "Mother, stay still, your wounds are great."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event07.ogg "The Black Aspect's blood is cursed, wherever it was shed, nothing will grow for 10000 years *groan*, but is it over, we can work now to bottle up the horrors he has unleashed."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event08.ogg "Impossible!"
VO_QE_Calen_Event06.ogg "Deathwing, he lives...... Deathwing.... he lives?"
VO_QE_Deathwing_Event05.wav "The sun has set on this mortal world. Make peace with your end, for the hour of twilight falls!"
VO_QE_Calen_Event07.ogg "Mortal, take the dragon queen, take her to safety, carry het to safety, now, run, get her away from here."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event09.ogg "Calen, NO!"
VO_QE_Deathwing_Event06.wav "Argh. You think to entrap me?
VO_QE_Calen_Event08.ogg "I will delay the aspect of death, take her to safety."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event10.ogg "NOOOOO!"



Password Security Information
Seriously, listen to the guy. Getting your WoW account stolen and restored within a few days is one thing, losing your hotmail account, your MSN contacts, and fighting with the tech support to get your password back is another. Yes, you can replace "hotmail" with anything else, you can even replace it with "puppies" because, yes, they will steal your puppies too, that's how evil keyloggers are.
Originally Posted by Bornakk (Blue Tracker)
We have been helping players deal with account theft for years now, and unfortunately, roughly a third of players make a very basic security mistake: using the same password for all of their security needs.

If you are serious about protecting your account and your personal security, your Battle.net password should be different from your email account password -- or other personal passwords for that matter!

No one wants account thieves rooting around in their personal email, address book, and contact lists. Too often we see thieves breaking in to this information because their target has used the same password across multiple types of accounts. Not only can this give thieves access to your account, it can lead to compromises far outside of Battle.net as well.

It’s immensely important that everyone use separate passwords for separate applications, including games. Secure passwords have both numeric and alphabetical values, and are usually at least 10 characters in length.

For more information on password security, please click here: http://us.blizzard.com/support/artic...rticleId=20574
For more information on account security, click here: http://us.battle.net/en/security/

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Ysera open eyes
As I've said before, her eyes are very intentionally open. This is, in fact, part of the fiction and will be explained in one of our upcoming novels as well as a future event in game.

If it suits you, feel free to RP going CRAZY INSANE after looking into her eyes in Hyjal. (Source)

Bloat vs. Choice
I think the word "bloat" has become like the word "clunky" in these forums. It's so often used as a synonym for "I would have designed this differently" that it has lost a lot of specific meaning.

I think in the end one of the things we've really learned about what players are looking for in a talent tree is that they are often looking for different things. Some players are perfectly happy spending every point on say damage. Damage is what they do, so any point not related to damage feels wasted. Some players want every possible talent build to be legit. They don't want there to be any wrong answers such that they could almost assign points at random and have something that was functional and diverse. Some players, and this surprised us a little, like to have the ability to make bad choices and are perfectly happy making wrong choices -- to them the freedom to choose trumps the desire for power. Some players just want every point and agonize about having to leave anything out. Some get really bent out of shape at the thought of spending even 1 talent point on a talent that they may not use say once every 30 min or so. They would rather respec into a situational ability when that situation comes up rather than have it just in case. Some are mostly interested in just seeing something different. They are less interested in the perfect talent tree than they are in having them change over time. Even powerful abilities feel like old hat and they want the new hotness. You see this a lot for the classes whose talent trees changed earliest in Cataclysm, who are now wondering when "their overhaul" is coming. Opposing them are the nostalgia buffs who can't stand the thought of any talent or ability going away because it's iconic for their class.

I'm really not building towards any kind of conclusion with any of that. It has just been interesting to see the feedback. I guess I can offer that you might want to be careful about who you think you are speaking for when you say "we feel this" or "we don't want that." Players, even the microcosm of the forum community, want different things. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy Shield / 15% block
Yeah, as some of the other posters said the issue is not really whether 4.5% or 8% (which is pretty liberal) is the amount of damage reduced. You're comparing full uptime to no uptime. If a paladin refuses to use their mitigation talents (i.e. stubbornly or sloppily choose not to use Holy Shield ever) then they are going to take more damage and suffer the consequences.

The issue is how catastrophic is it if you are sloppy and let Holy Shield slip off for a short time or choose to use Word of Glory instead. The answer is probably: not very.

Fifteen percent block is rarely going to make the difference between you being alive or dead. It will make a difference over the course of a fight in how much damage you take and therefore how much mana your healers need to invest. For that reason it's an excellent idea to keep Holy Shield up a lot. But if you let it fall down every now and then, you probably won't explode. (And let's remember there are several emergency buttons if you are on the verge of explodination that will mitigate a lot more damage than a block.)

The reason I keep comparing it to 15% damage reduction, is because damage reduction affects every hit you take. Block is a chance to take less damage on every swing. Integrated over the course of an entire fight, you will probably block 15% more with Holy Shield up. But if you let it drop for a few boss swings, you are going to take far less than 15% more damage. In fact, you may take no extra damage at all (i.e. you would have blocked anyway). In fact, you may take no damage at all (i.e. you dodged or parried). (Source)

Holy Shield uptime
I would say we are actually giving you control over your ability to survive. Today paladin tanking is very automated. Today the control isn't in your hands. We need to change that.

Look, nothing on normal mode is going to be tuned to the point where a paladin tank who lets Holy Shield fall down wipes the group. On heroic mode, yes, you will probably be asked to play to the best of your ability. That's the purpose of those challenges. (Source)

Why is Holy Shield duration so short?
The reason we haven't done that is we're concerned that once you have any Holy Power left for extra things, that you then assume you'd be balanced around those extra things. So for example, the model goes from paladins having to keep 15% block up to having to keep 15% block up *and* heal themselves every rotation. That's still a model we might consider though.

We're happy with the bones of the design. The details and tuning aren't quite right yet, but we have many ideas left to try. (Source)

Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Shadow Power
Shadow Power is now called "Blackout" and is a passive talent tree bonus for picking the tree. It provides 200% crits to Shadow spells. (Source)

Archangel and Evangelism
Archangel and Evangelism don't stack. The intent is that Dark Archangel is used when burst matters more than sustained damage (Dark Evangelism = Sustained, Dark Archangel = Burst), and not really something you'd do rotationally. In PvE you might do it if the target is going to die soon (when sustained dps really doesn't really matter), for target swapping, right before Bloodlust etc. (Source)

Mind Spike redesign
There are some additional Shadow changes that are upcoming, including a slight re-design for Mind Spike. The role for Mind Spike is still something you can do when you don't have the opportunity for your full blown rotation, but we also don't want you to feel like you have to work it into your normal rotation. (Source)

Mind Flay
Mind Flay is going back to a 3 sec cast time. As sometimes happens in beta, the data were pulled right while we were changing the spell, resulting in it being bugged. Sorry. (Source)
by Published on 2010-08-06 07:43 AM

Mini Deathwing
The latest beta patch added the model of the Mini Deathwing to the game. It could be the Collector's Edition pet but at this point there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in the game files to confirm that. Best viewed with something cute to hug in your arms. (I'm willing to volunteer for that depending on who you are)





Cataclysm Preview: Southern Barrens
Originally Posted by Slorkuz (Blue Tracker)

For our ongoing coverage of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we recently sat down with game designers Dave Kosak and Roman Marotte to ask them about the work they've done on the Southern Barrens, a once-familiar place drastically altered by Deathwing's return and the continuing struggle between the Horde and the Alliance.

Q. What was the original concept for the zone?
A. The Barrens is one of the areas of Kalimdor hardest-hit by the Cataclysm. It has literally been ripped in two! The Northern Barrens retains much of the feel of the original zone and fulfills a similar gameplay purpose: it's primarily a training ground for low-level Horde characters. That gave us enormous freedom to create a whole new gameplay experience for the Southern Barrens. In the wake of the Cataclysm, the Alliance has been aggressively expanding into the heart of the continent from the east coast. As players enter the zone, they'll find that the Horde is really up against the ropes. The escalating conflict between the two rival factions is front and center here, providing a backdrop for much of the area's quests.

Q. Who will be using this zone (what levels/factions)?
A. The Southern Barrens is geared toward Alliance and Horde characters from levels 30–35.

Q. Without giving up any spoilers, what's the general storyline for this zone? How has it changed from the original design?
A. "An eye for an eye" is the theme, with each side taking and losing ground, descending deeper and deeper into violent conflict. From the Horde perspective, players will learn the grim fate of Camp Taurajo and Honor's Stand. It's then up to the players to rally their faction's disorganized forces, initiate a change in local leadership, and avenge the sacking of Taurajo. The Alliance, meanwhile, struggles to hold on to recent gains, fending off attacks from all fronts. Players will also fight to save Northwatch Hold from the brink of capture and keep the roadways from Theramore open. Additionally, both factions have to deal with the explosive growth of a strange new jungle spreading across the Barrens. This is all entirely new content for the expansion.

Q. What do you think is the most exciting new addition to or feature of the zone?
A. Definitely the Alliance/Horde conflict, which really comes alive in the Southern Barrens. We tried to give players the feeling of participating in large PvP-style conflicts, even if they're playing solo. Alliance and Horde members will struggle to capture and defend key points of the battlefield against waves of enemy troops. New technology will allow players to experience the story in ways they never could have prior to Cataclysm. For example, the Horde assault on the fortress at Bael Modan, and its aftermath, should really pull players into the action by showing dramatic changes in the world.

Also, one word: Mankrik.

Q. What goes into redesigning a zone like this?
A. The Southern Barrens was a complete rework, so we really started from scratch, identifying the key areas of contention and then building a short storyline around each one. To accentuate the conflict, battles continually rage in hot spots around the zone. Finally, we put together a quest structure that throws players into the thick of those engagements. We invested a lot of effort into infusing the right emotions into the zone. If you're a Horde player, for instance, we want you to be completely outraged by what happened at Taurajo!

Q. So what has happened at Camp Taurajo? It appears to be in ruins.
A. That depends on whom you ask! Alliance players can speak to General Hawthorne at Forward Command and discover his reasoning for removing Taurajo from the Horde arsenal. On the other hand, if you speak to the various Horde leaders at Hunter's Hill, Camp Una'fe, or Vendetta Point, you'll hear a very different version of events. We suspect that debate over the ethics of this one will rage for some time.

Q. What was the most challenging aspect about implementing so many changes to an existing zone?
A. It was a real challenge getting the story to flow organically from the start of the zone to the climax. Key NPCs move around and are killed during the fighting; that's always tricky to pull off.

Q. What should players do or go see first?
A. Alliance players will definitely want to get to Northwatch Hold as soon as possible: it's about to fall to the Horde! Likewise, Horde players should check out the utter devastation at Taurajo. Someone... has got... to pay.

Q. Why is the Great Gate barring entry to and from the Barrens and Mulgore?
A. The Horde built the Great Gate in reaction to Alliance aggression from Dustwallow Marsh, including the construction of a highway running from Theramore straight to the Barrens. The gate was finished just in time: Alliance forces had penetrated all the way to the entrance of Mulgore, and the gate slowed them down long enough for the Horde to rally and launch a counterattack (with the player's help, of course!).

Q. Will you explain a bit about the emergence of the Overgrowth and the new Horde Camp Una'fe?
A. Players may be familiar with the story of Naralex, the ambitious druid who tried to reinvigorate the springs of the Wailing Caverns to return the Barrens to the lush expanse that it once was. His story continues in the Southern Barrens as he tries to contain and cope with the unintended consequences of his near-fatal exposure to the Emerald Nightmare. The uncontrolled growth in this part of the Barrens threatens the Alliance and the Horde alike. Teegan's Expedition in the east is stymied in its attempts to get Alliance supplies to the front, while at Camp Una'fe to the west, Taurajo's survivors find themselves overwhelmed as well.

Q. What are the Alliance forces at Forward Command and Fort Triumph and the Horde forces at Desolation Hold hoping to accomplish in the Southern Barrens by vying for control of the Battlescar?
A. Geography defines the conflict here. The Battlescar sits in the middle of a narrow pass, a natural bottleneck. The Alliance needs to blast its way through here in order to maintain an overland link between Theramore and Northwatch Hold, not to mention a route into the Stonetalon Mountains, where the Alliance can lend aid to its allies. If the Horde can seal off this pass, then Theramore will essentially be isolated. The conflict comes to a head in the Battlescar... and the future of Kalimdor may hinge on the outcome.

Thank you, gentlemen, for taking the time to discuss the work you've done to breathe new life and adventure into the Southern Barrens for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm!


Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Wrathgate/Battle for Undercity gone in Cataclysm
It's not bugged. The quest ends at the cinematic now. (Source)

AE Tanking skills cooldown
We just didn't like the direction we were heading where every tank had an ability to guarantee that incoming adds would head right for them, and every tank had an ability to do reflective damage that had literally no decision or skill on the part of the tank to employ.

Use your Consecrates, Shockwaves, Swipes and Death and Decay when they would have the most impact, not on cooldown. Get adds to stick to you because you use abilities at the right time, not because once a mob hits you, you generate free threat. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Shield of Righteousness outdated in current Beta Build
The actual tooltip says:

Slam the target with your shield, causing Holy damage. Consumes all applications of Holy Power to determine damage dealt:

1 Holy Power: 30% Attack Power
2 Holy Power: 60% Attack Power
3 Holy Power: 90% Attack Power

Shield Slam hits for 100% of attack power, but it's physical damage. On the other hand, it doesn't require a secondary resource.

[...] It's not Shield Slam and it's not intended to fill that role. I was merely offering that so players would have a point of comparison for the kind of numbers their attack should produce.

We had pulled SoR from the beta because it was one of the things that, in our minds, made the Prot paladin and warrior feel too similar. We wanted to bring it back because paladins like the ability, but we didn't want to bring it back as a Shield Slam clone.

[...] If you use Shield of the Righteous with 1 stack, you hit softer, which may not be that big a deal since you can do it again after the next Crusader Strike / Hammer of the Righteous. However a 1 stack Shield of the Righteous only grants 5% block, which may be less than you want. (Source)

Holy Shield
To add to my previous tooltip, here is Holy Shield. Remember it's a passive now.

Your Shield of the Righteous hits increase your block chance by 5% per stack of Holy Power consumed. Lasts 20 sec.

As far as the burst threat concerns go, use Avenger's Shield. It hits very hard in Cataclysm. (Source)

Words of Glory / Holy Shield
We're talking about 15% block here, not 15% damage reduction. Sure over the course of a fight, you'd notice 15% block. But if you let Holy Shield drop for a few seconds you have virtually no way to know if that would even affect the next several seconds of the fight. Would you have blocked anyway? Great! You didn't need the Holy Shield. Would the boss have hit you even with the extra 15% block? Bummer, you wasted Holy Shield. If it's a dragon breathing on you, then the block does nothing.

We want Prot to be able to use Word of Glory sometimes and we're evaluating the best way to make that happen. We don't want a model where Prot uses the heal on cooldown because then we just have to assume it's up all the time and it feels more like something you have to maintain instead of something you can use for emergencies. (Source)

We're less sure about Inquisition. It's fine if Ret is designed around keeping it up nearly all the time because they're only spending Holy Power on damage attacks otherwise. With Holy Shield though it might feel like Prot needs to keep two Holy Power-based things running, which is probably two much to ask of a tank. In the prior model you could choose Inquisition's damage instead of Holy Shield's mitigation, but with the new Shield of the Righteous model, we realize that's probably not going to happen so we need to evaluate if that's okay. (Source)

Divine Purpose and Holy Wrath
We changed Divine Purpose yet again (and probably not for the last time) so that it gives Holy Power on almost all specials. This is one of the major sources of unpredictability in the rotation, so we need to get the numbers right where getting extra Holy Power is fun and that the more skilled players can utilize it better.

We actually want Holy Wrath to feel like a filler. The reason is that we think it's bad gameplay when players have absolutely no gaps in their rotation. Our encounters get increasingly complex to the point where we often ask you to worry about extra things beyond your core rotation. We also don't want things that break up your rotation (like say a knockback or fear) to be horribly punitive (it can be punitive, but shouldn't destroy your dps relative to someone else's).

To use the specific example, Ret isn't going to want to skip over a Crusader's Strike or Templar's Verdict opportunity except under extreme duress. But missing a Holy Wrath once in awhile won't be devastating. It might be a dps loss, but it won't crater your dps. We want all of the classes to have the occasional GCD with nothing going on, so long as it is truly occasional and not constant. This is less important with casters because they do have short periods while casting to look around and notice the state of the encounter. With the live DKs for example, there is absolutely no time to do anything but mash buttons, or the whole rotation collapses. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Rage Scaling
Bloodrage and Berserker Rage have been off the GCD for ages. Rage has mattered at various points of WoW's history, and neither ability has strictly been used on cooldown in the past. It's a new mechanic causing the problems.
I disagree. I think it is just because rage actually matters as a resource, so things that provide rage now feel like very important buttons instead of convenience abilities. We could remove Raging Blow and Fury's mastery, and warriors would still smack Bloodrage on cooldown just because of rage normalization.

Currently, Deadly Calm is the only way to proc Inner Rage aside from auto-attacking for ~15 seconds. I'm not sure where the disconnect is. Lack of confidence in players' observations? We're certainly not trying to circumvent the limits and discipline of a rage system.
Players in beta are either in Icecrown-level epics or quest greens. Nobody has gemmed and enchanted Cataclysm raid gear, or even heroic blues yet. Rage won't scale with gear to the degree that it did in the old model, but it will most definitely scale. Haste, hit and crit all have a huge impact on rage generation, and you just aren't going to get high ratings for those until you're in endgame gear.

On a dummy in live (my benchmark for the leanest possible rage income), I'll only get into trouble if I start fooling around with Heroic Strike or Cleave. That is, I think, roughly how it should be.
Sure, but once you have Blackwing Descent raid gear, you're still going to have a lot more rage. If you never run into rage problems now unless you hit Heroic Strike, then you're going to hit pretty quickly the situation where you never run into rage problems even when you hit Heroic Strike. We normalized rage, but we didn't want to normalize it completely. Gear still makes a big difference for rage income -- just not damage per se.

If you can, at least consider the relative angle. I haven't tested Fury for a couple of builds; just whacked a dummy for ten minutes on a pre-made after doing the same with Arms, and it was like night and day. Granted, in its cozy epic-80 niche, Fury still has rage close to where it should be. I wasn't staring at greyed-out buttons unless I did something stupid. Really, really fun and free. Just couldn't get that with Arms.
Yeah, I'm actually more worried about things feeling good for Arms, because Arms just doesn't hit as frequently as Fury, so the income is going to feel spikier. (Source)

Bloodsurge
As I suggested recently, we have already reverted the Bloodsurge change. We don't want Slam to be that predictable. (Source)

Bloodrage and Berserker Rage on GCD
Bloodrage and Berserker Rage are on the global cooldown because warriors were just hitting them on cooldown now that rage is something they actually have to pay attention to. (Source)

We are hitting them on cooldown because right now we 100% NEED that rage due to the current rage system and the rage starvation going on while leveling. If the rage equation were tweaked so that we can sustain our rotations then we wouldn't need to be hitting them on cooldown.
This is going to be a tricky thing to nail, and we knew it would be. There are some warriors who interpret any limits on their ability to push their buttons as being rage starved. Yet if you literally never pay attention to the bar, then it isn't a resource at all. Your "sustain our rotations" could mean that you should always be able to hit every button when you want to. What is the role of rage in that model? We are taking a look at the ratings decay as you gain levels. Now that the talent trees have lost so much crit, haste and hit, they may be too steep. I just mention that as an example of the kind of thing that is going to affect rage generation. (Source)

And if you're worried about Bloodrage being used for activating Raging Blow, then make it not an enrage
It's not really Raging Blow. It's the fact that rage isn't unlimited any more, so now Bloodrage is attractive as a button to hit on cooldown. By contrast, Tiger's Fury is not used on cooldown because you can push it at the wrong time. The health cost isn't a serious consideration of Bloodrage, but eating up a special attack is. (Source)

Enrage Uptime
We're going to continue to iterate a lot on enrage uptime. We want Fury to be enraged a lot (say 60 to 75% of the time), but want them to have enough control so that if they run into an unlucky streak, they can use one of their buttons to become enraged. Enrage has a longer duration on our internal builds, but we still want to avoid it being up constantly. (Source)

[...] That's not really it. As I suggested above, we don't want Enrage to be up say 60% of time, allowing your cooldowns to then push enrage time up to 100% total. But if we make Enrage on a long duration that means it needs a really small proc chance, which shifts it from being unpredictable to being slot-machine-level random. I'm not worried that there is a sweet spot in there somewhere where you often get Enrage procs to fill in the time in between say Death Wish and Bloodrage. We'd rather lower the damage on the Enrage talent, since getting to the Enraged mechanic is also valuable, especially for Fury. (Source)

Bloodthirst
The 3 sec Bloodthirst cooldown definitely makes us nervous, because it leaves so few opportunities to do anything else in the rotation, so we're just going to have to watch it. (Source)

[...] We might try 4.5 sec too. We just want to make sure Fury has something to do within that window when they aren't enraged, and we don't want that something to be Whirlwind. We also don't want to add yet another new warrior attack just to fill that niche. (Source)

Booming Voice
It's fine for Booming Voice to be an optional talent. You can't view it strictly in terms of rage per unit time, because availability counts for a lot too. What I mean is if you had an ability that gave you 100 rage on a very long cooldown, it might not be as useful as something you could rely on more often. (Source)

Deadly Calm
The intent is that Deadly Calm will often proc Inner Rage when it has finished, However if you could use it while you were in Inner Rage then you'd just use Deadly Calm to get around the rage loss that Inner Rage is supposed to cause (and in fact, that might make the ability more limiting because you'd be dumb to use it anywhere else). (Source)

Titan's Grip vs. Single-Minded Fury
Don't worry about the relative damage increases of Titan's Grip versus Single-Minded Fury. We've made no attempt to balance those against each other and won't spend that effort until we're happy with the basic rotation, which we aren't just yet. (Source)

Heroic Strike
If you have 30 rage and Bloodthirst is on cooldown, then you'll probably hit Heroic Strike. (Source)

Recklessness still on GCD
There probably isn't a good reason for it to be, to be honest. We'll discuss changing it. (Source)

Fury Rotation
Yeah, the windows are what we're going for. It might be that 6-10 sec duration feels better.

It should be something like this:

No enrage: Bloodthirst, Heroic Strike, Colossus Smash, Slam procs.

Enrage: Bloodthirst, Raging Blow, Colossus Smash, Slam procs, with Heroic Strike just for excess rage. (Source)

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