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by Published on 2010-09-25 08:07 AM

Patch 4.0.1 Stage 3 available on Background Downloader
The 3rd stage of Patch 4.0.1 is now available on the background downloader, it looks like Patch 4.0.1 will hit the live servers very soon.



Cataclysm Heroic Instances and Lost City of the Tol'vir videos
TotalBiscuit released a couple of instance videos this week, you'll get a nice tour of the Lost City of the Tol'vir and a preview of the difficulty in heroic instances.

Heroic: Blackrock Caverns Wipe-a-thon 3000



Heroic: Vortex Pinnacle



Lost City of the Tol'vir



Tol Barad Focus Test w/ Devs
Originally Posted by Mumper (Blue Tracker)
We are planning to do a focused playtest on Tol Barad on Monday the 27th at 4pm PST. We would like to get as many players out there on the beta to help us as possible. You must be level 85 to join the battle. We will speed up the game timer so we can play multiple games during the test.

I will make a new feedback post after we finish the test for everyone to post in. Feedback is very important for us at this point so please take your time and try to be as concise as possible with your findings.

Thanks for the help!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Guild Leveling
25-Man Raids Achievements
We just made a change to all of the old 25 player raids that allows guild achievements to be completed as if they were a 10 player raid. This means you will only need 8/10 instead of 20/25.

Get hyped. =) (Source)

Raids & Dungeons
Dungeon Finder average iLVL
The built-in Blizzard number is an average of the best piece of gear in every slot. It counts equipped gear as well as your bags and banks. It is meant as a general measurement of whether you're capable of handling a dungeon or not, and shouldn't be taken too seriously as a measurement of awesomeness. (Source)

GCD Locked
This is a good start, but there are other reasons we don't like being GCD locked. It means you can never take even a moment to look around and notice the battlefield, notice who is in trouble, maybe shout something out on Vent. If you have a situational utility ability, or even are asked to do something unusual on a boss fight, you're reluctant because you need those GCDs for more dps!!!!

(Usually when I say that, the response is "I can multitask!" But the reality doesn't always match that boast. What we see instead if players complaining about e.g. movement fights because that means they can't always get to step 6 of a 6 step damage rotation.)

Even more importantly, we also want design space for ourselves. When your spec is GCD locked, you have to start ignoring things like procs or free resources, because you can't spend them without screwing up your rotation.

That said, we know that being GCD locked is a really subjective issue. Some players like hitting a button every 1.5 (or 1.0) seconds and feel like they are waiting around when that doesn't happen. Fury warriors and the dps paladins who can't necessarily hit a button every 1.5 sec now have found their Cataclysm versions of the classes to feel almost foreign... though we still think it will feel better in the long run. I worry a little about the overall health of our game if going 1.5 seconds without hitting a button bores you to tears. Overall, I think everyone would have more fun if they focused more on beating the boss as a team and less on their individual contribution to that effort.

We also know that some players are just really intolerant of randomness. They make the logical leap from understanding that dealing with randomness is a challenge they need to overcome to campaigning for us to remove the randomness altogether. This is particularly true in PvP, which some players want to be more like a button masher fighting game and less like an RPG. Suffice to say that we think randomness is healthy and necessary as long as it doesn't get out of control. Even though you may claim it's the easiest thing in the world to hit that Pyroblast button when Hot Streak procs, we also know that dps can vary enormously even between relatively skilled and fantastically skilled players, and a great deal of that is using the right abilities at the right time. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
GCD Locked
Now with regard to DKs specifically, we think what is happening is that players are transfering characters in at 80 and ending up with 40% haste or whatever because of the way gear was converted on their character (no mastery, no armor pen). Once you get closer to 85, you won't have that much haste. You may be GCD locked for short periods of time when the stars align and you get a bunch of procs at once, but you'll also go streaks without those procs. This is still a world of difference from the DK on live, whose rotation collapses if they fail to get off a Plague Strike, or who can't even take advantage of free runes or procs, or who just have to reroll if they experience the unfortunate but also inevitable lag that comes with playing an online game.

Now, if you're one of those players who just hates gaps, then go ahead and stack a bunch of haste. You'll have to go out of your way to do that though, and sacrifice some other stats to get there. For the DK that balances gear out, you shouldn't be GCD locked for long periods of time. (Source)

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Stampede change
You have 10 sec to use Ravage once, not as many Ravages as you can manage in 10 sec. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Protection and Holy Power
If we give Protection ways to generate more Holy Power, then that opens the door for getting both Inquisition and Shield of the Righteous going at the same time. As soon as that's possible, you're going to assume you have to do both to be competitive, and whenever you can't keep both up, you're going to be frustrated. (Source)

Retribution in WotLK
Ret was broken. If you don't see eye to eye with us on that, then it's understandable why the degree of change might be surprising to you. We tried to advertise that change was coming for a long time because we didn't want anyone to be surprised when it happened. Many players, including many Ret players, were just not happy with the mechanics of the spec in Lich King. I can understand if you just happened to love your character the way he or she was, but unfortunately, that doesn't give us much room to maneuver in attempting to implement a design that we will be happy with, and ultimately many players (though it will never be all) will be as well. (Source)

Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Quality of life
Power Word: Fortitude no longer requires candles. Poor candle vendors.

Power Word: Shield does not require the target to be in your party or raid today on Live. We made this change in 3.3 IIRC.

We still want Shadowform to be a little bit of a tradeoff. If you have all the utility of a healer and can do competitive damage with any caster, then why would players want to be anything else?

We agree that the number of self buffs feels high. We'll try and think of a way to address that. (Source)

Discipline Priest
There is an optional Discipline build where you take Atonement/Archangel and you can use Smite on the tanked target, and have higher HPS than if you just chain Heal the tank. This isn’t always optimal, as Atonement heals the lowest health target (which could be a Rogue standing in a fire), but that’s not always such a bad thing in Cataclysm’s environment where the MT doesn’t have to be spam healed. That said, we think it is interesting gameplay unique to the Disc priest.

In an upcoming build, when you critically hit with Smite your Atonement will critically heal (and cause Divine Aegis).

We’ve also optimized some of the talents, and pruned some of the 3-pointers down to 2-pointers and also reduced the mana cost of Power Word: Barrier throughout the tree.

We’re toning Spiritual Guidance down to bring the healing mount between Discipline and Holy closer together, Holy’s “talent tree passive” is currently stronger than intended than Discipline’s.

We want Disc to be able to do any raid job, but we are also trying not to just have every healer use the same retinue of spells. If the situation arises, they should be able to Prayer of Heal, Holy Nova, Prayer of Mending for comparable healing throughput / efficiency as Holy can to raid heal. The only difference is Holy can be in a Chakra state which increases the healing done, but then again Disc can heal for 30%+ (depending on Mastery) with Divine Aegis and can also cast free Prayer of Healing with Inner Focus. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Combat DPS
Yep. I can tell you right now that Combat's dps is a little low. This is a known issue. (Source)

Blizzard Art Gallery Update
The Blizzard Art gallery has been updated with 2 pieces representing the Warcraft universe.

by Published on 2010-09-24 03:37 AM

Patch 4.0.1 PTR - Build 13033
A patch is being deployed on PTRs but not on Beta servers, Cataclysm servers will probably be updated shortly.

WoWTal.com - Talent Calculator
The Cataclysm Talent Calculator has been updated to the latest build.



Achievement Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Feats of Strength

Professions

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Racials
  • Undead - Will of the Forsaken now shares a 30 sec cooldown with similar effects, down from 45 sec.
  • Dwarves - Explorer *New* - Archaeology skill increased by 15 and you survey faster than normal archaeologists. (Yes, that's from the previous build, forgot to news it)

Alchemy

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

Frost
  • Improved Icy Talons now increases the melee and ranged attack speed of all party and raid members within 100 yards by 10%. (Down from 20%)

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Balance

Feral

Restoration
  • Rebirth no longer costs mana.
  • Rejuvenation now costs 20% of base mana, down from 25%.
  • Mastery: Symbiosis (Revamped) - Increases the potency of your healing spells by 10% on targets already affected by one of your heal over time spells. Each point of Mastery increases heal potency by an additional 1.25%.

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

Marksmanship
  • Aimed Shot now scales from 26% of RAP, down from 40%.
  • Arcane Shot now scales from 4% of RAP, down from 19%.

Survival
  • Hunting Party now increases your total Agility by an additional 10% (down from 20%) and increases the Ranged and Melee Attack Speed of all party and raid members by 10%. (Down from 20%)

Pets

Mage (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Arcane

Fire

Frost
  • Curtain of Frost is now named Ring of Frost and has been revamped - Summons a Ring of Frost, taking 3 sec to coalesce. Enemies entering the fully-formed ring will become frozen for 10 sec. Lasts 12 sec. 10 yd radius. 7% of base mana, 30 yd range, Channeled, 3 min cooldown
  • Ice Lance base damage increased by 20%.
  • Frostbolt base damage increased by 20%.
  • Deep Freeze base damage increased by 20%.
  • Early Frost now reduces the cast time of Frostbolt by 0.35/0.7 secs, up from 0.25/0.5 secs.

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy
  • Enlightened Judgements now also Increases the range of your Judgement by 5/10 yards.
  • Divinity is gone, moved to Protection
  • Protector of the Innocent is now a Tier 1 Holy Talent and has been revamped - Casting a targeted heal on any target, including yourself, also heals you for 1240.83 to 1427.62. (Multi ranks, but currently all with the same value)

Protection

Retribution
  • Crusader Strike now causes 120% weapon damage, up from 100%.
  • Selfless Healer now increases the effectiveness of Word of Glory's heal by 25/50% when used on others.
  • The Art of War now causes 100% additional damage, up from 30%.

Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Discipline
  • Inner Fire no longer has a mana cost.
  • Borrowed Time is now a Tier 2 talent, down from Tier 4.
  • Soul Warding is now a Tier 4 talent, up from Tier 2.
  • Train of Thought (Tier 5) *New* - You have a 50/100% chance when heal with Greater Heal to reduce the cooldown of your Inner Focus by 5 sec. You have a 50/100% chance when you Smite to reduce the cooldown of your Penance by 1 sec.

Holy
  • Greater Heal now costs 29% of base mana, down from 32% of base mana.
  • Revelations - Holy Word: Sanctuary (Prayer of Healing) effect now lasts 18 sec, up from 15 sec.
  • Blessed Resilience is now a Tier 6 talent, up from Tier 5.
  • Surge of Light is now a Tier 2 talent, down from Tier 3.
  • Trinity is gone.
  • Tome of Light (Tier 4) *New* - Reduces the cooldown of your Holy Word spells by 15/30%.

Rogue (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Nothing, sorry.

Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Elemental
  • Stoneclaw Totem now has 6186 health, up from 797. Shields your totems for up to 4143 damage, up from 664.
  • Earth Shock now also reduces ranged attack speed.

Enhancement
  • Dual Wield now also allows you to parry frontal melee attacks.
  • Windfury Totem now increases the melee and ranged attack speed of all party and raid members within 40 yards by 10%. (Down from 20%)
  • Feral Spirit now lasts 30 sec, down from 45 sec. Cooldown changed to 2 min, down from 3 min.

Restoration

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Affliction
  • Bane of Doom now deals damage every 15 sec, down from 30 sec. Now has a 20% chance to summon a Demon guardian, down from 25%. Only one target can have Bane of Doom at a time, only one Bane per Warlock can be active on any one target.
  • Drain Life now restores 2% total health, down from 5%.
  • Everlasting Affliction now increases the critical effect chance of your Corruption, Seed of Corruption and Unstable Affliction by 10%. (Up from 2%)
  • Soul Swap now costs 18% of base mana, up from 6% of base mana.

Demonology
  • Ritual of Souls now costs 27% of base mana, down from 80% of base mana.
  • Hand of Gul'dan now has a 2 sec cast time, down from 3 sec.
  • Impending Doom no longer reduces the cooldown of the Bane of Doom damage effect, now Increases the chance for your Bane of Doom to summon a demon by 10/20/30% when it deals damage.

Destruction
  • Shadowfury base damage has been increased by 235%. (Don't get too excited, it wasn't scaled to Cataclysm yet)
  • Burning Embers - The Burning Ember effect deals up to [ 0.071%/0.143% of Spell Power + 23.921 ] fire damage every 1 sec for 7 sec.
  • Soul Leech now restores 2/4% of your total health and mana, down from 5/10%.

Pets

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

Fury
  • Pummel is now usable in Battle and Berserker Stance. (Old - Just Berserker)
  • Enrage now has a 3/6/9% chance to proc, down from 4/8/12%.
  • Battle Trance now affects your next special attack that costs more than 5 rage.

Protection
  • Defensive Stance now increases threat generated by 100%, up from 45%.
  • Thunderstruck now also increases the damage of Rend.
  • Incite - These guaranteed criticals cannot re-trigger the Incite effect. (Tooltip clarification)
by Published on 2010-09-23 06:37 AM

Cataclysm Prologue Part 3 - We're under attack!
The 3rd part of the prologue is available for testing and things are getting very serious, capital cities are attacked by elementals every 1~2 hours! This event is pretty fun and a lot less annoying than the WotLK's zombie invasion, if you do not want to participate in the event you should stay alive without too much problem.


  • Guards will try to evacuate citizens, low level players can also use portals to leave the city before the attack.
  • You first have to deploy sandbags/barricades to help defending the city.
  • You will then have to defeat the elementals in all the districts of the city, Orgrimmar is damaged badly in the process and most of the buildings are on fire.
  • After successfully defending the cities, you will get a chance to counter attack by entering the huge portal in capital cities (or using the LFD tool) to fight mini-bosses in 4 different instances.
  • The 4 bosses are Grand Ambassador Flamelash in BRD, Crown Princess Theradras in Maraudon, Kai'ju Gahz'rilla in Zul'Farrak and Prince Sarsarun in AQ20.

Stormwind



Orgrimmar



Twilight Bosses



Twilight Bosses Loot

Level Type Spec Slot Name
251ShieldMeleeOff HandBarrier of the Earth Princess
251PlateHealWaistGirdle of Oblation
251PlateMeleeChestTectonic Plate
251PlateMeleeChestSalamander Skin
251PlateMeleeWristTwilight Offering Bands
251MailPhysical DPSLegsSacrificial Mail
251LeatherHealFeetFlamewaker's Treads
251LeatherPhysical DPSChestPulmonary Casing
251ClothHealChestEarth Bride's Gown
251ClothPhysical DPSBackCloak of Mocking Winds
251ClothSpell DPSBackZaetar's Deathshroud
251ClothSpell DPSFeetSandfury Sandals
251FingerMeleeFingerOld Gods' Blessing
251FingerPhysical DPSFingerSulfuron's Favor
251FingerSpell DPSFingerRing of the Three-Headed Beast
251NeckHealNeckPendant of Burning Spirits
251NeckMeleeNeckFlamelash Amulet
251NeckPhysical DPSNeckAmulet of the Centauri
251NeckSpell DPSNeckAmulet of Evil Winds



Quests
More quests are added with this phase, you will probably end up with 6 or 7 different quests in your log as soon as you start talking to NPCs.

Name Objective
Tablets of the EarthBring the Tablets of Earth to Advisor Belgrum in Ironforge.
Tablets of FireBring the Tablets of Fire to Earthmender Norsala in Orgrimmar.
Alert Our LeadersSpeak with Garrosh Hellscream at Grommash Hold in Orgrimmar's Valley of Wisdom.
Warn King WrynnSpeak with King Varian Wrynn in Stormwind Keep.
Hammering It OutTake the Mysterious Device to Stormwind, Ironforge, Exodar or Darnassus and show it to an Earthen Ring Representative.
Hammering It OutTake the Mysterious Device to Orgrimmar, Undercity, Silvermoon City or Thunder Bluff and show it to an Earthen Ring Representative.
Water They Up To?Slay Kai'ju Gahz'rilla and inform General Marcus Jonathan in Stormwind City.
Water They Up To?Slay Kai'ju Gahz'rilla and inform Hamuul Runetotem in Thunder Bluff.
Fired Up and Not So Good To Go.Slay Grand Ambassador Flamelash and inform Commander Cragfist in Ironforge.
Fired Up and Not So Good To Go.Slay Grand Ambassador Flamelash and inform Blood Guard Kang in Orgrimmar.
This BlowsSlay Prince Sarsarun and inform General Marcus Jonathan in Stormwind City.
This BlowsSlay Prince Sarsarun and inform Hamuul Runetotem in Thunder Bluff.
The Elements Cry OutSpeak with Erunak Stonespeaker in Stormwind.
The Elements Cry OutSpeak to Earthmender Norsala in Orgrimmar.
What's Shaking in IronforgeSpeak with Stormcaller Mylra in Ironforge.
The WildhammerSpeak to Gavan Grayfeather in Stormwind Keep.
Speak with Captain AntonSpeak with Captain Anton in Stormwind Keep.
A Gathering in OutlandSpeak with Gavan Grayfeather at the Throne of Elements in Nagrand.
The Situation So FarSpeak with Gotura Fourwinds in Grommash Hold in Orgrimmar.
A Gathering in OutlandSpeak with Thrall at the Throne of Elements in Nagrand.
Show Me Your PapersGo to the front gates of Stormwind, read King Wrynn's Proclamation and search 5 Stormwind Citizens. Keep anything suspicious that you find.
Arrest the InfiltratorsUse the Heavy Manacles to arrest 5 Cultist Infiltrators and bring them to Warden Thelwater the Stockade. After you've returned with your prisoners, question one of the Detained Cultists in the Stockade.
Back Under CoverPut on your Recruit's Robe, go to Mirror Lake Orchard and get the Book of Incantations from Overseer Sylandra. Read from the Book of Incantations near the Cultist Altar to practice the ritual.
I Said the Words...Disrupt the cultist rituals in the Dwarven District, the Park, and the Cathedral District by reading the incorrect words from the Book of Incantations.
I Said the Words...Disrupt the cultist rituals in the Drag, the Valley of Honor, and near the city's West Gate by reading the incorrect words from the Book of Incantations.
Back Under CoverPut on your Recruit's Robe, go to the Jaggedswine Farm and get the Book of Incantations from Overseer Jintak. Read from the Book of Incantations near the Cultist Altar to practice the ritual.
Show Me Your PapersGo to the front gates of Orgrimmar, read the Warchief's Proclamation and search 5 Orgrimmar Citizens. Keep anything suspicious that you find.
Arrest the InfiltratorsUse the Heavy Manacles to arrest 5 Cultist Infiltrators and bring them to Warden Gartok Ragefist at the Ring of Valor in Orgrimmar's Valley of Honor. After you've returned with your prisoners, question the Detained Cultist.



New Tinkertown and the Fight for Gnomeregan
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
As Gnomeregan's exiles set out to reclaim their beloved capital from the treasonous Mekgineer Thermaplugg, we bring you a first look at how this wondrous techno-city will exist in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Following the conclusion of Operation: Gnomeregan, High Tinker Mekkatorque and his people have gained a foothold just outside the city in New Tinkertown. Soon, though, they'll find that the surface is rife with a host of new perils that they couldn't have prepared for.

Resolute in reclaiming their lost capital, Gnomeregan's exiles have begun an assault against the traitorous Mekgineer Thermaplugg. Traveling from their temporary residence in Ironforge, they are led by the esteemed High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque, leader of the gnomes, and seek to restore Gnomeregan to its past glory. In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, new gnome adventurers will get to experience this ongoing struggle to retake their former home firsthand, beginning their journey in the besieged upper levels of the techno-city.

In the wake of Operation: Gnomeregan, survivors of the fallout will make their way to New Tinkertown, the gnomes' foothold outside their captured city. From there they will be called into action by the high tinker himself to help protect reclaimed gnomish land from new and imminent threats. As one of the newest recruits to this cause, your mettle will be put to the test when you face perilous trials like rescuing captured gnomish demolitionists, destroying a tunnel riddled with vicious troggs, and extinguishing toxic sludge that has begun to rise from the irradiated depths of the city.

Your most important mission, however, will be to thwart the plans of Razlo Crushcog, conspirator and ally of Mekgineer Thermaplugg. Before Chill Breeze Valley can be fully resettled, Crushcog must be stopped, and only your efforts can bring that goal to fruition. Gnomish know-how and engineering will be your allies, but your greatest weapons will be your wits and the will to fight the good fight... for Gnomeregan!

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, you'll encounter these challenges and more in the gnomes' new starting (levels 1-5) experience. Keep a good head on your shoulders and ingenuity in your pocket, and your contributions will help secure a proper home for your fellow gnomes.



Mobile Armory Update - 3D Model Viewer
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Every character profile on the Mobile Armory now has a 3D model viewer displaying that character as he or she appears in-game, including equipped items and appearance.

  • Simply touch and drag the character model to rotate it.
  • Tap the icon on the top right to switch to a full-screen mode. In this mode, you can view a selection of character animations from the menu at the bottom of the screen. Other full-screen options include selecting a background, toggling the character’s helm and tabard display, and taking a screenshot (which saves to your Camera Roll).
  • Tap the icon to the upper left of the character model to switch between viewing the 3D model and displaying character information.

Other additions in this update include:

  • A character's in-game activity (including item acquisitions, achievements, and boss kills), is now captured in an activity feed. You can display this feed by using the drop-down menu at the top of a character profile.
  • Professions (both primary and secondary) are now displayed on character profiles and are accessed by the same character profile drop-down menu.
  • At-a-glance item rarities: Item icons now have colored borders indicating their rarity.
  • iPhone OS 4.0 optimizations and enhancements.
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by Published on 2010-09-22 07:15 AM

"Return to Graveyard" Button
Today, I want to talk about one of the most amazing feature of Cataclysm, really. If you've been playing WoW for a while, you probably got stuck in ghost form one day because you died in a strange location and spent countless hours looking FOR THAT DAMN GRAVEYARD TO SPIRIT REZ. Cataclysm will finally fix that and adds a huge "Return to Graveyard" button to the screen whenever you are dead.

Don't get confused, this is a "Return to Graveyard" button, not body but you will probably think it's awesome if it ever happened to you.



Halls of Origination Video Preview
TotalBiscuit released a nice video preview of the Halls of Origination in Uldum, one of the level 85 instances of Cataclysm.

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Hunter Pet Skills Update
Hunters already got a lot of utility pet skills in Build 12942 but the latest beta build added a few more that I forgot to mention.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

  • Roar of Courage (Cat) - The beast lets out a roar of courage, increasing the Strength and Agility of all party and raid members by 549.32 within 100 yards. / Instant, 45 sec cooldown
  • Froststorm Breath (Chimaera) - The Chimera channels a frozen breath attack, causing 2645.41 Spellstorm damage over 10 sec to to all enemies within the area. / 20 Focus, 35 yd range, Channeled
  • Horn Toss (Rhino) - The Rhino punts the enemy with its mighty horn, knocking them back a great distance. / 30 Focus, 5 yd range, Instant cast, 1.5 min cooldown
  • Burrow Attack (Worm) - The Worm burrows into the earth, shaking the ground above dealing x Nature damage over 8 sec. / 30 Focus, 35 yd range, Channeled, 30 sec cooldown

Hillsbrad / Alterac Mountains in Cataclysm - Updated Screenshots
Blizzard finished updating most of the world zones and I'm currently working on a huge update of all the zones pages, for the moment here is a nice set of screenshot of the new Hillsbrad Foothills.

The Horde defeated the Alliance there and controls most of the zone, the remaining Stormpikes had to retreat in the mountains. Also, the Alterac Mountains zone is "gone" and has been merged with Hillsbrad.





Beta - Heroic Dungeons Now Available
Originally Posted by Valnoth (Blue Tracker)
Heroics are now available.

Furthermore, the Pre-made Character Templates should provide you guys with characters in level 333 Superior (blue) quality gear - which is the minimum expected gear level for succeeding in heroics. I strongly encourage you to copy over a new pre-made if you want to test heroics.

Available character copies should also be reset.

*We're looking in to the issue of not being able to use dungeon finder. You should be able to form up a group the old-fashioned way and walk into a heroic.

[...] Here's a quick list for easy access to active threads on both dungeons and raids. We will be sure to update it whenever something new is available.



Gear scaling in Cataclysm
Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler (Blue Tracker)
You're too focused on hit alone.

This piece of gear wouldn't exist, but to save me from having to make three versions, consider this series of boots:

Level 83 quest blues with 10 attack power, 10 Stamina, 10 crit, 10 hit, 10 parry.
Level 85 quest blues with 12 attack power, 12 Stamina, 12 crit, 12 hit, 12 parry.
Level 85 tier 1 raid with 14 attack power, 14 Stamina, 14 crit, 14 hit, 14 parry.
Level 85 tier 2 raid with 16 attack power, 16 Stamina, 16 crit, 16 hit, 16 parry.

When yo go from level 83 to level 85 you stay at the same amount of power relative to creatures. Why? Because the creatures are gaining levels. Their health goes up, so you need that extra AP. Their damage goes up, so you need that extra health. Your chance to crit and hit and parry them goes down, so you need those stats as well.

So far, so good.

When you start raiding, the bosses are level 88. This makes them a little harder to hit and everything, so you need that extra budget on your gear to keep up. Still not a problem.

Now let's look at the final piece of gear. You're going from a tier 1 raid to a tier 2 raid. The boss hits harder so you need that health. The boss has more health, so you need that attack power. But the boss is still level 88 like he was in tier 1. This means you crit him more than the previous boss, because your crit went up. You do more damage to the harder boss than to the easier boss. You also hit him more (unless you're hit capped, which you probably are) and you parry him more.

We solved, in an awkward way, the parry problem in Icecrown by putting a debuff on you. That basically allowed the creatures to scale with your gear. We couldn't solve the crit or hit problems, so players just became more and more powerful and eventually capped those stats (or got close to it in the case of crit). Just as players are often very worried (and sometimes rightfully so) about not scaling with gear, the bosses were not scaling with your gear. All of those problems that can happen to players when their damage (or healing or tanking) don't scale were happening to the bosses. You were scaling too well with crit, hit and parry.

A different way to go would be that the tier 2 raid boss is actually level 89 or 90 instead of level 88. Then you'd naturally need more crit and hit and parry to face him. That makes intuitive sense, but it does some weird things to our game because creature levels were never intended to be used that way. For example, the boss would get crushing blows and resists. Even worse, it does weird things to the next tier of content. If Deathwing at the end of Cataclysm (spoiler!) is a level 93 boss, then what is the first boss at the end of the next expansion? Level 93? Level 90? Level 96?

Instead, we are just faking the bosses gaining levels. We haven't worked out the exact mechanic yet, but imagine they are level 88++ or level 88.3 or level 88 SKULL SKULL BAD SKULL. As you get more powerful and get better gear, they get more powerful... exactly like all those bosses you handled while leveling up. Rather than critting and hitting the more dangerous opponents more often, your relative power stays about the same. You scale.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Beta Testing
Heroics not Enabled?
We're doublechecking to make sure the hotfix that unlocked the heroics was applied to each PTR. As a separate note, if you are not eligible to enter into a Heroic (ie You are less than level 85) then the error message will still say the instance is disable for beta. That incorrect error will be corrected in a future client build. (Source)

Water Disconnect Issue build 12984
As many of you have noticed, there is an issue when you go in water, you may get disconnected.

This is a known issue for this patch and we hope to have it resolved for the next patch. We're sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. (Source)

Tol Barad
Daily Quests
Have seen a few people asking if there are more quests that do not rely on winning the battle. There are.

There are 6 random dailies available on the peninsula island every day. These are available at all times, regardless of who wins Tol Barad. (Source)

Raids & Dungeons
Average ilvl in Dungeon Finder
Our average ilevel is there primarily because Dungeon Finder restricts usage and we didn't think it was fair to say "You must be this high to ride the ride" without defining "this." It's there to stop a fresh 85 who has no idea that's he's doing something terribly wrong by queuing right away for heroic Grim Batol. I would not use our ilevel as much of a serious metric. It's very easy to game by sophisticated players. (Source)

Early Cataclysm instances difficulty
So what do we do when we need to AE tank and do not have Inquisition?
You do what level 15 warrior tanks do who don't have Sunder Armor yet. You make do.

We don't spend a great deal of effort balancing the dungeons at levels below max level. We compensate for that by making them pretty easy. You didn't see a lot of tanks posting about how hard Utgarde Keep was at 70 or how hard Hellfire Ramparts was at 60 and I doubt you'll see many paladins complaining about how hard tanking is when they are 82 or whatever.

The level 85 dungeons and to a greater extent the heroics and raids are more tightly balanced because we want them to be more challenging.

If you're having trouble on the PTR with level up dungeons, it's probably because the content isn't finished yet. (Source)

Classes
AE Tanking
It's also highly possible that the abilities just aren't tuned right yet. If you have a reasonable idea how to tank and are feeling that AE tanking is nail-bitingly difficult to generate enough threat, then it's probably just undertuned. We want tanks to have to actually push their buttons and not just autoattack their way to high threat, but it shouldn't be so tight that a hot tick risks pulling aggro.

We recently consolidated a lot of janky threat mods that were on a lot of different abilities into core abilities like Righteous Fury and Defensive Stance. For example, warriors used to have a threat reduction modifier on Battle and Berseker Stance. We took that away and increased Defensive Stance's threat to compensate. You may be seeing data from in the midst of all of those changes. (Source)

[...] I used Defensive Stance as an example. We buffed the threat of Defensive Stance, Righteous Fury, Bear Form and Blood Presence and tried to get rid of any invisible -threat modifiers on other things. It's easier to tune and avoid bugs (in this case) if it's just one number and not scattered eight places in the data. As just one example, when we removed Blessing of Salvation (for LK) we added a separate, invisible spell effect that applied that buff just in case we changed our minds for any reason. Now that Salv as a 100% uptime blessing is long gone, we just added it to the tanking stances.

Sorry for any confusion. (Source)

Getting more powerful over time
That goes straight to customer satisfaction and longevity of the game. The more you play, the more powerful you should become. Not the weaker.
You do get more powerful. You get more powerful in an absolute sense, but not in a relative sense, because the challenges you can face become more powerful too. It is a fundamental pillar of RPG design othat as you get more powerful, you are able to handle more powerful opponents. Games lose their steam pretty quickly if you become more powerful and just use that power to steamroll the same weak opponents. Where is the glory in that? (Source)

Hit rating
Hit will never be an interesting stat as long as there's a hard cap on it.
I know this is an old argument, but this is *why* we think hit is an interesting stat. If you could just stack hit forever, you probably would, because it's a very good stat. Some of the biggest decisions to be made about gearing come when you have to engineer enough but not too much of this one stat so that you can focus on the others. We want you to look at stats other than just ilevel. Otherwise, we might as well just give all the armor and weapons a power stat, and you just pick whichever has the most power. Hit keeps you from just stacking your best stat. Maybe it doesn't add a ton of depth to say "stack hit, then stack your best stat" but it does add some. (Source)

Optimizing talent builds
I appreciate all the work the OP put into that post, but you have to look at your definition of "mandatory." You're taking several talents with no +damage benefit and calling them dps talents because they may lead to higher dps. But under that argument even +health talents are dps because you're likely to do higher dps when you're alive.

My personal philosophy, as I have expressed before, is that the community tends to be over-obsessed with cookie cutter builds. It's somewhat understandable because the WoW community has evolved in a direction where being badly informed is worse than being a bad player. We're all very quick to judge each other based on litmus tests, such as gear scores, achievements, or proper talent builds, that likely don't measure performance half as well as we want them to.

Even many of the so called cookie cutter builds today are honest about those talents that are a toss up. Picking talent A over talent B may be a theoretical dps benefit in the sims or even for the author of the cookie cutter build, but that doesn't mean it will work for you. I have deviated from these sacred builds often on my own characters because I found that I don't rely on certain abilities or mechanics as much as the build assumes I should. Now maybe my dps (healing, etc.) would improve if I could manage to do that, but in the interim using a build that is bad for me just because it's the anointed one doesn't make sense. A- dps with the "bad" build is superior to C+ dps with the "good" build.

If it's a talent that provides a 10% dps increase or offers an ability you'll use constantly, fine. It's hard to argue that won't benefit most players. But when I see players obsess over talents that provide a theoretical 1% dps increase that is vastly overshadowed by the noise of their own performance, I shake my head a bit. Want to see what I mean? Compare a parse of yours on the same boss from week to week. You'll probably see a dps variance of 5-10% or more. That's the role of your skill, latency, bad luck, lacking the perfect raid comp or whatever else. Worrying about that 1% dps talent was a rounding error. Let's not forget that what may be 1% on one boss probably is not on another.

Finally, getting back to a "mandatory" talent, consider what you'd call a talent that wasn't mandatory. You'd probably call it junk, the way many of you dismiss the "PvP talents." If a talent is useful, then it becomes mandatory. If it's not useful, it's dismissed. That narrow sweet spot in the middle where a talent is truly optional is held to be very, very narrow indeed by many in the community.

The Devs may be correct, in theory, that we don't need to squeeze every last drop of DPS out of our talent trees to down bosses. But in practice, you try to get in a raid with a tree that sacraficed 1% DPS for some fun utility, and you don't get an invite. Why would the raid leader take someone that didn't even spec the "right way"?
Posts like this make me very sad. You're portraying yourself to be at the mercy of uninformed yet tyrannical raid leaders who are quick to judge your performance based on perceived "tells." I know you need some basis to evaluate potential recruits or even pug members. But I do wish there was some way to turn around this virtual phobia of inefficiency -- this terror of being WRONG -- that we have managed to instill in our player base. I honestly think it's one of the greatest challenges facing the game.

I agree with a lot of what you're saying GC, but I gotta disagree with one thing you said. It is true that if you look back at parses from previous weeks your dps may vary by as much as 5-10% based on skill, luck, latency etc. However, you can't say that because of that fact, a theoretical 1% dps increase is any less significant than it would have been.
I'm just saying it's not worth it. How many attempts can you name in your lifetime as a WoW player where your doing 1% more dps would have made the difference between success and failure? And how many of those attempts could you have gotten 10% more dps if you had just totally nailed your rotations etc. on those fights instead of worrying about a theoretical 1% dps gain from a different talent?

Every bit helps, totally. I'm not saying throw a dart board at talent trees and expect to be competitive. But at times it's a bit like stooping down to pick up pennies in the gutter because you're about to plunk down six figures on a house. Hey, that's one-one hundredth less dollar I have to pay.

On a stationary fight, those movement boosts are useless. On a fight where you can't AE, those area damages are useless. If you have enough mana, then you have enough mana. Yes, I can understand the argument that it might be convenient to pick all of that stuff up because it might be useful on some fight, but if you're hardcore enough to pick up a talent because you read it was a 1% dps increase, then you should be hardcore enough to know for which fights it applies to and perhaps even be willing to swap specs accordingly. There are players that swap out a lot of glyphs in between fights or even re-gem. Some cutting edge guilds respec for every boss when they're working on progression. They probably coax a 1% dps increase out of doing so. Does that mean you should?

Min-maxxing is fun. It's part of the game. Sometimes (more rarely than is claimed) it's even necessary for progression. Just keep it in perspective. It's probably not going to doom your attempt if you pick up a fun talent instead of a 1% dps increase. If the Saturday pug won't take you because you lack the anointed talent, you're probably better off not running with them.

Interestingly, the community seems to have adopted 1% dps as the trade-off they're willing to make. You don't often see posts or guides advocating a gem or talent because it provides a 0.3% dps increase. There is something magical about 1% for a lot of players.

Hey GC, was wondering if we could maybe drag you back to this thread again to focus a little on the first part of Slant's post. The part I quoted pretty much sums up how I feel right now, and I know a few others who feel the same. Sometimes it seems like Cata is right around the corner and there's just not enough time for everything to happen.
We see this every expansion. Some players start to freak out because their list of demands hasn't been met yet and they sense release is imminent. Then the expansion ships and everyone is focused on some other overpowered ability that was only a blip on the beta radar.

It's inappropriate for me to provide any hints about how close we are or are not to ship. We need to provide that information through certain channels. We're happy with the talent trees given the confines of the talent system. If we were making WoW 2.0 (which we're not), the talent panes might look very different. Perhaps there would be even fewer choices and all centered around utility. Increasingly I think exclusive choices (like Starcraft's campaign upgrade system, or the way Paths of the Titans was going to work) is the only way to make interesting choices without cherry picking. On the other hand, one thing we've definitely learned through this process is that (most) players want a certain amount of safe choice. Maybe that gets back to the whole "terror of being caught being wrong" problem, or maybe the game's just too complicated. We talked about an even more radical overhaul where choosing a spec was a bigger deal and you had maybe 3 talents after that, but ultimately we understood the risk of changing too much a game that some players have stuck with for over 5 years. (Source)

Talents prereq
What we do sometimes is say stick Repentance as a prereq for something you desperately need. The hope is we can count on paladins (in this example) having the crowd control, and the player can pick up the talent guilt free. And yet, we see a lot of complaints about the prereqs. "Why do I have to get that talent that doesn't benefit my dps?" If there aren't enough core dps talents, some players get agitated (and I'm not trying to dismiss that response as inappropriate). But that leaves less room for the utility ones.

I'm not trying to say we're unhappy with the talent trees. By and large, we're very happy with how they are shaping up. I'm just trying to explain some of our reasoning and why some of the alternate talent trees we see pitched are not tenable from our perspective. (Source)

Mage (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Frostfire in Cataclysm
The intent is that for fire mages that emphasize the mastery stat, frostfire bolt with glyph becomes a better option than fireball with glyph (and yes it's a temporary aberration that scorch is better than fireball). (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Judgements of the Pure
Judgement of the Pure lasts for 60 sec and Judgement has an 8 sec cooldown. Even if you missed a couple times in a row, it would seem like you would have ample opportunity to still get the buff up (and even if the buff falls down, your healing doesn't totally collapse). Judgement costs 5% of mana, so it's hard to imagine that's a huge mana loss if you miss.

I would consider that +hit as optional for PvP, soloing or when you just want to burn things up in a 5-player run. (Source)

New Fan Wallpaper
Blizzard just updated the official site with a new wallpaper titled "Hurry Up" by Kenvd.

by Published on 2010-09-21 05:50 PM

Guild Chat Coming Soon to Mobile Armory
In a nutshell, you can now use the Mobile Armory to discuss on your guild chat, the offer is bundled with the remote AH and will cost you $2,99 a month.
Originally Posted by Nethaera (Blue Tracker)
We're pleased to announce a new feature being added to the Mobile Armory: Guild Chat!

Coming soon in an update to the Mobile Armory app available in the iTunes App Store (http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/M...321057000&mt=8 ) and Android Market, this new feature will allow all World of Warcraft Remote subscribers the ability to chat with their guildies right from their mobile device. Access to the guild chat feature is included for no extra charge in the $2.99 World of Warcraft Remote Auction House ( http://www.wowarmory.com/wow-remote.xml ) premium monthly subscription. In addition, soon after the launch of the mobile version we're planning on adding the ability for premium subscribers to use Guild Chat through any browser on the Armory website.

Guild Chat will allow you to chat with your guildmates via Guild Chat, Officer Chat, and Whispers. Now you can stay connected with your guild or update them from anywhere if you're going to be late to a raid! Stay tuned for additional information about this service and the upcoming Mobile Armory Guild Chat beta test.

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