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by Published on 2010-06-13 07:04 AM

Update #3 - Just to make it clear, the NDA on the Alpha isn't lifted, you can still get your ass banned for posting that kind of stuff. Also, Blizzquote layout added now that it's official.

World of Warcraft Cataclysm Press Tour
Earlier this week, general gaming sites and a couple of official fansites were invited to the Blizzard HQ for a press tour of Cataclysm. The NDA (on the press tour, don't get too excited) just lifted and a couple of information have been revealed.

This post will probably be updated multiple times during the night, so far this is what I gathered before the NDA lift:

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Path of the Titans is gone
The whole Path of the Titans idea has been removed from the game. It will no longer rely on Archeology or on any kind of PvE/PvP progression and instead Blizzard will just introduce a new type of glyphs: Medium Glyphs.

Medium Glyphs will add a "fun factor" to abilities, and it wouldn't be surprising to see something similar to the Fortification or Breakthrough glyphs first previewed during Blizzcon 2009. (But probably not these exact glyphs, a lot of stuff happened since last year)

Guild Talents are gone
The guild talents are gone and your guild now gets extra bonuses depending on its level. There are 25 levels and each level will automatically reward with more cool stuff. The leveling process remains unchanged and your guild will gain experience through PvP, Dungeon and Raid progression, questing, etc ...

Guild currency has also been removed and rewards will just be "unlocked" after you reach a specific level or complete a guild achievement. Once a reward is unlocked, members will be able to purchase it with gold. Some of the rewards include guild tabards, mounts, heirlooms, and it looks like you will finally be able to have a guild tabard on your mount. (Just like the Argent Tournament banners)

New members of a guild won't be able to buy everything directly, they will have to contribute to the progression of the guild before they can access the top rewards. Each time a player helps towards the leveling he will gain reputation with the guild, the best rewards will require players to be exalted with their guild before they can buy it.

Archeology will be less important
With the Path of the Titans gone, Archeology will become a "true" secondary profession and you won't really have to level it anymore. However it will still be used to let you get cosmetic/optional items, get more information on the game's lore, and ultimately it looks like we can expect rewards similar to fishing. (Nothing mandatory, but you'll be happy when you actually find something)

Information gathered from other sites:
  • You will find two types of items: Common Artifacts will give you more information on the lore of a race, and might be used in some kind of collection game. Rare items will give you usable items, most of them will be cosmetic but some of them will have actual effects. (Details on Wowhead)

Raids & Dungeons Split
Raid leaders will be able to split an ongoing 25-man raid into up to three 10-man raids. Those 10-man raids will be able to continue from that point on, with bosses already down.

So far it looks like it won't be possible to merge 10-man raids into 25-man raids, for obvious reasons.

Information gathered from other sites:
  • Raid IDs should be much more flexible. You will be able to join any raid as long as it doesn't have any bosses up that you have already killed. (Details on Wowhead)
  • There will be more Algalon-style encounters—ultra-hard optional bosses for hardcore players only. (Details on Wowhead)

Rated Battlegrounds
Rated battlegrounds will be available for pre-mades of 10, 15 and 25-player sizes. The amount of Conquest points rewarded will be capped so that players who enjoy both arenas and rated battlegrounds don't feel they have to prioritize one over the other.

Information gathered from other sites:
  • The classic Honor titles will be coming back and rewarded to the top teams each season. (Details on WoR)
  • The "Gladiator" equivalent teams will also receive epic ground mounts. Ground mounts because they want to reward something you can ride in the battleground and be proud of / show off. (Details on WoR)

Grim Batol Raid
The Grim Batol raid instance will be called the Bastion of Twilight, and you get to fight Cho'gall as the end boss! If you manage to defeat him in Heroic Mode, an "horrific secret will be revealed when he dies".

Information gathered from other sites:
  • This is an entry-level raid, just like Naxxramas in WotLK. (Details on Wowhead)
  • It will feature 5 bosses, and an Algalon-style optional and ultra-hard boss. (The "horrific" secret?) (Details on Wowhead)

Skywall Raid
As expected, Al'akir will be the end boss of the Skywall raid instance.

Information gathered from other sites:

Deepholm
Princess Therazane (yes, that's her) will be a questgiver in Deepholm, in a similar experience to the Sons of Hodir's questline in Storm Peaks.

Information gathered from other sites:
  • The Ogrim's Hammer has crashed in the zone and the Skybreaker is still in the air. One of the questline will require you to find out what happened. (Details on Wowhead)

Heroic Deadmines / Shadowfang Keep
Heroic versions of classic instances might not be ready for the release of Cataclysm and will be shipped in content patch instead.

Old world changes
There are a more details on old world changes, especially capital cities.

Information gathered from other sites:
  • Stormwind has been completely redesigned to accomodate flying mounts. The Park of Stormwind has been destroyed by Deathwing and the Dwarven District now hosts a Bank and an Auction House. (Details on Wowhead)
  • Orgrimmar has been redesigned as well: Garrosh is the new Warchief and is located in the center of Orgrimmar, not in the Valley of Wisdom. Goblins have their own area, the Valley of Wisdom becomes a Tauren district, and there is now a back gate leading directly into Azshara. (Details on Wowhead)

Miscellaneous Changes/Information
  • Wrath of the Lich King had 1000 Quests, Cataclysm has over 3000.
  • The current heirlooms will stop growing after level 80. There will be a whole new crop of heirlooms for Cataclysm. Goblins and Worgen will be able to start using heirlooms immediately at launch. (Details on Wowhead)
Cataclysm Zone Changes
A new video of zone changes in Cataclysm was released. Stole this one from Wowhead.



Cataclysm Screenshots
A few high resolution screenshots have been released. Courtesy of World of Raids.



by Published on 2010-06-12 03:39 PM

MMO-Champion Downtime - Take 3
The site was down during the night again, this isn't an effect of the vBulletin migration, it's just a lot of problems with the servers. I don't have access to that and ... well, phone calls in the middle of the night don't always work.

Hopefully this won't happen again, I sincerely apologize for the downtime. I'm as disappointed as you are but sadly this kind of stuff doesn't depend on me.



"War Games" battleground mode
[blizzquote author=Kalgan source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/25170782836/what-s-your-largest-concern-with-rated-bgs/]We're simultaneously working on a "war games" mode for battlegrounds that allows groups to challenge other groups to a battle in a specific battleground (including horde vs horde and alliance vs alliance). Granted, the rewards aren't significant, but it's more for players to be able to have fun battling their guildmates and friends or for players on a server to throw down for the sake of pride and bragging rights.

[...] You'll still only be grouped with players of your language, although your opponents can be from whatever part of the region, regardless of language.[/blizzquote]


Blue posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

2H/1H Weapons
Keep in mind that we generally don't itemize two-handed Agi weapons except for staves and polearms that can be used by hunters and druids. Shaman can't even use polearms. We make one and two-handed versions of Str swords, axes and maces though, so it's easy to convert a warrior or DK back and forth.

Again these are not unsolvable problems, but neither are they trivial problems. I hate to close the door on anything, but it's not in the cards for the near future. (Source)

Classes strengths and weaknesses
What you're calling a "discrepancy in logic between classes" we call "different classes work differently." It's very common for players examining weaknesses (perceived or engineered) of their class to look to other classes and say "Hmm. They don't have the same weakness. That's not fair." But it's more than likely they have other weaknesses to compensate just as you have other strengths. Almost any time you bring up an example of other classes working differently, we're going to respond "perfect." I realize that can be frustrating since looking at other classes provides easy examples of abilities or mechanics you don't have, but that's honestly the whole point. (Source)

DPS and PvP talents in healing trees
As to the actual topic, as we've posted several times, those talents are designed to be optional. Any healer spends some amount of time in almost any instance standing around when nobody needs healing. Some healers want to be able to perform solo or in small groups without having to switch to a dps spec. We are trying to get away from trees where every talent essentially says "increases your damage or healing by 5%." A talent that is non-mandatory should be by definition optional. If you don't think you'd like or use that particular chunk of utility offered by a talent, then skip over it. Or go ahead and get it knowing that you'll still get a passive benefit that improves your healing. (Source)

MLG Tournament Results
We all watched MLG. I have refrained from commenting because all of the discussions in this forum seem to devolve into "my class didn't win, so clearly other guys are overpowered" or "GC loves whichever comp wins." Frankly, I thought it was one of the best tournaments I've seen in awhile. It's hard to argue that the guys who won did so because they chose the overpowered comp -- those guys are insanely skilled and played very well. We had pretty good class representation over all, but I still think it's a small sample size from which to draw a lot of conclusions about class balance. If Orange or someone had gone for a three healer comp would we really be here arguing that three healers are OP?

Yes warriors can be crowd controlled. They also have a lot of ways to get out of it or prevent it and they have enough mobility that when they aren't being CC'd they are probably on top of a target. If anything I'd argue the lack of warriors dominating the upper echelons of PvP has more to do with their lack of control, not their susceptibility to it. (Source)

Casters and haste
Casters cast too quickly. Haste has just gotten a bit out of control, which is partially the fault of overly generous talents and partially other stats on gear not being as attractive. Fear of being interrupted or needing to move has just led to too much reliance on very fast or instant spells, which are very difficult to counter. We need to back off of that. (Source)

Vol'jin in Cataclysm
Yes, Vol'jin will no longer be in Orgrimmar come Cataclysm. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Cataclysm Tree of Life design goal
It's a burst healing cooldown for emergencies or stressful periods of a fight. The survivability is there partially so that your cooldown is not trivially countered. (Source)


Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Counterattack removed?
I may have spoken too soon on Counterattack. Just today we discussed keeping it and getting rid of Mongoose instead. There are some legit PvP uses of hunter melee attacks, so long as the class doesn't feel like it's supposed to be a melee-ranged hybrid. You're ranged. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Anesthetic Poison
Anesthetic Poison might very well go away and Shiv just become the anesthetic equivalent. Little too early to tell on that one. (Source)

Malice
Malice is the kind of thing we'd like to replace, but we'd rather the trees work than just rip out every passive stat talent just because, so we'll only replace it if we come with something we're really excited about. Precision is fine -- being able to remove some hit dependency is useful to every dps spec and the kind of thing you could consider talenting out of if your gear put you over the cap. (Source)

Subtlety Tree
The idea of a rogue who sticks to the shadows, suddenly lunging out to stunlock and execute an unsuspecting target works well for single-player RPGs but not for MMO PvP. PvP needs to be about counters -- knowing when and how to use a certain ability depending on what the other player does. "Unsuspecting" by definition doesn't leave much room for back and forth. It may be fun for the rogue, but it's really frustrating for the victim, and pushes us in a direction where if the rogue doesn't line up his perfect kill moment, that he's going to get destroyed. That is "balanced" in the strictest sense where you kill or are killed, but it's too binary to be fun -- again a lack of back and forth.

Subtlety still has Cheat Death and Shadowstep and many great tools that feel "rogue-like" for PvP. You can skip over talents like Blood Spatter, which are mostly there to keep PvE dps competitive, in order to focus more on PvP tools and less on bleeds. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Stances
We like stances. You seem to be arguing that stances are fine, but we should make it a little easier to be in whatever stance you want. For me this crosses over into one of those areas where players see a limitation to their class and know they have to overcome that limitation to perform well, but cross over from trying to master that tactic to lobbying us to remove it or chill it out. (Source)

Mortal Strike
As far as balancing your damage with MS, what I meant was that MS is arguably the most iconic ability in the Arms tree. It should be a button that you look forward to hitting. It needs to do good damage regardless of the debuff, which is usually wasted in PvE anyway. (Source)

Weapon Switching / Spell Reflect
I'm not trying to say that clunkiness is a good cost for an ability. What I am trying to say is that if we just wanted Spell Reflect or whatever to be super easy to use that we would take away the shield requirement or just have it auto-switch to a shield. Being able to pull it off at the right time is the hallmark of a great warrior. If you watch some of these really skilled players play, yeah I'd argue their intuition does seem to border on ESP. (Source)

DPS comparison with melee classes
You should get beaten by a rogue if that player is as good or better than you and has gear as good or better than you. On the other hand, you are destroying Enhancement shaman and other melee classes. Warriors are at the top or near the top of nearly every Icecrown fight. You may not be, but many warriors are. If I was a frustrated player, the message I would get is that I should roll a warrior for Cataclysm because they tend to dominate damage done in final raid tiers. That's not cool. (Source)

Whirlwind component of Bladestorm
The Whirlwind caused by Bladestorm is a different spell effect. We can adjust it independently. At the moment we have not lowered its damage because we want warriors to be able to use it on single targets as a dps cooldown. (Source)

Warrior damage at higher levels
It's a trend, not a data point. Go back and look at ToC if you'd like. Nevertheless, I don't want to turn this into a thread analyzing meters. That's an exercise we are generally in favor of, but it will take over this conversation. Suffice to say we have sufficient evidence that warrior dps is higher than we would like once warriors are at high item levels. This happened previously at high ilevels per tier, so if you want to disavow it, know that you're going against a pretty solid set of data. (Source)

Warriors changes
What are you going to do differently? I mean, if you designed the gear / warrior abilities with the intention that they were balanced...and they ended up tending to be overpowered on the damage charts, what evidence is there that you can produce balanced gear / warrior abilities?
Normalizing rage for one. Getting rid of armor pen for two. Defining swings as AE or single target for three. (Source)

Deathwing Wallpaper
A new wallpaper featuring deathwing (both in human and dragon form) has been released on the WoW Magazine Official Site



Concept Arts
Two concept arts have been added to the official Concept Art Gallery. (Yay! Panda!)

by Published on 2010-06-11 02:50 PM

Migration to vBulletin - We're alive !
Now that the migration is behind us I figured it could be a good time to give you a few more details on what just happened with the site.

MMO-Champion has been running on Simple Machines Forum (SMF) since day 1, it's a great forum software and I would still recommend it to anyone who wants to start a guild site. Sadly, we reached a point where there is so many people visiting MMO-Champion that it was just faster to move to vBulletin because of the tons of options and extra features. It never seemed to be urgent and we kept postponing the migration, again and again.

Last week, we eventually realized that the beta of Cataclysm was going to start soon and there was just no way for the site to survive the massive amount of traffic. The activity on forum went up by 100% in the last 3 months, the Cataclysm pages will generate extra pageviews, basically, we were in deep shit. There was a LOT of work done during the past 2 weeks to make it happen and we eventually came up with a "decent" version of the site powered by vBulletin, and pushed it live.

I clearly realize it's not perfect and a lot of stuff still sucks but it should be resolved pretty fast in the next few days. Basically:

  • The Recent Forum Posts / Recent Articles box is still bugged, it will behave just like the old one when we're done with it. (Only shows thread and not replies, doesn't show off-topic forums, and we might add the Forum Name next to it actually)
  • Custom Names will probably be back "soon".
  • Role Playing Forums have been disabled very temporarily (until we bring back custom names, because they're pointless without it. I think we all agree about that)
  • Guild Recruitment forums have been deactivated temporarily.
  • Tons of stuff will be fixed soon, the only reason why I'm not listing everything is because I'm aware of how much work we have to polish everything. Don't worry, help is on its way.

Please just give us a few more days and then I'll personally give you a free pass to whine about anything on the site as much as you want. I promise the new site will make a lot of things better in the near future.

Update - Ok the last 10 hours of downtime weren't scheduled ... It was just a hardware screwup independant from the migration. That's pretty bad luck, I guess.


Continent-Wide Battlegrounds in Cataclysm
[blizzquote author=Kalgan source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/25170782836/what-s-your-largest-concern-with-rated-bgs/]We're currently expecting both normal and rated battlegrounds to be cross-battlegroup (within a region) for the launch of Cataclysm. So, players queueing from anywhere in north america could play vs players on any north american battlegroup, etc.[/blizzquote]


Cataclysm Screenshots of the Day




Blue posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Wintergrasp Balancing
We plan to add an additional balancing mechanism to the Wintergrasp queue system some time after patch 3.3.5. The queue will attempt to match factions at a 1:1 ratio for each battle, down to a minimum of 20 players. If there are less than 20 players on one side, the queue will still try to pull 20 players from the other side. This is to discourage the low population faction from boycotting Wintergrasp and preventing the other faction from being able to participate (i.e. force a game that's 5 vs. 5, or 0 vs. 0).

So in your case, if this system were in place the match would be 20 vs. 10 instead of 40 vs. 10. Tenacity would play less of a role, but players on your faction would have a harder time getting into a battle. This system will also be used for Tol Barad in Cataclysm. The idea is to favor realms with balanced populations rather than favor realms where your faction is dominant. (Source)

Talents vs. Talent Builds
It's probably fair to say that we have focused more on individual talents than builds at this point. We had to remove a lot of talents and slide things around because of the levels at which skills are available has changed, in some cases dramatically. As players start to explore actual builds, we can start adjusting positions of talents on the tree further. (Source)

Mastery Passive Benefit Bonus Cap
The passive benefits cap at 51 points. You can improve your third passive bonus by acquiring mastery rating on gear. (Source)

Utility Talents
The problem with both Lightwell and Riposte in LK has to do with the pace of combat. A small self-heal isn't useful in an environment where the healers either keep you up easily or you die to spike damage regardless of the decisions you make. An attack speed debuff isn't super useful in a PvP environment where players die so quickly. But with the larger health pools in Cataclysm, both of those talents become more useful. Saving priest mana and GCDs by using Lightwell could help turn a failure into a victory. Slowing down incoming damage can help a rogue go toe-to-toe with another melee class.

Counterattack is probably going away. We haven't released new hunter trees yet. Shiv is changing a little bit to be more of an enrage dispel. (Source)

Cataclysm Talent Previews
1) These talent trees aren't done. They're just far enough along that we're seeking feedback.

2) Just to reiterate, we *are* looking for feedback on them. They are considered public information now and you are free to discuss them. While the rest of the alpha is still under NDA, we want feedback on the talent trees so that we have plenty of time to iterate on them. Just keep things in perspective. Nobody at this stage can predict with any accuracy that their dude is DOOMED in PvP or PvE based on these early designs.

3) "Passive talents" is somewhat subjective. We are going to prune out what we can. Some players interpreted that to mean that every talent was going to be something game-changing like Chakra or Grace, but we think a talent tree of nothing but those would be quite overwhelming (not to mention making those cool talents feel less special). We still have talents like Improved Eviscerate, which are passive but more interesting than flat +damage talents . We still have talents like Malice because, frankly, everything else that can be modified in a low-level rogue already has a talent.

We still think the Cataclysm talent trees will be a big improvement over the Lich King talent trees, and your feedback can help us get them there (not that it all has to be confined to this one thread of course).

The only thing we ask is that you not let Cataclysm discussion completely take over the forums. There are millions of players playing the current live game and many of them will still want to discuss the current game instead of only looking to the future.

4) Cataclysm will fix it. (Source)

Threat Talents1) We are getting rid of all "you do less threat" talents. They're just boring.

2) If needed, we will bake that threat into Defensive Stance et al. as we did with Defiance and Salv.

3) We're not convinced we'll need to do that though. Tanks generally maintain sufficient single-target threat on any fight that has lasted more than a few seconds and Vengeance will only help with that.

4) Furthermore, we don't want threat to just not matter. Part of the fun of playing a tank is trying to generate as much threat as possible as quickly as possible. I don't think many tanks like the idea of just standing there, hitting a few defensive cooldowns, and being able to AFK to victory. However, we don't want things to be so extreme that the dps characters constantly feel throttled or the healers are afraid to heal.

5) Two of the primary offenders are Tricks of the Trade and Misdirection. We like when those abilities are used to pick up adds or otherwise direct targets to the tank. That utility makes the rogue and hunter feel useful. What we don't like is the constant threat transfer which adds a lot of slush room to tank threat generation that isn't under the tank's control.

[...] We want them to be used on initial pulls or when adds join the party. We like rogues being able to Tricks each other. It could be as simple as only transferring threat but doing nothing if the tank already has threat. Or it could be temporary threat so that it acts more for getting the fight started than something that helps a tank make up for generating really bad threat (either because we screwed up or the guy trying to tank is). We're trying out different things to see what feels right. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Perseverance
We think talents like this are good, even in PvE. First, they aren't strictly mandatory. If you think you can get by with taking a little more damage, go for it. Second, you don't have to spend all 5 points for them to be useful. They are good sinks if you need to spend just an extra point or two somewhere. Third, taking less damage probably will be a bigger deal in Cataclysm. If healer mana becomes a factor in some wipes, as we expect, then it wouldn't surprise as all to see raid leaders start linking damage *taken* meters as ways to get everyone to contribute to keeping the group alive. The attitude that nobody takes damage besides the tank or that damage to anyone besides the tank is trivial is outdated even for current content, let alone Cataclysm. (Source)

Restoration Talents
I'm seeing a lot of Resto druids say something like "I won't take talents that buff Nourish and Healing Touch because I won't use those spells." You will probably use those spells more in Cataclysm. That doesn't mean you won't also be using Rejuv, Regrowth and Lifebloom.

Critical heals aren't useful now because they often just result in overhealing. In a game in which your heals aren't always topping someone off, then a critical heal represents a lot of "free" healing which saves you both GCDs and mana. It's in players' nature to want to minimize the impact of random elements, but you should be careful not to marginalize anything that gives you extra healing just because it isn't 100% predictable. (Source)

Starfall
The forums were pretty dense with "moonkins lack on-demand burst damage for PvP" threads just a few months ago.

We think the ability is fine. It does a lot of damage if not countered but has many counters. That's the kind of gameplay we'd rather see more of as compared to just getting tunnel-vision on one target and focusing solely on maximizing your damage on them.

If you can analyze a match afterwards and come up with something you could have done differently (in this case, how you could have countered or avoided the Starfall), then it was probably a reasonably good match because your decision-making, and therefore skill, played a big role. Anyone can push buttons. Pushing buttons at the right time makes all the difference. (Source)

Shred
Shred is indeed 50 base.

The idea is not that you can take every talent point you desire. If anything, the decisions are going to be harder. "Bloat" is what players sometimes say when there are still talents remaining that they want to pick up. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Discipline Tree Design
The basic idea is you can choose to add some damage to your healing if you are soloing, in PvP, or even raiding encounters which aren't particularly demanding for you to heal. For those situations where you really need to heal, you'll do better with a talent build that focuses on healing.

It's something we're likely to try with all the healing specs, or else decide it's a bad idea. (Source)

Shadow Tree
Shadow priests should not be able to pick up every point in Shadow without giving up anything else attractive. That's not how we want talent trees to work. It just looks like that for the time being so that we can get the priest playable.

[...] Right. If there are a lot of choices and you can't possibly get everything, then it's a good talent tree. We'd define bloat as say a tree in which the mid-tiers offer nothing interesting or effective such that you just have to pick up some almost at random to get down to talents you actually want. Really though "bloat" just gets so overused on the boards that you'd be a lot more effective in giving feedback describing specific talent choices that you feel aren't fair rather than the somewhat generic "make this 5 pointer 3 points so I can get more stuff" posts that I'm reading a lot of tonight.

As far as Shadow, I would anticipate a few more talent points in Shadow itself or else some more attractive talents in mid-Disc (it wouldn't take much to make Archangel work for instance), or both. (Source)

Shadow Priest Gear
That was the initial intent, but some Shadow priests thought that felt unfair that they had to have two separate gear sets to swap from damage to healing compared to the druid and shaman, and we thought they had a point. As such it will be slightly easier to gear up as a Shadow priest since they have more gear options. Call it a perk, but probably not as powerful a one as Holy paladins having their very own gear. (Source)


Rogue (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Hemorrhage
It's probably safe to increase the Hemo debuff. We modeled it after the old Mangle and then buffed the Mangle duration.

Rogues might use Hemo slightly more than Ferals use Mangle, but really they are pretty similar: use one for the debuff (or often in PvP) and then Backstab / Shred when position allows it (rarely in PvP). (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Enhancement in Cataclysm
Enhancing Totems will be changing to provide an additional shaman-only buff when the buff totems are down. Technically that implementation is tricky so we just haven't finished it yet. In general you are correct that there should not be "buff my buff" talents. There are a few exceptions where a buff is elevated from a minor bonus to a more serious bonus (Elemental's spell power for instance).

Mental Quickness is something Enhancement and Retribution need in order to be a mana-using spec without mana on gear. In general you won't see stat conversion talents, though warriors and DKs might keep their armor conversions. We'll see.

We may need additional mana restore mechanics than we have now for Enhancement, but that will take some more testing.

We're not sure what we'll do with Ancestral Swiftness. We made that talent before you could wolf indoors, so it may be less attractive now.

The Searing Totem mechanic is obviously something new and will take some iteration.

Someone mentioned Imp Windfury Totem. I think you're looking at an old talent tree.

Enhance is intended as a dual-wield tree. We aren't going to support a competitive 2H spec. We aren't going to prohibit it, but it won't be competitive.

There are going to be some hard choices in all the trees. It's not our design intent that you scoop up every single talent in your tree. (Source)

2H Shaman
Letting the Frost DK go 2H as an option is pretty easy. All of the mechanics already work. It just needs a talent to offset a couple of DW talents. For shaman, it's a lot harder. There is no equivalent for Lava Lash or Stormstrike. DK combat isn't heavily tied into weapon swing speeds, but shaman most definitely are. Sure we could solve all of those problems, but that takes a lot of development time, and if you consider all of the challenges we've faced over the years related to shaman weapon speed and enchant choices, it could be a considerable amount of development time. We'd spend that time if we thought it was really important, but we think the class functions just fine with two weapons and we'd rather spend our effort on other shaman issues. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Cataclysm Q&A (Source)
1) On next swing attacks - Who was it that determined that warriors were not fond of this mechanic ... personally I loved said mechanics as they added a fuid way to convert rage into damage without having to expend an ever so precious GCD that warriors just do not have the luxury of waisting (namely arms).
We weren't fond of the mechanic. It wasn't up to a vote. But we also know a lot of warriors didn't like it either. It takes the most visceral moments of combat -- hitting a button and seeing damage -- and turns it into an autoattack, probably the least exciting moment of combat. (Source)

2) AoE and splash damage - Why is it that whirlwind is being treated like an AoE attack that should only be used on large pulls yet unlike all other AoE abilities in the game is bound to a cooldown ? Also how will the change to whirlwind impact the functionality of Bladestorm ?
You'll do fine on AoE, which will be more rare in Catalcysm regardless. The change to Whirlwind will not affect Bladestorm.

With cleave becoming an instant attack with rage mechanincs similar to execute and whirlwind no longer being in our single dps rotation we just lost an area of dps that we used to excel in... and that was doing well at dpsing smaller groups of pulls
That's not really a great niche though. Nobody says "we need more warriors to handle these smaller group pulls." You'll do fine on AoE fights.

4) Mortal Strike - Once the coveted and iconic warrior ability now handed out like candy to toddlers crying to their parents. It was eluded that strikes would be hitting much harder as a result of loosing on next swing attacks which seems reasonable but why is that with the changes to healing and health pools that classes like shadow priests and frost mages will have an equally powerfull ability when it was intially given to these classes in a WEAKER form as a bandaid fix to help their PVP represnentaion ?

How does it make sense to make all MS debuffs physical damage? Can warriors expect to see some glory returned to our spec defining ability ?
I agree with this. The problem of course is that if only you get the debuff or if only you get the best debuff then warriors are mandatory for anything PvP which might be fine for you but doesn't really feel fair to everyone else. Sometimes I wish we'd just remove the debuff because it's almost impossible to balance around both having and not having it. We can make sure Mortal Strike hits hard but we're unlikely to do anything that improves the debuff.

Will some of the core problems plaguing the class finally be addressed? -Clunky weapon swap macros subjected to weapon resets...
Keep in mind that swapping to a shield is supposed to be a decision. If we wanted it to be effortless we would not make those abilities require a shield. We don't want solving the puzzle to be coming up with a clever macro.

-Latency issues with ppl exploiting charge and intercept , landing 10 feet away from ppl.....
This is just the reality of a client - server based game. Sometimes the client and server don't agree about where you are. We'll keep trying to come up with technical solutions, but you shouldn't interpret it as our being lazy or certainly not because we're out to get warriors.

*-By making sure warriors will no longer scale so much with gear as they have been since the conception of the game what is being done to make sure they stay competitive throughout the expansion from the begining to the end ???*
Scaling awesomely with gear as compensation for doing bad damage when undergeared is not good game design. Warrior damage with great gear is much too high right now, as it is at the end of every expansion. This isn't surprising to anyone really. The current rage model just doesn't work and we need something more consistent. Consistency is the way to make sure you stay competitive from beginning to end (rather than averaging out at competitive because you're too low at the beginning and too high at the end).
by Published on 2010-06-10 09:12 PM

Hurray! We're (mostly) live!
MMO-Champion survived the migration to vBulletin and the site is now live. Obviously, there is still a lot of work to do on the website and you can expect a lot of changes in the next few days

Important stuff
  • Most of the old news posts are still in the old News Forum, they will be moved to the front page shortly. (Today or Tomorrow)
  • Most of the layout bugs are already known, don't bother reporting them.
  • Articles (the left menu stuff you never click) are massively fucked up. I know.
  • If you find any super-important bug, please post them on the Suggestions and Feedback Forum
  • Dinnerbone, Adys, and Sunshine rule.
by Published on 2010-06-10 01:53 AM

Update #3 - Just regenerated all the trees, force refresh (ctrl-f5/cmd-f5) if you're seeing old talents.
Update #2 - Still hunting a few annoying bugs. (Hello missing talents) Just use the previews in the previous post as a reference if you're not sure about something.
Update - The servers are under a lot of stress, it will be fixed as soon as we're done using the heat to keep the coffee pot warm.

Cataclysm Talent Calculator - Introducing WoWTal
WoWTal.com is a new project we're launching for Cataclysm, it will ultimately replace the old talent.mmo-champion.com calculator. The class previews posted today are now available there!



I'm sure you'll find a lot of bugs, feel free to report them in comments!
by Published on 2010-06-10 01:01 AM

Rogue Cataclysm Talent Preview
Blizzard sent a preview of the talents of 4 classes in Cataclysm: the Druid, Priest, Rogue, and Shaman.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Assassination Tree

Tier 1 (Left to Right)
  • Improved Eviscerate (3 points) - Increases the damage done by your Eviscerate ability by 7/14/20%.
  • Remorseless Attacks (2 points) - After killing an opponent that yields experience or honor, you receive a 20/40% increased critical strike chance on your next ability. Lasts 20 seconds.
  • Malice (5 points) - Increases your critical strike chance by 1/2/3/4/5%.

Tier 2 (Left to Right)
  • Ruthlessness (3 points) - Gives your melee finishing moves a 20/40/60% chance to add a combo point to your target.
  • Deadly Momentum (2 points) - Requires 2 points in Remorseless Attacks - After killing an opponent that yields experience or honor, Deadly Momentum gives you a 50/100% chance to refresh your Slice and Dice or Recuperate abilities to their original duration.
  • Blackjack (2 points) - Even after your Sap wears off, its effects linger on enemies, reducing their damage done by 25/50% for 5 seconds.

Tier 3 (Left to Right)
  • Puncturing Wounds (3 points) - Increases the critical strike chance of your Backstab ability by 10/20/30%, and the critical strike chance of your Mutilate ability by 5/10/15%.
  • Vigor (1 point) - Increases your maximum Energy by 10.
  • Lethality (5 points) - Requires 5 points in Malice - Increases the critical strike damage bonus of all combo point-generating abilities that do not require Stealth by 6/12/18/24/30%.

Tier 4 (Left to Right)
  • Vile Poisons (3 points) - Increases the damage dealt by your poisons and Envenom ability by 7/14/20% and gives you 33/67/100% of the normal chance of applying poisons from your equipped melee weapons when you use the Fan of Knives ability.
  • Improved Poisons (5 points) - Increases the chance to apply Deadly Poison to your target by 4/8/12/16/20% and the frequency of applying Instant Poison to your target by 10/20/30/40/50%.

Tier 5 (Left to Right)
  • Fleet Footed (2 points) - Reduces the duration of all movement impairing effects by 15/30% and increases your movement speed by 8/15%. This does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.
  • Cold Blood (1 point) - Instant - 2 min cooldown - When activated, generates 25 energy and increases the critical strike chance of your next offensive ability by 100%.
  • Improved Kidney Shot (3 points) - While affected by your Kidney Shot ability, the target receives an additional 3/6/9% damage from all sources.
  • Quick Recovery (2 points) - All healing effects on your are increased by 10/20%.

Tier 6 (Left to Right)
  • Seal Fate (5 points) - Requires 1 point in Cold Blood - Your critical strikes from abilities that add combo points have a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to add an additional combo point.
  • Deadened Nerves (3 points) - Reduces all damage taken by 2/4/6%.

Tier 7 (Left to Right)
  • Deadly Brew (2 points) - When you apply Instant, Wound or Mind-Numbing Poison to a target, you have a 50/100% chance to apply Crippling Poison.
  • Overkill (1 point) - While Stealthed, and for 20 seconds after breaking stealth, you regenerate 30 additional energy.
  • Improved Expose Armor (3 points) - Gives a 33/67/100% chance to refund all combo points used when performing your Expose Armor ability.

Tier 8 (Left to Right)
  • Focused Attacks (3 points) - Your melee critical strikes have a 33/66/100% chance to give you 2 energy.
  • Murderous Intent (3 points) - When you Backstab an enemy that is at or below 35% health, you instantly recover 10/20/30 Energy.

Tier 9 (Left to Right)
  • Master Poisoner (3 points) - Increases the spell damage taken by any target you have poisoned by 2/5/8%, your Envenom has a 33/66/100% chance not to consume Deadly Poison, and the duration of all poison effects applied to you is reduced by 17/34/50%.
  • Mutilate (1 point) - Requires 1 point in Overkill - 60 Energy - Melee Range - Instant - Requires Daggers - Instantly attacks with both weapons for 100% weapon damage plus an additional 215 with each weapon. Damage is increased by 20% against poisoned targets. Awards 2 combo points.
  • Turn the Tables (3 points) - Whenever anyone in your party or raid blocks, dodges, or parries an attack, your chance to critically hit with all combo point-generating abilities is increased by 2/4/6% for 8 seconds.

Tier 10 (Left to Right)
  • Cut to the Chase (5 points) - Your Eviscerate and Envenom abilities have a 20/50/60/80/100% chance to refresh your Slice and Dice duration to its 5 combo point maximum.
  • Venomous Wounds (3 points) - Each time your Rupture or Garrote deals damage to an enemy that is afflicted with your poison, you have a 15/30/45% chance to deal with 616/619/621 additional Nature damage.

Tier 11
  • Vendetta (1 Point) - Marks an enemy for death, increasing all damage you deal to the target by 20% and granting you unerring vision of your target, regardless of concealments such as Stealth and Invisibility. Lasts 30 seconds.

Combat Talent Tree

Tier 1 (Left to Right)
  • Improved Sinister Strike (5 points) - Increases the damage dealt by your Sinister Strike ability by 1/2/3/4/5% and reduces its Energy cost by 1/2/3/4/5.
  • Dual Wield Specialization (5 points) - Increases the damage done by your offhand weapon by 10/20/30/40/50%.

Tier 2 (Left to Right)
  • Improved Recuperate (2 points) - Causes your Recuperate ability to restore an additional 1/2% of your maximum health.
  • Deflection (3 points) - Increases your parry chance by 2/4/6%.
  • Precision (5 points) - Increases your chance to hit with weapon and poison attacks by 1/2/3/4/5%.

Tier 3 (Left to Right)
  • Endurance (2 points) - Reduces the cooldown of your Sprint and Evasion abilities by 30/60 seconds and increases your total Stamina by 2/4%.
  • Riposte (1 point) - 10 Energy - Melee Range - Instant - 6 sec cooldown - A strike that becomes active after parrying an opponent's attack. This attack deals 153 to 154% weapon damage and slows their melee attack speed by 20% for 30 seconds. Awards 1 combo point.
  • Aggression (5 points) - Increases the damage of your Sinister Strike, Backstab and Eviscerate abilities by 3/6/9/12/15%.

Tier 4 (Left to Right)
  • Improved Slice and Dice (2 points) - Increases the duration of your Slice and Dice ability by 25/50%.
  • Improved Sprint (2 points) - Gives a 50/100% chance to remove all movement impairing effects when you activate your Sprint ability.
  • Lightning Reflexes (3 points) - Increases your dodge chance by 2/4/6% and gives you 4/7/10% melee haste.

Tier 5 (Left to Right)
  • Blade Furry (1 point) - 25 Energy - Instant - 2 min cooldown - Increases your attack speed by 20%. In addition, attacks strike an additional nearby opponent. Lasts 15 seconds.
  • Reinforced Leather (5 points) - Increases your armor contribution from cloth and leather items by 10/20/30/40/50%.

Tier 6 (Left to Right)
  • Improved Kick (2 points) - Gives your Kick ability a 50/100% chance to silence the target for 2 seconds.
  • Weapon Expertise (2 points) - Requires 1 point in Blade Flurry - Increases your expertise by 5/10.
  • Blade Twisting (2 points) - Gives your damaging melee attacks a 10% chance to Daze the target for 4/8 seconds.

Tier 7 (Left to Right)
  • Vitality (3 points) - Increases your energy regeneration rate by 8/16/25%.
  • Adrenaline Rush (1 point) - Instant - 3 min cooldown - Increases your energy regeneration rate by 100% for 15 seconds.
  • Nerves of Steel (2 points) - Reduces damage taken while affected by stun and fear effects by 15/30%.
  • Improved Gouge (3 points) - Increases the effect duration of your Gouge ability by 0.5/1/1.5 seconds.

Tier 8 (Left to Right)
  • Throwing Specialization (2 points) - Increases the range of Throw and Deadly Throw by 2/5 yards and gives your Deadly Throw a 50/100% chance to interrupt the target for 3 seconds.
  • Combat Potency (3 points) - Gives your successful off-hand melee attacks a 20% chance to generate 5/10/15 energy.

Tier 9 (Left to Right)
  • Unfair Advantage (2 points) - Whenever you dodge an attack you gain an Unfair Advantage, striking back for 53/106 to 54/107% of your main hand weapons's damage. This cannot occur more than once per second.
  • Surprise Attacks (1 point) - Requires 1 point in Adrenaline Rush - Your finishing moves can no longer be dodged, and the damage dealt by your Sinister Strike, Backstab, Shiv, Hemorrhage and Gouge abilities is increased by 10%.
  • Savage Combat (2 points) - Increases your total attack power by 2/4% and all physical damage caused to enemies you have poisoned is increased by 2/4%.
  • Sturdy Recuperation (2 points) - Reduces all damage taken by 4/8% while your Recuperate ability is active.

Tier 10 (Left to Right)
  • Prey on the Weak (5 points) - Your critical strike damage is increased by 4/8/12/16/20% when the target has less health than you (as percentage of total health).
  • Restless Blades ( 3 points) - Your damage finishing moves reduce the cooldown of your Blade Flurry, Killing Spree, and Sprint abilities by 0.5/1/1.5 second per combo point.

Tier 11
  • Killing Spree (1 point) - 10 yd range - Instant - 2 min cooldown - Requires Melee Weapon - Step through the shadow from enemy to enemy within 10 yards, attacking an enemy every .5 seconds with both weapons until 5 assaults are made, and increasing all damage done by 20% for the duration. Can hit the same target multiple times. Cannot hit Invisible or Stealth targets.

Subtlety Tree

Tier 1 (Left to Right)
  • Relentless Strikes (5 ranks available) - Your finishing moves have a 4/8/12/16/20% chance per combo point to restore 25 energy.
  • Camouflage (3 ranks available) - Increases your speed while stealthed by 5/10/15% and reduces the cooldown of your Stealthy ability by 2/4/6 seconds.
  • Improved Ambush (2 ranks available) - Increases the critical strike chance of your Ambush by 25/50%.

Tier 2 (Left to Right)
  • Sleight of Hand (2 ranks available) - Reduces the chance you are critically hit by melee and ranged attacks by 1/2% and increases the threat reduction of your Feint ability by 10/20%.
  • Dirty Tricks (2 ranks available) - Increases the range of your Blind and Sap abilities by 2/5 yards and reduces the energy cost of your Blind and Sap ability by 25/50%.
  • Opportunity (3 ranks available) - Increases the damage dealt with your Backstab, Mutilate, Garrote, and Ambush abilities by 10/20/30%.

Tier 3 (Left to Right)
  • Setup (3 ranks available) - Gives you a 33/66/100% chance to add a combo point to your target after dodging their attack or fully resisting one of their spells. This cannot happen more than once per second.
  • Hemorrhage (1 rank available) - 35 Energy - Melee Range - Instant - Requires Melee Weapon - An instant strike that deals 118 to 119% weapon damage (171% if a dagger is equipped) and causes the target to take 30% additional damage from bleed effects for 15 seconds. Awards 1 combo point.
  • Initiative (3 ranks available) - Gives you a 33/66/100% chance to add an additional combo point to your target when using your Ambush, Garrote, or Cheap Shot abilities.

Tier 4 (Left to Right)
  • Elusiveness (2 ranks available) - Reduces the cooldown of your Vanish and Blind abilities by 30/60 seconds and your Cloak of Shadows ability by 15/30 seconds.
  • Dagger Specialization (5 ranks available) - Requires 3 points in Opportunity - Increases your chance to get a critical strike with daggers by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Energetic Recovery [NYI] (3 ranks available) - Empowers your Recuperate ability, causing its periodic effect to also restore 1/2/3 energy.

Tier 5 (Left to Right)
  • Heightened Senses (2 ranks available) - Reduces the chance you are hit by spells and ranged attacks by 2/4%.
  • Preparation (1 rank available) - Instant - 8 min cooldown - When activated, this ability immediately finished the cooldown on your Evasion, Sprint, Vanish, Cold Blood and Shadowstep abilities.
  • Dirty Deeds (2 ranks available) - Reduces the Energy cost of your Cheap Shot and Garrote abilities by 10/20. Additionally, your special abilities cause 10/20% more damage against targets below 35% health.

Tier 6 (Left to Right)
  • Master of Subtlety (3 ranks available) - Attacks made while Stealthed and for 6 seconds after breaking Stealth cause an additional 4/7/10% damage.
  • Deadliness (5 ranks available) - Increases your attack power by 2/4/6/8/10%.

Tier 7 (Left to Right)
  • Enveloping Shadows (3 ranks available) - Reduces the damage taken by area-of-effect attacks by 10/20/30% and increases the duration of your Feint ability by 1/2/3 seconds.
  • Premeditation (1 rank available) - Requires 1 point in Preparation - 30 yd range - Instant - 20 sec cooldown - Requires Stealth - When used, adds 2 combo points to your target. You must add to or use those combo points within 20 seconds or the combo points are lost.
  • Blood Spatter (2 ranks available) - Increases the damage caused by your Garrote and Rupture abilities by 15/30%.
  • Cheat Death (3 ranks available) - You have a 33/66/100% chance that an attack which would otherwise kill you will instead reduce you to 10% of your maximum health. In addition, all damage taken will be reduced by up to 9% for 3 seconds (modified by resilience). This effect cannot occur more than once per minute.

Tier 8 (Left to Right)
  • Waylay (2 ranks available) - Your Ambush and Backstab hits have a 50/100% chance to unbalance a target, increasing the time between their melee and ranged attacks by 20%, and reducing movement speed by 50% for 8 seconds.
  • Sinister Calling (5 ranks available) - Requires 1 point in Premeditation - Increases your total agility by 3/6/9/12/15% and increases the percentage damage bonus of Backstab and Hemorrhage by an additional 2/4/6/8/10%.

Tier 9 (Left to Right)
  • Honor Among Thieves (3 ranks available) - Increases the ranged and melee critical hit chance of all party and raid members by 5%. When any player in your party or raid critically hits with a ranged or melee ability, you have a 33/66/100% chance to gain a combo point on your current target. This effect cannot occur more than once every 4/3/2 seconds.
  • Shadowstep (1 rank available) - 10 Energy - 25 yd range - Instant - 30 sec cooldown - Allows you to attempt to step through the shadow and reappear behind your enemy and increases movement speed by 70% for 3 seconds. The damage of your next ability is increased by 20% and the threat caused is reduced by 50%. Lasts 10 seconds.
  • Sanguinary Vein (3 ranks available) - Requires 2 points in Blood Spatter - Increases your damage dealt to targets with a bleed effect on them by 2/4/6%.
  • Filthy Tricks (2 ranks available) - Reduces the cooldown by 5/10 seconds and energy cost by 5/10 of your Tricks of the Trade, Distract and Shadowstep abilities, and reduces the cooldown of Preparation by 1.5/3 minutes.

Tier 10 (Left to Right)
  • Slaughter from the Shadows (5 ranks available) - Reduces the energy cost of your Backstab and Ambush abilities by 4/8/12/16/20, and the energy cost of your Hemorrhage ability by 1/2/3/4/5.
  • Serrated Blades (3 ranks available) - Your Eviscerate has a 4/8/12% chance per combo point to refresh your Rupture on the target to its original duration.

Tier 11
  • Shadow Dance (1 rank available) - Instant - 1 min cooldown - Enter the Shadow Dance for 6 seconds, allowing the use of Sap, Garrote, Ambush, Cheap Shot, Premeditation, Pickpocket and Disarm Trap regardless of whether or not you are Stealthed.

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