World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2012-01-27 05:24 AM

First Glimpse of the 2012 World Championship
Teamliquid has an interview about the Starcraft portion of the 2012 World Championship. A few of the main points are summarized below, read the full interview for all the details.

  • The prize pool will be comparable to the continental invitationals in 2011.
  • Qualifications will begin in Q2 this year.
  • The entire 2012 season is going to be played with Wings of Liberty.
  • There will be five regional championships, with the final being held in Asia.
  • There will also be national championships before the regionals.
  • Blizzard won't be running all of the matches, instead they will be working with existing eSports organizations.
  • There will be more matches and ways to see them than there were for Blizzcon 2011.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hot off the presses and fast on the heels of the recently announced 2012 World Championship event set for later this year, Team Liquid took the time to interview Ilja Rotelli, director of global community and eSports at Blizzard Entertainment. The interview looks deeper into the new structure of the World Championship and the future of Blizzard eSports. Here’s a brief snippet from the interview to whet your appetite.

At the national qualifier level, do you hope to hold some tournaments that are completely open to anyone who wants to compete?

Ilja Rotelli: That is precisely one of the design philosophies we originally adopted. The idea is that we want to make a more aspirational and participatory eSports environment for StarCraft. The idea that there are superstars that seem so far away, that one can't hope to become; this makes eSports very restrictive.

Blizzard has a slightly different goal from eSports companies. If you think very frankly about the business goal for Blizzard as a company, we gain when more people play the game, and a strategy that makes sense to achieve that goal is to go grassroots. We don't have plans in place yet, but in my dreams, this is the beginning, where we go as grassroots as we can for the first year. Then, in 2013, we would love to add an additional layer to the bottom of the structure, to be even more grassroots than now. This is just a philosophy, not a practical plan that we have in place, but certainly that is one of the design principles we have been using so far.

Visit the Team Liquid site to read the complete article.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Allow Players to Turn Off Enchant Effects
I realize this thread has been around for a while but the topic is still relevant. As many of you may or may not know, weapon enchants have been a feature of World of Warcraft since the beginning. Providing iconic and recognizable looks to various enchants is something that’s added an element of uniqueness to the game and to your character. However, we do understand they can sometimes overpower the aesthetics of the awesome weapons you can obtain in game now. It’s certainly something we have discussed with the developers recently and we’ll be looking into potentially allowing an enchant toggle. If and when such a feature is introduced, we’ll be sure to let the community know as soon as possible. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Damage in Arenas
As you already mentioned, in the upcoming patch there is a change to Vial of Shadows that should reduce some of the burst damage you are experiencing in PvP.

Dying in openers certainly isn't fun, and can be incredibly frustrating if you're the one on the receiving end of such a coordinated attack, but don't give up! In addition to perhaps taking some time to focus on other activities such as Rated and unrated Battlegrounds where you have more people to watch your back, you might also consider browsing some PvP videos from other members of the community to not only help inspire you, but to also arm you with a further arsenal of tactics that you can use to your own advantage against opposing teams.

Also, from my own experience, when I was having a lot of trouble against a certain class or spec that I felt countered my usual tactics, I found it helpful to sometimes grab a friend that played that class and spent some time dueling them so that they could critique me on areas where I could improve my skills, including my timing on using certain abilities, and how I could counter some of their own tactics. That way when I stepped back into arenas, I was more confident in my own skills and felt better-prepared for how to expose the weaknesses of my enemies.

Keep at it, and remember there are players out there equally as scared to see you step out onto the Arena floor.(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Expansion Name
It's not irrelevant, particularly given almost everything that happens after the Cataclysm and Deathwing's demise is centered around the discovery of this new continent. These forgotten lands, as well as the way the Horde and Alliance go about exploring them, are central to the overall story line (much like Illidan and the Burning Legion were to The Burning Crusade, the Lich King and his Scourge were to Wrath of the Lich King, and Deathwing's destructive return to Azeroth was in Cataclysm).

I'm not sure I understand your argument. It feels like you're claiming we're naming the expansion after a new race's starting zone (not true) and arguing that's "jumping the shark." If you're only taking issue with the title, I don't think that qualifies for such a label at all. More importantly though, I get the sense you learned only two bulleted details about the expansion (new race and new land to explore) before deciding to post this thread. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Encounter Designers Who Worked on Ulduar
What a coincidence! We happened to talk about raid design and results with Ghostcrawler and Mumper yesterday, and everyone looked back fondly on Ulduar, among others. Yes, the same designers and artists who worked on Ulduar are still working on raids.

Here's the thing -- Ulduar is an example of a raid where lots of players got to enjoy the first few bosses, and very few players ever saw the last few. Yogg Saron and Algalon were among the least-killed bosses ever, and not because they were exceedingly difficult. Rather, clearing the dungeon all the way to Yogg took up a big chunk of a raiding week (and you only had an hour to kill Algalon), and the ability to extend raid lockouts came later in 3.2.0 (but extending raid lockouts means getting less loot overall). Raid Finder partially resolves the length-of-raid problem, so we can consider designing longer raids, but that's not always an easy call. Long raids mean longer development time, and while some players might be willing to wait, we understand why others might get impatient.

Of course, having multiple raids in a tier (like the combination of Bastion of Twilight and Blackwing Descent) has the advantage of giving players different environments to play in while potentially making scheduling and logistics easier.

Pushing a big red button for Mimiron was very cool, and again is fondly remembered. We have created something like 40 raid bosses since the creation of those encounters however, and we cant help but think that it would start to feel really gimmicky and forced if every raid encounter had its difficulty set by pushing a button, (or not killing adds, or changing the order you kill the bosses, or the other mechanics we used in Ulduar). We think Mimiron would feel less special if there were six more bosses in the game with big red buttons, and we’re just not sure the design space is there to have a near infinite variety of means by which players launch a heroic mode in game.

Nonetheless, because there are so many requests for those style mechanics, we are considering doing a few bosses with optional modes (in the same way Mimiron, Freya or Sartharion had them) in Mists of Pandaria. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Talent Trees
One of the problems we're specifically trying to address with the new talent system is getting back a little to the sense that there are 10 classes in the game (soon 11) instead of 30 (soon 34). A common complaint we saw about the Cataclysm talent design was that hybridization was greatly downplayed. Now it’s easy to dismiss going down two trees as never really having worked out, but it’s clear that many players are in love with the idea of doing so.

We also just want to keep the total number of talents under control, since the intent is that they have pretty big effects. If you're facing a Frost mage in PvP in Mists of Pandaria, you’ll have even less of an idea of what is in their toolbox than you do today. If you're a raid leader, you won’t be so certain what abilities your Discipline priest has to deal with the upcoming boss. A little of that keeps gameplay feeling fresh, but too much of it can be overwhelming. If each of the three mage specs, for example, had different talent choices, then we would have 612 total talents in the game instead of 198. Even 198 is a lot to learn. We also have the suspicion that coming up with 612 really awesome talents will be much more challenging. One of our design philosophies is concentrated coolness: have a few awesome things instead of a lot of mediocre things.

Now in some ways we are strengthening the concept of a spec by really pushing rotations and some other signature spells to specific specs. Immolate is Destruction only. Backstab is Subtlety only. Given that, talents are a great vehicle to make sure that your character still feels like a warlock or a rogue at the end of the day.

We really want to avoid talent synergies where only one talent on a tier makes sense for your character. This would be the case if say Fire mages did bonus damage with only Fire spells, or there was one healing talent on a tier competing against two DPS talents for your priest. Please continue to bring up concerns you have in this regard (though not necessarily all in this thread) and we will try to address them. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Intellect on Plate
The situation with intellect plate is an ongoing discussion among the designers, but we have yet to come up with a solution that's better than just continuing to make intellect plate.

  • Let Holy paladins wear Strength plate – This would require a lot of conversions. Does hit become Spirit? What happens to expertise? Do all Strength items convert or just actual armor pieces? Can paladins mix and match with Intellect jewelry and trinkets? Do Holy paladins also hit really hard in melee, or do they lose that ability? Does it make paladins too effective as hybrid classes if they can share much of their gear across three different roles?
  • Let Holy paladins wear mail – Our mail is designed to look like shaman or hunters, not paladins. It’s cruel not to let a paladin wear the paladin tier armor, and also weird that a given tier piece could be plate or mail even though it looks identical.
  • Let priests wear plate – We like the design for priests as cloth-wearers, we would not want to drop less cloth overall (since only mages and locks would need it at that point), and we don’t want priests to look like warriors, DKs or paladins.

Individually these aren't difficult problems, and we have the ability to solve each of them, but at the end of the day the designers don’t think any of those solutions are preferable to just keep on making Intellect plate for Holy paladins. Maybe someday there will be a new class that also uses Intellect plate. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blizzard Art
Blizzard has added four more pieces to the World of Warcraft: Classes and Cataclysm Art galleries.

by Published on 2012-01-25 01:24 PM

Update: Added a Blizzcon 2012 follow-up post by Bashiok and other news.

No BlizzCon in 2012 - World Championship
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Blizzard Entertainment is proud to announce the 2012 World Championship, a major global eSports event featuring some of the best pro-gaming competition in the world. Slated to take place in Asia toward the end of 2012, the World Championship will host this year’s StarCraft II and World of Warcraft Arena World Championship tournaments. Blizzard gamers and eSports fans from around the world will be invited to attend and witness some of the most skilled pro players on the planet battle it out for cash and glory.

We’re excited to be showcasing Blizzard eSports on a truly global stage this year. We're also heavily focused on getting Diablo III, Mists of Pandaria, and Heart of the Swarm into players’ hands as soon as possible. In light of our jam-packed schedule, we’ve decided to hold the next BlizzCon in 2013.

More details about the 2012 World Championship and BlizzCon 2013, including specific dates and locations, will be coming in the months ahead.

Blizzcon 2012 Follow-up
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Yeah it's a bit disappointing because we all really do enjoy being able to 'open the doors' so to speak. But, it is an enormous effort by all employees, including our game designers and artists, not to mention customer support and quality assurance, PR, our business departments, and *hot breath on fingernails & shirt rub* Community & eSports to make a BlizzCon happen. In a year when we're working to release multiple titles (knock on wood) it makes sense to focus our efforts. Also with multiple game releases we just wonder if we'd be at a point with any of them where we'd have anything really big or new or cool to talk about.

We didn't have a BlizzCon in 2006 either, and at that time we were really strong on the idea that BlizzCon isn't really supposed to be and doesn't have to be an annual event. Of course then we have it for five straight years in a row... which obviously built some expectation.

Personally I always enjoy seeing the excitement, the rushing crowds, hearing the clicking of mice on the demo stations, and waiting in agony as the seconds countdown to an announcement and then the waves of emotion from the crowd that follow it. But thinking about our year and what we're trying to get done already without a BlizzCon, and having to think pretty hard about what we'd have to announce or demo, it just makes sense to me not to have one.

Here's to the World Championship, it's going to be awesome, and to a bigger and better BlizzCon in 2013.

Fan Art
The World of Warcraft Fan Art Section has been updated with six new pieces of fan artwork.

The MMO Report has SWTOR, TERA, and Mail Bag this week!

by Published on 2012-01-25 05:47 AM

Diablo 3 - Simple Spell Tooltips Live, Blue on Patch 10,Beta Level Cap, Vote for D3, Weekly Roundup

Patch 4.3.2 Release Date Update
The status of the patch is still unsure, the whole situation is most likely the reason why the US Maintenance got cancelled and then moved to Wednesday.

The patch files are available on the download servers and things look somewhat ready but at this point it seems that the patch will only go live next week. The EU maintenance wasn't moved to Thursday and I don't think Blizzard plans to deploy a patch on both continents on the same day, even if it's a small one.

Statistics: Heroic Madness of Deathwing Class Representation
Continuing our ongoing statistics posts, today we look at class representation for characters that have completed Heroic Madness of Deathwing. As always with this type of post, the sample size is fairly small; less than 100 guilds have completed the encounter so far.

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Blue Post Replies
We read them. We also allow conversations to take place without our influence when it seems that it's the better course of action. Sometimes our intervention can actually skew a conversation off track if we're not careful. Then again, sometimes skewing a conversation is something we need to do too, to get people "on track" or even away from non-constructive discussion.

Sometimes we just don't have anything we could effectively add to the conversation, but it may spark some discussion internally that we can have amongst ourselves or take to the developers and producers. If and when we do have something we can bring back, we generally try to. Some may be under the false belief that it was the constant posts about a topic that made us come back to the topic, when in fact we may just need some time to discuss and come up with an answer that works and sometimes, we may have an answer that we just can't share at the time. Timing in our roles is often everything and as many know, "promising" something too soon, can be upsetting or worrisome to some people, while others don't mind being "in the know" even if plans do change. It's a balancing act.

We don't have elaborate schemes. That would mean we have a lot more time on our hands than we actually do to sit, plot and plan. In most cases, when we reply to something on the forums, we're tightrope walking while keeping an eye on the ever so dangerous ps and qs. That's not to say there isn't a method to the madness (see above paragraph.) It just means, we have to be quick on developing our thoughts and typing them out in a way that (hopefully) makes some semblance of sense.

If we see some really good feedback or ideas, we will often take it with us when we meet with the developers (which is generally a weekly face to face meeting.) We don't want to give the wrong impression that feedback given equals a guaranteed change based on that feedback.

We are just as likely to notice a smaller thread as we are to notice the larger ones. Sometimes, the best conversations are on the first few pages (not to say we don't read through the entire thread.) The reason being, that often, the conversation is more focused on the topic at hand and as the thread lengthens, we either see repeat discussions/arguments, or it begins to expand to other topics that may not be as relevant to the main topic of the original post.

BTW, contrary to popular belief (and not to start a moderation discussion.) We do not delete threads solely on the idea that it's saying it dislikes something we've designed or done to the game. We generally delete non-constructive threads or repeat threads since they often don't lead to good discussion or split conversation which makes it more difficult for us to sift through them for the constructive bits. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

64-bit Live Client
We'll be disabling the PTR forums shortly. Going forward you will be able to find the latest 64-bit client on the Tech Support forums. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Information Plan
There does and there is. There's not anything specific I can share on a time frame as of yet, but things are moving along well with Mists of Pandaria and we'll be getting you all more information on "what's next" as soon as possible. For those that were able to see the next expansion at BlizzCon, you'll have seen that we were relatively far along in development. As we've said before, we're working diligently to put out expansions a little bit quicker than we have in the past. But, as always, we want to make sure we release "when it's ready" as well. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Trading Card Game Art Gallery Update
The Trading Card game art gallery has been updated with ten new pieces.

Curse Weekly Roundup
Pico is back to tell us about the things you might have missed recently in Diablo 3, Minecraft, Resident Evil 6, and more.

by Published on 2012-01-24 08:08 AM

Patch 4.3.2 Going Live This Week - Or Maybe Not
I just received an update on the Patch 4.3.2, it seems that the update was postponed because of a very bad bug. As far as I know it means the patch won't happen tomorrow, however it might happen on wednesday in the US and thursday in Europe. If it's not the case it will be postponed to next week.

The info was solid and was backed up by a few other things (announcement of PTRs going down, etc) but those last minute changes happen, and there's nothing I can do against them. This is also the reason why Blizzard doesn't announce patches early.

Even if I always warn that things might be postponed, it still sucks when it does happen, and this is pretty much how comfortable I feel when I have to announce it. Feel free to yell at me and make me sad. I'll be in my corner trying to hide in my happy place.
by Published on 2012-01-23 11:46 PM

Diablo 3 - Patch 10 - Unofficial Changes

Patch 4.3.2 Going Live This Week
The information isn't official yet but assuming everything goes as planned, Patch 4.3.2 should be going live this week. This patch is bringing us Cross Realm raids for older content with RealID friends, a few item tweaks and new items, a few new achievements, and a reduced game client install size. It also brought testing of the 64-bit client which didn't appear to have widespread or major bugs, however I'm not really sure if it will be available on the live realms.

As usual there's a slight chance (1%) that the patch will be postponed if something terrible happens, but as far as I know, we're good to go this week.

Cross Realm Raids
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We previously introduced the ability to form cross-realm parties with Real ID friends, and now with Patch 4.3.2, we're adding the ability for players to use that same functionality to form raids to run older normal or heroic raids, or participate in Battlegrounds!

This will allow you to join up with your Real ID friends from other realms and:
  • Form a cross-realm raid and use Raid Finder
  • Jump in to any classic dungeon or raid and be automatically placed in the same instance
  • Join forces and dominate the Battlegrounds

Please note, you will not yet be able to run normal or Heroic Dragon Soul with cross-realm Real ID raids.

As we look forward to the BattleTag system, it’s a very exciting time for World of Warcraft. No matter what realm you and your friends are on you’ll be able to team up and take on group content throughout the game.

4.3.2 PTR and New File Optimization Tech
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With the 4.3.2 patch we’ll be testing some new file optimization tech. As you may be aware, with previous major expansion patches (2.0, 3.0, 4.0, etc.) we’ve carried out a time-consuming process to reorganize the game files currently installed on your hard drive to integrate all previous patch files, essentially ‘cleaning up’ what’s on your computer and reducing the full installation size. This process used to require an amount of free hard drive space double that of the entire installation size to complete, which is why we’ve reserved them for large expansion-sized patches.

The new tech we’re testing with the 4.3.2 PTR will process these cleanups with no additional hard drive space required beyond what the patch is adding. Because of that you may see them appear more frequently with patches.

While the cleanup is occurring you’ll see a specific message on the launcher informing you the process is currently taking place. If you encounter any issues with the new process please be sure to visit our support site at

Vial of Shadows had the proc damage cut in third and proc frequency tripled to reduce burst in PvP.

Many of the original level 60 ranked PvP gear items have had Replica added to the start of their name, making their name identical to the versions being sold in Area 52, for example the Replica High Warlord's Cleaver. However, they still retain their higher item level and stats.

Gurthalak, Voice of the Deeps had its proc time increased to 12 seconds from 10 seconds. This change was made to all three versions of the item.

The three new items added in Patch 4.3.2 are found on the TCG Loot vendor in Booty Bay. They are part of the Timewalkers: War of the Ancients expansion. (Feldrake, Eye of the Legion, and Demon Hunter's Aspect)

Client Strings Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • ERR_PARENTAL_CONTROLS_DISCONNECT_WARNING = "You will be disconnected due to parental controls in %d |4minute:minutes;.";
  • ERR_PARENTAL_CONTROLS_DISCONNECT_WARNING_SOON = "You will be disconnected due to parental controls in less than 1 minute.";
  • TIME_PLAYED_ALERT = "You have been playing for %s. Excessive gameplay can cause inconvenience in your daily life.";

Achievements Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Dungeons & Raids

Player vs. Player

Feats of Strength

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Feldrake Summons and dismisses a rideable feldrake. This is a flying mount. 1.5 sec cast

Companion Pets

Classes: General
Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Tier 13

Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Beast Mastery

  • Deterrence now also reduces all damage taken by 30% while active.
  • Black Arrow now ticks every 2 secs instead of every 3 secs. Damage is now spread over 20 secs, up from 15 secs.
  • Lock and Load no longer affects Arcane Shots.

  • Bombardment now lasts 5 secs instead of affecting your next multi shot only.

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

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Tier 13

10 Man
  • Sludge Spew: Inflicts 29250 43875 to 30750 46125 Shadow damage to an enemy.
  • Stomp: Splits 750000 damage between all targets within 25 yards. Morchok's current target and their The two targets closest ally will to Morchok take a double portion of the damage.
  • Void Diffusion: Deals 180000 Shadow damage split evenly between units. In LFR mode, the base this damage dealt is 50,000. does not split.

10 Man Heroic
  • Stomp: Splits 750000 damage between all targets within 25 yards. Morchok's current target and their The two targets closest ally will to Morchok take a double portion of the damage.
  • Void Diffusion: Deals 269100 Shadow damage split evenly between units. In LFR mode, the base this damage dealt is 50,000. does not split.

25 Man
  • Sludge Spew: Inflicts 43875 82875 to 46125 87125 Shadow damage to an enemy.
  • Stomp: Splits 2300000 to 2700000 damage between all targets within 25 yards. Morchok's current target and their The two targets closest ally will to Morchok take a double portion of the damage.
  • Void Diffusion: Deals 540000 Shadow damage split evenly between units. In LFR mode, the base this damage dealt is 50,000. does not split.

25 Man Heroic
  • Stomp: Splits 2000000 damage between all targets within 25 yards. Morchok's current target and their The two targets closest ally will to Morchok take a double portion of the damage.
  • Void Diffusion: Deals 807300 Shadow damage split evenly between units. In LFR mode, the base this damage dealt is 50,000. does not split.

  • Vial of Shadows: Your melee and ranged attacks have a chance to trigger an additional attack for 4028 12084 to 6042 18127 physical damage.
  • Vial of Shadows: Your melee and ranged attacks have a chance to trigger an additional attack for 3568 10706 to 5353 16059 physical damage.
  • Vial of Shadows: Your melee and ranged attacks have a chance to trigger an additional attack for 4546 13640 to 6819 20461 physical damage.

Official Patch 4.3.2 Notes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes: General
  • Vengeance is no longer triggered by receiving damage from other players.

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • The Tier 13 Balance Druid 4-piece bonus now also increases the damage of Starsurge by 10%, in addition to its current effect.

Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Aspect of the Hawk now grants roughly 35% more attack power.
  • Deterrence now also reduces damage taken by 30% while active.
  • Black Arrow now ticks every 2 seconds for 20 seconds, as opposed to every 3 seconds for 15 seconds. The total damage dealt by the ability is unchanged.
  • Lock and Load no longer benefits Arcane Shot, nor is it consumed by Arcane Shot.

Mage (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Fireball damage has been reduced by roughly 6%.
  • Pyroblast damage has been reduced by roughly 6%.

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Holy Radiance now costs 40% of base mana, up from 35%.

Priest (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Mass Dispel should again prefer dispelling targets that have magic effects that can be dispelled.

Rogue (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Adrenaline Rush no longer triggers a global cooldown.

Dungeons & Raids
  • You can now form same-faction raids with Real ID friends, allowing you to enter Raid Finder in groups larger than 5, run older normal or heroic raids, or participate in Battlegrounds. You will not yet be able to run normal or heroic Dragon Soul with cross-realm raids of Real ID friends.
  • Several typo fixes and clarified descriptions have been added to the Dungeon Journal entries for Dragon Soul.
  • Players can no longer win multiple copies of the same item on a single Raid Finder boss kill. For example, a player who chooses Need on two set piece tokens or two weapons and wins the first, will not be eligible for the second on that particular boss.

Baradin Hold
  • The roaming Eyes of Occu'thar have been replaced by hateful creatures who serve Alizabal.

Dragon Soul
  • Warmaster Blackhorn
    • The visual warning for Twilight Elites' Blade Rush should be easier to see.

  • Vial of Shadows damage (Lightning Strike) has been reduced to approximately one-third of previous damage. However, it will now trigger approximately 3 times as often. This is intended to keep overall DPS the same while reducing burst damage, especially in PvP.
by Published on 2012-01-22 08:45 PM

Lunar Festival
A few changes were made to Lunar Festival this year, with two faction specific pets being added and new Elders for you to visit in the Cataclysm zones. You can find a list of the Elder's locations on Wowpedia.

The new Lunar Lantern and Festival Lantern are new rewards from the Lunar Festival. The new Lunar Lantern would be the Alliance version and the Festival Lantern the Horde one. Each costs Coin of Ancestry x 50 from the vendor.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Every year the druids of Moonglade hold a celebration of their city’s great triumph over an ancient evil. During the Lunar Festival, citizens of Azeroth have the opportunity to honor their elders by celebrating their sage wisdom, sharing in magnificent feasts, and of course…shooting fireworks!

The Lunar Festival returns to Azeroth in a cascade of pyrotechnics on Sunday, January 22! With the start of a new year, elders of generations past manifest around the world to impart their wisdom upon all who would listen. Should you encounter these venerable spirits in your travels and take the time to heed their wisdom, they may even pass along tokens of their gratitude -- Coins of Ancestry, the lessons of a past age in physical form. Gather enough of these Coins of Ancestry and the Cenarion Circle will open to you their stores of celebratory fireworks, trinkets, garbs, and recipes!

The Cenarion Circle have even more cause to celebrate this year than any previous, for this year also marks the first Lunar Festival since the return of many Ancients that had fallen in battles past: Goldrinn, Malorne, Aviana, and Cenarius himself. But this celebration is muted by the eternal torment of one of their own -- Omen, blessed by the moon goddess Elune, has risen again from the depths of Moonglade’s lake. Driven mad by the Burning Legion’s tainted magics during the War of the Ancients, Elune’s blessing of immortality means that he will forever be cursed to return in his maddened state at the advent of a new year. Heroes are called to help ease this tormented Ancient’s suffering, in the hopes that perhaps next year will see him return with a clearer mind.

Lunar Festivities end Sunday, February 12.

Computers - Setup of the Month (by chaud)
Each month or every 2 months, depending on the hardware evolutions, the lovely chaud will work on a couple of hardware setups for those of you who are thinking of upgrading their computer!

This month
Hard drives remain expensive, so now is still a good time to buy a SSD, as the next generation is a while away and the current prices are fairly flat, with sales bringing the cost very close to $1 per gigabyte.

AMD's Bulldozer arrived to negative reviews, citing excessive power usage and heat output and very poor single threaded performance. The previously mentioned patches for Windows are now available and give a few percent performance increase. (Patch 1, Patch 2)

New CPUs from Intel should be arriving in early April if you aren't in a hurry to build, bringing increased performance and lower power consumption.

The new 7970 GPU from AMD has been released and can be had for ~$550 if you can find it in stock. The 7950 will be here in a matter of weeks somewhere in the low ~$400 price range. More GPUs will likely be released next month. New GPUs from Nvidia likely won't be here before early March.

Make sure to keep your AMD and Nvidia drivers up to date.

Don't hesitate to post any feedback in the comments of that news post, and don't forget to visit the Computer Forum for any extra questions! If you are interested in [email protected], take a look in our team's thread.

ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorASUS VW224U 22-Inch Widescreen - $149ASUS VW246H 24-Inch Widescreen - $200
KeyboardMicrosoft Digital Media Keyboard 3000 - $21Cyborg V.5 - $47
MouseLogitech G400 - $37Razer Deathadder - $48
SpeakersLogitech S220 2.1 Speaker System - $30Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $40
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE276Q 27-Inch - $279HP ZR24w 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $375
KeyboardLogitech G110 - $70Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $74 ($130)
MouseLogitech G500 - $58Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $68
SpeakersCreative Inspire T3130 2.1 Speaker System - $45Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $79

Puppy and Dolphin
Overclocked Puppy will outperform Dolphin when multiple threads are in use (Not WoW) and come close in most other cases.
Mix and match anything but the CPU/Motherboard combo between Puppy and Dolphin. Mix and match anything between Dolphin and Narwhal.
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT GAMMA Classic - $40NZXT GAMMA Classic - $40
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 V2 - $58Corsair CX600 V2 - $70
CPUAMD Phenom II X4 960T Black Edition- $115Intel i3-2100 - $125
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $27Corsair Air Series A70 - $38
MotherboardASUS M5A97 AM3+ 970 - $116Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 - $123
Memory4GB PNY Optima DDR3 10600 - $254GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 12800 DDR3 - $40
Graphics CardXFX 6770 - $95MSI 6850 or EVGA GTX 560 - $174 / $175
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Black 500GB - $120Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $157
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23

Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn. SSDs are always optional.
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master HAF 912 - $66Cooler Master HAF932 - $143
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $90Corsair 750HX (7 Year Warranty) - $144
CPUIntel i5-2500k - $230Intel i7-2600k - $320
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $55Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $88
MotherboardGigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 - $160ASUS Z68 P8Z68-V PRO - $205
Memory4GB G.Skill Ripjaws F3 12800 DDR3 - $408GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $54
Graphics CardXFX 6950 1GB OR EVGA GTX 560 Ti- $220/ $230XFX 6970 2GB OR EVGA GTX 570 - $325 / $360
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $157Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $157
SSDCrucial 128 GB m4 (Review) - $180
Corsair Force Series GT 120 GB - $180
Intel 510 Series 120 GB (Review) - $275
OCZ 120 GB Vertex 3 (Review) - $165
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23
Total$1041 - $1231$1624 - $1769

Trading Card Game Art Gallery Update
The Trading Card game art gallery has been updated with ten new pieces.

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