World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2012-12-21 08:14 AM

Update: Another screenshot with a wider angle and no text was released.

Patch 5.2 PTR Early January - The Thunder King is Risen
The Blizzard CM team just sent us this with the following message: Happy Holidays from the World of Warcraft team! Here’s a small present to tide you over until the new year.

by Published on 2012-12-20 07:08 AM

Restored Items in TW Region Now BoA, Fan Made Screens, Blue Posts, Poll: Favorite Act IV Environment, HotS Beta Key Giveaway

Patch 5.2 Tweets
More Patch 5.2 info appeared on Twitter today!
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Are you happy with the burst damage in PVP? What changes can we expect? You nerf items, are you still going to nerf spells too?ty
It's prolly still too high. We're def looking at specific abilities/cooldowns. You'll likely see 5.2 changes to major outliers. (Source)

How about a stacking buff for your farm that reduces pests the more consecutive days you plant/till?
Been brainstorming w/ @DaveKosak & @mumper flavorful ways to make farmers more efficient at tending w/ time. (Source)

Are there any plans to buff Unholy Death Knights? It's really sad how underpowered this spec is right now.
You'll likely see some love in 5.2. Unrelated, my current main is Unholy. (Source)

Can this mount collector expect to see some new mounts in 5.2? (Still hoping for 200+ mount achievement!)
New mounts not a bad thing to hope for, I reckon. (Source)

Lor'themar assemblies the troops after the Purge of Dal. Is that to attack Ally or Garrosh or to take to Pandaria?
Lor'themar's plans will be clear once 5.2 starts! (Source)

Maybe you guys have not noticed how op Fluxfire Feline is. Wind-Up with Supercharge damage 1800+
Yup, changes on this combo are coming in 5.2.0. (Source)

Please roll bandages and upgrade stones into the battle pet journal UI or make them acct. bound so we can mule them. Bag space
Bandages stack up to 25 in 5.2.0. We intend for players to use stones, not stockpile. Hence the low stack size.
Can they at least become boa? cutting the many stacks we have basically in half doesn't really help much.
Battle Pet Bandages bind to accounts in 5.2.0 as well. It's like we read your mind! (Source)

Is it intended that the "Nether Roach" does not count as cockroach, so its Apocalypse ability kills itself?
This is fixed in 5.2.0 (Source)

Also, does this mean being pulled out of a battle due to PVP/PVE agro will also despawn the pet?
We have some plans in regards to making this all smoother in 5.2.0, we will share info soon. PVP interaction was not changed. (Source)

Do you know why battle pets don't show up in my auctions on mobile app?
We hope to have pet cages working on the Mobile AH in an update early next year. (Source)

Yaspresents Online 3v3 Tournament
The Yaspresents PvP guild on Stormscale - EU is organizing 2nd Yaspresents Online 3v3 Tournament with a prize of $9,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place, and $2,000 for third place. The teams must have one healer and no class stacking.

Eight teams and two teams that qualify will play in a best of five round robin tournament. The qualifier rounds are on January 13th, the group round robin rounds are on January 18th and 19th, and the finals are on January 20th. If you are interested in qualifying, please PM Another on ArenaJunkies.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Changes to Tillers Farm
I love my farm. I love that I have all of my best friends to help me with my farm. But wouldn't it be nice if...

You could jump onto Miss Fifi and stamp all the vermin out of your occupied soil.
Your dog would chase away the birds from your alluring veggies.
The chickens would lay eggs.
The pigs would...fertilize...a crop or two....

While some of this has to do with tuning, we are considering some improvements to the farm and in this area. We might need to adjust the numbers a bit to reduce, say, Alluring over time. But we do want to make you feel that you need to tend to things regularly, even if you become more efficient in handling it. Though, perhaps we can consider allowing more crops to randomly grow without any obstacles or challenges, especially after you’ve proven your farming savvy. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

PvP Balance Feedback
Would you agree its more balanced than it was from the start of the season up to the new patch?

I think it is, but there is still alot of tweaks you could say that need to be worked out.

I agree that it has gotten better, but we know that there's more ground to cover and we're always working to improve. In light of that, there are still many more changes coming in patch 5.2.

I can't talk about them just yet, but keep your eyes open for more information in the coming weeks. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Elder Charms Mandatory?
charm are mandatory if you want to be up to par, if you're lucky you get 3 extra items per week
They aren't mandatory though. You can raid just fine without them. Yes, you won't gear as fast (assuming you get items from them relatively often), but it's not going to impact your character in a negative way, other than *perhaps* missing an upgrade (since you don't even have the guarantee you'll get one through the charms). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Elder Charms in LFR
On Raid Finder you can use the coin on bosses you've already killed that week. And every time you'll have the same chance of getting loot. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

LFR Loot System Feedback
Actually it won't make a difference. Under the old system, a boss would drop 4 or 5 items that would be split among 25 people. With the current system, everyone has an individual chance for loot which means that 3 shamans and 4 paladins may very well each get that shield they need. It is also mathematically possible that all 25 people in the raid get an item from one boss and that the next boss has no loot for anyone.
Exactly this.

With the old system, you not only had to hope that the item you needed dropped in the first place, you also had to roll against many people to get it. We were hearing a lot of feedback that the need/greed system was being used incorrectly by people that didn't actually need items, but pressed Need anyway. This new system takes that factor out of the equation completely.

Yes, it does mean that you will occasionally get an item you already have—think of this as winning something that no one needed with a Greed roll—but it also means you'll never lose an item you need to someone who doesn't need it, as happened previously. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Archaeology Feedback
Archaeology is also a secondary profession, which kind of implies it should not provide better items or improvements than primary professions. Of course on the other hand, being a secondary profession makes it possible for everyone to have it which makes it a somewhat nice profession since it sort of implies equality between players.

The truth is, archaeology is not for everyone, although we have cut down on the necessary travel time to find dig sites by having 6 dig locations per site instead of 3, and added some extra surprise dig sites in Pandaria, there’s still players who won’t go for it, and that’s perfectly fine, there’s a lot of different content in MoP that was made to appeal to different kinds of players.

Keep in mind that we’re still in the very early stages of MoP, we have said that we wanted to keep updating the game and adding patches more frequently with this expansion, chances are, professions might also get some love with some of those patches, so don’t despair, it’s still only the beginning.

Whenever we have some news regarding updates to any of the professions we'll make sure to let you know. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
yeah said that a while back. Did the mode spawn rate increase, maybe?
We felt that at the 1:3 conversion that Spirits were simply a GL delivery mechanism and not used for other things. (Source)

Any chance we will see a new alchemy cauldron for future MoP raids?
We like the group being able to provide food but players being responsible for their own flasks. (Source)

why the change to daily/acct for Blingtron? It was just a fun prize... I don't see harm in it being per character
Felt like a chore to log in every alt to get gold and maximize chance for good stuff. (Source)

What's the thinking for tailoring putting new, larger bag recipe behind 2 rep grinds? Was 12 daily crafts per bag not enough?
Making Imperial Silk takes a commitment of logging in for 2 min a day. Not much gameplay there. (Source)

Have you guys considered something cooperative like the AQ gates war effort to get people out and about? Was a great event.
Yeah it was. Just need a model that doesn't force everyone to one spot and crash the servers. (Source)

into a reality for the future of wow?
Challenge for us is providing enough content for players who want to play a lot without alienating those who can't. (Source)

with all the success of wow what 3 things do you think blizzard could improve upon?
If you mean WRT WoW, I'd say 1) Faster content, 2) More direction at max level, 3) easier for returning players to ease back in. (Source)

SWTOR Rise of the Hutt Cartel Expansion
Bioware announced the first expansion to SWTOR this week, Rise of the Hutt Cartel! It will arrive in Spring 2013 and cost $20 for free to play users and $10 for subscribers. The level cap will be increased to 55, there is a new story on the Hutt Cartel, new planet Makeb, new skills in each skill tree, faction-specific storylines, new Heroic missions and bosses, repeatable mission series, and new Datacrons. Dread Guard gear won't be replaced with leveling gear either!

The Daily Blink - Got Any Change for a Justice Point?
The Daily Blink proposes a new rollover plan for rewards.

by Published on 2012-12-19 06:49 AM

Diablo III Players Banned for Botting, Authenticators Temporarily Unavailable, Blue Posts, Heart of the Swarm Beta Key Giveaway

Patch 5.2 - Reputation, Lesser Charm, and Pet Battle Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I really don't want to do dailies every day.
I guess you might like this... The developers are currently planning to include bonus reputation that can be earned via scenarios and dungeons. It doesn't necessarily mean it'll be through tabards and in the exact same way as back in the days, but sounds close enough to what you want!

I really don't want to do dailies for coins either, why can't we just get them from HC's as well?
Actually, not from heroics, but the developers are planning to let you have a chance to earn Lesser Charms of Good Fortune through Pet Battles. Basically, if you win, you'll have a chance of receiving charms based on your pet level.

And if a player is below level 90, they'll get experience equal to defeating a yellow creature.

Patch 5.2 - New World Boss
Previously the developers have mentioned that they learned a lot from the new Mists of Pandaria world bosses and would add more in a future patch. It seems we may see a new one in Patch 5.2!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Item Upgrades and Item Level
Items that have been upgraded do count and contribute towards increasing your character's overall average item level. However, keep in mind that with 15-16 item slots; increasing a single item's level by +4/8 may not be sufficient to make an immediate impact. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

WoW Graphics
Bad technical graphics just means fewer pixels, fewer polygons, fewer details, fewer decals, shorter draw distance, etc.

Maybe I didn't express myself very clearly. Here's the full quote:
Also, bad graphics is very subjective, if you mean it in technical terms, everything will always end up having bad graphics, it’s only a matter of time. If you mean the art itself is bad, then that’s a valuable opinion, but opinions are highly subjective, and I have to say I strongly disagree.

What I meant to say is that in technical terms, it's simply a matter of time until any kind of graphics is considered bad/out dated. But graphics as in the “artwork” is something quite different; it has an intrinsic value that doesn’t degrade over time. That's why lots of people still play Mario, Puzzle Bobble, Pac-Man... and they still love the artwork and gameplay.

Lately it seems that quite a lot of games tend to be all about who has the biggest textures and latest shaders, that's an illusion that usually manages to hide the lack of innovation and real gameplay value.

Now, of course, graphics are also important and that's why we upgrade our engine from time to time, especially if it will make it more efficient and give players a better performance, but I'd still like to think that what players value the most is the gameplay, originality and innovation.

There is also an issue with changing something that is considered classic, and in my opinion, WoW verges on that. A lot of players would dislike major changes to the artwork, so when we upgrade our graphics engine, we need to be careful to make sure it doesn’t change the classic visuals that much. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New Character Models
Actually... the development team is working on new character models for the vanilla races. Unfortunately, we don't have an estimate yet on when they'll be available. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Taste for Blood Nerf
No one likes to see nerfs being done to their class, unfortunately it’s one of those things that a game like WoW is always subject to, and there are just too many variables, limited resources and schedules to keep.
So sometimes we have to hotfix stuff, the problem is that players will always get used to the “overpowered” abilities, and when the nerf comes the disappointment is inevitable.

As you can imagine this is definitely not in our interest, we want our players to have fun; this is a game after all.

The problem is that when someone is “having fun” due to having an overpowered ability or class/spec, that usually comes at the cost of someone else feeling miserable when they realize that there’s nothing that they can do to counter such class/spec/ability.

So ideally we would like to have a perfectly balanced game without having to hotfix anything at all, this way no one would have to miss being overpowered and then feel mad after being nerfed, there would also be no need for anyone to ever feel underpowered as well. Sadly this is too idealistic, but it’s a noble goal that we always like to have in the back of our minds when we design our games.

Let’s get to the point, Taste for Blood wasn’t overpowered in itself, yes it hit very hard, but like you said, Chaos Bolt hits very hard as well, so why the nerf? Well TfB is tied to Heroic Strike and that makes it particularly dangerous because it’s out of the CGD.

If you’re casting a Chaos Bolt you can be interrupted, you have to stand still, you can lose LoS and it has a somewhat long casting time.

Now if you’re a warrior and the stars align, you can have 5 stacks of TfB, Mortal Strike + Heroic Strike + Auto Attack + mastery proc all in the very same instant, that can literally be a 1-shot and that is something that we don’t want to see happening in PvP, it’s just not acceptable.

Taking out 50% of HP from someone can be ok as long as you can’t take 50% of HP followed by an equivalent powerful attack from the same source, the enemy needs to have enough time to land a heal or recover is some other way before you take the rest of his HP, this is where skill comes in, if you’re able to stop that player from recovering during that time, then well played!

I’m not saying that PvP is perfectly tuned right now, I’m sure that we will have more hotfixes coming in the near future, devs are constantly analysing data and listening to your feedback and they will keep trying to bring the game closer to a state of perfect balance as best and as fast as they possibly can.

If Taste for Blood capping at 1 stack proves to be an excessively strong nerf, you can be sure that devs will catch it when they analyse fresh new data, if that happens they can always change TfB again directly or make up for the nerf in some other way, like buffing some other ability or indirectly by bringing the other classes that might be too powerful to the same level as the warrior. In the end the goal is simply balance, and there is an infinite number of ways to get there.

I guess my question is, why do developers say they're content with something and defend their decision not to change it, then suddenly find it 'unacceptable' and change it?
There’s a saying in my country that says “only fools never change their minds”.

Developers are not machines, they do their very best at trying to design the game as balanced as possible, it’s true that some opinions can be very strong sometimes, but the values that are initially attributed to constants and variables in the formulas for most abilities are not simply made up on the spot, there’s extensive math involved there and sometimes it’s only natural that one can trust the math a bit too strongly, the problem is that sometimes math doesn’t directly translate to a live gaming environment, so an ability/spell can look absolutely perfect on paper and in a simulation but still end up being horribly tuned for certain PvP situations because simulating 11 classes, 34 specs, talents, glyphs, and human behaviour all at the same time is never easy.

This game is incredibly vast and we need a lot of resources, proper data, and a good amount of samples to be able to really check out all the facts, constant data analysis and listening to reliable feedback can have a tremendous effect in catalysing and accelerating changes being applied to the game because it can point devs in the right direction, thus saving our most precious asset, time.

If you look at the rate of constant hotfixes and patches that we release, you can’t really say that devs are stubborn, if anything, WoW must be one of the most iterated games of all time, it’s in a permanent state of change, constantly adapting to the needs and requirements of the present time, that means that devs are quite open minded and are always ready to listen to facts and the opinions of others, also remember that most of them are also players so they have the same experience that you do, they want to make this game the best that it can possibly be, both as players and as developers, and that’s a tough combination to beat if you ask me.

Almost no one can have a grasp over everything in WoW, it’s simply that vast. This game is a beast.

If we ever appear to be locked into some fixed idea it’s because there must be a very strong reason for it, and also because applying changes always takes time, quality control is particularly important, we want to avoid applying changes and then going back and forth regretting about them later on, so time for proper testing is extremely important for assuring reliability. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

EU Authenticators Temporarily Unavailable
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
From December 17 2012, physical products including Authenticators will be temporarily unavailable on the Blizzard Online Store in Europe. This is in preparation for a revamp of the store which will take place during 2013. In the meantime, many items can be found on the US Blizzard Store.

Players wishing to acquire a Authenticator have several options. The Mobile Authenticator is available for many types of smartphone, and you can find out more about it here. For many people, this is the easiest and cheapest option!

If you prefer to have a physical Authenticator, you can get hold of one from several sources including the online retailers and high-street stores listed here.

Heroic Amber-Shaper Un'sok Burn Strategy
Manaflask pointed out a clever strategy used by Check Please to kill Amber-Shaper Un'sok. It is likely this is not intended and will be fixed soon if it isn't already.

They spent a lot of time in Phase 1 having the Mutated Construct cast Amber Strike to apply the Destabilize debuff. This is apparently allowed to stack up to 255 times, greatly increasing the amount of damage the boss takes.

During the short period of time at the start of Phase 2 before the Amber Monstrosity arrives and shields the boss with Amber Carapace, you can do a very high amount of damage and kill the boss, skipping the rest of the fight.

The Daily Blink - I Don’t Wanna Get Off On a Rant Here...
The Daily Blink responds to some recent posts about World PvP. The full comic is too long to embed here, click it to see the entire thing!

by Published on 2012-12-18 07:53 AM

Heart of the Swarm Beta Key Giveaway, No Holiday Patch Planned, 12/18/2012 Game Maintenance, Blue Posts, Curse Weekly Roundup

World First Heroic Elite 25 Protectors of the Endless
黎明之翼 (Wings of Aurora) was able to kill Protector Kaolan last and defeat Elite difficulty Protectors of the Endless. It appears that it was a close fight, as not many of them were alive for looting. Their best attempt before the nerf was 6% and progress was being made towards a kill.

Killing the bosses in the encounter in this order gives them access to the item level 516 loot. Congratulations to them!

Because this was in China, the loot becomes item level 524 once it is looted, and is upgradeable two more times.

Heroic Difficulty Boss Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Two Heroic mode encounters in the Heart of Fear and the Terrace of Endless Spring are changing with the Raid reset this week:

  • Grand Empress Shek'zeer

  • Protectors of the Endless
    • The damage dealt by Touch of Sha no longer increases for each Protector that is defeated in the Heroic mode version of this encounter.

Patch 5.2 - Excess Valor Points to Justice Points
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
There are some changes planned for 5.2, for example, we would like to make Valor points convert to Justice as long as you’re Valor capped.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Battleground Gear Disparity
Simply tier the BGs by ilvl.
It's not simple, unfortunately. It would a) require a retooling of how Battlegrounds assemble teams and b) even under ideal conditions, it would likely slow down queue times dramatically. As Ovenmitz demonstrates, there are a lot of players who are very opposed to that.

It's not that we aren't interested in making Battlegrounds a better experience, it's that we need to make sure that whichever steps we take actually meet that goal. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World PvP Feedback
Would it not be possible to mark characters (say x levels under your own) in gray, and if a player over the limit of x tries to attack they are presented with the message "you cannot attack that target"? (Similarily, a player x lvs under gets the same message if trying to attack a target x lvs over).
It’s possible to do that, but it’s just something we decide not to. PvP realms have been here since day 1. Players know what the rules are before they join a PvP realm, the environment can be frustrating at times but it can also be a lot of fun and very challenging, that’s why players they go there.

I think the difference between PvP and PvE realms was felt much deeper in the old days of vanilla. That was when world PvP was probably at its peak, places like Tarren Mill, Southshore and Tanaris were truly a permanent battle zone. But one has to realize that the game evolves and while we enjoy world PvP, we also enjoy giving players more options.

So what happened? Well for starters, battlegrounds were introduced, so a big chunk of players that was constantly doing world PvP immediately switched to Battlegrounds, these were purposely made for PvP, it’s just natural that they become more appealing and take away some of the ganking going around in the world. Even if this wasn’t probably a complete switch, it certainly reduced the average amount of players out in the world looking for PvP. Is this a bad thing? That depends on whether you prefer world PvP or Battlegrounds.
Then we had some more game expansions and in addition to the classic Battlegrounds we got Arenas and even more Battlegrounds. We also introduced quality of life (controversial, we know!) queuing systems where we let people instantly teleport into dungeons/raids without risking their necks out there in the wilderness.

Without getting into much detail, the point is, as time went on, the amount of players out in the world got reduced, while the amount of players inside cities increased, this created 2 issues: one, it increased the likelihood of low level ganking to occur, since levelling players tend to quest and they have to be out there in the world to do so; and two, it decreased the chance of someone high level being around you to defend the members of his own faction.

So, yes, world PvP decreased significantly but we’re trying to turn that around with Mists of Pandaria.
My whole point is that, between vanilla and Mists, world PvP changed so much that making the choice between being on a PvE or PvP realm might have stopped being as hard to make as it used to be, but the fact remains that PvP realms were always meant to be about freedom, allowing factions to feel that they are truly at war, how can you feel that if you suddenly have restrictions on how/who/when you can attack?

Personally I welcome this change of direction with Mists but I look at it very carefully as this isn’t vanilla anymore and there a lot of variables that we need to pay close attention to if we want to make world PvP as entertaining as it once was. I’m talking about faction imbalance on certain realms (where possibly CRZ tech might be able to help out), flying mounts as easy ways to escape danger, and lack of the “I’ll get my revenge soon” feeling with CRZ possibly reducing the chance of the same players seeing each other again. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Icy Veins Christmas Contest
Icy Veins is holding a screenshot contest with some nice prizes, including a signed Collector's Edition of Mists of Pandaria, mounts, pets, AskMrRobot / Curse premium, and more!

All you have to do is take a nice screenshot of your character for the Feast of Winter Veil category, Best Scenery category, or Best Action Shot category. The contest runs until Dec 31st and submissions will be judged over the next few days.

Comics - Dark Legacy Comics #368
DLC #368 reflects on the many years of Warcraft.

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