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by Published on 2010-08-20 08:20 AM

Power Auras / Spell Procs in Cataclysm
The latest build introduced a VERY interesting feature to the game: a built-in PowerAuras. If you are unfamiliar with the mod, it is mostly used to watch and warn players when a spell proc is available and the game clearly reached the point where it's fairly hard (or just annoying) to play at high level without a mod like this.

Blizzard eventually agreed that watching your buff bar isn't really fun and a new icone appears on your character when situational spells such as Art of War are available, see the screenshot below.



Mages - Teleport/Portal Interface
Mages are getting an interface upgrade similar to Shaman's totems for their portals, you can now add a generic "Portal" and "Teleport" spell to your bar and pick a portal after clicking it.



Darnassus - The Howling Oak
A new sub-zone was added to Darnassus in the latest beta build - The Howling Oak, the area isn't populated yet but it looks like it will be the home of the worgens in Darnassus.

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Reforging - Video and Screenshots
For some reasons I still get a lot of questions about reforging, this new feature is fairly simple: You talk to a NPC in capital cities to swap 40% of any of the secondary stats of an item (ratings / Spirit) for another secondary stat. TotalBiscuit released a video of Reforging in the current beta build, if you want to take a look at it.



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Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Cataclysm Digital Download
If StarCraft II is any indicator you'll be able to download the client beforehand, and the the installer will unlock at 10AM pacific time. So, if you want it right at midnight (or a collector's edition), your best bet is probably a pre-order and midnight release at your local brick and mortar. But, this is all assuming things which we haven't release any information about.

I'd wait for more info... like... a release date. (Source)

Tol Barad Tunnel System
Those 3 micro dungeons will be closed off during the main battle. Anyone in them will be kicked out. They are there to support daily questing in the zone between battles. (Source)

Throne of the Tides portal on beta
The Throne of the Tides portal inside the instance was set to take you to Dalaran because for a while you couldn't get out of the cavern. In a future beta build, it will take you back to Vashj'ir. (Source)

24 Hour Maintenances
The 24 hour maintenances have all been related to large scale hardware upgrades. (Source)

Beta Feedback
This is a beta test, so generalized feedback about how and (vaguely) why healing is not fun -- when we haven't even reached the level cap in the test process -- doesn't give us actionable feedback.

There are a few things to consider here:

  • Healers don't play in beta quite like they do in Wrath of the Lich King. Yes, the system is designed to be less forgiving so that the heal you choose to cast, or how often you choose to heal your party or top off their health bars, should be a more meaningful decision.
  • Numbers are still being balanced, bugs are still being worked out with each new build, and we're still iterating upon individual spells and abilities.
  • The whole group could be approaching a dungeon like they do in Wrath, trying to pull as many packs of mobs as possible to charge through it. This isn't Wrath, nor are players or creatures balanced around Wrath numbers.
  • As an expansion of my first point, you might be making bad choices.

If you'd like to give us constructive feedback we can take with us to the drawing board, give us scenarios. Tell us what rotations you're using, the group make-up, whether you're using CC or AoE, a play-by-play of specific pulls or boss fights, etc. We want to know what the specific cases are where you are being as conservative as possible and still finding it to be a struggle, or even just too frustrating. We can look into that type of data. (Source)

Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
New Holy Spell
The new Holy level 10 spell is pretty simple, but it also has a lot of play with Chakra. I am just pointing this out, because many players never noticed the talent that made the old Holy level 10 (Desperate Prayer) into a tool that could heal others. (Source)
by Published on 2010-08-19 07:50 AM

Dark Phoenix Mount Video
It seems that the Dark Phoenix mount is fairly popular these days, here is a short video of how the model looks. As a reminder, the Dark Phoenix will be rewarded through the new Guild Achievement/Rewards system, you will have to unlock it via a Guild Achievement, have enough reputation with your guild to buy it, and of course, enough gold.



Archaeology Preview
There isn't much known about Archaeology at this point but a couple of spells and some extra information have been added to the game files. Even if Path of the Titans is gone it looks like the main idea behind Archaeology remains the same and you will have to hunt for artifacts throughout the world.

Rewards
The only thing we know about Archaeology rewards is from the Press Tour 2 months ago, rewards are known to be "cosmetic only" like pets, or toys, but a few of them will have actual effects. We really don't know much more but a few people speculated that the Skeletal Raptor Mount and Skeletal Raptor Pet might be Archaeology rewards. It would make sense, with the "Fossil" research branch in the game files. (But again, this is pure speculation at this point)


Research Branch
It seems that the profession includes multiple research branches:

  • Dwarf
  • Draenei
  • Fossil
  • Night Elf
  • Nerubian
  • Orc
  • Tol'vir
  • Troll
  • Vrykul
  • Other


Research Sites
The known research sites are:

  • Stone Cairn Dig Site (Elwynn Forest)
  • Ironband's Excavation Site (Loch Modan)
  • Ironbeard's Tomb (Wetlands)
  • Whelgar's Excavation Site (Wetlands)
  • Greenwarden's Fossil Bank (Wetlands)
  • Circle of Inner Binding (Arathi Highlands)
  • Circle of West Binding (Arathi Highlands)
  • Circle of East Binding (Arathi Highlands)
  • Circle of Outer Binding (Arathi Highlands)
  • Witherbark Dig Site (Arathi Highlands)
  • Thandol Span (Arathi Highlands/Wetlands)
  • Dun Garok Dig Site (Hillsbrad Foothills)
  • Shindra'Alor Dig Site (Hinterlands)
  • Altar of Zul Dig Site (Hinterlands)
  • Jintha'Alor Lower City Dig Site (Hinterlands)
  • Jintha'Alor Upper City Dig Site (Hinterlands)
  • Agol'watha Dig Site (Hinterlands)

It looks like only the Dwarf branch of archeology is implemented for the moment, and it's most likely not complete.


Trainers
Of course.



Spells
These spells are part of the Archaeology profession.

  Spell Level Description
Bone Gaming Dice
30 100 Dwarves love gold and dwarves love drinking, so gaming seemed like a natural fit for both. These dice appear to have been carved from sheep bones.
Ceramic Funeral Urn
30 100 Some dwarves sealed their deceased in tombs. Clans that had more interaction with the Scourge tended to burn their dead.
Silver Drinking Cup
30 100 If there's one thing dwarves love, it's drinking. And fighting. Two things.
This cup may have belonged to a minor noble or wealthy merchant. Any gems have long since been lost or stolen.

Silver Neck Torc
30 100 Dwarves are famous metalsmiths. While they produce many implements of war, they are adept at working with softer metals as well.
Stone Gryphon
30 100 Gryphons have long been allies of the Wildhammer dwarves, who brought their noble steeds to the rest of the Alliance.
Worn Hunting Knife
30 100 Some dwarves spend most of their lives underground, but others welcome a chance to step out into the sunlight to add a bit of meat to their diet.
Archaeology
Apprentice
1 1 Allows an archaeologist to find artifact fragments and complete artifacts up to a maximum potential skill of 75.
Searching for Artifacts
Apprentice
1 1 Allows an archaeologist to collect fragments and complete artifacts up to a potential skill of 75. Requires fragments from archaological dig sites or ruins.
5 yd range
Survey
1 1 Survey for archaeology fragments within a dig site. Each survey will direct you closer to the location of the fragments.
40 yd range, 4 sec cooldown


Blue Posts
It won't take long today.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy Changes
We removed the prereq chain from Divine Illumination to Aura Mastery and Light of Dawn. We had the prerq in there to make sure paladins didn't skip over a powerful group utility talent in a perhaps selfish attempt to enhance their personal healing per second, but we do acknowledge that it is far less useful in say 5-player dungeons. (Source)

Fan Arts
The Blizzard Fan Art Section has been updated with 5 new piece of fan artwork.


by Published on 2010-08-18 07:01 AM

The Day Deathwing Came Spoiler
The Day that Deathwing Came is one of the ridiculously awesome quest introduced to the game with Cataclysm, I had a LOT of requests to post this video over the last month and it gives you a pretty good idea of why you should be excited about a few things in Cataclysm.



Legends - Part one: The Gathering
It's been a while since the last time we saw a huge machinima project (the last one was probably Tales of the Past). "Legends" is a machinima created by Lucas Cedergren, the first part is 1 hour long (split in 5 Youtube Videos) and is the result of months of work in cooperation with a lot of people from the machinima scene, see the description below for more information!


Background
After centuries of conflict the world of Azeroth has found, at long last, sense of peace and well being. New generations rise and new allegiances are forged in a brave and exciting new world with hope of an even brighter tomorrow - but in these times there are those who would seek to crush hope and extinguish the light. Minds dark and twisted, focused only on spreading the darkness that clings to their very being. Unaware of this rising darkness Azeroth continues, in blissful ignorance, to enjoy new-found freedoms, unknowingly walking towards their demise. But there are remnants of wars past. Heroes of old... Some would say... Legends. Brave warriors who selflessly sacrificed themselves to protect their people. But that was long ago, things have changed and the heroes of old have been scattered and forgotten, un-needed, until now. Maybe if they could be found in time.. Maybe the course of this dark destruction could be averted.

All hope now rests on the shoulders of two young, fresh faced Warriors, as they rush to save Azeroth and reunite these heroes so that they can once more restore peace to the world.

Quick Note From Lucas "Lima" Cedergren
Most movies are made in Modelviewer. But this is recorded 90% in-game. We've had the help of some of the best voice actors in the machinima community, additional sound design by Glenn Xaydin Govan and special effects by Johan Vågstedt I think we have created something to be proud of. I very much hope that all of the viewers will enjoy it! This is the first part of three. We are currently writing the script for the second one and we are sure that it won't take 4 years to complete it this time. This movie is more of a prologue for the upcoming 2 that will contain a lot more action and delve deeper into the plot. If you want more information about the movie and our upcoming ones please visit www.cedergren-productions.com.


Guild Leveling and Rewards - Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Dark Phoenix Mount Reward
The guild rewards you guys are seeing in game are not hooked up yet. Guild rewards have 3 requirements that must be be met before you can use them. First and foremost, they must be unlocked via a guild achievement. Let's just say, that for example, you need to complete the new guild achievement "We are Legendary" in order to unlock the Dark Phoenix. That achievement requires the guild to gain access to all 6 legendary weapons currently available in the game. (note that all guild achievements start on Cataclysm launch, so anything you have now will not matter, it must be done with your guild after launch)

So, let's say that your guild get's this achievement and thereby unlocks the Dark Phoenix on the guild vendor. At this point anyone in the guild can see the item on the vendor, but they will need a specific amount of guild faction to be able to purchase it. In this case, let's say exalted. Now, once you have the guild faction, you can purchase the item for its gold price. (prices will vary based on the reward)

I am using the Dark Phoenix and the We are Legendary guild achievement as examples here but you should get the idea. Don't worry, we wont be handing out all the goodies so easily. =)

Guild Heirlooms
The heirlooms on the guild vendor are just like other heirlooms in the game except that these must be unlocked via a guild achievement and you must have the required guild faction to purchase them. After that, you can use them just like normal heirloom items.

We did have thoughts of making these items guild bound a long time ago but we came to the conclusion that that was just too limiting of a design. Imagine leaving a guild and losing all the guild rewards that you worked so hard to get? Taking items away from players is something that we would like to avoid at all costs. (Source)

Guild Leveling
Guild experience can be earned in any of four ways:

1. Completing quests / daily quests that reward experience
2. Killing any dungeon / raid boss with a guild group/raid
3. Winning a rated battleground with a guild group/raid
4. Earning a guild achievement (these are nice, fat chunks of experience so they feel great when you get em)

A guild group/raid is 4/5, 8/10, 12/15 or 20/25 members of the group/raid being guild members. (Source)

Guild Reputation
Any quest that rewards experience to you will also reward guild experience. The amount of guild reputation earned is based on the amount of guild experience rewarded. Note that daily quests will also reward guild experience.

All guild reputation is gained as a factor of guild experience. (Source)

[...] As I mentioned in the other post, anything that grants guild xp will also grant guild facton. So that means that winning a rated BG with your guild or completing specific guild achievments will reward faction as well as completing quests or killing instance bosses. (Source)

Guilds Q&A (Source)
1.) No matter how hard you work at your own guild rep, even if you farm it like a psyco, can a GM just "Deny" you of the guild rep rewards.
1. GM's have no control over the guild rewards. As long as your guild has unlocked the item via the achievement and you have the required guild rep, you can purchase the item.

2.) Are all the standard guild control functions staying the same? (GBank control, inv and remove settings, ect)
2. Yes, most all of the guild control functions are remaining the same. We are however introducing a new ui for guild ranks that will allow you much more control.

3.) I understand there is going to be an exp cap per day, but as per reward and ability, will this at least be the determining factor that a 10 and 25 guild are not equals. (its an mmo ppl, go make friends)
3. The experience cap is in place to help balance out the experience curve between large and small guilds. We tuned the cap to be be high enough that in most cases, you will never hit it. (when I say most, I mean average size guilds which make up the majority of wow's guilds)

Guild Ranks system overhaul
The entire guild rank system in the process of being overhauled. The new interface for this will be much better and allow you to actually move ranks up and down as well as copy an existing ranks permissions into a new one.

Sorry for the inconvenience on this right now but it will be fixed up in an upcoming build. (Source)

Guild UI
A lot of the UI for the guild advancement system is in progress. The "at war" box will be removed from the guild faction at some point in the future. (Source)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Beta Servers - Characters stuck in Moonglade
We've investigated this issue and believe we've determined a fix to be released in the near future. I'm unable to say for sure in what build the fix will appear, or when that build will be released.

I have a character stuck as well. (Source)

Guild Leveling Speed
We are looking for as much feedback as we can get on the guild advancement leveling speed and experience gain. Please use this thread to report any feedback you have. As much info as you can give on the size of the guild, active members and what you were doing to earn the guild experience would be extremely helpful.

We know that not all of the ways to earn guild experience are active yet (rated bg's for example), but they will be soon. The feedback on how it feels with just quests / bosses now would still be useful.

We will be tuning the values to get where we need to be until they feel right. Your input on this is greatly appreciated. =)

Thanks! (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Hammer of the Righteous
I think if Hammer of the Righteous went back to its old design of hitting 3 targets, you'd see the forums swarming with paladins in a few weeks demanding some way to AE, such as... removing the cooldown on Consecrate again. There is no way to change the Prot paladin rotation up without changing some core abilities, and we are committed to changing the Prot rotation up.

We have some room to experiment with the proc rates for Grand Crusader, but remember that the more often it procs, the weaker it has to hit. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Elemental Changes
In the next beta build (or the one after that), you will see two important changes to Elemental shaman. First, you will use Lightning Shield (for damage!) instead of Water Shield. Second, you will want to use Earthquake for AE over Fire Nova. These changes, especially the former, will provide Elemental shaman with a bit of an upgrade in the rotation over what you're used to in LK.

I don't want to oversell it, because players have a tendency to imagine herds of glittering ponies when left to their own imaginations, but it should be a fun change. (Source)
by Published on 2010-08-17 04:35 PM

Update - The wrong pet is definitely a mistake in the press release, Lil' Deathwing is the one I posted.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Collector's Edition Announced
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
IRVINE, Calif., Aug 17, 2010 -- Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced plans for a limited-release Collector's Edition of World of Warcraft(R): Cataclysm(TM), the third expansion for the world's most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game,* World of Warcraft. The special Collector's Edition package, which will only be available at retail stores, will include the following exclusive bonus items in addition to the game disc:

-- Art of the Cataclysm art book, featuring 176 pages of never-before-seen images from the archives of the Blizzard Entertainment cinematics department and the World of Warcraft development team, as well as progressive visuals from multiple stages of development.

-- Exclusive in-game pet: he may not be a breaker of worlds just yet, but Lil' Deathwing will still proudly accompany heroes on their struggle to save Azeroth from his much, much larger counterpart.

-- Behind-the-scenes DVD with over an hour of developer interviews and commentaries, as well as a special Warcraft(R) retrospective examining the rich gaming history of the Warcraft universe.

-- Soundtrack featuring 10 epic new tracks from Cataclysm, including exclusive bonus tracks.

-- Special-edition mouse pad depicting Deathwing menacing the ravaged continents of Azeroth.

-- World of Warcraft Trading Card Game cards, including a 60-card starter deck from the Wrathgate series, two extended-art cards, and two Collector's Edition-exclusive hero cards, marking the first appearance of goblin and worgen heroes in the TCG.

The first two World of Warcraft expansions, The Burning Crusade(R) and Wrath of the Lich King(R), each shattered PC game sales records upon their release. In Cataclysm, the face of Azeroth will be forever altered by the return of the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing. Players will explore once-familiar areas of the world that have now been reshaped by the devastation and filled with new adventures. In an effort to survive the planet-shattering cataclysm, two new playable races -- worgen and goblins -- will join the struggle between the Alliance and the Horde. As players journey to the new level cap of 85, they'll discover newly revealed locations, acquire new levels of power, and come face to face with Deathwing in a battle to determine the fate of the world.

The beta test for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is currently underway. To set up a Battle.net account and sign up for a chance to participate, please visit the official Battle.net website at http://www.battle.net.

The World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Collector's Edition will be available on DVD-ROM for Windows(R) XP/Windows Vista(R)/Windows(R) 7 and Macintosh(R) at a suggested retail price of $79.99. The release date and other details for the game will be announced in the months ahead. For more information on World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, please visit the official website at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/cataclysm.



Lil'Deathwing is confirmed as the collector pet.




Update - Also found the box arts on Kotaku

by Published on 2010-08-17 07:39 AM

Cataclysm Beta - Build 12759 Achievements
The latest beta build added a couple of achievements to the game, mostly guild ones. (And Dungeons & Raids rewards!)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Raids & Dungeons

Guild Achievements

Professions

Quests
We finally have the name of the first mounts rewarded for the Raids & Dungeons achievements! The mount currently use the models below but they might change in the future, apparently the color of the Storm Drake is scheduled to change, and the Volcanic Stone Drake uses the regular Deepholm Dragon model, this might or might not be intended. (= Don't yell at me if something changes in the future, it's mean)



Wrath of the Lich King released in China - Censorship
Blizzard finally got the authorization to deploy Wrath of the Lich King on chinese servers, their version of the game is censored because of cultural reasons and 178.com has a nice collection of screenshots to compare the original and the chinese expansion.



WoWTal - Build 12759 Update
WoWTal.com is finally updated to the latest beta build.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Beta - Recent Mount Hyjal Changes
In the last patch we made some major changes to the way that Hyjal flows.

The Good News: As you progress through the zone, you’ll no longer need to keep flying back and forth to the World Tree to notify Ysera of your progress.

The Bad News: Beta players who were halfway through the quest chain when the patch hit will not have received proper credit for earlier quests, and won’t be able to progress.

We’re sorry for the trouble but it’s all in the name of making a better game. (Source)

Northrend leveling way too hard on beta
Are we? Because I'm pretty sure nobody ever stated that as being the claim and I don't personally appreciate the comparison. Welcome to beta, where things you don't like happen with great frequency.

As has been stated in the main thread, combat numbers are continuing to be evaluated. Feedback on Outland and Northrend are actually very much appreciated as the new numbers do reflect on those areas as well. It is highly likely that we will be bumping up experience gains in Northrend to match the increase(s) we made in Outland when Northrend launched. (Source)

31 Points Talent
We want you to get your 31 point talent and most of the time that's what players want too. When they skip that talent they feel, as you seem to express, that something is wrong with the talent, not that there is a really fun choice in another tree. So once it's a given that we want you to spend 31 points in the main tree, then spending points in another tree as you level is just going to force you to eventually respec to get that 31st point anyway. (Technically, you don't need the bottom-most talent -- you just need 31. But we still consider it a problem when you don't want that bottom talent for some reason.) (Source)

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Furor
We have actually swapped Furor (now in Feral) and Heart of the Wild (now in Resto). (Source)

Restoration in raid
Your buttons: Rejuv, Regrowth, Lifebloom, Nourish, Healing Touch, Wild Growth.
Buttons you probably push in a raid: Rejuv, Wild Growth.*

Solution 1: We add Regorge and Rejuke as new heals. You push Rejuv and Wild Growth.
Solution 2: We get you to push Rejuv, Regrowth, Lifebloom, Nourish, Healing Touch and Wild Growth.

In Solution 1, you get new heals and still only use 2. In Solution 2 you use 6 heals. I suppose we could posit a Solution 3, where you get 2 new heals and use 8 buttons, but since we can't even get you to Solution 2 yet, that seems quite ambitious.

All of this belies the fact that there *are* new mechanics in your tree, even if there aren't new action buttons. Tree of Life and Efflorescence do things for which there is no current comparison.

* - every time I say this, druids will respond "Check my logs! I push all my buttons!" The sad truth is you likely don't need to. You can be a very good druid with those two buttons. (Source)

Restoration in Icecrown Citadel
We just don't think the data bear that out. I'm looking at a random parse for a heroic Icecrown 25 druid who healed 80% of his or her damage with Rejuv, 17.5% with Wild Growth and 2.3% with Swiftmend. That is literally 99% of healing, though I suppose you could be charitable and assume the Swiftmends did something with Regrowth. This result is very typical. Presumably this healer is no slouch, since he or she is handling the most challenging content in the game. You could argue I suppose that he or she would have been an even better healer with more buttons, but the fact is, the raid cleared the instance. This healer is not doing anything wrong. This healer figured out that ignoring those other buttons didn't really slow the group down much. We think that is a design flaw. If we saw, say the two-button druid healing Vault of Archavon and Marrowgar and the five-button druid healing heroic Sindragosa and Lich King, then it probably wouldn't be the kind of thing we were so aggro about. (Source)

But I don't like it when someone, especially as knowledgeable as Ghostcrawler, calls people bad for using a small number of abilities.
I think some of you misinterpreted what I was saying.

I said: We think druids are too effective when they only use a couple of spells. Several players called me on that saying they used all of their tools and only "bad druids" used two spells. I called them on that, saying that these so called "bad druids" were clearing every boss in the game, on heroic mode, using only two spells. So if they are truly the bad druids, there isn't enough separation between good and bad. More than likely, I think there aren't many bad druids beating LK 25 heroic, and that some druids are giving too much credit to the size of their toolbox when only a few tools are doing all the work.

It doesn't really matter though, because if you like using more tools, you should like Cataclysm healing. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Long Arm of the Law / Pursuit of Justice stacking
We generally don't stack movement speed increases and PoJ explicitly says that it doesn't stack, but the 30% is a very conservative number so we left ourselves room to bring that up. It's 45% in our current builds.

Even if they don't stack, I think PoJ will be useful in a variety of situations and won't feel like a wasted talent. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Tier 1 Enhancement
Right. The problem with tier 1 Enhancement is you have Focused Strikes, which clearly is for Enhance and nobody else. Then you're left with Elemental Weapons, a good talent for all 3 specs, and Improved Shields, a good talent for Enhance and Resto. That leaves Elemental with only 3 points they want to spend in tier 1 and a strong desire to get to tier 2. But, as I said above, if Elemental did care about shields, then presumably they could care about Improved Shields. (Source)

Making Shaman fun
Fun is obviously very important to us, but it's also a really difficult thing to talk about. I read these forums constantly, and it's pretty typical to see the class who had exciting changes a few weeks ago now bored of those and eager for new changes. The grass is greener mindset is huge around here, perhaps understandably since it's hard to stay in touch with the changes going on for all classes at once. When you drill down sometimes on what players are looking for to make their class fun for them, you often get a list of ideas that would be terribly overpowered or just not work in our game, or both. That doesn't mean it's not a goal. It just means that delivering what is fun for one player means something very different than what is fun for another player. (Source)

Fire Nova
We'd like to downplay Fire Nova in lieu of Earthquake (in addition to Chain Lightning of course). We also agree that Fire Nova should be used for true AE situations and not against single targets. (Source)

Elemental Rotation
We didn't set out with the goal of change for the sake of change though. Most of the new rotational abilities we've added were to fix problems with the class. Prot warriors for example are going to be hitting the same buttons they hit in LK because we think that works. Elemental is getting Unleashed Weapon (and Earthquake), and beyond that we think you have the right number of buttons to hit, so we're hesitant to cram a new button in there. Nor are we excited about giving you "Super Duper Lightning Bolt" that lets you take Lightning Bolt off your bar just for the sake of having a new button. I'd characterize the Elemental playstyle as closer to a mage, who isn't managing a ton of different nukes, but does have to react to what is happening in terms of procs, short cooldowns and movement. Lava Surge, Elemental Mastery and Unleashed Weapon are examples of those respectively.

We'll definitely take the feedback under advisement though. (Source)

Feral Spirit Scaling
Feral Spirit should scale like all pets. (It doesn't yet). Losing Parry was a consequence of losing Spirit Weapons, but we'll give it back somewhere. (Source)

Thunderstorm
I agree that Enhancement's choice at level 10 is transformative. I disagree that Resto similarly plays very differently at level 10. I also think you're downplaying Thunderstorm. Now you can Lightning Bolt and when a target gets closer to you, Thunderstorm them back and then Lightning Bolt them again. (Source)

Unleash Weapon
Elemental's range talent needs to affect Unleash Weapon too. (Source)

US - Select 24 Hour Maintenance – 08/17
Originally Posted by Lylirra (Blue Tracker)
The realms listed below will be undergoing a 24-hour extended maintenance to prepare them for the upcoming expansion. Maintenance will begin at 12:01 AM PDT on Tuesday, August 17, and will conclude at approximately 12:01 AM PDT on Wednesday, August 18.

All realms not listed below will undergo standard scheduled maintenance beginning on Tuesday, August 17, at 5:00 AM PDT and will be back up at approximately 11:00 AM PDT. During this time, all realms and many web services will be unavailable.

Antonidas, Anub'arak, Blackwater Raiders, Bladefist, Borean Tundra, Cairne, Cenarion Circle, Cenarius, Darrowmere, Drak'Tharon, Drenden, Echo Isles, Farstriders, Fenris, Garrosh, Hydraxis, Hyjal, Korialstrasz, Lightbringer, Maiev, Misha, Mok'Nathal, Moon Guard, Nazgrel, Nordrassil, Quel'dorei, Ravenholdt, Rivendare, Shandris, Shu'halo, Sisters of Elune, The Forgotten Coast, Tortheldrin, Uther, Vashj, Winterhoof, Wyrmrest Accord
by Published on 2010-08-16 09:26 AM

Cataclysm - Dungeon Maps
The latest beta build added dungeon maps for all the WoW classic dungeons! Absolutely all of them, Gnomeregan, Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, they all got a shiny new world map. Maps for a couple of Cataclysm instances have also been added, including a couple of 5-man instances, the Bastion of Twilight (Grim Batol Raid), and Baradin Hold (the new Vault of Archavon for the faction in control of Tol Barad)

I also included the new map for Darnassus, a couple of others outdoor maps were updated in the latest build but they will be part of another world map/zones page update.

Cataclysm Raid Instances


Baradin Hold

Blackwing Descent #1

Blackwing Descent #2

Bastion of Twilight #1

Bastion of Twilight #2

Bastion of Twilight #3



Cataclysm 5-Man Instances


Blackrock Caverns #1

Blackrock Caverns #2

Grim Batol

Skywall Dungeon

Throne of the Tides

Throne of the Tides



Classic Raid Instances


Blackwing Lair #1

Blackwing Lair #2

Blackwing Lair #3

Blackwing Lair #4

Molten Core

Onyxia's Lair

Ruins of Ahn'qiraj

Temple of Ahn'qiraj #1

Temple of Ahn'qiraj #2

Temple of Ahn'qiraj #3



Classic 5-Man Instances


Blackfathom Deeps #1

Blackfathom Deeps #2

Blackfathom Deeps #3

Blackrock Depths #1

Blackrock Depths #2

Blackrock Spire #1

Blackrock Spire #2

Blackrock Spire #3

Blackrock Spire #4

Blackrock Spire #5

Blackrock Spire #6

Blackrock Spire #7

Deadmines #1

Deadmines #2

Dire Maul East #1

Dire Maul East #2

Gnomeregan #1

Gnomeregan #2

Gnomeregan #3

Gnomeregan #4

Ragefire Chasm

Razorfen Downs

Razorfen Kraul

Scarlet Monastery #1

Scarlet Monastery #2

Scarlet Monastery #3

Scarlet Monastery #4

Scholomance #1

Scholomance #2

Scholomance #3

Scholomance #4

Shadowfang Keep #1

Shadowfang Keep #2

Shadowfang Keep #3

Shadowfang Keep #4

Shadowfang Keep #5

Shadowfang Keep #6

Shadowfang Keep #7

Stratholme #1

Stratholme #2

Sunken Temple

The Stockade

Uldaman #1

Uldaman #2

Wailing Caverns

Zul'farrak



Darnassus




Cataclysm Boss - Siamat
I forgot to post the model of this boss on Saturday. Siamat is the last boss of the Lost City of the Tol'vir, one of the 5-man dungeons of Uldum and he will most likely play a huge role in all the quests of Uldum.





Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Weird stats on crafted items
Yes. We are focusing on getting the tradeskill recipes in place so that we can adjust skill leveling rates and reagent costs and the like. We haven't made an attempt to get the proper stats in place yet.

This is why I wanted specific examples. I'd compare the dungeon gear at this point, and not worry about the crafted gear. (Source)

Why are you forcing raid healers to use more than one spell?
Because we think it's more fun. Because of the nature of raids, where the general strategy is to be powerful as a group because everyone is very specialized, it's easy for them to be become monotonous. Seeing a boss for the first time can be exciting, and maybe at that point just learning his mechanics can feel overwhelming, but it's likely you're going to wipe on that boss several or many times, and even once you succeed, you're looking at weeks of killing him over and over.

I've said this before, but it's hard for healers to evaluate their contribution based on overall meters, because those don't really tell you much about whether the healer was a good player or not. Instead, one of the best rewards for a healer is to know that they are playing smart. A big part of playing smart is using the right heal for the right situation, which is hard to do when you only have one. (Source)

Healers - Stacking mana regen
We've seen this response from all of the healers, namely that you can stack regen to offset the mana inefficiency of the fast heal. We want Spirit to be a good stat of course, but if you just take it and nothing else then you may find yourself able to cast a small heal a lot. In that situation you might see say tank health go down even though you are spamming heals, because your throughput is low without crit and without haste, you can't cast Nourish or Healing Touch quickly enough. (Source)

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Tree of Life
A good example is the "remove the tree" process. You never really wanted an opinion if this is a good or bad change, from the beginning the phrasing "is treeform fun" was already biased by your decision (or whoever pulled the strings here).
On the contrary, the message we took away from that thread was that a lot of druids loved Tree of Life, but a lot of druids hated it, and some of the ones that liked it just liked the visual and not any of the gameplay that went along with it. Based on that, and given all the problems we thought Tree of Life had (which we've stated numerous times so we shouldn't have to go into it again here), we thought it made sense to change the spell. We have a very large audience, so it's unrealistic to expect near unanimous support for any kind of change, and designing games based on popular vote among the players never works out well anyway.

TLDR: It's not fair to accuse of us not listening to you just because we listened to other players instead. (Source)

Restoration PvP Signature Ability
I don't think Resto druids need a special ability to feel fun in PvP. Traditionally it has been the power of hots in PvP (which tick when you aren't targeting them and generally can't be interrupted) coupled with some pretty outrageous mobility. Often the problems we've had with Resto druids in PvP is that they are too hard to counter. Druids heal pretty differently from priests, paladins or shaman in PvP. (Source)

Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Discipline - Healing Breakdown
Some of you guys can be so extreme sometimes. Less emphasis on shields doesn't have to mean never, ever cast shields. Your mastery doesn't have to be junk just because you cast actual heals sometimes.

A typical Icecrown Disc priest today might have a healing breakdown that looks something like this:

40% Power Word: Shield
35% Divine Aegis
8% Glyph of PW:S
7% Prayer of Mending
4% Divine Hymn
2% Flash Heal
1% Penance
3% Other

Imagine that instead of 75% shields, you do 50-60% shields and the rest is made up by Flash Heal, Heal, Greater Heal and Penance. So instead of doing most of your healing, shields are down to doing only a majority of your healing. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Shaman Q&A (Source)
Lots of questions. I don't have time to answer them all, but I will hit a few.

When will ele not have to run into melee to do aoe?
When you're casting Earthquake?

1) Are resto shaman now the only healer being forced to spec into a hit talent to supplement their active mana recovery ability? Paladins now apparently get the hit that was in enlightened judgements for free?
Our goal was to not have all of the healer talent trees to be mirror images of each other. So a priest might get one thing for free and have to talent into something else. As long as the end result is pretty similar (e.g. the priest can't get everything for free and just be able to spend talent points on candy) then it should be fine.

Personally, I'd like to know the rationale behind the fact that the Elemental Shamans did not recieve any spells that alter their rotation on 'primary' targets. Their level 10 effect was something halfway between a mana restore, an AoE, and a pvp gimmick. Our capstone of the talent tree is an AoE. I can't think of any other dps spec that doesn't get something 'unique' that changes their rotation from the other specs.
That's just part of the shaman design though, namely that Enhancement still cares a lot about spells instead of being a 100% melee weapon class. I'd argue that Enhance and Elemental still play fairly differently (such that you do have to adjust when respeccing). I'm not sure the mage design, where there is virtually no overlap among talent trees, is a superior model. It's just a different model.

Mana - I've heard mana has recently begun to be an issue for Enhancement in the last few beta builds. Will the ultimate solution just be to tweak Primal Wisdom s'more? Oh, and what about all that discussion about moving Primal Wisdom to being part of Enhancement's lvl 10 skillset? It's going to be hellish on new Enhancers not having their primary mana restoration technique until much later. Also on the table here, and I'm sorry it touches on totems again - a full set of totems or an AoE rotation kills Enhancement's mana very very quickly. It'd be nice if the mana cost got reduced on some of these abilities.
It's not the intent that Enhancement has to worry about mana a lot. Generally you should have enough mana to do what you want to do. It's a model we're still adjusting. We haven't quite established a base regen for the casters and healers that we're happy with and every time we tweak that, it affects the Ret paladins and Enhancement shaman, who aren't really supposed to be mana-constrained.

This is the kind of thing I'm talking about. Tier 1 of Enhance is one of the bigger culprits. While tier 2 has one talent that's really attractive (nigh on required for Elemental and Enhance), tier 1 is pretty bland. People would prefer to skip over Imp Shields, and Elemental Weapons is a flat spell power buff that scales with level rather than gear.
The model we're trying to use for all the classes is that you can't just soak up no-brainer talents in the first few tiers. Often there is a dps talent, and then a survival talent and then maybe an efficiency talent. You definitely get the first one, but you often need to get one of the others to progress down. This is what we mean about not being able to cherry pick just throughput-oriented talents and skipping everything else that is utility, etc. It's an evolving process though. I'm not sure I could point to a class yet and say "There. We nailed it."

Also, Enhance has 9 "required" points in Elemental - would be 10 if it weren't for Ancestral Swiftness - on top of their own tree being filled up, which highly limits their utility options (well, to be more specific, limits them to 0). Even if an additional point or two were freed up, they may feel obligated to spend those to grab the third point in Acuity (which I don't like as 3 points to start with - it creates a 'floater' point in Elemental specs rather than getting us stuck around tier 4 needing to pick a full utility talent, which I think is a good thing. But I digress), or Improved Shields, even though all three are fairly marginal DPS gains.
Yup. This is a challenge. As I mentioned above, Enhancement likes spell damage so it's hard to put anything in Elemental that Elemental wants that Enhancement also doesn't want.

Lightning and Water shield do not seem that useful for Elemental in many ways.
Agreed. This is something we're discussing. A new shield doesn't have to be the answer though.

- Nature's Blessing doesn't feel like a bonus when healing earth shielded targets, it feels like a penalty when healing targets without it. If the intent is to make shamans better tank healers, perhaps make it work in some other way. Perhaps change it to Earthliving or Riptide instead of Earth Shield?
This is the kind of feedback we struggle with a lot on most classes. As soon as something grants a bonus, it feels like a penalty when it's not up because players are very efficiency-focused. If it was say Riptide, wouldn't it feel like a penalty whenever Riptide wasn't available? Or a penalty because every heal cost that extra GCD for Riptide in order to behave at maximum efficiency?

Honestly GC when our dps is competitive with the other hybrid specs you barely ever see us whine. We just really want to be as good as others. It's when it isn't that we come out in masses to whine about everything. Since our totems are our thing they are what is an easy target for our QQ. I guarantee you that if we do competitive DPS and never fall behind the endless Shaman crying will be puddles instead of rivers.
I agree with that. I think a lot of the complaints about "we're the only class" or "are buffs aren't awesome enough" only come to bear when dps is low. As I said recently, we think Enhancement dps was competitive when there wasn't a lot of movement involved and when you weren't competing with guys using orange weapons. We can fix the movement problem. We don't think we need to fix the legendary "problem" because those Shadowmournes will all be banked at level 85.

I honestly don't see how healing rains AND chain heal are needed. Both are AoE heals fill the same role (heal people grouped together).
They are different spells with different niches. Chain Heal excels when you have a small number of players injured and Healing Rain is more for those big bursts when everyone takes damage. There are enough occasions when you need to heal say more than just the tank that we think healers can stand to have several different strategies to deal with it.

(4) Any chance that the stoneclaw glyph can become baseline or something? I'm mostly fine with the totem utility vs. buff thing, but it seems fairly weird to have this non-scaling bubble as a secondary effect of a totem. If it can't be baseline, is it being compensated for? Hance isn't exactly a survivability powerhouse.
We are changing a lot of glyphs. It's too early to know which ones we are keeping. If this one dies then we might consider putting in the functionality elsewhere.

At this point tho, after getting the current tier hit/spirit cap, I'm pretty much forced to handpick items with no or little crit rating however. Mastery and haste just seem so overwhelmingly better.
That's not the intent. Hit / spirit can be capped, but if you start viewing haste, crit or mastery as junk compared to another stat, then we need to change something. It's fine if one stat is slightly better than another. Remember that crit values overall are going to be far lower than the 70%+ that some players can reach in current content. Lava Burst crits, sure, but you cast a lot of spells besides Lava Burst.

3. Whether it will continue to attack stuff we are not in combat with (especially if it's range is increased).
This is something we are trying to fix. We already have the totem choosing your target. Next we need to make sure it doesn't "helpfully" grab additional mobs.

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Inner Rage / Rage Generation
Say you're at 75 rage and the rage still seems to be coming in fast. You start using Heroic Strike on cooldown. One of two things is going to happen. Either you can bleed off the excess rage, or you can't. If you can't bleed it off with Heroic Strike, then there is nothing else you can do. Your rage is going to hit 100 and everything else will be wasted. If that happens, then things can go one of two ways: you can just waste all that rage and be sad, or you can convert some of that rage into extra damage (since it would have been wasted anyway).

You can see what that is like today by just hitting Rend, or some other cheap attack and nothing else. Your rage climbs to 100 and stays there. In fact, we had to slow down rage generation for levels 1-10 because the new basic "Strike" attack doesn't consume rage faster than you generate it, especially once you start using Charge.

The world where Inner Rage somehow steals your rage can't really exist because you already had more rage than you could possibly spend. If you got there because you forgot to hit Heroic Strike, then you were just playing badly -- that's not Inner Rage's fault. The best you can argue is that you were in a strange fluke where you suddenly went to 100 rage very quickly, but after a couple of Heroic Strikes, you were going to be fine again so Inner Rage stole that rage. But even in that case, the ability turns off after some minimal threshold, so you can get back to normal quickly.

A lot of you seem to basing your opinions around crits, but that was never the issue in our minds. Inner Rage was designed for situations where you couldn't spend rage fast enough. Examples might include being stunned (which turns on Second Wind), using Raging Calm (which pools your ragE), having to run away from the boss while taking damage (say an encounter like Gruul), or getting Heroism / Lust right when you also take a lot of damage (maybe after running a little bit).

Believe me, if we hit a situation where Inner Rage never procs for anyone, then we'll happily remove it or redesign it. We're just not going to be convinced that will be the case by vague hunches or back of the envelope theorycrafting. We want to see it in action. (Source)

So in PVP when I am being focused and hit rage cap because I am unable to bleed it off I am supposed to suffer the consequence of 50% MORE RAGE COST ON MY ABILITIES??? 45 rage for my MS and then crippling my ability to use anything else???
Again, you're just looking at the ability as "sometimes, your abilities cost more," which of course makes it sound terrible. In your hypothetical situation though, you are taking so much damage that you can't spend your rage fast enough. You hit 100 and then theoretically got to 120 or 150 or possibly 200 rage. Except all of the rage beyond 100 is just gone into vapor. Inner Rage lets your convert some of that excess rage into damage and gets you down below 100 rage again so that you aren't wasting it. If for example we let the rage bar go to 500, then we wouldn't need the ability because you'd never waste anything. So you are comparing 45 rage Mortal Strikes that hit harder to 45 rage Mortal Strikes (the normal cost, plus all the rage you wasted) that hit for the normal amount.

And as I said above, maybe 50% isn't the right number. However if for example the numbers were 10% more rage for 50% more damage, every warrior strategy guide would say "Don't hit ANY buttons until you get to 100 rage," which we don't think would be very fun.

Also, CAPS and MULTIPUNCTUATION make my arguments STRONGER!!! (Source)

Well... you might see warriors doing this with inner rage. OR, you might see them "standing in the fire" in order to proc it, or in order to max out their DPS. If a few ticks of fire damage, mean we can fill a rage bar and use all our abilities on cooldown, and use heroic strike where we want to, you can bet you'll see warriors running into the fire.
That's an issue with rage though not with Inner Rage per se. If you aren't getting enough rage and figure you can max your dps by standing in fires, then that might be attractive. I'm just pointing this out because I think the "we'll stand in fires" argument is being used as justification for removing Inner Rage, but if standing in fires gave you more Heroic Strikes, then removing Inner Rage won't fix that. (Source)

The MMO Report
Monday, MMO Report!



Comics
Dark Legacy Comic #251 and Teh Gladiators #158 + #159 are out!


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