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by Published on 2010-12-02 06:39 AM

Raidcomp (finally) updated!
You can finally stop posting about it on forums, sending mails and private messages about it, and kidnapping my lovely Garfield plush. Raidcomp has been updated by the lovely and sometimes useful chaud and should be fairly up to date for Cataclysm! Feel free to report any bug report to him.



New Battleground Brackets
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The uneasy armistice between the Horde and Alliance is steadily cracking beneath the strain of Deathwing's devastating return and the Shattering of Azeroth, heralding a new era of bloody conflict.

The clash between the factions has also never been so hotly contested: Battleground brackets now match up teams more evenly. The new brackets span five levels each, except the final bracket composed of level 85 players:

10-1430-3450-5470-74
15-1935-3955-5975-79
20-2440-4460-6480-84
25-2945-4965-6985


Fighters can also join the battle in Arathi Basin, Eye of the Storm, and Alterac Valley at an earlier level than ever before:

Level 10 - Arathi Basin and Warsong Gulch

Level 35 - Eye of the Storm

Level 45 - Alterac Valley

Level 65 - Strand of the Ancients

Level 75 - Isle of Conquest

Level 85 - Battle for Gilneas and Twin Peaks

These changes should offer players a more consistently competitive experience in the Battlegrounds as their characters level, as well as provide for more exciting PvP conflict than ever before. Are you eager to try 35-39 Eye of the Storm? How about 45-49 Alterac Valley? Perhaps you'd like to cut your teeth on a 10-14 Arathi Basin.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

Tanking With a Vengeance
Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler (Blue Tracker)
A very nice paladin player asked me recently about Vengeance. She had concerns about the mechanic, which made me realize that we haven’t done the best job of explaining to players exactly what Vengeance is supposed to accomplish.

Vengeance is a new passive ability gained by choosing one of the tanking talent trees: Protection for warriors and paladins, Blood for death knights, or Feral for druids. When a tank with one of these talent specs takes damage, she gains an attack power bonus based on the damage taken. This bonus can’t exceed 10% of her health.

Vengeance was designed for a single purpose, which is to make sure tank threat scales as other players improve their gear. Imagine a raid of reasonably geared level-85 characters. In the absence of Vengeance, the tank might generate about 50% of the damage of a DPS character. With the tank’s threat modifiers this should be sufficient for her to generate enough threat to keep her targets stuck to her (unless something unusual is going on in the encounter). The problem is that in later tiers the mages and rogues in the raid accumulate gear that continues to increase their damage, while the tank chooses gear that increases her survivability. Tanks will pick up some threat stats along the way, but as their survival is almost always a necessary condition for victory, they choose gear accordingly. In later tiers, instead of doing 50% of the damage of a DPS class, the tank might start to slip to 30% or less of a DPS character's damage. Now threat becomes an issue. Threat needs to be an important part of the game -- I’ll try to explain why we think so in a future blog. However, it isn’t our design intent for threat generation to get much harder in the third tier of content relative to the first.

So that’s what Vengeance is supposed to be. Here is what it’s not supposed to be. Vengeance is not supposed to solve the threat problem completely. A tank shouldn’t be able to just auto-attack and let Vengeance do the rest. Vengeance isn’t a replacement for the tank generating enough initial threat to get the targets to stick to her. She shouldn’t need to rely on Vengeance in the first six seconds of combat. It’s there to prevent the warlock from slowly creeping up on her threat in the middle of the fight. (If this has never happened to your raid, it’s possible that the huge threat transfer potential of the rogue Tricks of the Trade and hunter Misdirection masked how dicey threat really was for you, but those abilities were redesigned for Cataclysm.) In fact, you shouldn’t need Vengeance at all in the first couple of tiers of Cataclysm content. If a lucky dodge streak causes Vengeance to fall off, and that means that you can’t generate enough threat, then either our numbers aren’t tuned correctly, or you need to L2tank.

Vengeance also isn’t supposed to make you scared to attack a tank in PvP. Tanks have enough benefits in PvP, such as being hard to kill and control, especially in Cataclysm when Rated Battlegrounds provide them with a role where they can defend flags or towers. Players generally don’t hit hard enough to trigger the full effect of Vengeance, unless they are all ganging up on one tank, at which point someone in the group should have the ability to dispel it (Vengeance is treated as an Enrage effect for dispel purposes).

Vengeance is a new mechanic, and like many design changes, it may take some tweaking to get right. Maybe it takes too long to stack up or falls off too easily. Maybe it does too much of the tank’s job for her and ends up producing a generation of lazy tanks. Threat is a tricky thing to balance. If it’s too easy to maintain, then the tank isn’t having fun. If it’s too hard to maintain, then nobody is having fun.

Believe it or not, we want tanking to be fun.

-Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the Lead Systems Designer for World of Warcraft and once killed a dinosaur with a spreadsheet.

Blizzard Holiday Contests
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
There's a tradition at Blizzard Entertainment of creating a very special holiday treat each year to share the warmth of the season, but with a uniquely Blizzard touch. We invite you to help us spread the holiday cheer this year by entering our second annual Blizzard Holiday Card Contest or our Blizzard Holiday Dessert Contest. You can win great prizes from Razer as well as special autographed copies of Blizzard titles by crafting a Blizzard themed holiday card or dessert. Want to learn more? Pack your creativity and visit the contest pages.

Blizzard Holiday Card Contest

Blizzard Holiday Dessert Contest

Darkmoon Fortune Rewards
A couple of extra rewards went up on the Darkmoon Fortune website. All the artworks below are in high-resolution and could make decent wallpapers/posters.




by Published on 2010-12-01 03:10 AM

Update - Added November 30 hotfixes, including a massive boost to Gamon's already incredible power!

Blizzard Product Slate "Leak"
People are pretty excited about a new picture going around the web, supposedly a leak of the schedule of Blizzard's release for the next year. I don't usually comment that kind of things but ...


Source
The image appeared on MMOGamesite.com, apparently this is an english MMO site based in China and I already know a lot of people will hate me for reporting that news. The document itself is probably a slide from an internal presentation to executives and/or shareholders, and seems to be 8 months old according to the date at the top.

Battle.net 2.0
  • BNET2 - Well, that's the Battle.net we now use on WoW.
  • BNET2MapMarket - This is pretty self explanatory, but I'm a little surprised by the timeline.
  • BNET2 3rd Parties - The end-game with Battle.net is as far as I know to compete with Steam. One of the best way to do that would be to use the new platform to distribute a popular game, and if that game was an upcoming Call of Duty title the Activision/Blizzard merge would suddenly make a lot of sense, right?

Starcraft 2
Nothing really new here, but I have no idea what SC2 Phoenix is.

Diablo 3
Target release date in a year makes sense. The 2 expansions aren't really a surprise but I wouldn't take it as a confirmation, that's usually the kind of stuff you mention in company meetings with the higher-ups to make everyone happy.

World of Warcraft
  • WoWMobile - Done/in-progress with the mobile Auction House and the upcoming extra features.
  • Cataclysm - Well, we all know about that.
  • WoW Brazil - Portuguese translation of the game. I already heard a couple of rumors about that and at this point I'm 99% sure it's true, this is one of the reason why I think this document is legit. (The 2 others being the TCG Game and Titan)
  • WoW X4 - 4th expansion in a year and a half sounds very plausible.
  • WoW TCG - TCG Game, this part will probably remind you of one of my old posts ... The Future of World of Warcraft: TCG
  • WoW Movie - I'd say the timeline is off because the document is a few months old, before Sam Raimi decided to work on other projects before the Warcraft movie (but I still want to believe).
  • WoW X5 - 5th expansion a year and a half later, nothing surprising.

Titan
Yeah, that's Blizzard's new MMOFPS and I might have hinted at that in the past but I don't have a lot of extra information about it and the release date is just an estimation. Don't assume that it will be released by the end of 2013 based on that document, it would be very stupid. (Edit: Titan is a new game by the way, not an existing IP. But I'm really not sure what's the plan with it, I just know that the FPS bit is most likely here to stay)

Conclusion
The document is probably legit, even if it's already a little old it still confirms and backups a couple of information I already mentioned, and mentions the portuguese translation for the first time in public. Don't take it as a hard fact and don't bring it up too much on official forums but I think it's an interesting piece of information.


New Forum Titles are here!
The new titles are finally deployed on the forums and I'm only a few months late! Hopefully it will make the regular forum posters happier and it will be an awesome opportunity for the 40 new moderators I will promote tomorrow to ban hundreds of people trying to boost their post count. See the list below, the post count required for the last 3 titles will remain secret for the moment, it's ridiculously high anyway.

0 Keyboard Turner
10 Grunt
25 Blademaster
50 Field Marshal
100 High Overlord
200 The Patient
350 Stood in the Fire
500 Mechagnome
750 Dreadlord
1000 Bloodsail Admiral
1250 Brewmaster
1500 Epic!
1750 Pandaren Monk
2000 Warchief
2250 Pit Lord
2500 Herald of the Titans
3000 The Lightbringer
4000 Scarab Lord
5000 I am Murloc!
6000 Legendary!
7000 Immortal
8000 Elemental Lord
9000 Over 9000!
10000 Old God
11000 Titan
????? The Insane
????? The Unstoppable Force
????? Merely a Setback



Patch 4.0.3a Hotfixes - November 30
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Here you will find a list of hotfixes that address various issues related to the release of patch 4.0.3a. While many have already been deployed on all realms, some may not be implemented until the next time your realm is restarted. We will continue to update this thread in the days ahead as additional hotfixes are applied.

November 30
  • Gamon is now immune to all forms of crowd control, uses the abilities Charge and Battle Shout, and wrecks adversaries with his new two-handed axe.
  • Players should no longer be prevented from entering a Battleground for no reason.
  • Many loot tables for NPCs have been adjusted to provide the correct items and scaling.
  • The Alchemy bonus from Flask of Stoneskin now grants 120 stamina, up from 80 stamina, to keep it in-line with similar bonuses from other professions.
  • Many creatures in Uldaman were not awarding reputation upon death. This has been corrected.
  • Wrathbone Reavers, Wrathbone Sorcerers, and Fallen Warriors no longer grant reputation in Pit of Saron.
  • Players can again start the Thrall escape event in Caverns of Time: Old Hillsbrad regardless of quest status.
  • The temporary guardian Basalt Rockling no longer drops from Balboa in Azshara.
  • Magma-Lord Kolob in Burning Steppes no longer awards dungeon tabard reputation.
  • The rest area for Tarren Mill is now correctly located in the inn.
  • Golden Skeleton Key can no longer open lockboxes that requires a higher Lockpicking skill than 125.
  • Bronjahm should once again drop Heroic-quality loot in Heroic Forge of Souls.
  • Random, mean level 15 deer appeared in Teldrassil to the shock and awe of low-level players. They have been replaced with level 1 fawn.
  • Gunships in Isle of Conquest should now work properly when a member of the opposite faction is on the gunship.
  • It is no longer possible to bypass Fatigue beyond the borders of Dun Morogh (looking at you here, death knights).

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • All ranks of Lifeblood are correctly granting the amount of Haste listed in their tooltips and are no longer affected by max health.
  • Ravage! is no longer consuming Clearcasting when it is used, and is only benefiting from Stampede.

Hunter (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Trueshot Aura now functions correctly for level 39 hunters.
  • Hunter pets that were immortal can now be killed, flying pets no longer fly, and pets that were immobile after tamed properly move.
  • Beetle and turtle pet armor is now consistent with other Tenacity pet armor.
  • Qiraji Scarabs from the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj are no longer able to be effected by the Mutate Bug buff after being tamed.

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • When Freeze misses or resists on the first target, but is successful on another target, the mage will correctly get the Fingers of Frost procs from the target successfully hit.
  • Applying a damage-over-time Fire spell to a target that is being tanked no longer causes that target to face the mage.
  • The effect of the talent Firestarter will no longer stop functioning when Molten Armor has only 30 minutes remaining when cast with Glyph of Armors active.

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Hammer of the Righteous now consistently hits all nearby targets, including those behind the paladin.
  • Hammer of the Righteous should now function correctly if used right as an auto-attack begins.

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Holy Word: Sanctuary was healing for too much when used with Glyph of Prayer of Healing. This has been corrected.

Warlock (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Demon pets should not be receiving the appropriate contribution of the warlock's armor.
  • Blood Pact is now properly scaling with the level of party members.

Quests
  • Dungeon quests for level 1-60 dungeons on Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor now reward significantly less experience. Read more about this change here.
  • The event for "The Battle for Darrowshire" properly resets after a failed attempt and the Relic Bundle will correctly trigger the event again after a failed attempt.
  • Soldiers in Northwatch Foothold, Durotar now spawn more frequently.
  • Players should no longer get disconnected if they attempt to share a quest that isn't supposed to be sharable.
  • Players should still be able to interact with Orgus after offering a drink for the quest "Let's See What You've Got, Zanzil".
  • Ranger Glynda Nal'shea no longer has a duplicate personality appearing in Lor'danel, Darkshore.
  • Satchel of Helpful Goods should be rewarded when players complete Shadowfang Keep via the Looking For Dungeon system.
  • "The Secrets of Uldum" can be completed.
  • Margol the Rager in Searing Gorge now respawns in a much more reasonable timeframe.
  • Plainstriders in Northern Barrens now respawn considerably faster to meet the demand of their demise.
  • "One Draenei's Junk..." and "Kum'isha's Endeavors" can no longer be shared.
  • The quest item Enohar's Explosive Arrows for the quest "Curtail the Darktail" can now only be used on Darktail Bonepickers within Blasted Lands.
  • Mounted characters can now proceed through "Rise of the Brotherhood" in Westfall without any complications.
  • Buttonwillow's Hand Grenade from the quest "Remove Their Arms" can no longer be used outside of Blasted Lands.
  • Golems at the Grimesilt Dig Site in Searing Gorge should now respawn at a more reasonable rate.
  • Players should no longer experience a client crash when accepting the quest "A Destiny of Flame and Sorrow".

BlizzCast 15 Now Available
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
BlizzCast 15 is now live! In this episode, we bring you in-depth coverage of the upcoming Cataclysm expansion and discuss everything from world creation to class changes to sound design.

In our first segment, we discuss world-building with World of Warcraft Lead World Designer Alex Afrasiabi and Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton. For our second segment, we delve into music and sound design with Composer and Director of Audio Russell Brower and Senior Composer of Music and Sound Derek Duke. Our third segment focuses on the voice acting in Cataclysm with Producer of Casting and Talent Relations Andrea Toyias. Last, but certainly not least, we sit down with World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg Street to discuss the class and systems changes in Cataclysm.

Head over to the BlizzCast page to listen now, or download it from iTunes.

Dungeon Quest Experience Reduction
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
We are applying a hotfix today to all level 1-60 dungeon quests for Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms dungeons which will significantly reduce the amount of experience they award.

While dungeons should remain integral to our evolving storylines, and great places to collect gear in cooperative environments, we need to make sure each player’s questing progress remains relevant as dungeon quests are completed. In many cases we’re seeing players enter dungeons to complete quests, only to come out ahead of the leveling curve for the zones they’re in.

This change should allow players the opportunity to reap the benefits of running dungeons, while not outpacing the leveling flow from levels 1-60. At this time there are no plans for making any adjustments to dungeon quest experience for Outland, Northrend, and level 80+ Cataclysm dungeons.

You can find a list of all of the latest hotfixes here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/1232869

Dungeon Level Changes
Originally Posted by Daxxarri (Blue Tracker)
The Cataclysm has wrought changes to many facets of Azeroth and the dungeons found across the world are no exception. As many of the zones throughout the world now have new level ranges, the dungeons within their borders have been adjusted to match, and the items that drop within those dungeons have had their stats changed accordingly.

Here's a list of all 1-60 dungeons and the level range at which each should be explored, followed by the minimum level required for entry in parentheses.

In order by minimum level to enter.

  • The Deadmines - Level Range: 15-21 (10)
  • Ragefire Chasm - Level Range: 15-21 (10)
  • Wailing Caverns - Level Range: 15-25 (10)
  • Shadowfang Keep - Level Range: 16-26 (11)
  • Stormwind Stockade - Level Range: 20-30 (15)
  • Blackfathom Deeps - Level Range: 20-30 (15)
  • Gnomeregan - Level Range: 24-34 (19)
  • The Scarlet Monastery - Graveyard - Level Range: 26-36 (21)
  • The Scarlet Monastery - Library - Level Range: 29-39 (21)
  • The Scarlet Monastery - Armory - Level Range: 32-42 (21)
  • The Scarlet Monastery - Cathedral - Level Range: 35-45 (21)
  • Razorfen Kraul - Level Range: 30-40 (25)
  • Maraudon - Purple Crystals - Level Range: 30-40 (25)
  • Maraudon - Orange Crystals - Level Range: 32-42 (25)
  • Maraudon - Pristine Waters - Level Range: 34-44 (25)
  • Uldaman - Level Range: 35-45 (30)
  • Dire Maul - East - Level Range: 36-46 (31)
  • Scholomance - Level Range: 38-48 (33)
  • Dire Maul - West - Level Range: 39-49 (34)
  • Razorfen Downs - Level Range: 40-50 (35)
  • Dire Maul - North - Level Range: 42-52 (37)
  • Stratholme - Main Gate - Level Range: 42-52 (37)
  • Zul'farrak - Level Range: 44-54 (39)
  • Stratholme - Service Entrance - Level Range: 46-56 (41)
  • Blackrock Depths - Prison - Level Range: 47-57 (42)
  • The Sunken Temple - Level Range: 50-60 (45)
  • Blackrock Depths - Upper City - Level Range: 51-61 (46)
  • Lower Blackrock Spire - Level Range: 55-65 (48)
  • Upper Blackrock Spire - Level Range: 55-65 (48)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
City Tabards and reputation in dungeons
If you are wearing one of the new faction tabards (e.g. Thunder Bluff, Stormwind, Orgrimmar, Ironforge, etc.), you will only receive reputation gains for that city/faction when in Classic (1-60), Northrend (70-80), and Cataclysm (80-85) dungeons. Outland dungeons will not currently provide reputation gains for the "home city" faction you are championing; this is intended.

Also, just as a heads up, if dungeon mobs and bosses are trivial to you, you will receive less reputation than if they are within your level range. This is just to ensure that players who exceed the dungeon's intended level range can still benefit from championing a specific faction, but aren't given a distinct advantage over those who are of the appropriate level and are unable to solo the content. This should also help encourage players to improve their reputation in dungeons more appropriate for their level, rather than running lower level content solely for the reputation (which isn't a bad thing by any means; we just want you to enjoy the content designed for your level range, too). :) (Source)

Aesthetic minor glyphs
We've enjoyed the few that have been made and really hope to continue on with them. A big issue is always time constraints, but the biggest hurdle is probably that we don't have the capability to alter spell effects directly with a glyph yet. The tech doesn't exist for us. Swapping out models, like the two you mentioned, are somewhat easy as long as we like the actual effect and want it in the game. Changing fire to be colored green though, while awesome, isn't as easy.

Some of the things you mentioned are certainly possible, some are quite like never going to happen, and some we just need the tech to pull it off. :)

We do indeed though hope to keep adding aesthetic minor glyphs. (Source)

Upcoming realm status page
The page itself has undergone some key improvements. Realms will now be sortable by status, name, type (Normal, PvP, RP, RP-PvP), population, locale (i.e. time zones: Pacific, Mountain, Central, and Eastern), and current queue. Also, when you're logged in, there will be a separate tab that will display the most relevant realms based on where your characters are, allowing you to quickly reference the status of the realms on which you play. :) (Source)
by Published on 2010-11-29 11:14 PM

Update - Added November 29 Patch 4.0.3a Hotfixes and a blue post about the 150mb download you get before entering the game.


150mb "Patch" Download
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
It's not a new patch, it's actually "re-downloading" data which will replace current files. It's intended to resolve a few issues including disconnects and 'pink squares'.

As it's not a patch, if you're extremely eager to get into the game (or it's taking too long) you can actually bypass the launcher and run the wow.exe in your game directory and play normally. You can then continue on downloading it later after you're done playing.

WoW's 6th Anniversary
It's WoW's 6th Anniversary in-game! Don't forget to log on all your characters on November 30th or later to get the achievement! Last year, the WoW's 5th Anniversary was available for 2 weeks before Blizzard deactivated it.



Patch 4.0.3a Hotfixes - November 29
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

  • Emalon the Storm Watcher is no longer despawning on death and his corpse can be looted normally.
  • Rain of Chaos cast by the warlock versions of Severed Essence in Icecrown Citadel was doing substantially more damage than intended and has been adjusted.
  • Cataclysm leather can no longer be skinned from low-level NPCs.
  • Azure Watch flight master Zaldaan has been reminded that he should hate the Horde.
  • Alchemists Flask bonus for Flask of Steelskin is now consistent with other profession's Stamina buffs.
  • Characters that have Illustrious Grand Master Engineering are now able to use the Gnomish Army Knife without errors.

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • It should no longer be possible for any druid to maintain the old talent Predatory Instincts.

Hunter (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • The free Aimed Shot from Master Marksman was dealing too little damage. It now deals the same or a little bit more damage than the base Aimed Shot.
  • Spirit Bond is now correctly applied when monkey or dog pets are active.
  • The Gorishi Fledgling Colossus is now longer immobile when tamed.

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Sanctuary now functions correctly for paladins below level 30 and no longer refunds talent points upon relogging or zoning.
  • Light of Dawn casts correctly and does not produce an error when it does not hit a targeted ally.

Quests
  • The Bulging Sack of Gold rewarded upon completion of the quest "Forged Documents" now actually contains gold.
  • The Fireliminator X-21 quest item for the quest "When Science Attacks" is no longer able to be used outside of Azshara.
  • The Mad Magus Tirth's Soul effect from the quest "The Mad Magus" is now zone-bound to Thousand Needles.
  • Players can no longer receive Bloodsail Buccaneers reputation by killing Booty Bay Bruisers when phased after completing the quest "Doublerum".
  • General Grimaxe and his Dark Iron Golem should now correctly spawn for all players on the quest "Grimaxe's Demise".
  • Level 61+ players should now be able to complete the quest "Uther's Blessing" by using the item Chillwind Tribute at Uther's Tomb.
  • "A Mother's Worries" in Wetlands should now display quest text.
  • Players with the Enchanted Imp Sack aura from the quest "Do the Imp-Possible" in Felwood are no longer able to use their mount to carry passengers.
  • Skybreaker Recon Fighters are visible now and it is again possible to complete the quests "Keeping the Alliance Blind" and "Blinding the Eyes in the Sky" in Icecrown.
  • Banshee Essences can now be looted by all party members in Stratholme.
  • The Desolace quest "Satyrical Offerings" is no longer flagged for Cataclysm and can be obtained without the expansion.
  • The Southern Barrens quest "Segmentation Fault: Core Dumped" now correctly awards experience, money, and reputation upon completion.
  • Carrion Scarabs spawned by the Crypt Horrors in Eastern Plaguelands are now correctly level 40.
  • The quest "The Hunter's Way" is now first available at level 8, down from level 10.
  • The murlocs for the quest "Ever So Lonely" now correctly respawn as players capture them.

Moonkin Hatchling and Lil' Ragnaros Now Available
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
We're pleased to announce that the two recently revealed in-game pets, Lil' Ragnaros and the Moonkin Hatchling, are now available in the Pet Store section of the online Blizzard Store at a price of $10 each.

Lil' Ragnaros, the Tiniest Firelord

Ragnaros, the dread master of all fire elementals, will return in Cataclysm to avenge his defeat in Molten Core. And what better way to head into battle than with a miniature version of the firelord himself following at your beck and call? Lil' Ragnaros, just like his full-scale namesake, burns with constant fury (not to mention flames that serve as a handy cooking fire) and comes equipped with the legendary hammer Sulfuras. And as a being of pure elemental fire, he has no need to walk from place to place -- he just submerges into the magma below the world's surface when you start walking and reemerges when you stop.

Moonkin Hatchling Charity Pet -- For the Children!

The googly-eyed Moonkin Hatchling, which comes in unique Horde and Alliance versions, will occasionally plant flowers at your feet, and happily /dances with any willing partners. Like last year's Pandaren Monk, the Moonkin Hatchling has a soft spot for helping children. For every Moonkin Hatchling adopted from November 29 through December 31, 2010, Blizzard Entertainment will donate 50% of the $10 purchase price to the Make-A-Wish Foundation®.


Thanks to the support of all the World of Warcraft players out there who purchased the Pandaren Monk last year, we were able to donate more than $1.1 million to Make-A-Wish this past February. We’re looking forward to making another big contribution to this great cause on behalf of the World of Warcraft community following the close of this year’s promotion.

To learn more about the Pet Store, please visit the Pet Store FAQ, and for more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation® in the U.S. visit www.wish.org and outside the U.S. visit www.worldwish.org.






by Published on 2010-11-28 07:31 PM

Moderator Recruitment Update / Off-Topic Forums
The review of moderator applications is now finished! It definitely took much longer than expected and we almost got 400 applications from users who wanted to help, about 40 of them will be accepted and promoted as moderator in a few days.

People who are accepted as a moderator will receive a private message from me with more details on what to do. If we refused your application please do not take it personally, we refused some of them for tons of various reasons, in a lot of cases good posters didn't make it because they weren't active enough on forums, etc ... I'm still glad that so many people applied to help on the forums and even if you didn't make it, your efforts are appreciated.

The increased amount of moderators will allow us to make sure that things stay under control on forums and should allow a couple of extra features that I couldn't deploy earlier without causing total chaos. The amount of users and posts on the forum increased dramatically over the past few weeks and I'm glad that more and more people are joining our little community!


During the next few days, the Cataclysm and World of Warcraft forums will be merged in a single category after the release of the expansion. Hopefully, I will also have some time to expand the Off-Topic forum section and I'll try to find a way to make them accessible from the front page. (Probably with a simple filter on the latest forum posts box, or something like that)

Also, if you want to see extra WoW or Off-Topic forums, now might be the right time to bring it up in the comments of this news post.


Season 9 - PvP Armor Sets Final Preview
Someone pointed out that I never posted a preview of the final models of the Season 9 Armor Sets, I'll probably have time to do multi-races at some point but I'm not going to promise it, I still have tons of work to do before the release of the expansion. (Also, I'm pretty sure the Rogue set is still bugged ... not sure if that's a bug on my side or not, can't seem to fix it)

Season 9 - Male


High-Definition

Season 9 - Female


High-Definition


"What Wrath players need to know to not suck at Cataclysm"
Daetur posted a very interesting post on the forums: What Wrath players need to know to not suck at Cata! I'm not going to front page the whole thing but you might want to read it if you're not sure if you will survive Cataclysm's raiding.



The Daily Blink - Mage Monopoly
I don't think I ever posted something from The Daily Blink, their comics are usually decent and I'll try to feature them on the front page more often in the future.

by Published on 2010-11-27 09:31 AM

Your Fortune Awaits: 50% Unlock
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The curious continue to flock to the Darkmoon Faire, hoping to catch a glimpse of their fate from the wise and (some say) frighteningly insightful Sayge. The combined efforts of the Horde and Alliance have brought them to the halfway point of the 'Your Fortune Awaits' campaign, unlocking a truly rare treasure. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this sneak peek of the Collector’s Edition DVD video, “The Making of Cataclysm.”

We look forward to sharing even more treasures with you!


The Story So Far...
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Shattered Hopes

The Lich King's reign of terror was over. As if to affirm that a bright future would soon dawn on Azeroth, other joyful events occurred across the world. Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage was at last freed from his imprisonment by the shadowy Emerald Nightmare through the efforts of his love, High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind, and her allies. Elsewhere, after years in exile, the highly intelligent gnomes and the fearless Darkspear trolls made gains toward reclaiming their respective homes in Gnomeregan and on the Echo Isles.

Yet just as hope was beginning to surge among Azeroth's races, tragedy struck. The world's elemental spirits grew increasingly erratic, setting off a series of deadly natural disasters. Agents of the nefarious Twilight's Hammer cult surfaced throughout Horde and Alliance cities, spreading word of the impending apocalypse. The world's leaders scrambled to find a solution to Azeroth's growing instability.

In the dwarven bastion of Ironforge, King Magni Bronzebeard undertook a mystic ritual to commune with the earth. The ceremony, however, had an unexpected effect: Magni was transformed into diamond and became fused to the depths of the mountain city itself. In the wake of his petrification, the Bronzebeard, Wildhammer, and Dark Iron clans agreed to rule over Ironforge via the Council of Three Hammers, but the city's future remained uncertain.

Meanwhile, Thrall journeyed to his ancestors' lands in Nagrand, hoping to glean insight from Outland's elemental spirits as well as other respected shaman. In his absence, Thrall appointed Garrosh Hellscream, son of the legendary orc Grom, as acting Horde warchief. Garrosh's brash demeanor inflamed relations between the Horde and the Alliance. A gruesome slaughter of druids in Ashenvale, which the Twilight's Hammer had perpetrated to look like an act of the Horde, escalated tensions further and sowed mistrust among Garrosh's own comrades.

In particular, Garrosh infuriated Cairne Bloodhoof, the wise tauren high chieftain. Believing that the new warchief would lead the Horde to ruin, Cairne challenged Garrosh to a duel of honor. Although the mighty tauren fought valiantly, no amount of strength could have led him to victory. The matriarch of the Grimtotem tauren tribe, Magatha, had poisoned Garrosh's blade, unbeknownst to either of the duel's combatants. Cairne became immobilized after he received a flesh wound during the battle, allowing the new warchief to land a killing blow.

Following the duel, Magatha's agents seized the tauren capital of Thunder Bluff for the Grimtotem. The usurpers also intended to murder Cairne's son, Baine, but the young tauren eluded his assassins and staged a counterattack. Ultimately, Baine and his forces reclaimed Thunder Bluff, expelling Magatha and her traitorous followers from tauren lands forever.

Unaware of these critical events, Thrall received an ominous warning in Nagrand from the Fury of Earth: the fear and turmoil of Azeroth's elementals echoed the condition of Outland just before that world—then known as Draenor—had been ripped apart. Yet Thrall had little time to act on this unsettling revelation....

In a sudden upheaval eclipsing the world's recent elemental unrest, Azeroth shattered. Violent quakes tore through the earth. Mountains of fire and magma burst from the ground. Colossal tidal waves obliterated coastlines and caused widespread flooding.

The Cataclysm had begun.

To be continued in part two of "The Story So Far...".

New Realms for Cataclysm (Europe)
Originally Posted by Wryxian (Blue Tracker)
We have no plans to open new realms while there exists realms that need greater population. Despite this, as I said, it is a possibility but again, we want more than anything to ensure our existing realms are healthily populated (and people on those realms do too -- it's made clear to us time and time again.)

We do not open new realms because people ask for them, irrespective of how many may ask. We open them when our existing realms cannot take on any more players and when we anticipate an influx of new players. Though we realise a fair group of new players and returning older players may come back to our realms in Cataclysm, they will find their homes on existing realms before we even consider the idea of any new EU English realms.

That's pretty much end of story, and though I'm sorry if this upsets people to hear, we are more concerned about those who play on realms that need a greater population, than those who just want a new realm. We've been telling people on low populated realms that we are wanting to help them out and we want to follow through with that, however we are able to.

If you want a new realm experience, roll on a realm like Magtheridon that's been converted to PVE -- the majority of the population on that realm are low level characters leveling up to endgame. Honestly, it really does feel like a new realm -- there's only a small amount of 80s there at the moment, the rest are leveling up and forming new guilds and behaving seemingly exactly as though the realm was new. By all means, go roll on there and check it out.

If you're wanting a PVP realm instead, roll on the New Player realm -- those realms also have a lot of space to take on lots of new players, and though they don't have that "new realm feel" that converted realms like Magtheridon have, they are as close as you can get to it on the PVP side.
by Published on 2010-11-26 12:27 PM

Cataclysm Level Flow Map
A lot of people are looking for an updated maps of the zone levels in Cataclysm/Patch 4.0.3a. Zeror posted his map on the forums a few months ago and apparently, this is what tons of you are looking for!



Cataclysm Professions Pages Update
I'm still working on the final versions of a lot of the Cataclysm pages but I made a first pass on the seriously outdated professions pages and most of them should be fairly useful now!







Darkmoon Fortune - 40% Rewards
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
Horde 40% Trove Opened

Amidst inner-turmoil and a struggle for power in the absence of Thrall’s wise leadership, the Horde have managed to claim a new reward. But these are dark days indeed. Deathwing has devastated the planet and its people. The Alliance has begun an assault on what is left of the Southern Barrens. Yet the Horde remain vigilant. Continue the fight for greater riches, brothers and sisters of the Horde!



Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
40% Alliance Musical Gem Discovered

In the wake of utter devastation and an unprecedented assault by Garrosh’s barbaric Horde, the Alliance will surely prevail. Even in the absence of King Magni Bronzebeard, the leadership remains strong, wise, and capable of ending the Horde and Twilight’s Hammer threat. Honorable members of the Alliance, claim your latest reward and be prepared to fight for each new treasure!



The MMO Report
Let's try to post The MMO Report on time this week!



Reminder - Curse is Hiring!
We're still hiring a lot of people to work on MMO-Champion and the other Curse sites and I like the idea of recruiting more people who already know MMO-Champion. If you're awesome, join us.

Full Time Positions

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