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by Published on 2014-04-28 05:14 PM

Dev Watercooler: Raiding Azeroth Part 1—A Look Back
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Over the course of WoW’s nearly 10-year history, raiding has probably undergone more iteration and change than any other game system. To put the upcoming Warlords of Draenor raid changes into proper context, this three-part blog series will attempt to retrace the twists and turns of our raid design philosophy from Molten Core through Siege of Orgrimmar. Veterans will hopefully enjoy the trip down memory lane, and we hope those who discovered raiding later on will gain some insight into how things used to be . . . and why they changed.

Classic World of Warcraft (2004-2006)


At the launch of WoW, there were two formal raid zones: Onyxia’s Lair and the 10-boss Molten Core, the latter of which was originally only accessible by traversing Blackrock Depths. During the first few months after the game’s release, instances in general didn’t have any cap on the number of players that could enter at once, as long they were all in the same group (15-player Stratholme and Scholomance “raids” were not uncommon back then). With the upper limit on group size set at 40, 40-player raiding became the de facto standard for the early raid zones, since bringing more players generally made things easier (with a few exceptions).

When the world of Azeroth was brand new, the overall pace of leveling significantly slower than it is today, such that the primary occupation for a majority of players was simply striving to reach max level. And even for the most cutting-edge players, many of whom were familiar with the leveling experience from the beta, it took two months from release for the first group to defeat Lucifron, the first boss in Molten Core.

Therefore, applying the tried and true principles of Internet forum logic, Lucifron was clearly more challenging than Garrosh—or any boss in the past 5 years for that matter. OK, maybe not. The delay was due not to the bosses’ difficulty, but rather the fact that it took even the most dedicated groups with extensive raiding experience from past MMOs that long to assemble a sufficiently large group of level-60 players who had obtained the appropriate dungeon and endgame quest gear. In many ways, that was the most challenging aspect of classic WoW raiding: the logistics of assembling and maintaining a sufficient roster with sufficient gear.

Over the year and a half to follow, Blackwing Lair, Temple of Ahn’Qiraj, and the original version of Naxxramas were introduced, providing an increasing level of challenge for groups that had already completed Molten Core. These raid zones all were tuned around both a full 40-player group and the expectation that players possessed a significant amount of raid gear, which meant that by definition fewer and fewer people were able to participate in each successive tier of content. New players joining the game during the summer of 2006, at the height of Naxxramas progression, had virtually no hope of ever seeing Kel’Thuzad. At best, they might level quickly and get enough dungeon gear to join a guild that was still doing Molten Core.

In parallel, we introduced two 20-player raid zones, Zul’Gurub and Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj, allowing smaller groups to experience epic content on a scale beyond that of dungeons. These 20-player raids placed more individual responsibility on the shoulders of raid members, due both to the smaller group size and the comparative difficulty of the encounters. Encounters like Jin’do, Hakkar (now retired), and Ossirian were proof that there was plenty of room for involved and challenging encounter mechanics in smaller raids.

The Burning Crusade (2007-2008)


Moving into The Burning Crusade, we made the first of our raid structure adjustments, reducing the maximum size of the largest and most challenging raids from 40 to 25 players. This change had two objectives:

  1. Improve the gameplay experience for the members of raid groups. One lesson we learned from the experiments of Zul’Gurub and Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj is that bigger raid-group sizes didn’t necessarily make players feel more heroic. In fact, when a raid group had 15 healers and two dozen damage-dealers, each individual player’s role often was reduced to that of a cog in a machine. With a somewhat smaller size, individual actions had more impact, and there was more room for a single player to make a difference for the group as a whole—while still keeping enough moving parts for strategically complex encounters.
  2. Making raiding more accessible in terms of logistics and the requisite social structures. Quite simply, it’s easier to assemble 25 players than it is to assemble 40. It’s also easier to manage a roster of that size. Many guilds used complicated loot systems in order to handle active rosters of 50+ players. Other guilds needed class officers to keep track of the nine priests in the guild. On a personal note, as someone who spent most of classic WoW maintaining my guild’s zero-sum DKP system, complete with a dozen custom rules, this change was an incredible quality-of-life improvement.

Along with lowering the maximum raid size, The Burning Crusade also introduced true 10-player raiding for the first time (you could argue that Upper Blackrock Spire was first, but that was more of a 10-player dungeon given its structure). The individual encounters in Karazhan were quite challenging, especially in the zone’s first iteration, but this new size brought raiding within reach of an all-new group of players: “friends and family” groups. A tremendous number of players came to World of Warcraft with a small group of coworkers, classmates, family, and online friends from other games. For the first time, groups like these could raid as self-sufficient entities, perhaps needing to find only a couple of additional players from their realm. However, those groups still could not experience much of the game’s signature content: Illidan taunted everyone who watched The Burning Crusade trailer with his infamous line, “You are not prepared,” but unless you had 24 companions with you, you could never see the expansion’s major villain firsthand within Black Temple.

At The Burning Crusade’s release, the 25-player raid content was mistuned: In many ways, encounters like the original Gruul and Magtheridon picked up where classic’s version of Naxxramas had left off, providing stern challenges for the best guilds in the world, but presenting a brick wall to the rest of the raiding population. This was corrected by Patch 2.1 a few months later, which also established the precedent that each expansion’s raids would be self-contained and would provide an entry point for players who were brand new to raiding.

Patch 2.4 introduced the 25-player Sunwell raid, which continued in the classic progression model by serving as the pinnacle of the raiding pyramid, accessible only to the very few players who had mastered Black Temple and Mount Hyjal. More significant as a sign of things to come, however, was the introduction of the Isle of Quel’danas Badge of Justice vendor, as well as Magister’s Terrace. Badges of Justice were not new, but this was the first time that questing and dungeons allowed access to items that were truly comparable in power, or superior to, many of the raid items from the first two tiers of 25-player The Burning Crusade raiding. Along with the removal of attunements, this meant that for the first time, players could entirely bypass those tiers if they wanted to gear up and prepare for zones like Zul’Aman or Black Temple.

Wrath of the Lich King (2008-2010)


Every patch of Wrath of the Lich King brought with it a major innovation and fundamental shift to the raiding landscape. It was primarily over the course of this expansion that raiding was molded into the form that will be recognizable to most WoW players today.

Patch 3.0: Naxxramas, Obsidian Sanctum, and Eye of Eternity

From the outset, Wrath’s major change was offering parallel 10- and 25-player versions of the same raid zones. This addressed the issue of much of the game’s most epic lore and content being out of reach for those without 25-player groups, and it also allowed us to design content to serve multiple audiences. The 25-player version was tuned to be more challenging, and offered separate loot tables with more powerful rewards. Learning lessons from early The Burning Crusade tuning, Naxxramas, once the playground of the elite during classic WoW, was reintroduced as a highly accessible entry point to raiding. From friends-and-family groups to established raiding guilds to the nascent pickup-group scene, Wrath opened raiding up to a far wider audience than ever before.

But even 25-player Naxxramas was fairly lenient for guilds coming straight from Sunwell. With Ulduar development well underway, the main feature to occupy top guilds’ attention in the interim was Sartharion’s variable difficulty level within The Obsidian Sanctum. The black dragon was accompanied by three drakes, who would join in the fight and empower Sartharion if left alive. Defeating Sartharion with two drakes active awarded loot from a different, higher level table. Defeating him with all three awarded a special mount and title. The core philosophy here was simple: All players get to see the Obsidian Sanctum and experience the fight, but players looking for an extra challenge can take on a tougher version of the same encounter and be rewarded accordingly. As with many of our experiments, this one’s success laid the groundwork for what was to come.

Patch 3.1: Ulduar


Ulduar took the Sartharion model and expanded upon it, introducing a full tier where 9 of the 13 encounters had an optional “hard mode” that awarded superior loot if completed. This established the new norm for how raid content would be introduced: While average guilds slowly and methodically learn each encounter in a zone, top guilds quickly clear through the regular versions of the encounters and then spend weeks or months progressing through the harder-difficulty versions.

Patch 3.2: Trial of the Crusader


Once it became clear that we were satisfied with the multiple-difficulty paradigm, we decided to formalize things. While many players had (and continue to hold) a fondness for organic hard modes that could be enabled by specified actions within an encounter, they were inconsistent and often lacking clarity. Some of them (The Assembly of Iron, Freya) were elegant and intuitive, but others were frustrating or created traps for players (“Whoops, you killed Hodir in 121 seconds, try again next week!” or “Stop DPS, don’t kill XT’s heart!”). Others still were too obscure and unlikely to be discovered without reading a guide (General Vezax). We already had an established method for handling this problem in another kind of content: Since The Burning Crusade, we’d had two versions of our dungeons, each with different difficulty levels, rewards, and often varying mechanics.

Thus, in patch 3.2, we released four versions of Trial of the Crusader (10- and 25-player, each with a Normal and Heroic difficulty). While in many ways 10-player and 25-player Naxxramas had been equally easy, with Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader there was a more marked division in tuning between the two modes. When in doubt, we never hesitated to err on the side of making the 10-player version easier, due to the difference in rewards. Functionally, in terms of both tuning and itemization, we had three distinct levels of raid difficulty: normal (10-player Normal), hard (10-player Heroic/25-player Normal), and very hard (25-player Heroic).

Having multiple difficulties was hardly a new concept in gaming, but when applied to raiding, it allowed the same content to provide a compelling experience for an even wider range of players. Ultimately, organized raiding feels most satisfying when players encounter a challenge—they strategize, adapt, and practice their execution, and then are able to overcome that challenge. Then in the following weeks, they can come back and demonstrate mastery over something that once seemed difficult. Players’ appetite for failure varies tremendously by play style and temperament, but regardless, few will consider an encounter that they defeat in a single attempt with no prior preparation to be particularly satisfying, and most will be frustrated by an encounter that feels hopeless even after many attempts. Our goal is to hit that tuning sweet spot for as many players as possible, and having multiple difficulties is the mechanism to make that happen.

It may be of interest to note that at that time, we very nearly did not include a 10-player Heroic difficulty at all. There was limited evidence to support that many players other than 25-player raiders were actually doing 10-player Ulduar hard modes, but relying on anecdotal evidence and some firsthand experience, along with the fact that there hadn’t been much time at all for a serious 10-player raiding scene to develop, we decided to keep that difficulty.

Patch 3.3: Icecrown Citadel


Going into the final tier of Wrath, we realized that we needed to do something about the one major drawback of the Trial of the Crusader structure: Players were routinely clearing the content up to four times a week on the same character, for Emblems of Triumph if nothing else. That was somewhat sustainable, though not ideal, in a 5-boss raid with no other enemies between the boss fights. It would have been a burnout-inducing mess in the 12-boss Icecrown Citadel. To address that, we combined Normal and Heroic mode of each raid size into a single raid lockout and allowed players to switch dynamically between the two difficulties mid-raid.

Overall, Icecrown Citadel was a vibrant time for raiding in WoW, with memorable content and multiple difficulty levels and raid formats to accommodate a wide variety of players.

In Part 2, we’ll take a look at raiding today, tracing the evolution of our raid systems from Cataclysm through Mists of Pandaria.
by Published on 2014-04-28 12:24 AM

T6 3-Level Rift Cleared In 3m:16sec, KageKaze's Witch Doctor PlayThrough, Curse Weekly Roundup

Season One Ending Wednesday, This Week in Decks, Top 5 Plays

Skin Spotlight: Patriot Raynor, Performance & Latency Issues Update

Warlords of Draenor - Raid Finder Armor Sets
Today we are taking a look at the Raid Finder armor sets. Keep in mind that this is an early preview, so there can be bugs or changes to the sets in the future!

Cloth





Leather





Mail





Plate




Warlords of Draenor - Draenei Guard Armor Set
It seems that players may not be able to get this set, as it appears to be intended for NPCs.




Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Racials
Noticing undead racials only ones useless to healers, any plans to change that? Touch of grave restore mana on heal cast etc?
Yeah, Undead for Healers is on our list to look at. (Celestalon)

do races still have bonuses to professions or has that been removed?
They still have them. (Celestalon)

What's the logic behind making Arcane Torrent give pally's 1 HP, but priests & monks 3% mana?
It's 1 Chi for Monks, and Priests have no secondary resource. (Celestalon)

Classes
with all this changes its safe to say that encounters will be tunned for low burst/low inevitable damage?
LowER damage, yes. We'll tune around healers' potential. There's still room for scary burst moments, with time to recover after. (WatcherDev)

Sorry if you answered, but what is the reason for less crit on int users, but more on agi?
Fits their theme better, and is consistent with how they have been for 9+ years. (Celestalon)

Bigger change: Active mitigation for tanks in Cata/MoP, or coming healer changes in WoD?
Active Mitigation for tanks. That fundamentally changed how you tank; healing changes are more about pace. (WatcherDev)

small question , if I may - on Garrosh kills, often tank contributes a /huge/ amnt of dmg, certainly in phase one.. how (1/2)
Tank damage will still be significant, as described in the paragraph above Resolve. We're increasing their base damage. (Celestalon)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
More! Frost DK, Perks improve Razorice/Cinderglacier, 2h currently uses neither (favoring Fallen Crusader). Changing that?
Yeah, we're going to try mixing up which runeforges Frost uses. Realize that that's a big change, and what you see isn't enough. (Celestalon)
Interesting. Going to be a playstyle thing, or more "x rune required for x type of fight"?
Current plan is Cinderglacier for 2H, Cinderglacier+Razorice for DW. Definitely not set in stone. (Celestalon)

Druid (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Will ravage (feral) still need facing requirement? Nice change for ambush, backstab, and shred BTW.
I believe it is the same for ravage. (holinka)
Yes, same for Ravage. I'll get that added to the notes. (Celestalon)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Any chance of survival becoming a multi-dot spec?
You can apply Serpent Sting on multiple mobs, so it is in a way. (Celestalon)

Disarm Trap. Just the spell is being removed? Or the entire ability to disarm traps (e.g., by right-clicking on them)?
Disarm Trap completely removed. Detect Trap is staying for now. Reasoning is because of the PvP disarmament. (Celestalon)

skimmed hunter sections of notes, can't help but feel gutted. Lots of utility gone; just another dps in the crowd.
You are the only ranged DPS class who can do everything on the move, for starters. What are the main abilities you'll miss? (WatcherDev)
Scatter S & Distracting S are big, Widow Venom less so. Silence S gone include Counter S? HMark nice flavor but not critical.
What is the everyday use of Distracting Shot that you're going to miss most? (WatcherDev)

Distracting shot is the only thing I'll miss... so nice on Heroic LK 25 solo to get the adds on me so I won't be dropped off
That's something we can (and will) fix on the encounter logic side. (WatcherDev)

Scatter S & Distracting S are big, Widow Venom less so. Silence S gone include Counter S? HMark nice flavor but not critical.
No, you keep Counter Shot. Scatter/Silence were removed as part of overall CC disarmament. Nearly everyone lost something. (WatcherDev)

Mage (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Will the new Mirror Images mimic mage's spell casting or just cast filter spells? If mimic, big DPS CD; if not, very weak.
It's a big DPS CD. They cast spec-appropriate spells, and hit hard. (Celestalon)
So they have a set rotation but won't mimic your own spell casting?
Correct. (Celestalon)

Flameglow also feels like something we'd never use, not sure if you have any plans to modify it, or just leave it as is.
Flameglow shines in the case where you're taking frequent little hits of damage. (Celestalon)

PoM... what will we use it with? AB? Maybe we could make it give us some kind of buff, or do something different?
Mostly Arcane Blast. Occasionally a couple other things. (Celestalon)
You didn't consider changing it, or just cutting it? High-haste AB... it'll be useless, not sure why we're keeping it.
It's definitely not useless... Faster, and usable while moving. (Celestalon)

Sad that evo is arcane-only now. I liked the glyph as fire.
Glyph boils down to a cooldown-heal, which is cool (and I liked too). Doesn't necessarily need to be tied to evoc. (Muffinus)
How do fire/frost regen mana?
Do you find yourself low on mana at any point nowadays? Making mana more interesting would be great, big change tho (Muffinus)
I like the evo-heal as a PvP mage, too. But hey I'll get over it
We turned the Glyph of Evocation heal into Glyph of Ice Block, which attaches that same heal to Ice Block. (Celestalon)
Is that Ice Block heal an HOT (cancel Ice Block early, no full heal), or instant?
Same HoT as Glyph of Evo had. (Celestalon)
any way to counter that? At least on live, we can kick/cc the evo. Maybe allow MD to remove block and heal?
Mass Dispel does break Ice Block in 6.0. (Celestalon)

Do Frost bomb pulses triggered by Ice Lance still snare targets?
No. (Celestalon)

really hoping for some clarification on what brain freeze is getting turned into
Still going to make it treat the target as frozen, and increase damage. (Celestalon)

Incanter's Flow is: 5-10-15-20-25-20-15-10-5 and back up, or does it go down to 0?
5-10-15-20-25-25-20-15-10-5-repeat. Yes, that may be OP compared to Rune at current tuning. Tuning process comes later. (Celestalon)

Is Water Jets inteded usage for PvE when the nova can't trigger FoF on Bosses?
Yes. (Celestalon)

brain freeze going to be hitting harder relevant to other mage spells to make up for added cast time?
Yes. (Celestalon)

Very happy to see deepfreeze gone from fire, but I won't be able to have knockback blastwave+ living bomb? :/
Correct. One or the other. (Celestalon)
Will there be a knockback version of blastwave? Liked it much better than the daze effect one.
Supernova does a knock up, but no knockback. (Celestalon)

I never liked running and casting, but yeah it's only the filler. What about scorch? Won't be useable on the move right?
Scorch will. Mages are fairly light on ability to cast while moving (well, Fire/Arcane anyway). Scorch's damage is low. (Celestalon)

Are Dragon's Breath/Cone of Cold going to be AoE DPS increases in Warlords? Or just utility spells?
Yes, significant DPS value. (Celestalon)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Question about Mistweaver monks: How high is the DPS going to be in another stance? Can I fulfill DD role in raid permanently?
Exact numbers TBD, but no - someone equal to a pure DPS who could stance swap to be a full healer would be too good. (WatcherDev)

If you keep that up people can't do anything when taking damage and can do it all when taking little. No counterplay.
We did add countering gameplay to Fists of Fury. If you break the stun, it will not restun you. (Celestalon)

Brewmaster monks have found a niche in raiding as the "high dps tanks". Will we still bring that utility in WoD?
They had that niche briefly, especially around 5.2, but that hasn't really been the case since then. All tank dmg will be equal. (Celestalon)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Prot paladin losing Aven Wrath - does this also mean no more wings? As its symbolic of the paladin in my view
We hear ya on the feedback about the Wings visual. (Celestalon)

Please don't forget the rets, taking 30% of your damage and GoAKis going to ruining our dps that is not already so good
Rest easy, we haven't done a damage tuning pass yet. Those are design changes, not balance changes. (Celestalon)

Empowered Seals paladin talent. Seal juggling viable again? And can we get more than one buff from this active at same time?
Yes. That is explicitly a talent to opt into seal twisting. (Celestalon)
I thought it was still just called stance dancing
"Dancing" refers to swapping states to use an ability you can only use in that state. "Twisting" refers to mixing states... (Celestalon)
... back and forth, frequently, in order to gain the benefit of both. #gaminglingo (Celestalon)

Crit/multistrike still useless for Prot Paladins in terms of mitigation? and any changes to Holy Wrath?
No, not useless. Very useful. Stay tuned for next patch notes update. Still considering Holy Wrath changes. (Celestalon)
will this include ret stuff?!? Seems very light. Changes to talents? Less cd dependent? Glyphs? Divine storm in ST?
Ret's in a fairly good place right now, design-wise. We think simple number tuning can solve their problems (hasn't happened yet) (Celestalon)
Removing Inquisition negates a lot of our Holy Damage unless compensated elsewhere. Tuning needs to be done soon.
Relax. We will do a damage tuning pass. The sky is not falling. Removing Inquisition is done as a design change, not balance change (Celestalon)

Would I be right in assuming that seraphim is designed to be a "mini burst" cd? Playing into the CD orientated ret gameplay?...
Yes. It's a small frequent CD, that also makes your other CDs more frequent. (Celestalon)
other CDs more frequent? How so? Didn't read that anywhere
With Seraphim, you should typically hit your other cooldowns while Seraphim is active (and so you have more Readiness). (Celestalon)
readiness reduces my cooldown on my major burst CDs???
That's... exactly what Readiness does, yes. (Celestalon)
oh wow! Ok, well if it's going to be temp, how will that effect calculations of CD timers? Seems complicated
While Seraphim is up, your CDs are shorter; ideal to hit them then. (Celestalon)
when seraphim goes off, the CD goes back up again? What happens if the CD was only 10 secs away with sera, then falls?
At the time that you use a CD, its remaining cooldown is locked it; it doesn't change further. It's pretty intuitive. (Celestalon)

A Paladin without Holy Light is no longer a Warcraft Paladin. Uther did not heal people with "Word Of Glory".
We removed the "cheap, weak heal" -- names will be reassigned to keep the most iconic ones. I agree with you. (WatcherDev)

Priest (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Clarity of power will make both Solace and insanity and Divine insight completely useless for singlet target fight. Thoughts?
It definitely will not affect Solace and Insanity. Divine Insight is being changed to proc from something else instead. (Celestalon)
Sorry, meant for From Darkness, comes light instead of Solace and Insanity. Is this one also getting changed?
Yes. Don't recall the exact change. (Celestalon)

is it worth to use holy word:sanctuary in wod? It is almost useless without 4 piece bonus.
Yes. It was massively buffed. (Celestalon)

SW: D removed from disc/holy? Skill-cap of priests reduced by a LARGE amount. This makes no sense
There's a glyph to get back the gameplay you're talking about for Holy/Disc. (Celestalon)

with aoe capping for lvl 90 priest talents, what they place in rotation? It will cost much, with not so big heals.
They're still high priority, rotationally. (Celestalon)

And is that new mastery for Shadow supposed to be the big 'wow, damage!' factor from losing all this utility? No mana hymn?
We cut a ton of abilities from all classes, not just Shadow. Shadow's new Mastery is immensely powerful in choosing ST vs AoE. (Celestalon)
Have to say, I was looking forward to a ST *talent*, but having to choose AE/ST in gearing DO NOT WANT
Curious, why? (Celestalon)
Didn't see Mind Sear on that list. Still, would be better through a talent rather than gear. Gear locks you in. Talent doesnt
Gear most certainly does *not* lock you in. (Celestalon)

Hello, why was Shadow Word: Death removed from healing priests? It's a skillful mechanic in PvP
That mechanic is still there via Glyph of Holy Fire, which gives Holy Fire the self-damage skillshot for Holy/Disc in PvP. (Celestalon)
wow... That's not in the patch notes yet I guess (or I might be blind). Thanks.
Nope, we don't have a full list of new/removed glyphs in the patch notes yet. (Celestalon)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Is there a chance that Enhanced Premeditation will be scrapped? Being able to control Premeditation is fairly important...
We realize that it has some downside to it, but believe that the power of Enhanced Premeditation, combined with CP being... (Celestalon)
...on the rogue, instead of target specific, make it a significant net gain. (Celestalon)

With backstab not getting changed will hemo be more like cata? Diff in mop hemo & stab 64% cata 16%...
Not sure what you're asking... (Celestalon)
when you are forced to use hemo the difference in mop from backstab is massive in cata is was a small loss.
Somewhere in between. (Celestalon)
Could we at least get an explanation on why backstab is now the only positional move in the game? Pls don't say its the name
Because it's a small DPS difference that you can opt into. Fits Subtlety's theme. Shouldn't be usable on something attacking you. (Celestalon)
Shred mangle had this same difference you could opt into and yet. I was really looking forward to sub not being held back..
That wasn't something you could opt into or out of. Backstab is not something that will 'hold back' Subtlety. (Celestalon)
So in PvP, is it now possible to be able to Backstab somebody and be dodged or parried?
Not if you stay behind the target, as you have been. (Celestalon)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Ele takes huge hit to single target with no compensation?Also, no one will use EQ even with the buff.Maybe if it's instant cast.
Don't look for 'compensation' like that; we haven't done a damage tuning pass yet. (Celestalon)
And I think you may have missed the Draenor Perk that affects Earthquake. It's gigantic. (Celestalon)

Another clarifying question: Shocking Lava, is that on casts or hits (ie: will LvB overloads add a charge)?
Cast. Overloads don't generate additional charges. (Celestalon)

Mobile LB must stay for Ele. Can't use ES while moving since we need to build stacks. Unleash's damage is bad / being removed.
Actually, you can use Earth Shock for movement; it's good for that, no loss of Fulmination DPS. And perhaps you misread... (Celestalon)
...the Unleash Elements changes? It's better than before, still very valuable while moving. (Celestalon)

Ascendance is too good to not use Spiritwalker's with, too. Options would be nice! Maybe revise the lvl45 tier?
You only say that because you're used to Ascendance being the only time SwG has much value to you. You won't pair them in Warlords. (Celestalon)

any chance we could get a minor glyph that makes Lighting Bolt look like b4? When it was actually a bolt... Thx!
Technically it was really more of a ball.... Always looking for cool cosmetic glyphs, though. (WatcherDev)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Of all the "button Bloat" for locks why not get rid of unending breath?
It's a possibility, but our concern was more with combat abilities. Is Unending Breath something you give a prominent keybind? (WatcherDev)

Any reason of Soulshatter removal? Just ability bloat?
Largely. It's mostly seen as a relic from days when DPS needed active threat management tools (Feint, Cower, etc.). (WatcherDev)

Worried Affliction rot will be simple: Keep dots/haunt up spam Mal grasp all fight?
Then you'd be missing out on timing Haunt well. (Celestalon)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Thanks for the answer! Also, could you confirm that current goal for Gladiator instance is making prot a viable DPS spec?
Confirmed, but you will NOT be able to viably tank in Gladiator Stance. Really. (Celestalon)

removing berseker stance was something I never thought I was gonna see. We're the stances so hard to balance for WoD? pvp
.It isn't a question of balance but rather finding an interesting niche for both DPS stances. (holinka)

How will Resolve help warrior tanks with their limited self heals and absorbs?
The same way Vengeance helps them now -- it lets Shield Barrier scale with incoming damage (Shield Block naturally does). (WatcherDev)

Blizzard Art Update
Blizzard has added more pieces to the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Art gallery.

by Published on 2014-04-25 10:44 PM

New Fiery Mechanical Mount - Coming Soon
Blizzard posted a preview of an upcoming mount on their social media accounts this afternoon.

"Fiery mechanical steeds are best when they can be used with friends."



Warlords of Draenor Alpha - Build 18179 Sword
There was one weapon model which didn't make it into the notes yesterday. Unlike many of the weapons we have previewed so far, this one is not from quests or crafting!





Flying in Warlords of Draenor
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This probably should have been kept to the original thread, but caution to thee, wind, I say! (I say that.)

So everyone has seen various posts and comments around the World Wide Web about flying not being allowed in Draenor, why, and what that means. It’d probably be helpful to try to sum up some of those things, and potentially help build a foundation for anyone’s discussions on the topic going forward. If everyone has the same info then it just helps conversations glide along, as you can expect everyone else knows what you know! Knowledge Parity! (Knarity?)

Anyway, it’s important to first dissuade concerns that we’re looking to slow down the game (I’ve recently posted about this in another thread, but it bears repeating). We’re going to be making sure flight paths and other forms of travel are quick and efficient, with a goal of getting you to the places you want to go. The flight paths in Draenor are not going to be loop-de-loop sightseeing tours, and we’re going to be looking to our beta testers to let us know if any are less than tip-top.

Our goal is not to make travel time consuming or painful, and with players on ground mounts we know we'll have to do more to try to ensure people can get to where they want to go quickly… BUT being able to lift off and fly over content compromises many of our goals in how the game world is approached, how it's played, how it's consumed, and how the content is designed to account for those factors.

As an example, let us consider a quest to assassinate an enemy leader. From the ground you approach a fort with guards at the gate. You charge and are able to dispatch them and sneak in a side hallway. You methodically take out packs of roaming sentries, and some of them shout at you as they run toward you. You notice they’re in the middle of practicing dark and forbidden magics, and you take a moment to disrupt their ritual. Dashing into the main courtyard you spot your target, sneaking and fighting your way to him--and with a forceful slash--the fort’s captain is vanquished, and as guards are alerted you fight your way out, glorious and triumphant in your success.

Alternatively, from a flying mount, you fly over the gate, see some guy whose name is highlighted, land on top of him, kill him, and then fly away.

Being efficient is great, being clever is great, and using your cleverness to be efficient is great, but how many of us have done the Tillers dailies up on the cliffside where the Hozen are, and waited for packs to pass by before setting down right where you’re supposed to, use whatever thingamabob you’re supposed to, and then lift off ASAP hoping-hoping-hoping nothing aggros? How many of us have become furious when we actually have to fight something!? Is that clever gameplay? Is that being good at playing the game, or is it using a mechanic to avoid having to play it? Is that what the game should be, and what our expectations should be as gamers playing it?

I hope everyone can agree, regardless of personal opinion toward flight vs. non-flight, that flying fundamentally alters how content is approached in a world where the gameplay exists wholly on the ground.

In Draenor we’re designing max-level content, portions of zones or zones in their entirety that will be dedicated to max-level gameplay—and not just the top of a cliffside, or some dailies in the Vale. There’s a harsh change in how the game plays between leveling, and when you hit max level. Hitting 100 and instantly switching everything you do to raiding or Arenas is pretty abrupt, and we want to try to keep that questing experience available at max level with something more robust than daily quests. We don’t think having all of that content inside buildings, or constantly challenged by sky cannons, or with magical no-flying smoke, or within some kind of dismount bubble is the most straightforward or best solution to the ultimate issue in that World of Warcraft is not a flight sim, and that's just not what the content of the game is about. Even at level 100 there will be no small portions of the game world intended to provide relevant content even to max-level players. These zones may even unlock over the course of the expansion, or the content in them will progress in story and scope throughout content patches. Content has to be designed with the expectation that there either is or is not flight, and approaching ground-level content from the ground offers more compelling gameplay. Raids, dungeons, and PvP continue to disallow flying for this same reason.

It's also important to think about not just what the content is, but how it's experienced. Not everyone that plays the game cares how quests and outdoor content are experienced, of course. Some may find it unnecessary; they don't feel it adds anything to their experience. Others play through it fairly quickly, enjoy it, but don’t particularly want to put much thought into why. Some may begrudgingly trudge through the content just so they can get to the part of the game they do want to play, and any other number of situations and preferences.

I’m sure some of you see the fortress example with the flying mount and see nothing wrong, if that’s how someone wants to play the game they should be allowed to. But a game is largely defined by its limitations, and the rules within which you must find or create a solution. We’re not trying to create a slow and laborious game (hopefully people actually enjoy the content!), or expect people will be yelling “YIIIPPPEEEEE!” while fighting a mob that aggroed when they tried to pick an herb, but there’s a big difference between a slow and laborious game and the expectation of instant gratification—not to mention the somewhat nebulous intention of creating and maintaining an engaging and immersive game world. World of Warcraft is a persistent online roleplaying game, and as much as we let players choose how they improve their characters within the world; leveling through dungeons, or PvP, or questing; choosing to do Arenas, or raids, or both; we’re still always wanting to create a holistic experience that supports all of these things. That doesn’t mean we think it’s a good idea to force people to read all their quest text, or stare at and appreciate the pretty new models, or anything like that, but it’s not unreasonable to see that combat and content exist on the ground, understand that, embrace that, and make decisions to support it.

In summary: It’s important to us that we integrate max-level questing into the expansion more thoroughly than designated daily locations on mountain tops, or only have the option of releasing new max level content in magically appearing islands where flight has different rules because reasons. We also know that being able to approach content that’s on the ground from up in the air compromises much of what creates the game world, how it's played, and how it's consumed. The game experience is fundamentally altered when you can lift off and set down wherever you want. And lastly, that we’re not intending to slow anyone down, and we’re going to make sure that players can get where they want to go efficiently through more direct flight points, and potentially alternate travel methods.

None of this is new philosophy; it's something we've maintained since Burning Crusade when flight was introduced, but it has evolved over the years, and I expect it to continue to be—like everything we do—an iterative process. And hopefully this has been at least marginally informative.

yet, we have yet to receive an answer as to when flying will be implemented, if at all. sounds to me like not at all.
We don't know. We don't purport to have definitive answers for anything, especially before we've even begun external testing.

Everything in this game is about time consumption. Hands down. I see no problem with that because after all the business model dictates it (meaning the goal is to acquire another monthly payment from the customer).

I guess what im saying is that there are adults in the room and we know that no flying at drop of xpacs is purely a business decision (again, one thaty I do not have a problem with).

Try shooting us straight from time to time...were not all kids.

Making a fun game makes people want to play the game, not nickle and diming their time. Was the game an insulting disservice to you as an adult before flying existed?

The dishonest are want to identify dishonesty, even where it doesn't exist.
by Published on 2014-04-25 12:11 AM

Update (10:30 PM EST): Added Spell Changes

Warlords of Draenor Alpha - Build 18179
A new alpha build was uploaded tonight, which added Blingtron 5000, who is ready to fight other Blingtrons to the death!

New Icons



New Models







New Maps



New Items
You can see all of the new Warlords of Draenor items on the WoWDB Beta site.

Level Type Slot Name
100Junk Alchemist's Cauldron
1Companion Pets Royal Peacock
1Other Garrison Blueprint: Alchemy, Level 1
1Other Garrison Blueprint: Blacksmith, Level 1
1Other Garrison Blueprint: Jewelcrafting, Level 1
1Other Garrison Blueprint: Inscription, Level 1
1Other Garrison Blueprint: Tailoring, Level 1
1Other Garrison Blueprint: Enchanting, Level 1
1Other Garrison Blueprint: Leatherworking, Level 1
1Key Goldmane's Cage Key
1Devices S.N.U.R.F. Gun
1Devices Swapblaster
100Devices Blingtron 5000
100Metal & Stone Ninjanite Bar
1Off HandOff Hand Monster - Torch, Offhand (Void Flame)
100Food & Drink Star Root Tuber
85Other Alchemist's Cauldron


New Strings
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • BAG_CLEANUP_BAGS - Clean Up Bags
  • BAG_CLEANUP_BANK - Clean Up Bank
  • BAG_FILTER_ALREADY_ASSIGNED - Already assigned to another bag
  • BAG_FILTER_CLEANUP - Cleanup
  • BATTLEGROUND_BONUS_REWARD_TOOLTIP - Competing in a Bonus Battleground will earn you a loot roll. Winning will earn you an extra loot roll.
  • EXPANSION_NAME5 - Warlords of Draenor
  • GARRISON_FOLLOWER_ADDED_TOAST - Garrison Follower Gained
  • PVP_QUEUE_AGAIN - Queue Again
  • SKIRMISH_2V2 - 2v2 Skirmish
  • SKIRMISH_3V3 - 3v3 Skirmish



Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Companions

Unknown Class
Major Glyphs

Death Knight (Forums)

Talents
  • Plaguebearer (New) Your Death Coil and Frost Strike abilities also cause the target to become infected with Frost Fever and Blood Plague. Death Knight - LvL 15 Talent.

Blood

Blood, Guardian, Brewmaster, Protection, Protection
  • Bladed Armor (New) Increases your Attack Power by 100% of your Bonus Armor. Death Knight - Blood, Guardian, Brewmaster, Protection, Protection Spec.

Unholy
  • Sudden Doom no longer reduces the cost of Death Coil.
  • Reaping no longer works with Blood Boil.

Druid (Forums)

Talents
  • Cenarion Ward now costs 8.4% of Base Mana, down from 14.1%.
  • Pulverize now does 290% weapon damage, down from 500%.

Restoration

Minor Glyphs
  • Glyph of Travel allows for travel form without the movement speed bonus in combat.

Monk (Forums)
  • Enveloping Mist now scales with 123.37% of Spell Power, up from 86%.
  • Expel Harm now costs 3.7% of Base Mana, down from 5.9%.
  • Spinning Crane Kick now costs 6.1% of Base Mana, down from 6.8%.
  • Surging Mist now scales with 161.32% of Spell Power, down from 295.75% of Spell Power. Now costs 5.8% of Base Mana, down from 9.2% of Base Mana.

Mistweaver

Paladin (Forums)

Talents
  • Eternal Flame (Holy) now scales with 103.76% of Spell Power, up from 72.63% of Spell Power. HoT now scales with 9.43% of Spell Power, up from 6.6%.
  • Execution Sentence now costs 12.8% of Base Mana. Now scales with 674.2% of Holy Spell Power, down from 1,586.5% of Holy Spell Power.
  • Holy Prism now costs 17% of Base Mana.
  • Light's Hammer now costs 51.9% of Base Mana. Now scales with 47.34% of Spell Power, down from 111.4%.

Holy

Protection
  • Inner Light (New) Your melee attacks have a chance to heal you for [ 15% of AP + 15% of Holy Spell Power ]. Paladin - Protection Spec.

Major Glyphs

Priest (Forums)
  • Flash Heal now costs 4.6% of Base Mana, down from 7.4%.
  • Penance now grants 1% of maximum mana on dealing damage, down from 2%.
  • Penance now grants 1% of maximum mana on dealing damage, down from 2%.
  • Power Word: Shield now costs 3.3% of Base Mana, down from 5.3%.
  • Prayer of Mending now costs 2.7% of Base Mana, down from 3.1%.

Talents

Discipline
  • Holy Nova now costs 0.8% of Base Mana, down from 0.9%.
  • Penance now costs 1.8% of Base Mana, down from 2.9%. Now grants 1% of maximum mana on dealing damage, down from 2%.

Discipline & Holy

Holy
  • Chakra: Sanctuary was reworked - Each heal cast while this Chakra is active reduces the remaining cooldown of your Circle of Healing spell by 0.5 sec. Transforms your Holy Word: Chastise spell into Holy Word: Sanctuary.
  • Chakra: Serenity was reworked - Caues your single-target healing spells to refresh the duration of your Renew on the target. Transforms your Holy Word: Chastise spell into Holy Word: Serenity.
  • Circle of Healing now costs 2.2% of Base Mana, down from 2.5%.
  • Divine Hymn now costs 5.4% of Base Mana, down from 6%.
  • Lightwell now costs 4.6% of Base Mana, down from 5.1%.
  • Renew now costs 1.5% of Base Mana, down from 2.5%.

Holy & Discipline
  • Heal now costs 2.3% of Base Mana, down from 3.7%.
  • Prayer of Healing now costs 4.4% of Base Mana, down from 4.9%.

Shadow
  • Mind Blast now scales with 241% of Spell Power, up from 193%.

Shaman (Forums)

Talents

Restoration

Major Glyphs
  • Glyph of Frostflame Weapon (New) While your weapon is imbued with Flametongue Weapon, your attacks also slow the target's movement speed by 50% for 3 sec. Major Glyph.

Minor Glyphs
  • Glyph of Ghostly Speed - This movement speed bonus will not be granted if Ghost Wolf is activated while in combat

Warlock (Forums)

Talents

Affliction

Major Glyphs

Warrior (Forums)

Fury
  • Bloodthirst now grants an additional 30% chance to be a critical strike, rather than double the normal chance.

Major Glyphs
  • Glyph of Colossus Smash was reworked - The duration of your Colossus Smash is increased by 13.5 sec, but it now causes your attacks to only ignore 40% of the victim's armor

Professions
Engineering
  • Transmute: Ninjanite (New) Transforms elementium ore into several bars of Ninjanite. This item has 0 charges. It really does have N charges. Thank you. 2 sec cast. Gives 5 skillups. Reagents: Elementium Ore.

Inscription



Misc New Strings
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Game Text
  • Game Text #81971 - Shhh! Don't let dem see us talkin' or you blow my cover!
  • Game Text #81980 - I'll see if I can get this thing goin'. Khadgar, buy me some time!
  • Game Text #81981 - We will do what we can, Thaelin.
  • Game Text #81982 - $n, take over that cannon turret! You might be able to kill a few orcs with it.
  • Game Text #81983 -
  • Game Text #81984 - These controls are so confusing! Remind me to never drive a tank built by an orc.
  • Game Text #81985 - Hold strong, everyone. Here they come!
  • Game Text #81986 - They're bringin' in bombs! $n, blast those carts before they can get close!
  • Game Text #81987 - There's so many of them...
  • Game Text #81988 - Don't you give up yet, paladin.
  • Game Text #81989 - That's it! I've got 'er runnin'! Whenever you're ready, $n.
  • Game Text #82005 - Ahh ha ha haaa! Nice shot!

GarrAbility
  • GarrAbility #100 - Taunt - Counters threat: Fixated Hated.
  • GarrAbility #101 - Multi-Shot - Counters threat: Many Minions.
  • GarrAbility #102 - Heroic Leap - Counters threat: Area Damage.
  • GarrAbility #103 - Rapid Fire - Counters threat: Berserk.
  • GarrAbility #104 - Sap - Counters threat: Deadly Minion.
  • GarrAbility #105 - Kick - Counters threat: Powerful Spell.
  • GarrAbility #106 - Chain Heal - Counters threat: Group Damage.
  • GarrAbility #107 - Purify Spiirt - Counters threat: Group Damage.
  • GarrAbility #108 - Growl - Counters threat: Fixated Hated.
  • GarrAbility #84 - Teleport - Reduces travel time by 50%.
  • GarrAbility #85 - Mass Teleport - Reduces travel time by 100%.
  • GarrAbility #87 - Well-Equipped - Increases the materials gained from a mission by 50%.
  • GarrAbility #88 - Heavily-Equipped - Increases the materials gained from a mission by 100%.
  • GarrAbility #89 - Bronze Key - Increases the chance to obtain treasure from a bronze chest.
  • GarrAbility #90 - Silver Key - Increases the chance to obtain treasure from a silver chest.
  • GarrAbility #91 - Gold Key - Increases the chance to obtain treasure from a gold chest.
  • GarrAbility #92 - Enchanted Key - Increases the chance to obtain treasure from all chests.
  • GarrAbility #93 - Unstable Portal - Reduces travel time by 25%.
  • GarrAbility #94 - Unstable Rift - Reduces travel time by 75%.
  • GarrAbility #95 - Quality Provisions - Reduces mission duration by 25%.
  • GarrAbility #96 - Epic Provisions - Reduces mission duration by 50%.
  • GarrAbility #97 - Manual of Tactics - Increases the XP gained from a mission for all followers by 25%.
  • GarrAbility #98 - Manual of Strategy - Increases the XP gained from a mission for all followers by 75%.
  • GarrAbility #99 - Manual of War - Increases the XP gained from a mission for all followers by 150%.

GarrSpecialization
  • GarrSpecialization #31 - Fishing Shipment - A delivery a frest fish every day, direct to your Fishing Shack!

Phase
  • Phase #3376 - Cosmetic - Sabermaw - Bazwix Turn-in
  • Phase #3377 - Cosmetic - See Pristine Star Lily
  • Phase #3378 - Cosmetic - See Velen
  • Phase #3379 - Cosmetic - See Velen
  • Phase #3380 - Morketh - Free In the Armory
  • Phase #3381 - Cosmetic - Nagrand 6.0 - Garrison Caravan - Horde (ELM)
  • Phase #3382 - Cosmetic - Nagrand 6.0 - Garrison Caravan - Living Stone Guard Brox (ELM)
  • Phase #3383 - Cosmetic - Nagrand 6.0 - Garrison Caravan - Dead Stone Guard Brox (ELM)
  • Phase #3386 - Cosmetic - See Nadur at Scenic Road
  • Phase #3387 - Cosmetic - Spirit Wall Into Auchindoun
  • Phase #3388 - Cosmetic - See Aeda Brightdawn at Auchenai Precipice
  • Phase #3389 - Cosmetic - See Defender Kaluum at Auchenai Precipice
  • Phase #3390 - Can See Hataaru in Elodar Fields



Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
if the Rotas are designed on wod talents etc, does that not mean when 6.0 hits before the release everyone is rather nerfed? 1/2
If the rotation needed the change to work, we made it baseline. Everybody's Perks have power in them, some just tweak rotation (Celestalon)

Whats' the reasoning behind removing the threat dropping skills? I like not dying to bad tanking.
Threat is just a non-issue nowadays. Not worth the keybind bloat. If threat is a problem, it's because tanks haven't done ANY... (Celestalon)
Threat is still sometimes an issue for tank vs tank in some situations, though not so much for dps.
That's only the case when the tanks have vastly different Vengeace levels, which won't happen anymore. (Celestalon)

are there plans to rebalance pet utility or remove it altogether so some pets aren't useless (no combat benefit)?
Yes, just didn't make the first version of the patch notes. The next version will have the full list of pet abilities. (Celestalon)

not being able to switch Gladiator & Defensive Stance in combat, is it that strong? Druids & Dks can swap in combat, why not War
Because a Guardian Druid in Cat form, or a Blood DK in Frost Presence, are both still really poor DPS. A Gladiator is full DPS. (Celestalon)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
With the new Rime are you finally making DW and 2h play the same again? Merging the 2h and DW-playstyles? best of both worlds?
Nope, we like them playing differently. (Celestalon)
But DW wont have any benefits from the new Rime. Are you giving DW something else instead?
Why would DW get no benefit from the new Rime? (Celestalon)
DW doesn't use Obliterate in pvp or pve at the moment.
That may be true, only in the case that you're GCD locked, which you won't be. You absolutely should be using Obliterate. (Celestalon)

Druid (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Why does moonfire/sunfire not have a cooldown? Spam of it is annoying, specially in low level pvp brackets.
Annoying? Maybe. Powerful? No. (Celestalon)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
also, the explosive trap change: is that only applying a dot to all targets in the initial trigger-explosion?
Correct. The trap explodes once when triggered, and leaves a burning DoT on anything hit by the explosion. (Celestalon)

why have you not changed/removed aspect of the pack? it is a terrible and useless ability.
It's actually quite useful when used tactically. (Celestalon)

Any info regarding Hunter raid buffs when using Lone Wolf talent?
Yes, you get to choose one of the 6 raid buffs (but still no debuff). (Celestalon)

Disappointed about removal of Cower, Distracting Shot and Silencing Shot. Very useful abilities for soloing. Any compensation?
There are pet abilities like Cower. Growl works in place of Distracting Shot. You get Counter Shot instead of Silencing Shot. (Celestalon)

Mage (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Rune of Power, same mistake twice? Why? What we hated about it was having to stand it in the whole time, not its effects.
Some people hate Rune of Power, but we're solving that by making better options for you to take instead. We still believe... (Celestalon)
...that Rune of Power creates some really compelling gameplay. It's alright if not everyone enjoys that. (Celestalon)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
re: monk Don't understand why WW gets Disable but BM doesn't. Will truly miss Clash - may be buggy, but is huge to me.
BM doesn't need Disable, because they have Keg Smash / Dizzying Haze. Disable was redundant. (Celestalon)
The snare was redundant. The ability to go ahead and hit it once more on a snared target to halt them wasn't.
True, but we don't think that Brewmasters need. Would you disagree? Why? (Celestalon)

and any thoughts on addressing FoF's rooting issue? (via glyph or something)
Oh you want more, huh? Yes, there's a glyph that allows FoF to channel while moving, at the cost of removing the stun. (Celestalon)

We absolutely understand how it was useful in that regard, but it's not a skill that we think Brewmasters need. (Celestalon)
There is something unqiue about Clash, sound and effects, feel tough as a Ox. You take that feeling away. Roll isn't the same
As the section about Ability Pruning said, choosing which abilities to cut is VERY hard. Any ability we cut is beloved by... (Celestalon)
...somebody, and so we have to make some tough choices. Those choices aren't set in stone though, so your feedback is valuable. (Celestalon)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
What's happening to Sanctified Wrath if only Retribution gets to use Avenging Wrath?
It'll work for Divine Favor and Guardian of Ancient Kings (not sure of specifics yet). (Celestalon)
Oh yeah let me use this 100% healing increase/mana decrease CD and instead of spamming radiance I'll Holy Shock
Like I said, not sure of the specifics. (Celestalon)

Losing Hand of Salvation makes me a lil sad though. I wonder why they trimmed that? // @Celestalon
Threat basically isn't significant gameplay anymore. It was just an unnecessary bloat button, which is what we're trying to cut. (Celestalon)
Are we playing the same game? Threat still exists, please let Protection keep SOME tools besides a single taunt?
As a Protection Paladin, your threat abilities are all of your damaging abilities. Those work to get aggro too. (Celestalon)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
will Storm Elemental Totem interact with Primal Elementalist?
Yes. The Primal Storm Elemental has a couple extra abilities. A long cooldown single target knock-up, and a short range... (Celestalon)
...AoE movement speed aura. Allies within 10yd of it move a bit faster. (Celestalon)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
100 Prot Warrior talent Gladiator's Resolve: why does it buff Def Stance if you're going to use the new stance anyway?
So that you have 3 talent choices on that row if you're tanking. You can take that talent, and not use Gladiator Stance. (Celestalon)

Wowcraft Episode 3 - Profession Obsession
Another episode of Wowcraft has been released!



Warcraft Movie Set Photo
BuzzHub shared a picture of the Warcraft movie set from an upcoming issue of Empire Magazine today.

by Published on 2014-04-24 05:28 PM

Garrison in a Static Location, WoD Alpha Notes Update, RBG MMR Hotfix, Apr 23 Hotfixes

The Teams Are Set! Watch Azeroth Choppers Episode 2
The second episode of Azeroth Choppers has been released.


Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The bomb drops! This week, Chris and Sammy let Paul Jr. in on a critical piece of news about the project, and we meet the Horde and Alliance crewmates in New York. The teams have accepted their quest and are ready to roll, but will they be able to rise to the challenges ahead? Don’t miss a minute of the action as pressure mounts and bikes start to take shape. And don’t forget: the winning team’s bike will become an epic FREE in-game mount, so spread the word to your guildies and throughout your faction—and when the time comes, be ready to vote!

Keep up to date on all of the latest episodes at www.AzerothChoppers.com, and let your faction’s war cry be heard with #AzerothChoppers.

Azeroth Choppers: Meet Teams Alliance & Horde
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In the blast-off episode of Azeroth Choppers, Paul Jr. presented some initial bike designs to Team Alliance, led by Warcraft chief storyteller Chris Metzen, and Team Horde, led by the so-fluffy Samwise Didier. With both teams confident in Paul Jr.’s intrepid aesthetic prowess and attentiveness to the cultural identity of the respective factions, we wanted to get some thoughts from the cohorts of Metzen and Samwise—but first, let’s get acquainted with them.

Terran Justice Gregory (yes, that’s his real name) is an associate project director, dedicated Gnome enthusiast, and filmmaker who lives and dies for the Alliance. Terran is a huge World of Warcraft lore nerd who was the player behind Kyle’s mage in South Park’s “Make Love, Not Warcraft” episode. You can find him on Twitter @TerranGregory.

Monte Krol is a lead software engineer who’s even done some writing and voice acting for Warcraft III and World of Warcraft—you might know him as the voice of the goblin saying “Time is money, friend!” Monte’s also hardcore into 3D printing, and recently printed a working six-speed transmission. You can find him on Twitter @krolco.

Gary Platner is a lead environment artist and former stand-up comic (he even got paid once!) who’s been training in Krav Maga for about four years. He loves training, sparring, and getting kicked in the head by his fellow students. You can find him on Twitter @GaryPlatner.

Jason Hutchins is a senior game producer who’s living the dream. He married his high school sweetheart and enjoys the finer things in life: cars, cocktails, guns, motorcycles, and food . . . though not in that order and never all at once.

Zarhym: For those who don’t know about Azeroth Choppers, let’s talk about what it is why the community should pay heed.

Jason: AZ is an exciting web series in the same spirit as some other bike build-off shows you may have seen on cable TV networks. Only this time around, Paul Jr. is teamed up with Blizzard to create epic entertainment. We may see some truly mighty bikes come out of this as well.
Monte: Besides the awesome bike build-off aspect, this is a fun bit of PvP without all the ganking. It’s a great way to show your faction pride and faction spirit, and ultimately, the players decide what will happen!


Zarhym: Monte and Terran, tell us in what ways you identify with the Alliance. What does representing the faction mean to you?
Terran: I’ve been playing Alliance exclusively since WoW’s open beta. Having been a bit of a lore nerd, I found it easier to integrate with the story of the Alliance and their themes, and of course, they have Gnomes. Gnomes do not get the credit they deserve for how much they bring to their faction. They are the mechanical engineers of the Alliance, and the most suited to lend a hand in the production of a chopper. Even the current in-game hog bears the name Mekgineer, for those who know what that means! All that aside, teaming up with Chris and Monte to help ensure that the true spirit of the Alliance is represented fully is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


Monte: Well, to be honest, I started playing Alliance for a rather pedestrian reason: I liked how the characters looked better than the Horde races—although I still really love how the Tauren look. I have been playing mostly Night Elves since WoW launched. My obsession with look lasted about 15 minutes, and I got hooked on the "down but not out" feel of the Alliance in the original WoW story—the nearly destroyed World Tree Nordrassil slowly recovering, the ruins of Lordaeron, and even the name of Menethil Harbor were deep emotional connection points for me with the story of the Alliance. And, of course, the most visceral connection I made was walking through the Plaguelands and encountering Uther's Tomb for the first time—remembering Uther Lightbringer and his most infamous pupil, Arthas. I guess I have a strong connection to “heroes passed.” It's just great working with Chris and Terran to bring that we're-rising-again feel to Team Alliance.

Jason and Gary, talk about your Horde identity. How does it feel to represent them?

Gary: The Horde feels like home to me. I’ve played on the Horde from the beginning of WoW and I just feel comfortable with ’em! I am very excited to represent the Horde, and I’m a huge fan of Paul Jr. So getting to work with Paul Jr. on a custom Horde chopper . . . beyond amazing!


Jason: At first I identified with the monstrous aspect of the Horde. Who doesn't want to be a bad guy sometimes? For every kid who wants to play a cop, there are always kids who want to play the robber. But then you delve into the Horde's history, its values of honor and strength, and even their compassion and mercy. It’s an honor to work with Sam and Gary to represent the Horde. I'm humbled and excited to be a part of this!

Zarhym: Have you been in regular contact with the bike experts? How does the collaboration work between the Blizzard teams and the designers crafting the choppers?

Terran: We spent a good deal of effort at the beginning of the process even before the first meeting with Paul Jr. to assemble our finest examples of iconic imagery that really strikes the chord of Alliance. We shared these images during our first meeting with Paul Jr., and it really felt like he was invested in chasing perfection when it came to representing the facets that set the Alliance apart from other fantasy concepts. Even after the first meeting, when Paul Jr. returned to his shop, we continued to communicate via email and followed up on many different elements that had been mentioned in our first meeting, and that alone made me feel like he was really invested in getting as much as he could out of our knowledge of the Warcraft universe.


Gary: Paul Jr. and his team really understand the challenges that we face on a regular basis when working on WoW. Properly representing a faction or even a small group of NPCs is extremely important. There are many subtle aspects that must be addressed. All of World of Warcraft’s races have a substantial backstory that gets reflected in how and why things get built the way they do. So the first time I met Paul Jr., I knew right away that he understood our passion for detail and storytelling, and he really understands the Horde. Working with Paul Jr. and his team has been like working with a member of our own art team.


Zarhym: Some people are already saying their faction has no hope to win! [/b]Team Alliance, what would you say to inspire your faction to go forth and claim victory?

Terran: Having joined Team Alliance at the beginning of this project we knew we were fighting an uphill battle, but there are tons of things that make the Alliance unique, regal, and distinguished. I would lay the call to the ladies and gentlemen of the Alliance to remember what we represent! That injustice is our greatest foe, and we will no longer tolerate being labeled as underdogs! Together, for victory, for the Alliance! STAND AS ONE!
Jason: I hope there is at least one side mirror on the Horde Chopper. Even though it might be extra tough because objects appear smaller than they really are, I want to see those Gnomes choking on our dust.


Zarhym: Team Horde, how will you rally your faction to organize around this campaign, and not just shout “FOR THE HORDE!” at seemingly inappropriate intervals?

Gary: Let me be clear. Shouting ‘For the Horde!’ may appear to those who don’t understand to be random or even inappropriate. It is not. This phrase represents a bond of brothers and sisters who have experienced the crucible of combat and victory together. It is appropriate at any time or any occasion. You don’t even have to be playing Horde to use it. It is perfectly acceptable and honorable for even Alliance players to use this phrase. It has, in fact, transcended the bounds of faction and has come to represent a sacred link between players. Do not mock the use of ‘For the Horde!’ as a rallying cry.
Monte: That was uncharacteristically eloquent for someone who walks around with bloody chains and spikes on all their apparel. Still, I'm not worried. Just like their shouting, it's all talk.


Zarhym: Now a question for both teams—why do you think your team will come out on top with the superior chopper?

Terran: I fundamentally believe that the stylings of the Alliance hold the potential to inform a bold, sleek, and incredible chopper design. In my humble opinion, the world of kick-ass choppers is defined by polished chrome and glorious shine, and the established look of the Alliance has that aesthetic in the bag! This mighty steed will carry us to victory!
Jason: Between myself, Samwise, Gary, and Paul Jr., we must have over 75 years of combined experience making epic things happen. Bring it on, whippersnappers.


Zarhym: How are you going to do the winning bike justice when forging its in-game mount rendition?

Gary: Before we create a prop for WoW, we usually generate a concept or two that we can use as a guide. When this is over, and the Horde chopper is chosen as the winner, we will have the ultimate concept piece that we can use to create a most epic in-game mount.
Monte: I love it when Gary writes fiction. Team Alliance will propel the Alliance chopper to victory, and we will make sure to capture its shiny-beast-rolling-right-over-the-top-of-my-tiny-little-enemies glory in-game! We’ll probably also add an air freshener to make sure no Orc-y smells linger.


Zarhym: We’ll surely catch up with you all again, but do you have any parting words or rallying cries for your people as the battle unfolds?

Monte: Team Alliance, stand with us, and stand tall! Let us claim victory!
Jason: Join us, brothers and sisters of the Horde! Witness what these mighty beasts are made of. FTH!
Terran: I would say to everyone, don’t count your chickens till they hatch glorious gryphons. The devil’s in the details here, and we’re just starting to gear up these bikes to an item level of INCREDIBLE. And . . .
Gary: . . . For the Horde!

Zarhym: Yes, Terran. Go on.

Terran: . . . And remember: WE ARE the distinguished gentlemen, ladies, and gnomes of the Alliance! STAND AS ONE! #DGoTA #TeamAlliance #ForGnomeregan
Zarhym: Thank you, gentlemen, for your time. We look forward to seeing how both choppers take shape as the show goes on!


Be sure to tune into www.AzerothChoppers.com every Thursday to catch all-new episodes and ultimately help decide which faction will be shredding across Draenor on a Paul Jr. designer chopper. Let your faction’s war cry be heard with #AzerothChoppers[/b], along with #TeamAlliance or #TeamHorde.

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