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by Published on 2010-08-14 01:01 AM

Update 09:40PM PST - Added Nemesis.
Update 09:15PM PST - The new 310% Speed Flying Mount skill costs 5000 gold to train. People who already own a 310% flying mount get it for free.
Update 08:15PM PST - Masteries and Armor Specializations are available for testing. (Cataclysm Masteries List, Armor Specialization List)
Update 08:05PM PST - The Mounts & Companion Pets are now in the spellbook with a brand new interface.
Update 08:05PM PST - The UI for Paladin's Holy Power is here.
Update 07:40PM PST - Added Guild vendor rewards.
Update 07:25PM PST - Added Tol Barad Reputation Rewards.
Update 07:10PM PST - Relics slots have stats now and are just named Relic now it seems. (Totems, Sigils, Librams, etc)
Update 07:00PM PST - Tol Barad, the new PvP/Daily Quest zone is open for testing, and people keep trying to hurt me. More on that later.


Cataclysm Beta - Build 12759
A new build is being deployed on beta realms, just like any beta build, it will be painful, a lot of stuff will break, and I have no idea if I'll be able to give you all the content on the first day.

On the upside, Thrall is getting a new model. Stay tuned for changes!


Nemesis in Hyjal looks really nice too.


Guild Vendor Rewards
The Guild Vendor is here, a lot of items are placeholders but it should give you a pretty good idea of what it will offer.


And if you're wondering.



Loading Screens
Loading screens for each continent have been updated.




Spellbook - Mounts and Companion Pets
The Mounts & Companion Pets are now in the spellbook with a brand new interface.



Tol Barad
Tol Barad is open for testing, this is a new outdoor/PvP zone with a daily quest area for the faction controlling it. More on that later.





310% Speed Flying Mount
The new 310% Speed Flying Mount skill costs 5000 gold to train. People who already own a 310% flying mount get it for free.



Relic Slots Items
All classes items in the relic slot now have stats.



Masteries and Armor Specialization
Masteries and Armor Specializations are now available for testing.



Holy Power
The interface for the new Holy Power resource is here.



Video Settings
The Video Settings menu has been expanded, looks like we'll be able to tweak more things in Cataclysm.



Creature Damage Output Changes
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
Creature damage output has been increased from roughly level 65 and up. These increases scale upward with level. Creatures in exterior zones at level 80 now have 2.5 times the damage output they did previously in beta, 3.2 times at level 81, and 4 times at level 82 and up.

We’d like to get your feedback about how combat feels with creatures in level 80-85 exterior zones, including spawn rates and numbers of creatures in specific locations in each zone. Please let us know if this feels adequately challenging, or if there is a little too much face rocking going on.

New Guild Advancement Forum
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
We've created a Guild Advancement forum to help collect discussions on this new feature coming in Cataclysm. If you have any feedback, want to discuss the guild advancement feature, or have found any issues, please do so within the new forum. Please continue to use the Bug Report forum for actual bug reports.

Head over to the Guild Advancement forum now! - http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/bo...orumId=8945398
by Published on 2010-08-13 08:16 AM

It looks like the official news are calming down, it can only mean one thing: We're back to datamining!

Epic crafted items in Cataclysm - Updated
The first batch of crafted epic items was released when the NDA was lifted, due to some technical issues it was ... difficult to get the new ones. This is now fixed and I should have a couple of interesting previews for you in the next few days. (or you can spoil my fun and lurk on the latest additions but not everything is listed there)

Alchemy
Apparently, Alchemists will finally get another epic stone in Cataclysm. That's also where you realize how useful Mastery Bonus is, the item is just great for everyone.

ilvl Type Spec Slot Item
359TrinketAllTrinketLifebound Alchemist Stone


Blacksmithing
Blacksmith get all the happy-fun-stuff again and will create the weapons that a lot of people will use when they start raiding. Don't expect them to be easy to craft.

ilvl Type Spec Slot Item
359PlateTankChestHardened Elementium Hauberk
359PlateTankWaistHardened Elementium Girdle
359PlateMeleeChestElementium Deathplate
359PlateMeleeWaistElementium Girdle of Pain
359PlateSpellChestLight Elementium Chestguard
359PlateSpellWaistLight Elementium Belt
359DaggerSpellMain HandElementium Spellblade
359MaceHealMain HandElementium Hammer
359PolearmPhysicalTwo-HandElementium Poleaxe
359AxeMeleeOne-HandElementium Bonesplitter
359DaggerPhysicalOne-HandElementium Shank
359ShieldTankOff HandElementium Earthguard
359ShieldSpellOff HandElementium Stormshield



Engineering
All 3 types of ranged weapons are craftable and your epic helms ... are actually even more epic than we thought in the first place, they are socketable with Cogwheels and Hydraulic Pumps, engineer-only gems.



Engineers are definitely getting some love in Cataclysm ... an updated preview of the profession will be up soon, with all your new toys. (Assuming they reach the live servers ...)

ilvl Type Spec Slot Item
359BowPhysicalRangedOverpowered Chicken Splitter
359CrossbowPhysicalRangedFinely-Tuned Throat Needler
359GunPhysicalRangedKickback 5000
359PlateMelee,TankHeadReinforced Bio-Optic Killshades
359PlateSpellHeadSpecialized Bio-Optic Killshades
359ClothSpellHeadLightweight Bio-Optic Killshades
359LeatherSpellHeadCamoflauge Bio-Optic Killshades
359LeatherPhysicalHeadAgile Bio-Optic Killshades
359MailPhysicalHeadDeadly Bio-Optic Killshades
359MailSpellHeadEnergized Bio-Optic Killshades


Jewelcrafting
Your epic gems are back.

ilvl Type Spec Slot Item
85RedN/AGemBrilliant Chimera's Eye
85RedN/AGemDelicate Chimera's Eye
85RedN/AGemFlashing Chimera's Eye
85RedN/AGemPrecise Chimera's Eye
85BlueN/AGemSolid Chimera's Eye
85BlueN/AGemSparkling Chimera's Eye
85BlueN/AGemStormy Chimera's Eye
85BlueN/AGemRigid Chimera's Eye
85YellowN/AGemSubtle Chimera's Eye
85YellowN/AGemSmooth Chimera's Eye
85YellowN/AGemMystic Chimera's Eye
85YellowN/AGemQuick Chimera's Eye
85YellowN/AGemFractured Chimera's Eye


Leatherworking
The Mail/Leather gear is back, you also get the Tanking and Physical DPS cloak just like in Wrath of the Lich King.

ilvl Type Spec Slot Item
359MailSpellWaistStormleather Sash
359MailPhysicalWaistCorded Viper Belt
359MailSpellChestTwilight Scale Chestguard
359MailPhysicalChestDragonkiller Tunic
359LeatherSpellWaistLightning Lash
359LeatherPhysicalWaistBelt of Nefarious Whispers
359LeatherSpellChestChestguard of Nature's Fury
359LeatherPhysicalChestAssassin's Chestplate
359CloakPhysicalBackRazor-Edged Cloak
359CloakTankBackTwilight Dragonscale Cloak


Tailoring
Your epic items aren't in-game yet, don't hate me!


BlizzCon 2010 Online Contests Begin
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The BlizzCon 2010 Fan Art, Original Song, and Movie contests have begun! To enter, simply submit your original Warcraft, StarCraft, or Diablo-themed work before September 27. We have over $25,000 worth of prizes to give away between these and our Dance and Costume contests on Friday night at BlizzCon, and winning entries will be showcased live at this year's show.

Head over to the Fan Art, Original Song, and Movie contest pages to see the submission requirements, read the official rules, and check out the prizes. Information and online sign-ups for the BlizzCon 2010 Dance and Costume contests will be coming soon, so keep an eye on BlizzCon.com for details.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Additional raids before Cataclysm
There are no plans for any additional raids before Cataclysm ships. With that said, there will be at least one major patch leading up to Cataclysm with a lot of core features and framework being added for the new expansion for players to explore. There will also be various limited-time events to set the tone for the release of Cataclysm. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Making Soul Shards "exciting"
That is still the goal, but we don't think just hooking up a big +damage buff or spell is going to feel that way. It will just be done on cooldown without some kind of situational requirement for doing so. We haven't given up on the idea at all, but it's not a trivial one to resolve. (Source)

Concept Art
The Concept Art Gallery has been updated but if you're addicted to artworks, you probably saw a lot of them before.

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by Published on 2010-08-12 07:28 AM

Cataclysm Screenshot of the Day - Blackwing Descent
The Screenshot of the Day Gallery has been updated with a shot from Blackwing Descent. The dragon featured in this screenshot seems to be Atramedes, one of the boss of the instance.



Cataclysm Work In Progress - Twilight Highlands
Twilight Highlands is one of the new zones of Cataclysm, it is located near the Wetlands and Grim Batol and looks like one of the most interesting zone of the expansion (with Uldum).

Important! - Screenshots were taken from an Alliance point of view.
Important! - The zone is still in development, the screenshots and video below aren't representative of the final content.
Important! - Spoilers.

TotalBiscuit released a nice video of the zone a few days ago.


And I went through the zone to screenshot most of the interesting things I could find. You will most likely meet a couple of major lore characters here. (More on that later ...)




Beta - Stuck in Phase Issues
Originally Posted by Valnoth (Blue Tracker)
Please post below if you have a character that currently appears to be out of phase with the world (i.e. you can still move around from zone to zone, but no NPC’s or objects are visible). Please include the following information:

• Character’s name and server
• The quest and subzone you were on when this occurred
• Whether a crash was involved when this happened.
• The subzone your character is currently in
• If your minimap is not working properly, please note whether it is blank or currently displaying an incorrect subzone.

Additionally, please refrain from moving your character in the next couple of days after you post so we can copy your character’s data and attempt to debug the problem.

Fan Arts
The official site has been updated with 5 awesome new Fan Arts. I will sell my soul for a high resolution version of the pandaren.



by Published on 2010-08-11 07:08 AM

Cataclysm Preview: Darkshore
Originally Posted by Wryxian (Blue Tracker)
Game designers Luis Barriga and Craig Amai sat down with us to discuss upcoming changes to Darkshore's landscape, the fate of Auberdine, and the challenges of redesigning an old-world zone from the ground up in this World of Warcraft: Cataclysm content preview.

Q. What was the original concept for the zone?

A. Darkshore was one of the areas hit hardest by the Cataclysm, so the main idea was to present a zone that had literally been shattered by those events. That was the approach we took for the revamp in terms of lore and aesthetics.

In terms of gameplay, our goal was to take advantage of the changes to the environment and use them to help address previous issues with quest flow. It was an opportunity to streamline progression within Darkshore so that the overall experience for players would be much smoother and require less running back and forth.

Q. Who will be using this zone (what levels/factions)?

A. Darkshore is designed for Alliance players, primarily night elves and worgen, from level 11 through 20.

Q. What is changing about the zone?

A. Auberdine has been destroyed; entire species of creatures have been wiped out, and the land has been torn wide open in multiple places.

The Cataclysm has also given the upper hand to a number of nearby foes, including coastal naga, Twilight's Hammer cultists, and opportunistic trolls of the Shatterspear tribe who seek to exploit weakened night elven settlements.

Q. What's happened to Auberdine?

A. Auberdine has been nearly razed to the ground, and what wasn't destroyed by the Cataclysm is now under assault by air elementals led by Twilight's Hammer cultists. The city is pretty much in ruins, but some survivors did make it out alive.

Q. With Auberdine in ruins, where do night elves go now?

A. Lor'danel. It's a small night elven town just to the north of the ruins of Auberdine.

Q. Without giving up any spoilers, what's the general storyline for this zone?

A. Darkshore has suffered immensely from the massive seismic ripples of the Cataclysm. The night elves are in survival mode, helping refugees and, wherever they can, fending off the advances of the Twilight's Hammer cult, the naga, and the Shatterspear trolls. Meanwhile, Malfurion Stormrage, recently returned from the Emerald Dream, has traveled to the epicenter of the destruction and called upon the ancient powers of Cenarius to contain it.

Q. What do you think is the most exciting new addition to the zone?

A. Without a doubt, the most exciting addition to Darkshore is the gigantic vortex in the center of the zone, where the devastating forces of the Cataclysm are being pit against the primal power of Malfurion Stormrage. Our amazing artists and level designers made us an epic energy vortex to serve as a visual centerpiece for the destruction, and it looks phenomenal.

Q. What goes into redesigning a zone like this?

A. Redesigning Darkshore required much more work than we originally anticipated. This was one of the first zones we tackled that centered on the effects of the Cataclysm, so we started out with the modest goal of adding a few themed quests and improving the general flow of the zone. As we piled on the visual changes, though, we soon discovered that a lot more manpower was needed to generate content that correctly reflected Darkshore's new landscape and lore.

Q. What was the most challenging aspect about implementing these changes?

A. At first we thought that we would be able to work with the majority of the original quests in Darkshore, but most of them just didn't make sense when viewed in the context of the zone's new storyline and direction. For example, chasing after corrupted wildlife and investigating washed-up threshers would seem out of place when everything around you is being ravaged by natural disasters, elementals, naga... and worse. Reaching the realization that we would basically have to scrap all of the old content and start from scratch -- and then actually bringing that plan to fruition -- was probably the hardest part of the process.

Q. What should players do or go see first?

A. Players should start in the town of Lor'danel and then play through the quest series naturally, slowly heading south. Higher-level players (levels 15 and up) may want to skip ahead and meet up with Malfurion Stormrage at the center of the zone, but Darkshore feels best if you experience the entire storyline from the beginning, as intended.

Q. What's happening at the Master's Glaive? The last time we saw it, it was mostly buried underground.

A. Twilight's Hammer cultists have recently begun to unearth the remains of Soggoth, one of the more powerful servants of the Old Gods, from beneath the Master's Glaive with the intent of bringing him back to life. Players will have to foil the cultists' plans before the new incarnation of Soggoth reaches full strength.

Q. Is there anything new at the Grove of the Ancients?

A. The Grove of the Ancients was shielded from most of the devastation caused by the Cataclysm, due in large part to the power of the ancient guardians residing therein. Protecting the grove required an enormous amount of energy, though, and as a result, most of the guardians have gone into a sort of slumber. Players will have to figure out a way to wake them and bring them into the fight to ensure the survival of Darkshore.

Thank you, Luis and Craig, for taking the time to talk about your involvement in reshaping Darkshore for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm!
I went back to the zone on beta servers and did a couple of screenshots, there are a couple of spoilers but it should be enough to get you excited about that zone.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
HoT and DoT refresh
Dots and hots adjust on the fly now when they're refreshed. There is less reason to try and get everything lined up perfectly for big numbers before you cast the spell. You'll be able to game it a little bit for the initial spell duration, but it won't refresh infinitely with the big numbers.

We have to rebalance the entire game anyway given the magnitude of the Cataclysm changes, so don't worry about being penalized for any old mechanics that may no longer be relevant. (Source)

Healer mana balance
Healer mana is completely balanced around encounter length. If we had 30 minute long encounters, this would be a problem, but we don't. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Pet Scaling
I verified that they do in fact scale. However, as I said the first time, you are unlikely to even be able to notice one way or the other so this seemed like an odd thing to be concerned about.

Likewise, the amount of dps loss due to pet scaling from a Destro warlock who stacked mastery and a Demo warlock who stacked mastery would probably be on the order of less than 1%.

Scaling is very important, but keep it in perspective. Forum posters have a tendency to over worry about the problem. If you were going to get gear that gave you 10,000 mastery, then the numbers would get out of whack, but that's not going to happen, at least before we rebalance everything again. The scaling only has to last for 3-4 raid tiers. Warlocks not scaling with crit or haste were very real problems. Situational pets not scaling with gear or pets in general not scaling from one secondary stat are going to have pretty small impacts on the numbers. (Source)

Demon Soul
We understand the concern about Demon Soul. We added that based on early feedback that the Soul Shards were too utility focused and might be ignored on the typical boss fights. The design we have at the moment isn't final. (Source)

New Wallpaper: Marines vs Zerg!
A new wallpaper has been added to the official site.

by Published on 2010-08-10 08:10 AM

NPC Leaders Updated Models
People keep requesting screenshots of some of the faction leaders, here is a nice compilation of all the important NPC/leaders with a special model in Cataclysm. I also added the ones updated in Wrath of the Lich King but I didn't include leaders with a regular player model.

The revamp isn't complete yet, others NPCs are most likely getting a new model in Cataclysm. (Thrall comes to mind)



Cataclysm Beta - Companion Pets
A couple of companion pets have been added to the beta and I finally managed to track them down. You can probably expect a lot more of them in the future.





WoWTal.com Update
WoWTal.com has been updated and is a little more pretty. Glyphs have been removed for the moment, the current glyphs are outdated and most of them won't be in Cataclysm. We'll have to wait until they hit the beta servers to add them again.
Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler (Blue Tracker)

Bigger topic, but minor glyphs are almost always cosmetic / convenience features for Cataclysm. The big distinction is between prime glyphs (unambiguous dps increases) and major glyphs (utility, survival or very hard to math out dps increases). Under that model, affecting Fear is probably a major.

While we probably won't change every glyph, there is a chance we might, so I ask players not to focus too much on the current LK glyphs.


Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Heirlooms in Cataclysm
Existing heirlooms are currently set to provide bonus experience up to level 80, so you'll be able to outfit eligible Goblin and Worgen characters right from the start. New heirloom items will also be available for purchase, and those items will allow you to gain bonus experience all the way up to level 85.

Now, as beta testing continues, certain aspects of this system may be adapted, but we've no current plans to prevent the use of existing heirlooms in Cataclysm. (Source)

[...] Right now, the plans are to introduce most of the new heirlooms through the guild reward system; however, we also intend to make some available for purchase outside of it. (Source)

Escort Quests in Cataclysm
Interesting topic. While escort quests do allow for dynamic storytelling, we know that they can sometimes feel a bit awkward to play. This is in fact something we're working to address in the upcoming expansion.

Escort quests will still be present in Cataclysm to a degree, but you'll find that they've evolved. Our quest designers have worked very hard to improve the overall gameplay, incorporating new mechanics to bring that goal to fruition. As a result, players will not only get to experience different kinds of escort quests, but the quests themselves should also feel much more intuitive and better paced. (Source)

Classes
Vengeance fun factor
It's subjective so not every tank will agree, but we believe it is more fun to hold threat because of dealing damage than to hold threat through other mechanics. Granted there are probably tanks who would be content to do 20 dps, so long as they could hold aggro. When you're dealing with an audience this large, you can't limit yourself to "Would *someone* like it this way?" You have to do what is right for the game overall. (Source)

The real issue is that Vengance doesn't do a thing when you're hitting your buttons. Vengance, in its current form, has nothing to do with what you do. It only happens when you get hit, counterintuitive, reactive mechanic instead of an active one.
Vengeance is an attack power boost. If you aren't maximizing that attack power by hitting the right buttons, then you aren't making effective use of the mechanic. Your argument is like saying that Blessing of Might isn't an attack power boost because it 's caused by something else (the paladin) and not by what you do. (Source)

Vengeance RNG
Vengeance's RNG nature shouldn't have big impacts in short time scales. It's designed to be more of a long term mechanic such that it slowly builds and slowly falls off.

For example, Ret paladins (especially pre-Cataclysm) have a lot of damage that is based on slow stacks caused by white swings. Paladins don't worry that their damage will be very random, because over long time slices the RNG will generally work in their favor.

Don't think of Vengeance in terms of burst threat or Shield Slams. Think of it in terms of autoattacks over the long haul. In a fight like Yogg, Vengeance isn't what it going to make the difference between grabbing an add quickly. That's what Shield Slam is for. Vengeance is for a long fight, like those boss fights where the lock or the Fury warrior starts to creep up on your threat (particularly in the absence of Tricks of the Trade and Misdirect). (Source)

Vengeance - Scaling and Avoidance
It depends on the encounter, but dps need to generally give the tank a moment to get solid aggro. That's not changing. It should feel like it does today. What we're trying to fix is the problem where tanks playing 100% optimally (or even much less optimally) can stay ahead of the rest of the group early in content, but have trouble the more patches come out because the dps are scaling. If you've ever seen the dps start to creep up on you, that's the problem we're trying to solve. If you don't see that phenomenon today, which it sounds like from your post, then don't worry about it.

Vengeance diminishes at half the rate if you avoid the attack. Furthermore, absorbs don't count at all -- if you absorb an attack, it counts as if you were hit. Again though, I think this concern is over too short a time slice. You're not often going to face the situation where if you dodge 10 times in a row that Vengeance falls off, and even if it does, you should be able to get it back up again before dps start to pull off of you. If you manage to hold threat fine in Icecrown today without Vengeance, then you should be fine with Vengeance. If you're very dependent on Tricks today to keep yourself ahead of the dps, then you're going to be more dependent on Vengeance (but given that there are a lot of tanks who aren't operating at the razor's edge of threat generation today, you might also want to look at what they are doing differently).

That said, if avoidance becomes this huge albatross, it would be easy for us to change it and let it count fully for Vengeance duration. The reason we implemented it the way we did was because we didn't want to encourage weird exploits, such as dragging the crappy trash mob to beat on you through the entire instance. But there are other ways to solve that problem too. (Source)

Vengeance - Buff or Nerf?
It's not intended to be a buff. It's not intended to be a nerf either, but given that one of things we're trying to do is provide more skill between good and bad tanks, it may feel like one. In reality, it is intended to make paladin tanking more engaging than the 6969 rotation. The other 3 tanks have a resource that often limits what ability they can push when (especially after rage normalization). Prot paladins don't really manage mana as a resource. We could have gone that way too, but it always risks them wanting to try and wear caster gear or gem for int or whatever. Instead your main resource is Holy Power. Holy paladins worry less about Holy Power but a lot more about mana. (Source)

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Furor
Furor is 100% chance to proc rage with 3 points. [...] You also keep 100 Energy when you shapeshift into cat with 3 ranks. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Protection
Here is the current design we have in our local builds. It might not appear in the next beta build, but could be the one after that. There's also a chance we will have changed it again before you get a chance to try it.

Holy Shield is a 15% block buff with a 20 sec duration. It no longer has stacks and can be overwritten to refresh its duration. It is caused by both Shield of the Righteous and Inquisition. You can Crusader Strike -> Shield of the Righteous over and over if you'd like, but the Shield of the Righteous will hit for much less without 3 stacks (it will hit softer with <3 stacks than it does today, more like TV does in the beta). Likewise, Inquisition will fall off pretty quickly without 3 stacks (with 3 stacks it lasts 12 sec for Prot and 30 sec for Ret), so there is some motivation to go for the longer buff.

The idea is that you can use Shield of the Righteous for single targets or use Inquisition to buff a larger variety of abilities when AE tanking. Furthermore, if you ever let Holy Shield drop off, you should be able to get it back up pretty quickly at full strength.

There is a chance we will allow Word of Glory to also proc Holy Shield, but we're very concerned about the right way to play becoming to just spam heals on yourself. We still don't want you to have to keep up both Inquisition and a 3 stack Shield of the Righteous at once, because we think that crosses the line into being too maintenance-y, and once you can do it, you'll feel like you have to do it. (Source)

It sounds like we're still able to put up Inquisition, and within those 15 seconds, stack another three Zeal to use a max-power Shield of the Righteous. It sounds like that would be a bit too much damage, honestly, even given the setup time required. Inquisition would be down for a bit after that, but we could just repeat the process a few seconds later.
Doh. I meant 12 sec for Prot (and edited). We don't want 100% uptime for Inquisition for Prot, because then you'll be balanced around that, which would be frustrating given the amount of hit and expertise you're likely to be rocking as a tank. Hopefully there will be room for very skilled tanks to line up their biggest Holy attacks with Inquisition being up (again, in an AE situation) without it being a huge dps / threat loss if you fail to do so.

Ret still has 30 sec Inquisition, because we do want them to keep it up almost all of the time and have room in their cycles to hit Templar's Verdict or Divine Storm. (Source)

Divine Guardian
One of the problems we were trying to avoid with the paladin 85 was the guardian that is fire and forget. We didn't want the Holy and Ret versions particularly to just come in and do stuff without your interaction. With the current implementation, you tell the Guardian exactly who you want him to heal. The game doesn't need any more smart heals, IMO.

[...] We can adjust if 5 heals isn't long enough, but it's a lot of healing during that time. The art for the guardian is quite epic, so we didn't want him to be out a large percentage of the time. We'd rather him feel awesome when he is out. (Source)

Healing as a paladin in Cataclysm (Source)
All of the multi-target healing for Paladins -- you know, the two new really exicting spells -- were both revamped very, very downwards at roughly the same time. And they had been implemented already.
I'm not entirely sure what this means, and in any case, numbers aren't a very sensible thing to focus on at this point. They are the easiest thing to change.

Healing Hands heals for about 6x more than Healing Stream.

Light of Dawn may be the most powerful AE heal in the game in terms of raw throughput, but it is balanced by not being spammable. (Source)

In smaller group encounters both light of dawn and healing hands seem like they will be a lot less effective than a 25 man raid because there will never be enough targets grouped up for them to really do enough healing to justify the cost.
That's a fair concern, but on the other hand, the distances involved in dungeon encounters usually aren't as great as ranged encounters, and because the fights don't last as long, you're not always in danger of running out of mana. Assuming we keep Light of Dawn at a 30 sec cooldown, you'll probably get less than 10 on a dungeon boss, and that's unlikely to kill your mana.

The videos I have seen of Light of Dawn make it seem more like a line heal than a cone heal but I assume the spell is still in early stages considering it use the horn effect from ulduar motorbikes as a graphic.
It's a cone and we were pretty generous with the area since we understand that it's not always easy to predict where the outer area of a cone is. (Source)

being aware of positioning is something very different for all healers. Currently we don't even have to be facing the boss to use judgments of the pure- a sign that developers realize that healers don't care about the way they are facing. I'm not saying it's automatically a bad thing for a healer to worry about positioning but it's a much bigger difference then you give credit for.
I'd say not caring about the direction you're facing is a bad thing. It's understandable given the evolution of the dungeon or raid encounter, but we don't think healers staring at party frames and never looking into the game world is a good thing for the game. Now granted we can't just slap your hand every time you don't look at the boss, but it's a good long-term goal to get healers to pay more attention to the world and less to the UI.

Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Healing mechanics
I think it's fair to say that the shaman was probably the closest to the Cataclysm healing style even in Lich King. On the other hand, you are getting some new toys that should change your moment to moment decisions from level 80 upwards.

Was Shaman healing a big factor in how you wanted other people to heal because of how fluid Shaman healing is?
Yeah that was a big part of it. The other 3 classes (a little less so Holy priests) basically had their favorite spell and used it nearly all the time, with other spells just being filler. Shaman really did feel like they had a choice between HW and LHW and then Chain Heal more situationally. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Warlocks in Cataclysm
Fear -- we might add a glyph that slows feared targets to make extra adds less of a risk.

Drain Life -- you should still cast Shadow Bolt as Affliction when you don't need to refresh dots, etc.

Hellfire -- you still must channel it (meaning you can't cast other spells), but you can move while channeling.

Seed of Corruption -- Unless you raid Patchwek and Golemagg a lot, AEs aren't just for trash anymore.

Doom Guard and Infernal -- I don't think we'll reach the point where your damage scales poorly because your long-term cooldowns don't scale well with gear. We're not against scaling their stats. I'm just not sure it will have a noticeable effect.

Soul Harvest -- It's basically a Drain Soul that can be used when there are no souls around. As we've said before, we'd prefer to balance warlocks around average encounter length. Once we provide a way to get shards back in combat, we are concerned that locks will blow their shards on cooldown, and then be unhappy when they have to go into lower dps-mode to generate the shards back. If the model just doesn't work without infinite / renewable shards, then we'll change it, but it's far to early to know whether that is the case.

WTB glyph of fear that makes targets cower. I've said it many times but one more can't hurt.
Cower or slow, perhaps. We'll see. (Source)

Affliction rotation
The basic Affliction "boss rotation" should still be something like UA -> Corruption -> Bane of Agony -> Haunt -> Shadow Bolt. Haunt refreshes your Corruption through Endless Affliction. Nightfall procs Shadow Bolts. When the target is wounded, you can switch to Drain Soul.

On faster fights, you can go Corruption -> Shadow Bolt -> Drain Soul, or even Shadow Bolt / Searing Pain for very fast fights.

When you need to run you can use Fel Flame.

The general DPCT should be something like this (off the top of my head, so this may not be perfect): Drain Soul (wounded), UA, Bane of Agony, Bane of Doom, Corruption, Haunt, Shadow Bolt, Incinerate, Drain Life, Drain Soul (not wounded).

Most of the Drain Life stuff in the talent tree is to support PvP, leveling or when you need health.

This is all work in progress of course, and not etched in stone. (Source)
by Published on 2010-08-09 09:48 AM

Troll and Gnome Character Selection Screen
The latest beta build fixed the bugs with the new character selection screens for gnomes and trolls, hopefully the revamped starting zones for both races and the more attractive creation screen will give us more gnomes to harass.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Tanks - Vengeance
Imagine the tooltip for Vengeance read "Your damage scales with the rest of your raid as if you wore dps gear instead of tanking gear." That's pretty much it.

Q: Why not just make it +threat?
A: Tanks tell us *constantly* that damage is fun and threat without damage is not fun. Devastate is a much more fun button than Sunder Armor.

Q: Why make me have to worry about threat?
A: Because it's part of your job. A fight where there is no real danger of losing threat means half those buttons on your bar don't do much.

Q: Why not make tanks wear dps gear?
A: A few reasons. The big one is that tanks care about survival so they want to gear for survival. The bear solution works okay, but I suspect if they had the choice, the druids would rather see us itemize bear leather (if we could solve all the skewed distribution problems that led us to the current goal in the first place).

Now, it would be awesome if tanks did consider dps stats more seriously, and maybe outside of the instagib environment of Lich King, they will. Back in the day, tanks at least have say swords and rings for +threat fights even if they didn't use them all the time.

Q: Why does Vengeance needs to fall off at all?
A: Because we want you to care about actually hitting your buttons. You should be good at threat because you know when to use a Shield Slam for burst threat, not because of a nearly-passive aura that makes stuff stick to you like glue. If we wanted Vengeance to solve every problem of tanking, we would just make Defensive Stance et al. give you a 1000% threat modifier such that you'd never have problems.

Q: But if Vengeance falls off, we'll wipe.
A: That's not the intent. You have Shield Slam and similar abilities. You have a lot of threat generating tools. Heck, you have Taunt much of the time.

Q: What is the role of Vengeance in PvP?
A: Hopefully irrelevant. If making it dispellable isn't sufficient, we'll simply turn it off.

Q: Why can't tanks do competitive damage in PvP?
A: Because they chose the tank role instead of the dps role. Tanking comes with enormous advantages that are helpful in PvP, such as being hard to kill, hard to control and having good control of your own. That will be even more useful in the Rated BGs of Cataclysm.

Q: [I don't like that design. I prefer a different design.]
A: Feedback like that is useful to a point, but understand that your feedback will be more valuable if it does align with our goals. Saying "I think tanks should do the same damage as dps specs," is fine feedback, but it's something we're unlikely to change.

Hunter (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Focus
We implemented focus because hunters do not feel like a magic class to us. They aren't casting spells. They are shooting things with a ranged weapon. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Protection
Paladins were always the "Block first, ask questions later" tank class of TBC and Wrath. Yes warriors use shields too, but Holy Shield made us block far more than the other guy.
We're just not happy with the way Prot paladins have been playing in Lich King. If you've followed these forums for some time that should come as no surprise. It's difficult to do that without breaking some eggs / butchering some sacred cows / insert your own metaphor here. Now we don't want to lose what it is that attracted you to the class in the first place, but we do need some space to come up with something we think is fun. (Source)

Holy Power as a mechanic is far from a polished entity.
I would agree. It just went in a few weeks ago. But we have plenty of time before we ship. (Source)

TLDR: 1) Please rethink the Holy Power = Mitigation philosophy and work it into Holy Power = Burst Threat philosophy.
The problem with this is that survival tends to trump threat concerns for tanks much of the time, and that's a totally logical response to have given the encounters you're asked to tank. While there are some fights where burst threat matters, there are plenty that don't. Almost every fight involves the tank staying alive however. We didn't want to introduce this new mechanic which was supposed to add some interest to all three paladin trees, and then have Prot paladins fall back on just mashing buttons on cooldown the way they play today, at least on the fights where threat wasn't tight. (Source)

The MMO Report
It's monday! MMO Report Time!



Comics
Dark Legacy Comic #250 and Teh Gladiators #156 + #157 are out!


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