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by Published on 2010-08-14 10:35 PM

Cataclysm Build 12759 - Class Changes
Important: These changes are gathered by comparing spell data from the previous beta build with the new one. They might not reflect real or intentional changes from the developers. Don't panic if something looks strange, I probably screwed up. (Or Blizzard did, but most of the time we'll assume it's my fault)

Class changes should be coming faster with the next build, it looks like we're starting to figure out the new client, spell tooltips and the talent calculator will be updated a bit later. I also included Ghostcrawler's blue posts after the list, read them before you comment (or post on forums), or I will steal all your left shoes.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Companion Pets

  • All glyphs are now found in the spellbook of each class on beta servers. Ultimately, classes will learn glyphs as "spells" and will only have to buy the glyph once to definitely learn it and swap it at any time.

Death Knight (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Dirge now procs from Plague Strike, Blood Strike, and Icy Touch. (Old - Festering Strike, Plague Strike and Scourge Strike)
  • Morbidity no longer reduces the cooldown of Death and Decay and increases its damage by 10/20/30% instead.

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

  • Frenzied Regeneration now Increases maximum health by 30%, increases health to 30% (if below that value), and converts up to 10 rage per second into health for 20 sec. Each point of rage is converted into 3% of max health.
  • Savage Roar now increases autoattack damage done by 50% instead of physical damage done by 30%.
  • Bash no longer interrupts spellcasting for 3 sec.
  • Enrage now increases physical damage taken by 10% instead of reducing base armor.
  • Survival Instincts now Reduces all damage taken by 60% for 12 sec. Only useable while in Bear Form or Cat Form. Instant, 5 min cooldown
  • Heart of the Wild now increases your maximum mana by 5/10/15% instead of increasing your Intellect by 2/4/6%.

  • Master Shapeshifter bonus increased from 2% to 4% for all forms.
  • Furor now gives you a 33/66/100% (up from 20/40/60%) chance to gain 10 rage when you shapeshift into Bear form and you keep up to 33/66/100 (up from 20/40/60) of your Energy when you shapeshift into Cat Form. Now increases your total Intellect by 2/4/6%. (Old - Only increased in Moonkin form)
  • Naturalist is back as a Tier 2 Talent. Reduces the cast time of your Healing Touch and Nourish spells by 0.15/0.35/0.5 sec.

Hunter (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Beast Mastery
  • Aspect of the Fox now allows you to shoot Steady Shot and Cobra Shot while moving and causes you to gain 2 Focus whenever you take damage. (Old - allows Auto-Shot while moving and increases focus regeneration by 20%)
  • Kill Command now has a 100 yards range, your pet must be within 5 yards of the target to Kill Command.

  • Multi-Shot now costs 40 Focus, down from 60 Focus.

  • Misdirection's transferred threat is no longer permanent and will fade after 30 sec.
  • Thrill of the Hunt is now a Tier 4 talent, down from Tier 6.
  • Noxious Stings is now a 2 Ranks talent, down from 3 Ranks. Increases your damage done on targets afflicted by your Serpent Sting by 5%. Increases your damage done on targets afflicted by your Serpent Sting by 5%. If Wyvern Sting is dispelled, the dispeller is also afflicted by Wyvern Sting lasting 25/50% of the duration remaining.
  • Hunting Party now also triggers a 20% ranged and melee attack speed buff.
  • Point of No Escape is now a Rank 2 talent, down from Rank 4.
  • Serpent Spread *New* (Tier 6) - Targets hit by your Multi-Shot are also afflicted by your Serpent Sting equal to 50% of its total duration.

Mage (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

  • Frostfire Bolt now slows the target by 40% (up from 20%) for 9 sec but no longer deals additional Frostfire damage over that duration. Cast time changed to 2.5 sec, down from 3 sec.
  • Pyroblast damage has been increased by 5%.
  • Fireball damage has been increased by 15%. No longer deals additional damage over 4 sec.
  • Improved Flamestrike revamped - Reduces the casting time of your Flamestrike spell by 50/100% and gives you a 50/100% chance that your Blast Wave spell will also automatically Flamestrike the same location if two or more targets are affected by the Blast Wave.
  • Hot Streak no longer affects Pyroblast.
  • Cauterize now burns you for 12% of your maximum health every 1.5 sec (up from 1 sec) over 6 sec (up from 4 sec).
  • Blast Wave now slows the targets by 70%. (Down from 75%)
  • Molten Shields now reduces the global cooldown of Mage Ward by 1 sec. (Down from 1.5 sec)
  • Impact now has a 5/10% chance (up from 4/7%) to cause the next Fire Blast you cast to stun the target for 2 sec and spread any Fire damage over time effects to nearby enemy targets within 12 yards.
  • Improved Fire Blast now increases the critical strike chance of your Fire Blast spell by 4/8% instead of reducing its cooldown.

  • Fingers of Frost has a 10/20/30% chance to proc (up from 5/10/15%) and now also affects Frostfire Bolt. Can now accumulate up to 2 charges of Finger of Frost instead of giving you 2 from the beginning.
  • Improved Freeze now has a chance to grant 2 charges of Fingers of Frost.

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Divine Light now has a 3 sec cast time. Up from 2.5 sec.
  • Seal of Insight now has a chance to restore 4% of the paladin's maximum mana. (Old - Unknown value)
  • Consecration now costs 55% of base mana, up from 22% of base mana.
  • Sense Undead is gone.
  • Seal of Righteousness additional Holy Damage reduced by 50%.
  • Light of Dawn now consumes all Holy Power to increase healing by 10% per application.
  • Blessed Life revamped - All attacks against you have a 50/100% chance to cause you to generate Holy Power. This effect cannot occur more than once every 2 seconds.
  • Improved Concentration Aura is now a 2 ranks talents, down from 3 ranks. Increases effect of Concentration Aura by 8/15% and reduces Silence and Interrupt effects by 15/30%.
  • Divine Favor revamped - Increases your spell casting haste by 20% and spell critical chance by 20% for 20 sec. / Instant, 3 min cooldown
  • Enlightened Judgements revamped - Your Judgement instantly heals you for [970 to 1081] / [1940 to 2162].
  • Clarity of Purpose now reduces casting time by 0.15/0.35/0.5 sec. (Up from 0.1/0.2/0.3 sec)

  • Avenger's Shield is now Protection's primary skill. Cooldown lowered from 30 to 24 sec.
  • Divine Shield can now be used with Avenging Wrath.
  • Hand of Reckoning no longer deals damage if the target isn't attacking you.
  • Hammer of Justice no longer interrupts spellcasting for 3 sec.
  • Shield of the Templar now reduces the cooldown of Avenger's Shield by 3/6/9 sec. (Down from 3/7/10 sec)
  • Sacred Duty revamped - Your Judgements have a 25/50% chance of making your next Shield of the Righteous a critical strike. Lasts 15 sec.
  • Vindication revamped - Your Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous have a 50/100% chance to reduce physical damage done by targets by 5/10% for 10 sec.
  • Shield of the Righteous revamped - Slam the target with your shield, causing Holy damage. Consumes all applications of Holy Power to determine damage dealt:
    1 Holy Power: 20% Attack Power
    2 Holy Power: 60% Attack Power
    3 Holy Power: 120% Attack Power / 6% of base mana, 5 yd range, Instant cast
  • Guarded by the Light now increases your Word of Glory by 30/60% when used on yourself. (Up from 20/40%)
  • Holy Shield is now a Tier 5 talent, up from Tier 4. Revamped - Using Shield of the Righteous or Inquisition increases your block chance by 15% for 20 sec.
  • Grand Crusader now also procs from Hammer of the Righteous.
  • Hallowed Ground now decreases Consecration's mana cost by 40/80%.
  • Hammer of the Righteous revamped - Hammer the current target for 40% weapon damage, causing a wave of light that hits all targets within 0 yards for 1061 to 1407 Holy damage. Grants a charge of Holy Power.
  • Wrath of the Lightbringer now also affect your Judgement and Hammer of Wrath spells.

  • Judgement of Vengeance is now named Judgement of Truth.
  • Seal of Truth now deals 16% weapon damage when it's stacked to 5 times. (Down from 33%)
  • Crusader Strike now has a 4.5 sec cooldown. (Up from 4 sec)
  • Inquiry of Faith now increases the damage done by Seal of Truth by 10/20/30% (Down from 20/40/60%) and now also increases the duration of Inquisition by 50/100/150%.
  • Seals of Command now deals 7% weapon damage, down from 15%.
  • Divine Purpose revamped - The following attacks have a 20% chance to generate Holy Power: Judgement, Exorcism, Templar's Verdict, Divine Storm, Inquisition, Holy Wrath
  • The Art of War now has a 10/20/30% chance to proc (up from 5/10/15%) but the effect cannot be triggered while Exorcism is on cooldown.
  • Divine Storm now deals 22/74/150% weapon damage depending on your Holy Power. (Up from 22/50/90%)
  • Improved Crusader Strike is gone, replaced with Sanctity of Battle (NYI) - Haste effects lower the cooldown of your Crusader Strike.
  • Improved Judgement is now a Tier 1 talent, down from Tier 2. Now increases the range of your Judgement by 10/20 yards instead of increasing its damage.
  • Conviction is gone.
  • Eye for an Eye now has a 20/40% chance to proc from magic attacks. (Old - 5/10% chance from all attacks)
  • Rule of Law is now a Tier 2 talent, up from Tier 1.
  • Long Arm of the Law *new* (Tier 3) - Your Judgement has a 50/100% chance to increase your movement speed by 30% for 4 sec when used on targets at or further than 15 yards from you.
  • Eternal Glory *new* (Tier 2) - Your Word of Glory has a 20/40% chance not to consume Holy Power.

Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Focused Will now reduces all damage taken by 3/4% (up from 2/3%) and increases healing on you by 4/5% (up from 3/4%) after taking a critical hit. Can now stack with Blessed Resilience.
  • Grace now also affects Heal.
  • Archangel now also increases your frost damage when used as Dark Archangel (Shadowform).
  • Twin Disciplines now increases damage and healing done by instant spells and the damage absorbed by Power Word: Shield by 2/4/6%. (Up from 1/2/3%)

  • Chakra is now a Tier 5 (Down from Tier 6) and 2 Ranks (Down from 3 Ranks) talent. Revamped - When activated, your next Heal, Renew, Prayer of Healing or Smite spell will put you into a corresponding Chakra state. Lasts for 30 sec. Heal - Increases the critical effect chance of your Heal spell by 10%, and your Heal refreshes the duration of your Renew on the target. Renew - Increases the healing done by your Renew spell by 10%, and reduces the global cooldown of your Renew spell by .5 sec. Prayer of Healing - Increases the healing done by your area of effect spells by 10% and reduces the cooldown of your Circle of Healing by 2 sec. Smite - Increases your total damage done by Shadow and Holy spells by 15%. 6% of base mana, Instant cast, 1 min cooldown
  • Test of Faith is now a Tier 6 talent, up from Tier 5.
  • Lightwell is now a Tier 3 talent, down from Tier 5.
  • Spirit of Redemption is now a Tier 3 talent, down from Tier 4. No longer increases total Spirit by 5%.
  • Holy Concentration is now a 2 Ranks talent (down from 3 Ranks) and now increases mana regeneration from spirit by 10/20%. (Up from 5/10/15%)
  • Divine Touch is now a 2 Ranks talent, down from 3 Ranks.
  • Deliverance (Tier 3) is now named Serendipity (Tier 4). When you heal with Binding Heal or Flash Heal, the cast time of your next Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing spell is reduced by 6/12% (Up from 3/6/9%). Stacks up to 3 times. Lasts 20 sec.
  • Improved Holy Nova is gone.
  • Improved Healing is now a 2 Ranks talent, down from 3 Ranks.
  • Inspiration is now a 2 Ranks talent, down from 3 Ranks. Now reduces your target's physical damage taken by 5/10%. (Up from 3/7/10%)
  • Divine Fury now reduces cast time by 0.15/0.35/0.5 sec. (Up from 0.1/0.2/0.3 sec)
  • State of Mind *New* (Tier 6) - Your successful Heal, Renew, Prayer of Healing or Smite spell casts increase the duration of your corresponding Chakra state by 4 sec. Passive.
  • Heavenly Voice added as a Tier 5 Talent. Your Divine Hymn also heals you for 12/20% of your total health during its duration, and the channel time of your Hymn of Hope is reduced by 10/20%.
  • Blessed Resilience added as a Tier 5 Talent. Critical hits made against you have a 30/60% chance to prevent you from being critically hit again for 6 sec.
  • Desperate Prayer is no longer a skill and is back as a Tier 2 talent.

  • Mind Spike revamped - Blasts the target for 1082.81 to 1144.05 Shadowfrost damage, and increases the critical strike chance of your next Mind Blast on the target by 30%. Stacks up to 3 times.
  • Shadow Word: Death cooldown changed to 10 sec, down from 12 sec. Damage increased by 10%.
  • Mind Flay now deals damage over 3 sec, down from 5 sec.
  • Vampiric Touch no longer deals damage if dispelled.
  • Twisted Faith is now a Tier 2 (Down from Tier 5) 2-Ranks (Down from 3 Ranks) Talent. Revamped - Increases your chance to hit with shadow spells by 1/2%, and grants you spell hit rating equal to 50/100% of any Spirit gained from items or effects.
  • Mind Melt now stacks up to 2 Times. (Down from 3)
  • Empowered Shadow Orbs is now named Harnessed Shadows.
  • Improved Mind Blast now gives your Mind Blast a 33/66/100% (up from 20/40/60%) chance to reduce all healing done to the target by 25% for 10 sec.
  • Improved Devouring Plague is now a 2 Ranks talent, down from 3 Ranks. Revamped - Your Devouring Plague instantly deals damage equal to 15/30% of its total periodic effect.
  • Paralysis *New* (Tier 5) - When you critically hit with your Mind Blast, you cause the target to be unable to move for 2/4 sec.

Rogue (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Cold Blood no increases the critical strike chance of your next non-periodic offensive ability by 100%.

  • Sprint now lasts 8 sec and has a 1 min cooldown. (Old - 15 sec, 3 min cooldown)
  • Lightning Reflexes now increases your attack speed by 2/4/6%.

  • Tricks of the Trade's transferred threat is no longer permanent and will fade after 30 sec.
  • Blind now costs 15 Energy, down from 30 Energy. 15 yards range, up from 10 yards.
  • Sap now costs 35 Energy, down from 65 Energy. 10 yards range, up from 5 yards.
  • Enveloping Shadows is now a Tier 3 talent, down from Tier 4.
  • Dirty Tricks is gone.
  • Energetic Recovery *New* - Empowers your Recuperate ability, causing its periodic effect to also restore 4/8/12 Energy.

Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

  • Totem of Tranquil Mind *New* - Summons a Totem of Tranquil Mind with 5 health at the feet of the caster for 5 min, causing party or raid members within 30 yards to lose 0% less casting or channeling time when damaged. (Value NYI, Concentration Aura)


Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Seed of Corruption Soulburn effect - Your Seed of Corruption detonation effect will afflict Corruption on all enemy targets. The Soul Shard will be refunded if the detonation is successful.
  • Create Soulstone now resurrects with 30% health (down from 60%) and 30% mana.
  • Soulburn now has a 45 sec cooldown, up from 30 sec.
  • Nemesis no longer reduces the cooldown of Fel Domination, now reduces the cooldown of Soulburn.

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Colossus Smash now allows all your attacks to entirely bypass the enemy armor for 6 sec. (Old - Just Mortal Srike, Heroic Strike, Bloodthirst, and Overpower)
  • Endless Rage is now passive.
  • Battle Stance revamped - A balanced combat stance. Increases damage done by 5%. Decreases damage taken by 5%.
  • Strike *New* - A simple strike that deals 50% weapon damage. Use once you have sufficient rage. / 20 Rage, 5 yd range, Instant, 3 sec cooldown
  • Drums of War no longer reduces the rage cost of Hamstring. Changed to 1-Rank (down from 2-Ranks) and now reduces rage cost of your Shield Bash, Pummel, and any shouts which cost rage by 50%.
  • War Academy now also affects Cleave.

  • Berserker Stance revamped - An aggressive combat stance. Increases damage done by 10%. / Instant, 1 sec cooldown
  • Cleave no longer has the ability to consume up to 20 additional rage to deal more damage. Now costs 30 rage (up from 10) and deals the maximum amount of damage. Cooldown changed to 3 sec, apparently shared with Heroic Strike.
  • Single-Minded Fury no longer affects Cleave.
  • Bloodsurge now has a 7/14/20% chance to proc, 6 sec internal cooldown removed.
  • Enrage now lasts 9 sec, up from 4 sec.
  • Impending Victory now procs from Devastate instead of Shield Slam. Proc chance reduced to 25/50%. (From 50/100%)

  • Defensive Stance revamped - A defensive combat stance. Decreases damage taken by 10%. Increases threat generated by 45%.
  • Gag Order is now a Rank 2 talent, down from Rank 4.
  • Improved Revenge is now a Rank 4 talent, up from Rank 2.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Increased NPC Damage in latest build
There seems to be a problem where some (?) caster mobs do way too much damage. Your experience may have everything to do with the specific mobs you fight. Listing particular mobs that seem more deadly than you'd expect would be helpful. (Source)

[...] The idea isn't for you to be in Godmode, mowing through everything in your path. The idea is - in fact - for you to have to stop to rest, bandage, heal, every once in awhile. If you are reckless you will absolutely die. This is intended. (Source)

There are likely still a lot of areas that are going to be lethal. List the issues that you run into in this thread. We still have plenty of tuning left to do and we realize that. Thanks for testing. (Source)

We're currently investigating issues with creature spell damage scaling. The intent is definitely not for players to have to rest after every single solo pull. Melee damage, on the other hand, seems about right, but may undergo some fine tuning. Keep the feedback for specific lethal creatures and deadly points of interest coming. We're looking at everything submitted. (Source)

Relics class requirements gone in Cataclysm
You are looking at existing, Wrath of the Lich King, items. Those are currently only used by those classes, so there isn't a great motivation or need to change them.

Cataclysm-level relics can be used by any paladin, shaman, druid or DK, though there may still be some class-specific ones from time to time. (Source)

Relics changes in Cataclysm
The "on paper" design of the Lich King relics sounds pretty cool: you have your choice of which of your spells or abilities you care about the most. Maybe a Resto druid takes the Rejuv idol over the Regrowth idol. In reality, what happens is that we make 3 druid idols per tier so the Resto druid is stuck with whatever idol we make. If we make the Rejuv idol, awesome. If we make the Lifebloom idol, probably less awesome (or at least much more situational). Of course we could just make the Rejuv idol every tier, but really that's not much different than the stats. The procs are designed to mostly be always up, so it's just clutter in the buff section of your UI.

With the new model, there is less risk of having the "bad luck" of having a bad relic for an entire tier for your spec. In fact, it should even offer a little more choice because you could choose the crit relic over the haste relic. Currently you don't get a choice because we have to offer such specialized relics. The gem socket is to make them at least feel slightly different from the ranged items that can shoot.

To be brutally honest, I wouldn't call our ranged weapon slot a success for any class. Warriors, rogues and all wand users don't care much about their ranged weapon slot except as a stat stick. Warriors and rogues use their ranged weapons once in awhile, but we really don't like the model where a caster wands everything while leveling instead of using their actual spells. The only class that really cares about the ranged slot is the hunter, and they in turn don't care much about their melee weapon. Furthermore, the hunter doesn't get the same kind of stat budget out of their primary weapon that the melee guys do. Believe me, we have had many meetings just to discuss the ranged slot. We don't have a solution yet that we think is better than the current Cataclysm implementation, but it's the kind of thing we're going to keep working on for a long time. (Source)

Class "roles"
We try not to divide classes / specs into such discrete buckets. Our overriding design is to try and have classes feel diverse, such that rerolling or adding a new class to your group feels interesting, but still give you the tools to fill your role. If any healer is too good at one thing, they tend to get stacked, and if a healer is too weak at anything, they risk being unwanted.

Put another way, we used to have this design that say DKs were the magic tank and paladins were the AE tank. The thought was that if you had a paladin in your group you were happy when you had an AE fight but that you'd be fine with anyone else. In reality, this didn't play out so well. Players felt compelled to swap players in and out of their groups, or be reluctant to run a 5-player dungeon with the "wrong" tank. We decided that tanks need to be tanks.

Likewise, our model for healers for a long time has been that everyone has their little niche. We now think healers should just be healers. We just have to make sure that they still feel different enough that you'd prefer to have as many different healers as you can. The big difference is that raids have more healers than tanks, so we have a little bit of room to make the healers more differentiated from each other than the tanks are. But only a little bit, and that space is going to be even smaller in Cataclysm than it was in LK. (Source)

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Moonkin Form
We've had a lot of discussions about Moonkin form, as you might guess. We know opinions range among the player base from "cut it" to "make me stay in my adorable form all the time." At first we were trying to make it more of an option, so that cuddly-hating Balance druids could choose the spec without the shapeshift. After much discussion though, we're going to go back to a Balance druid = Moonkin Form design. We'll put some more damage into the Moonkin Form. (Source)

As far as the history goes here, we thought at the time (and still think!) that the Resto druid wasn't going to be well served as a "I only care about hots and nothing else" healer. It's just too extreme a design. Any time when hots are good (by which I mean both individual encounters and periods in the game as a whole) the druid is going to dominate. Any time when hots are terrible, so will be druids. We probably, in retrospect, didn't push Nourish enough, because we still ended up in a raid healing situation where druids used Rejuv and Wild Growth and were loathe to use any other button.

We are going to push even harder in Cataclysm. Druids will still have exceptional hots, but will need to cast direct heals as well. I usually get a lot of responses after such a post from druids saying "But I only want to cast hots!" I'm not sure how to respond to that, because we just don't think it works.

As far as the AE healing goes, it's definitely something to keep an eye on, but we're not worried about it yet. We are trying to cut back (yet again) on the dominance of the smart AE heals. The cooldowns of CoH and WG need to stay high. We do have some room to lower the mana cost on WG, and probably will.

It's also worth mentioning that Efflorescence does some great AE healing, and is probably overpowered at the moment.

One change we are going to make is reintroducing the talent that lowers Rejuv to a 1 sec GCD. Since haste affects Rejuv ticks and since druids will be casting cast-time spells that benefit from haste, we're not as worried about druids turning up their noses at haste. This will let you get Rejuvs up on more people when you want to, though it still should be mana-inefficient to just do so at random. We think hots are going to be enormous in the Cataclysm healing model just because they won't be overhealing nearly as much as they are now.

We like the way Nourish interacts with hots. Yes, it's different from the way priests, paladins and shaman use their heals, but we do want the classes to play differently, as long as those differences aren't so extreme that you can't use a druid on some dungeon or raid fights.

I suspect we won't end up keeping the snare on Tree of Life. We knew that we could try snare and then remove it. We would have a hard time trying no snare and then adding one. Our intent was to make you think about when was the best time to push ToL rather that just hitting it the second it's off cooldown. In practice though we just think it feels crappy so even if it accomplishes our goal, it's probably not worth it.

We're still working on the Resto tree (and druids in general). You were missing the talent to lower the cast time of Nourish and Healing Touch, which is a pretty painful thing to live without. We're also considering changing Furor to provide intellect to caster form too so it is attractive to both caster trees. We agree that too much of the early Resto tree felt like it was there for Feral.

I'm talking PvE in almost all of this, since that was the original thrust of the thread. (Source)

This seems really at odds with the increase in Rejuv's mana cost. We're not supposed to pre-HoT the raid, but you're adding in a talent designed to let us do exactly that? I'm very confused by this.
We don't like prehotting (or pre-shielding) as a general strategy. On certain fights where you know that the damage is going to come fast and furious then maybe it's appropriate, but we don't want the current LK style to continue. I've healed a lot as both Resto and Disc, so I know the power of prehealing, though it's not as if you need first-hand experience to understand how useful and powerful it is.

On the other hand, if a lot of people take damage at once, we have no problem with getting a Rejuv out on several of them at once, and a lower GCD will help there. It's still possible to screw that up (by which I mean we want healing to have some player decision-making as part of the gameplay) by using too much mana on Rejuvs or casting too many Rejuvs when the situation called for something else. (Source)

I am still concerned about the proc-rate of Efflorescence, however, and hope it isn't underpowered at lower gear levels and then overpowered in higher gear levels.
It's okay -- to a point -- if some talents are more useful at different gear levels than others. It's interesting if you consider changing talent specs rather than having one that serves you well in almost all stages of the game. But we don't want the extremes either, where it never procs as you're leveling and is up 100% of the time so that you fish for it in the endgame. Definitely something to keep an eye on. We also might take the wounded restriction off of Nature's Bounty, so that Regrowth just crits a lot. (Source)

I'm going to assume that the lowered GCD is to allow for situations where Players A, B, and C got him by a small AOE and were taken down to 70% health. Nourish is too slow to heal all three, Regrowth is too expensive for that little damage, and Wild Growth costs too much for just three targets. So instead you just toss a Rejuv on each of them and move on. This is much different than the current model where you would just keep as many players Rejuv'd as possible with WG on cooldown.
Yes! (Source)

Hunter (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Silencing Shot damage gone
We're going to take the damage off of Silencing Shot. It's supposed to be a situational utility ability, not something you macro into every shot. (Source)

New Call Pet
Here is the way the new Call Pet works.

At some higher level (25?) you get "Call Pet 2." If you have a second pet (e.g. Festus), it will change the spell name to "Call Festus" instead. You can then call either pet 1 or 2, so long as you dismiss the other one first. Dismissing no longer affects happiness because we want you to be able to do it often.

Eventually you will get Call Pet 3-5 as well. If you ever want more pets than you are able to call, you need to visit the stable and swap some into "deep storage."

We are discussing just giving you Call Pet 2-5 at the same level, to make this a little less confusing. Getting the ability to swap from a fourth to a fifth pet isn't nearly as exciting as getting the ability to call a second one.

The Call Pet button is a flyout. You can put this button on your bar and expand it to pick a particular pet. In this way, you only sacrifice one button to calling all your pets. If you like having all your pets separately, then you can either drag the individual pets to your bar. You can even drag them from the Call Pet flyout.

Warlocks work almost exactly the same way with regard to the flyout. Warlocks have no dismiss button, but instead summoning takes a cast instead of being instant like with the hunter. (Source)

Hunters in Cataclysm
We're still following this discussion. Some players are making some good points and we have addressed some of these in our most recent builds. Here is a quick update on some of the issues being discussed:

Focus -- We think we're in a much better spot for focus regen now. Our goal has been for focus to be a resource you spend on your higher damage shots, which is regenerated passively at a rate lower than energy regen, but faster than energy if you are using Steady / Cobra (which can only be done while stationary). At the lower regen rates, we found it felt bad if you couldn't Steady / Cobra rather than Steady / Cobra feeling like a bonus. We think we're closer to the sweet spot now, but please let us know (preferably after you've actually tried it rather than prophesizing doom).

Aspects -- We're not happy with the way the Hawk vs. Fox choice is playing out. We think that ultimately either damage or focus regen is going to win out and the other aspect won't get much use. For now, we are going back to Hawk being used for damage and regen. We'll discuss other potential uses for Fox. Changing Aspects will not affect focus regen.

Mobile damage -- This is always a touchy subject. In our testing, we found that it wasn't fun with the current implementation when hunters had to move around a lot, especially in PvP. This is why we are giving up on the current Aspect of the Fox design. We also significantly reduced the focus cost per damage of Arcane Shot, so that it is usable under almost all circumstances. We've also removed the focus costs on several utility abilities (e.g. Concussive Shot, Intimidation, Bestial Wrath, Scatter Shot, etc.) One potential use for Aspect of the Fox is to generate additional focus when you take damage, but we don't want to get back into a world where you are "aspect twisting" when someone comes into melee with you in PvP.

Survival -- We're still iterating a lot on this tree in particular. We agree it's probably the least polished of the hunter trees so far. The reason is that we just have it in for Survival hunters.

Pets -- As I posted in another thread recently, a pet scaling pass is underway. We still plan to do passes on the hunter pet talents and abilities as well. With the design that allows you to swap pets often in the field, we want to make sure that there are some interesting choices in which pet you use for a given situation. Provided they are all crabs.

In case I need to say it, the last two sentences of the last two paragraphs are not meant to be taken seriously. (Source)

Pet Scaling
Pet scaling is getting a massive overhaul at the moment. For starters, we still intend for pets to scale with all of the master's stats for things like hit, haste and crit. For the big stats, our current plan is something like this:

Ferocity (damage) -- 50% of master's AP, 40% health, 50% armor
Tenacity (tanking) -- 35% of master's AP, 50% health, 70% armor
Cunning (utility) -- 40% of master's AP, 40% health, 60% armor

Warlock pets will be getting a similar pass. In general, we want pet dps to be 20-30% of player dps. Note that this is a lot lower than current BM and Demo lock numbers. Pet damage as BM will still be higher than Marks or Survival though, and we want BM to be competitive overall with Marks and Survival. (Ditto for locks.) (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Enlightened Judgement
Enlightened Judgements does not affect hit rating, but the Holy passives do that. (Source)

Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Desperate Prayer
Desperate Prayer isn't gone. It's just back in the talent tree. We don't have a new level 10 Holy ability in this build (it's not Sanctuary). (Source)

Phantasm -- Having a 2 sec immunity is something we may consider, but we also don't want snares in PvP to be quiet as prevalent as they are today.

Mind Melt -- The timing of the Mind Melt buff interaction with Mind Spike sounds like a bug and will be fixed.

Shadowy Apparition -- It sounds like there are a lot of bugs still with the implementation. The way we intend for it to work is that the Apparitions are shades of your character and will attack the correct target (the one with SW:Pain on it). We have already fixed several bugs relating to Shadowy Apparition interacting with Shadow Orbs and Mind Blast. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Pet Scaling (See Hunters)
Warlock pets will be getting a similar pass. In general, we want pet dps to be 20-30% of player dps. Note that this is a lot lower than current BM and Demo lock numbers. Pet damage as BM will still be higher than Marks or Survival though, and we want BM to be competitive overall with Marks and Survival. (Ditto for locks.) (Source)

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Inner Rage
The numbers on Inner Rage are very easy to adjust. I wouldn't obsess over the current ones too much.

We don't want warriors to sit around autoattacking until they proc Inner Rage all of the time. We also don't want them to be bummed when they slip into it. It's there so that if you get 100 rage and can't spend it fast enough that you aren't overly penalized. I realize some of you think that can't ever, ever happen with the new numbers, but we haven't seen enough high-end PvP or raiding to be convinced yet.

The numbers just need to be such that you play normally until you get Inner Rage and continue to play normally if it happens. Changing your behavior to try and hit it ASAP or avoid it isn't what we're going for. (Source)

Protection Warrior
I'm not sure why you feel that the new Shield Spec is required. If you struggle with rage it might be nice, but there are other solutions to that too. We left it as 3 points because it's a nice talent for backfill potential. If you have 1 spare point, you get a little bit of benefit out of it (compared to say talents that have a 33/66/100% chance to work with 1/2/3 talent points).

I would get Toughness and Shield Mastery, no question. You either need 2/3 Incite or 2/2 Hold the Line and then 2 more talent points to get deeper.

In the deeper tiers, I would consider Last Stand, Bastion of Defense, Devastate, Sword and Board and Shockwave to be non-negotiable. Heavy Repercussions, Improved Revenge and Warbringer are very close to being non-negotiable. The others are up to debate or your individual style. (Source)
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! -
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)

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

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

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

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

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

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 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. Update 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)

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 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)
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)

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