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The Nighthold - Raid Boss Strategy Guide and Loot
by Published on 2013-01-03 07:23 AM

PvP in Diablo, Good Game, Bad Community, Gold Spam, DiabloFans - "Holiday in Sanctuary" Giveaway!

Cinder Kitten Giveaway: Two of the winners still have not replied to my PM! You only have one more day to reply before new winners are selected.

Patch 5.2 - Throne of Thunder Raid - Area Preview
We have looked at the Encounter Journal for Throne of Thunder recently, so let's take a look at the actual raid now! You can follow along with the raid zone maps.

Keep in mind this is just a preview and it was not intended to be previewed yet. Things will change in the future!

Patch 5.2 PTR Live
The Patch 5.2 PTR is finally live, so take a look at the notes and copy your characters! Not all of the new content is working yet, but you can still take a shot at the new world boss!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Leveling Gear Vendors
Vendor gear could get soulbound when u purchase it ( bop )

Indeed that would be a solution, but the other part of the equation it would render the AH economy even more valueless for if people find they need to fill a slot with a better piece, they could just buy it from a vendor.

I think the balance here is right. Vendor gear is not meant to be "great" merely "adequate". Better gear is designed to be obtained by game interaction, not by shopping at vendors.

I think we're essentially discussing convenience vs gaming experience here. I would personally have to agree with the latter sentiment above, that vendor gear like this isn't meant to provide meaningful upgrades, such as from grey/white gear to greens for low level characters. Without high level characters backing you up, you have to go out and explore, fight and win to get better stuff.

For me at least, part of the fun when I start a brand new character on a new realm is having to quest for a while in the most basic of equipment. Then, when you get that first green and you can feel the difference in combat, it feels good, whether it's from a reward or a drop. Just running to a vendor and buying yourself some new gear that is equivalent to the quest rewards seems a little boring in comparison, it would take away some of that excitement. As it stands now, I usually go and grab the white gear for new characters as soon as I can afford it, because any upgrade, no matter how small, helps. And, at that level, grey/white stuff works just fine.

Vendors for expansion switches would be nice indeed. Especially BC->Northrend and Northrend->Cat. Especially Northernd->Cat would be nice, as for healers its hard gearing to be able to join Cat instances soonish due to ilvl requirement.
I have noticed (recently in fact) that the first few quests in Cataclysm can certainly be tough unless you're in really good gear from Wrath. However, you get some great upgrades from those quests which make things easier almost immediately. So I still question the need for vendors at expansion junctions, considering how quickly you pick up replacement gear.

There are vendors in Crossroads that sell green gear, also in Sepulcher and Hillsbrad. They are in other places too like Duskwood.
Yeah but by this stage, green gear and some blue items are readily available through quests and dungeons, so it's not like the vendor gear is a significant upgrade. I think that's the argument here, to be able to buy gear that's better than what's available through normal levelling, am I right?

Also at low level you tend to outlevel your gear very quickly, I recently did Deadmines as a first dungeon and got 3 bits of gear and 2.5 levels. Edit: I agree with Jonní, it can be difficult to do the first few quests in a new expansion, but if you buy a few bits of gear beforehand it can be easier.
Okay so to address the original topic of whites and greens to lowbies; Yes, you do get new gear quickly at that level, but by doing cool things like dungeons as you mention. Which is why I think being able to just buy greens from the get-go on a new character would be a little sad.

On the topic of new gear for expansions, it's true that you can invest a little cash (of which you should have plenty by this point in the game) in the AH to make the transition a little easier, for sure. There are some nice crafted sets available, you could have someone make you that—I did this for my Paladin, who had some awesome healing gear but nothing at all for DPS, and she failed hard in the starting zone for Pandaria. Again, it comes down to convenience vs. having to go out there and 'play the game', be it chatting to crafters, earning gold to buy yourself a starting set for the new lands or toughing it out by struggling through those first few quests. Just plonking a vendor in the new zone as soon as you arrive with shiny new gear isn't much fun. This isn't the case with the Pandaria vendors by the way, you've probably replaced most of your gear by the time you reach them, although they do offer you the chance to get things for any slots you might still be needing (and gear for offspec ofc).

So lets say i am a healer but i am feeling forced to choose dps gear from quests so i can keep on questing . Why can't i choose dps and healing gear from quests ( x2 rewards ) ? The healing gear for running dungeons and battlegrounds as a healer while leveling and dps gear so i can keep on questing. If you get what I mean. Cause if i end up with dps gear from quests how can I be healer? Must I buy gear from AH? Must I queue for dungeons as a dps and if by any chance the healer in the dungeon doesn't need the lets say healing helmet i can roll too?
Is it really fair that a hybrid class gets two rewards from a quest while a DPS-only class gets one? I don't think that would go down very well. I recently levelled a healer myself, but as a Priest, I could happily heal through levelling dungeons in my DPS gear. I know that for Paladins and Druids for example, this isn't the case. Like I said before though, it's not that hard to pick up sets for your offspec through the AH, crafting and Pandaria vendors for characters in that level range.

I think the options are quite clear when you set out to level up; if you go for DPS, you'll get through quests at a nice pace, and this is why having two specs is really handy, because you can keep your healing/tanking spec and use it when you want to, in dungeons or PvP. It's cool that you get that diversity with your character, unlike pure DPS classes. Of course, at some point you have to make that decision when you turn a quest in—do I want this cool healing staff, or the big DPS upgrade one? But we're drifting off topic here!

The point is, gear is available to purchase in the AH or via crafting all through vanilla, TBC, Wrath, Cata and Pandaria if you want to gear up through alternate ways than quest/dungeon/PvP rewards. I'm just personally unconvinced that having vendors who virtually hand you all the upgrades you need before starting a new expansion is the best way to go. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Valor Points Cap
The cap should not really be seen as punishment to people for being able to reach the maximum amount of Valor points every week. The idea behind the cap is to give people a choice on how they reach the cap without having them feel obliged to do everything.

Valor points should also not be considered the primary way of gearing your character. The idea behind Valor in MoP is for them to be a supplement to the gearing process. i.e. you gear up normally through dungeons and raids. As it is normal to have streaks of bad luck, and thus having weeks when you are obtaining no or only few upgrades, you can get a little gear on the side by using Valor points and by doing a little crafting/trading.

Please explain how I upgrade my armor twice for a total of 8 itemlevels without VP?
Just as the method of acquiring Valor points is a choice, so it is a choice how you decide to spend your Valor points.

The cap means that you cannot have everything at once, or even very quickly(as that would render the normal gearing process irrelevant), and this means that you will have to prioritise and make a choice when spending your points... one that actually matters. You must choose what is most beneficial to your character - decide if it is better in the long run to upgrade a piece or replace that piece with something else. If you feel the best way to spend your Valor Points is to upgrade your armor, well then that is what you spend your Valor Points on when you are able to do so.

The primary means of acquiring new gear is through defeating content like for an example raids, whereas Valor Points is a supplemental means of getting new gear. For an example, if you have acquired the best possible gear you can get from one tier of content, then you should be well equipped to face the next tier of content above it, which will reward you with even better gear if you succeed. The Valor Points system serves as a supplement to that process, helping you with a new piece of gear or an upgrade here or there, but it is not meant as an alternate gearing process.

There are several reasons behind the Valor cap btw., none of which are to serve as a punishment for people with a lot of time on their hands. Just in case you would like to know the reasons behind the Valor cap, they are as follows:

  • To make sure that the normal gearing process through facing and defeating different tiers of content is not circumvented or rendered irrelevant.
  • To make your choices matter. We want there to be choice and decision-making involved when building and playing your character.
  • To ensure that as many people as possible can use their time in-game on something they think is fun and that they enjoy doing, and not make people feel like they have to spend massive amounts of time every day just to reach a theoretical maximum weekly limit of Valor Points.

Whether or not the cap is too low is of course a different matter, and this kind of thing is of course something the developers are keeping an eye on continuously as the game evolves and progresses. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Will there be any new animations with new character models, or all the same?
They need new anims to support the more complex models (e.g. facial bones). We don't want to lose what's familiar though. (Source)
What about actual combat aminations? ie, the undead female animation that is a flip. That would suck to lose.
We agree. Many of those are iconic. We don't want your characters to be unrecognizable. That's just wrong. (Source)

efficiency is more fun than non-efficiency. non-efficiency = time wasting = frustration.
I don't buy it. Some of the most fun things in life are stupidly inefficient. I think being inefficient in an MMO is a social thing. (Source)
We call it the Mechanar syndrome. Players didn't farm Mechanar because it was our crowning achievement in dungeon design. (Source)

rotation is everything tho. Without all 10 members of raid with flawless rotations, progression does not happen.
I respectfully disagree. That's only an issue for the world first crowd. Our encounters tend to be pretty forgiving of errors. (Source)

How come spirit is still a white stat? It behaves like a green stat, should it not BE a green stat?
We treat it as primary sometimes and secondary sometimes. Agree that it needs to be more consistent. (Source)

What's the reasoning behind Valor of the Ancients not being account wide, and just realm wide...
Technical limitations. (Source)

When the *easiest* endgame content rewards Valor Points, why do Justice points still exist?
It can take a long time to acquire enough Valor to really improve your gear. Justice helps in the interim. (Source)

Why did you end up deciding to keep valor gear in the game? Their was talk that you wouldn't have any this expac.
Even though we think it's important to the game, players can get really frustrated with the RNG of boss drops. (Source)

What's the point of Tomes of Clear Mind when they are so easy to get? Why not just let people change talents/glyphs whenever?
We want a small switching cost. We don't think it will feel good to rebuild your character every single pull. (Source)

Want to start the day wishing you patience in the face of sha of aggressive twitters. Delighted with your job so far.
Thanks. I am concerned that it has become too much "yo buff my class," which isn't going to be interesting in the long term. (Source)

This expansion is about PvP.
This expansion is about H vs A. That doesn't have to mean PvP. (Source)

do you have any mathematicians with strong skills in your balancing team?
Ridiculously so. (Source)

Stop using the semantics to win arguments. Treat "ignored" as a feeling and not literal. Would help everyone.
Perhaps the feedback would be more effective if players stuck to feedback, even subjective, and not their feelings? (Source)
It's a game, why shouldnt people discuss about how a class feels to play?
How the class feels to play is great feedback. How you feel the designers treat your class is much less interesting. (Source)

Do you guys plan on fixing pvp? the difference between ilvl 458-483 is way too much.. like everything else its simply ignored
"Simply ignored..." You realize we push hotfixes almost every single day and 5.1 contained a long list of PvP changes. (Source)
Like why would you even waste time responding to stuff like this?
Given the volume of correspondence I get, anything I can do to improve the signal to noise ratio is beneficial in the long run. (Source)
Sometimes I am curious if someone really has perceptions that skewed or is just trying to get noticed. (Source)

Just curious, do you ever wonder if you are fixing something that isn't broken? Do you regret any changes you make?
We worry about that constantly, and we regret plenty of changes. Nature of the beast. Too cautious and you never change anything. (Source)

Bli$$ard logic: Keep people playing as long as possible with the least effort from their side.
You're half right. It's hard to argue that WoW doesn't provide a lot of content and updates. Players always want more of course. (Source)

Jay said on his page that he doesnt come on or respond much because of unhappy diablo fans.
A lot of devs do avoid the forums / twitter because they can be so negative. It's sad, but also hard to blame them. (Source)

IMO things in Tigole and Furor era were better. XDDD
When paladins were just healers? (Source)

Fan Art
More of the nice Fan Art produced by the community!

by Published on 2013-01-02 08:53 AM

Blizzcon 2013 Confirmed, TryHard Video: Starting Fresh, DiabloFans - "Holiday in Sanctuary"

Death Knight and Warrior Season 13 Armor Sets Preview
Keep in mind that this is just a preview and the final sets may be different!

Patch 5.2 LFR
It looks like LFR will be broken into four different groupings this time.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Last Stand of the Zandalari - The forces of the Zandalari forces have dug into the ruins surrounding the Thunder King's island citadel.
  • Forgotten Depths - Beneath the foundations of the Throne of Thunder lie vast caverns, teeming with ancient horrors.
  • Halls of Flesh-Shaping - In the horrific chambers beneath Lei Shen's citadel, the mogu conducted terrible experiments into reshaping life.
  • Pinnacle of Storms - From within his inner sanctum, the risen Thunder King plots the return of the great mogu empire.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Any news on 25men raiding and incentives for them? Numbers of guilds still dwindling, you mentioned a developer blog
We have an idea, but it's a bit controversial so we're not ready to spring it on you yet. (Source)

Could you give me a reason as to why 25man raids don't just straight up drop items that already are already 2/2 upgraded?
Because that would cause progression-oriented 10 player raids to feel like they had to switch to 25s to benefit from the ilevel. (Source)

Why the Empress nerf? We were still working on it but felt it was 100% doable.
Ten player raids were bringing 4 healers, which felt broken. (Source)

So what about new players 5.3? What about alts? Coming back in the middle of MoP=impossible?
There's a big continuum between instantly caught up and impossible. (Source)

Is 10H Shek'zeer designed to be 4 healed?
Not ideally. Discussing it. (Source)

Any reason why Flask Cauldrons didn't make an appearance in MoP ?
We wanted to return some responsibility of raiding to individual members not just officers.
This answer does not make sense. So you should remove feasts too... You are just adding work to the officers.
This is a tiny, tiny step back towards that. It doesn't seem unreasonable. (Source)
Once upon a time, players spent a big chunk of time preparing for raiding, not just logging in (+ summoned) and then done. (Source)

How "bad" would it for the game if LFR never dropped twice the same item (DW aside) ? Did you do that projection internally ?
If players could gear up that much faster, then they'd finish the content (and demand something new) that much faster... (Source)

LFR is the only way for me as a casual to get loot. After the 4th run with nodrops, i got so angry.. i destroyed my mouse
You'll still get valor from those runs though and that gear is higher ilevel. I've raided for weeks many times with no drops. (Source)

Expanding on recent LFR thread, could there be two options at queuing for loot? 'Queued spec' or 'any spec' would make sense.
Yeah it needs something like that, but it needs to be clean, not a double role check. (Source)

Unfortunately, most of what LFR healing consists of is meter padding.
I wouldn't take LFR meters as a meaningful indication of anything. That's just not what LFR is about. (Source)

A player is fighting vs Galleon. He changes to another group. The second group can loot. Is it ok for you?
I know there were some mixed messages from us on this, but it's fine. (Source)

Every gladiator/2400+ player I know feels that you balance poorly. Nerf "a" classleave starsurge at 250k = golden
We have heard very little Starsurge QQ, even from highly rated players. (Source)

Do healers in pvp have roles between classes, or should they be similar to each other?
They should feel different, but generally you don't need enough of them for well-defined niches to be important. (Source)

So, warriors back to the free-kills in PVP again.Surprise.Plz don't kill PVE viability when you do.
Despite what forums would have you believe, there is a continuum between overpowered and free kill. (Source)

How do you feel about the players getting to 90 just now and not being able to play arena competitively due to being behind
We want to reward players who keep playing. Too often in the past catch up was so easy that it trivialized accomplishments. (Source)
So, since Mt. Everest was climbed the first time, have we put up gates to stop people from going up there?
We don't put chair lifts up there... (Source)
Also, they havent pu lifts because of technical limitations, not because of climbers having their achieve screwed
I'd argue mountain climbers like to climb things that are challenging, not things that anyone can stroll up. (Source)
But you brought this trivialization of content yourselves starting with patch 3.2 >.> … what have you learned since then?
We learned not to let players catch up so trivially that it negates everyone else's accomplishments. (Source)
Greg, you need to stop blaming the wrong things for cataclysm failures. Catch up mechanics dont hurt the game
We just disagree on that. I understand you have very strong feelings about how things should work. (Source)

why make us to do Rated BGs for cap?
We know from history that players will do the most convenient thing to earn points without a strong incentive to do otherwise. (Source)

In your opinion, whats a more fun pvp experience? A team objective based bg? or chasing a druid around a piller for 30+ mins?
I personally prefer the former, but as I've said, I know not all our players like what I like. (Source)

Upgrading PVP gear via Conq sure is rough for newcomers to arenas who want to catch up. It was already so hard to compete =\
If newcomers can catch up too quickly, then the players who stuck with it start to wonder why they bothered. It's a fine line. (Source)
Getting gear is 0% of PvP. In fact we hate that part. It's the competition. Please realize that.
For tournaments, gear shouldn't matter. For playing your character, we want it to. It's a powerful incentive. (Source)
WoW is an RPG. Getting gear is a big part of that. We don't think the game would have legs, even in PvP, without it. (Source)

heres one more, how about balance pvp around BG and RBG instead of 3v3 arena. BGs are were 90% of pvp takes place if not more
I don't think that % is correct. Arenas, even very casual 2s, are very popular. (Source)
yes that maybe true, but you balance pvp around 3v3, where the most pvp is not played
PvP might not be played by you in 3's but it is the most competitive and balanced bracket even rbgs are a mess
RBGs feel pretty good to us. What are your concerns? (Source)

My point, is that Tanks have a purpose in arena, pvp has become who can lock down who first. Its not methodical.
We're just not convinced that tanks in Arena would be very fun for everyone else. Tanks make great flag carriers in BGs. (Source)

WoW Art
More artwork today, some of which is TCG art.

by Published on 2013-01-01 09:03 AM

Happy New Year, ProzaicMuze's Weapon Throw Barb Guide, DiabloFans "Holiday in Sanctuary" Giveaway, HotS Beta Key Giveaway

Warlock Tier 15 and Season 13 Armor Sets Preview
Keep in mind that this is just a preview and the final sets may be different!

Patch 5.2 PvP Tweets
A few interesting tweets showed up regarding upcoming PvP changes in Patch 5.2.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Though it's allowed me to play the "statistically superior" spec, do you agree Fury and Arms are too similar?
Not really. I think it feels that way for many classes once we made many talents and utility options for everyone. (Source)
Overall, you can argue that we have pushed spec too much at the expense of class. WoW doesn't need 34 distinct "classes." (Source)
Doesn't that attitude really screw over pure DPS classes?
Depends. Traditionally, pures don't need as much gear swapping to try out different specs. Some classes need 3 sets of gear. (Source)

Scorch with moving should be baseline IMO, mages are very stationary as it is...
Wish all casters were a little more stationary TBH. It takes away what was traditionally one of the big downsides to casters. (Source)
Stationary may look good from a design theory perspective, but it's really not fun to play glued to the floor.
At the end of the day, there aren't many ways we can challenge folks. If we can't make moving a challenge, we lose a big one. (Source)

Are you happy with MoP talents? Cookiecutter/"wrong" builds are gone, but so is a lot of personality and the leveling journey.
Agree that the leveling journey suffered as a result. Not sure I agree w/ personality. (Source)

bad hybrid design (high healing or instant cc) makes pure dps op. hybrids should heal, like you're vanilla design
In vanillla, hybrids could only heal (except warriors, who were special snowflakes). (Source)
It was once the goal of hybrids to perform many roles but not as well as 'pure' classes. How has the role of hybrids changed?
Uh oh, are you trying to lure me into a hybrid tax discussion? (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Are you happy with runeforging for dks? Many feel useless past a certain level or environment.
It has not delivered on its promise for sure. Not worth a revamp though unless we feel the new version would be more awesome. (Source)

11% of death knights play Unholy spec, was this intended? Or a sign of issues within the spec?
It's not intended. We just have to be careful not to force all the DKs who like Frost to respec and gear. (Source)

Is there any plans to buff Unholy Death Knights? It's really sad how underpowered this specc is right now.
We don't really think they're far behind, but we are looking at some of the quality of life issues. (Source)

how come you keeping using wrath beta feedback as an excuse to ignore DK feedback now? It's 3 expansions ago man.
It's not about DKs specifically. It's just a good example of the consequences of giving players exactly what they want. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Have you all ever thought of putting 1h guns in the game? Hunter dual wielding pistols sounds cool.
I agree it sounds cool. We don't currently have animations on hunters to make them work. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
What should Frost mage pvp be about? They have a lot burst, control, mobility, and defense.
Control IMO. The mobility falls partially out of that. The burst kit just evolved because Shatter combos were so fun. (Source) it ok if certain talents are pretty much never used, except as gimmicks? Blazing speed (and many more) for example
Blazing Speed is just weak. A situational talent is more like an AE ability on a single target fight (or often in PvP). (Source)

How do you feel about Arcane Scorch-weaving? Is there any chance we'll see an Arcane revamp (small/big)?
Not excited about Arcane using Scorch just because it's free. (Source)
Why not just give Scorch a mana cost then? Isn't mana near non-existent for fire/frost anyway?
Yes, that is a possible solution. (Source)

Playing my fire mage is getting more unbearable by the day. Please break your silence on our nuked into the floor spec.
Fire is fine. You can play all 3 mage specs in PvE now, yet each has some situations where their mechanics really shine. (Source)
Firemages must respec if they want to be competitive because fire is THAT much under Arcane and Frost. That's wrong.
Define "that." Give me numbers and situations. (Source)

What is actual nerf to Frost bomb. Can't find info. mixed reports. very disappointed about change. Not even tested in a PTR
Very few players participate in PvP on PTR. We test what we can, but we can't approximate the behavior of 10M players. (Source)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
I heard that you guys are looking into Mistweaver Monk buffs in pvp (specifically arena) -- is that true?
Mistweaver and Windwalker are too poorly represented in PvP. (Source)

Seen you tweet a lot about rogues lately and this isn't a whine, but I would love some similar feedback/info about monkchanges
The delta is monks philosophically in a good place and it's just ability or mechanic tweaks, which are hard to discuss via twitter. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
What do you feel blizz should do to Ret to make them more viable in arenas and RBGS ? They are week atm after heal nerfs.
We think Ret is almost exactly where it should be. Decent mobility. Tons of utility. Some offhealing capability. Reliable Power. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Are Blizz happy with H Pally/D Priest domination in raid heals atm? W/out class matching...druids seem to be doing it tough...
Spirit Shell + Rapture mana (w/ Mana Tide) are too good. Haven't worried about Holy paladins. (Source)
I think you could safely remove Temp spirit buffs from Rapture perhaps lower DA to 40-45% without breaking things
Agree on Rapture - that's the problem. Not sure yet if DA or SS is the other problem. SS works very well with lots of mastery. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
hey ghosty just wondering if your ever let rogues have the control back i dnt care for dmg i miss the cata control i had plz
Now, knowing our community, that will get misinterpreted, but all I'm saying is we don't think ++control is the answer. (Source)
The tricky thing about old-fashioned rogue control is it's really unfun to be on the receiving end and feel like you can't play. (Source)

OP is talking MoP. Rogue pop. plummeted. Extrm low PVP repres. & achiev. A CORRELATION can be achieved. Tk rsponsibility.
Rogue pop has been low for years. Giving them legendaries (!) provided a small bump that is now past. (Source)

Either you or the rogue players made a mistake.
Oh, I suspect we did somewhere along the way. We just don't believe fixing it is as simple as many players imply. (Source)

Please please tell me versatility is dead or reworked /beg.Any hints at all you can give on what to expect?
It needs serious work. (Source)
Heh well that inspiring at least. Hope anticipation can make it relatively unscathed.
Anticipation is a good talent. We don't have plans to mess with it at the moment. (Source)

while talking to many rogues (such as myself) no one plays combat but me, yet why cant it be a viable high end PvP spec?
We think Combat is *too* focused on multi-target fights (not so useful in PvP). Would like to buff single target and nerf AE. (Source)

I think the good argument is in the extremely low rogue numbers and the fact that no one has anything good to say about them.
Rogues have been low popularity since around the time DKs existed, through high DPS / PvP rep and low. (Source)

Somethings is wrong when classes who used to hate rogues are acknowledging how boring rogue gameplay is.
We don't put much stock in "I don't even play X and I think they need buffs." Not necessary to make a good argument. (Source)
I think the good argument is in the extremely low rogue numbers and the fact that no one has anything good to say about them.
One theory is rogues are only attractive when they are great at ganking, which isn't fun for anyone else. Just a theory. (Source)
do I sense some rogue hate here? you DO realize they are also bad in all other pvp aspects now right? how can you ignore that
The broader discussion we were having is why rogues have been at low pop for some time (even when they were great at PvP). (Source)
Do you guys feel rogue pop is a problem? You have said before blue doesnt take much stock in pop # as an indicator for balance
It's not at all an indicator of balance. It often is an indicator of fun, which is a problem. ("Fun" doesn't just mean rotation.) (Source)
Other than possible signs of flavor of the month OPism, why do you say that pop #s = fun indicator = problem?
By contrast, paladins are the anti-rogue. They are always popular whether they do high DPS / rock PvP and when they don't. (Source)
They havent been that popular in classic and bc. Only saw few as retri. Remember paladin jokes from classic?
I know, but that was my point - even when they were undeniably awful, they were popular. (Not all about the #s.) (Source)
I say it's a fun problem when numbers stay low for a long time, through both thick and thin. (Source)
It's a design problem if players aren't playing a class because it isn't fun. We want all the classes to get played. (Source)

They're low pop now due to them being quite bad in arenas on top of the game-play in pve being quite boring as well.
Check out the whole discussion. Rogue pop has been low since LK. That suggests it isn't recent PvP or talent changes. (Source)
also dó u spend less time developing low represented classes as rogs? It might make sense from a business pov
No. Designers generally focus on making the game fun and hope that translates to business success. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Enhance shamans dont get silenced it only stops 98% of our abilities!
Unfortunately, that doesn't play as well as "Lawl GC doesn't understand shaman." (Source)
That was a big miscom. My point was that strategically it nearly always makes more sense to silence a dispelling healer. (Source)

What's your opinion on Ele's PvE performance? Function wise, not numbers eg: multi-target fights like Will of the Emperor
We think they are fine but that the current tier (despite # of bosses) doesn't have one that is great for Ele. (Source)

2nd attempt: Is there any particular reason why Capacitor with all it's huge flaws/limitations can be dispelled once it hits?
"Hard to use" isn't enough justification for something not being dispellable, CCable, etc. (Source)
If you look at many recent changes, we are trying to scale back on all of the uncounterable abilities. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Maybe it's just because I'm kinda casual, but the warlock feel SO powerful in PvE solo. With my void-walker, I feel imba!
One of the best things we can achieve is when something *feels* overpowered but is not. (Source)

Why would a destro lock NOT take Glyph of Burning Embers? Glyphs still seem to be stuck in pre-5.0 mode. NO real choice.
There are a lot of optional glyphs. We agree that Burning Embers and Soul Shards are not among them. (Source)

destro has so many hard cast times, blood fear is crucial for actually getting casts off or popping other CDs.
Blood Fear was intended to be a defensive button that gets used offensively. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Good work with mages! Now fix shattering blow and TfB stacking and we are getting close to balance! Good job
Shattering Blow? Don't get many complaints about that one. (Source)

I would like to see other people answered and not the same person who thinks warriors aren't top tier in pvp
So many people calling for so many different nerfs for warriors that I want to reassure them we aren't removing them from PvP. (Source)

Could you clarify why you made piercing howl not break stealth back in cata?
Piercing Howl is for AE snaring, not dispelling stealth. (Source)

Your team went out of its way to eliminate Arms' quirks this beta. Not sure why you're surprised people see redundancies.
I agree, but I don't think cast-Slam and Rend would ever be widely popular. Some warriors loved them - we get that. (Source)

The Arms warrior naming his weapons, and Fury warrior half-drunk "felt" right to me. I don't feel it now at all.
What's the difference now? Fury cares more about Enrages and has hard-to-predict procs? (Source)
Really miss the 3 sec cd of Bloodthirst, made it feel so different from arms
The problem with 3 sec is every other hit has to be BT. That doesn't leave much room for other buttons. Agree in theory though. (Source)
Honestly think there is room for a couple of metronome-style rotations. Simple rhythmic rotations can be enjoyable.
The trick there is if the "easy" spec does as much damage as the challenging spec, then players are unhappy. (Source)
MS/BT, WS/OP, WS/Slam... Each comparison fills the same role. CD's are the same, as are stat priorities, as are talents.
Turning it around, what would you suggest would make the rotations (not utility) feel very different but still warrior-y? (Source)
When you categorize things as builder, filler, finisher, then everything is going to feel the same. (Source)

Fury feels stressful, like 50% DPS thought/planning & 50% just spastically trying react disorganized random events.
That kind of sounds like Fury to me. (Source)
Do you think a 1s GCD for all Fury abilities would make it feel more distinct from Arms, but also energy-melee?
Maybe. The risk there is warriors traditionally get antsy if they can't fill up most GCDs. Energy classes typically don't. (Source)
Think reducing the wild strike proc to a .5s gcd on wild strike would do wonders.
It goes to 1 sec. 0.5 sec GCDs don't work well in the game. (Source)
Could second wind be 2% so not useless but not as strong? I don't mind it myself but there is uproar
Yes, that, or an ICD or a smaller threshold %. It doesn't need a redesign, just some better tuning. (Source)

Stances are another story. I'm not happy with the actual result of stances. zerkerstance is almost useless.
We actually see warriors using Zerk in PvE without sitting in it all the time. It may not happen in PvP if they sit in Def. (Source)

Fan Art
More fan art from the community, this time all from SiaKim.

by Published on 2012-12-30 08:54 PM

Demon Hunter Legendary Items, "Leahblo" Fan Art, DiabloFans - "Holiday in Sanctuary" Giveaway!

Want to talk about this news post? Use this thread! Please don't attempt to enter the contest in it, as your entry will not be counted.

MMO-Champion Giveaway - Cinder Kitten - Day 2
While we are waiting on the Patch 5.2 PTR to go live, it is time for some holiday giveaways! We continue with another 3 x Cinder Kittens. You can enter the contest only by commenting on this news post. Good luck!

  • To enter the contest, just post a reply in this news post.
  • You have until Monday December 31st @ 11:59 PM EST to enter the contest. After that time this thread will be closed and winners will be selected randomly.
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  • Entering more than once per contest thread is useless and will get you disqualified. There will be no 2nd chance for people posting more than one comment in this thread, you have been warned. (We will also of course check for double accounts, etc)

Priest Tier 15 and Season 13 Armor Sets Preview
Keep in mind that this is just a preview and the final sets may be different!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
He means the concept of going 5s->first raid tier->next raid tier->etc rather than old 5s->new 5s->latest raid tier.
It's a balance. Catch up important, but invalidating players' accomplishments too quickly / blatantly is very demotivational. (Source)

Will LFR loot be role-based instead of spec-based soon? Popularity of queuing diff than spec seems to be growing each week.
We'd like a system where you can choose a different role for loot purposes, but we need a clean UI for it. (Source)

So the same as PVE then, living with your mistakes that is.
It is totally accurate though that PvE gets much more testing from players on PTR / beta than PvP. (Source)
Many of the hunter changes, Fire mage, stuff like Divine Star and many bug fixes are PvE changes to fix our mistakes. (Source)

If I heal a 2nd, 3rd LFR during a week and use an Elder Charm, do I have a chance at loot? (Experience shows 100% gold)
You should be able to use the Charm on every boss but Sha of Anger on multiple runs. (Source)

As someone who enjoys playing many classes how difficult can we expect 5.2 to be to access the new raids in LFR?
If you have 5.0 LFR gear and a few valor pieces or upgrades, you should be fine. A new 90 can't jump into 5.2 LFR first though. (Source)

Looking back to pre-BC, would you make the decision to add flying mounts again if you had the choice?
Personally, no, but they are pretty cool. Convenience is fun, but I don't like that they make the world so safe. (Source)

yes that maybe true, but you balance pvp around 3v3, where the most pvp is not played
It's a compromise. 5s might offer the best experience theoretically but 2s are super convenient. So we balance 3s the most. (Source)

Any thoughts on what WoW's greatest PvP success is?
So many ways to measure that. A good tournament? A balanced comp? A fun season? (Source)

Also, put all CC on same DR because when you are unable to control your character for 20 sec or more or until your dead is fun
We talk about that a lot, but it's a huge change probably better suited for an expansion. (Source)

With a few exceptions; healers most notably shouldn't be able to kill something 1vs1 if they can survive vs 2 dps.
Depends if the healer is out DPSing the DPS dude or just outlasting them. (Source)

Something I've always wondered is why caster CC has a damage threshold i.e. fear/hex, yet I can die in a single stun??
Dmg threshold = if you have a spell in flight or didn't retarget quickly enough. Stuns are supposed to allow damage. (Source)

When people ask for MC or Kara or other updates, you ever wanna say "We revamped in Cata, and you all lambasted us for it"?
I think some players like the redos and some don't. We'll try to keep balancing the two. (Source)

How do you feel about flying/flying mounts? Happy with the implementation or if you could go back would you change things?
Wish they were for long distance travel not for skipping fights. (Source)

When will CRZ be removed so i can re-sub to WoW. Not going to play it with this so called feature.
Unlikely to go anywhere. We think having lower level zones alive is important for the long term health of the game. (Source)

Myself and many people are frustrated at the long spawn timer on the minfernal pet plus extra competition from CRZ. Thoughts?
How do you suggest we balance rare with everyone wants one? (Source)

Reputation / Questing
So what you are saying here is that poor quality content is justified by having large quantities of it? Dailies, for example.
That's not in fact what I said. I said players demand both, which is a challenge when content takes longer to make than to play. (Source)

Just wanted to tell you I haven't logged on for 2 weeks now because I'm tired of feeling compelled to do so, every day.
What if you tried just logging in every 3rd day? (Source)
I have a 9 hour job and have to get raiding, lfr, sha, galleon, dailies and valor capping done. No time, and feels like job#2
The intent is folks who want to play more can progress faster, but you can still make progress if you play less. (Source)
Why tie it to progress at all? specially the raid kind? It feels 'mandatory', even a small upgrade to a non-hardcore
If it doesn't provide some power benefit then it's not interesting to many players. We already have many no-power things to do. (Source)

"Do all the things" simply isn't feasible for all players, nor should it be. Otherwise there's nothing to do for many.
Yes, that is the goal. We understand though that optional vs. mandatory is a razor's edge. (Source)

Finishing the last chapter now with a guildie. We're almost giddy as we discuss it. So damn cool!
Personally, I think the episodic quest lines have proven a great storytelling technique. (Source)

"Given limited time" is the key. I still like to read the forum discussions. I just don't have bandwidth to address it all. (Source)

Love and respect to the programming team. Coding WoW has to be a significant challenge. Could we get a blog about that aspect?
That would be a fantastic blog. So much more goes into code than most players imagine. Maybe someone will volunteer to write one. (Source)

If I'm not mistaken, Tom Chilton is still overall Game Director. In other words, Ghostcrawler's boss.
Cory and I the two LDs. We report to Tom, the game director. Other LDs report to us. Structure not set in stone. Org pretty flat. (Source)

Why don't you just admit you need help of us (players) to make a better game. Admit mistakes isn't a shame.
We always need players' help to improve the game! That doesn't mean ideas go from the forums / twitter into patch notes. (Source)
it's some sort of blizzard protocol to never admit mistakes. the dev for priests plays a druid for example
See, I don't get that. We admit mistakes all the time: Avatar, Stampede, Exalted rep rewards, dungeon tabards, prime glyphs. (Source)

Is it just me, or have the forums mostly become whine-fests lately?
In my experience, posters have too much certainty. They are certain X is broken. They are certain Y is dumb. No room for dialogue. (Source)

Its time for you to give your position to some experienced arena player, Who actually knows how pvp works.
That would be an interesting experiment for sure. In my experience, not all good players are good designers. Different skills. (Source)
Maybe you should give it a chance, there are many unbiased high leveled pvpers who want to make the game better
We actually do communicate with several very highly rated PvP players. The highest rated ones are often quite reasonable. (Source)

Have you ever trained your own in house devs? For someone like myself, some requirements for quals to be a dev seem...high
We have Associate Designers, which is a more junior position. Some of them are former QA or CS members. We do interns on occasion. (Source)
What advice would you have for a QA tester to get to a dev/designer/creative content job some day?
In general: Appreciate why devs make the decisions they do, show that you can finish things, respect the player > the process. (Source)

But it is the manifestos and addressing each concern that you need, not teasers like these tweets.
I don't have the bandwidth to address manifestos from so many players. This is but a tiny (and optional) part of my job. (Source)

Just read on the forums (not ours) how I personally tuned Sunwell, that before WoW I did only fan maps, and how my PhD involved no math! (Source)

Heart of Fear in Under 60 Seconds
Almost everything you need to know to complete Heart of Fear LFR in less than a minute!

by Published on 2012-12-29 09:23 AM

Regarding PvP, Could Battlegrounds Work in Diablo 3?, DiabloFans - "Holiday in Sanctuary" Giveaway!, Heart of the Swarm Beta Key Giveaway

Want to talk about this news post? Use this thread! Please don't attempt to enter the contest in it, as your entry will not be counted.

MMO-Champion Giveaway - Cinder Kitten - Day 1
While we are waiting on the Patch 5.2 PTR to go live, it is time to begin the holiday giveaways! This time we are starting with 3 x Cinder Kittens. You can enter the contest only by commenting on this news post. Good luck!

  • To enter the contest, just post a reply in this news post.
  • You have until Sunday December 30th @ Noon EST to enter the contest. After that time this thread will be closed and winners will be selected randomly.
  • Winners will receive a PM asking for their region (US or EU), which they have 72 hours to reply to. After that, a new winner will be selected. Don't forget to log in and check your PMs!
  • Entering more than once per contest thread is useless and will get you disqualified. There will be no 2nd chance for people posting more than one comment in this thread, you have been warned. (We will also of course check for double accounts, etc)

Paladin Tier 15 and Season 13 Armor Sets Preview
Keep in mind that this is just a preview and the final sets may be different!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Pls reconsider Warlock tanks. I know "significant changes" are necessary, but would be a great addition. More tanks = better
Agree that more tanks = better. Not sure (based on DK, monk) that more tank classes gives you more tanks. (Source)

Pls do something about BM Kill Command, it cost more focus than arcane shot and does less damage, as bm main spell, FIX pls!
Arcane hits for like 30K and Kill Command for like 60K. What are you seeing? (Source)

On Twitter: Briefly Wades Into the Feral-vs.-Rogue Scrum (Put on Your Riot Gear)
I wasn't commenting on RvD, but on comparing one ability in a vacuum to another. R talents in 5.2 prob have the most changes. (Source)

So anyother Blanket healing nerf battle fatigue from 15% to 30%... Will ret paladins be compensated?
Your relative power to another healer will not change. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Ghost, I've being playing DK since LK. Dont you think comparing to other calsse DK has low mobility and survival?
Mobility, yes, but you have Death Grip and ranged attacks. Survivability is low after CDs are burned. (Source)

No really, are you kidding? Because Blood Presence doesn't do crap for me but reduce my damage.
The context was not "Wow, Blood Pres make me immortal." The context was after blowing cooldowns, it can lower damage a little. (Source)

DKs have been screaming for qol changes for years. Then they screamed for the same changes on mop beta. Yup, ignored.
They screamed a lot before LK too and we listened a bit too well. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Kinda like how feral charge has to have a stun or you wont end up at the target? Oh wait...
Wild Charge for bears does a root and for cats a snare. Should be close to the same result as far as ending up on target. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Blizz likes to say "bring the player, not the class". Give me a good reason to bring an MM hunter to an arena (rather than bm)
I promise a skilled dude on MM will beat a bad dude on BM. That was not true back when we came up with BTP and why we did. (Source)

Can you elaborate on the "hunters have too many buttons" thing? A lot of people enjoy it.. Do you intend to remove abilities?
But overall, we think hunters have too many situational abilities and cooldowns. # of rotational abilities is generally good. (Source)
I'm curious, whats your distinction between 1) situational abilities, 2) cooldowns and 3) rotational abilities?
Deterrence - situational. BW - cooldown. Arcane Shot - rotational. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Critical Mass now multiplies the critical strike by 1.3 was 1.25. This is nothing in comparison to the -10/15 % dps nerf u did
The nerf was intended to be a nerf.... (Source)

Make frostbolt benefit from Fingers of frost? Tone down lance dmg, and buffs frostbolt a bit?
Frostbolt does fine damage. It's just not instant. (Source)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
can u pls answer me? i see u hotfix mages with buffs can u do the same with monks in pvp? 2months and still no team for my ww
We don't think it's a simple matter of adjusting numbers for PvP monks. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
(PvE 25 hc) Doing more healing as Disc spamming PoH then Holy using a lot of spells feels so wrong. Mana & DA/SS is the issue.
Disc mastery lets Spirit Shell turn PoH into a HPS increase rather than "just" a bubble. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
cancelled sub bc rogues werent fun (too slow big numbers doesn't =fun) seems like rogues are dying out
I don't think our numbers show a decline like that, but rogue popularity is lower than we'd like. (Source)

Do you feel Subtlety suffers the same as what happened with Mage? Not underpowered, but underplayed skewing the numbers?
Potentially. If you take Combat for any cleave fight, then Mutilate for the others, you don't have a spec left. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Just read some of your tweets regarding Shaman from last month. Stop being a dick to your players. They have real concerns.
I've tried to address those concerns, but I feel at this point many of them are only interested in us undoing the Silence change. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
since mages arcane brilliance gives spell power and critical strike, why doesn't warlocks dark intent give a second buff?
Because warlocks already have a second buff in Stamina. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Warriors choose Shockwave mostly out of fear of losing grip. Why not increase Charge stun & make it share DR w/Shockwave?
Charge needs to have a stun or you won't end up at the target. Having the Charge stun DR frequently kills Charge. (Source)

Do you think Shockwave is too oppressive in PvP? IMO: Should cost 10 Rage, deal 0 damage and have a 30 Sec CD. Thoughts?
We're sensitive to nerfing an ability that Prot has had forever. We have an idea we're trying out though to accomplish both. (Source)

You tell DKs to pop blood pres to lower taken damage, while losing damage meanwhile warriors lose nothing in defensive stance.
They are intended to lose rage. It may be that Second Wind is providing too much. (Source)

Of all the new abilities in MoP, Second Wind has hurt my enjoyment of the game more than any other. Just sayin.
It ended up much more powerful (and the rage part too) than it appeared to be during beta. (Source)

What is your current view on Second Wind?
Pretty sure it's overpowered in both healing and rage, but want to see if the recent PvP healing nerf fixes it. (Source)
Does the healing nerf really apply to a set % health tick talent though? 3% is 3% regardless, else the talent lies.
The Battle Fatigue debuff applies to all healing, even % self heals like Recuperate and SW. We'll check to test for sure. (Source)

Have you realised that every Warrior ever is using Defensive Stance in PVP yet? 25% less damage taken is to good to pass up.
Trying to figure out how accurate that is. Warriors say they only do it when being tunneled. Looking into it. (Source)
What would be an acceptable range though? 50% of the time in Defensive Stance? Only during Second Wind?
Ideally, when you're being offensive you're in Battle and when you're being beat on, you go Defensive. (Source)

When Warriors are decent and Viable, players spam QQ threads till we get nerfed back to CATA style Warrior... wheelchair mode.
Having said that, we agree with folks who felt warriors were too strong. We do want to keep them viable and fun though, (Source)
I think there is a tendency that once the biggest offenders are fixed then the next offender in line looks big. (Source)

I get the impression that people take a lot of your tweets more literally than the “25 hours/day 8 days/week” sense intended.
My conversational style has a lot of sarcasm and exaggeration, which don't translate well to Twitter. I'll learn. (Source) your recent & helpful discussion with the podcasting community helped provide an added layer of feedback. Well done.
Interviews always convey more info than tweets or forum posts (and help out the community too). (Source)

Why were the fully raid buffed DPS dummies not implemented on live servers - only PTR? Intention behind this?
We don't want players to obsess with theoretical DPS. Who wins a target dummy doesn't actually mean anything. On PTR it's to help us. (Source)

I'm worried that you've reached the end of what you can do with this graphics engine. Can you beat MOP in another xpack?
Have you seen at the graphic improvements between Cat and MoP? The engine isn't a static thing. They improve it continually. (Source)

Don't forget about EU bro! Hotfixes gone live for days on US are not live on EU! Hey, hey!
Not ideal, but it just depends on whether the servers need to be restarted or not. For serious fixes, we do rolling restarts. (Source)

Yes please don't go back to old model when all you do was sit in a city and queue. A lot of people LOVE MoP, silently.
Players tend to communicate more when they're unhappy than happy. Indifferent folks don't post to say they're indifferent. (Source)

Are you convinced "going slow" was the right design philosophy to put to players?
We are convinced that letting players finish the expansion in a couple of weeks is not good for the game. (Source)

What is the most underrepresented race/class combo? My bet is on Dwarf Mage.
That one and tauren priest are probably most rare. Monks of some races rare too. (Source)

Fan Art
More of the nice Fan Art produced by the community!

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