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by Published on 2010-12-16 06:59 PM

Threat Needs to Matter
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
A tank’s job is to protect the group. A big part of that is controlling the enemy. A big part of controlling the enemy is staying alive. Tanks have a lot of tools to stay alive, and mastering those is a major component of learning to play a tank. On the other hand, some of these tools are on long cooldowns, and on some encounters they are intended for use at specific moments in the fight. Furthermore, staying alive isn’t the sole responsibility of the tank, because there will always be one or more healers present whose job it is to keep the tank alive. As such, staying alive can’t be the only thing tanks have to focus on.

So, let’s back up a moment to controlling the enemy. “Control” includes things like positioning the boss, or doing specific things at specific times, such as swapping with an off tank. It also includes making sure the boss doesn’t attack anyone else. That’s where threat generation comes into play.

If threat generation is too easy then the entire risk of the encounter drops. Newsflash: we don’t actually want encounters to be easy. We want encounters to be fun, and for most players, that includes both rewards and risks.

We want tanks to care about the buttons they hit instead of just relying on auto-attacking to control their target. We don’t necessarily want very complicated tank DPS rotations, because as I mentioned above, tanks do have other things to keep track of. But we want their combat abilities to be engaging. Good tanks should be those who control, survive, and generate sufficient threat.

On the other hand, when threat is too hard to maintain, it can be exasperating. Tanks get understandably frustrated when the game is asking them to do something but not giving them the tools to do it. The non-tanks in the group also become frustrated, because they feel throttled. It’s one thing when overcoming the boss is challenging. It feels worse when you know that another player is standing in your way, keeping you from achieving your top performance.

We don’t usually want DPS classes to have to stop attacking in order to keep from generating too much threat. We do want players to pay attention. We don’t think it’s too much to ask for DPS and healers to wait a couple of GCDs for the tank to get the enemy under control -- we’re not asking for five stacks of Sunder Armor these days. What we really mean by proper threat management is knowing things like when it’s time to go all out, when it’s appropriate to use a threat-reducing cooldown, and most importantly, which is the right target to be attacking. I’m not trying to bash pugs here, but I am amazed at how often a nuker will pick a random target instead of the one being tanked, then blame the tank for not holding aggro (and then blame the healer when they die). In short, if threat is too easy, the game is boring. If threat is too difficult, the game is frustrating.

How then do you guys (and the developers!) know when threat is a problem? Here are some handy guidelines.

-- If a tank is trying to generate threat on a single target, and it runs off to kill a DPS class, that’s a problem.

-- If a tank is trying to generate area threat on a group, and the tanked things are running off to kill healers, that’s a problem.

-- If Vengeance falling off causes the tank to lose threat, that’s a problem.

These problems can have a couple of causes. It could be a problem we caused, meaning that even an expertly-played tank has low threat generation because our numbers are undertuned. Or it could be that only an expertly-played tank can generate threat because you’re asked to manage too many abilities. Or it could be that Vengeance is the only thing allowing you to generate enough threat because the size of the buff is masking low threat generation from your abilities. It could also be a problem you need to fix on your end: if someone is nuking or cleaving a random target on a group pull instead of assisting the tank, that’s not the tank’s fault.

Now, there are things we don’t like about threat as a mechanic. It’s fairly gamey as game mechanics go and we think there are probably better ways to communicate it to players. There are some mods that do a very credible job given the limited information we provide, but overall we’d like to present threat better since we’re asking you to take it seriously in the PvE game.

-Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the lead systems designer for World of Warcraft and the skipper of a very nice ship where they serve cute sandwiches with the crust removed. And gin.
by Published on 2010-12-16 05:12 AM

Halfus Wyrmbreaker Heroic 10 and 25-Man World First Kills
Heroic modes are now unlocked and guilds are working hard to kill (and wipe) on the cataclysm raid bosses in heroic mode! So far, only Halfus Wyrmbreaker has been defeated and I'll try to report both 10 and 25-man heroic modes world first kills when possible because officially, they're supposed to be the same difficulty. (I never said it was my personal opinion, I'm not supposed to have a personal opinion!)

Adept 25-man World First Kill
Adept (US) got the World First 25-man Heroic Kill. Congratulations to them!


Ensidia 10-Man World First Kill
Ensidia (EU) went for the 10-Man Heroic Kill and was the first guild in the world to achieve it. Congratulations!



Cataclysm Hotfixes - Updated Dec. 15
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Here you will find a list of hotfixes that address various issues related to the release of patch 4.0.3a and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. While many have already been deployed on all realms, some may not be implemented until the next time your realm is restarted. We will continue to update this thread in the days ahead as additional hotfixes are applied.

December 15
General
  • Many guards who maintain peace by slaughtering PvPers have been properly buffed to match the stats of Furious Hyjal Wardens. Beware!
  • Players are no longer able to go At War with the Dragonmaw faction.
  • Trapdoors and transporters should no longer break when hit with area-of-effect abilities.

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Rake will no longer receive twice the benefit from the Feral druid Mastery Razor Claws.
  • Soothe and Wild Mushroom are both correctly benefiting from, and consuming, Predator's Swiftness.

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Ring of Frost does not cause the mage to stand up (interrupting eating/drinking) while it is active.

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Blessed Resilience now increases healing received by 15/30%, up from 5/10%.
  • Focused Will now reduces damage taken by 5/10% and 10/20%, up from 4/8% and 6/12%.
  • Healing done by Glyph of Dispel Magic no longer improperly caps out at a certain health pool range.
  • Holy Concentration's mana regeneration component has been increased from 10/20% to 20/40%.
  • Player-controlled vehicles return an Invalid Target error when attempting to use Leap of Faith on them.
  • Rapture's mana regeneration component has been increased from 1.5/2/2.5 to 2/4/6%.

Shaman (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • The Mana Tide buff is now applied for each Mana Tide Totem on the ground.

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Rude Interruption is no longer incorrectly consumed by Execute, Mortal Strike, or Overpower.

Dungeons & Raids
  • Both the 5- and 20-quest versions of the Dungeon Quests Completed achievements trigger correctly on dungeon quests done.

Baradin Hold
  • Argaloth now respects the faction that kills him and does not drop trinkets for the opposing faction.

Bastion of Twilight
  • The doors controlled by the Halfus and Ascendant Council encounters should no longer become stuck after a soft reset.

Blackwing Descent
  • Arcanotron's Shield should only proc off of player attacks and not things like Searing Totem, pets, etc.
  • Players can no longer engage Nefarian without killing all three sub-bosses first.

Deadmines
  • Defias Blood Wizards, Defias Shadowguards, and Defias Enforcers summoned during the Vanessa VanCleef encounter no longer award experience.

Halls of Origination
  • Spatial Anomaly can no longer critically hit.
  • Setesh's movement speed has been decreased.

Lost City of the Tol'vir
  • Frenzied Crocolisks should always despawn when Lockmaw resets.

Shadowfang Keep
  • Troll druids in particular, when shapeshifting into Cat/Bear form, were dealing an extra 5% damage to themselves via Beast Slaying when afflicted by Barion Ashbury's Asphyxiate. This caused them to die instead of being taken down to 1 health. This has been corrected and Asphyxiate now properly ignores damage modifiers.

The Stonecore
  • Slabhide can no longer be killed while he's in his air phase, and can be properly killed when he's back on the ground.
  • Flame Ascendants are now dropping loot that is appropriate for non-elite creatures.

Stratholme
  • Eyes of Naxxramas will now spawn a set number of Gargoyles (2).
  • The Vortex Pinnacle
  • The "corpse-catching" mechanic now properly teleports players to the entrance platform of the dungeon.

Items
  • Normal and Heroic versions of the Corrupted Egg Shell were not properly granting mana. This has been corrected.
  • The Bloodthirsty Gladiator's Insignia of Victory now correctly grants Strength when it procs, rather than Agility.
  • All of the Bloodthirsty and Vicious Gladiator gloves now have the appropriate glove bonuses for their respective classes.
  • Players can no longer buy the opposing faction's mounts in Alterac Valley.
  • Some items improperly shared duplicate stats with other items and have had their stats adjusted, including: Emberstone Staff, Rockslicer, Elekk-Horn Waistguard, Termination Axe, Sorrow's End, Soulsurge Necklace, Corefire Legplates, Blockade's Lost Shield, Sussurating Treads of Shok'sharak, Blazewing's Furious Kilt, Armagedillo's Tail, Book of Origination, Torturer's Mercy, Modgud's Blade, Maldo's Sword Cane, Maldo's Sword Cane (Heroic), Shadowskulk Leggings, Drape of Fiery Dreams, Hood of the Crying Rogue, Spaulders of the Savage Beast, Helm of Fatal Vision, Oath-Bound Gauntlets, Belt of Guardianship, Dorian's Lost Necklace, Don Rodrigo's Fabulous Necklace, Pauldrons of Edward the Odd, Je'Tze's Sparkling Tiara, Heartbound Tome, Arrowsinger Legguards, Thartuk's Inimitable Gauntlets, Terborus's Rotating Bands, Tol'Vir Heriditary Girdle,
  • Reputation is no longer being granted while wearing the Tabard of the Guardians of Hyjal in normal mode Blackrock Caverns.

Professions
  • Beauty in Blackrock Caverns can now be skinned.
  • Canopic Jars are no longer poor quality and now show as white (standard) items.
  • Obisidum Ore now spawns slightly less frequently in Mount Hyjal.
  • The Blacksmithing Redsteel Shoulders item is now uncommon (green) quality.
  • The Stormforged Legguards item is now rare (blue) quality.

PvP
  • Progress is now properly tracked for the achievement Tol Barad Saboteur.

Quests & Creatures
  • Feast of Winter Veil: there is now a quest blob surrounding the area of Growless Cave for the quest "You're a Mean One..."

Cataclysm Zones
Deepholm
  • Pebble is correctly able to be picked back up if he despawns while being escorted from the crumbling depths for the quest "Lost in the Deeps".

Mount Hyjal
  • Players are now able to enter the portal to the Firelands Hatchery as ghosts after the Aviana Regrowth event has occurred.

Twilight Highlands
  • Grot Deathblow (Dragonmaw Quartermaster) and Craw MacGraw (Wildhammer Quartermaster) can no longer be killed by members of the opposing faction.
  • "Bring Down the High Shaman" and "Warlord Halthar is Back" are now group quests.
  • The amount of Wildhammer Food Stores required to complete the associated quests has been reduced to 10, down from 15. Please note the quest text will still state that 15 are needed until a client-side patch can be implemented to correct this.

Uldum
  • Players are no longer able to receive Efficient Excavations before completing the quest "Do the Honors".

Vashj'ir
  • Players can now ride the Seahorse in Darkbreak and Tenebrous Cavern.
  • The questgiver Fiasco Sizzlegrin is now visible and giving the quest "Crafty Crabs" upon completion of "Waking the Beast". "Crafty Crabs" remain acceptable while players work on the other quests in the associated cave.

Eastern Kingdoms
Stormwind
  • Earthworm Mounds for the quest "Diggin' For Worms" should now respawn more quickly.

Northrend
Sholazar Basin
  • Bonescythe Ravagers no longer award experience or loot.

Outland
Hellfire Peninsula
  • The quest requirements for the achievement To Hellfire and Back have been lowered for both Horde and Alliance characters. Horde characters need to complete 86 quests and Alliance characters need to complete 76.

Feast of Winter Veil
The Feast of Winter Veil has started and sadly, there isn't anything new this year apparently but just like each year the bosses have been moved to the new dungeons.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Winter Veil Bosses
The denizens of the dungeons of Northrend are also getting into the holiday spirit, and some dungeon bosses even wear festive Winter Hats just like Greatfather Winter's. Defeat a Winter Veil boss, and the boss' hat is yours!

Winter Veil bosses of Northrend:
  • Grand Magus Telestra (The Nexus) - Red Winter Hat
  • Jedoga Shadowseeker (Ahn'Kahet: The Old Kingdom) - Red Winter Hat
  • Mage-Lord Urom (The Oculus) - Green Winter Hat

Cataclysm Winter Veil bosses
  • Deadmines (Heroic) - Admiral Ripsnarl
  • The Stone Core (Normal + Heroic) - High Priestess Azil
  • Blackrock Caverns (Normal + Heroic) - Corla, Herald of Twilight
  • Shadowfang Keep (Heroic) - Lord Godfrey
  • Grim Batol (Normal + Heroic) - Drahga Shadowburner

From December 25th to January 2nd only

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Guild: Realm First! Working as a Team
Archaeology is a requirement for the Guild Achievement Working as a Team. It's incorrectly not shown on the criteria list, which is a bug, and will be fixed in a future patch. (Source)

Hotfixes Unpredictability
Applying a hotfix is a complicated process that involves many different developers, including in this case designers, QA and server programmers. These changes are applied live, which is a very different scenario than when things are changed for an upcoming build. We still make our best efforts to coordinate our list of hotfixes with the actual hotfixed data. In this case they were made within a few hours of each other. It takes time to track the progress of all of the hotfixes being developed, as we cannot announce them until we receive confirmation that the hotfixes have been tested by QA and pushed live by our programmers. While this whole process is taking place, we're compiling a large list of all of the changes made each day so we can update players in as timely a fashion as possible. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy Paladin Nerf
It is intended that Protector of the Innocent and Light of Dawn transfer healing through Beacon of Light. Furthermore, we didn’t feel that changing either of those would have fixed the problem. When we looked at the numbers, paladins were getting far more Holy Power from Holy Light using Tower of Radiance than we had predicted they would. This wasn’t a problem of paladins topping healing meters or anything like that. The problem was that paladins could heal much more efficiently than other healers. Healers of equal skill should run out of mana at about the same time. In this situation, we didn’t want to buff everyone else to the paladin level, because we think the experience of priest, druid and shaman healers is playing out as we intended. (But we will keep monitoring things.) We understand some healers still don’t feel that they have enough mana to be able to do their jobs and we understand the design has changed somewhat from the Wrath of the Lich King healing model. However, the heroic dungeons are intended to be challenging. Moreover, the Cataclysm expansion has only been live for a week. Players are still improving their gear, learning the boss fights and getting familiar with the new healing philosophy. (Source)

Holy Paladins/Holy Power
Holy paladins can generate Holy Power through a number of mechanics: using Holy Shock is intended to be the main one. They can also take damage through Blessed Life or heal a Beaconed target with Flash of Light or Divine Light.

The problem we were seeing is that Holy Light was made very inexpensive so that paladins always had a cheap go-to heal. Paladins had figured out to use this as a Holy Power generator for Light of Dawn. They didn’t even care about healing the tank per se – they were just casting 3 Holy Lights to earn the Light of Dawn. It seemed to us an effortless way to play that was super effective. With these changes, we expect to see paladins making more decisions – sometimes they might want to Holy Light a Beaconed target just because that’s the right spell at the moment. They may also Holy Light non-Beaconed targets. They will still Holy Shock on cooldown, which will generate plenty of Holy Power.

Those of you saying Holy paladins will no longer generate Holy Power might be taking the change a little too much to heart. That's not the design intent behind Holy paladins, nor a desired outcome of the Tower of Radiance change. In fact, we haven't seen this to be the outcome since the change was applied. Often times when we bring an overpowered ability back into line, the reaction we see on the forums is that the ability itself, or the core mechanics of the spec, has been gutted. That's a natural reaction in most cases, this one being no exception, as paladins will have to adjust to a change that came rather suddenly in the middle of gameplay (i.e. in a hotfix rather than a patch).

We understand there is also a mixture of concerns regarding this change which really revolve more around general healer mana regeneration in Cataclysm. Some paladins may claim Holy Light is now the only affordable heal. This is inaccurate and we're confident we'll see talented paladins shine using all of the appropriate tools in their kit. Perhaps, if anything, it means paladins can't afford to spam many different heals. That doesn't mean they're not useful given the appropriate situation.

(For instance, when the tank is very injured or you have to move, use a Flash of Light. If the damage is coming in faster than you can heal, use a Divine Light. You aren’t playing badly by using these spells – you are playing badly if you only use these spells and neglect the efficient ones.)

When we see players who claim they don’t have enough mana to heal, one of the following is usually true: 1) they are undergeared for the instance, 2) the tanks are trying to tank everything without CC, 3) they are avoiding Spirit on their gear, 4) they are trying to keep everyone topped off as fast as they can by resorting to fast spells (like Flash of Light) or relatively expensive area heals when they aren’t warranted. If someone is about to die – absolutely save them. Using Holy Radiance (40% mana) to get two folks who are at 95% back to 100% is not efficient. Throw a Holy Light (9% mana each) at each of them instead. (Source)
by Published on 2010-12-15 04:28 AM

Cataclysm Hotfixes - Updated Dec. 14
Lot of interesting hotfixes today, details on the Paladin nerf, lot of profession changes (and Vial of the Sands no longer bound on pick up!), etc ...
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
December 14
General
  • Master Riding now properly grant players 310% flight speed in Eastern Kingdoms with X-53 Touring Rocket, Celestial Steed, Headless Horseman's Mount, X-51 Nether-Rocket, X-51 Nether-Rocket X-TREME, and Invincible.

Battlegrounds
  • Battleground Demolishers in Strand of the Ancients have had their health lowered in all Battleground brackets except for the level 80-84 range, where their health has been increased.
  • Lifegiving Seeds can no longer be used in Battlegrounds.

Hunter (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Players who have the Insanity debuff can't benefit from Time Warp until the debuff has expired. Players can no longer benefit from both Ancient Hysteria and Time Warp prior to the Insanity Debuff fading.

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Frostfire Orb cannot trigger Fingers of Frost if Rank 2 of Frostfire Orb is not learned. Fingers of Frost functions normally otherwise. Note that the debuff will still appear on the target until a client-side patch is applied to correct this display issue.

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Zealotry no longer consumes the Hand of Light proc effect.
  • Tower of Radiance no longer grants Holy Power from Holy Lights cast on a target buffed with Beacon of Light. It continues to work as the tooltip describes for Flash of Light and Divine Light. Please note the tooltip may not be updated to reflect this change until a client-side patch is applied.
  • Healing done by Beacon of Light is now properly affected by healing modifiers on targets which reduce healing done (i.e. Mortal Strike).
  • The healing done by Light of Dawn has been reduced by approximately 40%. Please note the tooltip may not be updated to reflect this change until a client-side patch is applied.

Dungeons & Raids
  • The Looking For Dungeon random bracket for Throne of the Tides and Blackrock Caverns has been changed from level 80-81 to 80-82, and the specific bracket has been changed from level 80-83 to 80-85.
Blackrock Caverns
  • Twilight Dragonkin Armorers in Throne of the Tides and Blackrock Caverns now always drop some sort of loot. Get your Shimmering Claws while they're fresh!
Blackwing Descent
  • All four golems are now immune to Distract in the Omnotron Defense Council encounter.
  • Poison Bombs in the Golem Council encounter will now only attack and explode on targets they're fixated on.
  • The gate beyond Magmaw and Omnotron should not close after the bosses are killed if a soft reset takes place.
  • The Orb of Culmination will now properly respawn after a soft reset takes place.
Deadmines
  • Ripsnarl's Summon Vapor mechanic now ignores line of sight and correctly spawns a Vapor in regardless of where players are standing.
  • Glubtok can now be looted even if the party dies before he finishes his dramatic death sequence.
Grim Batol
  • Impaling Slam by Forgemaster Throngus now does much less damage, but is no longer mitigated by fire resistance.
  • Players can now zone into the dungeon while another player is in combat with a boss.
Halls of Origination
  • Brann now correctly begins his event for "Heart of the Matter" if the player is mounted when the quest is accepted.
  • There is now a teleportation device present at the front of the dungeon once Temple Guardian Anhuur has been defeated.
Throne of the Four Winds
  • You are now able to drink and eat after the party wipes. It's a sad day, after all, when the dead can't even enjoy delicious food and drink.
  • The Ravenous Creepers in the Conclave of Wind encounter now properly retarget players on the western platform when their aggro target moves to another platform. Even when no players are available to target on the platform the Creepers will retarget any new player who arrives on the platform.
The Vortex Pinnacle
  • Characters who become stuck in a Slipstream are now properly dropped after a period of time and brought back to the platform via the Fall Catcher.

Items
  • Amulet of Dull Dreaming and Acorn of the Daughter Tree had duplicate stats. That's no fun for anyone! Amulet of Dull Dreaming has a critical strike rating of 112 and a haste rating of 112. Acorn of the Daughter Tree has a mastery rating of 116 and a haste rating of 107.
  • Captured Lightning from The Vortex Pinnacle now correctly has Spirit instead of hit rating. The item tooltip may not properly update to reflect this change, but the appropriate stats should be applied to a character when the item is equipped.
  • Lifegiving Seeds can no longer be used in Battlegrounds.
  • Shroud of the Dead, purchased from the Ramkahen Quartermasters in Uldum, is no longer Bind-on-Equip.

Professions
  • The respawn rates for all Horde and Alliance Cooking daily quest objectives in Orgrimmar and Stormwind have been increased.
  • The Alchemy mount Vial of the Sands is no longer Bind-on-Pickup.
  • Corpses which have already been skinned should no longer sometimes remain, making players think they can still be skinned -- players who are then left saddened by false hopes.
  • Players are no longer able to apply the Eternal Belt Buckle on belts higher than item level 300.
  • The droprate on the Precious Locket from Royal Monkfish in Stormwind waters for the Fishing daily quest "Big Gulp" has been increased.
  • Ethereal Ink sold by vendors was too expensive and now trades at a 1:1 ratio with Blackfallow Ink.
  • Obsidium Ore nodes now spawn more frequently in Deepholm.
  • Pristine Hides were too common and now have less of a chance to drop.
  • The gem cuts Timeless Nightstone, Jagged Jasper, and Solid Zephyrite can no longer create perfect versions of the cut.

Quests & Creatures
Cataclysm Zones
Deepholm
  • Players that are not on the quest "Wrath of the Fungalmancer", and are out of combat at the same time another player begins the Fungalmancer event, will not be placed into combat with Fungal Horrors that spawn during the encounter. All Fungal Horrors despawn as soon as Fungalmancer Glop is defeated. In addition, at no time should Fungalmancer Glop path through walls or terrain. Norsala respawns moments after a player completes the encounter.
  • The quest "Wayward Child" can now be completed with Therazane regardless of the phase the player is in.
  • Twilight Soulreapers and Defaced Earthragers no longer give any experience or loot when killed.
Mount Hyjal
  • All players who receive the raid victory message while on the quest "Prepping the Soil" will also receive quest objective completion.
  • Lava Surgers were caught red-handed showing no loot. Showing no loot of an almost broken nature. This will not do. (They now drop loot and can be mined.)
Tol Barad Peninsula
  • Wandering Souls will now always drop a Cursed Femur for the quest "Salvaging the Remains".
  • Darkwood Broodmothers and Darkwood Hatchlings were sharing spawn locations, sometimes preventing one of the creature types from spawning. This has been corrected.
  • The Magnatized Scrap Collector cannot be used outside the designated quest area.
Twilight Highlands
  • The cutscene for the quest "Enter the Dragon Queen" no longer breaks if someone skips the cutscene and more than one person is watching it.
  • The ever-sneaky Cayden Dunwald should now always get attacked during the escort quest "Once More Into The Fire".
  • Baited Black Drakes were Deathwing wannabes and doing way too much damage with their fire breath. This damage has been reduced to ensure there is only one king of pain.
  • To address a phasing conflict, players cannot accept "Somethin' For The Boys" until they've completed all three of the preceding quests, including "They Took Me Pants!"
  • Axebite Grunts now despawn whenever the siege tanks get healed and leave, or if they get destroyed. The Siege Tank Commanders are now flagged as immune creatures and no longer get stuck in combat, which prevented players from interacting with them for the quest "Siege Tank Rescue". In addition, players can no longer attack Siege Tank Commanders.
  • Darunga's respawn time for the quest "Doing It Like a Dunwald" has been reduced. In addition, the corpses of Darunga and Jaspertip Crystal-Gorgers should no longer linger around for an inordinate amount of time.
  • The Frothing Rage buff is now removed when players leave the zone.
  • The ogres in Glopgut's Hollow now respawn at a higher rate than before.
Uldum
  • Harrison Jones will now spawn at the exact same time as the Obsidian Colossus for the quest "Fortune and Glory".
  • Engaging in PvP combat in Ramkahen now properly spawns guards.
  • Wearing associated costumes for the quest "Firing Squad" when the cutscene plays should no longer result in event issues.
  • Kill credit is now awarded to all party members for both the regular and daily versions of the quest "Fire from the Sky". Missiles from other players are also visible to everyone now.
  • Elite Troopers were way too elite and had triple the armor they're supposed to have. We've stripped them of some of their precious protection.
  • All party members are now receiving credit for motivating a Slacking Laborer for the quest "Make Yourself Useful". This is 100% more useful.
Vashj'ir
  • The quest "Wake of Destruction" now only requires players to devour 10 naga.
  • Hallazeal the Ascended now despawns when a player leaves combat or logs out while being engaged with him.
  • At the conclusion of the final cutscene for "Defending the Rift", the quest completion NPC is visible for both factions.
  • The Nespirah Fluid buff is now removed when players enter a dungeon, raid, or Battleground.
  • Quest credit is now shared between party members when killing quest creatures for "Wake of Destruction".

Eastern Kingdoms
Eastern Plaguelands
  • Players should no longer have issues using Rayne's Seed in all three ziggurats for the quest "Amidst Death, Life".
  • The Cape of Stranglethorn
  • The Ironjaw Humour that drops off Ironjaw Behemoth for the quest "Too Big for His Britches" can now be looted by multiple members of a party.
Ghostlands
  • Goblin characters are now able to accept the quests “The Forsaken" and "Journey to Undercity".
  • Northern Stranglethorn
  • When reputation with the Bloodsail Buccaneers is friendly, players can now accept the quest "Avast Ye, Admiral!" from Fleet Master Firallon.
Swamp of Sorrows
  • The objects Thousand-Thread-Count Fuse, Extra-Pure Blasting Powder, and Stack of Questionable Publications for the quest "In with a Bang" now respawn more quickly.

Kalimdor
Southern Barrens
  • Silithid Swarmers no longer grant any experience or loot, and cannot be skinned when killed.
Stonetalon Mountains
  • The Stonetalon Mountains Quests achievement is now properly triggered after the 55th quest is completed.

Northrend
Icecrown
  • Morbidus no longer provides any loot or experience.

Nefarian US 25-Man kill by Premonition
Premonition (US - Sen'jin) was the first guild to kill Nefarian in 25-man in the US! Congratulations to them!



Account Security Alert: Gawker Media
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
As some of you know, several Gawker Media websites, including Gawker, Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker, Jezebel, io9, Jalopnik, and Deadspin, were recently compromised. To help minimize the effects of this compromise -- namely for players who might be using the same login information for their Gawker Media accounts and their Battle.net accounts -- we recently issued password-reset emails for several accounts. If you've received an email from Blizzard Entertainment requesting a password reset as a result of the Gawker Media compromise, please click on the link included in the email's body to choose a new password. You can also log in to Battle.net Account Management to reset your password on your own ( https://us.battle.net/account/management ).

If you used your Battle.net email address to sign up with any of the Gawker Media sites listed above (for example, to post comments), we also recommend that you update your Battle.net email address as soon as possible via Account Management. If you are unable to complete this step or the password reset and believe your account might be compromised, please contact our customer support staff by using the Account Recovery Form ( https://us.battle.net/account/suppor...-recovery.html ) and be sure to check out our Account Security Awareness guide ( http://us.battle.net/en/security/ ) for additional security tips and suggestions.

For more information about this situation, please visit Gawker Media's official announcement ( http://gawker.com/5713056/gawker-sec...e-here-to-help ) or Lifehacker’s comprehensive FAQ ( http://lifehacker.com/5712785/faq-co...n-gawker-media ).
by Published on 2010-12-14 10:05 PM

Holy Paladin Nerf
Originally Posted by Nethaera (Blue Tracker)
These hotfixes were intentional and we wanted to share more information about the "why" for you all here:

Mana is supposed to matter for healers, and in the case of Holy paladins, that just wasn’t happening. We were seeing raid groups attempting to learn new bosses where the other healers were out of mana while the paladins were still at 90% of mana. We also thought the experience of paladins healing harder heroic dungeons was inconsistent with that of other healers, or our design intent. We thought it was only a matter of time before groups started going out of their way to stack paladins for raids or recruit them for dungeon runs, which of course is not our intent. For this reason, we thought it was important to address this point now rather than sitting on it until a future patch.

The main culprit for the increased paladin efficiency this was Holy Power from Tower of Radiance. We were seeing a strategy develop where paladins would cast Holy Light on a Beaconed tank, and then cast Light of Dawn on the raid (and use very few other spells). This strategy was remarkably successful considering how simple it is. The Holy Power-based heals are supposed to be an important component of the paladin kit, but because Holy Light is designed to be super efficient, the overall strategy was too efficient. The intent of Tower of Radiance was to make directly healing a Beacon of Light target less punitive, but instead it was becoming the only smart way to play. You can still generate Holy Power by using Flash of Light or Divine Light on a Beaconed target, or through a variety of other ways. Remember, overall it isn’t balanced if paladins are just as mana efficient as other healers and have several mana-free spells.

Light of Dawn was adjusted because it was completely eclipsing Word of Glory. We lowered the healing of Word of Glory late in development, but also redesigned Light of Dawn. They had fallen out of sync, and Light of Dawn was just too good.

PvP Season 9 Has Begun!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The first PvP season of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is underway! Players are now able to compete in level-85 Rated Arenas for top gear, items, and titles -- and for the first time ever, they can enter level-85 Rated Battlegrounds to fight for the same rewards available through Arenas, along with the original World of Warcraft PvP titles. Players can also participate in unranked War Games, skirmishes that allow Battleground and Arena teams to hone their skills against opponents of their choosing -- even if they're in the same faction. So prepare yourselves, aspiring Grand Marshals and High Warlords, as the struggle between the Horde and the Alliance is about to get bloodier.
by Published on 2010-12-14 03:29 AM

Arena Season 9 starts this week!
The next Arena Season starts tomorrow on live servers, now that some of you are level 85 it might be to explore the PvP side of Cataclysm! (PvP Forums)





Cataclysm Hotfixes - Updated Dec. 13
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Here you will find a list of hotfixes that address various issues related to the release of patch 4.0.3a and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. While many have already been deployed on all realms, some may not be implemented until the next time your realm is restarted. We will continue to update this thread in the days ahead as additional hotfixes are applied.

December 13
General
  • Guild experience caps were being hit faster than expected. As a result, guild experience gained through questing has been reduced.
  • After hitting the weekly guild reputation cap, players will no longer receive the message that they're at the cap every time a quest is turned in.
  • It is no longer possible to activate Running Wild from a transform or shapeshift form (including Metamorphosis). When leaving a shapeshift form, worgen players will always be in worgen form and cannot toggle Two Forms while shapeshifted.
  • Players should no longer be unable to chat, or join or leave private chat channels after a realm is restarted for any reason.

Classes
Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Both Bear and Cat Form versions of Skull Bash are no longer able to be used to get to a target when there is no valid path available.

Hunter (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • It is no longer possible for hunters to tame pets in a way that allows them to keep any buffs the creatures had on them prior to being tamed.

Warlock (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Dark Intent no longer causes the warlock to stand up while eating or drinking when a critical hit occurs.
  • If Empowered Imp procs while casting Soul fire, the buff is no longer consumed.
  • Searing Pain can still be cast if it misses while Soul Burn is active and does not consume Soul Burn until it lands.

Dungeons & Raids
  • The droprates on all Bind-on-Equip items in Cataclysm dungeons have been reduced.
  • Chaos Orbs now drop properly from Vanessa VanCleef in Heroic: Deadmines.
  • It should no longer be possible for Vanessa VanCleef's note to spawn in Deadmines instances where groups have not killed Ripsnarl and Cookie.
  • Admiral Ripsnarl's vapors no longer award reputation in Heroic: Deadmines.
  • Summoned non-elite Twisted Visages no longer provide reputation in Grim Batol.
  • Siamat in Lost City of the Tol'vir could sometimes fail to cast Deflecting Winds on time, rendering him unkillable. This has been corrected.
  • NPCs which spawn during the Baron Silverlaine encounter in Shadowfang Keep no longer reward reputation when killed.
  • All players should now correctly be rewarded with the Straw that Broke the Camel's Back achievement in Halls of Origination.

Items
  • Some Cataclysm world rare drops improperly had faction requirements which have been removed.
  • The one-handed mace Torturer's Mercy had incorrect stats. It now has 136 Stamina, 91 Intellect, 61 Spirit, 61 mastery, and 1216 spell power.
  • The one-handed Mace of Apotheosis had incorrect stats. It now has 160 Stamina, 107 Intellect, 54 Spirit, 81 mastery, and 1427 spell power.
  • Fine-Toothed Comb, Fetish of Azrajar, Wil'hai's Extraneous Tooth, and Azralon's Twisted Rune are now correctly item level 285 and will accept Cataclysm-level gems in their prismatic sockets.
  • Phantom Armor from Shadowfang Keep is now classified as plate armor to match its stats and itemization.
  • The Vashj'ir quest reward Staff of Post-Facto Preparation now has spell power on it, 'cause it should.
  • The Vashj'ir quest rewards Darkspear Ritual Blade and Gnomeregan Mindslicer now have spell power on them, 'cause they should.
  • Several items in Cataclysm starting zones have been increased from item level 279 to 308, with relative stat increases.

Professions
  • Completing Archaeology projects no longer progresses the guild achievement Making History. This is a temporary fix until an issue with this achievement can be addressed in an upcoming patch.
  • Corpses of Scalding Rock Elementals can now be mined. It's possible to gain both Volatile Earth and Shimmering Shards from the corpses.
  • Several Jewelcrafting designs were incorrectly tagged as Bind-on-Pickup and have been changed to Bind-on-Equip.
  • The Alchemy skill Transmute: Living Elements now functions correctly in Deepholm and Uldum.
  • Disenchanted green items are now giving more materials as the item levels increase. This change also ensures armor items give dust more often than essence, and that weapons give more essence than dust.
  • Fishing in open water areas around Sulfuron Spire no longer yields Volatile Fire.
  • Lifebound Alchemist Stones should now always be properly created when the necessary materials are consumed and skill-ups are awarded.
  • The speed of the Blacksmithing mace Forged Elementium Mindcrusher was too fast compared to related items. Its speed is now 3.60.
  • The Overpowered Chicken Splitter Engineering bow is now superior quality and no longer epic.
  • The droprate on Volatile Life from herbs has been increased.
  • Bario Matalli and Shazdar now properly sell Cocoa Beans, Noble Hops and Dry Yeast in unlimited quantities. Additionally, Innkeeper Allison no longer sells Fresh Goat's Milk and now carries Fresh Water instead.
  • Drained Venomblood Scorpids can now be skinned.

Quests & Creatures
Cataclysm Zones
Deepholm
  • It is now possible to complete the quest achievement Deep into Deepholm.
  • Aggra's voice-overs can no longer be heard or read by other players during the Deepholm introduction at the Maelstrom.
  • Living Bloods at Deathwing's Fall now spawn more quickly.
  • Mercurial Oozes at the Upper Silvermarsh now spawn more quickly.
  • Quest NPCs in the Temple of Earth should now appear during the final zone phases to guarantee players can still turn in quests regardless of progress.
  • Players should no longer be repeatedly consumed by the very mean Colossal Gyreworm.
  • Twilight Defilers, Twilight Heretics, and Twilight Desecrators can no longer be pickpocketed.
  • Players are able to obtain the Bottle of Whiskey and the Spool of Rope for the quest "Without a Captain or Crew".
  • If Earthmender Norsala despawns during the scripted event for "Wrath of the Fungalmancer", players can now still continue with the event.
  • The Ruby Crystal Cluster is now multi-drop for players in a party and are respawning at a decent rate.
  • Phased Armor cast by Twilight Dragonspawn and Seeping Quicksilver cast by Mercuiral Ooze were doing trivial amounts of damage. The damage of these abilities has been increased.
Gilneas
  • War Machines now spawn more quickly in the Headlands for the quest "They Have Allies, But So Do We".
Lost Isles
  • Quest NPCs for "The Heads Of The SI:7" were doing too much damage. Their damage has been reduced and are within the appropriate level range.
Mount Hyjal
  • "An Offering for Aviana" is correctly being offered in all cases of prerequisite completion for both Horde and Alliance characters.
  • Matoclaw in the Grove of Aessina now offers the quest "Last Stand at Whistling Grove".
  • Cindermaul's Chest can now be looted by any player that currently has the quest "Cindermaul, the Portal Master" in their quest log.
  • Windspeaker Tamila no longer joins combat when hostile creatures are brought near her.
Twilight Highlands
  • Bosses can no longer be pulled far out of the Crucible of Carnage arena.
  • During the quest "Aiming High" the Flintlocke's Explosives can now be used anywhere on the Skyshredder.
Uldum
  • Sheep packs no longer instantly respawn.
  • Player are now able to stay in the proper phase and accept "Field Work" after leaving the area, porting to other zones, or relogging.
Vashj'ir
  • It is now possible to complete the quest achievement Sinking into Vashj'ir.
  • Scourgut Remoras are now spawning closer to the ground.
  • Players should always be properly granted credit for completing the "Defending the Rift" quest event.
  • The range on the phase transitions of the Battlemaiden event has been extended to catch players who've pushed too far away from the NPCs around the bridge.
  • Gnash is now balanced for any type of party make-up to engage. He also grants more experience when he dies than he used to.
  • NPCs on The Verne and the Pincer X2 will no longer despawn or behave oddly while players are completing the quest "Full Circle".
  • Nespirah's entrance membrane should always be open.
  • Slithering Slime applied by eels in the Kepl'thar Forest now does significantly more damage, as it was not scaling appropriately with level.
  • Toxic Bite applied by eels in the Shimmering Expanse now does significantly more damage, as it was not scaling appropriately with level.
  • Brinescale Serpent's Brinescale Venom now has a 10-second duration, down from 20.

Eastern Kingdoms
Dun Morogh
  • General Grimaxe should now always respawn properly after being killed.
Eastern Plaguelands
  • The Argent Lightwell Charm can no longer be used outside of the designated questing area.
Stormwind
  • Major Samuelson grants kill credit to everyone on the quest that is nearby when he is unmasked. He also grants players who hit him during the fight quest credit for his kill, regardless of tap rights.
Western Plaguelands
  • Lang's Hand Grenades are not usable outside of the designated questing area.
Kalimdor
Azshara
  • Talrendis Marksmen no longer grant experience upon death.
Felwood
  • The Blood Red Key, which started the now-deprecated quest "A Strange Redy Key", is now removed from players' inventories upon logging out or zoning.
  • Darla's Box of Megaflares cannot be used when not in Felwood. They can be used anywhere within Felwood.

War Games: Battleground and Arena Skirmishes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Beginning with Arena Season 9, we're giving Arena and Battleground teams the option to challenge each other to War Games, a new kind of skirmish that allows teams to practice, set up matches against friends or rivals, or even try out potential recruits. We've prepared a handy FAQ to explain how it works.

Q: What's a War Game?
A: A War Game is an unranked match in which one group of players challenges another group to an Arena or Battleground skirmish in a setting of their choosing. You will be able to initiate a War Game by using the /wargame or /wg command, as explained below.

Q: When will War Games be available?
A: War Games will become available with the start of Arena Season 9. After that point, you'll be able to play a War Game at any time, regardless of whether a season is underway.

Q: How does it work?
A: After you've formed your group, use the /wargame or /wg command to challenge another group leader to a War Game match, like so:

/wg groupleadername mapname

If mapname is left blank, a random Arena or Battleground will be chosen automatically based on the initiating team's size.

For example: JohnnyRaider wants to challenge TommyPvP to a 2v2 Arena skirmish in the Nagrand Arena. After each forms a separate group with his respective Arena partner, JohnnyRaider uses the following command to start the War Game:

/wg tommypvp nagrand arena

TommyPvP will receive a pop-up notice stating "JohnnyRaider has challenged you to a War Game in the Nagrand Arena."

TommyPvP then has a little over a minute to accept the challenge. Once he accepts, each group will be placed in the queue and will receive a pop-up window prompting them to enter the skirmish once it's ready.

Q: Can I play War Game skirmishes against members of my own faction?
A: Yes! The War Game skirmish system allows you to challenge players in your same faction to Arena and Battleground matches. You can also challenge those of the opposite faction.

Q: Do I have to type the whole map name, or can I just type "/wg tommypvp warsong" to enter Warsong Gulch?
A: You can type only part of the Arena or Battleground name, and the system will select the closest match. If you want to be safe, you can use the entire name (as below) to launch a War Game skirmish.

Arenas: Blade's Edge Arena, Dalaran Sewers, Nagrand Arena, The Ring of Valor, Ruins of Lordaeron

Battlegrounds: Alterac Valley, Arathi Basin, The Battle for Gilneas, Eye of the Storm, Isle of Conquest, Strand of the Ancients, Twin Peaks, Warsong Gulch

Random map options: Random Battleground, All Arenas

Q: Can I challenge a team from another realm to a skirmish?
A: No, you can only challenge opponents on your own realm.

Q: Can I start a game if one team has fewer group members than the other?
A: You are able to create a Battleground War Game with uneven team sizes, but you are not able to create an Arena War Game with uneven team sizes. For example, an 8v5 Warsong Gulch War Game is possible, but launching an Arena War Game with uneven team sizes won't work.

Q: What's the largest possible size for a War Game?
A: Arena War Games can support up to 5v5 matches. Battleground group sizes are limited to the maximum number of participants each map normally allows.

Q: Are any statistics recorded from War Game skirmishes?
A: No, they work similarly to the old Arena skirmish system. Kills, damage, and healing are tracked and displayed at the end of the match, but wins and losses are not.

Q: How long does it take for a War Game match to start?
A: Once the challenge has been accepted, you will generally be through the queue in less than 30 seconds. War Games offer you a quick way to get into practice matches with other teams, test out potential recruits, or just have fun with your friends.

Q: Can I receive achievements or guild experience in a War Game?
A: Because you can pick who you play against, nothing is awarded for playing in these skirmishes -- except for the rush that comes with a hard-won victory, of course.

Q: Do I get honor for killing players in a War Game Battleground?
A: No. These are skirmish matches, so no honor is awarded for objectives or kills.

Q: What’s the difference between the /wg command and the War Game button in the PvP interface?
A: The War Game button is used only for launching Battleground matches. The /wg command covers both Battleground and Arena skirmishes. We plan to further integrate the War Game feature into the PvP interface in a future patch.

Q: Why have you added this feature?
A: Players have long been asking for a way to challenge specific teams, guildmates, friends, and rivals to skirmish matches in Arenas and Battlegrounds of their choosing. We hope you enjoy this new feature, and we look forward to seeing you on the battlefield!

Cataclysm Shatters Sales Record
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
IRVINE, Calif. -- December 13, 2010 -- Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that World of Warcraft®: Cataclysm™, the third expansion for the critically acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), sold through more than 3.3 million copies as of its first 24 hours of release, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time.* This milestone eclipses the previous record of more than 2.8 million copies sold in 24 hours, set in November 2008 by Blizzard's second World of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King®.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was simultaneously released in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand on December 7, and became available in Korea and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau on December 9. More than 10,000 stores throughout the world opened their doors at midnight to welcome players who wanted to be among the first to obtain a copy of the expansion. In addition, more than 15,000 players attended official launch events hosted by Blizzard and key retail partners in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Russia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the region of Taiwan.

"We had to bring Azeroth to the brink of destruction in Cataclysm, but the result was our best expansion yet," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We want to thank all of our new, existing, and returning players throughout the world for their incredible enthusiasm and support, and we look forward to hearing what they think about all the new content."

"World of Warcraft: Cataclysm delivered even bigger day-one sales than we experienced with StarCraft® II: Wings of Liberty™ in July," said Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop, "making this a record year for Blizzard Entertainment at GameStop."

Prior to the launch of Cataclysm, World of Warcraft's subscriber population had grown to more than 12 million players globally, further strengthening the game's position as the world's most popular subscription-based MMORPG. More information about the new expansion can be found at the official Cataclysm website: http://www.blizzard.com/games/cataclysm/.

To keep pace with the continued growth of World of Warcraft as well as development on other Blizzard Entertainment® games, the company is currently hiring for numerous open positions. More information on career opportunities available at Blizzard Entertainment can be found at www.blizzard.com/jobs.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Dalaran/Shattrath Portals
We have no plans to return the portals to Shattrath and Dalaran. Please refrain from creating further such threads on this topic. (Source)

Healing in Cataclysm
It's definitely challenging to heal in Cataclysm and that's by design. We want players to pick and choose what spells to use and when. Those in your group will also need to be conscious of whether or not they're putting out enough DPS, taking too much damage, and more. You'll probably be pulling out more "tricks" from your bag than you've been doing in awhile. You're also going to miss a time or two, run out of mana at a bad time and find yourself trying to figure out just what went wrong. Even experienced healers are going to have to dig their heels in a bit.

That said, we're keeping an eye out for how healing is going and should we feel there need to be adjustments, we'll make them. As many have noticed, we're starting to get a larger population of level 85 players who will be running through the content and getting better gear to compliment their spells and abilities. That should help some. (Source)

The Daily Blink - Athene wins NYC Marathon
I'm so dead for posting that. (Related)


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