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by Published on 2013-03-12 03:44 AM

Update: Mage and Warrior buffs, Warlock and Priest nerfs, and Death Knight changes are here!

Upcoming Hotfix to Arcane Power on Crit, Demon Hunter Fan Art, Heart of the Swarm is Live!

Isle of Thunder US - Stage 2 Unlocked

Patch 5.2 Dev Interviews
Another day, another interview. Tonight we take a look at an interview with Dave Kosak, Lead Quest Designer by Buffed.de.

  • There are no more five man dungeons planned for Mists of Pandaria. (Discussion)
  • Garrosh and Varian will show up again in Patch 5.3, with another chapter of Varian's story.
  • The rewards from the daily quest factions in patch 5.2 were intended to make daily quests feel less mandatory, with the best rewards coming from raid reputation.
  • More scenarios are coming in future patches. We may see very challenging three player scenarios with pretty good rewards.
  • Future patches won't make dramatic changes to Azeroth when the war comes back, but there will be small changes to reflect the war going global.
  • The story of the last Pandaren emperor that cloaked the continent in mists will be revealed at some point in the future.
  • An animated ebook is coming that tells more of the story of Pandaria and the last emperor, Shaohao.
  • The story of the Zandalari isn't over yet!

Patch 5.2
  • Isle of Thunder unlocking is faction based and participation based. The unlock speed is based on participation percentage, not population. Doing just one quest is enough to count as contributing for the day.
  • Most realms will fully unlock the Isle within six weeks, with some doing it slightly faster or slower.
  • The Isle of Thunder has things like the summonable bosses, rare spawns, chests, Lorewalker objects, and other things to make it more than just a place to go and do daily quests. More things like these will be experimented with in Patch 5.3.
  • The Tiller's farm worked out well, and we may see more places to interact with every day in the future.
  • The Troves of the Thunder King scenario is intended to be easy to find a key for at least once a week, with a small chance to find another.
  • Outdoor bosses, rare spawns, and the Isle of Giants are all ways to encourage players to group up, and we will see more in the future.
  • The solo scenarios added in Patch 5.2 allow players to experience the Isle of Thunder unlock events even if they were unable to play for a few weeks, but we won't see a lot of these in the future. They are better for special events or skill challenges, such as the final part of the Patch 5.2 legendary quest chain.

Isle of Thunder Participation
Dave Kosak shared what the percentage of participation for your faction actually means. Some time towards the end of last week US realms stopped unlocking at the same exact rate, so be sure to encourage your faction to do daily quests if you want to keep up!

Oondasta and Nalak Hotfixes
Groups of 80 to 200 players have been forming cross realm raids to kill Oondasta, which occasionally caused some realm stability problems.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re in the process of implementing a hotfix that will remove players’ eligibility to receive loot from Oondasta and Nalak, The Storm Lord if they’re not on their home realm.

We think it’s great that encounters like Oondasta have been able to bring back some of the excitement of massive spontaneous outdoor raids. However, with cross-realm groups giving the ability to play with friends on each other’s realms, the amount of people concentrating on a single realm to try to zerg these bosses down can unfortunately cause a number of stability issues, impacting the availability of the game for everyone.

While Nalak isn’t available yet, we want to preemptively address this so that the first realm to unlock it doesn’t then become the single focus for the rest of the region.

Here’s the hotfix note that’ll be added to the blog shortly:

  • Players visiting a different realm are no longer eligible to receive loot from Oondasta or Nalak, The Storm Lord.

Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: March 11
Tonight's hotfixes address several issues, such as the 5% drop rate of the Zandalari dino pets, Throne of Thunder tuning adjustments, AQ exploits, and Blacksmiths making Lightning Steel Ingots too early.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)


  • Players visiting a different realm are no longer eligible to receive loot from Oondasta or Nalak, The Storm Lord. A forum thread discussing the reasoning for this change have been created.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Oondasta to not award loot to some players.
  • Fetid Meat Pile now properly lets players that are sufficiently far away to drop out of combat.
  • Zandalari Dinomancer now have a much lower chance to drop the Zandalari Anklerender, Footslasher, Kneebiter, and Toenibbler.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • All raid bosses now drop the appropriate number of tier tokens for Raid Finder, 10/25-player normal and heroic modes.
  • Fixed an issue where Luck of the Draw would sometimes be incorrectly applied to Challenge Mode groups.
  • Throne of Thunder
    • Combustion now deals 100% of the player’s damage to Primordius while the player is under the effects of Fully Mutated.
    • Reduced the health of The Council of Elders for 10-player normal and heroic mode.
    • Fixed an issue with Durumu the Forgotten where Life Drain's stun was not transferring correctly.
    • Reduced the health of the Gurubashi, Amani, Drakkari, and Farraki adds on the Horridon encounter.
    • Iron Qon for 25-player normal and heroic modes had the following change: The amount of damage dealt by Unleashed Flame and number of people needed to trigger Unleashed Flame had been reduced.
    • Iron Qon for 10/25-player normal modes had the following changes: Shatter damage have been reduced by 20%, damage from Arching Lightning have been reduced by 10%, and Rising Anger stacks more slowly.
  • Scholomance
    • Fixed an issue where Lilian Voss' Dark Blaze was invisible.
  • Temple of Ahn’Qiraj
    • The Prophet Skeram and any illusions created during the encounter no longer drop loot or provide reputation when killed. This is a temporary change to address an issue with the encounter.

  • Fixed an issue with latency near the beginning of a Battleground.

  • Blacksmithing
    • Creation of Lightning Steel Ingots now requires at least one of the factions to have unlocked the Thunder Forge.


Bug Fixes
  • The Skin of the Saurok disguise in Ihgaluk Crag will no longer cancel Druid Moonkin and Tree of Life forms.
  • Fixed an issue where Worgen were unable to use Two Forms after crossing into a coalesced zone while in combat.

Blue Tweets
Be sure to read these carefully, as they make note of upcoming class changes.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Also considering buffs to warrior and DK tank DPS. Possible nerfs to dot classes. Nothing extreme. DPS looks good overall (but only 1 week). (Source)
DK tank DPS Really? If that's the case please look at Prot Pally.
Prot paladin DPS looks good overall. Is there a specific fight you're referencing? (Source)

How do you feel about absorbs always being chosen over other heals in battle and making Paladin and Priest always on top?
It's just a trait of absorbs. Hots also tend to "heal snipe." It's one reason meters aren't a great indicator of healing power. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Sims aren't end all be all, then are you seeing in practice unholy being much higher than frost? Why more frost specific buffs
Yeah Unholy ended up on top and the goal isn't to make every Frost DK swap. Should be personal preference for 95% of players. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Can we get the LOS requirement dropped from Dismiss Pet? Would help out when terrain in boss rooms traps them
That seems like a reasonable request. We'll discuss it. Counters a PvP strat, but that strat is mostly annoying. (Source)

But the Silencing Shot nerf IS noticed in PVE, especially with any rares/elites that cast heals. How to interrupt now?
There is no encounter in PvE balanced around every player needing to interrupt that often. (Source)

Confused by Diziet interview and hunter class review. Hunters needed a nerf a la spriests but were in a good place in pvp?
Fixing the Stampede bug after launch and nerfing Silencing Shot a little in 5.2 are the only nerfs IIRC. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
To clear up some confusion, Critical Mass is a 1.3 modifier on live. There is a tooltip bug that makes it appear to be 1.2. Our apologies. (Source)

After a few more days, we now think mage DPS is low. We want to keep parity among mage specs so the buffs will likely be fairly passive. (Source)
When will these changes happen? I love arcane, raid leader has me going frost for tomorrows raid. Thank you again for all u do
The intent is before the raid reset / heroics unlock. (Source)

You overdid it destroying Fire & redid it in 5.2 to Arcane. It's galling to see Blizzard surprised Frost is over-represented.
That's not what I said. We like Frost vs. Fire vs. Arcane. We think all 3 are low compared to say lock and hunter. (Source)

I seem to be spamming scorch because of movement issues with the new bosses on ptr, anything new on the way? ;/. Sry to bother
Quickly moving then stopping to cast is generally higher performance than moving all the time and spamming Scorch. (Source)

Speccing Flameglow is boring, there's no visual (and its called flameglow, huh..) It could atleast have a little visual..
It's a passive. The visual would be up 100% of the time. (Source)
Can we get an aura to flameglow pls?
It's on always. Do you just want an icon to remind you or do you want to see a visual 100% of the time? (Source)

5.0 fire, 5.1 arcane, 5.2 frost. I feel that when i am comfortable with one spec i have to change every patch since mop releas
My advice overall is to play that you enjoy and not swap constantly based on what some website says. (Source)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Whats the reasoning behind monk fierce tiger hotfix nerf? I understood the 5.2 nerfs but isn't this too many at once?
We found a last minute bug with our testing related to the lvl 30 talents. It as our mistake unrelated to any performance on live. (Source)
Does this mean the 10% damage reduction on stance will be reverted? *Puppy Eyes*
No, we had to add that nerf because their damage was 10% higher than we wanted. My apologies. (Source)
Any chance of fixing the bug and reverting to 20%? Could cause problems layer. Balancing around bugs = bad.
The bug was in our testing, not the WW. We caught it too late. You were doing +10% DPS than we intended. Sadface. (Source)
The excuse doesn't make sentence, dude. How does lv 30 talents affect dps?? Chi wave?
Try measuring your DPS with and without Chi Wave. What is the difference? (Source)
How do want to make WW viable? their dmg is lower than in 5.2! srsly people are massabandoning their monks
Mass abandonment after 2 days also seems like a bit of an extreme reaction. (Source)
Maybe, although I'm sure it's crossed the mind of several after your such amusing understanding of balance in 5.2.
Are you saying you have a crystal clear picture of balance after 3 days? Hmm. (Source)
I just find the explanations for this "10%" reduction a bit reduntant. But im a fighter and so is my monk!
It's not this simple, but imagine Fierce Tiger had a bug that made it do 10% more DPS than intended. The hotfix was to fix that. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Why the change to the paladin 4pc pvp set to not work with eternal flame?
We wanted to cut down on Holy instants, so we changed the bonus to work with WoG/EG to Flash. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Disc feels functionally much better. Coming back with the DA change is tough but adaptable. Overall, great work.
Glad to hear it. Let's see how it feels in a week or two once everyone has wrapped their head around all the PvP changes. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Using totems while silenced is annoying ok but to be blanket silenced every 15 seconds isn´t?
The point of silences is to counter things, especially heals and defenses. We don't like uncounterable things. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
As an Affy Warlock, having Haunt tied into the Soul Shard system feels clunky. It felt better as a cooldown.
We like Haunt. Concerned that Soul Swap consumes all available shards though which means less for other things. (Source)

Just curious, how's the reaction to the Warlock quest been? I've spent about 20 hours wiping on Kan, feels overwhelming atm
Overall, I'd say it was this. Players who can't beat him: Please nerf. Players who managed to beat him: Please don't! (Source)

Any worse on whether Kanrethad might receive some kind of nerf? I've given all I've got, and I just can't do it as-is
Maybe someday. For now, the fight is more about execution and using all your tools than DPS. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Why did warriors get such a nerf in 5.2? Why is deadly calm gone? Why such a hate for dps warriors?
Did you really find Deadly Calm fun? I felt we added it in a weak moment. (Source)

Did you guys just not care to put a prot war explanation in the class reviews?
We made almost no changes. We adjusted their scaling a little to avoid high Vengeance craziness. (Source)

The Daily Blink - Donate, and Buff a Mage in Need
The Daily Blink came up with a new way to help out mages after the devastation brought by Patch 5.2. Let's just say it has a quick effect...

If the whole puppy commercial torture thing doesn't pan out, we'll pool all the money and buy pre-made Hunter characters on eBay.
by Published on 2013-03-10 09:09 PM

Should Blizzard Announce Features Well in Advance?, Blue Posts, What Inspired Your Diablo 3 Character Name?, Curse Weekly Roundup

Isle of Thunder US - ~80-90% Unlocked (Stage 1) - US realms are no longer all unlocking at the same rate

Patch 5.2 Dev Interviews
Today we continue our interviews recap with an interview with Tom Chilton by Blizzplanet!

  • Ghostcrawler's unannounced feature might be in Patch 5.4 if it is complete in time. As far as a hint goes, "A lot of players have suggested that they be able to do older content, so it is something along those lines".
  • If Mists of Pandaria could be done over, there isn't much that would be changed, other than how mandatory daily quests felt.
  • Hopefully this is as slow as new content will ever be delivered from now on!
  • Part of the team has been split off to work on the odd number patches, Patch 5.1, 5.3, and maybe even Patch 5.5!
  • The rest of the team works on the even numbed patches with raids, Patch 5.0, 5.2, and Patch 5.4.
  • The team working on WoW has also been enlarged, and is now bigger than ever before. The team size will be increased as time goes on.
  • The tech used for Sunsong Ranch moves the tech closer to the possibility of player housing, but defining what it is, why it would be cool, and how it would work is still not there yet.
  • The changes made to the Patch 5.0 raid failbags were smaller, but should be more significant with the Patch 5.2 bonus roll improvements. Even when you don't win loot, you should have a chance to win something cool like old mounts or things that were used to incentivize tanks in dungeon finder. Another option mentioned for bonus rolls or failbags is some Valor Points or increased amount of gold.
  • Challenge modes are still working out well, but it isn't expected that most players will take part due to the difficulty. There aren't any major changes planned and the feature will continue to be used in the future.
  • Thunderforged items are less about getting 10 man raid groups to switch to 25 man than they are about rewarding 25 man groups for the increased complexity.

Thunderforged Items Drop Rate
WoWProgress took a look at the gear worn by guilds that have killed Jin'rokh the Breaker and found that there is roughly a 10% drop chance in 10 man and 25% drop chance in 25 man.

Congratulations to Rehabilitation Clinic and Exodus for finishing up Lei Shen first last week. Good luck to everyone this week!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
10 Player Raids and Tier Tokens
Then on top of that I found out about the t15 token changes, where it isn't a guaranteed drop in 10 man anymore, 0-2 tokens can drop, and in 25 2-4 tokens can drop. Which puts double RNG into tier, making it especially bad for 10 man cause they can continuously get zero tier. On top of that 10 man is tuned much tighter then 25. 1 Person messes up your likely to wipe unless you really outgear the content. It seems blizzard is trying to completely revive 25 mans and put 10 mans in its grave..
Having 0 tier tokens drop for 10 person raid groups was unintended. We're currently looking to address this in a coming hotfix similar to the one that had been implemented for 25 person raid groups.

From Patch 5.2 Hotfixes - March 7:
- The appropriate number of tier tokens should now drop for 25-player normal and heroic difficulties. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Paladin PvP Feedback
Me: So im sorry, but im a little bit confused. Firstly, what do Paladins who just go Holy have to do w/ this question? is he trying to say that all the Paladins who are in Glad range as Holy magically played Ret and then re-speced for giggles? Anyone care to explain to me what he is trying to say? As well, Holy is good, but... honestly, imba? a bit of a stretch id say, the spec is balanced.
Holy, as I understand, is one of the highest represented healers at top ratings right now. While I am not saying from this information we can conclude that holy is "imba", but they are definitely one of the strongest healers at the moment. Healers are also in a higher demand than DPS as more people want to be the one wailing away on the opponent.

I also feel that you are twisting what is being said by GC, he did not state that they magically hit glad range after respeccing, it is just that holy is such a strong spec in PvP comparatively to Ret that many highly ranked paladins may have switched to it for the competitive advantage it holds.

Me: So every Ret is in fact insane for choosing that spec in the first place? ok, im sure we all knew that, I did anyways, but what else are we getting told here? That since Holy is strong that Ret should stay broken and all Paladins should roll Holy? whats the point of a talent tree?

Once again, the success of Holy Paladins this season is getting used in a very sad way to overshadow and justify keeping Rets down

You are twisting his words again, and wouldn't the words "imba" and "OP" be meaning the same thing in the way they are both used? That Holy is above average.

The success of Holy paladins in this season is not being used as an excuse to "keep Rets down". He is just saying that the number of rets represented at higher ratings is probably low because many highly rated players want to take advantage of the benefits that lie in playing as Holy.

We have mentioned many times that we want and are attempting to improve the current state of Ret paladins, as can be seen in the patch notes. The success of one spec is not a reason to leave another in the cold, in a perfect world all specs would be equal but sadly it is not entirely plausible. We don't feel that Rets aren't viable right now or that they are bad, it's just that they simply don't perform as well as Holy and that is why their representation is lower.

Me: Ok, I can agree that Holy never rly had any offensive pressure as far as CC goes, that is if we dont count the first 1-2? seasons of Wotlk, but ok nvm. Holy was solid tons of times before, and is generally one of the strongest Healing specs. Was op a few times, but that is sorted. And imo? thats fine, if a spec works good and is not op then its fine.
Your picking at semantics with the "OP" statements now. The general idea that he is trying to get across is that Holy is a strong spec that is capable of outperforming other healers right now, it also has benefits that outweigh those given by Ret, so many of them changed to Holy.

Alright... so from what I can see, mentioning that Holy is OP and imba in 3 out of the 4 questions that are generally about Ret tells me that Holy is gonna get stuffed. As well, their constant denial of what is going on w/ Rets indicates that no real changes are going to happen. Ret will get some love in 5.2, no questions there, our dmg will go up by a nudge, but the main problem remains, we are the #1 target for zerging down due to not having a realistic PvP defensive kit for this expansion.
Holy is receiving a few changes (most notable is the nerf to their CC chain) to lower their strengths, there are not many as you can see in the patch notes and they are far from being prevented from remaining competitive. In regards to your concern of Ret paladins receiving no survivability buffs, the patch notes show that they are receiving some very beneficial changes to their survivability and utility as well as minor increase to their damage.

  • Balance, Feral, Windwalker, Retribution, Shadow, Enhancement and Elemental now gain 25% of the bonus healing provided by PvP Power (was 0). Dedicated healers will continue to gain 50% of the bonus healing, and no bonus damage, from PvP Power.
  • Sword of Light now increases Flash of Light by 100% (was 30%) and increases the Paladin's damage with two-handed melee weapons by 15% (was 10%).
  • When Hand of Sacrifice is cast by a Retribution Paladin, all harmful magic effects are removed from the party or raid member.
  • Hand of Purity now reduces all incoming damage by 10% in addition to its other effects.
  • Eternal Flame's periodic heal now provides 100% more healing when self-cast.

There are of course other changes but these are only the increases to Rets survivability. I think that is a pretty big list of buffs, and that's not including any additional changes that have been made but not announced just yet. So you can expect an increase to your survivability, damage and utility come patch 5.2, Rets are far from not getting any real changes. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Computers - Setup of the Month (by chaud)
Each month or every 2 months, depending on the hardware evolutions, the lovely chaud will work on a couple of hardware setups for those of you who are thinking of upgrading their computer!

This month
The current SSD prices seem to have bottomed out for now, with almost all SSDs under $1 per gigabyte. No new CPUs, GPUs, or SSDs worth waiting for are expected before late in the second quarter this year.

Unless you are doing a lot of video rendering or something that is similarly multithreaded, you do not need the 3770K and should spend that money elsewhere.

Make sure to keep your AMD and Nvidia drivers up to date.

Don't hesitate to post any feedback in the comments of that news post, and don't forget to visit the Computer Forum for any extra questions! If you are interested in [email protected], take a look in our team's thread.

ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorAsus VS229H-P 21.5" LED IPS Monitor - $144ASUS VS248H-P 24-Inch Monitor - $170
KeyboardLogitech Media Keyboard K200 - $17Cyborg V.5 - $43
MouseLogitech G400 - $30Razer Deathadder - $45
SpeakersCreative A220 2.1 Speaker System - $27Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $40
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE278Q 27-Inch - $290HP ZR2440W 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $359
KeyboardLogitech G110 - $86Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $70 ($115)
MouseLogitech G500 - $49Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $69
SpeakersLogitech Z323 2.1 Speaker System - $59Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $80

Puppy and Dolphin
Mix and match anything but the CPU/Motherboard combo between Puppy and Dolphin. Pick one of the two CPU/Motherboard combos.
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT GAMMA Classic - $34NZXT GAMMA Classic - $34
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 - $58XFX Core Edition PRO 550W - $70
CPUAMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition- $105AMD FX-6300 - $130
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $27Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $33
MotherboardASUS M5A97 R2 AM3+ 970 - $95ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0 AM3+ 990FX - $121
MemoryKingston HyperX Blu 4GB 1333 - $278GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $59
Graphics CardASUS 7770 - $109Gigabyte 7850 2 GB or Gigabyte GTX 660 OC 2GB - $195 / $210
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $56Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $95
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23
Total$534$760 - 775

Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn. SSDs are always optional.
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master HAF 912 - $46Cooler Master HAF X - $162
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $87Corsair 750HX - $140
CPUIntel i5-3570K - $220Intel i7-3770K - $324
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $57Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $79
MotherboardASUS P8Z77-V LK - $120ASUS P8Z77-V - $175
Memory8GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $5916GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $103
Graphics Card7950 OR GIGABYTE GTX 660 Ti - $280Gigabyte 7970 OR GIGABYTE GTX 670 - $400 / $370
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $95Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $95
SSDSAMSUNG 840 128GB (Review) - $101
OCZ 128 GB Vertex 4 (Review) - $126
Intel 330 180GB (Review) - $130
SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB (Review) - $138
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $23
Total$987 - $1113$1471 - $1639

TCG Art Update
Blizzard has updated the Trading Card Game art gallery to feature ten new pieces.

by Published on 2013-03-09 09:24 AM

More Activity From Community Managers, Give Blizzard Your Legendary Ideas!, Blue Posts, Lastzoul's Flying Dragon Monk Build

Isle of Thunder Day 3 - 60% Unlocked (Stage 1)

Patch 5.2 Dev Interviews
Today we continue our interviews recap with an interview with Tom Chilton by Twizzcast!

  • Scaling down gear and character stats for old content is on the list of things that would be nice to do, it is just a matter of when there will be time to do it.
  • Plans for how the patches will end up are still flexible at the start of an expansion, but there is still a roadmap of what Blizzard would like to accomplish throughout the expansion.
  • There is usually a very light amount of planning for the next three expansions. This is limited to what they would be about, the theme, and some of the major features. Plans usually end up changing, so not a lot of time is spent on it.
  • Isle of the Thunder King and Lei Shen were already planned out a year ago. Blizzard started actively working on Patch 5.2 five months ago, fleshing out details and deciding what features will be included.
  • During the process of working on a patch things are often added that are not planned far ahead of time. For example, the Brawler's Guild was just an idea that came up while working on Patch 5.1.
  • Patch 5.2 made some changes intended to make it reasonable for players to catch up with others. The secondary effect is making it somewhat easier to maintain alts.

No Flying for Leveling Alts in Pandaria
Zarhym shared a few clarifications to his tweet yesterday.

Pet Battle XP Hotfixes
Due to the below bugs, leveling via Pet Battles was the fastest way to level for a short time after the patch was live.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We're in the process of updating the hotfixes blog with the recent changes to Pet Battle XP, but wanted to provide a bit more insight into why the changes were made and how XP is calculated.

  • All buffs to player XP (heirlooms, enlightenment, guild bonus etc.) were bugged, these where hotfixed to work as expected.
  • General player XP from pet battles was tuned too high, these numbers have been balanced accordingly.
  • Player experience is granted based on a number of factors. These are player level, number of pet opponents, maximum pet opponent level and the level disparity between opponents pets and your pets.
  • Our philosophy is that player XP from pet battles should be, in general, somewhat slower than normal questing.

Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: March 7
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

  • Cleaning House: Players should now be able to obtain credit for defeating Fizzy Yellow Alemental and complete the quest.
  • Giant Dinosaur Bone: This quest is now a proper daily quest and can only completed once each day.
  • Plunder the Black Temple: Door to the Den of Mortal Delights should now open properly when the player reaches the appropriate step in the quest.
  • The Warren-Mother: Players should now be able to obtain credit for defeating Chaufa and complete the quest.
  • Where are My Reinforcements?: Players should now be able to receive completion credit after speaking with Ban Bearheart.

  • Ra'sha now scales their health based on the number of players they're engaged in combat with.
  • Zandalari Prospect now properly drop loot.

Pet Battles
  • Experience gains from winning a Pet Battle have been reduced.
  • Heirlooms and experience buffs will now correctly increase the amount of experience gained from winning a Pet Battle.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Ghost Iron Lockbox and Elementium Lockbox are no longer eligible for need rolls.
  • The appropriate number of tier tokens should now drop for 25-player normal and heroic difficulties.
  • Mogu'shan Vaults

  • Heart of Fear
    • Blade Lord Ta'yak and Wind Lord Mel'jarak as well as their minions are now affected by the Klaxxi Resonance debuff.

  • Throne of Thunder
    • The Mistweaver ability Revival will no longer dispel players who have any of the following effects:
      • Primordius: Clear Mind, Fully Mutated, Improved Synapses, and Thick Bones
      • Durumu: Dark Parasite
      • Jin'rokh the Breaker: Ionization
    • Crazed Storm-Caller should now be able to use the spell Storm Energy.
    • Roaming Fog should no longer cause Druids to drop out of shapeshift form.
    • Spirit Flayers now despawn when Stormbringer Draz'kil is defeated.
    • Spiritfire Beam will now only jump to targets less than 3 yards away.
    • Torment now has a duration of 10 seconds.

  • Season 13 one-handed weapons, excluding the Spellblade and Gavel had their cost reduced from 2250 to 1750 Honor or Conquest points respectively.
  • Players taking periodic damage while in PvP should no longer stand up while eating or drinking.
  • Big Zokk Torquewrench is going on a short leave of absence to take care of unfinished business.


  • Mistlurker Helm, Mistborne Hood, Mountainscaler Hide Helm, and Mountainscaler Satin Hood should display the item information correctly and appear when worn.
  • Overgrown Lillypad now works when on the Isle of Thunder.
  • Thunder Caressed Waistguard now gives a bonus to Expertise instead of Parry.

Sunsong Ranch
  • The way to obtain Work Order quests on the Sunsong Ranch farm has changed. The quests will be given while harvesting crops, or by interacting with the drop-off crate.
  • Fixed an issue where players could be placed into the incorrect phase after abandoning the quest, "Inherit the Earth".
  • Fixed an issue where Occupied Soil would sometimes not update correctly or become non-interactive after clearing the associated Squatting Virmen.

Patch 5.2 Class Reviews - Warrior and Monk
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
We don’t alter classes lightly, and every change comes only after a great deal of player feedback, developer thought and careful analysis. We also know that while class changes can help keep things fresh, they can also mean that there’s a need to re-learn things about your character that you thought you already knew. We want to make this process clearer, more understandable, and easier to adapt to as we move into patch 5.2, so I’ll be working with World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street to write a short blog series that will provide an overview of the important changes coming to each class.

Many of the 5.2 patch notes fall into two main categories: balance tuning and talent adjustments. Unless we called out a specific reason otherwise, you can assume that the various +10% or -10% adjustments you’ll see in the patch notes were made to keep all of the specs where we want them in 5.2. In some cases these are changes to reflect the different environment in 5.2 with new gear and set bonuses. In other cases, we are correcting issues we found in patch 5.1.

In terms of talent adjustments, while we’re still happy overall with the Mists of Pandaria talent overhaul, we do recognize that there were some talents that weren’t tuned as well as they could be or just weren’t attractive. That’s not to say that all talents should be all things to all players all the time; some talents are situationally quite attractive, and we’re happy with those. On the other hand, others just never see much use and we would rather provide players real options for each talent tier.

There were a few main goals to accomplish with Warriors:

  • As with all the classes, we wanted to make the less popular talents more attractive.
  • Despite a few nerfs, we felt that Arms was still too dominant in PvP and needed additional changes.
  • Because we changed Taste for Blood for Arms, this meant we also had to tweak that spec’s PvE rotation a little. We took the opportunity to improve the values of Haste and Mastery for Arms.
  • We wanted to remove Deadly Calm, because it was just adding to action bar bloat without adding much to gameplay.

Warrior talent diversity wasn’t too bad overall. It’s true that some talents have proven to be quite situational, but we still see them being used in those situations. We made some small buffs to Bladestorm, including preventing it from being countered by relatively short-cooldown disarms. We also buffed Storm Bolt outright and made Enraged Regeneration a little cheaper. Second Wind has garnered a lot of attention from the community, and it gets a lot of the blame for Warriors being so hard to kill in PvP. We’re still not entirely sure if Second Wind or Defensive Stance was more of the culprit there (more on this below). We tried some initial nerfs to Second Wind, but we were ultimately happier keeping the talent intact. It’s very popular in both PvE and PvP and if it continues to overshadow the other two talents, we’ll figure out what the best move is then.

Coming out of Cataclysm, we felt like we had reduced Warrior mobility too much in the name of balance, and in the process had removed what was always an iconic feature of the Warrior class. While we felt it necessary to adjust Warrior burst, survivability and control, we didn’t want to totally crush their mobility. To address burst, we re-designed Taste for Blood. Initially, we didn’t think that Taste for Blood would have significant PvP implications because it was so hard and unpredictable to build up stacks. Nevertheless, when it did happen, it felt like it couldn’t be countered. It was also so random that it wasn't the most compelling mechanic in the Arms PvE arsenal, so it didn’t feel like it was worth preserving. Instead, we redesigned Taste for Blood to no longer buff Heroic Strike. That alone was a useful burst damage adjustment, since Heroic Strike is off the global cooldown which allowed it to be stacked with other attacks, such as Overpower. We also removed Glyph of Death from Above damage buff to Heroic Leap, because it felt gratuitous; it’s still a good Glyph.

The second main PvP adjustment was to Warrior stun talents: Shockwave and Warbringer. The Warbringer stun now shares diminishing returns with non-proc stuns, but we attempted to compensate by giving it a snare as well. Meanwhile, Shockwave has a longer base cooldown, but will have a shorter cooldown if it hits multiple targets. We feel this rewards tactical and positional gameplay while still preserving an on-demand stun if it’s needed.

The third PvP nerf was to make it less attractive to sit in Defensive Stance all the time in PvP. Defensive Stance should be there when you’re getting trained, but its overly generous 25% damage reduction coupled with Arms not requiring Rage for so many attacks made Battle Stance un-competitive. We reduced the damage reduction for non-tanks and now ask Arms to use more Rage in their rotation to give Battle Stance a clearer role.

The change to Taste for Blood does have some PvE ramifications, but it also helps make the rotation less random overall. (Warriors who love unpredictable procs can try out Fury, which is intended to be more random.) We changed Sudden Death to activate from Mastery procs as well as auto attacks, and we improved the value of Haste for all warriors (though admittedly, this does not contribute to Protection’s active mitigation).

Finally, we concluded that Deadly Calm wasn’t providing compelling gameplay. Deadly Calm was an interesting button in Cataclysm, particularly when paired with set bonuses, but it didn’t mesh well with more active Rage management in Mists of Pandaria. Warriors already have a lot of damage cooldowns, and Deadly Calm was often macroed—even by skilled Warriors. Speaking of cooldowns, we also reduced both the effect and cooldown of Recklessness to give Warriors more frequent access to a damage cooldown while further reducing PvP burst.

It was time for Monks to get their first post-expansion revision. These were the goals:

  • As with all the classes, we made adjustments to make under-used talents more compelling.
  • Correct PvP under-tuning, particularly with Windwalkers.
  • Bring Windwalkers up to par in both PvE and PvP.
  • Offer Mistweavers a unique healer play style.

We saved the Monk changes for last. While a lot will be different for Monks in 5.2, this kind of evolution is to be expected after an entirely new class is introduced and put through its paces in a live environment. Still, while there are a lot of tweaks, there’s not much in the way of major overhauls and you won’t have to re-learn how to play your Monk.

We altered the way the whole level 30 set of talents works. Rather than being limited by resources, they’ll now fit into rotations on a cooldown basis. Previously, Chi Wave, Zen Sphere, and Chi Burst were too situational or simply used as fillers when no other abilities were available. Now that they are free but limited by cooldown, Monks can use them frequently as part of their core rotations without having to worry about other attacks dropping from the rotation.

We felt like Windwalkers didn’t have a signature ability to differentiate them from the other Monk specs, nor did they have a good tool to use when a cleave would be optimal, so we gave them Storm, Earth, and Fire (based on the Pandaren ability from Warcraft III). We also changed the Windwalker Mastery from Combo Breaker to Bottled Fury, which increases the damage bonus provided by Tigereye Brew. This accomplishes the dual purpose of freeing up some global cooldowns (allowing Windwalkers to be more resource limited, and less GCD limited) and to provide some on-demand burst. The old Mastery, Combo Breaker, has become a passive ability granted early on in the leveling process. While we were concerned with burst damage at the beginning of the last season, we don’t want Windwalkers to have completely anemic burst either.

We didn’t want to recreate the balance problem we had when we introduced Death Knights during Wrath of the Lich King, but we ended up being too conservative. The result is that Monks haven’t been as well represented in PvP as we’d like. While we toned down the control of several other classes, we felt like we needed to give Monks some substantial buffs to make them more viable in PvP. To increase survivability, we added a new level 30 ability to Brewmasters and Windwalkers: Nimble Brew. Nimble Brew clears roots, stuns, and fear effects, reduces the duration of future such effects for a few seconds, and can be activated while stunned. We also created the powerful new Ring of Peace talent, and baked the old Deadly Reach talent it replaces directly into Paralysis.

Early on, we said that Mistweavers would have the option to be melee healers, dealing damage and healing their allies at the same time. We haven’t quite delivered on that, but in patch 5.2 we’re making an effort to allow “fist-weaving” to be a more viable play style. The actual healing provided by Fistweaving was okay, but Fistweaving damage was so low that it wasn’t worth it for Mistweavers to move to melee to try it out. With the 5.2 buffs, it should be. These changes prompted a few others to make sure that casting heals like a traditional healer and causing melee damage to heal were separate rotations, without allowing Monks to cherry pick the best moves from each, which caused balance problems in testing. The goal is for Fistweaving to be similar to Atonement healing for Discipline Priests. The Monk will sacrifice some DPS and healing compared to a dedicated healer or damage dealer, but it will be possible to contribute a good amount of each, which is sometimes quite valuable.

Brewmasters are seeing the fewest changes, and they’ve proven to be very capable tanks, though they do require a fair amount of skill to play. The level 30 talent changes will help spice up their rotation.

Phasing and Large Group World PvP
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Devs believe that what is happening here is not actually a result of realm coalescing.

It looks like this probably has something to do with another tech we have in place to reduce a player’s AOI (Area of Interest) in crowded areas.

This can have many consequences, for example, you’ve probably already noticed that when you fly by some terrain at high speed you will often see objects and characters appear and disappear very fast, this dynamic loading usually works great, and allows for better and more fluid gameplay. The thing is, loading too many things at once can drastically decrease the performance due to the intensive and sudden workload spike that it can cause on the CPU/GPU level but also on the connection level due to internet bandwidth typically being limited.

Devs will look into this more carefully on the programming side of things. They’ll try to find out if there are any spells, items or anything unexpected that might be hogging too much memory and cause dynamic loading to be prematurely activated.

Ultimately, we think that these massive world PvP events are a great and fun way to play the game, we want to make sure that the experience is as good as it possibly can be, and that things like dynamic loading aren’t impacting these events, at the same time we need to certify that server performance remains unaffected as well.

OpenRaid Pet Battle Competition
OpenRaid is holding a Pet Battle competition tonight with some TCG Loot prizes. If you are interested in pet battles and have max level pets, be sure to take a look!

Blizzard updated the Trading Card Game art gallery to feature ten new pieces.

by Published on 2013-03-08 07:58 AM

More on Co-op Improvements, Mob Density Changes for Inferno Only, The Job of a Community Manager

Isle of Thunder Day 2 - 45% Unlocked (Stage 1)

Throne of Thunder - Ra-den's Abilities
It appears Ra-den is no longer shrouded in mystery, as some of his abilities have been added to the Throne of Thunder section of the official site. His health (446.6M–1339.8M) has also been listed. The audio files for him are also below in case you missed them the first time around.

You can find more spells that may be related by searching WoWDB for spells added in Patch 5.2 that share similar names.

Name Description
Fatal Strike
An unerringly accurate strike that disrupts an enemy target's very being. Undefended, this attack is fatal, though active defensive abilities (Shield Block, Shield of the Righteous, Shuffle, Blood Shield, or Savage Defense) will offer some measure of protection.
Imbued with Anima
Empowered with Anima.
Imbued with Vita
Empowered with Vita.
Materials of Creation
Conjures the forces of creation to empower the caster.
Murderous Strike
An unerringly accurate strike that turns the life force of the target against them, inflicting Shadow damage every 2 sec for 10 sec. The damage dealt is equal to the health of the target at the time of the attack.
Deals 100,000 Plague damage to all nearby enemies every 2 sec.
Ruin Bolt
Deals 1,000,000 Plague damage to an enemy target. This damage bypasses most damage reduction effects.
Summon Crackling Stalker
Summons a construct of Vita.
Summon Sanguine Horror
Summons a construct of Anima.
Unleashed Anima
An eruption of pure Anima energy engulfs all nearby enemies, increasing their maximum health by 100%, but also causing them to suffer 70,000 Shadow damage every 1 sec. This effect lasts until negated.
Unleashed Vita
Deals 600,000 Nature damage to all enemies.
Unstable Anima
Corrupted life energy erupts from the afflicted player, dealing 2,500,000 Shadow damage, and an additional 250,000 Shadow damage every 1 sec for 10 sec, divided among all allies within 8 yards. If no nearby allies are struck, a catastrophic explosion will result.
Unstable Vita
Charges the target with storm energy, causing a surge of lightning every 8 sec, which transfers Unstable Vita to the farthest available target. The streaking lightning deals 400,000 Nature damage to all players in its path, and afflicts those it touches with Vita Sensitivity.

No Flying for Leveling Alts in Pandaria
Zarhym shared that there are no plans to let you fly on alts when leveling in Pandaria.

Sunsong Ranch Work Order Quest Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
One of the great new features in 5.2 is the ability to take over the Sunsong Ranch farm in the Valley of the Four Winds. You can do this by talking to Nana Mudclaw after reaching Exalted with The Tillers, and unlocking all 16 plots of the farm. When you take over the farm you can begin taking work orders for specific factions in Pandaria, allowing you to earn reputation with them simply by planting, harvesting, and delivering the items you grow.

The way your receive work orders on the Sunsong Ranch farm was changed recently which may cause some confusion. If you've been doing your work orders you probably have logged in and had the second work order in the series automatically pop-up in your quest list. This has been changed, and from now on you’ll receive the quest when you start harvesting your plants, or when you interact with the drop-off crate.

Enjoy farming for rep! nyuknyuknyuk

Patch 5.2 Class Reviews - Rogue, Shaman, Warlock
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Many of the 5.2 patch notes fall into two main categories: balance tuning and talent adjustments. Unless we called out a specific reason otherwise, you can assume that the various +10% or -10% adjustments you’ll see in the patch notes were made to keep all of the specs where we want them in 5.2. In some cases these are changes to reflect the different environment in 5.2 with new gear and set bonuses. In other cases, we are correcting issues we found in patch 5.1.

In terms of talent adjustments, while we’re still happy overall with the Mists of Pandaria talent overhaul, we do recognize that there were some talents that weren’t tuned as well as they could be or just weren’t attractive. That’s not to say that all talents should be all things to all players all the time; some talents are situationally quite attractive, and we’re happy with those. On the other hand, others just never see much use and we would rather provide players real options for each talent tier.

Note: The purpose of these blogs is mostly to provide an overview of the design intentions behind our 5.2 changes, rather than to detail the thought process behind every individual note. You can refer to the patch notes for specific changes and numbers.

We had a lot of work to do on the Rogue talent tree, probably the most of any class.

  • Rogues, historically a PvP mainstay, felt underpowered and weren’t well-represented in high-end PvP. We wanted to change that.
  • In PvE, we wanted to tone down the Cleave capabilities of Combat so it didn’t feel like a mandatory spec for some fights.
  • We wanted to give Rogues a little more PvE utility instead of feeling quite so selfish.

While we tweaked several talents to make them more attractive, there were large-scale changes to two tiers. In an attempt to balance a perennial problem we’d had balancing Rogues in PvP, we initially asked them to choose between Preparation and Shadowstep. Forcing Rogues to choose between the two worked . . . so well that Rogues felt ineffective in PvP. While we tried to make it a trade-off between the defensive capabilities of Prep and the movement capabilities of Burst of Speed or Shadowstep, as with the Mage tree, we eventually came to the conclusion that only movement could compete with movement. We gave Prep to all Rogues, buffed Burst of Speed, and created a new talent, Cloak and Dagger to be part of the movement tier. Cloak and Dagger causes a Rogue to teleport to their target whenever they use an opener. Combined with dropping out of combat to re-Stealth, Shadow Dance, and the Subterfuge talent, we expect that it can be used to accomplish some pretty interesting things.

Similarly, while Anticipation proved very popular in the level 90 tier, Versatility did not, and in fact, Anticipation felt like it provided the benefits of Versatility, only better. We retired Versatility and added a new talent, Marked for Death, which will mark a target and instantly generate 5 combo points on that target. When the target dies, the cooldown will reset.

In addition to giving Rogues Preparation baseline, we also wanted to increase Rogue burst in PvP. That may sound backwards given that we are often trying to reduce the burst of classes in PvP, but we think Rogues had the opposite problem, where their large component of passive damage from white attacks and poisons coupled with the low damage per hit of using a pair of small weapons meant that Rogues had significant issues closing the deal and taking an enemy down during a burst window. Our solution here was to allow Rogues to store up more energy in PvP through a new set bonus. This means a Rogue will have to work for their burst, but it will be there if they plan for it.
Blade Flurry has been an iconic spell for Combat for some time, and while we initially discussed just giving it to all Rogues, we thought Combat lost too much under that design. Ultimately, we like that Combat is good at cleaving. The problem was it was so good that it felt mandatory for many Rogues to switch to Combat for some fights. Ideally, a Rogue who prefers Assassination or Subtlety should be able to stick with that spec, knowing they might fall a little behind on Cleave situations, but can make up for it in other situations. We changed the way that Blade Flurry works, so that it will strike more targets for less damage. Combat will still be the best choice for AoE fights, but not so much so that it will be at an overwhelming advantage. We’ll be increasing Combat single-target damage via an increase to Vitality to compensate. Overall, we hope that most players will feel comfortable sticking with the spec they are most comfortable playing without feeling compelled to swap between fights. Subtlety will see increased single-target damage via an increase to the effects of Sanguinary Vein.

PvE utility is very subjective. Some players equate it with a raid-wide damage reduction cooldown, while for others, the utility has to be something unique that nobody else can provide. We add that caveat just because we don’t think the community will ever agree on who brings “enough” or “the best” utility. The change we made for Rogues was simple: Smoke Bomb now provides damage reduction, so in a similar fashion to abilities like Rallying Cry, a Rogue can help survive against, oh say, just for example, the damage a huge freakin’ dinosaur can dish out.

We had a few goals with Shaman:

  • As with the other classes, we wanted to make unattractive talents more appealing. Shaman had a similar problem to Druids, where certain choices were perceived as good for e.g. Elemental but not Restoration.
  • We wanted to buff Elemental dispel vulnerability and overall survivability in PvP.
  • We wanted to give Enhancement a very slight boost for PvP.
  • We also wanted to improve Elemental’s target switching and multi-target damage in PvE.
  • We adjusted some Glyphs, some because they were too good, others because they felt mandatory.

We made several adjustments to talents to broaden their appeal. For example, Ancestral Swiftness now provides 10% melee haste in order for Enhancement Shaman to take it more seriously as an option, while staying at 5% spell haste since Restoration Shaman already liked the talent.

For PvP, we gave Shamanistic Rage to Elementals to provide a defensive cooldown they could use when focused. We also changed the interaction between Flame Shock and Lava Burst. Lava Burst still does more damage when Flame Shock is present, but it will now do more damage than it did previously, even when Flame Shock isn’t on the target. Therefore, if Flame Shock is dispelled, Elemental does less damage but doesn’t feel completely crippled.

This same change helped with Elemental’s target switching in PvE, since they didn’t have to wait for Flame Shock to come off cooldown every time they wanted to do something like burst down a new add. We also felt that Elemental never had a great chance to shine in 5.0 raiding. Their damage was on target for most fights, but other specs with whom they were tied would do great in some situations, such as multi-dot fights. We decided that “chains” are one of a Shaman’s core mechanics, so we wanted to make sure Chain Lightning delivered when the player was in a situation where they could use it. Chain Lightning damage no longer decreases when hitting subsequent targets, and actually increases when converted to Lava Beam.

We wanted to buff Enhancement for PvP in two ways. First, we increased the mana generation of Mental Quickness, since Enhancement suffered from mana problems when they didn’t have high uptime on the target, a common occurrence in PvP. We also lowered the cooldown on Spirit Walk to further increase their up time as well as giving them more frequent escape tools.

Finally, on the Glyph front, Purge is an extremely powerful tool in PvP, especially when Glyphed, so we added a 6 second cooldown on the ability if the Glyph is applied. It’s still powerful and useful, but less spammable. On the other hand, the Glyph of Flame Shock felt mandatory, so its effects have been made baseline.

Our main goals for Warlocks:
  • As with all classes, we wanted to tweak talents to make underused talents more appealing.
  • Fix Blood Fear.
  • Put the pet back in Warlock.
  • Roll mandatory-feeling Glyphs into the relevant specs.

We feel Warlocks are, generally speaking, in a pretty good place right now. Obviously they received many changes in 5.0 and we’re still iterating on a few of those new mechanics to get them to feel quite right. Warlock talents weren’t in a bad place overall. We made a few tweaks such as Burning Rush also offering snare “resistance”, and Kil’jaeden’s Cunning no longer having an active / passive mechanic.
In PvP we saw that Blood Fear, intended to be used defensively, was increasingly seeing use as an offensive ability. We also felt that it was a bit too effective. To adjust it some, as well as return it to its more defensive roots, the old talent has been removed, and its new replacement, Blood Horror, applies a buff to the Warlock that will Fear enemies that strike her in melee.

Warlocks are meant to be a pet class, but a lot of locks were choosing Grimoire of Sacrifice. We understand that players have a tendency toward the most powerful and efficient play style, and that managing a pet takes a little effort. Pets are a big part of what it means to be a Warlock though, so while we don’t mind offering GoSac so that there’s some play style diversity, we wanted to de-emphasize petless play. Now sacrificing your fel friend, while still an option, won’t be quite as much of a damage bump as it was in the past. In addition, too many locks felt like they had to use the imp in PvE, especially in smaller groups, in order to benefit from Blood Pact. We just added the Stamina bonus to Dark Intent to let the player choose whether an imp or another demon made more sense depending on their preference and the situation.

Both Glyph of Embers and Glyph of Soul Shards really felt like they should be baseline, and had become essential to their respective specs. We made the original Glyph effects baseline, and added new Glyph effects that should be helpful, without feeling like they’re absolutely required. We also changed the Glyph of Unstable Affliction so players didn’t feel like they had to choose between the Silence and the damage backlash.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Cross-Realm Destination Realm
There is a purposeful non-specific determination in who is taken to which realm in order to dissuade large groups of people from intentionally targeting a single realm for nefarious activities. Unfortunately it does have the side effect of impacting some of the good uses for cross-realm play, like inviting a friend to help with something that exists on one realm but not the other. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Sunsong Ranch Plowing Change
It is nice that plowing pops out the vermin with significant damage, but it has two flaws as implemented:

- You cannot easily gather up multiple vermin if they are in different rows as you could, even if they are close by.

- It leaves the spot with the vermin in it unplowed, so you have to either plow the whole line again or manually plow that spot. It would be nice if it converted it to plowed after you killed the vermin so it would be consistent with the rest of the plowed row.

Considering that the plow went over an entire Virmen, uprooting them and all that, a single additional click on the recently disturbed plot of dirt after the commotion is not unexpected.

When the patch first went life after I killed the vermin that I plowed up it wouldn't even let me till the soil manually or with the plow. Just said "Occupied Soil" over it. Seems to have been fixed now. But it was interesting to say the least.
There was a hotfix last night that fixed an issue where Occupied Soil would sometimes not update correctly after clearing the associated Squatting Virmen. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

PvP Weapon Costs
Would like to know the same for my alts. Currently capped at 4000 with them and not sure whether the 7250 required honor is a bug or intentional. Any insight into this would be greatly appreciated!
The "Requires earning a total of 7250 Honor Points for the season" is not a bug. In order to purchase the honor weapons you will first need to earn 7250 Honor Points on that particular character. I would recommend that you start buying some items with your current stash of 4000 Honor Points and then continue to farm more till you reach the required 7250 earned for the season. Once you have earned in total 7250 Honor for the season, you can buy the weapon for its listed cost.

How come there's no 2H mace available with conquest?
It's actually intended that we have no 2-handed mace for Conquest points available this season. It's quite normal for us not to have every single type of weapon available each season, a good example of this is that this is the first season in a while that we've had a crossbow available for purchase. If your preference is to use a mace as your weapon of choice we can understand your frustration, however the available options this season for 2-handed weapons are either swords or axes. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Throne of Thunder Boss Difficulty
ToT 1st boss is balanced for 502 ilvl.
I don't think the developers have ever mentioned to which item level a particular boss is balanced. But Jin'rokh has been already killed by guilds with less item level than what you suggest. In fact, most guilds that are at least close to finishing Heart of Fear or beginning Terrace of Endless Spring will probably be able to kill him.

Horridon, on the other hand, might be a different story... But for those of you with T14 still unfinished, remember 5.0 raids have a reduction of 10% health and 10% damage in place, so you'll probably be able to progress a bit faster and get your group in better shape to further advance on Throne of Thunder. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Fan Art Update
The World of Warcraft Fan Art Section has been updated with new fan artwork.

by Published on 2013-03-07 10:30 AM

Wyatt Cheng and Travis Day on 1.0.8, Next Patch to Feature Co-op Improvements, Who Is Travis Day?

Isle of Thunder Day 2 - 30% Unlocked (Stage 1)

Patch 5.2 Dev Interviews
Today we continue our interviews recap with ArenaJunkies and their interview with Ghostcrawler and Brian Holinka, a new PvP designer.

  • Frost Mage, Arms Warrior, Shadow Priest, and Hunter were all over represented during Patch 5.1. Monks and Disc Priests were underrepresented.
  • PvP will likely never be completely balanced, as there are so many specs and different PvP situations that it is impossible.
  • PvP could be fairly well balanced with six or seven specs, but then the rest of the classes and specs would feel left out. This means the idea balance point right now is making sure that everyone can compete at some level.
  • Blizzard feels that a highly skilled player can take almost any spec and do very well with it.
  • It is somewhat harder to detect cheaters in Rated Battlegrounds, but the week between the season end and reward distribution should provide an opportunity to take a look, especially at players that earned Hero of the Alliance / Hero of the Horde.
  • The new PvE trinkets were changed to be less effective against players, making the best items for PvP still come from PvP.
  • For the near future, abilities will not have a separate PvP and PvE version, as it wouldn't change the amount of requests for buffs and nerfs to abilities and would add even more things to keep track of in PvP. However, if something like Colossus Smash comes up that is very difficult to balance in both, a separate rule for PvP can be added.
  • Blizzard is currently working to address long arena queue times on smaller battlegroups.
  • Looking at representation doesn't tell the complete story when it comes to class balance in PvP, but any outliers will be changed to bring them more in line with other classes.
  • Both changing numbers and mechanics to try and balance classes ends up making some relearning necessary.
  • Blade's Edge and Dalaran Arena were created before spells that could knock you off of where you were standing were created. Changes are forthcoming this season.
  • Blacklisting arena maps is a possibility for the future.
  • A permanent tournament realm would not fit with the core idea of investing time in your character.
  • Tweaks to how arena teams work might be coming in the future. (Wanting to be able to play with someone not on your team and not being able to do so isn't fun)

Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: March 5
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

  • Fixed an issue where quest items could drop less frequently than intended.
  • Players should now be able to speak with Waterspeaker Goria to complete the quest, "The Ritual".

  • Shapeshifted players should now be able to use Lightning Rods when fighting Electromancer Ju'le.
  • Risen Ancestors spawn rate has been increased.

Pet Battles
  • Sleep effects should now break properly when a pet is attacked.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios


Sunsong Ranch

  • Players should no longer see or hear chat from other player's NPCs during the introduction to the Isle of Thunder.

Patch 5.2 Class Reviews - Mage, Paladin, Priest
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
We don’t alter classes lightly, and every change comes only after a great deal of player feedback, developer thought, and careful analysis. We also know that while class changes can help keep things fresh, they can also mean that there’s a need to re-learn things about your character that you thought you already knew. We want to make this process clearer, more understandable, and easier to adapt to as we move into patch 5.2, so I’ll be working with World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street to write a short blog series that will provide an overview of the important changes coming to each class.

Many of the 5.2 patch notes fall into two main categories: balance tuning and talent adjustments. Unless we called out a specific reason otherwise, you can assume that the various +10% or -10% adjustments you’ll see in the patch notes were made to keep all of the specs where we want them in 5.2. In some cases these are changes to reflect the different environment in 5.2 with new gear and set bonuses. In other cases, we are correcting issues we found in patch 5.1.

In terms of talent adjustments, while we’re still happy overall with the Mists of Pandaria talent overhaul, we do recognize that there were some talents that weren’t tuned as well as they could be or just weren’t attractive. That’s not to say that all talents should be all things to all players all the time; some talents are situationally quite attractive, and we’re happy with those. On the other hand, others just never see much use and we would rather provide players real options for each talent tier.

Note: The purpose of these blogs is mostly to provide an overview of the design intentions behind our 5.2 changes, rather than to detail the thought process behind every individual note. You can refer to the patch notes for specific changes and numbers.

We set out to accomplish a few goals with Mages:

  • Despite various adjustments along the way, Frost Mages are still too powerful in PvP and not quite competitive in PvE.
  • Our changes to Arcane in patch 5.1 overshot the mark and also needed some changes.
  • While we wanted to make some less attractive talents more attractive, we also weren’t satisfied with the Mage talent tree.

There are a few changes to Frost in PvP. First, the PvP set bonus only lowers the cooldown of Counterspell when it is successfully used as an interrupt, not as a Silence. As we’ve said before, we think Silence are too dominant in PvP, but we don’t think patch 5.2 is the right time to remove them all because we can’t also remove all of the instant heals in PvP. We like the Counterspell change because it rewards skilled play. We also made a change to the way Ring of Frost works with Presence of Mind. Rather than making the Ring of Frost instantly apply, the PoM only makes the cast time instant—the Ring still needs to arm for two seconds before freezing the unfortunates standing on it. Most significantly, we redesigned the Glyph of Fireblast to no longer allow it to detonate Frost Bomb on demand; instead it will require some timing on the part of the player. We’re boosting Frost’s PvE performance via Frostbolt, which requires a spell cast (which means the Mage must stand still and risks Frost lock), and also has a stacking debuff to really maximize damage.

We had two problems we wanted to solve with Arcane. The first was that Scorch was never intended to be rotational for Arcane to avoid having to dump stacks of Arcane Charge. Arcane is intended to build up charges but then dump them when the mana drain gets too high, but Scorch allowed Arcane Mages to avoid that cycle, which inflated their damage as a consequence. However, we also wanted to tweak a previous change where we increased Arcane Charge up to a max stack of 6. Dumping a stack of 6 is painful because it takes a long time to build it back up again, so in 5.2 we are lowering the stack size to 4.

Scorch was a big design problem for us for other reasons. It feels really good to have something to cast while moving, even if it’s a DPS loss overall. Many mages were taking Scorch for reasons beyond the Arcane Charge stacking issue above. At the same time, the talent tree also suffered a problem where Blazing Speed couldn’t compete with Temporal Shield or Ice Barrier. We had hoped to position Blazing Speed as a defensive ability, but really it’s a mobility talent, and we think it makes more sense alongside Presence of Mind and Ice Floes, which also offer mobility in one way or another. Instead of replacing Blazing Speed with Scorch, we just gave Scorch to Fire mages, which also helps differentiate the specs a bit more. Instead, now Mages have a new talent, Flameglow, which is a passive defensive option that absorbs some damage from each hit, and fits in thematically alongside Temporal Shield and Ice Barrier.

Paladins are pretty solid overall. Still, we had a few issues to address:

  • We wanted to make less attractive talents more attractive.
  • Holy was too dominant in PvP.
  • Retribution wasn’t performing as well in PvP.

We focused a lot on addressing the performance of Holy Paladins in PvP for Mists of Pandaria, and it worked . . . a little too well. They have some offensive utility now and a variety of strong heals. To bring them back into line, we’re making two changes: Blinding Light will now have a cast time, but only for Holy. We also changed a PvP gear bonus to affect Flash of Light instead of Word of Glory. Shifting more PvP healing to a cast-time spell opens up the risk of interrupts and also requires the Paladin to stand still on occasion. Addressing representation through balance adjustments is always tricky – healers are always in demand for 3v3 Arena teams, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see Retribution Paladins become as common as Holy Paladins. However, we did want to give Retribution a little more oomph. The main change here is to lower the cooldown on Avenging Wrath to two minutes for Retribution only. Since this is an ability raiding Paladins have today through a set bonus, we just made it a core change. We also made Retribution’s Flash of Light stronger and allow them to benefit more from PvP Power’s Conversion to healing. It makes sense that even DPS Paladins have good healing potential, so long as Retribution continues to primarily fill the role of a damage-dealer and can’t fully step into the role of a dedicated healer in PvP. Smaller Retribution buffs include letting them benefit from Glyph of Blessed Life and Templar’s Verdict to a greater extent, and adding a snare to Hammer of Light.

Protection received few changes; we like how they are doing overall. One small change was to make Grand Crusader benefit from dodges and parries as well, so that Paladins would benefit more from stats that were going to appear on their tanking gear anyway.

Priests received several changes to address a few problems:

  • We wanted to make less attractive talents more attractive.
  • Discipline performed too well in PvE, but under-performed in PvP.
  • Shadow was too good in PvP, but solid in PvE, so we didn’t want the nerfs to spill over much.

We nerfed Phantasm and Psyfiend, both talents that all Shadow Priests took (and to be fair, many other priests as well) and reduced their healing (though remember we also offset that nerf somewhat with the change to PvP Power to benefit their healing somewhat). We didn’t want to hurt Mass Dispel or other utility that Shadow provides, especially in PvE. We also reduced Shadow burst a little through the Glyph of Mind Spike.

Discipline required more work. In raiding particularly, Discipline priests were using an effective but boring “rotation” of casting almost nothing but Prayer of Healing (with a guaranteed Divine Aegis) while using Spirit Shell on cooldown. Doing so allowed them to prevent more damage than anyone else was capable of healing. Our first change was to make Spirit Shell no longer benefit from mastery. When Spirit Shell absorbs for 50% more than it would have healed for, it just becomes a button to use on cooldown, while we’d rather it was used as a situational ability that’s triggered when absorbs make the most sense. We also wanted to see Discipline using spells other than Prayer of Healing.

As with Restoration Druids, we don’t want Disc to be casting nothing but Power Word: Shield, but we do want Power Word: Shield to be a major button in their arsenal, which wasn’t the case in 5.1. To accomplish this, we reduced the cost of Power Word: Shield and now allow it to crit, but we also redesigned Divine Aegis so that Prayer of Heal spamming would no longer be the right answer for every situation. Divine Aegis now requires a critical on Prayer of Healing to activate, but when it procs it applies a bubble instead of doubling the heal (essentially Discipline’s crits are 100% heal and 100% bubble instead of a 200% heal). We also changed their mastery to affect both heals and absorption so that their mastery wasn’t only beneficial after a crit. In addition, we buffed Penance, which is an iconic spell for Discipline and a fun one to use. To address Discipline’s PvP issues, in addition to these changes (of which the Power Word: Shield and Penance buffs will have the greatest effect), we redesigned their set bonus to make Flash Heal cheaper, and made a few spells un-dispellable. That’s normally a last resort for us, but we felt it was appropriate in this case.

Holy Priests received few modifications, though they will benefit from some of the talent changes. We think Holy is in a good place in PvE relative to other healers but was just so overshadowed by Discipline that they weren’t as common. That may change as the specs fill different niches.

/Follow Command Disabled in Battlegrounds
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We disabled /follow from use in battlegrounds to curb some of the most basic types of bots that use the command. We chose not to communicate it beforehand in attempts to catch as many bots unaware as possible. Removing /follow in battlegrounds is one small change we can make immediately to stop a number of bots, and those that choose to transition to more overt botting methods will have a much higher chance of being caught and banned.

We did consider those who use /follow for other reasons, including multiboxing, before making the change. Multiboxing in battlegrounds has been a long-fought battle within the community, as the effect of multiboxers in those situations is considered unfavorable by many. When we were looking to make a change to disable a command used by bots, which would benefit the game as a whole, we were ok with it also resulting in multiboxing in battlegrounds also going away due to the poor experience it can create for others.

Right now /follow is also disabled in Arenas, but we’re looking to revert that change as bots don’t typically exist in Arenas, and multiboxing in that kind of pre-determined group environment doesn’t tend to be as disruptive.

One Handed Malevolent Weapons Cost
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Just wanted to drop in here to let you guys know that this was an oversight, and that those Malevolent dps 1-handers should cost 1750 Honor. We'll fit in the change as soon as possible, though I don't have an ETA at this time.

Great now they are 1750 CONQUEST lol
Yeah, something went sideways with the currency conversion on these items. Intuitively, it's easy to imagine that it would be like flipping a switch to alter these things, but unfortunately it isn't.

We've got a fix on the way as soon as possible, but as before I don't have a specific eta.

The fix should be in now, guys.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Tabard of the Scarlet Crusade.
The developers have informed us the Tabard of the Scarlet Crusade will be added back as a rare drop to the Scarlet dungeons in a future patch. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Heirloom Shields
Unfortunately shields didn’t make it into 5.2, this was due to a bug that was caught very late, there was no time to fix it before the launch, so we had to make the hard choice of removing them for now. They should be back on the next major patch though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Shan'ze Ritual Stones Drop Limit
Just to clarify on drop chances for ritual stones and keys, you can only obtain one Key to the Palace of Lei Shen (aka treasure room) from any creature on the island, including the Isle of Thunder Rare Elites. Once you’ve already looted one off of a creature, no more will drop from creatures for your character that week. Additional keys can potentially drop from other select sources, but are extremely rare and not something you can try to farm.

Similarly, you can only obtain one Shan'ze Ritual Stone from an Isle of Thunder Rare Elite per week. You'll still be able to collect more from other sources, though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.2 Resilience Changes
They must really think the dmg is to low.
Far from it, this change was not because we thought that damage was too low. This change was made simply because we saw that damage reduction was scaling faster than damage was. This meant that as you started getting more resilience over time, the better the returns were that you saw in getting even more of it.

The change to the formula that calculated resilience was done to correct this trend. The additional resilience that you get in patch 5.2 would have made it that much more beneficial to stack, so it would have been a stat that was far too attractive. We hope this explains the thoughts behind the change and wanted to let you know that we are monitoring damage as always and we'll turn some knobs to adjust it if we have to.

No player worth their salt stacked anything BUT resi in 5.1
That is because it was so beneficial to stack, which is why we made this change. The benefits would have also been exacerbated in patch 5.2 with even more resilience on Tyrannical gear.

This will not change in 5.2
Maybe not, but that is fine. We are more than happy with players stacking resilience again in patch 5.2 as long as it's no longer outscaling damage too much and is not clearly the best choice, this is what the change to the resilience formula addressed.

It was pretty obvious for most of Pvper's that the need to stack PVP Resi was because how much high damage in the game , even while stacking Resi damage was still high. Resilience will still be an attractive stat, there is no doubt about that, but I think that you neglected to read the last part of one of my posts:

We hope this explains the thoughts behind the change and wanted to let you know that we are monitoring damage as always and we'll turn some knobs to adjust it if we have to.

So the amount of damage and players being able to mitigate that damage is most definitely still on our radar. If we see a need to do so, we will be making some tweaks and a adjusting some knobs if we have to, to deal with damage concerns. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Cost of Paid Services
these services are completely 100% optional and are in no way needed to play the game.
It’s partially because of this.

Another reason would be to keep things somewhat stable, if these services were free or extremely cheap, communities could lose social and economic stability.

Social stability - Because realms are supposed to be somewhat insular, and that’s a good thing, one of the best qualities MMORPG’s have going for them is the social bond created between players, and those require time and a stability to create.

Players would also become less accountable for their actions (realm reputation would be very hard to assess), and we all know that unfortunately LFR and CRZ already hinted on how that can be a problem; we still we think the benefits far outweigh the risks in these two specific cases though, as they’re limited to the use of those features.

Economic stability - because not all realms are exactly the same and this would effectively allow the most enthusiastic traders and speculators to explore the global economy to their own best interests, which could have negative effects on a global scale or at least on the more economically vulnerable servers.

We could talk for hours about this, but that would be beyond the point of this topic, I’m sure you understand the logic behind this argument, some won’t agree with it and that’s ok, this can be quite an interesting and complex topic, just think about reality and global economy, opinions on that are far from being unanimous.

Now I understand that nowadays it’s much more common for players to have a lot of alt characters and when someone chooses to migrate, most of the times that player would like to take all his characters with him and that would come at a high cost.

Sometimes players will choose not to migrate at all due to not being able to afford it or simply not wanting to pay for all those migrations; now, although there’s not much I can tell you about this, I can say that we’re aware of all of your suggestions and requests regarding services, as you can probably realize, this is not the sort of thing that can be decided on-the-fly, but if we believe that there is a real need for some sort of change or improvement on our character services and that it could potentially improve gameplay, then I don’t see why we wouldn’t consider it, evolution and change has always part of Blizzard’s culture, especially when we talk about WoW, we’re nothing if not adaptable and iterative, so all I can say is that I’m not currently aware of any plans to change these services, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have them in the future, keep providing us with constructive feedback about it, I can assure you it can/will speed things up. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Garrosh Fixed in 5.2
So as title says i want to know if in 5.2 ptach if me and my guild go in ogrimar and try to kill garosh will he reset like always or it will be fixed?
Yes. Sorry if this took a bit too long to fix, but the good news is that it's supposed to be fixed in 5.2!
If you still find anything weird going on with Mr. Garrosh, please reply here, I'll keep an eye on this thread. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The Daily Blink - You Lead, We’ll /Follow
The Daily Blink tells us about the end of battlegrounds multiboxing.

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