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by Published on 2013-01-20 08:36 PM

On "Easy" Fixes, Poll: Do You Participate in Public Test Realms?, Blue Posts, Archon InfernoFriday: First Impressions on Dueling

Swift Windsteed Contest - We are still waiting on a reply from one of the forum winners, please check your PMs. A new winner will be selected on Monday if you still have not replied!

Tier 15 Rogue Armor Set Preview
Keep in mind that this is just a preview and the final sets may be different!

Tier 15 Armor Sets Recap
Now that all but the Warrior Tier 15 sets have been added, it is time for a recap!

Class Male Image Female Image Video
Death Knight Male Female Video
Druid Male Female Video
Hunter Male Female Video
Mage Male Female Video
Monk Male Female Video
Paladin Male Female Video
Priest Male Female Video
Rogue Male Female Video
Shaman Male Female Video
Warlock Male Female Video

Patch 5.2 - New Frog Model and Pet Battle Tweets
Mumper shared the new Frog model on Twitter recently, and apparently people are excited! You can see the old frog model next to it for comparison. Only new frog pets will use this model, older ones will continue to use the older one.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Next PTR push, transferred characters will get a random set of 25 max level pets to test with. Aki quest also flagged complete. Should help! Transferring your actual pets is very challenging since we copy chars, not accounts. This solution works nice though. (Source)

The issue with mech and undead not proccing their rez is a known bug and we plan to fix it in 5.2.0 (Source)

CRZ and Scourged Whelpling... oops, amirite?
Your prayers have been answered. We made a dramatic reduction to the respawn timer on these in 5.2.0. (Source)

In 5.2 the respawn is better for scourge whelpling. Will the same be applied to Minfernal?
No changes to the Minfernal, we are happy with it's capture rate. Scourged whelp was way off, its similar to Minfernal now. (Source)

How much experience does an elite pet give (5.2) and can each individual boss (elite) pet be beaten once a day? Curious for leveling
They give standard XP but their daily quest has a much higher chance to drop a rare battle-stone. (Source)
Ah cool so fables bag drops a pet and a stone (higher chance). If the fables bag can drop stones why doesn't the panda element bag?
Spirit tamers give a massive multiplier to XP on their daily's already, no need for the stone. (Source)

That's interesting. Each time an Elite Battle Pet is despawned, it spawns in as a different level. Bug? Still legendary quality though.
Different levels each time is a bug, fixed in next build. (Source)

So uh, stupid question but can multiple people battle an Elite Pet at the same time? Unlike Tamer teams, it despawns when you forfeit/lose.
Despawn on elite pets is a bug, fixed in next build to work like normal tamers. (Source)

Especially curious about Stunted Direhorn and Zandalari Hatchling. Figuring out if the raid pets come from mobs or bosses would be neat too.
Plan is to have bonus rolls work for raid boss pets. Currently 2 of those and one pet on raid trash. Currently plan is that they will drop as normal loot and on bonus rolls. Stunted Direhorn is not 5.2 anymore, most likely 5.3 at this point. We have a cool replacement though! That was just a scaled down direhorn, no wonder it looked good! Shooting for a custom model in 5.3.0 (Source)

Are battle pet collections intended to not transfer to the PTR? Very tough to test if we have to start from scratch on the PTR.
We currently do not have tech to move pets with characters since the pets are account based. We would like to solve this as well. (Source)

Any chance of seeing that Chain Pet Leash from the MoP beta again? Some of my pets are too... Aggressive for a rope one
Never went away, it's still in the pet rewards bag from daily's. (Source) - (As far as we know, it is not actually in the bags anymore)

Are Flawless Battle-Stones supposed to change the breed of a pet to a random one when upgrading?
No, only affects quality. (Source)

Are epic battle stones planned to be implemented in 5.2? I didn't think they were, but I've seen a couple people think otherwise.
Nope, holding off on those a bit longer still. They will come along with epic pets at the same time most likely. (Source)

Will it be possible to get the new pets in LFR - for example son of animus and living sandling. It'd sure give me a lot of incentive
Yup, they are in all difficulties, including LFR. (Source)

Will we ever see skin-updates for old mounts, like we did with Gryphons and Wyverns? They look amazing! *Imagines Kodo like that*
Always a chance if we have a good place to use them. (Source)

Drop rates on the new world boss mounts be more reasonable in 5.2?
They will be the same as previous. (Source)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
I feel that classes have been boiled down over the years. I'd like to see more crazy incorporated into classes! #GhostlyStrike
Me too. Class diversity is typically the enemy of class balance. Both are important though! (Source)

Love how all mage specs are competitive. Need the same with locks, sick and tired of playing aff in PVE!
Mages disagree that they are all competitive. (Source)

However MM is used as rarely - only to see that it still cant pull the weight.
I'm quite torn on how to fix multiple DPS specs. We used to think that a 5% delta was okay, but players still pick the highest. (Source)

More class/spec differentiation/flavor. Better UI/visualization of spells/buffs. Even more story and alliance wins
Theoretically, how to add class differentiation without making X mandatory in small groups? Very tough for us to solve. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Can I have more than 1 dk per server since they aren't a hero class anymore?
We agree that limitation probably isn't necessary any longer. (Source)

I mean Dks are just destroyed in PVP right now. I will pay for 10 mins of your time if you hear me out...seriously
Destroyed by whom? Warriors and mages who are getting nerfed (more) in 5.2? (Source)

Figured I'd try asking again but is the way HB gets spammed by Frost DW in both single target and aoe considered fine by devs?
We think it's borderline. Seems unfair to tell warriors they can't use WW single target but then let DKs do it. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
resto druid can do nothing except hot,hot and hot.Do you think druid is designed using hot at all time?
Ideally a lot of hots, but not 100%. (Source)

What do you feel is the hardest healer to pvp balance? When I think about hots my mind hurts so Id say druids.
Over the course of all expansions, I'd say druids. It's the combo of hots + shifting + Cyclone. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
On Mages. Was increased mana regen from Tier6 talents a good choice? It only affects Arcane, making it "double dib" on them.
On the whole, we're not sure. They are probably too focused on Arcane at the expense of Fire and Frost. (Source)

Greg do you think its possible to honestly get frostbolt back to Wrath stages? putting it on FoF and reduce cast time? please.
Not crazy about reducing cast times on anything, but as you can see, we're still trying out various FoF design on PTR. (Source)

Do you not think Scorch was mana management? What do you think we were using it for, our health?
Isn't that the defense you could offer of any loophole? "I liked this, because it let me get around limitations." (Source)
We offer nothing but using talents to our advantage, which is what they r there for, no? It's not our fault, you made it.
If the Scorch rotation is just that much fun, we could nerf Arcane DPS instead to account for being at 6 stacks so often. (Source)
It's totally not your fault. Not sure where that is coming from. It's still our responsibility to fix it. (Source)
You made the tree and scorn us for using it to our advantage? Shame on you. We r suppose to manage mana right?
So under that logic if you found a way to keep your crit rate at 100% and we fixed it, that is scorning you? (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Please consider making Divine purpose baseline. Even if it has a lower proc chance it would help sustained damage.
We heard from a lot of paladins who hated DP. A talent seemed like a good solution. (Source)
no paladin in their right mind would complain about divine purpose, a free 3 paladin proc come on?
They did. It wasn't the free power -- it was the unprecitability of the rotation. (Source)

Why is Holy Radiance costing 21.6k Mana when you removed Judgement of the Pure and Replenishment
Because LoD and WoG are free. (Source)

Hey I was wondering if there was way to look into bringing back Seal of Command as another seal option. Rets want it back.
What it would do? It's hard enough getting them to use the 3-4 they have. (Source)
SoJ proc from judgement = actully usable. SoT damage increase is needed. Its a dps loss even in wind lord.
You're using SoR or SoJ on a single target? (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
cont. Why not cap it (Divine Aegis) at 40%, but allow larger single heals to create larger shields?
Yeah potentially. It's largely a problem that using all AEs reigns supreme in 25s but single targets are great for 10s. (Source)

Holy PVP- should it be viable? Any comment on the current low number of healer priests (both holy and disc) on all ladders?
Easier to balance. Easier to learn. But that's small consolation for the guy who loves his non-traditional PvP spec. (Source)
We struggle with this question a lot. You can argue that PvP would be better for many players with fewer specs than 34. (Source)

stop being lazy and remake the priests 90 set of talents..Mechanics like halo shouldnt even be in the game.. rest is just bad.
Those usually aren't the talents we hear much complaining about. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
New and existing players are going to choose classes that fit their playstyle AND give them options. Rogues only do one thing.
Do you really think it's a ranged vs melee thing? Many DPS shaman e.g. don't swap Enh to Ele all the time. Pure vs hybrid? (Source)

Do you think there might be just a bit too much passive damage going on with rogues now? That's what personally turned me off.
To use FPS terms, the high auto+poison damage keeps rogues feeling like an SMG instead of a shotgun. Maybe time for a change? (Source)
if you're going to use fps terms don't you think a rogue should be more like a sniper rather than a shotgun
Snipers have very low ROF though. They also tend to be complained about in FPS for the same reasons - uncounterable burst. (Source)
in most games sniping takes more skill, which makes the good players not mind its extra power
You and I read different FPS forums. (Source)

While I'm quite happy with how my rogue plays (I roll assassination), the analogy you make is pretty spot-on.
And I'm not saying the SMG feel is a bad design. Watching bars chew away quickly can be entertaining too. Diversity is good. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
GC do you think arms rotation feels a little too unpredictable? I understand fury being unpredictable but why arms?
The 5.2 change to Taste for Blood removes one source of RNG. Sudden Death will still provide a break from monotony. (Source)

On PTR, Taste for Blood comes at level 20, but Overpower at level 30. Kind of hard to use TfB without the ability it procs
They should both be level 20. Did you roll a new warrior for PTR? (Source)

your work isn't done, my rogue can still go 100-0 in shockwave
What are the sources of the damage being used to kill you in those 4 sec? (Source)
you seriously need a screenshot?my rogue in ful mal died in shockwave today on arena, just warrior,druid was CCd
How long do you think you should be able to live? How many sec should it take someone to kill you? (Source)
honestly we don't know. We leave that to you.
The complaint was that 4 sec of stun was too short. I'm just trying to establish expectations here. 6 sec? 10? 30? (Source)

Just tried Arms on the PTR. V. Boring. Needs another proc/dot/thing to track. MS>OP>OP>Slam+CS is just dull. Needs salt.
Are you sure you're Slamming at the right time? It shouldn't always follow dual OPs AFAIK. (Source)
It feels unfinished, uninspired, bland, it needs another button to press, another mechanic, something else, a random element.
The random element is what many warriors didn't like. Fury can be more about unpredictability (which fits). (Source)

as projected, in pvp, second wind is ticking at 2,000 health a second.LOL want warrs in pvp you say? then you fail, hard.
Warrior success in PvP shouldn't hinge on a single mandatory talent. (Source)
you may have caused 1 warrior out there to actually try the other 2 talents on that tier in MOP. quit ur job.
What you are saying then is that Second Wind is still too powerful compared to the others? (Source)

people complain about warrior cd stacking. Maybe that's the problem with their burst?
War Banner and Recklessness play well together, but we've heard fewer complaints since trinket and TfB changes. (Source)

the ilvl requirements for 5.2 LFR = too high, especially w/out new 5 mans. Running 5.2 dailies for weeks for new gear = no fun
What about 5.0 LFR? There are 5 you can run a week. (Source)

What is with the 1 hr.+ long DPS queues for LFR?
Typically, it's not enough healers queuing. (Source)

however, the Asian special version iLV for 25-raids really forced Asian players feel to switch to 25s over an over again
Asian players overwhelmingly told us they liked having dual lockouts. In EU and NA some love it, some hate it. (Source)

Too many times I'm in LFR where 1/3 of the healers are in dps spec and dpsing, leaving us with 3 healers. How to stop this?
There are 2 issues. One, we don't have an offspec LFR loot system yet. Two, the fights don't often need that much healing. (Source)

I've been playing mmo since UO beta. Your idea ruins my enjoyment. You guys can do heroic mode. Leave 10m for casual
The reason we went to 10s being equal for progression is because so many players asked us to. How to rectify that? (Source)

Tears of boredom is all we have from Galleon. Waiting hours in hopes of his spawn isn't a challenge. It's stupid.
Which is why the 5.2 boss will be different. (Source)

I have a concern regarding the tag 5.2 World Bosses. Won't players just wait for a guild to get a boss to 5% and hit it?
For the Sha equivalent, does anyone care? For the Galleon equivalent... just try it. (Source)

what happened to 7 dungeon runs per week for valor, can we have this back instead of having to daily for 80 valor?
Old model: 7 per week but 8th useless. New model, 1 a day then as many as you want for less. (Source)
Strongly prefer 7x/wk. Can't play weekdays much, like to grind on weekends. Its was fun for me in cata
You can still do that. The runs after the first still give valor. It's not the most efficient way possible, but totally works. (Source)

it's something only HC raiders (a minority of the raiders) would say, or someone with more time than skill.
HC raiders tend to do content anyway. It's more casual raiders who drop out if rewards and prestige are lacking. (Source)
Really? Often when i read forums i think its hc raiders who leave the game if they did the content.
They might complain about the loss of their prestige, but it typically doesn't stop them from raiding. For less HC, it does. (Source)

For my groups and myself, we cleared mech. The instance was short (important), relatively easy (important), (1/2)
Players who went to Pathaleon weren't the problem. (Source)

1h & 2h Strength weapons drop from the same bosses while Caster and Agi weapons were spread out, any reason for this?
Not really. We just try to keep loot from always falling into a predictable pattern. (Source)

I have pvp gear stashed in the bank from Sha which I don't use because I don't pvp.
That's okay. Hopefully there are some players who look at a couple of PvP pieces and decide to give it a try. (Source)

The problem for PVP is you listen to 1500 players. Balance for 2.2, or wherever the T2 cutoff is if its changed
Aren't you kind of saying that unskilled players don't deserve a fun game? Or are they just too ignorant to grasp issues? (Source)

I'm reading the 5.2 PTR notes, and it looks like monks are going to be like DK's in season 5... Your thoughts?
We hope not, but monks are so absent from PvP right now that we fear the solutions need to be dramatic, not subtle. (Source)

Do you think your entire defensive toolkit should have counters? I truly believe that's where paper vs practice affects ret.
Yes! Why would it be fair to have things with no counter at all? (Source)

CC DRs, pvp power, and class burst CDs all need to be heavily looked at. Is it going to be 6.0 before these issues are fixed?
We've made DR changes and burst changes in 5.2. What needs to change about PvP Power? Be specific if you want us to discuss it. (Source)

Please tell me that there's a global resilience buff coming in 5.2? PVP damage is actually absurd (_ALL_ classes/specs).
We don't think damage is too high, just a few outliers. Q: How long should it take to kill someone? How long does it take now? (Source)

I don't think they're too complex, but macro'ing is integral to any class' peak performance (rightfully, imo).
Yeah it's pretty hard to be optimal in PvP without macros for any class, but I'm not sure that's something we need to fix. (Source)

Hello Mr. Street. Isn't that unfair that all old PvP art is unavailable to PvE players while all old PvE art is to PvP'ers?
All old art isn't available to anyone. We eventually allow access to more and more, just not all immediately. (Source)

Just come up with a mechanic that allows people with mains to catch up faster on their alts.
It's just balance. Playing alts had entertained a lot of players for years. Too much streamlining risks removing that gameplay. (Source)
I like the idea of leveling a toon and being able to swap classes. (A la FFXI) and more invested more returned.
It's an interesting discussion of when it's okay for players to not have to level a second character. (Source)

Wait, so it's ok to make us burn out by running the same content for months? Bad drops? No drops? ICC anyone?
It's a balance. Finishing a raid in 2 weeks (because you have all the loot) is as lame as grinding it for 8 months. (Source)

Ghostcrawler, please answer this question..
On letting players only level once? It's a big discussion. How important or interesting is leveling after the first time? (Source)

V. of the A- any chance the 1k VP trigger could be obtained on multiple characters to spread the load, instead of just one?
Problem with that is now you should constantly swap characters to benefit from "first of the day" bonuses and not play your main. (Source)

Hey Greg! With talents and Glyph being easy to apebt and change, want reason do you use to defende duel spec? as in more spec
Maybe it's time for more than two specs? (Source)

You removed helm enchants because they were 'mandatory'. Why add item upgrades which make capping valor 'mandatory'?
Helm enchants had one source. Valor has many. (Source)

How come we cant put MOP LFR and tier items in Void storage? (not upgraded)
At the moment, it would strip the upgrades from the items. We are fixing it for 5.2 and you can use Void Storage on them as expected. (Source)

So then what you are considering is to get all secondary stats very close in value and remove hit/exp?
Or keep reforging, but axe hit/exp from the game. Choosing haste vs. crit is less mathy and more (though not 100%) about style. (Source)

Many players actually enjoy playing with the reforge feature. If its not fun for you, dont use it.
Can you explain what's fun about it for you? In my experience, many players use a spreadsheet etc. to make the decisions for them. (Source)

Would it be technically difficult to let us choose reforging amounts? E.g. only reforging 122 hit instead of the maximum 187
We've discussed that as a potential solution too. (Source)

About transmog in 5.2, why we can't transmog 2h sword into spear or staff is becos of tech problem? pleaz answer my question.
We have answered this and it is because the animations use what the weapon really is, not what it looks like. (Source)
Surely you must have programmers who can make it work? Players care about these things, more than you might think
Of course they do. At the end of the day there are only so many of us. We hire people whenever we find good ones though. (Source)

I call BS. "Increase" is paltry compared to multiple gifts; I encounter multiple Bling's a day.
BC that wasn't the reason. It felt like work to log in 10 alts to maximize a Bling appearance. It made something fun not fun. (Source)

You can also LFR with friends. I do it often.
Yes, that is a good point. Anything with friends in WoW is good. (Source)

Also: If Discovery and newness goes so well, why are you afraid of making radical changes between expansions?
"Even if the design is better now, I don't want to have to relearn my class." Don't see on the forums a lot, but very common. (Source)
We lose a lot of players who say they couldn't keep up the rate of change. (Source)

Ever consider talking one-on-one in-depth with players about game design, just to bounce around ideas and brainstorm? Curious.
Yeah, I love stuff like that. Figuring out a medium and not causing excluded players to feel excluded are the challenges. (Source)

"and we don't care anyway." makes me feel im losing my time here.
Context FTW. We don't care if a "silent majority" agrees with you. We care about the strength of your argument or feedback. (Source)

Devil's advocate: people don't like working harder, even in "gimme content", when they don't have to.
I do really inefficient things in some games so long as they're fun. I think it's an MMO phenomenon: the fear of being wrong. (Source)

Sites like noxxic, EJ, IV and you'll see the benefit we TC's bring. Look at the wow forums, what benefits do the whiners bring
Humor me. How does theorycrafting make the game more fun (excluding the people who enjoy geeking out on the numbers)? (Source)

Ah, crap. This is probably going to cement my reputation as a apologist.
I get that Twitter has huge limits. Still, it allows me to reach more player than forums did, w/out the "manifesto" problem. (Source)
How about something that's kindof like Twitter which doesn't allow long questions but does allow long answers?
I don't really have time for long answers. That's the problem. (Source)

But my tweets can come across as harsh or blunt. I get that. Not sure of the right solution. (Source)
It's the limit of characters. No space left to be very polite. It's the system, not us.
Agreed. So maybe players could stop imagining words that aren't actually there? (Source)

Any suggestions for ways to help devs? Forum posts? Compilations of posts? Twitter? Going to HQ and demanding chngs?
I would suggest tweets for short, simple things, and succinct forum posts for more in-depth discussions. (Source)

Not to mention cannibalizing on the guild behind you in progression will be back with a vengeance.
Why does the community often leap from one extreme to the other? Just because it's not 100 degrees out doesn't mean it's 0 degrees. (Source)
why does blizzard make balance changes from one extreme to another.
Any examples? I feel most of our balance changes are pretty modest. They are often 10 to 20% swings. (Source)
You wiped out all talents, made new ones. Thats like a 100% swing. Ring of Frost is a talent, LOL!
Okay, though we didn't do that for balance reasons per se, but because the old talent system was kind of dumb. (Source)
When you made the Talent build before MoP you said it was an important change for the better, and now you say it was dumb?
Look back at our comments. We tried to fix the talent design in Cataclysm. It helped, but not enough. You guys deserve better. (Source)

How hard would it be to take several of the best players that have "credibility" and just make the changes they agree on?
How on Earth would you identify those players? (Source)

it's very dissapointing going on to WOL and seeing cn players ahead of me with higher gear then we can obtain unfair?
It's hard to compare. They waited a long time for LK and Cataclysm while your ilevels were ahead of theirs. (Source

Customer Support Web Chat
Blizzard has finally added the option to use chat for customer support, rather than having to call!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Need live support? Customer Support now offers a live web chat option as an alternative to calling us so we can assist you as efficiently as possible. This exciting new option allows you to contact us, chat directly with a helpful representative, upload needed files, and resolve your issue quickly and efficiently -- all on!

Review the steps below to contact us:

  • Visit the Contact Blizzard Support page.
  • Select the game or product you require assistance with and fine-tune your search with the options presented.
  • Your search will provide you with helpful support articles to resolve your issue. If available, you will have the option to contact us by ticket, through our live web chat, or by phone.

Note: Web chat and phone support availability vary based on issue type and hours of operation.

Why is Web Chat not available for my issue?
Web chat is available for all issues we can assist with in that format. We want to make sure we address your issue completely the first time, and this new system allows us to better help you. If web chat is not the best way to resolve the issue, the option will not be presented.

Where did the phone number go?
If you have an issue that requires a phone call, the system will provide you with our contact number. We want to provide all the tools necessary for you to resolve your issue without calling us – no one likes to wait for an answer!

The button for my desired live contact option is grey. What does this mean?
Phone: Our phone lines are currently closed or our phone queues are full.
Web Chat: Web Chat is currently closed or all agents are busy. Please try again in a few minutes.

Guild Wars 2 Music Update and Developer Livestream
ArenaNet has added many new music clips and Voiceover Outtakes to their Soundcloud page. Also, don't miss the transcripts of the recent Developer Livestream on GW2Guru.

by Published on 2013-01-19 12:42 PM

Rob Pardo Regarding Jay Wilson, Dyes for Legendary Items, Hellfire Rings to be Salvageable in 1.0.7, Blizzard Comic Contest Entry, Curse Blizzard News

Patch 5.2 - Isle of the Thunder King
The Isle of the Thunder King is the new daily quest area in Patch 5.2, as well as where the Throne of Thunder raid is located. You used to be able to get there from a portal in your faction's capital in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, but the most recent PTR build moved it to near the Shado-Pan Garrison in Townlong Steppes. The entire island is restricted to ground mounts only.

Upon arrival, you are in your faction's base, with daily quests and vendors. As Dave Kosak reminded everyone, many things could still be placeholders, as this is still the PTR.

In the Horde base, there is a quartermaster there for the new faction, but currently it is just Vasarin Redmorn as a placeholder, as well as Aethas, and some other familiar faces. There is also a portal back to Shado-Pan Garrison.

Over in the Alliance base, you find the Kirin Tor, The Silver Covenant, Jaina, and Image of Archmage Vargoth, along with some other familiar faces.

After picking up your daily quests, you cross the bridges to the main island area. On your way out, you can grab a 60 second haste increase and power cost reduction buff from one of the Mana Collectors. This area is guarded by Silvermoon Spellbreakers and Sunreaver Constructs.

Throughout the island, there are several rare mobs that can drop a stone that is used to summon a mob that requires a group to defeat. You can also find the stones in the various chests that spawn across the island, similar to the Ancient Guo-Lai Cache.

The center of the island is the Diremoor, which contains several types of quest mobs, including a wandering Devilsaur and mob in the center building to kill that are quest objectives.

Moving further north, you will find the area that is outside of the Throne of the Thunder King. It is also used for questing, as well as the new world Boss, Nalak.

To the west of Diremoor is the Court of Bones, another questing area. Several scouts from your faction have been captured and kept prisoner in these ruins.

The southwest corner of the island is Trolltonshire, a questing area with trolls! Be sure to watch for circles on the ground that mark the constant bombings from the Zandalari Skyscreamer flying above. You can use the Zandalari Potions that are sitting around the camps for a buff like Jaguar Ferocity, Jaguar Speed, or Jaguar Stalker.

The southeast corner of the island has been taken over by the Saurok, and questing there gives you a Saurok disguise that allows you to run at ground mount speeds and jump much higher and farther than normal.

Patch 5.2 Daily Quests
Patch 5.2 adds many new quests on the Isle of The Thunder King. Keep in mind that it is still early in the PTR, so several quests still have placeholder names. You can see all of the new quests on WoWDB.

Level Name Objective
90Kill Guards/Players
90Superpower/activate perimeter wards
90Ashes of the EnemyBurn 8 Mummified Remains.
90Soul SurrenderSave 8 Silver Covenant Scouts.
90Grave CircumstancesKill 10 Lei-Shen Gravekeepers, Lei-Shen Soulrippers, or Lei-Shen Thundercallers.
90Into the CryptsUse the Incantation of Gura in the Hall of the Wicked, then defeat Gura the Reclaimed.
90The Call of ThunderStop the Lei-Shen Thundercallers' ritual.
90The BloodletterKill Kaida the Bloodletter.
90The Conquest of StoneDisrupt the Ancient Stone Conqueror ritual in the main temple at the Court of Bones.
90Rise No More!Kill 15 Risen Ancestors.
90Stone ColdDestroy 8 Grave Guardians.
90The Skumblade ThreatSlay 10 Skumblade saurok.
90Learning from the SaurokCheck in with Magister Arlan, Magister Sarien, and Magistrix Vesara.
90The Dinosaur-Men Stoled Our Magical RobotsRecover the four stolen Silver Covenant Constructs.
90Heinous SacrificeDestroy the Zandalari Sacrificial Altars.
90Dark OfferingsDestroy 6 Zandalari Offerings.
90Harbingers of the Loa[PH] Defeat 2 Harbingers of the Loa
90Preventing a Future ThreatFrighten 20 Pterodactyl Hatchlings by running near them.
90Surgical StrikeSlay 3 Zandalari Spiritbinders, 3 Zandalari Beastcallers, and 3 Zandalari Jaguar Warriors.
90[PH] Dangers of TrolltonshireSlay 12 Trolls in Trolltonshire
90Pterrible PtormentFree the Tormented Pterodactyl.
90The Residents of IhgalukSlay a Skumblade Brute, a Skumblade Saur-Priest, and a Skumblade Seadragon.
90Just Some Light Clean-Up WorkDisperse 75 pieces of filth by killing Quivering Filth in Ihgaluk Crag.
90The Creeping Carpet of IhgalukCrush 150 Ihgaluk Roaches.
90Left To RotDestroy 3 Fetid Meat Piles.
90Saur LoserDefeat 10 Zandalari trolls in the Bestiary of Jalak.
90Compy StompKill 5 Raptors and 10 Trained Compies in the Beast Pens.
90Loa-saurDefeat a Loa Speaker.
90Direhorn vs DevilsaurDisrupt a binding ritual by killing all ritual NPCs around either a Defiant Direhorn or a Defiant Devilsaur.
90Dino MightFind and use Saur Fetishes on 5 raptors, compies, skyscreamers or direhorns in the Beastiary of Jalak.
90Centuries in SentriesKill 5 Spirit-Bound Sentries and then use the Resonance Crystal to capture the Zandalari spirits trapped within.
90The More You KnowRetrieve 6 Ritual artifacts from around [Troll War Camp].
90Out of Enemy HandsSteal 7 Loa-Infused Blades from the [Troll War Camp].
90All In the FamilyRetrieve the Mask of the Dark Mystic and the Mask of the Spirit-Caller from Spiritbinder Tu'chek and Arcanital Ra'kul.
90Even Giants FallDestroy Guardian Tak'u within the [Troll War Camp].
90Keep It SecretKill any 8 Zandalari trolls within the [Troll War Camp].
90Trailing Light in the DarkRelight 8 torches in the Diremoor.
90Gather Scout Reports
90Recover Thunderwing Juvenile
90Eyes in the FogKill 6 Creeping Moor Beasts.
90Saurok Roamers
90The Shuddering MoorKill the Fascist Devilsaur.
90Kill Giant Statue
90At the Tower's BaseKill [Zandalari Arcane Caster].
90Imposing ThreatKill [Mogu Chain Master].
90Among the BonesKill [Zandalari w/ Raptors].
90Competing MagicKill XXX.
90Encroaching ForceKill [Zandalari War Party].
90Chains of CommandKill XXX.
90Raining BonesKill [Zandalari w/ Raptors].
90Zandalari on the RiseKill [Zandalari Arcane Caster].
90Enroaching Force
90Chains of Command
90Maximum CapacitorDestroy the 3 lightning drills in the Ghost Iron Mines, and kill Metal Lord Mono-Han.
90Forge Ahead!Kill the Master of the Forge and Collect a Codex Fragment from the Mogu Gatekeeper in the Isle of the Thunder King.
90On Her Magic-ey Secret ServiceRescue the three captured Kirin Tor Agents within the Ghost Iron Mines, and kill Metal Lord Mono-Han.
90Subtle EncouragementPlant Mogu Weapons into the corpses of 9 Skumblade saurok.
90Loot plans, kill boat captain
90Kill mogu boss for key, use object behind jumping puzzle
Level Name Objective
90Dangers of TrolltonshireSlay 12 Trolls in Trolltonshire
90Grave CircumstancesKill 10 Lei-Shen Gravekeepers, Lei-Shen Soulrippers, or Lei-Shen Thundercallers.
90Kill Trolls
90Kill Mogu Spirits
90The Skumblade ThreatSlay 10 Skumblade saurok.
90Gather Scout Reports
90This Just Won't DoKill any 8 Zandalari trolls within the [Troll War Camp].
90Saur LoserDefeat 10 Zandalari trolls in the Bestiary of Jalak.
90Maximum CapacitorUse the Arcane Capacitor when it is overcharged to destroy the 3 lightning drills in the Ghost Iron Mines, and kill Metal Lord Mono-Han.
90Save Our Scouts!Rescue the three captured Sunreaver Agents within the Ghost Iron Mines, and kill Metal Lord Mono-Han.
90Kill mogu boss for key, use object behind jumping puzzle
90Nalak the Storm Lord[PH] Kill Nalak [Log Description]
90Kill Guards/Players
90Heinous SacrificeDestroy the Zandalari Sacrificial Altars.
90Pterrible PtormentFree the Tormented Pterodactyl.
90Dark OfferingsDestroy 6 Zandalari Offerings.
90Ashes of the EnemyBurn 8 Mummified Remains.
90Stone ColdDestroy 8 Grave Guardians.
90Soul SurrenderSave 8 Sunreaver Scouts.
90Rise No More!Kill 15 Risen Ancestors.
90The Call of ThunderDisrupt the Thundercaller's Ritual.
90Into the CryptsUse the Incantation of Gura in the Hall of the Wicked, then defeat Gura the Reclaimed.
90Preventing a Future ThreatFrighten 20 Pterodactyl Hatchlings by running near them.
90The Shuddering MoorKill the Fascist Devilsaur.
90Kill Roaming Troll War Party
90Kill Giant Statue
90Trailing Light in the DarkRelight 8 torches within the Diremoor.
90What's Inside CountsDestroy Guardian Tak'u in the [Troll War Camp].
90Very DisarmingSteal 7 Loa-Infused Blades from the [Troll War Camp].
90Knowledge Is PowerRetrieve 6 Ritual artifacts from around [Troll War Camp].
90Harbingers of the Loa[PH] Defeat 2 Harbingers of the Loa
90REMOVE (No Longer Used)
90Learning from the SaurokCheck in with Magister Arlan, Magister Sarien, and Magistrix Vesara.
90The Dinosaur-Men Stoled Our Magical RobotsRecover the four stolen Sunreaver Constructs.
90Release Prisoners (they turn into guardians? or they teleport home?)
90Find scout near enemy camp (injured, port him back)
90Steal magical tome from main building
90Charged Moganite (NYI)Recover a Charged Moganite and bring it to High Arcanist Savor.
90Kill Arcane Elementals/Mana Wyrms (killing increases damange done and taken of nearby units)
90Destroy enemy portal near camp (streaming attackers, defended, enemy can use)
90Planting Bombs (NYI)
90Destroy perimeter wards (green/blue eye of kilrog?)
90Disarm mines near enemy camp (poke them with a stick =P)
90Set magical mines around camp (using modern warfare lightning)
90Start and defend summoning ritual near enemy camp
90Destroy summoning circles in enemy camp (BloodElf_PowerOrb_Red)
90The Residents of IhgalukSlay a Skumblade Brute, a Skumblade Saur-Priest, and a Skumblade Seadragon.
90Surgical DeathSlay 3 Zandalari Spiritbinders, 3 Zandalari Beastcallers, and 3 Zandalari Jaguar Warriors.
90MetalocalypseKill Metal Lord Mono-Han outside the Ghost Iron Mine on the Isle of the Thunder King.
90Fleshcrafter's EndKill Fleshcrafter Goju outside the Ghost Iron Mines on the Isle of the Thunder King.
90Compy StompKill 5 Raptors and 10 Trained Compies in the Beast Pens.
90Loa-saurDefeat a Loa Speaker.
90Eyes in the FogKill 6 Creeping Moor Beasts.
90Kill Mogu Blood-seekers (Roaming pairs, actively fighting scouts, and performing rituals on corpses)
90Saurok Roamers
90Superpower/activate perimeter wards (zap enemy players/monsters coming towards camp)
90Loot plans, kill boat captain
90[PH] The Fall of Shan Bu[PH] Kill Shan Bu [Log Description]
90Forge Ahead!Kill the Master of the Forge and Collect a Codex Fragment from the Mogu Gatekeeper in the Isle of the Thunder King.
90Among the BonesKill XXX.
90Raining BonesKill [Zandalari w/ Raptors].
90Direhorn vs DevilsaurDisrupt a binding ritual by killing all ritual NPCs around either a Defiant Direhorn or a Defiant Devilsaur.
90Dino MightFind and use Saur Fetishes on 5 raptors, compies, skyscreamers or direhorns in the Beastiary of Jalak.
90Just Some Light Clean-Up WorkDisperse 75 pieces of filth by killing Quivering Filth in Ihgaluk Crag.
90Find and deactivate bombs
90Kill Constructs
90Kill Enemy Lt.
90Find glowing magical item stolen by dead scout in swamp (enemy w/ same target) (FloatingMineNexusPulse.mdx)
90Destroy magical empowering devices
90Test Your Chicken Guardian [PH]
90The Creeping Carpet of IhgalukCrush 150 Ihgaluk Roaches.
90Left To RotDestroy 3 Fetid Meat Piles.
90Destroy Cauldrons
90They All Fall DownKill 5 Spirit-Bound Sentries and then use the Resonance Crystal to capture the Zandalari Spirits trapped within.
90Power PlayRetrieve the Mask of the Dark Mystic and the Mask of the Spirit-Caller from Spiritbinder Tu'chek and Arcanital Ra'kul.
90The BloodletterKill Kaida the Bloodletter.
90Recover Thunderwing Juvenile
90The Conquest of StoneStop the Ancient Stone Conqueror ritual in the main temple at the Court of Bones.
90Competing MagicKill XXX.
90Encroaching ForceKill [Zandalari War Party].
90Chains of CommandKill [Mogu Chain Master].
90At the Tower's BaseKill XXX.
90Imposing ThreatKill [Mogu Chain Master].
90Enroaching Force
90Zandalari on the RiseKill [Zandalari Arcane Caster].
90Chains of Command
90Subtle EncouragementPlant Mogu Weapons into the corpses of 9 Skumblade saurok.

Patch 5.2 PTR Class and Set Bonus Issues
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • The problem with Spirit Shell benefiting from mastery is that it changes Spirit Shell from "I want to bubble because we'll be hit by a lot of damage soon" to "I want to use Spirit Shell because my PoHs will be bigger." Once it is a throughput increase, then Spirit Shell loses some of its identity as a tool and it just becomes a cooldown. Now, we could just nerf Spirit Shell in some way ("you make a bubble weaker than a heal would have been") and then let mastery increase it back to base level again, but we would have to nerf it.
  • On the topic of PW:Shield, back in say LK, the Disc play style was to tab through every target and PW:S them. It was effective, and boring. We wanted to move away from that and we were successful. However, PW:S is still supposed to be a core spell for Disc and we're seeing very little use of it on live. There should be room in the rotation for Spirit Shell, Prayer of Healing and Power Word: Shield and there isn't right now. This isn't a change in philosophy -- any time you see a spec using one spell or ability to the exclusion of others, you can assume we're probably not happy with that. As I said before, if you need to heal damage on a lot of players at once -- use Prayer of Healing. But if a lot of incoming damage is coming, you should probably PW:S several people and not use Prayer of Healing. On live, you'd still just use PoH because it's your best AE heal and your best AE absorb.

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • For Enhance 2pc, it's possible that a Storm Strike may "overstack" Maelstrom Weapon. However, you can also choose to Lightning Bolt (or whatever) before the Storm Strike, knowing that you could get up to 4 charges.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • The Protection 2pc will indeed count Divine Purpose boosted Words of Glory.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • We have heard the concerns of Overpower inherent dodge avoidance in addition with dodge proc'ing Overpower might do strange things with Expertise. We are considering changes, but are loathe to nerf one of the cool quirks that Overpower has had forever.
  • You might MS, OP, OP -> Slam some of the time, but Arms has so much uptime on Colossus Smash, that that rotation can't last for long. We do want Slam to beat OP + HS in the new model. We think it does (and remember we're trying Overpower at a small ragecost), but we'll double check.

Just as a reminder, as I said originally, we're really focused here on simple questions and simple answers. This isn't a good place to attempt to have a dialogue on the strengths and weaknesses of various classes.

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Cyclone range reduced back to 25 yards. (It was 30 yards in an earlier PTR build.)
  • Glyph of Cyclone - increases range by 5 yards (rather than 4 yards which was an odd number left over from when it was a % increase).
  • Maim damage has been increased by 100%.
  • Feral PvP 2pc - now also increases Bear Hug duration by 1 sec.
  • Feral PvP glove - has changed. It now increases Maim damage by 100%.
  • Balance / Restoration PvP glove - changes have been reverted and once again increases the range of Cyclone by 5 yards.
  • Feral PvE 4 pc - now also affects Ravage and Swipe (in addition to Mangle, Shred and FB).
  • To explain our Cyclone logic a bit more, we wanted to nerf the ability for PvP. The DR change is a big nerf, but we think it's important. We had previously experimented with increasing range or duration of Cyclone, but were concerned those offset the intended nerf too much.

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • PvP gloves - changed to increase healing by Recuperate by 1% of health.

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • DPS 4pc - Causes Soul Reaper to deal additional Shadow damage to targets below 40% health (instead of 35%). Additionally, Killing Machine increases the crit chance of Soul Reaper and its additional damage to low health targets.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • 4 pc - now increases Demonic Fury from all spells by 10% (up from 5% on certain spells).

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • We were concerned that our buffs to haste and mastery were enough to get Arms warriors to regem or be angry about passing on drops to say DKs. That's not the goal. We just wanted to make some of the stats better. We think the changes to Taste for Blood for Arms already make mastery slightly better for them, so we are reverting the change back to 55% for Strikes of Opportunity. (It was 75% in an earlier PTR build.) We also reduced the haste buff from +100% to +50%. It's still a big increase over live.
  • Similarly, we were concerned that the changes to Taste for Blood devalued expertise too much for Arms. We changed the Overpower granted by dodge to 1 charge. It's still 2 for using Mortal Strike. However, we also reverted an earlier change that let Mortal Strike proc Overpower even if the Mortal Strike missed.

Editorial note
This may seem like a lot of design iteration, but it's not at all atypical for us. Trying out lots of things is how we narrow in on what we hope are the best changes. We are attempting to expose you to a bit more of the design changes that are normally behind the scenes, as only a minority of our internal 5.2 builds ever make it on the PTR realm. If the constant change gives you heartburn, that's understandable and I advise you to just wait then for the final 5.2 patch notes.

Rapture now reduces the cost of Power Word: Shield by 25% 50% and provides mana equal to 150% 250% (was 200%) of the Priest's Spirit
At the moment (which could still change) Rapture provides a 25% cheaper Power Word: Shield and a 150% mana return on a Power Word: Shield. When we tried PW:S at 50%, it became too efficient to use nothing but PW:S. We aren't trying to kill PoH use completely, just shift to a balance where PW:S and SS are used for absorbs, and PoH is used for healing. Yes, Disc PoH will be weaker than Holy PoH, but that is offset by the incredible benefit brought by absorbs. Please don't interpret this as "Because absorbs are so good and because absorbs are my thing, it is a design failure if I ever cast an actual heal."

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Clarification on the 4pc: It means that if you have a Killing Machine proc up and hit Soul Reaper, that Soul Reaper will be a guaranteed crit, will consume the Killing Machine Proc, and the future Soul Reaper Shadow detonation will also be a guaranteed crit. Basically, Killing Machine will function for Soul Reaper, just like it already does for Frost Strike and Obliterate.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
For Retribution, we were trying to emphasize what was once the most awesome spell in the Ret arsenal (Divine Storm) while reacting to some of the initial feedback that the first set bonus wasn't exciting. As often happens in cases like this, the players who liked the first set bonus and not the second have now offered their feedback. I want to stress that when this happens it's not a poll or a contest to see who can yell the loudest. We evaluate the feedback we get, weigh the strengths of the various arguments, and come to a decision. For 5.2 we're going to go back to the initial 4 pc set bonus of Templar's Verdict sometimes hitting for Holy damage. I also want to stress that anyone expecting said bonus to be a 20% DPS increase or something are going to be disappointed, so I hope that's not why you liked the bonus.

Incorporating Divine Storm into the single-target rotation, sometimes, is still a neat idea and the kind of thing we might do as a glyph or something in the future.

Um, the revert on the mastery changes, haste back down to 50% (though haste isn't very good for us anyway and is more a fury buff), and the rage cost on OP are all going backwards for arms DPS. I hope there's more changes coming? As it stands we would do far less in 5.2 compared to what we do on live now.
Tuning DPS numbers is one of the last things we do, because it's dependent on all of the other changes being stable. The problems we are trying to solve now are stuff like "How to make Arms use Slam more?" and "How to make rage matter?" Once we get those issues resolved, we can tune up all of the numbers at once (because we'd agree Arms is a little low in PvE).

Myself and many many many rets would be happy to just have these gimmics gone. Please?
We agree that it feels dumb and mandatory. We don't have a global solution to swapping set bonuses pre-pull, but we are trying to implement one. In the meantime, we have a list of specific set bonuses (including the two you mentioned) to discourage for pre-pull.

Drop Skull Bash to 10 energy (currently 15), since we lost of the Glove bonus.
Skull Bash costs nothing on the PTR build. Kick too. That may have missed the patch notes.

Could you please make the bonus work for Aimed Shot (or even Steady Shot) too?
We did so. I must have forgotten to mention it.

Every other melee interrupt is already free (or effectively free for enhance and ret). Only rogues, monks, and ferals have any cost at all. The "resources need to matter more" applies only to Arms warriors, and charging for utility isn't the way to do it, they need to spend rage rotationally.
I would have answered similarly. (And yes, Spear Hand Strike is also free.)

In PvE particularly, we think it's better when players use their utility to help the group at large rather than balking because it's a personal DPS loss to do so. In PvP, you can make more of an argument that choosing to spend resources on an interrupt or on an attack is an interesting trade-off, but the fact is that many interrupts were already free (or so cheap as to be effectively free). There are exceptions to utility being free. Hamstring for example is not, but it also has no cooldown so were it also free it might as well be passive (or macro'd) because you wouldn't be making a decision about when to use it.

While we're on the subject of PoH, though: Is there any way we might be able to get it changed into a smart heal rather than being "group-centric"?
I'll be really frank here. I don't think the group portion of the heal is long for this world. I personally dig it and I feel smart when I see 5 people in a group all at once who need healing. It makes the spell different from other AEs.

On the other hand, it's pretty gamey. (I can only heal these five arbitrary people, why?) Priests feel like they have to ask raid leaders to set up groups with their weird AE spell in mind, which is really unlikely to happen in Raid Finder. It doesn't work at all on encounters like the shrines in Sha of Fear.

We're not going to change it for 5.2. We're probably not going to change it for 5.3. But I sense the writing on the wall here that it won't last much longer. I can imagine a future iteration where Prayer of Healing is the AE equivalent of Gheal and Circle of Healing is the AE equivalent of Flash Heal. (Yes, I know Disc doesn't have CoH - I'm in a really theoretical space here.)

Sorry. I broke my own rule about simple questions and answers. Sometimes I can't help it.

That isn't it at all. Many of those upset about the push back to PW: Shield are those who played Disc Priests during Wrath. We don't want to go back there. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want to go back to doing nothing but spamming one spell all day long. That's what it was like for Disc Priests, too. It was a horrible model, but I guarantee you that once we get enough Spirit, we will go right back to doing that because right now it is looking like our most reliable source of throughput.
We agree. Spamming nothing but PW:S isn't fun. We also think spamming nothing but PoH isn't fun. We're trying to carve a niche for both spells, where shields (PW:S, SS and DA (especially with Inner Focus)) are used to shield and PoH is better for healing. Disc won't provide the best healing out there, but that seems fair given that they will still provide the best shielding out there. We'll see fewer Disc priests, but still plenty, and more Holy priests and Resto druids. That doesn't seem like an unreasonable goal....

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Halo - will not longer unstealth enemy targets. That wasn't the use we had in mind when we made it a huge AE.
  • Binding Heal - now also heals less for Shadow, the same way Flash does.

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Thick Hide - now also reduces crits from spells.
  • Feral PvP gloves - increases the duration of Bear Hug by 1 sec. (I originally typed Bear Huge, which would also be an awesome ability.)
  • Feral PvP 2pc - Thick Hide now reduces the chance to be crit by 20%. This is in addition to the Savage Roar effect.
  • Feral PvP 4 pc - Now also causes successful interrupts with Skull Bash to reset the cooldown of Enrage.
  • Feral PvE 2pc - Redesigned. Now gives your finishing moves a 15% chance per cp to add a cp to your target.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Deadly Calm - has been removed. We added it in a weak moment - a perfect example of button bloat for limited gain. Our intentions, as always, were noble.
  • Glyph of Incite - no longer procs from Deadly Calm. Now procs from Demoralizing Shout.
  • Glyph of Overpower - now using Overpower during Die by the Sword increases the duration by 1 sec per use.

Yes I do realize it's 40% execute time, but Unholy mastery does not make it pull that much further ahead of frost in execute, and the KM procs being able to be used on Soul Reaper would make frost Soul Reaper much better.
We changed it to 45% execute range. Remember that Unholy does get a big mastery benefit, as you point out. Also remember that whenever Frost uses a KM to Soul Reaper, then they are not using KM on another attack, so there is some loss there. We think Unholy and Frost benefits are pretty close now, but explain your reasoning if anyone disagrees.

We changed some PvP bonus to benefit abilities for Feral (cats) so we also changed them to offer a Guardian (bear) benefit.

To be complete:

  • Feral / Guardian PvP Glove: Increases the damage of Maim and increases the duration of Bear Huge.
  • Feral / Guardian PvP 2pc: Increases the duration of Savage Roar and increases the critical strike reduction from Thick Hide.

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Here is our logic on cat movement in PvP. Stacking Feline Swiftness, the PvP set bonus, boot enchants and things like Stampeding Roar and Dash all stacked to be ridiculously fast. We could go back to having all of these things not stacking, but we thought that felt arbitrary and confusing. We didn't want to nerf the talent, so we thought the PvP set bonus made the most sense to hit. Long term, we could consider the movement bonuses stacking additively instead of multiplicatively, but that would do some odd things to snares without further adjustments. We also feel like giving cats Infected Wounds helped a lot with their old problem of not being able to stay on targets.

Keep in mind that some of these changes are attempts to be proactive. We don't necessarily believe that Feral and perhaps Shadow are overpowered in PvP today. However if we're successful in getting mages and warriors down to a more balanced spot, we're concerned Feral and Shadow may be the next two specs that feel broken. We are also mindful that if you knock off the top thing on any list that the next item on that list becomes the new top thing.

Patch 5.2 Reputation Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
What I would love to see is more choices to farm the reputation for factions, deffo not a tabard again I agree on that! But mayby a choice between dailies and something else
For 5.2 you will be able to champion a faction and earn rep with them on your first heroic and scenario of the day

So we can assume that only one dungeon or one scenario will earn you rep?
As the PTR Patch Notes read currently, it's the first dungeon and first scenario. Of course, things might change, but that's the plan right now.

The answer was/is so blooming obvious, you never had to re-invent the wheel, just put the old one back on - simply having both at release (instead of removing tabards) - Blizz could of scored a blinder by satisfying everyone - missed opportunity by not keeping tabards with the current daily system on release, missed it again in 5.1 and instead opt for a watered down fix in 5.2.
If one of them is the obvious path to get it done faster, the developers have seen over the years that the players will take that path, even if it's something they just don't like doing (which is probably why some people feel dailies are mandatory, because they'd like to spend their valor points on that gear rather than using the item upgrade system, perhaps because the'll spend them better there).

Also, keep in mind that in 5.2, valor gear will have a reputation requirement, but this reputation won't be earned from daily quests (which will also be available and it's a different faction).

Also, before I forget, remember that in 5.2, you'll be able to receive Work Orders in Sunsong Ranch from all accross Pandaria, and completing a work order will earn a reputation boost with the issuing faction. So it should help reduce the burden of doing dailies for those of you that don't enjoy them that much.

1) is the championing rep a flat rep you get at the end that's comparable to what you would get from doing all dailies that day?
2) does the dailies faction have reputation rewards as well? and are those intended as a sort of catchup for new players/alts?
3) if the valor rep is related to the raid (most likely it is), can you also get it through LFR?

Great questions! I do not know at this time, but we'll try to gather that information and share it as soon as possible.

Patch 5.2 Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Patch 5.2 PvP Gear Changes Feedback
Totally agree in principle,but I'm not sure we need to keep a hurdle in, and adversely affect the PvP game, just to give people something to shoot for. We'll have a cosmetically different enchant available at 2200 in 5.2, and going along those lines we're looking at what potential future cosmetic rewards we could add for various ratings in the future. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

LFR Loot System Feedback
1) Show the loot everybody wins, and show people their own rolls. Both pieces of information will make it "feel" like a closer thing.
We're still not convinced this is the right way to go about it. Our initial approaches are going to be based around your personal drops, win or lose, feeling more satisfying. If it still feels like killing bosses and seeing what you get doesn't feel good, we'll continue to evaluate.

2) Give every player a hidden variable of their chance of getting loot, and for each failed roll increase that variable by a small amount. Say, 2%. If you go an entire week of full LFR with no loot, your next roll would get a +32% roll.
I made a recent post that covers a bit of this, and nods at some future possibilities as far as ensuring LFR runs feel rewarding. We're not looking to make LFR drops guaranteed, that kind of reliable gearing is what Justice and Valor are for not boss fights, but certainly the opposite of guaranteed can be just as bad. It's something we're looking at and talking about internally, we just don't have anything specific to share right yet.

Aside from that, we call the Elder Charm 28.50 bag the fail bag because it fails as a consolation prize in generating excitement, or even feeling like a consolation. If you don't win a piece of gear, fine it happens, but at the very least spending a charm should give you something to look forward to. Getting a bag, anticipating what might be inside, and having the possibility of being excited about what it contains is the goal. That change will be in 5.2. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.2 Failbag Changes
i think the chance of loot in LFR need to be prio to how many times you have done a boss ! so the more times you have done the boss the chance of getting items chances getting higher!
On Patch 5.2, the bag containing gold will also have other goodies added to it. Hopefully it'll serve to lessen that feeling of walking out the LFR with empty hands (and some gold).

The developers are also discussing some long term solutions about the consistency of drops on LFR, but unfortunately, at this time, we don't have anything specific to share. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Pet Respawn Change in Patch 5.2
This particular change (Any pet that has been killed in a pet battle will now never respawn), is not related the pets you use in the battle, but the pet you fight against out in the wild.

So, your pets will be unaffeceted and not going anywhere if they do die. (Official Forums)

Patch 5.2 PvP Gear Changes Feedback
Yea this is still a big mistake Blizzard are making, they are still amusing that people are motivated by gear in PvP, this hasn't been the case (largely, naturally a very small % still do care) for a very long time now. This is actually something that we are also looking into. We are aware that pure performance enhancers are not something that is of a large interest to the majority of PvP'ers. We are investigating ways of implementing more vanity rewards for participating in PvP combat.

Then you could also throw inv arious special Mounts or Pets between the 2000-2700 range or something.
One issue that can arise with the rating requirements on rewards with the new MMR inflation system is that rating is going to inflate throughout the season for those that continue to compete. This could make rating requirements such as those you have mentioned much easier to attain. As said however we are looking into ways to implement more vanity rewards into PvP and we will update you with more information on this when it becomes available.

But honestly, why should someone with inferior skill to myself have the same gear? This basically puts us on the same level.
I have to ask; why is it that you feel entitled to have better gear than someone of lesser skill and as such bridge that gap between you both even further, giving you an even more distinct advantage?

If players are able to fight with an equal footing in regards to gear, then you will be able to tell who has more skill as the better player will obviously be able to attain more rating. This change should excite you with having a better chance to show your stuff and surpass 2.2K rating, push yourself beyond your known limits and try for the best you can!

So we've nothing to aim for now ?
Whoever said that? You have plenty to aim for, the sky is the limit. You still have the elite gear to aim for, it simply does not come with a rating requirement now. You can also set your own goals rather than only aiming for those we already laid out before you.

I think the new conquest system will promote players to start late in the season. This way you will save money and the catch up rate will be crazy high.
Far from it, you only get the 1000 points per week missed minus your already attained Conquest points. If you played throughout the entire season then your weekly cap would be higher than that and as such you should have more conquest points than those who start late. The main difference now is that catching up if you started later in the season should not be as difficult.

all we want is something to show off, maybe like teh challenge mode gear, if you get 2.2k rating you get a set of gear with no stats thats purely for transmog. and this thread then dosent need to exist.
As has already been mentioned even before this blog, more vanity rewards for PvP'ers is something that we are currently looking to implement. We will provide more information on this when it becomes available.

We, who are about to farm, salute you!
How will it be any different to the farming that you are currently doing? You farm up your honor gear while buying conquest items with what you earn and then once you get full honor gear you go all out with farming your conquest points for gear.

Remember also that the rating inflation system might mean that the average MMR and team rating could increase, this means that the amount of Conquest points that you can earn each week may go up too. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Ring of Peace Feedback
We are very aware that Ring of Peace is quite an overpowered ability right now and we are still working on it quite heavily. Expect to see more changes coming for Ring of Peace soon. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Arenas and Gear
Yeah, I miss the times when you could actually outplay people and instantly tell if someone was a terrible player.
It is still entirely possible to outplay others in Arena even if their gear is better. Gear is not always a deciding factor in a battle; although it's definitely something that assists you in winning. If you are playing better than your opponent you should have higher, if not the same, survival, damage and/or healing and as such you will still have a good chance of winning even if your gear is worse. This is not to say that gear does not help in deciding the outcome of a battle, but it is not the only factor as your skills can make up for a lack of gear.

Just so you know though, the disparity in stats on the different levels of PvP gear is something which we are currently looking into. We have a blog that’s coming soon which will talk about all of the changes to PvP gear we have planned for 5.2 and beyond. These changes will hopefully be major quality of life improvements for PvP'ers, helping with both mid and late season entry as well as the large difference in power between Honor and Conquest point gear. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Challenge Mode Feedback
Current challenge modes do normalize people's gear and levels down, so current challenge modes will always be the same (or near same) difficulty into the future. Not exactly what you mean, I know, but that kind of tech does already exist.

Challenge modes are already the most efficient way to get Valor, which is pretty rewarding. If we put an item at the end of it, either it's going to be low enough ilvl to be worthless to the types of people tending to run challenge modes (progression raiders), or it's going to be a BiS, at which point challenge modes become required for progression, tuning suddenly becomes a really big deal, etc. etc. It's not the intent of challenge modes, and not somewhere we're planning to take them. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

A Discussion of Gear Scaling
This is not an announcement or pertinent information about 5.2.

A player asked this question in the set bonus / class thread. I really wanted to answer it, but I also said I wanted that thread to be about short questions and answers. So I am going to violate the spirit of that rule but not the letter by addressing it here.

The problem I have is the feeling that you, GC, and your development team, are downplaying the importance of scaling in that tuning. Scaling of secondary stats is important, not just for pure damage reasons, but to maintain consistent damage relative to other classes across a wider range of item levels.
Okay. Scaling.

As a sweeping generalization, players worry too much about scaling. Back in vanilla and maybe BC, it was a huge concern. Some abilities scaled with attack power and some just did flat damage. Guess what happened when gear level increased?

Now days (unless I am forgetting something) every ability scales with attack power or spell power, meaning it scales with the primary stats that we slather on your items. If not then it at least scales with weapon damage, which is also just a function of ilevel. An ability that scales well with crit and haste and mastery will do even more damage as ilevel increases, but you have to consider the deltas we're talking about here. If your entire raid improves every single item in a tier (which doesn't always happen), your ilevel might go up by 13 ilevels. Let's be charitable and assume an ilevel is a 2% DPS increase. That means someone with awesome scaling might get a 26% DPS increase compared to someone with no scaling. But we already established all abilities scale with primary stats. So even the low end guy is going to get some scaling. Furthermore, we're typically talking about a player with one strong secondary stat and two weak secondary stats. So he gets a lot from the primary, less from the good secondary, and even less (but not zero!) from the bad secondaries.

Furthermore, specs that tend to not scale as well with their secondary stats will scale better with their primary stat. To use the warrior as an example (since that's what kicked this off), Fury scales well with secondary stats, but Arms scales well with Strength. We also think that's interesting because it makes you look at your gear and really think about the stat allocation instead of "Plate? Go." On top of all of that, you can reforge and gem to lean towards stats that are the best for you, which downplays the impact of bad scaling even more.

So again let's be charitable and say that we're talking about a max delta of something like 5-10% between someone who scales awesome and someone who scales poorly at the very end of a raid tier when everyone is completely geared, which by the way, is probably when you don't care so much about being able to kill those bosses since they're by definition all on farm. Encounter mechanics can have a much bigger impact on DPS than 5-10%.

Now this might still be a problem if we didn't make any adjustments throughout an expansion and the poor-scaling guy just fell farther and farther behind. But we don't do that any longer. Every tier these days is a new chance for us to readjust the numbers and make sure that even if there is a stat scaling issue that we can compensate for it.

Furthermore, I'm not sure why you'd assume that we check DPS only at the current ilevel. We check for ilevels that won't exist within the 5.0 time period. On occasion we have tested with stupidly theoretical item levels of 10,000 or more just to see what happens to the curves.

It also doesn't help the conversation that the word "scaling" gets misused a lot. The question above uses the term the way we would, but misuse is sadly pretty common. "Our scaling is bad" gets used as a synonym for "My dps is lower than I want" or even just a vague "My dps needs to be overpowered now, because of, you know, scaling."

TLDR: many players worry far more about scaling than they need to. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Is Samwise Still Around?
He's art director on StarCraft II, so most of his time is spent there, but he still does some concepts and bits for Warcraft now and again. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Daily Quest Feedback
Questing is an essential part of World of Warcraft. In the past, we've opened up hubs of daily quests tied to a specific storyline, but not necessarily integral to that expansion's theme. This time around, we worked to expand the storyline by coupling the lore of Pandaria and the various zones you adventure in with the daily quests that become available. The ultimate goal is to provide players who aren’t raiding, and who do enjoy questing, something to do at max level beyond grind heroics. One of the main complains in Cataclsym was there was nothing to do, you sat in Stormwind and queued for stuff. Daily quests, if you want to do them, do in fact lead to getting more people out and about in the world. Giving people something to do outside of instances.

We still very much believe players do not have to partake in daily quests to progress. Items that can be purchased from a Quartermaster can easily be matched by items earned through raiding and PvP. What it all boils down to is each individual’s play-style. There are those who will only want to run dungeons and raids; those who only want to PvP; those who only like to work on their farm and do some Pet Battles; those who only like to earn achievements, and any combination in between. We’re trying to appeal to millions of different types of players as best as we can, and we understand that not every piece of content or decision is going to be everyone’s favorite. That’s why to a large degree you can pick and choose what you want to do. It may not always be the most efficient, but the option is there. You've specifically seen that we’re listening to feedback in the addition of the Grand Commendations which not only benefit your alts but make the Revered->Exalted run that much shorter. You’ll also see some changes to reputation gains in Patch 5.2 where a player can champion a faction and earn reputation for their first heroic and scenario runs of the day.

On a personal note, every single person I work with is absolutely, 100% dedicated to their job, to this company, and to our games. Your concerns are our concerns. We may not always agree with you, and you may not agree with us, but in those disagreements we can try to have a conversation and come to understand the motivations of each other. The goal here is to better explain why we’ve designed the game the way we have, rather than disagreeing to disagree. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Flying Mounts Feedback
In spite of your firm belief that you feel flying mounts are detrimental to gameplay
No one ever said they are detrimental to gameplay, or they're being removed, or we hate flying mounts, or any of the other things people have inferred for no good reason. What I said was that experiencing a world directly from your character to the earth beneath it, and approaching questing content, is not served well by being able to lift off and set down wherever you like. In most cases we've relegated 'non-flying' to new characters experiencing an expansion for the first time, and then sometime later given them a way to give their alts flying in a quicker manner. In some cases, such as the Isle of Quel'danas back in BC, and now on the 5.2 Thunder King island, we've made a conscious effort to design a no-flying area to present that content in a different, and we believe, more intimate way. That's our job as game designers and world creators to define the restrictions and rules to create what we feel crafts the best experience. You can disagree with the restrictions and rules that define what World of Warcraft is, and we can have a conversation on the pros and cons (and certainly there are both), but let's be careful not to take things out of context and jump to extremes.

Can you start spending as much time making a conscious effort to make content that is based around FLYING characters, even though it may be more difficult?

It is very clear that there are atleast as many people who DESPISE travel by ground. The only reason that the "questing experience is better from the ground" is because that is the way you make it - so make it differently.

All of the level-cap content and locations (daily quests, hubs, etc.) are designed around the knowledge that you have a flying mount available. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

LFR Loot System Feedback
The LFR loot system works extremely well for what it's intended to do, it sees a ton of traffic, and gears people up in end-game content that just wasn't possible even a year ago. By all accounts it offers people not able to commit the time, or have the resources, to raid. That in and of itself is a major accomplishment, and the intent of the LFR system. Regardless of your personal circumstances, you can get in there, see the story, experience most of the content, and get some decent items. But I think the rub is the expectations it sets. It looks like a raid, and it smells like a raid, but there's fundamental differences in how it's perceived due to the format. For traditional raiding you get together with your guildies and friends, you struggle on bosses, wipe after wipe, and finally through teamwork and perseverance you overcome the obstacle, loot drops, and even if you don't win a roll you feel like you've made a meaningful contribution to your team and your chances at success later through the overall gearing up of your raid group. In LFR the entire dynamic has to change because you're being matched up semi-randomly with other players. Because of that there is no feeling of helping your team get better, you enter the queue alone, and it's mainly about personal goals to gear up, which then maybe help you in coordinated raids later. You're in there for loot for yourself, and because of that there's less tolerance for overcoming obstacles, so encounters are much easier, and the loot system is per-person and not a communal distribution.

As others have noted the chance to get items in LFR versus a traditional raid scenario are actually higher, but that doesn't change the expectations of people jumping into LFR that this should be a system that provides more consistency. Whatever the underlying reason is for that, I'm not totally sure it matters beyond there is an expectation difference between traditional raiding and LFR. It's something we're keeping an eye on for potential tweaks in the future. We have tech for quests that increases your chance for a quest item to drop if you haven't gotten one recently, and so that's something we're at least beginning to think about and how that kind of consistency system could translate into things like the LFR. If nothing else tweaking drop rates on prior tiers when a new tier hits is pretty low hanging fruit on at least ensuring people can more easily get those last few ilvls so they can queue for the new tier. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria and Alts
Sure go ahead and lie but please try not to make it that obvious. If you find them useful and enjoyable, you must be flying around in orgrimmar/stormwind waiting for something to happen because that's the only thing i know is worse than questing. And how dare you defend the content??? We both know it's crap and the one who created it deserves to hear it.
Sorry but you can't call me a liar because you don't like my opinion. If you don't like questing, that's all fine (in fact, there's plenty of players out there that don't like having to level when a new expansion is launched), but you can't pretend your opinion is an universal, undisputable truth and everyone else is just a liar.

LFR requires you to have ilvl460, which you can get by completing all the Dread Wastes quests, some Townlong Steppes rewards, and if you're still lacking gear for some reason: heroics/scenarios. You don't need to dailies to get in.
Yes I'm quoting myself!

As some people have pointed out, you can't reach ilvl 460 in Dread Wastes/Townlong Steppes (and I totally made a mistake in that sense). What I was referring instead, was 5-man heroics. My points stands still, you don't need dailies to gain access to the LFR, and chain running 5-man heroics will be faster too since you don't need a 463 item on every slot to access LFR, but you won't get it either just with Dread Wastes/Townlong exclusively. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Updating Older Dungeons
Thanks for your suggestions, we’re aware that some dungeons are being somewhat missed out by players while levelling up, and I agree, they’re missing some really great PvE content.

I believe that one of the possible issues is that some of those instances are probably not tuned with the new players in mind, they were instances that were added late on previous expansions and so they are supposed to be harder and they wouldn't be a good experience for players levelling up for the first time. Tuning older dungeons (revamping quests, tuning bosses/mobs, items) is something that takes time and currently the focus is on level 90 content, but don’t worry, devs are aware of this, if there are any changes we’ll let you know. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Converting Justice Points Into Elder Charms
I would like to be able to convert justice points into coins.
Justice points are the lower currency, useful for those looking to gear up for heroics, pre-raid stuff really. While I can see how JPs can build up for players who don't want to spend the surplus points on various items such as heirlooms, legacy gear for transmog purposes or trading in for honor points to get PvP gear, it doesn't make much sense to me to allow this lower currency to be used as a way to get the higher level gear, that's the issue I see with it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

WoWDB Addon Data Collection
Finding the locations of the Patch 5.2 NPCs or adding new data from the other Patch 5.2 additions is done with the help of many players. The more people that contribute data, the more accurate and quickly we can update the database.

To help out, just install the WoWDB Profiler addon from Curse and check the box in the Curse Client options as seen below. When you are playing the addon will gather data and save it. When you are done playing, Curse Client will see the game close and upload the collected data from the addon.

We recently identified a bug in the client that requires you to uncheck and recheck the box to submit PTR data after adding the PTR to Curse Client. If you are playing on the PTR, please uncheck, close the options, and then open them again and recheck the box.

Defiance Beta Key Giveaway
Curse is giving away US and EU beta keys for the ongoing beta weekend.

Curse Weekly Roundup
This week's news talks about the Video Games Rating Enforcement Act, Xbox 720 and PS4 specifications, Path of Exiles open beta, Halo 2 PC online multiplayer shutdown, and your weekly Game Forecast!

by Published on 2013-01-18 02:09 AM

Developer Watercooler: Encounter Tuning by Watcher

Shaman and Death Knight Tier 15 Armor Sets, Build 16467 Pets, Audio, Icons

PvP Gear in 5.2 and Beyond
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Change is coming to PvP gear in the relatively near future, and we wanted to provide a not-so-brief update on the improvements we’re planning, while pulling the curtain aside a bit so you can see the thought processes that motivated the coming changes. We also thought this would also be a great time to get the World of Warcraft PvP community involved in the discussion.

The Challenges
There are a few main issues that we’re working to address within the next couple of patches:

Early Advantage
Currently, it’s very common for players that have a head start at the start of the season to earn the best gear quickly and gain a dominating position on the ladder with a very high Match Making Rating (MMR). It’s then pretty common for those players to only participate on the ladder in a minimal way before reaping their rewards at the very end of the season. That’s not particularly good for competition, and we don’t think that it’s a very fun way for a competitive ladder to work. We would like to see the ladder remain active, and for high ranking players to earn their positions throughout the season, instead of just blitzing early and camping a spot above a certain threshold.

Mid-season Start
Players getting into PvP mid-season face a very significant challenge to gear up and become competitive because players that started earlier in the season are so far ahead in terms of gear. We want to make it more reasonable for a player to join in on organized PvP mid-season, while still rewarding the commitment of players that have remained invested in PvP throughout the season.

Rating Requirements
The current rating requirements on PvP gear create an artificially sharp division between players over 2200 rating and those below that rating threshold, which is unduly difficult to cross. We’d prefer that teams progress up the ladder on a curve against gradually more difficult opponents, instead of running into a wall at a certain rating.

Gear Advantage
Over time, the gap in power between Honor and Conquest PvP items has widened. This happened, in part, because it’s necessary for us to preserve the balance in power between PvP and PvE gear so that one doesn’t become the most obvious path to victory for the other. Right now, there are four tiers of PvE items, but only two tiers of PvP items. To keep Honor items from being the best choice for entry into PvE, they needed to have a lower item level than equivalent Raid Finder items. At the same time, Conquest gear still needs to be better for PvP than Heroic raid items, which puts it way over on the opposite end of the power scale from its Honor counterpart. While there are items that bridge the gap between Raid Finder and Heroic Raid loot, there really haven’t been any PvP items to bridge the gap between Honor and Conquest gear. We plan to solve that problem by introducing new tiers of PvP items, changing which currencies it takes to buy items and when, and by making PvP weapons more readily available in general.

While the item upgrade system has the benefit of allowing players that have “finished” their PvP set to continue to progress their character’s power, because there’s built-in pressure to continue upgrading their main set, it also means that players don’t always feel comfortable spending those points on alternate sets of gear for different specs (though it’s worth mentioning that the upgrade system will be disabled for patch 5.2). We’d like to make it easier for players in this position to experiment with alternate specs and stats.

Moving Forward
Meeting these challenges will mean that some changes are coming to MMR, PvP gear, and how gear is earned and paid for:

Team Rating Inflation
As we’ve mentioned previously, we want to see the ladder rankings decided toward the end of a season, and not a foregone conclusion dictated by what happens at the start. As discussed in the PvP in Mists of Pandaria Dev Watercooler, as of patch 5.2 Team Rating will gradually increase as players participate in PvP over the course of the season. We expect the new system to help ensure that the ladder remains active at all ratings and that the competition stays fierce from start to finish.

Gear Changes
To accomplish the goals of making PvP more accessible and less punishing, gearing more consistent and flexible, and flattening the power curve out over the course of a season, there are some significant changes in the works:
  • 2200 rating requirements removed from all PvP gear. (5.2)
  • Gear will be available in four tiers:
    • Dreadful Gladiator’s gear will be crafted. (5.2)
    • Malevolent Gladiator’s gear, including weapons, will be purchased with Honor Points. (5.2)
    • New tier of PvP items: Tyrannical Gladiator’s gear will be purchased with Conquest Points. (5.2)
    • Tyrannical Gladiator’s gear can be purchased for Honor after 27000 Conquest Points are earned for the season. (5.3)
    • Elite Tyrannical Gladiator’s gear can only be purchased with Conquest Points after 27,000 Conquest Points have been earned for the season. (5.2)

The 2200 rating requirements on gear will be removed in patch 5.2, and when that happens, the only barrier to acquiring top of the line Elite gear will be the 27,000 Conquest Point seasonal currency requirement. While highly rated players will still earn gear more quickly, there won’t be an invisible wall to progression at 2200 rating.

As of patch 5.3, patches that don’t include the start of a new season will offer players the opportunity to purchase Conquest Point weapons without first meeting the seasonal currency requirement for them. We’re relaxing these restrictions because, by the mid-point of the season, the restriction has served its purpose and is no longer necessary. It’s worth noting here that the 27,000 Conquest Points earned requirement must always be met to buy Elite armor and weapons in every season.

In terms of relative power, we’re tuning the item levels, PvP Power, and Resilience on the new set of PvP items so that the difference between Malevolent and Elite Tyrannical Gladiator’s gear is similar to the relationship between this season’s Dreadful and Malevolent Gladiator’s gear. This helps accomplish the goal of smoothing out the power curve by adding a tier in the middle of the PvP gear spectrum. Also, to add choices and flexibility, once the seasonal currency requirement is met, players will have the option to purchase Tyrannical pieces for Honor, which should allow players to more easily experiment with alternate stat loadouts and specs.

Mid-Season Catch Up
Players who are starting their journey into PvP mid-season start significantly behind the gearing curve. While we want to avoid invalidating the effort of players that have competed for the whole season, we agree with the feedback we’ve received that the starting gap is too large, so a new Conquest Point catch-up cap will be implemented using the following formula:

(Current week of the season) * 1000 – (Conquest earned thus far this season)

Here are some examples of how this will work:

Player A is starting PvP for the first time in week 10 of the season, and hasn’t earned any Conquest Points at all that season. He will have an additional cap of 10,000 points added to his normal weekly rating based cap.

Player B has already earned 5,000 Conquest Points by week 10, so she would have an additional cap of 5,000 points added to her normal weekly rating based cap.

Player C has been playing all season long, and has earned more than 10,000 Conquest Points by week 10. He only has the normal weekly cap to work with (but should already be on their way to being well geared).

If a player “redeems” their catch up cap by earning all those points, then they’ll begin the next week at their normal weekly rating based cap. Should they miss more weeks, then the catch up cap accrues again.

So, to sum up the planned changes for Patch 5.2:
  • Rating requirements will be removed from PvP gear.
  • Malevolent Gladiator’s gear, including weapons, will be available for purchase with Honor Points.
  • A new tier of Conquest Point gear will be added that becomes available once 27000 Conquest Points have been earned for the season.
  • Team Rating will gradually increase during the season for teams and players that continue to compete in PvP. This system is explained in the Mists of Pandaria PvP Dev Watercooler.

And here are the specific changes that are planned to hit in Patch 5.3:
  • In patches that don’t include a new season (including patch 5.3), the seasonal currency requirement of 27,000 Conquest Points earned will be lifted from weapons. The seasonal currency requirement must always be met to purchase Elite items, though.
  • Once the seasonal currency requirement is met, players will be able to purchase Tyrannical Gladiator’s gear with Honor Points.
  • The Conquest Point catch up cap will be introduced.

Overall, we expect that these changes will create a more active and competitive PvP environment, narrow the gear gap between the highest rated players and those still working their way up the ladder, and open the door for more experimentation in terms of class or spec.
We look forward to hearing your opinions and feedback on these upcoming changes!
by Published on 2013-01-17 05:08 PM

Shaman and Death Knight Tier 15 Armor Sets, Build 16467 Pets, Audio, Icons

Developer Watercooler: Encounter Tuning by Watcher
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In this blog, I’d like to shed some light on an aspect of our design that may unfortunately seem inscrutable or even arbitrary: how and when we make adjustments to our raid encounters once they’re on the live servers. The only changes we jump on immediately to fix are a clearly irritating bugs that never benefit the player in any way (e.g., issues that can cause players to fail to receive loot from a boss, glitches that can cause an encounter to evade or reset prematurely, etc.). Thanks to our internal QA team and the feedback from players on our test realms, those are relatively few in number.

Other than these clear-cut cases, virtually every change has some negative cost to it, such that the benefits must clearly be evident in order to justify making them. If we fix a bug that allows for an unintended strategy on a fight, then the following week there will be raid groups that previously had a working strategy on an encounter and will now have to re-learn it. If we reduce the difficulty of an encounter, there will always be groups who were very close to a kill on the “pre-nerf” version whose victory feels cheapened as a result. And so forth.

Given this background, let’s look at some of the adjustments we’ve made (or not made, in some cases) to the 5.0 raid zones over the course of the past months, broken down into a few general categories.

Unintended Tactics

Our players are ingenious and adept at coming up with clever solutions to the challenges posed by our raid encounters. While we have learned from past experience to an extent (Rule #14 of encounter design: If it’s possible to kite adds instead of killing them, someone will kite them instead of killing them), we are still unable to always anticipate the lengths to which our players will go to overcome a difficult encounter. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, and often one of the hallmarks of a great encounter is that it is open to multiple approaches, depending on the strengths and weaknesses of an individual raid group. I can think of three distinct approaches that we saw to handle the Molten Elementals summoned by Heroic Ragnaros, for example, and I’m sure there are more out there.

For example, a common tactic on the Heroic mode of Amber-Shaper Un’sok in the Heart of Fear is to have a dedicated transformed player who maintains a Destabilize stack on Un’sok throughout the entire second phase of the fight, when he is otherwise nearly invulnerable and the raid’s attention is focused on the Amber Monstrosity. This is only possible due to a bug. Un’sok was intended to be immune to Amber Strike during phase 2 of the fight, and he was in fact immune to it during that phase for much of the beta testing of the boss. However, fixing a separate bug late in development (ensuring that Amber Strike could always interrupt the otherwise-uninterruptible Monstrosity) caused Amber Strike to also bypass Un’sok’s shield in phase 2. Oops.

This would have been a simple bug to fix, but we chose to not do so. This was a clever tactic, and while it made phase 3 of the encounter relatively simple, it did so at the expense of adding length, challenge, and complexity to the first two phases of the fight. Kudos to the players who first came up with it.

As a general matter, unintended tactics are only a problem when they either trivialize an encounter, or when they simultaneously are the “right” (i.e., easier) way to do the fight and make it less fun in the process.

Gara’jal the Spiritbinder
On the first night of Heroic progression through Mogu’shan Vaults, Heroic Gara’jal proved to be an incredibly tough test for the damage-dealing capability of the best raid guilds in the world. A number of groups were a few percent shy of a kill, but it appeared quite possible that it would simply require another week worth of gear upgrades to get there. We would have been fine with that, but then one raid group noticed that one of the trolls before Gara’jal cast a massive haste buff on itself that was Spellstealable. The raid kept a couple of those enemies crowd controlled throughout the encounter, periodically breaking them out to let them cast their buffs for the mages to Spellsteal. This gave them the extra bit of damage that they needed, and Gara’jal fell.

Other guilds got wind of this tactic, and were attempting to utilize it as well. We definitely didn’t want the fight to require the awkward use of Spellsteal and bringing other mobs into the encounter, mandating the use of multiple mages in order to meet the DPS check for initial kills. But we also didn’t want an unfair playing field in the Heroic progression race, with one guild able to continue progressing in the instance while others were stuck behind a slightly-out-of-reach DPS check and unable to take advantage of the trick that had been used to secure the first kill. As such, we made a hotfix that prevented that buff from being Spellstolen, but also reduced Gara’jal’s health by 5% to offset for the extra damage that the mages with the buff would have done.

Exploits vs. “Creative Use of Game Mechanics” – A Brief Aside

I’d like to take a moment to note that what this guild did was not an “exploit” in the sense of being cheating, bad, wrong, or against the rules of the game. Players used Spellsteal to steal a beneficial effect from a mob, which is what the spell is supposed to do, and the beneficial effect increased the power of the mage, which is what it was supposed to do. This was the essence of “creative use of game mechanics.” (Note that this is not to say that it isn’t possible to violate the Code of Conduct by using Spellsteal in general – if you find a spell that you can steal that causes you to damage nearby allies, and you take it back to town to grief newbies, that’s a little different. . . .)

By contrast, a different group found a bug with Gara’jal where he could be dragged on top of the gate to his room such that players standing outside the gate could damage him without being susceptible to his attacks, and used this “unintended tactic” to defeat him. We fixed that bug, but also removed the loot and achievements earned from the players involved, and issued account suspensions. In general, it is never permissible to cause parts of a boss encounter to evade in order to gain an advantage, or to use line of sight or collision to get a boss stuck where you can attack it but its abilities no longer function.

Will of the Emperor
One more example, also from Heroic progression—most of the “unintended tactics” tend to be discovered and applied by cutting-edge progression guilds, since they’re the first ones to see the encounters, and are often undergeared and struggling to find every possible advantage, which usually means thinking outside the box. On Heroic Will of the Emperor, the Emperor’s Rage constructs that spawn present a real challenge. Their health is significantly increased, but each one of them also produces a deadly Titan Spark upon being destroyed, which explodes on contact to deal massive damage. The amount of damage and attention required to keep up with both the Rages and the Sparks they produce is one of the core demands the Heroic mode makes upon a raid group. It was so demanding, in fact, that most of the early groups that reached this encounter were unable to handle the overall DPS requirement.

Looking for solutions to this problem, clever players noticed that the mage spell Ring of Frost froze enemies for 10 seconds, had a 30-second cooldown, and had no target cap. Cue three mages cycling Rings of Frost to keep every Rage frozen for the entire fight. They spawn in waves of four in 25-player mode, resulting in anywhere from 52 to 64 Rages frozen in one giant clump by the end of the fight, causing client and server performance issues in the process. On the upside (for the designers observing these attempts), when this mage rotation faltered, the resulting wipes were fairly comical, bearing more than a little resemblance to an endless stream of passengers emerging from a clown car.

This was an example of a tactic that made the fight both significantly easier and significantly less fun. With so many enemies entirely neutralized by a small portion of the raid, the gameplay for many of the remaining players was reduced to standing in the middle of the room nuking the boss(es) for ten minutes and hoping the mages didn’t screw up. Not ideal. We wanted to fix it. However, the issue here wasn’t specific to the Will encounter. We had always fully intended for all forms of crowd control to work on Rages, so changing that was not an option.

The problem was Ring of Frost – being able to incapacitate an unlimited number of targets with a single spellcast caused problems. This ended up being a case where the negative cost of hotfixing the issue outweighed the upside of improving the encounter. When hotfixing spells, we do not have the ability to update the tooltips and other data that resides on each individual client. Thus, if we had added a target cap to the spell via hotfix, a mage who attempted to use it on a large pull in a dungeon, or a large group of players in a battleground, would have thought the spell was broken when it suddenly didn’t work on many of the targets. Quite simply, confusing hundreds of thousands of players in all sorts of contexts, in order to fix a problem in a situation affecting a few hundred players, was not an acceptable trade-off. As such, we changed Ring of Frost (capping it at 5 targets) in patch 5.1, allowing for ample notice through patch notes and PTR cycles, as well as a properly updated in-game tooltip. By the time this change went live, access to superior gear from Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring allowed players to much more readily handle killing the Rages as we originally intended.

Pure Difficulty Adjustments

Other adjustments occur simply because a boss is proving to be more difficult than we’d intended, creating a roadblock. Note that we will essentially never make pure numerical (health/damage) adjustments to a raid encounter that make it more challenging once it’s gone live. If we goof on the tuning in the players’ favor, then so be it.

On average, the self-selected pool of guilds that go through the effort of copying characters to our test servers are far more skilled and organized than the typical Normal-mode raider (and the pick-up groups that form tend to be below the target skill threshold), so there is a bit of estimation that goes into tuning Normal mode encounters. Because a disproportionately difficult Normal mode encounter presents a brick wall that entirely blocks progress, we will act to reduce the difficulty of such encounters, often shortly after they first become accessible, to avoid giving players a frustrating experience. For example, when Heart of Fear was released, we observed that even some guilds that had fully cleared Heroic Mogu’shan Vaults were struggling to meet the berserk timer on Normal Garalon; we made several adjustments to the fight to bring its difficulty in line with the rest of the instance on that first day. By the time that most others saw the encounter, it was where we wanted it to be difficulty-wise.

Over the long-run course of a raid tier, we pay close attention to the community’s overall rate of progression. We don’t have target completion numbers for each tier or for a given number of bosses; we are far more concerned with the rate of change. Progression is fun. Running into a challenge can also be quite a bit of fun. Running into a challenge that seems insurmountable is not. So when we notice that the rate at which groups are progressing is beginning to stall, we tend to take action. In Dragon Soul (and in Icecrown Citadel before that), we used a zonewide aura to reduce the difficulty of encounters over time. Some community members’ “hand on the dial” jokes notwithstanding, those processes were not automated, and reflected an assessment of the latest progression numbers from the live servers. We have the framework for such a system in place for the current raid tier, but we have not yet felt that its activation was necessary.

Our goal is not to make sure that the group that currently has defeated 4 of 6 Mogu’Shan Vaults bosses finishes Sha of Fear before our next patch; we do want to ensure, however, that they feel reasonably able to continue progressing at the rate they have been, with the assistance of gear upgrades gained along the way. As such, we recently reduced the difficulty of a few elements of the Normal difficulty Elegon encounter in a hotfix. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Elegon was “too hard” in some absolute sense – his difficulty presented a welcome challenge to the first wave of raiders who tackled the encounter this past fall. But the folks who defeated Elegon back then have moved on to Heart of Fear, Terrace, and/or Heroic raids in the meantime. A nerf to Elegon doesn’t affect them one way or another, but allows for raid groups still making those attempts to continue making progress today.

And then there’s LFR. Ultimately, LFR raids are designed to be completed by groups of players that qualify to queue for them. This does not mean that it should be impossible to fail, but unlike our Normal and Heroic raids, which are designed as progressions of increasing difficulty, LFR is designed to have a flat level of difficulty within each wing. Whereas a raiding guild will routinely give up and return another night or another week when they run into a challenge they can’t quite overcome, an LFR group that runs into a difficulty spike continues to grind away as new people cycle in to replace those who depart. Most players who ran LFR last fall will recall the ubiquitous partially-complete instances with a dense carpet of skeletons to greet arriving players—not a particularly fun experience. As such, we act quickly to adjust the difficulty of encounters in LFR when needed.

Until Next Time
Ultimately, there is no hard-and-fast rule or formula that we follow to determine how and whether to make adjustments to encounters once they are in players’ hands, but hopefully this blog has provided some insight into the sorts of factors we consider, and our thought process with regard to a handful of specific changes during this last tier.

Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas is Lead Encounter Designer, and really wishes you would stop making him ban you

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