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by Published on 2010-11-11 11:13 AM

PTR 4.0.3 - Build 13287
A new build has been deployed on PTR servers, all the spell changes are listed below, yes, all of them.

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Racials

Rogue (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Combat
  • Recuperate now restores 2% of maximum health every 3 sec, down from 3%.

Subtlety


Tier 11 - Final Models Preview
The Tier 11 Armor Sets are finally in-game and we now have a confirmation of how they're supposed to look like! Below is a short preview of both normal and heroic models for each class.


  • Multi-Race screenshots will be available very soon. (= This week)
  • Mage do not have a matching non-set belt for their heroic set.
  • Warlocks do not have matching non-set boots for their heroic set.

Tier 11 - Male (HD, Medium, Small)



Tier 11 - Female (HD, Medium, Small)




Battlegrounds Developer Focus Test
Originally Posted by Mumper (Blue Tracker)
Attention, Cataclysm beta testers! Want your shot at camping developers at the graveyard? This Thursday, November 11 beginning at 4 p.m. PST, we'll be holding a focus test for Rated Battlegrounds on the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm beta realms. If you want to participate, all you have to do is form a raid group with nine other players and queue for Rated Battlegrounds. We'll be conducting this test in a 10- vs. 10-player setting using Warsong Gulch, Twin Peaks, and Battle for Gilneas as the locations, so be prepared for some sweet, sweet ownage. We're hoping to receive lots of feedback about Rated Battlegrounds, Twin Peaks, and Battle for Gilneas, so be sure to visit our official beta forums. You could be up against a team of developers in any given match, so be sure not to go easy on your opponents, especially if you see names like Mumper and Kalgan!

Lastly, be sure to keep the PvP momentum up by testing the new system. We want to make our new Rated Battlegrounds the best they can be!


Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Recruit-a-Friend and Worgens/Goblins leveling
New goblin and worgen characters will indeed be eligible for Recruit-A-Friend benefits including increased experience gain and grantable levels. As we've no current plans to modify the Recruit-A-Friend program at this time or increase the level range for which the benefits apply, goblin and worgen characters (as with all other characters) will only be able to receive the in-game bonuses up to level 60.

So, to answer your questions directly:
Would the 300% xp bonus work till 60?
Yes.

Would the Level Granting work till 60?
Yes.

This is, of course, bearing that all requirements for those benefits are met.

Please keep in mind, as well, that there will be no Realm First achievements associated with leveling characters of a specific race, so this will not place goblin or worgen characters at any sort of unique advantage.

Any plans on bumping when the 300% exp gets cut off? 60 levels out of 85 is absurdly low.
Nope. No plans at this time. (Source)

Removed reputations and achievements
While players will be unable to increase their reputation with the Zandalar Tribe following the shattering of the world, the reputation itself will still exist and count towards various "Raise X reputations to Exalted" achievements*.

This means that if you currently have 39 reputations at Exalted -- including the Zandalar Tribe -- and show this number on your Achievement tracker, you will still have 39 reputations at Exalted (and be credited for them) in Cataclysm. You'll also retain credit for any related achievements you've already earned.

* This includes both character and guild achievements. (Source)

Razzashi Hatchling companion pet
If you currently have the Razzashi Hatchling item in your inventory, you'll still be able to learn the pet spell at a later point in time. It's not like the pet is disappearing completely; it's just no longer dropping from its usual home in Zul'Gurub.

In fact, I can confirm that the Razzashi Hatchling, being a clever and resilient little reptile, has already found a new home, and will be migrating there shortly after the shattering.

[...] When we made the original announcement last month that certain pets and mounts would be removed, it was to inform players of changes that could potentially impact their gameplay. We know that there are many avid collectors out there and, whenever possible, we want to give players notice when a favorite item might be removed. In that same announcement, we also clarified that, while we didn't have any current plans to re-introduce the specified pets and mounts, if we happened to find a suitable location to add them back in, we would certainly consider it.

Totally reasonable, right?

Since then, we found an appropriate place for the Razzashi Hatchling, and it felt like a good opportunity to restore a pet beloved by so many. Naturally, we were excited to share this information with all of you, as we knew a lot of players were saddened to hear about the little guy's initial departure. There was no malicious intent, no crazy conspiracy behind this decision. We saw an opportunity to make the game more enjoyable that meshed with our design goals, and we went with it. Simple as that.

In the end, the worth of the Razzashi Hatchling isn't solely measured in gold, and it would be a fallacy to think that we create non-combat pets simply to provide players with something to sell on the Auction House for profit. To many, pets like the Razzashi Hatchling represent something fun and exciting, and that's just as valid a currency as any in World of Warcraft.

While I'm sorry you're at a financial disadvantage now, I'm hoping you're still be able to enjoy the pet for what it is (re: an adorable, head-bobbing reptilian sidekick) -- or, given that it will still be a rare pet, perhaps even find someone who will adopt it for a reasonable price. Good luck. (Source)

Class mounts in Cataclysm
The class-specific mount quests will no longer be available following The Shattering; however, the mounts themselves can still be learned from class trainers. (Source)

Classes
Rated Battlegrounds abilities restrictions
We know about this issue and plan to have it corrected in time for launch. All class abilities will work as normal in rated battlegrounds. Consumables and engineering items will still be restricted, just like arenas. (Source)

Vengeance in PvP
If a couple of people are beating on a tank, Vengeance isn't likely to stack very high. You need to take damage that is a big chunk of your whole health pool, which typically only bosses are available to provide.

Now if you have several folks beating on a tank flag carrier, then Vengeance may stack up, but once you have several people, you almost certainly have a way to dispel the Vengeance or just CC the tank.

If Vengeance ever gets to be a problem in PvP, we'll just remove it, plain and simple. The mechanic is only there to help with raid gear scaling, not to give tanks a fun toy for PvP.

Thank you. Please do not let Prot specs get out of control again.
We're hoping that Rated BGs give Prot specs a useful role similar to tanking in defending towers, carrying flags, etc. A tank in an Arena needs to have a lot of control and damage just like everyone else to be competitive, which coupled with their inherent survivability and resistance to being controlled got us into trouble. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Diseaseless Blood
A lot of the concerns about diseaseless Blood play make a few assumptions:

-- Someone else is providing the tanking debuffs (presumably without a major dps hit).
-- You can AE tank fine without diseases.
-- You won't use Outbreak.
-- Your threat generation will be fine without diseases (or at least the trade off will be worth it).

Those are all risks, but I don't think there is enough evidence yet how they will all play out at 85. We're still a long way from the diseaseless dps rotations of yore. If they do all turn out to be true, to the extent that skipping diseases becomes the typical way that tanking DKs play, then we're likely to do something. Something could include giving Heart Strike or Death Strike slightly more dependent on diseases.

Recall however that we changed things to their current state because too much ramp up time for a tank can be really painful. You don't want to have to get all your diseases up before you start generating decent threat, and when DKs are balanced around so much self-healing, you can't be expected to always have time to get diseases up when you really need that Death Strike heal. Perhaps there is room to come down a little. We'll see how things play out. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Leader of the Pack
Leader of the Pack now causes you to heal for 4% of your total health and gain 4% of your maximum mana. Down from 8%.
This seems to be a tooltip bug. The actual Leader of the Pack (internally) says 4% of health and 8% of mana. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Kill Command
We made a couple of fixes to make Kill Command more usable. The pet will no longer check for range or facing since there is already a check in place when the hunter tries to use the ability. This should make Kill Command feel less laggy and should never burn the cooldown or Focus without executing the attack. See how it feels in the next beta or PTR build. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Seal of Truth "nerf"
The most recent Seal of Truth change was just a tooltip correction. The numbers did not go down. We did nerf Censure and raise Exorcism in a previous build, but that should not be new information. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
How come blind has such a long cooldown?
While the effects of Blind will interrupt on damage, the ability itself is neither a disease nor can it be dispelled. (Perhaps you're recalling how, at one point in time, Blind was classified as a poison effect?)

Regardless, one of the great strengths of Blind is that it can be used instantly while under pressure. You can use it to neutralize an attacker, to interrupt a healer who would otherwise save your target's life, or to stop an escaping victim in his or her tracks; the list goes on. The three-minute cooldown on Blind helps mitigate its potency and versatility just enough to ensure that the ability isn't spammed or otherwise abused.

Overall, though, between Gouge, Blind, Sap, and other stuns, we feel that rogues currently have very strong CC in both PvE and PvP environments. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Enhancement and caster weapons
We'll make sure Enhancement doesn't want to use caster weapons. That's not the sort of thing we are likely to just sit back and let happen. (Source)
by Published on 2010-11-10 05:23 PM

Are You Insane in the Membrane?
Originally Posted by Lylirra (Blue Tracker)
It's a question you've been asking us for a little while now. And, based on all the posts, emails, petitions, and letters we received following the announcement that the Insane in the Membrane achievement would no longer be in available in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we started to wonder if maybe we had gone a bit loco.

So, we went back to the drawing board. After carefully reviewing all the feedback and discussing the matter amongst ourselves, we're now happy to report that we will be making the following changes to the Feat of Strength:


  • Exalted reputation with Shen'dralar will no longer be required. As this is the only reputation that will be unobtainable in Cataclysm, we've simply decided to remove it as a requirement.

    For those who already earned Exalted reputation with this faction, don't worry -- we haven't forgotten about your accomplishments. In a future patch, we'll be adding in a separate Feat of Strength to recognize your deep love of Dire Maul.


  • Bloodsail Buccaneer faction reputation will remain in-game. Also, to ensure that this change does not negatively affect Cataclysm quest progression in Stranglethorn Vale, Booty Bay Bruisers will now provide reputation up through Exalted.

This will ensure that players will still be able to attain Insane in the Membrane and "The Insane" title in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Please note, however, that these changes will not take effect until The Shattering in patch 4.0.3a -- excluding the separate "Exalted with Shen'dralar" feat, which will be introduced in a future, but currently-undetermined patch.

And, of course, those who are already Insane in the Membrane will retain their title and current Feat of Strength. Shine on, you crazy diamonds.
by Published on 2010-11-10 10:36 AM

Update - Updated the class changes with a couple of fixes/additions. Also, people who bought the Blizzcon Stream should have received the code to redeem Deathy in their mail.


Update - Added Druid Troll's epic flight form.

Cataclysm Beta - Build 13277
A new beta build will be deployed on beta realms tonight!

Lil'Ragnaros and Moonkin Hatchling
The models of the upcoming companion pets are finally available.









Troll Druid Epic Flight Form
Troll druids now have their very epic flight form.





Achievements Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Feats of Strength

Player - General

Guild - Quests
  • A Daily Routine now requires you to complete 15 000 quests, down from 25 000.
  • Daily Driver now requires you to complete 30 000 quests, down from 50 000.
  • The Daily Grind now requires you to complete 75 000 quests, down from 100 000.

Guild - Player vs. Player
  • Kill Squad now requires you to get 100 000 honorable kills, down from 500 000.
  • Guild Gankers now requires you to get 250 000 honorable kills, down from 1 000 000.
  • Creepjackers now requires you to get 1 000 000 honorable kills, down from 2 500 000.

Player - Quests

Player - World Event
Spell Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Guild Perks
The Quick and the Dead no longer increases mana gained when resurrected by a guild member, only health.

Companion Pets
Lizzy - Right Click to summon and dismiss Lizzy. / Instant
Tiny Flamefly - Right Click to summon and dismiss the Tiny Flamefly. / Instant
Bubbles - Right Click to summon and dismiss Bubbles. / Instant
Little Snail - Right Click to summon and dismiss the Tiny Shale Spider. / Instant

Death Knight (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Unholy
  • Virulence now increases your chance to hit with your spells by 3/6/9%, up from 2/4/6%.

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Feral
  • Thrash now deals [ 7.8% of Attack Power + 455 ] additional bleed damage, up from [ 3% of AP + 152 ] damage.

Restoration
  • Efflorescence's healing effectiveness now diminishes for each player beyond 6 within the area. Now heals nearby friendly targets for 10/20/30% of the amount healed by your Swiftmend over 7 sec, down from 20/40/60%.

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

Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Survival
Black Arrow base damage reduced by 35%, from 3685 to 2396.
Explosive Shot now scales from 27.3% of Ranged Attack Power, down from 42%. Additional base damage reduced by 35%, from 697 to 454.

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy
  • Holy Radiance's healing effectiveness now diminishes for each player beyond 6 within the area.

Retribution
  • Seal of Truth now scales from 9.65% of Spell Power / Attack Power, down from 12.85%. Now deals 9% weapon damage when stacked 5 times, down from 15%.

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy

Discipline
  • Power Word: Barrier duration reduced to 10 sec, down from 25 sec. No longer absorbs a given amount of damage, now reduces all damage done to friendly targets by 30%. While within the barrier, spellcasting will not be interrupted by damage.
  • Divine Aegis now also procs from all heals from Prayer of Healing.
  • Grace now increases all healing received from the Priest by 4/8%, up from 2/4%.

Rogue (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Combat
  • Backstab now deals 200% weapon damage, up from 150% weapon damage. Additional base damage increased by 33%, from 518 to 690.

Shaman (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Restoration
  • Healing Rain's healing effectiveness now diminishes for each player beyond 6 within the area.

Warlock (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Destruction
  • Nether Protection now procs from damage absorption from all wards instead of just Nether Ward. When you absorb damage through Shadow Ward, Nether Ward or other effects, you gain Nether Protection, reducing all damage by that spell school by 15/30% for 12 sec.

Pet Skills

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Fury
  • Heroic Leap now deals [ 50% Attack Power ] damage (up from 100% Weapon damage) within 8 yards (up from 5 yards) but no longer stuns.
    Slam additional damage has been increased by 25%, from 430 to 538.

Glyphs
  • Bloody Healing now increases healing from Bloodthirst by 40%, down from 100%.


Cataclysm Paid Faction and Race Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
With two new playable races just on the horizon, many players have been asking when they'll be able to convert their existing characters into goblins or worgen. Paid faction and race changes will be available immediately once Cataclysm is released. Realm First achievements for leveling any class to 85 will be available in Cataclysm. However there will be no Realm First achievements associated with leveling characters of a specific race.

There will be a slight change to the way paid services work for goblins and worgen. Goblin and worgen characters wishing to change race or faction cannot be in Lost Isles or Gilneas; they must be elsewhere to initiate the process. There are no restrictions on race/faction change to goblin or worgen.

You can learn more about our promotions and paid services here.

Battle.net Dial-in Authenticator Now Available
The phone authenticator datamined a few weeks ago is going live!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Over the years, Blizzard has provided players with various tools and resources, such as the Battle.net Authenticator and Account Security Awareness pages, to help you keep your account information safe, secure, and in the right hands. As part of our ongoing commitment to account security, we’re happy to announce the release of a new account security feature, the Battle.net Dial-in Authenticator.

Similar to the Battle.net Authenticator and Mobile Authenticator application, the Battle.net Dial-in Authenticator is an optional tool that provides an additional layer of security against unauthorized account access. The Battle.net Dial-in Authenticator is not a physical token or application run on a mobile device, however. Instead, it is a free opt-in service that will actively monitor an account and request additional authorization from the user when a potentially unauthorized login attempt occurs. (Pretty cool, huh?)

If you sign up for the Battle.net Dial-in Authenticator, you will be asked to make a toll-free phone call from a specific phone of your choosing to authorize unusual login attempts with the associated Battle.net account. Please note that you will only be asked to make this phone call when something about your login attempt appears out of the ordinary. For example, if you were to log in from a location from which you do not typically play, you may be asked to call in and provide your selected PIN and a unique, single-use security code before access to the account will be granted.

Sign-up and use of the Battle.net Dial-in Authenticator is completely free and is currently compatible with World of Warcraft and Battle.net Account Management logins. So, what are you waiting for? To learn more about this service and find out how you can take your account’s security to the next level, check out the Battle.net Dial-in Authenticator FAQ today.

Cataclysm Beta: Battlegrounds Developer Focus Test
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Attention, Cataclysm beta testers! Want your shot at camping developers at the graveyard? This Thursday, November 11 beginning at 4 p.m. PST, we'll be holding a focus test for Rated Battlegrounds on the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm beta realms. If you want to participate, all you have to do is form a raid group with nine other players and queue for Rated Battlegrounds. We'll be conducting this test in a 10- vs. 10-player setting using Warsong Gulch, Twin Peaks, and Battle for Gilneas as the locations, so be prepared for some sweet, sweet ownage. We're hoping to receive lots of feedback about Rated Battlegrounds, Twin Peaks, and Battle for Gilneas, so be sure to visit our official beta forums. You could be up against a team of developers in any given match, so be sure not to go easy on your opponents, especially if you see names like Mumper and Kalgan!

Lastly, be sure to keep the PvP momentum up by testing the new system. We want to make our new Rated Battlegrounds the best they can be!
by Published on 2010-11-09 05:15 PM

Pet Store Sneak Peek - Lil'Ragnaros and Moonkin Hatchling
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
They’re cute, they’re portable, and they’re coming to the Blizzard Pet Store. But before they arrive, we wanted to give you a sneak peek of our two newest companions: Lil' Ragnaros and the Moonkin Hatchling. As announced at BlizzCon, the Moonkin Hatchling will follow in the charitable footsteps of the Pandaren Monk, with sales helping to benefit a good cause. More details, including the availability date and specific plans for the charity partnership, will be announced in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned!


by Published on 2010-11-09 11:22 AM

Alchemy in Cataclysm
It's time for another profession preview, and Alchemy is a very interesting one because of all the love the profession got in Cataclysm!

Flying Mount
You know you want it! The super awesome Vial of the Sands will transform you into a dragon, and allow you to carry an ally on your back!

NameDescription
Vial of the SandsTransforms you into a Sandstone Drake, allowing you to fly very fast and carry an ally on your back.




Alchemist Stone
The epic Alchemist Stone is back and Mastery rating makes your life considerably easier, no matter what your class is, you will probably want that trinket!



Flasks
Flasks are fairly simple in Cataclysm, your only choice is a +300 stat boost in one stat and the addition of Cauldron of Battle and Big Cauldron of Battle will make your life even more easier in raids.

NameDescription
Flask of SteelskinIncreases Stamina by 300 for 1 hour. Counts as both a Battle and Guardian elixir. This effect persists through death.
Flask of the Draconic MindIncreases Intellect by 300 for 1 hour. Counts as both a Battle and Guardian elixir. This effect persists through death.
Flask of the WindsIncreases Agility by 300 for 1 hour. Counts as both a Battle and Guardian elixir. This effect persists through death.
Flask of Titanic StrengthIncreases Strength by 300 for 1 hour. Counts as both a Battle and Guardian elixir. This effect persists through death.
Flask of Flowing WaterIncreases Spirit by 300 for 1 hour. Counts as both a Battle and Guardian elixir. This effect persists through death.
Flask of EnhancementIncreases your Agility, Strength, or Intellect by 80 for 1 hour. Your highest stat is always chosen. Counts as both a Battle and Guardian elixir. Effect persists through death.
Cauldron of BattleCreates a cauldron that raid members can use to gain the benefit of a flask appropriate to their class and talents. Cauldron has 7 uses and lasts for 5 min.
Big Cauldron of BattleCreates a cauldron that raid members can use to gain the benefit of a flask appropriate to their class and talents. Cauldron has 17 uses and lasts for 5 min.




Transmutations
A few interesting changes were made to Transmutations in Cataclysm.

  • There's only one type of Meta Gem now, and it's now created with Uncommon quality gems.
  • You can create Rare gems by crafting herbs + Uncommon gems.
  • Volatile Life can be randomly transmuted into any other kind of Volatile element.

NameDescription
Transmute: Living ElementsTransforms the essence of life into another element. The exact result is not known ahead of time.
Transmute: Shadowspirit DiamondTransmute several lesser gems into a beautiful shadowspirit diamond.
Transmute: TruegoldTransmutes pyrium bars into truegold.
Transmute: Pyrium BarTransmutes elementium and volatile earth into a pyrium bar.
Transmute: Inferno RubyTransmutes lesser red gems and the essence of the heartblossom to create an inferno ruby.
Transmute: Ocean SapphireTransmutes lesser blue gems and the oils from Azshara's Veil to create an ocean sapphire.
Transmute: AmberjewelTransmutes lesser yellow gems and the timeless essense of whiptail to create an amberjewel.
Transmute: DemonseyeTransmutes lesser purple gems and the magical essense of twilight jasmine to create a demonseye.
Transmute: Ember TopazTransmutes lesser orange gems and the fiery essense of cinderbloom to create an ember topaz.
Transmute: Dream EmeraldTransmutes lesser green gems and the electrical currents of stormvine to create a dream emerald.


Potions
The regular stats, healing, and mana potions are here but you also get a couple of fun/utility potions that you might be able to sell for a good price.



NameDescription
Potion of Treasure FindingAllows you to sometimes find extra treasure from monsters in Mount Hyjal, Vash'jir, Deepholm, Twilight Highlands and Uldum. Lasts 1 hour. Effect persists through death.
Potion of IllusionTransforms the imbiber to look like someone else.
Deathblood VenomFills your veins with deadly poison, causing you to sometimes poison enemies that strike you in melee for 1900 to 2100 damage over 8 sec.
Potion of DeepholmTeleports the imbiber to Deephome.
Ghost ElixirIncreases Spirit by 225 for 1 hour. Battle Elixir.
Elixir of the NagaIncreases expertise rating by 225 for 1 hour. Battle Elixir.
Elixir of the CobraIncreases critical strike rating by 225 for 1 hour. Battle Elixir.
Elixir of Mighty SpeedIncreases haste rating by 225 for 1 hour. Battle Elixir.
Elixir of Impossible AccuracyIncreases your hit rating by 225 for 1 hour. Battle Elixir.
Elixir of the MasterIncreases your mastery rating by 225 for 1 hour. Battle Elixir.
Elixir of Deep EarthIncreases armor by 900 for 1 hour. Guardian Elixir.
Prismatic ElixirIncreases resistance to magic by 90 for 1 hour. Guardian Elixir.
Volcanic PotionIncreases spell power by 1200 for 25 sec.
Potion of the Tol'virIncreases your Agility by 1200 for 25 sec.
Golemblood PotionIncreases your Strength by 1200 for 25 sec.
Earthen PotionIncreases armor by 4800 for 25 sec.
Potion of ConcentrationPuts the imbiber in an elevated state of concentration where they can restore up to 22000 mana over 10 sec, but they are defenseless until their concentration is broken.
Mysterious PotionRestores 1 to 15000 health and 1 to 15000 mana.
Mythical Healing PotionRestores 7500 to 12500 health.
Mythical Mana PotionRestores 9250 to 10750 mana.
Mighty Rejuvenation PotionRestores 7200 to 8800 mana and health.
Deepstone OilMay cause stiffness.


The Elemental Invasion
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
After the appearance of Twilight's Hammer agents in Orgrimmar and Stormwind City, Azeroth's defenders swiftly thwarted the cult's bid to destroy the two capitals. Yet these victories have done little to soothe fears over Azeroth's calamitous state. Earthquakes continue shaking the world with greater frequency than ever before. Wayward fire spirits have engulfed Orgrimmar, threatening to reduce the proud Horde capital to ash. Across the Great Sea, a sudden influx of earth spirits has rocked the foundations of Ironforge, pushing the once-indomitable dwarven bastion to the brink of collapse.

Even so, a glimmer of hope has come in the form of ancient tablets recovered in Northrend. These mysterious artifacts are believed to hold clues concerning Azeroth's tormented elementals -- a claim that can only be validated once the artifacts are delivered safely from the northern continent. The gifted shaman Thrall has also begun his own efforts to shed light on the disasters befalling the world. Of great concern, however, is whether anything will be left of Orgrimmar and Ironforge by the time answers are found....

The events leading up to Cataclysm are underway, and the disturbances will only become more severe as the weeks pass. Pay close attention to your faction leaders, Thrall and Varian, and be on the lookout for unfamiliar faces gathering on the city streets. This one-time-only series of events features all-new quests and multiple stages of dire happenings, so stay vigilant!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Optimized Talent Builds
You are missing the point of that quote. It is not "players shouldn't have choices," as many of you are inferring. It's that "there should be more thought on the part of the designers for how various abilities are supposed to be used and those roles should be more apparent to players."

There has never really been a time in the game when you could just do whatever you wanted with your class and be equally effective. Then, as now, smart players doing a lot of homework would figure out the most optimized way to play. You can choose to follow their recommendations, try to find an even more optimized way to play, or just do your own thing because that's more enjoyable for you, knowing that you may pay the price of being less optimized.

[...] That was my point in my post above though. That sense of exploration and discovery you are missing wasn't lost as a result of anything we did. You could make an excellent or terrible talent tree before and you can still do so now. What changed is that the community became a lot more sophisticated, which isn't that surprising in a game that's 6-years old now. These days there are numerous fansites, simulators, videos, mods and other tools, all created by the community, to optimize your gameplay. There have always been some, but there are more today, they are more sophisticated, and more players know about them. (Source)

"Creative use of game mechanics
I don't disagree with that. We don't like to reflexively stomp out on creative use of game mechanics just because they were unexpected. (This is particularly true of encounters, where we will generally just accept if players come up with strategies we didn't anticipate, so long as they don't trivialize the intended challenge.)

It comes down to whether we think the playstyle violates what we are trying to do with the class.

Imagine there was a rogue build that centered around only using Deadly Throw and Fan of Knives to make an effective ranged dps class. Imagine this rotation was generally accepted to do 5% more dps than the traditional melee rogue. That's the kind of thing we would likely break. That's not because we're mean jerks. It's because we think the game might break down: rogue itemization would be in a weird place, encounters might not work with so many characters at range, most importantly those players who enjoy playing rogues because of the iconic lightly-armored melee fighter are now encouraged to play something completely different that they might not enjoy.

There are no hard and fast rules on this sort of thing. It's all judgement calls on the part of the designers. (Source)

Rotations complexity
I agree with that too. We set out to make the Feral and Protection paladin rotations more complex in Cataclysm. I know that some of you feel that isn't the case, but we'll just have to agree to disagree about that. Both specs now have some opportunities to screw up, which in turn makes players who pull off the rotation with finesse better tanks and worthy of the accolades they receive, rather than just being lucky that they picked the right class. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Diseaseless Blood
In the case of "diseaseless Blood," we don't have a problem if tanks choose to sacrifice some of their threat generation for a simpler rotation or other benefits. It doesn't bother us unless ignoring diseases becomes the only reasonable way to play (and with Outbreak available in Cataclysm, applying diseases is even easier). When dps specs were ignoring diseases, we made changes, because the whole DK rotation was based on applying diseases. That's true to a much lesser extent for tanks, but we try to have pretty simple rotation for tanks anyway because they have a lot of other things to worry about and are often having to deal with very dynamic situations compared to what a PvE dps DK might be doing. (Source)

Comics
Dark Legacy Comic #263 and Teh Gladiators #182 + #183 are out!


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