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by Published on 2010-07-16 08:14 AM

Class Pages Update
The bug you experienced with the class pages (or any other "big" pages) are now fixed. Masteries are gone for the moment and have been replaced with the Primary Skills of each spec.

Also, during the fix/upgrade of the site yesterday we introduced a special feature to make the forums more active: your posts are now randomly posted twice when you hit the Submit button! (Translation: Yeah, known bug, will fix today)

Hunter - Cataclysm Pet/Stable Interface
The Call Stabled Pet has been revamped in Cataclysm.
  • You can now have 5 active pets and 20 inactive pets.
  • You can swap between your active pets at any time without any cooldown. The only restriction is to be out of combat.
  • To change your active/inactive pets, you have to visit a Stable Master in the nearest town.

Sadly, the feature is currently heavily bugged on beta realms and you will have to wait the next build to give it a try.

Western Plaguelands in Cataclysm
The Western Plaguelands are now ready for testing on the Beta realm and it's definitely one of the zone that will make rerolling interesting in the expansion. Blizzard changed the zone completely and familiar faces are now in charge of the Alliance and Horde settlements.

Scholomance was also changed and you will probably go through it at least once to do all the quests. What? You don't want to do all the prereqs just to get the instance quests? Don't worry, they're all at the entrance of the instance now. The instance itself didn't change too much, monsters are now level 4x.

BlizzCon 2010 Charity Dinner Ticket Opt-In Now Open
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
On Thursday, October 21, the evening before BlizzCon, we're hosting a special dinner to benefit the CHOC Children's Foundation, where guests will have an opportunity to meet and chat with game developers, artists, executives and other folks from Blizzard Entertainment. If you'd like a chance to attend, visit our ticket-drawing page between now and July 17 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific to enter a drawing for a chance to purchase up to two tickets to the event. Tickets are priced at $500 each and include admission to this year's BlizzCon. For more information or to enter the drawing, visit the BlizzCon 2010 Charity Dinner website.

Concept Art
2 New Concept Arts have been added to the Concept Art Gallery on the official site.

Fan Arts
The Blizzard Fan Art Section has been updated with 3 new pieces of fan artwork set within the Warcraft universe.

by Published on 2010-07-15 07:16 AM

Update - New American and European sites have been updated with a new beta version. Nothing really new on the WoW side but if you're interested in changes from the SC2 retail I guess you can always check

Talent Frame - Updated Interface
The Talent Frame was updated in the latest patch to reflect the recent changes to the talent trees. Blizzard released a couple of screenshots.

On a sidenote, it seems that a lot of people used the old talent calculator yesterday. It was updated automatically but the only reliable Cataclysm calculator you should use is The old one doesn't have prereqs and make most of your builds useless. (The old talent calc only stays around for 3.3.5 Live builds)

Pet Classes - "Move To" Command
A new action has been added to the Pet bar in the latest beta build. You can now order your pet to Move to a targeted location and stay there.

Developer Chat on Twitter -- 7.16.10
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
We will be holding our next developer chat on Twitter on Friday, July 16, at 5:00 p.m. PDT with World of Warcraft's systems design team. This chat session will focus on the recently-announced talent specialization and Mastery system changes coming in Cataclysm:

We'll be taking questions live through Twitter, so be sure to sign up for a Twitter account at and follow @Warcraft to participate.

To submit a question for the developer chat, please tweet using the #BlizzChat hashtag between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. PDT on July 16. Due to Twitter's character limitations, all answers will be posted in a dedicated thread on the World of Warcraft forums.

Blue posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
A typical day @ Blizzard
Most of the day is spent in communication of some sort. We'll have formal meetings where we review a current talent tree. We have just tons and tons of discussions of "Hey, guys, I had an idea," or "Hey, I can't solve this problem. Any thoughts?" We do work quite closely with the programmers implementing things like the new talent UI or the new scaling spell model. We also work closely with the artists coming up with new spell visuals. Our QA department is constantly trying to sort through what the design of the moment is, and they do a great job of triaging the totally broken things from the "fix this before we ship" things. The community team brings us concerns that they have seen on the forums or from their interactions with players. This is particularly true for the non-English forums, because my non-English for one is sadly lacking. History geek that I am, I studied Ancient Greek in college, which serves me about as well in day to day life as you probably imagine.

GC's got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan. He speaks a dozen languages, knows every local custom. He'll blend in -- disappear -- you'll never see him again. With any luck... he's got the Grail already.

GC: Does anyone here speak English? Or even Ancient Greek?

There aren't many typical days. Sometimes we will spend literally hours discussing one problem. The last few days it has been the paladin rotations. We'll throw things on white boards, send out some ideas to guys not actually in the office, try out some stuff in game to see how it feels, and get feedback from anyone who has recently run one of the new dungeons or tried a new BG. We interact a lot with the community outside of the building, visibly on forums like this one, but through email, IRC and even in game. There are a lot of excellent PvP and PvE players with whom I regularly correspond, and I want to call out any of you reading this and thank you publically.

Overall the environment is very collaborative. The team as a whole (by which I mean the artists, programmers, producers and everyone else) don't get enough credit for the design decisions that go into the game. In many cases, my guys are just the implementers, but the ideas and feedback come from everyone working on WoW. (Source)

Beta Testing
Deepholm - Alliance Gunship crash
If you are experiencing client crashes in the area near the Alliance Gunship, temporarily turn your graphic settings to low and set your view distance to the minimum setting. After you’ve completed the quests at the gunship, feel free to restore your settings.

The fix for this issue has already been implemented in the next build. (Source)

Deepholm - Temple of Earth
The Temple of Earth should be a sanctuary, if that's what you're talking about. Everything else is fair game for PVP. This area should be flagged correctly in the next build. (Source)

Player vs. Player
Anti-Crowd Control Talents
We are getting rid of a lot of the "being CC'd doesn't really counter you" talents, because we think they have led to classes not having weaknesses. The fact that instant casts are so important in PvP we think is a direct result from mobility being so important which is a direct result of nobody being controlled. We just need to chill all of that stuff out. If CCs are too potent, we want to nerf the CCs, not give everyone "CCs are impotent" talents. (Source)

This is a first pass
While this is a first pass on all of the talent trees, death knight, druid, paladin, warlock, Arcane mage, and Assassination rogue trees are not as far along as other specializations. (Source)

Damage vs. Utility Talents
Those are actually the decisions we're looking for. Trying to decide between dps and utility isn't a decision (for PvE anyway) and choosing damage vs. damage is a decision most players make by going to third party sites. We want you to be able to get all of the damage talents you reasonably can, and be making decisions over the utility talents. (Source)

Damage / PvP Talents loss
Yes. Every class lost "PvP isn't so hard on me" talents and every class lost passive damage. (Source)

Stats / Damage Loss
In any case, many of the trees lost passive stat bonuses like this. If you want Strength, gear for it. The damage of every class will be adjusted according to the new talent trees. (Source)

Passive talents in early tiers
I did say that the first two tiers were liable to contain passive talents. This is for three reasons. First, these are available at very low level where you have few abilities to make a real rotation. Second, they need to be pretty understandable to new players (including experienced players trying a new class for the first time). Third, they need to be attractive to subspecs at high level.

There are placeholder talents in various places in the trees though, and we'll keep iterating on all of them throughout beta. This is a pretty big change to every class. (Source)

Modifying spell coefficients
We're probably not going to have any talents that modify coefficients. Those are really mathy talents and super-confusing for non hardcore players. It also means the talents aren't useful until you have end-game levels of stats on your gear. We'll just increase the damage or healing total, which affects the flat points as well as the coefficients. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
No posts today.

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Moonkin Form missing from the Talent Tree
We are experimenting between Moonkin Form and Starsurge being the level 10 bonus (the other will be the first active ability in the talent tree). (Source)

Hunter (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Cobra Shot
Marks and Survival generally won't use Cobra Shot in PvE -- mobs don't change their armor. BM will use Cobra Shot in PvP and PvE. (Source)

Mage (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Arcane has two passive talents early right now, Torment the Weak and Netherwind Presence. We would like to replace one of them. We do want the early talents to be relatively simple, useful at low level and attractive for subspec though. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Warning: Paladin Skills/Talents in current beta build
These are old talents. This is not the paladin revamp that we said was coming. Sorry, you'll just have to wait a little bit longer. (Source)

Removal of Judgement of Wisdom
This is true. JoW was really only a big deal for hunters, shaman and paladins themselves, and those are all solvable in other ways. (Source)

Divine Illumination
There is no Divine Illumination. Divine Favor is 100% chance to crit on your next heal with a 1 min cooldown. [...] It is still called Divine Favor, still grants a 100% crit chance to the direct heals and Holy Shock (to tie into all the "on crit" mechanics in the tree) and has a 1 min cooldown. (Source)

Paladin Questions (Source)
1. Are Sanctified Ret, Swift Ret, Sanctuary, and Imp Dev Aura going to remain 3-pt talents? They feel too expensive this way. Maybe they can be rolled into individual talents, or changed to cost 2-pts each.
One of Sanctified and Swift is 2 points and the other is 1 point. I can't remember which without looking. Imp Dev Aura is dead.

2. The whole reactive Judgement thing feels weird to me. If a Ret is taking a lot of damage in PvP, he no longer has to worry about mana? I'm all for new mechanics and making E4E a strong talent, but I'm not sure I like this. On the same note, how about Purifying Power -- if a Holy Paladin dispels his teammate, will it break CC on the enemy who applied the debuff?
Reactive Judgements is also dead.

I'm going to regret saying this, but the paladin trees are the most changed in the game. There are only a few of the current beta talents that survived the, um, cleansing.

Holy Shield
We are going to turn both Holy Shield and Shield Block into short cooldowns. A short cooldown is an ability that you don't save for an absolute emergency (like Shield Wall) but we also don't want it to be on such a short cooldown that it feels maintenance-y. It's a tricky number to get right, but something in the 30 sec to 1 min zone feels about right. Then you might use Holy Shield one GCD instead of SoR or you can choose to save it until the next big boss attack. (Source)

Pushback Resistance
Holy paladins get pushback resistance too. (Source)

Paladin Rotations
If we do one thing for class design in Cataclysm, it will be changing the paladin (all 3 specs) rotation up a bit! (Source)

Holy Shock
Holy Shock is Holy only again. We wanted an ability that did healing and damage for Holy, and Holy Shock fit that bill.

We have plenty of other ideas to get more interest into the Prot and Ret rotations. (Source)

In the Ret case, we started with a basic question: what is it they should be managing? There are a lot of things they *could* be managing. Today it's cooldowns. It could be mana or procs or a lot of things. There was one Ret talent in particular we really liked, and we started building a rotation around it. Then we decided the mechanic was good enough to flesh out for Holy and Prot too.

We're not ready to share the design just yet, and like all changes of this sort, it will be controversial. Some players crave a more interactive rotation. Some like their paladins the way they are. Some are only attracted to the class because it can be overpowered and they like to feel like a superhero. (Source)

Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
In the current beta build (or possibly the next one), clicking Lightwell no longer switches your target to it. That was one of the changes we've been waiting for to reevaluate the talent. (Enemies can still target it normally.) (Source)

Desperate Prayer
Desperate Prayer is a pretty different ability. They really only have the name in common. In Cataclysm, Desperate Prayer has a 45 sec cooldown (down from 2 min). The lower cooldown will let you use it often as leveling.

Holy also has a talent that when you use Desperate Prayer (to heal yourself), it also heals the most injured ally (a portion of the healing done to you), turning it into an instant, smart Binding Heal. (Source)

Shadow Priest - Hit from Spirit
No, we said that hybrids who share gear will be able to convert Spirit to hit. We originally were only going to do it for druids and shaman, but priests argued that it should apply to them too (even though they do have they do have access to actual hit gear). (Source)

Rogue (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
No posts today.

Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
No posts today.

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
No posts today.

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Damage loss / 2H Weapon Specialization
[...] You didn't lose any damage. Talents that grant nothing but armor pen or Strength are not the kind of talents we want to offer any more, at least below the first couple of tiers. You won't be doing any less damage when you log in for Cataclysm than you do today.

Imagine the Two-Handed Weapon Specialization from Arms is +28% to damage with two-handed weapons or whatever it needs to be to make up for losing talents. (Source)

Stats loss
Most trees are losing free stats such as Strength, hit and expertise. If you want it, you'll have to gear it. The dual-wield trees will keep some free hit. (Source)

Tactical Mastery
Tactical Mastery is now baked into Stance Mastery (so you retain 25 rage when swapping).(Source)

Piercing Howl
Well, we'd like for Fury to be usable in PvP and there is a certain attraction to Arms having Juggernaut and Bladestorm, but Fury having Piercing Howl. As it is now, it's easy to make a hybrid build that scoops up the best of both talent trees. Rather than having Fury play differently than Arms, you just have Arms with the best of Fury.

That aside, we're not sure yet how we're going to handle Piercing Howl. One option is to put it in the second tier, the same way we did with Lichborne for DKs. My fear is that opening that door wider leads to a future full of "what is wrong with my class" manifestos from other classes that start off with bullet number one as"Lack of a 6 point talent." Other options include making it a class-wide ability. (Source)

Furious Attacks and Piercing Howl are both PVP exclusive abilities. Furious attacks I'll wait to see if the proc rate got buffed significantly, which may help fury pvp, but as of now it looks unchanged. Piercing Howl is useless to a raider baring a few specific fights.
Furious Attacks I grant you has very limited use in PvE. I disagree about Piercing Howl though. Once upon a time, groups had to control mobs instead of just AE'ing them all down. Someone who wants a build solely focused on killing single-target raid bosses (which to be fair, we don't have many of these days) might skip over Piercing Howl, but we are trying to structure the trees such that you don't have an option to get dps elsewhere even if you do. (Source)

Shield Block
We are going to turn both Holy Shield and Shield Block into short cooldowns. A short cooldown is an ability that you don't save for an absolute emergency (like Shield Wall) but we also don't want it to be on such a short cooldown that it feels maintenance-y. It's a tricky number to get right, but something in the 30 sec to 1 min zone feels about right. Then you might use Holy Shield one GCD instead of SoR or you can choose to save it until the next big boss attack. (Source)

AE Rotation
I agree. We tried making warrior AE "rotations" just one button, but we didn't like it. We'll change the other classes instead. (Source)

Heroic Leap - NYI
Heroic Leap isn't implemented yet. The level cap isn't at 85. (Source)

Heroic Strike
Heroic Strike is off of the GCD but with a short cooldown so it isn't in danger of competing with Execute (which hits considerably harder now). (Source)

Disarming Glare
Disarming Glare isn't likely to make it. (Source)

Impending Victory
As promised, we have cut Impending Victory and given Fury a new attack that they can used only when Enraged (but does not consume the Enrage). (Source)

Enrage procs on all damage (including raid AE damage). We also want Fury to be a viable PvP spec in any case. (Source)

Unbridled Wrath/Rage in LK
You're operating under the "rage doesn't matter" mindset of Lich King. In Cataclysm, the ability to get rage from talents is going to be pretty attractive.

The issue isn't that it gives rage, but that it gives so little of it.
That's a tuning issue, not a fundamental flaw with the design of the talent. If you find yourself low on rage, you can get this talent in the same way a mage might get a talent to make nukes cheaper. If you find you don't need the rage -- perhaps you have Booming Voice or get it from Charge or something -- then you can take another talent instead. (Source)
by Published on 2010-07-13 11:33 PM

Update - Added the models of Cho'gall (Bastion of Twilight), Atramedes (Blackwing Descent), The Tolvirs (Uldum), Lady Nazjar (Throne of Tides), Humanoid Dragon, Earthen Onager
Update - Classes pages finally added. Talent calculator finally updated. Worst patch day ever, I need a giant hug.
Update - Added official talent trees descriptions to the primary skills list.
Update - Ok things are looking better, added the primary skills for all the classes. Some tooltips might be missing/bugged, we're working on it.

Cataclysm Beta - Build 12479
A new build of the beta is up. This post will be updated multiple times during the night.

A lot of stuff has changed and we'll need a few mins to fix everything before I can post all the content. Definitely a lot of interesting stuff, stay tuned.

Talent Calculator has been updated with all the new trees. Lot of stuff is still in dev, be careful. If you can't see the new trees push CTRL + F5 to force the refresh (Also, I know the level cap is 50, quick hack to fix the max amount of points)

Classes pages are up. I might end up doing diffs of all the changes but seriously ... there are really a LOT of changes because of the talent trees revamp, it's probably easier to just check the pages.

Models of Cho'gall (Bastion of Twilight), Atramedes (Blackwing Descent), The Tolvirs (Uldum), Lady Nazjar (Throne of Tides), Humanoid Dragon, Earthen Onager

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

  • Tripping the Rifts - Destroyed one of each type of elemental rift during the Cataclysm launch event.

Talent Trees "Primary Skills"
These skills are automatically learned when you pick your main talent tree at level 10. Thanks to Maldivia for this one.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Death Knight (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator)
DK - Blood
A dark guardian who manipulates and corrupts life energy to sustain himself/herself in the face of an enemy onslaught.

DK - Frost
An icy harbinger of doom, channeling runic power and delivering rapid weapon strikes.

DK - Unholy
A master of death and decay, spreading infection and controlling undead minions to do his/her bidding.

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator)
Druid - Restoration
Uses heal-over-time Nature spells to keep allies alive, taking on the form of a tree when the need is most urgent.

Druid - Feral
Takes on the form of a great cat to deal damage with bleeds and bites or a mighty bear to absorb damage and protect allies.

Druid - Balance
Can take on the form of a powerful Moonkin, balancing the power of Arcane and Nature magic to destroy enemies at a distance.

Hunter (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator)
Hunter - Marksmanship
A master archer or sharpshooter who excels in bringing down enemies from afar.

Hunter - Survival
A rugged tracker who favors using animal venom, explosives and traps as deadly weapons.

Hunter - Beast Mastery
A master of the wild who can tame a wide variety of beasts to assist him/her in combat.

Mage (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator)
Mage - Arcane
Manipulates arcane energies, playing with the very fabric of time and space.

Mage - Frost
Freezes enemies in their tracks and shatters them with Frost magic.

Mage - Fire
Ignites enemies with balls of fire and the breath of dragons.

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator)
Paladin - Holy
Invokes the power of the Light to protect and to heal.

Paladin - Protection
Uses Holy magic to shield himself / herself and defend allies from attackers.

Paladin - Retribution
A righteous crusader who judges and punishes opponents with weapons and Holy magic.

Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator)
Priest - Discipline
Uses magic to shield allies from taking damage as well as heal their wounds.

Priest - Shadow
Uses sinister Shadow magic, especially damage-over-time spells, to eradicate enemies.

Priest - Holy
A versatile healer who can reverse damage on individuals or groups and even heal from beyond the grave.

Rogue (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator)
Rogue - Combat
A swashbuckler who uses agility and guile to stand toe-to-toe with enemies.

Rogue - Assassination
A deadly master of poisons who dispatches victims with vicious dagger strikes.

Rogue - Subtlety
A dark stalker who leaps from the shadows to ambush his/her unsuspecting prey.

Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator)
Shaman - Elemental
A spellcaster who harnesses the destructive forces of nature and the elements.

Shaman - Restoration
A healer who calls upon ancestral spirits and the cleansing power of water to mend allies? wounds.

Shaman - Enhancement
A totemic warrior who strikes foes with weapons imbued with elemental power.

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator)
Warlock - Destruction
Calls down demonic fire to burn and demolish enemies.

Warlock - Demonology
A warlock who uses both Fire and Shadow magic along with powerful demons.

Warlock - Affliction
A master of Shadow magic who specializes in fear, drains and damage-over-time spells.

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator)
Warrior - Arms
Highly trained for battle with two-handed weapons, uses mobility and overpowering attacks to strike his / her opponents down.

Warrior - Fury
A furious berserker wielding a weapon in each hand, uses a flurry of attacks to carve his / her opponents to pieces.

Warrior - Protection
A stalwart protector that uses a shield to protect himself/herself and his/her allies.

Loading Screens

World Maps

Deepholm available for testing
[blizzquote author=Valnoth source=]Deepholm is ready for testing. Please keep all feedback in this thread.

• Level 82-83
• Breadcrumbs from Stormwind/Orgrimmar.

Please list the level you started the zone at and the level you ended the zone at. [/blizzquote]
by Published on 2010-07-13 07:25 AM

Cataclysm Interface Changes - Part 1
Cataclysm is still in early beta but a lot of interface changes are already implemented in the game. This post is the first of a 3-part preview of the interface changes in Cataclysm, today I will just stick to the general interface.

The Spellbook has been fully revamped, it looks nicer and has a couple of extra features.
  • Professions now have their own tab.
  • All spells and their training level are now displayed in the book.
  • Spells that you can train immediately are now highlighted.

Character Panel
The character panel now display all your stats on the right side, you can minimize tabs that you never use and check all your relevant stats quickly.

Talent Frame
The talent frame has been updated, all 3 trees are now on the same pages and masteries are now supported.

Class and Profession trainers have a new interface, I'm not really sure it's more useful than the old one but it's nicer.

PvP Panel
The PvP Panel is still in early beta, it looks slightly nicer and the first signs of rated battlegrounds support are here.

Professions - Filters
Professions finally have built-in filters, nothing fancy but you will finally have a way to sort your huge list of recipes.

Minimap / Multi-tracking
Last but not least, the Minimap now allow you to track multiple things at once! Hurray!

PrintWarcraft - Original Art Posters Now Available
[blizzquote author=Blizzard source=] now offers a variety of World of Warcraft artwork as high-quality poster prints. You can choose from favorites including art from past content updates, a Cataclysm piece featuring Deathwing, and more. Also available will be two brand-new posters never before seen --Troll Propaganda and Operation: Gnomeregan. These full size 24” x 36” posters are available at $19.95 and can be ordered now at[/blizzquote]

Blue posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Next wave of Beta invitations
We hope to distribute additional invites to the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm beta sometime this week, possibly as soon as late Tuesday or Wednesday. This is only an estimate, though, so the schedule may change and, as a result, invites could be distributed earlier or later than anticipated. Either way, we'll work to keep you as updated as possible. (Source)

World changes in Cataclysm - "Old" zones lost forever
If there's one lesson I've been struggling with a lot recently, it's that rejecting the nature of change can be damaging. Granted, the trials to which I'm referring aren't related to video games, though they still apply universally. Sure, places will change, new questlines will replace many old ones, and Azeroth will never look quite the same again. There are, however, new places of beauty, new adventures to be had, and new struggles to overcome in the wake of change. A brand new player joining us in Cataclysm won't know quite what it was like to level prior to Deathwing's return, but they'll get to experience all of the new wonders of the world, not to mention a design that's become more definitive and polished over the years.

[...] Trust me, I understand the sentiment. We have no current plans though for preserving elsewhere the areas being changed. The story is evolving. To complement this, so is Azeroth as we know it. For current players, there will still be a good sense of familiarity in so many places within the old world. (Source)

Block Chance
Your block chance won't be 5%. That's too low. It will probably be something like 30%, but we haven't figured out yet where to provide that 30%. It is likely to be a warrior / paladin only thing or even a Prot / Prot passive. (Source)

Max out the Mastery Bonus
Furthermore, there should be no way to max out mastery. It's only just possible to max out things like crit and haste today because of A) overly generous talents, and B) ratings that were never designed for current item levels. We've already built the theoretical Deathwing gear, so we can make sure the numbers are more appropriate. (Source)

Hybrid/Multi-Tree Specs
Whenever a popular hybrid spec comes up, it's usually because of some sneaky build that is broken for PvP by snaking down to pick up key talents in two trees. It's not because the player really wants to play as say two specs -- they are just cherry picking the talents. Since those builds almost always feel broken (as in breaking the rules) we don't want to design around them. (Source)

Abilities in new Talent Trees
They aren't all abilities. Most of the trees have say 4 or so active abilities in addition to the one at level 10. This is pretty consistent with live (an 11, 21, 31, 41 and 51 "clicky" ability).

The first couple of tiers have mostly simple talents. This is because you just don't have a lot of abilities at level 10, rotations are simple, stuff tends to die fast, and we don't want to overwhelm new players (including experienced players trying a new class). We also have to provide a lot of sub-spec potential in these trees.

Beyond that, things start to get more interesting and you see the talents that do procs or mechanic changes. There are more 1 point talents now, typically those that give raid buffs. (Source)

GCD Locked
We consider being GCD locked a bad thing. It doesn't give you any room in your rotation to say click a potion or respond to a proc or do something out of the ordinary. It leads to tunnel vision. (Source)

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator)
We want Regrowth to feel like the flash heal. It will need to change a little to fit in that model (more up front and less hot perhaps) but it doesn't also need to feel exactly like Flash Heal to do the job. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator)
Holy Paladins in Cataclysm
Holy paladins are changing in Cataclysm probably more than you realize. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator)
Mortal Strike as Fury/Protection
Correct. It is impossible for Fury or Protection to ever have Mortal Strike. (Source)

Only Fury warriors will dual-wield in Cataclysm. The Arms tree is completely built around using a two-handed weapon and the Prot tree is completely built around using a shield. There is no reason to dual-wield in those trees. (Source)

Critical Block
We haven't done much with Critical Block as mastery yet because the level cap on the beta is so low and raid content isn't available to publicly test yet. As we get closer we'll put some better numbers on it. (Source)

Fan Art
A new fan art has been added to the official fan art gallery..

by Published on 2010-07-12 09:31 AM

Engineering in Cataclysm - Enchants, Scopes, and Gems
The Engineering page released on NDA lift day lacked content because spells aren't flagged as "Engineering" yet, however it looks like a lot of stuff is already here and there is enough content to give you a small preview of Engineering in Cataclysm.

The items with the biggest omg-epic factor are obviously the helms that I already posted 2 weeks ago.

New engineering-only enchants are available:

  • Gnome-Matic Phase Fingers - Permanently attaches gnome-matic phase finger technology to a pair of gloves, allowing a skilled engineer to increase their haste rating by 340 for 12 sec. The gloves can only be activated every minute.
  • Quickflip Deflection Plates - Permanently attaches quickflip deflection plates onto gloves, allowing you to increase your armor by 1500 for 12 sec. Gloves can only be activated once every minute. Attaching the armor webbing causes the gloves to become soulbound. An Engineering skill of 500 is required to keep the webbing active.
  • Tazik Shocker - Permanently attaches a tazik shocker to your gloves, allowing a skilled engineer to deal 1654 to 2020 Nature damage to an enemy at long range. The shocker can only be used once every 45 sec. Can only be used on the engineer's gloves, and doing so will cause them to become soulbound.
  • Spinal Healing Injector - Permanently attaches a specialized injector kit to your belt, allowing you to inject a Mythical Healing Potion directly into your bloodstream for increased effect. Only a skilled engineer can activate the modified belt. Can only be attached to your own belt, and doing so causes the belt to become soulbound.
  • Z50 Mana Gulper - Permanently attaches a specialized injector kit to your belt, allowing you to power-drink a Mythical Mana Potion for increased effect. Only a skilled engineer can activate the modified belt. Can only be attached to your own belt, and doing so causes the belt to become soulbound.

Scopes are also here:

  • Gnomish X-Ray Scope - Attaches a permanent scope to a bow or gun that increases its ranged critical strike rating by 88. Attaching this scope to a ranged weapon causes it to become soulbound.
  • R19 Threatfinder - Attaches a permanent scope to a bow or gun that increases its ranged hit rating by 88. Attaching this scope to a ranged weapon causes it to become soulbound.
  • Safety Catch Removal - Removes the safety mechanism from a bow or gun, increasing its ranged haste rating by 88. Using this kit causes the bow or gun to become soulbound.

Last but not least, a couple of very interesting items were datamined on Cataclysm Beta servers. It looks like engineers will get a new type of items, very similar to gems.

They also seem to use a new kind of socket called "Hydraulics/Cogwheels socket", at this point it could be anything, really, but it definitely seems that engineering will get some love in Cataclysm.

Cataclysm Video - Blanchy Questline
I couldn't leave so many questions unanswered, here is a video of the Blanchy/CSI Questline! This is a playlist with 3 videos, click on the left/right to go to the next video.

Dark Legacy Comics #246 and Teh Gladiators #147 + #148 are out.

by Published on 2010-07-11 08:32 AM

Cataclysm - Silverpine Forest Update
I added a couple of beta screenshots to the Silverpine Forest page. I didn't decide if I should spoil major lore events or not, but if you're wondering what's the story behind the 2nd and 3rd screenshot you can always check out this post.

If you're not interested in spoilers, just don't click those shots and scroll down to the blue posts.

Blue posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Old Dungeons in Cataclysm
The old dungeons are getting some love, including some new quests. (Source)

Leveling with a Healing spec
We are going to make leveling easier for healing specs. You still shouldn't expect to do anywhere near the damage of a dps spec though (otherwise, why would you ever level as dps?).

You can use your healing spec to use Dungeon Finder as you level. [...] But even if you don't use dungeons, you can level with a healer spec. I've done it a few times -- it's not super fast, but it's not horribly broken either, and it will be better in Cataclysm. (Source)

Pet scaling and Mastery bonus
We can make the pet damage scale with mastery even if they aren't getting the same benefit you are (because in many cases that won't make sense). (Source)

Not enough build choices in the new trees?
WoW shipped with trees roughly the size the ones Cataclysm will be and I don't recall a lot of players at the time thinking that there weren't enough choices.

In terms of pure numbers, the new trees offer fewer maximum number of combinations than the old ones. But many of the old combinations were not viable ones anyway. The new design is fewer meaningful choices rather than having lots of trivial (or even bad) choices. (Source)

Exponential inflation of stats
You're confusing relative to absolute effects in a couple of cases here. It is not harder to balance big numbers. Math works the same way on big numbers as it does on small numbers. It's harder to balance big numbers to small numbers, which might be a problem if we expected say level 85 characters to PvP against level 35 characters, but that's not how we design the game. It isn't important to us at all that level 75 characters can hold their own vs. level 80 characters. It's more fun to become more powerful as you level rather than see only slight improvements in your stats.

Fresh level 85 content won't be trivialized by level 85 characters until a new patch comes out, at which point it's not fresh content any longer.

The point I think has the most merit is your point A, but I think that one is a worthy sacrifice in order to be able to provide more content and a sense of progression to existing characters.

There's a magic number that we've found over time to feel satisfying to players, and that's about the 13 item level jump between tiers of content. When the numbers are less than that, players see for example their health only go up by 10 or 100 points, which doesn't feel meaningful. They don't feel rewarded for their efforts and have less interest in doing the quests or dungeons or the new PvP season. If players gain a level or two and still have trouble with that raptor that gave them a hard time before, then they don't feel like the process of improving their character is worth it. Everything else is derived for the need to have that meaningful jump. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator)
Hunters in Cataclysm
Chimera vs. Arcane – Chimera should have a higher DPCT/damage than Arcane as a tradeoff for having a cooldown. You should be casting Chimera before Arcane in any situation where it's not on cooldown. There numbers may not be tuned quite right yet.

Serpent Sting – You’ll find it's not efficient to cast your damage-over-time on targets that die before Serpent Sting lasts the full duration. This is similar to other classes. Druids don’t use all of their bleeds on targets that die in 8 seconds; it's just not efficient. Chimera refreshing Serpent Sting is a bonus for fights that take longer, like boss fights or “epic” creatures. It isn’t factored into the “budget” of the ability, so don’t feel like you wasted a Chimera just because you couldn’t utilize the “refresh Serpent Sting” mechanic.

Tranq Shot – We want this to have a focus cost. There may be opportunities where you want to use two Tranqs in a row, and it's your decision if you want to do that or not. I think most Hunters dislike it having a focus cost because they feel their raid leaders may mandate them to dispel something on an encounter, and because they have to spend focus it sucks because you lose DPS. That's legitimate, but also the same kind of decision that a lot of other classes have to make.

Venoms – We hear you on some of their issues. We might try things like giving them some damage, reducing the focus cost, and / or have them last 5 minutes on PvE creatures. Again, shooting a Venom isn’t really ideal on targets that you kill quickly. You shouldn’t cast one on every trash mob, for example. That said, we don’t want them to become too “maintenance-y” on boss fights.

Aspects – We would like Aspect of the Fox to be as good as it can be, which we feel is 30%. Any higher than that and we lose the Steady Shot focus-generating gameplay. It seems that some hunters are, not surprisingly, somewhat turned off from doing less damage while moving as they are on live, but this is intended. A ranged class that can do almost as much damage moving as it can standing still is not going to be fair, and often is what restricts us from doing cool things with the class.

Trap Launcher – We'd like to take it off the GCD. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator)
Holy Paladins in LK
I'm exaggerating slightly here, but our LK model for Holy paladins was that they could only do one thing well so they might as well be overpowered at it. We could essentially just balance incoming tank damage around outgoing paladin healing. The paladin niche was very small, so if they weren't good at single target and mostly tank healing, they'd be replaced. Yet because it was small, there wasn't much risk of overstacking them as healers.

That model worked okay but it ultimately wasn't what we wanted, so we're going to change it in Cataclysm as much as we can without all of the healers playing identically. You should feel more comfortable having a paladin heal the raid and a druid heal the tank than most groups typically do now. (Source)

It will be reevaluated. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator)
Sunder Armor
Making Sunder do damage just felt too much like Devastate. [...] I've seen suggestions to have something you normally hit renew a Sunder. That might be the kind of thing we mess around with. (Source)

Enrage proc from damage done?
Is there any chance this means the talent Enrage in the fury tree will proc off of damage done instead of damage taken? It seems unlikely warriors will be able to pick up Wrecking Crew with the new talent system, so I think the fury signature Enrage should work the way fury does; dealing damage. Not taking it.
It's possible, but Fury also has Bloodrage, Berserker Rage and Death Wish. If Enrage included AE damage it would proc a lot more in PvE too. Like I said above, we want Fury to be angry a lot, but not 100% of the time so we may need to tweak things to get to that point. (Source)

Enrage-linked attack (Source)
We are experimenting with an attack linked to enrage. Fury has a lot of ways to get angry now, and it has good synergy with their mastery and distinction from Arms.

Please this, but don't consume the enrages. Requiring a rage to activate is fine, like GC said, fury warriors have lots of ways to get angry. But losing an 18% damage increasing enrage which we are balanced around having up 100% of the time is not worth an attack. Unless it is made so that it can only consume specific enrages (Blood Craze, Bloodthirst, etc.)
Yeah, I actually think it's cooler if the enrage is not consumed. When you give up damage over time for sudden damage, it turns out to be a math problem, and you can see lots of examples where we've ended up reverting or letting you talent out of a "consumes the charges" mechanic. If Fury isn't enraged 100% of the time (but isn't enraged 5% of the time either), and they have an attack that can only be used when enraged, but can be used frequently at that time, then you might have a pretty interesting rotation.

Arms is a gladiator, Fury is half naked (Sorry. Don't hate me warriors!)
We view Arms as a soldier, like a career military infantryman. Think Gladiator. We view Fury as the wild berserker from up in the hills. Think Braveheart or Conan. It's easy to argue that bleeds or mobility fit one or the other depending on your point of view. Arms feels tactical (in the sense of having an answer for various situations) and Fury feels reckless. The Arms warrior has pet names for all his weapons, while the Fury warrior shows up for battle drunk and half clothed. (Source)

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