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by Published on 2010-06-03 05:28 AM

Cataclysm Screenshot of the Day
The official Screenshot of the Day Gallery has been updated with a new screenshot of the Stonetalon Mountains.


First Batch of BlizzCon Tickets Sold Out
[blizzquote author=Zarhym source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/25172120362/first-batch-of-blizzcon-tickets-sold-out/]The initial allotment of tickets for BlizzCon 2010 has now been sold out. If you weren't able to get tickets this time, you'll have another chance on Saturday, June 5 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, when a second batch goes on sale. Coverage of the gaming festival will also be offered by DIRECTV as a Pay Per View event, available both via satellite and multi-channel Internet stream -- keep an eye on http://BlizzCon.com for more details in the near future. [/blizzquote]

Blue posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PTR:Operation Gnomeregan and Zalazane's Fall
The event has been turned off. Thanks for your participation! (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Talent Calculator)
"Boring" talents
Every player is going to have a different definition of "boring or bland talents" so that's not going to be a great litmus test. We're probably keeping Improved Overpower. It's the kind of talent that makes Overpower more powerful for an Arms warrior or just makes the ability more powerful in general. Because the talent affects one ability it can have a greater magnitude which is more noticeable than say a 5% damage buff.

Cruelty is the kind of talent we'll replace (probably by making it affect only a handful of abilities) and tanking talents like Anticipation (if we can get away with it). (Source)

Vigilance
The Taunt renew part of Vigilance is cool and being able to essentially Salv someone can be useful to. Actually gaining threat from using the ability makes it feel like Defiance 2.0 though. You feel like you have to use it all the time (not that that's a huge burden, but still) to achieve the threat levels that other tanks essentially get without the talent. (Source)
by Published on 2010-06-03 01:19 AM

Update - We have winners for the Twitter and Facebook TCG Loot giveaway! The next one will be very soon, thanks again to WoWTCGLoot.com for the codes!

First Batch of Blizzcon Tickets Sold Out
The first batch of Blizzcon tickets is sold out. A second batch will go on sale June 5 at 10 a.m. Pacific time.
by Published on 2010-06-02 06:28 AM

Patch 3.3.5 - Ruby Sanctum Availability
And here comes the end of any "OH GOD US WILL GET ALL THE FIRST KILLS" drama. It was fun while it lasted.
[blizzquote author=Zarhym source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/25171669763/patch-3-3-5-ruby-sanctum-availability]Due to the fact that we will be delaying the release of patch 3.3.5 in Europe, Korea and Taiwan in order to ensure the patch process in all regions is as smooth as possible, the Ruby Sanctum will not immediately be available on North American realms upon the release of the patch. Once patch 3.3.5 has been released in North America and we are confident about a time when we can open up Ruby Sanctum, we will provide an update here on the forums.
[/blizzquote]


Facebook/Twitter TCG Loot Code Giveaway
WoWTCGLoot.com was nice enough to throw a couple of TCG loot codes my way to give them away on Twitter and Facebook!


How does it work?
It's easy, just become a Fan of MMO-Champion on Facebook and/or Follow me on Twitter! Winners will be picked randomly at 08:00PM PST and the code will be sent to the winning Twitter/Facebook account shortly after.

This is just a small test run to see if I can do that often because this kind of contest seems easier to manage on social networking sites than on the site or the forums. More interesting codes are already in the way depending on how things go. Good luck!

Thanks to WoWTCGLoot.com for the shiny loot codes.



Patch 3.3.5 - Vote Kick Change
Blizzard finally found a good use to the tracking stats added with Patch 3.3.3 a few months ago.
[blizzquote author=Zarhym source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/25172039564/patch-3-3-5-vote-kick-change/]We have found that most players using the Dungeon Finder don’t use the Vote Kick feature or abandon groups very often. For these players, we are removing the cooldown on voting to kick players from a dungeon party. In contrast, those players who tend to kick players or abandon groups more frequently will notice that the Vote Kick feature maintains its cooldown. The goal here is to make sure players who are generally patient can make use of the Vote Kick feature when they really need it, without giving a more powerful tool to those who try to kick others or abandon dungeon groups very frequently.

This functionality will adjust itself as a player’s behavior while using the Dungeon Finder changes. [/blizzquote]

BlizzCon Tickets on Sale Tomorrow
[blizzquote author=Nebu source=http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/index.xml]Just in case Wednesday, June 2 isn't circled on your calendar, here's a quick reminder that BlizzCon tickets will be going on sale tomorrow at 7 p.m. Pacific Time -- keep your eye on the ticket sales page tomorrow for the chance to get yours. If you are unable to purchase tickets tomorrow, a second batch will go on sale June 5 at 10 a.m. Pacific time. And for those unable to attend the show, in-depth coverage of BlizzCon will also be offered by DIRECTV as a Pay Per View event, available both via satellite and a multi-channel Internet stream.

BlizzCon 2010 will take place October 22 and 23 at the Anaheim Convention Center, and tickets cost $150 USD each. For further information, check out the official BlizzCon site.

Click here to go to the BlizzCon 2010 ticket sales page. [/blizzquote]

Blue posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Haste buffs
It's extremely likely that the 3% global haste buff category is being removed completely, and Improved Moonkin Aura will offer the 5% spell haste buff, along with however it is distributed for Shadow Priests, and Shaman,
Yes, we are reclassifying all of the haste buffs as spell haste buffs or melee attack speed buffs. (Source)

Masteries / Passive Tree Bonuses
The passive talent tree bonuses are intended to let you get better at your intended spec just by spending points in the tree. We felt like talents had gotten to a place where they had lost some of their original goal for allowing player customization. So many talent points were considered mandatory just to make your character functional that there were very few actual choices you could make.

(We call the passive talent tree bonuses "passive talent tree bonuses" to differentiate them from the mastery stat on gear, which affects only the third talent tree bonus. We came to that distinction late and are honestly a little sloppy about the nomenclature to this day, so "mastery" sometimes gets used interchangeably as the talent tree passives themselves and as the stat on gear that affects the third of those passives.)

In Cataclysm we have an opportunity to get a lot of those passive talents out of the talent trees. At the same time, we do need to allow for a distinction between say the higher damage and lower survivability of a Fury warrior compared to a Protection warrior. If individual talents shoulder too much of that burden, then the talents aren't much of a choice. Instead, we give you passive bonuses just for spending points in the tree. Protection warriors care most about reducing damage and maintaining threat, so those are the first two passive talent bonuses. The third one we wanted to feel specific to the Prot warrior tree, so that one is going to relate to blocking with a shield.

Another way to think about it is that each talent in the Protection tree also says "and reduces incoming damage by X, increases damage done by Y when tanking, and increases block effectiveness by Z."

I wouldn't say that we intended for all of these passives to be super sexy. It's more accurate to say that we use them to allow the talents themselves to be more exciting and ideally game-changing and a little less "kitchen sinky."

If I'm 51/20/0, and someone else is 51/0/20, we both get the same talent bonuses from blood, but do I get frost passives while he gets unholy passives?
In your example, both DKs would get the maximum passive bonus possible from Blood and nothing else. You are only ever one tree. The points you spend in another tree will help out because those talents accomplish something, but you don't get bonuses for them. You are either a Blood, Frost or Unholy DK. (Source)

Mandatory Talents
There will still be mandatory talents. We're not really trying to make a talent like Sword and Board optional. We expect most Prot warriors of appropriate level will grab it. Related, we doubt we'll see an end to cookie-cutter specs. As long as the recommended Prot tree says "You must get Sword and Board" then that's essentially a cookie-cutter.

We would like to accomplish a couple of goals though.

1) For more casual players (i.e. the ones not posting in this forum), we want there to be less difference in power between an optimal and sub-optimal spec. It's okay if the optimal one is still better, but not so much better. Casual players should feel fine just spending points with a small amount of consideration and not feeling like step one is to go to the Internet to find the right build. The passive bonuses help with that.

2) For those players that do take optimization very seriously (and I'm assuming most of you are in that category), we just want to see more cookie-cutter builds that say things like "spend the last 5-10 points wherever you want." If those points would give you survivability or a massive threat bonus or even utility that's hard to live without (say Warbringer for a Prot warrior), then you're not really spending the points where you want. But we think there is room to have some of those choices that don't really exist now. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Molten Armor in Cataclysm
Molten Armor won't be boosting Spirit. Spirit is really a healer stat in Cataclysm and mages and warlocks shouldn't really look for it on their gear. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Soulstones / Warlock Utility
We do want to make Soulstones a more reliable battle rez in Cataclysm. We are also looking at the general package of group buffs and debuffs brought by the warlock class as a whole and the respective specs. There will still be an occasional (very occasional) role for a warlock to "tank" as a caster or to use a demon to tank something. With crowd control mattering more in 5-player dungeons, there will also be more opportunities to Banish or Seduce. (Source)


Warrior (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Active / Passive Masteries Bonus
It's not really PvP related. We are trying a couple of things. First, we just need to get a feel for what kind of mastery bonuses are the most fun. Very active ones might be fun (because you're doing something) or very passive ones might be fun (because then the bonus is never wasted). Likewise, Arms already has a lot going on in the way of procs to manage, so having yet another thing to pay attention to may be overwhelming. Fury on the other hand falls into a little more predictable rotation so having the Enrages be a bigger deal may not be an undue burden. (Source)

New World of Warcraft Fan Wallpaper
A very nice Fan Wallpaper has been added to the official site

by Published on 2010-06-01 05:12 PM

Patch 3.3.5 Regional Release Information
[blizzquote author=Slorkuz source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/13525668570/patch-3-3-5-regional-release-information/]
In patch 3.3.5, we will be introducing our new Battle.net system, which opens up new communication options for World of Warcraft players and lays the groundwork for integration with future Blizzard games, such as StarCraft II. In order to ensure that the implementation of this major new system goes as smoothly as possible, we plan to release the patch to North American realms first, with Europe, Korea, and the region of Taiwan following approximately one week afterward.
[/blizzquote]
by Published on 2010-06-01 06:45 AM

Addon Spotlight - HudMap
It's time to talk about another addon on the front page! With the recent news of AVR and AVRe removal with Patch 3.3.5 I figured it might be the right time to mention HudMap. It will probably remind you of AVR in some ways but this addon is different and so far it looks like Blizzard will tolerate it.


What is it?
HudMap is an addon that provides a true heads-up tactical display of an encounter, with raid member positions, range data, debuff area-of-effect indicators, and more.

Additionally, HudMap ships with totem radius indicators. In general, if you want to do range or player-to-player directional stuff, HudMap's your huckleberry.

Can I use this in to replace AVRe?
Possibly. You can use it in a similar manner, though it definitely takes a very different approach to information display. HudMap is designed to give you proximity awareness of your partymates and areas that are potentially hazardous due to proximity or some other effect that boss mods generally warn you about. In that sense, yes, it's a replacement.

However, HudMap is not going to let you annotate the world, add additional data over physical locations, or let you draw obscene pictures on Arthas before you pull him. HudMap does nothing to emulate or project 3D data, and never will. Additionally, feature parity is not a goal of the project - some information is better presented in AVR than it will ever be in HudMap, and I'm not going to try to replicate that. Other data will fit HudMap better naturally, and those pieces will be actively pursued.

Is this addon going to get banned because Blizzard doesn't like AVR?
To head off the inevitable, I've asked Blizzard if this is kosher in light of the AVR breakage. They have not indicated that it is a violation of the rules. Until they indicate otherwise, HudMap will be developed and updated. The impression I get is that Blizzard's primary complaint was with AVR's ability to draw pseudo-3D images over the game world, which is outside of the scope of what the UI was intended to be able to do. HudMap doesn't do any of that.

Extending HudMap
Have an idea for a range feature? It's easy to implement one. Just see modules\example.lua for a simple framework upon which you can build your own modules.

HTML Code:
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HTML Code:
<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/xsgGuEYyOzQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/xsgGuEYyOzQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>


Let's socialize!
We're at the end of a very long and very calm week-end and we all reached the point where we just need more people to hug. If you're not into hugs, it's also a wonderful opportunity to start working on a plan to take over the world.

That's why I finally created a Facebook fan page for MMO-Champion! Technically we already had a MMO-Champion group but I couldn't do much with it, the fan page might actually let me do a few interesting things.


On a slightly more personal level, I also decided to create a Twitter account and fight my fear of social networking. It will probably take a few days to get used to it but it looks like there are also a couple of fun things to do with Twitter.



MMO-Champion IRC Channel
Last but not least, if you really aren't afraid of strange people, come and say hi on IRC! If you're not sure about how to join us, just read:

I also uploaded last month statistics just for fun.

by Published on 2010-05-31 07:16 AM

It's Monday, and Fluffy rules.

Affenjungs INC vs. Halion 25 Heroic
Affenjungs Inc released a video of one of their attempts against Halion in 25-Man Heroic mode on PTRs. The normal mode of the encounter was already fairly impressive but it really looks like the Heroic mode will hurt.




Zalazane's Fall and Operation Gnomeregan Videos
The first part of the Cataclysm Prologue is on PTRs and people who are much more useful than me released videos of both events on Youtube. Of course, you might want to avoid them if you don't like spoilers.

The videos are Youtube playlists, just click on the next video for the 2nd part, etc ...

HTML Code:
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HTML Code:
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The MMO Report
This is probably the last time you will see the MMO Report on MMO-Champion since they decided to make fun of me. I'll be waiting for a virtual hug from Casey in my mail to resume posting.

Also, small update on the "we got hacked" issue. After checking a few things it seems that it only affected something like 5% of the readers on the site, assuming that at least half of them had an up to date antivirus, I probably did a front page news just because 2.5% of my users got a spyware. And no, the virus didn't target WoW accounts, we just have 1M visits each day on the site and some people get randomly hacked for tons of reasons, when MMO-Champion becomes that reason you won't need me to hear about it everywhere on the forums.

I still apologize for the screwup, even if it's not as bad as it looked in the first place.

HTML Code:
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Comics
This week we have Dark Legacy Comic #240, Teh Gladiators #136 and #137, and a comic from Foxtrot!




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