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by Published on 2012-02-08 02:48 AM

Diablo 3 - Bashiok Answers Questions, Known Achievement Issues

Patch 4.3.2 Hotfixes - February 7
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Dungeons and Raids
Dragon Soul
  • After the instance is cleared, Crimson Lifebinder now resurrects the non-player characters at Wyrmrest Temple, and they are fully functional.
  • Ultraxion
    • The event leading to Ultraxion now requires 15 Drakes killed, down from 24.

Love is in the Air
  • Players are now able to receive Lovely Charms while on the quest "Test Your Strength", when the player's inventory has both the Darkmoon Adventurer's Guide and Lovely Charm Collector's Kit.
  • Players now have the chance to receive both the Lovely Charm and Grisly Trophy from a single kill.
Lunar Festival
  • Elder Dawnstrider now spawns farther away from nearby Flame Crest mobs.


Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Account Wide Achievements
While we’re still working out many of the details regarding account-wide achievement functionality, I want to clarify that we plan for the system to apply to all achievements -- not just those added in Mists of Pandaria. It’s intended to be an overall change to the current achievement system.

Our goal is to make it so that you feel like you only have to get an achievement once. We think the time and effort you put into achievements should be evident regardless of which character you’re playing. The update will be implemented at the level and, as such, would apply to all of the attached World of Warcraft licenses on the account. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Account Wide Achievements
I want everyone to be a bit cautious about their expectations as of yet. We still have a lot of details to work out in regard to how this will all work. Once we have more specific information to share on it, we'll let you all know. I don't want anyone to get too far ahead on things until we can share more and explain any possible "ifs", "ands", and "buts" with you all should there be any put in place. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Please Welcome Nyorloth!
In a break from tradition, I am not a member of the Community team; long have I gestated within the Story Development division of the Publishing Team, itself a division of Creative Development. My purposes here are myriad, but to mention a few:

  • Increase the transparency of how we develop stories within our games and ancillary fiction.
  • Encourage more constructive discussions of the lore, so that we may better understand your likes/dislikes in order to shape our future projects.
  • To serve as a scapegoat for when something happens in the lore that you don’t like.

My eye has glimpsed the forming of an Ask CDev on the horizon... perhaps, even, Soon™! You would all do well to gather your questions now, in preparation for this momentous event. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blizzard Art Update
Blizzard added seven pieces to the Wrath of the Lich King art gallery. These pieces offer an inside look at the creative process behind building the Warcraft universe.

Curse Weekly Roundup
Pico is back to tell us about the things you might have missed in SWTOR, WOW, Soul Calibur V and Minecraft news recently.

by Published on 2012-02-07 03:35 AM

Diablo 3 - Balance, Diablo Chat Channels, Nyorloth, Master of Lore

Battle.Net Balance Active
The previously mentioned balance is now active! The FAQ has also been updated with some additions:

  • In the near future, players will also be able to use Balance for the digital World of Warcraft Battle Chest and World of Warcraft digital upgrades.
  • Any amount you add to your Balance will not be refundable (except as otherwise provided by law).

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums) Balance is now live! As we announced previously, Balance is a new feature that gives players an alternate way to purchase Blizzard digital products and services directly through their accounts. Players are now able add to their Balance using a variety of payment methods, and then use that balance toward Blizzard Entertainment products and services such as World of Warcraft game time; paid services, such as realm transfers and character name changes; digital versions of select Blizzard games, including Diablo II and StarCraft II; and in-game pets and mounts. In the near future, players will be also able to use Balance for the digital World of Warcraft Battle Chest and WoW digital upgrades. In addition, with the upcoming launch of Diablo III, players will have the option to use Balance to buy and sell items in the game’s currency-based auction house.

For more information, check out the Balance FAQ, or head to the Balance page in Account Management to manage your balance.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mages and Arenas
Just off the top of my head, this is how diminishing returns works for mages:

  • Deep Freeze is on the stun diminishing returns.
  • Ring of Frost and Polymorph are on the disorient DR.
  • The mage Frost Nova and the Water Elemental's Freeze are both on the root DR.
  • Improved Cone of Cold and Shattered Barrier are on the random root DR.
  • There are also several snares which are not affected by DR, such as Frostbolt

The random root DR mentioned is actually a separate category to normal roots. We reserve this only for effects that are procs, instead of those that are the general effect of a spell. This is a very subtle and subjective classification that often comes down to simply what feels right.

Currently, we think that Frost mages have too much control in PvP. This is just something that has grown over time because we always felt that these "chilling" and "freezing" effects should naturally slow you down. Part of the design that we are implementing with the Mists of Pandaria talent changes are to move some of that control Frost mages have to the talent tree. This means it will be possible for a Frost mage to choose these options, but they come at the expense of others, Arcane and Fire mages also have the opportunity to get those control choices as well! :O

The overall effect of this is that Arcane and Fire should stay about neutral in regards to their control, but frost will lose some of it. On the other hand though, it is possible for a Frost's damage to go up and be competitive with that of the other mages if they do not go for the control talents. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Inscription and Glyph Discovery
Back in May of 2010, we began tossing around ideas about how to improve Inscription. But at that time, Mists of Pandaria was still in the early stages of character talent development. As that was hashed out, it directly affected how we were then able to approach potential Inscription and glyph changes. As a matter of fact, at one point during the discussions, glyphs were going to be removed altogether. That then evolved into the idea of Prime glyphs being removed, Major glyphs being adjusted such that their added bonuses did not affect talents, and Minor glyphs being revamped so they felt more interesting.

Have no fear, I have been assured that Inscription and glyph discovery are being actively discussed in preparation for upcoming changes with Mists of Pandaria. This comes with one albeit relieving caveat: Glyphs that are now learned solely through the Book of Glyph Mastery are planned to be available through the Northrend and Minor research dailies. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Account-wide Achievements
With Mists of Pandaria, account-wide achievements will indeed become available at the account level, and many achievements will be shared among characters. A wide array of achievements will certainly be covered, including achievements that relate to everything from raiding and PvP to maxing out professions and assorted fun challenges. We really love the idea that players will at last be able to proudly display proof of the full scope of their adventures around Azeroth, regardless of which character they choose to play on any given day.

While we are still working out the details regarding how various specific achievements will interact with the new system, once we have a bit more information to share with you, we’ll certainly let you know. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Why Mists of Pandaria?
First, for some context, we showed a lot of pandaren at BlizzCon because that was the art we had completed at the time (and obviously it's the new playable race). Are there pandaren all over the new continent? Of course. There are also some really unique cultures and new races, including some very diabolical villains in the form of the mogu, the mantid, and the sha.

As a few posters have pointed out, Pandaria starts out relatively unspoiled. (spoiler!) That isn’t going to last. The Horde versus Alliance conflict is going to continue to ratchet up in a way we've often talked about, but never really delivered before now. It gives the story more depth (we hope!) when you get to see the “before” before the “after.”

The new continent has a heavy Asian vibe, but it’s still a fantasy game and there are some very fantastic and original landscapes as well. The last few zones in particular are what we like to call "high concept." You won’t find anything like them in the real world.

With all that said, you might still be asking, "why MoP?"

We think, more than seven years into World of Warcraft's life cycle, it's time to start some new stories. Previous expansions relied heavily on heroes and villains established in the Warcraft RTS games. We aren’t content to rest on our laurels though. We want to introduce some new characters to get to know. We want to have some new enemies to fight. Perhaps, most importantly, we want to start sowing the seeds for future stories. Nothing is lamer than finding out that the boss you're supposed to kill is someone you've never heard of. It’s a lot more fun when you get to know the bad guys, get a reason to hate them, and feel like you're thwarting their diabolical plans and not just killing them for loot.

We've focused a lot on the lighter side of Mists of Pandaria as a contrast to the world-ending vibe of Cataclysm. It’s not all unicorns and butterflies however. There are dark secrets lurking beneath the new continent, and in some ways they're even more insidious, because you get to experience the beautiful new landscapes before they become threatened and sometimes even destroyed.

To summarize, we provided you all with a very basic framework for the next expansion at BlizzCon. By the time the press tour ends in March, expect to get a lot more information on the real meat of this expansion. It won't be correctly summarized by a portrait of a smiling panda chewing on bamboo.

Phasing is one of the most powerful tools in the designer toolkit. But like many powerful tools, it can cause great damage if used incorrectly. We definitely have overdone it in the past.

There is some phasing in Mists, but we try to take care not to separate friends, create ghosted mining nodes, and similarly disrupt your gameplay. What we were really referring to by the “dark secrets” is the way the story unfolds. The story in Cataclysm was something players knew from the outset -- Deathwing is back. The players were still heroes trying to undo some of the damage he caused, but they also still largely reacted to the things Deathwing and his minions had already done. In Mists we're attempting to take that one step further and have the world react to the players, and not just have the players react to the world. It gives the game a dynamic, “alive” feeling which is very much needed in a persistent-world game.

Some of the changes we’re talking about aren't going to happen right away, but we’ll build toward them in subsequent patches. While you can’t truly keep story secrets in this business, we're trying not to spoil the surprises too early. In retrospect, we’ve taken a little bit of flak for this approach, because the misconception among some players is that the new continent has no conflict. There is plenty of conflict, but a lot of it begins when you arrive (rather than in Cataclysm, where great cracks in Azeroth appeared before your adventuring began). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

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

The MMO Report has SWTOR, The Secret World, and Uncle Casey's Mail Bag this week!

by Published on 2012-02-05 11:41 AM

Love Is in the Air! (February 5th - February 18th)
Love Is in the Air once again! The event starts on February 5 and ends February 18 and brings us a new mount this year: the Swift Lovebird! See below for more details!

Love Token Rewards
The same Love Token rewards as last year are available, with the addition of the new Swift Lovebird mount for those of you who really really like pink.

A few important things to keep in mind:

  • If you have a lot of money and don't feel like farming Love Token, you can buy Lovely Charm Bracelet from other players and exchange them for Love Token at any Love is in the Air rewards NPC without any limit. If you really want to show off on your server and be the first with the mount, that's the way to go.
  • The Swift Lovebird mount and the Truesilver Shafted Arrow companion pets are not bind on pick up and can be bought at the Auction House. Obviously, it also means the event is a good opportunity to farm something valuable and sell it if you're short on cash.
  • Don't forget the other mount, Big Love Rocket from the daily dungeon encounter!

Crown Chemical Co. Encounter Rewards
The Crown Chemical Co. Encounter is now available in your Dungeon Finder and you can run the event as much as you want to get one of the rare necklaces. As far as we know they haven't been updated this year and it's very likely that you have something better than the ilvl 346 rewards you get from the encounter.

Level Type Spec Slot Name
346NeckMeleeNeckChoker of the Pure Heart
346NeckPhysical DPSNeckSweet Perfume Broach
346NeckSpell DPSNeckHeartbreak Charm
346NeckSpell SpiritNeckWinking Eye of Love
346NeckTankNeckShard of Pirouetting Happiness

You also get Heart-Shaped Box once a day, the box has a chance to contain one of the following rewards:

  • Forever-Lovely Rose will replace your hat and show your character holding a rose between his/her teeth. Cannot be used in transmogrification.
  • Vile Fumigator's Mask is an awesome looking fumigator helm but sadly cannot be used for transmogrification.
  • Toxic Wasteling is a companion pet that will grow in size if you let it eat critters!
  • The Heartbreaker allows you to break hearts ... why would you do that? You're mean.
  • Big Love Rocket mount has a very small chance to drop from the box, and is the only reason why you will run the encounter every day.

Farming Love Tokens
There are a couple of ways to acquire Love Token and they're all pretty simple, you can even grind them if you absolutely want all the rewards as fast as possible.

1. Crushing the Crown Daily Quest
Crushing the Crown starts from the Love is in the Air quest giver in Stormwind/Orgrimmar and requires you to destroy a chemical wagon in Uldum. Lower versions of the quest are also available. Rewards Love Token x 5.

  • Crushing the Crown - Kill 5 Crown Technicians and use Snagglebolt's Khorium Bomb to destroy one chemical wagon east of the Tomb of Khartut in Uldum, then return to Detective Snap Snagglebolt in Orgrimmar.
  • Crushing the Crown - Kill 5 Crown Technicians and use Snagglebolt's Khorium Bomb to destroy one chemical wagon east of the Tomb of Khartut in Uldum, then return to Inspector Snip Snagglebolt in Stormwind.

2. Gifts to Faction Leaders Daily Quest
Daily quests to give Gifts to faction leaders are also available. You can start the quests by talking to Kwee Q. Peddlefeet in any capital city,

You can complete all 4 quests every day, but you will have to travel to each capital city to start them. The quest itself requires you to kill 10 monsters (green difficulty or higher) with the Lovely Charm Collector's Kit in your inventory (provided automatically when you start the quest) to gather 10 x Lovely Charms and change them into a Lovely Charm Bracelet!

Completing one of those quests will reward you with Love Token x 5 and completing all 4 will get you 20 Tokens each day. (Yes, my maths skills are impressive)

3. Samples Random Daily Quest
You will randomly get one of the 3 free samples quest each day. A Perfect Puff of Perfume, A Cloudlet of Classy Cologne, and Bonbon Blitz all require you to use an item 10 times on other players or NPCs. Pretty easy way to get another Love Token x 5 every day.

4. Crown Chemical Co. - Dungeon Finder
The Crown Chemical Co. encounter available in the Dungeon Finder rewards you with Heart-Shaped Box. It was updated this year and now contains 5 to 10 Love Token along with the old items.

Love Is in the Air Customer Support Policy
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Love is in the Air from February 5-20, and with these romantic feelings comes one of Azeroth’s many special world events! World events are a time for players to celebrate in-game holidays, acquire special vanity items or pets, and earn those much sought-after achievements. As these things are highly valued by our players, our support staff is available should things go awry. If you’d like to learn more about this event, be sure to check out our Community Blog.

There are some situations, however, in which there may be limitations to the assistance we can provide. While some of the policies below are primarily aimed at our world events, they are all in line with our other more general support policies. As always, exceptions may be made, particularly in the case of extenuating circumstances or bugs. Keep an eye out for such issues by visiting our Support Site and searching for the issue you are experiencing, or checking the Breaking News.

Event Item Purchases
Many holidays provide special forms of currency, usually tokens or other exchangeable items, with which purchases can be made from limited availability vendors. Many of the items from these vendors may be necessary to complete achievements associated with world events, so they are often highly coveted. The majority of these items are non-refundable, and this functionality is intended. As a result, make your purchases wisely, as Game Masters will be unable to facilitate such refunds.

Achievement Related Issues
For many, world events are one of the most convenient means to acquire achievements. Achievements represent overcoming extreme odds, having a bit of luck, and generally serve as a milestone for your character to proudly show off. Achievements are, by definition, accomplishments that require skillful effort and often a non-trivial amount of time to earn. Because of the intent behind achievement design philosophy and tool limitations, Game Masters are unable to grant, remove, or alter achievements in any way.

Limited Duration Events
World events can make time fly by quickly, so make sure that you get all your achievements, quests, and special events done before it’s too late! While availability may be limited, Game Masters are only able to provide restorations if they have accompanying logs to prove that a loss occurred. If the item was never acquired or the quest never completed, a restoration isn’t usually possible.
Also bear in mind that the event end date will always be listed in your Events Calendar in-game, and the deadline corresponds with realm time, not your local time. We highly advise making certain all your tasks are completed well in advance, and wish you all the best throughout your seasonal adventures!
by Published on 2012-02-04 02:47 AM

Diablo 3 - Patch 12 Incoming - Patch 12 Notes, Your thoughts on beta, Blue Posts

NAO Invitational Qualifiers
Curse, Skill-Capped, and Logitech are sponsoring a player run Arena tournament with over $4000 in prizes. You can find the list of prizes on ArenaJunkies. See the structure and rules for more information about how the teams are selected.

Darkmoon Faire Achievement Progress Update - Feb 3
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
January’s Darkmoon Faire achievement progress status was cleared prior to the launch of February's faire. Any achievements that were started but not completed have had their criteria reset. Completed achievements are unaffected.

However, any future achievement progress (February included) will be saved to your character and will continue to contribute towards progression of those achievements in subsequent visits to Darkmoon Faire.

Regrettably, we are not able to restore any progress you may have made during January's faire. We do appreciate the impact this may have had and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
WoW Raid Design
Some solid, constructive feedback and observations have been offered in this thread. But I think it’s important to point out that it’s incorrect to assume that there has been reduced development time put into raids.

If anything, over the years we’ve put increased attention into raids so that a wider breadth of players can experience them. There are a great deal more options for pursuing raiding now than say, in classic World of Warcraft or The Burning Crusade, when raid groups were a fixed size and only one difficulty setting existed. We realize that some players prefer to run with 24 other comrades-in-arms at the max difficulty setting (I’m actually one of them ), whereas others prefer more intimate raids or a lower difficulty setting.

In Mists of Pandaria, we plan to be able to continue to support a wide variety of raiding styles. And, from one player to another, if you’re eager for raid zones with an “epic” feel, you’re going to really enjoy some of the stuff we have in store. We’ll have some further details on that front coming up in the near future, but know that we really do appreciate your passion for the game and your continued feedback. We are listening. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Talent Calculator
The intent of the talent calculator was to give players something to fool around with. We wanted everyone to get a feel for the idea we're going for in Mists so that it wouldn't sound as crazy or shocking when seen on "paper."

We've responded many times about talent calculator feedback, even pointing out we're not going to be able to discuss things point by point with players because the systems are rapidly changing while in development. The calculator itself is quite out of date.

So you're right. I took the time to respond to this thread when I could've responded elsewhere. But what did I say? I basically said things are looking awesome so far and I can't wait to be able to share more information.

Would you feel better if I found a thesis from you about the problems you have with the out-of-date Mists talent calculator for rogues, only to say, "A lot of the details you're discussing aren't fully fleshed out yet, so we'll talk again when we have updated Mists class info to provide"? Even if you think the answer to that is "yes," I wouldn't be surprised if you then came back here in two weeks to tell me how many amazing threads there are out there about the "REAL" issues that are going completely ignored. It's a neverending cycle and I'm not interesting in always looking for the squeakiest wheels to grease on the forums.

The only inevitability in community management I've found is that, whenever we post ANYWHERE on the forums, someone will be sure to tell us where we should be posting, and which part of the community is really being ignored. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World of Warcraft Seventh European Anniversary: Half-Price Sale
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In February 2005, World of Warcraft arrived here in Europe. It’s been seven years and Azeroth is still buzzing with excitement! Players have been through incredible trials in dungeons, raids and battlegrounds.

And now, in honor of World of Warcraft’s Seventh Anniversary in Europe, we’re offering the biggest discount ever on the entire WoW game range! From now until February 19, all boxed games and digital upgrades are available at half price, as well as two in-game collectibles. Don’t miss your chance to join in Azeroth’s anniversary celebrations by snagging Wrath of the Lich King for just €10/£7.50 and Cataclysm for only €15/£12.50.

The doors to Ahn’Qiraj have been opened. Onyxia has manipulated mortals and dragons alike. Sargeras has attempted to unleash the Legion upon Azeroth and beyond. The Lich King has vowed to destroy life itself. Armies of elementals have left their realms to conquer our world. The Cataclysm is now upon us and the battle between the Horde and the Alliance is becoming ever fiercer. For seven years, countless horrors have sought to destroy Azeroth and its heroes. But never before have they been confronted by an offer such as this!

Never played World of Warcraft? There has never been a better time to join and become the latest hero in a world filled with orcs, gnomes, dragons, magic, and murlocs! Already a fan? Here’s your chance to upgrade your account or invite friends to take part in the most epic adventure of all time. Visit the Blizzard Store to take advantage of this amazing special offer. You can also benefit from these discounted rates on digital games via your account!

In addition, we’re offering two in-game collectibles at half price. Want to travel Azeroth in style? The Celestial Steed will bring you wherever you want to go, for half the cost! Always dreamed of a terrifyingly cute undead companion? Get a Lil’ K.T. pet for a lil’ price!

So come and join the in-game celebrations today — we’ve already put the cherry on the cake!
Happy Seventh Anniversary!

NAO Invitational Qualifiers Video
The second round of the qualifiers is taking place on February 3rd/4th 7-11pm EST. You can see a sample of one of the games you missed in the video below!

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