MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

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by Published on 2010-06-21 12:41 PM

Update #3 Extended Maintenance (04:00PM)
[blizzquote author=Blizzard source=http://twitter.com/Warcraft]We are continuing to work to resolve issues with the application of the new content patch & will provide an update by 4:00PM PDT.[/blizzquote]


Update #2 Extended Maintenance
The maintenance has been extended once again. Also, we had a couple of issues on MMO-Champion because of "a network issue resulting in latency and packet loss" (I'm quoting the hosting company here). Our servers are fine but ... well, something wasn't.
[blizzquote author=Blizzard source=http://twitter.com/Warcraft]We are continuing to work on applying the latest content patch and will be extending maintenance for all realms until 3:00PM PDT.[/blizzquote]


Update Extended Maintenance
It looks like the maintenance will end at 01:00PM PDT instead of 11:00AM.
[blizzquote author=Nethaera source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/25552425015/extended-maintenance-6-22]
We will be performing an extended maintenance for all realms on Tuesday, June 22nd. The downtime will begin at 3:00AM PDT and end at approximately 1:00PM PDT.[/blizzquote]


Patch 3.3.5 deployed on US servers this week
Patch 3.3.5 should be deployed on US realms this week (as usual, 99% sure, the patch might not go live if gnomes take over the world and shutdown the game). This is an US only release and the european realms will be updated next week.
[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]


Battle.net Real ID
The big feature of this patch is the addition of Battle.net to the game.


[blizzquote author=Blizzard source=http://us.battle.net/realid/?rhtml=y]One of our goals for the new Battle.net is to create the framework for an online gaming experience that is even more accessible, more engaging, and more entertaining than the previous Battle.net. Our new Real ID feature is an integral part of this effort, providing you with advanced ways for forming and maintaining meaningful relationships with your friends on the service.

Real ID is a completely voluntary and optional level of identity that keeps players connected across all of Battle.net. When you and a friend mutually agree to become Real ID friends, you'll have access to a number of additional features that will enrich your social gaming experience in new and exciting ways.

Read the Real ID FAQ for additional details.

Real Names for Friends
Your Real ID friends will appear under their real-life names on your friends list, alongside whatever characters they're playing. Gone are the days of having to remember which of your friends is which. You'll also see your friends' real names when chatting, communicating in-game, or viewing their character's profile.

Cross-Game Chat
With Real ID, friends can now chat cross-game, cross-realm, and cross-faction across all supported Blizzard games. In World of Warcraft and need more players for your Icecrown Citadel raid? You check your Real ID friends list to see if anyone's available, and sure enough, a couple of guildmates are playing a 2v2 ranked match in StarCraft II. Real ID makes it easy to ask them to come along.

Rich Presence
See additional information on your friends list about what your Real ID friends are up to. Find out what your friends are doing and which games and modes they're playing in real time. Invite that buddy just sitting around in Dalaran to play some StarCraft II with you without fear of interrupting a raid or a heated Wintergrasp match.

Broadcasts
Broadcast a short status message for all of your Real ID friends to see, whether you want to issue a call-to-arms or let your friends know about an important change of plans. You can also read your friends' broadcast messages on the "Recent Broadcasts" feed on the Battle.net welcome page -- kind of a "corkboard" to leave messages to your friends when offline or busy.

Friend Once, See All Characters
When you agree to become Real ID friends with another player, both of you will automatically see all the other's characters on your friends list. You'll even see any characters your friend creates in future Blizzard games, carrying your social network forward and helping you stay connected with the people you enjoy playing with most.
[/blizzquote]


Ruby Sanctum
The Ruby Sanctum raid instance is also added to the game with this patch. The instance will not be available immediately and will most likely be unlocked after the deployment Patch 3.3.5 in all regions.
[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]


25-Man Loot Table

Important - The heroic loot table isn't known yet and the normal mode loot table might not be 100% complete.

lvlTypeSpecSlotItem
271PlateMelee.DPSFeetApocalypse's Advance
271PlateSpellFeetForeshadow Steps
271PlateTankingFeetTreads of Impending Resurrection
271MailPhys.DPSFeetReturning Footfalls
271MailSpellWaistSplit Shape Belt
271LeatherPhys.DPSWristUmbrage Armbands
271LeatherSpellWristPhaseshifter's Bracers
271ClothSpellWristBracers of Fiery Night
271CloakSpellBackCloak of Burning Dusk
271NeckMelee.DPSNeckPenumbra Pendant
271FingerPhys.DPSFingerSignet of Twilight
271FingerSpell MP5FingerRing of Phased Regeneration
271TrinketPhys.DPSTrinketSharpened Twilight Scale
271TrinketTankingTrinketPetrified Twilight Scale
271TrinketSpell DPSTrinketCharred Twilight Scale
271TrinketHealingTrinketGlowing Twilight Scale


10-Man Loot Table

Important - The heroic loot table isn't known yet and the normal mode loot table might not be 100% complete.

lvlTypeSpecSlotItem
258PlateMelee.DPSWristBracers of the Heir
258PlateTankingFeetScion's Treads
258PlateSpellWaistSurrogate Belt
258MailPhys.DPSShoulderTwilight Scale Shoulders
258LeatherPhys.DPSChestGloaming Sark
258LeatherSpellHandsChangeling Gloves
258ClothSpell HitWaistMisbegotten Belt
258CloakSpell MP5BackAbduction's Cover
258FingerMelee.DPSFingerZarithrian's Offering
258FingerSpell HitFingerSaviana's Tribute
258NeckPhys.DPSNeckBaltharus' Gift



Ruby Sanctum PTR - Halion Kill Video
EF BIE EI (EU - Dalvengyr) released a video of their kill of Halion on the PTRs.




Hallion Skills - All Phases

All Phases
Twilight Precision Halion's insight into movement between phases allows him to deal unexpected strikes, increasing his chance to hit by 5% and reducing the enemies' chance to dodge his attacks by 20%.


Phase 1 - Physical Realm

Phase 1 - Physical Realm
Meteor Strike Deals 75000 to 85000 Fire damage to enemies within 12 yards. The Meteor lands after a few seconds and shoots lines of fires throughout the area. In heroic mode, it also spawns a Living Inferno add. (Meteor Strike)
Flame Breath Inflicts 39375 to 50625 Fire damage to enemies in a cone in front of the caster. 45 yd range. 2 sec cast.
Fiery Combustion Engulfs an enemy target in flame, dealing 4000 Fire damage every 2 sec. Every time Fiery Combustion deals damage, it generates a Mark of Combustion charge on the target. When Combustion fades or is dispelled, it unleashes a patch of fire proportional in size to the number of charges present at the time. Either curse or magic removal may cleanse this affliction.
Combustion Deals 7000 to 9000 Fire damage and causes an additional 2000 Fire damage every 2 sec to targets that remain within the explosion area. 6 yards radius.


Phase 2 (75% Health) - Twilight Realm

Phase 2 (75% Health) - Twilight Realm
Dusk Shroud An aura of twilight energy emanates from the caster, causing nearby enemies to suffer 6000 Shadow damage every 2 sec. Affects all player in the Twilight Realm.
Twilight Cutter Fires a beam of concentrated twilight energy, dealing massive Shadow damage to any enemies that make contact with it. The Twilight Cutter beam is created by the two spheres rotating around the area during the Twilight Realm Phase. The beam lasts 10 seconds and appears every 30 seconds.
Dark Breath Inflicts 39375 to 50625 Shadow damage to enemies in a cone in front of the caster. 45 yds. 2 sec cast
Soul Consumption Engulfs an enemy target in dark energy, dealing 4000 Shadow damage every 2 sec. Every time Soul Consumption deals damage, it generates a Mark of Consumption charge on the target. When Consumption fades or is dispelled, it unleashes a dark explosion proportional to the number of charges present at the time. Either curse or magic removal may cleanse this affliction.
Consumption Deals 8750 to 11250 Shadow damage every second to targets within 6 yards.


Phase 3 (50% Health) - Corporeality

Phase 3 (50% Health) - Corporeality
Corporeality In the last phase of the fight, Halion opens portals to the Physical and Twilight realms and the raid has to split to fight him in both phases. He starts with 50% Corporeality, the % goes up and down depending on how much damage Halion takes in both realms, if you deal a lot of damage in the physical realm he will start dealing and taking less damage in the Twilight realm, and vice versa.

The goal in this last phase of the fight is to balance the amount of DPS in both realms to make sure the Corporeality % stays between 40 and 60%.



Instance Screenshots









World Map and Loading Screen



Ruby Sanctum Questline
A couple of quests will be added to the game to introduce the Ruby Sanctum. If you do not know who are the dragons mentioned in the quest descriptions, you might want to check the Dargonax / Sinestra articles on WoWWiki.

Quest - Trouble at Wyrmrest
Objective - Speak with Krasus at Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight.
Description
My old friend Krasus sends word of dire happenings at Wyrmrest, in Dragonblight. His missive was brief, but it seems that there has been some sort of attack on the Ruby Sanctum beneath the Temple.

Pressing business here in Dalaran keeps me from attending to the matter personally, but I have heard word of your exploits in the Lich King's Citadel and you are doubtless up to the task -- perhaps you could assist Krasus in my stead?

Quest - Assault on the Sanctum
Objective - Investigate the Ruby Sanctum beneath Wyrmrest Temple.
Description
, something terrible has transpired within the Ruby Sanctum beneath the Temple. The entry to the Sanctum is in ruins, and its guardians violently slain. We sent scouts to investigate, but they have not returned. I cannot help but fear the worst.

Enter the Ruby Sanctum and discover what has befallen the home of my flight. Once we have more information, we can plan our next steps accordingly.

Quest - The Twilight Destroyer
Objective - Defeat Halion and repel the invasion of the Ruby Sanctum.
Rewards - Emblem of Frost x 5
Description
This was no reckless attack, but rather a carefully orchestrated strike against the heart of the Red Dragonflight. Zarithrian, on the bluff over there, is overseeing the assault, but the true leader of this force is a brash and powerful Twilight dragon named Halion. Not since Dargonax has a full-grown spawn of Sinestra's twisted experiments been seen.

Slay him, , and then when the invasion has been fully repelled, report to Krasus regarding all you have seen here.


Transcripts
Last but not least, here is a transcript of the dialogue with Xerestrasza of the Red Dragonflight.

  • RS_Xerestrasza_Yell01.wav - Help! I am trapped within this tree! I require aid!
  • RS_Xerestrasza_Yell02.wav - Thank you! I could have not held out for much longer. A terrible thing has happened here.
  • RS_Xerestrasza_Say01.wav - We believed that the Sanctum was well fortified, but we were not prepareted for the nature of this assault.
  • RS_Xerestrasza_Say02.wav - The Black Dragonkin materialized from thin air, and set upon us before we could react.
  • RS_Xerestrasza_Say03.wav - We did not stand a chance. As my brethren perished around me, I managed to retreat here and bar the entrance.
  • RS_Xerestrasza_Say04.wav - They slaughtered us with cold efficiency, but the true focus of their interest seemed to be the eggs kept here in the sanctum.
  • RS_Xerestrasza_Say05.wav - The commander of the forces on the ground here is a cruel brute named Zarithrian. But I fear there are greater powers at work.
  • RS_Xerestrasza_Say06.wav - In their initial assault I caught a glimpse of their true leader, a fearsome full-grown Twilight Dragon.
  • RS_Xerestrasza_Say07.wav - I know not the extent of their plans heroes, but I know this: they cannot be allowed to succeed!

Halion also has a couple of interesting lines.

  • RS_Halion_Aggro01.wav - Your world teeters on the brink of annihilation. You will all bear witness to the coming of a new age of destruction!
  • RS_Halion_Beserk01.wav - Not good enough!
  • RS_Halion_Death01.wav - Relish this victory mortals, for it will be your last. This world will burn with the Master's return!
  • RS_Halion_Phase2.wav - You will find only suffering within the realm of Twilight. Enter if you dare.
  • RS_Halion_Phase3.wav - I am the light AND the darkness! Cower mortals before the Herald of Deathwing!
  • RS_Halion_Slay01.wav - Another hero falls.
  • RS_Halion_Slay02.wav - Ha Ha Ha!
  • RS_Halion_Spawn01.wav - Meddlesome insects, you're too late! The Ruby Sanctum is lost.
  • RS_Halion_Special01.wav - The heavens burn!
  • RS_Halion_Special02.wav - Beware the shadow!



Official Patch Notes
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft Client Patch 3.3.5

The latest test realm patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patch...atchnotes.html

The latest patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/

Assault on the Ruby Sanctum
For ages the red dragonflight and its noble matriarch, Alexstrasza the Life-Binder, have dedicated themselves to preserving all life on Azeroth. Recently, the very heart of this virtuous dragonflight has come under threat.

An eerie silence has settled over the Ruby Sanctum, the red dragonflight's sacred lair within the Chamber of the Aspects. This troubling development has led to fears that the sanctum, home to Azeroth's largest clutch of red dragon eggs, has been breached by an unknown, sinister force. If these claims are true and immediate action is not taken, the benevolent red dragonflight might be crippled forever.

Real ID: A New Way to Connect With Your Friends on Battle.net
One of our goals for the new Battle.net is to create the framework for an online gaming experience that is even more accessible, more engaging, and more entertaining than the previous Battle.net. The newly released Real ID feature, available to World of Warcraft players as part of patch 3.3.5, is an integral part of this effort, providing you with advanced ways for forming and maintaining meaningful relationships with your friends on the service.

Real ID is a completely voluntary and optional level of identity that keeps players connected across all of Battle.net. When you and a friend mutually agree to become Real ID friends, you'll have access to a number of additional features that will enrich your social gaming experience in new and exciting ways. Go here for more details.

General
  • The Ruby Sanctum, an all-new 10- and 25-player raid dungeon featuring normal and Heroic difficulties, has been added! Players will find the dungeon entrance below Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight. Please note due to the way this patch is being applied in all regions, this dungeon will not immediately be available in North America. Stay tuned to our General Discussion forum for an official announcement on the opening of the Ruby Sanctum.
  • The functionality of the Vote Kick feature in the Dungeon Finder will now behave differently according to a player's history with the system. Players using the Dungeon Finder who rarely vote to kick players from a group, or rarely abandon groups before a dungeon is complete, will find that the Vote Kick option will have no cooldown. For players who frequently abandon groups or vote to kick other players, the Vote Kick option will be kept on a cooldown. This functionality will adjust itself as a player's behavior while using the Dungeon Finder changes.

User Interface
Chat Frame
  • Players can now right-click on any chat type (Whisper, Trade, General, Party, Raid, etc.) and choose to move conversation types into separate windows. This will move that chat type to a separate tab in the Chat frame which can be undocked and moved anywhere on the screen.
    • Using the Move to Whisper Window option on a Whisper will place the conversation with that player in a separate tab.
    • Any time a conversation with another player is put into its own tab, the tab will glow when a new message is received.
  • Hovering over the Chat Frame and using the mouse wheel will allow players to scroll through chat text.
  • Players can select Classic Mode under Interface Options to keep the Chat Frame functionality closer to what it was prior to patch 3.3.5.
  • The Simple Chat User Interface option has been removed.

Friends List
  • A new icon has been added to the top left of the Chat Frame which will open up the Friends list.
  • In addition to its current functionality, the Friends List will now allow players to add Battle.net accounts (Real ID). Players will have to confirm that they are friends in order for a Real ID to be added. Once Real ID friends, players can communicate cross-game, cross-faction and cross-realm.
  • A new Pending tab has been added where players can accept or decline a Real ID friend request, or select the Report Spam or Block Communications buttons.
  • Players can now select from three statuses which will be visible to their friends: Available, Away and Busy.
  • A Broadcast window has been added to the top of the frame. Players can use this to broadcast a message to all of their Real ID friends online. This message will also be displayed under the broadcaster's Real ID information in each friend's list.

For additional notes on Lua and XML changes please visit the UI & Macros forum.

AVR Mod Broken in 3.3.5
[blizzquote author=Bashiok source=http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?sid=1&topicId=25002150557&pageNo=1#0]This is a notice that we’re making changes in 3.3.5 in attempts to break the ability for the AVR (Augmented Virtual Reality) mod to continue functioning. For those unaware, this mod allows players to draw in the 3D space of the game world, which can then be shared with others who are also using the mod. In some cases this manifests itself through drawing/tagging/defacing the game world, but more popularly is used to give visual guides for dungeon and raid encounters.

We’re making this change for two reasons. The invasive nature of a mod altering and/or interacting with the game world (virtually or directly) is not intended and not something we will allow. World of Warcraft UI addons are never intended to interact with the game world itself. This is mirrored in our stance and restriction of model and texture alterations. The second reason is that it removes too much player reaction and decision-making while facing dungeon and raid encounters. While some other mods also work to this end, we find that AVR and the act of visualizing strategy within the game world simply goes beyond what we’re willing to allow.

The change we’re making in attempts to break the functionality is light in its touch and approach. When blocking any functionality we run the risk of affecting other mods, but we’ve targeted the changes as carefully as possible. If we find that the AVR mod (or any mod attempting to replicate its functions) are usable after 3.3.5 we will take further, more drastic steps. [/blizzquote]

If you do not remember what AVR is, here is a small reminder.





Cataclysm Closed Beta test super soon?
An interesting blue post appeared on the taiwanese forums. It looks like the deadline to claim the beta invitations won through the official contest is June 23rd. As a reminder, the NDA will lift as soon as the closed beta starts ... I want to believe.
[blizzquote author=Blizzard source=http://forum.wowtaiwan.com.tw/twow_forums_page3.asp?topic_id=112686&forum_id=2&GoPage=49&lis=]感謝大家的熱情支持與耐心等候!

Beta測試將在近期內展開。(多近期?板主不能透露確切日期,只能說......真的很快就要到了!)當4.0 Beta 開通時,必須在美國客戶端程式外,另外下載beta 程式。玩家如果沒有美國客戶端程式,則必須先下載至魔獸世界:巫妖王之怒的美版程式。


另外板主要提醒大家,還有許多玩家沒有將你的帳號資料寄到社群信箱來,請不要讓自己的權益睡著囉!請在6/23(三)之前將你的魔獸帳號、論壇暱稱、以及Battle.net帳號等資訊寄來,否則你的名額我們就會釋出給其他的玩家機會囉! [/blizzquote]


This is an approximate translation of the post. (Thank you Google!)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Thank you for your support and patience!

Beta testing will commence in the near future. (How soon? I can not disclose the exact date, I can only say ...... really very soon!) When 4.0 Beta launch, you will need an US client to connect to the beta servers. Players without the US client, you must first download the US version of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.

I would also like to remind you that there are many players who did not send their contact information to confirm their beta invitation. Please submit your information before June 23rd or your Beta invitation will be given to another player.
by Published on 2010-06-20 11:16 PM

Update - Added the MMO Report and Dark Legacy Comic.

Midsummer Festival - Lord Ahune Loot Table
The Midsummer Festival is here and players can now fight Lord Ahune for super easy epics, because we all like super easy epics. You will be teleported to the instance instantly, you then get to kill Lord Ahune once. You will get an epic item from his chest (see the loot table) and all the members of the group will be rewarded with 2 x Emblem of Frost from the Satchel of Chilled Goods.

Important - You only get the bag with the 2 x Emblem of Frost from the Satchet of Chilled Goods once a day, but you can kill the boss as many times as you want if you want to farm the chest.
Important #2 - The chest only drops cloaks, the bag has a chance to drop rare loot like the Frostscythe and the companion pets.

Lord Ahune Loot Table

lvlTypeSpecSlotItem
232StaffSpellTwo-HandFrostscythe of Lord Ahune
232CloakTankingCloakIcebound Cloak
232CloakMelee.DPSCloakThe Frost Lord's Battle Shroud
232CloakPhys.DPSCloakThe Frost Lord's War Cloak
232CloakSpellCloakShroud of Winter's Chill
232CloakSpellCloakCloak of the Frigid Winds


This year's pet is the Ice Chip (Frigid Frostling).


This is the first time players get a chance to use the Looking for Dungeon system on a holiday boss. All you have to do to fight Ahune is select the boss from the drop down menu and wait for a group.



The MMO Report
I skipped last week's episode because of a bug, the MMO Report report is back!



Comics
Dark Legacy Comic #243 is out!

by Published on 2010-06-19 08:25 PM

Update - So huh we got wtfpwned by another bug and went down for 2 hours. The menu is gone for a few hours. The good news is, site will be faster now that the bug is out of the way!

Cataclysm Screenshots of the Day
The Screenshot of the Day Gallery has been updated with 3 more screenshots of Cataclysm.




Blue posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Grim Batol "Vehicle" combat
Just to clarify, it's not vehicle combat at the beginning of the dungeon. The forces of the Twilight's Hammer within Grim Batol are massive, so you'll start the dungeon with a bombing run through the halls to thin their ranks. It'll be a set flight path and will not involve aerial combat. This is only to get things started. This dungeon is not vehicle-driven at all. (Source)

Lack of class changes in Patch 3.3.5
Our systems team is hard at work tweaking classes, updating talent trees, and restructuring the way in which new spells and abilities are learned during the leveling process (given that spells and abilities will scale with level rather than have multiple ranks). These changes are planned to coincide with a future patch which will implement the framework for Cataclysm. No major tweaking is planned to take place beforehand unless serious class gameplay issues arise. (Source)

Leveling Curve in Cataclysm
As you mentioned, the leveling curve all the way from 1-70 was adjusted in the past. We feel those changes coupled with heirloom experience bonuses make for a reasonable leveling experience up to 70. Since we're making major changes to the 1-60 Azeroth zones in Cataclysm, it isn't likely we'll be making further adjustments to the leveling curve there. The goal is to encourage new and old players alike to try out a new race or class and experience all of the new content and environment changes in the "old world."

As it is, Cataclysm will bring about a much better quest flow, both in terms of the way quests are given in individual zones, as well as the way in which players will be directed from zone to zone. It will be completely reasonable in Cataclysm to level from 1-60 in Azeroth solely on Kalimdor, or solely on Eastern Kingdoms. In general, there will be much less need to jump from continent to continent because you hit dry spots while questing and need to find somewhere else to go in order to find level-appropriate quests. The goal is to make sure players are given the choice to go to the zones they want to while leveling, rather than force them to the other end of the world for a level or two.

Whether or not any changes are going to be made to the leveling curve in Northrend, or additional changes made to leveling in Outland, remains to be seen. We do want to ensure that the leveling experience from 1-85 isn't too daunting. That is a lot of levels after all. Once we have the Cataclysm leveling zones from 1-60 and 78-85 fleshed out, we'll more closely evaluate the full leveling experience during our beta test. (Source)
by Published on 2010-06-18 11:21 PM

Cataclysm Preview - Grim Batol
[blizzquote author=Blizzard source=http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/cataclysm/features/grimbatol.html]
During a bloody civil war among the three dwarven factions of Ironforge, the Bronzebeards ousted the Wildhammer and the Dark Iron clans from the ancient corridors of the mountain city. In the wake of the defeat, the Wildhammers ventured north and forged a new home, Grim Batol, in the mountains of what is now the Twilight Highlands. However, although they worked tirelessly to create a better future for themselves, the Dark Irons, who established the city of Thaurissan in the Redridge Mountains, could not move beyond the memory of their defeat. Consumed by the desire for revenge and desperate to control the entire dwarven region of Khaz Modan, the Dark Irons led a two-pronged assault on the Bronzebeards in Ironforge and the Wildhammers in Grim Batol. Despite their past differences, these two embattled rivals joined forces and drove the Dark Irons out of Khaz Modan, decimating the armies of the treacherous clan's sorcerer-thane, Thaurissan. Yet victory carried grave consequences. Although Thaurissan's wife and queen, Modgud, was slain during the attack on Grim Batol, her death tainted the mountain fortress. While the Bronzebeards rebuilt their glorious city of Ironforge, the Wildhammers felt forever changed by the horrors they witnessed at Grim Batol. They fled their cursed home and never returned.

The abandoned city's defiled corridors later became home to a number of nefarious plots. When the Demon Soul was discovered by the Dragonmaw clan and used to force Alexstrasza's drakes to serve the Horde, Grim Batol acted as the red Dragon Aspect's torturous prison. The Dragonmaw held Grim Batol through the Second War, before they were driven out by Deathwing, who planned to steal Alexstrasza's eggs. Yet as Deathwing carried out his plan, the Demon Soul was destroyed, and the powers locked within were returned to Alexstrasza, Ysera, Nozdormu, and Malygos. Deathwing narrowly escaped an assault by the four re-empowered Dragon Aspects, although he did not leave empty-handed; in his grasp were the eggs of Alexstrasza. For their vile transgressions, the fleeing Dragonmaw were shown no mercy, and the struggle came to a quick end. Members of the red dragonflight were left behind to keep watch over Grim Batol, and for years they successfully guarded its desolate halls from further intrusion... until the arrival of the Twilight's Hammer, a sinister cult who worshipped Azeroth's malefic Old Gods.

The cult, seduced by Deathwing's thirst for absolute domination over Azeroth, has claimed the Twilight Highlands as its base of operations. The black dragonflight has driven off the agents of the red dragonflight who guarded Grim Batol so that it may be used as a fortress for training Deathwing's minions. The halls of Grim Batol run so deep into the highlands that it is unknown to what twisted end the Twilight's Hammer is using this doomed dwarven marvel.

Called to action by the red dragonflight in the Twilight Highlands, players will be charged with putting a decisive end to the foul machinations developing within the level-85, 5-player dungeon of Grim Batol. The ferocity of the enemies within should not be underestimated, and with the assistance of brave Red Drakes and a handful of explosives, players can thin the ranks of Grim Batol's occupiers through bombing flights into the ruined city's corridors. Regardless of how successful these attacks might be, General Umbris will not allow his army to fall so quickly. In the end, adventurers will be left to their own devices, venturing into the darkest recesses of the dwarven fortress, where a nightmarish enemy is taking shape. Will you be able to uncover Grim Batol's secrets and emerge unscathed, or will your destiny be sealed within this tortured city, like so many brave heroes before you?[/blizzquote]



by Published on 2010-06-18 07:49 AM

Screenshot of the Day - Halls of Origination
The Screenshot of the Day Gallery has been updated with a screenshot of the Halls of Origination's floor.



Blue posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

The Bridge in Redridge Mountains
No spoilers, but there is no way we could request Redridge without the bridge playing a prominent role. (Source)

Honor/Badges Cap
We don't limit honor per week, but we do cap it. In the same way we won't limit the hero points per week that you can earn from heroic dungeons. We do limit the arena points you can gain per week (called conquest points in Cataclysm since you can earn them from rated BGs) as we limit the number of valor points -- the Frost equivalent that you earn from raids. In short, the upper tier is harder to earn and more prestigious to own, but once the tier advances you can quickly catch up to the first tier while the second one becomes the new high-end goal.

Technically the Frost badges are limited per week right now, it's just that the cap is set to max number possible. In Cataclysm, the cap will be lower than the max number possible so you have some decisions about how to earn those points rather than having to do everything.

Lower tier -- no cap per time, but an overall cap. In LK: Honor (PvP) and Triumph (PvE). In Cataclysm: Honor (PvP) and Heroism (PvE).
Upper tier -- cap per time. In LK: Arena points (PvP) and Frost (PvE). In Cataclysm: Conquest (PvP) and Valor (PvE). (Source)

Amount of gear in 10/25-Player raids
Me: "We're going to try instead offering more rewards (which includes loot) in the 25s, especially for the heroic modes."

The heroic 25 will drop more armor, weapons and tier-piece tokens per player than the heroic 10. The normal 25 will drop more badges per player than the normal 10, and it might drop more armor and weapons as well. Legendaries would most likely be both 10 and 25. We don't want a player to have to say "I prefer running 10s, but now I feel like I have to run 25s to get a specific item." If they say "I prefer running 10s, but now I feel like I have to run 25s to gear up faster," well, tough. (Source)

[...] Imagine those ratios were reversed and a 10 dropped 1.2 items per raid (1 per 8.3 players) and a 25 dropped 5 per raid (1 per 5 players). Now the 25 is more efficient. It's more complicated than that because you might have more competition for a powerful drop in 25s, while you might shard more loot in 10s because the target class / spec isn't present. (Source)

Cataclysm Legendary
I don't know the details because we probably won't do a legendary for the first tier, but we would definitely not want a structure such that a 25 guild felt like the fastest way to finish the item was to run multiple 10s. If the 25s could finish it first, that would be fine. The 10s would still be able to get the item, which is not possible today. (Source)

Benefits of 25-Player raids
Your assumption here is that there is some magic tipping point at which a 10 dude wouldn't feel compelled to run a 25 and a 25 dude wouldn't feel stupid for not running a 10. That number may in fact exist, but it may be very hard to hit. I will tell you that we had to go to a whole tier of gear to make the heroics feel like they were worth doing.

The stereotypical hardcore 25 guild (and I used "stereotypical" specifically because I'm not sure how meaningful it is to try and talk about a typical guild) is very concerned with efficiency. They want to get the final boss killed as quickly as possible and gear up everyone quickly. They feel a sense of accomplishment in doing things quickly. Thus we hope the benefit of gearing up more quickly by doing 25s is enough to keep them doing 25s. (Source)

10-Player Heroic Gear = 25-Player Heroic Gear
Yes. The exact same loot tables, but more rolls on those tables for the larger raids, particularly 25 heroic. (Source)

Journey through all the raid tiers in TBC
The problem is that journey was not made by many players (and I'm talking about interested players, not those with no interest in raiding). For everyone who progressed through all of those tiers, a huge percentage of players dropped out along the way, possibly just from the time commitment before they finally got to see the exciting new stuff that everyone was talking about. It might have worked okay for very tight-knit guilds with very stable rosters, but it was a hassle for other guilds who had to go do farming runs just to gear up one or two new players or alts before they could get back into progression. Again, it was more content to have to go back and do old zones, but I'm not sure it was fun content.

We want raiding players, in general, to be able to see the final content. If Icecrown was being used by 10% or less of the raiding population then not only is it pretty hard to justify all of the production time it takes to make a raid, but it also feels to players who don't finish the journey like they don't get to see the climax of the story. Game designers, at least in this day and age, actually want players to finish their games, not drop out somewhere along the way when things get too tedious and difficult. (If you like difficult, that's what heroic modes are for. If you like tedious, well I guess try to get the Insane in the Membrane achievement.) (Source)

Skill vs. Gear
If you want to know a little secret, part of the reason we can't use gear as a barrier to entry any longer is because the skill of the raiding population has grown so dramatically. The guilds who got the first kills in Icecrown probably could have done it with gear from a couple of tiers prior (with the possible exception of heroic LK). Skill trumps an enormous amount of power from gear. (Source)

Raid content accessibility
You're asking for us to spend an inordinate amount of our development time on a very small portion of our player base. That might work for an instance as easy to develop as Molten Core. It won't work for Ulduar. Making raids only for the top 2% is hard to justify when we're sitting there looking at a long feature list trying to decide what features we want to do for Cataclysm and what has to wait. The equivalent would be saying "This is the Survival hunter expansion. We're going to spend a huge chunk of our development time on Survival hunters. If you don't play a hunter, sorry, but please buy our expansion anyway." Your strategy should actually be welcoming as many players as possible into raids -- that's what allows us to keep spending so much time and effort on them. (Source)

Keeping old content alive and challenging
I'm not sure you feel this way, but typically the response is "I walked uphill in the snow, so they should have to as well." You got to the content first. You were showing off your tier set and Shadowmourne in Dalaran before those others guys. Why does it matter if they will eventually be able to catch up to you (especially since you'll pull ahead again the second a new raid is available)? The alternative is saying that those players should want to run through every raid tier before they can hit the new stuff, but I can tell you that whether or not they want to (and many don't) the facts suggest that they never finish and give up on raiding.

We're not really trying to keep Black Temple or Sunwell alive at this point, and by the same token, we're okay if Naxx has basically been reduced to achievements or weekly raid quests. It had its time in the sun. We don't need to prop it up forever. (Source)

Concept Art
The official Concept Art Gallery has been updated with two new pieces.


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