World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2013-03-15 08:28 AM

Blizzard at PAX East, D3 Boss Mechanics, Legendary Item Drop Rates, Monster Affixes, Poll: What's Your Preferred Format for Dev Interviews

Isle of Thunder US - Stage 2 Unlocked

Patch 5.2 Dev Interviews
Let's take a look at the recent Twizzcast interview with Ghostcrawler, where they managed to cover a lot in 30 minutes.

Alt Characters and Catching Up
  • The Dragon Soul patch went on for a longer time, and Raid Finder made it easier to gear alts than was previously possible.
  • In Mists of Pandaria, it isn't as easy to gear alts because there is a lot more for players to do. Many of the alts were created when there wasn't much to do in game.
  • Gearing alts will be something to do when you are done with your main or somehow run out of things to do. Some of the changes in Patch 5.2 were made to make this a little easier. (More Elder Charms, higher LFR drop rates, new rep gear for gold, etc)
  • LFR is a step of the gearing up process for the first tier of content, as it fits between heroic dungeons and normal raids. However, after the first tier, gear from LFR may not be a significant upgrade from Normal or Heroic difficulty gear at all.
  • People would stop playing weeks or months before a new raid because they didn't want to spend time progressing on content that would be outdated as soon as there was a patch. Making catching up too easy reduced the motivation to deal with challenging content.
  • Players that are coming back to the game shouldn't be able to jump right in to end game content with players that have been playing for several months, as some catch up will be required.

Raid, Item, and Class Balance
  • Trinkets are balanced with simulation testing and in game testing, followed by testing on the PTR, and then finally data from live realms.
  • Some players overreact when they see numbers like a 25% reduction to one spell that only makes up 10% of their damage overall. This ends up in a few percentage adjustment to a class's DPS.
  • When balancing classes, there is a lot of in house simulation that looks at DPS on target dummies, AoE situations, burst situations, and other situations.
  • The PTR data is also taken in to account, but it is limited in its usefulness. Usually players on the PTR are just there to play around or are top players practicing the new raids, not average players. There is a lot more useful data once a patch has gone live.
  • Classes shouldn't get an ability that will guarantee them a raid spot because of how good it is.
  • The Rogue population has been dropping for a long time, so Smoke Bomb was added to give them some group utility.
  • The more cooldowns that are added, the harder it is to create encounters that will be challenging, as you can just use a lot of cooldowns on it.
  • There were too many tank and spank style encounters in the past, leading to players being bored. Now Blizzard is trying to ensure there is at least one thing for everyone in the raid to think about during the encounter, rather than just focusing on the boss as a target dummy.
  • The Sealed Tome of the Lost Legion isn't super rare, so most Warlocks that want to start the quest will be able to. One idea that was brought up is increasing the drop rate over time so that everyone can get it. Adding green fire was one of the few ways to increase player prestige without increasing player power.

Low Population Realms
  • Low population realms aren't fun. WoW is designed to be played with friends!
  • Blizzard is investigating making it easier to move all of your characters to a new realm.
  • There aren't any easy solutions, especially when players hear that Mal'ganis has a good raiding community or Tichondrius has a good PvP community. This results in players transferring or creating characters on high population realms, making popular realms grow faster, while lower population realms die faster.
  • Merging or shutting down realms isn't possible because many players like their realm, have a character name they like, and don't want to be forced out or to change their name.

  • On PvP: "We have some pretty bold plans going forward".
  • Giving players new and different ways to kill each other may not be the best way to advance PvP. There is some room to polish the systems that already exist, especially some of the battlegrounds that players aren't enjoying.
  • One of the things being considering is packaging the big battlegrounds like Alterac Valley and Isle of Conquest in with Wintergrasp and Tol Barad and having a new large scale battleground event. (This wasn't really clear, listen to 25:10 to hear the answer)
  • The PvP and PvE daily quest choice was new tech added to give players a choice of the playstyle they wanted to take part in that day, rather than feeling that both styles were mandatory.

  • Patch 5.3 will be a smaller patch, similar to Patch 5.1. It will happen "sooner than players are expecting" and will be followed by Patch 5.4, another larger patch with a raid.
  • The team and systems are finally set up to where Blizzard can really deliver content faster.
  • Proving Grounds is still being worked on as place to safely learn to tank and heal without ruining the experience of other players. It may not be ready for Patch 5.3 or Patch 5.4, but it is still being actively worked on and is not a "it would be nice to do someday" feature.
  • Players expect change in a game, especially to flawed systems, otherwise they become burned out or bored. New expansions should have roughly 30% new stuff, 30% old stuff, and 30% old stuff that has been evolved a little bit.

Throne of Thunder Heroic Progression
Another day of Heroic difficulty raids and Blood Legion is still on top with 8 bosses down, followed by Method with 8 down, and Exodus with 7 down. DREAM Paragon managed to kill 4 bosses since yesterday, putting them at 8 bosses down.

You can keep up with the kills on Manaflask, our forum thread, and WowProgress.

Automatic Flight Path Discovery Removed
One of the smaller changes in Patch 5.2 was the removal of automatic flight path discovery.

Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: March 14
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
  • Monk
    • Chi Wave should now correctly bounce between targets that are in range.


Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • The time for players to decide if they want to use a bonus roll has been increased to 3 minutes.


  • Thunderforges on the Isle of Thunder can now also function as a normal anvil and forge.
  • Archeology
    • Mantid archeology items should now correctly award a Mantid Amber Sliver when turned in.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
One Death Knight Per Server Limit
Any idea when we might see this lifted? I've seen on MMO-champ a few times where it's been stated this limitation is outdated and no longer needed. It was also said that they likely will remove it, I'm just wondering if there is any sort of time frame for this planned at all?

I'd really enjoy rolling another Death Knight on my home server, on the Horde side, just for the benefit of heirloom gear and to experience the horde storylines and what not, hence the inquiry.

Honestly, there's no update I can provide on when this will be lifted, but we're aware of the feedback. It may be a possibility for the future though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Larger Backpack Request
I think above all the player base should have a quest to receive a larger backpack. I understand new players start with a 16 slot, and that's a godly amount of space at level 10. After 8 years, I've seen classes come and go, and content in game come and go. I just think that with 8 years of playing, this might have been addressed. Just curios as to why simple quests like this we're never introduced.
We'd love to be able to upgrade it too, but it's not as simple as upgrading it. It was coded into the system early in the development of World of Warcraft and isn't as easy as writing up some new lines of code. In addition, we're not sure that simply adding a larger backpack is the solution people really are looking for. You'll get a few more slots, but you'll most likely fill those relatively quickly.

We've made some progress in regard to storage such as being able to learn pets and mounts etc. vs. having to carry them with you all of the time. We have Void Storage now as well as changed over some currencies (over time) from physical objects to something that gets tallied in your character pane; little quality of life increases such as those over time. The developers continue to do their best to keep storage in mind when designing new content.

But, if you're anything like me, you probably have a difficult time letting go of items that are either sentimental in nature or items that you "might need later... maybe". I'm with you, but in that case, I try to "spring clean" now and then just to go through what I have and figure out what I truly don't need and can get rid of.

As always though, we're open to constructive feedback and discussion. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Raid Finder Difficulty Feedback
I genuinely feel sorry for people who can't commit to a raiding guild and are left with LFR as their raiding experience.
As long as people that are not you are having fun with what they do, and you are having fun with what you do...

Also, keep in mind that right now the average player on Raid Finder is most likely more skilled/experienced than those that will visit the place in, say, 2 months. So perhaps things that now you can ignore because of overgeared/experienced players will pose a challenge to the folks doing LFR with LFR gear from the previous tier. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.2 and PvP Gear
Thanks Nakatoir, and now that I'm back from an unfortunate ban, I'd like to ask you what your opinion is on the stat difference between the s13 Tyrannical gear and the 5.3 PvE gear. While you miss out on PvP stats, the ilvl from the PvE gear is so much higher that it might outweight PvP gear for certain classes. What do you think about this?
Sadly I cannot give much of a comment on the difference in stats as the 5.3 gear is yet to be released. I can say however that we want to try and make sure that going into all future patches, including this one, that gear rewarded through PvP remains the best for PvP purposes. We understand that the community is concerned with PvE gear returning in PvP and we will do our best to prevent this.

As for the 5.2 gear difference, I am going to assume that you are concerned with Heroic gear. As you can see on these Hunter sets, while the main stats are lower, the survivability and damage increases caused by the PvP stats compensate for this, and then some. The equivalent budget given to these PvP stats would be approximately 40 Ilvl's, which is quite a lot.

I totally misstyped me there, thank an all-nighter for that. I meant 5.2 Heroic PvE gear. Especially openers from Rogue teams (mass stealth) might totally gib the enemy teams within the first few seconds. We will see how it goes, I guess.
No biggie, I assumed you did and that is why I mentioned 5.2 in the post.

But just to quell some of your concerns in the area of damage, this is something that we are keeping an eye on and will make changes as they are necessary. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Marvel Heroes Beta Key Giveaway
Curse has Marvel Heroes beta keys to give away! The first big beta weekend is taking on Saturday, March 16th from 10 AM to 6 PM PDT, and Sunday, March 17th from 6 AM to 2 PM PDT. You can read more about the Marvel Heroes MMORPG here.

Beta keys are being given away to Curse Premium members on Thursday and Friday, and then to everyone on Saturday starting at midnight.

Comics - Dark Legacy Comics #380
DLC #380 has been released.

by Published on 2013-03-14 06:47 AM

Blizzard at PAX East, D3 Boss Mechanics, Legendary Item Drop Rates, Monster Affixes, Poll: What's Your Preferred Format for Dev Interviews

Isle of Thunder US - Stage 2 Unlocked

Patch 5.2 Dev Interviews
Let's take a look at one of the dev interviews today, Ghostcrawler speaking with the Call To Auction.

  • There are so many professions that it is hard to give all of them attention that they deserve. Some ideas that were thrown around are making it easier to switch professions, keeping old recipes if you drop and learn a profession again, and allowing characters to learn more than two professions.
  • Managing the WoW economy is not a trivial task, as it needs to be relatively easy for players to keep up with basic necessities like repair bills, but at the same time still adding cool things to spend gold on like the Grand Expedition Yak or BMAH items that remove gold from the game.
  • Patch 5.3 or 5.4 may add catch up mechanisms to Herbalism and Mining, allowing characters to farm nodes in Pandaria for yields that depend on your skill level.
  • Cross-realm Auction Houses are being explored, especially merging the auction house or player trading between groups of lower population and faction imbalanced realms. This would not be region wide, but balanced like cross-realm zones are.
  • There aren't any current plans to add more tradable pets from the Blizzard Store.
  • Sunsong Ranch may not see any more significant updates, but similar features will be explored in the future.
  • Buy orders for more expensive items may be a possibility in the future.
  • Items that players always buy and never bid on, like flasks, could have longer listing times in the future.
  • A longer term feature would be to separate the auction house system from the mail, as it doesn't fit the fantasy of the game as well as it could.
  • Another long term feature would be a UI to allow bulk milling or prospecting.

Throne of Thunder Heroic Progression
Another day of Heroic difficulty raids and Blood Legion is on top with 6 bosses down, followed by Exodus, Method, and Envy. The 10 player guilds aren't having as much luck, with DREAM Paragon and Moonz having four bosses down, followed by Gag Reflex with three down.

You can keep up with the kills on Manaflask, our forum thread, and WowProgress.

Oondasta and Nalak Hotfixes
It seems lower population realms may have a chance to kill Oondasta after all! Keep in mind that this is just a possibility and not an announcement.

Scenario and Brawler's Guild Updates
Dave Kosak shared some more possibilities of what we might see in the future with the Brawler's Guild and scenarios.

PvP Season 13 Begins
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
PvP Season 13 for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria has begun! Team and Personal Ratings have been reset and players can once again take to the Arenas and Rated Battlegrounds to test their mettle.

The bid for PvP supremacy continues. Do you have what it takes to climb to the top of the leaderboards?

Real Proc Per Minute (RPPM) Trinket Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We added a bit of cheating in the player’s favor to avoid long streaks of bad luck. This change is now live.

Longer explanation:
Traditionally, trinkets and similar proc effects in the game had high proc chances with an internal cooldown (ICD). This made the procs random in theory, but really pretty predictable. You would know that a trinket would proc on the pull and then reliably every 45 sec (or whatever the ICD was).

For 5.2, we made a change to trinkets to make them less predictable and less boring with the RPPM system. Sometimes you can get lucky and get several back to back procs. This feels cool. Sometimes you can also be unlucky, and get long streaks when the trinket just refuses to proc. A trinket that is intended to proc every 1 minute could in theory go 8 minutes or more without activating.

Last night we hotfixed in a change for trinkets that use the RPPM system. Every time your trinket fails to proc, it increases the chance it will proc. Unlucky streaks will be more rare and extremely unlucky streaks should never happen. In addition, we increased the chance for these trinkets to proc on the pull. To top it off, we increased the proc rates of the Agility and Strength trinkets in Throne of Thunder by 10% and the Intellect and Spirit trinkets by 5%.

Painfully detailed explanation for theorycrafting:
As usual, you absolutely do not need to know or understand the following in order to use or best take advantage of these procs. This info is just for theorycrafters who want to understand the exact details of the system, so that they can model and simulate it better.

Calculate the proc frequency as normal. Based on that, you can figure out the expected average proc interval. We also now keep track of time since the last successful proc (this is different from the time since last chance to proc), capped at 1000 sec. Multiply the proc chance by MAX(1, 1+((TimeSinceLastSuccessfulProc/AverageProcInterval)-1.5)*3). For example, if a proc has an average proc interval of 45 sec, and it’s been 72 sec since your last successful proc, you’ll get a 1.3x multiplier to your proc chance. If you’ve been out of combat for a few min, and it’s been 5 min since your last successful proc, you’ll get a whopping 16.5x multiplier to your proc chance.

Unerring Vision of Lei-Shen now has 65% of the normal proc rate for Balance Druids, up from 50%.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Troves of the Thunder King Scenario Confusing
I know all the elite players here have figured it out, but I just ran the treasure room for the second time. This time I headed toward the door at the other end much quicker only to find it locked. How do I open it? No idea, so I run around looking. I even looted the big box in the middle that looked different than the others and it is still locked.
I spent my entire first run in the first room and came out with over 400g, ~24 parchments, around 15 motes of harmony, 3 Shan'ze stones, 15 Elder Charms, and a few greens.

Potentially not the most lucrative strategy, but really cleaning up that first room and then of course finding keys to open the chests at the end after time runs out worked pretty well.

I think a week lockout for a five minute run is excessive.
There's no lockout. You can run it for as many keys as you have, and you can find more than one key per week, although it is suitably rare.

Considering the whole idea is you're heading into a treasure room, and we want it to feel exciting that you're able to come out with a bunch of treasure, yeah of course we're not going to let you chain-run it and just get tons and tons of gold and tons and tons of items. We'd have to reduce the amount of treasure you can find considerably, which really undermines the entire fantasy of being in a treasure room.

The change in drop rate functions as an effective lockout. It's not exactly like other lockout mechanics, and there is a possibility of exception, but I think it's reasonable to consider it just like other lockouts. Once you've gotten one key, you would probably waste tremendous amounts of time if you set your sights on getting a second key each week.

Also, when you said you're not going to let people chain run it to get tons and tons and tons of items, you make it sound like that was what I suggested. My feeling is that the scenario is punishingly short to become familiar with on what is effectively a once a week basis FIVE MINUTE event.

For sure, and that's all reasonable. You can say "once a week" and be mostly correct, my intent was to correct a common misconception that it's literally 1 key per week. You can argue it's close enough, but my goal is accuracy in information.

What I would have done is allow a person to zone into the scenario, but then be able to take a "practice" option where you get no rewards. When Blizzard's people did internal testing on this stuff, I'm sure it felt like a lot more fun. They probably did not wait a week between each time they tested it out. I think it's extremely easy to forget how SHORT five minutes is and how LONG a week is in real time.
I think it's reasonable to expect a tutorial or practice run on everything in the game, because in general we're fairly experience-focused with everything we do. We tend to go away from punishing mechanics, we try to make things clear and concise, and we want the experience to be fun at every moment. That said, this is running into a room of free stuff to pick up, and even if you only open three of four chests, that's three or four chests of free stuff for 5 minutes of just running around. Obviously at the end of that you may be frustrated that you didn't do better, but I don't think that means we need to rush out and make a tutorial. It's ok that you didn't do well your first time. Next time you'll do better. It's free stuff. It's supposed to be high-tension, and everyone that goes in thinks they can do better next time. Letting people discover how something works is OK sometimes, not everything needs a tutorial, especially when it's a piece of content for level-capped characters that's essentially for fun and doesn't directly increase the power of your character.

The fun thing about soloing old instances is that you get to take your time and take in the atmosphere and the artwork. You notice a lot of things that you miss out when you were doing it with a group because in a group it's "gogogogo".

So what did you guys do with the game's very first "solo scenario"? You added a timer ...

But ... it's not supposed to be like soloing old instances. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Challenge Mode Accessibility
What about bring them to LFD where you can get valor points on full completion. (Even without Bronze completion, you will get loads Valor Points for that).
The developers don't have currently any plans to bring Challenge Modes to the Dungeon Finder tool. Also, the difficulty was specifically designed without PuGs in mind. It's very rare you'll be able to meet the level of coordination required on a random group (since it's likely you've never played with anyone else before).

Also, even if you only complete the daily quest for that Challenge Dungeon of the day, it remains as one of the best methods to cap your Valor Points for the week, even if you get just bronze. So it might be a good idea to keep visiting them if you manage to get a stable group going, even if at first it looks like you aren't improving much. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Poll: What is your Brawler's Guild Rank?
How far have you made it through the challenges in the Brawler's Guild? With new gear in 5.2, now might be a good time to take a look at the Brawler's Guild guide and give it another shot if you didn't finish!

by Published on 2013-03-13 05:59 AM

Patch 1.0.7a Now Live

Update: Blood Legion has reclaimed the top spot with 6/13 and Exodus is right behind them, also at 6/13.

Throne of Thunder Heroic Progression - Day 1
The first day of Heroic difficulty raids in the US is over and Exodus is on top with 4 bosses down. Blood Legion is next with 3, followed by Midwinter and Supermassive with 2. In the 10 player raid size, Rehabilitation Clinic has two bosses down, followed by almost 50 guilds with 1 boss down.

You can keep up with the kills on Manaflask, our forum thread, and WowProgress.

Blizzard at PAX East
Blizzard sent out an email to the press a few weeks ago about something new being at PAX East, and Rob Pardo dropped some more hints on Twitter today. You can see the last update he gave us on Titan here.

Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: March 12
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)


Pet Battles

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Our lead encounter designer offers their thoughts on feedback regarding raid boss hotfixes.
  • Throne of Thunder
    • Horridon
      • Reduced the health of adds in the Horridon encounter by 15% for 10-player normal mode and 10% for 25-player normal mode.
    • Lei Shen
      • Fixed an issue where images of Past Self created by Alter Time could be killed during the encounter.
    • Megaera
      • Reduced the health of Megaera's heads in 10-player normal and heroic modes.
    • Zandalari Council
      • Kazra'jin's Reckless Charge should no longer hit players twice at the point of impact.
  • Scholomance
    • Fixed an issue in Challenge Mode where players may not receive credit for killing Lilian Voss.


  • Secondary stats on heirloom items should now scale correctly while inside a Battleground.

  • Protections for unlucky streaks have been added for trinkets that use the RPPM (real procs per minute) system. (You can find a translated version of the Chinese post on this subject here.)
    • Activation chance for trinket effects on a pull has been increased.
    • Every time the trinket fails to activate, there's an increasing chance that it will activate.
    • Increased the activation chance for agility and strength trinkets from Throne of Thunder by 10%.
    • Increased the activation chance for intellect and spirit trinkets from Throne of Thunder by 5%.

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an issue where players may be unable to obtain Isle of Thunder daily quests for Stage 2.
  • Fixed an issue where some players may be unable to loot Isle of Thunder rare spawns.
  • Players will no longer get dismounted when flying over the Shrine of Goldrinn.

TwizzCast Live with Greg Street Wed, 6:30 PM PST
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Tomorrow night we'll be putting the good folks over at TwizzCast on the phone with lead systems designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street. Following up on the developer interviews conducted just prior to patch 5.2's release, Greg will be talking a little about his initial impressions of the patch after its first week on live realms, in addition to fielding questions submitted to the TwizzCast team by players.

Suggesting Questions
If you have any questions you'd like to see the TwizzCast crew ask Greg in the interview, you can submit them the following ways:

Tuning in Live
You can catch this special episode of TwizzCast live on 6:30-7:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time Wednesday, March 13. While the interview will be made available shortly after the broadcast concludes, we'd love to have you tune in live and join the twitch chat room! While sitting in on the call next to Greg, I'll also be in the chat room with one or two of my community manager cohorts to talk to viewers during the interview.

Knowing the Format
Please keep in mind that this is a live podcast interview and not a community Q&A. While TwizzCast staff is collecting questions from the community, all questions will be determined and prepared in advance, and they will not be able to cover everything in 30 minutes. What questions are chosen is at the sole discretion of Twizz, Reb and Martiean, and the three of them are hard at work ensuring this interview will be well worth everyone's attention.

I hope to see you in the chat tomorrow evening!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Class Hotfixes – 3/12
Any word on when Chi Wave is going to be fixed? As it stands we are lucky to get full duration in a raid setting.
Our developers are aware of an issue with Chi Wave’s heals not bouncing correctly and are working on a hotfix to correct this.

PVE-wise it's understandable, but when frost bomb had to be nerfed to do 20% less dmg in pvp environment, and now you are buffing it by 40%? Is there really no other way to balance out pve damage, because it really is not fun having something over powered as frost bomb for pvp...
Providing a clarification over PvP damage concerns.

  • Frost Bomb now deals 60% of its damage when used against other players, down from 80%.

Effectively a 4% buff in PvP then?
That would be correct. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Throne of Thunder Hotfix Reasoning
Hey all,

Lead encounter designer Ion Hazzikostas (Watcher) has been reading through a lot of your feedback regarding the raid boss hotfixes, and he passed along the following response to this thread:

I just wanted to offer some context for the recent tuning hotfixes to the Horridon and Council of Elders encounters in the Throne of Thunder raid.

First off, the Council change, reducing their health in 10-player modes, was honestly just a bug fix. Yes, it made the encounter easier, which also makes it a nerf, but we simply goofed on the numbers. We generally aim for a 3:1 ratio of health for enemies in 25-player raids as compared to 10-player mode, since 25-player raids typically have ~17 DPS and 10-player raids have 5 or 6. Instead, the ratio on the bosses themselves (but not the Loa spirits or Sand Elementals) was mistakenly 2.5:1, and we didn’t notice until we started taking a closer look at why 10-player groups seemed to be having a harder time with the encounter. I apologize for the error on our part.

Second, regarding Horridon, that change was an intentional difficulty adjustment, with the aim of smoothing out the difficulty curve of the first section of the raid. By reducing the health of the trolls pouring out of each gate, we reduced the DPS requirement (and thus the gear requirement) of the encounter, but generally kept the mechanics checks intact. The trolls having 10-15% less health doesn’t mean that raids can suddenly fail to interrupt Venom Priests, ignore Effusions, stand in Sand Traps, or cuddle up with Frozen Orbs. It just means that there’s a lower DPS requirement to keep up with the waves while doing so. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Round 2 Voting: 2013 Alienware March Gaming Bracket Challenge
Curse is holding a contest that puts characters from various video games against each other in a vote off to see who will win. Hoptallus is the only WoW character left, so be sure to vote for him if you find him more deserving than Commander Shepard! You can also enter to win an Alienware x51 computer.

by Published on 2013-03-12 09:34 PM

March 12 Class Hotfixes
Look for more information on the ToT RPPM trinkets soon!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Lead Systems Designer Greg Street (Ghostcrawler) wanted to give notice of several class hotfixes that went live last night along with the reasoning behind those changes.


We’re happy with the relative power of Arcane, Fire and Frost mages in PvE to each other, but all three specs are below where we want them. We were hoping that once groups got past the first few 5.2 raid encounters that benefit a lot from multi-dotting that we’d see mage DPS climb, but it’s not there yet. We don’t want to change rotations or force players to change specs, so we wanted a relatively passive change.

We decided to buff the bombs because it affects all three specs relatively similarly and is as close to a passive form of damage as mages have. Had we buffed the cast-time nukes, the risk is that mages would lose even more DPS on high movement or high multi-dot fights, which wasn’t our intent. If these buffs aren’t sufficient, we will happily make more, but we’d rather make a few buffs a few times in a row rather than over buff then have to nerf it back down.

We want the dot specs to do well in multi-dot scenarios, but Affliction, Demonology and Shadow were doing too well on multi-dot fights and are still quite competitive on non-multi-dot fights. Balance druids, so far, are where we want them to be.

We’re keeping a close eye on death knights. Frost and Unholy are both performing really well, but Frost was higher than we wanted during cleave-type scenarios. They will still be quite good at cleaving even with this change.

Tank DPS is a difficult metric to measure because some tanks care a lot about their DPS, and work to maximize it, while others are content to fill the more traditional tank role of worrying about survivability and boss control, and pay less attention to their DPS. Therefore, it’s challenging to analyze logs and determine whether you’re seeing the full potential of tank DPS or not. For now, we think warrior and DK tank DPS was a little low, so we took steps to adjust it.

Remember, it’s not a goal that every spec do exactly equally well in every possible encounter, and in fact we think that would be boring. We just don’t want things to get so extreme that certain specs feel like they aren’t meaningfully contributing to the group’s efforts. All of this means that raid performance is a somewhat subjective call and we’d like to ask that you keep that in mind as you offer your feedback.

Throne of Thunder LFR Opens Today
The first three bosses of Throne of Thunder become available on Raid Finder difficulty today! You can find their encounter journal and loot tables on the pages linked below, and boss guides over at Icy Veins.

It is worth noting that the bridge trash isn't as bad as it is in normal difficulty and the difficulty is significantly lower than it was on the PTR during earlier testing.

Throne of Thunder Heroic Progression
Blood Legion has defeated the first two bosses in Heroic 25 man difficulty and Gag Reflex has the first boss down in Heroic 10 man difficulty. You can keep up with the kills on Manaflask, our forum thread, and WowProgress.

by Published on 2013-03-12 03:44 AM

Update: Mage and Warrior buffs, Warlock and Priest nerfs, and Death Knight changes are here!

Upcoming Hotfix to Arcane Power on Crit, Demon Hunter Fan Art, Heart of the Swarm is Live!

Isle of Thunder US - Stage 2 Unlocked

Patch 5.2 Dev Interviews
Another day, another interview. Tonight we take a look at an interview with Dave Kosak, Lead Quest Designer by

  • There are no more five man dungeons planned for Mists of Pandaria. (Discussion)
  • Garrosh and Varian will show up again in Patch 5.3, with another chapter of Varian's story.
  • The rewards from the daily quest factions in patch 5.2 were intended to make daily quests feel less mandatory, with the best rewards coming from raid reputation.
  • More scenarios are coming in future patches. We may see very challenging three player scenarios with pretty good rewards.
  • Future patches won't make dramatic changes to Azeroth when the war comes back, but there will be small changes to reflect the war going global.
  • The story of the last Pandaren emperor that cloaked the continent in mists will be revealed at some point in the future.
  • An animated ebook is coming that tells more of the story of Pandaria and the last emperor, Shaohao.
  • The story of the Zandalari isn't over yet!

Patch 5.2
  • Isle of Thunder unlocking is faction based and participation based. The unlock speed is based on participation percentage, not population. Doing just one quest is enough to count as contributing for the day.
  • Most realms will fully unlock the Isle within six weeks, with some doing it slightly faster or slower.
  • The Isle of Thunder has things like the summonable bosses, rare spawns, chests, Lorewalker objects, and other things to make it more than just a place to go and do daily quests. More things like these will be experimented with in Patch 5.3.
  • The Tiller's farm worked out well, and we may see more places to interact with every day in the future.
  • The Troves of the Thunder King scenario is intended to be easy to find a key for at least once a week, with a small chance to find another.
  • Outdoor bosses, rare spawns, and the Isle of Giants are all ways to encourage players to group up, and we will see more in the future.
  • The solo scenarios added in Patch 5.2 allow players to experience the Isle of Thunder unlock events even if they were unable to play for a few weeks, but we won't see a lot of these in the future. They are better for special events or skill challenges, such as the final part of the Patch 5.2 legendary quest chain.

Isle of Thunder Participation
Dave Kosak shared what the percentage of participation for your faction actually means. Some time towards the end of last week US realms stopped unlocking at the same exact rate, so be sure to encourage your faction to do daily quests if you want to keep up!

Oondasta and Nalak Hotfixes
Groups of 80 to 200 players have been forming cross realm raids to kill Oondasta, which occasionally caused some realm stability problems.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re in the process of implementing a hotfix that will remove players’ eligibility to receive loot from Oondasta and Nalak, The Storm Lord if they’re not on their home realm.

We think it’s great that encounters like Oondasta have been able to bring back some of the excitement of massive spontaneous outdoor raids. However, with cross-realm groups giving the ability to play with friends on each other’s realms, the amount of people concentrating on a single realm to try to zerg these bosses down can unfortunately cause a number of stability issues, impacting the availability of the game for everyone.

While Nalak isn’t available yet, we want to preemptively address this so that the first realm to unlock it doesn’t then become the single focus for the rest of the region.

Here’s the hotfix note that’ll be added to the blog shortly:

  • Players visiting a different realm are no longer eligible to receive loot from Oondasta or Nalak, The Storm Lord.

Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: March 11
Tonight's hotfixes address several issues, such as the 5% drop rate of the Zandalari dino pets, Throne of Thunder tuning adjustments, AQ exploits, and Blacksmiths making Lightning Steel Ingots too early.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)


  • Players visiting a different realm are no longer eligible to receive loot from Oondasta or Nalak, The Storm Lord. A forum thread discussing the reasoning for this change have been created.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Oondasta to not award loot to some players.
  • Fetid Meat Pile now properly lets players that are sufficiently far away to drop out of combat.
  • Zandalari Dinomancer now have a much lower chance to drop the Zandalari Anklerender, Footslasher, Kneebiter, and Toenibbler.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • All raid bosses now drop the appropriate number of tier tokens for Raid Finder, 10/25-player normal and heroic modes.
  • Fixed an issue where Luck of the Draw would sometimes be incorrectly applied to Challenge Mode groups.
  • Throne of Thunder
    • Combustion now deals 100% of the player’s damage to Primordius while the player is under the effects of Fully Mutated.
    • Reduced the health of The Council of Elders for 10-player normal and heroic mode.
    • Fixed an issue with Durumu the Forgotten where Life Drain's stun was not transferring correctly.
    • Reduced the health of the Gurubashi, Amani, Drakkari, and Farraki adds on the Horridon encounter.
    • Iron Qon for 25-player normal and heroic modes had the following change: The amount of damage dealt by Unleashed Flame and number of people needed to trigger Unleashed Flame had been reduced.
    • Iron Qon for 10/25-player normal modes had the following changes: Shatter damage have been reduced by 20%, damage from Arching Lightning have been reduced by 10%, and Rising Anger stacks more slowly.
  • Scholomance
    • Fixed an issue where Lilian Voss' Dark Blaze was invisible.
  • Temple of Ahn’Qiraj
    • The Prophet Skeram and any illusions created during the encounter no longer drop loot or provide reputation when killed. This is a temporary change to address an issue with the encounter.

  • Fixed an issue with latency near the beginning of a Battleground.

  • Blacksmithing
    • Creation of Lightning Steel Ingots now requires at least one of the factions to have unlocked the Thunder Forge.


Bug Fixes
  • The Skin of the Saurok disguise in Ihgaluk Crag will no longer cancel Druid Moonkin and Tree of Life forms.
  • Fixed an issue where Worgen were unable to use Two Forms after crossing into a coalesced zone while in combat.

Blue Tweets
Be sure to read these carefully, as they make note of upcoming class changes.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Also considering buffs to warrior and DK tank DPS. Possible nerfs to dot classes. Nothing extreme. DPS looks good overall (but only 1 week). (Source)
DK tank DPS Really? If that's the case please look at Prot Pally.
Prot paladin DPS looks good overall. Is there a specific fight you're referencing? (Source)

How do you feel about absorbs always being chosen over other heals in battle and making Paladin and Priest always on top?
It's just a trait of absorbs. Hots also tend to "heal snipe." It's one reason meters aren't a great indicator of healing power. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Sims aren't end all be all, then are you seeing in practice unholy being much higher than frost? Why more frost specific buffs
Yeah Unholy ended up on top and the goal isn't to make every Frost DK swap. Should be personal preference for 95% of players. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Can we get the LOS requirement dropped from Dismiss Pet? Would help out when terrain in boss rooms traps them
That seems like a reasonable request. We'll discuss it. Counters a PvP strat, but that strat is mostly annoying. (Source)

But the Silencing Shot nerf IS noticed in PVE, especially with any rares/elites that cast heals. How to interrupt now?
There is no encounter in PvE balanced around every player needing to interrupt that often. (Source)

Confused by Diziet interview and hunter class review. Hunters needed a nerf a la spriests but were in a good place in pvp?
Fixing the Stampede bug after launch and nerfing Silencing Shot a little in 5.2 are the only nerfs IIRC. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
To clear up some confusion, Critical Mass is a 1.3 modifier on live. There is a tooltip bug that makes it appear to be 1.2. Our apologies. (Source)

After a few more days, we now think mage DPS is low. We want to keep parity among mage specs so the buffs will likely be fairly passive. (Source)
When will these changes happen? I love arcane, raid leader has me going frost for tomorrows raid. Thank you again for all u do
The intent is before the raid reset / heroics unlock. (Source)

You overdid it destroying Fire & redid it in 5.2 to Arcane. It's galling to see Blizzard surprised Frost is over-represented.
That's not what I said. We like Frost vs. Fire vs. Arcane. We think all 3 are low compared to say lock and hunter. (Source)

I seem to be spamming scorch because of movement issues with the new bosses on ptr, anything new on the way? ;/. Sry to bother
Quickly moving then stopping to cast is generally higher performance than moving all the time and spamming Scorch. (Source)

Speccing Flameglow is boring, there's no visual (and its called flameglow, huh..) It could atleast have a little visual..
It's a passive. The visual would be up 100% of the time. (Source)
Can we get an aura to flameglow pls?
It's on always. Do you just want an icon to remind you or do you want to see a visual 100% of the time? (Source)

5.0 fire, 5.1 arcane, 5.2 frost. I feel that when i am comfortable with one spec i have to change every patch since mop releas
My advice overall is to play that you enjoy and not swap constantly based on what some website says. (Source)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Whats the reasoning behind monk fierce tiger hotfix nerf? I understood the 5.2 nerfs but isn't this too many at once?
We found a last minute bug with our testing related to the lvl 30 talents. It as our mistake unrelated to any performance on live. (Source)
Does this mean the 10% damage reduction on stance will be reverted? *Puppy Eyes*
No, we had to add that nerf because their damage was 10% higher than we wanted. My apologies. (Source)
Any chance of fixing the bug and reverting to 20%? Could cause problems layer. Balancing around bugs = bad.
The bug was in our testing, not the WW. We caught it too late. You were doing +10% DPS than we intended. Sadface. (Source)
The excuse doesn't make sentence, dude. How does lv 30 talents affect dps?? Chi wave?
Try measuring your DPS with and without Chi Wave. What is the difference? (Source)
How do want to make WW viable? their dmg is lower than in 5.2! srsly people are massabandoning their monks
Mass abandonment after 2 days also seems like a bit of an extreme reaction. (Source)
Maybe, although I'm sure it's crossed the mind of several after your such amusing understanding of balance in 5.2.
Are you saying you have a crystal clear picture of balance after 3 days? Hmm. (Source)
I just find the explanations for this "10%" reduction a bit reduntant. But im a fighter and so is my monk!
It's not this simple, but imagine Fierce Tiger had a bug that made it do 10% more DPS than intended. The hotfix was to fix that. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Why the change to the paladin 4pc pvp set to not work with eternal flame?
We wanted to cut down on Holy instants, so we changed the bonus to work with WoG/EG to Flash. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Disc feels functionally much better. Coming back with the DA change is tough but adaptable. Overall, great work.
Glad to hear it. Let's see how it feels in a week or two once everyone has wrapped their head around all the PvP changes. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Using totems while silenced is annoying ok but to be blanket silenced every 15 seconds isn´t?
The point of silences is to counter things, especially heals and defenses. We don't like uncounterable things. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
As an Affy Warlock, having Haunt tied into the Soul Shard system feels clunky. It felt better as a cooldown.
We like Haunt. Concerned that Soul Swap consumes all available shards though which means less for other things. (Source)

Just curious, how's the reaction to the Warlock quest been? I've spent about 20 hours wiping on Kan, feels overwhelming atm
Overall, I'd say it was this. Players who can't beat him: Please nerf. Players who managed to beat him: Please don't! (Source)

Any worse on whether Kanrethad might receive some kind of nerf? I've given all I've got, and I just can't do it as-is
Maybe someday. For now, the fight is more about execution and using all your tools than DPS. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Why did warriors get such a nerf in 5.2? Why is deadly calm gone? Why such a hate for dps warriors?
Did you really find Deadly Calm fun? I felt we added it in a weak moment. (Source)

Did you guys just not care to put a prot war explanation in the class reviews?
We made almost no changes. We adjusted their scaling a little to avoid high Vengeance craziness. (Source)

The Daily Blink - Donate, and Buff a Mage in Need
The Daily Blink came up with a new way to help out mages after the devastation brought by Patch 5.2. Let's just say it has a quick effect...

If the whole puppy commercial torture thing doesn't pan out, we'll pool all the money and buy pre-made Hunter characters on eBay.

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