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Beta Week 3: Keys from Week 3 have been released! Check the status page to see if you won.

by Published on 2012-09-28 10:00 AM

Public Test Realm Patch 1.0.5 Notes for 9/27

Brewfest 2012
Brewfest is upon us once again, and Icy-Veins has an in depth guide to all things Brewfest. This year the event was slightly delayed to allow people to get a start on Mists of Pandaria. It requires level 89 for completion of all of the event.

If you are still leveling, don't forget to grab the Brewfest Enthusiast buff at 6:15 AM and 6:15 PM server time outside of Ironforge and Orgrimmar at the Tapping of the Keg ceremony.

There are a few new items this year, such as the Pandaren Brewpack and upgraded epics.


Level Type Spec Slot Name
470TrinketTrinket Bubbliest Brightbrew Charm
470TrinketTrinket Bitterest Balebrew Charm
470TrinketSpell DPSTrinket Mithril Wristwatch
470TrinketPhysical DPSTrinket Coren's Cold Chromium Coaster
470TrinketTankTrinket Brawler's Statue
470TrinketHealingTrinket Thousand-Year Pickled Egg

Brewfest Prize Token Rewards

Level Type Slot Name Cost
20Companion Pets Wolpertinger's Tankard200 ×
20Companion Pets Pint-Sized Pink Pachyderm100 ×
20Holiday Preserved Brewfest Hops20 ×
1Quest "Brew of the Month" Club Membership Form200 ×
10HeadHead Belbi's Eyesight Enhancing Romance Goggles100 ×
10HeadHead Blix's Eyesight Enhancing Romance Goggles100 ×
1HeadHead Brown Brewfest Hat50 ×
1HeadHead Green Brewfest Hat50 ×
1HeadHead Blue Brewfest Hat50 ×
1HeadHead Purple Brewfest Hat50 ×
1ChestChest Brewfest Regalia200 ×
1ChestChest Brewfest Dress200 ×
1FeetFeet Brewfest Boots100 ×
1FeetFeet Brewfest Slippers100 ×
1Consumable Pandaren Brewpack100 ×
1Consumable Brewfest Pony Keg100 ×
1Consumable Brewfest Keg Pony200 ×
20Consumable Fresh Brewfest Hops2 ×
20Consumable Fresh Goblin Brewfest Hops5 ×
1Consumable Brewhelm2 ×


Developer Interviews
Another two interviews today, this time with Jason Hutchins, Game Producer and Gary Platner, Lead Environment Artist. The second interview is with Russell Brower, Director of Audio at Blizzard. Thanks to NinjaPull for providing the interviews!

Game Producer and Lead Environment Artist
  • In Cataclysm, high end players would sometimes race to see who could complete a dungeon or raid first, so Challenge Modes were added to support that gameplay style.
  • The 50 artists are broken up into five teams: World environment, dungeons, props, animations, and characters and armor sets.
  • Mists of Pandaria brought several art improvements:
    • Increased the distance you can see.
    • Higher level of detail in the world.
    • Ground textures are higher res.
    • Lighting system and shadows were improved.
    • More control over texture blending.
    • Ambient occlusion (SSAO) was added.
  • Draenei were harder to design than Worgen because it was harder to define what kind of race they were. Everyone understood the Worgen were supposed to have an Eastern European Gothic look.
  • Clouds that interact with the mountains were added to add to the Asian influenced landscape.
  • One of the things that sets Blizzard apart is the allowance for iteration. Even if a zone has been mostly completed, the art team can decide that it isn't right and go back and redo it until it feels right.
  • There was a lot of new technology that went into Mists of Pandaria. It would have been impossible to make this expansion just a few years ago.

Director of Audio
  • The audio team even has a hand in the phone tree audio for the Customer Service line.
  • Eight years ago there were only three members on the team, now there are almost 40.
  • They do a lot of recording in the field to expand the selection and avoid reusing sounds.
  • The music used Asian instruments and skilled players.
  • The sound is a combination of the sound of Warcraft and an Asian influence.
  • Pandaren are all about family, nature, spirit, and harmony, but they know how to fight when they have to. They live every day as their last and do everything all out, no matter what it is they are doing.






Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Pet Battle Training Cost
The cost is there, in part, because pet battles are intended to be a fun mini-game, particularly for players who've been around a while and want some new ways to spend their time while logged in -- it's not a profession. The system isn't really targeted toward new players while they're focused on leveling and character progression.

This is why there is a low level cap, but a buy-in barrier. It allows players with high-level characters and/or lots of alts easy access to the system, while reducing the risk of it being distracting or confusing for people just learning the core gameplay systems/mechanics. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Questing
Since the subject of this thread is largely a matter of personal taste, I'm not sure that I can speak directly to your concerns. I mean, core World of Warcraft gameplay evolves over time, but the essential experience will still be there.

What I've personally really enjoyed about questing in Mists is that, as I travel through a zone, there's sort of a zone story-line series of quests, a la some of the Cataclysm zones, but I'll also find entire quest hubs in the course of my explorations too. I've also seen some really cool quest mechanics (GIZMO! SOCKS!) in the course of these quests, and I find myself getting involved in the stories too.

I think the point of the quests that that have you collect x whatevers, or kill so many of y, is that they get you out into the world, killing monsters, seeing the sights, and playing your character, and doing stuff with your character's abilities. I don't personally get head-down-gotta-plow through-these-quests style tunnel vision though, and I make a point of looking around, getting into some PvP, etc. as I go along.

Every quest probably shouldn't involve super unique mechanics. I imagine that would get fatiguing after a short while. So, with that in mind I suppose what I'd like to know is: what kind of questing experience were you hoping to see?

That is the problem. I don't do anything with my character's abilities anymore! I used to be a hero. Now all I am is a vehicle driver, the guy in some other npc's body, the guy riding the back of a giant, the guy leading a squad of npc's, etc. What happened to quests where I am the hero?
My first impulse was to ask if we're playing the same game, but that would be snippy.

I can say pretty confidently that my experience has been quite different though. I feel like I've gotten a chance to play my character quite a lot (and I've had a lot of fun messing around with talents at the same time), while also getting a pleasant break now and then doing something with more unique mechanics. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Scenarios and Player Specs
I chose to take my warrior to 90 first instead of my priest so I don't have firsthand as to difficulty in a healing spec, but it seems interesting they wouldn't have a second DPS spec. (Do a lot of people actually level in healery specs?) Maybe it's a misunderstanding of what Scenarios are, and why they aren't swapping. Maybe you should just let them know they should probably swap to DPS for Scenarios.

People should be approaching them as outdoor group quests that happen to be in an instance, and not dungeons. It's just getting used to the concept I think. The ability to queue for them probably makes it a lot tougher to shake the "ok I'm going into dungeon/raid" mode.

It isn't like a dungeon, but with outdoor group quests you get to pick who you play with. Disc is a very good spec to run scenario with because it is a good balance of some DPS with good off healing. It is effective.
I wouldn't disagree with that. Would you also say the same for your two group-mates, holy paladins and resto druids? Would you then say each of you had reasonably chosen a spec based on the type of content a Scenario offers?

I can't control who I end up with in scenarios.
Right, which is why my point is I think it's a perception issue where people believe they should be jumping into Scenarios believing it's like a dungeon and that they'll be healing.

I'm going to hit up a designer though, maybe there is some possibility of saving groups from themselves so certain specs aren't matched up at some point. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Pearl of Pandaria Now On Sale!
If you are curious what it looks like, take a look at the preview images that were released.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The original graphic novel Pearl of Pandaria is now available! Be sure to pick up this story and meet the Pandaren, the newest playable race in World of Warcraft.

Written by Blizzard’s own Micky Neilson and with art by fan favorite Sean “Cheeks” Galloway, this story follows Li Li Stormstout’s adventures through Azeroth. Li Li comes from a line of adventurers who left their homeland long ago to explore the world, and she wants nothing more than to chase that dream.

But when Li Li runs away to find her famous uncle Chen, how will she survive Azeroth’s perils?

You can find the book on Amazon.com and other comic book retailers, and at the Blizzard Store.

Welcome to Game Update 1.4: Terror from Beyond
Originally Posted by SWTOR
Our fourth major Game Update 1.4: Terror From Beyond goes live today. The center piece is a new Operation that shares the name of the update. This new Op is our most ambitious and difficult to date. The visuals are amazing, the battles are uniquely challenging and the final boss is the most impressive we’ve ever released.

In addition to a new Op we’ve introduced many smaller changes. The shadow system has gone through an overhaul that not only makes the game look better, but also makes the shadow system run better on many machine specs. Changes have been made to class balance, focused mainly on crowd control and the Resolve system. A lot of bug fixes as well.

This Game Update is also the start of a new release cadence. Our strategy so far has been to release big updates every few months. But this leaves long periods of time where you, our fans, don’t have anything new. So we’re moving to a model where we release Game Updates on a much more regular cadence. Our initial aim is for something as close to every six weeks as we can get. I’d promise an exact schedule, but in a live game we need some flexibility as the stability of the service trumps the release of an update on a particular date.

This year has been exciting so far with three Game Updates. But before the end of the year, it’s our intention to have released another three Game Updates, starting with Terror From Beyond. This is in addition to moving to Free to Play. But I can say in all honesty, that our plans for 2013 are even bigger. Our team’s experience, improving tools and better production processes are allowing us to move faster in development than we ever have before. More exciting news to come!





Mists of Pandaria EU Launch Event
Blizzard shared some photos from the Mists of Pandaria EU Launch events on Facebook. You can find the entire event video on Youtube.

by Published on 2012-09-27 07:44 AM

Voice of the PvP Vendor, Important Information on Key Drops, Information on Character Copies , Blue Posts

Mists of Pandaria Interview with Rob Pardo
We had the opportunity to talk to Rob Pardo (Chief Creative Officer) at the Mists of Pandaria Launch event.


Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Q: Mists of Pandaria just launched, how are you feeling?
A: Very excited, it's pretty awesome to get the next World of Warcraft expansion in the hands of the players.

Q: It's almost 8 years old; are you finding it increasingly difficult to add players and get new players?
A: Not really. I do think that you see less new players, but at the same time there are still a lot of people out there that are still playing when the game has been out so long. I think you might even start seeing another generation of players start coming in to WoW.

Q: Does it get easier to develop more expansions as time goes on?
A: It never gets easier to make games. We always say, "Making games is hard, and the next expansion is going to be just as hard as the one before that, which is just as hard as the one before that one".

Q: What is your favorite feature of Mists of Pandaria?
A: Pandas. How can that not be your favorite feature? We have been wanting to add Pandaren to the game since before World of Warcraft launched, ever since Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne when we added the Brewmaster. We knew that one of these days we were going to put Pandaren into World of Warcraft.

Q: If you had unlimited resources and unlimited funds, what would you add to World of Warcraft?
A: That is an interesting question. I think if we could just wave our magic wand it would be really great to up the graphic fidelity of the entire game and get it up to where the other games are at these days. I think World of Warcraft ages really well, but it still ages. I think people would be really excited if we were able to bring that up to modern day graphics standards.

Q: You have improved Battle.net considerably over the past year. Do you feel that you are done with the upgrades, or do you have more plans to upgrade the platform?
A: I don't think we will ever be done with upgrades. Battle.net has been around for about 15 years now. It's something that we are always going to be adding to. As new technology becomes available and as other platforms add things, we are always going to add features to stay cutting edge with our own platform.

Q: How did the design philosophy of online gaming change over the past years? I assume the players today are very different from the ones who played 8 years ago.
A: Yeah, I think the biggest thing is you are seeing online games really become popular. I think if you look back when World of Warcraft came out, a lot of people at the time felt like "This is going to be a niche game. How many people have constant internet connections and want to play a game all the time on the internet". I think that obviously has been proven to be false. Nowadays with the explosion of social gaming and mobile gaming, pretty much every game nowadays is online in some way or another. I think you are seeing players that now expect it rather than it being a bonus feature on the back of the box.

Q: The beta test for Heart of the Swarm started a few weeks ago, do you think the expansion will be enough to bring back players who left a while back?
A: Yeah, absolutely. I think a lot of people that may have left earlier in Starcraft will want to see the next part of the trilogy. In the very beginning we designed Starcraft 2 to be this big and epic trilogy that allowed you to play through the entire storyline. For the multiplayer focused people we are obviously adding a lot to the game. If you look back to the original Starcraft, it hit its stride after Brood War. Hopefully we can do the same thing with the Heart of the Swarm.

Q: People are still wondering what the Titan project could be. Do you know when we’ll get more information on the subject? How many people are working on the project at this point?
A: Titan? What's that? It's still moving along. I don't want to get anyone's hopes up that it is around the corner or anything, it is a very big project, it has a long way to go. I don't really know when we are going to start releasing more information. We are definitely in the middle of development at this point. The team is over 100 people now.

Q: I heard a rumor that you have been developing it for six years now, is that correct?
A: I'd have to think about that one. I guess it depends on how you look at such things, because when we first started the team, we started really small. We start with a couple of people and talk about the concept and draw some concept art. It definitely has not been in core development for that long. I'd say core development was closer to four years, but even that was with a smaller team.

Q: Diablo 3 sold very well but received mixed reception at release because of various problems. Blizzard worked really hard and greatly improved the game over the last few months but do you feel that the launch was rushed? Would you hold it a few more months if you had to do it again?
A: The tricky thing about the Diablo 3 launch was the new codebase. Diablo 3 was a whole new engine and Battle.net had just done a new major revision. It is very hard with the way that we launch games with millions and millions of players to test it. We had hundreds of thousands of players in the open beta without a lot of problems, but when we launched the game we had ten or twenty times that amount of players. Lots of things show up with that many players that don't show up with one tenth of them. I'm not sure holding it back would have uncovered a lot of those things. If you think back to World of Warcraft it was very similar. It was a whole new engine and battle.net platform, so it took us a while to plug all of the leaks and get the game completely stable.

Q: Players keep asking again and again when we will get updated player models, is it still on the list and do you have any idea when and how you'll release those? How big of a challenge is it?
A: It's still on the list. It's not something that we are looking at doing really soon. It's something that our art director has been doing some R&D on and we have been talking a lot about. The challenges... How many player models do you upgrade? Do you upgrade them all at the same time? Do you do them over time? There's also the issue of, do we up the system requirements? Do we make it part of a patch? Do we make it part of an expansion? There are lots of unknowns still out there, but it is something that we would really like to do.

Q: One of the biggest problem after Wrath of the Lich King was the 1 year gap between the last patch and the new expansion, causing a lot of players to leave. The gap was slightly smaller after Cataclysm but still significant. Are you working to reduce it further or do you think you're in a good spot now?
A: I think we still have to find a way to get content out faster. Ever since we shipped World of Warcraft, we have been going about half as fast as we would like to go. There's a lot of different reasons for that. A lot of people suggest hiring more developers. Well, we are very picky and it takes us a while to hire developers that really add to the content of the game. Also, over time it has gotten a little bit slower to make content we have made the content more complex. Our encounters got more complex, the art is higher resolution, even our quests have had a lot added to them. As we have added people, we have added quality rather than to the speed of the content. It is something we need to really try to do better, and hopefully we can do that with the next cycle.

Q: Now that we're a few months away from the release of Diablo 3, can you tell us how the real money auction house worked out for Blizzard? Are you happy with the feature and how it was received by players? Would you consider adding the same feature to new games, or even existing games?
A: I would say that internally the way we look at the feature right now is mixed. I think it was really a big experiment and it is something that I think has done really well in some ways and in some ways has really changed the game a lot. I think it gets to be a very complex answer, because there is the component that is the real money auction house and there is the part that is the auction house.

When you see a lot of complaints on the forums, they are talking about how it has gotten so easy to skip to the best items in the game and how it devalues your progression or advancement. A lot of that would happen with any sort of auction house, even if you are paying gold you have that same sort of feeling. You have to separate that from the real money component of it, which also has its own unique issues.

Anyone that plays the game now looks at items with a dollar sign attached. With all of the different games out there that have microtransactions that is more acceptable, but in some peoples' minds it has damaged the purity of the game. One of the main reasons why we did it is that we knew there was going to be a lot of third party auction sites out there. We felt like it is already going to exist so we would rather give players a more safe and secure way of doing that. I think in that way it has been successful. We are really talking a lot internally though about the right way to evolve or iterate on the auction house.

Interview with Team FS, First Level 90
FS of Ravencrest was able to reach level 90 within a few hours of Mists of Pandaria release, but was then reset to level 87. Athene was able to talk to someone involved with the effort about how it worked and the community's reaction.



Blue Posts
There are free character transfers away from several high population realms. (US and EU)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Realm Queues
Or considering you're the largest MMO in the entire world, you could upgrade your servers? Disgusting idea, I know.
Money doesn't buy infinite technology. I hope this is understood. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Spec Specific Quest Rewards
What's the point of this? I don't understand why I can't do my questing as ret but still gear up my prot/holy sets on my pally, or work on my druid's tank gear while questing as balance. Would it be so hard to allow access to all gear that would be appropriate for your class, instead of just your spec, instead of making people respec every time they turn in quests?

The goal was to make choosing rewards a bit more streamlined, so that each reward that you see when you turn in a quest is potentially good for you. After all, as you're leveling, it's not a bad idea to pick up gear that makes your leveling spec more powerful. It's also worth noting that the more powerful rare-quality items awarded by major capstone quests will usually offer you choices that include all the specs available to your class, since we figured that those items would probably be a bit more permanent. If we offer epic quest rewards at maximum level, those too would most likely offer a variety of spec options.

If you're experiencing any issues getting a healing or tanking set together, there are vendors in Jade Forest, Valley of the Four Winds and Townlong Steppes that sell sets of armor, so you can 'catch up' on pieces you might have missed. There's an emphasis on healing and tanking in those sets too; though they're a bit weaker than the quest rewards that were offered in previous zones so that they don't render quest rewards inconsequential. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Pet Battles Forum
We've just opened up a Pet Battles forum here- http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/7388394/

We felt it might be nice to have a go to spot for everyone to discuss their teams, tips, and tricks. Feel free to head over there for all of your Pet Battle Discussions and enjoy! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Cross-Realm Zones in Mists of Pandaria
Just to follow-up, we're looking into reports of any unexpected behaviors with the Cross-Realm Zone sharing to make sure there aren't any from how the intended design should be.

As always, the feedback has been appreciated from everyone.

I did verify that it will most likely pull players to the highest level person's realm/realm type. Though there are potential exceptions that could affect it. We're continuing to monitor feedback and should we have anything more to share, we will. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hotfix Limitations
Some things are handled server-side, some are handled client-side. Can't hotfix a client-side issue as that requires a new client build.
This pretty much sums it up. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
I don't want to sound like an asshole here, but statistically speaking, "my friends and I feel X" is not the same as "everyone feels X."
But it is suggestive of same. Equivalent statement to “preliminary data suggest ___, which warrants further examination.”
Also a common argument, but when scientists say that, they *have* data but are being cautious. Anecdotes are not data.
Agree, but it’s not black and white. Between unknown and known is a vast middle ground where we may guess.
Totally agree. A great part of this job is making calls with very little information, with all the risk that entails.
Also especially misleading in WoW since virtually all the discussion takes place in little echo chambers.
So, so true. We even catch ourselves forgetting that sometimes.

We're working hard to restore the Pandaria soundtrack to the iTunes Store; it was up briefly, then iTunes pulled it for a meta-data tweak. Audio quality is not affected for those of you who managed to grab a copy before it was pulled. I hope iTunes reposts it ASAP!

Does Lead Systems Designer mean Pet Battles are in your jurisdiction as well? I would assume so, but I figured to check.
Pet Battles are an unusual feature in that so many people worked on them. They are without jurisdiction.

Any plans to make the black market AH a part of the remote ah? Just seems like it would help encourage more bidding this way.
We'll see, but at the moment we like the potential for PvP on PvP realms outside of the Black Market pavilion.

Can we do Challenge Modes Cross-realm?
You can do Challenges w/ Real ID/BattleTag friends. Notice the asterisks by names on the Realm Leaderboard.
I'm not sure I like the trend of the 'zerg'. I miss the old days of CC and letting the healer get mana before the next pull.
Not going to be able to zerg unless you're capable of gold attempts. It's not the concept. CC, good pulls & play are priority.
I hope that is the way it will work. I got really tired of healing pugs that zerg. Can't heal without mana people!
Well, there's no LFD either. Ideally your group isn't so random it's considered a PuG, even if formed through public chat.

Will there still be an advantage for raiders in raid gear for challenges? I would love to focus on cmode but have no time to raid
No. Unless they're at hit cap and you're not. iLvL will be scaled down to heroic dungeon blue level. Set bonuses deactivated.
I remember reading trinkets will be enabled. Will proc/use effect power be scaled down as well?
Yep!

If you guys add more dungeons in patches... I think it would be a great idea to add more gold tmog. Like maybe weapons? Recolors?
That's certainly a possibility if the feature ends up being really popular.

"Guild" run is defined as 80% of raid, so 8/10 for 10 man and 20/25 for 25. But what is a guild run for world bosses realm firsts?
8 members. Good luck!

Is there any chance we can get a search feature for mounts like there is for battle pets? i have 100+! hard to find the right one
Working on it for 5.1.

What are population imbalanced players supposed to do on a pvp server. It's so bad on Sargeras horde can't quest
We might offer faction-specific transfers in the future. Right now we're focused on realms w/ queues.

Both character level & how many people from each realm are in the group seems to matter when selecting the realm in a cross-relam party.
Correct. And what each realm ruleset is. That has priority in the algorithm over level/realm.

Many MANY thanks for all the kind words as Mists goes live! I'm thrilled to be a part of such an amazing team. Jade Serpent guide you!
Jade Serpent's statue kinda blew up. It the best guide?
Kinda says a lot about her that she still gives the player a chance after that

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Can you give us PVPers some light on the incredibly OP monk 4pc set bonus 'touch of death'? I have concerns.
If your health is that low in PvP, the monk was going to kill you anyway. One of those bonuses that sounds more OP than it is.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Do you have any reports of threat issues, or any plans underway to modify current threat levels? Primarily in Paladins
We have received very little feedback that threat could be a problem. What's up?

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
The best rogue ever swapped to warrior is this what you want all rogues to do? is that the secret?
Works both ways though. Will it make warriors acknowledge they might be fine for PvP? Unlikely.
What does it matter if the best rogue ever switched to warrior. maybe warrior suited his playstyle better?
I haven't asked him, but I certainly haven't stuck with the same class for 8 years. Players sometimes over interpret omens.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Execute still hits ridiculously hard. Many warriors were asking for it do be nerfed.
Are they stupid? It's a finishing move for a reason
We totally agree it was puny in Cataclysm. It isn't in MoP and it won't be even with this change. We have a lot of room still.

Blizzard Devs Discuss the Mists of Pandaria Release
Blizzard Entertainment Chief Storyteller Chris Metzen and World of Warcraft Art Director Chris Robinson talked about Mists of Pandaria on the night before release.

by Published on 2012-09-26 06:44 AM

Item Affixes and Monster Levels, More on Monster Powers, Status of the PTR, 1.0.5 PTR System Changes

Patch 5.0.5 Hotfixes - September 25
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Battlegrounds
Alterac Valley
  • Boss NPCs in the level 85-89 bracket are now level 90, and their guards are now level 89.
Isle of Conquest
  • Boss NPCs in the level 85-89 bracket are now level 90, and their guards are now level 89.
  • Boss NPCs in the level 90 bracket are new level 91, and their guards are now level 90.

Classes
Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Thrash periodic damage has been increased by 60%.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Keg Smash damage has been increased by 50%.
  • Keg Smash can now hit every target in range (was previously a maximum of three).

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Dungeons and Raids
Bastion of Twilight
Stormstout Brewery
  • Ook-Ook should now suffer impacts from players on barrels who hit him immediately after another barrel does.

Pet Battles
  • Battle pet quests are no longer flagged for Mists of Pandaria only, and can be accepted by players who have not yet upgraded.
  • Slicing Wind can now hit multiple times on pets, regardless of their family type.
  • Crimson Moth and Wharf Rat should appear as expected in the Pet Journal.

Quests
  • Players will now receive AOE credit for sinking both the Bladefist Reaper and Stygian Scar while in proximity of the ships being destroyed during the quest "Unleash Hell".
  • Players no longer remain in the Orgrimmar Gunship phase of "Into the Mists" once the quest is completed.
  • In the quest "Strongarm Tactics", players should now receive credit for killing Gyro-mechanic Lavenderp or Master Engineer Cogswing if the other NPC is slain by a second player.
  • Players should be able to turn in the quest "The Elder's Instruments" and then see and interact with Pearlkeeper Fujin.
  • The quests "Regroup!", "You're Either With Us Or......", and "Face to Face With Consequence" should be offered automatically to characters who enter Honeydew Glade after leaving Thunderhold without receiving them from General Nazgrim and Taren Zhu.
  • In the "Wicked Wikkets" quest, paratroopers how drop the quest item Alliance Service Medallion 100% of the time.
  • The cutscene that plays during the quest "The Jade Serpent" cannot be cancelled by the player. This is intended.

Bug Fixes
  • Players should not receive duplicate messages in chat channels.
  • Crossing a zone boundary on a multi-passenger mount should no longer dismount passengers.

Developer Interviews
Another few interview recaps for you today! Thanks to AusGamers, Twizzcast, and Tankspot.

Ion Hazzikostas - Lead Encounter Designer (AusGamers)
  • Phasing in Cataclysm helpd players feel like they were advancing the story, but at the same time it divided players. It was fun to change the world, but not as fun not being able to quest with friends.
  • Pandaria doesn't have a lot of well known lore or characters compared to previous expansions, but it goes back to the Vanilla WoW style exploration and discovery combined with the more familiar Horde vs Alliance theme.
  • There is a lot of the story told through questing right from your arrival in Pandaria. For example, there was no Silithus in Warcraft 3, but players had a lot of fun going through Silithus and learning about the Qiraji and fighting those threats.
  • Even the daily quests will progress the storyline in Mists of Pandaria.
  • It feels like 10 bosses in a tier is a good number, so don't expect 18 bosses in every upcoming tier.
  • One of the new mechanics is the ability to exert force on a player, such as wind blowing them back or pushing them forward depending on if they are moving against the wind or towards the wind.
  • Another mechanic is a attack pattern that you can actually dodge, giving your raid a boost in damage when successful at avoiding them.
  • The chess event and the Icecrown Gunship battle didn't have enough replay value and were less challenging after you had done them a few times. We might see more if this is improved upon.
  • It is possible that 10 and 25 man raid achievements could be split again in the future to give 25 man raiders more recognition.

Ion Hazzikostas - Lead Encounter Designer (Twizzcast)
  • Encounters make use of the tools of each class, which has been made easier to do with the talent changes in Mists of Pandaria.
  • Scenarios are currently for telling a story, not any kind of a challenge.
  • Only having two difficulties and no scenarios, challenge modes, or LFR made inital Cataclysm content tuning difficult, as there is a very wide range of skill levels.

Ion Hazzikostas - Lead Encounter Designer (Tankspot)
  • Raids with fewer bosses emphasize the imbalance between classes due to fight mechanics more than larger raids.
  • Any progression oriented guild should have a legendary gem for everyone in a few months.
  • Challenge modes should be fun for raiders that don't have the time to raid at a competitive level anymore.
  • Community and Blizzard run timed raid events have been very popular in the past, so that is something worth exploring in the future.
  • There is no ability to scale down character stats yet, just gear. When that feature is added it will open up many other cool things that aren't possible now, such as scaling down to play older challenge modes or raids.
  • Scenarios aren't likely to be a game changer for people that raid, but they are nice for telling a story and avoiding long queue times.
  • Proving Grounds will have some kind of ranking system with scores, allowing you to brag that you are "the best healer on the server". It will also let tanks practice tanking without ruining the dungeon experience of four other players.


Challenge Modes Leaderboard Preview
Blizzard recently shared a preview of the Challenge Mode leaderboards on Facebook. You can see videos, images, and set procs on our Challenge Mode sets page.



Blizzard vs Blood Legion - Challenge Modes
If you were unable to catch it during the event last night, can can watch Blizzard Testers (left) and Blood Legion (right) try one of the new Challenge Modes.


Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I don't have to try it out. I watch the video and can actually see what the priest is casting. Like Conductivity, Atonement should allow the priest to DPS during times of light damage. I just watched a video where 90% of a speed run challenge mode dungeon was "light damage"
It's amazing how player synergy goes a long way. Sure, some dungeons Challenges will favor some classes or class combinations over others, but that hardly matters if each class isn't using every tool in their arsenal to benefit the entire group most effectively. Our team had a healer. But they also devised extremely calculated strategies with every pull to take as much of the healing burden off their priest as possible. Their healer would've been in much more trouble had the rest of the group not executed CC with complete efficiency. They min-maxed the dungeon and had it down to a science, which is what groups will have to do if they want to top the Leaderboards.

To speak to both posts below, the main reason I love the design philosophy of Challenge Modes is that they'll still cater to a wide range of endgame players. There isn't a huge barrier to entry in World of Warcraft for manually forming a group of five capable, moderately coordinated players. Once you do, you'll find that bronze is very accessible with decent clears of Challenge dungeons without any major disasters (i.e. repeated wipes on bosses). Perform that way in all nine dungeons in Challenge Mode and you'll unlock the title "Challenge Conqueror."

If your group is well coordinated, or takes the time to gain more experience in bronze-medal clears, you'll probably enjoy the task of hitting silver. Get silver times in all nine and you'll get a sweet mount. And by the way, if you're good enough from the start the awards will be retroactive -- winning silver on your first clear of a Challenge dungeon will count toward the bronze achievement as well.

But gold is going to be quite difficult. It's going to take a lot of practice and coordination for most people. That's how you get the unique Transmogrification sets that have some insane visual effects specific to each class. You can see images of the sets and Leaderboard samples on our Facebook album.

The Leaderboards definitely won't be for everyone. But it's also likely players who work hard toward gold might feel compelled to outdo themselves, or their realm or guild mates. But getting to the top of the Leaderboards will no doubt be for extremely skilled, relatively hardcore players.

The added difficulty in this dungeon setting, requirement to manually create a group, item scaling to prevent out-gearing, and awards/bragging rights that cater to a healthy breadth of players, is what we hope will make it a popular new system in the game.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
So excited for Challenge Mode competition at USA launch! Makes a great spectator sport because there is so much movement and action.
It would make an even better spectator sport if you could spectate
Yeah. Hopefully someday. We'd love to have a spectator mode.

When will the req to be in a raid group to enter raids be removed? everyone knows work around's anyway so what's the point?
Soon! Maybe next major patch!

Give every class a special area like Peak of Serenity like Monks have. (Paraphrased)
I worry if every class had a special place that they wouldn't feel special any more.

What do you think about the current bandage system? I think it could use a lil revamp, maybe so that DoTs don't interrupt it?
I'm not sure First Aid has much of a role these days. I kind of wish it did.

Any thoughts about making TCG items BOA (such as Fishing chair, fools gold etc)
I agree that would be cool. Is sad to have your toys on the "wrong" character.

Any chance of getting the blacksmith TBC specialization weapons back on a trainer or vendor? E.g Lionheart Executioner.
That's a common request. We want to do more with BS. Look at Cooking in MoP as an example of our new ideas.

Any plans to do anything about the overcrowding of hotbars with skills for some classes. Eventually it will get overwhelming.
It's overwhelming now! We weren't successful in pruning many abilities. Too many player favs.

What about the opposite of CRZ, that tech that allows zones to deal with overpopulation with multiple shards?
We'll see, but we don't want to totally give up on the idea of a realm's community and already much works against that.

Was in Deepholm and saw people from other servers, do you think its fair that we have to compete for rare spawns with them?
They were designed with certain player densities in mind.
I understand bringing some low pop ones together,I was just a little miffed when I ran into Illidan people camping rare spawns
We always wanted there to be competition for rare spawns. That's how the game felt when there were more folks in lower zones.

If DS closes after Mists, how will rogues be able to get the Fangs of the Father? And will the clusters be available in LFR?
DS isn't closing. You just can't use Raid Finder for lvl 85 raids when you fare 90.

With acct wide achievements, if you gold all challenges on one character, do you get xmog set on all?
Just that character.

Since Vanilla it's bugged me the Eviscerate icon looks like some one is getting stabbed in the back. Does it bug you?
Yes, it bugs me too. We started to change some of these icons, but decided they were... um... iconic and let them stay.

Why, in an xpac so aimed at playing the toon you want, did you chose to make SoH BoP in stead of BoA? Please make boa!
We probably will eventually. At first we want your prof choice to be meaningful, not a problem you solve by having many alts.

Any plans to address the players on your own forums, or are they effectively abandoned?
I post on the forums frequently. Just perhaps not as much as players would like.

You don't want players to feel forced into LFR, so you give them a chance to get legendaries there? Wheres the logic there?
If you're the kind of player who completes set bonuses by running LFR, then maybe.
no. EVERYONE wants legendaries. saying "if you do LFR you get an extra chance for it" is OBVIOUSLY gonna push them into LFR.
You are probably thinking of them like Dragonwrath drops. I'd be surprised if N/H raiders are in Raid Finder after a week or two.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
If you had a chance to redo the class specs with out consequence, would you keep Beast Mastery in the game?
Yes. It has a strong kit. Players "get" it.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
One of your tweets said Volley was boring. "Channel, snooze, repeat". Can we have a change to Mind Sear then? etc..
Shadow dots are worth using for AE on many targets unless they will die really quickly. Mind Sear is better for fast kills.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
May I ask the reasons for the warrior nerfs? Just curious... Would like to understand the developers views on this.
Damage was too high at 90. Players were able to improve a little more on the rotation and gear than we anticipated. We don't like the risk of WW going into single-target rotation though, so we might tweak numbers some more.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Questing the Only Way to Level
The point of this thread was to ask the question why is questing the only way to level? If I want to bg or dungeon grind, why should I be penalized for choosing to play the game a different way? Why should I be forced to quest? Why is Blizzard forcing me to play the game a certain way?
Questing is hardly the only way to level, and while it’s easy to toss around imaginary numbers on how many people are interested in quest text, I can assure you that a rather large number of people do care. I actually think you’re missing out on quite a lot of great story nuggets if you ignore the text entirely, but you know what they say: different strokes for different folks.

With that being said, if your aim is to simply reach max-level as quickly as possible, there are a number of different ways to do so. I know of several people that have rotated between running dungeons, questing, running BGs, and grinding mobs as the mood strikes them. I’d definitely encourage people to experience the game the way they would like to experience it. Battle some pets, work on some professions, explore exotic new places, and just, well, enjoy the journey. There’s an awful lot to see and do beyond those bubbles on your XP bar.
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Cross Realm Zones
Just saw a player from different server in Jade Forest. Again Blizz, you seem to say one thing and do another. Guildmate reported it.
While we aren't sharing zones in Pandaria, this doesn't preclude people from grouping with friends and bringing them over to play via Real ID or Battle Tag. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Initial Impressions
It's still 30 seconds.. most choices are no brainers.
I suspect that what constitutes a 'no-brainer' for you might not be so clear to another player. Personally, I've already thought of several different talent load-outs I'd like to experiment with for different circumstances on the characters I play.

Perhaps they're worthy of more thought than first impressions provide?

This is the expansion that Cataclysm should have been. You know that feeling you got when you walked through the dark portal or into Northrend? That sense of "wonder" and "anticipation" for what is to come? Mists of Pandaria has that.
This captures the feeling I'm getting from Mists very nicely. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Gyrocopters Quest Bug
We're aware of the issues players are having with this quest. We're monitoring the situation closely and looking to see what we can do to ease the burden. As the introductory Alliance quest for Pandaria, we know it's a big deal. In the meantime we ask only for your patience. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Realm Queues and Free Character Transfers
We're watching realm populations very closely. For those on high-population realms, your patience is appreciated. The fact is it's not wise for us to be incredibly hasty with free transfers. The game has been out less than a day. We're also in peak play times in the evenings. It's something we have to evaluate carefully as the number of concurrent players stabilizes over the week so that, if free transfer are needed, we can provide the service in the most effective way possible to/from the realms that need it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Curse Weekly Roundup
The Curse Weekly Roundup is here with news about Slender, Minecon 2012, the PS3 Slim, Planetside 2, and more.

by Published on 2012-09-24 12:10 AM

Patch 1.0.5 Interview, How to Change Monster Level, Appear Offline Option, Curse Weekly Roundup

Harvest Festival has started! (Icy Veins Guide)

Update: Added a mounts preview!

Mists of Pandaria Live!
Mists of Pandaria is now live in the US and in Europe, have fun!


Streams



Patch 5.0.4 Guide
If you are just coming back to the game now, don't miss all of the system changes in Patch 5.0.4!



Introducing the Monk Class
The Monk class is being released today with the expansion! For more information on the class check out the links below, for gameplay discussions head to our Monk forums!












Mounts



Pet Battles




Mists of Pandaria Zones







Mists of Pandaria Dungeons








Mists of Pandaria Raids

Heart of Fear





Terrace of the Endless Spring




Mogu'shan Vaults





World Bosses




Mists of Pandaria Scenarios







Armor Sets








Mists of Pandaria Factions







Mists of Pandaria Profession Previews
Every profession has something new in Mists of Pandaria. Take a look at the official preview for a nice summary and check out the previews below for all the new stuff!








WoWDB Addon Data Collection
You may have noticed that we are making slow and steady progress on WoWDB, but now we need some help from you! If you are using Curse Client, you can contribute data like mining node locations and what a vendor sells.

To help out, just install the WoWDB Profiler addon from Curse and check the box in the Curse Client options as seen below. When you are playing the addon will gather data and save it. When you are done playing, Curse Client will see the game close and upload the collected data from the addon.

Don't forget to update your addons, authors have made lots of fixes since Patch 5.0.4!



FoxTrot
FoxTrot shows us what is happening to all of the returning players.


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