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by Published on 2010-05-27 06:31 PM

Update - Zalazane's Fall screenshots are here! Expect an extensive preview "soon".
Update - Operation Gnomeregan screenshots added! Echo isles are on the way!

Zalazane's Fall Screenshots
This is a very fun questline, it's not too long and it's a pretty nice introduction to what will happen in Cataclysm! For more details on the quests please read:



Operation Gnomeregan Screenshots
This is a very fun questline, it's not too long and it's a pretty nice introduction to what will happen in Cataclysm! For more details on the quests please read:



PTR:Operation Gnomeregan and Zalazane's Fall
Obviously, a full coverage of the events will be available super soon. For more information you can already check:
[blizzquote author=Nethaera source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/25134813698/ptr-operation-gnomeregan-and-zalazane-s-fall]Starting today on the PTR, testers will have the opportunity to rise up to the challenge of the Operation Gnomeregan and Zalazane's Fall events. We're looking for your feedback and participation on the PTR to make these both memorable events in Azeroth's history.

Not in the PTR as of yet? Find out how to join in on the fun on the Test Forums here- http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...02404509&sid=1 [/blizzquote]
by Published on 2010-05-27 04:54 AM

Cataclysm Screenshot of the Day
A new screenshot has been added to the Screenshot of the Day Gallery on the official site. This one is from the Halls of Origination instance (Preview).


What if murlocs were real?
[blizzquote author=Zarhym source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/25026436710/what-if-murlocs-were-real/]Wait a minute...

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...81_600x450.jpg[/blizzquote]

Blue posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Earthfury Epaulets (T1 Shaman) in Molten Core
Unfortunately you will have to wait for the fix to the Baron's loot table to get a pair of those Earthfury Epaulets. The good news is the Eye of Sulfuras is still on Ragnaros' loot table, so it is possible to receive this item.

[...] It'll get fixed in a future patch. Unfortunately I can't really say when =(. The fix should be in the patch notes and if it isn't, I'll update this thread. Sorry for the inconvenience. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Psychic Horror / Anti Magic Shield
We looked into this is and it is intended. Psychic Horror was changed so that the disarm effect still occurs regardless of whether the target is immune to the fear portion. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Retribution in Cataclysm (Source)
There are a few basic way classes choose what attack to use next. Some classes are limited by resources. If a rogue has 60 energy, she can choose to spend it on attack A or attack B. If attack A hits harder and attack B doesn't have situational utility, then she'll use A every time.

A warlock generally isn't limited by mana within short time scales. A lock's decisions are more rotational. You want to cast A before you cast B. It's not that B is bad, just that it becomes more powerful if you do A first. For example, there is little point in casting your first Corruption seconds before the target is about to die.

Paladins have a third model, one more based on prioritization. You aren't generally limited by mana, and you don't generally need to do things in a certain order for the mechanics to work, but you do have attacks that you'd rather use when they are available (generally because they hit harder). The decision point comes in because you have a lot of cooldowns, so you can't just spam your hardest hitting attack over and over again. When your Judgements and Hammer and Crusader Strike are on cooldown, then your choice is probably Divine Storm. (Depending on your gear, DS might even trump CS.) If Divine Storm's damage went down, then you might prioritize Consecration or Exorcism higher, but you can't spam those either, so then you're back to Divine Storm or autoattack. That was my point.

There are things we can do as well to make Divine Storm better at single targets without making it overpowered against groups of targets. Off the top of my head, there are mechanics like the meteor where the damage is divided among the targets. What we are trying to chill out on the warrior, paladin and DK particularly is the "free AE" component. When your AE attacks are balanced against single targets (in the absence of some mechanic like I was suggesting above) then you just get free damage when you can AE as well. This means those classes leap dramatically ahead on meters whenever they are in a situation where they can "cleave." It also means they aren't doing anything very differently when faced with groups of mobs over single targets. By contrast the mage might switch to Blizzard or Living Bomb and the rogue has to start using Fan of Knives.

One of the ways we can support more individual abilities on classes is by making them situational. If you use all of your attacks no matter what the situation, then your gameplay tends to get very formulaic and eventually boring. It is also likely to get really complicated if your whole action bar is part of your standard rotation. A better design, we think, is that some abilities get used in AE situations and some get used in single-target situations. There can be overlap, but we'd at least like players to assess the upcoming battle and make some decisions about how to approach it before just going into a tunnel vision button-hitting mode.

Solution: Make CS baseline, put a 1 point 10% dmg to CS buff in its place in the talent tree to replace it.
That is not an announced change. I can understand the frustration of being in a gray area at the moment where you know some information that we have released but much of the details are still under NDA. Unfortunately, if you focus on little tidbits that someone leaked or speculated, then you aren't going to get the full story. In cases like this we had to put something in the talent tree as temporary filler when we pulled CS. Many of the talent trees have talents that say NYI or just plain don't do anything. That's just where we are in the alpha process. If we push data at a stage when someone can't even talent down a tree then the spec becomes unplayable. As such, we have to make talent tree changes in large chunks at once.

GC - "We are nerfing Divine Storm against single targets because we don't want AoE abilities to be used against single targets, but we fully expect Divine Storm to continue to be used against single targets."
More accurate to say that we don't want single target abilities to get free bonus damage when in groups. That's not balance-able. For the warrior the solution is to make Whirlwind not cost-effective against single-targets. For the DK, it's about getting Pestilence back towards a utility role (getting diseases up on groups) and not a massive AE attack. For the paladin, we still want them to use Divine Storm (and you can't cost-effect a Ret paladin anyway) so the solution will have to be something different.

How about something like having Crusader Strike apply some kind of debuff to the target . Then have Divine Storm hit anyone with that debuff harder. I think that would get its damage up on single targets but keep it lower on groups.
Yep, both this and the tie-in to Judgements are good ideas. We also like the T102P bonus.
Fan Arts
4 new Fan Arts have been added to the Blizzard Fan Art Section


Grand Crusader King Arthas Menethil
Paulo Henrique S.B. (Pulyx)
Forsaken Rogue
Katie Lisk (PokketMowse)
hujianing (朝圣者)
Chinese new year's eve
Qiu yuwei (Awei)
by Published on 2010-05-26 09:06 AM

Cataclysm Screenshots of the Day
A new screenshot of the Lost Isles has been added to the Screenshot of the Day Gallery on the official site.


Heroic Ruby Sanctum Testing Schedule
[blizzquote author=Daelo source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/25026566489/heroic-ruby-sanctum-testing-schedule/]Testing so far on the Ruby Sanctum has gone well. For the next phase of the testing, we're going to allow raids to switch difficulty to Heroic.

Heroic mode testing will only be available for a limited time, but we hope to allow Normal mode testing for a longer period.

US Testing Schedule:
Thursday, May 27 at 19:00 EDT.

EU Testing Schedule:
Friday, May 28 starting at 19:30 CEST.

This schedule could change without much warning due to PTR downtime, new builds being deployed, etc. [/blizzquote]

Blue posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Homogenization and healing
Homogenization is a risk. Totally. It's something we try and fight against. In the case of healing, we don't want to erode the unique aspects of the 5 talent specs. We just want to move the non-unique parts closer together. If you need an analogy, we're not going to mess with the flowers or the fruit or the shape of the leaves. We just want everyone to have similar roots. Spells like Circle, Chain Heal and Beacon will continue to be an important and unique part of your repertoire. We just want to make sure everyone has the basic tools so that they aren't in a situation where they're trying to tighten screws with a hammer.

Now having said that, there are a couple of exceptions. If you are a Disc priest who loved to use PW:S and nothing else or a Resto druid who loved to use Rejuv and nothing else, then you will probably need to use more of your buttons again. We don't want to promote the strategy of trying to pre-heal as many people as possible without really worrying about who is actually taking damage. There's not a lot of decision-making or coordination or reactive gameplay there. Disc priests will need to actually cast heals (and Penance can certainly be one of them) and druids will have to mix in some direct heals along with their hots. (Source)

Healing in Cataclysm
I take a different view on a couple of your points here. Healers won't be forced to spam their most efficient heal because the encounters will be less threatening early on. Later on when your mana regen as at its highest you will need to use your highest throughput spell because the damage is higher. You'll also need to use your fast heal sometimes for the same reason. Fortunately fully raid buffed and in good gear, you'll have more mana regen. I don't think any of these changes encourage players to blame healers more. Bad players are always going to deflect their failures onto someone else. That is why they are bad players. The alternative is to make healing so simplistic that there is almost no chance of failure (i.e. nobody would ever die). You'd never get blamed for anything but you'd probably also be pretty bored.

Minus gaming coefficients, we pretty much had this model with downranking and it largely worked. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator)
"Widening the spell selection"
The definition of "widening spell selection" has to be real choices. Just putting more heals in your spellbook doesn't accomplish much. They have to be spells you'd realistically consider casting, and not just once an evening. That is most challenging with the druid because we decided not to cut any current heals. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Retribution in Cataclysm
The current plan is for Crusader Strike to be baseline, but for Ret to have talents that add to it, and for Divine Storm to be the 51-point talent.

[...] Keep in mind that the way Retribution works, you aren't often choosing to exclude one attack in exchange for another. A Fury warrior can just not use Whirlwind and spend the rage on Heroic Strike again. But Rets are not limited by mana as much as cooldowns. You can choose to not do anything when Crusader Strike et al. are on cooldown, or you can use Divine Storm.

I agree it would, and perhaps does, feel crappy to get the same ability that another class gets as a base ability for your 51-point talent. That's not the design goal. (Source)
by Published on 2010-05-25 04:45 PM

Icecrown Citadel Buff increased to 20%
The Hellscream's Warsong and Strength of Wrynn buffs in Icecrown Citadel have been increased to 20%.
[blizzquote author=Zarhym source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/23425467230/icecrown-citadel-raid-buffs-active/]
We have increased the potency of the Strength of Wrynn and Hellscream’s Warsong buffs in Icecrown Citadel by an additional 5%. These buffs now increase total health, healing done and damage dealt by 20%. In addition, the number of attempts allotted for all final bosses on Heroic difficulty has been increased to 50.
[/blizzquote]

by Published on 2010-05-24 08:13 AM

Ruby Sanctum Loot Table Update
The Ruby Sanctum loot table has been slightly updated, we're still waiting for heroic mode items and we will have to wait for the next testing to see them.

25-Man Loot Table

HTML Code:
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<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Plate</td><td>Melee.DPS</td><td>Feet</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53125/apocalypses-advance/"]Apocalypse's Advance[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Plate</td><td>Spell</td><td>Feet</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53487/foreshadow-steps/"]Foreshadow Steps[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Plate</td><td>Tanking</td><td>Feet</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53129/treads-of-impending-resurrection/"]Treads of Impending Resurrection[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Mail</td><td>Spell</td><td>Waist</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53488/split-shape-belt/"]Split Shape Belt[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Leather</td><td>Spell</td><td>Wrist</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53134/phaseshifters-bracers/"]Phaseshifter's Bracers[/url]</td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Cloth</td><td>Spell</td><td>Wrist</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53486/bracers-of-fiery-night/"]Bracers of Fiery Night[/url]</td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Cloak</td><td>Spell</td><td>Back</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53489/cloak-of-burning-dusk/"]Cloak of Burning Dusk[/url]</td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Neck</td><td>Melee.DPS</td><td>Neck</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53132/penumbra-pendant/"]Penumbra Pendant[/url]</td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Finger</td><td>Phys.DPS</td><td>Finger</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53133/signet-of-twilight/"]Signet of Twilight[/url]</td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Finger</td><td>Spell MP5</td><td>Finger</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53490/ring-of-phased-regeneration/"]Ring of Phased Regeneration[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Trinket</td><td>Phys.DPS</td><td>Trinket</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/54569/sharpened-twilight-scale/"]Sharpened Twilight Scale[/url]</td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Trinket</td><td>Tanking</td><td>Trinket</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/54571/petrified-twilight-scale/"]Petrified Twilight Scale[/url]</td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Trinket</td><td>Spell DPS</td><td>Trinket</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/54572/charred-twilight-scale/"]Charred Twilight Scale[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>271</td><td>Trinket</td><td>Healing</td><td>Trinket</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/54573/glowing-twilight-scale/"]Glowing Twilight Scale[/url]</td><td></td></tr>

</tbody></table>
10-Man Loot Table

HTML Code:
<table class="sortable" style="border: 1px solid rgb(150, 188, 39); margin: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="0"><thead><tr style="font-weight: bold; cursor: pointer;" bgcolor="#96bc27"><th width="30">lvl</th><th width="75">Type</th><th width="75">Spec</th><th width="75">Slot</th><th width="345">Item</th></tr></thead><tbody>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>258</td><td>Plate</td><td>Melee.DPS</td><td>Wrist</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53112/bracers-of-the-heir/"]Bracers of the Heir[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>258</td><td>Leather</td><td>Phys.DPS</td><td>Chest</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53114/gloaming-sark/"]Gloaming Sark[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>258</td><td>Leather</td><td>Spell</td><td>Hands</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53117/changeling-gloves/"]Changeling Gloves[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>258</td><td>Cloth</td><td>Spell Hit</td><td>Waist</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53118/misbegotten-belt/"]Misbegotten Belt[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>258</td><td>Cloak</td><td>Spell MP5</td><td>Back</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53115/abductions-cover/"]Abduction's Cover[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
<tr class="vloot2"><td>258</td><td>Finger</td><td>Melee.DPS</td><td>Finger</td><td>[url="http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/53110/zarithrians-offering/"]Zarithrian's Offering[/url]</td><td></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
Also, vodka (US-Alterac Mountains) released their video of Halion on PTRs and I assume that a few people would like to see the fight from another point of view.

HTML Code:
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Blue posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Totem of Wrath in Cataclysm
They are both 10% of the target's spellpower (not the shaman or warlock's). We want Demonology and Elemental (and everyone) to be brought because they have good raid synergy and meaningful dps and because the person behind the keyboard is a good contributor. Nobody should get brought because they have the mandatory buff that you can't live without. (Source)

Addon Spotlight - QuestMyMap
I had to level a few more alts lately and I was more than happy to find QuestMyMap. Also, Addon Spotlights are great because I can just copy/paste the description from the addon author!

Download

QuestMyMap is a small addon without configuration that aims to provide a nicer quest map and some fixes.

Features:
  • Resizes the quest map to full scale
  • Drag border of the quest list to resize it (or shift-click / rightclick to toggle)
  • Quest levels on quest titles
  • Hides quest log and quest rewards on world map
  • Moves quest selection frame to a transparent overlay
  • Paste quest links from the world map with Shift-Click
  • Rightclicking a selected quest opens the quest log
  • Difficulty coloring for tooltips (make sure you activate the Interface option "Quest Difficulty Color")



The MMO Report
It's monday, and it's time for your weekly dose of MMO Report

HTML Code:
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Comics
Dark Legacy Comic #239 and Teh Gladiators #134 are out! Also added an extra strip from Questionable Content.




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