World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2012-09-22 06:43 AM

PTR is Now Live - More Infernal Machine and Hellfire Ring Information and PTR Patch 1.0.5 Unofficial Changes - PvP Tokens and More

Mists of Pandaria Interview With Cory Stockton
We recently had the chance to speak with Cory Stockton (lead content designer) about upcoming content in Mists of Pandaria. A very short summary is below, but you should read or watch the entire thing!

  • There will be alternating patches that bring daily quests, scenarios, and other smaller items and then patches that bring raids.
  • There may be some faction specific scenarios coming in the future, but faction specific raid bosses are unlikely.
  • There may be an event that sets up the raid on Orgrimmar in a future patch.
  • Fishing and Cooking are much easier to level on alts now.
  • The new character creation preview armor is not in game yet, but if there is demand and somewhere good to add it, expect to see it in the future!
  • Transmogrification restrictions will be relaxed some more to offer more customization.
  • Other sources for transmogrification gear are coming in the future that deliver gear in a meaningful way.
  • It is unlikely we will see old raids with gear and level scaling in LFR anytime soon, but maybe some smaller revamped content in a manner similar to the Scholomance update.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Q: Mists of Pandaria is releasing in a few days, how do you feel about the expansion and what are you the most excited about?
A: We are super stoked! All of us have a vibe that this is going to be super awesome. I think for a lot of us it brings back a vibe of what Northrend felt like. There is a lot of anticipation and a ton of content in the game that people didn't get to see in beta. There are so many little things that I think people are going to be hyped about, so we have a really good vibe about it. It feels great to have a continent again. One continent that we can talk about, something we were missing in Cataclysm and it feels great to have it back.

Q: It was mentioned a couple of times that the objective was to release patches faster for this expansion, does it mean smaller patches and a better organization of content to keep players busy? What can we expect from Patch 5.1 and 5.2 for example?
A: We want to deliver patches as quickly as possible, but every patch can't be a gigantic 4.3 type patch. We still want to be able to deliver something to players as quickly as possible.

We are looking at a method where we can deliver a patch that might have a set of daily quests, scenarios, and some new content very quickly while at the same time the entire team is working on a raid patch. A little bit of time after that the raid patch would come out, and we would continue with another patch that had some scenarios, daily quests, a battleground and then that would be followed in that same space of time by another raid patch.

The idea being that we are always updating the content for players and we would create spaces in between patches that allow for players to consume the amount of content coming in the raid patches. Releasing a raid and then releasing another patch two months later doesn't make a lot of sense. It doesn't give people enough time to actually be able to experience everything there is in a raid. There is a minimum time frame that you need but we are already working like crazy on Patch 5.1 and 5.2. Those patches are already far along in progress.

As far as what you will be seeing, Patch 5.1 will continue the Alliance and Horde conflict, which we are really going to push home. Alliance and Horde are going to land on the shores of Pandaria and transform the area they land in. There will be a number of daily quests and scenarios to go with it. That is what we are planning, obviously it is still in progress, but we want to get that out to players very quickly.

Q: With the war between the Horde and Alliance as the main focus of the expansion, will it affect upcoming PvE content in any way? Is it possible to see faction specific bosses for dungeons and even possibly raids?
A: Faction specific bosses is something we have talked about a bunch. The main issue about that is that it means that everyone gets less. If we make four faction specific bosses, everyone only will see two. So that is what we are trying to fight against.

What we are looking at doing in the patch is adding faction specific scenarios. Each faction would get their own scenario and possibly some shared objectives. They wouldn't be the exact same, but they would be similar, using different characters and things like that. So that is one thing we are looking to do on that end. For raiding, we probably are not going see that because of the amount of time we spend on a raid boss means we want everyone to see it.

As far as affecting the world, the general concept of why we are going to Pandaria is the Alliance vs Horde fight. Garrosh wants to claim it as his own and paint it red, whereas Varian initially is going to save his son. Once he finds out that Garrosh wants Pandaria, Varian realizes that he can't let him have it, so that conflict erupts. That is what plays out through the entire patch cycle. You are definitely going to see an impact on Pandaria in Patch 5.1 when it changes some of the landscape. We have a lot of story to tell in the launch about what Pandaria is, what its history is, and giving players a chance to absorb all of that. Then we will be continuing with the Alliance vs Horde conflict.

Q: Will we see any changes to the world outside of Pandaria other than Theramore and possibly the Orgrimmar raid? Is the war going to affect the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor too?
A: There is a possibility that in a later patch you could see something that could happen to possibly set up what is going to happen in Orgrimmar. Orgrimmar is in a final raid with Garrosh that we have talked about. Obviously you will see changes to Orgrimmar, but we are talking about possibly doing something before that to set it up, so that when it happens it doesn't feel like something that hit you by surprise. The majority of what you are going to see is focused on Pandaria though. Anything that you see that might reference the existing world will probably come through scenarios, which is a great way for us to use scenarios.

Q: The challenge armor sets introduced new visual procs on armors for all classes, is this something we can expect to see regularly? Is there any plan to update the challenge armor sets or include new rewards after the first set of dungeons and raids?
A: Possibly. It is the first time we have ever done armor sets that don't have stats on them which are made just for transmogrification. The concept behind those is that if someone sees you in a set of challenge mode gear, they know that you are a badass and you are able to do the hardest five man content that we could create. That is before you even get into the leaderboards for servers and guilds. Players are going to be able to get lower times on the leaderboard than you would need just to earn the armor. We are going to have to see how it plays out.

We put a lot of time and effort into those sets. If you aren't giving people item levels, you have to give them something, which is where coming up with the spell effects came from. The effects are linked to animations, so when you play the animation you will see them. It is something new for us, so we will have to see the reaction and see how it plays out. If they are popular and challenge modes end up being something where we do seasons, then you could totally expect to see something similar to what we have done with other stuff where we create a new set of gear for each season. I think it is too early to tell, but it is something we are definitely hoping happens. We are pretty stoked on the whole challenge mode concept.

Q: Regarding tier sets, some classes have only one set of tier gear, while others have multiple sets tailored to each of their specs. Have you ever considered making one set for each class that would have it's stats and set bonuses change based off of the players spec?
A: We talked about that a little bit, but it has mostly come down to who we felt needed that specifically and if it felt like they were at a disadvantage if they didn't get that. In general, we are trying not to change stats dynamically because it creates confusion for players more than anything in the long run. That is something you will see minimized going into the future, but in certain cases we feel like we need it because of where the classes are and the way their specs fit together. In general that is something we want to minimize though.

Q: Have you thought about adding raid quests that do not involve a legendary item? Something like the Champion of Naaru and Hand of A'dal quest chains that could reward a title or transmogrification gear?
A: That idea has totally come up. In Icecrown we did the weekly raid quests, which was a tiptoe into doing questing within raids. That was a little different because it was randomized. Every time you went in there was a different thing for you to do and the rewards were completely different. In general we liked some of the concepts from how that worked, and that is what sparked the conversation, especially with transmogrification. It gives us a whole new set of rewards. That is a really cool idea and something that we can hopefully expand upon. We have a history of trying questing in raiding before, so it is definitely something we could look at again.

Q: Any plans on making secondary professions account wide? Not making primary professions account wide makes sense, but Fishing and Cooking are tedious to level on all characters and don't provide any powerful character specific rewards like primary professions.
A: That is a really awesome idea. I think you probably have seen us doing things going towards that. If you look at Fishing, we moved Nat Pagle out to Pandaria and he is using one of our new friendship reputation systems. If you become friends with him, he will sell you Nat's Fishing Journal, which will teach Fishing skill to your alts. You can buy multiple journals and teach them Fishing all of the way up to 300 or 450, I think it is 450 (The tooltip says 600). If you have one fisherman, you can use that fisherman in Pandaria to buy the book and hand it to other alts to level up.

We have a very similar thing with cooking with catchup mechanisms. If you have one character that has high level Pandaria cooking, you can buy recipe books to hand down to lower level characters to raise their skill quickly. You are seeing what you are talking about already. We haven't paid a lot of attention to First Aid; there isn't a ton of gameplay in First Aid to expand upon, but that general core philosophy is something that you can see in some of the things that we are already doing.

Q: The character selection screen now features different sets of armor on each class. Most of them look like high-resolution version of old gear. Does it mean Blizzard is planning to go back to improve older sets of armor now that transmogrification is in game?
A: They are definitely based on what we felt were player's favorite original sets. It's actually interesting, a lot of what we based the sets on is what characters are wearing in the original WoW cinematic. The hunter set is based on what the dwarf was wearing when he shoots the gun and sends his bear out in front of Ironforge. The idea is when you see that, you get the iconic look of this is what my class will be. From that, we tasked all new art. To the eye it might look like they are higher res versions, but they are definitely all brand new art. They aren't a texture that is higher res; we had them made completely new.

As far as bringing back other sets, it depends on if things are popular. If it something that players want and we have a cool way to give it out as a reward, we are definitely going to do it. A question we have seen often is, "Am I going to be able to get those sets that are in the previews". Currently the sets aren't available in game, but when we made them we designed them to be actual armor, so it is just a matter of us finding a cool spot to give those out and we certainly could.

Q: Are there any plans to let players use other unused and no longer available color variations of gear through transmogrification? When will there be any updates to the transmogrification system?
A: Transmogrification is it's whole entire thing, it's awesome. We held out so long on doing a feature like this and we actually didn't know what the reaction would be. We had a lot of reservations about it, but we loved the concept behind it. That is why you see transmogrification limited; we don't want certain parts of WoW to look ridiculous. We don't want you to turn your sword into a 17 Pound Catfish and run around with it. There are limitations on that kind of thing, but we are seeing how popular transmogrification is and how some of our limitations are getting in the way of things that would offer more customization. Maybe changing colors or things like that to let players feel more unique is something we are totally open to.

Now that we have wrapped up our work on the Mists of Pandaria launch we can start to look at some of our existing features and look for ways that we can offer that customization. In general the answer is yes, we want to do more of that, but we still want to be careful to make sure that WoW doesn't come off looking ridiculous through things that we have allowed people to do through transmogrification. We are super stoked about how popular the feature is and have been blown away by the popularity. It is the reward structure for Challenge Modes, so clearly it has become something big.

Q: Is there any plan to add other sources of transmogrification gear in Raids, PvP, or even daily quests?
A: Yes, for sure. I don't think we can share those right now, but we definitely want to give out more transmogrification gear in other ways. It can't be a floodgate though. We want to do it in ways that makes it feel awesome to get the gear. Challenge modes are a great example of how we can get that gear out and let people use it in a way that means something.

Another example would be not leaving old PvP gear in when we added the transmogrification system. We didn't want people to have easy access to the gear from the original PvP honor system, because we felt like that gear looks great and is meaningful, so we want to find another way for players to get it. It is definitely something we want to do and something you will probably see us doing throughout the patches.

Q: Have you given any thought to making old raids available with normalized gear and stats, similar to Challenge Modes? This would make old content more fun and relevant again. Maybe even with LFR to make it easier to find groups.
A: That has come up a number of times, but it always comes up against the battle of "Do we want to spend time turning Blackwing Lair into a LFR and offering gear, or do we want to create six new raid bosses for the next patch?". That is always what it comes down to; everything comes at a cost of content. We can't just take Blackwing Lair and throw it in the LFR system. We would have to redo the majority of the fights. Going back and changing something is sometimes much more difficult than starting from scratch.

It doesn't mean that you won't ever see it, but if we ever did something like that it would be along the lines of what you see with out classic heroics. We tiptoed into that by doing Deadmines and Shadowfang; they have been very popular. We had an awesome response to Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery, but we have only done four of them in the five years since we introduced that concept. If we did something like that, it would be in a similar way. You would see a whole new raid which is accompanied by something old and smaller. It is definitely an idea that we like.

Q: Moving from realms to realms is getting cost prohibitive for players now that a lot of them have a lot of alts. Are there any plans to allow a one-time transfer of all characters from one realm to another at a lower price?
A: I wouldn't be the person to answer that question, so I don't really know. When we offer new pricing and new features that involve real world money the designers generally aren't too up to date on that. I see the idea though. When guild transfers happened that was because a lot of us were moving our entire guilds and it seemed that there was an easier way to do it, Within the team we were moving. We have the ability here to move a number of people and that seemed like something players would want, so that is how that turned in to a paid feature. It is probably something that falls along those same lines.

Q: Is there anyone already working on the next expansion at Blizzard?
A: Yes. 100%. We are already working on new stuff. As long as players love the game, are invested, and are going to keep playing, we are going to continue to make expansions.

Warrior and Warlock Challenge Mode Gear Procs
Tonight we take a look at a little bit more flare for the Challenge Mode gear! Each set has a special proc that will go off during combat or other actions. Some of the sets even have multiple procs or slight variations depending on what you are casting.

You can find the Challenge Mode set previews on our Challenge Mode Gear page, found in the menu in the navbar.

Cross-Realm Zones
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
A number of concerns have popped up since cross-realm zones were introduced to live realms, and we want to take a moment to explain how they work. We also want to address some of the anomalies you may be experiencing, including some recent bugs that we’ve hotfixed, or are currently investigating.

Cross-Realm Zones 101
Cross-realm zones are a new technology that allows players in underpopulated areas of the world to meet, group up, and adventure with players from other realms. This technology effectively populates low-level zones and other previously uninhabited areas, resulting in a livelier game world. Cross-realm zones allow players to form a group with other players from within a select pool of realms in order to quest just like they normally would, while still allowing the social structures of their home realms to remain intact. Cross-realm zones populate an area with players from other realms based upon the following criteria:

  • Realm type
  • Time zone
  • Language

Realm Type
When traversing Azeroth, players may encounter players from other realms who share their same realm type. PvE with PvE, PvP with PvP, RP-PvP with RP-PvP, and RP-PvE with RP-PvE.

The exception to this is that players are freely able to invite Real ID and BattleTag friends to join their party, even if their realm types do not match. In this case, players will be randomly placed within a party member’s realm. While it might be a little disconcerting to know that players from non-RP realms are adventuring in RP realms, or that players from PvP realms are exploring PvE realms, this is working as intended. Those players are in the company of friends from the target realm.

Please keep in mind that if you choose to group with Real ID and BattleTag friends, you may be placed on a different realm type depending on the members of your party. As such, we recommend grouping with players who belong to realm types you are comfortable with experiencing (such as PvE or RP).

Time Zone
When we initially looked at the North American time zones, we didn’t think that the time differences would have much of an impact on players participating in cross-realm zones. However, the inclusion of some Oceanic realms was an oversight. Following a recent change, players will no longer be placed on a realm with a time difference greater than three-hours. We’ll watch the results of this change and if three hours still feels too odd, we can continue to iterate.

Currently, realms are coalesced by language, meaning that players on Spanish-speaking realms will be placed in coalesced zones with other players on Spanish-speaking realms, and Brazilian realms will be placed in coalesced zones with other Portuguese-speaking players. This separation by language wasn’t initially in place with the launch of path 5.0.4, but has since changed so that we can provide a better gameplay experience in each region. Players on Oceanic realms, while English-speaking, are also only coalesced with other players on Oceanic realms in order to prevent players from being placed on realms with a local time difference greater than three hours.

Lack of Realm Community
We understand that players are concerned about CRZ potentially impacting the sense of community. Cross-realm zones were intended to make lower level zones feel less empty, but may also impact other more populated zones. With more populated areas, we’re aware of concerns over increased competition for resource nodes as well as quest and rare mob spawns. This is something that we’re in the process of evaluating. We’ve already taken some steps to address it by increasing the spawn rates of most rare spawns. If a zone becomes too populated, we’re capable of adjusting how many realms are able to connect to it. Just keep in mind that we do choose spawn times of creatures and profession nodes with a certain zone population in mind -- CRZ affords us the ability to better maintain those populations.

Please note that Pandaria zones will not have CRZ enabled when Mists of Pandaria is released, but players can group up cross-realm in Pandaria with Real ID or BattleTag friends. The Wandering Isle, the pandaren starting area, will also not have CRZ enabled at launch, though we’ll have multiple instances of this zone running as needed for each realm, in an attempt to prevent overcrowding.

Low Population Concerns
Cross-realm zones are the first step toward improving the play experience when leveling on a low-population server. The world will be more populated, opening up the possibility for you to make BattleTag friends who you can then invite on future adventures. World of Warcraft is meant to be a massively multiplayer role-playing game, so we want to give players on lower population realms access to a larger community to play with.

Cross-realm zones won't fix economy-related issues for lower populated realms and it wasn't intended to. Regarding the suggestions for a cross-realm auction house, this is something we can evaluate at a future date. However, great care must be taken and we must carefully evaluate its impact on realm economies if such a change were to occur.

Known Bugs and Resolved Issues
We’re working behind the scenes to look into and address many of the recently shared CRZ concerns. In addition to the hotfixes that have already been applied to help streamline the player experience, we have some additional hotfixes on the way to address some of the known bugs.

Tol Barad and Wintergrasp Concerns
We unfortunately didn’t identify some of the issues with these PvP zones because these areas didn’t see much activity during the beta testing period. An early bug allowed players from multiple realms to participate in Tol Barad and Wintergrasp battles, or quest in these zones in between battles; however, this has been addressed and these zones should never be coalesced. We’ll consider offering full CRZ functionality for these zones in a future patch when we can solve some of the logistical issues coalescing initially brought about.

Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza
In the case of the weekly Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza, we also found that players from other realms were able to jump to a realm in a different time zone to get a head start on fishing, allowing them to win their home realm’s tournament as soon as it began. This isn’t fair for anyone and will require some new tech on our end to ensure the integrity of timed competitions. Unfortunately, this change will require a client-side patch, so we are disabling the fishing tournaments until we can deliver the fix for them in a future patch.

Ignoring or Reporting a Player from Another Realm
We understand that players want to be able to ignore and report players from other realms, and we’re working to identify and correct any issues currently preventing this. We take harassment very seriously, and if another player is harassing you, you can submit a ticket so that we can investigate your report.

Cross-Realm /who Requests
This is something we’d like to do, and we’re looking into it.

Realm “Hopping” by Changing Party Leaders
While it might sound like fun to go exploring in other realms by changing party leaders, this was not intended, and allowed some players to take advantage of bosses such as the Darkmoon Rabbit and challenges such as the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza. As such, we’ve made a fix that will stop groups from being able to do this.

Chat, Achievement, Skill Spam
We’re aware of chat, achievements, skills, and World Defense announcements being spammed in cross-realm zones and are working on a solution for this. We agree: it’s annoying.

Found Other Bugs?
Every bit of assistance you can offer us in tracking down bugs and squashing them would be invaluable. After reading this, if you’re experiencing any issues with CRZ that pretty clearly seem unintended, please provide us as much detail as possible on the Bug Report forum. If you’re curious as to what entails a “good” bug report, please read this simple, yet effective guide.

We’re definitely keeping tabs on this thread and ones like it, and will continue to roll out hotfixes to address any remaining issues as quickly as we can, so keep an eye out on our list of hotfixes for further details.

The bottom line is that cross-realm zones are meant to improve the leveling experience in lower-level zones while allowing you to quest with your Real ID or BattleTag friends. We’re currently in a strange part of the patch cycle where the level cap is 90, but everyone is still stuck at 85. We believe that most of the concerns about competition are having a larger impact now because everyone is waiting for Mists of Pandaria.

Please provide any additional feedback you have below. We’re continuing to read the concerns and bug reports you’ve been sharing. We’re committed to polishing the cross-realm zone feature so that it provides the best possible gameplay experience for all of our players.

Mists of Pandaria Midnight Activation Details
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The time is nearly upon us as the mists begin to part and a new age of discovery amidst turmoil begins! For those of you prepared to begin your adventures the moment Mists of Pandaria is launched in your region, we’ve put together some important details that should get your expedition underway.

As soon as we activate the new expansion content on launch, players who already have a Mists of Pandaria license with the data installed will gain instant access. If you’re in the game when the clock strikes midnight, you don’t even have to logout!

So, what happens at midnight for those of us with Mists ready to go?
  • A yellow System Message will appear in your Chat Log telling you to visit Orgrimmar or Stormwind to start your travels.
  • Level-85 characters will receive a new quest, no matter where they are in the world, which will guide them to Varian or Garrosh for further orders. If you’re online at midnight you will receive the quest even if your Quest Log is full -- or you can visit Varian or Garrosh to get started on your journey to Pandaria.
  • Level-85 players will notice their experience bars automatically change so that experience can once again be earned.
  • Players who are at the Character Creation screen at midnight will notice the button to create a pandaren character will be enabled. (Reminder: This also applies to players who don’t have a Mists of Pandaria license, as all races are now included with a base copy of World of Warcraft.)
  • Players who are at the Character Creation screen at midnight will notice the button to create a monk character will be enabled.
We’ve been very hard at work on this new technology with the goal of ensuring that players can enjoy a more stable and seamless transition into the next expansion than ever before. Our staff will be monitoring realm stability and gameplay issues around the clock, as we want to provide you with the best experience possible.

We’ll see you on Pandaria!

So, can i log out at 11:55pm (PDT of course) and sit at the character creation screen for 5 minutes for the Monk icon to "light up" and gets to creating right at 12:00? or will I need to log completely first?
Yes, if you sit at the login screen the buttons will become enabled in real time. You shouldn't need to logout of your account.

What about us with 25 dailies? Did you guys test that yet haha
Yes. You'll have somewhat of a "soft cap" on quests. So if you're Quest Log is full at midnight, visiting Varian or Garrosh will still allow you to embark on the quest to Pandaria (though, before you do I'd suggested turning in all those dailies).

In other words, you won't miss receiving the quest if you have 25. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Warlock Guide
Our friends over at Fatboss made a nice long video guide to the different Warlock talents, spells, and glyphs. Let them know if you liked it and want to see more! You can find the Mage guide here.

Of Orcs and Humans: The Story of Warcraft
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
W just released The Story of Warcraft, a comprehensive collection that will bring you up-to-speed with everything that’s happened in the Warcraft universe since the release of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.

The story of the brave people of Azeroth and beyond has been growing and expanding with each additional release in the Warcraft series of games. It’s a tale of mighty heroes, of powerful foes, a tale of strength, and honor, and of unlimited adventure. Now, you can check out a chronicle of the major events that happened in each Warcraft game, expansion, or major content patch. Each entry includes a short summary, a video trailer, and key art for the chapter. More content such as wallpapers, character cards (so you can keep track of the scores of heroes of the Warcraft universe), and more will be added to this section soon, so stay tuned!

Check out The Story of Warcraft now! And if you have any feedback or suggestions for future updates, we’d love to hear your thoughts! Just post in the comments and let us know what you think.
by Published on 2012-09-21 06:29 AM   

Patch 1.0.5 PTR Patch Notes - 1.0.5 Coming to the PTR

Rogue and Shaman Challenge Mode Gear Procs
Tonight we take a look at a little bit more flare for the Challenge Mode gear! Each set has a special proc that will go off during combat or other actions. Some of the sets even have multiple procs or slight variations depending on what you are casting.

You can find the Challenge Mode set previews on our Challenge Mode Gear page, found in the menu in the navbar. Each class has a proc for their set, so keep checking back to see your class's set!

Patch 5.0.5 Hotfixes - September 20
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
  • Cross-realm zones no longer bring together players who are more than 3 timezones apart.
  • When Tol Barad and Wintergrasp battles commence, cross-realm zoning should now cease for the duration, and resume after the end of the battle.
  • Cross-realm zones no longer behave erratically when a party changes leader.
  • The organizers of Azeroth's fishing tournaments have temporarily shut down their weekly affairs. Fishing tournaments will return soon.


Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Starfire damage has been increased by approximately 3%.
  • Starsurge damage has been increased by approximately 3%.
  • Wrath damage has been increased by approximately 9%.
  • Non-Restoration Druids will now properly get a mana discount when casting Cenarion Ward while Heart of the Wild is active. Feral and Guardian Druids will also properly gain increased healing.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Glyph of Scattering should no longer cancel DoTs on boss creatures, but does still still remove all DoTs from non-boss NPCs and enemy players.

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Immunity to Fear will no longer prevent Void Tendrils from landing on a target.

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Lightning Bolt damage has been increased by approximately 8%. This also applies to Overload Lightning Bolt and Echo of the Elements Lightning Bolt.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Mortal Strike now does 165% weapon damage (down from 185%).
  • Overpower now does 105% weapon damage (down from 120%)
  • Slam now does 190% weapon damage (down from 215%).
  • Raging Blow now does 190% weapon damage (down from 215%),
  • Bloodthirst now does 90% weapon damage (down from 100%).
  • Wild Strike now does 195% weapon damage (down from 220%).



Bug Fixes
  • Tanks in Theramore's Fall are no longer skinnable for leatherworkers. They can still be dismantled by engineers.

Developer Interviews
The developers are doing interviews as we get closers to launch, so here is a recap from a few more. Thanks to OMFGCata, Convert to Raid, and WoWInsider. Keep checking back for more interview summaries, along with our own interview with Cory Stockton!

Ion Hazzikostas - Lead Encounter Designer (Convert to Raid)
  • The lessons learned from the Theramore feedback will be applied to the scenarios made in the future.
  • A balance between showing the story and letting people skip it is seen with the event at the end of Dragon Soul that can be skipped if you don't want to watch it.
  • Patch 4.0 had several 10 man bosses that were not tuned well compared to the 25 man versions, either much harder or much easier. Tuning got better over the expansion and lessons learned will be applied in Mists of Pandaria.
  • Raiders liked the Patch 4.0 dungeons, but LFD users found them frustrating. Most people who are doing the heroic dungeons are now using the LFD tool, making it necessary to make the dungeons easier. This leaves Challenge Modes for players that want content that is harder.
  • Challenge modes won't be coming to raids immediately, but the leaderboard aspect might be something to consider adding. There might not be a large enough group of players that are interested in timed raid runs that don't reward player power increases, but it would give guilds that have content cleared something to compete against other guilds with.
  • LFR justifies the creation of more raid content when millions of players are able to see content. Only a few thousand people actually saw Kel'thuzad, but millions saw Deathwing. The reason Mists of Pandaria is starting with 18 bosses and adding larger raid tiers than we have had previously is because many players are going to see the raids through LFR.
  • Beta was very successful, even without level 90 premades. Thousands of people participated in raid testing and provided feedback.
  • The first raid will open one week after Mists of Pandaria launches, and the next two will open four weeks after that.

Cory Stockton - Lead Content Designer (OMFGCata)
  • The Alliance and Horde both want Pandaria and the Pandaren on their side.
  • The Jade Forest revamp was the result of feedback from a Strike Team. It wasn't clear why you were in Pandaria and what was going on, so the experience was revamped to make it much clearer.
  • The smaller phasing you see in the world while progressing through the story does not actually put you in another phase, it just changes what you see.
  • World Bosses are back because the loot, spawn time, camping, graveyard zerging issues are now able to be solved by new tech.
  • More bosses per tier is the goal, as longer raids make for more LFR segments.
  • There are a large number of players that enjoy crafting or aren't able to do raids, which is why the profession recipes like engineering goggles are still relevant even past the first content patch. The gear is still fun to make and useful for those players. It is unlikely that we will see crafted gear that remains upgraded and relevant throughout the entire expansion.
  • Blood Spirit is found from Disenchanting raid weapons and then used for crafting epic gear. It is there to offer an alternative to just Disenchanting some loot and getting materials for an enchant.
  • The legendary gems are the start of a story that will last through the entire expansion. Every patch there will be a way to keep that legendary going and do more with it so that it is useful for a long time. It also takes care of the problem of previous legendary items lasting a year and being class restricted.

Dave Kosak - Lead Quest Designer (WoWInsider)
  • Theramore freed Jaina from being a peacekeeper and shows an important event in the war between the Horde and Alliance.
  • Every new faction is a story to experience rather than a reputation bar to fill. Doing the daily quests unlocks this story.
  • There is a little bit of Titan vs. Old God lore in Mists, but it is way way way under the surface.
  • Wrathion has the best interests of Azeroth in mind, but his interests may not necessarily line up with our interests.
  • It isn't likely that the Lorewalkers will be expanded upon beyond some things to collect in new areas in other patches. This all depends on player engagement and feedback though!
  • There are lots of books sitting around in Pandaria, just waiting to be read.

“Appear Offline” Option Coming Soon to
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In the coming months, we're planning an update to that will give you more control over your online presence when playing Blizzard games. Soon, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III players will be able to select "Appear Offline" as one of their social-status options (along with Available, Busy, and Away) for those times when they want to wander Azeroth by their lonesome, dominate the galaxy in radio silence, or slay demons in solitude. When you choose this option as your status, all of your Real ID friends, BattleTag friends, and character-level friends will see you as “Offline” in their friends list whenever you’re logged into a game.

The “Appear Offline” status option will be added to World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III separately in future updates for each game. For Diablo III, we expect to add the feature in a patch after 1.0.5. For World of Warcraft and StarCraft II, we expect to add the option sometime after the release of each game’s upcoming expansion.

Thanks for your continued feedback, and we’ll share more information on the availability of this new feature in the months ahead.

Tier 14 Priest Preview
The Tier 14 set for priests has been swapped around from our original preview. You can find all of the other sets on the Tier 14 sets page.

Tier 14 Armor Previews
If you want to see higher res previews of all the color variations, along with videos, check out our Tier 14 sets page.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Checking in at item level 496, the first tier of raiding gear players will find in Pandaria is set to wrap you up in an all-new look.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Casters in PvP
I'm showing how i started mage as fire for the first time in Ruthless gear, and how quick i learned how easy it is so inflic alot of damage to your opponents (i:e how to get a 100% proc on insta Pyroblast)
Sorry, but I have to respond with this — On a non-moving target that is always in line-of-sight and does not put any pressure back onto you meaning you can go 100% offensive. It is also a good idea to keep in mind that level 85 balance is not indicative of what the balance will be at level 90.

Is there a different set of abilities im supposed to use to cause damage to players that i can't see when im on target dummies?
I feel that you may have misinterpreted my post. While it is possible to cast the spells mentioned while moving, you cannot guarantee a real target will always be in line of sight to maintain the highest possible damage output. When attacking a target dummy, you will also not have to be thinking about protecting yourself, crowd control or silences. This means you do not need to utilize defensive cooldowns or maneuver strategically.

As can be seen from some of the posts above; simulations are good to base a theory off of, but they cannot take into account variables that occur when putting that theory into practice. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Rating Decay
As has been said before, rewarding players for not actively participating in arena is something that we don't like. Players in season 11 were sitting on their rating due to its length and because they were waiting on Mists, but also while they would like to play arena more they feel there is too high a risk of losing the rating that they achieved. This is definitely a part of the system we feel can be improved upon.

There has to be caution taken with changes to the rating system though. If it is made to punish people for not playing, it may end up punishing players for going on a holiday or being ill which is something that we would like to avoid as well. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Scenarios Feedback
how about the fact that NONE of this is explained properly? we dont see rhonin die, we dont see how jaina survived and we dont see WHY it happened
This is actually a concern the Developers addressed in a recent Developer Q&A session over at the Best Buy site. Here is what they had to say:

Q: The story of Tides of War is really interesting. I don't think players can get engaged if they have no idea what's happening, the bomb dropping is really anticlimactic. I felt a bit disappointed so little got included in the scenario. Was this because of lack of time, of developers or because you rather keep all that info in the novels.
A: I've been watching the Theramore feedback closely, and this comment seems pretty universal. We tried to keep everything all in the scenario, to make it really self-contained, but not burden it with lots of story that you have to slog through every time you played the scenario. It's pretty clear from the feedback that people wanted more story. We should've surrounded the scenarios with more quests or explanations to help round out the story for the people who wanted to know what exactly was happening. Lesson learned!

As you can probably get from this, we acknowledge that we didn't put in the level of context that people expected, and this is an important lesson we will keep in mind when working on future scenarios.

We want scenarios to be repayable, so we are concerned about burdening players with too much story that feels mandatory to wade through, but we can of course see from all the feedback we got from you guys that is also an issue if there is not enough story. We realise that Theramore could have benefited from one or more one-time quests on either end of the scenario, perhaps it could even have been a part of a one-time quest chain.

May I throw a quote to you? "As with many things, if we can't do something right, we end up not doing it"

Obviously you did. And you never did anything worse since you decided to give shamans to alliance, and paladins to horde and bloodelves...

First of all, we never said that we never make mistakes. We are only human after all, and to err is human!

Second of all, what is right is entirely in the eye of the beholder. We do not think that Shaman and Paladins becoming cross faction classes was a mistake, but this of course is an entirely different topic, so let's keep that discussion out of this thread, shall we?!

What I am trying to clarify here is that we’re trying to do things right and do our best to avoid adding things to the game that can be done better. Of course, if we realise that something wasn't done exactly right after adding it, then we will of course attest to that. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Quest For Pandaria, Part 1
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We just released the first part of Quest for Pandaria, a four-part novella set between World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria.

Reunited with her beloved uncle Chen and safely back home on the Wandering Isle, Li Li Stormstout finds it difficult to adjust to life on Shen-zin Su. After all the adventures and excitement of her journey to find her uncle (which you can read about in Pearl of Pandaria, a graphic novel that’s now available here and wherever fine books are sold), Li Li yearns to see more of this amazing world just waiting to be discovered. But after everything that happened, and with all the grief she caused her family, running away again is something that Li Li just can’t do. Lost, sad, and dejected, Li Li is certain that she’ll never get to explore more of this magical world... until one day, the unexpected return of a pandaren most thought dead and the mysterious artifact he bears give Li Li a moment of hope — one moment that makes everything else possible.

Read part one of Quest for Pandaria now!
by Published on 2012-09-20 06:28 AM

Even More 1.0.5 Information, Whirlwind Demon Hunter Build, Diablo III: Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls Ebook

Paladin and Priest Challenge Mode Gear Procs
Tonight we take a look at a little bit more flare for the Challenge Mode gear! Each set has a special proc that will go off during combat or other actions. Some of the sets even have multiple procs or slight variations depending on what you are casting.

You can find the Challenge Mode set previews on our Challenge Mode Gear page, found in the menu in the navbar. Each class has a proc for their set, so keep checking back to see your class's set!

Developer Interviews
The developers are doing interviews as we get closers to launch, so here is a recap from the first few. Thanks to ArenaJunkies, Gamespy, and wowcrendor.

  • Patch 5.1 will release "shortly after the game is out".
  • Phasing is only used for major events in Mists of Pandaria.
  • You can see your friends while in a different phase and each of you will see a different phase.
  • It will take a raid of roughly 40 players to take down the Sha of Anger. He will appear in different areas of the zone and change what is spawned around him.
  • Scenarios are a replacement for group quests that you won't have to wait in queue for a long time for.
  • Challenge Modes will require you to be on the same server as other players. (This conflicts with Ghostcrawler's tweet)
  • Questing is less linear and you should be able to skip some of the quest hubs without missing too much of the story. Jade Forest is more linear than the rest of the zones.
  • The daily quests that are available change every day and change based on your reputation with the faction.
  • You have a NPC companion that fights alongside you when doing Shado-pan daily quests.
  • Cataclysm was more content than had ever been done before because of the 1 to 60 revamp, but many people just looked at the 80 to 85 experience.

  • Blizzard follows the player run and professional tournaments, but realizes that it is a hard to watch eSport and is hard to watch. It isn't likely that arenas will be as popular as Starcraft ever, but the goal is to make them fun for the players are are interested in playing.
  • The addition of a tournament UI is still on the list of things that would be nice to do as soon as there is development time for it.
  • Rating decay may not be the best solution, especially during longer patches like 4.3 when people may not be interested in playing every week. Players should play because they enjoy it and not avoid playing because they might lose rating.
  • The current rewards system is working well and the improvements to PvP gear through PvP Power and Resilience should make the gear more attractive.
  • The battleground queuing system is old and could use work, it may take advantage of the LFD system and perform faster and smarter in the future. This could include queuing with groups to fight other premades.
  • Blizzard believes that the PvP weapons will be stronger than the heroic PvE weapons due to the PvP stat changes.
  • Many players are worried that overpowered abilities will allow players to reach high rating within the first two weeks and camp it for the rest of the season. Whether or not Blizzard makes huge sweeping changes is just going to depend on the magnitude of the problem, as it really upsets players and can seem unfair after they have already formed teams and started playing.

Ghostcrawler (Misc)
  • If Ghostcrawler could change one thing about Cataclysm, he would move all the zones into one continent. The teleporting between zones didn't feel like WoW should.
  • Cross-Realm zones were designed to fix lower level zones that are dead, not low population realms. The game isn't likely to support people that want to opt out of Cross-Realm zones.
  • A Cross-Realm Auction House has been talked about, but it would be hard to do it right and dynamically. It is something being considering for the lowest population realms though.
  • Cooking has been improved for Mists of Pandaria. Similar changes might come to other professions depending on player feedback.
  • Fishing still isn't where it should be. Making it more like minigame or adding more complexity to the system might be solutions in the future.
  • Burning Crusade raid progression went through all of the content, but Wrath of the Lich King made old raids obsolete quickly after each patch. Mists of Pandaria uses Raid Finder to keep older content relevant to gear up alts for new content.
  • Gearing up was too fast for alts or people returning in Cataclysm and WotLK, so in Mists of Pandaria characters that are still working on normal modes when a new raid tier comes out should want to still complete the final bosses before moving on to the new raid. Burning Crusade took too long to gear up new players, making it necessary for them to go through all of the old raids.
  • Players expected Theramore to be a big event, rather than a preview of how the Scenario system works. It was a systems preview and not an event.
  • Scenarios have no tank, so you have to rely on your own skills a little bit more compared to dungeons and raids.
  • Making challenge modes for raids is difficult because of length of raids compared to dungeons. They also make trash important, as it is much more difficult in challenge mode. Even in heroic difficulty raids the trash isn't very difficult.

Battle Chest and Wrath of the Lich King - Together at Last!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Haven’t yet ventured to the frozen reaches of Northrend? Beginning today, September 19, players are now able to get the original World of Warcraft, The Burning Crusade, and Wrath of the Lich King for only $19.99 (EU: €14.99) as part of the newly upgraded digital Battle Chest, available now on In addition, all World of Warcraft subscribers will now automatically have access to all of the content and features of both The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, even if they never purchased either expansion, at no additional cost.

It’s time to sail north, adventurer — the Lich King awaits!

Your Guided Tour Behind the Mists of Pandaria
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve been hard at work preparing one of Azeroth’s biggest content updates, and giving you even more gameplay options in World of Warcraft than ever before. See for yourself what the latest expansion, Mists of Pandaria, has to offer in our most recent Twelve-Day Journey Into Mists of Pandaria Facebook campaign. The video provides a complete overview showcasing eight zones, seven scenarios, nine dungeons, three raids, two battlegrounds, one arena, 300 daily quests, monks, pirate monkeys, and so much more!

Head over now and if you like what you see, be sure to “Like” it on Facebook and share it with your friends, guildmates, vague acquaintances, random strangers, and anyone else you think would enjoy seeing some of the wonders that lie waiting behind the Mists of Pandaria.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Cross Realm Fishing Derby
We’ve looked into this issue and have a fix in the works to make the fishing tournaments behave in a more predictable manner. Unfortunately, this will require a patch in order to take effect, so we are disabling the fishing tournaments until we can deliver the fix for them in a future patch.

As a side-note: we’ll be posting about some larger CRZ concerns in the very near future, so hang in there. We’re listening, and we’re working to address those concerns just as quickly as we can. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Stormstout Brewery Challenge Mode
Our thanks and congratulations go out to all of you who tested the Stormstout Brewery Challenge Mode with us. Here are the top six times we recorded on the beta servers:

#1. Time: 14:49.1
#2. Time: 16:40.6
#3. Time: 18:34.4
#4. Time: 20:57.9
#5. Time: 28:13.7
#6. Time: 30:19.2 (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Scenario Difficulty
Just read a quick word on scenarios @ mmo from blizzard twitter, where i became rather.. confused by a certain statement

"Scenarios aren't intended to be particularly challenging endgame content. Similar to old group quests"

No one is asking for endgame content difficulty, however facerolling through trash for 5 minutes can't be considered challenging in any way. Old group quests such as ring of blood in nagrand actually required certain tactics back in burning crusade, you couldnt just faceroll the elite mobs, some had certain tactics, one ressurected, one absorbed spelldamage and did more damage to the tank ect.. none of this exists in the theramore scenario.

We agree that Theramore's Fall was too easy, which is why we have increased the HP of all enemies in this scenario through a recent hotfix. It is not our intent that scenarios should be steamrolled like what we saw with the release of Theramore's Fall.

It should be said that scenarios in Mists of Pandaria will be more tuned for players in quest gear and dungeon blues, and as such will not be tailored for players in raid gear. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Challenging Content In Mists of Pandaira
Regarding challenge modes specifically, there're a few bits of information that the developers have commented over the past days on live chats and social media, which I believe might be interesting for you:

  • Challenge modes have no lockout (so you can try them as many times as you want in a single day).
  • These are harder than level 90 heroics, you can't outgear them (gear will be normalized inside), and certain things, such as set bonuses will not work. Trinkets do, though. At least for now.
  • The developers hope that the time required to get "gold" in challenge dungeons is similar to achieving Gladiator in PVP. Meaning, someone sporting a whole set of challenge gear should be akin to seeing someone in a Gladiator mount.

The theory is that challenge modes will fill this niché, but if past experience is anything to go by it will either be too easy or will be subjected to nerfs. Still, can always hope.
The developers have commented this several times. They do expect that most players will be able to achieve Bronze as long as they play properly. Silver is a step up in that regard, but you might still be able to stop and consider your next move before further progressing on the instance.

And finally, the design philosophy for challenge dungeons is so that the developers don't intend to lower the bar to get silver/gold.

Problem with challenge mode is it is restricted to 5 man. 25man guilds will have to pick the best and make groups. If this was in raiding part of wow then yes players would be happy.
Well, on raiding, as it's been mentioned on the thread, you'll be awarded a Feat of Strength for defeating the final bosses of each raid instance without the debuff. And the Protectors of the Endless encounter in Terrace of Endless Spring has even better loot if you defeat Protector Kaolan last (which makes the encounter harder, in a similar way as it happened with the Iron Council in Ulduar depending on your kill order). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Characters
Blizzard is displaying some information about Mists of Pandaria characters on their Facebook page.

Blizzard Games News
Lindsay returns to update us on Diablo 3, the Worlds Inc. Lawsuit against Blizzard, and Mists of Pandaria.

by Published on 2012-09-19 06:25 AM

More Information on Patch 1.0.5 Systems, Diablo 3: Finding a Voice, Should Skill Swapping Reset NV Buff - Poll Recap

Submit Questions for the Developers
We are going to have the opportunity to speak with Cory Stockton, the Lead Content Designer for World of Warcraft soon. If you have something you really want to ask him, go ahead and add the question to the comments. We will pick the best questions and add them to our list!

Before posting take a look at the recent developer Q&As to ensure your question hasn't already been asked. (Best Buy / Reddit) Please avoid any very class specific questions about rotations or something similar, as there are other devs better suited to answer them.

Want to talk about the rest of this news post? Head over to this thread!

Hunter and Mage Challenge Mode Gear Procs
Tonight we take a look at a little bit more flare for the Challenge Mode gear! Each set has a special proc that will go off during combat or other actions. Some of the sets even have multiple procs or slight variations depending on what you are casting.

You can find the Challenge Mode set previews on our Challenge Mode Gear page, found in the menu in the navbar. Each class has a proc for their set, so keep checking back to see your class's set!

Sept 19 is Pirate's Day
September 19th is Pirate's Day in World of Warcraft, which means you should head on down to Booty Bay and share a drink with Dread Captain DeMeza for the The Captain's Booty achievement if you don't already have it.

Best Buy Developer Q&A
Several WoW developers answered questions on Best Buy's site tonight. You can find a list of the questions and answers here.

Free Wrath of the Lich King Upgrade
The World of Warcraft Battle Chest now includes Classic, Burning Crusade, and Wrath of the Lich King, all for $20. Existing Classic and Burning Crusade accounts seem to have been upgraded to Wrath of the Lich King for free! You can purchase all of World of Warcraft up to Mists of Pandaria for $60 now as well.

Patch 5.0.5 Hotfixes - September 18
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
  • ​The health of all enemies in Theramore's Fall has been doubled.
  • Theramore Footmen have stopped using Shield Bash.

Alterac Valley
  • The number of reinforcements in Alterac Valley has been reduced to 500 (down from 600).

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Frost Armor now increases spell haste by 7% (up from 5%).

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Angelic Feather can now be used by all party members when the priest under the influence of crowd control spells, and no longer require line-of-sight to the priest to work
  • Penance's base damage has been reduced so that it now deals significantly less damage at lower player levels, and slightly less damage at level-85.
  • Shadow Word: Insanity should now deal 2667 to 2815 damage plus 290% of spellpower at level-85 (up from 2235 to 2359 plus 243% of spellpower).
  • Mindbender damage has been increased by 20%. It now does 80% as much damage per hit as Shadowfiend (up from 66.7%).

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Capacitor Totem should benefit from the shaman's +hit bonuses, as expected.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Dungeons and Raids
Tempest Keep
  • Solarian's Solarium Priests should again be hitting for expected amounts of damage.


  • Interacting with Zidormi in Dustwallow Bay no longer requires Mists of Pandaria.

Bug Fixes
  • Players should no longer retain glyph effects obtained in arenas after exiting the arena.
  • Players who resurrect at their corpse after being offered a resurrection by another player should no longer receive resurrection sickness.
  • Worgen characters who are advanced via a Scroll of Resurrection before completing their introductory quest chain and should no longer be stuck in a phased state.

Mists of Pandaria Launch Times
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The official Mists of Pandaria launch times are as follows:

  • North and Latin American realms - 12:00 a.m. PDT, September 25
  • European realms - 12:00 a.m. CEST, September 25
  • Korean/Taiwan realms - 12:00 a.m. KST, September 27

With this expansion, we’re using a new bit of tech that will unlock the expansion content, make the intro quest magically pop up in your quest log, and allow you to begin playing the expansion immediately without the need to log out and back in. If everything goes as planned this will be a smooth transition to the adventures that await you in the new continent.

See you in-game!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
No Honor Reset for Mists of Pandaria
Your character's Honor points will not get reset on September 25th, 2012.

There is a full write up on how Valor/Justice and Conquest/Honor points will work in the weeks leading up to and after Mists of Pandaria's launch in the blog: Currency Conversion Before and After Mists of Pandaria (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Favorite In Game Events
I bet this thread will be entirely "OH AHN'QIRAJ WAS GREAT" or "WRATH OMG WE WERE ZOMBIES <-- rehashed Naxx opening with extras".
I remember these events quite vividly, and I am personally very glad that I got to experience them, but I also remember that not everyone liked them.

The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj was an absolutely massive event, and it was tremendously awesome if you got to see it. It is totally understandable why so many have fond memories of this event, but it is important to remember that it wasn't peachy for everyone. This was a one-time event that was triggered by the player who held the Scepter of the Shifting Sands, so it was easy to miss out on it if you were not online when it triggered, or if you did not have a character of sufficient high level to go to Silithus. There were quite a few players who voiced their unhappiness about not getting to witness this event after having spent all that time gathering war supplies.

Furthermore, as you can maybe get from this video, an absolutely enormous number of players gathered in Silithus to witness the event. This unfortunately resulted in heavy lag for many players, and even realm crashes on some realms, which was obviously very frustrating to many as these things interrupted the fun.

The Zombie Infestation event was much more widely available to players as it was not restricted to high level players only. Since it was also spread out throughout the world of Azeroth over an extended period of time, the chance of missing out on this event was slim to none, which was appreciated by many for sure. This event is remembered fondly, but again it wasn't peachy for everyone.

Many people were very annoyed that they frequently got interrupted while being in the middle of doing things, and those people who did not have much time to play in general found that they had a hard time completing their usual daily routines within their established and regular time frames, so they were extra frustrated that they could not opt out of the event.

The Demon invasion prior to The Burning Crusade was best. Demon's laying siege to the city? Holding the line against invaders? Now that was an event. I didn't even know it was coming, and when Kruul turned up at stormwind?
That one was my personal favourite as well... although I also really liked the Cataclysm pre-launch events

Pre-wrath zombie plague, hands down. It was so damn fun on an RP server. Pity an event like that will never happen again due to all the QQ it caused. The event was like marmite. Either loved it or hated it.
Nobody says that such an event can't happen again in the future, especially if there is a good reason lore-wise to do it, but it would most likely not happen in the exact same format as the Zombie infestation. There would need to be a way to minimise the griefing, which could for an example be done through safe zones, or some sort of immunity buff, or maybe even a way to opt out of the event altogether for those who are simply not interested in it, etc. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mists of Pandaria Boxes
Kat Hunter and a Reddit user showed off the Mists of Pandaria boxes today.

Guild Wars 2 Adds Mac Support
ArenaNet announced Mac support for Guild Wars 2 today using Cider. Anyone who has purchased the game can try it out, but keep in mind it is still in beta. You need Lion or Mountain Lion and a machine from the last year or two to play with reasonable performance. See the full FAQ for more details.

by Published on 2012-09-18 11:24 PM

Best Buy Developer Q&A
Several WoW developers answered questions on Best Buy's site tonight. You can find a more chronologically ordered list here.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Will the gear in Theramore's Fall 85 version be available in the 90 version?
The gear and the rewards for the 85 version are only available now. The 90 version has standard scenario rewards (Valor and a chance at a dungeon blue)

The Theramore event was a little... Underwhelming. Developers have previously stated they spent more time on the content in Pandaria than the Theramore event. Will we see more diversity and excitement in the scenarios in Pandaria?
There's a LOT of diversity in the scenarios. For example. there's a monkey pirate island where you're running around fetching up brew and fighting randomized bosses, and other insanity. We really tried to experiment with some different mechanics, and we got bolder as development continued.

Why is the theramore event so boring? Its way too easy and if you didn't read the book then you have no idea what's going on, you also wouldn't know why jaina isn't dead and why azeroth isn't completely destroyed. Do you think it would've been smarter to put more lore in the scenario and would've made it more fun?
Dave already spoke to the story part of your question. To address your concern of difficulty, we agree it was too easy on release. We pushed a hotfix recently that increased the HP of all enemies in Theramore's Fall. The fact is that Scenarios in Mists will be more tailored for players in quest gear and dungeon blues. But players at level 85 were steamrolling through it in Dragon Soul gear, and the hotfix was to compensate for this a little.

Would you say that the new challenge mode dungeon gold times are going to be the "Gladiator" equivalent of PVE?
That would be our hope. Seeing someone sporting a set of challenge mode armor in town should be akin to seeing someone on a Gladiator mount -- you know they did something extremely skillful to earn it, and it's not the sort of reward you can outgear and obtain later on.

That's probably a pretty close comparison. Beyond gold times we will have server and guild leaderboards too. That's probably where the highest level of competition will be.

How are group compositions gonna work into Challenge Modes? Surely every group would want to have a Bloodlust. And atleast a kings buff.
Realistically, if you're aiming for Gold, you're going to want a shaman or a mage or a hunter in your group, though Gold is absolutely possible without using Heroism/Bloodlust or equivalent effects. Realistically that probably saves you 15-20 seconds at best, and we've seen groups beat some Gold times by more than that. When constructing a 5-player dungeon group, you're inevitably going to have some strengths and some weaknesses in your composition, and players may find that the sorts of abilities they find invaluable are not the ones they're used to viewing in that light. (Pop quiz -- Which is likely to help you more in an 18-minute challenge mode run: Bloodlust, or an AoE stun that you can a couple of times a minute?)

Will the ability to obtain legendary mats on LFR mode make it required for raiders, at least until they complete the quest?
Io"Required" is one of those tricky words. We understand that for many players anything that gives even an incremental power gain is seen as mandatory. Progress on one portion of the early steps of the legendary questline may be made in LFR mode, so players who want to obtain their gem from Wrathion as quickly as possible will likely benefit from doing LFR alongside their Normal or Heroic raiding. LFR wings will unlock incrementally, after Normal mode, so when someone in a top progression guild is defeating up to 16 bosses when Heart of Fear and Terrace open, doing LFR will only add 6 to that total (from Mogu'shan Vaults LFR). While in the long run, we'd like to minimize players' obligation to run LFR if they are part of progression raiding guilds, that's challenging at the start of an expansion when everyone is using the same dungeon blues. We hope it'll be different for future tiers. Finally, the true power of Wrathion's gem lies in the combined effect of the weapon and the gem itself; an LFR player's Sha-touched weapon will be significantly less powerful than a Heroic raider's.

You mentioned in a previous Q&A that legendary weapon components would be done in a manner to lessen drama within in a guild. One step was the implementation of components achievable through LFR. My question is how will components from normal and heroic raids be distributed. Will it be distributed similarly to how Deathwing's essences or new LFR are, or will the raid leaders still choose who to give those components to?
In 5.0 it's not a competitive issue at all. In Raid Finder, it's a random drop for some players. In Normal and Heroic there is a chance of a drop, at which point it is multi-lootable and every player on the quest will get it.

Nobody I know is impressed with the promise of an extra piece of loot for normal 25 mans. What we would be impressed with is separate realm first achievements for each raid format. Any chance of seeing something like this?
Possibly. On several servers that have one top 25-player guild that's far above the rest of the server in progression, that might turn into incentivizing them to split up the week after their 25-player Realm First to snag the 10-player one. Not sure that's great gameplay for anyone. That said, we recognize that there's interest in making it a bit easier to distinguish between 10-player and 25-player kills in statistics or achievements.

I am wondering about the incentives to 25 man. This game is a social game so why does it seem that 25 man guilds are dieing off and they are going to 10 mans. Paragon recently posted that they were going to 10 man. Is there any other way to fix it so that people are drawn to do 25 mans because they want to raid with friends and get the good gear?

In Paragon's specific case, I suspect they'd find no lack of capable people more than willing to raid with them, but maintaining a Finnish-speaking roster is a core part of their guild culture, and they've made what was no doubt a very difficult decision to scale down to 10-player raiding rather than compromise that culture. As I noted in the Reddit AMA, ultimately there are heavier logistical burdens, particularly placed on the officers and raid leaders, in sustaining a 25-player roster versus only needing 10 players. We're actively discussing ways of ensuring that 25-player raiders feel properly incentivized and rewarded without necessarily elevating one raid size over the other. We definitely welcome ongoing community discussion and feedback on that topic.

Greg just said on twitter that the 25s versus 10s situation was handled in the AMA a lot, but nothing came from that apart from an understanding that 25s do have it harder now and could use some more compensation, Don't you have concrete plans for that, more than the tiny bit of extra loot 25s will have? The issue will only get even more pronounced the next weeks during progression.
It's something we discuss frequently internally. We don't have anything final to announce just yet, but we love 25-player raiding and intend to do what we can to preserve it.

Ok, I am going to be the one to ask the dreaded question, mainly because my guild members know that I continue to fight for them and have asked me to still chase this question. 25 mans - GC you have said it would be a good topic for a Watercooler, which is good, and recent tweets say not enough is being done for them.The only change we know about is the loot change and that is onl 1 item different for Normals from the majority of Cata which, excuse the sentiment here, seems a little underwhelming
Sadly, we don't have any details to announce yet, but we have a couple of ideas that should make the 25 players happy. We'll talk about them when we're confident that they are good ideas. Remember, the result can't be that all the 10 players stampede back to 25.

I know you guys recently changed the LFR loot (weapons) from the last boss in a LFR instance, are you guys going to do any other changes to LFR to make heroic raiders not feel as they have to raid 2 formats a week to be competitive?
As I mentioned in reply to an earlier question, it's a goal of ours but it's a tough one to realize in a world where everyone is starting out in dungeon blues and looking to get their hands on any and all epics. It's our expectation that by the time Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring LFR unlock, most heroic raiders will have replaced their dungeon gear and have less to gain from also running LFR mode. In future raid tiers, people who are already in Heroic gear from the prior raid zone should not find the next tier's LFR gear to be an improvement over what they have.

The new LFR system you have in WoW now seems like a great way for people who dont have alot of time to donate to raiding guild environments a chance to see content that was most of the time closed to them, however im not a big fan of 25man raids. Is there any plans to add a 10man choice to the LFR system?
We think 25 works better for Raid Finder. The ratios of DPS to non DPS more matches the player population and there is less risk of getting an unviable group. In 25s you can afford to have a few deaths and you can even pull if you're backfilling a few players. Both really make you stop in your tracks on 10s. In 25, it's easier to fade back into the group if you're still not 100% confident in what you're doing. In 10s, it's harder to be a wallflower.

WoW has always been a mostly raid or die game. The changes in MoP to Justice Points, the item level difference on gear obtained outside of raid, are kind of steps backwards away from alternatives, pushing us back to having our only choice to be a raid. Are there any plans to give the non-raiders / people with random avaiabilities any form of meaningful character progression in terms of player power, besides only raids?
We have a number of gear acquisition routes that do not involve raiding. We've broadened the avenues for acquiring Valor Points, which can now be earned by doing dungeons, daily quests, scenarios, and so forth. That gear will be at least item level 489 (compared to 476 from LFR). There's also crafted gear. And of course future content updates will continue to provide upgrades outside of raiding. All of that said, I'd encourage you to check out the new raids as well -- the addition of the LFR system makes them more accessible than ever.

Are we going to have the ability to remove players who dc or log off from scenario groups and add in new players from the queue?
Not at launch but we hope to have it in for the 5.1 patch. We understand the concern.

Any chance we will ever see attunements or rep based dungeons again or is that strictly a in-the-past type thing?
There's something a bit like a traditional attunement in the 5.0 raids: Players must defeat Grand Empress Shek'zeer in the Heart of Fear raid before they may begin the Terrace of Endless Spring raid. It's definitely something we're open to exploring further in the future.

Do you feel the way of nerfing Dragon Soul, by nerfing the bosses. Was more successful than the Icecrown Citadel version, by buffing the players health and damage?
Yes, one of the awkward things about the Icecrown Citadel buff was that, over time, it caused players to feel weaker when they were doing anything other than raiding Icecrown. It also had some potentially distorting effects, benefiting some specs and roles more than others. Weakening the enemies instead, as we've done in Dragon Soul, is more in keeping with how we've traditionally handled our tuning adjustments, going all the way back to Vanilla raids.

Will we see a Heroic Version of Ragefire Chasm?
Certainly not out of the question. Heroic versions of classic dungeons have been some of our most popular content. We will keep doing them as long as people keep playing em'.

I've had a lot of concerns regarding hit / expertise with tanks. Currently in MoP it seems tanks would reforge most their defensive stats into hit / expertise. It's extremely annoying design
We felt like previously tanks could just ignore even hitting targets because threat was easy to maintain and survivability was based entirely around cooldowns. Now you'll need to hit the target, but you'll gain resources for doing so, so we hope the experience is more engaging to tanks. More *fighting* less standing there.

Whats would your answer be to the players who feel that by making multiple classes bring similar buffs and abilities, that the classes are losing their 'uniqueness'? Introducing combo points to ShadowPriests/Ret Paladins for example
Ultimately, there are only so many distinct resource mechanisms, and many of them are not great from a gameplay perspective. We'd rather differentiate our classes and specs on the basis of their overall feel and unique capabilities such as Death Grip for Death Knights or shaman' totems. I don't think many people are likely to mistake a shadow priest for a rogue just because they build up a resource and then consume it to deal damage.

What are your thoughts on healing classes in MoP? Are you seeing the type of balance you want in the new expansion between all classes/specs? I ask because we are seeing a lot of blending of healers into one unit, instead of variety. All healers can do everything now to state it plainly which is making certain classes stronger choices than others for non-healing reasons. Sure some do slightly better in certain situations, but the classic archetypes are no longer as valid.
We strive for harmony with the healer design. If healer niches are too well-defined, then you are encouraged to stack Resto druids for one fight and then Holy paladins for the next fight. We'd rather see a diversity of healers. As far as healer balance is currently, we're pretty happy with it at 90. We still need to see Disc priests really figure out all of the nuances of Spirit Shell and we want to make sure all of the healers are really strong for Challenge Mode gold runs.

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
We saw some of the animations on the challenge mode gear, will the druid set animations be visible when the druid is shapeshifted?
The custom effects are based on the armor itself so they will only be visible when you are in caster form.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
What was the idea with Monk healing? what mix of elements inspired it and defined it?
Mostly we wanted it to feel different from existing healers, so there is an emphasis on a channeled spell as the main heal. We also wanted to emphasize movement and damage-dealing to heal, because those were core to the monk class.

Windwalkers have been very upset with a couple things in particular with their spec. The first is Fists of Fury, we don't like being rooted and channeling an attack when our kit is supposed to be mobile. Can we please get this mechanic revisited? As well, we don't have literally any useful raid utility. Zen meditation is very weak. Will this be addressed at all post-launch?

"Mobile" doesn't mean "never, ever stops moving." Like many specs, Windwalkers will do more damage when stationary but can still do some damage when moving. Deciding when you should FoF and when you can't is one of the decision points that separates good monks from great ones. We're not inclined to change it at this time. As far as raid utility goes, we're really reluctant to hand more "must have" buffs. We don't want Windwalkers to be mandatory, especially for smaller, 10-player raid groups. If they are never taken at all, we'll take some kind of action, but I'd be very surprised if that's the case.

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Rogue's shadow blades visual effect is lacking, and needs more of a pop. Paladins get ashbringer; could rogues get something equally cool looking?
We agree that some rogue visuals (Shadow Blades, Shadow Walk, etc.) could use some more love. That's something we'd like to do in a future patch.

Rogues are famous for using daggers, and that's all that we seem to be able to use, but I like to play Combat Spec, and it's described as being a swashbuckler spec. As such, I'd like to use 1handed swords along with daggers, but there are next to no 1handed rogue compatible swords, will we ever get to use swords as part of a rogue's arsenal? Afterall, there is no longer a block on what weapons a rogue can use on their abilities.
It's less of a design concern and more about how many different items we can drop. Things like e.g. Intellect axes don't have a lot of customers, so we just don't make them very often. This might be the kind of thing that transmog can eventually help address too.

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Prior to patch 5.0.4, When we still had the cataclysm 'revised' talent trees, Elemental shamans gained an addition to one of their talents entailing that when flame shock was dispelled we gained a temporary buff entitled 'Lave Flows' This most recent patch, with the new Mists 'revised' Talent trees highlighted the removal of the cataclysm talent system, and with it went Lava Flows, what is your reasoning for removing this valuable ability?
Defensive dispels are significantly more limited in 5.0 than they were previously. Passives like Lava Flows were designed as an answer to an environment in which defensive dispel magic was spammed constantly, and it was nearly impossible to get a buffed Lava Burst off against an attentive dispeller who could remove your Flame Shock while you were casting the spell. With an 8-second cooldown on dispels now, a healer who dispels a Flame Shock may find that they are unable to dispel the Fear or Polymorph that targets another teammate immediately thereafter. We'll keep an eye on the evolving PvP metagame in light of the new dispel changes, and consider re-adding something like Lava Flows if it proves necessary.

Considering Dispels remove ALL magic effects, even if they dispelled Fear the Flame shock would go with it, regardless of if they intended to dispel it or not. Would this not constitute it's reinstatement?
Guessing this is a follow-up to my earlier reply. I meant that if you dispel Flame Shock off yourself, or off Teammate A, maybe you can't dispel Teammate B's Fear or Polymorph a few seconds later, and now they're stuck in CC for its full duration. In general, we expect that players have to be much more careful about how and when they use their magic dispels.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
I had a question regarding arms warrior pve rotation. It feels like there is to much rng involved with the rotation very rarely do I get more than 2 stacks of taste for blood and sometimes I can use overpower 5 or 6 times without a single proc of it, which then will leave me rage starved and without buttons to press, I was wondering if you could lower the damage bonus of the buff or damage of OP while also increasing the proc chance as well.
Think of getting a high stack for Taste for Blood as a random bonus, much like getting enraged from a bunch of crits in a row. You shouldn't hold your whole rotation waiting for a 4 or 5 stack, because it won't happen that often. If you're at risk of rage capping, try to Slam. If you don't have the GCD to Slam then it's probably worth just using the Heroic Strike unless you think you'll be able to Colossus Smash really soon.

It seems like PVP never gets much attention from the developers during these type of events. As a hardcore lover of PVP and the many people that are in my guild, we have really gotten frustrated, bored, etc with how PVP is handled. Will you guys ever be implanting anything like how LFR system works. Were there will be healers on each side, for a better chance of your team succeeding? I don't know about anyone else but I really hate being on my side with 0 healers and the horde have 4
Our BG queueing system was built a long time ago. Since that time we've engineered the much more powerful system that we use for Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder. We'd now like to reengineer that system to work for BG queues as well, which would give us the ability to better balance healers, item levels, and perhaps even premade vs. PUG. No promises, but it's something we're working on.

What is the design philosophy behind PvP balance and how satisfied are you with PvP balance in Mists of Pandaria?
One of the main ones was to allow more cross-over of gear at the lower end but not the upper end of content. (In 4.0 it was more of the opposite.) It's not fun to die in PvP over and over until you get decent gear.

Will Wintergrasp ever be added as a max level battleground?
Potentially, if there is enough demand for it. We would introduce it as you suggest as a true Battleground to avoid faction imbalance issues.

With all these new changes to get players out into the world (great idea), is it a goal of the development team to possibly bring back World-PvP? Coming from someone who plays on a PvP Realm, I would love to relive the old days of huge scale open world PvP battles. I'm sure many others feel the same way.
We are trying to encourage it. Spots like the Black Market and the shrines (the faction "cities" in the Vale) will probably have a lot of PvP on PvP servers. Remember, guards are much weaker on PvP servers now and there are no sanctuaries in Pandaria.

If someone from a CRZ hits Level 90 as first player on my realm, will he get the Realm First! Level 90 achievement for my realm or for his realm?
His realm

Are there any plans to allow for heirloom items to be sent cross realm?

We want this as bad as you guys do. It's on the list and we are looking into it.

Will you guys decrease the experience needed from 88-89 and 89-90 or increase the experience gained in Townlong Steppes and Dread Wastes before release? At the moment you can NOT hit Level 89 if you start with Level 88 and 0% experience in Townlong Steppes (~10% experience missing) and also Level 90 is impossible with Dread Wastes quests only (~5% experience missing). These are datas with the 10% experience guild perk and yes, I've got both zone completed achievements.
We are still actively tuning the XP. We will look into it.

Any updates on future guild leveling past 25?
We are totally open to increasing guild levels and the associated rewards but only when the game feels like it needs more of that content. A large number of guilds are still nowhere near level 25 so Mists did not feel like a good fit to add more guild levels.

Can we expect mailboxes on the wandering isle on release? was the removal of the one that was there for quest testing purposes?
Pandaren Neutrality caused a lot of design issues we had to solve. Mail ended up being a headache. What was easiest -- for us AND for our users -- was to remove mail entirely until you choose a faction. That's nice and clean and prevents a lot of issues people saw on the beta. So, no mailboxes on the Wandering Isle - sorry!

Can one stand anywhere in Orgrimmar(including right next to the questgiver that sends you to the gunship) when MoP is activated or do we have to be outside the Garrosh building? Good to know for us who are rushing as fast as we can!
If you are online, you should get the quest pushed to you no matter where you are. We don't want to over-promise though. This is technically challenging stuff and it might be the case that we need everyone to relog. /crosses fingers

How much game time do you think will we get in exploration of the continent of pandaria?
We really packed in the content with Mists, that being said the amount of time it takes you is really going to depend on your playstyle. We have so many different things for players to do. Quests, reputations, dailys, sceanrios, pet battles.... The idea is to let players make progress doing whatever kind of activity they like best.

Are there plans on fixing the broken Engineering Flying Machine that has been broken since patch 4.1?
We will look into this and make sure we get it fixed.

How come with this expansion you choose to go with Pandas and not something that was already in the game, such as The Emerald Dream, maybe going into the Dragonflights, or even something more with The Demonic legion.
The pandaren are a race we've been looking to introduce into the WoW universe for some time now, since their introduction as a neutral hero back in the Warcraft 3 expansion. They were originally a top contender for the Alliance race back in Burning Crusade, but we ended up going with the draenei at the time because they better fit the Outland-focused story we were trying to tell, and because it didn't feel right forcing a historically neutral race like the pandaren into one specific faction. When we were looking to make an expansion centered around themes of exploration and discovery against a backdrop of Alliance-Horde conflict, the pandaren just seemed like the right fit: Noble and enigmatic race caught in the middle of the war between the Alliance and Horde as it spirals out of control, forced to choose sides as the outside world descends upon their homeland.

As Developers, what was your biggest hurdle in building the new features we will see in Mists and how did you overcome them? Also I want to send kudos out to the art team - the beta was visually stunning!

Our biggest issue with new features is adding more complexity to the game. It's somethign we struggle with every expansion. I will pass your kind words on to the art team too!

Will there be a Realm First achievement that involves Pet Battles?
We did not make any realm first achievements for pet battles. Our intention for the feature is that its more of a casual activity and a realm first just did not feel like a good fit.

On the World of Warcraft website, it lists tradeskill patterns, plans, etc. that the player is missing. Some of those items are no longer in game. Are there any plans to reincorporate those missing plans back into the game so the players have an opportunity to try to get all of their missing tradeskill plans?
I'd hate to add back plans with no real game purpose just for sake of completeness. To be honest, I'd rather get rid of more of the older recipes that don't have a strong purpose.

Compared to designing dungeons, how difficult is it to design scenarios? Does it take more or less resources to make scenarios?
The biggest challenge for us was just figuring out what scenarios should be. How long should they last? Should they be hard? How much variability should they have from run to run? Now that we've gone through that process, they should take much less time to design than dungeons. The biggest time expenditure on dungeons is the amazing art that goes into them.

Have you changed your design philosophy of the quest flow in mists of pandaria? In previous expansions, moving to a new zone as soon as you are eligble left enough experience to cause no issues. Do you intend for all zones to be finished from beginning to end in order, and if so why did you feel the need to add breadcrumbs to the next zone prior to being able to go without issues further down the road?
Pandaria is like a huge novel that you can read in any order. You can skip ahead to other chapters as soon as you're eligible. It's worth it to stick through a full zone to wrap up the storylines and maybe get some blue quest rewards, but you're welcome to play through however you want. We definitely put in the effort to make this expansion much more open and non-linear.

Do all designers use the same in-house editor? Or do you have different tools for different jobs? How do you handle collisions in your edits?
We all use a massive proprietary tool called WoWEdit, which has been showcased a couple of times at Blizzcons in the past. We all use this tool to create and edit everything from creatures to spells to quests, and our level designers use it to actually shape the terrain of the outdoor world. At the end of the day, there are countless columns and rows in tables that define the properties of the game world and the players and monsters that inhabit it. We're only able to do the work that we do because of our amazing Tools team, a dedicated group that is constantly refining and updating our editor to enable us to create content more quickly and with fewer bugs.

I love the little mana bomb received from the Theramoore scenario, but the cooldown is making it really hard to have fun with. Any chance this will be reduced to allow a bit more spammability? Maybe like a 30 second cd?
Glad you liked the reward! Unfortunately, that kind of mana power takes a long time to recharge!

With the pet battle system, pets which you can acquire multiples of, have lost the 'Already Known' tag. This is pretty annoying when shopping for pets for example, as you constantly have to search through your journal ("Do I have the red tickbird or the white one?"). Will this be changed? perhaps add an 'Already Known' tag in a different color?
Sorry for the inconvenience on that, we have already redesigned the tooltips to fix this in patch 5.1.0. Tooltips will display if you already own the pet in addition to how many.

Question from Munich, Germany. As the Octoberfest here and Brewfest in WoW are coming up, I wondered whether anyone at Blizzard did "field research" for designing Brewfest at the real Octoberfest ? The costumes and music are done really well.
We do field research on Brewfest every Friday.

If some gamers are thinking about coming back to WoW to exp Mist of Pandaria content, is there any special program "come back" that will launch with the release?
Scroll of Resurrection is awesome for returning players!

Future / Past
Mists of Pandaria features an ambitious number of 18 raid bosses and I'm very excited about that. Im curious though as to how many bosses we can expect to see in future tiers? Firelands and Dragon Soul felt like small tiers with only 7 or 8 encounters in the tier.
We like big raid tiers too, and will do our best to continue delivering them. We're planning for the next tier after Heart of Fear/Terrace to be a fair bit larger than Firelands or Dragon Soul were.

Beside the lifting on the mist with the clock strikes midnight on the 25th. We have come to expect events to complement the expansion. They have been fascinating and very fun. Should we expect events over the next 6 days? Or was the Scenario it?
The Theramore scenario is intended to be a preview of what players can expect from scenarios in Mists. It is by no means a launch event and thats intentional. We made a call early on to put that time into developing more content for Mists that will last and not be over in a week.

I assume I ask this question on behalf of thousands of vanilla WoW fans: Do you ever plan on bringing back "Server-wide" Events? An example would be the Opening of AQ, which allowed the entire server to collaborate their efforts. An event of the same theory would be an incredible experience for all players to witness. It was incredibly rewarding when the whole server gathered enough materials for the opening ceremony!
From the standpoint of, "Everyone gather at the same place at the same time to see a big event and if you miss it its gone forever assuming you all don't crash the server," then no, no more events like that. BUT, we love the feeling of server progression, similar to the Isle of Quel'denas. Is there a way to build that progression into the game such that players who come in a couple months later don't miss out on all the fun? We think there is. And we're planning something that we'd like to try in the 5.0 patch cycle... so stay tuned! [No guarantees here, but we're actively tinkering with something.]

Can we have a rough timeframe on when we can expect the Trials of the High King questline to be implimented? Are we taking around patch 5.1 or something closer to the Siege of Orgrimmar patch?
Varian Wrynn's first trial will happen in 5.1. But to set expectations, the development of Varian's character happens across the entire patch cycle and beyond - it doesn't all happen in one event or one scenario. His trials are many.

In Pandaria will we see another 9 month period where we will have no new stuff coming out?
We are doing everything within our power to avoid this. We all feel that 9 months without content is pretty much unacceptable to our players. A glimmer of hope: we are already knee deep into both patch 5.1 and 5.2. Our plan is to deliver these much faster than anyone is expecting.

Will content come at a faster rate in MoP? It seems that we might be pushing thought content at a much faster rate.
That is definitely our goal! As we speak the quest team is simultaneously working on patches 5.1 and 5.2. Our hope is to keep the story and content rolling forward. It's definitely a focus for the team - I can't make any promises, but I guarantee we're trying and I hope you'll notice the results!

I know we sound like a broken record on this but we are really pushing hard to deliver content to you guys faster than ever with the Mists patch cycle. As Dave mentioned, we are already making awesome progress on the first set of patches.

Have you thought of introducing titles to reward realm 1st times for the new challenge mode dungeons. Something similar to how the PvP titles work now.
We actually have! The idea was that you would only have the title for as long as you held the top time. Main issue we ran into was that the title could be changing hands so fast that you might only have it for a few seconds. It's an awesome idea though and we want to explore it more.

Do you guys plan on giving out title for challenge modes, like how you do for PvP (0.0% - 0.5%: Gladiator 0.5% - 3%: Duelist 3% - 10%: Rival 10% - 35%: Challenger)
If and when we move on to future challenge mode "seasons", titles to recognize players' past accomplishments are definitely something we'll consider.

Is there any plans to allow players to have more then one Death Knight per server?
We agree that it feels like an antiquated rule at this point. We'll see how hard it is to remove that restriction.

With the introduction of Pet Battles, do you think we can see pets dropping in raids again? There hasn't been a pet drop in a raid since Karazhan IIRC so a prime example in today's standing could be Ragnaros dropping Mini Ragnaros instead of it being on the store.
I don't see why not! We just need to make sure it's a good fit with the content.

Will the baby shark pet ever get added back into the game?

Yes! That's what those sweet new water bubbles are for!

Transmog has become a very important part of my gaming fun. Will we be able to farm Dragon Soul LFR recolor gear at level 90, since the LFR tool won't work for it at that level ? This goes for future expansions and MoP content, of course.
We aren't going to support Raid Finder for content that is much lower level than your character, but we are going to allow you to enter old raids solo without being in a raid in a future patch (ideally the next major one, but standard no promises). That should facilitiate a lot of transmog farming.

Any chance we will see the option to upgrade out current legendary to be maybe not the equal to the current ilvl but maybe raid finder ilvl or just a little below so that they are not just taking up space in out banks, or bags in the case of dragonwrath.
Not sure we would let you upgrade a legendary, but we could potentially allow you to transmog them. Our reluctance has always been that Thunderfuy feels less special when you see 30 of them running around AV.

The Reliquary is an interesting faction (at least in my opinion), but it hasn't been really visible in Cataclysm. Any chance we'll see them in Pandaria, as a counterpart to Brann ? Or at least some way to get their tabard ?
No plan for a tabard, but starting in 5.1 they're going to start poking around Pandaria for relics...

As the Cataclysm Expansion is now over. As a team what were your take aways both good and bad?
From a quest perspective, we thought that the storytelling in Cataclysm was very strong, but that the zones were very linear. For Pandaria, we wanted to swing the pendulum the other way and open up the game more, rewarding exploration. I think we found a much better balance. Kun-lai Summit, for example, is pretty open-ended, even though it's got some great stories in there. That's just one example - we're always learning from expansions. The other big takeaway was that we wanted more things for players to do, depending on what sort of challenges they want. Challenge Modes, Pet battles, and the new Daily Quest structure all appeal to different people, hoepfully with the goal of giving everyone more content no matter what your playstyle!

Were Orges ever thought of as a playable race, at one time?
Yep. We considered them for Cataclysm instead of goblins. Figuring out the females and the two-headed mages would be (fun!) challenges. Maybe someday.

Recently in Twitter Ghostcrawler mentioned the possibility of making subraces such as Maghar orcs and Wildhammer dwarfs available with the player character model updates, how high chance is there that this would also allow us to play as Broken or Taunka?
If we ever opened up more races, I suspect we'd be pretty liberal about it, but to be clear, that feature is no more than a twinkle in some designer's eye at this stage.

I loved the "Visions of the Past" quest-line in Vashj'ir. Will we see anything similar in upcoming content?
This is the "Battle-Maiden" questline, where you got to play as a naga badass for a while. I think these are a great break from the standard gameplay if they're well-designed, but we would want to use them sparingly. (After all, it's not WoW if you're not playing your class and kicking butt!) That said, there's a couple fun moments in Pandaria that have similar gameplay. In the Valley of Four Winds, you get to play as Chen Stormstout for a little bit. After kicking around a lot of ideas, we ultimately decided to give you a single 'Chen-Fu' button that makes him randomly do awesome kung-fu moves. It's a short sequence, but it's fun for storytelling and gives you a chance to Chen it up.

Is there a chance we might see class specific factions developed more? Kirin Tor, Ebon Blade, Argent Bros, Ravenholdt...Could we see something similar arise for Warriors, Hunters etc?
We're cooking up some cool Warlock stuff we can hopefully announce soon. In a more general sense, we LOVE class-specific content, but to do it right takes development time (believe me, I have to somehow schedule all this stuff.). When it came down to deciding between more zones of content and more faction content OR class-specific stuff, we opted to create more content for everyone. But, again, we love class-specific content, we'll try to squeeze in some cool challenges for the various challenges in the patches to come...

When will transmog rules be loosened up a little. Main hand/one hand weapons, for instance.
If I had to guess, we will loosen them at some point. We would probably wait until some time after the MoP launch when players will appreciate it more. It's easy for smaller features to get lost when there is so much new content. The designers will discuss it soon (tm).

Will we ever see cross-server mail or non-boa cross faction mailing feasibly within the 5.0 content?
It's on our list and something we really want to do. It's really just a matter of the engineering time it takes us to get it in.

With the creation of the farms at Halfhill, the base structure for player and guild housing has subsequently been created as well. Is this the direction you have chosen to go with for player housing or was this even considered as an option. One very good point about this option is that multiple locations for housing can be placed thoughout the game world, preventing the issue of removing players from the world.
It's certainly a baby step in that direction. We are really excited to see how players react to it in Mists. We already have lots of ideas on how we can expand this kind of content in the future too!

When we think about things like player-housing, we really want to look at how this can contribute to gameplay. The farm is awesome because it ties into a lot of systems, it creates some fun crafting opportunities, it impacts the economy, etc. It's a great experiment for us because if it's popular, it gives us a lot of data into how to create this type of content in the future.

Have you thought about implementing zones or battlegrounds where players are normalized by level, similar to the gear level normalization in the upcoming challenge mode dungeons? This could allow players to quest or PVP with lower-level friends, and it could be fun to see a trio of level 20s take down a level 90.
This is a tremendous question, because it's something we've been talking about and exploring. With Challenge Modes, we now have tech to scale your item level, so that we can guarantee the right level of difficulty. Having this tech opens lots of doors for us down the line. We don't have anything to announce, but it's a step toward a lot of the features you're describing.

I really love the real ID system, which has helped me communicate with my cousin who lives in Hawaii. The only downfall is, he's horde. Neither of us want to change fractions but we'd love to run together doing something. Will you guys ever consider letting us 'group' together and duke it out in battlegrounds, but disabling chat (even in real ID terms) so the no communication rules still apply?
We don't have huge design problems with letting you play with friends from other factions. The biggest challenge is the game was never designed with the concept of letting you be allied with the opposing faction, so it would be a tremendous amount of work. I won't give up hope for it though! (We always joke about a tauren having the Hallow's End 2D gnome mask when you're grouped with him.)

Will we ever see Magni Bronzebeard return from being frozen under Ironforge?
Magni is like the definition of BLING. If we continue his story, we'll make sure to handle it in-game. I wouldn't count on seeing him return during the Pandaren story arc, though.

Were the stained glass windows in Ulduar forshadowing of the Sha? They look very similar to the Sha.
I'd like to say we planned that. [Long pause] But I would be lying. I think it's just a happy coincidence that fits wonderfully into our lore.

Will the storyline of the Sha continue with Patch 5.1 or later patches?
For the most part, the Sha issues will be tackled by players in 5.0. BUT... not everyone wants to let sleeping Sha lie. Someone might start stirring up trouble beginning with the patches...

Will there be an appearance of the Burning Legion in the end of MoP?
The threat of the Burning Legion is still out there, and it's very much a threat to Azeroth. The mortal races are mostly focused on the current war, but not everyone has forgotten about what's out there and the challenges to come... Wrathion, in particular, is already trying to look ahead.

When will we see Sargeras, it's one of the reasons I've stuck around for so long...
Sargeras would be one monstrous raid boss! He's one of the most iconic, key villains of the franchise. Believe me, when he comes to Azeroth, you're going to feel it LONG before he even gets there.

At the end of the Klaxxi questline, the mantid mentioned that at one point in time, they worshipped Y'shaarj, an old god. However, he was slain by the Titans and was split into "shadows of his former self". Is he, in some way, in relations with the Sha and will we see Y'shaarj in future content patches?
Y'shaarj breathed love and exhaled hate, inhaled peace and breathed violence... Plus, his name was y'SHAarj. It's pretty safe to connect the dots. :smileyhappy: But Y'shaarj itself is very, very, very dead.

The story of Tides of War is really interesting. I don't think players can get engaged if they have no idea what's happening, the bomb dropping is really anticlimactic. I felt a bit disappointed so little got included in the scenario. Was this because of lack of time, of developers or because you rather keep all that info in the novels.
I've been watching the Theramore feedback closely, and this comment seems pretty universal. We tried to keep everything all in the scenario, to make it really self-contained, but not burden it with lots of story that you have to slog through every time you played the scenario. It's pretty clear from the feedback that people wanted more story. We should've surrounded the scenarios with more quests or explanations to help round out the story for the people who wanted to know what exactly was happening. Lesson learned!

Christie Golden mentioned in an interview that she worked closely with the quest team when she wrote Tides of War to make sure everything was very close. However, there are some notable differences between the book and the scenario during the Alliance side of it. Did the storyline of the scenario change late into the book's writing?
We worked hard to sync with Golden during development. The Alliance side of the scenario went through LOTS of iterations, including when it happend (before the attack? During the attack? After the attack?) Ultimately we went with the one that gave us the greatest gameplay. We want the events of the book and game to match as closely as possible, but we want the best book possible and the best game possible, so they won't be word-for-word identical. This can create some fun arguments. "Well, according to this book..." "YEAH, but I WAS THERE, MAN!" We work hard to make sure the discrepancies are minor, but we definitely don't struggle for perfection.

Is there anything to Jaina's words that it is "time to bring Dalaran down" to the land and that she is still in support of fighting against the Horde?
Jaina's story will continue starting in patch 5.1. We'll try to catch players up with where she is at the end of the book, and then move on from there.

Are we going to get more story-telling in scenarios? The Theramore scenario was lackluster compared to the book, key story elements haven't even been address in-game yet.(Kirin Tor leader)
I addressed this earlier, but keep in mind that we want scenarios to be replayable. We definitely didn't want to burden them with tons of story that you have to wade through every time you play it. As I said for Theramore, people obviously wanted more context, which probably was best served by some one-time quests on either end of the scenario. That's a lesson we're pulling forward.

Where do you see races that are neutral leaning like the Blood Elves going within the Horde? They seem rather separate from the Horde story since Cata's launch.
Stick around for patch 5.1 - we pick up the Blood Elves' story and propel it forward. Finally, a chance to interact with Lor'themar! Most players don't even know who he is.

There has been some speculation as to whether Turalyon and Alleria might make a triumphant comeback in Mists of Pandaria. Any comments on this, or are they saved for a later expansion pack? The Alliance sure could use something to turn the tide of war.
There's no plan to continue their story in Pandaria. ..and also, I think the Alliance can take this!

"Turalyon and Alleria" is it possible in anyway to know if there are any plans to continue their story? I had HUGE hopes to see them in game when BC came out and their SON poped out of nowhere saying they where alive. anything would do!... plz!?
Oh, their story will continue!!

I have always wondered why the Alliance has continuously frowned upon the Scarlet Crusade. Their main purpose was to simply eradicate the undead. With their return in MoP, we are tasked with eliminating them -again- with the aid of Lillian Voss. Why is it that we have turned their organization down for so long when we more or less have the same goals in mind?
The complexities really aren't in the game, but the Scarlet Crusade was very much a rogue organization. Great priests and warriors who would've otherwise served the Alliance disappear into the crusade, who serves its own ends. (In Northrend, it was clear their leadership had succumbed to demonic influence. It's hard to make up for that.) To be honest, the main reason to revisit the Crusade in 5.0 was a gameplay reason and not a story reason - it was a favorite dungeon that we really wanted to revisit with new mechanics. We didn't think a lot of story was needed.

The reddit AMA gave some teasers that Sylvanas, Vol'jin, and Thrall (specifically in 5.1) would be integral parts to the story. Rexxar and Koltira were also mentioned. On the Alliance side, other than Varian, Anduin and Jaina are there any notable leaders/lore figures we can expect to see active through the Pandaria storyline?
Great question! Many of the Alliance leaders will come into play. Tyrande has a couple of moments in 5.1. We also want to do more with the dwarven storyline (we're still kicking around ideas of how best to do that.) The trick is making sure those characters have meaningful moments. We'll definitely spend a lot of time with Jaina and King Wrynn.

What exactly (If you can answer without spoiling the story line!) has turned Garrosh Hellscream into the monster we all hate now?
Garrosh is not a monster. He has a very clear vision of the Horde, and the future of the orcs, and he gives very little thought to anyone who stands between him and that future. As he gets more powerful, and gets away with more, his vision becomes clearer. This has put him in conflict in the Alliance, and ultimately will cause problems within the Horde.

Is the second son of DeathWing going to be the Second Prince? The achievement two Princes says that Wration and another 'Prince' will settle something important, is that true?
"Two Princes" is a placeholder name that may or may not reflect the final achievements in later patches. Suffice it to say, Wrathion's story will continue!

Where is N'Zoth? He was mentioned at Blizzcon, then was talked about in Dragon Soul. What is going on with him?!
N'zoth is still lurking. The Titans couldn't defeat it... maybe someday we'll get our chance? Don't expect to hear anything about him in Pandaria, though!

Site Navigation