World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2011-03-12 07:26 AM

PAX East is this week! If you're interested in previews and announcements, check out the PAX East 2011 Coverage on Curse.com!

Cataclysm - Heroic Zul'Gurub Dungeon and Boss Guide
Jesse Cox from OMFGcata released a nice video of the updated version of Zul'gurub. If you didn't have time to visit the new instance on PTRs, you should probably spend 15 minutes watching it, you will probably end up thinking "hey, the new ZG is better than I thought!".



Patch 4.1: Addon Messages Will Be Filtered
Boring stuff you will probably not understand unless you're an addon developer, but it seems important!
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
Addon authors that use chat messages should check that their addons still work in 4.1

Authors will need to add calls to RegisterAddonMessagePrefix() in order to receive addon messages of a particular prefix, presumably during PLAYER_ENTERING_WORLD for the majority of addons. Note that this system errs on the side of sending too much; it is possible for addon messages to make it to the CHAT_MSG_ADDON handlers when no addon has registered it.


  • RegisterAddonMessagePrefix( <string> )
    • Returns a boolean if successful (could fail if it hits the client side limit of 512 prefixes).

  • IsAddonMessagePrefixRegistered( <string> )
    • Returns a Boolean if the prefix has been registered.

  • <table> GetRegisteredAddonMessagePrefixes( <table> )
    • Returns a table (or you can pass in a table), that will be filled in with all prefixes that were registered.

Prefixes are limited to 16 characters now, and they no longer take up a portion of the 256 character chat message limit. The server has a 64 prefix limit. If you exceed this limit your client will not filter any messages.

Also: SendAddonMessage() is now allowed for the OFFICER channel.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Winged Raids and Firelands
A developer working on a particularly awesome Firelands boss encounter today took me on a tour of the dungeon. I think you'll find the layout to be a pleasant change of pace from winged dungeons. Many of the mechanics being worked on that I was shown were quite nifty as well. I'm really excited for this one. (Source)

Quest Phasing
This is the sort of philosophy we're going for with phasing, as we do feel it's an important tool for storytelling. We do recognize issues where we've "over-phased" zones in the past though, and we generally tried to take a more minimal approach to phasing in Cataclysm. While there is still a good deal of phasing involved in many of the zones, we tried to make each phase a little more intricate and less intrusive on group gameplay. We want to make sure that, in times when a group is required, phasing doesn't hold you back from grouping with friends. (Source)

Phased Ore/Herbs
It is an issue we're aware of and having been looking into. We've applied a number of hotfixes to phased gathering nodes since the release of Cataclysm, but this one is still there and is certainly a bugger. (Source)

Appearance Tab - Using other items visuals while keeping your real gear
We have discussed these types of ideas with the developers several times in recent history. We're not entirely opposed to some of the ideas, though the feature would probably be more limited than the functionality many players are asking for.

This is still largely a contested concept though, as we'd want to make sure it's done well and doesn't have unforeseen negative impacts on gameplay/art style. When we have more information to share with you regarding our decision whether or not to move forward, and how, we'll be sure to let you know. (Source)

Blizzard Art Gallery Update
The World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Art Gallery has been updated with four pieces representing the Warcraft universe.



New Warcraft Fan Art
The Blizzard Fan Art Section has been updated with ten new pieces of fan artwork set within the Warcraft universe.


by Published on 2011-03-11 06:30 AM

Zul'aman and Zul'gurub Loot Table
The latest PTR build added items to Zul'gurub and Zul'aman and we now have a pretty good idea of what will drop there.


  • No screenshots for the moment, models aren't implemented yet.
  • The list might not be final, especially because it's incredibly annoying to scan for items in the current PTR build.

Level Type Spec Slot Name
353AxeMeleeTwo-HandReforged Trollbane
353BackMeleeBackHex Lord's Bloody Cloak
353BackPhysical DPSBackRecovered Cloak of Frostheim
353BackSpell DPSBackHakkari Loa Drape
353BowPhysical DPSRangedMandokir's Tribute
353BowTankRangedVoodoo Hunting Bow
353ClothSpell DPSFeetBoots of the Ursine
353ClothSpell DPSLegsSerpentine Leggings
353ClothSpell DPSShoulderJan'alai's Spaulders
353ClothSpell DPSWaistSash of Anguish
353ClothSpell DPSWristWristwraps of Madness
353ClothSpell SpiritChestHexing Robes
353ClothSpell SpiritHeadThe Hexxer's Mask
353ClothSpell SpiritShoulderClaw-Fringe Mantle
353ClothSpell SpiritWristWristwraps of Departed Spirits
353DaggerPhysical DPSOne-HandTwinblade of the Hakkari
353DaggerSpell DPSOne-HandVoodoo Hexblade
353FingerMeleeFingerRing of the Numberless Brood
353FingerPhysical DPSFingerArlokk's Signet
353FingerSpell DPSFingerShimmerclaw Band
353FingerSpell DPSFingerSignet of Venoxis
353FingerSpell SpiritFingerSoul Drain Signet
353Fist Weap.Physical DPSOne-HandThekal's Claws
353Fist Weap.Physical DPSOne-HandArlokk's Claws
353LeatherMeleeFeetFasc's Preserved Sandals
353LeatherMeleeHeadThe Savager's Mask
353LeatherMeleeLegsLeggings of Dancing Blades
353LeatherMeleeWristAmani'shi Belt
353LeatherPhysical DPSChestShadowtooth Trollskin Breastplate
353LeatherPhysical DPSWaistBelt of Slithering Serpents
353LeatherSpell DPSChestVestments of the Soulflayer
353LeatherSpell DPSFeetTwo-Toed Moccasins
353LeatherSpell SpiritLegsLeggings of the Pride
353LeatherSpell SpiritWristArmbands of the Bear Spirit
353MaceMeleeTwo-HandJeklik's Smasher
353MaceSpell SpiritOne-HandAmani Scepter of Rites
353MailPhysical DPSHandsHandguards of the Tormented
353MailPhysical DPSHeadHeaddress of Sharpened Vision
353MailPhysical DPSLegsZombie Walker Legguards
353MailPhysical DPSShoulderPauldrons of Nalorakk
353MailPhysical DPSWaistWaistband of Hexes
353MailSpell DPSWaistHawkscale Waistguard
353MailSpell DPSWristShadowmender Wristguards
353MailSpell SpiritChestBreastplate of Serenity
353MailSpell SpiritHandsMojo-Mender's Gloves
353MailSpell SpiritLegsKilt of Forgotten Rites
353MailSpell SpiritShoulderSpiritbinder Spaulders
353NeckPhysical DPSNeckAmulet of the Watcher
353NeckTankNeckAmulet of Protection
353Off-HandSpell SpiritOff-HandLost Bag of Whammies
353PlateMeleeChestChestplate of Hubris
353PlateMeleeFeetSkullcrusher Warboots
353PlateMeleeHandsPlunderer's Gauntlets
353PlateMeleeHeadRoaring Mask of Bethekk
353PlateMeleeLegsJungle Striders
353PlateMeleeWristDeathcharged Wristguards
353PlateSpell SpiritChestTroll Skull Chestplate
353PlateSpell SpiritFeetBoots of Bad Mojo
353PlateSpell SpiritHeadPlumed Medicine Helm
353PlateTankChestBattleplate of the Amani Empire
353PlateTankHandsBone Plate Handguards
353PlateTankHeadSpiritshield Mask
353PlateTankShoulderPauldrons of Sacrifice
353PlateTankWaistCoils of Hate
353ShieldSpell DPSOff HandZulian Ward
353ShieldTankOff HandShield of the Blood God
353StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandLegacy of Arlokk
353SwordMeleeOne-HandZulian Slasher
353SwordMeleeOne-HandRenataki's Soul Slicer
353SwordTankOne-HandBloodlord's Protector
353WandSpell DPSRangedTouch of Discord
353WandSpell DPSRangedZulian Voodoo Stick
70MountAmani Battle Bear



Blue Posts
I guess we finally know why Ghostcrawler is gone from the forums: we can blame the europeans (but not me) and the whiners who don't take the time of reading posts when they come from a blue tracker. There, that's why the daily classes update are gone, but now we have super fast updates to patches hotfixes!
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Why Ghostcrawler stopped posting on official forums
These forums have always been about players talking to players. We don't want to foster the expectation that it's going to get a blue response if someone tries hard enough (lol I'm replying to a thread calling for a blue). While GC added a lot to these forums (and I say 'these forums' because he only posted in the North America forums) we think we can reach more players, particularly those in other regions, more directly through the blogs, or concerted Q&A's. Blogs also tend to be a better medium for getting the message out there loud and clear, but does have downsides that it removes the conversation that we know is appreciated quite a bit.

While forum posts do lend themselves to that conversational approach, they actually have a lot of downsides to them from our perspective of attempting to get clear and clean information to the players. They aren't very visible is really the first and maybe biggest problem. You can liken forum posts and the information given in them to some of the displeasure surrounding how hotfixes are communicated. I may reply to a thread 20 times and in my #13 reply I say something really important regarding class balance. Who is going to see that? How quickly will that knowledge actually permeate? Will the message be kept clear? Will my clarification in post #17 that explains what people are misunderstanding in #13 be seen by everyone that read #13? People tend not to read past the first blue post in a thread, or skip around and don't read them all, so if you have a correction/addendum to the first post, or just expound upon a thought, it's generally lost on the majority of readers. Blue trackers can help with this, but we're generally not having to explain that "post #13 wasn't the end of the thought and it's being taken out of context" to people who just go to blue trackers. Forum posts also tend to be fairly quickly written by one of us without much in the way of peer-review, and anything written off-the-cuff like a reply to a thread can tend to be more precarious than a more substantive outlet that has an official process of review and correction before its posted (like the blogs). Much to the dismay of many forum goers I'm sure, there's just an infinitely smaller chance we'll say something stupid or mess up in a fully published blog post.

As with anything we do, we never believe we're perfect. There's always room to improve. The blogs may not be the best outlet but we're continually working to improve upon the content we're delivering, and have some pretty exciting stuff planned. We're also working to make the comment system for the blogs a bit more like the forums so conversation can be held there more easily, as well. Of course you've no doubt see we're running a recurring global Ask the Devs Q&A. It's one way where we're hoping to fill that gap of direct developer interaction that the blogs probably just can't hit. We think the Q&A's are going to be extremely popular and fill a big part of what made GC's interactions on here so useful. And we’re going to continue collecting feedback and posting when appropriate, but we'll also be trying to come up with additional ways to facilitate the communication between the developers and players. (Source)

Recycling content in future patches
There definitely is not a hard and fast rule about updating existing content. If we feel revamping existing content makes sense in the current state of the game and lore -- and we think it will be fun -- sure, it's a possibility. You definitely shouldn't expect this every patch though. In the grand scheme of World of Warcraft's history, we've reintroduced very little existing content per patch and expansion. (Source)

And let's get real - we know why you're recycling old content. With the next Starcraft 2 expansion, Diablo 3, and an "unannounced MMO" all in production, I'm guessing the art team has its hands full. Recycling old content is an easy way to create a "new" instance with old art assets.
There isn't a singular Blizzard Entertainment art team. Each franchise has its own art department. We don't just pull resources from one project to give more attention to another in the sense you're suggesting. This is why we have multiple development teams (which include art teams for each) and can work on multiple franchises simultaneously. (Source)

"OMG ALL THE DEVS ARE GONE!"
That wasn't at all the context of the post to which I was responded. That player was suggesting that a singular art team directs their attention away from WoW to work on art for our other games. That's not true.

Now, if an individual person does move onto a new project, their position is filled. Therefore, the resources are still there (which is why I said "in the sense you're suggesting"). This is how career advancement works at any company. How else do you account for a company's growth? You bring in new talent (or move them up from within the company) and train them under the current folks so they can eventually fill the vacancy.

This talk about losing WoW developers, or that WoW is left to a "B team" is getting tiresome. There is no finite pool of talent and we have every intention of making sure WoW development remains very strong.

All of this is practically besides the point anyway. All you've been told is some talented people who helped build WoW into what it is today have moved over to another project to help bring it to fruition. You don't know who those people are, what positions they held on the WoW team, or how many of them have moved onto other projects. Most of them, in fact, are programmers working to develop the systems and tech for a new project. And the programmers WoW has now are amazing. They've taken the original systems and improved upon them many times over.

Just as an example, think back to how slowly UI improvements would be implemented in vanilla and TBC. Now there are scores of great UI improvements nearly every patch. That team is incredible and very experienced. Just the same, the class design team has hardly changed in years, save for a couple of additions (read: not subtractions).

Every department at Blizzard has expanded immensely over the years to accommodate the growing playerbase, as well as our ambitions for the future of the company. You can look at our job opportunities page just to get an example for the talent search we have constantly going on.

Bringing in new talent and growing the company from within is far from a bad thing. It's a great thing and has allowed us to develop several projects simultaneously without short-changing any of them. Anyone who says otherwise is working on an incredible amount of speculation and assumptions.

And even still, the WoW development leadership remains largely unchanged. Every time I stop by to chat with these people -- the same people I've been interacting with for years now -- I'm inspired by their creativity, their talent, and their dedication to making this game mega-awesomesauce. (Source)

Ragnaros Model
The problem is that you have no context or perspective on the model you've seen a static image of.


  • 1) Standing next to the full-sized, animated model will give you a very different perspective when you're looking up from his toenail
  • 2) Knowing that he will only come out of his lava pool to reveal his full figure in a Heroic-only phase of the fight will give you a bit more context

He's not just going to be running around the moment every raid reaches him.

I don’t think a lot of you understand; perspective is a large part of art design. The designers probably designed the model looking upwards from his feet. I bet you Rags’ll look epic when you see him in person
This is sort of what I was getting at with my first point. The perspective is completely different when a player character is standing near him. The proportions were designed with that in mind, which is why the screenshot of the model really doesn't do Ragnaros justice at all. (Source)
by Published on 2011-03-10 04:51 AM

Patch 4.1 PTR Notes - March 9 Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

General
  • A dead player can now be resurrected by targeting them using the Party or Raid Frame even if they have released. No more hunting for corpses.

Dungeon Finder
  • The Dungeon Finder now attempts to avoid putting damage-dealing classes with the same armor type in a group.

PvP

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Druids now innately have 100% pushback protection from damage while channeling Tranquility.

Restoration

Druid Bug Fixes

Hunter (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Pets
  • Bloodthirsty no longer generates Happiness.
  • Carrion Feeder no longer restores Happiness.
  • The Feed Pet ability now instantly heals 50% of the pet's health. Cannot be used in combat. Requires diet-appropriate food.
  • Guard Dog no longer causes Growl to generate additional Happiness.
  • The Happiness/Pet Loyalty System has been removed. Hunters will no longer have to manage Happiness for their pets, and the previous damage bonus for pets being happy will now be baseline for all tamed pets.

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Mend Pet is now Glyph of Greater Proportion, which increases the size of the pet slightly.

Hunter Bug Fixes

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Arcane Blast damage has been increased by 13%. In addition, the stacking effect of Arcane Blast now increases the damage done by Arcane Explosion, and Arcane Explosion does not consume that effect.
  • Arcane Explosion damage has been increased by 13%.
  • Arcane Missiles damage has been increased by 13%.
  • Blizzard damage has been increased by 70%.

Arcane

Fire

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)

Discipline

Holy

Warlock (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Pets
  • Lash of Pain (Succubus) damage now scales with level, reducing the damage done at lower levels such that it will deal 50% damage at level 20, and 100% damage at level 80 and above.

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Arms
by Published on 2011-03-09 10:54 PM

PTR Patch 4.1.0 - Build 13726
A new build is about to be deployed on the test realms tonight.


Zul'aman and Zul'gurub Maps
Maps for all the TBC instances have also been added, no need to crowd the front page with them for the moment.



New Achievements
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Dungeons & Raids - Cataclysm
  • Ohganot So Fast! Defeat Bloodlord Mandokir in Zul'Gurub on Heroic Difficulty without killing Ohgan.



Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Class Skills
Mounts

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Restoration
  • Malfurion's Gift Tranquility cooldown reduction is now properly displayed in the tooltip. (2.5/5 minutes)

Hunter (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Survival

Marksmanship

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Protection
  • Grand Crusader now also causes your Avenger's Shield to generate a charge of Holy Power if used within 6 sec of the proc.

Holy

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy
  • Chakra 1 min duration has APPARENTLY been removed. (= Wait for the official notes update)

Discipline
  • Inner Will - You can only have Inner Will or Inner Fire active at a time.
  • Evangelism now also procs from Holy Fire.

Rogue (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Subtlety
  • Stealth now has a 6 sec cooldown, up from 4 sec.

Shaman (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Restoration
  • Spirit Link Totem (Tier 5) Summons a Spirit Link Totem with 5 health at the feet of the caster. The totem reduces damage taken by all party and raid members within 10 yards by 10%. Every 1 sec, the health of all affected players is redistributed, such that each player ends up with the same percentage of their maximum health. Lasts 6 sec. 11% of base mana, 3 min cooldown, Instant

Warlock (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Pet - Felhunter
  • Shadow Bite now scales from 61.4% of Spell power, up from 30.7%.

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Protection

Fury
by Published on 2011-03-09 08:44 AM

Patch 4.2 - Firelands Raid Preview
Yesterday you had a sneak peek at the Firelands Daily Area, it's time to take a look at the only thing you all want to see: the Firelands Raid instance!

Just like the daily area, it's a little hard to gather a lot of information about it because the instance isn't even supposed to be in this PTR patch but hopefully the couple of screenshots/maps below will be enough while you wait a few more months (you could probably count in weeks, Patch 4.2 won't be far behind Patch 4.1) before you see it on live realms.


Firelands Raid - Encounters
According to the Blizzcon 2010 Raids & Dungeons Panel, the Firelands raid will have 7 bosses. We already know 3 of them from achievement icones:


  • Fandral Staghelm, former Archdruid of Darnassus.
  • Alysra, the green drake in charge of transporting Fandral to a safe location at the end of the Hyjal questlines in Cataclysm. (Note: Just because there's an icon related to Alysra doesn't mean it's really a boss, in the case of Valithria Dreamwalker the goal of the encounter was to save her)
  • Ragnaros the Firelord, that one isn't really a surprise, right? And he's so pretty now!

Icon Name Icon Name Icon Name
Achievement_Firelands Raid_Alysra Achievement_Firelands Raid_Fandral_Staghelm Achievement_Firelands Raid_Ragnaros





Firelands Raid Instance - Map



Firelands Raid Instance - Screenshots

Disclaimer - These screenshots are from an early beta of the zone and are not representative of what you will be able to experience on live servers. Live servers will have a polished zone with monsters, tons of decorative elements, etc ... Anything that moves is basically not on these screenshots.







PvP Video - Reckful 3
If you ever watched PvP videos you probably know who Reckful is, Reckful 3 was released yesterday and I strongly suggest that you watch it, even if you don't like PvP that much in the first place.





Blizzard Retrospective Video
If you didn't watch the Blizzard retrospective video posted on the official site yesterday because you didn't have time or didn't feel like watching it, it is now available on Youtube. I think a lot of people didn't realize it's a huge 48 minutes documentary and if you ever played a Blizzard game, you'll like it.

0:00 - 07:15 Creation
07:15 - 08:40 Rock n' Roll Racing
08:40 - 10:38 Lost Vikings
10:38 - 12:23 Blackthorne
12:23 - 18:30 Funding
18:30 - 20:41 "Blizzard" origins
20:41 - 23:19 Embracing our Inner Geek
23:19 - 25:28 Justice League
25:28 - 26:53 Warcraft I
26:53 - 27:20 Warcraft II
27:20 - 29:16 Warcraft III
29:16 - 30:11 Diablo I
30:11 - 31:27 Battle.net
31:27 - 34:48 Starcraft I
34:55 - 41:00 WoW
41:00 - 43:56 Starcraft II
44:02 - 48:11 Leading responsibly


by Published on 2011-03-08 07:40 AM

Patch 4.2 - Firelands Daily Area Mini Preview
Firelands (Patch 4.2, not 4.1) will be more than the raid instance originally promised, it will also include a new questing area and probably a couple of other surprises! Below is the ugly map of the area I made based on the minimap files and a couple of screenshots.

I don't have a lot more information about it for the moment, but it's still a nice sneak peek at the zone!

Firelands Daily Zone - Map


Note: It's Malfurion's Breach, not Reach. ><

Firelands Daily Zone - Screenshots

Disclaimer - These screenshots are from an early beta of the zone and are not representative of what you will be able to experience on live servers. Live servers will have a polished zone with monsters, tons of decorative elements, etc ... Anything that moves is basically not on these screenshots.









Anniversary Video: A History of Blizzard Entertainment
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Did you know that Blizzard Entertainment was originally founded under a completely different name? What is the significance of Jawassic Park in the context of Blizzard Entertainment's art culture? Whatever happened to Orcs in Space? These and many, many more questions are answered in the full-length video we've just released on the Blizzard 20th Anniversary site. Clocking in at almost an hour, this video features candid commentary from the people who have spent the last two decades creating the games that helped make Blizzard Entertainment the company it is today.

Head over to the anniversary site and check out the Blizzard Retrospective Video now!

The MMO Report
I'm a little late, but I'm sure you always have time for a MMO Report.



Comics
Dark Legacy Comic #278 and Teh Gladiators #216 + #217 are out!


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