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by Published on 2012-10-31 04:30 PM

Day of the Dead is today, and Icy-Veins has a short guide!

Dev Watercooler: Mists of Pandaria PvP
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Now that Mists of Pandaria has been out a few weeks, we wanted to let you all know what we consider working well in PvP, what we want to improve, and what’s coming down the pike. I’m going to split this up into three parts: a discussion of Matchmaking Rating (MMR), class balance concerns, and a sneak peek at some of our PvP plans.

As I’m sure you’re aware, the intent behind MMR is to match players by skill. This is accomplished by comparing an assigned number (MMR) that adjusts based on the relative MMR of the opponents you win or lose to. Matching players by their effectiveness or performance helps make sure that less experienced players aren’t always getting stomped by expert players, and that competitors at all levels are earning their victories by battling players of roughly equivalent ability. MMR isn’t intended to be a “PvP score”—its primary function is in matchmaking. We’ve seen a lot of players asking for an MMR reset, and to be fair, we had originally planned on doing one (and even announced it beforehand). Some of you may be concerned that high-ranking players won’t have a reason to play and will be able to just sit on their high ratings, perhaps even earning Gladiator without having to fight opponents. While we think there’s some legitimacy to the concern, we don’t think resetting MMR is the right way to address it.

Because MMR is a measure of your performance as a player, we don’t think it makes a lot of sense to reset MMR at the end of a season or expansion. It’s unlikely your skill atrophied significantly more than that of your competition between seasons, so there isn’t a lot of benefit in measuring it again. If we did reset MMR then what you’d likely see is a handful of mismatched games, where experienced players rock weaker players until MMR is calibrated again. That’s a lot of pain for relatively little gain since the MMRs will likely settle back into the same places anyway. It is important to remember that the Conquest point cap, Elite rewards and Gladiator titles are all tied to Team Rating and not MMR. Your Team Rating increases and decreases as you win and lose, and your Team Rating is really the most important number when it comes to Arena PvP.

However, we took a hard look at the way we measure Team Rating, and came to the conclusion that our formula doesn’t do a good enough job of measuring the potential for improvement over the course of a season. While your skill may not necessarily improve over the course of a season, your gear definitely does, and that should have an effect on the relative power of your team. We’re currently working on a change to allow Team Ratings to grow faster over time, as long as you keep playing. We don’t have any specifics to share yet, but this correction will have the added benefit that players who continue playing will be capable of reaching higher Team Ratings, and therefore potential access to rewards, than someone who stops playing and sits on their rating.

As a potential example let’s say the Fatty Goat Steaks have a Team Rating of 2700 and the Mushan Tongues have a Team Rating of 2500. The Fatty Goat Steaks decide their Team Rating is high enough that they’re going to sit out the rest of the season. The Mushan Tongues keep playing each week, their gear gradually improves, and they continue to win many of their matches. Because of the new inflation component, their Team Rating rises, let’s say, 300 additional points to 2800. They are now higher ranked than the Fatty Goat Steaks. If the Fatty Goat Steaks decide to jump back into Arena matches, they can benefit from the inflation as well, but they’re going to have to play and win to catch up. It’s not going to be a system where you have to play every day just to defend your rating, but certainly one where you can’t sit at the top doing nothing and collect your rewards at the end. We’ll have more details on exactly how this system will work as we get closer to its implementation.

We believe this adjustment to the Team Rating formula will have a similar benefit to the “rating decay” that some of you have been asking for, but will feel more positive – rather than feeling like you must keep running just to stay in place (i.e. keep your current score), players that continue participating will be rewarded with higher Team Ratings. As a season wears on, this should also make upper brackets more active as well.

To support this change we’re going to expand the 5.1 feature of improving the item level of your raid armor and weapons using Valor to now include Justice, Honor, and Conquest points as well. A Gladiator who has purchased a full set of Conquest gear will now have a compelling motivation to keep playing in patch 5.1, since they’ll be able to improve that set by spending Conquest points.

Class Balance Concerns
We have 34 class specializations in the game now, and the intention here isn’t to go through every one to discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Instead, I’m going to address the ones that players seem to be most concerned about. That’s inherently a subjective call on my part, so I apologize if you think we missed something. Also, simply because something isn’t mentioned here doesn’t mean it’s being ignored. You can see some of the specific changes we are trying out in the 5.1 patch notes.

Beastmastery Hunters – We agree that stacking too many cooldowns to blow someone up is not interesting, skillful, or fair. (I also want to be clear that with all of these issues, we’re not blaming players for using the tools that we gave them; we’re blaming ourselves.) We’re taking a hard look at the various Hunter cooldowns with the intention of reducing their burst. Hunters are receiving a buff in that they will no longer need to swap between Aspect of the Hawk and Aspect of the Fox. We also hope these changes help result in higher representation of Survival and Marksman Hunters.

Update - We have just discovered a bug in which the debuff that makes Stampede pets weaker than normal pets was not being applied in Arenas. This helps explain why hunters could cause so much damage in Arenas but not in (say) the outdoor world or a dungeon environment.

Warriors – We don’t think Warrior burst is out of control the way Hunter burst is. It’s possible that the combination of Warrior control and burst are too hard to counter, though. The changes we’re looking at are reducing both burst and control. The Glyph of Gag Order in particular is just too powerful for PvP. We think that if you manage to keep a Warrior from you, you should be allowed to get off a cast (and if you’re a Warrior who just can’t stand the thought of that, you can still spec into Storm Bolt.) Shockwave, Avatar, and Recklessness are also mentioned a lot, and we’re looking at them as well.

Rogues – We think that Rogue damage in PvP is appropriate—the damage that some other classes are dealing is too high, and we want to adjust those cases before we do any tinkering elsewhere. We still like the Rogue suite of tools and abilities, but we feel like some of these mechanics might have been eclipsed by newer, shinier versions. We are looking at improving Rogue mobility and control in conservative ways.

Mages – We are going to tone down Mage burst and control. We had hoped moving more of their control to talents would force some exclusivity in crowd control options, but it wasn’t sufficient. We increased the cost of Spellsteal significantly to promote its use strategically instead of stealing everything available. We’ve also been trying out changes to Deep Freeze, Frost Bomb, and Pyroblast to reduce burst and control.

Monks – We know some players are concerned about Windwalker viability in Arenas. The Monk class has a high skill cap and they come with a learning curve. The Windwalker PvP bonuses are quite powerful and players aren’t really taking advantage of them yet. We absolutely want the newest class to be popular, but we’re also trying to be conservative and not recreate the situation where the Death Knight dominated PvP and PvE when it first launched. We do want to give the Monk a few more weeks and see where it stands, but we are keeping a close eye on how things develop.

Healing – We agree that off-spec healers are too competitive with dedicated healers. Specs such as Shadow, Elemental, and Balance are supposed to be able to provide some healing—that’s one of their perks—but they shouldn’t be able to substitute for a dedicated healer. The change we are going to try here is to have PvP Power benefit either your damage or healing depending on spec. We are concerned that healing may be too high even for dedicated healers, especially for Restoration Shaman and Holy Paladins, who are incredibly strong in PvP at the moment. After we tone down some of the burst damage coming from Hunters, Warriors, and Mages, we may try the PvP healing debuff at 30% instead of the current 15%, but that won’t happen until after we’ve resolved the damage issues.

Crowd Control – At the moment, we’re satisfied with the state of crowd control. We tried to not add new stackable forms of crowd control to any given spec, but because players have so many crowd control options (say, choosing a stun vs. a snare via talents) the overall number of crowd control spells that a PvP player needs to learn has grown. The pool just became deeper. We know that some of you have concerns, and we’ll keep an eye on it.

Burst – Aside from Hunters, and possibly Warriors and Mages, we don’t think burst is out of control. Other specs that get mentioned by players are Destruction Warlocks, Frost Death Knights, and Shadow Priests. Those are definitely on our radar, but we don’t have any changes to announce at the moment.

PvP Sneak Peek
We have a lot of irons in the fire on the development team, and we’re usually reluctant to discuss ideas that aren’t fully implemented in the game yet. Despite all of our caveats, ideas that we delay or cancel tend to get turned into “broken promises.” With that in mind, please understand that you may not see some of these ideas in the next patch, or the patch after that, or any time soon. These are just ideas we’re bouncing around:

Loss of Control UI – This is a feature we’ve wanted to build for a long time, and it’s finally close. If you’re feared, you probably realize you’re feared because your character runs around crazy with a big chattering skull over your head. However, if you’re stunned or silenced or disarmed, you don’t often realize it immediately and push your buttons which don’t do anything and as a result the game feels unresponsive. The loss of control UI makes sure you know when something prevents you from using your abilities. It has benefits for solo or instance play as well, but it’s largely a PvP-driven feature.

Rated Battleground Participation Rewards – If you’ve PvPed for any length of time, you’ve been in one of those matches where the final score is so close that victory was a breath away. When we do our jobs right and give you one of those really close matches, it’s sad to not get any reward for participating, so we want to give out some kind of small reward. The rewards will be based on the final score to discourage exploitation.

Battleground and Arena Maps in Dungeon Journal – While veteran PvP players already know all of the Arena and Battleground maps, we think Dungeon Journal is a good way to introduce the basic objectives and map overlay so newer competitors don’t have to learn to swim while drowning.

Improved Scoreboard – It might seem silly to some, but we think small touches matter. Right now, the entire way we end a Battleground hasn’t changed much: it feels a little archaic and isn’t very exciting. We want to have an actual “You win!” toast, followed by a more exciting scoreboard.

Smoother Battleground Brackets – We have technology now to scale down player items for Challenge Modes, and you might be aware that we scaled up player items during our beta raid testing. We’d like to use the same mechanic to scale up players within the lower level PvP brackets. For example, in the level 15 to 19 bracket, we could make all characters behave as if they were level 19 for purposes of the Battleground. If this idea works well, we could potentially condense lower level brackets and maybe reduce queue times.

Matchmaking – Our Battleground matchmaking system hasn’t changed much since it debuted and doesn’t yet benefit from many of the advances we developed for Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder. The original Battleground queuing system was designed for speed because it only had a single realm of candidates. By incorporating more of the new tech we’ve since developed, we can help ensure that there are a certain number of healers per team or at least a good class distribution.

Honor and Conquest Item Upgrades – We’ve talked about how we’re going to allow players to upgrade raid items with Valor. As mentioned above, we are going to let PvP players increase the item level of their Honor or Conquest gear by spending Honor or Conquest, respectively.

Small Groups joining Rated Battlegrounds – We still don’t want to let solo players queue for Rated Battlegrounds because it would undermine the intent of coordinated group PvP, and then they really just become normal Battlegrounds that reward better gear. However, we’ve heard your concerns that getting even 10 players together to queue for a Rated Battleground can be challenging. Our idea is to let a group of 5 players queue together, which we would then match with another group of 5 players. We think this can still provide a relatively balanced and viable team. One of the crazier ideas on the table would be to convert some of our smaller Battlegrounds, such as Gilneas, to have a 5v5 option.

Tol Barad and Wintergrasp – We are discussing making level 90 versions of these PvP zones that players could queue for to earn bonus honor.
As I said, this is a brain dump of a lot of ideas that a lot of different developers are working on. This is not a list of patch notes and not all of these may come to pass. Please let us know what you think, if we’re on the right track, or if you think we missed a big PvP issue. PvP balance is always going to be really subjective, and while balance is desirable, continual buffs and nerfs that don’t actually solve problems have the potential to be worse than the imbalances they’re trying to fix.

Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the lead systems designer for World of Warcraft. He has NEVER impersonated a female in the game in order to get loot.
by Published on 2012-10-30 08:14 PM

Cross-Realm Zones Update

Patch 5.1 PTR - Build 16231
A new beta build will be deployed on the PTR soon. We will be updating these notes frequently, so keep checking back!

New Vol'jin Model

New Items
It looks like there will be upgraded versions of the legendary gems from Wrathion!

Level Type Slot Name
520Crystal of Fear Gem Refined Crystallized Dread
520Crystal of Fear Gem Refined Crystallized Terror
520Crystal of Fear Gem Refined Crystallized Horror

New Loading Screens

Achievement Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Pet Battles

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Monk (Forums, Talent Calculator)



Strings Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • ENCHANTED_TOOLTIP_LINE - Enchanted: %s
  • OPTION_LOSS_OF_CONTROL_DISARM - When you have been disarmed. Abilities that require a weapon will be disabled.
  • OPTION_LOSS_OF_CONTROL_FULL - When you lose full control of your character from Banish, Charm, Stun, Disorient, Polymorph, Fear, Horror, Incapacitate, Sap, Sleep, Cyclone, and Shackle Undead.
  • OPTION_LOSS_OF_CONTROL_INTERRUPT - When you have been interrupted. This also shows when you have been locked out of a specific spell school.
  • OPTION_LOSS_OF_CONTROL_ROOT - When you have been rooted. You cannot move but can still cast spells and do melee attacks.
  • OPTION_LOSS_OF_CONTROL_SILENCE - When you have been silenced or pacified. You cannot cast some of your spells.
  • REFORGE_TOOLTIP_LINE - %c%s %s (Reforged from %s)
by Published on 2012-10-30 06:41 PM

Cross-Realm Zones Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As promised, we wanted to give you all an update on what we’ve been working on with regards to the cross-realm zone feature. Just to recap, cross-realm zones are meant to improve the leveling experience by increasing the amount of people in the same zone together, while also allowing you to quest with your Real ID or BattleTag friends. It’s a complex feature, and there are still some technical issues that we’re continuing to work to address. We’re committed to further refining the system so that it provides the best possible gameplay experience.

This is an update on the technical issues we’ve been working on and some of the progress we’ve made.

Time Zone Jumps

Right now we have a three-hour time zone differential limit on which realms can be mixed together. This is intended to reduce day/night jumps from occurring when crossing CRZ zones, as well as time zone jumps that may cause world events to end earlier than intended. We agree that the day/night jump can be jarring, and planning for last minute turn-ins for events can be difficult and frustrating.

We’re still discussing how to best approach this situation. One of the ideas being floated around is potentially changing how regional time zones work on a very fundamental level. It’s a change we’ve been discussing for quite a while, and perhaps the CRZ system provides the catalyst to go ahead and make it. We’ll keep you updated as we consider the best solution.

CRZ Transition Lag and Performance

There are still some tech-related quirks that are being hashed out, including framerate hitching when crossing into a CRZ zone, reports of performance issues, and resource nodes/NPCs/players disappearing. We’re still investigating each specific cause and working to smooth these types of issues out.

We also continue to see some reports that people are being dismounted when crossing borders. Single-player mounts should not being doing this, so please post any details in the Bug Report forum if it continues happening. There are technical limitations preventing multi-passenger mounts from holding separate characters when crossing a zone boundary. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that we can quickly or easily fix.

Despite a few lingering technical issues, we’re happy with how CRZ is populating the leveling areas with other players, and helping to once again foster MMO social experiences in the 1-85 content. The process for tuning CRZ is of course one that’s ongoing, and we’re committed to continuing to work on it and iron out any remaining issues as quickly as possible. If you do have bugs to report, please provide details and the reproduction steps (if possible) on the Bug Report forum. Providing detailed information helps tremendously, and when possible, add your report to a relevant thread before creating your own.

Thank you again for your feedback. We’re continuing to monitor reports and we’ll provide updates as they become available.

Reference: This is an update to the initial thread discussing how Cross-Realm Zones work.
by Published on 2012-10-30 07:32 AM

1.0.5 Undocumented Changes, Blue Posts, Curse Weekly Roundup

Patch 5.1: Cataclysm Animation Updated
In Patch 5.1, Warlocks will get a new spell: Cataclysm. The animations has been toned down from the original version.

Reminder: Normal Difficulty Heart of Fear Opens This Week
Don't forget that Normal difficulty Heart of Fear is opening this week! Heroic and Raid Finder difficulty will open next week.

Level Type Spec Slot Name
496FingerMeleeFinger Ring of the Bladed Tempest
496NeckPhysical DPSNeck Choker of the Unleashed Storm
496Off HandSpell DPSHeld In Off-hand Tornado-Summoning Censer
496ClothSpell SpiritFeet Boots of the Blowing Wind
496BackSpell SpiritBack Drape of Gathering Clouds
496ClothSpell DPSWrists Twisting Wind Bracers
496LeatherPhysical DPSWrists Bracers of Unseen Strikes
496LeatherSpell DPSHead Hood of Stilled Winds
496MailSpell SpiritWrists Bracers of Tempestuous Fury
496MailSpell SpiritHands Kaz'tik's Stormseizer Gauntlets
496MailPhysical DPSLegs Sword Dancer's Leggings
496PlateTankHands Windblade Talons
496PlateMeleeWaist Waistplate of Overwhelming Assault
Level Type Spec Slot Name
496FingerTankFinger Vizier's Ruby Signet
496NeckPhysical DPSNeck Pheromone-Coated Choker
496FingerSpell DPSFinger Fragment of Fear Made Flesh
496BackMeleeBack Hisek's Chrysanthemum Cape
496ClothSpell SpiritFeet Scent-Soaked Sandals
496ClothSpell SpiritHands Gloves of Grasping Claws
496ClothSpell DPSWrists Attenuating Bracers
496LeatherSpell SpiritHands Gauntlets of Undesired Gifts
496LeatherPhysical DPSFeet Boots of the Still Breath
496MailSpell SpiritChest Mail of Screaming Secrets
496MailPhysical DPSChest Zor'lok's Fizzing Chestguard
496PlateTankLegs Articulated Legplates
496PlateMeleeWaist Warbelt of Sealed Pods
496PlateSpell SpiritChest Chestplate of the Forbidden Tower
Level Type Spec Slot Name
496FingerTankFinger Ring of the Shattered Shell
496NeckMeleeNeck Necklace of Congealed Weaknesses
496ClothSpell SpiritShoulders Shoulders of Foaming Fluids
496BackPhysical DPSBack Legbreaker Greatcloak
496ClothSpell DPSHead Xaril's Hood of Intoxicating Vapors
496ClothSpell DPSFeet Sandals of the Unbidden
496BackSpell DPSBack Stormwake Mistcloak
496LeatherSpell SpiritChest Robes of Eighty Lights
496LeatherPhysical DPSHands Bonebreaker Gauntlets
496MailSpell SpiritChest Vestments of Steaming Ichor
496MailPhysical DPSHands Grips of the Leviathan
496PlateTankHead Garalon's Hollow Skull
496PlateMeleeChest Garalon's Graven Carapace
496PlateSpell SpiritHands Grasps of Panic
Level Type Spec Slot Name
496Junk Gauntlets of the Shadowy Conqueror
496Junk Gauntlets of the Shadowy Protector
496Junk Gauntlets of the Shadowy Vanquisher
496NeckSpell SpiritNeck Korven's Amber-Sealed Beetle
496FingerPhysical DPSFinger Painful Thorned Ring
496BackTankBack Cloak of Raining Blades
496ClothSpell SpiritChest Robes of Torn Nightmares
496LeatherSpell DPSHands Clutches of Dying Hope
496MailPhysical DPSShoulders Wingslasher Pauldrons
496PlateMeleeFeet Impaling Treads
Level Type Spec Slot Name
496Junk Leggings of the Shadowy Conqueror
496Junk Leggings of the Shadowy Protector
496Junk Leggings of the Shadowy Vanquisher
496FingerSpell SpiritFinger Seal of the Profane
496ClothSpell DPSWaist Belt of Malleable Amber
496LeatherPhysical DPSFeet Treads of Deadly Secretions
496MailPhysical DPSFeet Monstrous Stompers
496PlateMeleeShoulders Shoulderpads of Misshapen Life
496One-handed SwordMeleeOne Hand Scimitar of Seven Stars
496DaggerSpell SpiritMain Hand Un'sok's Amber Scalpel
Level Type Spec Slot Name
496Junk Chest of the Shadowy Conqueror
496Junk Chest of the Shadowy Protector
496Junk Chest of the Shadowy Vanquisher
496ClothSpell DPSLegs Leggings of Shadow Infestation
496LeatherPhysical DPSShoulders Shadow Heart Spaulders
496MailPhysical DPSHead Crown of the Doomed Empress
496One-handed MaceSpell SpiritMain Hand Kri'tak, Imperial Scepter of the Swarm
496Fist WeaponPhysical DPSOne Hand Claws of Shek'zeer

Patch 5.1: Lor'themar Audio
Lor'themar got a few more lines in the most recent PTR patch.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Auction House in Shrine of 7 Stars/2Moons
It might be true that it was the same in Wotlk but doesn't mean it was a good idea. Also, The portal to Pandaria is only in SW meaning that other cities aren't much of an option. If you really want to spread the population out then make a portal to Pandaria in all major cities.
For the most part, we actually feel the method used in previous expansions and again here in Mists of Pandaria works well. We also don't believe it's very demanding asking most players to take just an extra few minutes to access an auction house. Obviously some players will want the most accessibility as quickly as possible, but to avoid overcrowding and to disperse the population, this is the best method of meeting those goals. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Don't want to double dip w/ rep and dungs,so what incentive to run dungs is there at all? Dailies = faster vp AND rep.Not fun.
ilevel 463 gear. The valor from them isn't bad either. (Source)

When will you decide it's not fair that bad players are being excluded from mounts and transmog gear from challenge modes?
Hopefully never. We used to only make content for hardcore. No longer. So it's fine that Challenge Modes *are* for them.
Cool, but why "hopefully"? you also said you will fight hard not to nerf them. Fight against? Someone else make those calls?
No, it's not an internal struggle or anything. I just hate to make promises when the game may feel different years from now. (Source)

Are there any changes planned to make Razorgore soloable in 5.1? He drops a pet after all
Perhaps. (Source)

Hit the "entered too many instances" cap while doing challenge modes, is this intended?
No. I've seen players think that was supposed to be part of the challenge. Heh, but no. (Source)

Why isn't the +300 Spirit food +450 like the Stamina food? Oversight or intended?
We treat Spirit sometimes as a primary sometimes as a secondary. We agree we need to be more consistent. (Source)

Why did valor for LFD go back to 1/day instead of 7/wk? It's a regressive change for no reason as far as I can tell.
We wanted a better catch up mechanism. More folks did them when we had 1/day than 7/week. Latter felt too much like a job.
You are simply loosing out on the bonus. Many of us can't log in every day and capping valor is hard.
Many folks can't log in every day. But some want to. Some want to play a lot on weekends. Cata didn't offer enough for them. (Source)

So from my understanding LFR makes it's decision loot depending on your spec, why am I as a holy priest getting shadow gear?
That sounds like a bug. What specific item did you get?
While you'll want mostly Spirit gear you will see gear as a healing priest without Spirit or Hit on them.
We view +int -hit gear as healer gear. Spirit is good, but the kind of thing you need in every slot, especially in later tiers.
Spirit is a must in the first tier. Any non spirit item IS NOT a healer item in this tier.
Depends on your healing style. I tend to use a lot of the cheap heals so I get away with less Spirit. Not saying ignore it.
Wrists from valor without spirit (no drop from Mogu Shan), Chest from valor withuot spirit. See the problem?
I'd be surprised if you had every piece from Mogu'shan before Heart of Fear opens up. There's a Spirit chest there. (Source)

LFD: Why can Shaman Need on Strength Shields or Warriors Need on Agility gear? Is that considered good game design?
The dungeon loot system isn't smart enough to detect differences in shields. The raid one is. (Source)

Any chance of increasing the time you have to do a bonus roll. it's too short atm.
Possibly, but we want the roll to be personal and immediate, not something you decide on after you see who wins what.
I mean seeing others items they won..doesnt effect anything for anyone else
In a non-LFR raid, legs drop and you wait to see who wins before using bonus roll to try for them. Slows everything down.

A patchnote early october said, that lvl90 could queue normal mop dungeons. Now its crossed over. What changed your mind?
It was a technical problem. Still wouldn't mind 90s runnin Mogu'shan, but we aren't going to make normals of everything.

If I queue for LFR with a wait of ~30 min, and do a scenario for ~10 min, should the time to LFR pop afterwards be ~20 or ~30?
The way it *should* work is that your other queue ticks in the background and is hopefully ready after the scenario.

Lost roll on Hunter DPS trinket 11 times now. Going on 15th hour of non stop holiday boss kills. Losing to Tanks and healers
We could use Raid Finder system for dungeons, but it doesn't support off spec like the dungeon one does.

Why do they keep failing to realize players will do fights with the least possible number of healers
If we try to make the fight about DPS and not healing, it ends up making the fight about healing because healers get sat. (Source)

Heroic dungeons are much easier in MoP compared to Cata, are you planning on increasing difficulty as MoP goes on?
Nope. That's what Challenge Modes are for. (Source)

Can we see Heroic Stormwind Stockades and Ragefire Chasm anypoint in the future?
We'd love to get more feedback about which dungeons players would love to see us revisit (and which ones need Challenge Modes) (Source)

TCG Art Update
Blizzard has updated the Trading Card Game art gallery to feature ten new pieces.

by Published on 2012-10-28 07:04 PM

Barbarian Budget Guide, More on Possible Damage Bug, and Most Treasured Item

Rob Pardo: The Next WoW Expansion is Going to be Awesome
It seems things are already in motion for the next World of Warcraft expansion and Rob Pardo is more involved this time!

Brawler's Guild Updates
The Horde Brawler's Guild was updated in the latest PTR patch, making it less plain looking. It is clearly still in the middle of changes, as a wall is missing and some NPCs are floating. Milhouse Manastorm will be making his return as one of the harder bosses you get to fight!

Pet Battle Rankings
If pet battles are not already exciting enough for you, maybe these rankings will help. WoWProgress added pet battle rankings this week, based on the number, quality, and level of the pets you have collected. The top ranked players are nearing 20 rare level 25 pets!

Along with this, we updated WoWDB to show the level at which pets learn a skill, which pets can learn a skill, if a pet can be traded or not, if a pet can battle or not, if a pet is unique or not, and more!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mists of Pandaria Flying for Alts
WTB Book of Pandaren Flying (BoA - requires level 90 to purchase) = 2400gold, PST.
We're not sure if we'll be doing this. The tome worked out well enough for Wrath of the Lich King as an experiment, but so much of the experience we spent a lot of time and effort shaping in Pandaria is negated by flying. In addition to the upcoming reputation changes for alts (when a character on the account hits Revered), we'll consider other methods of potentially speeding up the leveling process for alts, but we don't think "allow flying" is necessarily the best answer. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Updated Raid Schedule Heart of Fear & Terrace
Oct 30: Heart of Fear (N)
Nov 6: Heart of Fear Part 1 (LFR), Heart of Fear (H)
Nov 13: Terrace of Endless Spring (N), Heart of Fear Part 2 (LFR)
Nov 20: Terrace of Endless Spring (LFR), Terrace of Endless Spring (H)

This is correct. It's a similar release to what we did with Mogu'shan Vaults.

Neth, any clue as to what the ilvl requirement's will be for HOF LFR?
The iLevel for the Raid Finder will be a minimum of 470. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blingtron 4000
"The Blingtron 4000 will be fully stocked with a variety of fun items such as Party Grenades, but even better than that, it has a chance (a very, very small one) to give the gift of an Engineering mount or pet."

Does that include the Depleted-Kyparium Rocket and Geosynchronous World Spinner

You are perceptive. There is a very small non-zero chance for a mount or pet from the Blingtron 4000 Gift Package. We heard you like bling so your pal Blingtron may be getting some minor upgrades to their bling in an upcoming patch.

With plenty of bling to go around, share the happiness. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Players Botting
But why would Blizzard ban bots?
They have a active subscription and pay money.
Why would any company reduce their own income on purpose?
It doesn't make sense... Allthough I don't like so many bots either.
But for them to actualy ban most of them, and lose out on so much money
from the botter's subscription.. Would they realy do that. I don't know.

I think Nevalistis summed this up quite well: This is one of the biggest misconceptions we have, and I genuinely wish we could permanently clear it up. I'll provide a few hypothetical situations (mind you, these numbers are ENTIRELY made up).

Let's say 90% of botters were compromised accounts. This means that 90% of these botters aren't paying accounts; they're stolen accounts, which are generally fueled by stolen credit cards. These payments usually get disputed and taken back, which actually costs us money. If we're looking to make a purely fiscal observation, it makes no financial sense to let these continue (aside from the fact that we don't like compromised accounts to begin with - we want our players to be playing their own accounts safely and enjoyably).

Let's go on the other side of the fence and say 90% of these botters were otherwise legitimate players paying for their accounts, as you purport. When players bot, other players are inconvenienced by this behavior (and trust me, you guys outnumber the botters, even if you may feel it's the other way around). The inconveniences range from normal players having difficulty farming on their own to struggling to keep up with an economy that's being forcibly fluctuated via unfair advantage. When players are inconvenienced in this manner, they submit petitions.

Every petition submitted goes to a Game Master for review. A living, breathing person that is paid to provide customer service looks over it, does what's necessary for the situation (in botting cases, usually forwarding the info on to our exploitation/hacks team), and provides a response. Let's say 1-2 people are inconvenienced by a single botter (in all likelihood, we probably get many more petitions per botter than that). This would mean each botter is inconveniencing at least as many, and likely more, players that are positive to the community (the kinds of players we like and want to continue to play our game). For each botter we allow to continue botting, we potentially stand to lose more than we gain for a single subscription, just out of the sheer inconvenience it causes other players.

Even if you change those numbers around of legitimate players versus compromised accounts - we only stand to lose more if we don't take action on bots (which we do, regularly).

And that's probably the problem. If I can stand in front of a guy who's botting who has about as many achievement points as me, then the only reason why he dares to bot is because he does not feel there is a risk of losing anything by doing so.

And the worst part is that right now it's difficult to say that he isn't right.

Those who choose to believe they are above detection range far and wide, I’m sure. Possibly because they may have been getting away with it for a time. However, we investigate every single bot report that comes in. We don't usually deal with the reports immediately because the underlying issue would remain in place.

What we do is study the bots, see exactly how they do what they do, and fix it so that they don’t work anymore. Once we’ve applied the fix, then the ban waves take place. By doing it like this, we can also come up with better methods of detection, and devise systems that are more effective against bot detection and removal.

Having said that, it's an on-going fight. Botters develop new bots by working out what we detected and fixed, and it starts all over again. In the process, we’ve ruled out one way of cheating the system though. I can’t go into much more detail without providing botters with information that would help them (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Death in The Arboretum
Yes, we know it's a little awkward to get back to your corpse here, and we're looking into the placement of the graveyard nearest to the Cloud Serpent dailies. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Warrior Tanking Feedback
would like to know what about it you like over the cataclysm model.
Getting rage when you use your abilities and not when you get hit and not being constantly at max rage.
Cata felt a bit spammy, constantly hitting cleave or heroic strike to spend rage was not my favourite thing. This got to the point where some players simply macro’ed HS to devastate because it was out of the GCD and still rarely got rage starved.

I’m really enjoying tanking with my warrior right now, I did enjoy it in Cata as well I must say, but it’s just better now, revenge and shield slam feel great, and you can use the rage that they generate for when you really need to minimize damage taken, or, if you feel confident about your survivability you can use that rage with offensive abilities like heroic strike, but it’s the decision making process that I enjoy, rage doesn’t feel free anymore, you actually have to think and make a trade-off, or even predict when you need to save more rage and build it up for a moment where you know it would be effective and efficient to use a mitigation cooldown like shield barrier or shield block, that’s just good design in my opinion. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Remove class specific quest rewards? When none of the items are an upgrade, I would always chose the one that sells for most
They are all worth the same amount now. (Source)

About questing in a raid group: I'm probably missing something, but what is problematic about people forming "questing raids"?
It is so efficient that it would feel mandatory. Every realm would have a continual Golden Lotus raid etc. (Source)

Will we need to be honored with Wrathion or have to have completed the legendary questline to do his new 5.1 questline?
Wrathion's Legendary questline in 5.1 is a continuation of the 5.0 quests, so you'll have to do them all!

Are you guys happy with the daily system playing such a large role in end-game content?
I think the valor and charms feel good because you can cap them. I think rep itself would be better with a cap. (Source)

Are you considering changing the reputation system? So many dailies are burning us down from the game. Tabards back?
When we tried limits, folks said we were playing nanny. When we tried nothing, folks said they didn't have anything to do. (Source)

Why can I not fly in Silvermoon? I cry every time I go back...
It would take months to fix, which means you'd get less other stuff. Challenging for us to justify. Org hard but still easier. We feel like BEs have been neglected a bit lately. We won't forget them. (Source)

The problem for me is that it's one of the situations you talk a lot about avoiding; taking an existing toy away from players. (Loss of increased running speed as a ghost)
It's often easy to make players happy in the short term but not the long term, even though the latter is more important.

Curse Weekly Roundup
Pico and the team are back with a special Halloween themed Weekly Roundup. It has some WoW, Minecraft, GW2, and LoL news, along with the weekly Game Forecast!

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