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by Published on 2011-11-16 05:13 AM

Diablo 3 - Also worth noting today, Blizzard clarified D3 Beta Sweepstakes for those of you who are still trying to get a key - Beta Key Sweepstakes Clarification

Patch 4.3: 64 Bit Client
A new option popped up in the Patch 4.3 PTR launcher for the 32 bit client. It is greyed out now, but may indicate that we will see a 64 bit client for 5.0/Mists of Pandaria, it should improve performance/stability slightly for people running 64 bit systems.

Blue Posts - Healing
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I might have read this wrong, but I thought they meant that int would no longer increase your mana pool as it does now, but having more spirit would mean more regen, and unless I'm very wrong I don't think it would change anything apart from making spirit more meaningful and making our mana increase come from regen instead of a more static mana pool. For now I'll content myself with believing that this could actually lead to more mana over a fight, and hope I'm not living in a fantasy dreamworld when the reality is that no matter how you gear your performance will never, ever change
Hey all, here's some more information from Ghostcrawler about this topic-

This is our intent. We aren’t trying to nerf healers across the board, and if we were, there are cleaner ways to do that. What we want to do is make the role of the stats less ambiguous. Currently, when Intellect drives mana pool and Spirit drives mana regen, then they are both longevity stats and interact in complex ways. With the change we are proposing, Intellect provides bigger heals and Spirit improves longevity. For healers, there should not always be a clear cut answer. Intellect may still be the superior stat, but not by as much as it is today. (Again, for healers -- DPS specs aren’t designed to run out of mana if they use their regen mechanics every now and then.) Mana pools can still be large (we are thinking 100,000 mana at level 85) so that it doesn’t feel too bizarre to existing casters and doesn’t feel too much like rage or energy.

In addition, we think fixed mana pools will help healers scale better with content. Some players seem to be interpreting the 5.0 design as healing 5-player dungeons should be easy but healing raids should be very hard. That is certainly a better situation than dungeons being very hard and raids being easy, but neither is really the goal. We want the increase in difficulty to be linear. If you can handle dungeons, you should be able to graduate to raids with the normal incremental gear improvements that most players get. This is particularly true of normal and Raid Finder difficulty settings. Heroic raiding will remain more challenging, but even in that case, keep in mind that the challenge of a raid encounter is often its complexity, which requires the group to learn and execute a lot of mechanics.

Gearing up will still be rewarding and meaningful. You’ll still feel as powerful as you do today. Intellect and Sprit will just do different things. If you find yourself routinely running out of mana on raid fights, you are probably either overhealing a lot or the group is taking a lot of damage that is intended to be avoidable. A fight like Phase 2 Beth’tilac on heroic is about as mana-intensive as things get, and that phase doesn’t last very long, so your mana-regen mechanics and cooldowns should be sufficient to keep you going. That won’t change in 5.0.

This is my wish for healing: Stop changing stuff. Just leave it alone. Back away from the design board. Go work on a new non-combat pet questing system or something. Or come up with someway for people to get raid gear from farming herbs. I absolutely loved my Mage prior to Cata. The constant yo-yo's of which spec is better in Cata drove me crazy and I got tired of it, so I swapped to a paladin so I wouldn't be asked to respec every week depending on which Dev got his way in the nerfs/buffs department that week.
We hear you. Believe me. As we have said a few times lately, we understand that change (even change for the better) isn’t always desired by every player. We also don’t think it’s fair to make players live with problems and these forums are a testament to the number of things players would still like for us to change (which run the gamut from buffs or nerfs to mechanical changes or quality of life problems). The strategy that we are trying lately is to make both sides happy as much as we can and limit mechanical changes during an expansion (unless we think they really, really can’t wait) but use new expansions to fix problems.

The complexity isn't in the size of the mana pool though, the complexity is in the amount of different regen talents and abilities that work off of either intellect or spirit. If you remove any linking of regen to intellect, then only thing left by way of "regen" would be how much mana you start with at the beginning of the fight which is a drop in the pan when it comes to regen.
There shouldn't be any mana regen mechanics that work based strictly on Intellect. There are several that work based on max mana pool, but that is one of the reasons we want max mana to be fixed. If there are any Intellect-based mechanics I’m not remembering at the moment, we will convert those as well.

No one liked it, its a flawed system, and the longer they keep propping it up, the more healers that will quit or reroll Dps and Tanks. I enjoyed this expansion's approach to healing a great deal. I guess that makes me no-one.
Yes, designs like this are subjective. There are players who preferred healing in Lich King and players, like some of the game developers, who prefer it in Cataclysm. Our goal is to try to make the game as fun as possible, and we use player feedback to influence those decisions, but as you can see, feedback is often contradictory. We ask you to keep in mind that it’s difficult for anyone on the forums to be able to speak on behalf of the community. It’s fine to state your opinion, but don’t muddy the issue by asserting that “everyone” agrees with you.

A change like this would be huge and would require a massive reworking of a lot of classes. Things like innervate and divine plea would be significantly devalued since they wouldn't scale not to mention the mastery of Arcane Mages (to use a non-healer example).
It’s actually not that massive a reworking. Innervate and Divine Plea for example already use a % of max mana, so they would stay exactly the same. Innervate is 5 or 15% of max mana and Divine Plea is 12% of max mana. Arcane would actually benefit from the change, because currently the spec is harder to play when mana pools are low and has too easy a time cranking out huge numbers when mana pools are high, which makes it hard for other mage specs to keep up in later tiers without constant tweaking.

Honestly, we don’t think a lot of players will even notice the change unless they are really in tune with how much mana their character has. A lot of players learn that say Greater Heal takes up a chunk of their bar of X length and they have an idea on how many more heals they can cast before they run OOM. In other words, they already think in terms of bar length and percentage, not absolute number. The biggest differences will be that your mana bar won’t grow from 100,000 in 4.0 to 120,000 in 4.2 and mana-pool-based regen mechanics won’t grow more and more dominant over Spirit-based regen mechanics as your gear improves (and we can certainly boost Spirit-based regeneration if needed so that healers don’t feel nerfed).

I would point out the shaman's talent Telluric Currents. This talent scales mana regen with damage done. Since Int increases damage done, this talent allows more regen for better stats. With low end gear the mana regen can be negative since the cost of the spell outweighs the mana regenerated. With high end gear the opp set can be true.
Yes, good catch. That is an example of an Intellect-scaling regen mechanic. It would be easy to convert it to something like the paladin mechanic of Judgement granting X% of your total mana.

Complex for you to balance or complex for players to understand? I don't I can believe any player has a hard time getting what intellect or what spirit does now.
Well, both ultimately, but we meant the latter. Players probably understand generally that Intellect increases spell power, mana pool and crit. What is harder to understand is that Spirit is a good regen stat up to a point and depending on your class, but that Intellect “double dips” because it makes your heals larger and increases the benefit of non-Spirit based regen, such as Divine Plea, and at a certain point, Intellect as a regen stat is more powerful than Spirit as a regen stat. It’s not exactly rocket surgery, but we’re not sure we get a lot of interesting design space out of it. Several players have pointed out that we could make all regeneration mechanics work off of Spirit, and that would be another way to go, but we thought that required even more change. Consider for example that non-healers often have no Spirit but still need to benefit from Divine Plea.

My main concern is that while addressing their goals... they completely let the idea of what is fun for a healer fly right over their heads.
Not at all. “What is fun” is our primary concern. As I pointed out above however, players rarely agree on what is fun and are often on completely opposite sides. If everyone agreed, our jobs would be easy. (And don’t mistake a few dozen or even hundred passionate posts as consensus on anything.)

We don’t think ignoring a resource is fun. For healers, it would just mean using your most powerful spell in every situation, because there is no reason not to do so. Once you aren’t making decisions on the fly, you’re just going through encounter robotically, which doesn’t sound too engaging. On the flip side, content being brutally difficult might not be fun either (though we know it is for at least a small percentage of our players) so we want to make sure you aren’t overly punished for mistakes and make sure mana isn’t so precious that you are spending lots of time idle. As I also said above, we think this change will be smaller than some of you appear to be thinking, which is why I am spending so much effort to try and assuage your concerns.

Blizzard Holiday Card Contest 2011
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
One Blizzard holiday tradition involves creating a festive greeting card to share the joy of the season... with a unique Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo touch. We’re inviting you to join us in spreading the holiday cheer by crafting a Blizzard-themed holiday card of your own featuring characters or themes from the Warcraft, StarCraft, or Diablo series.

To participate in our third annual Blizzard Holiday Card Contest, submit your entries by 11:59 p.m. PST on December 13, 2011. Deserving winners could receive:

First Place
  • Wacom Bamboo Create Pen Tablet
  • Marauder StarCraft II Gaming Keyboard
  • Banshee StarCraft II Gaming Headset
  • Spectre StarCraft II Gaming Mouse

Second Place
  • Marauder StarCraft II Gaming Keyboard
  • Banshee StarCraft II Gaming Headset
  • Spectre StarCraft II Gaming Mouse

Third Place
  • StarCraft II Zerg Edition Messenger Bag

While crafting your holiday masterpiece, please keep the following in mind:

  • Holiday cards must be based on the Diablo, StarCraft, or Warcraft universes -- or all three!
  • Cards will be judged for originality, design, humor, and/or holiday cheer.
  • The file that you submit must be less than 5MB, but don’t sacrifice quality by over-compressing your image.

Check out the official rules for more information.

Trading Card Game Art Gallery Update
The Trading Card game art gallery has been updated with ten new pieces.

Comics: Dark Legacy and Teh Glad
Dark Legacy Comics #313 and Teh Gladiators #288 + #289 are available!

by Published on 2011-11-15 03:08 AM

Patch 4.3 - PTR Build 14995
A new build is being deployed on test realms today, obviously we're very close to the release of the patch now and this is a very minor build with almost no changes.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Beast Mastery

  • T.N.T. now has a 10/20% chance to proc, up from 6/12%.

Legendary Daggers - Stage 2 Stats Revealed
The stats of the 2nd stage of the Legendary Daggers can now be datamined on test realms.

Stage 1 - Vengeance / Fear
  • Set Bonus - Your melee attacks have a chance to grant Suffering, increasing your Agility by 2, stacking up to 50 times.

Stage 2 - The Sleeper / The Dreamer
  • Set Bonus - Your melee attacks have a chance to grant Nightmare, increasing your Agility by 5, stacking up to 50 times.

Stage 3 - ?? / ??
  • Set Bonus - Your melee attacks have a chance to grant Shadows of the Destroyer, increasing your Agility by 17, stacking up to 50 times. Each application past 30 grants an increasing chance to trigger Fury of the Destroyer. When triggered, this consumes all applications of Shadows of the Destroyer, immediately granting 5 combo points and cause your finishing moves to generate 5 combo points. Lasts 6 sec.

Patch 4.3: UI Changes
A few other minor tweaks have been made to the UI in Patch 4.3, as well as a new Reforging and Transmogrification UI.

SWTOR Beta: 175,000 Keys Giveaway is giving away SWTOR Beta Keys, a lot of them actually, since we have 175,000 beta keys available. If you'd like to get your hands on one of these keys and you're 18 years of age or older, head over to one of the following pages to score yours while they last!

To apply your beta key follow these instructions, which are covered in-depth on the giveaway pages:

  • Visit, log in to your Star Wars: The Old Republic account or create a new one and opt-in to the game testing program (
  • Enter your beta code when prompted
  • You must redeem your code prior to 11:59PM CST on Friday 11/18/2011. Codes are not redeemable beyond these cut off times.

When you're done with all of that, you can discuss the game on our SWTOR forums and check out the latest news on

Minecraft: Stormwind
More progress is being made on the Minecraft version of Stormwind.

by Published on 2011-11-14 01:35 AM

PTR Back to Test Build
Another PTR build was pushed recently with no significant changes. This time it was a Test build, while the previous build was a Release Candidate. There is still plenty of time for the patch to go live by the Season 10 end date of November 29.

Statistics: Achievements and Honor Kills
All of the graphs today allow zooming in both the X and Y direction to allow you to take a closer look at areas of interest. As the US and EU sample sizes were not the same (~3.6 million vs ~2.7 million), the EU results were scaled up to the US sample size, allowing us to directly compare the results.

The first graph we are looking at today shows you how many characters have an achievement point total in the indicated range of achievement points. For example, the point of 1500 has 103,525 characters for the US. This means that out of the entire sample of the US, 103,525 characters have between 1500 and 1599 achievement points. This type of counting of characters also applies to the other two graphs.

You can see that US players seem to have more alts or casual players than the EU, but both experience that nice dip right before 9000 achievement points. This is due to the people that are close to It's Over Nine Thousand! achievement pushing to finish it. Both the US and EU have two main peaks, likely indicating the population of 85s that has run no dungeons and the part that has run some of the dungeons. This indicates that the majority of the sample does not play enough to get a large amount of achievements on all of their characters.

Moving on, the second graph has Honor Kills split up by faction, as there was no significant difference between the US and EU. It does appear that at the more casual end of the graph the Horde has a slightly higher amount, but once you get closer to the second half of the graph that gap shrinks to almost nothing. Only part of the range is shown, you can see the entire range is hard to look at. The entire range does show you that the gap of Alliance players is compensated for by the increase at the very low HK level. This indicates that the amount of casual players or alts that are PvPing is significantly higher than the people that play often.

The final graph breaks down the HKs by realm type, and you can see the players that have less HKs play on the PvE realms, while the players with more play on the PvP realms. Ths gap disappears once you go farther down the graph to the more serious players. The RP realms results look very similar to PvE realms and RPPvP realms look very similar to PvP realms. All of the factions and realms showed a nice bump around 100k HKs when people were going for the 100000 Honorable Kills achievement.

If you like this type of post or want to see something specific let me know in the comments!

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Account Security Warning: Steam Compromise
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As some of you may know, Valve Software recently announced that certain Steam user account information was compromised by an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into their network. The statement from Valve on these events can be found here:

If you’re a registered account holder with Steam, we encourage you to review the information provided by Valve as soon as possible. We also recommend that you update your password via Account Management ( should it be the same as or similar to the one you used for Steam or for the Steam forums. You may also wish to change your registered email address as a further security measure, or to change the password to your email account and other online accounts that might be at risk of compromise. If you are unable to update your email address and/or password on your own, please contact our customer support staff for assistance:

For additional tips and suggestions for how to improve your account security, such as by adding a Authenticator to your account, check out our Account Security Awareness guide ( and blog post (

Annual Pass with Parental Controls
Blizzard is sending out an email to people that have purchased the Annual Pass in Europe with Parental Controls enabled to confirm that the parent approves of the free copy of Diablo III due to its rating. If you purchased the Annual Pass and have Parental Controls enabled, you have until November 28 to reply to the email.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Dear parent or guardian,

We are writing to you to let you know that the owner of a account for which you have registered as the parent or guardian has signed up for the World of Warcraft Annual Pass promotion. This promotion offers a free digital copy of our forthcoming game Diablo III when players commit to a 12-month subscription for World of Warcraft.

However, as Diablo III has been rated as PEGI-16 (USK-16 in Germany), we are writing to you to let you know that this promotion will automatically be removed from the account on November 28, 2011. Once the promotion is removed from the account, the account holder will once again be able to modify their existing World of Warcraft subscription, including removing recurring payments.

If you instead wish to continue with this promotion and secure a free copy of Diablo III for the account holder when it is launched, please reply to this email before November 28, 2011 stating that you, as the parent or guardian, are happy to continue.

If you have any questions or further requirements, telephone numbers and further help from our Customer Support department can be found at

Poll: Annual Pass
While we are talking about the Annual Pass, let us know if you decided to purchase it!

by Published on 2011-11-12 06:04 AM

Patch 4.3: Alchemy Specialization Cost Increase
In Patch 4.3, Alchemy Specialization quests have been moved to the Alchemy trainers and the old quests have been removed. The three new quests and rough costs from Auction House prices for materials are:

Patch 4.3: Deathwing Brings Raid to You!
On the PTR, Deathwing lets you know he is ready to fight in Dragon Soul by visiting Orgrimmar and Stormwind and trying to burn them down! Keep in mind that this event took place early in testing and could turn out to be a PTR only event.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
MoP Intellect Change
The way we see it, Intellect increases the power of your heals. Spirit (and other regeneration mechanics) replenishes your mana. Having Intellect also increase the size of your mana pool complicates things. It's harder to balance, and feels worse for players trying to balance their character.

While we think the healer mana model for Cataclysm is sound and ultimately accomplished what we wanted, it was still a little too difficult for a on fresh level 85 just going into dungeons, and a little too easy for raiders. Part of that comes from what improved stats do for healers: they get bigger heals (from Intellect), the ability to cast more heals (larger mana pool), and the ability to cast those heals for a longer period of time without running out of mana (as a result of regen). Along the way, the tank and the group are take more damage from tougher bosses, but also have higher damage and higher survivability from improvements to their own gear.

Please remember, the goal isn’t to make healers so resource-starved that they can’t heal. That isn’t fun. The goal is to reward healers who limit how much overhealing they do (in other words, play smarter) for their efforts. You limit your overhealing by doing things like casting a smaller heal when a smaller heal is sufficient, or casting a slower heal when death isn’t imminent, or casting a single-target heal when the group isn’t all taking damage at once. Skillful healers should prosper. When players feel like increasing their skill doesn’t increase their success, they tend to get bored or frustrated. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
So, would it use our pets we have on hand or would it be more like the group of npc's we get when you do the Firelands daily at Sethria's Roost? Just some random animals. Would it use any of our pet's special abilities?

We're talking about something that is completely hypothetical, so anything is possible. I personally would want the ability to call the five pets that I actually have on hand at the time, since that would give me control over what everyone sees when I send out the stampede.

Furthermore, it makes a lot of sense for the spell effects to not vary much from hunter to hunter, so special abilities would be right out, *but* I wouldn't mind seeing the pets going through their best motions. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Glyph of Inquisition feedback
The intent is that it is not damage neutral. Yes, managing Inquisition should mean higher DPS, if you are exceptional at managing it. However, a lot of players find that they can’t operate their class at full effectiveness when they are actually in an encounter with all of the running around, target switching and other encounter mechanics that aren’t present when blasting away at a target dummy. One of the biggest differences we see between good guilds and best-in-the-world guilds is that the latter can maintain maximum DPS in almost any situation.

The hope by implementing a glyph like this (and we aren’t sure we will, which is why we want feedback) is that your empirical DPS with the glyph may be higher than your theoretical DPS without it. Players who ignored the glyph might do lower DPS (because they are mortal and sometimes fumble with Inquisition) than if they just used the glyph.

This is the kind of idea that, if it works, would be something we could do it for most classes and specs: trade off higher theoretical damage / tanking / healing for an easier rotation that might just mean higher effectiveness for some players. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The MMO Report has some SWTOR and DC Universe this week. Hopefully you didn't miss the Rift special from last week either!

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