World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2012-07-08 05:03 PM

50,000 Guild Wars 2 Beta Keys Giveaway - Curse is giving away 50,000 Guild Wars 2 Beta Keys! Keys given away are only available to Curse Premium users. The giveaway will be open to everyone tomorrow (Tuesday).

Barbarian End-Game Build, Farming Locations, Follower DPS Calculator, Diablo 3 iPhone Cases, and Plague of Toads Comic

MoP Beta Giveaway: We sent out the beta keys to winners today by PM. Make sure to log in and check, as you may not have email notification on receiving a PM turned on!

Heart of Fear: Amber-Shaper Un'sok
Today we take a look at Amber-Shaper Un'sok, the fifth boss of the Heart of Fear raid.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Heart of Fear
The Sha of Fear has corrupted the grand empress of the mantid. Her increasingly erratic and paranoid commands have driven the Klaxxi--the keepers of mantid culture--to take aggressive action. Because they are few in number, the Klaxxi are reluctantly willing to accept outside help in destroying the empress and purging their race of the sha's negative influence.

Amber-Shaper Un'sok
  • I Heard You Like Amber... - Kill Living Amber in Burning Amber until at least 8 pools overlap, and then defeat Amber-Shaper Un'sok on Normal or Heroic difficulty in Heart of Fear.
  • Heroic: Amber-Shaper Un'sok - Defeat Amber-Shaper Un'sok in Heart of Fear on Heroic difficulty.

  • Stage One: Worthy Test Subjects?
    • Amber Scalpel - Un'sok carves the ground with a focused beam of pure amber energy. The beam inflicts 20,000 Nature damage every 0.25 sec. at the point of contact, and leaves behind Molten Amber residue. The residue inflicts 27,500 Fire damage every 1 sec. to players who touch it. Some of this residue congeals into Living Amber oozes.
      • Living Amber - Each of these animated amber oozes focuses mindlessly on a random player, emanating a Corrosive Aura that inflicts 1,600 Nature damage every 2 sec to all players. Each ooze Bursts in a shower of amber when destroyed, inficting 45,500 Nature damage to enemies within 8 yards and healing any other Living Amber within that radius for 0% of their maximum health. In Heroic difficulty, dissolved Living Amber will reconstitute after 30 seconds. In Looking for Raid difficulty, destroying a Living Amber does not heal other nearby Living Amber.
        • Burning Amber - When a Living Amber is destroyed, it dissolves into a pool that deals 31,000 Fire damage every 1 sec to all enemies within 3 yards.
    • Parasitic Growth - Amber-Shaper Un'sok causes amber to grow within the body of a random target, inflicting 16,250 Nature damage every 2 sec. This strain of amber absorbs healing energy, increasing the damage it inflicts to its host in direct proportion to any healing received. After 30 sec, the unstable parasite dissipates without a trace.
    • Reshape Life - Un'sok unleashes a torrent of amber at a player, transforming the target into a misshapen mass of flowing amber that is hostile to players and monsters alike.
      • Mutated Construct - While transformed, the player continuously expends Willpower to retain control over the twisted form, at the rate of 2 per second, beginning with a maximum of 100. When Willpower runs out, the player dies and the Mutated Construct continues to act, uncontrolled.
        • Amber Explosion - The amber encircling the mutated player compels the unleashing of a massive explosion, inflicting 120,000 Nature damage to all players.
        • Amber Strike - The construct inflicts 250,000 Nature damage to the current hostile target and interrupts normal spellcasting. This includes a target's attempt to trigger an Amber Explosion. Amber Strike also destabilizes the target, increasing damage taken by 10% for 10 sec. This effect stacks.
        • Break Free - Once the physical form of the amber construct has been damaged to 20% of its remaining health, the player can break free with a great surge of will. The player then regains their natural form.
        • Consume Amber - A transformed player consumes a pool of Burning Amber left behind by a defeated Living Amber. The consumption restores 20 Willpower, but also bolsters the mutated form, increasing its current and maximum health by 4,500,000.
        • Struggle for Control - With a surge of will, the player expends 8 Willpower to force the mutated form to cease all action for 0.5 sec. This also increases the mutated form's damage taken by 100% for the 5 sec.
        • Smash - Transformed players use this simple melee attack in lieu of their normal attack, inflicting 40,000 Physical damage to a target.
  • Stage Two: Un'sok's Greatest Creation - When Un'sok reaches 60% remaining health, he calls forth a massive Amber Monstrosity to fight beside him. Un'sok continues to attack with his full arsenal of abilities from Stage One.
    • Amber Monstrosity - Un'sok formed this towering behemoth entirely of flowing amber, and it stands as a triumph of Un'sok's research into creating life from the mantids' amber.
      • Amber Explosion - The Monstrosity releases a massive explosion of amber energy, inflicting 140,000 Nature damage to all players.
      • Massive Stomp - The Monstrosity stomps the ground forcefully, inflicting 97,500 Physical damage to all enemies within 15 yards and knocking them back.
      • Fling - The Monstrosity grabs its current target in one of its massive hands and hurls the hapless victim at a distant player, causing 81,250 Physical damage to targets within 0 yards of the point of impact and stunning them for 3 sec.
    • Amber Carapace - While the Amber Monstrosity lives, an Amber Carapace shields Amber-Shaper Un'sok. The Carapace reduces his damage taken by 90%.
  • Stage Three: Un'sok Unleashed - Upon witnessing the destruction of his greatest creation, Un'sok channels power from the amber pools lining his chamber and prepares to make his final stand. Un'sok no longer uses Amber Scalpel, but now casts Reshape Life with greatly increased frequency.
    • Concentrated Mutation - Un'sok draws massive amounts of amber energy into his body, increasing his damage dealt by 50% and attack speed by 50%.
    • Volatile Amber - Un'sok's siphoning agitates the pools of amber around the room, causing them to periodically emit bursts of amber that fly through the air at high velocity. Each amber burst inflicts 29,250 Nature damage to any player it strikes. If a missile strikes a player while they are transformed into a Mutated Construct, it heals them for 20% of their health.
    • Amber Globule - Un'sok causes two spheres of destructive amber to form from the pools at the edges of the room, each of which fixates on a random player. If an Amber Globule comes into contact with its primary target, it explodes, dealing 600,000 Nature damage to all players within 30 yards. If two Amber Globules touch each other, their energies will neutralize and dissipate harmlessly.

Mists of Pandaria Credits Concept Art
One of the recent beta patches added a lot of concept art for the Mists of Pandaria credits screen.

Computers - Setup of the Month (by chaud)
Each month or every 2 months, depending on the hardware evolutions, the lovely chaud will work on a couple of hardware setups for those of you who are thinking of upgrading their computer!

This month
Hard drive prices are slowly declining, but are still above the pre-flood prices, so now is still a good time to buy a SSD. The current SSD prices are still slowly moving downward, with many under $1 per gigabyte now. A few sales are even nearing 50 cents per gigabyte, so look for something on sale!

If you are building today and don't go for the upper range of overclocking (past ~4.5Ghz) then you are better off buying Ivy Bridge. If you want to go for the maximum overclocks or have to save money, the 2500k is $25 cheaper. Unless you are doing a lot of video rendering or something that is similarly multithreaded, you do not need the 3770K and should spend that money elsewhere.

Make sure to keep your AMD and Nvidia drivers up to date.

Don't hesitate to post any feedback in the comments of that news post, and don't forget to visit the Computer Forum for any extra questions! If you are interested in [email protected], take a look in our team's thread.

ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorAcer V223W EJBD 22-Inch Widescreen - $138ASUS VW246H 24-Inch Widescreen - $190
KeyboardMicrosoft Digital Media Keyboard 3000 - $15Cyborg V.5 - $52
MouseLogitech G400 - $34Razer Deathadder - $49
SpeakersLogitech S220 2.1 Speaker System - $23Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $40
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE276Q 27-Inch - $265HP ZR2440W 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $374
KeyboardLogitech G110 - $50Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $61 ($92)
MouseLogitech G500 - $56Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $75
SpeakersLogitech Z323 2.1 Speaker System - $54Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $80

Puppy and Dolphin
Overclocked Puppy will outperform Dolphin when multiple threads are in use (Not WoW) and come close in most other cases.
Mix and match anything but the CPU/Motherboard combo between Puppy and Dolphin. Pick one of the two CPU/Motherboard combos.
Mix and match anything between Dolphin and Narwhal.
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT GAMMA Classic - $36NZXT GAMMA Classic - $36
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 V2 - $53XFX Core Edition PRO 550W - $61
CPUAMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition- $110Intel i3-2120 - $123
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $26Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $35
MotherboardASUS M5A97 AM3+ 970 - $94Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H - $120
Memory4GB PNY Optima DDR3 10600 - $258GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $56
Graphics CardGigabyte GTX 550 Ti - $120XFX 6870 or EVGA GTX 560 - $150/ $146
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $70Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $120
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $17Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $17

Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn. SSDs are always optional.
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master HAF 912 - $60Cooler Master HAF932 - $149
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $90Corsair 750HX - $139
CPUIntel i5-3570K - $230Intel i7-3770K - $350
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $57Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $83
MotherboardASUS P8Z77-V LK - $150ASUS P8Z77-V - $190
Memory8GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $568GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $56
Graphics CardMSI 7850 Twin Frozr - $260XFX 7970 Black Edition OR EVGA GTX 670 FTW - $450 / $400
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $120Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $120
SSDCrucial 128 GB m4 (Review) - $105
Corsair Force Series GT 120 GB - $135
SAMSUNG 830 128GB (Review) - $128
OCZ 120 GB Vertex 3 (Review) - $100
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $17Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $17
Total$1040 - $1175$1504 - $1682

The MMO Report is here with a special on Marvel Heroes, featuring an interview with Dave Brevik, who created the Diablo series.

by Published on 2012-07-07 07:11 AM

Entry-Level Melee Wizard Build, ERR37 All In One Calculator, Scheduled Maintenance - July 10th, Blizzard Job, Fan Art, End-Game Poll

Heart of Fear: Garalon
Tonight we take a look at Garalon, the fourth boss of the Heart of Fear raid.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Heart of Fear
The Sha of Fear has corrupted the grand empress of the mantid. Her increasingly erratic and paranoid commands have driven the Klaxxi--the keepers of mantid culture--to take aggressive action. Because they are few in number, the Klaxxi are reluctantly willing to accept outside help in destroying the empress and purging their race of the sha's negative influence.

  • Furious Swipe - Garalon performs a Furious Swipe to targets in a large cone in front of him, inflicting 800,000 Physical damage. If Garalon fails to hit at least 2 targets with his Furious Swipe, he gains Fury.
    • Fury - Fury increases Garalon's damage dealt by 10% and movement speed by 10% for 30 sec. This effect stacks.
  • Crush - Garalon crushes his foes, inflicting 100,000 Physical damage to all players. Any player within 12 yards receives an additional 800,000 Physical damage as Garalon's body slams down upon them. Garalon's massive bulk also knocks down all players for 2 sec. Garalon crushes foes whenever he detects their presence beneath him. In Normal Difficulty, Garalon also crushes foes when Pheromones passes to a new target. In Heroic Difficulty, Garalon periodically crushes foes.
  • Pheromones - Garalon surrounds a player with powerful pheromones, fixating on the target. Every 2 sec. the Pheromones inflict 20,000 Nature damage and Pungency on the target, then spawn a Pheromone Trail. Pheromones pass to allies in close proximity.
    • Pungency - Exposure to Garalon's Pheromones renders the player extra pungent, increasing Pheromone damage by 10% for 1.25 min. This effect stacks.
    • Pheromone Trail - The Pheromone Trail on the ground inflicts 25,000 Nature damage to players within 4 yards.
  • Garalon's Legs - Players attack Garalon's legs separately from his body.
    • Weak Point - Close proximity to Garalon's leg allows attackers to see weak points, increasing their damage dealt to the leg by 100%.
    • Broken Leg - Breaking one of Garalon's legs damages Garalon for 3% of his maximum health and reduces Garalon's movement speed by 15%. This effect stacks up to 4 times.
    • Mend Leg - Garalon periodically mends one of his broken legs, restoring it to full health.
  • Damaged - In Heroic difficulty, Garalon gains the Damaged effect upon reaching 33% remaining health.
    • Pheromones - While Garalon has the Damaged effect, Garalon ignores the fixate effects of Pheromones.
    • Melee Attack - While Garalon has the Damaged effect, Garalon uses his normal melee attack and gains a dramatic speed increase.

Crypt of the Forgotten Kings Scenario
Another scenario opened recently for testing, Crypt of the Forgotten Kings!

Category Name Points
ScenariosFancy Footwork
Complete the Crypt of Forgotten Kings scenario without anyone taking damage from a Cloud of Hatred.


ScenariosIt's a Trap!
Step on a floor trap in the Crypt of Forgotten Kings scenario.


Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
One slight correction to something we said a while back:
White attacks are still ‘one roll’ (Miss Dodge Parry Block Glance Crit Hit), and yellow attacks are still ‘two roll’ (Miss Dodge Parry Block, Crit). The only change to that is that Block against players is an additional separate roll now.
Correction: Block is always a separate roll, not just on players. So white attacks are technically two rolls (Miss Dodge Parry Glance Crit Hit vs. Block NonBlock), and yellow attacks are technically three rolls (Miss Dodge Parry Hit vs. Block NonBlock vs. Crit NonCrit). However, please take care in discussing this, since "two roll" has historically meant that crit is rolled separately, which is NOT the case for white attacks.

From the calculator I'm assuming this [healer pushback] is 70 percent right?

Have you guys done the low level pvp pass that Zarhym mentioned in this thread many months back?
No, not yet. Good question. We like to make sure the changes we have for level 85-90 feel shippable before we look at things at lower level. Any abilities that stand out are certainly worth mentioning (anywhere in this forum) so we will be on the lookout for them.

Death Knight (Forums)
Continuing on from this post: is Runic Corruption bugged? Some DKs are noticing that multiple procs of Runic Corruption in a row are leading to the buff getting a full 3 seconds added to it. Take an instance of 3 RC procs in a row with a 2.5 second duration. 3 RC procs in a row should grant 7.5 seconds, but in actuality, is giving us 8.5 seconds (2.5 + 3 + 3). Could this bug possibly explain why Runic Corruption is doing so well for the devs and not the players?
Yes, that is exactly what is happening and is fixed for the next build. That should account for some of the difference between RC and RE.

Is it intended that Rime proc Howling blast doesn't produce 10 Runic power? Also, using conversion while in frost spec/pres causes the RP generation to go from 20% to 100%.
Yes. RP generation is associated with spending runes. We’ve fixed the bug with Conversion interacting incorrectly with Frost Presence for the next build.

Shaman (Forums)
Frankly, I don't see buffing Telluric Currents to be the right approach for Shaman mana regeneration
The intent of Telluric Currents is free Lightning Bolts, not a healer mana regeneration system.

(The new priest talent, PW: Solace is intended to generate mana, but it is a talent that competes against other mana regeneration / conservation talents. Always remember when looking at healer mana that you have to look at the entire package, including the costs of heals themselves.)

Warrior (Forums)
Is it intentional that Bloodbath does not proc off Dragon's Roar?
Yes. We will change the tooltip to clarify that it only affects melee special attacks.

Is there a chance that it could be tied to both Critical Block chance and Shield Barrier potency so Mastery is relevant to both our AM Buttons, like paladins got with their Bastion of Glory talent? (You could also bring back the "Hold the Line" name this way.)
We think Prot's mastery works. Block chance is still useful since you can't get 100% uptime of Shield Block. Shield Barrier is getting a lot of attention now because it works so well on easier dungeons and older content, but we expect warriors will still be using Shield Block a lot on tougher fights.

In Fury related news, is there any chance that Raging Blow could be looked at? It's still not very powerful or integral to Fury's rotation and only accounts for a small portion of Fury's overall DPS.
We agree that Raging Blow needs to hit harder. You should be excited about using it whenever it is available.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Content Difficulty and Consumption Speed
If that would be so, then why is TBC considered the best expansion for raiders, even with TK and Sunwell being so hard as they were? Loads of guilds could not complete SW, heck most guilds did not even raid at that level.
For the most hardcore raiders, yeah, sure it was fun. For the players that were somewhere behind (either Tier 5 or Tier 6 content, heck, even at Brutallus), things weren't exactly bright. I still remember the many threads we were seeing back then about Kael'thas and Lady Vashj breaking guilds...

Kael'thas, Muru, Kil'Jaeden, those fights were so hard they were massive brick walls, yet people liked it that way. And I bet it is because they gave a good challenge to even the most hardcore raiders. Thats what HM bosses should be, and should stay at -> hard, challenging and rewarding fights.
I understand this is the reasoning from the perspective of hardcore players, but there're many more players that for whatever reason don't really have the same level of skill. It doesn't take long for those players to go from fun to the frustration of realizing that, at their current skill level, they're facing an impossible challenge.

And the rewards have to more then a green "Herioc" tag for killing a nerfed boss. It has to be mostly the feeling that killing that boss really takes effort and the relieve of killing that boss after your 20th+ try on your own skills and not by a 5% debuff crutch must be whats driving you forward. Being rewarded for killing a weaker boss doesn't feel compelling to a lot of people.
To many other players, knowing that the boss is now 5% weaker, is compelling because it means they can have an easier time on things that were blocking them and will start progressing on the encounter.

So why is blizzard willing to take the achievement and prestige out of heroics. Trying to act like we're just being greedy for wanting heroics to MEAN something to down is pathetic. (which exactly how this blue is sounding)
Achievements aren't being removed from heroics, so that argument is rather moot. But if you really think that John Doe cares about what you did in a video game, you should really think again. Of course it means something to you, just don't pretend it means something for everyone, because that's not the case even in-game.

If you really think everyone needs to 'have room to move up or they'll get bored and quit' then screw it. Why have content that's hard at all - lets release 20 raid bosses all with a straight 25% nerf straight away so no one gets their feelings hurt that they can't progress.
There's a massive difference between having an appropriate challenge, hitting a brick wall, and steamrolling everything. If there's absolutly no challenge on any of the bosses, that would be as boring as hitting a raid full of Heroic Ragnaros for the players that don't have the skill to perform at that level. There're players that, very probably, could take on even harder incarnations of the bosses we've all seen. There're players that need a 5/10% debuff to have an adequate challenge, and there're players as well that even with the 30% debuff still struggle to advance.

And all of them are progressing at their own pace.

But now, all hardcore/semi-hardcore guilds have 8/8 DS HC
Can you prove that with data?. For some reason it's relatively common to have this perception that, because something is easier than before, everyone is getting it, and it's not true. The cold reality is that there're many raiding guilds that won't even see Spine Heroic before Mists of Pandaria is released (the skill difference between those guilds and the Top 200 in the world is THAT big).

The real funny thing is that if a player couldn't get past a certain hc in TBC he tried harder, joined other groups and got better gear
I know for many hardcore players, changing groups is not only acceptable, but pretty much mandatory. "If your current guild can't clear this, leave that sorry lot behind and aim for the sky". The reality is that many enjoy raiding with their friends and they'd rather stay there than join a guild that has Madness Heroic on farm status since Day 1, even if they can.

May I just say, I absolutely love the 3-tier system. The idea is quite brilliant indeed- I just think it needs more tweaking and balancing. That is, at what point to how much HCs should be nerfed, exactly HOW easy LFR should be, and which dungeons should be included- time will tell. My personal belief is that if most of the end content dungeons would be available in the 3 tier system, less people would complain about the "lack of content".
That's a very interesting thought, thanks for sharing it.

Are the Challenge Mode dungeons exactly the same as the Heroic Mode counterparts?
Although Jito has already responded to this (here), I'll add that Challenge mode is actually tuned harder than Heroic, and in some cases there might be even extra pulls or mechanics that aren't present on Heroic.

I haven't really thought about the jump in the tier gear, e.g from 12 -> 13. Even if the ilevel of the tier is on par with dungeon/rep reward level like I suggested, if the set bonus is more powerful than the previous, then LFR starts to feel more mandatory again. Any ideas on how this could be possibly addressed?
I think we should accept that guilds pushing for world firsts will do anything in their hands to get an edge. And it doesn't sound fair to punish the rest of the playerbase, preventing them from improving the gear of their characters, just because some guilds might get and edge on their race to world first.

You are basically saying that when confronted with a challenge the player must receive help to push past it.
Some players do need that help to progress on certain encounters. It's not necessarily a must, but it's true that there're players out there that wouldn't be able to kill a certain boss before the debuff reaches a certain percentage (if you kill a boss just with 5%, then you were pretty close already, by all means).

The part terrifies me. In terms of player satisfaction your keyword is "progression", my keyword is "challenge". Sorry, seems we're worlds apart
Both of them are the same. Progression brings a new challenge to overcome (unless you're at the end of the road). I'd say many players raid for the challenge and the experience, because they expect to overcome it eventually. That's were the line between progression and challenge might become distorted, as you start going through the different levels of skill our players have.

While to you a boss that is now 20% weaker than it was back then might look as an absolute non-challenge, the truth is that is still challenging for the players that are now progressing on it. So, the "challenge" is still there, and that's why, in that sense, for those players the debuff is almost a "must". If it wasn't for it, they wouldn't have anything else to do after defeating what's available to their own level of skill.

I am well aware that I am a tiny insignificant player compared to the millions playing wow; I am only trying to provide my own feedback which I believe is both my duty and right as a customer, as insignificant as I may be.
If you can put your thoughts in a clear and concise manner (which you clearly do), then it's not insignificant. We may agree or disagree, but that's it.

How then can you, Draztal, assume that you know that "many other players" see nerfs as compelling because they now have an easier time? That's just an assumption as well isn't it?
It's as much of an assumption as it is saying that many hardcore raiders find super difficult bosses compelling. I mean, it's just my way of trying to put into words that there's a segment of players that like the fact that, eventually, that boss they can't even think of killing right now, will be weaker enough to consider attempting it, and perhaps, succeeding at overcoming it.

I'd be crazy to not say that there are many hardcore raiders that find compelling fighting bosses that are absolutely insane for a huge majority of players.

You immediately solve all the issues. The people who need the nerfs, can still see the content, but get lower ilevel gear and the hardcores can play without nerfs to get their epeen gear.
So that those players can artificially feel superior to them? Isn't enough the fact that they defeated the boss without the debuff prove they're already better than them?

I don't understand why this can't be implemented like this? I don't think a player that performs less should get the same rewards as a daily theorycrafting elite player. We don't pay a cleaner the same amount as a surgeon.
This is a videogame, not a job. So it's pretty hard to relate that example to this environment, honestly.

Even if it was mandatory that you raid T11 content first, then T12 before you can get to T13, a lot of servers would only have one raiding guild running T13 content and wouldn't let anyone without T12 gear in.
This was happening back on the TBC days (I'll use it since it's been mentioned several times as the ideal "moment" of hardcore raiding). At some point through the BT/Hyjal/SWP cycle, in some realms guilds just started canibalizing each other, as the rest of the players just didn't have the gear, or the progression required to join them. Some guilds broke trying to defeat Brutallus, but I've always wondered how many players trying to enter those guilds, were rejected solely on the gear they had, rather than the actual skill they had, just because they were still playing catch-up to the players that had progressed more than them.

Draztal, don't you think it's a bit of a concern to sort of set the barrier really low in some things, however? I mean, I totally get the whole being accessible (I hate the word though XD) and as you can tell from my raid history I am one of those that come from a 'I used to raid but got tired of the schedules"-people for which LFR is excellent, and to a lesser degree normal mode.

However, I am greatly concerned where we are headed in general with gaming, into what seems like an environment where difficulty is not allowed to exist without a free pass, and learning curves is to be frowned upon. Failure is not an option - more or less. Don't you (and others here) feel that it's bad for both the longevity of the game, the sense of accomplishment that arises from solving things, and just general patience with the few things that should be hard will wane through this encouragement?

No, I don't think there's any concern on setting the barrier too low. I mean, anyone can play basketball, yet I know that the only thing in common I have with Michael Jordan when it comes to basketball skills is that he's also a human being.

Gaming has constantly been evolving, and it'll continue to do so for as long as this industry keeps moving. Difficulty is there, but the industry is probably moving away from punishing the players for things that, in the past, were seen as normal. Heck, back in the days even "casual" games (such as Super Mario) were punishing enough that, if you lost all your lifes (basically, the attempts at finishing the game), you had to start from scratch back in World 1-1.

Now - what can we do for Draztal. Oh yeah lets nerf the height of the hoop and the length of the field to Draztal also can get the above achievements - after all Jordan wont mind - he got them first and had fun doing them.
The proper equivalent to your comparison would be that, for Jordan's despair, I'd have fun playing with my friends and perhaps even winning local tournaments (thanks to them, not me, certainly). But, anyways, you're comparing the professional aspect of something anyone can do (play basketball) with a videogame. The differences in that regard, are, obviously, too big to even consider it a fair ground.

Anyways, let's leave that example up there, would be a shame if the thread went off-topic now when there're so many interesting posts going around. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Cataclysm Wasn't Entirely Bad After All
When we were leaving behind The Burning Crusade the general consesus from players in the forums was something like... "This is the worst expansion ever, can't wait for Wrath of the Lich King".

When we were leaving behind Wrath of the Lich King the general consesus from players in the forums was something like... "This is the worst expansion ever, can't wait for Cataclysm".

Now that we'll leave behind Cataclysm the general consesus from players in the forums, once again, is... "This is the worst expansion ever, can't wait for Mists of Pandaria".

Yet, so far, every expansion has added something positive to the game (of course, some players will say TBC was the best, some will say Wrath was the best, and so on).

Both Archeology, Transmogrification and Raid Finder have been some of the best additions in the game. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Please Bring Back Attunements
However, my guess is that some people probably don't miss the need to do some ridiculously long questchain just to get access to the newest raid, but many might just miss the quests itself. Thus my idea, why not add those quest chains back in, as optional quests, letting them tell the story and/or reason you have to do the stuff in that raid, maybe add in some kind of reward or even a final quest for the final boss... that would be nice (as an example: i really like the black temple access quest chain, the way it is nowadays)
The Lorewalkers faction should prove very interesting for all those of you that enjoy discovering the lore of Azeroth. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Diablo III End-Game Poll
Within the last week there has been a great deal of discussion about Diablo III's end-game. Blizzard even agree's that there is a current lacking of a long-term end-game. There have been many different suggestions for an end-game, such as those from Kripp and Athene, as well as Sixen's recent video suggesting the return of Pandemonium Events.

Curse Weekly Roundup
Scrolls is not far from release, Assassin's Creed 3 gets a brand new trailer, BioWare has confirmed player suspicions, professional gamers get a loft, The Secret World gives Curse a high-five, and new Mists of Pandaria content is always lurking -- All on this weeks Curse Weekly Roundup.

by Published on 2012-07-06 07:15 AM

Patch 1.0.3b Soon, Diablo III Gem Crafting Calculator, Gear Evaluation Calculator and More, Blizzard Timeline Revealed, Treasure Goblin Video

Mogu'shan Vaults: Elegon
Elegon finally explains what the Celestial Human and Dragon models were intended for, and is the fifth boss of Mogu'shan Vaults.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Mogu'shan Vaults
The mogu, proud of their supremacy, kept lengthy records of their accomplishments within a great complex of vaults. Guarded by ferocious magical beings, these sacred chambers have remained silent since the mogu's departure.

  • Energy Vortex - An active Energy Vortex transforms any player or creature who stands in it, granting a small taste of the Titan's true power. In Heroic Difficulty, the Energy Vortex prevents targeting into or out of the Energy Vortex.
    • Touch of the Titans - Contact with the Energy Vortex transforms the target into celestial form, increasing all damage done by 50% and healing done by 50%.
    • Overcharged - The Energy Vortex periodically inflicts players with Overcharge, causing them to take 5% additional damage. This effect stacks.
  • Stage One: Entering Defensive Mode - Elegon activates the Energy Vortex, attacking with Celestial Breath and calling for Celestial Protectors to help defend the Engine of Nalak'sha. Stage One ends at 90% and 50% remaining health.
    • Celestial Breath - Elegon's breath inflicts 45,000 Arcane damage to players within a 100 yard long 60 degree cone.
    • Materialize Protector - When Elegon has more than 50% remaining health, he summons a Celestial Protector to attack the players.
      • Celestial Protector - A construct of pure energy, the Celestial Protector serves as primary defense for the Engine of Nalak'sha.
        • Phasing - The Celestial Protector exists in a state of flux, held together by the immense power of the Energy Vortex. When the Protector has over 25% remaining health and exists outside the bounds of the Energy Vortex, players inflict 90% less damage to it.
        • Arcing Energy - The Celestial Protector inflicts 80,000 Arcane damage to two random players and applies Closed Circuit to each target.
          • Closed Circuit - After being hit by the Arcing Energy, the Closed Circuit reduces the healing received by the target by 50% for 20 sec.
        • Stability Flux - Upon reaching 25% remaining health, the Celestial Protector begins to pulse energy and periodically inflicts 50,000 Arcane damage on all players.
        • Total Annihilation - Celestial Protectors explode when near death, inflicting 600,000 Arcane damage to all players. In Heroic Difficulty, Total Annihilation will trigger Catostrophic Anomaly if it hits no targets.
          • Catostrophic Anomaly - With no targets to absorb the excess energy of Total Annihilation, the Engine of Nalak'sha explodes, inflicting 800,000 Arcane damage to the entire raid.
    • Grasping Energy Tendrils - With no targets in melee range, Elegon grabs and pulls all enemies to him, inflicting 50,000 Arcane damage.
    • Radiating Energies - When Elegon reaches 50% remaining health, he becomes dangerously unstable. Elegon periodically inflicts 82,500 Arcane damage to all players not protected inside the Energy Vortex.
  • Stage Two: Primary Power Offline - Elegon attempts to reactivate the Engine of Nalak'sha by creating Energy Charges to energize the Empyreal Focuses. If players destroy all Energy Charges in a wave, Elegon will continue to create more Energy Charges. The creation process permanently weakens his physical form. Stage Two ends once an Energy Charge leaves the Energy Vortex.
    • Draw Power - Elegon attempts to restart the Engine of Nalak'sha by constructing six Energy Charges from his own body, permanently increasing all damage taken by 10%. This effect stacks.
      • Energy Charge - A small part of Elegon himself, the Energy Charge contains enough Arcane energy to restart The Engine of Nalak'sha.
        • High Energy - With each successive cast of Draw Power, the created Energy Charge gains an additional 20% movement speed. This effect stacks.
        • Discharge - Upon reaching zero health, the Energy Charge explodes and inflicts 600,000 Arcane damage to all players.
  • Stage Three: Power Draw Stable - Elegon has reactivated The Engine of Nalak'sha, disabling the Energy Vortex and activating all Empyreal Focuses. Elegon shields himself from all damage. Stage Three ends once players destroy all the Empyreal Focuses.
    • Empyreal Focus - The Focuses activate whenever the Engine of Nalak'sha begins operation, venting energy into the surrounding platform. Damaging all six Empyreal Focuses temporarily disables the Engine of Nalak'sha.
      • Energy Conduit - The Empyreal Focus vents excess energy, inflicting 142,500 Arcane damage to all players touching the energy conduit every 0.5 sec.
      • Overloaded - Upon reaching zero health, the Empyreal Focus deactivates and vents excess energy back to Elegon, increasing his damage inflicted by 20% and casting speed by 20%. This effect stacks.
    • Unstable Energy - Elegon periodically inflicts 25,000 Arcane damage to all players.
    • Energy Cascade - Elegon fires a ball of Titan plasma at the location of random player, inflicting 200,000 Arcane damage on impact to players within 5 yards and creating a Cosmic Spark.
      • Cosmic Spark - Small pure energy constructs created by Elegon.

Mists of Pandaria Gem Vendor Price Changes
The last beta build made some changes to the prices that gems will vendor for. Cataclysm gem prices remain unchanged for now. Keep in mind these prices aren't final!

Gem Quality Old Price New Price
Uncommon (Cut)985
Uncommon (Uncut)50 60
Rare (Cut)?4
Rare (Perfect Cut)91 10
Rare (Uncut)3 203 50
Meta (Uncut)50 60
Meta (Cut)3 754

Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
My guess is that it's like that because of how they changed mastery from being x points like in cata for everyone to actually displaying the percent from conversion for each spec.
We tried to simplify the concept of mastery. Before, mastery rating converted to mastery points which converted to an individual number for your spec (such as Deep Healing for Resto shaman). We cut out the middle man and just have mastery rating and your individual mastery now. It is intended to be analogous to crit rating converting directly to crit percent instead of crit rating converting to crit points which then convert to crit percent.

Is this very short ICD intended to prevent situations like Normal Cast/Echo Proc/Overload/Overload Echo Proc, or will these continue to occur?
Those will continue to occur.

Is it intended that lower levels can now become unhittable through avoidance since the strength to parry conversion change?
No. We'll look into it.

Don't get me wrong, I see the DK issue and agree with it, but there's always going to be a theoretical gain of a few percent somewhere on something.
We can get pretty close in most situations. The examples I was talking about were a Vael-style boss who is in execute range the entire time, or the fact that a talent that improves your AE ability isn't as useful on a Patchwerk fight. If we made some kind of crazy fight where DPS specs had to heal for a short period of time, then they might really want healing talents. But those tend to be exceptions. There will be plenty of fights where a talent choice will be ambiguous or different talents will work better for different players.

While numbers are part of the argument, they take a big back seat to the fun argument.
Yes, fun is more important than numbers... but not in this thread.

If pushback protection is for all healers this will definitely help because for example a good mage could shut out a paladin for 5 seconds enough to completely gut a paladin, die or let the burst down of another team member.
All healers should have the same pushback baseline.

Death Knight (Forums)
Agreed on all accounts. Blood Tap may not be a huge DPS increase, but it is still an increase and players will gravitate towards using BT. Removing Death Rune costs fixes the problem and allows players to freely choose whichever tier 75 talent they want without feeling penalized.
We're not even convinced it's an increase.

We don't like to get into the habit of sharing our numbers directly, because among other things, I have found it usually doesn't resolve anything. Instead it just leads to additional questions as players want to delve into rotation details or challenge our assumptions or otherwise grow the discussion broader, and often broader than our typical capacity in which to participate. For that reasons, and a few others, things usually work better if you share your numbers, we compare them to ours, and we decide what to do about any differences.

However, we will make an exception this time about Soul Reaper.

I think I originally threw out numbers like Soul Reaper doing 7% of Unholy's damage. Now that the stats on gear have solidified and we have fixed various bugs and so on, we do get higher numbers (see below), but never as high as the 20%+ numbers that sometimes appear on the forums. We do assume pooling a Death Rune for Soul Reaper to generate these numbers.

  • Using ilevel 463 gear, with no talents: 76.5% of maximum theoretical uses per second in execute range. 11.02% of total damage.
  • Using ilevel 463 gear with Blood Tap: 99.75% of maximum theoretical uses per second in execute range. 12.88% of total damage.
  • Using ilevel 463 gear with Runic Empowerment: 95.54% of maximum theoretical uses per second in execute range. 11.96% of total damage.
  • Using ilevel 463 gear with Runic Corruption: 87.08% of maximum theoretical uses per second in execute range. 11.09% of total damage.

So as many people claim, Blood Tap is optimal for maximizing Soul Reaper. But how does that play out in terms of total DPS over the course of a fight?

  • Blood Tap: 12.32% increase over having no talent.
  • Runic Empowerment: 12.41% increase over having no talent.
  • Runic Corruption: 14.02% increase over having no talent.

Unless you are on a fight with a very prolonged execute phase or one in which the execute phase is what matters most, we don't see Blood Tap as mandatory in terms of DPS. (We're also okay with situationally one talent being "the best" so long as it isn't the best on most fights. After all, an AE talent is useless on a one boss fight.)

Now, I realize some of you are arguing that Blood Tap is not a DPS increase, but that the rotation is so much simpler with Blood Tap that it still feels mandatory. That is sort of outside of the scope of this, a numbers thread, but we will consider the feedback.

Why isnt Runic Corruption becoming baseline for Death Knights like it was intended to become during the Wrath Beta?
Why do we have a talent tier with three talents that do numerically the same thing?
Your post proved there is no difference what-so-ever between the three and having played with all three on the beta myself I have no change in playstyle.

We added Runic Corruption in Cataclysm to prevent the DK rotation from becoming too predictable and cyclical. However, it was a controversial change and there were DKs that didn't like it. (In general with an audience of WoW's size, you can find someone that loves or hates any feature, so part of our job is trying to determine when that love or hate crosses some kind of threshold). With the new talent model, we thought it would be a good opportunity to give DKs a choice about what resource model they wanted. If they didn't want a passive but potentially random rotation, they could opt into Blood Tap.

Hunter (Forums)
Does your data support the conclusion that Fervor is significantly better than Thrill of the Hunt, or is my experiment flawed? An indication of which statement is correct is sufficient for my purposes. I am willing to return to the drawing board and test these talents again.
Thrill of the Hunt is weak. We are considering moving Dire Beast up to the "focus tier" and redesigning Thrill of the Hunt a bit.

Mage (Forums)
Glyph of Mirror Image may be a bit problematic for a minor glyph. Problem is that if the Mage is Arcane, the Mirror Images benefit from the Arcane Blast debuff; this results in nearly a 40% increase to their damage, which is a pretty hefty improvement. Fire and Frost both seem to get (in 463 blues plus crafted epics) about 200,000 damage out of a Mirror Image cast, while Arcane gets about 280,000 damage.
We’ll take a look at this. We want it to contribute the same damage, but in a different way. Them benefitting from the Arcane Blast debuff is intended, but need to be tuned with that in mind.

Monk (Forums)
Wait wait, hold on. That's not how Roll works so I'm really confused.
Roll has 2 charges naturally, 20 second cooldown.

I use Roll once, 20 second timer starts. I have another charge of Roll, so I use that in the next second, just like your example warrior.
After 20 seconds, I gain one charge and can use Roll again. I have to wait another 20 seconds for the next Roll.

There aren't any A or B Rolls because each Roll charge regenerates one at a time. This means that outside of the first Roll, you've essentially got 1 Roll every 20 seconds. You're describing Double Time as 2 Charges every 20 seconds that only regenerate after both have been spent.

No, you're correct. I completely mangled my description. It's one of those deals that works fairly intuitively when you try it, but it kind of a bear to explain. I changed my original text above. It actually works quite a bit like death knight runes (which can also be confusing, so possibly not the best example).

If you have Double Time and use Charge A, then it comes back in 20 sec. If you use Charge B as soon as you can (which is 1 sec after Charge A), then it comes back in 40 sec. You aren't getting twice as many charges of Charge. You just gain flexibility -- you can borrow a charge from the future.

If that still sounds confusing, then I invite you just to try it. It is much more intuitive in game.

Mea cupla. I try to strive to strike a balance between spending time here but not too much time, because, you know, day job. Sometimes my brain works faster (or slower!) than my fingers.

Charge's Charge A starts recharging when Charge B is discharged, but Charge B doesn't recharge until Charge A's charge has recharged, making it so that after discharging Charge A, Charge's Charge B won't recharge a second charge for 40 seconds.
I heard you liked charging, so we put a charge on your Charge...

Can you please comment on Monk hates levels.. in this patched the base energy regen went from 8/sec to 13/sec (and brewmasters getting 30% bonus)
It is supposed to be 8/sec. As often happens, fixing one bug apparently caused another.

Paladin (Forums)
Was the 12% haste Holy pallies lost via removing Judgements of the Pure (9%) and Speed of Light (3%) intended or was it something you guys didn't notice? Also, are Holy Pallies supposed to have 2.4s cast times on HL/DL?
Intended. We tried to get rid of all of the passive talents and glyphs that just added haste and crit for the purpose of feeling like an attractive talent or glyph. We can add those stats back when needed, but we have been trying to avoid every spec having an arbitrary amount of crit, haste and hit, because it's confusing and complicates stat allocations on gear (a player with tons of crit stops wanting crit on gear). For paladins specifically, we did make Holy Shock crit more often than normal, and we added back Divine Favor recently to get back some "active" haste, and there are still some mechanics like Infusion of Light. If those aren't sufficient (in our minds), we can add more haste.

Do note however that if you are comparing a Dragon Soul-geared class to one in Mists quest greens, your ratings are going to take a hit. You'll get back up to epic-levels of combat ratings when you are epically geared once again. I have opined recently about the necessary evil of nerfing stat ratings every expansion and how we'd like to find an alternative that is more palatable, but it's a non-trivial problem. (We can't for example have characters going from 50% crit in one expansion to 100% crit in the next and 150% crit in the following.)

Was the Flash of Light proc removed from Infusion of Light because of Selfless Healer? I'm sure you have read it countless times but that while not so important in PVE was EXTREMELY(emphasis) important in PVP.
No, it was more about the number of instant heals paladins already have through Holy Shock and Word of Glory. A common complaint we hear about paladins in PvP is: how do I stop them from healing when so many of their heals aren't subject to interrupts because they are instant?

You guys haven't gotten a build in awhile, but we've made a few changes to make Eternal Glory and Sacred Shield more competitive with Selfless Healer, and we're also likely to design Ascetic Crusader. We also reinstated Divine Favor, as I mentioned. (Unrelated to haste, we're also looking at Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn as well.)

If Holy still feels too slow after those changes, we'll consider other options, but we didn't want to make too many changes at once.

On top of that, paladins really don't need a 4th throughput cooldown. They already have Avenging Wrath, Guardian of Ancient Kings, and the level 75 talent.
That was our thought and Divine Favor seemed the least interesting of the bunch, but it is something a lot of paladins seem to miss (more so than many classes missing abilities that we removed).

GC, is it intended that paladins can't see their Seals as a buff icon anymore? It's kinda confusing without it.
They are on the stance bar, so we figured it was redundant to see two icons.

Priest (Forums)
I have a question concerning Divine Hymm, why exactly was it removed from all specs except Holy? The holy version was far more powerful at a 3 minute cooldown whereas disc/shadow had it on an 8 minute cooldown.
Shadow doesn't need a potent raid cooldown and Disc has Power Word: Barrier. It's also not a written rule that every healer needs a certain allocation of cooldowns. We want the healer specs to feel unique yet relatively desirable.

Shaman (Forums)
Currently on the MoP Beta servers (and in fact it seems ever since Flurry was implemented for Enhancement), if you can sync your auto attacks to happen at the same time, you are consuming only a single charge of Flurry for most of the synced mainhand/offhand swing combos.
Good catch. Fixed for next build, and increased the number of charges to 5 to partially compensate.

Warlock (Forums)
With my guardian demons, I have been noticing that they have a tendency to stand around and not attack on fights where the boss either changes forms, or in council fights. Is this part of the pet AI overhaul coming, or are they just being stubborn?

If it is the later, is there a chance that we could get that by applying/reapply a curse to a target causes them to favor that target above doing nothing?

So to be clear, you are attacking the new target and the guardian is slow to respond? Or that it isn't smart enough to know the new target?

Warrior (Forums)
I'm a little confused as to how Bloodbath is supposed to work. The tooltip leads me to think that I pop bloodbath, and 30% of the damage I did at the very beginning of bloodbath is distributed as a bleed over 6 seconds. After 6 seconds, the next attack triggers another set of bleeds based on 30% of that attack.
Bloodbath is just "your attacks do +30% more damage" in the form of bleeds. It has always seemed a little more confusing than intended though so maybe there is something else going on.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Challenge Mode Feedback
Thanks for the feedback. Just to be clear, the gear "upscaling" is a beta-only feature, just to level the playing field since most players in beta will not legitimately have item level 463 gear. On the live servers, your gear will only scale down, not up.

Regarding the use of "cheesy" tactics while running challenge modes, we're looking into ways of limiting some of the most offensive ones while still allowing for planning a tactical route through the dungeon to be a major part of the gameplay. Dodging patrols, using tools like Shroud of Concealment to skip some avoidable enemies? Cool. Training through the entire Armory wing of Scarlet Halls and Mass Resurrecting on the other side? Not so cool.

As for rewards, the intent is for prestige to be the prize. When you are soaring around town on your Pandaren Phoenix, or showing off as your character becomes engulfed in flames when you /roar, everyone who sees will know that you earned those rewards through expert play, because you cannot outgear challenge modes, only outskill them. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Challenge Mode Gear Scaling
The upward scaling is a convenience measure solely enabled during beta testing, so that all interested players with level 90 beta characters can participate.

In the live game, any items that are over item level 463 will be scaled down to 463. Items that are lower than item level 463 will be unchanged.

The system that will be used for challenge modes upon release actually preserves your hit and expertise bonuses, compensating by deducting extra rating from your other secondary stats (crit, haste, mastery, Spirit) in proportion to how much of each you had to begin with.

This sounds complicated, but it should be relatively seamless and handled behind the scenes, with the intent being to minimize the need to reforge/regem for challenge modes.

To use some decidedly fake numbers, let's say I have an average ilvl of 500 and I have the following stats:

Outdoors (Item Level 500)

3400 Hit Rating (+10%)
3400 Expertise (+10%)
6000 Crit (+10%)
0 Mastery (+0%)
8500 Haste (+20%)

When I enter a challenge dungeon, my ilvl scales down to 463, reducing my stats by roughly 30% (rounding for the sake of simplicity). However, the system keeps my Hit and Expertise values unchanged, overcompensating by reducing the other ratings more heavily.

So my challenge mode stats would be:

In Challenge Mode (Item Level 463)
3400 Hit Rating (+10%)
3400 Expertise (+10%)
3356 Crit (+5.6%)
0 Mastery (+0%)
4754 Haste (+11.2%)

(Now yes, if your normal gearset is designed to hit-cap you against raid bosses, you'll effectively be slightly over the hit cap against dungeon targets, so people looking to min/max completely may still have some tinkering to do, but unless you're aiming to beat the realm-best time, the cost of being a couple percent over the hit cap is going to pale in comparison to the benefit of precise and coordinated play.)

Tl;dr version: If you are hit-capped before you enter a challenge mode, you'll still be hit-capped inside. It's magic. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Content Consumption and Difficulty
Tell me. Compared to now, will the raid content be harder or easier?
The 4.3 heroic dungeons and Dragon Soul when the patch was released are a good measure to get an impression on how the content will look difficulty wise.

and over 3 years more than 75% of the EU playerbase have left the EU servers..
And 97% of the Internet knows that 99% of statistics are made up on the spot!

Is any chances to see Raids that would bring back people to raid them? And I simply put off LFR.
LFR is not going away, if that's what you're asking for, it's actually useful for players that can't be part of a raiding guild (or don't want, for whatever reason) to experience the content.

And new raid content will be appealing to raiders, surely. Will it be appealing to your friends/guildmates? Well, that's really up to them. There's a number of (personal) factors that no amount of raid content will change.

If the nerfs are "so that everyone gets to experience the instance", wasn't LFR for those purposes and normal mode?
Not really. Nerfing content doesn't help the same spectrum of players. Players that are struggling on, let's say, Heroic Hagara, will eventually give up if they can't progress further. The only question in that case is, how long before they stop? Might be a month, or six, but if they can't progress, they'll stop. That's the crowd that those nerfs are aimed at.

Moving forward, the dev team is thinking about using a similar system as the one currently in place for Dragon Soul. A single debuff on monsters for a raid tier that's been out for several months.

Take it as you like, I'm not attacking you, just strongly expressing my personal experiences versus my worries in the chosen path. I would like to enjoy the game I like. I really would, but you're making it hard for me. Currently the only thing keeping me here are the social bonds, but guess what, they feel the same and are leaving one by one too, effectively eliminating my need to log.
I'm not taking it as an attack, no worries. I understand you're trying to express yourself. Honestly, I'm unsure what's the message you're trying to give, though. You become bored of the content because it's not hard enough for you? (seeing that you've progressed nicely on Heroic DS). If that's the case, I can tell you that the devs are hard at work to roll patches faster than we've done in the past.

I also have the feeling (though I'm probably wrong) that some players are underestimating the true value of challenge modes (not necessarily your case). In those modes you're fighting against the clock, so that will always be challenging (you can always try to do it faster).

But the issue is not exactly the lack of content, but the increasingly lower difficulty of it.
Ever since WotLK raids get nerfed to the ground so that a very large part of the raiders, skilled or not so, can kill the what should be hardest boss of an expansion. reports that as of today over 10% of all raid guilds have downed heroic Madness.

I'm pretty sure at least several hardcore guilds kinda agreed that Sinestra was as difficulty as HC LK, and Ragnaros was harder, so I wouldn't call that an "increasingly lower difficulty".

You mention 10% of all raid guilds have downed Heroic Madness. There's no reasonable argument to call that a "very large" number.

So the developers want the game really to become a "wait and you will breath on the heroic boss and he'll be dead" kind of game.
If that's how you want to play the game, sure. If it's not, but someone else wants to, how does it affect you? How exactly does what others do in this game impact you?

LFR should be, the place for the easy kills, and it is. Normal should be place for the top 90%+ of the community, and it is. Hardmode should be the place for the top 10%, which isn't anymore so and gets so less and less.
So, basically, you're saying that rather than providing an ongoing challenge that you can slowly overcome (or rapidly, depending on your skill), the devs should rather focus on preventing 90% of the players from seeing a difficulty mode. That's one of the best ways I can think of to frustrate a lot of people.

So in the end, making the game to easy, will achieve the oposite; less people will see the content, becuase there will simply be less people playing the game.
This is an argument I've seen thrown around plenty of times. Yet, Wrath of the Lich King, which seems to be considered by many hardcore players as the easiest expansion ever, had some of the highest participation rates in dungeons and raids we've ever seen. And, ironically enough, also had some of the hardest encounters to date (I remember the threads and headaches that some hardcore guilds were having at the time with Lich King and Putricide Heroic, as well as Yogg-Saron +0, Sarth 3D, just to name a few).

Then explain to me why LFR drops epics, when it is for players "to experience the content", specificly better than Firelands-epics as well as the first raids in MoP (yes, that has been datamined).
LFR was meant for players that can't participate in raiding guilds either because they don't have the chunks of time required for that, or don't enjoy (for whatever reason) being part of those guilds. Let's not mix that with "experiencing the content". Experiencing the content doesn't mean getting a tourist visit around the place.

I was happy when Blizzard announced LFR, because people finally could be able to experience the content without getting loot they clearly don't deserve. However, as it is now, they DO get loot they don't deserve.
If they can clear LFR they do. They're already getting lower ilvl gear compared to normal and Heroic.

You can also ask yourself how long the game will remain interesting when you can do everything with your eyes closed.
Feel free to go and show us how you and your guildmates kill Spine Heroic with your eyes closed, please

You wouldn't be able to. Even if the content is easy for you at a given point, it was challenging before, and it's just natural that it becomes even easier over time once you've mastered it. But there are players that are still progressing through Dragon Soul and, believe it or not, are actually being challenged by the content in its current form.

1. Why are you replacing content instead of adding content?
2. Why do you believe 3 difficulties of a same raid (a final one at that!) provide people with ample opportunities? I am a casual 6/8 heroic raider and, sorry, I srsly cba to enter DS again unless someone puts a gun to my head
in before: "Go heroic". For those ... oh .. two extra abilities in the same fight? sorry, that's not right.
in before: "but, but, but try Spine hc!" sorry, I would be ashamed to have spine heroic achieve when someone cares to check what date I did it and sees the resounding 25% nerf. I'd rather feel good about 5/8 hc at 0% debuff. and 6/8 hc at 5% debuff.
3. Why are you nerfing heroic content thereby stripping it of any and all sense of achievement?
4. how do you believe leaving people to dwell on the final fight with DW's fingernails for entire 6 months is right or even remotely fair?

1. No content is being replaced. Giving players a mean to gear up through alternate means to get up to speed is something we've been doing since the TBC days. If you want to go and finish Firelands, you can go and do it (and completing Glory of the Firelands Raider is no easy task, even if it doesn't require you to kill Heroic Ragnaros).
2. You mention you would be "ashamed" if someone sees you killed Spine Heroic at the 25% nerf. First, why do you care what some random person on the internet thinks about you? I'd rather put at the front my own enjoyment. And if, for one reason or another, I can't kill Spine before the 25% debuff, well, big deal (as long as I'm having fun).
3. I've explained that here.
4. Actually, the developers agree that Spine is harder than Madness in most aspects. In theory, the concept of the encounter was great, but in practice it's kind of just a tentacle fight. They're trying to deliver an awesome encounter with the Sha of Fear at the Terrace of Endless Spring.

As for the time itself, it's not different than how long other end-of-expansion bosses have been available for.

Again, dishing indirectly on disabled people isn't cool. And if you want to make such statements (yes, I'm annoyed) then feel free to first youtube/google and see there's actually quite a few doing this. And no, we're not special little snowflakes...
I'm not dishing on disabled people (that'd be quite inappropriate), and I believe you're reading too much into the piece you've quoted. If you've felt offended, my sincere apologies. At no point I've meant to be offensive to anyone.

Have some faith in the playerbase instead of just brushing us off as violent trolls who don't come here to make change.
I don't need to have faith in the playerbase because they've shown me time and time again that they can do amazing things. And if I had the feeling the people posting here are violent trolls I wouldn't bother posting. I can assure you that.

8 months is not how long content lasts. Content lasts approximately 5 months, i assure you. Noone wants to play in the same 8 boss nerfed raid instance for more than 5 months, And since you don't expect us to run through BWD or BOT anymore, the content lasts even less. Nobody goes BWD or BOT to gear up anymore. Barely anyone goes FL to gear up anymore. The way you are designing content to last is atrocious!

You may say that we are still having a challenge to defeat all the bosses in the DS on HC, Well newsflash for you blizzard, not every guild is interested in pushing every single heroic boss. Alot of players just want to experience the content on a normal difficulty.

But the fact is that there's content to be run if you've not killed Madness Heroic. If you're voluntarily stopping because of whatever reason, there isn't much I can do to help fight that feeling. As I've said, the dev team is hard at work trying to put out patches faster, but that doesn't fix current issues. It's a situation that's always happened at the end of expansions so far.

I know many of you want purple ribbons for 16th place, but that is not how it works. This game is about progression and epeen, not pet battles and LFR
It is for you, sure. You can't pretend it is the same for other players. There'll surely be players that will get immense fun of pet battles, and there are players out there enjoying the LFR system.

Why should players who just do LFR have better gear than those that cleared 7/7 normal Firelands
Why not? At some point you just need to move on. By that reasoning, we could go extreme and ask, well, why should players who just buy a new expansion have better gear than those that completed Thunderfury in Molten Core 7 years ago?

I'd like to ask, aren't normal modes (yes I'm leaving LFR out of this) supposed to be there to experience the content? Aren't they aimed at those raids who don't have the means to do heroics?
Does every raid that can down a few heroic bosses have to reach and kill Madness heroic?
Doesn't the content nerf itself slightly already due to the increasing average ilvl of a raid every week?
Why, in the first place, did you implement the nerfs that early if there hasn't been any content for months, and won't be until MoP?
if you'd like to achieve that as many raids as possible get to see the endgame content, why isn't there more incentive to do lower tiers? While outdated, they're still part of the endgame and harder than LFR, so shouldn't they be more rewarding than LFR and just farming VP/JP?

There's something about "experiencing the content" that doesn't feel right. The idea behind the different difficulties is not to let people that want a challenge to go straight to Heroic and have everyone else chilling in Normal (or LFR). The reason there's normal and Heroic is as simple as the fact the playerbase skills are hugely different between the most hardcore players and new fresh raiders. By having normal and Heroic you can progress through the raid tier until you get to that point where you actually start struggling. For you that might be Heroic Blackhorn, for another player, it might be normal Spine.

As for the other points, if players want to experience lower tiers, they can do at any point.

That then what should be the very hardest boss of the expasion, Heroic Madness, is killed by 10%+ of all guilds, is just to much. It should be 5%, or even less. Just like Naxx was back in Vanilla, and HC Lich King during WotLK. Don't forget, the whole deal with the end boss on hardmode is that beyond that you can not progress, and not being able to progress for many months makes the game a bore
So, 5% of the players (in your opinion) should be able to kill the last end boss on Heroic, yet, at the same time, you also say that not being able to progress for many months make the game boring. Do you realize that that's basically what would happen to that 95% of players when, eventually, get to the end boss?

HC LK was one of if not the hardest bosses out there. Only a few people downed him without the debuff. So basicly the whole dungeon was balanced around the fact that that debuff was there....
Not at all. And in fact, HC LK was defeated without the debuff not much longer after the initial kill. If memory serves me right, by Ensidia.

If I don't get any response (which is fine), I suppose this still can be used as some sort of feedback and reflection on my part on Cataclysm
There's too much too answer there (and some things I can't answer) but it's a very useful post, thanks for putting the time into writing it.

Yes, sadly this thread was turned in to a Q&A session and people were venting out their frustration on Draztal.
I'm more than happy to provide answers where I can. Some things can only be answered by the devs though, but we also take care of getting those questions their way so we can get the answers you asked for (even if at times they're not what you'd like to read).

The artificial 3 tiered approach to raiding was already made to let everyone have a go at their respective tier (and to cut production costs of having to cater for 3 different dungeons for the same purpose). Why blend it further and force the way of thinking in that many more should do HC? What is the reasoning behind this?
As I said before, people stop playing when they can't progress, with the exception of the truly hardcore and dedicated raiders, that will keep pushing until the brick wall has been destroyed. So, the best guilds out there will get first to the end and finish it, but a progressive debuff system also allows everyone a chance at getting through the content at the pace they can (putting a side example, if someone likes football, would that person enjoy it if he were allowed to play only at the same level of performance that Rooney, Ronaldo, Messi, etc do?, probably not, however he'd surely have plenty of fun playing with his local team, or just with his friends, this is kind of the same, not everyone can perform at the absolute maximum level).

Keep in mind that there're plenty of players that love raiding and start on normal hoping to eventually get to Heroic and keep progressing. Since we've already said that these players will stop playing when they get stuck, the developers don't feel it's right to tell them that they should just be happy to have made it that far and stay in the LFR, or normal just because they get to see the content.

We've got from world first guilds that can pull amazing strategies to players that don't have the time for more than LFR with everyone else in between them. That people needs something to keep them willing to progress.

This is also the case for me, I don't like it when my hard work gets nullified because some random gets the same rewards for doing nerfed content because he waited for a few months to get a higher debuff.
Someone else getting the same piece of gear you have hardly nullifies your work. It really makes as much sense as feeling offended because other players are getting to level 85 after you did, and with heirlooms, and with guildies helping that person reach level 85 (see where I'm going?).

The important question (at least in my opinion) should be, did you have fun working to get that piece of gear? If that's a yes, it'd expect then that the experience getting there was worth it (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

I am Afraid
I just leveled this toon and i just found out that stance dancing is completely removed from the game and so is rend. No stance dancing = no warrior. I am not sure what to think of the class atm. I am not even sure if I will continue to put effort in this char now that MoP is soon to be released.
/cast Fear Ward
No no no… no need to be afraid my fellow Orcish friend, Berserker Rage isn't being removed in MoP!

On a more serious note, I do understand where you're coming from. I've been playing since vanilla and in my opinion it's normal to get attached to the mechanics that you've been using for so many years.
The thing is, that mix of nostalgia and being accustomed to certain mechanics makes it very hard for us to think in a completely fresh and unbiased way like a good game designer has to.

Stances aren't going away; they're just being converted to a kind of DK "presence" design, which is, in my opinion, a better design.
Don't get me wrong, I love playing warrior, it's one of my favourite classes, but having to stance dance to use certain abilities always felt a bit clunky and awkward to me, sure you can get used to it, you can even master it and enjoy having to use additional actions to activate all the different abilities, but let’s be honest here, that’s mostly a matter of having a ton of good macros that one can even just google up and copy paste, that’s not really skill now is it?

Basically that just makes it harder for a new player to master a warrior because he will have to understand macros or at the very least become aware of the need to grab them on the internet and use them.

Shield Wall, Recklessness, Retaliation, Pummel, Spell reflect, Charge, all of these used to be restricted to a certain stance in the past. Now some of them have no stance restrictions at all and others have them more relaxed.
So, even on live, stance dancing isn’t what it used to be, to me it feels like it has been slowly phased out, so now we can actually do a major overhaul on it with MoP and players won’t have to feel that an extreme change of play style has been forced upon them.

Now my argument is that this "clunkiness" might make experienced warriors feel like it's a good feature, something that requires skill and that distinguishes bad players from good ones, but that's just a twisted perception in my opinion. It's a case of an old design that remained in the game for far longer than it probably should have, making the balance in terms of abilities, skill and the required learning curve to play each class extremely hard to tune and balance over time.

As I said, this is my personal opinion, I could play it safe and give you a very politically correct answer that wouldn't cause any stir, but I think you all understand that on top of working for Blizzard, we're also players, like you, we also feel passion for our games and we all have our own different views and criticisms, so please take this with a grain of salt, everyone is entitled to their own views and we in community love when you share your own constructive ideas with us, if for example, most players feel that this change is a bad decision on our part we will make sure to pass that information along to the developers (we already have! But we can always emphasize its importance), which I'm sure will look at it very seriously.

Dynamic mmorpg's like WoW, that get new content over time are in a constant state of tuning, and there's always going to be situations like this happening from time to time, it's kind of unavoidable, it means the game is evolving, in the end I think that even players that complain a lot about having constant changes to the game probably end up enjoying the fact that the game isn't static, they just don't realize it because they haven't felt the boredom of a static game since WoW has never been that way.

Also, please note that MoP is still in beta, anything can still be changed, don’t take whatever was discussed here as a sign of a permanent change. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Please Bring Back Attunements
The only thing we don't have is Pet battles ... and wow is boring as hell for last 4-5 months. You think Pet battles will bring that FUN you are talking about?
Scenarios and Challenge modes are brand new as well. And LFR will be available on every raid at the release of Mists of Pandaria. So it's not exactly the same scene we have currently.

No sorry, playing your class well can be easily outlined
  • timings
  • group awareness
  • boss awareness
  • using all your tools
  • positioning
  • maximising your roles...role!

Any other 'interpretation' is a lazy one, as missing any of those out is not playing your class well. You bring up PVP, this is where it shines the most, someone isn't aware of abilities? They stick at 1500, they learn or they stay they, they do not get boosted to the same level of gladiators simply because they pay a sub.

That's your perception. A PVP player doesn't care about either boss awareness or positioning (not in the same way a PVE player does, at least); and how well you execute your rotation is probably secondary to them as compared to being able to adapt quickly to what your opponent is doing.

How exactly are Dailies and multiple versions of the exact same Instance not repetitive?
If you do just one of those, sure, it'll get repetitive eventually. But if you consider every option, I'd argue there's much more room before you feel you're being repetitive in what you do in-game.

If blizzard brings back attunements for normal/heroic mode will be fun again i want attunement back again really was fun!
I doubt it was very fun for the players that were being told "no, sorry, you need to get these attunements to join our guild" and was being rejected when he said "but no one is running these right now because it's not current content anymore".

Was it fun when it was current content? For some. For some others it was just another unnecesary wall preventing them from getting to the content they really wanted to do (raiding). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Raid Testing Schedule - July 6
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
On Friday, July 6, we'll be testing two encounters.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below for all Beta Test Realms, regardless of suggested geographical region.

Lei Shi (Terrace of Endless Spring) - 10 Player Normal
10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)

Sha of Fear (Terrace of Endless Spring) - 10 Player Normal
16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a beta environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session or cancel it entirely, due to bugs, builds, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.

The intent is always to make every encounter available on every server. Sometimes there are technical or logistical issues that make it impossible to test a specific encounter on a specific server. In prior days, a couple of encounters were not accessible on Mekkatorque, for example. We want to get as many people into the zone to test as possible, but it's not always possible to fix problems as they develop.

All I can say is that we'll do our best, but the beta test availability disclaimers that accompany each schedule posting are there for a reason.

Pearl of Pandaria
New York Times best-selling author, Micky Neilson answered a few questions over on WoWInsider, as well as showing off some new art from the upcoming Pearl of Pandaria comic!

by Published on 2012-07-05 07:00 AM

Monk 1.0.3 Video Guide, Vision Quest Witch Doctor Build, Scoundrel DPS Calculator, and 446% MF Build

Heart of Fear: Imperial Vizier Zor'lok
Tonight we have a preview of the Imperial Vizier Zor'lok encounter in Heart of Fear. If you look at the abilities that have tooltips in the Encounter Journal below, you can see the damage amounts in the different difficulties.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Heart of Fear
The Sha of Fear has corrupted the grand empress of the mantid. Her increasingly erratic and paranoid commands have driven the Klaxxi--the keepers of mantid culture--to take aggressive action. Because they are few in number, the Klaxxi are reluctantly willing to accept outside help in destroying the empress and purging their race of the sha's negative influence.

Imperial Vizier Zor'lok
  • Overzealous - Defeat Imperial Vizier Zor'lok while every member of the raid is afflicted with the Zealous Parasite debuff.
  • Heroic: Imperial Vizier Zor'lok - Defeat Imperial Vizier Zor'lok in Heart of Fear on Heroic difficulty.

Imperial Vizier Zor'lok
  • Inhale - Imperial Vizier Zor'lok takes a large breath to fill his lungs. Inhale increases the damage of Exhale by 100% for each stack present and lasts until Exhale triggers with 3 or more stacks.
  • Exhale - Imperial Vizier Zor'lok selects a random player and screams at them, inflicting Physical damage and stunning them for 6 sec. The first player between Imperial Vizier Zor'lok and the initial target suffers additional Physical damage every 0.5 seconds.
  • Exhale - Imperial Vizier Zor'lok selects a random player and screams at them, inflicting Physical damage for 6 sec. The first player between Imperial Vizier Zor'lok and the initial target suffers additional Physical damage every 0.5 seconds.
  • Stage One: Her Gifts are Many - Imperial Vizier Zor'lok flies to a random platform in the room, then attacks the players from there. When Zor'lok loses 20% of his total health, he changes positions to a different platform. Imperial Vizier Zor'lok gains one ability while at each platform, but loses that ability when he moves to a different platform.
    • Pheromones of Zeal - The lower section of Imperial Vizier Zor'lok's chamber fills with toxic Pheromones of Zeal. Players in the area suffer 28,500 damage per second and are silenced for as long as they are in the area of effect.
    • Attenuation - Imperial Vizier Zor'lok emits a dizzying series of sonic rings that travel outward from him in a spiraling pattern. Sonic rings inflict 80,000 Physical damage to all targets in their path. In 10 player Heroic Difficulty, Attenuation also sends out Sonic Pulses. Sonic Pulses inflict 150,000 Physical damage to all targets in their path. In 25 player Heroic Difficulty, Attenuation also sends out Sonic Pulses. Sonic Pulses inflict 150,000 Physical damage to all targets in their path.
    • Force and Verve - Imperial Vizier Zor'lok shouts with pure volume to inflict 45,000 physical damage to all players every 1.5 seconds for 10 sec.
      Players standing in Noise Cancelling zones suffer 40% less damage from this ability.
      • Noise Cancelling - Before Imperial Vizier Zor'lok begins channeling Force and Verve, he summons Noise Cancelling zones nearby. Standing in these zones reduces the damage of Force and Verve by 40%. In 10 player Difficulty, only four players can benefit from each Noise Cancelling zone at a time. In 25 player Difficulty, only nine players can benefit from each Noise Cancelling zone at a time. In 10 player Heroic Difficulty, only three players can benefit from each Noise Cancelling zone at a time. In 25 player Heroic Difficulty, only four players can benefit from each Noise Cancelling zone at a time.
    • Convert - Imperial Vizier Zor'lok uses the pure voice of the Empress to sway the allegiance of one player, causing them to fight for the Mantid Empire. Convert lasts until the victim reaches 50% health, but the effect may end whenever the victim suffers spell damage. The chance to break increases as the victim reaches 50% remaining health.
  • Stage Two: We Will Not Disappoint Her - When Imperial Vizier Zor'lok reaches 40% remaining health, he flies to the center of the chamber and inhales the Pheromones of Zeal. Imperial Vizier Zor'lok now uses all of his abilities from Stage One.
    • Inhale Pheromones - Imperial Vizier Zor'lok inhales all of the Pheromones in the chamber, increasing his damage by 10% and haste by 20%.
  • Song of the Empress - Whenever Imperial Vizier Zor'lok finishes a transition he will raise his voice in praise to the empress. Failing to engage Imperial Vizier Zor'lok in melee combat will result in him inflicting Physical damage to all players in the zone until they die. Engaging Imperial Vizier Zor'lok in melee combat will end this effect.
  • Echoes of Power - In Heroic difficulty, Imperial Vizier Zor'lok will leave copies of himself behind at the first two platforms he visits. During stage two of the encounter he will randomly summon Echoes of Power to aid him in battle.
    Echoes of Power inherit one of Imperial Vizier Zor'lok's abilities and will conintue to use that power until they are defeated.
    • Echo of Attenuation - Echo of Attenuation will use Zor'lok's Attenuation ability as well as fight players in melee combat.
    • Echo of Force and Verve - Echo of Attenuation will use Zor'lok's Force and Verve ability as well as fight players in melee combat.
    • Song of the Empress - Any echoes that Imperial Vizier Zor'lok has summoned will use the Song of the Empress any time they are not actively using one of their abilities and they are not engaged in melee combat. As with Imperial Vizier Zor'lok engaging the echoes in melee combat will end this effect.

Vale of Eternal Blossoms Faction City NPCs
Your faction's city in Vale of Eternal Blossoms doesn't have everything a normal city does, but it has most. Some of the missing NPCs can be found out in Pandaria, but others will require you to return to your home city. Here is what is are missing:

  • Profession Trainers: These are scatted across all of Pandaria, the guards can direct you to them.
  • Conquest Quartermaster: Serpent's Spine in Townlong Steppes.
  • Honor Quartermaster: Serpent's Spine in Townlong Steppes.
  • Justice Quartermaster: Niuzao Temple in Townlong Steppes.
  • Valor Quartermaster: Niuzao Temple in Townlong Steppes.
  • Battlemasters: None, you must return to your home city.
  • Class Trainers: None, you must return to your home city.
  • Transmogrification: None, you must return to your home city.
  • Void Storage: None, you must return to your home city.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Please Bring Back Attunements
Not just TBC attunements, but also the ones you needed for onyxia, molten core and blackwing lair. Especially onyxia one was really fun to do.
Although we might look at them with rose-tinted glasses these days, some players back in the days complained that these attunements were too long. Guilds would also complain, eventually, as they had to pick up new recruits and basically run them through "old content" in order to get them up to speed (memory might be playing tricks on me, but I remember this happening when Tier 6 was live).

For those that miss them for the lore they brought, be sure to check the Lorewalker faction in Mists of Pandaria!

When you actually see people even more casuals (and by all mean I am a 3 hours/day kind of player, not even close to hardcore) complain about how the game has nothing in it anymore to do, which -before you counter with "end expansion time" arguement- happens EVERY tier now, then there is something seriously going wrong.
The end expansion time argument, like it or not, it's one that can't be just put aside. It happened with Wrath of the Lich King, TBC and Vanilla. We've seen this in the past, in the exact same shape as now.

Attunements, while might not be the only answer to this, WILL give the whiners something to do.
The devs would rather give something fun to do to the players than something that might be repetitive, not as attractive, or even problematic in the long run (as it happened with attunements in the old days).

That's something that Mists of Pandaria will try to improve through various means both when players get to the cap level and on their way there:

  • Pet battles
  • Daily quests (there's roughly, around 300 daily quests in Mists of Pandaria. Although these are randomized, you'd have around 48 quests available on any given day, and you can do as many of them as you wish).
  • Scenarios
  • Normal/Heroic dungeons
  • Challenge modes (which might be especially appealing to the more hardcore crowd)
  • LFR & 10/25 man normal/Heroic raids.

They just don't want to put the slightest effort to learn, so asking them for the slightest effort in doing few quests or group quests or dungeon quests or raid quests which was actually amazing way to tell the lore of the game also feels like a great effort for said people, which isn't.
For some players it might've been an amazing way to tell the lore (for me it certainly was); but for some others it was just getting in their way, preventing them from entering into raids. It's not as simple as arguing that those players didn't want to put the effort. In some cases, that content was just not attractive to them, in the same way than for a more PVP-minded player, PVE content is not as appealing as playing, for instante, a Ratted Battleground if given the choice.

Sure, the old attunements were bad, are you claiming it is only possible to do long boring ones? They can be updated for 2012 without being the same as vanilla TBC, attunements should introduce players to playing their class well to progress this journey of character progression is much more engaging and enjoyable than the current 'see the content' journey.
There're almost infinite perceptions of what's considered "playing a class well". What might be acceptable for you as an individual, might not be even close to what should be acceptable for another player, or might be even way too much for a completely different player.

If you ask what's playing a class well to a hardcore PVP player, a Hardcore raider, a casual PVP player, a casual raider... you'll get different answers from all of them. (Official Forums)

WoW Summer Challenge: Ulduar
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Every week this summer, we’re challenging you to get together with a few friends to explore a part of Azeroth that you may not have seen in a while, or perform a feat that you may have never done. They're World of Warcraft Summer Challenges, and we’re going to be playing along with you as we hunt down rare achievements, get screenshots of amazing bosses, and try to find some awesome gear for our transmogrification sets.

This week’s challenge is: Ulduar.

Since discovering Ulduar in the Storm Peaks, adventurers have journeyed to the titan city to learn more about its mysterious past. Further exploration has revealed that the magnificent complex is above all a prison, intended to permanently confine the Old God of death, Yogg-Saron. This ancient horror has corrupted its guards, and now it is breaking through the last of its restraints.

Near the top of the continent Northrend, Ulduar is home to a whopping 14 raid bosses. This week, we're getting together with friends who haven't gone toe-to-to with Yogg-Saron in a while, or never experienced Mimiron on Hard mode, or just need a couple more fragments to construct Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings, and heading to Storm Peaks. We're going to work our way through the dungeon on 25-player difficulty, so we want a solid raid of players by your side.

Recommended guides:

Desirable gear

Faced with the peril of Yogg-Saron's imminent freedom, a band of mortals has made preparations for a sweeping assault on the city. Overcoming the legions of iron minions and towering defenses at the city's entrance will take tremendous strength, but even that great victory may not be enough to overcome the madness that dwells below.

Please join us in this discussion thread, where we’re talking about this week’s challenge, and looking forward to your stories about how it went for you this week, your screenshots, and your suggestions for other fun reasons to take on this challenge.

Comics - Dark Legacy Comics #345
Dark Legacy Comics tells us how everyone feels about the Midsummer Fire Festival.

by Published on 2012-07-04 05:54 AM

Blizzard Agrees With Lack of Long-Term End-Game, Magic Find Gear Swapping Debate, Hotfixes, Blue Posts, MF Gear Swapping Poll

Mogu'shan Vaults: Will of The Emperor
Tonight we have a preview of the Will of The Emperor boss in Mogu'shan Vaults. If you look at the abilities that have tooltips in the Encounter Journal below, you can see the damage amounts in the different difficulties.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Mogu'shan Vaults
The mogu, proud of their supremacy, kept lengthy records of their accomplishments within a great complex of vaults. Guarded by ferocious magical beings, these sacred chambers have remained silent since the mogu's departure.

  • Heroic: Will of the Emperor - Defeat the Will of the Emperor in Mogu'shan Vaults on Heroic difficulty. Title Reward: , Delver of the Vaults
  • Show Me Your Moves! - Defeat the Will of the Emperor in Mogu'shan Vaults on Normal or Heroic difficulty after all members of the raid execute an Opportunistic Strike on the same construct within a single Unbalanced phase.

Will of the Emperor
  • Coolant Gas - Coolant Gas fills the room, inflicting 8,000 Frost damage every 1 sec. to all players and energizing any constructs, increasing their damage dealt by 25%.
  • Emperor's Rage - The smallest Terracotta warriors, the Emperor's Rage strike quickly with dual axes and often formed the forward lines in Lei Shin's mechanical armies.
    • Focused Assault - Every Emperor's Rage fixates on a random player, attacking only that player until the player dies or the Rage can no longer attack them.
    • Unarmored - The Emperor's Rage wear very little armor, and all types of crowd control effects work against them.
  • Emperor's Courage - The Emperor's Courage carry a polearm to harry opponents and form a powerful defensive wall with shields and armor.
    • Focused Defense - The Emperor's Courage comes to the aid of Jan-xi or Qin-xi by fixating on a tank, attacking only that player until the player dies or the Courage can no longer attack them.
    • Impeding Thrust - The Impeding Thrust of the Emperor's Courage inflicts 150% normal melee damage and reduces the target's movement speed by 25% for 10 sec. Stacks up to 4 times.
    • Half Plate - The Emperor's Courage wear armor protecting the front of their bodies. The Half Plate blocks or deflects any damage dealt by players to the front of the Emperor's Courage, but they remain susceptible to movement impairing effects.
  • Emperor's Strength - The heavily-armored Emperor's Strength strike earth-shaking blows with their massive two-handed hammers.
    • Energizing Smash - The Emperor's Strength smash the ground in front of them, inflicting 200,000 Physical damage to players within 10 yards of the strike zone and stunning them for 2 sec. The radius of the effect increases by 1 yard after each use of Energizing Smash.
    • Full Plate - The Emperor's Strength wear heavy armor that grants them immunity to all crowd control effects.
  • Jan-xi and Qin-xi - Jan-xi and Qin-xi activate after 90 seconds and share their health pool.
    • Devastating Combo - Jan-xi and Qin-xi perform a devastating combination of five attacks. In Heroic Difficulty, the Devastating Combo consists of ten attacks.
      • Devastating Arc - Jan-xi and Qin-xi strikes a 25 yard hemispherical area to the left, right, or in front them. These Devastating Arc attacks inflict 100,000 Physical damage and reduce the target's armor by 10% for 30 sec. Stacks up to 10 times. The immense power of these attacks ignore any player effects that grant damage immunity.
      • Stomp - Jan-xi and Qin-xi stomps the ground, inflicting 100,000 Physical damage to all players within 12 yards and stunning them for 2 sec. The immense power of this attack ignores player effects that grant damage immunity.
    • Magnetic Armor - Jan-xi and Qin-xi magnetizes their current targets for 10 sec. If a magnetized player moves more than 16 yards away from the constructs, a strong magnetic force pulls them back.
  • Opportunistic Strike - If every player avoids all the attacks in a Devastating Combo, Jan-xi or Qin-xi becomes unbalanced. All players within 16 yards gain the Opportunistic Strike ability for 3 sec, which inflicts 1,000,000 Physical damage.
  • Titan Spark - When any construct dies, it releases a Titan Spark.
    • Focused Energy - A newly created Titan Spark fixates on a player, attacking only that player until the player dies or the Spark can no longer attack them.
    • Energy of Creation - When a Titan Spark dies or reaches its target, it releases the Energy of Creation. The Energy inflicts 750,000 Nature damage to all players within 8 yards and energizes any constructs, increasing their attack speed by 50% for 2 min. This effect stacks.

Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
How much AP/SP do Feral Spirits, Fire Elementals and Earth Elementals get from the owner? What is the coefficient on a Shadowfiend's/Mindbender's attack?
I’d rather not get into listing every specific coefficient, because it's a short slippery slope from there to us just publishing every number for every spell. These are unusual, so we can understand why they might be tough to figure out.

Most pets have base DPS that is based on your class and level, and then get some % of your SP or AP as their AP, and get the standard AP/14 DPS increase to their weapon damage from that. The Earth Elemental is one of these traditional pets, getting 100% of your SP as AP (or 150% for the Primal Earth Elemental). However, the Fire Elemental and Shadowfiend/Mindbender are unusual. Their auto attacks deal magical damage, which means they also benefit from SP, as well as AP. I believe in the current build you have, they’re getting both AP and SP from you, which is complicating things further. We just simplified that, so in a future build, they will just get 50% SP from you. Try them out in a couple builds.

Again, these are just to give you some examples and point you in the right direction. Teach a man to fish, etc.

Currently they don't appear to scale with temporary percentage-wise haste buffs on the owner, such as Dark Soul: Misery. Is this intended, or will that change over the next few builds? Whatever the answer, is the same true for temporary crit buffs?
Yes, these will be fixed in upcoming builds. We’re trying to get rid of all of the "snapshotting" of stats on summoning. Let us know if you think we missed any; it will take a couple builds for you to get all of the changes, but all temporary buffs should dynamically update to the pets.

On a related note, we've been told before that pets should not benefit from any buffs on their own anymore, but in Cataclysm they still gained certain things like Bloodlust/Heroism. Will this still be true in MoP? If so, do you have a comprehensive list of which buffs can affect pets?
Pets should not be able to double dip on any of these buffs. Any that still do apply to pets will be fixed. We fixed it recently for Bloodlust, for example.

Because as an additional note, as I've been viewing streams, DPS charts, and watching some raid testing videos as well as analyzing there parses, hunters are severely undertuned right now. Some of them aren't even able to out DPS the tank (and yes, I'm aware of marking on WoL to show pets, and even then they are dealing minimal damage).
If you have done this analysis, we would love if you shared it here.

Death Knight (Forums)
The mathematical rune regen difference is minuscule, sure. That is not why Blood Tap is the default option: Death Rune costs are. So long as they exist, and such a huge part of our DPS depends on abilities that use them, we will naturally default towards talents/regen mechanics that provide them.
I'm not following you. Are you saying the DPS difference is minuscule but you'll take Blood Tap anyway?

I'll repeat: for our testing, you can pick any of the level 75 talents and do almost the same DPS. Now perhaps using Blood Tap makes the rotation easier since you know when you're getting a Death Rune, but I don't think that's what a lot of DKs are arguing. They are arguing, unless I am mistaken, that Blood Tap is mandatory because it's a DPS increase. I need to understand why there is such a disconnect.

My newest source of confusion is Archimonde's Vengeance, the behavior of this spell when you don't use it's active ability at all is very inconsistent when tanking and I don't think it's worth testing it's active behavior until I understand it's current and intended mechanics. From what I can tell the ability is only "reflecting" boss special attacks and not "white" hits.
This is a known issue and is fixed for a future build. It should reflect white attacks but doesn’t in your current build.

Quick question regarding death knight Bloodworm guardians, they seem to completely ignore the new hit / exp pet rules. It seems like the receive no benefit from their master's hit / exp. They constantly sit at about a 15-16% total miss rate, which is pretty easily seen by looking at their damage breakdown. Is this intentional, or are Bloodworms simply bugged?
Fixed for the next build; Bloodworms will get the same pet scaling as other pets, including Hit/Exp.

Shaman (Forums)
I hope you like enhancement, GC, because I have 45 more parses for you to sift through
I hope *you* like Enhancement, since it looks like you did over 8 hours of parses there! Thanks. Regarding your results, they line up pretty nicely with what we have, within expected error. Our recent buff to all ratings effectively also buffed Elemental Blast, which we’ve since adjusted for (from 3500 down to 3000).

Will Echo be able to proc from Elemental's mastery? I would assume not, but the wording on the talent doesn't make it clear one way or the other. Also, does the effect have any type of internal cool down?
Yes, Overloads can be Echoed. Echo only has a very short ICD to prevent it from triggering from multiple hits of the same spellcast.

Warlock (Forums)
Is there any word on what exactly the outcome for Dark Apotheosis is going to be? All we've heard is that it is not meant to be a viable tank spec and that it is supposed to be more in line with an dps warrior slapping on a shield and taking a few hits. However recent raid testing and logs have shown otherwise, right now DA warlocks are very viable tanks.
We haven't changed our design intent. A recent change to mastery for warlocks made the glyph more powerful than intended.

If you want to get together with friends and try out warlock tanks in dungeons, knock yourself out. We have no plans to support warlocks tanking raid bosses and we don't want to see warlocks in Dungeon or Raid Finder trying to talk the designated tank into letting the warlock tank. As I said before, a glyph is not the appropriate way to let a class choose a tanking role.

I wanted to clarify that the current damage reduction is a bug, but please let's not derail this numbers-focused thread into a discussion of warlock tanking.

What about dual-wielding pets like the Wrathguard and the Shivarra? Does the fact that their models display them as having weapons in both hands mean the game actually treats them as dual-wielders, meaning they will miss even if their master is spell hit capped?
Wrathguards and Shivarra are indeed actually dual wielding, with the benefits and detriments associated with that, and are balanced with that in mind. I believe there are a few bugs with that in your current build, but will be fixed. They should miss 19% more on white attacks, and deal 50% weapon damage with their offhand attacks. They will be hitcapped for specials if you are.

How does the Affliction passive Nightfall work? I ask because I've noticed some curious behavior with the procs (ignoring the fact that it's bugged and not currently granting a shard).

The tooltip says it has a 10% chance per tick of Corruption to generate a Soul Shard, which would mean that on average you'd get a shard every 10 ticks. Nightfall seems to be doing almost exactly that, on average I saw a shard about every 10-11 ticks, and the majority of my shards were generated between 8 and 13 ticks and the spread created a rough bell curve between about 3 and 18 ticks.

The thing is, if Nightfall were truly a flat 10% chance then that wouldn't happen. If you graphed out the number of ticks per proc at a 10% chance, you'd get a logarithmic curve with 10% of your procs happening at 1 tick, and slightly less than that every tick afterwards stretching on to infinity. You definitely wouldn't get a bell curve.

However, a stacking 5% chance per Corruption tick would fit the bill exactly. On average you'd get a shard every 10.5 Corruption ticks, with a standard deviation of nearly 2.5. You'd have a guaranteed shard at tick 20, and a possibility for a shard at tick one, but both aren't going to happen very frequently.

Additionally, as far as I can tell it appears that this effect uses all Corruption ticks from all sources, which has some interesting implications for mulit-target situations.

If this is what's happening, then you've gone a long way towards allowing for consistent shard generation for single targets, without nerfing multi-target shard generation (and vice-versa), which was a problem with ICDs and PPMs on multi-target, and low proc chances for single-target.

If you recall, early on in this thread, I talked about how we sometimes gloss over certain mechanics in tooltips, for the same of simplicity and understandability. This is one of those cases. A single shard is a really significant chunk of resource, so it can’t be a very high proc rate. But with a low proc rate, it’s very random, meaning that you regularly get fights where you get relatively few shards, and some where you get a ton of shards. We wanted it to still be somewhat random, so we went with a somewhat complex system under the hood that creates "smoothed" randomness, with a simple sounding cover on it (the tooltip). We didn’t expect players to really notice at all, so huge kudos to you; what you describe is almost exactly how it works. It’s actually a stacking 2% chance per Corruption tick, which averages out to an 11.7% proc chance. It does indeed count all Corruption ticks from all sources. I believe in your current build, it only is giving 1% on the first tick instead of 2%, but that’ll be fixed in the next build.

We don't think every proc needs this kind of treatment. Nightfall is kind of a big deal, so excessive RNG could cause balance or rotational problems.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
The New LFR Roll System
Normal raid (Live and Mists):

1) Boss dies.
2) The game determines what loot he drops.
3) The group works out who gets what item, perhaps by random roll.

Raid Finder on Live:

1) Boss dies.
2) The game determines what loot he drops.
3) Players for whom the loot is appropriate get a chance to Need or Greed.

Raid Finder in Mists:

1) Boss dies.
2) The game decides who is going to get loot. Each player has a small and independent chance to win loot.
3) The game picks loot appropriate for those players.

The key point is that traditional loot systems determine what loot drops first and then who gets it. In the new Raid Finder loot, the system determines who is going to win loot, and then picks something appropriate for them.

The chance of you walking out of Raid Finder with loot will be about the same as it is today. Our goal isn't to distribute loot faster. However, you won't have the frustration of seeing an item that you want appear only to go to someone who doesn't want it, doesn't need it or doesn't care. Likewise, you won't have other players begging you to let them have the item that you won fair and square. In all likelihood the entire Raid Finder raid is composed of strangers who may never see each other again, so social pressure doesn't really work and we just plan on removing it with regards to loot. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Transmogrification and Legendary Items
Just from this thread, you can see the range of arguments on this topic, and the various pros and cons that transmogrifying legendary items would present.

Our current way of thinking is still that legendaries are and probably should remain to be rarely seen. When you do see one, you instantly recognise it for what it is, and acknowledge the prestige that goes along with owning one.

But please carry on discussing the topic, we're really interested to see some good discussion either way. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World of Warcraft $10 Summer Fire Sale – This Week Only
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
By order of Ragnaros the Firelord, World of Warcraft is kicking off the summer with a sale on select World of Warcraft products. This week only, you can get the World of Warcraft: BattleChest, Wrath of the Lich King, and Cataclysm for a mere $10 each. That’s up to 75% off the regular price, making this a great time to invite a friend to join you on your adventures in Azeroth.

Don’t delay; this offer ends on July 9, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

Diablo III Poll: Solution to Magic Find Gear Swapping
If you missed the Magic Find Gear Swapping Blog Post, you can find them over on Diablofans.

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

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