World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2012-02-22 05:02 PM

Diablo 3 - Beta Contests, Portrait of a Champion Art Contest, Blue Posts, Wiki Tooltips, Curse Weekly Update

Update: Added tonight's Blue Posts, which address some questions about the difficulty change.

Dragon Soul Difficulty Change - Power of the Aspects to 10%
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
During the scheduled server maintenance on the week of February 28, the “Power of the Aspects” spell will grow more powerful, reducing the health and damage dealt of all enemies in the Dragon Soul raid by 10%. This spell will grow progressively stronger over time to reduce the difficulty and make the encounters more accessible. The spell will affect both normal and Heroic difficulties, but it will not affect the Raid Finder difficulty.

Don’t need the help of the Dragon Aspects? The spell can be disabled by talking to Lord Afrasastrasz at the beginning of Dragon Soul.

We hope you continue to enjoy Dragon Soul, and that these changes encourage you to attempt a higher difficulty, or just keep pushing to down that next boss.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Dragon Soul Difficulty Reduction
MMO Champ JUST published a blog about how effective the 5% nerf was. As the graph indicates, progress is continuing at a healthy, linear rate. It hasn't leveled off. Why are you nerfing heroic mode, again? You explicitly told us that you would not continue with blind nerfs on auto pilot.
We're not "nerfing blindly." Keep in mind that, the debuff can be disabled. So if you and your Raid choose to do so, you can take on the encounter without it. We also explained our thought processes in the original announcement blog about the debuff here.

Despite arguments to the contrary, there is a choice involved here. You can choose to leave the debuff on or turn it off. If you're looking for the challenge that doing the raid gives you without the debuff and your raid group isn't interested in turning off the debuff, that is still a choice that is being made. No one is forcing that on anyone. If you personally feel forced, then it may be an option to find another group that is interested in the challenge of doing it without the debuff.

Meanwhile, the debuff affords those that want to progress a bit, who have experienced difficulty, more of a leg-up.

It's fine to disagree with us on this, but please make sure that you continue to do so in a constructive manner and refrain from starting flame wars or posting harassing/defamatory language toward posters in the thread. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Dragon Soul Difficulty Reduction
And yes, maybe I'm a special snowflake who likes recognition. But I argue that the game is now somewhat built around recognition since achievements were added to the game.
We understand that there are players out there who do what they do for recognition and--dare I say it?--glory. Since we'll likely continue to use a model where we introduce a raid, then slowly remove roadblocks over time, there's a possibility that we could do something akin to adding a feat of strength for players who defeat an encounter in a non-debuffed incarnation, or possibly time-stamps on the armory raid progression section. At the very least, there are options on the table for the future. These aren't things we'll be able to do for Dragon Soul though.

Nobody is getting held up by 5% or 10% damage and health on bosses, they're getting held up by mechanics.
When a group is really close to taking down a boss, but just can't seem to manage it, a bump like this is sometimes enough to see them on to the next challenge. (Official Forums)

PTR Scheduled Maintenance 2/23/12
In addition to the maintenance going on today (2/22/12) the PTR realms will also be down tomorrow morning (2/23/12) from 5:00am-7:00am PST. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

War College - Strand of the Ancients
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The battlefields of World of Warcraft are littered with the bones of those who have become casualties in the ongoing conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. You do not need to become one of them. One of the keys to victory is knowledge, and that is where the World of Warcraft War College enters the picture. In these discussions between players, you can learn and share strategies with other players to improve your tactics and improve your odds of emerging victorious from the field of battle.

Are you a veteran Gladiator with countless victories tallied? Are you new to World of Warcraft and striving to improve your PvP skills? In this weekly feature, we invite players of all skill levels to ask questions, share tips and tactics, and join a conversation dedicated to surviving and thriving in World of Warcraft PvP.

Don’t forget to up-vote forum posts that are on-topic and helpful!

This week, the topic of discussion is: Strand of the Ancients - Which strategies are most effective in Strand of the Ancients on offense and defense? What tips, tricks and tactics have you discovered? What common mistakes have you witnessed?

Join the War College forum thread here.
by Published on 2012-02-22 04:30 AM

Statistics: Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest
Today we take a look at which classes ended up with Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest and how quickly they got it. The sample size is ~5.6 million level 85 characters, with ~15,000 Dragonwrath owners.

You can see that mages are obtaining the staff at an even faster rate now that Firelands is less difficult, while the other classes are maintaining roughly the same rate of acquisition.

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Warlock Ember System
How does Destruction’s Ember system work?
Basically, you build embers with some spells, and then spend those embers with Soul Fire, Ember Tap, or Fire and Brimstone.

Internally, this is how it works:

Immolate – DD + DoT on the target
Incinerate – generates 1/10th ember, or 2/10ths if it crits an immolated target.
Fel Flame – generates 1/10th ember, or 2/10ths if it crits an immolated target.
Conflagrate – triggers Backdraft and has a 12 second cooldown.

Soul Fire – consumes one ember instead of mana.
Fire and Brimstone – costs 1 ember and has no cooldown.
Ember Tap – costs 1 embers.

Each full ember costs 0.33% of your maximum health per second. If you stay below 1 ember, you take no damage.

How does chaotic energy work?
We are experimenting with a resource-driven, rather than time-limited, caster model on the Destruction warlock.

In a nutshell, Destruction warlocks are not GCD locked. In fact, chain-casting spells as a Destruction warlock is less important than spending all of your resources.

Keep in mind this is all subject to change, but here is how Destruction flows at the moment:

Start of Fight: Full mana bar, Empty Ember bar

1. Immolate the target
2. Conflagrate to trigger emberstorm
3. Incinerate to generate embers
4. Continue until you are low on mana

Middle of Fight: Empty mana bar, ~2 Embers

1. Soul Fire
2. Soul Fire
3. Mana bar is mostly full (Soul Fire costs embers, so your mana refills during the Soul Fires)

In addition to increasing your base mana regen, Chaotic Energy increases mana regen even more with Haste. This means the ability to cast spells scales smoothly with gear.

As long as the warlock never lets her mana bar fill up and burn her embers, she's maximizing damage. This is very different from the standard caster model where priority is placed on casting at all times and ordering spells based on cooldown.

Our hope is that the Destruction Warlock will attract players who are interested in a playstyle that rewards spending resources at the right time, rather than constantly casting.

How does Destruction’s Mastery work?
Emberstorm increases the effectiveness of all Ember consuming spells. Soul Fire deals more damage. Fire & Brimstone deals a higher % of the base spell’s damage. Ember Tap heals for more. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Development Time Cutbacks
Blizzard severaly reduced the number of people on WoW development teams in last few months, which explains the simplifying of various aspects of the game. They don´t want to spend too much time tuning bosses, so they simplify the player, for example.
I have no idea where you got this information from, but it's wrong. We're not simplifying various aspects of the game, we're constantly reviewing them to ensure they're fun, which can actually sometimes mean making them more involved. Also, we spend however long is necessary to tune bosses to make them engaging and challenging, we're not cutting back on that at all. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Play Diablo III and Win Beta Keys with Blizzard at CeBIT 2012!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
CeBIT is a unique exhibition of digital technology, games and much more which takes place every year in Hannover, Germany. At the 2012 show, which starts on March 6, Blizzard Entertainment will be showcasing the Diablo III beta in the free gaming area, in partnership with ESL.

Members of our Community and eSports teams are looking forward to meeting you there! So if you’re going to CeBIT make sure you drop by to see us, especially as you’ll have the chance to win some nice prizes — including Diablo III beta keys — in the various contests and activities we’ll be organizing.

CeBIT is also hosting the final of the Intel Extreme Masters Season VI, where 24 of the best StarCraft II players will fight for the title of IEM World Champion and an impressive prize pool of $75,000! The roster so far contains famous names like Greg “IdrA” Fields, Giacomo “Socke” Thüs, Moon “MMA” Sung Won and Kim “viOLet” Dong Hwan – so make sure to follow the matches live or tune in on ESL TV.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Event: CeBIT 2012 / Intel Extreme Masters Season VI World Championship
Location: Messe Hannover / Exhibition Grounds 30521 Hannover Germany
When: March 6 to 10, 2012
Stream: ESL TV
More details: ESL news / CeBIT website

Curse Weekly Roundup
Pico is back to tell us about the things you might have missed in Diablo 3, Guild Wars 2, World of Warcraft, Minecraft, Rift and Nitronic Rush news recently.

by Published on 2012-02-21 05:21 AM

Diablo 3 - Beta Key Contest Continues, Updated Calculator, Where's Release?, Blue Posts, Diabolesques, and Guild Wars 2 Preview

Statistics: Dragon Soul Difficulty Changes Impact
Today we take a look at the impact of the 5% difficulty decrease of Dragon Soul that went live the week of January 31. Spine of Deathwing also saw a 15% reduction in health of the tendons at this time. This time around the sample size was ~5.6 million characters. As always, keep in mind that this sample contains many alts and should not be looked at for the percentage of the overall population that completed an achievement.

We first look at Heroic Spine of Deathwing and Madness of Deathwing achievements added each week, seeing roughly 4x the number of new kills the week that the buff went live, then a lower amount of kills during the following week. The decrease in new kills is sharper on Spine of Deathwing at ~27% and only ~5% on Madness of Deathwing.

We don't see the same effect for the number of new Heroic and Normal Deathwing kills. Using Destroyer's End as our method of measurement, we see only a small spike, not even passing the number of new kills that were earned during the week of December 6.

The 5% decrease in difficulty made a much bigger impact to players that were stuck on a Heroic boss than it did for those who were stuck on a normal boss.

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!
Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!
Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!

Blue Tweets
Today was a holiday in the US and Bashiok and Zarhym are in France, leaving us with some tweets from Chris Metzen!

Originally Posted by Metzen (Blue Tracker)
So how many of you WoW players have played Warcraft 3?

If a Warcraft character could come back from death, which would y'all like to see (provided the story was good)?

None. Please PLEASE don't bring any more back. Make NEW stories.
Working on it! Takes years to get you to care about new ones!

Hey man, any chance we can see some more strong female villains in WoW apart from Naga? A female big bad would be cool sometime
I'll see what I can do.

Dark Legacy Comics #327 and Teh Gladiators #316 + #317 are available!

The MMO Report has World of Warcraft, The Secret World, and Uncle Casey's Mail Bag this week!

by Published on 2012-02-19 09:53 PM

Update: Our friends over at GuildWars2Guru were able to take part in the press event for Guild Wars 2 and get PvE, PvP, cities, character creation, and other videos. If you are interested in the game be sure to have a look!

Mists of Pandaria Internal Alpha Started
A lot of people have been asking me when we should expect a MoP beta or more updates on the game, and the answer to that question is simple: soon. All the recent events indicate that the internal alpha testing already started:

  • The old WoW2 accounts used for the Cataclysm Beta have finally been removed from some players pages.
  • The recent update of the official talent calculator had multiple spells tagged as "NYI" (Not Yet Implemented). This is what we see in Alpha/Beta stages of the game to indicate that a spell doesn't work in-game yet.
  • Community Managers have posted actual screenshots of new spells tooltips in-game. It means they have a server they can easily connect to for that, and it's most likely the biggest proof.

Now what does it mean for players? First, let's be clear, this is the internal alpha and it is different from the Friend & Family Alpha where non-Blizzard employees can play as long as they know someone in the company. This one would be restricted to employees only and Blizzard executives are probably watching anything happening there very closely.

However, it definitely means that if everything goes well we should see a Friend & Family Alpha or a Beta within one or two month, and the Mists of Pandaria press tour on March 19 is most likely a way to prepare fansites to that. For Cataclysm, the press tour happened about 2 weeks before the start of the closed beta.

NAO Invitational Tournament
Curse, Skill-Capped, and Logitech are sponsoring a player run Arena tournament with over $4000 in prizes. You can find the list of prizes on ArenaJunkies. See the structure and rules for more information about how the teams are selected.

This tournament did not allow 4.3 PvE gear and had the final matches this afternoon.

Method vs Dragon Soul
Method made a nice video overview of their journey through Dragon Soul that is different from the normal boss kill videos.

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

by Published on 2012-02-18 08:30 AM

Diablo 3 - Beta Patch 13 is out and includes an insane amount of changes! Complete revamp of the runes system, public chat, Real Money Auction House updates, and more!

Important - I apparently forgot to mention it, but winners for the Heart of the Aspects have already been picked. If you didn't get a PM from me, you haven't won. Sorry!

Patch 4.3.3 available on Test Realms
We didn't really report earlier because of all the Mists of Pandaria craziness but the Patch 4.3.3 is now available on test realms! This is a bugfix patch and you shouldn't expect any change from it as far as we know, but it means more bugs are being fixed on live realms soon!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Update to Mists Talent Calculator
What are the developments for the Cat and Bear versions of Mangle/Swipe/Thrash/etc.?
Several abilities for Cats and Bears are slightly different depending on Cat or Bear Form. The abilities you’re seeing in the talent calculator are the base versions that show up in your spellbook. Here are some additional details about their different effects in each form:

  • Mangle: In Cat Form, has no cooldown, costs energy, and generates a combo point. In Bear Form, generates 5 rage, and has a 6 second cooldown, which can also be reset by a proc from Lacerate and now Thrash ticks.
  • Swipe: In Cat Form, has no cooldown, and costs energy. In Bear Form, has a 3 second cooldown, and is free.
  • Thrash: In Cat Form, has no cooldown, and costs energy. In Bear Form, has a 6 second cooldown, and costs 15 rage.
  • Skull Bash: Costs 15 energy or 10 rage, depending on form, and has a 15 second cooldown. The current talent calculator says that it has a 10 second cooldown, but that is a mistake. It is 15 seconds like most other interrupts are now.
  • Stampeding Roar: Costs 30 energy or 15 rage, depending on form.
  • Faerie Fire: Has a 6 second cooldown when used in Cat or Bear Form.

Mage (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Does Arcane Charge have a duration?
Yes. It is currently 8 seconds. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Rogue (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Rogue Changes
This sounds like Combat Maces all over again.
Your feedback is appreciated. We'll be keeping an eye on how this ability pans out, just as we will with all the upcoming changes. That said, I'm not sure that mace stun and Paralytic Poison is an apples to apples comparison.

One of the things that made Mace stun so vicious is that it simply happened. You could make brief contact with an enemy and get a lucky, sometimes clutch, proc. At the time, Stormherald was floating around amongst warriors which only exacerbated the issue. That's important context for the purposes of this comparison. Sure, chance plays a role (only in that each stack has a percentage chance to proc) but I don't think it's as much of a factor with Paralytic as it was with Mace Stun.

Consider that poisons are dispellable, and you need five stack of Paralytic to get a stun off. It seems reasonably likely that the Paralytic stun will have a different dynamic in PvP than Mace Stun had. If your target is dropping stacks or you aren't able to make consistent enough contact to get stacks on faster than they drop off you may have some trouble getting the stun to land. It will also introduce the dynamic of trying to 'plan' your kidney shots around your Paralytic, so you aren't overlapping stuns.

Also, all of that aside, taking a talent in Mists of Pandara means that you're making trade-offs that you weren't making by taking Mace Spec in Burning Crusade.

On a side-note, I noticed some other, non-poison/shiv related questions in this thread. Please stay on topic guys. I know that it's tempting to jump all over the map (I've done it), but it's best to stay focused. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Fan Art
The World of Warcraft Fan Art Section has been updated with five new pieces of fan artwork.

Diablo 3 Contests - 450 Beta Key
As some of you might know I'm also in charge of these days. We currently have 3 different contests running for a chance to win a Diablo 3 Beta Key!

  • Forum Posts: Once or twice a day, we will select 10 random users with good posts every day to receive beta keys.
  • Facebook: At random times, we will post a trivia question from the Diablo universe. The first 5 people to answer correctly will receive beta keys!
  • Twitter: Just like the Facebook contest, the 5 fastest people to answer a trivia question will receive beta keys.

We also have a 4th contest that will start a little later and will require you to post a Diablo 3 character build of your choice in the contest thread on the forums.

For more details check the contest thread on Diablofans and if you don't want to miss the questions on Facebook and Twitter feel free to follow Diablofans over there, you will have to be very fast if you want to win a key!

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