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by Published on 2011-04-17 07:33 PM

Patch 4.2 Models - Overfiend
Let's continue poking at Patch 4.2 models with what seems to be a new trash mob, the overfiend! It comes in multiple recolors but the only one you will see for the moment is probably the fire version.

Raegwyn - 1 Death Knight vs. 2 Cataclysm Heroic Bosses
Raegwyn was looking for a new way to spend time and decided it would be fun to try to solo an heroic boss, it probably wasn't hard enough because he eventually decided to solo two of them at the same time.

The MMO Report
Let's face it, the first news of the week would be sad without the MMO Report.

Comics - Roles
Nerfnow has an interesting point of view on tanks and healers ...

by Published on 2011-04-16 06:27 AM

Patch 4.2 Models - Lord Anthrycist
Another Patch 4.2 related model was added to the PTR files recently, if you remember the Firelands Raid Preview you probably saw the "Anthricyst Plateau" sub-zone on the minimap.

It seems that it will be the home of a new boss: Lord Anthricyst, who went into exile in the Firelands after seeing his name mispelled way too many times.

New Lore: Council of Three Hammers Story Available!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Already embroiled by its own internal strife, the fledgling Council of Three Hammers is put to its greatest test yet when mounting tensions between the rival Bronzebeard, Wildhammer, and Dark Iron dwarf clans threaten to ignite violence in Ironforge.

The city of Kurdran's ancestors was a simmering cauldron of old prejudice. It churned endlessly, its toxic fumes dissolving whatever logic and reason remained within the Bronzebeard, Wildhammer, and Dark Iron dwarves living together in Ironforge for the first time in over two centuries. And Kurdran was standing at the edge of it all, gazing into its fiery heart with confusion as it grew closer and closer to erupting.

In an unsettling way he felt as if he were still at war with the blood-cursed Horde and trapped on Outland. Yet there were no clear enemies in Ironforge. No crazed demons. No rampaging orcs bent on decimating all life on his world. There were only words.

Blizzard Entertainment is proud to present the latest entry in the "Leaders of Azeroth" short story series: Fire and Iron!

Trading Card Game Art Gallery Now Open
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
We’ve expanded our Media section to include an all-new Trading Card Game art gallery, and are kicking this off by featuring ten spectacular pieces of art that appear in the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, licensed by Cryptozoic Entertainment. Additional collections will be added to the new gallery in the weeks ahead.

The Daily Blink - Selective Hearing
The Daily Blink's view on patch notes ...

by Published on 2011-04-15 03:20 AM

Male/Female Warlock Pets
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
I'm happy to share we actually do have plans for offering players a choice between male and female versions of all warlock demons. This is a task already in our system, though I don't have a time frame for you at the moment. Other art tasks could always take precedence, but we're committed to making this happen.

MovePad in a future content patch
Originally Posted by Nethaera (Blue Tracker)
I wanted to follow-up with a bit more input into this thread with some information that you may find helpful. Awhile back, UI developer Slouken had developed an addon called “MovePad” which would allow people to use the mouse to move around the world with. This is something we are planning to implement as an option in a future content patch. We would also like to encourage everyone to share any additional small script functions or changes that might help make better addons for disabled gamers so that we could look into the feasibility of adding these into the game as well.

Garrosh Hellscream: Then and Now
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Fortified citadels lie in ruins. Once-verdant forests burn brightly in the twilight of the setting sun. And arid stretches of desert, known to have claimed even the hardiest of travelers, now house fertile oases.

The breaking of Azeroth changed a great many things. While the altered landscapes of the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor may be the most noticeable evidence of Deathwing's violent return, many of Azeroth's heroes have also undergone drastic physical and mental transformations of their own.

Some have questioned Thrall's decision to set Garrosh Hellscream into the fiery crucible of Horde leadership, but none can doubt that this Mag'har orc from Outland has charted a course for his people that will change the very face of Azeroth.

As the son of the orc credited with his people's redemption, Garrosh Hellscream has always carried a bitter mantle of duty to his kind. Before learning of his father's ultimate actions against the Burning Legion, Garrosh had borne the shame of Grom Hellscream's corruption and feared that such weakness might be found within himself. When Thrall arrived in Nagrand and showed Garrosh the truth of his father's martyrdom, the Mag'har was transformed. Filled with a renewed sense of strength and confidence, he returned with the warchief to Azeroth to be his advisor. Soon named overlord of the Warsong offensive, Garrosh displayed a courage, tenacity, and hot-bloodedness that both impressed and worried other members of the Horde. These concerns were only heightened after his appointment as warchief, as Garrosh has paid little heed to opinions originating outside of his race.

Hellscream's ascension has been applauded by most orcs, who feel that his brash warrior instincts and unwillingness to negotiate for needed resources are more in tune with the true orc way. While Garrosh appreciates public recognition, even relishes the acceptance amongst these green-skinned orcs, he has little time or patience for ostentatious displays of leadership. His attention is now focused on strengthening the walls of Orgrimmar and providing supplies vital to his people: food, lumber, and the other essentials for living, which are growing scarcer in the recent drought. If these can only be gained through the blood of selfish Alliance dogs, so be it.

Already distrustful of the other branches of the Horde, Garrosh has learned that the various leaders of these factions are more powerful than he had originally estimated. The duel with (and eventual slaying of) High Chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof was costly, as it resulted in a civil war amongst the tauren. The exodus of the Darkspear trolls from Orgrimmar, led by a dissatisfied Vol'jin, has spread the Horde's once-concentrated military mighty thin. And Sylvanas Windrunner, the Dark Lady of the Forsaken, has not been reserved in sharing her low opinion of the new warchief. Garrosh is not one for diplomacy—with the Alliance or even among the members of the Horde—and he is only now realizing the price for this mindset. Whether he sets that at a higher value than his vision for an invigorated, purified Horde is yet to be seen. In the end, some feel that Garrosh Hellscream's ideals will bring about the salvation of the Horde, while others feel he will usher in its downfall.

We'll be examining other key characters' transformations—including those of Anduin Wrynn and Magni Bronzebeard—in the months ahead, so come back soon.

Blizzard Art Gallery Update
The World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Leaders Art galleries have been updated with three pieces representing the Warcraft universe.

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

by Published on 2011-04-14 08:33 PM

Patch 4.1 - PTR Build 13875
A new build is being deployed on PTRs and they will apparently be brought back online. The downtime was most likely the result of a ... small problem with one of the latest Mac build and doesn't mean the patch will hit live servers sooner than we thought.

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Death Knight (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Death Strike now heals for 20% of the damage sustained, up from 15%.

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Swipe now deals 670% weapon damage, up from 335%.

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Improved Hamstring now reduces the global cooldown of Hamstring by 0.3/0.5 sec, down from 0.5/1 sec.
by Published on 2011-04-13 04:57 PM

Ask the Devs - Answers #5: Achievements
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

Q: When will achievements finally be awarded account-wide? – Larosh (Europe [German]), Eneia & Payasos (Europe [Spanish]), Rageudder & Kellgros (Europe [English]), Деадхил (Europe [Russian]), Nyn (North America/ANZ), ****무나 (Korea)

A: Making achievements account-wide is something we'd like to do, but it's not a goal we could provide a current timetable for. All of the original World of Warcraft coding was done with the expectation that the data on every realm would always be independent. Now that we are trying to make as many things as possible account-wide, we’re having to rebuild all of those systems. It is absolutely something we want to do, but it will take a lot of time away from other features.

Q: Will we ever be able to spend our achievement points on something? Or will there be a feature where it will be required to have x amount of points? – Nordicberry (Europe [English]), Hogosha & Wulkuhr (Europe [German]), Neroth (Europe [French]), Kularia (Northa America/ANZ), Trafalgarlaw (Latin America)

A: We want Achievements to remain as an optional thing you can do as bragging rights, or to challenge yourself. As soon as we add any kind of player power, or use them to gate anything, then they feel mandatory for a lot of players. In fact, we think one of the reason achievements are fun is that the drive to complete them is totally up to you, which keeps them (hopefully!) from feeling like a chore. If you want to go after some achievements that's a choice, and choosing not to care about achievements doesn't mean you're making your character less powerful.

We do offer pets, mounts and titles for specific achievements, and we’re unlikely to ever do anything much more “mandatory” than those.

Q: Do you plan to implement more achievements directly linked to professions or classes? – Cith (Europe [French]), Tsuteymanga (Europe [English]), Sergan (Latin America)

A: Until we can do account-wide achievements it would be pretty cruel of us to offer achievements for say Illustrious Grand Master Alchemy, Blacksmithing and Jewelcrafting on the same character. The same is true of classes. The best we could to today would be to have something like “Land a Pyroblast for X damage” and have an equivalent one for all 10 classes, since you could get only one. We do have more room with the guild achievements, since not every task needs to be completed by one player. We’ll continue to look for fun achievements for Cooking, Fishing, First Aid and Archaeology until then.

Q: Will we ever see a change to the Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin exalted achievement /reputation grinds? While normally a fan of time consuming achievements, these two seem to be a tad excessive. Warsong moreso as you can go entire games without gaining any reputation at all. You could in theory lose every AB you ever do, and eventually get exalted at a "reasonable" pace. Perhaps award rep for Flag returns, killing efcs, capping bases, HKs similar to Alteracy Valley, etc. – Idkmybffyata (North America/ANZ), Lunaticheart (Korea)

A: We think those are fine as achievements. They definitely take a huge time commitment, but so do some of the other achievements. And you don’t need to get them for the meta achievements.

Q: As some achievements like The Keymaster and the Shen’dralar reputations have been removed, have you considered creating a Feat of Strength for those achievements or is it possible that we get them back in the future like normal achievements? – Enarhion (Europe [Spanish]), Деадхил (Europe [Russian])

A: We added a Feat for Exalted Shen’dralar rep in 4.1. We’re unlikely to add a Keymaster feat.

We added the Keymaster achievement and then almost immediately decided to deemphasize the existence of keys in the game, and thus removed the achievement. Unfortunately it probably isn't even possible to track who had the older keys now.

Q: Guild Achievements related with professions are much more difficult than other Guild Achievements. Is there any plan to give a chance for small guilds to get those Achievement rewards? –*미** (Korea), Joq (North America/ANZ)

A: We think some of these are way too high and we plan on lowering them to more sane numbers for 4.1. The Pen is Mightier glyph achievement for example would have been reasonable with the old glyph model but is ridiculous today. We were waiting to collect some additional data from guilds currently working on those achievements, but we feel like we have enough information now to lower them. Pen is Mightier for example will go from 25,000 glyphs to 2,500 in 4.1.

Q: I'd like to see the achievement system become more active and dynamic, will we ever see achievements that unlock quest lines, dungeons, or other Easter egg content as a reward for dedicating so much time in Azeroth? – Grandevil (North America/ANZ)

A: Probably not. As we said above, we want Achievements to feel optional. Some players don’t care for the game of collecting pets or mounts, so they still feel like they can opt out of achievements. If there was a cool quest line involved, then players who felt like they could safely ignore achievements in the past would now have to go back and play catch up. If you are doing achievements today, it should be because you like to do them, not because you’re hoping for some additional reward to materialize in the future.

Q: Currently, the achievement rewards are more focused to common tasks, such as raids, events, PvP. Have you considered creating achievements with rewards that ask to do crazy things around the world, like for example, soloing bosses or mobs, or more achievements like the “Jenkins” one, that are meant to do crazy things. – Thodyr (Europe [Spanish]), Khaelthas (Europe [French]), Assmira (Europe [German])

A: We like for achievements to be fun, but we don’t want for players working on achievements to have a huge negative impact on other players. At first glance, soloing a boss mob might sound like a decent achievement. But consider that if the achievement is very easy to do then hitting all those dungeons may just feel like a chore. On the other hand, if it’s challenging to do then we suddenly have to go back and worry about class balance in a way we never had to before. Blood DKs for example excel at soloing older bosses because of their self-healing mechanic, but the same isn't true of most other classes and specs. We try not to have achievements that require you to ask your group to do something really bizarre or not fun. “Run a dungeon without picking up any loot,” would just be frustrating every time you had to debate with your group whether you were going for the achievement or not. “Jenkins” is a fun for a silly achievement, considering its history, but too much of that sort of thing would get tedious pretty quickly.

Q: Will we ever see a "search" feature in the achievement window? That's a lot of achievements to search through if you're looking for something specific. – Grandevil (North America/ANZ), Lonik (Europe [Spanish])

A: Yes, this is something we plan on doing. The current UI makes it hard to find specific achievements. There are several places in the current UI that could benefit from a smarter search.

Q: Will you ever bring back the mounts for achievements that were removed (Naxx Glory runs) as you didn't remove the later mounts? – Joyia (North America/ANZ)

A: This is a tough one. On the one hand, we know there are a lot of players who would still like to get their hands on these mounts. On the other hand, we were pretty clear that they would only be available for a limited time, and we hate to go back on our word because we know some groups went through heroic efforts to get them before the door closed. This is the kind of thing that is not set in stone and player feedback might eventually convince us to change our minds.

Q: The Achievement reward for “What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been” still remains as a purple proto-drake, which is a WotLK model. How about coordinating the color of the reward upon each expansion theme? – Shory (Korea)

A: The issue with meta-achievements like this is deciding how to structure them for the future. Do current players with the achievement just get a new mount every expansion? Do the old mounts go away and the new mount replaces it? Do we require you to just do one additional holiday and now you can get a second mount? We added Long Strange Trip when achievements first went in the game, and we didn’t always do a great job of designing some achievements with expandability in mind. If we had made the Long Strange Trip reward a protodrake at level 80 and then had a new achievement for doing the holidays again at level 85 that rewarded a different drake, then we might have some easily expandable content. We didn’t do that though, and it’s hard to go back and mess with existing achievements, especially ones that were hard to complete.

Q: There are still no Achievements beyond “Collect 75 unique companion pets”. Can I expect a reward for 100 companion pets in the future? – Whitewnd (Korea)

A: Patch 4.1 has achievements for 100 and 125 companions. Those particular achievements don’t reward pets, but we’ll probably do another reward at some tier in the future, perhaps 150 or 200 pets.

Q: Are we going to see more PvP achievements that reward mounts? Currently most of the cool mounts are awarded for PvE achievements. – Demodras (Europe [English])

A: PvP achievements are even trickier to design than PvE achievements because it’s harder to come up with something cool to do that doesn’t make the experience worse for everyone else. You don’t want to see the one dude who is trying to engineer capturing and losing a flag twenty times in one BG just so he can get the achievement for capturing a lot of flags. As a result, many of the PvP achievements are just for winning a lot of Arenas or BGs, which we feel already come with a lot of rewards. On that note, we are adding unique ground mounts to winning Rated Battle Grounds similar to the flying mounts you get for excelling at Arenas.

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