World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2012-09-16 09:50 PM

Demon Hunter 1.0.4 Guide, Diablo Statue, and DPS Calculator for Android

Zone Previews: Krasarang Wilds, Dread Wastes, and Townlong Steppes
As we get closer to Mists of Pandaria, now is a good time to take a look at the new zones. You can find this preview again in the menu at the right side of the navbar. Below are edited videos by BaronSoosdon that adds some eye candy to the zone!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Your tidbits about 10/25 don't do the topic justice at this point. Any chance on a more detailed thought in the near future?
Yeah, it would make a good watercooler / coffee article. Good idea.

How will the mounts from Sha of Anger/Galleon work? Will they be random internal roll chances for players like the other loot?

Challenge Modes
I'm assuming challenge modes won't be able to be done with a friend on Real ID?
I'm pretty sure you can. Battle Tags too.

Do the Challenge Modes have a lockout? Is it possible to restart a run once the timer has started?
You can reset them if you realized you screwed up.

Are Challenge Modes Heroics with a timer or do they come with increased enemy damage and health etc?
Both. The timer won't be very relevant for Bronze. You just need to finish.

Do challenge modes and heroics have separate lockouts?
Challenge modes have no lockout.
They do reward VP
But so do a lot of things and there is a VP cap.

Do you expect players to be able to jump into challenge modes in blues? or will set-bonuses make that non-viable?
Challenge modes are harder than level 90 heroic dungeons and we don't scale gear upwards. Set bonuses also are disabled.

How will trinkets work in challenge mode? Are there a few that will be accepted or will they be scaled some how?
For now they all work.

Based on internal and external testing/feedback, which Challenge Mode dungeon appears to be "hardest" at present?
I'd say Brewery. Scarlet Halls is up there too.

Is the Bag of Gold from LFR in case you win the roll but no loot is available on their loot table or do you get 1 every time?
If you don't win an item, you win gold. All LFR MoP bosses have deep enough loot tables.

So why does LFR exist when it requires little to no effort?
LFR is like a roller coaster. It's not hard but it can be fun.
But it completely removes the purpose of raiding - to see the awesome content. 1.1M drop in subs wasn't just cause of diablo 3
I don't raid just to see the content. I raid to hang out with my friends and strategize to beat the boss. LFR can't do that.

If you're "pushing secondaries", should elixirs be a viable option over flasks?
Have you looked at their stats?

Why do you lie that Raiders don't need LFR when legendaries drop there?
The items that drop in N and H are higher ilevel. RF would at best tide you over a couple of weeks.

Previous Raids / Reasons to Raid / Raid Difficulty
"We took the resources and put them back into FL" Does this mean the official stance on FL is that it was not terrible?
Nope. I was really happy with Firelands.

As we approach MOP and Dragon Soul becomes irrelevant.....will you admit that it's the worst raid to ever be made?
I liked DS. It went on too long as final raids tend to do. There are some things we'd do differently.
I didn't hate DS, and I know we got better since ICC, but DS was also considerably easier and shorter than ICC was.
Not the length of a single raid. The number of months when there was nothing else. The raid itself was probably a little short.
Tell us what you wish you could have done differently other then get MoP out faster
Some new architecture, less teleporting, maybe 1-2 more bosses. Maybe 1-2 more new boss models. More DW in the DW fights. I should add that we are our own harshest critics. That should not be interpreted as we hate the work we do.
People liked the difficulty and the raid when it was fresh and muchness nerfed. The worst raid thing is just boredom
Players drop out of raiding when there is no sense of progression. That can mean too easy or too hard. It's a myth that hard content just inspires people to keep trying. Dedicated players might make 400 attempts. Others just quit.
but simply the fact that the progression through content/gear was interrupted and restarted every patch cycle.
Yeah, when you catch people up too quickly, you do erode the desire to stick with tough challenges. Easier to wait than wipe.
Also, don't nerf Heroics unless you plan to introduce Challenge raids. Heroic-bound raiders don't want it.
Not actually true. Heroic raiders quit when they see no progress after weeks of wiping just like everyone else.
You didn’t Nerf Black Temple or sun well. Pretty sure they are better then any cata raid. Even if they were harder.
They were good raids, but very few players saw them. At the time, things like leveling alts or professions were fun alternatives
(Tweet missing, about leveling alts instead of raiding)
But once you level so many alts, it holds less attraction. Raiding = one of few systems we've come up with that keeps attention. Raids have a good track record for holding player attention so we like letting lots of folks raid.
The top end beats it easily, and the bottom end gets stuck. There has to be something for them to do other than quit.

Bliz likes the idea of more people seeing content because it values the work more.
That's not really it. When players have a lot to do, they want to play. Simple as that. Raids give players a lot to do.
True but you also just confirmed what I said. The strength of BC was the amount of raid content. The present system of raids being obsoleted during their own expansion has caused a dramatic reduction in raid content - and this came about in large part because of the idea of making them more accessible.
I think the strength of BC was it was the first expansion. Making an alt was exciting and new. We didn't need Raid Finder then.
True but why did you need raid finder? What shifted so much in Cata? TBH I believe the benefit 25 mans brought was not realized until most of them went away.
What shifted in Cata was players needed something new to do. For many, raids were something new.

The guards on PvP realms are already weaker than the guards on PvE realms?
Not sure if that change is live. It is on MoP launch for sure.

Why does the bg downranking feature not work correctly?
You can down rank. We didn't say that would do anything. JK it broke at the last sec. We will fix.

Will you ever do something with the 2v2 bracket, since it's a joke or you'll ignore it becuase its hard to balance it?
We don't ignore it but it is hard to balance. Either you are force to have a healer or you don't. We try to go with the latter.

Will there be a rating decay system implemented into arena for mop to prevent teams sitting on rating? Or something similar?
That's always under discussion. We don't like rewarding people to not play. Rating systems always encourage weird behavior.

Will we see options like brown orcs and wildhammer dwarves when you get around to the model updates?
Discussed a lot. We debate whether you would just pick the skin or whether we need to explain why some of them were now available.

Are we ever going to see changes to the blood elf areas and when will i get to fly through silvermoon city!
Fixing Silvermoon would take much longer than fixing Stormwind for much less impact.

Any chance of an Azjol-Nerub raid at some point? Would love to see more of that beautiful art.
Would love to see that too. (This is in no way an announcement of anything.)

My guild recently cleared vanilla and some BC raids. Thoughts on reusing those encounters? I'm sure it's a catch-22.
Yeah, you have to strike the balance between nostalgia and "rehashed content."

Are we ever going to see Path of the Titans?
Still love the idea, but I want to do it right, not some one off-thing. Needs to be a major feature.

Have you guys ever thought about making currency such as JP account wide? It would mimic the D3 system a bit.
We'd consider letting you transfer some. If it is all account level, you wouldn't need to ever play your alt.

Will we ever be able to transmog Legendaries? The amount of time investment to get some of them, deserves it.
Maybe. We don't want to see everyone running around with Sulf. Common legendaries aren't legendary.

Will there be any new melee animations? Especially DKs. Love to get something like 'slam; with DK flavor.
We would like to add new melee animations. No ETA.

He also seems to avoid Q's about Char slots and if they will ever be more then 11 per server
We just went from 10 to 11. Too soon to know if and when we'll increase it.

Terrible rumors of ICC & Ulduar 25 meta mounts being removed. Can you confirm yes or no?
Pretty sure we didn't touch those mounts.
Wonderful rumors of Naxx 10 & 25 meta mounts being returned. Can you confirm yes or no?
We haven't changed them.

Have the "Charm of Good Fortune" been removed or are they still planned to be released.
Charms are alive and kicking.
Could you clarify about Charms of Good Fortune. Only usable in LFR or usable on normal/heroic mode raid bosses too?
All. Boss dies. You decide whether to use a charm for bonus loot. Normal boss loot is distributed however your group does it.

Off the record, how do you feel about player housing at this point?
We've always said we'd want to do it right and want it to have a purpose. Neither is easy.

Is there any future plans to make tabards hidden? Will make it a lot better imo for transmorg?
So you're declaring your allegiance via a tabard, but don't want anyone to know?

You have often say that you dislike the fact sending mails to your alts. Would realm-wide gold be an option in the future?

Have you considered making the Auction House global to help less populated servers with their often dodgy economy?
Potential downsides are not ever being able to corner the market or even recognize regular sellers. I predict it would be less fun for sellers. Maybe easier for buyers, but easy doesn't always mean more fun.
As a resident of Trollbane EU, I can't help asking if that's worse than not having sellers, regular or otherwise.
Just because A > B, doesn't mean A is the best answer.

Have the Devs ever considered a series of class based quests that would reward an evolving class/spec weapon?
Yes. But then we have one less loot reward. The Borderlands devs did a great answer for why you can't build your own gun.

Out of curiosity: What mistakes, design and number wise, did you learn from with DKs that you haven't made with Monks?
Long discussion, but one mistake with DKs is we listened to forum community too much and just kept buffing them before launch.
Also, concerning "buffs" for DKs- did you mean number or concept wise? Curious because of how much of the original DK is gone.
Mostly ability mechanics. Lots of concerns about DKs being kitable until they ended up with crazy CC and ranged attacks. Should clarify that I am *not* blaming players for that. It was all my fault.

Are monks as hard to balance as DKs were?
It's less about the balance and more about the design in general. Players have different expectations without years of tradition.

Any chance of making it so hunters cannot roll need on melee weapons? Saw a tanking sword (+parry/strength) ninja'd by hunter.
We need to expand the smarter Raid Finder loot system to dungeons. Dungeons just know hunters can equip swords.

What do you think of hunters' current status on simcraft?
I don't know how accurate the various specs are in simulation craft. Are you comfortable vouching for its accuracy? Sims overall are better used for improving your rotations or making gear choices than for stack ranking all DPS specs.

When will the warlock/hunter pet agro bug & lack of avoidance be fixed? Been bugged since 5.0.4. Hurting raiding/heroics.
Avoidance works fine except for Wild Imps.

Any plan on making wands able to auto-attack without incuring a GCD? Was this even intended when you made the MH switch?
We don't want wands to be the high dps choice. Daggers and staves still need a purpose. Wands have the same stats as daggers etc. We didn't want them to trump other int weapons.

Are you satisfied with the current tanking paradigm? Specifically, DPS matters, threat doesn't, AoE is easy, manage cooldowns.
As a developer, I like it. As a tank, I want threat to matter but I realize that's not fun for everyone else.

Why the 8 second CD on purify-like abilities? Was there really a problem with them having no CD?
They were spammed instead of being used reactively.

Are you 100% happy with the talent system? Seems some classes have a lot of underwhelming talents while others seem amazing great
Pretty happy, yes. We still see a lot of "X is useless," but we also see a lot of knowledgeable players using them.

When you talk about choices on the forum, what do you mean when you say "interesting choice?"
An "interesting" choice is one without a clearly superior answer. Choosing between 5% haste and 10% haste is not interesting.

I keep asking #monk questions, and no answers! WHY!
Because the answers take more characters than twitter offers.
There are questions all over the beta class forums that are not getting answered either
Believe it or not, my job is not to answer questions. I try to get to them when I can.

Why did you nerf warrior healing by 33.33% when warrior healing is pathetic in comparison to ret and hybrid healing?
Paladins have better heals. Warriors have better movement. Apples to oranges. Compare classes, not abilities IMO.
Apples to oranges? My expectation of your response wasn't high to begin with but I'm very disappointed.
Why? Do you think all classes should have the same amount of self-healing? I'm legitimately curious.
You have a problem
I disagree. It's only a problem if the situation you describe means that the paladin is generally better in PvP.

Does that mean SW is 2%/sec officially? Last I heard you were likely to reverse. No big deal - still works fine - but curious.
SW is 3%. The current healing debuff makes it 2%. Hopefully no debuff at 90. If so, we might need special handling for SW.

Any chance spell plate will be eliminated or more specs will use it?
Would love to get rid of it, but we don't like any of the obvious solutions. Please Twitter don't spam me with obvious solutions.

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Why did you remove Hungering cold from Death knights?
We couldn't balance HC without a cast time, and the cast time felt terrible to a lot of DKs.

What do you have against DW tanking? Miss that on my DK and was hoping it would make a comeback with Monks
Just bandwidth. We went from 3 DK tank specs to 1 because we were spending so much time balancing DKs.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Can you give hunters any sign for quivers ? We would be happy to hear anything about that.
Quivers have been something we have discussed with the character art team for years. Would love to do it. No ETA.
Blizz Dev team said we will get quivers @ blizzcon.why not bring back the quivers which are in since the first day of WoW?
When we removed the bag we lost the ability to display them. We can fix that (and want to) but it's not simple.

I apologize for being annoying but do you not have any info from my question this morning? Throwning weapons never to return?
Unlikely. Throwing weapons aren't handled well by the engine for hunters.

Could you please give us hunters Volley back?
Can you explain how Volley was fun? Channel, snooze, repeat.
Does an ability have to be fun in order to stay in the game?
Ideally, yes. Volley was designed in an era when AE was for Strat rats. Now AE is common and we like to keep you awake.

You noted the rogue spec flavors. Thoughts on hunter spec flavors? Beast guy, Military sniper, Feral woodsman?
Hunters harder. MM and BM emphasize guns or bears, but we've never quite nailed a kit for SV. Currently tricks and traps.

Can BM Hunters be viable tanks? Will we be able to queue LFD as a tank ever?
Would take massive changes to convert a DPS spec to a tank AND be fair to current tanks. Not every BM or Demo wants to be a tank.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Could you please talk to the ww monks regarding FoF rooting us in a raid setting?
Not sure what there is to say. We like it. Some forum posters don't.

Would it be possible to get some of the numerous class based questions from ama answered such as the monk ones
We can consider it. It's very easy for class Qs to just be arguments. "I don't like X. Are you going to change it?"

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Paladins already lost the stam buff that you guys just gave us last week?
Don't think so...

I keep seeing holy pallys topping both dps and heals in bgs as ret it irks me is this intentional or will be fixed?
We hotfixed Holy Shock damage. Need to look at Denounce too.

WoG's proc of divine purpose is extremely high,even cast with 1HP,a macro is made to proc DP then use more WoG or SoR. A bug?
I think there is a bug where WoG can roll for the proc twice.

Currently, WoG with no CD and Bastion of Glory is awesome. But are you going to end up putting CD on it again like 4.0 to 4.1?
No, because all tanks have active mitigation now. The problem before was it would have been a huge buff to paladins alone.

If you don't mind my asking, what was the rationale behind making Consecration prot-only? Was such an iconic 'Paladin' move.
We didn't think Ret had room for it with the shorter cooldowns on J and CS. Ideally, we want 4-5 abilities in rotation.

The recent hotfix to Divine Purpose, does this mean it can no longer proc off itself?
We'll make a forum post on Divine Purpose. It's complicated.

Using free week of WoW. Tanked on Paladin after 1.5 years. Why go back to the clunky rotation from Cata beta? 3sec CS HotR ftw
3 sec CS means every other attack must be a CS. The new rotation gives you more flexibility (and TBH has been more popular).

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
What is your response to people saying that rogues "weren't updated as much as other classes in MoP"?
Our goal isn't to change for the sake of it. We improved poisons and tried to distinguish rotations.

How do you see WoW's rogue? Assassin, Swashbuckler, Thief, Dirty Fighter, or all of the above?
We try to cover those archetypes with the different rogue specs: poisoner, sneaky guy, duelist.

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Why does it feel like you guys ignored shaman and gutted the class? Nothing Synergizes, currently low low dps. Furthering the point: they actually do less things than they did before.
Players always tell us we ignore *their* class. In what circumstances (85, 90, PvP) is your dps low? You mean stuff like losing Strength of Earth and gaining Capacitor? What specifically do you miss?

What happened to cool shaman totems like repulsion totem? did they just not work or did you just not love shamans anymore?
Repulsion specifically had too many tech issues. It would have been easy for other players to cheat.

Elemental fury doesn't work on such magic damage like enchanting or trinkets
Ele Fury modifies spells by school, so it won't apply to effects that aren't shaman spells.

That make the 4pt14 useless for us ( Tidal Waves always up )
We think this is a fair concern. We'd consider changing the set bonus slightly - still Tidal Waves but in a different way.

Have you considered removing SLT? It's pretty clear many dps shaman hate being balanced to a totem and other players actions.
We like Spirit Link Totem and don't balance Elemental damage around its utility.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
What are your thoughts on Crit > STR for Warriors in stat weight values as Arms & Fury, were the #'s balanced around this?
You rarely choose Str vs. crit for gear except for gems, and we're pushing the secondaries a lot anyway in MoP.

I think you focus too much PvE balance on raids & numbers and overlook the rest.
We balance for raids and PvP because that's where tuning matters the most. We design for ALL aspects of the game though.

Do you plan raids to be completed in an amount of time or is that not a factor to consider?
How many hours for one run or how many weeks the content lasts?

Any attention going to be given to low-level dungeons? These need to be a learning experience again, rather than "gogogo."
Not sure I agree. When low level dungeons are hard, folks just skip them, because we can't make the loot motivating enough.

Any idea what the plan is before raids in MoP will be Real ID friendly?
Will likely be that you can do previous tier cross realm. You can do DS now. When 2nd MoP tier comes out, you can do 1st.
Would you be able to clarify on Cross Realm Raids - We'll not be able to use it for ''current'' content?
Correct. You can do it for current tier -1. I did it last night with a friends's guild. Very cool.
After CRZ release do we have any chance to get RealID raids for actual content?
Let's see how it goes. Cross realm is cool but so is having an actual guild on your realm.

Will cross-realm zones be active in Pandaria zones on release? I feel like this could mess with realm first achievements.
No, they will not.
Will we be able to quest with friends cross realm in Pandaria as soon as it comes out?
Yes, assuming you mean Real ID or Battle Tag friends. I think playing with friends is one of the big sleeper features for MoP.

Quick Q about it intended for people on diff server types (PVE/PVP) to be able to quest with one another? Or a bug?
If you invite them, they can join your realm. You should never be merged PvP to PvE or RP at random. Inviting the PvP players to a PvE realm doesn't let them gank you.

Any ETA on that post that was mentioned during the AMA re: CRZ? lotsa vague references to "misinformation" but nothing yet
Still coming AFAIK.

Will Pandarens, more specifically monks be able to group with other races before lvl 10 as they have no faction until then?
There are no other races on the Wandering Isle. You can group with other (non-aligned) pandaren if you'd like.

Why can't you ignore players on other realms?
We will get ignore and report working ASAP. /who is tougher but we want to get that eventually too.

Hey GC, can we please have a "Every Woman for Herself" racial on Human Females? It's so weird to click it as "Himself"
TBH it bugs me too.

Any Reason Why "Blue Banner" Achievements don't credit their points to other characters? - seems wrong
Those are account level achievements. Your whole account should get them and the points.
In which case I'd expect to see a new character start with a total above 0 in the guild roster listing - right?
Might need to log in with each character to get the achievement points totaled correctly. But yes. Guild UI may not be updated.
Lovin the 5.x changes. Achieves account-wide = awesome BUT in guild panel it shows indiv toon points. Will you fix?
Yeah, we just overlooked that.

Any plans to make classic PvP titles and transmog account wide?
Not at the current time no.

You mentioned the other day that you'll be able to get multiple legendary gems. Is that a long process? Or should players hold off on slotting the gem if they think they're going to get the next version soon (e.g. a couple weeks)?
It was in the AMA. Think of it like a faction, with the gems at revered or whatever.
Will the legendary gem quest be for every raider in the raid, at same time?
Yes. We didn't want the politics and competition. Trying not to spoil it all.

When are you guys gonna repair the pet journal bug so I only have 1 copy of the pet?
Not a bug. You can sell the others. Seemed mean to delete pets if someone had them on each character.

Will we have to re-log at midnight for MOP launch to start getting XP?
The plan is no. /crosses fingers.

Have you looked at profession leveling. With leveling improvements it now takes a dedicated grind to keep a profession up
Check out Cooking and Inscription in MoP. Those are examples of ways we can improve catch up for all professions.

Did opening up the beta to (I'm assuming) so many more people help you guys or was it just to give people a preview of MoP?
No, it helped. Beta is not just about player feedback but also about what we observe with so many players playing.
Was patch 5.0.4 kind of an open beta for MoP?
We do like to have a few weeks to catch systems issues before the new content appears. Like a "soft opening" for a restaurant.

What's the official pronunciation: PAN-da-ren? pan-DAR-en? pan-DARE-en? Ditto for the continent name
We use pan-DARE-en and pan-DARE-ee-a (as I said before, like "bacteria").

How can you be proud of the way the armor looks in MoP? the armor looks like crap, hire a new art team already
Are you suggesting art is subjective?!

Was Ulduar always meant to host yogg saron?
IIRC he was originally in the Azjol raid. Ulduar merged with it. I might be misremembering.
If Yogg wasn't originally meant to be the end boss of Ulduar, who was?
Could have been Loken, or the four, or maybe we just hadn't gotten there yet. Really cant remember too well.

Sargeras coming back in a Kael'thas fashion. Emerald dream was cut with a the book. Any hints? is Sargeras lurking, biding?
Sargeras is out there. Burning Legion grows in strength. While Azeroth is focused on war, some already look ahead to that fight.

As a team, how do you decide how to balance change for people who hate change and people who thrive on it?
We debate that a lot. One way is to have some classes not change much.

Have you considered doing detailed feedback/discussion sessions with players about particular specs or one class at a time?
Problem is it builds up so much expectation. Whoever is last has to wait months, which then easily leads to disappointment.

Please note that my QQ comes from love of my class, not hatred of the game
Player passion is a good problem for developers to have.
You've taken a ridiculous amount of abuse over the years. Do you sometimes wonder "why do I bother?"
No. I love my job. Having passionate players is a privilege not a burden.

The best thing about having you on twitter is the eu fan base can finally interact with you.

Will Blizz ever make Naga a playable race? Is the whole naga riding mounts the reason why they havent yet?
It's hard to fit legs or boots on naga...

Will the date for the SoR change any time soon?
I haven't tweeted about SoR or RaF because I don't want to get the details wrong off the top of my head. Not trying to ignore anyone. Some tweets are areas outside my realm of expertise or I feel have been beat to death in forums.

Could we please get a search bar for mount page similar to the one on the companion page? Would be brilliant.
Yeah we need one.

Is there a specific design philosophy behind vanity items/toys being short lived with long cooldowns?
In general, they can have big visuals which are annoying (and maybe less special) if spammed.

I know this is very subjective... but can you please explain what makes RNG fun? It's seems so much more frustrating than fun.
RNG is a barrier for players to overcome. I often describe it as the curves that make a racing game interesting.

Do you plan on reviving the mystery of WoW? Still remember getting no mans land in hyjal and thinking "what will it be?
Players are so good at documenting and data-mining everything now that it is certainly a challenge to maintain mystery.

Am I going to have to play FarmVille to get Tillers rep?
We'd prefer you play World of Warcraft to get Tillers rep.

Do you visit MMO-Champion and if so do you troll people on there.
I visit most active WoW sites and forums. I never post as a normal dude.

How much time do you (and the others) spend on trawling other sites (e.g. EJ and maintankadin) for opinions with higher STNR?
A lot. We find players are more honest outside of our own forums.

Have you ever played Wow on a public server with players who didn't know it was Ghostcrawler they were playing with?
Yes. Without sounding vain, it's funny when they quote me to me.
Is it funny when they misquote you, and you can instantly correct them?
No, I ususally say "He sounds like a clueless jerk."

Do you like being the face of blizzard to players?
Honestly, no, just because it doesn't give enough credit to all of the other people that pour their souls into the game.

Do you plan on remaining active (ie posting stuff) on the forums after MoP goes live?
Unlikely. I can't give the forums the amount of attention players seem to need. Too much "You're ignoring my class" or "You answered the wrong thread.
While we can't replace Ghostcrawler the community team will still be there and will keep relaying his wisdom.
Can't stress what Neth says enough.

Good to see ya on the tweets. Love how your to the point and say how you see it. Question whats your fav expantion.
Have a soft spot for BC because I was just one of the guys at a midnight launch standing in line.

I've found this "Twitter" challenges my verbosity. Does it suck seeing great questions and not having room to reply?
Yes, but it is liberating in a way too. Players have no expectations of gigantic answers to every bullet.

You've said a thick skin is necessary, but do you ever get tired of the conspiracy theories? (like the current 'plays mage')
I'd say the annoying ones are the ones that persist, almost to the urban legend degree (e.g. BK dictating class design).

Just curious but when did you get employed by Blizzard?
I started on Sunwell.

If you mind elaborating, what's your definition of "casual"? has it to do with regularity or quantity of playing time?
It's not a great term. It's hard to play WoW a lot and not become hardcore to some degree. By "casual raiders" I usually mean folks who might raid only a couple of hours a week or regularly skip a lot of weeks. It's fine if they don't progress as fast as 3 night a week raiders, but they do need to progress (or they stop playing).

What is your favorite mount? You can pick one land and one flying!
I'm partial to the nether rays. For ground, I might say the Grand Expedition Yak, because I worked on it a lot.

I know you have a personal vendetta against warriors but please dont nerf them... Nerf something op like a mage
I find that arbitrarily nerfing classes I personally don't like is good for the longevity of the game. I actually don't. It's just easier for the internet to explain things they don't like that way. I know I sound like an ass, but don't you think I'd lose my job if I designed solely for my own classes? It's not logical.

Just out of curiosity, what classes you personally don't like?
If history is any indication, whichever one you are playing.

I certainly noticed in the class Q&A @ Blizzcon that one dev answered the DK and Druid Qs, others for other classes etc
It's hard for every designer to play every class equally, but we all contribute to design. It's a group effort.
That explains why GC answered the mage questions
I don't play mage.

What is your favorite piece of pandaria lore/storyline? Did anything suprise you as you tested the expansion?
I really liked the Emperor Shouhou story Kosak came up with. Feels a lot like mythology in a good way. Surprise. Hmm. Maybe that Lili was fun to have around when she could have been annoying. Oh and for a time Snowblossom was probably unbeatable. We called her the Destoyer of Men.

What is your dream race/class combo that currently doesn't exist in the game? (Either because it's not allowed or not in game)
Dwarf lock and druid troll were my dream, and we got them in. Pandaren & Blood Elf druid and gnome hunter & pal are most common requests. BE druid doesn't make sense from lore. It makes sense from Horde players who want a pretty druid. (Not judging.)

If you could play any race in WoW lore, what would it be? Why?
I've always been partial to orcs. Also liked the nelfs when they were fierce.

From a design perspective what has been your favorite raid boss encounter?
Design: Mimiron. To tank: Deathwhisper (or maybe Razorgore). To heal: Chimaeron. To DPS: New Rag.
Not sure I agree with either Deathwhisper or Razergore being fun to tank. Alys and Nef were better imo.
I meant the adds on both those fights if it wasn't obvious.

I used to really dislike you but your tweetreplies over the last couple of days made me reconsider. (and I even play a warrior)
Twitter is probably a better reflection of one's personality than forum posts.

I used to think you thought of your job as work. But reading your tweets makes it look like you really love it.
Yes, I do. It's not always an easy job, but I am very fortunate to have one I love.

Does it bother you that most people's frustrations with WoW involves self induced burnout?
Actually a little. I can understand them getting burned out but I wish they recognized that.

Here's a non-typical question: If you could make a perfect costume for your favorite character at Blizzcon, what would you be?
Sha of Fear.

How do you deal with all the negativity?

How about some hard hitting questions then. Tea or Coffee when working? (Or something different altogether?)
I drink an unhealthy amount of coffee.

A shot for each negative comment you get. Take one that negates the 1st shot for every positive comment you get: how drunk?
I'd be dead.

Many Chinese players don't like you, one even said would kill you if he went to US. So how do you get thru these harsh words?
I meet with Chinese players at China Joy. They are always excited and gracious. So I don't know what the concerns are you mention.
Not always. From where I came, is a large Chinese WoW based forum. People there just blame everything they don't like on you.
Well, that's fair, but I need to know what they don't like in order to have a chance to fix it.
Shall we retranslate Chinese players' comments back to you? Some of them are pretty insulting.
Insults aren't helpful. Concerns they have that we can address are.

Do you guys get angry about that sort of criticism?
It's hard for us to get angry when the criticism has the goal of improving the game.

Greg, as you worked on RTS design before, any role on SC2 so far for you? Testing or advising?
I do a SC2 strike team too (see answer about D3). Not sure those guys need my advice.

Hey GC, what kind of college courses would you recommend for someone planning on becoming a video game developer/designer?
Depends a lot on whether you're looking at art, code or design. There are a few design schools, but almost any major will work.

How did you transition from your PhD to game design? Am a social sci doctor (PsyD) who wants to career change but how to start?
I read a lot about the industry and what studios were hiring. The trick is to make yourself stand out and networking trumps all.

Behind the Design of Mists of Pandaria
If the tweets aren't enough for you, The Escapist has a nice interview with Ghostcrawler about the thought process behind different aspects of the Mists of Pandaria design.

Curse Weekly Roundup
Pico brings us the weekly gaming news including: the November 18th launch of the WiiU, Guild Wars 2 sells 2 million copies, Steam Greenlight project is a go, Minecraft XBox 360 updates, Terraria comes to XBLA and PSN, and finally new NVIDIA GPUs have arrived!

by Published on 2012-09-15 06:34 AM

Scheduled Maintenance, Puzzle Ring - So Many Goblins, Build Diversity & Skill Hotswapping, Poll

Patch 5.0.5 Hotfixes - September 14
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Here you'll find a list of hotfixes that address various issues related to the recently released World of Warcraft patch 5.0.5. Hotfixes are updates we make on our end without requiring you to download a new patch. Some of the hotfixes below went live the moment they were implemented, while others may require your realm to be restarted to go into effect. Please keep in mind that some issues cannot be addressed without a client-side patch update. We will continue to update this list in the days to come as additional hotfixes are applied.

  • Talents can no longer be removed if they are currently on cooldown.


Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Druids under the effect of Dash no longer gain the Stampeding Roar buff from other Druids.
  • Eclipse should no longer provide bonus damage after it fades.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • The Devilsaur Hunter pet ability Terrifying Roar should no longer apply to player pets or guardians.

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Pyroblast and Combustion should combine to do the expected amount of damage and critical damage.
  • The initial damage of Combustion is now properly affected by Shatter, increasing its crit chance accordingly.
  • Cauterize can now only absorb up to twice the mages's maximum health.
  • Glyphed Inferno Blast should properly apply the Pyromaniac debuff.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Holy Paladins should now get the intended 15% bonus to spell hit.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Shadow Word: Pain should now interrupt flag captures and other similar processes with its initial damage (but not it's periodic damage over time).

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Crimson Tempest should now stack correctly with Sanguinary Veins and Mastery: Executioner.
  • Cheat Death can now only absorb up to twice the rogue's maximum health.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Shadowburn should always return a Burning Ember when it instantly kills the warlock's target.
  • Soul Leech now causes Fel Flame to heal the Warlock for 10% of damage dealt in all three specs.
  • Fel Armor now increases Warlock's health by 10%.

Dungeons and Raids

  • The level requirement for use of a number of elixirs has been fixed.

  • Players are now able to complete the quest Mimicking Nature's Call by using the Carved Horn near the frozen waterfall in Howling Fjord.
  • The quest objective for Call of Duty should again require that players "Ride the mercenary ship to Vashj'ir".

Bug Fixes
  • Level 10 characters logging into patch 5.0.5 for the first time will now learn Control Pet and Control Demon properly.
  • Death Knights advanced via a scroll of resurrection should now receive all level appropriate abilities including Death Gate and the two unique mounts: the Deathcharger and the Winged Steed.
  • In the Gilneas starting area, Lady Sylvanas' health has been returned to normal.

Vale of Eternal Blossoms Zone Preview
As we get closer to Mists of Pandaria, now is a good time to take a look at the new zones. You can find this preview again in the menu at the right side of the navbar. Below is an edited video by BaronSoosdon that adds some eye candy to the zone, let us know what you think!

Kun-Lai Summit Zone Preview
As we get closer to Mists of Pandaria, now is a good time to take a look at the new zones. You can find this preview again in the menu at the right side of the navbar. Below is an edited video by BaronSoosdon that adds some eye candy to the zone, let us know what you think!

EU Community Q&A
Blizzard sent out answers to a number of questions to the EU fansites, and you can find the full list on WoWSource. We have selected some of the more interesting questions below.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Q: Do you plan to implement more new functions in the BG UI, like tag as team button, categorize BGs by type (CTF, Payload, Murder Ball, etc.) to make BGs even easier to get into for MoP?
A: No current plans to adjust any of the Battleground UI features.

Q: What are you doing in order to try and ensure that players no longer play for a short while at the start of a season and then sit on their ratings to get gladiator? This causes issues because there are quite often very few players playing at higher ratings because of this and it creates a repetitive experience of fighting the same teams constantly.
A: It's really difficult to measure this type of thing right now, but we don't ordinarily see large numbers of players making a habit out of achieving a rating and sitting there successfully without playing.

Q: Ever since the transmogrification feature has been added to the game, players seem to be more concerned with their character’s appearance. Since so many tabards give such good buffs, players feel “obligated” to use them, even if it ruins their character’s look. Having said that, do you have any plans for adding an interface option to “Hide Tabard”?
A: The reason we haven't allowed tabards to be hidden is because the very idea of a tabard is to allow the wearer to proudly display the faction or guild they're representing. With that being said, we know that tying bonuses to tabards creates the feeling of a mandate to wear some of them. We're fixing this in Mists by removing the whole concept of tabards providing reputation bonuses. Reputation and factions work a bit differently than those in past expansions. Beyond tabards which provide reputation bonuses, there aren't really any other tabards players should feel obligated to wear for an extended period.

Q: Does the current account-wide achievement/mounts/pets tech allow you to also have account-wide attunements if desired in the future? (Although we don’t have attunement questlines anymore).
A: We don't have any plans to bring attunements back, nor is there any intention to somehow share quests across characters. There are points where we have to draw the line and say "this is something you have to earn at the character level." We don't want to pull too much meaning from the act of rolling alts.

Q: Looking back, are you happy with the moment at which the debuff was introduced in Dragon Soul? (Some players feel it happened too early.)
A: Yes, we're happy with the point at which the debuff was introduced. The timing of each nerf was completely data-driven. As we see participation and progress start to flatline across the board due to raid groups hitting "brick walls" on particular bosses, we introduce a nerf to encourage them to come back and keep trying. Each time we do this we see Dragon Soul participation increase exponentially compared to previous weeks.

The most advanced raiders who can work through a single progression block for weeks a time, or who aren't stopped by such blocks for very long, will probably never see eye to eye with us on these nerfs. They perceive it as nerfs to content that's already doable. But as we've said in the past, it's not reasonable to ask the majority of casual riders who'd like to progress through normal (and maybe some Heroic) to wipe on the same boss for weeks or months at a time without giving up. It's better for the overall community for us to make goals feel more attainable over time before they become discouraged and stop playing, particularly during long content lulls like the one between Dragon Soul and Mists of Pandaria.

Q: Players on low population realms are very concerned that the cross realm zones won’t alleviate their troubles. They point out that the cities will still feel empty and the economy will not be improved, and they do not see that guild recruitment will become any easier. Do you have any plans to address these concerns?
A: We recognize that the cross-realm zone feature won't solve all population and balance issues. With that said, we're anxious to see what effects it does have, and we'll be monitoring realm population and faction balance very carefully.

Q: What's the reasoning behind removing the Auction House from Pandaria?
A: Firstly, we want to ensure our servers are stable. The Pandaria hub will be a very crowded area. Ultimately, we think the model for TBC and WotLK worked okay, so we don't foresee any major issues with requiring players to return to capital cities to use the AH. This also helps keep the capitals from being ghost towns.

Q: With cross-realm questing coming in MoP, will elite quests be re-introduced?
A: No, we don't have plans to bring back elite or group quests in Pandaria zones. Scenarios are designed to somewhat replace the need for those quests, while also providing a matchmaking, cross-realm option to solve the problem of players not being able to find groups for elite quests if they miss the initial game release leveling rush.

Q: Many raiders ask for more recognition (feats of strength, achievements, cosmetic rewards, pets, mounts, titles, etc.) for completing dungeons before debuffs are enabled. Have you given this anymore consideration for Mists?
A: Yes, this is what the new "Cutting Edge" feat of strength is intended to accomplish. This feat of strength will only be obtainable when players complete the content before any debuffs are introduced to nerf the content, or before the next raid tier becomes available. We'll see how it goes, but the idea is to stick with this type of reward structure for future raid tiers.

Q: Can you elaborate on how the raid progression (gear-wise) will look in Mists of Pandaria? Some players wonder if having LFR right from the start means we might see a progression system that requires players to start on Tier 14 and progress from there, or if there’ll be new heroics and gear that will allow players to bypass older raid tiers, as in Cataclysm and Wrath of the Lich King.
A: Each new LFR tier will have an increased minimum ilevel requirement, so there will be sort of a natural progression path there further in the lifespan of the expansion. Players will conceivably run Heroic dungeons to gear up enough to hit the minimum ilevel for the first tier of LFR, then collect enough gear to be eligible for the second tier of LFR, and so on. That said, it won't be mandatory for every player to progress this way, particularly if they run normal or Heroic raids. We're not yet ready to talk about the potential for additional Heroic 5-player dungeons with higher ilevel requirements coming in future Mists patches.

Q: Players with heirlooms in low level BGs can, quite frankly, trounce anyone in questing gear, and this is highly frustrating for new players and those who don’t have heirlooms. Seeing that ‘twinks’ were moved to their own BG queues for also having a massively unfair advantage over regularly geared players, are you considering doing something about this situation too?
A: Heirloom gear is basically the equivalent of rare-quality items at any given level. It doesn't feel right to nerf them somehow in PvP when people can run low-level dungeons for similar gear. Players competing with heirloom gear in Battlegrounds will still continue to gain experience if they don't branch off into the "twink" queue.

Q: From a lore aspect, how do you feel the three dragon soul dungeons turned out? Some players were surprised to see Benedictus’ story play out the way it did as no one really anticipated seeing that twist.
A: We originally wanted more story hooks to really highlight Benedictus's betrayal. Unfortunately, we didn't end up having the time to build his character out as much as we had hoped.

Q: In BC, 5-man dungeons were replete with missions that appeared to be heavily lore-centric; this was not felt too much with Cataclysm. Is there anything in the pipeline to add more lore-based and engaging content in regular dungeons for current or future content?
A: We don't feel like dungeon quests really served the purpose they were meant to. They didn't really help advance the story and sometimes just added an unnecessary feeling of gating. These days we try to do a better job of telling the story of various dungeons by nicely tying the lore to the zones in which the dungeons reside. A great example of this in Mists of Pandaria is the quests in Valley of the Four Winds really paving the way for what's happening in Stormstout Brewery.

Q: Can you explain our stance on the difficulty of the leveling experience? Many players, having been around for some time, feel that low-level content is too easy beyond level 20 and should increase in difficulty over time (they cite lack of elite packs, no more group quests, gear optimization, etc).
A: We agree that the low-level experience is a little too easy at times. We wanted to make sure we weren't scaring new players off, but we don't want to bore people either. There needs to be some fear of death. We've been going through and working to increase spawn points and try to make the world feel more dangerous in certain places (particularly 1-20). We don't want to make it frustrating, but people should notice in the 85-90 zones that much more attention needs to be paid to how their characters are positioned, what other creatures are around them, how many creatures they can take on at once, how creature pathing could put them in harm's way, etc.

Q: Some players had great experiences with things such as the Chess Event in Karazhan and the Ulduar Siege encounter in Wrath patch 3.1. Are there any plans to add additional interactive encounters such as these in future raids?
A: Whenever it makes sense we'll certainly try to do more unique events like these. They're a lot of work, but they're definitely a lot of fun too. The chess event, for example, was an idea one developer worked through on his own time and had a decent mock-up ready to present to the dungeon encounter team. He saw it through and it was awesome, so we added it to the game.

Q: Regarding LFR, is it your intention to make LFR completely uninteresting for hardcore raiders so that they don’t ever want to go there with their main characters? Some people dislike the idea of having to go through LFR to get some upgrades and claim that even if the chance of getting and upgrading gear is smaller than before, most guilds will always go there if there is any chance at all of getting the slightest competitive advantage from it.
A: While we would prefer that LFR not be part of the progression path for people who are doing the content on normal/Heroic with organized guilds, we understand that competitive raiders will take every possible advantage, and that when everyone is starting in dungeon blues, they will take any possible upgrade they can get. We’ve made adjustments to the loot system that curb some of the more onerous practices (i.e. doing a dozen guild runs to optimize LFR loot allocation). We’ll structure the power level of future tiers’ LFR loot so that it doesn’t replace Heroic gear from the prior raid, and we’re continuing to discuss other solutions internally to limit the pressure for competitive raiders to run LFR. That said, there are some positive community effects when groups of guildmates hop into the LFR queue, and are able to lead and share knowledge about the encounters with the core LFR audience.

Q: When will we update the Zergling Leash model to get it more in-line with the HotS models?
A: We have no plans at this time. It’s not a simple model port from game to game.

Q: People would like to see more ways to teach other players how to become better at PvP, especially in the battlegrounds. Many people feel that game really needs more tutorial systems and tooltips that could help newcomers or "weak/unskilled" become better players. What are your thoughts on this, and is it something you would consider for the game?
A: We want to make an effort to make BGs easier to learn. At some point we want to do Dungeon Journal-type entries that explain the lore and basic strategies of each map. Eventually we’d like to elaborate on that by having fly-through videos that demo what each BG is all about. We might do more queue separation as well based on gear quality, if we can avoid inflating wait times.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Stormstout Brewery Challenge Mode Event
The barrels are bugged and we're working on a hotfix for them.

In general, in Challenge modes we try to remove randomness, because we don't want external factors to have an undue influence on completion time, and we definitely don't ever want people to be 80% of the way through a clear and say, "Oh, the boss spawned with the wrong set of abilities, reset and try again."

On Normal and Heroic, Yan-Zhu picks three random abilities out of a possible six. On Challenge mode, we've pre-selected the same set of three abilities every time.

Similarly, in Mogu'shan Palace, the Trial of the King encounter normally randomizes the order of the bosses, and Raigonn in Gate of the Setting Sun randomizes the order of the adds he summons, but in Challenge mode those are all set to specific orders. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Theramore Scenario Item Level Requirement
Thank you for giving us some much needed answers Neth!!! Appreciate it!
I just went back to verify this further to make sure I wasn't giving incorrect information. (Sorry for the confusion folks.) There is also an item level that goes with it. At level 85 Theramore's Fall is set to item level 353. At level 90 the item level is currently set for 425.

If you're not at the correct item level for the level 85 scenario when it goes live, you still have some time before it releases (Sept. 18) and it will be running for a week at that level before it goes to level 90. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Challenge Mode Stats Normalization
The explanation can get a bit technical, but basically no, you don't need a separate set of gear for challenge modes.

When your gear is scaled down, we keep your hit and expertise % the same, and if needed, subtract extra from your other ratings while keeping their proportions the same. It's also worth noting that we've added 1 level to every enemy in challenge mode dungeons, so that the bosses are 93 instead of 92.

These numbers aren't accurate, but just to illustrate how it'll work: If you have 15% hit, 10% crit, 10% haste, and 10% mastery, and your gear needs to be scaled down by 20% to reach the normalization threshold, normally you might expect your stats to go down to 12% hit, 8% crit, 8% haste and 8% mastery. Instead you'll end up at 15% hit, 7% crit, 7% haste, and 7% mastery. (I know that not all stats require the same ratings so this isn't precise, but hopefully you get the idea.)

Now, I did lie a little bit: If you're very precisely trying to hit some haste breakpoints for your spec, you may end up wanting to keep a separate set of challenge mode gear, but that's the sort of behavior we expect from people who already have Gold and are trying to improve their time by a second or two for realm/region leaderboard bragging rights. But the impact of a stat point or two here or there is going to be trivial compared to basic things like how your group handles patrols, how much or little crowd control you choose to use, and so forth. If you think back to something like the original Zul'Aman bear run, success or failure was never a matter of having 1% extra crit or not; it was more typically a product of whether you let that scout make it to the drums, or whether you got too reckless and wiped to one of the bosses. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Healing Balance
Hello my fellow life menders and givers,

Most of the tuning that has been done so far has been focused on level 90, that's why sometimes we may see a few abilities that are clearly too good at lower levels. (Holy Shock comes to mind, and this one has already been hotfixed).
We’re not focusing our efforts in balancing abilities prior to Mists, the most important thing right now is that we get everything tuned correctly for the new MoP content and particularly for level 90. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

D3 Poll: Should Skill Swapping Reset NV Buff?
If you need some context, take a look at this blue post!

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

by Published on 2012-09-14 07:53 AM

Paragon Levels Now on Character Profiles, Blue Posts, SMS Protect: Have You Heard?, The Voices of Diablo III, Part One

Valley of the Four Winds Zone Preview
As we get closer to Mists of Pandaria, now is a good time to take a look at the new zones. You can find this preview again in the menu at the right side of the navbar. Below is an edited video by BaronSoosdon that adds some eye candy to the zone, let us know what you think!

Jade Forest Zone Preview
As we get closer to Mists of Pandaria, now is a good time to take a look at the new zones. You can find this preview again in the menu at the right side of the navbar. Below is an edited video by BaronSoosdon that adds some eye candy to the zone, let us know what you think!

Now Testing Stormstout Brewery Challenge Mode
Blizzard has talked about Challenge Modes a lot recently, so now is your chance to try them out and see how difficult they are!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We've enabled Challenge Mode in the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria beta for Stormstout Brewery. We'd like to see as many players as possible challenge the dungeon to score your fastest times, and join us in discussing this new aspect of the game in this thread.

Here are the key things to know about this Challenge Mode test:

  • To participate, characters must have completed at least one run of the Heroic Stormstout Brewery dungeon.
  • Characters that meet that requirement will be able to set the difficulty to Challenge from the contextual unitframe dropdown and zone into Stormstout Brewery with your pre-formed party of five.
  • There is no queuing for Challenge Mode dungeons.
  • Inside, you’ll experience a more challenging version of the instance, with a timed run that begins the moment you interact with the Challenge Orb in front of you at the entrance.
  • Your gear will be normalized to item level 463, even if you have inferior gear on your beta character. (Note: This is only a beta feature. On live realms, gear won’t scale up, only down.)
  • Anyone with a level-90 on a beta realm can participate.
  • You can reset the dungeon and restart the timer mid-run if you make a mistake and feel you can do better. Simply have your leader right-click on his/her character unit frame and select the Reset option from the contextual drop-down while inside the instance.

This test will likely end late Monday, September 17. We're working on producing some non-official, test-only leaderboards for you, but don't forget -- there are going to be full-fledged, Armory-based leaderboards for Challenge Modes after Mists of Pandaria goes live.

We want players to race through the dungeon and try to get the best time possible. For many groups, simply finishing the dungeon will be challenging and an accomplishment. That’s fine, and we’d love to hear from you. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
WoW Losing Its Social Aspect
I recently did RaF with my girlfriend and I realized how less social WoW is now. I realized this when she kept telling me how boring it was when she was on because she didn't know anyone. Back when I started playing, there was no cross-realm and you had to ask trade chat to join groups to do dungeons, which you actually had to communicate in. You needed to join a good active guild to survive well. My point is you had to be social and make friends to truly play the game. It's difficult to find social groups besides guilds.

To Blizzard: Do you intend on bringing any of this some what mandatory socialization back to the game?

There are still many facets of the game where socializing and communicating are mandatory. While maintaining the MMO nature, what we've been doing over the years is work to provide something for people to do when they don't have a lot of friends online, or not a lot of people on their realm who are willing or able to run a dungeon, or a Battleground.

This game has always had a broad appeal. We're committed to striking a balance between very social gameplay, and progression on a more individual level. We work to create systems to support different play styles so that, ideally, you get to choose how you want to spend your time in the game -- knowing that you progressed your character in some fashion by the time you log out.

The thing is, it's always easy to forget that WoW is a delicate balance of opposing pressures. While we sit here remembering the time when we had long bonding dungeon crawls on realms where people knew each other and reputation mattered... there are also people who post here who just want the quick runs. They don't want to wait on others, they don't want a long crawl, they don't want to teach - they just want to play. Who is to really say who is right?
From my own perspective, I've certainly been in plenty of Dungeon Finder groups were there was virtually no communication -- though sometimes watching avatar body language, rare pets being pulled out, etc. brings about this funny sense of communication even in a virtual world. Yet, even in most of those relatively silent dungeon runs, I still had a great time playing the game. I definitely don't feel like it's the equivalent of playing alone when I'm a group. I still do my part and am happy to socialize if anyone in the group seems down for it. I just tend to be shy and not always initiate conversation myself.

And I'll continue to do that in Mists. But I'm also looking forward to joining with a set group of people, traveling to an instance location out in the world, and zoning in for Challenge Modes. I'll just have more choices on any given night of queuing for something, or joining friends/guild mates to tackle content that requires more of a coordinated strategy. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Theramore Scenario Requirements
You just need two other level 85 friends of any class to do it (for the first week it's out). After that, it just goes to 90 and it will work the same. (Only needs three people.)

So it could just be 3 dps & we'd be fine?
Any three classes. The speed at which you complete the Scenario may vary based on that (slightly) but they are designed to be run by any class combination.

Your ticket to ride is your level. If you don't have anyone to go into the Scenario with, we can provide people to group with via the queue. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Cross-Realm Challenge Modes
Will challenge modes be cross realm?

If Challenge Modes can be done cross-realm, I think we need a region ranking system (US, EU, etc) instead of realm. It would make more sense.
Leaderboards will also display information on a regionwide basis as well as by realm. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Challenge Mode Difficulty
Wait, so I cannot queue up Looking For a Challenge (LFC)? Guess I won't be doing challenge modes. Thanks for more content I won't be doing!
If you're looking for endgame content for which you can queue up to find a group, there's more of that for you in Mists than there ever has been in the history of this game.

You will never outgear challenge modes. One of the neat things they do is normalize your gear to a certain item level. Basically how it works is they take all of your gear and set it at a certain item level say 450 and then all of your gear becomes 450 item level (at least if it works same way as normalization in beta).
The format is actually even a little more complicated than that. Just as an example: hit cap. As you surpass the 5-player Heroic dungeon item level you'll eventually cap out hit. If we equally averaged all your stats back down to 90 Heroic dungeon levels, it'd feel crappy. In that scenario you'd be running upcoming Heroic raid content at hit cap without missing, then enter a Challenge dungeon and be missing too much. You'd then have to keep a separate set that stacks a ton of hit to make up for the loss in averages. So your hit won't scale down as much. If you're not missing raid bosses in your epic gear, you probably shouldn't be missing bosses in Challenges either.

But trinkets effects and procs will be scaled down as well and set bonuses will be deactivated.

The automatic queuing systems in WoW come with the built in assumption that those involved will have a reasonable chance of succeeding at the content they've queued for. This is not the case in rated arenas, nor is it likely to be the case in rated challenges.

All the option would do is raise false hopes & risk player frustration when they discover the pug option is guaranteed not to succeed.

Lakhesís, your statements are very in-line with some of our development philosophies regarding matchmaking systems, player expectations in random versus pre-made groups, etc.

My biggest concern about Challenge modes is the opposite. Not that they will be nerfed, but they will be hotfixed to remove semi-exploits.

Let me give an example. In a certain dungeon, it is determined that a druid, shaman and mage can use certain abilities to bust through a dungeon and crush the gold medal time. The symbiosis between those 3 classes causes them to clear the dungeon 5 mins before any other comp can.

The devs know that in no time, Youtube will be filled with vids of how to do this and that soon everyone will know that you must bring a certain comp to even get close to the record time, so they hotfix it the first month of MOP. The original druid, shaman, mage did not cheat.. so probably their record time will stand forever.

If you think I am exaggerating.. look at 75% of world first raid kills. They mostly all involve some ´tactic´ that is ruled not an exploit, but is still hotfixed very quickly to not work any longer. Of course there are other true exploits that are hotfixed as well.

My guess is that there will be a lot of challenge mode top times that come from the first 2 weeks of the expansion and last a long long time.

You bring up some legitimate concerns, Adrena. All I can say is we share those concerns and will be watching things very carefully. There will definitely be some class synergy that will work well for specific dungeons or encounters. That's okay. But we do want to make sure there's integrity in the leaderboards regardless.

If you're raid hit capped, will you be massively over the hit cap in challenge modes (and thus wasting offensive stats) or when it scales you down will it ensure you are right at the hit cap, but not (significantly) over it, and reallocate those points to some generally useful stat.

Or to ask it another way, will players want to be aiming for a cap below raid hit cap when doing challenge modes so as not to waste stats (or are challenge mode bosses +3 bosses instead of +2 as is typical in heroic dungeons)?

If you're just at hit cap in a raid, you'll be just at hit cap in Challenges. So if you swap out any hit to stack other stats you'll be dropping below cap. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Challenge Modes and Loot
This is probably a stupid question, but I'm assuming no loot or gold drops off mobs in challenge modes, yes? Otherwise wouldn't gold farmers just endlessly reset them?
No loot or gold drops in challenge modes, though you will get Valor Points for any and all completions (up to the weekly cap, of course). Challenge modes are something you do once you are fully equipped with dungeon-or-better gear.

Because no loot or gold can be obtained, we'll be disabling durability loss in challenge modes. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

PvP Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP and PvE Gear Strength in PvP
Great, another PVP season that needs PVE weapons for BiS. Perhaps if enemy players had a low % chance of dropping sub-par/LFR versions of PVP items when you kill them I'd feel better about all of this but pffft, dragon killing is not what I want to be doing.
I feel that PvP weapons will actually be far more desirable than their PvE counterparts for PvP in Mists of Pandaria. This is because 265 PvP power equals 1% increase in damage and healing done and with the large amounts on PvP weapons, they are definitely nothing to be sneezed at.

Keep in mind that this is for the Ilvl490 PvP weapons:

As you can see, equipping these items is a significant increase in the damage and healing that you can perform in PvP. The guide that I linked earlier in the thread explains, much better than I can, why the PvP stats are astounding. I do recommend take a look. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Arena Rewards and Cheating Teams
We did not rely only on player reports for our investigation, however we did look into teams if we were contacted about them. We gathered reports from multiple sources and in the end all teams eligible for the rewards were investigated; any of them that were found to be exploiting or cheating were disqualified from the end of season rewards.

One large point to note is that it was the teams being disqualified and not the accounts of the participating players, which is where I believe the confusion is coming from. Before I go any further I want to make sure that you are all aware that the end of season rewards are account wide. This means that if one team on an account was disqualified for any reason but there was still another legitimate and eligible team on that same account, they could still receive the rewards.

I hope that this clears everything up and ensures that you are all aware that any teams found to be abusing the ladder and queue systems were sanctioned accordingly.

So why are some players on certain teams being punished and not the rest of the team? You're pretty inconsistent with what the Armory is telling us.
How so? As I said in my post, it is the arena team that gets disqualified from the end of season rewards and not its players. So if someone had two teams that were both eligible for the end of season rewards and only one of them was disqualified, their characters would still receive awards from the team that achieved its rank legitimately because of account-wide achievements.

But there are teams with some players who have got the title when it's their only team (which has been disqualified).
I think that you have misunderstood the statement. This is because on their account, another team on a different character has received the end of season rewards legitimately. The Feat of Strength is currently account wide which means that all of their characters have access to the Feat of Strength, but not to the title and mount.

Nop, only the mount achievement is account wide, the actual mount isn't.
My apologies, I did indeed make a mistake. It is just the Feat of Strength that is account wide for the mount and title, but the mount and title is only usable on the character that received the rewards. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Level 90 Arena Tournament Realm
We hope that we can have the level 90 Arena Pass realm up and active within weeks after the release of Mists. So it might be possible, if the realm is up soon enough, that you can get full Malevolent gear on the Arena Pass before it is even possible to have the full set on the live realms. This is because the Conquest per week cap limits the speed you can get it on live realms, but you can get the full set straight away on Arena Pass.

Wasn't it a promise that we will eventually get one though? I wasn't sure of wording with when we get it though.
Oh yes, there will definitely be a level 90 Arena Pass. Also, If you purchased access to the 2012 Arena Pass earlier this year then you receive free access to the level 90 one!

You can find out a little bit of the information for the level 90 Arena Pass realm in the FAQ here: (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Start Date of Season 12
There is no official set in stone start date for Season 12, but it should begin approximately 1 week after the release of Mists of Pandaria. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Class Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Beta Class Balance Analysis
Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
One of the posters on the Paladin forums theorized it had something to do with Divine Storm and Light of Dawn, but many took it to mean chain procs were basically cut from Divine Purpose. We did a few tests and chain procs were definitely not cut, but just in case, could you clarify the change for us?
It was just a few bugfixes to Divine Purpose, not a functionality change. Here's a more detailed description of what was fixed with Divine Purpose, for those curious:

  • Word of Glory was mistakenly giving two chances to proc Divine Purpose (one for the cast, one for the heal / damage). It now only gives one chance, as you'd expect.
  • As previously mentioned, Divine Purpose's proc chance is supposed to be reduced to 8.33% or 16.66% if you cast a finisher with 1 or 2 Holy Power. That was also incorrectly applying to casts of finishers with Divine Purpose active. For example, suppose you had 4 Holy Power, and cast Light of Dawn (dropping you to 1 Holy Power). That procs Divine Purpose. You then Light of Dawn again. Previously, it would see that you're at 1 Holy Power, and give that second cast only an 8.33% chance to proc Divine Purpose again. This fixes that, so that casts made with Divine Purpose have the full 25% chance to proc Divine Purpose again.
  • Some finishers would proc Divine Purpose instantly when you cast them, and some would have a moment of delay between the cast and you gaining Divine Purpose. Those have been fixed to always proc instantly; it should feel much more responsive now.

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
We have currently estimated that Blood Boil was nerfed by about 40% for Unholy. Does that sound accurate?
No, it sounds like you’re missing the very large increase to its base damage. It should change Unholy’s AoE damage somewhat, but it shouldn’t be huge. At low gear levels, it may be a buff even.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
An earlier blue post indicated that Soul Burn: Soul Swap should NOT put soul swap on cool down if you have glyph of soul swap equipped. On live SB:SS is still triggering a cool down. Have you changed your mind on this or is a fix incoming?
We’re seeing it working internally and on live. Can you double-check? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Penance Overpowered
I think it's important for everyone to keep in mind that what you're seeing/experiencing is an incomplete picture. We've been working on maintaining balance through the levels as much as possible, but ultimately, the development team is tuning for level 90.

While there has been a spate of "nerf this/nerf that" threads because of these experiences, it's important to remember that these types of comments (nerf threads) are not generally very helpful. It also leads to flame wars from those that are at risk of being subject to said nerfs.

If there's a legitimate bug that you're seeing/experiencing, that's a whole other kettle of fish. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

15% Discount on MMO-Champion J!NX T-Shirts
From now until the Mists of Pandaria launch (Midnight PDT 9/25/12), MMO-Champion shirts are on sale for 15% off with the code CurseFTW! This code will also work for any of the other Curse shirts.

Guild Wars 2 Sells Two Million Copies
Guild Wars 2 has managed to sell over two million copies already! In other news, GW2Guru has added a ArenaNet Dev Tracker and GW2DB has added over 8,000 new items among other updates.

If you want more frequent updates, check out GW2Guru or find some other players to play with in our Guild Wars 2 forum. If you are looking for a skill calc, items, achievements, maps, or anything else that can be found in a database, check out GW2DB!

by Published on 2012-09-13 06:15 AM

Information on Bul Kathos's Glory's Proc, Cafe Tristram, Blizzard News

Patch 5.0.5 Hotfixes - September 12
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Here you'll find a list of hotfixes that address various issues related to the recently released World of Warcraft patch 5.0.5. Hotfixes are updates we make on our end without requiring you to download a new patch. Some of the hotfixes below went live the moment they were implemented, while others may require your realm to be restarted to go into effect. Please keep in mind that some issues cannot be addressed without a client-side patch update. We will continue to update this list in the days to come as additional hotfixes are applied.

  • The Ethereal Soul-Trader pet is now immune to player abilities.
  • We've made numerous fixes to the behavior of various systems in Cross-Realm Zones.

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Dash again provides the intended speed bonus when reactivated after shifting out of and back into Cat Form.
  • Feral stealth has been made more effective.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Camouflage should no longer be cancelled on the hunter when an effect causes it to be cancelled on the hunter's pet. Cancelling a hunter's Camouflage should always cancel it on the pet.
  • It should no longer be possible to spell reflect Narrow Escape.

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Combustion should no longer ignore target damage multipliers when calculating the damage of the Pyroblast DoT on the target.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Divine Purpose should only have one chance to activate once per finisher (which must land on at least one target).<

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Lightwell charges are no longer consumed and wasted if a player rapidly clicks on the Lightwell.

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Stealth has been made more effective.

Dungeons and Raids
  • The Glory of the Cataclysm Hero meta achievement no longer improperly requires a Mists of Pandaria dungeon achievement.
  • Karazhan
    • The Chess encounter should once again proceed at its former, more leisurely pace.
  • The Eye
  • The Ruby Sanctum
    • Halion should no longer despawn shortly after entering combat.

Patch 5.0.5 Build 16057
Patch 5.0.5 Build 16057 is headed our way at some point in the near future. It contains no significant changes, making it likely just bugfixes and changes that couldn't be hotfixed.

Mists of Pandaria Mage Class Guide
Our friends over at Fatboss made a nice long video guide to the different Mage talents, spells, and glyphs. Let them know if you liked it and want to see more!

Upcoming Developer Chat
If you were not able to get your questions answered during the Reddit Q&A, you will have another chance! The developers are doing another chat over at BestBuy on Tuesday, September 18th at 6 PM CST. This time the format will be a moderated text based chat.

Welcome Your Friends (Old and New) to Azeroth
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Do you have a friend who's interested in getting back into World of Warcraft in time for the upcoming launch of the Mists of Pandaria expansion? Let them know we're providing certain players who've taken a break from adventuring in Azeroth with seven days of free game time to get them back in the fight. One-time WoW players whose subscription ended more than 30 days ago can take advantage of this offer by clicking here (EU here), logging in to their account, and claiming their free game time. Time is of the essence, as this offer ends September 19.

Don’t forget about our Recruit a Friend program, either. If you have friends who haven’t experienced World of Warcraft at all yet, this is a great time to bring them into the fold. For bringing in a new recruit, you can earn an epic flying mount -- the swift and sleek Obsidian Nightwing -- along with 30 days of game time, and your friend will get perks (including bonus XP and bonus levels) designed to make it easier for the two of you to adventure together. Visit the Recruit a Friend page to learn more or get started.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Challenge Mode Difficulty and Nerfs
Seriously blizzard, if CHALLENGE modes are ever nerfed to the point say like the cataclysm heroic dungeons were, what would be the point in calling them CHALLENGE mode runs?
That isn't the intention. Now, there could be times were a particular dungeon has a specific mechanic, pull, or encounter that is more difficult than we intended in all difficulties. In cases like that you may see us make adjustments to the dungeon across the board.

But, to be clear, our intent isn't to make Challenge Mode dungeons more accessible or easier over time. In part this is also why, as you acquire more powerful gear over the course of the expansion, it will be scaled down in this setting so that the challenge remains roughly equivalent from the start of the expansion to the end. We also don't allow matchmaking for them, as they're intended to be difficult for organized groups.

I can totally see you guys nerfing a previous set when a new set comes out however. Seems to be par the course. Nerf it when it's not current content.
The Challenge Mode dungeon structure is really closely bound up with the leaderboards we’re going to have. It isn’t really possible to “nerf” the content meaningfully without invalidating those leaderboards. It may be helpful to think of the Gold medal armor sets as analogous to Gladiator mounts. We may have a new “season” of Challenges, with new dungeons to race through, but that doesn’t mean that past seasons’ rewards will suddenly become more attainable.

Hey if challenge modes are cool and go well, will we get challenge raids like AQ40 and MC??? If so you guys should have challenge mode raid achievements for each raid and dungeon just basically saying you did em cause I think that would be cool and well worth my time to play.
If players really like Challenges and we see a lot of interest in the leaderboards, there's definitely the potential there for extending the system to raid content in some form. We've already seen a lot of interest in raid speed runs -- from our very own BlizzCon Live Raid to other events that fansites have hosted with streamed races between top guilds -- and it’s compelling to us. We'd love to explore formalizing that system!

Wouldn't it defeat the point of them? Normals for leveling, heroics for that initial gearing for T14 (and they are much easier than Cata's were on launch, I've tested them), and Challenge modes for those who want a challenge. I get it, some people can spend more time on and in WoW than others, but isn't it ok to have something like this for those who want to be challenged?
Not only that, a good, organized Challenge Mode group will likely find farming Valor in Challenge dungeons to be more efficient. They're not set on a lockout like Heroic dungeons are, and the bosses reward more Valor than on Heroic, plus there's a daily quest to complete a specific Challenge Mode dungeon each day for a Valor bonus.

Conversely, a player who doesn't readily have four friends online at regular intervals will probably find running Heroic Dungeon Finder to be more efficient for obtaining Valor. Challenge dungeons are at least on par with the most difficult Burning Crusade Heroics, and death will still cost ya.

Now, in this thread I've been sharing a lot of information I've learned from Ion Hazzikostas, an awesome man, so I just want to throw in my own copper (psst, I have more than two!).

I've never been more impressed with a World of Warcraft endgame design model than I am with Mists. I think the way various prestige, vanity, fun, diverse, and power-increasing progression systems are designed shows such a commitment to the creation of gameplay with broad appeal, while preserving the philosophy that prestige can be earned through a combination of effort and exceptional performance.

Did I just go full fanboy on our devs? I'm sorry.

You never go full fanboy. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

No Nerfs For Challenge Modes
If at all feasible, we're not going to be adjusting the content itself. Persistent leaderboards are the backbone of the system, and if we make the dungeon easier, then your 14:13 time last week might actually be more impressive than my 14:05 clear today, but there would be no way of knowing that. It's conceivable that we might adjust the actual Gold/Silver/Bronze cutoff times slightly if it turns out we were badly off the mark with the tuning, but we're pretty confident in our numbers.

As far as composition goes, I can't promise that every possible composition will be able to get Gold. (Apologies in advance to the prospective monk/monk/monk/monk/monk groups out there.) Every composition will be able to get Silver (subject to some fairly basic ground rules such as "you have a healer"), and every class should have multiple viable group makeups in which it can obtain Gold, assuming masterful play.

Can I do Temple of the Jade Serpent as many times as I want in challange mode per day? Or does it have a lock system?
You can run the same challenge mode dungeon as many times per day as you like.

It'll be a bit before we hear an answer on that one, as I suspect Watcher reacted to it with a "hmm, good question". I'm sure a dev somewhere has at least considered the question, but they might not have settled on their final answer yet.
We like the gameplay of adjusting talents to suit the situation. We don't like the gameplay of cycling through power cooldown talents to effectively benefit from an entire tier of choices simultaneously. Our plan is to allow the former while disallowing the latter.

Does this mean you have a workaround for the dreaded "You have entered too many instances recently" or will this be popping up during challenge modes?

I am specifically thinking of running in engaging boss 1, failing somehow and resetting. Rinse and repeat that 5x on the current system (Assuming reseting a challenge mode works like resetting a normal instance) and you'll be locked out for an hour minus however long it took you to wipe those 5x.

Challenge modes have a special reset system. The party leader can instantly reset a challenge run from inside the instance via a menu dropdown from his or her unitframe. The group gets ported back to the entrance, and everything in the instance reverts to its original state. There's no limit on how often you can do that. You may still want to finish a somewhat botched run though, if you aren't capped on Valor for the week, since each completed run will award Valor.

What's the word on profession items and weird items such as Nifty Stopwatch, Potions of Speed, Swift Boots, Rocket Boots, netherweave nets, flasks, food and other "creative items"
There are no restrictions on items or consumables. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Beta Class Balance Analysis
Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Currently by taking "Glyph of Shred", when Tiger's Fury or Berserk is active, "Shred" is replaced by "Shred!" There are a few errors (exists on both Live and Beta).

Druid / Rogue
Just wondering GC, have you found out why stealth level was reduced yet?
No, we're not sure how it happened, but it was indeed lowered so we raised it back up for rogue and Feral druids, restoring the same effectiveness they had in 4.3.

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
How is this not counter your often-stated goal of increasing the clarity of game mechanics to new players? I know I'd be confused if my DS magically hit harder when I switched specs, just like I was when CS magically changed its cooldown when I first specced my paladin Prot last expansion.
I sympathize with what you're saying, but it takes a fairly sophisticated player (and certainly not a new one) to notice that Death Strike is or is not doing 308% weapon damage + 2079. Put another way, the tooltips have never been as remotely accurate as they are in 5.0. In previous expansions they often out and out lied because the damage was affected by so many considerations that the tooltips weren't sophisticated enough to catch. Spell tooltips are pretty smart now, smarter than ever anyway, but they still have limitations. We try to get them as accurate as possible, but there are plenty of situations when that is not the case.

It's hitting for 280% in blood. The tooltip is just wrong, they forgot to reduce it to 200% in the tooltip before adding the 1.4x modifier for blood. They just added the 1.4x modifier, and left it the same according to the tooltip. It still doing 280% + whatever.

This is likely the case. We have to manually build tooltips a lot these days and the tooltip may not have been updated, but the damage was. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

PvP Power and Resilience Effects on Gear Strength
PvP power and resilience is an undeniably great stat for PvP and you will definately be wanting more of it. If you would like to know more about how PvP power/resilience works in MoP, Vanguards guide is a great read, although very long and complex. You can find it here:

i wouldn't worry, for pvp, pvp gear is now the best gear you can wear, if you wear pve gear you'll do less damage and take far more This is very true. In the above guide if you check some of the graphs, you will see the large disparity between the damage done with and without the PvP stats.

Pvp power and pvp defense doesnt work on like outside of sw while you duel other people??
Whenever you are attacking another player, PvP power will boost your damage done. Whereas PvP power only increases your healing done if you are not in a dungeon or raid. So in duels and world PvP, PvP gear will be better (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

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Blizzard Games News
Mists of Pandaria beta is ending very soon, top arena players that win-traded might lose their spot in future tournaments, Starcraft Europeon finals are right around the corner, and Diablo 3 changes up the crowd control in this week's Blizzard News.

by Published on 2012-09-12 07:05 AM

Diablo III Blog on Class Changes Coming, PTR Download Button Active On Launcher, Blue Posts, Curse Weekly Roundup

Developer Reddit Q&A
Several WoW developers answered questions on Reddit tonight. A short summary can be found below, but it is well worth it to read the entire thing!

  • Player model updates are a high priority and will come with new animations.
  • Once you complete the legendary gem quest line, you will be able to purchase more gems as needed.
  • Activision has no effect on the game's direction.
  • Observer modes are still on the todo list, but require development time and technical improvements before they can be done.
  • Proving Grounds are still on the todo list and will hopefully make it into one of the Mists of Pandaria patches.
  • "More developers" is often proposed as a solution to various problems and Blizzard is actively hiring. It is hard to find people that fit within the Blizzard culture and it would be a mistake to hire too many people too quickly.
  • Combat racials will be improved for classes that lack them.

  • The plan is still for more content to be released faster than before to keep players engaged with relevant content and not bored. They are also committed to reducing the time between the last major content patch and the next expansion.
  • Blizzard is not satisfied with the current status of 25-player raids and are still actively seeking a solution.
  • Raid Finder and scenarios will hopefully one day make it down to lower level content.
  • Upon being asked about another raid like Ulduar: "In fact, our next raid zone after these may be right up your alley...."
  • Ulduar like hardmode toggles will be added as appropriate.

  • Blizzard would like to make queuing for random bgs better by ensuring some semblance of healer balance between Alliance/Horde.
  • There are a variety of improvements planed for both rated and unrated BGs.

  • There are some bugs with cross-realm zones, as well as some tweaks that need to be made.
  • There wasn't time to fix the damage from Deathwing in Stormwind for Mists of Pandaria.
  • Pandaria has the best in-game storytelling there has ever been in an expansion and there will be more Wrathgate level cinematics, some larger events, and a more interactive and involved story without as much phasing.

Paragon Switching to 10 Man Raiding for Mists of Pandaria
Today Paragon announced that they will be moving to 10 man raids for Mists of Pandaria. For the new full roster, see their site.

After Dragon Soul progression many of our players decided to quit the game, some of them were already showing lack of interest during the DS progress raids. In total 34 players took part in DS progress, 14 of which are no longer playing WoW at all. Most of them were longtime core players. On top of that some of our current players can't put in the time anymore as they used to do.

We were able to get some quality recruits to replace the ones whom had quit, but not enough. So far we had recruited 12 players. It has always been hard for us to recruit new players and we pretty much had the same core of 20+ from late Ulduar to Dragon Soul which played a big part in our success.

During the beta it became obvious that the current roster will not cut it in MoP unless we get couple of more quality recruits. So far we haven't been able to get the roster we needed and have decided it's better to continue as a 10man guild from now on than to hope for something miraculous to happen in the upcoming weeks. This also leaves time for our players to find a new guild before MoP if they so desire..

Raid Testing Schedule - September 13
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Raid testing will resume this Thursday, September 13.

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

Gara'jal (Mogu'shan Vaults) - 25 Player Heroic
10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)

Blade Lord Ta'yak (Heart of Fear) - 25 Player Heroic
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.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mists of Pandaria Experience to Level
We have definitely been tuning XP in Pandaria, and trying to hit a pace where a character with no rest, no heirlooms, and no guild is leveling comfortably.

There was a significant decrease in the XP required to level from 87-90 applied a couple of weeks ago, and there was a similar adjustment for level 86 prior to that.

Completed Kun-Lai Summit today, they lower the req. XP a few patches back so I was able to ding lvl88 by the Summit quests alone finally. It's still tight though, by doing every single quest in the zone I have dinged a few quests before Shado-Pan area (my last questhub) ends. I completed the zone with no rested XP at all and unguilded.
This is pretty much what we're aiming for. We may still need to make a small tweak here or there.

Do we know the current total XPs required for each level from 85-90? Is this posted somewhere?

  • 86 13000000
  • 87 15080000
  • 88 18980000
  • 89 22880000
  • 90 27560000

The fact is -- most people are in guilds, or do gathering along the way, or run dungeons, or use heirlooms, or build up some rest. Some people only quest in groups (and are therefore able to kill many more enemies per hour). Some only ever play solo.

The values above may get changed a little bit in the next two weeks, but only if it can be demonstrated that they are still too high.
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Brewfest Boss Level and Brewfest Dates
Word is, Coren Direbrew has been working out with bigger kegs and he will indeed be a level 90 dungeon boss and his loot has been adjusted accordingly. Pace was something we considered, so we pushed the actual event by just over a week from when it normally happens (which you should be able to see on your in-game calendars now) to give players a bit more time to reach level 89, the minimum level required to queue for the encounter. Oh, we also added a couple more surprises but you’ll have to wait and see. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Challenge Modes Differences
Challenge modes are more than just a timed run. On a basic level, every single creature in Challenge Mode dungeons is significantly stronger than the Heroic version (typically by a larger proportion than you see going from Normal to Heroic raiding, for what that's worth), and where appropriate, additional enemies or new mechanics are added to make sure that the threat of defeat is always present. For many players, simply successfully completing a challenge run is going to be, well, a challenge. That's why we award excellent Valor gains for doing so. Aiming for Silver, let alone Gold, will be something for experienced players to do once they've mastered the content.

Players who tested the Scarlet Halls challenge mode when that one was open, to name one example, can probably attest that the Armory section of that dungeon is every bit as brutal as anything in Heroic Shattered Halls was in Burning Crusade. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Account Wide Professions
Vanilla was a time of experimentation and 90%+ of the population playing with 1 main. Now it's a chore to level First Aid for alts hence it's difficult to see it seriously in design.
Well, if you look at it like that, why not make levelling and loot account wide too? Shouldn't new characters actually be new? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Class Quests
I personally loved Anathema’s quest line, it was one of the most fun quests I have ever completed, I suppose that's mostly because of the sense of accomplishment it yielded in the end and also because of its higher than usual difficulty level.
That being said, we will have some really nice Monk quests, but for now, although we would love to do more class quests, we are focusing a bit more on faction specific quests. We have 11 classes, that means we would have to use a ton of resources to implement those quests and we just can’t spare them at this moment.

Storyline and faction-specific quests on the other hand are getting some love; we’re focusing quite a lot on the Alliance VS Horde conflict for Mists of Pandaria, we will use plenty of other ways to help bring that conflict to another level, including for example the usage of scenarios.
We’re really excited about bringing this old and original conflict back into Warcraft again.

Be prepared for some epic legendary quests though as the expansion progresses! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Pandaren Monk Pet Lore?
Yeah, of all the bizarre pets out there to collect, I have to say I think the little Pandaren is one of the least strange ones, lore-wise — I have a tiny Archangel of Justice following me around most of the time!

I'm sure each of them can be explained in some way though. Magical error, inter-dimensional rifts, alchemy accident... (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Pandaren Monk Pet 50% OFF -- This Week Only
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Save big and prepare for Pandaria with a new sidekick. This week only, you can get the World of Warcraft Pandaren Monk companion pet for just $5 (EU - 5€ / 4.5£). That’s 50% off the regular price, making this a great time to round out your pet collection before the imminent arrival of the Pet Battle System.

Hurry, this offer ends September 17, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

SWTOR Patch 1.4
Patch 1.4 is live on the PTS and the patch notes are here! Darth Hater has some previews of the Dread Guard Armor, Moods System, Elite War Hero Weapons, Terror From Beyond, and New Daily Relics.

Originally Posted by SWTOR
  • Terror from Beyond, a new Operation, is now available! Travel to the remote planet of Asation, where the Dread Masters have commandeered an ancient Gree Hypergate in order to unleash untold horrors upon the galaxy. Terror from Beyond features 5 powerful new boss encounters that can be challenged in 8- and 16- player Story or Hard Mode, offering some of the most challenging group content yet!
  • A new set of PvE gear is available! Dread Guard gear is now the most powerful PvE equipment in the galaxy. It can be acquired from deep within Terror from Beyond (Hard Mode).
  • Significant changes have been made to crowd control to address the amount of control a player can be subject to at once. See the Classes and Combat section for details.

Full notes...

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