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by Published on 2010-10-22 12:35 AM

Update 11:10AM PDT - Mike Morhaime speech. No announcement for the moment.
Update 11:00AM PDT - Opening Ceremony started, if you have trouble with the stream click the link for the flash player at the bottom of the frame.

Blizzcon Schedule
Thanks to Dinnerbone for the wonderful code, to Vjeux for doing my job, and to Marla for ... I don't know. All times are converted to local time automatically, and you have a countdown anyway.

Blizzcon 2010 Goodies Bag
The Blizzcon 2010 Goodies Bag has a nice surprise, the very adorable Dethling! (Not related at all, this guy is my new hero)

Blizzcon 2010 - Goodies Bag #1 Blizzcon 2010 - Goodies Bag #2 Blizzcon 2010 - Goodies Bag #3 Blizzcon 2010 - Goodies Bag #4 Blizzcon 2010 - Goodies Bag #5 Blizzcon 2010 - Goodies Bag #6 Blizzcon 2010 - Goodies Bag #7 Blizzcon 2010 - Goodies Bag #8 Blizzcon 2010 - Goodies Bag #9 Blizzcon 2010 - Goodies Bag #10 Blizzcon 2010 - Goodies Bag #11
by Published on 2010-10-21 06:52 PM

[Raid Testing] Cho'gall - RIGHT NOW! 10/21
Looks like Blizzard doesn't mind spoiler on end bosses this time! Go go streams!
Originally Posted by Valnoth (Blue Tracker)

Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0!
Blizzcon starts tomorrow and we have tons of nervous people on site to provide awesome pictures, coverage, and hugs. The event didn't start yet but here are a few pictures!

Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #0 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #1 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #2 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #3 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #4 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #5 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #6 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #7 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #8 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #9 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #10 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #11 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #12 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #13 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #14 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #15 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #16 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #17 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #18 Blizzcon 2010 - Day 0 #19

Class Specific Quest Removal
Originally Posted by Nethaera (Blue Tracker)
Azeroth is on the eve of a dramatic transformation, and as World of Warcraft changes, sometimes the old must go to make way for the new. Since the world elements that support them will be gone, many aging quests will exist only in the mists of the past.

In particular, there's been some confusion regarding lower-level class specific quests that can no longer be completed. Never fear: class mounts and abilities remain available via class trainers, even though the quests associated with them are no longer available. Also, there are several low and mid-level weapons, trinkets and robes that were once awarded via class specific quests which are no longer available and their associated quests have been removed.

We are looking forward to offering new quests, quest lines and rewards as players level through World of Warcraft: Cataclysm instead. For example, we plan a level 20 dungeon based quest which will offer weapon rewards appropriate to all classes. There will also be a similar level 50 dungeon quest which has a headpiece reward.

Finally, if your Blood Elf paladin missed out on the Blood Knight Tabard, then you should still be able to acquire one via a race specific version of the level 50 dungeon quest. Those of you hoping to pick up a Rhok’delar, Longbow of the Ancient Keepers might be happy to know that the issues which were preventing the completion of this quest should now be resolved. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that even though this item is related to a level 60 quest line, that only level 80 characters will be eligible to acquire the necessary materials from the Onyxia’s Lair encounter. The good news for level 60 characters is that Nefarian has finally decided to grow some Mature Black Dragon Sinew, so interested players can complete the quest by picking that item up from him in Blackwing Lair.
by Published on 2010-10-21 02:25 AM

Update - Changed from "Tomorrow" to "Friday" to make all the timezones happy. The last thing I want is half of the world against me and I'd hate to be wrong if Friday never happens there!

Blizzcon 2010 Starts on Friday!
Blizzcon 2010 starts on Friday! As usual you can expect a full coverage on MMO-Champion, including a live blog this year (if everything works as planned!). Apparently blue posters will be more active during the convention and you can probably expect a couple of exciting updates in the next few days!

Friday, October 22
Opening Ceremony - 11:00AM - 11:30AM
Dungeons & Raids Panel - 01:30PM - 02:30PM
Quests & Lore Panel - 03:00PM - 04:00PM
Live Raid - 04:30PM - 05:30PM
Tournament - From 12:00PM to 08:30PM
Saturday, October 23
Cinematics: Cataclysm - 10:30AM - 11:30AM
World of Warcraft Class Q&A - 12:00PM - 01:00PM
World of Warcraft Open Q&A - 01:30PM - 02:30PM
World of Warcraft Art - 03:00PM - 04:00PM
Tournament - From 10:00AM to 04:30PM

Cataclysm Raid Videos - Atramedes, Maloriak, Ascendant Council
More bosses have been tested on beta realms, today we have videos of Atramedes, Maloriak, and the Ascendant Council!

Cataclysm Raid Loot Update #3
More testing, more loot! I think we have a good idea of what to expect in the first tier of Cataclysm raid instance.

359BowPhys.DPSRangedThemios the Darkbringer
359MaceMeleeOne-HandMace of Acrid Death
359Off-HandSpell SpiritOff-handScepter of Ice
359ShieldHealOff HandKingdom's Heart
359PlateHealHandsFlash Freeze Gauntlets
359PlateHealHeadGlaciated Helm
359PlateMeleeChestBattleplate of Ancient Kings
359PlateMeleeHandsGravitational Pull
359PlateMeleeHeadDragon Bone Warhelm
359PlateMeleeWaistBelt of Absolute Zero
359PlateTankLegsLegguards of the Unseeing
359MailPhys.DPSChestTunic of Failed Experiments
359MailPhys.DPSFeetBoots of Vertigo
359MailSpellFeetTreads of Flawless Creation
359MailSpellHandsGloves of Cacophony
359LeatherPhys.DPSChestSark of the Unwatched
359LeatherPhys.DPSLegsAberration's Leggings
359LeatherPhys.DPSWaistDispersing Belt
359LeatherSpellHandsHydrolance Gloves
359LeatherSpellHeadHelm of the Blind Seer
359LeatherSpellLegsLeggings of Consuming Flames
359ClothHealChestShadowforge's Lightbound Smock
359ClothHealFeetTreads of Liquid Ice
359ClothHealLegsLegwraps of the Greatest Son
359ClothHealWristBracers of the Burningeye
359ClothSpell DPSShoulderMantle of Roaring Flames
359ClothSpell DPSWaistBelt of Arcane Storms
359CloakPhys.DPSBackCloak of Biting Chill
359NeckMeleeNeckIronstar Amulet
359TrinketHealTrinketJar of Ancient Remedies
359TrinketMeleeTrinketCrushing Weight
359TrinketSpell DPSTrinketBell of Enraging Resonance

BlizzCon 2010: Blues Among You
Originally Posted by Nethaera (Blue Tracker)
For the past few years, you may have noticed Community Team members moderating the various BlizzCon panels. This year, things are a little bit different. Instead of moderating panels, we’ll be providing BlizzCon updates on the forums, Facebook, and Twitter as well as mingling with attendees around the convention center. That’s right, this year we will be among you and look forward to getting meet and talk with you during the convention. If you see one of us, feel free to stop us and say, “Hi”.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
AQ Scepter Quest Line Feat of Strength
We don't feel just completing this quest line should give you something permanently unique. The feat of strength is a nod to this epic quest line and for those who worked all the way through it. It isn't as awesome as a title or a legendary and it isn't meant to be.

Also, I guess I'm just a little weird as I often compare feats of strength as I feel those matter more than achievements. (Source)

Talent trees too easy?
I'm not convinced these posts aren't exaggerations popping out in the wake of major change. I've tried choosing specializations for several different classes and had tough, but fun choices to make in every case. There are at least a few talents in each tree which will provide extra flavor or utility according to your play style.

Will people determine the best min/max builds and spread them to the masses? Sure. That happened before patch 4.0.1 anyway. Prior to 4.0.1 you sure did have more talents and more points to spend, but the illusion of choice isn't the same thing as true choice. So many of the choices you had were between rather boring passive talents, and the choice was usually very clear. You usually chose the obvious power-increasing talents to improve your performance. Now your choices are a little more flavorful, and the best route to take is a little more subjective. You also have a greater choice of utility and power in your glyphs, and on your gear via Reforging.

Try taking another look at your old talent trees and let me know if there were truly a lot of very compelling talents that made choosing really hard, or if there were just a bunch more branches to throw points in. Look at the trees today and let me know if there are truly no choices for you to make that might enhance the enjoyment of playing your class. (Source)

Low Level Class Balance
We are going to spend some effort adjusting numbers for 1-80. It's not as big a priority as 85 because frankly, more players care about balance at 85 than they do lower level balance. As some folks have pointed out, inexperienced players almost by definition, don't place a premium on balance, and experienced players tend to not worry about balance much until they're at max level since things are changing so quickly.

Rather than adjusting everything independently, we tend to focus on max level and then work backwards from there. It doesn't help to nerf say rogue damage by 5% from level 1-60 if we then find we also need to nerf it at level 85 and then buff the 1-60 numbers to compensate.

There is some goofy stuff going on at lower level, but we'll get it all straightened out. After spending so much effort revamping the old zones and quests, we don't want the leveling experience to be an odd one. (Source)

Fan Arts
The Blizzard Fan Art Section has been updated with 3 new pieces of artwork.

by Published on 2010-10-20 07:59 AM

Update Beta Raid Testing Schedule for Oct. 20
Originally Posted by Daelo (Blue Tracker)
More raid testing!

I'm going to turn on the following encounters in Bastion of Twilight, and leave the encounters from yesterday for Blackwing Descent open for a bit longer.

The following encounters will be available:

Halfus Wyrmbreaker
Theralion and Valiona
Ascendant Council

The Bastion of Twilight's entrance is located within Twilight Highlands.

Since these are the beta realms, this schedule is subject to change at a moment's notice due to bugs and server issues. More raid tests will be occurring over the next few weeks.

5 Things about 4.0.1 that I never had the time to news
Because, I really have to get them on the front page at some point.

  • Epic gems cooldown aren't removed, they're just syncronized with the daily quest reset now.
  • You can farm Anzu in heroic Sethekk Halls for his epic mount even if you're not a druid.
  • You can buy most of Arena gear even if you do not have the proper rating, requirements seems to be gone from all items. ilvl 277 weapons and shoulders are the only items left with a rating requirement.
  • The gold cap is now 1,000,000 Gold.
  • I don't actually have a 5th one, so here is a hug. /hug

Raid Testing Videos
More videos of the new raid instances have been released following yesterday's raid testing.

Class Balance & Hotfixes - 10/19
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
We have pushed a hotfix to improve hunter damage.

Specifically, we increased the damage of the signature abilities (Chimera Shot, Explosive Shot and Kill Command) by 15-25%. This will both improve overall damage-dealing and make sure that these abilities are prioritized higher than other shots. We think this will bring hunters to a good enough state until they hit 85. Aspect of the Fox and Cobra Shot solve some specific issues at higher levels. Marksman hunters may still trump Survival and Beastmaster hunters until they’re 85, since their rotations rely a little on Cobra Shot.

EU Raid Testing on Beta
Originally Posted by Daelo (Blue Tracker)
Don't worry, EU can test these bosses tomorrow! I'm not going to turn them off right at 10am our time, I'll keep them up through most all of the day tomorrow.

On a seperate note, 25 player Maloriak currently has a significant bug in place. We're working on a hotfix, but until that goes live it's not functioning properly. 10 player seems to be much better behaved, but we're looking at a despawn issue with it.

Atramedes is testable.

BlizzCon 2010 Registration Bar Codes
Originally Posted by Lylirra (Blue Tracker)
We are currently in the process of resending all BlizzCon 2010 registration bar codes. Now, don't panic—this is simply for your convenience. These bar codes are identical to those included in previous emails and the printable versions from your order history.

Please be sure to bring a copy of your bar code along with a photo ID to pick up your ticket(s) at BlizzCon registration. We'll see you there!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Armor changes in 4.0.1
We looked into your findings, and the armor numbers reflect an intentional change meant to cover the armor increases players would get between levels 81 and 85. We should have been more explicit with the rest of the announced Cataclysm changes that physical damage would go up. (It only affects creatures higher than level 80 -- bosses in this case -- so this change has no current PvP ramifications.)

Now that our live class balance changes are slowing down* and players are starting to learn their class changes, we can get a better idea of whether players are struggling more on content that they used to be able to clear. We've made some Icecrown and Halion changes already and we may need to make more.

Nice job on the analysis.

* -- We are continuing to make Cataclysm changes for classes. We will extend these to level 80 and / or hotfix when we think it's relevant. (Source)

Resilience Hotfix
My resilience post above was confusing.

We had buffed resilience by 50% and then lowered it by 25%. This is a 12.5% buff from before the patch. To use clean numbers, if you had 40% damage reduction, we buffed it to 60% (a 50% increase) and then lowered it to 45% (a 25% decrease). (Source)

Balance in low-level BGs
So can a blue state whether or not the very, very high damage outputs in low level pvp will be addressed or not? Rogues able to one-shot most enemies in sub-80 pvp: working as intended, or not?
Nobody should be one-shotting at any battleground level, so yes that (and many other class abilities) will be addressed. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Weak mages on Beta
This is a case of having to balance differently between 80 and 85. The original mage numbers were targeted at 85, which made them overpowered at 80. We nerfed them at 80, which then made them weak at 85. We now have two sets of numbers in place so that they should be relatively balanced at both levels.

Mages are not the only class with this problem, sometimes in the opposite direction. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy Paladin Hotfix
Yes, we buffed the 5 paladin direct heals (FoL, HL, DL, HS, WoG). This is a change for both level 80 and 85. We are going to tone down Holy Radiance as I described in the other thread. It can be powerful without being 75% of paladin healing.

I know it's customary for players to classify everything as either overpowered or garbage, but we believe there are actual numbers in between say 1 and 100, so give the changes a chance before you dismiss them.

It is possible we will nerf Word of Glory for Prot and Ret at 85 to compensate for this buff since they probably don't need stronger Words. (Source)
by Published on 2010-10-19 09:10 AM

Update #2 Beta Raid Testing for Oct. 19 - ON AGAIN!
Originally Posted by Daelo (Blue Tracker)
Beta update happened and instance servers seem to be up again. I'm opening Blackwing Descent to test Maloriak and Atramedes. I'll leave these two encounters up for an extrended period overnight, including in the morning tomorrow so our non-US regions can try the encounters out.

As always, these plans can change at a moment's notice based on bugs or other issues.

Cataclysm Beta - Build 13202 (Codename Pumpkin)
A wild beta build appears! It might or might not be deployed on beta servers soon depending on Blizzard's mood and raid testing.

Achievements Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Guild Achievements
  • Profit Sharing now requires 100,000 gold, up from 50,000 gold. Now rewards the Guild Herald companion pet.
  • Saving For A Rainy Day now requires 200,000 gold, up from 100,000 gold. No longer rewards the Guild Herald companion pet.

Dungeons & Raids

Player vs. Player
Spell Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Guild Perks
  • Bartering now reduces the price of items from all vendors by 10%, up from 5%.

Companion Pets



Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Rip now scales from 18/37/55/74/92% of Attack Power depending on combo points, up from 8/16/24/32/40%.
  • Ferocious Bite now scales from 10.9/21.8/32.7/43.6/54.5% of Attack Power depending on combo points, up from 7/14/21/28/35%.
  • Rake now causes scales from 2% of Attack Power for bleed damage, up from 1%. Now scales from 42% of AP for additional bleed damage over 9 sec, up from 18% of AP.
  • Mangle additional damage has been increased from 726 to 1136.
  • Vengeance - Entering Cat Form will cancel this effect.

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)



Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)



Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

  • Mind Soothe now also affects Dragonkin. Does not cause threat.
  • Shadow Word: Death now deals three times as much damage to targets below 25% health.

Warlock (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Seed of Corruption now deals 567 to 660 to all enemies within 15 yards, down from 1186 to 1379.

  • Summon Infernal now deals 438 to 494 fire damage when it lands, up from 29.

  • Incinerate now deals 579 to 673 Fire Damage and an additional 96 to 112 Fire damage if the target is affected by Immolate. Changed from 540 to 627 with an additional 135 to 156.
  • Rain of Fire now deals 2455 Fire damage over 8 sec, up from 1890.

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Taste for Blood will not occur more than once every 5 sec, down from 6 sec.

Cataclysm Raid Loot Update
Last night's testing revealed more loot on beta servers!

359AxePhys.DPSOff-HandMaimgor's Bite
359CrossbowPhys.DPSRangedDragonheart Piercer
359DaggerSpell DPSMain HandIncineratus
359DaggerSpell DPSMain HandBlade of the Witching Hour
359FingerMeleeFingerRing of Rivalry
359Fist Weap.MeleeOff-HandBlackwing Descent Trash Loot Strength Fist Weapon - Set
359Fist Weap.Phys.DPSMain HandBlackwing Descent Trash Loot Agility Fist Weapon - Set
359MaceMeleeTwo-HandAkirus the Worm-Breaker
359SwordMeleeOne-HandLava Spine
359SwordPhys.DPSOne-HandFang of Twilight
359SwordSpell DPSMain HandMaldo's Sword Cane
359PlateHealChestBreastplate of Avenging Flame
359PlateMeleeFeetTreads of Savage Beatings
359PlateTankFeetMolten Tantrum Boots
359PlateTankHeadDaybreaker Helm
359PlateTankShoulderHeaving Plates of Protection
359MailSpellLegsPhase-Twister Leggings
359MailSpellWaistLifecycle Waistguard
359MailSpellWaistWaistguard of Hatred
359MailPhys.DPSLegsLeggings of Lethal Force
359LeatherSpellChestScorched Wormling Vest
359LeatherPhys.DPSHeadTsanga's Helm
359LeatherPhys.DPSWristParasitic Bands
359ClothHealHeadHelm of Eldritch Authority
359ClothSpell DPSLegsFlame Pillar Leggings
359ClothSpell DPSWristBracers of the Dark Pool
359CloakTankBackIronstar's Impenetrable Cover
359CloakSpell SpiritBackDrape of the Twins
359NeckPhys.DPSNeckNecklace of Strife
359NeckSpell DPSNeckValiona's Medallion
359TrinketTankTrinketVial of Stolen Memories
359TrinketSpell DPSTrinketTheralion's Mirror
359TrinketTankTrinketSymbiotic Worm

Class balance as of Oct 18, 2010
Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler (Blue Tracker)
We are going to take the resilience buff down a little.

It should end up as a 25% buff from where it stood originally, not a 50% buff. For point of comparison, maxing out resilience before our first hotfix reduced damage by ~50%. After out hotfix, the damage reduction with max resilience was 80%. With this most recent change, damage reduction with max resilience will go down to 60%.

Part of what is going on here is that we don't want newly leveled characters to explode in PvP, while still making sure that well-geared characters aren't invulnerable. The current resilience curve makes that a tricky thing to balance. Perhaps in the future resilience needs diminishing returns so that it doesn't keep getting better and better the more you have.

While we don't have any additional announcements to make at this time, there are some additional balance tweaks we're working on. Some of our adjustments at level 80 ended up causing certain classes to be overpowered or underpowered at level 85.

Beta Raid Testing Schedule for Oct. 19
Originally Posted by Daelo (Blue Tracker)
Yet more raid testing!

There will be two sessions, an EU session starting at 11AM server time (PDT), and a US timed session at 4PM server time (PDT). We'll open the zones on all Beta realms (including KR!) for both sessions, and possibly longer.

The following encounters will be tested:

Maloriak in Blackwing Descent
Atramedes in Blackwing Descent

Blackwing Descent is a raid zone with an entrance located along the side of Blackrock Mountain.

Since these are the beta realms, this schedule is subject to change at a moment's notice due to bugs and server issues. More raid tests will be occurring over the next few weeks.

BlizzCon 2010 Begins This Week
BlizzCon is indeed this week and you can expect a full coverage of the event on MMO-Champion!
Originally Posted by Lylirra (Blue Tracker)
Are you ready for BlizzCon 2010? Blizzard Entertainment's two-day gaming festival begins this Friday, October 22, at the Anaheim Convention Center. The sold-out show features developer discussion panels, top-tier tournament competition, the popular costume and dance contests hosted by Jay Mohr, an epic closing concert starring Tenacious D, and much more.

You can still join us from home by purchasing a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket (, featuring more than 50 hours of live HD coverage as well as the exclusive BlizzCon 2010 World of Warcraft pet and StarCraft II in-game items. The Virtual Ticket is available globally via Internet stream and also through DIRECTV in the U.S. For more information, read our recent press release ( or visit (

Cataclysm System Requirements
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
In preparation for the launch of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we have updated our recommended minimum system requirements. These new requirements correspond with patch 4.0.1. We suggest players check out our related support article for all of the details to ensure your gameplay experience is as ideal as possible.

Cataclysm Preview: The Stonecore
Originally Posted by Lylirra (Blue Tracker)
What mysteries await within the Temple of Earth? Journey to the heart of Deepholm in our latest dungeon preview featuring the Stonecore. Considered sacred by the Twilight’s Hammer followers and acting as a haven to the elements of earth, this level 82-84 dungeon will not relinquish its secrets easily.

Learn more on our new preview page:

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been 310% Hotfix
The hotfix is scheduled to go live tonight. (Source)

Missing Glyphs in 4.0.1
The missing glyphs we know of are Mage Armor, Long Word and possibly Vanish. The others have been found through discovery as far as we know. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Unshifting clears Vengeance
We could make shifting to Cat clear Vengeance but let it stay on in caster form. We're only paranoid about Cat AP for obvious reasons. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy Paladins on Beta
After looking at more of the raid attempts on beta, we are worried that Holy paladins are doing too much area healing and not enough single target healing.

While we definitely want to scoot paladins away from their Lich King monopoly on tank healing and towards raid healing, we don't want to go too far. We're thinking about nerfing Holy Radiance and buffing single target healing. Again, the goal is not that Holy paladins only ever heal the tank, but we want them to actually be able to heal the tank as well.

On Holy Radiance, we think the 20 yard range shifted the spell from one where position was relevant to just blowing it on cooldown. We'll probably keep the 20 yard radius, but have a falloff to where the healing is highest within 8-10 yards of the paladin. This will also help the spell stay relevant in 5-player dungeons without being overpowered in larger raids. The cap for Holy Radiance (and Healing Rain for that matter) also aren't working correctly at the moment.

If we decide to buff single target healing, it would probably just be points on the 5 direct heals. We think Beacon is in a good place and aren't looking to overhaul the overall Holy mechanics. It's just a numbers issue.

Judging Seal of Insight (a change I alluded to earlier) will help with mana problems, especially when Divine Plea is on cooldown or you're nervous about using it. (Source)

Beacon of Light Nerf
We thought Beacon was overpowered when the paladin could literally heal two targets to 100% at once. In that era, there was never a reason to heal the Beaconed target. Not only was it powerful, it was really easy and required little action or decision on the part of the paladin. Having the Beacon splash some healing onto a target who may or may not need it feels balance-able to us. It means the paladin still needs to decide when to heal the Beaconed target indirectly (i.e. use Beacon) or when to heal them directly. It means there is the risk of doing the wrong thing, which could mean switching Beacon when you shouldn't have or healing the Beacon when you should have healed someone else. (Source)
by Published on 2010-10-18 04:27 PM

Beta Raid Testing Schedule for Oct. 18
Tonight is another session of raid testing! Things are definitely going fast and you can expect new items and a couple of streams on the front page.
Originally Posted by Daelo (Blue Tracker)
More raid testing!

There will be two sessions, an EU session starting at 11AM server time (PDT), and a US timed session at 4PM server time (PDT). We'll open the zones on all Beta realms (including KR!) for both sessions.

The following encounters will be tested:

Chimaeron in Blackwing Descent
Theralion and Valiona in The Bastion of Twilight
Conclave of Wind in Throne of the Four Winds

Blackwing Descent is a raid zone with an entrance located along the side of Blackrock Mountain.
The Bastion of Twilight's entrance is located within Twilight Highlands.
The Throne of the Four Winds entrance is in SW Uldum off the coast.

Since these are the beta realms, this schedule is subject to change at a moment's notice due to bugs and server issues. More raid tests will be occurring over the next few weeks.
Now that the raid testing has started you can expect regular loot updates, here is a list of the items discovered on test realms during yesterday's testing. Item models aren't really implemented yet, no screenshots for the moment!

359AxeMeleeTwo-HandShalug'doom, the Axe of Unmaking
359CrossbowPhysical DPSRangedFinely-Tuned Throat Needler
359StaffHealTwo-HandDark Mender's Staff
359StaffPhysical DPSTwo-HandMalevolence
359SwordMeleeOne-HandSoul Blade
359WandHealRangedFinkle's Mixer Upper
359WandSpell DPSRangedTheresa's Booklight
359Off-HandSpell DPSOff-handBook of Binding Will
359PlateHealLegsLegguards of the Emerald Brood
359PlateHealShoulderBurden of Mortality
359PlateHealWaistCorehammer's Riveted Girdle
359PlateMeleeFeetMassacre Treads
359PlateMeleeHandsPlated Fists of Provocation
359PlateMeleeShoulderPauldrons of the Great Ettin
359PlateMeleeWristBracers of Impossible Strength
359MailSpellHeadHelm of the Nether Scion
359MailSpellWristChaos Beast Bracers
359MailPhys.DPSHandsProto-Handler's Gauntlets
359MailPhys.DPSWristChimaron Armguards
359LeatherSpellFeetFading Violet Sandals
359LeatherSpellShoulderHide of Chromaggus
359LeatherPhys.DPSFeetStorm Rider's Boots
359LeatherPhys.DPSHandsDouble Attack Handguards
359ClothHealChestRobes of the Burning Acolyte
359ClothHealFeetSlippers of Moving Waters
359ClothHealHandsBrackish Gloves
359ClothSpell DPSFeetMelodious Slippers
359ClothSpell DPSFeetEinhorn's Galoshes
359ClothSpell DPSWristBracers of the Bronze Flight
359NeckSpell SpiritNeckWyrmbreaker's Amulet
359FingerMeleeFingerBile-O-Tron Nut
359TrinketMeleeTrinketFury of Angerforge
359TrinketMeleeTrinketHeart of Rage
359TrinketPhys.DPSTrinketEssence of the Cyclone
359TrinketPhys.DPSTrinketUnheeded Warning

Cataclysm Raid Testing Videos - Omnitron Defense System / Halfus Wyrmbreaker
Videos of yesterday testing are available on Youtube.

Omnitron Defense System

Halfus Wyrmbreaker

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
AoE Balance
You're conflating two different problems, both related to AoE.

Problem 1: Mage uses Blizzard every pull. Starts to wonder what that Frostbolt button is for.

Problem 2: Warrior uses Thunder Clap every pull*. Starts to wonder what that Shield Slam button is for.

* - Yes, I know you need to TClap for the debuff, at least on dangerous pulls. But the debuff lasts a long time. There is a big difference between generating threat with Shield Slam / Devastate / Revenge and using Thunder Clap for the debuff and just using Thunder Clap to generate threat.

AoE balance for both dps and tanks (hell, for healers too for that matter) is very delicate. If the numbers are too low, then it's never effective to use them. BC felt like this for much of the duration. If the numbers are too high, then it's always effective to use them, particularly given how easy it is when you don't have to pick out individual targets.

In both cases, the problems come down to repetition. Most endgame players kill a lot monsters. When every fight feels similar, because you approach it the same way with the same tools, then it's easy for boredom to set in. Ideally, you'd go from say a 5 pull to a 2 pull to a swarm to a single target boss to a 5 pull to a 3 pull to a boss with adds, and so on. But even in that situation, if the pacing is too predictable then you fall back into a pattern and boredom can get in again. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy Paladins (I suggest that you read the even longer original post)
I feel like we have done this several times and what many paladins are looking for is not an explanation, but buffs. Nevertheless, I'll take you at your word and try and boil down our design intent.

The Past

The BC and LK design of the Holy paladin was basically to use one or two spells and get a lot of use out of them. This is sort of like the mage dps design, where there aren't a lot of sources of damage, but there are a lot of other factors (cooldowns, procs etc.) that make how you use those spells more interesting. So rather than the paladin having 5 different heals, they pretty much used Flash of Light or Holy Light (depending a little on what gear stats and encounters looked like at the time) but with other spells to boost those heals, such as Beacon of Light and Divine Favor, and then all the paladin support abilities, like the Hands.

Paladins (all three specs really) were designed to be a really passive class, with Protection doing a lot of passive threat generation (e.g. Consecrate) and survivability (e.g. Ardent Defender), Ret doing a lot of passive damage (e.g. Seal damage, Vengeance) and Holy doing a lot of passive healing (e.g. Judgement of Light).

It made paladins play really differently for sure, but it was also kind of boring. Because so much of what the class did was passive, players weren't making a lot of choices. Because they weren't making a lot of choices, there wasn't a huge difference between good and bad paladins except gear. I don't really think any of the specs were as "faceroll" as they often get labeled. However, the deltas between the good and bad player weren't large enough -- great paladins were great and bad paladins were pretty good. Honestly, the group to whom that is the most unfair is the paladin -- you can work and work just for a marginal gain above the guy who just picked up the class.

We made some pretty radical changes to the paladin class for Cataclysm. There is another resource to master. There are opportunities to do the wrong thing. A great paladin will have earned his or her greatness.

The Holy paladin niche, especially in Lich King, was to be the single target healer. In a raid, this almost always meant the tank healer. We designed boss damage to tanks specifically around what Holy paladins could heal. It was okay for paladin healing to be overpowered, because they really weren't competing with anyone for tank healing privileges and we could just make the bosses hit harder. The paladin tree wasn't very sexy though. It came with a lot of passive, boring or downright useless talents. Paladins were at the forefront of our mind when we decided to change talent trees.

Being in the same role all the time also gets boring. Imagine only one melee class (say rogues) had a reliable interrupt, so rogues were always given interrupt duty. Imagine mages had the only form of crowd control -- every encounter that's what the mage would be doing. When the Holy paladin can only heal the tank, then every encounter starts to feel similar to the poor paladin healer. They never have a chance to offer to stick with the second group or to raid heal or to watch the melee. With our attempt to make 10-player raids feel more legit, we wanted to handle the possibility that you might end up with two paladin healers (or perhaps a Disc priest and a paladin healer). We'd prefer you to run with a diverse raid comp, but we understand that isn't always possible.

There are Holy paladins who are used to being overpowered, because frankly that's the way things were for a long time (again, metered by the fact that your niche was very narrow). For them, anything is going to feel like a nerf. Likewise, there were players who were attracted to the class because it was very simple. We heard for years from the paladins who wanted something more to do, so it doesn't surprise us that now that we're delivering on that, some of the paladins who were fine with the status quo are now voicing their displeasure. Overall, we're very happy with the new design. We think it's fun to heal as a paladin. The numbers might not be quite right yet, but that's the kind of thing we're still tweaking. Perhaps two years from now there will be a lot more going in with Holy Power, but we think we have a good framework from which to iterate.

The Future

We think Holy paladins are good at 85. Holy Radiance is a powerful AE heal. Light of Dawn is too, though it's more situational. It really shines in larger raids. (Maybe we should have switched which was the talent and which was the core ability, but we knew Light of Dawn could have a more dramatic graphic effect since it was instant, which we wanted to reserve for the healer.) Paladins have more choices now about how to heal single targets -- they have a similar arsenal as the other healers when choosing between efficiency, speed or throughput. They can choose to avoid healing the Beaconed target or go ahead and heal the Beaconed target, with different results for each. They still have a little bit of self healing with talents light Enlightened Judgements and Protector of the Innocent to try to keep that feel of them healing two targets at once, as well as being sturdy healers, as fits someone wearing plate and carrying a shield. Mana efficiency is something to keep an eye on, but we have a lot of knobs to turn with things like Seal of Insight and Beacon of Light. We recently made a change to make Judging Seal of Insight provide more mana to the paladin. Paladins can heal fine in 5-player dungeons and are doing great in raids so far, though we're about to get a whole lot more data on that.

The Present

Unfortunately, many of these strengths don't show up at 80. Missing Holy Radiance is huge. Mana isn't much of a problem on live today partially because health pools are still much smaller. There isn't much of a choice about whether to use Holy Light because the comparatively low expense of Flash of Light, coupled with the risk that someone may die at any second makes the decision about which heal to use not too challenging. We haven't seen too much evidence yet that paladins are much poorer tank healers than other classes, though I understand many of you feel that to be the case. (It also doens't help that the popular logging programs and websites aren't showing Holy mastery yet.) If we do decide Holy can't competitively tank heal any longer, then we will buff them. This is tricky though. Too much of a buff and paladins and raid leaders are just going to conclude "Oh, Holy paladin = main tank healer" again. Contrary to what you might suspect, our blue posts reach a very small fraction of even the raiding community. Mana may be a bigger problem at 80 just because we tended in the past to avoid putting regen stats on healing plate, and many paladins are sticking with the old models of stacking spellpower or haste, even when faced with mana problems.

Also contrary to how you might feel, we think we did pretty well with healer balance in Lich King. All 5 healing specs were represented. We think we can erode their niches a little, such that the two druid raid can heal fine, or such that you can put a Holy priest on the tank and a paladin on the raid, without having the healer that nobody will want. We haven't been in a situation where a healer gets sat for a long time. I don't think it will be that way in Cataclysm either.

As a footnote, it's always hard to talk about the "average healer," let alone the "average WoW player." There were paladins struggling for mana before this most recent patch and those who balanced their Flash of Light and Holy Light use. There were probably some who healed the raid and doing an awesome job. We have to look at lots of different players and often talk about you in more general terms than you actually possess. Just because any of the above doesn't apply to you personally doesn't make it an invalid conclusion. Just keep that in mind. (Source)

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