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by Published on 2011-12-17 04:38 AM

Diablo 3 - Beta Patch 8 - Quest Selection Screens and Unofficial class changes

Post 4.3 Interview with Greg Street (Ghostcrawler)
Blizzard was nice enough to let us talk to Ghostcrawler about his thoughts on Patch 4.3 now that it has been released and what the future has in store. We were even able to sneak in a few Mists of Pandaria questions for you!

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
In general, how well do you think Patch 4.3 went?
We are pretty happy with it, as it was a huge patch for us. Large patches like this always come with a risk that we will screw something up, but it was a pretty smooth launch for as much content as we had in there.

Are you happy with the difficulty of the Dragon Soul heroic encounters, or do you think the bosses are dying too fast?
We are pretty happy with the current difficulty, the first boss is designed to be pretty easy, and the next tier of hardcore raiders are at the second or third boss, which is pretty much where we want them to be. The top tier guilds are going through it quickly, as they always do, but they make hundreds of attempts on each boss. Everyone is about where they should be right now.

Recently you made it so that casters with shields can no longer roll on offhand items, but in previous tiers those items have been very competitive for those specs. Why was this changed?
That's only in Raid Finder, and we made the change to restrict certain items to certain classes to prevent things like hunters needing on strength swords. We debated the offhand change a lot and we knew that some of the shaman might be unhappy with the fact that we are making them use the shield when they might want to use an offhand, but we also thought the mages, priests, and druids would be upset that the shaman got to roll on the offhand and the shield when they could only roll on the offhand. It could have gone either way and we understand that some players are upset at the way it went. Once players progress to normal mode, they can still use the offhands, so it is only a Raid Finder issue.

You can easily max out Justice and Valor points right now, so do you plan on adding anything like pets, mounts, or vanity gear to provide some use for the points?
We talked about it in the past, but we like the way it works now where players hit the cap quickly by doing whatever content they want. We don't want players to feel like they have to log in every night to earn as many Valor points as possible.

Some guilds are doing up to 20 LFR runs in a week to maximize the amount of gear they can get...
Yeah, fortunately that isn't very widespread. It is hard to discourage, and if they are enjoying it and it doesn't hurt game balance, we are okay with that.

Is LFR going to remain a current raid only tool, or will we be able to use it from Dragon Soul onwards?
Nope, we want to use it from Dragon Soul onwards. We would have loved to turn on LFR for all of the old content in the game, but Raid Finder was actually going to be a Patch 5.0+ feature. Fairly late we thought that it would be great to get into Patch 4.3, but up until the very end it wasn't clear if it would be ready for Patch 4.3. However, we were able to finish it in time with Dragon Soul functionality. If there is time in the future, we would like to go back and get at least some of the older content into it.

Will there be another patch before Mists of Pandaria?
We said that we are not going to do another tier of raiding content and PvP season, but we will do the normal pre expansion launch patch. This would include things like the new talents and the other big mechanics changes coming in the expansion, along with the launch event that deals with the Horde vs Alliance story and the introduction of the new continent. The launch event will be similar in magnitude to what we did for Wrath of the Lich King and Burning Crusade.

Cataclysm brought us guild perks to make raiding easier like Mass Resurrection, Mass Summoning, and lower durability reduction on death. How high do you think the guild level is going to increase to in Mists of Pandaria and what kind of new guild perks do you think we will see?
We aren't going to double the number of guild levels or anything like that. We had to make up for the lack of it in previous expansions this time around. Players can expect a few more levels, nothing like thirty or forty more. We haven't talked much about the perks guilds will receive yet, but they will be similar to the existing perks. One idea was cheaper transmogrification, which could be fun for players.

Has there been any progress made on making items account bound and not server bound since you last commented on it?
We would still love to do it, it isn't a design problem as much as a technical one. We are doing a lot of work to get achievements to be account wide, and it is possible that some of the work we do there will let us do the same thing for items. We can't promise anything though, because it could be the case that the first 90% of the work is really easy, and the last 10% is more difficult. Catching all of the exploits and bugs are part of what makes this something that is hard to do.

Will the under construction parts of the Darkmoon Faire get filled out before Mists of Pandaria, or is this something that won't be done until later?
We have vague plans, along the lines of "Hey, we could add a haunted house here", but nothing solid. I would be surprised if it was expanded upon anytime soon, we might add something for the launch event. This depends on the players' reactions to the current one, if they feel like they are running out of things to do, or if there is a lot of love for certain minigames or parts of the Faire, we might be able to add something else. It is hard to provide enough content so that people never run out of things to do, so we are pacing ourselves with the Faire, expanding on it over time.

Items from Archaeology have low item levels compared to the new and easy to access gear added in Patch 4.3, Are there any plans to scale or add new Archaeology items that will be relevant to the current content?
We will likely add new items, we didn't want to compete with heirlooms and give alt characters more gear than they could possibly use, allowing them to level without caring at all about loot gained while leveling. We like the idea of artifacts remaining something that you can trade between characters on your account. If you get a healer trinket that you can't use right now because you don't have a healer, it could be something you use one day, rather than solving your healer trinket problems forever.

With the advent of LFR, casual players can see all of the content, while Heroic raids seem to be harder now. Is this type of difficulty something you want to move forward doing?
The advantage of having three difficulty levels is that we can tailor each one to the audience. Before LFR we could target Normal difficulty raids at organized guilds, which left nothing for PuGs to do, or we could target them at PuGs, making them too easy for organized guilds. This would leave normal guilds only Heroic difficulty for a challenging encounter, leaving nothing for the more hardcore guilds to do. The three difficulty levels let us tailor each difficulty so that everyone has something to do.

Are there any plans to promote Voice Chat use?
The Voice Chat we included is not a good feature. We tried, we made some mistakes, and we accept that it isn't something used by a lot of players. It is on the wishlist of things we would eventually like to improve. A big thing it is missing now that we would like to fix is the ability to communicate with people before you get into the game, having to be logged in to use it makes it less useful than something like Ventrilo or Mumble.

Are you planning on adding chat channels for healing, DPS, and tanking in LFR?
We haven't thought about it, but it wouldn't be hard to do. We would just add people to the channel based on their role.

Okay, great. Thank you so much for your time!

Winter Veil Changes
Blizzard has made a few changes to Winter Veil this year, including making You're a Mean One... into a group quest.

He would be difficult to defeat on your own, but anyone in the area is allowed to loot the Stolen Treats after he is dead and free Metzen. Doing so will reward you with a Stolen Present, which can contain a number of things, including previous year's gifts, Lump of Coal, and a Miniature Winter Veil Tree.

EU Celestial Steed and Pandaren Monk 50% Off
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Need to complete your pet collection? Want to travel Azeroth in style? Now is the perfect time, because during this holiday season you can trade up to an epic Celestial Steed mount or get the noble Pandaren Monk companion at half price! Click here to take advantage of this great offer.

But don´t wait too long, because this promotion ends on January 2!

MMO-Champion T-Shirts from J!NX
For a limited time at J!NX, get $10 off when you spend $35 or more on Curse merchandise! Simply use code MILKANDCOOKIES at checkout. There’s still time left to order for the Holidays, but the deal ends on December 18th at midnight, so don’t wait! Please note that this offer can’t be combined with any other offers or discounts.

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

by Published on 2011-12-15 10:05 PM

Diablo 3 - Diablo 3 Beta Patch 8 - Official Patch Notes

Battle.net BattleTag FAQ
Blizzard added a FAQ for the upcoming BattleTag feature to their new support site this afternoon.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
What is a Battle.net BattleTag?
A BattleTag is a unified, player-chosen nickname that will identify you across all of Battle.net – in Blizzard Entertainment games, on our websites, and in our community forums. Similar to Real ID, BattleTags will give players on Battle.net a new way to find and chat with friends they've met in-game, form friendships, form groups, and stay connected across multiple Blizzard Entertainment games. BattleTags will also provide a new option for displaying public profiles.

When will BattleTags go live?
We will soon begin limited testing of some features and functionality of BattleTags in the Diablo III beta test, and the feature will be available to Diablo III players at launch. BattleTags will be integrated into other Blizzard games and services such as World of Warcraft and StarCraft II at some point in the future, but we don't have exact rollout plans to share just yet.

Will my BattleTag be unique?
A player's BattleTag is not unique, so you won't need to worry about whether your preferred name is available. You can use any name you wish, as long as it adheres to the BattleTag Naming Policy. Only one BattleTag can be associated with each Battle.net account.

If my BattleTag isn't unique, what makes me uniquely identifiable? How will I know I'm adding the right friend to my friends list?
Each BattleTag is automatically assigned a 4-digit BattleTag code, which combines with your chosen name to create a unique identifier (e.g. AwesomeGnome#3592). Your BattleTag and code are viewable when you log in to the Battle.net website and within the Diablo III beta client, and can be shared with other players who want to send you a friend request manually. You will also be able to send BattleTag friend requests list within the context of a game (by clicking a person's BattleTag when he or she sends you a message, for example) without knowing their BattleTag code. In either case, each player must mutually agree to become BattleTag friends.

I'm not in the Diablo III beta – can I choose a BattleTag now anyway?
Sure! You can pick your BattleTag now through Battle.net Account Management, regardless of whether you're participating in the Diablo III beta test. Simply visit the BattleTag creation page (http://www.battle.net/account/manage...ag-create.html) to get started. Make sure to choose a handle you will be happy with in the long term and that abides by our BattleTag Naming Policy, as you will be unable to change your BattleTag once you've selected it. We plan to provide a way for players to change their BattleTags in the future, but we don't have any further details to share just yet.

Where will my BattleTag be seen?
During the Diablo III beta test, your BattleTag will be seen in the Diablo III client (on friends lists and in chat), on the Diablo III forums, and in Battle.net Account Management. In the future, expect it to be displayed in other Blizzard games like StarCraft II and World of Warcraft on friends lists, in chat, or when making posts on their associated forums. We'll have further details on how and where your BattleTag will be displayed in the future.

When will World of Warcraft and StarCraft II support BattleTags?
Our plan is for all current and future Blizzard games to support BattleTags eventually. However, we don't have any announcements to make regarding when BattleTags will be integrated into World of Warcraft or StarCraft II at this time.

Do I need to choose my BattleTag now?
You will only be required to create a BattleTag now if you'd like to log in to the Diablo III beta client (beginning with an upcoming patch) or to use a Diablo III-related identity on the Diablo III forums. You will still be able to post on these forums using a World of Warcraft or StarCraft II character name if you wish.

Will I still be able to display my character on my profile or Armory page?
Armory profiles will be unaffected by the introduction of BattleTags. We'll have more information on how BattleTags will be integrated into existing games in the future.

How will this affect World of Warcraft?
BattleTags will add a new way for you to make friendships and communicate in World of Warcraft. For example, you'll be able to create cross-game, cross-realm friendships with your BattleTag, similar to the way Real ID works now. We'll have more details to share closer to the feature's launch.

Will this affect my existing Real ID friendships?
No. Your Real ID friendships will continue to exist, and all of the features and benefits of Real ID will remain available to you. BattleTags will simply give players another way to connect and communicate across Blizzard games. For example, if two players aren't Real ID friends but want to stay in touch across Battle.net, they'll be able to establish a BattleTag-based friendship; in the future, BattleTag friends will have access to many of the communication benefits (such as cross-game chat) currently available to Real ID friends.

Do BattleTags replace Real ID? Can I create new Real ID friendships?
BattleTags are a new feature separate from Real ID. Real ID will continue to work as it always has, and you can continue to create Real ID friendships with people you know in real life.

Will this affect my World of Warcraft or StarCraft II character names in any way?
Your World of Warcraft character names will continue to exist and work as they currently do. We're still in the process of determining how we will handle StarCraft II character names once BattleTags are integrated into the game.

How does my BattleTag work in the Diablo III beta?
Only some BattleTag features will be available during the Diablo III beta test. At first, players will be able to add friends to their friends list using their BattleTags, though new or different features may be available at different times during the testing process. We'll have more information on all of the features of BattleTags in Diablo III with the launch of the game next year.
by Published on 2011-12-15 03:13 AM

Diablo III Fetish Shaman Pet
Players who purchase the Diablo III Collectors Edition will receive this Fetish Shaman pet in WoW. He even makes a nice little Diablo III logo!

Patch 4.3 Notes Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Judgement no longer automatically targets a nearby enemy when the player attempts to activate it without a hostile target selected.

  • The Eye of the Storm is now a rockier place, and is once again a part of the rated battleground rotation.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Account-wide Mounts
We are going to be testing out account wide features with Pet Battles that are coming with the introduction of Mists of Pandaria. If this proves to be successful, then we may even consider doing the same thing with mounts. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Send Us Your Transmogrified Screenshots
We’re creating a new gallery of the best screenshots featuring your Transmogrified characters. After we’ve gathered and filtered the pictures, we’ll post an update with all of the coolest-looking submissions. You can send us your pictures here. We look forward to seeing what interesting outfits you can create! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Curse Weekly Roundup - SWTOR, Diablo 3, Minecraft and WoW
Don't miss all the news from other games this week, let Pico tell you what is going on!

Darth Hater Contest
Curse and Darth Hater have organized a Darth Hater DB contest where you could win awesome Logitech gaming hardware!

You can get involved simply by commenting on Darth Hater database entries, adding screenshots, or adding game objects or NPCs to maps between December 8th and January 4th. Head over their site to find out more.

If you are looking for a guild of like minded players to play with, check out the topic in our SWTOR forum.

The Daily Blink
Who wouldn't want to play this? The Daily Blink also has a higher res version of the comic as well.

by Published on 2011-12-13 08:49 PM

Update - The Community Managers also posted about this change.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As a part of the on-going evaluation of Looking For Raid and the loot system, we have recently implemented a change to the Looking For Raid Need Plus system. Weapons, trinkets, rings, neck pieces, shields, offhand items, and the Robe of Glowing Stone are now class-restricted to their intended users. With the speed at which a Raid Finder group moves through a zone, we’ve found that it makes it challenging for players to evaluate loot decisions – by class restricting these items, we hope that the natural behavior will have a more positive set of results for everyone involved. This change will not apply to normal or heroic raid or dungeon loot rules.

Raid Finder and Need Plus are both very new systems, and we’re working to iterate on these systems rapidly to ensure that everyone has the best possible experience as we learn more about how players are using the system. Please keep in mind that this system is not considered complete and we have further plans to improve upon it within Mists of Pandaria.

If you looted an item from Looking for Raid which replaced another and you need Game Master assistance to recover your old item, please place a petition with the new item name, that you can no longer use it - and the old item name you need restored. For more information on the affected items, please visit the Customer Support forums here- http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3729953854#1

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Items - New Class Restrictions 12/13/2011
You might have noticed strange behaviors with some of your newly acquired items and some people posted about changes on the forums today, the official explanation appeared on the Customer Support forums!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Some items were recently reclassified. You may find yourself in possession of one of these items and are no longer able to use it.

If this item replaced another and you need Game Master assistance to recover your old item, please place a petition with the new item name, that you can no long use it - and the old item name you need restored.

The following are the items that have changed with new/changed class restrictions (LFR Versions).







by Published on 2011-12-13 02:14 AM

Diablo 3 - More Simplified Tooltips, Spike VGA's, and Blue Posts

Update: Added tonight's hotfixes, which include other Dragon Soul changes. Not all of them will be active until realm maintenance takes place.

Spine of Deathwing Heroic 25 Changes
It seems a hotfix went into effect tonight in the Heroic 25 man version of Spine of Deathwing that reduced the health of the parts of the encounter. We don't have any screenshots to share yet because guilds are being secretive until the boss is down.

  • Burning Tendons health reduced to 39 million, down from 42 million.
  • Hideous Amalgamation health reduced to 30.5 million, down from 34.5 million.
  • Corrupted Blood health reduced to 900k.
  • Corruption health reduced to 2.5 million.
  • Fall damage from canceling parachute removed.

Patch 4.3 Hotfixes: December 12
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Dungeons & Raids
Hour of Twilight
  • Archbishop Benedictus
    • Thrall should no longer despawn when no players are near him after the gauntlet has been completed.
Throne of the Four Winds
  • Al'Akir
    • Wind Burst should no longer knock players back too far.
Dragon Soul
  • Morchok
    • Earthen Soldiers, Ancient Water Lords and Earthen Destroyers now move faster.
    • Morchok's Resonating Crystals should now always target the closest players when they explode.

  • Yor'sahj the Unsleeping
    • Damage done by Forgotten Ones, Void Bolt AOE, and Searing Blood has been reduced on 25-person, Heroic difficulty.
    • Yor'sahj's health has been reduced by 10% on 25-person, Heroic difficulty.

  • Hagara the Stormbinder
    • Hagara’s Frost Shield can no longer be broken by Shattering Throw to avoid her Frozen Tempest phase.

  • Warlord Zon'ozz
    • Disrupting Shadows no longer deals AoE damage or knockbacks when the duration is reduced with Mage Armor on Heroic raid difficulties.

  • Warmaster Blackhorn
    • Shockwave can now be broken by trinkets and other effects that cancel stuns.
    • Blackhorn's Vengeance now accrues at a rate of 1% per 2% of missiong HP on Raid Finder difficulty.
    • After Warmaster Blackhorn is killed, the deck fire on upper decks is no longer present on Heroic difficulty.
    • Warmaster Blackhorn, the Twilight Elite Slayers, and the Twilight Elite Dreadblades are no longer able to attack players while mounted.

  • Spine of Deathwing
    • Blood Corruption: Earth will no longer morph into Blood Corruption: Death when dispelled.
    • Blood Corruption: Earth now applies two stacks of Blood of Neltharion when it expires on 25-player heroic difficulty.
    • The health pools for Burning Tendon, Corrupted Blood, Corruption, and Hideous Amalgamation have been reduced by 6 to 11% for 25-person raids on both normal and Heroic difficulty.
    • Hideous Amalgamations with the Superheated buff no longer pulse their AE damage after being thrown from Deathwing's back.

  • Madness of Deathwing
    • Damage done by Elementium Blast, Corrupted Blood, and Blistering Heat have been lowered on Raid Finder difficulty.
    • This encounter should now complete when all players die after Deathwing has been defeated.
  • Darkmoon Zeppelin should no longer be converted to a Horde Balloon during an Alliance to Horde faction change.

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Pounce should now apply its Bleed to targets beyond its normal range when used with the Glyph of Pounce.
  • The Mass Regeneration effect from the Druid Tier 13 bonus now heals 25% of the healing received by the Druid from Frenzied Regeneration, down from 50%. The tooltip will be updated in a later patch

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Holy Radiance should now stack properly with Holy Radiance, with all valid targets nearby being properly healed.

Warrior (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Bladestorm will now properly apply its immunities to spell effects that are in flight when Bladestorm is activated.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Transmogrification Rules
As mentioned in the original post, mailing an heirloom to your alt will strip any transmogrification effect. There was a bug that sometimes prevented this from happening, but it is now fixed. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

LFR 10 Man Size
Having the LFR group size set at 25 allows for a more forgiving experience should errors be made by individual players — after all, we believe Raid Finder groups should be a fun way to experience raid content without feeling too punishing to new or inexperienced raiders.

In regards to the loot issues you mention, such as people winning the same item twice, we're working on a solution for this. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Different Deathwing Endings for Different Difficulty Levels
In terms of storytelling and content accessibility, there isn't a real difficulty. The way we handled Ragnaros was kind of unique, but he's not the final boss of this expansion.

Your idea is quite contrary to our motivation for implementing multiple difficulties. We want as many people as possible to be able to experience the story, while still preserving many of the more prestigious rewards and achievements for those who complete Heroic difficulty. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Why do we have to pay real money for pets/mounts?
Pets and mounts are entirely cosmetic, they don't give you any in-game benefit or edge over others, therefore they're not needed, and the statement that they're "much better" than the ones in the game is completely subjective.

There are some rare pets and mounts in the game that are only obtainable from certain quests or encounters. If you prefer collecting things through the game, you could focus on getting all of those. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blizzard World of Color
Blizzard had their holiday party at California Adventure this year and along with the normal World of Color showing they got a special surprise.

Blizzard Art Gallery Update
The World of Warcraft Cataclysm Art gallery has been updated with six pieces representing the Warcraft universe.

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