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by Published on 2010-08-07 07:51 AM

Cataclysm Models - Twilight Ascendants
I think this is the last model added in the latest beta build, it took a little more time than usual to get everything fixed because the new streaming client hates me but I think we should be ok. Actually, the next few days will probably be interesting.

The Twilight Ascendant (Air) model has been added to the game, I also added the Fire model from last week to the screenshot.

There is also a short video of some of the new models from TotalBiscuit, who seems to do most of the work for me lately.

Deathwing vs. Alextrasza Fight Sound Files/Transcript Spoilers!
Most of the sound files of the fight between Alextrasza and Deathwing are up now. Cataclysm is going to be fun, oh, so fun. Thanks to Ralth for all the work he did on the transcripts, more to come.

OBVIOUS SPOILERS! COVER YOUR EYES AND YOUR EARS AND PUSH YOUR PAGE DOWN BUTTON! (I have no idea how you're going to do that with 2 hands)

Alexstrasza and Deathwing Fight Dialogue
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event01.ogg "Mortal, I want you to bear witness to this, but for your own safety, Stay back! Calen, you too"
VO_QE_Calen_Event01.ogg "I will not leave your side."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event02.ogg "Your life isn't yours to throw away Calen, should I fail, the fate of this world may rest on your shoulders."
VO_QE_Calen_Event02.ogg "Yes mother."

*Alexstrasza goes to Deathwing*
VO_QE_Deathwing_Event01.wav "Lifebinder. Do you presume that I am at your beck and call? I have a world to unmake."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event03.ogg "It pains me Neltharion, but I must end you, as i have ended Malygos!"
VO_QE_Deathwing_Event02.wav "Ha ha ha ha. End? Me? Lifebinder. You think life is yours to take away? Life is weak. Mortal. Fleeting. Fragile. Death is final. Death is eternal. Death is my realm. Look upon me, and you see death incarnate. The unmaker... of worlds."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event04.ogg "I see the hallow metal shell of a once great ally and the precious gift of the titans wasted."
VO_QE_Deathwing_Event03.wav "Then witness my new gifts! Bestowed by this worlds TRUE MASTERS."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event05.ogg "Neltharion, look at yourself, misshapen, twisted, you are coming apart."
VO_QE_Deathwing_Event04.wav "Just as all life ends in death, all order must end in chaos! Come! Embrace the inevitable... as I have!

*Alexstrasza and Deathwing fight*
VO_QE_Calen_Event03.ogg "Don't let them out of sight, quickly, come with me!"
VO_QE_Calen_Event04.ogg "There, they've fallen."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event06.ogg "The earth-warder.. he is dead.."
VO_QE_Calen_Event05.ogg "Mother, stay still, your wounds are great."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event07.ogg "The Black Aspect's blood is cursed, wherever it was shed, nothing will grow for 10000 years *groan*, but is it over, we can work now to bottle up the horrors he has unleashed."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event08.ogg "Impossible!"
VO_QE_Calen_Event06.ogg "Deathwing, he lives...... Deathwing.... he lives?"
VO_QE_Deathwing_Event05.wav "The sun has set on this mortal world. Make peace with your end, for the hour of twilight falls!"
VO_QE_Calen_Event07.ogg "Mortal, take the dragon queen, take her to safety, carry het to safety, now, run, get her away from here."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event09.ogg "Calen, NO!"
VO_QE_Deathwing_Event06.wav "Argh. You think to entrap me?
VO_QE_Calen_Event08.ogg "I will delay the aspect of death, take her to safety."
VO_QE_TH_Alexstrasza_Event10.ogg "NOOOOO!"

Password Security Information
Seriously, listen to the guy. Getting your WoW account stolen and restored within a few days is one thing, losing your hotmail account, your MSN contacts, and fighting with the tech support to get your password back is another. Yes, you can replace "hotmail" with anything else, you can even replace it with "puppies" because, yes, they will steal your puppies too, that's how evil keyloggers are.
Originally Posted by Bornakk (Blue Tracker)
We have been helping players deal with account theft for years now, and unfortunately, roughly a third of players make a very basic security mistake: using the same password for all of their security needs.

If you are serious about protecting your account and your personal security, your password should be different from your email account password -- or other personal passwords for that matter!

No one wants account thieves rooting around in their personal email, address book, and contact lists. Too often we see thieves breaking in to this information because their target has used the same password across multiple types of accounts. Not only can this give thieves access to your account, it can lead to compromises far outside of as well.

It’s immensely important that everyone use separate passwords for separate applications, including games. Secure passwords have both numeric and alphabetical values, and are usually at least 10 characters in length.

For more information on password security, please click here:
For more information on account security, click here:

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Ysera open eyes
As I've said before, her eyes are very intentionally open. This is, in fact, part of the fiction and will be explained in one of our upcoming novels as well as a future event in game.

If it suits you, feel free to RP going CRAZY INSANE after looking into her eyes in Hyjal. (Source)

Bloat vs. Choice
I think the word "bloat" has become like the word "clunky" in these forums. It's so often used as a synonym for "I would have designed this differently" that it has lost a lot of specific meaning.

I think in the end one of the things we've really learned about what players are looking for in a talent tree is that they are often looking for different things. Some players are perfectly happy spending every point on say damage. Damage is what they do, so any point not related to damage feels wasted. Some players want every possible talent build to be legit. They don't want there to be any wrong answers such that they could almost assign points at random and have something that was functional and diverse. Some players, and this surprised us a little, like to have the ability to make bad choices and are perfectly happy making wrong choices -- to them the freedom to choose trumps the desire for power. Some players just want every point and agonize about having to leave anything out. Some get really bent out of shape at the thought of spending even 1 talent point on a talent that they may not use say once every 30 min or so. They would rather respec into a situational ability when that situation comes up rather than have it just in case. Some are mostly interested in just seeing something different. They are less interested in the perfect talent tree than they are in having them change over time. Even powerful abilities feel like old hat and they want the new hotness. You see this a lot for the classes whose talent trees changed earliest in Cataclysm, who are now wondering when "their overhaul" is coming. Opposing them are the nostalgia buffs who can't stand the thought of any talent or ability going away because it's iconic for their class.

I'm really not building towards any kind of conclusion with any of that. It has just been interesting to see the feedback. I guess I can offer that you might want to be careful about who you think you are speaking for when you say "we feel this" or "we don't want that." Players, even the microcosm of the forum community, want different things. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy Shield / 15% block
Yeah, as some of the other posters said the issue is not really whether 4.5% or 8% (which is pretty liberal) is the amount of damage reduced. You're comparing full uptime to no uptime. If a paladin refuses to use their mitigation talents (i.e. stubbornly or sloppily choose not to use Holy Shield ever) then they are going to take more damage and suffer the consequences.

The issue is how catastrophic is it if you are sloppy and let Holy Shield slip off for a short time or choose to use Word of Glory instead. The answer is probably: not very.

Fifteen percent block is rarely going to make the difference between you being alive or dead. It will make a difference over the course of a fight in how much damage you take and therefore how much mana your healers need to invest. For that reason it's an excellent idea to keep Holy Shield up a lot. But if you let it fall down every now and then, you probably won't explode. (And let's remember there are several emergency buttons if you are on the verge of explodination that will mitigate a lot more damage than a block.)

The reason I keep comparing it to 15% damage reduction, is because damage reduction affects every hit you take. Block is a chance to take less damage on every swing. Integrated over the course of an entire fight, you will probably block 15% more with Holy Shield up. But if you let it drop for a few boss swings, you are going to take far less than 15% more damage. In fact, you may take no extra damage at all (i.e. you would have blocked anyway). In fact, you may take no damage at all (i.e. you dodged or parried). (Source)

Holy Shield uptime
I would say we are actually giving you control over your ability to survive. Today paladin tanking is very automated. Today the control isn't in your hands. We need to change that.

Look, nothing on normal mode is going to be tuned to the point where a paladin tank who lets Holy Shield fall down wipes the group. On heroic mode, yes, you will probably be asked to play to the best of your ability. That's the purpose of those challenges. (Source)

Why is Holy Shield duration so short?
The reason we haven't done that is we're concerned that once you have any Holy Power left for extra things, that you then assume you'd be balanced around those extra things. So for example, the model goes from paladins having to keep 15% block up to having to keep 15% block up *and* heal themselves every rotation. That's still a model we might consider though.

We're happy with the bones of the design. The details and tuning aren't quite right yet, but we have many ideas left to try. (Source)

Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Shadow Power
Shadow Power is now called "Blackout" and is a passive talent tree bonus for picking the tree. It provides 200% crits to Shadow spells. (Source)

Archangel and Evangelism
Archangel and Evangelism don't stack. The intent is that Dark Archangel is used when burst matters more than sustained damage (Dark Evangelism = Sustained, Dark Archangel = Burst), and not really something you'd do rotationally. In PvE you might do it if the target is going to die soon (when sustained dps really doesn't really matter), for target swapping, right before Bloodlust etc. (Source)

Mind Spike redesign
There are some additional Shadow changes that are upcoming, including a slight re-design for Mind Spike. The role for Mind Spike is still something you can do when you don't have the opportunity for your full blown rotation, but we also don't want you to feel like you have to work it into your normal rotation. (Source)

Mind Flay
Mind Flay is going back to a 3 sec cast time. As sometimes happens in beta, the data were pulled right while we were changing the spell, resulting in it being bugged. Sorry. (Source)
by Published on 2010-08-06 07:43 AM

Mini Deathwing
The latest beta patch added the model of the Mini Deathwing to the game. It could be the Collector's Edition pet but at this point there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in the game files to confirm that. Best viewed with something cute to hug in your arms. (I'm willing to volunteer for that depending on who you are)

Cataclysm Preview: Southern Barrens
Originally Posted by Slorkuz (Blue Tracker)

For our ongoing coverage of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we recently sat down with game designers Dave Kosak and Roman Marotte to ask them about the work they've done on the Southern Barrens, a once-familiar place drastically altered by Deathwing's return and the continuing struggle between the Horde and the Alliance.

Q. What was the original concept for the zone?
A. The Barrens is one of the areas of Kalimdor hardest-hit by the Cataclysm. It has literally been ripped in two! The Northern Barrens retains much of the feel of the original zone and fulfills a similar gameplay purpose: it's primarily a training ground for low-level Horde characters. That gave us enormous freedom to create a whole new gameplay experience for the Southern Barrens. In the wake of the Cataclysm, the Alliance has been aggressively expanding into the heart of the continent from the east coast. As players enter the zone, they'll find that the Horde is really up against the ropes. The escalating conflict between the two rival factions is front and center here, providing a backdrop for much of the area's quests.

Q. Who will be using this zone (what levels/factions)?
A. The Southern Barrens is geared toward Alliance and Horde characters from levels 30–35.

Q. Without giving up any spoilers, what's the general storyline for this zone? How has it changed from the original design?
A. "An eye for an eye" is the theme, with each side taking and losing ground, descending deeper and deeper into violent conflict. From the Horde perspective, players will learn the grim fate of Camp Taurajo and Honor's Stand. It's then up to the players to rally their faction's disorganized forces, initiate a change in local leadership, and avenge the sacking of Taurajo. The Alliance, meanwhile, struggles to hold on to recent gains, fending off attacks from all fronts. Players will also fight to save Northwatch Hold from the brink of capture and keep the roadways from Theramore open. Additionally, both factions have to deal with the explosive growth of a strange new jungle spreading across the Barrens. This is all entirely new content for the expansion.

Q. What do you think is the most exciting new addition to or feature of the zone?
A. Definitely the Alliance/Horde conflict, which really comes alive in the Southern Barrens. We tried to give players the feeling of participating in large PvP-style conflicts, even if they're playing solo. Alliance and Horde members will struggle to capture and defend key points of the battlefield against waves of enemy troops. New technology will allow players to experience the story in ways they never could have prior to Cataclysm. For example, the Horde assault on the fortress at Bael Modan, and its aftermath, should really pull players into the action by showing dramatic changes in the world.

Also, one word: Mankrik.

Q. What goes into redesigning a zone like this?
A. The Southern Barrens was a complete rework, so we really started from scratch, identifying the key areas of contention and then building a short storyline around each one. To accentuate the conflict, battles continually rage in hot spots around the zone. Finally, we put together a quest structure that throws players into the thick of those engagements. We invested a lot of effort into infusing the right emotions into the zone. If you're a Horde player, for instance, we want you to be completely outraged by what happened at Taurajo!

Q. So what has happened at Camp Taurajo? It appears to be in ruins.
A. That depends on whom you ask! Alliance players can speak to General Hawthorne at Forward Command and discover his reasoning for removing Taurajo from the Horde arsenal. On the other hand, if you speak to the various Horde leaders at Hunter's Hill, Camp Una'fe, or Vendetta Point, you'll hear a very different version of events. We suspect that debate over the ethics of this one will rage for some time.

Q. What was the most challenging aspect about implementing so many changes to an existing zone?
A. It was a real challenge getting the story to flow organically from the start of the zone to the climax. Key NPCs move around and are killed during the fighting; that's always tricky to pull off.

Q. What should players do or go see first?
A. Alliance players will definitely want to get to Northwatch Hold as soon as possible: it's about to fall to the Horde! Likewise, Horde players should check out the utter devastation at Taurajo. Someone... has got... to pay.

Q. Why is the Great Gate barring entry to and from the Barrens and Mulgore?
A. The Horde built the Great Gate in reaction to Alliance aggression from Dustwallow Marsh, including the construction of a highway running from Theramore straight to the Barrens. The gate was finished just in time: Alliance forces had penetrated all the way to the entrance of Mulgore, and the gate slowed them down long enough for the Horde to rally and launch a counterattack (with the player's help, of course!).

Q. Will you explain a bit about the emergence of the Overgrowth and the new Horde Camp Una'fe?
A. Players may be familiar with the story of Naralex, the ambitious druid who tried to reinvigorate the springs of the Wailing Caverns to return the Barrens to the lush expanse that it once was. His story continues in the Southern Barrens as he tries to contain and cope with the unintended consequences of his near-fatal exposure to the Emerald Nightmare. The uncontrolled growth in this part of the Barrens threatens the Alliance and the Horde alike. Teegan's Expedition in the east is stymied in its attempts to get Alliance supplies to the front, while at Camp Una'fe to the west, Taurajo's survivors find themselves overwhelmed as well.

Q. What are the Alliance forces at Forward Command and Fort Triumph and the Horde forces at Desolation Hold hoping to accomplish in the Southern Barrens by vying for control of the Battlescar?
A. Geography defines the conflict here. The Battlescar sits in the middle of a narrow pass, a natural bottleneck. The Alliance needs to blast its way through here in order to maintain an overland link between Theramore and Northwatch Hold, not to mention a route into the Stonetalon Mountains, where the Alliance can lend aid to its allies. If the Horde can seal off this pass, then Theramore will essentially be isolated. The conflict comes to a head in the Battlescar... and the future of Kalimdor may hinge on the outcome.

Thank you, gentlemen, for taking the time to discuss the work you've done to breathe new life and adventure into the Southern Barrens for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Wrathgate/Battle for Undercity gone in Cataclysm
It's not bugged. The quest ends at the cinematic now. (Source)

AE Tanking skills cooldown
We just didn't like the direction we were heading where every tank had an ability to guarantee that incoming adds would head right for them, and every tank had an ability to do reflective damage that had literally no decision or skill on the part of the tank to employ.

Use your Consecrates, Shockwaves, Swipes and Death and Decay when they would have the most impact, not on cooldown. Get adds to stick to you because you use abilities at the right time, not because once a mob hits you, you generate free threat. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Shield of Righteousness outdated in current Beta Build
The actual tooltip says:

Slam the target with your shield, causing Holy damage. Consumes all applications of Holy Power to determine damage dealt:

1 Holy Power: 30% Attack Power
2 Holy Power: 60% Attack Power
3 Holy Power: 90% Attack Power

Shield Slam hits for 100% of attack power, but it's physical damage. On the other hand, it doesn't require a secondary resource.

[...] It's not Shield Slam and it's not intended to fill that role. I was merely offering that so players would have a point of comparison for the kind of numbers their attack should produce.

We had pulled SoR from the beta because it was one of the things that, in our minds, made the Prot paladin and warrior feel too similar. We wanted to bring it back because paladins like the ability, but we didn't want to bring it back as a Shield Slam clone.

[...] If you use Shield of the Righteous with 1 stack, you hit softer, which may not be that big a deal since you can do it again after the next Crusader Strike / Hammer of the Righteous. However a 1 stack Shield of the Righteous only grants 5% block, which may be less than you want. (Source)

Holy Shield
To add to my previous tooltip, here is Holy Shield. Remember it's a passive now.

Your Shield of the Righteous hits increase your block chance by 5% per stack of Holy Power consumed. Lasts 20 sec.

As far as the burst threat concerns go, use Avenger's Shield. It hits very hard in Cataclysm. (Source)

Words of Glory / Holy Shield
We're talking about 15% block here, not 15% damage reduction. Sure over the course of a fight, you'd notice 15% block. But if you let Holy Shield drop for a few seconds you have virtually no way to know if that would even affect the next several seconds of the fight. Would you have blocked anyway? Great! You didn't need the Holy Shield. Would the boss have hit you even with the extra 15% block? Bummer, you wasted Holy Shield. If it's a dragon breathing on you, then the block does nothing.

We want Prot to be able to use Word of Glory sometimes and we're evaluating the best way to make that happen. We don't want a model where Prot uses the heal on cooldown because then we just have to assume it's up all the time and it feels more like something you have to maintain instead of something you can use for emergencies. (Source)

We're less sure about Inquisition. It's fine if Ret is designed around keeping it up nearly all the time because they're only spending Holy Power on damage attacks otherwise. With Holy Shield though it might feel like Prot needs to keep two Holy Power-based things running, which is probably two much to ask of a tank. In the prior model you could choose Inquisition's damage instead of Holy Shield's mitigation, but with the new Shield of the Righteous model, we realize that's probably not going to happen so we need to evaluate if that's okay. (Source)

Divine Purpose and Holy Wrath
We changed Divine Purpose yet again (and probably not for the last time) so that it gives Holy Power on almost all specials. This is one of the major sources of unpredictability in the rotation, so we need to get the numbers right where getting extra Holy Power is fun and that the more skilled players can utilize it better.

We actually want Holy Wrath to feel like a filler. The reason is that we think it's bad gameplay when players have absolutely no gaps in their rotation. Our encounters get increasingly complex to the point where we often ask you to worry about extra things beyond your core rotation. We also don't want things that break up your rotation (like say a knockback or fear) to be horribly punitive (it can be punitive, but shouldn't destroy your dps relative to someone else's).

To use the specific example, Ret isn't going to want to skip over a Crusader's Strike or Templar's Verdict opportunity except under extreme duress. But missing a Holy Wrath once in awhile won't be devastating. It might be a dps loss, but it won't crater your dps. We want all of the classes to have the occasional GCD with nothing going on, so long as it is truly occasional and not constant. This is less important with casters because they do have short periods while casting to look around and notice the state of the encounter. With the live DKs for example, there is absolutely no time to do anything but mash buttons, or the whole rotation collapses. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Rage Scaling
Bloodrage and Berserker Rage have been off the GCD for ages. Rage has mattered at various points of WoW's history, and neither ability has strictly been used on cooldown in the past. It's a new mechanic causing the problems.
I disagree. I think it is just because rage actually matters as a resource, so things that provide rage now feel like very important buttons instead of convenience abilities. We could remove Raging Blow and Fury's mastery, and warriors would still smack Bloodrage on cooldown just because of rage normalization.

Currently, Deadly Calm is the only way to proc Inner Rage aside from auto-attacking for ~15 seconds. I'm not sure where the disconnect is. Lack of confidence in players' observations? We're certainly not trying to circumvent the limits and discipline of a rage system.
Players in beta are either in Icecrown-level epics or quest greens. Nobody has gemmed and enchanted Cataclysm raid gear, or even heroic blues yet. Rage won't scale with gear to the degree that it did in the old model, but it will most definitely scale. Haste, hit and crit all have a huge impact on rage generation, and you just aren't going to get high ratings for those until you're in endgame gear.

On a dummy in live (my benchmark for the leanest possible rage income), I'll only get into trouble if I start fooling around with Heroic Strike or Cleave. That is, I think, roughly how it should be.
Sure, but once you have Blackwing Descent raid gear, you're still going to have a lot more rage. If you never run into rage problems now unless you hit Heroic Strike, then you're going to hit pretty quickly the situation where you never run into rage problems even when you hit Heroic Strike. We normalized rage, but we didn't want to normalize it completely. Gear still makes a big difference for rage income -- just not damage per se.

If you can, at least consider the relative angle. I haven't tested Fury for a couple of builds; just whacked a dummy for ten minutes on a pre-made after doing the same with Arms, and it was like night and day. Granted, in its cozy epic-80 niche, Fury still has rage close to where it should be. I wasn't staring at greyed-out buttons unless I did something stupid. Really, really fun and free. Just couldn't get that with Arms.
Yeah, I'm actually more worried about things feeling good for Arms, because Arms just doesn't hit as frequently as Fury, so the income is going to feel spikier. (Source)

As I suggested recently, we have already reverted the Bloodsurge change. We don't want Slam to be that predictable. (Source)

Bloodrage and Berserker Rage on GCD
Bloodrage and Berserker Rage are on the global cooldown because warriors were just hitting them on cooldown now that rage is something they actually have to pay attention to. (Source)

We are hitting them on cooldown because right now we 100% NEED that rage due to the current rage system and the rage starvation going on while leveling. If the rage equation were tweaked so that we can sustain our rotations then we wouldn't need to be hitting them on cooldown.
This is going to be a tricky thing to nail, and we knew it would be. There are some warriors who interpret any limits on their ability to push their buttons as being rage starved. Yet if you literally never pay attention to the bar, then it isn't a resource at all. Your "sustain our rotations" could mean that you should always be able to hit every button when you want to. What is the role of rage in that model? We are taking a look at the ratings decay as you gain levels. Now that the talent trees have lost so much crit, haste and hit, they may be too steep. I just mention that as an example of the kind of thing that is going to affect rage generation. (Source)

And if you're worried about Bloodrage being used for activating Raging Blow, then make it not an enrage
It's not really Raging Blow. It's the fact that rage isn't unlimited any more, so now Bloodrage is attractive as a button to hit on cooldown. By contrast, Tiger's Fury is not used on cooldown because you can push it at the wrong time. The health cost isn't a serious consideration of Bloodrage, but eating up a special attack is. (Source)

Enrage Uptime
We're going to continue to iterate a lot on enrage uptime. We want Fury to be enraged a lot (say 60 to 75% of the time), but want them to have enough control so that if they run into an unlucky streak, they can use one of their buttons to become enraged. Enrage has a longer duration on our internal builds, but we still want to avoid it being up constantly. (Source)

[...] That's not really it. As I suggested above, we don't want Enrage to be up say 60% of time, allowing your cooldowns to then push enrage time up to 100% total. But if we make Enrage on a long duration that means it needs a really small proc chance, which shifts it from being unpredictable to being slot-machine-level random. I'm not worried that there is a sweet spot in there somewhere where you often get Enrage procs to fill in the time in between say Death Wish and Bloodrage. We'd rather lower the damage on the Enrage talent, since getting to the Enraged mechanic is also valuable, especially for Fury. (Source)

The 3 sec Bloodthirst cooldown definitely makes us nervous, because it leaves so few opportunities to do anything else in the rotation, so we're just going to have to watch it. (Source)

[...] We might try 4.5 sec too. We just want to make sure Fury has something to do within that window when they aren't enraged, and we don't want that something to be Whirlwind. We also don't want to add yet another new warrior attack just to fill that niche. (Source)

Booming Voice
It's fine for Booming Voice to be an optional talent. You can't view it strictly in terms of rage per unit time, because availability counts for a lot too. What I mean is if you had an ability that gave you 100 rage on a very long cooldown, it might not be as useful as something you could rely on more often. (Source)

Deadly Calm
The intent is that Deadly Calm will often proc Inner Rage when it has finished, However if you could use it while you were in Inner Rage then you'd just use Deadly Calm to get around the rage loss that Inner Rage is supposed to cause (and in fact, that might make the ability more limiting because you'd be dumb to use it anywhere else). (Source)

Titan's Grip vs. Single-Minded Fury
Don't worry about the relative damage increases of Titan's Grip versus Single-Minded Fury. We've made no attempt to balance those against each other and won't spend that effort until we're happy with the basic rotation, which we aren't just yet. (Source)

Heroic Strike
If you have 30 rage and Bloodthirst is on cooldown, then you'll probably hit Heroic Strike. (Source)

Recklessness still on GCD
There probably isn't a good reason for it to be, to be honest. We'll discuss changing it. (Source)

Fury Rotation
Yeah, the windows are what we're going for. It might be that 6-10 sec duration feels better.

It should be something like this:

No enrage: Bloodthirst, Heroic Strike, Colossus Smash, Slam procs.

Enrage: Bloodthirst, Raging Blow, Colossus Smash, Slam procs, with Heroic Strike just for excess rage. (Source)

Concept Arts
2 New pieces of Concept Arts have been added to the Official Gallery

Fan Arts
4 New pieces of Fan Arts have been added to the Official Gallery

Curse Announces Starcraft 2 Replay Website Launch:
Curse is proud to announce that we have finally perfected our Starcraft 2 replays fansite and are opening our doors to the Starcraft community! We're going to house thousands of high-quality Starcraft 2 replays in our database, giving you access to all of the information for each of those matches! We are confident we're going to become your #1 resources for Starcraft 2 Replays on the web!

Features of

1. Look up Starcraft 2 Players:. Find their favorite race, map, and the strategies they use to win matches.

2. Download Starcraft 2 Replays: Search by map, race, league, or game type, and find the strategies used to win based on YOUR criteria.

3. Starcraft 2 Game Statistics: Find the most popular races and unit distributions based on the matchups players are in. Follow trends as our statistics track weekly, monthly, or all time.

4. Upload Starcraft 2 Replays: Upload your favorite matchups and show the world!

5. Game DNA: Our behind-the-scenes parser goes in-depth to give you a timeline of actions within the match, at a glance. Now you can see who built what, and when -- both the entire team and individual players on the team.

Get started uploading your replays today!
by Published on 2010-08-05 04:02 AM

01:10AM PST - Class changes are (finally) here.
11:30PM PST - Ysera looks great.
11:00PM PST - Added 6 screenshots of the game data streaming and added reforging. Classes changes are on the way. (Yes, "a few hours" doesn't mean the eternity)
10:00PM PST - A lot of stuff is broken because well ... working with streamed data isn't fun. Classes changes will probably have to wait a few hours. Don't worry, there is a plan B to keep you interested.
09:00PM PST - Downloading. New launcher looks pretty, but makes me sad.

Cataclysm Beta - Build 12694
A new build is being deployed on live servers. The coverage of the changes in this patch will take a while because .... well, we have to redownload the whole client with a downloader currently in beta. (Beta is the keyword here, really)

Reforging is finally here! You can swap 40% of any of the secondary stats of an item (mostly ratings) for another secondary stat.

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Ysera looks great.

Cataclysm Beta Launcher- Data Streaming
The new launcher is available, it allows you to "stream" the game and play before you downloaded all the content in the patch. For more information, please check:

When you have enough data to enter the game, the world will be downloaded as you progress through the game. Absolutely everything is streamed, the world, the maps, special parts of the interface, etc ... It's a little annoying when you start from scratch but it's fairly impressive.

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Spell Changes
These changes are the result of the comparison of the spells of the current build with the previous one. They're not a definitive or official list of changes, be careful before you whine, it might just be a mistake.

IMPORTANT!!! - Spell tooltips aren't accurate for the moment, we're working on a fix. Stick to the values written in this post.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Death Knight (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Shred now costs 40 Energy. Down from 50 Energy.
  • Swipe (Bear) now costs 15 Rage. Down from 20 Rage. Now has a 6 sec cooldown.
  • Swipe (Cat) now costs 45 Energy. Down from 50 Energy. (Yes, the cooldown is only on the bear version)
  • Maul now costs 30 Rage. Down from 35 Rage.
  • Mangle (Cat) now costs 35 Energy. Down from 45 Energy.
  • Mangle (Bear) now costs 15 Rage. Down from 20 Rage.
  • Claw now costs 40 Energy. Down from 45 Energy.
  • Rake now costs 35 Energy. Down from 40 Energy.

Hunter (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Beast Mastery

  • Arcane Shot now causes [ 17% of Ranged AP + 603 ] damage. Down from [ 33% of RAP + 603 ]
  • Termination no longer requires Aspect of the Hawk to grant additional focus.


Mage (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

  • Curtain of Frost now lasts 15 sec, up from 10 sec. Cooldown increased from 30 sec to 2 min. Now slows the movement speed for 4 sec, down from 8 sec.
  • Summon Water Elemental now has a 3 min cooldown, up from 2 min. Cooldown now starts to decrease when the mage summons the Water Elemental. (Old - Triggered on Elemental's death)
  • Shattered Barrier freeze duration lowered to 3/6 sec. (Down from 4/8 sec)

  • Critical Mass - Your Pyroblast and Scorch spells have a 33/66/100% chance to cause your target to be vulnerable to spell damage, increasing spell critical strike chance against that target by 5% and lasts 30 sec.
  • Improved Flamestrike now increases the effect radius of Flamestrike by 1/2 yards instead of increasing its damage.
  • Hot Streak now procs when you score 2 non-periodic critical strikes in a row with your Fireball, Frostfire Bolt, Scorch, Fire Blast or Pyroblast spells.
  • Fire Power is now a Tier 2 talent. Down from Tier 3. Increases the damage of your Fire spells by 1/2/3% and gives your Flame Orb a 33/66/100% chance to explode at the end of its duration.
  • Firestarter *New* - Your Molten Armor allows you to cast the Scorch spell while moving instead of reducing the chance you are critically hit.
  • Cauterize - You have a 50/100% chance that an attack which would otherwise kill you will instead bring you to 40% of your maximum health. However, you will burn for 12% of your maximum health every 1 sec for the next 4 sec. This effect cannot occur more than once per minute.

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Consecration now lasts 10 sec (down from 15 sec) and has a 30 sec cooldown.

  • Devotion Aura is now trained at level 5. Down from level 6.
  • Shield of the Templar now reduces the cooldown of Avenger's Shield by 2/4/6 sec. (Down from 3/7/10 sec)
  • Holy Shield is now a Tier 4 talent, down from Tier 5. No longer deals damage for every attack blocked.
  • Hammer of the Righteous now deals 398% weapon damage (up from 300%). Still jumps to 2 additional nearby targets, each jump reduces the damage by 50%.
  • Shield of the Righteous is back - Slam the target with your shield, causing 3198 plus 100% of your attack power per stack of Holy Power as Holy damage and refreshing the duration of your Holy Shield.

  • Swift Retribution is gone.
  • The Art of War is now a Tier 3 talent, down from Tier 4. Now increases the damage by 20/40/60% and critical strike damage by 30/60/100% of your Exorcism. Now has a 5/10/15% chance to proc from melee attacks.
  • Communion additional effect - Your auras increase your party and raid's damage dealt by 3% and your damage by an additional 2%.
  • Sanctity of Battle is gone.
  • Rule of Law is now a 2 rank talents. Down from 3.

Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Soul Warding now is a Tier 2 talent. Down from Tier 6. No longer reduces the mana cost of Power Word: Shield.
  • Focused Will now is a Tier 6 talent. Up from Tier 5.
  • Evangelism revamped - You have a 100% chance when you Smite and a 40% chance when you Mind Flay to gain Evangelism. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts for 15 sec. Evangelism (Smite) - Increasing the damage done by your Smite, Holy Fire, and Penance spells by 2/4% and reduces the mana cost of those spells by 3/6%. Dark Evangelism (Mind Flay) - Increases the damage done by your Periodic Shadow spells by 1/2%.
  • Archangel revamped - Consumes your Evangelism effects, causing an effect depending what form you are in. Archangel (Caster) - Instantly restores 3% of your total mana and increases your healing done by 3% for each stack. Dark Archangel (Shadowform) - Instantly restores 3% of your total mana and increases your shadow damage done by 3% for each stack.
  • Improved Mana Burn is gone.
  • Borrowed Time is back as a Tier 4 talent. Borrowed Time - Grants 5/10/15% spell haste for your next spell after casting Power Word: Shield, and increases the amount absorbed by your Power Word: Shield equal to 4/8/12% of your spell power.


Rogue (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

  • Gouge is now trained at level 16. Up from level 14.
  • Blade Twisting now reduces movement speed by 70%.
  • Improved Kick now has a 100% chance to silence the target for 1.5/3 sec.


Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Hex now lasts 1 min. Up from 30 sec.
  • Searing Totem now prefer to target enemies that are afflicted by your Flame Shock or Stormstrike effects.
  • Reverberation is now a Tier 2 talent. Down from Tier 3.
  • Improved Fire Nova is now a Tier 3 talent. Up from Tier 2.
  • Elemental Warding now reduces magical damage instead of all damage.
  • Ancestral Knowledge is now named Acuity and Increases your critical strike chance with all spells and attacks by 1/2/3%.
  • Convection now Reduces the mana cost of your damaging offensive spells.

  • Heroism's "Exhausted" debuff now also affects Time Warp (Mage)
  • Static Shock now procs from Primal Strike, Stormstrike, or Lava Lash (Old - All melee attacks and abilities). Chance to proc increased from 2/4/6% to 15/30/45%.
  • Totemic Reach *New* - Increases the radius of your totems' effects by 15/30%.

  • Totemic Focus is now a 2-Ranks talent, down from 3-Ranks. Now also increases the duration of your totems by 20/40%.
  • Cleansing Waters *New* - When your Cleanse Spirit successfully removes a harmful effect, you also heal the target for [ 1093 to 1164 ]/[ 2187 to 2330 ].

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Apparently, no changes in this build.

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Bloodsurge no longer procs from Heroic Strike.
  • Booming Voice now reduces the cooldown on your Battle Shout and Commanding Shout by 15/30 sec.
  • Rampage additional effect - In addition, improves your critical strike chance by an additional 2%.
  • Enrage now lasts 4 sec. Down from 12 sec.
  • Rude Interruption now lasts 15/30 sec. Down from 30 sec/1 min.

  • Impending Victory is now a Tier 4 talent. Down from Tier 5.
  • Warbringer is now a Tier 3 talent. Down from Tier 5.
  • Bastion of Defense is now a Tier 3 talent. Down from Tier 4.
  • Damage Shield is gone.
  • Thunderstruck is now a Tier 5 talent. Up from Tier 3. Revamped - Improves the damage of your Cleave and Thunder Clap by 3/6%. In addition, your Thunder Clap improves the damage of your next Shockwave by 5/10%. Stacks up to 3 times.
  • Gag Order is now a Tier 4 talent. Up from Tier 3.
  • Shield Specialization now allows you to generate 20/40/60 extra rage when you Spell Reflect a magic attack.
  • Heavy Repercussions *New* - While your Shield Block is active, your Shield Slams hit for an additional 50/100% damage.

Cataclysm Build 12694 Official Notes
I'm pretty sure I never posted the official patch notes on the front page, they're not really interesting but at least you have something to read while you download the client.
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Beta Patch Notes (version 12694)

Welcome to the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm beta test! Patch notes listed here are not comprehensive and will be changed throughout the testing process.

  • The Alliance starting experience for worgen is available. Venture through the cursed lands of Gilneas to discover your true path! Currently the female worgen character is not available for testing.
  • The Horde starting experience for goblins is available. Beginning on the Isle of Kezan in a goblin paradise, players will face a treacherous road ahead!
  • The level cap for all characters is 83.
  • Elements of the guild leveling, perks, and roster page are now functional. Players should once again be able to buy and register guild charters, which now only require five signatures. See the Known Issues section for issues associated with this new system.
  • Cataclysm Launcher Update
    • The new Cataclysm Launcher allows you to stream game data while you play. This will reduce the time you spend downloading, installing, and patching World of Warcraft. We’d like to get your feedback on the toolset and gameplay experience. Please head to the forums here for additional information:
  • Players may use our Character Copy feature for copying existing characters to beta realms, or may choose from high-level pre-made template characters.

  • Mount Hyjal and Vashj'ir, two new level 80-82 zones, are available for testing. Deepholm, a new level 82-83 zone is available for testing. Players may find their way to these zones by speaking with temporary teleportation NPCs located in any major city.
  • The level ranges of Gilneas and the Lost Isles are in the process of being adjusted slightly. Creature, quest, and quest reward levels are all being altered so that players finish questing in these zones roughly by level 12. Further fine tuning will continue in future content updates.
  • Several zones have had quest maps integrated.
  • Eastern Kingdoms
    • Arathi Highlands, Blasted Lands, The Cape of Stranglethorn, Dun Morogh, Duskwood, Eastern Plaguelands, Elwynn Forest, Hinterlands, Loch Modan, Northern Stranglethorn, Northshire, Redridge Mountains, Silverpine Forest, Tirisfal Glades, Western Plaguelands and Westfall are ready for testing.
  • Kalimdor
    • Most zones in Kalimdor are available for testing, though work continues on polishing the quest experience and flow, as well as zone aesthetics.

Dungeons & Raids
  • Blackrock Caverns, a new level 80-81 five-player dungeon, is available for testing.
  • The Stonecore, a new level 82-84 five-player dungeon, is available for testing.
  • Throne of the Tides, a new level 80-81 five-player dungeon, is available for testing.

Classes: General
  • All hunter and warlock pets have been deleted to address a data corruption issue. Hunters will need to tame new pets, while warlocks will notice the names of their pets have changed.
  • Ammo has been removed from the game.
  • The character levels at which classes gain new spells and abilities have changed.
  • The glyph system is in the process of being altered. Existing glyphs may not be fully supported or functional.
  • Many item and class stats have been changed or removed.
  • Rage has been normalized.
  • Spells and abilities no longer have multiple ranks and now scale with character level.
  • A first pass on new talent trees has been implemented.
    • Each specialization has been reduced to a 31-point talent tree.
    • Players will now get a total of 41 talent points to spend.
    • 31 points must be spent in the primary specialization tree before any points can be placed in additional trees.
    • Players will be asked to choose a specialization at level 10. Doing so will result in the unlocking of a spell or ability unique to that specialization, as well as one or more passive bonuses.
    • More information regarding our plans for talent trees can be found here:

Death Knight (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • A dedicated tanking tree has been implemented.
  • The way in which runes recharge has changed.

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • A new Eclipse mechanic has been added for druids. The feature is functional, but the interface art is still a work in-progress.

Hunter (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Five pets can now be stored with the hunter at all times. Any one of these five pets can be summoned via the Call Pet ability.
  • Focus has replaced mana as a new resource.
  • Hunters now start with a pet at level 1.
  • The Stable will now store 20 pets. If a pet is moved into the Stable, its talents are wiped.

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • We are in the process of overhauling many paladin talents, spells and abilities. Expect updates in upcoming patches.

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Soul Shards have been removed from the game as items. Instead, they now exist as a resource system necessary for using, or altering the mechanics of certain spells.

  • The Reforging interface has been implemented, however it may not currently be hooked up correctly to the corresponding NPCs.

User Interface
  • The ability to use third-party addons has been temporarily disabled for the test environment.
  • The Arena Teams pane has been improved.
  • Auto-quests have been added to the game. Players will automatically be given an auto-quest by entering specific areas in the game world. This alert will appear distinctly in the Objectives pane via the Advanced Quest Tracking feature. These quests will still be given to players with full Quest Logs, but will count toward the 25 total allotted quests if the log is not full.
  • The Character pane has been redesigned. Character stats can now be shown or hidden via the Show All Details/Hide All Details button on the bottom left. When shown, all character stats will be visible in a window to the right of the pane. Stat sections can be reorganized by clicking and dragging them up or down the pane.
  • The Professions panes now have more filtering and search functionality, as well as buttons to easily link recipes in the chat frame.
  • Many of the yellow System Messages that would display in the chat frame when leveling up have been removed.
  • New text animations now alert players as they level up, also providing information on when new talents, spells and abilities are available.
  • Professions and Class Trainers windows have been altered to more clearly display available and upcoming purchases.
  • Raid frames are now available and have temporarily replaced the standard party frames so that players can test them.
  • The Spellbook interface has been improved for greater ease-of-use and visual appeal.

  • Experimental support for DX11 (can be enabled by passing ‘-d3d11’ on the command line or adding SET gxApi "d3d11" to the Config.WTF file).
  • OpenGL Hardware Cursor support (can be enabled on the Video Resolution Panel).
  • Improved water and lava rendering system (enabled by the Liquid Detail slider on the Video Effects Panel)
    • 0 = Classic Water
    • 1 = New Water (fake reflections)
    • 2 = New Water (ocean has real reflection for terrain)
    • These values are likely to change during Beta.
  • Dynamic Sunshafts effect (enabled by the Sunshafts option on the Video Effects Panel).

Known Issues
  • Sudden Death procs do not reset the cooldown of Colossus Smash.
  • Several cloaks are displayed incorrectly on draenei females.
  • Ground mounts can be used when underwater in Vashj'ir.
  • Corpses are not tapped on the quest "Free Your Mind" allowing other players to use the Sovereign Rod on targets they did not kill.
  • While on the quest "Blood and Thunder!" NPCs will despawn prior to the event and the quest cannot be completed.
  • Sound is cutting in and out during two segments of Mor'norokk's voiceover during the quest, "Some Spraining to Do".
  • Characters with two professions learned cannot train new spells.
  • The spell effect visuals for Healing Rain and Earthquake look awkward when cast on a staircase or a steep incline.
  • Guild control and guild banks are experiencing issues related to the new guild leveling interface and functionality. In addition, guild experience may not display properly when players change zones, and guild members will be demoted to the lowest guild rank when logging out.
  • Battleground queues are undergoing significant changes and are not currently operational.
  • Gnome and troll characters have a broken background displayed as well as a LUA error at the character selection and creation screens. Having either a gnome or troll character can cause newly created characters to not display on the character list until it is refreshed by logging out and back in, switching realms and then switch back, or logging into and back out of the realm.
  • Players are currently unable to create new worgen characters.
  • Selecting high Liquid Detail when using Geforce 6 & 7 series video cards will currently prevent lava and water from rendering properly. You can temporarily restore liquid to the world by reducing the Liquid Detail setting via the Video Effects Panel, or by typing “waterDetail 0” in your Config.WTF file.

Bug Fixes
  • Entering a phase with phased terrain (i.e. Rim of the World) no longer boots players from flying mounts.
  • Players are now able to receive Stoneskin Totem from shaman trainers.
  • The quest "Up the Volcano" can now be completed.
  • Characters now ride the Swift Seahorse for the quest "Waking the Beast."
  • The mob Tendril from Below should no longer fall below the world when killed.
  • Globe of Boiling Water should now drop from Scalding Water Lords for the quest "Full of Hot Water."
  • The quest "Blackfin's Booty" can be completed.
  • The quest "Offering to Azshara" can be completed.
  • The quest "Seeds of Discord" should reset properly.
  • The rug in Stormglen Inn is should no longer be experiencing z-fighting with the floor beneath it.
  • The fire damage from lava should no longer hit players at any height.
  • Trainers are functioning properly.
  • Selecting a character on the character select screen after creating a new one will no longer cause the game to display and act on the character two slots above the selected one.
by Published on 2010-08-04 07:30 AM

Cataclysm Screenshot of the Day - Skywall
The official Screenshot of the Day Gallery has been updated with 2 interesting screenshots of Skywall.

Cataclysm Beta - Hunter & Warlock Pet Data Wipe Inbound
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
During the standard beta realm maintenance on Thursday morning, we will be wiping all pet data for hunters and warlocks to fix a data corruption issue. Hunters will need to tame new pets as a result of this change, while warlocks should simply notice that their pets' names have changed.

New Cataclysm Beta Launcher FAQ
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)

Below you will find the answers to common questions about the new Launcher being added this week. For more information and discussion, please review this announcement:

Q. How much data is in each stage for a full Cataclysm installation?
A. In general, about 5% of the data is red (required), about 70% of the data is yellow (base gameplay), and about 25% of the data is green (extended data).

Q. How is data assigned to each stage?
A. Data is assigned to each stage based on the relative need for that data. Red is required to get into the game, yellow is data needed for base gameplay, and green is for variants of base game data (higher-resolution graphics, alternate sounds, other flavor data).

Q. How do I know when the entire game is downloaded?
A. The progress bar will reach 100%, and then will not be shown on subsequent launches (until there is a new patch released).

Q. Will I still be able to download patches from mirror sites?
A. Yes, standalone patches will still work.

Q. Will the downloader still use P2P / bittorrent?
A. Yes.

Q. Will large patches still be downloadable in advance through the background downloader?
A. Yes.

Q. Will it be possible to download the entire game before I begin playing it?
A. Yes.

Q. Is this mandatory?
A. No. Users will have the option of playing before all game data is downloaded and applied. They may choose to enter the game, or they may choose to wait.

Q. On patch days, will I be able to start the patch download before the realms are back up?
A. Yes.

Q. You are requiring a reinstall of the beta client. Does this mean I will have to reinstall my WoW retail client when I buy Cataclysm?
A. No. As with the prior two expansions, there will be a lengthy patching process to migrate users from the prior major version (3.0) to the new major version (4.0). Data for this patch will be downloaded in advance via the background downloader.

Q. Will I still be able to download a patch once and copy it to multiple machines?
A. Yes, as long as you have fully downloaded the entire patch. However, as with the prior expansions, patches from a previous major version (all patches prior to 4.0) will not work with the new major version.

Q. What if I have a low bandwidth connection?
A. After the initial beta release, users with connections below 1 MB/sec will be required to download all data before entering the game. Users with connections above 1 MB/sec will have the option of entering the game before all data has been downloaded and applied. Users at any bandwidth may exit the game and resume the download if they find the play experience undesirable.

Q. How will this affect new characters logging in for the first time?
A. If a player chooses to enter the game while content is still downloading, data for the introductory race video and zone fly-through will be applied at the loading screen to ensure a smooth game introduction. This is currently only functional for new worgen characters. Other races have not yet been optimized, which may lead to issues with the opening fly-through if they are loaded while content is still being downloaded.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Guild Contest Status
All winners for the Cataclysm Beta -- Guild Contest have been selected and should be contacted via email soon. (Source)

In-Game Footage as Cinematics
Sort of taking it off subject to to start with, but it's inevitable that eventually computer graphics will reach the point where there's no such thing as pre-rendered cinematics. But we've all been hearing that for a while, and while we are getting closer, we're definitely not there yet.

We don't think we are. We don't pretend we are, and our in-house cinematics department is bigger than ever working on cinematics that are better than ever.

Regarding World of Warcraft - Each World of Warcraft release, including the initial and subsequent expansions, has had a single cinematic. It's what plays when you first launch the game. This intro-cinematic approach has been done primarily because, as an MMO, pulling players out of a multiplayer environment where anything could be going on at the time they hit the point where the cinematic could play is risky. Say you're PvP flagged and a cinematic starts to play. Or you happen to be having a very heated discussion in guild chat, etc. etc. It's not an ideal play space to be popping up full screen videos. The story was intended to play out within the game world itself through text, voice, and effects.

With Wrathgrate we tried something new. Using our in-house video team which had been making many of the machinima trailers for us (most of which can be found here for promotional use, as well as commercials, the South Park episode, on and on, instead used it as a way to show events to the player in a more cinematic approach. We had come a long way and with new technology a lot of the previous concerns were either completely squashed or had working solutions to remove a lot of the potential aggravation caused by interrupting the game.

The response was extremely positive. People really enjoyed it, and so it was used again as a way to give Arthas a more epic and cinematic end. Certainly befitting of a King. (Kael and Illy should have been so lucky...)

So, those are not pre-rendered cinematics, they're clearly using in-game assets, we don't claim otherwise. However, we do claim that they are completely kick ass and know that most people enjoy what they add to the game. Key word 'add', because they are truly additions which took nothing away from the intro cinematic each release has had.

The Wrathgate and Fall of the Lich King allowed us to really take it up a notch and deliver something spactacular.

Now, on to the subject of StarCraft II - In our opinion it also has amazing cinematics. The in-engine story telling in StarCraft II, which you say has detracted from the cinematics, is comparative to this - from the original StarCraft.

We think we've come a long way.

Bottom line, we still have an incredibly talented cinematics team and we'll continue to produce the amazing pre-rendered cinematics you've come to know and love. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Retribution Rotation
The rotation won't be 121212 under any circumstances.

At the very basic level you could call it 1112111311121113 but almost every class boils down to something similar if you ignore all of the other talents and abilities. What will keep Ret from falling into a rotation that stable are:

1) Having to manage other attacks. Judgement isn't the kind of button you eventually get around to using.
2) Getting Holy Power coming in at somewhat unpredictable (but not completely random) intervals.
3) Dealing with procs like Art of War.

Seals do way too much damage on live and in Cataclysm. We haven't worried about that damage yet because we're still working out a basic rotation that feels good. We also are mindful that deemphasizing white attacks of any kind risks making haste less attractive. (Source)
by Published on 2010-08-03 07:11 AM

Beta (Important!) - New Cataclysm Launcher Coming Soon

Uldum - Screenshots, Tol'vir, and Video
TotalBiscuit released a video of Uldum during the week-end, keep in mind that this zone isn't finished yet and this is just a preview.

It's a pretty good opportunity for me to throw tons of screenshots of Uldum in a news post, the zone definitely had a couple of updates since the last time I posted it and you should discover a couple of interesting things there.

Last but not least, the models of the Tol'virs (Stone-like cat people created by the titans) and the Ramkahens (Descendant of the Tol'vir who lost their "stone" form) are now fully implemented.

Tons of variations exists for these models and you will probably see a lot of them around Uldum.

Arena Tournament Realm Online
Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)
The 2010 World of Warcraft Arena Tournament’s online portion has come to a close, but fear not! The Arena Tournament Realm is coming back online for everyone that participated in the 2010 event! Skirmish mode will be disabled during this time, but players will still be able to create new characters and teams in addition to being able to participate in “rated” matches. Please keep in mind that the online portion of the 2010 World of Warcraft Arena Tournament has come to a close, and that all matches played on the Arena Tournament Realm are not counted toward tournament standings or any prizes.


The 2010 EU Warcraft Invitational: Activities
Originally Posted by Slorkuz (Blue Tracker)
The 2010 European Warcraft Invitational is drawing near, and while you’ll have the chance to watch some of the top players on stage, you might also want to take an occasional break from the thrill of the games and prove yourself in one of our fun activities:

  • Play against fellow goblins to prove you are worthy of becoming a member of the Kezan Trading Company.
  • All your gold are belong to us! Collect as much gold as you can to win the gold rush challenge.
  • You’ve played StarCraft II and think you can take on the universe? Prove it in the StarCraft II tournaments and competitions.

Best of all, the winners will be receiving some great World of Warcraft and StarCraft loot, including mouse pads, posters, t-shirts and WoW: Cataclysm Beta keys.

More information about the 2010 European Warcraft Invitational can be found here:

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Guild wipe last week on beta servers
We had to wipe guilds on the beta server in regards to a number of bugs that were introduced with the new guild advancement system. The wipe also helps us get the most accurate testing we can with the new system.

Sorry for the late notice on this, we will do our best to give warning if we need to do it again. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Protection Paladin (Source)
Here is how Prot paladins are working in our current beta build. You might not see these changes in the next beta build, but in the one after that. Things are still in a high degree of flux however.

Shield of the Righteous -- Now consumes Holy Power to cause damage.

Holy Shield -- Now a passive ability that causes your Shield of the Righteous to provide 5% block per stack of Holy Power consumed. In other words, you never click Holy Shield. You just click Shield of the Righteous and buff yourself.

Hammer of the Righteous -- Now generates Holy Power but shares a cooldown with Crusader Strike. Almost all talents that affect one or the other will affect both. The intention is you use Crusader Strike -> Shield of the Righteous for single target and Hammer of the Righteous -> Shield of the Righteous for multitarget.

Avenger's Shield -- No real change, but it still hits pretty hard. Both CS and HotR can proc Grand Crusader to lower the Avenger's Shield cooldown.

Vindication -- can be caused only by Crusader Strike or Hammer of the Righteous.

Holy Wrath -- With the above changes, we think Prot paladins have enough rotational buttons to hit, so we are downplaying Holy Wrath. Holy Wrath is really intended as a Ret filler spell (for when other attacks are on cooldown). Prot could technically use Holy Wrath, but we aren't providing any talent hooks.

Consecration -- Now on a 10 sec duration with a 30 sec cooldown. The Hallowed Ground talent makes it cheaper and hit harder -- it does not affect duration. Use Consecration when you need it, but you can't spam it. This is consistent with the AE changes we are making to all tanks.

With these changes in mind, Prot will be thinking about buttons such as these:

Single Target: Judgement, Crusader Strike, Shield of the Righteous, Avenger's Shield.
Multi-target: Judgement, Consecration, Hammer of the Righteous, Shield of the Righteous, Avenger's Shield, possibly Exorcism.

None of this includes things like Seals, Inquisition, defensive cooldowns, Word of Glory, etc.

So with Vindication off of Holy Wrath, is it intended that Prot Paladins are the only tank without an AoE Physical Damage debuff, or will similar changes be made to the Warrior/Druid/DK mechanics?
Hammer of the Righteous will be AoE enough. It hits many targets. It may not be as widespread as Demo Shout on a pull like a jillion Onyxia Whelps, but we don't really expect you to debuff pulls of that size.

Let me just clarify something - Hammer of the Righteous will generate 1 Holy Power per cast, or 1 Holy Power per target hit?

One per cast. Otherwise we think paladins might want to always be hitting multiple targets, like "Let me tank the boss and one of the adds or my Holy Power generation will be low."

Is Holy Wrath going to have the same model it currently has? As a split damage ability?
Yeah, we like the split damage because it lets Ret (and Prot if needed) use it in most situations.

Also will 3 stacks of holy power when using shield of the righteousness roughly equal the amount of threat it did before it got removed or is it changed?
It will be a hard-hitting button, especially with 3 stacks. I'd guess your highest damage ability.

World of Warcraft Calendar Wallpapers
The official World of Warcraft Wallpapers section has been updated with 2 new wallpapers.

by Published on 2010-08-02 05:23 AM

Cataclysm Elementals Models
Just like WotLK, Cataclysm brings awesome new models for elementals! The picture below should give you a good idea of what to expect in Cataclysm, each elemental has a "Bound" (Armored) and "Unbound" (Unarmored) form and is extremely detailed. Only the Unbound Air elemental is available for the moment, I'm still working on getting decent shots of the Unbound Water/Earth. (No fire yet)

Stormwind Stockades in Cataclysm
Interesting changes were made to the Stormwind Stockades in the latest build, the dungeon has been fully revamped and now features 3 different "Wings"

  • The "Human" wing, when you enter the instance. (Boss - Randolph Moloch)
  • The "Elemental" wing, when you go down the stairs on the right. (Boss - Lord Overheat)
  • The "Gnoll" wing, when you go down the stairs on the left. (Boss - ... Hogger!)

Just like most of the low level Cataclysm dungeons at this point, new NPCs have been added to the starting zone and will give you all the quests related to the dungeons there to make questing through the Dungeon Finder easy.

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Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy Shield
As it is now, it's worthless. If you like keeping Holy Shield up, there is zero chance of using Word of Glory. The heal for Word of Glory is still insanely gimpy, even with the buff, so it's unlikely that it will be used. It's still impossible to keep Holy Shield up with great consistency.
I'd buy that if Holy Shield gave you 20% damage reduction or something, but it's 15% block -- at best. You won't even really know if you would have blocked that hit had Holy Shield been up and you could easily keep Holy Shield up and still fail to block. Because it's not 100% dependable, letting it lapse sometimes shouldn't be the end of the world. Sometimes it might make sense to delay that block and heal yourself.

As far as rotations go, something I mentioned in the live forums is we are trying letting Shield of the Righteous (or whatever we decide to call it) consume Holy Power for more damage *and* refresh Holy Shield. So you would need to get Holy Shield up, but then you could just use your shield hits instead. If you were ever in a position where you couldn't hit the boss, you could always fall back on just casting Holy Shield itself. We'll see how that feels. (Source)

Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
I predict Chakra is going to be the reason players play Holy priests. It's going to be the kind of thing where you try out Disc for a few nights but decide you miss Chakra too much and go back. It's just not there yet. (Source)

So... Discipline is boring?
No, you're reading things into my words that I didn't actually say.

In LK, we would hear a lot how Disc was fun to play because of the shields and especially Penance. Priests would switch to Holy for a fight, but say that they missed the way Discipline felt. We think Holy needs something besides CoH that is a really fun mechanic that kind of sets the whole talent tree. Serendipity and Surge of Light can be fun today, but we think the tree needs more. Chakra has a ton of potential. Like I said, it's not there yet, but we have a lot of ideas for it.

Disc will be fine in Cataclysm PvE. It is going to be more well-rounded than it is today, but still have excellent absorption mechanics. (Source)

Shadow in Cataclysm
Mind Flay -- This is a technical explanation, but basically we had to rebuild it for Lich King to get it to benefit from haste correctly. Now that we have tech to let all periodics scale correctly with haste, we can change Mind Flay back to the way it used to work. The "latency" issues you experience today should be gone. You can just mash the Mind Flay button and the periodic won't clip.

Mind Blast -- With some increases scaling and the Shadow mastery, Mind Blast should always be your highest damage button (other than SWeath).

SW: Pain -- Pain and Suffering refreshes SW:Pain with your current haste, crit etc. values. All damage-over-time refresh mechanics and talents should do this now. You shouldn't have to recast a dot to benefit from a temporary buff or proc or whatever.

Spec options -- We have some plans to make early Disc more attractive to Shadow. There are probably fewer of us than you imagine, and we just can't work on every class at once. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Why does a DK not have to choose between horn of winter and desecration?
Because that is pretty much all the DK gets.

The shaman on the other hand gets to choose among Strength of Earth Totem, Windfury Totem, Wrath of Air Totem, Flametongue Totem, Tremor Totem, Healing Stream Totem, resistance Totems and Earthbind Totem, which doesn't even count Bloodlust / Heroism, and things like Unleashed Rage or Elemental Oath. If your buff was as competitive as theirs and you had so much versatility, we fear we'd see raids with many, many shaman in them. As it is, there's still a good chance for 3 shaman in a 25-player raid, while the DKs might get 2 slots if they're lucky.

You should get a slot because you are a good player, not because your buff rules. (Source)

Shamans are Mandatory
Throughout the history of WoW, the problem has typically been that shaman (and paladin to be fair) bring too much utility and are therefore considered too mandatory. They started out in vanilla as buff classes -- the guys you bring who don't really do much themselves but bring buffs and debuffs that make every other class perform better. You couldn't for example just stack your raid with rogues and mages because their performance would be low without the shaman and paladins -- and before LK you had to bring enough to stick one in every group.

Now, we decided to change that design because we didn't think it felt very satisfying to be the buff bot spec who got brought along as if the player were some kind of scroll or flask to improve the "real players" performance. On the other hand, we knew it would be really brutal to the shaman and paladin to just rip away all of their utility and give them the typical 2 or so raid buffs that most other classes or spec get.

But we've definitely eroded it a little, and I'm not going to apologize much for that because we want to give players flexibility -- and flexibility means you can do a raid, especially a 10-player one, without a shaman or paladin. Nobody should be mandatory, except for a tank and a few healers. Nobody should be left out either, but the specs who got left out in LK did so because of low dps -- Arms, Frost mage and Subtlety rogue. Shaman did fine.

Believe me, I have thought long and hard about scrapping the entire buff / debuff system because players focus on it too much. But I know that if we did that, players would then focus too much on damage per second and healing per second of the best players out there. We also think it would be unfortunate to lose that sense of being so much more powerful in a group than you are solo.

For now, in Cataclysm, we are just sharing even more of the buffs and debuffs across a wide gamut, especially very powerful ones like Bloodlust and Battle Rez, and chilling out the impact of some of the more potent ones, say Sunder and Curse of Elements, while also cutting back on the sheer number of buffs brought by say the Ret paladin and Balance druid.

I am much more interested in discussions about say shaman dps totems and healing totems than I am about buff totems, because we believe the latter have much less to do with either your getting to raid or your raid being succesful. (Source)

Enhance does fine on stationary fights like Saurfang and Festergut, but drops behind on heavy movement fights, and unfortunately the fight that counts the most has a lot of movement.

But that's not a totem problem. That's because so much of Enhancement's dps is tied up in getting procs on quick attacks. If a warrior has to move, it may not hurt them as much because their abilities are on longer cooldowns anyway and they can even store up on the rage. For energy classes it's even better because they can just unload when they do get back in range. But Enhancement just lost out on those procs, and they aren't coming back.

We're okay with some specs doing better on some fights than others, but we think Enhancement suffers a little too much when they have to move (and they aren't the only ones - Balance druids and even Elementals are in a similar bucket). We're trying to address this in Cataclysm without removing what it is that players like about Enhance.

But again, this doesn't have a lot to do with totems. They might have to drop their totems again, but that dps loss is arguably neglibile compared to the loss of not being able to deal damage for short times. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Tanking Talent in Fury Tree? (Die by the Sword)
I play with this Fury warrior. His dps is quite high to the extent that he pulls a lot and then generally dies before anyone can respond. This talent is dedicated to him. (Source)

One potential solution to Slam for Fury is to make the proc more predictable (like Overpower for Arms). With Enrage -> Raging Blow as the major mechanic Fury needs to pay attention to now, watching for that Bloodsurge proc may be a little too much. (Source)

Inner Rage
Also, does anyone else feel like Inner Rage is more or less pointless now? It doesn't really seem to add anything to the class other than unnecessary complexity. It feels like our rage gain is stable and well-balanced enough that the balancing doesn't need to fall back on such an obvious crutch and making the cost of your abilities fluctuate is just annoying.
Nobody is raiding and there isn't a lot of PvP on Beta (yet). Simply using an ability like Raging Calm will probably trigger Inner Rage (which was part of the idea behind it). (Source)

The MMO Report
The MMO Report is back this week!

Dark Legacy Comic #249 and Teh Gladiators #154 + #155 are out.

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