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Layers of Fear Giveaway: Winners have been PMed, check your PMs to see if you won!

by Published on 2011-11-01 07:49 PM

Update - You will have to wait 24H before you can see one at the Auction House, it comes with a bind on pickup lasting 24H.

Guardian Cub Tradable Pet Now Available!
The new Guardian Cub pet is now available, and you can trade it and sell it at the auction house!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Now available in the Pet Store: the new and titanically cute Guardian Cub companion. Orphaned by its titan creators, the fledgling Guardian Cub has taken wing to look for a happy home. Adopt one today and it will stay by your side through thick and thin, following your character just about anywhere your adventures take you—even into the skies of Azeroth.

The Guardian Cub is the Pet Store's first tradable pet, meaning it can be swapped between characters in-game or given as a gift to guildmates, friends, family, or that special someone (after a cooldown period -- see below). Due to his finicky nature, each Guardian Cub will only give its allegiance to one owner, meaning it’s a one-time-use pet that permanently binds to a single character. Be sure to choose a master wisely.

The Guardian Cub is available now in the Pet Store. Check out the mini-FAQ below for more information on how this flying friend differs from other Pet Store companions.

Q: How does the Guardian Cub pet work? How is it different from other Pet Store pets?
Unlike the other Pet Store companions, the Guardian Cub is a tradable, one-time-use pet that permanently binds to a single character upon use. When you purchase the Guardian Cub from the online store, the character you designate will receive a bind-on-use item in his or her in-game mailbox, which can then be added to the character’s inventory. You can either use the item yourself to permanently add the pet to your character's collection (consuming the item in the process), or -- after an initial 24-hour cooldown period -- you can trade the item to another player so he or she can add it to one of their character's collections. Note that once the pet has been added to a character's Companions list, it can no longer be traded, so make sure you're giving the cub a happy home.

Q: Will I be able to carry more than one Guardian Cub at a time?
While a character can only have one Guardian Cub in his or her Companions list, you can have as many in your inventory as you like. Please note that Guardian Cub items do not stack, so each one will take up a bag or bank slot.

Q: How much will the Guardian Cub cost in the Pet Store?
The Guardian Cub will be priced the same as the other Pet Store pets ($10 USD). All sales of the Guardian Cub are final -- no refunds will be given once a purchase is made.

Q: Why did you decide to make the Guardian Cub tradable?
Since the introduction of the Pet Store, many players have been asking for ways to get the companions we offer there without having to spend real-world cash. By making the Guardian Cub tradable (much like the BoE mounts from the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game), players interested in the new pet will have fun, alternative in-game ways to get one. In addition to trading the pet, players can give the Guardian Cub as a gift to another character for a special occasion; guild leaders can use them to reward members for a job well done; and so on. We also hope this change will help reduce the number of incidents of scamming via trading for invalid pet codes.

Q: Could I put the Guardian Cub up on the auction house to try to make some gold if I wanted to?
While our goal is to offer players alternative ways to add a Pet Store pet to their collection, we’re ok with it if some players choose to use the Guardian Cub as a safe and secure way to try to acquire a little extra in-game gold without turning to third-party gold-selling services. However, please keep in mind that there's never any guarantee that someone will purchase what you put up for sale in the auction house, or how much they'll pay for it. Also, it’s important to note that we take a firm stance against buying gold from outside sources because in most cases, the gold these companies offer has been stolen from compromised accounts. (You can read more about our stance here.) While some players might be able to acquire some extra gold by putting the Guardian Cub in the auction house, that’s preferable to players contributing to the gold-selling “black market” and account theft.

Q: Are you changing the other available Pet Store pets (e.g. Lil' Ragnaros, the Pandaren Monk) to work this way?
No, the other available Pet Store pets will continue to work as they always have.

Q: What about future Pet Store pets?
It's too early to say how we'll handle future Pet Store pets. We made this change in response to feedback from players looking for alternate ways to get the Pet Store pets, and we're always looking into other opportunities for improvement. We're interested in hearing what players think of the Guardian Cub, and we hope you'll have fun with this new flying friend.
by Published on 2011-11-01 01:32 AM

Patch 4.3 - PTR Build 14911
A very minor PTR build is being deployed on test realms tonight.

Achievements Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Feats of Strength
  • Murkablo Proud owner of Murkablo from the 2011 BlizzCon.

Guild - Raids & Dungeons

Client Strings
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • ERR_PARTY_LFG_BOOT_VOTE_REGISTERED = "Your request to kick %s has been successfully received. %d |4more request is:more requests are; needed to initiate a vote.";
  • INELIGIBLE_FOR_LOOT = "You are not eligible for these items because you recently defeated this encounter.";
  • LOOT_ITEM_WHILE_PLAYER_INELIGIBLE = "%s receives loot: |TInterface\\Common\\Icon-NoLoot:13:13:0:0|t%s";

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)

Patch 4.3 Dragon Soul Raid Mounts
One of the latest PTR builds added 2 mounts to the Dragon Soul loot tables, the Life-Binder's Handmaiden drops from Madness of Deathwing (last encounter of the Dragon Soul raid) in Heroic Mode. People defeating Madness of Deathwing in normal mode will be rewarded with Reins of the Blazing Drake.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
New Guild Services Now Available - Updated
And one last update for you folks today: Guild services are now open on all North American realms. :)

[...] Yup! "North American realms" refers to any realm that appears in the realm list when launching the NA game client. This includes realms that fall under both the Oceanic and Latin America tabs, as well. :) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Test Realms - Play AGAINST The Blues! BGs - 11/01/11
Greetings All!

Tomorrow 11/01/11 the mightiest combatants of Blizzard will once again gallantly stride across the blood-soaked soil of Azeroth. That's right, we're doing a Play-with-the-Blues Battlegrounds event on the PTRs!

From 3:00pm-6:00pm PST we'll be queuing for specific battlegrounds, be online and watch for the server alerts to know where to find us.

Hope to see you online! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Test Realms - Play ALONGSIDE The Blues! - LFR 11/04/11
After you've tested your mettle against us during the "Play AGAINST The Blues" event on Tuesday you can follow it up by joining us on the PTR in the fight against Deathwing and his minions!

On Friday 11/04/11 we'll be online from 3:00pm-6:00pm PST and will be queuing up for Dragon's Soul raids using the Looking For Raid tool. Queue up using the LFR tool to join us. You will know us by our guilds [Blizzard Horde] & [Blizzard Alliance]. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

2011 Halloween Pumpkin Contest Winners
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The winners of this year's pumpkin-carving contest have been chosen -- and they're monstrously spectacular. We'd like to thank everyone who participated this year, and we can't wait to see your mad scientist skills in action again next time around. Check out all of the creepy, incredible, and creative winning pumpkins here.

Blizzard Art Gallery Update
The World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Art gallery has been updated with five pieces representing the Warcraft universe.

by Published on 2011-10-30 09:14 PM

Patch 4.3 World Map and Minimap Improvements
The world map and mini-map got a couple of upgrades on test realms and they should be slightly more useful after the patch, hopefully we will see it on live servers soon.

  • The minimap has an improved menu and will let you track a couple more things, including archaeology and questing areas.
  • You can now track areas on your minimap, archaeology sites and quest objectives areas will now be displayed directly on the minimap!
  • The world map now (finally) shows the level of regions on mouseover.

Patch 4.3 - Priest Glyph of Shadow
Priests are getting a new minor Glyph in patch 4.3, the Glyph of Shadow! As mentioned during Blizzcon, this glyph changes the alpha of your character and lets you see most of your equipment while in Shadow Form.

Patch 4.3 - Divine Aegis Animation
While we're talking about priests, here is a video preview of the new effect on Divine Aegis.

Patch 4.3 - Hurricane Animation
Druids also got some more tweaking to the new Hurricane animation. Don't forget about the other animation updates:

Comics: Dark Legacy and Teh Gladiators
Dark Legacy Comics #310 and Teh Gladiators #284 + #285 are available!

The MMO Report did a nice Blizzcon special this week, with a quick overview of all we learned.

by Published on 2011-10-28 05:25 PM

Update - There was another "update" to PTR 4.3 notes today, this is the same thing as yesterday's update except that Blizzard fixed the error on Beacon of Light.
Originally Posted by Kaivax (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Word of Glory definitely triggers BoL. That was an oversight in the patch notes posted 90 minutes ago. We have updated the notes to read:

Beacon of Light is triggered by Word of Glory, Holy Shock, Flash of Light, Divine Light and Light of Dawn at 50% transference and Holy Light at 100% transference. It does not transfer Holy Radiance, Protector of the Innocent or other sources of healing.

We apologize for the confusion.

Death Knight Tier 13 and Visual Retrospective
The Death Knight Tier 13 Armor Set is now official and looks exactly like the version we previewed a few days ago.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Adventurers will be tested like never before in 4.3 as they take on Deathwing and his minions, emerging with powerful new treasures. Please enjoy this preview of the death knight tier 13 set, as well as a visual guide to tiers 7 through 12 for Transmogrification purposes.

Death Knight – Necrotic Boneplate

Death Knight Tier 7-12

High resolution screenshots of all recolors on both male and female are available in yesterday's Tier 13 Armor Sets Model Preview.

Death Knight

Curse visits Blizzcon 2011
The entire Curse team was at Blizzcon this year and our lovely Pico got to meet a couple of WoW players.

Blizzard Insider #42 -- Meet the Pandaren Monk
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With the launch of the next World of Warcraft® expansion, the Mists of Pandaria™ will lift to reveal the pandaren, a long-secluded race that has spent generations mastering the way of the monk -- World of Warcraft’s newest playable class.

To get an inside look at the upcoming World of Warcraft race and class options, the Blizzard Insider recently sat down with Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street to discuss the design decisions that went into creating the pandaren monk. So read on, and be among the first to meet the brawling heroes who are, even now, secretly training within the mists.

Blizzard Insider: How will the pandaren race differ from the other races of Azeroth? What ideas are being explored for their racial abilities?

Ghostcrawler: Ultimately, the challenge with races is to make them feel unique without actually providing them with so much power that players feel like they don’t have a choice in which race they want to be. If tauren are the best warriors, then Horde players might feel like they are sacrificing too much in order to try out a different race or stick with a race they really like. With the pandaren, you probably won’t see anything so amazing that everyone gravitates to them… except that their art and animation is just so wonderful.

The biggest difference for the pandaren is that they can join the Horde or the Alliance, which is something we’ve never tried before. That alone will make them feel unique. They also have a very strong cultural kit. Our trolls might be somewhat Jamaican and the draenei have Eastern European accents, but the pandaren have a very strong Asian influence. That affects everything from their animations -- which have a martial arts vibe, even for non-monks -- to their hairstyles.

For racial abilities, we’re giving them a bonus to cooking… and to eating. We’re also giving them a moderate bonus to rested experience to make it less daunting to level one all the way up to level 90. They also get the mystical-martial ability to paralyze opponents by touching their pressure points. Finally, we came up with a silly racial, Bouncy, that causes them to take less falling damage. While the pandaren are as noble and epic as any of our races, we felt like we had to acknowledge their, shall we say, endomorphic body shape in some way.

Of course, as with any design this early out, this may all change by the time the new expansion goes live.

Insider:How did the team decide on monks as the new playable class? Were there any other ideas that were considered?

Ghostcrawler: We settled on the pandaren race first, and after that, the new class was a no-brainer. We actually did discuss whether World of Warcraft needed a new class at this time. As awesome as they are, it was disruptive to add the death knight, and it took us some time to get them feeling fun and balanced. Ultimately, though, we decided the time was right, and at that point the big decision was whether the new class would be a Brewmaster specifically, or a monk that you could play with a Brewmaster kit. At the moment, we’re going with the tank being the Brewmaster, but that could change.

Insider:How will the monk differ from other classes?

Ghostcrawler: We’re trying a few different things. For now, the monk has no auto-attack, which is unique among melee classes. The monk has a different resource as players might expect, where they have both light and dark resources that power different abilities. We are even trying to have the monk healing spec use a lot of punches and kicks. While monk characters will care about weapons, and weapons contribute to their damage and healing, you don’t see the weapons in a lot of attacks. We save them for some of the big finishers.

From a non-gameplay standpoint, the most noticeable difference is the huge number of animations the monk has. When you think of a magic-using class, you think of a lot of splashy spell effects. With the monk we thought it made more sense to invest heavily in animation, and the artists really delivered on that.

Insider:How are you structuring the monk’s talent tree?

Ghostcrawler: Well, the talent tree design overall is changing dramatically in Mists of Pandaria. Each class will just have one talent tree with a lot of attractive -- and hard -- decisions. However, like other classes, the monk will have three different specializations available at level 10. For now, we are calling these for the melee damage spec, Brewmaster for the tanking spec, and Mistweaver for the healing spec. The Brewmaster should have the feel of dodging and weaving in combat, reminiscent of the drunken master from martial arts flicks. The Windwalker will be the kung fu master who beats the crap out of opponents with fists and feet. The Mistweaver is partially the wise healer archetype, but like the old men in martial arts movies, he can beat down his enemies as well.

It’s also worth pointing out that even though many races can be monks, the story of the game is that it is the pandaren who introduce the ways of the monk to the Alliance and the Horde, so even non-pandaren monks will have a strong Pandarian -- the continent -- kit.

Insider:What are the challenges involved in adding a new class to the game? Were there any specific things you learned from the addition of the death knight class in Wrath of the Lich King that you hope to apply to the monk?

Ghostcrawler: Adding a class is one of the most challenging things we can do. There are a couple of mistakes we made with the death knight that we’d like to avoid. The death knight resource model, for example, ends up feeling really complicated. We also had some balance problems early on, partially based on -- possibly biased -- feedback that the death knight felt weak. We didn’t want our brand-new class to feel neglected, so we overdid it a bit. Then when we got them back in line, it felt to the death knight players like we had pulled the rug out from under them. On the other hand, the death knight is a really iconic character for World of Warcraft, and the class abilities and spell effects really deliver on that fantasy. We need to make sure the monk feels just as cool and really delivers on what players expect a monk to play like.

Insider:How will monks be itemized?

Ghostcrawler: They wear leather armor, so the tank and DPS monks will want the same Agility-based armor that rogues and Feral druids wear. The healing monk will want the Intellect-based armor worn by Balance and Resto druids. For weapons, the two signature items are fists and staves. At the moment, we are focusing the Windwalker on fists and the Brewmaster on staves, but we might give players more flexibility than that. The melee monks can also use weapons like one-handed maces, axes, and swords. The Mistweaver can use healer staves, maces, axes, and swords. Monks can’t use shields, and no melee class uses ranged weapons any longer.

Insider:Thanks for your time. Is there anything else you’d like to share before you go?

Ghostcrawler: One of the victories we had with the death knight came when we introduced a fun ability at relatively low level that became synonymous with the class. I’m talking about Death Grip, which lets the death knight yank enemies over to him. We decided we needed something similar for the monk, so we came up with Roll. Roll is like a combination between warrior Charge and mage Blink. Unlike those two abilities, Roll can be used sideways or backwards as well. It looks great to see a character, a pandaren especially, tuck into a somersault. It’s a lot of fun.
by Published on 2011-10-27 08:59 PM

Update - There was a minor update to the Patch 4.3 PTR Notes, probably nothing you haven't seen here yet. Details added after the datamined changes.

Update - The Live Q&A is now over, the transcript can be found at the bottom of the news.

Update - Video of the Tyrael's Charger, this is a ModelViewer/Sandbox video and the render might not be representative of the final version of the mount. I am not sure if the wings are final, they currently use the Firehawk texture (CREATURE\FIREHAWK\T_VFX_BORDERFEATHERS.BLP)

Patch 4.3 - PTR Build 14899
A minor build is being deployed on test realms, the main change is the addition of the Tyrael's Charger from the WoW annual pass.

Tyrael's Charger
The model of the Tyrael's Charger from the World of Warcraft 1 Year Annual Pass/Free Diablo Offer is now in the game files.

This is a PTR model and it might be updated/changed in the future. A video will be up within the hour

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Legendary Daggers Bonus Wording Clarified
  • Item - Dragon Soul Legendary Daggers Your melee attacks have a chance to grant Shadows of the Destroyer, increasing your Agility by 17, stacking up to 50 times. Each application past 30 grants an increasing chance to trigger Fury of the Destroyer. When triggered, this consumes all applications of Shadows of the Destroyer, immediately granting 5 combo points and cause your finishing moves to generate 5 combo points. Lasts 6 sec.

Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Froststorm Breath (Chimaera) now deals [205 + 11.52% of Ranged AP] Froststorm damage, up from [170 + 9.6% of RAP]. Now affects all enemies within 12 yards, up from 7 yards.
  • Burrow Attack (Worm) now deals [1640 + 92.16% of Ranged AP] Nature damage, up from [1432 + 76.8% of RAP].

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)

Warlock (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Cataclysm now increases Fire spell damage by 25%, down from 30%.

Public Test Realm Patch 4.3 Notes - 10/28 Update
The Patch 4.3 PTR Notes have been updated.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
New Dungeon & Raid Content
  • Well of Eternity is now available for testing. Your participation and feedback here is appreciated.

Raid Finder
  • This new grouping feature allows players to quickly and easily form a pick-up raid for a specially tuned version of the current tier of endgame content: the Dragon Soul raid. Raid Finder is now available for testing. Your participation and feedback here is appreciated.

Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Blood Presence now provides an armor bonus of 55%, up from 30%.

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Bear Form now provides a Stamina bonus of 20%, up from 10%.

  • Celestial Focus now also reduces Cyclone spell pushback.

  • Nature’s Focus now also reduces Cyclone and Entangling Roots spell pushback.

Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Beast Mastery
  • Burrow Attack now does approximately 20% more damage, and has an increased area of effect.
  • Froststorm Breath now does approximately 20% more damage, and has an increased area of effect.

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Beacon of Light is triggered by Holy Shock, Flash of Light, Divine Light and Light of Dawn at 50% transference and Holy Light at 100% transference. It does not transfer Holy Radiance, Protector of the Innocent or other sources of healing. (Word of Glory removed from the list)

Warlock (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • The Voidwalker ability Suffering now works like the hunter pet talent Taunt.

Mists of Pandaria Live Developer Q&A
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Q: How will one get to the continent of Pandaria?
A: Players will get to Pandaria via new quests from Orgrimmar and Stormwind. We have tried to make these quests short and sweet to make sure players can into the new continent as fast as possible.

Q: Any plans to fix pet stats being too low for a few seconds after spawning?
A: We are fixing pets so stats won't lag several seconds after logging in or dismounting in 5.0.

Q: Currently, it was announced that Monks might not have an auto-attack feature. With the lack of auto-attacks, are there plans on balancing the values for Hit Rating and Haste Rating for a DPS-spec'ed Monk, since one would only need to reach the "soft" hit cap (8%) for specials and Haste Rating will only be affecting their power regeneration and reducing their GCD?
A: Monks will have the same hit cap as e.g. an Arms warrior and their energy regen drives everything they do, so their regen will scale the same as rogues and haste in general will scale their damage by the same percentages.

Q: At Blizzcon Tom Chilton mentioned possible incentives for raiding enemy towns to encourage world PVP in mists, can Greg or Cory elaborate on this at all?
A: In regards to extra rewards for world pvp, we are contemplating the idea of increasing players conquest point caps by an extra 10-15%.

Q: With the new talent system, will you start to follow the model in place with Collosus Smash, where a move functions completely differently in PVE and PVP?
A: We don't have a problem with specific mechanics working differently in PvP and PvE. Curse of Doom worked that way for years. Same with PvP durations on debuffs. What we don't want to do is just launch into having different coefficients and talents and everything for PvP and PvE. That just doubles the size of the game which makes it more complex to balance and harder for players to understand.

Q: Currently in 4.2 as a Balance Druid I have to kill critters before every boss fight so that I start in Solar Eclipse. Is there going to be more critters in MoP or even better, a cooldown that puts us straight into an eclipse?
A: We don't think the answer is more critter spawning in instances. We don't have a specific solution we're ready to announce, but we plan to address the problem.

Q: Where do we level from 85 to 90?
A: You'll leveling on the new continent of Pandaria, of course!

Q: Hey there. Will Pandaria have a new Dalaran like city or will we be using the ones already existing ingame?
A: We will have separate player hubs for both the Horde and Alliance on Pandaria. Separate hubs means we do not have to make them sanctuary and will encourage world PVP. These hubs will have access to an AH, Bank and general vendors. Valor, conquest, profession and faction vendors will be scattered around the world to encourage travel.

Q: Will there be more guild levels in MoP, if so how far will the cap go and do you have any examples of new perks?
A: We will be adding new levels to the guild leveling system for Mists of Pandaria. These new levels will come with new perks too! An example of a couple perks we are thinking about are reduced cost on void storage and transmogrification.

Q: Are you still considering expanding the proposed talent system or is the general form already set? As in, is there still the possibility of get more choice from the new system? (Six overall specializing skills seems quite limiting)
A: We tried a lot of tiers. We were worried at more than 6 that the combinatorial complexity of >729 different variations of talents would be challenging to balance or for players to even comprehend. We want to focus on having fewer awesome talents than many tiers that will force us to dilute individual abilities in the name of balance (for example, if you ended up with 6 forms of crowd control, then all of them need to be pretty weak).

Q: Where exactly is Pandaria located on Azeroth? many speculate that it is in the south, but I have always assumed it was to the west of Kalimdor.
A: Pandaria is located on the south side of Azeroth. Think the exact opposite of Northrend. Come to think of it, we should have named it Southrend.

Q: Since we're getting an account wide "pet library" so to speak, do you have any plans to extend this functionality to the mount page? Many players are hanging onto exclusive mounts on older/unplayed characters.
A: We will be testing out account wide features with pet battles and if it proves successful there, we would certainly want to the same thing with mounts.

Q: Often as an enhancement shaman, I find that weapon drops, specifically agility one handers, are always rare or not made to be slow (I know slow daggers seem pretty odd, but stay with me here). Is there any chance we would be able to reforge swing speeds?
A: We don't want minute differences in weapon speed to have a non-obvious, massive effect. We like daggers being fast and other weapons being slow and will make shaman etc. mechanics work around that.

Q: During the first discussion on talents, you revealed that Druids would be receiving a fourth talent tree to differentiate between bears and cats. I think this has been mostly received as a positive change by the community. You also stated that the notion of a hybrid tax is an antiquated view on class structure. Are there any plans to provide unique buffs to the four pure DPS classes to compensate for their lack of diversity, or maybe, creating a 4th spec in their areas that would allow for another role, such as a tanking Warlock?
A: We don't want to have unique buffs per DPS spec within a class, but we do want to make sure the DPS specs do offer utility that the tanks and healers can't bring alone. We also want to have greater variety and richness among specs for those classes with multiple DPS specs (e.g. hunter, warrior). We definitely want for there to be a reason to bring pures to a group as well.

Q: In regards to the Challenge Mode dungeons, how many of the dungeons will offer these modes and will our entire level/stats be reduced to a level equal to lower level dungeons if applicable?
A: We are hoping to have challenge mode dungeons enabled for all 9 of the new Mists of Pandaria dungeons. Assuming we like how it pans out, we would certainly be excited to extend the feature to more classic dungeons or raids.

Q: With shadow orbs becoming a new resource, do you have any plans to improve the interface to make tracking shadows orbs easier, like what was done with paladins?
A: If you saw the way we handled the monk resource bar at Blizzcon, we are experimenting with doing that for various classes and specs who have resources like that. So we could move shadow orbs down in the middle of the screen for Shadow priests if that paradigm works out.

Q: Will you consider giving glyphs the same treatment as the talent trees? Glyphs are also somewhat cookie cutter, as passive damage increases are not fun and are mandatory for any player wishing to compete
A: We aren't happy at all with Prime glyphs because they are no-brainers (but often mathy to figure that out). We want to expand the Major glyphs because that is where the real decisions lie. Not sure of the future of Primes quite yet. They *might* go away. (Don't freak, scribes!)

Q: With MoP you're introducing the pet battles. Will that be a new way of earning XP and/or valor points ?
A: We are hoping to implement XP gain for pet battles in a similar way to what players see with gathering professions now. You would not want to level your entire character just on pet battles, but we do think you should be rewarded for participating in it.

Q: So with the removal of talent points it seems like players leveling lose their "awesome I just got zealotry" feeling. Though the new talent system seems interesting and unique the gap between each 15 levels makes a dullish feeling in between each gap. Any word on how this will play out?
A: Couple of points. With Ret specifically, we wanted to try and address some of the feedback from players about the rotation. Divine Purpose and Zealotry add too much complication or RNG for some players, which is why we think they make good optional mechanics. Overall, when you see the rate at which you get new spells, you are still rewarded about every other character level (much like today). There are just a lot of core or spec spells that used to be no-brainer talents.

Q: I think I read somewhere that resilience is becoming a base stat in MoP -- if this is the case, what does that mean for PvP gear and/or does this mean that end game guilds will be top in PvP.
A: Resilience will still be an important stat for competitive PvP. Likewise, PvE gear will still be the best gear for PvE. The hope is to lower the barrier of entry by making the gap smaller (but not trivial).

Q: One of the current issues discouraging World pvp is the presence of highly overpowered guards around cities and hubs, 1-shotting anyone who engages in PvP. How will this be in MoP?
A: We know this is an issue in the current game and we plan to address it in Mists. We want to encourage world PVP, not make it a one-shot game for NPC guards. This is one of the main reasons we decided to make two separate player hubs instead of a shared sanctuary.

Q: Will pet battles be created the same way as duels?
A: We will let players duel other players that are near them in the world, but we will also have a queuing system you can join to fight against other pet trainers of similar level.

Q: I see two new poisons given to rogues in the new talent system, does this indicate we'll be seeing poisons reworked for MoP? As it is the Assassination spec relies so heavily on the instant/deadly combo for damage it's not viable to use anything else.
A: We are reworking poisons. For starters, rogue damage is balanced around the expectation of two damage poisons, which makes it really brutal to use a utility poision instead. In MoP, you will have one damage poison and one utility poison so you can choose which utility poison to use (and not IF you want a utility poison). We also want to reduce the amount of ramping that rogue DPS requires, such as removing the need for Deadly Poison to stack. (And likewise we want to make Bandit's Guile less punitive when swapping targets.)

Q: Will the pandarian racial that benefits XP bonus give them twice the blue bar for the same amount rested, or will it give you a larger multiplier when receiving XP?
A: Their blue bar (rested XP) will last longer before running out.

Q: The island of Pandaria is set to be located on the back of a giant turtle, will this turtle go under water?
A: The starting zone for new Pandaren is located on The Wandering Isle (the turtle). The continent of Pandaria itself is not a turtle, its a piece of land.

Q: Is there any chance of a new spell for paladins to fill the role of Holy Wrath for single target fights?
A: Holy Wrath becomes a nuke for Holy. Ret and Prot will generate Holy Power from Judgment, Exorcism procs, Hammer of Wrath and other abilities that make sense. We still want there to be some small gaps in rhe rotation, but smooth over some of the frustration of today.

Q: How does the new death knight talent Asphyxiate work at this point? Does it last until the target takes damage, like Repentance or Hex, or is it channeled like the succubus minion's Seduction?
A: Asphyxiate lasts 5 sec. There was a typo in the Blizzcon presentation. Asphyxiate is the same duration as Strangulate, which it replaces.

Q: What's going to happen to the currently existing Relics once the MoP arrives? will they be turned into gold/grey trash/off-hands/trinkets?
A: Relics will turn into gray items that you can vendor.

Q: My questions concerns the limits to Pandaren faction chat. How do you intend to deal with if you meet someone at the starting pandaren area and friend each other (not RealID) yet choose seperate factions?
A: Much like the worgen and goblins cannot leave their starting areas, you cannot friend a fellow pandaren until she has chosen her faction.

Q: At Blizzcon you stated that mage's primary nukes will be spec specific ( Fireball for Fire, Arcane Blast for Arcane, and Frostbolt for Frost). However, what will happen to Frostfire bolt? Currently it is only used by Frost Mages and only when a talent procs. Is this spell going to be reworked or simply removed from the game?
A: Frostfire Bolt is the starting spell at level 1. You get Frostbolt, Fireball or Arcane Blast at level 10. Fire or Arcane can still use Frostfire if they want a snare, or when Brain Freeze procs for Frost.

Q: I have a question about dungeons... many people have complained that there were not very many dungeons this expansion (compared to the number of dungeons in 1-60 Azeroth, Outland, and even Northrend). In Cataclysm endgame, there were very few normal dungeons for a casual player to easily PuG, and the rest are perhaps a dozen or so heroics (which do get boring after doing the same ones over and over!). Do you plan to have more dungeons come MoP? Will there be more choices for both regular AND heroic versions to have a little something for everyone?
A: We will have 9 normal mode dungeons at launch for Mists of Pandaria. 6 of those will be on Pandaria and 3 will be classic heroics (Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery). All of these dungeons will have a normal, heroic and challenge mode version. We are currently planning to not have any max level, non-heroic dungeons. Most players never found a good niche for dungeons at that tuning level.

Q: With MoP featuring the battle between the alliance and the horde, can we expect to see more prominent roles or appearances from famous NPCs?
A: Yes, we certainly are.

Q: Is drain life ,death coil and soul harvest being removed since there are similar talents in it's place?
A: Harvest of Life upgrades Drain Life (Drain Life turns into Harvest, which is a mechanic we use for several spells such as Strangulate -> Asphyxiate and HoJ -> Fist of Justice). Soul Harvest is being removed, but shards passively regen outside of combat or can Drain Soul in combat to replace them. Mortal Coil is the new Death Coil.

Q: Will there be a system where you can turn pet battles on/off at will? Sometimes I don't want to be pestered by obnoxious pet owners that constantly want to duel. Or perhaps I don't want to get a random encountet while trying to get anywhere. Anyways, will there be an option to switch pet battles off temporarily?
A: We will have an option to disable invites to pet battles. Similar to what we have for player duels.

Q: The new Cold Snap talent resets Ice Block, Frost Nova, and Water Elemental. I realize that the talents are early, but given that the first two are baseline, might this mean that the Elemental (like Living Bomb) is becoming a core mage spell?
A: Water Elemental is a Frost spec spell.

Q: How does the new warlock talent that allows you to move while casting, but doubles cast time affect channeled spells?
A: Channeled spells take twice as long to tick after you have started moving with that talent.

Q: One of the issues with the Outland expansion was that it felt too 'off-worldly'. Northrend resolved this a bit by actually taking place -on- Azeroth, and Cataclysm brought back that wholesome Azerothian nostalgia. How does Pandaria handle this issue, considering how foreign the land (and indeed, the entire Pandaren lore) is to the world? When you're playtesting MoP, how do -you- feel about the land?
A: We are actually working very hard on this specific concept. Pandaria is based on Asian landscapes but its important to remember that these landscapes need to feel like they fit in Azeroth, not the real world. So far, we feel really great about how we are doing on this. Hopefully that was clear to players at BlizzCon as well!

Q: What place will the World Bosses have in the scheme of raid difficulty and the item level of gear they drop? Will they be a mandatory part of the raiding cycle?
A: We want the world bosses to be optional, kind of like Baradin Hold.

Q: Are we going to require items to change talents like changing the glyphs?
A: Yes. Our goal (which is more important than the mechanism) is that we don't want swapping talents to be a huge pain, but don't want it to be so easy that making the choice isn't interesting. We don't want players to feel the need to swap talents in 5-player dungeons or for every trash pull in a raid.

Q: How big are the MoP areas going to be in comparison to say Outlands or Northrend?
A: The zones themselves are quite large, even bigger when you take into consideration that you will not be able to use your flying mount until level 90. If I was to guess, I would say you could imagine the entire continent feeling like all 5 of the Cataclysm 80-85 zones combined.

Q: Will their be any raid size PvE scenarios?
A: One step at a time, grasshopper. ;D

Q: Will there be a way for pandaran to switch factions (once) after they choose alliance/horde? Can they defect?
A: We are currently planning for this to be a permanent choice.

Q: I play Enhance - with 4.3 the cooldown for Wind Shear is going to 26 seconds untalented, with Talents back to 5 Seconds, when MoP comes out those talents are gone. Are there plans to give the 5 second Wind Shear to Enhance as a base skill, or can I kiss my reputation as my Guild's top interrupter goodbye?
A: We want Enhance to still have a frequent interrupt that locks out for less time than other interrupts. However, overall we want to reduce the frequency of interrupts and increase their duration so that when you use them is more of a decision. We want them to be more impactful for both the interrupter and target rather than a spammy nuisance.

Q: Any plans to rework the crowd control system? Currently fear is not a reliable form of CC unless a glyph is used so they won't move others, like warriors have no real CC at all. Speaking of which, how much CC will be needed in the new dungeons?
A: We're currently exploring ways for Fear to behave more consistently without the glyph, but don't have a precise answer yet.

Q: Regarding the talent trees, will there be trees as we know them at all? I like the way you guys are moving with talents, but I wasn't sure if combat/assassination/subtlety would exist anymore at all? Using a rogue as an example, will all three trees be merged into 'Rogue' now? It's hard to tell from the examples given.
A: Specs as you know them will still exist. At level 10 you can choose Assassination and get Mutilate. We want the specs (especially for the pure classes) to be more distinct than they are today since some of the signature utility is now available to all members of that class. Specs will contain core rotational mechanics and the tools needed to perform your role. Talents complement that with various forms of utility.

Q: I don't like PvP, I play on a PvP server, because my friends on a PvP server and most people from my country is playing on that particular server. I have to face world PvP every time I am doing my business in the new hubs in Pandaria? I love the new zone, but I don't want to be backstabbed by a rogue while I am selling my stuff, or buying equipment. Can non-interested players avoid the world PvP
A: Yes, we certainly don't want you to always be back-stabbed while you are setting up your auctions. However, if a group of the opposing faction wants to form a raid and attack your city, we want them to have a chance to be successful. So yes and no. =)

Q: There seemed to be a bit of a backlash at BlizzCon against the idea of counters in the Pet Battle System. An example would be a water-based pet (Murloc) vs. a fire-based pet (Lil' Ragnaros). This makes the fighting seem a bit more intricate, but I can understand the desire to have Pet Battles be easier to approach. Is there any thought to more than one skill level?
A: We intend to create a simple combat system with some engaging depth. We're still in the process hashing out the details. Suggestions are certainly welcome!

Q: So far everything I have heard about the expansion sounds too good to be true! I was wondering however - I had heard that Cooking will become a primary skill, but others say I have misheard/read this. But wouldn't it make the Pandaren racial moot if that were the case? Can you clarify?
A: Cooking will remain a secondary skill. We do have some cool stuff planned to match the Pandaren love of cooking. For example, you can choose to specialize in different styles of cooking. For example, grilling may create Strength food. You can choose the specialization that makes the most sense for your character and still unlock feasts at the end, or you can try and learn all specializations.

Q: What will be the new cap for professions? Do you plan to create any new professions?
A: The new cap for professions is 600 and we are currently not planning to add a new profession. We are hoping that pet battles will offer a fun, new type of activity for players to do that offers an alternative to player power progression.

Q: Will there be any grasshoppers?
A: Yes! It actually just got checked into the game by the artists today! Going to be awesome to use in pet battles!

Q: Do you plan on making talent options for each class spec or only 1 set per class. In the preview it seemed that each tier complimented a specific spec rather the class. Also if you believe that talents should be fun choices why put damage dealing spells in the talent options rather then make them only things that increase movement speed, change rotation (ie makes 1 spell faster to cast),.This new system will not kill off cookie cutter builds if things people view as optional are mixed in with abilities. Make abilities base line with spec/leveling and make talents optional increases in power not through damage like the disc priest talent soul warding or rogues improved slice and dice....they both increases possible damage without a direct damage increase. Any comments?
A: The damage-dealing talents aren't core rotational abilities, but situational or utility abilities. When there is a damage option, it should compete against other damage options. The idea is to get away from cookie cutter builds. We don't think there is always a right answer for whether you'd choose to run for longer or more often. Even today, guides will say "choose what you want" for those options. Some talents will probably be better situationally (if the boss can't be interrupted, then your interrupt talent isn't so sexy for that fight), but every e.g. shaman should not have the same talent set at the same time, or our design has failed.

Q: What will happen to passive abilities like trueshot aura, arcane tactics, improved icy talons and unleashed rage? Where will they go in the new talent system?
A: Many of those become passive abilities you get for your spec. We are removing some of the less interesting buffs and debuffs (+bleed damage, armor, 3% damage, resists are all on the chopping block at the moment).

Q: At Blizzcon it was mentioned that PvE Scenarios will be something that we will queue for...Will we be required to be in the area that the PvE Scenario will take place in order to queue, or will we be able to queue for them from the cities like we do for the Dungeon Finder. If they are instanced events how will this "get the players out into the world" other than standing around a specific area waiting for the queue to pop, or am I missing the idea?
A: We are planning to only let players queue for scenarios from specific spots in the world (where the scenario is located), not in the cities. We want players out in the world, not spamming the queue button in cities.

Q: Is there any chance we'll be seeing more weapons with procs? Something akin to thunderfury, sulfuras, or even the Revenge of Kalimdor?
A: Yes, proc weapons are fun. There are several in the 4.3 raid. We will add more.

Q: What will the pandas ride? non anthropomorphic pandas?
A: We are still working on ideas for their mount. An epic turtle is certainly one of the most popular options around the office right now!

Q: At Blizzcon you said that demolocks will create demonic fury and turn into a demon when it is maxed out. will this be automatically or will we be able to choose when we use our full demonic fury?
A: You have control over when you transform. The amount of Demonic Fury you have determines the duration of the Metamorphosis.

Q: Can other people watch the pets battle?
A: We are working really, really hard to have spectating for the pet battles. Trust me, we want it just as bad as you guys. Stay tuned.

Q: With the world PvP that is being talked about, are there any plans to add any Quest Hubs in Mists of Pandaria which functions like a smaller scale of Baradin Hold/Wintergrasp that will change faction when it is assaulted? Maybe even ones with actual leveling quests instead of just more dailies to add a dynamic questing experience like the ones that were talked about at Blizzcon?
A: Yes, this is exactly the kind of thing we are thinking about. We will share more info on our ideas for this soon. The idea is that we want to give players more options and not just always have one place to go or one thing to do.

Q: What exactly is a PvE scenario?
A: It's a short, instanced 2-3 player experience without the need for a tank/healer. Think of them as a short series of group quests with a queuing option available.

Q: It's clear from the consideration and thought you give your answers that you all have a deep understanding of the theory behind MMOs. Is this all knowledge learned on-the-job, or did you have any guidance such as school or peers when making these design decisions?
A: There isn't a lot of formal training that goes into it (though that seems to be improving over time). A lot of it is playing a lot of games, but it helps to have a bunch of really smart dudes on the WoW team (and throughout the company) who can poke holes in what you were certain is a brilliant idea. The guys behind the scenes don't get enough credit for the success of our games.

Q: Will there be any new underwater zones in MoP? I personally loved Vashj' and would hope that there's at least some mini-zone in the starting area or something.
A: Nope, we are not making another Vashj'ir. Glad you liked it though! =)

Q: I'm in a high end raiding guild and if the racials for Panderan stay as is, we are almost all going to have to race change. Do you plan to have the Panderan racials (specifically the double food buff) nearly balanced with the other races on release or do you want them to be the best to start with so more people play them?
A: The food buff is the equivalent of racials like the haste or crit buffs of the goblin and worgen. We are still evaluating the power of our primary vs. secondary stats. Primary stats (Agi etc.) are a bit good right now, but that also helps ensure that new tiers of gear are nearly always upgrades.

Q: Will Arms Warriors do an equal amount of damage when using Bladestorm (lvl 90 talent) as Fury warriors, who have double weapons over arms?
A: We don't want there to be obvious talent decisions. We can make Bladestorm do more damage with two weapons or let Arms do more damage to keep Arms vs. Fury equivalent.

Q: When do we except this x-pack to come out? (hopefully not late 2012)
A: Based on what we showed at Blizzcon, hopefully sooner rather than later. =)

Q: Just have to say Blizzard are doing a wicked job with this expansion. It is very hard to hype up an expansion without some epic badass villain. The idea of the raging war between the two factions and the Pandaren being stuck in the middle (somehow trying to find peace?) looks to be so cleverly laid out. So very well done for that. New talent system is one of your best ideas yet. Just one question. How will the story be planned out with no villain, will there be a consecutive story eg every patch will release a raid focusing onto the main raid in the last patch. Or will every patch be unique in terms of story?
A: There are definitely villains in Mists of Pandaria. We just didn't want to put one on the "box cover" so to speak (we don't know what the box looks like yet of course). You have seen some of them, like the mogu. We know who the final boss is. Seriously. It's just too epic to share. Yet.

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