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by Published on 2013-09-04 03:34 AM

The Hellgates Have Opened on Console, How Soon is Soon for the Itemization Patch, Best Class for Console

Hearthstone Facebook Sweepstakes Over, Blue Tweets

Patch 5.4 - Paragons of the Klaxxi Preview
Paragons of the Klaxxi is the thirteenth boss in the Siege of Orgrimmar. The encounter takes place under Ragefire Chasm in Orgrimmar. As promised, Kil'ruk and the other Paragons stand by Garrosh after he has the Heart of Y'Shaarj





Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews
Convert to Raid recently had the opportunity to interview Ion Hazzikostas. You can find information from previous interviews on our Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews page.


  • Siege of Orgrimmar begins in Pandaria so that you don't just end up going back to Orgrimmar in Patch 5.4, but instead experience a story that leads you there.
  • Gamon is one of the more notable things in Orgrimmar, so he got an achievement: Gamon Will Save Us!
  • Valor gear originally was added to complement normal difficulty raiding and filling in for bad luck. The Valor gear continued to work like that for normal difficulty raiders, but for players that just do LFR, it replaced the gear that dropped in LFR. Most of the gear that was best in slot for players that only do LFR was just purchased off a vendor, which isn't very exciting.
  • The devs try to attract players to higher levels of difficulty by adding new things, rather than taking away old things. The new things that are being added aren't essential. People that don't manage to kill Garrosh on Flex, Normal, or Heroic and don't get their heirloom weapon will still be able to level just fine.
  • Every spec in the game can get Gold in Proving Grounds for the appropriate role. Not every spec will be able to get deep into Endless. When comparing performance in Endless mode, it may be best to compare yourself to other players of the same class and spec rather than everyone.
  • There are some players that won't do Brawler's Guild because they don't want to have other players watching them make mistakes.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Saylin Battle Banner Disabled in Raids
The Salyin Battle Banner can no longer be used inside of raid instances. The item can still be used in regular dungeons, Scenarios, and in non-instanced areas.

Wow, fast reply. Any reason for the change?
The change was made to address a raid exploit. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.4 - Shine Engineering Auction House
Just checked in on this. The removal of the Engineering Auction House NPC's is, in fact, unintentional, and was merely an oversight that occurred along with some of the other changes to the Vale for 5.4.

We're in the process of getting them re-enabled in the faction shrines on the PTR, and they will continue to be available once Patch 5.4 is released. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Battlefield: Barrens Ending Soon
Quick note: Kor'kron supplies (lumber/stone/etc.) will turn gray when 5.4 hits (Sept. 10!) and be sellable. No need to destroy any extras (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
New Character Models
I'm honestly a little miffed that models are ~25%. Kind of blew my mind in a bad way.
It is not necessarily the case that it will take 3x as long as the elapsed time to finish. Work, yes. Time, perhaps not. (Source)
Even still, it's a complicated task that needs to be done well or not at all, patience from the players is key
TOTALLY. May have tweeted this already, but this would be an easy thing to screw up and spend years trying to earn forgiveness. (Source)

I know new character models take a very long time and need to be perfect, but you talked about them 5 years ago. 25% done? wtf
I don't know when we first talked about them. We didn't start them until relatively recently. (Source)
There is a lesson here about not talking about things too early. (Source)
I think the assumption many made is we have been working on them nonstop and only 25% of the way there. (Source)
I just assumed since we didn't get them in MoP, they would be a major feat. of the next XPac. I think most ppl did
I would not make any assumptions about future expansions since we haven't made any announcements about them at all. (Source)

really? I cant remember the last time I actually saw my character model. Gear hides much and I'm zoomed way out
Keep in mind all the other PCs and NPCs (that use player races) would look better as well. (Source)

Are new character models not priority 1 right now?? /boggled If they are not.
They are *a* priority. I don't think players would be understanding if they saw no new art in the game just to get new models. (Source)
I thought these were expected feature for the next expansion? Guessing I assumed wrong.
You should have no expectations for the next expansion IMO since we haven't talked about a next expansion at all. (Source)

Stretching out new character updates over the next few years on into the next expansion? Art Dept take a budget cut?
We didn't think our players would accept tons of reused SoO boss models or armor sets. (Source)
We're making good progress, but at some point players started expecting it imminently. We wanted to remind them it's a long job. (Source)
Or another way to think of it: this is a really easy thing to screw up and you all deserve better than that. (Source)

PTR
Do you pay attention to PTR numbers dps wise?How much input?Good players showing true performance,not sims.
Yes, we look at PTR nos. a lot. It is a stronger argument when a player can link logs than to argue for buffs based on sims. (Source)

Lore
Made an acc to ask you this, WAS Garrosh behind Stonetalon's bombing? Kosak's answer was really up to interpretation. GJ btw
My assumption is he was, but that's my interpretation and not a canon answer. (Source)

Please stop being skeptical and at least *pause* for a moment to consider how important story is to your player base.
It is important to us as well. But WoW is primarily a game intended to offer fun gameplay. The gameplay for us is always first. (Source)
We care about story w/in that constraint, but story changes that require a lot of work w/out bringing gameplay tough to justify. (Source)
That is the context I am trying to provide to the "re-quest Ashenvale once again" crowd. (Source)
We spent A LOT of effort redoing Ashenvale and other zones for Cataclysm. In retrospect not sure bang for the buck was there. (Source)
Please don't interpret that as story not mattering to us. (Source)

So what was the reason for giving the horde Darkshore, South Shore and allowing them to nuke Theramore?
Those were all motivated by tryingnto provide an interesting leveling / scenario experience. (Source)
Many of these concerns seem motivated by issues like fairness or justice. We're just trying to make playing WoW interesting. (Source)

Pet Battles: The Celestial Tournament
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Not far off the southeastern shores of the Jade Forest lies the Timeless Isle, a mysterious place riddled with spirit creatures, challenging encounters, and even a fiery demigod. Explorers who reach its shores enter uncharted territory filled with trials that will test their skills, tenacity, cleverness . . . and Pet Battle prowess.

A Timeless Tournament

Among its many enigmas, the Timeless Isle plays host to a Celestial Tournament where veteran tamers can exercise their skills in an all-new Pet Battles Scenario. Led by Emperor Shaohao and featuring notable figures from Pandaren lore, this legendary event demands the utmost from those who participate—and requires a skilled and varied roster of level-25 pets if you have any hope to survive.

Speaking to Master Li will get you into the Celestial Tournament, where you’ll take on powerful Pet Battle pros like Chen Stormstout, Shademaster Kiryn, and even the imitable Blingtron 4000—and in the end, your skills will be pushed to the limit as you face off against the mighty Celestial Champions.


To the Victor Go the Spoils

Upon completing the quests and your first run through the Celestial Tournament, you’ll be rewarded with enough Celestial Coins to purchase your very own Celestial battle pet. Each additional weekly attempt will continue to reward one Celestial Coin, which can be saved up and used to purchase the other three pets that will be available through a nearby vendor (progress will be tracked at the account level). Caring for these pets is a sacred honor, so each is account-bound and cannot be traded to other players.

To ensure only the best come out victorious, healing and reviving pets during the Scenario is strictly forbidden—so it’s important to come prepared. To win, participants will need to defeat three random tamer teams, along with all four offspring of the August Celestials. Losing a battle from time to time will be inevitable, but that’s not the end of the line. Though your defeated pets will remain down, you’ll be able to restart the fight and adjust who’s on your team before giving it another try. You’ll also be able to switch up your team between battles. Should you happen to leave the Scenario before it’s completed, you’ll be able to return later to restart the event.


Once Patch 5.4 is live and the Timeless Isle is revealed, new pets, new abilities, and exciting new challenges will be waiting . . . so keep practicing, pet battlers. You’re about to be put to the test!

Fan Art
Today we have some nice fan art that was done for the WoW Fan Art Tribute book.

by Published on 2013-09-03 04:06 AM

Diablo III is Out for Consoles, Official D3 Console Strategy Guide, Josh Mosqueira: 'Loot 2.0 is Coming'' + Tweets from Lylirra

Beta Streamer Tournament Review, 1.3 Billion Damage Lorewalker Cho, Weekly News Recap

Patch 5.4 - Visions of Time: Courting Destiny
Patch 5.4 adds a quest line on the Timeless Isle that involves working for Kairoz of the Keepers of Time. He is on the Timeless Isle because the Bronze Dragonflight is not as powerful as it once was, only being able to catch furtive glimpses through time. He has created an hourglass that will allow for a window into the timeways, but you must collect 50 x Epoch Stones to make it usable.

After collecting the stones, you embark on a series of weekly quests to use the Vision of Time in different locations to calibrate the Vision of Time. Kairoz eventually will reveal that there is a traitor among the Bronze Dragonflight.

As the hourglass grows more powerful, he will send you to the Temple of the White Tiger to see a glimpse of Garrosh and Anduin, which is the scene you see below.



Patch 5.4 - Malkorok Preview
Malkorok is the ninth boss in the Siege of Orgrimmar. The encounter takes place under Ragefire Chasm in Orgrimmar.





Raid Testing Schedule - September 3 - 4
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
On Tuesday, September 3, and Wednesday, September 4, we will continue testing raid encounters in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below for all Public Test Realms.

Tuesday, September 3
  • Galakras - 25 Player Heroic - 10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)
  • Malkorok - 25 Player Heroic - 13:30 PDT (16:30 EDT, 22:30 CEST)
  • Paragons of the Klaxxi - 25 Player Heroic - 16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

Wednesday, September 4
  • Sha of Pride - 25 Player Heroic - 10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)
  • Spoils of Pandaria - 25 Player Heroic - 13:30 PDT (16:30 EDT, 22:30 CEST)
  • Thok the Bloodthirsty - 25 Player Heroic - 16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a beta environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the boss being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Connected Realms and Battlegroups
so who is getting grouped with who then, and will it go by current battlegroups?
The battlegroups is a factor for sure that needs to be taken into account, but I cannot say yet if they will be a limiting factor. Also, we are still in the process of determining which realms to connect, so we it will be a little while still before we can announce a list of the realms that will be connected. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Darker Nights
"Patch 5.4 will have a test case for darker nights in Orgrimmar, Stormwind, and Vale of Eternal Blossoms."
Blue-tagged! Sleep tight and enjoy the night, don't let the Sha of Nightmares bite! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Flex Raiding
Sure, makes total sense, but btw three raid lockouts per week may be overkill. H Raiders seem not excited about Flex.
Not sure why heroic raiders would run flex more than once or twice unless their progression in heroic was really slow. (Source)
You're not sure why..? because of ridiculous trinkets, set bonuses, and weapons if they've been RNG-screwed in ToT.
Set bonuses are a problem if you've just been very unlucky. Trinkets are a problem if we screw up the balance. Wpns should not be. (Source)
If you rerolled or something, maybe, but if you have a N or H weapon from the previous tier, you should be good to go. (Source)

Raid Finder
Getting bored of people moaning about LFR. Take it away and I may as well cancel my sub.
We like LFR. It's not going anywhere. Just trying to provide additional features on top of it. (Source)

you never put in the tools like a good voice communication system for LFR to succeed as organized gameplay. ur fault
I don't think difficult + voice forces random groups to coordinate, but it's a fair criticism that our voice sucks. (Source)

i will not use flex on principle its an attempt to kill lfr.
It is not an attempt to kill LFR. It's an attempt to provide a more casual alternative to N for social groups who don't enjoy LFR. (Source)

the thing is...LFR Takes away the epic experience. dont believe me? look at every raid since 4.3.
Another POV is LFR provides an epic experience for players who otherwise never would have had it. (Source)
100% agree that LFR is less epic than normal (or flex). But it is more epic than a YouTube of the fight. (Source)

PvE
Is the normal mode still all open on the first week?Tom Chilton says the normal will just open wing 1 on the first week.
The plan is normal will all open on the first week. (Source)

Out of curiosity, will in the Siege raid. Will the Horde have a time where a npc clear out a portion of the mobs?
We are trying to give both H and A cool moments in the raid without just mirroring each other. (Source)

Does this mean it will take four lockouts for the cloak quest? Or will you be able to kill he last three in week 1?
The latter. You just only get loot for the first "kill" that week. (Source)
wiait, so position has changed that legendary cloak could be unlocked in first week? Now it will take at least 4 weeks?
You can "kill" all the celestials on day one. You only get loot from the first one you defeat every week. (Source)

so the next xpac will be another cataclysm, you had this talk before that launch about difficulty and need to change
No, the problem with Cat was there was no alternatives to HC dungeons. As I said, exclusive is fine as long as alternative exist. (Source)

Weekly News Recap
Another very busy week full of news, so here is your chance to catch up!

  • August 26
    • We looked at the General Nazgrim encounter.
    • Another developer interview:
      • The Horde version of the cinematic after Garrosh will show the process of the Warchief selection. The Alliance version will be slightly different.
      • The technology for scaling up old content is mostly in place now, but the devs haven't come up with a good rewards scheme for scaled up old dungeons and raids yet.
    • DiabloFans posted a nice recap for the Reaper of Souls expansion.
  • August 27
  • August 28
    • We looked at the Visions of Time: Hidden Threads cutscene, which takes place in the destroyed Stormwind Harbor.
    • Another developer interview:
      • Blizzard isn't ready to show off any of the new player models yet, but hopefully will have an announcement soon.
      • Changing the player model risks causing players to no longer feel attached to their character.
      • Upgrading player models has never been done successfully in an MMO.
  • August 29
  • August 30
  • September 1
by Published on 2013-09-01 09:35 PM

First Console Reviews And Discount, Malthael Animated Wallpaper, Diablo Classes Fan Art

Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews
Vanion recently had the opportunity to attend the WoW Roundtable at Gamescom. You can find information from previous interviews on our Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews page.


New Character Models
  • The new character models are roughly 25% done.
  • It is unlikely that all of the new models will be released at once. The ones that are done will be released and then more will be added throughout the patch cycle.
  • The new Garrosh model has a lot of bones and facial animation that could be similar to what we see in new character models.
  • Garrosh also provides a nice test case to see if players want their character to look like that.
  • The new character models are being worked on very carefully to avoid changing how the characters feel, especially the animations.
  • There is a lot more to animate now with beards, ponytails, and hands with actual fingers. The animations have to have the same emotion as the old models, but just look better.
  • The new models and animations are compared to the old ones at weekly art meetings to ensure that they feel right.

Future Plans
  • The new toy items added in Mists of Pandaria take up a lot of inventory space, so they are high on the priority list of things to remove from player bags. Heirlooms are next on the list, followed by tabards, but there is no solid timeline on when this will be available yet.
  • Spectator mode for raids and arenas isn't likely for the near future, as it would require a lot of tech and there are other more high priority things that need to be done first.
  • There are no major changes coming to holiday events, just the usual yearly updates. Almost all of the events have been updated in the past and are in a good place now. Time would be better spent adding new content to the game rather than changing up Hallow's End yet again.

Patch 5.4 / Siege of Orgrimmar
  • Garrosh has a Heroic only phase in the burning Stormwind Harbor.
  • Players invest a lot of time into the last boss of an expansion, but the awesome gear that they got is replaced fairly quickly in the next expansion. The heirloom weapons from Garrosh are an attempt to compensate for that, as they will usually be the best leveling weapon you can get.
  • Moving Dalaran to use in the Siege of Orgrimmar was considered, but it would have caused serious performance issues for many players. It also may have reduced the impact that players had as far as feeling like heroes. Players should feel like they were the ones to defeat Garrosh, not that Dalaran showed up and they did the job.
  • The team considered changing racials in Patch 5.4, as a lot of the top guilds are switching to Horde. The impact it has on the game is limited to a handful of guilds in the world, so changing it for everyone because a handful of guilds feel that the Horde racials will make the difference in PvE ended up not being worth it.
  • Racials are really supposed to be a flavor thing rather than something to balance the game around, so it isn't likely that we will see changes in the near future.
  • During Cataclysm there was a revamp of the graphics system by adding shadows to the game, which required raising the ambient light in every zone, as the shadows made it too dark. This resulted in the night time having more ambient light than it used to.
  • Patch 5.4 will have a test case for darker nights in Orgrimmar, Stormwind, and Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

PvE
  • There isn't as much competition with Challenge Modes as the developers had hoped.
  • PvE competition is a great thing to have in the game. World Firsts are nice, but they happen once in a patch cycle. It would be nice to see some of the Challenge Mode concepts in raiding, but just speed clearing the raid might not be the right thing.
  • There will be another pass of the Valor system in the next expansion, but you shouldn't be able to cap Valor by just doing a raid that week.
  • The Valor system is intended to get players to do a variety of content that they wouldn't normally do, but there has to be a balance.
  • An idea for the future is adding a system similar to the Conquest catch up, allowing players that return to earn more Valor to catch up to everyone else. Not having to log in every single day might also be something to look at.
  • The idea of Heroic only bosses is nice when they fit the story of the raid, but Ra-Den wasn't executed as well as it could have been because all of the testing was done internally. We might see another one in the future, but first they have to figure out a better way to test the boss.
  • The team doesn't think that a small amount of players getting a legendary cloak after working towards it for an entire expansion will be a problem in the long run.

Cataclysm
  • The developers are happier with Mists of Pandaria than they were with Cataclysm.
  • Cataclysm did a good job improving the old world, but there wasn't a strong endgame. Mists of Pandaria made a point of adding more and better quality endgame content.
  • Mists of Pandaria was slightly weaker thematically, as there was no big looming end of the world disaster, which is something that players seem to really enjoy.
  • People spent a lot of time in Shattrath, Dalaran, and now Shrine, but Cataclysm didn't add a new city or continent to call home.
  • Redoing classic dungeons to make them into Heroic Dungeons was a nice concept that came out of Cataclysm, as they have been very popular and fun to create.
  • In Cataclysm Thrall felt like the hero, but players just felt like they were helping him, rather than also being heroes.

Progress on the Next Expansion
  • The concept artists, environment artists, and the level design team are the first groups to start working on a new expansion.
  • The encounter team is the last team to move to the new expansion, as they are still finishing up Patch 5.4 and doing the final tuning.
  • The release of an expansion partially depends on how long it takes to build and add quests to the new zones. This is why the final patch of an expansion usually doesn't have a lot of content that involves the exterior level design team, as they are already working on the zones for the next expansion.
  • The Timeless Isle is off of the coast of the Jade Forest and is made with art assets from the Jade Forest, but presented in a completely different way. This allowed the team to add a new area without slowing down the work on the next expansion.

Misc
  • The Burdens of Shaohao came from a part of the company that normally doesn't work on things like that and already has a lot of commitments, so there is no solid date for another similar series yet.
  • The traditional player housing in MMOs isn't very interesting, maybe with the exception of Ultima Online. This was because you owned part of the world, making the area have real value. The idea of having an instanced chunk of the world that is decorated inside and no one will ever see isn't interesting, so housing in WoW would have to go beyond just visual customization with some gameplay elements or something else actually interesting.
  • Offline progression for WoW could be interesting, but all the game has right now are things like daily cooldowns for some professions or the Tiller's farm.
  • Revamping Fishing has been on the to-do list for years now, but it keeps getting pushed back.
  • The guild level system already has some nice perks and the devs weren't able to come up with enough good perks to add more guild levels in Mists of Pandaria. Adding more levels also requires more achievements and other items, as well as making all new guilds level even more to get all of those perks.



Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Re: AE heals. Remember, the encounters are balanced around the class abilities. If we chill out AE heals, the encounters won't demand them. (Source)

Here's a good question, do you think the game would benefit from classes being stripped down to iconic abilities + rotation?
If the game wasn't 10 old, yes, I think that design is superior. Radically changing WoW now is likely not the right call. (Source)

you guys talk about ability bloat and I see the best way to address that is the revert some of the class homogenization
Sure. What useful ability are you willing to give up? (Source)
(That wasn't supposed to be sarcastic BTW.) (Source)

Yet another reason to not consider feedback? Simply because 100% of the playerbase doesn't agree?
We appreciate (and follow) all the discussions out there on action bar bloat and what, if anything, should be done. (Source)
If every time I say X, you see Y, it's going to be hard to have a conversation. (Source)

Wouldn't making new classes be much less practical than altering current pure trees?
You can make the argument that adding new roles to existing classes is more work than a new class. (Source)
With a new class, you have little baggage or other constraints. Sky's the limit. (Source)
But work load really isn't the issue here. It's more about whether the game needs either one. (Source)

Have you thought about changing talents to let players pick their rotation, rather than utility spells?
Yes. (Source)

I know class balance is hard but is also the most common complaint I hear when I lose a guildy
I hear that too of course, but I have to wonder if that's the real reason or just an easy one. (Source)
If you tried to play Balance or Ret in Blackwing Lair, you were just doing it wrong. (Source)
But these days, most players can do whatever they want. Player skill determines meters for most of us. (Source)

The differences are really minimal, and boring. And then you look at monk, and how different their specs are.
To be fair, the monk specs are all different roles. Most of our classes feel different in different roles. (Source)

So the solution is to make pure DPS obsolete... Why should I pick a Mage if I can have a Priest? Bread & Water?
Not sure how you read that from my statement. I was saying it's not cool when some classes are DPS and some are support. (Source)
But it's also not cool if everyone chooses paladin / druid / shaman because they can be versatile AND max DPS. (Source)

I'm sure that Blizzard Devs don't have a super secret WW rotation. I'm seeing T16 & trinkets as very large gain.
There have been times when players never figured out an optimal rotation that we designed around. Doesn't happen often. (Source)
would you mind giving a specific example from a past expansion maybe? I'm really curious
One of the Balance druid set bonus - glyph interactions in Cataclysm. I can't remember which patch - maybe Firelands. (Source)

Have the devs considered replacing/drastically changing some of the over-similar Pure DPS class specs?
Yeah, I'm working on a blog on how we could design multiple specs in the same role in one class. Many Qs, few As, sadly. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
hey Mr crab I hope this nerfing frost thing won't continue. Unholy looks pretty unappealing in 5.4 :/
We had a prob where DW and 2H Frost wasn't close enough. Frost also dominating too much on fights like Garrosh. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Regarding Hunter pet buffs, any thought to letting hunters chose the buff they want on the pet they want to use?
Potentially. It's one of the last issues with letting a hunter choose whatever pet family they want. (Source)

Ever thought of bringing Eyes of the Beast back at all?
Yes, but it would be challenging. Some of the code was excised. (Source)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
The healing penalty hasn't even been brought down on PTR, that's atrocious - I kept the you tried sticker up in good faith tho
RJW isn't a "better at AE button." It's a cheap button that lets you also do single target damage and healing while it's up. (Source)
Xuen is a cooldown. RJW is sustained. For a healer sometimes you want one and sometimes the other. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
i would love you, if the holy paladin would be more tbc/wotlk/beginning of cata next expansion, i miss my paladin
What do you mean specifically? Spam Flash of Light? Be a tank healer? Curious. (Source)
he's probably referring to how worthless single target cast time heals are to cast these days. it's all HR/EF/prism.
As a general statement, we believe we made AE heals (for all healers) too important / effective once again. (Source)
There should be a time and place for single target heals, even non-hots / bubbles. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Have you guys read any of the feedback / ideas regarding Combo Points? Some interesting threads over MmoC Rogue
Yeah. I think at the high level, it's worth asking if keeping them on the target is the right design. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Can you please make maelstrom weapon a resource or give enhancement a resource in general?
To devil's advocate, does every spec need a resource? Does having resources make specs feel too similar? (Source)

Any word on compensation for the Healing Rain input lag fixes that significantly nerfed Resto Shaman?
Healing Rain is so much stronger in 5.4 that we don't think compensation is needed. I think we made a blue post about this. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Demo 4pc is consuming demonic fury, and a charge of HoG/Chaos Wave on the ptr. Is this intended or a bug? Been posting in ....
We fixed this awhile ago. If still happening maybe it broke again. (Source)

Any word on the ember generation change to make up for the loss of rain of fire ember generation?
We're balancing around their DPS, not ember generation. Is the issue you're worried DPS is low or you like embers? (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Ultimately, Arms has a 20-25% adv. on cleave, fury is 10-15% on single target. A 30-40% delta means reforging every boss.:\
Those numbers seem based on idealized situations and not SoO boss fights. (Source)

OP's rage efficiency is so close to slam's that it's best to spam slam than risk rage capping and wasting it on heroic strike.
Should be a pretty wide range between being at 25 rage and 130 rage. If you end up capped, yeah probably should have Slammed. (Source)

Can you please consider Curoar's ideas for Arms before its inevitable nerf?
We're okay with Arms doing great cleave and AE. Else, it's just a dead spec in PvE (unless it beats Fury & Fury is the dead spec.) (Source)
The issue is the delta, a 5-10% adv. is fine, 20+% is too much. Plus, it's just not fun to play in its current state.
When you combine those two arguments, sounds like you are really saying "Arms should be weak in PvE so I can always be Fury." (Source)
The thread linked is filled with people who like to play arms, but feel that the current mechanics of it are terrible.
We know there are warriors who want to play Arms though and felt like they were giving up too much to do so in 5.2. (Source)
We were trying to make Fury more proc-based and unpredictable and Arms more steady. Some players prefer one feel to the other. (Source)

Will you ever fix Heroic Leap in PvP ?
It is difficult because players can abuse vertical movement to get into places they should not be in BGs. (Source)
We agree the situation is not ideal and it's unfortunate to punish everyone because some can exploit. We haven't given up yet. (Source)

Can we expect any fury warrior changes for this upcoming patch? There is hardly any what so ever. If so when can we expect it?
We don't think Fury needs mechanics changes (except for DW polearms). We are still balancing DPS. (Source)

Computers - Setup of the Month (by chaud)
Each month or every 2 months, depending on the hardware evolutions, the lovely chaud will work on a couple of hardware setups for those of you who are thinking of upgrading their computer!

This month
The current SSD prices are stable, with most SSDs under $1 per gigabyte when on sale.

The new Haswell CPUs from Intel are here and they run a little bit on the warmer side. Depending on how much you want to overclock, you may need to spend a bit more for a better CPU cooler like the NH-D14 or H90.

Unless you are doing a lot of video rendering or something that is similarly multithreaded, you do not need the 4770K and should spend that money elsewhere.

Make sure to keep your AMD and Nvidia drivers up to date.

Don't hesitate to post any feedback in the comments of that news post, and don't forget to visit the Computer Forum for any extra questions! If you are interested in Folding@home, take a look in our team's thread.


Peripherals/Monitors
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorAsus VE228H 21.5-Inch Monitor - $138ASUS VS248H-P 24-Inch Monitor - $180
KeyboardKensington Pro Fit Media Keyboard - $18Cyborg V.5 - $48
MouseLogitech G400 - $47Razer Deathadder - $50
SpeakersCreative A220 2.1 Speaker System - $26Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $35
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorAsus VE258Q 25-Inch Monitor - $236HP ZR2440W 24-inch - $374
KeyboardLogitech G510 - $99Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $70 ($132)
MouseLogitech G500 - $52Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $65
SpeakersLogitech Z323 2.1 Speaker System - $55Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $60


Puppy and Dolphin
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Puppy and Dolphin.
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT Source 210 - $40NZXT Source 210 - $40
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 - $58XFX Core Edition PRO 550W - $61
CPUAMD FX-6300 - $119AMD FX-8320 - $145
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $28Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $37
MotherboardASUS M5A97 R2.0 - $100ASUS M5A99FX PRO - $134
MemoryKingston HyperX Blu 4GB 1333 - $368GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $72
Graphics CardXFX 7770 - $125ASUS 7870 2 GB or ASUS GTX 660 Ti - $220 / $235
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $55Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $85
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$583$816 - $831


Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn.
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master HAF 912 - $60Corsair Air 540 (Special Layout) - $140
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $86Corsair 750HX - $110
CPUIntel i5-4670K - $230Intel i7-4770K - $340
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $55Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $74
MotherboardASUS Z87-A - $134ASUS Z87-PLUS - $160
Memory8GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $7216GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $146
Graphics CardMSI 7950 OR MSI N760 TF - $279 / $260Gigabyte 7970 OR Gigabyte GTX 770 - $340 / $400
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $85Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $85
SSDSAMSUNG 840 128GB (Review) - $98
OR
Plextor 128 GB M5 Pro (Review) - $121
Corsair Neutron GTX 120GB (Review) - $120
OR
SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB (Review) - $133
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$1102 - $1156$1515 - $1610


Poll - First Race for New Character Models?
Which Alliance / Horde race would you like to see get new character models first?


Fan Art Update
The World of Warcraft Fan Art Section has been updated with new fan artwork.

by Published on 2013-08-31 11:06 AM

Patch 5.4 PTR - Build 17345

Diablo 3 Console Interview, Blue Posts, Reaper of Souls Wallpaper

Beta Patch 3749 - EU Preparation Patch

Patch 5.4 - Spawn of Galakras
Patch 5.4 adds the Reins of Galakras mount, which is a reward from the Glory of the Orgrimmar Raider achievement. Keep in mind that this achievement can be completed in Flex, Normal, or Heroic difficulty.


FEEDBACK: The Gates of Retribution (LFR)
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The second wing of Siege of Orgrimmar is now available on Raid Finder mode, and will remain available through Monday, September 2.

Please use this thread to provide feedback on any of the bosses being tested in this wing, including group makeup (premade, random, mixed) and Determination stack count.

PTR Hotfix to RPPM Mechanics
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hi folks,

Over the last few days we identified a glitch that was causing the “time since last chance to proc” counter of RPPM mechanics to reset unnecessarily, regardless of whether the effect had actually had a chance to activate. This was resulting in much lower than intended proc rates for RPPM effects on the 5.4 PTR.

We’ve applied a hotfix that should resolve the issue, but wanted you to be aware – RPPM trinkets (and other effects) should be activating more regularly on the PTR now. Note that this issue was unique to the 5.4 PTR and is not present on live servers.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Battlefield: Barrens Ending Soon
Vanity rewards that reflect the achievements of the player should follow the player, not simply be restricted to a character that may very well be set aside one day.
Agree to disagree? I have my Tabard of the Protector on a single character, and I'll always cherish that item, and remember that I was there for the Burning Crusade launch with that specific character. She was there, she stepped through the portal at midnight, and that's not some generic reward all my characters have. I can see the appeal of having that available to all my characters, but personally I quite like that the character itself has a history, and has individual accomplishments, rather than everything I do being given to every new character I make.

I totally get that not everyone is going to care about building a legacy of experience with each character, and they just want everything to be account-wide, but obviously there are others that appreciate that being at a point in the history of the game with a specific character leaves some kind of lasting mark on that character.

so glad I spent 2 hours last week farming the head-shrinka only for it to be removed. Cool.
It's not going to be removed from your character, he means removed from being obtainable to anyone that doesn't already have it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Scenarios
about the gamebreaker interview: Heroic scenarios are not premade content. Most people chose the first people from trade chat
That's still premade, just premade without much effort. You still have more control over the group than LFD. (Source)
Have you forgot what desaster 5 mans were in tbc without df?
There was no alternative though. With scenarios, normal = matchmaking, heroic = premades. Could have worked for dungeons maybe. (Source)

Any chance on having the other scenarios scaled up to heroic? I really enjoy heroic scenarios.
No immediate plans, but we'd call heroic scenarios a big success. They are very popular, despite lack of matchmaking. Yay. (Source)

Raid Finder
No other game forces you to complete it on easy mode before you have access to the way was intended to be played
I think you are assuming intentions that aren't actually there. If you are an LFR player, then the intent is LFR is for you. (Source)

That's a very valid concern, and one I've raised. The activation barrier to being social is feeling insurmountable.
I don't think LFR is ever going to feel very social, nor was it intended to be. OTOH, features like Flex have a decent chance. (Source)

thoughts on limiting lfr? Say 10/12 available bosses -> incentive to push normals, exclusivity for norm/hc.
Potentially. We all like exclusive content. You just can't let that come at the expense of content in general. (Source)
but its also a question wether content is lfr appropriate by design. Lei Shen wasn't, so why force it? Sour taste.
We tried to push it a bit with Lei Shen LFR. Should it be a goal that NO communication or coordination is required for LFR ever? (Source)

It's infact a broad audience gamestyle, while organized raiding is and was niche.
That's not really accurate. LK Nax and ICC had huge participation without LFR. (Source)
The diff was they were fairly forgiving, which is what we're going for with flex. (Source)

It's essentially solo play. I don't know anyone else in LFR plus trolls are there
LFR is ideally for when you're between friends or your friends aren't online. (Source)
I just don't think playing WoW completely as a solo game would be a great experience. (Source)
We expect to see flex pugs spring up in a month. Even that is more social than LFR. (Source)
We will see how it will work out. I would love flex to be successfull.
Give it a few weeks for players to learn the fights and let us know how it goes. (Source)

I really have to agree here, it feels like being punished for only being able to run LFR
It's a carrot. If you can get every reward from LFR there is much less motivation to play with friends. (Source)
Short term, we get that solo is a big convenience. Long term, we think it drives players away from the game. (Source)
Your fixation on "organized gameplay" is scary, even if it is just not successfull at all.
It's a multiplayer game. Organized gameplay is it's heart and soul. (Source)
playing is it's heart and soul. And please tell me which letter in MMORPG stands for organized
The second one, as I said. If you ignore all those other players or treat them as NPCs then why not play Skyrim or something? (Source)

I would have to agree that LFR is in a weird place. It is fun for everybody to see it once or twice but then it gets old. fast
Some motivation to perform would go a long way. Currently success is nearly guaranteed whether you are paying attention or not. (Source)
I don't think we could make LFR so challenging that you have to perform well, but there are other approaches. (Source)

Items
Could you disable the chance for TF items to drop until after world first H clears? Or maybe "non-raid" patches.
Getting a weapon vs not during world first > getting a TF weapon vs non TF weapon. (Source)

Can you address 10m vs. 25m thunderforged loot? 10m almost never gets the drops they can use in TF form.
Ten has so many other benefits though. Doesn't 25 get to have a few? (Source)
weapons tend to be the biggest problem - can we just not have TF weapons at all?
It makes me sad to talk about removing the most exciting, powerful drops just because players can't count on getting them. (Source)
If I can't count on getting the best drops, that's fine. If Method can't, then something is wrong with the system
Method is affected far more by whether a weapon drops period than whether a TF one does. (Source)
They are going to clear the zone with very few drops per boss period. They may have raiders with 1-2 heroic pieces at first. (Source)

Why is that? NA Subs don't want harder bosses in 25 and gear separation? I miss how the loot diff was separate in 25.
We locked 10 and 25 based on burnout complaints from NA/EU but Asia had a strong tradition of running both, so they still can. (Source)
Note that I am generalizing regions here. No doubt there are burned out Chinese or NA/EU players who want to raid more a week. (Source)

ilvl jumps between tiers are insanely huge. why did you guys think this was a good idea?
Otherwise raiders can't improve their gear every week to beat new bosses. (Source)
We have also found, through feedback, that 13-19 ilevels of power feels, psychologically, like a noticeable increase. (Source)

PvE
Why not remove enrage timers from bosses in normal modes? WoW has too many guides for maxing DPS. This would help reduce that.
The timers are pretty relaxed in 5.2 compared to 5.0. Without them, risk of normal guilds bringing 10 healers and nearly no DPS. (Source)

You disguise "We were wrong" as "Were trying something else" though. Cant remember you ever saying you were wrong
We were wrong to make the DMF trinkets so powerful without giving them an appropriate ilevel to communicate that intent. (Source)
We were wrong to put so much emphasis on daily quests that locked gear in 5.0. (Source)
We were wrong to make Cataclysm dungeons hard without offering any alternative for the LFD crowd. (Source)
I'd like to see 4 difficulties for dungeons. Leveling, Max Level, Heroic Max Level, and Challenge. Epics for H mode like TBC.
Yeah, we think tough heroics could work so long as they aren't the only route to gearing for LFR and flex raiding. (Source)

I would be really pleased, knowing that I can be staisfied with 300 points in a busy week, and 1700 when I'm off duty.
Yeah the challenge is that if some players earned 1700 a week, others would think that's what they had to do to keep up. (Source)
why not put a cap limit on spending instead of gaining like lesser charms
I said a few weeks ago that a spending cap has potential. It just needs bulletproofing (example: We offer refunds). (Source)

LK model worked well here. Lots of new content addressed 11 geared toons now what syndrome. Not sustainable?
We saw the alt explosion in the ICC and DS tiers though. Guess which equivalent tier hasn't shipped yet. (Source)

so, unh, isn't it a little backwards to do so much raid testing before the tuning pass is done?
The raid testing helps us with the tuning and also with the raid mechanics (and fun) in general. (Source)
There will be plenty of raid tests with stable numbers as well. (Source)

Do you think that perhaps many people are intimidated by raiding guilds, and prefer to see content on own terms
I'm not sure that's common. You don't need to be in a hardcore guild to be in a fun guild that still raids (or not even). (Source)

Please don't even consider normal raids for flex. It's the last thing I really enjoy in this game, it's fine the way it is.
You aren't ever sad when you have to turn someone away or cancel a raid when too few show? That's the strength of flex. (Source)

with the celestials been the new nalak/sha. are the loot tables linked i.e. kill one thats it or 4 chances for loot
it's one a week. Pick which one you want to fight. (Source)
So to be clear, they all share the same loot-lockout and loot table?
Yes. (Source)

Have you guys ever considered/talked about, making your own verison, or possibly working with the guys from WoWProgress?
We would have to make a lot of hard calls, like whether skipping the 2nd boss to kill the 4th and 5th is more or less progress. (Source)

Fan Art
You can find a high res version of this artwork here.

by Published on 2013-08-30 06:50 PM

Galakras Preview, Solo Heroic Stone Guard 10, Battlefield: Barrens Update, Blue Posts

Patch 5.4 PTR - Build 17345
Build 17345 will be deployed to the PTR realms soon.

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Death Knight (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Frost

Monk (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Talents

Warlock (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Destruction
  • Chaos Bolt damage and SP scaling increased by 15%.

Raid & Dungeon Abilities
  • Burst of Corruption Inflicts 200,000 Inflicts 300,000 Shadow damage to all enemies. 100 yd range. 2 sec cast.
  • Corruption Inflicts 10,000 Inflicts 17,000 Shadow damage to the target every second for 12 sec. 100 yd range. Instant.
  • Empowered Whirling Corruption Inflicts 250,000 Inflicts 200,000 Shadow damage to enemies within 8 yards and creates a Minion of Y'Shaarj at the location. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Hurl Corruption The caster hurls a ball of Sha energy, inflicting 300,000 750,000 Shadow damage to the target. This attack cannot be absorbed. 100 yd range. 2 sec cast.
  • Piercing Corruption The caster strikes at the target, inflicting a piercing strike of 400,000 600,000 Physical damage. This attack bypasses absorption effects but can be avoided and blocked. Melee range. 1 sec cast.
  • Pulsing Flames Periodically inflicting 0 Fire damage. Each pulse increases Fire damage dealt by 2%. 3 sec cast. 3%. 3 sec cast.
  • Titanic Smash The caster reaches back and smashes down in front of them, inflicting 500,000 1,000,000 Physical damage to all enemies in front of the caster. 100 yd range. 2 sec cast.
  • Whirling Corruption Inflicts 125,000 Inflicts 105,000 Shadow damage to nearby enemies. The damage inflicted decreases the farther away an enemy is from Garrosh. Unlimited range. Instant.
by Published on 2013-08-30 07:55 AM

New Reaper of Souls Info, Blue Posts, Console Version Playtesting Highlights and Review

Puzzles and Hearthstone

Patch 5.4 - Galakras Preview
Galakras is the fifth boss in the Siege of Orgrimmar. The encounter takes place near the dock outside of Orgrimmar.





Solo - Heroic Stone Guard 10 Player
Maebybabe, an item level 548 Monk was able to solo Heroic Stone Guard 10 Player difficulty.



Battlefield: Barrens Ending Soon - Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Ok...so Gahzrookie, the gloves, and the bag will be around...but what about the troll shoes, Xan'tish's flute, and the other vanity items?
Also, titles account-wide pretty please?
Every item other than the pet, the Brawler's Guild item, and the 24-slot bag, and the ability to earn the title are being removed. We know a lot of you would like to have the cosmetic goodies readily available to pick up with other characters or to share with your alts, but this event was designed to be part of the story for the game at this point in time. For those who earned their title, you now carry a badge of honor for having helped the war effort against Garrosh.

The weekly quest was designed as both--and most importantly--an event that leads up to Patch 5.4 and the Siege of Orgrimmar, and an opportunity for level 90 characters to work on getting gear a bit quicker in preparation for the new content. Now that the story of this expansion will be pressing forward with the patch, it will be time to wrap up some of the activity in Durotar and Northern Barrens. Think of the action in those areas as exclusive for where we are at this point in the game (not unlike the gathering quests for Ahn'Qiraj and the Scourge Event before Wrath of the Lich King).

Crithto: I have an alt, a pally I am levelling. What I wanted to do was give her the tokens (she has them) then with the BOA mojo, send those to her so she had a 489 starter set.
I was *really* hoping yall would at least consider making the radical mojo's BoA so that we could complete our sets at the very least.
I would simply like to ask that you reconsider this. At least make the Radical Mojo BOA. Please.
Please know that I completely understand how you guys are feeling about this and have several alts I've been working on, too. But let's not forget that the Radical Mojo clearly displays "Binds when picked up". Simply switching it to BoA would be nice for those who have more than one unused, but it would be unfair to everyone else who did not stockpile a BoP item.

For those seeking opportunities to provide your alts with gear, the Timeless Isle will be your new favorite place to visit. The tokens you can find there are BoA before being used, and can be passed to any of your alts to generate an item for his/her spec. The gear you create will be item-level 496, and as you progress through the Isle, you will also have the chance to upgrade them to item-level 535.

Lastly, while Ravika has other important duties to attend to once 5.4 goes live, we know that Griftah's Authentic Troll Shoes hold a soft spot in many hearts, so we’re currently exploring options to reintroduce them at a later date.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mastery Enchants on Characters Under Level 80
We're actually modifying Windsong to not proc Mastery for players below level 80. It will always proc either Crit or Haste.

For flat Mastery enchants... maybe don't put them on characters that don't have Mastery yet. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Connected Realms and Faction Balance
While faction balance is one of the factors that will be taken into account when deciding on which realms we will connect, we will most likely not see a perfect faction balance on the connected realms in the end. The reason for this is that the Alliance is generally the most popular faction on PvE realms, while it is the Horde that is the most popular on PvP realms... and we cannot connect PvE with PvP realms. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Arena Pass Title and Pet
The rated phase has ended, but the plan is to keep the realms up for a while. It is no longer possible to do games that count towards the pet or title.
Just highlighting this to ensure that everyone is aware that the rated phase has now concluded. Any games that are played outside of the rated phase won't count towards the pet or title reward, so you can't gain credit towards either of these anymore.

Just so you know though; the realm will be sticking around for a while yet, so you can definitely feel free to sign up and play some epic PvP action! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Patch 5.4 Elemental Shaman RNG
Isnt half the problem the mastery duplicate coupled with haste induced ticks on their flame shock giving so many free instants? echo of elements was only half the issue.
Several things compounded to create the complaints that we have been seeing for Elemental Shamans, Echo of Elements and Lava Surge procs as well as the mastery spell duplication were all parts of it. We nerfed Echo of Elements to take the edge off of extreme elemental burst situations and we will continue monitoring every class and make changes as we feel they are needed.

RNG in PvP such as the procs listed above for Elemental Shamans is something that our developers are having ongoing discussions about. In the long run what we want to accomplish is to limit the excessive cases when and wherever possible, such as we did with Echo of Elements. The developers recognize and understand that some players would prefer there to be no randomness in PvP at all, but we don't feel that this would result in good gameplay overall.

But there needs to be a limit to it, ele shamans right now aren't fun to play against.
We entirely agree and this is the kind of RNG that we are referring to when I said "excessive cases when and wherever possible". To try and combat that extreme and random burst that comes from Elemental Shamans we nerfed Echo of the Elements and feel that this should help deal with the the extreme cases of RNG for them. We will be keeping an eye on RNG in PvP and continue to discuss ways in which we can deal with any extreme cases that arise. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Chaos Bolt Buff
We agree that Destruction is a bit low in 5.4. We also recognize that, particularly after the Kil'Jaeden's Cunning changes, Chaos Bolt has become a "riskier" spell to cast. To both ends, we think a Chaos Bolt buff is in order. We're going to bring it up by 15% and see where that puts things.

Our general philosophy for Destruction in 5.4 is that casting Chaos Bolt can be tricky sometimes -- working around interrupts and LOS in PvP, or sneaking them in between periods of movement in PvE -- but when the cast goes off, it hurts. A lot. We do have to be careful not to push things TOO far, but we'll see how things go from here.

This change was applied via hotfix sometime yesterday, so it should already be live on the PTR if you'd like to get some testing in. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Guild Wars 2 - The First Year
Earlier this week ArenaNet put up a blog post about the first year of GW2, which includes a nice infographic with lots of big numbers. Be sure to check in with our friends over at GW2Guru to keep updated on changes to the game, such as Super Adventure Box returning!


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