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by Published on 2013-09-26 08:40 AM

Wyatt Cheng on Negative Effects of Inconsistent Health Pools, RMAH Delay Issues Resolved, What Business Would Each Follower Want to Run?

Heroic Siegecrafter Blackfuse Video
Method has released their video of the Siegecrafter Blackfuse encounter.



Conquest Cap & Gear Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As many of you are aware, there have been several hotfixes regarding PvP gearing over the past week. We wanted to take a moment to not only explain what exactly went wrong, but also what we’re going to do about it.

The problems started with an error in calculating the season "catch-up cap". As you may know, this cap is calculated on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, for some players, these calculations began before Season 14 had officially begun. So, when the season did start, those players essentially had an entire season’s worth of catch-up credit added onto their normal weekly cap of 2200.

As soon as we recognized the error, we despawned the Conquest vendors while we worked on and tested a hotfix to correct the artificially inflated Conquest caps (and remove extra Conquest that had been earned). We also created a hotfix that was intended to solve the initial error with the catch-up calculations during maintenance in other regions, but were unable to apply it before the issue had spread to other regions.

Once the hotfix to correct Conquest caps was completed, it was applied to all regions, and the Conquest vendors were respawned. At the time, we believed that the hotfix would take effect without realm restarts. That, unfortunately, did not turn out to be the case, so over the weekend, a number of players were able to acquire several pieces of gear that they should not have otherwise been able to. On top of that, a small number of players were able to earn the Grievous Conquest achievement, which then allowed them to purchase Conquest gear with Honor points.

We’ve since been working hard to correct our mistakes, and as of right now, here’s where we stand:

  • All players who had an inflated Conquest cap have had those caps corrected
  • The Grievous Conquest achievement vendors have been despawned temporarily, as no one should have access to them through normal play at this time
  • The Grievous Gladiator weapons have had their level requirement hotfixed to 91 temporarily, as no one should have access to them through normal play at this time

However, there is still the matter of the extra gear that some of these players were able to obtain. We need to remove this extra gear to maintain a level playing field for all of our players, but we also have to be extremely careful not to remove extra gear that players earned legitimately (as drops from world bosses, for example). To that end, here’s what we’re planning to do:

  • We’ve already begun manually investigating players with multiple pieces of Grievous Conquest gear, starting with the most abusive cases
  • For less abusive cases, we intend to apply a hotfix during the next maintenance period that should clean up any remaining extra gear
  • This hotfix will also remove the Grievous Conquest achievement from those who have earned it prematurely
  • In both cases, our plan is to convert excess Grievous gear into its Tyrannical equivalent, to ensure that no players are accidentally left without an item in a given slot

We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this has caused, and are working around the clock to fix things as quickly and cleanly as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Hopefully those with full or near full sets actually get fixed. Lots of people running around with too much season 14 gear.
Many of those cases have actually already been resolved. We're working hard to get through all of them as quickly as possible.

Connected Realms Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
We have completed maintenance to join Boulderfist and Bloodscalp into the first pair of Connected Realms. These realms should now be live once again, and we sincerely appreciate your patience during this maintenance period.

We would like to take the time to make players aware of a couple of known issues that we are currently investigating. The first of these is that players who do not have their macros cached locally may need to re-create those macros. Additionally, we have received reports of the guild message of the day not being displayed for some characters. At this time we’re unaware of how widespread these issues may be, and will investigate and resolve these issues before connecting any additional realms.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Virtual Realm Progress
They can't just implement it to servers, they need hefty testings and need to decide which servers to connect. It's not as simple as switching lights on.
Pretty much this. Connecting realms is not as simple as flicking on a switch.

Patch 5.4 added a lot of new content to World of Warcraft, and it added some neat things behind the scenes as well :-)

We now have the technology in place to connect realms, and we will do it, however there are a lot more factors than just the technology that needs to be taken into consideration when deciding which realms to connect. We are working on it though, in fact we have been working on it for a while now, and hopefully soon we will have a final list of the realms that will be connected.

If you can't do it why advertise it? It's like those offers you see during sales they advertise on TV, a certain item reduced by 50%, the problem is they have had it on the shelves for twice the price it should be. PCWorld are the worst for it.
We can do it, and we will do it! What I am saying is that patch 5.4 brought the technology that makes this possible and now the only thing that remains to be done is to decide on the best way to optimally connect those realms that needs a population boost.

I would say that it was more of a preview than actual advertisement, at least that was the intention behind the blog about connected realms that we posted before the patch went live - We wanted to provide more detailed information to people about what this feature actually entails so that people will know what to expect before realms get connected.

I can respect that but there is alot of questions unanswered still that surely by now you have made a decision on? Like will the BMAH be crossrealm, what about challenge mode times and realm first achievements?
Sure, some decisions have been made by now, but I'm afraid I can't go into much details on them right this moment. Hopefully it should not be too long until we are ready to share more information about connected realms.

4 of the 5 English speaking EU RP/PVP realms, are according to wowprogress data, amongst the 4 worst populated realms in the entire EU.

Frankly, since it has ALREADY been said that like type realm will be connected with like type realm, I fail to see the delay in connecting at least those 4 realms together right now if the technology is there. They will still be pitifully small re total player numbers unless they are all then connected to Defias Brotherhood, the high popped 5th RP/PVP realm, but hey, at least it would be a start.

Even though some realms were likely candidates to be connected together right from the start, like it is the case with some RP realms, there is also a matter of following the right procedure... things must be done in a certain order to ensure smooth implementation and to avoid mishaps that will be hard if not impossible to correct. I am fairly sure that we will not start connecting realms until final decisions have been made and we have a complete list of which realms to connect. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Misc
I thought a game being 10 years old would be a good reason for radical changes.
No doubt there are some former players sitting on the sidelines waiting for the right feature set to jump back in, but... (Source)
I imagine a lot of former players just aren't tuned in anymore & wouldn't even know or care about the most radical changes. (Source)
Meanwhile, those still playing the game might be pretty happy with the way things are and risk walking with too much change. (Source)
Strategically, radical change probably would lose more players than it would gain. (Source)
What evidence or basis do you have that suggest you'd lose more players with radical changes?
The track record for MMOs with radical changes is not a good one. (Source)

Out of curiosity, was there a great deal of churn among players who were not raiding during BC?
We've always had a lot of churn. Historically we were able to attract more new players. (Source)
I believe in BC things like leveling an alt or grinding professions was still novel enough to motivate a lot of non-raiders. (Source)
In LK we had achievements which helped provide something to do, but 25 Naxx was also insanely popular because it was so easy. (Source)
We added LFR to try and fill that void. Flex should help too. (Source)

any chance on a lighting engine update? NPCs pacing with lanterns looks very silly.
To be clear, we have updated the lightning engine every expansion for as long as I can remember. (Source)

not smart ass Q. Saw in dev interviews team is ~40% larger and adding more. Why now and not back when subs were much higher?
We've said for yrs we want to get content out faster. Staffing up is non-trivial though - takes a while to find right people. (Source)
Is there a critical mass number of people you can hire? Too many voices; hard to rein in coherently, right?
There isn't a magical number, but concerns about hurting our process or culture by overhiring are quite legit. (Source)

Are you admitting that radical changes to the vanilla world and talents have backfired on you?
I think we're using different definitions of radical. A radical change would be overhauling the combat engine to allow dodging. (Source)
More recent games (not just MMOs) have more active combat. Maybe that would be cool for WoW. Massive and risky change though. (Source)
God please NO! I highly dislike the newer games active combat systems!
Yeah, exactly. A change of that magnitude would be a huge risk to the game and therefore extremely unlikely. (Source)

whats patch day like for you? Is it hectic or just a "normal" day and operations staff does most of the work on the servers?
No, it's very hectic. Even on smooth launches (knock on wood) there are inevitable hotfixes and ops concerns. (Source)

Who is responsible for choosing and confirming the next WoW expansion theme in Blizzard? Mike Morhaime?
It's an organic process, but mostly it comes from the WoW team. We ask lots of smart people to weigh in of course, inc. Mike. (Source)

Losing subs + more dev's working on the game. Isnt that somehow conflicting? Profit and so on?
Players often assume that numbers are driven by specific design decisions. Frequency of content is often a much bigger driver. (Source)

Quick question, do you think we may see WoW on consoles one day.
The input system (mouse + keyboard) would have to be radically rethought. (Source)

TCG Art Update
Blizzard has updated the TCG art gallery to feature ten new pieces.

by Published on 2013-09-25 07:27 AM

Official AH Delays Statement, Artisan Stories Will Be Continued in RoS, Differences Between Templar and Crusader, T-Shirt Design Contest Gallery

Hearthstone Leveling Rewards Part 2 - Hunter, Rogue, Shaman; Opt-In Waves Info

Siege of Orgrimmar Heroic Progression
Method is leading progress with 13/14 bosses down now, followed by Blood Legion and Midwinter, both at 12/14. There are now 12 guilds at 11/14. Over in the 10 player column, Paragon is currently leading with 12/14 bosses down.



Connected Realms Update
The first two realms are finally being connected on Wednesday!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In order to implement our first Connected Realms, Boulderfist and Bloodscalp will be taken down for an extended maintenance beginning Wednesday, September 25, at 3:00 a.m. PDT until approximately 11:00 a.m. PDT. During this time these realms will be unavailable for play. Additional realm connections are planned for the near future, and we’ll be posting a full list at WorldofWarcraft.com as soon as we’ve finalized the details.

Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: September 24
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes

Creatures
  • Loot notifications for world bosses in Pandaria should no longer be visible to all members in the raid.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Immerseus
      • Corrosive Blast now has a greatly increased range.
    • Kor'kron Dark Shaman
      • Kor’kron Shadowmage’s Mind Spike ability now deals less damage on Raid Finder and Flexible Raid difficulty.

        Kor'kron Warshaman's Healing Tide Totem now has less hit points on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Kor'kron Supplies no longer spawn on Raid Finder difficulty.
    • Paragons of the Klaxxi
      • Ka'roz the Locust should no longer damage players in his path while dashing towards a ledge to Hurl Amber.
      • Players in a damage-dealing specialization that have already interacted with Rik'kal the Dissector should now be able to interact with Skeer the Bloodseeker.
    • Garrosh Hellscream
      • The Y’Shaarj Touched buff can no longer be spellstolen.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Grievous Conquest achievement vendors (the ones that allow Conquest gear to be purchase with Honor points) have been temporarily removed.
  • Grievous Gladiator weapons have a temporary level requirement of 91.

Items
  • Oddly-Shaped Horn is no longer usable while in the Battlegrounds or Rated Battlegrounds.
  • Tuft of Yak Fur is no longer usable while in the Battlegrounds or Rated Battlegrounds.

Conquest Points Cap Bug
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
give everyone full s14 gear - problem solved.
We won't be granting full Grievous gear to all players, in fact those that acquired gear from the increased cap should not get too fond of holding onto it. We plan on dealing with this matter appropriately, however we cannot elaborate on our plans at this time.

I'm starting to get very concerned about this, still nothing and it's been days now. Come on Blizzard, shape up.
We'll be communicating on our plans as soon™ as possible. Taking gear away is a very delicate process and one which we definitely don't want to jump in to, too hastily, the same goes for any other actions we may take. We've recently changed the level requirement on the Grievous weapons to ensure that people cannot use them for the time being and we're looking into what else we can do to resolve this situation.

We understand that this is a frustrating situation for everyone, but we ask for your patience while we deal with this matter further. I've also increased the posting limit for this thread, so please feel free to continue discussing this topic.

Heroes of the Storm Trademark
A "Heroes of the Storm" trademark appeared in the New Zealand database tonight, and you can find a fun speculation thread on the forum.

Keep in mind that this trademark isn't confirmed just yet. It isn't likely to be used for a WoW expansion, as the trademark application mentions the software being used on "mobile and cellular phones, laptops, handheld computers, and tablet PCs".



Blizzard Art Update
Blizzard has added more pieces to the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Art gallery.

by Published on 2013-09-24 06:30 AM

A Lot of Paragon 2.0 Clarifications, Blue Posts, Community Commentary: Sanctuary Around You

Blue Posts - Beta Wipe Refund, Open Beta; Community Showcase - ToT Mock Raid Deck

Patch 5.4 - Kor'kron Supplies
One nice addition in Patch 5.4 that not many people have noticed is the Kor'kron Supply crates scattered around the Dark Shaman area of the Siege of Orgrimmar. These boxes contain flasks and potions that aren't specific to your class or spec and are a nice way to supplement your guild's (or your own!) consumable supply.



Siege of Orgrimmar Raid Schedule
Don't forget that Siege of Orgrimmar Raid Finder Wing 2 opens this week! You can get started on building your Tier 16 set.





Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: September 23
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Timeless Isle
  • Fixed an issue where defeating rare creatures while in a raid group may sometimes incorrectly display a loot cursor or sparkle effect when the creature has no loot.
  • Vision of Time items can no longer be used while in a Raid Finder raid until the wing has been completed.
  • Fishing in the waters surrounding Timeless Isle should now yield different fish than in the lakes within Timeless Isle.

Classes

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Norushen
      • Reduced the number of Fragment of Pride patrolling the area leading up to Norushen on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • A number of changes have been made to Norushen on Heroic difficulty.
        • Starting Corruption for all players is now 75.
        • Residual Corruption and Burst of Anger no longer pulse additional raidwide Corruption.
        • Expel Corruption no longer increases the target’s Corruption.
        • Increased the health of the Amalgam of Corruption to offset the reduced Corruption generated by external sources.
        • The Purified buff no longer persists after gaining additional Corruption.
    • Siegecrafter Blackfuse
      • Automatic Repair Beam should now always be properly applied to Automated Shredders when they get near Siegecrafter Blackfuse.
  • Ulduar
    • Fixed an issue with the Yogg-Saron encounter, where players were unable to proceed to phase 2 of the fight by damaging Sara.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Players should no longer be unable to cast spells or use items after repeatedly using restricted items while in a Wargame.

Items
  • Reduced the activation rate for caster and healer Legendary cloak effects for characters in a tanking specialization by 75%.
  • Evil Eye of Galakras was only reducing the cooldown on 5 abilities for Warriors. The trinket should now also reduce the cooldown of Heroic Leap.
  • Unerring Vision of Lei Shen now has a 40% reduced chance to activate its effect for Warlocks.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
DPS/HPS logs should have never been added to the game. The cost is not justified by the benefit.
It's nice to be able to evaluate your performance to fine tune gear or rotation. Agree the competitive aspect is out of control. (Source)

This AM I saw: our DPS is too low, nobody wants us, we need an overhaul from pretty much every class. Those all can't be true. (Source)
I think it's obv from buffs/nerfs through the exp cycle that it's obvious overhauls needed. Scaling is out of control
Players obsess about scaling too much. OTOH even with perfect scaling, players would be unhappy if we didn't constantly tune balance (Source)
Put another way, even if all specs scaled identically with gear, encounter mechanics have a far greater impact on performance. (Source)

I disagree. I think a support class fun as long as people knew up front that's what they were rolling.
That's possible. Back in the MC days I suspect many players made their class decisions without that information. (Source)
In fact, I suspect back in the MC days, many players didn't even consider the endgame until they got there. (Source)
I will agree it was bullshit to find out that your feral was garbage. Less impressed with shaman/pally arguments tho.
My original MC raid had at least 4 paladins that rolled to be melee DPS and were told they had to heal and buff in raids. (Source)

Actually it's because the class has been switched upside down since launch
Claiming we don't have a direction or vision for a class is generally a good way not to get us to read something. (Source)
It's not that we are afraid of criticism; far from it. (Source)
We were pretty clear that Fistweaving was always a secondary mechanic, much like Atonement healing. (Source)
We never wanted to hear monks (or any healer) say "I cannot stand with the other healers. I MUST be in melee." (Source)

When people ask me what spec to play, I often tell them "whatever you enjoy or can do the best at" is this good advice?
Yes. Most players worry far too much about theoretical max DPS. The success of *your* group is rarely dependent on it. (Source)

what u think of talent trees? do u really think ur playerbase wants to constantly switch talents every 5 seconds?
We think they want to change talents once in awhile, versus the old model of never looking at the talent screen again. (Source)

e.g. specialize on the talent level, not the class level, by providing talents that significantly favour single or AE healing?
I think you would have to do something like: must have a shield healer and an AE healer, with 2-3 class choices each. (Source)
The problem with talents, though we still do it sometimes, is AE usually wins in MoP. (Source)
It's really hard to get that "glad we have a druid" feel you're looking for without very strong / mandatory unique utility. (Source)
A different design is that instead of tank, healer, DPS (ABC) you have ABCDE and a 10 needs two of each. (Source)
The ABCDE model lets each class / spec feel powerful and unique but hurts the raid that likes to raid with e.g. 3 hunters. (Source)

why all caster class haste make more DoT's Ticks, but meele and ranged this isn't happen??
The intent is haste generally provides more resources for melee and hunters to deliver on the "haste lets you do more" concept. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Example A: Deterrence doesn't work how it is supposed to work and is half as strong as it is supposed to be. no fix
Deterrence in 5.4 is working as intended. The charge system has proven challenging to explain / understand. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
the question about female Demon Form is constantly dodged by Blues. Is this so hard to implement? Would make locks happy.
Not that hard to implement, but it does take real artist time if it's more than just a bow on a Voidwalker. (Source)
but what if my voidwalker wants to wear a bow, even voidwalkers want to feel pretty.
I'm not judging. Each voidwalker can dress how he or she wants. I won't burden them with traditional gender norms. (Source)

Character / Items
Can we remove Personal Loot from Flex, Getting the same item 4 weeks in a row in LFR is terrible design
Sharding the same item 4 weeks in a row in heroic isn't all that fun either. (Source)
so why are there capes dropping in heroic soo?
Maybe one of your raiders decided to reroll and doesn't have an orange cloak? (Source)

Hey Greg, would you be so kind and explain the drop-system of the new heirloom weapons?
The first one you get will be for your loot spec. After that it's random. All are personal loot. (Source)
Is it the 1st one on each difficulty mode (F/N/H), or only the 1st one on the first difficulty mode you clear?
The intent is per difficulty. We don't want someone e.g. avoiding N Garrosh for fear of wasting their chance. (Source)

Flex Raiding
First 2 wings of Flex down and must say rivals BT for epic so far. Boss fights are mad fun and seem to reflect player feedback
Oustanding. (Source)

How many teeth are missing from the average Flex audience member? Are they shirtless? Have they been on "COPS"?
Our hope is that they are pretty normal players who put a premium on playing with friends and family over progression. (Source)
A traditional raiding guild might boot a nice player with low DPS. The intended flex audience would never dream of it. (Source)

i will not use 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)
Flex just is not needed. There's already that... it's called 10-man. If guild can't form then they have bigger issues.
We disagree. 10-player ToT is harder than 10-player ICC. The players who enjoyed the ICC level of difficulty are shut out. (Source)
What was the rationale for the step-up in difficulty since Wrath? Did 10-man ICC feel too easy to devs?
A series of steps. 1) Didn't want 10s to feel like 2nd class citizens, so we gave them the same ilevel. (Source)
2) Didn't want same ilevel for easier difficulty, so we brought 10s up to the 25 level (overall - there is variety per boss). (Source)
You can argue that those were both missteps, but that's how we arrived where we are today. Flex is trying to recapture ICC 10. (Source)

Dark Legacy Comics #408
DLC #408 takes a look at the different types of raiders in WoW.

by Published on 2013-09-22 08:14 PM

Artisan Showcase: "Leah the Diablo" by Sheh, Demonize Your Digital Closet, Curse Weekly Roundup

Siege of Orgrimmar Heroic Progression
Method is still leading progress with 12/14 bosses down now, followed by Blood Legion, also at 12/14. There are now 12 guilds at 11/14. Over in the 10 player column, Paragon is currently leading with 12/14 bosses down, followed by 3 other guilds at 11/14.

Manaflask got a count of 195 pulls on Blackfuse from Paragon in order to down the boss!




Heroic Norushen Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I entirely understand the frustration felt by guilds that have already defeated Heroic Norushen this week, or invested significant time attempting his current incarnation. It's never particularly enjoyable to have to relearn a fight you've already defeated and from which you've already received loot and an achievement. Changing an encounter meaningfully once it's in players' hands is not an action we take lightly. I'd like to offer a few general points of clarification:

First, we did read and closely consider all feedback received as a result of Norushen PTR testing. We made a number of adjustments to the encounter as a result of both player feedback and our own observations over the course of testing. Notably, we removed the Draw mechanic that was present for most of the PTR testing cycle, since it caused players to have to throttle their damage as their gear and execution improved. That mechanic was originally added to completely shut down any chance of a brute-force approach, but we believed that the damage penalty from the initial Corruption would be sufficient to require players to use Look Within to purify themselves in order to meet the berserk timer. Clearly we were mistaken, and I'd like to personally apologize for that.

Second, we are not looking to meaningfully increase the difficulty of the encounter. It should, on balance, be a small to moderate step up in difficulty from Heroic Fallen Protectors, and should be easier than Sha of Pride. While we're still iterating on the exact changes, they will likely entail something along the lines of entirely removing the additional pulsed Corruption received from Burst of Anger and Residual Corruption, increasing players' starting Corruption to 75 as is the case on Normal, and adjusting the health of the Amalgam accordingly. We don't expect that most guilds that defeat the encounter this week will experience any notable struggles with the revised version.

Third, in keeping with the general philosophies laid out in the Encounter Tuning Dev Watercooler, a major factor when it comes to deciding whether to make changes to address an unintended strategy is whether the approach actually involves interesting gameplay. Yes, a really tight Patchwerk-style DPS check absolutely can be fun even without any other mechanics involved, and many players had nailbiting kills and wipes on the encounter this week. But in a few more weeks, with a bit more gear, that fun would largely be gone. And for the healers that most raid groups benched in order to add damage-dealers to meet the DPS check, it likely was never there to begin with. Ultimately, this is a change made for the sake of the thousands of guilds that have yet to attempt the encounter, but will in the future. To those who are experiencing the disruption of having the boss change mid-progress, I again apologize. There are many parallels to our handling of Heroic Primordius (and, yes, those parallels do begin with us screwing up the tuning in the first place).

Finally, I've seen a few references in this thread, and elsewhere, to Thok. The change made to Thok last week was entirely a bugfix. Based on our final days of Raid Finder testing on PTR, we decided to completely disable the Acceleration mechanic that increases Thok's energy generation in Raid Finder, since he changes phases based on health % thresholds in that mode. That change inadvertently removed the mechanic from all difficulties, and the 20-hour time period for which the bug was active represents the time it took us to track down the cause, implement a fix, and test that fix before applying it to the live environment. Thok's current energy regen rate is identical to the values seen for the better part of PTR testing. Had we changed nothing, Thok would have been the easiest encounter in the zone rather than one of the more challenging ones, and we are always going to fix bugs that completely trivialize raid encounters. That was a bug that we fixed ASAP. The upcoming Norushen adjustments, however, are design changes that we're going to roll out along with raid resets next week so that they affect everyone equally.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Item Level Squish
so essentially everything will feel the same? We'll just be putting out smaller numbers?
Exactly. If it takes you 6 seconds to kill a level 90 mob, it still will post squish. (Source)

is there no sense at all that 30 ilvls per tier or equivalent is excessive?
At max level, no. If the numbers don't jump by that amount, the gear feels like side grades. (Source)

Raid Finder
Why delay it? But OK for normal/heroic to blaze through everything in one week.
Your argument would be apples to apples if only 1% of LFR players would blaze through in one week. (Source)

Have you ever thought about ex: "You were present the entire fight, here's an extra bonus roll" in LFR to deter afks?
Yeah, we just have to be careful about detecting that to not punish legit players. (Source)

Hey Greg, any thoughts on gating LFR wings more heavily in future expansions? Influence people to try organized raiding(?).
What we have found historically is the LFR players just don't raid, or even don't play if there isn't enough content. (Source)
We'd love to encourage more players to try organized raiding, but I think we have to lure them in, not beat them in. (Source)

Your purposely trying to push aside people that use LFR as there only means to see content. Way to stick people in a box.
I'm confused. That's not what we're trying to do. (Source)
We would like someone who has run many LFRs to consider Flex for better loot now that they know the fights pretty well. (Source)
Why? If i am happy in lfr why do you want to push me out of it?
Because it provides you more content. Compare: Run LFR until finished vs. Run LFR until finished, THEN run Flex. (Source)

PvP
You got a mess on your hands with mobs of 40-50 blood coin raids killing people tryin to farm coins. Huge backlash.
You only earn coins on KBs (by design) so forming big raids isn't super efficient. (Source)

on the topic of PVP being a battle to balance, why not take a queue from Riot and do very small, weekly changes?
It's just a different approach. LoL has 4ish abilities per champion, so you are rarely re-learning whole rotations when they patch. (Source)
For us, small number tweaks rarely cause major differences in PvP. Things like CC, survival or burst move the meter more. (Source)

Regarding PvP? Don't listen to forums. Try to get some in depth from established, skilled legitimate players
We actually do, but that doesn't help the 99% out there who want to be heard but have their message get lost in the noise. (Source)
Trust your own experienced developers instead of forums. Cant democratize art. Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth
We agree, and this isn't a democratic process, but we do like to gather feedback to make informed decisions. (Source)
The process of gathering feedback is made less efficient when players over-reward shallow points or squelch dissent. (Source)

so why does below 90 pvp don't matter? hunters disc, dks all broken, fix their scaling for 85+ please op/not fun/imbalanced
It matters. It just matters less than max level, which is what by far most players express concern about. (Source)

How is that any different from normal pvp gear being required to compete in pvp?
Presumably a PvP legendary would come with a process more involved than normal Conq gear. (Source)
Which makes me ask what would the motivation for PvP gear taking longer to acquire? (Source)

Proving Grounds
in Top100 healers on proving grounds there are only 5 priests, dont you find it a bit strange for class with 2 healing specs?
Like any encounter, the specific PG mechanics are more favorable to some specs than others. (Source)
We could make spec-specific tweaks, but does that violate the spirit of PG? (Source)

Timeless Isle
The albatross taxi service on timeless isle is the single most frustrating and annoying thing implemented in WoW.
If that's truly the case, then I'd say we're doing pretty well overall. (Source)
Also a sad commentary that players would rather kill something than see another player benefit from it. (Source)

do you think the emperor shaohao rep is a little over bearing? Or is there something missing, daily quests not giving rep..
Path of the Mistwalker will soon provide some rep. Overall though that rep is intended as a long term goal and investment. (Source)

Poll: Best World PvE Content
Which patch had the best daily quests and solo / small group content so far? Feel free to share what you liked (and didn't like) in the comments!


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

by Published on 2013-09-21 07:07 AM

Update (3 PM EST): Method is now 12/14!

More Paragon 2.0 Details, The Future of AH Cards is Unknown, New Wallpaper: Reaper of Souls Logo

Puzzles and Hearthstone 2, Fireside Chat #12

Siege of Orgrimmar Heroic Progression
Method is still leading progress tonight without killing any more bosses, with 11/14 bosses down. There are now 9 guilds at 11/14. Over in the 10 player column, Paragon is currently leading with 10/14 bosses down, followed by Sanitas, also at 10/14.



Heroic Thok the Bloodthirsty Video
Method has released their video of the world first Thok kill, which you can see below. Blood Legion also had some interesting moments and a demonstration of a fun bug in their video.



Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: September 20
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Norushen
      • Look Within should now correctly favor selecting characters with higher levels of corruption for trials during the Norushen encounter on Raid Finder difficulty.
    • Sha of Pride
      • Altered the visual effects of Bursting Pride, Swelling Pride, Aura of Pride, and Unstable Corruption to improve their clarity and visibility.
      • Portals to Orgrimmar should now spawn properly after defeating the Sha of Pride and soft resetting the instance.
    • Garrosh Hellscream
      • Garrosh no longer has a chance to critically hit when under the effects of Leader of the Pack or other similar buffs from players that have been mind controlled by Touch of Y'Shaarj.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • The Conquest vendors have been restored.
  • Fixed an issue where a number of players had a higher than intended Conquest cap.

Items
  • Toy Windmill should now only summon 1 Windmill Lance.

Brewfest

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP Flagging
Flagging on PvE has always been kind of weird. You can be flagged, I'm not flagged, and I can either spend time on a long-cast nuke, or even sheep you, and you have no way to counter me. Or a flagged person can do all sorts of devious things to try to trick people into getting someone else to flag by clicking on them or whatever. Separately there are a ton of abilities in the game, and some of them just cease to work at all if we tried to fix some of them causing flagging. Lastly (?), someone can be flagged and if you heal them that flags you! (My personal favey fav as a healer.)

We're aware. It's become a more relevant discussion because of the activity on the isle and your feedback, but it's a big discussion and a big change, and probably not something we're going to be able to address while the isle is still relevant for most of you.

Bashiok: If you dont hotfix current content so that all can enjoy it, why waste time making changes after it becomes a ghost town?
Sorry my reply was maybe confusing, we're aware PvE flagging in general is weird regardless of the isle or any other content, and a change to PvE flagging in-general is something we're discussing but is probably a ways away. The problem doesn't start and stop with the Timeless Isle, although that of course seems very relevant at the moment.

in other words once the island becomes an empty deserted wasteland with little or no players then well consider making it where PvP is optional well that would kind of be a moot point then dont you think?
Not at all, PvE flagging is sure to continue to be an issue for many years to come without a change. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Timeless Isle Elites
All of the elites telegraph their attacks, meaning they have cast bars (hit V to turn on nameplates) on directed attacks or literal effects that show where their attack will land. Moving and keeping out of those things (use them Void Tendrils!) makes every elite (on the ground-level at least) definitely soloable as it's about knowing when to move out of an attack more than your health or damage. If you're doing it right you really shouldn't take any damage from them. As you go higher up the hill you'll maybe want to join a group. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Conquest Cap Bug
A fix was made to restore the Conquest cap back to the proper level of 2200. A very small number of players were able to purchase more gear than intended, and we will be addressing those on a case-by-case basis.

We're currently working on implementing a hotfix to bring the Conquest vendors back as soon as possible. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Timeless Isle
I hit level cap yesterday and I'm late to the party as it is, so to be able to catch up with my peers quickly put a real smile on my face.
First of all, I'm really glad that you're enjoying our latest patch.
Now you just need to get a new epic helmet so we can see that gremlin, ahem, I mean... goblin smile!

Plenty of people moaning about it ruining the game making older MoP raids obsolete but I don't see it that way at all. I still want to run all of them to see the story, the mechanics and just all the content.
I must say I respect both sides of the argument and I’m pretty sure devs do as well. Ultimately, catch-up mechanics accelerates the devaluing of gear, and that might have at least a psychological impact on the players’ attachment to their items and/or the effort involved in getting them and ultimately to the game itself. That’s the bad part.

The good part is, it also allows for a more relaxed and free play style, where you’re not just as good as the time you invest in the game. Time should matter of course, but it shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all in any game. Individual skill, gameplay, “fun”, and game sociability are just as important.

Content is being added and updated all the time, catch-up mechanics are here to help to bridge the gap between old content and new content, else we’d be back to Karazhan alt raiding times (which was a lot of fun I must say! But you have to admit that it was much more repetitive than it is now when you raid with an alt).

What I particularly like about this system is that it helps the new guy a little bit, but it helps the guy with a ton of alts a lot more, as he can loot chests with all his alts and have a much better chance to completely gear up a freshly dinged 90 in 496 gear. This makes sense to me, since a player with a lot of alts has a much higher chance to have already experienced all the content that is being skipped.

Of course, whoever really wanted to skip content, never needed Timeless Isle. Catch-up mechanics have been introduced in 5.3 for Arena and RBGs, and everyone had a chance to grab a full set of 496 tyrannical gear before 5.4 even arrived.

Besides, 496 is below the ilvl from last patch’s LFR gear, so this doesn’t really have a strong devaluing power over recent gear (5.3 gear). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
well isn't that the goal for pve content? for everyone to play whatevers and be super close to dps?
The definition of "super close" changes over time. It was 30-50% in LK. It has shrunk to 1-2% in MoP. (Source)
I don't believe that shrinking definition is healthy for the game, but not sure how to prevent it. (Source)

If solo-healing challenges like on Norushen are easier to deal with by dpsing, why isn't healer dps somewhat normalized, yet?
Because it's one encounter and classes are too similar as it is. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
why don't Hunter Aspects add personal utility? bat (drain life on shot), spider (root on shot), turtle (dmg reduction), etc?
It's an idea that sounds better on paper. Many grew annoyed at having to twist Aspects frequently for situational benefit. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
any chance arms could be closer than 50k off fury in t16, having one aoe spec and one single target spec isnt fun
We're okay with Arms being ahead of Fury on cleave / AE, but want to make sure the delta between them is not too large. (Source)

remove the GCD lock from Warrior's plz ... its soo bad to be the only class locked to 1.5sec
The design keeps getting pushed that way because so many warrior players don't like any down time. (Source)
I suspect 1 sec GCD warriors would lead to more "I'm standing around waiting for rage" comments again. (Source)
It's one of those tensions between what might be a superior design vs the expectations of a dude who played warrior for 8 years. (Source)

New Character Models
W/ new models, will Nelves get their ferocity back? Nelf females feel like ditzy airheads with some animations, not amazonians
Not entirely up to me, but I miss them being fierce and a little scary from Warcraft 3. (Source)

True, but you also assume this isn't a priority to players (along with better graphics) and that just isn't true.
We made no such assumption. We did however assume that new boss and armor models in SoO were *also* a priority for players. (Source)
Character models, buildings, trees, world, etc > then 3 month armor/weapons. Missing point that game is OLD looking for 2013.
MoP had many brand new buildings and trees. We agree the character models have fallen behind, which is why we're upgrading them. (Source)

PvE
At the very, very high end, there are more Horde guilds. Alliance ones are still quite successful though. (Source)
It's when you let ridiculous imbalances like the 5% troll racial work on 1/3rd of all ToT bosses go live, so easy to avoid
That one doesn't bother us. We don't want to make situational racials irrelevant when one can finally be useful. (Source)
The active abilities for troll and orc are more to blame in our opinion: just another CD to macro with all the others. (Source)

Hardmode raiding and factional imbalance (among raiding pops, not as a whole): What can be done, if anything?
Not sure anything can be done. We'd have to make Alliance racials quite OP to convince Horde to switch until we reached parity. (Source)
And I fully get that you don't make the call on those types of decisions, so I sympathise- it's a real pickle.
Yeah, we haven't given up on the problem for sure. We just don't have a great solution in hand. (Source)

"Convincing horde to switch" is a straw man, right solution is to balance racials and let time heal those wounds
I don't think the time it would take (years?) would be acceptable to the folks with the complaint. (Source)
(By which I meant the time for equilibrium to reassert itself, not the time to balance numbers.) (Source)

So you acknowledge theyre imbalanced, but do nothing?
Players focus too much on the balance, which likely doesn't even affect them. (Source)
Bemoaning "players care about stuff they shouldn't", is that productive? Maybe attend to feedback, rather than dismissing it?
Part of being a game designer is appreciating all feedback but knowing on which you should act and on which you should file away. (Source)

Have you found that raidbots is inconsistent with your internal testing? If so, to how great a degree?
I've talked about this a few times. It's a good source of data if you understand and respect its limitations. (Source)
For example, comparing the means of populations with very different sample sizes can lead you to bad conclusions. (Source)
Also, numbers change dramatically as players learn the fights and gear up. N numbers might go down when guilds go H. (Source)


PvP
Why aren't there ever legendaries for pvp? I can't raid for hours at a time. I thought MoP was "play it your way"?
Wouldn't a PvP legendary just feel mandatory for every player before they could realistically compete in PvP? (Source)

Why exactly is PW:S nerfed by Battle Fatigue and yet not buffed by Twist of Fate? Same question on Prayer of Mending.
We felt that Battle Fatigue needed to affect absorbs or PvP healing strategy would skew towards using them. (Source)
Was more confused about ToF not affecting PW:S/PoM, not so much the reasoning behind Battle Fatigue affecting absorbs.
We use "heal" to mean literal heals (vs. absorbs) but also the general notion of keeping folks alive. For ToF, we mean the former. (Source)

Fan Art Update
Blizzard updated the art gallery to feature ten new pieces.


by Published on 2013-09-20 04:42 AM

Travis Day on Paragon 2.0, Blizzard Won the "Top Community Management Team" Award, Glow's Quest for “Paragon 1000”

Hearthstone Leveling Rewards Part 1 - Mage, Paladin, Priest

Brewfest 2013
Brewfest is upon us once again, and Icy-Veins has an in depth guide to all things Brewfest. This year the event runs from September 20 to October 6. This year offers the same items as last year, such as the Pandaren Brewpack and item level 470 epic trinkets.

If you are still leveling alts, don't forget to grab the Brewfest Enthusiast buff at 6:15 AM and 6:15 PM server time outside of Ironforge and Orgrimmar at the Tapping of the Keg ceremony.


Level Type Spec Slot Name
470TrinketTrinket Bubbliest Brightbrew Charm
470TrinketTrinket Bitterest Balebrew Charm
470TrinketSpell DPSTrinket Mithril Wristwatch
470TrinketPhysical DPSTrinket Coren's Cold Chromium Coaster
470TrinketTankTrinket Brawler's Statue
470TrinketHealerTrinket Thousand-Year Pickled Egg

Brewfest Prize Token Rewards

Level Type Slot Name Cost
20Companion Pets Wolpertinger's Tankard200 ×
20Companion Pets Pint-Sized Pink Pachyderm100 ×
20Holiday Preserved Brewfest Hops20 ×
1Quest "Brew of the Month" Club Membership Form200 ×
10HeadHead Belbi's Eyesight Enhancing Romance Goggles100 ×
10HeadHead Blix's Eyesight Enhancing Romance Goggles100 ×
1HeadHead Brown Brewfest Hat50 ×
1HeadHead Green Brewfest Hat50 ×
1HeadHead Blue Brewfest Hat50 ×
1HeadHead Purple Brewfest Hat50 ×
1ChestChest Brewfest Regalia200 ×
1ChestChest Brewfest Dress200 ×
1FeetFeet Brewfest Boots100 ×
1FeetFeet Brewfest Slippers100 ×
1Consumable Pandaren Brewpack100 ×
1Consumable Brewfest Pony Keg100 ×
1Consumable Brewfest Keg Pony200 ×
20Consumable Fresh Brewfest Hops2 ×
20Consumable Fresh Goblin Brewfest Hops5 ×
1Consumable Brewhelm2 ×


Siege of Orgrimmar Heroic Progression
Method is still leading progress tonight without killing any more bosses, with 11/14 bosses down. Blood Legion has managed to kill one more boss since last night, now with 11/14 bosses down, along with Exorsus, genuine, and Envy. Over in the 10 player column, Paragon is currently leading with 10/14 bosses down, followed by Sanitas, also at 10/14.

You can keep up with the rankings on WoWProgress and Manaflask.



Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: September 19
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
General
  • With the conclusion of the Battlefield: Barrens event, realm coalescing has been re-enabled for the Durotar area.

Classes

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Sha of Pride
      • Sha of Pride no longer drops Droplet of Y'shaarj on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Alter Time no longer teleports players that have been banished on Heroic difficulty.
    • Galakras
      • Resetting the Galakras encounter should no longer cause doors to the towers to remain closed.
    • Siegecrafter Blackfuse
      • Siegecrafter Blackfuse will no longer Overcharge more than one cluster of Crawler Mines per wave on Heroic difficulty.

Battlegrounds and Arenas

Proving Grounds
  • Healer Trials
    • NPC party members should now be better at moving out of the fire, and use their area-of-effect attacks and swap targets correctly.
    • Large Illusionary Flamecallers no longer cast Pyroblast against targets that have been recently hit by a Fireball.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Conquest Vendors Update
Giving a quick update. We're in the process of running internal tests to see if the fix is working correctly. We hope to have it out of testing as soon as possible. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Gearing up Alt Characters
I dinged a fresh 90 on Monday, and yes I went straight to the Timeless Isle. However, in questing greens & blues, I had a very hard time. Also, I still have to go through all the old raids in LFR to unlock the latest content, not to mention get my item level high enough to enter.

I've picked up a few purples on the Timeless Isle, but I'm still nowhere near high enough yet to enter SoO LFR. Sure, if you go for it really hard and prepare with crafted goods, Valor gear etc. I'm sure it can be done. But that's why the system's good IMO, if you put in the effort you can be caught up quickly, if you're more of a casual player like me it's going to take a while, and I'm fine with that personally.

I much prefer this to the alternative—getting my alt to level 90 then having to go through the exact same content I spent months on with my other characters. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.4 PvP Balance
Hope 6.0 will be that one patch we've been waiting since s8 to finally fix everything.
It's impossible to "fix" everything because there will always be a certain aspect of the game that someone will have an issue with, or a part they don't enjoy as much as the other. Perfection is also an endless pursuit because it's an ever elusive goal. We're constantly aiming to make the game the best it possibly can be, but to fix what someone feels is wrong will inevitably break it for someone else, so the things that are "broken" change via your own perception.

- blizzard doesn't care about all mage specs in PvP
Every spec in the game right now is viable for participation in PvP, and we care about all specs. Your complaint is not that "Blizzard doesn't care", it's that you don't feel that certain specs aren't entirely viable for high end arena. This goes for several classes though, not just mages; warrior, paladin, druid and monk tank specs and others are not viable for high end PvP either.

The biggest thing to note is that there are actually more specs now than ever before that are viable for a "Tier 1/2 comp", and at least one spec from each class is capable of reaching high ratings in PvP depending on team composition. We would be extremely pleased if we were able to reach a point in balance where all 34 specs were perfectly balanced, however we're well aware that the possibilities of accomplishing this is an incredibly difficult goal.

We'll continue to do our best to achieve the most enjoyable and balanced gameplay possible for everyone and we really appreciate all of the feedback that you're all giving in this thread about what you do and don't like about patch 5.4. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Honestly how many classes "get benched" I haven't seen a dps class get benched even one time this xpak
It is one of those terms that lost its meaning (like "literally!") through overuse. I think many now used "benched" as a synonym. (Source)

Could I get your thoughts on this concept? Are healers an intrinsic problem in PvP games generally?
They are definitely a problem when trying to balance the option to have a healer or not have a healer. (Source)
I'm also open to the idea that having dedicated healers in PvP period is unsolveable. #notanannouncement (Source)

is it acceptable for one class (warriors) to not have a single dps spec in the top 20 dps specs? Why is this the case, then?
Don't worry about stack ranks. Worry about your spec's (or better yet, your character's) DPS relative to the average. (Source)

so what are people who love their character supposed to do when they no longer enjoy their class?
We struggle with that question, at a philosophical level, a great deal. (Source)
The con is the player (and there are many) who can't keep up with class changes if they skip an expansion or even a patch. (Source)
We hear *constantly* from players who say I love my X but I just can't bear to relearn how to play yet again, so I'm out. (Source)

I think a good rule of thumb is, if you enjoy your class, eff the numbers.
I get that there is a threshold. If you love your class but feel like you are holding your friends back, that's hard. (Source)
But just because the best players in the world do better with class X, does not mean *you* are holding your friends back. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
OK you're probably sick of hearing this, but feels like my ProtWar has exactly zero choice in Major glyph. DPS = mandatory. =/
Yeah we discussed this a few weeks ago. We can't make tank glyphs survival, healing or DPS. Doesn't leave many options. (Source)

Character / Items
We have a request with many people on french forum : why gnome can't do hunter when all race can? We are curious
We get many requests to make X class available to Y race. (Source)
At a fundamental level, the question is whether there is benefit in any racial restrictions on class or not. (Source)

Hi Greg. IF the item squish was to happen, would PvP and PvE gear once again have similar ilvls? WPvP purposes. Ty.
We don't know yet, but that would be a nice goal for sure. (Source)

Just out of curiosity, how does RPPM differ from old style trinkets if unaffected by haste? That seemed the point
RPPM can proc twice in a row. Old style trinkets tended to proc when their ICD was over, making them really predictable. (Source)
But Because of the RNG involved, who would want to use an RPPM trink over ICD if both technically Equal?
There is personal preference involved for sure, which we actually like. (Source)
The RPPM trinket could proc 3 times during Bloodlust while the ICD cannot. But the RPPM might not proc at all. (Source)

Flex Raiding
After downing a boss in a flex raid, is a raid guaranteed at least X items or are all rolls individual (poss. getting 0 loot)?
You can get 0 loot or you can get 25 loot. Both are exceedingly rare, but given enough raids, will happen to someone. (Source)

Flex definitely feels like a progression difficulty coming straight out of LFR. My mana was crying!
Remember that you don't have the benefit of previous tiers of flex to gear up. This should be the only time that happens. (Source)

Might we see LFR phased out in favor of Flex? If opening end-game content to all is the goal, perhaps dif way to achieve it?
If you want to raid say on your lunch break, LFR works for that but flex may not. (Source)

Dark Legacy Comics - #406 and #407
Now that things have slowed down a little bit, let's catch up on some DLC!


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