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by Published on 2013-11-21 10:33 PM

WoW Source: Warlords of Draenor, New Undead Female Character Model Revealed

Enchanted Fey Dragon and Alterac Brew Pup Giveaway
The Enchanted Fey Dragon mount and Alterac Brew-Pup are now available on the Blizzard Shop (US and EU).

It has been a while since our last giveaway, so we will be giving away 20 x Enchanted Fey Dragon + Alterac Brew-Pup mount and pet bundles!

  • The giveaway is for 20 x Enchanted Fey Dragon + Alterac Brew-Pup mount and pet bundle. You can obviously only win one bundle.
  • To enter the giveaway, just reply to this post! Make sure to mention if you play on US or EU servers in your reply.
  • The giveaway will be closed on Monday at 11:59 PM EST and winners will be chosen randomly.
  • A note will be added to the top of the current news post when winners have been PMed.
  • Winners have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected to replace them.


New Mount and Make-A-Wish Charity Pet Now Available
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
A new World of Warcraft mount and pet are now available for purchase through the Battle.net Shop! Brighten up Azeroth’s skies with the new Enchanted Fey Dragon mount, and help grant wishes with the Alterac Brew Pup pet—50% of the Pup’s $10 purchase price goes to Make-A-Wish.

New World of Warcraft Mount: Enchanted Fey Dragon




Make an exotic and stylish statement whenever and wherever you fly with the Enchanted Fey Dragon mount. This mysterious and magical creature lives for excitement and has a zeal for adventure. True to its characteristic flair, the Enchanted Fey Dragon shifts its skin color on a whim, making big gatherings of these mystic beasts an awesome sight to behold.

New World of Warcraft Pet: Alterac Brew Pup – 50% Benefits Make-A-Wish!

The Alterac Brew Pup is a hardy friend who’s always ready to lend a paw or revitalizing swig of “good cheer” to anyone in need. Bred for rescue duty, the Alterac brewhound's bloodline is famous for having found and resuscitated many mountain travelers trapped beneath the snow . . . and then slobbering all over them. The most famous brewhound of all is Bernard, credited with saving upwards of 50 lives—many of them dwarf and orc soldiers dragged out of the snow beneath the treacherous bridges of Alterac Valley.




In honor of the Alterac Brew Pup’s warm spirit, for every Alterac Brew Pup adopted from now until December 31, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. PST, 50% of the $10 USD purchase price will be donated to Make-A-Wish. Your support will help Make-A-Wish grant the wishes of children throughout the world with life-threatening medical conditions.

In addition, you can pick up a pup—and still help out this great cause—as part of our first-ever charity bundle! Adopt the new Alterac Brew Pup pet and the new Enchanted Fey Dragon flying mount together, and you’ll save $5 on the pair—while still sending $5 to Make-A-Wish.

For more information about Make-A-Wish in the U.S., visit wish.org, and outside the U.S. visit worldwish.org.

Philippines Typhoon Relief
As many of you know, the Philippines was recently struck by Typhoon Haiyan, and you may be looking for a way to help those affected by this disaster. Internally, Blizzard is matching employee donations for typhoon relief made to the American Red Cross—if you’d like to support the Red Cross’s relief efforts yourself, we encourage you to visit the Red Cross Typhoon Appeal website to make a donation directly.
by Published on 2013-11-21 07:47 PM

New Undead Female Character Model
No animation work has been done yet, so this is still a work in progress!



New Cloak Test Models
The team has looked at making different shapes for cloaks, but keep in mind this is definitely an early test still.



WoW Source: Warlords of Draenor
Another episode of WoW Source has been posted. You can find our recap below!

Warlords of Draenor Story
  • The team has been talking about Warlords of Draenor since a few months before the Mists of Pandaria launch. Starting on it so far in advance let them set up the Garrosh story for the next expansion.
  • One of the ideas tossed around was having different Mongrel Horde races united by Garrosh to attack Azeroth. They realized it would be a cooler story if he was reassembling the old Orcish Horde. Then the team had to decide how it would be done, with one idea being resurrecting all of the old leaders. That would be confusing as far as if they were undead or how everything worked, so the idea of going back to Draenor was decided upon.
  • Early versions of old Draenor weren't going to use what is now Zangarmarsh for anything, but someone made a concept art of the giant mushrooms underwater that made the team decide to use it after all.
  • Old Draenor is supposed to be a mix of the familiar and things people have never seen before.

New Models
  • The new Undead Female model is far along enough to show off, but no animation has been done yet.
  • There was a bug that made the eye of the Human Female model look different and people got really upset about it, which is why the team is being so careful in building the new models.
  • The team is looking forward to seeing what machinima authors can do with the new models.
  • The robe models are a little tired at this point and they haven't been improved as much as the team would like.
  • The team also looked at making new cloak models that use alpha to mask out some of the cloak to make new shapes.
  • The team has talked about the different ways they could roll out new character models, including just switching them one day or allowing people to opt out and keep the old ones for performance reasons.
  • NPCs will also benefit from the new models and get some touchups to fix any custom work that was done that doesn't match the new models and animations.

Garrisons
  • Garrisons will take gold and some kind of garrison resource like wood or stone to upgrade.
  • Garrisons are mostly an individual thing because if it were a guild thing first, the guild leaders would take all of the fun parts.

Mythic Raiding
  • A 15 player size was discussed, but the devs are already asking 10 player guilds to grow so they selected the size that would work best going forward.
  • Mythic raiding was set to 20 because of the advantages it gives the team when designing raids.
  • With 20 players, raid designers can assume there is at least one of each class in the raid, something that they can't do with a raid size of 15.
  • Having 20 players also allows for more complex mechanics for the most challenging raid content.

Misc
  • The free boost to level 90 won't expire. You can boost any character to level 90, as there is no level requirement.
  • Ashran will allow you to collect scraps from other defeated opponents to build something like strong armor, a vehicle, or launch a wave of NPCs at the enemy. Players may even have longer term objectives they can work on that span multiple days.

by Published on 2013-11-21 07:56 AM

Paragon EXP Chart: Levels 1 - 2000, Diablofans Livestream of Reaper of Souls

OGN to Broadcast Competitive Hearthstone in Korea, ManaCast #13, Beta Key Giveaway

Blizzcon Dev Interview
PlayersCut had the chance to speak with Chris Metzen at Blizzcon.

The Emerald Dream and Warcraft 4
  • The Emerald Dream is a nice idea and the team has talked about making it into an expansion many times. Building an entire expansion worth of zones around a green lush forest theme would get very boring, so the Emerald Dream would be better used as raid, dungeon, or a subzone, not an entire expansion.
  • For the foreseeable future, the content in World of Warcraft is where the team's primary focus will be. Warcraft 4 isn't planned right now, as Starcraft 2 is where the RTS focus is.

Warcraft Movie
  • The Warcraft movie is still doing casting.
  • The Orc's corruption by the Burning Legion is a root theme of the movie story.

World of Warcraft Heroes and Villains
  • The first few WoW expansions burned through the Warcraft villains pretty fast, which is why the team introduced characters like Garrosh. There are a number of characters they have started to insert into the storyline with the hopes that they will be made into compelling characters or great villains in the future.
  • Wrathion and Anduin are characters to watch going forward. Anduin gets slightly older with every model update and Metzen would like to see him become king one day.
  • Yrel is a new character in Warlords of Draenor, starting as a naive priestess in old Draenor. When the conflict kicks into gear she will need to become a hero over the course of the story, a new major Alliance heroine, and take a leadership role among the Alliance.


Next Connected Realms 11/25
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
​We will be connecting the realms listed below on Monday, November 25 during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 6 a.m. PST through approximately 11:00 a.m. PST. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.

  • Azshara and Azgalor
  • Arygos and Llane
  • Cairne and Perenolde
  • Nathrezim and Anub'arak/Chromaggus/Garithos/Smolderthorn
  • Winterhoof and Kilrogg
  • Zangarmarsh and Hellscream

We will be connecting the realms listed below on Monday, December 2 during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 6 a.m. PST through approximately 11:00 a.m. PST. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.

  • Coilfang and Dark Iron
  • Fenris and Dragonblight
  • Icecrown and Malygos
  • Spirestone and Drak'Tharon/Firetree/Malorne/Rivendare
  • Ysondre and Magtheridon

​Future Connections
We do not have a date for the following realm connections, but will update this blog post when we do.

Next Batch
  • Andorhal and Ursin
  • Crushridge and Anub'arak/Chromaggus/Garithos/Nathrezim/Smolderthorn
  • Darrowmere and Windrunner
  • Quel'dorei and Sen'jin
  • Velen and Eonar

​Plans for these connections may change at any time, but we’ll provide additional updates on specific dates for future connections here as we can. Please note that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.

Next Connected Realms 11/25
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
The connections below should be completed shortly:

  • Uldum and Shen’dralar/Zul’jin
  • Boulderfist and Chromaggus/Shattered Halls
  • Rajaxx and Anetheron
  • Agamaggan and Emeriss/Hakkar/Crushridge
  • Terrodar and Dethecus/Mug’thol/Theradras
  • Alexstrasza and Nethersturm

As part of our ongoing Connected Realms implementation, we will be connecting additional realms as listed below. We don’t have a specific date yet on when these connections will occur, but we’ll provide another update once we do.

  • Executus and Burning Steppes/Kor’gall
  • The Venture Co and Sporeggar/Scarshield Legion
  • Arathi and Temple Noir/Naxxramas
  • Daggerspine and Boulderfist/Chromaggus/Shattered Halls
  • Area 52 and Un’Goro
  • Thunderhorn and Wildhammer

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Raid Finder
I am probably in the minority but just wanted to say anyway.
I really don't think you are. We can see by the numbers that it's a popular feature. As is the way with most things, if you're fine with something you're unlikely to make a thread about it—so thank you for going to the trouble.

Having said that, people do have valid issues with game features from time to time, and we make sure to pass on that feedback to the developers so they can decide whether to make any adjustments, and hopefully improve the game experience for everyone. We've made a number of tweaks to LFR since it was introduced based on your feedback, so also a big thanks to those who have highlighted other aspects.

Basically, we really appreciate good or bad feedback about LFR or any other game features, as long as it's constructive! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Warlords of Draenor Flying
small no-fly zones are ok, the whole continent is way to punishing. Especially without lore reason.
I don't feel the need to justify good gameplay with lore. Why can Four Winds virmen defeat Onyxia? Good gameplay. (Source)
Believable lore and setting, must be internally consistent, is very important to a RPG.
We agree, but gameplay is more important, at least at Blizzard. Other studios design with different values. (Source)

So basically not having flying has nothing to do with immersion or exploration or interaction it's just timesink
That's almost exactly the opposite of what we said, but I know you like to argue. (Source)
it is when we are forced us to fight mobs not needed wasting my now-slim play-time ...please reconsider
But that sounds like you're arguing for a dungeon with 3 bosses in the first room.... (Source)
nope cus dungeons have a path and story ...trash has to do with dungeon and since Cata they hint next boss mechanics
Yet players still complain constantly about trash because it delays them from getting to the good stuff. (Source)

I don't want leveling to be easier/quicker. I want repeated content to have less travel/downtime.
We don't think flying makes questing quicker. We think it makes it trivial. There is a difference. (Source)

You guys always talk about player "choice" yet you enforce this issue of no flying. Double standards :|
Actually, we champion interesting decisions. Deciding whether to fly or not is not interesting, b/c flying is always better. (Source)
You will take away whole playstyles. "Fly around and herb + chatting in guild" is not who I want to gamequit.
Those will still exist. Just not at day one on the new continent. (Source)

"This thing I openly admit is not fun or compelling is valuable" is, you understand, a hard sell?
Game design, like much of art, isn't about having an intense experience 100% of the time. (Source)
You need a background upon which the epic stuff can stand against. Travel, easy fights, repairs are all part of the experience. (Source)
In the near term you might not miss them if they were gone, but in the long term, the game might feel like it had less depth. (Source)

Lorewise, what's the reason we can't fly then suddenly, we can... then we can't again?
There isn't a good one. It's not a lore-based decision. (Source)

if thats true then why do you nerf quest xp, RAF, heirlooms etc to make the grind faster?
Because otherwise hitting max level would only take more and more time the longer the game had been out. (Source)
It does NOT mean that we think leveling in a new continent is lame and shouldn't be part of the game. (Source)

why can't you just give mobs a close range dismount ability? So we can still fly high, but not low to skip mobs?
Ultimately, you are still deciding when you want to face danger in the outdoor world. That's not quite the same thing. (Source)

Also, If WoW's an escape from the drudgery of the real world, how are boring commutes until 6.1 making the game more fun?
Is clearing trash a ton of fun? Some things are in the game to provide pacing and cadence. You can't be at 11 all the time. (Source)

That could easily be fixed by adding some "anti-air units" around some quest areas, where it could work anyways.
That either means quest flying is possible but super risky or it's realistically not possible. Either way not much of a difference (Source)

What was wrong with the Wrath model of grounded leveling for main, BoA tome for alts?
If leveling is supposed to be trivial for alts, why not just make them all jump to max level? (Source)

A question: Will the PvP-Zone be a "No-Fly-Zone" even after 6.1 when we get our flying-ability back?
Almost certainly. (Source)

Misc
Are we getting cinematic WOD trailer?
Of course. No ETA. (Source)

Any news on the *clean-up of karazan* stuff being related to pre-expac event ?
Like much of what is data-mined, I would wait for an official announcement before freaking out (pro or con). (Source)

Dark Legacy Comics #416
DLC #416 has been released!

by Published on 2013-11-20 05:15 AM

Reaper of Souls Livestream

Blue Posts: Feedback Survey, Pay to Win, Maintenance Tomorrow; Beta Key Giveaway

Alterac Brew Pup - 2013 Charity Pet
It looks like the Alterac Brew-Pup will be the 2013 Charity pet, with 50% of the purchase price going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The charity donation period only lasts until December 31, 2013, similar to the Moonkin Hatchling, which was released on November 29, 2010.

For an example of what the money goes towards, take a look at our own member Ashkir's story about meeting the President through Make-A-Wish!

Also keep in mind that the developers revealed there will be a combo purchase possible with the next charity pet, which includes the Enchanted Fey Dragon mount!







Patch 5.4.2 - Cross-Realm Account-Bound Mail
Patch 5.4 enabled mailing between Connected Realms. Patch 5.4.2 will allow you to mail Account Bound items to other realms!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In the latest 5.4.2 PTR build, we are testing the new ability to mail account-bound items to other characters on your account that may be on different servers. Notably, this should allow you to move heirlooms between servers, in advance of our planned Warlords changes that will make them fully account-wide.

Sending this sort of mail should work like any cross-server communication: You send the item to "Playername-Servername" and it should otherwise work like regular mail. Note that you can only send account-bound items, and not other items or gold.

Example: I have a character, Thrall, on the Benedictus server. I want to send my heirloom mace to my alt, Durotan, on the Lycanthoth server. I'd log in as Thrall, and attach the mace to a mail addressed to "Durotan-Lycanthoth" and hit send.

We'd appreciate any feedback or bug reports on this new feature so that we can address any issues prior to the release of 5.4.2. But even without direct feedback, just logging into PTR and mailing account-bound items across servers should give us useful data to help confirm that the feature is working as intended. Thanks!

Patch 5.4 Hotfixes - November 18 / 19
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
  • Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Nature's Vigil should now be correctly affected by effects that modify healing (Battle Fatigue, Mortal Strike, Dampening, etc.).
  • Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Stormlash Totem's Stormlash effect now has a 50% chance to activate and deals 40% of current damage (This is up from a 20% chance to activate and down from a 100% damage increase when activated compared to a hotfix from October 4).
    • Talents
      • Stone Bulwark Totem's damage absorption shield should now be properly affected by Battle Fatigue and Dampening.

Pet Battles
  • Battle Pets
    • Zao, Calfling of Niuzao's Niuzao's Charge ability should play the correct sound instead of a quote by the Headless Horseman.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Paragons of the Klaxxi
      • Xaril the Poisoned Mind should no longer be incorrectly receiving credit in the combat log for spells cast by players that were under the effects of Canned Heat.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
quality of life changes? whose life, ours, or the devs?

why take gems, and reforging away? is it for our benefit? it isn't for my benefit as a healer.
is the new "grind" going to be chasing the gear you really want/need in a timeless isle format? or, are the characters going to be even more simplistic, that it won't even matter. we already lost control of our mana pools, what's next. everyone will have the same mana regen?


It's a difficult conversation to come to any consensus on because different people always find different things fun. It's all rather subjective. I don't recommend anyone try to convince anyone else that they're wrong in what they understand to be fun for them. That's a waste of precious bodily fluids. However, our goal has always been and I believe always will be to create a fun and engaging game that is free from tediousness and complexities for the sake of tediousness and complexities. Easy to learn, difficult to master is our motto.

Depth and complexity of systems don't need to come from the number of buttons to click, innumerable steps to take to complete mundane tasks, or obscurity of how to go about them. Certainly decrypting game systems can be fun sometimes, but as a company we embrace a style of game that is very approachable with systems that are simple to understand on the surface but that hold a lot of genuine gameplay depth. That was true the day World of Warcraft was released, and we strive to ensure that remains true even with the addition of dozens of new systems over the years. As time marches on and we implement our latest and greatest ideas, they don't always keep pace with that design intent, and sometimes we have to make difficult decisions.

You will also find that one button that does it all......isn't so fun either.
Tooooootally agree, which is kind of what hit/expertise caps were. You either hit them or you didn't. Binary on/off buttons aren't so fun - depends how shiny the button is though I suppose.

You imply other systems in the game suffer from the same; to which are you referring?

So, you're gonna stack strength just to be different from other elemental next to you?
Kind of the interesting crux of a lot of these conversations is illusion of customization vs. actual customization vs. efficiency, and how all of those interplay.

If someone liked spending all of their talent points in the old system in strange ways and ended up being extremely sub-optimal, but felt better about their individuality and choices and therefore found that system more "fun", were they wrong? What should the efficiency gap be, and how should we as designers and game creators ensure looking up a guide vs. not looking up a guide isn't the difference between a playable game and an impossible one? If that player who enjoyed their custom build and choices saw they performed far below everyone else would they understand it was due to their choices, or would they feel like the game was being unfair to them?

All interesting topics.

why not? this game's revenues are in excess of over $1 billion dollars a year. it's not like Fred, and Ethel are busy in the backroom coding, and we can't work them too hard.
Software development is not an assembly line. Adding a another eyeball to a doll you manufacture (because ... you're insane, I guess?) and adding another person to an assembly line to install that eye isn't how a collaborative effort like software - and especially game creation which includes a lot of art and "feeling" - is created. Some of the reasons are encapsulated in Brooks's Law.

Anyway to address your "why not?" more directly, the difficulty in balance is really that we want classes and choices to feel meaningful and unique. When you play your warlock you want to feel like a warlock, and not like a slightly different mage. And so it's just a fact that uniqueness and equality are two opposing concepts (no, you're not a unique snowflake AND as good as anyone else at everything), and in that we have to find some middle ground we call balance. But you're asking why talents can't be truly balanced if there's choice, so let's draw on a piece of paper a grid 3x3 and in each we'll put a unique number 1-through-9. I'll pick 4 of those numbers, 6, 7, 8, 9, add those up, that's 30, and then you being the same class pick your own 4 numbers from the same grid and you choose 1, 2, 3, 4, that's 10. Those numbers aren't equal, and almost all combinations will not be equal. Obviously a very simple if not flawed analogy, but balanced and fun vs. unique and meaningful isn't a problem to be solved by adding more calculators to the pile because it isn't just about spreadsheet math.

But this is all waaaaaaay too off-topic. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World of Warcraft’s 9th Anniversary!
You can find a topic about the anniversary rewards from other games on our forums!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
World of Warcraft turns nine on November 23, 2013! Another epic year has flown by, and we’d like to thank you all for joining us on so many great adventures. To celebrate, players who log into the game between the dates of November, 18 through December, 1 will receive a feat of strength added to their Achievements and a “Celebration Package” item. Using your item will kick off the celebrations by shooting off fireworks*, applying a (visual only) tabard to your character, and granting an 9% bonus to experience and reputation gains from any enemies defeated while active.

We look forward to another year of adventures ahead and many more to come!

*Use fireworks responsibly. Harmful or fatal if swallowed. If fireworks get in eyes, rinse in muddy pond water for 20 minutes, /dance, and contact your nearest Mistweaver, Priest, Shaman, Druid, or Paladin.

Blizzard Entertainment Student Art Contest
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Students, get ready to show off your talents: the Student Art Contest is back!

Blizzard Entertainment’s university relations and World of Warcraft development teams are proud to present the third annual Blizzard Student Art Contest! We’re calling on college and university students to submit original artwork or animations that would be a great fit for World of Warcraft. This year’s contest is even better than ever as we’ve thrown in additional categories for you to wow us in (pun intended).

Show us something we’ve never seen before but that still fits within World of Warcraft. You can see previous winning submissions here and here.

Online submission forms will be available on our University Relations website in December. We recommend getting started now though!

Prizes
Grand prize winners will be chosen by the World of Warcraft art team, and will receive the following epic prizes*:

  • A three-month mentorship by a member of the World of Warcraft art team, in the form of email or phone critique of portfolio work (Contact frequency will be roughly every two weeks)
  • A one-year subscription to World of Warcraft
  • A Blizzard Entertainment notebook (featuring an original sketch by a Blizzard artist)
  • A Blizzard T-shirt

*Blizzard reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value for any prize

Please note that only current US and Canadian college and university students are eligible to win. Residents of North Dakota, Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, and Quebec are not eligible to participate.

For more information about the contest as it becomes available, please join our Blizzard Careers group on LinkedIn (LinkedIn account required).

Good luck to all!


Environment Art
Using your creativity and ability to work within the World of Warcraft art style, create a small environment diorama that would fit well in the game world. Your quest: Concept, model, and texture an environment piece that you could imagine stumbling upon during your travels across Kalimdor, the Eastern Kingdoms, Outland, Northrend, or Pandaria.

Required elements are trees, rocks, grass, and props, plus a small structure (such as a shrine).

Character Art
Using your creativity and ability to work within the World of Warcraft art style, concept, model, and texture a non-player character (NPC) or creature that you could imagine roaming the plains of Durotar, exploring the depths of Deepholm, or just sitting in the Pig and Whistle Tavern knocking back a mug o’ Thistle Tea.

Required elements are the character or creature, along with some sort of clothing or armor. Feel free to go further by adding weapons or other accessories.

Weapon Art
Using your creativity and ability to work within the World of Warcraft art style, concept, model, and texture a main hand weapon with a complimentary offhand weapon/shield/item. It could be the pairing of the “Deadly sword of Castle AHHHH” and a “Jabberwock Scale Shield,” the “Repentant Crusader Mace” and a “Tome of Righteousness,” or even the “Beguilers Ebonwood Staff” and an “Obfuscating Eye of Yogg-saron.” Let Azeroth be your guide and pull from the many established cultures, encounters, and legends that exist in World of Warcraft.

Required elements are the main hand weapon, along with its matching offhand item, but feel free to go further by adding a player or creature wielding your creations.

Animation
Keeping in mind and working within the World of Warcraft art style, select a class from the game and create either a battle scene or flavor animation. A battle scene could be any type of combat situation. Think of it as a pitch for a new player class. Your scene could be as epic as a final boss fight, or something more comical like warding off a group of feisty Murlocs. The flavor animation piece is all about personality. It could be a group of characters having a good time hoisting back pints of ale or coming home after winning a PVP match. Feel free to interpret these how you wish. Be as creative as possible, but don’t forget to watch your weight, timing, strong poses, and arcs!

Required elements include one cycled animation in a stand or combat ready pose. Make sure animations return to the same start position and feel free to add additional models or weapons.

The final piece should be animated in 30 frames per second and in meters. Please avoid camera shakes and blurs as they tend to hide fundamentals that we look for.

WoWProgress Speed Kill Rankings
WoWProgress added a nice new feature today that uses timestamps between boss kills to create a boss kill speed ranking.

by Published on 2013-11-19 12:37 AM

Patch 5.4.2 PTR - Build 17595
Build 17595 will be deployed to the PTR realms soon.

Treasure Goblin Sounds




Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Priest (Forums)
Discipline
  • Power Word: Barrier Summons a holy barrier on the target location that reduces all damage done to friendly targets by 100% 25%. While within the barrier, spellcasting will not be interrupted by damage. The barrier lasts for 10 sec. Priest - Discipline Spec. 6.3% of Base Mana. 40 yd range. Instant. 3 min cooldown.

Warrior (Forums)
  • Intervene Run at high speed towards a party or raid member, removing all movement-impairing effects upon you, intercepting the next melee or ranged attack within 10 sec while the target remains within 25 yards. 25 yd range. Instant. 30 sec cooldown.



Strings Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • BLIZZARD_CHALLENGE_DENIED_DESCRIPTION - [PH] You have entered your information incorrectly too many times.
  • BLIZZARD_CHALLENGE_DENIED_TITLE - [PH] Authentication Error
  • BLIZZARD_CHALLENGE_ERROR_DESCRIPTION - The Shop has encountered an error.|nPlease try again later.
  • BLIZZARD_CHALLENGE_ERROR_TITLE - Internal Error
  • BLIZZARD_CHALLENGE_OKAY - Okay
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_ERROR_MESSAGE_ALREADY_OWNED - You already have this product!
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_ERROR_TITLE_ALREADY_OWNED - Already Owned
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_SPLASH_BANNER_DISCOUNT_FORMAT - |cff224f01%d%% OFF!|r
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_SPLASH_BANNER_FEATURED - |cff014879FEATURED!|r
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_SPLASH_BANNER_NEW - |cff014879NEW!|r
  • ERR_AUTH_CHALLENGE_UI_INVALID - [PH] Action cannot be completed at this time.|nPlease disable your addons and try again.
  • MAC_OPEN_UNIVERSAL_ACCESS1090 - In order to use this option, you must grant access to %s in Security & Privacy preferences, located in System Preferences. Would you like to open System Preferences now?



Blizzard Store Updated
The Battle.Net store was updated today to completely remove the old store that sold physical goods, replacing it with one that only sells the virtual items. Physical goods will be back in the future.

It may look familiar, as it is very similar to the Battle.Net Launcher store mockup! You can find the other mockups in the original post.



EU Connected Realms
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
We're not asking for perfect balance. All we're asking for is to make it so the game is actually playable.

The problem is not the ratio of horde/alliance. It's that one side is utterly dead and has empty cities, practically no guilds, no crafters and barely anything on the AH, all while the other faction is flourishing.

Why can't a heavily Horde server be connected to a heavily Alliance one?

When the population level allows it, that's what we're trying to do with Connected Realms. But as I said before, there are for example more Horde-heavy PvP realms than Alliance-heavy ones, so that can't be done with them all.

When reading sites like MMO-Champion, you can see, that Connected Realms are being pushed at US, is there a reason why you are just holding them back at EU? Would like to see a reply to this issue?
We're not holding back, we started a few weeks ago and more are regularly being added http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/8427764143

Have you ever considered offering free faction transfers on servers with high imbalance?
We experimented with it in the past—people are very reluctant to leave their guilds and friends to change sides. Also, there's a risk they could be one of just a few who move, then end up vastly outnumbered on the minority side. Judging by past trials, it's just not something people are willing to do. So we're looking for other ways to help. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP
explain to me why, the expac which makes pve so accessible, makes pvp (trial of glad) much less accessible?
Trial is for elite players who want only skill to matter. More accessible PvP will be things like Ashran. (Source)

So again, for PvP servers, we want balanced faction mergers to make the xpac/world seem dangerous. Mergers don't solve that
It's impossible to solve that. Example: there are far more Horde on NA PvP realms. We are solving it locally for 6.0 PvP zone. (Source)
It's possible to solve. Give free transfers/faction changes for those in the minority populations.
We experimented with that a lot in the past. Many folks don't want to move without their entire guild and network of friends. (Source)
It's one of those herding cats deals where you need to motivate a lot of people to do something and everyone is scared to be first. (Source)

Character / Items
I approve of less gems - but why remove metas? It's the "head enchant". You're keeping leg armor and should inscriptions, no?
Metas aren't a decision about which to use and their procs junk up the UI and logs without adding much reactive gameplay. (Source)

I haven't seen this info. Are there melee-specific, caster dps-specific and tank-specific accessory stats too?
Armor is a tank stat. Some items may have AP or SP. It's less important to have DPS-only stats, in part because there are so many. (Source)

so primary stats will be switching based on your spec. Will secondary stats change as well?
No. (Source)

Will all gear 1-90 be modified to use the new 'primary' stats as well? Are secondary stats static or random on new gear?
Except for hit and expertise, most of the gear changes will likely only affect new gear. We'll have to see though. (Source)

Active mana regen is possibly a better model than the spirit arms race? More interesting gameplay, possibly, too.
Spirit is one of (possibly the) most interesting gearing decision though because it is so subjective. (Source)
Inconsistent design. Other gear adapts to the wearer, but healers have to wait for spirit gear to drop.
We are treating Spirit as a secondary stat, which does not adapt. Intellect is a healer's primary stat. (Source)
Spirit serves no purpose outside healing roles. It is a primary stat for healers.
You can call it what you want, but we call it a secondary stat, like crit or bonus armor. (Source)

So the new tertiary stats and sockets are like a mild version of the D3 random stats, right?
I'd say they are more like an extension of Warforged. WoW loot will still be much less random than D3 loot. (Source)
Will there be warforged items (so +6 itemlevels) together with gems and tertiary stats?
Yes, but getting that trifecta will be extremely rare. Getting one of the three will be more common. (Source)

With the removal of hit/exp, will attacks no longer have a chance to miss/dodge?
It will behave as if you were hit capped for yellow attacks. (Source)
How about expertise? For my tank i've got 15%, and DPS class is happy with 7.5% for attacks from behind.
Tanks will always hit. Melee will still have a chance to be parried from the front. (Source)
make spells have a chance to be resisted from the front then
We prefer tank up front, melee behind, and ranged spread out. There are plenty of encounter-specific exceptions of course. (Source)

Glyphs, Talents, Now tertiary stats, do you fear that fight to fight customizations could get out of control?
That's a risk but it seems like a reasonable compromise between earning gear too quick or too slowly. (Source)
This is the long tail I tried to describe. You can get good gear pretty quickly, but getting great gear takes more effort. (Source)
Today, you might not get a piece for a long time, but if we just sped up drops then you might finish in 2-3 weeks. (Source)

Love the item squish, but do you think it's squished enough, or will we need another one in 2-3 expacs?
It's possible we'll need to do it periodically, but we made it 5 expansions before this one. (Source)

People like to see big numbers and they like to see those numbers grow. Item Squish will ruin this game. #fact.
The response was pretty positive among folks who tried it at Blizzcon or didn't even notice. So I guess that makes it #opinion. (Source)
by Published on 2013-11-17 10:03 PM

Story Time With Wyatt Cheng, Removal of Nephalem Valor, Pickup Radius Reduced for RoS, Curse Weekly Roundup

Weekly News Recap, Building a Budget Druid Deck, Beta Key Giveaway

Patch 5.4.2 - Karazhan Cleanup
You might have noticed the addition of a new phase, "Karazhan Restoration" in the latest PTR build. It is unclear what that phase will be used for, but the regular version of Karazhan has seen some cleanup in 5.4.2. Most of the spiderwebs, skeletons, and overturned chairs have been removed. All other signs of abandonment and age remain untouched.




Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Warlords of Draenor Beta
Yes, No or IDK interview question time! Will we see WoD Beta before the end of February?
IDK (Source)

Warlords' preview looked great but pretty raw compared to how polished everything was for the Pandaria announcement.
That's odd. Feels like we are farther along for WoD than we were for MoP. (Source)

Classes
Will tank dps be looked at for WoD, It's just not right that they are top on so many encounters. They should NEVER be
We are planning on changing Vengeance to only affect defenses and just making tank abilities hit harder. (Source)
That should let tank DPS be relevant, without it being absurd. They may still win meters on big AE fights. (Source)

DoT snapshotting existed before MoP and it's a skill differentiator. The balance issue is Pandemic.
The real issue is temp stat boosts. We just can't do them in class CDs, trinkets etc. when snapshotting is so prominent (Source)

Spirit won't matter as long as you have varied regen mechanics, mindbender vs innervate? rofl. 600kmana/9min vs 180k/9min...
You can't compare spells in a vacuum. Who runs out of mana first, the Holy priest or Resto druid? (Source)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Hey.. speaking of the new character models.. will druid forms get some love aswell?
I doubt it. They were redone fairly recently in the grand scheme of things. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
You say you want hunters to fill the role of mobile ranged, then give us Snipe. I don't get it. (1of2)
The intent is someone who is willing to deal with the challenge of non 100% movement can perhaps benefit from DPS. It's optional. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Will fire mages get a revamp in 6.0? You remarked before they need work but was not essential in 5.4.
in what way do you think that combustion is hard to understand?
It's not hard to understand per se it's the insane decision tree that Combustion + Alter Time creates & the penalty for failing (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Is slice and dice deleted for Warlords of draenor (for sub and combat)?
Not at the moment. We just want to distinguish rotations a bit more by not having all rogues have to manage it. (Source)

Warlords of Draenor Flying
I was wondering if Blizzard was planning to cut flying altogether from WoD? The forums can be a scary place sometimes. :|
No. We like no flying when content is relevant. In 6.1 the Draenor zones won't be current, but there will be a new no-fly zone. (Source)

No Flying till 6.1 = Awesome. Will we have FelReaver-esque SAVAGE things to look out for and remember for years to come?
Yes. It is a world of giants. There are gronn and even larger things stomping about. (Source)

We have to quest to fly in 6.1? Why is Blizzard so in love with grinds? I just want to pvp.
The soul of the game is progression. You overcome challenges to earn things. Rewards for free don't feel like rewards. (Source)

Put a compelling, interesting, or fun activity in that encourages people not to fly. Don’t force it
Is there anything fun or compelling about raid trash? Repair costs? Earning lesser charms? Yet those still have value... (Source)

Name one thing that barring flight gives you that you couldn't do with a little bit of ingenuity without barring flight.
Swoop down, kill quest target, fly away without fighting anything else. (Source)
It seems a lot of the dislike for flying is from pvp? Would I be correct in that assumption?
A small part of it, but we also hate the way folks quest with flying mounts. Swoop down, unlock prison cage, swoop away. (Source)
Questing is boring and tedious as hell at this point. I'd rather just be done with it ASAP.
We don't want it to be an endless slog, but we do view questing as a core component of the experience. (Source)

Can’t wait to see the end of WoD when “No flying” is written off as a mistake after all your defending. Same as dailies were
It's always possible, but we were happy with no flying until 90 and no flying on Timeless Isle or Isle of Thunder. (Source)

PvE
Quick question: what's your favourite class/spec & raid boss? I know you work in a lot of those, but pick one of each
It wouldn't be prudent to answer the first. For the second, tie between new Ragnaros and Lei Shen. (Source)
Lich King was amazing (fav by miles), rag was sick too though. Lei Shen has been one of the best balanced bosses tho
I liked LK a lot, but if I'm being honest, too much of the fight was burning adds or Defile lightning reflexes. Still great. (Source)

can we please have CD reset on ICD effects on boss pull?
We are going to work very hard to make lining up everything on the pull less of a thing. It causes bad gameplay overall. (Source)

Are we supposed to clear Normal *and* Heroic before getting to Mythic?
Just heroic. If you are a mythic prone guild (mythic curious?) then normal is probably too easy and unrewarding for you. (Source)

Delay the start of raiding in WoD for 1 ~ 2 weeks please! Nice to be able to level without having to rush.
We think that worked out well for MoP. (Source)

Plus, the word Mythic sounds pretty awesome, in my opinion. That matters to people, right?
But everyone at Blizzcon called it MYSTIC. (Source)
Avoid the Mythic/Mystic confusion. Use a word you already use. Legendary Raid!
When we debated that, the fear was the immediate assumption that it dropped all orange loot. (Source)

While there are more 10h than 25h raiders, both groups are still very small. We support heroic raiding, but let's keep the in perspective. (Source)
This is going to be like 5.0 dailies. Wrong solution to the right problem. The ICC system is preferable to a single size.
The problem with ICC is the 10-player raiders felt like second class citizens since the ilevels were lower. (Source)
So how does returning ten mans to second class status make sense now? That is where they are going back to.
Ten player raiding is extremely popular and we are going to continue to support it. Ten player heroic raiding is much less popular. (Source)

For the much larger population of 10n players, flex in 6.0 will only help them. (Source)
The problem with flex is, people stop at 13-14 players because mechanics switch to 25m mode. People dont want to fill up.
There are some break points today, but we've fixed most of those for 6.0. (Source)

Will Mythic mode have to be unlocked by completing Heroic mode? Much like going from Normal mode > Heroic mode is now.
Not sure yet, but it will definitely unlock a week later like it does today. (Source)
but we can start in heroic mode right?Two clears before we can "start" would kinda kill the excitement IMO
Current plan (could change) is N and H on week two, Mythic on week three (if you've beaten H) and LFR after that. (Source)

It looks like it's an RL option, like today it's just another option on the list.
Correct. In LFR it's always personal. Else, raid leader can choose. You can argue he or she should go personal in a pug. (Source)
Can you tell if the groups made from the new Browsing Raid will be able to change Loot Specialization middle raid?
Sure. We'll likely still have bonus rolls, and those are always personal even if your loot system is not. (Source)
Would you consider keeping all mount/pet drops as personal even if loot system is not?
I'd worry that some groups like to decide who gets the mount. (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
New GPUs from AMD are on the way, so if you are only upgrading your GPU it might be worth it to wait a month or two.

The current SSD prices are stable, with most SSDs under $1 per gigabyte when on sale. RAM prices are remaining high.

The Haswell CPUs 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 - $126ASUS VS248H-P 24-Inch Monitor - $160
KeyboardKensington Pro Fit Media Keyboard - $18Cyborg V.5 - $45
MouseLogitech G400s - $45Razer Deathadder - $47
SpeakersCreative A220 2.1 Speaker System - $28Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $35
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorAsus VE258Q 25-Inch Monitor - $213HP ZR2440W 24-inch - $333
KeyboardLogitech G510s - $82CM Storm QuickFire XT - $95
MouseLogitech G500 - $62Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $70
SpeakersLogitech Z323 2.1 Speaker System - $53Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $65


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 - $35NZXT Source 210 - $35
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 - $50XFX Core Edition PRO 550W - $60
CPUAMD FX-6300 - $119AMD FX-8320 - $160
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $25Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $33
MotherboardASUS M5A97 R2.0 - $95ASUS M5A99FX PRO - $118
MemoryKingston HyperX Blu 4GB 1333 - $408GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $80
Graphics CardMSI 7790 OC - $100Gigabyte R9 270X or Gigabyte GTX 660 - $207 / $170
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $56Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $87
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$542$765 - $802


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) - $150
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $90Corsair 750HX - $110
CPUIntel i5-4670K - $235Intel i7-4770K - $339
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $56Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $78
MotherboardASUS Z87-A - $144ASUS Z87-PLUS - $160
Memory8GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $8016GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $162
Graphics CardXFX 7950 OR MSI N760 TF - $250 / $250Gigabyte R9 280X OR ASUS GTX 770 - $300 / $315
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $87Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $87
SSDSAMSUNG 840 128GB (Review) - $120
OR
Plextor 128 GB M5 Pro (Review) - $113
Corsair Neutron GTX 120GB (Review) - $130
OR
SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB (Review) - $132
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$1137 - $1156$1521 - $1555


Blizzcon Cosplay Video
Blizzcon had some very nice cosplay this year!


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