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by Published on 2013-08-15 02:05 PM

Patch 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar Trailer Unleashed
The Patch 5.4 trailer has been released! You can see more of the new Garrosh model animations here, including some fun facial expressions.

by Published on 2013-08-15 03:54 AM

Official Battle.Net Desktop Client Invitation, Blue Posts, LoLPro Announces a User Guide Contest

Hearthstone Alpha Patch #3

Patch 5.4 PTR Notes Update - August 14
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
General
The Legendary Quest Continues
  • Wrathion’s final quests are now available for dedicated heroes who have fought on his behalf throughout the pandaren campaign. He’s waiting at the Tavern in the Mists in the Veiled Stair.
  • Complete Wrathion’s final tasks on the Timeless Isle and upgrade your celestial cloak to Legendary quality!
  • Only players equipped with a Legendary cloak can reach the Sanctum of Ordos atop the Timeless Isle. (This privilege extends account-wide.)

Classes
  • Vengeance has received several changes.
    • Characters in a tanking specialization now generates 40% more threat.

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • General
    • Necrotic Strike now deals 100% weapon damage (down from 150% weapon damage).
    • Rune of Razorice now causes 3% extra weapon damage as Frost damage (up from 2%), and each stack of Frost Vulnerability now causes the target to take an additional 3% damage from the Death Knight's Frost attacks (up from 2%).
  • Frost
  • Talents
    • Unholy Might now increases the Death Knight's Strength by 25% (up from 10%).

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • General
    • Wrath now deals 10% more damage, but has its mana cost increased by 50%.
  • Balance
    • Shooting Stars now has a reduced chance to activate for each additional target affected by the same spell (Moonfire and Sunfire are tracked separately).
    • Starfall now deals 10% more damage.
    • Starfire now deals 10% more damage, but has its mana cost increased by 50%.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • General
    • Arcane Shot now deals 125% ranged weapon damage (up from 100%) and had its focus cost increased by 50%.
  • Beast Mastery
  • Marksman
    • Aimed Shot now deals 400% ranged weapon damage (up from 350%).
  • Survival

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • General
  • Fire
    • Combustion on targets affected by the Mage's Ignite now deals additional damage equal to 20% of Ignite's damage per tick (down from 50%).
  • Frost
    • Mastery: Frostburn has been replaced by Mastery: Icicles. When the Mage damages an enemy with their Frostbolt, and Frostfire Bolt (16% + 2% per Mastery) of the damage done is stored as an Icicle for 15 seconds. Mastery: Icicles also increases the Water Elemental’s Water Bolt damage by (16% + 2% per Mastery). Up to 5 Icicles can be stored at once. Casting Ice Lance launches all stored Icicles at the target.
    • Frostbolt now deals 10% less damage and no longer increases the damage of any spells. The damage for those spells have been increased instead.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Windwalker
    • Tigereye Brew received an adjustment.
      • A charge of Tigereye Brew is gained for each 4 Chi consumed through use of abilities and attacks (up from a charge for each 3 Chi consumed).

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Holy

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • General
    • Fan of Knives damage has been increased by 25%.
    • Sinister Strike deals an increased 240% of weapon damage (up from 145%), but now costs 50 Energy (up from 40 Energy).
  • Assassination
  • Combat
  • Subtlety
    • Backstab now deals 380% weapon damage (up from 275%).
    • Sanguinary Vein now increases damage against targets with bleed effects by 25% (up from 20%).

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • General
  • Affliction
    • Agony damage has been increased by 16%.
    • Drain Soul no longer energizes Soul Shards from the pets and guardians of players, and now deals 34% less damage. If other periodic Affliction damage effects are triggered by Drain Soul, they now deal 60% of their normal damage (down from 100%).
    • Malefic Grasp now deals 34% less damage, and causes all of the Warlock's other periodic Affliction damage effects to instantly deal 30% of their normal periodic damage (down from 50%).
    • Unstable Affliction damage has been increased by 21%.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

PvP
  • Base Resilience now reduces damage players deal to others players by 72% (up from 65%).
  • Battle Fatigue now reduces healing for players that are engaged in PvP combat by 55% (up from 45%).

Items
  • Drinking a duplicate flask with less than 15 minutes remaining will now extend the duration of the new flask by that amount.
  • Capacitive Primal Diamond, and Legendary melee cloaks (Fen-Yu, Fury of Xuen, and Gong-Lu, Strength of Xuen) now have a 40% reduced chance to activate its effects for characters that are in a tanking specialization.
  • Indomitable Primal Diamond's effect now grants a 20% damage reduction to all damage taken (up from only physical damage), and its activation rate has been doubled.

Launcher Update: Get the Desktop App for Battle.net® Now
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In the months ahead, the game launchers for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III will be automatically updated to our new desktop app for Battle.net, designed to improve the launcher experience and streamline your ability to play Blizzard games—but if you’re interested in upgrading now, you can!

The open beta test has begun, and everyone’s invited to download and install the app now in preparation for the switchover. If you’re interested in upgrading in advance, simply click the button below.

Download the Battle.net App

What’s this launcher update do? The new single sign-on functionality allows players to log in once to access World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and the upcoming PC and Mac versions of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and stay logged in for up to 30 days.

Players can also install games directly through the app and, if you choose to leave the app running on your desktop, keep them up-to-date automatically even while you’re away from your computer. Please note that it’s entirely up to you whether you wish to leave the app running—you can exit it at any time, and it will automatically re-launch whenever your standard launchers would.

For more information, check out the FAQ.

Once the open beta test ends, everyone’s launcher will be updated automatically when they start up the launcher for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, or Diablo III. Players will be auto-updated in waves over time, so the exact date you’ll get the update will vary from person to person.

Today also marks the end of our Battle.net desktop app closed beta test. If you’ve already been using the app as part of the closed beta group, you don’t need to redownload or reinstall anything—you’re already good to go. Thanks again for all of your great feedback throughout the course of our testing, and we look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on the open beta in the Battle.net forums.

Read the FAQ / Read the new Battle.net EULA

Battlefield: Barrens Ending Soon
Be sure to play through the Battlefield: Barrens quest line if you want to earn Darkspear Revolutionary before it becomes a Feat of Strength in Patch 5.4.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As the Orgrimmar invasion begins in 5.4, Vol’jin and his forces will move beyond gathering supplies and into a full assault on the Horde capital. This means that once the new patch goes live, the Battlefield: Barrens weekly quest will no longer be available.

Those of you who have a Radical Mojo after the patch goes live will still be able to use it with existing armor tokens. However, Ravika, the Darkspear Rebellion Quartermaster, will no longer be available for purchases, but you will have a rare chance at receiving the Raptorhide Boxing Gloves and Gahz'rooki's Summoning Stone by killing the Kor’kron, and other associated mobs in Northern Barrens.

Patch 5.4: Destruction of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms
You can see more screenshots of changes to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms in Patch 5.4 here.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Sealed shut for many years to outsiders, the Vale of Eternal Blossoms has been the physical and spiritual center of Pandaria and a place of great beauty and reverence—but something has gone horribly wrong, and this once beautiful, seemingly untouchable land has been deeply and irrevocably scarred.

With the war between the Alliance and the Horde in full swing, Warchief Garrosh Hellscream ordered a goblin dig team to set to work searching for an artifact buried deep within the heart of the Vale (see the Dark Heart of Pandaria Scenario). Ignoring the warnings of Taran Zhu, they began to dig within the Big Blossom Excavation site. What they found there may have been more than they bargained for.

Deep within the site, in a long-buried secret vault created by the Titans, Garrosh discovered a power that had long been thought locked away and untouchable: the heart of Y’shaarj. The story of what happens next unfolds in the upcoming content update, Patch 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar.

Perhaps Not so Eternal

The events brought about by the discovery of the artifact have drastically and dramatically changed the Vale. Where Whitepetal Lake once glimmered like a jewel, now there remains only a dried, dusty husk. With many of the lakes and rivers of the vale now devoid of water, even the Jeweled Danio have gone. (Though never fear! The industrious cloud serpents have rescued them and relocated them to the Timeless Isle, where they can thrive once more.)

The Lay of the Land

In the wake of this destruction, the process of entering the Vale of Eternal Blossoms for the first time remains largely the same, though the quest leading there has been slightly updated to reflect the changes that have occurred. Adventurers will no longer be ushered into the full splendor of the Vale as it once was, but will instead bear witness to the tainted landscape the war between the Alliance and the Horde has left behind.

Beyond just the physical appearance of the land changing, new residents have taken root in the Vale, and old ones have gained more ground. Within the Summer Fields, Big Blossom Excavation, and the Emperor’s Approach, Vestiges of Pride ooze and slide over the land.

Within the Guo-Lai Ruins, Manifestations of Pride fight mogu. Even the Golden Stair lay in smoking ruin, and the mogu have moved north to Ruin’s Rise and into Winterbough Glade, ousting the sprites and spiders that once lay in wait. (Congratulations arachnophobes, the spiders are gone, save for one . . . a big one. You thought you got rid of her? The Ashweb Matriarch Bloodtip is not so easily ousted.)

Mistfall Village still stands to the southwest, and the spirits of the pandaren monks and the mogu continue their eternal battle within the Tu Shen Burial Grounds to the south, seemingly untouched by the events Garrosh’s machinations have wrought within the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

Questing in the Vale

For those continuing their adventures within the Vale, there remains little evidence of the grand pagoda where the Golden Lotus once set heroes to task. No longer do they stand in watch against the mogu, and their enemies have spread even farther into the Vale. There is a way to continue earning reputation with these stalwart defenders, though. By killing many of the creatures within the Vale and taking on rare monsters, you’ll continue to earn reputation and Guo-Lai cache keys to unlock treasure chests within the ruins.

For those who have yet to earn the Achievement “Eternally in the Vale,” time is running out! Once Patch 5.4 is launched, this Achievement will become a Feat of Strength and will no longer be possible to earn. This is also your last opportunity to experience the Golden Lotus reputation story line, advanced at Honored, Revered, and Exalted.

Daily quests will still be available from the Setting Sun Garrison, though there were will be fewer of them as the Shado-Pan continue to train and fight the mantid at the wall as is their sworn duty.

What has happened in the Vale has left a scar, but the threat that lies within Garrosh’s discovery will spread beyond Pandaria’s shores. Make sure you check back for the Siege of Orgrimmar trailer—coming “soon.”

The Timeless Isle - Take Your Time
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
While the major focus of Patch 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar is the Alliance and Horde taking the fight to Garrosh, players will also have a new land to discover, far away from what’s going down in Durotar . . . and this new land is like no other before it.

The Timeless Isle, so named because it exists in a state of perpetual sunset, was once a place of great reverence for the pandaren. It was here that trials of wisdom, hope, strength, and fortitude took place in front of the great Celestials . . . where warriors and aspiring leaders would show their willingness to walk in the footsteps of the great Emperor, Shaohao. As a testament to their goal of achieving balance in all things, the pandaren monks even existed in harmony with the nearby Yaungol, worshippers of the fiery demigod Ordos.


But one day, the island vanished. Some scrolls indicate that the Timeless Isle has come and gone throughout history—sometimes just a glimmer in the distance, often appearing in different locations. Some less fortunate adventurers dared step foot on the island during these moments and were just as quickly lost to the Timeways, never to be seen again.

Now—and perhaps only for a moment—the island has returned.

​​
Perpetual Freedom
Once you’re on the Timeless Isle, it’s open-world adventuring at your own pace. There are a couple quests on the island, but they’re not going to tell you exactly where to go and what to do. Instead they exist to encourage you to explore caverns, discover underwater grottos, and battle all manner of frightful beasts for great rewards.

The island offers greater challenges as you move away from the serene forest surrounding the temple grounds and into the fiery Ordon Sanctuary, Cavern of Lost Spirits, Croaking Grotto, and other mysterious locales. As this is an open-world experience, everything except the raid bosses (more on those below) is designed to be taken on solo. See a level-93 Elite? Attack it! Depending on your spec and gear it may take you a while to whittle down its health, but your ability to skillfully play your class and dodge attacks can lead you to victory.


Being able to take on large creatures by yourself also means that long after Patch 5.4 comes out, when the number of people visiting the island dwindles, you’ll still be able to bring new characters there and engage with everything it has to offer. While the Elites on the island are standard “group-tap,” all of the Rares are “no-tap,” so if you see anyone fighting them, even someone from the opposite faction, you can join in and both benefit from bringing it down.

Everything on the island also drops something unique. For the easier enemies, it may be consumables that grant you Timeless Coins (see below) or aid you in your adventures into darker places, while tougher enemies can drop epic BoA tokens that can be used to gain Item Level (ilvl) 496 loot, upgrade tokens to gain ilvl 535 gear, Lesser Charms, battle pets, and more. There are also a ton of new achievements for doing just about anything and everything on the island.

Enduring Rewards
The currency of the Timeless Isle is Timeless Coins, which players can use to purchase Mogu Runes of Fate, additional BoA gear, pets, mounts, and some just-for-fun items. The island also contains a new faction—one that forges a mystic bond with the lost Emperor of Pandaria, Shaohao himself—that will grant you access to even more cosmetic rewards. Gaining faction with Emperor Shaohao isn’t gated, but it does require battling some of the most ancient and powerful creatures the island has to offer.

​Whether you’re a newly level-90 player, a fully geared raider, a pet battler, a PvPer, or anything in between, the Timeless Isle features something for everyone.


Endless Events
To support the process of exploration and discovery on the Timeless Isle, we’re also introducing something we’re calling the Event System, along with some new UI elements. The Timeless Isle is filled with rare spawns, rare Elites, chests containing epic loot, and events that are all highly rewarding. When you find yourself in close proximity to any of these, you’ll see them pop up on your minimap, denoting their location and event type. Some won’t be simple to get to or easy to find, as many parts of the island are entangled with puzzles lost to time. Some involve more than a simple alert . . . but we’re not going to spoil the surprises, and we’re really looking forward to see how quickly players can unlock the island’s mysteries and hidden treasures.


Solidarity Immemorial
Let’s talk about raid bosses! First up are the four August Celestials: Chi-Ji, Niuzao, Xuen, and Yu’lon, found at the ancient proving grounds in the middle of the island. This location was used for generations to prove a pandaren’s worth as a warrior, and you can challenge a Celestial to prove yours as well. An able group can simply stroll in and begin the fight with one of the Celestials. Upon completion, each player will receive personal loot, just like with any other world boss.

In addition to the Celestials, which are the Patch 5.4 equivalent to a Sha of Anger or Nalak, we’re taking another look at a hardcore world boss intended for end-game progression raiders. This new world boss, Ordos, provides a few unique challenges. For starters, to even reach Ordos, you must have received the final Legendary cloak from Wrathion on any of your characters. In addition, once the battle has begun, players will not be allowed to enter or leave the Ordon sanctuary where the boss resides. Good luck!
​​

Power Unending
Those who choose to join the burning ranks of the Ordon, the yaungol followers of Ordos, will have access to the powers of the Censer of Eternal Agony. Using the Censer will flag you for PvP to everyone—even your own faction. Your skin takes on a bright flame effect, showing all around that you’ve summoned the rage of Ordos and are out for blood. Using the Censer also immediately reduces your health to 10% of its maximum (which you can then heal back up over time), keeping it from becoming a quick ganking device. On PvE realms, the rules of flagging still apply; it won’t become open warfare, but players can choose to engage these flagged players if they like. On PvP realms, though, this menacing new threat will certainly be a target for both factions. Finally, when you kill other players while you’re under the effects of the Censer, you’ll gain Bloody Coins, a currency that can be exchanged for exclusive rewards.


As you explore the Timeless Isle, you’ll see and speak with many of the characters you’ve come to know throughout your quests in Pandaria. We could go on and on, but we don’t want to spoil everything. The Timeless Isle is meant to be experienced—we hope you enjoy it.

Patch 5.4 PTR - Hearthstone Board
The Hearthstone Board that appeared in a PTR build a while back is finally in game, with NPCs at each shrine sitting around the board.

by Published on 2013-08-14 04:47 PM

Blizzard Trademarks "Corgis Unleashed" (Okay, not really)
It's time to end the fun party we've been having for the past 24H. As it turns out, it's pretty easy to add whatever the hell you want on a .gov website. According to this new page, Blizzard just trademarked Corgis Unleashed, a game that according to our sources would kind of look like this.

Edit: Apparently the original news was too subtle, the "Corgis Unleashed" trademark was registered this morning for fun, as it turns out, there is absolutely no check and anyone can register something under Blizzard's name. This is an application, not a confirmation, you don't even need to pay the $275 application fee.


We probably jumped on the bandwagon a little early and I spent the past 24H double checking stuff since it was basically everywhere, I guess today is just not the day. Sorry guys, going to call the whole The Dark Below thing a hoax.
by Published on 2013-08-14 06:44 AM

Questions for the Devs, BNet Client Beta, 5.4 on BG Downloader, S13 Ending Soon, DLC Comic

Diablo 3's next expansion is named "Reaper of Souls"?
Well we can definitely say the past few hours have been interesting. After uncovering the trademarking of The Dark Below yesterday, it looks like the teaser for the next Diablo 3 expansion just went live.


According to the official website "Reaper of Souls" is a trademark and linked to Diablo 3, with Gamescom coming up next week it wouldn't be surprising to see the expansion for Diablo 3 announced there.

More importantly, it rules out The Dark Below as the next Diablo 3 expansion and makes things a lot more interesting suddenly.
by Published on 2013-08-14 04:21 AM

Blizzard Trademarks "The Dark Below" - WoW or D3 Expansion?

Battle.Net Desktop Client Now in Open Beta, Blue Posts, Duriel Fan Art

Hearthstone Alpha Patch #2

Submit Questions for the Developers
We will have the opportunity to ask Tom Chilton (Game Director) some questions on Thursday.

If you have any questions you think we should ask, be sure to add them to the comments of the linked post for consideration. We will pick the best questions and add them to our list!

  • Don't post any questions in the comments of this news post. Use the linked topic instead.
  • These should be questions about MoP and Patch 5.4, not future expansions or far off changes.
  • No class specific questions please. This includes things like balance between the different healing/tank/DPS classes and specs.



Battle.Net Desktop Client Open Beta
It seems the Battle.Net Desktop Client is rapidly approaching official open beta. If you would like to join now, all you need to do is download the client and log in! You can change the enUS in the URLs below to your own locale if you need another version of the client.


There haven't been any major changes since we last previewed the client and the chat functionality is still disabled. It does appear that chat is still planned for the future though!



Patch 5.4 on the Background Downloader
Patch 5.4 went on the background downloader this week, so be sure to start loading the patch now so you are ready when patch day arrives!



Patch 5.4 - Potential Release Date
With Season 13 ending soon, we finally have a potential release date for Patch 5.4. There are still many things that could delay the patch, so keep in mind that this date is not final!



PvP Season 13 Ending Soon
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Many weapons have been brought to bear and countless spells have been cast in this action-packed PvP season—now the time has come for the victors to reap their rewards!

On Tuesday, August 27, the 13th Arena and Rated Battleground Season is scheduled to end. On that day we'll begin an approximately one week process to determine end-of-season reward eligibilitys.

Qualified players should note the following in order to ensure you receive your just rewards:

  • Please refrain from transferring your characters to another realm or faction until after PvP Season 13 has ended.
  • The awarding of PvP Season 13 titles and mounts will occur approximately two weeks after the season ends.

Conquest Points will be converted to Honor Points at the end of the season, and any Honor above 4,000 will be converted to gold at a rate of 35 silver per point. A few other things to keep in mind once the season has ended:

  • The Honor cap will remain at 4,000.
  • All Season 13 items will now cost Honor Points equivalent to their previous Conquest Point cost, with the exception of any items with rating requirements attached.
  • Season 13 items with rating requirements will no longer be available for purchase.

Arena and Rated Battleground Season 14 will begin approximately one week after the current season ends, and all Personal Ratings will be reset once the new season begins. Additionally, Rated Battleground and Arena matches will not be available during the break between seasons.

In PvP Season 14 you will no longer need to join or create an Arena team to compete, and thus the current Team Ratings will be removed. You’ll be able to queue for an Arena match in groups of 2, 3, and 5 (in line with the Arena team sizes available in Season 13 and earlier), and your opponents will be selected based on the average Match Making Rating of your party.

You can find a complete overview of the changes that are coming to World of Warcraft’s Arenas in PvP Season 14 in our Patch 5.4 Arena Update blog.

Raid Testing Schedule - August 14
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
On Wednesday, August 14, we will continue testing raid encounters in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid. We're wrapping up 10-player Heroic testing at this time, and then movong on to 25-player mode. Apologies for the short notice, but our testing schedule ultimately depends on the patching process and build stability, which aren't always known far in advance.

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

Wednesday, August 14
  • Galakras - 10 Player Heroic - 10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)
  • Fallen Protectors - 25 Player Normal - 13:00 PDT (16:00 EDT, 22:00 CEST)
  • Norushen - 25 Player Normal - 15:00 PDT (18:00 EDT, 00:00 CEST)

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

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Tier 16 Balance Druid Set Bonus Change
We made this change because, even without the Tier 16 4-piece bonus, we felt that Balance multidotting was too strong. On top of that, with enough mobs available, the Balance rotation was devolving into just Moonfire/Sunfire and spamming Starsurge constantly, to the point of completely ignoring Wrath and Starfire.

The way this works under the hood is by multiplying the base proc chance by SQRT(x)/x, where x is the number of mobs that have Moonfire or Sunfire active. Note that the proc chances are calculated per spell – Moonfire doesn’t count against Sunfire’s proc chance, or vice versa. So as an example, if the base chance is 30%, and you have Sunfire active on 1 mob but Moonfire active on 3, your Sunfire will have a 30% chance to proc Starsurge on a crit, and your Moonfires will each have a 17% chance.

As an aside, this didn’t make the latest PTR push, but we’ll be buffing Wrath, Starfire, and Starfall by 10%. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Macro System Improvements
We're going to look into the possibility of adding more macro slots. Not something I can guarantee for 5.4, but we'll see what we can do.

On a larger scale, we'd really like to find ways to make the macro system smarter. Right now, it's not uncommon to see players with several different macros for raid markers, target switches, and so forth, and we'd like to look into some ways to address that. Again, not likely to see any major changes there in the short term, but we recognize that the macro system could use some updates. It's on our radar. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Dark Legacy Comics - #401 and #402
It has been a busy few weeks, so let's catch up on DLC. Be sure to check out their front page if you are interested in a DLC shirt.


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