MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

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by Published on 2013-09-28 07:25 AM

Wyatt Cheng on Health Pools and Combat - Part II, Differences Between the Templar and Crusader (Discussion), New Wallpaper: Book of Tyrael

Patch 5.4 Raid Finder and Flex Drop Rates
Now that we have a few weeks worth of data on WoWDB, we can talk a little bit about the Raid Finder and Flex difficulty drop rates.

World Boss Drop Rates

Raid Boss Drop Rates

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

Upcoming Pet Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We have a few hotfixes to share with you and these changes should be in game now, or will take effect once the realms have been restarted:

  • Pierre and Rascal-Bot are no longer Bind on Pickup; they can now be caged and you can collect up to 3 of each.
  • Rascal-Bot's Phaser spell is now a one-round ability. The tooltip still erroneously states that it is a two-round ability which we plan to correct at a later date.
  • Jadefire Spirit's Fade ability now has an eight-round cooldown.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Raid Finder Difficulty
You would think with all this LFR SoO complaints that Blizzard would get the message but they're still in denial...
You may have missed my second post. Or are you dismissing a lack of immediate change and specific hotfix notes as indifference?

This guy gets it. You don't make people better players by smoothing to road for them. You do it by handing them a shovel and saying "here's the tools, fix it yourself".
That's an unfortunately common outlook, that if you just made stuff harder for people they'd aspire to greatness. But we know that's not how it works for everyone, or how all people respond to challenges, or necessarily what everyone is even looking for in their entertainment. We're getting into social commentary territory which I'd like to avoid, but let's dismiss the notion that any of us "know what's best" for any other person, and instead accept their preferences as absolutely valid, and think and discuss about what the issues and solutions are from that viewpoint instead of focusing on how to tell other people they're enjoying their game incorrectly. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Patch 5.4 and Deterrence
I understand why there would be some confusion about Deterrence's function in 5.4. And yes, it's a nerf in cases where you were using it more or less on cooldown every minute for longer than about 4 minutes.

However, in cases where you'd like to use it more than once inside a 1-minute period, the new Deterrence is a significant buff. Previously, that couldn't be done without using Readiness, and the vast majority of players weren't saving Readiness for Deterrence.

It's different now, sure, but we like how the new version is working. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Why don't you make all raid modes share the same lockout? That way they won't have to hate such an awesome feature.
We like the idea that e.g. a HC guild could run a flex on another night for those folks who care about achievements. (Source)
FWIW, in 5.0 when my old guild was dead, LFR was the only way I was able to run those raids. So I am all for it
I am a HC raider, but if I log on an alt at 10 AM on a Sun, I don't want to have to look for guildies. LFR works great for that. (Source)

Do you think that this bias towards / insistence on larger raids leads to overemphasizing AE heals as a necessary consequence?
In 10s it's easier to coordinate and 25s easier to specialize, which leads to just doing one thing over and over. (Source)
I believe 25s are more fun personally and think better for the game strategically, but concede healing more fun in 10s. (Source)
I feel 10s are better socially. 25 is too many people I don't know well enough to care about or listen to.
Some truth to that, but 10s also have to be more selective & are less resilient to losing folks. In that way, 25s good for social. (Source)
seems the changes your making 10 man's are becoming worthless and second place to 25 man raids. how long b4 10 mans are gone
10s are in no danger of going anywhere. 25s remain in danger despite the advantages you are worried about. (Source)

so the next xpac will be another cataclysm, you had this talk before that launch about difficulty and need to change
No, the problem with Cat was there was no alternatives to HC dungeons. As I said, exclusive is fine as long as alternative exist. (Source)
That has me worried. The early cata zones is what made me leave last time!
Zones (meaning the outdoor leveling content) or dungeons? The discussion was about dungeons.... (Source)

does the vast diversity of player skill pose problems in content design?
Absolutely. Often players can use gear (which is generally a function of time invested) to help make up the difference. (Source)

Why not open heroics first week so heroic guilds dont load up on Ngear with multiple raids and the tiers last a little longer?
Seeing the encounters for one week in normal helps us catch last minute problems. (Source)
Imagine first kill of a heroic boss was 60 sec without cheating. Do we then buff the boss? Do we strip them of their kill? (Source)

If organized gameplay is "the heart and soul" of wow, why is only a minority part of this "heart and soul"?
Queuing for random matchmaking is very convenient. Our concern is that those players burn out quickly without social connections. (Source)

why the hell can i get a cloak off ordos when you need a legendary cloak to even fight him. Waste of a drop.
You can access Ordos if any character on your account has a cloak I believe. (Source)

WoWDB Addon Data Collection
Collecting data on things like the 5.4 drop rates is done with the help of thousands of players. The more people that contribute data, the more accurate and quickly we can update the database.

To help out, just click here if you have Curse Client already installed.

When you are playing the addon will gather data and save it. When you are done playing, Curse Client will see the game close and upload the collected data from the addon. You can see the last time data was uploaded by looking in the Plugins tab of the options, as well as making sure the addon is enabled there. If you don't normally leave it open, be sure you open Curse Client once in a while so that the data will upload

Fan Art
Today we take a look at some more of the Fan Art created for the WoW Tribute book.

by Published on 2013-09-27 06:04 AM

New Datamined Patch - Class Changes, Passive Effects, Character slots, Stat caps, Quests, and MUCH more

Patch Blue Posts - Server Upgrades, Balancing After the Patch, Asian Beta Testing

Siege of Orgrimmar Heroic Progression
Method is leading progress with 13/14 bosses down now, followed by seven other guilds at 12/14. Over in the 10 player column, Paragon has managed to kill Paragons, so they are currently leading with 13/14 bosses down.

Heroic Spoils of Pandaria Video
While we are waiting on a Paragons of the Klaxxi video, let's take a look at the Spoils of Pandaria encounter.

Change to Rated Battleground Queuing
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re in the process of applying a hotfix that will restrict a player’s ability to queue for a Rated Battleground if they’ve left one prematurely, until the previous Battleground is completed. Once the hotfix is active, should you find yourself unable to queue for a Rated Battleground immediately after leaving one in progress, you’ll simply need to wait until it has finished and will then be able to queue once again.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Raid Finder Difficulty
We're not really seeing a big dramatic shift in completion/failure rates for the first weeks of LFR runs with Flex now in the picture vs. previous tiers, so I think the guesses that Flex is stealing all the good players are probably a bit premature. Probably. But as I said here, we're excited so many people seem to be enjoying Flex, it's going to be preferable to a lot of people over LFR, and of course that's going to have some kind of impact, but it's just too early to know to what extent.

You clearly have not reviewed the data from wing 2. It's about on par with how ridiculous HOF part 2 was, which you had to nerf.
No, we have. Adjustments are quite possible, we already have some LFR Nazgrim tweaks in the works, but we're seeing very reasonable wipe/completion rates on second wing SoO bosses. We're keeping a close eye on things.

5hr lfr and 20 wipes for the entire LFR is reasonable?
Obviously you'll get in groups that have some trouble, and sometimes you'll get in a group that one-shots everything. Individual group to group success rates aren't going to be consistent while people are still learning the fights. But when I refer to overall wipe/success rates I'm referring to overall averages for all LFR groups for all realms of multiple regions. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Raid Finder Difficulty
It's too early to say how the interaction will fully play out between Flex and LFR, but I think it's reasonable to expect that a lot of people will prefer Flex because of its similarities with LFR (as a quick and low pressure way to raid), but without the things they don't like about LFR (Flex requiring a curated and managed group experience) for better rewards, achievements, and mounts, and with friends and guildies if possible. If that's the case, the core LFR audience changes, their reason for doing LFR changes, and it's potentially a world where LFR adapts to fit a more niche role, which could mean changes for challenge and reward to better fit the audience's intended use of it. All speculation of course, but we're certainly watching. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World of Warcraft: Trivial Pursuit – Now Available!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The time has come to put your World of Warcraft knowledge to the ultimate test. You and your friends will be able to tackle 600 questions across 6 categories including: Geography, Player Characters, Lore, Loot, Villains, and Encounters. You’ll also be able to use special hand-crafted Murloc dice and cute sculpted baby Murloc movers in 6 whimsical colors to play in true Warcraft style.

Buy it now on the Blizzard Store,, and at other fine retailers.

SteelSeries Mists of Pandaria Celebration
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Just in time to celebrate the Anniversary of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, SteelSeries is offering 50% off of all World of Warcraft gear. From keyboards to mousepads with exclusive game art, you’ll be able to take your gaming to the next level. You'll need to act quickly though, the sale ends September 26th 11:59pm GMT.

Facebook fans will also be able to score some of these great items on the SteelSeries page beginning September 25 through October 9. Make sure to visit their page for more information.

Hearthstone Update - Account Wipe Incoming
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hello Hearthstone players (and members of our gracious community still trying to get into the beta)!

Thank you for stopping by to read this important closed beta test update. At the start of the beta, we mentioned that we would reset information at some point, wiping all progress and cards in the process. We built this into our plan as we knew going into the beta that a number of cards were likely to emerge as overpowered and we also knew that we‘d make significant adjustments to the reward system and overall game progression. So, as part of the effort to level the playing field and also prepare our players’ accounts for the release version of our progression system, we made the decision to schedule a one-time wipe of all beta participant accounts. We have just about reached the point in closed beta where we’ll be doing this wipe, and thus wanted to share what that will mean for you, what to expect on the day of the wipe, and what will happen immediately afterwards.

A wipe? What’s a wipe?
If you are participating in the Hearthstone closed beta test, your progress will be reset. This includes your gold, experience and class levels gained through play, arcane dust quantities, cards unlocked through progression, and your medal ranking in Ranked Play mode. When you load up the game afterwards, it will be as if you were starting in Hearthstone as a new player. You’ll have to play the introductory missions once more and show Illidan just how prepared he is! (Spoilers: He’s not.)

When is the wipe happening?
We’re getting ready to release a pretty major beta patch to Hearthstone, and the wipe will coincide with that patch so we can closely monitor testing with the implemented updates.

A patch! What’s in the patch!?
We’ll announce details of the patch in a separate blog, so stay tuned!

I spent real money in Hearthstone! Is that going away!?
No way! As we mentioned in the earlier blog, any money you spent in Hearthstone will be reimbursed as gold, so you will be able to repurchase the same number of packs and Arena tickets you bought previously without additional investment. For each card pack purchased with real money, you’ll get back 100 gold. Each Arena entry will get you back 150 gold. Please note that any packs you purchase after the wipe will be different than the ones you had previously, so it is unlikely that you will receive the same cards again.

A couple examples:
  • Tim bought the $2.99 bundle for 2 packs during the beta. After the wipe, he will receive 200 gold (100 gold per pack x 2 packs.)
  • Janet bought the $49.99 bundle for 40 packs during the beta. She also bought 3 Arena entries. Janet will receive 4450 gold (100 gold x 40 packs + 150 gold X 3 Arena runs) after the wipe has been completed.

Like all gold, the reimbursed gold credit can be spent on either packs or Arena tickets. So if you bought a pack bundle previously, and would prefer to use your gold credit towards Arena entry, that’s available as an option.

Did you know: Getting back a lot of gold and need to buy a lot of packs at the same time? You can buy mass quantities of packs with gold by double-clicking on the brown “1 Pack” button in the store!

I helped test the store and got a Golden Gelbin Mekkatorque card! Is he wiped too?
Your good friend Gelbin will be waiting for you as soon as you complete the Illidan introductory mission. As soon as you’ve completed that mission you will receive the “Beta Hero” quest reward which will grant you Gelbin, as well as the gold credit for any purchases made prior to the wipe.

Will there be any wipes in the future?
We don’t anticipate any further wipes. This goes for both the Hearthstone beta and after the game’s official release. Any progress made during the beta after the wipe will be retained through the release of Hearthstone, such as new cards you obtain, levels that you gain and ranks you achieve. Basically, you’ll now be able to keep your stuff.

Wait, how will this work for Korea, Taiwan, and China? Closed beta hasn’t even started there yet!
Korea, Taiwan, and China will not be wiped. The wipe only applies to the beta participants currently playing in the North American and European beta tests.

Guild Wars 2 Trial Week
Guild Wars 2 is having another trial week from September 27 to October 3. There is also a new update coming out on October 1, the Twilight Assault.

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
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 as soon as we’ve finalized the details.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.


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.

  • 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
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)

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.

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