Diablo 3 - Game Guide Updated, Guide to the Gibbering Gemstone, Monk Nerfed, Inferno Poll
Mage Skill Animations Preview
Today we continue looking at the new skill animations by starting with the Mage.
Druid Skill Animations Preview
We also have the Druid skill animations today! Please note that Incarnation is not yet displaying the armored shapeshift forms. (Moonkin, Bear, and Cat forms)
The previous beta builds made a few small changes that we haven't noted so far.
Originally Posted by MMO-ChampionRaid Requirements
- Terrace of Endless Spring - You must have completed Heart of Fear achievement before attempting the Terrace of Endless Spring.
- Challenge Modes require that you complete the instance and earn the Heroic difficulty achievement first.
- Silvershard Mines is now a 10 man battleground, down from 15 man.
- %s the Relic Hunter
- %s the Undaunted
New Currency Types
- Zen Jewelcrafter's Token - Awarded for demonstrating great skill in jewelcrafting, these tokens can be used to purchase unique jewelcrafting plans and the beautiful Serpent's Eye.
- Ironpaw Token - Replaces the Chef's Token. Represents your credit with the Ironpaw family of cooks. Can be redeemed for Cooking ingredients and other things at the Stockmaster in Halfhill Market.
Originally Posted by Blizzard EntertainmentGuard Kills Rewarding Honor
We don't want to encourage people to "farm" guards. It's a bit counter to the purpose of world PvP. If it helps, we have some information we're putting together for you. It will go into a bit more about our plans for PvP in Mists of Pandaria that we'll share with you before much longer though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Balance Druid Concerns
Increasing Hurricane's damage so that we actually use it for AoE is a great start. Giving it an Arcane version so we can AoE in Lunar is almost getting there! But then you totally forget about Wild Mushroom, which is currently our strongest AoE ability. Either it's back to being worthless, or we're still stuck forcing a Solar Eclipse.
Mushrooms don't benefit from Eclipse and really it's targeted more at something you set up before targets arrive. You then use Hurricane once they're there. That's the intent, anyway, and if it's not there yet, then we'll get it there. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
General Shaman Class Feedback
Just to touch on a few points here:
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
- "Resto shaman glyphs have too much of a penalty."This is a fair concern. We don't want glyphs to be no-brainers. Often this means giving a powerful bonus a penalty that offsets that bonus, hopefully in interesting ways. "Increases duration and cooldown," is a common one. Glyph of Lightning Bolt would be a no-brainer without some kind of offset. However, because there are only 3 glyph slots, choosing a glyph for a more situational spell can itself be a sufficient cost. We've taken a look at the Resto glyphs recently to make sure they feel more equitable.
- "Telluric Currents is mandatory."We definitely don't want that to be the case. To be fair, it wasn't mandatory early on in Cataclysm, but as Intellect-based mana regen increased, it became better and better. By having Intellect no longer interact with mana pools, we'll improve this situation somewhat, but we'll take a look at it above and beyond that.
- "Enhance doesn't value haste enough."Yes, this is something we want to address. Ultimately, we'd like to deliver on the goal of "more haste lets you do more stuff," but that's challenging giving how many buttons Enhance is already using. It's better than it used to be with the addition of Ascendance, but it's not quite good enough yet.
- "Why the long cooldown on Reincarnate?"We debated this for awhile, but ultimately decided that having every shaman in a raid being able to stand up every fight would be really powerful and an actual encounter balance problem for us. We could make the ankh count against the battle rez counter, but that would be pretty mean. We think the best design is to leave it at a long-cooldown. Sometimes you may not want to blow it if you think the fight is going to be a wipe.
- "Thou shalt not use AE abilities on a single-target fight."I'm going to address this because it's of potential interest to more than just shaman (and frankly, issues with broad appeal are the ones I prefer to address). I think the "law" here has gotten oversold a bit, and maybe that's my fault.
There are two essential problems here we wanted to fix. One is that it's fun when you hit different buttons on AE fights. That just keeps combat more interesting. The second, more balance-related issue, is that when say warriors used Whirlwind so much on single-target fights and multi-target fights, then warrior damage just skyrocketed whenever there was an opportunity to AE. Meanwhile the mage just had to channel Blizzard or something. The game is in a very different place these days and every spec has some variety in how they AE. Frost DKs use Howling Blast and Protection warriors use Thunder Clap even on single targets.
It's fine for Lava Lash / Flame Shock to get used for both single target and AE. There are some situations where breaking CC or hitting the wrong target is a really bad idea. In those situations, you can try to move out of the way or just not Lava Lash (or not use Flame Shock). The risk of hitting the wrong target has always existed in WoW and it's one of those points of skill differentiation between average players and experts. We don't want a world where there is never any risk of breaking CC or hitting the wrong target. That's dull. In those very rare situations (say Spine of Deathwing) where maximum DPS and hitting the right target are both extremely critical, you can use the glyph.
- "Why so few shaman changes?"I know players eagerly tear into the latest beta changes like opening birthday presents. What goodies did the designers leave for us today? And to be fair, it's really rewarding for designers to make a change that they know players will get excited about. There is a lot of positive reinforcement there.
But remember, change is not the goal. Fun is the goal. It is not our intention to introduce crazy new things every beta build. We are overwhelmingly focused on the end result. All of the developers are well accustomed with the phenomenon where we make changes early in an expansion and those classes get excited, but then what was shiny and new starts to be less shiny and new as time goes on and they see other classes get changes. If you are like most players, newness wears off quickly -- that's not what is going to keep you playing two months after Mists ships. It's more likely to be a very slippery, very subjective "I am having fun playing my character" sentiment that can keep you engaged.
If there are things you still don't find fun about your class (whatever class it is) please feel free to keep bringing them up. But don't evaluate beta notes as some kind of thermometer about how much we love or hate your class. We love them all.
- "OMG, GC didn't address the most important issue!"I don't have the bandwidth to answer everything, but rest assured we read it all. If there is something particularly important to you for us to address, feel free to keep bringing it up (without just "bumps" please).
Affliction Multi-dotting Changes
Multi-dotting is one of those mechanics that provides a benefit to dot specs (especially Affliction, Shadow and Balance) and we're not trying to kill it. We do need to keep it under control however. When there are 2-3 targets then players have some decisions about whether to spend their GCDs focused on one target or trying to keep dots up on multiple targets. Doing so can mess with the rotation, in a good way, and as I said, it's one of those mechanics that makes dots feel different from cast time spells.
The benefit of multi-dotting depends a lot on the situation -- the dot classes can out-perform the melee cleave guys when targets aren't clumped and the melee tend to do a lot better when they are. The value of multi-dotting in PvP depends a lot on the power of dispels, and I don't think anyone has a good feel yet for how that is going to play out. (Our intent, once again, is to make dispelling in PvP more strategic and less spammy so that you can remove things when you need to, but anything dispellable isn't immediately regarded as worthless.)
When multi-dotting becomes broken, in our minds, is when a dot class would rather try to maintain dots on many targets at once rather than focus on single targets at all because they end up doing more damage from just dotting. (Let's assume for the sake of argument that such damage is useful and isn't just trying to win meters at the expense of beating the encounter.) When multi-dotting large numbers of targets becomes too good, we have several problems. For one, we have to choose how to balance the dot specs. Do we just let them be overpowered when there are many targets? Do we make them weak against single-targets to compensate? Casting too many dots also comes at the expense of cast time spells, which means that stats and mechanics that benefit cast time are less attractive and the casters themselves are too good at moving and too hard to interrupt.
It's too early to worry about whether Affliction, Balance or Shadow will be the best multi-dotter, or whether such a title is even worth much. In an ideal world there will be situations that benefit each so that the classes don't play too similarly but don't convey such an advantage that players feel like they need to stack the right class for the right encounter.
It would seem that the lack of burst, or 'on demand' damage, would be the reason that Afflocks should excel at multi-dotting.
Sure, that's fine. But it can't be "I win the meters, but you have high burst." For better or worse players focus a lot on who does the highest damage, not whose damage was most useful to beat the encounter. If the situation is "I win the meters when I can multi-dot but you win the meters when you burst," then that would work better, but it's harder for us to frequently engineer encounters with those situations. Even better would be "I benefit the group because I can multi-dot but you benefit the group because you can burst." (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Locks Taxing Our Healers? Why Bring 'em
I think all of this is the same issue that I addressed (or attempted to) the other day. Is it possible to have a situation where warlocks are so constantly hovering near death's door that they are a liability? Yes, it's possible. Do we want that? Of course not. On live today, groups don't generally hesitate to bring warlocks for fear of draining healer mana, unless the locks are really bad and tend to Life Tap just before the dragon breathes or whatever.
Affliction mana costs are about twice as high as they need to be on beta right now, which causes warlocks to have to Life Tap too frequently and worry too much how to offset that health loss through talents and other self-healing. Once Life Tap gets down towards more moderate uses, I think a lot of these concerns will go away.
We know some players are also worried that Life Tap won't scale well at higher gear levels when mana use per time is higher, but we've already made a change to Life Tap to convert 15% of health into mana (instead of consuming 15% health to grant 20% max mana). This will probably mean that you Life Tap a little less at high gear levels, which is what happens on live. But it's fine and often a little fun for high levels of gear to convey such perks, and we only need to worry about it until the final tier of gear in Mists, at which point if history is any indication, everything resets and all bets on scaling are off. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Warrior PvP Feedback
Though over the hills and far away Pandaria looks bleaker still
I feel quite different about that actually, with Double Time and Juggernaught, Bladestorm, Safeguard and also Avatar; warriors will have a nice little array of abilities to escape snares, roots and other abilities. If you rotate these abilities well, you could have quite a nice amount of up time.
This ability could be toggled on and off, so it would have an infinite duration. You could compare it to your stances (making it quite fitting for a Warrior), only then with for example a 5 second cooldown to toggle it on or off.
I really think that sounds like a cool idea. My personal feeling is that it would be awesome if Avatar was able to be toggled with a health or rage per second cost. But we will have to wait and see as to how the warrior class develops into the future of the Mists beta. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Poll: When Has Inferno Been 'Cleared'?
Now that Diablo has been defeated both solo and in a group, when do you think Inferno is really cleared?
Blizzard Games News Update
Pico is here with an update on Diablo, WoW, and Starcraft!