WotLK Beta - New Mounts and Weapon Models
The latest build introduced a bunch of new models, a few monsters and weapons but also ... mounts ! A lot of them were added and some of them already have their spell included in the game files. We can assume that Skeletal Gryphons are variations of the Winged Steed of the Ebon Blade for non-DK players. The polar bear also comes with an interesting model variation ... as a Blizzcon-tagged reward ! Thanks again to azuraji for all the work he does on these screenshots !
- Summon Polar Bear - Summons and dismisses a rideable Polar Bear. This is a very fast mount.
- Winged Steed of the Ebon Blade - Summons and dismisses a rideable skeletal gryphon mount. This mount can only be summoned in Outland and by those that have learned Cold-Weather Flying in Northrend. (See Winged Steed of the Ebon Blade)
- Skeletal Gryphon - Summons and dismisses a rideable skeletal gryphon mount. This mount can only be summoned in Outland and by those that have learned Cold-Weather Flying in Northrend. (0 yd, cast: 3 seconds, dur: (infinite time?), val2: 60, val3: 60)
- Swift Skeletal Gryphon - Summons and dismisses a rideable swift skeletal gryphon mount. This mount can only be summoned in Outland and by those that have learned Cold-Weather Flying in Northrend.
WotLK Beta - Blue posts
Developpers have been very active on forums lately, below you'll find a few more posts about class changes and other important features of WotLK. Some of these changes probably went live with the latest beta build but these days, it's always better to have two confirmations of a change instead of none.
[blizzquote] Death Knight
We think we have a pretty good idea now about what kind of death knight abilities are fun and useful and which ones are clunky or confusing. So now feels like the time to get the death knight into a more shippable state. A big change you'll see in the next patch or two is consolidating death knight diseases. We like the gameplay that evolves from trying to get a disease on a target in order to do cool things. On the other hand, we need to fix
The kinds of changes you're likely to see include: meh abilities going away or getting packaged together, talents sliding around in talent trees, and more logical synergies and rotations. We don't want to lose the depth that the class offers and certainly don't want to lose what's fun about being a DK. We'll try and get the official talent trees updated when the changes are ready, because that will explain things better than me trying to do it all here in a wall of text. But I wanted to mention these changes in case it affected any of your feedback on the class. (Which continues to be awesome, in this forum, online and throughout the community.) (Source)
- The confusing array of diseases with their different durations, effects and stacking rules.
- The crazy number of debuff slots a death knight can occupy on a target.
- Diseases not playing well with freezing targets.
- Getting a new talented ability only to find that you don't have the runes availble to incorporate it into your rotation.
There is a bug right now preventing normalized attacks from doing non-physical damage. Frost Strike will be normalized when that bug is fixed. (Obliterate will also be normalized.)
But, sadly, instant attacks do less damage than next-swing attacks, since an instant attack also lets you get the full benefit from the normal melee swing. That's why Frost Strike does less damage now. The freezing part wasn't even factored into the damage calculation because we want to mess with that some more... as well as get feedback. (Source)
The reason Heart Strike is on next swing is you want to be able to get it off before you or your allies do too much damage to an enemy. The earlier you get it off, the better. It can be renewed if it falls off too. I've seen enough people play with it to know that it can feel underwhelming, and a big part of that is because the enemy's hp bar barely moves. You have reduced what "100%" means for the enemy, not knocked it from 100% to 90%. But it is still a lot of damage.
This is going to be a pretty scary ability in PvP and it's very useful in PvE once you start fighting challenging enemies, like bosses. If you're blasting through things quickly, then there are probably a lot of abilities that seem of questionable use. (Source)
The damage from Degeneration is supposed to be small, unless you hit a target with a hot on it. It's not a bad way to use up a spare unholy rune most of the time, because you don't always have a lot of options with unholy, but it's not going to do huge damage in a lot of cases. (Now getting a disease on a target period can pay off for a death knight in lots of cases anyway.)
Unholy Blight can get a stack of diseases on a lot of targets pretty quickly and those diseases can be pretty debilitating depending on your other talents. It's not going to do huge AE damage like say Blizzard or Volley (all channeled AEs do a lot more damage now), but it isn't intended to be just for tanking either. The death knight spells tend to be pretty complex so it's possible we just broke something since we are still iterating on a lot of spells and abilities pretty quickly. (Source)
- Maim will break from the same amount of damage that Fear, Entangling Roots etc. breaks with now. It's a flat amount of damage based on the HP pool of the target (its' different for players and creatures), we haven't settled on the right number yet though. (Source)
In the future, Hunters will be able to use Master's Call while stunned. (Source)
The exotic pets will be different from normal pets. Ideally they might even be a little bit better, but we're very hesitant to make them too good lest we see every hunter stampede over to the BM tree. Pets are supposed to be something important to all kinds of hunters, and the BM tree already offers some amazing pet buffs and synergy. We just don't want to overdo it with this talent.
At the very least, the exotic pets will have a new family ability that will ideally be really useful in some situations. I'm making this one up, but imagine that since normal crabs have Pin, an exotic pet might have a Pin-like ability that did fire damage. Or imagine that you could tame a drake (you can't, because they aren't beasts) and that instead of lightning or fire breath, it had frost breath that could freeze an enemy, death knight style. Would this be useful? Probably. Does it make the 51-point talent mandatory? Ideally not. Though those 5 talent points aren't bad....
As far as what happens if you have an exotic pet and respec, most likely the pet's talents will just reset. Yeah you get a free pet respec out of the deal, but it's not as if it's free since the hunter has to respec. Any exotic pets in the stable won't be lost, but you wouldn't be able to get them out of the stable either. If you have an exotic pet at the moment you respec, then it will probably be dismissed (but not abandoned) and you won't be able to summon it again, forcing you to go swap it into the stable. (Or abandon it if you're THAT kind of hunter.) (Source)
The bottom talents in particular need to have some pretty stringent pre-reqs so that hunters can't just cherry pick all of the active abilities. We can and will iterate on what those pre-req talents are though.
Active pet abilities in general represent some interesting design challenges. On the one hand, if the hunter just programs the pet and puts it on autopilot, then having unique abilities just sort of blends into a generic +dps for the pet. On the other hand, it would be sad if hunters never took the active abilities because the pet has trouble using the expensive ones and the hunter feels like he already has too many of his own abilities to hit. This is something on which we'll try to hit a reasonable balance. Warlocks seem to have a pretty decent mix of demon abilities that can be used by the demon AI and some that the warlock specifically needs to use. (Source)
- Arcane Blast effect duration reduced to 3 seconds, now increases damage by 15/30/45% instead of reducing cast time. (Source)
- Mages are still in line for more changes, most of them are talent oriented so it's not really as easy to copy and paste for you. The talent calculator should be updated soon, though. (Source)
- Rapture will now work with Divine Aegis in the next patch, and Divine Aegis will no longer replace the previous shield effect on the target, and will instead add into it (and refresh it's duration). (Source)
- Twin Disciplines is actually increasing your damage by 5 instead of 5%. This is fixed for the next patch. (Source)
- Spirit Wolves will have abilities (like a stun, snare etc.) and will serve as a DPS timer. We'll be working on a Shaman polish very soon. (Source)
- Lightning Bolt always had a higher coefficient than similar bolt spells. This was because there weren't as much/any nature damage debuffs. Now that they exist, we're restoring Lightning Bolt to it's intended coefficient. Your DPS in a raid setting will if anything be higher with these changes. (Source)
- You should have to sorta swap between the two based on the situation (water and lightning), based on if you need mana or not. It also sort of has to do with your itemization. (Source)
- Paralysis is being replaced with something soon, along with a few other changes to deep Elemental. (Source)
- Master Conjurer will soon be a good investment. (Source)
- We're in the process of re-designing that talent. We definitely want Destro locks to have an advantage from Conflagrate, though. The new Backdraft increases your haste by 10/20/30% and reduces the mana cost by 10/20/30% for your next 3 Destruction spells. (Source)
- Something like that, also hopefully work in Chaos Bolt in there somewhere (still seeing if we can give that spell better raid/dps utility). Also just boosted the imp's mana regen around 200%, health by 20%, armor by 16% and gave it 80% avoidance (dmg reduction) to AOE's. So he's just about ready to do some business. (Source)
- We do forsee Affliction Warlocks in raid PvE using Shadow Bolt and Haunt, which are both cast time and capable of critting (so haste and crit do help those). In terms of actual DoTs critting, we currently don't have any intention of doing that. We did make haste lower your GCD, which can help if you want to chain cast DoTs. (Source)
- Bane should also be working with Haunt (reducing it from 2.0->1.5), not sure if that was in the talent update or not. Previously we had Haunt at a base 1.5, but this allows us to give it a higher coefficient. (Source)
- Affliction and Demonology Warlocks should be able to compete on DPS meters for raids, while Affliction may be the best "leveling spec," it isn't intended to be limited to such. (Source)
- We've looked into this and verified that the talent calculator is incorrect. Aftermath is now only a two-point talent down from a five-point talent, however the talent is actually providing a 5/10% chance to daze a target off of destruction spells, not 2/4%. (Source)
- We're currently getting back to work on the Warrior, expect changes in an upcoming build. (Source)
Azjol-Nerub - Anub'arak submerging mechanics
The triggers for him submerging are based upon his health. So a level 77 group with great gear will indeed hit those triggers REALLY quickly. (Source)
WotLK Multi Talent Spec
We talked about this recently at the Worldwide Invitational actually. We are looking into allowing players to basically have two talent specs that they can switch between but we are still working out the exact details so we will have to wait and see exactly how it will function in-game. (Source)
WotLK Classes Changes and pre-WotLK Gear
We hope to retroactively change some of the gear on live so the transition is less painful for classes whose core mechanics are changing. (Source)
- Currently we have plans to add account-wide achievements in the future, I just wouldn't expect them at the launch of Wrath of the Lich King. This is a new system that we are still doing a lot of tuning on right now but do plan to expand upon it down the road. (Source)
- Actually, the quest achievements do have progress bars. They are broken in the current beta build but you'll see them again as soon as we patch. We'll also have progress bars for the pets as well. We're working on a solution for the Tabard achievement UI. Hopefully, we'll be able to have a progress bar for that one as well. (Source)
- For basic quest achievements, assume that Daily Quests or any repeatable quest (this includes most world event quests) *DO NOT* count. If an achievement is looking toward a daily quest or repeatable quest, it will specifically mention that or it will mention the specific quest title. (Source)
- Just to make sure this clear, this achievement is definitely doable by both factions. You will be able to see which zones you haven't fully explored so you can focus on those areas if you want to complete all of them. Yes, exploring the capital cities of the opposing faction can be a little challenging, but so is killing the faction leaders - it just depends on how much effort you plan to put into it. (Source)
WotLK Reputations Itemization in Beta
The reputations are not itemized yet. (Source)
WotLK Beta - Mounts & Vanity Pets Bugs
With this Beta patch we've encountered a bug with existing characters and their mounts. Clicking on one of your mounts will return the error "No charges remain". This is a temporary bug that we hope to hotfix soon. If we cannot hotfix this, we will fix it in the next build. If you purchase a new mount, it should work fine. You'll notice that all "mount items" now add that mount to your "Pet" tab of your character pane. From the Pet tab, you can summon mounts and companion pets. (Source)
Update - Mounts have been fixed. Pets are still broken. (Source)
Calendar Events Invitations & Gold Spamming
We have anti-gold spam measures in the works for the calendar. Please continue to post feedback or if you find anything that you believe will be exploitable or abusive. (Source)
For anyone considering a trip to this year’s BlizzCon (October 10-11 in Anaheim, California), tickets will go on sale worldwide on Monday, August 11 for $100 each through our website. BlizzCon is a celebration of the communities surrounding all of our games, and features discussion panels, hands-on play, contests, tournaments, and more; we look forward to meeting some of you there! (Source)
WWI Developer Panel Videos Online!
We have just published videos from some of the developer panels at the 2008 Worldwide Invitational. Check out our Videos page to watch Blizzard developers discuss the evolving design process behind StarCraft II, the world lore and environment of Diablo III, and the present and future of the classes in World of Warcraft. http://eu.blizzard.com/wwi08/videos.xml?locale=en_GB (Source)
The Zul'Aman bear will no longer be available. But the other mounts you mentioned will remain unchanged. The reasoning behind this is that the Zul'Aman bear is obtained during an event which requires precision and skill at level 70. The accomplishment for those who have legitimately earned the mount would be diminished if we continued to allow players to obtain the mount once the level cap is raised to 80. (Source)