Update - Added today's blue posts.
Patch 3.3.3 - PTR Notes Update
The PTR 3.3.3 Notes. Blood Queen Lana'thel is getting slightly changed and most of the glyph changes reported last week here are now official. Nothing else really interesting in the patch as far as I can see.
This build is a release candidate, expect the patch on March 23 if everything goes well on PTRs.
Blizzard at PAX East
- Blood-Queen Lana'thel: Pact of the Darkfallen now applies damage twice as often, but for half the damage. This change will make the removal of the spell a bit more responsive.
- Hellscream's Warsong and Strength of Wrynn now provide their bonuses to player pet health and damage, as well as the absorption amounts of Power Word: Shield and Sacred Shield.
Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator)
- Glyph of Icebound Fortitude: Now always grants at least 40% damage reduction.
Priest (Forums / Talent Calculator)
- Priest Tier-10 4-Piece Healing Set Bonus: Redesigned. This bonus now increases the effectiveness of the caster's Power Word: Shield by 5% and Circle of Healing by 10%.
- Glyph of Scourge Imprisonment: Now reduces the cast time of Shackle Undead by 1 second, up from 0.5 seconds.
Rogue (Forums / Talent Calculator)
- Glyph of Deadly Throw: Now increases the slowing effect on Deadly Throw by 20%, up from 10%.
- Glyph of Expose Armor: Now increases the duration of Expose Armor by 12 seconds, up from 10 seconds.
- Glyph of Feint: Now reduces the energy cost of Feint by 20, up from 10.
Community Interviews: The Arena MasterMembers of the Blizzard community team will be at PAX East in Boston, March 26-28, hanging out at the NVIDIA booth, talking about our games, and helping to demo StarCraft II. Also at the booth, NVIDIA will be showing off World of Warcraft using their 3D Vision technology. Stop by for the stage presentation Friday at 6pm for a world's first 3D Theatre presentation on an 80 foot screen.
If you're at the show stop by the NVIDIA booth and say hi!
Blue postsWe've added yet another in-depth interview with one of World of Warcraft's millions of players for our five-year anniversary site. Luek from U.S. realm The Underbog shares his views on his last five years of dynamic and fluctuating gameplay focuses, particularly with regard to PvP, and provides some insight on where he sees himself once Cataclysm arrives. Check out the anniversary page for our full discussion.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Debuffs and Dispells
Really though, we don't think the answer is to have a continuing arms race of dispels and dispel protection. This is why we've been so reluctant to implement a DK change in the first place, especially one that we ideally won't need in the future. The way things are headed, one could easily imagine the 4.0 glyph or talent that says "Your dispels now dispel stuff that normally can't be dispelled" and the 5.0 version that says "No, really, nothing can dispel your debuffs now," and the 6.0 one that said "Just kidding. You can dispel everything again."
We like the general concept of dispels as a counter. Making a good decision to spend resources (including GCDs) based on what another player is doing is what allows players to win because of their skill and not just because of their gear. The problem is that dispels were designed around (antiquated) PvE content such as Molten Core, where spamming dispels was something we asked you to do frequently. A better world would be one in which a dispel was a meaningful choice, meaning they would have a real mana cost and require you to actually push a button. There needs to be a cost for dispelling at the wrong time, just as there's a cost for using your trinket or Ice Block at the wrong time. If we make this change, we'd balance the PvE encounters accordingly, such as asking you to occasionally dispel big curses (or whatever) instead of constantly remove spammy, aggravating ones. (Source)
Bind on Account Emblems?
We currently don't plan to do this as we feel it makes sense to run a couple of normal dungeons (possibly) on the character you'd like to gear up and then run heroics until your heart is content.
[...] It's true that a main character can pile up a bunch of triumph/frost emblems at this point and not be too sure what to do with them. You could always make some gold via epic gems though - that will empty out your stores pretty fast.
We mainly just want to try and keep players focused on the idea of playing a character they want to gear up and not allow their one main character to take care of a whole set of alts. (Source)
Overpowered combat ratings in WotLK
As players above pointed out, the ratings would have worked fine had we not introduced extra item levels of gear to support the heroic modes of the last three tiers. Now we could have nerfed your ratings then, and maybe we should have, but that would have felt pretty harsh. Maybe Icecrown Radiance felt harsh enough that we should have done that. You can also argue that we should have guessed or at least planned in the possible addition of extra tiers. Maybe we'll do that in the future. Our model though is that player stats stop advancing from level and start advancing solely from gear at the level cap. We need some target for our combat ratings because they are expressly for the purpose of preventing players from maxxing out every stat with enough gear. Having creatures in later tiers scale along with your gear is one way that we're exploring. (Source)
Ni, I think you're just talking about a different kind of experience. The way RPGs traditionally work is that you defeat the monsters to get better gear to challenge more powerful monsters. The goal, typically, isn't to get so powerful that the monsters are no longer a challenge. Now I understand that seeing your dodge number actually go down might be a bummer, but that's because you're looking at a percentage and not the rating (which only goes up). If we expressed health as a percentage relative to the damage done by a boss, it would behave the same way -- go down with every new tier, then start to go back up again.
Currently, your health and armor go up, but the more powerful monsters in later dungeons hit harder. It's not that they are less of a threat to you than earlier monsters, and in many case the opposite true. It's more that you couldn't even have a hope of facing them without having amassed all of the armor you have. We're just talking about doing the same thing with other stats. It doesn't make sense that you avoid Saphiron 30% of the time, but avoid Sindragosa (who is supposed to be a much more powerful opponent and has the stats to prove it) 60% of the time. In the same way, the mage shouldn't be critting the more powerful opponent more than the weaker opponent. It just does strange things to the game, where the later bosses have to hit so much harder to make up for the fact that you're avoiding them more, which ironically (but mathematically) means that your avoidance is less valuable since it doesn't actually keep you alive.
Really all we're talking about here is the distinction between absolute and relative differences. Bosses in higher tiers shouldn't be relatively easier to avoid. In fact, the opposite is arguably true. (Source)
Yeah, we'd basically agree with that. The risk should be that the tank will die, not that the tank can't hold aggro. However I have to caveat that because otherwise any time anyone ever fails to hold aggro for whatever reason they'll blame it on their tools instead of taking some responsibility for hitting the right button or gearing correctly. Threat still needs to matter as a mechanic
And without launching into class warfare again, we think the paladin is a little too good in the AE department so we'd rather bring them down than bring everyone else up. You also need to compare tanks at the Naxx level, not the Icecrown level for purposes of threat.
Put succinctly, imagine all 4 tanks tank groups about as well as a warrior tanked groups in Naxx, but that the mobs hit harder and AE damage was a little lower such that you wanted to CC and single target more of the pulls (but not every pull -- there is still a place for Blizzarding them all down). That's the goal. (Source)
Tanking Gear and Gauntlets of the Iron Furnace
The item in question is the infamous armor pen tank gloves. At the time, players were like "Um, is this an error?" Since then, a few tanks have asked us why there weren't some dps stats to choose from in Icecrown on tank gear.
Really though it's part of the same issue I mentioned above. We don't want every piece of gear to look the same. We don't want everything that isn't "best in slot" to be dismissed or sharded. I don't know that we can get to a world where we put crit and haste on tanking plate, but man, it would be nice for the variety, and dps stats are more useful on tanking gear than they are on healing gear.
When I tanked in BC, I used a dps tanking weapon for the threat. I can't imagine that is widely done these days (I at least never see it) because single-target threat isn't much of an issue, and even if it was, the risk of dying to burst damage is of greater concern. Maybe we have to make all tanking gear (save druid leather obviously) only focus on survival stats and the threat and dps just come for free (except for druids who would then be OP) but that's a little unfortunate. (Source)
Avoidance and RNG
I just disagree with that. When I used Moroes' Lucky Pocket Watch and dodged a whole bunch of hits, I felt awesome. I don't think the same item would feel as cool today, but it was awesome in early BC. I can remember a few times when the healer was down but I managed to avoid several hits in a row and we beat the boss. Is that a great gearing strategy for beating a boss? Not really. But the nice thing about random numbers is how much fun it can be when they do roll in your favor (see Las Vegas).
[...] Of course. Part of the challenge to you as a player is to overcome bad luck (or maximize good luck). When RNG is minimized, then it's just a math problem. A savvy healer could step into a fight and pretty quickly know if they are going to have the throughput to keep you alive hit to hit and the staying power to keep doing it throughout the fight. Nothing that happens during the fight is going to change that, so all of the decisions are made in the preparation phase (gearing and choosing talents) and not when you're actually up in front of the boss. There is a reason (nearly) all role-playing games keep what is essentially that d20 roll as a key part of the combat mechanics.
The opposite extreme is problematic also. When the effects of RNG are so overwhelming that it feels like the decisions you make are irrelevant, then you're not really playing a game -- you're just spinning a roulette wheel. I'd point to things like small chances for random stuns as an example where RNG had too large an influence.
What I am cautioning up above is sometimes players slip into the meta-game mentality of "I would be a better tank if I didn't have to contend with RNG, therefore Blizzard should remove RNG." RNG serves an important purpose. (Source)
Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Ghoul and Unholy Blight in PvP
We left the ghoul as an Unholy focus because not every player wants to have a pet. We already have two mandatory pet classes in the game.
We want to see how the Unholy Blight change plays out. We realize it offers more PvP viability for Unholy than the other two specs, though to be fair, Unholy was already a lot more common in PvP. We didn't want to implement three distinct mechanics of disease resistance just to see what stuck, because then it felt like we'd have to support them all forever instead of iterating on a single one that we like. If the Unholy Blight model works, then it's something we'd consider giving to all DKs in the long-term. (Source)