Cataclysm Screenshots of the Day
A new screenshot of the Lost Isles has been added to the Screenshot of the Day Gallery on the official site.
Heroic Ruby Sanctum Testing Schedule
Blue postsTesting so far on the Ruby Sanctum has gone well. For the next phase of the testing, we're going to allow raids to switch difficulty to Heroic.
Heroic mode testing will only be available for a limited time, but we hope to allow Normal mode testing for a longer period.
US Testing Schedule:
Thursday, May 27 at 19:00 EDT.
EU Testing Schedule:
Friday, May 28 starting at 19:30 CEST.
This schedule could change without much warning due to PTR downtime, new builds being deployed, etc.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Homogenization and healing
Homogenization is a risk. Totally. It's something we try and fight against. In the case of healing, we don't want to erode the unique aspects of the 5 talent specs. We just want to move the non-unique parts closer together. If you need an analogy, we're not going to mess with the flowers or the fruit or the shape of the leaves. We just want everyone to have similar roots. Spells like Circle, Chain Heal and Beacon will continue to be an important and unique part of your repertoire. We just want to make sure everyone has the basic tools so that they aren't in a situation where they're trying to tighten screws with a hammer.
Now having said that, there are a couple of exceptions. If you are a Disc priest who loved to use PW:S and nothing else or a Resto druid who loved to use Rejuv and nothing else, then you will probably need to use more of your buttons again. We don't want to promote the strategy of trying to pre-heal as many people as possible without really worrying about who is actually taking damage. There's not a lot of decision-making or coordination or reactive gameplay there. Disc priests will need to actually cast heals (and Penance can certainly be one of them) and druids will have to mix in some direct heals along with their hots. (Source)
Healing in Cataclysm
I take a different view on a couple of your points here. Healers won't be forced to spam their most efficient heal because the encounters will be less threatening early on. Later on when your mana regen as at its highest you will need to use your highest throughput spell because the damage is higher. You'll also need to use your fast heal sometimes for the same reason. Fortunately fully raid buffed and in good gear, you'll have more mana regen. I don't think any of these changes encourage players to blame healers more. Bad players are always going to deflect their failures onto someone else. That is why they are bad players. The alternative is to make healing so simplistic that there is almost no chance of failure (i.e. nobody would ever die). You'd never get blamed for anything but you'd probably also be pretty bored.
Minus gaming coefficients, we pretty much had this model with downranking and it largely worked. (Source)
Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator)
"Widening the spell selection"
The definition of "widening spell selection" has to be real choices. Just putting more heals in your spellbook doesn't accomplish much. They have to be spells you'd realistically consider casting, and not just once an evening. That is most challenging with the druid because we decided not to cut any current heals. (Source)
Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Retribution in Cataclysm
The current plan is for Crusader Strike to be baseline, but for Ret to have talents that add to it, and for Divine Storm to be the 51-point talent.
[...] Keep in mind that the way Retribution works, you aren't often choosing to exclude one attack in exchange for another. A Fury warrior can just not use Whirlwind and spend the rage on Heroic Strike again. But Rets are not limited by mana as much as cooldowns. You can choose to not do anything when Crusader Strike et al. are on cooldown, or you can use Divine Storm.
I agree it would, and perhaps does, feel crappy to get the same ability that another class gets as a base ability for your 51-point talent. That's not the design goal. (Source)