NPC Leaders Updated Models
People keep requesting screenshots of some of the faction leaders, here is a nice compilation of all the important NPC/leaders with a special model in Cataclysm. I also added the ones updated in Wrath of the Lich King but I didn't include leaders with a regular player model.
The revamp isn't complete yet, others NPCs are most likely getting a new model in Cataclysm. (Thrall comes to mind)
Cataclysm Beta - Companion Pets
A couple of companion pets have been added to the beta and I finally managed to track them down. You can probably expect a lot more of them in the future.
- Fossilized Hatchling's drop location is unknown.
- De-Weaponized Mechanical Companion is an engineering pet.
- Personal World Destroyer is an engineering pet.
- Don't forget Mini Deathwing.
WoWTal.com has been updated and is a little more pretty. Glyphs have been removed for the moment, the current glyphs are outdated and most of them won't be in Cataclysm. We'll have to wait until they hit the beta servers to add them again.
Bigger topic, but minor glyphs are almost always cosmetic / convenience features for Cataclysm. The big distinction is between prime glyphs (unambiguous dps increases) and major glyphs (utility, survival or very hard to math out dps increases). Under that model, affecting Fear is probably a major.
While we probably won't change every glyph, there is a chance we might, so I ask players not to focus too much on the current LK glyphs.
Originally Posted by Blizzard EntertainmentHeirlooms in Cataclysm
Existing heirlooms are currently set to provide bonus experience up to level 80, so you'll be able to outfit eligible Goblin and Worgen characters right from the start. New heirloom items will also be available for purchase, and those items will allow you to gain bonus experience all the way up to level 85.
Now, as beta testing continues, certain aspects of this system may be adapted, but we've no current plans to prevent the use of existing heirlooms in Cataclysm. (Source)
[...] Right now, the plans are to introduce most of the new heirlooms through the guild reward system; however, we also intend to make some available for purchase outside of it. (Source)
Escort Quests in Cataclysm
Interesting topic. While escort quests do allow for dynamic storytelling, we know that they can sometimes feel a bit awkward to play. This is in fact something we're working to address in the upcoming expansion.
Escort quests will still be present in Cataclysm to a degree, but you'll find that they've evolved. Our quest designers have worked very hard to improve the overall gameplay, incorporating new mechanics to bring that goal to fruition. As a result, players will not only get to experience different kinds of escort quests, but the quests themselves should also feel much more intuitive and better paced. (Source)
Vengeance fun factor
It's subjective so not every tank will agree, but we believe it is more fun to hold threat because of dealing damage than to hold threat through other mechanics. Granted there are probably tanks who would be content to do 20 dps, so long as they could hold aggro. When you're dealing with an audience this large, you can't limit yourself to "Would *someone* like it this way?" You have to do what is right for the game overall. (Source)
The real issue is that Vengance doesn't do a thing when you're hitting your buttons. Vengance, in its current form, has nothing to do with what you do. It only happens when you get hit, counterintuitive, reactive mechanic instead of an active one.
Vengeance is an attack power boost. If you aren't maximizing that attack power by hitting the right buttons, then you aren't making effective use of the mechanic. Your argument is like saying that Blessing of Might isn't an attack power boost because it 's caused by something else (the paladin) and not by what you do. (Source)
Vengeance's RNG nature shouldn't have big impacts in short time scales. It's designed to be more of a long term mechanic such that it slowly builds and slowly falls off.
For example, Ret paladins (especially pre-Cataclysm) have a lot of damage that is based on slow stacks caused by white swings. Paladins don't worry that their damage will be very random, because over long time slices the RNG will generally work in their favor.
Don't think of Vengeance in terms of burst threat or Shield Slams. Think of it in terms of autoattacks over the long haul. In a fight like Yogg, Vengeance isn't what it going to make the difference between grabbing an add quickly. That's what Shield Slam is for. Vengeance is for a long fight, like those boss fights where the lock or the Fury warrior starts to creep up on your threat (particularly in the absence of Tricks of the Trade and Misdirect). (Source)
Vengeance - Scaling and Avoidance
It depends on the encounter, but dps need to generally give the tank a moment to get solid aggro. That's not changing. It should feel like it does today. What we're trying to fix is the problem where tanks playing 100% optimally (or even much less optimally) can stay ahead of the rest of the group early in content, but have trouble the more patches come out because the dps are scaling. If you've ever seen the dps start to creep up on you, that's the problem we're trying to solve. If you don't see that phenomenon today, which it sounds like from your post, then don't worry about it.
Vengeance diminishes at half the rate if you avoid the attack. Furthermore, absorbs don't count at all -- if you absorb an attack, it counts as if you were hit. Again though, I think this concern is over too short a time slice. You're not often going to face the situation where if you dodge 10 times in a row that Vengeance falls off, and even if it does, you should be able to get it back up again before dps start to pull off of you. If you manage to hold threat fine in Icecrown today without Vengeance, then you should be fine with Vengeance. If you're very dependent on Tricks today to keep yourself ahead of the dps, then you're going to be more dependent on Vengeance (but given that there are a lot of tanks who aren't operating at the razor's edge of threat generation today, you might also want to look at what they are doing differently).
That said, if avoidance becomes this huge albatross, it would be easy for us to change it and let it count fully for Vengeance duration. The reason we implemented it the way we did was because we didn't want to encourage weird exploits, such as dragging the crappy trash mob to beat on you through the entire instance. But there are other ways to solve that problem too. (Source)
Vengeance - Buff or Nerf?
It's not intended to be a buff. It's not intended to be a nerf either, but given that one of things we're trying to do is provide more skill between good and bad tanks, it may feel like one. In reality, it is intended to make paladin tanking more engaging than the 6969 rotation. The other 3 tanks have a resource that often limits what ability they can push when (especially after rage normalization). Prot paladins don't really manage mana as a resource. We could have gone that way too, but it always risks them wanting to try and wear caster gear or gem for int or whatever. Instead your main resource is Holy Power. Holy paladins worry less about Holy Power but a lot more about mana. (Source)
Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Furor is 100% chance to proc rage with 3 points. [...] You also keep 100 Energy when you shapeshift into cat with 3 ranks. (Source)
Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Here is the current design we have in our local builds. It might not appear in the next beta build, but could be the one after that. There's also a chance we will have changed it again before you get a chance to try it.
Holy Shield is a 15% block buff with a 20 sec duration. It no longer has stacks and can be overwritten to refresh its duration. It is caused by both Shield of the Righteous and Inquisition. You can Crusader Strike -> Shield of the Righteous over and over if you'd like, but the Shield of the Righteous will hit for much less without 3 stacks (it will hit softer with <3 stacks than it does today, more like TV does in the beta). Likewise, Inquisition will fall off pretty quickly without 3 stacks (with 3 stacks it lasts 12 sec for Prot and 30 sec for Ret), so there is some motivation to go for the longer buff.
The idea is that you can use Shield of the Righteous for single targets or use Inquisition to buff a larger variety of abilities when AE tanking. Furthermore, if you ever let Holy Shield drop off, you should be able to get it back up pretty quickly at full strength.
There is a chance we will allow Word of Glory to also proc Holy Shield, but we're very concerned about the right way to play becoming to just spam heals on yourself. We still don't want you to have to keep up both Inquisition and a 3 stack Shield of the Righteous at once, because we think that crosses the line into being too maintenance-y, and once you can do it, you'll feel like you have to do it. (Source)
It sounds like we're still able to put up Inquisition, and within those 15 seconds, stack another three Zeal to use a max-power Shield of the Righteous. It sounds like that would be a bit too much damage, honestly, even given the setup time required. Inquisition would be down for a bit after that, but we could just repeat the process a few seconds later.
Doh. I meant 12 sec for Prot (and edited). We don't want 100% uptime for Inquisition for Prot, because then you'll be balanced around that, which would be frustrating given the amount of hit and expertise you're likely to be rocking as a tank. Hopefully there will be room for very skilled tanks to line up their biggest Holy attacks with Inquisition being up (again, in an AE situation) without it being a huge dps / threat loss if you fail to do so.
Ret still has 30 sec Inquisition, because we do want them to keep it up almost all of the time and have room in their cycles to hit Templar's Verdict or Divine Storm. (Source)
One of the problems we were trying to avoid with the paladin 85 was the guardian that is fire and forget. We didn't want the Holy and Ret versions particularly to just come in and do stuff without your interaction. With the current implementation, you tell the Guardian exactly who you want him to heal. The game doesn't need any more smart heals, IMO.
[...] We can adjust if 5 heals isn't long enough, but it's a lot of healing during that time. The art for the guardian is quite epic, so we didn't want him to be out a large percentage of the time. We'd rather him feel awesome when he is out. (Source)
Healing as a paladin in Cataclysm (Source)
All of the multi-target healing for Paladins -- you know, the two new really exicting spells -- were both revamped very, very downwards at roughly the same time. And they had been implemented already.
I'm not entirely sure what this means, and in any case, numbers aren't a very sensible thing to focus on at this point. They are the easiest thing to change.
Healing Hands heals for about 6x more than Healing Stream.
Light of Dawn may be the most powerful AE heal in the game in terms of raw throughput, but it is balanced by not being spammable. (Source)
In smaller group encounters both light of dawn and healing hands seem like they will be a lot less effective than a 25 man raid because there will never be enough targets grouped up for them to really do enough healing to justify the cost.
That's a fair concern, but on the other hand, the distances involved in dungeon encounters usually aren't as great as ranged encounters, and because the fights don't last as long, you're not always in danger of running out of mana. Assuming we keep Light of Dawn at a 30 sec cooldown, you'll probably get less than 10 on a dungeon boss, and that's unlikely to kill your mana.
The videos I have seen of Light of Dawn make it seem more like a line heal than a cone heal but I assume the spell is still in early stages considering it use the horn effect from ulduar motorbikes as a graphic.
It's a cone and we were pretty generous with the area since we understand that it's not always easy to predict where the outer area of a cone is. (Source)
being aware of positioning is something very different for all healers. Currently we don't even have to be facing the boss to use judgments of the pure- a sign that developers realize that healers don't care about the way they are facing. I'm not saying it's automatically a bad thing for a healer to worry about positioning but it's a much bigger difference then you give credit for.
I'd say not caring about the direction you're facing is a bad thing. It's understandable given the evolution of the dungeon or raid encounter, but we don't think healers staring at party frames and never looking into the game world is a good thing for the game. Now granted we can't just slap your hand every time you don't look at the boss, but it's a good long-term goal to get healers to pay more attention to the world and less to the UI.
Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
I think it's fair to say that the shaman was probably the closest to the Cataclysm healing style even in Lich King. On the other hand, you are getting some new toys that should change your moment to moment decisions from level 80 upwards.
Was Shaman healing a big factor in how you wanted other people to heal because of how fluid Shaman healing is?
Yeah that was a big part of it. The other 3 classes (a little less so Holy priests) basically had their favorite spell and used it nearly all the time, with other spells just being filler. Shaman really did feel like they had a choice between HW and LHW and then Chain Heal more situationally. (Source)
Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Warlocks in Cataclysm
Fear -- we might add a glyph that slows feared targets to make extra adds less of a risk.
Drain Life -- you should still cast Shadow Bolt as Affliction when you don't need to refresh dots, etc.
Hellfire -- you still must channel it (meaning you can't cast other spells), but you can move while channeling.
Seed of Corruption -- Unless you raid Patchwek and Golemagg a lot, AEs aren't just for trash anymore.
Doom Guard and Infernal -- I don't think we'll reach the point where your damage scales poorly because your long-term cooldowns don't scale well with gear. We're not against scaling their stats. I'm just not sure it will have a noticeable effect.
Soul Harvest -- It's basically a Drain Soul that can be used when there are no souls around. As we've said before, we'd prefer to balance warlocks around average encounter length. Once we provide a way to get shards back in combat, we are concerned that locks will blow their shards on cooldown, and then be unhappy when they have to go into lower dps-mode to generate the shards back. If the model just doesn't work without infinite / renewable shards, then we'll change it, but it's far to early to know whether that is the case.
WTB glyph of fear that makes targets cower. I've said it many times but one more can't hurt.
Cower or slow, perhaps. We'll see. (Source)
The basic Affliction "boss rotation" should still be something like UA -> Corruption -> Bane of Agony -> Haunt -> Shadow Bolt. Haunt refreshes your Corruption through Endless Affliction. Nightfall procs Shadow Bolts. When the target is wounded, you can switch to Drain Soul.
On faster fights, you can go Corruption -> Shadow Bolt -> Drain Soul, or even Shadow Bolt / Searing Pain for very fast fights.
When you need to run you can use Fel Flame.
The general DPCT should be something like this (off the top of my head, so this may not be perfect): Drain Soul (wounded), UA, Bane of Agony, Bane of Doom, Corruption, Haunt, Shadow Bolt, Incinerate, Drain Life, Drain Soul (not wounded).
Most of the Drain Life stuff in the talent tree is to support PvP, leveling or when you need health.
This is all work in progress of course, and not etched in stone. (Source)