Horde Guild Mount - Scorpion / Kron'Kar Annihilator UPDATED
The model of the Horde Guild Mount, the Kron'Kar Annihilator has been updated in the latest build and looks ridiculously awesome. You can get the mount by reaching Guild Level 25, the Alliance version is the Reins of the Golden King.
Dalaran / Shattrath Portals Removal
The reason the portals from Shattrath were not removed from Outland when Wrath of the Lich King released is that there was a new central hub with portals to all major cities in Northrend. There is no longer a neutral city hub which both factions will be using in Cataclysm. We want to ensure visiting the major faction capitals is still the most attractive thing to do in Cataclysm, rather than having people use Shattrath and Dalaran as easy connector hubs.
To make up for this, we'd like to add class trainers and Auctioneers in Shattrath and Dalaran for those leveling through The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King content.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Guild Achievements - Exalted Reputations
All reputations are retroactive. If you have the rep now, it will count in the guild achievement. Also note that the reputations have to be separate. Having Argent Dawn at exalted on 8 members still only counts as one towards the achievement.
Also, don't forget that this achievement requires revered guild faction for any of your reputations to count. (Source)
Rating requirements on PvP Gear
The only item with a meaningful rating requirement is the heroic raid ilvl equivalent weapon (the 2200 weapon). However, unlike the LK seasons there is also a weapon equivalent to the normal raid tier ilvl that has no rating requirement.
All of the other items with rating requirements (ie: the set pieces) have the exact same stats as the ones without rating requirements, they're a free upgrade and just have a different texture color so you get a little bit of visual distinction for having a high rating (no gameplay advantage). (Source)
Threat / Threat Decay
We actually never implemented threat decay. We're not sure we'll need it.
The bottom line is that being a good tank is a mark of pride for tanks. It's not fun to do a job well that any guy off the street could do with no practice or experience. Getting better at your job is a major motivator for players to play.
Threat is part of that. Back in the day, you got excited when you had a tank who knew how to generate threat. It was a source of bragging rights for the tank.
So just autoattacking, or just Thunder Clapping, shouldn't be enough for you to never worry about threat. You should have to pay as much attention to your rotations as an Affliction lock or Frost DK needs to do in order to be competitive on meters.
We don't want to go too far though. While it's not asking much for a mage to wait a few seconds before unloading with everything they have, it's also not fun if you feel that tank threat is constantly throttling you. In particular, we're trying to clamp down on the situation where say at minute six or seven despite everything the tank can do, the dps start to creep up on you. Vengeance was implemented almost entirely for this reason -- it helps keep tanks scaling their threat as dps classes gear up.
Finally, we don't want the tank to be solely at the mercy of others to generate threat. We don't want abilities like Tricks of the Trade or Misdirection or dps classes using their threat drop abilities on cooldown to solve the whole problem for the tank. All of those abilities still exist, but they won't turn a bad tank into a good one and they won't make a great tank feel 100% at the mercy of others. (Source)
As far as tank balance goes, in beta we found that DKs and Feral druids were taking less damage than paladins and warriors. This is partially because of the Sanctuary bug (where it just wasn't working). Beyond that, the avoidance of the former were just a lot higher. Druids get dodge and DKs get parry just from wearing Agi and Str respectively. Block tanks used to get a little mitigation from Strength, but it was never much, and that won't really work any longer with the new model. Solutions include letting Str affect parry (for everyone in the same way Agi provides dodge) or giving all plate users some kind of Forceful Deflection passive or talent.
Basically, we think that avoidance below 20% or so doesn't feel very good because you don't see it, and avoidance above around 70% or so breaks encounters and forces us to add "radiance" debuffs to raids. (Source)
Casting vs. auto attacks
I could see a model where a melee class just stands there until they hit a button and all of their damage is pushed into those buttons. It's a pretty big change though. For starters, many spells used by casters have actual cast bars (and can be interrupted) while melee are mostly using instant attacks. Casters do damage every 2 sec or so, while melee could do damage every 1.5 or 1 sec, as long as resources held out. It's probably possible to do, but it is a really big change. (Source)
Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Word of Glory scaling
Word of Glory now scales with either attack power or spell power, whichever is higher. The net result is that Ret and Prot Word of Glory will heal for at least 50% more than they did before. That was why we had to nerf Selfless Healer. If I am remembering correctly, a level 85 Ret or Prot paladin 3 Holy Power WoG went from around 6000 to around 9000 (before Selfless Healer or Guarded by the Light). You should test it yourself though, since I may be misremembering. (Source)
Zealotry / Holy Power
We were able to greatly improve the delay on receiving Holy Power from Divine Purpose. It still may not appear faster than you can hit your next button. To address that, we are going to try a model where if you have 3 Holy Power and get a fourth, you'll still receive that fourth Holy Power if you spend the first 3 within a couple of seconds. In essence, if the Holy Power is already "in the mail" you'll still get it. You can't hold it indefinitely, so you shouldn't treat the system as if you now have 4 Holy Power to play with. It just makes you less likely to waste a charge.
Barring something horribly unforeseen, there is no way we'll ultimately let a 2 Holy Power Templar's Verdict be the right way to play. (Source)
Guardian of the Ancient Kings
Guardian of Ancient Kings should be off the GCD (for everyone). (Source)
We think we are liable to consolidate some of the Judgement related talents for Holy. We're unlikely to make Judging even more of a big deal for Holy though.
We're going to try to get the 10 points Holy spends in other trees to be a little less cookie-cutterish. Options include making Divinity or Rule of Law not healing related.
We'll keep an eye on Holy's damage for purposes of leveling, etc. I do believe some of that feedback though comes from creatures just being really powerful now. You're not seeing Holy being weak at leveling. You're seeing everyone having to work more than they are used to. This is a situation we're closely monitoring. We don't want questing to be trivial and boring, but we don't want it to be brutally punishing either.
I'm still worried about the lack of interactivity. Daybreak and Word of Glory are talents that you react to in an incredibly simple way now. Healing without wasting Holy Power isn't a high benchmark.
Changing Daybreak has taken out a rewarding and fun spell combination that made the class a lot more interesting and dynamic to play.
It has a lot more going on than it does on Live. No, you aren't overly punished for mismanaging Holy Power, but healers need to have a lot of flexibility. Sometimes you don't want to cast Holy Shock or Word of Glory on the tank because you need to do something more dramatic. In addition to the mechanics you mentioned, there are buffs such as Conviction and Judgements of the Pure to watch out for, as well as several cooldowns: Divine Favor, Avenging Wrath and Guardian.
Daybreak still requires you to watch the proc, or you're going to fail to cast Holy Shock twice in a row. It's just less sensitive to latency and makes you less likely to have to resort to cancel macros now. (Source)
Light of Dawn
It is target sensitive. If you heal one person, it's not going to do impressive numbers. In situations where it hits 10 people, it will perform really well. You will need to look out for situations where it will be the most optimal. Part of why it can heal so much is it is far from being a smart heal. (Source)
What people want is this: Light of Dawn, No Cooldown, Requires Holy Power, Heals players for 1000/2000/3000, consuming all holy power in the cast.
The reason we didn't do that is because the times you need AE heals are usually because several folks took damage all at once. That is why so many AE heals are instant. Even those with a cast time aren't as long as something that requires 3 Holy Power. Nor do we want you to have to neglect Word of Glory on fights with periodic AE damage. To have a long ramp up - high throughput AE heal be useful, there would have to be a lot of encounters like Loatheb or something where the damage is fairly constant but folks aren't often in immediate danger of dying.
I could see (someday) giving paladins a heal that hit 3-5 targets but otherwise worked exactly like Word of Glory. But since we gave paladins 4 new heals already, as well as reasons to use both Flash and Holy Light, let's see if we can get the current model feeling good first. I think we're close. (Source)
Rogue (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Auto attack and abilities
Imagine a rogue could do 80% of their damage just by right clicking on a target. That means that at best, you've got 20% of damage to play with to separate the best rogue in the world from the guy who just autoattacks. That's largely what we mean when we're concerned about too much damage coming from white attacks.
You can argue that Slice and Dice doesn't take much effort on the part of the rogue, but it does take some. Managing your energy and cooldowns takes a little more, and so on, until we reach a point where the best rogues in the world do significantly more damage than those who just autoattack and perhaps let Slice and Dice occasionally fall off.
I think viscerally, some players just don't like spending their resource on buffs. They want to convert it all into big numbers, because big numbers are fun. Those self buffs serve a purpose though. They help serve as a damage buffer. They provide a little bit of ramp up time. They account for one more ball you need to juggle to keep in the air. It wouldn't be hard to juggle just the one ball, but you're often asked to do a lot more than that. (Source)
They "stopped the arms race" by disarming rogues of stunlocks, which were already taken care of with the increased HP pools, but didn't remove the reactionary (and far more OP) skills that negate the emasculated stuns.
That wasn't the problem with stunlocks. It wasn't a balance issue per se of whether or not the rogue could kill someone or not. The problem was that the situation was too binary. If the rogue executed a perfect stun chain, then they would win. If they screwed up or were countered, they would lose. Both the rogue and the opponent might as well have 1 health in that scenario because there is no room for fractions. Imagine instead that getting 1 stun off makes you half as effective instead of not effective at all.
There are ways for some classes to mitigate stuns, absolutely. (The alternative is the awesome rogue just always gets a stun off.) But there are fewer than before, and the talents that just provide mechanic duration reductions are all gone. That was the arms race we were talking about. If rogues can just never stun anyone and are kited all the time, then we'll fix it. But very few of you have experienced level 85 PvP yet, so it's hard to for us to react too strongly to supposition and hypothesis.
Try out the Tol Barad tests we're doing soon and see how it feels in appropriate gear at max level. (Source)
I'm a little late this week, but here is your weekly MMO Report.
Dark Legacy Comics #257 and Teh Gladiators #170 + #171 are out.