"Return to Graveyard" Button
Today, I want to talk about one of the most amazing feature of Cataclysm, really. If you've been playing WoW for a while, you probably got stuck in ghost form one day because you died in a strange location and spent countless hours looking FOR THAT DAMN GRAVEYARD TO SPIRIT REZ. Cataclysm will finally fix that and adds a huge "Return to Graveyard" button to the screen whenever you are dead.
Don't get confused, this is a "Return to Graveyard" button, not body but you will probably think it's awesome if it ever happened to you.
Halls of Origination Video Preview
TotalBiscuit released a nice video preview of the Halls of Origination in Uldum, one of the level 85 instances of Cataclysm.
Hunter Pet Skills Update
Hunters already got a lot of utility pet skills in Build 12942 but the latest beta build added a few more that I forgot to mention.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
- Roar of Courage (Cat) - The beast lets out a roar of courage, increasing the Strength and Agility of all party and raid members by 549.32 within 100 yards. / Instant, 45 sec cooldown
- Froststorm Breath (Chimaera) - The Chimera channels a frozen breath attack, causing 2645.41 Spellstorm damage over 10 sec to to all enemies within the area. / 20 Focus, 35 yd range, Channeled
- Horn Toss (Rhino) - The Rhino punts the enemy with its mighty horn, knocking them back a great distance. / 30 Focus, 5 yd range, Instant cast, 1.5 min cooldown
- Burrow Attack (Worm) - The Worm burrows into the earth, shaking the ground above dealing x Nature damage over 8 sec. / 30 Focus, 35 yd range, Channeled, 30 sec cooldown
Hillsbrad / Alterac Mountains in Cataclysm - Updated Screenshots
Blizzard finished updating most of the world zones and I'm currently working on a huge update of all the zones pages, for the moment here is a nice set of screenshot of the new Hillsbrad Foothills.
The Horde defeated the Alliance there and controls most of the zone, the remaining Stormpikes had to retreat in the mountains. Also, the Alterac Mountains zone is "gone" and has been merged with Hillsbrad.
Beta - Heroic Dungeons Now Available
Heroics are now available.
Furthermore, the Pre-made Character Templates should provide you guys with characters in level 333 Superior (blue) quality gear - which is the minimum expected gear level for succeeding in heroics. I strongly encourage you to copy over a new pre-made if you want to test heroics.
Available character copies should also be reset.
*We're looking in to the issue of not being able to use dungeon finder. You should be able to form up a group the old-fashioned way and walk into a heroic.
[...] Here's a quick list for easy access to active threads on both dungeons and raids. We will be sure to update it whenever something new is available.
- [Heroic] Blackrock Caverns :: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...18910&sid=2000
- [Heroic] Throne of the Tides :: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...18911&sid=2000
- [Heroic] The Stonecore :: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...18912&sid=2000
- [Heroic] The Vortex Pinnacle :: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...18913&sid=2000
- [Heroic] Lost City of the Tol'vir :: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...18914&sid=2000
- [Heroic] Halls of Origination :: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...18917&sid=2000
- [Heroic] Grim Batol :: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...18915&sid=2000
- [Heroic] The Deadmines :: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...18919&sid=2000
- [Heroic] Shadowfang Keep :: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...18918&sid=2000
Gear scaling in Cataclysm
You're too focused on hit alone.
This piece of gear wouldn't exist, but to save me from having to make three versions, consider this series of boots:
Level 83 quest blues with 10 attack power, 10 Stamina, 10 crit, 10 hit, 10 parry.
Level 85 quest blues with 12 attack power, 12 Stamina, 12 crit, 12 hit, 12 parry.
Level 85 tier 1 raid with 14 attack power, 14 Stamina, 14 crit, 14 hit, 14 parry.
Level 85 tier 2 raid with 16 attack power, 16 Stamina, 16 crit, 16 hit, 16 parry.
When yo go from level 83 to level 85 you stay at the same amount of power relative to creatures. Why? Because the creatures are gaining levels. Their health goes up, so you need that extra AP. Their damage goes up, so you need that extra health. Your chance to crit and hit and parry them goes down, so you need those stats as well.
So far, so good.
When you start raiding, the bosses are level 88. This makes them a little harder to hit and everything, so you need that extra budget on your gear to keep up. Still not a problem.
Now let's look at the final piece of gear. You're going from a tier 1 raid to a tier 2 raid. The boss hits harder so you need that health. The boss has more health, so you need that attack power. But the boss is still level 88 like he was in tier 1. This means you crit him more than the previous boss, because your crit went up. You do more damage to the harder boss than to the easier boss. You also hit him more (unless you're hit capped, which you probably are) and you parry him more.
We solved, in an awkward way, the parry problem in Icecrown by putting a debuff on you. That basically allowed the creatures to scale with your gear. We couldn't solve the crit or hit problems, so players just became more and more powerful and eventually capped those stats (or got close to it in the case of crit). Just as players are often very worried (and sometimes rightfully so) about not scaling with gear, the bosses were not scaling with your gear. All of those problems that can happen to players when their damage (or healing or tanking) don't scale were happening to the bosses. You were scaling too well with crit, hit and parry.
A different way to go would be that the tier 2 raid boss is actually level 89 or 90 instead of level 88. Then you'd naturally need more crit and hit and parry to face him. That makes intuitive sense, but it does some weird things to our game because creature levels were never intended to be used that way. For example, the boss would get crushing blows and resists. Even worse, it does weird things to the next tier of content. If Deathwing at the end of Cataclysm (spoiler!) is a level 93 boss, then what is the first boss at the end of the next expansion? Level 93? Level 90? Level 96?
Instead, we are just faking the bosses gaining levels. We haven't worked out the exact mechanic yet, but imagine they are level 88++ or level 88.3 or level 88 SKULL SKULL BAD SKULL. As you get more powerful and get better gear, they get more powerful... exactly like all those bosses you handled while leveling up. Rather than critting and hitting the more dangerous opponents more often, your relative power stays about the same. You scale.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Heroics not Enabled?
We're doublechecking to make sure the hotfix that unlocked the heroics was applied to each PTR. As a separate note, if you are not eligible to enter into a Heroic (ie You are less than level 85) then the error message will still say the instance is disable for beta. That incorrect error will be corrected in a future client build. (Source)
Water Disconnect Issue build 12984
As many of you have noticed, there is an issue when you go in water, you may get disconnected.
This is a known issue for this patch and we hope to have it resolved for the next patch. We're sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. (Source)
Have seen a few people asking if there are more quests that do not rely on winning the battle. There are.
There are 6 random dailies available on the peninsula island every day. These are available at all times, regardless of who wins Tol Barad. (Source)
Raids & Dungeons
Average ilvl in Dungeon Finder
Our average ilevel is there primarily because Dungeon Finder restricts usage and we didn't think it was fair to say "You must be this high to ride the ride" without defining "this." It's there to stop a fresh 85 who has no idea that's he's doing something terribly wrong by queuing right away for heroic Grim Batol. I would not use our ilevel as much of a serious metric. It's very easy to game by sophisticated players. (Source)
Early Cataclysm instances difficulty
So what do we do when we need to AE tank and do not have Inquisition?
You do what level 15 warrior tanks do who don't have Sunder Armor yet. You make do.
We don't spend a great deal of effort balancing the dungeons at levels below max level. We compensate for that by making them pretty easy. You didn't see a lot of tanks posting about how hard Utgarde Keep was at 70 or how hard Hellfire Ramparts was at 60 and I doubt you'll see many paladins complaining about how hard tanking is when they are 82 or whatever.
The level 85 dungeons and to a greater extent the heroics and raids are more tightly balanced because we want them to be more challenging.
If you're having trouble on the PTR with level up dungeons, it's probably because the content isn't finished yet. (Source)
It's also highly possible that the abilities just aren't tuned right yet. If you have a reasonable idea how to tank and are feeling that AE tanking is nail-bitingly difficult to generate enough threat, then it's probably just undertuned. We want tanks to have to actually push their buttons and not just autoattack their way to high threat, but it shouldn't be so tight that a hot tick risks pulling aggro.
We recently consolidated a lot of janky threat mods that were on a lot of different abilities into core abilities like Righteous Fury and Defensive Stance. For example, warriors used to have a threat reduction modifier on Battle and Berseker Stance. We took that away and increased Defensive Stance's threat to compensate. You may be seeing data from in the midst of all of those changes. (Source)
[...] I used Defensive Stance as an example. We buffed the threat of Defensive Stance, Righteous Fury, Bear Form and Blood Presence and tried to get rid of any invisible -threat modifiers on other things. It's easier to tune and avoid bugs (in this case) if it's just one number and not scattered eight places in the data. As just one example, when we removed Blessing of Salvation (for LK) we added a separate, invisible spell effect that applied that buff just in case we changed our minds for any reason. Now that Salv as a 100% uptime blessing is long gone, we just added it to the tanking stances.
Sorry for any confusion. (Source)
Getting more powerful over time
That goes straight to customer satisfaction and longevity of the game. The more you play, the more powerful you should become. Not the weaker.
You do get more powerful. You get more powerful in an absolute sense, but not in a relative sense, because the challenges you can face become more powerful too. It is a fundamental pillar of RPG design othat as you get more powerful, you are able to handle more powerful opponents. Games lose their steam pretty quickly if you become more powerful and just use that power to steamroll the same weak opponents. Where is the glory in that? (Source)
Hit will never be an interesting stat as long as there's a hard cap on it.
I know this is an old argument, but this is *why* we think hit is an interesting stat. If you could just stack hit forever, you probably would, because it's a very good stat. Some of the biggest decisions to be made about gearing come when you have to engineer enough but not too much of this one stat so that you can focus on the others. We want you to look at stats other than just ilevel. Otherwise, we might as well just give all the armor and weapons a power stat, and you just pick whichever has the most power. Hit keeps you from just stacking your best stat. Maybe it doesn't add a ton of depth to say "stack hit, then stack your best stat" but it does add some. (Source)
Optimizing talent builds
I appreciate all the work the OP put into that post, but you have to look at your definition of "mandatory." You're taking several talents with no +damage benefit and calling them dps talents because they may lead to higher dps. But under that argument even +health talents are dps because you're likely to do higher dps when you're alive.
My personal philosophy, as I have expressed before, is that the community tends to be over-obsessed with cookie cutter builds. It's somewhat understandable because the WoW community has evolved in a direction where being badly informed is worse than being a bad player. We're all very quick to judge each other based on litmus tests, such as gear scores, achievements, or proper talent builds, that likely don't measure performance half as well as we want them to.
Even many of the so called cookie cutter builds today are honest about those talents that are a toss up. Picking talent A over talent B may be a theoretical dps benefit in the sims or even for the author of the cookie cutter build, but that doesn't mean it will work for you. I have deviated from these sacred builds often on my own characters because I found that I don't rely on certain abilities or mechanics as much as the build assumes I should. Now maybe my dps (healing, etc.) would improve if I could manage to do that, but in the interim using a build that is bad for me just because it's the anointed one doesn't make sense. A- dps with the "bad" build is superior to C+ dps with the "good" build.
If it's a talent that provides a 10% dps increase or offers an ability you'll use constantly, fine. It's hard to argue that won't benefit most players. But when I see players obsess over talents that provide a theoretical 1% dps increase that is vastly overshadowed by the noise of their own performance, I shake my head a bit. Want to see what I mean? Compare a parse of yours on the same boss from week to week. You'll probably see a dps variance of 5-10% or more. That's the role of your skill, latency, bad luck, lacking the perfect raid comp or whatever else. Worrying about that 1% dps talent was a rounding error. Let's not forget that what may be 1% on one boss probably is not on another.
Finally, getting back to a "mandatory" talent, consider what you'd call a talent that wasn't mandatory. You'd probably call it junk, the way many of you dismiss the "PvP talents." If a talent is useful, then it becomes mandatory. If it's not useful, it's dismissed. That narrow sweet spot in the middle where a talent is truly optional is held to be very, very narrow indeed by many in the community.
The Devs may be correct, in theory, that we don't need to squeeze every last drop of DPS out of our talent trees to down bosses. But in practice, you try to get in a raid with a tree that sacraficed 1% DPS for some fun utility, and you don't get an invite. Why would the raid leader take someone that didn't even spec the "right way"?
Posts like this make me very sad. You're portraying yourself to be at the mercy of uninformed yet tyrannical raid leaders who are quick to judge your performance based on perceived "tells." I know you need some basis to evaluate potential recruits or even pug members. But I do wish there was some way to turn around this virtual phobia of inefficiency -- this terror of being WRONG -- that we have managed to instill in our player base. I honestly think it's one of the greatest challenges facing the game.
I agree with a lot of what you're saying GC, but I gotta disagree with one thing you said. It is true that if you look back at parses from previous weeks your dps may vary by as much as 5-10% based on skill, luck, latency etc. However, you can't say that because of that fact, a theoretical 1% dps increase is any less significant than it would have been.
I'm just saying it's not worth it. How many attempts can you name in your lifetime as a WoW player where your doing 1% more dps would have made the difference between success and failure? And how many of those attempts could you have gotten 10% more dps if you had just totally nailed your rotations etc. on those fights instead of worrying about a theoretical 1% dps gain from a different talent?
Every bit helps, totally. I'm not saying throw a dart board at talent trees and expect to be competitive. But at times it's a bit like stooping down to pick up pennies in the gutter because you're about to plunk down six figures on a house. Hey, that's one-one hundredth less dollar I have to pay.
On a stationary fight, those movement boosts are useless. On a fight where you can't AE, those area damages are useless. If you have enough mana, then you have enough mana. Yes, I can understand the argument that it might be convenient to pick all of that stuff up because it might be useful on some fight, but if you're hardcore enough to pick up a talent because you read it was a 1% dps increase, then you should be hardcore enough to know for which fights it applies to and perhaps even be willing to swap specs accordingly. There are players that swap out a lot of glyphs in between fights or even re-gem. Some cutting edge guilds respec for every boss when they're working on progression. They probably coax a 1% dps increase out of doing so. Does that mean you should?
Min-maxxing is fun. It's part of the game. Sometimes (more rarely than is claimed) it's even necessary for progression. Just keep it in perspective. It's probably not going to doom your attempt if you pick up a fun talent instead of a 1% dps increase. If the Saturday pug won't take you because you lack the anointed talent, you're probably better off not running with them.
Interestingly, the community seems to have adopted 1% dps as the trade-off they're willing to make. You don't often see posts or guides advocating a gem or talent because it provides a 0.3% dps increase. There is something magical about 1% for a lot of players.
Hey GC, was wondering if we could maybe drag you back to this thread again to focus a little on the first part of Slant's post. The part I quoted pretty much sums up how I feel right now, and I know a few others who feel the same. Sometimes it seems like Cata is right around the corner and there's just not enough time for everything to happen.
We see this every expansion. Some players start to freak out because their list of demands hasn't been met yet and they sense release is imminent. Then the expansion ships and everyone is focused on some other overpowered ability that was only a blip on the beta radar.
It's inappropriate for me to provide any hints about how close we are or are not to ship. We need to provide that information through certain channels. We're happy with the talent trees given the confines of the talent system. If we were making WoW 2.0 (which we're not), the talent panes might look very different. Perhaps there would be even fewer choices and all centered around utility. Increasingly I think exclusive choices (like Starcraft's campaign upgrade system, or the way Paths of the Titans was going to work) is the only way to make interesting choices without cherry picking. On the other hand, one thing we've definitely learned through this process is that (most) players want a certain amount of safe choice. Maybe that gets back to the whole "terror of being caught being wrong" problem, or maybe the game's just too complicated. We talked about an even more radical overhaul where choosing a spec was a bigger deal and you had maybe 3 talents after that, but ultimately we understood the risk of changing too much a game that some players have stuck with for over 5 years. (Source)
What we do sometimes is say stick Repentance as a prereq for something you desperately need. The hope is we can count on paladins (in this example) having the crowd control, and the player can pick up the talent guilt free. And yet, we see a lot of complaints about the prereqs. "Why do I have to get that talent that doesn't benefit my dps?" If there aren't enough core dps talents, some players get agitated (and I'm not trying to dismiss that response as inappropriate). But that leaves less room for the utility ones.
I'm not trying to say we're unhappy with the talent trees. By and large, we're very happy with how they are shaping up. I'm just trying to explain some of our reasoning and why some of the alternate talent trees we see pitched are not tenable from our perspective. (Source)
Mage (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Frostfire in Cataclysm
The intent is that for fire mages that emphasize the mastery stat, frostfire bolt with glyph becomes a better option than fireball with glyph (and yes it's a temporary aberration that scorch is better than fireball). (Source)
Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Judgements of the Pure
Judgement of the Pure lasts for 60 sec and Judgement has an 8 sec cooldown. Even if you missed a couple times in a row, it would seem like you would have ample opportunity to still get the buff up (and even if the buff falls down, your healing doesn't totally collapse). Judgement costs 5% of mana, so it's hard to imagine that's a huge mana loss if you miss.
I would consider that +hit as optional for PvP, soloing or when you just want to burn things up in a 5-player run. (Source)
New Fan Wallpaper
Blizzard just updated the official site with a new wallpaper titled "Hurry Up" by Kenvd.