Update Patch 4.2 - Official Trailer
Blizzard released the new trailer for Patch 4.2 as I was finishing up this news post apparently.
Patch 4.2 - PTR Build 14299
A new build has been deployed on test realms last night. There wasn't really any important change in this build but it's starting to look like the patch won't be deployed on live realms on June 21st, I don't think Blizzard is crazy enough to push a patch live with a build that is less than a week old on PTRs.
That would make the patch more likely to be released on June 28th, I'm not sure if it will have any impact on the starting date of the Arena Season at this point.
Patch 4.2 - Opening Map / Mails Animation
The feature was shortly implemented on Patch 4.1 test realms and then removed, it's back in patch 4.2! Your character now has an animation whenever you check the world map or open your mail at the mailbox.
Leaders of the Horde and Alliance - Gelbin Mekkatorque
After long years of patiently enduring and biding their time under the hospitality of their dwarven allies, the gnomes have rallied for one final, valiant attempt to reclaim their rightful home. They now face a battle against the twisted genius of a betrayer, one who is maniacally obsessed with ruling over the gnomish race… or destroying it entirely. With their allies hard-pressed to survive in the aftermath of the Cataclysm, the gnomes must rely upon cunning, cleverness, and courage to take back what is theirs.
Leading this desperate charge is High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque, the brilliant and resourceful inventor who has guided the gnomes through their darkest hours. Now he stands on the razor's edge between personal vengeance and true leadership -- to face a test that none of his calculations could have ever prepared him for.
Gelbin took a step forward and scanned the room. Maybe if he could get to the other side of the study quick enough, there would be a stool that could become a makeshift weapon. If he could keep the trogg at bay, perhaps he would be able to escape through the opening it had just come through. It would be risky, but it was the best—
Two more troggs shambled into the light. The first one grunted guttural commands to the other two, and they moved to either side of their prey with a feral swiftness that belied their bulk.
The wall lowered behind them with a foreboding clang, and Gelbin felt a sad clarity: he was going to die here.
Blizzard Entertainment is proud to present the latest entry in the Leaders of Azeroth short story series:
Originally Posted by Blizzard EntertainmentQuest Design
I'm reading that as you want quests to be interesting but easy and fast to get people to endgame.
Yes and no. When designing quests, it's important for us to keep in mind all the different kinds of players that'll play through them and what their interests might be. For example, some World of Warcraft players just want to get to max level as quickly as they can. That's a totally valid style of play, so we try to make sure that quests don't arbitrarily complicate or impede the leveling process.
That's just one thing we consider, though. We know that there are a lot of players who absolutely love questing -- quest chains, daily quests, low level quests, all of it. (Loremasters, represent! \o/) And we absolutely want to appeal to that group of players, too. With respect to the OP's suggestions, our concern is that, if we implement quests that are too challenging or too similar to dungeon content, then we risk forcing players into roles and types of gameplay that they may not appreciate. Not everyone likes running dungeons or feeling pressured by having to learn encounter mechanics, so overloading quest content with those kind of scenarios may not be the best course of action.
Could we do more to vary up the kinds of quests you play through, though? Sure. We feel that we can still provide a streamlined, straightforward questing experience without always relying on the simple "collect this," "kill that," "okay, now kill that again, and then be a good sport and collect a variety of gross things from their corpses" objectives that everyone has come to love. Those kinds of quests certainly have their place and will likely remain a staple in World of Warcraft, but we're trying some new things with the 4.2 daily areas that we hope players will enjoy, and want to continue that trend with future content, as well. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Ask the Devs
I'm not going to bother getting into the specifics of what was answered or why or any fansite articles bashing the process; it's been covered many times before.
But, at the core, I think we agree it's not working. While we could (and do) lament over the reasons why a scheduled Q&A based on question popularity doesn't sit well with people, the bottom line is it can't go on as it is.
We don't expect people will ever be completely happy with any Q&A. Regardless of how they're conducted we'll never get to every question, so there are always going to be complaints that we didn't answer the right ones. But Ask the Devs is different. While there are certainly arguments that answers didn't say the right things, or didn't give a firm answer on how a problem would be resolved, the process just doesn't work because of the format.
We've spent a lot of time discussing why it doesn't work, and while that's interesting to us, the bottom line is that once we've finished the role Q&A's with healers, we will be ending the Ask the Dev series.
Our goal with Ask the Devs was always to increase interaction with the developers, to provide a direct conduit to their thoughts and process. We're in the planning stages for a new Q&A process that will replace Ask the Devs, and while we're absolutely certain people will continue to be upset we didn't answer every question, we think it will overall be a far more successful approach. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Tanking and Survavibility
DKs have a lot of control over their survivability. While the other tank classes spend a lot of button clicks on generating threat, DKs can regularly hit Death Strike, which heals them. This puts a very powerful tool in the hands of the player. Played well, you can mitigate a lot of incoming damage and even choose when it is important to mitigate that damage. But you also have the possibility of playing poorly. It probably isn’t the kind of play style that is going to appeal to everyone.
You can look at the recent discussion about the paladin Holy Shield as a microcosm of this debate. Some players wanted more control over their survivability, and the new Holy Shield provides that. But it is more work to control an active button and there is a larger penalty for doing it badly. Death Strike is like Holy Shield on steroids in this regard. There are good and bad times to use Holy Shield. There are definitely good and bad times to use Death Strike. We see some DKs attempting to hit Death Strike as much as they possibly can, and then getting frustrated when they can’t squeeze more Death Strikes into the rotation. What they are perhaps missing is that the timing of when they Death Strike is very important. Used optimally, it’s a powerful reactive tool.
One thing we have discussed is giving players more control over whether they make this decision (trading higher risk for higher return) or not. In many driving games for example you have the choice of an automatic or manual transmission. Many players choose the automatic, suspecting that they are probably not going to be as fast as a player who is awesome at managing their clutch, but it means they never have to mess with the clutch and can still win plenty of races. On the other hand, imagine that the player who plays the manual perfectly is performing at 100% and the player who performs the manual poorly is performing at 25%. Choosing an automatic transmission for 75% performance may be perfectly acceptable. You give up a little theoretical performance in return for having less going on. Tanking can often have a lot going on. Maybe there is a talent choice that lets DKs have a more powerful Death Strike in return for weaker passive mitigation. Some players would take that talent, and some might only take it for some encounters.
Related, we understand that some DKs don’t like having to make the decision about whether to Death Strike or whether to apply tanking debuffs. That’s really the tension that’s supposed to be at the heart of any resource system -- I have a limited allotment of X, so at this moment do I want to use X on this one ability or on a separate ability? Again, a possible solution is to put the choice of which play style to use in the hands of the player. We could offer a talent or glyph (or something) that lowers the cooldown of Outbreak for instance, without turning Blood DKs into a spec that can play optimally by pushing nothing but Death Strike. It’s something we’ll consider.
(Assuming Blood is the manual transmission, and the other three classes are automatic)
Amazing DKs aren't 25% better than Amazing Paladins/Warriors/Druids, so what is the point of a system that is incredibly punishing and only slightly rewarding?
The 25%, 75% and 100% percentiles weren’t meant to be taken literally. If a DK feels like he or she has to work much harder than other tanks to achieve about the same amount of survivability, then that feels bad (and to be fair, we had this exact problem with paladin tanks being too easy to play well in the previous expansion). On the other hand, if a DK played well completely trumps all other tanks, then the very best guilds for whom the skill cap isn’t an issue, will just use DK tanks. We see a pretty good spread of DK tanks among both great raiding guilds and all raiding guilds for that matter, so we don’t think the numbers are so far off that groups are either flocking to or avoiding DK tanks. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
New Warcraft Fan Art
The Blizzard Fan Art Section has been updated with four new pieces of fan artwork set within the Warcraft universe.