So, when is the release of Cataclysm?
Now that Patch 4.0.1 is on PTR, I get a lot of mails asking for a release date and I guess I can answer that without too much risk now.

Keep in mind that Blizzard didn't announce it because the release can still be postponed, but as far as I know the target release date for Cataclysm is the first week of November (that would be November 2, if you like numbers). The first part of the Cataclysm prologue started exactly 8 weeks before that and the next part of the pre-Cataclysm event will probably happen in 2 or 4 weeks depending on their schedule.

You got your answer, and hopefully people won't yell at me if something goes wrong.

Gathering professions now give XP
Originally Posted by Daeleht (Blue Tracker)
This is an intentional change, however the values may not be final. Tradeskill nodes are intended to give you experience when you loot them.

Bastion of Twilight - Twilight Ascendant Council
The last member of the Twilight Ascendant Council had its model updated in the latest build. This encounter definitely looks promising.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Mimiron's Head/Invincible in 4.0
Ghostcrawler's stated idea to make such things really low drop rates is still a real possibility. Whether or not this change will take effect with patch 4.0.1 is to be determined. (Source)

Flying in Azeroth
Flying in Azeroth will not be possible until your account is upgraded to Cataclysm. Patch 4.0.1 is slated to be released prior to Cataclysm and will not include the changes to the old world or any content exclusive to Cataclysm. This patch will apply many systems, class, and user interface changes. It's very similar in nature to the major patches which preceded the releases of The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. (Source)

Raid/Dungeons Content Difficulty
You are correct that a lot of players moan about things being too easy without having seen the content personally. We definitely place less emphasis on their feedback than on people who have actually tried those encounters.

The hardest encounters of LK were harder than anything we've offered before. And honestly, that point isn't often in contention. I think what surprised players is say how far they got in Naxxramas on their very first night, without a lot of planning or gearing, or how they managed to kill 2-3 heroic bosses on their first night of a new heroic wing being opened in Icecrown (though to be honest, fighting a boss for weeks on normal mode first definitely exacerbates that phenomenon).

We'll continue to offer some content for the cutting-edge progression raider. There is an encounter in Bastion of Twilight for them. But we also think true pugs shouldn't be stumbling their way through encounters they've never seen before, at least without a very strong or experienced leader.

To use my own guild as an example, in say the Serpentshrine days, we'd take a few weeks to master a new boss. I could probably count the number of time we got two new bosses on one night. I think a progression rate like that feels better to a lot of players. You spend time in between raid nights discussing what you could do differently on a tough boss, but then celebrate each victory.

A heroic dungeon doesn't need to be quite so brutal, but it still doesn't seem bad if you wipe on a new boss 2-3 times before you figure out a solid stragegy and everything falls into place. A lot of players love that puzzle-solving aspect of the encounters. It lets them exercise their mind, creativity and knowledge of game mechanics. When you can just overpower the boss and ignore the encounter mechanics, then a lot of that is lost. (Source)

Class balance on PTRs
Most likely not. We'll be evaluating the way players are performing in content on the 4.0.1 test realms, but keep in mind the class changes are balanced around level 85 gameplay. It's almost more likely we'd end up taking away the Icecrown Citadel buff (I'm only saying this is a possibility), as in many cases healing, tanking, and damage dealing may stand to benefit a lot from these changes at level 80.

Things will be a little bit interesting since these changes are being applied while players are still actively working through the current Wrath of the Lich King content. Bear with us and provide as much feedback as you can about your experiences with these changes under the current content, but keep in perspective that the new class design is meant to be balanced around the upcoming Cataclysm content. We're more interested in ironing out bugs and polishing the systems than attempting to balance them intricately for level 80 gameplay. (Source)

Using all your healing spells
This is a very common line of argument we see from players, especially healers. It runs something like "I use all my heals. I seem to be a pretty good healer. Therefore only using a few heals makes you a bad healer." It should make you a bad healer (if our numbers are appropriate) but often it does not. Often those 1-2 spells can take you 90% of the way there and the additional heals used my more savvy players only adds 10% or so optimization on top of that. You might have been a better paladin for using all of your toolbox, but the fact is that even very mediocre paladins could heal just fine using only those two buttons. That's not what we are going for. If you're used to using a variety of spells, then this change won't affect you much. (Source)

Making healing more challenging
We see the sentiment expressed often that making healing more challenging might drive players away. That is a risk, but the flip side is that making healing more engaging might attract some players who find it boring today.

While it has always been a goal to make World of Warcraft approachable to a lot of different kinds of players, including those who found traditional MMOs too hardcore, we'd rather retain players because the gameplay is fun than because the gameplay is easy.

Taking your argument to a probably illogical conclusion, if we made healing even easier, we might get even more players to heal. Is that really good for the game as a whole though? (Source)

Lack of healers in the Dungeon Finder in Cataclysm?
Players played WoW for six years without Dungeon Finder though. Dungeon Finder is awesome, don't get me wrong, and I spent a lot of time personally working on it. But the intent is not to be able farm dungeons as fast as you possibly can.

Healing (and tanking as well) isn't for everyone. It takes the right kind of mindset. I know there are players who want to make healing and tanking super easy in an attempt to adjust the ratios of dps to tanking and healing. There are also some who just want to get rid of the healing role completely.

None of those are our goals though. We want to make healing fun for healers, not make healing so easy that anyone can jump in without any fear of failure.

I remember looking for Scholomance or Shadow Labs pugs for literally 2-3 hours. There is almost no chance of that ever happening again now that we have Dungeon Finder, even if tanking and healing require a little more finesse.

So to answer your question, I think having more healers available at any cost is bad for the game. We want healing to be fun for people who like healing. If that means the mages and rouges have to wait 15 minutes for Dungeon Finder instead of 5 minutes, I think we can live with that. If nothing else, fast Dungeon Finder queues (or ease in finding a raid slot, etc.) remain attractive benefits of tanking and healing. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
70% spell pushback
Hopefully they just make the 70% baseline for everyone with no pushback with earth shield or concentration aura type spells. Spell pushback is one of those things that can really drive you crazy in both PvP and PvE.
We did. We just changed the base pushback resistance so that we didn't have to duplicate the same passive bonus in every tree.

Tanking / Crusader Strike
If CS and HotR are meant to be single/multi-target counterparts, then they should both hit as the same type of damage. Since CS is stuck as physical due to Ret using it, HotR should probably be switched to physical as well. Mana cost of HotR seems lower than it should be, compared to CS.
We want Prot paladins to be able to swap between Shield of the Righteous and Inquisition when going from single-target to AE tanking. One of the mechanics that lets that work is Hammer of the Righteous being improved by Holy damage.

Crusader Strike should win handily against single targets. If it's not doing that yet it's just a numbers adjustment, so you'd be better off testing as if it were the case rather than trying to build a rotation based around something that you know we're likely to change. (Source)

MMO Report
It's time for your monday's MMO Report, Casey is back!

Teh Gladiators #166 + #167 and Dark Legacy Comics #255 is out. Sometimes a nice smile goes a long way.

This article was originally published in forum thread: Cataclysm Release Date, Gathering XP, Blue Posts started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 188 Comments
  1. Junicha's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mikisulu View Post
    a dps that loses attention for 5 sec, loses a bit of dps ie. not a big deal.
    Unless you're standing in Defile...
  1. Amazad's Avatar
    We believe Boub.

    After you predicted that worgen and goblin would be the new races I'll follow everything you say !
  1. flairy's Avatar
    Don't flame me, but I hope it's pushed back at least 6 days!

    Oct 30 - Nov 8th I will be on a cruise!
  1. mikisulu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Junicha View Post
    Unless you're standing in Defile...
    Which is true for everyone in the raid, so thats equal for all. Besides most people just run around like headless chicken anynway.
  1. Soulj's Avatar
    November! This is great!

    PS. Boubouille is never wrong
  1. DoomDeezy's Avatar
    Nov. 2?? PLEASE SAY IT AIN'T SO!! I go to boot camp on Nov. 3... damn blizzard.. screwin me one last time.
  1. fre1gn's Avatar
    I'm looking forward to November 2. Or Boub's Paris naked stroll xD
  1. fianzo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mikisulu View Post
    Its not the difficulty that burns a player out, in my experience. Its the required amount of attention to the game. A tank that loses aggro for 5 sec can wipe a raid, a healer that loses attention for 5 sec puts more pressure on the other healers, and a dps that loses attention for 5 sec, loses a bit of dps ie. not a big deal. So please stop defending the inherent lazyness of dps. I have played the same mage for 5 years, and its true that to max dps, you must use every ability at the right time, BUT you can slack for 10 sec and you still kill the boss, and no one would even notice it. NOT so for healers and tanks.

    As someone who plays all 3, and personally i think im a terrible tank, average dps and good healer. The Tank losing aggro for 5 seconds may wipe a raid, but honestly on some fights that is never going to happen we could go through all the fights in ICC but i'd wager that for the first few seconds if you dont have tricks or MD then it can be hard to hold aggro but after the first minute or so you could literally get up go a wee and come back and still have aggro, which is why they're doing the whole threat degenerative thingie , the hard part of tanking is definitely the positioning and some fights are difficult to tank, LK for a start. And putting pressure on other healers if you slack? it depends how many you can take but most ICC HC modes we 2 heal with pala and priest me being the priest(holy or disc depending on what i like best for the encounter) if i slack, raid dies. But yea in 25 mans i can slack a lot more and it will be on someone else. And like you say, dpsing is faceroll easy, but then i dont have an RDPS and ours always manage to wipe us at least one on BC HC 25 due to missing an orb -_-.

    TLDR: First 5 seconds of tanking hard then they can slack, healing 10 mans=hard 25=easy. dps always faceroll
  1. Pheno's Avatar
    There's no way that's an accurate release date...that's way too soon judging by the current progress of the beta. IMO, December 21.
  1. Calaba's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Pheno View Post
    There's no way that's an accurate release date...that's way too soon judging by the current progress of the beta. IMO, December 21.
    Na. That's too close to Xmas. Even if everything's broken it'll be the end of November at the latest. Then they'll just patch it until it's fixed. The 2nd seems reasonable, that's still 2 months away, plenty of time to finish.
  1. Spike`'s Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Junicha View Post
    Unless you're standing in Defile...
    one encounter ... :\

    and for healers that is even harder because they need to focus on raid frames doing almost no-stop healing and controlling that

    yes i'm a healer and a ranged dps (lock), doing dps after being healer is boring has hell and easy has cake in ICC even that i have to switch targets in almost all encounters (and yes, talking heroic mode) when melees dps almost dont do anything that is the ones in ICC that fall asleep

    in Cataclysm:
    -> healing more harder, fine
    -> dps has to do CC, reallyyyy nice. something interesting to do and control instead of doing TAB and pressing 4 or 5 buttons
    -> tanking ... lets see
  1. MVF's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Suntamer View Post
    You know the item has no real value other than hey look at this and thats about it.. If you need the ego boost that bad you should maybe take up pottery or painting then everything you do would be just for you.. Oh and

    WaaaaWaaa QQ I am not special!!
    I'm afraid Pottery isn't to my liking. However, the mount was a reward for a 'difficult' accomplishment. One that some people still struggle with now (lol). Not for people to go back on 3 tiers later/Expansion Later and faceroll it.

    I'm assuming with your reply you have 0 Lights completed back when it was challenging... right? If they put an item in the game, even for cosmetic purposes, from doing something that was considered 'very difficult', then it kind of loses its value if you're allowed to go back and walk over it without paying attention.

    They took out the Black Proto drake and the Plagued Proto Drakes to prevent people achieving them tiers above. Hell, they even took out the ZA bear. Neither of the above were 'difficult' to achieve even in their original state.
  1. Zachary's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Pheno View Post
    There's no way that's an accurate release date...that's way too soon judging by the current progress of the beta. IMO, December 21.
    Because you know how far they are in the internal builds?

    I was counting on October but this is good too, bring on the events!
  1. Wipeout's Avatar
    ill believe that cata will be released on that date WHEN i see a offical response
  1. halmotors's Avatar
    Less Casey's Mailbag, more MMO information.
  1. Exerionx's Avatar
    If it comes out on November I will be surprised O.o
  1. mikisulu's Avatar
    -> healing more harder, fine

    This is the stumbling point for me. You might find it funnier to play, because you actually care, but most dps are on a little powertrip and that doesnt translate well to the healing game. And making it harder is fine for people running hardmodes, but how are newbies gonna start healing.
  1. Jokerjesus's Avatar
    4.X.X first week of October. BAM
  1. kneehammer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nilesy View Post
    Time for me to book some holiday time at work, then...
    Me Too! Bring it.
  1. Wreyez's Avatar

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