1.0.7 Is Very Close, To AH or Not to AH, Adding Sockets Not Likely To Come Soon, Angels Will Never Be a Playable Class, Blue Posts, Project Blackstone

Project Blackstone
We now finally know what the Project Blackstone domain was for! You can take a look around with the password, "Y7_$0>0k_3<$m" and see some more of the action on Twitter:

Patch 5.2 - Green Fire Quest Preview
Patch 5.2 finally adds the Green Fire quest line for Warlocks. After finding a The Codex of Xerrath as a somewhat rare drop, you combine the tome with a Healthstone to bind it to you. If you want to test the quest line on the PTR, you can get it as a guaranteed drop from an NPC near the Shado-Pan Garrison.

Once bound, you begin with a quest to find the origins of the tome by speaking with your demons. Each demon will tell you something different about it. You then take the tome to a Warlock Trainer to find out more.

Your Warlock trainer will recognize that the tome is important to the Council of the Black Harvest, and ask you to read through Part One of Legacy of the Masters.

You will then need to look through Jubeka's Journal and find fragments in Hellfire, Blade's Edge, Netherstorm, and Shadowmoon Valley. At three of the fragments, you will witness a memory, of which you can find the text below.

Netherstorm Memory
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: Such strange creatures. Why do they remain so long after the legion has left?
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: ...there's a slight flaw in that supposition.
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: Oh?
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: The Observers were in the service of Illidan... not the legion.
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: Well, he's gone too... so why are they still around?
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: How should I know?
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: Well, I've spent weeks trying to understand how to summon one of these things. If you know something I don't, I'd appreciate it if you'd share it with us "lesser" mortals.
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: What's the problem? You handled the binding of the Fel Imps and Voidlords effortlessly.
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: They were trivial by comparison! These things are never in the same place.
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: There's something... strange about them... something out of place...
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: Oh dear...
Blade's Edge Memory
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: I tire of your evasive babble, doomguard. Explain to me why you and your kind are drawn to sacrificial magics.
Doomguard: My contract is to fight for you, not to reveal the legion's secrets, mortal.
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: Do not attempt to decieve me, demon!
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: Your kind far predates Sargeras's betrayal. What WERE you?
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: This knowledge is useless... what are you trying to achieve, Kanrethad?
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: STAY OUT OF THIS! The demon will answer, NOW!
Doomguard: What an odd demand. Not even my own kind care about our origins. Why should you?
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: If you do not care then there is no harm telling me.
Doomguard: ... before Sargeras freed us, we were the Titan's hounds. Forever enslaved to police the use of arcane.
Doomguard: Sacrificial magic was considered the greatest violation of life and we were attuned to instantly punish those who delved into such... delicious sorcery.
Doomguard: You have your petty secret, Kanrethad. Now, I demand knowledge from you... why do you care?
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: I don't believe that is part of our contact. We are done here.
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: Jubeka, complete the ritual.
Shadowmoon Valley Memory
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: What is it you wished to show me...?
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: ... I've seen the fear in your eyes, Jubeka.
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: What...? No! I.. I have... no idea...
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: Gul'dan destroyed this world in his bid for power... you're concerned I will do the same to Azeroth.
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: ...
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: No! Stay back...! You... you're dangerous. I remain content summoning demons, but you...
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: ...you toy with becoming one yourself!
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: There are two sides to the blade of Demonology...
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: ... the threats that besiege us from the outside...
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: ... and those that threaten us from within.
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: I chose you as my companion for a reason.
Jubeka Shadowbreaker: And what depraved reason is that...?
Kanrethad Ebonlocke: ... If I fail, I need you to banish me forever.

You then follow the soulstone that was created by the fragments to the gates of the Black Temple, find the mark on the door, and enter the scenario. After defeating Kanrethad, you are granted Green Fire!

  • Enter the Black Temple - Avoid the guards and enter the Sanctuary of Shadows.
  • Search for signs of the Council's Presence - Find the Council of the Black Harvest's trail.
  • Follow Akama to the Shrine of Lost Souls - Walk with Akama to the Shrine of Lost Souls.
  • Uncover the Council's Plan - Investigate the Reliquary of Souls.
  • Defeat the Essence of Order - Claim the soul crystal left behind by the Council of the Black Harvest.
  • Escape the Shrine of Lost Souls - Fight off the demons unleashed by the Reliquary and return to Akama in the Halls of Anguish.
  • Plunder the Den of Mortal Delights - Grab as much treasure as you can before time runs out.
  • Head to the Temple Summit - Take the Empowered Soulcore to the Temple Summit.
  • Defeat Kanrethad - Place the Empowered Soulcore in the Demonic Soulwell, and defeat Kanrethad.

As of now, it seems that the part of the quest line with The Eye of the Storm, Wrathion, and Warlock Island has been abandoned.

10% Nerf to Patch 5.0 Raids
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Something that has continued to evolve over the life of the game has been end-game progression, and what’s required of your character to see what is at any one time considered the final raid. Originally it was a very linear path. You had to gear up through one raid before you could attempt the next, and the one after that, and so on. It meant that if you were even slightly behind the curve you could potentially never catch up. We began adding mechanics and options in Burning Crusade and beyond to ensure players could, with effort, have some ability to catch up. Fast forward to Cataclysm where we believe we went too far the other direction and a freshly minted 90 didn’t really have to do anything before jumping directly into Dragon Soul.

In Mists of Pandaria we want to get back to where we were in helping people catch up, but only through some effort in completing prior content. We don’t want it to be a linear A->B->C model again, because that causes a lot of undue burden on guilds attempting to catch up alts and replacements, but we also don’t want the Cataclysm model of being able to more or less skip straight to the end, invalidating everyone’s efforts who came before.

New characters coming into Mists of Pandaria will be going through Mogu’shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of Endless Spring, killing bosses, and gearing up before moving on. Due to that we’ll be adjusting the difficulty, as well as item drops, to make progression a bit quicker without shortcutting people directly to the Throne of Thunder raid. With the release of 5.2 enemy health and damage in the three prior raids will be reduced by 10%. We expect this to be a one-time reduction, and not a slowly increasing reduction as we’ve done previously. In addition, item drops are being greatly increased, including those from Elder Charm of Good Fortune bonus rolls. In addition, as stated in the patch notes, costs of 5.0 and 5.1 Valor items are being reduced by 50% and 25% respectively.

IN ADDITION! If you’re killing bosses in Normal and Heroic before 5.2 releases, and thus pre-nerf, you’ll actually get Feats of Strength honoring the accomplishments you made before the change – which is pretty cool. IMO.

With these changes we hope to see players able to catch when coming into the game mid-expansion, or leveling an alt, but still putting in the time and effort to get to the latest tier.

Patch 5.2 Currency Conversions
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Patch 5.2 introduces a new raid tier and PvP season, and so the higher tier currencies will be down-converted during maintenance. This time around there won’t be a soft cap, old Valor items aren’t changing to cost Justice, and we’re adding a new rank of PvP gear. Let’s break down exactly how it’s all going to harmoniously work together.

All Valor is converted to Justice
Justice above the 4000 cap is converted to gold at a rate of 47 silver per point

So let’s say the realms go down for the 5.2 patch and you have 450 Valor and 3800 Justice. Because of the 4000 Justice cap, you’d log back in after the patch is released with 0 Valor, 4000 Justice, and be 117 gold and 50 silver richer after the conversion.

With 5.2 we won’t be changing current Valor items to cost Justice, but they will be much cheaper (discounts from 50-75% off their current costs). You’ll need to acquire Valor after the patch is released to buy pieces for their discounted rate, or to buy the new 5.2 Valor items, but we’re also introducing new items to spend your Justice on, including heirlooms and Pet Battle stones.

While Charms won’t be converted, Lesser Charms of Good Fortune will no longer be used to purchase Elder Charms in patch 5.2. Instead Lesser Charms will purchase Mogu Runes of Fate. They’ll be purchasable in the same way; once a week, 90 Lesser Charms can be converted to 3 Mogu Runes of Fate via a quest in your faction’s Shrine. Mogu Runes of Fate will be usable for bonus rolls on 5.2 raid and world bosses only. Elder Charms will continue to be used for bonus rolls on 5.0 raids and world bosses, and will now be acquired as item drops by killing enemies in the new 5.2 Thundering Isle outdoor zone.

All Conquest is converted to Honor
Honor above the 4000 cap is converted to gold at a rate of 35 silver per point

For example, if I log out before the 5.2 maintenance period with 450 Conquest and 3800 Honor, my excess of 250 Honor would be converted, and so when I log in after 5.2 is released I would have 0 Conquest, 4000 Honor, and be 87 gold and 50 silver richer.

In 5.2 we’re introducing an entirely new tier of PvP gear that will be purchasable with Honor to help smooth out the gearing progression for new and returning players, alts, etc. so they can catch up and be a bit more successful coming in mid-season or even mid-expansion. You can read more about all the changes being made surrounding that in the PvP Gear blog we posted a few weeks back.

LFR Raid Testing Coming Soon
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We're planning on opening the LFR wings of the Throne of Thunder raid sequentially, beginning on Thursday, February 7, by 11am PST (2pm EST, 8pm CET). We will leave LFR open through the weekend, so hop on the PTR, check it out, and share your feedback!

The item level requirement for the 5.2 LFR sections is 480 -- if you can't meet this threshold, note that there are vendors with epic PvP and PvE set pieces that may help you reach it.

FEEDBACK: Oondasta
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Please use this thread to discuss the world boss Oondasta, who looms over the Isle of Giants off the northern coast of Kun-Lai Summit. He's fairly challenging and, to my knowledge, has not been defeated at all yet.

Guilds that are logging on to test our other raid encounters in Throne of Thunder are encouraged to check him out, perhaps in between testing sessions. I'll even make a post here naming and congratulating the players who manage to secure the ever-prestigious World First Public Test Realm Kill(TM).

FEEDBACK: Warlock "Green fire" Questline
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Yes, it's happening, and next PTR build you should be able to test it. Please use this thread for your feedback on the experience, and please expect there will be spoilers here.

(Please do not use this thread to discuss other warlock or non-warlock related topics, including but not limited to, your pitch for a quest line for your class.)

To begin the Black Harvest questline on the PTR, you can find an item that starts the quest as a drop on the "Green Flame Infernal." When 5.2 goes live, the item will be rarer but not stupidly rare.

Known Issues:
1) At one point you will be asked to speak with a Warlock trainer. The quest is not hooked up to every possible trainer, so keep talking to trainers until you find one.
2) At a later point in the quest, there is a timed element. In the current build, you must finish the trial within the time frame given or be forced to redo it. In a future build, you will be able to proceed even if you fail the time check. This will make sense when you see it.

One request: if you are providing tuning feedback (i.e. if a fight is too easy or too hard), could you please let us know the ilevel of the character you're using?

We appreciate all the feedback.

the Den of Mortal Delights part isn't particularly clear as to what I'm supposed to do or what will complete the objective. It says "loot everything you can in the time available" and I'm looting everything I can click on, but I'm still failing the objective.
I edited the original instructions, but this is the second issue I mentioned. The timer is supposed to expire, at which point you are done looting and continue on your adventure. On your version of the PTR, if the timer expires before you reach the end of the loot run, you fail. This isn't intended. For now, your best bet might be to ignore the loot and just book it to the end.

PTR Class and Set Bonus Issues
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Will the 'always hit' apply to moving targets as well or is it just for stationary targets?
Always hit your primary target, even if moving.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • We are reverting the nerf to Body and Soul. It will stay at 4 sec duration.
  • Holy Fire will be instant baseline. We agree it is an unnecessary nerf to remove that 5.1 functionality, but we also like the range increase from the 5.2 version of the glpyh, so just removing Holy Fire's cast time seems like the right move. Solace will still be positioned as an upgraded Holy Fire that generates mana.
  • We understand that reverting the Devouring Plague change (restoring it to its 5.1 functionality) is a nerf to Shadow mastery, but overall we are still sympathetic to the arguments that losing burst from Devouring Plague is a negative in PvE and doesn't really solve the PvP burst problem (which is more about holding procs). We haven't adjusted Shadow's PvE damage yet in any case.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • We are going to try Grand Crusader proc'd by CS, HotR and dodge and parry (at lower chances for each).
  • We are going to buff Seal of Justice and Seal of Righteousness damage. Neither of these Seals is seeing enough use. Justice was always intended to be a strong PvP Seal, and it just isn't right now. We haven't solidified numbers yet - I'm just sharing our intent.

We're making a change to the way damage-to-healing conversions work so that the healing is not affected by resilience. The healing will be based on how much damage would have been done as if the target had no resilience. If you hit an opponent for 10K and have a mechanic that converts damage into 50% healing, your hit may land for 6K because of resilience, but the heal will still be 5K (50% of the unmitigated damage). This only applies to resilience, not to armor, Shield Wall or other forms of damage reduction.

This change currently includes Atonement, Glyph of Battle Healer, Ancestral Guidance, Vampiric Embrace, Nature's Vigil, Glyph of Siphon Life, Eminence, Glyph of Flame Shock and Leeching Poison.

Related, we have read feedback that certain mechanics, such as Retribution's mastery, Hand of Light, are double-dipping from resilience. If this happened, then your attack would be mitigated by resilience and then the mastery proc (which is supposed to be a percentage of the main attack) would also be mitigated by resilience. However, we can find no evidence that this is actually happening. In our testing, Hand of Light is never mitigated by resilience a second time. If anyone has additional information, please share.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
The 2pc Windwalker PvE bonus no longer drops spheres in a circle. They drop right next to you, much like the Brewmaster's Gift of the Ox, so that you can shift side to side and pick them all up.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
We are currently trying Overpower on a 1 sec GCD (again). We like the way it feels and we like that it boosts Arms' damage without having to increase the damage of special attacks (which risks PvP burst), so we're going to let you guys try it next PTR build.

Leeching poison not getting that change or just forgot to list it?
It is and I did forget (and edited the note above).

Will they still be getting reduced by Battle Fatigue, or are those conversions set to ignore it as well?
Battle Fatigue will still reduce the healing.

I feel like there's a huge disconnect here between the way we play and the way you guys play. The issue with this set bonus isn't the way the orbs are dropped, it's that extra energy is very rarely something we ever need.
Our suspicion is you are viewing this through the lens of 5.1, where you are often GCD capped. The 5.2 mastery changes open up a lot more GCDs (that you can then fill with extra energy). Have you tried the set bonus on the PTR?

Battle Fatigue is gone on the PTR, that's why a ton of feedback about some hybrids heals in the ptr are false. Just saying that this is a cause of some incorrect feedback, and make PVP on the ptr quite frustrating to test.
This is accurate. Battle Fatigue isn't working at the moment on the PTR. We're aware of it and we keep that in mind when evaluating feedback. It's a good idea for you all to do so as well.

I don't care so much about Shattering throw (mostly a PVP thing), or Cleave (I don't mind if it's useless much much HS is for us), but Whirlwind, Sweeping Strikes, and Thunderclap all really need to be looked at.
Awhile ago, we made Whirlwind only cost 20 rage for Arms to address Arms needing to spend more rage on Overpower. I may have forgotten to report it and I don't think it's in the patch notes. Cleave is supposed to be expensive (like Heroic Strike). Thunder Clap is really cheap already. Sweeping Strikes is expensive but also quite powerful so we suspect it's okay, but we'll adjust if needed.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Patch 5.2 Class DPS Balance
The ones that are played by players who know their class, the raid mechanics, and can adapt to situations on the fly.
I have nothing to add here.

No, I kid. But that was an excellent point.

Something that Ghostcrawler has brought up in the past is that top players will tend to hone in on a specific spec, and wring the most out of it. Parses are posted showing the results, and others follow suit. Soon the parses get dominated by players doing very well with a particular class and spec. Now, we know from internal testing that other options might be competitive, or even better, but because of the... uh, I guess I'll call it the 'echo effect', those specs never really get a chance to shine because everyone has already found something that works, and works well.

Of course, that's not always the case. Sometimes those other specs might not be getting spotlight time because they're much harder to get optimal performance out of, or other factors. Still, it's a real phenomenon.

The other thing to keep in mind is that we (as a community) have developed a strange relationship with damage numbers. Once upon a time, there were pretty broad differences in dps between the highest and lowest dps classes. Bringing the wrong class could have a real impact on your ability to win a fight. Over the years I think we've gone a very long way toward fixing that, and the gap between the different classes and specs has narrowed considerably. Instead of 50 and even 100% differences in output, now we're usually talking about 5 and 10% differences. At these ranges, skill, timing, and knowledge play a more central role than ever before in determining how much practical damage a class is capable of, and even the classes that aren't topping the charts are contributing essential and meaningful amounts of damage.

Don't get me wrong, I have fun vying for the top spot too. I'm just saying that even if your class isn't the #1 top damage for a particular encounter, you're still in a position to help make an important contribution to the fight and ensure that your raid group is killing bosses.

Not trying to quote out of context, but a 10% difference will never sit well with the bulk of the community. I'd even go so far as to say a 5% difference is probably too much. Yeah it's come a long way, but it simply doesn't work in the community's perspective on damage output.
I know, and I get it, but I also think that's kind of unfortunate. Due to vagaries in individual player capabilities, differences in class ability mechanics, latency, encounter design, the moon phase, etc., getting dps numbers within a couple % points of each other is extremely difficult. In some cases, it's not even desirable. What I mean by that is, it's cool that some classes perform better in specific encounters when their unique traits become valuable. As I said earlier, being top dps is fun, if it's you. It can be fun OR frustrating to shoot for that target if it isn't you. Regardless, the point of good dps is defeating encounters, which is much more a product of the raid's efforts as a whole, and their collective skill and knowledge.

Would we like dps (and tanking, and healing) output to be even more balanced, just on principle? It would be awesome. Is there a point of diminishing returns where constantly tweaking those things doesn't significantly impact the success or failure of players and raid groups in general? I think that's also the case. I'm not saying we can't do better, but we do have to prioritize our time to yield the best overall experience we can provide. We've made progress over time, and we'll continue to try to do so. In the meantime, I hope that most players feel like they can choose the class they want to play, and not feel like that choice is holding them back from being a productive member of their group.

This notion that a thin layer of elite players is leading the masses down the wrong path is cute. It's way more likely that your lab results, for whatever reason, don't translate perfectly in a live environment.
Oh, we know for a fact that lab results don't always translate into a live environment. I didn't use the word 'wrong' because it would be... well, wrong. Our theory crafting community is smart, and their analysis is sound. The specs and classes they advocate have been proven to be strong and effective, and are the top performers in many cases.

What I'm suggesting is that often other specs can still be viable, competitive, and better than they're presented to be by parses, but that's not always reflected because they didn't make the initial theory crafting cut. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.2 LFR Item Level
A couple of points to make here.

First, the mere fact that item level 502 gear is available from Throne of Thunder LFR doesn't mean that the day patch 5.2 goes live, everyone will suddenly be handed a set of that 502 gear. The sections of LFR are going to unlock over time, and as a quick glance around the Raid & Dungeon forums will tell you, players sometimes only receive gold when defeating bosses, instead of loot (shocking, I know). Sure, maybe 3 months down the line, someone who has been running Throne LFR regularly will have slightly better gear than someone who's been doing Normal mode raids today. But the Normal mode raider who has spent those same 3 months in Normal mode Throne will have far superior items (ilvl 522) by that point anyway.

Second, part of the reason that the items are ilvl 502 is the existence of the array of Valor gear to which LFR-only players have had access to throughout patches 5.0 and 5.1. Many LFR-only players have a number of 489 and 496 Valor items that they've purchased and perhaps even upgraded. If we'd made Throne LFR drop ilvl 496 items, as suggested, a large number of LFR-only players would find that many of the 5.2 LFR drops were barely upgrades, or even downgrades in some cases.

And just to anticipate a familiar criticism ("But if the point of LFR is just to see the content, then what do they even need gear upgrades for?") let me just say that meaningful rewards are important for every playstyle, and character progression is an integral part of WoW. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

LFR Loot System Feedback
LFR loot system is a joke, really. I've looted a couple of items 2 times already, and T14 head and shoulders 3 times. Instead of giving us duplicates the whole time, fix your lootsystem so we actually receive items that we still need and benefit us.
That's not the point of the LFR loot system. It's not mean to conveniently help you fill your gear slots with what you're missing. Is a different loot system from what we're used to see, but, as in any other loot system, it might take a while before you see the item you want finally drop. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Is WoW Losing its Epicness?
With prestigious I mean the players that go all in and really gives their heart and soul to clear the most difficult encounters, setting a benchmark for the rest of us to strive for. While these players are a small % to the community as a whole, they are the forerunners and give others an incentive to push a little harder to get further. This is now slowly getting trivialized with pokemon, cute pandas, transmogs, LFR, daily rep gear better than raid gear etc etc.
This is where most arguments just lose it (for me, of course). You might, of course, strive to achieve what others have done, but projecting that same impression onto a majority doesn't really work. The fact is, most of the players probably can't even name the best raiding guild in the world, because they just don't care. So they might give an incentive to push to some folks, absolutely (those in the raiding competition, most likley).

Then you go on and proceed to argue that these other things that have nothing to do with bleeding edge progression raiding, for some reason, "dumb down" the game, when, in fact, it's just expanding the amount of choices you have at your disposal.

If the game loses it's focus on skills and perseverance, we're only left with the social aspects and I don't really see why we just couldn't sit on FB and play farmville or some pokemon app there?
If that's what you feel WoW offers to you, then I'm afraid you are not really looking at what those activities actually have to offer to any player that wants to do something else than bleeding edge progression raiding.

This paragraph makes it sounds like the 'prestigious raiders' are climbing Everest to collect medical supplies or something. They are people spending a lot of time on a computer game, not war heroes. I for one do not aspire to be like them, I just want to enjoy playing Wow.
Coriandra sums pretty well how some players feel. While for some of you raiding is everything that exists in WoW, for others is high-end PVP, for others is doing 5-man with their friends, challenge modes, scenarios, pet batlles, heck, it might be just flying around Azeroth just because they can.

The thing is, in a game as massive as World of Warcraft you can make of it whatever you want to, and it can't be a bad answer. As long as you have fun, and feel like you're getting from the game something worth it, then there's no real harm if some people just want to PVP all day long, or if some players would rather see all raid content through Raid Finder without caring at all about world firsts.

Also, please realize that some of the casual players of today, will be the hardcore players of tomorrow; and some, if not all hardcores of today, will be the casuals of tomorrow. There's no benefit in acting like it's two separate ponds that aren't connected and pretending you will always be part of this one pond.

Based on what some of you have commented and what I saw yesterday both here on the forums and on Twitter, I'm just curious...

Why do you feel the game has been dumbed down when, in fact, heroic raid bosses (for example) are increasingly harder? You've probably seen even players arguing that this tier in Normal feels harder than it should as well.

I mean, I totally understand you feel the game is easier than before, but consider three things:
-If you're a dedicated player, your skill will improve at some point, and (most likely) at early stages your improvement will be more dramatic, so the room to make the game harder without being outright silly (numerically or mechanically) gets smaller (which should help put in perspective the amazing work developers do when coming up with new boss fight mechanics and concepts).

-Heroic raiding content is increasingly more difficult (just compare Heroic Ragnaros to Heroic Sha of Fear and to Kil'jaeden, both mechanics wise and leeway to meet enrage timers, etc)

-Most of the things you mention as being dumbed down don't really seem to target you. But rather a different segment of players that might still be getting the hang of the game or don't want/can't devote as much of their time into the game as they would like.

Considering all this, how does it affect you in a negative way (assuming that you are at the high-end spectrum) that the game is more accessible or there are more things to do for players that are not you specifically? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Thunderforged Tier Items
There are still no plans for tier items to be available with the Thunderforged designation. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

"Raiding is too Difficult and Time Consuming"
Like why do I have to sit around in normals for 3 months wiping 8 hours a week to get anywhere? It was cool to release 3 raids, but whats the point if you're gonna make them so hard no one will even get to the second one before next tier? I thought normals were supposed to be easy and hms were supposed to be the hard raids? Wiping isn't fun... bring back DS difficulty. That was perfect for normals, people could actually do them in a respectable amount of time.
I can commiserate with your feelings, but the best thing you can do is share with us specifically what encounters or issues you're having. It may be something we may need to look at and address on our end, or it may be something that other players can give you additional insight on to make the encounters seem less difficult for you.

As I see it, these are the things that could be affecting how you and your Raid team are performing:

  • You've found a bug or an imbalance in an encounter that's causing you issues.
  • Your Raid team may not be using solid achievable tactics to approach the encounters and may need to refine them more.
  • Members of your Raid team may not have the most appropriate gear for the encounters. which can cause additional burden on other members who do have appropriate gear.
  • Members of the Raid team may need to change spell rotations or even talent options for specific encounters

Again, I think by citing specific issues and problems, you may find better success in overcoming them. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Patch 5.2 Mage Balance
The Glyph of Evocation seems to have been updated on the PTR.

If you have the Invocation talent, a full Evocation will only heal you for 20%.
So, yes a mage will be able to spam it with the invocation talent, but since evocation reduces the channelling time and duration by 50%, this also means that it will heal exactly the same as it did before, since the glyph changed from 40% to 20% Health.

The old Invocation also had a 10 second cooldown, that means that although mages couldn't spam it, it wasn't that much different… Evocation used to last for 6 seconds, that means they would only have 4 seconds downtime on evocation and to be honest, going from 4 seconds of evocation downtime to 0 seconds, is not such a huge difference, because chances are, the first evocation that regenerated 40% HP for 6 seconds was enough of a buffer for the mage to wait 4 more seconds and move away or blink/frost nova/pet nova/sheep and do it again.

Still, I’m not trying to defend the changes here, simply stating some facts and my own opinion, keep in mind that anything is still subject to change and it’s exactly this kind of feedback that we need to make us rethink anything that might need tweaking. Thanks for keeping us on our toes. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.2 and Flameglow
I think its cute that its implied blizzard have a board meeting about pvp balance and get a bunch of feedback from all the devs.
Of course they do, they have regular meetings to discuss both game balance and the feedback they receive from the community. Just because you do not agree with some changes does not mean that they ignore your feedback or don't care, they simply cannot implement every change that the community mentions, especially if they feel it's not entirely beneficial to the health of the game.

On the topic of the Flameglow talent that is mentioned in this comic, I think there are some misunderstandings on how this new talent functions which I would like to address. First of all, this new talent for mages functions as follows:

Protects you with fiery energy, absorbing [ 20% of Fire Spell Power ] damage from each attack against you (up to a maximum of 30% of the attack).

Too many people are focusing on this talents potential to protect the mage from a maximum of 30% of an attack, where you must realise that under the more dire of circumstances where damage is high, it's protection is quite minimal. With most mages only just breaking 20,500 spell power unbuffed they will only protect themselves for a maximum of 7,000 damage with full procs and buffs, and 5,000 under normal buffed circumstances.

Let's take Ice Barrier which is also in the same tier as Flameglow, for a mage who has 20,000 spell power it will absorb approximately 70,000 damage. For Flameglow to absorb this damage at the same amount of spell power, you would need to take more than 17 hits where each hit does a minimum of 14,000 damage. Another situation you need to consider is that when big burst damage comes in to play.

If you are about to be hit hard, let's say you get hit by a big skill for 70,000 damage. At 20,000 spell power again, your Ice Barrier will absorb all of this, your Flameglow however will only absorb a measly 4000 damage and you will get hit for 66,000.

As you can see, Flameglow is certainly a good talent but it is not an outright winner against either Ice Barrier or even Temporal Shield. They all simply offer different situational uses and styles of gameplay. I would think that Flameglow works best against DoT's or lots of low damage, whereas Ice Barrier would be better against holding up against larger, more bursty damage. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Powershot Fixes
Both Powershot and Glaive Toss have been rebuilt and should now always hit their primary targets, plus, they should also be much more responsive to secondary targets.

This new implementation of the two abilities isn’t on PTR yet but will be as soon as both abilities have been through QA. Once we have a new PTR build go live, feel free to test them and provide us with some feedback, this is when it is most important and when it can dramatically change what ends up going live. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Your Developer Interview Druthers
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I'm in the process of scheduling fansite interviews with our developers to cover patch 5.2 content and design, and I'm curious what formats and topics are most popular among the community. In addition to this simple poll on preferred format, please elaborate on what you think makes for a successful (or unsuccessful) interview. Some examples:

  • What topics interest you most? (i.e. systems, encounters, lore, content, art, sound, etc.)
  • Why do you prefer the format you voted on?
  • What sites or podcasts are your primary sources of WoW news?
  • What sites or podcasts have conducted the most compelling interviews in the past?
  • In a single interview do you most prefer one-on-one, multiple people asking questions, or multiple developers answering questions?

Keep in mind this is specifically about press/fansite interviews with developers, and not public Q&As. The two aren't mutually exclusive and we'd like to host another developer Q&A in the near future.

Your feedback will help me assess our resources and determine a solid 5.2 interview strategy. Much appreciated!

I don't think they really address the issues that are on the forums. Its more of a PR thang, really.
It's worth pointing out that I'm specifically asking for your feedback because I want to make the developer interviews as effective as possible, and not just about PR. Our PR department does setup interviews between developers and some of the larger press/media publications/sites, but I oversee the fansite interview process and treat it as a very different animal.

I recognize that the audience frequenting fansites is completely different, typically better informed about the latest gameplay news, and prefers more in-depth design discussions.

Why is yet another dev Q&A being held on a third party site? Do you despise your own venue so much?
I'm not talking about dev Q&As. I'm talking about journalists, podcasters, and news/editorial folks sitting down with developers to interview them about World of Warcraft design, and what you think the best interview format and topics are.

TCG Art Update
Blizzard has updated the Trading Card Game art gallery to feature ten new pieces.

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