Travis Day On The Salvation of Diablo 3

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Patch 5.2 Dev Interviews
The pre-patch dev interviews have started! First up, GameBreaker and Vanion and interviewed Dave Kosak (Lead Quest Designer). There was a lot of elaboration on these points, so if you are interested in the subject, listen to the full interview.

  • The unannounced feature will be in the last patch of the expansion and give players a lot of new content to play with. (Discussion)
  • Proving Grounds is still being worked on and will be added if it can be done well.
  • Hopefully we will continue to see a new patch every two to three months, continuing to alternate with raids and story.
  • For Mists of Pandaria the quest team originally wanted to do a class quest for every class, but it would have taken as much time as doing an entire zone. The choice came down to doing Townlong Steppes or class quests, and the content that everyone could enjoy won. We might see more class quests for just one class at a time in the future.
  • There will be no heroic Ragefire Chasm, but the experiments down there will come in to play in the near future.
  • Going to Northrend is going back in time as far as Dalaran goes. Present day Dalaran is in motion, but it may not be reflected in game.
  • The team is being organized to try and avoid having a really long final patch before the next expansion.

  • Shorter and more open scenarios feel better than the longer and more space constrained ones.
  • Patch 5.2 adds better rewards to the scenario bag and Patch 5.3 will add challenges to scenarios that reward bonuses. These will be something like timed runs or other ways to more skillfully complete it.
  • The new storytelling scenarios in Patch 5.2 can't be repeated, so make sure to take your time when you get to them. They are unlocked by the server first, and then by your character. This means you will get to see them no matter how late you join the war effort.

Questing and Raids
  • There isn't a lot of expected abuse of the new rare NPC sharing system expected, and even if players do hit the mob to increase its health, it doesn't make the fight super hard.
  • The Sealed Tome of the Lost Legion for the Warlock green fire quest will be a rare drop from the new rare spawns, bosses, and mobs on the Isle of Thunder. Later patches will likely increase the drop rate so that unlucky Warlocks will be able to get it.
  • There is no gating for Normal and Heroic mode, but Raid Finder will open up over a few weeks, starting "a couple weeks" after the patch launch and then opening another every "couple weeks".
  • Mists of Pandaria set out to provide lots of things for you to do, but daily quests ended up feeling more mandatory than they wanted. The Patch 5.2 daily quests feel less mandatory.

  • Old age killed Lei Shen the first time he died.
  • The dinosaurs came from the islands in the South Seas.
  • Patch 5.3 will focus on how the events in Pandaria have changed the factions back in Azeroth. After that, there is a coup within the Horde, the previously announced Siege of Orgrimmar in Patch 5.4.
  • The seventh Sha will eventually be revealed. (Discussion)
  • No hints relating to if Ra-den dies at the end of the fight or not, so we have to wait for someone to get that far.
  • The Titans are more interesting when they are cryptic.
  • There may have been too many cutscenes in Cataclysm, so now they are reserved for the bigger events.
  • Lor'themar Theron was mentioned as a potential future warchief.
  • Draenei lore and story will be revisited at some point in the future hopefully.
  • The stories being told need gameplay to go with them, so they have to pick and choose what will be the best choice for the more rapid patch releases.

PTR Class Balance
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Here are some recent changes:

The mana changes were to help less well geared healers. The Beast Cleave change was because we felt Survival's multi-target damage was too far ahead. We don't mind good AE as a spec niche, but it shouldn't be so high that you feel like an absolute idiot for not swapping to that spec. (This is the same mentality we used when trying to tone down without destroying Combat rogues being good at cleaving.) The Fire changes were because we needed to nerf Fire to keep other mage specs competitive in PvE in 5.2, but we agree that nerfing Critical Mass unfairly targets less well geared players, and that the spec is just less fun if it crits too rarely. (Long term, we might investigate some of the non-linear percent scaling suggestions players have made.)

OpenRaid - Raid With Affinitii and AskMrRobot
If you are looking for something fun to do this weekend, Openraid is holding two raiding events (US-Horde) with Q&A at the end. Make sure your questions to AskMrRobot aren't already answered in their nice Patch 5.2 Items Recap.

Battlegrounds With The Blues Friday
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Greetings Champions!

Tomorrow on the PTR Blizzard employees are going to be storming the Battlegrounds. We're going to be doing some stress testing in preparation of the upcoming 5.2 patch.

For your chance to match steel and spell with some of Blizzard's finest sign on to the PTR realms Friday 3/1/13 from 4:30-6:30pm PST and queue up for Random Battlegrounds.

We'll be queuing as teams, you'll be able to distinguish us by our guilds "Blizzard Horde" and "Blizzard Alliance".

See you on the fields of honor!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Why would tapping be "worse" than griefing?Player gets occasional benefit of a tap, so what?
Because you stand around waiting for the mob to respawn angry that there are other players of your faction nearby. (Source)
during dailies it was they can grief. It will prove to be disastrous. Please revert this
We had orders of magnitude more complaints about competing to get the first tap. (Source)

Have you considered showing the entire raid what everyone is winning in LFR? It won't fix the problem, but might reduce rage.
Yeah. Initially we were worried about spam + players not understanding system and getting mad that someone took "their" item. (Source)

Would it be so hard to program per-player safeguards against too much bad luck ?
The programming isn't hard. The design is a little harder to prevent weird exploit behavior but is something we're working on. (Source)

If I have 5.0 LFR loot bags in inventory, will waiting until 5.2 to open them give me a chance at extra stuff?
No, you should go ahead and open the bag. Only new ones will benefit. (Source)

will 5.0 normal mode drop rates be buffed in 5.2? Would help organized groups with catch-up.
Drop rates are already 100% in N and H. We are buffing LFR rates and bonus roll chance in all difficulties for 5.0. (Source)

I just enjoy the irony - you design a boss for cutting edge progression guilds, yet tell us it's not part of progression.
I don't honestly remember the conversation any more. Ra-Den is hard. If players complain, imagine us cackling (ominously). (Source)
Oh, it's great to throw hardcore raiders a bone like this. Just remember there's no such thing as an "optional" boss to us.
Just don't ask us to nerf it so that you can be a 13/13 guild. (Source)

And that's not my standard. That's standard.
The intent of Ra-Den is to be insanely difficult. Most heroic guilds should not consider him a part of progression. (Source)
Those two statements conflict with each others. Also, just because you say people "shouldn't" doesn't mean they won't.
They can consider whatever they want. I'm just stating our design intent and clarifying it publicly. The next move is theirs. (Source)
From Ian's blue posts: "Of course I know there's no such thing as an optional boss in progression..."
He and I don't disagree. But we'll probably see a lot of 11/13 guilds because Ra-Den and heroic Lei Shen are very hard. (Source)
Still, if one guild kills Ra-Den first and another Lei Shen, which guild will be considered "World First"? My guess: Ra-Den.
That's always an issue. Who wins, the guild who kills the first 3 easy H bosses or the one who skips to the 4th hard H boss? (Source)
Shouldn't this not be possible? I thought Ra-Den required killing LS on Heroic (which required a full H clear?)
Yes, that is correct. My point was that I am confused by this weird "Is Ra-Den part of progression or not?" conversation. (Source)
Feel like some saying “We’re a HC guild, ergo we consider Ra-Den part of progress, ergo you have to nerf him to be accessible.” Huh? (Source)
Both you and Ian suggest that Ra-den is "optional" to progression, when the raiding community thinks otherwise is gist of it.
We just don't want less hardcore heroic guilds to be sad if they can't beat him. He's not designed for them. (Source)

what happened to 5 man queues to rbg you talked about in the pvp blog?
Still in the plan, just not for 5.2. It's a lot of work, but work we want to do. (Source)

It takes 29 wins to cap conquest in reg bgs. At 50% win ratio that is 58 wins per week, too much?
The idea is really to do RBGs or Arenas to earn Conquest. (Source)

Why is honor gear in next season worse than conquest gear in this season? It was the other way around before. Why the change??
So it isn't the most attractive gear for new 90s to skip over all the PvE content. (Source)

The proliferation of untrinketable CC (RoP, Solar Beam, Fists of Fury...) is a dangerous trend in PvP.
Agree. (Source)

i mean 1 team tied to rating. make more than one team or make another system please so i can play with others too
Yeah, that's what I meant with my tweet a few weeks ago. Teams can be a barrier to playing with friends. (Source)

That new rare technology to increase health per player attacking: possible for Alterac Valley NPCs? Would solve so much.
Potentially, yeah. And then AV is perfect, right? Right? (Source)

Curse is Hiring!
Due to continuing growth, Curse is looking to fill many positions in the near future! If you're looking for a chance to get into the industry, this may be the opportunity you've been seeking. All open positions are on site in Huntsville, AL.

For more information on working at Curse, please head to our Jobs page.

The Daily Blink - The Society of Creative Arcan-onism
The Daily Blink shares a reenactment of Vanilla with us. Click through for the full comic.

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