Wyatt Cheng and Travis Day on 1.0.8, Next Patch to Feature Co-op Improvements, Who Is Travis Day?

Isle of Thunder Day 2 - 30% Unlocked (Stage 1)

Patch 5.2 Dev Interviews
Today we continue our interviews recap with ArenaJunkies and their interview with Ghostcrawler and Brian Holinka, a new PvP designer.

  • Frost Mage, Arms Warrior, Shadow Priest, and Hunter were all over represented during Patch 5.1. Monks and Disc Priests were underrepresented.
  • PvP will likely never be completely balanced, as there are so many specs and different PvP situations that it is impossible.
  • PvP could be fairly well balanced with six or seven specs, but then the rest of the classes and specs would feel left out. This means the idea balance point right now is making sure that everyone can compete at some level.
  • Blizzard feels that a highly skilled player can take almost any spec and do very well with it.
  • It is somewhat harder to detect cheaters in Rated Battlegrounds, but the week between the season end and reward distribution should provide an opportunity to take a look, especially at players that earned Hero of the Alliance / Hero of the Horde.
  • The new PvE trinkets were changed to be less effective against players, making the best items for PvP still come from PvP.
  • For the near future, abilities will not have a separate PvP and PvE version, as it wouldn't change the amount of requests for buffs and nerfs to abilities and would add even more things to keep track of in PvP. However, if something like Colossus Smash comes up that is very difficult to balance in both, a separate rule for PvP can be added.
  • Blizzard is currently working to address long arena queue times on smaller battlegroups.
  • Looking at representation doesn't tell the complete story when it comes to class balance in PvP, but any outliers will be changed to bring them more in line with other classes.
  • Both changing numbers and mechanics to try and balance classes ends up making some relearning necessary.
  • Blade's Edge and Dalaran Arena were created before spells that could knock you off of where you were standing were created. Changes are forthcoming this season.
  • Blacklisting arena maps is a possibility for the future.
  • A permanent tournament realm would not fit with the core idea of investing time in your character.
  • Tweaks to how arena teams work might be coming in the future. (Wanting to be able to play with someone not on your team and not being able to do so isn't fun)

Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: March 5
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

  • Fixed an issue where quest items could drop less frequently than intended.
  • Players should now be able to speak with Waterspeaker Goria to complete the quest, "The Ritual".

  • Shapeshifted players should now be able to use Lightning Rods when fighting Electromancer Ju'le.
  • Risen Ancestors spawn rate has been increased.

Pet Battles
  • Sleep effects should now break properly when a pet is attacked.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios


Sunsong Ranch

  • Players should no longer see or hear chat from other player's NPCs during the introduction to the Isle of Thunder.

Patch 5.2 Class Reviews - Mage, Paladin, Priest
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
We don’t alter classes lightly, and every change comes only after a great deal of player feedback, developer thought, and careful analysis. We also know that while class changes can help keep things fresh, they can also mean that there’s a need to re-learn things about your character that you thought you already knew. We want to make this process clearer, more understandable, and easier to adapt to as we move into patch 5.2, so I’ll be working with World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street to write a short blog series that will provide an overview of the important changes coming to each class.

Many of the 5.2 patch notes fall into two main categories: balance tuning and talent adjustments. Unless we called out a specific reason otherwise, you can assume that the various +10% or -10% adjustments you’ll see in the patch notes were made to keep all of the specs where we want them in 5.2. In some cases these are changes to reflect the different environment in 5.2 with new gear and set bonuses. In other cases, we are correcting issues we found in patch 5.1.

In terms of talent adjustments, while we’re still happy overall with the Mists of Pandaria talent overhaul, we do recognize that there were some talents that weren’t tuned as well as they could be or just weren’t attractive. That’s not to say that all talents should be all things to all players all the time; some talents are situationally quite attractive, and we’re happy with those. On the other hand, others just never see much use and we would rather provide players real options for each talent tier.

Note: The purpose of these blogs is mostly to provide an overview of the design intentions behind our 5.2 changes, rather than to detail the thought process behind every individual note. You can refer to the patch notes for specific changes and numbers.

We set out to accomplish a few goals with Mages:

  • Despite various adjustments along the way, Frost Mages are still too powerful in PvP and not quite competitive in PvE.
  • Our changes to Arcane in patch 5.1 overshot the mark and also needed some changes.
  • While we wanted to make some less attractive talents more attractive, we also weren’t satisfied with the Mage talent tree.

There are a few changes to Frost in PvP. First, the PvP set bonus only lowers the cooldown of Counterspell when it is successfully used as an interrupt, not as a Silence. As we’ve said before, we think Silence are too dominant in PvP, but we don’t think patch 5.2 is the right time to remove them all because we can’t also remove all of the instant heals in PvP. We like the Counterspell change because it rewards skilled play. We also made a change to the way Ring of Frost works with Presence of Mind. Rather than making the Ring of Frost instantly apply, the PoM only makes the cast time instant—the Ring still needs to arm for two seconds before freezing the unfortunates standing on it. Most significantly, we redesigned the Glyph of Fireblast to no longer allow it to detonate Frost Bomb on demand; instead it will require some timing on the part of the player. We’re boosting Frost’s PvE performance via Frostbolt, which requires a spell cast (which means the Mage must stand still and risks Frost lock), and also has a stacking debuff to really maximize damage.

We had two problems we wanted to solve with Arcane. The first was that Scorch was never intended to be rotational for Arcane to avoid having to dump stacks of Arcane Charge. Arcane is intended to build up charges but then dump them when the mana drain gets too high, but Scorch allowed Arcane Mages to avoid that cycle, which inflated their damage as a consequence. However, we also wanted to tweak a previous change where we increased Arcane Charge up to a max stack of 6. Dumping a stack of 6 is painful because it takes a long time to build it back up again, so in 5.2 we are lowering the stack size to 4.

Scorch was a big design problem for us for other reasons. It feels really good to have something to cast while moving, even if it’s a DPS loss overall. Many mages were taking Scorch for reasons beyond the Arcane Charge stacking issue above. At the same time, the talent tree also suffered a problem where Blazing Speed couldn’t compete with Temporal Shield or Ice Barrier. We had hoped to position Blazing Speed as a defensive ability, but really it’s a mobility talent, and we think it makes more sense alongside Presence of Mind and Ice Floes, which also offer mobility in one way or another. Instead of replacing Blazing Speed with Scorch, we just gave Scorch to Fire mages, which also helps differentiate the specs a bit more. Instead, now Mages have a new talent, Flameglow, which is a passive defensive option that absorbs some damage from each hit, and fits in thematically alongside Temporal Shield and Ice Barrier.

Paladins are pretty solid overall. Still, we had a few issues to address:

  • We wanted to make less attractive talents more attractive.
  • Holy was too dominant in PvP.
  • Retribution wasn’t performing as well in PvP.

We focused a lot on addressing the performance of Holy Paladins in PvP for Mists of Pandaria, and it worked . . . a little too well. They have some offensive utility now and a variety of strong heals. To bring them back into line, we’re making two changes: Blinding Light will now have a cast time, but only for Holy. We also changed a PvP gear bonus to affect Flash of Light instead of Word of Glory. Shifting more PvP healing to a cast-time spell opens up the risk of interrupts and also requires the Paladin to stand still on occasion. Addressing representation through balance adjustments is always tricky – healers are always in demand for 3v3 Arena teams, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see Retribution Paladins become as common as Holy Paladins. However, we did want to give Retribution a little more oomph. The main change here is to lower the cooldown on Avenging Wrath to two minutes for Retribution only. Since this is an ability raiding Paladins have today through a set bonus, we just made it a core change. We also made Retribution’s Flash of Light stronger and allow them to benefit more from PvP Power’s Conversion to healing. It makes sense that even DPS Paladins have good healing potential, so long as Retribution continues to primarily fill the role of a damage-dealer and can’t fully step into the role of a dedicated healer in PvP. Smaller Retribution buffs include letting them benefit from Glyph of Blessed Life and Templar’s Verdict to a greater extent, and adding a snare to Hammer of Light.

Protection received few changes; we like how they are doing overall. One small change was to make Grand Crusader benefit from dodges and parries as well, so that Paladins would benefit more from stats that were going to appear on their tanking gear anyway.

Priests received several changes to address a few problems:

  • We wanted to make less attractive talents more attractive.
  • Discipline performed too well in PvE, but under-performed in PvP.
  • Shadow was too good in PvP, but solid in PvE, so we didn’t want the nerfs to spill over much.

We nerfed Phantasm and Psyfiend, both talents that all Shadow Priests took (and to be fair, many other priests as well) and reduced their healing (though remember we also offset that nerf somewhat with the change to PvP Power to benefit their healing somewhat). We didn’t want to hurt Mass Dispel or other utility that Shadow provides, especially in PvE. We also reduced Shadow burst a little through the Glyph of Mind Spike.

Discipline required more work. In raiding particularly, Discipline priests were using an effective but boring “rotation” of casting almost nothing but Prayer of Healing (with a guaranteed Divine Aegis) while using Spirit Shell on cooldown. Doing so allowed them to prevent more damage than anyone else was capable of healing. Our first change was to make Spirit Shell no longer benefit from mastery. When Spirit Shell absorbs for 50% more than it would have healed for, it just becomes a button to use on cooldown, while we’d rather it was used as a situational ability that’s triggered when absorbs make the most sense. We also wanted to see Discipline using spells other than Prayer of Healing.

As with Restoration Druids, we don’t want Disc to be casting nothing but Power Word: Shield, but we do want Power Word: Shield to be a major button in their arsenal, which wasn’t the case in 5.1. To accomplish this, we reduced the cost of Power Word: Shield and now allow it to crit, but we also redesigned Divine Aegis so that Prayer of Heal spamming would no longer be the right answer for every situation. Divine Aegis now requires a critical on Prayer of Healing to activate, but when it procs it applies a bubble instead of doubling the heal (essentially Discipline’s crits are 100% heal and 100% bubble instead of a 200% heal). We also changed their mastery to affect both heals and absorption so that their mastery wasn’t only beneficial after a crit. In addition, we buffed Penance, which is an iconic spell for Discipline and a fun one to use. To address Discipline’s PvP issues, in addition to these changes (of which the Power Word: Shield and Penance buffs will have the greatest effect), we redesigned their set bonus to make Flash Heal cheaper, and made a few spells un-dispellable. That’s normally a last resort for us, but we felt it was appropriate in this case.

Holy Priests received few modifications, though they will benefit from some of the talent changes. We think Holy is in a good place in PvE relative to other healers but was just so overshadowed by Discipline that they weren’t as common. That may change as the specs fill different niches.

/Follow Command Disabled in Battlegrounds
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We disabled /follow from use in battlegrounds to curb some of the most basic types of bots that use the command. We chose not to communicate it beforehand in attempts to catch as many bots unaware as possible. Removing /follow in battlegrounds is one small change we can make immediately to stop a number of bots, and those that choose to transition to more overt botting methods will have a much higher chance of being caught and banned.

We did consider those who use /follow for other reasons, including multiboxing, before making the change. Multiboxing in battlegrounds has been a long-fought battle within the community, as the effect of multiboxers in those situations is considered unfavorable by many. When we were looking to make a change to disable a command used by bots, which would benefit the game as a whole, we were ok with it also resulting in multiboxing in battlegrounds also going away due to the poor experience it can create for others.

Right now /follow is also disabled in Arenas, but we’re looking to revert that change as bots don’t typically exist in Arenas, and multiboxing in that kind of pre-determined group environment doesn’t tend to be as disruptive.

One Handed Malevolent Weapons Cost
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Just wanted to drop in here to let you guys know that this was an oversight, and that those Malevolent dps 1-handers should cost 1750 Honor. We'll fit in the change as soon as possible, though I don't have an ETA at this time.

Great now they are 1750 CONQUEST lol
Yeah, something went sideways with the currency conversion on these items. Intuitively, it's easy to imagine that it would be like flipping a switch to alter these things, but unfortunately it isn't.

We've got a fix on the way as soon as possible, but as before I don't have a specific eta.

The fix should be in now, guys.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Tabard of the Scarlet Crusade.
The developers have informed us the Tabard of the Scarlet Crusade will be added back as a rare drop to the Scarlet dungeons in a future patch. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Heirloom Shields
Unfortunately shields didn’t make it into 5.2, this was due to a bug that was caught very late, there was no time to fix it before the launch, so we had to make the hard choice of removing them for now. They should be back on the next major patch though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Shan'ze Ritual Stones Drop Limit
Just to clarify on drop chances for ritual stones and keys, you can only obtain one Key to the Palace of Lei Shen (aka treasure room) from any creature on the island, including the Isle of Thunder Rare Elites. Once you’ve already looted one off of a creature, no more will drop from creatures for your character that week. Additional keys can potentially drop from other select sources, but are extremely rare and not something you can try to farm.

Similarly, you can only obtain one Shan'ze Ritual Stone from an Isle of Thunder Rare Elite per week. You'll still be able to collect more from other sources, though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.2 Resilience Changes
They must really think the dmg is to low.
Far from it, this change was not because we thought that damage was too low. This change was made simply because we saw that damage reduction was scaling faster than damage was. This meant that as you started getting more resilience over time, the better the returns were that you saw in getting even more of it.

The change to the formula that calculated resilience was done to correct this trend. The additional resilience that you get in patch 5.2 would have made it that much more beneficial to stack, so it would have been a stat that was far too attractive. We hope this explains the thoughts behind the change and wanted to let you know that we are monitoring damage as always and we'll turn some knobs to adjust it if we have to.

No player worth their salt stacked anything BUT resi in 5.1
That is because it was so beneficial to stack, which is why we made this change. The benefits would have also been exacerbated in patch 5.2 with even more resilience on Tyrannical gear.

This will not change in 5.2
Maybe not, but that is fine. We are more than happy with players stacking resilience again in patch 5.2 as long as it's no longer outscaling damage too much and is not clearly the best choice, this is what the change to the resilience formula addressed.

It was pretty obvious for most of Pvper's that the need to stack PVP Resi was because how much high damage in the game , even while stacking Resi damage was still high. Resilience will still be an attractive stat, there is no doubt about that, but I think that you neglected to read the last part of one of my posts:

We hope this explains the thoughts behind the change and wanted to let you know that we are monitoring damage as always and we'll turn some knobs to adjust it if we have to.

So the amount of damage and players being able to mitigate that damage is most definitely still on our radar. If we see a need to do so, we will be making some tweaks and a adjusting some knobs if we have to, to deal with damage concerns. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Cost of Paid Services
these services are completely 100% optional and are in no way needed to play the game.
It’s partially because of this.

Another reason would be to keep things somewhat stable, if these services were free or extremely cheap, communities could lose social and economic stability.

Social stability - Because realms are supposed to be somewhat insular, and that’s a good thing, one of the best qualities MMORPG’s have going for them is the social bond created between players, and those require time and a stability to create.

Players would also become less accountable for their actions (realm reputation would be very hard to assess), and we all know that unfortunately LFR and CRZ already hinted on how that can be a problem; we still we think the benefits far outweigh the risks in these two specific cases though, as they’re limited to the use of those features.

Economic stability - because not all realms are exactly the same and this would effectively allow the most enthusiastic traders and speculators to explore the global economy to their own best interests, which could have negative effects on a global scale or at least on the more economically vulnerable servers.

We could talk for hours about this, but that would be beyond the point of this topic, I’m sure you understand the logic behind this argument, some won’t agree with it and that’s ok, this can be quite an interesting and complex topic, just think about reality and global economy, opinions on that are far from being unanimous.

Now I understand that nowadays it’s much more common for players to have a lot of alt characters and when someone chooses to migrate, most of the times that player would like to take all his characters with him and that would come at a high cost.

Sometimes players will choose not to migrate at all due to not being able to afford it or simply not wanting to pay for all those migrations; now, although there’s not much I can tell you about this, I can say that we’re aware of all of your suggestions and requests regarding services, as you can probably realize, this is not the sort of thing that can be decided on-the-fly, but if we believe that there is a real need for some sort of change or improvement on our character services and that it could potentially improve gameplay, then I don’t see why we wouldn’t consider it, evolution and change has always part of Blizzard’s culture, especially when we talk about WoW, we’re nothing if not adaptable and iterative, so all I can say is that I’m not currently aware of any plans to change these services, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have them in the future, keep providing us with constructive feedback about it, I can assure you it can/will speed things up. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Garrosh Fixed in 5.2
So as title says i want to know if in 5.2 ptach if me and my guild go in ogrimar and try to kill garosh will he reset like always or it will be fixed?
Yes. Sorry if this took a bit too long to fix, but the good news is that it's supposed to be fixed in 5.2!
If you still find anything weird going on with Mr. Garrosh, please reply here, I'll keep an eye on this thread. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The Daily Blink - You Lead, We’ll /Follow
The Daily Blink tells us about the end of battlegrounds multiboxing.

This article was originally published in forum thread: Dev Interviews, March 5 Hotfixes, 5.2 Class Reviews, Follow in BGs, Blue Posts, Comic started by chaud View original post
Comments 42 Comments
  1. Zokten's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by gorocz View Post
    Firstly, just because you're asocial/antisocial doesn't mean that everybody is. If you tried a bit, you'd find that there's a lot of friendly people in the game. Lots of guilds have the single purpose of having fun while playing the game, chatting, doing fun events and such.

    Secondly, you start by bashing cross-realm features (DF, real ID raids etc.), which are free tools for people from dead realms to actually be able to do anything and then you rave about high cost of the transfer? Seriously?
    You start off with a fallacy, nice job.
  1. risingforce's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Necrotica View Post
    Personally think Blizzard should have a customer loyalty/reward program where every X months (or per year) you earn stuff like free character transfers, free race changes, etc. that you can use or save.
    That's a good idea! +1

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