Telling You What is Fun, What is a Good Number for Coop Players, Fan Creation of the Week: David Lines Cosplay, Curse Weekly Roundup

Noblegarden Begins Tomorrow
Noblegarden begins tomorrow, which means it is time to camp egg spawns for that Swift Springstrider if you don't already have it! There were not any major changes this year, but you can find an up to date guide on Icy Veins.

Curse Premium Twitter Giveaway
In addition to the MMO-Champion Twitter and Facebook, you can now find WoWDB on Twitter. You will be able to keep up with database updates, see smaller news items, and maybe even catch a few things before they end up in a news post!

If you want a chance to win a free month of Curse Premium, just follow WoWDB by April 5th! We will randomly select and direct message the 10 winners on Saturday, so be sure to check back then. Your Twitter account must have been created before March 30th to win.

Patch 5.3 World Changes
Patch 5.3 starts setting up the story for Patch 5.4 and brings the fight back to Azeroth. One of the first things Horde players will notice is the Troll area of the Valley of Spirits in Orgrimmar has been taken over by the Kor'kron Guard, with Kor'kron Overseers taking aim at the residents. The trainers, bank, auction house, and every other NPC has been shut down, only talking about how dangerous it is now.

Things aren't much better for the Trolls outside of Orgrimmar, as they are being kept in cages or down on their knees, blindfolded, in front of armed and Neutral flagged Kor'kron Grunts. Riko is standing on some crates as well, and he is likely involved in the Patch 5.3 quests.

Further south in Razor Hill the Kor'korn have also posted guards, but operations are still continuing normally there. High Overseer Bloodmane has moved down to Razor Hill from his position outside of Orgrimmar.

Moving further south to Sen'jin Village, the guard presence there has been greatly increased, with the guards asking if you are going to help and saying "Welcome to da' revolution".

Going west to the Barrens, it looks different if you are level 90, similar to the Krasarang Wild changes. The only current active event is escorting the Barrens Caravans through safely, as they are attacked when they pass through the Barrens. Doing so will give you a box of surplus supplies, required for a new weekly quest.

Four new Kor'kron camps have been added around the Barrens, harvesting Wood, Lumber, Oil, and Meat for the war effort. It appears they have also hired some Goblin Mercenaries to handle some of the work.

There are several quests that will also take place here, such meeting up with Sully and Amber in Durotar, who go through the new Dranosh'ar Blockade area to gather intelligence. You then head down to find Vol'jin and Chen Stormstout in Sen'jin Village. After this you begin to collect supplies from the Barrens, defend Sen'jin Village from the Kor'kron assault, and finally capture Razor Hill from the Kor'kron.

The Alliance are taking part in this quest line with separate Alliance caravans in the Barrens, and are able to open a dialogue after rescuing Zen'tabra from the Kor'kron.

While all of these events are taking place in Azeroth, events are unfolding in Pandaria. Things begin with a conversation between Taran Zhu and Sunwalker Dezco about the massive pit that has been dug in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The story behind this is revealed in the Dark Heart of Pandaria scenario, which is currently unavailable. The Alliance also get a view of the current story in the Blood in the Snow scenario.

Chen is troubled by these events, and sends you to find Seer Hao Pham Roo, an expert on the last emperor. Once you assist him in climbing Mount Neverrest you are rewarded with some item level 502 boots.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Taran Zhu: Tauren! What have your people done? You have dredged open a scar within our sacred Vale!
Sunwalker Dezco: Lord Zhu, please understand - the orc "Warchief" who ordered the deed no longer speaks for the whole of the Horde. Many voices are rising up against him.
Taran Zhu: Your politics are no concern of mine. Your Horde has disrespected the sanctity of this place. You are no longer welcome here - leave at once!
Sunwalker Dezco: Give us time, Lord Zhu. Give us the opportunity to bring Hellscream to justice.
Taran Zhu: Sunwalker, I respect your people. You have aided us in our campaign against the Sha and the Thunder King. Otherwise, I would've already ordered the Shado-Pan to purge this entire shrine. But my patience is at an end. The Horde must leave.
Sunwalker Dezco: Please. Give us time to make this right.
Taran Zhu stares grimly into the distance.
Taran Zhu: Very well. You have until season's end. No longer. We pandaren are no strangers to dealing with tyrants. The coming battle will try your souls. May the celestials guide your actions.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard and the Warcraft Story
I think Kosak and Metzen believe that they can't make any mistakes.

You would be wrong in this. I know that when you don't get to interact with them like I get to, you don't get to how deeply passionate and caring these two are, not to mention their teams. They don't work in a bubble. They pass around ideas, talk with each other and work out just how the story is going to evolve. It's a group effort and not just the work of one or two people.

The thing is, story isn't something that can simply be changed at the drop of a hat. While changes can be made to the smaller elements, it's not as easy to say "Ok, this whole story arc here? Scrap it." I'm not saying it can't happen at all, just that the very prospect has a rather significant impact on more than just story.

Think of it this way, major game mechanics can be tweaked slightly, but larger changes need more work and an opportune time to implement them. The same can be said for story arcs. There has to be a larger arc to work with and everything else gets built as framework to uphold it. Each of these smaller arcs can get minor changes here and there, but in the end, they're a part of the framework that's holding up that larger arc. Once you start shifting things around too much, you run into additional design issues that affect more than just the story. It takes extra time and resources to change. It's like moving support beams in a house.

An example of when we've made changes based on feedback and play testing would be Jade Forest. When we started the beta for Mists of Pandaria, the zone was quite different than it is now. So, to address some quest flow changes, we ended up making the zone inaccessible within the beta for a time to make changes to it to make the story and questing elements flow together better.

Add to that the fact that development is occurring well in advance of you ever getting to try it on the PTR and you can see that making changes isn't a quick and easy thing to do.

That said though, we are always always looking at constructive feedback. It's important. One well-structured post or idea (no matter where it's found) could be the impetus to changing the flow of the story in some small way or enhance it in another. That said though, we also do our best to preserve what we believe to be the core elements to the story. We have to stay true to it as well as we can and still push forward gameplay. We want story to enhance gameplay where it can and as much as we would love everyone to be enmeshed in the stories we're telling, we know not everyone is because it's not the thing they are looking for most. It's a balancing act and not a particularly easy one. Story is incredibly subjective and what may tug at one person's heartstrings or inspire them, will mean very little to someone else.

So, the best thing you can do is what you're doing here in this forum. Discussing what you like about the story, interesting new directions you think it will go or would like it to go, and you can also provide feedback from your experience on the PTR.

Story is very low in priority to the majority of Blizzard. Kosak and Metzen can have the greatest idea in the world but if it doesn't translate to gameplay that Stockton and GC like (both of which do not care about the lore the least bit) then it will never make it in game (GC for example is the one that cut the Warlock questline). It sucks but it's the reality of Blizzards internal structure and I doubt it's going to change any time soon.
It's worth noting that this too is largely untrue (minus the translating to gameplay portion). As I mention, gameplay is a major factor, but the story goes along with it and sometimes things get cut because they just aren't working well enough or aren't as cool as they could ultimately be. It's unfortunate, but that's what we work with on a daily basis. I've had many projects or items get scrapped because of other contributing factors. That's just the reality of things. We don't just do things because someone says it needs doing. We do things because they are (hopefully) the right things to do. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Hey GC, are you currently looking into PvE Resto Shaman Healing? We're standing in the shadow of the other Healers lately.
As determined by what? HPS isn't a great way to measure healer power. (Source)

How bout do more "x ability replaces y ability" type things? Less bloat, plus new stuff. win win
It helps reduce action bar bloat but increases tooltip bloat. All of those replacers have to do more than just +dmg. (Source)
I can see your point. You have accomplished things like this like talented vicotry rush! Tough issue to crack to be sure.
Look at the tooltip of spells like Frostbolt or Shadowform. Simple concepts with long ass text. (Source)
Could you do hidden secondary tooltips with database style stat affects lists, that would be accessible by addons?
Potentially. We experimented with simple vs. advanced tooltips, but players felt like they HAD to have the advanced ones on. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
"Shadow and warlocks were too strong in multidot". Nether Tempest says hello. With the difference mages are also OP on ST.
Keeping an eye on NT. We want mages to have some dot capability, not be a dot class. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Why the nerf? Also, why can't Shadow proc free Flash Heals? Most importantly, WHY keep this from us?!
The Flash Heal was an intentional change to tone down Shadow healing in PvP. It is still really good with that change. (Source)
We weren't trying to conceal anything. We're pretty open about class changes and why. (Source)

We made a change to Shadowy Apparitions for performance reasons. Any SAs beyond 4 are queued. You will still get them unless the fight ends. (Source)
Do the SAs requeue onto a different target with SW:P if the ones they proc on die?
Yes. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
is there any intention to tune-up / fix / nerf the current end boss fight of the warlock quest?
Maybe eventually. We're fine with it being a challenge that carries with it suitable bragging rights for now. (Source)

Thanks for the warlock nerfs, I really needed to do even less damage than everyone else.
If you're doing less damage than everyone, I'm not sure it's a warlock issue. Their DPS overall is pretty competitive. (Source)
you spent months of calculating classes and when the patch go live you make changes of -25% over night.u r so pro!
We understand the dev process well enough to know that even months of testing can't compete with data from millions of players. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
‏Nerf burst, nerf main dps ability (execute), which ability will be next nerfed ? Execute is now useless, only dps loss
I don't think Execute is a DPS loss. It should still be around 10-12% of your total damage. (Source)
I think the problem is that for TG execute feels really bad atm, would like some TG buffs, SMF nerfs perhaps
We show Execute as ~10% of damage for TG and ~12% for SMF (depending on gear). It's pretty close. (Source)

You always argue that players take the path of least resistance, yet is there a good reason for discouraging quick play?
No, quick play is cool. It's more about when we offer X, Y and Z, and X is the most efficient, then Y and Z are dead content. (Source)
And by "dead content" I don't mean that we insist you see our stuff. It's more about averting burnout from doing the same thing. (Source)

Some players enjoy "play a lot for 2 monthes, enjoy Life for 2 monthes, repeat". Are they long-term players ?
I would say so. The risk is that after you take 2 months off, you might forget why you had so much fun the previous 2 months. (Source)

but doesn't simukated dps indicate 5he theoretical maximum except in case of affliction warlocks due to stat snapshotting ??
IF the simulation is accurate and that's a big IF. There is no way to know unless you can debug the whole thing. (Source)
SimCraft is open source, you could assign an intern to read the code and confirm/deny its validity
Not sure that is our responsibility or a good use of that intern's time. (Source)

my favorite part about the blog post is where everyone complains about their class being nerfed when they aren't mentioned.
Begging us to buff is sometimes easier than trying to beat the boss. (Source)

I actually don't recall any point in time when that tooltip was right. Which really boggles my mind.
Complicated spells (PW:S for sure) essentially have hand-crafted tooltips and we still miss stuff. (Source)

seriously? Did you get waxed that bad by warlocks when you were just a player playing your mage. Years of Lock hatred now...
Yeah, designing a game to make your own characters feel awesome is a good business model. (Source)

Why do the turtle pets and the turtles from tortos have tortoise feet. :3
Our herpetology is rather poor. In general, tortoise = land, but it varies by country. Scientists use "chelonian." (Source)

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

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